Wiktionary:Information desk/Archive 2010/July-December

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July 2010

Mysterious popup

Something strange happens when I load the page vouvoiement. Every time I load the page, a alert (the kind created with the javascript "alert()" function) pops up with the text "mpl-plural". I have never seen this before on Wiktionary or any other sister projects. I have not found any other page on which this happens. I checked the source code of the page and found nothing that seems to be the cause of this. Using the edit preview, I have determined that without the template "{{fr-noun|m}}", this does not occur. I have a few questions. Has anyone else had this problem before? What causes this problem and why? How can this problem be fixed? Is the information desk the best place to bring this up or would somewhere else like the grease pit be better? --WikiTiki89 05:35, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

This is also being discussed at [[WT:GP#Pop_up_windows]] and at [[User talk:Conrad.Irwin/creation.js#Enigmatic_message]]. Perhaps continue discussion in one of those places, just so it's split into only two and not three.  :-) ​—msh210 (talk) 05:47, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

new pages through auto wiki browser

I am one of the (Sysop) in ta.wiktionary Is it possible to create a number of new pages through auto wiki browser? I am having data in microsoft excel sheet which contains 10000 words. In it, left side column English word, next to the right side column, its meaning in Tamil language. How can i create a new pages with the data? thanks in advance.தகவலுழவன் 14:04, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

I don’t know of any way to do it automatically. I think you should divide the words according to the Tamil part of speech (noun, verb, adverb, conjunction, etc.). Then you need to format each entry at least minimally, like: ==Tamil== ===Noun=== {{infl|ta|noun|tr=transliteration}} # meaning
See for example தமிழ். —Stephen 17:51, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

import stylesheet

If I make a stylesheet that's not my monobook.css, how do I get it to import, using either CSS or Javascript? —Internoob (DiscCont) 17:55, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

IINM any import rules must be before any others. Since your monobook.css is not the first stylesheet used on a WMF page, any import rule you put there should be ignored. That said, I don't know that browsers actually follow the rules on this. (I also don't know that MW will include in the CSS any import rule you put there. They don't allow inclusion of images from off-site, for example.) With those caveats, the way to try to import a CSS is to add the following to (the top of) your monobook.css: @import url("[url of the styelsheet]");. This will only work with CSS stylesheets, natch.​—msh210 (talk) 18:03, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
It didn't work, even with !important. —Internoob (DiscCont) 18:26, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
You did mention JS. Maybe someone else can help with that....​—msh210 (talk) 18:33, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Conrad clued me in to using my vector.js to import a js file off my localhost server, so that I can work on Wikt js files with my own editor, and it works just fine for me. I suspect that any importing would have to be done with js, not css (though I suspect you could use js to import a css file). Not quite sure what the syntax would be. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 00:54, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Some browsers allow you to set a client-side stylesheet. Of course, that's browser-specific rather than enwikt-account-specific. Will that do?​—msh210 (talk) 17:56, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think so, if I understand what w:client side is. I was thinking of making a stylesheet that others could use if they wanted to by modifications of their skin's personal .css or .js, like we already do with scripts and gadgets. —Internoob (DiscCont) 01:01, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I misunderstood your question. You're just trying to write User:Internoob/blah.css, and then add it to all the pages you view, and allow others to do the same, right? If so, we just need to write a CSS counterpart to importScript, perhaps called importStyleSheet or something. Should be pretty easy. I'll try and get it done over the weekend. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:02, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
That's right. If you could do that, that would be great. Thanks. —Internoob (DiscCont) 03:28, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
And I'm not much of a programmer, so forgive me for being vague. :P —Internoob (DiscCont) 04:01, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Ok, after digging a bit, it looks like we already have such a function built in. The function is "importStylesheet". So, simply add:


to your monobook.js or vector.js (or both if you're switching back and forth) and you should be set. Consider posting a notice at the GP when you're done so others can try it out. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 21:12, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Okay great. It's User:Internoob/colour.css by the way. —Internoob (DiscCont) 00:19, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Template:alternative name of

When would you use {{alternative name of}} rather than a plain link? --Bequw τ 17:29, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Can it hard redirect to {{alternative form of}}? Mglovesfun (talk) 17:31, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Don't think so, as often the target is a completely different. For instance it's used sometimes to redirect the user from a common name for a disease to the more scientific one. --Bequw τ 17:36, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
It seems to be for exact synonyms (differing perhaps in register or something else that can be accounted for with {{context}} but not otherwise), where a user doesn't want to repeat the entire definition in a new entry. It's clearer than a plain link would be. (I can imagine someone writing "A hat" s.v. [[fedora]] or s.v. [[chapeau]]. The former is bad: it should say something like "A hat of a particular type". And the latter is unclear, because a reader might think it's a badly worded definition of a hat of a particular type: {{alternative name of|hat}} is clearer, I think.)​—msh210 (talk) 17:47, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

not worth having quotations?

For very common words, like lowcut, I didn't add quotations because of the sheer frequency. You're not going to make me add any for that, are you? --Mat200 20:32, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Anyone may list any word or sense at WT:RFV. After a month there, if no one has demonstrated (via quotations) that it meets WT:CFI, it will be removed. If a word hasn't been listed at RFV, then you don't have to add quotations, but it would be good at include at least one. Even for frequent words, quotations add value to the dictionary. —RuakhTALK 20:38, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
lowcut is apparently an uncommon misspelling of low-cut, with a raw count at Google books of 1,440 vs 10,100,000, ie, relative frequency of 0.14%. It should be deleted, IMHO. DCDuring TALK 20:41, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
I didn't see low-cut. Still, 1,440 is a pretty big number. I may sound stupid here, but what's a raw count? --Mat200 20:53, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
"raw count"=Google's reported count. That count may not turn out to an accurate count of what Google actually has. Often, too, I turns out that many of the items in the count are scannos or otherwise not really what we are looking for. 1,440 is not small, but the relative frequency is extremely low. We don't have explicit standard for "common" in "common misspelling". Since, for example, "vanilla" could be considered a misspelling of "bonita", it is important to have some means of excluding the vast majority of misspellings. DCDuring TALK 21:15, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't see how it's a misspelling, the spelling is the same apart from the hyphen, also short words tend to fuse together more easily than longer ones. We also don't have any criteria on what a misspelling is, rather than nonstandard, rare, etc. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:45, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
In the case of lowcut, adding quotations would demonstrate that the current definition is inadequate to describe its meaning. I found quite a few quotations that describe "lowcut jeans", and I can't see how that could be done to reveal cleavage as the definition suggests. So, quotations are useful in their own right in that they help to refine the definition and exemplify usage to people who might otherwise have difficulty grasping a definition (qua is a good example of this latter problem). So, we always want quotations because they provide the underpinning for all of our entries. --EncycloPetey 00:56, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Righto, quotations coming up. I got lazy, I guess. Redefined now, it suggest showing more skin than normal, anywhere on the body. --Mat200 08:02, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

a picture paints a thousand words

In my new article halter top, I've included one quotation and 2 links to reputable magszines with pictures of halter tops. Are these pictures valid? --Mat200 08:23, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Pictures are good, but they're not citations. You're not obligated to add three citations each time, but it does help. In theory every word would be better with citations than without them, but clearly table, chair, house these words aren't going to be challenged if they don't. Mglovesfun (talk) 08:36, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Disregarding the three-quotation policy for a moment for argument's sake, I think that for physical objects, pictures are much more useful than quotations. Compare the best quotation I could find for halter top: "A guy washing his car dropped the hose when he saw her in her lowcut jeans and halter top. She was definitely smoking today. However, sex was not on her mind.". This quotation suggests a halter top is sexy, but a picture of one tells us so much more. Ideally, we'd have a video of a model wearing one, and maybe turning around to see what the whole thing looks like. I doubt we're going to be able to put videos on many pages - there's probably not that many on Commons, after all. --Mat200 09:50, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
As for the links I added, I think they're wonderful: durably-archived reputable style magazines saying "these are halter tops". --Mat200 09:52, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh they're very useful, though, unless there's text with it there's no proof that the image supports the word. Say I say that tanktop is an alternative form of tank top, adding an image doesn't show that it's also spelt tanktop, it just shows that it exist. (After edit preview) oh, we don't have tanktop, I'd bet it's attestable somewhere. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:54, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, tanktop is easily attestable. And the links I provided do have text, right by the image: first "this full-coverage halter top has thick straps to prevent sags", second "Tommy Hilfiger's silver metallic halter top worn over bikini". I'll add them as proper quotations this time. --Mat200 10:08, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes I chose my words carefully when I said "unless there's text" (smile). Mglovesfun (talk) 10:08, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Pictures are indispensable for many objects and, properly selected, should, in practice, eliminate the need for citations for the pictured sense. We usually want the picture to be of a typical member of the class. Citations are more useful for most figurative and abstract senses of most words, even common ones, eg chair (chairperson), table (agenda for discussion), house (music genre).
As for video for "halter top", the citation might convey the information better than the image as the sexual response is somewhat culturally conditioned. Also the sexiness is dependent on the wearer and/or the relationship to the viewer, the age, gender, and sexual preferences of the viewer etc. DCDuring TALK 10:36, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
IMO a picture caption "So-and-so in a halter top" in a durably archived magazine is far better than an imageless citation "So-and-so wore a halter top", for the reasons Mat200 puts forth. Of course, it's even better if the entry links to an online copy of the magazine.​—msh210 (talk) 16:26, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Somewhat off-topic - we could also do with some sound files (other than pronunciation) for things like musical instruments, types of music and even noises. (Plenty on Commons, I think). SemperBlotto 10:40, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree, it would be immensely useful for soundy words like twang, squeak, rustle, swoosh, clack, eek, boing etc. Whether anyone has gone around recording these sounds and adding them to Commons is another matter. I'll have a look and see what I can do. --Mat200 12:14, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I bet it would be fun to record some of them; is there perhaps an onomatopoeia category that would give us a convenient list? Also, how would they be added to an entry — under which header? "Pronunciation" is not appropriate. Equinox 12:18, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
There's some pictures in entries. Can't we put the audio files where we put the pictures? --Mat200 13:30, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I think that the following would be better for formatting examples of text (NOT citations) or audio: {{examples-right|examples={{audio|audio file name|dislayed text}}}}. This places the audio file button on the right-hand-side of the page in a consistent format. It should not be above the language heading. DCDuring TALK 15:51, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I tried DCDuring's suggestion at rumble and neigh. They're not too much of an eyesore, but I don't mind at all if others play around with the formatting. --Mat200 19:00, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I've reverted the addition of the audio at neigh because it is not an example of the word "neigh" being used (as the formatting used claimed it was). I think audio is desirable, but we need to agree how to present it first imo. Regarding pictures, imho every sense that is illustratable by an image or video should be so illuistrated as well as being supported by at least three citations. A picture on it's own doesn't show how the word is used. Thryduulf (talk) 20:10, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
The entry neigh was fine AFAICT: I've responded at [[user talk:Mat200]].​—msh210 (talk) 20:21, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

I think that the special template for images will be more easy-to-use. So instead of:


the template will be:


What do you think about it?

P.S. This template is widely used in the Russian Wiktionary, see ru:Шаблон:илл. -- Andrew Krizhanovsky 06:07, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Could someone show me around?

I'm quite interested in contributing to this project, but I don't know where to begin. Could someone show me the guidelines as far as formatting and the like? Thanks, --~ Logodaedalist | Talk ~ 01:03, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Help:How to edit a page is a decent general starter. Do you have any specific interests or skills? There are a lot of different ways to get involved here, depending on what type of things you're looking to do. If you know a non-English language, we could set you up with someone involved in that language. If you'd like to comb through literary works to add quotes to our entries, that's always a strong need here. We also have lots of formatting/structural problems throughout the project which need fixing, if that sounds interesting. Clearly you have some Classical tendencies, and if you're interested in etymological work, we have plenty of that too. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 01:16, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for that link! I'm mostly interested in English, since my Spanish skills aren't too good. Just bought the book "Ballyhoo, Buckaroo and Spuds" by Michael Quinion so I might try adding etymologies based out of that?? ~ Logodaedalist | Talk ~ 17:34, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Handy external resources to check one's judgment (not to copy from !!!) include the various online dictionaries, many of which are accessible via Onelook.com. See WT:REE (Requested Entries English) and Category:Requests for etymology (English) for some possibilities. Many etymologies don't use the templates that we prefer such as {{term}} and {{etyl}}, whose documentation explains their use. DCDuring TALK 19:50, 11 July 2010 (UTC)


The disambiguation under "pipe" item 12 refers to "half a ton". Shouldn't this refer to the liquid volumetric measure "tun" rather than the weight "ton"? 09:28, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Yes - fixed. You could have fixed it yourself. SemperBlotto 08:25, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

vertical panorama

I was once "corrected" when I referred to a vertical panorama. I was told there was an alternative term (which eludes me) and that panorama only referred to horizontal scenes. Anyone know the word I am looking for?

John F. Johnson Doublejayvisions 15:38, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

portrait is often used in that sense, referring to a vertical orientation of a scene. —Stephen 02:00, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Portrait and landscape are just the orientation of the paper. The original "Panorama" was invented by the painter Robert Barker (1739-1806) in 1787, and the cylinder he used had its axis vertical (giving a horizontal panorama). I see no logical or etymological reason why the cylinder could not have a horizontal axis, giving a vertical panorama. Photographers certainly talk about vertical panoramas, using a "vertical pan". Because vertical movement of a camera mount is called tilt, the word "tiltorama" is sometimes used, but is less common. Dbfirs 21:41, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

bird names

As of now, wiktionary is rather inconsistent about the capitalization of bird names e.g.:


As I understand the Audubon recommendation, when referring to a specific species the name should always be a double one (if necessary by adding "Common", e.g. Common Blackbird) and capitalized, quasi a proper name for the species, but when referring to individual birds in a more generic fashion there is no capitalization, e.g "I saw some blackbirds, but I could not discern the species."

Why doesn't Wiktionary follow this recommendation?

Jcwf 22:28, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

We go by usage, not recommendation. The prefix Anglo-/anglo- is a somewhat similar case. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:41, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, do you really? A simple Google search shows more capitalized than lower case names for the godwit.... It would seem that the Audubon recommendation is followed by many users out there. Does Wiktionary ignore this usage? Or should there simply be two pages?

Jcwf 22:43, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Pronunciation of copulation

Is the word copulation pronounced with a long or short o sound?

  • Short. In British English it's pronounced: /kɒp.jəˈleɪ.ʃən/, Template:X-SAMPA. I'll add it to the entry. Thryduulf (talk) 22:26, 19 July 2010 (UTC)


Why is this linked to "Hindi nouns lacking gender"? ---> Tooironic 01:25, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Someone put {{g|Hindi}} in the translations section, looking for the gender of the word. —Internoob (DiscCont) 01:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I added a Hindi translation without gender but it has fixed the problem (I removed the long Hindi description meaning "disgusting person, etc." and {{g|Hindi}}). --Anatoli 02:31, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

general copyright violation template

Is there a template to mark copyright violations in non-PoS sections (e.g. Buckley's chance#Etymology)? {{copyvio}} (={{rndc}}) is just for definitions. There's {{copyvio1}} but I don't think anyone uses that and it's not very good (doesn't use maintenance box format nor does it categorize the page). Is there a generic copyvio cleanup category? --Bequw τ 12:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Not that I know of. I don't think it'd get used that much as I (personally) always remove confirmed copyright violations on sight. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:37, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I think the need is to mark something as a suspected copyvio. It might be useful. Thryduulf came across a very suspicious instance recently involving sources that are not accessible on-line and RfCed it.
But, frankly, many of the definitions that reference in-copyright dictionaries would merit checking (at least in English). To avoid duplication, this would have to be done from a list made from a one-time analysis of a dump. It would be nice if such a thing were marked in some away so the work didn't have to be done again. Perhaps some kind of comment, located, for example, in the reference template? DCDuring TALK 14:58, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Here's the list:
I think they all should be replaced with actual attestations unless they're making reference to some prescriptivist definition (like a legal or medical one). --Bequw τ 16:14, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
What is that a list of? What about all those that use the "R:" templates? ~300 for various OEDs. There are about 1180 entries that include the words "Oxford English Dictionary" and are not about a dictionary. DCDuring TALK 17:19, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
It's the list of pages with a <ref> tag on a definition line. Those of the type you just mentioned merit a look as well. I just thought these would be more likely to be blatant copyright violations. --Bequw τ 18:39, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the % yield on your list would be much higher than on the others, though the total would be much higher on the transclusion and text-search lists. Sometimes long, low-yield lists are fun to process because of the other things that can be discovered. DCDuring TALK 18:53, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
My inclination is to remove the footnotes, but keep the references in the references section. That serves to show that we looked at some other sources. I am also inclined to replace any reference to a specific source with {{R:OneLook}} if that source can be referenced online through OneLook. Opinions? Alternatives? DCDuring TALK 19:00, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I've made {{copyvio suspected}}. --Bequw τ 19:39, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

List of downstream users

We have WT:Mirrors, but do we have a list of more general downstream users/developers at (e.g. this crossword android app)? I think it would be helpful to know who uses us and how. As with WT:Mirrors we could also determine possibly copyright violations. --Bequw τ 16:02, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

WT:Projects that use Wiktionary --Bequw τ 03:25, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for getting this started. I hope there turn out to be more than this. If not, we need to keep working on our direct user interface and perhaps facilitate selective, partial XML dumps. DCDuring TALK 10:49, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
BTW, I assume that all of these are working from the dumps. We don't have/wouldn't want to have an API, I assume. DCDuring TALK 10:52, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

What is it?

It is one of the must have assets of a flight attendant, it means "to give the feeling of assurance, safety, and security" but I forgot the exact term for that. Can someone help me what is it? —This unsigned comment was added by Jewel.share (talkcontribs).

Is it assure or reassure? —Internoob (DiscCont) 03:26, 24 July 2010 (UTC)


I did not see the term wood-wroth in the dictionary - I am not linguist so I wouldn't want to add it but I have seen this word in translation of the Arabian Nights and based on context it seemed to mean enraged or extremely furious etc. It would be nice to have this added with the proper definition.

  • Added. It's also in "The once and future king", and probably elsewhere. SemperBlotto 14:22, 25 July 2010 (UTC)


Surely the external link to the image in the first sense is not appropriate? ---> Tooironic 09:57, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Replaced with commons image. —Stephen 10:18, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Cool, I found another dodgy one at water closet. ---> Tooironic 15:15, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

August 2010

have eyes bigger than one's belly and have eyes bigger than one's stomach

Are the see also's at the top of these pages appropriate? AFAIK they should go under synonyms or perhaps alternative forms. ---> Tooironic 05:35, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

No, not appropriate. The see also’s are for words that are spelled the same, or appear to be spelled the same, except for some technical difficult such as capitalization or diacritics. Those are simple synonyms (or alternative forms, more likely). —Stephen 07:17, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, goodo. Well do change it to the appropriate layout then. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 00:02, 3 August 2010 (UTC)


How does diabetes work and what are the gladular functions that are connected with it? 05:24, 3 August 2010 (UTC)


Why is part of this "CENSORED"? ---> Tooironic 05:38, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Because no sysop bothered to revert the bad edits. I don't touch Wikisaurus, it's just another sandbox as far as I'm concerned. Reverted in this case. SemperBlotto 19:00, 4 August 2010 (UTC)


wiki en has this, should wiktionary have it? -- 18:55, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

  • No, we don't do definitions for record titles. SemperBlotto 18:57, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
    • It's also slang though. You could probably dig up some citations on Google Books. ---> Tooironic 11:46, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
      • Surely that would be at cross purposes to the aim of Google Books, ie preserving non-digital media... o i get it.


Hi, please, what means "t/+t/-t" in section Translations (like in Texan:

* Finnish: {{t-|fi|teksasilainen}}, {{t-|fi|texasilainen}}
* Greek: {{t|el|Τεξανός|m|tr=Texanós}}
* Hungarian: {{t|hu|texasi}}
* Portuguese: {{t+|pt|texano|m}})

? I didn't find the answer on my own. Thanks, --Jiří Janíček 13:07, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

See Template:t/doc. {{t}} is what human editors use, and is what you should use. A bot named Tbot (talkcontribs) will convert {{t}} to {{t+}} or {{t-}}, or convert between {{t+}} and {{t-}}, based on whether the entry exists in the foreign-language Wiktionary. So, in your example, the Finnish Wiktionary does not have entries for teksasilainen and texasilainen, and the Portuguese Wiktionary does have an entry for texano. The effect of the templates is to display the superscript foreign-language-Wiktionary link in a different color: {{t|en|foo}}foo;     {{t+|en|foo}}foo (en);     {{t-|en|foo}}foo. —RuakhTALK 13:22, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Where to put an animal and veterinary translation glossary

Hi. The article (temporarily userfied at wikipedia:User:Quiddity/Animal and veterinary terms in Karimojong following an AfD result of 'delete') has content that might be useful here at Wiktionary, but I'm not sure if, or where, you might want it. (The language seems to be spelled as Karamojong, here). Should I tag that page for the transwiki bot-process, or split-up the individual translations to each respective word article, or something else? Advice or assistance appreciated. Thanks. Quiddity 18:20, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

{{move to Wiktionary}} does. Of course, if you're willing to do more work, and the translations are correct, then adding them to the appropriate entries here would be even better.​—msh210 (talk) 18:29, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
FYI, at present we no entries for Karamojong, though it has a language template. I don't think we have any contributors with any knowledge at all. We do seem to have a Karamojong word ngakipi in the translation table for water. In light of this, the logical home would seem to be something like Appendix:Glossary of Karamojong animal and veterinary terms. The move process Msh210 refers to preserves the edit history I believe, which might be useful in recruiting someone to contribute Karamojong language knowledge. DCDuring TALK 19:08, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I've tagged for transwiki copy. I'll rename it per your suggestion, and try to keep an eye on the copy here, once the bot copies it across. Thanks again. Quiddity 21:44, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

What do you call the class of pair words like 'safe and sound'?

What do you call the groups of set pair words of the same word class, e.g. 'safe and sound'?

Other examples are 'neat and tidy', 'alive and kicking'; 'peace and love'?

—This comment was unsigned.

Probably an idiomatic phrase. -- Qt-Q!U 07:50, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that's it. Idiomatic just means that it's more than the sum of its parts. —Internoob (DiscCont) 00:09, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
There is a classical rhetorical device called "synonymia" which refers to using lists of synoyms to convey the underlying idea. The first three fit. "Peace and love" does not. Both safe and sound and alive and kicking are at least catchphrases or cliches, if not necessarily truly idioms. "neat and tidy" perhaps not. DCDuring TALK 00:19, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Others: hale and hearty, hard and fast, tried and true, high and dry, dead and buried, done and dusted, footloose and fancy free.
Triplets: signed, sealed and delivered. I recall some vulgar triplets also. DCDuring TALK 01:07, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Another: free and easy. See also nice and, good and. Equinox 12:05, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Not all of them are idiomatic, some are just synonymic pairs. There _is_ a special term for the groups but I disremember it. I was hoping someone might call it to mind. Thank you for other examples anyway. —This comment was unsigned.

I'm not very good with these terms from classical rhetoric, but some of these examples make me think of hendiadys. —RuakhTALK 01:32, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
At Silva Rhetoricae hendiadys is exemplified by the case of using "rain and weather" instead of "rainy weather". That fits "nice and warm" instead of "nicely warm" or "good and ready" instead of "well ready" (?).
The other ones seem like different aspects of the same phenomenon. The triplet "signed, sealed, and delivered" has three aspects perhaps of making a message from A to B legally effective. Not only is the blackguard John dead, but buried too. Not only is the horse home, but also hosed down (home and hosed). Not only is the work done, but also dusted (done and dusted). Along the same lines, but with different grammatical elements: been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. At the other end ready, willing, and able. And in the middle hop skip and jump.
Some of the pairs and triplets exhibit alliteration and isocolon (more or less: the same number of syllables).
I even searched for the word "pair" at Silva Rhetoricae.
IOW, I have looked high and low for a word that encompasses all and only the attributes of these expressions and have come up empty. DCDuring TALK 03:53, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Apparently these are called Siamese twins. 17:19, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Another common example of this is null and void.--Imzogelmo 02:39, 24 January 2011 (UTC), above, was presumably referring to w:Siamese twins (English language), which, perhaps, along with the above, well and truly covers it — though the examples go somewhat beyond simple tautological repetition. Pingku 05:21, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Good article, bad name, IMHO. Besides being somewhat offensive Siamese twins implies "inseparable"/"very hard to separate", which is not accurate for these.
We probably should transwiki the article and convert it to an appendix. All of the pairs are candidates to be entries, better than many of our newer entries.
Is "English lexical doublets" an improvement? DCDuring TALK 12:02, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
not for Hendiadys, imo.
At least expressions like high and low (everywhere), heaven and earth (the whole universe) are called merisms. I'm not sure whether merisms are limited to polar opposites or can include expressions like lock stock and barrel.
Also, hendiadys has a relative called hendiatris. As this cannot be a generalization of the narrow definition of "hendiadys", perhaps the broader definition of "hendiadys" is correct, as Ruakh's suggestion implied. DCDuring TALK 19:27, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the best term I've found in syntheton. DCDuring TALK 01:14, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Wuthering Heights

````Wondering about the inroduction to Wuthering Heights, which I am reading again at the age of 49. I never read the intro before which is apparently by her, or her sister's nom de plur (I know what that means, I just may not be spelling it correctly. —This comment was unsigned.

Well, this is a dictionary. What exactly are you wondering about? —RuakhTALK 00:30, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
(You mean nom de plume.) Equinox 01:14, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

"write" and "write to"

A. He wrote me yesterday. B. He wrote to me yesterday. Both are considered "correct", yes? Is one British English and the other American? ---> Tooironic 23:31, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

I would consider "he wrote me" ungrammatical in British English. Nobody says it here. Equinox 01:12, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree, I would automatically assume that someone who says "He wrote me yesterday" was American. (We do say "He wrote me a letter yesterday" of course.) American usages are creeping in to the language on this side of the pond, so my assumption might occasionally be wrong. Dbfirs 16:59, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
I hadn't known how to respond to this because neither sounds wrong to my US ear. I suppose "write me" seems a bit cruder. In any event, it is not common in the US except with another object. Would someone in the UK find it natural to say "He wrote a letter a letter to me" rather than "He wrote me a letter"? DCDuring TALK 17:29, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, "He wrote a letter to me" would be standard (with the emphasis on the letter, or even on the "me"), otherwise just "He wrote to me". Dbfirs 02:25, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
To clarify: In my US experience "He wrote a letter to me." is intelligible, but awkward-sounding and almost ungrammatical vs "He wrote me a letter.". off the top of my head, I suspect this applies to many (all?) w:ditransitive verbs. Only in utterances like "Give it to me." does the "to" seem natural, preferred to "Give me it." I hope this isn't just my idiolect. DCDuring TALK 11:37, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree on all counts. "He wrote me", "He wrote to me", and "He wrote a letter to X" are all fine for me, but not "He wrote a letter to me" unless the "me" is being stressed for some reason. (It's rather like verb-particle idioms such as "give up", where a personal-pronoun object must precede the particle, a "heavy" object must follow it, and any other object can do either.) —RuakhTALK 13:04, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
w:Heavy NP shift is helpful for those, like me, who are playing linguistic catch-up. DCDuring TALK 15:37, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Neither my analogy, nor the shift described by that article, is exactly the same as this, since in both cases it's a matter of re-ordering phrases, whereas in this case it's a matter of dative shifting, though they're all related in that they all involve a preference for putting "heavy" phrases last. Unfortunately, [[w:Dative shift]] is a stub with few details, no references, and some claims that seem dubious to me. —RuakhTALK 19:45, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. You know, that "linguistics article is a stub. You could help Wikipedia by expanding it." ;-). The Heavy NP article just gave some confirmation about the meaning of "heavy", which I hadn't pursued the last time you used it. Is the "heavy/ight" metaphor that "light" is easier to "move" from canonical position? This would seem contrast with the metaphor of "light" verbs, which carry little semantic weight. DCDuring TALK 20:31, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
The metaphor is that "heavy" phrases have more "weight", usually due to being longer. For example, "the man I just met" is heavier than "that man", which is heavier than heavily-stressed "him", which is heavier than normal "him". But there are other factors, not all of which are well understood. (BTW, in "heavy NP shift", if you take transformational-grammar view, it's exactly the heavy NP that is being shifted away from its canonical position.) —RuakhTALK 21:45, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
w:American_and_British_English_differences#Transitivity reports the difference with respect to "write". I don't know whether there is an accepted systematic characterization of the transitivity differences. DCDuring TALK 11:58, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Tooironic, are you asking for an answer addressing vernacular usage, grammatically correct usage or both? Each of them is "correct" if the answer is considering only vernacular usage. Grammatically, the first form is incorrect. Here's why I believe this.
The first example uses the conjugated form of the infinitive "to write". "He wrote ..." would be followed immediately by a preposition, then by a noun. The noun is the "object" of the sentence. To use a related sentence as an example, "He wrote the letter".
I'm thinking the second example is a complex sentence. What makes it "complex" is that the "direct" object is "me", while "the letter" is called an "indirect" object.
The fact that a letter was written is "understood" in the same way that "You" is "understood" to be the cubject of a command. That is, when a statement is put into command form, e.g. "Stop bugging me!", "You (understood)" is the subject. This is what defines "Command Form". At the time these rules made it into existence, the thing written had to be a snail-mail letter. I think what is "understood" is defined by context. So, if what was "understood" was a novel, the sentence would lose its meaning.
I don't remember "The Rules of (American) English Grammar" as such, but consider this: The first example is structured in a way that implies "He" created something. If that something was not created by writing it, then the something would have to be "me" since "me" is the only other possible choice for the subject.
It is a good thing we can communicate without understanding specific rules.
Where Ruakh is referring to a "particle", is that a typo? Should it be "participle"? Kernel.package 00:30, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Obsolete Spelling Variants in Main Entry

Should obsolete spellings of a word be mentioned in the modern spelling's entry under the "Alternative forms" header? For example, should the obsolete spelling Haß be mentioned in the entry Hass as an "alternative spelling form", as currently is? Longtrend 08:41, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Obsolete entries often appear with "(obsolete)". I don't know whether we mark spellings "(archaic)" as we do senses of words. "Archaic" indicates readily intelligible, but dated, for definitions. DCDuring TALK 17:33, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. My example is somewhat special in that German orthography is decided upon by an institution. So obsolete spellings are not just "archaic", they are officially wrong. But I guess there's nothing bad about listing the obsolete spelling marked as "(obsolete)" in the Alternative forms section? Longtrend 14:20, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Important note, we go by usage so spellings recommend to be obsolete during the spelling reform but are still used wouldn't be obsolete. Note the templates you want are {{qualifier}} which doesn't categorize, or {{obsolete|lang=de}} which does. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:24, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Really? We go by usage even for spelling when it is officially determined in some countries? (I wonder how we determine, then, at which point the spelling Haß becomes obsolete. And is there a way to mark those "officially" obsolete spellings? Surely this would be helpful.) Longtrend 14:34, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
To make explicit what MG is suggesting about templates: a non-categorizing label template is appropriate for obsolete senses; {{obsolete spelling of}} is used at the main entry for such a spelling and categorizes the entry (it needs a "lang=" parameter, in this case "de", to do so properly); qualifier and similar templates do not categorize and should be used for words other than the main entry that need such a label as in the case at hand. DCDuring TALK 14:42, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Word for this posture

I'm looking for a word to describe the posture in which a man stands beside two ladies (or just the one) with arms intertwined, usually at formal/old/old fashioned interventions. It's also used as the starting position in a folk dance, the name of which alludes me. A name for the ladies/man themselves would also be helpful. -- Qt-Q!U 05:09, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like something from square dancing, having never attended nor been subjected to an intervention myself. --Dwegowy 10:52, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

koan pronunciation

I have trouble with the IPA phonetic notation. Is koan one syllable or two? (Do the US and UK differ on this?) RJFJR 18:28, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Two in US and UK, it looks like. Koh-ahn. —Internoob (DiscCont) 02:36, 17 August 2010 (UTC)


Is there a reason that every term in many East-Asian usage examples is wikilinked (e.g. 中國#Mandarin)? Is there some language consideration that supersedes WT:ELE#Example sentences where it says the other terms shouldn't be wikilinked? --Bequw τ 05:06, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Not sure, but probably because Mandarin doesn't have spaces and so thus it's quite helpful to wikilink words for learners so they can break up the sentence better and look up words they don't know. ---> Tooironic 00:31, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Couple of IPA questions

Take the words might and mite, the IPA is /maɪt/. Isn't it possible to pronounce the /a/ and /ɪ/ separately? How would this be written to avoid ambiguity? /ma.ɪt/ I suppose. The point I'm making is about two vowel symbols put together to make one vowel sounds. Other examples would be /meɪt/ (mate) or /ʃaʊɘ/ (shower).

Separate question, what's the difference between /ɒ/ and /ɔ/? Mglovesfun (talk) 13:43, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

You mean you pronounce might in two syllables? I've never heard it spoken that way; for me, /aɪ/ is always a single unit and is never broken up. But it would be written /ma.ɪt/, yes.
There is no difference between ɒ and ɔ if you speak with the cot-caught merger. If you don't, the difference is only slight anyway. —Internoob (DiscCont) 17:04, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes is the answer. Unless you use the syllable separator mark [.], there's no way of distinguishing between two separate vowel sounds (ie two syllables) and a diphthong (which is a single syllable). However, this is only an issue in languages where both kinds actually exist; in French for example it will always be two syllables because diphthongs aren't allowed.
    • I think that you ought to know that the French dictionaries list a lot of diphtongs, and that from Montréal's native French speakers, you can hear a lot more diphtongs than that.
  • As for the difference between /ɒ/ and /ɔ/, the difference is just one of how open your mouth is: the first sound is pronounced with the tongue even further away from the roof of the mouth than the second. Also in UK English the second sound is always long (/ɔː/) which is a fairly prominent difference. You can hear the difference between cot and caught? That's it. Ƿidsiþ 08:45, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

How do I report a user who is persistently being a nuisance?

Hi, I really don't like having to report anyone, and have been trying to resolve matters with an editor, but they are continuing to approach me in bad faith and pretty much have from the moment I started to edit a page. The editor in question is not merely being unpleasant, unwelcoming, but also making completely unfounded accusations about me and as such is being disruptive. How do I report them? Thanks DMSBel 20:28, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

You're going to have to be more specific. I see you don't have any contributions (here) apart from this posting. If this is an issue from Wikipedia you should probably look on Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard for an appropriate page. Nadando 20:37, 19 August 2010 (UTC)


Looks like the Polish translation here is using a Japanese translation template. ---> Tooironic 00:44, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Indeed. Human error. —Internoob (DiscCont) 01:40, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Driving License

Is Driving License considered a shortened version of the European Computer Driving License or ECDL? 08:29, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

No, the ECDL is a certification of computer literacy, while a driving licence or driver's license is a permit to operate a motor vehicle on public roads. —Stephen 07:21, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

"Colloquial" , or "vulgar" tags ?

Hello, are there tags to warn that a translation is colloquial or vulgar (or pedantic, or obsolete) ? For ex., some french translations of Aug. 26th WOTD ("kibbitz") might be colloquial ("parlotter") , or vulgar ("déconner"), but are still quite usual . Thanks, & t.y. Arapaima 08:35, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I'd put "déconner" as "slang", but not quite {{vulgarslang}}. Circeus 21:26, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, just add {{colloquial|lang=fr}} ({{colloquial|lang=fr}}) or {{vulgar|lang=fr}} at the beginning of the definition. —Stephen 07:16, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
{{temp : "but of course, this is it ǃ..." (french catch-phrase : "mais oui, mais c'est bien sûr ǃ..." ) Thank you kindly for the answers Arapaima 08:30, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Send a message to another user.

How can I send a message to another user? Thanks. Comber 11:26, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Usually you would go to his discussion page to leave a message. For example, at User talk:Comber to leave a message for Comber. —Stephen 12:08, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Done, thanks. Comber 13:21, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

September 2010


Is referenceable a word - i noticed that you have it listed in wiktionary, but i cannot find it listed in any other dictionary - and of course it comes up as a mispelled word in any word processor. For usage, "This customer is referenceable".

If it is a word, can you direct me to the appropriate authority, and if not - is there a word which could take its place?—This comment was unsigned.

Words enter a language when enough people use them; if dictionaries lack the word, they're simply behind the times. According to Google News Archive Search, the word was used in the Washington Post on September 2, 1990 (though I can't see the article in question, so can't guarantee Google hasn't messed up), and many times since the turn of the century. Google Books Search shows the word in use quite a bit.​—msh210 (talk) 15:24, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
You must know that word processor spelling checkers omit many words. OTOH, one might think twice before including in one's writings a word not common enough to be included. OTOOH, almost any verb can form an adjective by adding -able, just as almost any adjective can form an antonymic adjective by adding un-, eg unreferenceable. I doubt that readers with a good (not advanced) knowledge of English will fail to get the intended meaning. DCDuring TALK 14:11, 2 September 2010 (UTC)


How come there are two different translation tables for the first sense? And how can we fix this? Cheers. ---> Tooironic 12:21, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

All of the translations but one in trans table 2 were identical to those in trans table 1. The only exception was Czech, which I bracketed as ttbc out of an abundance of caution. No language knowledge is required in such a case. More complex cases require many ttbcs. In some cases the addition of a trans tables that split an English sense may warrant splitting the sense in the English definition. In this case the Czech contributor may have been trying to split according to a not-often-maintained distinction between "can" and "may". The ttbc may/can flush out a latent definition issue. DCDuring TALK 14:02, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! ---> Tooironic 13:59, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Why isn't the word "Wiktionary" allowed to exist in Wiktionary?

Why isn't the word "Wiktionary" allowed to exist in Wiktionary?

--Mortense 09:20, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Because it isn't demonstrably used as part of the language as a whole by our criteria. There is certainly no objective reason to favor our jargon over the jargon of, say, Southern California apparel-industry workers, New Zealand sheep-shearers, or Canary wharf derivatives traders. It is already favored by our criteria because it is likely to be used by the kind of folks who might write a newspaper article or book, might be studied and mentioned in a scholarly article or post on Usenet. DCDuring TALK 10:44, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

horizontal line?

What happened to the horizontal line in the new editing box? ---> Tooironic 23:55, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Offensive talk page post

Hello. I'm a Wikipedian, but I've used this site as a source several times. I was reading the Christianity talk page and saw a post that made me want to puke. It was about someone wanting to have sex with God, and as a Christian, that is utterly disgraceful. Is there a way I can delete that post? I know deleting stuff from talk pages is generally looked down upon. 03:29, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

I don’t see anything wrong with what is written at Talk:Christianity. —Stephen (Disc) 10:00, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry. The Christian talk page. It's struck out, but that is still legible. 04:40, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I can't find any evidence whatsoever at Talk:Christianity on this Wiki (English Wiktionary). Could you provide a link ? DCDuring TALK 10:25, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
(S)he is talking about Talk:Christian. Longtrend 10:39, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the notice. I've removed that comment (and another one which, while not offensive, was also irrelevant/inappropriate). —RuakhTALK 13:01, 14 September 2010 (UTC)


Does anyone else pronounce during /ˈdʒʊəɹɪŋ/? It seems to be an exception in my speech (Canadian English) to yod-coalescence occurring only in unstressed syllables, but I can't find anything to back me up on this. —Internoob (DiscCont) 17:15, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

For obvious reasons, I am sensitive to the pronunciation of the this word. I have regularly heard this pronunciation for many years, mostly in the US. But I do not associate it with any particular region, register, situation. DCDuring TALK 19:08, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
[1] may interest you, Internoob.​—msh210 (talk) 19:18, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
So Leasnam hangs out there! Thanks. DCDuring TALK 20:48, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Don't all grammatical terms generally receive less stress on all syllables in normal speech. The (uncommon) surname "During" hardly ever gets the /ˈdʒʊəɹɪŋ/ pronunciation, whereas the grammatical "during" sometimes does, though usually the same /ˈdʊəɹɪŋ/ as the surname. DCDuring TALK 10:36, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

There is something strange with the title of this page. On my PC it interprets as three horizontal lines like Ξ but the page is about the heart symbol as in playing cards. Jcwf 03:11, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

It’s your computer, the symbol is a heart. It could be that you don’t have a font installed that contains this symbol, or it could be that the font your system uses employes poor or no font hinting. Try copying it to another program such as Wordpad and enlarge it to 72 pt. Is it still a Ξ or is it a heart? In any case, you probably need a good symbols font. Code2000 is one font of many that contains it. —Stephen (Talk) 00:29, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Extracting word lists

Is there a way to extract the list of all english words from Wiktionary? William

Wiktionary:FAQ#Downloading Wiktionary. --Bequw τ 03:32, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

my datestamp

My preferences for time zone is set to minus 4. When I date stamp a comment and then immediately look at the stamp it reads "(11 months, 31 days ago) (UTC−4)". Do I need to adjust something? RJFJR 19:02, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

denotative meaning

What is the origin of the words "flappable" and "unflappable" —This comment was unsigned.

unflappable < un- +‎ flap (An upset, stir, scandal or controversy) +‎ -able; flap is a noun here used as a verb.

"Flappable" seems to have been formed from "unflappable", just to mean its opposite. DCDuring TALK 00:52, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Growth of Wiktionary

I am amazed at how fast Wiktionary is growing, seems to be at approximately 3,000 definitions per day! What is the largest electronic dictionary now? Is it Wiktionary? It seems to be larger than the OED online! Have there been any maximum size limits to the potential of the English Wiktionary? 3,000,000? WritersCramp 17:59, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Don't forget that we have form-of entries, which many other online dictionaries exclude. This leads to a sizable amount of entry count inflation. If you check only the English entries, it should actually be lower than OED and AHD and Random House and whatever. -- Prince Kassad 20:27, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
The OED has more basic word entries, and much more information about each word than Wiktionary, but we are gradually catching up. The OED moves very slowly, so Wiktionary is more likely to include new words. Dbfirs 08:24, 17 September 2010 (UTC)


Aren't the first two adverbs conjunctions? —Internoob (DiscCont) 22:09, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

You might be amused, confused, and cautioned by this quote from CGEL: "We therefore include in the preposition category all of the subordinating conjunctions of traditional grammar". (They except "that", "whether", and "if".)
Like you, I don't see the usage examples as illustrating a PoS distinction. But no dictionaries I know of follow CGEL. Some only have "adverb", some have "adverb" and "conjunction". I have passed on tackling this and other items in Category:English pronominal adverbs. That no one else has lately might be taken as a caution. DCDuring TALK 00:42, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Category:Script templates

Why aren't many templates showing up in here? For example, {{Armn}} isn't showing up even though {{Armn/doc}} (where the cat lives) hasn't been edited for months. --Bequw τ 00:50, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Now Armn shows up, but not {{Avst}} (and others). Weird. --Bequw τ 01:12, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Maybe it’s your Vector skin. I still use the MonoBook and {{Armn}} shows up fine for me. —Stephen (Talk) 01:50, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Tried Monobook and when logged out. No dice on seeing Avst. --Bequw τ 02:06, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I got Avst to show up there by going to edit it and clicking "Save" (without actually changing anything). A normal purge, however, did not work. We've seen this sort of issue before, but I don't know if I've heard a coherent explanation for why it happens. I think it usually passes on its own. —RuakhTALK 02:22, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Statutory Rape

I know a 16 year old girl in Fort Wayne Indiana who is dating a 24 year old man. I cannot believe that this is legal but that is what a so called attorney told me online. What I would like to know is how DCS would see this. I cannot imaging the Division of Child Services being ok with this even if it is legal.—This comment was unsigned.

This is Wiktionary, a dictionary Web site. You might try a legal-advice Web site instead for help with this question. Or just ask the DCS.​—msh210 (talk) 15:50, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

help in editing and adding

Hi, Thanks for the tips about how to get help....it is not easy to find where to click or add or ask for advice or help. I've received advice from Daniel a minute ago, but still don't understand how I can add a protologism.....if I go to the page that Daniel suggests and click on edit there is not template wizard for how to enter a new word definition. If I go onto that page he suggests by finding the list and going to enter my word then I could easily accidently edit other text that is not mine...or maybe that is the idea.....so when you add a new word in wikidictionary you get a template to fill in....can we have one of those for protologisms also? Still unable to move forward without further very basic advice. Thanks Sylvie

can you please assist me - protologism


I am not sure how to enter a protologism. I've found the page with the list of them, I've found the edit button, but what I still don't know or understand is the best way to add my newly coined word?

Can you either edit the entry I made below or better still tell me in a simple step by step guide how to do this correctly. Being pointed to a page and then being allowed to do whatever I feel with that page - somehow feels wrong and hazardous to others hard work.

mindscious: adjective [pronunciation :mīnd-shuhs ] (Blending mindful focus and conscious action to generate creativity, empowered thinking and effective leadership.) Coined by Mindscious Pty Ltd 1 December 2009. Origins: 1. Subconscious (adj.) , "not wholly conscious" 2. Mindful - mid-14c.from mind + -ful. Related: Mindfulness. 3. Consciousness - c.1600, from Latin. 'conscius' "knowing, aware," from conscire, "internal knowledge" Meaning "state of being aware". Synonyms include: coaching beginner’s mind, aligned mindfulness to leadership, focus and linked leadership.

Just add what you have there to the list. Don't be afraid of making a mess of our WT:LOP (not that what you have written is messy, I'm just saying ;) ) because it's mostly not taken that seriously. —Internoob (DiscCont) 22:25, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Arabic Wiktionary

Not sure where to post this, but I noticed that the Arabic Wiktionary has a lot of uppercase English words, as opposed to lowercase ones on virtually every other Wiktionary. For example ar:Abandoned where we have abandoned. Since I don't speak Arabic, I can't even read the script, I can't negociate with them. Any takers? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:16, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

ar:Abandoned was autoimported from our Abandoned which existed at the time. The English one has since been deleted. Arabic Wiktionary also has ar:abandoned. —Stephen (Talk) 03:37, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

First Wiktionary day, first Wiktionary project, first Wiktionary question

I have been on Wikipedia for quite awhile. This is my first project on Wiktionary and I have a couple questions. On the page http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/perch under Etymology 1/Noun are 3 descriptions, all fish. Under Etymology 2/Noun are 5 more descriptions, number 5 being the one I was looking for. It is an English weaving term that I also found at http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-209135036.html?key=01-42160D517E1A14601209071F05684B2E224E324D3417295C30420B61651B617F137019731B7B1D6B39
Perch: A wooden frame over which fabric is draped and inspected for faults, the percher's job.
Here is a reference in a book: http://books.google.com/books?id=cAwAAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA151&lpg=PA151&dq=weaving+percher&source=bl&ots=04CwW_C9Ae&sig=hCh_ztKzk_xP6mPFWizz2VMzkcE&hl=en&ei=u_WgTKyUOsWAnQe2v9y8DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CAgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=weaving%20percher&f=false
The reason I would like to know the difference between Etymology 1 and Etymology 2 is that I want to add the word 'percher' that does not exist in the English Wiktionary, but was my father's job, and is listed as such on my birth certificate. I assumed for many years that is was a French word, but it is English.

Any suggestions on how to proceed?

Quebec99 21:12, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, it isn't as easy as some. Here is something I found via Google Books:
  • 1916, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Finishing Department”, in Bulletin: Wages and Hours Series, volume Wages and Hours of Labor in Woolen Worsted Goods Manufacturing, number 238:
    Perching.—Perching is inspecting or examining the cloth by drawing it over a rack, called a perch, so it will pass between the employee and the light. In this way the worker can look through the cloth and find imperfections that would not be visible if the cloth rested on a table. This method of inspecting the cloth is often used in place of that described under "Inspecting," but is always employed after the cloth has been burled and mended to see that it is in as perfect condition structurally as it is possible to make it.
    Perch.—A perch consists of two wooden bars, 4 to 6 feet long and about 3 inches in diameter, suspended horizontally from the ceiling so they will be about 4 feet apart and 7 feet from the floor. Perches are always erected in front of a window so the cloth will hang between the percher and the light.
    Percher.—As a rule, perchers are men. They are the most important employees in this section of the mill, next to the second hand. A percher places a piece of cloth on the floor and draws the end over the perch. As he pulls the cloth down on the other side between him and the fight, he examines it very closely for imperfections. A good light on the other side of the cloth enables him to see through it and thus discover even the minutest imperfection. If he finds anything that can be remedied he marks it and sends the piece to the proper person to remedy it. If there are faults that can not be remedied he designates the cloth as a second or remnant. This is important work and requires a high-class man, one who is dependable and who understands weaving and the structure of various fabrics. His work is light, but he is required to stand on his feet. He is paid on a time basis.
This is way more than should be included in the definitions of any of the three terms. I would suppose that the noun "perch" belongs in Etymology 2, certainly not in Ety 1, possibly in a new Etymology we don't have. "Percher" starts a new English section at percher. "Perching" looks like a participle of "to perch" but it is not clear whether "to perch" is a real verb, whether it would be transitive or intransitive, etc. Maybe we just call "perching" a noun, pending more evidence. DCDuring TALK 22:38, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I took a run at percher#English. This is more obscure and complicated than most entries and we were missing an English language section with the other more common senses of "percher". I will add a new etymology for perching and a noun def. for it. DCDuring TALK 22:51, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I didn't expect you to do it, but that looks good.

Quebec99 20:47, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

There were a lot of pieces to it. It is a bit hard to explain so many elements. It's not as if we have such great documentation. You more or less study what we have, especially WT:ELE and WT:CFI and thereafter learn by hook and by crook. DCDuring TALK 21:34, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

October 2010


This was the question on the talk page, which I deleted:

"what is meaning of morphology assessment"

Mglovesfun (talk) 05:26, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
The asker won't find any answer or clarifying question we give here without redirection, IMHO. DCDuring TALK 12:08, 4 October 2010 (UTC)


What does this word mean? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 4 October 2010. - moved from Talk:diachronic by Mglovesfun (talkcontribs)

It means something like the changes in a phenomenon at different points of time. —Stephen (Talk) 07:21, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
It looks like it is mostly use as a specialized word in geology, where it contrasts with synchroneity. Almost all use is by geologists AFAICT. It is as if the apparently synonymous pair diachronicity/synchronicity, in use by linguists, and "synchronicity" alone, in use by Jungians, had too much connotational baggage. I will add to WT:REE (Requested Entries English). DCDuring TALK 12:01, 4 October 2010 (UTC)


what are the origins of this word? Mjalliston 13:41, 8 October 2010 (UTC) 08.09.2010

Traceable to East North Central UK dialect verb meaning "to soak". DCDuring TALK 14:14, 16 October 2010 (UTC)


This word sounds to me like it is specifically masculine, such as Latin pater (father) or patriarch (male head of a family) - is this the case? The listed meaning refers to a 'person' without making any gender-specific reference. I note there is no corresponding 'matrician' listed. Many thanks. Careful With That Axe, Eugene 09:31, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

In English, women may also be patrician. For example, Virginia (Volumnius). —Stephen (Talk) 10:12, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Ta! Careful With That Axe, Eugene 09:25, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Deleted wrong definition

Just a heads-up that I deleted the definition of endosome, which has been flat-out wrong since its creation. So currently there's a page with no definition. I've no time to read policies etc right now, so thought I'd post a quick note here. Adrian J. Hunter 13:17, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

  • From the OED - endosome, (a) the innermost part of a sponge; (b) Cytol., a deeply staining mass of chromatin in the middle of a vesicular nucleus in certain protozoans. You also removed the translation table - that's what we call vandalism. Edit backed out. Feel free to improve the definition. SemperBlotto 14:50, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
In the future, please use {{rfv}} and list the entry at WT:RFV so that others can have a look and share their opinions. But at least you posted here, so that's good. —Internoob (DiscCont) 21:26, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
SemperBlotto: Vandalism? I gave my reason for removing the table in the edit summary. Perhaps you'd consider the effect calling new contributors' good-faith edits "vandalism" might have on their likelihood of feeling welcome and contributing further.
Internoob: Thanks for the note. Please see #FAQ update below.
User:Vahagn Petrosyan has now edited endosome to match what three different biology textbooks I checked said in their glossaries, plus my own expectation. I've no idea where the OED is coming from – perhaps that's an obscure or outdated definition? – but the new definition matches common usage. Adrian J. Hunter 05:46, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Starting talk pages

In which order do I need to place a talk page's templates? Thank you. - Lo Ximiendo 21:50, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't know what you mean. Which templates are you referring to? —Internoob (DiscCont) 02:37, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

The templates that you see when you edit or make a page. - Lo Ximiendo 22:52, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

I don’t think we have such templates. Can you point to a page for example? —Stephen (Talk) 09:51, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I think you might be talking about user boxes. We don’t use user boxes here, except for Babel boxes that describe your linguistic competencies. I know that Wikipedia has boxes for every conceivable thing, but here we only have {{babel}}. —Stephen (Talk) 08:52, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I also mean discussion tabs that you see on pages. - Lo Ximiendo 01:45, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Ah. We don’t have templates like that. Just click "edit" and start typing. —Stephen (Talk) 03:03, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Steeply raked

"Steeply raked" means "sharply angled". In practice this can be both near horizontal (as in the steeply raked windscreen of a sportscar) or near vertical (as in the steeply raked stalls of an auditorium). Any idea how to cover this? At the moment, steep just says, "Of a near-vertical gradient; of a slope, surface, curve, etc. that proceeds upward at an angle near vertical" -- which is precisely wrong if it's a steeply raked windscreen. Ideas? --Jayen466 01:45, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

I think our first problem is in missing senses of rake#Noun(, rake#Verb ?,) and raked#Adjective. I don't think "steep" has the meaning it has with "raked" with many other words. Do you know of some?
"Steep" and other words that modify "raked" might all need to be modified to allow for a different plane of reference than the horizon. Other dictionaries have a definition like ours, but often word it artfully to avoid exclusive reference to the horizontal. DCDuring TALK 15:53, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect entries from a questionable source

The entries i-gai, lengen-aka, nat-loun, qachun, and slades are all included in Category: Aleut phrasebook. It appears these entries were taken (rather irresponsibly) from Charles A. Lee's Alaskan Indian Dictionary, published in 1896 and digitized by Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10040/10040.txt). Within Wiktionary, these words have been labeled as Aleut, but they are not Aleut (Unangam Tunuu) at all; they are Alutiiq/Sugpiaq. Not only that, but their spellings are non-standard and their glosses remain to be independently verified. Works such as the Alaskan Indian Dictionary are useful for linguistic research (particularly when corroborated by other sources), but they cannot be considered definitive references and certainly not adequate sole sources for Wiktionary entries.

So, what to do with these entries? The people who created them obviously do not have the Alutiiq expertise to fix them, nor do I. I don't believe it would be responsible to leave them as is, nor do I think it would be sufficient to re-label them as Alutiiq since they really need thorough editing by someone with more than a passing familiarity with the language. My personal preference would be to see these entries deleted, in order to prevent the spreading of misinformation. What does the Wiktionary community think?

It is no problem. Just change the language header to Alutiiq, and change any language codes from ale to ems. I did i-gai for you as an example. As far as the spelling goes, it depends on whether they are misspellings, antiquated spellings, alternative spellings, or what. If misspellings, then they can be marked as such with a link to the correct spelling.
There really is no one around here with expertise in Alutiiq, so we only have the alternatives of relabeling as Alutiiq or deleting altogether. If you want to delete rather than relabel, just place {{delete}} in each affected page. —Stephen (Talk) 10:02, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

every cloud has a silver lining

Are there any Bible scripture(s) that support the "silver lining behind every cloud" concept? —This comment was unsigned.

Seems like a question for your minister, a Bible scholar, or Google books. It is possible someone might know of a similar proverb with a biblical source. DCDuring TALK 15:58, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a bible scholar, so the only suggestion I can make is "all things work together for good to them that love God" (Paul in Romans 8:28). Perhaps not quite what you were looking for. Dbfirs 15:26, 3 November 2010 (UTC)


Hello everyone

Just one question. I mostly workd on the spanish wikipedia and in wikipedia in general. Over there people can create books of pages they find intresgting. Can one do this with wiktionary? If not, isn't it a good idea to allow people to create books?

The potential books have in wiktionary is huge: people could crearte vocabulary lists so they can study and review the words in and ordered way.

Thanks! --Smoken Flames 05:40, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

One can create such things on one's userpage and on subpages of one's user page. HTH. DCDuring TALK 11:45, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
But see the bookmaking extension on the other WMF wikis: I, too, think it would be a good idea to have it here. (Especially if we're to have a phrasebook.)​—msh210 (talk) 05:44, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

FAQ update

After using Google's define: function last week I came across a definition I disagreed with (see #Deleted wrong definition above). I'm not a Wiktionary regular but I wanted to fix the definition. I didn't have much time but I clicked Help and, not finding anything under the "Basic help" section about disputing definitions, checked the FAQ. I'd expected that either Help:Contents or Help:FAQ would contain simple instructions for a passer-by wanting to make a correction. Might I suggest that users familiar with the mores here create FAQ#Disputing a definition? Presumably such a section should describe the usage of {{rfv}} and WT:RFV. Adrian J. Hunter 05:55, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. I created Help:Disputing a definition which I linked to from Help:Contents. —Internoob (DiscCont) 01:31, 20 October 2010 (UTC)


Obviously it isn't English. :) How do I remove the cat? Thanks Kayau 10:12, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

  • I have added "lang=zh" to the template. If you don't like that, just use plain text instead of templates. SemperBlotto 10:19, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Thanks. Kayau 11:48, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

How to import a glossary (in tab delimited UTF-8 text file) into the Wiktionary automatically.

Hello, I have a question.

I would like to know if there is any way to import a bilingual word list (in say a tab delimited text file or csv) into the Wiktionary.

I have good material, but don't think I have to time to enter them all manually.

Any help would be very welcome!

Michael -- unsigned by Michael_J.W._Beijer (10:53, 30 October 2010)

It would be helpful if you included an item or two from your list, but I doubt that there is any way to import it automatically and put things where they would have to go. —Stephen (Talk) 19:04, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
Many glossaries are filled with sum-of-parts terms and as such would not fit Wiktionary's criteria for inclusion. Can you tell us what kind of glossary you have, and is it copyrighted? ---> Tooironic 23:01, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
You can import into you separate page for starters - e.g. User name/my import (or something). You haven't specified the language either. Some languages have many entries and yours may already exist. --Anatoli 20:53, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

November 2010

amidship versus amidships

These seem synonymous to me. To we have a reason to think they are different? --Doradus 02:49, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

They are synonymous. One has the adverbial suffix -s. Compare toward, towards; backward, backwards. —Stephen (Talk) 13:59, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Transient "transliteration" box and "colloquial-formal" box on WOTD aspirate ?

Hello, this morning, at about 05h11, I saw those boxes fleeting at the lower part of the WOTD translat. boxes while I was trying to add some translations...I rejoiced myself, but they vanished... They looked quite useful, so why not let them stay longer ? T.y. Arapaima 05:44, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

(No answer after 4 days ?) Has it been an hallucination, or a "lusus exploratorius" ? Or am I like the boy in "Radio Days" , who in 42 saw a U-boote swiftly emerging and diving down near Rockaway Beach, and never was believed about it ? T.y. Arapaima 09:36, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
If you were using the editing tool to add a translation to the translation section, you may see the word more. If you click on that, it opens to allow additional input boxes such as transliteration. —Stephen (Talk) 18:09, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a lot Stephen , I'm relieved now ...Arapaima 19:45, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Plurals for one definition only

I was wondering if there is an acceptable way to show that an entry can only have a plural for some of its definitions and not all of them.  The entry that made me think of this was beach volleyball because the first definition cannot have a plural.  Thanks! — V-ball 06:27, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

The way we've done it; use {{countable}} and {{uncountable}} after the # on definition lines. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:56, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Origin of a word

Dibujar. What is this Spanish words origin?

It comes from Old French deboissier. --EncycloPetey 22:49, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Naming this action

Does anyone know the proper name for this hand noise? It has some cultural specific meanings (it can mean "hurry up" or "punishment" in Latin American countries). I've heard of some people call it a "snap" but neither our nor wikipedia's page mentions this action. The closest I can find on the internet is google:smack pack sound. Names in other languages would also be appreciated. --Bequw τ 17:32, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Doesn't it take its name from the action that produces it: fingersnap or finger snap. It looks very attestable under both spellings. DCDuring TALK 17:53, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Hello Bequw. No wonder you lack details on it : I never saw an anglo-saxon snap his fingers, unless he had been strongly influenced by lengthy impregnation of southern cultures.
We latins name it "claquement de doigts" in french, & "castañeta" in spanish (the word "chasquido" being used rather for tongue snaping, which has other meanings...) , & use it a lot. At school, we use it to attract the teacher's attention while raising a hand , & whining "Sir, sir, I know the answer !". It is also synonym of "it went bang just as fast as that" , & used mainly in talk of amorous feats like in : "I had hardly talked 10 minutes on the beach with that gorgeous girl from London, and (snap) we were humping in the sand dunes...". Also used a lot when talking about cars or bikes : "It's an engine which just asks for it : you hardly touch it, and (snap) you're fleeting at 100/hour...".
Much less gleeful : you'll find in Soljenitsin's books that fingersnaping was (is ?) heard in the corridors of russian prisons like the Loubyanka, meaning "I am a gaoler escorting along a prisonner, step aside...".
T.y. Arapaima 08:55, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
I find that amusing, since I snap my fingers frequently despite a complete lack of the cultural influences you suggest are necessary. Admittedly, this often doesn't carry any kind of meaning, but it's about as common for me to snap to emphasize speed in one way or another, or to attract someone's attention. Astrocom 06:55, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
A funny scene involving finger snaps - used here to induce and remove a hypnotic suggestion (made at 1:08):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSNGeazCW6I The finger-snap is used as a synonym for something which is very short or worthless. Ileanadu 03:14, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Using the word in the definition

The definition of "banality" at Wiktionary is entirely useless. Rather than defining the word, it defines the meaning of the suffix "ality" and requires the user to click on "banal" to find out what it means.

Is Wiktionary's goal to avoid redundancy by supplying the definition for "banal" and withholding the definition for "banality"? I'm under the impression that the definition of a word should not make use of that same word. Why is Wiktionary different? Perhaps this definition was generated automatically, so other words suffer from this same problem?

I couldn't find this issue in the archives, but please link to any previous related issues if you know of them.

—This comment was unsigned.

This has been discussed many times. The benefit of a full definition for each word is that no one needs to look in two places. The down side is redundancy (do we need all however-many deifnitions for set (noun) repeated in plural at sets?) and incompleteness/inconsistency (even if we do want them all at sets, what if someone adds or fixes a definition at set? Someone then has to go add/fix sets also). We've basically decided that for some things we do not repeat information: this includes, for English, most plurals, most forms of verbs (viz, with -ed, -s, -ing, -eth, etc.), comparatives, superlatives, and less-common alternate or dialectal spellings (like erster). For others, there's really been no decision, and some people do and and some people don't repeat information: this includes -ity forms like banality and others. (It often depends on the specific word.) Your further input is encouraged, and I also encourage you to create an account and edit entries!​—msh210 (talk) 18:31, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Re: "Why is Wiktionary different?": It's not. The Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary (m-w.com) does the same thing.[2] And most dictionaries don't define "banality" at all; at most, they just mention its existence in their entries for "banal". (See e.g. [3].) An exception is the online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, which gives two regular definitions, not mentioning the word "banal" except in the etymology section. —RuakhTALK 20:27, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


I have been all over the internet looking for the pronunciation of this word. I have looked in every dictionary I could find. How do you say it? Please help!  :) 15:19, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Aquabib or aquabib? Anyway, I'd go for /æk.wə.bɪb/. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:55, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
It's really really rare, Google Books gets three valid citations - two for the singular, the other for the plural. If you want to be really really pedantic, you could argue neither aquabib nor aquabibs are cited. That would be IMO, bad faith. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:08, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi seasons greetings to all wiktionarians.We at Marathi Wiktionary here were discussing localisation of the logo.As such likely to opt for "tile" version while we did not have "realistic book" option without most of the people not being aware of discussions for global logo at meta.
(With the present trend at Marathi Wiktionary we are less likely to continue with present wiktionary logo which is as of present en wiktionary, and also likely to have less favour for realist book)
How so ever while before putting it for final local decision we will prefer to know which way en wiktionary has decided to go on logo issue so we can keep our local wiktionarians informed of the descussions taking place at other places.
Mahitgar 08:02, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
There was no consensus. You can read the vote here. —Internoob (DiscCont) 05:09, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

What is the k-certainty or the k-uncertainty ?

How do I add a word into wiktionary?

I can't figure this out!

Do you mean a new English word that we don’t have yet, or a word on an existing page? —Stephen (Talk) 21:28, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
You might want to see Wiktionary:Tutorial, which is how I learned a few years ago. —Internoob (DiscCont) 00:36, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Is there a specific term for...

Is there a specific term for an institution where the physical structure(s) are known by the same name as the organizations within? Examples would be: the Kremlin, the Pentagon, the Hague, the Vatican, etc. 18:38, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Synecdoche?​—msh210 (talk) 18:41, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
More metonymy than synecdoche IMHO; but neither one is "a specific term for" that. —RuakhTALK 19:47, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps so, and you're right, of course, that neither is specifically for use with institutions and their homes. Even more so, neither is a term for the Kremlin, et al. (which I think is what the OP was asking for, actually).​—msh210 (talk) 20:00, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Translation / Multiple languages

I am not sure if this capability exists or not, I have looked through the help and forums but have not noticed it. I know the Wiktionary is multi-lingual but I am thinking that this would be a very good location to be able to look up the definition of a word in another language - as opposed to using something like Google Translate. I live in Vietnam and many of the online English - Vietnamese dictionaries are simplistic, only showing the first possible match where depending on the context there may be many alternative. By having a link in the English definition to another language it would enable a user to view all possibly synonyms of a word in either language.

I would be very interested in hearing comments, thank you.

Just to say - as usual I posted then found what I was looking for shortly after, please ignore my question above - first post jitters

Agiercke 02:52, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

To get a translation, go to the Translations section, then click on the Show link, on the right (unfortunately, translations are hidden).
To get a definition in another language, click on the name of the language, in the left column (if this language is present...) Lmaltier 06:45, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I swear my parents weren't related, but...

yeah, so I PROMISE I am a woman of reasonable intelligence, but I just can't figure out what I'm supposed to do here. I'm a long-time Wiki fan, but newbie when it comes to actually contributing to anything. I guilted myself into feeling the need to add something to society, and then was completely deflated when I had NO EFFING IDEA how to do it.

ALL I want to do, for starters, is add a disambiguation to the term "Buck", because the Buck (cocktail) entry fails to mention the hobo-culture practice of adding sugar and yeast to juice and burping the CO2 to make booze on the cheap. If anyone could tell me how to do this in plain English, I would be much obliged.

You have no idea how defeated I am, posting this. I am one of those "never ask for help" people, who can read and write HTML and is fairly literate, but I am just so damn confused by this whole system. That could have something to do with the fact that the inspiration for writing the Buck (read: booze on the cheap) article came from drinking several bottles of Buck...but I've written much more complex term papers much drunker than I am now, so I am at a loss. Thanks!

For starters, I assume that you're talking about the Wikipedia entry Buck (cocktail), and if that's the case, you'll find better help on Wikipedia than here on Wiktionary. You may want to start with Wikipedia:Tutorial to learn how to edit a page. Cheers, —Internoob (DiscCont) 18:34, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Russian keyboard

How do I find the translation of a Russian word via Wiktionary without having a Russian keyboard and without the burdensome "translation" of Russian characters via my own keyboard ? Hope someone has a solution for me. Koenraadrolf.

It may help to search for the romanization of the word you want by entering the romanization in the search bar and selecting "containing... foo" from the drop-down menu that appears. For example, searching for restorán will bring up ресторан but only if you select "containing... restorán"; otherwise, you'll go to restorán. Our romanization scheme is described at Wiktionary:Russian transliteration. If you can't type accents, you could probably do without them. —Internoob (DiscCont) 18:47, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Tracking recent changes by language

Hello all - I see that there are links provided to track recent changes made to individual languages, which is very helpful, but they do not appear to have been updated since late October, 2010 - does anyone know if this will be updated anytime soon, and if so, will it be regularly updated after that?

WOTD : why does it stay in 2009 ?

I notice the WOTD seems to stay back in 2009...Is there a particular reason? Thanks for your answer . 16:32, 28 November 2010 (UTC)


Question: I need a Bible quote that starts with the letter G that has to do with an Apostalate of nuns helping in a hospital. Something close.

Help on new medical term syndrome of irreversible lithium-effectuated neurotoxicity (S.I.L.E.N.T.)

Please recommend to me how to address entering information for new medical condition known as "Syndrome of Irreversible Lithium-Effected Neurotoxicity" or abbreviated as "S.I.L.E.N.T.". I have found 1 refereence in WIKI for "S.I.L.E.N.T." as a term in a comic book. Hardly the same. There is only a few web articles on "Syndrome of Irreversible Lithium-Effected Neurotoxicity" or "S.I.L.E.N.T." and I want to get it out into the open in the web (Yes I have "S.I.L.E.N.T.", but this article isn't about me, just the medical condition.). Where do I start and how/where does it go?—This comment was unsigned.

Please see Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion: we don't allow words that someone made up that aren't otherwise used. However, if you like, you can add it to Appendix:List of protologisms.​—msh210 (talk) 15:51, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I don’t think it’s a protologism. See syndrome of irreversible lithium-effectuated neurotoxicity, where it is mentioned by the NIH and numerous other sites, and is mentioned in print (Google Books), for instance, in Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry by Peter R. Breggin, 2008, ISBN-13: 9780826129345. —Stephen (Talk) 20:14, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah, effectuated. He'd written effected, which is what I therefore had searched on; finding nothing, I concluded it's a protologism. SILENT is admissible under the CFI, AFAICT, though I'm not seeing it spelled S.I.L.E.N.T.. What do others think (after looking at how it's used) about the spelled-out thing?​—msh210 (talk) 04:54, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

December 2010


There is a mistake in the conjugation of бояться. The 2p plural en imperative plural are changed.

Thanks, fixed. —Stephen (Talk) 11:41, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Arabic "kitaab"

I found that the declination of the Arabic word "ktiaab" is wrong. The plural form is "kutub"!! I don't know how to change it because it does "automatic stuff" in the entry (automatically adding suffixes etc)... so it would be nice if someone could correct that! Thanks!

I suppose that you are referring to كتاب. However, it already gives the correct plural form, كتب, so I don’t know what you are looking at. —Stephen (Talk) 21:26, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Please define a Storey in a building for the Australian launguage?

Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storey#Numbering

I'm curious to know which deffinition Australia uses to define a storey? Is the floor above the ground floor the 1st or 2nd floor.

Regards, Rhys

As far as I know, storey means the same wherever it is used, but in Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Denmark, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia and most European countries, the storey at ground level is called the "ground floor" and the storey above it is called the "first floor". Most of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Scandinavia (excluding Denmark), do not use "ground floor", but call the storey (or story) at ground level the first floor, and the one that is one storey up is called the second floor. Dbfirs 12:28, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Plural of page wire

There is, to my knowledge, no plural form of this compound word unless used in the phrase "page wire fences". The entry currently shows an incorrect plural form: "page wires". How can this be corrected? Or will and editor correct this for me? PMDisraeli 00:26, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

I can't see a plural either, having done a quick search on Google Books, so I've removed it. Edit the page to see what I did. Equinox 00:34, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

oracy and orate

The form of the words oracy and orate are similar to literacy and literate. Could orate, then, be given an adjective definition of "being able to speak and understand spoken language"? --PaparazziPulse 01:48, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Never mind, I've moved the question to the tea room. --PaparazziPulse 04:51, 11 December 2010 (UTC)


Is there any reason why the noun is in bold but the verb is not? ---> Tooironic 12:25, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

No. Neither of them should be bold. Bold does not work well with complex characters, so it should not be used. —Stephen (Talk) 14:16, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, but how do we fix this? ---> Tooironic 21:03, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
In this case, it's part of {{Hans}}. —Internoob (DiscCont) 02:49, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary IPA under main page link

The graphic's IPA currently reads ['wɪkʃənrɪ]. This has a few problems, one of which being that it's only three syllables long, while the word wiktionary is four. So a better transcription would be ['wɪkʃəneɹi]. Since brackets were used, I assumed that IPA was the intended transcription method as opposed to a dictionary standard. I would also recommend changing the [r] to an [ɹ], since this is the sound found in English rather than the trill. However this is not necessary if you are going for a broad transcription, and the only language on this site is English. The word-final vowel should also be changed from an [ɪ] to an [i] so that the word is not pronounced "wiktionarih" but "wiktionary".

See WT:FAQ: it's one way of saying it in the UK. Our logo is generally pretty trashy nonetheless, IMO. —Internoob (DiscCont) 03:41, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I say ['wɪkʃənrɪ] (to rhyme with ['dɪkʃənrɪ]) here in the UK, though I can understand that it sounds odd in the USA. I also don't distinguish between the [i] and [ɪ] vowels (for example, city has two identical vowels). Pronunciation varies considerably, even within the UK. Isn't there a secondary stress for "Wiktionary" in some US pronunciations? Dbfirs 17:34, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

French conjugation families

Are there category pages for the different ways French verbs are conjugated (e.g. regular -er verbs, -ir verbs, etc.) I'm pretty sure there should be, so I'm really asking where they are. Is there a page that lists all the different kind of conjugations? Also, are there explanations of these conjugations somewhere? Thanks if you can help. -- 22:09, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

I've considered adding something to {{fr-verb}} and/or {{fr-conj}}. Probably the latter. What we do have is Appendix:French verbs. Mglovesfun (talk) 00:31, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Red ink

I'm attempting to create my 2nd entry/page, and i've obviously done something wrong. CTS is now all in red. What'd i do? Ragityman 12:02, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

  • CTS is now a good entry. Did you consider reading your welcome links? SemperBlotto 12:04, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

"Condolences on" vs. "Condolences for"

Which is the proper statement:

"Condolences on the loss/death of _________"


"Condolences for the loss/death of __________"

I've seen both forms used interchangeably, but am wondering which is correct, and why. —This comment was unsigned.

Both can be correct, sometimes with the same object. DCDuring TALK 22:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
"Condolences for the loss/death of __________" sounds better to me because "for" implies more intimacy. ---> Tooironic 20:18, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

eddress, chin, pip or gshmarr?

do you feel that the phrase electronic mail address should be replaced by one word or incorporated into another word or phrase such as in, "what's your email?" or "gimme ur email" do you think that to use the word eddress is a good idea to replace electronic address or needs more work such as, is it eee-dress ed-ress and what is the verb for 'chip n pin', is it chin, pip or is it something completely new, like gshmarr?


Wiktionary has one definition of e-mail as e-mail address. As for chip n pin, I can't help you --Mat200 23:09, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
See also e-dress.​—msh210 (talk) 15:27, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

sound files

Out of curiosity, which users upload sound files (for pronunciation of words) to Wiktionary? Most of the ones I've seen have been added by a 'bot, but which were obviously created by a human user. Do we have an guidelines for adding them? --Mat200 23:04, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Re: An urgent appeal

How long are we going to have to see the "urgent appeal"? I find it to be distracting, and I dislike it for the same reason that I don't care for the PBS marathons.

The fundraiser ends as soon as $16 million is raised, I think. $10.6 million have been donated so far. --Yair rand (talk) 06:08, 19 December 2010 (UTC)


I believe this to be either Yiddish or Deutsch. Was not able to add to request list due to equipment limitations. Please help. Ragityman 08:52, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

I believe it means "mute" (adjective) in Yiddish — but then it's a transliteration only, as Yiddish is written in Hebrew, not Latin, characters. I don't know any German (Deutsch), but our entry for mute lists stumm as the German translation (and Stumme as the noun).​—msh210 (talk) 09:03, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
The Yiddish is שטום (shtum, dumb, mute). —Stephen (Talk) 19:38, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
The word seems to have been adopted into English, spelt shtum. How many alternative spellings are attestable? Dbfirs 17:12, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
I found it in a British novel spelled as above, schtumm. As msh210 said, it's transliterated, so spelling will vary. Thanks for all the input. I'll leave the entry creation to someone who'll do it right the first time.
Ragityman 17:24, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Cross reference to Wikipedia

The compound word, high side, has a synonym, 'highsider' which exists as an entry in Wikipedia. How may a cross reference be created? PMDisraeli 19:41, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Like this. You could also use {{wikipedia|Highsider}}, but I prefer {{pedia}} because when you get multiple right-hand-side elements together in one page, Internet Explorer has a bug that makes it display a blank spot underneath. —Internoob (DiscCont) 21:07, 24 December 2010 (UTC)


is an incentive or reason for doing something
is something that motivates
means provide someome with an incentive to do something
is the act of inpsiring
is providing inspiration

Could someone please clean our circular definitions for these terms? – b_jonas 13:33, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

You won't get trapped in the circle if you choose one of the many exit routes (e.g. "Something that motivates, rouses, or encourages" for incentive). I agree that we should avoid circularity in our definitions. Should we add more alternatives, or put them first? Dbfirs 17:00, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
You are bound to get circularity in any dictionary. They all rely on you already knowing the meaning of some (if not most) words. What we need is something like the definition of the Algol programming language - it starts by defining a character then, after numerical, alphabetical etc characters, it defines a string. Eventually it defines the entire language, only ever using terms previously defined. I don't think that's possible in English. SemperBlotto 17:11, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. Just occasionally, we end up in a circle with no exits, and it is these entries that need extending. Dbfirs 17:17, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

I want to edit Parvenu entry but am hitting a minor issue in the editing

Essentially the entry for the word parvenu had a minor error and an omission. Sorting out the minor error was simple (although I forgot to check the 'minor edit' box, apologies). The correction was the etymology which is from the French parvenir (parvenu actually is the past participle of this irregular ir verb rather than a separate word in it's own right).

The omission is the feminine form parvenue which is rare but acceptable in English. It is important to include it as parvenu is one of the rare English words with both a masculine and a feminine form (blond/blonde and fiancé/fiancée being two others that I can think of off the top of my head - ignore the stupid spell-checker which is underlining blonde, it is wrong). I double checked my copy of the complete OED so I am absolutely certain on this.

The problem is where the plural is shown (and where I would have thought to enter the feminine form) is not visible in the edit pane, only a wiki format { {en-noun} }. For completeness sake as well as accuracy I would like to correct this omission but I'm obviously missing some vital step.

Any help would be welcome. Also apologies if this is the wrong place for such a query.

Thank you Plotinus 00:47, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

See blond and blonde, ie, separate, but linked entries, for how we handle this in English: not the same as for languages where speakers are accustomed to gender-inflectional differences. DCDuring TALK 01:28, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the guidance - in which case the cross referencing between parvenu and parvenue is missing (although the link the other way round isn't). I shall correct this now.

Yes, parvenu is a separate French word in its own right, derived from the past participle of parvenir. Please, check before "correcting". Lmaltier 21:44, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

verbal diarrhoea

Can someone please explain why I could not get the definition of the above when I opened the page?? Should it be such a task and chore? Please make the seeking of definitions a bit more user-friendly, otherwise wehat is the point??

Well the expression is really just a joke, but all you have to do is click the link to logorrhea to find the meaning. Dbfirs 17:21, 1 January 2011 (UTC