Wiktionary:Tea room

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Tea house party in Japan (not tea ceremony)-J. M. W. Silver.jpg

A place to ask for help on finding quotations, etymologies, or other information about particular words. The Tea room is named to accompany the Beer parlour.

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Tea room archives +/-

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Oldest tagged RFTs


March 2015

whole shebang

How is sense 2 used? Is it distinct from sense 1? - -sche (discuss) 03:32, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it's distinct. People often use it for houses, but they also use it for cars, etc. --WikiWinters (talk) 12:51, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

red book

Shouldn't it be capitalized? It had a proper noun header before I replaced it with a common one. --WikiWinters (talk) 12:49, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

see also - https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Red_Book_(audio_CD_standard) 22:32, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I would have thought so, but all but one of the citations are lower case. The first sense, I suppose, could be lower case if one was talking about red books in general, but specific instances of a red book might be upper case. The second sense, the Devil's red book, I personally would certainly have written upper case, but three of the four citations are lower case even here. SpinningSpark 00:17, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Quaker terminology

As a member of the Society of Friends, I notice that there is a gaping hole in Quaker terminology. I have filled in some entries for terms that do not have a more generic use (such as using "elder" as a verb), but I am not sure where to draw the line. Should I be adding entries for terms like "monthly meeting", "quarterly meeting", and "yearly meeting", which are organizational groupings, or is the additional sense of "meeting" as a Quaker unit of administration sufficient? Similarly, the phrases "meeting for business" (a term for the Quaker form of consensual decision making that is seen as a special form of worship) and "meeting for worship" (the standard Quaker religious service) are used by Quakers as standard phrases, but can certainly be seen as simple extensions of their consituent parts. What about standard Quaker officers such as "recording clerk"?

Don't add entries for things whose names make their nature obvious (e.g. monthly meeting = a meeting that is monthly). Equinox 01:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Well that right there tells me I should probably add monthly meeting, because that is not what monthly meeting means.
If a "monthly meeting" is not a meeting that is monthly then please add it. Quakers must be lunatics. Gold plate it up! Equinox 01:56, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the guidance, I think I have a sense of what to do, and I am trying to be conservative about it - adding material to usage notes rather than entirely new entries. BTW - you do realise that you just insulted my religion. Good thing I am not touchy about it. Kiwima (talk) 05:01, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

evaluative diversity

Erm so what does it actually mean. The "usage notes" sound like a political manifesto. Equinox 03:16, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

It looks like it means "diversity of evaluations". DCDuring TALK 13:12, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Yeah. The Wikipedia article seems to been created for promotional reasons (see w:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Evaluative diversity), and the editing pattern of this user doesn't exactly fill me with confidence either. These entries seem to stem from an attempt to generalize all the different isms under a single umbrella (slightly ironic, given that one of the key concepts behind the actual philosophical concept of evaluativism is that differences between worldviews are fundamental and that there exists no objective underlying pattern to nature). Smurrayinchester (talk) 13:31, 2 March 2015 (UTC)


Not too convinced by the "influence" sense. The citations are mostly using the words together, e.g. "inflow and influence", suggesting that they are not the same thing, just a collocation. I believe this sense is mistaken and is just the usual "flowing inward" sense. Equinox 04:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

None of the citations unambiguously support the "influence" definition. DCDuring TALK 13:09, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Seems like Anglish-cruft to me. The fact that a rare Germanic cognate of a common Latinate term has only 21st century citations is odd - I would expect this word to be more common pre-1750 or so, but I can't find much evidence of its use. I did find one "citation" (as a verb) - Hobbes' Leviathan quotes an English translation of a Latin text as "The first cause does not necessarily inflow any thing into the second, by force of the essential subordination of the second causes, by which it may help it to work" (Causam primam nihil necessario influere in secundam, ex vi subordinationis causae secundae ad primam, quo illam ad agendum juvet). However, this is a deliberately bad translation by Hobbes as a caricature of verbose theologians, and in the context of the mangled sentence conveys no meaning. There's a possible citation in wikisource:Summa Theologiae/Supplement to the Third Part/Question 27, but I don't understand enough theology to parse the sentences it occurs in. Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:09, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
The Summa Theologica noun usage appears to me to be an intentionally literal translation of influus, influxus, or influxio, probably being used in a Medieval/Ecclesiastical sense diverging from classical Latin. If the exact interpretation of the word was in doubt in 1917, at least in the view of the 'Fathers of the English Dominican Province', responsible for the translation, an intentionally awkward translation would have forced a reader who was concerned about the exact meaning to go to hermeneutical literature.
This tends to confirm my general preference to avoid religious literature, as also poetry, whenever possible as a source on unambiguous citations of words supposedly in general use. If this were the citation that made a difference between inclusion and exclusion of a definition, it might be worth the effort to investigate further, but even then .... DCDuring TALK 16:22, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I suspect most citations will be literal translations of influus (or cognates like Einfluss). Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:54, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

What Means "Silverside"?

"Now, you've turned into an old silverside! Why, you even dress like an old silverside!" What does Mary Skinner mean by this in 19th century New York?

Do you mean the Mary Skinner played by Elizabeth Taylor in Life with Father?
Given that it is from a movie made in 1947, or the 1939 play, or the earlier popular autobiographical work by Clarence Day, or the TV sitcom, I'd look for a shallow meaning, easily read by a movie audience. I assume that it just means a late middle-aged male, of conservative habits. DCDuring TALK 12:26, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
The word probably isn't meant to carry intrinsic meaning, it's probably just intended to carry tone of voice or sentiment. If it does hold meaning it's probably 'silver' in reference to hair colour implying age & keeping to age related fashions. Try https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverside for actual meanings independent of context. 09:40, 5 March 2015 (UTC)


Is there any reason to believe that Etymology 2 (currently marked {{rfe}}) isn't just the same as Etymology 1? Smurrayinchester (talk) 13:01, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

The usually reliable Online Etymology Dictionary splits them. I think one or two defs in Ety 1 belong in Ety 2. DCDuring TALK 13:06, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Ultimately the two are the selfsame word, it's just that Etym 2 developed from the verb (esp. in a causative sense "to bring to a halt; cause to come to a halt or standstill"), and then developed deverbal noun senses of its own Leasnam (talk) 05:12, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

sex goddess

How is meaning #2 different from #1?

Look again. Definition 2 was only there for 11 minutes until User:Equinox reverted the edits that added it. By the time you posted this, it was already gone. Timing can be funny, sometimes ... Chuck Entz (talk) 02:39, 3 March 2015 (UTC)


Would it be correct to describe this as an alternative past participle of come/go? For example:

"Could you go to the shops?" "I've already been to the shops."

Currently, we have this in "be" as "(intransitive, without predicate) elliptical form of "be here", "go to and return from" or similar. ", but this doesn't sound right to me. As far as I can tell, it only applies to "been". For any other tense form in Standard English, it fails:

*"I will be to the shops."
*"I am to the shops."
*"I was to the shops."
*"Are you to the shops?"

The usage examples at be would then be:

"The postman has been today, but my tickets have still not yet come." > "The postman has come today"/"The postman came today"
"I have been to Spain many times." > "I have gone to Spain many times."

It seems to odd to have such a definition for the most irregular verb in the English language when only one of its many conjugations has such a meaning. Should we move or change this definition?

In terms of lemmings, Chambers says "in past tense to go", Collins says "(used in the perfect or past perfect tenses only) to pay a visit; go", American Heritage has "To go or come: Have you ever been to Italy? Have you been home recently?", Merriam-Webster has "to come or go <has already been and gone> <has never been to the circus>", and Oxford UK English has "Come; go; visit: ‘he’s from Missouri’ ‘I have just been to Thailand’ ‘the doctor’s been twice today’". The Oxford one is the only one to hint at any use of inflected forms other than "been", but that example doesn't imply movement the way the others do. To me it's just the standard is (has such a state) + from (having as a source). Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:36, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

I think some folks do use it in other tenses. It would be a bit of research project to confirm this and determine the scope of usage.
I would make it "especially in the past and perfect". Even in my idiolect I could say "I will have been to the store and back by then." [future (tense) perfect (aspect)]). DCDuring TALK 15:37, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
de.Wikt, which has a remarkably good entry for be, has this as sense 12, "als been, mit Formen von have: besuchen" = "(as "been", with forms of "have") to visit". I do think it's appropriate to keep the sense at be, since it doesn't seem like a past tense of go per se but a (merely) somewhat specialized use of be: "I have already been to the shops." → "I have already been at the shops." → "I have already (existed, had presence, etc — the usual sense of be) at the shops." - -sche (discuss) 21:46, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
This came up before, and someone made the interesting point that "went" is actually a completely different verb, yet is accepted as the past tense of "go", so why cannot "been" be accepted as a past participle of "go"? I still wasn't convinced though. As far as the tenses with which it is used are concerned, rather than listing these, would it not be clearer to say "only as past participle 'been'"? 03:30, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I always understood the difference to involve the current condition of the subject of the verb. "He has gone to France" implies he is still in France. Whereas, "He has been to France" implies he is no longer in France. -- ALGRIF talk 10:54, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
went is the past tense of go: I go, I will go, I went. In Modern English it is the same verb with a different root. In the past (Middle English and earlier) they were two different verbs but over time merged to become one. It is the same case with to be: I am, I will be, I was, showing three different roots. Note in the original example you could say Could you go to the shops? I've already gone to the shops. Here been can replace gone with the same meaning but that doesn't make it the same verb. Danielklein (talk) 01:11, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Imperfect questions

Many thanks and well done for our clever Wiktionary. I've put in You makes something and takes a choice, and the dictionary has given me the right expression:: you pays your money and you takes your choice! Well done! 14:29, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

That's a great example of what our new search engine is supposed to do. I'm happy but a bit surprised that it managed make the connection. DCDuring TALK 16:25, 3 March 2015 (UTC)


I think this entry needs a new definition for the West Asian fruit drink (also spelled sharbat). Or is it already covered by sense 1? Wikipedia doesn't have an atricle for the milk-containing juice (since it is the US version of sorbet), while the Asian beverage has a separate article under the name sharbat. The Persian, Arabic, Marathi etc. translations of sherbet/sharbat are now under sense 1. By the way a fourth definition is probably needed too: Sharbat#In Central Asia.

Einstein2 (talk) 16:26, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Straightening out the entries for sorbet, sherbert, and sherbet and recording the etymology seems quite worthwhile. Minor regional difference in the recipes could be ignored. sharbat would benefit from attestation, but see sharbat in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911. DCDuring TALK 16:51, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I added a third definition to sherbet with quotations. Thanks for creating sharbat—after a quick search, it doesn't seem obsolete: [1], [2], [3] etc. Einstein2 (talk) 17:54, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I had added a non-obsolete definition, too, limited to the Middle-Eastern confection/drink. The cites you give are in italics, which is an indication that the word had not fully become English in the opinion of the author. But there do seem to be enough unambiguous cites to support a definition such as the one I added. DCDuring TALK 21:15, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I've seen it, but doesn't sharbat only mean the Middle Eastern drink? If so, the two senses don't differ so they should be merged. In The Century Dictionary, sharbat redirects to the entry sherbet which says "A favorite cooling drink of the East, made of fruit-juices diluted with water, and variously sweetened and flavored." — that's why I think that the obsolete sense and the one you added are the same. Einstein2 (talk) 15:12, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Could be. DCDuring TALK 17:27, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I merged the definitions, please have a look at it. Einstein2 (talk) 19:11, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Whoever tackles this - here in New Zealand, Sorbet can refer to a non-frozen fruit desert made with gelatin and often egg whites - similar to the current definition of sorbet, but not requiring the frozen part.
Yes, it will require some work. You could add the definition you are sure about with a label limiting it NZ. Otherwise anything distinctive about NZ usage might be neglected. DCDuring TALK 05:23, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

showed as a past participle

Is it nonstandard, regional, colloquial or something? — Ungoliant (falai) 21:49, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

I added usage examples and usage notes to showed and shown. We could probably use a similar note in an appendix on irregular English verbs, for many of which the same preferences apply. DCDuring TALK 22:09, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Appendix:English irregular verbs lacks such a note, but it would not be easy to write a correct and helpful one. DCDuring TALK 22:15, 3 March 2015 (UTC)


I added references and a more general definition. Since I'm new to editing on Wiktionary, I started an {{rft}} suggested discussion here. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:44, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

American and British cakes, cookies, crackers, biscuits and wafers

Based on our entries and Wikipedia's, this is my understanding of how cake, cookie, cracker, biscuit and wafer are used in North America and the UK:

  • cake: in both North America and the UK: A rich, sweet dessert food, typically made of flour, sugar and eggs and baked in an oven, and often covered in icing. This thing and the thing which this is a slice of.
  • cookie:
    • North America: A small, flat, baked cake which is either crisp or soft but firm (often with chocolate chips, candies or nuts mixed in). One of these.
    • UK: "A specifically American-style biscuit." (What does this mean? That Brits refer to the thing on the left (not the right) of this picture as a cookie? Or that they only refer to American-style things like this as cookies? If the latter, then (a) the use of the word "biscuit" in the definition is confusing and should be dropped in favour of something clearer, like an explicit reference to the preceding sense, and (b) what distinguishes an American-style cookie from a non-American-style cookie? Can someone provide some images to clarify what is and isn't included in this sense?)
    • UK: A sweet baked cake (as in the previous sense) which has chocolate chips, fruit, nuts etc. baked into it.
    • Wikipedia says these things can also be called cookies, but in which variety of English? What else could they be called?
  • cracker: in both North America and the UK: A dry, thin, crispy, and usually salty or savoury baked bread. This thing and also this thing.
  • biscuit:
    • North America: A small, usually soft and flaky bread, generally made with baking soda, which is similar in texture to a scone but which is usually not sweet. The thing on the left of this picture.
    • UK: A small, flat, baked cake which is either crisp or soft but firm. The thing on the right of this picture. (Is such a biscuit always sweet, or can it be not sweet? If it's always sweet, it would seem to correspond to what American English calls a cookie.)
    • UK, alternatively: A cracker. (The entry has the usex cheese and biscuits. Is this redundant to the previous sense? The things on the right of this picture, which are supposedly biscuits in the previous sense, looks like what American English would call crackers.)
  • wafer: in both North America and the UK: A light, thin, flat biscuit/cookie. This thing and also this thing.

Am I missing anything, or getting anything wrong? How are these terms used in Australia and New Zealand? I'd like to draft a (better) usage note explaining these terms. - -sche (discuss) 19:36, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

In US graham crackers and animal crackers, at least, are sweet, not savory. Otherwise, the US looks good to me. DCDuring TALK 21:06, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
The definition does say "usually salty or savoury". I'll move the words around a bit and add "(but sometimes sweet, as in the case of graham crackers and animal crackers)", since the rest of the definition ("dry, thin, crispy ... baked bread") seems to describe those things well enough that I don't think another sense is needed. - -sche (discuss) 19:08, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Although in the US (and many other places) sugar finds its way into many foods, including savory crackers, a look at the "crackers" Amazon offers shows that, among top selling items, only graham crackers and animal crackers are basically sweet, cookie-like. I suppose that is a justification for having [[graham cracker]] (made from graham flour) and [[animal cracker]] (shaped like animal cartoons) as entries. DCDuring TALK 19:46, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I can speak to New Zealand usage, and suspect from the above that UK is similar. Cake is fine. As for biscuits and cookies - the term "biscuit" is more general, and includes everything that is called a cookie in the US. The term "cookie" can also be used, but is more limited in scope, referring to something that is round and sweet. Thus, your picture of two biscuits does not include anything that would be called a cookie, but the chocolate chip cookie picture could be called either a biscuit or a cookie. I do not think your biscuit picture includes anything that would be called a cracker in either the US or New Zealand, because the things on the right are chocolate and presumably sweet. I think the "American style biscuit" means that it is round, very sweet, and chewier. If it is no sweeter than a graham cracker or animal cracker, then it is a biscuit even if it is round. Thus, your wafer pictures are biscuits, but not cookies (the nilla wafers are borderline). Kiwima (talk) 03:22, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
@Kiwima: Does sense 1 of biscuit cover how the term is used in New Zealand, or is New Zealand usage even broader? - -sche (discuss) 19:32, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, sense 1 of biscuit covers the term used in New Zealand.Kiwima (talk) 22:23, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
In the UK a "biscuit" is usually a US cookie (i.e. a crunchy baked sweetish thing). Due to US influence, such as "cookies and cream" ice-cream, there are some kinds that we would probably call "cookies", esp the ones that aren't brown and plain and boring (so an Oreo might be a "cookie", but a digestive biscuit would not be. Equinox 03:39, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
By the way, -sche, you are correct about "cheese and biscuits", but that's something of a set phrase: I get the feeling that, shown a 'cheese biscuit' and asked to name it, most Brits would say "cracker". A biscuit is almost always the sweetish cookie snack thing. Equinox 03:48, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Based on the comments below, it seems there are a few other set phrases where biscuit means "cracker". Do you think the sense is OK as it is, or should it include a context tag like "now chiefly in set phrases"? - -sche (discuss) 19:32, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
One British friend told me that in order to be a cookie, it has to have chocolate chips in it, so these are cookies but nothing here is one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:05, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
(EC) I've tried to clean up cookie a bit. As you say, it was very misleading - almost backwards, in fact. A British cookie is a flat biscuit with chocolate chips, fruit etc baked into it. An American cookie is anything small, flat, sweet and firm - an Oreo is a cookie to Americans, but not to Brits. I think a British biscuit is not necessarily sweet (water biscuits and ship biscuits are crackers, and digestive biscuits and Hovis biscuits contain sugar, but their salt and wholemeal grain content makes them taste fairly savoury), but if you just said "I'm going to get some biscuits", you'd always be referring to the sweeter half of the cookie-cracker spectrum. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:26, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
(By the way, the brown biscuits on the right-hand side of this image are certainly not crackers! They're Bourbon biscuits and are very sweet and chocolately (more-or-less the British version of Oreos, but crumblier and a bit less sickly sweet). They only look like crackers because there's so much sugar on them that it looks like crystalized salt.) Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:36, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
  • By the way, while American-ish usage of cookie has been spreading to Britain, it's possible there's also been a bit of influence in the other direction: judging from various stores' websites, it seems that Americans buy tins of fancy sweets which include things like this that are sometimes labelled (and therefore potentially sometimes referred to in speech as) biscuits. Flat, crisp-not-chewy, chocolate-covered rather than chip-containing things. - -sche (discuss) 10:06, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
    • Yeah, that's probably a result of the common American perception of anything British as automatically sophisticated. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:54, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
      • It's the good side of Americans' perception of the British. DCDuring TALK 13:11, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
        • Poking around on Google Books for "biscuits" + various American English spellings, I find enough hits that I've changed the "UK" label to "chiefly UK, rare in the US". (I'll try to explain the matter in more detail in a usage note.) - -sche (discuss) 19:34, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
So, Brits: would you ever refer to Oreos as "cookies", or only as "biscuits"? Equinox says "an Oreo might be a 'cookie'", but Smurray edited [[cookie]] to say Oreos are only called cookies in the US. In general, could you refer to a creme-filled [cookie/biscuit] as a "cookie", or are biscuits only called "cookies" if they contain chocolate (or presumably other flavoured) chips or fruit? - -sche (discuss) 19:40, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
In Australia, which I imagine is similar, you'd generally call an Oreo a biscuit. You'd only call it a cookie if you were reading it off the packaging, which does say "cookie"[4]; contrast with one image of an Oreo pack (I think from Europe) referring to them as "sandwich biscuits"[5]. I feel like the word cookie in Australia is largely defined by cookie monster,[6] and so still sounds like an American word, and would mostly be used in set phrases like "choc chip cookie", "cookies and cream", "that's the way the cookie crumbles", "browser cookie", "tough cookie", "smart cookie". Pengo (talk) 22:53, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I am from England; I have never heard of "Oreos", but from the images I see in Google image search I would never call those "cookies". The only type of biscuit that I would call a cookie is something like this or this or this (the last illustrating that they do not always have to have bits of stuff in them). I do not agree with the present UK definition of cookie as "A specifically American-style sweet baked cake, with chocolate chips, fruit, nuts etc. baked into it". I have no perception that the type of biscuits that I would call cookies are "American-style". Also, in the UK they specifically are not "cakes". Cakes are different altogether. Finally, as illustrated earlier, they do not necessarily have things baked into them. Thus the definition is wrong on almost every point. 03:01, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I reworded the definition a bit and removed "American style", since it indeed makes no sense to say that in British English "cookie" refers only to American-style biscuits, as if those formed a subset of all possible biscuits/cookies, when in fact "cookie" refers to more things in American English than in British English.
What's an example of something a British person would call a "cookie" that doesn't have something baked into it? A peanut butter cookie? - -sche (discuss) 03:20, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
An example would be the third picture linked above -- basically think of a chocolate-chip cookie without the chocolate chips. This would be a "plain cookie". I still do not agree with the use of the word "cake" in the definition. 03:34, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
From a British perspective, a cookie is defined as a particular type of biscuit. The UK definition at biscuit as "A cracker" is quite wrong from a British perspective, by the way. Over here a "cracker" is, again, a particular type of biscuit. 03:40, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I'd agree that "cake" sounds odd in the definition - in the UK at least, cakes and biscuits are thought of as different things (see w:Jaffa Cakes#Categorisation as cake or biscuit for VAT). "small, flat, baked good" or "food made from small, flat pieces of baked dough" would probably be better. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:45, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the point about chocolate chips: one popular UK choc-chip brand, "Maryland" [7], is advertised and packaged as a "cookie". Of course the brand name is supposed to suggest USA. Equinox 19:14, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Australian usage:
  • cake - Sweet round or square dessert usually made of a baked batter of flour, eggs, sugar, often milk and other ingredients for flavouring (e.g. cocoa, chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, etc.) often iced or frosted. May be elaborately decorated. May be cut into any other shape desired before being decorated (cartoon character shape, fire engine, etc.). A cake usually has a height of 5 cm or more, a width of 20 cm or more and has many small air-holes from cooking which can give it a light, fluffy texture. Other heavier cakes are possible too, e.g. fruit cake. There are also cheesecakes and ice-cream cakes which are cake-shaped (high, round or square or shaped) and are used for celebrations (birthdays, etc.) in lieu of a traditional cake. Despite not being baked these are often just called cakes
  • cookie - American word for sweet biscuit. If you want to buy biscuits at McDonalds (a kid's dessert item) you order cookies since the restaurant chain decided not to use the locally preferred word. As mentioned above also seen in choc-chip cookie, etc. A computer cookie is always a cookie, however. You definitely can't call it a browser biscuit! Due to American influence cookie is gradually supplanting biscuit as the word of choice for a sweet biscuit
  • cracker - Usually called a dry biscuit. May be salted or plain or contain flavoured ingredients mixed into the dough such as cracked (black) pepper or poppy seeds. Usually eaten with savoury toppings such as cheese, although sweet toppings are possible. May be made of flours other than wheat such as rye, etc. Often has holes or indentations on the surface. Water cracker is a name for a specific small round variety (approx. 4-5 cm across) with small holes punched through them. A major manufacturer of biscuits in Australia - Arnott's - also calls some varieties crispbread. Something which a lot of Australians do is butter two slices of crispbread, add a thin layer of Vegemite and then squeeze the two biscuits together, producing "worms" through the holes in the surface of both sides (search for Vegemite worms for images!)
  • biscuit - A small (2 to 5 cm) sweet or dry/savoury flat bread (less than 1 cm in height). Some varieties of sweet biscuit are crème filled - actually two biscuits with a layer of crème pressed between them, e.g. Oreo (a recent addition to Aussie supermarket shelves). May also be chocolate coated e.g. Tim Tams. Savoury biscuits can include crackers or a biscuit baked with powdered toppings. Some plain dry biscuits have whole grains baked into them
  • wafer - The inside of a Kit Kat. Similar to a very flat, unsweetened waffle. Usually no more than 1 mm thick. Has a grid pattern on it. Wedge shaped wafers may be used to decorate fancy ice cream dishes
In fact, the Arnott's website is quite educational in terms of the language they use. They use the terms chocolate biscuit, sweet biscuit, savoury biscuit, as well as cookie and cracker. However, they seem to use cookie as a sub-type of sweet biscuit and cracker as a sub-type of savoury biscuit. Biscuits (including cookies, crackers and wafers) are usually crumbly/crunchy (either hard crunchy (Ginger Nut, Butternut Snap) or soft crunchy (Scotch Finger, Teddy Bear)) when fresh although the texture may change when stale to be soft or tough/chewy. Cakes are always soft, even when heavy. Danielklein (talk) 02:30, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Misspelling of page name, can't move due to me creating it already with the right spelling.

So, I accidentally made this page https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kjälva which is a misspelling. Could anyone remove it?

Yes check.svg Done. - -sche (discuss) 20:52, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

preferred meaning of "rout"

I had met only one meaning of "rout" until I came here -- this: noun 3.3 or this: verb 3.1 -- and I found it very strange for it to be so far down.
Is there any way of suggesting where these alternatives are used?
I live in and have travelled extensively in England & Wales and spent some time in Scotland yet have only obviously met the single meaning. The term is used in the Press in the same sense. 09:44, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. Many of our multi-etymology entries are in more-or-less chronological order, as are many definitions within an Etymology. In this case it is particularly hard to believe that this is good for normal users. It might be good for some of those with specialized interests, but I'm not so sure that they couldn't live with another ordering. DCDuring TALK 03:33, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Structure of existing theosoph and new theosophe

How do you structure therelationship between existing theosoph and new theosophe?

OED Online shows the word theosophe as the earliest attestation of the entry theosoph. Knowing that, do I create an Alternative forms section in theosoph entry with a link to theosophe entry and use {{obsolete spelling of|theosoph|lang=en}} in theosophe? Or since both are attested to 1820s (theosophe) and 1830s (theosoph) do they both just point to the same modern lemma? Is the etymology included in both,or since etymologies in dictionaries show that French théosophe is a cognate of theosoph does theosophe show French théosophe as the first part of its etymology? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 23:43, 5 March 2015 (UTC)


I did this, but then got a bit nervous about it. Is it in the right place? This, that and the other (talk) 10:30, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Looks like the right place to me. 17:02, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

morbidly obese

Surprised to see three senses here (though an anon just merged two of them, which made me notice it): "1. Possessing a state of obesity deemed to be life-threatening. 2. Having excessive body fat. 3. Having a body mass index greater than 39.99 kg/m2." Are these really not just different ways of saying the same thing? i.e. #3 means #1, and is just putting a (temporary, subject to future change) specific measurement on it. Equinox 19:12, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Go down to one. The third sense is I assume specific to some medical body. That could plausibly go in the usage notes if we find out which body it is. Perhaps even better than that would be 'see Wikipedia' which we've used for complicated sports rules, like a balk in baseball which is awfully complicated and a full definition could go on for several paragraphs. 16:19, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
'Having excessive body fat' is just plain wrong. That's being overweight. 16:23, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Done (q.v.). 16:32, 8 March 2015 (UTC)


Once again we have some noun-sense duplication between etymologies 1 and 2. (As a matter of usability, I've noticed that many users don't scroll down far enough to find a second ety, and assume some basic sense is missing, and re-add it under the earliest part-of-speech section that fits.) Equinox 00:26, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

You should put a hidden comment in the entry itself, so that when the next person comes along, he can see your comment warning them of the two etymologies and so not to change, or add an entry incorrectly. -- ALGRIF talk 10:20, 15 March 2015 (UTC)


I know that are not supposed to use acronyms etc as parts of speech these days, but these three are defined as phrases. There are manifestly not (no words separated by spaces). How should we describe them? SemperBlotto (talk) 11:50, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

This has been discussed before in the Beer Parlour and 'phrase' was received favourably. I've searched for it but I can't find it. 11:57, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Also, the caps matter, if you say BODMAS is a phrase you understand it means that the letters stand for words and the words make up a phrase. 'The phrase BODMAS' sounds right. 16:16, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Kitsch - problem with text of definition.

Under the ETYMOLOGY section for "KITSCH", the following is written: " - the word and concept were popularized in the 1930s by several critics who opposed it to avant garde art". The sentence structure of this does not make sense, the part, "who opposed it to avant garde art", does not seem to be grammatically correct and seems to have the word that describes what the statement is talking about missing. I can't tell if "to avant garde" is supposed to be an infinitive verb form, or what it is supposed to be. I never heard of people going around "avant garding art". This needs to be corrected with a more complete description in terms that are easier to understand and less grammatically awkward. Linstrum (talk) 03:47, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

The grammar is all right: to oppose is to set in contrast or balance, so "to oppose X to Y" means "to contrast X with Y", or to set up X and Y as opposites. Equinox 04:06, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
I think this use of "oppose" is so unusual that the sentence would appear to be an error to many people. I think it would be advisable to reword the sentence so as to make it more reader-friendly. 14:21, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

selling short

Good evening.

My bad english is pretty good, but my english is pretty bad, so I need help.

Would you be kind explaining to me what does exactly mean the sentence

You might be selling the sign-maker short.

in last xkcd "what if" (link) ?

Thanks for your work. --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 19:44, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for asking. We didn't have the appropriate entry. See sell short or sell something short in a few minutes. DCDuring TALK 20:04, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
sell oneself short. Equinox 20:02, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Equinox, even if belittle is not a word I understand as now, I think the Wiktionary is providing sufficient information for me to understand the meaning.
I will try to create all these words on French Wiktionary, as so French-speaking people can understand that. --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 20:12, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
And thanks to DCDuring, of course. --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 20:15, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
It seems like we're still missing the phenomenon Arséniure de Gallium asked most directly about, sell someone short. And isn't sell oneself short just a reflexive use of that, and don't both phrases in turn have the same basic meaning as sell something short? In other words, couldn't we centralize things on sell short? - -sche 17:01, 10 March 2015 (forgot to sign)
Whether the entry is at sell short or sell something short, the meaning is "to underestimate or undervalue something". The usual convention in English is that persons are included when "something" is used as a placeholder. We sometimes use a headword with a placeholder in cases where the object usually occurs between the other parts of the headword. DCDuring TALK 17:43, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
sell short = mésestimer
but in finance, sell short = vendre à découvert (i.e., sale of a security that is not owned by the seller, but only on loan, with the goal of repurchasing it at an advantageous price, then returning the security to the owner and pocketing the profit) —Stephen (Talk) 18:02, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Right. That's why there are two senses at [[sell something short]]. DCDuring TALK 22:22, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

oral sex

The entry and the definition ignore anilingus, which is considered a form of oral sex, including by the project itself. So the definition could be more accurate. (Unless people seriously consider the anus a genital.) --Romanophile (talk) 21:49, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Hmm. Chambers' definition is very similar to ours (i.e. stimulation of genitals), and personally I probably wouldn't consider anilingus to count as "oral sex", any more than French kissing (it's oral, but not sex). We should compare some more sources. Equinox 21:51, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Do you think that anal sex is a contradiction? --Romanophile (talk) 23:35, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Anal sex, when it involves at least one genital penis is. However the lines get blurred and it gets easy to think of the anus as a "genital" since it is used in lieu of one when actually it's the penis that makes it sex; not the anus. So, technically it is not oral sex, no more than licking your palm or sucking a finger would be considered "oral sex" Leasnam (talk) 23:48, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
I thought that Wiktionary was concerned with how a word is attestably used. One's opinions about that is worth less than one citation. DCDuring TALK 02:14, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
You had me on the first part of that...yet the second part sounds a little, well, opiniony Leasnam (talk) 13:40, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
So ‘lesbian sex’ is an oxymoron. Good to know. --Romanophile (talk) 02:13, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
There are always two things to consider, the technical aspect and the usage aspect. Technically, by standard definitions, sex involves a genital (penis or vagina, so lesbian sex is sex, "technically"). If it becomes standard through attestable sources that the definition has changed, then let it be so, no sweat. Words, terms, and meanings always evolve over time we can't dispute that Leasnam (talk) 13:40, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
The oxymoron claim reminds me of people complaining about "PIN number", because it expands to "personal identification number number" and is thus redundant. Maybe, but (i) people still say it, and (ii) everyone knows what it means. If you expect language to be totally logical you will always be disappointed. Equinox 22:34, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I believe you mean that PIN number is a tautology, not an oxymoron. Unless the meaning of oxymoron has changed from use... :-P Danielklein (talk) 00:05, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

punch list

Is this term used outside the US? If not, is there an equivalent? DCDuring TALK 22:12, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Apparently the UK/Irish name for it is a "snagging list". Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:43, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. That sounds like it might work in Australia and NZ, but perhaps not Canada. DCDuring TALK 16:29, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm Australian and I've never heard either punch list or snagging list before. Possibly industry specific terms not in general use? Danielklein (talk) 23:54, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Homeowners who hire contractors use it in the US. DCDuring TALK 00:44, 19 March 2015 (UTC)


Here in New Zealand, the term "gib" is used for gypsum plaster (also called drywall), and also used as a verb for installing the stuff. I am not sure of the etymology, although I suspect it is from a product name, since GIB is the most common brand. However, it is now used similarly to the way "xerox" and "hoover" have evolved into words (see, e.g. http://www.jaxhamilton.co.nz/part-2-birth-eve/). Should this be added to the topic? I can find lots and lots of examples of the usage, but in fairly transient sources such as real estate ads. Kiwima (talk) 20:24, 10 March 2015 (UTC)


I notice that all the example sentances for meanings other than the first use the word "magnetic" rather than "magnetical". What's up with that?

Well spotted. That will be because the entry is based on the old Webster dictionary from 1913, which merged similar words together (so the heading would have been Magnetic, Magnetical). We should fix it up. Equinox 23:51, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

prejudge, postjudge?

We have prejudge, can we attest postjudge as well? ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:06, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Seems barely attestable. If someone can scrape together enough for an entry, it needs some "rare" or "nonstandard" gloss. Just not a word that people use. Equinox 03:10, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Would it mean "to judge when it no longer made any difference"? All normal judging is after the fact, so it would be unlikely to have merely temporal meaning. It would be likely only used in contrast with prejudge. DCDuring TALK 12:42, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I found attestation for the contrastive use, not the other. The attestation is for strict contrast with prejudge. It seems also to be used for implicit contrast without use of prejudge in the preceding text. DCDuring TALK 13:12, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Many thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:09, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

prodrome, postdrome?

New Scientist (7th March 2015): a feature on migraines uses prodrome which Wiktionary states is probably by analogy with syndrome, and also postdrome which Wiktionary doesn't list. A visitor: 14:28, 11 March 2015 (UTC)


  • A software developer; a person or company who creates or modifies computer software

Having seen Wiktionary:Tea_room/2012/February#programmer_and_developer, I would say that somebody who plans/designs software without typesetting any code is a software developer, too. Does such a person create the software, or should planning/designing be added to the definition? --Uwe Lück (talk) 15:11, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

I've never heard of a software developer who didn't program. Try searching job-finder sites and look at the requirements for such posts. Equinox 16:53, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
What about systems analysts? Can they be called developers? DCDuring TALK 17:00, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Not as far as I know. It's literally a synonym for "programmer", though some low-level programmers might get snobby about it and consider "developers" to be the higher-level enterprisey kind. Equinox 17:19, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
When looking at video games, anyone that works on the product can be called "game developer". For example, the content of the Game Developer Magazine doesn't cover code only, but has lots of content about design or art. Same goes for the IGDA (International Game Developer Association) which is about everyone in the industry, and not restricted to programmers. Based on this I'd say it's the same in Software Development, where terms could have been mixed up since >90% of developers are programmers.
Also, from Wikipedia: "In short, developers "make" software for the world to use. Their work includes researching, designing, implementing, and testing software."


I've split out some senses at should, but I'm not sure about the current sense 4. Should this be merged into another sense, moved to should have, or kept where it is? Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:27, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

No, this does not need a separate entry. It is simply a modal past, similarly could have, must have, will have, etc etc. which do not have or need entries. ("must have" is actually a re-direct). IMO nº4 should be eliminated (should = advice / personal opinion). In the future I might state that IMO nº4 should have been eliminated (should still = advice / personal opinion, but now talking about a past time frame). -- Using the example in the entry -- When they press the button, the building should blow up (present time frame) When they pressed the button, the building should have blown up (past time frame). --
I would suggest that to better organize this entry, there are 4 modes --
  1. Subjunctive future -- If I should be late, go without me.
  2. Mild obligation / strong advice. Speaker has no authority to enforce. -- You should wear a seat belt, You shouldn't drink and drive
  3. Simple advice / personal opinion. Speaker believes that an action is correct, beneficial or desirable. -- You should brush your teeth every day.
  4. Possibility / probability. Speaker believes that an action is likely to happen, or become. -- When you press this button, the pilot flame should ignite., You should be warm enough with this coat.
    -- ALGRIF talk 15:11, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
On the basis that "should have" has no place in this entry, and that there are no comments neither for nor against my proposed clean-up, I have gone ahead with some minor improvements. -- ALGRIF talk 13:33, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

boost and car batteries

I'm a brand-new Wiktionary editor, although I've contributed to Wikipedia & Wikivoyage. I was inspired to join today when I couldn't find any online dictionary which included a very common Canadian / North American usage of boost. However, I realize it won't stand without some examples, citations, etc. but I don't have enough experience to put them in without making a mess. Perhaps some kind soul could help? Here are some examples:

"Your battery is dead and you need a boost..." (followed by detailed instructions on how to jump start a car). From Wheels.ca http://www.wheels.ca/guides/heres-how-to-safely-jump-start-a-dead-battery/
"How to boost a car battery" (again, followed by detailed instructions) From the Globe & Mail newspaper's website http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/how-to-boost-a-car-battery/article1212493/
"We’ll help with any roadside emergency, whether you’ve run out of gas on the side of the road, locked your keys in the car, or you need a tow or boost." Alberta Motor Association website: https://ama.ab.ca/auto-and-driving/roadside-assistance/
Bisset, Alex (editor). Canadian Oxford Paperback Dictionary, ISBN 0-19-541453-5, copyright 2000. "Boost. vtr. 5. Boost: N Amer recharge (a car battery). n. 4. N Amer. the action of recharging a car battery." p. 104.
"Are you in need of an emergency jump start? Let the pros at Swift Towing help give your battery a boost to have you on your way in no time!" From towing company website: http://towing-calgary.ca/jump-start/
This Canadian Tire video showing how to jump start a car is titled "Battery Boosting - Car To Car". The description says "The video will show you how to jump start a car using a booster cable. It also provides some safety tips to consider when using jumper cables to boost your battery from car to car." http://video.canadiantire.ca/v/11032/battery-boosting-car-to-car-booster-cables-motomaster/
"Boosting a dead battery the safe and effective way". Again, followed by detailed instructions. The Weather Network: http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/boosting-a-dead-battery-the-safe-and-effective-way/43137/
"Boosting a dead battery"- article in October 1980 Popular Mechanics magazine, found through Google Books: https://books.google.ca/books?id=RtQDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA152&dq=boost+car+battery&hl=en&sa=X&ei=s8MBVbehB8GryASczIHIDw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=boost%20car%20battery&f=false

There are lots more examples using the search terms

boost car battery

in a Google Books search, but I think examples going from 1980 to 2000 to today should be sufficient. I'd be very grateful for help or even just a pointer to helpful Wiktionary pages so that I can get a quick handle on how to do this myself.--Cornata (talk) 16:58, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm relieved that we at least have the right definition for the verb, though it is not just Canadian, being used in the US as well. I don't know about UK, Australia, India, etc.
Of the citations above, the one from Popular Mechanics is the only one certain to be accepted, as it is "durably archived" and is a use, not a mention (See use-mention distinction.). The Canadian Oxford Dictionary citation confirms the meaning and may be useful as a reference, but does not count toward attestation, as it is a mention, not a use of boost. For now, add the appropriate definition and the Popular Mechanics citation. If someone challenges the definition in WT:RfV, we can find additional citations valid for attestation. DCDuring TALK 18:07, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the feedback, very helpful. I see that Equinox has plunged in and added some other examples.Cornata (talk) 21:20, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
In Australia we seem to prefer terms using jump: jumper cable, jump-start, etc. We would certainly understand if someone said boost in relation to a car, however. Danielklein (talk) 23:49, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
In the US we use those same terms, probably more than boost terms. I've never heard of a booster cable, for example. DCDuring TALK 00:47, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

elide 3rd definition ("merge or join")

This definition is spurious. The cited example of its usage is erroneous, probably involving the author's confusing 'elide' with similar sounding word 'align'. 02:57, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree. Though you are correct that "elide" tends to reference a removal, the result in language is often a merger, or at least a connection. In the phrase "Mark's shoe", for example, one of the sibilants is typically elided (few would enunciate both in speech) and the result is a slurring together of the words, effectively merging them. Though I would never personally use the word for a merger, the quote about the interests being elided makes sense if this sort of merger is meant and intervening obstacles were removed. Ur-Abraxas (talk) 01:40, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

crystallized ginger

Often refers to ginger that is candied, not crystallized. Is this idiomatic, or do we just need a new sense under crystallize? --Tropylium (talk) 12:39, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Existing definitions: crystallize = "to coat something with crystals, especially with sugar"; candy = "To cook in, or coat with, sugar syrup". What's missing? Equinox 13:53, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
The current culinary sense of crystallize does not cover "to cook in sugar", only "to coat with sugar". "Crystallized ginger" is however always cooked, yet does not necessarily have an additional sugar coating. See e.g. [8], [9].
I get the impression that the term has been reanalyzed as "ginger that has been turned into crystalline-ish form" (i.e. pieced and then candied), rather than "ginger that has been covered in (sugar) crystals". The current definition #2 of crystallize fits loosely for this meaning — but since crystallized ginger is not actually a crystal, it might need some kind of adjustment. --Tropylium (talk) 15:31, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Something like "To make to resemble crystal"? Normal humans (and even engineers and laboratory scientists) often settle for much less than perfect conformity to idealized definitions in using a word for their purposes. Often our definitions focus on the idealized at the neglect of normal usage. DCDuring TALK 16:21, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Crystallised/candied ginger is often slightly crunchy and has a texture as if made of coarse, soft crystals compressed together. It may or may not have an additional coating of sugar (either fine like icing sugar or coarse crystals) depending on the recipe. Candied ginger and crystallised ginger are generally used interchangeably. Danielklein (talk) 00:22, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Crystallized ginger is made from ginger root, something that will never form crystals, "soft" or otherwise. If the root seems crunchy, it is because sugar has been pressed into it. The sugar coating is usually on the outside. Though the term is somewhat inaccurate, it is in use and companies are free to call their products what they choose.Ur-Abraxas (talk) 01:49, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

expat and expatriate

This article might make one re-think the definition to reflect the reality of the way these words are actually used: White only expats -- ALGRIF talk 09:50, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

How different from immigrant/emigrant? DCDuring TALK 15:21, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
The Guardian’s selling point is to make everyone look like a racist (except themselves). I wouldn’t use that article as evidence of anything. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:28, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
  • There is a difference in usage (at least in the UK) between expatriate and immigrant, but I think it's incorrect to try to divide it along racial lines (no-one talks about Polish expats or Romanian expats, even those these are both white-majority countries, while "expat groups" that I've been to have included African-American and black and Asian British members). I think it's more correct to say that expatriate simply has a more positive valence than immigrant.
I'd imagine there are several reasons for this. The most obvious one is that in most English-speaking countries, people moving into the country is seen as a threat, while people moving out is not (currently), which has led to immigrants becoming tabloid hate figures, and the word immigrant becoming an easy political buzzword to make people angry (and has to some extent replaced migrant as a deixis-free term for anyone who moves across a border). The difficulties in distinguishing immigrant and emigrant (especially in speech) seem to be driving emigrant out of use as immigrant becomes more popular, which means that expatriate has had to fill the gap. Because immigrants tend to be stigmatized*, expatriate also seems to have been taken on by migrants as the chosen term for referencing themselves (as an immigrant/expatriate myself, I see a lot of internet adverts for "expat social events" and "expat tax advice", but I can't remember ever seeing ads for "immigrant social events" or "immigrant tax advice"), which naturally means that it will take on a more positive tinge. Because expats describe themselves that way even when talking in the context of their new country, the word seems to have undergone a shift in meaning from emigrant to simply migrant. I think we should have a usage note, but just one along the lines of:
"In many English-speaking areas, the terms immigrant and migrant can have negative connotations. The term expatriate is generally more positive, and is especially used by migrants to refer to themselves. The term emigrant is no longer widely used, due to confusion with immigrant."
Those are the facts of usage, as far as I see it. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:11, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
(*)and also to avoid the cognitive dissonance that comes from disliking immigration while being an immigrant oneself, as is fairly common among British retirees who've decided to live out their sunset years on the Mediterranean coast and the newspaper columnists who decry the state of Britain while writing from their Florida mansions
The Macquarie Dictionary defines an expat as someone who has given up their native country or has been evicted from it. An emigrant is some someone who is living in a country other than their native country, whether or not they still retain ties to their motherland. So someone who has been naturalised (but is not a dual citizen) is an expat while an emigrant or immigrant may or may not be depending on their relationship with their motherland. Yes, I know this is more prescriptive than descriptive, however, it does reflect the way I've always understood and used these words. The words may have different connotations outside of Australia. Danielklein (talk) 00:41, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

central business district

My London friend claims that this term is never used in the UK. In Australia though it's very common. Any ideas? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:57, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

My (British) geography teacher used the term in secondary-school geography class. I've never heard it since. Equinox 15:29, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
It's in use in the US and the abbreviation CBD also. DCDuring TALK 20:16, 15 March 2015 (UTC)


Quell - spelling? A topical, rather toxic, medical product meant to kill lice. (It is applied to the hair and scalp in a uniform manner to kill all the lice on the head and then washed out some time later. A certain number of applications may be needed.)

2601:7:9600:78E:C097:7C45:B4C4:D5B8 15:24, 15 March 2015 (UTC)Greg Alan z.

That's a brand name, and it's Kwell. Equinox 15:31, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

shopping mall

I know this is supposed to be an Americanism, but I hear it in Australia all the time. What about in the UK? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:41, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't know about the UK, but it is common here in New Zealand as well. —This unsigned comment was added by Kiwima (talkcontribs).
It may be creeping in amongst the "yoof", but normal people say "shopping centre" in the UK. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:08, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Do you mean yutes? DCDuring TALK 17:48, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
In the U.S. we have both shopping malls and shopping centers. They are not the same. Malls have everything under one roof (and surrounded by a vast parking lot). Shopping centers are multiple separate stores that share a single large parking lot. —Stephen (Talk) 16:58, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
They seem to be the same in the UK - see, as an example, the "Shopping Centre" section of Brent Cross. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:04, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Hm, what Stephen's calling a shopping center is what I would call a shopping plaza or a strip mall. I'm not sure I would use the term shopping center in en-US at all. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:13, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
shopping center is old-fashioned and not used so much anymore. It was very popular in the 1940s–70s, but in the 1970s the malls came into their own. As the malls became so popular, businesses did not want to be associated with old-fashioned "shopping centers" anymore. Today we even have the term strip mall, which is hardly a mall at all, but a shopping center with the stores arranged in a row along a block or more of a street or highway. —Stephen (Talk) 20:33, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't offer these as definitions, but there are some characteristics that differentiate various (mostly) post-WWII retail venues:
shopping center, anchored by a grocery store or, possibly, a drug store, with complementary everyday retail, with relatively abundant parking.
shopping mall, usually (mostly, less so in warm and dry climates) under one roof, anchored by one or more department stores, with complementary specialty retail, surrounded by abundant parking.
strip mall, row or stores, no obvious anchor, sufficient off-street parking.
outlet mall, large aggregation of stores, not indoors, offering brand name goods, often seconds, overstocks, out-of-fashion items, at relatively low prices.
big-box stores, many type of stores, sometimes category-killers , but stand-alone.
We should have something for these. DCDuring TALK 20:42, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I'd call it a "shopping centre" but I might think "mall". I literally don't know how to pronounce that word though, so I never say it. I don't think many people in the UK say it. Equinox 20:47, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Homophonic with maul in the US. DCDuring TALK 21:25, 17 March 2015 (UTC)


What sense of accept are fabric labels like these using? "Wash in the warmest water the fabric will accept", "if a fabric will accept a low-heat iron,...", etc. All of the senses in our entry which have usexes show usage with humans or human organizations as subjects; the same can be said of all of Dictionary.com's senses except 12 "to receive or contain" (which has a usex about a socket accepting a certain kind of plug). Merriam-Webster has "1b: to be able or designed to take or hold (something applied or added) a surface that will not accept ink". - -sche (discuss) 17:18, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

The fabric uses seem like "to tolerate/accommodate without (noticeable?) damage/impairment". Because of the qualification it doesn't seem quite the same as either the Dictionary.com or MW definitions. Perhaps it could be a subsense of a definition like MW's. DCDuring TALK 17:43, 16 March 2015 (UTC)


Should we add a grammatical sense to this adjective (as opposed to continuous)? --Fsojic (talk) 10:48, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

"Simple" isn't always contrasted with "continuous", though. It generally means "formed by inflection" and is opposed to periphrastic. The simple present in English (which is contrasted with the continuous or progressive present) is one example, but there are others, e.g. the simple past in French in German (il alla/er ging), which is contrasted with the perfect (il est allé/er ist gegangen). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:32, 17 March 2015 (UTC)


Are these citations sufficient to recreate the entry, or does anyone think that there is a problem with any of them? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:48, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

The top one is not a genuine use, but an invented example for a dictionary. The middle example is a bit iffy - it's from a section of a book about how the word was coined. The bottom seems fine. Smurrayinchester (talk) 12:29, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, I'm aware of the context, but I'm not sure how whether it's "genuine" factors into the CFI. A usage example in a dictionary is still a use, not a mention. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:02, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
No, it isn't. As I commented on the 2011 RFV of crocklet, WT:CFI says "[the requirement that words be shown to be] Conveying meaning [...] filters out [...] made-up examples of how a word might be used". - -sche (discuss) 18:08, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

it never rains but it pours

Are there any phrases similar to this but with neutral or positive valence? For example, if a person has had nothing to do for a long time, and suddenly has a great many things that need to be done (some of them positive and enjoyable, some stressful and burdensome). - -sche (discuss) 08:42, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

British English has a snowclone "You wait ages for a [X] and then three come along at one". The standard form is the lament "You wait ages for a bus, and then three come along at once", but the phrase is very versatile (eg 1, 2, 3, 4). Maybe not Wiktionary material though, since its meaning is always transparent. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:44, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it never rains but it pours necessarily has a negative valence. It can be said of good things that happen in rapid succession after a long period of nothing good happening, can't it? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:14, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
That's what I thought, too, but our definition suggests otherwise. Can we find citations of positive use? The first hit for google books:"never rains but it" joy clearly thinks it's negative: "We have a proverb about trouble: 'It never rains, but it pours.' But that is the philosophy of pessimism." On the other hand, the next hit is "But, he added, 'it never rains but it pours,' and at the present meeting they had had brought before them not only Mr. Joy's valve gear but also two other excellent substitutes for the link motion." - -sche (discuss) 18:13, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
This quote from Anne of Green Gables is about never getting a marriage proposal until one is past forty, and then getting three at once. (The woman in question picked the wrong suitor to say yes to, which was negative, but the saying itself was referring to the presumably positive experience of being proposed to.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:43, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Skip (noun)

In the United Kingdom "skip" is used to designate a large rubbish bin. Reference: http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/pressrelease/pressreleasepage.aspx?id=6635

I did not want to edit the existing entries, because I was not sure how to append the documentation.

This is already in there: "(Australia, New Zealand, UK) A large open-topped rubbish bin, designed to be lifted onto the back of a truck to take away both bin and contents; called a dumpster in North America (where "skip" is completely unknown and incomprehensible). " Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:13, 18 March 2015 (UTC)


It looks to me as if Etymology 1 and Etymology 4 should be merged:

Etymology 1

From Middle English ditten, dütten, from Old English dyttan (to stop up, close)...


  1. (UK dialectal, Northern England) To stop up; block (an opening); close.

Etymology 4

Old English dyttan...


  1. (obsolete) To close up.

Would an expert please review this entry? Danielklein (talk) 23:24, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Go for it. DCDuring TALK 15:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)


Why would this term be considered non-standard? My Oxford doesn't claim as such. ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:34, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it's non-standard but it is only used in certain situations, e.g. academic papers. If I were talking conversationally about the effects in a film I'd just watched, I might say "cinematic" but not "filmic". Equinox 15:00, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's non-standard either. I just heard someone use it in a conversation, so I don't think it's restricted to academic papers. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:03, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

as far as one is concerned

Why don't we have this? We have in one's opinion. ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

as far as one is concerned at OneLook Dictionary Search DCDuring TALK 14:57, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Why not? I think as far as someone is concerned is better, but not without adding redirects for at least present and past tenses and seven different personal pronouns + something for a total of 16 hard redirects. That omits perfect aspect, future tense, modals, but I think they are very unlikely to be used in the search box. DCDuring TALK 15:08, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
We could do with a target for AFAIC and AFAIAC -- ALGRIF talk 17:08, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

potlatch: meaning "similar to" potluck?

I have a comment /slash question. I was almost going to add it ) to the "Talk:" page for the word "potlatch", -- [as the first section of a new Talk: page!] -- but a little birdie there recommended to post it here instead.

In the entry for the word "potlatch", I noticed that definition no. 2 said: << "A communal meal to which guests bring dishes to share." >>

Isn't that similar to (or, the same as) the meaning of "potluck"? Could there be some (perhaps misguided) 'folk etymology' taking place, here? Perhaps "by way of" some inadvertent malapropism?

Maybe not. Maybe "potlatch" can mean << "A communal meal to which guests bring dishes to share." >>, without any hint of contamination from (and maybe even without any shared etymology with) the word "potluck".

I do not know the answer. I am just asking the question.

Thanks! --Mike Schwartz (talk) 20:05, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Did you read the Etymology section of potluck? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:02, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

breaking of the waters

We don't seem to have either a noun or a verb entry for the rupturing of the membranes at the end of pregnancy. I can't decide on the best combination of words. Feel free to add them. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:25, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

The dictionary lemma for the verb would be presumably be "one's waters break", but that's borderline gibberish even if grammatically it's equivalent to "her waters broke". Do we have any similar entries for this sort of verb phrase? waters is also horribly deficient, and there's nothing at break either. Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:35, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
In US English we would say "her water broke", I think (confirmed by Cambridge Adv. Learners Dict).
Wouldn't entry and links at bag of waters, appropriate definitions and usage examples at water, waters, and break address the concern by putting the appropriate enrties at the top of a failed-search listing. It could be supplemented by hard redirects to {{senseid}}ed definitions. DCDuring TALK 17:12, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

cataloging of german colloquial first singular present dropping -e

In german, colloquially, the first person singular present final schwa is often dropped, but these versions are not cataloged in wiktionary (as far as I can tell). I think one is meant to use an apostrophe to mark this in poetry or song lyrics or whatever, but this is often not respected and wiktionary should be cataloging it regardless.

We do have some e-less first-person singular forms marked as such, e.g. komm, trink, and sag. The prescriptive rules of German call for an apostrophe on apocopated verb forms only if the form would be difficult to read or understand, otherwise not: examples from Duden are daran zweifl’ ich nicht (where zweifl without an apostrophe would look funny) vs. Das hör ich gern and Ich lass das nicht zu, where hör and lass are easy to read and understand without an apostrophe. The same rules apply to the second-person singular imperative, by the way. In spite of the official rules, though, the apostrophe is widespread in actual use, and if someone wanted to created pages like komm', trink', sag', hör', and lass', they would probably be verifiable. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:52, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
In that case, what is the policy? Should I start adding them by hand now as I feel it's appropriate?Telmac (talk) 20:16, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
If you like, but keep verifiability in mind. Verbs commonly used in the spoken language are much more likely to have e-less forms than verbs like pharyngalisieren. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:21, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but that "The prescriptive rules of German call for an apostrophe on apocopated verb forms only if the form would be difficult to read or understand" could be (kind of) wrong. The currect prescriptive rules (Rechtschreibreform 1996, 2004, 2006, 2010/11) might be like that, but traditionally (local rules in different German states, rules from ca. 1900) it might be different. So forms like "hör" could be wrong, at least in case of traditional rules, and then there should at least be usage note. -15:27, 19 April 2015 (UTC)


There seem to be many problems with this entry. First, the usage of the term has changed greatly over a couple decades. A Japanese prime minister has even identified himself as one, as have over 42% of surveyed Japanese persons (in one form or another). The usage used to be negative but now is more mainstream and somewhat comically self-deprecatory. It's usage as "geek" is far from the mark and generally has come to mean anyone who is deeply involved in any topic, and more specifically, anime, manga, idol-worship, comics, movies, pop music, or another subcultural element.

It's meaning as "home" is also somewhat inaccurate as it formerly referred to another person's home rather than one's own.

In any case, its present usage is almost never as "home" of any type, and the assumed meaning that was ascribed as "geek" has now become its chief meaning, no longer "rare". Ur-Abraxas (talk) 00:18, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

  • What entry are you talking about? Neither the English entry at otaku nor the Japanese entry at おたく has any "rare" label. If you're referring to the Japanese entry at お宅, the "rare" label is intended to convey that the geek sense is rare for that spelling. A usage note would help clarify that ambiguity. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 00:28, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
It is the "geek" sense that is incorrect (there never was a "geek" usage, though someone arguing a very broad definition of "geek" may debate that - a person obsessed with or focused on some aspect of subculture would hardly be called a "geek"), as well as the main definition now that the "geek" sense has become mainstream.Ur-Abraxas (talk) 02:44, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Re: geek, where are you from? I ask out of curiosity. The sense of "someone obsessed with a particular subject" is commonly expressed as "[SUBJECT] geek" in the idiolects I'm familiar with, as someone who grew up on the US east coast.
About the Japanese entries, おたく or オタク is the more common spelling for this sense. As far as I've seen, the rare tag is still appropriate for the お宅 spelling. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 09:02, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

four-year college

Does this has a specific meaning in American English? If so, it seems idiomatic. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:54, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

The name comes from the assumed minimum time it takes to get a degree: we have two-year colleges, such as community colleges, and four-year colleges, which are universities. I'm not so sure the whole phrase is idiomatic: you can talk about two/four-year schools, two/four-year institutions of higher learning, etc. There are also two-year and four-year degrees. My personal case demonstrates why these terms aren't strictly SOP: being a bit of a professional student, I took a number of years to get a two-year degree at a two-year college, but also took university-transferrable classes, so that when I finally transferred to a four-year college, I was able to graduate with a four-year degree in two years. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:53, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
It is a contrast to a two-year college, aka junior college (usually private) or community college (publicly funded). Two-year college is a convenient term to include both junior college and community colleges. Junior colleges leading to an a associate degree in two years (of full-time study) were an innovation of the second half of the nineteenth century. I think of four-year as a polite equivalent to real. DCDuring TALK 02:02, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Not all four-year colleges are universities, though. A college that offers a Bachelor's degree is a four-year college; a university has to offer some graduate degree such as a Master's. I think four-year college is idiomatic for the reason Chuck mentioned; also, a student who earns a lot of credit through placement tests could get a Bachelor's in only three years. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:39, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

feel-good factor

Can this term be used outside the context of an election? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:32, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Sure. About the morale of a workforce, about an audience for a speech or a TV show, or an ad, about self-congratulation generally. DCDuring TALK 03:04, 21 March 2015 (UTC)


Re-engage to me is to repeat some activity with the thought of an advanced achievement. Reengage to me would be like trying to put your transmission back in gear again. Would this be correct?

I don't think the hyphen would affect the meaning. Either one can mean "engage again" in any sense of engage, as far as I know. Equinox 14:45, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

false marriage

Should we have an entry for false marriage, i.e. a marriage into which the parties enter for some other reson than for sharing their lives? Such reason could e.g. be assistance in obtaining a residence permit. It seems to be at least a semi-legal term as the UK and Canadian immigrations, and perhaps others too, have guidelines for such conduct. --Hekaheka (talk) 09:56, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

I just realised that we have sham marriage. The entry lists fake marriage, false marriage, fictitious marriage and mock marriage as synonyms, but the question remains - should we have them? We also have marriage of convenience. --Hekaheka (talk) 12:26, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
marriage of convenience seems entryworthy as a euphemism. Some of others don't seem to belong in the same synset, based on the differences in meaning of the adjectives. We could also have marriage for show, fraudulent marriage and others, but these, sham marriage, and the ones listed there as synonyms don't seem to have any real meaning beyond that of their components. DCDuring TALK 15:58, 22 March 2015 (UTC)


On the page for the word Roman, there is no definition of the adjective meaning to do with the verb 'Romans', meaning the civilization.

Is this not good enough: "Of or from the Roman Empire"? Equinox 14:16, 22 March 2015 (UTC)


The example sentance under the verb form does not strike me as very useful, and I suspect it was added as an act of vandalism. However, it has been there since it was added by an anonymous user in 2012, so perhaps I am missing something here.

Ha, I think that will be an in-jokey reference to our own User:Dick Laurent (formerly known as Ric). Equinox 19:08, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
By Wonderfool in one of his IP phases. Do we really need an example sentence in a form-of entry? Chuck Entz (talk) 20:46, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Not really. I try to keep them at the lemma form, unless the inflected form is so weird that it might otherwise be challenged. Equinox 20:52, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Removed. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:21, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
"Do we really need an example sentence in a form-of entry?" Maybe not for English. Lithuanian? Definitely. But either way: who cares? Is there not enough room for them? Are they hurting anyone or anything?
The way people get offended by harmless little example sentences that demonstrate perfectly the nature of the off-color words they're being used to illustrate... is amazing. Come let us not wallow in the reality of human existence, but let us elevate ourselves to such unspeakable idiocy as this -- "The noble king went in, saw his wife the young queen basking in the soft light of her ornate lamps, and spoke softly to her saying, my dear, I wish to bang you immediately." Fucking seriously. — [Ric Laurent] — 08:14, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Yeah, it was from WF in fact. I must say it was quite funny at the time. It's pleasant to see that such humour has not become stale after 4 years. "I wish to bang you immediately", indeed --Type56op9 (talk) 12:31, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

elisi as a Finnish word

A claim is made that elisi is a Kotus class 53 word (like muistaa), and it is

   Third-person singular conditional present form of elää.
   Conditional present connegative form of elää.

When looking at a conjugation table, the corresponding form is /eläisi/ in both accounts. Now my own linguistic head says elisi is incorrect. But it is less apparently incorrect verb inflection than e.g. helkkisi or muistisi (which'd be a correct noun inflection). 18:52, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

You are right. The correct form is eläisi. I have erased the Finnish section of "elisi". --Hekaheka (talk) 21:30, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
BTW, I checked the page history, and the erroneous form has been there since Oct. 2007. Good work, Anon. --Hekaheka (talk) 21:35, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I found some usage after all, rolled back my deletion and added tag "rare, nonstandard". --Hekaheka (talk) 05:41, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

so help me God

What does this phrase actually mean? I don't think our definition is right. For some reason, we've defined it as a noun. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:29, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Converted to a non-gloss definition. The pre-existing definition might have tempted a particularly naive learner to substitute the word oath for the phrase. DCDuring TALK 11:36, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


I noticed this sense, which I thought a bit strange: a place where a corporation is established. Is this an Americanism? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:57, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Isn't it a Britishism too? DCDuring TALK 11:25, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
In England how does one refer to corporations residing in other countries, such as Scotland or Jersey. In the US corporations (which are "persons") reside in states. It may be that the terms extends to sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, etc. DCDuring TALK 11:31, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

on-campus, off-campus

Are these really only used in American English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:09, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Nope. I've removed the US tag --Type56op9 (talk) 12:31, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


The page "suppa" claims that the word suppa can be an adjective meaning "Narrow" in Finnish. I haven't been able to verify such a sense. Kielitoimiston sanakirja gives only a noun meaning (http://www.kielitoimistonsanakirja.fi/netmot.exe?ListWord=suppa&SearchWord=suppa&dic=1&page=results&UI=fi80&Opt=1), Urbaani sanakirja does not have such an entry (http://urbaanisanakirja.com/search/?q=suppa) and I as a native Finnish speaker don't recognize such a meaning for the word "suppa". Timo Nurmi's dictionary "Uusi suomen kielen sanakirja" (1998) doesn't have such an entry at all. Perhaps suppa means narrow in another language and the person who added that meaning forgot to tell what language it was? Someone who knows please fix this. 13:50, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

It's an error; suppea means "narrow" --fixed. --Hekaheka (talk) 15:28, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

intransitive build in computer science

There exists another sense of build, which means 'to compile successfully'. For example: "the docs built yesterday without any trouble". This sense is somewhat informal, though technical. Telmac (talk) 20:12, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. DCDuring TALK 20:14, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I tried to improve the definition. 09:42, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks again. DCDuring TALK 13:38, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't it need the word compile, at least in a usage example, to be intelligible? DCDuring TALK 13:39, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
It's usually transitive (now added); and yes, I think "compile" is necessary (also now added): even though you can build things other than executables (e.g. Windows Help files) it's still a process of compilation. Equinox 22:07, 25 March 2015 (UTC)


Sense 3 is "a German". Dated, or even obsolete? 09:52, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Dated seems appropriate, or archaic. DCDuring TALK 13:40, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Archaic, I'd say. - -sche (discuss) 20:26, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
google books:"stubborn Dutchman" shows some use referring to German descent in relatively current fiction, but, though my (Germanic) parents used it that way, I haven't heard people of even my generation use it. DCDuring TALK 21:32, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Except for "Pennsylvania Dutch", of course ;) Kiwima (talk) 20:51, 25 April 2015 (UTC)


Isn't a sense like "circle of friends, companions; group of people meeting socially" missing here? Einstein2 (talk) 15:21, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Is that different from sense 4, "social visitors or companions"? - -sche (discuss) 20:25, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Which Inflection-table?

Which Ancient Greek noun inflection-table do I add for νόσημα, ατος, τό? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:03, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

{{grc-decl-3rd-N-dn-prx}}. See ὄνομα#Inflection for an illustration of how it works. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:03, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
TVM, could someone verify I did it right (i.e. someone skilled in Greek)? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:40, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
It looks right to me. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:30, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Concerned about Donnanz's misguided crusade against non-British spellings

I am concerned about Donnanz's misguided crusade against non-British spellings. He is now tackling e.g. sulf/sulph for sulfur compounds, e.g. [10]: this is not a simple BrE/AmE issue since the official scientific rules prefer sulf (Blotto can back me up, I expect) regardless of country. And in the other areas Donnanz has been tackling, he seems to show a blindness to language change and evolution, and a pigheaded insistence on separate US and UK forms, whereas there is actually a wide continuum even within a single country, let alone in Hong Kong, Trinidad, and countless other English-speaking areas. Can we stop him?! Equinox 02:14, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Before he has a go at me, I'm British, and pretty damn literate. Equinox 02:15, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
I share your concern. If you think it's bad enough, he could be blocked. I think it is rather important for someone intending to be a constructive participant here to be essentially descriptive and fact-oriented. The worst thing of all is to be chauvinistic or focused on one's own idiolect, believing that one's own subset of the language is more than one of many clouds of data points.
If he doesn't outgrow his pathology, we should block him. DCDuring TALK 04:46, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
I can back up Equinox on sulfur/sulphur. Chemical terms (and, I assume drugs containing the term) are spelled with an "f" throughout the scientific community, just as aluminium is spelled with an "i". They should not be labelled as American or British (etc). The general populace spells these words with an f/ph, and with or without an "i", depending on their country of origin. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:40, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
Please stop Donnanz. Thank you very much for this post in Beer parlour. Oops, it's Tea room; oh well. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:46, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
  • If it's put politely, I can stop quite readily, and there is no need for a block. Is it just sulf- / sulph- you're mainly concerned about? I was using Oxford for guidance, but I know it's not as cut and dried as all that with those. There shouldn't be any question about the -ph- spellings, but I won't argue about the -f- spellings. I wasn't planning to do any more of those anyway. With other non-sulphur-related words I realise that it can vary, but that can be catered for. There are categories for American, British and Canadian spellings, but I don't know of any others. Commonwealth countries usually follow British practice, but there can be variations of course. A crusade, huh? Donnanz (talk) 20:16, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
    By "Oxford for guidance", you mean http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/, right? --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:25, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
I have been using my hard copy, which is virtually the same, though the online version may be more up to date than my 2005 edition. Donnanz (talk) 20:35, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
Luckily enough, we go by evidence whenever we can, not by reference. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:39, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

I thought that the rule was not to include etymologies in alternative forms. --Romanophile (talk) 20:57, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

I feel that etymology should be included in both forms, but I have been concentrating on the British etymologies. In a lot of cases nobody has got round to putting them in under either spelling. Donnanz (talk) 21:10, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
In addition to that, the "alternative form" is not consistently British. I guess it depends on which spelling was entered first. Well before my time. Donnanz (talk) 22:04, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
@User:Equinox: what do you think e.g. of sulfide? The frequency picture in GNV shows that while sulfide ‎is on par with sulphide in the British corpus after 2000, in 20th century sulphide was predominant. Here, removing American label is not so unequivocal action as in some other cases, such as sulfamethoxazole (GNV, British corpus). --Dan Polansky (talk) 21:24, 27 March 2015 (UTC)


It looks to me as if the many definitions of college could use a bit of a cleanup. Unfortunately, I don't feel I am up to the task, because I am only familiar with American and New Zealand usage, and this is a term where each country seems to define it differently.

Here in New Zealand, it refers to a secondary school, not a tertiary institution (with the exception of a specialized division - definition 10 - such as College of Engineering or College of Law). At the very least, that makes definition 5 (an institution of higher education) wrong.Kiwima (talk) 04:35, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Education has some tricky differences between countries; I've mainly only encountered the UK/US/Canada ones, where "school", "college", and "public/private school" can vary quite widely. I just glanced at College#New_Zealand and it does mention secondary school (among other things). Please add the sense! Our editors represent a pretty biased cross-section of world Englishes, as I was complaining earlier (hah), and I think that one area where we need work is in Aussie vs. NZ English. Equinox 04:44, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
You could start by labeling as "NZ" the usages you know are New Zealand uses and similarly for "US". I wonder whether any of the definitions are shared among all Anglophone areas. DCDuring TALK 04:46, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
They were secondary schools in the 1960s; schools were in three stages - primary, intermediate and secondary. I never went to intermediate school as I lived outside the nearest city which had one {Invercargill), going straight from primary school to secondary in Invercargill. But of course a lot has changed since the 1960s. Donnanz (talk) 21:26, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

OK, I have done what I could to clean it up. Kiwima (talk) 18:13, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

"shaded it"

This BBC News article uses the phrase "shaded it" a couple of times. What does this mean? Does it fall under any of the senses at shade#Verb? This, that and the other (talk) 10:45, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

  • It is an unusual meaning of the verb shade that we are missing, and corresponds to the sense #6 of the noun (that also had no definition!). It means to be ahead by a small amount. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:51, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Lithuanian nagas

@Viskonsas, エリック・キィ: I think that term has been neglected for a long, long time. Who wants to give it some attention? --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 14:16, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for notification. I have added basic information there. Maybe its stress pattern is 4, though I should confirm it precisely. --Eryk Kij (talk) 17:41, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Sorry for my late response. It is absolutely correct now. Thank you. --Viskonsas (talk) 19:52, 5 May 2015 (UTC)


What, exactly, is the difference in meaning between predominantly and predominately? Are they synonyms? Is one more "correct" than the other? Is there some subtle difference in usage that should be noted (like the often-confused size and mass)? bd2412 T 15:27, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

  • IMHO predominantly is "correct" and predominately is just a misspelling that may have become an alternative spelling over time. The same goes for the two underlying adjectives. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:09, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
    The usually sound World Wide Words has something to say on this. DCDuring TALK 09:31, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
    This Google N-gram shows that predominantly is much more common, but that predominately is gaining ground. Other dictionaries define predominately as meaning "predominantly". DCDuring TALK 09:40, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
    Thanks. I have adapted the usage note from predominately to also note this relationship in predominantly. bd2412 T 17:13, 29 March 2015 (UTC)


The carajo is the basket high up in the mast of old sailing ships, where sailors were put on the outlook for land or pirate ships. This basket is called 'crow nest' in English and 'kraaienest' in Dutch. This was the most uncomfortable place on these ships, where there was much movement and usually a cold wind. There is an old saying in Castilian "Cuando el grajo vuele abajo hace frio de carajo" When the crow flies low it is cold like (in the) crow nest. Nothing rude about that. To be put on guard in the crow nest was often a punishment dealt out by the captain. If you were sent to the crow nest it was like being sent to hell. 'Vete al carajo' became to mean something like 'Go to hell'. This curse also came to be used in the hinterland, where the meaning of the word 'carajo' was not understood and where it obtained its vulgar connotation. A black espresso with cognac is widely known as a 'carajillo' (little crow nest). Probably because such drink would give you warmth and strength to go on guard in the crow nest.

Meaning of Affix

Affix is simply "translated" as affix. But which meanings does it actually have?
E.g. Meyers (1905) and Brockhaus (1911) only have it as "prefix or suffix". duden.de has a similar meaning, though it could maybe be understand to include other -fixes as well. "Affixum" has the general meaning of "That which is affixed" and suffix, but that's another word.
So, does Affix also mean "That which is affixed" and "suffix"? -22:25, 28 March 2015 (UTC), comment added by IP.

This is a general problem with many definitions but it also arises from the way Wiktionary is built up over time. Perhaps, when the entry Affix was first created, affix only had one sense. Then someone added more senses to affix, which now made not just Affix, but any other entry using that term as a definition, ambiguous. I don't really know what way this could be solved, because there will always be cases where an English entry is edited, but all the non-English entries that refer to it are not. And it's not likely that that will change, as it would be a pain. —CodeCat 22:32, 28 March 2015 (UTC)


Question: Please let me know if using the word pruse in the following sentence is acceptable. My husband and I were prusing through you cookbook last night enjoying your recipe titles. —This comment was unsigned.

You must mean peruse. I would say "My husband and I were perusing your cookbook....". The through is not wrong, but is not necessary and could be considered redundant. DCDuring TALK 03:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)


I have two questions regarding guild. First: What about the MMORPG usage of this word? Although named for the "group of tradespeople" sense, I feel like the usage is distinct enough to warrant its own entry. The word clan does have an entry for its video game sense. In games, and especially MMORPGs, the sense is that of a group of players who regularly play together, similar to a (video game) clan. The key difference is that while clans are usually not formalised within the game mechanics, guilds always are. Second: Where did the 'u' in the spelling come from? Did a particular author or dictionary popularise it? Is there any known or hypothesised reason for it, such as perceived etymology, influence from other words, or avoiding confusion with gild? 03:58, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Added the gaming sense. Not sure about the spelling but it doesn't seem unique (guilt, guide, guise...); anyone? Equinox 04:00, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
In general, words with "gui" are mostly from some historical stage of French, and they tend to be from a Germanic source, with the "gui" replacing an original "wi". That doesn't seem to be the case here, though. One reason for the "u" is shared with (maybe borrowed from?) French: it ensures that the "g" is pronounced hard, as in guilt, rather than soft, as in gist. It may be that the "u" was added by analogy of "gu" words of French origin. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
I also think it's a French influence. It was used alongside gui-words for quite a while without a 'u', and there were also numerous spellings that suggested a pronunciation with a non-hard g (with y or yogh). Perhaps as the hard-g pronunciation spread, so did the relatively unambiguous "gui" spelling borrowed from French. In the absence of resources that chronicle the spellings of that particular word through time and space, I'll have to be content with guesses. Thank you! 15:26, 29 March 2015 (UTC)


According to “forthwith” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001). forthwith was a preposition before it was an adverb. That helps explain the curious etymology, but we lack a preposition section (or a link in the entry to any differently spelled Middle English version) and we lack Old English forð mid, the precursor. It would be nice to see an example of the preposition in use in Modern English, Middle English, and Old English. DCDuring TALK 10:03, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

"forth-with, adv.", MED Online. University of Michigan: 2007. URL accessed on 2015-04-02. lists fō̆rth-with (adv.) Also fourth-, furþ-. There are three definitions there with quotes dating to a. 1395. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 18:18, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm. Thanks. I'd bookmarked the MED, but forgot all about it. I'm going to check the OED to see if I can find some support for this preposition claim. I don't really trust my ability to read the quotations findable with full-text search at MED. DCDuring TALK 21:21, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

rudern: auxiliary "haben" or "sein"

rudern currently says the auxiliary is "haben". It could be "haben" or "sein". I looked at Template:de-verb-weak/documentation but could not figure out how to make it say "haben or sein"? Should documentation be improved? Or what should I be reading to more easily know how to contribute? --Hugovdm (talk) 11:40, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

The documentation should definitely be improved. This is how to fix it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:50, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! FWIW I've gone ahead and mentioned this on de-conj-weak and de-verb-weak... though it should clearly be mentioned on many more templates. --Hugovdm (talk) 12:29, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

private school

The definition of private school is specific to US, Canada, and Australia. I know the term is used in the UK as well - does it have a different meaning there? If it is the same, perhaps we should remove the contextualisation. Otherwise, can someone who knows add a definition for the UK?

  • A private school in the UK is a school not run by a local authority (borough or district within a county), and fees are paid for education. A public school such as Eton, despite the name, is in the same category. Public schools are a cut above private schools, and the parents have to be quite wealthy to send their children to a public school. Donnanz (talk) 15:18, 30 March 2015 (UTC)


I would love it if a smarty pants could add a usage note explaining the difference between "conform to" and "conform with". Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:24, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Looking through the uses out there in the literature, they appear to be interchangable. In my own personal usage, I tend to use "to" with a plural (conform to the rules) and "with" with a singular (conform with the standard), but I find plenty of examples that go the other way. Kiwima (talk) 04:12, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
In my idiolect conform to implies that the target of the conformity is more rigid, geometric, etc than would be the target of conform with. It would be interesting to compare conform to at OneLook Dictionary Search, conform with at OneLook Dictionary Search, and conform at OneLook Dictionary Search to see how real lexicographers treat this. DCDuring TALK 12:23, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
At least one dictionary has usage examples of "conform with a plan" contrasted with "conform to a rule", which conforms with my idiolect. DCDuring TALK 12:26, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Fowler objected to conform with, but few others seem to, not even the picky Garner's Modern American Usage. DCDuring TALK 12:32, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
And, lastly, conform to is about 11 times more common at COCA and 7-8 times more common at BNC than conform with. DCDuring TALK 12:39, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I am reasonably sure that the usage qualifications (thing vs person) on the two transitive definitions are less important than those that lead to a different choice of following preposition. Probably the definitions should be changed as well, but I don't want to force the translations to conform to definitions that don't conform with the idiolects of our native speakers. DCDuring TALK 12:52, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

body electric

Does this term have a meaning of its own? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:43, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

This may help: [11] Equinox 18:51, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

-ible/-able redundancy

Some adjectives are well attested in both -ible and -able forms; an example would be reflectible and reflectable. This extends to attested derivations like reflectibility and reflectability. Do we have any kind of order of precedence by which to determine that one is the alternative spelling of the other? Does it matter which one is more widely used, or which one was the first to be used? Do we just present them as two distinct words? bd2412 T 17:13, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't know about previous practice, but I support going by frequency, especially if there are huge differences. In the above mentioned case, neither of the two forms is a clear frequency winner, as per reflectible, reflectable at Google Ngram Viewer and reflectibility, reflectability at Google Ngram Viewer, so I would leave them alone. --Dan Polansky (talk) 21:22, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
It's hard to see what legitimate basis there is other than frequency for preferring one suffix over the other. Generally, the "ible" forms are derived from Latin adjectives ending in "ibilis" and the "able" forms are modern constructs from a verb + "able". It is possible that the public-school-class of Great Britain prefers the "ible" forms because the use of such forms is a marker, however imperfect, of frivolous education and therefore social class. DCDuring TALK 22:16, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

April 2015

PIE *leǵ-/*les-

PIE *leǵ- means "to gather". On Proto-Germanic *lesaną it says that the PG word comes from PIE *les- "to gather". Would an expert in proto-languages please review these entries as it seems to me that they should be linked. These roots have led to words meaning "to read" in most Romance and Germanic languages (except English). Danielklein (talk) 02:15, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Linked how, exactly? There is no etymological connection between *leǵ- and *les-. —CodeCat 02:18, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Out of curiosity, how likely is it that there would be two PIE roots that differ by one sound, and that have the same meaning? How would they not overlap, and how would such a situation even arise? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 21:18, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
I do not know if it works out this way in this instance, but it could if these roots represented *le-ǵ- and *le-s- respectively, yet when I researched it didn't appear that this was the case. Leasnam (talk) 18:59, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
That wouldn't be possible; you have to have a well-formed root before you can start adding interchangeable consonant suffixes to it, and *le- isn't a well-formed root. As for synonyms that differ by only one sound, consider chop and lop, run and rush, or the relevant senses of dull and dumb. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:49, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Granted, phonetically close synonyms exist. But the examples here are also semantically different enough that the existence of different words is not surprising.
Perhaps someone could help elucidate how PIE *leǵ- and *les- differ in their meanings? Or if they might be related? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 21:20, 24 April 2015 (UTC)


Wikipedia has the following anecdote about the show Mystery Science Theater 3000:

"Murphy then invited Vonnegut to dine with his group, which Vonnegut declined, claiming that he had other plans. When Murphy and friends ate later that night, he saw Vonnegut dining alone in the same restaurant, and remarked that he had been "faced... but nicely faced" by one of his literary heroes."

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, as visible on Google Books, gives the full quote as:

"That was it. Faced by my literary hero. Nicely faced though, he was charming throughout."

What does this mean? I've never come across "faced" like this before, and it doesn't match any definitions in our entry or in the OneLook dictionaries. Context suggests something like stood up or blown off, or perhaps something related to lose face. MST3K's cast were from the Midwest US and the writing tended to be filled with Twin Cities references, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was Minnesota/Wisconsin slang. Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:51, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Looks like short for get faced=in your face/dissed/insulted... Leasnam (talk) 17:23, 1 April 2015 (UTC)


The entry is missing a definition. "Winded" can describe the method that a windmill is turned to face into the wind to allow it to work. A mill may be winded by a tailpole, wheel and chain, or a fantail. I'm unsure of the referencing requirements here, so am raising the question here instead of boldly adding the entry. Mjroots (talk) 20:44, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

We probably want a sense at wind (verb), then. Does our existing sense "To expose to the wind; to winnow; to ventilate" cover it, or not? Equinox 21:04, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Not quite - "to turn to face the wind" is nearer the mark. Mjroots (talk) 21:24, 2 April 2015 (UTC)


There is a rfdef on outwear with a quote about "outworn its welcome". Isn't this just another example of definition 1, to wear out? Am I missing something? Kiwima (talk) 21:14, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

You are right. In fact, "wear out one's welcome" exists, which shows that it's the same thing. Equinox 21:15, 1 April 2015 (UTC)


How is nastoyka used in English? It's derived from the Russian насто́йка (nastójka). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:27, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

  • I have added a definition (based on Googling), but it is still pretty rare outside of Russia. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:03, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I'll see what else can be done to the entry. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:53, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
I personally use that word in the same situations where I would use настойка. I limit it to contexts involving Slavic culture; I call it an infusion otherwise, since that word is more widely known, and describes the preparation process accurately. I don't feel confident enough in my experience with the (English) word to edit the entry, but I think it should be made clear that they're not necessarily liqueurs, though they can be. Nastoykas can be made without additional sugar, and with ingredients that are not sweet, without being any less of a nastoyka. Perhaps simply replacing "liqueur" in the definition with "liquor" or "an alcoholic drink" would work. Eishiya (talk) 02:35, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Nicknames of individuals

I'm not sure what people think about these, so I wanted to check before adding them. I'm talking about adding a definition for Eva Perón at Evita and a definition for Steve Wozniak at Woz — do we agree that these are lexicographical material? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:43, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

  • If they are "words" in a "language" then they would be welcome because of our commitment to include "all words in all languages". SemperBlotto (talk) 06:46, 2 April 2015 (UTC)


This is not an alternative form, it is obviously a misspelling. Pronouncing c softly before a contradicts English phonological rules. No Anglophone would ever recommend this over the correct form. --Romanophile (talk) 20:58, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

What do you mean? Presumably they would pronounce it somewhat like comprehensible. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:08, 21 April 2015 (UTC)


I'm surprised we don't have this word. Am I missing something? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:56, 3 April 2015 (UTC)


This entry gives me pain just thinking about it, I've tried to ignore it, but its a worm that eats away at me, forcing me to bring it up here.

Originaly the use of alternate as a synonym of alternative was marked as a common misuse, but after a series of editing skirmishes in the summer and autumn of 2009 (with US users, I presume, taking umbrage that anyone could consider their use as being wrong), and the battle to keep this marked as a misuse was lost. Since then unless you read the talkpage or check the diffs, someone consulting Wiktionary would not know that outside of the United States and to even to some in the US this is considered a wrong usage. I'm having to concede that this word has now been Humpty-dumptied, but at the least shouldn't it be marked that it was a previously common misuse which because of the prevalence of the misuse has become an accepted use; and to add a usage note that while generally accepted, in some areas e.g. in technical and science writing the distinctions remain even in the United States. (see Commonly Misused Words).--KTo288 (talk) 07:19, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

triftong & трифтонг

On the pronunciation of the Serbo-Croatian section, is it true that the word is pronounced as /trǐftonɡ/ not /trǐftoŋ/? Just not sure of it… --Malaysiaboy (talk) 13:21, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

True. Most Slavic languages lack sound /ŋ/. If I'm not mistaken, only Polish has it. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:32, 3 April 2015 (UTC)


"Pinyin: yīgè [Phonetic: yígè] → yīge (toneless final syllable variant)"

Assuming this is correct, when should we use yīgè, yígè, and yīge, respectively, in speech (outside of Wiktionary; "IRL") and in writing (when giving the pinyin for example sentences on Wiktionary)? The phonetic brackets are what confuse me, along with the added arrow pointing to yīge. --WikiWinters (talk) 13:57, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

When writing pinyin most people write it out strictly according to each syllable's original reading (without considering tone sandhi), i.e. yīgè. In real life we follow the sandhi of course and pronounce it as yígè. The reading yīge is a variant you will hear from time to time, like 知道 as zhīdao, etc. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:59, 3 April 2015 (UTC)


Down in the crossword sense seems to be omitted as an adverb, but shown as a noun instead. I wanted to put a translation in, but there's nowhere to put it, unlike across. Donnanz (talk) 22:57, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

  • I dealt with it myself after a night's sleep. Donnanz (talk) 09:12, 4 April 2015 (UTC)


I edited the entry for ism and Mr. Granger rejected it. I suggested two alternative suggestions to make the definition of atheism more accurate in the -ism entry. He has rejected that suggestion and rejected the notion that there is reason to make this clarification. My assertion is that associating the term atheism with "a doctrine, ideology or principle", which the -ism entry does, is both inaccurate and damaging to the perception of atheists. Mr. Granger's main assertion is atheism " is associated with an ideology: the belief that there is no god". The lack of belief in a god is neither an ideology , in which the entry references "a body of beliefs" and not a single belief, nor a belief. It is a lack of belief. It is passive and descriptive. An ideology is assertive and prescriptive. My other assertions are in the discussion posted below, including how keeping the atheism reference in the ism entry without clarification is seriously damaging to the perception atheists. I look forward all input on this matter. —This unsigned comment was added by JohnAndrewMorrison (talkcontribs).

Edit of -ism

Discussion moved from User talk:Mr. Granger.

"there's no need to go into so much detail about which parts of the definition apply to which derived words"

How about a short note indicating there is no doctrine, ideology, or principle associated with atheism?

Maybe remove the term?

The definition perpetuates false beliefs and reinforces the stigma plaguing atheists. JohnAndrewMorrison (talk) 06:07, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't see any reason to remove it—atheism is a good example of the usage of the suffix -ism. Moreover, atheism (at least sense 1) is associated with an ideology: the belief that there is no god. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 11:50, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Your identification of atheism being an ideology is exactly why the notation needs to be made. From Wiktionary: ideology - Doctrine, philosophy, body of beliefs or principles belonging to an individual or group. Not a single belief, or nonbelief as the case is, but a body of beliefs or a codified belief system. Saying atheism is an ideology implies things can be done in the name of atheism, but they can't. It allows blame for past acts of people (Hitler, Marx, Pol Pot) to be assigned to atheism when the fact is these people just happened to be atheist; they were driven to acts of violence by other ideologies (e.g. communism, socialism, naziism) or personal shortcomings, not because they were atheist. This is the negative stigma I refer to. —This unsigned comment was added by JohnAndrewMorrison (talkcontribs).

I disagree with several of the statements you've just made, and in particular with the idea that stating that the word atheism is sometimes used to refer to an ideology implies that Hitler was evil because he was an atheist. To reiterate my point, atheism (in the narrowest sense) refers to "a doctrine, ideology or principle" (per the relevant definition of -ism). If you disagree with this, I encourage you to bring it up in the WT:Tea room, where we can get the opinions of other editors. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 23:37, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Did you look at the definition of atheism here on Wiktionary? The only mention of doctrine is in the "loose" definition and says a lack of belief in a doctrine. "To reiterate my point, atheism (in the narrowest sense) refers to "a doctrine, ideology or principle" (per the relevant definition of -ism). " Is a circular argument, it is fallacious. You are saying the definition of atheism given in -ism is accurate because that is the way it is defined in -ism. You have completely made my point. If you compare the Wiktionary definition of atheism with the definition it is given in the -ism entry you have to conclude the -ism definition is wrong. I never said it was asserted that Hitler was evil because he was atheist. What is asserted is the claims are made that the atrocities he committed were in the name of atheism. You can disagree with my claim that atheism is used to assert the atrocities of Hitler, Pol Pot, Marx, etc., were done in the name of atheism, it is just an opinion. I have personal experience, more than a dozen people arguing this point with me, and demonstrable truth it is. Here is Aslan Reza, a recognized expert in religion wordwide, saying exactly this. It at 14:30 of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGBsmvRbpck. —This unsigned comment was added by JohnAndrewMorrison (talkcontribs).

I'm sorry, you seem to have mistaken this for a prescriptive, authoritative arbiter of what people are supposed to think. I hate to disillusion you, but this is a descriptive dictionary: we do our best to describe what people actually mean when they use a term, not what it's supposed to mean. We have terms used by everyone from Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists, racists, thugs, etc. and words for more kinds of vile, disgusting and seriously wrong things and concepts than anyone would want to know. That's because we're not censored, either. You've come to Wiktionary to edit out concepts that you disagree with, and make them conform to your point of view. That's censorship, and it won't be tolerated. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:32, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

I am not asking to edit out anything. My original edit was simply the addition of a clarification. If anything it was my input that was being censored. Am I to understand I can add that sort of content? If so I have two questions: How does one avoid a circular loop of edit delete? And what is the proper way to add a clarification to a specific item on an entry? And just to be clear I do not have the intention of including everything included here supporting my position. Just a note that clarifies atheism is not a doctrine, ideology or principle. Thanks.

Mr. Granger removed a note specific to atheism. I agree with you that atheism is not an "ideology". Rather than adding a note, the definition needs a fix IMHO. A bit of digging in the revision history shows that this revision had "the result of a doctrine, ideology, principle, or lack thereof" in the definition. In diff, I have restored that state of affairs; see also my edit summary. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:24, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
The issue of whether atheism is an ideology or not is an opinion, rather than a verifiable fact, and to some extent depends on what kind of atheism is being discussed (see Negative and positive atheism and Implicit and explicit atheism). Some atheists don't believe in God themselves but do not actively deny the existence of God, and don't particularly care what other people think. That kind of atheism is probably not an ideology. But other atheists (what I consider the Richard Dawkins-style atheists) actively deny the existence of God, and some of them work to persuade others to share their point of view, often with positively evangelical fervor. That kind of atheism is definitely an ideology; some would even call it a religion. And lots of other kinds of atheism exist along the spectrum between these two extremes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:04, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Active denial of the existence of God is not an ideology; it is a stance. Richard Dawkin's kind of atheism is not an ideology. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:26, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
We define ideology as "Doctrine, philosophy, body of beliefs or principles belonging to an individual or group". That's a perfect definition of Dawkins's kind of atheism. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:05, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
This definition is wrong. It follows from it that the body of beliefs belonging to an individual is an ideology, which is obviously wrong. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:43, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification above and for the reversion of the entry.

exhaust fan

Would this term meet Wiktionary's CFI? ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:44, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

It it's just an electrical device for moving air that is located in a system consisting of the parts of an engine through which burned gases or steam are discharged, then I'd say it's sum-of-parts and probably doesn't meet CFI. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:09, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Err, I thought it was just the name of the fan thingy in my bathroom... have I got the wrong word? (Chinese-speakers: I'm translating 排風扇.) ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:10, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
That's called an extractor fan usually. Donnanz (talk) 10:13, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Even if the thing in your bathroom is called an exhaust fan, it's still a fan for letting foul air out of a room through a register or pipe provided for the purpose. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:58, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
What is an exhaust fan? Where is it used? Like, is it some part of an exhaust system of a car? Do you have a picture? --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:25, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
See Google image search. (It's also the fan in a cooker hood) SemperBlotto (talk) 11:27, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  • See exhaust fan at OneLook Dictionary Search for the several dictionaries and glossaries that include exhaust fan.
MWOnline, which does not include exhaust fan, has five definitions for exhaust (noun), including "an arrangement for removing fumes, dusts, or odors from an enclosure". That is more or less the definition in my idiolect, in which, as in MWOline, exhaust fan is SoP. DCDuring TALK 12:25, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Even so, if this device has different names it may be worth an entry; exhaust fan, extractor fan and extraction fan can all be found on Google, and all mean the same thing. The SoP policy can be taken to extremes. Donnanz (talk) 12:43, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Given that fan seems to generically imply a ventilator for "blow" ventilation, I think that all these terms seem to generically imply a fan working to "suck". This can often (usually?) mean a very different type of construction - centrifugal fans, vortex fans, venturi fans, helical fans, etc. -- ALGRIF talk 08:28, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
It not a unique construction that defines it. Its function is removing air instead of circulating air, i.e. a fan used to remove air from an enclosed space such as a bathroom or a stable. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:25, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
OK -Function it is. In my bathroom I have 2 fans. One is an extractor fan. (Function defines which fan I'm talikng about). Similarly, in my kitchen I have 2 fans. One is an extractor fan. (Function defines which fan I'm talikng about). In my new house I have several fans. One of them is an exhaust fan. (Function (whole-house air renovation) defines which fan I'm talking about.) -- ALGRIF talk 13:07, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
The worst joke I ever heard, BTW, had the punchline "he's an ex-tractor fan". I'd include all three in my dictionary. --Recónditos (talk) 20:49, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

What part of speech is callsigned?

It means "having (a specified name) as its call sign", e.g.

  • 2010, Ben Evans, Escaping the Bonds of Earth: The Fifties and the Sixties (page 43)
    As announced, the purpose of the missions by Nikolayev and Popovich, callsigned 'Falcon' and 'Golden Eagle', respectively, was to check "contact" between two spacecraft flying in similar orbits.

So not really an adjective, more like a passive verb form; however, there is no infinitive "to callsign". Equinox 21:29, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

I really don't know what English grammarians would categorise it as. To me, it feels like a participle doesn't necessarily need to have a verb, but that might not be a tenable idea. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:32, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me to be functionally equivalent to named. We have that as an adjective (as well as a verb form). SemperBlotto (talk) 21:38, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
I think it looks like an adjective derived from a noun + -ed (sense 1 of etymology 3 of -ed). Is there a reason to think that it shouldn't be classified as an adjective? —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 22:00, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
It's not really different from any of the other English words formed by adding -ed to a noun (bearded, finned, eared). But many of the basic nouns that do this also have homophones that are verbs, which obscures the point. We just had a discussion about haired. DCDuring TALK 22:05, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
It's different in having an object- do adjectives have objects? The examples you give simply refer to the presence of the referent of the noun. In this case, the callsign isn't merely present, it's included in the sentence. This really looks like a passive construction with an indirect object. The absence of the infinitive doesn't mean much when you consider how scarce this is in Google Books and Google Groups- even Google Search. There doesn't seem to me to be any inherent reason to not have an infinitive, and there are indeed a couple of cases in Google Search where it appears as an active verb with a direct object. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:49, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
The term callsigning seems to exist, so maybe there actually is a verb. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:57, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Pecha Kucha

Could somebody who knows Japanese fill out the etymology on this one? Kiwima (talk) 08:07, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

  • As far as the English term goes, it's pretty well filled out already. I expanded the Japanese entry at ぺちゃくちゃ (pechakucha), and I'll add a quick gloss to the term as referenced in the EN entry. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 20:30, 8 April 2015 (UTC)


Hi. Anyone want to try for a good definition of leafy in this common type of phrasing? We are in a leafy rural area and still have children whose families depend on food banks. Something about relative wealth? Middle class? Economically comfortable? -- ALGRIF talk 08:14, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

  • It's already included, I think - containing much foliage - a leafy avenue. This can also apply to the sense you mention. It shouldn't really imply wealth. Donnanz (talk) 08:57, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Poking around to see how it is used, I think a meaning of "suburban" or even "residential" might be more what you are after. The implication seems to be less about the wealth and more about the lack of industrial development. The relative wealth is probably just a correlate. Kiwima (talk) 00:55, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't think a suburban or residential area would be called "leafy" unless it did in fact have plenty of foliage. Equinox 01:43, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
  • And another example today in the Guardian. [12] But Tory England is not all booming, leafy suburbia. I can't believe I'm the only one who sees a connotation here? "Leafy" referring to an idea that is something other than actual leaves. The journalist who wrote this was clearly not thinking about leaves. The piece is contrasting people who struggle to make ends meet, and others in the same area who are comfortable. -- ALGRIF talk 12:10, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
    Suburban and rural places have grass and trees. Cities don't. End of. DCDuring TALK 16:13, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
    I'm sitting in the middle of a city (Bristol) looking out at a row of trees, a muddy river with grassy banks, and another line of trees on the other side. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:26, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
    We don't deal in reality; we deal in the idealized typical of the past fifty or so years. If I were as rich as Croesus and had an apartment on Fifth Avenue or Central Park West, I would also see plenty of trees, albeit in a setting phony as a three-dollar bill: Central Park.
Seriously, any look at a metropolis on Google Earth makes it fairly clear that cities, even those with large parks, are hardly "leafy". DCDuring TALK 23:29, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Usage rules. I would say "leafy suburbia" refers to places that are typically not big built-up cities (London) but rather smaller towns with grassy parks, avenues, etc. If you disagree that "leafy" means trees then bring the convincing proof. Equinox 23:07, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Just look at the photo in the article. It is in Chingford, London suburbia, and it is a very built-up residential area. A few trees along the street, but tree-lined streets are found everywhere in cities. Whatever. Ignore the word "as it is used". I'm done here. -- ALGRIF talk 08:18, 8 May 2015 (UTC)


What's the difference with "instantly"? And why are there no mentions of (links to) the other? --Jerome Potts (talk) 11:29, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

The links aren't there now because you didn't put them there. DCDuring TALK 11:46, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, my question hid that i intend to, but i haven't decided how: "synonyms", or just "related terms" or similar? --Jerome Potts (talk) 11:51, 6 April 2015 (UTC)


Is this a real word in English? I came across it in a Chinese-English dictionary, a translation of 同志 apparently. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:42, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Apparently (though it looks obsolete): [13]. Equinox 03:44, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Many thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:59, 9 April 2015 (UTC)


Is this an American term? I have never heard of it in British English, being used to the word brace and its derivative brace and bit. Donnanz (talk) 14:17, 7 April 2015 (UTC)


(Ctrl-X-V'd from RFV, because it was misplaced. Hillcrest98 (talk) 19:38, 7 April 2015 (UTC))

I don't understand the etymology. The page about the genus says that the genus name is derived straight from Latin alligator (one who ties or binds). The generic term's page is said to be derived from Spanish el lagarto, ultimately from Latin lacertus.

Is this a discrepancy, or perhaps a pair of false cognates? Hillcrest98 (talk) 23:28, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Good catch. I'm fairly sure that Classical Latin "influenced" the spelling, but that the origin is via Spanish. I just hope I wasn't the guilty party for the Alligator etymology! I was. DCDuring TALK 23:42, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Should I correct the etymology then? Hillcrest98 (talk) 23:50, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Take a look at how I cleaned up my own mess. Make whatever changes you think are appropriate. The references in alligator are my sources, especially alligator in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911. DCDuring TALK 23:56, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
That error sat there for more than two years. I hope it didn't make its way to Wikipedia itself. Hillcrest98 (talk) 00:10, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
It wasn't there when I just looked, anyway. Those online dictionaries that copy us may have the error, but one hopes they refresh their content from time to time.
This definitive French dictionary's entry for French alligator says the origin of the French word is English. DCDuring TALK 00:20, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Etymology added for French word, but I accidentally put the wrong word in the edit summary, lol. Hillcrest98 (talk) 00:27, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
I've struck the heading as there's no RFV proposition being made. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:22, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
If you're only interested in attestation, why don't you create a page Wiktionary:Requests for attestation where people interested in that subtopic could gather. Of course, I could create a page Wiktionary:Requests for verification (except attestation requests), but that would be w:WP:POINTy, I think. -- 20:23, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
You have to ask DCDuring and other editors who opposed in Wiktionary:Votes/2012-01/Renaming requests for verification. I supported the renaming. A little bit of reasonableness, and more votes could actualy work, right? --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:36, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Exactly, it got voted down (albeit with a majority in favor). Don't blame me for that, I voted for it, after all. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:39, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
  • The right venue would have been WT:ES (Etymology Scriptorium). Even WT:TR (Tea Room) would have been better. DCDuring TALK 19:57, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
    I think the original matter is settled. Is it? DCDuring TALK 19:57, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Yep, the main problem (the etymology errors) have been corrected. Other errors can have another Tea discussion. Hillcrest98 (talk) 03:25, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

What errors would those be? DCDuring TALK 13:16, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Whenever they show up in the future. Hillcrest98 (talk) 21:39, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

thread of life

At Clotho is a red link for thread of life. It is abundantly attestable in a sense close to that of the corresponding Ancient Greek term. I would argue that it is just a metaphor, not entryworthy. As thread of life at OneLook Dictionary Search suggests reference works don't find this entryworthy either.

Is this inclusion-worthy? Why or why not? DCDuring TALK 20:17, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

  • I've added a first attempt at a definition. Feel free to improve or whatever. SemperBlotto (talk) 20:43, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
    I guess that means you think it inclusion-worthy. Why? (Let me guess: "Because someone might want to know what it means.") DCDuring TALK 20:59, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
    Because of our slogan, of course: all turds and all baggages! Equinox 21:54, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
    Can we ban the word word from all discussions? DTLHS (talk) 22:07, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
    We've deemed similes inclusion-worthy, apparently all metaphors. Alliteration, rhyming, and other elements of prosody have been claimed to make MWEs into set phrases. Is there any rhetorical device that we might consider excluding? Allusion? Hendiadys? DCDuring TALK 22:31, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

traffic island

Definition says "...to control traffic". That strikes me as rather vague. Can we clarify this? ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:57, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

  • It marks a division between opposing flows of traffic, and often acts as a pedestrian refuge, when a pedestrian has to wait for a gap in the traffic. Donnanz (talk) 12:20, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
    When an entry is essentially encyclopedic, as this one is, a link to WP should be mandatory. I understand, too, that a picture (50Kb-5Mb) is worth only a thousand words (~16Kb), but we have trouble producing even 20 intelligible words (for a definition) that users are likely to read, so images have some value. At the very least it would make it easier to copy definitions, images, references, translations, etc. DCDuring TALK 13:12, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

façade versus facade

Why is façade treated as the main spelling? Even the spellcheck automatically changes facade to façade for some weird reason. It's spelt as facade in my Oxford hard copy, and the other spelling is ignored. Donnanz (talk) 12:30, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Because of the perfect-typography lobby here. DCDuring TALK 12:56, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh, maybe they should be called the over-perfect typography lobby. Does the spellcheck belong to the same lobby? Donnanz (talk) 13:02, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Depends on the spellcheck. Of the ones I use, the UK one prefers façade over facade, and the US one prefers facade. In my own experience, people in the US understand façade, but don't use the ç because it's extra work to type. I've never seen any confusion regarding that spelling, except "why is façade spelled with a hooky thingie?" On the other hand, I've seen many instances of US people encountering "facade" and thinking it's an unfamiliar word pronounced fuh-KAYD and being surprised that it is in fact a word they know with a different pronunciation. Eishiya (talk) 12:11, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
The etymology gives the clue to why façade is preferred. It also rather depends on how you would normally pronounce --ca--. An educated person does not normally say that they are eduçated. Nor would anyone in fact ever pronounce a soft "c" before an "a", unless guided in some way to this very unusual pronunciation. Unless, of course, one is using US spelling setting on their spell checker. There's an easy fix to that though. -- ALGRIF talk 12:29, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Just because it comes from French doesn't mean we have to spell it the same way in English, character for character. Then there's the problem of finding the character on a qwerty keyboard (unless you switch your keyboard over to French). Donnanz (talk) 16:57, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Have to no. But it is historically and currently conventional. Just check through some other words and phrases that come from French, Spanish and others, that have been imported wholesale, including accents, into the English language. The fact that US have the habit of generally removing the accents later does not stop the original with-accent form from being the main spelling. Not unless it has become out-dated. -- ALGRIF talk 11:53, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
It's usually spelt facade in British English too. That's what I'm griping about. Donnanz (talk) 11:57, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
@Algrif: How does priority of a spelling make it the main spelling if frequency favors the later spelling? The original spelling may have a determined minority of users who favorite it, especially if they believe it signals their superiority to users of the newer spelling. BTW, having lower frequency may even enhance its value as a superiority marker. DCDuring TALK 15:24, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: So, .. er .. by greater frequency ... er ... you mean ... become out-dated? - I think that is what I was saying. -- ALGRIF talk 16:20, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
"Outdated" does not necessarily have overall relative frequency implications and thus is hard to confirm. When we use "dated" here, we usually refer to the age cohort of the speakers who use a term. DCDuring TALK 18:46, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
It is because of diff from 4 July 2014, which has no edit summary. I disagree with that edit. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:04, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
You may be interested in this revision, which has "Dictionary notes" showing which variant is in which dictionary. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:08, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Even the Wikipedia article is redirected from façade. Very interesting. Donnanz (talk) 20:42, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I have restored facade to what is was before 4 July 2014. By the way, facade massively outperforms façade in Google Ngram Viewer but I do not know how reliable that is with these sorts of diacritics (façade, facade at Google Ngram Viewer). --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:47, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Excellent! Thanks very much, I'm much happier now. Donnanz (talk) 21:03, 12 April 2015 (UTC)


In my attempts to translate a cheese label I have discovered that 1) the inflections given in the Wiktionary table may be wrong, and 2) we have no cheese-context meaning for the word. According to canoo.net the positive inflections should be spelled edl~ whereas Wiktionary gives it as edel~. Both sites agree on the comparative (edler~) and superlative (edelst~) forms.

Right on both counts (although "edel" is a pretty vague term when applied to food. It's just a peacocky way of saying "high quality, pure"). Made the changes. Smurrayinchester (talk) 20:16, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I also asked about this at Wikipedia's Reference Desk. Apparently the edel~ form can be encountered but is obsolete/dated. Perhaps that could be noted in a usage note? SpinningSpark 20:59, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi. Am not a linguist of any kind, just some German. When encountering "edel" with cheese and some other food involving mould, the "edel" usually ist not referring to the cheese itself, but to the mould, and unvariably (?) in the form of "Edelschimmel" (literally : noble mould). It is a word of its own, meaning any of a list of accepted species of mould, that not only not render food worthless or even venomenous, but instead even enhance the food in question - namely this and that cheese, wine, ham, salami and maybe other foods. It does not necessarily denote highest qualities, even the cheapest industrial Camembert is still covered in some sort of "Edelschimmel". See http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edelschimmel - a bit stumpy, that article. :( For wine compare : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_rot. So I think there should not really be a special cheese-/food- context at wiktionary: edel since Edelschimmel is an independent word in its own right, with a very specific meaning.
About the inflection table, it seems fine as it is now (was corrected?), any occurence of edel~ is most likely obsolete, or grotesquely bad poetry. well 18:34, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
The exact phrase that led to this (which I should probably have cited in the first place) was mit edlem Weiß – und Blauschimmel. The edlem declension was not in the entry at the time, hence the difficulty. As you say, the adjective refers to the mould, not the cheese, but in this case is not quite in the form of Edelschimmel. SpinningSpark 15:50, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

expression of surprise, contempt, outrage...

Some time ago, a user created a lot of English interjection entries, all identically defined as "expression of surprise, contempt, outrage, disgust, boredom, frustration". See [14]. In most or all cases, the definition is over-broad and could be usefully narrowed down. So anyone who's bored (disgusted, contemptuous, etc.) might like to take a look. Equinox 03:20, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

used to Verb isn't it?

I'm sure this is not the first time this entry has been discussed. It is marked with a "clean-up" request, but I'm blowed if I can find it. That aside, my beef is with the POS Adverb. The Etymology-2 indicates that it started as a verb form. The grammar is like a verb form also, -- followed by a verb in the infinitive - He used to be famous -- Negative - I didn't use to run. -- Interog - Did you use to run?. So, it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck. So it's a DUCK VERB isn't it? -- ALGRIF talk 14:37, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Yes, I think so (but I'm often wrong about grammar). I notice we are missing the literal usage "Words are used to convey meaning," SemperBlotto (talk) 14:42, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
That would be the past participle of the verb use in a passive voice, wouldn't it? -- ALGRIF talk 14:52, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, that would be like having "eaten to" as an entry: "food is eaten to stop us being hungry": the "to" is an infinitive on the verb that follows, not an adverbial particle on the main one. Equinox 14:53, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
The "literal" usage is sum of parts and is not a fixed construction like "He used to V", which is why it's missing. The "literal" usage even gets the same stress/intonation pattern that other similar constructions get (e.g. "I walked to work"), while the "adverb" has a different pattern. Tthe fact that it's a fixed phrase is probably why it's listed as an adverb. It's being analysed as "used to" + VERB (a verb modified by an adverbial phrase "used to"), rather than as "used" + to VERB (a verb "used" taking another verb as its argument). It's a participle modifying a verb in this case, which makes it an adverb. I think both analyses are valid. The verb analysis makes more sense with the past tense version "did not use to X", the adverb analysis makes more sense with "did not used to", both of which are found among native speakers, some even use both past tense constructions. Eishiya (talk) 15:06, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I am drawn by analysis of the modal-like similarities between used to, have to, got to, want to, ought to, supposed to, where the "to" is likened to a suffix - almost as a phrasal verb particle - which in turn leads to the common speech patterns usta, hafta, gotta, wanna, oughta, sposta. Under this analysis also, they are all considered to be verbs, not adverbs. -- ALGRIF talk 15:26, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
    Could someone find academic support for such a presentation? Lexicography is a conservative field in the grammatical aspects of presentation, so I would argue that we should take a vote.
I could be convinced that, say, the modal verb treatment of all or some of the words ending in ta and na (wanna, gunna/gonna) is appropriate. What are the tests for something being a modal verb? DCDuring TALK 17:52, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree that we can possibly see a quasi-modal pattern here:-
have to and hafta, got to and gotta, ought to and oughta, supposed to and sposta all seem to refer to obligation, which is a typical modality of modal verbs. While used to and usta (habit in the past) is similar to would (habit in the past), and finally want to and wanna can be likened to the modal verb need. -- ALGRIF talk 12:09, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Defective verb; doesn't conjugate at all. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:14, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I really don’t understand why it is classified as an adverb now. You say she used to be a singer and she was once a singer. Used to clearly receives a tense and a person, just like any other auxiliary verb. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 13:28, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Plus, of course, it forms a fully grammatical sentence with just a pronoun: "Do you sing?" "I used to." It shares this feature with other modals - "I have.", "I must.", "I did.", "I have to." - but not with adverbs. You can't say *"I formerly" or *"I once", you have to stick an extra verb in there ("I formerly sang.", "I sang once."). Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:59, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
(supposed to on the other hand doesn't seem like a verb. *"I supposed to." is unidiomatic - it's "I am supposed to." got to acts like a verb in colloquial speech (to my ears, it sounds slightly American) - "I gotta get to the shops before they close" - but in more standard registers I think you'd always say "I have got to...") Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:07, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
While it's a tad bit harder to find academic material describing used to as a quasi-modal without going to a library, there are some good journeyman explanations of the topic. —JohnC5 19:36, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I have changed it to a verb. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 02:42, 6 May 2015 (UTC)


The current definition looks odd but I think it's right:

  1. (medicine) to rot

Here's an example:

le sang, s’il habunde trop, il engendre fievre continue qu’est semblable a effimere, causée de sang non putrifié
the blood, if it's too abundant, it causes a steady fever, similar to an ephemeral one, caused by un-putrefied blood.

I do believe when he wrote this in 1303 he actually meant 'to rot' though of course, we know that blood while still in the body cannot rot! That of course isn't a linguistic matter, it's an evidence matter.

Should there be a usage note, or else, what? Remove the medicine tag, leave it as is? Renard Migrant (talk) 15:33, 11 April 2015 (UTC)


We now have three senses of this verb, of which the second and third look like they're referring to the same thing, but neither of which fits the passages cited for them. I would guess that the correct definition would be something like chase or harass. Does anyone have sources that might shed some light on this? Chuck Entz (talk) 18:34, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

I think #2 and #3 are referring to the same, but novelists in the last half century seem to use it slightly different like #2 (those quotes are not yet added). I think chase or harass imply intention. I could see cannon noise chousing cattle and horses. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 18:48, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
I could see it going either way: either it started out as "chasing", with a subsense developing for the disturbance that would cause, or it could be that it started out as "disturbing", with a sense developing that uses the original meaning as a sort of playfully hyperbolic overtone to a more prosaic one, somewhat like one speaks of manhandling something into place. By the way, although you have a tendency to overdo things in a lot of cases, this one is just the sort of situation where having lots of examples on the citations page is very helpful. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:36, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
It is amusing that the noun can refer to the perpetrator, the victim, and the process or result of the process. DCDuring TALK 18:49, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
We're not really discussing the first sense. I wonder if they're even the same etymology?. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:36, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
I think, for the animal sense, something like the English Etymology of shoo from the German is more likely. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:50, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Though that doesn't actually say that shoo is from German. Whenever an etymology says "compare", you should read that as "here's a similar term in another language- maybe it's related somehow". I would guess it's from some dialectal variant of chase, or there's some other term in some other language- I don't see how German "sch" could end up as English "ch" Chuck Entz (talk) 20:45, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Given the Western US locus for the early citations of the "harass" sense (perhaps "agitate, unsettle"), one might suspect a Mexican origin, which might mean a sufficiently different spelling to require someone with good Mexican Spanish to help. DCDuring TALK 22:07, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
I took the liberty to split the verbs by etymology, one being shared by the noun. I don't see any good possibility for the etymologies being the same, though facts good prove me wrong. DCDuring TALK 22:15, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
  • 1998, Charlene Strickland, The Basics of Western Riding, page 127:
    Chouse. To chase cattle, also to exhaust them.
  • 2008, Win Blevins, Dictionary of the American West:
    CHOUSE To handle cattle roughly and stir them up.
    (also spelled chowse) DCDuring TALK 22:50, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
  • The definition can be confirmed in the Dictionary of American Regional English, which may also provide information useful for an etymology. DCDuring TALK 23:41, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
    DARE has "to persecute, annoy, especially to handle cattle roughly". They offer touse as a possible source. All other print slang dictionaries that I consulted had a similar definition, though usually limited to cattle. No other dictionary offered any etymological suggestions, except to reject chaus and to make it as distinct from the Turkish-derived words. Several referred to the alternative spelling chowse. DCDuring TALK 16:55, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

let's does not function as a contraction of let us

I'm sure the meaning of let's (1st person plural imperative marker) is not similar to the meaning of let us. I don't think the definition of let's is to be a contraction of let us anymore.


Let's go! (to command others in your "us" group to go); Let us go! (to ask a person outside the "us" group to allow the group to go, or to release the group)


I can't hurt him. (being unable to hurt him); I cannot hurt him. (same meaning.)

And other contractions. The difference in meaning between let's and let us is too stark to call the former a contraction of the latter. Even the article mentions such a usage contrast.

Let's being a contraction of let us should go in the etymology section instead. Hillcrest98 (talk) 14:44, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

I think that you're overlooking the fact that "let us go" has multiple possible structures: the one that's contracted is "let us" + "go", but the one you're referring to is "let go" with the object, "us", inserted within- in other words, "let go of us", rearranged. Only the first one has "let" and "us" closely associated enough to merge into a contraction. It's quite acceptable to say "let us go to the theater", but it sounds a bit dated- you may not be familiar with it. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:13, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I added a usage note about let us being rather dated. Sadly, the entry let us is a lazy redirect. --Recónditos (talk) 20:53, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I have classified it as a verb. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 00:53, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Let us go to the pub is a correct but archaic form of let's go to the pub. They're not strict synonyms because in this sense, let us is archaic and almost never used. I have heard it though. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:53, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
It's not completely gone. I hear it once in a long while, and not only from old people. --WikiTiki89 19:44, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I've created it as archaic. If anyone wants to change to rare or dated, well, this is a wiki, go for it. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:15, 16 April 2015 (UTC)


"(transitive) To let or draw blood from an animal."

Can it not be used for people then? I was looking for the English translation of Old French saignier in the sense of 'to remove blood from someone (as a medical procedure)'. I thought 'bleed' was perfectly adequate, but according to our definition, only if it refers to an animal. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:47, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Bloodlet actually says 'to bleed' which unless I'm missing something, implies that 'bloodlet' only applies to animals. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:48, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
bleed at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 18:21, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
google books:"bleed the patient" and google books:"bled the patient" give plenty of hits that don't look veterinary to me. On the other hand, humans are animals, so the current definition could still be considered accurate. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:50, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
The definition is actually worded for an intransitive verb as the definition specifies the object. Simply omitting the wrongly included nominal "an animal" would solve the problem. DCDuring TALK 00:31, 14 April 2015 (UTC)


Very concerned about the citations here. All three are pretty much gibberish. The top one seems to be full of invented Anglo-Saxonisms; the second one is written, I think, by a schizophrenic -- I have encountered this person's vanity-published "works" previously on Google Books (he may be the same author as "Hymie Hitler") and they consist of disjointed rants with made-up words and long strings of synonyms -- and I'm not sure about the third citation, but it seems to have lots of words erroneously blended together. I am also concerned about the citing user who continues to create such bizarre words without thinking twice or at least flagging them as nonstandard. Imagine the confusing impression we are giving to learners of English, with such entries. Equinox 19:11, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Gibberish yes, but literary gibberish. One of the authors has a WP article. The subject of another has a WP article. It's not easy to find other citations. There may be a children's book citation to be had. The writing has that "poetic" quality that disqualifies much poetry as not good for determining meaning. DCDuring TALK 22:06, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
This is straight out of Century dictionary. No one is creating anything, except an entry for this word. Leasnam (talk) 00:59, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
It strikes me as the kind of word for which our best service to both users and translators would be to direct them to synonyms. DCDuring TALK 01:18, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
More Leasnam cause for concern: [15]. Has everything got to be Middle English?! Otherkin are a very modern phenomenon. Equinox 00:14, 18 April 2015 (UTC)


The entry shows:

(archaic) A taxonomic genus within the family Felidae — Felis chaus chaus, the type subspecies of jungle cat.

This is incorrect; Chous is not a current genus. The {{taxon}} template does not have a toggle to show that the classification is a deprecated and currently invalid classification. Something similar was brought up by @DCDuring: in 2012 (Template talk:taxon#What about obsolete taxa, less-used synonyms?) but I do not find the resolution by searching the site. There should be a separate template, something like:

(archaic) A deprecated taxonomic classification, formerly a AAAA within the BBBB CCCC — its reclassification is XXXX.

BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:29, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

I changed the context from "archaic" to "obsolete": nobody uses the generic name in order to sound old-fashioned, and no one uses it at all unless they're reading from or referring to an old taxonomic work. This is more like phlogiston than thee or thou. As for your version: way too wordy. I would be satisfied if the template just put "former" in front of the obsolete taxon and in front of any obsolete parent taxon. It wouldn't be too hard to have parameters named something like "obstax" and "obspar" to make that word appear in the proper places.Chuck Entz (talk) 02:36, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Obsolete is probably better for the definition we have. Any reuse of the name is likely to be with a different definition.
I don't think we are likely to be keeping up to date on deprecation of taxonomic names: Neither Wikispecies nor WP do very well at it.
Before we do a change in the template, let's give a little thought to how we can avoid conveying the idea that we are a reliable source of information. Careful wording in the template might help, but losing flexibility may hurt.
It is very hard to find any source of taxonomic information that claims to be a definitive source of current taxonomic names. They usually have disclaimers explicitly warning against relying on them. That's one reason I try to make sure we have a lot of external links for taxonomic names that seem to be current. Obsolete names can use links to old dictionaries (eg, Century 1911), the Plant List, and to articles for any corresponding current taxa, which should have links to sources with synonyms. DCDuring TALK 03:12, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
When I first read (archaic) {{taxon}}, while already knowing that (archaic) is {{context}}, I was confused by the definition since I followed a link from Chaus. I later saw that jungle cat was the common element but not taxonomic genus within the family Felidae. @Chuck Entz, DCDuring: former would be the broadest term and I think that template description should suggest to preferably link the newer entry. Maybe including the longer version of newer names (with the scientist name and date, see Author citation (zoology)), {{l|mul|Felis chaus|Felis chaus Schreber, 1777}}: now more commonly classified as Felis chaus Schreber, 1777. The template description can provide instructions about how to find the information, for example, at Encyclopedia of Life and Integrated Taxonomic Information System. I was also confused by the lack of a link to the current Felis chaus species but one to the trinomial name of the type subspecies, while I understand the reasoning. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 15:19, 15 April 2015 (UTC), modified 15:25, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
It was confusing because I had given up on making it better. I have attempted to improve it based on Century 1911 and a cursory examination of some entries using the term in the Global Biodiversity Heritage Library. AFAICT, the genus name is attributable to Gray, well after the coinage asserted in the etymology. DCDuring TALK 01:57, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
The problem with linking to "the" newer entry is that old and new taxa often don't correspond in neat one-to-one fashion. What Linnaeus may have described as a genus might be equivalent to parts of several families (even phyla!), with the species he described having been shuttled around numerous times before ending up in a multitude of different places. There are also plenty of cases where a name is misapplied to a different taxon and becomes widely used both in floras and in popular works, but is still used for the original one as well. There are even cases where it's really hard to tell what the old name actually referred to- if it referred to anything even slightly based in reality at all. Yes, there are many cut-and-dried cases where there's only one unambiguous successor (usually with preoccupied names), but having the option creates pressure to oversimplify things so the template can be used. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:06, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz, DCDuring: I agree with both you. There were about 20 classification schemas since Linnaeus, while that is historical, a set of living things (old entry) had a classification that is different now (new entry or entries). If I am looking for the term that represents that set I certainly would want to know that.
From anther direction, a definition of Pluto should include its previous classification of planet, prior to 2006, and current classification of a plutoid, a type of dwarf planet, and include dwarf planet, trans-Neptunian object, plutoid, Kuiper belt object, Plutino as hypernyms.
Stating that something is in a set is descriptive and not prescriptive – the authoritative source prescribes and wiktionary describes what was prescribed.
I would also want to know if the that set of living things is now an empty set. Linking to the newer convention is just a matter of finding the newer attestations of usage – three if I remember... so the vertical difference in level does not matter; what matters is what term represents that set of living things.
I also think there should be a standard usage note boilerplate template to clarify that an entry title is a former/obsolete classification that is now an invalid classification. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:54, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: I know what you mean about the pressure having a template, especially with numbered parameters, creates to make one's view of reality conform to the template. The more work the template does, the more the pressure.
@BoBoMisiu: Even simple terms like iron are problematic in an analogous way. A definition in accordance with contemporary science is not the same as one used by scientists of the 18th century, let alone earlier centuries, let alone folks working in iron-using industries either now or earlier, let alone ordinary humans now or earlier.
@Chuck Entz, BoBoMisiu: I think we need to be realistically modest, especially in our near-term ambitions. We already provide alternative definitions in some cases and Usage notes or alternative hyponyms and hypernyms lists for alternative circumscriptions and placements, usually reflecting recent changes or controversies. Perhaps our definitions of older taxonomic terms (pre-Codes?) need a template with only named, not numbered, parameters that facilitate applicable categorization and otherwise ease entry, but allow for more flexibility. Or perhaps we need to add some categories and associated parameters 1 and 2 for template A taxonomic [[{{{1}}}]] within the [[{{{2}}}]] [[{{{3}}}]]. that generate looser category membership and less specific wording to cover the range of definitions that may have been in use, especially in pre-Codes usage. If we insist on having an idealized vision of having all possible taxonomic definitions ever used, we can view such definitions as placeholders, creating lists of taxonomic entries that require historical research to generate multiple subsenses of the definitions that we can produce now, as corrected over time. DCDuring TALK 15:30, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz, DCDuring: Structured data and ontology is the reality on the internet (see schema.org), using a controlled vocabulary to write definitions that have metadata (data about the content) is a good thing to do. Schema.org has replacee and replacer properties of things which describes an old object and a new object. It is true that iron are problematic in an analogous way. A definition in accordance with contemporary science is not the same as one used by scientists of the 18th century, let alone earlier centuries, let alone folks working in iron-using industries either now or earlier, let alone ordinary humans now or earlier. They are only different senses with different definitions and attestations, that is nothing outside the domain of a dictionary. The controlled vocabulary of templates help contributors, especially new contributors, to write standardized definitions about things that are standardized in the real world (which prescribes many taxonomies and categories of things). These are different than either phlogiston or thee or thou since, for example, animals are both substantive and not pronouns. They are physical things. There is no need to write a chain of classification changes in the template.
Maybe a solution would be to have a version of Wikipedia's Template:Authority control but that points to external name authority files in Integrated Taxonomic Information System for example. Users will see that the entry is about something that has an authoritative name and is not a colloquial or obsolete name. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:45, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Too bad there is no single authoritative control over old names or names in current controversy. There is also very little authority in suprageneric names. In any event our presumed potential strength relative to the other entities that cover taxonomic names is not in being systematic, but in establishing correspondences between taxonomic names and ordinary languages, whether in etymologies, vernacular names, or derived terms (as those in chemistry that are taxon-based). I would venture that if there ever is a single definitive source covering all taxonomic names, it will not be us, WP, WikiSpecies, or WikiData. Further I would venture that definitive data will not exist neither for terms in current controversies (obviously no basis for authoritative decision) nor for older terms (more like normal language than contemporary taxa). DCDuring TALK 23:06, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@DCDuring: that's the benefit of a version of Wikipedia's Template:Authority control, it lists multiple authorities, it may have one authority or several. The entry isn't restricted to one external name authority file.

What about:

  1. On the sense line of "sense that is being replaced" add a wrapper of {{deftempboiler}} that includes boilerplate "former classification superseded by", if {{deftempboiler}} had |id=string added
  2. On the sense line of "sense that replaces" add a {{senseid|lang|string}}


  • {{cx|obsolete|lang=mul}} {{taxon|genus|family|Felidae|aquatic cats resembling {{taxlink|Felis chaus chaus|species|noshow=1}}, the type subspecies of jungle cat}}

informs the reader that the sense is no longer in use, but doesn't inform that the definition itself is deprecated. Also {{taxlink|Felis chaus chaus|species|noshow=1}} points to a subspecies and not the species Felis chaus (known as synonymously as "Felis chaus Guldenstaedt, 1776" and "Felis chaus Schreber, 1777"). —BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:38, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

  • @BoBoMisiu: Why don't we start by making the text for [[Chaus]] read as you would propose to do it, without new templates, even deleting existing templates if they interfere.
Almost anything can be implemented in templates, especially with Lua, but we need the talent willing and able to do it. We also need for the result to be acceptable, preferably agreed to by all interested parties, if not necessarily requiring a vote. DCDuring TALK 16:54, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: see my suggestion at Talk:Chaus. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 21:44, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
@BoBoMisiu: re:"Structured data and ontology is the reality on the internet". I'm more concerned with the reality in the real world. re:"...animals are both substantive and not pronouns. They are physical things. There is no need to write a chain of classification changes in the template." Animals are real things, but their classifications- by definition- are abstractions. The literature is full of cases where characteristics were used to distinguish between taxa that turned out to be meaningless for taxonomic purposes. Look at the Edentata, for instance. Taxonomists have a bunch of standard terms that capture some of what might be termed "the fog of taxonomy": nomen nudum, nomen ambiguum, pro parte, misapplied, sensu, auctorum, etc.. The last one is particularly deadly to your proposals: someone (we often don't know who, exactly) decides that a particular published name applies to specimens they've seen, so they cite that name in their work. Everybody else assumes that's the name for the the thing and uses it in their work- until someone takes a look at the type specimen for that name and realizes it doesn't match the taxon the name is being used for. You see such cases cited in synonomies as "Foo bar auct., not Foo bar L.". What's the authority control for "everybody knows that ..."?
Another point of yours I'd like to address. re: "There were about 20 classification schemas since Linnaeus". That's not the way taxonomy works. Yes, there are grand, all-encompassing systems of everything, but they're merely syntheses of the real work, which consists of species descriptions and monographs on genera, families, and other smaller taxonomic groups. More often than not, no two monographs on a group agree in all the details as to the makeup of the group. You also have to realize that the life sciences have grown to the point that no one person can master everything, with some families such as the w:Ichneumonidae being so complex that it takes decades to get to the level to do any serious taxonomic work. Taxonomists spend a lot of their time reading through the literature and trying to sort out what previous workers meant when they used various taxonomic names. If you think it can all be neatly summarized to fit into the parameters of a template, you're very much mistaken. Sometimes, yes, but often not- and it's not always obvious which is which. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:47, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: You are arguing for the same thing that I am. A dictionary doesn't capture  'the fog of taxonomy' , it describes in several words what others prescribe.
  • there are various taxonomies online
  • a wiktionary sense line about a taxon has a subject (the taxon) which it represents in several words
  • a taxon is given a formal name within various taxonomies
  • a taxon formal name may change
  • a taxon is given an ID number within various taxonomies
  • those IDs are cross-referenced (unique name assumption)
  • a wiktionary sense line should reference those arrangements (which is that ID)
  • a wiktionary sense line should inform the reader that it (the sense line) references those arrangements and is the same as the cross-reference (which is that ID bound to both).

The last one is particularly deadly to your proposals: someone (we often don't know who, exactly) decides that a particular published name applies to specimens they've seen, so they cite that name in their work. Everybody else assumes that's the name for the the thing and uses it in their work- until someone takes a look at the type specimen for that name and realizes it doesn't match the taxon the name is being used for. You see such cases cited in synonomies as "Foo bar auct., not Foo bar L.". What's the authority control for "everybody knows that ..."?

Yet people continue to refine and regroup sets of living things – and continue to clarify for their readers that what was previously attested to as Foo bar L. is more recently attested to as Foo bar auct. That is what a wiktionary sense line should also do.
In wiktionary, the authority control for 'everybody knows that ...'  is three attestations of usage — which is neither here nor there, unless those attestations attest to a relationship within those external name authority files. The point is that the IDs can be cross-referenced, and even the taxon that  'everybody knows that ...'  eventually, if valid, is assigned an ID that can be cross-referenced.

they're merely syntheses of the real work, which consists of species descriptions and monographs on genera, families, and other smaller taxonomic groups. More often than not, no two monographs on a group agree in all the details as to the makeup of the group. You also have to realize that the life sciences have grown to the point that no one person can master everything, with some families such as the w:Ichneumonidae being so complex that it takes decades to get to the level to do any serious taxonomic work. Taxonomists spend a lot of their time reading through the literature and trying to sort out what previous workers meant when they used various taxonomic names. If you think it can all be neatly summarized to fit into the parameters of a template, you're very much mistaken.

I agree, Life is complex. I believe a wiktionary reader would want to know what is a factual sense line. Yes, a taxon is merely syntheses of the real work, only describing information, and not the monographs of the real work. Only a simpleton would not admit that knowledge of the world is incomplete. A definition, of a sense of a term, is conveying meaning in just several words – it is a synthesis. That synthesis should state that the sense of a term is a deprecated taxonomic classification (to answer "what was it?"), and should state what it is (to answer "what is it?").
A cross-reference is an open-world assumption in these cases. Stating that something was once valid and but is no longer valid is not an innovation and happens often.
You say, If you think it can all be neatly summarized to fit into the parameters of a template, you're very much mistaken.
I say, a wiktionary sense line about a taxon should represent it in several words and a template standardizes what those several words are, so even a new contributor can add the information by following the template instructions. And, the references, for that sense, should point to reliable information elsewhere. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 15:49, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
You misunderstand me: There are some things that simply can't be summarized that way. It may take a very general verbal description, it may take a usage note, or it may take a link to encyclopedic sources that explain it more fully. Let's take a really extreme example: Linnaeus' taxon w:Vermes. Arthropods were classified as Insecta (Insecta Aptera contained things like lice, spiders, and lobsters), and every other invertebrate was classified as Vermes. That means everything in the animal kingdom without a backbone or a segmented exoskeleton, from single-celled organisms to hagfish, as well as other motile organisms now classified in other kingdoms. Just listing the phyla included in the concept would be too much for a definition line, and I suspect it included larval forms, etc. whose association with taxa not classified in Vermes was unknown at the time. This is a good example of a w:Wastebasket taxon, which is used to include things that don't fit anywhere else in the classification. Eventually taxonomists refine the classification to the point that the members of these taxa get distributed hither and yon, resulting in long lists of current containing taxa. Then there are cases where many species have variation in a particular characteristic, and someone erroneously decides to use that characteristic in classification. That means that the obsolete taxa can't be matched with current taxa: there might be individuals with, (hypothetically) big mandibles in several species, and individuals with small mandibles in those same species, and someone describes a big-mandible species and a small-mandible species. The big-mandible species corresponds to all the species that have this variation, but so does the small-mandible species. Using your template would obscure the reality of the situation with long, identical lists for both obsolete species. There are also species based on larval forms of existing species, and even on detached appendages of existing species (see w:Hectocotylus). Besides, figuring out the equivalence between an obsolete taxon and current ones is often very difficult, and often requires considerable research in various taxonomic databases. There are, indeed, cases where the current equivalents to an obsolete taxon are a subject of dispute among taxonomists, with no real established consensus. A dedicated template for this implies a level of expertise that's not always there, and increases the temptation to use the first answer found, whether it's reliable or not. I'd rather not have us create one. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:18, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Even {{taxon}} creates pressures to fill the first three numbered slots, when the facts are more complex. There are many cases where alternative placements differ principally, sometimes only, in rank (and suffix). Labels such as archaic, obsolete, and dated are a start, but more may be required. Usage notes allow for more flexibility, but reference to a good WP article is much better. For a time there was a generic warning about circumscription (and placement, AFAICR). Perhaps we need more labels, some of which link to an appendix on taxonomic names that explains complications such as those Chuck mentions. It would not be an easy appendix to write, but perhaps we can cover some common cases, however imperfectly. Labels could also serve to draw attention to entries that would benefit from a particular type of improvement. For example, there may be current controversy likely to be resolved in, say five years. Or there may be broad consensus that a given high-level taxon is not monophyletic or has woefully erroneous taxonomy or that the fossil members are particularly uncertain in placement. DCDuring TALK 23:19, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Chuck Entz:I sat on this for several days and did some searches. While it is true that There are some things that simply can't be summarized that way, it is also true that such a single use of template would not need to solve every case. The template could be used multiple times to show what a deprecated taxon is reclassified now.

It may take a very general verbal description, it may take a usage note, or it may take a link to encyclopedic sources that explain it more fully.

Yes, a supplement to such a template could add clarification and references.

Linnaeus' taxon w:Vermes. [] and every other invertebrate was classified as Vermes.

Using a single instance of such a template may not be adequate in every case. A template can used more than once in an definition. That is true of every specialized template.

That means everything in the animal kingdom without a backbone or a segmented exoskeleton, from single-celled organisms to hagfish, as well as other motile organisms now classified in other kingdoms.

So what. That is the point of the discussion about how to to describe that a set of living things (old entry) is classified different now (new entry or entries).

Just listing the phyla included in the concept would be too much for a definition line, and I suspect it included larval forms, etc. whose association with taxa not classified in Vermes was unknown at the time.

Unfortunately Vermes is not to be found in wiktionary so we can't improve it together. Do you have an example found in wiktionary?

This is a good example of a w:Wastebasket taxon,

Yes, and those cases the definition should describe that others prescribe it as a wastebasket taxon – with reliable references.

Eventually taxonomists refine the classification to the point that the members of these taxa get distributed hither and yon, resulting in long lists of current containing taxa.

In other words, lists of terms with definitions...

That there are cases where many species have variation in a particular characteristic, and someone erroneously decides to use that characteristic in classification.

That is the point of a definition to describe that a set of living things (old entry) is classified different now (new entry or entries).

That means that the obsolete taxa can't be matched with current taxa: there might be individuals with, (hypothetically) big mandibles in several species, and individuals with small mandibles in those same species, and someone describes a big-mandible species and a small-mandible species.

Again, that is the point of a definition to describe that a set of living things (old entry) is classified different now (new entry or entries).

The big-mandible species corresponds to all the species that have this variation, but so does the small-mandible species.

Wiktionary does not prescribe. If both are classified the same now (same new entry) then both deprecated definitions point to the same new entry. That is nothing unusual.

Using your template would obscure the reality of the situation with long, identical lists for both obsolete species.

Dictionaries provide definitions about different senses, sometimes they are long lists. With such a template they would be lists with each sense wrapped in the template. The long is there with and without a template.

There are also species based on larval forms of existing species, and even on detached appendages of existing species (see w:Hectocotylus).

Even in those cases, I would want to read a definition that describes what others prescribe, i.e. that it is
(archaic) A deprecated taxonomic classification, formerly a AAAA within the BBBB CCCC — its reclassification is XXXX.

Besides, figuring out the equivalence between an obsolete taxon and current ones is often very difficult, and often requires considerable research in various taxonomic databases.

Yes! Providing a reader with good reliable information takes effort. I would rather read a dictionary entry about a taxon that is reliable and fact based, and not just a list of attested usages.

There are, indeed, cases where the current equivalents to an obsolete taxon are a subject of dispute among taxonomists, with no real established consensus.

There is, nevertheless, in those cases a pattern that a template can structure. In those cases, a template describes that a set of living things (old entry) is no longer valid and has a classification that is different now (new entry or entries) – fully referenced to the prescribing authority. The lack of consensus is content for a usage note that links to content about the dispute among taxonomists.

A dedicated template for this implies a level of expertise that's not always there, and increases the temptation to use the first answer found, whether it's reliable or not.

I agree, all content added to wiktionary, that is not usage, should be fully referenced to reliable sources. That is what is currently missing in the culture, and an issue with aesthetic opponents of those brutish reference numbers. A template does not change poor quality content masquerading with a level of expertise that's not always there. A template promotes structure and not the temptation to use the first answer found.

@DCDuring: an appendix would be good to have. Since there may be current controversy likely to be resolved in, say five years, a template that wraps the particulars would be pretty good future proofing. Like I wrote above, "a template standardizes what those several words are, so even a new contributor can add the information by following the template instructions." —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:38, 27 April 2015 (UTC)


Do the noun and verb really have different etymologies? Under which one should we add the interjection (useful for translations)? SemperBlotto (talk) 06:46, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

This is a problem for a lot of terms from Old English - see also claw, heat, cool, drink, etc. I'm personally in favour of merging the etymologies, as is done at drop and dream. Smurrayinchester (talk) 07:40, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
(Although if we don't merge, presumably the verb would make more sense. The interjection is basically the imperative, right? "Help (me)!", rather than "(Give) help!" Smurrayinchester (talk) 13:47, 15 April 2015 (UTC))
I too think the interjection is actually the verb help. In general, I wonder whether terms with two etymologies where the second one is 'from the noun {{PAGENAME}}', whether than should just be merged into the first etymology and appended with 'the verb is derived from the noun', which is what I would do. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:55, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Agree that the etymologies are identical.... it's just inflection. Hillcrest98 (talk) 01:09, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Jaffa cake

Just because something is commonly eaten in the UK, does it make the term itself British English? Wouldn't that be like calling bear claw or creamed corn American English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:28, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Possibly (but my local Waitrose supermarket (in the UK) sells both bear claws (nice) and tins of creamed corn (yuk)). SemperBlotto (talk) 14:30, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I suspect the tag was added due to confusion over what context labels indicate: they indicate that usage of a term is restricted to a certain context ("only Brits use this word"), whereas some people think they just indicate that the term pertains to a certain topic ("these cakes are British"). Off-topic: "LGBT" is so frequently misused in this way that a while ago I gave up on fixing it and have even occasionally misused it that way myself. As you note, even non-Brits may refer to British-produced things... but do non-Brits speak of Jaffa cakes? I guess: I can find several US-based, Australian-based and NZ-based stores whose websites say they sell Jaffa cakes. I suppose the thing to do is to remove the "chiefly UK" context tag and indicate the Britishness of the cakes inside the definition, by adding "...which originated in Britain" or the like. - -sche (discuss) 16:19, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
    • You can expect most people in the UK to at least have an idea of what Jaffa cakes are. In the US, that is not the case; it's very rare to find someone who knows of them, even though technically they can be found there. I suspect it's similar for other English-speaking nations. The term is not restricted to UK English, but it is much more widely understood there than elsewhere - I think "chiefly UK" describes that situation pretty well. Eishiya (talk) 14:36, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
In case it hits RFV: this is a popular branded thing, perhaps similar to "Twinkie" in the US. It was famously the subject of a legal case (over import taxes) regarding whether it was technically a cake or a biscuit. Equinox 00:11, 18 April 2015 (UTC)


What does tip mean in phrases like "beef tips over rice", "chicken tips", etc? "Small piece"? Does our entry cover this? - -sche (discuss) 16:19, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Beef tips are made from the trimmings of other cuts. Chicken tips I'm not so sure about, but I suspect it's similar. I think they both, more-or-less fit with the first definition (the extreme end).Kiwima (talk) 20:45, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I can also find "pork tips" and "turkey tips" and "marinated alligator tips". At least some references say "beef tips" are cut from the "tri-tip" of a cow, which is not the extreme end of the cow (the round is further back). I do think a culinary sense is needed to clarify matters. - -sche (discuss) 21:26, 15 April 2015 (UTC)



Is it just me or does the U.S. pronunciation sample sound like it's actually the U.K. one?

You're right. I'm fixing the U.S. pronunciation information now. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:41, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

chill, chilling

I think we are missing a sense here - "censorship chills public discourse" or "censorship has a chilling effect on public discourse". Can anyone help? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:12, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Never heard of it, what does it mean? Renard Migrant (talk) 16:50, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
chilling effect at OneLook Dictionary Search (chilling effect) shows the phrase that is the etymological source of the sense. It was originally used in a metaphorical sense in the context of the effect of the threat of libel suits on press coverage of public figures in the US, but now had probably become lexicalized in the metaphorical sense topically in the areas of journalism and law in the US but is recognizable for at least the college-educated and readers of high-brow newspapers.
Most modern real dictionaries have "depress" and/or "discourage" as senses or subsenses of the transitive verb chill. DCDuring TALK 17:34, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Even Webster 1913 had "To check enthusiasm or warmth of feeling of; to depress; to discourage." and MWOnline has "dispirit". DCDuring TALK 17:37, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

lượng từ

@Fumiko Take, Wyang: User:Hippietrail has flagged for attention my entry with a comment. Please comment and/or fix if it's incorrect. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:59, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

I was told it's incorrect by a native Vietnamese speaker on Quora. I'll dig it up and put the link in here. I realize native speaker intuitions are not always accurate, especially for grammar and linguistics terms if they haven't studied those fields. Thanks for taking a look! — hippietrail (talk) 06:02, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome. I found the word by digging it up on the web and from not so reliable dictionaries, so it may as well be incorrect. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:11, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Di they advice about the correct term, in their opinion? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:12, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
They did but it seemed more like a SOP phrase and wasn't in the (admittedly mostly crap) dictionaries I checked. Let me find it ... — hippietrail (talk) 06:18, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
They recommended "danh từ chỉ đơn vị", and you can see the relevant part of the thread on Quora here.hippietrail (talk) 06:21, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Well, thats' broken up as (just made entry for "đơn vị"): danh từ + chỉ + đơn vị (Hán tự: 名詞單位) - "noun pointing unit" or "unit pointing to noun" (or something like that). I think there should be a more standard term. I won't be surprised if Sino-Vietnamese term danh từ (名詞) is used. From the discussion it seems the person doesn't know or doesn't understand you. Classifiers/counters/measure words are way too common in Vietnamese, they are often mistakenly considered part of the lemma (I fell into this trap too before). Online dictionaries often list translations of nouns with classifiers. So, a "frog" is not listed as ếch or ngoé but "con ếch" and "con ngoé" but they are not lemmas. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:38, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
danh từ chỉ đơn vị is what they have used on vi:w:Ngữ_pháp_tiếng_Việt#Danh từ chỉ đơn vị. —Stephen (Talk) 07:13, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Stephen. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:19, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Hmm given that should we consider it as a set technical term therefore warranting an entry here, or as one of a number of possible circumlocutions for a concept without a set term and thus not warranting an entry? — hippietrail (talk) 07:55, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
By the way my take on the nouns with classifiers is that if they're listed together in foreign to vi dictionaries we give it no credence but if it's listed in a monolingual vi dictionary then it warrants an entry here and if it's in vi to foreign dictionaries that it at least warrants consideration for an entry here. I'm always in favour of following the lead of traditional dictionaries for our languages modulated by a desire to keep our entry formats consistent across languages as much as possible. I also think there's no harm in having soft redirects for classifier+nouns that we find in any kind of dictionary, or we do similar to the Japanese -suru noun->verb entries. I'm always against hard redirects except for long phrases in the main namespace. Same goes for nominalizers.
It seems Vietnamese presents unique challenges even compared to our other "monosyllabic" languages simply due to opting for spaces between all syllables rather than no spaces even between words, which I wouldn't have expected. — hippietrail (talk) 07:55, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I have learned Vietnamese grammar and orthography since third grade, and I am still not sure what truly is "standard". It appears that whatever is "standard" is merely proclaimed by Bộ Giáo dục và Đào tạo, and it is, de facto, not always followed by everyone else, even some authors who write books for them and other governmental organizations (I'm living in such a funny country). The term "lượng từ" is usually accompanied with "số từ", both of which are used to express the idea of the plural. Examples of "lượng từ" include các, những, muôn, mấy, vài etc. (similar to the French les, des), and examples of "số từ" include một, hai, etc. For all I know, a "lượng từ" is definitely not a counter word, which covers con, cái, chiếc, etc., nor is it a measure word, which covers lít (liter), mét (meter), cân (kilogram), etc. If it were, such expression as "những con chó" would make no sense. A counter following another counter would just be ungrammatical, wouldn't it?
I can tell you that you don't need to study linguistics to know what "lượng từ" is. Terms like that are considered part of basic grammar. All students must study them.
Yeah, Vietnamese modern orthography is pretty much of a mess compared to older forms. It's sometimes difficult even for a native speaker to recognize a word in a sentence, since the orthography itself is purely "monosyllabic". In the past some scholars did use hyphens to join syllables of a single word, for example Hà-nội, cách-mạng. ばかFumikotalk 11:03, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
@Fumiko Take: Thank you very much. So, "lượng từ" doesn't mean "counter", "classifier" or "measure word", what does it mean? Or should it be deleted? Also, is "danh từ chỉ đơn vị" a correct translation of any of these English terms? And should it be considered a single word (compound) or is it a pure SoP? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:12, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Like I said, "lượng từ"s are pluralizing words, in much the same way as the French les/des, the Japanese tachi are. một con gà means "a chicken", while những con gà (with "những" being a "lượng từ") means "(the) chickens". I'm not sure about the English translation for it, though. ばかFumikotalk 14:30, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
P/S: According to the English wikipedia, "lượng từ"s are called "articles", just like the English a/an/the. ばかFumikotalk 01:38, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I've come across stuff on the net before talking about quantifiers in Vietnamese. That's a term that is sometimes used synonymously to classifier/counter/measure word, but not so by linguists since I think they have a more particular meaning of "quantifier" they use. Maybe this is such a quantifier? Otherwise "pluralizing particle" might be best as it wouldn't normally be accepted that Vietnamese has "articles" at all though people trying to relate Vietnamese to English grammar often call various things articles in my experience. — hippietrail (talk) 12:11, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I just got some new clarification from a Quora user:
oh I made a mistake again, "những" is indeed "lượng từ" (measure word) Classifiers like con, cái, cây... are called "danh từ chỉ loại" My head spinned because you used the wrong word ("lượng từ") and because the confusing Quora revert feature :-(
"Trong tiếng Việt có một lớp danh từ khá đặc biệt so với nhiều ngôn ngữ khác, như tiếng Hàn, Nhật, Nga,... Đó là các danh từ chỉ đơn vị tự nhiên (DTĐVTN), ví dụ: con, cái, chiếc, miếng, tấm,... Nó có nhiều tên gọi như loại từ, danh từ loại thể, danh từ chỉ loại,..."
hippietrail (talk) 12:28, 18 April 2015 (UTC)


Does this, and any other related words, need updating? Donnanz (talk) 13:14, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Why? Does it seem out of date? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:40, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether it has dropped out of favour (more or less officialese anyway), and whether Burmese is officially back in fashion. Donnanz (talk) 21:02, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't think Burmese has ever gone out of fashion. It's always been the more common term. Google Ngrams says it's only been since 2007 that Burmese has been less than a hundred times more common than Myanmarese. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:39, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
OK, the stats bear out what I thought. I have made a couple of mods to the definitions, which should be acceptable. Donnanz (talk) 08:05, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

About 加

I would like to suggest to add the nanori reading of the kanji 「加」. The wikipedia site is: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%8A%A0#Japanese

Please check the nanori reading here: http://myoujijiten.web.fc2.com/ka1.html

The goon, kan'on, and kun readings are already in the Wikipedia page, but probably it would be a nice idea to add some of the names in the URL I gave you. Actually, it'd be enough just to say that the nanori reading is 「ka」.  —This unsigned comment was added by Ikemen maru (talkcontribs) at 09:05, 2015 April 18‎.

  • The nanori set of readings is reserved for readings that are used for names, and that are not already found in the on and kun sections. Since ka is the regular on'yomi for , there is no need for any nanori section in the readings.
Also, please remember to sign your posts by adding four tildes at the end, like this: ~~~~
‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 21:15, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
  • @Ikemen maru: I just reverted your addition of nanori to the entry. The current practice is as described above -- we do not add nanori sections to the ====Readings==== headings of Japanese single-kanji entries for readings that are already listed under the on'yomi or kun'yomi sections. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 17:31, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

  • I understand, and agree with your reverts. But perhaps it would be a good idea to keep the examples I wrote?

One of them was 加井妻 [かいづま], which is a surname. ( 加井野 [かいの], was the other?) Sorry, I forgot which the other addition was.

Since ka is also the nanori reading, perhaps it'd be okay to keep at least the examples?

Ikemen maru (talk) 15:28, 26 April 2015 (UTC) Ikemen maru

As explained above, it is just an on-reading. And proper names are not good examples. 加藤 is worth mentioning, perhaps. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 23:30, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

JEsus, GOtt, HErꝛ, etc

At Jesus, an IP has twice added JEsus as an alternative form, noting that this form does in fact occur. For example:

  • 1763, Geistliche und liebliche Lieder, welche der Geist des Glaubens [], section Von der Begierde zu GOtt, page 482, song 565:
    O JEſu, JEſu! Du mein Hirr, o JEſu!
  • 1717, Johann Dietrich Herrichen, Glaubiger Kinder Gottes englische Sing-Schule, page 808:
    O JEſu, JEſu, GOttes Sohn, meine Mittler
    O König aller ehren, HErꝛ JEſu, Davids Sohn

This is possibly derived from the practice of old blackletter books having the first letter of the first word of a page, title, etc be a very large and ornate majuscule, the next letter be a proportionally-sized majuscule, and the letters after than be minuscule, but in the works above, the capitalization occurs in the middle of lines and all the letters are proportionally sized (the first is not any more ornate than the rest). Should we have entries like JEsu, GOtt, etc? (Is this comparable to CamelCase? COmparable to Usenet posts that capitalize the first couple letters of words, presumably accidentally?) - -sche (discuss) 21:24, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

I think it's more similar to the practice of many English bibles writing Lord in all caps or small caps when it translates יהוה; I wouldn't favor including LORD and/or Lᴏʀᴅ for that, though. (Upon hitting Preview, I see that the first of those is already a blue link; oh, well.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:31, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
If LORD's usage notes are to be believed, some works (some Bibles and derived works) make a distinction between LORD and Lord, which is I suppose the argument for having both of those. As far as I know, there's no distinction between Jesus and JEsus. - -sche (discuss) 21:47, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
w:Capitalization#Nouns attributes it to adding further capitaliztion to distinguish divine names from ordinary capitalized nouns. Of course, this was added by the same IP at about the time they were reverted here, so some skepticism may be in order. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:51, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Words that do not refer to God are not spelled like "GOtt", even though there was this ornate majuscule thing (which shouldn't even be limited to substantives). So the ornate majuscules should not be the reason for the existence of forms like "GOtt".
As civilised languages capitalise all nouns (e.g. (a) god = (ein) Gott in German), one can not distingush "(a) god = (ein) Gott" and "(the) God = (der) Gott" by capitalising the first letter (god <-> God; Gott <-> Gott). So it makes sense to write "GOtt" where in English one would write "God". Though, besides the distinction of appellative and proper nouns, forms like "GOtt" might also be used because religious people thought/think that important things (like God or GOtt in German) have to be "bigger" than normal things (like table or Tisch in German). But the reasons for writing "GOtt" etc. don't matter, as forms like "GOtt" exist and can be verified anyway. Though it might be good to research the reasons and put it into the etymology. || Forms like "HERR" do or should exists in German too, e.g. in Luther's Bible from ca. 1550. Though I've seen it in a digitalised version which changed the style (e.g. from Fraktur to Roman letters), so it could also be written in another way, and it might be older. || PS: There's not only one Jesus, maybe cf. [de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_(Name)]. So there's a difference between JEsus and Jesus like there's between god and God, or lord and Lord or LORD. || PPS: What's with alternative spellings like JEſus and Jeſus with long s (ſ)? Such forms did and sometimes still do occur too. On the one hand one might claim that they're just graphical variants or something (well, that's like trolling - wink @sche and/or co. here) - but on the other hand there's no bijection between "spellings with long s and round s" and "spellings just with round s", but just an surjection and no injection. For example both "Wachstube" [Wachs-tube] and "Wachſtube" [Wach-stube] are mapped to "Wachstube" [Wachs-tube, Wach-stube]. Though, of course, being descriptive and not prescriptive means that forms with long s have be mentioned as well (if attestable, 3 quotes &c.). || Also as an alternative: Instead of having entries like JEsus and Jeſus one could (in case of being prescriptive and prohibiting such alternative forms: should) at least mention those forms as alternative forms at Jesus but without a link. -14:14, 14:17, 15:17, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • It's simply an alternative capitalisation, and not too rare either. It's intentional and independent from formatting and ornamentation of the text, common in bibles. We have those entries for Low German, so we'd have to allow it for German too. _Korn (talk) 11:01, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
As Angr pointed out, "we" even have those entries for English: God, Lord, LORD. (Yeah, there's a difference between God and god, but so there is (at least for some or sometimes) between GOtt and Gott &c.). Also there's CamelCase - besides camelcase - and its derivates. -18:34, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
You might find it more polite to have a signature that leads to your user page. _Korn (talk) 22:21, 23 April 2015 (UTC)


How did this acquire the meaning of ‘butt’ in North America? --Romanophile (talk) 12:53, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

I have read that it comes ultimately from Fanny Hill ("Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure", John Cleland, 1748). First, the Brits started using her name to refer to the vulva, and after it crossed the Atlantic, Americans used it for the buttocks. Since the British speakers did not explain explicitly to the Americans that by Fanny they meant vulva, but merely indicated "down there" with some vague hand gestures, the Americans assumed they meant the butt, since that is the part of the anatomy "down there" that really catches the eye. —Stephen (Talk) 15:55, 26 April 2015 (UTC)


Someone added the POS "verb" along with an rfd tag. A bit dumb isn't it? Adding a POS with no defn.? Can I just delete this? -- ALGRIF talk 15:55, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Some uses of it as a verb: [16], [17], [18]. Perhaps they meant to put an {{rfdef}} tag on it instead of {{rfd}}. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:16, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree it was probably intended as an rfdef. I have added two clearly attestable meanings. Kiwima (talk) 01:24, 22 April 2015 (UTC)


I'm not sure that any of our three definitions are correct. According to the OED Pithecanthropus is the genus to which Java man was originally assigned. It is not a synonym for Java Man. Nor can it be the former name of Homo erectus; a genus is not equal to a species. The former name of H. erectus would have been P. erectus. Nor is it the former name of the genus Homo. The species H. neanderthalis and H. sapiens have always been members of Homo, even when Pithecanthropus was current. SpinningSpark 00:31, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

I've added a real definition as the first sense, which may need some tweaking. I agree with all your comments, though Pithecanthropus is a former name for part of Homo, which is one less likely reading of "Former name of Homo". I should also mention that Pithecanthropus isn't the first genus: the original description used "Anthropopithecus erectus", but the original describer changed it to Pithecanthropus erectus when it became obvious that it was more human than ape. That would be against the current rules for zoological nomenclature, and probably the rules in effect back then, too- but since both names are synonyms for Homo, it doesn't really matter. At any rate, the original three senses should be deleted, since no zoologist or anthropologist would use them that way, and non-scientists would most likely use a common name such as Java man. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:05, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I've tweaked your definition and removed the incorrect ones. SpinningSpark 09:07, 21 April 2015 (UTC)


Some works discussing animal behaviour (see google books:"crows" "tools" "substrate"), e.g. crows' recognition that putting rocks into a tube of water raises the water level enough that they can retrieve food floating on the surface of the water in the deep tube, seem to use substrate to refer to the base "environmental objects" of an experiment or situation in which tool use is possible (even one not set up by humans), as distinct from the tools. In some cases, there is sand in the bottom of the crows' tubes of water, and that's substrate in sense 7. But often, the term seems to be used for the tube itself as well (regardless of whether or not there's sand in it), or the animal itself(?), which our entry doesn't quite cover.

  • 2006, Edward A. Wasserman, Thomas R. Zentall, Comparative Cognition: Experimental Explorations of Animal Intelligence (ISBN 0195167651), page 520:
    Detach/subtract [tasks involve] Severing a fixed attachment between environmental objects (or the substrate) or removing object(s) from another unattached object, so the latter is a more useful tool.
  • 2000, Mike Hansell, Bird Nests and Construction Behaviour (ISBN 1139429086), page 90:
    This definition [of "tool"] is not simple, but contains several elements. The tool must not be part of the animal's body (a beak is not a tool); the user must manipulate the tool in some way for it to realise its function; and, finally, a tool cannot be attached to the substrate. This is a fairly clear definition, but does seem to produce some rather arbitrary distinctions (Hansell 1987b). The spider Dinopis, for example, makes a small web which it holds in its legs, thrusting it down on passing ants. This is a tool, but all other webs, however complex, are not since they are anchored to the substrate. The woodpecker finch [...] that uses a fine stick held in the beak to extract insect prey from wood, is a tool user, but a shrike [...] that impales an insect on a thorn still attached to the bush is not.

The spider citation could be using sense 2 iff we expanded it from "...an organism..." to "...an organism or other thing...". Alternatively, one could argue that it's sense 6, but the "construction" tag seems dubious, and "adheres" would need to be improved because a thorn doesn't really "adhere" to a vine so much as it is part of it. - -sche (discuss) 16:37, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

I've made this change. - -sche (discuss) 00:56, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • All, or at least most, of the definitions seem like domain-specific applications of the basic metaphor. There is no end, except lack of attestation, to the specialization possible. For example: "The physical material upon which a photovoltaic cell is applied."
We should only have those subsenses that are less than fully transparent to a beginning student of the domain of application. It is certainly possible that some {sub)sense(s) not fit under a well-written sense, requiring another sense, but I rather doubt it. DCDuring TALK 01:38, 23 April 2015 (UTC)


Does the sense "mark on a horse's face" really have the same etymology as "intense fire"? SemperBlotto (talk) 20:14, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Online Etymology Dictionary has a view. DCDuring TALK 00:28, 23 April 2015 (UTC)


This seems to be a obsolete plural form of [?], any ideas about the singular? The English seems to be singular. There is a Middle French sense which is beyond my abilities. See Citations:chiaux and Citations:Chiaux for attestations. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 23:20, 22 April 2015 (UTC)


Could someone native pay attention to the definitions of this multifaceted verb, please? Im particularly puzzled with this definition: "to give up, stop succumbing to" as "to succumb" is defined as "to give up". Another problematic one is this: "to send back; to give up; to surrender; to resign". Is this one or four definitions? If it is one, a usex or two would certainly help. These are the most obscure definitions, but also the others would benefit of thoughtful attention. --Hekaheka (talk) 03:51, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

I have clarified it some, please take a look now to see if it any clearer. Leasnam (talk) 05:53, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Thx, Leasnam. It's a way clearer now. --Hekaheka (talk) 07:31, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

need a quote translated to Korean from English

I would like the quote " I'd die to win, cause I'm born to lose" translated to Korean—This unsigned comment was added by Paji17 (talkcontribs) at 10:21, 23 April 2015‎ (UTC).

   I began an answer on the assumption that you are fluent in Korean, but stymied by weak colloquial English; now i see that it is literally a quote from an English-language song or something. I thot you had the worthy intention of improving your own grasp of something in English that had gotten you fascinated -- which my native insight could have assisted. (But i can't imagine why you would want to evangelize with our local brand of trivia, let alone expect someone at wikt to want to help you do so.)
--Jerzyt 10:03, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
The request is most likely for a tattoo and has nothing whatsoever to do with evangelizing. Many people who want a tattoo select a favorite saying, aphorism, maxim, or adage, and they sometimes want to translate it into a language that uses an interesting script, such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, or Sanskrit. People make such requests quite often at wikt, and we help them if we can. If you dislike such notions, it would be wise to simply ignore the request and not pass judgment or rake the requester over the coals with a preachy lecture. —Stephen (Talk) 10:21, 25 April 2015 (UTC)


"Go Wiktionary!"

What part of speech is go here? Imperative verb, or interjection? Is this covered by any of the senses we have at the moment (and we do have a lot!) Smurrayinchester (talk) 12:56, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Imperative verb, similar to the usage in "you go, girl!". Can't really tell from our coverage. Equinox 12:59, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • It's the plain imperative for go (proceed, function). _Korn (talk) 15:16, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

German nouns

See e.g. Sänger and Polizist, and User talk:Angr#Sänger and User_talk:
German nouns like "Sänger" (masculine gender; singer), "Polizist" (masculine gender; police officer), "Katze" (feminine gender; cat), "Rabe" (masculine gender; raven), "Person" (feminine gender; person) are of one grammatical gender, but can refer to both biological genders or sexes. [In traditional grammar the gender of such words is known as "genus epicoenum" (Latin), "[genus] promiscuum" (Latin), "Genus epicoenum" (Latin; Latin-German) and "vermischtes Geschlecht" (German).]
Masculine personal nouns like "Sänger" and "Polizist" can refer to both males and females. The reference to females is especially common when the word is used in plural or indefinite/unspecific (e.g. with the indefinite article "ein" (a/an)), and less common when refering to a specific individual female as there are words with -in/[-inn]], like "Sängerin" (female singer). For example: Senteces like "Soldaten sind Mörder." (soldiers are killers/murderers) and "Jeder Dieb ist ein Verbrecher." (every theft→thief is a criminal) usually (though sometimes depending on the context) refer to soldiers/thefts of both genders and not just to male soldiers/thefts. While it is more common to say something like "Die Diebin Hillary beginn ein Verbechen." (the female theft Hillary committed crime) than to use something like *"Der [weibliche] Dieb Hillary beginn ein Verbrechen".
Anyway, words such as "Sänger" can refer to persons of both genders and so information like "male singer" are wrong. Simply "singer" isn't wrong, though one might also phrase it as "singer, especially a male one".
Someone's argument (Angr, cf. the linked talk page) for only using something like "male singer" was: "That's true of any masculine personal noun, though, not just Sänger. Knowing that is part of knowing German, it's not lexical information about this word, so it doesn't belong in the entry."
I disagree with that and thus I'm using the tea room - though I don't like tea -:
Counter-argument: "Entries are also read by persons who don't speak said language or don't speak it very well. Thus the limited information 'male person' is misleading. And as there's no note on German grammar here -- or is there something like Help:German grammar with a note like 'masculine personal nouns can also refer to females, though this is omitted in the entries'? --, it's also wrong."
Other opinions, please. -17:00, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Let me give you a summary of the argument again: Some German nouns can refer to both a being with a specific sex and one with an undefined sex. The argument to be solved is whether both definitions should be present in the entries or whether the gender-specific one should be omitted. E.g.: Sänger either has the definitions "singer, male singer" or only "singer"; Katze either has the definitions "cat, female cat" or only "cat". There are words which refer to a female singer and a male cat, but cannot be used for a sexually unspecified singer or cat respectively. _Korn (talk) 17:35, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
ps.: I'm not sure whether as a random user I'm allowed to move this to the beer parlour, but I'm pretty sure that's where it belongs. _Korn (talk) 17:37, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
There are 3 possibilities: e.g. "Sänger" as simply "singer" (i.e. male or female singer), "male singer" (i.e. male singer, so excluding female singers) or "singer, especially male singer" (i.e. a female or male singer, though it is especially a male one). One could also differ between "# singer, especially a male one" (one meaning) and "# singer [line break] # male singer" (two meanings). Same for "Katze": "cat", "female cat", "cat, especially a female cat".
Also regarding an argument of Chuck Entz (in an older discussion linked above): The different meanings were not created recently through feminism and political correctness (which should have been noted somehow). Instead, German nouns already had the gender-neutral meaning in "older times" (still talking about Modern High German, not about Germanic, Old High German, Gothic etc.). -17:55, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
I can propose a solution to this issue, actually. Compare Frisian. The respective sexual form can be subsumed under the generic one. _Korn (talk) 18:06, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

/* regards */


   Over on WP, i found "the high regards given to Angleton by his colleagues in the intelligence business" and pontificated "highly idiomatic", on the WP article's talk page, re the lexicographic problem.
   I see regards#Noun as exemplary, but doubt that regard#Noun suffices to overcome the effect of the PEBCAK, namely the expectation that if it walks like the plural of a real singular noun, it must quack like one (so that looking for an entry for the plural feels foolish). Is there something more constructive than asking this question, here, that i should have considered doing?
--Jerzyt 00:03, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

I am not sure I understand your problem here. Under regard, Etymology 1, meaning 2, I see One's concern for another; esteem. [from 16th c.], which seems to cover your case - making your usage, indeed, one that contains a plural. Kiwima (talk) 00:34, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
   To be candid, in light of the idiom, it didn't occur to me to construe it as a countable plural, referring to the respective regards in which each of his individual colleagues respectively held him (rather than their collective and mutually reinforcing consensus of regard for him). In fact, i'd not have credited the notion of a native speaker construing the specimen text that way, since i suppose that few who are unaware of the idiom would be likely to treat "regard" as anything but a verb whose existence might be hypothesized from the appearance of "-ing" in the quasi-prepositional usage of "regarding".
--Jerzyt 08:20, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
The WP example strikes me as written by someone for whom English is not the first language. Determiners and uncountable nouns, of which regard is one in some of its senses, often give trouble. I would certainly say "the high regard in which Angleton was held [] ". Someone seems to have confused "high regard" with "give him my regards", which are different senses of regard. DCDuring TALK 03:58, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
   Exactly my diagnosis. And the core of my concern is that even for this native speaker, it was only after observing that my dicts fail to treat the uncountable sense of "regards" that i even thot of checking whether there is a wikt "regards" entry. IMO, a ESL user would be at least as likely as i to give up after trying "regard" (and i'm doubtful that many non-en wikts will provide "give my regards" adequate coverage)... whence i wonder if singular nouns with plural forms whose meanings (as in this case) can't be inferred from their singular definitions may deserve see-also links to the plural definitions.
--Jerzyt 08:20, 25 April 2015 (UTC)


I'd looked for a sense "cautious" or "restrained", which I think exists, and I asked for this sense to be added to the lemma (on the discussion page). The lemma already has the sense "based on pessimistic assumptions" in the context of statistics. But now I'm wondering: isn't this really the sense I mean? And hence, is it even correct to define it as "pessimistic"? Because say a biologist has found a mutated virus in a poor country, and now estimates the impact based on three different models, which lead to estimates that (a) 0.1 % of the population will die, (b) 1.0 %, and (c) up to 5.0 %. In such a case, what would be the conservative estimate? I might be wrong, but wouldn't 0.1 % be the conservative estimate? That is the one that is restrained, low-key, trying to avoid overstatement? Please clarify :)—This unsigned comment was added by ‎ (talkcontribs) at 09:58, 25 April 2015.

   Sounds like "pessimistic" is used in a more technical sense than you are recognizing: the conservative estimate reflects pessimism, not about the outcomes that humans intrinsically value, but about the quality, i.e. statistical significance, of the measured numbers you have going in. And it is generally not the models that would be considered conservative, but within each given model, whether the statistical data that the model is applied to had sampled a large enough fraction of the population and/or of the disease agent that the probability of the death rate (or for that matter, the survival rate) exceeding the model's estimate was 75%, 90%, or 99%: small samples make it likely that by chance you evaluated the susceptibility of a non-representative collection of people, while large samples increase the likelihood that your population as a whole is very similar to your sample, corresponding to a conservative estimate of death or survival rate.
   (I would describe a model as conservative in this sense only if it had parameters built in that were based on extensive collection of data rather smaller samples; it's likely IMO that the .1, 1, and 5 %-mortality models you pictured would, on the contrary, result from different hypotheses about what the mechanism of exposure was, or what the efficacy of newly instituted supportive therapies would turn out to be.)
--Jerzyt 11:09, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it's a very common sense and we don't have it! Also the 'Relating to the Conservative Party' is usually Conservative and even in spoken English they are referred to as 'small C conservative' and 'big C conservative' because of course, capital letters aren't pronounced differently! Renard Migrant (talk) 13:57, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
If anyone fancies having a go at Conservative, tory and Tory, they're pretty much a mess. As far as I know Conservative doesn't mean Conservative Party even, though Conservatives does. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:03, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Done and done. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:25, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay. Well, I'm not an expert on statistics at all. If one defines "pessimistic" the way Jerzy does above, it all makes a lot of sense. But obviously people (and wiktionary is made for just "people", I hope) are likely to understand the word "pessimistic" the way I did. So maybe some change on this part on this particular definition could still be done. But anyway.. thanks a lot!


I'm having an edit war with an IP over the usage note. Specifically about the part that 'Kätzin' is not considered a normal form. I'd appreciate if someone could propose a solution. It's not really a case for RFV because even if a word is either formally alright or only used jokingly, you probably won't find three people deeming it necessary to point that out. Korn (talk) 17:19, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

How can the feminine be Kätzin? It's a feminine noun. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:24, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
It's the female noun with an additional female suffix that is normally reserved for nouns ending in -er. The term is in the Duden (official dictionary of Germany). As a further hint: Google Books gives 3292 results for "Kater und Katze" and its inversion and 111 results for "Kater und Kätzin" and its inversion, if you remove all editions of Faust, Germany's most famous theatre play, which uses the latter phrase once. Korn (talk) 17:26, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it, Kätzin is something of a technical term, used by breeders to refer unambiguously to a female cat, sort of like queen in English. The usage note, however, belongs at Kätzin once it's created, not at Katze. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:40, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
But when Kätzin is part of the declension template of the entry Katze, it's considered a part of the lemma, isn't it? The usage note also points out that the lemma Katze does not only refer to the species but also a female member of it. I'm not sure if that information belongs into a usage note or an extra definition. If it is a technical term, the note is inappropriate, of course. (By which I don't mean to imply that it isn't true.) Korn (talk) 19:25, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
It's not in the declension template, it's in the headword template. Being there doesn't preclude its being a lemma of its own, which it certainly is. I'd say Katze should have two senses: "1. cat" and "2. female cat". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:35, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
What I mean is, it's not an inflected form so much as a derived term, in the same way tailoress is derived from tailor rather than being an inflected form of it. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:39, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
I am entirely unfamiliar with the details of Wiktionary templates. It is a female noun with a productive suffix used to derive female forms from male nouns. If you think it doesn't belong into that header but into the L4, you know how to edit. Korn (talk) 12:46, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Obviously the weird thing about this word is adding the feminine suffix (yes, derivational not inflectional) to a feminine noun. I don't know of any other word where this is done: I've never heard *Entin for a specifically female duck or *Gänsin for a specifically female goose or *Schlängin for a specifically female snake or *Bienin for a specifically female bee or anything like that. That may be why people feel the need to point out the oddity of Kätzin. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:41, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Late reply: I've never heard Kätzin either. It doesn't sound impossible to me, but neither does Gänsin or maybe Entin. -- The suffix -in marks beings who are sexually feminine. If the root word is grammatically feminine or neuter, instead of the normal masculine, that makes its use a bit special, but not so special actually. It's a layout question; grammatically there's no problem. Kolmiel (talk) 23:55, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
By the way: I think feminine forms are somewhere in the twilight zone between inflection and derivation. The same goes for diminutives. We have those in the headword templates as well. But all right, they're not inflection templates, so that seems all right. Kolmiel (talk) 00:00, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Found a copyvio

Hi there,

FYI i found a copyvio here, which i undid here. Not sure if additional steps are needed. Hopefully i'm at the right forum for this. --Jerome Potts (talk) 22:06, 25 April 2015 (UTC)


I'm trying to create the pronunciation for Pohnpeian words based on the Ponapean Reference Grammar, but I'm unable to find anything about stress in Pohnpeian. Does anyone know how stress works? DerekWinters (talk) 23:55, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

smallest room

We have two senses: (i) "the toilet, lavatory or loo"; (ii) "the bathroom (US)". I think these refer to the same thing, and someone has erroneously included two definitions in order to cover the two (UK and US) words that usually refer to the room with the toilet in it. I don't think the "smallest room" can actually be the toilet (thing you sit on), can it? Equinox 00:09, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

  • I gather that in the UK, "toilet" is sometimes used to refer to the room, rather than the device. On a completely unrelated note, when I visited the UK, I saw a lot of signs that said "to let", and couldn't help thinking how easy it would be to paint an "i" in the gap. bd2412 T 01:58, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Yes, the senses should be merged as they refer to the same thing. Yes, in the UK "toilet" is sometimes used to refer to the room. There are numerous stories of Brits visiting America who go to a restaurant and at some point ask the waiter where the toilet is, only to be told, "In the bathroom, of course, where else would it be?". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:52, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Let's merge it as proposed. In case of doubt, send a putative sense "device for depositing human waste and then flushing it away with water" to RFV, but it seems an overkill. Other dicts include Collins[19]. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:12, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

fall in love

The 1st and 3rd need to be merged, don't they? or all three altogether. Also, is the redirect from fall in love with acceptable?--Dixtosa (talk) 12:15, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

I don't think so. To fall in love with your wife doesnt mean the same as fall in love with skiing. Sense 1 is romantic love. Sense 3 is intense liking. Leasnam (talk) 17:35, 26 April 2015 (UTC)


Someone reverted my removal of obscure tech info from =: [20] on the grounds that it might benefit editors writing wiki markup. I don't think that's a reason for us to include such things within entries; they should be on a FAQ or editors' help page, not in an entry. It's certainly not a "usage note". Others' opinions? Equinox 12:28, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

I would remove it as not usage notes. Also, I don't see how it's useful to us. Furthermore even if it were, surely that's not the right place for it. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:40, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Let's remove the putative usage note. It is based only on 61 being the dec of U+003D code point, which we show in the box to the right. If we want to provide HTML entities, these should be in the box at the right, but I don't think we want to do that. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:47, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Re-rv'd per this consensus. Hillcrest98 (talk) 14:10, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
@Dan Polansky: it is not a putative usage note. If these should be in the box at the right, then you write but I don't think we want to do that. Why not provide mapping? That usage note:
The HTML entity for = is &#61;.
provides the reader with something that {{character info/new}} fails to provide. Writing that 61 being the dec of U+003D code point is just dropping the ball. The internet uses HTML. There is a relationship between the "document character set" in a HTML document and the "external character encoding" representation.
@Equinox, Renard Migrant, Dan Polansky, Hillcrest98: This is a mapping from one standard to another, and not just an aid for an editor (see W3 recomendation), the template should include, for example,
Name or ENTITY
i.e. alphanumeric reference
i.e. Unicode value
i.e. decimal conversion
i.e. literal
Equal; U+02A75
equals; U+0003D &#61; =
EqualTilde; U+02242
equest; U+0225F
that way mapping is not confused with usage. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 15:31, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm happy with Dan Polansky's idea of consigning this sort of information to the character-info box. Is that doable? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:00, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
IMO, Module:character info should autogenerate the decimal equivalent of whatever hexadecimal codepoint it displays. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:04, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree that it's acceptable in the character-info box. I hope nobody is going to demand any further easy translations (octal?): hex and dec really are the main two, though. Equinox 23:40, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Is this where that character template should be edited? Template:character info Hillcrest98 (talk) 01:45, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
No, it calls a module, which uses other modules. Please don't edit anything there without asking here first. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:12, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I've asked at Module talk:character info#Autogeneratation of hexadecimal codepoints’ decimal equivalents for this feature to be added. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:03, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── All thanks be to Dixtosa for making the addition. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 07:11, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

as per

As far as I know, "as per" is redundancy. The correct usage is just "per". One should say "Per your note ...", not "As per your note ..."

How are you defining correct? Just because something's redundant doesn't make it incorrect. For example, 'of mine' as in 'a friend of mine', the 'of' and 'mine' are mutually redundant, but it's correct English, while 'a friend mine' and 'a friend of me' aren't. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:30, 27 April 2015 (UTC)


Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

Could I get someone more experienced with Welsh to tell me if the gender of this word being masculine checks out? I have three dictionaries that say its feminine... I want to be sure before I edit it. Anglom (talk) 03:41, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Just to check, you're not challenging the validity of this word? Renard Migrant (talk) 17:31, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Not at all. I wasn't really sure whether to ask in the discussion page or here, so I thought I'd try here. I just didn't want to change the gender if it actually is a masculine word in spoken Welsh. Anglom (talk) 18:17, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
The Tea Room actually might have been the place to ask, now that I think about it. Anglom (talk) 18:22, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I've moved the discussion to the Tea Room. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 19:15, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
The Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru says it's feminine, and it gives several examples of adjectives undergoing soft mutation after it, which pretty much proves it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:40, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you kindly. Anglom (talk) 20:57, 27 April 2015 (UTC)


[21] So are we defining things in terms of what they mean in practice, or in terms of what PaulBustion88 says they mean according to the medical establishment? jus checkin. Equinox 23:59, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

  • We should be defining terms with the meaning that they have in the real world. If a term has a more strict meaning in a the legal system of a particular country then we might tell people in the talk page but not make it part of a definition. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:00, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Equinox, if you had bothered reading the entry, you would have seen that the broader definition, of any adult sexual attraction towards/interaction with any minor, is also included. I'm only limiting the MEDICAL definition to a primary or exclusive attraction to children. That's what Renard Migrant and I agreed on as a compromise. The broader, "real word" usage is already included, and its the first definition, so what is the problem?--PaulBustion88 (talk) 08:04, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

If you look at the link you yourself provided Equinox, the first definition is the one you seem to be arguing in favor of,"Sexual feelings or desires by adults towards minors."We have that first, then the more specific, medical definition. So its not only being defined according to what the medical establishment says or what I say. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 08:16, 28 April 2015 (UTC) Also, the second definition, the one Equinox is criticizing, specifies that it refers to "in medicine, more strictly". So its not claiming that this is the only definition.--PaulBustion88 (talk) 08:56, 28 April 2015 (UTC) Also, Renard Migrant agreed with allowing the narrower medical definition as well as long as the popular definition of any sexual attraction to/interaction with a minor under 18 by an adult 18 or older was also included. "PaulBustion88 has raised on my talk page (and not here, much to my chagrin) the possibility of having two definitions. A general-use definition, an instance of an adult engaging in sexual activity with a minor, no matter what the ages are apart from those two restrictions, and a medical definition where we specify pre-pubescent. I would be in favor of it; I think these definitions are distinct in terms of usage and meaning. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:51, 24 April 2015 (UTC)" Since we still have the general use definition, what's wrong with also including the medical definition?--PaulBustion88 (talk) 10:19, 28 April 2015 (UTC) Wikipedia states, here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedophilia, "Pedophilia is used for individuals with a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children aged 13 or younger." The source is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition. It states that pedophilia means a "primary or exclusive attraction." So this is what it means according to the medical establishment, I'm not just saying it.--PaulBustion88 (talk) 10:24, 28 April 2015 (UTC) Anyway, Equinox, if you want to take out the medical definition and only use the popular definition, I would not edit war over it. So if you do it I'm not going to fight you, I'm only giving my arguments for why it should remain the way it is. But its not important enough to war over, I'll defer to consensus. Now I've said all I have to on the matter.--PaulBustion88 (talk) 10:33, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Part of the reason the medical community considers "primary or exclusive" to be important to the definition of pedophilia, is that not all people who have sex with prepubescent children are pedophiles. Some of them have only a small amount of attraction to prepubescent children, and actually prefer adults,adolescents, pubescents, or something else other than prepubescent children, but choose them as an object when they lack a more appropriate object, for example an adult who cannot form a sexual relationship with an adult partner. Pedophilia is about what happens in the mind, in the medical definition, not about behavior. Its sort of like the fact that a person reads a book does not mean that is what he prefers to do, their might just have been nothing good on television.--PaulBustion88 (talk) 19:02, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Attested senses belong on a sense line not buried on a talk page. I think, if there are different senses being warred over, then start adding more attested usage to demonstrate each of those senses. Let the usage explain the sense itself. Describe through attested usage what each of those authorities prescribe and also fully reference it. If there is a legal definition, then that should be attested to. If there is a medical definition, then that should be attested to. If there is a journalist definition, then that should be attested to. If it varies by jurisdiction or culture, then that should be attested to also. If some groups have perverted usages, then those should be attested to also. Three attestations of usage of each sense is just a minimum. If there are a dozen senses, then those should be attested to also.
The usage notes should come after those senses are well attested.
The first sense has no attestation – that is a problem. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:44, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── BoBoMisiu is obviously right here. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:56, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

    • 2004, Ronald J. Comer, Fundamentals of abnormal psychology, page 341:
    • Some people with pedophilia are attracted only to children; others are attracted to adults as well (APA, 2000, 1994).
    • 2007, Margaret Mary Wright, Judicial decision making in child sexual abuse cases, page 122:
      As noted earlier, pedophilia was cited as both an aggravating and a mitigating circumstance by trial judges, as was the absence of pedophilia.
    • 2009, Ann Kring, Sheri Johnson, Gerald C. Davison, Abnormal Psychology:
      Sometimes a man with pedophilia is content to stroke the child's hair, but he may also manipulate the child's genitalia, [...]

There are three attested uses right there already in the entry for the medical use of the term, the use I favor. There are no attested uses, as you yourself pointed out, for the use of the term Equinox favors, the popular definition of sexual attraction to/sexual interaction with anyone under 18 by anyone over. So if the standard of proof is how much attestation each use has, the use I favor I already has more attestation for it than the use Equinox favors. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 21:46, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

I added many attestations, especially 21st c., to Citations:pedophilia. Someone else could sort them into senses. I think there is enough there to show a criminal sense and a child molester sense. @PaulBustion88: I tagged two passages in pedophilia with {{rfv-quote}}s. I could not verify those two quotes using Google Book search. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 15:27, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
I just want to add that its kind of sloppy thinking that a child molestor must be a pedophile. That would be like assuming a person who reads books must be a bibliophile, maybe there just was not anything else to do. Some people are voracious readers in jail/prison who never pick up a book after that. A lot of child sexual molestors are more sexually attracted to adults and/or adolescents than to children, but choose to have sex with children because they lack the social skills to make sexual advances successfully on a mature person, for example. Neither the criminal sense nor the child sexual molestor sense are accurate. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 07:36, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
No, a book is never the victim of a bibliophile. That Neither the criminal sense nor the child sexual molestor sense are accurate. is contrary to the attested usage for over century. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:34, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
{edit conflict) We're not here to "correct sloppy thinking", we're here to document actual usage. The fact that you're going to such lengths to explain the distinction tells me that it's not one that anyone makes in real life, except for a few experts trained in technicalities. As far as most people are concerned, all people who have sex with children are pedophiles. Period. Full stop. Also remember that etymology doesn't determine meaning: the fact that a word contains -phile doesn't guarantee that it's about attraction rather than behavior. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:44, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
"No, a book is never the victim of a bibliophile." You're deliberately trying to make what I said sound more absurd than it is. I'm not saying books are people and I'm not talking about people having sex with books, I'm saying people who read books would not always necessarily do that as their first choice of activity, so people who have sex with children are not necessarily greatly attracted to children, they might be more attracted to adults and/or adolescents, but lack the social skills to make sexual advances successfully on more mature people, or for whatever other reason lack access to more appropriate objects. Also, what I said is not a point original to me, someone else observed it on the pedophilia entry's talk page. It was Leucosite. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 15:34, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
@PaulBustion88: it is a crime in many (i think most) places because there is a victim – a child. Perpetrators of other crimes who lack of social skill are still committing those crimes. They are doing something. There is an act and a victim. You do compare an inanimate object, a book, to a person, a child: [] people who have sex with children are not necessarily greatly attracted to children, they might be more attracted to adults and/or adolescents, but lack the social skills to make sexual advances successfully on more mature people, or for whatever other reason lack access to more appropriate objects. Your comparison is too far away from what I think ― to paraphrase the great sage Kyle of Southpark: Dude. They have sex with children!
Please add some attributed usages of positive associations with the term pedophilia. I think it is a category of actions – like rape. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:11, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm not saying sexually molesting children is justified, you're trying to put words in my mouth that I never said, and I'm not saying pedophilia is a healthy attraction to have. What I'm saying is that there's a difference between having a sexual attraction to someone and acting on it. Not all pedophiles sexually molest children. That was my point. An analogy is that some heterosexual and homosexual men, for example Roman Catholic priests, are celibate and do not act on their attractions, that does not make them asexual. I'm not saying books are alive, or that children are no more valuable than books, you are deliberately putting words in my mouth I never said. Having said that. I realize nobody else here agrees with making the definition focus on the medical definition so I've given up. But I resent you implying that I approve of sex with children, I never said that. Another point I was making was not all people who have sex with children are attracted to them as much as they are to adults. Some are actually more attracted to adults than children but lack adult partners. This obviously does NOT in any way excuse what they did, but its a different motivation from that of a person fixated on children. Another example to correlate to that is some heterosexuals have sex with other men in prison because no women are there, that does not make them homosexual. And as to the crime aspect, that would be violating age of consent for sex laws, also known as the crime of statutory rape, although those terms are never used by governments or states, that's how the government's laws against sex with children are informally described, and that has nothing to do with pedophilia. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 16:16, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia's article about pedophilia, which is sourced, gives the definition I gave and says the sexual attraction and the sexual crime are two different things, "Pedophilia or paedophilia is a mental disorder|psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children, generally age 11 years or younger.As a medical diagnosis, specific criteria for the disorder extend the cut-off point for prepubescence to age 13. A person who is diagnosed with pedophilia must be at least 16 years of age, but adolescents must be at least five years older than the prepubescent child for the attraction to be diagnosed as pedophilia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedophilia It also states, "In popular usage, the word pedophilia is often applied to any sexual interest in children or the act of child sexual abuse.[4This use conflates the sexual attraction (pedophilia) with the act of abuse (child molestation)" and it says "Researchers recommend that these imprecise uses be avoided because although people who commit child sexual abuse sometimes exhibit the disorder, child sexual abuse offenders are not pedophiles unless they have a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children, and not all pedophiles molest children." Maybe the book analogy wasn't a good one. A better one would be rape, that often is not about sex but about power, in child sexual molesting, it sometimes isn't really about primary or exclusive sexual attraction but other things. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 17:11, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@PaulBustion88: What I write is not about you but about the obviously differing senses and definitions. I know I write abrasively, nevertheless, I do not write about you.

I'm saying is that there's a difference between having a sexual attraction to someone and acting on it.

I agree.

Not all pedophiles sexually molest children.

That is just the no true Scotsman fallacy, it does not affect what pedophilia is.

An analogy is that some heterosexual and homosexual men, for example Roman Catholic priests, are celibate and do not act on their attractions, that does not make them asexual.

That is a red herring fallacy, pedophilia is not defined by unknowable characteristics (what it is not) but by knowable characteristics (what it is).

focus on the medical definition

I agree with you, there should be a sense line about the psychiatric definition. I think there should be two as there seems to be a shift in what is used to diagnose those pedophiles.

not all people who have sex with children are attracted to them as much as they are to adults. Some are actually more attracted to adults than children but lack adult partners.

That is a false dilemma, pedophilia is not about a spectrum of possibilities or a correlative but what pedophiles do to children.

but its a different motivation from that of a person fixated on children.

The action is not the same thing as the motivation.

some heterosexuals have sex with other men in prison because no women are there, that does not make them homosexual.

You don't mention if those men are the victims of rape.

that would be violating age of consent for sex laws, also known as the crime of statutory rape,

No, the definition of pedophilia does not parse who is a child. It defines the various senses of what is pedophilia.

Wiktionary is about usage. I have added attestations that show that for a century it is a crime with a child victim. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:44, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

But another problem with that is the definition of a child. Different countries have different legal definitions of what age is old enough for a young person to consent to sex with an older person. For example, in France the age of consent for sex is 15, but in Indiana its 16, and in Wisconsin its 18. In Germany and Austria its 14, in Russia its nominally 16 but the law is not enforced if the victim is past puberty(or at least so I've heard), its also puberty in the Mexican of Nayarit. If we define it as a sex crime against a child, what do we mean by child, someone younger than 15, 16, or 18 or what age? --PaulBustion88 (talk) 17:48, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Also, people have hair split with me in other discussions when I used the words adult and child in relation to sex crimes laws, I know that legally the definition of adulthood is age of majority, not age of consent for sex, but age of consent for sex presumably is more relevant to the discussion here than age of majority, since age of majority does not directly relate to these crimes against children, that's why I used the age of consent examples, even though that is not what defines legal adulthood. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 18:03, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

@BoBoMisiu, PaulBustion88: Why are you guys arguing as if pedophilia were monosemous? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:19, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

I supppose it does not have to be monosemous, and I have already stated that I accept the popular definition being included first, even though I disagree with it. The only thing about defining it as an adult sexual attraction to a minor is that it seems like it could be potentially pov pushing, because like I stated above, different states both in the United States of America and elsewhere have different laws about who is an adult in this respect (i.e. old enough to consent to sex) and who is not. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 18:25, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity how is this the "no true Scotsman" fallacy, ""Not all pedophiles sexually molest children."

That is just the no true Scotsman fallacy, it does not affect what pedophilia is. " I'm not saying that no true pedophile would sexually molest a child, that would be a ridiculous statement, I never even said that most child sexual molestors were not pedophiles, obviously in all probability most of them are, I said that they were not the exact same thing, the attraction and the act, obviously having the attraction makes the act more likely to happen. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 18:45, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

"not all people who have sex with children are attracted to them as much as they are to adults. Some are actually more attracted to adults than children but lack adult partners.

That is a false dilemma, pedophilia is not about a spectrum of possibilities or a correlative but what pedophiles do to children." It depends on which sense of the term we are using. If we are using the popular definition it is a false dilemma. If we are using the medical definition it is not. Pedophilia in the medical sense is about a primary or exclusive attraction, so if a person is 50% attracted to adults, 50% to children , then he is not a pedophile in the medical sense of the term, so actually in the medical it does have to be within a certain spectrum for it to qualify as pedophilia. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 18:49, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

@I'm so meta even this acronym: I don't think it is monosemous. I think there are about four, or maybe five, senses, including historical ones.
@PaulBustion88: I disagree, that another problem with that is the definition of a child. Age is an attribute of a child. Age is not an attribute of pedophilia. These various senses and definitions are not about particular law. You are shifting away from what pedophilia is; you are shifting to who a child is. Are you challenging some of the attested usages that I added? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:01, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
No, I'm not. I see what you are saying now. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 19:10, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm not contesting the way the article is in this respect now. I don't want to change this aspect of it anymore. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 19:15, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I know its not monosemous, I just wanted to focus more on the medical definition. But I defer to the consensus that we focus on actual usage in a dictionary, not necessarily correct or literal use. --PaulBustion88 (talk) 19:25, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Searching google books:"paedophilias" and google books:"pedophilias" brings up usages that may help to distinguish this word's senses. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:30, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

knock oneself out two senses different from each other?

Are the current two senses ("To go ahead; to do as one pleases", and granting permission) different from each other? Is it ever used in the first or third person? ("I'll knock myself out then" sounds weird to me) Also, is there another sense meaning "exhaust oneself"? Siuenti (talk) 11:21, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

In reverse order:
The "exhaust" sense is at knock out, as it can be transitive without being reflexive.
In reported speech, for example, all persons and numbers are possible, if not elegant: "I told him to knock himself out if that's what he wanted."
I don't know whether I was right in splitting the senses. I think I was just trying to clean up the entry rather than perfect it. It is the kind of expression that seems to 'feel' different to speakers, probably just because of the discourse function, when used in the imperative, even though the semantics are arguably the same. DCDuring TALK 11:56, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
They do seem different. Sadly I have nothing better to offer than what it says now. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:24, 29 April 2015 (UTC)


This entry has reached a number of definitions that is problematic, as it seriously hampers overview/navigation. I don't dare to play topiary gardener myself, but I think it would be helpful if all the copular senses and all the auxiliary definitions would somehow be summarised with a dropdown or at least be put under a common ## or something. _Korn (talk) 10:54, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

This is even harder to clean up than the entries for prepositions and other grammaticized words. Probably, treating some definitions as subsenses of others would be useful. Perhaps deployment of {{defdate}} among the senses would be a good preliminary. DCDuring TALK 13:33, 30 April 2015 (UTC)


Etyms 1 & 2 need be merged, as they are the same. Anyone good at that? Etyms are not my strong point. --Jerome Potts (talk) 18:04, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

But they aren't, exactly. The verb is from an OE verb and the noun from an OE noun. DCDuring TALK 20:18, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Done. Just like other dictionaries, we should reserve separate etymologies for things that are really unrelated, not for things like denominal verbs. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:55, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Really? I spend a lot of time separating etymologies which lead back to different PGmc forms which happened to have coalesced in Modern English as a noun form and a verb form...in the case of prick, the PGmc forms are not positively reconstructed (i.e. *prik-), and so appear identical. But they should probably be made out to be *prikô (noun) and *prikjaną/*prikōną (verb) Leasnam (talk) 04:48, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I also disagree with Jerome Potts and Aɴɢʀ on this one. As DCDuring wrote, prick (noun) derives from the Old English noun prica, whereas prick (verb) derives from the Old English verb prician; and as Leasnam wrote, that noun probably goes back to the Proto-Germanic *prikô, whilst the verb probably goes back to the Proto-Germanic *prikjaną, *prikōną. Of course the noun and the verb derive from the same root ultimately, but the different parts of speech became distinct long ago, and should be kept distinct in the way we present these words. Moreover, the OED keeps the noun and verb distinct; like that dictionary, we should do the same. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 08:21, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Undone, pending completion of the discussion. @Angr: re: "Just like other dictionaries". The dictionaries that keep such etymologies separate include the OED, Century, MW Online, MW 1913. The "better" dictionaries that don'tcombine them include AHD, RHU, Oxford (online), WNW. I suppose one could say that "modern" dictionaries tend not make the distinction, just as they downgrade the presentation of etymology by placing it at the bottom of the entry. I would say that "better", "historical" dictionaries make the distinction. DCDuring TALK 13:28, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I think ones where just 'the verb is derived from the noun' (i.e. in modern English) we should keep them as a single etymology. But when they go back to different Middle English (or older than that) forms we should separate them. Having said that, I think there are usability issues when you do that, many users won't understand the distinct and will complain on WT:FEED that prick doesn't have any noun definitions or doesn't have any verb definitions. Renard Migrant (talk) 10:43, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with your qualification.
I don't think it hurts to stimulate use of WT:FEED, but for every instance someone voices an objection or question there are probably multiple users who are confused and disheartened and don't bother coming back. Of course this isn't a problem if we are just creating a dictionary for our own enjoyment, which seems to be the case. DCDuring TALK 12:30, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Renard Migrant that noun → verb or verb → noun developments that occurred in Modern English without change of spelling or pronunciation ought not to be given separate etymology sections. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:39, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Of course that makes most sense. I too agree. Leasnam (talk) 13:36, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that noun → verb or verb → noun developments that occurred even as far back as PIE should be given separate etymology sections. I think it makes us look amateurish, as if we didn't understand how etymologies work, if we do. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:43, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
The same amateur category as OED, MW, Century, and Online Etymology Dictionary? DCDuring TALK 16:47, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
I dunno, it looks less unprofessional when they do it than when we do. Maybe because their lemmas just modestly say things like ¹prick and ²prick, where the superscripts could be numbering POSes rather than etymologies, whereas we have big-ass headings saying "Etymology 1" and "Etymology 2" (which imply, you know, different etymologies), and you scroll down to etymology 2 only to find it's just a denominal verb from etymology 1 and not really a separate etymology at all. And then you think, "WTF? Who the hell thinks that yellow the verb has a different etymology from yellow the adjective?" —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:12, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Taxonomy and other categorizing fields have lumpers and splitters. Apparently so does etymology.
I have a similar problem with those who seem to imply that yellow#Verb split from yellow#Noun/yellow#Adjective in Modern English. That it is more trivial than a split of earlier origin is immaterial. At the very least separate presentation indicates that the two have had time to accrete additional meanings on distinct tracks — as they have, though you would not know it from the definitions of yellow#Verb we offer our users, which seem to imply that yellow#Verb could possibly mean "become a coward" or "become a ball marked with the number two in pocket billiards". A little too much lumping and economy it seems to me. DCDuring TALK 18:23, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

"während" (dativ?)

Hi, I am rather new to this so I do hope not to get too many things wrong.

I stumbled upon "während". In its "usage notes" under 2) it mentiones usage of the Dativ. Quite frankly, without external qualified reference I think that sentence such as the example given there "Ich wurde während einem Gespräch angerufen." are just plain wrong. This has nothing to do with beeing pretentious. Even if a sentence like this can be found among the germon speaking populous, the reason is more likly to be found in a lack of command of the language rather than qualified "coloquial usage"

Maybe somone can come up with a proper reference to the claim that using the Dativ is acceptable. In any case I hope this can be of use to someone and thank everyone involved for their great contributions.

kind regards.

The Duden accepts dative usage. Since German government offices are accepting the Duden as binding, that means it's part of official German. As such I don't see any modification necessary. (Except maybe to the Duden.) _Korn (talk) 12:39, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't matter if it's "acceptable". It matters if it's done. And it is done. Apart from that: I don't know about "während", but Goethe himself used wegen with dative in his private letters. It's such a common thing and, as far as I am concerned, has nothing to do with lacking command of language. To the contrary: it's the native way of speaking German. But again: What matters is not how we like something or not, but the reality of language (a loan translation there of Sprachwirklichkeit). Kolmiel (talk) 22:51, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
But the reality of the language is also that there are common and codified standards and anyone aspiring to speak a standard is making errors when he uses forms which are not part of that standard. If one is not making these errors on purpose (e.g. by consciously speaking colloquially), it is a lack of command, native or not. As a dictionary we have to include annotations on what is what, of course. Korn (talk) 19:25, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
@Korn ('cause of mentioning duden etc.): At duden.de it is: "Präposition mit Genitiv" and "Standardsprachlich mit Dativ, wenn der Genitiv im Plural nicht erkennbar ist". That's something different than just "(+ genitive or dative)" as it's here (if one ignores the usages notes).
@Kolmiel: wegen is another word, and even if one is descriptive, one could add a note like "in standard language only with genitive, colloquially also with dative" (if it's correct of course). Regarding authors like Goethe and Schiller: Their writing might be "obsolete" by now, so it might be something like "with genitive, obsolete also with dative". (I kind of dislike such a label, but descriptively that's what could be correct.)
How about "(+ genitive (or dative))" instead of just "(+ genitive or dative)" indicating that genitive and dative aren't equally applicable, as it's (nowadays) usually genitive and only in some cases dative? Fur further information there're the usage notes. -Iftjbda (talk) 11:05, 24 May 2015 (UTC)


Moved from Wiktionary:Requested entries (Vietnamese), added by User:Hippietrail:

@Hippietrail: I've checked a dictionary and I can confirm the missing senses (e.g. "bằng ô tô" - "by car", "bằng đường bộ" - "by land") but, as I said on my talk page, not sure about which etymology it belongs to - it may be a third etymology.
@Fumiko Take:, could you help here, please, just for this sense? There's a big list of Sino-Vietnamese readings and maybe native words as well, I know it's very hard for monosyllabic Vietnamese words.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:18, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
@Atitarev: According to Mark J. Alves, bằng is a grammatical word of possible Chinese origin (from (bình)), which has two meanings: "equal to" and "made of". I think it's possible that the "by means of" sense has been developed from those two senses. It may also derive from (bằng, to depend on). ばかFumikotalk 03:00, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
@Fumiko Take, Hippietrail: Thanks. I've fitted a new sense into the "adjective" section in diff. Should this be a new PoS instead? Anyway, the missing sense is covered. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:05, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
@Atitarev: What's a PoS? Should "by means of" be considered an adjective? I feel like that sense should be covered in an adverb entry or something. "làm bằng tay" can be roughly translated to "do/make manually" after all. ばかFumikotalk 03:11, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
@Fumiko Take: "PoS" is "part of speech", sorry :). The usage is like a preposition. I've made a preposition section, is it better? In your example - "làm bằng tay", "bằng" is also a preposition. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:17, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Yeah, that will do. ばかFumikotalk 03:19, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Hey I was reading that Vietnamese doesn't really have prepositions but rather relational nouns. But I think it's a bit like English where "part of speech" isn't used in linguistics any more, being replace by "word class", but dictionaries do stay with the tradition. But having it as an adjective seems very wrong. In Vietnamese adjectives are pretty much verbs, which are in opposition syntactically to nouns, of which prepositions are a type. Anyway I looked it up in vi.wiktionary and indeed their entry has a "Giới từ" sense, which I believe is "preposition", so that would make more sense. Well just my 2 cents. — hippietrail (talk) 13:59, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, there are several languages like that in the area. Khmer "adjectives" are actually verbs; most Thai words that are translated as adjetives are really verbs; Hawaiian adjectives are stative verbs. It rattles my nerves every time I make an entry for them and have to decide whether to label it a verb or an adjective. Navajo and Apache are likewise, but for these cases there is a very strong precedent to calling them verbs and not adjectives. —Stephen (Talk) 12:33, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Burmese is another one. I'd love to empty Category:Burmese adjectives and call them all verbs (since they are), but as every Burmese dictionary I've ever seen calls certain verbs "adjectives" based on the English translation, I feel it would be presumptuous of me (since I don't even speak the language) to break with tradition. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:48, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

' and -' etc.

moved to Wiktionary:Tea room/2015/May#' and -' etc.

May 2015

Pronunciation of Latin words using "SC" such as "scisco"

SC = [ʃ] pronounced “sh” before ae, oe, e, i or y, and [sk] elsewhere

Many of the "SC" words mistakingly show "SK" in the pronunciation.

Interestingly, a word such as "scisco" uses both pronunciations because "SC" occurs at the beginning before an [i] and then "SC" occurs before an [o]

So, when you say "scisco" it is pronounced "SHE-SKO" —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 08:34, 1 May 2015‎ (UTC).

This is an Ecclesiastical pronunciation. Classically <sc> was always pronounced /sk/. ObsequiousNewt (εἴρηκα|πεποίηκα) 13:58, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
The problem with Latin pronunciation is that pronunciation changes over time, and Latin has been spoken for at least a couple thousand years. As ObsequiousNewt says, during the Classical period, when Latin was a major living language with lots of native first-language speakers, the c in sc was always a k sound. I'm sure there was variation even then, but that seems to have been the standard. Since then, the pronunciation has changed differently in different regions. Wikipedia has several entire articles on this issue, but see w:Latin regional pronunciation for a nice table showing many of the differences. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:45, 1 May 2015 (UTC)


Is there anyone here who's good at Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform and who can add the missing Akkadian terms to Γελλώ#Etymology? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:25, 1 May 2015 (UTC)


"the nationalist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries recruited cadres of hacks to write potted histories of their nations' timeless values and glorious pasts". p. 641 "The Better Angels of Our Nature" by Steven Pinker —This unsigned comment was added by Paulcbry (talkcontribs) at 10:58, 2 May 2015‎.

@Paulcbry: The Oxford English Dictionary entry “potted, adj.¹” (third edition, December 2006), under sense 3.a., has “Of a piece of information, work of literature, historical or descriptive account, etc.: put into a short and easily assimilable form; condensed, summarized, abridged.”, which seems to fit Pinker’s use here. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 12:21, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Some dictionaries have a similar, but pejorative sense: "superficial"
AHD has seven senses vs our one:
  1. a. Placed in a pot: potted candles.
    b. Grown in a pot: potted plants.
  2. Preserved in a pot, can, or jar: potted meat.
  3. (informal) Presenting information in a simplified or abridged form: a potted history of Britain.
  4. Recorded or taped for repeated use: potted music.
  5. Unoriginal or hackneyed: potted prose.
  6. {slang) Drunk or intoxicated.
I suppose senses 1a, 1b, and 2 are really in out verb PoS, defined at pot#Verb. DCDuring TALK 19:01, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Yes, I suppose the AHD's sense 5 is the most likely, on re-examination, especially given the "cadres of hacks" bit. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:34, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

"tjod" in Norwegian, Is it dated, archaic or obsolete or is the current entry correct?

I looked for the word "tjod" on major Norweigan websites but I did not find anything, the Norwegian Wikipedia has no article on it (could redirect to folkeslag or something).

I might be wrong but does the word belong to any of the qualifiers above (dated, archaic or obsolete)? —This unsigned comment was added by Dreysman (talkcontribs) at 14:13, 2 May 2015.

I don't speak Norwegian, but I notice that this dictionary seems to mark it as Nynorsk. If so, it could be current in Nynorsk but obsolete (or something else) in Bokmål. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:20, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

שַׁבָּת Talmudic Hebrew

Can we find an example of שַׁבָּת meaning "week" in the Talmud? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 14:21, 2 May 2015.


The pronunciation given is the one provided by Duden and hence official for Germany. But for the reality of the language, my gut feeling is that every German would consider it wrong. I just wanted to ask if anyone has ever heard it said like that at all (by native speakers). _Korn (talk) 16:17, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

I wouldn't say it's wrong because there is no unique German pronounciation, although the second z is commonly pronounced like a voiced s in colloquial speech. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 22:49, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Don't know. I don't often say this word. But yeah [litsɛnˈziːʁən] is more common. (I might even have written it out as lizensieren, maybe.) We should add that as an alternative pronunciation. Kolmiel (talk) 23:11, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd be willing to go as far as inserting it as the sole pronunciation and putting the official one into a usage note. I was absolutely baffled to find out that it's not spelled 'lizensieren'. _Korn (talk) 12:36, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

computer programme

This is described as a British alternative spelling. Can I say (as a British (ex-) computer programmer) that I think it is a misspelling. Is there any evidence one way or another? SemperBlotto (talk) 06:39, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

It's got about the frequency ratio of 10 in Google Ngram Viewer, British corpus, (computer programme*10),computer program. That does not suggest misspelling but rather rare alternative spelling to me. I think {{rare form of}} could be used. The current markup is positively misleading since it suggests that the form is the British mainstream form. I encourage you to place {{rare form of}} to the entry; I would do it myself, but I actually hate revert wars. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:23, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
My instincts are in accord with SemperBlotto's here. I think I read somewhere that, in British English, standard usage is "computer program", but "television programme", "academic programme", etc. (basically, the computing sense is spelt program and every other sense is spelt programme). The most recent ratio of computer program:computer programme is 0.0000823434%:0.0000042311% or about 19½:1; however, Dan Polansky's Ngram shows use of computer programme peaking in 1971 and then declining sharply after 1978, whereas use of computer program peaked in 1986 and thereafter similarly declined. My thinking is that use of program in the computing sense continued to predominate over such use of programme thereafter, too, but that it became less and less necessary over time to include the computer qualifier, owing to increasing public familiarity with computers in general. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:31, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Don't forget my search multipled "programme" by factor 10. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:24, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
@Dan Polansky: No confusion on my part. You had the overall ratio at 10:1; I just had the most recent ratio a ~19½:1. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:29, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps we should use the context label "dated" here. I certainly agree with the above statements that we Brits use programme in non-computing contexts, and that the two-word form is dying out. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:51, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Here is a search in which I removed the 10 multiplier and narrowed it down to 1950-2000, still in British corpus. In this report, we can see the only period through which "computer programme" outperformed "computer program": shortly around 1960. To me, "rare" seems to be the best qualifier, better than "dated". I might have confused you by using the 10 multiplier in the previous GNV report. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:24, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
The Computer Programme was actually the punning title of a 1980s British TV show about home computing. AFAIK, it is a perfectly acceptable, though less common and dated, form. Chambers Dictionary agrees. Equinox 19:23, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
But as you said, it was a pun; spelling "programme" was probably used to ambiguously mean the show itself, hence TV programme, right? --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:32, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Then why does Chambers say it's valid? Anyway, puns can use the same spelling: "Mary Rose sat on a pin; Mary rose". Equinox 19:33, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
The spelling is valid, for sure, and plentifully attested, but rather rare per the above corpus evidence. It's not a misspelling by my lights. The current markup is "(British) Alternative form of computer program", and that looks like it is the British variant of a U.S. spelling, which is positively misleading, IMHO, since the overwhelmingly used British variant is identical to the U.S. variant. I have now placed "rare form of" to the entry; how does that look? --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:48, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
The OED (3rd ed., June 2007) entry “programme | program, n.” has, directly underneath the etymology section, “The more common earlier (and predominantly Scottish) form program was retained by Scott, Carlyle, Hamilton, and others, even after the borrowing of senses directly from French in the late 18th cent. and early 19th cent.; it conforms to the usual English representation of Greek -γραμμα, in e.g. [anagram, cryptogram, diagram, telegram,] etc. The influence of French programme led to the predominance of this spelling in the 19th cent. The forms programme and program have since become established as the standard British and U.S. spellings respectively, with the exception that program is usual everywhere in senses relating to computing.” — I.S.M.E.T.A. 19:48, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
{{form of|rare form or misspelling|computer program|lang=en}}. There's simply no line you can draw in this case (any many other cases) between a common misspelling and a less common alternative form. I quite like misspelling for this one though. Renard Migrant (talk) 09:49, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
@Renard Migrant: I agree with your solution. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:51, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Thai readings of พิพิธภัณฑ์ and พิพิธภัณฑสถาน

How are Thai words for "museum" -พิพิธภัณฑ์ and พิพิธภัณฑสถาน pronounced? Various dictionaries either transliterate the "ภั" portion or skip it. Using Thai2English transliteration scheme, is it "pí-pít-pan" or "pí-pít--pan" or both readings are possible? Will the rule be also applicable to พิพิธภัณฑสถาน as well "pí-pít-(tá-)pan-tót-sà-tăan"? Calling @Stephen G. Brown: for assistance, please. There seems to be no consistency in dictionaries and textbooks about this word (and others) and textbooks don't mention this irregularity - possibly silent ภั (tá). (I am getting much more comfortable with the Thai script but there are some cases that baffle me and I have no fluency as for the tones but it's available in dictionaries and textbooks, so I rely on them). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:13, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

พิพิธภัณฑ์ is pronounced pí’píttápan. ภั is not the problem...it is pronounced pa. The problem is whether has a vowel. In fact, it does. Apparently some dictionaries use a transliteration program such as Lua to guess at transliterations, and the guesses are often incorrect. If you write the word in phonetic Thai, it is พิ-พิด-ทะ-พัน (pí’-pít-tá-pan).
พิพิธภัณฑสถาน is พิ-พิด-ทะ-พัน-ทะ-สะ-ถาน (pí’-pít-tá-pan-tá-sà-tăan, or pípíttápantásàtăan). Note: the vowel ◌ั is an a. If the ◌ั were not written over the , it would be pronounced po. You don’t need the hyphens. The hyphens only show the end/beginning of individual letters. The hyphens do not mean anything in regard to pronunciation or meaning. —Stephen (Talk) 09:07, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Stephen! Oops, sorry for the confusion, I have incorrectly broken up the syllables and consonants. So, this is a case when an unwritten vowel is in the middle of a word - I've seen cases when two such syllables occur in a row but it's kind of predictable because there is a limited set of syllable onsets. There is also a word พิพิธ (pí-pít) "various" where is the final and is pronounced as clipped "t" and พิพิธภัณฑ์ can be misread as พิพิธ + ภัณฑ์ (pí-pít pan) - "various products/items". It seems, one just need to know how to read this word, because ธ can be a final, not a syllable with an unwritten vowel. Here it's unpredictable, isn't it?
I prefer hyphens because they help breaking up (usually meaningful) syllables and is quite common - thai2english.com uses hyphens, thai-language.com uses spaces. Thai script being so complicated, any simplification just makes it easier to read and understand. Don't you think? BTW, our Burmese transliteration uses solid forms, Lao - uses spaces between syllables. I find the latter easier, besides, Lao is close to Thai.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:02, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it is unpredictable. It’s probable that some transliteration programs use a Thai spellchecker to determine the words, and since พิพิธ (pípít) can be a separate word, it makes this mistake.
And yes, it is common to see hyphens used, because of the Thai tradition of using hyphens to mark syllables in phonemic/phonetic Thai. It’s like the English habit of using the period for the same purpose: pro.nun.ci.a.tion. English uses the period instead of the hyphen because there are a lot of words that are spelled with a hyphen (quick-thinking). But the separation of Thai syllables with hyphens is not meaningful, it is merely a Thai habit that indicates phonetic spelling. Breaking Thai up with a lot of hyphens is the same as breaking up Japanese, Arabic, or Russian transliterations with hyphens. Arabic: mu-nā-ẓa-rat al-ḥu-rūf al-ʻa-ra-bī-yah. Japanese: ju-n-i-chi-ro-u. Russian: So-yuz So-vet-skikh So-tsi-a-li-sti-che-skikh Res-pu-blik. It is actually much easier to read transliterated Arabic, Japanese, Russian, and Thai without the hyphens. Arabic: munāẓarat al-ḥurūf al-ʻarabīyah. Japanese: Jun’ichirō. Russian: Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik. Thai: pípíttápan.
The problem with using spaces between syllables, as Lao transliteration does, is that you cannot know which syllables go together to make a word. It is not helpful. Spaces should be used in transliteration to delimit words, and hyphens should be used to show a connection between tightly bound words, as in Arabic al-ḥurūf, or English ping-pong. But regular words should not be broken up by hyphens (I’m only talking about Romanizations for English speakers. Using hyphens for phonetic Thai (พิ-พิด-ทะ-พัน) is helpful to Thai speakers because it marks the text as a phonetic spelling...without the hyphens, Thai speakers would be confused by พิพิดทะพัน, which appears to be a regular word). —Stephen (Talk) 10:48, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
It's a pity you don't like hyphens in Thai. Now I got used to them. While I see your point I consider Thai a mostly monosyllabic language (while Chinese lects are more so but standard pinyin doesn't use hyphens extensively). Perhaps, it's just because I'm less confident with Thai and there are so many romanisations, I chose the one I feel more comfortable with. My pocket dictionary - Benjawan Poomsan Becker uses hyphens too. Only one book I have uses solid spellings as you suggested - "Colloquial Thai" but it's mostly in romanised Thai - good for learning pronunciation but not enough exposure to the script. I might switch to your recommended method of romanisation (no hyphens), we have a mess with the romanisation of Thai, anyway and I am not sure how much Thai content I'm going to add yet. :) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:30, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I can see how the use of hyphens might make someone feel that Thai is monosyllabic. To me, Thai is polysyllabic. —Stephen (Talk) 12:18, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
I meant the core native Thai vocabulary with distinct meanings. Of course modern Thai has lots of compound words and layers of borrowings from Sanskrit, English, etc. Even Chinese and Vietnamese are no longer monosyllabic but it still makes sense to break up the majority of native words into meaningful syllables. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:36, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown: I forgot to mention that there could be problems with the transliteration of words like มะพร้าว (má-práao) without the hyphen. "mápráao" would make it unclear if "p" (also is the final or a part of the consonant cluster - two different pronunciations. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:21, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, yes, of course. In words such as that, a hyphen is useful. —Stephen (Talk) 14:30, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

@Stephen G. Brown: Another question, please. Is it just a traditional spelling letter in อยู่ (yòo) or a rule I have missed? Letter is always silent at the beginning of a syllable but there should be a vowel after it but here, it makes no difference. Just "ยู่" would have the same pronunciation and would be a correct spelling(?). The phonetic respelling, however, uses "หฺยู่" (on www.thai2english.com). So, low class letter is turned into a high class letter by adding in front of it and with a live syllable we get a low tone as a result. Is used in the same way as in some cases - to turn low class consonants into a high class? Also, what's the purpose of the small diacritic phinthu (like a small cross under ห (หฺ)? It seems rare. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:59, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

I think it’s considered a rule, but it only affects four words. The four words where silent mid-class leads low-class into mid-class tone rules are: อย่า (yàa, don’t), อยาก (yàak, desire), อย่าง (yàang, sort, type), and อยู่ (yòo, stay).
Since is mid-class, it cannot be used to make high-class, as far as I know. You can force the high-class consonant function with a silent leading , as in the following words: หมา (măa, dog), หนู (nŏo, rat, mouse).
พินทุ (phinthu, ◌ฺ) is used like virama in Pali words. It can also be used to mark syllables. Phinthu means dot, from Sanskrit बिन्दु (bindu). —Stephen (Talk) 04:48, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation, Stephen. So, ย in อยู่ is turned into a mid-class, not high class consonant? Both mid- and high consonants have a low tone with the low tone marker ◌่ in the live syllable, so it's not obvious to me, which class it belongs to. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:22, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, mid-class. The rules for tones and the way they are written makes them seem complicated. —Stephen (Talk) 06:30, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

etymology yiddish רביצין

the current page רביצין claims that it's a normal feminized (-in) form of reb, but the explanation for the affrication is dubious. I don't know the policy on wiktionary wrt giving citations for etymologies but one should be found here, I will contact the original editor of this page toward that end. —This unsigned comment was added by Telmac (talkcontribs) at 16:23, 3 May 2015.


I really wanted to RFV this, but as it currently only exists as a derived term in karma I thought it best to raise it here first. If there is a way to RFV this could someone please move it there for me? All the citations I looked at either had it in italics, or are otherwise mentiony so I would challenge whether this exists in English. Also, the proper spelling seems to have a diacritic on the s. SpinningSpark 18:49, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm finding a small amount of use of the alternative spelling dushkarma. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:17, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

C cedilla, Phi

Two questions here;

1. The c-cedilla is said by Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia to derive from Z itself. Everyone else says that it came from C itself being subscripted with Z and then evolving from there. Which origin is correct?

2. Wikipedia and one published source says that Phi probably came from obsolete Greek letter Qoppa, and thus related to our letter Q. This can be explained by observing PIE -> Greek sound changes (i.e. /kw/ -> /p/). Every other source I've seen ignores such a claim and says that the Greeks pulled it out of their own minds. Is Wikipedia's statement an overextrapolation of the Proto-Indo-European sound shifts or is it valid?

Hillcrest98 (talk) 02:31, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Ç derives from a ligature between C and Z (). — Ungoliant (falai) 02:56, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
I had guessed so. What may have caused the error on WP? Hillcrest98 (talk) 03:01, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps WP is edited by human beings. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:44, 4 May 2015 (UTC)


I was looking in Category:English articles* and found 𐑞. Do we have a rule on Shavian in mainspace? Should this be changed from article to just letter--there's more of an argument for keeping Shavian letters in mainspace then words spelled in Shavian, given as there's about two publications in Shavian.

  • Certainly shows the limitations of a category, given that it lumps standard English articles in with Anglicized foreign words, foreignized English words and dialectal variants.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:22, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Circular definition of marines

We define the noun marine as "a member of a marine corps"; we define marine corps as "a military organization of marines who are trained and equipped to fight on or from ships". A user who didn't already know what a marine was still wouldn't know after reading these definitions, and would probably get the impression that there are some marines who are not "trained and equipped to fight on or from ships", but that those marines do not form a marine corps. I know virtually nothing about the military, but I suspect that isn't the case. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:36, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

  • I have expanded the definition of marine to the best of my understanding. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:43, 4 May 2015 (UTC)


'seems to me that many of the defs should be moved to the uncap'd corinthian. 'was about to do it meself, but then i get confused about the capitalisation of an adjective and such, English not being my native language. Is anyone up to it ? --Jerome Potts (talk) 21:53, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Tag for idiomatic sarcasm

I want to add a sarcastic usage for dürfen (may), but I don't want it tagged RFD instantly. The word is used with a meaning 'to have to do something because of things oneself is not responsible for' (in all the possible ways this phrase can be read). This usage is highly idiomatic and not subject to the usual rules of sarcasm. It is acceptable in higher levels of formality than normal sarcasm and does not simply imply that the opposite of the word is meant but the opposite because of a specific reason. It is also used with a plainer tone of voice than average sarcasm, which can be applied to dürfen as well, giving a meaning of 'being ordered to', expressing anger. Furthermore it contrasts with müssen (must), which does not specify why one must do something, but is more often used for responsibilities one chose or is given justly. Any proposals how to implement that? Korn (talk) 23:03, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

"Jetzt darf ich das hier alles wieder einsortieren!" Of course, that's a normal sense and you should just add it. There's no reason to question a thing like this that is so normal. Why not simply:
(said with a sarcastic undertone) to have to, must, implying that the obligation is due to a fault by someone else
Or if you think the tone is not really sarcastic (of which I'm not so sure) then just (said with a certain tone). We won't be able to sufficiently define that tone anyway. Kolmiel (talk) 23:20, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
P.S.: I now see why you're asking this question. You need to make sure that this "idiomatic" sarcasm, because not every word can be added with a sarcastic sense that it may have. But I agree that this is a thing worth adding: first, because it's so common; and second, because as you say it conveys a very special meaning that is not just sarcastic but defined... So definitely add it, whether you find a really good tag or not. Kolmiel (talk) 23:29, 7 May 2015 (UTC)


This entry is defined as an SI unit of 100g. Strictly speaking that is incorrect. A 'metric unit of 100g' would be correct. The SI system did away with all the decimal subdivisions other than factors of 1000. So kg, g and mg are SI, but hg, dg are not. The definition uses an SI template and I do not know how to change that other than avoiding using the template

Gunmhoine (talk) 00:12, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Did the SI system include hectograms before it did away with the subdivisions? If so, it might be considered historical or obsolete, but still be valid- we're not limited to the present meanings. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:55, 5 May 2015 (UTC)


I just expanded the etymology of capital#English using information from the Macquarie Dictionary. According to the dictionary it entered Middle English directly from Latin. Is this enough to remove the stub category? Danielklein (talk) 05:31, 5 May 2015 (UTC)


Found a 10-year-old copyvio here which i undid here. Random House 1987 has it such: "The ropes, chains, etc., employed to support and work the masts, yards, sails, etc., on a ship." --Jerome Potts (talk) 06:40, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

"odour of Cronus"

I'm watching Roman Polanski's Carnage and I just heard Jodie Foster's character say "the odour of Cronus is killing me", what does this mean, and how can we include this sense on Wiktionary (if it is attestable)? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:04, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't know, but, according to a screenplay online, it's "That smell of Kronos is killing me!" Equinox 11:42, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Just off the top of my head, the Greek god/titan w:Cronus is sometimes associated with time, and then there's the whole thing about devouring his children. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:26, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be a brand of cologne. This blog post discusses it: [22]. Equinox 14:39, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

iron(II) sulfate

How is the (II) to be pronounced in this English term? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:51, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Like two. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:59, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't II merit a link in such entries and a definition at II? DCDuring TALK 14:11, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Added. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:48, 5 May 2015 (UTC) (p.s. It is vanishingly rare to hear such terms pronounced.)
I suppose I, III, IV, V, and VI at least need similar definitions. I don't know how high this pattern goes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:51, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
VIII is the highest generally accepted, but higher states are theoretically possible, and there are scientific papers suggesting the discovery of IX states. Smurrayinchester (talk) 17:29, 5 May 2015 (UTC)


Why do we use the pronunciation beɪˈdʒɪŋ in the IP and audio file? Shouldn't it be pronounced piːˈkɪŋ? ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:33, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, of course. I fixed it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:29, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I think it was due to an editor assuming that Peking is exactly a different spelling of what we now say Beijing instead of a spelling based on some other basis (that is, in this case, a different "dialect" of Chinese), and thus inserted the "Beijing" pronunciation. Hillcrest98 (talk) 20:03, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

ყოფნა - content problem

First of all, how do you translate "be" into Georgian? Translate.ge and Wikipedia say that this word is the answer. So does ka-WT.

This page has been troublesome to comprehend. There was a conjugation table at the beginning, but Mglovesfun removed it to use a template instead. But then Dixtosa removed every reference to this word ever being a verb and changed it into a plain noun.

And look at ka-WT's version.

I am very confused. Hillcrest98 (talk) 20:29, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

What makes you think you can just translate be into Georgian? It's a small function word; those frequently don't have a trivial translation. You need to pick up a grammar of Georgian instead of a dictionary if you need to know something like that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:39, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
@Hillcrest98: If you haven't checked, User:Dixtosa is a native Georgian speaker, so he must know what is right with this term, in any case, he knows better than us and there is very little info available on the Georgian grammar on the web. The lemma for Georgian verbs seems a verbal noun, anyway. You might also want to look at არის (aris, to be) and "is" (third person singular) - ეს რა არის? (es ra aris?, what is that?), usually replaced with final particle (copula?) " (a)". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:21, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I would be very surprised if this is never intransitive. Does anybody have a resource to confirm its pure transitivity? --Romanophile (talk) 12:49, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

As far as I know, it is only intransitive. —Stephen (Talk) 13:05, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
The entry was originally created with an "intransitive" label. It was changed with this edit, which may have been a simple mistake. @Lo Ximiendo:, did you accidentally change the label from intransitive to transitive, or do you know something about Friulian that we don't? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:40, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Changed it back to intransitive. —Stephen (Talk) 09:00, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

chacun à son goût

Since 2004 this has been displayed as English, but italicized.

If it is English, why is it italicized? Why isn't it, for example, non-standard French? DCDuring TALK 15:29, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

It’s French, although somewhat mangled. Compare qué será, será. —Stephen (Talk) 08:58, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

chacun à son goût may be used in a French sentence (ils ont décoré leur chambre, chacun à son goût), but is not a set phrase. The set phrase is chacun son goût (à chacun son goût is less common). Lmaltier (talk) 18:39, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Simplified characters in usage example for 呢

Just today, I loaded the page for , and its usage notes section had a couple mistakes. I fixed that 著 was said to be the same in simplified and traditional when in the usage of the sentence the simplified character is 着, then I tried to fix the pinyin for it, which is zhe and not zhù. The bold parts in the pinyin are no loger bold, and the simplified characters I gave in the code were simply ignored. How do I get that bold in place and how do I put that 着 in place of that 著 in the simplified characters? For now, the code is:

{ {zh-usex|我們 ' ' '正在' ' ' 上 ' ' '著' ' ' 漢語 課 ' ' '呢' ' '。|simpl=我们 ' ' '正在' ' ' 上 ' ' '着' ' ' 汉语 课 ' ' '呢' ' '。|tr=Wǒmen ' ' 'zhèngzài' ' ' shàng' ' 'zhe' ' ' Hànyǔ kè ' ' 'ne' ' '.|We ' ' 'are' ' ' attend' ' 'ing' ' ' a Chinese lesson}}

and renders as follows:

我們正在漢語 [MSC, trad.]
我们正在汉语 [MSC, simp.]
Wǒmen zhèngzài shàngzhe Hànyǔ kè ne. [Pinyin]
We are attending a Chinese lesson

As you can see, lots of quote marks (') are being ignored, and the "simpl=" part too. Now, I only guessed "simpl", so that part being ignored is probably my error, because I am a complete newbie in Wiki templates, but why are the 's ignored? And how do I fix these problems and get the parts in triple 's to be bold and the simplified characters to be correct? MGorrone (talk) 11:34, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

@MGorrone: The problem is fixed. To address this, you need to see the documentation for {{zh-usex}}. In a complex case like this one, when both the simplified form and the pinyin need to be supplied (hard-coded) [着]{zhe} notation is used, which fixes the conversion of to have as its simplified form and "zhe" as its pinyin reading in this particular case. |simpl= is ignored because this parameter simply doesn't exist. :)
This kind of errors happen but are not frequent, thanks for spotting! :)--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:20, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
At we are missing data for character - pinyin "zhú" and its simplified form . I have fixed it temporarily with this - [烛]{zhú}:
閃爍燭光讀書 [MSC, trad.]
闪烁烛光读书 [MSC, simp.]
Tā jiè zhe shǎnshuò de zhúguāng dúshū. [Pinyin]
She was reading by the flickering light of the candle.
I will fix the module later (for character 燭), when I have time (I'm not very skilled with Lua but I know this far, I think). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:29, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I suspected the simpl= parameter didn't exist in fact: chances of guessing a parameter right are epsilon :). Is there a parameter for giving simplified characters explicitly in that module, besides the […]{…} notation? MGorrone (talk) 13:16, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

No. Just use the documentation. That notation is for fixing two things in one -trad./simp conversion and hanzi/pinyin conversion. If you need just one, use CHAR{PINYIN} for pinyin and TCHAR[SCHAR] for trad. to simp. It has to follow immediately the character in question. Template {{zh-l}} converts trad. to simp. automatically but you need to use / + simp. character to hard code simplified characters. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:28, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I see. As I was on the Wiktionary to see the above messages and see the code edits, I stumbled upon the page for , which was lacking definitions. I went on to the MDBG dictionary ([www.mdbg.com]) and added definitions to the page taking from there. Could someone verify those definitions and maybe add usage examples? Thanks. MGorrone (talk) 13:31, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

first-degree murder

Is this term US-specific? Here in New Zealand, the legal definition of murder is slightly different - premeditation does not play as big a role. —This unsigned comment was added by Kiwima (talkcontribs) at 20:45, 9 May 2015.

  • Yes. I'm pretty sure this is a US term. In the UK we have murder and manslaughter. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:43, 10 May 2015 (UTC)


Is the pronunciation given correct? Is the j of this word really pronounced /l/? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:19, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

No, Danish J is uniformly [j]. I was checking whether it's a copy error from lag, but it doesn't seem so. It's not Sampa either, it's unlikely a slip on the keyboard. Very odd. _Korn (talk) 10:05, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
It was added (February 28, 2009) by Leolarsen, a native speaker, and his next edit was a tweak to the pronunciation of jage- no l there. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:48, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Is the Persian قاپیدن (qapidan) a cognate of the Latin capiō?

Discussion moved to Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium#Is the Persian قاپیدن (qapidan) a cognate of the Latin capiō?.

molt and moult

A user has added the pronunciation /mɒlt/ to these, tagging it "UK". Quite apart from the fact that "UK" is meaningless in a pronunciation section (there being dozens of different accents spoken across the UK), I can't find /mɒlt/ listed in any British dictionary. The closest I can find is [mɒʊlt] in the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, where it indicates a realization of /əʊ/ as [ɒʊ] before [l] in a syllable coda. But I can't find any evidence for /mɒlt/ with the short monophthong of doll anywhere. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:50, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

It's how I pronounce it (Melbourne, Australia), if that helps. (At least, doll and molt have a vowel in common for me.) --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 11:46, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, is that what the Macquarie Dictionary says for Australian English? Over the years I've grown to be very skeptical of people's own intuitions about how they say things (including my own). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:57, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Yay for university subscriptions. Macquarie says:
  • doll /dɒl/
  • molt /moʊlt/.
And yet the proscribed spelling doesn't match mine. My pronunciation is a monophthong as near as I can make it. I haven't run my own pronunciation past a phonological analysis, though, to be fair. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 12:19, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah I think in Northern England [mɒlt]] is the usual pronunciation. It rhymes with fault. The UK audio file on fault is fine but Southern. From the accent I'd say Bristol. But it's not how we pronounce it in the North. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:47, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
If it rhymes with fault, then it's [mɔːlt], not [mɒlt], right? Homophonous with malt? Same vowel as thought, different vowel from lot? Is it a complete merger, or just for this word? In other words, do bolt, colt, dolt, jolt also rhyme with fault? And is it verifiable? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:58, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
For me, bolt, colt, dolt, jolt and fault are all rhymes. Thought has a different vowel. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 21:04, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't pronounce it [fɔːlt], no. Moult and lot for me have different vowel sounds, but I don't know what to call them. Catsidhe where are you from? Renard Migrant (talk) 15:34, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
As I said above, Melbourne, Australia. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 20:42, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
This is how I pronounce it, correctly or otherwise. Chambers does not have this pronounciation, but only the diphthong. Equinox 16:51, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
How does it differ from malt for you, if at all? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:21, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
They're about the same: /mɒlt/. "Malt" might be slightly closer to "mɔlt"... hard to say. Equinox 17:27, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
The fact that you're not even sure whether or not they're homophones illustrates beautifully why I prefer to rely on published dictionaries for pronunciation information rather than users' introspection. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:42, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
For me they are exact homophones. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 20:42, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Angr by your own admission there are lots of accents in the UK. Dictionaries generally cover upperclass southern accents. [mɒlt] definitely exists if that helps. And I do pronounce it with the same vowel as lot, it just took me ages to work out what the vowel of moult is because it sort of runs into the l. So I tried just saying mo (the bit before the l) and found that it has the same vowel as lot. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:10, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
There are other sources than dictionaries, though. Linguistic descriptions of middle- and working-class accents and of Northern England accents that explain what phonemic mergers have taken place compared to the upper-class Southern accents would be fine too. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:01, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I think that [əʊl] + unvoiced stop is very rare in English – the long vowel makes you expect a voiced consonant. Compare bowled / bolt, cold / colt, fold / fault, hold / holt, old / alt-, sold / salt. I can't think of any other examples of [-əʊlt]. Although I'd say [məʊlt] if I was speaking slowly and carefully, it feels much more natural to shorten it to [ɒ]. Ƿidsiþ 09:33, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

integrating resource

Do we have a context label for terms (such as this) that are used by librarians and the like? SemperBlotto (talk) 08:03, 12 May 2015 (UTC)


According to the Aviva multicar insurance TV ad: "Apparently, there are better things to spend your money on than chest waders. Not when you are up to your nicky-nacky-noos trout fishing there ain't." Where exactly are one's nicky-nacky-noos, anatomically speaking? The word appears repeatedly in the well known school playground Nicky-nacky-noo song of course, along with many other body parts. But the meaning, if any, is never explained in the song. SpinningSpark 16:48, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

In the song it seems to be deliberately vague, so it probably was in the ad as well. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:46, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I've created it at nicky nacky noo (both hyphenated and unhyphenated seem to occur) with the best citations I can find on the citations page. SpinningSpark 18:46, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I recall a similar usage in a song by Ken Dodd, most of 50 years old. JzG (talk) 10:01, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
That would be Dodd's Nikky Nokky Noo song]. A rich source of new words if someone would care to list them :-) SpinningSpark 21:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Surely in the ad it is a humorous euphemism for "testicles", isn't it?? 21:03, 28 May 2015 (UTC)


We are inconsistent on vulgar/impolite verbs meaning go away. Some have interjection sections, some don't.

  1. go away
  2. piss off
  3. bugger off

All have interjection sections

  1. sod off
  2. clear off
  3. naff off

All just have verb sections. There are of course a lot I haven't checked yet. For me fuck off and get lost definitely have interjection senses, expressing disbelief ("he won an Oscar? Get lost!") Renard Migrant (talk) 22:37, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Category:Deverbatives by language, Category:Denominatives by language

How come we don't have that? --Fsojic (talk) 14:03, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

We use deverbal and denominal more than deverbative and denominative. I think the best thing would be to create {{deverbal of}} and {{denominal of}} for etymologies. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:05, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Is it really all that significant what part of speech a term is derived from? —CodeCat 22:09, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, overcategorization is a thing. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:17, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I want these categories, and I want them now. Proceed. --Fsojic (talk) 17:27, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
In most languages, the work is done by addition of morphemes, for which we do have categories. In many others, it's done by particles or even by context, so such a category would just confuse things. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:42, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

About hypothesizing about coincidences

Hi, guys. Please let me make a little proposition.

In the article about Korean and Japanese postpositional particles, I think it'd be a good idea to change a few things. It is stated, in the article about the postposition e (へ), that "Japanese and Korean e may be cognates". In my humble opinion, that part should be removed. First, because there is no conclusive evidence. And second, because coincidences like that offen occur:

- Russian and Turkish dative cases are also e. Despite this, this fact doesn't mean that the four languages share cognates.

- Another variant of the Turkish dative case is a, which is exactly the dative in languages as Spanish and French. Again, nothing more than simple coincidences.

I think it is necessary to be as objective as possible, and not hypothesize too much. That is the scientific point of view, and therefore, the only to be trusted. I hope you understand. Thank you for reading up to the end.

--Hatobureika (talk)

I suspect the reason it was mentioned is because there are quite a few similar particles between Japanese and Korean and there's quite a bit of debate about Japanese etymology and possible links to Korean. To people looking it up, that information can be quite useful, even though it is speculative (as long as it's clear that it's only speculative). With the other languages you mentioned, it's fairly certain that the similarities are coincidences, and including that information would not be useful to anyone. Eishiya (talk)
  • Yes, ditto what Eishiya said. In some cases for KO and JA particles, there is even historical evidence to suggest particle borrowing, such as JA nominative / subject particle (ga) possibly being adopted as KO nominative / subject particle (ga).
Aside from borrowing, there is a lot of potential overlap between the two languages, much more so than in the other pairs that Hatobureika mentions. Take, for instance, the now-obsolete Old Japanese nominative emphatic particle (i) and the modern Korean nominative / subject particle (i), counterpart to (ga). I see no harm in mentioning the similarities and possible cognates between KO and JA, so long as such mentions are clear about what is linguistic consensus and what is speculation. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 18:32, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

To have/throw a paddy

This is a phrase that is used in the UK, meaning "to throw a tantrum for a minor reason". It's usually used to refer to children, and when used for adults, it implies they're being childish. I don't know how regional it is, or whether it's related to paddy or Paddy, though I suspect it's the latter. There are quite a few results on Google for both versions, but nothing on the ngram viewer, as it's so colloquial. Is this something we could add? What kind of reference would be appropriate? Eishiya (talk)

Yes, we should add it. You can "have", "throw", or "get into" a paddy (any other verbs?), so it almost seems worth including as an extra sense at paddy. Equinox 18:23, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Etymology 2 of paddy says from English paddy. That's good to know. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:03, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Hmm. I've added a noun section for the temper sense. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:14, 14 May 2015 (UTC)


Rfv of the pronunciation. Tagged but not listed. (RP) [rəʊmɑːns]

The tagger's spot on, it's [æns] even in RP. [ɑːns] doesn't exist in any dialect I can think of. Not for the suffix -ance, but for words ending in -ance like chance it's totally fine. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:02, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

I'll do this tomorrow if there are no reasonable objections. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:07, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

casual sex (or casual + sex?)

Do we currently include the relevant sense of "casual" as in "casual sex"? ---> Tooironic (talk) 16:15, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

I think senses 2 (without regularity, occasional) and 6 (informal, relaxed) cover it. If anything, perhaps sense 6 could be expanded/clarified to "informal, relaxed, without obligations or commitments" since casual is used in this sense for many things other than sex (a casual lunch with one's boss, for example). Eishiya (talk)
Really? You can have casual sex regularly; you can also have casual sex in a non-relaxed manner. I think it deserves a whole new sense. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:57, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Eishiya's "without obligations or commitments" seems to capture the meaning (whether that's a new sense or not). Equinox 07:00, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
  • casual sex at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that a few other dictionaries find this worth including. DCDuring TALK 12:40, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Strange Loop of patata/batata etymology (Spanish)

The etymology of patata in Spanish states "Blend of papa and batata." I take a look at batata and see "From patata." What?? It simply can't be that they evolved from each other. Scimonster (talk) 19:28, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

So I looked them up in DRAE and... it says exactly the same thing! I've found an alternative source saying that Spanish patata is from Taíno batata and the same site says that Spanish batata is also from Taíno batata. Which also sounds right. Why batata would come from patata rather than Taíno batata is beyond me. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:03, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I forgot the link, it's http://etimologias.dechile.net/?patata. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:07, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the DRAE is wrong in both instances. The TLFi says that French patate is from Spanish patata, itself from Taíno batata via Spanish batata. Batata is attested in Spanish before patata so the older form can't be derived from a more recent form. Also no mention of a blend between papa and batata. I'm gonna check the SOED entry for potato now. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:47, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
SOED says from Spanish patata, variant of batata. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:03, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

"bound up with"

Sth is bound up with sth else (=sth is relevant to sth else). Do we currently have this sense, e.g. at bind? Or should it go at bound up with? ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:55, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

I think including the preposition at the lemma is a mistake, i.e. if anything it should be at bind up or bound up. After all, we don't have entries for annoyed with or aspire to. Equinox 07:01, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Makes sense. I've included the sense (plus another one) at bound up because I don't think bind up can be used that way. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:43, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
  • bound up with at OneLook Dictionary Search and bound up in at OneLook Dictionary Search show that a few dictionaries have these. Also, I don't think the wording at bound up captures this yet. DCDuring TALK 12:34, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

hang out or fall in with the wrong crowd

He starting hanging out with the wrong crowd. / He's fallen in with the wrong crowd. How would we include this common idiom on Wiktionary? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:27, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

We have hang out and fall in in the right senses. Wrong crowd seems to me to be a common collocation, albeit an SoP one. Why not just add usage examples at the phrasal verbs at least? DCDuring TALK 12:38, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Is Wrong crowdreally SoP? A naive reading would imply a crowd that is the wrong one, not necessarily a socially undesirable subculture. Kiwima (talk) 03:24, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
In this usage I've always thought of it as "unsuitable", or "not in accordance with a behavioral standard" of the speaker or possibly speaker and audience, possibly as "leading a person in a direction (on life's journey) unsuitable etc.". Frankly I think there are several sense of wrong that could be used in interpreting the collocation. "Socially undesirable" seems like a restrictive meaning that, because it selects one definition, wrongly narrows the meaning. DCDuring TALK 04:26, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm inclined to say create wrong crowd, but not create anything longer. Purplebackpack89 04:55, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes. And bad company could be added as a synonym. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:00, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I've added entries at wrong crowd and bad company. It's a start, I guess. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

μὴ γένοιτο

Is this a genuine Ancient Greek idiom? It literally translates as "may it not happen", so it seems SoP. I did a Perseus collections search and came up with 120 references (eleven from Demosthenes, and then sixteen in the New Testament and thirty-two in Epictetus, who really liked the phrase.) ObsequiousNewt (εἴρηκα|πεποίηκα) 16:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)


The collective noun for bankers is, colloquially, wunch (a Spoonerism). This word has been nuked a few times but there's some evidence of mainstream coinage now. [23] mentions it, so does [24], it appears in a Mike Harding song from 1979 [25]. I think this is actually not a transient neologism. Obviously it hasn't made the OED yet but neither is it restricted to Urban Dictionary. JzG (talk) 09:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

This is probably citeable!
Apparently, I also removed my shirt as if performing a malcoordinated strip routine and then introduced bemused spectators to a dance move that was out of place when first revealed at university and was certainly not appropriate at a reasonably formal party surrounded by a wunch of bankers.
That particular wunch of bankers may be mortified to know that Hamm had no connection with [...]
Today, we learn that Douglas Hurd, in a couple of months' time, is set to join those providers of financial services, collectively known as a "wunch of bankers", NatWest, from a bunch of MPs.
I'd have no objection to a page being created. Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:05, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Does it ever appear on its own, without the "of bankers"? Keith the Koala (talk) 15:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that "wunch" is not a word in its own right, but just an element of wordplay in one specfic phrase. I can't find any evidence of its use outside that phrase. 00:56, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
A couple of hits/
Meanwhile in the more conventional 'Men Seeking Women' column [of the Financial Times], the guys go to great lengths to make themselves sound utterly loathsome. They're tall and muscular, exceptionally handsome and attractive, loyal, sincere, genuine, sensitive, educated, rich and modest. What a wunch! [Since it's talking about the FT, the newspaper of bankers, the reference is probably intentional.]
Well fuck me sideways with a wooden stake, I realize dismally, I've fallen in a wunch of vampires. [The vampires work in finance. The same author has (in a different book series), a gestalt banking intelligence called "the Wunch", so it's clear he knows the word and its not likely to be a typo.]
Smurrayinchester (talk) 07:30, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Genghis Khan

@Atitarev: I think someone used the wrong language code here. It sounds extremely peculiar that the title of a Mongolian emperor derives from an Austroasiatic language. ばかFumikotalk 12:24, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Good catch. User:Chuck Entz fixed it. DCDuring TALK 14:21, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

residential treatment center

I've currently run into a problem while creating the term residential treatment center: it keeps getting deleted. I believe this being deleted was incorrect because this is a specific type of treatment center, just like race car is a specific type of car, but no one has deleted race car, so why can residential treatment center not be created? Residential treatment center is a common licensing term: http://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/cwmanual/section4/ch18/sec4ch18sub6.htm Regargia (talk) 15:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Is it not true that a residential treatment center is a treatment center that is residential? DCDuring TALK 16:03, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Is it not true that a race car is a car that races? Cheryl.kristine.johnson (talk) 16:08, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it is. Perhaps you should challenge the entry for race car. See WT:RFD. But we include race car because it is the more common form of racecar. Can you find attestation for residentialtreatmentcenter?
But we are now talking about the subject User:Regargia proposed: residential treatment center, not race car. So how is a residential treatment center different from a center ("A place where some function or activity occurs.") for treatment ("Medical care for an illness or injury") that is residential ("Used as a residence or by residents.")? DCDuring TALK 16:13, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
And please don't use sockpuppets to support your case. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:21, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Devil's advocate (since I don't feel this entry is necessary): without a hyphen, I suppose one can't technically be sure whether it's a centre for residential treatment, or a treatment centre that is residential. Seems pretty obvious though. Equinox 21:39, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Is a race car not any car that races? Well, no. Cheryl.kristine.johnson will you answer the question asked to you or simply continue to mock other users. Perhaps mocking us is not the best way to convince us you're right, as opposed to say provide evidence. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
@Equinox: If either residential treatment or treatment center were idiomatic (not SoP), there might be something to talk about. There is a lemming case for residential treatment at OneLook Dictionary Search as a medical/psychiatric term. But I don't think it us our obligation to disambiguate every collocation with more than two members because there might be ambiguity. Users can be expected to do something to construct meaning. In this case I suppose that we would need to have residential treatment as a derived term at both residential and treatment. DCDuring TALK 22:42, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

pig in a blanket

The definition pretty much contradicts the related picture because of its incompleteness. GeneralFailer (talk) 13:03, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

It seems that Brits and Americans wrap their pigs a bit differently. I've added the American definition which the picture illustrates, and an illustration of the British definition. - -sche (discuss) 13:23, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I think leaving "right top" instead of just "top" will be less confusing.GeneralFailer (talk) 13:33, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Looking for a word

Is there a word in English to describe the tracing of original sources of historical data and materials? For example, a Qing dynasty historian writes an account, but later on we discover that he was merely copying what an historian from a different dynasty wrote. We would then try to find out when the original account was written. This is known as 史源学 in Chinese. I came across the translation historigenesis but it doesn't appear to be a real word. Any help is appreciated. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:36, 23 May 2015 (UTC)


I don’t think that anybody would recommend this form over etc. I think that this should be classified as a misspelling, or at least an informalism, not an ‘alternative spelling.’ @Chuck Entz: do you have any opinion on this? --Romanophile (talk) 07:24, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Interesting. Would be nice to see what other dictionaries say on the matter, Oxford, Chambers, MW, Collins (etc.). Renard Migrant (talk) 14:04, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Much to my surprise, Chambers has etc as headword with no sign of a dot. Equinox 14:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
@Renard Migrant: Oxford Dictionaries has etc., but the OED’s entry (headword: “et cetera | etcetera, n.”) hasn't been fully updated since the publication of the 1891 NED entry. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:15, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

' and -' etc.

moved from Wiktionary:Tea room/2015/April#' and -' etc.
  1. Why is it English ' (as in e.g. "Jesus'"), but German -' (as in e.g. "Jesus'")?
  2. Why is it English -'s (as in e.g. "Andrea's"), but German 's (as in e.g. "Andrea's")?

There's no difference between "Jesus'" and "Jesus'" and between "Andrea's" and "Andrea's", so it should either be just ' and 's or just -' and -'s. As this possessive/genitive marker can't stand alone, the better choice should be -' and -'s (with "-" as it's also used for suffixes which can't stand alone). -Iftjbda (talk) 10:47, 24 May 2015 (UTC)


Can someone put together a better definition for noun one?

I cannot tell if this word is supposed to mean "a high seat that smacks of distinction and authority" or if it is supposed to mean "a tribunal or court". Tharthan (talk) 16:17, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

stink, noun (New Zealand slang)

"A failure or unfortunate event. The concert was stink." This looks like an adjective. Should it be, or should the sentence be changed to say "the concert was a stink"? Equinox 12:09, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Social Media Networking

The definition for the term 'social media networking' was deleted and I wanted to know how why and what other information needs to be added?

Definition social media networking: the act of building, creating and leveraging personal or business relationships through social media applications with a goal of providing or receiving support, feedback, insight, resources and information in the future.

Please provide feedback.

SemperBlotto has replied on his talk page, where you also posted this query. Equinox 14:45, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
All words in all languages, not all strings of words in all languages. We have social media and networking. No other information needs adding, that's the whole point. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:15, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

of this parish

There's a set phrase "of this parish", usually meaning "working for this institution". See, for instance:

Tiff Needell, formerly of this parish, went everywhere with both the rev counter and the fuel gauge in the red zone. (Tiff Needell, like Jeremy Clarkson, used to present Top Gear)
Other commentators (eg Allister Heath of this parish) have taken the view that the first round of QE was necessary but later rounds a bad idea. Yet others (eg Liam Halligan, again of this parish) have been suspicious of QE from the start. (These are all Daily Telegraph writers)
How long will it be before formidable talents like Nicola Jeal (once of this parish, now of the Times) are allowed to run all of a newspaper, not just its juicy mags and Saturday specials?

Is this a separate definition for parish, or does it deserve an entirely new entry? Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:31, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

It is not something I hear in the US. I hypothesize it to be an extension of the sense of "neighborhood" (which we also do not have) to include figurative neighborhoods, specifically "figurative place of employment". Is that hypothesis supportable (or easily disproved)? DCDuring TALK 14:44, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
This is a set phrase that, in the UK, we only hear in the Banns of marriage so, as an example, for three weeks before I got married the vicar at my church would tell people that "Jeffery Albert" of this parish was to marry Maureen Ann of the parish of St Mary in Stevenage. The above usages seem to be an informal extension to mean "of this locality or institution". SemperBlotto (talk) 15:08, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
That sounds like a very literal usage of the component terms to me. DCDuring TALK 22:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
The original meaning of the phrase is literal. The examples at the top of this thread are not literal. 20:57, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Pronunciation for Japanese マッハ (mahha)?

@Electric goat, TAKASUGI Shinji, Whym, Aaronsama~enwiktionary, Bendono: Can anyone provide the pronunciation of マッハ (mahha)? I wonder if /h/ and [ɸ] are truly geminated in Japanese. I apologize to call on all of you, since I'm not sure to whom I can refer this topic to. ばかFumikotalk 14:10, 28 May 2015 (UTC)


Does this word exist? Is it attestable? ---> Tooironic (talk) 16:45, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

google books:professionality says yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:38, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

think of a word to describe the spelling Möeller

When it's not possible to type a German umlaut ö, the correct thing is to decompose it into oe. I'm looking at an old record where someone whose name should be spelt Möller or Moeller has instead been spelt Möeller. I'm trying to think of the best word for this. I don't think it's just "redundant" — it's redundant to describe a woman who acts in films as both "female" and "an actress", but although the phrase "female actress" is redundant, it's not wrong/inaccurate the way "Möeller" is. - -sche (discuss) 23:14, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

superfluous? excessive? duplicative? inordinate? Leasnam (talk) 00:32, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Please do not edit section titles as this breaks links on talk pages and in other discussion fora.

Translations of the week
1 day
2 knife
3 laugh

Collaboration of the week
3 neuter

quote unquote
real McCoy
aggravated assault
score a brace
open sunshine
put one's trousers on one leg at a time
show a clean pair of heels
include me out
see mui
li hing mui
stand pat
sit on the fence
it's all Greek to me
vive la différence
make love, not war
toss around
of all
look who's talking
naked as the day one was born
of a
serve someone right
western world
me, myself and I
in bed
bad girl
bad boy
spoken for
a lot
last night
seeing is believing
at a stand
Bos grunniens grunniens
Ahle Hadith
waltz Matilda
rotary dial
four foot
better place
give over
snow leopard
far point
молодым везде у нас дорога, старикам везде у нас почёт
petitio principii
as good as
tomayto, tomahto
contrary to
how's that for
pecker mill
a rolling stone gathers no moss
with a vengeance
same old same old
sumti tcita

olla podrida

enough to choke a horse
nothing to it
TV land

November 2007

biphasic note

I extracted this from biphasic. Is it music or acoustics or ?. DCDuring 19:55, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

--I think biphasic always can't be treated as music.It can be taken as acoustics. This approach is also supported by physics. --Etymologist 14:18, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


Just searching for the heck of it, it looks like mooses was at one time used as plural of moose. [26] the 4th entry down shows usage in John/Abigail Adams' letter(s). Should this be listed as rare, dated, archaic? I am unsure. sewnmouthsecret 21:17, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

What language are you referring to?—msh210 21:37, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
English, apparently; see <http://books.google.com/books?id=wkgMY68hQ2oC&pg=PA272&dq=mooses>. —RuakhTALK 21:55, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I thought John Adams would have given it away. :) Anyway, English. sewnmouthsecret 23:44, 1 November 2007 (UTC)


The question I have here is what labels should be applied to the figurative definitions of the word "impact". Currently the noun is labelled "colloquial" and the verb "nonstandard"; in my opinion neither term is accurate. At best the usage should be described as "disputed".

I guess part of the problem is that I'm not sure what these terms mean other than that they're intended to be negative. According to the Merriam Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage (p 406), the figurative verb usgae first appeared in literary contexts such as Christopher Morley and the Times Literary Supplement. Although it later became associated with politics, the usage is very widespread. Google News returns 200,000+ hits for the term, and the majority of them are the figurative use. The label "colloquial" thus seems wrong to me, and I don't see how something that is used that widely in the copy-edited prose of newspapers can be considered "nonstandard". No print dictionary I looked at gave any special label to the figurative senses, although they attached usage notes discussing the controversy.

The usage notes are generally in favor of the usage; the Random House says "Although recent, the new uses are entirely standard and most likely to occur in formal speech and writing."

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:46, 1 November 2007 (UTC).

Agreed. —RuakhTALK 23:59, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I couldn't quite follow this. What has been proposed? What has been agreed?
  • Is the noun sense "A significant or strong influence. An effect. (Disputed)" to remain "Disputed" or to be considered standard?
  • Is the verb sense "(nonstandard) To influence; to affect; to have an impact on" to remain "nonstandard" or become "Disputed"?
  • What is the appropriate placement and capitalization for these indicators?
I interpret "nonstandard" to be more strongly negative about a usage, suggested some kind of consensus among relevant experts and "disputed" as meaning lack of such consensus. I had the general impression that the figurative usage of the verb "impact" was more negatively viewed than the figurative noun usage. Is that impression correct? If it is, I would have thought that the noun sense has become standard, but could be considered "disputed", but that the verb sense might remain in "dispute", but can no longer be viewed as nonstandard. DCDuring 01:35, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm agreeing that this word is neither colloquial nor nonstandard. (Some contributors — none of our regulars, I don't think, but mostly anons who drop in once and make a few tweaks — appear to think that "colloquial" means "this is technically wrong, but it's so common that I guess it's O.K. in colloquial speech". They are mistaken. Also, some contributors appear to think that "nonstandard" means "I don't like this usage" or perhaps "widely used and widely reviled"; this is an iffier point, but I'd say that they're mistaken as well.) {{proscribed}} might be O.K., though. —RuakhTALK 16:15, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I have inserted "proscribed" for the verb use of "impact" and removed "colloquial" from the "effect" sense of the noun, based on the above. DCDuring 18:37, 2 November 2007 (UTC)


Another hot button topic, but the labels and usage note on the "irregardless" page seem out of sync with the quotations. There are five quotations given, spanning 130 years. Three are academic publications from university presses, and one was written by a judge in a court opinion. Given those citations, labels like "nonstandard", "illiteracy", "usually inappropriate in formal contexts" and "jocular" seem odd. I think what probably needs to be done is to expand the quotations list to show more informal uses of the term, and perhaps expand the usage note as well, but I'm not completely sure how this should be done. —This comment was unsigned.

That's because the labels and usage note were written by "anti" editors, and the quotations were added by "pro" editors. Personally, I think the usage note is actually quite fine; it looks like an accurate description of the word's status. The labels should probably be replaced with {{proscribed}}, which is our catch-all "this exists, but not everyone's happy about it" label (c/o Rodasmith). —RuakhTALK 16:09, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Inserted proscribed, left in mainly US and jocular. DCDuring 18:54, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I think we've dealt with this one pretty well, on balance. Widsith 11:56, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

due course

I am not sure that due course is or was an idiom. It might have just been SoP until the last two or three centuries. "In due course" would seem to be an idiom, especially if "due course" alone is not. I have 4 usage examples, but am not happy with my third attempt to define it. DCDuring 23:27, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I would put the entry as in due course with label Category:English prepositional phrases Algrif 14:00, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

loyal to a fault

what does it mean?
loyal to a fault
—This comment was unsigned.

It means “so loyal that it could be considered a fault”; perhaps the person being described is loyal even when the object of his loyalty is shown not to deserve it. —RuakhTALK 22:06, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Clinton uses the word "speeded"

Clinton used the word "speeded" when talking about how the campaign "will be" in the next couple of months. Isn't "speeded" a pst tense form of the word "speed?" —This comment was unsigned.

Yes, past tense and past participle. American adults only use it for speed's transitive sense ("We speeded it up", "It was speeded up"), and even then it's only questionably standard; our entry suggests that the British might use it more freely. —RuakhTALK 21:56, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Definitely not in my experience. It’s sped that’s used in all cases (bar by the ridiculed ineducated).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:14, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, come to think of it, “he was speeded to his destination” is standard…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:16, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm.... Seems that sped is used when the subject is acting intransitively ("The car sped up", "He sped home"), but that speeded is often used when the subject is acting transitively on another object ("We speeded up the process"), and regularly used when the subject is passive ("He was speeded to his destination"). Not, of course, that use is universally divided for transitive/intransitive (as Dorem. points out). --EncycloPetey 14:15, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


60+ cites of "Halachas" as plural on b.g.c. Don't know how to do transliteration to compare the transliterated Hebrew plural, DCDuring 01:52, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I don’t know what you mean when you talk of transliteration. Note these other statistics:
  1. 654 Google Book Search hits for halachot;
  2. 642 GBS hits for halachoth; and,
  3. 407 GBS hits for halachos.
The plural forms already given are far more common than halachas.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:14, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Good guess!!! That's what I wanted to know. DCDuring 23:17, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Ruakh would be the one to ask really, but I’ve noticed that this class of Hebrew words have singular forms ending in -a and/or -ah and plural forms ending in -ot and/or -oth — whence your -os -terminal form came is unknown to me. BTW, are you sure that the ‘+s’ plural can be considered standard?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:25, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd say that -oth, -ot, -os, and -s are all acceptable. (-os reflects the Ashkenazim's traditional pronunciation, something like /ɔs/ or /əs/, which many still use, and which is also — no coincidence — the Yiddish pronunciation. Indeed, this word — like many en:Hebrew derivations — can equally be considered an en:Yiddish derivation.) —RuakhTALK 03:02, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Caps?—msh210 21:04, 6 November 2007 (UTC)


Shouldn't the entry be capitalized as Cheerios? That is how it seems to appear in the hundreds of fiction b.g.c. hits. DCDuring 21:23, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I moved it. A bot had moved it in 2005, presumably without checking usage frequency. Can it be protected from bot capitalization changes, if the capitalization is agreed as appropriate ? DCDuring 18:05, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. And, not to worry: that was a single-run bot. (Previously Wiktionary was like Wikipedia, in that article titles automatically started with capital letters. When this was changed to allow lowercase entry titles, that bot moved all existing entries to their lowercase forms.) —RuakhTALK 18:51, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Since it was all visible, I didn't think I'd attract too much hostility. Visible one-entry boldness shouldn't be bad for Wiktionary. DCDuring 20:51, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I've added the New Zealand definition (a cocktail sausage), with a reference. Just to confuse New Zealanders, the cereal was introduced there in 2006 03:26, 5 February 2008 (UTC)


1st sense is the town (proper noun); 2nd sense is the wine variety, now shown as a noun and uses "en-noun" The only visible difference in the entry is the display of the (red) plural. Of course, the putatively unique town called "Bardolino" might turn out not to be unique or a philosopher wishing to use Bardolino to illustrate the problems of the concept of uniqueness might wonder how to make its plural. But seriously, folks, isn't Bardolino in the wine sense a proper noun? Many proper names have plural forms. (Is that "Clancys" or "Clancies"?) Why mess up PoS to show plurals? DCDuring 23:12, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

The names of wines are a parennial problem. SemperBlotto could tell tyou about his many researches, and others here have done investigating as well. They do not function as proper nouns, so you can say "I tasted three different Chardonnays.". Oddly some wine names are occasionally capitalized, but this does not seem to be consistent. So, I would say the wine name is not a proper noun and a plural is possible.
As for the town name, it is a proper noun. Yes, it's true that many English proper nouns can be used in a plural form in unusual circumstances, those are usually statements where the referent is not to a specific entity, so it isn't really being used as a proper noun. If you talk about "All the Parises of the world." then you are not referring to a specific location, so you are not using Paris as a proper noun. This is possible for most proper nouns in English, but is a highly unusual construction, and not a normal part of the grammar of proper nouns as proper nouns. --EncycloPetey 00:12, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
When I taught, I needed to keep track of how many Johns and Sergeis I had in the class to make sure that I didn't call on one for something and get an answer from the other. In Wikipedia, DAB pages are often about multiple instances of things with the same proper names. It doesn't seem all that exceptional to me. It is an old exercise in US geography to name all the states that have Springfields. When doing Wiktionary work, I have to check both my Websters (Merriam-Websters (Collegiate and 3rd unabridged)) and both of my Fowlers. And let's not get started on my library, e.g., with a couple of Principles of Psychologys and Getting Things Dones. DCDuring 00:54, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Can I rely on Wiktionary's definition of "proper noun"? "The name of a particular person, place, organization or other individual entity; it is normally written with an initial capital letter". If so, the entry for "Smith" is wrong because it says "Smith" is a proper noun, but refers to not to a specific Smith, but to all members the class of all persons with the name Smith. In any event, "Smith" case has parallels to the case situation of "Bardolino", the wine. It doesn't seem like there is a clear bright line between a proper noun, defined as (possibly non-unique) identifiers of unique individuals, and "capitalized-nouns-which-are-not-proper-nouns". DCDuring 01:13, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Please wait for me to finish the Appendix on English Proper nouns. You can see the very crude draft here, but it needs lots of work before it's complete. I may work on it over Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday. I don't want to have to rewrite all of this each time the question arises, which it has been doing with some regularity of late.
Smith is a proper noun because it usually is used in a way that refers to a particular person named "Smith". When someone says "Have you seen Smith?" they are not referring to all members of the class of persons with the name Smith. The part of speech is dependent on usage, not on abstractions. Yes, the line between common and proper noun is fuzzy as times. Suffice it to say the best discussions of what makes a noun "proper" are by Locke and John Stuart Mill, and they were more concerned with the underlying concept the specifics and practicalities. --EncycloPetey 02:33, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I will certainly wait for you with bated breath, but unfortunately I'm like a dog with a bone with a subject like this.
It seems as if you are saying that the words we lable in Wiktionary as "proper nouns" are not, in fact, in and of themselves "proper nouns". E.g., "Milton" does not uniquely identify any unique person, but is used principally to identify persons, whom we specifically treat as unique. By this emerging definition of proper noun, the Properness of a noun is ultimately connected to instances of use. Is "Wiktionary properness" ("WikP") something with quantitative empirical criteria? Probably not. It is more likely that we will be identifying and formalizing the social conventions that say that require that every Tom, Dick and Harry, pets, human assemblages, and places of human importance be granted eligibility for proper nouns, whereas IP addresses; street addresses; non-pet animals, trees, and rocks (except very big ones) are not. Planets, stars, comets, galaxies yes? Certain periods of time. Trademarks. There would seem to be at least two kinds of proper names in Wiktionary:
  • Type 1: names that, practically speaking, uniquely identify in the speech of some group of humans unique objects deemed worthy of having a proper name: the "Foreign Minister", "Jimbo Wales", the Pentagon, Sol, Sadie Hawkins' Day, "Spot", Halley's Comet.
  • Type 2: words nearly exclusively used to constitute names of the first type. Sadie, Jimbo, Hawkins, Wales; but not day, spot, comet, pentagon, foreign, minister. This would boil down to given names and surnames (and corresponding entities in other naming systems).
Type 1 might not warrant including plurals. But Type 2 would. That they are used in multiple instances to make up names would certainly require the ability to make plural forms of "Henry", "Clancy", "Jimbo", "Hawkins". DCDuring 03:53, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language makes a big to do about this distinction, in a way that most sane people never bother with and which we don't worry about here on Wiktionary. They call individual proper elements "proper nouns" and the labels (either of one word or more) that name a specific item "proper names". But we don't make that distinction here. --EncycloPetey 05:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I have put up another version of the page that treats "Bardolino" as if it were a proper name like a trademark, many of which have plurals. This requires using "en-noun" under the "Proper noun" heading, manually inserting the "English proper nouns" category, and labelling the senses as countable and countable, as appropriate. It seems barbaric in appearance and likely to complicate bot design and operations. Another approach would have two "Proper noun" headers, one with "en-noun", the other with "en-proper". Also, we could deem all trademarks and trademark-like names to be nouns, not proper nouns. Or we could allow the proper name template to have plurals, defaulting to non-plural, of course, and not displaying "uncountable". DCDuring 04:16, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, {{en-proper noun}} will work for that as well; it accepts plural and uncountable markers. However, did you notice that the page we're discussing is marked Italian? It should have an Italian inflectional template, category, and should follow Italian plural forms. --EncycloPetey 05:41, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. I hadn't noticed, probably because it didn't have all the usual accoutrements of a non-English entry. And thank you for the info on the options of the proper noun template. DCDuring 15:40, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I have split this into English and Italian sections - the Italian plural is shown in the De Mauro dictionary. I am concerned that it uses lowercase though (may just be their typographical convention). I take the English plural to mean either different versions of the wine, or more than one glass of it. SemperBlotto 08:28, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I have read a little and realize more about the issues having to do with proper nouns. I would hazard a guess that many would-be contributors to Wiktionary are as uninformed as I was about the true def. of proper noun and with the same misplaced confidence in their ignorance. There are many Beer Parlor issues in this. DCDuring 15:52, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. The various proper noun discussions we had last summer were the impetus behind my researching and drafting the (forthcoming) Appendix on English proper nouns. --EncycloPetey 03:36, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

hoi palloi

Is this an alternative spelling of the far more common hoi polloi (GBS: hoi polloi–hoi palloi = 835:11), or is it just a fairly uncommon (but just about verifiable) misspelling? As what (if anything) is it listed in other dictionaries?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:18, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know, this is primarily a typo/misspelling and not a valid spelling. It certainly doesn't make sense as a transliteration from Greek. I've not seen it listed in any other dictionary. --EncycloPetey 03:33, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
OK. Shall we list it as a {{rare}} {{misspelling of|hoi polloi}} or just delete it?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 03:37, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
(If we do the former, we’ll have to do something clever with the template to omit the “common” part of it.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 03:39, 7 November 2007 (UTC))


Here's a neat word I recently ran into. countercounterpoint. It has three hits at bgc, all from the same document it looks like. And 22 hits at usenet. So it could scrape past requirements for inclusion. I dunno though, I don't think it's very common in practice. Who here has heard/used this interesting word in their everyday lives? It's a cool word and whether or not we include it today, I'll definitely keep an eye on it since it could be useful. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Language Lover (talkcontribs) 22:41, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I would try "counter-counterpoint". There are a few Google Books hits. DCDuring 00:33, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

If you don’t think it’ll satisfy the CFI, you can add all the citations you can find to Citations:countercounterpoint; if more are found in future, an entry with a definition can then be created.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
BTW, wiktionary has "counter-" (with the hyphen, as prefix) and "counterpoint". DCDuring 17:07, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

"Rebrebate" is it a word an if so, what does it mean?

"reprebate" is a word that i've heard a few times used to describe someones character. Was wondering what the true meaning of it is. Or is it just a slang word? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 23:35, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

rebrobate or reprobate ? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DCDuring (talkcontribs) 23:43, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

--The actual word used much for describing character is reprobate not reprebate. Usually people use this word for the person who is of no worth,generally.--Etymologist 13:52, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Rebrobate is another old term, used in Christian religious contexts, apparently with about the same meaning as reprobate, appeared in print while reprobate was also in use. "Rebrebate" could easily have been a scanno for rebrobate. DCDuring 15:39, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

cinematography question

What do you call the mark placed on a film near the end of a reel that flashes on the screen to tell the projectionist to switch reels? In Italian it is segnalatore di passaggio. SemperBlotto 14:31, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

A cue mark. —RuakhTALK 20:21, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. SemperBlotto 22:32, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
According to the movie "Fight Club it is know in the film industry as a "cigarette burn", which may have some currency if you wanted to look into it. - TheDaveRoss 22:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
And according to en:wp's article on cue marks, the term "cigarette burn" was invented for said movie. \Mike 22:32, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


It looks like a bit of bot gone astray on a template. I tried to fix it but was unsuccessful. Makearney 22:12, 7 November 2007 (UTC)


Would dinna be classed as Scots or English? --Keene 01:15, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

It's marked as "Geordie", which is regarded as a dialect of English. However, it might also exist in Scots. --EncycloPetey 03:30, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Sadly for lexicographers, the dialect boundary does not equate to the border between England and Scotland. Many (most?) Scots words are also found in Northern English dialects, especially Geordie which has held on to a lot of unqiue bits of vocab etc. Widsith 07:53, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


There are other past and past participles of "climb" in dialectical use, but it's hard to know which ones should be included and with what comments. A google search brings up hits for clim, clom, clum, clombed, clumbed, clambed, clomb, clumb, clamb, and climb. I don't know which of these are misspellings, or get enough hits to count as "real" uses. Any comments?

I don't know about the others, but I understand that the ordinary past tense used to be clomb. RSvK 14:16, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Are they all from modern w:English? Post c. 1500, I think. Middle English is also fine, but sep L2 header. I think that they all could be in Usage notes for "climb" until the research is done. The search engine would find them at least once they were indexed. Normal CFI applies, but the "well-known work" rule might help speed things up. DCDuring TALK 17:34, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


what does "boiloff" mean? (in "liquid oxygen" article)

quote from "liquid oxygen" article:

"LOX was also used in some early ICBMs, although more modern ICBMs do not use LOX because its cryogenic properties and need for regular replenishment to replace BOILOFF make it harder to maintain and launch quickly."

boiloff = boil off = evaporation DCDuring 10:10, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

found it it's in "vacuum flask" article quote:

"the leakage of heat into the extremely cold interior of the bottle results in a slow "boiling-off" of the liquid"

Thanks for asking. Missing word. DCDuring 10:18, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


"You-know-who" has singular the same as plural. The entry gives two senses, one for the singular, one for the plural, that formerly were almost exactly parallel and are now exactly parallel, with pari passu adjustments for number. I found that I felt compelled to read both carefully to understand why two senses were being given. Is it really necessary to have two senses, either to:

  • draw the reader's attention to the identical spelling of singular and plural or
  • simplify the wording of the definition? DCDuring 15:48, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
No. Widsith 15:49, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Shouldn't it be "You-know-whom"? Alan162 19:41, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
We're not prescriptive. I'm sure you could find grammarians who could make an argument for the appropriateness of this form. It is used in all kinds of writings (except perhaps the most formal ones). A search of Google books shows it is a common usage, much more than "you-know-whom".
If we were talking about the collocated words "you know who" and "you know whom", it would depend on how they were being used in a sentence. The "who"/"whom" might be taking its case from its role in a following clause.
  • "Do you know who that was?"
  • "Do you know whom you were talking to?"
Because English speakers have so little need for case distinctions, the "you-know-who" phrase seems to have simply taken the most common form and used the whole as a noun that has no case ending. DCDuring TALK 21:09, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


The two senses seem identical to me, and I was going to merge them but they appear to have different translations in Kurdish. Am I missing something? Widsith 09:31, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

No idea about Kurdish, but there are two definitions that need to be entered more clearly. 1) unbendable applied to a thing 2) inflexible applied to a person. Translators will just have to sort it out later. Algrif 13:36, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I took a stab at 3 senses for the adjective. I also noted that there are RfVs for two verb senses, which I began to verify, but noted no discussion heading. I'm not sure that all three senses don't come down to "cheated of money". There may also missing senses: one relating to "breaking an appointment or similar social obligation" and another like "stonewall", but of broader application than just with respect to answering a question. Another possible sense is something like punch or, more specificly, cold cock. DCDuring 15:28, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Nice. I added another adj sense. There is also "stiff drink" which seems to be an idiomatic collocation of its own. Widsith 15:31, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Doh! Forgot that sense. Not much of a drinker, myself. DCDuring 17:03, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
And I've added "stiff muscles". - Algrif 16:36, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

les dim up

French speakers! Came across this one in a book recently . . . was completely new to me. I think I worked out the meaning OK.. But is there any other word for these, or would you just use this proprietary name, which is what it seems to be? Widsith 19:17, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not a "French speaker" any more than you are — and I'm not even good with the English terms for such things — but searching Google for explicit explanations of what they are (trying things like "dim up ce" and so on), it seems that there's no other general name for these; rather, people use "les dim up" as a generic name, and when pressed to explain it use full sentences. Personally, I think autocollant (sticker) would have been cleverer (collant being “tights”), but what can you do? :-P   Incidentally, it might be worth linking to w:fr:Dim (lingerie), which is a fr.wiki article on the company that introduced them. —RuakhTALK 21:40, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, well I'm still pleased - I always wondered how to say this in French. Not that I get the chance very often, but it's nice to think one'll be prepared. Widsith 21:43, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

let freedom ring

As what PoS should a phrase like this be presented. It IS a phrase, but it is a verbal phrase, following the inflection of let. "Freedom" is not inflected. What is the role of the Phrasebook in this? My own preference would be to present it as a Verb, use the idiom template, categorize it as a verb, but NOT have all of the inflections appear. That means NOT using the en-verb template. I can't find a policy on this. Has it been discussed? DCDuring 23:31, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I think {{en-verb}} should have a nolinks=1 parameter or something; the inflections would then still appear, but they wouldn't be links. We can use it for idioms like this, where links wouldn't be helpful because the linked pages should just be redirects to the main entry. —RuakhTALK 00:28, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
You're saying they should appear without the inflected forms having links, but presumable with "inf=let freedom ring". Why couldn't those links be automatic? DCDuring 01:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. :-/ —RuakhTALK 01:53, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't know that inflected forms of this have any currency, though. Isn't this more of a fixed, set-phrase? --Connel MacKenzie 01:12, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
This phrase may become passe, apearing only in historical works by conservative writers harkening back to the old days when Reagan "let freedom ring" (past), if they can't talk about how some future Repubican president is "letting freedom ring" can (present participle). Whether it is worth displaying them is a separate question, but they can be readily exemplified and perhaps verified (at least if you don't make me find three for each form). DCDuring 01:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, good point … properly speaking, I guess it's actually a full clause, in the imperative mood but not intended as a true imperative; it has the same structure as "let's talk" or "let me ask around", where you're not really instructing the listener to "let" something. (I think this sort of meaning is properly called "jussive" or something like that, though I've also heard it described as a "third-person imperative".) I don't know what part of speech that would be under our system; an idiom or interjection, I guess. That said, google books:"(lets OR letting) freedom ring" gets 21 hits, and google books:"(have OR having) let freedom ring" gets seven, so the entry might warrant a genuine verb sense that formed by extension. Regardless, my suggestion about {{en-verb}} was not intended just for this entry, but for many other such. I mean, does "given up" really need its own entry just because we have give up? —RuakhTALK 01:53, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I would fully support that intiative. As you know, I add a lot of phrasal verbs and idiomatic verbal phrases. At the moment I am obliged to put the individual words in brackets and add category:English verbs at the end. Not very satisfactory. nolinks=1 would be a great solution. As for the original question; I would opt for Phrase: let freedom ring. Any future searcher checking for letting freedom ring would, as a normal course, search the infinitive phrase anyway. Algrif 14:16, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
The recommendation to make the PoS = "Phrase" leaves the user to wonder whether the phrase is inflected as well as how. I've changed my mind about NOT having the inflections appear. I still don't like all the red links and having to type all of the inflected forms in. DCDuring 19:25, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Besides having all those (long) red-links, there is another problem with that technique: you might end up inventing unused variations. --Connel MacKenzie 20:04, 13 November 2007 (UTC) you also would be giving undue weight to some very rare forms. --Connel MacKenzie 20:06, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Not at all. If each separate word is bracketted, it links directly to the base page showing all the inflections. A long phrase or idiom or proverb (whatever you prefer) would only bracket the important words. That's what I was taught when I started working here, anyway. And it still makes good sense to me IMHO ;-) Algrif 12:28, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure how you got that impression - that is the Wikipedia convention (AFAIK,) but on Wiktionary, all the component words are supposed to be wikified. --Connel MacKenzie 20:03, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No prob. I just checked damned if you do and damned if you don't and see that all the words are wikified even though repeated. I understood that words like conjunctions and prepositions didn't need to be wikified in long phrases. There are many entries that do not follow this convention. I'll change them whenever I see them. Algrif 13:53, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
There is a problem with highlighting each component and expecting the phrasal inflection to be inferrable from that. To wit, only one word in a phrase like "let freedom ring" can be inflected while retaining the meaning given. "Freedom" can't be plural and "ring" isn't inflected either (although for a more grammatical reason). I think we are trying to get more out of the wikilinks than they can unambiguously communicate. DCDuring 15:15, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
letting freedoms ring gets 8 google hits... all to the same source. But it can be found with both let and freedom inflected.
Connel's points above are over-riding "all those (long) red-links" and "inventing unused variations." It is why I asked for guidance on this when I started. Firstly, someone looking the phrase up might well need to know what a component word means. Secondly, they might need to know how to inflect it, even if it is only to "inventing unused variation" for creative purposes. Algrif 15:45, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I got 2 blog hits for "let freedoms ring", too. We will always have creative extension of the language, but a dictionary is not primarily a guide for poets and bloggers trying to attract hits. WT documents the standard language; they play around with it. What I would think we would want is to point users to the main inflection explcitly and allow the wikilinks to be a kind of first-cut etymology and analysis tool, which supports creative writing and other uses. DCDuring 16:05, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Right - the convention on en.wikt is to send people to the component word pages for inflections. That practice doesn't jive well with other conventions that advocate duplication. It also is not followed (probably 20% of the time - presumably with good reason, for individual exceptions) all of the time. While I agree it is better to not list out inflections of set-phrases, some idioms might require proper inflection. I think that was the original question about this term - which I still do not know how to answer. Comparative web-hits show the standard form to have an overwhelming lead - perhaps it should just be left alone? --Connel MacKenzie 07:24, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I knew I had it somewhere. From your good self on my talk page, I quote: Please don't use full inflection for verb phrases. For all multi-word entries, the component terms only are supposed to have inflection. Please take a look at how I split jack it in from jack in. Thanks for your neat contributions! --Connel MacKenzie 17:35, 17 July 2007 (UTC) -- ;-) -- Algrif 15:53, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
So, not too bad to keep specific inflection for this one because "freedom" is rarely inflected. If it were never inflected, it might be a more clear-cut case.
To summarize the more general case, to avoid unrewarding proliferation of phrasal entries, the idea would be to refer the user to the component words for inflection, by making sure that we were using the "inf=", "pos=", and "sg=" template options. Exceptions would be allowed where there was a good reason, such as not all possible inflections being legitimate (or to allow a link to a particularly common participle form ?). This is not a policy or a guideline, but might eventually become one. Is that a good summary? DCDuring 16:27, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


Hi. I joined Wiktionary about a month back with the intention of beefing up the Malay vocabulary here. At the time, colour was one of the Translations of the Week, so I thought that I would start there. I have finally managed to put together an article for User:Nestum82/warna at my User Page, and I was wondering if I could get some feedback before appending it to warna. Nestum82 10:21, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Looks great! One minor thing, the English word varna is not a cognate - it hasn't descended from Sanskrit in the same way but was borrowed wholesale into the language. You need to say something like compare English varna. Widsith 10:38, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the warning! Gawd. I was under the impression that any two words with a common ancestor could be considered cognates. D'oh! Am I right in assuming that the compare English varna goes under the Etymology header?
Another thing that I should probably draw attention to is the Pronounciations. AFAIK, the major dictionaries do not give IPA pronounciations. Kamus Dewan only goes as far as using an é to differentiate Lua error in Module:parameters at line 127: The parameter "lang" is required. from Lua error in Module:parameters at line 127: The parameter "lang" is required.. So the pronounciations that I have given are both based on what comes out of my own mouth. Does this fall under original research? (Actually, I should put this question in the Talk Page. I've already got one lengthy postscript in there.) Nestum82 19:19, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Please, feel free to give your own pronunciations. Heck, we have a guideline or policy page somewhere that tells people they can write things like "KON-takt" if they don't know any formal transcription system. So, home-rolled IPA is really A-OK. :-) —RuakhTALK 22:44, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for all the pointers. I've finally gotten round to tacking the entry on to warna.
Ruakh: Now that you mention it, it does say that more or less in the ELE. Can't believe I forgot about that. Nestum82 17:37, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

the hungarian christian name : Ibolya

I think this means Violet in english. Would anybody be able to confirm that ? thanks


Well yes and no. There is a Hungarian word ibolya that does mean violet (both the flower and the color), and there is a Hungarian masculine feminine name Ibolya that apparently derives from the name of the flower. However, it would be misleading to say that the feminine name means "violet", just as it would be misleading to say that the English girl's name Heather means "a low growing plant in the Ericaceae". They both share a spelling and an etymological origin, but not a current meaning. --EncycloPetey 04:00, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Ibolya is definitely a feminine given name. But Viola and Violetta are also Hungarian names, so you cannot talk about translations, rather about variants of a theme.--Makaokalani 11:01, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I have rechecked my book on Hungarian names; thanks for the correction. --EncycloPetey 17:14, 13 November 2007 (UTC)


I have a feeling the current definitions don’t accurately cover the usage found in this hilarious comic: http://xkcd.com/341/. Could a native speaker add a definition, and maybe the quote? H. (talk) 16:00, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that it is a usage of the "defeat" sense, "You just got defeated pretty thoroughly, maybe you should sit down" might be a rephrasing. - TheDaveRoss 21:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


Looking in Template:fr-conj-er, I've noticed the "surcomposed past" been put in. Do other publications call it the surcomposed past? In French it's known as the passé fr:surcomposé, and is rarely used. As a holder of a degree in French, I've been made aware of it, but the teachers generally told me never to use it, as it's a kind of dialectic thing. Is it worth it being included in Template:fr-conj-er? Or is it too obscure? I suppose there's no harm in having it. Still, an entry for surcomposed could be needed. --Haunted wigwam 12:33, 13 November 2007 (UTC) (Yes, is blatantly Wonderfool, am leaving this account after this comment)

(1) I don't think there is a standard English name for it; Google Books suggests that most English texts just stick to the French name, but I don't think we can consider surcomposé to be a real loanword into English. (2) I don't think the surcomposé is a "dialectic" thing; my impression is that it's just an odd blend of literary French (where a distinction is drawn between the passé antérieur and the plus-que-parfait) and non-literary French (where the passé simple is systematically replaced with the passé composé). In true literary French you'd say « dès qu'il eut fait […] », and in normal French you'd say « dès qu'il avait fait […] », but in surcomposé-accepting French you'd say « dès qu'il a eu fait […] » (all meaning "once he'd done […]"). —RuakhTALK 17:56, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
My Collins-Robert French Dictionary translates surcomposé as "double-compound", though I don't know whether anyone uses that in grammatical contexts. --EncycloPetey 18:42, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I hadn't heard that before, but searching b.g.c., it looks like that is indeed the most popular name (at least of those I knew to look for). —RuakhTALK 19:44, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I have to say, I've lived in France and in Morocco, and I don't think I've ever seen the surcomposé used in real life! Widsith 09:19, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Responsible to or responsible for?

I run into what I believe to be the misuse of the word responsible fairly frequently when reviewing Standard Operating Procedures. Each SOP has a section that specifies who is accountable for performing the procedure. I frequently see something like "The Manager of Customer Service is responsible to initiate customer complaint..." and it doesn't seem right. Is this correct? Should this not be "... is responsible for initiating customer..."? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by MTLer (talkcontribs) 15:04, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

You are correct. One is responsible for carrying out a duty. I often hear responsible to used in the same sense as accountable to and answerable to.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:13, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
While "is responsible to initiate" is stilted, I'd not say it's wrong. Parse it as "is responsible" + "to initiate" (not as ... + "responsible to" + ...), and it has in the end the same meaning as "is responsible for initiating". As I say, though, it is stilted.—msh210 15:38, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
As usual, there is no Academy of English. But normal usage is: Responsible for a duty / department / etc.; and responsible to the head of dept. or similar person or dept above you (although you can be responsible to your clients, etc, also). Algrif 15:44, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
If we talk about the standard English ,then "responsible for" is the correct use,if we look for the preposition usage.In various countries where English is taught as subject, usage of responsible with 'to' is usually considered as common error or gramatically wrong.However, I think this flexibility to use 'responsible to' instead of 'responsibility for' is making its place in nowadays English speakers.--Etymologist 17:45, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
'responsible to + gerund' seems to find frequent use in non-American newspapers, judging from Google News. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 00:23, 14 November 2007 (UTC).

comparative of polite

Is the comparative of polite politer or more polite, (or both)? RJFJR 21:27, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Google Books supports both, with some preference for the latter. I, however, am less tolerant: "politer" sounds incredibly wrong to me. :-P   —RuakhTALK 22:08, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Sums up my opinion rather well. Currently polite lists 'more polite' but I find politer in my paper dictionary. I'm going to change it, but it sounds like it needs a usage note on how it sounds wrong to some people. Any suggestions on wording? RJFJR 02:47, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
What my experience tells as i have gone through many English writings ,both forms are supported.In daily use i've seen people talking as ,"She should say this in politer way."So i think you need not to change it.Rather politer and superlative degree being politest sounds better than 'more polite' and 'most polite'.But what standard English suggests ,i am bit doubtful about it ,not really ,but to some extent.--Etymologist 13:08, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Politer and politest both both [sic] sound and look wrong to me (the comparative form more so than the superlative form); however, since they both exist, they ought to be listed, with a usage note added to the entry fo polite and links pointing thither added to the entries for politer and politest.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
As a native speaker of American English (midwest), I see nothing wrong with politer or politest; I use both myself. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:45, 14 November 2007 (UTC).
RJFJR, FYI: the {en-adj} template handles this case, see entry. I concur in thinking "more polite" and "most polite" look and sound much more familiar than "politer" and "politest", which both look odd ;-) Robert Ullmann 14:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanx. I've also updated bitter - Algrif 13:50, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I read in grammars for foreign students of English that the use of -er in comparative adjectives is only valid in monosyllabic words, with the exception of those ending in -y, which form with -ier.

You won't go wrong the positive part of the rule. You can always make a good comparative with a polysyllabic adjective with "more". The prohibititive part of the recommendation would keep you from saying "yellower", for example. DCDuring TALK 23:56, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

How much is it

I was thinking this should be moved to how much is it, due to caps. If anyone disagrees, please let me know; if I don't hear otherwise I will go ahead and move it. sewnmouthsecret 21:54, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

set versus put

Possibly stupid question (I blame my non-nativity), but: when you place something somewhere, is there any difference between "setting" it there, and "putting" it there? \Mike 11:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

None whatsoever. You can put, put it down, place, set, set it down, there. As you wish. Algrif 13:43, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Although. To my ear set seems of a slightly more formal register. There is also often a connotation of placing something more deliberately in a specific place, which is more obvious in phrases like "the diamond was set in precious stones" or something like that. I think put is slightly more neutral, slightly more casual. Widsith 13:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, i strongly agree with 'widsith' explanation.To put,just mean to just put something orderly or un-arranged but when we talk about ,'setting it',this reflects a sense of arrangement or order.And secondly,not think your questions stupid,just ask and remove your ambiguity related to any word.--Etymologist 14:48, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Definitely not stupid. Answering these questions forces native speakers to be explicit about rules they may well have no conscious awareness of. Sometimes when we try to state the rules that we actually follow flawlessly, we make mistakes in trying to articulate them. I certainly use "set" only in contexts where the "putting" is supposed to be more careful in relationship to other objects. In more abstract applications, compare "putting that behind you" to "setting that aside for the moment". Perhaps the second is more specific, setting something aside for use in a short time, rather than forgetting it entirely. DCDuring 15:31, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the help - most dictionaries I've seen (English that is) simply explain "set" (in this sense) with "put" (more or less) and vice versa. And then I compare to Swedish which uses three different verbs for that notion, and they are only rarely interchangeable... :P (Yes, I had hoped there were some minor difference I could benefit from when trying to define the words lägga, sätta and ställa, respectively, a bit more clearly - in how they differ). \Mike 19:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The word "lay" physically means placing or setting a longish object on a flat surface or in a containing space. Is that like lägga?
  • To "stand" something physically means to place or set an object in an upright or erect position. Is that like ställa?
Sometimes the physical meanings provide a good place to start. I don't know that I've gotten the English exactly right, but you can check me. DCDuring 20:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the physical orientation constitutes a very good first approximation :) But then there is sätta (literally, to put in a sitting position) which confuses things, sometimes synonymous with "lägga", sometimes with "ställa" and sometimes the only option. Hmm...., I think I was too concentrated on which nouns to use with which verb, there... I think it should be possible to get something decent out of it (at least I think I've managed to include most variations of lägga by now). But thanks for your help! :) \Mike 21:04, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, no, it is never(?) quite synonymous with lägga, at least.... just need to make a fine cut to separate them ;) \M

help yourself

Should this be listed under help#Verb, meaning 1? It seems to me to be slightly different- but I can't pinpoint why. Conrad.Irwin 22:12, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I also find that reflexives(?) like this give me pause, even though the definitions do seem to include them. It's even worse that it is easy to focus on the imperative form. Unfortunately the WT solution would probably be "help oneself", which would not be likely to be found by an ordinary user groping for help. DCDuring 22:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I think help oneself would be a correct entry. But also help yourself as a phrase book entry. Algrif 11:37, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

What I meant to ask was, is this a correct usage of the first meaning of help - or is it completely different? Conrad.Irwin 16:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

The first entry is really in the sense God helps those who help themselves. I think help yourself to some food is not the sense nº1. IMHO. Algrif 20:25, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


"Incomparable" is shown in our entry as having no comparative form.

  • Oscar Wilde, Collected Works of Oscar Wilde (1997), page 1096
    I know of nothing in all drama more incomparable from the point of view of art, nothing more suggestive in its subtlety of observation, than Shakespeare's […].

Was Oscar Wilde jesting or are we wrong? DCDuring 23:54, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

On the face of it I see no reason why there can't be gradations of comparability... Widsith 09:31, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Our editors seem to suffer from lapses of imagination with respect to countability for nouns and comparability for adjectives and adverbs. I understand how easy it is to succumb to it, but it leaves a lot of cleanup. DCDuring 10:13, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
The editors do not suffer from lapses of imagination; we are describing the norm in the inflection lines rather than the exceptions (which are many in English). Please apologize for this personal attack. --EncycloPetey 04:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
It is perhaps not so much lack of imagination, but a long-cherished superstition within prescriptive grammar of the "absolute adjectives" that cannot be compared. It is a long-settled issue in linguistics that a form like "more incomparable" means "being closer to incomparable" or "having more of the quality of incomparable", but the prescriptionists continue to claim this is somehow imprecise, unclear, or illiterate. —This comment was unsigned.
Not simply superstition, but an understanding of what the words mean. The word incomparable means "not comparable"; it can't be compared. The word not is a binary operator. It isn't logically feasible to say that something is "more not comparable" or "most not comparable", just as it isn't logically feasible to say that something is "more dead", "more frozen", or "more omnipotent". Each of the base terms is binary, without gradations. That doesn't mean that such forms aren't used by people, just that they do not make logical sense. --EncycloPetey 03:58, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
One could argue that that's a superstitious application of logical formalisms to an informal and illogical language. Two things can be roughly comparable — apples and oranges, say — or fairly incomparable — oranges and toothbrushes, say. But oranges and love are even more incomparable than these, because you can't even apply market prices to compare them. Technically, any two things can be compared, and when we say "incomparable", we do not in fact mean that comparison is simply impossible. Likewise, "more omnipotent" can be meaningful in discussing solutions to the Omnipotence paradox. That said, I agree with you that it's not a big deal to label an adjective absolute if its comparative and superlative forms are rare and nonce-y. —RuakhTALK 04:32, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I have taken to checking for the actual occurences of instances of use of comparable forms before changing indications of non-comparability. That's what lead me to the Oscar Wilde quote above. Given his notorious wit, I wanted to check whether I had not gotten a joke he was playing on his readers. I doubt if anyone will use a comparable form of something when it doesn't make sense because we say that an adjective is comparable in one of its senses. The trouble with the incomparability marker is that it applies to all senses (including those added after the non-comparability marker is added) and all contexts. It also seems much more proscriptive than Wiktionary philosophically seems to be. DCDuring 23:50, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Listing an exotic example is one thing, intentionally misleading readers is quite another. Anyhow, for the sense you added, how could something in a literal sense be "more not comparable" anyway? I've been bold, as this was apparently lost in the shuffle. The discussion edits had left it in a terrible state. --Connel MacKenzie 08:22, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

It is clear that Wilde's usage, as well as other instances of "more incomparable" and "most incomparable" are using the word simply in a sense of "great to an extent of having no equal". It is a word that grew beyond its roots, and in this sense is no longer a meaningful prefix+root word combination. Discussions of actual "comparisons" (oranges and toothbrushes) is quite erroneous to this sense. It's an adjective borne out of the notion of being matchless, peerless, unrivaled — but is an independent, self-sustaining description, like "magnificent". It connotates comparison, but does not refer directly to it. Casting off any active (verb) sense of comparison, the new, independent, etymologically created word is pronounced in-COMP-arable. For the senses you've been discussing, the better term is "not comparable".
That said, I think listing the comparative and superlative at incomparable is excessive. The truth is that the word lacks a comparative form, thus the necessary use of the word more. Listing such is wholly unnecessary and cluttered. -- Thisis0 21:57, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Would that not apply to all adjectives which form their comparatives with "more"? -- Visviva 12:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Not to those for which the "more, most" comparative is common. That bears mention. But to those where the potential comparative is rare, awkward, nonce-y, controversial, and confusing -- it should be left out of the headword space, at least. -- Thisis0 16:58, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Some quick-and-dirty comparisons on b.g.c. suggest that "incomparable" (238.3) is a great deal less comparable than ordinary adjectives like "outstanding" (75.0), but more comparable than really incomparable adjectives like "impossible" (326.76). The numbers are the number of hits for the headword per hit for "more headword than." Not sure where we intend to draw the line here, and of course we all know that Google's hit counts are fiendishly unreliable, so further research is needed. It would be interesting to learn if any real corpus linguists have developed a workable algorithm to evaluate comparability. (probably not... it doesn't strike me as the sort of question a real corpus linguist would be interested in, unfortunately.) -- Visviva 12:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

With the heat of the words exchanged and the lack of non-literary uses shown, it would seem "more incomparable" is somewhat of a nonce term that nonetheless is readily interpreted as "less comparable". "coldness" is not a strictly physical quantity like "heat", yet we find it just as tangible. I think most people would feel the Pyramids of Giza are "more priceless" than an early Picasso sketch and that cycling instructions for fish are more worthless than an 8-track casette player. In mathematics, even infinities/infinitesimals come in different degrees. "-less" is normally such a binary form, but "more priceless" is readily interpreted as "more valuable (worth more)" and "more worthless" is readily interpreted as "less valuable (worth less)". Technically, such terms aren't very logical but they still carry information with intrinsic value. I see no reason, however to list any of these terms , including "more incredible" (which we do have) in definitions because they have much more capacity to confuse than to help. Comparative and superlative forms are usually just there to guide users if or how "-er" & "-est" should be applied in normal use. That's a big reason why we don't include "believabler" or "incredibler".

BTW, if you cross the right pond/continent, I'm sure you'll find different pronunciations for "incomparable" and we should reflect that. --Thecurran 07:25, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

"What a bitter sweet irony of it"

What does it really mean?How many meanings it carries,both in negative and positive sense?Anyone??--Etymologist 18:00, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

comparative of negative terms

When forming the comparative of a negative term (a word formed from a prefix such as un- in- a- etc) it seems to me that while I could put more before the negative I'm more likely to put less before the positive form. e.g. for inappropriate it sounds better to use less appropriate than more inappropriate. Does this seem like a general rule? Should anything be noted in the entry for negative terms? RJFJR 02:44, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Seems to me to be a good example of a Usage notes entry. - Algrif 11:33, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
But less appropriate doesn't mean the same thing as more inappropriate. At a black-tie event, a shirt with button cuffs is less appropriate than cufflinks, but still appropriate, not inappropriate. Jeans would be more inappropriate than a business suit, both are inappropriate. Robert Ullmann 11:43, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Very good point, and good examples. Hmmmm... - Algrif 20:17, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


We have an entry for the trademark Fathometer and not for fathometer. I haven't counted, but there seem to be more uses of the uncapitalized generic form. How should this be presented? I would argue for both entries cross-referenced, but a redirect from one to the other with both trademark and generic uses could work. If the latter which one is the redirect? DCDuring 15:49, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

We do not use redirects. Use two entries, like Apple. DAVilla 06:41, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I propose that at Fathometer the gloss only reads "A trade mark". We do not know what else Fathometer produces or especially what it will produce, therefore it is not necessary to say anything about what is possibly being produced under the brand. A separate entry fathometer then explains what the gadget is about. I do not know whether fathometers are called fathometers because of Fathometer or vice versa. Without further research I would not write anything about the relationship in the etymology -section. In fact, I did these changes already. Hekaheka 21:12, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually we should just delete the trade mark just as at least for the time being is the solution with Bobcat, which is being discussed somewhat further below. Hekaheka 21:18, 30 December 2007 (UTC)


The adverb was listed as not having a comparative form. I found two quotes that seem to illustrate otherwise, but are otherwise interpretable. Any thoughts. DCDuring 19:26, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Try searching using further and furthest atop. You'll find stacks of quotes. Algrif 20:15, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Does "further" count as making a "real" comparative form. In my mind, only "more" could make a comparative. Are there other such words that make "real" comparatives. DCDuring 21:40, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
And younger is then not a "real" comparative? Better? \Mike 21:47, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I meant that I thought that "more" was the only full word that could make a comparative.
I was interested in whether there was a comparative form (and a superlative one as well) for the adverb "atop". I found two quotes for "more atop". The suggestion of "further atop" raised the question in my mind as to what the meaning of "comparative" form really was. Is "more" the only adverb that makes a "real" comparative form for those adjectives and adverbs that don't form the comparative "morphologically", like by adding "-er", as "young" does? "Further atop" (surprisingly, no real hits for "farther atop") and "more atop" seem to mean about the same thing.
"Farther" and "further" seem to work like "more" for many adverbs that have to do with spatial relationships, possibly figurative ones. "Farther" "up/down"; "in/out"; "over/under"; "ahead/behind"; "on", "across", "back", "east", etc.; "left/right"; "forward/backward"; "away/anear"; "above/below"; "overhead", "beneath", "alee", "abaft", "afore". DCDuring 22:26, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Further' does seem to be preferred to farther for comparative forms. No idea why, tho. A tangential aside... I've often thought it might be good to appendix all adj / adv that can take further as comparative. You missed a few. upstairs, downstairs, uphill, downhill, ahead, around, round, and I'm certain there are more. Algrif 16:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

There are other words besides more than can be used to form the comparative, especially less. Comparatives can either increase or decrease the relative degree in the comparison. However, I'm not convinced that further atop is an extension of the pattern. This looks to me like a case of the adverb further modifying the adverb atop, just as you could say further in, further on, or further out. I can't find this addressed in the books I have on English grammar. --EncycloPetey 03:49, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I remain very uncertain about this: "She rested more atop him."

"More" would seem to be modifying the prepositional phrase "atop him". Therefore "atop" is, in fact, not comparable. This leaves me needing some kind of good usage example or quote for the adverbial usage of "atop", which is actually what got me started on all this. DCDuring 04:06, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

In that example atop is a preposition, not an adverb. The adverb more is modifying the adverbial phrase atop him. The original question applies to adverbial situations like "Clicking on this option will place the window further atop." I can't imagine "more atop" being used this way. --EncycloPetey 04:38, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I think I see the error of my ways about the comparative form of the adverb. My question now is for a good example of the adverbial use.
  • "He placed it atop." doesn't seem right, except in very unusual circumstances. Perhaps: "She placed hers next to the pillow; he placed his atop {hers or the pillow]." DCDuring 16:36, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
No, I would call that a preposition still, with an understood implied object because of the parallelism. A better example might be "The scout went atop to look along the cliffs." The adverbial use will sound strange because it's not common in modern English. --EncycloPetey 18:46, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Adverbially it's almost archaic now. In older books, you will regularly see sentences along the lines of, "The castle was black and forbidding, with a tattered flag flying atop." It used to be written as two words which is making it hard for me to find good results on b.google. Widsith 13:33, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Does it merit an indicator of its not-current usage? What is the canonical format for such an indicator? "dated"? "archaic"? "obsolete"? DCDuring 14:41, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Maybe (literary or archaic)...? Widsith 16:10, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I've added a couple of cites and the context tags. Widsith 17:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I feel much better now. -- And the entry is vastly better. DCDuring 17:56, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

word of faith

The phrase "word of faith" is fairly common in Christian writings and is apparently SoP, non-idiomatic. There is a "Word of Faith" movement, not an organization, for which the phrase has a particular meaning, which most users of the phrase "word of faith" may not be aware of, would not accept, and might strongly disagree with. The entry, though uncapitalized, is about "Word of Faith" as a belief, presumably of those in the "Word of Faith" movement.

  • Should the entry be capitalized?
  • How should the meanings separate from those of the movement be handled?
  • Should the context be "religion" or "Word of Faith"?
  • Does it belong in Wiktionary?
Although there might well be a BP discussion in this, the concrete case might provide a more focussed discussion, if anyone is interested. DCDuring 00:04, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


does anybody know the correct spelling of a soup called(pilmanie) and its possible origin? 15:21 17 November 2007 (UTC)

  • This morning I walked down the street to see what I could see, and happened upon an Uzbekistani restaurant, where I had breakfast.
Couldn't read a single thing on the menu, because it was written in Russian. So I just told the guy to bring me something he thought I'd like.
It was terrific. Something called Pelmani, which included beef dumpling soup, some sort of egg and ham salad, plus bread and yogurt with an interesting tang. An excellent choice next time you stay at the Diplomat Hotel in Dubai.[27] DCDuring 22:33, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Best spelling for finding more would probably be pelmeni. DCDuring 22:46, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

What is a beehive fireplace?

What is a beehive fireplace?

See picture here.
A traditional beehive is kind of dome shaped (as in beehive hairdo, etc). A beehive fireplace is a masonry or stone dome enclosure over the fire forming a sort of oven. RJFJR 04:29, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


The entry claims to have a citation supporting "more unmade" as the comparative, but I think this is parsed incorrectly. I believe the quote is not "(more unmade) and remade" but rather "more (unmade and remade)". That is, I think more is being used in its adverbial sense to modify an adjective phrase rather than in its analytical sense to form the comparative. --EncycloPetey 04:08, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

By George, I think you're right. I added a couple of other quotes that seem to support the comparative/superlatives, but I may have misread them too. Please take a look. DCDuring 13:22, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
All but the 1984 quote, which is comparing aunmade versus made, and not forming a comparative of unmade. I'd argue that the original quote from the page and the 1984 one should be removed. --EncycloPetey 15:39, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I've implemented your suggestions. Formation of plurals and comparatives is way more complicated than I had realized. -- And I still have trouble slowing down enough to parse things correctly. DCDuring 16:20, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

New word or another language

I'm really struggling to find any meaning for the word "Absolom". Is this a new word created by the masters of Hollywood or A word in another minor language they've found and used. —This unsigned comment was added by Pagey (talkcontribs).

See Wikipedia: w:Absalom. Mike Dillon 03:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Random addendum: Robertson Davies used to use his own coinage absalonism to describe habitual rebellion against one's father. Widsith 12:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

get down with the kids

Should this instead be at get down with or possibly even get down?—msh210 21:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

"get down" doesn't cover it. There's another idiom (AAVE?) down with, I think, too, possibly related. DCDuring 22:53, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
We may need additional sense(s) of down to provide the building block(s) for these phrases. DCDuring 22:59, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Plenty of examples of get down with + other noun groups being used as a phrasal verb in Google and bgc. This seems to be quite new, as it is not a dictionary entry that I can find (yet), but there appears to be durability. So I vote for get down with as the entry. Algrif 12:57, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
If you want an entry for it, I'm down with it. DCDuring 12:45, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
If you're happy with my entry at get down with, which seems to have at least two citeable meanings, then that makes get down with the kids SoP. - Algrif 12:55, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm down[=OK] with the entry, but I wish I could think of a good search to capture some quotes using "get down" not in the senses given there, but more like the sense in get down with. Can it be used with any other prepositions? My homeys don't talk like that and the people who do wouldn't talk that way in front of me. DCDuring 14:57, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your Q, but perhaps you want get down among ? - Algrif 16:22, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
What I'm trying to say is that I'm not happy that the two senses in "get down" really capture one or more ways the phrase is used. To get it right I would need to look at a few examples. I can't think how to do a good search that doesn't yield thousands of hits I don't want. If "with" is not the only additional preposition the phrase is used with, then there is a good case for adding an additional sense to "get down". But "get down" without another preposition also may have another sense, for which the one-preposition-at-a-time strategy that you imply would be ineffective. DCDuring 16:44, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Ah! I thought so. I misunderstood your Q.
I don't do anything sophisticated. Just search and wade through the results. I often find that newspaper searches help to support and clarify gbc searches. Using this method, I came out with the 2 definitions given. There might be more, but I haven't come across any yet.
The definitions at get down with do not coincide with any definition of get down nor get down + with. So I believe get down with is a clear phrasal verb with clear definitions. If you find any more, please feel free to add (It's Wiki policy, after all ;-)) - Algrif 17:35, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


I was just wondering how best to enter Spanish suffix -illo -illa meaning little. As in mercado - mercadillo, mentira - mentirilla, etc. Is there a specific format for this? Algrif 15:57, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

You could use -ito as an example. It looks pretty solid. Mike Dillon 16:03, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm onto it now. Algrif 16:06, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

template:irregular plural of

Template:irregular plural of is a "form-of" template that puts "Irregular plural form of [foo]" on the definition line and adds the page to Category:English irregular plurals. While I think that the category is great, I think the definition line should just say "Plural form of", for the following reason. Someone who doesn't know what "irregular plural" means might well think that "Irregular plural form of" means "Uncommon plural form of" (i.e., that there is another, more common, plural). What think you all?—msh210 19:29, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Another option is to have "irregular" link to Appendix:Glossary, where it can be explained in detail. If that's not enough, maybe a tooltip could offer a brief explanation. Rod (A. Smith) 19:59, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Ideally, we'd have an Appendix:English nouns with a section on regular and irregular plurals, and the template would like to that. --EncycloPetey 20:34, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I like any presentation that is kind to an ordinary user, while remaining accurate. The word "irregular" at the beginning of a definition line has the potential to confuse (especially native speakers). If it would be valuable for some users to know that a given plural is irregular without having to look at the categories, perhaps the definition line could read "plural form (irr.) of". To prevent the ordinary user from wasting too much time "irr." could be wiki-linked to a helpful section of a page that explained what "irregular" meant in this context. Putting a wiki-linked "irregular" at the beginning of the line may lead to many users hitting a link that won't tell them anything they want to know. DCDuring 20:51, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
That sounds good.—msh210 17:41, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with msh210; that message just seems pointless. Anyone who knows English will know, given a plural noun and its corresponding lemma, whether they'd consider it irregular; I don't see the benefit in imposing our definition of "irregular" into our definitions of all irregular plurals. (Obviously we need our own definition of "irregular" for the sake of categorization, but I don't see that it's useful for much more than that.) —RuakhTALK 01:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I admit that the current entry for women seems unenlightening for readers who don't already know the plural of woman. Of course, this ties into the lack of consensus we have regarding whether to show such inflection details in the headword/inflection line or in definition lines. In any event, this conversation probably belongs at WT:BP, right? Rod (A. Smith) 01:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with both Msh210 and Ruakh: The category is useful, the preset definition is unhelpfully misleading.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:38, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I also agree. When you see women defined as "irregular plural of woman", the immediate reaction is to think "So what the hell is the regular plural?" Widsith 12:06, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Shall we change the definition to be identical with the one provided {{plural of}}, but retaining the auto-catting?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 12:32, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I see a few problems:
    1. Most dictionaries don't include entries for regular "form of"s but do for irregulars. So while they typically don't use the word "irregular" in their definitions they make these terms stand out by their mere inclusion. Wiktionary now has no way to make these stand out yet they are very much more important than regular "form of" entries.
    2. Categories are useful but they apply to an entire page and thus do not stand out on a page such as men which has nine entries and sixteen categories.
    3. The argument about confusing words in definitions is a bit of a red herring considering we have more confusing words such as infinitive, tense, participle, and uncountable in very many "form of" definitions.
  • Why not treat irregularity in a consistent manner as with other "attributes" of words such as countability, transitivity, archaic, obsolete, pejorative, etc:
    1. (irregular) Plural of man.

Hippietrail 00:58, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

That still (to me at least) implies that there exists a valid regular version. Widsith 14:38, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Me, too.—msh210 20:35, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
And what about when dictionaries list regular plural forms? –The COED, if my memory serves me correctly, explicitly lists prospectuses as the plural form of prospectus.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:21, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

To enfishen?

Do we have a word in English for the French empoissonner, meaning to populate or stock with fish? enfish, fishify, enfishen, or just "add fish to"? There should be a word for it, like when fisherman overfish and there's not much fish left in the sea so they need to wait a while until the sea become more enfished? --Rural Legend 14:22, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there's a word for it, or if there is most people ignore it in favour of saying "replenish fish stocks" or something. You could always coin an English word empoisson or impescate... Widsith 14:32, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, the next time I write a novel I shall talk about how fisherman need to reimpescate the oceans after the depescation. Hell, I'll name character after you too. --Rural Legend 15:10, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Great, I'll keep an eye out for The Sockpuppet Years. Widsith 15:14, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
No precise word, but restock is the word typically used and the context usually makes a modifier unnecessary. DCDuring 15:16, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


cup's English etymology section says it comes from Old English, earlier from Latin, earlier from Hebrew, earlier from PIE. Since when does Hebrew derive from PIE, or Latin from Hebrew (unless, for the latter, it's a loan, in which case it should say so)?—msh210 20:45, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I've commented out that bit for now. It appears to be random weirdness. Widsith 10:14, 22 November 2007 (UTC)


Meaning 3 appears to me to be a specific instance of meaning 2. Can I just delete meaning 3? What's the protocol? - dougher 23:20, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

To be cautious: insert rfd-sense template (which I just did). But that sense def. is so bad that probably no-one would have minded it you would have deleted it. DCDuring 00:16, 22 November 2007 (UTC)


Can someone add a correct {{en-verb}} inflection for zinc#Verb, it seems that it has a couple of possible inflections - zinckig/zincing/zincked/zinced...I'd coin a new past tenses for zinc at zanc and zunc if I could. --Rural Legend 11:05, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I thought the verb was galvanize - Algrif 17:12, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Less-used synonym. DCDuring 17:25, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Which is less used? The word we know how to inflect correctly: to galvanize, or the word which does not seem to have any clear inflection: to zinc (??) BTW, I do not have zinc as a verb in any of my dictionaries, but then I don't have that many, I'm afraid. - Algrif 17:43, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
My MW3 gives the "ck" inflections (not zanc amd zunc) as well as the "c" ones. I have never seen of read "zinc" as a verb, though I don't doubt that it is in usage. I don't like the look of the "ck" spellings, but they do avoid the pronunciation confusion of the "c" versions. Let me look up the en-verb template to see how to do it. DCDuring 18:50, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Thinking about how we treat this problem with other metals.. The most common procedure is to add -plate to the metal noun. Some few metals have special verbs, such as zinc - galvanise, and gold - guild. Some make verbs directly, such as to lead, and to tin. Silver and chrome seem to be used as verbs at times also, but -plate is preferred. I think it will be difficult (but not impossible tho) to find anything verifyable for zinc as a verb. Zinc-plate and galvanise are by far and away the most obvious solutions. Good luck in finding verificatons for the inflections. - Algrif 13:02, 23 November 2007 (UTC) I just noticed. That should read gild! .. Doh.. Algrif 17:15, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
The only one I wasn't able to find on Google Books was zincs. --Ptcamn 19:31, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Which makes me wonder whether the -ed forms are simply adjectival, and the -ing forms nouns or adjectives, in the examples you have found. Handle with care !! - Algrif 17:23, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

street market

I am considering adding this item, but is it a SoP? Reasons in favour of the entry would include the fact that souq, mercadillo, and mercatino all mean street market. Opinions? - Algrif 17:24, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't we want to make this a matter of policy? If it works under existing policy, then it's in. If it doesn't, then it might be an opportunity to review the policy for the newbies like me. I remember that in a recent discussion the translation-from-a-single-word rationale was said not to be policy.
This looks SoP and is not in MW3. But maybe there is more to it. Does a street market necessarily involve closing a street to some classes of traffic, for example? In NY area, we have "farmers' markets" (fresh produce and other food products, not necessarily farmers, sometimes held in parking areas or other public spaces), "street fairs" (more than a market, closes the street), "sidewalk sales" (store-owners allowed to partially obstruct the sidewalk in front of their store), "street vendors", (licensed or unlicensed merchant without premises, selling from sidewalk). We have a few special-purpose buildings for "markets", both wholesale, retail, and mixed, as well as arcades; in these, the mechants can have stores or stalls. We also have "flea markets", typically weekend-only markets for all sorts of goods. Not too many folks from here would think of the phrase "steet market" when looking for meaning. DCDuring 17:52, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

To me it's a set phrase. I totally think it deserves an entry. Widsith 07:58, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

It does seem to be more of a UK thing than US, judging from DCDuring's comment. But I'm leaning more towards a real entry, because both the above comments made me realise that in UK a street market can be found in a car park or other non-street location. The meaning is a temporary market not located in a fixed market building. (More or less!). If I can justify this meaning with cites, then I will enter it. Any help in finding quotes would be appreciated. - Algrif 12:51, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
If someone here said "street market" we would have some expectations about what it was, but I would argue that here it is fundamentally SoP.
There are abundant quotations in travel, geography, history, and sociology. I'm not sure how to find the ones that illustrate the 'setness' of the phrase. Here's an interesting cite from a history book:
  • 1956-2000, H. P. R. Finberg, Joan Thirsk, Edith H. Whetham, Stuart Piggott, H. E. Hallam, Edward Miller, G. E. Mingay, E. J. T. Collins, The agrarian history of England and Wales, page 992
    It was not the custom of London consumers to walk any distance for their food, or any other goods. As a result of this and the inability of the London County Council to establish a single authority to regulate existng markets and establish properly regulated new ones when the need arose, the irregular street market set up in densely populated districts was a feature of the capital. In 1891 there were 112, all unauthorised, and containing 5,292 stalls, of which 65 percent were set aside for the sale of perishable commodities.
There's lots more in this mammoth multi-volume source about markets elsewhere in England and Wales. DCDuring 14:25, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
OK Great. Thanks. I've put another couple of good quotes and entered it with a 'pedia link. - Algrif 16:49, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

how do i create my avatar?

Tea room i am at a loss i can't seem to do anything,how can i start to have fun, i need to make a avatar to chat

eye dialect

This definition bothers me a bit because of the put-down of the speakers of the dialects transliterated this way. I am not saying that the definition is not often accurate. I am saying that not all transliterations of dialect are done to mock the speaker. AAVE is arguably a species of eye dialect that has some effective PR agents and lobbyists. I had wanted to add entries for some New York area eye-dialect (dey, dem, dose, dese, dat for starters, but all of Damon Runyon and Finley Peter Dunne [and others] awaits) and was bothered by the implication of the definition that such entries were not appropriate. Are they? Is it only the usual CFI standards that apply? DCDuring 12:33, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the definition rewrite. I would guess that Wiktionary would want to have as many eye-dialect entries as possible, especially cited. It is a kind of documentation of popular English that is not readily available by other means and fits with the need of users reading dialog in dialect. DCDuring 00:37, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Whoever is rewriting this, you may wish also to rewrite Category:Eye dialect and Appendix:Glossary#E.—msh210 17:14, 26 November 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone tell me the meaning of this name. The tribe that it can from was around Preg Oklahoma. I was named after a girl that went to school there.

Thank you


in one's stockinged feet is listed as an adverb; I was hoping to place stockingfeet as a term of its own, but am unsure what part of speech it would be or how best to define it. It appears in L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, among many other books at b.g.c. Any ideas? sewnmouthsecret 15:48, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, it's a noun. Though I usually see it as two words, or hyphenated. Widsith 15:52, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I was thinking it was a noun, but in trying to define it, I keep thinking stockinged feet, which is an adjective. b.g.c. has many print cites with it as one word. sewnmouthsecret 16:08, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
No, "stockinged feet" is a compound noun too – a noun phrase if you like, but no one likes that term here. And the singular stocking-foot seems to exist also, by the way. Widsith 16:53, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
We do have stockinged, the past participle of the verb "stocking", which is used as an adjective in both phrases: "in one's stockinged feet" and "stockinged feet". The entire first phrase is adverbial. Both "one's stockinged feet" and "stockinged feet" are noun phrases. At least, I think that's all correct. DCDuring 17:01, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
"Stocking-foot" doesn't seem to usually refer to a foot with a stocking in it. A "stocking-foot wader" is a wader that has a stocking-like foot, which is worn inside socks (for abrasion protection) and an oversized shoe. It contrasts with a "boot-foot wader" which makes direct contact with the rocks and grit of a stream. A "stocking-foot" also seems to refer to the foot part of a stocking. It makes me think that one reason that the somewhat awkward "stockinged feet" has survived is to differentiate "stocking-feet" from "stockinged feet". We could try to preserve the distinction by marking stockingfeet in the sense of "stockinged feet" in some way as a common misspelling (or something) or just note distinct senses. DCDuring 17:17, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I think it's the other way round. stocking-foot is the part of a stocking that goes round the foot, ie the bottom bit. "In your stocking-feet" was just a way of saying that you had no shoes on over them (first attested 1802), but as the term got less common, people started hearing it as "stockinged feet" (first attested 1862). Widsith 16:38, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


I was wanting to add the well known quote from A Christmas Carol from Wikiquotes [28] to the Interjection. But I'm not sure how to do it. - Algrif 12:05, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

What I mean is, is there a special template or approved format to link to wikiquotes? - Algrif 16:19, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
What I need to know is nothing difficult. w: takes a link to wikipedia. s: takes a link to wikisource. What is the way to link to wikiquotes, please? Thanks. - Algrif 12:59, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Ah, gotcha. q:Charles_Dickens#A_Christmas_Carol. Widsith 13:49, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Many thanx. My fault for not being clear in the first place! ;-) - Algrif 17:19, 29 November 2007 (UTC)


I've been trying to find the meaning of Bobcat that i found in a leadership book, but it seems like it's nowhere to find. The book speaks about a landscaping company and how they run their business. As I quote here, it says, "Their equipment - including trucks, trailers, and 'Bobcat'". Can someone help me here, please? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Seems like they're a digging-machinery company. See w:Bobcat Company. Widsith 12:13, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
It's a good example of the trademaker's craft. Common word, play on bob- as in "bobbed" and "Cat", short for "Caterpillar", now being defended against genericization of the term bobcat, sense 2. DCDuring 14:32, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, yea. They make small-scale earth-moving equipment, often used by contractors who need to work in small spaces around existing structures. DCDuring 15:29, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I added cat as the commonly used abbreviation or both Bobcat and Caterpillar tractors. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:35, 3 February 2008 (UTC).

help me ...

There's this sentence that says: "The new President imposed much-needed organization and order on the fledgling company." Can somebody help me to re-phrase it, please?

Pice, is it a coin or a currency?

I notice the word pice has a definition of "A small copper coin of the East Indies, worth less than a cent". But is this correct, as I thought pice or more correctly paisa is a currency rather than an actual coin. Obviously it can be both like cent, but I'm also sure that pice is plural, which makes it unlikely that it means a particular coin. Help appreciated.--Dmol 23:09, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


How should the slang/dialect/illiterate(?) inflection of the verb "know" and the results of the inflection be presented? It certainly seems like a complete separate inflection of the same infinitive lemma: I/you/he/we/they knows, knowing (knowin'???), knowed, knowed. This kind of thing must have been discussed before. DCDuring 15:25, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Knowed seems to handled adequately. I willhave done something similar for knows. How is it to be handled on the page for know? DCDuring 15:34, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I did something ,if fine,it's good,otherwise it will be removed.--Etymologist 18:08, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

against time

Is this an idiom? It can be used adjectivally and adverbially. It is part of set phrases like a "race against time". DCDuring 16:57, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

It is a prepositional phrase. It just needs to have Category:English prepositional phrases added. - Algrif 17:47, 25 November 2007 (UTC) p.s. Not sure about it being an adjective though?? Algrif 17:49, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
It is used with nouns describing actions, usually vigorous actions. I often find the semantics renders the grammatical structure invisible to me. Somehow against didn't look like a preposition for a while. DCDuring 18:01, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

the world is your oyster

This doesn't conform with our other entry names. Standard would be world be one's oyster or the world be one's oyster, but those are terrible. Not sure what to do about this. Maybe just leave it where it is. In any event, there should be redirects from the world is his oyster, world is my oyster, the world was her oyster, etc., I suppose.—msh210 17:21, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Sadly enough, world be one's oyster is correct. DAVilla 08:20, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Fortunately we can salt the entry with examples that have all the most common phrases in actual use so that the search button will find it for the user. DCDuring 23:13, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

you hear it. you thuoght it, you have done it / see

does this make you reconize the simplcity of actions


If it was up to me, I would move this to Category:cinematography and update all the entries to use a proper context tag. Does anyone agree or disagree? SemperBlotto 10:07, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes. I agree. Widsith 10:22, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Capitalized.—msh210 23:22, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
No. SemperBlotto 10:57, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Aren't all the topic categories' names capitalized? (I'm referring to the first letter only, of course.)—msh210 05:38, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Disagree Yes, all categories on Wiktionary have their first letter capitalized, though I'm unsure whether the software requires it and some templates we use require this. However, "cinematography" is too narrow a term to cover the category. Filmology exists as a word because cinematography refers to the art of making motion pictures, specifically to aspects of lighting and camera choices. It does not cover other aspects of filmmaking. If another name must be used, I would choose Category:Filmmaking. --EncycloPetey 01:51, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


I think we're missing a sense:

    • 1981, P. L. Travers, Mary Poppins, revised edition, chapter 10,
      Jane and Michael watched the dance, the Hamarynd secret and still between them.

I'm not sure what secret means here. (Note that the Hamarynd was not hiding or, as far as I can tell, obscured from sight.)—msh210 21:43, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

What's a Hamarynd? Is it physical? MW3 has some 9 adj. senses for secret, all them involving hiding, stealth, mystery in one way or another. DCDuring 22:54, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
In the book the Hamarynd seemed to be some kind of snake-god. Physical, yes: having the form of a snake.—msh210 23:21, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
So, a smart snake, then. There's a sense of secret: secretive. By being/holding itself still, the snake seems to be playing an active role. A divine or magical snake may not be all that physical. I doubt if we can do much better than guess at a more precise meaning other than the emotional content of something esoteric and powerful shared by Jane and Michael. DCDuring 00:12, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Hm, okay. Thanks.—msh210 05:39, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

power processor

I want to ask what is the difference between power processors and micro processors.

One possibility is that "power processor" refers to w:IBM POWER, a particular architecture of microprocessors developed by IBM. Another possibility is that is slang of jargon for a microprocessor that is considered particularly powerful (as opposed to a small and simple processor that is intended more to be cheap than powerful). Can you put the question in conhtext? RJFJR 14:24, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

just as well

I'm struggling to make a good entry for this phrase. I think just as well or perhaps be just as well, as in It's just as well you came when you did! and similar expressions. In Spanish it would translate as menos mal (if that helps at all). But how to define it well? Any input, ideas, etc would be most appreciated. - Algrif 13:20, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I think I would drop the "be" because the SoP adverbial phrase "just as well" ("He did it just as well as she did.") serves as the virtual etymology of the more idiomatic-seeming other ways of using the phrase. "Just as well" can be used as an expression of agreement. "They took her driver's license away." "Just as well." for: "Just as well they did." for: "It is just as well that they did." DCDuring 15:28, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
The second sense in the entry for as well nearly captures the meaning for the "as well" part, I think. "might as well", "may as well" are other collocations that come to mind. We should consider adding a sense to "as well" in the course of the "just as well" effort. DCDuring 15:44, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
There are a number of nuances which I find hard to define and categorise in all these phrases. I agree that they probably should be melded in some way to avoid having a whole heap of minor entries which are hard to find. As usual, I tend to put myself in the position of a hypothetical English L2 speaker trying to understand a paragraph which includes one of the above phrases. How would he find it? What should be in the entry so that he can understand it. I'm finding this phrase surprisingly difficult to pin down. Sense 2 in as well is just about OK for the phrase might as well, but gets nowhere near the positive/negative idea of fortunate + or else contained in the exchange I did my homework - It's just as well! or I have a spanner in the car. - It's just as well! and so on. - Algrif 12:45, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Acca Dacca

Can anyone help verify and date this nickname? I can only find one example in Google Books, but there's a number of news hits, all of which are from the 21st century. Would anyone be able to find some attestations from the 70s or 80s? --Ptcamn 22:46, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

It just looks like the name of an Australian-based AC/DC tribute band, as you must have suspected. DCDuring 23:09, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
So does this rock band deserve a dictionary entry? --EncycloPetey 01:46, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
We don't have the band sense for AC/DC. Until we do, I can't see the point of having an entry for a mere w:tribute band. Nor would I care if w:AC/DC never made Wiktionary. I am aware of them, but not really familiar with them or their work. There are other proper name efforts I would much rather engage in. Sorry I couldn't be more help. DCDuring 02:02, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
RfD'd. bd2412 T 02:10, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
It was (and is) a nickname for the original band before the tribute band took it as its name. --Ptcamn 16:26, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Even so, not dictionary material. bd2412 T 16:50, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Why not? --Ptcamn 22:04, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
It could be if it is used to describe AC/DC electrical devices. I'd be surprised if it weren't in at least limited actual usage in Oz, though I couldn't find any cites. DCDuring 17:49, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Mobile Directory Number

What is it?

Contraction 'ns

Can anyone tell me what the contraction 'ns means (or could mean) in Southern American English? I came across this in utterance "That'ns cut!" but for the love of God I cannot figure out what it could mean, exactly. -- 14:10, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Being from London I'm just guessing, but I would interpret it as "that one is cut", whatever that may mean. Widsith 14:14, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Sounds right to me. I would have expected it to be written "that un's cut" with un's being a slurred pronounciation of one's, the contraction for one is. RJFJR 14:17, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
You'ns got that right or 'most right. I wonder how to write double contractions: "that'n's"? Or is that spelling the possessive singular? Wiktionary ought to have uns and either 'ns or -'ns or something to capture this. What should it be? DCDuring 16:10, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

epilogue 3rd sense

The current third sense of epilogue is 3 A brief oration or script at the end of a literary piece; an afterword. Is oration the correct term to describe something in a literary piece? I think of oration as something spoken while a piece of literature as soemthing read. RJFJR 14:27, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

It looks to me as if all the senses given in epilogue were intended to include both orally delivered pieces and those in writing. Maybe the phrase "literary piece" should be replaced with "oral or written work" or "work". "Literary" seems to exclude oral performances, even of written works. In any event, it can mislead people as it does in the def. under discussion, I think. DCDuring 16:24, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

December 2007

Double contractions

Just to keep this separate from that'un's above, although closely related.
It seems to be unconfirmed policy, or something like that, to avoid double contractions. I wonder if this can be clarified? What exactly is wrong with can't've, that'll've, and other doubles that an Eng L2 might come across in a text? - Algrif 10:40, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

If in print, I don't see any problem with double contractions. See 'tisn't, 'twasn't, 'tweren't, I'd've, it'sn't, shouldn't've, and wouldn't've. Why would they be avoided if in use, no matter how much people may dislike them? I'm sure there are many more. sewnmouthsecret 04:53, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Are there any more of these that could be added to Category:English double contractions?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:19, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Of course there are. You don't even have fo'c'sle yet! Robert Ullmann 14:33, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Now added. Feel free to add any others you can think of to the category.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:05, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
'Tisn't hard to find them. Make a game of it. The young'uns'll find plenty that we old'uns've already forgotten. The real question is whether they deserve the be entered here if they are eye-dialect. You for'em or 'gin'em? Gotta go now. Be back in an hour if my car'll get me there'n'back. If mine won't, maybe my neighbor's'll do the trick. DCDuring 17:13, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
If they’re attested, they should be listed. BTW, most of the examples you gave are not double contractions, being instead for ‛em (minus the space), ‛gin ‛em (ditto), there ‛n’ back (same again), and neighbo(u)r’s’ll (where the ’s is not a contraction, but rather the English possessive enclitic).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:05, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm just an impatient amateur. Thanks for the feedback. DCDuring 18:40, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm... why are you using the opening quotation mark instead of an apostrophe? DAVilla 11:38, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I’m not — «  » is the leading apostrophe, whereas «  » is the opening quotation mark — both are distinct from «  », the apostrophe-cum-closing quotation mark.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:00, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
What about triple contractions? fo'c's'le Cynewulf 00:56, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm… Thinking about it, I’m not sure that fo’c’sle and fo’c’s’le count as double contractions, being as they’re both single words, simply split in two/three places. All the others listed in Category:English double contractions contain contractions of two words as clitics (it‛t; notn’t; would or should’d; have’ve; is’s; and, will or shall’ll).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:16, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Depends how you define "contraction". If "contraction" means that the "'" indicates missing letter(s), then fo’c’sle is a double contraction of forecastle. Algrif 11:50, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I defined a double contraction in Category:English double contractions; whereatop is written “Double contractions are those words which contain two contractional clitics, such as n’t and ’ve. Both contractions are marked with apostrophes.” — under that definition, fo’c’sle is a contraction, but not a double contraction.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:52, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Where d'you get that definition from? fo'c'sle is contracted twice - it's a double contraction. The OED defines the relevant sense of contraction as shortening "by omitting or combining some elements". fo'c'le is shortened in this way twice. The amount of actual words involved is not relevant (or how do you view o'clock which cuts an entire word out of "of the clock"?). PS, I'm pretty sure whereatop isn't a word, but if it is I suspect you're the first person in 200 years to try and get away with it! Widsith 14:25, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I did some checking: both hereatop and whereatop are vanishingly rare (though I did find one person who’s used whereatop — not two centuries ago, but only last year), whereas, bizarrely enough, thereatop is rather common (in patents no less). BTW, I should be genuinely interested to hear on what grounds you state whether something is or is not a word…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:32, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that if fo'c'sle is neither a single nor a double contraction, then what is it? A multiple contraction? But that would be pointless hair-splitting IMHO. I've put bo's'n in catagory double contraction, and I think fo'c'sle and fo'c's'le should be there also. - Algrif 10:32, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
The OED’s pertinent definition of contraction doesn’t actually conflict with the one I gave — it says nowhere that the “omitt[ed] or combin[ed] … elements” must be adjacent. However, perhaps that really would be hair-splitting. I’m unsure what to call o’clock — perhaps it is indeed a double contraction. To twist the “rules” a bit — bo’s’n could be viewed as “boatbo’* ” + “swains’n* ”, whilst fo’c’sle and fo’c’s’le could be viewed as “forefo’* ” + “castlec’sle* or c’s’le* ”. Otherwise, we’d need Category:English triple contractions just for fo’c’s’le (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:58, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm trying to think of any more examples of o' = of the apart from o'clock and jack o'lantern. Also, are there any other examples where the apostrophe indicates the loss of an entire word? - Algrif 12:41, 9 December 2007 (UTC)


I am looking for information on the word tohubohu. I was told that it means chaos. If there is any info out there in the great wide web, please send it out. tohubohu sounds like something sad or crying;I know that it is more than what it sounds like, I find myself thinking about what it could mean.

boohoo sounds more like some one is crying or sad... and thus one is easily mislead into thinking that tohubohu could mean that aswell... but it is not, it comes from Hebrew tohu wa-bhohu, from tohu (formlessness) and bhohu (emptiness), so a formless emptiness. Reference: New York Times Letter to the Editor March 26, 1995 --BigBadBen 21:17, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, the Hebrew is תהו ובהו (tohu vavohu), from the second verse in Genesis. It means "תהו (tohu) and בהו (bohu)", but what those are beats me. If I recall correctly, major classical Bible commentators differ about them.—msh210 20:22, 6 December 2007 (UTC)


I have often wondered about how one should pronounce the word "Shinola", which was as though carved in stone when the famous slang/colloquial phrase appeared and spread.))) Not for use in my speech, personally, but just for knowing, because eventually I have to read it aloud from books. Is the shoe-polish named [ʃɪ`nəʊlə]? [`ʃɪnələ]? [ʃaɪ`nəʊlə]? Eate 15:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't know the notation, but first syllable rhymes with "shine", accent is on second syllable, as I've heard it. The commercial logic of the rhyme with "shine" would make me willing to bet a lot of money at long odds that that part of the pronunciation was encouraged by the manufacturer as well. I'm not as sure about the accent. DCDuring 15:24, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Aha...So it is probably "Shy-NO-la". The analogy with the slang word "payola", which I know to bear stress on the second syllable, encourages me to think that the stress falls indeed on the second one. The slang suffix "-ola" is generally stressed in words that include it. Thanks. Eate 16:20, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

яблочко от яблоньки недалеко падает

Is currently categorised as English idioms and English proverbs. Can s/o who knows change to the correct cats, please? - Algrif 16:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

It's now in Category:Russian idioms and Category:Russian proverbs. To change the {{idiom}} template, you had to add |lang=ru : {{idiom|lang=ru}}. — Beobach972 00:09, 1 December 2007 (UTC)


Anyone know where the conversation for this went? This should be listed as an alternative spelling, not a misspelling, right? --Connel MacKenzie 00:30, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I think of it as a Freudian misspelling. It reflects the deep-seated hostility of many of those forced to encumber themselves with such "monkey suits". MW3 doesn't include this spelling. DCDuring 00:54, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I do recall it being discussed previously, but I can't seem to find which spelling variant it was WT:TR listed under. --Connel MacKenzie 06:00, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Tea room/Archive 2006#cumberbund Robert Ullmann 07:37, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. Rats. I didn't realize that conversation died out before it began. (I wasn't asking what the OED says...I was asking for confirmation of the American pronunciation that I've always used. Do other Americans share that experience, or have I simply mispronounced (and misheard it) all my life?) --Connel MacKenzie 15:59, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Totally common mispronunciation and misspelling. I just answered someone last month in "real life" who was wondering which was which. But indeed, completely an outright mispronunciation and misspelling. An older actual spelling variant in use was kummerbund. The commonness of cumberbund, i believe, is influenced phonetically by Cumberland and cumbersome (by phonetics, not Freudian hostility, DC) :) -- Thisis0 19:23, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Not having seen the word in writing often (ever?), I didn't have strong expectatons about its spelling. "Cumberbund" didn't strike me as obviously wrong when I saw it. Because (1) I associate formal dress with England, (2) the English have the habit of not pronouncing certain consonants and syllables, and (3) I was not aware of the Asian etymology, I might have writen "cumberbund" if asked. DCDuring 20:04, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Serbian translation change

An anon recently changed the Serbian translation of thither from Lua error in Module:links/templates at line 57: The language code "sr" is not valid. to Lua error in Module:links/templates at line 57: The language code "sr" is not valid.. Though Serbian can be written in both the Cyrillic script and the Latin script, these two translations are not transliterations of each other. Is this correction, vandalism, POV-pushing, or what?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:33, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

The same user has made many similar edits to other pages, including blanking some pages. Ivan and Dijan ought to have a look at the contributions form this user. --EncycloPetey 01:43, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Basic word list ALMOST done

The basic word list of 18,000 words is all but done. There are less than 100 words left, all beginning with 'N' (in fact, they all begin 'non'.) If we all grab a couple of words we can have this DONE. The remaining few words are at Wiktionary:Requested_articles:English/DictList/N. RJFJR 02:25, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Precisely sixty-five remain.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:22, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
They have all now been added. The last word on the list to be added was nonstriking.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:31, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Done. I probably missed the point of nonredeemable and some other law-related words, and there's an atomic physics sense of nonsecular I can't figure out (which may just belong on secular), so I'd appreciate additional viewpoints here. Cynewulf 17:31, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Well done everyone. As for nonsecular, it seems to be used as non-secular more often, and I can't get a handle on the mathematical meaning (nothing in Mathworld). SemperBlotto 17:52, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Secular in econometrics always refers to longer-term, usually non-cyclical phenomena, contrary to the RfVd sense of secular as meaning short-term. I'd be amazed if any of the sciences used the word too differently, although what constitutes longer term is always relative to the context, which, in physics, could be femtoseconds. DCDuring 18:05, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
The OED has (in a long entry) the following - 7. In scientific use, of processes of change: Having a period of enormous length; continuing through long ages. a. Astr. Chiefly of changes in the orbits or the periods of revolution of the planets, as in secular acceleration, equation, inequality, variation. The terms secular acceleration, secular variation were formerly also used (with reference to the sense ‘century’ of L. sæculum) for the amount of change per 100 years; similarly secular precession (see quot. 1812). secular equation is also used more widely to designate any equation of the form |aij-bij| = 0 (i,j = 1,2, . . ., n), in which the left-hand side is a determinant and which arises in quantum mechanics. SemperBlotto 18:11, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Now that the basic list is complete - maybe it would be a good idea to rebuild Index:English. Kipmaster automated this well over a year ago, but is too busy in the real world to repeat the process. SemperBlotto 18:15, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, he resurfaced on IRC this week... --Connel MacKenzie 15:56, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

X of Xes

What's the proper place, if any, to note this pattern in English? as in "Lord of lords", "code of codes", "lie of lies", etc. DAVilla 11:28, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't know - but there is a similar (just as troublesome) pattern - as in "cricketer's cricketer", "editor's editor", "pianist's pianist" - i.e. a professional admired by his peers. SemperBlotto 11:31, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Are these a form of reduplication? (And should we have entries for food food, car car, and house house?) DAVilla 11:49, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Which of those have sufficient use (e.g. b.g.c.) to merit entries? --Connel MacKenzie 16:03, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Also man's man, and gentleman's gentleman, which don't quite fit that pattern. (of professional admired by peers) Robert Ullmann 12:11, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
What about reduplication across part of speech? I think of the forms "X y an X" or "X y no Xes". "[F]ind me a find, catch me a catch" from Fiddler on the Roof. "Joke us no jokes". "Riddle me a riddle, riddler." It doesn't seem to work at the WT entry level. WP? DCDuring 16:41, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I made a theme entry on this at Wikiquote:X me no X's quite a while ago. If a list of quotes containing such themes can be generated with proper citation, it can go there. Cheers! bd2412 T 16:58, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Cool. Well, name me a name. Construct me a construct. Are there names for these constructions? The "X me no Xes" construction is referred to in Pinker (2007), The Stuff of Thought. DCDuring 17:48, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
The word you are looking for is snowclone. bd2412 T 16:40, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I think having pattern entries is unwarranted. If you are trying to describe reduplication then link reduplication. If you'd like to make an entry for Lord of Lords then make that entry - the list is not infinite. --Connel MacKenzie 16:02, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
There could be a nice appendix, though. Perhaps only if there were good specific terms (Sorry, BD, not snowclone) for the constructs so that someone might actually find them. Maybe it is more for Wikipedia? DCDuring 19:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Not forgetting tautological phrases such as folks are folks, life is life, sure as eggs is eggs, and any other that might warrant an entry. - Algrif 10:38, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


S.v. working, adjective, we have the following definitions, inter alia:

  1. That suffices but requires additional work.
    a working copy of the script
  2. Enough to allow one to use something.
    a working knowledge of computers

The first of these is not how I understand the phrase "working copy of the script" (or "working script"). I have always understood that phrase to mean "a copy of the script that we will accept for the sake of [something: [[for the sake of argument|argument], peacemaking, whatever] (even though it's not ideal)". That is, the stress on "requires additional work", which seems to relate this definition to the headword, seems misplaced: working means, the way I understand it, "that works (suffices) well enough to be used". (Whether I'm right or the current entry is, the same sense of working is found in "working hypothesis" and "working definition".) What think you all?—msh210 17:22, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Also, if I'm right, then is the second sense I quoted to be merged with the first? They both seem to mean "sufficient to be used".—msh210 17:22, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't combine senses.
  • One sense (2) seems to mean that further efforts are not required, that the knowledge or the voting margin is enough for practical purposes, for some other project, or perhaps that the means are sufficient to accomplish ends.
  • The other sense (1) seems to suggest that the prototype or draft is sufficient in some aspect(s) to allow further work on other aspect(s) of the same project.
This vocabulary of work has never struck me as having been very well done in dictionaries. So I'm not so sure that you will find very precise help from other dictionaries. I looked at MW3. They have 2 senses.
  • Is there a third sense, that just means functional, or is that the same as sense 1 or is that the present participle of the verb (which needs no definition)? DCDuring 19:53, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
That (your reason not to combine) seems eminently reasonable to me. Since you asked, there are other senses, yes, including the one you mention; I didn't quote them all. My main question, incidentally, which you did not really address, was whether the first sense I quoted needs rewriting, though.—msh210 20:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I think it does. I think it refers to a thing which maintains its identity but itself needs successive and/or parallel work. The thing being worked in is an "end". That does not come across. The other sense implies that the thing does not itself need work, it functions well enough to be used as a tool, a "means". DCDuring 20:43, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Neither do I see any definition like working temperature, working speed etc. - Algrif 10:44, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


I was researcing a requested new entry "ablings" and came upon the following:

The New English - Page 15 by T[homas] L[aurence] Kington Oliphant - English language - 1886 There is the curious Scotch adverb ablings, aiblins (fortasse) ; compounded of able to be, and the adverbial ending ling.

I do not know my way around these parts and would offer this for others to complete. DCDuring 20:30, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I know that as a Scot - Google finds "aiblins" in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.-- 12:59, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

man up

Can you guys help me comprehend all the senses of man up. It has a verb sense, as in... "A lot of people are expecting me to provide for them, I'd better man up". And I have a vague notion it has an interjection sense in sports ("Man up!") or something. Looking at b.g.c. it's difficult to research. A little easier to research "manning up" but that confuses me more because it seems to have LOTS of distinct unrelated meanings. Language Lover 09:05, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Sounds more like an oblique figurative use, not a set phrase, to me. --Connel MacKenzie 19:13, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

It is a set phrase, attributive verb use of the word "man", as in "doing the things a good man is traditionally expected to do". In use since at least the 50's, often in military circles. Search BGC "have to man up" for some examples. Used with influence from "own up" and "buck up" (for the want of a stronger emphatic) in situations such as this: one who impregnates a girl out of wedlock will be told to "man up" and marry the girl or otherwise provide for her; one can "man up" and finally confront his abusive coach or employer; one can "man up" and quit crying about a particular tragedy. To "be a man about it". I'll try to find some good cites for the entry. -- Thisis0 00:38, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Also I should note the team-sports, macro-economics/staffing, and procedural-military uses:
    (Am. football, basketball, etc.; rare) Man up! -- "Get on your man!" (Each of you, guard the opponent to whom you were assigned and stay on him vigorously.)
    (of personnel - industrial, etc.) to man up -- to staff adequately; to staff up; to successfully fill all needed labor positions.
    -...it will become even more difficult to man up industrial occupations to which outmoded conceptions of status...[29]
    -To man up the last batch of capital goods produced, entrepreneurs are scraping up the remnants of the reserve of unemployed labour...[30]
    -...it will be impossible to find the labour to man up all the available capital equipment for productive use. [31]
    (of military personnel in a unit) to man up -- to assemble, each person manning (attending to) his station, prepared for departure of an aircraft, ship, etc. [32] [33]
  • It is now my opinion that other uses arose from the military-assembling use. The sports use is rare, and most players would more readily recognize "Get on your man!". If a player is told to Man up! on the field, in context it may be, for example, a hunched-over out-of-breath player being told to "buck up", "stay in the game", "be a man" -- precisely the first sense we discussed. Further, the staffing use has become outdated, while politically correct society no longer favors referring to "manpower", "manning" a position, etc. -- Thisis0 18:34, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


“A big row or argument.” –That is how I interpreted this word when it was used in the episode of Heroes I recently watched. I’m unfamiliar with this term, so I’d like some confirmation or correction. The quotation can be read in the entry, and the original programme can be watched here.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

While we’re discussing this, the verb throw down could also use a little attention. The definition seems incompatible with the use in the phrase throw down the gauntlet (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:13, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Does the verb throw down look a bit better now? - Algrif 17:48, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I've only said it/heard it as an invitation/threat to fight, e.g. "Yo, I'll throw down, right now!" but I assume that form is not hyphenated. The literal definition really doesn't help much. The idiomatic sense is of dropping whatever you are doing/holding, to engage violently (no holds barred.) I've never heard it said so mildly/sweetly, as in that TV show. So anyhow, yes, I can confirm that I've heard/used that meaning, but don't have any idea what other confirmation you're looking for. --Connel MacKenzie 19:08, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Defining it as "A big row or argument" has certain problems. First, Americans don't usually say "row", plus that's a awfully nice sideline commentary for what a "throw-down", "throw down", or "throwdown" implies. I believe the modern term did evolve from the idiom throw down the gauntlet, and implies that an unrestricted violent clash is possible, with one's honor at stake. Because of the fear in such a "you don't know how far I'm willing to take this" animalistic clash, the usage of the term doesn't always necessarily result in such actual violence, but is often an effective form of puffing the mane or fanning the tail feathers. The Heroes use was in hyperbole to this violent possibility -- not saying "Well, we'll discuss this when I get back," but rather, "Even though I'm forced to leave right now, when I can address this, you should know I view your transgression with ultimate seriousness, and you should sit here and be anxious for my return when I will visit my wrath upon you." -- Thisis0 20:30, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Can anyone identify this word?

The word is in some song lyrics which go like this: "Hold up, hold up, check my linguistics, let me break it down to you ______________" It sounds like "abalistic" but that doesn't seem to be a word.

You can hear the lyrics in question starting at 0:48 at this video: [34] Language Lover 02:30, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I would have guessed cannabalistic or catabolistic, but lyrics.com says it's "Afrolistic". [tumbleweed moment] --EncycloPetey 02:55, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

From the artist's own lyric page, it's "afrolistic". (You might have to click on "Give Me All Your Love"; their HTML is buggy). There is at least one other rap artist who goes by "Afrolistic", and Run-D.M.C. once used the word in their 1990 song Party Time. The Run-D.M.C. sense (adjective) seems to be something like "psychedelically funky and hip-hop infused", but the unrelated Afrolistic Barber Shop may be combining "Afro" with "holistic" -- (only a guess). I can't really get A.K.-S.W.I.F.T.'s adverb use (Let me break it down to you afrolistically?), though lyrics.com seems to think it's more of an interjection. If I were forced to analyze, I would say the most encompassing definition would be "in a black way" or "reflecting the self-celebrated aspects of black art, worldview, and lifestyle". -- Thisis0 21:01, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

That makes sense, it's an interesting word and I appreciate your analysis. I've found that some rappers are incredibly brilliant linguists, their command of practical English is sublime. Language Lover 21:47, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

it's on the tip of my toungue

what's the word for a period of time where you work. I really need to know. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:37, 7 December 2007.

In some types of occupations, shift (or the dialectical variant trick, as in I'm tired lately because I'm working third trick.) describes the period of time when someone works in a particular position. Is that the word you seek? Rod (A. Smith) 22:52, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Possibly tenure?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:47, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

catachresis + -phobia = ?

I need a word meaning “fear of the misuse of words”; I assume that the word and suffix linked in the title would do the trick. If so, how would they combine? The COED states that the adjectival form is catachrestic, and that the noun derives from Latin, from (Ancient?) Greek katakhrēsis, from Lua error in Module:parameters at line 85: The parameter "4" does not exist. — if any of that helps. I can’t figure it out — maybe catachresophobia, or catachrestophobia, or catachretophobia perhaps?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:16, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

further as comparative

Following from part of the discussion above in atop: the question was never resolved of whether further and furthest can be classified equally as more / most and less / least to form comparative and superlatives of certain adjectives and adverbs with a particularly spacial frame of reference. For instance there is quite a long list in the section above at atop.
My personal point of view is that an adverb such as upstairs is a better entry stating a comparative form as further upstairs than stating (not comparable), particularly as this is plainly not true. Comments invited. - Algrif 16:32, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

U-usage notes. Def'nally u-u-usage notes. -- Thisis0 17:22, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Can the en-adv template be forced to display "See Usage notes." without messing up anything else? DCDuring 18:00, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
If this is needed in only a scant few (read: one) entries, why mess with templates? Just write it in. -- Thisis0 19:40, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
One reason would be in order to allow it to show up inside the parentheses that are generated by the template. Mike Dillon 20:22, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
It's not just a single entry. This applies to dozens of adverbs derived from (or related to) prepositions of place, incuding afield, along, apart, away, down, in, left, out, right, up... So it would be very useful to be able to set the template to show further/furthest instead of more/most. --EncycloPetey 21:47, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I'm sold. I get it now. How do we do it? -- Thisis0 21:55, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I've modified the template entry at upstairs. If everyone agrees, perhaps we could draw up a list and I'll go through them modifying them as appropriate similarly. - Algrif 13:26, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I think it would be nice to have a parameter option akin to the "|er" that would do this. Is that an easy adjustment to the template, or a difficult adjustment to the template? In any case, that format doesn't match the norm, which would put further and furthest in bold as part of the form. --EncycloPetey 15:00, 12 December 2007 (UTC)


Please see Citations:katus. Anyone know what this word means? Or are the quotations simply of someone’s name and a scanno, respectively?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:43, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't know about the second, but the first appears to be a surname, since the same source has: "Mr. Katus was duly qualified, and entered on the discharge of his duties as a judge or inspector of election, and continued so to act until the poll closed." --EncycloPetey 21:52, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Noun or adjective

I stumbled upon a Wikipedia category, the name of which doesn't sound quite right in my ears. Category:Municipal owned companies of Norway. Shouldn't it be municipality here? __meco 21:53, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Either that, "municipal-owned", or municipally. --EncycloPetey 22:23, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

plural proper nouns

Names can be pluralised, right? It is clear they can because saying "there are three Davids in my class, two Samanthas, a couple of Simpsons and five Joneses." If that's the case all entries in Category:Given names should take the template {{en-proper noun|s|-}} or {{en-proper noun|s|-}}. Firstly; this is grammatically correct, right? Secondly; could a bot, like our Cheatbot, be adapted to auto-add entries such as {{plural of|Simpson}}, {{plural of|David}}? I'm beginning to appreciate 'bot work a lot more. --Keene 16:20, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

No, proper nouns cannot be made plural. A proper noun in its "plural" form is no longer a proper noun (in most cases, that is; Alps is an exception). So, a proper noun changes its part of speech to a common noun when it's pluralized. We're not at all equipped to handle or explain this phenomenon on Wiktionary, and we certainly should not go around adding plural forms to all the proper nouns. Please wait for me to finish Appendix:English proper nouns so that I don't have to give all this explanation over and over. (This is, I think, the fifth or sixth time this issue has come up this year.) I would rather we simply link all English proper nouns to the Appendix when it's completed. --EncycloPetey 16:43, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I was unaware of previous discussions on this subject. Could you point them out? As for plurals, I'm aware they become common nouns in the pluralised form, but it would make sense to link e.g. Simpsons from Simpson. As for this proper nouns appendix, what do you have in mind for it. Maybe I'll help out with the appendix. --Keene 16:56, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Having a proper noun linked to a common noun, and vice versa doesn't make sense in the usual ways that we handle it. Every user will think it's a mistake and try to "fix" it unless we come up with an alternative way to handle it. I'd point you to the discussions, but they've occurred over several months under several names in multiple locations. I haven't tried to keep track of all of them, though I do know that one concerned the word multiverse, so you might follow the "what links here" to find a very metaphysical (and lengthy) conversation on what constitutes a proper noun. As I say, I don't recall where the others are located. They involved the days of the week, names of games, wines, awards, and I forget what else.
While I would like help with the Appendix, it's not feasible yet to coordinate that. I have several pages of notes in tiny cramped handwriting which have not yet been entered. What I do have typed is in an incomplete draft of just the introductory material, not the evidence and patern description. My aim is to make a go at finishing the first draft over my Christmas holiday, so if you check back around the end of December, I might be ready to have the second mind and pair of eyes help with the missing information and necessary polishing. --EncycloPetey 17:12, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Just so you know; I've added Potteries as another real plural proper noun. - Algrif 14:23, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


I have entered hmph as an interjection, which seems OK. G.b.c. has revealed usage of "hmphs" as noun and as verb. I would expect "hmphing" and "hmphed". "ah" and "ahem", as well as other onomatopoietic [sp?] entries would have the same usage. Should these be accepted as entries if attestable? If these are all accepted, what should be done with variants with repetitions of the constituent letters: "hmmph", "aaaahhhh", etc. Keep the basic ones and put everything else in usage notes for the related entry? DCDuring 16:37, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

See ah and aah, which actually aren't synonymous. --EncycloPetey 17:12, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Guilty as charged

can anyone help me with the meaning of "Guilty as charged", please? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 02:48, 12 December 2007 (UTC).

See guilty and charge verb sense 3 (To formally accuse of a crime.) . as often means exactly equal. So the whole phrase means guilty of the exact crime one was accused of. Ciao - Algrif 13:13, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

דבר / לדבר / מדבר

At first glace דבר means "thing", לדבר means "to speak", and מדבר means "desert".

At a closer look מדבר can also be the masculine singular present of "to speak".

How about מדבר as "of/from the thing" and לדבר as "to/for the thing"? — Hippietrail 03:29, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

דבר is davar, "thing", and is one way of spelling diber, "he spoke", the third-person, masc., sing., past tense of "speak", which Ruakh will tell you is the lemma form.
לדבר is l'daber, "to speak", infinitive form of that same verb. Yes, it's also ladavar, "to the thing", which is davar plus prefixes. I suppose it can also be l'davar, "to a thing", again davar plus a prefix.
מדבר is m'daber, "he speaks/is speaking", the masc., sing., present tense of that same verb again. It's also (seemingly unrelatedly) midbar, "desert", noun, barren area. And I suppose it can also be midavar, "from a thing", again davar plus a prefix.
But "from the thing" would have to be mehadavar, מהדבר.
There's an old paal-construction verb davar, "speak", too, though, which would open uo possibilities for other meanings of all three words.
And in Talmudic Aramaic, at least, דבר is a way of writing di bar, "who/that the son of" (as in John, di bar William ihu,, "John, who is the son of William,"), or "that the son of" (as in kevan di bar William ihu, "because he is the son of William"). (The Hebrew counterpart incidentally is sheben, שבן.) But Aramaic, of course, is a whole other story.
I hope that this helps.—msh210 05:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I might just add that it's not at all unusual (though I have no stats) to find homographs in Hebrew when one ignores vowels.—msh210 06:01, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I think you're splitting hairs about מהדבר (meihaddavar, from the thing), since מדבר (middavár, from (a) thing) and מדבר (midd'vár, from (a/the) thing of) both exist. —RuakhTALK 05:36, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean. All I said was that מהדבר was a word, and that it's the way to say "from the thing".—msh210 03:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
He was making a point about identically spelled words/phrases; you're right that he slightly mistranslated one of said phrases, but that didn't really diminish his point at all. —RuakhTALK 06:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I might also add some forms I left out. Ruakh mentioned d'var, "thing of", which is also spelled דבר, but with yet different vowelization; it, too can take the prefixes that make it לדבר or מדבר. And in Aramaic, the same word di bar can also mean "that outside" or "that besides"; the Hebrew counterpart is שחוץ.msh210 03:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and another: dever, "plague" and "plague of", each of which also can become לדבר or מדבר.—msh210 19:57, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
This is a thorny issue. From a syntactic standpoint, לדבר (laddavár, to the thing) is really two words in traditional Hebrew, and perhaps two-and-a-half in ordinary modern Hebrew. The French Wiktionary does attempt to include such compounds (and does a bad job of it, but don't tell it I said so), but I don't know if we should. One of the most annoying things about looking up Hebrew words in a paper dictionary is trying to figure out what letter the lemma starts with; we aim to avoid this issue by including pages for non-lemmata (and as y'all know by now, I advocate having non-lemma pages link to lemmata so that our readers can actually learn something instead of being completely dependent on the crumbs we give them), but if we don't include these clitic compounds, we haven't completely solved the problem (though granted, it's a lot easier for a Wiktionary reader to try both the with- and without-clitic versions to see which is right than it would be for a paper-dictionary reader). On the other hand, are we really going to include a separate entry for each series of words where all but the last is a one-letter word? Would the phrase ושמהפה (v'shemmeihappéh, and that from the mouth) get an entry? I think that for now we should bar such entries (except in the case of idioms and fixed expressions, obviously, just as we'd do if the phrases were written with spaces as in English), but perhaps we should revisit this question once we have decent coverage of actual words. (That said, things like הפה (happéh, the mouth) are probably worth allowing even now, since while in one sense they're sum-of-parts, in another sense they're words in their own right, at least in traditional Hebrew.) —RuakhTALK 05:36, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean by being two (or 2.5) words syntactically?—msh210 03:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I mean just that: syntactically, it's the preposition ל- (l'-, to, for) plus the nominal הדבר (haddavár, the thing). (The .5 thing is because it's kind of debatable whether ה- (ha-, the) is syntactically a word or an affix in Modern Hebrew. In colloquial Hebrew it's very word-y, e.g. in always going at the beginning of the noun phrase or adjective phrase it's attached to, but formal Hebrew still obeys the traditional rule that mandates e.g. בית הספר (beit hasséfer, the school), so it seems to be a bit blurry, depending on register and whatnot.) —RuakhTALK 06:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I must disagree with barring entries such as ושמהפה for now. (As most people can't read that, let me explain that it consists of the two-letter word meaning mouth, preceded by four one-letter prefixes.) I think such entries, while clearly far from being a priority, are words, and, as we seek to include all words in all languages, should be included if someone has the (admittedly odd) urge to add them. Certainly we should not delete them. (But I know I differ with Ruakh on this. He, for example, has taken Tbot-created Hebrew infinitive verb entries, moved them to the lemma form, rewritten them, and deleted the redirect. I would never do that. I might or might not add the lemma form, but would not delete the infinitive. It is a word, after all.) What do you all think?—msh210 19:55, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with your explanation: in Modern Hebrew it's a two-letter word "mouth", preceded by four clitics — one-letter words, really — two conjunctions, a preposition, and the definite article. (In older forms of Hebrew, I guess it's a three-letter word "the mouth" and three clitics.) Hence, until we expand our mandate to "all strings of characters in all languages", I don't think it warrants inclusion. ;-)   (To see that it's not a word, consider Template:Hebr "and that out from his mouth came a lie", which is Template:Hebr): the five words, though written together without spaces, don't even form a constituent in the larger structure of the sentence.) I certainly agree with you that to-infinitives should have some sort of entry, but the redirects are bad, because they're essentially redlinks, but aren't instantly recognizable as such. —RuakhTALK 20:27, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Maybe a linguist would consider each of those one-letter prefixes "words", but your typical person looking up a Hebrew word in the English Wiktionary will consider a word to end with whitespace. (Or a hyphen, perhaps, but whatever.) That's why we need these entries. Here's an experiment you can try at home: open a fairly simple Hebrew book (say, a book for little kids), and ask your favorite seven-year-old who can read Hebrew — or, for that matter, your favorite thirty-year-old who can read Hebrew and has never read any linguistics — to count the number of words on a given page.—msh210 06:02, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Subjunctive after estimate (verb)?

Does estimate take a subjunctive in the subordinate clause? Would it be "I estimate that the target arrive ..." or "I estimate that the target arrives ..."? I know that the latter is allowed since subjunctives are optional in English, but would the former be valid usage? --MathiasRav 17:50, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Opinion verbs, such as think, reckon, guess, suppose, etc, including estimate, normally take a modal such as will, might, could, etc. No hard and fast rules (as usual in English) but the suggested subjunctive form above sounds odd to me. I don't remember using it or seeing it. (Which doesn't mean it can't be found, of course.) - Algrif 18:56, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Stroke count for


Reference page: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%BE%A1

By my understanding, the stroke count for this word (at least in Japanese) is 12, not 11 as listed on Wiktionary.

Does anyone else agree?

Character: 御

Kind regards, Kevin —This unsigned comment was added by Kevinarpe (talkcontribs).

Indeed, fixed. The different stroke count was not in the Unihan database 4 years ago, and still is not! Robert Ullmann 03:40, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

that is to say

I was about to add this phrase, but I'm not sure of the POS. Is it an adverb? - Algrif 15:19, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

By analogy: "namely" is deemed an adverb. The phrase functions almost identically, like for example, that is, to wit. We're better off to have it entered and get it corrected. Isn't this adverb month? DCDuring 16:18, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. That was my reasoning exactly for asking if adverb was a correct assessment. Perhaps you might be able to improve the basic entry I've made. - Algrif 17:05, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Looks good. A usage example is always nice, even when it seems trivial. Maybe I'll put in a basic usage note. DCDuring 18:04, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

A name used to sign documents?

What is the word to describe the special name that certain dignitaries use to sign documents instead of their actual name? e.g. The Bishop of Durham signs as Dunelm (or Dunelmensis). nom de plume or pen name don't seem right. SemperBlotto 23:13, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

"Latin signature" would seem to do fine, that's what these usually are. Robert Ullmann 10:43, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

phonoaudiologist or phonotherapist

As a matter of fact, I just want to know whether people have seen or heard one of the above written words or, if not, they have the proper word to define the matter.

Perhaps "speech language pathologist" is what you are looking for?

Similes and idioms

Could similes be categorised as idioms? I've just made the category Category:Similes and wondered if it should be asubcategory of Category:Idioms. I assume so, because e.g. blind as a bat doesn't mean blind as a bat. Also, lpease take a look at Template:simile, which should probably be tweaked. --Keene 13:56, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I've often thought about adding this cat. My personal thought is that it should be a sub of Category:Idioms. I'm all for using this database in as many constructive ways as possible. I think this is a useful addition. - Algrif 11:26, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


I would like to see how you spell erica in Greek

Έρικα —SaltmarshTalk 09:59, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Indonesian translations of hair

I was doing the Translations of the Week when I noticed that the Indonesian translations for hair looked a bit off. In Malay, rambut refers to hair from the human head; whereas bulu is from anywhere else on the human body, as well as animals, plants and anything else. The Indonesian translations seem to be in reverse.

I've learnt from experience that I'm not qualified to meddle in Indonesian affairs, so could somebody take a look at this? Nestum82 18:50, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

[35] & [36] say bulu = feather. [37] says rambut = hair (head/facial/body). Here are some others thrown in for good measure. [38] & [39] say botak = bald. [40] says tanduk = horn. [41] & [42] say kuku = claw (nail). [43] & [44] say kulit = hide (skin, leather). [45] says gigi = tooth. A Rambutan is a "hairy" fruit. I can't find my Indo dictionary & I'm not a native speaker so I can't explain why it's different from Malaysian. --Thecurran 06:32, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Security Clearance

The initials SAR stand for what in reference to a secret security clearance?

Special Access Required; e.g. the information is compartmented, and only available if someone is "read into" a SAP (Special Access Program), it is more specific than levels 5-6-7 etc. (this is all in reference to the U.S. DoD). Robert Ullmann 10:12, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


I defined it as "The reflexive pronoun for God." but this could be tweaked. Any suggestions? --Keene 10:49, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

just in case

See talk:just in case. --Connel MacKenzie 20:11, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Comments posted. --EncycloPetey 01:56, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

what is a free verse

help what is a free verse!?

See free verse and w:Free verse. --EncycloPetey 01:48, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


How is this a plural (plus Oaxacan says that it is not countable...)? Nadando 02:31, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

My template-substitution emulator had a bug. I've added code to skip {{en-adj|-}} (which replaced {{en-adj|-|-}} some time ago.) --Connel MacKenzie 04:01, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Note that the heading ===Noun===, (not the result of the template substitution,) seems to have caused the bot confusion. --Connel MacKenzie 04:06, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


I'd never heard of this, and would have put it down to slang or ignorance if I'd seen it somewhere. But there are plenty of reputable-looking b.google hits, so is this acceptable in the States or should we mark it as {{slang}} or what? It's not in any of my dictionaries either... Widsith 18:39, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Judging by the nature of the g.b.c. hits it can't be slang. It has too wide a range of usage to be jargon. It's not informal, looking at the kind of hits. I don't think it's very common in spoken English in the US. It's also not in MW3, a good source for US usage. If it means someting different from equate (and it might), it might just be a not-too-common word with increasing usage. Equate may imply a more exact correspondence of multiple attributes, where equivalate implies some kind of single all-encompassing dimension of value on which things are equal despite lack of equality on various attributes. Are there other single words that have this meaning. The first cite I found was art historian/critic Bernard Berenson in 1954, but I wasn't looking that hard. DCDuring 15:32, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It's in MW Online. We might want to think through the five senses we have and see whether they all would pass RfV. DCDuring 15:41, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


Kurundu is a sinhalese ( main language of the sri lankans)term for cinnamon

Synonym for bathroom attendant?

The guys who hang out in the restrooms at fancy restaurants and country clubs with hand towels and the like, is there another word or name for that profession? Even tho we don't yet have an entry for it, Wikipedia has it .- TheDaveRoss 00:04, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Standard name in the US is restroom attendant. "bathroom" (usually) isn't standard, unless it is an athletics club. Is amusing to watch tourists from the US ask in a restaurant "where is the bathroom"? (you want to take a bath?) They are afraid apparently of the word "toilet". (and "napkin" is even funnier! You want WHAT?!) Oh, and I really like "bog troll". Robert Ullmann 14:16, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Are you saying that "bathroom" isn't standard in the US? That's news to me. In my experience, the room is called a "bathroom" (and "restroom" is slightly more polite). The "toilet" is the thing you do your business on; I've never heard an American call the room a "toilet", unless it's a portable toilet (more commonly called a portapotty). Mike Dillon 21:16, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
From England: standard term would be cloakroom attendant, both bathroom~ and restroom~ would be rarities here. —SaltmarshTalk 10:05, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Not "loo lurker"? Pity! LeadSongDog 23:41, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


I would like to merge the two definitions. Although Collins (2005) seeks to differentiate quay as parallel to water's edge (cf pier), others (SOED, Webster, Chambers) do not. —SaltmarshTalk 10:10, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Go ahead, this is (yet another) case of user CORNELIUSSEON adding in a definition from a US military text, entirely ignoring the fact that the definition is already there. Look at the last version < CORNELIUSSEON's edits. Robert Ullmann 10:16, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
done —SaltmarshTalk 11:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


This entry seems to need at the very least a sense that does not require intent on an entity's part. As it is, it is guilty of POV: animism. The application of the a word derived from the idea of intent to futurity is possibly an indication of our animist past. In any event, I couldn't find simple futurity without actor and intent. Perhaps I'm missing something. The entry looks like it could stand a look in general. It is too basic a word for me to trust myself to do it properly. DCDuring 12:30, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

It's on my "to do" list. The modal verb form is in fact much more complex than the entry currently given. Also I'm dubious about the willing entry nº2. Is that really from the verb root? We are lacking such items as "moment of decision", "promise", "future event that is beyond one's control", and much more besides. I'll (promise) get a round tuit soon. - Algrif 21:41, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

posh git

I read the term Posh Git in a book. What does it mean? —This comment was unsigned.

Did you consider looking at the definitions for posh and git? SemperBlotto 15:05, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Tibeaten word

Dzogchen should be added.

meaning: the natural great perfection

Entitled. Most dictionaries, including this one, define "entitled" as the past tense of "entitle," which means "to own, demand or receive something," or, alternatively, "to give a title to."

Titled is defined as the past tense of the word "title," which has a definition of "the name of a book, movie, etc."

I do not think the word "entitled" is synonymous with the word "titled." Yet most speakers and writers seem to use them as if they are synonymous.

For example, I think the sentence, "Mark Twain is the author of a book entitled 'Tom Sawyer,'" is more correctly, "Mark Twain is the author of a book titled 'Tom Sawyer.'"

Which is correct?

entitle also means to give a title to a book, film, play, etc.. I shall add that definition now. Thanks for pointing out the omission. - Algrif 11:13, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


Marked {{US|UK}}. Is that correct? Not elsewhere?—msh210 22:50, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

  • I have never even heard it in the UK - bullshit (or just bull) is quite common. SemperBlotto 23:01, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I've heard it in the UK, but mainly from Americans. Maybe change to {{mostly|US}} --Keene 19:52, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

common misuse of the word "at"

Can someone describe the technical reason why use of the preposition at is incorrect and redundant in a sentence such as "where is he at?" I find that more and more Americans are using this syntax, which sounds so very wrong. Thank you. Diane

I thought that using a preposition at the end of a sentence was incorrect, but when I tried to find that rule in a book on English grammar, I just couldn't. My English teacher, however, did say that it's incorrect to say "Where is he at", but I don't remember if she gave the reason. — [ ric ] opiaterein — 16:39, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
There are no technical reasons why any particular usage is "wrong". Language is continually evolving and any syntactical structure is valid if it communicates what the user means to say. Specifically, Wiktionary is supposed to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, so this may not be the place to ask. SemperBlotto 16:44, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
This is the kind of error up with which I will not put. - To quote Churchill. There is no rule as such. In fact nearly all preposition containing quetions in English place the preposition at the end. E.g. Where are you going to? rather than To where are you going? The Churchill quote was really about breaking up phrasal verbs incorrectly. Personally, I see no problem at all with "where is he at?" - Algrif 16:49, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
IMHO, it depends on whom you are talking with or writing for. "Where is he at?" is not a part of high-class, "educated" English. It would often be disadvantageous to say in class at school, in many job interviews, in court, and in writing. One very useful thing to learn is how to communicate in the way appropriate to the situation you are in. Because there are many habitual elements of speech, it can be risky to establish a habit of using "Where is he at?" if you hope to operate in the world where people look down on such a trun of phrase. Some people are very good at switching in and out of such different styles of speech. DCDuring 17:09, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Diane's point is not that the preposition is stranded, but that it's redundant. Since He is where? is more proper than *He is at where?, the preposition in *Where is he at? is unnecessary, leaving Where is he? as the proper form of the question. We should probably add a usage note to at or where to explain that the commonly used collocation *where ... at is inappropriate in contexts requiring proper English. Rod (A. Smith) 18:04, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. I assumed this was a standard US usage. In UK it would be an informal question, not about physical position, rather something like What is he thinking about?. As DCDuring points out, certainly not to be used in a formal situation. - Algrif 18:21, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Interesting. The "what are you thinking" sense was common in the 60s and 70s in the US, has certianly declined, and may be "dated" here now. Knowing that makes me feel old: that's where I'm at. DCDuring 22:23, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
In the U.S. also, "where is he at?" can be metaphorical, like in "where is he at in the process?" or "where is he at in the book?". The "what is he thinking about?" sense is news to me, but I'm only 23, so given DCDuring's comment, I guess it just predates me. :-) —RuakhTALK 00:26, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's redundant, per se, since "where" doesn't always imply "at". In modern-day English, "where" can mean "[at] where" ("where is he?"), "[to] where" ("where is he going?"), or neither ("where is he from?"), and for speakers without the "where … at" and "where … to" constructions, it's entirely up to context to distinguish. I'll grant that context is usually sufficient, but there are plenty of constructions where it's so-called "proper English" that objects to context-based determination (e.g. mandating "Are you new here?" instead of "You new here?"); we can hardly pretend that the rules of "proper English" are determined by logic. I do think we should have a usage note, but I think it should be more neutral than what you describe, essentially saying that many speakers have one or both of these constructions, but that many others find them objectionable, considering the prepositions redundant or unnecessary. —RuakhTALK 00:26, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
In slang, "Where's he?" allows for a vague answer: "He gone.". "Where he at?" is more insistent on a specific location. DCDuring 01:19, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
In traditional Newfoundland English usage we find the delightful phrase "Stay where yer to, I'll where yer at" LeadSongDog 23:44, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


  1. Are the two senses really different?
  2. The last example contains "they" not "them". Does this example belong here?

Panda10 21:42, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I would say (1) yes (2) no. --EncycloPetey 23:52, 28 December 2007 (UTC)


Do we prefer Galápagos or Galapagos? Wikipedia likes Galápagos, others dicitonaire prefer the latter to the former.

I would prefer the accent for Spanish, but without for English. Wikipedia tends to preserve original language spelling of proper nouns, whenever possible. --EncycloPetey 20:23, 29 December 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone add any history of the word mought. A past tense of may perhaps, or just archaic might? --Keene 02:10, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

It seems to be an archaic or dialectical form of might:
  • 1883 - Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, part I chapter 1
    What you mought call me? You mought call me captain. Oh, I see what you're at--there"; and he threw down three or four gold pieces on the threshold.
  • 1917 - Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Oakdale Affair, chapter VI
    Then he scratched his head and looked admiringly at the youth. "What mought yer name be?" he asked.
--EncycloPetey 02:57, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I suspect this is eye-dialect rather than archaic. Then again, it could be both. You can still hear this in the north-west UK. - Algrif 13:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

It's a past-tense of may (which also makes it a form of might). Interestingly the OED tags it as "now only US dialect". Widsith 19:36, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

manoeuvre and maneuver

There is an instruction in manoeuvre that if you edit this page, add the same modifications to maneuver to keep the two in sync. Can we just point one to the other without duplicating the work? Panda10 03:08, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Not really, no. There is an ongoing debate about how best to handle this, but must editors here agree that we can't simply redirect one to the other, and there are many reasons for this, including the fact that usage of one spelling may be regional, the quotes will be different, etc. --EncycloPetey 03:32, 30 December 2007 (UTC)


Citations in this entry point to a different page. Is this a current standard? Panda10 13:59, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

It is, as I understand it, a possible placement of citations. It seems to be almost essential in some of the really long pages where citing multiple senses could really make the page hard to use. I suppose that in some cases the only available citations for RfV don't provide very good usage examples, too. In this particular case, I would argue for bringing the citations back to the main page because the above considerations don't apply. DCDuring 14:24, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
To add to what DCDuring has said: see Wiktionary:Quotations#Subpages. —RuakhTALK 15:45, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
We have recently voted for a new namespace Citations:, and the plan is to shift to a new system of citations placement. This changeover has stalled, but the general idea is that all citations should appear on the related citations subpage, with selected examples remaining on the main entry. However, there should always be a Quotations section header on the main entry, and not just a link as on the brusque page. See parrot for an example that is well-formatted under the old way of doing things. The only change that will need to happen is shifting the Citations page into the new namespace (which needs to happen to all such pages). --EncycloPetey 16:28, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I noticed you added the Quotations section. Another thing: it seems that the brusque/Citations page cannot be edited. If I compare it to parrot/Citations, there should b