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Fencing term[edit]

"Caveat" as a verb referring to a particular type of parry is in the OED, but with only one citation in use (Urquhart 1652, not independently verifiable). Only use I have been able to find is from Castle, 1885: "The attacks are delivered by caveating in all the lines, by falsifying singly or doubly, by battery or by binding. " [1]. "Counter-caveating"/"contra-caveating" has a few more, but is really a distinct term.

If we do include it, we will need to determine whether it is in fact from the same Latin root, as the OED implies, or is instead a corruption of the Italian cavazione, as many fencing writers have asserted... [2] -- Visviva 09:18, 18 August 2009 (UTC)


I updated the pronunciations to better reflect the audio samples (which are, to the best of my knowledge, correct). The US pronunciation as given by the audio sample matched the UK pronunciation IPA definition, not the US pronunciation IPA definition. The UK audio sample has an ɛɹ in it.

Previous pronunciation keys:

I was able to find a reference to the previous US pronunciation at—ironically, a UK-oriented site. However, the syllable breakup is wrong, so I suspect that the source is unreliable. Another site lists it as a secondary pronunciation (localization unspecified).

The UK pronunciation was previously ordered first. As I cannot find any official reference to a unique UK pronunciation other than the audio sample, I have ordered it second. Hopefully someone else can verify or correct the UK pronunciation.

Zenexer (talk) 12:04, 4 November 2012 (UTC)


Discussion moved from User talk:Sgconlaw.

It makes very little to no sense to have Proto-Italic and Proto-Indo-European reconstructions on an entry like this one; please tell me what the added value is supposed to be. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 11:47, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Have to disagree with you there, as I think it's useful for readers to know the derivations of entries and how English is linked to other languages. — SGconlaw (talk) 13:15, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: The full etymology can be found at Latin caveo, which is exactly one click away. And borrowings such as this one (learned, recent) really don't give any clue of the relationship between English and other IE languages. Plus it's from an inflected form, and it behaves syntactically differently than its etymon. In other words, there's a real discontinuity between the history of English caveat and that of Latin caveo, and linking the two is very artificial. I maintain we should stop at Latin. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 18:26, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
@Per utramque cavernam: I'm not sure why the fact that the English word is derived from an inflected form of a Latin word causes a "real discontinuity" with the result that mentioning the uninflected form is "very artificial". Perhaps you can explain. Also, is there some guideline about how far back an entry ought to be traced? I see wide variation in various entries. — SGconlaw (talk) 02:53, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: Because it shows that only a specific "part" of the word was borrowed, with a specific usage compared to its etymon.
Where have I said that mentioning the lemma is artificial? I've left it in my edit. I'm not saying caveo shouldn't be here; I'm saying it's artificial to give its etymology here.
There's a wide variation of treatment because there's a wide variety of situations (and also because we don't have any guideline I'm aware of); while I think it makes perfect sense to go back to PIE on an entry like father (and on "base words" entries in general), it rarely is the case for more complex words (compounds, derivatives, most borrowings, etc.).
And duplicating content like that is bound to lead to discrepancies, with one entry being corrected and not the other. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 12:07, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
In general I believe there's an "optimum" to the quantity of information in etymology sections: it's between too little ("well yes, but why does it mean that? How did it acquire that sense? Why does it have this suffix?") and too much ("well, that's good but I don't need all of that, and by the way why did I come here for again?"). That's why I don't think this edit to the etymology section of extremity is an improvement (sorry). --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 12:20, 13 April 2018 (UTC)