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.

For questions about the technical operation of Wiktionary use the Beer parlour. For questions about specific content, you're in the right place.

Tea room archives +/-

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

Oldest tagged RFTs


February 2015

alpinus and a big list of just the missing epithets

User:Pengo/missing epithets:

  1. tuberculosis, tuberculosa, tuberculosus, tuberculosum (28) — Tuberculosa (4)
  2. pylori, pylorus (5), pylora (2)
  3. botulinumBotulina (1)
  4. typhi, typhae, typharum (14), typha (5), typhus (2), typhia (1) — Typha, Typhis (49)
  5. solani ( < Solanum), solana (55), solanus (7), solanum (3) ( < Solanum), solanii (1), solano (1), solanae (1) — Solanum
  6. lamblia ( < Lamblia)
  7. arundinacea, arundinaceus, arundinaceum, arundinaceae (2)
  8. tetani, tetanus (1) — Tetana (1)
  9. mulatta
  10. juncea, junceum, junceus, junceae (1), iunceus (1)
  11. pertussis
  12. stolonifera, stolonifer, stoloniferum, stoloniferus (16)
  13. stramonium, stramonii (1) — Stramonium (12)
  14. mariana, marianum, marianus, marianae (28), marianii (12), mariani (4), marianarum (3), marianiae (2), marjana (2), marianorum (1), marian (1) — Mariana (3)
  15. salar, salaris, salarius (8), salaria (4), salara (3), salarii (1) — Salaria (53), Salar (9), Salaris (2), Salarius (1)
  16. pennsylvanicus, pennsylvanica, pennsylvanicum
  17. papaya, papayae, papayas (1), papayum (1) — Papaya (88)
  18. helix, helixus (1) — Helix
  19. dactylon, dactyloni (4), dactylonii (1), dactylonis (1) — Dactylon (1)
  20. cereale, cerealis, cerealium, cerealia (3)
  21. alpina, alpinus, alpinum, alpiniae (22) ( <Alpinia), alpini (9) (mostly in two-part epithets such as polygoni-alpini)), alpinia (3) ( < Alpinia), alpinii (2), alpinae (1) ( < Alpina) — Alpinia, Alpina (16)
  22. more...

Here's just the epithets which are missing, from most common to least commonly found in books.

Only entries with either Latin or translingual sections are counted as "not missing". The list currently includes a lot of orange links (if you have them turned on in preferences), because there's a lot of them without Latin (or translingual) sections.

Items with numbers after them are less important but included for completeness (and someone might want to add them too all the same)

alpinus is in the list because it was moved to Alpinus at some point with just a redirect left behind. alpina and alpinum were not moved. Should probably be fixed up.

Might try to refresh this list semi-regularly if it gets used and if I can fix some speed/caching issues. The full list also includes the most common example species for each group of epithets. Pengo (talk) 04:22, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Alpinia is a ringer- according to w:Alpinia, it's named after an Italian by the name of w:Prospero Alpini Chuck Entz (talk) 10:29, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Alpina is a genus name in Geometridae (moths), not in Wikispecies, but in the Catalog of Life. It is possible that some instances of alpina and alpinae are of this genus, not of the Latin adjective. The only instances we are likely to detect are the genitives and those where alpina is used with a masculine or neuter genus name. DCDuring TALK 16:23, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I think my conclusion is that we need to focus on the low-hanging fruit: those of the 1st/2nd declension (-us, -a, -um}, those 3rd with two or three endings, (usually -is, -e). For obsolete genera, the names of subgenera, sections, and subsections (marked, subg, sect, and subsect in botany etc and capitalized between a genus name and a specific epithet in geology) would be a good start. Stems of the higher taxa from subtribe to magnorder that have regular rank-indicating endings would be a good list. We can usually infer a single candidate generic name or a short list of candidate generic names from those stems, especially if we know the class (eg, Aves, Insecta, Mammalia) or phylum (eg, Mollusca, Nematoda, Porifera) of the higher taxon that is the source of the stem. DCDuring TALK 04:08, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: I made a list now of the "low hanging fruit", candidates for first/second declension. Hopefully will be useful. Pengo (talk) 22:45, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Ok. So although I've been putting together these lists, my understanding of Latin grammar is still pretty poor. I partially understand the alpinus/Alpinus explanation but I don't at all understand the steps that it takes to pick a declension and be confident about it. But I figure from my epithet lists now it should be relatively easy to pick out the 1st/2nd declension terms? Might be easier to create an example of how you imagine an entry to look than trying to describe it?
Would it do if I added other ranks to the epithet lists in much the same way Genus has been included? E.g. "bufo — Bufo — family:Bufonidae" (including Bufonidae because it shares a common stem, not because it's the family). Including phylum/class can be tricky, as none of the taxon bits listed are necessarily related. I know kingdoms have different naming rules, but can you clarify how you'd use this info? It would be easiest to add to the example species.
Subgenera and sections are tricky. I've just tried to extract them from CoL without success. Although the database is structured to allow for their inclusion, there are none in there at all. I'm probably not going to attempt to scrape other sources just yet. I'm only thinking about improving my current epithet lists, but I'm not sure if you're thinking of different kinds of queries?
So, the main things that should be relatively easy to do are (1) to add any other ranks which share the epithet's stem (ala the Bufonidae example above); (2) mark any obsolete taxon with a double dagger (‡) (epithet, species, genus, etc which only exists in synonyms); (3) list two-part epithets within the entries of their single-part counterparts. Pengo (talk) 11:09, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate the effort involved in finding the best way to do this. In part, I'm thinking simpler is better for rapid addition of new entries. A list of all the stems where the forms were all in lower case and ended in -us, -a, and -um, having at least one instance of each ending would be a very good way of adding a lot of epithets quickly. Ordering them from most to least frequent is further assurance that the most important are added first. Additional information is not very helpful and may be a distraction for the core task. Another useful list would be similar for epithets ending in -is and -e.
Once we have these regular, common epithets covered we can work on the harder cases with more complex listings such as those you have produced. The double-dagger enhancement is useful. Adding the use of the stem in other taxa is distracting. I thought it might be useful to find more obsolete genus names, but mining Wikispecies would be much better. A two-part epithet will be much less common. The genitive endings of a compound epithet usually indicate that the species "X y" is a host for the species "Z X-y" of a parasite or symbiont. It is more helpful to have them on a separate list from which we would add the species, which is probably important economically or in research.
The Wikispecies dump might be the best source for subgenera, sections, and subsections, as well as for higher taxa. They explicitly label each taxon used in an entry and have a hierarchy of hyponyms in every entry. DCDuring TALK 13:51, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
By definition, specific epithets can only be nominative singular/plural or genitive singular/plural nouns or adjectives. The adjectives agree in gender and number with the generic name, but I've never heard of a plural generic name, so the adjectives should be all singular. The first and second declensions are easy, but the third depends on the ending of the stem and how it interacts with the inflectional endings (of which there are variants)- not that easy to code for. I've never worked with the 4th and 5th declension, but there are very few of them, which you can ignore. See w:Latin declension. Chuck Entz (talk) 10:29, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I think you have the direction of the derivations wrong: higher-level taxa are usually named by taking the genitive of the type generic name and replacing the ending with the rank-specific ones. Thus the bird order Passeriformes is ultimately derived from Passer domesticus (genitive passeris), the English Sparrow, and the family Bufonidae gets its name from Bufo bufo ( genitive bufonis). For animal taxa in the "family group" and below, this is explicitly specified by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, but above that, it's only a matter of relatively recent custom. In the case of plants, there are a few family names such as Leguminosae and Umbelliferae that have been grandathered in and coexist with the standard Fabaceae (dating from when Vicia faba was classified in the genus Faba) and Apiaceae from Apium graveolens. Chuck Entz (talk) 10:29, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
We're not trying to derive genus names, we're trying to infer them from higher taxa. We are doing this to get at obsolete/archaic genus names. Once we have a list of candidates we can attempt to determine whether such candidate names actually ever existed. We would have the reasonable assurance that such names were at one time at least the names were important enough to be the source of higher taxon names. The point of looking at infrageneric names at the rank of subgenus, section, and subsection is similarly because they are also candidates to have been genus names.
If you know of some reliable source of obsolete/archaic generic names, I am all ears. DCDuring TALK 13:54, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Sadly, we're probably one of the leading sources, what with all of the Webster 1913 articles. I've been changing a lot of species names to use {{taxlink}} lately, and more often than not the links go to a page that says Wikispecies doesn't have a page for it. A good bit of that is due to Wikispecies only having a page for the genus, and often the specific epithet is obsolete- but there are a significant number where the generic name is out of date. Just comparing the contents of the {{taxlink}}-generated categories for genus and species with Wikispecies and Wikipedia would probably turn up more obsolete generic names than the above methods. For that matter, when I go looking for plant and animal names to categorize, I find lots of entries with taxonomic names either redlinked or hardcoded as italicized text. From that, I would infer that we haven't {{taxlink}}ed or created taxon pages to cover more than a fraction of the candidates. Do we have a list somewhere of entries with italicized binomials? Just checking for <space>''word<space>word''<space>, <space>''[[word]]<space>[[word]]''<space> and <space>''[[word<space>word]]''<space> would be extremely useful. As for converting old generic names to new ones: this is not a simple mechanical process. Yes, there are a good number of generic names that have been found to be invalid and replaced with new names, but species get moved around so much that a single old genus might easily have its former members in a dozen modern ones. Even extant ones get changed a lot. Think of all the common names based on generic names such as chrysanthemum, geranium and azalea. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:58, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: We have only 123 members in :Category:Taxonomic names (obsolete).
It might be possible to find some unlinked taxonomic names using the capabilities of Cirrus search, by searching non-Translingual entries for "species" or "genus" and an absence of the template {{taxlink}}. I fear that the list you propose would generate many false positives, but it's worth a shot.
The process of generating candidate generic names would be mechanical, but validating them would not be.
I certainly don't think that we can recreate the history of membership of species in a genus. I'd be happy if we could reference some contemporary taxon, preferably a genus. Type species would be nice. DCDuring TALK 16:11, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Century would be an even better source for obsolete/archaic taxa than Webster has been. DCDuring TALK 16:11, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: @Chuck Entz: Thanks for the feedback and help. I've updated the common and missing lists to mark synonyms/obsolete taxa with a double dagger (which does seem quite helpful). I'm pretty happy with the lists now, although I haven't done a bunch of things on my to-do list (such as including other ranks; special treatment of two-part epithets; and highlighting possible 1st/2nd declensions). I'm going to leave obsolete taxa searching for another time too. I'm going to move on to other projects for a while, namely an audit of IUCN red list statuses (statī?) on Wikipedia, and some other personal projects. Hope the lists are useful for a while. Seems there's no shortage of things to do here regardless. Hopefully the alpinus/Alpinus thing can be sorted out soon too :) Pengo (talk) 10:21, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

ring road

If this is British English, what is it called outside Commonwealth countries (and China for that matter)? ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:12, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

In the US this corresponds to beltway. But beltways are limited-access roads. I don't think of ring roads (eg, Ringstrasse in Vienna) as being limited in access. circumferential highway is a (SoP?) hyponym that is more inclusive, but would still not include Ringstrasse, which is not a highway. See beltway at OneLook Dictionary Search and ring road at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 00:44, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I think German Ringstraße or Umgehungsstraße would still fit "beltway". Straße could also be various kinds of roads including "highway".--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:55, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I was specifically talking about the one in Vienna with does not fit in any definition of beltway that I can find.
The poor correspondence between the empirical membership in the categories corresponding to the terms ring road and beltway exemplifies the general problem of poor matches of words and concepts between cultures. It limits the utility of translations as we will never have both base English definitions that are useful to English speakers and definitions sufficiently atomic to allow all FL terms to correspond to a set of such definitions. DCDuring TALK 02:28, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Re: mismatches - It's nothing new. There may be no perfect match but a close match. If a translation is too loose, a qualifier or a descriptive SoP translation can be used, especially when a concept/term is missing in a given FL. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:32, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
As for Austrian "Ringstraße" (spelled "Ringstrasse" in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, not Germany or Austria), it's a "circular road/street" but "ring road" is one of its senses. The US "beltway" has a narrower sense.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:37, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Atlanta has something called the Perimeter, which is basically a beltway. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:55, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
In the UK, I think we only have one road similar to a beltway - the M25. That is described as the "London Orbital" - definitely not a ring road. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:45, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
There's (for example) the Manchester Inner Ring Road (a mixture of American-style elevated motorway and standard A-roads) and the Manchester Outer Ring Road (fully separated motorway). This might be less an issue of language, and more of different approaches to road planning on different continents. There are quite a lot of American books that refer to "ring roads" in a US context, both to mean beltway and to refer to a non-freeway solution to circulatory roads (mostly in New England, it seems, where dense population and historical city centres make the beltway a poor solution). Notably, the city of Providence used to have a system that was officially referred to as a ring road. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:05, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Melbourne, Australia, has the Western Ring Road (and that's its official name). Its definition here is a freeway or highway which runs around a city, instead of radially out from the center. Sydney has the Sydney Orbital Network (a system of ring roads), Perth has the ring road made up in part by the Roe Highway, and Brisbane is building one now. In all cases they are described as "ring roads". --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 11:28, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
It's a lot like terms for stages in schooling: in the US we have preschool, kindergarten, elementary/grade school, middle school/junior high, high school, with grades from 1 to 12 that overlap with some of those (and k-12 schools that have kindergarten, elementary and junior high in one school). They can be hard to convert to school systems in other countries, regardless of language. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:55, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Many thanks to everyone who replied. The entry looks great now. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:58, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Are you a noun if you feel like yourself?

Yourself has a noun section with the definition "Your usual, normal, or true self", with the usex "feel like yourself". Myself with the more opaque definition "that being which is oneself", with the same usex. None of the other pronouns have noun sections, although they can all be used in exactly the same way ("feel like himself/herself/ourselves/etc"). Are the noun sections unnecessary (do the plural sections cover "feel like _self"-type usage)? Or should noun sections be added to the other pronoun entries?
This is part of the more general issue that our pronoun entries are quite inconsistently formatted.
- -sche (discuss) 04:30, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

It's not only -self, since you could say "I feel like them" (i.e. like they do). Equinox 16:14, 2 February 2015 (UTC)


What does this mean? "(countable, in translation of Chinese) The sweet osmanthus (O. fragrans)"

Can it be said more clearly, so normal folks could understand? DCDuring TALK 16:53, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

My guess is that it means there is a Chinese word, which properly refers to the 'sweet osmanthus', which is commonly translated as 'cassia' instead of as 'sweet osmanthus', for reasons. Whether it is true that there is such a word, I don't know. (RFV?) - -sche (discuss) 02:23, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it, both cassia (the type of cinnamon) and sweet osmanthus were originally referred to by the same single-character term, , with the compound terms 桂花 (桂 flower) and 肉桂 (meat 桂) emerging to remove the ambiguity. There's also 木樨 that refers to sweet osmanthus as well. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:00, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
If one knew that, then the label would make sense. But how does the label begin to convey that to someone who doesn't know the underlying situation. It would seem to be merely a canard to someone using the entry. DCDuring TALK 03:12, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I think it would be better to have a usage note saying that cassia and sweet osmanthus are often confused by translators of Chinese. For one thing, I would imagine it would be possible for references to cassia to be mistranslated as sweet osmanthus, too. Older translations of all sorts of works are rife with mistranslations. We do have similar senses for biblical mistranslations at cony and fitch, though. The entry at tare has a sense that also comes from a biblical mistranslation, but is deceptive because it doesn't mention the fact. It quotes the biblical passage that's the original mistranslation, but also quotes another that's obviously an indirect allusion to the biblical passage. Just off the top of my head, the word rose as used in Bible translations is definitely wrong, as are references to hyssop and most (maybe all) references to lilies. I know there are similar issues with many other works, but biblical translation is the area I've studied in greatest depth and therefore the easiest for me to come up with examples for without research. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:39, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

force of will

Would the term "force of will" pass CFI? It seems idiomatic. There are also some idiomatic translations, e.g. Chinese 精神力 (jīngshénlì), Japanese 精神力 (せいしんりょく, seishinryoku), Korean 정신력 (jeongsillyeok). . --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:48, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

force of will is the fourth most common term of the type force of [noun], after force of nature, force of gravity, force of arms and ahead of force of law and force of habit. We join other references (force of nature at OneLook Dictionary Search and force of habit at OneLook Dictionary Search) in what we include (and exclude). It is not a set phrase, as possessive and adjectival modifiers may be inserted. Both of the included force phrase have definitions and application that makes them idiomatic. Force of will does not. It's definition would be something like "power of one's one's own strongly felt intention and choice", which is pretty much "willpower" or "force of will". DCDuring TALK 02:11, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Since OneLook dictionary is often used for references, it could be a candidate for Lemming tests, no? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:32, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
There is no force of lemmings in Wiktionary policy, just as there is no force of will at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 03:27, 3 February 2015 (UTC)


Some etymological references mention this as a medieval Latin noun meaning "mesh"; for instance, it is the posited etymon of mascle. Is it attested? Homography with the adjective masculus/mascula makes it hard to search for. (Incidentally, I've just found one reference that derives mascula from macula; the other references I've seen derive it from Germanic and relate it to mesh.) - -sche (discuss) 02:32, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Pinging User:I'm so meta even this acronym and User:Metaknowledge, who are familiar with Latin. - -sche (discuss) 19:15, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
@-sche: It wouldn't be too surprising if mascula (mesh) occurred at some point as a variant spelling of macula (which exists in a “mesh” sense; see sense 2.2), but it isn't recorded by Niermeyer, and the Old High German māsca is also a plausible cognate, if not an etymon. Johann Jacob Hofmann has an entry for Mascula (a city of Numidia), but it reads merely "MASCULA, urbs Numidiæ, Antonin. & D. Auguſt.", which is of course irrelevant. That's as much as I know. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:09, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

capital works, capital construction

What does "capital" mean in capital works/capital construction? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:42, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't know, but according to one .gov.uk website, "Capital works are works to the structure and exterior of your flat and building, and to any other premises that your lease grants you the right to use". According to the Australian Taxpayers' Guide 2013 (ISBN 0730307263), "The term 'capital works' includes buildings, structural improvements and environmental protection earthworks that are used for an income-producing purpose". And Tax For Australians For Dummies (ISBN 1118551206) says "Ordinarily, you can't claim a tax deduction in respect of the purchase of a building. This rule applies because the outlay is considered to be capital in nature and not tax deductible under the general deduction provisions [] However, you may be able to claim a tax deduction under the capital works provisions, which allow you to write off certain construction costs of a building over a period of time." The Dictionary of Property and Construction Law (ISBN 1135801177) defines "capital improvement" as "Capital works undertaken on an asset with a view to enhancing its value. It does not include repairs or maintenance." Is any of that helpful? - -sche (discuss) 03:24, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Maybe it's just sense 1 of capital, in that "capital works"/improvements/etc are improvements to "Already-produced durable goods ... such as ... structures"? - -sche (discuss) 03:26, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I can tell you not to bother with w:Capital (economics), a "vital" article, rated C- by their economics project. DCDuring TALK 03:46, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Talk:över-, Talk:huvud-

Someone questioned (ages ago) whether these were really Swedish prefixes. Discussion went nowhere. Are they prefixes or not? sv.Wikt has an entry for the first one but not the second one. - -sche (discuss) 07:55, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

I would say över- is prefix but huvud- is not. I don't know if there are any clear criteria but at least this would be analogous with our English entries: "over-" is considered a prefix but "head-" is not. Also, this line would be in agreement with sv-Wiktionary. However, sv-Wikipedia has a list of Swedish prefixes (förled in Swedish), but över- is not included. --Hekaheka (talk) 20:52, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
huvud- seems like a prefix to me, comparable to hoofd-, haupt-, pää-. —CodeCat 20:56, 14 February 2015 (UTC)



It is indeed a great pleasure for me to participate in the magnificent endeavor that is Wikipedia!

I am creating a new page, using Sandbox, since I am a new user - - - I do posses programming skills and have a diploma in computer science. ...also fluent in 6 languages; ...which means I intend to create these pages in other languages.

The pages are about one of Canada's best musicians, known world-wide; I have about many.. virtually thousands newspaper and magazine articles, media, etc. to choose from. So I will be working very hard to encapsulate this celebrated 45 year international career, in due encyclopedic form of course.

I tried creating in Draft mode, inadvertently broke some rules, and the page was deleted. So now I work in Sandbox and I copy my code every day, just in case.

So my questions are:

1) might my Sandbox page also be deleted. 2) I am wondering what to expect when I click "Submit your draft for Review"; I am hoping I will have a chance to correct whatever is required.

Many thanks, and of course I appreciate any feedback.

very best wishes, Michael —This unsigned comment was added by Mlaucke (talkcontribs) at 06:58, February 3, 2015‎.

That seems like a Wikipedia article, not a dictionary article. Wiktionary is a dictionary. DCDuring TALK 13:42, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

tomate de colgar

The original user (WF) translated this is "hanging tomato", although there doesn't seem to be much evidence of that name being used. Any ideas what was going through his head at the time of creating? --Type56op9 (talk) 14:37, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

A Google Image search for "tomate de colgar" turns up bunches of tomatoes hanging on vines like grapes. In some cases, they seem to have been strung onto artificial vines (for storage?). - -sche (discuss) 17:44, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
It is a tomato varietal grown around Alcalà de Xivert, Province of Valencia, Catalonia, and Majorca. In English, garland tomato. —Stephen (Talk) 07:21, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

depict pronunciation

currently the first vowel is given as [ɪ], based on my own pronunciation I believe it is more accurately [ɨ]. (in english linguistics this is used to represent a vowel in free variation between [ɪ] and [ə].) Can someone check a definitive dictionary about this?

It's your ass

I'm wondering about expressions like "If anyone finds out, it's your ass". I think they are idiomatic and reasonably common, and don't seem to be explained by ass. Should there be an entry for be someone's ass? Siuenti (talk) 21:44, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Never heard it. Is this an elliptical form of "it's your ass on the line", or "it's your ass that's going to get kicked", or some such? Equinox 21:45, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think so. I would have said it's the same as "be fucked", dictionary.com has a less vulgar definition under it's one's ass [1]. These quotes might help:
"Tell him to do what ever it takes to close that loan or it's his ass" [2]
"There is a lot of deterrents for a QB to override the last play of the super bowl, even if the called play is dumb. If things don't pan out, it's his ass." [3]
" He’s stuck on the shitty missions, in all of the danger, and if something happens, it’s his ass, because he’s not worth saving in their eyes" [4]
Siuenti (talk) 22:46, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd say it certainly came from something like "it's your ass on the line". Of course can be pluralized, used with many possessives, and with any tense of be, eg. "It would have been the whole team's asses had it failed". DCDuring TALK 00:02, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
We have a sense at ass for "one's self or person". That seems close to what this phrase is saying: i.e. it's you, it's your problem, or your responsibility, or your whatever. Equinox 00:05, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I thinks it's a bit more specific than that. We should add a sense to ass#Etymology 2 like "responsibility; jeopardy".
If we were to add a phrasal idiom I conclude that it would be be one's ass with lots of redirects thereto. DCDuring TALK 00:13, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
In a related question, how should we categorize the similar phrase "to have someone's ass," as in "They'll have my ass if I don't get this report in on time"? Do we think that this form came from a transitivization of the phrase "It's my ass" or from a different usage? JohnC5 01:44, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Possibly a vulgar modification of "they'll have your head" (on a spear, on a platter, etc.). Sometimes people just change a word for a rude word, as in "can't be fucked" for "can't be bothered". Equinox 01:46, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense. JohnC5 01:52, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

science questions

Q.1. what is fungi ?

Q.2. what is algae?

Q.4. why did potato regarding modified stem ?

Q.5. what is perculation ?Italic text--Anjalikumari090 (talk) 06:01, 4 February 2015 (UTC)anjali

fungi — any of a large group of eukaryotic, unicellular, multicellular, or syncytial spore-producing organisms that feed on organic matter, including molds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools.
algae — any of a large group of simple eukaryotic nonflowering plants that includes the seaweeds and many single celled forms. Algae contain chlorophyll but lack true stems, roots, leaves, and vascular tissue.
why did potato regarding modified stem (incomprehensible; it is not English)
percolation is the process of a liquid passing slowly through a filter. —Stephen (Talk) 06:58, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Talk:on the defensive

Linking to a question on Talk:on the defensive. Someone left a frustrated message on Wiktionary:Feedback#Talk:on_the_defensive --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:04, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

I have to admit, this message of yours amused me (though I’m still depressed). --Romanophile (talk) 06:26, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
@Romanophile: Why did it amuse you? Were you the one who left the message in Wiktionary:Feedback? I only copied the question to a better location, where it has a better chance to be answered. I have no opinion (or interest, sorry) on the substance of the question. It's up to you to follow it up or expand the topic. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:43, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
It's a prepositional phrase. Almost all of them can be used both adverbially or after some copulative verbs, almost always after forms of be. "Prepositional phrase" is a better L3 header. DCDuring TALK 23:59, 4 February 2015 (UTC)


The entry for "primally" lists it under the heading "Adjective" even though it is clearly an adverb. However, the hot links at the bottom of the entry include "English Adverbs" rather than "English Adjectives" -- the entire entry needs to be reconfigured somehow. Also, the entry for "primal" lacks a link to "primally."

Fixed. It was only the "Adjective" header that was wrong: the entry was created that way, apparently as an absent-minded error that no one else noticed. Thanks for letting us know. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:29, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

battle of the bulge

Should we include "battle of the bulge" under battle of the bulge or just at bulge? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:09, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Depends. Do we consider "battle" to be idiomatic? Purplebackpack89 04:37, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Wasn't it a WWII term? I think it is used now in cases where someone has too much around their middle, and would like to get rid of it. I could consider it to be an idiomatic term in today's usage. Donnanz (talk) 19:24, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I would consider it idiomatic. It is used to reference a back-and-forth effort at weight loss, but named for a World War II battle that is increasingly obsolete to modern youth. bd2412 T 19:52, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
It's a cliche already. It must be idiomatic. We should memorialize so someone unfamiliar with the allusion to Battle of the Bulge will understand it as dated or soon to become so. DCDuring TALK 20:02, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with its origin. Perhaps someone could help me create an entry for it? ---> Tooironic (talk) 21:48, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I've given it a go Purplebackpack89 22:35, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Well done, but it may need some fine tuning, especially the plural. Donnanz (talk) 22:39, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

shower tea

Neenish tart is said to have originated when someone was preparing for "an unexpected shower tea". What is a shower tea? All I can come up with is "a tea-time taken while in the shower", but that seems implausible both in context and, for that matter, out of context. - -sche (discuss) 09:01, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Seems to be Australian term for what Americans would call a bridal shower. 1 2 3 Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:13, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Aha! Thank you both for the explanation. - -sche (discuss) 19:16, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

storm in a teacup

Why has it been redirected to storm in a tea-kettle? (a term I'm not familiar with). I think it may be a British term, and should be treated accordingly. Donnanz (talk) 18:24, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Huh. I woulda thought it should be redirected to tempest in a teapot. Purplebackpack89 18:29, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Whoever did it was rather naughty to say the least. I think there should be a separate entry, saying it's a British term, THEN refer it to wherever. Too much of this goes on, it's upsetting the natives. Donnanz (talk) 18:40, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Hmm, there's no entry for upset the natives either. Donnanz (talk) 18:54, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

In my experience, only variants of long idioms and verb-based idioms (couldn't punch one's way out of a paper bag) get hard-redirected; variants of short nounal idioms like this (and like e.g. give a rat's ass) get soft-redirected. So, yes, this shouldn't be a hard redirect. But sorting things out is made complicated by the fact that there are two entries to which various forms are redirecting; ugh. - -sche (discuss) 03:59, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
So how do you undo the dirty work? I think it's beyond my powers. Donnanz (talk) 09:45, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Maybe hard redirects should be banned / outlawed altogether, or is that a subject for the Beer Parlour? Donnanz (talk) 11:11, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
To "undo" a hard redirect, you just go to it (and get redirected to another page, but then click the small "redirected from" link at the top of the page to get back to the redirect...which admittedly seems to have become slightly more difficult after one of the recent software changes) and replace the "#REDIRECT" text with some other text. (Or you go to the redirect using this format: https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=forget,_when_up_to_one%27s_neck_in_alligators,_that_the_mission_is_to_drain_the_swamp&redirect=no)
Hard redirects are "mostly banned" already; the two circumstances where there seems to be agreement that they're good are, as I mentioned, long idioms (forget, when up to one's eyes in alligators, that the mission is to drain the swampforget, when up to one's neck in alligators, that the mission is to drain the swamp) and verbal idioms with pronoun and tense and object changes (burn his fingersburn one's fingers, ). In my experience most existing hard redirects date from 4+ years ago, like this one did. - -sche (discuss) 18:37, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
@-ische: I didn't realise that you'd already undone the hard redirect (while I was tucked up in my bed). Many thanks!! Donnanz (talk) 19:09, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Declension of ales in Romanian


I am not 100% sure, but I think I detected a mistake in the declension table of the word "ales" in Romanian. According to http://dexonline.ro/definitie/ales the feminine indefinite singular should be aleasă (not alesă). Now... I don't know how to change this on the wiktionary page, because it is not a table but a template.

Thank you.

number one

Is a sense missing here - e.g. as in "enemy number one"? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:43, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Isn't that covered by def #2, the one who is at the top of a ranking? Purplebackpack89 23:02, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
No, I think it's not. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:06, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be either noun def 2, or an adjective(?) version of noun def 2. (But perhaps the definition could be worded better.) It doesn't seem substantively different from "he's our number one suspect", "prior to 2011, bin Laden was fugitive number one", "X was our number one informant", "neenish tarts are Australia's number one export", etc. - -sche (discuss) 03:50, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, probably adjective section is needed. From Google: (adjective sense, here with a hyphen): most important or prevalent; foremost: "a number-one priority". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:58, 6 February 2015 (UTC)


Noyau is in Wiktionary but the entry carries only a definition that refers to a liqueur. Noyau is French for "core" and is a scientific term for "a social structure in which a male's territory overlaps the smaller territories of several females," according to http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/glossary#N.

Thanks! I've added that to the page. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:49, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Definitions of redact are sorted oddly, new definition

I had thought that dictionary definitions are supposed to be sorted by popularity of use. The first six definitions of redact are all labeled as obsolete, the seventh is (I believe) bordering on obsolete, the eighth is labeled as rare, and the last two (#9 and #10) are the only forms of the word that are at all common.

Those are close to the definition I was trying to link; as a security professional, sometimes it is necessary for me to redact a malicious link. One common form of that would be e.g. hxxp://evil.example.com, which should not be interpreted as a link (thus you cannot accidentally click on it and get infected). This is a somewhat common practice; just search for "hxxp".

I am requesting a reordering of the definitions (something like 9,10,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6) and the addition of the security usage. I'm not performing the edits myself because I'm not sure my understanding of ordering is correct, and I'm not decided on whether my new definition should be a part of #9 or #10 or whether all three should be merged since the principle is the same: content removed to protect some interest, such as censorship, privacy, legal protections, or security threats. (Another example that doesn't fit into the existing definitions: some Jews redact "God" as "G-d") Adam KatzΔ 19:35, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Most (although not all!) users here agree that it's not very user-friendly to put obsolete terms at the top. I've reordered the page, and made the definitions slightly more general so that they should cover the computer security and the religious case as well. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:00, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, that will do, even though it's still rather specific about the usage (which doesn't cover security threats). Adam KatzΔ 23:00, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

working committee

What does "working" mean in the term "working committee"? Seems we don't have this sense of working on Wiktionary. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:40, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

A committee which is working on a particular matter? Governments seem to use them a lot. Donnanz (talk) 14:52, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
It could be in more than one ordinary sense of 'working'. Inn that it contrasts with standing committee which uses standing in the archaic sense of "permanent". DCDuring TALK 18:44, 7 February 2015 (UTC)


I would regard it as a suffix, rather than a postpositive adjective. Donnanz (talk) 14:47, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

That's probably a better characterization of what it has become. Formerly it was a preposition phrase, sometimes used as if a sentence adverb, as well as otherwise as if an adjective or adverb.
Incidentally it is productive, as evidenced by such terms as dog-in-law and others to be found here at OneLook, some only at Urban Dictionary. Apparently "Related by marriage" has now been generalized to mean "Associated indirectly by marriage, a sexual relationship, or otherwise." in some of these cases, while retaining its narrower, traditional meaning for most speakers. One can find similar generalizations such as granddog "dog belonging to one's child". DCDuring TALK 18:28, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the most bizarre in that list is "urinal-in-law". Anyway, shall I change it? It occurred to me that a list of words suffixed with -in-law would also be useful, as I have done with sviger- in Norwegian. Donnanz (talk) 10:42, 8 February 2015 (UTC)


This entry was altered from Schwieger- last year by a Japanese user. I have read the reference left in the history, but this is only used with nouns, so was this a useful change or not? My Duden is no help. Donnanz (talk) 15:17, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, schwieger- is found on adjectives like schwiegermütterlich (mother-in-lawish) (even though it's pretty clearly Schwiegermutter + -lich, not schwieger- + mütterlich), so it can be lower-case. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:24, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, OK, that's not shown in Duden either. I only found schwieger- when adding to the translations for -in-law. I don't think it should have been altered without leaving a redirect; it wasn't very joined-up thinking. Donnanz (talk) 15:33, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Apparently Schwieger (feminine noun), which is shown in Duden Online, is an outdated term for Schwiegermütter. Donnanz (talk) 15:55, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
It should be lowercase, for reasons outlined on Talk:ur-. Namely, compounds like Schwiegermutter are not Schwieger- + mutter(!), they're schwieger- + Mutter + (rule that the first letter of a noun is capitalised, and not other letters). - -sche (discuss) 18:34, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
R-right, but bearing in mind case sensitivity versus user friendliness I feel a redirect from Schwieger- is also desirable. However not all German -in-law words use schwieger-, see Schwägerin for instance. Donnanz (talk) 10:56, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's necessary. Searching for Schwieger- will find schwieger-, and people are far more likely to search for the whole words than for the prefix anyway. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:00, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
OK, you're right. I had to alter the etymology for "sviger-" though. Donnanz (talk) 13:22, 8 February 2015 (UTC)


Is it just me, or do the first two senses have the same meaning? Also, if the second sense is countable, why is the example given ("experience has taught me...") uncountable? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:36, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

It isn't just you, but MW Online has eight definitions to our four:
"1a : direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge
"1b : the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation
"2a : practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation of or participation in events or in a particular activity
"2b : the length of such participation <has 10 years' experience in the job>
"3a : the conscious events that make up an individual life
"3b : the events that make up the conscious past of a community or nation or humankind generally
"4 : something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through
"5 : the act or process of directly perceiving events or reality"
4 is the only one that seems clearly countable to me, perhaps 5 as well.
I don't think that the edit adding the countable/uncountable labels and adding indefinite articles was good, not that I'm sure the entry before the edit was in good shape. There needed to be usage examples, if not actual citations, to illustrate each usage. And there probably weren't enough definitions. The entry needs revision. DCDuring TALK 11:20, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I was hoping you could help with this. After all, "experience" is one of the commonest words in the English language. We really should get this entry right. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:50, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
How, according to measurable evidence, is "experience" one of the commonest words in English? Equinox 23:52, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • We should get every entry right for all wordterms in all languages for all users in everybody's opinion now. 03:05, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Call me crazy, but I consider it a very common word. Surely you're not arguing it's rare or uncommon. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:17, 13 February 2015 (UTC)


Nothing about the Baltimore gender-neutral slang pronoun? A comment on this article makes an interesting observation about the Haitian Creole pronoun yo meaning "they". Makes you wonder if perhaps the similarity just might be more than an accident. See also Language Log. Has there been any follow-up research on it? Perhaps there are sentences where yo is truly ambiguous between interjection and pronoun, providing a possible pivot. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:59, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

It's right there, sense 2 under pronoun. I find the Haitian derivation a bit dubious - Baltimore doesn't seem to have a very large Haitian population, compared to other cities in the Northeast or Florida. It's not unheard of for pronouns to jump around in terms of case, person and number (e.g. the royal/editorial we, the Scouse us, the singular they), so it seems at least plausible that a pronoun might go from second person to third person (although not quite the same, the Irish your man is a similar sort of development). Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:04, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
It makes more sense to me as a derivative from the look-at-me attention-getting sense via look-at-that-one. But that's just an untested hypothesis. The borrowing of Haitian into AAVE seems implausible for social reasons even if there were a Haitian population in Baltimore. DCDuring TALK 11:26, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

spare wheel, spare tire, spare tyre

Spare tyre is an acknowledged misnomer for spare wheel, so should the translations be moved to spare wheel (a more neutral term anyway), just leaving the ones for extra fat behind? Donnanz (talk) 10:46, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

If spare tyre and spare tire were not misnomers for spare wheel, they would be SoP, as spare wheel is. DCDuring TALK 11:32, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
With all due respect, that doesn't answer the question. I don't think there is any doubt that all these terms should be kept. Are you trying to say "No, it's not feasible"? I am disinclined to enter translations for spare wheel under spare tyre. Donnanz (talk) 15:21, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I am saying that we shouldn't have spare wheel as it is absolutely transparent. It is also vastly less common than spare tire in US usage when referring to a wheel carried as a spare in a car (172:2 at COCA). At BNC spare tyre and spare wheel are roughly equal. What have your researches found? DCDuring TALK 15:38, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I must admit that the only research I have done is in Oxford (both Br. and Am. sides), and Cambridge; they both list spare tyre and spare tire but ignore spare wheel, which doesn't help my cause. I'm retired now, but spent many years in the motor trade (a British term?), and I think both terms are used interchangeably, but I personally prefer spare wheel. When a wheel is taken off a vehicle and replaced by the spare wheel, the removed wheel automatically becomes the spare wheel, even if it needs a new tyre. Because spare wheel isn't used much in Am. English, it isn't grounds for deletion, I think all three terms should be kept for the sake of completeness, regardless of soppiness. This policy regarding SoP terms can be Wiktionary's worst enemy if taken too far. And what about spare part? A spare part once it is fitted is no longer a spare part, unlike a spare wheel, which remains the same even if it's a different wheel than before (as long as there is a spare wheel, manufacturers are trying to do away with them). On a different subject, I entered trolley jack today after some deliberation, as it doesn't meet the normal concept of trolley, and is just one of the many meanings for jack. Donnanz (talk) 18:13, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
If, in someone's native language the word for what I would call a spare tire is a single word that is composed of morphemes for spare and wheel and they find "spare wheel" as the definition in Wiktionary, they may be surprised, even mystified, when they subsequently encounter spare tire or spare tyre.
Compare spare tire at OneLook Dictionary Search and spare tyre at OneLook Dictionary Search with spare wheel at OneLook Dictionary Search. Many dictionaries have a full entry for spare tire. Only Collins has a full entry for spare wheel. BTW, we are already doing the world a service by being explicit about spare tire/spare tyre normally including the wheel. Surprisingly few of the OneLook dictionaries make that clear. Also, given your years in the car/auto/automobile racket/game/business/industry you might want to make this industry glossary a favorite in your browser. (It's one of the OneLook references too.) It is one of the best industry-specific glossaries I've seen.
One good reason to keep spare wheel is its widespread use in UK usage where the US would have the misnomer (with few exceptions). If large groups of people allegedly speaking the same language are in the position of saying "They call it 'X', but we call it 'Y'.", there's a good case for including both 'X' and 'Y' in Wiktionary, even if one is SoP. DCDuring TALK 21:03, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

empirical evidence

Where is the entry for empirical evidence? There is a corresponding entry for anecdotal evidence. I came here from the wikipedia entry, but found only a special page. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 13:56, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

A dictionary is focused on words, not concepts that cannot be defined in one- or two-line definitions. Would it be handy for users such as you if a search for a term with multiple words did not yield an exact match generated something that provided links to the component terms, ie, to empirical and evidence. DCDuring TALK 14:11, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I have split the interwiki link at w:Empirical evidence to interwiki links to [[empirical]] and [[evidence]]. DCDuring TALK 14:14, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Sports definition of bib

Looking at the page here: bib

I see there is no definition for "bib" that includes the use of a "bib number" in sports. Where a contestant at an event is expected to wear a "bib number" or "bib" to identify them separately from the other contestants. 14:37, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

for the love of god

someone help me out with this guy [5] [6] Equinox 16:57, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

I've RFVed enough things lately, and enough things by this user, that I'd like to leave RFVing this to someone else, but...is this even attested? I'm not seeing any uses on Google Books or Groups or Issuu. (Btw, the only significant page on it I've found, this non-durable one, confirms it's an adjective.) - -sche (discuss) 19:26, 9 February 2015 (UTC)


Sense 1 bothers me:

  1. A person who carries the professional title of sniper.

It seems bad form to use a word to define itself. “Sniper means a person called a sniper.” The tautology is problematic. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 21:22, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Yes, It needs to be deleted - but you then have to figure out the translation sections. SemperBlotto (talk) 21:29, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I think it refers to people who are members of a team or squadron of snipers, but is not a sniper himself, such as a spotter. If kept, it definitely needs rewording and to be moved after the other senses. — Ungoliant (falai) 21:49, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
We can do for the entry what Writer's Cramp, for some reason, failed to do: RfV the questionable senses or build a full entry by looking at the full range of uses in some corpera. It is a topical word, worth some effort. DCDuring TALK 22:05, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I've deleted the recursive sense and sorted its translations into the appropriate tables. - -sche (discuss) 22:06, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I think we would do justice to the term by having its sense evolution in English. I haven't yet attested all the senses, but candidates would be: "One who hunts snipes", "A marksman", "one who shoots at persons from a concealed position, especially one so trained in combat or in police service", "one who snipes ('criticizes')". DCDuring TALK 22:19, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
    Also, "an w:auction sniper" and/or "a w:bid sniper". DCDuring TALK 22:25, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
    sniper in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 (Supplement) has a couple more. DCDuring TALK 22:31, 9 February 2015 (UTC)


The etymology of аскер (asker) is wrongly attributed to Latin Exercitus instead of Turkish (Asker) which is derived from Arabic (Askar) which is derived from Persian (Lashkar). See Ottoman Askar at @ عسكر (asker). -- —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 13:44, 2015 February 9‎.

You are right. I have updated the etymology with a reference. PS. In the future such comments belong in WT:ES. --Vahag (talk) 07:57, 10 February 2015 (UTC)


This descendant tree is suspect. Could someone look over that (and probably remove all the arrows as well)? ObsequiousNewt (ἔβαζα|ἐτλέλεσα) 17:18, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Why do you think it’s suspect? — Ungoliant (falai) 18:50, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, why do you? I have added references. --Vahag (talk) 19:28, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
The tree isn't "suspect" to me (although it is very interesting); the arrows are a bit suss though. What do they mean, I wonder? This, that and the other (talk) 10:38, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Arrows mean "borrowed", as apposed to "inherited". This practice is unofficial. We can make it official or devise something better. --Vahag (talk) 11:06, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Monosyllabic meus, tuus, suus?

In some of the Romance languages, the accusative forms of these pronouns preserve the final -m: French mon, ton, son, Catalan mon, ton, son (alongside meu, teu, seu). The Strasbourg oaths attest the early form meon, which still preserves the diphthong. I would imagine that this is only possible if the words were monosyllabic originally, as in this case the -m was preserved as a normal consonant rather than becoming a nasal vowel. Compare for example rien < rem. So is there anything that is known about this? —CodeCat 18:11, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

pronunciation of ogin - the sea

My father was in submarines in royal navy and pronounced this like. log in. without the L

I dimly recall the three simple rules of sailing

1. keep the crew in 2. keep the ogin out 3. don't bump into anything

can't remember origin of rules

Thanks, I've added that pronunciation to ogin. Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:24, 11 February 2015 (UTC)


I am having trouble with this entry. As I see it the definitions are all worded as if the verb is intransitive. But by simply inserting parentheses around the word "something" in the definition the definitions could be read as being transitive. There are no usage labels, usage examples, or citations to help clarify. As best I can determine, the word is almost exclusively used in academic works, especially in philosophy and philosophical theology. It seems to only have to do with the content of conscious thought or of discussion.

Does anyone have some familiarity with the term who can clear this up? The problem I'm having with the entry doesn't fit what RfC is supposed to do. DCDuring TALK 18:12, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

I have taken a run at two new definitions, but I don't think I've capture the full range of use. DCDuring TALK 22:09, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

-@: the suffix

So, when I was creating the entries for Chicano studies and Chicana studies, I noticed that Chican@ studies is an alternative name for the discipline. So that got me thinking, "is -@ a gender-neutral suffix?" And in what language? English? Spanish? Inter? Purplebackpack89 17:28, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

It's not a suffix because you don't form Chican@ by adding @ to "Chican". It's a blend of a and o, supposed to highlight gender-neutrality. There's also Latin@ (again, Latina/Latino). Equinox 17:33, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
But, by that logic, -o and -a are also not suffixes... Purplebackpack89
You have to think about how the word is formed. A suffix is a morpheme added at the end of an existing word. @ isn't used that way for the reason I gave. The words Chicano, Latina, etc. were borrowed into English from Spanish, as entire existing words, so that suggests -a and -o are not suffixes in English (though they might be in Spanish; I don't speak it). Equinox 17:40, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Many morphologists distinguish between suffixes and endings; suffixes alter the meaning of the root, while endings don't (instead they mark grammatical functions like case, gender, number, person, etc.). By that definition, Spanish -a and -o are endings, not suffixes. However, we don't seem to make that distinction here, as we have a fair number of ===Suffix=== entries for endings in various languages, not to mention various categories "Fooish words suffixed with -blah" where -blah is an ending. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:20, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Part of that is due to all the affix templates: they make it too easy to make morphology-based etymologies without thinking about/understanding the nature of the morphemes. I work a lot with Special:WantedCategories, and I prefer to stay away from the "<Language> words <affix>ed with -foo" redlinks- more often than not they're bogus, but it's not always obvious how to fix them. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:00, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

advance person

How can this be considered a politically correct term? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:15, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Some people think that any use of person where one might use man is political correctness. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:39, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Would we feel better if we put this in a category called gender-neutral, linked to the current category? DCDuring TALK 13:24, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
This is certainly not "politically correct", and "politically correct" is itself a POV (pejorative) term, so I question if it's appropriate to have a "politically correct" category at all, particularly without references to support the claim that the terms in the category are "politically correct".
Putting this term in a category for gender-neutral terms would be preferable to leaving it where it is now, although simply removing the category might be the best option, and is what I've done. (I remember Equinox having to remove "grandparent" from the "PC terms" category!) A category for gender-neutral terms would be hard to name, define, and maintain in such a way that anons wouldn't add terms like doctor and armadillo and most other words for people and animals to it. - -sche (discuss) 18:43, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

white vinegar

Should we include this term on Wiktionary? It's arguably more than just vinegar that looks white/clear, right? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:47, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, we should. White vinegar is not white, it’s clear, and it is a particular type of vinegar, with its own flavor and uses. —Stephen (Talk) 06:34, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Added a quick definition. Feel free to improve. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:06, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Many thanks! Still amazes me after so many years of hard work you still from time to time come across simple, every day words we haven't got entries for. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:47, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually, it's not so surprising: people tend to concentrate on the interesting terms, and don't bother with the plain old ordinary ones. There's also an element of what was referred to in the old quote: "We don’t know who it was discovered water, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t a fish". Chuck Entz (talk) 03:18, 18 February 2015 (UTC)


Two separate etymologies, but several overlapping and duplicated meanings. Equinox 03:32, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

The first three sense of etymology 1 look like they should be merged into etymology 2, which lacks the box-for-tea sense that the Online Ety. Dict. says it should have. As no definition will actually be deleted, I don't think even those here who are legalistically inclined can validly object. DCDuring TALK 04:25, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

About parallelogramma

On the article about parallelogramma it says the plural is "parallelogramme". It also says the form "parallelogrammo" is a variant. Now, both Treccani and my Devoto-Oli vocabulary seem to think "parallelogramma" is the variant and "parallelogrammo" is more correct. This is consistent with the etymology: "parallelogrammum" gives "parallelogrammo", whereas "parallelogramma" must be a misuse of the plural form. I for one have been taught to say "parallelogrammo", not "parallelogramma". The etimo.it Etymological Dictionary doesn't even 'have' the form "parallelogramma", whereas it has "parallelogrammo". This seems to confirm the idea that the "-a" form should be marked as a variant of the "-o" form, not vice versa, as is now. Also, both me and my brother, who are mother-tongue in Italian, sort of started when we heard the form "parallelogramme" as the plural of "parallelogramma", since we never heard it once, and though we know of the variant in the singular, the plural never exhibited this variation as far as we heard. Neither Treccani nor the Devoto-Oli report this form. It is my impression that this for is either an invention of the Wiktionary, or an incredibly rare and non-standard form, perhaps even incorrect. I therefore ask if someone could verify how much of what I think is correct and edit the articles accordingly, replying here to notify me, in particular, about the plural form. MGorrone (talk) 09:45, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Parallelogrammo seems to be almost twice as common as parallelogramma, so I support making it the main entry. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:00, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Fixed. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:12, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

strap or loop for hanging a towel

How do you call in English the little strap or loop that is often sewn in the corner or edge of a towel for hanging it up on a peg? Is a similar loop in a jacket etc. called the same? --Hekaheka (talk) 11:12, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

It's just called a hanging loop. Same for a jacket. Equinox 14:54, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Our definition at hanging loop was overly specific. A pendant, a picture frame, a hammer can have one.
An appropriately generalized definition starts to look SoP, only justified by translations. Normal practice for determining the meaning of a noun phrase like this is to determine which of a limited set of relationships is possible between the components, ie, "a loop that hangs", "a loop for hanging (object under discussion)", "a loop for hanging (execution)", "a loop (circuit) inventing by Han-ging", "a loop has a process hung up (ie, infinite loop)", etc. What makes this definition special lexicographically? It's not in hanging loop at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 16:17, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Mm, the construction is similar to "walking shoes" or "cooking ingredients" (i.e. Y intending for Xing — not Y that Xes, as in "a walking man"). Equinox 21:52, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
At least this sort of entries will help the learners of English. This is an example of a simple everyday item, the name of which is self-evident for the native speakers and grammatically a SOP, yet very difficult for a non-native to deduce or guess. Another example of such term is spare wheel, which is being discussed a few lines up. If I had to guess, I would probably call it "reserve tire". When using it, I would probably be understood, but might collect a few questioning looks. --Hekaheka (talk) 21:59, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
For the record, I wasn't aware of the term "hanging loop" when I read your initial query, and had to use search engines to verify the term that people use for it! Equinox 22:02, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I was unaware of any term for it, either. As for spare wheel: I've never heard one called that, though, strictly speaking, that's what they are. I've only heard them referred to as spare tires, and I doubt anyone outside of automotive professions would call them spare wheels. I think it's just one more example of technically-incorrect usage overwhelming attempts to "correct" it. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:36, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I can only speak for US usage, though- elsewhere, it may be different. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:41, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your kind comments. I'll use "hanging loop" as translation for raksi. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:39, 21 February 2015 (UTC)


A poem by Walt Whitman mentions "the red cedar festoon'd with tylandria". What is that? A Google search only seems to turn up Tylandria as an African-American female name. Equinox 06:03, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

spanish moss, according to this[7]Pengo (talk) 07:34, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
As to where the term came from, I can't find a trace of it in the usual botanical sources- or much of anywhere, really. The term does sound vaguely like the real taxonomic name (Tillandsia usneoides), so it's conceivable that w:Frederick Law Olmstead misremembered it, and Whitman used the name from the descriptions of southern scenery in Olmstead's newspaper dispatches- but that's just an unsupported hunch. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:38, 15 February 2015 (UTC)


What's the word for when the police scour an area looking for clues? Is there a noun for that? --Type56op9 (talk) 11:42, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

comb, search, examine minutely, go through with a fine-tooth comb. The noun could be search: following the search, the suspect was arrested. —Stephen (Talk) 12:06, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Are you thinking of a stakeout, maybe? Where they snoop and sleuth about for clues? Tharthan (talk) 15:38, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
In the UK, this is a fingertip search - American English doesn't appear to have an equivalent. Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:42, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
It exists where I live, but it doesn't have any name as far as I am aware. Police investigators go in and scan the crime scene. Again, no name that I am aware of. Tharthan (talk) 01:28, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
American crime serials tend to use the word canvass as in "The police canvassed the neighborhood." JohnC5 01:39, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
That refers to interviewing people, not to searching. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:20, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh yeah, duh. JohnC5 02:28, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Serbian љ analogy to "ll" Spanish is not accurate

Hello, good day, I just wanted to ask for a review. The content is not true. I am a native Spanish speaker, I am living in Serbia and this is not the sound that we have in "ll". That sound does not exist in Spanish and the sound of "ll" in my language sounds more like Serbian "ђ" letter. 17:57, 15 February 2015 (UTC)Juan Carlos Martínez

It depends what dialect of Spanish you speak. There are certainly some Spanish speakers who pronounce words like llave with a sound very much like Serbian љ, although that pronunciation seems to be losing ground in both Spain and the Americas. We'd probably be better off comparing Serbian љ to Italian gl, since the sound is much more robust in Italian than it seems to be in Spanish. What page did you find the comparison to Spanish on? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:29, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
љ. — Ungoliant (falai) 19:53, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
The correct pronunciation of Spanish ll is only losing ground if one speaks a weak idiolect of Spanish. c and z being /θ/ and /ð/, as well as ll being /ʎ/ are still the right ways to pronounce those sounds (although Rioplantense isn't too bad either with certain sounds. I could go for that if necessary [not that I'm any linguistic authority or anything. This is just my personal opinion]). Tharthan (talk) 15:43, 19 February 2015 (UTC)


Can anyone work out the specific meaning(s) of this verb? See google books:"Jesused" and google books:"Jesusing" (there also seem to be quite a few derivations, like re-Jesus and un-Jesus).

  • I've heard it used in the context of sports, e.g. "they trailed by twenty points until the last two minutes, then Jesused (or Jesused out) a win", where it seems to mean something like "to accomplish (by) miracles in the manner of Jesus", but I'm not sure if that sense is attested (maybe on Usenet?).
  • "in class rooms across America each and every year ... there is always one child being Jesused" seems to mean "subjected to Jesus / Christian teachings" or (based on the following sentence) "made to suffer like Jesus".
  • "He didn't seem to be all Jesused out anymore — alcohol was once again his crutch of choice" maybe means "religiously Christian"?

- -sche (discuss) 18:37, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

I suspect that your third example is really Jesus out, and is probably somewhat parallel to phrases like max out. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:23, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

horseshoes and hand-grenades

I think there should be an entry to explain sayings along the lines of "close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades". Siuenti (talk) 23:18, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

We have close only counts in horseshoes. Purplebackpack89 04:45, 16 February 2015 (UTC)


The use of the word "wode" that is most familiar to me is as the name (one name, also "woad") of the blue dye with which British aborignes painted themselves when going to battle. But reference to that appears nowhere in the Wiktionary entry for "wode". Why? Andyvphil (talk) 19:09, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Because Wiktionary awaits contributions from folks like you. Yes check.svg Done DCDuring TALK 20:00, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

What is a "downward dog"? Do we care?

I was puzzled by the phrase used in this BBC News article 'Yoga pants': Are leggings and other tight trousers indecent?, in the context of leggings recalled by their manufacturer in 2013 "because wear over time led to sheerness (and subsequently awkward downward dogs)."

I don't remember ever hearing of "downward dogs", though I accept that I tend to glaze over when people start discussing fashion (or indeed yoga), and it doesn't seem to fit with any definitions we already have. I've thought of several possibilities:

  • It is a misprint -- but I can't think what it should have been.
  • It's a nonce abusage of the English language, which we can ignore, particularly as it's more opaque than the leggings.
  • The "sheerness", appearing at awkward times, was a similar shape to laddering of tights, and is being likened to frankfurters (or even wieners).
  • Dog means "penis" (or is that my imagination -- we don't include it yet) and men are (strangely) being turned off in the bedroom by patches of "sheerness"
  • Dog can now mean a furtive glance.
  • Downward can now be an adjective meaning "below the waist", complemented by dogs meaning "people unpleasant to look at", who are therefore embarrassed.
  • Or just possibly, downward dog is a phrase which has been used for years, with a meaning too NSoP for me to guess, and is therefore a phrase we should include.

Any ideas? --Enginear 01:16, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

  • It is the technical term for a yoga pose, being to place ones hands and feet on the ground, and make a Lamda shape with one's bottom in the air. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:24, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks -- I must have miss-keyed when searching for downward dog the first time. It seems to fall into my last category, and indeed we already have it -- and it falls into the category of yoga-speak which, when I know the context, causes me to "switch off". Oh well! --Enginear 01:29, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you knew it better under its "English" synonym adho mukha shvanasana. Why would we call this English? I'm glad it's still a redlink. It's more grist for the Romanized Sanskrit mill. DCDuring TALK 01:57, 18 February 2015 (UTC)


The pronunciation given seems rather implausible: I'm finding it hard to imagine any speaker of contemporary English (even a conservative RP speaker) producing "/gju:/", and if they did, I doubt they'd follow it up with a short "/æ/". Is this a valid pronunciation anywhere? Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:13, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Looks like a simple, albeit strange, error for /ˈɡu.læɡ/ (maybe someone assumed all /Cu/s optionally have /j/?), which some dictionaries list as an alternative to /ˈɡu.lɑg/. - -sche (discuss) 16:00, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:57, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Emotionless/Neutral Face

What is another way of saying a "neutral" or "emotionless" face that doesn't sound cold (emotionless is a bit of a cold word)?

Expressionless, maybe? Tharthan (talk) 15:34, 19 February 2015 (UTC)


"A boy with qualities that are allegedly girl-like, especially squeamishness."
I get that people sometimes derogatorily call boys "girls", but I dispute that that's actually a separate sense — it seems to mean that the people are, well, calling the boys "girls" in that word's usual sense. Compare all the American movies that depict drill sergeants calling male recruits "ladies", "women", etc. Thoughts? - -sche (discuss) 23:34, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

I agree with you. It is not a separate sense. It is a usage point relating to the ordinary sense. 01:29, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd tend to agree - it's just sarcastic, like calling a stupid person Einstein or Sherlock. Doesn't literally mean that Einstein and Sherlock mean "stupid person". Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:17, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
    Me too. DCDuring TALK 04:56, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. I've removed the sense in question. - -sche (discuss) 08:54, 21 February 2015 (UTC)


I imagine this entry was generated by an algorithm, this seems really silly though. Has anyone ever seen this word before? I suggest it be removed, it's really excessive. —This unsigned comment was added by Telmac (talkcontribs) at 16:39, 2015 February 19.


Its part of speech is given as "Numeral", so there is no link to millions, which is a "Noun". How to resolve? Equinox 00:53, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Good question. Maybe it needs to have both a noun section and a numeral section? Ten does, although not in the way I would expect — I would have expected a noun sense to cover uses like "tens of people attended the rally". Or perhaps the numeral template needs to allow a plural form to be set, to cover uses like the one in millions? google books:"threes of", google books:"sevens of" suggests that many numbers can be pluralized while still referring to a quantity. Small numbers can also be pluralized while referring to glyphs (e.g. "she drew her nines like gs"). - -sche (discuss) 05:41, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Newspaper poster, headline poster or what?

Löpsedlar från 31 juli 2007 om Ingmar Bergmans död.

How do you call a poster that promotes a particular issue of a newspaper at newsstands (see pic)? Google searches for "newspaper poster" and "headline poster" produce right-looking hits, but they do not seem to be as directly to the point as Finnish lööppi, and the number of hits looks modest as well. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:35, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Maybe broadside. DCDuring TALK 07:17, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
 Newspaper posters on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons: Newspaper posters DCDuring TALK 07:32, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Majority of the pictures here are not ads for individual issues of a newspaper but for the newspaper as a whole. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:50, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
"Headline poster" seems to be the dominant term. I'm now disappointed that we don't have a better word for it in English (and also that lööppi doesn't have an entry, so I can't look up its etymology). Pengo (talk) 04:47, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Lööppi is now added. According to the Swedish Wikipedia the UK term is "newspaper billboard poster", or "newspaper billboard", which gets support from the BBC [8]. Further, the Swedish Wikipedia states that this type of billboards are used only in a relatively small number of countries and in most countries the front page of the newspaper would double as an ad. --Hekaheka (talk) 16:18, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


aintno dim/plural! 06:46, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Why should there be? It's the name of a dialect. --Hekaheka (talk) 06:49, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

sur-pl.luk@theprompt[i/daENTRYimade[nitsmynativLANGUAG[dad=y.iteluppl2talk~LECTSsigh163.32.124.124 07:26, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Note that a native speaker of Dutch has tagged Brabans for speedy deletion as a misspelling of Brabants. I assume the question of whether or not it has a plural applies as much to the spelling Brabants as to Brabans. What does our other Dutch speaker, @CodeCat:, think? - -sche (discuss) 03:19, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
I deleted it. It's a misspelling, at least for Dutch. It might be a Brabantian spelling, but we don't recognise that as a language, nor is there any standard or written tradition for it. —CodeCat 14:23, 22 February 2015 (UTC)


http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wijf#Dutch <usag-ex


IFso,thenpartofmyeditnedsundon+theusagnotmovdbelo http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Brabantian#English anothrpairofeyes'db.gud:) 07:51, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

k,ifelthishascontradictni/it n


Mike, United Nations

proper noun (plural proper nouns)

   A noun denoting a particular person, place, organization, ship, animal, event, or other individual entity.

Usage notes Main appendix: English proper nouns <MISPLACED??

In English, a proper noun normally is not preceded by an article or limiting modifier and is written with an initial capital letter. NOARTICL,THENaBrabantian=noproper1,buthenWICHPARTICULRPERSON[S[c.def=PROPERNOUNS??[ilukd@history+bergarden,thistopik[proprnoun]dunsemclear/diverginopinions..acivildiscusion+[re]solutn'db.nice[nimightlearnsth.myslfofkors:) 08:11, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

k,dad=mybestshot[c.history,othrppl.welkom! 08:27, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
WTF? SemperBlotto (talk) 16:25, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
I think the user is asking why the "person from Brabant" sense of "Brabantian" is not a proper noun? Or perhaps why the language sense is a proper noun? "Person from Brabant" is a common noun because it's clearly very countable; just ask the Brabantians (any two Brabantians, your nearest Brabantian, etc). The language, in turn, is labelled a proper noun because Wiktionary currently labels languages proper nouns, but see Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Languages_-_are_they_proper_nouns_or_not.3F for discussion of this. - -sche (discuss) 18:06, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

scatophagous vs coprophagous

It seems to me that these two words are functionally equivalent in technical usage certainly. I have checked and found that there never since the early 19th century has been a time when scatophag-- and its derivatives came anywhere close to the frequency of coprophag-- derived terms. In fact one really has to search for functional instances in most periods; in modern times a google search records it mainly in dictionaries and similar philological works! Henceforth I shall make a personal point of not using scato when copro is a reasonable alternative, but I see that the Wiktionary entry for scatophagous links to coprophagous without comment or further definition.

Now, that is not unreasonable and I have no intention of meddling, and I do not propose this in the spirit of imposing "correct" or "approved" usage, but it seems to me that it would be a service in such a case to include a remark to the effect that the usage is unusual and unhelpful in technical works at least.

Comments? Policies? Thanks if so. JonRichfield (talk) 16:22, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

There are no explicit policies that make a positive recommendation. I agree that in English there are many occasions where some synonyms become so uncommon in use that it seems a disservice to a user to not indicate that in our entry. I recently had occasion to change the use of subterraneous to subterranean in our definitions and to amend the entry for subterraneous to reflect its relatively uncommon use in current English. I doubt that anyone would object to your undertaking the same kind of thing with the words in question. One very useful tool to make sure that you have the facts is Google n-gram viewer. DCDuring TALK 17:01, 21 February 2015 (UTC)


What we actually know about "KTV"

  • We know it did not arise in an English speaking country.
  • We know it was not preceded by a long-form phrase "karaoke television" or "karaoke TV".
  • It evolved in Taiwan circa 1988 as a modification of its immediate ancestor "MTV".
  • "MTV" was appropriated from English in the early 1980s taken from the cable TV network of the same name, "Music Television" or "Music TV".
  • The cable channel "MTV" was not available in Taiwan at that time.
  • In Taiwan the term "MTV" had either or both meanings "music video" or "cafe playing music videos".
  • "MTV" soon acquired a novel meaning "movie television" or "movie TV" in Taiwan due to an entrepreneurial innovation.
  • The innovation was to set up multiple TVs and VCRs (or videodisc players) in a space, partitioned for private viewing of pirated movies. Apparently VCRs were scarce in Taiwan at this time and IP laws were lax. MTV establishments evolved into having private rooms which were rented out separately to persons or groups.
  • In 1988 the US moved to stop this practice and protect the IP of its movie industry. This was the Uruguay round of GATT.
  • Most MTVs were forced to close. Some increased their prices and apparently a couple still exist in Taiwan.
  • Another entrepreneurial innovation was to convert MTVs from private rooms for viewing movies with your friends into private rooms for doing karaoke with your friends.
  • It has been stated that MTV establishments merely changed one letter in their signs and thus became "KTVs".
  • So far I don't know for sure when the first KTV opened. It may have been conceived before GATT 1988 but it took off from GATT 1988.
  • Karaoke already existed in Taiwan before this. It didn't come from an English speaking country. It came straight from Japan.
  • Apparently some karaokes used the Japanese katakana spelling "カラオケ" and then the hybrid Chinese/Latin transliteration 卡拉OK was devised in Taiwan and caught on.
  • At this time karaoke establishments were of a similar kind to what we had in the west, having come to Taiwan in 1976. One machine in a public space. Some Chinese speakers still claim this to be a distinction between a 卡拉OK and a KTV.
  • So the "K" of "KTV" comes from Chinese "卡拉OK", which came from Japanese "カラオケ" while the "TV" in "KTV" came from "MTV" (movie TV) which came from "MTV" (music TV).
  • The evolution did not stop with "MTV" -> "KTV". Further innovations include "RTV" (R for "restaurant"), "DTV" (D for "disco"), "BTV" (B for "barber[shop] TV). All natively devised in Taiwan.
  • "KTV" seems to have recently been borrowed into English to a very limited degree from Taiwan and/or China. It's restricted to people of Chinese and Taiwanese descent and people familiar with those cultures. This includes Chinese and Taiwanese expats in English-speaking countries, English speaking former expats and exchange students who lived in China or Taiwan, Chinatowns, English speakers travelling in China or Taiwan, or returned from those places.
  • The Korean term "noraebang" has a similar usage pattern in English and seems to get more search engine hits than "KTV". (The Japanese term "karaoke" is of course already well established in English.)
  • The descendent terms "RTV", "DTV", "BTV" have not been borrowed into English as far as I can tell.


  1. SINO-PLATONIC PAPERS Number 45 May, 1994 The Sino-Alphabet: The Assimilation of Roman Letters into the Chinese Writing System by Mark Hansell [9]
  3. Taiwan Info The KTV Craze Jeudi 1er juillet 1993 [11]
  4. Volume Title: Regionalism versus Multilateral Trade Arrangements, NBER-EASE Volume 6 Takatoshi Ito and Anne O. Krueger, Eds. January 1997 [12]
  5. China: An International Journal Volume 06, Issue 01, March 2008 James FARRER Play and Power in Chinese Nightlife Spaces [13]
  6. Consumption in Asia: Lifestyle and Identities edited by Beng-Huat Chua 2002 [14]

Are English-looking terms invented in non English speaking countries and not used in English still English terms?

  • So we know "KTV" arose in Taiwan and spread from Taiwan to China.
  • Is there such a thing as "Chinese English" or "Taiwanese English"?
  • English-looking terms invented in German such as "Handy" and "Beamer" are counted as pseudo-English. They are counted as German words and not counted as English words.

Counterevidence or other commentary from the Chinese contributors

@WikiWinters: * @Atitarev:

I invite your evidence showing one or more of the above to be false or to back up one or more of the following hypotheses if the evidence is true but "KTV" is not to be admitted as a Chinese word:

  • "KTV" was coined not in Taiwan, but in an English-speaking country.
  • "KTV" was used in English before it was used in Chinese.
  • "Karaoke TV" or "Karaoke television" was used in English and afterwards became abbreviated to "KTV".
  • "KTV" was coined in a Chinese speaking country but only used in English.
  • Chinese speakers do not have the ability to coin terms to use in their language that look like English terms.
  • Chinese speakers do have the ability to coin terms in languages other than Chinese.
  • When Chinese speakers coin English looking terms they become English words and may never become Chinese words *but* when German speakers coin English looking words they become German words and do not also become English words.
  • Chinese English, China English, Taiwanese English, or Taiwan English is a variety of English as far as the English Wiktionary is concerned.
  • This list is open in case I've left out a potential hypothesis.

Stuff moved here from the Chinese requested entries page

Discussion moved from Chinese requested entries page:

I'm staying out of this one, but just for another opinion, here is a previous message from @Atitarev: "KTV request removed, pls don't restore. Citations are unnecessary, Chinese texts use a lot of English abbreviations in a Chinese texts. They don't need Chinese entries, if an English entry exists. See archived discussions. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:22, 19 February 2015 (UTC)" --WikiWinters (talk) 16:52, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
@Hippietrail: What are you trying to achieve by forcing the abbreviation "KTV" as a Chinese term? What sort of lexicographical research is required? In any case, it's a wrong place for such a discussion. We had an RFV, which resulted in an English entry. I think that's enough. You can restart an RFT, RFV or RFV discussion but I see no point, really. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 17:05, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
What are others trying to achieve by forcing out the term "KTV" as a Chinese term? The sort of lexicographical research required is the same as per any term. Investigating its origins and usage patterns. It's origin is Taiwan in the 1980s, it's mainly used in China, it's barely known to English speakers since it's recently introduced from Chinese culture. All of the quotations in the English entry clearly indicate the references to Chinese culture. There is so far zero evidence to support the theory that "karaoke television" began in English, got shortened to "KTV" in English, and has since been used in Chinese without even being borrowed. All I can tell is that some people don't like foreign words or script being used in Chinese and have prescriptivist objections.
What's more disturbing is the summary dismissals on strawman arguments such as citations not being necessary to decide such things! Such as use a lot of English abbreviations in a Chinese texts means all uses remain Chinese. Despite OK having a Chinese entry here. Despite KTV originating in Taiwan.
When did checking the citations become unnecessary in lexicography? When did finding citations from earlier in history become unnecessary in lexicography?
I'll try to figure out the current official way to restart the RFT/RFV to move this discussion there. In the meantime please do not delete lexicographical evidence without investigating. — hippietrail (talk) 00:37, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
@WikiWinters: Yet you deleted the lexicographical evidence without checking and in direct opposition to your statement "I'm staying out of this one". Bad form. Unprofessional. Dishonest. )-: — hippietrail (talk) 14:03, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
The Chinese term: http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8D%A1%E6%8B%89OK 22:29, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
@ The English term: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/karaoke - are you trying to make a point that Chinese doesn't have synonyms? That would be incorrect.
What are you talking about? I never removed any evidence. Unless, of course, you're referring to my removing the entire discussion itself, as, at that time, it had already been moved to the Tea room. If there was lexicographical evidence contained in the text that I removed that hadn't also been moved to the Tea room, then I apologize. I assumed the evidence was moved with it. You added a Tea room direct template that messed up the page, as that template is for specific entries' pages, and so that, along with the fact that it had already be presumably moved in its entirety to the Tea room, or at least should have been, was the reason for which I removed the text. If you're not talking about that, then I don't know what. --WikiWinters (talk) 20:15, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I moved the entire discussion. I left the request since it is a genuine request. I left a link to the Tea Room because that's what it looked like I was advised to do. I find all these Wiktionary protocols very murky so I read the docs I can find and do as best I can. I imagine it's very difficult for most people. It's always best when deleting any information to check your assumptions before acting hastily. I can accept your apology but a better way is to help people with the tricky protocols when you understand them better. Maybe this is an opportunity to clarify this "template is for specific entries' pages" part of the documentation. — hippietrail (talk) 06:58, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

And Here are the attestations of early use in Chinese context which was just summarily deleted from the requests page without consideration and without being moved here, by a member of the Wiktionary Chinese clique who claimed to be "staying out of this one"! — hippietrail (talk) 01:31, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

  • 大衆傳播與資訊..由於開放報禁,報紙出版之家數增加,而張數也大幅增加,各類型理財與休閒雜誌也大量出現。此外 MTV 、 KTV 與衛星直播電視的興起,使得資訊不易再被壟斷與歪曲。 6 .生活素質..由於國民所得增加,民間消費型態,行與育樂全部消費額的 - 國立台灣師範大學敎育心理學系., 1987
  • ... 例如: PUB 〔註二〕、 KTV 〔註三〕、 MTV 〔註四〕、卡拉 OK 、 GO 〔註五〕 康 V.S. 康寧祥〔註八〕。( 2 22 3 )你時作天有去台南嗎? - 世界華文敎育協進會, 1989
  • 註一、載:在台北一般人稱「我載你去火車站」之用法,正式國語應說成「我途你去火車站。」註二、 PUB 酒廊註三、 KTV 卡拉 OK 配合電視情景與歌詞字幕註四、 MTV 音樂電視註五、 GO 地中海俱樂部團隊領隊註六、 DIY (Doityourself)註七、 PV 人工跑道 - 世界華文敎育協進會, 1989
  • ... 許多人都喜歡下班後喝杯雞尾酒,綺子解工作 娛樂場所除了 MTV ,進展至 KTV 、 DTV 71 「上班族」、「火車族」(指常坐火車的人)、「香腸族」、「火腿族」(指夜間使用. - 世界華文敎育協進會, 1989
  • 曾從事「宗教活助」舌計 7 祁萬人或 53 . 16 % .即半故以上之國人具有宗教信仰.常利用休閒時間從事信仰性之活功.致其排名位居第八。反視最近流行之熱門休閒活劫- . KTV 、 MTV 與卡拉 OK 等,制位有 459 萬 7 千人或 32 . 37 %國人曾從事過該項活劫, ... - Xing zheng yuan zhu ji chu, 1990
It is not my responsibility to make sure that your evidence remains intact. I removed the entire discussion because you added a Tea room template, which wasn't even meant to be placed on such a page, saying that the discussion had been moved. The assumption is that the entire discussion is moved. If I am in the wrong in this case, then I apologize, but I'm not so sure about that. Also, you can always just go to the revision history and pull out your evidence. I didn't "destroy" it or anything of the like, so please do not be hostile. I am neutral in this issue and continue to be. --WikiWinters (talk) 20:15, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I removed the entire discussion. I left the request and the link. You removed the request and the link. I welcome your neutrality and accept your apology. I interpreted hostility and replied defensively because I have several times found my contributions on Chinese summarily reverted though never before by you I believe. At this point I have no idea whether it's OK to reinstate the request or if that too will be interpreted as a hostile act! — hippietrail (talk) 06:58, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


The sense "One who performs menial or tedious work; a drudge." seems like it would be a better fit to the bee etymology, but I can see how the second etymology might work (the drone on a bagpipe just plays the same note constantly without rhythm or melody, and a drone worker just does the same work constantly without variation). Does anyone know which of the two roots this sense evolved from? Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:42, 22 February 2015 (UTC)


Should it be "posttraumatic stress disorder" or "post-traumatic stress disorder?" See Wikipedia:Posttraumatic stress disorder#Terminology. --WikiWinters (talk) 13:22, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

gratulieren: is intransitive, not transitive, right?

German wiktionary points out gratulieren is intransitive. English one claims it is transitive, and I guess needs to be fixed. (I haven't seen an example of transitive usage, but I also haven't researched as well as I could have. In the future I'll research more thoroughly and be bold in making corrections myself, are there people that would notice and correct me if I make mistakes? :) --Hugovdm (talk) 21:07, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Out of curiosity, I had a look at google:"ich gratuliere dich" vs. google:"ich gratuliere dir". A number of the top hits are pages that discuss (in German) which form is correct, suggesting that there is some question about this even in the German-speaking community. Granted, that discussion might be along the lines of "only non-native speakers get confused by this", but it's still a topic of some conversation. google books:"ich gratuliere dich" generates sufficient hits for citation purposes to show transitive use. That said, given the greater preponderance of hits at google books:"ich gratuliere dir" (38.8K vs. only 44 for the transitive), and the discussions online, it probably makes sense to add a {{context|rare}} or even {{context|proscribed}} notice to the transitive sense. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 23:28, 22 February 2015
Looking at the discussions. I've only found two of them. One is some person who said they were discussing it with someone (for whatever reason, probably hypercorrection), but they state that they themself had never heard "gratuliere dich". The other one specifically says that it is the son (who may be rather young) who said "dich" was correct (and the mother probably just opened the discussion to quiet the son)... And the hits from google books! Please look at them a bit: They are all, without exception, either deliberate non-standard usage, or texts written by non-native speakers, and/or very old. Many are even in books called "Common mistakes by Russian learners of German", "The influence of English on Nataler German", and so on.
Long story short: I'm a native speaker of German who is always interested in non-standard usage and indeed fond of it, but gratulieren + accusative is just not common in native German speech, I assure you. There are regions (today the Ruhrgebiet in particular, but at least historically the whole of northern Germany, and remember that many of those areas also had strong Slavic populations) where dative/accusative distinction has always been a problem, and you will get non-standard usage for just any verb. "Gratulieren" is by no means particularly likely to arouse such "mistakes" (if we want to call it that). — Therefore: let's make it an intransitive verb and everything is fine.Kolmiel (talk) 01:47, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Kolmiel, we aim to describe how terms are used, not prescribe how terms should be used. If transitive use of gratulieren can be shown in a way to meet our criteria for inclusion, then we have grounds for creating such an entry. If such use is rare, we mark it as {{context|rare}}. If such use is broadly regarded as incorrect, we mark it as {{context|nonstandard}} or even {{context|proscribed}} (and ideally add a usage note with more explanation). We definitely do not remove entries on the grounds that a term is regarded as “wrong”. By way of example, have a look at the English terms brung (for brought), or thunk (for thought), or taked (for taken). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 02:01, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Please look at my talk page where I say that I am "fighting" against prescriptivism. Don't lecture me about that, please. --- I think a non-standard usage in this dictionary should be common. And if I have a text written in the 18th century by someone who obviously not a native speaker of German, then I don't regard that as a valid usage. But please go ahead. But then add each and every verb with a dative construction to that list.Kolmiel (talk) 02:08, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
By the way, maybe it is possible to find some citations from the 18th/19th century that are from native speakers. There are one or two between your citations on google books. In that case we could tag it "obsolete". See, I'm not against "proscribed" because it is nonstandard. (Again, the contrary is true. I spend much of my time here adding nonstandard usages.) I'm against it because no-one proscribes it because no-one uses it. It just doesn't exist. (Except in speakers who, because of their dialect background, do not distinguished dative and accusative at all. And as I said, you can't include these unless you want to add the same note to each and every dative verb.)Kolmiel (talk) 02:20, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
  • It was late last night. I think I may not have made my point clear enough. Let’s go step by step.
(1.) Of course you are able to give a limited number of citations for gratulieren + accusative. You will able to do that for any verb that usually takes dative (cf. ich helfe dich, ich folge dich, ich vertraue dich, etc. etc.). The reason for this is (a.) that non-native speakers find this distinction particularly difficult; and (b.) that there are many traditional dialects (including a majority of Low German and a minority of High German) in which dative/accusative distinction does not exist at all.
(2.) Given 1, what would justify making a special note in the lemma gratulieren would be that there might be a special tendency to use accusative among those users of German who, in general, correctly distinguish the two cases (as there is indeed with e.g. the verb kündigen). I’ve tried to show you that such a tendency doesn’t exist: (a.) from my position as a native-speaker, who – given their extensive work on nonstandard German on wiktionary – is, I think, beyond the suspicion of holding back nonstandard usages for ideological reasons; (b.) by stressing the fact that in the two (quite relevant) internet discussions you found the persons who ask have both never heard the accusative use, that is, they are not in doubt themselves, they are just fighting a claim someone seems to have made (who in one case is likely a child); (c.) by showing that there are no contemporary printed sources using the accusative case and that even the old ones are mostly written by non-native speakers.
(3.) It is possible that the verb was (to a limited degree) used with accusative case by users of standard German in the 18th/19th century. We could – although I’m not necessarily in favour of it – add this usage as “obsolete”. It is, again, not part of contemporary standard German in any form.
(4.) If you want to add a special note about the fact that some users of German may construe gratulieren with accusative, you will consistently have to do the same thing with literally every verb that takes a traditional dative. I don’t think you want to go there. At any rate it would be against wiktionary’s normal policy: You don’t have a note in every single English verb that speakers from northern England and Scotland may use the s-form for the 3rd person plural. You don’t have a note in every single English verb that speakers from the southern U.S. may use the endingless form for the 3rd person singular. These are general grammatical features of these dialects, and not particular to any one verb.Kolmiel (talk) 10:31, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with what Kolmiel has said. Use of the accusative is a fairly general phenomenon, not specific to this verb. - -sche (discuss) 23:09, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I have gone ahead and changed "transitive" to "intransitive". It also says "+ Dative" though, which I should probably remove now? On my own flash cards for learning German, the important details are that it is intransitive, and that it takes "zu" with Dative - but I don't think this is common to show explicitly in Wiktionary: it mostly shows up in examples, when I find it here. --Hugovdm (talk) 19:15, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, "intransitive" is right but when I just looked the "+ dative" was gone. I have put it back on, because it is of course used with dative. A verb that takes a dative object is intransitive (at least according to German terminology; I'm supposing English as well.) Only accusative verbs are transitive. Only they can form a direct passive.
What you mean is another thing that should be added in a usage note. English "I congratulate you on your birthday" is German "Ich gratuliere dir [you] zu [on] deinem Geburtstag." I'm making edit just now. Kolmiel (talk) 01:05, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a bunch! I've learned from your edits, I might be bold enough to add "+ dative" to verbs in the future. :) (My removal of "+ dative" was on the theory that it meant "this verb could be used in transitive fashion as well as with dative", I trusted someone would revert if inappropriate, and I'd learn from that.) --Hugovdm (talk) 00:32, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome. If you have questions about another word some time, feel free to leave a note on my talk page, too. I think it a very important task to provide lemmas with notes about grammatical construction, frequency of synonyms, formal vs. colloquial usage, etc. So it would quite all right if you gave some inspiration. Cheers! Kolmiel (talk) 18:40, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

socio-economy, social economy

Do these words exist in English? I'm just checking to see if they are Chinglish, or just very academic English. ---> Tooironic (talk) 22:56, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Social Economy is an entire field of study. Socio-economy also has more than a few attestations. Yes, they both exist, and not just as Chinglish. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 23:01, 23 February 2015 (UTC)


Would "cringeworthy" count as a slang definition? (痛い子, 痛車(?) etc) —umbreon126 02:39, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

I would like to add a noun, Akpagher. It is a village in Benue State of Nigeria


I notice that the word swatch: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/swatch Does not include the definition that refers to a patch work of sewn together swatches or a collection of swatches bound together with, say, a ring. Despite being made of many swatches I believe it is still acceptable to refer to it as simply "a swatch". 17:55, 24 February 2015 (UTC)


The entry for entfernen has this, to me, poor translation:

   Der Flug MH-370 entfernte sich auf mysteriöse Weise vom Weg.
   Flight MH-370 went off the way mysteriously.

Leaving aside whether it's necessary to mention an actual flight that has disappeared, would someone with better German agree that something involving "departed from its route" would be better? So should sense 2 have "to depart" added?

First: I also think that no actual flights should be named. Second: While the English translation seems to be poor, the original is also poor German to me: a) "auf mysteriöse Weise" sounds like the style of a high school kid (or possibly that of a tabloid journalist, which may be the same); b) an airplane doesn't usually have a Weg, it has a Route or a Kurs; c) it is idiomatic to say vom Kurs abweichen, not sich vom Kurs entfernen. We could make it into: Das Flugzeug entfernte sich auf unerklärliche Weise von seinem Kurs. But I would prefer to make a different phrase altogether.
Then I don't know if it was you also who proposed to delete senses 3 and 4. I agree to delete sense 4, which is the same as 2 (just with a person as subject and with a different preposition, but the preposition is dependent on what follows it, not the verb). I wouldn't delete sense 3 because sich von der Truppe entfernen and similar constructions are idiomatic; they mean to desert, to leave without permission. Kolmiel (talk) 02:38, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, and we must add a sense, the literal one actually. I don't know a proper English word, but "to (gradually) become further away from something". For example: Der Planet entfernt sich von der Sonne. (“The planet [gradually] becomes further away from the sun.”) Die beiden Sprachen haben sich immer weiter voneinander entfernt. (“The two languages have become further and further away from each other [linguistically speaking].” And so on. Maybe you could help with a translation :-) Kolmiel (talk) 02:52, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm the original asker; I didn't suggest the deletions of senses 3 and 4. But if you don't like 2 and think 4 is the same sense, why not just get rid of 2? 22:24, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
My attempts at translations of your new phrases: “The planet (gradually) retreats from the sun (Sun?).” and “The two languages have increasingly diverged from one another.” 22:39, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. That helps. Yeah, I'm editing the lemma now. Can't make it much worse I suppose :) Now I'm thinking sense 4 should be kept, however. It is different; it's just not the preposition that makes it different but the sense of "to leave a place".Kolmiel (talk) 11:31, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Done. Feel free to have a look and make some changes in the translations if you want!Kolmiel (talk) 11:52, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Cheers. I was tempted to replace "has deliberately gone absent from" with "has deliberately absented himself from", but decided it was perhaps overly formal. But that said, would sich entfernen be used to translate a sentence such as: "For legal reasons, he has absented himself from this meeting." ? 11:23, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Err... I'm not quite sure what your sentence means. I'm understanding that someone left the meeting? But why for legal reasons? I'm sorry, my English is rather okay, I suppose, but really not perfect... Kolmiel (talk) 23:46, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
When a decision-maker has a conflict of interest regarding an item being discussed, they may need to recuse themselves. In such cases, it's better that they leave the meeting entirely until the discussion is over so that they don't appear to be influencing the discussion. By the way: we need to fix the definition for recuse, because judges aren't the only ones who are recused- it can be anyone with authority to act or vote on something. I've seen prosecutors recusing themselves from an investigation or a case being prosecuted, board members or commissioners recusing themselves from voting on items being decided by bodies they're voting members of, etc. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:05, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I see. Thus I can say that entfernen is definitely not used for that. Possibly sich zurückziehen...? I'm supposing there's no perfect match. The concept of recusing for a judge is covered by German Befangenheit (unability to judge because of personal involvement of some kind). Kolmiel (talk) 01:14, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

有る page claims there is information on ある page which doesn't seem to appear

On the 有る page, it says "有る is usually written in hiragana. Please see the article for ある for more information."

I can't seem to find any information about ある being written as hiragana on the ある page.


Our definition says:

  1. Made or prepared in advance of need.

I find this confusing. If I prepare a dinner or whatever directly from raw materials for immediate consumption, it is not ready-made. But if I put the same dinner into fridge to wait for tomorrow, it's clearly made or prepared in advance of need. Does it thus become ready-made or is there another condition required for "ready-madeness"? --Hekaheka (talk) 05:42, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I like to think of "ready-made" as a shortening of "already made". The meaning and usage is quite similar. So on the day I make the dinner, I wouldn't call it "ready-made". I might say I'm making this dinner to have tomorrow, but not *I'm making a ready-made dinner for tomorrow. Then, the day after, I could say This is a ready-made meal I prepared yesterday. (I should note that for me, ready-made meal gives the impression of a commercially-available "freezer meal" that you just need to put in the microwave or oven for a little while, then serve up.)
It also appears we are missing a sense: one along the lines of "a product, item, etc. that is mass-produced, instead of being made to order". For example, ready-made clothing and ready-made curtains. This, that and the other (talk) 09:01, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

志气: loop of redirections

IMHO one should ALWAYS make two pages for the traditional and simplified form of a word instead of redirecting from one to the other. When however the redirections make an infinite loop, someone really should do something about it. This is the case with 志气: both the simplified form and the traditional form have no definition but only a redirection to the other form. Now I am not good enough with Chinese to go straightening this evident error by myself, so I ask you other editors to fix this. As soon as possible. Also, I strongly suggest you add the link to the Chinese article in the simplified form. The traditional form has no corresponding Chinese article. MGorrone (talk) 10:07, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. In this case, someone had mistakenly marked a traditional form as simplified. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:50, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Only we use "Chinese", not "Mandarin" L2 header now, which allows housing readings for various Chinese lects. Fixed 志氣. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 19:25, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

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: [16], [17], [18] 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"[19]; contrast with one image of an Oreo pack (I think from Europe) referring to them as "sandwich biscuits"[20]. I feel like the word cookie in Australia is largely defined by cookie monster,[21] 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" [22], 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. [23], [24].
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)


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". --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)


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. [25]: 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)


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: [26] 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)


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)


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)


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): [27]. 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 [28]. 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)


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: [29]. 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}}}]][[Category:Entries using missing taxonomic name ({{{2}}})]]. 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)


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」.

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)

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

Translations of the week
1 music
2 sound
3 voice

Collaboration of the week
1 lead
2 raid
3 sad

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
take the game to
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

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. [30] 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:IPA/templates at line 8: Language code has not been specified. Please pass the parameter "lang" to the template. from Lua error in Module:IPA/templates at line 8: Language code has not been specified. Please pass the parameter "lang" to the template.. 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.[31] 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 [32] 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 52: The language code "sr" is not valid. to Lua error in Module:links/templates at line 52: 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...[33]
    -To man up the last batch of capital goods produced, entrepreneurs are scraping up the remnants of the reserve of unemployed labour...[34]
    -...it will be impossible to find the labour to man up all the available capital equipment for productive use. [35]
    (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. [36] [37]
  • 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: [38] 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 katakhrēsthai — 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)

[39] & [40] say bulu = feather. [41] says rambut = hair (head/facial/body). Here are some others thrown in for good measure. [42] & [43] say botak = bald. [44] says tanduk = horn. [45] & [46] say kuku = claw (nail). [47] & [48] say kulit = hide (skin, leather). [49] 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 be another edit button for the subsection. Panda10 17:00, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't have that problem. Could it be something in your preferences, or caching? DCDuring 17:43, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Not sure. I have not really changed the default preferences. When I click the edit link that is on the same level as the head word "Citations of brusque", I get this: "No such section. You tried to edit a section that doesn't exist. Since there is no section 1, there's no place to save your edit. Return to Template:Citation". Panda10 17:53, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, we need to fix that. (It's a consequence of putting the header in a template: the edit-link tries to edit the template, and finds the template doesn't actually have sections.) —RuakhTALK 17:59, 30 December 2007 (UTC)


I don't really see a difference between the first two senses at apparent; at least, I can't imagine a use of apparent in the first sense that's not also in the second sense.

Also, I just added a usage note; input/corrections/tweaks/whatnot would be nice, if anyone has any. :-)

RuakhTALK 17:57, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

The first sense is "physically or tangibly visible", the second sense is "figuratively apparent, perceivable by the mind". A motive can be "apparent" in the second sense without being physically seen by the eye. --EncycloPetey 19:18, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
O.K., I think I see what you're saying, thanks. But then, the Milton quote seems to be mis-sorted, as it's the mind that perceives the moon to be queen. (I don't think Milton is trying to say, "Oh yeah, and the moon? A queen. And not invisible. Imagine that!") I'm not sure it's actually worth separating the two senses. —RuakhTALK 19:41, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
The Milton quote is iffy. He could mean that the moon is currently visible (sense 1) or is obvious ruler (sense 2). It's always worthwhile to sort a literal sense from a figurative one, sense those will often have different synonyms or translations, and will mean different things to English learners. --EncycloPetey 19:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I should RFV sense 1? If we can find any quotes that clearly belong to sense 1 and not sense 2, perhaps those quotes will make the situation more clear. —RuakhTALK 20:37, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I've added a quote from the Encyclopaedia Brittanica for sense 1. - Algrif 13:40, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but that's actually a cite for sense 3. :-/ —RuakhTALK 14:54, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
How about something like It became more apparent to everyone that he was crying. ? - Algrif 12:46, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Reading Roman numerals

How does one read Roman numerals? As for example Henry VIII - is he Henry the Eighth or Henry Eight? Is the rule always the same or does it depend? It would be nice, if someone found the time to write a usage note about this e.g. in the article Roman numeral. Hekaheka 21:44, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

No, there isn't a standard way to read them, because sometimes they stand for a cardinal number like 2007 (A.D. MMVII) or 17 (page xvii), and other times they represent an ordinal number like eighth (Henry VIII) or second (John Paul II). --EncycloPetey 21:58, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Compare primus versus unum. LeadSongDog 23:48, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Lombard rate

There are 165 g.b.c. hits for Lombard rates in the plural. I have been instructed that this is a proper noun and that there are no plurals. How should I interpret that mass of evidence? "The Lombard rate" is the single rate that is quoted at any one point in time, but authors compare them. DCDuring 23:02, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Can you give examples of its use in the plural? The definition will need to be changed if this is not a proper noun, because the current definition is suitable only for a proper noun. --EncycloPetey 23:05, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I have changed the def. to reflect its being a generic term for the rate charged on loans to banks backed by approved collateral. The German rate might deserve special mention because of its influence. I find it hard to swallow that any such rates deserve to be deemed proper nouns. They may be capitalized by convention, but they are discussed in the plural regularly, esp. by economists and financial writers. The capital L in Lombard is only attributable to the historical importance of an Italian banking family in the Renaissance, just as the capital F in Fed funds rate is atributable the US Federal Reserve Bank. One thing I thought I had learned here is the weak connection between something being capitalized and being used as a proper noun. I will pursue what other references say about the term in current financial practice. DCDuring 23:39, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Did some research and edited the article accordingly adding specific reference to Bundesbank and noting that the rate has been discontinued after introduction of euro and Bundesbank becoming a branch of the European Central Bank. I did not (at least yet) have the energy to find out the names of corresponding central bank rates in UK and US. The existence of plural seems evident to me. Other languages do not capitalize Lombard as it seems to be derived from the Italian province of Lombardia and not from a single banking family. Hekaheka 06:15, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I haven't checked, but surely one can compare the Lombard rates between different months or years, etc. - Algrif 14:07, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah, but there you're comparing temporally, and all bets are off that a plural implies anything. You can talk about all the Vaticans through the ages, but that doesn't mean Vatican isn't a proper noun. The existence of a possible plural form doesn't tell you whether or not a noun is proper; though the lack or rarity can be a tantalizing hint. --EncycloPetey 17:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, of course. "Lombard rates" yields almost 4000 Google hits, relevant-looking stuff. Hekaheka 14:37, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
That's what some of the books on g.b.c. do. They also mention broad trends that involved multiple central banks all raising their Lombard rates. To me it seems obvious that such a thing would be countable, even if there were only one rate at a particular point in time.
I'm also not sure that the singular Bundesbank Lombard rate ever could have been characterized as a proper noun, even if it might have been entirely capitalized in a Bundesbank press release. But the question of plurals of proper names is only a matter of degree. I also think it would be useful if Wiktionary could inform people how to pluralize names {Cathys or Cathies?, Marys or Maries?). As with ordinary noun plurals, it is really only important where the plural can be irregular. DCDuring 14:51, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that is best handled through an Appendix (already in progress), since the "plural" of a proper noun (1) is relatively rare, and (2) isn't itself a proper noun. --EncycloPetey 17:05, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm stil not too clear about these assertions. If I make a Google map search for London, USA I get 9 Londons. Should this read "9 londons" then? - Algrif 14:10, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your question, but you could say that "I searched on Google and found nine Londons." This does not mean that "Londons" should be given as the "plural" on the London entry. Especially since London is a proper noun, but in the sentence above "Londons" is a plural common noun. Proper nouns typically do not have plurals that are proper nouns, and the plural form is typically rare as well. The reason for suggestion an Appendix, then, is to avoid having this kind of confusion on every single entry page for a proper noun, with constant questions from people who've found a "plural" proper noun and can't quite figure it out. Making proper nouns "plural" is a general phenomenon in English, but a relatively rare and grammatically odd phenomenon. --EncycloPetey 16:11, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, EP. You understood me correctly. OK, so this is a grammatical nomenclature problem. In that case, I'm all for the appendix if it will help to avoid confusion on main entry pages. - Algrif 13:26, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

FYI: Lombard rate is just another name for a "short-term lending rate applied by a central bank to other financial institutions". Some central banks have used it, and the best known of them was the Bundesbank. Other central banks have chosen to use other names. Currently at least the Swiss and Czech still use the term Lombard rate. IMHO, in this context Lombard is like "French" in "French kiss". French kiss is not a proper noun and there are French kisses, aren't there? Hekaheka 17:02, 9 January 2008 (UTC) PS. I just noticed that french kiss is not capitalized in Wiktionary although in many other dictionaries it is. Maybe we should decapitalize lombard? Hekaheka 17:07, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


Etymology 2 reads: "Intentionally incorrect". I was not aware of intention being part of etymology. Beneath are:

  1. Noun: "fault", as in "sorry, my bad." This seems to me to be a simple use of an adj as a noun within the same general sense as the basic adjective "bad".
  2. Adj: "slang; fantastic", i.e., very good. The conversion of the meaning of a word to its opposite in slang isn't all that unusual, is it? Is there a name for this phenomenon?

The noun seems to belong in Etymology 1. I would have thought that the slang adj does too. Is there anything marker used for that kind of reversal of sense? DCDuring 12:19, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

It's fun when you see an etymology and instantly know which editor wrote it. :-)   I think "Intentionally incorrect" could be part of an etymology — e.g. at O.K. — but I don't know if it applies here. (The editor did not supply any evidence or references for his claim.) Even if these are in fact "[originally] intentionally incorrect" usages, though, I think they warrant separate etymology sections, as they're clearly separate incorrections. —RuakhTALK 16:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Because our format for "Etymology 2" (and 3...) puts potentially common senses so far down the page, I wish we would avoid separating them unless absolutely necessary. These senses could clearly be worked in under the first Etymology, and if needed, an extra couple words added to accomodate any new information. Similar reconstituting needs to happen at cracker and font (etym. 3), among others. -- Thisis0 14:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
So the idea would be reflect the "branching" from the original ety of "bad" as a separate ety, presumably referring to the original unknown ety of "bad". Is there a name for the reversal of meaning from "bad" (std., bad) to "bad" (slang, very good)? It certainly isn't irony. It seems to reflect a deliberate attempt to create a way of communicating that doesn't allow members of the white and/or adult culture to understand. This can't be the only instance of it. Is there a name for the use of an adjective as a noun? That would seem also seem a fairly likely occurence. DCDuring 17:49, 31 December 2007 (UTC)


This entry contains a Hungarian section which is not correct. The word is written with small case in Hungarian (arab). I would like to start a new entry for that. I discovered this when I tried to add the new hu-adj and hu-noun templates to Arab, but that immediately displayed the words with a capital. --Panda10 16:42, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Try it again under arab (was an old redirect). SemperBlotto 16:45, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I have just created arab for the Hungarian entry. It did not exist before even after your change. How can I delete the Hungarian section from Arab? Also, maybe a redirect should be added to arab pointing to Arab. I've seen that in other entries. I don't think I can add redirects. --Panda10 16:54, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
We just add the {{see}} template to the top of the page, and list it in the translations. The Hungarian section of Arab should simply de deleted with an edit summary of "content moved to arab". --EncycloPetey 16:59, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Done it already. SemperBlotto 17:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)


Are these two senses really distinct?

  1. Having the power of seeing or understanding clearly; quick-sighted; sharp-sighted.
  2. (figuratively) Of acute discernment; keen; mentally perceptive.

I can't perceive any real difference betwen them. --EncycloPetey 21:12, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps "or understanding" was a late addition to the 1st sense. If so, it might have once been sense 1 relating to vision, sense to relating to figurative vision or understanding. That would be a nice way of expressing a possible drift in meaning from literal to figurative meaning, though that might have already happened in Old French or in Latin. DCDuring 22:38, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Yup, 2.3 years old edit made just that change. I will correct it. DCDuring 23:36, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. --EncycloPetey 17:02, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

January 2008

how do u use the word naive in a sentence?

do any of ya'll noe how to use the word naive in a sentence? -- unsigned

Here's where a combination of Google and Wikisource can help out. Click on this link for lots of non-copyrighted example sentences. -- A-cai 10:23, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

right as rain

This phrase functions as an adjective and an adverb. It did not show any comparative or superlative. The phrase "righter than rain" would appear to be functionally equivalent to the missing comparative and has 19 raw g.b.c. hits. Should it be presented as such in the inflection line? I do not think that there is a superlative. This phenomenon would, I think, characterize almost all adjectival phrases that are similes. A scan of the cat list for similes and quick g.b.c. check suggests that such forms occur in the wild. DCDuring 16:46, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

No superlative that I can find, and the comparative is so utterly rare, it might be better to refer it to a Usage notes section. Certainly a comment about the rarity of the comparative is worthwhile, at a minimum. I'd be curious to see this used as an adverb, since I can't think of an example sentence. Do you have a quotation? --EncycloPetey 17:02, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, I remember something like: "Next morning, he came right as rain."
I have found that many comparatives and superlatives and plurals are not common, but attestable. 19 g.b.c hits is a lot more than many of our entries get. If rarity were a criterion, then we should alter the en-adj template to facilitate the suppression of superlatives, which seem to be quite rate for many adjectives.
User:Keene suggested presentation under "Related terms" on the grounds that it is not a true comparative form. The rule for transforming the phrase into the phrase that functions as comparative is certainly more elaborate than adding merely -er or more, but broadly applicable. What makes a functional comparative form a "true" comparative form? DCDuring 17:35, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I hear it in things like:
You've been under the weather lately, but now you look right as rain.
I'm righter than rain! I just won the contest! I'm rich!
Or somesuch... Regards, —Celestianpower háblame 17:43, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think "righter than rain" is a comparative of "right as rain", since *"John and Mary were both right as rain, but John was righter than rain than Mary" does not strike me as even remotely plausible. And google:"righter than rain than" seems to agree with me. —RuakhTALK 00:42, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, if you put it that way, sure. I don't even need Google to see the error of my ways. I neglected the fairly obvious need to compare to something to have a valid comparative. I often get confused with phrases. Which is an instance of why the Phrase header is best replaced with something that clarifies! Thanks for the tea. DCDuring 00:52, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


What does the word pickle mean?

Did you look at the page for pickle? --EncycloPetey 20:09, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Relationship of Declunus/declunus to Delancey/DeLancey/Delancy/DeLancy

I in wonder and ofcourse some research of this topic words and or names are Declunus a God and a Goddess Decluna my wonder is the Language of it ,could it be in relation to DeLancey, as sometimes letters are silent in such would be perhaps the c in declunus in variant portions of time and literature and when as far back as the period of the fourth king or rular of roman peoples this is in the time of the 3rd or fourth hundred B.C. the sound of the u is manufactured as is today though sounding differently as the first u perhaps is different from the second u, i shall continue at another time Thank You,2:44 p.m. David George DeLancey 2:37 P.M. E.S.T. 1-2-2008 Happy New Year.

I don't think we have entries for the proper names or Celtic deities, though we probably should. Perhaps we have something at Declan. DCDuring 20:24, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


Several nonce words formed by analogy with trilogy have their own entries at Wiktionary (like duology and tetralogy). The problem with nonology is that an incorrect number-suffix has been used. Unlike these other entries, this suffix has a Latin rather than a Greek origin. If the word with the form and meaning desired by the author existed, it would be something like ennealogy. As far as I can tell "nonology" is a figment of someone's imagination - certainly I can find no precedent from Google or Google Books - but I'm not really sure what happens in such situations. -- 21:03, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Usually the procedure is to bring up at WT:RFV for discussion any entry you think has none of what you call precedent.—msh210 23:39, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Assembly language

Should this be moved to Assembly Language?—msh210 23:39, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I think it is assembly language except when it refers to the assembly language of a specific processor in which case it might be (e.g.) 8086 Assembly Language (however, since assembly langauges are NOT unique to each processor but rather to each assembler it might not even be capitalized in that case). RJFJR 13:40, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


Macbeth Act II, Scene I

Now o'er the one half-world Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd Murther, Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf, Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace, With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design Moves like a ghost.

Is that a use of alarum as a verb? RJFJR 01:09, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Yeah. Alarum is just an old spelling of alarm (as a noun or a verb), which has stayed around for some reason as a deliberate archaism. Widsith 22:46, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it certainly is. Robert Ullmann 22:50, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Should the noun be marked archaic or something and the verb added with templates for archaic and maybe also rare? RJFJR 19:08, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

That sounds perfectly reasonable. --Thecurran 02:00, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Tour de force

It is strange and interesting how foreign expressions may have different meanings in different languages by which they have been adopted. "Tour de force" is a French expression meaning "feat of strength", and in English it means more or less the same as in French. It is a positive connotation of something if it is a tour de force (it manifests strength, brilliancy etc.). However in Italian "tour de force" means something very different: a tour de force is an endeavour (a job, a travel, a visit, a walk for Christmas' shopping...) which proves or is expected to prove particularly stressful, because it involves doing many things or one difficult thing in a short amount of time. Something of the French meaning is preserved: it takes strength to accomplish such a thing. But the implication is that, were it possible, a tour de force is something to be avoided. Nor is there anything necessarily admirable in a tour de force, as when (e.g.) a tour de force is made necessary by our failure to schedule appropriately. Nor, again, is a tour de force necessarily coronated by success. It is to be wondered about how the Italian meaning came to be what it is. I also wonder whether my understanding is only partial, and other Italians actually give the expression a meaning similar to the French or the English one.


I ran across this word, I think it some type of disease because the references I found included disease vectors from Golden Hamsters (1986) and a news article about a 2 year old boy being treated for "jungle borne leishminiasis."

Thanks! —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

You probably mean leishmaniasis. Widsith 22:39, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


Is this the same as a kill file? Or is it a verb? SemperBlotto 22:54, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

It seems to be a noun, and yes, it seems to be the same as a kill file. —RuakhTALK 03:48, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Our definition for kill file reads "A file in which individual users of newsgroups can ignore postings by certain other users, or that match certain criteria". Huh? I can ignore postings in a file? So this obviously needs a touch-up. But I'm not sure what to change it to. I would have changed it to something like "A file containing data about e-mail senders and/or Usenet posters, used with a filtering program to prevent a user from seeing those senders' and posters' messages". But now I'm not sure, since you say it's the same as killfilter, which I would have guessed (not familiar with it) means "A filtering program used in conjunction with a kill file to prevent a user from seeing certain senders' e-mail messages and/or Usenet posts". But you say that the two nouns mean the same thing: which meaning do they have, then?—msh210 17:31, 8 January 2008 (UTC)


The first definition at convention is

  1. The gerund (verbal noun) of to convene; a meeting or a gathering.

Should this be split into two senses or otherwise clarified? RJFJR 14:54, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes. That first portion should be placed in the etymology, the definition could certainly be written more clearly. --EncycloPetey 15:51, 5 January 2008 (UTC)


The second sense of the Adjective section contains this example: “Tater” is short for “potato”. Is "short" in this sentence really an adjective? --Panda10 12:54, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

If you take the position of looking at the individual words as separate, then yes. The word short would be a predicable adjective (one that occurs in the predicate, after the verb, but modifies the subject). On the other hand, you could argue that be short for is a compound verb. --EncycloPetey 15:23, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


I am thinking of adding military police, mounted police, and riot police. Question is... would they be considered to be SoP's? I would be interested to hear opinions before adding them. - Algrif 15:03, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Mounted police is certainly O.K. I'd also say military police is probably O.K., since if you didn't know what it meant you might assume it referred to a group that doubled as both military and police in some respect (e.g., soldiers acting as peace-keepers or something). I'm really not sure about riot police; to me it seems quite straightforward, but perhaps not? —RuakhTALK 15:18, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
They seem idiomatic to me, both on simple introspection and because they are more than SoP, describing certain dedicated kinds of officers rather than attributes of a police officer at a particular moment.
  • Military police are not just police who happen to be in the military; the conscripts who handle traffic and crowd control in Korea, for instance, are definitely not military police.
  • If a riot breaks out unexpectedly, the police on the scene will not become riot police; instead they will probably call in the riot police.
  • A police officer who commandeers a horse in order to catch a criminal does not become a member of the mounted police by so doing, although he will soon wish that he had been trained as one.
Anyway that's how I see it... but I could also see each of these leading to yet another pitched battle on RfD. I'm afraid we haven't found the magic pill for that yet. -- Visviva 15:22, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Sound reasoning. Unlike traffic police, who would be just any old policeman assigned to traffic duty. I think I'll add them and put your comments into the talk pages. Thanks - Algrif 16:17, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
They would certainly belong. We already have Water Police and I'm sure there are others.--Dmol 16:35, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, and shore patrol which is clearly not SoP. Robert Ullmann 17:11, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Should these be capitalised, as Water Police is. I had listed it as a proper noun, being the name of that department, but others seem to be in lower case. --Dmol 18:57, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
No. Lower case. I've moved the capped page to water police. - Algrif 19:02, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


Is the Dutch pronunciation correct? IPA is given as /xyn/ --Keene 18:29, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

It's close, and possible correct. Dutch g is a guttural gargling sound. Dutch has gone through several spelling reforms designed to restructure spelling to match pronunciation, so each letter (or letter cluster) usually represents a particular sound. If the Dutch phonology page on Wikipedia is accurate, then the Dutch word gun should be pronounced Lua error in Module:IPA/templates at line 8: Language code has not been specified. Please pass the parameter "lang" to the template., which isn't far off what appears in the page now. The notes in the 'pedia article suggest that Lua error in Module:IPA/templates at line 8: Language code has not been specified. Please pass the parameter "lang" to the template. would be correct for the dialect of Amsterdam, which is ever closer. --EncycloPetey 03:41, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Gerard recorded his pronunciation and uploaded it to commons:, (now linked) if that helps. --Connel MacKenzie 18:20, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it does. I've adjusted the page to Lua error in Module:IPA/templates at line 8: Language code has not been specified. Please pass the parameter "lang" to the template. accordingly. --EncycloPetey 02:58, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


To beat a dead horse...

This form is pretty universally proscribed in deference to dissociate, right? But it clearly meets our CFI. What's the best way (in the current atmosphere) of indicating this?

--Connel MacKenzie 17:17, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

If this is used for all senses of dissociate, and proscribed for all of them, then I'd say to use # {{proscribed}} {{form of|Form|dissociate}} or # {{misspelling of|dissociate}}.—msh210 17:53, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
It's not proscribed at all, just less common. Widsith 09:54, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
The OED has disassociate as a synonym of dissociate, without even a frown! dbfirs 00:42, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
MW3 has a weak implied negative take on disassociate. At "disassociate" they offer "dissociate" as a synonym, but don't have the much longer entry for "dissociate" return the favor. They also offer fewer relatives for "disassociate" than for "dissociate". All this without any explicit proscription. DCDuring 01:12, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

You could have knocked me down with a feather

Yes. Another one of those entries. What is the general opinion:-

  1. Interjection, with the sentence as written?
  2. Phrase, with the sentence as written?
  3. Verb, with knock one down with a feather? (Yuk!!) - Algrif 12:25, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Sum of parts meaning exactly what it says (using exaggeration, of course, but so what?). Don't create. That said, if it is to be created, then: It can't be under knock one down with a feather, as only common use (that I know of) concerns the ability to knock, the act of knocking. Yet be able to knock someone down with a feather also seems (very) wrong. (I hate to criticize suggestions without offering one, but I haven't got one, assuming this deserves some entry.)—msh210 21:05, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
"... assuming this deserves some entry" - I know what you mean, however the problem is that you only find it as an idiomatic way of saying, I was overwhelmingly surprised. If someone who does not know that comes across it, it would be difficult to guess from the parts. Context might not always be very helpful. What happens in most examples is that it appears as a kind of interjection. So when he told me he was getting married, well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. - Algrif 13:11, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Very well.—msh210 17:09, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


From User talk:SemperBlotto:

You wrote: to bake eggs in their shells. Are you sure? A quick web search seems to disagree (although Web pages disagree with o