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Information desk archives edit

October 2018

go azew[edit]

This is a word meaning "dry up" in Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. I don't know whether we should have an entry for this.--2001:DA8:201:3512:106D:C5C9:3E7F:7291 18:47, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

Seems tricky to find elsewhere, except in dictionaries. An alternative form is assue. Equinox 18:51, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

Isolated lemmas[edit]

Hi. Is there a way to query for isolated or orphaned lemmas? These lemmas are "isolated" because they cannot be accessed from other lemmas and only way to look them up is by search engine, category page or by typing the exact headword into the URL.

Benefits of querying such lemmas: Inclusion as derived terms, synonyms, etc. into existing lemmas. KevinUp (talk) 12:24, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

We have Special:LonelyPages. DTLHS (talk) 16:01, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
But that's by page, not by lemma. So while it doesn't give false positives, it gives false negatives. —Rua (mew) 16:39, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
Interesting. That is almost what I'm looking for. Too bad it only shows up to a maximum of 5000 entries. If we could have the lemmas sorted by language, that would be even better. KevinUp (talk) 17:23, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
The limit makes LonelyPages useless; the truncated list does not even reach far enough to cover any terms starting with “a”.  --Lambiam 22:17, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

"dog eat dog" etc.[edit]

Is there a name for N-V-N constructions like dog eat dog and diamond cut diamond? Are there many more of these? Equinox 00:50, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

I haven't found a name, although this book discusses it as "a proverbial pattern" and has some more examples, like "love begets love", "money begets (breeds, makes) money", "will will have will", as well as "great thieves hang little ones". The book distinguishes this from tautological constructions like "a bargain is a bargain". Other examples it gives: "blind lead the blind", "the great fish eat up the small", "one deceit (nail) drives out another", "like will to like" / "like to like", "nothing comes of nothing", "weddings breed weddings", and some similar constructions in Spanish, Italian and Latin. - -sche (discuss) 23:12, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
I think they're missing an important detail: in the two phrases here, the verb isn't inflected: it's not "dog eats dog" or "diamond cuts diamond". I'm not familiar with the second phrase, but dog eat dog seems to be only used attributively as a sort of modifier, not as anything that could be construed as a clause in its own right. There's something else going on here. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:22, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
I think it's a subjunctive conjugation, used in questions. "Dog eat dog?" "Me edit Wiktionary?" DTLHS (talk) 05:44, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
Subjunctive, perhaps, but I don't think questions are involved. I can see how these could be rephrased with "may", as in "dog may eat dog". The phrase devil-may-care might be relevant. Another peculiarity about these is the lack of marking for number or definiteness- dog and diamond are countable. There's monkey see, monkey do, but that seems like (real or imitated) pidgin English. Another construction that reminds me of this one involves coordinated verbs: do-or-die, kill or be killed, make or break, sink or swim, stop and go, wait-and-see, etc. Those look like bare infinitives. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:13, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
I suspect that this is akin to monkey see, monkey do or long time no see — a jocular imitation of imperfect English. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:51, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
It is popularly said to be a derivative of a Latin expression "dog does not eat dog", FWIW. I don't know what the Latin would be, if it exists at all. DTLHS (talk) 00:53, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Translating it into Latin, I found a handful of Google Books results for "canis non comedit canem" and "canis non est/edit canem". It's a possible derivation, given that Latin does not often use articles, and it's conceivable that someone might omit them in a bad translation of the phrase. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:58, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
I just want to mention the industrial rock band Cop Shoot Cop. —Pengo (talk) 02:12, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

Making assumptions about regular forms?[edit]

Do you need to know that a form of a word is used to include it?

For example, if you have a word you know can be included, and an affix that should be included, can you add word+affix without seeing that specific combination in use if it's regular and obvious it should be legit?

-e was an alternative form of -et used in neuter words of Nynorsk to form definite form, that was used in the early 1900s and maybe the 1800s, but has pretty much completely disappeared today, and even fans of traditional Nynorsk rarely if ever use it. So, if I am to include neuter words with -e ending in definite form, do I have to find a source for each individual word, or can I take a regular word and assume that word could have -e based on the completely regular rules, even if there may not necessarily be texts where they are used?

What about words that came into the language after the spelling -e was completely replaced with spelling -et? It's extremely unlikely that anyone would come across these forms, but they are still part of the system.

The same applies to dialects. There's not much written content easily avaible, but you still have regular words. It'd probably be easy to find sources for vøri, but what about all the other forms that work exactly the same way, where a Nynorsk o or u is replaced with an ø? You can assume an entire verb system, but it may not be possible to find sources for more than maybe 20-30 words. Should only those words be included, or is the full system still allowed?

I believe there's no issue with you including these forms in an inflection table, but you should only link to, and create entries for them, if they're citable. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:54, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Can you make inflection tables for non-standard forms? Overall I feel that it's a flaw that there aren't any inflection tables for non-standard forms, especially the conservative ones that many would want to use.
But what if the base form is identical to a standardized form, but the inflected form is different? I believe base form of vøri would be væra, which used to be a standard form in Bokmål. I can't start adding inflection tables for various dialects to standard spellings, and making an additional language when the word is defined in one of the written standards would be bad too. Also, if you start adding multiple dialects you'd have a complete mess with 50 different inflection tables for the same word, one for each dialect. 15:41, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
You could create an appendix with the full list of inflection tables, and link to it from the main entries. Or you could simply create entries for the inflected forms and not include them in the lemma entry. For example, we have givest but it isn't mentioned at give. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:10, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

How to go about disputing a revert?[edit]

I made an entry to a definition but the moderator reverted it without explanation. I then did a little research and made a new edit with sources. Again the moderator reverted it without comment. I tried to start a discussion on his talk page to get his reasoning for his revert but he has not responded. I am fairly certain my edit is correct and that the information now on the page is incorrect. What should my next course of action be? —This unsigned comment was added by Tardis4500 (talkcontribs).

You've started on the right track, which is talking directly. Give him some time and see if he can respond. Can you show me which entry it is? —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:05, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
It concerns this edit.  --Lambiam 07:41, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Over a month has passed without reaction from the reverting editor to the attempt to engage them in a discussion.  --Lambiam 22:19, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
This seems to have slipped between the cracks. I've restored the credit (and cited/attributed the claim to Wired inline). Strictly speaking two moderators/administrators reverted here; Chuck probably just saw the OP restoring the previously-reverted content with links to pop-culture-y sites and figured it was insufficient (and maybe it is, but eh). - -sche (discuss) 23:08, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yes, I got busy and forgot about it. Sorry.
The main problem I had was with adding links to interviews with Jordan Brady as evidence to back up a vague assertion that "Many sites credit the original usage to comedian Jordan Brady". I suspect that someone doing a celebrity interview doesn't bother any kind of rigorous fact checking, so it's entirely possible that the interviewers were just repeating information that Jordan Brady gave them. A dictionary etymology should only link to lexicographic resources, or to actual historical usage- something authoritative. We also try to avoid linking to commercial sites unless there's a very good reason, in order to avoid the appearance of endorsing those sites. Providing examples of someone in no position to know saying something in passing is not a good reason. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:33, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
While I understand your concerns, I note that the original date of 2004 has no reference or attribution at all so I'm not sure why my correction of that date with at least some reference is worse. I will continue to look for solid references but it seems clear this phrase was in use in the late '90s. -- Jeff Smith
So here is a link to the Jordan Brady routine on "An Evening at the Improv" in 1989 where he repeatedly uses the proto-phase "bow-chica-boom-bow" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgGPk6amcj4. I'm not sure if this is a reference that would be acceptable for use in the entry or if you feel supports his generation of the phrase. Please advise. -- Jeff Smith
It appears to be the case that the phrase can be attested as having been used in 1989. But for one to assert that it was in use, I feel there needs to be evidence that it was used by more than one single person.  --Lambiam 09:32, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I seem to have compounded the confusion I created by letting this fall through the cracks by being unclear. This isn't Wikipedia. We have different standards about original research and referencing. I wasn't so concerned that your references weren't good enough, as annoyed by cluttering the etymology with irrelevant references. We get people from time to time that say "me and my friends invented this back in high school". With the exception of a few iconic turns of phrase associated with a well known person or character, it's really hard to to document this stuff, and there are no truly reliable sources. If you were making a linguistic claim, references are a good idea. Here, you're just documenting that someone publicly stated that they thought something they wouldn't have evidence for- there's really no point.
I'm no expert on dealing with this kind of thing, but I think the best way would be to say that Jordan Brady was using this in the late 80's, so he might have been the source. Maybe someone else would have more specific suggestions. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:56, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Ok. I've taken another whack at cleaning this up. Let me know what you think. I did find another attribution to a character on the show Red vs. Blue where it became his catch phrase after he first used it in 2005. I just don't know if this is worth working into the etymology. I also found an online forum in 2003 where there was a discussion over where it originated. They didn't come to any conclusions but that means it was definitely in common usage then. -- Jeff Smith 00:35, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

Linking Wikipedia and Wiktionary accounts[edit]

Hi, all. I'm new to Wiktionary as an editor. I have a user page on Wikipedia (as Cavallero, but on Wiktionary I have a basic page. Is it possible to link the accounts or do I have to build up my user page again? Thanks. --Cavallero (talk) 16:52, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

See [1]. DTLHS (talk) 16:53, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
See also WT:USER. We don't allow most Wikipedia-type user boxes, so you probably couldn't make your Wiktionary page like your Wikipedia page anyway. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:04, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

URGENT: Category tree not working[edit]

It seems the Module of category tree data has broken. Major categories like English verbs, etc. are showing some Lua error. Kindly someone fix it. JainismWikipedian (talk) 11:51, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Fixed by simply rollbacking everything you recently made to Module:category tree/poscatboiler/data/non-lemma forms. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 11:53, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
Fact remains that you were already reverted before when modifying that module, so you should from now on seek actual consensus to your edits and make sure they don't break everything. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 11:55, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Why is there an entry for "Demoncrat"?[edit]


It perhaps belongs in the Urban Dictionary, but not here, surely?

(There's no entry for Republicants, and both seem to have appeared in 2003.)

It's a real word that people use and that we consider attested, so it has an entry. There's no entry for Republicant because no one has made one yet 🤷 —Suzukaze-c 17:48, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
I gave it a try; feel free to improve it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:49, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

Translation links do not work.[edit]

On the Dutch Wiktionary the translation links do not always work. I think they only work within nl.wiktionary.org, with links to the dutch pages.

For instance with: discrepantie (https://nl.wiktionary.org/wiki/discrepantie)

It only works if you click '(en)'; 'Engels: discrepancy (en)'. The word itself stays red and states; (page does not exist), I think this might be very confusing for people.

This page also has no other languages than English on the left under 'Languages'.

Is it possible for me to add links in this menu?

I was also wondering if it would be possible to add the Translation-adder gadget, and how to do this.

Maybe it is confusing, but in the line  Engels: discrepancy (en), the red link is a link to the Dutch Wiktionary, which does not have an entry for the English term yet. The blue superscript (en) is the link to the entry at the English Wikipedia. I you look at the translations for twijfel, you will see that doubt is a blue link. This is so because the Dutch Wikipedia does have an entry for the word “doubt”.  --Lambiam 20:39, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
PS. Since I wrote the above, an editor added the entry discrepancy to the Dutch Wikipedia.  --Lambiam 20:43, 30 October 2018 (UTC) Wait... you are that editor.  --Lambiam 20:45, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

TranslationAdder-gadget and audio file player[edit]

Is it possible to add the TranslationAdder-gadget to a dutch wiktionary site? If yes, how can i do this?


On the dutch sites the audio files are a link to another page, is it possible for me to insert a player like on the English sites?

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pronunciation vs https://nl.wiktionary.org/wiki/uitspraak —This unsigned comment was added by Imjor (talkcontribs)., 20:21, 31 October 2018‎ (UTC)

November 2018

What are Latin root words?[edit]

Category:Latin root words. DTLHS (talk) 21:38, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

A category created by @Kc kennylau for no clear reason, which I suggest you should nominate for deletion. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:39, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I have just asked myself the same after seeing 50639418. I see what was intended. It was meant as a category containing the basic stems one learns so as to derive the meanings of derived or related words from this. But I deny that this is of use in the very form of a category listing such words. If you want to do such things you should create an appendix.
On this occasion I would like to ask what Category:Kenny's testing category is for. Fay Freak (talk) 01:04, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
That's easy: it's the thing that holds things that don't go in Category:Kenny's testing category 2 yet. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:29, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

An alternative meaning of an ethnonym, found in non-english bibliography[edit]

Hello to all, I hope this is the right place to put this question.

We have the entry Albanian, with 3 meanings for the moment. It is known that in Eastern Europe and the Balkans the equivalent term in local languages has/had also the meaning of "peasant". This is found in academic bibliography in german and english, however the authors do not use the exact english version of the word ("Albanian"). In the German source the term is "Albaner" (Schmitt Oliver, 2009, Skanderbeg: Der neue Alexander auf dem Balkan", p. 354), and in an english text is "Alvanos", as it is pronounced in Greek (Magliveras Simeon, "The Ontology of difference: Nationalism, Localism and ethnicity in a Greek Arvanite Village", Durham Thesis, Dhuram University, 2009 p.14.). It is obvious though that their subject is the term rendered in english as "Albanian".

I posted the german source (who is THE top albanologist) in the wictionary and certain user deleted it, with the explanation that this term "was used once" (this is not supported by the source), and that "Albaner" is not english: [2]. But there is one more source, and more can be found, proving that the term was not "used once".

Can someone suggest where this meaning should be? Thank you.

PS: I understand that some fellow users may not be happy about this meaning, but don't blame me for that. Anyway, the meaning is not derogatory.--Skylax30 (talk) 13:25, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Judging by your talk page, you still haven't grasped that we need evidence of 3 authors independently using the word Albanian with those meanings, not an Albanologist claiming them in a context where English wouldn't even be the language that was used. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:33, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Oh, I hope i will not be punished for not having grasped that. Can you point to the relevant Wictionary rule, please? If it is so, I will find more sources.

In addition to the above meaning of "Albanian", there is one more: "Mercenary", or "gunman from the Levant" or the similar, or just "foreigner". This meaning is historical and can be found in many old sources (dictionaries etc), mostly French, Italian and Greek. I can remember at least 4 of such sources. Can it be included here, as well?--Skylax30 (talk) 13:39, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

The link to the relevant Wiktionary rule WT:CFI was given thrice on your talk page, and a fourth time in a reply to your posting on Talk:Albanian, together with an earnest admonition to read it three times over. WT:CFI stands for Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion. By way of appropriate punishment, it has been decided that you must learn our criteria for inclusion by heart until you can faultlessly recite them.  --Lambiam 14:55, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
I'd rather read the whole WT:CFI, and particularly the point "For terms in extinct languages, one use in a contemporaneous source is the minimum, or one mention is adequate subject to the below requirements." However, it would take too much effort to explain here that the meaning in question is Late Medieval and is found in archival material in Venezian and other old languages. So, still the question is if this meaning can be transfered from german to english. But let me close this discussion with the wiktionarism that if "Greek means anal" (because it is attested more than 3 times), a good part of the global population are Greeks. Thanks for the answers.--Skylax30 (talk) 22:09, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
The question is not if the meaning can be transferred from German or other languages to English. The question is whether it actually has been transferred to English. English is not (yet) an extinct language. Therefore, this question will be resolved in a positive sense if you present (a sufficient number of) attestations of the term Albanian in (durably archived) texts written in the English language in which the term Albanian is used in the sense of “peasant”, divorced from its original ethnic sense. This should not be particularly difficult to understand.  --Lambiam 08:20, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

Thanks Lambiam. this was the most meaningful answer.--Skylax30 (talk) 19:29, 16 November 2018 (UTC)