Wiktionary:Information desk/Archive 2013/January-June

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January 2013[edit]

Name meaning ‘Spaniard.’[edit]

Are there any names meaning ‘Spaniard’ (as Francis means Frenchman)? --Æ&Œ (talk) 00:19, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Do you want English? Latin has Hispanus. — Ungoliant (Falai) 00:36, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Any European language, really. --Æ&Œ (talk) 00:41, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Occitan: d’Espanha. — Ungoliant (Falai) 00:51, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
I assume you want neutral ones, not offensive ones. DCDuring TALK 01:58, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Template:grc-decl-blank-full etc[edit]

If i want that the end of the of the words will be Bold how can i do it? -- 18:04, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

With that template, you can't. —Angr 19:42, 2 January 2013 (UTC)


How can I help Wiktionary without making unnecessary edits? If I can, where do I start? [ Please leave response on my talk page , if possible. ] Venomxx (talk) 22:00, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Just wanted to add a word but finding difficulty, that is why it is in the following to be added[edit]

Christmaterian:(noun)/person whom believes it should be Christmas celebrated all year long with decorations

Is it a word? By which I mean, do people use it? Mglovesfun (talk) 19:16, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
No. It seems to be a word this person would like to see adopted, in other words, a protologism. Not allowed here, per WT:CFI Chuck Entz (talk) 19:21, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Irish help for de.wiktionary[edit]

Hello everybody!
As there is no active Irish-speaking contributor on de.wiktionary, I post my request here: Could someone who speaks Irish please check and correct the gender informations given in the entries in de:Kategorie:Substantiv (Irisch)? Use m=masculine and f=feminine (or n=neutral which appearently does not exist in Irish). It would help us a lot! Thanks --Trevas (talk) 22:07, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

You're right, Modern Irish doesn't have the neuter, though Old Irish did. I'll see what I can do. —Angr 22:28, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

What are the attestation criteria for place names?[edit]

There is no exception in the CFI for place names, and it doesn't really say much about it at all. Some people have expressed concern that including place names indiscriminately would lead to a mess. There are some arguments for including at least place names that are "native" to the language, because names can have grammatical information like gender and inflections associated with them. But I still have a question: do we require citations of uses of a place name, or do mentions suffice? Many places might not be citable otherwise because they are not important enough to be used in a durably archived source. The purpose of citing uses and RFV is to verify the existence of words, so that people don't make things up. Yet place names as a rule are made up and officially established by some kind of authority. So to me it makes more sense that mentions also count, because in many cases there is no reason to doubt that the word for a place exists, as long as there is durably archived evidence that the place exists with that name (for which a map or official register should suffice, really). Does this make sense at all? —CodeCat 00:28, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

As I wrote on WT:RFV, "It is comparatively more difficult to mention (and not use) a placename than a word, because gazetteers and the like (have generally been considered to) use the placenames they contain, and most 'bare occurences' of placenames (e.g. at the top of official documents, as the place of composition, signing, etc) are also uses." Maps also use placenames, IMO. Can you give any examples of placenames that are only mentioned, never used? (If so, why do they deserve to be included while words with <1, or for major languages <3, uses are excluded?) - -sche (discuss) 00:45, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I would consider maps to be mentions myself, because they are not in running text and could be considered secondary sources in the same way that dictionaries are. That is a good analogy in fact... a map is a two-dimensional place-name dictionary. I think if we don't even intuitively agree on what mentions are and what are uses, then maybe CFI could be clarified on this point, at least concerning place names. It's always better to be explicit than to rely on "common" practice and the illusion of consensus. —CodeCat 00:50, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
If they are not important enough to be used tin three durably archived sources, then they are not important enough for Wiktionary. We have a special project called Wikipedia for that. Also, I don't think that "bare occurrences" should count. Unless a place name is used in sentences, what's the point of having it in a dictionary? --WikiTiki89 00:52, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
But I already mentioned that even the smallest and most obscure place name has lexical value, because it may be declined and has gender and pronunciation. Wikipedia would never include genders and declensions. Wiktionary has no concept of notability and includes all attestable words; the purpose of CFI and RFV is to make sure no nonsense gets into the dictionary. If we use those same criteria to exclude place names, it seems like we are not applying policy in the spirit that warranted its creation. —CodeCat 00:57, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
If it's not used in sentences, it's gender, etc. is irrelevant. --WikiTiki89 01:01, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I think you need to distinguish between "not used" and "not used in a CFI-compliant way". There is no doubt that almost all place names are used by the local population there. Yet most of such local usage doesn't make it into durably archived sources. So I think as long as we can find evidence that the name is an endonym then I don't see why we would conclude it is not being used. There aren't that many place names that nobody actually uses, are there? —CodeCat 01:10, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Like I said above, if it's not important enough for durably archived sources, then it's not important enough for us. Who's gonna look it up if the only people that know about it are the ones who live there and already know how to use the name? --WikiTiki89 01:13, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Not everyone who talks about a place lives there, and since you consider maps to not be valid sources, it's perfectly possible for names to appear on maps but not on Wiktionary. Thus, it's possible for someone to know about a place and want to know its gender and inflection so that they can use it correctly in a language. But please enlighten me on what is important for Wiktionary... you seem to know better than me. :) —CodeCat 01:18, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
If someone looking at a map can't tell the gender of a particular place, then how will we be able to tell? --WikiTiki89 01:30, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
In some languages (like Latin or Slavic), the gender is predictable from the word. In others like Dutch or German place names are always neuter. Of course if we can tell so can anyone else, but we have the advantage here that we have native speakers of these languages to understand these principles. Many Wiktionary users are not native speakers, or are even able to speak the language to any degree (i.e. a tourist) and thus will have no idea how to tell. —CodeCat 01:36, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
It's unlikely that someone will know so little about a language and yet still want to know the gender of some obscure placename that even we can't find enough references for to verify it's existence. --WikiTiki89 01:46, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
De facto we have no CFI for place names, so the default CFI is used, meaning three uses. Anything can pass this, even things like Hitlersee. Theoretically, yes, it would lead to a flood of place names on Wiktionary, but nobody has done it so far. What would be interesting to me, besides native place names of course, is exonyms. -- Liliana 01:44, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Would they have to be used in a sentence? I agree that a map, atlas, or gazetteer is just a list of place names that may only actually exist in theory. But what about train schedules, birth records, and other such listings where a place name is associated with a real event?

While we’re about this, let’s keep in mind that we have entries and definitions for place names, but individual geographical places belong in Wikipedia or Wikigazetteer. Michael Z. 2013-02-21 22:57 z


I have added the Word Wanafucawi to Wiktionary and twice you have deleted it. Please let me know what thee problem is so that I can hopefully add it again.

Buddy Currens

The problem is that the word has been made up just recently. See here for an explanation of what we allow. In a nutshell, there must be three independent, durable (published or Usenet) citations spanning at least a year. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:39, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Also, you need to spell it with a capital W. Also you need to add an actual definition, not a description. Also, it looks very like promotional material to me (for a website). Good luck. SemperBlotto (talk) 22:42, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Pronunciation of ‘weight.’[edit]

My mother heard a Texan pronounce ‘weight’ as /waɪt/, and she suspects that that is from British influence. Are there any U.K. dialects that have (or had) this pronunciation? --Æ&Œ (talk) 01:02, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Even if there are, British influence seems very unlikely. According to w:Texan English#Phonology it is common in Texas English for the starting point of the FACE vowel to be lower and backer than the DRESS vowel (roughly the opposite of what their conventional IPA transcriptions /eɪ/ and /ɛ/ would imply). If the speaker your mother heard used a sufficiently low and not-terribly-front vowel to start the diphthong, it's unsurprising it sounded more like /aɪ/ to your mother. —Angr 17:18, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

correct term[edit]

what is the correct terminology for refrigerated cases of many varieties of wine -"chilled wines" or chilled wine". thank you

I don't quite get it, either depending on the context. Mglovesfun (talk) 00:34, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Like most (or perhaps all) liquids, wine can be considered an uncountable noun or a countable noun. If you want to talk about the wine collectively, "wine" is better. In your case, however, you want to talk about types of wine, so "wines" is better. Similarly, you can talk about "rice" in a bag or the "rices" that a farmer grows. With "rice," it is easier on the ear to say something like "types" or "varieties" of rice, which can also be applied to your example. Cheers! --BB12 (talk) 00:53, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Gooseberry as Third Wheel[edit]

What is the origin of gooseberry when used in the sense of 'third wheel? 10:25, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

The phrase play gooseberry is thought to have originated in the early 19th century in the notion of a chaperone who occupies herself by picking gooseberries while the chaperoned couple try to enjoy their date. A gooseberry-picker was an early 19th century term for a chaperone. —Stephen (Talk) 21:57, 19 January 2013 (UTC)


The word wopperjawed is a word that was familiar to me in childhood. Home for us was Findlay, Ohio. The word was learned from relatives raised in Putnam County, Ohio. It meant crooked or askew. Many people have never heard this word.

It would be interesting to find the origins of the word and its history.

See wopperjawed. The original form was wapper-jawed, similar to wapper-eyed (someone who blinks a lot or whose eyes roll from dizziness). They come from the obsolete English dialect verb wapper (to blink, to move unsteadily). The verb wapper may be related to the Dutch wapperen (to swing, oscillate, waver) and may also be related to the English verb wave. —Stephen (Talk) 21:48, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

If a proper noun has a plural form, is it still a proper noun?[edit]

See also: Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2008-06/Plurals from proper nouns, Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2011-12/Merging proper nouns into nouns.

I'm wondering this... Proper nouns refer to individual things or so I understand it. So if there is a plural, it can no longer be an individual thing. Does that mean that for example Julia is a proper noun when referring to a particular person with that name, but a common noun when referring to any person with that name, in which case the plural refers to several such individuals? —CodeCat 02:39, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

It's a complex topic. w:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proper_noun has some information. In a case where you have two people named Julia in the same room, you might take to calling them "the Julias," which I think is clearly a proper noun (along the lines of "the Hendersons" or "the Azores" in the Wikipedia article). And I think you could also say "all the Julias in the world" and that would still qualify as a proper noun along the same lines. Perhaps the Wiktionary entry needs tweaking.... --BB12 (talk) 04:18, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Here's what I think: Proper nouns are basically "global variables". Every time you use them, you are referring to the same thing, thus they are also always definite. Since they refer to the same thing, they can be either singular or plural but not both (without changing definitions). Common nouns can switch between being definite and indefinite and between being singular and plural without changing their definitions. When we define a name, such as "Julia" as a proper noun, however, we are not giving a specific definition of who Julia is because "Julia" is not one proper noun but a widely reused proper noun. So everyone named Julia is actually a separate definition of "Julia". In common speech, a proper noun that has multiple "definitions" can be turned into a common noun meaning, in this case, "anyone named Julia". For example: "He said that Julia told him, but I don't know which of the Julias. Was it Julia Smith or the other Julia?" In that example, the first and third uses of Julia are a proper nouns because common nouns must have a determiner in the singular. The second can be either common or proper, depending on whether the given context contains a proper noun definition for "the Julias" ("the" must be part of the proper noun because proper nouns cannot take modifiers). The last use also must be a common noun, since it takes a determiner, unless "the other Julia" has a proper noun definition in the given context. Those are just some thoughts I came up with on the spot. I also realize that by this definition, mass nouns such as "mankind" become proper nouns (or at least indistinguishable from proper nouns), which may not be a bad thing. --WikiTiki89 04:56, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Also, the OED says: "A proper name is written with an initial capital letter. The same proper name may be borne by many persons in different families or generations, or by several places in different countries or localities; but it does not connote any qualities common to and distinctive of the persons or things which it denotes. A proper name may however receive a connotation from the qualities of an individual so named, and be used as a common noun, as a Hercules, a Cæsar (Kaiser, Czar), a Calvary, an atlas." --WikiTiki89 05:18, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Julia is a proper noun in a sentence like "Have you met Julia yet?" (where it is inherently definite, and refers to a specific individual named Julia), but a countable common noun in a sentence like "I've never met a Julia I didn't like" (where it means "a person named Julia", treating being-named-Julia as a property that is predicated of people named Julia). This is much like how water is an uncountable noun in a sentence like "How much water did they drink?" and a countable noun in a sentence like "I ordered a water, but never received it." Both with proper nouns and with uncountable common nouns, we tend not to list their countable uses as separate senses, because it's just a regular part of English grammar, and there's nothing useful to say about any specific instance. (And vice versa. When common nouns get properized, or when proper nouns and countable common nouns pass through the universal grinder, we don't bother to list the resulting predictable use as a separate sense.) —RuakhTALK 07:51, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
But what about showing the plural form itself. Most people judge proper nouns to be uncountable, yet most names can be pluralised as it is part of the grammar. How would we avoid people "fixing" entries to be uncountable because they think this way? —CodeCat 14:22, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
In principle a capitalized noun in plural form could certainly be a proper name: "Let's invite the Kennedys over for dinner some time." DCDuring TALK 14:51, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
@CodeCat, I think what Ruakh is saying is that the plural is a common noun that is regularly derived from the proper noun, so the proper noun itself does not have a plural form and is uncountable. --WikiTiki89 15:47, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's the pluralization itself that converts a proper noun to a common noun. Rather, one has to convert it before one can pluralize it. I would say that a proper noun can be either singular or plural, but its attributes are set. If you want to change them, you have to make it a common noun.Chuck Entz (talk) 17:12, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, pluralization is just an indicator. But changing a proper noun into a common noun is a regular process that can be applied to any proper noun. --WikiTiki89 17:19, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I think the whole capital letter thing is a red herring. Spoken language has no capital letters, but it still has proper nouns. Many writing systems have no capital letters, but languages written in those writing systems still have proper nouns. And many English nouns are considered common nouns but are nevertheless written with capital letters, such as demonyms like Englishman or American. —Angr 15:55, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
    For most English speakers capitalization is an important, though not definitive, marker of an English proper name. The examples you cite are of a compound of a "proper" (ie, capitalized) adjective and a common noun and a fused-head construction, both of which are arguably grammar-based capitalizations with no implication that the result should be a proper noun. There may be more clear-cut examples of the phenomenon that you are trying to capture, but they elude me at the moment. DCDuring TALK 16:35, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
    All I want is an adequate definition of "proper noun" (meaning a definition that captures all and only proper nouns) that isn't language- or writing-system-dependent. —Angr 17:53, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
  • That's a tall order. I've never even seen an adequate definition of "noun" or "adjective" or "verb" that works even just for English. I doubt such a thing could even exist, since these are all fuzzy categories, with words on the edges that don't behave quite like words at the core. —RuakhTALK 18:42, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Without commenting on the issue of what makes a proper noun, or whether we should consider Cathies#English (attested as a term for more than one Cathy#English) and Amys#English and Julias#German to be ===Proper noun===s or ===Noun===s. I'm content as long as we (1) have entries for Amys#English, Julias#German, etc, because intentional uses of them are attested, (2) link from those entries to Amy#English, Julia#German, etc (preferably via the definition line), and (3) link from Amy#English, Julia#German, etc to Amys#English, Julias#German, etc (preferably via the headword line, but if via somewhere else instead, OK). - -sche (discuss) 20:07, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Somewhat related to this discussion is a comment I made in WT:RFD about Victoria: it might be sensible to expand "Victoria" and "George" to say "a given name, or any of the people who have this name", because even disregarding phrases like "the jacket is monogrammed 'JRS', so it must belong to a Julia or a Jacob, not an Eric or a George" and "I saw both Julias", even when people say "tell George to come here", they mean "tell the/a person named George to come here (because I want to speak with him)", not "tell the given name derived from the Ancient Greek word for farmer to come here (because I want to apply it to my child)". - -sche (discuss) 20:16, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that that quite makes sense. George doesn't mean "a given name, or any of the people who have this name"; it is a given name, and it means "the person who is named 'George'". The latter is difficult (and IMHO unnecessary) to present, so we stick to the former, but mark it as a non-gloss definition by using italics. (It's like how cats doesn't mean "Plural of cat", it is the plural of cat.) —RuakhTALK 21:03, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
On fr.wikt, we solve the issue for first names and surnames by giving them special POS (Prénom and Nom de famille), because they are very special proper nouns. But anyway, normal proper nouns may have plurals (e.g. Americas), especially when taken figuratively: The week two Englands clashed. (www.irishtimes.com). In this example, England is not a common noun, it's a proper noun. Lmaltier (talk) 21:13, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that Americas is a plural of America, but that Americas is separate proper noun derived from America. --WikiTiki89 21:48, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Certainly there’s no problem with providing an attested plural for a word under the “proper noun” heading, or one that’s labelled “plural only.” That’s just the way the language works.

Are proper nouns always names? Am I using proper nouns when I say “feed the cat” or “the Dude likes a white Russian?”

Proper-nounness as described in this discussion sounds like a way that nouns, or names, are used, rather than some lexical property of a noun or name. I still think having separate “noun” and “proper noun” headings is more confusing and frustrating than it is helpful. Michael Z. 2013-02-21 23:11 z

Why a Beer Parlor?[edit]

Why do you have this page when you people hate arguing? --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:00, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

It it intended for constructive discussion, not contentious arguing and strife. —Stephen (Talk) 02:09, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
The keyword is ‘intended.’ --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:13, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Do you think it would be better to have no general discussion page? Equinox 02:18, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
What does it matter what I think? --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:20, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
If you thought your opinion was of no value then you presumably wouldn't start a discussion. Equinox 02:22, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Obviously my opinions are valueless to you, so why are you responding? --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:45, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm responding because you asked. If you only want responses from people who value your opinions, you're only going to get nods of agreement, and then what's the point in asking? (Plus, despite any disagreements we've had in the past, I don't automatically disagree with anything you say, despite what you might think.) Equinox 02:51, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
I can already see where this is going, so the best course of action is to stop the topic before I become chastised again for ‘arguing.’ --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:54, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Because it’s a volunteer project. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:24, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
O.K., and? --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:45, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
And it’s important that we take the opinion of all contributors into account. Otherwise it becomes an oligarchy, and we don’t want that. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:56, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Category:English entries that don't exist[edit]

This category has been populated before it was created. I would create it, but I honestly don't know what to put in it or why it should even exist. If anyone has a good idea, please create it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:06, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

It looks like it's populated by {{only in}}, which is used in entries that don't meet CFI, but which need a placeholder and a link to an entry elsewhere, such as at Wikipedia or in the appendices. They "don't exist" in the sense that they have no real content. Chuck Entz (talk) 09:57, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Etymology references?[edit]

What's the preferred way of documenting proposed etymologies, especially in cases where different reliable reference works disagree and there are competing proposals? We were discussing something about pasha over on en-wp, and there seem to be at least three serious contenders [1]. Future Perfect at Sunrise (talk) 17:59, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

If there isn't consensus, we try to acknowledge all the possibilities that meet a smell test, which means excluding those that are folk etymologies, usually too "good" to be true, and crackpot theories. It is sometimes hard to distinguish a novel theory advocated by an individual scholar from a crackpot theory. Sometimes one's skepticism is fed by suspicion about the motives of scholars.
In my opinion, usually little of importance depends on an individual word's etymology. At most it can help one interpret early usage of the term in question before the better attested meanings became fixed. DCDuring TALK 18:33, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
That's fine so far, but my question was actually meant in a slightly more newbie-ish way: what's the preferred technical format for referencing these sources? I don't see much use of <ref> tags around here. Future Perfect at Sunrise (talk) 18:50, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
We don't use ref tags for definitions, but using them for etymologies is a good idea in the kind of situation you're talking about. Just don't add them when the reliability of the information isn't an issue. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:02, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Kthx. Will try something then. Future Perfect at Sunrise (talk) 20:04, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Use {{unk.|title=Possibly}}. — Ungoliant (Falai) 20:08, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I tried this [2]; wasn't sure where to place the footnotes section though. Can somebody check the formalities please? Future Perfect at Sunrise (talk) 20:16, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Done. —Angr 20:23, 26 January 2013 (UTC)


This word has just been designated by an office of the French government as the replacement for hashtag in the French language. My question: does the authority of the French government to set language standards affect our CFI at all? Or is this just another protologism that will have to wait a year in order to be accepted here? Chuck Entz (talk) 06:33, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

In my opinion, the latter. The French government can do whatever it likes, but a word has to see real-life usage before we accept it. —Angr 16:05, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
That said, someone who knows how should check French-language Usenet and other sources. It's possible the Académie Française didn't just make the word up last week but selected a word that was already being used. —Angr 16:26, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Terms of reuse, and lexicon with IPA[edit]

Dear Wiktionary.

I am trying to create a software for which a database extracted from this wiki would be extremely useful. Namely, I would like to work with a list of all words along with their pronunciation, for several languages. The pronunciation can indifferently be stored with any standard, as I can easily convert myself. I actually already know the Moby Pronunciator, but it is to my knowledge only available in English. Hence, if there is a tool already existing for other languages elsewhere than here, I would be glad to have advices.

- Is all of the information I am interested in CC BY-SA in Wiktionary? Or may some of it be obtained by Wiktionary through fair use or an other license?

- Let me be precise: can I make a for-profit software out of it? I do not want to sell the database but a software which relies on it. I would of course mention all the information about copyright that has to be to mentioned, by the way how can I know the set of authors I should mention?

- Is there a way to download directly this dataset from Wiktionary? Or to download the whole information from Wiktionary, from which I would myself extract the relevant information?

Best regards,

Hehiheho (talk) 17:23, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Our legal license for all work herein can be found here. Please note that we are called Wiktionary' (with two is) for the purpose of accurate attribution. Wiktionary content can be downloaded from here. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:57, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Actually, there are two i’s in Wiktionary; the point is that there's no i between the k and the t. —Angr 18:19, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Fixed above. Ah well, it's not like I'm a native English speaker or anything like that... ;) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:27, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your input, the link to the dumps and the clear answer to my first question: everything is CC BY-SA on Wiktionary. I fixed my text by removing the extra "i". I understand quite well the page of CC BY-SA, except I am unsure of the meaning of 'build upon this work'. So I have a few remaining questions.
- Can I sell my software, distributing it along with a CC BY-SA database extracted from Wiktionary? Otherwise, if the whole thing must be CC BY-SA, can I call for donations on my website?
- In any case, how can I get the list of the authors that should be credited?
Hehiheho (talk) 19:48, 27 January 2013 (UTC) [In advance, sorry for my approximate English grammar: I am not native at all]
The phrase "build upon this work" means to modify it or expand it. I believe that you may sell the whole thing, but please keep in mind that I am not a lawyer. The list of authors to credit can be found for each individual page by clicking the 'History' tab. In terms of the URL, if the page you want is foo, the URL of the content is http://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=foo&action=view or the equivalent form http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/foo. The URL of the list of contributors can be reliably found at http://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=foo&action=history. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:05, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you again! You answered clearly my questions and I consider my issue as resolved.

Are chemical compounds includable?[edit]

At ‎User talk:Semperblotto#methylumbelliferone there has been some discussion about whether chemical compounds are idiomatic or not. In chemistry, such names of compounds are normally created by attaching sets of roots and prefixes together, which describe exactly and in detail what the compound looks like. This means, in effect, that a chemist can use such a name to reconstruct the exact chemical that it refers to. So I don't think that such names are idiomatic, at least within the field of chemistry, because a chemist who understands the parts can reconstruct the whole unambiguously. So I think that such names should only be includable if they are either... 1. attested outside of a chemistry context, or 2. idiomatic and not easily decomposed within chemistry as well. What do others think of this? —CodeCat 17:59, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

I think that any written as one word (i.e. with no hyphens, spaces, or parentheses) should be inclusible even if a chemist could break it down, because a layman won't necessarily know how to. (No pun intended.) For example, people may not know that molybdenum is to be looked up entire whereas the similar-looking polybutene is not; or that alletorphine is whereas ethylmorphine is not. (And doesn't this belong at the BP?)​—msh210 (talk) 21:01, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
But if they aren't used outside of chemistry, why would they need to look them up? —CodeCat 21:05, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Some of the older names like acetone or ethylene are pretty idiomatic. I would certainly not advocate IUPAC names with lots of numbers like 2,3-difluoro 10,11-dichloro dodeca-7,8-dien-3-ol or so. They are not part of the spoken Chemical language anyway and there is an infinite number. However, the elements of the IUPAC language would be quite useful to (us) chemists. But where to put a clearly defined line? No numbers or hyphens? That will cut it down quite a bit. Jcwf (talk) 21:13, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Acetone and ethylene are probably idiomatic, but something like methanol is not, at least not within chemistry, because it's transparently methane + -ol to a chemist. It is idiomatic outside of chemistry and since it's attestably in use by non-chemists it is includable. On the other hand, there are plenty of compounds that aren't used outside chemistry, and are not idiomatic within chemistry itself. Essentially, these are words that are expected to be understood by their audience without having ever been used before, which speaks against treating them as idiomatic IMO. —CodeCat 21:18, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
(In reply to Jcwf (21:13, 27 January 2013 (UTC)).) I didn't mean anything with numbers or hyphens should be necessarily barred: I meant only that anything without them should be in.​—msh210 (talk) 21:21, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
(In reply to CodeCat (21:05, 27 January 2013 (UTC)).) Haven't you ever read something written by someone in a certain field for others in that field? Someone close to me was diagnosed with an unusual disease, and I started reading medical journals.​—msh210 (talk) 21:21, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
I do protest against the idea that chemical terms needs to be attested outside of chemistry (how far outside? in physics? in poetry?) to be included. That is downright discriminatory. You might as well require that grammatical terms like ergative case have to be attested outside linguistics to be included, e.g. in the chemical literature or in politics. Under such a requirement we could scrap many, many pages. Jcwf (talk) 21:23, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Why is it discriminatory? Do we include terms like vijfduizendvierhonderdzevenenzestig (which is only idiomatic to someone who can't count in Dutch), 12345 (which is idiomatic to someone who doesn't know Arabic numerals) or sin(2πft) (idiomatic to a non-matematician), or...? I think you get the idea. I see something like trimethylpentane as more like a half-word. It's not really a word because it has information embedded into it that makes it different from normal words, yet it behaves like a word in the way it is used within a sentence. I would like to consider it a kind of chemical notation, with its own rules and grammar, that has been disguised as a word for easier usage within English. —CodeCat 21:37, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I think we should include vijfduizendvierhonderdzevenenzestig (if attested, of course). 12345 and sin(2πft) don't look to anglophones like words, so no anglophone (and remember that, as English Wiktionary, our main audience is anglophones) will look them up.(Unless 12345 is used in some context where it does look like a word. We do have 9/11, after all.)​—msh210 (talk) 21:49, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
This is kind of where attestation rules stop making sense, though. vijfduizendvierhonderdzevenenzestig may not be attestable (though there is one proper Google search hit), I don't think any Dutch speaker would dispute its existence. In other words, this is a word in Dutch, at least by the definition we go by on Wiktionary. Is it the purpose of CFI to include words we know to exist? Yes I am kind of turning the argument on its head... but I am doing this because by my argument CFI allows things to be included that shouldn't, but by your argument excludes things that should be allowed. —CodeCat 22:05, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Attestation is a requirement not because of some magical property that attested words have, but in order to fulfill the statement at the top of the CFI. "A term should be included if it’s likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means. This in turn leads to the somewhat more formal guideline of including a term if it is attested and idiomatic." If a word isn't attested, no one is likely to run across it, and we don't include it, even if we 'know' it 'exists'.​—msh210 (talk) 22:15, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I understand that part. But while it may not be likely that someone will run across it, they still can run across it (one hit is still more than none). It seems that the purpose of attestation in CFI is to exclude protologisms and words that people invent but never use. But with words like vijfduizendvierhonderdzevenenzestig it's different; that word already exists as part of the vocabulary and just because it hasn't been used yet doesn't mean it won't be. Requiring proof of its existence seems rather pointless in this case, because lack of attestation does not prove its nonexistence as its existence is guaranteed by Dutch grammar rules. It's not a protologism, it exists and is perfectly understandable to any Dutch speaker, and can be used in any conversation without problems (unlike a protologism, which would not be understood). Applying the 3 attestations rule on such words is very arbitrary, much more than makes sense. On the other hand, if you apply the idiomaticity requirement, then it is clear that it should not be included because it is not idiomatic in Dutch. In the same way, names chemical compounds are not idiomatic within chemistry either. —CodeCat 22:27, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
It would be cool if we had a program that would tell users "You searched for XYZ. This may be a chemical name; please see our page explaining chemical nomenclature." (ditto for German numbers, etc.) For what it's worth (as a newbie) I agree with CodeCat. Terms like these resemble non-idiomatic phrases that happen to be written without spaces. JulieKahan (talk) 10:59, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Just apply normal CFI rules to it. Three uses in google books spanning a year → Yes. In all other cases → No. -- Liliana 21:55, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes - "all words in all languages" trumps all other considerations. If it is a single word then we are allowed to add it. But that doesn't mean we are under any obligation to add them - just that any that are added should be kept. We have so many other words to add first. SemperBlotto (talk) 22:33, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Aren't chemical compounds basically the same situation as numbers? 2,3-difluoro 10,11-dichloro dodeca-7,8-dien-3-ol is just as idomatic/unidiomatic, just as useful/useless, and just as feasibly/infeasibly includable as 1973. --WikiTiki89 22:52, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, or like neuntausendneunhundertneunundneunzig which I just RFDed. —CodeCat 22:55, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Evidence of use outside a chemical context should include use in a pharmaceutical or other product label or a Material Safety Data Sheet. As a result, I would further argue that a mention in a technical dictionary in a public library would be evidence of use outside the chemistry context, because librarians would be buying works designed to help ordinary readers and consumers with understanding such terms. DCDuring TALK 23:38, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
I share Equinoxes thought that ordinary folks would have a great deal of trouble decoding chemical terms that were spelled sold. I share SB's dislike of chemical terms with numbers and Greek letters and also dislike SoP hyphenated terms. OTOH, I can imagine that there might be a term with hyphens, numbers, and/or Greek letters that was used in, say, published testimony or a product label or an MSDS and thereby merited inclusion. I don't see how we can have general rules about this of the kind that seem to be on the verge of being proposed. DCDuring TALK 16:31, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Foreigners replying in English[edit]

Most times when I send a message in a foreign language, I receive a reply back in English, and I dun know why. Are people trying to be convenient for me, or would they rather keep practising with English? --Æ&Œ (talk) 00:52, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

It could be either. I think with English being a lingua franca, it becomes the preferred choice whenever there are communication problems in another language, even if there are also problems in English itself. It's like, people treat their own languages as subordinate to English or another lingua franca, and it may come almost automatic for them to switch. I also think that it comes with a perception that their own language is "too complicated" and that they are doing you a favour. —CodeCat 01:23, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Pfft. I desire the practice and I dun mind some challenge. Personally, I would rather that some other language were a lingua franca. --Æ&Œ (talk) 01:29, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
You never asked us (or only me?) to reply in this or that language. — Ungoliant (Falai) 01:48, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
De acordo. Por favor, podes falar em português a mi, senhor? ☺ --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:06, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Confirmado. Aliás, na frase acima seria usado o pronome comigo. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:14, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
I know that my poor command of French and German automatically puts those for whom English is not their first language at ease because their English is invariably much better than my command of fr or de. DCDuring TALK 01:53, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
The same is true with me and Lhokpu.​—msh210 (talk) 05:33, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
If I write in English, everyone here can read it. In theory, anyway. 16:19, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

let me know if Duke or UNCCH has a book you want[edit]

Hi all! I'm visiting a friend in w:Raleigh, North Carolina in the US. I'm going to have some time to fill the 28th, 29th and possibly the 30th while he's at work, and I'm near two large university libraries (Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) which post their catalogues online. Please take a moment to check if they have any book on any obscure language you haven't been able to get your hands on — any dictionaries of languages we don't have any entries in but should, or which we have unverified entries in. If I get a chance, I'll peruse the books, and could possibly photograph key pages to e-mail them to you. (Don't e-mail me, though; I won't be checking my e-mail till I get back.) I already spotted the heavy Navajo book Chuck and Angr mentioned as well as Mikmaq and Malecite-Passamqoddy dictionaries (though those languages have some sources online). - -sche (discuss) 04:21, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

If I may... Tolai/Kuanua, an obscure language of Papua New Guinea, has almost nil resources I can find online, but Duke has this awesome book on it. I'd mostly like to find out the correct etyma of the words in Category:Tok Pisin terms derived from Tolai and add them (for example, exactly what does guria mean in Tolai, and is it spelled that way? Has it undergone semantic shift in Tok Pisin?) as well as check the accuracy of {{ksd-personal pronouns}}, which appears filched from Wikipedia. Adding basic vocabulary wouldn't be bad as well. Thank you for the offer! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:34, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Alright, I've jotted those words down to look for in that book. :] Btw, they don't have anything on Hunsrik (they say they have a copy or two of O hunsrückisch no Brasil: a língua como fator histórico da relação entre Brasil e Alemanha online, but don't AFAICT). - -sche (discuss) 05:17, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Should we start an enwikt version of w:WP:WRE? Briefly, it has (a) a list of resources and people with access to them (so it lists, e.g., the OED and enWP users with access thereto, so others who need it can contact them) and (b) a list of requests by users who seek access to specific resources and respondents with such access who help them. Currently, have no list as in (a), and requests as in (b) are scattered among the Beer parlour, the Information desk, the About Language talkpages, and likely user talkpages. Personally, I think we should not have (b): our current system for handling such requests seems to be working okay, and probably most of us don't want another page to check regularly. But (a), the list of available resources, seems like a good thing to have, and would not require users to check any page often.​—msh210 (talk) 05:29, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Can you check “Dicionário tupi-português : com esboço de gramática de tupi antigo” - Luiz Caldas Tibiriçá. Or any Tupi-Portuguese dictionary really. Thanks. — Ungoliant (Falai) 20:20, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Franklin's and Tibiriçá's books are both in archives, not the libraries I have access to. However, I've found an even better book regarding Tok Pisin and Tolai, Ulrike Mosel's Tolai and Tok Pisin. It may have even been the source of the Tolai-Tok Pisin info we have, since its coverage and ours align well (in terms of which words are covered; though our claims and its may differ). Among other things, it says: "Several items listed by Mihalic as Tolai (Kuanua) words are not of Tolai origin. The well-known word balus pigeon, aeroplane, for instance, has certainly not be introduced from Tolai, but from a southern New Ireland language. For, apart from some marginal dialects [] Tolai [] lack[s] the phoneme /s/." Among other things, I also photographed the "A" section of a dictionary that AFAICT defined Tupi-Guarani terms in Portuguese. Now I just have to keep my camera safe from rain... - -sche (discuss) 04:50, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Wow, a whole book on it... I'm really jealous of whichever library has that. Can you steal it for me? jk, jk... If you can provide references (i.e. page #s) for whichever etymology seems best, I'm glad to go with it. The pittance we have is very dependent on Mihalic, but he is known to contain errors. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:50, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
I think I have the page number, but IMO it's not strictly necessary; it makes it easier to find the info in the book, but one printing of a book might use larger pages and be thinner than another, thicker printing with smaller pages.
I suggest that we give and source both possibilities, as I've done. - -sche (discuss) 23:05, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
OK, looks good at balus. I can't believe that there's no specific, demonstrably accurate answer, along the lines of "the etymon is x in language y". I mean, Tok Pisin as a language isn't even that old! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:44, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

(anchor, UNCCHlist)

Good news: I can make available, to those who want them, copies of:
  • Chunks of two books on Pennsylvania German dialects and pronunciation, which should be useful for referencing Pennsylvania German words we already have, for supporting words we can find in other (e.g. less-durable-than-print) places, or for referencing pronunciations. (No-one should blindly copy and enter words from any of these books; that would be a bad and possibly illegal idea.)
  • A large part of a book on Tok Pisin and Tolai.
  • The "A" section of a Portuguese dictionary of Tupi-Guarani.
  • Assorted selections from a book on Navajo.
  • A chunk of a recent book on Old Frisian.
  • 300 pages of a modern edition of the (German-language) Cimbrian Gesamtgrammatik. (I was bored.)
Bad news: One too many airport-scanner irradiations previously killed my laptop; now, whatever allowed my camera to communicate with my desktop via USB cable has also been killed, so I won't be able to get the photographs of these books out to anyone for a while. - -sche (discuss) 22:32, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Send me the Cimbrian as well! A few months ago I tried finding some material, but failed (Mòcheno, on the other hand, was easy). — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:36, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Quite naturally, I will be glad to make use of the Tok Pisin/Tolai material as soon as you can get it to me. Also, my condolences for your deceased technology. Thanks! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:50, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

‘you are a good person’[edit]

Does this have any valuable content? --Æ&Œ (talk) 07:40, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

 ;_; --Æ&Œ (talk) 10:23, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
If we had a phrasebook it might be. DCDuring TALK 16:19, 28 January 2013 (UTC)


Do any of the definitions for this noun describe the layers of a seven-layer cake? JulieKahan (talk) 18:11, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Senses 1 and 2 do, don't they? —Angr 18:40, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Sense 2 ("A (usually) horizontal deposit; a stratum") specifically. Sense 1 ("A single thickness of some material covering a surface") means, for example, a layer of paint or a layer of aluminum foil on some multiply wrapped object. At least that's how I read them. I'll add some usexes.​—msh210 (talk) 15:35, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
To me the word "deposit" still implies that the layers are resting on a foundation, whereas I think the point that should be stressed is simply that the whole comprises multiple parallel sections. JulieKahan (talk) 08:49, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure that should be stressed. If so, I think it's still sense 2. Please tweak it as needed, of course.​—msh210 (talk) 20:09, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

loxodrome etymology[edit]

Quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhumb_line: The word "loxodrome" comes from Greek loxos : oblique + dromos : running (from dramein : to run).

Yep, we have an ety at loxodromic: someone could adapt this for loxodrome perhaps? Equinox 10:44, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm parked out back[edit]

The sentence I'm parked out back (from this linguistic paper) is a case of metonymy: Strictly speaking, it's not I who is parked out back but my car. However, I'm interested in something else. What does the phrase parked out back mean? I don't even know what it's made up from: Is it parked + out back or is it parked out + back? How could you paraphrase it? Longtrend (talk) 12:08, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

At first glance, I think of it as out#Adverb + back#Adverb. "Out front" is certainly possible, as is "out in the lot". Back may be a noun, but I don't think that makes out a preposition. I suppose that locative use of the noun makes it function adverbially, without losing some nominal syntax as well.
Two paraphrases:
"My vehicle is parked outside, behind this place." is an unnaturally long and awkward way of saying it.
"My vehicle is parked out (in the) back (of this place)." (~"behind this place"). DCDuring TALK 14:27, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! Are there more opinions? I always thought out back was some idiomatic phrase... could that be the case? I really don't have a clue. Longtrend (talk) 19:35, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree with DCDuring's analysis of "parked out back" as parked + out + back. In addition to "out front" and "out in the lot", a vehicle can also be parked "out in the field", "in back" and "in front". Here's a passage from Joe Hilley's The Deposition (2007; ISBN 1589191013):
"You drove down there. Parked the car in front."
"In back. I parked in back."
"What day was this?"
"Saturday. Late Saturday afternoon. Almost dark."
"Okay. You parked in back. Went inside. What happened?"
- -sche (discuss) 20:07, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

demonym/adjective for Vatican City[edit]

Wikipedia:list of adjectival and demonymic forms for countries and nations doesn't list Vatican City. Does anyone know Vatican City's (or, failing that, the Roman See's) adjective ("a ___ Mass") or demonym ("the Pope is a ___"), please?​—msh210 (talk) 06:17, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

The adjective used is generally Vatican or, in some religious cases to distinguish from other Christian traditions, Roman. One might also use Lateran in certain situations, especially political ones. Popes are traditionally denoted by the nationality of their birth country, so one would say that the Pope is a German. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:28, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the adjectives. I assume Roman and Lateran would be adjectives for the See, not the state, and Vatican for either?​—msh210 (talk) 06:38, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
As for demonyms, my "The Pope is a ___" was just an example; do you know the demonym for Vatican City?​—msh210 (talk) 06:38, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I do not think that the state and the See are distinguished in common speech. Vaticanian is the only demonym that sees much use, but it is very rare, and almost always informal or jocular. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:43, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks!​—msh210 (talk) 20:10, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Imitation hun Salver Jésus-Christ[edit]

Does anybody have any idea which language this book is written in? My best guess is Old French, but I haven’t really seen anything like it. --Æ&Œ (talk) 09:36, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Breton. —Stephen (Talk) 10:04, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
  • However, the w:Breton language is Celtic and not Romance, whereas the text in the linked book has sizable chunks of what is clearly of Romance extraction, and more specifically, Gallic. Have a look at the Breton Wikipedia article on the Breton language: w:br:Brezhoneg. Just skimming through the first para suggests that this language is not the language of the linked book, even after allowing for spelling shifts. Here's the second full paragraph of the book's text:
Seellet el-Livr a Imitation Jesus-Christ avel un tresor precius, avel unan ag el-Livreu excellantan, péré ë compren er péh ç'ou parfettan ér Religion a Grecheneah.
I can almost make sense of bits of this, without any real knowledge of the Breton language. There are too many Latin roots here for this to be standard Breton.
Googling about for words in the linked book, such as google:"ziscourieu", finds other books with authors from areas in and around Brittany. Googling for google:"Berton Guenét" as appears on the first page of the linked book led me to this interesting tidbit that describes the translation of a French text into "langue bretonne" by one Yves Roparz. Googling for the word "chervige" ("service") that appears in the linked book also leads me to this book on Amazon that has "chervige" in the title, and where the seller seems to think the language in question is Welsh, which is also a decidedly non-Romance language, and is thus an unlikely match given the obviously Romance-derived words in the title (Instructioneu Santel AR Er Gurionneu Principal AG Er Religion: EIT Bout Leinet N Tigueaheu, Hac EIT Chervige D'Explication D'Er Hatechen).
Some clues point to w:Vannes, and thence to Vannetais, what was apparently one of the more divergent varieties of Breton. The linked book contains the term "aveit", which shows up on the Breton WP on a page that seems to be about spelling differences (w:br:Etrerannyezhel). The word "aveit" is in a column labeled "Guéned", i.e. Vannes. Moreover, the word "gomportein" that appears in the linked book also shows up here in a French - Vannetais dictionary.
The marked Romance nature of some of the text and the divergences between that and standard brezhoneg leads me to think that the language in question is not the w:Breton language proper, as we have it defined here and in the WP article, but rather Vannetais, or possibly some other related dialect based on Vannetais and French or the more-local w:Gallo_language.
HTH -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 19:24, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
It looks to me like Breton with a very large number of French/Latinate loanwords. The function words and basic vocabulary are clearly Celtic, e.g. Fin en eil Livr "End of the second Book" has the Latin/French words fin "end" and livr "book" (cf. Welsh ffin and llyfr) and the Celtic words en "the" (now spelled an) and eil "second" (cf. Welsh ail). I also see dré breferanç with what looks suspiciously like Soft Mutation of a word related to preference. The grammar is Celtic even if a lot of the lexicon is Romance. It may well be Vannetais dialect, but it's definitely Breton and not Gallo. —Angr 19:58, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

February 2013[edit]

Category:Uncountable nouns by language[edit]


Sorry for my English. I would like to ask you about the uncountable's linguistic's notion. Is this notion is available in others languages that English ? Because categories suppose that yes, but is that really used in others languages ?

Than you for your assistance. Automatik (talk) 15:29, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Your English is fine. The simple answer is yes, other languages do have and recognize uncountable nouns. Not sure if all languages do, though. For example there is a template fr:Modèle:indénombrable on the French Wiktionary which is the same as our {{uncountable}}. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:32, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
I think that every language that has plurals has some form of uncountable noun, because it doesn't always make sense to use a plural for some things. On the other hand, some languages like Japanese have no plurals at all, so technically all nouns are uncountable then. —CodeCat 15:42, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
That is to say all japaneses nouns should be categorized as incountables nouns ? Automatik (talk) 23:05, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
It seems to be part of the grammar of Japanese that nouns are not distinguished as to number. Therefore they would be neither singular nor plural, neither countable nor uncountable. DCDuring TALK 23:14, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you so much ! Automatik (talk) 21:15, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I think that the uncountable characteristic is related to senses rather than to nouns. In French, many senses are uncountable, but almost all nouns are countable, at least in some sense, and therefore almost all nouns have a plural (the category for French is very misleading). Lmaltier (talk) 22:08, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Btw, from 8 Russian uncountable nouns I've found in Category:Russian uncountable nouns, only барахло, мошкара, пена and most likely говно are really uncountable. Others are uncountable only in some meaning or one of omographs (e.g. брак is countable as 'marriage' and uncountable as 'defect'). Ignatus (talk) 16:51, 10 February 2013 (UTC)


Robosourcing (verb) The transfer of jobs from humans to mechanized processes, computer programs, or automated devices.

First use: Al Gore's The Future, Random House, New York, 2013 (paraphrased from page 5)


It seems that this term might be a candidate to be included in the dictionary. While it is "new", even to the point of having only "one" apparent reference-able source, it does capture a useful concept beyond "automation" and parallel's out-sourcing as a different form of transferring jobs.

I'm not sure how to encourage that it be added to the Wiktionary, but perhaps this posting, or pointers to it can serve this purpose. JimInNH (talk) 14:54, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

If it was first used in 2013, it can't be included yet. We require terms to be in use for at least a year before adding them, because some terms don't even last that long or never catch on. —CodeCat 15:03, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
A start would be entry of any at-hand citations of the term in use at Citations:robosourcing and/or Citations:robosource. Further, one might use Google books, Google news, Google scholar, and Usenet to find additional citations, especially from 2011 and earlier. I would be surprised that Gore's Future should be first use, given the productivity of robo-. In any event, enthusiastic claques will shortly provide additional citations, which, if continued for a year, will provide the attestation required. DCDuring TALK 19:02, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I never understood this criterion (at least a year). It can be understood in paper dictionaries, for space and publishing delay reasons, but not here. Lmaltier (talk) 22:11, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
See Citations:tebowing for something that was extremely popular that may not be attestable now. There is a huge amount of stuff that is a flash in the pan. Also using usenet citations makes it remarkably easy to generate three instances of apparently independent usage in a short period of time. Sustaining interest in such an effort over a year excludes a certain portion of those, probably most of them. It is something like having a one week delay between ordering a handgun and having cleared one's background check: it discourages some impulsive behavior by forcing gratification to be deferred. DCDuring TALK 01:02, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, at the time, dictionary users seeing the word for the first time might have been very happy to find it in their favourite dictionary. And this word belongs to the language history. As we describe even obsolete words and spellings, the project is very useful to language historians. What you explain applies better to paper dictionaries. Lmaltier (talk) 06:42, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
It applies to dictionaries that are open to contributors who can manipulate a system to achieve a goal, such as an ideological one, or just for fun. AGF does not mean we are supposed to do what we can to provide a romper room or serve ideological ends. DCDuring TALK 13:46, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
If we actually can find 3 independent citations spanning less than a year, do you think we should allow some form of "preliminary" definition, which would then need to be reviewed periodically to see whether the word lasted long enough? That would allow us to have new words without sacrificing quality. —CodeCat 15:44, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Such a def can be put on the citations page. Don't create full entries for unattestables. Equinox 15:48, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
We could find out whether it would be possible and desirable (all things considered) to include Citation space in our default searches. DCDuring TALK 16:11, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Just a note: if one adds {{only in}} to a page, that page (being in the main namespace) will then show up in searches, and {{only in}} will link viewers to the citations page and any other place they'll find info on the term. - -sche (discuss) 20:24, 6 February 2013 (UTC)


How often are we recording these? After all, we recently passed 3,250,000 and recording every quarter millionth entry seems reasonable. So, my more pressing concern: which entry is it? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:48, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Based on what Blotto told me last time, there isn't an easy way to backtrack and find out later. You can just see the current number of entries at the top of Recent Changes. Equinox 03:53, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
The RecentChanges counter said, when I looked at it just a moment ago, that we had 3,252,484 entries. I went to Special:NewPages and asked it to show me the most recent 2480 entries, went to the second page and counted four down: the entry I arrived at (the 3,250,000th entry, if I haven't misunderstood how Special:NewPages works) was [[дружественный]]. The entries on either side of it were:
08:55, 5 February 2013 ‎амитриптилин (hist) ‎[110 bytes] ‎Stephen G. Brown (Talk | contribs | block) (→‎Noun)
08:54, 5 February 2013 ‎galisisk · · (hist) ‎[84 bytes] ‎ (Talk | block) (Created page with "==Norwegian Bokmål== ===Noun=== {{head|no|noun}} # Galician (language) ----")
08:54, 5 February 2013 ‎амиодарон (hist) ‎[132 bytes] ‎Stephen G. Brown (Talk | contribs | block) (→‎Noun)
08:52, 5 February 2013 ‎дружественный (hist) ‎[139 bytes] ‎Stephen G. Brown (Talk | contribs | block) (→‎Adjective)
08:52, 5 February 2013 ‎oksitansk · · (hist) ‎[83 bytes] ‎ (Talk | block) (Created page with "==Norwegian Bokmål== ===Noun=== {{head|no|noun}} # Occitan (language) ----")
08:52, 5 February 2013 ‎америкофобия (hist) ‎[164 bytes] ‎Stephen G. Brown (Talk | contribs | block) (→‎Noun)
08:51, 5 February 2013 ‎америкомания (hist) ‎[175 bytes] ‎Stephen G. Brown (Talk | contribs | block) (→‎Noun)
- -sche (discuss) 05:53, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Dammit. I saw us go by this milestone and got sidetracked by real life - then forgot about it (short-term memory missing these days). I suggest someone choose from the list above. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:57, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
As far as can be determined, дружественный looks pretty legit. Let's go with that. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:25, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Editing Particles in Conjugations[edit]

I was looking at the Wiktionary page for Italian's morirsene, and I noticed that most of the conjugations left out the "ne" particle. When I tried to edit the page, none of the particles were shown, and I noticed, even with other similar verbs, for any conjugation edit that I couldn't touch the particles. Is there something I'm not doing properly? I wanted to edit phrases like "si muore" to "se ne muore," and in the future I'd want to be able to fix those errors for other verbs should there be any. I'd greatly appreciate any help. Thanks in advance. :)

Such combinations are automatically generated by the templates, so they would have to be modified to make this work. —CodeCat 19:47, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

A vocabulary question[edit]

While translating the usage exemples of Latvian zīdīt (to nurse, to breastfeed), I wondered: does one use the same verbs -- nurse, breastfeed -- in English when speaking about animals? Do cows nurse/breastfeed their calves, mares their foals, ewes their lambs, etc.? Or is there a verb (suckle?) used specifically for animals? --Pereru (talk) 20:04, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

I'd never use breastfeed of animals, but nurse can be used of both people and animals. Suckle is only for animals. (In German, people stillen and animals säugen; a friend of mine once annoyed a woman he knew by accidentally asking her if she still säugte her baby.) —Angr 20:09, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
So, could I say "the cat is still suckling/nursing the kittens"? (Isn't "suckle" what the baby/kitten does, rather than what the mother does?) --Pereru (talk) 22:08, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you could say that. As our entry suckle says, when it's transitive it's what the mother does to the baby, when it's intransitive it's what the baby does. Confusing, I know, but that's the price we pay for speaking English rather than Lojban. I also see that our entry's example show it being used of humans, not just animals, so my impression that you can't say "suckle" of humans may be idiosyncratic to me. —Angr 22:25, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't really see "suckle" that much here in the US, except in older books- it's pretty much "nurse" for both humans and animals, and "breastfeed" strictly for humans. "Suckle" strikes me as rather archaic. If I remember correctly, suckle used to be used for both humans and animals, but presumably narrowed in sense at some time to just animals. As for what the baby does, "nurse" can refer to either the mother or the baby, and "suckle" apparently does, too. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:32, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
To use suckle of humans is perfectly normal, though starting to be a bit old-fashioned. You definitely can't use give suck these days - it conjures up the totally wrong image. SemperBlotto (talk) 22:34, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! It looks like nurse is the way to go for the neutrally minded translator. (Oddly enough, I hadn't thought of looking up suckle here at Wiktionary -- weird oversight. Thanks, Angr. --Pereru (talk) 23:18, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

reviewing a (personal) translation[edit]

Would anybody be willing to review a French translation of a few paragraphs that I made? --Æ&Œ (talk) 20:01, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Where is it? I’ll take a look and see what I can see. —Stephen (Talk) 07:15, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
‘Le portugais et l’espagnol sont deux des idiomes avec plus parleurs au monde. Tandis qu’ils se sont relatés auprès, jusqu’à l’extrême d’avoir une dégrée certaine d’intelligibilité avec l’un l’autre, aussi il y a des différences importantes entre les deux idiomes, lequel peut faire des difficultés pour les personnes qui en parlent et cherchent d’apprendre l’autre. Les deux idiomes sont un part d’un groupe linguistique plus grand qui se savent comme le groupe ibéro-occidental, qui contiens aussi des langues ou des dialectes avec moins parleurs, tous lesquels sont, à une mesure certaine, mutuellement intelligibles entre les deux. En outre il y a des différences importantes entre le portugais brésilien et le portugais européen. Cet article‐ci solo avertie des différences entre les deux quand : Lequel le portugais brésilien comme le portugais européen s’en diffèrent entre les deux, sans aussi de l’espagnol. Quand un des deux dialectes du portugais (le portugais brésilien ou le portugais européen) diffère de l’espagnol avec une syntaxe inviable en espagnol.’ --Æ&Œ (talk) 15:51, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I don’t quite understand some of it, and I don’t know how to fix what I don’t understand. Sometimes I can guess...I think the second sentence should begin with "Bien qu’ils soient liés", but then I get lost after that. Can you provide the English? —Stephen (Talk) 10:33, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I think it's trying to say "Although they are closely related, to the extent of having a certain degree of mutual intelligibility, there are also important differences between the two languages, which can create difficulties for people who speak one and are trying to learn the other." I know languages are often called idiomas in Spanish, but idiome#French says that meaning is rare in French. I'd use langue instead. —Angr 11:27, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I think locuteur is better than parleur too. "sont un part d’un groupe linguistique plus grand qui se savent comme le groupe ibéro-occidental". I don't quite know what this means, something like "[les langues] font partie de l’un des plus grands groupes de langues connus". I'm pretty sure I'm less than 100% accurate on that one. Also. Il contient, not il contiens. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:37, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
When I asked for the English, I meant ALL the English. I didn’t quite understand the first sentence, and even less after that. The little piece I wrote for the second sentence was just a small example...it didn’t mean that that was the only sentence I had trouble deciphering. —Stephen (Talk) 12:10, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
My reply was to Æ&Œ. Regarding
"Cet article‐ci solo avertie des différences entre les deux quand : Lequel le portugais brésilien comme le portugais européen s’en diffèrent entre les deux, sans aussi de l’espagnol."
How about
"Cet article vous informe uniquement des différences entre les deux (the two what?) quand il y a une différence entre le portugais brésilien et le portugais européen". But for the "sans aussi de l’espagnol." I don't know what that refers to, ignoring Spanish? Then why mention it at all, just omit it. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:14, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't have the English original, but if I translate the French literally back into English, I can sort of figure out what it's trying to say. "Les deux idiomes sont un part d’un groupe linguistique plus grand qui se savent comme le groupe ibéro-occidental, qui contiens aussi des langues ou des dialectes avec moins parleurs, tous lesquels sont, à une mesure certaine, mutuellement intelligibles entre les deux" seems to mean "The two languages are part of a larger linguistic group known as the Ibero-Occidental group, which also contains languages or dialects with fewer speakers, all of which are, to a certain degree, mutually intelligible with the two". I'm at a loss with the sentence starting "Cet article-ci solo...". —Angr 13:12, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

There is no English translation of this, just Spanish. Obviously I was being overly literal in translating. --Æ&Œ (talk) 21:10, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Okay, I would say it this way. It probably still needs a little polishing:
Le portugais et l’espagnol sont deux des langues les plus parlées dans le monde. Bien qu’elles soient étroitement liées, au point d’avoir un degré d’intelligibilité entre les deux, il y a aussi des différences importantes entre eux qui peuvent causer des problèmes pour les personnes qui parlent l’une de ces langues et qui cherchent à apprendre de l’autre.
Les deux langues sont une partie d’un plus grand groupe linguistique connu comme les langues ibériques occidentales, qui comprennent également des langues ou dialectes comportant moins d’enceintes, qui sont toutes, dans une certaine mesure, mutuellement intelligibles les unes avec les autres.
Il existe également des différences significatives entre le portugais brésilien et le portugais européen. Cet article rapporte que les différences entre eux comme :
Tant le portugais brésilien et le portugais européen diffèrent non seulement entre eux, mais aussi de l'espagnol.
Lorsque l’un des deux dialectes portugais (le portugais brésilien ou portugais européen) diffère de l’espagnol avec la syntaxe irréalisable en espagnol, l’autre dialecte ne diffère pas de cette façon. —Stephen (Talk) 23:32, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
You have to avoid being too literal. Things like "causer des problèmes", "sont une partie" (use font partie), "les personnes qui" (use ceux qui), "connu comme" look like anglicisms to me. This, that and the other (talk) 10:04, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Working with Stephen's translation, I've made a few alterations, hopefully which are fixes:
Le portugais et l’espagnol sont parmi les langues les plus parlées du monde. Bien qu’ils soient étroitement liés, au point d’avoir un degré d’intelligibilité entre les deux, il y a aussi des différences importantes entre eux qui peuvent être la cause des problèmes pour les personnes qui parlent l’une de ces langues et qui souhaitent apprendre l’autre.
Les deux langues font partie d’un grand groupe linguistique plus grand, connu sous le nom des langues ibériques occidentales, qui comprennent également des langues ou dialectes comportant moins de locuteurs, ceux-là qui sont toutes, d'une certaine mesure, mutuellement intelligibles.
Il existe également de différences importantes entre le portugais brésilien et le portugais européen. Cet article indique que les différences entre eux tiennent comme exemples:
Tant le portugais brésilien que le portugais européen diffèrent non seulement entre eux-mêmes, sinon aussi de l'espagnol.
Lorsque l’un des deux dialectes portugais (soit le portugais brésilien ou le portugais européen) diffère de l’espagnol en syntaxe irréalisable en espagnol, l’autre dialecte ne diffère pas de cette façon. --Three littlish birds (talk) 12:22, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all[edit]

Is this entry‐worthy? It seems common enough, if nothing else. --Æ&Œ (talk) 01:44, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

All I would be able to contribute to that entry is an attribution to Thumper in the animated film Bambi.

Cedar in Lebanese culture[edit]

Why is the word cedar so.common in Lebanese business names? What is it's significance?

Maybe the cedar tree in its flag? —CodeCat 02:15, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
The Lebanese cedar is endemic to Lebanon, and was the most prestigious kind of wood in the ancient Middle East, being used for all kinds of palaces, and for Solomon's temple in Jerusalem. It also was a symbol for greatness and durability in the Hebrew scriptures and other ancient writings. Its role in the ancient world is reminiscent in many ways of the California redwoods in the modern world. It's still recovering from being logged to the brink of extinction. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:28, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Synonym definitions[edit]

After defining a word (term 1), and listing a couple of synonyms not yet present in Wiktionary where the definitions are precisely the same (terms 2 and 3), should I create a new definition for each synonym containing the same text as term 1, or can I simply type, See: term 1? If I may do the latter, can you cite an example of this "See also" usage so I can study the correct form, please? O'Dea (talk) 12:11, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

  • They should all have proper definitions. This is especially important in the case of a synonym having a subtly different meaning. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:14, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
    • But my question pertains to synonyms where the meaning is precisely the same, as my question stated. There are no different subtle nuances, which is why I posed the question. Is it still necessary to copy-and-paste the exact definition from one term's definition to the others? And is there assistance on this matter in Help, please? O'Dea (talk) 12:26, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
      • He means that they all should have proper definitions. You can ignore the part about subtly different. The only cases where you would use alternative form of "term 1" is if they are actually the same word, with only superficial differences such as spelling or dialect (see, for example, cooky). If you have three different words that all mean precisely the same thing, each gets a complete definition and a Synonyms section that links to the other two. —Stephen (Talk) 12:36, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
It depends. If you're adding foreign-language terms, the definitions should be short glosses, but should repeat any necessary information, e.g. that they all mean "chew" but only {{context|of an|animal}}. If you're adding English words that all mean the same thing, you could give them all definitions, or you could define the other two as the first one. Compare how [[Mennonite Low German]] and [[Plautdietsch]] both have full definitions (but definitions which have, as a result, fallen out of sync) to how [[Plattdeutsch]] defines itself simply as [[Low German]]. Use common sense when deciding which course of action to take: [[Nethersaxon]] is defined as simply [[Low German]], and that works; but [[New High German]] isn't defined simply as [[German]]: it needs to clarify itself a bit more. - -sche (discuss) 18:38, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Having created regmaglypt, I thought it would be sufficient to create the synonyms pezograph and piezoglypt simply by defining them as See: regmaglypt. However, in light of the remarks here, I have copied-and-pasted the entire definitions from regmaglypt to the other two. While I can be fastidious and quite the stickler, and not wishing to seem ungracious, I still find it slightly boneheaded, but I complied. Thank you for the replies. O'Dea (talk) 02:58, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

You could define pezograph as just # [[regmaglypt]] if they are true synonyms? —CodeCat 03:54, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. On further consideration, I am retracting my resistance to creating full entries, as the Greek etymologies are different for each term, so that distinguishes them, even where the meanings in English are similar. O'Dea (talk) 04:23, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Could an indentation ever be a pezograph but not a regmaglypt? If so, the definitions need to be improved to clarify the difference between the terms. If not — if every regmaglypt is also a pezograph is also a piezoglypt — it's a very bad idea to duplicate the definition in three places, because the entries will fall out of sync, as someone changes the definition of one (e.g. deeming "resembling a thumbprint impression in clay" unnecessary) but not the others, and then it will look like regmaglypts and pezographs are not the same thing ("oh, a pezograph resembles a thumbprint impression, while a regmaglypt is any indentation"). - -sche (discuss) 03:35, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
PS, {{context|astronomy|lang=und}}, {{context|geology|lang=und}} can (and should) be combined as {{context|astronomy|geology|lang=und}}. :) - -sche (discuss) 03:40, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

when Wiktionary’s done[edit]

So, what do you guys plan on doing after you finally describe all words of all languages? --Æ&Œ (talk) 03:55, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Describe them better. But I doubt that’s ever going to happen, as languages evolve faster than we can keep up. Unless 5% of the world population suddenly starts contributing productively. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:59, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I think I’ll print a copy. Michael Z. 2013-02-22 04:08 z
I think I'll go outside and blink in the sunshine. Then I'll ask my longtime love interest out and upon being utterly rejected, I will realise that now I have nothing to do when in a depressive mood swing now that compulsive addition of more words is out of the question. Actually, that sounds horrible. If Wiktionary was nearing completion I'd do my best to destroy it and render it incompatible with offline dumps so I could spend lots of time laboring to rebuild it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:23, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Do you think that's what happened to Wonderfool? -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 06:12, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Epic win. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:05, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
No, he just got bored (I think). But if he notices this maybe he'll comment and explain things himself. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:40, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Relax guys, WF is still around and doing his thing, making WT a better website. I reckon I'll try running my Asturian bot again sometime soon. --Three littlish birds (talk) 14:53, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
We could invent some more languages! Equinox 11:22, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg DoneΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:40, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
All pronunciations?
We would probably continually broaden our standards of inclusion so that we would be less and less dependent on actual dictionary-worthy content. For example, we could work on presenting the "language" of DNA for all the genomes that exist, have existed, and will evolve or be revised or created. I expect to be moldering in my grave somewhat before that project finishes. DCDuring TALK 11:55, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
When we have added all words in all languages the world will end (according to the monk who is half way through a big Tower of Hanoi. So, perhaps we should slow down a bit. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:00, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, there's always more to do. For instance, once we're done with all words in all languages, we could start retranscribing all words of all languages into all scripts (Cyrilic, Greek, kana, Georgian, Armenian, Amharic, etc.), providing them with links to their lemmas in the appropriate forms. That would probably give us something to do for the foreseeable future... --Pereru (talk) 15:48, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
We might also find the need to read and correct entries. I never cease to be surprised by the error and incompleteness in definitions in English entries, which usually has implications for translations, semantic relations (themselves quite incomplete), etc. —This unsigned comment was added by DCDuring (talkcontribs).
Adding three citations for every sense of every word would be good too, but extremely time-consuming. Need some tools to do this automatically while browsing Google Books etc. Equinox 15:47, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
And once that is done, we should of course remove any and all senses that have fewer than three citations. — Pingkudimmi 18:57, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Guidelines for definitions?[edit]

I came across WT:Definitions but that is really only about English (it is a redirect). We have WT:Etymology and WT:Pronunciation, but the really important one, concerning writing definitions, is lacking. There is some information in WT:ELE but I think a dedicated page makes more sense. Should there be one? What should be in it, how should they be written? (try to avoid circular definitions when possible, avoid vulgarities unless appropriate for the context?) —CodeCat 19:18, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Are recently superseded words "obsolete"?[edit]

The Latvian form Slovakija (the name of the country of Slovakia) has been replaced with Slovākija about two decades ago. The form with a is still sometimes found in recent texts. I'm wondering how to label it. Is it "obsolete"? But the change is so recent that "obsolete" feels like a misnomer to me... Is it simply an "alternative form"? But the currently 'correct' for is the one with the long ā; in principle, the short-a form is not simply "alternative", it is now "wrong" (the word "deprecated" jumps to mind...). An even worse case is Islande (Iceland), which was officially changed to Īslande with a long ī in 2007 -- so recently that the now "correct" form isn't really frequent yet. In fact, the guys at the Latvian wiktionary have a rather long discussion about whether or not they should move w:lv:Islande to w:lv:Īslande or still wait a while (they haven't done the change yet). Here, labeling Islande as "obsolete" would seem almost ridiculous, I think. What do you guys think I should do? --Pereru (talk) 15:55, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

You could label them {{nonstandard}} instead of {{obsolete}}. —Angr 16:13, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
It would be nice if we had standard wording and a template for cases where an official arbiter of language standards has decreed something incorrect (maybe "officially proscribed"?), with allowance for cases where official bodies in different countries disagree. That way, we would have fewer complaints about how a word "doesn't exist" accompanied by references to the academy dictionary, etc. I suppose we would have an increase in quibbles about the message or the significance of the proscription, etc. It's just that we have a predictable type of complaint on Feedback for which we a predictable type of answer, so we might as well save ourselves the trouble of recreating the standard answe every time. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:40, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
As usual, dreaming about capabilities we already have. That's what {{superseded spelling of}} is for. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:44, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
Considering that template is less than two months old and is used on only three entries (and even then not directly but by being transcluded in a different template) it's hardly surprising that people are unaware of it. And its own documentation says it generates definitions for obsolete forms, and it categorizes entries into "Category:Foo obsolete forms", suggesting that {{obsolete}} is correct after all. But Pereru's point is that some deprecated spellings aren't de facto obsolete whatever the language authority says. —Angr 16:52, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

I think you’re looking for {{dated}} in place of obsolete. Perhaps also add {{nonstandard}} to explain the status. If a good explanation is more complicated, add a usage note. Michael Z. 2013-02-24 17:34 z

  • For words/spellings which have recently been deprecated, I'd suggest {{context|now|_|nonstandard}} or something like {{superseded spelling of}} rather than plain {{nonstandard}}. For words which fell into disuse without the ruling of any language body: whenever I find {{obsolete}} used to describe non-technical words that went out of use in living memory, I change the tag to {{dated}}. (For technical terms like chemical names, {{obsolete}} is sometimes more appropriate.) - -sche (discuss) 19:46, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
I tend to like the idea of using {{nonstandard}} at least in the deprecated Slovakija spelling case. For Islande vs. Īslande, it's as if the two spellings were still fighting it off. I see you people use {{alternative spelling of}} in cases like the 1990 French spelling reform, that made certain spellings "acceptable" (like maitre without the circumflex, instead of maître). Perhaps this is a good solution for the Islande vs. Īslande case, at least while we wait for the dust to settle? If the contributors at Latvian Wikipedia haven't decided to change Islandeto Īslande yet, then perhaps it is not a good idea for me to take anyone's side on this and simply consider the two spellings equally good for the time being...
But it is true that there doesn't seem to be an optimal consensus solution at Wiktionary for dealing with words that went out of use in living memory... I suspect dated suggests one could still occasionally use them, which is not the case, since they are no longer in use, but {{obsolete}} looks like overkill... What about words like Bombay or Peking, recently changed to Mumbai and Beijing? I see there is no labelling as dated or obsolete, but at Mumbai the definition says "formerly known as Bombay"; at Beijing there is no note, but at Peking one finds "Alternate name for Beijing" (written in full, not with {{alternative form of}} or some variant thereof), plus a note "(sometimes historical)". Yet Mumbai and Beijing are the same case (recently introduced new form of a still well rememberd name, the "old" form often being better known than the "new" form), aren't they? --Pereru (talk) 10:43, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree with Chuck Entz: {{context|officially|_|proscribed}}. Definitely not {{nonstandard}}, except in cases where the spelling really is nonstandard now. —RuakhTALK 15:34, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Shut down Wiktionary[edit]

Does Jimbo have or anyone at wikimedia have the power to shut down wiktionary? Pass a Method (talk) 20:32, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Presumably. Wikipedias have been shut down in the past, so Wiktionaries could be too. —Angr 20:39, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
In fact, some Wiktionaries have been closed. Last year the Zhuang Wiktionary and the Inupiak Wiktionary were closed. The projects generally remain up and readable, but locked and not editable. One exception is the Klingon Wikipedia which was removed entirely from its domain, but was moved to a Wikia site and is no longer associated with the Wikimedia Foundation. —Angr 20:48, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
If so, it would mean all our efforts were for nothing. Fuck that. Pass a Method (talk) 06:04, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I think the "free"-type licence would allow the material to be reused (and I suppose there are enough bots and things that take periodic copies). Equinox 10:36, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I cannot imagine any realistic circumstances under which a proposal to close the English Wiktionary would be approved, or even seriously considered. See the m:Closing projects policy at Meta. Regular Wikimedia projects only get closed if they still have no content after having been open for a while and if there doesn't seem to be any community of editors interested in contributing. That's obviously not the case here, and Equinox is right that the license permits the material to be reused elsewhere (which is what happened with the Klingon Wikipedia). There's nothing to worry about; it simply isn't going to happen. —Angr 12:21, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
It will very, very unlikely happen via Meta. More likely IMO is that it will happen directly from the Foundation, either as part of a major change in mission or as a byproduct of the Foundation's closing its doors. I suppose the latter will likely happen eventually, though it may take centuries. And as Equinox notes, the data will still be around when that happens. I wouldn't worry that "all our efforts [will have been] for nothing".​—msh210 (talk) 06:35, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Wikimedia foundation has thw authority to do it. Pass a Method (talk) 22:27, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

They also have the authority to change the name to "Al's Muffler and Body Shop", but I don't expect that to happen, either. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:57, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
You can download Wiktionary from here and keep a copy for yourself, if you like. Then you will always have it. —Stephen (Talk) 10:59, 27 February 2013 (UTC)



Added. —Stephen (Talk) 00:06, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

papable (English)[edit]

Here's a word I haven't seen before: "Arinze was once the youngest Catholic bishop in the world and, for many years after, among the most obviously papable figures in the church." - http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/electing-next-pope_703138.html JulieKahan (talk) 22:04, 27 February 2013 (UTC)


Google it. It's bizarre, but surclaim or sur-claim seems to be an English word that only exists in the context of translating Welsh. The normal English is "counterclaim". It's appeared in literally dozens of sources over 100+ years, incl. translation dictionaries, but does it qualify for inclusion or do we assume they're just cribbing some original mistake and ignore them?

Or (third option) is the appropriate thing here to do to treat it strictly as the English term for Welsh arhawl, given its occurence in the translation dictionaries?LlywelynII (talk) 12:39, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

If it's actually used in running text (as opposed to being merely mentioned in dictionaries), as appears to be the case, I would say it qualifies for inclusion, even if its definition is simply "(Wales) counterclaim". A usage note could be added saying it appears to be used only in translations from Welsh to render arhawl. —Angr 22:27, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

March 2013[edit]

what is this meaning : " would you be up for 3sum ore more sum at all"[edit]

‎what is this meaning : " would you be up for 3sum ore more sum at all":

"Would you be up for a threesome or 'more'-some at all?" i.e. are you willing to join in with sex with several partners. Equinox 08:53, 6 March 2013 (UTC)


Should quotations be listed oldest first or newest first? How many quotations can go in the entry without having to be moved to a citations page? JulieKahan (talk) 18:25, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

I've always seen them listed oldest-first. I don't know if there's a rule as to how many citations can appear on the main entry page, but I'd feel overwhelmed if there were more than 4 or 5 per sense. —Angr 21:07, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Oldest-first is the policy: per WT:", "Quotations should at all times be ordered from earliest to the most recent." - -sche (discuss) 20:14, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Can the phrase "to be getting enough" be used as a short form of "to be getting enough sleep" in UK English?[edit]

I've got the feeling UKers may say "Are you getting enough?" when they mean "Are you getting enough sleep?" as in this BBC article.

Is that true? If yes, what other parts of the ESW use this short form? Basemetal (talk) 09:38, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

  • No. The article title is a sort of joke. The phrase is more often used of bed-related activities not involving sleep. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:42, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
    Definitely sex. We should have some form of this. DCDuring TALK 12:48, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I've heard "not getting any" and "I know it would be fun to get some" (Dumb, an R'n'B song by 411). Equinox 12:56, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
    We have getting any. I think there are forms of each "get any|enough|some (sex)" that are idiomatic and attestable. Isn't it only "(not) getting enough/any" (ie, negative or question), but all forms of "get|getting some"? DCDuring TALK 13:11, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
We also have get some with the appropriate definition. We lack only [[getting enough]], IMO. DCDuring TALK 13:15, 7 March 2013 (UTC)


Why exactly, do so‐called ‘human beings’ feel obligated to conserve such vague, random, uninteresting pages? Certainly this page is useless without input from the thing who created it, and given the notorious lack of additional input from random editors, long‐term conservation is utterly useless. --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:01, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Wiktionarians are apparently still pro‐idiocy. I can hardly begin to contain my surprise. --Æ&Œ (talk) 18:49, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps we could answer the person instead of outright deleting their comment. Deleting their comment certainly won't help them understand. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:01, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Except that the comment is too vague to be of any use, and the author likely shall not respond. What language is it referring to? We can guess that it is Arabic, but that is still a guess. --Æ&Œ (talk) 19:04, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
He is attempting to say that Kedjat needs an entry similar to Elbaz. Or in Arabic, كجات. —Stephen (Talk) 20:15, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
If you really think so little of Wiktionary, why do you still hang around? And if this is another veiled jab at me (like the previous drunken one re atheize), since I approved the edit, then grow a spine and take it up with me personally. Equinox 15:00, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
You again…first of all, the disdain is not about Wiktionary per se, it’s the community at large. No etiquette is requested; bullies end up dominating the place, filtering out anybody who offends their sensibilities. And most of you people are insane: when somebody makes one tiny little error you blow it way the fuck out of proportion and hold it against the editor forever and ever. Would you accept anything less of perfection? Needlessly and publicly documenting cases where somebody uses ‘unduly’ forms of address is not interesting to anybody in the slightest, it is petty, pathetic, undignified and satisfies nobody with the possible exception of yourself. How is it relevant right now that I called you a pisshead over three months ago? Are you (still) offended over an insignificant insult?
Now, we know that you are hopelessly petty, but what else is there? Ah yes, paranoia. The implication that somebody was not a human being was quite obviously directed at Laurent, who reverted the request without reason. Such hopelessly careless and petty editors should not be allowed to modify content, much less administrate, and your disinterest in solving him reflects some carelessness in yourselves, and your arrogant conclusions before enquiry reinforce that. Your presumption of guilt is tiresome. Did you consider that maybe it is not a problem with the project itself? Did you consider that perhaps I did not notice your approval? Did you worry that maybe you are just being annoyingly arrogant again?
God damn it, leave me alone. --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:38, 11 March 2013 (UTC)


This is an example in the Latvian section of the definition for Moldova. Moldova atrodas starp Rumāniju un Ukrainu — Denmark has been inhabited for thousands of years While I'm not sure what the Latvian says, it definitely isn't (and shouldn't be) 'Denmark has been inhabited for thousands of years', since it seems to mention Romania and Ukraine. Also, there's no discussion on the Moldova page, it brought me here instead. Can anyone help with this? 06:55, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

A copy-paste error by Pereru (talkcontribs). We'll have to get him to check, but my extremely limited knowledge suggests the Latvian means something like "Moldova can be found between Romania and Ukraine". —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:01, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, that was a copy-paste error; I've already corrected it. (It's always possible that there are other such errors in other words, say other country names. If anybody finds other similar things, please let me know and I'll fix them.) --Pereru (talk) 08:03, 23 March 2013 (UTC)


I need tildes to get started. But such are not available on my keyboard: impasse.


If your computer uses Windows, you can go to START > CONTROL PANEL > REGIONAL AND LANGUAGE OPTIONS, and see the three tabs at the top. Click on LANGUAGES, then DETAILS. There, you may add, edit, or remove different languages and keyboards. You did not specify that you wanted a Spanish keyboard, so you could select the UNITED STATES-INTERNATIONAL keyboard for ENGLISH. Then you just type ~ and n to get ñ; ~ and o to get õ; and so on. —Stephen (Talk) 10:39, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps he means a tilde on its own, not on top of a letter? JulieKahan (talk) 14:34, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

bolding word followed by single quote[edit]

When inserting a quotation in which the word being illustrated is immediately followed by a single quotation mark, how do I bold the word but not the mark? Like this ' (but without space) not this'? Thanks. JulieKahan (talk) 11:25, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

What I do is use ‘’ for single quotes: this’. If you really want the straight quote, type it as "& # 3 9 ;", thus: this' —Stephen (Talk) 11:39, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! JulieKahan (talk) 14:42, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Typing <nowiki/> between the single quotation mark and the bold or italic formatting apostrophes works too. —Angr 16:37, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

WOTD nominations[edit]

Is the Word of the Day still being chosen from the nominations page? JulieKahan (talk) 11:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

The template automatically uses the previous year’s WOTD if one hasn’t been set, as is the case today. — Ungoliant (Falai) 11:50, 11 March 2013 (UTC)


Someone has suggested on meta that the Wikimedia Ombudsmen are renamed in a gender neutral manner.

That's not a bad idea, but the only suggestion so far is "Ombud", based on your page: ombud. I'm not so familiar with this project, but I can't see any verification that this is really an English language term.

I'd be grateful for some help with that - and any good suggestions for alternatives. Even if "Ombud" is good English, it's even more obscure than the current name, which I think is fixing the small problem in order to worsen the bigger one. --Dweller (talk) 11:06, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

There is ombudsperson. — Ungoliant (Falai) 11:16, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Sigh, thanks, but that entry looks equally unverified and again I've never seen the word used (and because the Ombudsmen are plural, we'd have to go with the gruesome "Ombudspeople") Choosing some made-up word just to be politically correct doesn't seem to me to be an improvement. Incidentally, I presume you have a process for verifying unverified entries, which is really why I came here in the first place, only now there are two entries that need it? --Dweller (talk) 11:21, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
We use WT:RFV for verifying the existence words, but I recommend not even bothering to nominate ombudsperson, because a quick Google Books search revealed over twenty thousand uses of this word in books. — Ungoliant (Falai) 11:31, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Boogle Gooks also suggests that ombudspersons is more common than ombudspeople as the plural of ombudsperson. But I do agree with SemperBlotto below that there's no reason to pretend ombudsman can't apply to women too. —Angr 18:01, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
If you jump to the end of the results, Google Books only shows 674 books. Perhaps 27,000 is the number of occurrences, or just a fanciful number to impress us. Michael Z. 2013-03-15 15:02 z
Continue to use ombudsman - the term is applicable to people of both sexes. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:24, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

We should review our use of “editor,” as it is disrespectful to our editrixes. I would put forward editronMichael Z. 2013-03-15 15:02 z

How gauche. The etymologically accurate plural of editrix is editrices. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:32, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

web address[edit]

Who can tell me how to look up a web address? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:22, 13 March 2013.

Explain what you mean. Do you have a web address and you want to know its physical location? Do you know a company and want to look up its web address? I don't know what you mean by "look up a web address". —Stephen (Talk) 21:28, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article Uniform resource locator might be of interest to the OP. Dbfirs 09:48, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Icelandic IPA[edit]

I suggest to check IPA trans. in Icelandic. On wiktionary is used /ˈjarðˌn̥ɛːta/ but according to my knowledge the correct IPA trans. is jarθn̥ɛd̥a . The difference is in transcription of t / d̥ - unvoiced dental plosive. With regards Chejnik (talk) 06:52, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

We have over two million entries. Are you perhaps talking about jarðhneta? —Stephen (Talk) 09:02, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
I am talking about Icelandic IPA transcription only and about using t instead of d̥ (unvoiced dental plosive). --Chejnik (talk) 09:22, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
But an unvoiced dental plosive is written "t" in IPA. And concerning ð or θ, I think that is a matter of assimilation, which may belong to phonetics rather than phonemics. —CodeCat 14:41, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

How can I will find any new words synonyms?[edit]

Dear Editor. Good night. I would like inform you, if i have necessary to know new words synonyms, which sight i can use?

Warm regards Ahsan ullah.

Some entries have a Synonyms section (such as television#Synonyms), other have a Wikisaurus entry (such as WS:hole). Unfortunately not every entry has a synonyms section, because this is a work in progress (and because not every word has synonyms, of course). — Ungoliant (Falai) 17:59, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

oral act[edit]

I hate to ask this, but...is there a word for simultaneous oral contact on the crotch and arse? -- 08:00, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

I wouldn't know. Do you speak with a forked tongue? Dbfirs 09:07, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Hm? I mean involving three participants. -- 09:44, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I guess it's obvious that I lack experience in these matters, so I shouldn't have commented! Dbfirs 15:34, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
I guess it would be called mutual anilingus, or concatenated rimming. —Stephen (Talk) 09:59, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Does that describe or mention the cunt being pleasured, too? -- 10:07, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Involving the cunt is called cunnilingus. I guess three or more girls could have concatenated cunnilingus. If they are doing both things, then concatenated cunnilingus and rimming. —Stephen (Talk) 10:19, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Permanent deletion?[edit]

Hey is there a Wiktionary equivalent of OVERSIGHT that can delete/otherwise remove the past version of my old user page? I am in the middle of a terrible wiki-stalker affair that was mostly located on Wikipedia but may find its way here. (That's why I'm not posting under my main account.) I'd like to get the old version of my userpage that contained personal information taken off Wiktionary if possible. Cheers! Notelvenscout742 (talk) 08:46, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Normally I would ask for proof that you're the real User:Elvenscout742, but since that account blanked the page, and since we would generally advise against having unprotected email addresses out where spammers can get hold of them, anyway, I hid the old edits. That means that only admins can see those revisions, but they can be unhidden if you ever change your mind or if you're an imposter and the real Elvenscout742 wants his/her page back. Even if I were to delete the page, the same admins could see and/or undelete the deleted revisions anyway. As far as I know, that's all we mere-mortal admins can do, but it should be enough. Chuck Entz (talk) 09:09, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

April 2013[edit]

Templates for German words[edit]

Hello, I'm new to the English Wiktionary and wonder if anyone can add templates for German words to MediaWiki:Noexactmatch. That would be really helpful. Thanks --Botaniker (talk) 12:59, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

I think that page needs a more thorough change. The buttons always create an English entry, even if you select another language. Instead, when you change the language, some extra buttons appear. That is not really ideal. A much better solution would be if we could make something like the automated translation adder, which could automatically generate a new entry based on some information you fill into the text boxes. —CodeCat 20:53, 5 April 2013 (UTC)


Hi, Coming from the french wiktionary, I don't know which template to use here for putting a little note in an article. Thanks a lot in advance. Unsui (talk) 19:31, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

What exactly do you have in mind? We usually put notes under a ====Usage notes==== header and don't use any template for it. —Angr 21:23, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
In fact, I would like to put a note as it is said here in the related northern sami entries. Unsui (talk) 06:58, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Aha! That page is indeed referring to usage notes, and the example it gives (ealli) did have a usage note explaining its vowel length until CodeCat removed it. We should either revert that removal, or change WT:ASE, because the two are currently at odds. - -sche (discuss) 08:25, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I think so. Personnaly, I would prefer to leave a note in each entry. It's clearer because that explains why the declension seems not usual. In the french wikt, we have also added a category for this kind of words. Unsui (talk) 09:38, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
If we do put usage notes in every entry, they should be templatised. I've drafted Template:se-overlong; please improve it as necessary. By plugging the over-long letters (in this case, ll) and the broken-up spelling of the word (eal'li) into it ({{se-overlong|ll|eal'li}}), one gets "Template:se-overlong". - -sche (discuss) 20:35, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I recall removing it because it really belongs in the ===Pronunciation=== section, not in a usage note. And if dictionaries often denote the length that way, why don't we? We can use the same principle we use for Latin macrons, and only add the length mark to the displayed form/headword, not to the page name. —CodeCat 20:43, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, that doesn't belong to the pronunciation at all. For exemple "eal'li" and "ealli" have strictly the same pronunciation. The overlong degree of the consonant gradation is ONLY grammatical. "eal'li" is never found in texts, books and so on but only in ditionnaries for convenient purpose. For exemple, you can find english/french dictionnaries where the french feminine gender is noted with * after the noun (ie : chambre*) . It's not a reason to do so here where we have the place to note whatever is needed explicitly. To do short, the grammatical degree is needed only to deduce the correct declension of the word. There are few words concerned. However a template may be a good thing. I'm going to test that as soon as I can. Thanks a lot. Unsui (talk) 13:06, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
If there is no difference in pronunciation, then the template is rather misleading because it implies that there is. Instead it should say that it is a third type of gradation which historically originates from overlong consonants. In any case, though, I think displaying the headword with ' is a better idea. —CodeCat 13:10, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Latin words are spelt with macrons in almost all modern dictionaries, and are often spelt with macrons in modern texts. If Sami words are never spelt with apostrophes in texts (and especially if they are not even always spelt with them in dictionaries; are they?), I can see how it would be reasonable to prefer usage notes... and I do think that usage notes that explain the concept of overlength would be clearer and less likely to be misunderstood than apostrophes in headwords. - -sche (discuss) 20:53, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
It shouldn't be mentioned in a usage note because it's not about word usage. If it's not about pronunciation either it doesn't belong in the pronunciation section. Just display the headword with ' and maybe say something at WT:About Northern Sami about what that means. There could be a note inside the declension table for forms with superlength too. —Angr 20:55, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Since a word with ' doesn't really exist (a lapish personn have no idea of what eal'li means and ' doesn't belong to the northern sami alphabet), if you choose to create the headword with ' ( some dictionnaries or lists of words themselves doesn't do that for exemple here and many others examples) please leave an entry without ' with a redirection (or do the contrary). But the best is to put a note (not a usage note) Unsui (talk) 21:15, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is suggesting creating a page that includes the ' (such as eal'li). All we're suggesting is that on the page ealli, underneath the ===Noun=== header, what appears in bold is not ealli but rather eal'li. But if these apostrophes are so rare that even the average Sami speaker won't know what they mean, then we should probably dispense with the apostrophes altogether, and only rely on a note in the declension table to identify which forms have overlength. —Angr 21:21, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Oh sorry, I didn't understand the meaning of headword. So, I agree with you : the page's name as "ealli" (to agree with all written texts) with the headword eal'li (to agree with some dictionnaries) with a note in the declension table (or conjugation table since that concerns some verbs too) to explain the difference. OK ? Unsui (talk) 21:42, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
A note in the inflection table isn't really necessary if it's already shown on the headword line. On the other hand, it can be useful if not many Northern Sami speakers and learners know the meaning of the ' otherwise. WT:ASE already has a note. —CodeCat 22:17, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Grammatical terminology: "neutral" ? Not "neuter"?[edit]

Maybe it's the US form, I don't know, although I suspect it isn't, as I've used US grammars for Russian and German, but since when is the grammatical term for the third gender "neutral" (OK, there may be more genders in languages I'm not familiar with, although I can't really see how!) - surely it should be "neuter"? See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuter Maelli (talk) 07:56, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it’s neuter. Many of our contributors are not native speakers of English and they sometimes make these small errors. This is a wiki. That means that when you find such errors, just fix them. —Stephen (Talk) 08:11, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

"Art sure no craven"[edit]

While reading Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven, which I understood for the most part, I came across a strange phrase that I didn't get: "art sure no craven". Does anyone know what that means? -- 01:37, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

A full clause helps:
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said. " art sure no craven,
Ghastly, grim and ancient Raven, wandering from the Nightly shore —

" [] thou ("you") art#Verb ("are") sure#Adverb ("surely") no craven, ghastly, grim, and ancient raven [] " DCDuring TALK 02:02, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. -- 05:19, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

how to insert a quote for usage[edit]

In reading Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona I came across the word - testern'd - This led me to - testern. In the definition there was a request for a use of the word from Shakespeare. Act 1 Scene 1 line 152 "To testify to you bounty, I thank you, you have testern'd me; in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself."

How would I go about having this accepted?

A bit like this (click the blue link). Mglovesfun (talk) 19:24, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Or achieve the same appearance using wiki formatting. We don't have prior approval. So just do your best. It will either be put into format or undone. Good faith efforts with good underlying content are not usually undone. Another approach is to put the content on the talk page, but it often takes a while before someone gets around to reading the talk page. DCDuring TALK 22:55, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Showing conjugation table by deafult[edit]

Hi, Is there a way to configure my user setting so I can see verb conjugation tables without having to manually press on "show", for example like in the entry verhaften? Thanks, Jobnikon (talk) 10:19, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Click "Show conjugation" in the "Visibility" section in the sidebar on the left. --Vahag (talk) 10:25, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! Jobnikon (talk) 11:43, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

What is the earliest recorded use of the slang term 'kewl'.[edit]

I remember writing 'kewl' on a message board of a bulletin board system in 1992... Also possibly used it in the door games available on that system.

I wasn't aware of it as a word at the time, it just looked silly that way and made an amusing one-word response.

I dialed in all over the US and posted in a lot of places, but I can't really believe that I made up this dumb word.

Can somebody offer an earlier usage that gets me off the hook on this?

Google Groups has an instance of "a kewl BBS" in someone's Usenet signature in newsgroup comp.sys.apple2 on 13 January 1991: [3] Equinox 16:54, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Also 13 October 1990, on alt.rock-n-roll.metal, "Janes[sic] Addiction is some KEWL stuff". Equinox 16:55, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Wow, that's a fast and satisfying answer, thanks! Did you simply do a Google search by date? If these are the earliest known uses of the word, should they be included in the wiktionary page as references?
Yes, I used the advanced search. They only go back to the mid- to late 1980s, so the word may very well have been used earlier (perhaps fanzines would be a good place to look). I've added the 1990 cite to the entry. Equinox 13:18, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Gujarati script code[edit]

What is the script code for the Gujarati script? See the Descendants section in pão? Thanks. JamesjiaoTC 03:18, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

You can see it at Category:Gujarati script. —CodeCat 03:20, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
Even simpler: go to {{gu}}, and see what's listed there (a lot of language codes don't have script code subtemplates, but the ones you're likely to encounter do). Chuck Entz (talk) 03:31, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Transliteration help[edit]

Hi! How is the ending sound in the following words represented (in all of them, the ending sound is same)

From w:Malayalam#Phonology, it looks like ŭ, but I am not sure since the corresponding Malayalam symbol is not represented along with it. If it was, then the transliterations in ആത്മാവു്, കൂട്, നെല്ല്, തേക്കു്, തോക്ക്, വാള്, വില്ല്, വീട്, സാമ്രാജ്യം, സാമ്രാട്ട്, പോത്ത്, മൂക്ക്, മൂക്ക് should end in ŭ. How is that sound actually represented. Thanks in advance.···Vanischenu「mc|Talk」 16:24, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

That is സംവൃതോകാരം (saṁvr̥tōkāram), u + virama. Transliterate it as ŭ: നു് = nŭ. (It is commonly transliterated as u, but it should be ŭ.) —Stephen (Talk) 10:11, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Thank you so much. So shouldn't it be placed in all of the above articles? At the same time this pdf uses ȧ instead of ŭ. Does Wiktionary have any standards for it?···Vanischenu「mc|Talk」 12:21, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
At this time we do not have any standards for Malayalam transliteration. When someone is ready to work on it, it belongs here: Wiktionary:Malayalam transliteration. We do have such standards for many other languages: Wiktionary:Russian transliteration, Wiktionary:Hindi transliteration, Wiktionary:Tatar transliteration, Wiktionary:Persian transliteration, Wiktionary:Thai transliteration. —Stephen (Talk) 04:21, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. Wiktionary:Hindi transliteration will surely help me a lot. Thanks again. Regards···Vanischenu「mc|Talk」 19:39, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, but a lot of the pages in Category:Transliteration appendices are in the Appendix: namespace rather than the Wiktionary namespace. —Angr 19:27, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
At one time I thought that actual transliteration standards belong in appendices, while stuff we made up for wiktionary would be restricted to the Wiktionary ns. Don’t know if anyone else thought e same thing. Michael Z. 2013-04-20 16:50 z


What is this template intended for? It has no documentation and I am having trouble figuring it out. It seems like a variety of {{term}}, but is it intended only for English words or also for other languages? —CodeCat 17:32, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

  • It seems to be used (in English entries) to provide an inline translation of a foreign word within a definition text. See "what links here" for examples of its use. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:37, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
    • But what about the usage at dislike? desplaisent isn't an English word... —CodeCat 22:19, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
      It is being used in the quotation to show the word the translator was translating when he selected the headword. It could potentially be used in every quotation that is a translation. DCDuring TALK 04:29, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
      Right. See also eg blue-red. I suppose it could be used to give the original English word that an author was translating into German/French/etc just as well, like this, but providing the original as the 'translation' of the usex seems like the more usual way to handle that. - -sche (discuss) 05:10, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
So if I understand it correctly, this template is used to link to foreign words, and therefore always requires a language code, which means the current uses which lack one are errors. —CodeCat 12:48, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Request for expansion of an entry[edit]

I was working on a article for Wikipedia that needs a link to Wiktionary. I came over for a look. The word pedicle is lacking some definitions. I don't know anything about editing here. There is no discussion page as of now for this word. I have a couple of references to the meanings that are used in the article. I was planning to leave a note at the page. When I started to create the discussion page, I noticed the message about asking questions here. Since the page is noted as having 30 watchers or less, I was concerned any note I added might not be seen. For those two reasons, I decided to post here for advice. How should I request these meanings be added. --Probing Mind (talk) 21:07, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

I just stumbled across another discussion room for requests. I didn't notice the second list of rooms. I guess I should request things there, duh! --Probing Mind (talk) 02:24, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

This is a good place to ask about it, or at WT:TR. What are the missing definitions? You can probably just add them yourself, below the existing definitions. —Stephen (Talk) 13:47, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Translating terms with archaisms.[edit]

Is it acceptable to define foreign words with both modern English synonyms and archaic English synonyms, or is there a ‘rule’ that never permits archaisms in entries (like in ‘tu’)? Just curious. --Æ&Œ (talk) 05:32, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

I think unless the foreign word is itself archaic, it's not a good translation, so…I would avoid it. Ƿidsiþ 06:21, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Mmm. There are entries that use clusters of translations in a single definition (proof exists in many of the Latin entries). I am not sure how pairing a modern word with an archaic word would be bad lexicography. Adding herbarian along with ‘herbalist’ into the first definition of, say, herboriste, could emphasis the meaning. If the foreign word is itself archaic, I would simply tag it as such. There are plenty of archaic terms that we define with modern terms, such as épandre. --Æ&Œ (talk) 06:50, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
The purpose of a definition is to convey the meaning to the dictionary user. It's not a good idea to distract from that by throwing in more unknown words for them to look up in the definition itself. In the case of herbarian, the definition for that is herbalist, so including both is redundant, and, in a way, sort of circular. The only reason to use an archaic word is to provide a dimension to the meaning that isn't present in the modern equivalents. If you want to convey the archaic feel of the word you're translating, using an English word that is itself archaic can help with that- as long as it's not too obscure.
As for tu, I can see why thou was used- we don't have separate forms for second-person singular and plural in standard modern English- but most English speakers don't understand the significance of thou in older English. Either they see its modern usage only in biblical and religious contexts and assume it's a formal equivalent to you, or they think that it's the way people used to say both second-person singular and plural before you was invented. When you're translating a term that's neither formal nor archaic, these misunderstandings make thou not just a distraction, but an impediment. It would be like translating vous with y'all- technically correct, but carrying associations that detract from getting a feel for the full meaning. Chuck Entz (talk) 09:02, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

May 2013[edit]

Romanian -issimus?[edit]

Was there ever a descendant, or at least a trace of this Latin word in Romanian? --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:44, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

I finally found them: -isim and interestingly -issim. Bite me. --Æ&Œ (talk) 22:15, 25 May 2013 (UTC)


Pennant meaning #3 and pendant meaning #4 seem to be the same, but the usage note under pennant says they are not to be confused with each other. Perhaps one is preferred in nautical usage. ThanksJamesfarrand (talk) 12:59, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, in the specific restricted sense (nautical flag) they seem to be synonyms, and both spellings seem to be in current use, but it would be unwise to confuse the words in any other senses. The word "pennant" was originally just an alternative spelling of "pendant", but meanings have diverged. "Pennon" is another almost-synonym. Modern definitions and usages seem to be almost identical for the flag sense. Perhaps someone with a nautical background can explain some subtle difference? Dbfirs 08:07, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Obvious translations[edit]

Yes, I know that it is not an offence to make obvious translations, but still, I don’t see the point any more. Unless all of our readers are bloody idiots, I personally don’t understand how switching one letter and including another is going to obfuscate the meaning, and thus necessitate a definition‐slash‐translation. It’s just not very realistic for educated people. Unless, perhaps, we accept that there is absolutely nothing that is universally ‘obvious,’ which is not exactly extremely likely to occur any time soon. (And I’m not just talking about Wiktionary.)

Put it another way: if there were a highly efficient editor, but practically all she or he did was translating cognates, would you have respect for her or him? Would you be impressed? --Æ&Œ (talk) 14:26, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

I understand your view, but you are missing a very important point. Of course, cognates will often mean similar things. But there is no guarantee that they do, there can be false friends or subtle differences in meaning. The purpose of the entry celebrazione is just as much to confirm any intuition that the user may have, as it is to disspell any misgivings. Furthermore, these entries also display grammatical information. —CodeCat 14:32, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
If there were a well‐known ‘rule’ that false cognates (and not true cognates) should receive translations, wouldn’t people just safely assume what the true cognate means? --Æ&Œ (talk) 14:50, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
No; if we omitted celebrazione just because its meaning is obvious, people wouldn't assume its meaning was obvious, they'd simply assume we hadn't gotten around to creating an entry for it yet. And I bet there's not an Italian–English dictionary on the planet that omits celebrazione just because its English translation ought to be obvious. —Angr 17:11, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. --Æ&Œ (talk) 04:13, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
... and presumably, someone who doesn't understand what "all words in all languages" means must be idiocy personified. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:39, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
Hey, nice insult. Too bad for you that I’m more entertained than offended. --Æ&Œ (talk) 14:50, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
I also find your post quite nasty and offensive but the entry is useful enough. It confirms that the Italian word for "celebration" is similar to English, gives me the correct spelling, tell me it's a feminine and the plural form is "celebrazioni". This entry could be improved but it has all the basic info. All words in all languages + all users with all levels of knowledge. What is obvious to you is not obvious to others. You offended the creator of the entry and now you are entertained when they answer you back? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 15:00, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
Haha, man, really? How easy are you people to offend? You can’t converse on Wiktionary and expect not to be offended: I adopted that view years ago, and what did do for me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing good. I’m just following common practice. And still, we are not expected to explain things to users that are obvious, are we?
Why do you think that it is a good idea to include all words in all languages? --Æ&Œ (talk) 15:20, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
You fight like a dairy farmer. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:15, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
How appropriate. You fight like a cow! --Æ&Œ (talk) 04:13, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Sorry to horn in on your charming little conversation, but you've milked this metaphor way too much- the whole topic has become an udder disaster. This is a new low for all concerned. Next time you decide to show us your mature side, make sure you have your n's and t's straight.
After stomping around like a bull in a china shop, your verbal hits just grazed their targets- both sides remain uncowed. Whatever your original intentions, it's all moot- I'm going to take the bull by the horns and ask you to steer clear of this kind of thing in the future. If you have a beef with each other, take it to email- don't try to rope us into it. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:41, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Nice plays on words Chuck. I'm amused and curious about how a diary farmer fights, as I've never had a fight with a dairy farmer. Speaking from my very narrow knowledge, there are thousands of Japanese words where the meaning is obvious once you get used to the sound changes, e.g. sūpākonpyūtā or byūtifuru. There are so many that you could communicate just with that stock of cognates. The trick is knowing which words have cognates (gorgeous: yes) and which ones do not (splendid: no.) On the other side, Japanese speakers frequently use these cognates when speaking English but often run into trouble with words not from English (e.g. prime offender アルバイト), wasei eigo, or words that have shifted in meaning (e.g. スタイル). Maybe this dispute only concerns really closely related European languages, but even far-away Japanese has lots of obvious--or not-so obvious--cognates. --Haplology (talk) 06:14, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
All languages are full of false friends, even very close ones and words change meanings when they are borrowed. "bekommen" means "receive", "get" in German, not "become", "митинг" in Russian is not a "meeting" but a "rally". Russian "дыня" (dýnja) (melon is a cognate to Polish "dynia" (pumpkin - not sweet at all), which is called "гарбуз" (harbúz) in Ukrainian but "арбуз" (arbúz) in Russian means "watermelon". Russian "запомнить" (zapómnitʹ) (to memorise) is a complete opposite of the Polish "zapomnieć" - to forget(!).
Adding all words is important for each language. If you look at the list of French nouns, there are too many cognates or partial cognates. Learning which word is almost the same in another language is part of learning the language but there are always surprises and differences in usage, pronunciation and grammar. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 07:46, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Where is gender information appropriate?[edit]

A lot of pages put the gender information basically "anywhere it fits". For example, the gender of a plural noun form might be marked as feminine plural on the headword line, and similarly for adjective forms. {{l}} also supports genders, although I don't think that is used very often. More notably, while translations of nouns should include genders, translations of adjectives also often include them, even though adjectives normally have no inherent gender. Some people have also added translations for all forms of an adjective, so both masculine/feminine in singular/plural for Romance languages, the neuter also in Romanian and Slavic languages, and so on. I am not sure if all of these uses are appropriate so I would like to know what others think of this. My own thoughts are:

  • Noun forms should probably not contain gender information, because it would be a duplication of information. Duplication often leads to undesirable consequences when, for example, someone fixes the main entry but not the plural.
  • Adjective lemmas may or may not have genders, I'm not sure. Their definitions don't include any mention of the gender of the current word, so it's assumed that the reader knows which form they are looking at. It can also sometimes be useful to make clear when an adjective is used for more than one gender. On the other hand, if the entry already includes a declension table, showing the gender on the headword line seems redundant. (Compare verbs, where we wouldn't explicitly say anywhere that the current lemma form is the infinitive and the present plural form; the inflection table shows this already.)
  • Adjective forms should almost certainly not have gender information, because their definitions will typically include the gender. For example, if the definition already shows "feminine singular of" then there is no need to put it in the headword line as well, it's just redundant. Besides, if a language also has case forms, it seems a bit inconsistent to include the gender but not the case (we have no templates for cases, after all).
  • {{l}} and {{term}} should only include the gender if it is for the sake of clarification. Again, this is because of duplication. It can sometimes be useful to specify the gender of a word if multiple homonyms exist of a word, which differ in gender. German has a few words like that, for example, as does Dutch. It's also useful when listing descendants of an ancestor form, in cases where the gender has changed over time.
  • Translations of adjectives should not include genders, nor should multiple forms of an adjective be listed. That is inflectional information which belongs in the entry itself, not in a translation table, and it only makes it harder to read. Also consider what would happen if people added case forms as well... I've actually seen that in a few Latin translations, and it was basically a whole line of text just for all the forms of one word. I don't think that's a good thing.

CodeCat 18:35, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

It is a general agreement to use lemma forms of adjectives and only provide one form - masculine, without {{m}}.
I'd like to ask you about changes to gender templates or parameters for noun templates, e.g. mp to m-p, fp - f-p. Is this happening? What about np? I noticed User:Matthias Buchmeier changed his awk program User:Matthias Buchmeier/trans-en-es.awk for the English-Spanish dictionary (fix for m-p and f-p genders). A similar program exists for many other languages. So, this change will affect a few of his useful programs. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:34, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
They're not changes as such, but they help to remove ambiguity. If something is specified as m|f|p, what does that mean? Masculine singular, feminine singular and generic plural? Masculine singular and feminine plural? Masculine plural and feminine plural? There's no way to tell. Module:gender and number has been written to cope with this, because it allows m-p as the gender which is unambiguous. I created the templates as a way to ease the transition to that module. Hopefully, at one point, we can remove the exception that is currently present in templates like {{m}}, which tells them to leave out the word "and" if "p" follows. But of course such a change will require some agreement before it's done because templates would no longer work the way people expect. Currently they still work, so {{m|p}} is the same as {{m-p}}. I think the latter is preferred though. —CodeCat 02:17, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not against the change as such, if it's understood and accepted but there are many dependencies. And how do you make sure that all instances of mp and fp are changed to m-p and f-p? Does the module do that or a bot? What about np again? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:49, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
There are currently seven new templates: {{m-p}}, {{f-p}}, {{n-p}}, {{c-p}}, {{m-s}}, {{f-s}}, {{n-s}}. So far, there hasn't been any need for a {{c-s}} but it can be created if necessary. I've changed the older templates so that they add the entry to Category:Separate_gender+number when the first parameter is not a gender (but a number). Most of the instances have already been fixed. —CodeCat 11:30, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

term for deafness[edit]

Does English have a Greek word for deafness? -- 20:44, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

ντεφνες? —CodeCat 20:51, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
anacusis? - -sche (discuss) 21:07, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Besides anacusis, there are some terms for specific kinds of deafness, such as presbycusis. —Stephen (Talk) 21:12, 7 May 2013 (UTC)


Please tell me that there are synonyms for this. -- 20:30, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Sorcière de sable? —CodeCat 20:42, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
croque-monsieur is one particular type of French sandwich. Equinox 09:29, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't think there is one, no. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:47, 12 May 2013 (UTC)


This is my first comment in Wiktionary so i hope it is ok. I tried to edit the above term to make the definition correct. i corrected it and also tried to delete the plural of the term as there isn't one.A message came up saying there are errors but i don't know how to correct them. I have looked at the advice given on editing but do not understand it. Can you help please?

If you get errors or strange behaviour like that, you should look at the documentation of the template you are using. So it would be at Template:it-noun. Unfortunately I don't see any way to leave out the plural either, so it seems like whoever made the template overlooked it. —CodeCat 21:08, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
visciolata is certainly countable. (the wine is called "vino di visciole") It is not a wine, but a conserve. Very very few Italian nouns are grammatically uncountable. We always used {{head}} in those cases. But I'll look into it. SemperBlotto (talk) 21:47, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I certainly found many hundreds of uncountable Italian nouns. If you like, I can make a list of all Italian nouns that currently don't transclude {{it-noun}}, so that you can find them? —CodeCat 21:54, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
My understanding is that these are invariant, rather than grammatically uncountable. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:53, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
A lot of them seemed to have uncountable senses, but were marked as invariant. In particular, the names of languages. —CodeCat 11:47, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
It seems to be a wine too.Angr 22:44, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I think I found enough cites to meet CFI: here, here, and here
Yes - pretty rare though. Added. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:53, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

some plural adjectives in English[edit]

Before I go on a creation spree, I want consent to make these entries, so that I can’t be accused of ‘playing’ with the project, as you call it. --Æ&Œ (talk) 01:05, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

They're citable (including the additional form director-generals, etc.), but aren't they all {{misspelling}}s? Directors-general is the only 'correct' plural. And it doesn't make much sense (to me) to put all the variants in {{see also}} up the top - why not list them all as misspellings under directors-general? Hyarmendacil (talk) 07:57, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
They aren’t misspellings; maybe incorrectly formed plurals, but I wouldn’t know.
The {{see also}} template serves a technical function, not a linguistic or lexicographic one: it should list terms whose characters are variants of the entry’s characters so, for example, surgeons generals correctly lists Surgeons-Generals because ‘S’ is a variant of ‘s’, ‘-’ of ‘ ’ (for the template’s purpose) and ‘G’ of ‘g’.
Citable is citable, so if these forms are citable you can add entries for them. — Ungoliant (Falai) 01:30, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Since these nouns were formed Frenchly, I hypothesised that the adjectives were rendered plural to behove the origins. Plural adjectives are not from English, they are foreign. Though these irregular plurals are likely very unknown (and thus ‘incorrect,’ but I ha’n’t seen a rejection of them yet). --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:14, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
The texts that use them don't seem to be bastions of original-language prescriptivism. I would guess they're the result of confusion about which word gets the plural. After all, the familiar pattern puts the plural marking at the end. It seems odd to have the first part of the compound plural and the second not. If one only remembers that it's different, and that the noun is marked as a plural, it would be very easy to put the plural marking at the end, too, where one would normally expect it. At any rate, they're incorrect, from a narrowly prescriptivist point of view, and relatively rare. Yes, they're attestable, so there's no problem about creating entries for them. The question is the nature of the entries: misspelling, alt-form, redirect, or maybe some variation I've missed? Chuck Entz (talk) 02:52, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Note that the entries use {{irregular plural of}}. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:13, 13 May 2013 (UTC)


Is the latin script the most efficient writing system? I know Arabic has flaws in lacking vowels but i'm unsure about Devanagari (indian) cyrillic (russian) and Chinese. Pass a Method (talk) 23:31, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

It depends on what you think of as efficient. Chinese is efficient in that it puts a lot of information into one character. Different writing systems are also better suited to different languages. Alphabetic scripts tend to be the most versatile overall, but even those have shortcomings. —CodeCat 23:35, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
This is a subjective answer, just my opinion:
  • for writing fast, it’s clearly inferior to several shorthand systems that have been developed during the recent centuries
  • it has the advantage of being left-to-right, which prevents right-handed people from smudging the ink
  • for carving it’s inferior to runic, due to having too many curvy letters
  • for reading it’s good because the letters are not overly detailed, though this probably wastes more paper space
  • 1, I and l may look too similar, which often causes problems
  • looks totally awesome.
Also has the advantages of being an alphabet:
  • good for typing, since all keys fit on a small keyboard
  • easier for kids to learn. The orthographies using it tend to be mostly phonetic, so children only need to learn the grapheme-phoneme mappings instead of a thousand symbols.
Ungoliant (Falai) 00:00, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree with CodeCat that different writing systems are suited for different languages. The Hebrew alphabet is very well suited to Hebrew, but it's really inefficient for writing Yiddish, which is (in my opinion) much better suited to Cyrillic. Big boxy letters are great if you're only writing consonants, but if you're writing vowels as well, not so much. Cyrillic is well suited to languages with lots of consonants and not too many vowels, while the Latin script (which is much more diacritic-friendly than Cyrillic) is better for languages with lots of vowels and especially for languages with tones. Some languages use the right alphabet but still implement it inefficiently, such as English and Vietnamese, both of which are well suited to the Latin alphabet, but not to they way they currently use it. —Angr 20:35, 16 May 2013 (UTC)


Hi. I added the singular common noun 'geneva' (gin, as listed in Funk & Wagnalls dictionary, and found in an 1865 press report at <trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/87924510/9170754>. However, the system insisted on adding a plural form, which is probably non-existent. I'ld appreciate someone fixing this, as I'm not a regular user here. Cheers, Bjenks (talk) 15:14, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

To get it not to add a plural, just type {{en-noun|-}} instead of {{en-noun}}; however, you added the common noun to the capitalized form Geneva; surely it should be at lower-case geneva, shouldn't it? —Angr 17:30, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
As I usually do when I'm patrolling, I did a quickie "rfv" to make sure it was a valid term. Pretty much all of the Google Books hits for expressions like bottle of geneva use the upper case. Although I suspect that it comes originally from some derivative of the French or Old French word for Juniper, it seems to have become completely identified with the Swiss place name, and is normally capitalized like it. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:15, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Isn't it just a mistake for jenever? SemperBlotto (talk) 07:02, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Quite likely, but then, jenever is no doubt ultimately from Old French. Whatever its actuall origins, in English it seems to have been mostly capitalized- probably due to identification with the place name through folk etymology. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:24, 20 May 2013 (UTC)


Does this language have a code? Does it even exist? It gets <400 Google hits, mostly copies of us. Five of our entries currently refer to it, : hemlock, sheep, vatër, cjap, gown, all added by an editor known for dubious and biased editing. - -sche (discuss) 16:37, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia says that the Sarmatians spoke Scythian, so it seems that it's just a synonym of Scythian proper, which has the code {{xsc}}. —CodeCat 16:42, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Up until a few days ago path also referred to Scytho-Sarmatian until I changed it to {{xsc}} for the very reason CodeCat mentioned. —Angr 17:15, 19 May 2013 (UTC)


Is there a reason why references need to be formatted in a very specific way on Wiktionary? Pass a Method (talk) 08:51, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Uniformity. Pretty much everything needs to be formatted in a very specific way on Wiktionary; that's why we have so many formatting templates compared to Wikipedia. —Angr 17:42, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia also has fairly strict reference formatting though. —CodeCat 18:13, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, but at Wikipedia you don't get blocked for not following it. —Angr 18:29, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
I dunno, I've seen people blocked or even banned for violating w:WP:MOS... - -sche (discuss) 19:37, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Neologism based on an esperanto word[edit]

How might I add the noun Zorgos to the Esperanto verb zorgos? The category would be Neologisms.

Here is what the entry would look like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Cavenoid/sandbox

Many thanks.

That's not what our entries look like at all. And I've never heard of that word, do people use it? —CodeCat 23:11, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
I think we can all agree it's not a word so there's no need to discuss this further. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:31, 23 May 2013 (UTC)


Can anybody think of a synonym for the verb coin "to make up or invent, and establish" - especially in the context of new words. Pass a Method (talk) 10:48, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

actualize, author, beget, bring into being, bring into existence, bring to pass, build, cause to be, compose, conceive, concoct, constitute, construct, contrive, create, design, devise, discover, dream up, effect, establish, fabricate, fashion, father, forge, form, formulate, found, generate, give birth to, give life to, hatch, initiate, institute, invent, make, make up, originate, parent, produce, set up, shape, sire, spawn, start. —Stephen (Talk) 11:20, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm doing a google books search and am trying to find out who coined a certain word, but the word "coined" won't bring any solid returns. Most of the above aren't used for neologisms. Pass a Method (talk) 11:41, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
coinage and coiner are sometimes used in that context. I'm not whether your Google search would have automatically included those because of its stemming algorithm. DCDuring TALK 11:49, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

quote format question[edit]

Ok, I'm just a little confused here...I want to add quotes from a news.google.com search; can someone tell me which quote template I should use? That is, something similar to {{quote-book}} I guess. User: PalkiaX50 talk to meh 13:13, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Maybe {{quote-news}}. Or you can add the data manually. — Ungoliant (Falai) 13:30, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Newbie trying to add a word (getting wrong plural by default).[edit]

Hi. I am trying to add the expression "infima species" to Wiktionary. This term is a technical term from medieval logic. Wiktionary already has the opposite term "summum genus" to "infima species". I am using both of these technical terms in a Wikipedia article I am editing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porphyrian_tree). And, I want to be able to have a hyperlink for both terms to the Wiktionary entry. So, I have added the Wiktionary entry for "infima species".

The problem is the plural for "infima species" which should be "infima species" itself (just as "species" is the plural of "species" in English). But, what is coming up as the plural form is "infima speciess". I didn't put this in. It is just defaulting to this.

How can I fix this? Anybody know?

Thank you in advance!

Yours, Russell (VoiceOfTheCommons)

{{en-noun|infima species}}Ungoliant (Falai) 02:01, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! — VoiceOfTheCommons.
Isn't the plural infimae species? [4], [5]Angr 09:57, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Great site, keep up the good work[edit]

I like to spend my free time by reading different web sites and today i came across your site and I believe that it is one of the best free resources available! Well done! Keep on this quality!

contracting tables[edit]

How do I shrink tables in this? I tried putting a - by the number but I don’t notice any difference. --Æ&Œ (talk) 23:47, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Do you mean, how to make a template that produces a collapsible table? If that’s it, I think you just have to start out with <div class="NavFrame"></div>
Or do you mean, how to zoom in or out? If that’s it, press Ctrl + repeatedly to zoom in (make it bigger), and Ctrl - to zoom out (make it smaller). Press Ctrl 0 to return to the default. —Stephen (Talk) 07:45, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
This is not easy to explain. If one looks here, one shall notice that the boxes labelled ‘Simples’ and ‘Compuestas’ take up a bit of space, and I was wondering how one could contract them, particularly contract them horizontally. --Æ&Œ (talk) 14:48, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Normally table columns are only as wide as they need to be to display their content. They only become wide if you actively specify their width by saying something like width=100% or width=500px when specifying their characteristics. For example in
Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country. Nope

I haven't specified a width, while in

Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country. Nope

I've specified that each column takes up 50% of the total width, and in

Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country. Nope

I've specified that column B is 5 times wider than column A. See m:Help:Table#Setting your column widths for more. —Angr 15:13, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Actually, perhaps I di’n’t pick a good example.
Do you see how I and II are pushed to the side here? How would one contract that conditional perfect tense so that those two can fit in? Still done how you described? --Æ&Œ (talk) 15:29, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
By changing the colspan of all the entries above and below "condicional perfecto o antepospretérito", from "Modo indicativo" all the way down to "Modo imperativo" (but not "condicional perfecto o antepospretérito") from colspan=1 to colspan=2. If you want one cell to be divided into two columns, you have to tell all the other cells in that column to spread themselves across two columns. Your "afirmativo" cell is already spread across two columns, so it doesn't have to change. —Angr 16:15, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
See what I did here. Is that the result you wanted? —Angr 16:33, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

The width attribute and big element are “entirely obsolete, and must not be used by authors.”[6]

Instead of width="100%" please use CSS: style="width: 100%;". You can also use other absolute or relative units, like the em.

Instead of <big>, use style="font-size: larger;" on the table cell or on a span element.

Better still, add a class to the html table, and put all of the styles in MediaWiki:Common.css. This gives you more power, letting you style all of the rows or cells or headers of a table with a single declaration. Michael Z. 2013-05-29 16:50 z

Angr, it was close. I had to fiddle around with it a bit to make it look neater. Your help is still much appreciated. --Æ&Œ (talk) 17:48, 29 May 2013 (UTC)


Hi I just created the entry for esperpento yesterday and have continued expanding the fields and the other related terms. I am not sure if I did it right. I tried to copy and paste from other words, would you let me know if it's not perfect?Harmonywriter (talk) 22:19, 29 May 2013 (UTC)


This is pissing me off; I asked for help over at Wikcionario, but the little advice that I received was unhelpful. In most cases, the present subjunctive tense and the imperative tense in French share each other, but not if the infinitive ends in ‐cer or ‐ger. I made the template fr.v.conj uses 34, 37 and 38 twice. I want to know if these is some way I can switch the imperative tense to share with the indicative present tense when ‐cer or ‐ger are used. Here’s the stuff:





>In before no one helps me. --Æ&Œ (talk) 16:24, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Something like this: {{#ifexpr: {{#switch: {{{nexo}}} | c=1 | g=1 | 0 }} | imperative parameter | subjunctive parameter }} ? — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:11, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
No comment. --Æ&Œ (talk) 18:47, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

What the fuck…I could have sworn that the imperative tense had i’s in it, but no, it’s the same as the indicative present.
Man, I need a doctor or something, really… --Æ&Œ (talk) 22:24, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

June 2013[edit]


Which Romance language uses this suffix? --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:26, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Italian. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:16, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Erm, that’s the plural feminine, not the lemma. --Æ&Œ (talk) 03:46, 4 June 2013 (UTC)


Are Klingon translations allowed? Hyarmendacil (talk) 08:28, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Why not? We allow translations into other conlangs, and Klingon has a valid ISO 639-3 code and is listed at Module:languages. —Angr 10:10, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
See CFI. Klingon translations are not allowed. —Stephen (Talk) 14:03, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Transwiki prefix[edit]

I came across Transwiki:Saturation (telecommunications) linked from en.wikipedia (w:en:Busy hour), and am kind of new to Wiktionary procedures. How and when does the "transwiki" prefix get removed? Should I link from Wiktionary to this entry or should I wait? -- Brianhe (talk) 02:12, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

The information in Transwiki:Saturation (telecommunications) needs to be merged into saturation, and then the transwiki file will be deleted. You should link to saturation (but at the moment, the transwikied definitions are still missing). —Stephen (Talk) 03:01, 8 June 2013 (UTC)


I have recently coined the term indiverse, which I describe below:

An indiverse is an individual’s ‘universe of information,’ namely, the entire scope and characteristic pattern of documented information—whether documented electronically, on paper, or in any other way—which an individual generates, accumulates, and/or provokes throughout his or her entire lifetime. It will typically include many different types of documented information: data, text, audio, video, film, and graphic. The term is derived from a combination of syllables selected from three separate words: ind (from individual),i (from information), and verse (from universe). An indiverse contains five broad domains of information—personal, household, legal, financial, and employment. These domains represent the main categories of information that individuals in Western cultures are expected to manage in the course of their daily lives. Over a lifetime, each person’s indiverse will wax and wane in response to the external and internal changes that he or she experiences. Consequently, each indiverse is necessarily unique (think of an evolving fingerprint). Unfortunately, the security of our respective indiverses has now become ‘fair game’for potential exploitation on the part of marketing companies, identity thieves, and other interested parties.

From: “The Meaning and Management of Information,” by Joan Yess Kahn and Daniel H. Kahn (2012 Amazon.com and Kindle).

We go by usage. If you can show that this has been used in the language for more than a year (as indicated by three independent examples in durably-archived sources), then we can have an entry for it. Otherwise, it's just a protologism. See WT:CFI for details. It may be a fine term, it may even have the potential to enter the language- but until it's used long enough by people other than you and people connected to you, we can't include it. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:18, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

PhD research - inclusion dates[edit]


I'm a PhD student researching collaborative dictionaries like Wiktionary.

Yusuke in admin has kindly given me access to a file showing all the entries in Wiktionary, which is enormously helpful. Part of my research also involves looking at when words entered Wiktionary, though. Does anyone know of a list I could access showing date of first entry of each word in Wiktionary? Or any other way of getting that information (aside from going through the edit history for each page - I'm dealing in with thousands of words, so doing it that way isn't feasible).

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Sharon (Sharon2001)

I have added a reference to this at Wiktionary:Grease_pit/2013/June#Researcher_looking_for_info in case those most able to help you technically watch that page and not this one.
In what discipline/field is your research? Please give some thought to what you mean by "word" (eg, English only? Lemmas only or any inflected word form? abbreviations, symbols etc? multi-word terms?). DCDuring TALK 16:45, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Among the various database dumps the Wikimedia Foundation provides is a dump of all pages (pagetitles) on en.Wiktionary (the one Yusuke showed you?) and a dump containing all pages with their complete edit histories. It should be possible to analyse that dump, or the wiki itself, to find when pages were added.
AutoWikiBrowser, a free program for analysing Wiktionary and its database dumps, appears to be able to search for entries revised within specified date ranges (though I've never tried to use that function). I imagine one could use that to make lists of all pages revised within Wiktionary's first day/week/month of existence, its second, and so forth. One does not need to log in using AWB or have permission in order to use AWB's powerful wiki- and database-searching and list-making features: the program only stops unauthorised users from changing the wiki, not from searching it. - -sche (discuss) 17:22, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the replies and for reposting.
Apologies for not giving more info, I didn't want to confuse with too much detail. My research straddles lexicography and linguistics. I'm looking at dictionary compilation, language shift and new words. By 'words' I mean dictionary headwords, including lemmas, inflected forms, run-ons, abbreviations and phrases, but not symbols. I'm working in English only.
Yes, the all page titles page dump is one of the ones Yusuke sent me, and it's very useful. Yusuke also sent the one containing all pages with edit histories, but although I could decompress it, my system couldn't open it (the uni tech support guys think it's because the file is Linux based, I don't know if that's the case).
I didn't know about the AutoWikiBrowser, so I'll definitely give that a try.
Thanks again, any other help would also be much appreciated
Sharon Sharon2001 (talk) 12:49, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
I sure hope 2001 isn't your birth year, 'cause if you're getting your Ph.D. at the age of 12, you frighten me. —Angr 12:58, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
lol that would be frightening. No, 2001 was just a very significant year for me.Sharon2001 (talk) 08:27, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Btw, I don't know if you're aiming to judge when words entered the English language, and I imagine this may be obvious, but: the date of a word's addition to Wiktionary is probably not correlated to the date of its entry into English. The first words Wiktionarians added were mostly important words (like dictionary) or words that started with a; after that, Webster's out-of-copyright 1913 dictionary was uploaded en masse; after that, people have been adding whatever interests them, such that obsolete terms are still being added, alongside modern terms like jpeg. Furthermore, while some dictionaries add buzzwords as they appear, Wiktionary won't consider words until they're a year old. (If one filters out terms tagged as {{obsolete}} or {{archaic}}, or better yet focuses on a set list of 'modern' words, there may be more of a correlation between the dates of words' coinage and the dates of their acceptance into Wiktionary.) - -sche (discuss) 20:38, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
The accretion of words and definitions in Wiktionary would seem a study in sociolinguistics more than any other linguistic field I've heard about. It might be interesting because it is a visible model of such accretion, whereas few commercial dictionaries disclose much about their actual methods, especially the parts that involve copying from other dictionaries. DCDuring TALK 20:52, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your replies. Yes, I'm aware that the date of entry into the dictionary isn't necessarily the same as the date of entry into the language - I actually want to look at how the two compare. Your point about not accepting a word till it's a year old is part of why I'm focusing on Wiktionary - of all the collaborative wiki dictionaries, Wiktionary has the most rigorous approach, which I believe gives it extra credibility over the others. Looking again at the criteria page though, I wonder if you actually delete new pages that don't meet the criteria?
My research does indeed fall into sociolinguistics, with a lexicographical angle, and the difference in methods between Wiktionary and commercial dictionaries is one of my areas of interest. Sharon2001 (talk) 09:17, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Homographs with shared etymology but different senses, genders and inflection?[edit]

I recently expanded honkbal, but I wonder if this is right. Both words have the same etymology pretty much, but differ in their gender, inflection and meaning. I noticed there are quite a few Italian nouns that are similar to this as well. Usually there is one word for a person of male and female gender, but the inflections differ between the genders and so do the meaning (referring to a male or female person). An example is capobanda which has two (!) headword lines on a single line. Should there be two separate noun headers in this case, the way I did? —CodeCat 19:42, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

WT:About Portuguese specifies the same technique you used for honkbal (see cabeça). We could make this a global rule. — Ungoliant (Falai) 19:49, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
There are still a few pages with Noun 1 and Noun 2 headers (or same with Verb) that appear in Category:Entries with non-standard headers. It would be nice if we agreed that the numbers in the headers were irrelevant. DCDuring TALK 19:59, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Impaired contributors[edit]

Are contributors with language disorders unwelcomed here? --Æ&Œ (talk) 01:57, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

They're certainly welcome here, but their contributions to the dictionary have to meet the same standards as those of anyone else. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:03, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Why isn’t the infinitive always lemma?[edit]

Aromanian, Ancient Greek, and Latin base the bulk of their verbal content on the first‐person present tense and not the infinitive. That makes no sense to me; it looks inconsistent and random. Infinitives are for potential or incomplete actions, and using them as lemma is more realistic for something inanimate and impersonal. Why not move information from être to suis?--Æ&Œ (talk) 14:05, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Classical language scholarship follows the convention of using first-person present indicative. I've never looked into the reasons the convention developed nor considered seriously the desirability of going against the convention. I don't know about Aromanian. DCDuring TALK 15:04, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Oh lovely. More unconditional obedience to and acceptance of semi‐sacred conventions. --Æ&Œ (talk) 16:01, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Unconditional rejection of widely-used standards without understanding them would be worse, I think. Michael Z. 2013-06-15 17:05 z
The topic was made for a reason. --Æ&Œ (talk) 18:06, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, quite right. Michael Z. 2013-06-15 18:32 z
The first person singular present indicative is the first principal form taught to learners of Latin, and it’s the one people expect to find when using Latin dictionaries. — Ungoliant (Falai) 16:49, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Latin verbs don’t have just one infinitive, they have multiple infinitives. Also, Latin infinitives do not act like verbs, they act like nouns. Latin students learn verbs by initially memorizing the 1st person singular. Many languages do not even have infinitives...Arabic has no infinitive, Bulgarian has none, Navajo has none, Ojibwe has none, and many other Native American languages have none. Greek infinitives are more like the Latin ones, and they are rarely used at all. What seems to most people to be a universal grammatical feature, the verb infinitive as found in most (but not all) Indo-European languages, is not universal at all, it is a rather recent development in the Indo-European language family. —Stephen (Talk) 17:20, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Zulu (and presumably other Bantu languages) does have an infinitive, but it is a noun. Most modern sources cite Zulu verbs in the bare stem rather than the infinitive. —CodeCat 17:23, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
I am not going to dispute that some languages are infinitiveless, though it is curious that Arabic and Bulgarian verbs are defined here as if they were infinitives. Your post makes me question why Latin infinitives should be classified as verbs at all if they do not act as them, which implies that they should not be listed in verbal conjugations. Also, is there some sort of hierarchy of lemmata, perhaps where modern infinitives are the default lemma (assuming they are available in the language)? --Æ&Œ (talk) 18:06, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Bulgarian lemma is the first person present singular, Macedonian lemma is the third person present singular.
The Arabic masdars are verbal nouns, often acting the way infinitives work but the lemma is the third person past singular - the simplest Arabic verbal form (to which, in many cases endings are attached to make other past tense forms), the present tense forms, on the other hand, are formed not only by adding suffixes but also prefixes, hence more complicated. (Just noticed that Stephen has already described some of this below, oops). --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:03, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The infinitive is quite appropriate as a lemma for English, and so is the standard for monolingual English dictionaries. The same is true for many other modern European languages. This has created the perception that the infinitive is the standard lemma for all languages. Etymology sections in English dictionaries have reinforced this by using the corresponding infinitive for citing Latin and Greek, and glossing verbs with the infinitive form.
Wiktionary is a multilingual dictionary, however, and we're not just referring to and glossing terms, but giving them their own entries. Insisting on the infinitive as a lemma would be forcing English standards onto other languages just because that's what English speakers expect.
In many cases, there's no easy way to get the infinitive form from references- if it even exists. I suspect some of the infinitive forms cited in English etymology sections are no more than educated guesses based on the few other attested forms. While not all terms are attested in the first-person-singular, either, the forms that are attested are almost always very similar to it. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:24, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
@Æ&Œ, we translate Bulgarian and Arabic verbs as though they were infinitives because we are matching lemma to lemma. In Arabic, the 3rd-person masculine singular past tense is the lemma, so فعل actually means "he did", "he made"...but فعل is the Arabic lemma, so we define it with the English lemma, to do, make. Latin infinitives, although they are like nouns, still contain tense and active/passive information. In English, when we say "the maturing of the nation", maturing is a noun that comes from the verb mature...and even though it is a noun, we still consider that it belongs with the verb mature. There is also the verb form maturing, which looks like the noun but is really a verb: "the nation is maturing". Latin infinitives are like the noun maturing, yet they still indicate tense and active or passive state: amare (be loving), amavisse (have loved), amaturus esse (be going to be loving), amari (be loved), amatus esse (have been loved), {{l|la|amatum iri)) (be going to be loved)...all infinitives of amo. The translations are my feeble attempt to represent the Latin meaning out of context, but the Latin and English are so different semantically that it is impossible to make accurate and concise translations...they can’t really be translated until they are properly in place in a sentence. —Stephen (Talk) 19:00, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
  • "Latin infinitives do not act like verbs, they act like nouns". Well, not quite. Nouns can't follow other nouns (in the accusative) in indirect discourse, nor can they take direct objects of their own in the accusative. (No noun could take the place of vidisse in Scio puellam vidisse puerum "I know that the girl saw the boy".) But which form of a verb to use as the lemma varies from language to language, and not just because of blind obedience to the way things have always been done. In Irish (which has no infinitive), the 2nd-person singular imperative is the most common lemma given in dictionaries and grammar books (including Wiktionary), though a few older ones use the 1st-person singular present, and a couple use the analytic present. I think we use the infinitive for Old Church Slavonic, but I have seen books that use the 3rd-person plural present of all things. In each case, the lemma is chosen to fit that language's needs; this isn't something that can be standardized across languages. —Angr 20:18, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
It should also be mentioned that most Slavic verbs in all Slavic languages have two lemmas - perfective and imperfective. Some editors give priority to only one, so provide only one version but in most cases, Czech "přicházet" impf and "přijít" pf, Russian "приходить" impf and "прийти" pf are equal lemmas and valid translations for the English "to come", even though usage and grammar differs (There are cases where only one of the two exists, the equivalent is rare or a verb is both perfective and imperfective). --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:32, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Aren’t those more precisely translated as “to be coming” and “to come,” respectively? Michael Z. 2013-06-18 15:14 z
Absolutely not. Imperfective verbs don't have the meaning of continuous/progressive in them but since there is no progressive/continuous tenses in Slavic languages, imperfective verbs can also mean continuous. Using Ukrainian examples with imperfective verbs, if it makes it easier: "він пише" - he writes/he's writing, "він буде писати" or "він писатиме" - he will write/will be writing, "він писав" - he wrote/he was writing. It's not unlike most European languages, which lack continuous tenses, e.g.: "il écrit" (French), "er schreibt" (German), etc., which mean both "he writes" and "he's writing" all depending on the context --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 22:58, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

the only right language[edit]

Which language is correct? --Æ&Œ (talk) 13:17, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Lojban. — Ungoliant (Falai) 13:19, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
I speak fluent binary. Does that count? 21:13, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Define your terms. What is “correct”, in this context? How do you measure correctness? Without any such explicit bounds to work with, I may as well nominate Brainfuck and Piet.  :) -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 00:26, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

English to Khmer translation[edit]

Could someone please translate " Don't die without having lived " into Khmer for me as I would like to get it as a tattoo

This is pretty literal. You should get other opinions before you use it.
កុំស្លាប់រហូតទាល់តែអ្នកបានរស់នៅ —Stephen (Talk) 10:22, 19 June 2013 (UTC)



We can't be responsible for the software produced by Microsoft, but we can recommend a good on-line dictionary. Dbfirs 10:28, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
As far as I know, Windows does not have, nor has ever had, a dictionary (other than its spellcheckers). Whoever set up your computers (or someone else after it was already set up) has probably installed one of many different free dictionaries that are available. Try clicking on HELP, then ABOUT, and see if you can determine what dictionary it is or where it came from. In any case, it has nothing to do with us and we cannot fix your computer. If you work at it a little, and pay attention, perhaps we can help you with your spelling, grammar, and writing. Just a thought. —Stephen (Talk) 04:45, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, Stephen is correct. I was referring to the spellcheck dictionary that doesn't provide definitions. If this was the "dictionary" you meant, then it should have corrected your spelling mistakes above. It also allows the addition of a user dictionary for any missing, idiosyncratic or unusual words or spellings. Web browsers may also include spellcheck dictionaries. If your dictionary provides definitions, then someone installed it after they installed Windows. Dbfirs 15:49, 22 June 2013 (UTC)


Do any languages exist where most words have single definitions? Pass a Method (talk) 04:52, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

I doubt it. At least, no living, breathing real language that's used by real people. Meanings are just too complex to come up with a new word for each permutation. Even with languages like Turkish that use lots of compounds, prefixes, suffixes and infixes for things that are separate words in English, individual words can only cover so much. Throw semantic change into the mix, and the variations in meaning multiply even further. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:31, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Ditto that. Even positing that such a language were to exist, constructed or otherwise, it wouldn't be very practical or suitable for intelligibly describing everyday human existence. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 05:37, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Which language comes closest to having mostly single definition words? Pass a Method (talk) 09:27, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Mathematics. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 08:01, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

how to edit a suffix category list[edit]

I would like to add terms to the following category list http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:English_words_suffixed_with_-pathy

I click edit, but I don't get to see the list. Why?

Are the suffix categories automated? Meaning, there is no editable list.. ?

Add [[Category:English words suffixed with -pathy]] to the entry. Even better: create an etymology section with the {{suffix}} template (click the link to see how to use). — Ungoliant (Falai) 11:27, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
If you have a list of words suffixed with -pathy all or many of which are omitted from the automated list, you can put it in a user page with links to the entry, ie "* [[empathy]]" and cut-and-paste "===Etymology===<br>{{suffix||pathy}}" into each entry and manually fill in the first parameter "em". BTW for many terms, like empathy, homeopathy, the relevant template is {{confix}}, because the first component of the word is a prefix. DCDuring TALK 12:05, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks a lot! ps. How do you add your username and the time of edit to this? —This unsigned comment was added by AM Dumitran (talkcontribs) at 20:35, 25 June 2013 (UTC).

~~~~ (4 tildes) gives a signature, which you can customize. (See the "preferences" tab.) DCDuring TALK 23:04, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Latvian alata[edit]

I have just added the reference template {{R:lv:LEV}} to this word. Now, even though this template automatically places the word in Category:Latvian etymologies from LEV (it is indeed listed there), I don't see a link to this category at the end of the page; why is that so? (I have the 'tabbed languages' gadget on; could this be the reason?) --Pereru (talk) 13:22, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

I see the category at the bottom just fine (I don't use tabbed languages). Perhaps tabbed languages doesn't see the connection between the categories at the bottom and the language sections that generate them. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:27, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
It did look fine once I turned 'tabbed languages' off. With 'tabbed languages' on, Category:Latvian etymologies from LEV does not appear under the Latvian tab, but, surprisingly, under the Italian tab (probably because Italian is the first language on that page). Is this perhaps a glitch in the tabbed languages gadget? Should the person who takes care of gadgets here (who is s/he?) be informed, so that s/he can try to fix it? --Pereru (talk) 17:37, 25 June 2013 (UTC)


What's the process called when a language, after centuries, changes over time? Pass a Method (talk) 07:08, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Evolution. —Stephen (Talk) 08:30, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
w:Language change Chuck Entz (talk) 12:22, 26 June 2013 (UTC)