Wiktionary:Tea room

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Wiktionary > Discussion rooms > Tea room

WT:TR redirects here. For Translation requests, see Wiktionary:Translation requests. For guidelines on translations, see Wiktionary:Translations
Tea house party in Japan (not tea ceremony)-J. M. W. Silver.jpg

A place to ask for help on finding quotations, etymologies, or other information about particular words. The Tea room is named to accompany the Beer parlour.

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

Tea room archives edit

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

Oldest tagged RFTs


May 2017

Two issues with de[edit]

Just found the de entry and browsed through most of it. I noticed two things:

  1. If the link is to the article titled w:African American Vernacular English, why on earth would the link only be in the first three words, i.e. like "African American Vernacular English", instead of "African American Vernacular English"? This is a template problem, so I couldn't fix that for myself.
  2. What is "Balaang Bata sa Sugbo" doing as a usage example for Cebuano "de"? I mean, OK, it's a synonym of "Santo Niño de Cebú", but why put a double Cebuano version?

MGorrone (talk) 10:56, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

NOTE: The above-mentioned template is "{ {pronunciation spelling|the|from=AAVE|lang=en} }", which results in Pronunciation spelling of the, representing African American Vernacular English..

MGorrone (talk) 11:52, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

I think the AAVE template is fine as is. I agree that the Cebuano usage example in question was flawed, and have removed it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:18, 3 May 2017 (UTC)


la @Angr The Wikipedia article w:ga:Luchóg is about the computer mouse, while our entry is about the animal. Is one of these two incorrect? Also, if it does refer to the animal, it's not explained how it differs in meaning from luch. —CodeCat 18:44, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

If [1] is accurate, both terms refer to both senses. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:13, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Jaffa orange[edit]

Recent additions to this entry by an anon have pushed it into the realm of POV. Personally, I had no issues with the initial definition, however, I guess that recent additions don't stray too far off from historical correctness. With that said, the subject is touchy for some and I just want to figure out if the changes should be reverted, kept as they are, or, if they should be modified. The Jaffa orange is undeniably connected to the Israeli export industry, so we should mention that somewhere, shouldn't we? --Robbie SWE (talk) 08:32, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

  • No, we're a dictionary, not an encyclopedia. I've removed all mention of both Israel and Palestine and just defined the variety of orange as what it is, and mentioned the city in the etymology section. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:05, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
@Angr I see what you mean and I agree in principle — we're a dictionary and as such, shouldn't accept encyclopedic material. Thank you for amending the entry! --Robbie SWE (talk) 09:37, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

syncronization is proscribed or misspelled?[edit]

Given that syncronize is documented as proscribed, then what is syncronization: proscribed or misspelled? Cœur (talk) 16:29, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

You can only talk about these things in the context of the text in which they appear. A given usage could theoretically be either be a misspelling, or an intentional spelling (which would be proscribed). Now all we need to do is figure out whether it's common for people to intentionally spell it that way. --WikiTiki89 16:55, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
oh well, someone changed syncronize to misspelled, so I'll assume syncronization is misspelled too. Cœur (talk) 12:55, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

whiz kid[edit]

Can this also be spelt "wiz kid"? Tharthan (talk) 17:32, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Seems not impossible, but it looks wrong to me. Ƿidsiþ 14:22, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Definitely! "Whiz" and "wiz" are identical according to Grammarist. Perrytech 15:15, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
It seems that the original spelling was with wh-, compare here and here. The spelling wiz kid looks suspiciously like an old eggcorn, as whiz (both in whiz kid and standalone) may never originally have been derived from wizard, but was later interpreted that way, so that we may have an orthographical folk etymology here. People who still distinguish wh from w in pronunciation may still keep whiz (kid) apart from wizard. The spelling wiz kid is judged an eggcorn here. However, there is still uncertainty surrounding the etymology, so that it is not a clear case. ---Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:23, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

pluralia tanta[edit]

As I just found out, pluralia tanta as the plural of plurale tantum is bad Latin. Tantum in this case is adverbial, and if tantus is used as an adjective, it results in the nonsensical "plurals so great". Is it common to the point where it needs to be mentioned at all, or should the entry just be deleted? Esszet (talk) 20:14, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

@Esszet: We don't delete words that are actually used just because we don't like them. Please see WT:CFI. However, it is appropriate to mark this form as nonstandard, which I have done. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:16, 3 May 2017 (UTC)


Is this the singular as well as the plural form? Urial uses "arkars" as the singular. I found one hit for the singular "arkar" but that might be a mistake. DTLHS (talk) 23:34, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Chinese potential complements examples[edit]

@Wyang, Justinrleung, Suzukaze-c, Tooironic Are any of these worth including: 稱得上称得上 (chēngdeshàng), 說得上说得上, 用得上, 數得上数得上, 犯得上 (fàndeshàng)? We already have 比得上 (bǐdeshàng) and 比不上 (bǐbùshàng).

What about 得上, as a suffix? We have 不上 (bùshàng). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:20, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Yeah, I think they are okay. Wyang (talk) 05:46, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

meet (English adjective): merging suggestion[edit]

There are two sections for the adjective, and they seem to describe the same sense, so they should be merged. --Anareth (talk) 07:33, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Yes check.svg Done; and some other cleanup as well. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:07, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

far right[edit]

The translations for this currently soft-redirect to ultraright. But in my experience, "far right" is the more usual term in English (assuming they actually mean the same thing, which I'm not sure about..) and I believe the translations should appear at this page. Ƿidsiþ 14:21, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

I agree. I don't recall ever seeing/hearing the term ultraright, to be honest (although I probably have at some point...). To me it sounds even more right than far right—closer to alt-right (although I might be splitting hairs at this point). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:10, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I too do not recall ever seeing or hearing the term ultraright. Tharthan (talk) 19:49, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Unlike German ultrarechts, which I occasionally encounter, ultraright is unfamiliar to me – it must be very rare. I note there are no citations. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:56, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Widespread typo - bot fix please?[edit]

A large number of entries refer to a dictionary published by "Oglivie", but it should be "Ogilvie" [2]. Is this an easy fix for someone? Equinox 17:51, 4 May 2017 (UTC)


Regarding the usage notes...

The derivative "childrearing" sees use in American English (at least in some of the dialects of American English that I know of), and anecdotally I can attest to having seen or heard the use of either definition one or two before.

I'm wondering whether or not we ought to add the former fact to the usage notes. I'm willing to defer to someone who knows more about this, however. Tharthan (talk) 22:24, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks to -sche for rewording the usage notes. Tharthan (talk) 14:08, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, I reworded the mini-notes that were placed after the first two senses. Regarding the Usage notes section, it would be good to get references for the claims. - -sche (discuss) 16:53, 6 May 2017 (UTC)


Two different Ancient Greek translations for the town- are they both correct? DTLHS (talk) 01:42, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes, and no. Yes, there are two Ancient Greek names for the place, but no, they weren't both correct (one was misspelled). I removed the translation for the province (now a "Metropolitan City") because I believe only the city goes back to Ancient Greek times (feel free to put it back if I'm mistaken). Chuck Entz (talk) 02:54, 6 May 2017 (UTC)


How can i move the nearly nonexistent vandalieren to the much more common vandalisieren? "Ngrams not found: vandaliert, vandalieren" --Espoo (talk) 06:20, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

You would treat vandalieren similar to acceptible#English. Just decide what vandalieren is... dated, alternative form, misspelling, colloquial, or what. —Stephen (Talk) 06:31, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
I've moved the main entry to vandalisieren and labeled vandalieren "rare". That can be altered as necessary. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:05, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I've weakened the label to "uncommon": vandalieren seems to get ~3/5 as many hits as vandalisieren, and vandaliert gets about 1/6 as many as vandalisiert (when I page through to see how many hits there are, because Google's estimates are often off), which strikes me as too high a portion to be "rare". The -is- spelling is not that common itself, which may explain why neither spelling is in the dictionaries I just made a quick check of even though both have been in use for over a century continuing to the present day. - -sche (discuss) 07:45, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
As i already wrote Ngrams not found: vandalieren, vandaliert. Google hit results are not reliable indicators of frequency even if you page thru them and even if you remove as many dictionary sites as possible, almost all of which copy the nonsense we had here on Wiktionary. Although Ngram Viewer only records use in print, it gives a clear indication that vandalieren is much rarer in speech too and much rarer than 3/5 of the frequency of vandalisieren. --Espoo (talk) 10:08, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

there is a new sheriff in town[edit]

I created this article yesterday, but I feel that there is something wanting in the definition that I gave. Would someone mind rewording the definition so that it sounds better? I tried my best to give a good definition, but I don't really like what I ended up putting down. The etymology wording is also a bit shaky, I feel. Tharthan (talk) 14:56, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

This expression is one of the uses of new sheriff in town, which is also used (bare) as a title of books, chapters, articles, etc. and with other determiners. I would define it a a noun, keep the current headword as a hard redirect. DCDuring (talk) 16:50, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
There is a new sheriff in town, as the most common use (by far), deserves to be in a usage example as well. DCDuring (talk) 16:52, 6 May 2017 (UTC)


An IP inserted material from another website here a short while ago. Could someone sort out the wheat from the chaff in the contribution? Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 17:49, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

hərf has screwed templates[edit]

Just stumbled upon hərf, and those inflected forms seem to stem from a misprogrammed or misused template. The code currently reads { {az-noun} } and produces Tea room (definite accusative ?, plural ?) (without the "Tea Room/May" stuff). Anyone fix that? What is it, missing parameters not provided to the template?

MGorrone (talk) 19:05, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

@MGorrone: Yeah, the problem is missing parameters. Looking at the code, you have to add |def-acc= or |1= to produce an accusative form, and |2= or |pl= or |plural= to produce a plural form. |1= and |2= are the definite accusative and plural endings, whereas the other parameters are the entire definite accusative or plural forms. I've changed the template code so that the forms will be omitted if nobody has provided them. Now, the headword just shows hərf. — Eru·tuon 19:16, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
@Erutuon: just found another template with the same problem: a template for Turkmen used at gar. Can you fix that too?
MGorrone (talk) 20:43, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
I did my best, though I'm not sure how to make the "uncountable" thing work. — Eru·tuon 21:05, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Figured it out... I think. But there are currently no Turkmen uncountable nouns. — Eru·tuon 21:14, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
That's what you get for naming an entry "hərf", obviously. —CodeCat 21:09, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of majorant[edit]

I just looked up majorant to see IPA and found none. I googled, and found this, which has what sounds like /'mæ.dʒɔ.ɹənt/, /mə:'dʒɔ.ɹənt/ and /'meɪ.dʒəˌɹæənt/ to my ears, this which also has /'meɪ.dʒəˌɹæənt/, then this, which sounds like /'meɪ.dʒɔ.rənt/, this, which has explicit IPA as /ˈmeɪdʒər(ə)nt/, and then I got fed up of looking :). I do not know how to classify these pronunciations, nor if there are nonstandard ones, so could someone read these and put them into the article with appropriate classification (and perhaps narrower IPA)?

MGorrone (talk) 13:19, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

Based on Stack Exchange answers, I'll go ahead and add /'meɪdʒərənt/ to the entry. MGorrone (talk) 10:27, 15 May 2017 (UTC)


There is no entry for the adjective. DonnanZ (talk) 09:16, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

main page[edit]

Why don't we provide a definition of this term on Wiktionary? All I'm getting at the moment is a redirect to Wiktionary's main page. ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:53, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Is it though? Is our main page really our principal, or most important page? It's just synonymous with home page, I would think. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 16:09, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

He who pays the piper[edit]

1. Note lack of supporting documentation. 2. Entry as of 8 May 2017 may be correct as to current majority (but not universal) view. See in particular https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/classics/cucd/atkins.html#n6 (although is 2003 ancient history?). Nonetheless I agree with her that as late as the 1970s "calls the tune" and "chooses the tune" were synonymous and "tells the piper how to solo" was not involved. "Has control" in the entry is almost certainly an overreach, in my opinion. 3. Note further than in the Earl of Chesterfield's letters control is certainly not indicated, so the usage is changing over time. 'The other powers cannot well dance, when neither France nor the maritime powers can, as they used to do, pay the piper.'[1] 4. The reason this is relevant to me is because of (brand name) internet search, and I had to check accuracy of a reference. Well, now I have to fix a Wiktionary entry (unless someone whose specialty this is gets to it before I do). Is there a way to set a tickler from this website or do I have to do it from my own calendar? Sighthndman (talk) 20:52, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Letters written by the late right honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, to his son Philip Stanhope esq., 25 December 1753.


When you say "I'm good at ...ing", or similar with some other adjective, which sense of at is being used? Do we even have that sense? It's certainly worth a translation table because in Dutch you'd actually use in for this construction, with the infinitive. —CodeCat 20:58, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

The final sense? ("regarding"). We have a similar sense at in: "Pertaining to (that particular thing). He has passed in English." Equinox 21:01, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
It didn't immediately occur to me to consider it as belonging to that sense, especially because it uses "subject" and "skill". You can be good at running, sleeping, even falling flat on your face. —CodeCat 21:20, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that sense needs a bit of improvement. (I've moved the sense slightly, it is now second-to-last with the dialectal Irish sense last.) On the whole, unlike some other basic words, we cover this one with more senses that other dictionaries (including considerably more senses than Century), and they all seem appropriate; go us! Interestingly, Meriam-Webster considers both "at work" and "good at chess" to be examples of their "occupied [in]" sense, which seems wrong (you're actively working when you're "hard at work", but a chess grandmaster can be "good at chess" even if she's currently just driving into town listening to music). The only senses we seem to be missing are the use of at instead of to as the particle before an infinitive verb (a use which may not be attested in modern English), and possibly a sense to cover "at her best", "at his worst", etc, which some dictionaries have a separate sense for (one lumps them, oddly, with "at cost"). - -sche (discuss) 22:25, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Reflective thing[edit]

What do we call these in English: 1, 2, 3? In Switzerland (where they're called Leuchtbändel) all the kids wear them. Would we say a reflector? Reflective ribbon? Ƿidsiþ 11:00, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

I'd call it some sort of hi-vis thingy. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 11:08, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
It's a hi-vis garment of sorts, without covering the whole torso. I haven't seen them around here in a well-lit suburban area, but they may be more necessary on rural roads. DonnanZ (talk) 11:50, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
This page calls it a "high visibility reflective triangle sash tabard v-vest", which doesn't exactly trip off the tongue. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:01, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
That would do for a translation, it's descriptive enough. No doubt the name will be shortened if they come into use in English-speaking countries. DonnanZ (talk) 12:13, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
It looks like a kind of (children's/child's/kid's/kid) reflective safety vest. There is a similar thing called a reflective safety harness. DCDuring (talk) 16:11, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Well spotted, Angr! Thanks all, I guess we don't really have a convenient term in English. Ƿidsiþ 16:25, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

is dropable really US spelling?[edit]

Hello. Considering droped and droping have no entries, I currently see them as misspellings (of dropped and dropping). But dropable, despite being highlighted as wrong by my spellchecker, has an entry on the Wiktionary as US spelling. Is that correct? In that case, should I conclude that US spelling is likely versatile and inconsistent among variations of words? Note that dragable doesn't exist either, despite the common formula of drag and drop. Cœur (talk) 14:53, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

No, this is clearly a misspelling. Benwing2 (talk) 15:14, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
I disagree. A Google Books search finds many (US-specific, often US government) documents using the spelling consistently, written by authors with English-language-sounding names. Equinox 15:19, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
The double p in inflected forms of the verb doesn't have strong implications for terms derived from the verb IMO. DCDuring (talk) 16:31, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it occurs once for every 16 droppables in American English, whereas it's too rare to track in British English. How about this? (Using "American spelling" rather than "US" to put it into categories for spellings rather than dialectal words, per this point.) - -sche (discuss) 17:06, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

double casement window?[edit]

I know what a 'double-glazed' window is and I gather if instead you have two separate frames for a sash window, it's called 'double-hung', but what do you call it if you have two separate frames for a casement window as on this picture? Or are they not seen in Anglophone countries? (I've never seen a sash window here and wouldn't know if it has a Czech word for it, so I could accept the same applies for this kind elsewhere.) --Droigheann (talk) 15:37, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Usage of double casement window seems limited to window units that have a left and right casement windows, almost always opening outward. The one instance at Google Books that I found of a use of double casement window to describe a window like the one in the image you provided was in a book edited by a Austrian ecological construction institute (IBO) published in 2017. DCDuring (talk) 16:29, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Pirahã hoi[edit]

I know Pirahã is supposed to have weird quantifiers, but I suspect there's some mistake when hoi is glossed as both "some (more than a few)" and "a few (less than some)". Should these differ by tone, perhaps? -- 16:21, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

The senses were added all the way back in 2006. According to Everett and Frank, leading scholars of the language, the distinction is as you guessed, a tone-based distinction between hói "relatively small quantity" and hoí "relatively large quantity". - -sche (discuss) 16:47, 9 May 2017 (UTC)


Can this word refer to behaviour as well as language? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:38, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes. Leasnam (talk) 18:45, 11 May 2017 (UTC)


An IP user,, who has been working on letter entries and alphabet templates, added L·L. Is it considered a letter? I know @Vriullop speaks Catalan and may be able to answer. If not, perhaps it's a digraph or trigraph; but I am not sure if such things get to have entries. — Eru·tuon 06:24, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

It is not a letter in the Catalan alphabet. Strictly it is not a digraph as it does not represent a single phoneme. It is a modified digraph with a diacritic sign. Generally it is handled as other modified letters (à, ç, ...) It is not incorrect at all to include it in brackets or by other means as other modified letters. See ca:Template:alfabet/ca. --Vriullop (talk) 07:02, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
@Vriullop: Thank you for the clarification and for cleaning up the entry! — Eru·tuon 20:14, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
@Vriullop, Erutuon Like any other entry for a digraph, it runs into the problem of capitalisation. Capitalising a single letter is easy, but when there's several letters, do you capitalise both, or just the first? And could l·L theoretically exist, in some weird kind of typesetting? —CodeCat 21:13, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
@CodeCat It is explained at ela geminada, no titlecase form as it never occurs at the begining of a word. It is usually lowercase, or both uppercase for a whole word in uppercase. Maybe L·L could be simply a redirect to l·l, or other combinations for other digraphs. I can not remember a sophisticated typography alternating l·L, but often it can be found (incorrectly) with multiple variations of the midpoint l.l, l-l, l•l... In printed books with accurate typography it is writen with two keystrokes ŀl, using U+0140, instead of three keystrokes, both accepted. --Vriullop (talk) 22:00, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
@Vriullop: Actually L·L might occur in words written in all capitals. It's *L·l that should never exist. — Eru·tuon 22:45, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Right, but I understand the concern of CodeCat. There are no entries for all capitals, it is not a different codification nor a different lexical meaning. With a quick special:search of "digraph" I can only find CH and LL with three case forms but Esperanto digraphs are only in lowercase. Probably it needs a discussion. As for Catalan I think it is appropiate l·l, and its redirect from ŀl, but I am indifferent about all capitals. --Vriullop (talk) 06:41, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
@Vriullop: Well, I think the lack of mixed-case and upper-case forms is simply incompleteness; there's no rule against including them. {{mul-letter}} shows both "mixed case" and "upper case" already. See, for instance, dz and DZ. — Eru·tuon 16:33, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

prime the pump[edit]

See no page for "prime the pump." Assuming that's because Trump just invented the phrase. Hyperbolick (talk) 20:10, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

It is the first of the definitions under prime#Verb and probably doesn't need any more entries. --LA2 (talk) 21:14, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
That's not the idiomatic sense, however. Added. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:20, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
The "definition" in question would relate to the explanatory metaphor for how deficit spending was a remedy for an economic downturn that didn't have to be continued. It dates from the 1930s AFAICK. See w:priming the pump, which redirects to w:Stimulus (economics). DCDuring (talk) 12:33, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, there was a "Pump Priming Act" in 1938, so the metaphor dates at least that far back. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:37, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

a while and awhile[edit]

I have always just used "a while" and I don't recall ever using "awhile" at all. To be more clear, I don't say things like "can you stay awhile?" I would always say "can you stay for a while?" But I would say "this might take a while". Is there anything grammatically or otherwise wrong with this? Tharthan (talk) 21:28, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

There's nothing wrong with what you say, IMO, but the adverb awhile is also normal. DCDuring (talk) 01:23, 12 May 2017 (UTC)


The page on you'd've describes it as informal, but is it actually grammatically incorrect? Thanks, 00:40, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

If it isn't, it is at least very colloquial in its usage. But I guess if we can have abbreviations like bo's'n and fo'c's'le, we can have you'd've. Tharthan (talk) 02:08, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I would say the grammar isn't wrong/incorrect, but in many situations the register would be wrong/inappropriate, for which reason the use of the form could be seen as an error. - -sche (discuss) 04:58, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Nothing ungrammatical about it IMO. How does it violate grammar? Equinox 17:59, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I say this constantly, as well as you'dn't've and y'all'd've. It is very informal in register, but certainly not ungrammatical in Southern English. —JohnC5 18:09, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Southern American English you mean. Southern English has a very different meaning. Also, you say you'dn't've? I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that in my life; I have at least heard you'd've in speech before. I assume that you'dn't've and that other one you mentioned must be largely confined to subdialects of Southern American English. Tharthan (talk) 18:28, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree, perfectly standard in spoken English. I wouldn't use it in writing, though, not even informal writing. Same with y'all'd've. I'd say them this way, but I'd spell them "you'd have" and "y'all'd have" no matter how casual my writing was. I don't think I'd ever say you'dn't've, though. Even in rapid speech it would come out [jəˈwʊdn̩əv] with an uncontracted would. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:31, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I say you'd've, but not you'dn't've or y'all'd've. I can't recall hearing you'dn't've before. I must not be very exposed to Southern American English. — Eru·tuon 19:15, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

maths in French[edit]

Can some French-speaking contributor improve the definition of maths in French? The description of this noun is very poor. And while at it, can somebody tranlate "Ce type-là, c'est une tronche en maths." from tronche in English? --KoreanQuoter (talk) 15:19, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Done. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:51, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic *langaz: from *dl̥h₁gʰós, from dluh₂gʰó- or from *longʰo-?[edit]

  1. The article about Proto-Germanic reconstructed *langaz says it comes «from Proto-Indo-European *dl̥h₁gʰós (long);
  2. The article about lang#Danish traces it to *langaz, which, it says, is «from Proto-Indo-European *dluh₂gʰó- (long)»;
  3. The same article, in the lang#Old English section, traces Old English lang back to the same *langaz, and then back to Proto-Indo-European *longʰo- (long);
  4. lang#Scots agrees with the *dl̥h₁gʰós (long) origin, as do langur#Faroese and lang#Icelandic;
  5. The article about *dl̥h₁gʰós (long) does not show *langaz as a derivative, but rather *tulguz, a separate word;
  6. *dluh₂gʰó- (long) and *longʰo- (long) presently have no articles.

So who is right? Is it the same root reconstructed differently by different authors and/or in different times? Is it different forms of a single PIE word? If the latter, what is the main form, and shouldn't the various forms be added to the main article along with their derivatives, as happens with *dʰeh₁(y)- (suckle)?

MGorrone (talk) 16:00, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

*dl̥h₁gʰ- would indeed give *tulg- so any attempts to connect *langaz to it are mistaken. —CodeCat 16:09, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Couldn't Proto-Germanic *langaz be a loanword from Latin longus? Is there any other way to get it into the *dl̥h₁gʰós family? Especially considering the expected *tulguz also exists. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:37, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Both the Germanic and the Latin require an o-grade, and an explanation for the -n-. The Latin outcome of *dl̥h₁gʰ- would be *lāh-; compare lātus from *tl̥h₂t-. —CodeCat 18:44, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Given the closeness of d and l, is there a possibility that there might be a PIE variant with the two merged? Chuck Entz (talk) 18:50, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
In Latin the d would be lost, so in theory longus could come from *dlongʰos too. But that leaves the n unexplained. I don't know what would happen in Germanic, but I suspect it would be the same as no dl- or tl- clusters are found anywhere in Germanic. —CodeCat 18:54, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
It's a pity there's no Celtic cognate, since Celtic preserves dl-. But maybe there is: some scholars believe that Old Irish long/Welsh llong (ship) is not a loanword from Latin at all, but a native Celtic word of unknown etymology. What if they're right that's a native Celtic word, but the semantics of the loanword argument ("long" > "ship") are also correct, and Proto-Celtic *longā (ship) started out as a substantivization of an adjective *longos (long)? Then Celtic, Germanic, and Italic would all share an etymon *longʰos (long), which would be unrelated to *dl̥h₁gʰós (with which, after all, it shares nothing but l and ). There are certainly plenty of words that are geographically restricted to those three branches. All just speculation, but I find it an intriguing idea. Is there any evidence for a *d in the Latin word? Or do people just postulate *dlongos so it looks more like *dl̥h₁gʰós? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:29, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Philippa links the Germanic word with Latin and with Gallic "longo-" to reconstruct PIE *longʰ-. She says: "Alongside there is a root *delh₁gʰ-/dleh₁gʰ-/dlh₁gʰ- ‘long’, which is widespread in the IE languages [...]. Linking these two roots is very problematic. It requires to postulate that in *longʰ- the laryngeal was dropped and a nasalized o-grade was introduced. However, the semantic correspondance and the fact that the words [for "long"] are complentarily distributed among the IE languages are strong indications of a mutual relationship. Therefore the speculation that the Germanic and Latin words are not IE, but borrowed from a pre-IE substrate language, is unlikely." My translation, Dutch original here. This is, of course, a dictionary that postulates substrate etymologies for many words, so the fact that she doesn't support it here is mentionable. Kolmiel (talk) 20:48, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Except that *tulguz shows that there isn't a complimentary distribution. I find that argument strange anyway; is it so strange that languages tended to retain only one of a pair of synonyms? —CodeCat 20:52, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. I chiefly wanted to note what she said about the phonetics. And also her mention of Gallic "longo-", because Angr wanted a Celtic cognate. Kolmiel (talk) 20:58, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
She doesn't gloss Gaulish longo-, but she must be talking about *longā (ship), attested in the place name Longaticum (today's Logatec, Slovenia). At any rate, if the Celtic "ship" word really is related to the Italic/Germanic "long" word, then that's good evidence that the pre-form is *longʰo- without d-, because Celtic would have retained the dl- cluster of a *dlongʰo-. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:58, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: marginally related: w:Logatec mentions a "Celtic root *longo-": is that a typo for *longā or a different root? MGorrone (talk) 09:33, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
If *longā is just a noun meaning "ship", then *longo- is a mistake; but if the noun is derived from an adjective meaning "long", then *longo- is the stem of that adjective. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:44, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Kroonen is very clear on that: *dl̥h₁gʰós gave the Indo-Iranian, Greek and Balto-Slavic adjectives, and a variant in -u- gave *tulguz (firm) (from "long-lasting"), while *dlonh₁gʰos (*dlh₁ongʰos is also possible) gave *langaz, longus and Middle Persian drang > Modern Persian dirang (not mentioned in Kroonen), and maybe ultimately also the Celtic word for "ship" discussed above (if only via Latin). Both adjectives are apparently derived from a verbal root *delh₁- (to lengthen), see LIV² Addenda, the second adjective presumably from an unattested nasal-infix present. (See Starling for an extensive list of words derived from this root.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:59, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
A nasal-infix present to a root *delh₁- would be *dl̥-né-h₁-ti ~ *dl̥-n-h₁-énti. Not at all what is attested. —CodeCat 14:04, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Kroonen writes: "A nasalized variant of the PIE root *dlh₁gʰ- 'long', for which see *tulgu-. The adjective thus implies a nasal present *dlénh₁gʰ-e-, which, however, is not attested." A verbal root *dlh₁gʰ- is indeed not directly attested, only a root *delh₁- appears to be (see LIV² Addenda). It looks like the adjectives are formed like *dlh₁-gʰó- and either *dl-on-h₁-gʰo- or *dlh₁-on-gʰo-. The morphology is unclear; maybe the suffix is actually *-gʰh₁-ó- from the root *gʰeh₁- "to come, reach, arrive"? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:20, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
That's still pretty puzzling. The nasal infix is always inserted before the last consonant of the zero-grade root, so you'd get *dl̥h₁-né-gʰ-ti ~ *dl̥h₁-n̥-gʰ-énti. However, nasal infixes generally don't occur with roots ending in two obstruents. The canonical root shape for a nasal infix is CReC or CeRC, so that a syllabic sonorant immediately precedes the nasal infix. —CodeCat 14:23, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Maybe it's not a nasal infix at all (that's simply the assumption everyone makes), but for example the adverb *(h₁)én. Of course that's only the formal side. Not sure if this solution works out semantically: "reaching (in) length"? I have no idea. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:16, 9 June 2017 (UTC)


  • Is the sense "person employed to save swimmers" really limited to the US? Wikipedia has long sections on the certification of Pool Lifeguards in the UK, and on lifeguards in Canada, which suggests the term is also used there. Is it also used in Australia?
  • Can someone clarify sense 3? Does it refer to any lifesaver, e.g. to use the usex of lifesaver could you call a paramedic a lifeguard? Or is it an attempt to say that "lifesaver" is the term used in some dialects that don't call swimmer-savers "lifeguards"?

There might also be some better context label for sense 1. - -sche (discuss) 17:32, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

temper tantra[edit]

What to do with this? There's a handful of GBooks hits, probably mostly self-consciously humorous, but it's nonstandard at the very least. We don't have a tantra entry in this sense. Equinox 23:18, 12 May 2017 (UTC)


Something's wrong with sense 2. It says this is a proscribed form of "defusion": the very same word. Looking back in the history, this used to be diffusion, with a completely different citation. I don't like to waste my time on misspellings but perhaps someone else does. Equinox 01:44, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

'Bull': 3. An adult male of certain large mammals, such as whales, elephants and seals.[edit]

Hi, I know about the term 'collective nouns, e.g. a school of fish, a pride of lions, etc., so I'd like to know whether there's a technical linguistic term for this semantic feature of male/female animals. Furthermore, I'd love to find a category for those terms. --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:42, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

red wings[edit]

I think it should be capitalised as in Detroit Red Wings. DonnanZ (talk) 17:14, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Rhyme group of anonymous[edit]

Previously, anonymous had IPA /əˈnɒnəməs/ and rhymes -nɪməs. Of course, this is inconsistent, so I went ahead and changed it to rhyming with -nɒnəməs. Just pointing it out. Pointed it out on the discussion for that page as well.

MGorrone (talk) 17:30, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

That's the wrong rhyme. It's -ɒnəməs, rhyming with Hieronymus. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:09, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
It depends who and where you are. In the UK the vowel in question can sound like /ə/ or /ɪ/ or anywhere in between (which is why the /ᵻ/ symbol used by the OED and others is so useful). Ƿidsiþ 08:58, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
@Widsith: what Metaknowledge was pointing out is not something about the vowels, but rather the fact that the rhyme doesn't have the "n" before that "ɒ" (i.e. it's -ɒnəməs, not -nɒnəməs). What vowel were you referring to? The ɪ or the ə in the original wrong rhyme -nɪməs? At any rate, whatever the actual sound, I'm pretty sure Hieronymus and anonymous rhyme for anyone. Do you have any evidence of the contrary? MGorrone (talk) 10:25, 15 May 2017 (UTC)


An anon has made a large change to our entry on synergy. I can't make out if it is a good edit or a good-faith bad edit. I'm pretty sure it isn't vandalism. Any ideas? SemperBlotto (talk) 08:06, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

It might be best to reformat those two paragraphs as quotations? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:56, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

contractions: They'lln't've'd, Y'all'n't've, N'am'onna (do you know what I am going to)[edit]

Hi, I've found these contractions/shortenings quite often cited in the internet, so I'd like to propose adding them to wiktionary. --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:47, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

I get 12, 20 and 7 Google hits respectively. I wouldn't exactly call that "quite often cited". --Droigheann (talk) 13:53, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

die: is dead vs has died[edit]

Is it true that "be dead" was formerly more usual than "have died"? See Talk:die#English_usage_note. - -sche (discuss) 17:32, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Sort of. In Shakespeare and the King James Bible, the present perfect tense of die was am, art, is, are dead, rather than have, has, have died as it is today. Die was one of the verbs that took be as their perfect auxiliary rather than have. That was also true of rise: hence, the Easter greeting is Christ is risen, which would be Christ has risen in Modern English. It's like how sein as well as haben is used as the perfect auxiliary in German, and être as well as avoir in French. (I say sort of because I'm not sure if be dead was grammatical as a perfect infinitive, the way have died is today.) — Eru·tuon 18:09, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
But even if die took to be as its auxiliary, we'd still expect "be died", not "be dead", since "dead" isn't the past participle of "die", and wasn't in Early Modern English either. This is different from French, where mort is both the adjective "dead" and the past participle of mourir, so that il est mort is ambiguous between "he is dead" and "he has died/he died". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:13, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, so it's an irregular case, where an adjective is used as if it were a participle. — Eru·tuon 19:39, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
And per the talk page, it seems that both forms always saw some use. - -sche (discuss) 19:43, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Could you point me to what you're referring to? The use of "had died" as a counterfactual form? — Eru·tuon 19:47, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Of course, this may be due to my imperfect knowledge of English, but I don't understand the discussion. What is the difference between early modern English and contemporary English? Aren't "to be dead" and "to have died" totally different things? Like "to sit" and "to have sat down", or whatever? Kolmiel (talk) 04:04, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: They're different in modern English, but it seems like in early modern English, "is dead" means what we mean by "has died" today. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:14, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Early Modern English is the period in which such archaic features as thou, ye, and the inflectional suffix -th were used. At that time, be and have were both used as perfect auxiliary, as in German and French, and is dead was apparently used in place of has died. The use of be here is expected, but the adjective dead being used in place of the past participle died is not. (It would make more sense if the form were is died.) Aside from the adjective issue, the Early Modern English is dead is sort of like German ist gestorben. — Eru·tuon 04:17, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Um, what? Middle English, just like Modern English, distinguished between the adjectival "is dead" and the past participle "has died". [3]: Lay. Brut (c1275 l.3737) "Aganippus was dead, Leir king idæied." I don't think there is any point in English history in which *"he was died" was correct. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 04:30, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
To answer Eru's question, 2 Samuel 19:6 in the King James says, "for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well". More often, "had died" is used as a wish: "Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt" (Numbers 16:3). But I disagree with the notion that "dead" is just an adjective. As I mention'd on Talk:die, Galatians 2:21 says, "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead [ἀπέθανεν] in vain." (The word "come" here is subjunctive, being in an "if" clause.) Obviously Paul did not think that Christ was still dead! So it's not an adjective here, it's a verb tense. The word being translated means "died" (or "would have died", a contrary-to-fact apodosis). I would also point out that this usage is not confined to Early Modern English. For instance, we have in the Wycliffe Bible (1382) in Matthew 9:18, "Lord, my douyter is now deed", translating the Latin "Domine, filia mea modo defuncta est" which means "my daughter has just died". (This is the standard Latin past tense for this verb. In Galatians 2:21, the Latin "ergo gratis Christus mortuus est" is translated "thanne Crist diede with out cause", showing that "mortuus est" was understood as a verb form.) In the Wessex Gospels this verse says "min dohtor ys dead", showing that even in Old English this was a common form. As for the quote from Layamon, the word "idæied" is a past participle, not a past tense, isn't it? In other words, "Aganippus was dead, [and] King Leir dead". Eric Kvaalen (talk) 07:38, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Some strange interpretations here…yes, it's true that "to be dead" was preferred over "to die" or "to have died", this was even the case in Old English. It doesn't mean that "dead" is a participle, it's just a normal adjective functioning normally. The OED has a specific entry for it, under dead 1.e. Ƿidsiþ 08:48, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) "Aganippus was dead, King Lear died". "To be dead" is exactly as adjectival as "to be green". More than that, in Old English, deād was an adjective, whereas the verb dīgan looks to have been rarer, and wouldn't conjugate to deād anyway. I don't know how much more clearly to say it: "Lord, my douyter is now deed" is an adjectival construction, not a verbal one. It was common practice in Old and Middle English to use the adjectival construction instead of the verbal, but that doesn't make "dead" a conjugated verb instead of an adjective. (More to the point, "filia mea modo defuncta est" can also be interpreted as the participal behaving like (and being treated like) an adjective, in which case "my daughter is recently dead" is a good translation. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 09:03, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
In reply to Ƿidsiþ, "to be dead" does not mean the same thing as "to die". I'm not saying that "dead" was a past participle exactly, but it was used like one, just as "mortuus" was used for both, or "mort" in French. Catsidhe, isn't "idæied" a past participle? And a question for either Ƿidsiþ or Catsidhe, how do you explain Galatians 2:21 in the KJV? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 09:40, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Je suis mort doesn't mean the same thing as "I died"... and yet it does. idæied is the Middle English of what would in Old English have been "ġedīġede", it's the perfect past tense (as in: dīġede as the past tense of dīġan, and ġe- marking a perfect aspect). Galatians 2:21 is simple: it's a simple if:then statement. "If righteousness come[s] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." "If I empty this paint can on a wall, then that wall is green". Technically, of course, "he died" and "he is dead" are not exactly the same, because like Lazarus, Jesus, and many people who have received medical treatment in time, it is possible to die and get better. In which case it's possible to argue that this is an example of a historical present: using the present tense to describe an event in the past. That doesn't stop "dead" being an adjective, not a verb form. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 10:18, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
But it wasn't used like a participle, and it is unlike French mort, which IS a participle. It's a perfectly normal adjective. The fact that a verb construction is translated by using an adjective is not all that unusual. It may be that, for instance, ‘to die’ was slightly taboo and saying ‘be dead’ was considered less direct and slightly euphemistic. But not necessarily, it might just have been the more normal, idiomatic way of expressing the idea. Ƿidsiþ 11:06, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
I see that "dead" has been given a verb sense which makes the same claim that "[be] dead" was used as a verb form, citing the same one questionably-interpreted quotation from Galatians as above. What I don't see is consensus here that that is descriptively correct, nor reference works on English grammar that make the claim either prescriptively or descriptively. It is worth noting that the translators of the KJV sometimes used words or phrases that carried connotations or even denotations that were wrong (like in Esther 1:6, and possibly in Genesis 3:16). - -sche (discuss) 10:28, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
@-sche: I can't cite any reference works on English grammar on this point, but the OED's entry on dead says the following under list item 1e: to be dead was anciently used in the sense ‘to die’, and later in that of ‘to have died’; also = ‘To die at the hands of anyone, to be put to death, be killed’. (Then they list quotations that illustrate this.) Not sure if any of this indicates that dead counts a verb form. It is perhaps more parsimonious to say that be dead is idiomatic, and deserves an entry. — Eru·tuon 19:14, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't know what indentation to use! Several points:
"Je suis mort" means both "I died" and "I am dead". Usually those are equivalent, but sometimes not.
I don't know what you mean, Catsdhe, by "perfect past tense". Do you mean a form like "I have been"? In that case we use the past participle. Isn't "ġedīġede" a past participle?
Old English dīġan was a strong verb (pret. dēog), so a past participle for this verb would have been something like *ġedēan, *ġedeġen. [Interestingly, there is another OE verb ġedīġan (to escape; succeed; thrive; survive; benefit; prosper), however this is completely unrelated.] In Middle English, a form like idæied or idied would almost certainly be understood to be a past participle of the verb dien; there is no recorded usage of a Middle English verb *idien meaning "to die completely" from an Old English *ġedīġan (to die completely), and ġedīġede would appear to fit the paradigm of a preterite form rather than a participle Leasnam (talk) 20:14, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Paul is not saying in Galatians that if whatever then Christ would still be dead. He's saying that Christ's death would have been in vain. The meaning of the Greek is "if ... then Christ died in vain" or "would have died in vain". The King James translators understood the Greek. (They were not translating from the Latin "mortuus est".) They translated it correctly, but meaning "Christ died in vain" or "Christ has died in vain", not "Christ is dead" in the modern sense of that. They are not using a historical present! You will find, if you look, that the Greek past "died" is often translated "is dead" in the KJV. It was just normal English for the "present perfect" or perfect tense. The reason I mention this verse in Galatians is that it is the only one where it is clearly not a description of the present situation, because Paul believed Christ to be alive.
In short, the expression "is dead" meant "has died", and therefore the word "dead" is not being used as an adjective. "Is dead" was used as the perfect tense of the verb "to die".
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 13:53, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
But again, what's the difference in comparison to contemporary usage? For example, a doctor leaves the operation theatre and says: "She's dead", in the sense of "She has just died." Isn't that normal English? In my interpretation, these are totally different sentences, which only happen to express the same thing in some contexts. Kolmiel (talk) 18:25, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
(Well, okay. In the Bible verse, Christ is now not dead anymore. Is that the difference you mean? But this is a very special case. Are there other examples of this kind. Where "be dead" is used for someone who died at some point but is considered alive now?) Kolmiel (talk) 18:38, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Or in other words: Was it ever possible to say: "He is dead, but now he is alive."? That would prove it to be a perfect tense. Otherwise I'm not convinced. Kolmiel (talk) 18:46, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
You can't really say "He has died, but now he is alive." either (unless you're using "has died" in the iterative sense). I would say that there really is nothing that can differentiate between a participle and an adjective in this situation (i.e. What's the nafka minah?). --WikiTiki89 19:09, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
All this reminds me of a recent Oxford Dictionaries blogpost in which the author sort of claims that as you can say, after visiting a toilet, "I went an hour ago", but not "I’ve gone an hour ago", you have to say "I’ve been an hour ago", been is in this particular context a past participle of go. Go figure. --Droigheann (talk) 19:31, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Kolmiel, there are very few cases when it would have been appropriate to say "He is dead, but now he is alive". You would have to have been referring to someone who rose from the dead. There are many places in the King James Bible where the past tense of the Greek verb meaning to die is translated by "is dead" (or similar, like "are dead"). The advantage of the Galatians verse is that it shows that "is dead" is not just a paraphrase for "has died" – in this verse the translators were certainly not implying that Christ was still dead. They did not mean "Christ is now in the state of death (in vain)". They did not believe that and they knew that Paul did not believe that. Which means that in all the other cases where they translate the Greek word for "died" as "is (are ...) dead", they were not paraphrasing the Greek, they were just using the normal English perfect form for the verb "to die". And when Yair says to Yeshua "Lord, my douyter is now deed" he's not saying, "Well, that's it, she's dead now". He's saying "she has just died" (which is what the Greek says). As to Wikitiki's question, yes, there are situations where you could say "He has died, but now he is alive". For example, I could say, "It was necessary for the Mashiach to die. Well, now he has died, but he is alive again. He rose from the dead." It's true that you would not use the present perfect tense for something that no longer has an effect. In the case of Galatians 2:21, the translators decided to go with their equivalent of "then Christ has died in vain" rather than "then Christ died in vain". (The Darby translation says, "then Christ has died for nothing", and Webster's translation says "then Christ hath died in vain".) Eric Kvaalen (talk) 19:50, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
In the absence of consensus that dead is a verb form, I reworded the notes to not make a claim that dead is or is not a verb form. Preference for one construction over another does not mean the two must have the same part of speech; compare "he lives" and "he is alive". (In German one has a third option, besides a verb and a verb+adjective construction: am Leben sein. A similar construction, "on life", is the origin of alive. And I haven't seen any grammarians argue that the noun Leben is a verb or adjective, and I haven't found a defining dictionary as opposed to a translation dictionary that gives am Leben or be alive an entry, re Erutuon's suggestion of making "be dead" an entry.)
When I search google books:"participle dead", I see mostly works discussing the etymology of the word's precursor in Proto-Germanic, or other languages entirely — many books discuss the Hebrew word that means "dead", or the Albanian word, which is a participle. The books that do discuss English mostly say dead is not a participle in English:
  • William Lennie A key to Lennie's Principles of English grammar (1850): "One of our latest writers on Grammar has inserted the verb to die in his list of irregular verbs, and made the past participle dead: now dead is an adjective and not a past participle." (I take that to be sense 2 of "now", "used to introduce a point, a remonstration or a rebuke", rather than sense 1, "at the present time", but YMMV.)
  • Walter William Skeat An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language (1898): "DEAD, deprived of life. (E.)       M. E. deed, ded; Chaucer, C. T. prol. 148. — A. S. deád, "dead", Grein, i. 189; where deád is described as an adjective, rather than as a past participle. And to this day we distinguish between dead and died, as in the phrases 'he is dead' and 'he has died;' we never say 'he has dead.' But [...] in Moeso-Gothic [...] there can be no reasonable doubt that dauths was formed with [a] participial ending.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. A phrase in one Bible translation, in which a minority of people claim dead should be a verb form because the implications of an adjective seem off — while the book is known to translate things with the wrong implications and denotations in other cases — is not even clear evidence. - -sche (discuss) 21:24, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, I disagree with your edits. Do you realize that in the New Testament the verb "to die" is rendered 30 times as "is dead" or variations thereon? The only places where "had died" or "have died" are used is in John chapter 11 (the story of Lazarus) where these are contrary-to-fact forms ("if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died" twice, and "And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?")? In other words, the King James translators consistently used "be dead" as the perfect tense of "to die". Eric Kvaalen (talk) 06:30, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
They consistently use the phrase "be dead", and we have a usage note in die explaining that the phrase be dead was formerly used in situations where now the more direct die would be used. All that note does not do is make the extraordinary assertion that "dead" is a verb form rather than the adjective which it has been from the days of Old English through to the present. - -sche (discuss) 07:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
So, stated another way: be dead is used as a verb form (in place of the perfect tense), but dead on its own is still just an adjective. Is that accurate? Perhaps the entry be dead should be created. — Eru·tuon 08:24, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
@-sche, it's not "die" that we use, it's "have died" or similar (but your usage note puts this correctly). My objections are that, first of all, you call "be dead" a descriptive phrase, but it's not. It's a past tense, just as "mortuus est", "est mort", and "ist gestorben" are in Latin, French, and German. (That Galatians verse is "ergo gratis Christus mortuus est", "Christ est donc mort inutilement", and "so ist Christus vergeblich gestorben" respectively. None of these is trying to say that Christ is now dead. They are all past tenses.) It is often a translation of a past tense, and it is usually used as a past tense, and the verse in Galatians is a perfect example where it's clearly a past tense and not a descriptive phrase. Secondly, you took out what I said about this being the case in Middle and Old English as well. It's not just some temporary quirk of Early Modern English. And I object to the fact that you completely removed the information which I put under the entry "dead" (although I would agree to putting it somewhere else – it's not actually a verb, it's a word used to form the perfect tense of a verb). @Erutuon, I agree that "dead" without some form of the verb "to be" is just an adjective. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 13:11, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
OK, I have restored the mention of Old and Middle English, and I have templatized the note (it can be found and edited at Template:U:en:be dead) and placed it in dead, as well as die. However, you are conflating "is often a translation of a past tense" with "is a past tense". Galatians is not "clearly a past tense", as evidence by how few people, in this discussion and in grammar books generally, agree with your assessment to that effect.
@Erutuon: AFAICS it's not "used as a verb form" or entry-worthy any more than "be alive", "be red", "be silent" (which is used in English when translating many other languages' verbs, and only has an entry as a translation-target because, unlike in this case, English has no single verb for the concept), etc. - -sche (discuss) 22:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
@-sche: Huh? "Be dead" is idiomatically used as a perfect tense, while the other things you mention are not idiomatic. — Eru·tuon 22:50, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
You assert that it's used "idiomatically used as a perfect tense", but all you point to are places where someone has chosen to use a stative verb + adjective construction instead of the simple verb, something which is still possible to this day ("John died", "John has dead", "John is dead", "John is deceased", "John is no longer with us", "John is six feet under", ...). We clearly disagree on whether the synonymy of the two constructions transforms the [stative verb +] adjective into a verb. - -sche (discuss) 00:05, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay. To be clear, you also disagree with the OED on this point. — Eru·tuon 00:09, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Do you disagree only on be dead or dead being a verb, or also on be dead having an entry? Whether or not it's a verb, doesn't it qualify for having an entry by being idiomatic (non-SOP)? — Eru·tuon 00:16, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Does the OED claim dead is a verb form? Widsith says above "it's just a normal adjective functioning normally. The OED has a specific entry for it, under dead 1.e." And I find grammars specifically saying dead is not a verb form, but the only one I find that claims it is a verb form (in English) is a grammar of Egyptian that only makes the claim in passing while relating an Egyptian construction to English, and it seems to be confused.
I disagree with the suggestion that be dead is more idiomatic than be alive, since the only quotation where a straightforward interpretation of it as be + dead is problematic is the one from Galatians, and a single quotation is not enough for an entry, especially when it's a translation and we have reason to think it may be a faulty translation, the way the translation's use of "conception" is also problematic. - -sche (discuss) 00:23, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
@-sche: Even if you put a note in saying that is dead was used with the meaning has died in Early Modern English, I disagree that this is also true for Middle English, and outright dispute anything of the kind for Old English. Apart from an argument from analogy from French, Latin and German (which isn't bulletproof, because the adjective and the past participle in these languages is identical, which is not the case in English), the only evidence proffered is from KVJ, where the fact that the Middle English bibles don't use this construction is somehow evidence for the argument? If Eric wants to make the claim that Middle English used is ded as meaning "has died" (without ambiguity, which will be difficult for reasons described in the dog's breakfast of a discussion above), then let him provide it. And I outright deny that Old English had any such construction. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 23:20, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
@Catsidhe: On the contrary, it seems to have been used in Middle English: the OED lists two quotations from Wycliffe's Bible in which be dead has the meaning died or have died. The earliest quotation dates from 1000, so you might be right about Old English. — Eru·tuon 23:28, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
However, Wycliffe's Bible was translated from the Vulgate, and the Latin text of the two quotations (Romans 5:15 and 2 Corinthians 5:14) uses a form of esse (to be) plus the perfect passive participle, so the construction could be a copy of the syntax of the Latin. There are other quotations given by the OED in which that would not be true. — Eru·tuon 23:49, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
If it's from his earlier version, then it's a word for word translation of the Latin Leasnam (talk) 23:53, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
The quote from Romans is from the earlier version, and the one from 2 Corinthians from the later. — Eru·tuon 23:57, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

section break for ease of editing[edit]

I'm looking over the quotations given in the OED.

One quote from King Lear seems to be unambiguously un-stative: Your eldest daughters haue foredoome themselues, And desperatly are dead. It does not make sense for the adverb desperately to be applied to the stative "being in the state of deadness", since desperateness is a mental quality that can only apply while one is still alive. It can only apply to the daughters if the meaning is "have died", in which case it can describe their mental state immediately before their death.

Similarly, this one from Romeo and Juliet: Dread Souereigne, my Wife is dead to night. It would be odd for a stative to be qualified with to night. It would suggest something absurd: that while she's dead tonight, tomorrow she'll come to life again. (The state of being dead is restricted to the period of time referred to by tonight.) Interpreting it with the meaning "has died" makes far more sense: then the adverb of time refers to the time at which they died.

There is also a quote with was dead (T. Beddoes, Hygëia): I heard..that he was dead of scarlet fever. This appears to have the meaning had died. — Eru·tuon 00:33, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Do I infer from Widsith's comment that the OED lists these under the adjective "dead", not under "die" (where I would guess they put quotations of inflections of "die", like "died")?
"Was dead of scarlet fever" looks like a normal use of the adjective "dead" which is still current: "Within weeks she was dead, of scarlet fever." (2013), "Jedrek was dead. Of scarlet fever." (1976) "Dead of" is also found in places that make clear "dead" is adjectival because it can't be replaced with "has died": Jane Austen's "if he had not supposed me dead of a scarlet fever" (parallel to "he supposed me sick"), or G. Gilson's "Moore was found dead of a drug overdose".
"Is dead tonight" seems to emphasize the recentness of the death; NBC News used the same wording to announce "John Lennon is dead. Lennon died in a hospital [...]. Again, John Lennon is dead tonight of gunshot wounds." You find the same phrase "dead tonight" in e.g. "Sanford Bloom [was] just appointed to the post of New York District Attorney, replacing Francis Phillip Garrahy, dead tonight of a heart attack," where there's no "is", which seems to confirm that "dead" is an adjective rather than a verb form, and that "tonight" is indicating timing and not provisionalness or that he'll come back to life later.
It seems somewhat similar to the construction "is [not alive] [length of time]", where many words can be used in place of dead even to this day (although it seems literary or dialectal?), like "my Frieda is dead four years" (2011), "Today [Joe's father] Al is gone four years" (2014 book about funerals).
- -sche (discuss) 03:36, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
@-sche: Yes, these quotes are from the OED's entry for dead. But I think, since the definition discusses specifically the phrase to be dead, our practice, in contrast to the OED's, would be to put this in a separate entry be dead. — Eru·tuon 22:36, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
I will answer down here to the things that were said since yesterday (I was busy today).
@-sche, when I said "be dead" is often a translation of a past tense, what I mean is that it's not always a translation of a past tense. There are a few verses in the KJV where the Greek says "is" (or "was") "dead", like "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17). In those cases, "be dead" is not a past tense. But in 30 other cases, it is a past tense. To use something like your example "be six feet under", in Galatians one could not say "Christ is in the grave in vain", but one could (back then) say "Christ is dead in vain" because it meant "has died in vain".
Your examples like "she was dead, of scarlet fever" or "John Lennon is dead tonight" don't really counter Eru's examples. Yours either have a comma, or a period, or they are "headline English". Nowadays people may say "Frieda is dead four years", but not "Frieda is dead four years ago". But in the past, they could say "my douyter is now deed", meaning she just now died.
@Catsidhe, I gave an example of where forms like "is dead" meant "has died" in both Middle English ("Lord, my douyter is now deed") and Old English ("min dohtor ys dead"). See my comment at 19:50 15 May. You know, when the Latin says "mortuus est" or "mortua est", people would have understood that as a past tense, not as a description of a state.
@Erutuon, a quote from 1000 AD would be Old English.
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 21:56, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
No, you gave examples of forms where the Latin adjectival construction is the same as the past participle (filia mea mortua est means both "my daughter is dead" and "my daughter died", and similarly for ma fille est morte and Meine Tochter is gestorben), and the English translators used the adjectival form. (Presumably the girl didn't get better, and so for all intents and purposes the two forms are equivalent in meaning: "my daughter ceased living".) Maybe the Anglo Saxons started using the adjectival form from analogy with the Latin, but that doesn't magically make it syntactically a verb form. You are confusing syntax and semantics. You also seem to assume a lot about what "people would have understood". English did, of course, adopt an auxiliary verb for the pluperfect: "had". It takes the past participle: "my daughter has died". That's: a verb form. If "be" was adopted as an auxiliary verb for the simple past, then one would normally expect it to take the past participle as well, and yet MEn *"my daughter is died" only works if she has been dropped into a vat of pigment. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 02:04, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
You can certainly say "Christ is in the grave in vain". "She was dead, of scarlet fever" is not headline English and the comma is not necessary. You can say today "My daughter is now dead", meaning she just now died. How can you possibly know how Latin speakers two thousand years ago would or wouldn't have understood "mortuus est"? --WikiTiki89 22:24, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, there are books analyzing the semantics of verbs in ancient languages. I have such a book for Classical Greek. — Eru·tuon 22:31, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
By "you" I meant specifically Eric Kvaalen, not the generic "you". --WikiTiki89 22:52, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
@Eric Kvaalen: Quite right. So the OED has one quote from the end of the OE period. — Eru·tuon 22:34, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
I picked examples that punctuate "was dead, of fever" because I felt they emphasized the adjectivity of "dead"; there are also examples used to this day without punctuation, if you prefer: "General Jackson received word that Janie Corbin was dead of scarlet fever" (2014), parallel to e.g. "Would she remember the children dead of scarlet fever[...]?" (2014) where "who were" is elided and the adjectival nature of "dead" is thus made clearer.
"Is dead [length of time] ago" is still used, in the same infrequent literary-or-dialectal way as "is dead [length of time]": from Twain's "the writer of it is dead years ago, no doubt" and a 1922 Breeder's Gazette’s "Fleming is dead years ago, and his stock of horses gone" to Jane Duncan's 2015 "Poor Ella, I suppose she is dead years ago but it will be nice to know".
As Wikitiki notes, English speakers can and do still say "my daughter is now dead" (also "my daughter is now sick", etc), so I'm not sure what you're getting at with that example...? - -sche (discuss) 00:26, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

I tripped over this this morning, which I think gets to the nub of this discussion. This entire discussion is about confusing syntax with semantics. Semantically, "he is dead" might have been understood to mean that he has, in the past, died, with no further implication on his current state. That is a completely different question to whether "is dead" is a verb form. Because syntactically it isn't, and it never has been in English. In those languages where you can confuse the adjectival and the past participle, then "mortuus est" or "est mort" or "ist gestorben" could be either. Even in English, the past participle can act like/become an adjective, if there is not already an adjective ready. "He is risen", "I am depressed", "they are drowned". "Die" is not one of those cases, because "dead" is already there. I'm not sure how much sense I'm making here.--Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:21, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Again I will respond down here to whatever has been added since last my contribution.
It's proper English to say "Christ is in the grave in vain", but I meant that Paul would not have said that, because Paul did not believe that Christ was in the grave anymore. I was not saying that "she is dead, of scarlet fever" is headline English. I was referring to the examples "Sche" gave from NBC News.
Sche, it's nice to know that people still use (as of 2015!) the expression "is dead" as a past tense! That's what "I suppose she is dead years ago" means. It means, "I suppose she died years ago". You can't do that with an ordinary adjective. You can't say "I suppose she is alive years ago". By the way, I don't understand what your URLs are for – they just go to a Google book, but not to the actual quotation.
As I said earlier, Yair in Matthew 9:18 did not mean, "Well, she's dead now", he meant "she has just died" (as is clear from both the Latin and the Greek).
I think the reason some of you don't accept the idea that "is dead" was meant in the sense "has died" is that you're not used to hearing forms of "be" used to make past tenses. You know intellectually that it is done in French, German, Latin, and earlier English, but it sounds strange to you. So when I tell you that "is dead" simply meant "has died", you have trouble accepting that, or when I say that people reading the Latin Bible would have understood "mortua est" as a past tense.
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 05:58, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
@Catsidhe: I suppose if we base the POS of this idiomatic be dead solely on the syntactic properties of the individual words be and dead, it cannot be categorized as a verb or even be considered a verb phrase, as dead isn't a verb, but has to be categorized a phrase. But I am curious if the semantic value ever results in phenomena that can be considered syntactic indicators of a verb. I'm not sure what those would be, though. Anyway, I don't know what the part of speech of this idiomatic be dead should be. Probably just "phrase".
@Eric Kvaalen's arguments from the Bible passages make the most sense when referencing the KJV, which was translated from the Greek, not the Latin. As I understand it, the Greek aorist, ἀπέθανε (apéthane) or ἐτελεύτησε (eteleútēse), can only have an eventive meaning: "died", "has died". To say "be dead" (stative), you would use the perfect, τέθνηκε (téthnēke) or τετελεύτηκε (teteleútēke). (These are the third-person singular forms.) So, translating a Greek aorist as is dead would be flagrant mistranslation, if that phrase didn't have the eventive meaning died or has died.
Latin, on the other hand, doesn't have any way to distinguish "died" from "is dead", because the perfect tense (mortuus est) is either eventive (perfective) or stative. The Latin perfect expresses the meanings of the Greek aorist and perfect. And the same phrase can probably be a copula plus adjective. So a translator working from the Latin has more room for misunderstanding. Still, it would be translational malpractice to not get it right based on context, in some of these cases. — Eru·tuon 07:26, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
The KJV wasn't created from a vacuum; it relied more heavily than many would have supposed on Wycliffe and Tyndale (and thus on peculiarities of the Vulgate). So it's not unreasonable to assume that infelicities in translation in those works would be carried over. Also, the KJV scholars weren't above translating creatively for the sake of euphony and rhetorical effect over accuracy. Also, as has been pointed out above, sometimes KJV scholars just plain got it wrong. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 07:32, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I think saying "Christ is dead in vain", when the writer does not consider Christ to be dead, is a "syntactic indicator of a verb".
By the way, another way to say "be dead" (stative) is simply νεκρος εστιν (or similar, depending on the gender and number). In the verse from James 2, it's νεκρα εστιν (neuter plural takes a singular verb in Greek).
The point of the KJV (or at least part of the point) was to correct the Tyndale translation using the Greek. Anyway, it's surely not true that in all those 30 places where the Greek past tense is rendered with a form of "be dead" the translators were unaware that the Greek was a past tense, and were simply carrying on from Tyndale!
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 09:44, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Wasn't KJV primarily based on The Bishops' Bible? --Droigheann (talk) 16:25, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes. But to quote a BBC programme I was listening to recently, "The whole story of the Bible is unthinkable without [Tyndale]. He was the material on which all those later translators, a whole series of them, through the 16th century, got to work." They said that a lot of phrases in the KJV come from Tyndale. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 17:43, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
A key problem with analysing some instances of "be dead" as a verb form, in my view, is precisely that it entails analysing some instances as a verb form, and then other identical instances as the normal and expected adjectival phrase, based on factors like whether the source text of a translation used a verb or an adjective, or even when the sentence was written — since we apparently all except Eric agree that modern uses of "is dead", whether in "my daughter is dead" or "I suppose she is dead", are all adjectival, but disagree on whether old uses of those same sentences are also adjectives, or verbs (well, actually, is anyone besides Eric and Eru arguing they're verbs?). If there were actually an "is..." past tense of "die" the way there was of some other verbs, it would be "is died", which apparently does not occur.
A Hebrew or Greek (or German, etc) verb form won't always be rendered into English with a verb form: in some cases, for various reasons (Widsith suggests some above; perhaps "is dead" may have been seen as more polite), English uses another construction such as an adjectival phrase some or all of the time. Besides "be dead", another example is how the Hebrew verb שָׁתַק is often rendered into English with "be quiet/calm", including in the KJV: וַיִּשְׂמְח֥וּ כִֽי־ יִשְׁתֹּ֑קוּ וַ֝יַּנְחֵ֗ם אֶל־ (then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth), אֶל־ הַיָּ֔ם וְיִשְׁתֹּ֥ק הַיָּ֖ם מֵֽעֲלֵיכֶ֑ם (so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know).
- -sche (discuss) 22:33, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
I've said I don't consider be dead to be a verb; I am not sure if it qualifies, especially not as a perfect, since it does not consist of auxiliary plus past participle. It would be best to call it a phrase when someone makes an entry. — Eru·tuon 23:46, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Sche, the fact that a phrase like "be dead" can have more than one meaning (such as "have died" and "be in the state of being dead") is often true. For example "I could do it" can be a past tense, or it can be a conditional. You know, in languages like French you have the same ambiguity as with "be dead". If you say "Ce poisson est mort", it would probably be taken as a description, whereas if you say "mon grand-père est mort cette nuit" it's definitely a verb form. By the way, why is it that your Jane Duncan can write "I suppose she is dead years ago" but cannot write "I suppose she is alive years ago"?
Obviously we have to use "be quiet" or "be calm" for שתק because we don't have a verb in English. But that explanation doesn't apply in the case of "be dead".
In my opinion, the expression "is dead" was thought of exactly like other perfect tenses like "is come", "is gone", "is risen", et cetera, but they used the word "dead" instead of the past participle "died". Can someone give us an early example of the use of the true past participle? (I would say, the word "idæied" in the quote about King Leir.)
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 17:43, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
a1300 Floris (Vit D.3) 77/84: We scholden habbe idiȝed boþe in ar niȝt.
c1390 Chart.Abbey HG (Vrn) 359: Þei wolde not þat he hedde Idyed til he weore an-honged. Leasnam (talk) 18:46, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I see that neither of these is a normal indicative. In the first we have an infinitive and in the second a past subjunctive (second subjunctive). That's similar to what we find in the King James Version. Whenever they wanted a normal perfect indicative they would say "is dead", but for the infinitive as in John 11:37 they put "have died", for contrary-to-fact they put "had died" (John 11:21 or 11:32), and for wishes also "had died" (as in Numbers 16:3).
@-sche, did you see my question about Jane Duncan?
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 19:33, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
@Eric Kvaalen, I don't see how that would make any difference...the grammatical form would be the same. Even though we have no evidentiary proof, I can't see why a ME speaker would differentiate between a normal indicative vs. a modal construct. Leasnam (talk) 15:58, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

@Leasnam I'm guessing that maybe using forms of "be dead" for non-indicative uses just sounded too strange. Why is it that in the KJV you never find "have died", "hast died" (not likely!), "hath died", or "had died" used as indicative (instead you find either the simple past "died" or "is/are dead"), but you do find the word "died" used as a past participle when it is not indicative? Theoretically people could have said "Would to God we were dead in Egypt!", or "Could he not have caused that Lazarus should not be dead?", or "If thou hadst been here my brother were not dead", but maybe that sounded "funny" so they used "died" with a form of "have". Eric Kvaalen (talk) 17:15, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
@Eric Kvaalen, you may not find those in the KJV, but you could have...that's the trick. Below are other cites from EME showing it was possible, some earlier than 1611:
1692, Richard Corbet, Poems
For thou hast died amongst those happy ones, As who trust not in their Superstitions; []
1598, Richard Greenham, Paramuthion
For if the enemie shall say wee haue sinned, our answere is, Christ hath died for vs, yea is risen againe, yea is ascended into heauen...
1533, Desiderius Erasmus, A Playne and Godly Exposytion Or Declaration of the Commune Crede:
[] [the Godhead, the Rational Soul, the Humane Body] euen lykewise, as it is well sayde: that god hathe suffred and hath died for vs.
You cannot extrapolate solely from the KJV that its style was an all-encompassing rule for the period. It's just one work of many, and a style which was already archaic at the time it was being written. Leasnam (talk) 21:09, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

@Leasnam Thanks for those quotes. I was not claiming that nobody used "hath died" back then (though true in the KJV). It would be interesting to see some statistics about how often people used "is dead" and how often "has died" (but of course there's no objective answer – it depends what corpus you look at). There's the famous expression "The king is dead, long live the king!" By the way, Erasmus didn't write in English, did he? I'd be interested in reading that text of Erasmus if you can give me a link. What is he quoting when he says, "as it is well sayde"? Maybe the Apostles' Creed, but it doesn't say "god". Eric Kvaalen (talk) 06:10, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
@Eric Kvaalen Erasmus did not, no, it's a translation into EME, of course. All you need to do is GSearch "hath died" or "hast died" and you'll see several. Leasnam (talk) 00:44, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

free, white, and twenty-one[edit]

Was this also used by black or otherwise non-white people)? Was it also used by white people of non-white people ("that black girl is free, white, and 21"?). I feel like this needs usage notes or just an expanded definition, clarifying that/if only white people used it. - -sche (discuss) 19:45, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

RFI: "to know the least iota"?[edit]

From w:Alexander Garden (naturalist). Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 08:36, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Did you see sense 2 of iota? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:41, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

"part nouns" : slice, piece, item, clove, blade, etc.[edit]

Hi, I do not know the exact linguistic terms used for them, but just as other quantifiers such as collective nouns are identified and categorized, doing so with them would enrich wiktionary a great deal and add an unvaluable resource for learners. --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:38, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Hmm, they're sort of meronyms. I agree they could be useful to include, and not just for English words. Without changing our current structure, they could be added in usexes or in usage notes (like on goose), or sometimes maybe as meronyms. There is the potential for several to apply, and with different meaning, e.g. a piece of garlic is not so specific about how much, a clove of garlic is obviously one clove, and a slice of garlic is a slice... - -sche (discuss) 01:16, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think they are called measure words. Equinox 01:22, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
They are basically obligatory in some languages (i.e. all nouns used with a number word must have some such intermediate word). The Wikipedia article is Classifier (linguistics)... -- AnonMoos (talk) 05:04, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

-o and similar suffixes IN ENGLISH[edit]

This is sort of a racist thing at times, but I've heard people use the "-o" suffix before on just random words to mock the Spanish or Italian language, sometimes on television. For instance, an old man sees a Mexican walking a dog, and their dog poops on their lawn. The old man says "Hey there el Mexicano! Get your damn doggo to stop taking a shitto on my lawno!" What kind of alternative form is this? And this could really be used to modify any English word. PseudoSkull (talk) 23:23, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

The suffix itself is covered in Etymology 2 of o-, but I'm not sure what to call the forms derived using it (at least, the nonce-y ones you describe, as opposed to a few well-established ones like problemo). {{pronunciation spelling|foo|lang=en|from=}}, maybe? With from= set to (and a label created for) something like "Spanish-accented English"? I expect that some words that would be used in the situation you describe, might also be put directly into the mouth of Hispanic characters in novels, etc, i.e. used to suggest that they were speaking with an accent, which the old man is then adopting mockingly. If only a few -o terms are usually derogatory, they could be {{label}}ed individually; if derogatoriness is a general feature of such words, we might want to add a qualifier (like ", chiefly derogatory") directly to the template. - -sche (discuss) 00:57, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think you mean -o... -- AnonMoos (talk) 05:12, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
There are ways to modify words whose results don't really belong in a dictionary, e.g. you can make any noun sound comically French by prefixing it with le, but other than the famous cartoon catchphrase le sigh I doubt we'd want entries. Same goes for word games like Pig Latin: again, perhaps kayfabe came from that, but it's an exception in having truly entered English. Equinox 01:05, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
True, we do exclude some regular modifications, like 's or Latin -que (Talk:fasque). - -sche (discuss) 01:38, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

die: synonym of laugh[edit]

Recently added by user:Romanophile . I have heard of the phrase "to die laughing". There is also "you kill me" which I think is implying much the same metaphor. Not sure that that amounts to a synonym though. SpinningSpark 10:38, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

‘To laugh intensely’ would probably more more accurate than simply ‘to laugh’. Even so, I’ve seen this sense quite a few times in recent years, which is probably why people say ‘I’m literally dying’. — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 11:23, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Have you got any cites for it? "I'm literally laughing", which is what you get if you substitute the alleged synonym, does not make much sense. Also, if it only occurs in set phrases then it should be presented as such. SpinningSpark 12:26, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
"Literally" is often used figuratively, so I wouldn't take "I'm literally dying" to be evidence that "die" has acquired a new literal meaning. --WikiTiki89 14:54, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I've heard the usage that I think is being referred to, but I think it's a general image that someone is so amused, pleased, or shocked, that it's killing them. There's an episode of Graham Norton where he quotes Taylor Swift's fans saying things like "we all died like for real" (when she appeared), "I legit almost told Mama Swift to call me an ambulance because I wasn't going to make it", one song "slayed everyone to heaven and back", "while listening to the song I literally had to plan my funeral arrangements because I wasn't going to make it". - -sche (discuss) 18:24, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
It's possible we need to add or expand a metaphorical sense of "die", which seems to be the "base" of the metaphor (which some examples above are then picking more elaborate and expressive synonyms for), but that sense is probably more general than "to laugh". Another usage we're missing (if it's citable) is ~"to black out, and usually vomit, due to excessive alcohol or drugs" ("I fucking died last night"), or perhaps a more general sense of "to fail to the point of not being able to continue". - -sche (discuss) 18:38, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
We also need the relatively modern intransitive sense of slay, roughly "be awesome", as in "[Melissa] McCarthy ... slayed during her monologue ... as she joined SNL’s famous Five-Timers Club."Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:03, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think the last sense of slay ("incapacitate by awesomeness") is an attempt to cover that. - -sche (discuss) 19:41, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
There's also "I nearly died" when someone is mortified/embarrassed. Equinox 19:30, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think that's covered by "To be mortified or shocked by a situation." - -sche (discuss) 19:41, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think something like "be completely overcome with laughter or emotion" would cover it. The implication is of being so completely incapacitated as to seem like one is dying. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:49, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Btw, Century has two senses we don't quite have: "to lose vital power or action; become devitalized or dead; [...] as, 'certain plants die down to the ground annually, while their roots live'" and "in theol., to be cut off from the presence or favor of God; suffer eternal punishment in the world to come: 'so long as God shall live, so long shall the damned die'". - -sche (discuss) 19:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Appendix:ISO 3166-1[edit]

Should we strictly follow how the International Organization for Standardization names the countries and areas based on United Nations? See also w:Template:Editnotices/Page/ISO 3166-1.--Jusjih (talk) 01:39, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Inside this appendix, you mean, or on Wiktionary in general?
Appendices for ISO language and script codes seem useful, but this appendix seems like it could go on 'pedia. But if we keep it, I haven't seen a reason not to use the ISO's country names in it. - -sche (discuss) 04:13, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
I just mean this Appendix, without talking about Wiktionary in general. The Appendix may be kept here to link to alpla-2 and alpha-3 codes. Some ISO's country names are subject to political disputes, so I ask here while linking to a template on Wikipedia reminding users not to fight on "Taiwan, Province of China" or similar disputes. ISO just follows the UN.--Jusjih (talk) 19:25, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
If this template is kept, then I guess it should use the ISO's names, with a note like the one you link to on en.WP. But I think it should be deleted. - -sche (discuss) 20:52, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

-cele -coele -coel suffices[edit]

It seems to me that there is some confusion in the use and etymology of the -cele -coele and -coel suffices. Which are currently indicated as being alternative forms of each other, with -cele seemingly being preferred (in the -cele entry, -coel and -coele are indicated as alternative spellings; and in the -coel and -coele entries, it is indicated that these are variants of -cele). Even though these suffices are (in my opinion erroneously) used as synonyms, there is a difference between -cele on the one hand and -coel and -coele on the other. -cele refers to tumors or hernias, and derives from Ancient Greek κηλη (tumor or growth), whereas -coel and -coele refer to body cavities, deriving from κοῖλον (cavity). This distinction is also apparent in the entries ending in -coel (which all refer to body cavities), and -cele (which all refer to tumors or hernias). I added the meaning of cavity to the -coel and -coele entries, but I am unsure of how to indicate that the -cele entry is sometimes (incorrectly) used in lieu of -coel. Any suggestions? --Kwataswagri (talk) 12:01, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

If what you say is accurate, each term should probably either have {{lb|en|nonstandard}} {{altform|THE OTHER PAGE}} or a usage note mentioning the other page. - -sche (discuss) 20:55, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Alright. How would I convince you of my accurateness? --Kwataswagri (talk) 09:31, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

clinically proven[edit]

Okay, so I've gotten some confusion now. I did my best with the definition, but apparently this word can mean a lot of things (or, according to some sources, nothing at all actually). Some sources claim that "clinically proven" just means that the product was not tested well and was put there as sort of a copout of it. (But we don't want this in our definition I don't believe; I think we want to tell what the person writing the word means.) So, can someone define it better, or did I do a good job? PseudoSkull (talk) 01:58, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

How is this different from "clinically" + "proven"? --WikiTiki89 14:29, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't know. It just seemed like it had some idiomatic meaning. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:29, 18 May 2017 (UTC)


And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

What on Earth did they mean by ‘plank’ here? Is it physically possible to have a slab stuck in the eye? — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 05:00, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

I think it's just hyperbole, to emphasize the irony in trying to correct someone else's faults when one's own faults are far greater. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:53, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense. I thought that it was a sense that nobody uses anymore. — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 05:56, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
It's definitely meant as hyperbole. Some translations use "beam" or "log" (see The Mote and the Beam). The Greek word is δοκός (dokós). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:35, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

rise from the dead[edit]

I'm working on this entry in my userspace. I think it's non-SOP, and I have enough quotations. However, several uses are in headlines, and the quote templates seem to want a quotation. Is there a way to indicate that I'm quoting the headline? — Eru·tuon 20:28, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, it doesn't quite feel SOP. There's obviously more to it than just rising.... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:55, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Etymology of že[edit]

I was browsing a couple Czech words today and trying to add etymology. I added information for když and kdy based on French articles (if anyone could verify that it would be great). Then I came to že. I saw an etymology «From Proto-Slavic *juže, *uže.» for the Slovene word. "OK, great", I thought. "Certainly the etymology is the same for Cech". But to be scrupolous, I checked with w:fr:že and found «Du vieux slave же, že, qui donne le polonais że, , le slovaque že, le bulgare че, če, же, že en russe.» (links were to French articles of course)», that is «from Old Church Slavonic же, že, which gives Polish że and , Slovak že, Bulgarian че (če), če, Russian же (že)». Is the French etymology correct? Does thaat OCS word stem from the PS word given at the etymology for the Slovene word? And if so, why doesn't the French wiktionary say it, tracing the OCS directly back to PIE *ghe? That would be consistent with the etymology found for Latin hic over here: «From Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰi-ḱe (this, here), from *ǵʰi-, *ǵʰo-, *ǵʰeh₂- (particle) + *ḱe- (here). First element cognate with Ancient Greek γε (ge, intensifying particle), Czech že (that, conjunction). Second element cognate with Latin cis (on this side), ce-dō, Ancient Greek ἐ-κε-ῖνος (e-ke-înos, that), Old Irish (here), Gothic 𐌷𐌹𐌼𐌼𐌰 (himma, to this). More at he, here» (I assume the three forms given are masculine, feminine, and neuter singular nominative respectively, and that this is some kind of demostrative pronoun -- "particle"? what does that mean?). If that is not the case, are the words že in Slovene and Slovak and the word že in Czech really not from the same PS word? MGorrone (talk) 21:21, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

PS I also added translations for the examples at slavon in the meantime, if anyone could verify them it would be good. MGorrone (talk) 21:29, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

We shouldn't say that any of these words comes from Old Church Slavonic. People sometimes lazily consider OCS to be basically the same thing as Proto-Slavic, but it isn't. Modern Slavic languages—especially those whose speakers are predominantly Eastern Orthodox—often have OCS loanwords, but the modern languages don't descend from OCS. And I really doubt that Slavic is really from Proto-Slavic *juže, *uže rather than from *že. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:52, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Well it seems that *(j)uže is really just *(j)u + *že, the first part cognate to Lithuanian jaũ. Also, How can there be a connection with Latin hic and Ancient Greek γε (ge)? PIE *ǵʰ and became PS *z, not . --WikiTiki89 15:28, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
But *že and Sanskrit (gha, at least , surely , verily , indeed , especially) can both come from *gʰe with a pure velar; in which case they're not related to γε (ge). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:41, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Just wondering, how would we even know that either the Latin or the Greek velars go back to palatals? Also, since the Greek velar isn't aspirated, how can it even be related to Latin h-? Clearly, the Greek particle isn't related at all, while Latin hic can in principle well reflect the same *gʰ- pronominal stem that the Sanskrit and Slavic particles might go back to. However, the Slavic *ž- is, in itself, ambiguous. And I don't get how anyone would connect Bulgarian Bulgarian че (če) with all this, when it starts with a completely unrelated phoneme; that's really sloppy scholarship. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: to be precise I'm not too sure how to translate "vieux slave". Literally it would be "Old Slavic", so I would have gone for Proto-Slavic, as I did in the etymology of když IIRC. I went for OCS here because it was written in Cyrillic, which would be odd for a protolanguage, and because w:fr:Vieux-slave has a link to English w:Old Church Slavonic, but there might be room for doubt there. MGorrone (talk) 09:43, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Older literature, in particular, doesn't always differentiate between Proto-Slavic, Old Slavic and Old Church Slavonic, treating Old Church Slavonic as a dialect of Old Slavic, also known as Common Slavic, which these scholars effectively consider Proto-Slavic.
It all leads back to the issue of what exactly Proto-Slavic is and what a proto-language is and if a proto-language is a language in the sense of dialect continuum (like Common Slavic) or more like a regional dialect (originating from a larger, older dialect continuum) that starts spreading, becomes a lingua franca (widespread second language), and eventually develops regional variants. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

From The Monty Python[edit]

Looking from pining in w:Dead Parrot sketch, I found that is synonym for longing and yearning. Can this meaning be included in Etym2Verb or we need another sense? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 11:03, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

In the sketch it's used as a verb form, and as far as I can see we already have an entry for this, which refers you to pine. Ƿidsiþ 16:35, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
@Widsith, I mean: is long including that sense? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 10:50, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

feel like just yesterday[edit]

I know it seems a little bit SOPish, but "feel like just yesterday" is far more common that "feel like just last week", etc. It has to do with a psychological effect that makes things feel closer in time than they actually were. PseudoSkull (talk) 15:25, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

"I wouldn't know"[edit]

Hi, Leonardo Dicaprio says the sentence "I wouldn't know" after asking the woman engraving his oscar "you do this every year?". I do not understand the use of the modal here, nor can I find it in its entry. What paraphrase would fit best for it? --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:42, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

See [4]. Equinox 20:44, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox Regarding its modality, I still can't match it with any of the ones mentioned in would. Should it have an entry of its own? It seems to be a set phrase always involving the verb to know --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:51, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
No, consider e.g. "I wouldn't have thought so". Equinox 21:53, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox Could sb. please offer a translation into Spanish? I still can't grab it --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:34, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
As the StackExchange thread says, the difference is usually that "I don't [know, think so, etc]" simply declares that the person doesn't [verb] — the person happens to not [verb], for whatever reason — while "I wouldn't [verb]" implies that there is a specific reason why the person doesn't [verb]. In this case, Leonardo is saying "I wouldn't know ... because I've never won an Oscar before." And as an answer to a question, "I wouldn't know" can sometimes be more dismissive than "I don't know". - -sche (discuss) 19:31, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  • It's our definition 1.6. He's saying "It might be expected that I don't know (given the constraints of the circumstances)", the circumstances in this case being that he's never won an Oscar before. It sounds complicated, but it's a common phrase in English which is well-understood and has familiar ironic overtones (roughly: "Don't ask me!"). Ƿidsiþ 19:40, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
    @Widsith Re: definition 1.6. I am not at all familiar with any definition of determined that make "could naturally have been expected to" a paraphrase or specialization of meaning. Is it a non-current or regional (eg, UK) sense of determined. If it is either not current or regional, then it shouldn't be in a definition. Even if it is just (much) less common, the definition might be improved by a change. DCDuring (talk) 23:14, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

As if on a cue... [5] --Droigheann (talk) 09:18, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

@Droigheann Hi, what do you mean by a 'cue'? Furthermore, could you please paraphrase the turtle's 'Guess I wouldn't know'? what is the illocutionary force of it? Lastly, I do not understand the final vignette, what is to be seen again? Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:58, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
The turtle wouldn't know if it's a nice day for flying, because it is impossible for a turtle to fly, having no wings. A bird might say "I don't know" instead. Equinox 13:44, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
It should have been on cue without the article, my bad. As regards the end of the strip, I guess the turtle actually thought it did skip - but not by the bird's standards. --Droigheann (talk) 13:59, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

So long as the specific modality of would is not stated, the lexicalized sentence will not be definied properly, that is technically/linguistically. I cannot find anything on Google Scholars. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:56, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Could sb. please confirm wether in this excerpt the same sentence is being use? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:03, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

The sentence "I wouldn't know about that" (Coetzee) is doing the same thing. It means "being who I am, I am not in a position that allows me to know about that". Equinox 16:11, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox is 'I wouldn't know' always paraphrasable by 'How would/should I know(!)?' Otherwise, what differences can be spotted between them? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:10, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
The meaning is very similar but (anecdotally!) I'd say the tone is different. "How should I know?" is often aggrieved or impatient, when asked a question one cannot reasonably answer. ("When does McDonald's open?" "How should I know? I don't work there!") "I wouldn't know" is more neutral, and in some cases might even be aloof and snobbish, indicating that one is not part of the (implied inferior) group of people who would know. ("Are the burgers at McDonald's any good?" "I imagine so, if you like fast food. I wouldn't know.") Equinox 17:22, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox can that snobbish feeling be detected in DiCaprio's statement? the engraver does smile though. Furthermore, then it is not the same as Coetzee's one --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:36, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
DiCaprio is joking. He's saying that he wouldn't know (isn't in a position to know) whether it's the same engraver every year, because he (Leo) isn't a successful enough actor to win an Oscar every year and find out. Equinox 18:21, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I've just found the expression 'wouldn't you know it', which does have an entry of its own. Once again, its modality is not straightforward, plus it's an exclamation with inversion. What similarties can you see btw. them? --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:14, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Locative plural of Czech sen#Czech[edit]

sen#Czech and [Czech Wiktionary] say snech/snách, [French Wiktionary] has snéch/snách, my half-Czech half-Italian friend says snech is dreams and snách is engagements, and her Czech mom (unless I'm misunderstanding her email) says snéch is invented and the other two are fine, so who’s right and who’s wrong?

PS Is there a quicker way to link to a foreign-language Wiktionary article than just entering the full link, like for French Wikipedia you write w:fr:a and it links to http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/a? MGorrone (talk) 13:10, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

UPDATE: Seems my friend was getting confused with "snahách", from snaha. MGorrone (talk) 14:07, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

The French snéch was nonsense, probably a typo for snech, I corrected it. My two online sources say locative plural snech and locative plural snech, but ve snách ["in dreams"]; personally as a native speaker I perceive snech as the common form and snách as somewhat literary (although for all I know there may be dialectal differences as well).
See Help:Interwiki linking. --Droigheann (talk) 18:41, 20 May 2017 (UTC)


Apparently bitty is also a baby-talk expression (possibly only in the UK) meaning something like "breast", "breastfeeding" or "breast milk", popularised by the character Harvey in Little Britain. Since I am not familiar with either the expression or the show, I've refrained from editing the entry and ask a native speaker to add this meaning.

The Wikipedia entry only refers to the catchphrase, but bitty clearly has several meanings, and the word does not refer to "extended breastfeeding" as such (that's a connotation due to the show), but to something more general, which is why the treatment over there is likely to confuse or mislead the reader. Bitty also seems to be a hypocoristic form of Elizabeth (maybe a dialectal variant of Betty?), as in Bitty Schram, which could be added to Elizabeth (given name). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:50, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I think this was invented for Little Britain, and isn't a term in general use. Equinox 17:54, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Even if that is so, it should be citable. South Park even used it once in one of their episodes. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:40, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia says South Park used it in reference to Little Britain. Seems a bit early for an entry. Equinox 18:04, 24 May 2017 (UTC)


There seems to be a sense missing that means "tell", as in give me your name or give me a random number. Or would that go under a sense that I missed? —CodeCat 20:05, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I think those (along with give me your answer, etc.) could be lumped under a more general "to provide", because giving one's number could also be done through writing. Leasnam (talk) 20:07, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
But then so could "tell", right? —CodeCat 20:14, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Sure, but provide is more clear. Tell can mean "provide" in non-verbal ways, but that is not what one thinks of first off Leasnam (talk) 20:23, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Do any other dictionaries give "tell" as a definition of give. MWOnline gives gave me his phone number as a usage example for one of their definitions of give. (MW does not use "provide" as a definition of give.) DCDuring (talk) 23:23, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@ DCDuring, we do. It's sense 4 Leasnam (talk) 23:30, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@Leasnam I asked specifically about other dictionaries because our definitions are often unreliable, being unedited or poorly edited copies of obsolete definitions from dictionaries more than a hundred years old. DCDuring (talk) 23:40, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
MW uses it in give a party, and give of. Collins uses it "to grant, provide, or bestow", and also lists it as a synonym. This is all via OneLook... Leasnam (talk) 00:06, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, I suppose we can use communicate instead Leasnam (talk) 00:08, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
To me, one indication of a possible problem with a given definition is that it is one that no other modern dictionary offers. Sometimes the problem is a poor choice of words, other times an overspecialization of a definition. There can be more exotic problems such as those stemming from false friends or the assumption that the early stages of etymological development should yield a corresponding definition.
"Tell" seems like a poor definition for give because it seems overly narrow and to miss any connection with the core meaning of give. Give is not substitutable for tell in any but a small number of uses of tell. DCDuring (talk) 00:26, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
EDIT CONFLICT: Well, in a sentence like Give me a random number, the closest thing I would substitute it with would be "provide (with)" or "supply (with)" ...I sound like a broken record (IK) Leasnam (talk) 00:34, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Provide would allow for the possibility of the response: "That'll be $.0.05 per digit. How many would you like? Shall I overnight them to you?" DCDuring (talk) 09:17, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't really see your point. Give allows for a response like "you give me some money first!" but it's hardly likely. Equinox 17:03, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Etymology of dredh[edit]

I stumbled upon the Proto-Indo-European *terh₁- entry and noticed the Albanian descendant dredh. I went to look at the dredh entry and it says it's from Proto-Indo-European *dreǵʰ. Is that two forms of the same word or is there an error in one of the entries?

Also, is there a smarter way to enter ₁ than the Character viewer? Can't seem to find it up above the sandbox, neither in Latin extended nor in Symbols… MGorrone (talk) 09:39, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

@MGorrone: You can use the template {{subst:chars|h1}} to get h₁. It also has shortcuts for other Proto-Indo-European characters. — Eru·tuon 18:23, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
@MGorrone: The suggested development *terh₁- > dredh doesn't work phonologically. Why should the initial *t- become a *d- in Albanian, and what's going on with the rest? Demiraj's proposal is better, but if Armenian դառնամ (daṙnam) (aorist դարձաւ (darjaw)) is cognate, the reconstruction cannot start in *d- because that would yield t- in Armenian. The LIV reconstructs *dʰerǵʰ- (to turn) (which is distinct from the root *dʰreǵʰ- or *dʰregʰ- (to pull, to draw, to drag)). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:51, 12 June 2017 (UTC)


please can someone create this if it is a real word, i am unfamiliar with the website 11:52, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

It's rare, but it exists: Oxford dictionary. —Stephen (Talk) 12:11, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

booty call[edit]

Couldn't booty call also mean someone who is used only for sex, such as a friend with benefit, corrupt relationship, etc.? I've heard people say things like "He just acts like I'm his booty call that's only used for his sexual gain." PseudoSkull (talk) 17:00, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes. Leasnam (talk) 17:38, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Isn't it kinda at #3 already ? Also, is it really a telephone call ? I always took it to mean "call on (someone)" like a visit or a request, not literally a telephone call Leasnam (talk) 17:40, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
A booty text seems to be used to mean both a kind of booty call and an alternative to a booty (phone) call. That is, it certainly refers to the communication. I don't know whether it refers also to what happens in a successful call, whether a visit, (video) phone sex, or sexting. DCDuring (talk) 18:24, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
We'd have to rule out analogy with booty call on that one :) but yeah it probab ly originated from a telephone call, which turned into a visitation call, or something... Leasnam (talk) 18:33, 21 May 2017 (UTC)


In We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement there is "For the Bourbon White elite and their allies, the intimidation of the Black laborers and farmers was necessary to prevent their political involvement and to maintain their subjugated location in the economy." This use of Bourbon does not seem to be covered by any of the senses at either Bourbon or bourbon. I'm not even sure what is meant. Perhaps white gentry? SpinningSpark 17:48, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Or is it intended to evoke the French Revolution? Has anyone else used it this way? DCDuring (talk) 18:30, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm seeing a few more -
  • It was "a fundamental impossibility" for a black person to be a Bourbon, white-supremacist Democrat, but a black individual could very well become a "progressive Democrat." [6]
  • Colonialist power was located in Bourbon white aristocracy. Houat set up not a conflictual dyadic political structure— whites/blacks— but a triadic one: Republican France/ Bourbon white aristocracy /the free coloreds and slaves.
  • As a practical matter, blacks had been denied a fair vote and a fair count even before the 1901 Constitution, because the Black Belt Bourbon white politicians used fraud and intimidation to manipulate the black vote to support conservative Democratic candidates. [7]
WIkipedia's article w:Bourbon Democrat would seem to suggest that the term, as applied to conservative whites generally, was limited to Mississippi in the post Civil War period. SpinningSpark 23:07, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Wow! Is "chiefly historical" a good label for this? DCDuring (talk) 00:11, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

"Subversive" un- with nouns and verbs[edit]

I've encountered interesting ways of employing un- that I'm not sure are covered by our definitions. One I found particularly surprising is the noun unconference. I think the idea is that an unconference is a conference that is organised radically differently from a traditional conference. The verb unschool has a comparable subversive idea behind it. It's similar to anti-, as in anti-art and anti-humor, but there may be different nuances. (There's even a book Undoing Gender by Judith Butler whose title plays on the term doing gender, and seems to follow from the same idea, but it's also a pun on undo.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:42, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

unbirthday is another. Equinox 22:47, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Reminds me back in the 80's (I just dated myself) when 7-Up came out with a new term for their soft drink, marketed as the "un-cola". Its interpretation is like that of a blend of "not", "alternative to", and "non-traditional". Since then, it seems these types of creations have been on the rise. Leasnam (talk) 17:46, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
I've added a third sense for this, for the nouns Leasnam (talk) 16:34, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

santas pascuas[edit]

I just came across these words being used together in a Spanish book. What do they mean? I got the feminine plural of saint for santas but nothing for pascuas. --Polyknot (talk) 22:50, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Well, pascua means Easter, so I suspect this is simply an old-fashioned way to refer to the holiday. Supporting this are es:pascuas and w:es:Pascuas, which redirects to w:es:Pascua. However, Google brings up this, which suggests that in context, santas pascuas more likely refers to Christmas. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:36, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

@Polyknot MODISMO: y santas Pascuas : and that's that/it --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:47, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums: Thanks, I'm thinking of adding an entry for "y santas pascuas". What do you think? And what heading would it go under? --Polyknot (talk) 19:16, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
@Polyknow: HEADING "y santas pascuas", an idiom --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:50, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

turn up trumps[edit]

Our definition seems (to me) to imply that the subject is a person, but the quotation suggests that the subject is the thing that turned out successful (in this case, an investment). Other dictionaries seem to differ on which definition they give. Germyb (talk) 23:19, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Citations rule. DCDuring (talk) 00:12, 22 May 2017 (UTC)


   What are portlets?
   why we use portlets and what are its advantages
See portlet and en:w:Portlet? If that doesn't help, en:w:Wikipedia:Reference desk/Computing could be a better fitting place to ask the question. - 10:35, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

French translation offered for the English word Repository[edit]

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/repositoire#French Currently, the French word "repositoire" is offered, with a link to http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/repositoire i.e. in Trésor de la langue française informatisé but it would appear that the word "repositoire" does not exist in French, and the above link leads to an error message.

Suggest removing the word repositoire.

The ref doesn't have it, so I removed it. The word could still exist. WT:RFV and WT:Requests for verification/Non-English is the place to ask for verification if there are doubts. - 10:31, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Does that look better? --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 13:03, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

wouldn't you know it[edit]

Besides its modality not being straightforward, it's an exclamation with inversion, so it would enrich the wiktionary to indicate the reasons for it, either adding a usage note or a category, as there's one for concatenative verbs. Lastly, any similarities with the sentence "I wouldn't know" should be remarked. --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:16, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

ass o'clock: can we find attestation for it?[edit]

This is an expression I ran into while watching a CarlSagan42 video some time ago. It's an English idiom, I guess, meaning (from the context it was in) either unreasonably early or unreasonably late. This definition is confirmed by [Urban Dictionary], but I fear that is not enough for attestation, so I'll keep googling, but can someone help me find more reliable sources to attest it and warrant the creation of an entry? I like the expression and find it a pity we don't have an entry for it… MGorrone (talk) 20:55, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Could this be the etymology?

One citation. Two citations. Possible third citation. OK, gotta get back to my work now :). MGorrone (talk) 21:06, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

I've never heard this, but I've heard its synonyms God thirty (in the morning) and stupid o'clock (in the morning), both meaning unreasonably early. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:12, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
@MGorrone There are some more citations here. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:21, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

take place[edit]

"Take place" seems to differ to "happen" and "occur", as one can say, "This story takes place in 1999", but not "This story happens/occurs in 1999", right? We should add usage notes to advise on this. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:49, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

I think you are right about occur not being substitutable for take place in all instances. But for the usage example you offer, I think one could say "This story happens in 1999", meaning "The events in this story happened/occurred in 1999."
I don't find this in my usage books, though there has been a sometime distinction mad between happen (restricted to chance events, happenstances, mishaps, etc.) and occur (either all events or restricted to events not thought of as chance events). But The Merriam Webster Dictionary of English Usage referred to this as a mere tendency.
This seems like a subtler phenomenon than we are likely to do justice to. DCDuring (talk) 14:55, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

make do and mend[edit]

Our definition "A philosophy, during World War II, of repairing clothes etc that would normally be discarded due to shortages and rationing" seems too narrow when compared with ODO example sentences which are neither restricted to WWII nor to "clothes etc". We also seem to miss the attributive (adjectival?) form make-do-and-mend. I'm shy about meddling with the entry myself as I've only heard the phrase for the first time yesterday (in a programme about British railways, which talked about the "make-do-and-mend attitude" allegedly continuing there after the war before their privatisation) - could somebody else? --Droigheann (talk) 19:40, 23 May 2017 (UTC)


disembowel current gives the following definition:

To take or let out the bowels or interior parts of; to eviscerate.

However I'm not sure if it means interior parts of the body or even inanimate objects so I suggest changing it to:

... parts of the body ...


... parts of (something) ...

depending on which it means.

What do you think? --Polyknot (talk) 20:22, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Seeking suggestion.[edit]

Is it correct to use the word 'operationalize'?

  • It is an Indianism - only used on the Indian subcontinent. If people understand what you mean, then carry on using it. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:28, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
It is a word, yes. Equinox 10:51, 24 May 2017 (UTC)


Is the use of "anyhow" to mean "randomly, haphazardly" a UK thing? I never heard that meaning growing up in the US, but I've seen some British authors use it that way. JulieKahan (talk) 14:21, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

Sense 1 of anyhow is presently "In any way or manner whatever"; do you see "randomly, haphazardly" as a different numbered sense? I am British and I am familiar with the "In any way or manner whatever", which could extend to an idea of "randomly, haphazardly", e.g. "We flung our things together anyhow". 22:14, 27 May 2017 (UTC)


I'd like to know who coined the term. The earliest occurrence I can find right now is from Actes du troisième congrès international des linguistes (1935), but it was obviously created earlier than that, since it's used in running text here. --Barytonesis (talk) 15:01, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

An occurrence of univerbazione in 1917. --Barytonesis (talk) 15:20, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

Between festus and profestus and fastus and nefastus[edit]

From what I gather, from Macrobius, "festus" is that day of sacrifice and feasts, holiday. Against it is "profestus", that common day of work/ business. Now "fastus" is that day when saying is permitted, day of judgments and business. Against it is "nefastus", that day when these businesses may not be held. From this may not "profestus" be "fastus" and "festus" "nefastus"? Macrobius seems to say so... And this is noted in the Glossary of Ancient Roman Religion, where it is even said that days could be profestus and nefastus. Macrobius also gives the example of the day of Jupiter's feast (festus dies) coincide with a market day. So for the rites to be conducted and market to be held that day was made fastus. So here a festus dies may be a fastus dies... But Lewis & Short and Paul the Deacon immediately couple festus with fastus. How is this if first a festus dies is a day of no work and a fastus dies is a day of work? Moreover "fas" is for religion and "nefas" is against religion. Derived from these "fastus" seems only referred to permission of business and "nefastus" to prohibition of business and opposed to religion (which seems contradicting if a nefastus dies is a festus dies). - GuitarDudeness (talk) 02:58, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

According to Agnes Kirsopp Michels' book "The Calendar of the Roman Republic", the official calendrical classification was between "dies fasti" (days when the courts are open), ordinary "dies nefasti" (when the courts are not open), and special "dies nefasti" (marked "NP" on ancient calendar charts) which were more commonly known as "feriae" or "dies feriati" (i.e. reserved for public religious ceremonies). The words festus and profestus don't actually fit into that classification scheme, but refer to "cheerful days which should be enjoyed" and the opposite. Ordinary ancient Romans were often not aware of abstruse calendar technicalities, so there was already a little confusion in ancient times, and some people used the phrase "dies nefasti" to refer to unlucky days of ill omen etc. (and other people, such as Gellius, considered them ignorant for doing so)... AnonMoos (talk) 06:04, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
P.S. In the above remarks, I wasn't distinguishing dies comitiales from dies fasti (another issue discussed in the Agnes Kirsopp Michels book)... AnonMoos (talk) 09:49, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

genuine leather[edit]

Hi, right the opposite meaning of genuine applies to genuine leather. How should this issue be dealt with? --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:09, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

That is not the opposite meaning, that is the exact same literal meaning. --WikiTiki89 17:55, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

bear cat[edit]

w:Bear cat redirects to the binturong, which is also what I understood the term to mean. —CodeCat 17:19, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bearcat, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bear%20cat. --WikiTiki89 17:58, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Probably the source of the error in the entry is that (allegedly at least) bearcat can refer to any of three Carnivora species, including the red panda. DCDuring (talk) 18:51, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
bearcat and bear cat look like alternative spellings of the same term, so one of them should be turned into a soft redirect. —CodeCat 18:53, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
That doesn't agree with the sources. We already have mutual {{also}} and distinct content on the pages. We could send each of the definitions through RfV. DCDuring (talk) 18:58, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
There isn't enough use in Google N-grams of the different forms to refer to animals for that to help. The Stutz Bearcat and the use of Bearcat as a school sports name make such simple methods useless. DCDuring (talk) 19:06, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Usage example at ember#Hungarian[edit]

Just stumbled on that translationless usage example and tried translating it. My Hungarian is next to zero, so I started with Google and then proceeded with a word-by-word analysis. In the process, I'm pretty sure I found a typo: mindannyiuknak was supposed to be mindannyiunknak, as I corrected. There are a couple words that should be split into to IMO. For example, "jól esett" is really two words, and indeed it's spelt as two over at esik. Besides that, I went for a guess on the last part, because beszéd as a nominative singular doesn't make much sense to me there, and I would expect an inessive plural, beszédekben. Also, félelmében is indeed an inessive singular as expected, except according to félelem it should be félelemben, with the penultimate e short and before the m, as opposed to the long one after the m in the quote. So could anyone chime in on this and on my translation, and perhaps correct the translation or the original quote? MGorrone (talk) 21:28, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

NOTE: The part with the example currently reads:

    • 1922, Zsigmond Móricz, Tündérkert,[8] book 1, chapter 9:
      Az ebédrehívás mindannyiunknak jólesett, mert az ember megéhezik a sok beszéd közt s a háború félelmében.
      The lunch call was good for all of us, because anyone is hungry between many words and the fear of war.

The same example, still untranslated, is present at megéhezik as well.

Edit to paeninsularium[edit]

What's going on with diff? Latin didn't have any phonemic long vowels before a nasal + consonant combination. Look at the 3rd person plural form of 1st conjugation verbs: -ant has a short vowel, from an earlier *-ānt. When the nasal was followed by a fricative, the nasal was lost altogether, but this wasn't indicated in the spelling. —CodeCat 23:00, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Dictionaries do have īnsula, īnsulāris, īnsulānus, paenīnsula (pēnīnsula) - while the old L&S has insula, paeninsula. That is, it's īnsula or uncertain īnsula or insula. And there or other such terms like pūnctum (or doubtful pūnctum or punctum as it's punctum in L&S). - 23:18, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Dictionaries can be wrong. The understanding of Latin phonology at w:Latin spelling and pronunciation is that the vowel was only long after the nasal consonant was already lost. So īsula or insula, but never īnsula. It's a mystery to me why dictionaries claim that these vowels were long, but we shouldn't necessarily follow them. {{la-IPA}} shows a long vowel while omitting the nasal, but since the spelling of Latin reflects the older situation before the loss of the nasal, the vowel should not be marked as long. —CodeCat 23:26, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, it's a weird situation. One analysis would be that, in the Classical era, the combination of the vowel with n before s or f represents a long nasalized version of the vowel, at least phonetically. So the n then represents both vowel length and nasalization of the preceding vowel. Under that analysis, adding a macron might be pleonastic: the vowel length is already indicated by the n. Or you could say that the macroned long vowel represents the long vowel, while the n represents the nasalization (and not length). Then, īnsula is also a coherent way of representing the word. — Eru·tuon 01:05, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps so, but the spelling gives the impression that there is an actual consonantal /n/ and a long vowel, thus making an extra-long syllable of some kind. But that never actually occurred; the vowel extended into the gap left by the loss of the nasal, the syllable length wasn't modified. {{la-IPA}} shows the phonemes as simply a short vowel plus /n/, noting the nasalisation in the phonetic representation. I think our use of macrons should match this. —CodeCat 01:09, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
A pleonastic marking isn't bad, and it would only pleonastic if it's assumed that the reader knows Latin pronunciation.
insula was already in 2008 "īnsula". Thus with "paenīnsulāris" it is more consistent, or else many entries would have to be changed.
Dictionaries can be, and indeed sometimes are, wrong, but same is true for wikis and books in general, and dictionaries are a better source than wikis and personal knowledge or opinion. Furthermore, German wiki has īnsula [ˈĩːnʂʊɫa] (with 'probably') and Latin wiki has īnsula [' ĩːsʊl̴a]. So both do have a long vowel, although both do not explicitly give any source for their statement. But even if there were sources, it could be POV by a selective picking of the sources.
Another and neutral way would be to use something like "{{la-noun|īnsula|īnsulae|f|first}} or {{la-noun|insula|insulae|f|first}}" etc. or to use another diacritic besides macron for doubtful or disputed vowel lengths, as with dictionaries and maybe also with books about Latin pronunciation both can be cited.
  • F. W. Westaway, Quantity and accent in the pronunciation of Latin, 1913, page 51: "Vowels are always long before ns, nf"; page 108: "īnsulāsu̯e" and "i:nsula:swe" (in the "system of the Association Phonétique Internationale" = (old) IPA) for Catullus' "insulasve".
  • W. Sidney Allen, Vox Latina, a guide to the pronunciation of Classical Latin, 2nd edition, 1978, page 65: "One such rule concerns vowels before the groups ns and nf. [...] the vowel in such cases is always long; and this is clearly indicated by the frequent use of the apex and I longa. We also find Greek tanscriptions of the type [khnswr], [Kwnsentia] [..]. [...]"
- 01:21, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
As I already said, there never existed, at any point in time, a long vowel before /n/ + fricative. It was originally a short vowel and /n/, and this then became a long nasal vowel. German, Latin and English Wiktionaries all indicate the latter pronunciation phonetically. Wiktionary also includes a phonemic representation, which is the underlying short vowel plus /n/. Westaway's description is, quite simply, wrong. The modern understanding is that the apex in these words indicated the long vowel after the nasal was already lost. Since long and short vowels had differing quality, the apex indicated that the quality of the vowel was as a long vowel, even though the following /n/ remained written despite not being pronounced (just as final -m was not pronounced). —CodeCat 01:29, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
I'd quibble with the statement that this n or m was simply not pronounced. It was pronounced as long as there was nasalization: it just represented nasalization, not a nasal consonant as would be true in other environments. — Eru·tuon 01:34, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm not sure if that's an accurate phonological representation, because mensis, for instance, has reflexes of a close e in its Romance descendants, as if it were spelled mēsis, and W. Sidney Allen's book quotes inscriptions that indicate it was perceived in the Classical era as having a quality similar to short i, as was true of conventional long e. That indicates to me that after having its e nasalized and lengthened, it had the long e phoneme rather than the short e one. Or maybe there's an alternative explanation. — Eru·tuon 01:33, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, this is correct. The same happened to word-final nasal vowels as well; there is evidence that -um merged with -ū at first instance, before merging with -u and -ō later on in the Romance languages. Sardinian keeps final -um and -ō separate to this day, but in other Romance languages evidence is provided by so-called metaphony. See w:Metaphony (Romance languages). So the vowel of -um, too, had the quality of ū, and could theoretically be denoted -ūm if we decided to use macrons to denote quality rather than length. —CodeCat 01:43, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, the fact that we don't write -ūm is an argument against macrons before ns and nf, for consistency's sake. — Eru·tuon 02:14, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
In theory, the best solution would probably be to write paenīnsulāriūm and nm or perhaps, like in the transliteration of Sanskrit, paenīṃsulāriūṃ and mēṃsēṃ. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:21, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
I was toying with the idea of using an ogonek: mę̄sę̄. That would, however, be potentially ambiguous with the ę used to transcribe open-mid vowels in Vulgar Latin or Proto-Romance. Another diacritic used for nasalization is tilde: mẽsẽ. That doesn't allow for a macron to be added, except if the tilde is added as a combining diacritic: mē̃sē̃. — Eru·tuon 18:18, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
But then, aren't nasal vowels always long in Latin, so that the macron is redundant? Both ideas are good. One possible drawback of the tilde is that it can be hard to differentiate from a macron depending on font size, but that's a problem all the solutions using diacritics have – well, except the ogonek one. Personally, I prefer the use of the ogonek to indicate nasalisation, like in Polish and Old Lithuanian, rather than to indicate open vowels (which isn't necessary in Classical Latin anyway). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:37, 27 May 2017 (UTC)


I have tried to differentiate the two senses, but I'm not happy with the wording, any help would be appreciated. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:47, 26 May 2017 (UTC)


This is currently placed in the category CAT:Russian adjective-forming prefixes (which is not even recognized by {{auto cat}}). Does it qualify? I gather that, like Latin in- and English un-, it doesn't usually change the part of speech, just negates the meaning of the unprefixed adjective. Does "adjective-forming" require that the part of speech change from, say, verb to adjective? — Eru·tuon 05:04, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

The only examples provided were Latin loanwords where im- = un- (immaterial, immoral). Some of the examples have the Latin prefix ir- (irrational, irreal, irregular). These are borrowed prefixes, not native Russian. There are also some words where the borrowed Latin im- have other senses (imperial, empire, immigrant, import, impulse). Again, these are borrowed from Latin or English, and there are not many of these words. Since it is not a native Russian prefix, I don't see why we should have this entry. Russian words such as имматериальный (immaterial) should deal with the prefix in the etymology. —Stephen (Talk) 00:15, 27 May 2017 (UTC)


Is the inflection correct?
The entry has "ῥήτωρ" as nominative and vocative.
But grammars state this:

  • Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for colleges, 1920, page 58 (in § 249) (an edition online at ccel.org): "Barytones use the stem as the vocative: δαῖμον, ῥῆτορ from δαίμων divinity, ῥήτωρ orator."
  • William W. Goodwin, A Greek Grammar, 1900, page 47 (in § 220): "But barytones have the vocative like the stem; as δαίμων (δαιμον-), voc. δαῖμον. (See the paradigms in 225.)", and on page 50 in § 225 it is "Nom. ῥήτωρ" with "Voc. ῥῆτορ".

- 22:59, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

I think you're right. I recall learning that these words had the short-vowel form of the stem in the vocative. I'll try to edit Module:grc-decl to reflect this. — Eru·tuon 01:32, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Actually, the problem was in one of the older declension templates. When I update to {{grc-decl}}, the vocative singular is correct. — Eru·tuon 01:35, 27 May 2017 (UTC)


I thought this word was mainly American, but there's no label to that effect in the entry. I'm American and don't really know whether or how often it's used in other dialects. Could our non-American English speakers comment on this? — Eru·tuon 01:30, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

It is not American. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:08, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
It is not only American, I think it could be the reverse: perhaps is mainly British (and Irish), or at least archaic or (out)dated or less used. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 20:22, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Really? I've seen Americans use it a ton. If anything, it's the Brits who might use it less. But it's not particularly marked regionally in any way, according to my impression at least. (Compare here, for example.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:31, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

medical tourism[edit]

I'm not buying that this is a pejorative, or even that it has two distinct senses. Any opinions? ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:07, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

I am more familiar with the term health tourism, but here in the UK both would have a pejorative connotation, as I understand it. There is a perception that people come from other countries to take advantage of our free healthcare system, and this is resented by some. I perceive "tourism" as somewhat ironic. I don't perceive two distinct senses. Mihia (talk) 17:47, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
My understanding is that a term to have a negative connotation by some people is not enough to label it a pejorative or derogatory term in the linguistic sense. For example, some people don't approve of the title secretary (in a company), but that doesn't make the word itself pejorative. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:24, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
In the UK, "health tourism" (and, I would imagine, "medical tourism") is always used pejoratively or negatively, as far as I am aware. I don't think that someone who supported the idea of foreigners coming to the UK to get free healthcare would use that term. Mihia (talk) 01:33, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
I think it's mostly the meaning what's pejorative, not the term. I don't think British or Germans installing in Balearic Islands and Andalousia would apply the same cognitive frame. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 10:46, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, if the meaning is pejorative, then the term, when used with that meaning, is pejorative. A term can have multiple senses, some of which may be pejorative and others of which may not, as is indeed presently the case with this entry. Perhaps the distinction between the two senses is valid after all, but now that I look more closely, the "pejorative" sense is worded entirely wrongly for the meaning I'm talking about. It talks about going "from a rich country to a poor country, to deliver healthcare", whereas my meaning is going in the opposite direction to receive healthcare. Mihia (talk) 19:34, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I read now the definitions. What is pejorative is definitively the second meaning, for obtaining or receiving: what despite could anyone find in humanitarian help? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 20:19, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Guys, I'm sorry, I got hold of the wrong end of the stick here. I didn't actually read the definitions properly. What I have done is added a new sense to health tourism for the pejorative meaning that I am talking about, along with a representative quote. I am not certain whether medical tourism is used in this sense, and I do not know the supposed pejorative sense at medical tourism, so I have left medical tourism alone. Sorry for the confusion. Mihia (talk) 20:27, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

aged care, elderly care, eldercare[edit]

Which of these is the most common? In Australia it is definitely "aged care". I just did a search on Bing, and "aged care" turns up the most hits. I would suggest moving the main information (including translations) to aged care. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:12, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

In American English, it's eldercare. British English slightly prefers aged care. English overall has eldercare (elder care) slightly above aged care. See ngram. —Stephen (Talk) 11:47, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
So it's a dialectal difference. Thank you. Unfortunately the entries at the moment don't reflect this. ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:04, 27 May 2017 (UTC)


In this entry, the main sense we're all familiar with :

  1. Large cannon-like weapons, transportable and usually operated by more than one person.

Has the following quote:

  • Bible, 1 Sam. xx. 40
    And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad.

In the text I have, the verse says:

And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.

This is obviously not the modern sense (unless "lads" were a lot stronger in those days...), but I'm not sure what definition to give this obsolete sense. The Hebrew word it translates,כלי, refers to tools, utensils or instruments, including weapons. Indeed, in more modern translations, the term used is generally weapons. From the Middle English Dictionary entry for the parent term, I suspect the English term referred specifically to ballistic weapons, but that's just a guess (the context of the verse would seem to require bows and arrows). I suppose it could also refer to what we in the US would refer to as gear (kit for those in the UK).

Does anyone with access to better sources on Early Modern English have more information? Chuck Entz (talk) 04:07, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

One of the OED's definitions is weapons that discharge projectiles (bows, slings, catapults), and it actually quotes the same verse that you mention. So probably you're right that it means bows and arrows in this case. — Eru·tuon 04:13, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
artillery in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 has a similar sense; added as a reference in the entry. DCDuring (talk) 04:34, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Biblehub says it means "weapons of war," referring to bow, quiver, and arrows. —Stephen (Talk) 11:38, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

Man U[edit]

The page for Man U currently says it's a "clipping", and previously it was called a "short form" and an "abbreviation". I don't think any of these are accurate. Is there a better word to describe it? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:34, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

I think "clipping" is correct. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:57, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Problem at CNN effect[edit]

There's something wrong here. Possibly one of the quote templates has a bug...? Equinox 22:11, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Terms that would only be said by a religious person.[edit]

I don't think terms like God's country, son of Adam, or God's green earth would ever be used by an irreligious person of any sort. How can we clarify this? There are so many terms of this nature that it'd be annoying to make separate usage notes sections for each entries, so is there a label for these? For instance: "(informal, religious jargon)"? PseudoSkull (talk) 23:28, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Not sure I agree on e.g. God's green earth. Plenty of atheists say for God's sake too. Equinox 23:38, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
The English of the ignorant masses still includes the deplorable, archaic relics of out benighted Christian past. DCDuring (talk) 02:02, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
While enlightened individuals always say laryngeal prominence rather than Adam's apple :D. --Droigheann (talk) 09:25, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Maybe we should have a label for words like Her Majesty that they're mainly used by British people. Or that certain SOP collocations like I hate my boss are only used by people who have a job. --WikiTiki89 17:31, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Or that "I have a snake in my boot" is only used by people with a snake in their boot? :P I don't think any such label would be overly useful. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:47, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm glad you understood my sarcasm. --WikiTiki89 18:48, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Haha, sorry. It seems so obvious now that I've reread it. I'm too used to dealing with people who aren't sensible. ;) Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:03, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Sarcasm? Look the author of the 1958 quotation of God's green earth! Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 10:53, 30 May 2017 (UTC)


Is this supposed to be chromophyte? DTLHS (talk) 03:09, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

No. The etymology was wrong though.
Collins has it and it is used in botany apparently. There is also chomophytic. It comes from χῶμα (khôma, bank, mound, promontory). DCDuring (talk) 03:39, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
It's used in ecology, actually. One of the few hits in Google Books is an article griping about how the spelling is incorrect according to its etymology. The coinage is also semantically iffy, since the Ancient Greek refers to masses of earth, but chomophytes are found in crevices of rocks. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:20, 29 May 2017 (UTC)


Should there be a definition provided for cliché as an adjective (as a synonym for clichéd)? Some dictionaries include it, others don't; see Wikipedia for citations. Nloveladyallen (talk) 15:14, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

عام Etym. 1: From the root ع و م (ʿ-w-m)?[edit]

Hi, regarding the question mark, I'd like to know whether that's the protocol to follow for items of info. the author is not certain. Since the rule is to follow Wehr, it should be clear unless Wehr's itself shows uncertainty. --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:17, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

We don't have any rules about following Wehr. We are an independent dictionary and make our own decisions. --WikiTiki89 17:39, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Usage note at yak verb[edit]

"This is subject to the typically Australian 'have-a-verb' syntactic construction, as in 'I had a yak last night'. But this does not qualify 'yak' to be nominal." Really? Equinox 18:32, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Is this construction even typically Australian? I think it's universal. Although in the US, "take" is more common than "have". --WikiTiki89 18:35, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever heard an American say "I took a yak last night", and if I did, I would think they were referring to the wooly bovid and ask "Where did you take it? To the movies?" —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:46, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
I think this note is nonsense in every respect, so I have taken the liberty of deleting it. Mihia (talk) 19:38, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
 ??? If being the object of a verb doesn't qualify yak as a noun, then having the indefinite article does. At least this is a little bit of hilarity. (I was curious, and the note was inserted by an IP years ago.) — Eru·tuon 04:45, 30 May 2017 (UTC)


What's the real difference between senses 1 and 2? Equinox 01:09, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

There's some discussion at Talk:belief. Germyb (talk) 01:24, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
It might not address the question directly though. Germyb (talk) 03:45, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
The second definition seems to distinguish the case in which someone chooses to believe something, as opposed to the case in which someone either assumes something is true or concludes that it is most likely to be true through objective analysis. (I do not mean to imply that someone can't do both.) For example, I would expect an impartial investigator to believe that a child did or did not cheat on a test in the first sense. I might expect the child's parent to believe that the child did not cheat in the second sense. Germyb (talk) 03:45, 30 May 2017 (UTC)


Is this a word in English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:18, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes, though I'd call it "rare". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:47, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Meaning of "OD." in etymology of scraffle[edit]

What does "OD." mean in the etymology of scraffle? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 03:54, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Old Dutch? DTLHS (talk) 03:58, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Sure looks like it. I'm'a change it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:48, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
I've updated it a little; the form shown there is actually Middle Dutch Leasnam (talk) 15:20, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Russian: приз[edit]

Hi everyone, I started learning Russian and frequently use Wiktionary for Russian words. About the word приз (prize), Wiktionary says it's accent-a (genitive при́за, nominative plural при́зы, genitive plural при́зов). I usually hear accent-c (genitive при́за, nominative plural призы́, genitive plural призо́в). Could a native speaker confirm which version is correct? Best wishes Christopher —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Thank you, Christopher and sorry about the mistake. I have fixed it now. @Benwing2 Could you please run your program to fix the inflected forms for приз (priz)? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:43, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev Done. Benwing2 (talk) 14:30, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
@Benwing2: Perhaps you should have a User:WingerBot/feedme page or something like that where we can just add links lemmas that we want your bot to fix? --WikiTiki89 15:55, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it's a good idea. I think he set up some link long ago but I forgot what it is. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 21:23, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
I found the links. User:Benwing2/words-needing-regenerate-infl is for regenerating inflections, and User:Benwing2/words-needing-regenerate-pron is for regenerating pronunciations. Benwing2 (talk) 00:54, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

اللات "the definitive article آل (ʾāl)"[edit]

Hi, could sb. confirm whether this is a typo, and it should be أل? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:57, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

That whole bullet point of the etymology was totally wrong. I removed it. --WikiTiki89 17:13, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Incidentally, the term is definite article. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:40, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
If it were spelled with a hamza above - أل or with a madda - آل, then it wouldn't be the article (now), even if it were originally. I'm pretty sure that's what Backinstadiums is asking.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 21:47, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

dual/plural forms of فم[edit]

Hi, just as similar words and even its plural form أَفْوَاه, its dual might have waaw فَموان. Furthermore, there's the alternative plural أفمام Is there any reason for them not to have been included? --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:21, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

There is no reason other than nobody added it or deemed necessary to add or couldn't verify. Do you really trust the Almaany dictionary? These alternative forms are not in Hans Wehr or my grammar references. It needs more checking. There are Google book hits but someone with a better Arabic knowledge could check those. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:33, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Could you list your grammatical references? --Backinstadiums (talk) 06:42, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
1. ISBN-13: 978-0936347400, 0936347406; (An Introduction To Koranic and Classical Arabic) (There is also An Introduction to Koranic and Classical Arabic: An Elementary Grammar of the Language Key to Exercise) 2. ISBN-13: 978-0521541596 ISBN-10: 052154159X, (A Student Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:19, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89 This is what I meant regarding Wehr's. --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:04, 31 May 2017 (UTC)--Backinstadiums (talk) 10:04, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't see your point. We can use Wehr as a reference without copying everything it does. --WikiTiki89 18:25, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

bio box[edit]

We have the ridiculous situation in this entry where we have the context label "(theater, Australia)". I don't know about you, but to me the juxtaposition of the US spelling and the label "Australia" looks ridiculous and unbecoming of a dictionary. Anything we can do about it? This, that and the other (talk) 12:28, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Here's one way:
  1. (theatre⁠, Australia)
Mihia (talk) 00:16, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Using invisible Unicode characters is silly and inadequate, particularly as it breaks the automatic categorisation... This, that and the other (talk) 11:05, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
It was intentionally a silly and cryptic hack. I guess that wasn't clear. Mihia (talk) 19:22, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps a duplicate label (except for spelling) can be added to Module:labels/data/topical. — Eru·tuon 07:45, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
given that American English also makes use of "theatre", why not just switch the label to display that? - -sche (discuss) 18:01, 20 June 2017 (UTC)


Is it Chinglish to use paper-cut to refer to a work of Chinese paper cutting? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:10, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Possibly. There is an article that mentions it here [9]. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:19, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

June 2017


Can't this also mean just a general preference of something in some idiolects or dialects? For example "I have a fetish for tea." meaning "I have a preference/favoring for tea." PseudoSkull (talk) 03:27, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

Only through hyperbole, AFAIK. If someone were to tell me they had a fetish for tea, my immediate mental image would be of them pouring tealeaves down their pants or something. Similarly, "I have a fetish for Dr Who" doesn't mean they're a fan, or even simply a very strong fan; it means they get their sexual partner(s) to dress up as a Dalek or something. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 04:09, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
I think you could probably find cites that support some bleached definition as PSkull suggests, but I'd like to see the cites rather than jsut assume they exist. DCDuring (talk) 16:40, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Some speakers use it for non-sexual "obsession" in a derogatory/hyperbolic way, like attacking a "fetish for deficit reduction" (used in The Guardian on May 7, 2015). I don't know if it can be used as neutrally as "fetish [mere preference] for tea". - -sche (discuss) 16:00, 10 June 2017 (UTC)


So "covfefe" does not have an entry yet, and that is quite incredible considering it's widespread usage. It has an article on our sister project Wikipedia. —This unsigned comment was added by Covfefe user (talkcontribs) at 05:17, 1 June 2017 (UTC).

See WT:CFI and come back in a year. DTLHS (talk) 05:20, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Maybe by then there will be a definition, and we will know whether it is a noun, a verb, or an expletive. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 05:21, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
It might meet the criteria for hot words. — Ungoliant (falai) 14:54, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
I doubt you could come up with a definition or part of speech. DTLHS (talk) 16:23, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
It's like some of the other famous typos like pwn that inherit the PoS of the word for which they are a typo. We could add it as a hotword, so that it gets reviewed and deleted if it has completely died out in a year. DCDuring (talk) 16:37, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
OK, I'll bite. What is "covfefe" a typo for? Unless we want to have a definition like "why you don't tweet at midnight if you're jetlagged". I'm with Merriam-Webster on this one --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 22:34, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
I assumed from context that it was a typo for coverage. — Eru·tuon 23:36, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Me too. I thought it was kinda obvious. It is the kind of typo that I sometimes make in my dotage late at night. I usually correct it in preview or after "publishing", as the Donald did. There are somewhat fewer observers noting my typos than note his. DCDuring (talk) 23:55, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Trump misspelling a word doesn't automatically mean that it's a common misspelling. We should still wait a year to see if any additional meanings develop. DTLHS (talk) 00:03, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
You're right. The word would need legs (usage), like [pwn]]. There isn't much (any?) use, despite the tsunami of mentions. It might turn out to be like santorum or nucular. DCDuring (talk) 01:10, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Hungarian "indul" gloss[edit]

What does "start (in the passive sense)" mean? I found it in a meaning of Hungarian "indul".


Hi, in the definition of 'steep' the adjective near-vertical shows up hyphenated. Yet, such a form doesn't appear in Wiktionary itself, nor does a productive form 'near-', at least with the meaning 'almost', which is to be expected as it doesn't either on google, so the inconsistency is to be fixed. Incidentally, I think there should be an automatic checker to flag terms appearing in entries that are not acceptable, and so they can be checked manually. --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:21, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

I think it's like "partly-melted ice" or "nine-year-old child". Hyphens just work that way. It doesn't mean we need hyphenated entries, any more than we need one for "Dog" just because "dog" gets capitalised at start of sentence. Equinox 14:44, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
The internal logic of a lexicographic resource must be taken into account, so any superfluous complexity should be avoided --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:54, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Meaning [] ? DCDuring (talk) 16:42, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree. This kind of hyphenation is a standard feature of English. We do not need separate entries like "near-" for all of the huge number of possibilities. Mihia (talk) 00:49, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

Unilateral removal of sense "you" at cha#English[edit]

I think it still it is a useful entry even if it may not be "stand-alone"—prefixes and suffixes are not stand-alone either, but we include those. and in Korean, a language in which spaces are used, particles are attached to the words. —suzukaze (tc) 14:41, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

The entry for the written-together form (e.g. you betcha) is at -cha; however, the usage note there says it is sometimes written as a separate word (e.g. you bet cha). If that's attestable, then it definitely needs to be listed at cha. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:02, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

deeper understanding of approvableness[edit]

the word "approvableness" means - The state or quality of being approvable

When is approvableness used as a state of being approvable? And when it used as a quality of being appprovable?

Pronunciation of Polish "nam"[edit]

For the Polish word nam, it says that the pronunciation is [n̪ãm]. But why is this? If I follow the rules in the Polish orthography Wikipedia page, the pronunciation seems to be /nam/ ... it mentions nothing about /ã/, so is there another rule not mentioned in the article, or what? Kinos0634 (talk) 22:57, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

It seems to be a narrow phonetic transcription, not a phonemic one. If you add in /nam/ and change the other one to [n̪ãm] it should be ok. —CodeCat 23:14, 1 June 2017 (UTC)


  1. (crosswords) Horizontally.
    I got stuck on 4 across.

This is listed under "adverb". Do you agree that "across" is an adverb here? Mihia (talk) 19:38, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Hmm... Isn't it adjectival? "I got stuck on 4 horizontally" sounds as though the getting stuck was done horizontally. Equinox 20:01, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
I think it's short for "going across". --WikiTiki89 20:14, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
It's modifying 4, so I would say it's either an adjective, or a contracted adjectival phrase as Wikitiki suggests. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:11, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
It's interesting that the definition in question is defined using another adverb, rather than a prepositional phrase, as the other three definitions are. Across is itself etymologically a prepositional phrase. Definition 1 seems to be pretty close to the crossword usage.
Some other dictionaries have an adjective definition like "being in a crossed or transverse position" with crosswise a synonym.
I don't think this would meet our tests for an adjective, unless we view it as being different semantically. DCDuring (talk) 23:12, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
We have the crossword meaning of down as a noun. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:16, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
I think noun is a worthy candidate. Consider: "I don't know the answer to 4 across" Leasnam (talk) 13:32, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
We also have a plural at acrosses Leasnam (talk) 13:33, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
And, more tellingly, we could cite the plural, though the many scannos involving cross make it a bit tedious. There are instances in Google Books of puzzle clues referring to the solutions of other clues: Bygone hangout for 64-acrosses. DCDuring (talk) 14:08, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
"4 across" is an NP, but what is the head noun? It could be the 4. ("Done the quiz? I haven't solved 6 and 7 yet.") Equinox 11:36, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Latin clino[edit]

Only found in compound verbs and as the past participle clinatus. I don't want to see the entry deleted but it cannot stand as is. --Barytonesis (talk) 23:26, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Best solution I can see would be to move it to Reconstruction:, like *nuo, another Classical verb that must have existed and has a good etymology but isn't attested. KarikaSlayer (talk) 00:56, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't know if we can say for sure that it must have existed in Latin. All we know is that it existed at some time in Latin's history. —CodeCat 14:21, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
If you take the past participle clinatus to be an inflected form, then this is attested via an inflected form. That's an if, of course. Furthermore, one attesting sentence is at Talk:clino#Latin, attestation, posted by me; but I do not know Latin. If this should be removed from the mainspace, you would need RFV for that, IMHO. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:21, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

bracketing of sentences to show syntactic governing relations[edit]

An example sentence bracketed into separate chunks is a good visual way of showing the extend to which syntactic relations spread. English examples abound, but for example to show why in the phrase عن عدمِ قبولِ الشركةِ رفْعَ أُجُورِهِمْ the noun رفْعَ is in the accusative, and not affected neither by the preposition عن or by عدم, I'm hesitating about how to proceed in a right-to-left language. Could you add your proposals? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:19, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

What's the source of that sentence? It doesn't seem right to me. I think any sentence needs to have either a verb or a nominative or both (except when it starts with إنَّ (ʾinna) or أَنَّ (ʾanna)). Kolmiel (talk) 21:44, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: It's translated as 'about the company’s refusal to raise their wages', taken from Arabic: An Essential Grammar by Faruk Abu-Chacra, pag. 179. I am really interested in dividing it using brackets, as some English grammars do --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:59, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums Adding brackets to Arabic or other right-to-left languages is tricky but the physical order of symbols is the same.
هو ماش في الشارع.‎ ― He's walking in the street.
هُوَ مَاشٍ فِي الشَارِعِ.‎ ― huwa māšin fī š-šāriʿi.He's walking in the street.
هُوَ مَاشٍ فِي الشَارِعِ.‎ ― huwa māšin fī š-šāriʿi.He's walking in the street.
Please note how the last word is linked. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:57, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums Okay. So it's not a sentence. Kolmiel (talk) 00:26, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
@kolmiel fixed, in linguistic technical terms it's a phrase. Yet what I mean by bracketing is dividing it up according to the different syntactic governing spreading of case. --Backinstadiums (talk) 06:28, 4 June 2017 (UTC)


Please remove (This entry is here for translation purposes only.) from the page. A single word is nowhere non-idiomatic.--2001:DA8:201:3512:BCE6:D095:55F1:36DE 20:38, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. No idea why that was there. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:18, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Saudi[edit]

I heard this pronounced something like /səˈuːdɪ/ or /sɑːˈuːdɪ/ just now. Is that common at all? (It was a British political analyst who may have had some knowledge of Arabic. The Arabic is /sʊˈʕuːdi/.) Kolmiel (talk) 01:01, 4 June 2017 (UTC)


This can be plural or uncountable, but not singular ("*an electronics"). How to express this with en-noun? Equinox 16:48, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

What about {{head|en|noun|plural or uncountable}}? DTLHS (talk) 02:47, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Or you could split the senses into two Noun sections with their own headword templates. DTLHS (talk) 02:47, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Is it uncountable but used {{lb|en|with either a singular or a plural verb}}? Or it could be split, as DTLHS says; compare what statistics does. - -sche (discuss) 16:48, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

trompe l'oeil[edit]

There is a disagreement over the inclusion, in the etymology of trompe l'oeil, of the "translation" of l’ into English t’. I think that the mention of t’ is odd and out of place. I believe that it is not useful or relevant to the etymology note and should be removed. Another editor, @I'm so meta even this acronym, wants to retain it. Please give your opinion in order that this dispute may be resolved. Thank you. Mihia (talk) 02:19, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, it isn't really comparable because t' is dialectal, so I agree it should be removed. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:03, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Not only that. but it means nothing in isolation like that- I'm sure it would require wikilinking to explain to most people why there's an intrusive "t" there. Besides, definite articles in French only partly overlap in usage with their English counterparts, and elision of vowels has a completely different connotation: in modern French, it's boringly standard and ubiquitous, but in modern English it's a rare pseudo-poetic affectation. On the other hand, it might be fun to watch @I'm so meta even this acronym try the same thing with "qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?". Chuck Entz (talk) 04:54, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
What about th- (as in th'apple, etc.), which we coincidentally do not show a Modern English entry for ? Leasnam (talk) 16:28, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Chuck (and the rest of you) that it is inappropriate to have "t'"/"th'" in the etymology section of French (or English-borrowed-from-French) entries that use "l'". "L'" corresponds to "the" (or sometimes nothing at all), not normally the poetic "t'"/"th'". - -sche (discuss) 16:53, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the replies. I see that another editor has now deleted it. Mihia (talk) 01:37, 13 June 2017 (UTC)


A monosyllabic word for "rat meat which has not been air-dried", I'm impressed! (Is that definition correct?) But then what's the word for "rat meat which has been air-dried"? - -sche (discuss) 16:57, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

I think we need to know ... I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly prefer my rat meat air-dried. Mihia (talk) 00:10, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

Gloss of "fél" in etymology of Hungarian "felel"[edit]

The gloss of "fél" in the etymology of Hungarian "felel" is given as “fellow human being”, but in the entry for "fél" itself, only meanings for 'fear', 'half', and 'post' appear. Is the gloss at "felel" accurate, and if so, how can this be reflected at "fél"?

Discussion of reverted edit[edit]






1a16 (talk) 20:20, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

1a16 (talk) 20:23, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

made an addition post-revert > https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=بسم_الله_الرحمن_الرحيم&action=history

1a16 (talk) 20:29, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

1a16 (talk) 20:31, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

ἔχω#Etymology 2[edit]

The entry says:

The only attested forms of the verb are ϝεχέτω (wekhétō, third-person singular present active imperative) and ἔϝεξε (éwexe, third-person singular aorist active indicative).

So then shouldn't the lemma be at ϝέχω (wékhō)? --WikiTiki89 19:33, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

I suppose it should. (Or perhaps there should only be entries for the attested forms, or the unattested lemma form should be in the Reconstruction namespace?) Our having it on the digamma-less version of the word follows the LSJ's custom of placing entries at the Koine Greek spelling of the word, which in this case is not attested, but created by removing the digamma (as the digamma had disappeared long before the Koine period). — Eru·tuon 19:39, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it should be in the reconstruction namespace, since it is attested. If we put it at the lemma ϝέχω (wékhō), we can explicitly say that the lemma form is not attested. We should probably create individual entries for the attested forms regardless. --WikiTiki89 19:47, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Okay, so attested means that having forms that are attested, not that the lemma itself is necessarily attested. — Eru·tuon 20:36, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't think we have concrete rules about it, but that's what I personally feel makes more sense. --WikiTiki89 20:41, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
I moved the entry to ϝέχω (wékhō). Also, the LSJ entry seems to be saying it is attested in Pamphylia and Cyprus, and so I labeled it as Arcadocypriot. --WikiTiki89 21:04, 7 June 2017 (UTC)


RFV pronunciation: /tɛksɪd/. I think this would more likely be pronounced as /tɛkst/. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 01:32, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

If it weren't for the fact that it is an alternative form of texted I'd agree with you. But to ensure that it is understood as a past tense, I can fully see how it's pronounced as indicated Leasnam (talk) 12:32, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
I think you may have it backwards. It's non-standard and presumably derived from text, since t sounds like -ed. So why would it not sound like text? Equinox 14:43, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Oh I see now. texed would be pronounced like "text" as if it were tex (= "text") + -ed. Then the second e would not be pronounced...do what ? Leasnam (talk) 18:31, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
If this is from a dialect where consonant clusters are phonetically simplified, the word is still phonologically the same and so the ending is still pronounced with a vowel. In other words: text is /tɛkst/ > [tɛks] and texted is /tɛkstɪd/ > [tɛksɪd]. --WikiTiki89 15:34, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
But isn't it equally possible for the -ed to attach after text "lost" its /t/, i.e. text /tɛks/ + /-d/[tɛkst]? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 15:57, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
It's also possible, but it's an entirely different scenario. --WikiTiki89 16:49, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Interesting discussion here. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:06, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
I guess that is evidence of the vowel-less pronunciation. But other than that, I don't think this blogger really knows what he's talking about. --WikiTiki89 16:49, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Heh, "this blogger" is David Crystal. Equinox 18:19, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Oh... Well what I really meant to say is that I disagree with him about the reason he gives in this case, not that he doesn't know anything about linguistics. --WikiTiki89 19:12, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

ding, ding, we have a winner[edit]

Sometimes with three dings. Indicates that the person you are talking to has hit on the correct answer or explanation. Usually sarcastic, suggesting that the person took a while to get there. What is the origin of this phrase (and should we have an entry)? Equinox 19:42, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Presumably TV game shows or quiz shows... AnonMoos (talk) 07:22, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

styca -- from Latin, from Old English[edit]

In styca, does it seem correct that it came from Latin, which came from Old English? I edited the etymology templates but didn't change that information. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 21:07, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Websters says "LL., fr. AS. stic, styc, stycge," which are Northumbrian variants (attested as stycas (plural)) for stycc (piece; bit). Apparently it was borrowed into Mediaeval Anglo-Latin from OE, then made its way from there into Modern English as a historical term Leasnam (talk) 21:23, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

idols in Japan[edit]

In Japan's entertainment industry, "idol groups" form with the express intent of becoming popular (w:Japanese idol). This seems to be based on but rather different from sense 2, which seems to describe organic popularity. ja.wp notes that their image is also supposed to be "personal and close to you". —suzukaze (tc) 11:28, 9 June 2017 (UTC)


Is this a word? I can find "a nause" on Google Groups (a hundred or so hits), fairly consistently used to mean "a pain, a nuisance". [10] Could be slang from nauseating? Equinox 13:13, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Finnish and Indonesian words suku[edit]

The Finnish wiktionary claims that the Indonesian word is a possible translation of one of the meanings of the Finnish one (relatives, kin) and also of the Finnish word heimo (tribe). Can this be true? If true, this is so surprising that it would need a note. --Espoo (talk) 14:28, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

ask for permission later, get permission later, ask permission later, etc.[edit]

What does this even mean? Here's the context: Teenager 1: "Nice car! Should we borrow it?" Teenager 2: "Nah, that's stealing." Teenager 1: "Come on, I'll ask for permission later." How do you even ask for permission later anyway? Was he just being a smartass, or? PseudoSkull (talk) 17:40, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

It's the idea that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission (and justifying yourself by calling it asking for permission instead of asking for forgiveness). I don't think we need entries for these phrases you linked though. --WikiTiki89 17:51, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't either, but perhaps "retroactively" should be added as a sense of later? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:04, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't really think that's necessary either. --WikiTiki89 18:07, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Nothing special here. You can get retroactive permission after doing something, e.g. using someone's music in your video. Permission doesn't have to come first. Equinox 18:36, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
But in that case, the permission is to release the video, not to make it, so it's not really retroactive. --WikiTiki89 18:41, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
User:Equinox But how can you even ask for permission after you do the thing you were going to ask permission for, especially in the car stealing case. Break into the car and drive it. Later meet up with the person and say "Hey, can I borrow your car? Oh, wait, I just did!" PseudoSkull (talk) 03:31, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
You're not asking "can I [am I physically able to] borrow your car?". You're asking "do you grant me the right to borrow it?". Doing the borrowing is an act; it doesn't involve permission; you may or may not have permission, when you do it. The permission can be acquired later. It's separate from the act of doing what you want permission for. As I said above: it has often happened, in the real world that someone has used a music track without permission, and even sold the resulting product, and only acquired permission to do so afterwards. Equinox 07:00, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
P.S. You might conceivably be interested in deontic logic, which sometimes overlaps certain bits of grammar. Equinox 07:08, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
@User:Equinox User:Wikitiki89 Oh, so you're saying one could borrow the car, and then say "Is it okay that I borrowed your car?" Also, the point I was trying to make was that taking a car without permission first almost always constitutes theft to my knowledge, especially if you use a crowbar to break in, like in the cringey video where I got the quotes. PseudoSkull (talk) 15:05, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
For one thing one could be performing the common pragmatic language function of deception. One could be speaking in such a way as to lead the hearer to believe that the action for which one was seeking permission had not already occurred. DCDuring (talk) 07:02, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

IPA sense at ( )?[edit]

Maybe it's a good idea to add an IPA sense at ( ) explaining, say, why the pronunciation of terminator (/ˈtɜː(ɹ)m.ɪn.eɪ.tə(ɹ)/) currently has a few parentheses. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 20:58, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

I think it's just sense 3. However, in this particular case, the first "(ɹ)" shouldn't be there at all if the pronunciation is labeled RP. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 05:57, 10 June 2017 (UTC)


A (Can we verify(+) this pronunciation?) request has been made by user:Fumiko Take to provide a citation for the listed 慣用音 (kan'yōon) reading, はい. I don't know about 唐音 (tōon), but it perfectly fits the definition of kan'yōon (common but possibly corrupted Chinese readings), also it is basically a transliteraton of the modern Mandarin, so I'm not sure why this was in question. My understanding may be a bit off here, but often Chinese names of people and places are read in Japanese with a more standard Chinese sounding pronunciation of the characters, and can't all of those non-standard pronunciations be considered kan'yōon, if they are common? Here are a few citation for admins to review for attestation: (found these on a google books search searching "慣用音 上海(シャンハイ)"):

  • NHKことばのハンドブック NHK放送文化研究所 日本放送出版協会, 2005, Page 131.
  • 中国近世財政史の研究 京都大学学術出版会, 2004, Page 572.
  • 漢文解釋要法 硏究社, 1934. Page 20.

馬太阿房 (talk) 21:34, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

@馬太阿房 I asked because I couldn't find definitive sources for the claim about that toon or kanyoon. The reason it was included was apparently "the Japanese Wiktionary said so". Working on wikis, one should know better than to cite another wiki. ばかFumikotalk 02:14, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
@Fumiko Take It was me who gave you that reason when you had originally removed the reading and I guess I should have known better as you say. Without a rfv, I guess I felt I didn't have to do much research, so thanks for posting the rfv to ask for help researching this which is better than assuming a reading is not valid as listed and removing it. 馬太阿房 (talk) 06:12, 10 June 2017 (UTC)


  1. (transitive) To look at.
    He viewed the painting and praised the artist for his masterpiece.
  2. (transitive) To show.
    To view the desktop, click the small desktop icon on the bottom of your screen.

I question whether these senses are distinct, or at least whether they are distinct in the way claimed. Fundamentally the second one seems to mean "look at" too, though there may be a small nuance of difference. Anyway, any thoughts? Mihia (talk)

Perhaps the second usex is intended to mean "show" or "display" rather than to look at the desktop ? Perhaps the example needs work. Leasnam (talk) 01:58, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, clearly it is intended to mean that, in the mind of whoever wrote the example, but the question is whether it actually does. My contention is that "view" does not mean "show" at all, either in this example or any other. Mihia (talk)
I would agree with you. I'm trying to think of ways that view can ever mean "to present for viewing"/"show" but I cannot think of any... Leasnam (talk) 03:14, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
Looking around at various dictionaries as well I couldn't find anyone else defining view this way. I think it should be removed. Leasnam (talk) 03:21, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, I've deleted it. Mihia (talk) 19:27, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Castro adjective?[edit]

Is there an adjective (along the lines of Trumpian, Thatcherian, etc.) for Fidel Castro? I couldn't find much evidence for "Castroan" or "Castronian" in Google Books. Equinox 21:00, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Castroist DTLHS (talk) 21:01, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
I found a small number (43) of b.g.c hits for Castrovian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:07, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

المار ذكره[edit]

This sounds like a noun phrase rather than an adjective. I could be wrong, though. There are no usage examples, unfortunately. I tried switching part of speech in this edit, but was not sure how to program the declension table, since the phrase isn't an idafa or a noun–adjective phrase, which are the only types recognized by {{ar-decl-noun}}. Not sure what type of phrase it actually is. — Eru·tuon 07:57, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

It's a somewhat peculiar Arabic construction in which the adjective takes its agreement with the follwing noun (ذكر) while the agreement with the antecendent is in the personal suffix. For example, الرجل المار ذكره and المرأة المار ذكرها. (Maybe you already know that?!) I don't what it really is either, but adjective seems closer than noun phrase to me. Syntactically at least it's adjectival. Kolmiel (talk) 00:12, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Hmm. I am aware that adjectives take the definite article. Based on your description and the example you give, I wonder if it is a relative clause instead: الرَّجُلُ ٱلْمَارُّ ذِكْرُهُ (ar-rajulu l-mārru ḏikruhu) then having the meaning "the man [that there is] a previous mention of him". However, if so, a relative pronoun اَلَّذِي (allaḏī) would be expected since الرَّجُلُ (ar-rajulu) is definite. And the word order does not make sense in that analysis either. — Eru·tuon 00:43, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, the construction does replace a relative clause; you're right about that. الرجل المار ذكره is literally "the-man the-passing his-mentioning", which could also be expressed as الرجل الذي مر ذكره, i.e. "the-man who it-passed his-mentioning". It's a peculiar use of the participle which cannot be mirrored in English. Kolmiel (talk) 16:38, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

French "attendre" and English "attend"[edit]

It said that French attendre is a false friend of English "attend", but I believe it is a false cognate, since they are not etymologically related. Am I right? --Kinos0634 (talk) 16:49, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Seemingly not because they are both said to be from Latin attendere. Kolmiel (talk) 00:04, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Actually, they are related, so they are in fact false friends and not false cognates. — Eru·tuon 00:13, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Oh, but I see what you are referring to. The first meaning of attend is derived from Old English and is not cognate to the French word, but the second meaning is derived from Latin and is cognate. (This should be reversed: the word derived from Old English is very rare and should be placed last.) — Eru·tuon 00:15, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Okay, thank you. I have changed it back to "false friend". --Kinos0634 (talk) 19:53, 13 June 2017 (UTC)


Can anyone familiar with the use of this term comment on what it means? Based on the etymology, I would expect it to mean something like "a drag queen or trans woman", but the current definition implies it refers to transsexual men instead, and a Google Image search turns up not only pictures that appear to depict drag queens and trans women, but also manly men, and Mark Zuckerberg... so does the definition include drag queens, trans women, and trans men? - -sche (discuss) 19:03, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

It's a pretty broad queerphobic slur for any man or MAAB trans* person who is perceived to be effeminate somehow, especially cross-dressers, MTF trans women etc., but it's also used against gay or bi guys for example (even super masc ones). — Kleio (t · c) 02:36, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of oh yeah[edit]

The tone notation at oh yeah doesn't seem right. I don't think the individual parts of the diphthong should be split like that. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 00:44, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

I don't know much about IPA tone notation, but for me the vowel pronunciation is a lot closer to [æə̯] than [ɛə]. As conventionalized (broad) "IPA for English", /ɛə/ is supposed to mean the vowels in the British pronunciation of "there" etc., which doesn't much resemble the vowels of the word "yeah"... AnonMoos (talk) 07:49, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
For me it's just /jæ/, often elongated to [jæː]. --WikiTiki89 17:25, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
For me (BrE), the vowel sound in "yeah" is indeed the same as that in "there", i.e. /ɛə/. Mihia (talk)
Same for me. Equinox 11:02, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

modality of one should be so lucky[edit]

What modality would you attach to one should be so lucky of the ones in should? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:16, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Maybe "Will be likely to", sarcastically? The same sequence of words can also be non-sarcastic, like when the Irish Times wrote of the drink called an "Irish Car Bomb" that "It is appropriate that a concoction so unfortunately named should be so likely to induce immediate vomiting." But is that "will be likely to"? Hmm...
And our senses 1 and 2 are not clearly distinct, and "What do I think? What should I do?" is arguably more sense 2 than sense 1. I may see if I can improve the entry later. - -sche (discuss) 19:02, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

surseance -- Old French, from Old French and French surseior[edit]

Please check the etymology of surseance, it looks weird to me. I changed the templates but didn't change the information. The etymology is basically:

"Old French, from Old French and French surseior"

--Daniel Carrero (talk) 16:52, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Fixed. Leasnam (talk) 17:29, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

DEA dictionary of drug slang[edit]

Thought this was interesting. Some of the terms may even meet CFI. DTLHS (talk) 18:47, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Universe and universe[edit]

On the universe page, it says that Universe is an alternative form. However, nothing on the latter page suggests that it's an alternative form of the former. Instead, it says that universe is a hyponym. —CodeCat 19:51, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Life as a collective noun[edit]

life has a meaning of "lifeforms" in a collective sense, like the well known phrase "it's life, but not as we know it". The first sense in our entry seems to only refer to the abstract idea of life, not concrete lifeforms. Is this a missing sense? —CodeCat 20:04, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Yes; maybe the collective could be inserted as sense 2. And it seems odd to have "Many lives were lost" as a subsense of sense 1; maybe it would be better placed as a subsense of the sense you describe, or as sense 3. I'll make these edits. There also seems to be a bit of overlap between the "personal existence" senses and sense 1, especially in their quotations. - -sche (discuss) 20:49, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

human being[edit]

There's more translations than senses in the entry. Is the "person" translation table superfluous? —CodeCat 20:14, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Arabic 'generic' definite article ال with uncountable/mass nouns after preposition من 'of' indicating material خشب[edit]

I am puzzled by the contradictory explanation of the 'generic' subclass of the definite article treated in the pag. 112, section of the Modern Written Arabic: A Comprehensive Grammar

"it denotes a generic meaning مائدة من النحاس المحفور a table of engraved brass’, which could as well be rendered ‘an engraved brass table’, contrasting with other possible materials. Indefinite phrases also occur in a similar sense, عوارض غليظة من خشب ‘rough joists of wood’, but here the intention is not generic but rather ‘made of some kind of wood’ with no particular contrast with any other possible material."​

Therefore, I'd really appreciated it if somebody could make sense of it, highlight the relevant elements to the issue (mass noun, preposition من, indication of material sth. is made of, plurality, etc.), offer clearer examples and if possible a good grammar article on the subject. --Backinstadiums (talk) 23:00, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Backinstadiums -- This doesn't seem to be confined to only after من -- "A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language" by Haywood and Nahmad gives الذهب والفضة معدنان "Gold and silver are two metals". Also, wiktionary may not be the place for "grammar articles" (as opposed to usage notes)... AnonMoos (talk) 01:22, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Could always make an appendix: Appendix:Arabic definite article. — Eru·tuon 05:24, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

ذهب 'gold' seems to tend to appear prefixed with الـ --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:54, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

Backinstadiums -- what do you mean by suffixed? AnonMoos (talk) 01:22, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
fixed, I meant prefixed --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:36, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Like many other languages, including Romance, Arabic commonly uses a "generic" definite article with metals and other material names. I don't think there's anything special in this regard about the word ذهب. It is true that the article may sometimes be missing, but I don't know whether there is a strong semantical difference between them. (Maybe there is.) If someone were to compare a number of standard grammars and find out, that would be appreciated, of course. Personally this has never seemed a major problem to me. Kolmiel (talk) 16:56, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Generic definite article.jpg


In Japanese, is Japan considered part of the "the West" (西方) as it is in Chinese? ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:50, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

In Japanese, for the political sense of "the West" is 西洋 (せいよう) (seiyō) is normally used, not 西方 (せいほう) (seihō) / 西方 (さいほう) (saihō). Like in Chinese, the cultural sense of the West is limited to Europe, America, Australia but the political may include Japan (and South Korea). The concepts are blurring. The Japanese Wikipedia article on "西洋" only mentions the cultural senses and talks about the West excluding Japan. The inclusion of Japan is individual, in European languages and in Japanese. The speaker/writer often says "the West, including Japan", simply because Japan is not in the West and doesn't belong to the Western culture. They may not mention Japan specifically but can still mean it. Even if Japan has been westernised, "the West" (西洋) is used to contrast Japan and the West. BTW, although the Japanese society is considered very westernised, it's still very different from the West. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:22, 13 June 2017 (UTC)


In Chinese, the word 肥肉 - "fatty meat" - can be used as a metaphor to refer something coveted by many. Is there a similar word in English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:53, 13 June 2017 (UTC)


Can "water" be considered a "beverage"? I've looked up a range of references and they all seem to contradict each other. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:45, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

  • I'm pretty sure that all beverages contain water but that water itself isn't a beverage. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:59, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, water is often considered a beverage: google books:"beverages such as water", google books:"beverages like water". The current definition, which says "usually excluding water", is as strong a claim in that direction as seems tenable, and IMO could be softened to "sometimes excluding water". - -sche (discuss) 05:25, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

in the first place[edit]

Can in the first place also mean first/firstly? E.g. when listing points in a body paragraph? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:28, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

Saxon language?[edit]

What is the meaning of "Saxon" language in the etymology of talian#Old English? The entry says it's a cognate of "Saxon talen". I used the code "und" (Undetermined) for it in the absence of a better code. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 08:25, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

I'm guessing Upper Saxon, as the descendent of Old Saxon in Saxony. talen --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 08:44, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
I doubt that, because Upper Saxon is a Central German dialect that should have undergone the High German consonant shift of /t/ to /ts/. It's more likely to be the Low Saxon dialect of Low German (WP's West Low German), which we can label nds since it's spoken in both Germany and the Netherlands. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:59, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

Upper Volta[edit]

This actually refers to several different things, as demonstrated by the Wikipedia disambiguation page. —CodeCat 12:49, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

growing up, this was the best meal possible[edit]

Hi, apparently growing up maybe used as an adverbial, one step further deleting while (while in Paris, while washing the car, etc.). What d'you think? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:21, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

This can be used for other phrases, like Working the night shift, I was paid $1 more per hour. Leasnam (talk) 16:02, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
A standard English grammatical construction. See absolute (grammar), first subsense. The example given there is now often called a sentence adverb. DCDuring (talk) 23:01, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

In this sense it's an inchoative verb, so the semantics of this sense would be different; there's a lot of academic publications about it. --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:10, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

I don't see that. Could you explain? DCDuring (talk) 12:19, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Kingdom of Denmark[edit]

Does this actually refer to Denmark the European country, or to the entire Danish Realm? The current sense seems to contradict itself a bit, in that it says it's the official name of Denmark (i.e. the country in Europe) but then says that it includes Greenland, which isn't part of Denmark. Apparently there has been some discussion about this on w:Talk:Denmark too. —CodeCat 16:02, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

I strongly suspect that one will be able to find both senses in use in English, i.e. sometimes it will refer only to the country of Denmark (Jutland and the adjacent islands), and sometimes it will refer to the entire realm (continental-ish Denmark + Faroe Islands + Greenland). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:38, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

wrench in the works[edit]

Maybe this should be a discussion in another forum. (Feel free to move it if so.) I have the following quotation, and I'm trying to figure out the proper entry to put it under. Should it go on a page for wrench in the works? We already have a page for throw a spanner in the works, and in my prior experience, the idiom usually had throw as part of it, but in this example it doesn't. Thanks.

Germyb (talk) 01:31, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Arabic غَرَبَ (ḡaraba, to set (of the sun, etc.))[edit]

Verbal noun غُرُوب (ḡurūb) instead of the current غُرَاب (ḡurāb)? Wyang (talk) 11:35, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

You're right, fixed. --WikiTiki89 12:05, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Should the section at غُرَاب (ḡurāb) be removed too? Wyang (talk) 12:10, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Yeah it should be moved to غُرُوب (ḡurūb). --WikiTiki89 12:20, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Moved. Please check. Wyang (talk) 12:24, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

forensic derived terms[edit]

I know that forensic biology is an entry here, but what about forensic linguistics or forensic meteorology? I'm sure there are many other similar terms of substudies of forensics. PseudoSkull (talk) 05:06, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Translations at China[edit]

These badly match the senses that are in the entry. It's not clear whether "country in east Asia" refers to the PRC or something else. The second translation table has no corresponding sense. And does the third translation table go with the first sense? —CodeCat 21:33, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Republic of China[edit]

As far as I can tell, the third sense the same as the first sense. As a state/government, the current Republic of China is the same as the one that existed in the 1940s and before, the difference is only that it now governs less territory than before. I'm not sure in what way the second sense is distinct either, since when do we distinguish states from their governments? We don't have a separate government sense at United Kingdom for example. Personally, I would just redefine it all as "The official name of Taiwan.". —CodeCat 21:40, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Redefining it all to "the official name of Taiwan" would spark a lot of controversy. It could be misleading since Taiwan may or may not refer to the other parts governed by the ROC, i.e. Penghu, Kinmen and Magong. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:45, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Also see Republic of China (1912–49). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:47, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
At Taiwan we define it as a state, and say that its official name is Republic of China. Wikipedia's w:Taiwan does the same. So it doesn't seem controversial to do this. "Taiwan" is the common name, "Republic of China" the official name. We also speak of the Taiwanese government in normal use, even if it refers to more than just that one island. We just need to make clear that Republic of China refers to the state that is commonly called Taiwan. —CodeCat 22:11, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Alright, but Taiwan doesn't seem to be used for the historical sense. It's only used for ROC after the government moved to Taipei. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 23:13, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
I suppose that just means that Taiwan and ROC didn't become synonyms until later; "Taiwan" gained a new meaning in the last half century or so. That's not so unusual, "mouse" didn't originally refer to a computer device either. But in principle we document current English, the language as it is today. And in today's English, "Taiwan" does have that meaning. We could use {{defdate}} to indicate the point in time when the new sense emerged. We should probably also indicate that formerly, "Republic of China" was a synonym of "China" instead. —CodeCat 23:18, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Taiwan, being the name of the island of the coast of China, only became an informal name for the ROC after 1949 when the Kuomintang lost the Civil War and fled off the mainland. And, if I'm not mistaken, for at least a while after losing the war much of the non-communist world still recognized the Kuomintang as the official government of mainland China and it controlled China's UN Security Council veto. So, perhaps until 1971 (when the UN recognized the PRC as the sole China) China could refer to the ROC as well. Please do correct me @Justinrleung if I'm wrong, since you know more about this than me. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 23:28, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't think the UN recognition changed the actual meaning of the word "China". It could still refer to both of those, probably depending on the viewpoints of the user. Presumably, even today, "China" is still rarely used to refer to the ROC. —CodeCat 23:46, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
It probably didn't change the meaning, but it's probably an indicator of a shift in meaning as more countries recognized the PRC as China. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:04, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
There seems to be a lot of overlap here. The "government" sense in particular does not seem merited AFAICT; as CodeCat says, we don't have separate "government" senses for the UK, etc. it seems better to say it is a state, which claims territory XYZ, but controls only territory X. And if senses 1 and 3 are meant to be distinct, the distinction (in when the referent states existed) should be clarified... but if it is merely that the territory controlled by one state has changed, that does not seem to merit separate senses, or else do we need a lot of different senses of United States of America, one for each time a new state was added? - -sche (discuss) 22:26, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree that there shouldn't be a separate sense for the government. The situation here is slightly different from the US; as pointed out before, the ROC used to be known simply as "China" when it actually governed mainland China, but now, it mainly refers to what is commonly known as "Taiwan". — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:00, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Missing meanings of articulatus[edit]

I hope I will be able to describe the issue appropriately, as I am not a native speaker: The definition (adj.) says

  1. distinct
  2. articulated, jointed.

But the problem here is, that distinct has again both meanings:

  1. clear
  2. separated

"Separated" seems to have the opposite meaning of of "jointed", but "jointed" is also the opposite of "being one single piece". And this is actually where the meaning of "articulatus" as clear is coming from, being clear by separating its parts (especially in speaking, see articulate and the pair of articulative and articulated).

Therefore I would suggest to change the definition of "articulatus" to:

  1. distinct, clear, understandable
  2. articulated, jointed.

--Michael Scheffenacker (talk) 22:07, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Clicking on the link to the French dictionary referenced in the entry and looking at the entry for articulo, I don't see "clear, understandable" as valid definitions. How's your French? DCDuring (talk) 22:47, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
My Langenscheidt Dictionary "Schulwörterbuch Latein" (german) says:
articulatus <a, um> Adj., Adv. <articulate> deutlich, verständlich
"deutlich", "verständlich" means pretty much "clear" and "understandable". Unfortunately I do not have my "Stowasser" at hand, otherwise I could provide some additional etymological information. --Michael Scheffenacker (talk) 14:57, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

"the Variety -er"[edit]

What's the meaning of "the Variety -er" in the etymology of terper? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 01:47, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

It's one of the senses of -er; Ctrl+F the phrase "the Variety -er" on -er. This looks like a place we could add a senseid so terper could link straight to the relevant sense (though the gloss may still be useful). - -sche (discuss) 01:52, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
AFAICT that would enable a specific {{suffixsee}} too. DCDuring (talk) 03:40, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Should the id be "Variety" (doesn't match label)? Then it's "entertainment". DCDuring (talk) 03:42, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Who do I have to, um, apply to in order to get Category:English words suffixed with -er (Variety) not to have an error? I didn't see anything in any documentation. Is there a need to ask permission? DCDuring (talk) 03:52, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Some parameter is needed, but I don't know and don't care; you can just use {{auto cat}} for most of the common category names and it'll handle the parameters for you. — Eru·tuon 04:10, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I found that out by imitation. From what page would a user like me find that out? Given my experience (not just this one) we could have much simplified documentation: "Imitate", "Look for documentation", "Guess", "If all else fails,"Ask at Info Desk", "Ask at Grease Pit". That would make a pretty good template to answer queries like mine. DCDuring (talk) 04:19, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
The documentation page Template:suffixcat/documentation should have this information. It didn't, so I updated it.
It occurs to me a number of things should be done. Information about category boilerplate templates (of which {{suffixcat}} is an example) should be at Help:Category. It would also be helpful to have little blurbs, created by a template, on (some of) the category boilerplate template documentation pages instructing people to use {{auto cat}} instead of wasting time figuring out the parameters. Perhaps also a blurb on the category pages, telling people what template to use to create similar categories. What would be useful, but hard, would be to explain on the suffix category page how to add terms to the category. (You have to add a correctly numbered |idN= parameter to the {{affix}} or {{suffix}} template.) — Eru·tuon 05:39, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Imitation is still the best simple technique and one which requires virtually no Wiktionary-specific knowledge. I wonder whether encouraging (reminding in my case) users to use the simple sequence above wouldn't handle many inquiries from newer users or older users faced with changed rules, template names and parameters, etc. Directing users to some kind of short master list of documentation categories and pages might be a part of the template suggested above. I will take a run at it, perhaps on the morrow. DCDuring (talk) 08:35, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes check.svg Done Category created and populated with 17 entries (1 new), etymologies split where necessary, other minor changes in some of the entries. DCDuring (talk) 05:30, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
All templates should have basic documentation... Equinox 09:46, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
But they don't, being variously superseded, nonexistent, incomplete, and/or wrong. It is apparently fun to have consolidated uniformitarian modules which are "self-documenting" (imperfectly at that) only to technocrat users. It is apparently not fun to have templates that can be understood and modified by more normal users, possibly because empowered users are harder to control. DCDuring (talk) 21:40, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Maybe we should create some page like WT:Requests for documentation (WT:RFDOC) to deal with separate requests? We have Category:Templates and modules needing documentation but it contains 3,432 pages and I'm not sure where to start -- and apparently it contains only templates and modules with nonexistent documentation, not those with superseded, incomplete and/or wrong documentations. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 22:29, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Not very many people could fulfil those requests: non-programmers can't, and programmers other than one who wrote the template might have to waste a lot of time. And, judging by current situation, people don't usually want to document their stuff, so they would just ignore such a category. I don't suppose we can reasonably enforce documentation as a required part of coding (though I certainly see that a lot in my job) but perhaps we could try to encourage a less selfish attitude, bearing in mind that anything one person writes will probably be used and maintained by others. (There's also the issue of docs becoming inaccurate over time, unless everyone who makes a change takes the care to update them.) Equinox 22:36, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
If WT:Requests for documentation (WT:RFDOC) existed, I could try and fulfill a few requests. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 00:02, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Humph, I don't mind adding information to documentation pages. I've done a fair amount of it already. — Eru·tuon 02:05, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
I was embarrassed to find that the simple template {{taxlink}} was dramatically underdocumented. That must be why hardly anyone else is using it! DCDuring (talk) 04:30, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Adverb or PP?[edit]

e.g. "for example" is entered as an adverb (and categorised in "English conjunctive adverbs"), but grammatically is clearly a PP because of its head (and is also categorised in "English prepositional phrases"). How can this kind of contradiction be resolved? Having both adverb and PP sections won't help because (I think) any possible use of the phrase could fit equally well in either. Equinox 09:57, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

It is a prepositional phrase, but I can't think of a potentially idiomatic usage that is adjectival. DCDuring (talk) 18:12, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
One solution (which I don't particularly like) would be to introduce a new part of speech: "Adverbial prepositional phrase". Heh. — Eru·tuon 18:38, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
There is a word adprep; not sure if it applies here. Equinox 18:42, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
All prepositional phrases are adverbial. I think of adverbs as "pro-prepositions": just as pronouns stand in for noun phrases, and pro-verbs stand in for verb phrases, adverbs stand in for prepositional phrases. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:19, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
What about "man in the Moon"? That's an adjectival prepositional phrase. — Eru·tuon 20:38, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
What's adjectival about it? It's giving the location of the man: the man there. —CodeCat 20:53, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
@CodeCat: In the east coast, is east an adverb? DCDuring (talk) 21:49, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
It's a modifier in a compound. Compare Dutch oostkust. —CodeCat 22:44, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
@CodeCat: What does Dutch have to do with it? DCDuring (talk) 01:34, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
That it's modifying a noun. But perhaps you're right and adverbs can modify nouns, despite what we are taught as children. — Eru·tuon 21:05, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Adjectives precede nouns, this doesn't. This is more like a subordinate clause, who is in the Moon. Adverbs can act as complements to a copula, but that doesn't make them adjectives. —CodeCat 21:31, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
You have heard of postpositive adjectives, haven't you? And in a usage like "The train was on time" clearly on time is adjectival.
The point of having "Prepositional phrase" is to eliminate the need for duplication of much of the material in an entry in adjective and adverb sections. DCDuring (talk) 21:49, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree. Prepositional phrases can be adjectival or adverbial. One option is to spell this out in the section headings. Another option is to combine both under the heading "Prepositonal phrase". Mihia (talk)

Is programed a misspelling of programmed?[edit]

According to this page, programed is an acceptable alternative for programmed.
According to this page, programing is not an acceptable alternative for programming.
The pages program and programme only mention the spellings with two m's for these forms of the verbs.

Is this relative inconsistency justified? --Anareth (talk) 16:09, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

The American Heritage Dictionary, which is known for its prescriptivism and is not inclined to list misspellings, lists programed and programing as acceptable alternative spellings. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:09, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

D. = Dutch?[edit]

Please check what's the meaning of "D." (perhaps "Dutch"?) in tiff#Etymology 2. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 02:26, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

It is Dutch. Webster 1913 relic. I see Leasnam has cleaned up. Equinox 03:01, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Germanic = Proto-Germanic? (time and tide wait for no man)[edit]

In time and tide wait for no man#Etymology, is the "Germanic" meant to be "Proto-Germanic"? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 05:19, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:15, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, fixed. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 08:18, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, I failed to fix the second of the two links. Thanks for fixing it. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 17:11, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

looking for a term[edit]

What do you call words in English that refer to big concepts which also have real-world manifestations, like "society", "economy", "government", "industry", "law", etc.? Is there a term that compasses all of these? They're not concrete nouns, but they seem to have functions that go beyond the many abstract nouns we have in English like "truth", "danger", etc. I reckon there must be a term for these types of nouns but I can't find it. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:53, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Conjugation of raten, braten, warten, baden etc.[edit]

The stems of these verbs end in d or t.
Is the imperative singular "-e (du)" correct and complete? Is it only "-e (du)" and never "- (du)"? E.g., is it only "rate (du)" and never "rat (du)"?

  • de.Wikt has both forms for the strong verbs braten, laden, raten and only -e for the weak verbs baden, warten - but is not reliable
  • www.canoo.net/inflection/TERM:V:haben?lookup=caseSensitive has both forms for braten, laden, raten, baden, warten - but is not reliable
  • The strong or irregular verb laden also has "lad (du)" in the entry.

Going by attestation:

  • "wart (du)" does exist (e.g. from google books: "wart[,] du Kerl", "Na, wart du Schlingel", "Wart du nur, bis du in die Fabrik kommst").
  • "brat (du)" is mentioned in several 18th and 19th century grammars and dictionaries, and does occur in texts (e.g. "Brat du mir ein Wurst" (17th century, with "ein" instead of "eine" or an old or regional "der Wurst" instead of "die Wurst"), "Brat du nur fort und nasch['] mir nicht vom Rumpfstück!", "Brat du nur fort und halt dich fern vom Hüftstück!", "Nimm es, brat du ihn, [...]").
  • "lad (du)" should exist too (e.g. "Also lad du sie doch einfach ein", "Ach, Krischan, lad du den Trödel da auf 'n Wagen")
  • Dunno about "bad (du)" (there is also "das Bad") and "rat (du)" (there is also "der Rat"), but very likely both should exist too.

Additional note:

  • It could be that for strong verbs the imperative form "- (du)" without e is more correct or at least once was more correct, while for weak verbs the form "-e (du)" with e is more correct or at least once was more correct. In MHG according to Wright's MHG primer it's only strong "-" (e.g. "nim") and weak "-e" (e.g. "nenne"), and a 18th or 19th century dictionary even had "brat du (nicht brate)" (for the strong verb). In some ways this could fit to the 2nd person singular imperfect indicative ending -st or -est added to the imperfect stem. In the 19th century it's already imperative -e for strong verbs in dictionaries, and the dictionary with "brat du (nicht brate)" could be from the 18 century, so maybe there was some kind of change around 1800 (the time of Adelung).
    Nowadays both forms should exist and be "correct" as seen in canoo and sometimes at duden (e.g. www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/braten and www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/warten).
  • Some verbs should have only "-e (du)" and not "- (du)", e.g. "atme (du)" and "rechne (du)" and no *"atm (du)" and "rechn (du)".

- 12:27, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Verbs in -d/-t should have both imperatives (with and without -e) just like normal verbs. There may be a stronger tendency to keep the -e in these stems than there is otherwise; a few forms may even be rare (like arbeit!). But that doesn't mean that any of these e-less forms are unused, nor that they are incorrect. The distinction between strong and weak verbs, which the DWB defends, is obsolete in my opinion (apart from those with e/i-Wechsel, of course). The only verbs that always take -e are those whose stems end in a consonant + -m/-n. Kolmiel (talk) 00:24, 20 June 2017 (UTC)


/ˈklɑːʃ/. Not 'British' in general, which is /ˈklæʃ/, it might be a regional British thing but I've never heard of it. In fact I can't think of any word ending in -ash that's prononced /ɑːʃ/. 16:25, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

I agree. Never heard of /ˈklɑːʃ/ in BrE. Mihia (talk) 20:48, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
It's been added by an en-3 contributor [11][12]. Fixed. --Droigheann (talk) 23:20, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
They were probably confusing it with 'class' /ˈklɑːs/. 18:04, 20 June 2017 (UTC)


There it says "2. (philosophy) Exhibiting characteristics of both feminine and masculine. Both denotational synonym and connotational antonym of androgynous."

I cannot find anything about the connotation of androgynous or gynandrous in any of the articles. Can someone explain and add to it? Steelpanspieler (talk) 19:05, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

At [[androgynous#English]] we correctly list both "Possessing qualities of both sexes" and "Pertaining to a feature or characteristic that is not definitively of either sex". Apparently the editor of [[gynandrous#English]] considers the former to be its 'denotation' and the latter to be its 'connotation': gynandrous apparently only means "Possessing qualities of both sexes", and does not mean "Gender-neutral". (Well, we're missing something at [[androgynous#English]], because an "androgynous sweater" isn't a "feature or characteristic", but is still using it in the "gender-neutral" sense.) —RuakhTALK 00:13, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

'conspiratophiles' and 'corporatofascists'[edit]

I know these aren't real words - yet. Perhaps one day they'll reach a common usage. Before I start using them I wanted to see if they were well formed or if there were ways to improve on them for reasons I hadn't considered.

  • conspiratophiles
  • corporatofacists

Thanks for your feedback. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 23:40, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

If the first one means "people who buy into conspiracy theories", then I think it's reasonably transparent.
If the second one means "corporate fascists", then the compound is actually one syllable longer than the phrase. :-P   (Also, you're missing an <s> in the 'fascist' part.)
RuakhTALK 00:04, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
They sound like snarl words. Do we need more of those? Equinox 12:39, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
There's already a word conspirophile that gets some use on the internet since the early 90s and it's shorter than your conspiratophile that is hardly in use. It looks like it's (barely) citable. This looks like the funniest cite:
  • 1993 September 25, Chris Burian, "crime with computers?", alt.conspiracy/alt.society.civil-liberty [13].
    Being a conspirophile, I do see a connection between recent BBS porn busts, encryption busts, and even "anarchy" text-file busts. I also see them connected with Waco, S-8, and suggestions that the National Guard be used for border patrol.
Also, fascist is normally spelt with an s before the c, so corporatofascists. This is also used on the internet (since 2006), but mainly on blogs and Reddit and it doesn't get close to satisfying CFI yet. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 09:19, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Hey gang, THANKS! These were the perfect answers. I am ashamed I misspelled fascists. It was underlined because it was a word mashup and I didn't re-check, especially because I thought it was neato that they were both "c"-words the same length (with one misspelled). I know it adds a syllable, but it kinda matches. The reason I came here was because I learned that the non-word "pedophilocracy" would technically be a more correct term than the rare "pedophocracy". That's why I wonder if "conspirophile" is actually better than "conspiratophile", or just extant earlier? Also, perhaps instead of using "corporatofascists", what do you think of "corporatotalitarians"? ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 05:31, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
FYI, I consider myself a conspirophile. I was banned from Wikipedia for 1 year for being "another polite truther". I like looking at all sides of things, good, bad, corporate, independent, crazy, and sane - then making my own mind up. And not just about geopolitical matters. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 05:37, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
Can we add conspirophile? By "we" I mean someone else. I like words but I don't feel comfortable adding words. As a conspirophile, I'd really appreciate it. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 03:04, 25 June 2017 (UTC)


Usage note: "Non-specific sense is often used to cast doubt on the legitimacy or stated goals of the subject." Does anyone have any idea what this means? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:12, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

It refers to sense 2, noting that it has derogatory, discrediting connotations when it is used for an organisation or internal body. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:59, 22 June 2017 (UTC)


(Applies to Mandarin) Sense #6 and usage notes are quite naive. It makes sense for people who have no idea about the grammar and don't want to know but it's not a professional description of the usage in this case. I think sense #6 should be deleted altogether and usage notes should describe in what cases it's appropriate to "很" before an adjective in predicate clauses. @Wyang, Tooironic, Suzukaze-c, Justinrleung Anyone wishes to rewrite? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:28, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

It definitely does not mean "to be". I agree with you. —suzukaze (tc) 02:33, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it makes sense at all- isn't a verb, and it's not linking anything. It's strictly modifying the adjective, and whether you consider the adjective to be a stative verb or an adjective like we have in English, the language simply doesn't need a linking verb in such constructions. Given that isn't always present, it's worse than useless- it's misleading and confusing. There's nothing usable in sense 6 or the usage note, so I've removed them- it's better to start from scratch than to try rewriting complete nonsense. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:31, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree with all of the above. Wyang (talk) 08:34, 21 June 2017 (UTC)


I'm not sure this meets CFI, though you can find it in a few user-submitted listings on sites like Etsy that sell clothing. Could it be a misspelling of some other word? Equinox 14:58, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

Ah! Got it. It's paillette. Equinox 15:03, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

"alot" is NOT correct English.[edit]

The entry for "alot" is a perfect example of why "wiki" is not a credible source (wikipedia et al.). "alot" is not a word. There is NO disagreement about that. NONE. Now, you can say it is used commonly in informal communication, sure. But to imply that there is any disagreement among credible sources as to whether "alot" is correct English is complete and utter nonsense. The Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has never and will never say "alot" in any official communication of Her Majesty's Government. But yes, this is exactly why no decent University allows their students to use Wikipedia et al. as a source. The crowd is wrong, here. 03:02, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

First of all, alot is very definitely a word, and nothing you said has anything to do with that fact. It's also, of course, not correct English, and no one should use it anywhere that correctness is important- that's what nonstandard means. On top of that, it's condemned by quite a few authoritative sources- in other words it's proscribed. Not only have we given it those labels, we've also provided quotes stating that it's not proper English. Some have speculated that it may someday be considered correct, given the normal way that language changes, but that's just theoretical musing by experts. The mere existence of an entry doesn't mean we're recommending the term- it just means that we're providing information on something that people are likely to run into and want to know about. To be blunt, your failure to understand does not constitute error on our part. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:32, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
I broadly agree, but I believe, as I may have mentioned before, that "nonstandard" and "proscribed" are unnecessary technical euphemisms that may be overlooked or not understood by some users of the dictionary. I would prefer the labels to say in plainer language that a word is incorrect (according to people whose opinions matter), so that readers who do not go on to read the usage blurb are not left in any doubt. Mihia (talk) 00:52, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
Maybe "considered incorrect" would be better as a compromise label. I think "nonstandard" is fairly transparent though. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:15, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I would support "considered incorrect". Mihia (talk) 01:17, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
We have a way to say a spelling is incorrect; that's a "misspelling". It's on the edge here; Google Books only brings up self-published works, but it's clear it's being intentionally used in cases. I'd also say that it's impossible to be all things to all people, and we are an unabridged dictionary and are going to be a more serious dictionary then the simplified versions that are going to blur the distinction between "incorrect", and "nonstandard" or "proscribed".--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:13, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
(I couldn't understand your post at first, but I believe it is just a typo and "then" should read "than".) There is no distinction. To maintain the pretence that dictionaries are not prescriptive, technical euphemisms are used in place of plain language that ordinary readers can understand. Mihia (talk) 00:09, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
Are you claiming that a dictionary must be prescriptive? That's just silly; it's easy to make a small dictionary ("cat: kato, hat: ĉapelo, in: interne de, the: la") out of a small corpus (in this example, the title of The Cat in the Hat) explaining how words are used in that corpus, with absolutely no judgment of correctness. That the English corpus is a trillion words of text written over centuries doesn't change the fundamental idea. A descriptive dictionary covering e.g. Huckleberry Finn must explain how "ain't" differs from "isn't", and why an author would use the first. A fully prescriptive dictionary would not include both pretence and pretense without clearly labeling the first as incorrect (or the second, if it were incorrect in its prescriptions.) Ordinary readers can understand "nonstandard" and "proscribed", and if they have any trouble with the latter, I believe Wikimedia offers a dictionary they can look it up in. While we're talking about ordinary readers, we do them no favors by condemning their speech and pretending that correct language is defined by the posh instead of by how a language is used and understood in real life.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:06, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
  • @ Please read our Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion. Slang, non-standard and rare words all are permissable...if at least three citations spanning a year or more in books or reliably archived websites exist. I believe, as Chuck does, that three citations for the word exist. Purplebackpack89 04:37, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
See w:Webster's Third New International Dictionary. You're fifty years behind the times in lexicography and blaming it on "wiki".--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:13, 23 June 2017 (UTC)


https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/homericum says only that "homericum" the nominative neuter singular of homericus. That's correct, but it is also the masculine and neuter singular accusative and the neuter singular vocative.

For lagniappe, label "uncommon" seems inapplicable to Louisiana usage[edit]

At lagniappe, as I write this, the label says "(Louisiana, Mississippi, Trinidad and Tobago, uncommon)", but Wikipedia at "lagniappe" says, "Although this is an old custom, it is still widely practiced in Louisiana." Thus the label should be fixed to show that "uncommon" applies only, perhaps, to Trinidad and Tobago usage (is that what was meant?). Quercus solaris (talk) 22:16, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

IPA, language code template[edit]

Hy, What this problem is to me here? It says "no language code specified"? What is wrong? Some time says replace g with g.... Ilyas Marwat (talk) 00:07, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

You made a typing mistake. I fixed up the entry for you. —CodeCat 00:07, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

inadequate examples? (soon and overnight as adjectives, not as adverbs)[edit]


Soon after the arrival of Mrs. Campbell, dinner was announced

In the previous sentence, is not soon an adverb?

overnight#Adjective, sense 2:

Don't expect results overnight.

In the previous sentence, I can imagine that overnight is a postpositive adjective, but that interpretation seems funny to me. Would it not be more natural to see overnight as an adverb here? --Anareth (talk) 17:32, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

Good catch. In the first one, the edit summary for the addition of the additive mentioned "soonest date" as an example, but the current quote was added by someone who was adding quotes to anything that couldn't get out of the way fast enough. In the second one, everything was originally under Adjective, and the usage example was moved to the wrong POS when that was fixed by @DCDuring, with a definition that didn't really match. I simply removed the quote on the first one, but the second needs more thought as to restructuring the definitions. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:34, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't see my name in the history of [[soon]] before today. What did I do?
I'd like to see at least usage examples, preferably citations, for soon#Adjective. DCDuring (talk) 19:44, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
OED says "soon, adj. Taking place, coming about, happening, etc., soon or quickly; early, speedy. Frequently U.S. dial. in phr. a soon start (in the morning)." I added a sense for early and three quotes to go with it it. --Droigheann (talk) 13:40, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
I switched the usage example for the second definition of overnight#Adjective to "Don't expect overnight delivery". The prior usex was for the adverb. DCDuring (talk) 19:49, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

through to[edit]

Years ago I was told that "all the way from one point to another" was conveyed by "(from) A to B" in BrE and by "(from) A through B" in AmE, but now I've come across two unrelated occurrences (in BrE) of "A through to B", which expression I don't recollect having noticed before - "[the best season for harvesting seeweeds] is March through to July" (a BBC TV programme) and "[hatred] covers mild irritation through to burning anger and resentment" (a book about Buddhism). Would through to merit an entry as a preposition or would you native speakers perceive it as an SoP? --Droigheann (talk) 17:06, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

free reign[edit]

What's the source for the usage note? Is more recent information available? Ngram Viewer suggests about 25% of uses of "free (rein|reign)" were of "free reign" as of 2008. (Restricting the search to American English leaves things virtually unchanged.) - -sche (discuss) 03:40, 26 June 2017 (UTC)