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Welcome to the Information desk of Wiktionary, a place where newcomers can ask questions about words and about Wiktionary, ask for help, or post miscellaneous ideas that don’t fit in any of the other rooms.

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For past questions, see /Archives.

January 2015

Can prescriptivists edit here?[edit]

I’ve always had the feeling that there exists an anti‐prescriptivist sentiment here, given that this project is descriptive (neutral). But I’ve also had the impression that we all have our own agenda here, too. I, for example, mostly document Italic words on Wikcionario, and generally don’t care about the rest, because my own goal is to eventually document all Italic words, not ‘all words in all languages.’
I don’t know if I would say that I’m prescriptive about language in general, but I do know that I’m certainly quite fastidious and perfectionist towards my own usage of language. --Romanophile (talk) 10:00, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

We don't care how prescriptivist you are in your own usage, as long as your entries are written from a descriptivist POV rather than a prescriptivist one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:26, 2 January 2015 (UTC)


Is Category:de:Female a joke or should every German word which only refers to female gender be added there? If it is not a joke, then every word suffixed with -in has to be added, like Schülerin, Pastorin, Hündin. -IP, 21:31, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

It's not a joke. Schülerin and Pastorin should be in it, and Hündin should be in its subcategory Category:de:Female animals. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:47, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thank you. -IP, 21:53, 3 January 2015 (UTC)


A simple question. I recently created the article dravest. Did I state the correct tense by using {{en-archaic second-person singular of|drave}}? Thanks, Arbitrarily0 (talk) 18:49, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it looks ok. —CodeCat 00:34, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Admin userboxes[edit]

Moved to Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2015/January#Admin userboxes

why does gloss not work?[edit]

The parameter gloss= in {{past participle of}} does not work, while in {{inflection of}} it is working.


--Bigbossfarin (talk) 17:45, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

It does now. Keφr 18:01, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

What is the name for the part of speech category that includes nouns and pronouns, but not adjectives?[edit]

When including adjectives and determiners (modifiers), the term "nominal" is often used. But what term is there, if any, for just nouns and pronouns together? That is, nouns which refer to "things" on their own? —CodeCat 18:04, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

"Nouns and pronouns". Keφr 18:51, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Sounds too complex a distinction to have an everyday word. Equinox 01:25, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, in some languages adjectives can also 'refer to "things" on their own' through conversion or some other grammatical mechanism (e.g. adding the in front of the word), which is probably why "nominal" includes adjectives in the first place. So the whole distinction may be pointless. Keφr 08:29, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Page ranking curiosity[edit]

To use Google as a dictionary, one searches using the expression "define [x]". See, for example, defining blandish. After Google's own definition comes a variety of dictionary websites. Sadly, I rarely find Wiktionary among those on the first page. Perhaps Wiktionary is less known than these other dictionaries, but is there any way Wiktionary can increase its page rank?

For example, I noticed all the other main online dictionaries actually use the word "dictionary" on every page, increasing their 'searchability', whereas Wiktionary does not. PageRank seems to equate "define" with "dictionary", but not with the word "Wiktionary". Would sliding the word "dictionary" into Wiktionary's footer increase Wiktionary's page rank? More over, I know this is wistful thinking. Arbitrarily0 (talk) 23:54, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

There may be something of the kind, but is it the presence of the word dictionary or something else? An example: when I google intrinsèque, the fr.wikt entry is the 1st hit. When I google define:intrinsèque, it is 2nd (after a dictionary, and before other dictionaries). What I understand is that Google understands that we are a dictionary, but that Google considers that some other dictionaries are more popular. I don't know why. Lmaltier (talk) 08:43, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Active Macedonian Wiktionary Contributors[edit]

Hi I am inquiring as to wether there are any active Macedonian wiktionary contributors, I would like to get in contact so that I can assist in editing or contributing. —This unsigned comment was added by Davski (talkcontribs) at 12:46, 11 January 2015 (UTC).

User:Martin123xyz has done a lot of work recently on Macedonian, but I don't know if they are still active. I've helped make some templates, but I didn't work on the entries themselves. —CodeCat 13:03, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

How to deal with variables[edit]

There are two new Javanese entries that use "N" as a stand-in for some unspecified nasal consonant: ambranang and mapag.

The problem is that they're redlinking to prefixes spelled with this variable, which seems like a very bad idea. Recognizing the problem is one thing, but figuring out what to do with it is another, entirely.

Suggestions? Chuck Entz (talk) 04:37, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

I don’t think it’s problem if we link to the form the word is actually using. We have both Category:English words prefixed with in- and Category:English words prefixed with im-, and Category:English words suffixed with -ization and Category:English words suffixed with -isation. — Ungoliant (falai) 04:49, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't really agree with that approach. Clearly, in- is not a different suffix from im-, they are allomorphs. To categorise them separately doesn't make much sense. I would prefer it if one allomorph were chosen as the main form, and the others treated as forms of it. —CodeCat 23:46, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Bosnian Wiktionary[edit]

Why on earth is there a Bosnian Wiktionary? Isn't that just a dialect of Serbo-Croatian. I'm sure the project, along with its sister project the Bosnian Wikipedia, probably wouldn't ever get deleted, even if I brought it up somewhere, but I would be one to vote for its deletion. NativeCat drop by and say Hi! 23:10, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

The thing is, not everyone thinks Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian are the same language. — Ungoliant (falai) 23:13, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
It's been the source of pretty fiery debate in the past (that is, Serbo-Croatian on the English Wiktionary). However, most of the people involved in those debates aren't active right now. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:15, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Four languages-ish[edit]

I speak four languages but noticed that the more efficient I become in one language, the more I start to forget the other three langauges. Has anyone else had that experience? 11:38, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I've noticed it with my sister (English natively; French and German from high school; some Chinese, Japanese and Russian thereafter). She moved to France years ago and speaks relatively little English now, and even though it's her native language she now sometimes says odd-sounding things or forgets the term for something. Equinox 15:28, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
It happens all the time. I spent years living in France, and spoke fluently. Now I have to deal with three languages on a daily basis - English, Spanish and Catalan - and my French is awful now, and my English is definitely suffering. --Type56op9 (talk) 12:12, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


I've always had the perception that dictionary editors have a higher I.Q. than average since many neuropsychological assessment abilities are required. For example you need to have an extensive memory, a deep understanding, conceptualization etc. Do you guys think you have a higher I.Q. than average? 13:26, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Question about Translation Request[edit]

Do any of the translators translate any fictional languages like Gallifreyan?

  • Only our fictional translators do that. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:58, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

What are Some examples of Spanish slang?[edit]

I know spanish fairly well but others have told me that if I speak it to a native speaker they would not understand me that well.

You can find plenty of examples at Category:Spanish slang. --Tropylium (talk) 10:14, 26 January 2015 (UTC)


(first of all, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post a question like this, but here it goes anyway...) I've encountered the word "bold-blooded" in a a work of fiction, an I'm curious if anyone can give me a synonym or meaning. It is a bit self-explanatory but I would like a confirmation from a native speaker (which I am not)...

I suppose it means bold, but with an implication that the boldness is "in the person's blood", i.e. an intrinsic part of their character. Equinox 18:53, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like a pun on cold-blooded. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:01, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

try all[edit]

in latin would try all be conormini or conor omni please explain

It can't be translated without context; there are simply too many unknown variables. Can you give a complete sentence? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:39, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

mugged by reality[edit]

I don’t really know what this expression means. My best guess is that being mugged by reality means that you stopped being fantastic and deluded and instead perceived things for what they really are. I guess that the things being stolen are you delusions (for whatever purpose). It’s confusing because I find it rare to encounter somebody willing to concede that somebody can be progressive and still be ‘correct.’ --Romanophile (talk) 14:51, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I agree with your guess. It seems to come from Irving Kristol's remark that a neo-conservative is "a liberal who has been mugged by reality". Equinox 20:56, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I am a novice and need some help with a minor correction of my recent edit.[edit]

Just did my first edit ever, adding a fifth definition for "laydown." I tried to just duplicate the format from the other defs. Anyway, the definition part went fine but the quotation ("The most important...") needs fixing as it starts with the word "most" instead of "The" and the result sticks on "passage=The" with the website link to the quotation. Please someone fix it for me or tell me how. I appreciate anyone's assistance.

By the way "laydown" is a very common fishing term that is not in any dictionary that I could find on line. —This unsigned comment was added by RGOLD3000 (talkcontribs) at 00:56, 28 January 2015 (UTC).

(at [[laydown]]: diff)

RGOLD3000: First, you forgot the closing curlies: }}. Second, we have no {{quote-article}}; I switched that to {{quote-news}}. I have to ask you, though: what kind of publication is this? We generally do not accept blogs as attestation. Can you find something printed? Keφr 15:24, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you so much, Kephir! It is a well-known on-line magazine that has also a print counterpart (Bassmaster Magazine). And it was indeed an article that can be considered a news article. Also laydown is a well-known noun in freshwater fishing. I appreciate your help! —This unsigned comment was added by RGOLD3000 (talkcontribs) at 15:53, 28 January 2015 (UTC).

You are welcome. Please remember to sign your posts with ~~~~. Keφr 19:42, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

February 2015


is "oop a day" related to "whoops a daisy" ?

beware of Greeks bearing gifts[edit]

Do people consider this proverb offensive? It just seems like this could easily be felt as xenophobic if interpreted literally. --Romanophile (talk) 01:04, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

judgmentalism vs. judgmentality[edit]


Apparently I have coined the term "judgmentality" which to me is superior to judgmentalism for the idea connoted. Rationale: The "ism" ending is generally used to indicate an "ism", i.e., a system of beliefs as in communism, capitalism, atheism, socialism, etc. Whereas, just as mentality is the outgrowth from mental(as opposed to "mentalism"), "judgmentality" should be the logical evolution from judgmental.

I facetiously noted that "apparently I have coined the term" only because I have spent a half hour searching and cannot find the word "judgmentality" recognized anywhere in my internet searches.

Your response would be greatly apprecialted.

William Mitchell,

We're interested in words that are already in use for more than a year by multiple authors. In this case, judgmentality gets over 300 hits on Google Books (including about 50 for non-judgmentality), so you weren't the only person to coin this term, and we could probably include it. Someone would have to look and see if the way it's used in those books corresponds to your proposed meaning, though. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:56, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Dull pain[edit]

I hope this is the right place for this... in dull, I can't find a definition that can explain the sentence "dull pain" -- 16:20, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

  • It is an extension of sense #1 - but I've added a separate sense to make this clear. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:27, 7 February 2015 (UTC)


Template:suffix categorises words into Category:German words suffixed with -ismus, while there's Category:German nouns ending in "-ismus". That's irritating and kind of redundant. So please improve this. -10:55, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Is it a contraction if only the space between two words is omitted?[edit]

In Dutch, the combination de zelfde (the same) is written as one word, dezelfde (literally thesame). Would this be considered a contraction in the sense of {{contraction of}} and Category:Dutch contractions? Or what else is it called? —CodeCat 15:04, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

The closest English parallel I can think of is cannot, which we simply call a verb, not a contraction (the contraction being can't). German does the same thing with derselbe, which we call a pronoun (though I'd say it's a determiner), not a contraction. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:29, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't seem like a good idea to duplicate the definition of zelfde on each page, though. So I wanted to have a definition that simply says "(something) of de zelfde", because that's what it is. Of course that means knowing what form and part of speech it is, contraction is the only thing that came to mind. —CodeCat 16:52, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
How about "synonym of" in the sense line — and put the details of its compound construction in the etymology? Equinox 16:55, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
The problem there is that the word is never actually written separate, I think that's actually nonstandard. So it's not a synonym in the sense that de zelfde doesn't actually exist in that spelling. When people say "de zelfde" they just write "dezelfde" in all cases. —CodeCat 17:04, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
"On each page"? How many pages are we talking about? Why not just call dezelfde a determiner that means "[[the]] [[same]]"? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:12, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
The forms that are written without space are listed at zelfde. The difficulty is that you essentially end up repeating the meaning of both words over and over. For diezelfde you'd end up with something like "that same (distal; masculine, feminine or plural)". These combined forms are not really idiomatic, they wouldn't be if they were written as two words. So I really just want a minimal definition that says which words. —CodeCat 17:16, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, cannot wouldn't be idiomatic if it were written as two words either, but it isn't (at least not with the relevant meaning), so we list it and give it a full definition. The only difference is that cannot is just a single form, while dezelfde is (if the list you linked to is exhaustive) one of six forms. If you balk at listing very similar definitions six times (which doesn't seem excessive to me, but maybe it does to you), you could call the others pseudo-inflected forms of dezelfde, e.g. by defining diezelfde as "{{form of|masculine, feminine or plural distal|dezelfde|lang=nl}}". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:30, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
You have to keep in mind that there are other forms with zelfde that are written separately, like ieder zelfde (every like), geen zelfde (no like), zo'n zelfde (same such a) etc. dezelfde just fits into that pattern, the lack of a space is merely a spelling exception. —CodeCat 18:01, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
So? We don't have entries for SOP phrases written with a space; we have an entry for cannot only because it's written together, but we don't have entries for parallel constructions written separately like could not, may not, would not, ought not, etc. (We have must not because its scope is unexpected.) For Dutch we only have to worry about the ones that are written together, not the ones that are written separately. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:33, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Display definitions of English words only[edit]

I would like to have Wiktionary only display definitions of English words. I have searched and searched and find no way to make it do that.

It is possible and, if so, how do I get only English words displayed.

For example, when I search for "levantase" I would like to get NO RESULTS because it is not a valid ENGLISH word. (Of course, possible also is that no one has entered it's definition.)

There is a table of contents at the beginning of each page. Just click on English, and don't look at possible additional sections. And a suggestion: if you don't want to find results for a word, don't search for this word. Lmaltier (talk) 20:56, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
It's not possible, because we use a system that was designed for the needs of an encyclopedia, not a dictionary. The best you can do is to add "English" after your search string (i.e. levantase English). This won't directly find your entry, but the list of results further down on the page will contain terms that have both your search term and the word "English" somewhere on the page. Since the vast majority of occurrences of "English" are in English entries, and there should be no English entries without the word "English" in them, it will eliminate most (not all) of the non-English results, and give you all of the English ones. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:04, 18 February 2015 (UTC)


Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t anthropology technically a branch of primatology? --Romanophile (talk) 15:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

How to structure fire philosopher, philosopher by fire, and similar[edit]

I created the entry and citations pages for fire philosopher and fire philosophers. I want to add the alternate forms: philosopher by fire, philosophers by fire, philosophers of fire, and philosophers of fire. Should the citations be located on the fire philosopher citations page under a combined subheading for each singular and plural combination? Should I use {{alternative form of}} or {{alternative name of}} to relate these? Should I create {{alternative case form of}} pages for each? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 20:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I think you should {{synonym of|...}}, as an "alternative form" is usually something closer in form, like a variant spelling. Citations should go on the appropriate citations page, though, i.e. don't put "philosopher of fire" on the citation page for "fire philosopher". Thanks! Equinox 21:01, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

March 2015

Please translate Latin to English[edit]


Non est forum translationum. Wiktionary:Translation requests quaeris. —CodeCat 20:09, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

What to do when I accidently entered something in upper case[edit]

I added a new entry ("Monthly meeting") which really should be lower case ("monthly meeting"). I don't know how to fix this blunder now that it has been saved. Kiwima (talk) 02:41, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

You need to move the entry to the lower-case spelling. The menu option for doing that tends to be hidden in a menu labeled something meaningless like "More", but you should have it somewhere.
This will leave a redirect behind, which we try to avoid in most cases, but you can add a {{delete}} template to the redirect page to bring it to our attention, and an admin will delete it. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:59, 2 March 2015 (UTC)


How do you guys type all of these characters of various languages? Are you using a software or the your windows input? Im just curious.

Windows allows you to set up your keyboard to input alternative "alphabets" from the standard keyboard (In Windows 8 - Control panel/Clock, language and Region/Language/Change input methods). So for example I can move from the "Roman alphabet" to the «ελληνικό αλφάβητο» (Greek) at the touch of a key.   — Saltmarshσυζήτηση-talk 21:55, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
There are other ways, too. There's a box below the text box when you're editing a page that allows you to click to insert special characters. I also use the Windows Character Map utility; for IPA I use the Transliterator add-on for Firefox, and for Burmese I use a Myanmar character picker. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:22, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Translation Request[edit]

Hi, I don't mean to be a bother but is the translation request page being monitored? I've put In two sentences in latin a few days ago and it has yet to be translated. Could someone check that? Thanks!.

You could be a bit more patient and less demanding? Nobody here has to translate it if they don't want to. —CodeCat 13:38, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Do we have a context label for sectarian slurs?[edit]

The IP Formerly Known As Pass A Method added rafidah, which is very rare in English, but does seem to have some usage among English-speaking Sunni Muslims as a sectarian slur against Shiites. I thought it would be a good idea to use a context label to indicate this highly-restricted context, but I couldn't think of any. We do have "ethnic slur", but religious differences aren't necessarily ethnic ones. I'm sure we can find lots of terms to use this on, though papist, heathen and Islamofascist are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:54, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

We can go with sectarian slur or religious slur (more common). — Ungoliant (falai) 13:43, 4 March 2015 (UTC)


I would like to know how to cite the information that I need to use for a research paper. The information I found is on sugar.

{{senseid}} string[edit]

I added {{senseid|en|pathology}} in theism.

I added {{l/en|theism#English-pathology|theism}} in theaism and in theinism.

When I click the links in theaism and in theinism, I get taken to the top of the theism page.

Should it scroll down the page to the actual sense or stay at the top of the page? Should I just craft a bare link? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:39, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Use {{l|en|theism|id=pathology}}: theism. —CodeCat 17:12, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
That makes sense. I couldn't find that in the documentation. TVM. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:21, 22 March 2015 (UTC)