Wiktionary:Information desk/2019/June

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← May 2019 · June 2019 · July 2019 → · (current)

Template:R:Online Etymology Dictionary[edit]

With regard to the template's default message [...] in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019, please remove the excess space before Online. Regards--Hildeoc (talk) 13:43, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

@Hildeoc: I can only see a single space before "Online" in the actual template. — Eru·tuon 00:03, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

What is this called? (type of paper advert)[edit]

A sheet of paper with a description at the top, and the bottom has been slit into a number of separate "tabs" that can be torn off, so anybody interested can take a tab with the phone number etc. on it. They may be used for classified ads on notice boards, or requests for survey participants, etc. Equinox 15:17, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Managed to find some document templates for these, and they were mostly called "tear-off flyers". Equinox 21:32, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Corroborated by this image search.  --Lambiam 00:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

RP pronunciation[edit]

Is the RP pronunciation of o'er wrong or is RP pronunciation different form the one in the Cambridge dictionary, /əʊə/? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:30, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Collins and Longman both give both pronunciations: the one that rhymes with more and the one that rhymes with mower. We should too. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:01, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
This is not a BP question...? - -sche (discuss) 16:47, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
@-sche: It was indeed. What defines the label RP in Wiktionary? For example, the RP pronunciation of o'er wrong or is RP pronunciation different form the one in the Cambridge dictionary, /əʊə/. --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:13, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Moved from BP. Canonicalization (talk) 10:41, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Abuse filter "SLO"[edit]

Apparently I triggered an abuse filter, while minor editing these lemmas: αβέρτους, αβέρτη, αβέρτο. But a minute later, I made the same edits and they did not trigger an abuse filter. I don't understand what I did wrong?? --Τυχαίος Χρήστης (talk) 11:39, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

I think this relates to a new user making many edits in a short time ("SLO" = "slow down"?). Equinox 11:46, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
Ok I'll try to be slower next time. Thanks Equinox! --Τυχαίος Χρήστης (talk) 14:20, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

rain down (intr): To fall from the sky as, or like, rain.[edit]

What does "as, or like, rain" exactly mean? Is or inclusive or exclusive? One meaning of "rain down" literally refers to rain, like in pour down --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:31, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

In the context, it is also-ive. The collocation rain down can mean, “to fall from the sky in the form of rain”. It can also mean, “to fall from the sky just like rain does”.  --Lambiam 11:50, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: So as is for the meaning pour down? If so I'll add it as a synonym. --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:14, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Pour down can also be used metaphorically, as in “The money came pouring down. The terms are not truly synonyms: “pour down” implies an intense rainfall, whereas “rain down” can also be mild.  --Lambiam 12:46, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: Which is why the wording "as, or like, rain" should be substituted by two different senses --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:58, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Take the metaphorical sense of wind as in “a new wind is blowing”. It is quite common: [1]; [2]; [3]; [4]; [5]; [6]. Should we list this as a separate sense? I think it is a rather transparent metaphor, found in many languages: French: un vent nouveau souffle; German: es weht ein neuer Wind; Italian: soffia un nuovo vento; Spanish: un nuevo viento sopló (or, more commonly, the plural nuevos vientos soplan); Turkish: yeni bir rüzgâr esiyor. And so is the metaphor of stuff raining down: French pleuvoir (sur quelqu’un), German: (auf jemanden) niederregnen, and so on; all can also be used metaphorically.  --Lambiam 18:34, 24 June 2019 (UTC)


The English audio file seems to be mutilated. At least, I can only hear the first syllable. I am able to hear bɹɪd͡ʒ in bridge, so I hope it´s got nothing to do with my hearing... -- 09:49, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

I have added {{rfap|en}}. DCDuring (talk) 13:48, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

scary (colloquial)[edit]

scary is certainly not formal language, but the label colloquial is superfluous in the first meaning, isn't it? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:46, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

We could replace colloquial by informal. There is a tinge of childishness there. BTW, I see that the Glossary does not indicate a difference in gradation between colloquial and informal; from the descriptions one would not know which one is more informal, only that they are similar. IMO the last sense of scary is decidedly more colloquial than the other ones.  --Lambiam 18:54, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: What triggers adding a label here? Only the existence of afraid, frightened? The latter do not have any label --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:06, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Those are more standard register words, whereas scary is more informal.
I added "or archaic" to the label of the first definition, since scary is fairly commonly used in archaic literary works. I'm not sure if there's a better way of expressing that. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:53, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

my hands are tied[edit]

is there an entry for the expression someone's hands are tied? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:29, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

have one's hands tied. Canonicalization (talk) 11:41, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

Even the example in the entry shows have does not form part of the idiom, I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do. My hands are tied. --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:44, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

By the definition of dictionary we are stuck, at least in principal namespace, with entries for words and expressions, not concepts, snowclones, or, in this case, metaphors. So what lemma(s) is(are) needed to cover the expressions involving this metaphor. IMO, tie someone's hands, the active voice, should be the main entry and the target of redirects from probably-more-common passive forms. Have is not part of the metaphor, but it is part of an expression that is not a form of tie someone's hands. Thus, there is a case for an entry for it, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 13:29, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
See rfm. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:43, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Creating one's hands are tied as a redirect would be okay IMO. Equinox 18:33, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

indeed interjection[edit]

Which of the meanings of the interjection indeed applies to my word? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:29, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

It means, “I totally agree”.  --Lambiam 20:56, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: Thanks. It would be useful to have subscript indicating the meaning which applies --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:42, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Some dictionaries use superscripts for this purpose. While this would indeed be useful to the user, there is a huge problem: this would not be stable. Senses get added, deleted, merged, split, or reshuffled. This poses already a problem now for the translations, but there at least the problem remains confined to a single page. Perhaps something can be devised based on or similar to Wikidata, but I see no immediate solution.  --Lambiam 11:21, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: yes, ideally moving the cursor over the word would pop up the right meaning intended, like in Wikipedia --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:19, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

drive someone places[edit]

Is places an adverb in drive someone places ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:48, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

I'd say it's an indirect object. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:59, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Deng Xiaoping "Let some people get rich first."[edit]

Hey guys, did he really say these words? We need the original source on this, because it seems VERY suspicious to me that I can't find the Chinese version of this quotation. Same discussion at https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Wikiquote:Reference_desk --Geographyinitiative (talk) 02:02, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

There are reliable sources that confirm that he said something of that nature, e.g. here in the World Development Report 2009, although “reportedly” hedges it. Note that this version does not refer to people getting rich, but rather areas. Apparently he said this during his nánxún (南巡, not to be confused with the homophonic city or district 南浔) in 1992. The 2001 book The Nanxun Legacy and China's Development in the Post-Deng Era gives a toneless pinyin version: rang yifuben ren xian fuyu qilai. Assuming that ren stands for , Deng did indeed refer to people, even if perhaps metonymically meaning areas. But why is this something that should be discussed at Wiktionary?  --Lambiam 22:58, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
The alleged statement is 让一部分人先富起来 (Ràng yībùfèn rén xiān fù qǐlái). [7] This looks like an authoritative source.  --Lambiam 23:24, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
Hello again all. It's still not meeting the smell-test for me. The cpc people com source doesn't say when or where he said the exact words "让一部分人先富起来". It may be a summarization of various quotes from Deng, but a summary of quotes does not a quote make. Only a quote is a quote. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 00:12, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

prey on: victimize[edit]

I do not know whether the first or second meaning of victimize is the one prey on refers to --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:23, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

Sexual predators victimize the people they prey on, that is, they make victims of their prey by exploiting them.  --Lambiam 20:30, 29 June 2019 (UTC)


Kanar is a very old Polish family name. We found a Kanar in the phone books about fifty years ago, he knew the history and was an unknown until then relative. He said there were only about five hundred Kanars in the entire United States at that time. Rebecca Kanar Macallister was the only one we knew, she died several years ago but her daughter, Mary Lou, lives in Tallahassee.

As a common noun, kanar can mean ticket collector in Polish, but it is unlikely that we have an occupational surname here, since the occupation of ticket collector is fairly recent. As a proper noun, it is the name of a Polish river, a tribituary of the Stoła, itself a large river in Tarnowskie Góry County. Another (archaic) sense is an alcoholic drink stemming from the Canary Islands. The surname seems not to be very common in Poland today but does occur: the Polish Wikipedia mentions one Katarzyna Kanar as the guide of a scouting unit.  --Lambiam 21:17, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

nay conjunction: should I say[edit]

Why is there verbal inversion in the definition of the conjunction nay? Is it idiomatic? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:08, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

The inversion is because the second part of X, or should I/we say Y is a (rhetorical) question; you will sometimes find a question mark at the end, but in most uses the sentence runs on after this, and then the question mark is often omitted. Here are some examples where the author put explicit question marks: [8], [9], [10].  --Lambiam 20:56, 30 June 2019 (UTC)