User talk:Flyax

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Archive 2007-2013

About Greek[edit]

I have asked a question at Wiktionary talk:About Greek#Passive verb entries which you might like to comment on. Saltmarsh (talk) 11:22, 11 January 2014 (UTC)


Hi Flyax. It was suggested at User talk:Djkcel#*λαγαδον that *λαγαδων (lagadon) — with a tonos — may be a word in Modern Greek; can you confirm whether or not that is the case, please? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 07:09, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I don't know any such word. It seems to me very strange that such a word could exist in modern Greek and I can't find it in LSJ either. --flyax (talk) 08:43, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, OK. One last thing, Saltmarsh found this, which contains the following paragraph (the emboldenment is just my marking the word under discussion):
  • Οι γνώμες των λαγάδων διίστανται όσον αφορά τη χρησιμότητα των εκπαιδευτηρίων που τα τελευταία χρόνια αυξάνονται με γοργούς ρυθμούς. Ποια τελικά θα πρέπει να είναι η «χρήση» ενός εκπαιδευτηρίου για να προσφέρει τα μέγιστα στο κουτάβι μας;
Also see User talk:Saltmarsh#*λαγαδων for his/her interpretation. Have you any idea what that means, and whether the word merits an entry? Thanks for your help. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:35, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
λαγός is the hare and λαγάδες are the hare hunters. The genitive plural of the latter is λαγάδων. I didn't know this word and my guess is that it must be hunting jargon. Anyway, this has nothing to do with the Latin locusta. --flyax (talk) 21:19, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, conclusively not! Thanks for looking into it. Lastly, would you be willing to create entries for λαγάδες (lagádes) and λαγάδων (lagádon), so that something good can come from Djkcel's mistake, please? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 22:04, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I hesitate to do that. The reason is that the word is new to me and I don't really know the correct lemma form, i.e the singular. My guess is that it must be λαγάς but I cannot find it anywhere. --flyax (talk) 22:32, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
OK, I found it, it's λαγάς, so I think I can create the entries. --flyax (talk) 22:41, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, flyax; that's great. Much appreciated. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:18, 21 January 2014 (UTC)


Hello again, flyax. I've been unable to ascertain whether or not the form of the name Michael in Ancient Greek was Μιχαήλ (Mikhaḗl). Can you confirm whether it was, and if not, what was the form in Ancient Greek? Also, if that is the correct form, can you tell me whether the iota is long or short, please? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 19:58, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

It is Μιχαήλ. See this text from the Bible (LXX, Numbers, 13). I don't know whether the iota was long or short. --flyax (talk) 23:27, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Num. 13:14: "τῆς φυλῆς Ἀσὴρ Σαθοὺρ υἱὸς Μιχαήλ·", right? Thanks. I'll work under the assumption that the iota was short. Does Μιχαήλ (Mikhaḗl) inflect, like the Latin Michāēl (third declension)? And if it isn't too much trouble, would you mind creating an Ancient Greek entry for the name, please? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:44, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Done. Please, revise. --flyax (talk) 14:20, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you kindly. Revised. Does that look right to you? I may add the quotation from the Septuagint at some time in the near future, too; pursuant to that, could you tell me what the standard (Byzantine?) Greek Biblical abbreviation for the Book of Numbers (Ἀριθμοί) is, if you know it, please? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 22:59, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

*Ὡσήᾱς (*Hōsēās)[edit]

Hi flyax. The name of the minor prophet Hosea in the LXX is Ὡσηέ (Hōsēé), whence, I can only assume, derives the Latin name in the Vulgate, Ōsēe (though I don't know why that name has no initial aitch). However, the form Hōsēās is widely attested in New Latin; and I wonder what its etymon might be. I have two hypotheses: either it derives from an Ancient Greek etymon – something like Ὡσήᾱς (Hōsḗās), with the oxia (or perispomene) on whichever vowel (an oxia on the eta is just my guess) – or it's an independent alteration in Latin, chosen for consistency with the Latin names of other Biblical characters (e.g., Andreās, Matthiās, and Michaeās) and with its ultimate Hebrew etymon, הוֹשֵׁעַ (hoshe'a). So, do you know of any such attestable form that might fit, in Byzantine Greek or any earlier chronolect of Greek? Thanks for your time. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:23, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

I cannot find in TLG anything else than Ὠσηέ or Ὡσηέ. It's not safe IMHO to suppose that there actually was any other variation of that name in Greek. --flyax (talk) 11:28, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. I've created Ὠσηέ (Ōsēé), whose existence explains the aitchless Latin Ōsēe (so thanks for mentioning it). One last thing: How do Ὡσηέ (Hōsēé) and Ὠσηέ (Ōsēé) inflect? Or are they, as I somewhat suspect, indeclinable? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 01:24, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
You're right. It remains indeclinable, like many other foreign names that didn't / couldn't adjust to the Greek noun morphology. --flyax (talk) 09:52, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the verification; I've edited the two Ancient Greek entries accordingly. The declinability or otherwise of the Latin Ōsēe is less clear; I've found examples of Ōsēae, Ōsēam, and Ōsēum, and there are almost certainly other forms out there, it's just that they're hard to find amidst all the results for books about bones and the like. I still suspect that Ōsēe is indeclinable, and that the forms I've found pertain to other collateral forms; they probably have nominatives like Ōsēa, Ōsēās, and Ōsēus; I may devote my time to attesting them at a later date. Anyway, thanks for your help with the Ancient Greek name; it is, as ever, greatly appreciated. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 12:52, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

The name of ¨ (in , ΅, , etc.)[edit]

Hello again, flyax. I've recently been trying to find out the native names of the Ancient Greek diacritics; I've got the list at oxia#See also, but I'm not confident about diaeresis. As I'm sure you know, the Modern Greek name for that one is διαλυτικά (dialytiká), but a corresponding sense is missing from the LSJ entry for διαλυτικός. I was thinking along the lines of ὀξεῖα (oxeîa) and βαρεῖα (bareîa), which, as I'm sure you also know, are feminine substantives of adjectives elliptically modifying προσῳδία (prosōidía, diacritic); accordingly, διαιρετικά προσῳδία (hē diairetiká prosōidía, the diacritic given to resolving diphthongs), διαλυτικά προσῳδία (hē dialutiká prosōidía, the diphthong-resolving diacritic), and κεχηνώδης προσῳδία (hē kekhēnṓdēs prosōidía, the hiatus-forming diacritic), but there was nothing that explicitly backed that up in the LSJ. I also considered τρῆμα (trêma) and its diminutive form, τρημάτιον (trēmátion), but again, I could find nothing in the LSJ. Lastly, I thought that there might be a lead in something related to ἀλιφή (aliphḗ), but I wouldn't know where to start with that one. And so, I come to you. I'm sorry to call on you again, but could you tell me what the Ancient Greek name for ¨ is, please? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:02, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Οξεῖα and βαρεῖα are female adjectives and προσῳδία is a female noun as well. On the contrary, the words διαιρετικά, διαλυτικά are neuter plurals, so they cannot accompany a female noun. Have a look at διαίρεσις. --flyax (talk) 11:07, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
As you may already have guessed, the short answer to your question is 'I don't know'. I read several texts of ancient grammarians (Aelius Herodianus, Dionysius Thrax were my first choice). It is clear that they use the word διαίρεσις to describe the grammatical phenomenon but they don't make any reference to that mark's name. I don't even know whether such a mark existed before the 9th century. You should find an expert in palaeography to ask. --flyax (talk) 18:11, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your efforts. And thank you, also, for your corrections; that was very lax of me. I've taken your advice, posting my question to w:User talk:InfernoXV#Palæographical question (q.v.) — I think "a Postgraduate Student…[whose] research interests include Byzantine History, Late Antique Greek and Byzantine Palæography" pretty much constitutes "an expert in palaeography". :-) Thanks again. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 22:51, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Bot edits[edit]

Why is your bot triggering edit conflicts on mine? —CodeCat 00:21, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Your bot seems to have been working on the same task as mine. You didn't seem to be around to monitor your bot, so to prevent edit conflicts from occurring I needed to block it for a bit. It's unblocked again now. I hope you don't mind. —CodeCat 01:58, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Of course I don't mind. Usually, I let my bot run overnight, provided I am sure it doesn't produce any bad edits. Edit conflicts are new to me. I think that both of us could have prevented this unhappy situation, if we had a more effective communication (not that short) on the Beer parlour. I am happy that this task is over and thank you for your co-operation. --flyax (talk) 07:51, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Well I did say I'd be doing it... —CodeCat 12:49, 30 March 2014 (UTC)


Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I will look at the display of intransitive/perfect forms. I am currently looking at adding imperatives to the inflections - but my sources show to much variation to make this easy. Would you be willing for me to ask you what may be (to you) silly questions? Saltmarsh (talk) 05:58, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Languages can be so unpredictable that I don't think there are silly questions. Please don't hesitate to ask, although I'm not sure that I will know the answer. --flyax (talk) 20:41, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
  • I have put a couple of options at User:Saltmarsh/Sandbox2. Should the different forms be spread over two lines (Option 2) - and if so should all forms be shown (Option 2 - past perfect)
  • I should like to omit the footnote relating to these extra perfect forms - an automated footnote may give hostage to fortune.
  • Suggested imperative display is shown at User:Saltmarsh/Sandbox. Does this look OK?   — Saltmarsh (talk) 06:04, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

About πέφτω: (i) There is a little error in option 2. The plural is είμαστε πεσμένοι, ήμαστε(-αν) πεσμένοι, θα είμαστε πεσμένοι. In intransitive verbs the participle agrees with the subject in number and gender.

δύο γυναίκες ήταν πεσμένες στο έδαφος (two women were lying on the ground - they have fallen)
είχα γυρίσει (intr.) = ήμουν γυρισμένος

In transitive ones the participle agrees with the object in number and gender.

είχα γυρίσει την πλάτη μου = είχα γυρισμένη την πλάτη μου

Perhaps it's easier to omit the plural and explain the declination of the participle on an Appendix. (ii) Option 1 looks better to me, more compact. On the other hand, what will happen in the rare cases of verbs with 3 types of perfect tense (like γυρίζω)?
About the imperatives: another option is to display them in the 3rd column (past tenses in the 4th). --flyax (talk) 09:12, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks again
  • Perfect tenses — I have created User:Saltmarsh/Sandbox2#Option 3 what do you think? Please will you consider writing the Appendix, which is currently empty. The formatting might be easier if the first person singular only was shown and the whole section referred to the appendix via the footnote?
  • Imperative forms — Do you mean move them one column to the right or in 2 righthand columns of the Miscellaneous section?
with Mayday greetings Saltmarsh (talk) 10:46, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

No, I mean move the imperfective imperative next to Continuous Future and the perfective next to Simple Future. Perfect tenses in option3 look somehow overloaded, so, yes, it would be a good idea to leave there only the first person. Unfortunately, I don't think I could write an Appendix at this moment; not enough of free time - not good enough knowledge of English for such a task. I could contribute, though. --flyax (talk) 12:43, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

That sounds OK, but placing imperatives there will be require a little thought because its easier to add a horizontal section than a vertical one. — I say "add" because I felt it was better to omit the whole section than leave empty spaces (implying non-existance) waiting for a native speaker (imperatives seem very variable) to put forms in. Would "tba" (to be added) be an alternative here? — I didn't like to add imperatives formulaically because my book sources imply that imperatives are variable. Saltmarsh (talk) 05:34, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
I've roughed out a blank table at User:Saltmarsh/template4, is thise what you meant? Saltmarsh (talk) 10:25, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, this is what I meant; I understand your hesitation, though. After all, this is not really important. --flyax (talk) 07:59, 3 May 2014 (UTC)


Hi - in the absence of dictionary entries, please can you confirm that πεδιλοδοκός = "footings" = concrete foundation for wall/building. A possible alternative being "footprint" = area occupied by something. (It was added as a term related to πέδιλο). - thanks very much — Saltmarshαπάντηση 06:39, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

See the image in w:Strap footing. The concrete beam that connects two footings (πέδιλα) is a πεδιλοδοκός - strap beam. --flyax (talk) 07:14, 15 June 2014 (UTC)


Hi flyax. The Latin Ephraim, a descendant of the Ancient Greek Ἐφραίμ (Ephraím), suggests that the αι of its etymon would not be read as a diphthong; however, the entry for Ἐφραίμ currently states that it's a disyllable, with the αι indeed read as a diphthong. Can you confirm that the Ancient Greek entry is correct? And if it is, does Ἐφραίμ also occur as Ἐφραΐμ (Ephraḯm) or something similar? The Latin Ephraim also seems to occur as Ephraem; the presence of a trisyllabic Ancient Greek etymon would account for all that. Thanks for your time. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 22:40, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi. You are right, there are two variations of this name and I edited the article. My sources are inconsistent; el wikisource has Ἐφραΐμ in Genesis, 46.20 and Ἐφραίμ in Numbers, 1.10. I have a good translation of the Bible in Modern Greek which uses only the form Εφραΐμ, in accordance with the original Hebrew name (my guess). On the other hand, afaik only the form Εφραίμ is widely known today. --flyax (talk) 09:47, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the confirmation. The entry for the Hebrew אפרים (Ephraim) doesn't currently have an IPA transcription; however, the two Romanisations (?) in its pronunciation section, viz. "'ephrayim" and "ef-rah'-yim", do suggest that the name's a trisyllable in Hebrew, so your guess is probably correct. Can you tell me what the quantities of the alpha and the iota in the Ancient Greek name's trisyllabic form are, please? That is, Ἐφρᾰϊ̆́μ (Ephraḯm), Ἐφρᾰϊ̄́μ (Ephraī̈́m), Ἐφρᾱϊ̆́μ (Ephrāḯm), or Ἐφρᾱϊ̄́μ (Ephrāī̈́m)? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 22:43, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know and I can't imagine how I could find this information. Is this really important for some reason? --flyax (talk) 18:17, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh, no, not at all; I'm just fixating a bit, really. I'm sorry if I've inconvenienced you. These citations and the IPA transcription given by the Collins English Dictionary (10th ed.), viz. /ˈiːfreɪɪm/, persuade me that the a of the Latin Ephrāim is long. I'll look into Ephrāimus in the near future, to see if I can infer the length of the i from the evidence I find. Provided the vowel lengths match up with those of the Hebrew etymon, we may be able to infer with some reliability the lengths of the Ancient Greek alpha and iota. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:55, 4 July 2014 (UTC)


Please can I ask for your help again? I assume that πέλεκυς owes something to the classical language - please can you check/edit my interpretation of its inflections. Thanks in advance — Saltmarshαπάντηση 06:40, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

The declension is correct :) --flyax (talk) 19:23, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

*Σοφία Σειρὰχ and *Σοφία Σολομῶντος[edit]

Hello flyax. Quick question: Are these names for two books of the Septuagint, *Σοφία Σειρὰχ (Sophía Seiràkh, Sirach) and *Σοφία Σολομῶντος (Sophía Solomôntos, Book of Wisdom), correctly accented? Thanks in advance for your help and time. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 22:24, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Hello. My apologies for the delayed answer. You don't need the grave accent in Σειράχ for the entry you might want to create. So, it would be Σοφία Σειράχ. Σοφία Σολομῶντος is OK. --flyax (talk) 12:12, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
No worries and thanks very much. Unfortunately, I'm not nearly confident enough of my knowledge of Ancient Greek to create any entries in that language (I just tweak existing ones where I can); I just asked so I could correct those terms' listings on WT:WE. (BTW, if you're ever bored and looking for something to do, there are a fair few Greek terms in that list, if you'd like to turn your hand to creating any of them.) Thanks again. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 12:49, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Language names[edit]

As you know, in English the names of languages are spelt with an initial u/c letter. Two of my Greek (and all my Greek-English) dictionaries use l/c. But Babiniotis uses u/c, is this an idiosyncrasy of that dictionary, a growing trend - or are both used? I note that Καθημερινή uses l/c. — Saltmarshαπάντηση 10:56, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

The rule has not changed. My impression is that traditionally most people write language names with an initial l/c. This is IMHO. the most reasonable thing to do as language names are derived from their respective adjectives, e.g. αγγλικά (noun) < αγγλικός (adj.). Let's say that Bambiniotis suggested a change that most people didn't get to know or didn't care about or disagreed with. On the other hand, I remember you making a comment about the "anarchic" nature of Greek language, so yes, you could find people spelling language names with an initial capital letter either because they agree with Bambiniotis or they just like it more. --flyax (talk) 06:38, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks - the Oxford University Press (and I think most British printers) chooses to spell most -ise/-ize words "-ize", because of their derivation from Greek verbs "-ιζω", most British people use "-ise" - not caring less about their etymology, and anyway "-ize" looks American! — Saltmarshαπάντηση 13:16, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Spring fever[edit]

I am rewriting the conjugation templates for Modern Greek verbs, and presently working on the 1st Conjugation. The new layout is based on that found in Βικιλεξικό and now includes imperatives. I will try to stick with this to completion for all verbs. Verbs using the new templates can be found in Category:Greek verbs with inflection-tables, I will delete the old templates as they are depopulated and try to produce a decent guide when each conjugation group is completed. I know we have been here before (Spring 2013 and Spring 2014) and will try to stick with it this time.
Please look at a verb or two when you have the odd moment and comment on my talk page. — thanks   — Saltmarshσυζήτηση-talk 06:10, 20 March 2015 (UTC)


Is there a "real" difference (I'm talking about verbs in Jiordanidou's "Τα Ρήματα") between verbs like οφείλω which is shown without Aorist and Simple future (perfective) tenses; and verbs like εξεγείρω and, to a lesser extent, κάνω which are shown with identical imperfective &perfective forms.   — Saltmarshσυζήτηση-talk 06:32, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, there is. Some verbs, like είμαι, οφείλω or ξέρω, do not have perfective forms. It seems that they are perceived to express "continuous" meanings. --flyax (talk) 20:59, 20 March 2015 (UTC)


Thanks for the above - may I bother you again (I'll try not to make it too frequent!) - Sources are reticent on the conjugation of αγγέλλω, I would be grateful if you could comment on the forms shown. Thanks   — Saltmarshσυζήτηση-talk 06:16, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

ΛΚΝ] says that it has only continuous forms. I've found wirh google search two or three instances of the dependent "αγγείλει" and "αγγείλουν". It must be extremely rare and sounds somehow archaic. My advice: use αναγγείλω, ανήγγειλα instead of αγγείλω / ήγγειλα. --flyax (talk) 08:08, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Babiniotis gives (I'm not contradicting you!) "άγγειλα" and the literary "ήγγειλα" and you point out that ΛΚΝ says only in the present ("μόνο στον ενεστ." - or am I missreading the abbreviation? ). Might it be a good idea to have a category "Greek verbs with uncertain inflections" and not commit the editor in cases like this, to what might possibly be an incorrect form. I have obviously ventured out of my depth. Such a category would separate routine verbs waiting to get a table from the problematic ones - which others might have a go at?   — Saltmarshσυζήτηση-talk 14:09, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
The inflexions given in the table for αγγέλλω are grammatically correct, no doubt about that. The thing is, are they really in use? Maybe a note about the scarcity of the perfected forms or the disagreement between the two dictionaries would be enough for now imo. If other problems of that kind show up, then a new category might be necessary. --flyax (talk) 17:31, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks very much for your attention   — Saltmarshσυζήτηση-talk 04:40, 16 April 2015 (UTC)


Hi, I see you have a bot which adds the DEFAULTSORT key to Greek words. Yet, I see many entries without this key, is there something preventing your bot from running continuously? (I'm not very familiar with how bots work here on Wiktionary.) Orgyn (talk) 12:39, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

I am not very active at the moment. My bot cannot operate alone without someone (i.e. me) providing the list of entries to work with. Sorry. flyax (talk) 13:42, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
No worries, I understand. I'm a programmer but don't have much experience in Python or in how to get a bot running, if I find the time I'll try to look into it. Thanks for your answer. Orgyn (talk) 22:12, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
What is it needed for anyway? —CodeCat 00:09, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
If you search for the word "αγγελω" it will not show up in the search bar because the intonation is missing, you need to search for "αγγέλω" for it to show up. Adding the DEFAULTSORT allows the word to show up even when searching for the first variant (without intonation). Orgyn (talk) 14:17, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Strange. I wonder if you'd have the same result if you put in an empty template with the sort parameter, that doesn't display anything. —CodeCat 16:19, 6 February 2017 (UTC)