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

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December 2016

Generic term for charity coin-spinner things[edit]

Is there a generic term for those charity coin-spinner things? There's a dome with a coin slot at the top, and the coin spirals down around a sloping patterned surface and finally drops out of sight. Trade names appear to include MoneySpinner, Spiral Wishing Well, and Coin Vortex. Equinox 19:53, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

@Equinox: Perhaps w:en:Mechanical bank is the term you seek? -- OlEnglish (Talk) 06:07, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
I don't think so: that seems to be a personal piggy-bank, not a piece of public furniture to collect the public's money for charitable purposes. Equinox 08:18, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
The website for the Spiral Wishing Well calls them coin funnels. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:27, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Pages of great works[edit]

Hi, consider this "translation" of Vergil's Aeneid. I want to do that with Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, can I use OrphicBot to create such a page? @Isomorphyc since you run the bot. Thanks, Icebob99 (talk) 02:21, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

@Icebob99: I'm glad you liked my little exercise. How is this? User:OrphicBot/Sandbox/A_Midsummer_Night's_Dream. I didn't handle the capitalisation perfectly, and the wikitext formatting is not very pleasing, unfortunately. Isomorphyc (talk) 04:07, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
@Isomorphyc: thanks! Going to use that to study some Shakespearean English. Icebob99 (talk) 05:21, 4 December 2016 (UTC)


Someone help me out here. —suzukaze (tc) 03:36, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

Vitam impendere vero[edit]

Unfortunately I dont have the time or access to change this but this is not from Juvenal. It's from Rousseau's Lettre a D'Alembert sur les spectacles (1758) and passim. Rousseau never mentions Juvenal in either his letters or future mentions (Confessions, Reveries) in relation to this motto. Juvenal's version, in Satire 4, is Vitam inpendere vero (hence the confusion) and means to 'To risk (not devote) one's life for the truth. Small but big difference! Perhaps someone more au fait could make the relevant change.

OTRS volunteers[edit]

Apologies if there is a better place to put this, but I figure editors who answer questions here are likely to be most able to help out.

OTRS is currently in need of agents familiar with Wiktionary. OTRS is the front-line of customer service for the Wikimedia Foundation, more-or-less. We field emails related to all Wikimedia projects and attempt to help our readers, editors, and other stakeholders best utilize and contribute to our projects.

The questions received on the Wiktionary queue are likely to be similar to those received here at the Information Desk. This particular queue is very low volume, but we currently appear to have no agents actively answering these emails, so they've managed to pile up. While our oldest open ticket is approaching a year old, we only have seven total emails waiting to be answered, so this is a very low amount of work. Any experienced Wiktionary editor who feels able to answer questions at the Information Desk and who has basic customer service skills (civility, etc.) would be highly valued.

See meta:OTRS/Volunteering for details about how to apply, and feel free to ask me any questions, either by email or my enwiki or Commons talk pages. I currently answer tickets for info-en, commons, and our permissions queues, so I should be able to answer general questions about what to expect. BU Rob13 (talk) 15:56, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

I did this a while back, it is not onerous. I signed up again, but it can't hurt to have a few people. - TheDaveRoss 21:59, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Sorry, I answered all the emails that were left. We were in a bit of a crisis mode not too long ago with literally nobody checking, but it's not too bad now, I think. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:25, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

Displaying Special:WhatLinksHere/ numbers[edit]

Is there a function in existence that displays the number of pages that link to a given page, in a similar way to the {{PAGESINCAT:}} function for numbers of members in categories? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:31, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

@I'm so meta even this acronym: There is not a magic word for it like your example but there is an off-wiki tool for it mentioned here. What do you have in mind? —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:41, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
In case you're not fluent in HTML queries: http://dispenser.homenet.org/~dispenser/cgi-bin/backlinkscount.py?db=enwiktionary&title=foobar is how you get the count on Wiktionary for "foobar" (note that in the page title, spaces should be converted to underscores, and certain characters should be URL-encoded; generating the title with {{urlencode:pièce de résistance|WIKI}} should do the job, which in this case gives "pi%C3%A8ce_de_r%C3%A9sistance"). --WikiTiki89 22:18, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
@Koavf, Wikitiki89: Oooh, thank you; this is promising. Is there a straightforward way to extract that numerical datum for automatic display (again, in the way that {{PAGESINCAT:}} works)? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 12:49, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
If there is a way to do that, I wouldn't. That server seems to be fairly slow and we would risk overloading it. However, it would be very easy to create a template to generate the link. --WikiTiki89 14:20, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Hmm. I was hoping for something that could autogenerate the kind of information in User:DCDuring/MissingTaxa without the need to scan XML dumps. Does that seem even remotely possible to you? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:49, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
You can do it with a bot that could use that interface without having to scan XML dumps, but it would have to be a bot rather than wikitext magic. --WikiTiki89 18:16, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Thanks for all your help. @DCDuring: What do you think? Does something like this sound less arduous? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 09:23, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
I get a reminder e-mail when the dump is ready. It takes about 5 minutes to set up folders and headings, 5-10 minutes to download, less than a minute to make the basic taxlink run, and about five minutes to insert the relevant portion of the list onto the appropriate subpage. In contrast, it takes 15 minutes or more to create a fairly complete entry for a taxon.
I can create almost any kind of list that I want, including searches on the rank or ranklessness of the taxa, or the presence or absence of a verification date or any other search criterion or feature I may introduce. And I don't even have to know much Perl. Mostly I just need regexes. The XML dumps runs are now twice a month. If I miss a few, Wiktionary does not grind to a halt, so I get to choose when and how often I experience the arduity 733 raw Google Books hits. DCDuring TALK 15:26, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for thinking of me. But I would mostly need that I don't have is counts of instances of taxonomic names not enclosed in {{taxlink}} and, especially, not linked either to an entry either here or at WP. It can be done only imperfectly, with multiple passes over the dump. DCDuring TALK 15:32, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
@DCDuring: OK, never mind. Sorry for wasting everyone's time. At least we got arduity and its etymon out of it, I suppose. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 00:33, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

Traditional dictionary layout[edit]

Is there any support here for a more traditional paper dictionary format that lists many different words and their definitions/translations in the same page? I'm not proposing a a change to the current layout, I'm just wondering if it would be okay to create some other pages like this.--Prisencolin (talk) 23:37, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

There are appendices that look like that (Appendix:Glossary of military slang) but from my observation appendices aren't regularly edited or maintained here. —suzukaze (tc) 23:43, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
@Prisencolin: Are you interested in making a print publication? —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:12, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
No not literally, but it would still be nice to have something of that format, even if it were online.--Prisencolin (talk) 09:50, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Is junk = genitalia, in this phrase?[edit]

About this phrase: "they are in love, they hold hands and junk".

Does it mean that they are probably holding each other's genitalia, or there could be a non-sexual sense? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 04:15, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

It depends on the stress pattern of the sentence, but I think it's more likely that "junk" means "stuff" in this case. DTLHS (talk) 04:17, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
Our entries for junk, stuff, shit, and crap do an awful job of explaining it, but "and stuff" (or "and" any of the other nouns) is used to mean "other similar things" when following a noun phrase and "other similar actions" when following a verbal phrase, like here. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:21, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
Don't parse it as "hold (hands and junk)" but as "(hold hands) and (junk)": they hold hands, and do other (mushy/romantic) things like that. Equinox 11:31, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree with the others: it means "they hold hands and do other such romantic stuff". But it does have the potential of being a dirty double entendre. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:55, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm surprised no one's asked this yet. What's the context? You can't really analyze a short statement like that on its own, it could mean practically anything. --WikiTiki89 14:52, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
OK. From what I understood, it's really: "they hold hands and do other such romantic stuff".
Anyway, per Wikitiki89's request, I'm linking below to the place where I found that phrase. The illustration looks cute and non-sexual to me, except Ariel's left hand could be touching somewhere near her "junk", which confused me at first, but I don't know much about anatomy of mermaids from Disney movies.
Initially, I just wanted to talk about that phrase, under the assumption that it is "self-contained" and meaningful enough that we didn't really need to discuss the context. Anyway, here it is. Feel free to comment further if you want: http://rokewe.tumblr.com/post/154335818129/hey-just-wanna-get-this-out-there --Daniel Carrero (talk) 15:07, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Link to a blacklisted website (Youtube)[edit]

Hi. Is there any way to link to Youtube without tripping the blacklist filter? Perhaps using a template?

In project namespace this can be useful to discuss/illustrate usage of words and phrases. I tried to link to a video in which I found some (possibly) missing senses, but had to mangle the url to do so, which is a solution I don't feel particularly good about (and which may violate the letter of some anti-spam policy). --Azertus (talk) 17:46, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

You can link to "youtube.com" (like this), you just can't link to "youtu.be". --WikiTiki89 15:06, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Extreme backlog[edit]

Wiktionary:Requests for moves, mergers and splits There are several "open" requests from more than two years ago. Does someone want to take a look to close out ones that seem either resolved or which have no resolution and are so stale that there is no conversation to be had? —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:23, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

How can I edit a declension table?[edit]

Hi. I have a question as in the subject: how do I get to edit a declension table? There is a mistake in the declension table of duży and I would like to fix it, however the Edit page only allows me to edit the headline, tops. Unless I am not noticing something really easy and silly. The error, if you are curious, is in the Nominative/Vocative line, m pers plural. It should be "duzi" (yes, that's the only form without the Ż character), not "duży". Marek Kopański (talk) 09:40, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

@Marek Kopański: Such a thing can be difficult. In this case, the template had first to be substituted; thereafter, the forms became editable. See the documentation for {{pl-decl-adj-auto}} and {{pl-decl-adj}}. I've made the change to duży. Note that template substitution is rarely a good idea; this case was unusual. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 10:08, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your help! :)Marek Kopański (talk) 10:43, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

@Marek Kopański: Is this the only adjective that behaves this way? Are there any other adjectives that end in -czy/-szy/-ży that change to -ci/-si/-zi in the m.pers. nom/voc? --WikiTiki89 15:54, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
No, it's a rule. The correct template to use here is {{pl-decl-adj-y|duż|duzi}}. Before the -i of the nominative/vocative masculine pl adjective, the final consonant is palatized, as in duży-duzi, bogaty-bogaci. There are many, many cases where hard and soft consonants alternate in Polish declensions and conjugations. —Stephen (Talk) 05:25, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown: My bad. Thanks for the better fix. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:53, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

"Inquiring (enquiring) minds must know"[edit]

What is the origin of this oft-quoted phrase? Equinox 08:17, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

It originated as an ad slogan in the form of "enquiring minds want to know" and was used in the tabloid The National Enquirer. The Enquirer trademarked the slogan in 1981 and first used it on October 20, 1981. —Stephen (Talk) 09:56, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Most common name for this type of pencil:[edit]

For these. Google suggests "multi point pencil", "stacking pencil", "push up pencil", "stacking point pencil". —suzukaze (tc) 09:40, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

I've always just called them "mechanical pencils," but if I wanted to specify that specific type, I would just describe it, since I don't think any of the names you mention are particularly well-known or readibly understandable. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:44, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Wow, what a blast from the past! Haven't seen those in a million years. I never knew what they were called, but certainly not "mechanical pencils". --WikiTiki89 16:04, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c: I'd call them cartridge pencils, by analogy with the ink cartridges of fountain pens. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:51, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
That seems like a much better alternative to what I've called them, on the rare occasions I've had to... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:10, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

conjugation of sollen[edit]

Why the conjugation of sollen can't be read?--Dafne07 (talk) 15:44, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

Which language, German or Luxembourgish? If you mean Luxembourgish, nobody has added the conjugation yet, sorry. However, if you go to lb:sollen on the Luxembourgish Wiktionary, you will be able to read it. —Stephen (Talk) 17:49, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

rfc synonyms?[edit]

Hey. What's the correct cleanup tag to flag synonyms as ambiguous, like in proceeding when it's not clear which words are synonymous with each sense? --Derrib9 (talk) 21:57, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

@Derrib9: Maybe just use {{rfc|reason here}}? As reason you could give "it's not clear which words are synonymous with each sense". Maybe you could also post at WT:RFC. - 13:18, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

January 2017

Chinese words in French wiktionary[edit]

I downloaded a dump of the French Wiktionary, and was surprised to see a huge number of non-French words which (assuming I understand the structure) appear to be treated as lexemes. A majority of these are Chinese, in Chinese script. An example is '星期', which appears in https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E6%98%9F%E6%9C%9F. Based on the characters I would expect to see in French, I get about 3,076,557 lexemes (not counting inflected forms listed in the paradigms), and another 480,082 "lexemes" which contain unexpected characters. In addition to Chinese characters, there are Cyrillic, Tamil, Greek, Devanagari, etc. A few are understandable: the individual letters of the Greek alphabet, affixes (I hadn't allowed for hyphens, so affixes are showing up in my list of headwords with unexpected characters), etc.

Some other examples: французька (Ukrainian, https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D1%84%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%86%D1%83%D0%B7%D1%8C%D0%BA%D0%B0), アラブ首長国連邦 (Japanese, https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E3%82%A2%E3%83%A9%E3%83%96%E9%A6%96%E9%95%B7%E5%9B%BD%E9%80%A3%E9%82%A6), δόντι (Greek, https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B4%CF%8C%CE%BD%CF%84%CE%B9), פרי (Hebrew, https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%99), återgälda (Swedish, https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%A5terg%C3%A4lda).

I could understand the occasional loanword with foreign language spelling, like 'fiancée' in English. But hundreds of thousands of foreign words in foreign scripts in the French wiktionary? Why? And at least as important, is there a better way to filter out foreign words from a wiktionary? I'm not talking about "real" loanwords like 'weekend' in French (and yes, I know that's a fuzzy boundary), I'm talking about words that (afaict) have no place in the dictionary of language X. The problem with my filtering method--looking for unexpected characters--is that it won't filter out foreign words that happen to use a subset of the French alphabet, like 'fish' (https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/fish).

BTW, I'm writing this note here because I'm a native speaker of English, and a very poor speaker of French. I suppose I could try to write the above in French, or google-translate it, but I'm not confident I'd be understood if I did that. So I'm hoping the answer is here.Mcswell (talk) 19:21, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Every Wiktionary includes words in all languages. Equinox 19:24, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
Each Wiktionary is intended to be a dictionary of all words in all languages; the nominal language of that Wiktionary (the "xx" in "xx.wiktionary.org") is the language in which definitions are written and in which discussion takes place. But French Wiktionary is as entitled to have Chinese and Russian words as English Wiktionary is (CAT:Chinese lemmas, CAT:Russian lemmas); likewise Chinese and Russian Wiktionaries are entitled to have French and Russian words, and so on. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:27, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
As for getting just the French words from French Wiktionary, you need the subcategories of fr:Catégorie:Grammaire en français. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:30, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Elmer (mentor)[edit]

I've recently started reading about amateur radio (ham radio), in which the word Elmer is used as a literal synonym for mentor. In recent days I seen uses such as "I was given this old aerial by a local elmer, but I don't know if it works with my rig" and "the guy who elmered me".

I wondered whether this is worthy of inclusion here, but I've never started an article on this site before, and I have no idea which of your discussion rooms is most appropriate for this. I'm sure I could find a few appropriate citations for use. Google books: noun, verb. --Strolls (talk) 02:24, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

"news" and "News"[edit]

It doesn't seem like there should be two pages/entries for the word news/News. Instead, I would suggest replacing the current News page with news, and having news redirect to News.

The German noun is always capitalized, which is why it is at the title News. DTLHS (talk) 19:06, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

Old Irish verbforms[edit]

So I found this Old Irish verb database which has a bit of verbforms, whereas our Old Irish conjugation tables are blank for no reason. I've decided to take up the task of filling in the tables here on WT. I've started with téit and a few others. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 02:28, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

SineBot missed an unsigned addition to a discussion page[edit]

Here. Is it possible to summon it to have it do its thing there? --Dyspeptic skeptic (talk) 21:41, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

As far as I know that bot only operates on Wikipedia. DTLHS (talk) 21:44, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
We usually manually add the template {{unsigned|[username]|[date]}} or {{unsignedip|[IP address]|[date]}}. --WikiTiki89 22:05, 19 January 2017 (UTC)