Wiktionary:Tea room

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WT:TR redirects here. For Translation requests, see Wiktionary:Translation requests. For guidelines on translations, see Wiktionary:Translations
Tea house party in Japan (not tea ceremony)-J. M. W. Silver.jpg

A place to ask for help on finding quotations, etymologies, or other information about particular words. The Tea room is named to accompany the Beer parlour.

For questions about the technical operation of Wiktionary use the Beer parlour. For questions about specific content, you're in the right place.

Tea room archives edit

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Oldest tagged RFTs


June 2016

German wie meaning "what"[edit]

Should we somehow work this meaning in? Like how English "What's your name/number?" would be German "Wie ist dein(e) Name/Nummer?" Wyverald (talk) 11:19, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

Sure, especially if you can figure how to specify when it's appropriate to use wie this way, since normally "What is X?" in German uses was. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:19, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Normally, German uses the very common (most Romance and Slavic languages, several Germanic languages) European formulation: "how are you called/named?". Maybe this is transferred from that in similar semantic environments. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:37, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Maybe. It also occurs to me that you can say "Wie ist X" whenever it's synonymous with "Wie lautet X": "Wie lautet dein Name?"/"Wie ist dein Name?" (alongside the more usual "Wie heißt du") and "Wie lautet deine Nummer?"/"Wie ist deine Nummer?". There are probably counterexamples, though. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:49, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
"wie" is also used to indicate measurements as in "Wie spät ist es?"/"Wie viel Uhr ist es?" = "What time is it?", "Wie viel ist sechs mal zwei?" = "What's six multplied by two?" — Caligari ƆɐƀïиϠ 16:02, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz If I'm not mistaken one can say both in English "How are you called?" and "What are you called?". Or are there nuances here? — Caligari ƆɐƀïиϠ 16:18, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
"How are you called?" sounds like foreigners' English to me, but I may be mistaken. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:27, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
I think "What are you called?" is equally strange. But you can ask both "How do they call you?" and "What do they call you?", especially when "they" refers to a specific person or group of people. --WikiTiki89 16:52, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
"How are you called?" seems to merit an answer like "by telephone"! I consider "what are you called?" to be okay, though. Equinox 16:57, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, both "how are you called?" and "how do they call you?" sound awkward to me, unless you're being interrogated about how people get in touch with you. ("They call me." - "How do they call you? I don't see a telephone in here.") FWIW, "What are you called?" gets 10 relevant hits at COCA (i.e. excluding "What are you called to do that's an unmet need"); "how are you called" gets 3 (and one duplicate), "what/how are you named" gets none, and none get any hits in the BNC. - -sche (discuss) 00:57, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

"Wie spät ist es?" means "How late is it?" And "wie viel" is "how much". So these two examples have no peculiarities compared to English. --- Otherwise I think that "wie ist..." instead of "was ist..." most often implies a more precise answer. For example, you'll hear "Wie ist Ihr Name?" chiefly in official or business contexts, where it's about a precise name (given name, family name, exact spelling). The same is obviously true for "Wie ist deine Nummer?" Or when you ask me "Wie ist deine Meinung zu XY" ("What's your opinion about...") I'd probably think that you want a few details, while "Was ist deine Meinung..." might require less detail, just "good" or "bad". This is a tendency at least. --- ANGR's idea with "wie lautet..." also seems to be a tendency, but there may indeed be counterexamples. Like "Wie lautet dein Lieblingslied?" ("What's your favourite song?"), which sounds formal but still idiomatic, whereas "Wie ist dein Lieblingslied?" sounds doubtful (though not quite impossible). Kolmiel (talk) 18:00, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

Well, "Wie spät ist es?" can mean both depending on what you're refering to: To me "How late is it?" merits an answer like "It's already very late.", "It's almost midnight." (But maybe I'm mistaken here since I'm not an English native speaker.) in contrast to "What's the time?".
I was obviously speaking about the syntactic construction. Kolmiel (talk) 21:03, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Sure, "wie viel" literary means "how much" or "how many", depending on the context, and in myriads of phrases such as "Wie viel Personen sind wir?" ("How many persons are we?"), "Wie viel jünger bist du?" ("How much younger are you?") etc. it can be translated this way. But in the above-mentioned example I don't think you could say "How much is six times two?" in English, do you? That even sounds strange to me. What do the native speakers think hereof? Is "How much is six times two?" a correct wording?
As to your assumption "wie ist..." implying a more precise answer: To be honest I don't think you have a point here. First of all, IMHO there is no "instead" because in the context of asking for the name or number "Was ist Ihr Name?" or "Was ist deine Nummer?" is wrong in Standard German, and I think in most German dialects as well. (Would it be possible to say "Wat ess dinge Name?" in Kölsch, though?) I could only imagine these wordings correct in contexts like for instance when you want to know the characterization of the name or number given: "Was ist Ihr Name?" "Mein Name ist falsch geschrieben." ("Your name is what?" "My name is misspelled."), "Was ist deine Nummer?" "Meine Nummer ist nicht gültig." ("Your number is what?" "My number isn't valid.") I think the precision of the answer has rather more to do with the conversational situation you're in than with using "wie".
As to "Wie ist deine Meinung..." and "Was ist deine Meinung...": I simply think the latter is colloquial whereas the former is standard. It might even be an Anglicism. Who knows... — Caligari ƆɐƀïиϠ 23:51, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
It's your obvious right to reject my point. But you should refrain from calling nonstandard everything that you don't like, or that is contrary to your personal "Sprachgefühl". In my opinion, "Was ist dein(e) Name/Nummer/Meinung" are all perfectly correct and perfectly common. You might want to look them up on google as well as google books to find a multitude of examples. Kolmiel (talk) 21:01, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
And just to clarify: I didn't say (or at least didn't mean) that there's always a noticeable difference between "was ist..." and "wie ist...", just that "wie" has a tendency to be used when the answer requires precision. Kolmiel (talk) 21:08, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
"How much is six times two" is natural English AFAICT; e.g. google books:"how much is six times" turns up plenty of uses stretching from the 1800s through the present day. - -sche (discuss) 00:57, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Language names in Japanese[edit]

@TAKASUGI Shinji, Eirikr What are names of languages (nihongo, eigo) linguistically grammatically classified as in traditional Japanese grammar/vocabulary? Common nouns or proper nouns? Are there any consensus among scholars? Should we capitalized those names on Wiktionary? ばかFumikotalk 15:20, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

In traditional grammar the boundary between common nouns and proper nouns is not very clear. I’ll check. As for romanization, they must be capitalized because a suffix doesn’t change the original capitalization. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 04:34, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
@Atitarev What do you think of TAKASUGI Shinji's suggestion? ばかFumikotalk 14:45, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
@TAKASUGI Shinji, Eirikr, Haplology, Fumiko Take "The boundary between common nouns and proper nouns is not very clear". Very true and it's very common for languages, which don't distinguish between capital and small letters but capitalisation of country names is not disputed in Japanese.
  1. There is no clear rule for capitalisation in romaji of language names or ethnicities. Dictionaries may use both nihongo/nihonjin and Nihongo/Nihonjin. ("Nihongo" in English would apparently be capitalised). Dictionary publishers sometimes use English conventions for capitalisations but the don't have to. Names of the weekdays, months, etc. don't follow this, e.g. "nichiyōbi", "ichigatsu".
  2. I don't agree that "a suffix doesn’t change the original capitalization". Suffixes turn proper nouns into nouns, just like they do in other languages: (French) Japon->japonais (adj., language name (n.)).
  3. If there is a rule for capitalisation of language names or ethnicities in Japanese romanisation, let's use it. I don't really oppose the capitalisation, if it's standard.
  4. In my opinion if capitalisation of certain groups of words is not clearly defined, it's better to stick to default (lower case). I have been consistent with this.
  5. If the majority of editors decides to use capitalisation, I'll oblige. It's the personal choice of dictionary editors. I see both types of capitalisations in published dictionaries. There is no right or wrong answer. Let's vote?
  6. Do you agree that the same question can be asked about Chinese (Mandarin) pinyin? Chinese editors have shown little interest in discussing pinyin capitalisation in the past. It's because romanisation of non-Latin based languages is not a proper language script. @Wyang, Tooironic, Suzukaze-c, Justinrleung, Kc kennylau. What do you think of pinyin capitalisations for language names/ethnicities? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:24, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
I know we have a problem on Wiktionary with capitalisation of pinyin, in the sense that we are not consistent - sometimes we capitalise, other times we don't. But I don't see it as a major problem. Essentially, we have bigger fish to fry. But if someone could be bothered to come up with some guidelines to be voted on, that would be a step in the right direction I suppose. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:36, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
In many other languages, yes, they change capitalization (Japonjaponais), but in English, no (JapanJapanese). Most Japanese people know only English spelling rules. For example, all the words in a proper noun are capitalized, such as Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai. Compare it with its English name Japan Broadcasting Corporation and its French name Compagnie de diffusion du Japon. When it is not clear, we should follow English rules. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 04:57, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
@TAKASUGI Shinji Thanks, Shinji, but this is an opinion, you don't explain why "we should". E.g. "When it is not clear, we should follow English rules." Why? The majority of published dictionaries don't even capitalise proper nouns, despite some known rules, mainly from Wikipedia. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:41, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Capitalization of proper nouns is clearly indicated in the Romanization Rules by the Ministry of Education. I don’t know why dictionaries don’t capitalize proper nouns. If so, we shouldn’t follow those dictionaries. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 07:33, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
@TAKASUGI Shinji I think you misunderstand my question or the topic. I am not arguing that country names, city names or people names should be capitalised (yes for capitalised Nihon, Tōkyō, Shinji, etc.). There's no controversy here and the consensus is that they ARE proper nouns. Your examples above show only attributive usage of proper nouns, not language or ethnicity names (like nihongo or nihonjin).
The questions remain - are nihongo/nihonjin proper nouns and therefore they should be capitalised? Is there a rule for that?
From your link I can see something useful: "なお、固有名詞以外の名詞の語頭を大文字で書いてもよい。" The key here is "it's also okey" to capitalise words with suffixes. So it can go both ways, even according to your link? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:41, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
There is no official rule, but I think capitalizing language names and ethnicity names is natural. I have found a set of detailed capitalization rules by a small company of cataloguing, and it explicitly states that ethnicity names and language names are capitalized:
日本人 Nihonjin
アメリカ人 Amerikajin
日本語 Nihongo
英語 Eigo
Those are their rules, not necessarily ours, but I think you can see my point. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 13:59, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
@TAKASUGI Shinji It's a good document, thank you. If everyone thinks the same way and for you this capitalisation seems the most natural, then we can adopt that as well. User:Haplology probably thinks the same way, not sure about User:Eirikr. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:11, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Hey, these guidelines are pretty cool. We should definitely base ours on these. ばかFumikotalk 01:44, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
For Chinese, I've always advocated for following the guidelines set out by the PRC MOE in the Basic Rules of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet Orthography (漢語拼音正詞法基本規則). In section 6.3.3 (which says that proper nouns composed of a proper noun and a common noun are capitalized), 漢語, 粵語 and 廣東話 are listed with capitalization. Should we follow 漢語拼音正詞法基本規則 and consider languages as proper nouns, thus legitimizing capitalization? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:45, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
@Atitarev I'm sorry but I don't understand the base of your arguments. At one point, you said something like "Japanese is an independent language and should not follow rules of English", and here you point out how capitalization works in French. So we don't have to follow English examples, but we should follow French then?
Yes, I think we're all aware of those facts. In Russian, French, Portuguese, etc. words like "francais" or "ingles" aren't capitalized. But there are counter-examples too: while "francais" (adjective; French language) is not capitalized in French, "Français" (French person) is, despite the fact that "French person" is just a "common noun". Also, beware that Japanese doesn't work like French or Russian: it's an agglunative language, and suffixes like -go or -jin should not modify the stems in any ways; therefore there's no point in decapitalizing the stems. On the other hand, I'd like to know what dictionaries you're referring to. I wouldn't even take well-known dictionaries like Kenkyusha seriously, if they don't capitalized anything, including "proper nouns" like "amerika". —This unsigned comment was added by Fumiko Take (talkcontribs).
@Fumiko Take No, I am not saying that Japanese (or Chinese) romanisation should follow English or French or whatever rules. I still don't see any rule describing that language names, ethnicity names should be capitalised in Japanese Hepburn romanisation. What does agglutinative language has to do with this if -go and -jin are considered suffixes, not inflection endings or separate words? Don't get me wrong, if we agree on something I'll follow but nobody explained yet the rules. If there ARE no rules, then it's a decision of dictionary editors, then we can vote. Even Wiktionary editors haven't been consistent on capitalisation. I have. Is there anything else, which confused you? I only use Kenkyusha dictionaries based on kana, no idea how they capitalise romaji. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:45, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
@Atitarev You said "Suffixes turn proper nouns into nouns, just like they do in other languages: (French) Japon->japonais (adj., language name (n.))." That gave me an impression that you thought Japanese suffixes worked in the same way as other languages where suffixes can modify the stems, so it might be reasonable to apply a different rule of capitalization. Compare Spanish España > español.
"What does agglutinative language has to do with this if -go and -jin are considered suffixes, not inflection endings or separate words?" Due to its agglunative nature, by which stems are relatively independent in compounds (not modified by affixes as in fusional languages such as French or Spanish), it's not that easy to determine whether items like -go and -jin should be considered suffixes or not. It might be even possible to analyze Nihongo, Nihonjin not as "proper nouns turned into common nouns by suffixes" like you said, but simply as noun phrases, to which artificial English phrases like "Japan language", "Japan human" might be equivalent. In fact, I just looked up -go and -jin, and most dictionaries give entries to them just like they do with katarai, katari, nin, hito, ri, without notations as to what part of speech they're identified as. ばかFumikotalk 10:22, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Theoretically yes, we can analyse these suffixes as separate nouns but this logic is still flawed because 1) these kango are not considered as independent nouns, so they are just suffixes, called so by grammarians 2) if we do decide to call them nouns, then the spellings should be "Nihon go" and "Nihon jin" respectively (cf. "Nihon keizai"), not "nihongo" and "nihonjin". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:19, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
I'd like to know what grammarians you're referring to, who specifically call go and jin suffixes. Well you may argue with something like, "well, it's obvious, because go and jin can't survive on their own". But then what about zame, guma and buro as in aozame, Hyokkokuguma and rotenburo? They can't survive on their own either, so are they suffixes too?
And why should the romanization be "Nihon go" and "Nihon jin" if go and jin were to be free morphemes? Should we write "suzume dai" and "kin tama" too, then? I'm inclined to believe the reason why "Nihon Keizai" is used is because Nihon and keizai both contain up to three kanji, so it's more intuitive and harmonic (at least for a speaker of a language that employs Sinitic vocabulary items like me; except cases where rendaku comes into effect like rotenburo because rendaku makes the second part (buro) inseparable from the compound) to break 日本経済 into Nihon Keizai rather than Nihonkeizai, not because they're "independent words" (well maybe "independent words" is one of the many factors, but not the decisive one). Well, maybe it's just me. ばかFumikotalk 01:14, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
My opinion: if reputable publications use capitalization, we should follow them and use capitalization. If 日本語 is commonly found as Nihongo, and 粵語 is commonly found in pinyin as Yueyu and in Peh-oe-ji as Oat-gi, those are the romanized forms we should use.
Also, a question: grammatically, is there a distinction between normal and proper nouns in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc? —suzukaze (tc) 08:30, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Min Nan POJ seems to follow English rules for capitalisations, yes we could adopt that convention for Mandarin pinyin as well if it's a group decision. No clarity on proper noun/common noun distinct in East Asian languages, they are perhaps identical. Cantonese romanisation is never capitalised, "Yue" is also an English word and Korean dictionaries use even less capitalisations than Japanese or Chinese. Apparently proper nouns (e.g. country names) are capitalised but that rule may have been borrowed from Wikipedia, which uses capitalisations for all romanisations. Yes, we could use a list of reputable dictionaries.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:45, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
God, this case is gonna be difficult to settle. I just found out that even Hepburn himself was not consistent about the whole capitalization thing[1]. "English" is "E-go", "Japanese" is "Wa-go", but "French" is "futsu-go". Then again, he did transcribe ポルトガル as *Horutogaru, so maybe his dictionary isn't that reliable. ばかFumikotalk 09:30, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Relax, Fumiko-san :) We can vote and decide as dictionary editors. Do you simply hate to see spelling "nihongo" or you think it's incorrect because ... ? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:45, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
No I don't "hate" anything, just like I don't hate "francais" or "espanol". I'm not saying it's incorrect. If there's an official source that says "nihongo" is the only correct romanization, I won't oppose it. It just doesn't feel right to me to use such a form, so I'd like us to discuss in further depth and establish some sort of guideline or standard. ばかFumikotalk 10:32, 21 June 2016 (UTC)


Isn't a cuckoldress actually a woman who cuckolded her husband (in other words, the wife is an adulteress, and the husband a cuckold)? The meaning on the page right now states the opposite (the husband is an adulterer and the wife a female cuckold, a cuckquean). 03:46, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

I checked the OED but it's not there. Equinox 13:35, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Looking at citations, you seem to be right. I'll change the def. Ƿidsiþ 17:09, 2 July 2016 (UTC)


The final adjective definition is currently worded as if it were defining a noun. I'm not sure if it was placed under the wrong POS header, or if it just isn't worded right. Could someone with a subscription to the OED check the reference and make the necessary changes? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 09:44, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

@Equinox. I see from the above section that you have access to the OED. Would you mind checking the reference for me? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:59, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
OED has an adjective: "slang (orig. and chiefly U.S.). With reference to sexual activity: consisting of or involving fellatio or (sometimes) cunnilingus. Of a person (esp. a prostitute): that performs oral sex." Examples of "French broad", "French girl", "French love". Also a verb sense we are missing: "perform fellatio or cunnilingus on". Equinox 18:12, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

email and e-mail[edit]

I see that, according to the existing Wiktionary articles, e-mail is the standard spelling of the word and email is an alternative spelling! This seems wrong, as the hyphenated spelling is very rarely used nowadays. For example, this Google Trends graph shows that "email" was three times as common as "e-mail" in 2005; but as of 2016, "email" is about 30 times as common as "e-mail".
Therefore, I would recommend changing the entry for e-mail to "Archaic spelling of email.", and moving the definition, example usage, and etymology information over to the email article. Would there be any objections to this? Chessrat (talk) 06:03, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

It's certainly not archaic (which would mean a few centuries ago). I wouldn't even put "dated", since the whole technology of e-mail (yes, I always write it that way) is still relatively modern. I don't personally care which entry is the main form, however. Equinox 06:13, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
I would at least make a usage note explaining that e-mail is rarely used by younger people (probably about 25 and under). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:55, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
I spell it as email, if that's any help (and I'm no spring chicken). DonnanZ (talk) 19:34, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

English pronunciation of Maine (French province)[edit]

Currently says /mɛːn/, but English doesn't have a long /ɛː/ phoneme. So is it /mɛn/ or /meɪn/? --WikiTiki89 19:56, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary gives /mɛn/ for the French river and province. I wouldn't be surprised if /meɪn/ is also attestable, though, not only because of the influence of the U.S. state but also because of the way English speakers tend to handle French /ɛː/ (compare Seine, which fluctuates between /sɛn/ and /seɪn/). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:08, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

et al.[edit]

Etymology 1 is listed as a phrase, while etymology 2 is listed as an abbreviation. In addition to us no longer using "Abbreviation" as a POS header, I wouldn't call et al. a phrase, and I would think that both uses of it belong to the same POS. Are they pronouns then? Or would others disagree with my opinion that they aren't phrases? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:05, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Within Latin, I would call it a phrase because the combination of et and alii doesn't itself have a well-defined part of speech. In English, however, since you can't break it apart, I don't know if we can call it a phrase. --WikiTiki89 20:08, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
From its syntax and semantics in English I'd either call it a phrase or a postposition. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:09, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
I guess it wouldn't be a pronoun, as that doesn't apply to the et part, but it doesn't seem accurate to call it a phrase (in English). However, if it's the consensus to use "phrases" to label those borrowed from Latin (I see that this is the case for etc.), then I'll just change the "Abbrevitions" header to match that, and leave the other one as is. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:47, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
To be fixed as well: the jumble of different POS headers for different languages at etc. and et al. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:35, 4 June 2016 (UTC)


I mean no offense, but is it really necessary to have quotes beneath each and every definition for the word? https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sanctify It makes it difficult to parse which line is the definition. I think it would be better if they were in a separate collapsible javascript link, if at all. And also, why must it link offsite to a bible website? Am I being proselytized here, haha? It makes me trust the definition a little less. Sorry if this is in the wrong place!!

The quotations are in fact collapsed by default. I'm not sure why they aren't showing up for you that way (under the section "Visibility" in the sidebar, you should be able to click "Hide quotations" to fix this). As for the quotations from the Bible: most books using the word sanctify are going to be religious in nature, so it's hardly surprising that quotations have been drawn from the King James, which is the most famous and historically significant translation of the Bible. It has great linguistic value as well, as it is a large corpus written in archaic English, exemplifying many words that might be harder to find elsewhere. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:36, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

bonafide: alternative form of bona fide?[edit]

If bonafide is merely an alternative form of bona fide, I think the content of the page bonafide should be replaced with a corresponding mention. Before doing so, relevant information present on the page bonafide should be moved to the page bona fide.--Anareth (talk) 05:51, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Equinox 16:30, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Sound of typewriter[edit]

Video showing the operation of a typewriter

Which verb and/or noun would you use to describe the sound of a mechanical typewriter [2]? In Finnish we would say raksuttaa ‎(to tick) or nakuttaa ‎(to knock) but I find scarce usage of these English words in the context of typewriting. --Hekaheka (talk) 09:41, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

I'd say clack. "Typewriter clacking" gets a bunch of hits on b.g.c. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:15, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
How about tapping? DonnanZ (talk) 18:25, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
In some cases, you could use clicketyclack, but usually I would use something like "sound of typing". "I knew Kate was here because I could hear the sound of typing coming from her office." —Stephen (Talk) 12:48, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

British spelling[edit]

Isn't this purely encyclopaedic information? And look at the awe-inspiring list of see alsos! Equinox 18:16, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

I think it may be of dictionary interest. As for New Zealand spellings, they're almost always the same as British, the only exception I can think of is fiord. DonnanZ (talk) 18:23, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
It might make a lovely appendix, which might be useful if the WP article is not up to snuff. DCDuring TALK 01:10, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Somebody (not me!) has since put this up for deletion; see Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion#British_spelling. Equinox 00:59, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
RFD also for American spelling. I added See also * For a list of examples, see Category:British English forms, as it is lexico info. Sobreira (talk) 12:08, 7 June 2016 (UTC)


What exactly is the distinction between the two definitions? I don't know enough about electronics to judge. Is the second a subsense of the first? DTLHS (talk) 21:49, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

You are right, second definition is subsense of the first, describing the currently most common technique for making a diode.

founder as a verb[edit]

Anyone to make sense of the following sense of the verb founder, as used by by Robert Louis Stevenson in his Underwoods of 1887, chapter 28 ?

And bright on the lone isle, the foundered reef,
The long, resounding foreland, Pharos stands.

…and update the definitions accordingly ? --Jerome Potts (talk) 23:17, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

  • I'd never alter a definition based solely on poetic usage. In this case, for example, I think the idea is that the reef is or is like the foundered hull of a ship, which would suggest why the lighthouse was located there. Even if we found three figurative uses like this in literary works, I think we should concede to the creative writers the right to use words metaphorically without fear that lexicographers would convert their poetry to definition. DCDuring TALK 23:34, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
Another possibility is that some completely different reading could be made, ie, the passage is ambiguous.
Finally, founder in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 has a transitive sense of founder#Verb ("To cause to fill and sink, as a ship"), which also fits. DCDuring TALK 23:38, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
I've added Century's transitive definition with cites, none from poetry, though one is from a review of a poem by a poet. I still think the RLS usage is not a good one for a dictonary to rely on. DCDuring TALK 00:43, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the additional examples and the advice on being suspicious of poetry as a reference: i should've thought of that myself.
Concerning your added sense, wouldn't it be simpler to merge two senses when the only difference is that one is transitive, and the other not?, as in:
(intransitive) Of a ship, to fill with water and sink.
(transitive, archaic, nautical) To cause to fill and sink, as a ship.
which i would combine into
(archaic, nautical) To fill with water and sink, as a ship.
and keep the in/transitive tags for when there is a restriction such as "transitive only".
Thoughts ? --Jerome Potts (talk) 03:47, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
I intensely dislike combining sharply distinct categories, such as grammatical ones. They make it harder to connect definition-writing with citations. There is a great amount of subjectivity or, at least, arbitrariness in producing definitions for polysemous terms. Distinguishing usage based on the type of complements is very helpful in sorting usage into coherent groupings. Sorting by collocations is arguably more useful, but we don't have unlimited access to the databases that support such sorting.
I think that what is good for definition writers is also good for definition readers, definition revisers, etc. These are all efforts to understand meanings abstracted from real-life context. As we can't sort by real-life context very adequately, we need to use other categories. DCDuring TALK 13:19, 5 June 2016 (UTC)


If this phrase means "fashionable" and means "time" and means "bangs of a child", can't an alternate etymology be provided for the phrase's meaning? Thanks in advance, Johnny Shiz (talk) 00:20, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

The current etymology says "Phono-semantic matching of English smart", which I understand to mean that 時髦 is pronounced (roughly) like "smart", while 髦 has connotations of the meaning of "smart". What alternative etymology did you have in mind? 02:46, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
"Hair of the time". Johnny Shiz (talk) 00:04, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

what does eminant boot agreement mean[edit]

what does eminant boot agreement mean

I understand it to mean "agreement on boots, Eminent style". Perhaps a shoe store is making an agreement to buy some "Eminent" style boots. —Stephen (Talk) 12:42, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
It would be nice to know the context. Also to be confident in the spelling of what was heard as "eminant". I can find no usage on Google's search for eminant/eminent boot agreement. BOOT agreement can refer to contracts covering Buy/Build Operate Own Transfer arrangements for facilities such as mines, waste-management operations, and power plants. If that is the context then perhaps imminent ("about to be finalized/signed") is the correct spelling of the first word. Thanks for providing the puzzle. DCDuring TALK 13:36, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Or eminent domain. Equinox 16:04, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

complete with[edit]

Defined as an adverb. Is that right? Equinox 17:47, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

No, it's a preposition. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:51, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Equinox 01:00, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

What's it called?[edit]

In the UK, I see people with dogs using a long plastic thing to throw a ball for the dog to retrieve. The thing is then used to pick up the returned ball and throw it again. What is the thing called? SemperBlotto (talk) 05:51, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

thrower or launcher. Equinox 06:20, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Googling Semper's description of the thing turns up various products for sale as "dog tennis ball launchers" or "ball throwers". A xistera is a similar device used in jai alai. I suppose a woomera might be (mis)used for that purpose in a pinch. - -sche (discuss) 09:53, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Some call it a Chuck-it after the brand of the market leader in the US. It may be on the path to genericizaton, but I doubt it's there yet. DCDuring TALK 10:41, 6 June 2016 (UTC)


Does anyone know what this word means? I'm desperate. ---> Tooironic (talk) 16:53, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

Across an isthmus, especially in anatomical contexts. DTLHS (talk) 17:02, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Added. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:35, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Many thanks, a lifesaver! ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:14, 7 June 2016 (UTC)


Congujation states: Note that pluperfect active indicative pepulerat has the alternative form pulserat and that the perfect active indicative pepulī has the alternative form polsī.

  • Is this only for 3rd and 1st person respectively? Or for the whole person-number paradigm and then pulseram, polsisti? Sobreira (talk) 08:17, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
I think these alternative forms should be simply included in the table rather than presented as a usage note. —CodeCat 01:29, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Are taboo collocations therefore idiomatic?[edit]

Taboos have been on my mind. Islamic terrorism is a term that has been removed from at least one official US video and is pointedly not used in US White House statements. Whatever the validity of the rationale (avoiding inflaming public opinion, etc), does such a taboo imply that the term in idiomatic? There is an obvious inclusion problem for Wiktionary in that a truly taboo term would not have much durably archived evidence of use, however abundant the mentions might be. A partisan-taboo term would have evidence.

Is a taboo lexical information that justifies or contributes to justifying an entry for an SoP term?DCDuring TALK 12:50, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

I don't think so. Islamic terrorism is still just Islamic + terrorism, even if some politicians avoid using it so as not to antagonize people they think may still be useful to them in the future. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:13, 7 June 2016 (UTC)


Is "forname" an alternate spelling or a misspelling of "forename?" It is linked at "wikipedia:forname," but I can't find any other usages. Presumably the spelling (correct or not) is a backformation by comparison from the spelling of "surname," its antonym. Nicole Sharp (talk) 14:26, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

I think it's just a misspelling. Wikipedia has a lot of silly redirects. Equinox 18:23, 8 June 2016 (UTC)


Hm, what about this one? To me it seems like a multilingual SoP, so can't properly be entered as either English or French. Equinox 18:22, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

The hi part could just be a loanword, and then the whole expression is French. Reminds me of German-speaking Switzerland, where you hear people say merci schön. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:55, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
I haven't heard of this, but I suspect it's a conscious attempt to say hi in French and English at the same time. This is unlike merci schön, because merci is the default word for "thank you" in German-speaking Switzerland (it reminds me of the equivalent ميرسي كتير ‎(mērsī ktīr) in Lebanese Arabic). The equivalent would be if they said something like "danke/merci". Anyway, "bonjour/hi" is either SOP code-switching or it is idiomatic Montrealese, in which case we would probably need an entry for both French and English. --WikiTiki89 19:03, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Isn't really relevant here, but another nice example from Lebanese is bonjourēn as an answer to bonjour (like you say ahlēn as an answer to ahlan, giving back a better, i.e. doubled, greeting). Don't know if you've heard that. Kolmiel (talk) 15:45, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
I don't think I've heard of it, but yeah, once bonjour is borrowed into Lebanese Arabic, it can be modified with any Lebanese Arabic words or morphemes. --WikiTiki89 15:50, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
A Google search suggests that it's used e.g. in shops to greet customers before their preferred language is apparent. Equinox 19:13, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
I read about it a little and it seems that it specifically expresses that the (for example) shopkeeper is capable of serving the customer in either French or English. This makes it idiomatic in my book. --WikiTiki89 19:22, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
That is indeed how I've heard it used, though I've usually heard it as "hello/bonjour." I've also encountered it in Manitoba and every province east of it. It's used throughout Canada. For instance, at national historic sites, anyone working there will typically greet guests with a "hello, bonjour" (or "bonjour, hello," but that seems to be less common) so that both Anglophones and Francophones feel comfortable using their native language. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:29, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy: This blog post claims that it's different in the rest of Canada from the way it is used in Montreal:
This etiquette is apparently not followed by service providers throughout Canada. I was amused to find, for example, an incensed letter-to-the-editor to Montreal's Le Devoir by a disgruntled francophone writing to complain about his travels to Nova Scotia. It appears that, upon registering at a Parks Canada campground, he was greeted with a sincere "bonjour/hi". Naturally, the letter-writer took this to be an invitation to use either official language and launched into "la langue de Molière" only to be told "Sorry. I don't speak French."
--WikiTiki89 15:34, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
That may well be the case, though I think most Parks Canada employees are required to speak both languages. TBH, I'm not too sure how likely one is to run into a bilingual greeting outside of Montreal. It is standard at all Parks Canada locations I have been to (of which there are a fair number), and can be heard at other federal sites, like Parliament Hill. Ottawa is a fairly bilingual city too, so it wouldn't surprise me if it's in use there. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:26, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Minute, the synonym for tiny[edit]

Wikisaurus:tiny lists minute as a synonym, but minute describes the wrong word. Also, minute links back to Wikisaurus:tiny, which is wrong because it's the wrong "minute". It just happens to be spelled the same. The "minute" which is a synonym for "tiny" is pronounced very differently to the "minute" which is a division of the hour or the details of a meeting. Emphasis is on the second sylable and it sounds rather like saying "my newt!" Minute is also a big confusing page already, without adding another meaning with different pronunciations.

I don't know how this is normally handled on Wiktionary. Perhaps half of what I wrote above is unnecessary, but it's a short note overall. I haven't time to look into how things are done in the Wiktionary world right now, and as may be obvious already, I'm considerably better at using words than talking about them, but I wanted to mention the problem. Eekee (talk) 00:01, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

I think you just need to scroll down. We split words by etymology. Equinox 00:03, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Four new chemical elements[edit]

Elements 113, 115, 117, 118 have been officially named nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson. They could be entered as hot words for now, but it seems pointless. DTLHS (talk) 00:37, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Well semi-officially I guess, they will officially be named in November. DTLHS (talk) 00:44, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
These are the names that have been submitted, but not yet approved for use. They are not going to widespread scientific use until IUPAC approves them. There is no reasonable defence for them being hot words until that point. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:46, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
So create 'em in a user sandbox and flip them across when they get the kiss of science. Heh. Some of the best useless dictionary-words are element names that didn't stick, like kurchatovium and emanation. Or minerals that turned out to be not a mineral, but a mixture of two minerals. This really makes you realise that "having a name" isn't the same as "being a thing". semiotics. shut up Equinox. Equinox 00:49, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Also oganesson sounds like a monster. I thought we had agreed that all new elements will end with -ium. Equinox 00:50, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
If there are news articles discussing them I don't see why they couldn't be entered with "proposed name for element X" as hot words. DTLHS (talk) 01:03, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
We don't enter hot words that have a good chance of disappearing. IUPAC initially said that all new chemical elements had to end in -ium, so they might cite that as a reason to choose oganessium in the end, and then nobody will ever use oganesson after 2016. We just can't know until they become official. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:36, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Too bad we can't create the entries yet. I have been itching to add the etymology of oganesson, the first element with Armenian roots. --Vahag (talk) 05:19, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
"oganesson, n. obsolete name for the chemical element georgium, when it was believed that Armenians and not Georgians found it." Equinox 08:30, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Georgians are not good at exact sciences. They have humanitarian brains. --Vahag (talk) 12:23, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge oganesson follows the naming convention of other noble gasses, group 18 elements (-on). DTLHS (talk) 16:18, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Why should we wait until most of the interest in these words has waned to include them? NOW is a good time. We have "hot words" and a review tickler for them a year or so after the first durably archived use. DCDuring TALK 11:00, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Go for it! If they get RfVed, they will be easy to verify - there are articles in most of today's newspapers for instance. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:03, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
  • You've got a point. This is exactly what the hot-word template is meant for. Do it! Equinox 11:03, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

measure for measure[edit]

Is this an idiom in English? If so, what does it mean? ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:27, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

an eye for an eye, quid pro quo, tit for tat, let the punishment fit the crime? In any event it seems to be obsolete or perhaps archaic. DCDuring TALK 12:07, 9 June 2016 (UTC)


Someone keeps changing it. And there's a sort of semi-plaintive semi-plausible thing at Talk:aracial. Can we attest whatever John Doe is going for? Equinox 11:05, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

I don't know about attesting it, but the definition he's going for but is too ignorant of English vocabulary to write is something like "Not identifying with any particular race". It's parallel to the equally new term agender ‎(not identifying with any particular gender); both of them are probably formed by analogy with asexual. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:59, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

head in the clouds[edit]

This is clearly not an adverb, and is clearly defined grammatically wrong. --J19idf (talk) 08:01, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

So sorry! Only the English Majors can control the words? You seem "uppity". Is that a verb? No I think it is an adjective? Why do you feel the need to be above the populace?

up·pi·ty ˈəpətē/ adjectiveinformal adjective: uppity self-important; arrogant.


On to my quest: Wasn't sure if this was the place to start a discussion, or the beer parlor, but ended up deciding on this discussion (seemed to make sense). Even though the term Skrump is sexual in nature, and a synonym of sex, it was designed to be less offensive than many other vulgar terms describing a passionate and pleasurable experience between two human beings, thus, the Tea Room. (I don't want to disenfranchise the Beer Parlor though).

Can anyone here help me induct this term (originally coined by my deceased friend and I, after a serious nights discussion) regarding "tasteful" terms for an enjoyable act.

After 30 years, multiple friends, multiple States, Countries, etc. it went viral, and became an "Urban" term. We (I speak for Donnie as well) don't want "RIMJOB" or any other ugly terms attached to it's definition.

We know "Scrump" (diff. spelling) has been used as a synonym as well, but it's real origin is "Stealing Apples", or shriveling up. Our word is unique, and innocuous.

Thank you for your patience with me. —This unsigned comment was added by 00aughtbuck (talkcontribs).

At Wiktionary, we create entries for words that have real-world usage by multiple authors, independently of each other, over the space of more than a year, in durably archived sources (which usually means published books and periodicals, though there are some exceptions). We don't have entries for words that our editors and their friends made up one night and that no one else uses. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:21, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Christmas spirit[edit]

There's no entry (of course), but what would be the best definition - the happy mood prevailing at Christmas? I imagine it's uncountable but I haven't checked. DonnanZ (talk) 19:41, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps Christian generosity as well? (Think of Scrooge's change of heart.) Equinox 19:48, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, yes, it's a long time since I read Dickens' books. Maybe "the right mood, or frame of mind, for celebrating Christmas" would be better. DonnanZ (talk) 20:31, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
Gift-giving seems to be essential. People say (or used to say) Merry Christmas to complete strangers. DCDuring TALK 00:18, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
I would say cheerfulness, as well as benevolence and generosity toward all are the main ingredients.Chuck Entz (talk) 12:30, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
My Christmas spirit of choice is brandy. But other spirits are available. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:16, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
Er, yes, but not quite what I had in mind! DonnanZ (talk) 12:04, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
I think that's described as Christmas cheer. DonnanZ (talk) 23:27, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
I would suggest a def beginning with something like, "the frame of mind and associated behaviour traditionally associated with the celebration of Christmas, such as ...." and tack on some of the attributes mentioned above. And yes, traditionally uncountable. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 11:20, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
I think "expected" might even be better than "associated with". One is 'supposed' to show Christmas spirit at Christmas. Bah humbug. Equinox 18:11, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Kui and "walrus"[edit]

"Walrus" is definitely a mistranslation, even though it's in Unihan Database. The WP Kui 夔 article (full disclosure: which I started) explains the mistake. Hǎixiàng 海象 (lit. "sea elephant") is the Chinese word for "walrus". Keahapana (talk) 22:22, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Please feel free to nuke the Unihan definition from the page. —suzukaze (tc) 17:44, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
Pleco dictionary mentions several figures from Chinese mythology that are associated with this character, but nothing about walruses. So it does seem to be a mistranslation. Though oddly zdic.net, for it's Chinese translations mentions nothing about 海象, but again gives "walrus" for it's English translations. 2WR1 (talk) 20:39, 17 June 2016 (UTC)


This is a baseball term in Spanish. Wikipedia's definition is "a la pelota bateada cuya trayectoria es rastrera y no se eleva en ningún momento del terreno de juego. Un toque de bola no es considerado como rolling." I tried briefly to find the English equivalent of it. Perhaps a roller or a rolling, but no success. --J19idf (talk) 11:34, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

Sounds sort of like a ground ball. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:39, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
I would think that we would do an enormous service if we had Translation sections for all English baseball words and specifically had Spanish translations. There must be websites that have such translations.
Indeed there are some. Downloadable is Insigna's Baseball Dictionary. They show roleta to mean ground ball. The "Notes on Usage" however say that Caribbean Spanishes are not explicitly included. Japanese translations would have an audience too. DCDuring TALK 07:58, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. --Turnedlessef (talk) 12:26, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Polish pronunciation of ia sound (IPA)[edit]

What is the correct way of writing Polish ia sounds? (ia, ie, io, iu follow the same scheme generally - 'i' indicates the softening and is not read) English entry for miasto gives /ˈmjastɔ/, which is wrong, imho, as there is no /j/ sound before /a/. Polish entry adds palatalization of the first consonant - [ˈmʲjastɔ], but still preserves that /j/. My understanding is that is should be /ˈmʲastɔ/ (that is what I hear - soft m, followed by a, like in this entry for место). Still, I see this in almost all Polish entries. Do I misunderstand something fundamental about IPA or were those pronunciations added by some erroneous bot? --One half 3544 (talk) 17:18, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

@One half 3544. You're right. Fixed miasto. The pronunciation is [ˈmʲa.stɔ] (automatic). I would just use [ˈmʲastɔ]. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:26, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
Based on what I've read about Polish phonology, after labials (/p/, /b/, /m/, and /v/), palatalization manifests itself as an actual [j] sound. Thus, you could phonemically say it's /ˈmʲastɔ/, but phonetically it's actually [ˈmʲjastɔ]. This is also what Polish Wiktionary had as its pronunciation at pl:miasto until User:One half 3544 just changed it. I would think we should trust the native Polish speakers over a couple confused Russian speakers. See also pl:wiatr, pl:biały, pl:Piotr. --WikiTiki89 14:47, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
Have you tried listening to pronunciations of all those words? I trust their pronunciation, and that is why I doubt what is written in IPA section. My understanding is that [ˈmʲjastɔ] corresponds to this. --One half 3544 (talk) 18:52, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
File:pl-miasto.ogg sounds like [ˈmʲjastɔ] to me. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:14, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
Do you hear the difference between File:pl-miasto.ogg and File:Mjjasto.ogg? --One half 3544 (talk) 21:46, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you're audio has a much more distinct [j], which is how a Russian would pronounce **мья́сто ‎(**mʹjásto), but that doesn't mean that the real Polish audio doesn't have [j]. IPA cannot necessarily be directly compared between languages. --WikiTiki89 21:55, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
Wouldn't that utterly defeat the purpose of IPA? It won't be *International* any more... --One half 3544 (talk) 09:10, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
It's international because it's the alphabet of the the International Phonetic Association. This blog post by John C. Wells provides important insight into the obligatory vagueness of IPA symbols. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:14, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Something else to consider is w:Categorical perception. Sounds aren't discrete, isolated entities, but points on a continuum (or, really, multiple continua). Our brains learn to divide up this continuum by perceiving everything within certain limits on the continuum as the same sound, and anything past the limits as other sounds. This is the same kind of thing that lets us see things around us as stationary when we move our heads- it's so basic, we don't even realize we're doing it. Different languages often divide up the continuum differently, especially if they recognize a different number of phonemes, and speakers learn to match their perception to the phonological structure of the language. It takes considerable training to overcome this unconscious neurological process enough to transcribe sounds objectively, and I doubt anyone is completely free of it. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:28, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

I don't know who is confused here but that's the way I learned Polish and I could pass for a Polish person when I was in Poland many years ago (not with my vocabulary but pronunciation). I have just talked with a Polish colleague - he says that "miasto" is DEFINITELY pronounced just like Russian would pronounce "мя́сто" /ˈmʲastɔ/ (not "мья́сто"). If this is incorrect, then the automatic IPA module should also be corrected. Are Polish editors still here? @Kephir? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:52, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

@Wikitiki89, Angr I wonder if you guys are having difficulties distinguishing palatalised sounds "-ʲ" from consonant + "j". I know many Westerners have this problem when learning Russian, other Slavic languages, Japanese, etc. Just asking. I listened to File:pl-miasto.ogg several times and it's pronounced /ˈmʲastɔ/ to my ear. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:50, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
Maybe I do have that difficulty. I'm most accustomed to palatalized consonants in Irish, where (depending on dialect) phonemic /bʲoː/ can surface as phonetic [bʲjoː]. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:43, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
Polish has many dialects/accents as well. I just searched for miasto and biały in Forvo and listened to various pronunciations by different people (you have to listen to the various compound words, because miasto itself only has one audio sample). Some of the speakers say something that sounds almost exactly (other than quality of the final -o) like Russian **място ‎(**mjasto) and even like место ‎(mesto). However, most of the speakers did say something close to **мьясто ‎(**mʹjasto), some with a more distinct [j] than others. I still maintain that File:pl-miasto.ogg does have a very slight [j] in it, and same with File:pl-biały.ogg. --WikiTiki89 14:10, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
But also note that the transcription system that the Polish Wiktionary uses is much more phonetic than ours, for example, they transcribe państwo as [ˈpãj̃stfɔ], while we transcribe it as /ˈpaɲstfɔ/. Thus, I think /mʲastɔ/ is fine and is more broadly applicable across dialects, but we should mark it with slashes rather than brackets. --WikiTiki89 14:25, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
Current dialect differences in Poland proper are insignificant and don't affect palatalisation of these consonants. Standard Polish is spoken by the overwhelming majority. In eastern dialects, Lithuania they pronounce ś, ź, ć, dź and ł quite differently from standard. There's also "język sceniczny". In these variants the letters are pronounced like Russian/Ukrainian сь, зь, ць, дзь and л. My Polish colleague said "the guy is talking bollocks" ... "or suffers from speech impairment". Do you also hear "a very slight j" in File:Ru-мясо.ogg? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 21:48, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, like Wikitiki I've heard the claim that Polish mia (and similar with other labials) is /mja/ rather than /mʲa/, but I wonder if that isn't simply a phonemic analysis. I suspect that most languages with /CjV/ where there aren't phonemic palatalized consonants actually pronounce them as /CʲV/; this is to be expected as it's normal for adjacent sounds to overlap temporally. Benwing2 (talk) 05:04, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
Quoting the Polish colleague (reworded) who told me earlier this week - "there are no words in Polish, which are pronounced with /mja/ rather than /mʲa/". Even loanwords, like armia, which I mistakenly suspected would have /mja/. So, the first syllable in Polish "miasto", Bulgarian "място" and Russian "мясо" are pronounced identically. I will check it again with Audacity - a tool, which allows to listen to sounds in various speeds (BTW, it was very useful in learning some tonal languages). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:34, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
In File:Ru-мясо.ogg don't hear any [j] at all. But like I said, don't get hung up on the one recording File:pl-miasto.ogg; try listening to all the recordings in my Forvo links above. --WikiTiki89 14:07, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

exalt: transitive?[edit]

There are currently two definitions for “exalt”; the first one mentions that it is transitive, but the second does not. Is it because in the second sense, “exalt” must be used in the passive voice? Actually, can it be used in the active voice? I think that examples, a mention or usage notes should be added to clarify these points. --Anareth (talk) 13:14, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

Both are transitive. The passive voice is more common for the second sense, but I've seen it used in the active voice. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:39, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
maybe confused with similar sounding exult, which I believe is intransitive ( ? ) Leasnam (talk) 21:05, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

rezident, rezidentura in English[edit]

rezident, rezidentura - I can see these words are used in English to refer to the Soviet/Russian KGB/FSB activities in the USA. I have started watching "The Americans", which use these terms quite often without a translation into English in this spelling, usually capitalised. Russian spellings: резиде́нт m ‎(rezidént) (fem: резиде́нтка m ‎(rezidéntka)); резиденту́ра f ‎(rezidentúra) - see [3].--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:23, 14 June 2016 (UTC)


Why an abbreviation (as tr, intr., and intr) is instead a Noun, Adjective and Verb? Because of the noun plural? Of the biblio? Doesn't make it weird then having them subclassified as Not comparable and mixed Countable and not countable? I changed the other three, but I don't know, I feel guilty changing all these. Sobreira (talk) 08:31, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

Because the terms function grammatically in sentences more or less as the spelled out version of those terms do. It would be good to have each noun abbreviation definition marked individually as countable or uncountable (or as both), presumably inheriting these attributes from the spelled-out version. DCDuring TALK 10:40, 14 June 2016 (UTC)


I found in a description of a business project the phrase "Onboarding OEs". Looking at the OE entry did not yield any plausible results. My suspicion was that OE stands for Organizational Entity, and this was confirmed by finding Google results like this: "Align and agree integration solution blueprint with Organizational Entities (OEs)". I suggest that this meaning be added. —This comment was unsigned.

This is a wiki. You could add it yourself. Your sample justification or an even better one should appear as a usage example, or better yet, you could find durably archived examples of usage. DCDuring TALK 10:44, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

potato crisp, potato chip[edit]

As I understand it, these are exactly the same product, just named differently in the UK and US. We even share some brands (e.g. Lays owns Walkers). Our entries suggest, though, that they are only "similar". If that is true, what is the difference? —This unsigned comment was added by Equinox (talkcontribs) at 01:29, 15 June 2016.

Due to climate differences between the US and the UK, the exact composition of the air in the room US chips and UK crisps are made in is slightly different. This naturally means there are slightly different levels of oxygen and nitrogen and whatnot trapped in the US chips and UK crisps. However, these differences are indistinguishable to the average chemist equipped with top-of-the-line laboratory equipment. Thus, many people mistakenly think that US chips and UK crisps are exactly the same. --WikiTiki89 19:34, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
That of course applies to any food. I've changed the entries to suggest the two things are identical. Equinox 15:59, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

just sayin'[edit]

Worth an entry? --Fsojic (talk) 11:51, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

I think so. And also just saying. I prefer the latter as the main entry, but others may disagree. There are more raw Google Books hits for the latter (198K vs. 21.3K). I don't take those numbers literally or even as giving the true ratio, but as an indicator of which is more common. DCDuring TALK 12:21, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
Do you have any way of separating it from ordinary usage with explicit subjects and/or objects, as in "I'm just saying what everyone else is saying"? If not, that test is meaningless. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:03, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
I dunno. Seems similar to e.g. "just thinking", "just wondering" and perhaps even "just looking". Equinox 17:55, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
You may be right. But it has become a rather common collocation, appearing in many current book titles and Urban Dictionary. One of UD's definitions reads like one of our non-gloss definitions: "This term is used after you inject your statement/opinion into a conversation. Generally, this statement/opinion is non-factual, so by saying "just sayin'", you are clarifying that this statement/opinion is unprovable and it is just a thought off the top of your head."
Further, that UD definition had:
"During an IM conversation, this term can be abbreviated with "JS"."
The existence of an abbreviation is evidence (not conclusive) of idiomaticity. DCDuring TALK 19:09, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
My own experience of this expression is that it is used pragmatically to point out to someone that they have made a blunder or have missed something obvious, in a polite way. E.g. P1: "I can't get any work done because of all these junk emails!" P2: "You could set your inbox to only allow emails from people in your address book. Just sayin'." - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 03:50, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
But also as a way to soften a criticism, i.e. show that one is merely making an observation and not trying to be "judgy". Equinox 18:09, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

pre-war vs. prewar[edit]

These are claimed to be different. I don't believe it. Benwing2 (talk) 04:56, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

  • No, one is an alternative form of the other. Google NGRAM viewer suggests that "prewar" took over from the other shortly after WWII.SemperBlotto (talk) 06:10, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

So it isn't really open to editing, is it? You decide what something means. —This unsigned comment was added by Praxeolog (talkcontribs) at 13:18, 2016 June 16‎ (UTC).

  • Oxford has pre-war on the British side and prewar on the American side - “pre-war” (US) / “pre-war” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press., “prewar” (US) / “prewar” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.. DonnanZ (talk) 13:58, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
    • I made "prewar" an alternative form of pre-war as the latter had a more fleshed-out entry. Feel free to reverse it. @Donnanz You may be right about American vs. British usage but it would only be a vague tendency; I'm American and neither one looks obviously better or more preferred to me. I think in general the Brits use more hyphens but that's only a tendency as well. Benwing2 (talk) 11:18, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
I think these two forms may be interchangeable between Am. and Br. English; I don't think there is any hard and fast rule in British English despite the Oxford treatment. DonnanZ (talk) 11:26, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

once or twice[edit]

Usage notes: "This is often used figuratively, to mean many, many times." 1. How is that a figurative use? 2. I've never come across such use; does it truly exist? Equinox 23:17, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

"figuratively" makes no sense to me. I wonder whether it should say "ironically" instead. I can envisage a usage such as "Have you complained about it?" / "Yes, just once or twice", meaning "I have complained over and over again". Whether "often" is justified, or whether it is necessary to mention this given that almost every word or phrase of a suitable nature can be used ironically, I'm not sure. 02:44, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Presumably what was intended was the ironic use: "Oh, you could say Equinox has helped improve Wiktionary entries once or twice." As you say, many terms can be used ironically, I guess we'd only want to add a usage note about it if it was commonly used so. My feeling is that in this case it is worthwhile to note. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 03:00, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, "once or twice" is used sarcastically in British English to mean "on quite a few occasions". The usage is not figurative, of course.
There are many terms that can be used "ironically". Such use is an ironclad rationale for inclusion, so we need to get on with adding all the missing entries and Usage notes. DCDuring TALK 12:19, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation of proditor[edit]

Can anyone find a confirmation of the pronunciation of proditor, I've looked everywhere. I'm guessing either /ˈpɹɘʊ.dɪ.tə/ or /ˈpɹɒ.dɪ.tə/, I found the pronunciation of prodition to be /pɹəʊˈdɪ.ʃən/. 2WR1 (talk) 04:30, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

The link to webster1913.com provided on the page shows Prod"i*tor, which I take to indicate stress on the first syllable and the /d/ belonging to the previous syllable. Most dictionaries only show a consonant between two vowels as belonging to the syllable of the preceding vowel if that vowel is short (lax), so I would interpret Prod"i*tor as representing RP /ˈpɹɒdɪtə/ and GA /ˈpɹɑdɪtɚ/. If RP /ˈpɹəʊdɪtə/ ~ GA /ˈpɹoʊdɪtɚ/ had been intended, they probably would have written Pro"di*tor instead. Since it's an obsolete word, though, it will be very different to find anyone who intuitively knows how to pronounce it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:07, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Oh, that makes sense, thank you so much! 2WR1 (talk) 20:05, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Chambers has it as /ˈpɹɒ.dɪ.tə/ (though they use their own notation). Equinox 18:07, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
I personally pronounce it /ˈtreɪ.tɚ/. And I even spell it differently: traitor. But in all seriousness, does it even make sense to have pronunciations for obsolete terms? Our pronunciations are modern, and if the term has never been used in modern times, it doesn't have a modern pronunciation. --WikiTiki89 18:12, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
I think it does, just because we no longer use it today doesn't mean that it's not a word we could come across, and when we do it's good to know how it's meant to be pronounced. All English words have a pronunciation and I think it's important to document that, even for the ones we don't use anymore. Though the pronunciation in it's time period may have varied slightly with their accent, a modern equivalent pronunciation is still a good thing to have, and maybe this term wasn't even used all that long ago anyway. 2WR1 (talk) 20:18, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm not saying that it wouldn't be useful, but that it simply doesn't have one. We don't know how it would have been pronounced if it had survived until today, and it's not our job to make random guesses about it, even if other dictionaries have done so. If it fell out of use relatively recently, then I'm not sure we should even label it "obsolete". When did it fall out of use? --WikiTiki89 20:21, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Hm, that's a point. But you could say that some obsolete terms do have modern pronunciations (think obsolete conjugations like 'hath', 'hast', 'doth', 'dost') when we read Shakespeare or whatever, we have pronunciations for these anyway (/hæθ/, /hæst/, /dʌθ/, /dʌst/). But maybe it make sense that if there's no real documented pronunciation at all, it's hard to tell. But also, because it's a Latin derived word, you could say that Latin words have a pretty predictable anglicized pronunciation. I guess it's just tricky. 2WR1 (talk) 20:30, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
But hath, hast, doth, dost, etc. are still sometimes used today in limited circumstances, such as poetry, which is why we call them "archaic" rather than "obsolete". And clearly there is a question of whether the first o in proditor is long or short, so it's not predictable (my instinct would be that it's short, but that isn't proof of anything). --WikiTiki89 21:18, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
If the pronunciation of an obsolete word can be reasonably deduced I see no reason not to add it. There's any number of reasons why a text including obsolete words would be read aloud. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:32, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Oh, ya, that's a good point too. 2WR1 (talk) 21:49, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
If it can be reasonably deduced, then the person reading it can reasonably deduce it. But in this case, there is an uncertainty anyway, and there is no reason to assume that Webster's 1913 dictionary knew any more than we do. --WikiTiki89 21:51, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Sure there is. The editors of Webster's 1913 may very well have known how actors and poets pronounced the word when they were reading old texts aloud. And being reasonably deducible is no grounds for omitting a pronunciation section, or we wouldn't have a pronunciation section for pit. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:48, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
There is no reason to assume that actors and poets in 1913 knew how to pronounce it any better than actors and poets today. But no one has answered my question of when this word fell out of use anyway, which is a crucial piece of information. And I didn't say being reasonably deducible is a reason to omit the pronunciation, I said it is not a reason to include the pronunciation (i.e. it shouldn't be a factor at all). --WikiTiki89 15:10, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
A small number of authors seem to be making use of the common noun even now, presumably aware that it is archaic / very literary, e.g. T. M. Nielsen, Proditor : Book 5 of the Heku Series (2010). Other than that, I can find it in John Mackinnon Robertson's 1913 The Baconian Heresy: A Confutation: "Lord Cobham suggests that semi-punning phrases about proditors had long been current." It's moderately common in works from the mid-to-late 1800s, which however all seem to be writing about (summarizing or in many cases reproducing) works from the 1600s, which is when it last seems to have been used commonly.
"Proditor" is also the name of a character in a play who continues to be mentioned in works right up to the present day, which strongly suggests that it continues to be pronounced. E.g.: Anthony Covatta, Thomas Middleton's city comedies (1973), page 69: "Proditor, the lecherous, bloody courtier, is more responsible for this than any other character." Essays in Literature, volume 7 (1980), page 188: "Phoenix then exposes the crimes hidden behind Proditor's mask."
Use of the Latin term in italics within English texts also continues even in the present, as in Alan Watson, Legal Origins and Legal Change (1991), page 213: "The fidelis can also leave in good conscience when he fears for his life, whether from his spouse or from others, for the infidelis is then not only a desertor but a proditor." It also appears to be used in taxonomic names. - -sche (discuss) 20:10, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
I think one could adduce a rule for why prone and bonus are Anglicised with different vowels than promontory and proverb; to me this should be like promontory. In any case, it is in Henry VI part 1, I.iii.31, and per the metre, the accent is on the first syllable. One should be able to find any number of recordings, but one is here with the pronunciation I think one should expect, given the thespian American accent adopted by the actor, near 20 minutes and 50 seconds : [GreenAudioBooks-YouTube] Isomorphyc (talk) 00:50, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Century has prodition as prō-dish´o̤n, proditor as prod´i-to̤r, proditorious as prod-i-tō´ri-us, and proditory as prod´i-tọ̄-ri. For comparison, they have prodigal (which is /ˈpɹɑd.ɪ.ɡəl/) as prod'i-ga̤l, prodigious (/pɹəˈdɪdʒ.əs/) as prọ̄-dij´us, prodigy (/ˈpɹɒd.ɪ.dʒi/) as prod´i-ji, produce as prọ̄-dūs, prodrome (/ˈpɹoʊ.dɹoʊm/) as prō´drōm, and procuration ending in /-sho̤n/. From this, I conclude that proditor /ˈpɹɑd.ɪ.təɹ/, which is also equivalent what Equinox says Chambers says. - -sche (discuss) 20:10, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

skitter#Verb: circular definition[edit]

The second definition is:

To make a skittering noise.

But nothing is said about the meaning of the word as applied to sounds; the definition should thus perhaps be clarified.--Anareth (talk) 21:24, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Category:English combining forms[edit]

This very small category is rather odd. How is it supposed to differ from normal prefixes and suffixes that don't stand alone (e.g. psycho-, tele-)? It contains only a handful of these (e.g. Judeo-, noso-) along with an odd one out, the archetypical cranberry morpheme cran-. What's to be done? Equinox 23:33, 17 June 2016 (UTC)


Just created this entry. Would appreciate help tweaking the definitions. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:13, 18 June 2016 (UTC)


Currently we only list the pronunciation that rhymes with Ms. We are missing the pronunciations that rhyme with bus and voice. Could someone help? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:35, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Where do people pronounce "tortoise" to rhyme with "voice"? DTLHS (talk) 05:40, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Longman's Pronunciation Dictionary lists /ˈtɔːtɔɪs/ and /ˈtɔːtɔɪz/ as British non-RP pronunciations. The pronunciation we currently list, however, does not rhyme with Ms., even if we're only talking about the second syllable. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:44, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Some people in Britain do indeed pronounce it to rhyme with "voice", but I would call this an idiosyncratic pronunciation. I have never heard it pronounced to rhyme with "bus". 11:57, 19 June 2016 (UTC)


Currently looking for an etymological source for the Asturian noun corazu.

Do you know of any? --Romanophile (contributions) 10:51, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

@ User:Romanophile: Looks from Latin (like Spanish) or from Spanish. Sobreira (talk) 09:30, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

eastside, westside, northside, southside[edit]

Are these standard spellings in US English, or are they a figment of the contributor's imagination? (contributor currently blocked) I always render them as two words. DonnanZ (talk) 11:36, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

  • I can only find them capitalized as the names of specific neighborhoods in specific cities. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:14, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
That doesn't surprise me. So what shall we do? DonnanZ (talk) 23:22, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
rfv them- including the one that wasn't created by Verbo. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:36, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
They are all easily citeable, although more commonly capitalized. DTLHS (talk) 03:01, 19 June 2016 (UTC)


Do we have a word for this in English - like fumigation but in liquid. ? "La abatización se hace mediante un insecticida sólido, en polvo, que se echa en depósitos de agua, como los tanques de los domicilios, y mata las larvas." --Turnedlessef (talk) 12:25, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

To me it means "application of Abate (temephos)". I think the word was coined from the trade name "Abate", which is temephos. —Stephen (Talk) 16:57, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
We would probably use disinfection when treating standing water. Not sure if there is a more specific term. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:52, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

IPA in ὁρίζων[edit]

I'm by no means an IPA expert, but wondering if someone who is can verify the IPA on this page. All entries appear to contain a diacritic that I have never seen used in IPA, the "acute accent", over the /i/--for example, /oɾízon/. Does this seem accurate, and does it represent a sound other than /i/?

It represents /i/ with a high pitch accent. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:31, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

For more about IPA diacritics, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Phonetic_Alphabet#Diacritics_and_prosodic_notation. Acute accent (í) indicates high pitch. Grave (ì) is low pitch. Macron (ī) is mid pitch. Double acute (ı̋) is extra high pitch. Double grave (ı̏) is extra low. Caron (ǐ) is low rising. Circumflex (î) is high falling. There is an alternate notation with symbols: extra high ˥, high ˦, mid ˧, low ˨, extra low ˩, rising ˩˥ or /| (the two tone symbols should combine to a slash attached to a vertical bar, but they don't combine here) and falling ˥˩ or \| (similar non-combination). MGorrone (talk) 13:22, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Whether the two tone symbols combine or not depends on what font you use, I think. At any rate, on my computer they're combined in your comment above. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:33, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Template for cmn-3[edit]

I don't know whether this is on-topic here in the TR, but why is the cmn-3 template in English? Currently, my user page has cmn-3 This user has advanced knowledge of Mandarin Chinese. Shouldn't it be translated to Mandarin? Something like the template from the French Wiktionary, «zh-3 这位用户的中文达到高级水平。»? Oh btw, why is it cmn over here and zh on French Wiktionary? And is this question in the appropriate place or is there a better place to ask questions about the Wiktionary as opposed to questions about words which are what this TR is for?

MGorrone (talk) 13:16, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

That’s because you have used the centralized WikiMedia {{#babel:}} template. That’s not a local template, and we have nothing to do with it. Our local template is {{Babel|}}, and if you used this, your Babel notation would be cmn-3 該用戶能以熟練的普通話/國語進行交流。 该用户能以熟练的普通话/国语进行交流。 There is a bit of confusion over zh and cmn. Zh could be Mandarin, Hakka, Min Nan, etc., while cmn means Chinese Mandarin specifically. —Stephen (Talk) 22:55, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

meaning of 'cam' in bridge cam gauge[edit]

What is the meaning of "cam" in "bridge cam gauge" ("cam type gauge") and is this sense of the word covered in Wiktionary? --CopperKettle (talk) 15:05, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

you can find that here [[5]] Leasnam (talk) 19:12, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you! I was answered on Engineering StackExchange and finally understood. That was so unintuitive for me. The flat rotating plate with a beak turned out to be the "cam". ---05:13, 20 June 2016 (UTC)


I have recently come across a narrower definition of a tense recently, stating that the future is not a tense because it does not inflect, but uses the modal will instead. (googling "is the future a tense" returns stuff). Should the grammatical definition be split into a common definition and the narrow one? Hillcrest98 (talk) 20:10, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

It depends on the language. In the Romance languages, Slavic languages, Hellenic languages, and most Germanic languages, the future is considered a tense. Traditionally the English future is also called a tense. In Athabaskan languages, the future is more properly a mood, like the subjunctive, indicative, and so on. The difference is just a slight variation in the definition of tense (that is, whether tenses must be indicated by inflection only, of if a periphrastic verb is also allowed). See The LINGUIST List. —Stephen (Talk) 23:11, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm personally on the looser side, with languages as a whole having so many ways to express grammatical functions that cannot be translated too well to other languages' systems that simply do something else entirely. e.g. English and its auxiliaries. Wondering how other Wiktionarians feel about what a tense is. Hillcrest98 (talk) 01:29, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
I've come across that understanding of it as well, more than once. We should probably include it alongside the main one. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:37, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
I've put the narrow sense as a usage note already. Hillcrest98 (talk) 12:48, 20 June 2016 (UTC)


A user has been redefining the entries for non-medical slang phobias like queerphobia from "fear of hatred of..." to "irrational or delusional fear or hatred of...", "an unreasonable fear of...", etc, including in cases like Islamophobia where every other reference I find offhand does not restrict the term in that way but defines it simply as "fear or hatred of...". is this appropriate? As I noted in my edit summary at Islamophobia, most of our non-medical phobia entries are not restricted in that way, either in our definitions nor AFAICT in real-world use. - -sche (discuss) 21:06, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

It has become clear to me that political phobias require more precision to protect criticism from undue abuse. The words Islamophobe and Islamophobia in particular have been wielded as blunt weapons to silence criticism of Islam. If these words are to stay true to their form, the meaning of phobia must be held onto, that is adjacent to the medical terms whence they sprang. This requires a narrowing of their meaning into the case of irrational fear. The suffix -phobia indicates an irrational or disproportionate fear or loathing and a lack of sound mental health in the one, the phobe, who is so unusually, inexplicably afraid or angry. When applied politically and socially rather than medically, the suffix -phobe intends itself as a kind of condemnation, a statement that the person who holds the phobia is a bigot and unfair minded. Thus a phobe allegedly finds himself wallowing in fears and hatreds that are beyond his own faculties to explain. Phobe thereby draws on its related medical meaning. If publishers have not made qualifications such as "irrational" or "delusional", they have simply failed to account for vital nuance, perhaps out of cowardice. Wiktionary is a part of the ecosystem of ideas, likely more than many a publisher. That is why it is important that political phobias be specified and distinctions laid out as to the source of the fear and the kind of fear. Otherwise, irrationality and prejudice will be implied but not explicitly stated, leaving an opening for pejorative use of the words. This ambiguity must be split.
Try an analogy. If a murderous truck driver makes up the word Collisionalsemitruckophobia on the spot, does this excuse the trucker when he creams into your Prius head on? Are you a mad fool for fearing the collision and taking all measures necessary to swerve away from the oncoming threat? The saying that Collisionalsemitruckophobia is simply a vague or nonspecific fear or hate of semitrucks or their drivers, or that the Collisionalsemitruckophobe lacks mental faculties or has some form of prejudice is clearly absurd. The fear is of the hostile intent and the events that are unfolding before the Prius driver's eyes, not an abnormal, delusional, or irrational prejudice against trucks or truckdrivers. The Prius driver's fear is a rational response, a result of a critical assessment of the situation imposed upon him. When a person loaded with ideas approaches you with the purpose of unfolding all the consequences of his ideas, the person about to suffer the consequences of somebody else's ideology should not be called a unhinged person for loudly expressing his suffering or his fear of further suffering. If all truckers had collision manuals in their glove compartments that authorized and encouraged them to plough into electric cars such as the Prius, then Collisionalsemitruckophobia could be applied to all electric car drivers who criticized truck drivers before they got on the road. Thus is the situation with Islamophobia and Islamophobe.
One must distinguish between natural or physical characteristic phobias and ideological phobias. Homophobia is politicized, but it is not an ideological phobia (which means my queerphobia edit was a bit overzealous). A homosexual is not an idea, or a person defined by an ideological association. He is defined by a biological association, that is a birth characteristic. One cannot convince a homosexual to stop being a homosexual. Thus, criticism of homosexuals is at best a misdirected criticism of Darwinian evolution and quantitative genetics, not the people who happen to be homosexual. In other words, the homosexuals are no more answerable for their characteristic sexuality than is a heterosexual for his characteristic sexuality. It is not a matter of debate.
More English equivalents to Homophobia and Homophobe are Samesexfright and Samesexfearer respectively. Those forms show the true nature of the words better. Likewise, English has failed us miserably, for the more English equivalents to Islamophobia and Islamophobe are Submissionfright and Submissionfearer respectively. English's failings are simply an aside however.
True political, or ideological phobias are ones where ideas and their consequences form the basis of the fear. Whether or not somebody has examined the given ideas in the given ideology before becoming afraid thereof, or has become afraid before witnessing any consequences of the given ideology, is a critical distinction. If the ideology were neither examined nor witnessed, then fear or hate thereof would be irrational and fear of those who possess belief in the ideology would be prejudiced. I simply ask that Wiktionary do what publishers have failed to do, that is make distinctions in political phobia definitions to account for the difference between criticism and prejudice, between nature and ideology, between rationality and irrationality, between measured responses and disproportionate attacks. If fear and its cases of criticism and prejudice are not distinguished, then the -phobe and -phobia words will suffer from their conflations and political and social critics will suffer from their application.—Williamclayton (talk) 01:17, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Thing is, we need to define words by how they are actually used, and not how they "should" be used. This is the same old issue of trying to be descriptive rather than prescriptive. Your rant isn't that much different from our grandfathers complaining that "gay" should mean "happy". We can argue etymologies all day but it definitely does mean "homosexual" in the 21st century. Equinox 01:26, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
You have it backward. Think about this scenario: someone sees the word "Islamophobe" in the news. They go to Wiktionary to find out what the word means, and see that it's "a person who has irrational or delusional fears or hatred for Muslims." They come away from this thinking that the news item is talking about a dangerously abnormal individual rather than someone who merely dislikes Islam and Muslims. Congratulations! You've just used the authority of our dictionary to reinforce the very attitudes you're trying to discourage. Trying to use a dictionary to reprogram people's minds will never work the way you intend, and will create more distortion rather than the clarity that's needed. Honest, impartial information is the only effective way to deal with ignorance- once you start to play games, people recognize it and you've lost your credibility. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:08, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
If the words "irrational" and "abnormal" simply mired the words deeper in the direction of a psychological disorder, then consider clear cut cases for the definitions that would maintain their breadths. Another case besides the current, deliberately vague definition for Islamophobia should be "criticism of Islamic doctrine and fundamentalist Muslims". Likewise, for Islamophobe, "a critic of Islamic doctrine and doctrinaire Muslims". This covers the actual usage in more detail. How are these meanings accounted for by an unqualified "fear or hatred"? They are swamped by the association to medical disorders and forms of bigotry such as homophobia. You see, the word is already mired in confusion and in dire need of resolution. The cases of phobia have to do with medicine, identity, and ideology. Why not make them all explicit? Likewise, the three types of phobes would therefore fall into the mentally ill, bigots, and critics. Critics must share the same room as lunatics and bigots! That is what makes this word so problematic. The way the word is now, the casual hearer or reader simply understands that all those meanings share same room together. It is deliberate guilt by association, especially if the definition leaves those distinctions up in the air.--Williamclayton (talk) 12:28, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

"Good night" as interjection[edit]

I have seen "good night" used as a general mild exclamation, and in fact use it myself; for instance, in an argument on gun control on the Catholic Answers forum (of all places). Is this an acceptable entry? -- 00:11, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

"Good night !" as in "I give up !", "I'm out/done/spent/finito !", or "Holy Sh*t !" ? --yeah, I would tend to think so Leasnam (talk) 01:43, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
The linked post uses it more like good grief. Equinox 02:26, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
It's more of an expression of shocked disbelief and/or total exasperation. It's only mild in the sense of not being vulgar or blasphemous. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:43, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm surprised we don't have it already. I've heard/seen it many times before. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:13, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

ne piirtää joilla on liitua[edit]

There appears to be a proverb in Finnish: ne piirtää joilla on liitua, which literally means something like "they who have chalk draw". I suppose it has a more nuanced idiomatic meaning to Finnish speakers, so it might be worth an entry. But I'm struggling to figure out why it is "ne piirtää", which seems to have a wrong subject-verb agreement, and not "ne piirtävät". This, that and the other (talk) 04:42, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Colloquial Finnish has lost 3rd person number marking for verbs and regularly uses forms like piirtää for both singular and plural. "Ne piirtävät" would be a register mismatch similar to "you drawest". --Tropylium (talk) 18:50, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
@Tropylium Thanks, it makes sense now. It might be worth mentioning this in our entry for ne, and possibly even at w:Finnish verb conjugation#Type I verbs, which mentions "ne tietävät" as a possible form. This, that and the other (talk) 02:47, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

herhim, herhis, shehe[edit]

2016 June 12, “How to be a moral filmmaker”, in The Times of India[6]:
Somehow by a freak of nature when a comet makes love to an asteroid you find a star who just did a very successful but a very hollow commercial project, hence wants a quick temporary makeover or maybe shehe genuinely wants to juggle the edgy with the fluffy , all possible miracles like these and you happen to meet herhim, or some trusted friend of herhis says, "he is a good guy , meet him," after which she he hears you out and says yes to your partly sanitized but still very risky-by-Bollywood-standards film, holy mother of comet astroid union, your $80 bill was accepted.

Is this common usage in India? DTLHS (talk) 07:13, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

  • This almost looks like an automated text processing or conversion goof that accidentally stripped out the / that I would normally expect to see. I notice one instance of she he with whitespace, for instance, suggesting inconsistent handling, at a minimum. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:48, 22 June 2016 (UTC)


"Checker" can also be a noun, referring to a checkered pattern, right? We seem to be missing this sense currently. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:16, 22 June 2016 (UTC)


Is it really so nonstandard to use candelabra as a singular noun? I'm not sure I've ever even heard candelabrum before today; certainly in my own speech candelabra is the normal word. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:07, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

In Ngrams "a candelabrum" and "a candelabra" are about equally common. Incidentally, the word is rarely (nonstandardly?) respelled candleabrum, candleabra, and almost all of the citations of candleabra are singular and most of the ones which aren't unambiguously singular are ambiguous and could be either singular or plural, like "the candleabra of intellect blazed more or less brightly". - -sche (discuss) 17:32, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

"high" in "two-high mill"[edit]

What is the etymology of "high" in "two-high mill" (metal rolling) and does Wiktionary have a relevant entry? --15:10, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

I think "having a specified elevation", now sense 3 at high, covers it. "Rolls" are the units of elevation. Thanks for asking. DCDuring TALK 21:35, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

over: article structure is irregular[edit]

I fixed the article over which has 'Etymology' and 'Etymology 2' combination, but the user Robbie SWE rolled it back. Why is this ok that the first 'Etymology' doesn't have '1'? Doesn't it make it more readable? Also with multiple etymologies child categories are always on the deeper level. Now over is the only article that has 'Etymology' and 'Etymology 2' combination (multiple etymologies aren't numbered). I think Robbie SWE commit should be reverted. 18:35, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

The revert seems to have been in error, I restored your edit which seems entirely fine indeed. — Kleio (t · c) 18:39, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Hi! After discussing it with Kleio, I appologise for reverting your changes. I was clearly in the wrong, but hey, I got to learn something new today :-) --Robbie SWE (talk) 20:47, 22 June 2016 (UTC)


We have an English word pre-heart attack, sure, but I'm sure there's a better phrase for it. --Turnedlessef (talk) 19:08, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Is it preinfarction? Equinox 20:09, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
We have that as an adjective only. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:07, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
  • That sounds really odd to me, and the example given looks more like the attributive use of a noun. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:26, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
And, FWIW, there's evidence of the expected adjectival form google books:"preinfarctive". ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:27, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm having trouble finding any unambiguous use of "preinfarction" as a noun in bgc. "Preinfaction syndrome" may actually be the English term for preinfarto. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:07, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Limiting just to Google Books finds what looks like enough evidence for a noun, as at google books:"a preinfarction" or google books:"preinfarctions". ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 01:41, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

pronunciation: carter vs. carder[edit]

These are claimed to be homophones in accents with flapping. My accent has flapping but I'm pretty sure these aren't (quite) homophones for me: the quality of the a differs, similarly to writer vs. rider. Anyone else notice this, or is this a strange idiosyncrasy of my speech? Benwing2 (talk) 16:12, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I notice it too, although for me it is the length of the a, which is slightly longer in carder, and is barely noticeable. I do not doubt, however, that for many people this distinction does not exist, as also for writer and rider. --WikiTiki89 19:14, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, there’re probably many possible patterns of distinction here; I have carter and carder as homophones [kʰäɻɾɻ̩], but writer [ɻʷɜe̽ɾɻ̩] and rider [ɻʷäeɾɻ̩] distinguished by a mild variant of Canadian raising. —Vorziblix (talk) 05:44, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
@Vorziblix: Do you have a length distinction in writer-rider as well, or is it only quality? For me, it is both. --WikiTiki89 20:30, 27 June 2016 (UTC)


Too much corporate history here. It needs a trim. Equinox 09:34, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Agreed, and duly cut. Ƿidsiþ 12:23, 1 July 2016 (UTC)


I dont think that carouse should be so closely linked to being drunk (i.e. alcoholically). but is just a more or less open ended perusal or random dalliance.

"His carousal (s.p.?) of the flea market gave him an overlook of where he could best find the often dismissed items he sought".

"When he last caroused the neighborhood he realized the stark hollowness of the inner mission and the link with the popular rise of zombie flicks".

"As he caroused the pages of supermarket rags his mind constantly returned to the articles that hinted of his inner obsession."

Just a thought, I was slightly inebriated when I wrote this.--Kcidkelley (talk) 23:22, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Are you thinking of peruse? — 01:13, 28 June 2016 (UTC)


Don't know if this is the right place for it, but the Pronunciation at English aby sounds like the Polish word. Leasnam (talk) 23:43, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

It was the Polish one. Apparently there is no English (en) file. I have removed it. Leasnam (talk) 23:45, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

dispense with the pleasantries[edit]

dispense with the pleasantries

As seen in a quote at the entry for dispense, I'm wondering if this could stand on its own as an English phrase? -- OlEnglish (Talk) 02:36, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Doesn't it seem to you that it is readily decoded from its components? We once had considered adding a collocation space for such "common collocations", those which are (or were) in abundant use, beyond what one might expect (say, using mutual information on a large database), but were SoP. For now having such expressions as usage examples at least allows them to be found by search. DCDuring TALK 02:55, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
This phrase doesn't feel special. One can dispense with politeness, good manners, diplomacy, etc. Equinox 08:18, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
I was looking at not that there's anything wrong with that and thought, just as that entry was "Popularized on an episode of Seinfeld", dispense with the pleasantries was actually popularized in a movie: Star Wars: The Empire Strike Back. To me, not that there's anything wrong with that seems much more common and less special than dispense with the pleasantries. But maybe that's why it has an entry and the other one doesn't? How common and in use (or special-feeling) does a phrase need to be in order to get an entry in Wiktionary? -- OlEnglish (Talk) 14:44, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
It was definitely not invented by the writers of Star Wars: The Empire Strike Back, though it was not much used before the 1960s. DCDuring TALK 21:54, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
I doubt it was even popularized by Empire. I've seen Empire more times than I can count, and I don't even remember anyone saying it. It's certainly not one of the "quotable quotes" from the movie, like "Do, or do not. There is no try" or "'I love you.' 'I know'" or "And I thought they smelled bad on the outside" or "Laugh it up, fuzzball". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:39, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

vir(a)emia; "miscellaneous" character menu[edit]

I'm not very experienced on Wiktionary, though I am on Wikipedia. The following may be obvious to the experienced, but I don't get it.

In copyediting Zika virus, § Mosquito on Wikipedia I came across the unfamiliar and unlinked term "viremic". I tried Wiktionary and found it here, so I linked it*; but the track to understanding was IMHO excessively long and winding:

  1. viremic: Of or pertaining to viremia
  2. viremia: (US) Alternative spelling of viraemia
  3. viraemia:
    Alternative forms
    (medicine) The condition or disease of having a virus in the bloodstream.

So "viremia" is listed only as an alternative spelling of "viraemia", which defines it and says that "viremia" is specifically a US form.

  • Is "viraemia" used only in the UK (which I know favors many "ae" or "æ" spellings, like encyclopaedia), or generally in the English-speaking world?
  • Is there any reason for the double redirectnot in the Mediawiki sense? Couldn't "viremic" be defined as "Of or pertaining to viremia" (linked to viraemia) and save the user a step?

PS: I just decided to link the word in the Wikipedia article to viraemic. Guess what? That's even worse, a triple redirect!

  1. viraemic: Alternative spelling of viremic
  2. viremic: Of or pertaining to viremia
  3. viremia: (US) Alternative spelling of viraemia
  4. viraemia:
    Alternative forms
    (medicine) The condition or disease of having a virus in the bloodstream.

Now, isn't this super-ridiculous?

* And as I type this, I've just received thanks from another WP user for the link! :-)

In order to insert that asterisk at the beginning of the previous line I had to use <nowiki>*</nowiki>. I'm familiar with that code from Wikipedia, and to save keystrokes I went to the alphabet dropdown menu, just above "Templates used in this preview", and selected the only plausible candidate, "Miscellaneous". There I found a "Wiki markup" section, but it was minuscule and didn't include what I needed, so I typed it by hand.

Since Wiktionary uses that tag (it worked), why isn't it in the Wiki markup menu? I suspect I could ask the same question about a lot of other Wiki markup as well.

--Thnidu (talk) 05:47, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Yes I see the problem: viraemia has been lemmatised as the main form of the noun, but viremic has been lemmatised as the main form of the adjective. This mismatch has come about because of a Wiktionary convention that the variant which was first entered on Wiktionary should be established as the main lemma form. In this case (and probably others) it leads to a confusing chain of redirects. Since the earliest entry from all four possibilities was viraemia in October 2005, I will make viraemic the lemma adjective to fit, and probably add a short definition beyond just pointing to the noun. Ƿidsiþ 09:19, 1 July 2016 (UTC)


I'm not sure if the Tea Room is the best place to discuss it, but I think one of the images at sexuality is too explicit, not to mention that it is probably unnecessary. Should it be removed/collapsed? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:57, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

I don't think it's too explicit (nothing showing except lots of skin), but the "man and a woman in bed" image is very strange, with bodies turned at unnatural angles in a sort of w:M. C. Escher-like composition, and a rather jaundiced-looking color balance. It may be art, but it's not a very good dictionary illustration. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:02, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
To be honest I don't think we need either picture there, not because of explicitness or otherwise, but simply because sexuality is an abstract noun, not something that a picture can be taken of. Pictures of people in sexual-romantic relationships may make sense for an encyclopedia article on sexuality, but not a dictionary entry. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:57, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't bother me, but children also use Wiktionary, and we should keep that in mind Leasnam (talk) 03:42, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Angr that it's odd to have an image for an abstract noun. One might expect a similar image at sex, but not sexuality. Regardless, I think that due to the fact that there are younger users of Wiktionary, and others who simply won't want to see images they might consider inappropriate. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 08:06, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
The artsy hetero image must be intended to illustrate "sexual orientation."
But seriously folks, which definition(s) does each image illustrate? These seem like images for a cocktail table book on sexuality.
Further, I suspect that there is either no usage of the word for some of the senses or a high degree of overlap. Also, which definitions are countable? DCDuring TALK 08:47, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed the images. I'll leave improving the definitions to other people. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:15, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just chanced upon this discussion. I added the images as part of a general exercise to improve the entry before it appeared as a Word of the Day. It's funny that the images were thought to be too risqué as I took care to select images that were not particularly explicit. Anyway, I have no strong feelings on whether there should or should not be images on the page. — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:18, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

In reply to Leasnam, apart from the fact Wiktionary is not censored, I'm not and never have been convinced that pictures of the human body are harmful to children. For this specific case, it's hard to think of a good image for 'sexuality' because it's such a broad subject and an abstract noun. A link to Commons at the bottom of the page, perhaps. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:56, 20 July 2016 (UTC)


The OED has this quotation under their definition "To wet or sprinkle as with dew":

  1. 1638, William Rawley, History of Life and Death, translation of original by Francis Bacon:
    Generally, to the irroration of the body much use of sweet things is profitable, as of sugar, honey, sweet almonds, pineapples, pistachios, dates, raisins of the sun, corans, figs, and the like.

The definition doesn't seem adequate. Does anyone know what Bacon was talking about here? DTLHS (talk) 20:42, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

See here [7], and search for that word. It looks like old medical pseudoscience, but is something like increasing the liquids (or certain "humours") in the body. Equinox 21:09, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

home field advantage[edit]

Is it an American term? There's no entry for home field either (probably should be); I'm thinking of creating an entry for home ground (Yes check.svg Done) which seems to be the British equivalent. DonnanZ (talk) 10:54, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

Only Macmillan among general OneLook dictionaries has it, labelled "American". Would we need home-court advantage, home-pitch advantage, home-turf advantage, etc? DCDuring TALK 11:00, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
Well, Oxford mentions home ground advantage (no hyphen used) [8]. DonnanZ (talk) 11:09, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
Macmillan also has the following definition of home: "the place where a sports team is based and plays most of its games." DCDuring TALK 11:04, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
Maybe that's not strictly true either - it's usually half of the games at home, and the other half at away grounds. DonnanZ (talk) 08:57, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
Well, where I come from, all the children are above average. DCDuring TALK 10:40, 30 June 2016 (UTC)


rfv-pronunciation. ばかFumikotalk 03:10, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

Which language? The English looks fine. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:08, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
Looks like the Quebec French pronunciation, since that's the one that was tagged with {{rfv-pronunciation}}. I would guess that the question is in regard to the dropping of the /s/, since the /tʃ/ is as expected as far as I know. --WikiTiki89 19:13, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
It's a valid pronunciation that I've heard many times. I removed the {{rfv-pronunciation}}. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:58, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
The pronunciation I'm used to is actually [tʃips] (with the final /s/) which we don't have. Andrew, did you notice the lack of a final -s? Renard Migrant (talk) 10:34, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I've heard both (when living in Québec City). I'm not sure which I've heard more, but it's probably about the same for each. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:37, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough, I don't claim to know anything (much) about Québec French. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:08, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

buck the trend[edit]

First off, I apologize if I'm doing this wrong. This is my 1st time editing Wiktionary, and I don't have much time right now. I'm wondering if the English phrase buck the trend is an idiom. I first saw this phrase on w:Humanitarian intervention in the last sentence of the lead section. If it is an idiom, it should be labeled so in the Wiktionary page and it shouldn't be used in Wikipedia. --JMtB03 (talk) 02:51, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

We are a descriptive dictionary, not a style guide, so we do not provide style advice. I believe that most authors trying to address an audience that included many who were not native speakers would avoid using an expression like buck the trend, which would require some to look the expression up. The last lead paragraph in the WP article you refer to suffers from more than just one poorly chosen expression, IMO. DCDuring TALK 03:57, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
Whether Wikipedia uses idioms or not is a matter for them. I think they're almost impossible to avoid in English without it sounding very artificial. It's not the simple Wikipedia after all. Renard Migrant (talk) 10:37, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
To me, the problem is not that it's an idiom, but that it's too colloquial for the encyclopedic tone for which Wikipedia strives. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:09, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's considered that colloquial or informal these days. It seems fine in the context of the Wikipedia article. — SMUconlaw (talk) 18:41, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

July 2016


Is the etymology correct, i.e. is it really a possessive and not a plural s? Equinox 18:32, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Usually these come from a genitive form (and the OED says this one does), though I think the etymology should say that specifically and not write "handicraft's" since the apostrophe is probably anachronistic. Ƿidsiþ 17:02, 2 July 2016 (UTC)


1549, Sir Thomas Chaloner, The praise of Folie[9], translation of original by Desiderius Erasmus:
Of this grape are suche also as in makynge and publisshinge of new bookes, do fisshe for a praise and glorie.

What sense of grape is this (or is this some kind of mistake in translation / transcription?) DTLHS (talk) 22:10, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Judging by the intelligibility of the translation, I'd say error, whether in printing or elsewhere I wouldn't say. DCDuring TALK 22:50, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
It looks like this is a translation of: "Huius farinæ sunt et isti, qui libris edendis famam immortalem aucupantur", and is an attempt to provide an equivalent to the metaphor of being made from the same raw material: instead of bread being made from the same meal, it's wine being made of the same grapes. I suppose it's the same metaphor as cut from the same cloth. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:46, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

quiet down, meaning 2[edit]

The second meaning of quiet down and quieten down currently reads

To reduce intensity of an activity.
Diplomacy can only begin when the violence quiets down.

I think the definition should be changed, since the violence is not reducing intensity of anything. I don't know how to phrase it better though.
AxelBoldt (talk) 23:10, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

   I read that example as invoking "quiets [itself] down", i.e. subsides, and believe you've ID'd the need for noting that there are both transitive and intransitive senses. (IMO, the lack of an explicit object is the normal means, at least for this verb, for recognizing the intransitive sense.)
--Jerzyt 07:18, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


Someone who lacks sufficient knowledge has entered declension and stress information on many Russian words inaccurately. The Russian wiktionary entries are correct; the English ones deserve to be treated with suspicion. What made this clown think the plural is end-stressed? The Russian wiktionary shows the stress is stable on this word. The Wiki world is full of dodgy material by people who DON'T KNOW. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

The internet is also full of those who anonymously leave gratuitous insults about people they don't know. We've just converted large numbers of entries to use new templates, and have been working on the modules behind them, so it's certainly possible there are errors- I'll leave that to our Russian editors to determine. I'll alert a couple of the people who have been working on this: @Benwing2, Atitarev. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:37, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
It looks like Anatoli accidentally gave this the wrong stress class; fixed. Are there any other words you know that have errors in them? BTW Anatoli certainly does know Russian and is a native speaker with quite a lot of linguistic insight, so I imagine this is an isolated error. In general I think our entries are pretty high quality, and in the case of short adjective forms in many cases we are better than ruwikt. Benwing2 (talk) 16:32, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that was an accident. Thanks for fixing. I'm unconcerned about casual morons posting here. I can't be bothered counting errors on the Russian Wiktionary either.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:34, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
What about оказать then? This is not оказаю. (окажу in the Russian wiki is correct). The entry for скорость is wrong too. It is скоростЕЙ, скоростЯм итд. unsigned comment by User: 18:18, 3 July 2016‎ (UTC)
The Russian conjugations and declensions are accomplished by the use of complex templates. The pattern, or paradigm, for each word is specified by the used of codes such as 1a+p, which tell the template all of the necessary information to write a correct table. However, since these codes are complex, it is rather easy to make a mistake. It is only a typing error (typo). It does not mean that the contributor "lacks knowledge" or "doesn't know". Our Russian editors are very knowledgeable in the language, and they know the correct declensions and conjugations perfectly well. Whenever you find such an error, we are very glad when you point it out for us. However, you should always notify us of errors in a professional and respectful manner, and not accompanied by such insults and rude comments that you used above. Simply say that the declension or conjugation has mistakes and we will fix it right away. —Stephen (Talk) 19:34, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, constructive criticism or feedback is always appreciated with no insults. We have less people working on the Russian entries here than in the Russian Wiktionary. Yes, I think our overall quality of Russian entries is very high. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:57, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
I seem to have bumped into Stephen the Twitter warrior. At least Wiki allows more than 140 characters, right? An SJW in his spare time? unsigned comment by User: 19:52, 3 July 2016‎ (UTC)
I don’t use Twitter and I don’t know the abbreviation SJW. оказать and скорость have been corrected. —Stephen (Talk) 20:03, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
бунтарь - ending-stressed in the genitive —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).
бунтарь is corrected. —Stephen (Talk) 20:32, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
SJW=social justice warrior. If I didn't know better, I could swear we're being trolled... Chuck Entz (talk) 03:49, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Also оглянуться is wrong too. It is not оглянётся, but оглянется. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:17, 10 July 2016.
Thanks, I'll fix it. Benwing2 (talk) 19:50, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Likely erroneous verb form and conjugation tables[edit]

The Portuguese entry for the verb "vir" most likely has an incorrect spelling of the second person (familiar) singular present. To the best of my knowledge, the correct form is "vens" and not "véns". I'm not knowledgeable enough about editing to edit a verb table, however. S. Neuman (talk) 14:09, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

@S. Neuman Thank you; fixed. Benwing2 (talk) 16:38, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

raw dog & hot dog[edit]

Are these terms related somehow? --Fsojic (talk) 23:31, 2 July 2016 (UTC)


Can someone explain the grammar of the Drummond citation for the adultery sense? I can't parse it. Equinox 13:41, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

  • It's not really a noun here, I think it's in the wrong section – ‘adulting the issue’ here means ‘diluting the parentage of the child’. Ƿidsiþ 13:55, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
    •    Uh, am i crazy, or is the relation in origin of adulterate (cf. adultery) somehow enter in here??
      --Jerzyt 07:26, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

kind of[edit]

What is the etymology trying to say? Equinox 14:41, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

That the expression was originally part of normal expressions of the form "a kind of ADJ NOUN", that speakers came to think of kind of as modifying ADJ, so that one could say "NOUN is kind of ADJ" instead of "NOUN is a kind of ADJ one". DCDuring TALK 15:13, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I find it very hard to comprehend. Want to be brave and improve it? Equinox 08:40, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
I was hoping those with more formal linguistics background than I would address this. DCDuring TALK 11:01, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Question book magnify2.svg Input needed
This discussion needs further input in order to be successfully closed. Please take a look!
You already have a very full answer, even if you don't realise it. "A kind of problem"---> "kind of a problem". What's so difficult? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 14:49, July 8, 2016.
Hunh? DCDuring TALK 19:05, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
I think the explanation is confusing and unnecessary. Maybe it should be removed ? Leasnam (talk) 17:18, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree. The "explanation" is baffling to me. 02:10, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
What we are dealing with here is your low IQ. There is nothing wrong with the explanation. I think you would be better off directing your attentions to manual hobbies like woodwork. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 11:00, July 12, 2016.
Or learning manners and how to respect others. If an explanation is not so expertly crafted as to be understood by even the youngest of children, then perhaps it's no marvellous explanation at all huh ? Leasnam (talk) 15:06, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

depublish -- use outside California law?[edit]

The only quotations I found for the term "depublish" appeared to be in discussions of the practice of California courts to retroactively prevent previous cases from being used as precedent. If anyone can dig up other quotations, that would be interesting. JesseW (talk) 23:59, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

It seems that unpublish is more common a choice for a prefix meaning reverse + publish.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:55, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

doneness -- beyond cooking food?[edit]

The only quotations I found for doneness related to cooking food, and so I narrowed the meaning to that. I certainly may have missed some that use it in a broader sense, so I'm bringing it here to see if others can find them. JesseW (talk) 02:27, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

I found another sense. Equinox 10:35, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

light up like the Fourth of July[edit]

Is this, or perhaps just "like the Fourth of July", idiomatic? - -sche (discuss) 01:11, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

I'd vote no: that only rarely would such a simile be suitable for a dictionary. Fourth of July should include a reference to fireworks and that should suffice. DCDuring TALK 05:26, 5 July 2016 (UTC)


I think the uncorporeal page should remark that, even if it is a valid word, one is more likely to want to use incorporeal. Ohnobinki (talk) 16:10, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Batman (the Turkish province)[edit]

Please see "Talk:Batman#Pronunciation". — SMUconlaw (talk) 20:08, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

It's pronounced /ˈdɪnə dɪnə dɪnə dɪnə dɪnə dɪnə dɪnə dɪnə bætmæn/. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:03, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
   OK, i'm the self-designated spoilsport. That was a joke, based on the theme music (and single-word lyric) of the 1960's TV show, and it deserves a laugh: Heh!
--Jerzyt 07:49, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Missing tone notation. —suzukaze (tc) 02:31, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

I created an entry in Wiktionary but unfortunately it was entered as anonymous[edit]

I have just created the entry помолвить in Wiktionary, but I made a mistake of saving it without being logged in. Is there any way to amend the entry's history showing my IP address to rather come up with my proper user name? Cheers —This comment was unsigned.

One good idea would be sign your contributions on discussion pages, such as this one. Are you sure that you want that IP address to be associated publicly with your user name? DCDuring TALK 02:59, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

mula as in money[edit]

I'm surprised we don't have this common slang expression for money - mula. Did I spell it correctly? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:23, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

moola. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:27, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:58, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Moola or moolah.


I found out that Category:Bahamas is not the Bahamas. I found out that according to this BBC article ([10]),

But according to several authoritative sources, such as the CIA World Factbook, the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World and the US Department of State, only two countries, The Bahamas and The Gambia, should officially be referred to with the article.

Would it be better to change it to Category:The Bahamas? --KoreanQuoter (talk) 14:34, 7 July 2016 (UTC)


Does this word fit in Category:English words with vowel pseudo-digraphs? DTLHS (talk) 21:01, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Tangential: as I wrote at WT:RFM#Category:English_words_with_consonant_pseudo-digraphs, I wonder if there's any practical way of maintaining these categories... - -sche (discuss) 22:27, 7 July 2016 (UTC)


Would this be an example of a word that is pronounced differently in the UK and the US? In Australia I guess FILL-eut is more common, while my American friend insists they always pronounce it as fill-LAY. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:59, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

Well, the only person I've heard to pronounce the final consonant was from England, and the pseudo-French pronunciation is very common here in the US, but I don't know anything about the relative frequencies in the UK. After all, hypercorrection can theoretically happen anywhere. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:11, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
AIUI, and from my life experience as a Brit: "fillet" has the final /t/, but "filet" (as a French loan) does not. (Chambers Dictionary agrees with me on this.) One common exception is the McDonald's burger called Filet-o-Fish: they pronounce the /t/ in their advertising, and it would feel a bit pretentious to use the French pronunciation for fast food. Equinox 03:21, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
In American McDonald'ses it's pronounced "fi-LAY o' fish" and that doesn't feel pretentious to us at all. But my experience of American English includes only the word filet; I don't think fillet was ever a part of my active vocabulary, and not a very significant part of my passive vocabulary, either. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:33, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
For one thing, fillet is a verb; there's no way to be "filleting" a fish without /t/. Re McDonald's, see their 1990s ad on YouTube [11]: "fille/t/ o' fish for my wife!" (a bit of a catchphrase for Brits of a certain age, I suspect). Equinox 08:36, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, that's another pondian difference then. In US English you'd be fileting a fish and pronouncing it to rhyme with "praying". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:42, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
I find it fascinating that some French words are pronounced French-like in British and English-like in American and some are pronounced French-like in American and English-like in British. In all cases everyone makes fun of everyone for pronouncing things wrong. --WikiTiki89 18:17, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

no-lose synonym[edit]

I heard a financial word that sounds like "albatross" which is essentially a no-lose scenario for the investor - they either (at minimum) break even or come out ahead, but do not lose on the investment. It's fundamentally the opposite of a "lose-lose" situation... has anyone heard of this word and the proper spelling?

Well, an "albatross" would refer to a lose-lose situation, perhaps you're thinking of this? Benwing2 (talk) 23:18, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
   (Do note that albatross(albatross) as a metaphor -- for a worthless burden you can't get rid of -- is based on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.)
   Could the non-signing colleague possibly be confusing in the term arbitrage(arbitrage)?
--Jerzyt 08:10, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


I'm English and can tell the editors for nothing that "ternament" is not an RP pronunciation of this word. It would be regarded in England as an ignorant pronunciation by someone who didn't know the correct pronunciation.

That looks strange to me too. Equinox 22:27, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
All the pronunciations look strange - I've never heard /-mɛnt/, only /-mənt/. Keith the Koala (talk) 17:20, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Keith the Koala, you're right, it is /-mənt/ (or more likely /-mənʔ/ with a glottal stop). —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:16, 10 July 2016.
Better? I can personally attest that in American English all three initial vowels exist. --WikiTiki89 14:42, 11 July 2016 (UTC)


I was wondering if the character 𧦅 is a shinjitai form of 謳 (part of JIS X 0213). Could anyone clarify this is correct? Dingo1234555 (talk) 03:33, 9 July 2016 (UTC)


The AAVE sense of the term that I have quoted means running [away from] but evidently, it is a contraction of "mercenary" meaning "to kill". Does anyone have any better sources on this? I would love to expand our coverage of American slang. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:12, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

I thought it might come from murder, not mercenary. Equinox 13:47, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
What about Mercury (for the running sense)? Leasnam (talk) 17:16, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
AAVE isn't particularly known for allusions to Roman mythology. The slang term merc, short for mercenary, does exist (it's in the New Oxford American Dictionary app on my computer). Semantically, one could make a connection based on fighters who are only in it for the money being less likely to stay around when things go bad. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:26, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, no, but it's not an allusion necessaily to Roman mythology. Lot's of familiar companies use Mercury's winged sandals, for instance Goodyear tires do, and so does a footwear brand (Athletes ?). Red Bull is another, right ? Anyway, it was just a guess :) Leasnam (talk) 22:03, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Do those actually mention the name Mercury, or do they just use symbols that can be recognized by someone familiar with Greek mythology? Chuck Entz (talk) 23:16, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
With Goodyear/Michelin, they're called Mercury tires. I think Mercury is also the name of several different labels of athletic shoes. My reasoning for the connection, I could honestly see someone saying "You need to move/act/fly like Mercury" => "you need to Mercury yourself up out of here" => etc. though it's a distant connection at best Leasnam (talk) 23:34, 9 July 2016 (UTC)


I'm a bit puzzled by etymology 2 here. The form ἄω ‎(áō) doesn't actually occur in the inflection table, so is it even attested? Or should the lemma be moved to one that is attested, ἄεσα ‎(áesa)? —CodeCat 20:51, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Attested or not, it seems to meet CFI's LDL requirements, since it's in LSJ under ἄω. It may be a more extreme case, but our treatment of it follows from the decisions to always use the present active first-person singular as the lemma, and to show unattested forms in inflections. Moving it to what's normally a non-lemma form would be inconsistent, but then there doesn't seem to be any unreservedly good choice here, just a very few that are all flawed, but in different ways. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:52, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, for Latin deponent verbs, we use the passive form because the active form doesn't exist. Same for Greek ones. We don't use the present of meminī as the lemma either. This case, which also lacks the present, seems similar enough. —CodeCat 23:08, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
All of those are semantically present and active, even if they're morphologically passive or perfect. More importantly, there's a consistent practice among dictionaries and lexicons of those languages to use them as lemmas. I don't see that here. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:38, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

VIN, vehicle identification number[edit]

Re (US) labels: these terms may have originated in the US, but seem to be much more widespread now. DonnanZ (talk) 11:36, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Could be. I have moved the main entry to vehicle identification number based on it apparently being the more common form. OTOH VIN is more common than vin. DCDuring TALK 15:37, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
A good move, I was going to suggest that. Yes VIN is the common form, not to be confused with vin (wine). The words VIN/Chassis|Frame No. appear on the registration certificate dated 1999 for my old Mercedes, so the term has been used here for quite a while. DonnanZ (talk) 16:01, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
  • No further comments forthcoming, so I have removed the labels. DonnanZ (talk) 09:13, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
    I'd give it a week because we have some folks that drop by on only a weekly basis. DCDuring TALK 12:29, 13 July 2016 (UTC)


I think all of the adjective senses could be combined into "of or pertaining to a brother or brothers". Does anyone disagree? DTLHS (talk) 18:06, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

I agree, except for numbers 3 and 6. --Paradichlorobenzene (talk) 18:30, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Agreed, but I would probably leave 8 as a separate sense as well. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:29, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

click and klick[edit]


  1. Alternative spelling of click


  1. Alternative spelling of klick

I think it would be useful if one or both of these had a context label?? Keith the Koala (talk) 20:26, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Not a label but a gloss and sense id. —CodeCat 20:36, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

or words to that effect[edit]

This entry is too specific and should be replaced by to that effect. In addition to the example given

When he hit his finger with the hammer, he said "ouch" or words to that effect.

...it could also accommodate...

Your sister also said something to that effect.

DanwWiki (talk) 13:41, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Yup. Thanks. We have {{rfm}} (to be inserted in the entry) to initiate the process of considering such a move. What seems natural and desirable to you or me wouldn't always seem so to others. DCDuring TALK 18:19, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Many dictionaries have some of all of to the effect (that)/to the effect that, in effect, take effect, for effect. Only one OneLook reference has or words to that effect. I wonder whether we would have it were it not for the abbreviation OWTTE. DCDuring TALK 18:29, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

until the cows come home[edit]

Could someone check if I applied {{head}} properly in "until the cows come home"? There are examples of the phrase appearing the form until the cows came home, but I'm not sure if this is correctly described as the "simple past and past participle" of the phrase. (Also, I found one instance of the form until the cows are coming home, but this was from a work by an Indian author so it could be an isolated non-standard form. I don't suppose I should add this to the entry, should I?) — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:48, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

A prepositional phrase is not really a verb. But I think what I did is better at the very least. --WikiTiki89 17:26, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I wasn't sure about how to deal with this situation – I don't have a linguistics background. — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:46, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Nor do I really. I'm a self-taught linguist (and mostly through thinking rather than reading). --WikiTiki89 17:49, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
The phrase is a subordinate clause, not a prepositional phrase.
My preference would have been to not include the tense variations on the inflection line. One possibility would be to treat all the attestable variations (til, singular cow, possibly different determiners [all the] and adjectives [eg, proverbial, sea, metaphorical, unholy] as well as different verb tenses and aspects) as alternative forms. Another is to have a usage note for the classes of exploitative variations. Those possibilities could be combined.

intermediate precision[edit]

Do such terms as "intermediate precision" merit inclusion in the dictionary? ---CopperKettle (talk) 17:28, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Isn't it just intermediate + precision? --WikiTiki89 17:31, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I see. It's only a sum of parts. Thank you. --CopperKettle (talk) 08:22, 13 July 2016 (UTC)


  1. 1885 November 20, English Mechanic and World of Science[12], volume 42, page 241:
    [] and not be led astray by the coveted, but most fallacious, "honour" of orthodox interment in the sarcophagan "journals," or "horals" of any scientific "society," by which so many "good men and true" have been totally lost to the practical world of science.

What does this mean? DTLHS (talk) 18:59, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Possibly unrelated DTLHS (talk) 19:21, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
A journal posted once every hour? Latin hōra. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:57, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Right: it's the difference between Latin diurnal (French journal) and horal. The writer is probably satirising their excessively frequent publication. Equinox 23:32, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Noch ist Polen nicht verloren[edit]

I made a little mistake. It must be noch ist Polen nicht verloren, I think. Could one of you guys move it? Sorry and thanks! Kolmiel (talk) 20:16, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

I've moved it Leasnam (talk) 20:36, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

storm stick or stormstick[edit]

Has anyone else heard this term, or is it confined to Australia and NZ? It's a jocular name for an umbrella. I certainly remember it [13]. DonnanZ (talk) 19:38, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

circular definitions – motion picture and film[edit]

The third definition for film is motion picture. The second definition for motion picture is film. What is the difference between the meanings defined on the page motion picture? --Anareth (talk) 05:25, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. Our basic English-language content suffers from many lapses like this, principally lack of extensive verbal definitions or of explanatory images.
Both motion picture and film (with this meaning) are much less common than movie, which is where IMO a substantive definition should be. I've taken a run at such a definition. Please take a look. DCDuring TALK 11:03, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
In Br. English we are more likely to use the term film, rather than the other two. Could motion picture be considered old-fashioned now? DonnanZ (talk) 11:08, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't know. You could check how OneLook dictionaries treat it. One Look has Oxford, Cambridge, Collins, and Macmillan that have good UK coverage and AHD, RHU, WNW, and MW that have good US coverage. Google News supports country-specific searches so relative frequency of the terms could be compared.
Motion picture is still in use, probably because movie seems so informal. DCDuring TALK 13:01, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, according to Oxford motion picture is "chiefly North American" (“motion picture” (US) / “motion picture” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.). It doesn't say it's old-fashioned though. DonnanZ (talk) 13:15, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
"Motion picture" is dated in informal use, but not in names of institutions, job titles, regulations, etc. —This unsigned comment was added by Chuck Entz (talkcontribs) at 09:41 14 July 2016.

transferal vs. transferral[edit]

Only transferral is used in British English, is transferal used in the US? Which is considered the main form? DonnanZ (talk) 10:13, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

This doesn't happen with referral - there is no entry for referal. DonnanZ (talk) 11:40, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Google N-Gram shows that the 2-r form has been more common in books from 1940 to 2008, but has declined in relative usage since about 1990. DCDuring TALK 15:20, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Looking at transferral at OneLook Dictionary Search and transferal at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that some British dictionaries have the main entry at transferral and US at transferal. None I've seen mark either spelling as regional. DCDuring TALK 15:25, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
(e/c) See transferal vs. transferral, referal vs. referral. See also transferal vs. transferral specifically in British English and in American English. Seems that the main entry should be moved to transferral because that is more common overall. An interesting note is that my spell checker marks transferral and referal as misspelled. --WikiTiki89 15:27, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Separated out by national variety, the two-r version is still much more common in en-GB, but the one-r version has become more common in en-US since 2001. (In my own writing I wouldn't use either form, but would just use transfer as a noun.) "Referal", on the other hand, is virtually nonexistent in both national varieties. Interestingly, Chrome's spellchecker, when set to en-US, marks "transferral" as a spelling error but approves "transferal". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:29, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
All very interesting, and yet very odd - why does it happen to transferral and not to referral? Pronunciation perhaps? I would pronounce them both the same way. DonnanZ (talk) 16:32, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
As an American English speaker, transferal looks somewhat wrong to me, but YMMV. Maybe it's based on the difference in pronunciation of the base forms TRANSfer vs. reFER (even though this doesn't apply to the derived terms). Could be just random though. Benwing2 (talk) 16:36, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
  • FWIW, I think Google's spellchecker is in the wrong. And transferal with one r parses to me as trans- + feral, which is all kinds of wrong.
For background, I grew up in the Washington, DC area with native-English-speaking parents who hailed from Minnesota and New York state. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:55, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I think it's because as Angr said that most Americans would just use transfer instead, and therefore the spelling of transferral is left to the people who actually use the word, who are more likely to be Brits living in America or something like that. --WikiTiki89 16:39, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe. I've just been looking at conferral, deferral, and inferral - no other spellings entered. DonnanZ (talk) 16:49, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I did a little more digging and found that transferal is the spelling used when stressed on the first syllable, which is apparently how it's pronounced in American legalese. --WikiTiki89 17:24, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Ah, does that explain the two different IPA pronunciations given? I haven't learnt how to read those things. DonnanZ (talk) 20:41, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Nope. All the transcriptions there put the stress on the second syllable. The difference between the two British ones is whether the vowel is as in father or as in trap. --WikiTiki89 20:50, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
All trans- words have the "a" as in trap. Listen to the audio here [14]. DonnanZ (talk) 20:58, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm just telling you what the IPA says. --WikiTiki89 21:12, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Even the page Donnanz linked to gives the option of pronouncing the a as in father, it just doesn't have a corresponding sound file. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:15, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
OK, I'll admit that it's feasible, but I never hear the "aa" form in the Greater London / Surrey area. DonnanZ (talk) 21:24, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
/ˈtrɑːnsfɜː/ sounds plausible, but I'm not certain I've ever heard it. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:47, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
The OED and Chambers both have that pronunciation. It sounds dated and plummy to me, but I'm an Estuary yob. Equinox 16:50, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

"filler text" terms[edit]

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ, abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz, asdfghjkl, asdfghjkl;, qwertyuiop. Not sure about these being uncountable nouns. If anything I would class them as interjections, since they don't occupy any particular slot in the grammar. Thoughts? Equinox 16:44, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Unless they're used to refer to the filler text rather than serving as the filler text themselves, I would get rid of the filler text senses altogether- by definition, they don't mean anything. In other words, it's okay to have an entry for lorem ipsum, but not for "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...".
By the way: the quote from Cicero in the lorem ipsum entry doesn't belong there: it may be the source of lorem ipsum text, but it isn't lorem ipsum text itself. Perhaps a trimmed version of the text could be moved into the etymology.Chuck Entz (talk) 20:17, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I tidied up the entry and moved the Cicero quote into a footnote in the etymology section. — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:14, 19 July 2016 (UTC)


Currently, there are many senses listed under the etymology of the agent noun that are not derived from verbs and don't seem to have much to do with an agent noun. In particular, something like pro-lifer seems more like a person associated with the pro-life movement than someone who engages in some kind of action. Therefore, I'm tempted to think that these senses actually belong under the "inhabitant" etymology, further down, placing it instead in the same league as New Yorker for example. —CodeCat 18:04, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, a pro-lifer isn't someone who "pro-lifes", so it isn't quite the same thing as runner or frequent flier. OTOH I think we are getting too specific with some of our senses, since "person who subscribes to a particular conspiracy theory or unorthodox belief" (truther) is just one particular type of turning a thing-noun into a person-who-likes-it-noun, like pro-lifer. Equinox 18:39, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Isn't a New Yorker someone who New Yorks? --WikiTiki89 18:44, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
No, it's someone who just started Yorking... Chuck Entz (talk) 18:50, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I think senses 6 and 7 can be merged into a simpler "person associated with or promoting". —CodeCat 19:17, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree. - -sche (discuss) 19:39, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
What's wrong with Etymology 4? Chuck Entz (talk) 18:55, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Nothing in principle, but how many nouns are really derived from that etymology, and is it really productive? There's not much in the entry to decide. —CodeCat 19:14, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
After thinking about it some more, Latin -ārius was attached to nouns, to indicate a person associated with something, very similar to the sense in English. This sense remains productive in modern French, so it's a good source for the English version. We'd really need some Old and Middle English usages to see how this evolved. —CodeCat 19:31, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
The -ier page notes that the English descendant is -eer, which makes sense in terms of stress. This suffix is stressed, while -er is not. —CodeCat 19:35, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
The occupational sense illustrated by astrologer, cricketer, trumpeter would seem to belong under Etymology 4, notwithstanding that a trumpeter is also one who trumpets. It had never heard cricketer, but had heard cricketeer. Are there other such alternants?
Does the OED have a satisfactory explanation of -er as used in senses 2-7 of Etymology 1?
Supporting Chuck: in the absence of other etymological explanations, Etymology 4 does seem to me the best location for all of what are now senses 2-7 of Etymology 1. DCDuring TALK 22:13, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Even sense 2? It's not an agent noun, but a patient noun, so it's still associated with the verb, which can't be said for the other senses. —CodeCat 22:20, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Also, what explanation can be found for the stress alternation between -er and -eer? —CodeCat 22:23, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Sense 2 is the least suitable for the shift, but the examples are obviously not strictly speaking instances of agency.
One source I like to look at for affixes is Michael Quinion's Affixes: the building blocks of English, which has this for something like Etymology 4. He includes looker there.
Though it would be interesting to "account for" the stress alternation, there is no denying that it exists, at least in the case of cricketer/cricketeer. Also, I am using the alternant synchronically because the diachronics is what we are trying to deal with. If there are no other examples, we could basically ignore it. Many of the modern formations from -eer seem to be informal, possibly more so than comparable formations from -er, though the Variety -er, for one, is principally informal. DCDuring TALK 22:47, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Swing shift[edit]

The swing shift page here, as well as on other online dictionaries lists swing shift as the equivalent to second shift (usually 4pm-12 midnight). I have never ever heard swing shift ever be used when talking about second shift, and everyone else in my family agrees that this definition is bogus.

Swing shift to us means an alternation of shifts. As in a set cycle of working days then nights. For example in a month, one could work 2 weeks of days, then have a week off, then work the following two weeks nights. Called so because one who works it swings between the two shifts. One who works such shifts is a swing shifter. Has anyone ever actually heard swing shift refer to the second shift? Rhinorulz (talk) 18:59, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

I've never encountered your definition before, but it's easy enough to find examples of both in Google Books. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:28, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

no more = dead[edit]

This may not be of first-class importance: but does it make sense to say that "no more" has a sense "dead" just because of phrases like: When I am no more... He is no more..., etc.?? I mean, obviously, this is just "to be" in the sense of "to be there, to be alive" negated by the adverb. (Or in other words, it's: he is no more, not: he is no more.) May I delete? Kolmiel (talk) 20:04, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Probably. One can also say someone "lives no more", "breathes no more", etc. - -sche (discuss) 20:24, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
If you replace be with exist, it becomes obvious that be isn't a copula in this context, but a regular verb. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:32, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree. --WikiTiki89 20:48, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. Done. Kolmiel (talk) 21:43, 15 July 2016 (UTC)


1900, John Bostock, The Natural History of Pliny[15], volume 2, translation of original by Pliny, page 537:
A feather also is inserted, and passed across through the nostrils, care being taken to move it every day; while their food consists of leeks mixed with speltmeal, or else is first soaked in water in which an owlet has been dipped, or boiled together with the seeds of the white vine.

Is he literally talking about a small owl, or is there some other use? DTLHS (talk) 21:17, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

I think it's literal. OED only reports two senses: (1) young owl; (2) (US) owlet moth, a type of moth (but no quotation containing the latter goes further back than the 19th century). — SMUconlaw (talk) 21:38, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
This translation has "either steeped in water in which an owl has been dipped or else...", which suggests that he is indeed talking about an owl. How odd. - -sche (discuss) 22:25, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
It is possible that Pliny was reporting on the use of a specimen of Athene noctua (the little owl), common in Europe and Asia. The adults are only about 22 centimeters long and weigh about 180 grams. DCDuring TALK 22:58, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Here is the Latin text, and you'll note that the word used is noctua. It's a real owl, all right, and almost certainly Athene noctua. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:55, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Poor owl. — SMUconlaw (talk) 10:46, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

whose coups?[edit]

generals' coup[edit]

colonels' coup[edit]

Are these just SoP terms - a coup led by generals, or a coup led by colonels? Keith the Koala (talk) 12:51, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

From the definitions I gather that a colonels' coup does not have to be led by colonels specifically, but by any somewhat lower-ranking kind of officer. That would make it not SoP. —CodeCat 22:23, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Definition of capitalism[edit]

Does anyone know where to look for definitions in old dictionaries from, say, a century ago?

What do you think of the current definition of capitalism?

  • (politics, uncountable) a socio-economic system based on private property rights, including the private ownership of resources or capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of a market unregulated by the state.
  • (economics, uncountable) a socio-economic system based on the abstraction of resources into the form of privately owned capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of a market unregulated by the state.

Here is the definition from January 2005.

A social and economic system based on the protection of individual rights, especially property rights, including the private ownership of resources or capital. The practical implementation of capitalism within political systems varies between complete (laizzes-faire) free markets and mixed-economy state-capitalism.

I've looked at other sources and Investopedia.com among others draws a distinction between capitalism and free market.

The criteria in terms of distinction seems to be between a market economy and a mixed one with the former corresponding with the free market ideal.

Perhaps two definitions can co-exist seeing that mainstream usage of the word has evolved?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. --JamesPoulson (talk) 13:12, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

You could try looking for old full-text dictionaries at Google Books. — SMUconlaw (talk) 18:49, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Re: Current definitions: "a socio-economic system based on the abstraction of resources into the form of privately owned capital" What does "abstraction of resources into" mean?
Generally, Palgrave is the best source for definitions of economic concepts, at least for the purposes of economists. The articles are long. The abstract of the one for capitalism, by Robert Heilbroner, from the 2008 edition follows:
"Capitalism is a unique historical formation with core institutions and distinct movements. It involves the rise of a mercantile class, the separation of production from the state, and a mentality of rational calculation. Its characteristic logic revolving around the accumulation of capital reflects the omnipresence of competition. It displays broad tendencies to unprecedented wealth creation, skewed size distributions of enterprise, large public sectors, and cycles of activity. Whereas students of capitalism traditionally envisaged an end to the capitalist period of history, modern economists show little interest in historical projection."
Such a definition is obviously too long for a dictionary and may not reflect actual usage, even by economists. capitalism in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 has "The concentration or massing of capital in the hands of a few; also, the power or influence of large or combined capital."
MWOnline has: "an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market". This definition seems good but it excludes state capitalism.
If one's definition of capital means tools of production then any definition of the term capitalism that used the word capital without somehow referencing unfairness or at least inequality or concentration misses the mark on current usage, say, on an "Occupy Wall Street" poster. DCDuring TALK 19:23, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

kunstig intelligens and similar Danish adjective + noun non-SoP locutions[edit]

User:Donnanz recently introduced me to a problem with my entry kunstig intelligens, which I made several mistakes in at once adding the inflections of because I have to combine adjective and noun inflection, and also abide by the adjective + noun rules in the Danish language. They are, to my knowledge, as follows:

(I am using "kedelig klasse" as an example, which means "boring class" in English)

  • The singular indefinite is the lemma form, obviously would just be "kedelig klasse" as in "en kedelig klasse" (a boring class)
  • plural adjective + noun (the boring classes) would be {plural of adjective} + {plural indefinite of noun}. This would be "de kedelige klasser" (the boring classes, de means "the" in the plural). This would replace a noun's plural definite form.
  • singular adjective + noun (the boring class) would be {definite of adjective) + {singular indefinite (not definite) of noun}. This would be den kedelige klasse. (NOT de kedelige klassen) This replaces the singular definite.
  • plural INDEFINITE is just {plural of adjective} + {plural of noun} I believe. So it would just be like saying "boring classes are ____", so that would be kedelige klasser er ____".
  • The genitives I believe are the same, as in "kedelig klasses", "den kedelige klasses", "kedelige klassers", and "de kedelige klassers".

So what are we supposed to do about creating entries for these? The problem is, putting "the" before an entry is kind of impractical, but in this case we may have no choice? Also, as I've been confused with this, many other users, maybe even native Danish speakers, may very easily make mistakes when modifying the inflection templates with these locutional inflections. Although, hypothetically, shouldn't they technically be here? I mean inflections of non-SoP locutions are still not SoP and verified, and therefore exist, are attestable, and are words, right? But how would we go about it?

A suggestion I have: we could create "kunstige intelligenser" and put something like this:

# {{plural indefinite of|kunstig intelligens|lang=da}}

# {{context|used with [[de]]|lang=da}} {{plural definite of|kunstig intelligens|lang=da}}

And "kunstige intelligens" as:

# {{context|used with [[den]]|lang=da}} {{singular definite of|kunstig intelligens|lang=da}}

What do you guys think about this? Especially asking people more knowledgable in Danish than I, such as natives. @User:Donnanz, @User:Pinnerup, @User:Gamren, @User:ContraVentum

(See also: the precursor to this topic at RFV) Philmonte101 (talk) 22:06, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Leave the entry in the indefinite singular form as it is at present. There is no point in creating a load of inflections, especially genitive forms (I don't know why we bother with those, they're not entered in Norwegian fortunately). DonnanZ (talk) 08:52, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
  • @User:Donnanz Genitives are still inflections of the noun. The only reason we don't include 's inflections in English here is because everyone who comes here already know what English genitives mean, and because 's and s' are just additions to the word rather than actual inflections, as we decided via consensus. We haven't decided the same thing for Danish. The reason that it's good to have Danish genitive inflections is because you'll have people coming here looking for a Danish word when they don't know anything about genitives or singular definites or most of the other linguistic stuff that we're even discussing here. Someone could look up intelligensens for example, when they found the word looking at a Danish newspaper, having literally no idea what the word meant. So there it is: "genitive singular definite of intelligens", so they go to "intelligens" to see that it means "intelligence", or "intelligentsia", or "..." well whatever else, you know what I mean. Beautiful, right? So there you have it. Consider our lurkers. In short words "why bother?" is a question we barely ask here about inflections that are attestable, correct, and not SoP. The worst that could really happen is making certain inflections redirects, such as with English locutional verbs containing words like "one's", so use a bot to redirect "my", "his", "your" inflections. Philmonte101 (talk) 09:24, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I don't mind entries for inflected forms (like "intelligensens" and "kunstige intelligenser"), but I don't think we should create entries prefixed with "de" or similar. Nor do I think we should include "(used with de)" headings in such entries, just like we don't include "(used with los)" in the entry for Spanish hombres or "(used with die)" in the entry for German Hunde. However I think we could perhaps have an inflection template for Danish adjective-noun composite terms like these, and then we could insert that into the entry for the base lemma to show the relevant forms. How does that sound? —Pinnerup (talk) 12:54, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
  • That sounds like a great idea, Pinnerup. But why do you not like it to say "used with de"? I understand what you're saying. Although hombres is not always used with "los". I've certainly seen (informal) cases of "Hombres son ____" or "_____s son ____" in Spanish. I am not knowledgable of German, so I can't relate to that example. Although, can an adjective+noun locution really be plural definite without having the "de" before it? I mean are there significant informal cases in Danish where the addition of "de" is not used for the plural definite? I don't know, I'm asking you since I am not a native Danish speaker. Philmonte101 (talk) 13:08, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
The place of the definite article may be taken by one of many other words, like a noun or a pronoun. I am inclined to agree with Donnanz that we do not need these inflections; however, I would not mind if someone made a derivative of {{da-noun-infl}} that linkifies each word. The genitive forms always seemed silly to me, too. Your argument about English genitives does not make sense; we do not exclude information merely because "everyone knows it already".__Gamren (talk) 08:54, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Your questions about "why do we need genitives in Danish" are very simply answered by asking yourselves "why do people read dictionaries (besides to help edit them)?" They read dictionaries to find out what words mean. And if Wiktionary doesn't have an "-ens" form of a noun, when someone doesn't know have any clue what that means or if it's a lemma or not, then people are left clueless. Keep in mind that not everyone, in fact very few people, in this world, are trained enough to know the basic linguistic structure of nearly every language (notice I said nearly). So, as a dictionary, we should respect those who don't have a clue what the word they're looking for means, and who don't know a lot of this linguistic terminology we're using ("genitives", "possessives", "locutions", etc.) by including Danish genitives. Same with Norwegian genitives, or Swedish genitives. Just my opinion. Philmonte101 (talk) 11:19, 18 July 2016 (UTC)


Do all of these citations fit under the same definition, particularly the earlier ones? DTLHS (talk) 16:48, 17 July 2016 (UTC)


According to the OED this has a different meaning in North America. Can anyone help? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:59, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

I don’t think it’s a different meaning in N.A. Maybe some minor variation in legalities related to the creation of a townsite. See w:townsite. —Stephen (Talk) 11:36, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

veterinarian vs veterinary surgeon[edit]

The OED claims that veterinarian is American English, while veterinary surgeon is British English. Is this true? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:39, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Yes, I believe so. veterinarian seems strange to my UK ears. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:02, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I've certainly never heard anything but veterinarian here in the US. I would have expected a veterinary surgeon to be strictly someone who specializes in performing surgery on animals, not a general practitioner. On a similar note, doctors in the US have offices, not surgeries. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:56, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
  • We tend to use the term vet for short in Br. English, but veterinarian sounds very American to me. DonnanZ (talk) 07:44, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Vets needn't be confined to surgeries, some also visit farms, stables and attend race meetings at racecourses. DonnanZ (talk) 07:55, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
As I remember, on All Creatures Great and Small the farmers often addressed the vets as "vet'n'ry", so maybe veterinary by itself can be used colloquially as a noun in some varieties of British English. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:00, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
That was set in rural Yorkshire in the 1930s, so maybe it's a term local to there. DonnanZ (talk) 09:41, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
We always just say vet. I sometimes get very confused watching US programs when they talk about looking after vets because to me those are doctors who look after animals. I couldn't really tell you which is the full form of 'vet' for a British English speaker, nor do I care. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:46, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
"looking after vets" - short for veterans? DonnanZ (talk) 17:50, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes. In American English, vet is short for both veteran and veterinarian. You have to use context (or the unclipped term) to distinguish them. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:57, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Chuck, although I'm fairly sure I have heard veterinary surgeon in the US, with the meaning Chuck describes. --WikiTiki89 18:32, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
I, too, agree with Chuck's report on US usage of veterinarian and veterinary surgeon also with Angr report of polysemic vet. DCDuring TALK 18:39, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
  • A search for "vetinaries" and phrases like "The veterinary looked"/"The veterinary came" finds a lot of hits in both British and American journals up to around 1930, when it suddenly disappears on both sides of the Atlantic. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:58, 19 July 2016 (UTC)


I'm wondering if the third definition – "A Muslim imam" – is correct? I looked it up in my Oxford Dictionary back home and it wasn't listed, neither was it mentioned on Dictionary.com. I was always under the impression that "pastor"/"shepherd" as a spiritual leader was kind of a Christian thing, I could be wrong though. Has anyone seen, read or heard of pastor being used to describe an imam? --Robbie SWE (talk) 19:08, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Doesn't seem obvious from a quick look at Google books. It should be RFVed. DTLHS (talk) 19:11, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
It's definitely a Christian term, but these are sometimes -- in a doubtful way -- applied to Islam. Compare evangelicalism, in which the doubtfulness is even more striking. (If attestable, it should probably be labelled "by extension", "by analogy", or "sometimes also", or something, in order to show that this not within the original and predominant sense of the word.) Kolmiel (talk) 20:26, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
A pastor is a Christian rabbi. That would make an imam a Muslim Christian-rabbi. Everything depends on your own perspective. I don't think we need these kinds of analogical definitions even if they are attestable. --WikiTiki89 20:36, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Fine by me :) I just mean, if we have it it should at least be labelled. Kolmiel (talk) 20:51, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
It's POV-pushing by a known (and blocked) POV-pusher. - -sche (discuss) 21:12, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

pluo, pluit[edit]

We have one lemma with two different lemma entries. We should choose one and turn the other into a form-of entry. —CodeCat 00:30, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Hyphenated fractions as adjectives[edit]

one-fifth, two-fifths, and many others. I don't know how these would be used as adjectives. "It was two-fifths of the whole" seems more like a noun. Any examples of clearly adjectival use? DTLHS (talk) 00:33, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

It's not uncommon to drop the "of a" when fractions are used to modify measure words in recipes, etc., though measures used in recipes are based on multiple of 1/2 and 1/3, not 1/5 (unless you're adding a lot of liquor...). Maybe that's what the entry is getting at. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:24, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
I would think that they would be used just as half#Adjective is used. DCDuring TALK 02:26, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm not really sure that half or any of the hyphenated fractions (or terms such as one percent) are true adjectives, rather than being nouns sometimes used attributively. DCDuring TALK 02:30, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
That makes sense... I didn't think of usages like this:
1888, The Northwestern Reporter, volume 35:
It provides for the sale of four-fifths of certain land, while the mortgagor owned only two-fifths, and the decree was so drawn as to lead to an inference that the intention was that a two-fifths interest belonging to the plaintiff should be sold in connection with the mortgagor's interest.
But like you said this could be considered attributive use. DTLHS (talk) 02:35, 19 July 2016 (UTC)


I missed seeing entry number 4,750,000 to add to Wiktionary:Milestones. Any ideas? SemperBlotto (talk) 20:15, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Wait for 5,000,000? DCDuring TALK 20:48, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
I nominate pangngalan, since it seems to be around the right number and it wasn't created by a bot. DTLHS (talk) 20:51, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
That will do. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:30, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
How many entries are in a mile? --WikiTiki89 21:13, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Currently 250,000 - we increase the number from time to time. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:30, 20 July 2016 (UTC)


Surprisingly this wasn't coined until around 1850. Can anyone find citations earlier than 1849, specifically the "Month. Rev." that the dictionary is citing? DTLHS (talk) 20:53, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

  • 1839, Franz Karl Naegele, “The Obliquely Contracted Pelvis: Containing Also an Appendix of the Most Important Defects of the Female Pelvis”, in (Please provide the title of the work):
    I mentioned it publicly in my earlier lectures as well as at the meeting of the society of Natural Science and Therapy November 24th, 18321 and also — in order to learn the opinions of others — in my lecture on the 23rd of September, 1834
    1Heidelb. Jahrb. d. Lit. 1832, No. 12.
This would seem to indicate that the translators could expect therapy to be understood, at least in the specialty readership of such a monograph, as translating its German equivalent Therapie, which had apparently been in use since the previous century. DCDuring TALK 21:30, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
I think that wasn't translated until 1939, based on the title page. DTLHS (talk) 21:31, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Indeed: "newly translated".
therapia seems to have been in abundant use, including in many book titles, in medical Latin works for quite some time. Therapeutic has a much longer history in English, where I found it in Monthly Review of July 1758. DCDuring TALK 21:51, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Problems with the French 'que' page[edit]

There are mistakes for 'ne ... que' (French for 'only') on https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/que#Adverbe_2 and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/que#Conjunction_3

The most serious problem is that the French page classes it an Adverb, but the English a Conjunction. Can someone please correct them?

HF and AC[edit]

I've seen some boxes of plastic glasses whose lens colors were described as: "HF Green 2.0", "HF Green 3.0", "AC Green 2.0", "AC Green 3.0", "HF Amber", "AC Amber", "HF Smoke", "AC Smoke", etc.

Without opening the boxes and checking the glasses, what do HF and AC probably mean in this case?
--Daniel Carrero (talk) 01:35, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

   Likely you speak of tinted corrective lenses, as 2.0 and 3.0 are over-the-counter degrees of correction in reading glasses (especially for aging eyes). You can find (clear) .5, 1.0, and 2.0 as drugstore glasses including @ Walmart, and i happened to find a set of 3.0's that suit me slightly better in a European pharmacy.
(At the risk of throwing in a red herring, i do note that H. F. AMBER, INC. exists, as does Ac Green Mortgage Modification [snicker].) I don't see anything at Wikipedia:AC and Wikipedia:HF, so those may be style codes, or initials of companies too boring to have WP articles.
--Jerzyt 07:03, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
HF lenses would be "helical focus" in photography [16], but I doubt glasses have the same kinds of lens. Equinox 08:46, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
HF means "half frame" SemperBlotto (talk) 08:56, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Then AC is probably an acetate frame. Equinox 08:59, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Simple Google searches ("HF half-frame" and "AC Acetate frame") make those seem likely. DCDuring TALK 10:14, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
That's how I found it (but I had to dig around, because there were quite a few false positives too). Do you reckon I could get paid for doing Google searches for people? Equinox 17:12, 22 July 2016 (UTC)


I believe we should change this and any other entries to Old English words with the ð character to have the þ character since that seems more widely used, and it seems impractical to have to "guess" whether to input a Ð or a Þ looking for a word.—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 04:46, 21 July 2016‎.

   Here are the entries for the 4 chars mentioned: ð, þ, Ð, Þ.
   98...'s proposal sounds like a wild guess by someone who doesn't realize that redirects from variant spellings to preferred spellings should be able to deal with the problems of users who are in the dark about the unfamiliar characters; in some cases it may be that Dab pages will be needed to guide them with hints about which confusion-prone spellings are associated with which meanings.
--Jerzyt 09:25, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

scare up[edit]

   I've discussed, on that verb's talk page, my reasoning for introducing, after

To find or procure something ...

the new wording

while relying on chance to provide the means

and i hope the change will deserve colleagues' attention, whether positive or negative.
--Jerzyt 06:25, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


Can a pest be a plant (e.g. an invasive plant species)? Wikipedia seems to think so, but both Wiktionary and the OED define pests as creatures and insects/animals respectively. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:51, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Yes. The OED has "Any animal, esp. an insect, that attacks or infests crops, livestock, stored goods, etc. Also (less commonly): a plant that is an invasive weed." SemperBlotto (talk) 10:04, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Empty bulleted line appears in Mobile view but not Desktop?[edit]

On multiple pages in sections such as References and Readings, a bulleted line that is empty of text appears in Mobile view but not Desktop view. If global, would this be fixable by bot?

* {{template}} renders in Desktop view:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

In Mobile view:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

To see an actual example of thsee results, toggle between the two views (using the link at the very bottom of each view) for this archived revision of 囟 and compare Chinese § References, where I removed *, and Japanese § Readings, where I did not.

See my recent history for more examples, especially my edit summaries at Revision history of "囟".

Please verify this in each view on a desktop or laptop computer. My desktop computer, alas, is broken, so when I have been verifying this for the Desktop view, I have been using Chrome for Android, a mobile platform, on a Samsung phone. I don't see why that would matter, but just in case...

Side question: Where in Wikimedia would I go to report other issues that affect mobile editing on both WT & WP?

Thanks! --Geekdiva (talk) 10:12, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

It looks like a browser- or OS-specific issue, because I did not see the problem occur when I viewed the pre-edited version of the page using an iPhone. Technical issues that relate to Wikimedia generally should be reported using the Phabricator. — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:21, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


For the Particle part of speech: 1. Is "vocative" a sufficient explanation? Many slightly older books use it the same way we would use "oh" today, e.g. when somebody falls and hurts himself. 2. The usage notes say that the word is not strictly archaic. Who says? It looks very old-fashioned to me, and I think it needs a gloss. Equinox 08:41, 22 July 2016 (UTC)


Is Atatürk really a proper noun meaning the "father of the Turkish people", or is it just a name that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk coined for himself? I feel like this is like defining Johnson as a proper noun with the meaning "son of John". --WikiTiki89 15:57, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

We have both Il Duce and Führer. So Atatürk should be acceptable is a specific title carried by a single person if we allow such thing. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 14:57, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I think it should be allowed, too. Although "the Führer" was the leader of a "Führerstaat", which was considered the proper Germanic form of government. So in theory Hitler should have been replaced with another Führer (führer?) after his death. That might be a difference. Kolmiel (talk) 10:37, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I'm not complaining about the inclusion of the word, but about the definition. Also, Atatürk was not his title but his surname. --WikiTiki89 16:23, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
@User:Wikitiki89: Good catch. As far as this is a proper noun, it is a designation for Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The definition--"Predecessor or father of the Turkish people"--is wrong and needs a correction. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:44, 24 July 2016 (UTC)


Keeps getting added as Anglo Norman, with incomprehensible formatting. Is there a real entry possible here? DTLHS (talk) 23:53, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

This idiot keeps adding a factoid about an Anglo-Norman name and its similarity to an Old English one to every entry even remotely spelled like this- even Old Irish, Sardinian and Vietnamese! My guess is that it's someone (they consistently geolocate to Colombia) who's obsessed with proving that their name has nothing to do with cows and who has no clue about language headers or language codes. I'll have to see if I can come up with an edit filter. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:22, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

ginger (redheaded person)[edit]

Someone said on Facebook that the term 'ginger' for a redhead goes back to Southpark of all things. Clearly bollocks. Can anyone be bothered to check when the redhead term originated? OED might have a date for it, but I'm not a subscriber. Many thanks. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:25, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

It seems to have originally been used to refer to cocks, and only later to people. Etymonline is usually good for a free summary. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 12:47, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I think "ginger" as a noun referring to a redhead (as in "He's a ginger") was virtually unknown in American English until it was popularized by South Park. I can't say whether it was used that way in British English before that, but I suspect it was. (South Park also introduced Americans to the word minge, which was previously unknown in the States.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:20, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
The OED has this noun sense- "A cock with reddish plumage; also, a red-haired or sandy-haired person." with an example (of person) from 1885. SemperBlotto (talk) 20:32, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

God Almighty[edit]

is a mistranslation Talk:God Almighty. Lysdexia (talk) 22:22, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

custom/logic/tradition dictates[edit]

We seem to be missing a definition at dictate for "custom/logic/tradition dictates that...". The first sense is below standard, too. --Turnedlessef (talk) 22:39, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Isn't this just sense 1 ("order, command, control")? — SMUconlaw (talk) 07:00, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps, but that sense needs better wording anyways. --Turnedlessef (talk) 07:33, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
See {{sofixit}}. DCDuring TALK 14:20, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Many other words can fit where custom/logic/tradition fit without altering the definition IMO, eg, hope, experience, love, hatred, geometry. DCDuring TALK 14:25, 24 July 2016 (UTC)