User talk:Widsith

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Archived conversations[edit]


C'mon man??? Pi is cool!!!! Don't delete it!!!

Old Saxon - Dutch[edit]

Ahah, Widsith! I caught you. I'm just joking of course. I just found out that you are the one who made the etyl.s giving Dutch as a descendant for Old Saxon. (as in: Old Saxon win (Dutch wijn)). I'm working on (Middle) Low German, and of course want to replace them with the proper Low German terms - or at least make clear, that Dutch is not Saxon. Do you think there would be an easy way (e.g. bot) to disconnect Dutch and Old Saxon in such entries? Like: "When the term Old Saxon is followed by (Dutch but not Old Dutch beforehand, replace (Dutch by , Dutch and delete the next )"? I have no idea, how bots work. And if not: Would there be a simple way to find them? Like: You have done this with every Old English entry and thus I only have to comb through "c: Old English parts of speech"?Dakhart 00:21, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

deletion of Kuhbreeguh[edit]

Hello there, I came by just to ask why the specific reason for deleting the page for the newly formed word Kuhbreeguh. It was not meant as a hoax or vandalism of any sort. I was simple placing this word in wiktionary to inform the masses of this newly formed word. To be honest I don't feel like the page was even given a chance. I could think of a few words that should be deleted in this case if this word was deleted because only a small group of people have any knowledge of this word. A proper reason behind this deletion would be greatly appreciated. thank you for you time.

Sincerly, Josh

  • Josh, you need to look at WT:CFI. We don't accept ‘newly formed words’, an entry has to be supported with three printed citations spanning at least a year. Ƿidsiþ 06:28, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

English possessives[edit]

I proposed a sort of merger among the definitions for various English words indicating possession (have, of, 's, my, others) at [[Wiktionary:Tea room/Archive 2011/April#English possessives]], q.v. Specifically, I suggested that each such entry merely indicate that it marks the possessive and link to an appendix that would describe the meanings of English possessives. I got no reply. I still think it's a good idea. May I ask your opinion on this?​—msh210 (talk) 19:17, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

I have no objection to an appendix, but I see problems with trying to simplify the entries themselves. Of, which I've spent some time on, is considerably more complicated than you suggest. As a simple example, the hatred of women could mean hatred towards women or hatred felt by women (so-called subjective genitive versus objective genitive). Of can signal many different kinds of possession, not all of which can be substituted for an apostrophe-s. Titles, for example, can only use of – the Duke of Edinburgh cannot be Edinburgh's Duke, even though grammatically it seems to make sense. Apostrophes are also rarely used with long noun phrases, e.g. (from the entry) ‘Valentino repeatedly solicits the attention of women who have turned away from him’ shows a possessive, but you would be very unlikely to say ‘women who have turned away from him's attention’. And so on. So I do not think you can simply reduce this entry to a soft redirect towards an appendix, although that's not to say an appendix wouldn't be useful as well. Ƿidsiþ 06:44, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
(Yes, I'd seen that you'd contributed much of of, which is one reason I asked you, specifically, this question.) Thanks for the exposition. One way to do it would be to list, at each entry, a single definition "Marks the possessive" (or whatever), with a usage note advising people strongly to read the appendix, which would differentiate among the uses of the various terms. I agree with you that that's far from ideal. The other way I can see is to continue the way we have now — with completely separate entries — and add all relevant senses to each. Note this includes of, have, 's, my, mine, our, ours, your, yours, its, his, her, hers, one's, their, theirs, and perhaps also thy, thine, and others. That's a heck of a lot of entries to keep in sync, so I maintain that that solution is also far from ideal. I'm really not sure which is farther from ideal: I gather you think the first (moving everything to a good appendix) is?​—msh210 (talk) 16:51, 15 February 2012 (UTC)


hey dude, there is no such thing as having a rale, a patient can only have rales as a symptom it's like a bubbling sound, if the patient only made a single bubble-like sound they would pretty much be fine but when you have edema and as this word is used it is only in the plural.Lucifer (talk) 10:18, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Thank you for that single long sentence. Did you see I added a citation? There are many more for rale in the singular, so it seems you are wrong. Ƿidsiþ 18:38, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Your welcome and no I am not wrong, ask a doctor, no one would say He has rale, its rales. Maybe it also has or had a singular use.Lucifer (talk) 20:41, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
But people do use ‘a rale’ and I have added several citations to demonstrate this. It is more common in the plural nowadays, but the entry already says that. Ƿidsiþ 07:04, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Sorry I thought you were just going to get really draconian and remove the plural definition that I added as well. You know I am thinking that this may be a (Britain) sport vs. (US) sports sort of divergence as well.Lucifer (talk) 20:26, 22 March 2012 (UTC)


If the only attested spelling is exemplare, then why did you add the information at exemplar? This looks more like an archaic form of exemplary to me, than an independent form of exemplar. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:22, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

  • It's not the only attested spelling, it just happens to be the way it's spelled in the Montaigne book I'm reading. Most of the time it's spelled without the e at the end. And it's definitely not exemplary, this used to be an adjective in its own right. Eg Donne, ‘Exemplar men, that might be our patterns for sobriety’; Defoe, ‘Exemplar Virtue took the Reins in Hand’, Bacon, ‘One iudiciall and exemplar iniquity in the face of the world’. Ƿidsiþ 20:08, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Etymology_scriptorium#mor.23Old English[edit]

If you have the time to find some cites, it might make it easier to resolve this. If you can't......I've got lots of practice in ignoring KYPark. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:04, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Old English IPA transcriptions and other things[edit]

Hello, Ƿidsið.

For quite a long time, I've been using Wiktionary to look up Old English words, declensions, and conjugations. Since you seem to be one of the main supporters of Old English around here, I've decided to tell you about some things I've seen. First, I've noticed things like [ç], [ð], [v], and [x] in broad IPA transcriptions, which is not good since it implies they're phonemes... and everything I've read says they're not. I took the time to fix the narrow transcription for æht and provided a more narrow transcription right next to it. It'd be nice if someone helped fix the rest of the narrow transcriptions (but perhaps I'll do it all myself if need be).

I also noticed the page for èfen; I never seen Old English words marked with grave accent marks, so I was wondering if you might know anything about that... because I'd like to know why this is.

And then there's the double-u–wynn inconsistency; some main pages of words use wynn while others just use double-u. For the sake of consistency, this should be fixed so that one is used in the main pages and the other in alternate form pages, but I wonder why this issue still is. If I can do anything, then I'd be willing to help fix this issue.

Also, how well-versed are you in Old English? Can you compose some stuff in it? I'm just curious.

Thanks for your time and for caring about my favorite language. ― Espreon (talk) 02:20, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi Espreon. In common with many dictionaries, the transcriptions we use for specific languages are often not totally phonemic, but nor are they very narrow either. The exact set is to be settled on by editors experienced in the language in question. When it comes to OE there haven't always been many of us :) I believe it's important to distinguish [ç], [ð], [v], and [x]. Now when I studied phonology it was impressed on me that transcriptions are not ‘broad’ or ‘narrow’ but rather there is a sliding scale between the two, however if you would prefer that these transcriptions go in square brackets I would be OK with that, as long as we agree exactly how narrow the transcription should be. I think that is better than making transcriptions too broad, as you have been.
On your other points. Grave accents should not be used. The use of wynn is currently in a bit of flux. Most main pages exist with Ws, and wynn-forms tend to be redirects, but personally I would eventually like to see this reversed. Finally, the policy for OE is set down at WT:AANG. The first draft was written by me but other editors have made changes as community consensus has arisen. Ƿidsiþ 07:15, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Hmmmm, now I feel bad for swooping in like that and making them so broad. For words whose "broad" transcriptions had [ç], [ŋ], [x], and geminate fricatives that would get voiced if they weren't geminate, I did make more narrow transcriptions to capture these. I would have made a narrow transcription for þæt and the like, but I'm not sure if the fricative was really supposed to be voiced; I've read people it was and some say it wasn't. Now, if we just want to make everything narrow, I think we should just go to superficial allophony and not get crazy by marking things like nasalization and aspiration. Perfect narrow transcriptions are indeed really painful to make and are too precise in most cases. I guess I'll go back and fix everything I touched once we all reach concord. At least I took care of various inconsistencies while I was making all those edits.
Also, I too believe that wynn should be dominant. Thanks for your time, the link, and for putting up with me. ― Espreon (talk) 07:36, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree: most allophones should be distinguished but we should not get into nasalisation/aspiration. When one of us has time we should put together a list of the phones we want to use and include it at WT:AANG for reference/discussion with other editors. Ƿidsiþ 07:45, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
OK, sounds good to me. I'd at least want [ç], [d͡ʒ], [ð], [ɣ], [ŋ], [v], [x], and [z] to be covered... maybe even [ɫ] (dark el is a bit mysterious, in my opinion). I might want to see the diphthong sign used more often, but who knows? Also, what to do with [ʍ] and friends (I did see [ʍ] used in at least one transcription)? At least some devoiced sounds sound mysterious to me, so maybe showing devoicing would be worthwhile... Also, I think I'd actually want to put time into providing broad transcriptions, but again, who knows? Perhaps I'm too obsessed with broad transcription. Superficial allophony-leveled (as we define it, of course) narrow transcriptions should still be the default. Perhaps some more ideas will come to me after I sleep. What's your timezone? Mine's GMT −4. ― Espreon (talk) 08:06, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
GMT+1. I am not a fan of dark-l because I don't think native speakers tend to recognise it as a separate sound (although obviously it's impossible to know what the Anglo-Saxons thought about anything..). I also prefer [hw] to [ʍ] because we don't really know exactly how it was realised. Apart from that I agree with you. Ƿidsiþ 08:09, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Hmmmm, I guess I'm too aware of things, then. Heh heh... Where exactly are you on whether or not to show devoicing? ― Espreon (talk) 08:17, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Meh, actually I don't think we really don't need to show the devoicing since it really only occurs in certain [h] sequences that don't show up in many positions (off the top of my head, at least). So, I don't think we need to worry about it.
Who else dabbles in OE around here? ― Espreon (talk) 20:20, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Sense merger[edit]

I was thinking it might be good to simply restore it to Equinox's original edit. Reason being the term was more inclusive and activity-based. By merging it and having the prefixed requirement of a paraphilia, it prevents the term from referring to non-paraphile molesters, when I imagine they'd be included under the label as a result of their activities regardless of whatever preferences/psychiatry they might have. 09:00, 25 April 2012 (UTC)


Hi Ƿidsiþ. Would cucumeriforme be pronounced /kykymeʁifɔʁm/ or /kykymɛʁifɔʁm/? — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 12:11, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Obviously this is a borrowing not a natural descendant, so in practice it could be either. My hunch is that most people would say /ɛ/, but never having heard the word used I can't be certain. Ƿidsiþ 12:22, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Cheers. I've gone with your hunch; /ɛ/ was the one that sounded most natural to me too. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 12:39, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

tzm:Days of the week[edit]

ⴰⵣⵓⵍ, ⵡⵉⵜⵙⵉⵜ.
Are you sure these are correct: ⴰⵔⵉⵎ, ⴰⵔⴰⵎ, ⴰⵀⴰⴷ, ⴰⵎⵀⴰⴷ, ⵙⴰⵎ, ⵙⴰⴷ, ⴰⵛⴻⵔ?
I'm asking because I found very different ones for the names of the days of the week: ⴰⵢⵏⴰⵙ, ⴰⵙⵉⵏⴰⵙ, ⴰⴽⵕⴰⵙ, ⴰⴽⵡⴰⵙ, ⴰⵙⵉⵎⵡⴰⵙ, ⴰⵙⵉⴹⵢⴰⵙ, ⴰⵙⴰⵎⴰⵙ. Maro 15:03, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

I have a copy of this book, and that's my source. But Berber languages have such a bewildering variety of different forms and norms that I have given up trying to contribute in them. Ƿidsiþ 16:40, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I see. Are words in this dictionary in Latin or Tifinagh? Maro 18:12, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Both, also in Arabic script. Ƿidsiþ 06:10, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Could you check there translations for "peace" and "breath"? Maro 23:58, 22 May 2012 (UTC)


What's a WT:BABEL box? --Pixselax (talk) 13:07, 4 May 2012 (UTC)


In this edit you reverted the part which says islam follows the Quran. This is not necessarily true because some muslims adhere to other scriptures beside the Quran. Is it okay if i make a tweak to address that? Pass a Method (talk) 16:32, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Which Muslims don't follow the Qur'an? Ƿidsiþ 16:37, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I did not say some muslims dont follow quran. I said others beside (depending on denomination). For example, Ahle hadiths place as much emphasis on hadiths as well as Quran. Or Ahmadiyyas place as much emphasis on Ghulam Ahmed writings as the Quran. I'll make a tweak now to let you see. Pass a Method (talk) 17:04, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Etymology reversion[edit]

φιλέω#Etymology says "from φίλος" which is why I added it in parenthesis to extend the etymological chain. Just wondering about the reversion and why it was removed. Is there a better way to format when modern compound terms derived from older compound terms can have separate chains to explain? Etym (talk) 03:16, 18 May 2012 (UTC)


Could you add the following flags to MediaWiki:Gadget-WiktCountryFlags.css:

Thank you. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 21:35, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 11:55, 28 May 2012 (UTC)


I have been utilizing a solid reference book. Chambers dictionary of etymology, and it seems that the word aardvark existed well before 1833, but it was an afrikaans word. It was first used in an english language publication on 1833. Also, I was under the impression that the etymology section would be where you would put when the word was created since that is what etymology is about is defining--- the creation of the word, history etc. My book that I am using if you want to look it up has an ISBN # of 0550142304. Any pointers or advice would be appreciated. Speednat (talk) 08:19, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Well the OED has citations from 1822 and 1785. That is the problem with giving specific dates in etymology sections: they are liable to be superseded quickly. Instead, we use {{defdate}} on the end of definition lines (which is what I did for aardvark). Ƿidsiþ 15:29, 9 June 2012 (UTC)


Just a note, that I added into the etymolgy of this word, the fact that it was derived from the first four letters of the Latin alphabet. Also, I have been looking at the date of attestation options, and I can't really see a consensus as to which one is to be used. I initially liked the idea of what you did to this def. ie adding it to the def. lines. However, on that template's talk page, it seemed like it wasn't looked very fondly upon. I don't want to cause any issues, I just want to do what is most agreed upon. Let me know. Speednat (talk) 19:34, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Looks good to me. As for dates, the only option right now is {{defdate}}. Dates in Etymology sections are no longer recommended. (Also, I normally limit it to giving a century, to give us some leeway with new attestations etc.) Ƿidsiþ 19:40, 13 June 2012 (UTC)


Hello, I just made a request for etymology at multitude. You seem to be online & interested in that sort of thing so I thought I'd mention it. Thanks. Person12 (talk) 08:32, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

A couple things[edit]

Well, first of all, I now have an extremely high opinion of you, as after I read of, I took a look at your LJ. As a writer, I must declare that when you write about your own life, it comes out so much better than most of what I write as fiction. I have already recommended it to a friend, and I sincerely hope you post more often, just for us poor bastards who read it.
As a wholly unrelated side note, I have a great Middle Egyptian textbook, but I don't know how to correlate glyphs with their Gardiner numbers or Unicode numbers. If you want to move the rest of our Egyptian terms over from the transliterations, or even better set it up like Primitive Irish with each word having two entries (like qrimitir and ᚊᚏᚔᚋᚔᚈᚔᚏ, if I spelled that right), I can verify hieroglyphic forms. Thanks --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:58, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

(Responding here, as I don't know your preferred method of carrying on a convo) I'll make a LJ as Metaknowledge and post some mediocre writing up there so it looks active (or maybe some good writing, if I can find any). I guess I'll try to 'friend' you (my real-life friend said he did that for some reason; you'll see him as Xorianth). As for Egyptian, unless you're more knowledgeable than I realize, AFAIK I'm the only one around here with a grasp of basic grammar and orthography. Fuck. Well, thanks anyway. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:38, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't know how active User:Strabismus is these days, but he was quite hot on it, I seem to recall. Ƿidsiþ 07:08, 17 June 2012 (UTC)


Hi. I wonder if you might know anything about the -st etymology of this word? Is it like amongst and whilst with an -s-t double suffix? Cheers. -- ALGRIF talk 13:57, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

  • It's not known -- the -st just started appearing in the 19th century. Presumably it was added by analogy with some other word (like amongst), but it's not clear exactly which or why. Ƿidsiþ 14:01, 18 June 2012 (UTC)


Hey, since I see you know at least some Scots I figured you could help with this. An anon switched this to English from Scots before and I reverted...and now they did it again. I figure it looks like maaaybe it is possibly English too, so could you have a look on books and such and adjust our entry accordingly? Either way the Scots section needs to be reverted back to its original state, regardless of whether an English section should be present too. :p 50 Xylophone Players talk 02:21, 25 June 2012 (UTC)


Pronoun? Adjective? Can you figure this one out and clean it up, please? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:18, 21 July 2012 (UTC)


Hello. I'm having trouble reconciling my differences concerning screw with an admin.: Leasanam. You can read the very lengthy discussion on my talk page ([1]]). Assuming you know something about French etymology (and maybe Eng etym.), perhaps you could intervene. To summarize briefly, the etym. usually runs: ME scrwe, screwe < MFr escroue < L scrōfa, but Leasanam hypothesizes that a rare escruve, which is from MDu, must have played a part (despite any evidence), though he's failed to cite a reference for this assertion. The current version inappropriately puts the mainstream and Leasanam's view on equal footing, but he won't retract. I didn't think unsourced personal opinion was allowed. Any thoughts? Torvalu4 (talk) 20:02, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Akkadian tinūru[edit]

Hi. I am looking for the Unicode cuneiform spelling of Akkadian tinūru “oven”. Can you help me? --Vahag (talk) 16:19, 11 August 2012 (UTC)


Hi. I'm having to change a number of instances of /ʌɪ/ in English transcripts you authored to the correct form /aɪ/. Please don't add any more. (Flet (talk) 12:29, 21 August 2012 (UTC))

I follow the OED in that. Ƿidsiþ 14:08, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

bear down[edit]

You had placed {{rfd-sense}} at a sense in this entry, but apparently didn't put it at RfV. I have added some citations. Do they illustrate the sense adequately in your opinion? If so, please remove the tag.

Also, I have noted the fairly frequent, specific use of this term for exerting downward on one abdomen, as in giving birth, forcing out feces, and some similar bodily maneuvers. You had deleted a definition limited to the giving birth aspect. This seems distinctive to me. DCDuring TALK 17:38, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Weird, I don't remember that at all. Anyway it's obviously cited now, so I've remoevd the tag. Ƿidsiþ 08:53, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't recognize many of my earlier contributions here, even the ones on the forums. DCDuring TALK 10:07, 23 August 2012 (UTC)


Do you have a source for this? Meussen's list says that it ought to be *-júki, and I don't yet know enough to make a judgment on the vowel, but of course it needs to begin with a hyphen like all Proto-Bantu nominal roots. Thanks! --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 13:46, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I think I just got it from the etymology section of one of the cognates, not entered by me, so I can't vouch for it. Ƿidsiþ 05:35, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, Meussen is the best I have, so I'm moving it. Cheers! --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:47, 25 August 2012 (UTC)


The cleanup for this page is more than I can handle. The only citation is from a normalized version of Chaucer. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:45, 25 August 2012 (UTC)


Do you perhaps know how to cite "lawn" in the sense of "the office of bishop"? I have sent it to WT:RFV#lawn. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:10, 26 August 2012 (UTC)


This discussion has to do with whether this toponymic element is -ing + -ton or -ington, and involves historical issues that you probably know more about than the rest of us. I'd appreciate it if you took a look at it. Thanks! Chuck Entz (talk) 05:47, 29 August 2012 (UTC)


Hi, you may want to contribute to the discussion at Wiktionary:Requests for moves, mergers and splits#beon-wesan. —Angr 19:07, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

I think this rollback is in error.[edit]

Then what does that symbol mean? As you can see it usage is restricted to the field of mathematics. -- 12:47, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

  • It means "roughly equals to". Pétaouchnock is not actually Timbuktoo, but in French you say things like "this is the best bar from here to Pétaouchnock", where "Timbuktoo" is a good translation. Ƿidsiþ 12:56, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
I just dont agree with you. If there is a distinction it should be explained under the usage notes heading or in the definition line. Doesnt it mean anything for you that it is used only in the field of mathematics? or that no dictionaries (including Wiktionary) use as the part of definitions?--Dixtosa-wikified me 15:03, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Widsith, I personally wouldn't use symbols the average reader is not likely to understand. How would you guess what ≈ meant? -- Liliana 15:36, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
All right, you can get rid of it. I don't feel particularly strongly about it. Ƿidsiþ 05:11, 10 October 2012 (UTC)


Do you believe the word fête is pronounced "fight" in Quebec French ? Fête (talk) 18:54, 26 December 2012 (UTC)


Hello. Could you please add a declension template to sweart? Thanks —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:37, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Wiktionary talk:About Middle French[edit]

If you feel like getting involved in this extremely tricky area, please do. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:02, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


I was trying to fill in a quote for the sense that was missing one. You have moved it to the church meaning. Note however that the OED gives the church meaning as:

  • "Christian Church. A cupboard, locker, or recess in the wall of a church or church building, to hold books, communion vessels, vestments, etc."

So while the quote is about a church, I don't think it matches that meaning in that towels are referred to here. Further OED puts from the same book this quote:

  • "Within the Frater-house a strong Almery in the Wall, wherein a great Mazer..stood."

Under the meaning of:

  • "A place for storing things, as a cupboard, locker, safe, press, etc.; a repository; (in later use) esp. a niche or recess in a wall used for storage. Formerly also (occas.): †a storeroom or storehouse (obs.). Now somewhat rare in general sense. Earliest recorded in attrib. use."

So either the other quote works or we are claming the OED is wrong here. What are your thoughts? WilliamKF (talk) 21:15, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

  • I'll concede the point if you insist, but I would say that the citation in and of itself does not make it very clear which sense it belongs under, and hence is probably not the best illustration to use. But since it's the only one we've got I guess it'll have to do! Ƿidsiþ 11:05, 2 February 2013 (UTC)


In this edit you provided the etymology. Our terse presentation conflicts with, for example, the Online Etymology Dictionary. dawning#Etymology does not shed much additional light. Can the presentation be expanded to make the evolution clearer and also show whatever relationship there might actually be to dauen#Middle English? I'd have taken a crack at it myself but I do not have convenient access to the OED. DCDuring TALK 15:27, 8 February 2013 (UTC)


Please restore it, it was a valid entry. --Z 17:12, 9 February 2013 (UTC)


fr:box gives the plurals as boxes and boxs, the Scrabble dictionary ODS gives the same. What's the thinking behind boxs? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:28, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

  • I suppose I always assumed boxes was the plural of boxe, but on closer inspection that's wrong. Boxs certainly exists though, I just read it a few minutes ago in Huysmans's À rebours, and googling "les boxs" will give you 43,000 results. Ƿidsiþ 12:44, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Ergative verbs[edit]

Hi. You might be interested to look at the discussion attacking Category Ergative verbs in the Tea Room. I would join in there myself, but to be honest, I'm really sick and tired - and completely bored now with the way contributors (I use the word with reservations) spend so much time and energy in trying to remove such simply obvious items such as many citeable phrasal verbs. Even the category itself is under attack, and now ergative verb category also. I thought that this dictionary was descriptive. But the house seems to have been invaded by too many prescriptive trolls stomping all over everything like drunk policeman Plods, and no-one seems to care. I guess I'm past caring too. -- ALGRIF talk 19:51, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Speaking as a drunk policeman Plod, whoever he may be, I am interested in making sure that we have effective, complete phrasal verb entries, not one's that confuse users by including literal combinations. We have a lot to do on completeness. DCDuring TALK 20:15, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • As another plod, I'd like to largely agree with DCDuring here. The "ergative" label in English is confusing and unclear, and not terribly useful. I've been engaged in a slow long on-going discussion with CodeCat about what "ergative" means in an English context on my Talk page, at User_talk:Eirikr#Discussion_of_ergatives_and_perfect_tense_in_Germanic. As best I can tell from CodeCat's comments, her use of "ergative" is meant to label a verb that is fundamentally transitive but can also be used intransitively in a kind of passive construction. However, the sample verbs she has given me so far all appear to be fundamentally intransitive and can be used transitively in a causative construction, verbs such as sink or melt or grow.
Given that the term "ergative" is not very commonly used in English grammars; that it is used to describe other languages with very different verbal deictics; and that English verbs can often very easily be used transitively or intransitively -- ultimately, so long as the verb is labeled correctly with respect to transitive and intransitive senses, I see little reason to include an "ergative" label in English entries, and as such, I see little reason for Category:English ergative verbs to exist. The label is obscure and confusing. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 22:35, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
It might be a desirable reform to have certain sense level labels that were non-displaying by default by displayable by selection on the preferences gadget tab. "Ergative" is serviceable for some level of formal linguistic competence, but not for mass consumption, judging by the practice of almost all dictionaries. I'd probably select it to be visible for me, but I'm sure that the completeness of such labeling is insufficient for anyone to rely on it. DCDuring TALK 22:47, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to note that the Dutch Wiktionary uses the ergative label for Dutch verbs, but adds a link to it so that people can look its meaning up in a Wiktionary page. See for example nl:smelten "to melt", which has two senses, one labelled "transitive" and the other "ergative" (Wikipedia calls it an w:Unaccusative verb), and nl:blaffen "to bark" which is labelled "inergative" (which Wikipedia calls an w:Unergative verb). The Wiktionary page says this about ergativity (translated by me, but it's worth getting all of it translated because it is quite informative):
Far from all verbs are transitive. These other verbs are often collectively named intransitive verbs. That is, however, a somewhat inaccurate term, especially in [for?] Dutch, because there is kind of "transition" other than to the passive voice, which is generally called the ergativity.


  1. (Active): De man smelt het ijs. [The man melts the ice.]
  2. (Passive): Het ijs wordt door de man gesmolten.[The ice is (being) melted by the man.]
  3. (Ergative): Het ijs smelt. [The ice melts.]
Both in passive and ergative, ice has become the subject, but in the last subject there is no "actor" who performs the action. The process happens by itself and is nobody's "fault". Melt is, in that case, an ergative or non-accusative verb. What was originally the direct object of the transitive verb (the ice) is now the subject (just like in the passive sentence) but there is no actor, no direct object and no auxiliary verb worden [translated by is]. In Dutch, this kind of verb is very frequent.
So, I don't think that we should abandon this practice as it seems to be used elsewhere as well, and it's important to use consistent terminology. —CodeCat 23:37, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • The problem with the above is that smelten (to melt) is inherently semantically intransitive, and etymologically derives from a Proto-Germanic verb that was likewise intransitive. Modern transitive uses appear to have evolved from semantically causative senses. Consequently, it doesn't really make any sense to talk about it as un-accusative or ergative -- the actions labeled by these verbs do indeed happen "by themselves".
Cases where the "ergative" label might make sense are where inherently semantically transitive verbs are used in apparently intransitive ways. The verb to cook is one such example -- this verb semantically requires an agent carrying out the action, and an object upon which that action happens. "Cooking" never happens "by itself" -- although the agent might be inanimate, such as "fire" or "sun" or "heat", the verb still requires an agent that causes the action to happen.
See towards the bottom of the [[User_talk:Eirikr#Discussion_of_ergatives_and_perfect_tense_in_Germanic]] thread, where I just laid this argument out in more detail. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 16:58, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Except that isn't necessarily true. koken in Dutch is also ergative. —CodeCat 17:10, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Um, sure. I'm not clear on how that example negates my argument in any way? If "ergative" describes an apparently intransitive use of a semantically transitive verb, then sure, "the eggs cook" would be ergative, as would (presumably) "de eieren koken". -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 17:44, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
In Dutch "de eieren koken" means "the eggs are boiling/being boiled". But there is also a more metaphorical sense where you can say hij kookt van woede. —CodeCat 18:09, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
  • This discussion is probably best pursued somewhere else. Ƿidsiþ 17:47, 5 April 2013 (UTC)


Hi, the previous edit of this term is not a vandalism, it is a slang (colloquial) term and can be checked on the internet

  • Checked where? You need valid citations. Ƿidsiþ 13:30, 4 April 2013 (UTC)


That's the goal, m'boy.

sexual culture[edit]

I was wondering the same thing about inclusion, but decided it should be added since it can be easily confused with "sexual" meaning "sexy culture" or a "culture of sex" instead of a collective term for the cultures of specific groups based on sexuality. Nicole Sharp (talk) 12:45, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't think I've seen the term used outside of academic use though, so I added (Academic) to the definition. Nicole Sharp (talk) 12:47, 10 April 2013 (UTC)


Would you please fix the template usage in the Aggadah etymology section you changed? Right now it is broken. Thanks. WilliamKF (talk) 11:02, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks! WilliamKF (talk) 14:08, 4 May 2013 (UTC)



Is it time to make a Lao transliteration appendix? I don't know Lao but I can try and help by adding letters. I've been using either SEAlang Library Lao Lexicography method or whatever in lo:Wiktionary. Do you think the tables should be in the alphabetical order or split by consonant classes, vowels, diacritics? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:52, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

  • It looks fine to me, I'm not that interested in transcription quite honestly as I prefer to learn about the scripts themselves. However, a bigger issue for Lao will be the tones – they are described differently by almost every linguist that discusses the language…there doesn't even seem any agreement on how many there are. Ƿidsiþ 08:37, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

New appendix[edit]

As a participant in an associated discussion, you are invited to contribute to the list of terms and criteria at Appendix:Terms considered difficult or impossible to translate into English. Cheers,   — C M B J   10:47, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Citations:be#Old French citations of be[edit]

Looking for confirmation that 'be' here means 'bay' as in the brownish color. Also I can't find sors, the only suggestion I can find for an adjective is deaf (i.e. Modern French sourd) but I don't think that makes sense. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:34, 20 June 2013 (UTC)


Do you perhaps know how to cite WT:RFV#unheimlich as used in English? --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:52, 16 November 2013 (UTC)


Obsolete form of saw. So is that the verb to saw (which is how I've categorized it at the moment) or the simple past of see? It really needs {{head|en|simple past form}} if the latter, too. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:35, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Ah no sorry, it's the past form of see. Ƿidsiþ 17:06, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

ground loops[edit]

What happened here? (See history for details) And are there any more like it? SemperBlotto (talk) 08:31, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

I think what this is is an inflected form created via ‘accelerated’ green link, where I hit ‘save’ before the page had fully loaded. This was a problem I occasionally had with my slow computer at work, but since I quit a few weeks ago it shouldn't be a problem any more. (Normally I spotted it when it happened.) Ƿidsiþ 18:52, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

[2], of new, agent general, etc.[edit]

Just a friendly reminder to put the lang='s in {{term}}... =) Hyarmendacil (talk) 09:25, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Oh really, how come? I thought it used en by default. Ƿidsiþ 19:59, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
    It doesn't actually do that anymore (nor, for that matter, does {{context}}) if there's no lang it tags it term cleanup. But I was mostly referring to foreign languages (cf links). Hyarmendacil (talk) 04:17, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
    Ah OK, I thought it was optional for some reason. I'll try and remember. Editing has got a lot more complicated than it used to be…grumble… Ƿidsiþ 08:11, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

What did you mean to do here?[edit]

diff You added "-" as the plural? —CodeCat 15:45, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

  • I would have thought it was pretty obvious, I put s|- instead of -|s, which apparently doesn't work. Ƿidsiþ 16:03, 4 December 2013 (UTC)


Hi. I've left a question for you at Talk:santorum#Equating homosexuality with bestiality. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 18:44, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Fucking machine help[edit]

Thanks for your help tightening the example citations at fucking machine, much appreciated, -- Cirt (talk) 08:32, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Not at all, you did most of the hard work. Ƿidsiþ 08:33, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Cognates of sleep[edit]

I have edited (both of) the etymology section(s) of sleep and added Proto-Slavic *slabъ (weak) as a cognate, but my edit was reverted. These are derived from the same PIE root, so they're clearly cognates. I thought it would be briefer to list the Proto-Slavic word as a cognate instead of listing all the derived words in modern Slavic languages. Was this a mistake? -- Doccolinni (talk) 11:00, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Understood. I have added Russian слабый (slábyj, weak) as an exemplar of Slavic cognates. -- Doccolinni (talk) 11:15, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

French avoir bon[edit]

Hi, I see you speak French and English, so I'd like to ask for your advice. I've created this: avoir bon. Have you ever heard it? But I'm none too happy of (not sure about this preposition) the translation I came up with, and I couldn't translate the example properly (the situation would be just after an exam, as you will probably have guessed). --Fsojic (talk) 18:00, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Looks good to me! I tweaked the translation slightly. (PS, not too happy WITH!) Ƿidsiþ 19:48, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Happy with, I thought so! But I wasn't sure "I'm happy with the translation I came up with" would be correct. Thanks! --Fsojic (talk) 20:33, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

DPMaid to AWB[edit]

Can you please add my menial-work User:DPMaid to Wiktionary:AutoWikiBrowser/CheckPage? My "Dan Polansky" user is already there. Thank you. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:19, 19 January 2014 (UTC)


I noticed you forgot the language parameter on {{term}} here. I don't know if that's an accident or not so just letting you know. —CodeCat 16:55, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Oops thanks. Ƿidsiþ 18:16, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
It might help to use {{term/t}} instead. It uses the first parameter for the language, so you'd be less likely to forget it. And when you do, it shows you an error, so mistakes won't slip through as easily. —CodeCat 18:19, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Rollback query[edit]

In this edit you removed the addition of antonym/hypernym/hyponym sections to the page, why? The references did not actually support simply presenting an alternate phrase as a definition when they have clearly different meanings in their construction and etymology, was a false equivalence. Etym (talk) 18:51, 1 February 2014 (UTC)


Hi. I noticed that you removed the French here: [3]. Was there something wrong with it? Equinox 17:03, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Your signature[edit]

Your signature currently adds {{script helper}} to every page. But that template is probably going to be deleted soon, so could you change your signature somehow? —CodeCat 22:44, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

You can change it to this: {{lang|ang|[[User:Widsith|Ƿidsiþ]]}}. —CodeCat 20:59, 17 April 2014 (UTC)


It seems really strange to me. Could you provide a reference for this word? --Fsojic (talk) 22:02, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

I did a quick search at Google Books and found this. Does that help? Chuck Entz (talk) 23:57, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
It does (I should have thought of adding the article before the noun). Actually this one is even better. --Fsojic (talk) 00:21, 7 June 2014 (UTC)


I’m sorry for being so confrontational and serious towards you years ago. It was quite unnecessary. These days I’m much more relaxed and laid‐back. I also have a more ameliorated sense of humour, now. --Æ&Œ (talk) 03:23, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

  • That's quite all right! I don't even remember the incident in question. Ƿidsiþ 04:51, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
It was back in June, 2011. I was teenage and severely depressed back then. --Æ&Œ (talk) 04:55, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Formal English[edit]

Gellish or Formal English is the name of an existing information modeling language, which definition is described in my PhD (see the references). Why do you delete it?

The language may exist, but we're a descriptive dictionary- so we only allow terms that are in actual use (and not just by you and people connected to you). If you can show, by meeting the requirements of our Criteria For Inclusion, that the term is in use, then your entry can stay. Add your usage examples to the Citations page for the deleted entry, and if they're adequate, you can then re-create your entry without it being deleted. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:34, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation of friern[edit]

As the only expert on Middle English whom I vaguely know, I should be grateful if you would answer a non-Wikt question for me. In the middle ages, ownership of w:Barnet was divided between in the north the monastery of St Albans (leading to still-extant names such as Monken Hadley) and in the south the [Brotherhood or] Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, based in their priory north of Smithfield where their water was drawn from the Clerkenwell. Part of their holdings in Barnet therefore became known as Freren Barnet, and later w:Friern Barnet (unfortunately I have no dates, but presumably the change coincided with the mutation of frere through friare, frir, frier, etc, to friar (according to the OED -- I have no ME knowledge myself)).

There seem to be two well-established modern pronunciations: IPA(key): /'fraɪ.ərn/ invalid IPA characters ('), replace ' with ˈ is used by many educated people (and 'pedia) while IPA(key): /'friː.ərn/ invalid IPA characters ('), replace ' with ˈ is probably more common on the ground, is used by BBC News, and feels right to me. With my very limited knowledge of pre-modern English, the only similar sounding word & plural I could think of was child > childern, and then I found that was treated as a non-standard case, so could not be used as a model. So I'm interested to know how friern would first have been pronounced, and how, if it had followed normal rules of pronunciation shift, you would expect it to be pronounced now. Thanks in anticipation. --Enginear 23:30, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

This is not exactly my specialist subject, and there are Germanicists on here that could probably give you better explanations…but my interpretation is that the word originally had a long [eː] sound which (Great Vowel Shift time) became a long [iː] sound. Now in certain cases before /r/, these vowels acquired an extra schwa at the end so it sounded something like [iːə] – this happened with friar and also with such words as briar (ME brere) and entire (ME entere). It is not clear (at least to me) why this only happened in certain cases; I don't think we know. But in early modern English, the long i sound – including in these diphthongs – became a diphthong again, originally [əi], nowadays UK [ʌɪ], US [aɪ]. The vowel in ‘friar’ thus evolved roughly as follows: [eː] > [iː] > [iːə] > [əiə] > [aɪə] invalid IPA characters (]>[]>[]>[]>[). So I suppose what I'm saying is that ‘free-ern’ and ‘fry-ern’ are both historically justified; the spelling probably represents a time when the former was more likely. Ƿidsiþ 09:05, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for a good, clear explanation. --Enginear 10:49, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Century formatting with superscript and non-breaking space[edit]

I agree with AA Reid's objective. I have done a simple template, {{C.}}, which works as its documentation shows, specifically, {{C.|19}} produces 19th c., {{C.|19|th}} produces 19th c., and {{C.|21|st}} produces 21st c.. I hope this answers all objections. If it doesn't, there may be some modification of it that does. DCDuring TALK 17:37, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Well not really since my main problem is that superscript characters look weird on screen IMO. Ƿidsiþ 09:01, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
    Wow, it doesn't bother me in the slightest, in contrast to my feelings about ligatures. But, OK, both you and Equinox are of the same opinion. I think ReidAA's main issue was with widowing anyway. I will eliminate the superscripting.
Alternatively, would it make sense to force all of the content of {{defdate}} to be on the same line? I am not sure that is even possible without Lua/Scribunto, which is still beyond my paygrade. DCDuring TALK 09:59, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I found out that there is a template {{nowrap}} that implements a CSS property that does what I want. I combined it with {{defdate}} to make {{defdt}} which does not allow any line-breaks within it (under normal circumstances). DCDuring TALK 00:36, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Nice! Ƿidsiþ 06:35, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't see any reason why ReidAA couldn't use this to address his widowing concerns where the content of defdate is short. I have seen long content (~ 30+ characters) where the result would be clearly undesirable. DCDuring TALK 10:14, 16 October 2014 (UTC)


What's your source on this word having any relation to a term in Chinese? 胞门 itself is a rare term, used only in TCM. ---> Tooironic (talk) 16:54, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Good question. I can't remember at this distance, but I have an idea that when I Google-searched for more citations, most of them were from Chinese translations. But where I found that specific Mandarin term I don't know. Ƿidsiþ 08:11, 17 November 2014 (UTC)


Concerning the canid, I think that this also derives from Middle English todde. According to The Century Dictionary ([4]), the zoological meaning (fox) derives from the botanic meaning (bush) because foxes have bushy tails. I’m bringing this up because several years ago you claimed that the etymology was unknown, but I was wondering if you ever encountered this explanation and maybe thought that it was false. --Romanophile (talk) 09:17, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Yes, but the OED gives the idea short shrift: ‘The suggestion that this word may be identical or connected with tod n.2, and have reference to the bushy or tufted tail of the fox, is at variance with chronology and local distribution. tod n.2 is essentially southern, while tod = fox is exclusively Scotch and Northumbrian, and was in use 400 years before tod = ivy-bush appears.’ Which seems pretty convincing. Ƿidsiþ 08:10, 20 February 2015 (UTC)


Hi there. :) Yeah, the rollback wasn't good. I had generalized the theo term because there are definitions in "what links here" pages that don't make sense when the definition is specific to Christianity. Sure, since its from ecclesiastical Latin, the English word must have been originally been a Christianity-specific, but that doesn't preclude it being eventually adopted for non-Christianity-related contexts too when the shoe fit. :) (ps: the Latin word is from a Greek word that also appears in middle-Platonic literature to gloss Nous). -- 19:33, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

I wouldn't rule out its use in other religions, but overwhelmingly it's a term of Christian theology. I think maybe better citations would help. Of the two you offered, one was too confusing to be much help and the other seemed more suited to the philosophical sense. But even if there is evidence of that kind of use, I would prefer to see it as a separate sense rather than dilute the definition already there. But thanks for pointing me to the ‘What links here’ uses, I will look at them carefully and rethink. Ƿidsiþ 07:51, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to de-sysop/de-checkuser Connel MacKenzie[edit]

Since you participated in the the 2012 vote to de-sysop and de-checkuser Connel MacKenzie, you may wish to participate in the current discussion of this proposal. Cheers! bd2412 T 17:04, 7 April 2015 (UTC)


Where did you find these forms? --Romanophile (talk) 04:00, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Which forms? Ƿidsiþ 09:45, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
egua & ewe. --Romanophile (talk) 13:25, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I'm not sure now. Probably was reading some book about Old French at the time. I'll have a look through the shelves when I'm back home and try and find out. Ƿidsiþ 10:54, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Lao version of ฉิ่ง[edit]

Hello, I believe the ching (small, high-pitched cymbals used to mark time) that are also used by the Khmer and Thai (who call them ฉิ่ง) are also used by the Lao, but I cannot find the Lao spelling of this instrument's name. Is there any way we could find out? Thank you, 08:29, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Oh, I have found it at English Wikipedia (if it is correct): ຊິ່ງ. 08:30, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

en passants[edit]

Hi. The plural form of en passant seems to be attested, see e. g. here: . Jan Kameníček (talk) 09:40, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Well I only see one usable citation there, and that in a clearly very slangy sense. Ƿidsiþ 13:17, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

There are more, like here or [6]. Besides this, plain Google search shows quite widespread use and so I suggest to renew the page. If you are still not convinced, rfv template can be placed there to get a wider feedback. Jan Kameníček (talk) 18:32, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

Meh. You can recreate it if you like. I would consider it somewhat nonstandard, but I don't feel strongly enough about it to argue. Ƿidsiþ 07:54, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Check old entry from 2007?[edit]

Could you go back in time to 2007 and see if 'contruction' might be contorted? :) (glad to see you're still here to ask! 'enthusiasm' - I've heard of it...) Shenme (talk) 22:26, 4 December 2015 (UTC)


You created this page a year and a half ago, but as far as I can tell, the only citation for that spelling is in The Fairie Queene, and I (personally) suspect it's f.l. for "queynt". Do you have any other citations? —ObsequiousNewt (εἴρηκα|πεποίηκα) 03:49, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

  • No, and I doubt many more exist of that particular spelling. Nevertheless, it is spelled that way in the Faerie Queene and is listed among the Alternative Forms in the OED (with usage restricted to the 1500s). Ƿidsiþ 08:56, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Alemannic German häi[edit]

I created the entry for Alemannic German häi while you were away. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 10:05, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

  • Looks good, thanks! Ƿidsiþ 10:07, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
You're so welcome. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 10:26, 8 May 2016 (UTC)


Why the rollback? I have reverted your rollback, and frankly I find it to be quite insulting that you did not venture to expend even 5 minutes of your time to do some research on ne. Mountebank1 (talk) 10:07, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Also a few recent usage examplesːNa micht I trive, Maigie; but I see a braw new hoos (1883) and There 'e sat an' suppit an' suppit an' better na suppit (1955). You can find other examples here . Please be more considerate in the future. See also this. Mountebank1 (talk) 13:35, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Goodness me. Perhaps it might have given you pause that the reference you are using, the DSL, is specifically of "the Scots language" and not of English. If you want to create a Scots section then please do so (I have spent a lot of time here on Scots entries myself) but you should not include this stuff under an English header as we treat the two languages separately here. Ƿidsiþ 12:18, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, but that does not necessarily mean that my Usage Notes were invalid. In Early Modern English ne was used the same way as it is used in today's rural Scots (i.e., it was used preverbally and in correlative clauses, the introductory and linking negative element was ne ... ne). And I also specifically mentioned that it was only used in Scotland and Northern England and that only a few people were familiar with the term, and also a lot of people there would tell you that they spoke English when they used the words like ne... Mountebank1 (talk) 13:25, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Are you saying that it was used in a different way in Early Modern English? Because if you are then you are wrong. Mountebank1 (talk) 13:35, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Slow down a little accusing me of mistakes and just rewrite the information you want to include so that it fits. If you want to write about how it's used in Scots, create a Scots section and do so; I would welcome it. If you want to write about how it was used in EME go ahead but please make it clear that you are not talking about modern usage. The examples you used made it clear you were drawing exclusively on Scots evidence, and you said outright that it's "archaic and dialectal"; it isn't, it's functionally obsolete. You got annoyed that I didn't "expend even 5 minutes" of my time on researching ne but if you check the page's history you'll see that I worked on it extensively and did, in fact, invest many hours of research including textual research looking at citations. Ƿidsiþ 14:06, 27 July 2016 (UTC)


Could you please explain why you've reverted my edit at déconner? Do you feel that it's too vulgar a translation and that I should find a less vulgar equivalent? At any rate, it would be nice to know the reason for it, rather than simply assuming that you are censoring Wiktionary without justification. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:02, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

  • Nothing whatever to do with censorship. My issue is that I don't believe déconner is ever translated as ‘decunt’ since I'm not convinced that ‘decunt’ is a word with any real usage. If it is, this translation is so rare that it surely does not merit a fresh definition line of its own. Ƿidsiþ 06:29, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
    • But why remove it rather than replace it with a better definition? --WikiTiki89 11:59, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
      • Well, if some convincing usage is shown for such a sense, then I would certainly try to come up with a better definition. Ƿidsiþ 12:11, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
        • As it happens, I've found sufficient cites for both senses, and as both are about equally common, I don't think you will find a better translation. I'll add the cites to the entries in a bit. Your reason for deleting the definition is perfectly valid, but I suggest RFVing next time rather than making me chase after you for an explanation. :P Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:11, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
          • We also seem to be missing another sense of "decunt" (see decunted). Something to do with solutions and whatnot. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:16, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
            • Are you sure that sense isn't just scannos for decanted? As for déconner, I think Widsith's point is that you don't use words in definitions that people will have to look up- the idea is to explain the English, not to rack up points by using obscure cognates to the French in an English sentence. ;-) Chuck Entz (talk) 01:34, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
              • I took a closer look when I was going to add cites, and yeah, they're scannos. That's a fair point, though it just means that I need to gloss the definition (as I should have in the first place). Why I'm wasting my time citing this, I have no idea, especially since it involves the writings of the Marquis de Sade.... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:51, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
                • Finally done. Now to clear my search history.... *cough* *cough* Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:09, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
          • Great, thanks for the cites, but at the risk of sounding difficult I'm still far from convinced that these are best translated with ‘decunt’, which, as I said, is vanishingly uncommon. In most of them I would say ‘pulling out’ is a much more likely and more idiomatic translation. Ƿidsiþ 09:14, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
            • I agree, I had no idea what "decunt" meant until I looked at the entry. --WikiTiki89 15:58, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
              • It's a fair point, but the French verb doesn't seem to be much (if at all) more common. Note also that I used the same passage in both the English and the French entries, the former being a translation of the latter. Thus, "decunt" has definitely been used as a translation of "déconner," and as they both have very similar usage, I can't think of any term that is more directly equivalent. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:39, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
                • It's a completely different situation, though. The French word déconner is common and familiar, albeit usually in a different sense. The supposed English word decunt is jarringly unfamiliar, apparently coined as a loan-translation of the French, and much more vulgar than its source. As it happens I've read the Sade and the Louÿs works cited in the entry, and although not a native speaker it never struck me as a term that jumped out at me when I read them; it's an unusual, crude sense of the word but it makes perfect sense in context. On those grounds I'd consider "decunt" a pretty poor translation. Anyway – the entry is fine as it stands, I think, just an interesting discussion. Ƿidsiþ 06:42, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
                  • Makes sense. I think we've sufficiently discussed the word, now.... Thanks for your input! Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:53, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

go through[edit]


Sorry, I forgot to alert you at the time I started that thread.



Just dropping in. I share your interest, though not your skills I'm afraid.

Here's my recent note to Grolltech: Since you seem to be interested in good use of language, if not indeed in a wholesale gunpoint Rectification of Names, couldst join my crusade to save "oxymoron"?

An oxymoron is not a contradiction. The word exists exactly to convey the meaning a non-contradiction made out of contradictory elements

As to Grolltech, so to you...

I watch East Asia a good deal. I used to be fluent in Japanese at all levels from down in the pit with my subcontractors to cocktail parties with members of the Royal Family, because I spent 15 years building the first 400 coin laundries over there. It's rusty now, and Chinese is my main interest. Similarly, I've had good tourist++ Korean and tourist Cantonese and Vietnamese in the past, but those are currently hors de combat. My eldest daughter is a systems engineer based in Tokyo, which I have the impression makes her the Japanese equivalent of our "investment banker."

All of this leaves me with an observation that will amuse you: two very large countries, Indonesia and "the" Philippines, have official or national languages which don't exist yet. Both Filipino and Bahasa Indonesia are spoken, but with the variety and mutual incomprehensibility of, e.g., pre-WWI French. They have been declared national languages very recently, and they are coming into existence before our eyes. I'm sure it must make for great fun in the generation gaps of these very fecund areas.

Chinese has the same phenomenon on a larger scale. 普通话, Putonghua or "Common Speech," the soi-disant national language, is no more than a generation old.

When I was first at university, University of Toronto in the 1960's, Sanskrit Smith, one of our professors, served on Chairman Mao's 47-member language board. This meant we would hear updates from time to time on the battles going on in newly renamed Beijing. All of them were modern remakes of similar battles in China during the generation it took the Qing to fall, and in Japan during the Meiji to 1950 period when that language was being rebuilt. Some of these battles were tinged with the then-emerging Cultural Revolution disaster.

Cantonese is unbelievably imposing, unless, I suppose, you live there and work in one of the language industries, e.g. dictionary editing or rock'n'roll. It changes with unbelievable speed, and comes in huge varieties of class, region, industry, and generation related sub-dialects. Toronto Cantonese is one of these, for two reasons. This is one of the more important financial centres of Cantonese life, but there's another odd thing: there was a period, perhaps 1975 to 1995, when Toronto was one of the planet's major centres of computer orthography. The Russian computer industry was entirely dependent upon programmers in Toronto, Wisconsin, and upon my friend Roger Levien, of RAND and presumably other interesting institutions, for a whole swath of skills and standards. IBM's major and excellent people here were leaders in database design, and in Asian and North American native writing systems. Cree was the first non-Roman glyphology to have its own computer font, because it's a major Canadian language. So life is a challenge on my Chinese front.

BTW, I was an editor with American heritage, on Horizon magazine, at the time the very competent American Heritage Dictionary was coming to fruition. So if you'd like to identify yourself and stay in touch I probably have some funny stories you'd enjoy.

Cheers, David Lloyd-Jones (talk) 18:02, 10 September 2016 (UTC)


Hi, I notice this edit adding Fante. Last year, Twi and Fanti were merged into Akan on the grounds that they are mutually intelligible (it was also odd that we formerly included both the dialects and the language they form). Do you have knowledge of them that would suggest they should not be merged, or were you not aware of the merger? (Such things are recorded on WT:Language treatment, FWIW.) - -sche (discuss) 07:30, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

No, my knowledge of Fante is, to put it mildly, limited. I simply know it's the source of a word I was editing and it has an ISO code. But I'm quite happy to say "{temp|ak} (Fante)" instead. Ƿidsiþ 07:52, 17 November 2016 (UTC)


Hello, thanks for your new quotations to whitelash. I placed the original definition back for now. Please discuss changes to the definition on the discussion page, so we can create an improved and constructive consensus. Thank you. IQ125 (talk) 16:21, 17 November 2016 (UTC)


Why did you undo my improvement of the article cuck?--Михайло Марсов (talk) 17:20, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

à tous crins[edit]

Bonjour, pourrais-tu m'expliquer ta décision d'annuler les modifications que jai apporté à l'entrée "à tous crins" ? Je suis francophone, ancien étudiant en lettres, et je suis assez confiant dans mes corrections (conformes aux principaux dictionnaires à ma disposition). Merci d'avance de ta réponse. --Banchayehu (talk) 18:38, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

The formatting was just wrong. We do not include Translation sections in non-English entries. And the definitions should not be definitions but rather glosses or translations into English. No one (usually) translates à tous crins with "to the fullest possible extent" (as you wrote), although that is basically what it means – we say things like "all-out", "dyed-in-the-wool" etc. Ƿidsiþ 05:41, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Share your experience and feedback as a Wikimedian in this global survey[edit]

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  2. ^ Legal stuff: No purchase necessary. Must be the age of majority to participate. Sponsored by the Wikimedia Foundation located at 149 New Montgomery, San Francisco, CA, USA, 94105. Ends January 31, 2017. Void where prohibited. Click here for contest rules.

Revert to 'triquetrous'[edit]

The current definition is clearly inaccurate - "Having three corners or sides; triangular" - would apply equally well to a plane triangle, something which it is not. 'Triquetrous' applies to a 3-dimensional shape such as an orange segment or seeds that have developed together in a tight circle and consequently have two faces flattened and the third being curved. Paul venter (talk) 13:33, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

Clearly in the citation it means "triangle-shaped", so I don't think you're right. Maybe if we get a lot of citations together it will turn out that "triangular in cross-section" is the most common meaning, I don't know. Ƿidsiþ 13:39, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
The citation may very well be unique, at least there's nothing like it in the hundreds of Google Books hits I've gone through so far. In modern usage triquetrous is pretty much universally a scientific term referring to a three-dimensional object being triangular in cross-section. That's certainly what I was taught in botany class. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:25, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
A link showing triquetrous seeds and referring to a triquetrous stem...... Paul venter (talk) 15:29, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

Your username[edit]

Hello. Would you say that widsiþ in the sense of "far-traveller" is a bahuvrihi? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 12:31, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes, I should say so (though I'm not sure if that's a particularly useful way to describe it). Ƿidsiþ 12:44, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! (that's an interesting use of the modal should you've got there, don't think I've ever encountered it) --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 14:40, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

Your mother and I[edit]

are concerned that you're getting into voodoo. Equinox 13:26, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Heh. I was in Haiti after the earthquake and I've been writing about the experience recently, which led to my reading a lot of books in that area. It was surprisingly underrepresented here! Ƿidsiþ 10:46, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Definitely, thanks for improving those entries. If you've got any Haitian video-journalism I'll watch it :) Equinox 12:20, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

The 8 stunda[edit]

Hello, I found out about the Old English word "stund". Here, you added information about some "8 stunda", old divisions of time. I got really interested in the topic, so I would like to ask: where did you find such information? about those names and periods?

not but what[edit]

Hello, do you take orders? I think we need an entry for that / that (and see also this). Thanks. Per utramque cavernam 08:44, 18 July 2018 (UTC)


I notice you've reordered the senses presumably based on a chronology of their appearance in the language or their relationship with the etymon. (Do correct me if I'm completely off the mark!) I'm not sure whether there has been any decision on the ordering of senses, but in practice there is no consistent logic. For what it's worth, I believe it's more useful for the greatest number of users to position the most current senses at the top. I'd love to know your reasoning, though. Aabull2016 (talk) 15:06, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

  • Hi. I don't agree that having "the most current senses" at the top is even practical with many words (what is the most common use of something like "set"?), but even when it is I don't think it's desirable. Historical ordering explains the sense-development of words. Consider a word like mouse. Most people now who use the word are talking about a piece of computer technology, but would it really make sense to have this as the first definition? Wouldn't that raise questions? Or consider something like bead. Although I'm not a big fan of the sub-senses here, at least the basic structure shows how the word developed. Without that, you end up with these convoluted explanations that still exist in some etymology sections which say things like "Sense three developed from a figurative use of sense seven". Like it or not, Wiktionary is a historical dictionary, and you can't have one of those without having the definitions in historical order, I think, and yes the downside is that sometimes you get common words with unfamiliar definitions right at the top. Ƿidsiþ 08:19, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
    • Thanks for your response. I do take your points, although I'm afraid I can't agree that "historical ordering" is the only logical approach. It could be argued with equal force, I think, that establishing a linear history of senses is not only problematic, but often impossible, as the etymon of an English term may already have multiple senses that come into the language more or less simultaneously (e.g. Latin prōvidēns carries the meanings of "foreseeing" and "providing," both of which are taken up in early uses of provident). Furthermore, the development of senses often tends to branch out in multiple directions rather than proceed in a single line. In practice, I don't find that Wiktionary is a historical dictionary in anything like a consistent way. I think it's perhaps more accurate to say that some contributors take that view. My own feeling is that it's important to ensure that Wiktionary entries are helpful to as wide a range of potential users as possible, and to avoid approaches that make them more opaque or challenging to a significant number of users. Aabull2016 (talk) 17:56, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
        • Yes, you're right that Wiktionary is not very consistent about this (or anything) at the moment. Another way to look at it is to consider professional dictionaries. I don't think there are any that both attempt to include all historical definitions AND do not order them chronologically – it's either one or the other. Since I read a lot of early-modern English and work on obsolete words quite often, it's clear to me why this is. And since Wiktionary does include historical senses, I think that eventually it will have to make sure senses are ordered accordingly (like the OED or similar dictionaries in other languages). Perhaps there are other ways to make more current senses "stand out" somehow though, in entries where this seems problematic. Ƿidsiþ 04:36, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
      • This is one of those irreconcilable disagreements that stem from different, but equally valid ways of looking at the same thing. I think part of the issue is that those who think of the entry as something that needs to work and make sense as a whole are more likely to prefer historical ordering, but those who are focused on serving those who just want a single definition at a time are more likely to favor putting what they see as the more sought-after definitions first. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:27, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia has many data tables you can sort by clicking a column header. We could in theory offer a view like that (along the lines of "switch to table view, order by [earliest citation date], switch back to normal view"). Otherwise as you say you can't please all of the people. Equinox 03:30, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
We don't have "earliest citation dates" for most words, nor do we have the resources to do that kind of mass research; furthermore that would be a very large layout change. I say it's best not to worry about definition ordering at this point in time- maybe in a few decades. DTLHS (talk) 03:32, 25 October 2018 (UTC)