Wiktionary:Tea room

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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

Please do not edit section titles as this breaks links on talk pages and in other discussion fora.

Oldest tagged RFTs


April 2017

Obsolete IPA character[edit]

Which IPA character should be used instead of the crossed I shown in Hartlepool (apparently obsolete)? It should sound like hart-le-pool. DonnanZ (talk) 13:28, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps /ɪ/ or /ə/. (See .) — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:57, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
/ɪ/. /ə/ would be used to transcribe dialects in which the phoneme /ɪ/ does not occur unstressed (i.e., it has merged with /ə/). — Eru·tuon 17:45, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks to both, I think it may be ɪ, le is actually from Norman. I couldn't format it for {{IPA}} as the pronunciation I filched from Wikipedia has that invalid character. DonnanZ (talk) 18:19, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
You can still use {{IPA}}- the error message will only show up in the preview. DTLHS (talk) 18:23, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Oh I see, I didn't chance it, thanks. DonnanZ (talk) 18:27, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

not quite[edit]

Is that a good definition? --Barytonesis (talk) 23:54, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

I think it's pretty accurate, but it doesn't seem to capture the connotation of not quite, which I think has a bit more emphasis on the negative than your definition implies, if that makes sense. I can't think of a good way to make it better though. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:13, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy: That's what bothers me. Pragmatically, you can't use it like you would "almost" or "very nearly". Is it rather a synonym of "not exactly", or "not really"? --Barytonesis (talk) 17:19, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I think "not exactly" is pretty close in meaning. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:28, 4 April 2017 (UTC)


  • We currently claim the deceiving sense is slang. This seems highly unlikely, since it is such a common usage in all English speaking countries. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:59, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Yeah, that doesn't seem right to me. Maybe someone was referencing an older dictionary that classified it as slang? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:16, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
      • I feel that we constantly use "slang" where it doesn't apply. Particularly it's often used for "informal" or "colloquial". In my understanding, slang requires that a word can't be used towards a vast portion of society, because they would either censure it or not understand it. Kolmiel (talk) 10:23, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Is this the same usage as "the con of man" from The Da Vinci Code? I would say that it is not a slang usage; "informal" might be the best descriptor. Nicole Sharp (talk) 08:24, 4 April 2017 (UTC)


Is this a word in English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:21, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Not to my knowledge. It sounds awful anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 12:15, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
It gets more than enough hits on Google books to be includable. DTLHS (talk) 14:56, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes; created. Equinox 16:36, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
These abominations show up all over the place, especially in technical contexts. Start with a verb (inform), evolve into a noun (information), transmogrify into another verb (informationize, unattested to my knowledge), then burst forth as yet another noun. This is mechanically doable in English through the magic of lexical suffixes, a process that has no limits in principle but eventually unravels into verbal refuse. Just stop it.
Who are you telling to "stop it"? The English language has been doing things like this for hundreds of years and a stupid dictionary is hardly going to stand in its way. DTLHS (talk) 22:43, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Down with antiaffixizationers! --G23r0f0i (talk) 21:12, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

affix, clitic[edit]

Each of these entries links to the other as a coordinate term, but the difference between them is not made clear. MW's definition of clitic implies that it is used only of that which results from a contraction, but then the English possessive -'s is clearly not an enclitic.__Gamren (talk) 17:53, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

An affix turns one word into another word (or form of a word). A clitic functions grammatically as its own word, but is pronounced as part of another word. The possessive -'s in English is a borderline case where a former affix has taken on some properties of a clitic, such as being able to be applied to phrases, rather than individual words. Take for example "Jack and Jill's pale", if the -s were still purely an affix marking the possessive "case", then you'd expect "Jack's and Jill's pale". --WikiTiki89 16:15, 3 April 2017 (UTC)


The definition is incorrect (cf. ileus on Wikipedia). Wyang (talk) 11:04, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

I tried to fix it myself... after several days of unresponsiveness. Wyang (talk) 08:58, 7 April 2017 (UTC)


Is this a word in English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:31, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

I can't find anything useful on b.g.c. except an old-fashioned dialectal form of rinse (e.g. [1], [2]). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:05, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
It would be an understandable misspelling for wrench. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:25, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

How to conjugate irregular compound verbs[edit]

I just heard a commentator on SoCal public radio (KPCC) use the term 'greenlit' in reference to a film project initiated some years ago. I often hear an irregular compound verb like this conjugated like the basic verb. I think we all agree that the past tense of 'undergo' must be 'underwent' if only because 'undergoed' sounds horrendous. In the case of greenlight, however, the word derived from a noun--an electric traffic control--so the choice between 'lit' and 'lighted' is more nuanced. Are there rules here or merely stylistic preferences? —This comment was unsigned.

I have heard it said that verbs formed from nouns are always conjugated regularly -- hence "the batter flied out" (not "flew out"), and "the soldiers ringed the fortress" (not "rang the fortress"), which suggests that "greenlighted" is correct since it's formed from the noun phrase "green light", as you note. Benwing2 (talk) 17:31, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
In the case of ring, the verb and noun are unrelated, so it wouldn't make sense to say "rang" anyway. For "fly out", people always seem to be tempted to say "flew out" even though everyone says "flied out" is correct. With "greenlight", however, I think "greenlit" is the most commonly used form. --WikiTiki89 17:38, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm guessing that the only player who ever actually flew out was Yogi Berra. —This unsigned comment was added by Robinsjo (talkcontribs) at 22:43, 3 April 2017.
Which proves that they are not "always conjugated regularly". They just may be or tend to be. There are probably other examples for both cases. Kolmiel (talk) 20:20, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Of course, this tendency could be a factor in the collapse of the system of English strong verbs, which we expect to happen in the 32nd century. Because the main factor that blocks forms like flied and eated is that they sound strange and give you a little shiver deep insde. But when you can say "flied out", with time "he flied to Amsterdam" might not sound just as strange anymore. Kolmiel (talk) 20:33, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
All we need is a generation of children to grow up without parents or schoolteachers. That should take care of all the strong verbs. --WikiTiki89 20:37, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
You think? I'm not sure. All Germanic languages except Afrikaans, even including all dialects, still have them, although those were spoken for maybe 1700 years since Proto-Germanic without any education among the normal population. Kolmiel (talk) 21:08, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Down with parents and teachers! --G23r0f0i (talk) 21:10, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I mean those people did have parents, but not educated ones. Kolmiel (talk) 21:09, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Yeah but look what happened to Afrikaans in a matter of a couple centuries. --WikiTiki89 21:24, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Admittedly, there is a difference now with people moving around so much, and so many non-native speakers using English. So maybe you're right with regards to English at least. But nah, I like strong verbs. Of course, it's only because I'm used to them. But, actually, it's the only thing I would change about Afrikaans. It's a cute language, but something like ek het gevind ("I has finded")? No, sorry, I'm too conservative for that. Kolmiel (talk) 21:44, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
When I was studying morphology in college, we discussed this in two separate contexts: the regularization of irregular verbs with significant semantic drift and irregularity in novel compounds. For the first category, we had the "flied out" example, as well as the fact that many people consider the plural a computer "mouse" to be "mouses". Similarly, I have since noticed speakers' unwillingness to make the past of "to grind on someone" (the dance move) as "He ground on her" with most people favoring "grinded" (though this could represent the effect of verbification if the etymology is "to do the grind" > "to grind").
For the second category, one of my friends noticed that, when asked to form the past of a compound verb where the first member was irregular, the speaker might doubly mark the past tense. So some speakers would consider the following conjugations well formed:
  • "to breakdance" → "to have brokedanced" or "to have breakdanced"
  • "to sleepwalk" → "to have slepwalked" or "to have sleepwalked" (but not "to have *sleptwalked")
All this to say that these effects can go in either direction depending on a wide variety of factors. —JohnC5 00:12, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Looking at language histories, I think that simple past forms will disappear altogether before the strong verbs get regularized. Crom daba (talk) 22:07, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Indeed that has happened in some languages. Afrikaans, again. And also in most of High German the simple past is at least unproductive. In Yiddish and Swiss German it has disappeared entirely. In Luxembourgish, as a northern High German language, it's restricted to some 20 simple verbs. However, all High German dialects still have strong verbs, because they use the perfect tense and the perfect participle remains strong. In English, maybe people will substitute he did fly, so that would mean they're gone. Kolmiel (talk) 22:33, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm speaking about trends I see in English, not general cross-Germanic or cross-linguistic trends. In American English, the pluperfect will soon be replaced entirely by the simple past. So the simple past is not going anywhere. The simple present, on the other hand, is more likely to disappear, for active verbs at least, although as of now its habitual-aspect uses and non-indicative uses are still highly productive. My comment about strong verbs disappearing is based on the fact that children do tend to say things like "flied" and "eated" until they are taught not to; although there are some strong verb patterns that are on the contrary likely to grow in usage, like the -ing/-ang > -ung pattern (note also that the simple past/past participle distinction is collapsing into just one form), so sang/rang will be gone in favor of sung/rung, and brought will become brung, and I wouldn't be surprised if weak verbs like banged become bung. --WikiTiki89 23:35, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes. The perfect is also used less (I think especially in American English) than what traditional grammar would imply, isn't it? You're likely to hear I brought you some flowers instead of I've.... So the English past tense seems stable. -- I think small children are likely in most languages to use regularized forms. They also do in German. But the fact that older children don't, needn't be because they're told "don't say that", but because they adapt later on. Of course, it's hard to find out and distinguish. Kolmiel (talk) 00:40, 5 April 2017 (UTC)


  • Zero Google Books hits; zero Google Groups hits. Words that only appear in lists, and not in usage, are not for us. The correct and standard term is "base 128". I have never seen such a base used by anyone for anything. Equinox 18:46, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Yes, I cannot find much on Google either. The only citations for "ducentahexaquinquagesimal" I can find seem to be from Wikipedia, for which the entry is marked as missing a citation. Even if the terms are not in usage though, they can still be added in a Wiktionary Appendix for reference. The naming system seems fairly systematic to create new names for arbitrary bases, as I did with 128 and 512, but I am not sure of the origins or formalism of the naming system. Nicole Sharp (talk) 18:54, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Other than Wikipedia, this is the best citation that I can find: http://www.mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/60405.html, which additionally cites "Schwartzman S (1994). The Words of Mathematics: an etymological dictionary of mathematical terms used in English (ISBN 0-88385-511-9)." I don't have access to the book cited, but the prefixes listed on the webpage seem to confirm "centoctovigesimal" as the non-numerical term for base 128. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:51, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
      • "Centoctovigesimal" (I miswrote it as "uncentoctovigesmal" earlier) does have one citation on Google: [3]. Not sure if the poster there is the same as user "@double sharp" here on Wiktionary. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:51, 3 April 2017 (UTC)



Is it vulgar? --Barytonesis (talk) 22:18, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps it should also be marked as rare or archaic. Crom daba (talk) 08:04, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Saare County and others[edit]

User:BD2412 recently added a bunch of entries for Estonian counties, all with "County" at the end of the name. I'm wondering, firstly, if they are not known better by their Estonian names (e.g. Saaremaa), but also whether this combination is SOP or not. —CodeCat 22:53, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion#McClain_County? —suzukaze (tc) 22:54, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I think this is different, though. The US counties are rarely if ever used without "County". I'm not sure if that's also the case with Estonian counties. —CodeCat 22:56, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
  • A few things on this. I created them because Saare County is on Robert Ullmann's list of missing red links. Although they are called "counties" they are top-level administrative divisions, and therefore the equivalent of U.S. states; it hardly seems fair that we would include U.S. counties, but exclude state-level subdivisions from another country. If they are sometimes used with "County" (all the Wikipedia articles are so titled), then they would at least be legitimate alternative forms. bd2412 T 22:58, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia articles can be SoP though, so that doesn't help us here. What I'd be more interested in is whether English speakers really do use these "County" names or if they're something Wikipedia writers invented. I would just call it Saaremaa myself. —CodeCat 23:04, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
      • Google Books returns a few thousand hits for "Saare County"; whether or not it is the best usage, it is attested as a unit. bd2412 T 23:06, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
        • Ok, that is one thing down. What about the name Saare alone, is that ever used? The funny thing about this is that in Estonian, saare is a case form, the lemma being saar (island). So it seems like the creators of Saare County just tore off the Estonian word maa and replaced it with county regardless of Estonian grammar. The names without maa are never used in Estonian to refer to these counties, it would be like using Eng alone to refer to England. —CodeCat 23:09, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
          • These aren't ==Estonian== entries. bd2412 T 00:50, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
            • I'm aware. I just find it striking that whoever coined the term knew enough Estonian to analyse it as (name) + maa, yet not enough to recognise that saare is a genitive form. —CodeCat 01:04, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
              • Well whoever did it, it seems to be in use since about 1991. bd2412 T 23:25, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Spanish coquizar, coquificar[edit]

  • "To use heat to decompose high molecular weight hydrocarbons, in order to obtain petroleum coke" ([5]). Is there an English verb for this? DTLHS (talk) 03:46, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
    • cokify? Nicole Sharp (talk) 04:02, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
      • "Cokify" is used in the translation for French "cokéfier," and there is also "coking" ("to coke"), but that seems to be a different context. Nicole Sharp (talk) 04:07, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
      • "Coking" is the term used on "wikipedia:petroleum coke." It would have to rely on context though to refer to either the production of the coal byproduct (coke) or the petroleum byproduct (also coke). Nicole Sharp (talk) 04:12, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
        • Thanks. I guess it's better just to provide the gloss rather than rely on a potentially inaccurate one word translation. DTLHS (talk) 17:47, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

squad, section, platoon, company, etc.[edit]

Shouldn't we try to organise these terms? -- 15:52, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Turkish proverb in usage examples for "alan": noun or adjective sense?[edit]

I just stumbled upon alan and the Turkish section has the same proverb, "Atı alan Üsküdar'ı geçti", as a usage example both for adjectival usage (in the only present sense, with translation "The one who is the recipient of the horse has already passed Üsküdar. (It is too late to do anything; you have missed the train.)") and noun usage (in sense 2, with translation "[The person] who took has passed Üsküdar. (Too late to do anything about it, as the chance has been missed.)"). While I see that the senses are very close, using the same usage example for both, and with different translations, seems fishy to me. From the translation it seems clear that this is an example of the noun sense, and analyzing word-by-word gives "horse (acc.)-recipient-Üsküdar (unknown case, I have no inflection table at Üsküdar or at wikt:tr:Üsküdar)-passed (simple past, third person singular)", which reinforces the impression that this is a noun usage, and that a more appropriate translation would be "The person who received the horse has passed Üsküdar". This means that the usage example for the adjective sense is missing, and the translation for the noun sense had better be changed to include "the horse". I will do this, but I cannot provide a new example for the adjective sense. Can someone do that for me? Also, is this "alan" a passive active participle that can be used as adjective or noun or is it a verbal noun that can be used as an adjective? MGorrone (talk) 16:35, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm guessing that this is a present participle of almak (and Üsküdar'ı is the accusative).
Turkish participles AFAIK can be used both attributively (as an adjective) and substantively (as a noun), you are right in noting that the example displays a substantive usage, but it should arguably be listed under a single participle or verb heading and linked to the main entry anyway. Crom daba (talk) 20:01, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
However, we don't seem to list -an participles as verb forms currently. @Anylai, could you tell me the reasoning behind this convention, are such words treated as independent form? Crom daba (talk) 20:09, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
It is not a verbal noun, -an makes adjectives, although there is not a very clear line between adjectives and nouns or adjectives and adverbs in Turkish.
Let's take a look at another sense of al- and derive alan in a different sense. Using the sense "to buy";
alan kişi (buying person),
Alan razı, veren razı. (the buying (person) is willing, the selling/giving (person) is willing). The second one is a proverb, meaning "mind your own business".
I guess we need some sort of a template, otherwise we can never get out of the complexity of -an, -en creates, it is very productive and meanings will depend on context. See above, alan in the second example can mean "buyer". Well sometimes words get specific senses, I guess they can be mentioned separately. I wish I were competent enough in this subject to decide on whether it is past or passive active participle. --Anylai (talk) 20:29, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the response @Anylai:. My approach to participles/converbs and other non-lemma forms in Mongolian is to omit such nuances or even a translation, and merely link the lemma form and the suffix, the user should provide their own knowledge of syntax and grammar of a language to use the dictionary properly (I try to give a bit of that in the suffix entries however). See баяжсаар and -саар to see what I mean. Crom daba (talk) 20:53, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Dutch participles[edit]

@CodeCat, @Lingo Bingo Dingo, @KIeio: Inspired by the paragraph above this: We don't treat participles as verb forms in Dutch either. I'm not sure if that's good, but at least it should be standardized between languages. Right now German gelogen and Dutch idem are different parts of speech, although there's not the slightest difference in how they're used. (Except that in Dutch you can say thinks like na gegeten te hebben, but I don't think this is a factor here.) So may I ask to hear your arguments? Kolmiel (talk) 20:49, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

To call it merely a verb form would ignore the fact that participles behave like adjectives as well. That's what the different header is meant to signify. To call it a verb while giving it an adjective inflection table is weird. —CodeCat 20:58, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Okay. Thank you. I don't think I agree, though. Adjectives can be nouns and adverbs, as well. In Dutch they even have different nominal inflections (with the -en form; the -s form has been called nominal as well). The point for me is that participles are always derived from verbs. That's what makes them participles and hence verb forms. I suppose you will answer that it makes them deverbal derivatives, but that doesn't seem to be justified when half of the conjugations requires this form to be used. Kolmiel (talk) 21:04, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
IMO, the formatting of Dutch entries is good, but participles should be categorized under verb forms in our cat tree hierarchy. Crom daba (talk) 21:15, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
What about other languages that use the "Participle" header, such as Latin? If we're going to phase this header out, we should do so for all languages. —CodeCat 21:16, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Actually now I see that particles are already categorized as verb forms.
In case I wasn't clear, I do like the participle header. Crom daba (talk) 21:27, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I didn't see that either. I admit that it makes the situation a bit different. I found it particularly strange that they should be lemmas, but they aren't. Still, there should be a consistent policy for at least all continentenal West Germanic languages. Kolmiel (talk) 21:36, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I also like the Participle header and use it in a wide variety of languages. However, I think "accelerated page creation" or whatever it's called with the green links automatically inserts a ===Verb=== header for participles, which is why so many participles (and probably not just in German) are labeled Verb. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:02, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
@Angr Part of the reason is probably that for English entries, we have one definition for both the past tense (which is called "simple past" for English for some reason) and past participle. And with English being the oldest language on Wiktionary, it probably set the practice for later languages. I think Latin and perhaps Ancient Greek were the first ones to use Participle, and I've certainly adopted the practice for Dutch based on those languages. —CodeCat 21:02, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
I believe the "simple" in "simple past" refers to morphological simplicity- the tenses based on participles, etc. are compound tenses. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:20, 9 May 2017 (UTC)


By the way, can Dutch say the equivalent of Das ist gelogen! to mean "That's a lie!" or gelogenes Alter to mean "an age that's been lied about"? I think we have to consider those usages a real adjective, and not just the past participle of lügen. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:02, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Dat is gelogen, yes. Do you think really think this is an adjective? It's the same as: Das ist ausgedacht. Das ist bestätigt. Das ist richtig gerechnet. I don't know the exact grammatical term for this is, but it tends to be considered a second form of the perfect tense: Der Kuchen ist gegessen. ("The cake is eaten.", i.e. "gone"), versus: Der Kuchen ist gegessen worden. ("The cake has been eaten.", i.e. "someone ate it".) The thing is that in Dutch there's no distinction. Both would be: Het gebak is gegeten. — The adjectival use is rare in Dutch, but it's also rather rare in German. This could be an adjective since you can't generally construe lügen with a direct object. So that could be the point. Kolmiel (talk) 22:28, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
The term I've seen used for this construction in German is stative passive. Crom daba (talk) 22:45, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, thanks. I googled "static perfect" and found nothing. Yours is right. Kolmiel (talk) 22:47, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Well, maybe the direct-object argument refers to the first usage as well. But only in this verb then, not with transitive verbs. Alternatively one could say that lügen is occasionally used transitively. Er hat die Geschichte gelogen instead of erlogen is a bit doubtful to my ears, but definitely not impossible. Descriptively speaking. Kolmiel (talk) 22:40, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Yet another way would be to read "das ist gelogen" as an impersonal passive. Then it underlying sense wouldn't be "That has been lied about", but rather "They who said it lied." Kolmiel (talk) 22:46, 4 April 2017 (UTC) No, this might work for "das ist gelogen", but not when the subject is not a neuter pronoun. Kolmiel (talk) 22:56, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
The main reason I think this is a real adjective is that lügen is an intransitive verb; that's the difference to Das ist ausgedacht. Das ist bestätigt. Das ist richtig gerechnet. Der Kuchen ist gegessen. Could you call a conversation held on the phone ein telefoniertes Gespräch? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 23:11, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I realized. Only instead of "transitive" I said "construed with a direct object". Yes, you're probably right, as I implied somewhat unclearly in my last not stricken answer above. Of course, you couldn't say ein telefoniertes Gespräch. I did mention that lügen can sometimes be transitive. However, this latter construction is (prescriptively at least) nonstandard, while das ist gelogen is not at all. So, yes, we should probably have that as an adjective. I just didn't realize at first that you were speaking about the word "gelogen" specifically. Kolmiel (talk) 00:31, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Done. Kolmiel (talk) 00:58, 5 April 2017 (UTC)


Is the Italian entry meriare some kind of dialectal term or something, because I can't seem to verify its existence in standard dictionaries? Word dewd544 (talk) 23:16, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

It seems to be Tuscan http://kielipiha.blogspot.rs/2013/06/meriggiare-curioso-e-raccolto.html "Una variante toscana di meriggiare è meriare." Crom daba (talk) 23:31, 4 April 2017 (UTC)


The two definitions "A person who is a founder of a colony" and "An original member of a colony" do not seem distinct. Our definitions of colony are also suboptimal. - -sche (discuss) 01:36, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

I see it as differentiating specific creators of the colony from the general people who moved to the colony to live/work there. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 14:40, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

arabic definite article[edit]

Hi, in حق#Etymology_3 we find

        (in the plural, law) rights, claims, legal claims (الْحُقُوق — law, jurisprudence). 

The lexicographic treatment of الـ definite art. is quite complex, and usually overlooked, yet I think it would enrich the wiktionary to add in the descriptions its definiteness if necessary, e.g.

        (in the definite plural, law)

Granted, I do not know whether حقوق may be used withouth it meaning 'law, jurisprudence science' (the examples appearing in other entries seem to corroborate it) --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:02, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

If you mean that under اَل (al-), we could give some basic (!) information about how the article is used in Arabic, then yes, that may be a good idea. It's not that complex actually, pretty much the same as in Romance languages. Except that it's also used with adjectives, of course. Kolmiel (talk) 18:33, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
But maybe you don't mean that. Er, yes, sometimes it may be worthwile to add a note that a particular use is always definite. Most of the time, grammar already implies it, but we can add notes when we think it helpful. I've seen that being done in other languages, too. Kolmiel (talk) 18:38, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
I think it might be incorrect to use the word "always". I'm sure there are cases where حقوق is used in the indefinite with this meaning (it's certainly used in the construct state, but the resulting construct is also usually definite). --WikiTiki89 18:50, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Finnish "kauaksi"[edit]

kauaksi has only one sense:


  1. To far away.

Is this entry OK? It could be just me, but I don't think that definition sounds like normal English.

Going out on a limb: if it's an adverb, should it be distantly? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 15:05, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

I suspect what it means is far away but with motion towards a far-away place, i.e. "he's going far away" but not "he's living far away". @Hekaheka, what say you? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:23, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
That seems to be the case. Compare kaukana. —CodeCat 15:33, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
In that case, "towards far away" might be a clearer definition. - -sche (discuss) 16:48, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
That doesn't sound like good English to me. Equinox 17:43, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Neither does "to far away". In fact it's very tempting to interpret that as a misspelling of "too". --WikiTiki89 18:11, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

I think it is translated into English as "far". In English the difference between being far away and going far away must be inferred from the context. In Finnish there's different word for "in a faraway place" (kaukana) and "to a faraway place" (kauas, kauaksi). "From far away", btw., is kaukaa in Finnish. I have edited the entry. Is it clear now? --Hekaheka (talk) 21:02, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps a usage note could be helpful. Crom daba (talk) 08:23, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
This is a standard thing in Finnish. I don't think we want to have to put usage notes everywhere this happens. Someone with a basic knowledge of Finnish will already know that the translative case indicates a change of state. —CodeCat 13:08, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I see. Crom daba (talk) 17:14, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

dry hump[edit]

Is dry hump a hyponym of dry run? --Barytonesis (talk) 16:47, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Not that I know of. Why did you think so? Equinox 18:10, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox: I'm trying to broaden my vocabulary; to that end I make as many associations as possible. This one was a bit off, though --Barytonesis (talk) 15:11, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Confusion of different kinds of sentence-modifying adverbs - reason for the objection to "hopefully"?[edit]

I just put this on the talk page for "hopefully":

Some sentence-modifying adverbs "really mean" "it is x that," e.g.:

Naturally, she dyed her hair. (It is natural that she dyed her hair.)

Unfortunately, he died. (It is unfortunate that he died.)

You can't say, "It is hopeful that the war will be over soon," therefore, "Hopefully, the war will be over soon" is wrong.

But other sentence-modifying adverbs describe the manner in which the statement is made:

Frankly, he annoyed me. ("Frankly speaking" or "I tell you frankly.") (I don't think anyone would claim that this means, "He told me exactly what he thought of my daughter's singing.")

Confidentially, its aroma leaves much to be desired. ("I tell you confidentially")

Briefly, he says she's a fake. ("To be brief") (I'm summarizing his eighteen volumes.)

Truthfully(!!!!), I haven't started it yet. (Nobody seems to object to this one.)

(It is frank that? It is confidential that? It is brief that?)

The "incorrect" use of hopefully seems to me entirely analogous. —This unsigned comment was added by Kostaki mou (talkcontribs) at 18:52, 5 April 2017.

You can say "It is hopeful that the war will be over soon." and you can "It is truthful that I haven't started it yet." --WikiTiki89 19:05, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
You can say anything. These are hardly idiomatic and the first changes the meaning. Kostaki mou (talk) 19:36, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Of course it's not idiomatic and hardly anyone would say it, but it does not change the meaning and grammatically it makes sense. --WikiTiki89 19:44, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Kostaki that it changes the meaning. "It is hopeful": what is? It's not like the other sentences. Equinox 19:48, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Also, "truthfully" seems to be more logically analyzed as "truthfully speaking" or "I tell you truthfully" than "it is truthful that." People do say "it is true that," but not "it is truthful that." The meaning is not quite the same though. Kostaki mou (talk) 20:49, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

aforementioned (alternate pronunciation)[edit]

The pronunciation given (/əˌfoː(ɹ)ˈmɛn.ʃənd/) is the only one I have seen in dictionaries. In recent years I have heard the pronunciation "/ˌæ.fə(ɹ)ˈmɛn.ʃənd/" ("AFFermentioned")from several people. Any idea when that came into use? —This unsigned comment was added by Kostaki mou (talkcontribs) at 23:26, 5 April 2017 (UTC).

I've heard that pronunciation too (and find it quite frustrating). I don't know when it arose. It probably indicates that the speaker isn't aware of the morphology of afore, or they would destress the prefix a-. — Eru·tuon 00:31, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
My guess is that it's an overcorrection based on pronunciations like "AP-li-ka-bl" (for "applicable") and "FOR-mi-da-bl" (for "formidable") (both of which I myself use) and "DES-pi-ka-bl" (for "despicable") (which I don't). Many people pronounce any or all of these words with the accent on the second syllable, which seems to be most accepted for "despicable" and least accepted for "formidable". Kostaki mou (talk) 21:06, 14 April 2017 (UTC)


Is the Baptist religion referred to as "Baptism" in English? (In German, we do have Baptismus, but it may be an independent [back?]formation from "Baptist".) Kolmiel (talk) 05:42, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

I don't think so. Baptism only refers to the ceremony. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:55, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I've used both "Baptism" and "Baptistry" jokingly to refer to the Baptist denomination, but in fact, neither word has that meaning. You have to just say "Baptist denomination/faith/beliefs", etc. Actually, Baptistism is attestable, but it's very rare. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:14, 7 April 2017 (UTC)


Hi, in the declension table of كسلان the form كسلى seems to be both msc. pl. and fem. singular. Could sb. confirm this? I cannot find it in any grammatical resource. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:14, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Figurative senses of "warm"[edit]

I think we're missing figurative senses, as in google:warm piano sound. —suzukaze (tc) 08:44, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

I took a stab Leasnam (talk) 22:14, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

laugh on the other side of one's face[edit]

What does it mean? --Sonovobić (talk) 23:13, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

If you tell someone that they will laugh on the other of their face, you're saying that something bad is going to happen to them and they won't laugh like they are now. Equinox 23:26, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
I know it as laugh out of the other side of one's mouth. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:36, 9 April 2017 (UTC)


There are a LOT of Scouting-related terms that are attested, and I keep adding ones that blow my mind that they weren't here already, such as merit badge. I propose creating the new category Category:en:Scouting, and appending Scouting terms with the new label "Scouting", which will automatically add Category:en:Scouting to the page. PseudoSkull (talk) 00:22, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Yep. Don't forget Venturer Scout, woggle, and dyb! Equinox 00:26, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
I have created User:PseudoSkull/Scouting. A mess, and contains some likely entries, although I suppose some of them may be SOP. Could someone look over them from time to time? Oh, and scouting terms seem to have a lot of alternative forms. PseudoSkull (talk) 00:59, 9 April 2017 (UTC)


This entry has one sense:

  1. Exhibiting a love of sophistry or logical reasoning; philosophical; may include fallacious reasoning.

Is it OK? The part "may include fallacious reasoning" looks off to me. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 07:19, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm not personally familiar with this word. Maybe it's an RFV matter? Equinox 01:29, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
It seems rare / obsolete. DTLHS (talk) 01:30, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
I created an RFV for it. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 21:23, 10 April 2017 (UTC)


Definition 9 currently reads "(topology) The infinitesimal open set of all points that may be reached directly from a given point." The part about "may be reached directly" is probably a handwavy way of saying "connected space", but that seems wrong. I have no idea what "infinitesimal" is supposed to mean in this context, and I am not sufficiently confident in my math-fu to remove it summarily.__Gamren (talk) 18:10, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

w:Neighbourhood (mathematics) gives two definitions:
Intuitively speaking, a neighbourhood of a point is a set of points containing that point where one can move some amount away from that point without leaving the set.
If is a topological space and is a point in , a neighbourhood of is a subset of that includes an open set containing .
It seems like one of those math words that you can either give a clear English definition, or a precisely correct one, but not both.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:53, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
How about "A set containing a given point and an open set around it"? Our definition of open set is pretty nice so I'd be happy with sending the reader over there. Crom daba (talk) 18:43, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
@Crom daba: that seems to be exactly definition 8. For all I know, definition 9 should just be deleted. The only mathematical sense of "neighborhood" I know is definition 8, i.e. the one you gave. For the moment, I fixed the "open set" to "open set" (single link to "open set" instead of double link to "open" and "set"). I leave it to someone who is more expert in maths than me (and maybe has studied it in English rather than Italian) to remove or otherwise edit that definition. MGorrone (talk) 12:34, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
I think the difference between definition 8 and definition 9 is whether you're referring to a neighborhood of a point or the neighborhood of a point. For example, if I want to say that does not take the value near a point , I could say that it does not take the value in the neighborhood of , which would mean that is nonzero on some open set containing . This use may be more common when explaining intuition than when stating theorems rigorously. Germyb (talk) 19:16, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

pushed out the door, he returns through the window[edit]

The above is what we now have in Czech vyhodíte ho dveřmi, vrátí se oknem. google:"he returns through the window" suggests to me this is not a native English idiom, or is it? Is there a native idiom? --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:40, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

I've certainly never heard it in English. What does it mean? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:53, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
  • @Dan Polansky, is it equivalent to fall seven times, stand up eight? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:34, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
    @Metaknowledge: Probably not entirely; the saying you quote seems to describe a response to adversity in general rather than a response to human rejection of a proposal in particular. Furthermore, the Czech saying seems to complain of someone's persistence, whereas the quoted fall-saying seems to commend it, but I do not really know. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:27, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that it means that someone is impossible to get rid of. Get rid of them one way, and they just sneak back in another way. —CodeCat 20:44, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
    • That seems accurate. It seems to indicate the behavior of someone who does not get easily rejected; once their proposal is rejected, they come up with a modification of the proposal, doing that again and again, or they come up with a proposal that merely appears to be different. However, I do not use the Czech saying and the quotations that I find do not provide all that much context from which to extract the meaning so I am not really sure. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:27, 16 April 2017 (UTC)


It seems that the sense in "it was lying on its side" is currently missing. Sense 5 comes closest, but that refers to the human body. It could probably be generalised somewhat? —CodeCat 23:09, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Until I added it 13 months ago, we didn't even have that sense! Feel free to generalize it, or add a new sense along the lines of "the corresponding part of an animal's body". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:48, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
It can apply to objects too. A spinning top can also lie on its side, for example. So I'm not sure how to define that accurately, and there are people here who are better with English definitions than I am. Non-English is more my thing here. —CodeCat 18:47, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Isn't that just sense 2? A spinning top doesn't really have a front and back to distinguish from its sides, the way a human or animal body does. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:40, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Although, come to think of it, a house does, and we do speak of the side of a house as distinct from its front and back. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:41, 11 April 2017 (UTC)


Is there a less technical definition of the word that we're missing, or am I thinking of another word? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:26, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

can of worms[edit]

Not sure why we need two separate definitions here. Can't we merge them? --WikiTiki89 15:30, 10 April 2017 (UTC)


Hi, unlike the categories for the rest of the verbal forms, the verbal nouns are not grouped in different categories according to the forms they belong to. Could this ordering be systematically implemented? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:26, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

I think the same is true for participles: there's no category for Form I participles, for example. I wonder if it would be desirable or possible to make {{ar-act-participle}} and {{ar-pass-participle}} automatically determine the form and categorize. If not, editors would have to go through and add a |form= parameter to all instances of these templates in order for them to categorize. — Eru·tuon 23:35, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Verbal nouns of the form I are unpredictable and numerous, hence its priority. --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:01, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

(not) be a patch on[edit]

"The second film isn’t a patch on the first.": Aren't we missing this sense of patch? --Barytonesis (talk) 20:57, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

We do have not a patch on. Equinox 17:21, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, hadn't looked hard enough. I'm a bit baffled by the "preposition" header btw. --Barytonesis (talk) 18:04, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation for Mandarin and mandarin[edit]

Is there an actual difference between /ˈmæn.də.ɹɪn/ (on Mandarin) and /ˈmæn.dəɹ.ɪn/, /ˈmæn.dɚ.ɪn/ (on mandarin)? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:10, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

No, just a difference in transcription habits. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:28, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
In rhotic US English, the /ɹ/ of the /ɚ/ and /ɹ/ at the onset of the last syllable is the same /ɹ/, which makes the transcription tricky. --WikiTiki89 17:50, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
Should there be some sort of convention we should stick to to make things less confusing? It's really odd to have different transcriptions for basically the same word. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:34, 13 April 2017 (UTC)


Is the pontificate#Etymology 2 pronounciation actually what is heard? It sounds like that the stress(es) is applied on the first or the last sylllable. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 06:46, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

The stress is kind of ambiguous, but I'm hearing the stress on the second syllable. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 07:29, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

About Punktum definition[edit]

Punktum is a definition of when i close a conversation without any respond to recive,or when i say about a thing it is done and do not need further work. Thank you. Robert Dioszegi.

catalog, catalogue[edit]

Now that we have, I very much hope, abandoned the total nonsense of maintaining two entirely separate sets of definitions for mere spelling variants, can anyone see any special reason, before I merge them, for preserving these two separately? Mihia (talk) 01:03, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

You're sure this isn't a like the distinction between program and programme, where the former is an alternate spelling, but also has unique senses? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:16, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't know. However, even if any unique senses exist, these can be handled as exceptions, with notes or whatever. It is no reason to duplicate all the common definitions. Mihia (talk) 03:18, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
That wouldn't make sense, because if the sense wasn't attested in one spelling, or if it was really rare, then it would be inaccurate to put it under on the other page. That doesn't jive with what we've done in the past. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:31, 27 April 2017 (UTC)


  • What is the word to describe writing systems that are used for monuments? E.g. Egyptian hieroglyphs or Roman majuscule letters. It is not "monumental." Nicole Sharp (talk) 06:06, 13 April 2017 (UTC)


Is there evidence that the stress really should be on the antepenultimate syllable rather than on the penultimate? Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:18, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

@Aryamanarora added that, no idea why. Esperanto is perfectly regular, so I've replaced it with {{eo-IPA}}. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:29, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge I must have done it when I was learning a little Esperanto, and as a novice I though the stress would be where I kept it. I was not aware of {{eo-IPA}}, I'll be sure to use it if I ever make any Esperanto entries. —Aryamanarora (मुझसे बात करो) 20:32, 14 April 2017 (UTC)


An anon changed this from Translingual to English. Is that right? DCDuring (talk) 21:04, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

It's wrong of him to have changed it. It should have been RFV'd or something. Other than that, he might be right that it should be English. --WikiTiki89 21:38, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Different languages have different pronunciations and possibly even different spellings/scripts for this word, so it can hardly be translingual. Also, the etymology is wrong, it's named after Harald Bluetooth. —CodeCat 21:40, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
This last consideration hasn't prevented us from having Translingual entries for taxa. DCDuring (talk) 21:44, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
The scientific names are properly translingual, aren't they? Would a Russian writer write Vulpes zerda or would they transliterate it? What about Chinese? —CodeCat 21:45, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Not sure about Chinese, but in Russian you would either write Vulpes zerda (in Latin letters), or use a Russian scientific translation of the Latin name. Anyway, I've fixed the etymology of Bluetooth. --WikiTiki89 21:55, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
I thought the issue was about pronunciations. DCDuring (talk) 22:04, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Are the three derived terms "bluejacker", "bluejacking", "bluesnarfing" translingual? Likely not, even in Wiktionary they are English and not translingual. So if the English terms are given as Translingual derived terms, then it doesn't fit. With English instead of Translingual it works.
  • According to WT:Translations "Translation tables are to be given for English words only". That is, as there is a translation table, it has to be English and not Translingual, or the translations would have to be removed. In contrary to that, WT:ELE#Translations states "Translations should be given in English entries, and also in Translingual entries for taxonomic names". As Bluetooth isn't a taxonomic term, this exception doesn't fit here. So again it makes more sense to change the language than to delete information.
  • WT:About Translingual doesn't have Bluetooth as accepted or rejected, but it's likely rather to be rejected like place names and musical terms than to be accepted like taxonomic and chemical terms.
  • As there was a Translingual and a Portuguese term without any special Portuguese meanings, the Portuguese term seemed to be redundant as that could fit under Translingual (although a Portuguese entry would be permitted by WT:About Translingual#Other languages even if there is a Translingual term). Alternatively instead of having or removing a redundant Portuguese section it makes more sense to change Translingual to the more fitting English.
  • Bluetooth does have a gender in many languages - but the Translingual entry didn't mention any. So like with the other points it rather was an English entry.
    Also, if it would be Translingual, how should the genders be mentioned? "g=m|g2=none|g3=n" as in many Romance and Slavic languages it's masculine, in English and some other genderless languages it's genderless and in German it's neuter? That doesn't seem to be a good idea. A usage note would work, but would have been missing.
@Wikitiki89: Changes of languages happened before (misleadingly from Translingual to Latin, correctly from Latin to Translingual or English) and, as least AFAIK, often without having a discussion anywhere.
@CodeCat: Translingual doesn't mean it's used in all languages. So a taxonomic term in a Latin script could be limited to languages with Latin script and it still could be translingual/Translingual. That is, one can ignore languages with non-Latin scripts. BTW as for Chinese, I've once seen a case where they used Chinese characters and added a Latin-script taxonomic term in brackets (Talk:jinianum#From Chinese placename ?).
- 20:50, 2 May 2017 (UTC)


Not sure about the definition. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:48, 14 April 2017 (UTC)


Haplorhini was just recreated as a valid alternative spelling for Haplorrhini. A case might be made to reverse this to make "Haplorrhini" the alternative after reading why the en-Wiki article was renamed on its discussion page.  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  14:47, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

Ach, what a mess. Based on multiple measures of commonness, as well as the law of priority, Haplorhini should be the lemmatised spelling. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:41, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
Good. I shall raise the issue at Wikispecies.  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  22:47, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing it to our attention. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:55, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
Pleasure! and thank you for an almost instant response and fix!  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  02:19, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

be well shot of, get shot of[edit]

We already have the relevant sense of shot at 4), but couldn't we create this? --Barytonesis (talk) 21:06, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

Is it British? I have not heard it before. It looks similar to get shed of. —Stephen (Talk) 03:17, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

universal value[edit]

Def might be a bit off: "Something that has the same value or worth for all, or almost all, people." Is the "something" really the value, or is the value a property that the something possesses? Equinox 00:28, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

The lead sentence of en-Wiki's article: "A value is a universal value if it has the same value or worth for all, or almost all, people." This appears to say that the "something" is the value. It might be improved; however, I'm not sure how. Perhaps "A value that has the same worth for all, or almost all, people." (?)  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  02:34, 15 April 2017 (UTC)


A very specific sense has been added, which is quite plausible but may need a context label, since many uses are hardly that specific (they use sense 2; compare Dictionary.com's similarly broad "sexual intercourse, especially between a man and a woman"). {{lb|en|formal}}? {{lb|en|medicine}}? {{lb|en|law}}? - -sche (discuss) 05:14, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Opposite of status quo?[edit]

Is there are word for a status which isn't a status quo? Seems like status-non-quo might pass the CFI. Siuenti (talk) 06:19, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

opposite of status quo: advancement, progress? d1g (talk) 16:30, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
change? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 16:31, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

-нулевой суффикс[edit]

I find this strange. I feel it would be like creating an entry -null morpheme, then say that "resurrect comes from resurrection +‎ -null morpheme". Take одурь (odurʹ): одуре́ть (odurétʹ) +‎ -нулевой суффикс (-nulevoj suffiks). And there are inappropriate redirects: , ...Ø. Pinging @D1gggg --Barytonesis (talk) 10:51, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Please cite a paragraph where о- is able to form nouns (from дурь) without an morpheme.
о- is covered by 511, 529, 540.
Russian morpology is Russian, not English. d1g (talk) 10:57, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not disputing the existence of a null morpheme, merely the way you're implementing it in entries. When you read "одуре́ть (odurétʹ) +‎ -нулевой суффикс (-nulevoj suffiks)", the expected result is literally "**одуре́тьнулевой суффикс (odurétʹnulevoj suffiks)", which makes no sense --Barytonesis (talk) 11:10, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
True, -нулевой суффикс is not represented by any characters or sounds.
I'm not able to create a page with 0 charaters or use 0 charters to retrieve this linguistic concept or send a link.
or ...Ø make no sense either, but academic reference using it regardless.
Anyone can use these charters to retrieve only relevant results.
"нулевой суффикс" and "нулевой аффикс" were used in literature.
"-..." is a notation for suffixes used in Template:affix d1g (talk) 11:25, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
This is English Wiktionary, so we don't use Russian terminology in Cyrillic script in etymologies. This is a term for a concept, so use an equivalent English term. As mentioned above, you're getting levels of representation confused: to paraphrase w:The Treachery of Images, Ceçi n'est pas un morphème à signifiant zéro... Chuck Entz (talk) 17:08, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
I could have sworn I saw an entry like here at one point. —suzukaze (tc) 17:12, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
If we create an entry for zero suffixes, it should be -∅ with the empty set symbol. —CodeCat 17:22, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
In this particular case though, I'm not sure if there's actually zero suffixation though. The verb has a suffix -e- on the stem which disappears in the noun, so part of the stem is actually removed. Wikipedia calls this a disfix. —CodeCat 17:30, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
We need to fix the entries which link here... - -sche (discuss) 21:11, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
If you write шить (šitʹ) +‎ , the resulting form would still be шить (šitʹ), but with a different meaning. шить (šitʹ) +‎ means there there exists a suffix that has neither form nor sound, but we know it exists because it changes the meaning in a regular way. That is not what is going on with шов (šov). If you're trying to say that stands for the removal of -ть (-tʹ), the morpheme that marks the infinitive, that's not correct. шить (šitʹ) +‎ does not result in шов (šov). If шов (šov) is made from шить (šitʹ), it is made in a different way. The final -в looks like a past-tense deeprichastiye, but that does not explain the vowel о. —Stephen (Talk) 09:20, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

@Stephen G. Brown please review 5457400832 as it provides more context on what's going on in РГ-80

  • шить - шов covered in following books:
    • РГ-80 § 1078 p 429
    • ISBN 5457400832 p 149 refers to РГ-80:
      • 1.1 affixial
        • 1.1.2 root word - 1. flexies () 2. null-suffixiation, 3. alternation of vovels

We don't have templates to show alternation of vovels. d1g (talk) 11:11, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

arabic hamza[edit]

Hi, I cannot find the rules the community follows regarding the seats for ء. Shouldn't they appear in Wiktionary:About_Arabic ? Furthermore, in that page, regarding 3. -iyy-, -uww- are used in place of -īy-, -ūw-., could sb. please add an example thereof? I think that is not an exception but the formal citation form. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:00, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

The spelling rules don't necessarily belong to language policy pages, such as Wiktionary:About_Arabic (this is how you should link Wiktionary pages, not the full URL). The seat of hamza is an important rule for writing correctly in Arabic but we would include terms if they didn't follow the rule but were attestable.
We transliterate nisba as in عَرَبِيّ (ʿarabiyy) with -iyy (plus any endings), etc., which is different from Hans Wehr dictionary. That's what the statement means. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:17, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Where can I find the rules the editors have agreed to follow then? Or at least the orthographic variation they regard as acceptable? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:33, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Any attested Arabic spelling is acceptable. An expert on the language can mark it as slang, irregular spelling, rare, dialectal, etc. As a guide we write out hamza over and under alif أ إ, dots under yaa ي and taa marbuta ة. The other, relaxed spellings are acceptable but treated as alternatives. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:22, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: I thought there'd be templates for the different seats of ء, therefore I'd suggest creating them for easy of edition. --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:35, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
Templates, for different seats of hamza? I really don't know what you're asking?!
Initial hamza over alif: أ (ʾ): أَجَلّ (ʾajall) (with "a"), أُسْتَاذ (ʾustāḏ) (with "u"); hamza under alif with "i" إ (ʾ): إِبْرَة (ʾibra)
Hamza over alif in the middle of a word إِمْرَأَة (ʾimraʾa)
Hamza over yāʾ ئ (ʾ): أَسْئِلَة (ʾasʾila)
Hamza over wāw ؤ (ʾ): لُؤْلُؤَة (luʾluʾa)
Stand-alone hamza ء (ʾ): شَيْء (šayʾ)
What templates are you talking about? Do you know how to enter Arabic letters? You don't need templates for entering Arabic. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:12, 16 April 2017 (UTC)


Should this be labeled as offensive and or obsolete? DTLHS (talk) 17:49, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

top of the morning[edit]

The usage notes and context label disagree on whether this is used in Ireland. - -sche (discuss) 21:32, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

schoolman and Schoolman[edit]

I believe these articles should be merged. It's not clear why there is a capitalized entry as the word is a common noun, not a proper noun. Aabull2016 (talk) 01:23, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Probably yes. There is (although I personally disagree with it) a consensus to keep capitalised variants like Pope and Colonel, but I doubt this word is used in that way. Equinox 01:28, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
So, how would that be done? The capitalized entry could be reworked as a variant if it could be shown to exist, but I'm not sure that's the case (the only capitalized example I've found is in a 16th-century text in which many common nouns are capitalized). So it seems best simply to delete it and move any relevant content into the lower-case entry. Aabull2016 (talk) 02:46, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

half-plane vs. halfplane vs. half plane: which is most used?[edit]

I just stumbled upon the halfplane entry, and was surprised to find halfplane, and not half-plane, which I always used, nor half plane. Even the alternate forms at halfplane don't list half-plane (or anything for that matter). A quick Google search for half-plane gives both half-plane and half plane, with the former more common (at least in the first 10 results), and no halfplane at all. In fact, the first 20 results of Googling halfplane only have one result with that form: the Wiktionary entry. So is it right to have the entry under what seems to be the least common form, and with no alternate forms section? If not, what should we do about this? I would go for half-plane as the entry with halfplane and half plane as alternate forms. Do you guys agree? MGorrone (talk) 14:13, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

halfplane, half plane, half-plane at Google Ngram Viewer suggests halfplane is the least often used of the three. I moved it to half-plane, which seems very slightly more common than half plane. --Dan Polansky (talk) 14:55, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

lot lizard etymology[edit]

It says: "The term was invented by Christopher Echard, the self-proclaimed 'Minister of Filth'." Who is that? I can find nothing on Google. Equinox 14:32, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Ask anon. —suzukaze (tc) 15:08, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Dubious. I've removed it. Equinox 15:09, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Strong case for RfD, IMO, despite our having lounge lizard. See definition 6 at [[lizard]], which I have just added. See w:Lot lizard and the Fairlex Dictionary of Idioms (2015) which have it, though with a somewhat different definition. DCDuring (talk) 18:22, 17 April 2017 (UTC)


أيها I'd like to know which feminine collective term is the following sentence from أيها referring to (ٱلْعِيرُ?)

"When addressing a female, a group of females, or (occasionally) a feminine collective noun (فَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُم بِجَهَازِهِمْ جَعَلَ السِّقَايَةَ فِي رَحْلِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ أَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ أَيَّتُهَا ٱلْعِيرُ إِنَّكُمْ لَسَارِقُونَ‎), the form أَيَّتُهَا (ʾayyatuhā) is used."  Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:30, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
This topic might be helpful. Plural inanimates are always grammatical feminines, so if you talk to objects (theoretically), use the form.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:09, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Thank you, yet I'd still like to know what the term the entry is referring to. --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:44, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
The example given refers to عِير (ʿīr) - "caravan"?.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 21:55, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

lick into shape[edit]

How do you use that? "My girlfriend was feeling a bit down in the dumps, so I licked her into shape?" --Barytonesis (talk) 18:54, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Licking into shape isn't simple cheering up, but more like discipline or punishment. Your example sentence wouldn't be used for that reason, and probably also because of connotations of oral sex! A book example: "We shall see, before long, how much trouble [the lazy soldiers] brought on Custer, and how he at last licked them into shape." Equinox 19:14, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
This expression uses a sense of lick that seems to derive from the noun sense "A stroke or blow", and is fairly close to the "defeat decisively, particularly in a fight" verb sense. It's basically the same idea as whip into shape, which we don't seem to have yet, either. Both use the metaphor of employing severe, painful punishment to make the object of the verb behave/improve. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:02, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Translations of teal: someone check please![edit]

I just stumbled upon the teal entry, and looked at the translations to be checked. I know neither Serbo-Croatian nor Persian, so I had to come up with tricks. Now, for Persian, I loaded Wikipedia articles in English and saw what the links in the Other Languages sections pointed me to. This way, I obtained the already-present sense 1 خوتکا (xutkâ), and the sense (2) سبز دودی (sabz-e dudi), which I added because I saw it "somewhere" -- and now I just saw it's in the color table at قهوه‌ای. These are, however, not the translations to be checked. I fed those to Google Translate, and "mala divlja patka" yielded "small wild duck", which I confirmed word-by-word with Wiktionary:

  1. mala is the feminine singular of mal, small;
  2. dlvlja is the feminine singular of divlji, "wild, savage";
  3. patka is "duck".

مرغابی جره (morghabi-ye jarre) gave "teal" on Google Translate, and سبزآبی (sabzabi) gave "cyan", with a suggestion to change it to "سبز آبی", which translates instead to "green blue". And indeed, سبز (sabz) means "green", and آبی (âbi) means "blue", according to the Wiktionary.

So what should we do about these? Can someone check those (and confirm that those I added are correct)?

PS Why does Persian here on Wiktionary never appear on my computer, except in the article titles? I mean, Arabic works just fine, but Persian is invisible and zero-width, save for article titles, and I can copy-paste it from translation sections and the Search bar (after pasting it there), but the links are not clickable, and to load those Persian Wikipedia articles I had to use "Inspect Element" from Firefox and find the link in there. Any idea why this happens?

EDIT: Persian appears nicely in this discussion, but not at آبی, where Urdu appears just fine. MGorrone (talk) 12:05, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

schizophrenic - a note from some mental health professionals[edit]

OTRS ticket # 2017041110003446

We received a note from a mental health service provider from Australia concerning our definitions of schizophrenic. They asked us to consider adding a usage note which highlights the difference between the accepted mental health definition of the term and the more colloquial uses. The full text of their letter (sent to us and several other online dictionaries) is below (by permission).

Dear Wiktionary,

I am writing to you to seek your support in reducing stigma for those living with a mental illness. One
Door is a non-government organisation who advocate on behalf of people with mental illness.
One Door is concerned over the definition of “schizophrenic” in your dictionary. Currently your
dictionary defines “schizophrenic” as:

1. Of or pertaining to schizophrenia.
2. (of a person) Afflicted with schizophrenia; having difficulty with perception of reality.
3. (figuratively) Behaving as if one has more than one personality; wildly changeable.

Despite common practice, the correct usage of the term “schizophrenic” does not refer to multiple or
contrary points of view. In its correct clinical definition, schizophrenia refers to a serious psychiatric
illness characterized by disturbances in thought (such as delusions), perception (such as
hallucinations), and behaviour (such as disorganized speech or catatonic behaviour), by a loss of
emotional responsiveness and extreme apathy, and by noticeable deterioration in the level of
functioning in everyday life.

We believe that the connection of the term schizophrenic and schizophrenia to contradictory
elements further stigmatises an already misunderstood condition.

Although we appreciate that figurative use is not formed by the choice of the dictionary, rather by its
general use, we seek your support through the addition of a usage note along the lines that:
“The non-medical and figurative uses of this word cause some concern to those who are trying to
increase community knowledge of the medical condition of schizophrenia. The general use of the
word to mean ‘more than one personality’ or 'changeable’ is best avoided.”

An inclusion along these lines has been made by several other online dictionaries.

At One Door, we will continue to work to raise public awareness of the incorrect and stigmatising the
use of the word. We appreciate your time and effort.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Ellen Marks
General Manager, Advocacy and Inclusion

I think that there is some merit to including usage notes on technical terms which have been co-opted into similar but distinct meanings. I am sure there are plenty of other terms in the mental health lexicon which could bear similar scrutiny. - TheDaveRoss 12:50, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

As with the SI units: we have to go by actual usage, and not what people put in lists of words, or would prefer something to mean. But a usage note might not hurt. Equinox 22:22, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
The medical meaning is used, just not by the general public. I think we'd do well to include the meaning that medical professionals ascribe to the term. —CodeCat 00:07, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Note that the word under discussion is schizophrenic, not schizophrenia, and we do have the definition "Of or pertaining to schizophrenia" at the former (and what seems to be an accurate medical definition at the latter). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:31, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
A usage note clarifying that the popular definition has its problems is not unreasonable, I see no reason not to honor that request. — Kleio (t · c) 01:27, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Equinox and KIeio, but a usage note should have a more neutral tone than the one they propose.
Re “Although we appreciate that figurative use is not formed by the choice of the dictionary, rather by its general use, [...]”: it’s great to see an organisation that has a grasp on our inclusion criteria instead of the typical “remove it cuz its wrong”! — Ungoliant (falai) 12:10, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm puzzled that the non-medical sense is labeled "figurative". I don't see what's figurative about it; it would be more accurate to call it colloquial or something. — Eru·tuon 00:46, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I've changed that and added a little usage note. I'm not sure about the wording yet but didn't want this to be buried without any action taken, so if anyone could check it and possibly find a better wording, by all means do so. — Kleio (t · c) 06:50, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

курительный (verbs to adjectives in Russian)[edit]

base verb is кур-и-ть

My question is: do we keep suffixes or do we discard them?

  1. old: кур- new: -ительн-ый
  2. old: кур-и new: -тельн-ый

d1g (talk) 16:23, 18 April 2017 (UTC)


Forgive me if it's been discussed before, but earth in lower case as a proper noun? It's a sticky point, I think, but I would say no, it isn't. DonnanZ (talk) 20:16, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Looks wrong to me too. Equinox 22:21, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
We've established before that (for English at least) capitalization is to be ignored when determining whether something is a proper noun. So I'd like to hear the arguments why it should be considered a proper noun in "We saw the Earth from Mars", but not in "We saw the earth from the porthole". --WikiTiki89 23:59, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
My position is that the planet Earth (capital E) is a proper noun, but earth (small e) is soil, not a planet: like how Mars is a planet but mars is a verb form of mar. It's just a "misspelling" but with case rather than letters. I realise that's prescriptive but it's based on very intense and very wide reading. Equinox 00:02, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I think that's grossly inaccurate. The uncapitalized form "the earth" is very frequently used as the name of the planet. See these two Ngrams. --WikiTiki89 00:15, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
A Google Books search for "blow up the earth" returns results in nearly equal proprtions Leasnam (talk) 00:21, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Ngrams are more accurate, but you're basically right. They also show how it's changed over time. It seems historically (i.e. before the 1990s) the lower case form was by far more common, but now they are about even. --WikiTiki89 00:26, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Interesting! I'm very surprised. I must have read a rather anomalous set of books. It would be nice to see them broken down by science/astronomy, literature, penny dreadfuls, etc. Equinox 00:23, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I remember we previously found that scientific works tend to overcapitalize nouns. You'll find things like "The main types of Eukaryotes are Plants, Animals, and Fungi." --WikiTiki89 00:30, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
It has been my experience that the name of the planet is capitalized far more often in science fiction than in other genres, and least of all in fiction books that don't have a focus on space. Non-fiction books related to astronomy fall somewhere in between, I think (and like Wikitiki says, those kinds of books tend to capitalize a lot of words). But that's just my general impressions. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:36, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
You do see capped "the Sun" and "the Moon" quite a bit too, but of course there are other suns and moons; there aren't other earths (in the scientific sense of planet). Equinox 00:48, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
My Oxford hard copy gives Earth, Moon and Sun as alternatives for earth, moon and sun respectively, but avoids calling them proper nouns. Some Wiktionarian has obviously decided that they should be, probably based on the fact that other planets such as Jupiter are usually written with a capital letter. Oxford avoids calling these proper nouns also. DonnanZ (talk) 09:50, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Does Oxford call anything at all proper nouns? --WikiTiki89 14:44, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Apparently not. I checked London, Paris, Amsterdam, New York and some others which are unquestionably proper nouns. DonnanZ (talk) 15:47, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I would think they're proper nouns, not based on capitalization, but just on the fact that they're treated the same way as place names, and each refer to a single object... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 13:06, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm afraid I disagree, and consider any noun which can normally be written in lower case as a standard noun. Would you use the same argument for heaven / Heaven and hell / Hell? DonnanZ (talk) 15:47, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
So if I decide to call you donnanz with a lower case letter, that makes it a common noun? --WikiTiki89 16:00, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
No, as it's not intended to be a common noun. As some user names (which are a totally different ball game and should be left out of this argument) are written in lower case that is feasible, but you will have a problem with case sensitivity if trying to contact me. DonnanZ (talk) 16:23, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
What do you mean by "intended to be a common noun". If I write the earth and "intend" it to be proper noun, why isn't a proper noun? --WikiTiki89 17:10, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
  • "earth" (uncapitalized) is frequently (and arguably incorrectly) used as a proper noun. Technically, the usage as a proper noun should always be capitalized. E.g. "We arrived back on earth." is a common spelling, though it actually should be spelled as "We arrived back on Earth." "earth" (uncapitalized) can also be used to refer to any earthlike (Earthlike) planet, as in "there could be thousands or millions of earths (but not Earths) in the Galaxy," from the usage of "earth" as "soil," i.e. indicating planets with organic life and plant debris to form soils (so that the Planet Terra was actually not an earth before the evolution of plants). To avoid this conflation of usages, "Terra" is the preferred spelling used in much of science and science fiction to refer specifically to Earth as an astronomical object, especially in contexts where there could be more than one earth. "moon," "Moon", & "Luna" and "sun," "Sun," & "Sol" have the same complications, with only the Latin names not having ambiguity in English. Note also the usage of "galaxy" versus "Galaxy" (the Milky Way) and "universe" versus "Universe" (our universe within the multiverse [ Multiverse ]). Nicole Sharp (talk) 22:35, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Not sure what point you're trying to make. In a descriptive dictionary, "wrong" doesn't exist. Nor is it the role of a descriptive dictionary to suggest alternatives in order to avoid confusion. So the only question is whether it is still a proper noun when it is used as a proper noun but spelled lower case. --WikiTiki89 22:46, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
      • Yes, that's why I had to grit my teeth and add "arguably." Just because most people use a word a certain way, doesn't mean that I have to think that it is a correct or viable usage. That's my personal opinion though, and not Wiktionary policy of course. The descriptive versus prescriptive dictionary debate is an old one: wikipedia:The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language#History. Nicole Sharp (talk) 22:57, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
        • Which brings us back to my original point, which was that I don't know what point you're trying to make. --WikiTiki89 23:02, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
          • Just that these astronomical bodies are frequently named as lowercase proper nouns, even though they shouldn't be (since it is confusing and inconsistent). Usage notes for these entries are probably the best route for Wiktionary. Nicole Sharp (talk) 23:11, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
            • And put what, "Nicole Sharp doesn't like this usage"? Note that I even learned in school that the lower case form was correct when there is no other capitalized planet involved (i.e. "the sun and the earth", but "the Sun, the Earth, and Mars"). --WikiTiki89 23:32, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
              • Of course not. I would argue that the lowercase form is a colloquial or informal usage, particularly for geocentric writing. Versus the capitalized forms are more often for use as astronomical objects, particularly in contexts where there can be more than one earth, moon, sun, galaxy, or universe. E.g. "the Earth revolves around the Sun" versus "you should not stare at the sun" or "the earth was once devoid of life." The lowercase forms are linguistic inheritances from before Copernicanism. There is little consistent usage though, which is why I advocate for using the Latin names in English to avoid any possible confusion. Nicole Sharp (talk) 01:04, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
              • Just for a nonastronomical example, Wikipedia and Wiktionary follow a similar pattern to wikipedia and wiktionary, with the lowercase form being ambiguously able to refer to either a proper noun or a standard noun, depending on context. Though personally, I would still always use the capitalized forms, despite the usage otherwise. Nicole Sharp (talk) 01:16, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
                • How can you say it's colloquial or informal when they teach this in grammar class in schools? You can disagree with what they teach in schools, but you can hardly call it colloquial or informal. --WikiTiki89 11:15, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oxford does have a definition for proper noun though: "A name used for an individual person, place, or organization, spelled with an initial capital letter, e.g. Jane, London, and Oxfam. Often contrasted with common noun." A common noun: "A noun denoting a class of objects or a concept as opposed to a particular individual." I daresay someone will argue the toss about that, no mention of proper nouns in lower case. DonnanZ (talk) 22:56, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
    Those definitions are clearly incomplete. If you go strictly by those definitions, then "the earth" is neither a proper noun nor a common noun, and neither is "the Odyssey". --WikiTiki89 23:15, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
    In other words, it doesn't say what you want it to say. DonnanZ (talk) 16:04, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
    @Donnanz: No, they're objectively incomplete. If all nouns are either proper or common (which maybe isn't the case, but then we need to know what the other categories are), then it's a problem that the two nouns I just gave as an example don't fit either of those definitions. By those definitions, "the earth" is not spelled with a capital letter, so it's not a proper noun, and it's neither a class of objects (because there is only one) nor a concept (it's a physical thing, or place if you will), so it's not a common noun either, and "the Odyssey" is not person, place, or organization, so it's not a proper noun, and it's not a class of objects or a concept, so it's also not a common noun either. What part of that is just my personal bias speaking? --WikiTiki89 02:29, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I would rank "earth", when it refers to the very large, apparently flat, object on which we walk, that contains a whole lot of soil and whose end we cannot see, as a common noun, alongside with "world", "universe", "multiverse" but also "heaven". It seems to me one should not be confused by the original singularity of reference. If we define "earth" as "any very large apparently flat object on which the language users walk and whose end they cannot see", there happens to be only one such object, but that's an accident. The definite article before "earth" is of interest; we find it in "the world", as well. The argument is probably not fully conclusive, but rather hints at a certain direction of thought. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:26, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
    I would say that the earth as a thing is a common noun, but as a named specific location in the universe it's a proper noun. As a common noun I would liken it to "the ocean": all of the oceans on our planet are connected and can be referred to as a single entity, but are treated in English in a more generic way. Individual, named parts as geographical locations are proper nouns, though. Synonyms may be helpful, as well: if you can substitute "the world", it's probably a common noun, but if "Terra" is more appropriate, it's a proper noun. Chuck Entz (talk) 17:17, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

D1g's Russian changes[edit]

@Atitarev, Cinemantique, Wikitiki89, Wanjuscha, KoreanQuoter I am getting frustrated dealing with D1g's changes and I would like some input here. He is a native Russian speaker but lacks a linguistic background, has been making wholesale changes to Russian etymologies without seeking consensus, and makes lots of mistakes. When I try to correct them, he edit-wars. When I point out the need for consensus, he says he doesn't need consensus because he has a grammar book that supposedly backs him up. Much of what he adds has errors in it and he adds a lot of stuff, making it hard to go through and fix it rather than just revert it. Benwing2 (talk) 09:12, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

One example: -тельный vs. -тельн-. I already created -тельный awhile ago. D1g attempted to delete it, and in its place substitute -тельн-. The difference here is that -ый is the masculine nominative singular ending that is part of the lemma form. I believe it's more helpful to give suffixes in their lemma form rather than as pseudo-infixes. In D1g's page, he completely ignored the work I already did on this page (e.g. my usage notes section), substituted a totally different and IMO inferior page (e.g. with multiple definitions that are copies of each other), which has lots of errors (e.g. his usage examples are missing the English translation, missing stress marks, and have a spurious right arrow in them that gets copied into the transliterated form). Benwing2 (talk) 09:15, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Another example: красноречи́вый (krasnorečívyj, eloquent), literally "beautiful-speaking". His analysis of красноречивый is typical: He writes красн- + -о- + речь +-ив- + -ый, using the noun речь (i.e. confusing nouns and verbs) and segmenting out all the possible morphemes without respecting the linguistic structure. In my analysis, this is красно- (a combining form of кра́сный (krásnyj, beautiful)) + -речь (-rečʹ, to speak) (a verb that is no longer attested as such in modern Russian but still found in prefixed form; note that -ивый is always added to verbs, not nouns) + -и́вый (-ívyj), an adjective-forming suffix. You could further analyze e.g. -ивый into -ив- + -ый, but I don't think it's helpful to do so at the top level; if this is to be done at all, do it on the -ивый page. D1g doesn't seem aware that morphemes can be analyzed into smaller morphemes and wants to do it all at the top level, and confuses the noun речь (rečʹ, speech) with the verb -речь. Benwing2 (talk) 09:06, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
While my knowledge of Russian is not that great, I'm not impressed by his wholesale reformatting of etymologies. Even I can tell that it doesn't makes sense to do it that way. Hiding behind a book is no substitute for consensus, so I think you are justified in pointing out that consensus is needed. —CodeCat 17:17, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
@Benwing2 Wikitiki89, Atitarev could join at your talk page, don't repeat the same questions.
> e.g. with multiple definitions that are copies of each other
1. Read labels carefully. POS are different, all examples are different.
2. Rules covered at en.wiktionary.org are incomplete compared to the book. Book is always provides better definitions, therefore I placing references every time.
@Benwing2 never does that because he has no references.
> D1g doesn't seem aware that morphemes can be analyzed into smaller morpheme
Could please stop claiming what I assume when I don't do that? Quite sure I know what морф is.
@CodeCat we need better templates to clarify etymology vs word formation.
@CodeCat I used Template:affix because it was in Category:Morphology templates.
I lost a hour or so arguing with @Cinemantique that affix could be used for morphology, not just etymology (as Cinemantique so violently insist).
I'm sure there an easy way to disambiguate definitions. d1g (talk) 18:40, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
@CodeCat I don't want to hide behind the book, but I want to expose book to readers, please consider what option would be the best for everyone. A new template; not affix, then what? d1g (talk) 18:40, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I am also very concerned about D1gggg's mass edits without any previous agreement and some of his methods and styles were followed by Awesomemeeos (currently blocked). They also lack quality and looks, missing stresses or redundant transliterations of various symbols. I wasn't able to follow many edits as I am very busy now but what I've seen so far seems substandard or dubious but I can't say definitely "wrong". I don't have any suggestions for any actions at this stage, just asking D1gggg to be cooperative before any punitive action is required. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:46, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
> edits without any previous agreement
I asked 2 users about "prior agreements" I broke, but I got silence (@Benwing) or taunts (@Cinemantique) as the response.
Not terribly healthy atmosphere.
As I said above, English section absolutely missing at least single way to define morphology of the word.
@Atitarev And instead of technical solution you seem to seek solution in people and blocks, that's just disgusting. d1g (talk) 11:22, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
@D1gggg I don't seek blocking just for blocking. Did I ever block you? If you refer to Meeos, you should know why he gets blocked first. I mention blocking because cooperation is the key but you refuse to listen to concerns.
I can offer you semi-regular guidance in creating standard Russian entries, not sophisticated, no etymologies (or simple ones) but which will follow acceptable standards. Learn to walk before you can fly. You can choose a list of words you want to create - various parts of speech with various inflection types, including multipart words. I will make them or tell you what you need to get them right. It's no use fighting the community, if you can't beat them, join them. You were blocked in the Russian Wiktionary, you can get end up having the same here. We have to do it slowly - I am busy too and I can't catch with your mass edits. You could have spent the time understanding our complex templates, study existing entries. Believe me, they are not that hard for a native speaker and there's documentation and help is available. There are good reasons why they are complex - well, Russian inflection is very complex and Benwing2 did a great job making it all work. Note that Russian lemmas don't really require mass edits, they are in the good shape, if you want to join the efforts, it's to make them better quality, not worse! We can get by with less editors but editors who are here make a difference not a point. We are more forgiving with editors who work with languages, which have no other contributors but there's a limit to everything. Thanks for understanding. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:13, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

What to call “script form” loanwords?[edit]

When a word in language A is loaned into language B, only in its script form and not pronunciation, and becomes a new word which is phonetically quite dissimilar, how should the etymology of the word in language B be described? I feel this is similar to a calque, but it's calquing only with regard to how the word is written, and a template is missing for this type of loanwords. Some examples include:

Recipient language Recipient word Donor language Donor word
Chinese 取消 (qǔxiāo, “to cancel”) Japanese  () () (torikeshi, cancellation)
Korean 할인 (割引, harin, “discount”) Japanese  (わり) (びき) (waribiki, discount)
Korean 엽서 (葉書, yeopseo, “postcard”) Japanese  () (がき) (hagaki, postcard)
Vietnamese Nga La Tư (俄羅斯, "Russia") Chinese 俄羅斯俄罗斯 (Éluósī, “Russia”)

Wyang (talk) 10:23, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

I think they don't fit into the definition of loanword. I would simply write "Logogram from <language_name> <term>". That's how I often mention Aramaic logograms in Middle Persian (using {{arameogram}}), and have created a new category to distinguish it from loanwords in Middle Persian. I support creating a new template, similar to "der" and "borrowing". --Z 12:09, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
@ZxxZxxZ: If I understand Wyang correctly, it's not actually a logogram. It's more like (but not exactly like) the phenomenon of Iran being borrowed from Persian /iːˈrɒːn/, but pronounced in English (at least by some) as /aɪˈɹæn/. This phenomenon becomes more extreme with Chinese characters, and I see why Wyang is tempted to call it a calque. That said, I don't know what we should call it. --WikiTiki89 14:51, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I'd call it an orthographic loan. —CodeCat 15:04, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Are you saying you consider these a kind (an extreme kind) of spelling pronunciation? Because that's what I'd call /aɪˈɹæn/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:19, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
That's why I said it's not exactly the same phenomenon. Chinese takes a word that was coined in Japanese, and reads it as if it were coined in Chinese, but that's the normal way for these Japanese coinages to be borrowed into Chinese if they come through the written language, which is unlike spelling pronunciations, because spelling pronunciations have a connotation of being the "wrong" way to pronounce something. --WikiTiki89 11:19, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: A better parallel would be that it is like Germans pronouncing Hamburger (the food) the proper German way rather than as Hämbörgör. --WikiTiki89 11:50, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
It's somewhat related. It's how speakers of these languages read Han characters when they see them written, without any knowledge or use of the knowledge of the Chinese pronunciation, any variety, any period. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:43, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Borrowings from Japanese kanji with native Japanese readings (kun'yomi) are especially extreme. Any similarity in pronunciation in the target language may only be coincidental.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:47, 20 April 2017 (UTC)


Does the sense "joint, marihuana cigarette" belong to the bird? Or isn't it rather from the letter? Kolmiel (talk) 19:18, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

I always assumed it was from the letter. --WikiTiki89 20:51, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

subject area[edit]

Just dropping by. Do you think subject area is not SOP? I found it on http://www.mnemonicdictionary.com/word/subject%20area . It means "a branch of knowledge, field of study". PseudoSkull (talk) 22:48, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

  • I think it's SOP. You can also say "area of study", or "that's not my area". --WikiTiki89 23:04, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
    • But is it really the area of a subject? PseudoSkull (talk) 23:06, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
      • Yes, see definition #4: "The extent, scope, or range of an object or concept." --WikiTiki89 23:12, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
      • I would describe it as a reduplicated compound noun. "Subject" and "area" can be used synonymously, so you know the definition of "subject area" if you know the definition of either "subject" or "area." Nicole Sharp (talk) 23:17, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
        • I saw this at: "Last high school course grade in each subject area: English (a, b, c, d, f) Math (a, b, c, d, f) ..." etc. PseudoSkull (talk) 01:09, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

the sky and the ceiling[edit]

Common sarcastic responses to what's up. Should there be entries for these? Why or why not? PseudoSkull (talk) 13:03, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

No. This has more to do with the ambiguity of what's up (even though the ambiguity itself is sarcastic and not real ambiguity) than with the response itself. You can just as easily say "that lamp" or something. --WikiTiki89 13:45, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

category for arabic label ("modern")[edit]

Hi, I'd like to know whether it's feasible to automatically create a category for those terms with the lable ("modern"), as is in توقع#Etymology_1 the sense 3. ("modern") to request. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:20, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Dank meme = overused meme?[edit]

I am under the impression that the intended meaning of "dank meme", by people who take it serious, does not use the term ironically and for things that are overused, at least not usually. I'd argue that when people overuse memes, they are not dank, but "cringe" or "cringeworthy" as they would call it. Reference: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dank_meme#English --Luka1184 (talk) 23:55, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

I find this surprising. I’ve only ever dank memes used with the implication that the memes are excellent rather than trite (which our definition of dank would cover), but Know Your Meme supports the current definition. — Ungoliant (falai) 02:18, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
It seems to have two definitions. I suggest doing &lit as a second definition. PseudoSkull (talk) 02:45, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
I see "dank meme" as a really campy, over-the-top way to say "excellent meme". —suzukaze (tc) 05:13, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

the years pass by; through the years; over the years; remembering years past[edit]

Which definitions of year do the usages in the above phrases correspond to? I get the feeling that they're more metaphorical and emotional(?) than "365 days of the Gregorian calendar", but they are still used to describe a time period of multiple years. (see also the translation of Chinese 歲月) —suzukaze (tc) 05:12, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

What does the Gregorian calendar have to do with anything? A year is a full cycle of the earth around the sun, manifested visibly by a full cycle of seasons. Even if you don't count the days, a year is still a year. I don't know about Chinese 歲月, but the English word "year" probably should not be interpreted the same way. The easiest way to explain this I guess is that "years" in your examples establishes an order of magnitude of many literal years. You could replace the word "years" with "days" in some of these examples and get essentially the same meaning but with an order of magnitude of many days instead (in the other examples, this would be too short of an order of magnitude for it to make sense). Another point is that these phrases evoke a feeling of years passing by one at a time: one year goes by, then another—clearly literal years. --WikiTiki89 09:54, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Arabic dialectal synonyms template[edit]

Hi, chinese entries are really informative, even showing a "dialectal synonyms template". I wonder whether a similar template could be created for the Arabic language, which would enrich its entries a great deal. --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:21, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

We've had Chinese editors who worked very hard and did tons of research to create those lists of dialectal synonyms. If you want to volunteer to do that same work for Arabic, go ahead. --WikiTiki89 09:59, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
I could try working on the technical side of things, but I wouldn't be able to contribute content-wise with my close-to-zero knowledge of Arabic. Also, it might be a good idea to generalize the templates and modules for use in other (macro)languages. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 13:00, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
Don't worry about the technical side. Until we have someone who could contribute enough content (and we don't), we won't be able to do this. --WikiTiki89 13:22, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
@Justinrleung For experimenting, you can try making dialectal forms of what#Translations. It's true that there is very little comprehensive research but there are dictionaries of dialects, textbooks and phrasebooks. We have some contributors for Egyptian and Hijazi Arabic. Lexically, Arabic dialects don't differ that much from MSA, it's pronunciation, relaxed grammar, form of expression and those very frequently used words but low in number that differ from MSA. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:54, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Do such resources for dialectal equivalents, comprehensive or otherwise, exist for Arabic? There is a somewhat comprehensive reference for Chinese, and several references covering some of the dialectal groups, which provided inspiration for the creation for the Chinese dialectal template and modules. Wyang (talk) 07:10, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
Not as far as I know. --WikiTiki89 02:31, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
You can find resources for specific dialects, they may not be online - Egyptian, Syrian, Iraqi, Moroccan, Libyan, Saudi, Levantine, Gulf, etc. Not necessarily by country but by standard Arabic dialect classifications. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:54, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Don't speak Arabic, but just want to add that that dialectal synonyms system is incredible. If other editors could adapt it for other languages, it would make Wiktionary a truly exceptional, multilingual tool. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:08, 22 April 2017 (UTC)


Are 生得 (shēng de) and 長得长得 (zhǎng de) idiomatic to be included? Both are not so straightforward cases, IMO.

  1. (shēng) and (zhǎng) are normal verbals with meanings "to be born" and "to grow up"
  2. () is a verb complement particle, which links verbs to adverbs, e.g. /   ―  nǐ shuō dé hěn duì  ―  You are right
  3. User:Wyang says the above are SoP's. E.g. in the phrase 漂亮 / 漂亮  ―  tā zhǎng de hěn piàoliàng  ―  she is very beautiful, it just "she has grown (how) very beautifully". Or, 聰明 / 聪明  ―  tā shēng de hěn cōngmíng  ―  He is very smart (i.e. "he was born smart").

Any other opinions? @Tooironic, Justinrleung, Suzukaze-c? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:37, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Probably SoP. Chinese dictionaries don't include them. The simple reason is that an unlimited number of verbs can collocate with 得 - just because the resulting combination does not have a direct equivalent in English, doesn't make it idiomatic in Chinese. Example sentences and usage notes are useful of course, but they can be given in the respective 子 entries. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:06, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
  1. @Tooironic ABC English-Chinese/Chinese-English Dictionary includes both, which can be seen in Wenlin software.
  2. The other endless collocations with 得 don't change the meaning, they are just used to link verbs with adverbs. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:07, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
    Wenlin also includes SoPs though. And, like I said, the usage of 得 in these cases is typical Chinese syntax, and not idiomatic. ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:41, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't know.—suzukaze (tc) 17:28, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not too sure. Guoyu Cidian has a definition "生、顯" under 長. It might be useful to keep these, but it might be enough just to have an example under 生 and 長. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:24, 22 April 2017 (UTC)


Is it true that this word is stressed on the first syllable (and with the /u/ vowel) in Portugal, but on the second syllable in Brazil? Wouldn't /ˈfuβiɐ/ have to be spelled *fúbia? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:18, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

A native speaker of European Portuguese did add it, but it sounds wrong to me. I've modified it under the assumption that it was just a thinko. @Liuscomaes, Ungoliant MMDCCLXIVΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:09, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
That’s certainly the case. — Ungoliant (falai) 20:47, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Metaknowledge is wrongly reverting my edits[edit]

Reversions e.g. [6] and [7]. This has been discussed; see [8]. I disagree with the reversions. What is consensus? Equinox 01:31, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

I thought that alternative-form entries were not supposed to have Etymology sections. But I am not sure if this is official policy or not. — Eru·tuon 01:41, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
There may be cases where an alt-form entry needs its own Etymology section, but I don't believe the two instances linked above are such times. I agree with Meta that Etymology sections are unneeded in those two entries. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 04:35, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • As is standard practice here, and as CodeCat agreed in that discussion you linked to, we don't need to give trivially different etymologies for alternative forms. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:05, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
I have to agree with the others- it's best to keep entries for minor variants as minimal as possible (minor as in trivially different from the lemma, not minor as in unimportant). Chuck Entz (talk) 05:47, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Why have an entry as trivial as that then? Wouldn't a redirect be better if we were dead-set against having any actual information on the page? - TheDaveRoss 12:46, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Correlation (such as alternative, misspelling or whatever) to a linked term is a piece of information. --Dixtosa (talk) 13:16, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Alternative spellings can be redirects, with the alternative spellings documented on the primary spelling page. Since every combination of characters which is not the correct spelling is a misspelling I would rather not have them at all. - TheDaveRoss 12:30, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Forgot to mention my original reason for posting - if a good-faith editor makes an intentional edit like these, reverting is not the correct action. The first place to go is to Equinox's talk page to raise the issue, and if you are going to undo the change yourself you should do so with an edit comment. Reverts are for obvious and un-contentious changes only. - TheDaveRoss 12:51, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Except that we already discussed this on my talk-page. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:14, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Even in that case, I think that an edit summary is appropriate. - TheDaveRoss 12:30, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
And what about the categories? {{suffix|en|Athabascan|ist}} adds the entry into a suffix cat and without it, the entry is not added into the cat. But of course the entry does belong into Category:English words suffixed with -ist and should be added to that cat. - 13:06, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
The categories are the strongest argument against. Wikimedia categories are navigational aids for finding entries that have something in common, not statements of classification. Having all the minor variants in the categories adds unnecessary clutter. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:02, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Personally I agree with Equinox. That is, I agree with Metaknowledge that "we don't need to give trivially different etymologies for alternative forms", but that is not to say that they are not allowed, or should be deleted if someone has gone to the trouble of adding them. Ƿidsiþ 14:32, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Mathematical angle brackets for the orthographic representation[edit]

Today, this entry was created: ⟨ ⟩. It uses the "MATHEMATICAL LEFT ANGLE BRACKET" and "MATHEMATICAL RIGHT ANGLE BRACKET" and is defined as "(linguistics) Encloses orthographic representation."

Is that correct? Do we use these specific characters for that purpose? It sounds off to me, but what do I know.

This definition was removed from 〈 〉, which uses "LEFT ANGLE BRACKET" and "RIGHT ANGLE BRACKET" and has a Chinese and a Japanese section too. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 11:50, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia cites (emphasis mine): “The angle brackets or chevrons at U+27E8 and U+27E9 are for mathematical use and Western languages, whereas U+3008 and U+3009 are for East Asian languages. The chevrons at U+2329 and U+232A are deprecated in favour of the U+3008 and U+3009 East Asian angle brackets. Unicode discourages their use for mathematics and in Western texts, because they are canonically equivalent to the CJK code points U+300x and thus likely to render as double-width symbols.”
These characters are indeed used for linguistic purposes; Wikipedia uses them for its angle bracket template, which is used in a wide variety of language-related articles. Please do not be misled by just reading the names Unicode gave to these characters. ―Born2bgratis (talk) 12:13, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. Maybe we could explain that in both entries, as usage notes. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 12:19, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Right now I’m not sure about what to put on Usage notes, but for now I’ve added an {{also}} template to both entries. And the new entry is missing the definition for the actual mathematical sense (LOL); I’m adding that as well. ―Born2bgratis (talk) 12:34, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm puzzled by the statement that U+2329 and U+232A (〈〉) are canonically equivalent to U+3008 and U+3009 (〈〉), because in my browser they look identical to U+27E8 and U+27E9 (⟨⟩). Perhaps it's a font thing or something. — Eru·tuon 19:49, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Linguists don't use Unicode codepoints, they just use angle brackets. And I guarantee that more linguists will choose the code points < > to represent their angle brackets than ⟨ ⟩. The fact that Wikipedia chose such an obscure set of Unicode characters for their linguistic purposes is very annoying because most fonts can't even display them. --WikiTiki89 13:13, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
The characters are obscure, you say? Give me a break, I’ve just found them in the very first linguistics book I took from the library: Photo (wasn’t sure if I could upload it to Commons).
And many free and open-source fonts do display them; grab a recent copy of e.g. Roboto, Vollkorn or STIX. Or update your operating system and you’ll get ’em in the system fonts. ―Born2bgratis (talk) 00:35, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I said the Unicode characters are obscure. Not that the shapes are obscure. Of course people have been printing them since before Unicode added a codepoint for them. --WikiTiki89 14:37, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Which isn’t true, of course. They’ve been assigned since Unicode version 3.2, released back in 2002 (fifteen years ago), so they aren’t more obscure than, say, the Russian ruble symbol. And you can find them in freaking Times New Roman. Unless your OS is Windows XP?, is that your problem? List of fonts that support it FYI, Windows (with Segoe UI Symbol), Linux (DejaVu Sans), macOS and even Android (Roboto) have out-of-the-box support for this character.
P.S. A recent Typophile thread where somebody used ⟨ ⟩ which I’ve just incidentally found. ―Born2bgratis (talk) 23:43, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
How long it's been in Unicode has nothing to do with its obscurity. --WikiTiki89 14:26, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Using less-than and greater-than is just a makeshift solution when you don't want to bother with using the correct characters, like using a plain hyphen-minus in place of an n-dash in phrases like Iran–Iraq War. I would be disappointed if a publisher used < > in a linguistics book. I try to enforce the standard of using actual angle brackets on Wikipedia. — Eru·tuon 00:43, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm puzzled that you say that most fonts can't display these symbols, because my default ones in Chrome seem to. Of course, maybe there's some background font selection going on. — Eru·tuon 00:44, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Latin prox[edit]

wiktionary's definition: "fart"
L&S: "by your leave"
Is wiktionary's definition a joke or do dictionaries like L&S contain an error? - 13:00, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Vandalism that has gone unnoticed for some time. Fixed. SemperBlotto (talk) 13:45, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of atony[edit]

Could someone review this? I'm not familiar with this word but my intuition says the second syllable should probably be a schwa. Benwing2 (talk) 18:41, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Is televise really ambitransitive?[edit]

We claim it is. I've never heard anything like "that show televised well!" or "the golf will televise this afternoon". Equinox 23:26, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

I couldn't help but laugh. No I don't think it can be used that way. --WikiTiki89 13:15, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: Apparently you are the one who added this definition back in 2005. --WikiTiki89 13:16, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
I've added a citation of such use.
OT: The term ambitransitive (ditransitive, too) should be cleaned out of English L2 sections, IMO, because they are syntacticist jargon. Are "ambitransitive" verbs translated by the same verb in both transitive and intransitive usage in all languages? DCDuring (talk) 14:57, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
We sometimes put "ergative" on cases like this. Equinox 15:14, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Ambitransitive is ambiguous in cases like this, "ergative" is more specific and informative. But we should only put that it's ergative if it's actually commonly ergative. If it's just a rare usage, then it should be separated and marked as rare. --WikiTiki89 15:37, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
I think that intransitive use of televise in non-technical works is much more common than the use of ergative and ambitransitive in dictionaries. I think the use of such terms is at the very least off-putting and could readily be seen as an indication that inmates are running the asylum. DCDuring (talk) 15:04, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Most English dictionaries I've seen don't even make a distinction between transitive and intransitive and ergative and whatever else. If we're going to be thorough and include the information, we should try to present in as friendly a manner as possible, but not shy away from using accurate terminology with a link to a glossary. --WikiTiki89 15:07, 25 April 2017 (UTC)


What's the usage of in Chinese Cantonese, specifically in Hong Kong? Is it the same as (de) for visual effect only and never in a running text? From what I know it's used instead of (zhàn) and is pronounced "zaam6" (站), not "jik6" as 驿 () would be pronounced in Cantonese. Should this be sent to RFV? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:32, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Kindly refer to etymology 2 of 站 for usage preferences of against . Note that Chinese characters are often corrupted in the past prior to the existence of national standards such as GB 18030 (mainland China), CNS 11643 (Taiwan), Big5 (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau). KevinUp (talk) 13:02, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
What does it tell us? We all know that in Sinitic and Sino-Xenic world (zhàn) is used in (greater) China and Vietnam and derivations of 驿 () in Japan:  (えき) (eki) and Korea: (, yeok). It still doesn't explain the role of the Japanese character in a Chinese context or the claim that it's also Chinese. And yes, I saw the image. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:10, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Note: Many Japanese characters (shinjitai characters) were in fact derived from historical 楷書, 行書 or 草書 in China dating back to the Tang dynasty (Refer to the calligraphic works of 顏真卿 and 歐陽詢). Other shinjitai characters were based upon a 1935 draft document (第一批简体字表) which was never realized due to the outbreak of war. As to why is used in Hong Kong instead of , it is due to being included in the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set HKSCS which contains private use characters used either in Cantonese or for writing names of places in Hong Kong. I highly recommend getting a 書法字典 which is an eye opener for studying calligraphic scripts as well as variant characters. Chinese calligraphy is much more versatile compared to Ming typefaces, only used in printed books and of limited variety before computer fonts were invented. KevinUp (talk) 13:55, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
It's not how works here. The inclusion in HKSCS doesn't make a difference. The actual usage needs to be attested to meet our WT:CFI. I'm sending it to RFV. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:02, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Steve the atmospheric phenomenon[edit]

A new atmospheric phenomenon was recently named Steve by its discoverers. Wikipedia already has an article about it, albeit small. Should we include it as a hot word? —CodeCat 18:50, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Yes. PseudoSkull (talk) 00:55, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

grow on[edit]

I've heard the verb "grow on" used in a gardening context, but it seems like a British thing and I don't really know what it means. Would anyone mind taking a stab at defining it? — Eru·tuon 00:13, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

freedom of expression[edit]

This is not American English, as far as I know. Commonly used in British and Australian English. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:53, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

This is used in American English too. PseudoSkull (talk) 00:55, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
But the point is, it shouldn't be tagged "chiefly US". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:47, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Removed tag. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 14:14, 26 April 2017 (UTC)


I'm not familiar with the involved languages, but the changes in this edit do not seem 100% kosher. At best it leaves a headword without a definition line and a lone "Etymology 1" section. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:47, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

It's not that bad. Only the etymology 1 header was an issue. We should not have definitions under the translingual header for Han characters because they are different depending on the respective languages. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 14:34, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Right, I'm glad I didn't intervene in this entry. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:33, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Wrong declension for "manes" in Latin[edit]

The declension table for "manes" shows the incorrect form for the genitive "manum", while the correct one is "manium" as shown above. I don't know how to edit the table myself. All dictionaries confirm this. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0060%3Aentry%3Dmanes —This unsigned comment was added by Mozziekiller (talkcontribs).

Fixed. —JohnC5 16:33, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

could have done without[edit]

This is totally wrong, isn't it? It's not the "simple past" of anything. Equinox 21:40, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

The lemma should just be do without. The rest is SOP. --WikiTiki89 21:48, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Redirected. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:11, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Should could do with redirect to do with? - -sche (discuss) 17:20, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
That's a trickier one. Is do with ever used without could? It's similar to could use. --WikiTiki89 17:25, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I can find a few uses of "will have to do with a" where it may carry a sense like "[will have to] make do with [a]", e.g. "Man will have to do with one Man as God's representative, as the upholder and proclaimer of the covenant; he will have to do with a prophet", "The few fully resolved windows for the brighter stars allow for a PSF reconstruction, those for the fainter stars will have to do with a reconstructed LSF." Maybe it's best left as is. I see make do with redirects to make do. - -sche (discuss) 17:51, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Names of Scripts[edit]

Does anyone else think this is confusing where Serbo-Croatian is concerned ?

It always takes me a second to realise that it's not a Latin word borrowed from Serbo-Croatian, but the Serbo-Croatian word rendered in Latin script. If it were a borrowed word, would it look any different ? How would we be able to readily spot the difference ? Leasnam (talk) 16:47, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm not suggesting we change the names of the scripts, but could we not rather show this as:
  • Serbo-Croatian:
    • блести (Cyrillic), blesti (Latin)

or just

  • Serbo-Croatian:
    • блести / blesti
Leasnam (talk) 16:49, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I think at one point we were writing "Roman" instead of "Latin" for precisely this reason. However, I agree that the slash syntax is even better. We could have a template that allows you to enter one script and have it link to both. --WikiTiki89 16:55, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
What about for Old Church Slavonic? —JohnC5 17:01, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I personally think for OCS we should give only Cyrillic in most places and only link to the Glatolic as an alternative form from the entry itself. --WikiTiki89 17:12, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
{{sh-l}} and {{sh-m}}, parallel to {{zh-l}} and {{zh-m}}? —CodeCat 17:02, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and {{sh-t}}. --WikiTiki89 17:12, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Is it possible to automatically generate one script from the other? DTLHS (talk) 17:03, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Module:sh-translit. But it's only completely accurate in the Cyrl > Latn direction. —CodeCat 17:05, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I support listing script variants in the same line, even removing the redundant qualifiers (“Latin”, “Cyrillic”). Our Japanese translations do it right. — Ungoliant (falai) 21:44, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Although to be fair, the situation in Japanese is a bit different, since the different "scripts" are really part of the same script and are all used together in the same texts, while with Serbo-Croatian it's either one or the other. --WikiTiki89 21:57, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Why does pussy mean ‘coward’?[edit]

— (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 21:38, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Likely due to association with effeminacy. — Ungoliant (falai) 21:40, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
See also scaredy cat and fraidy cat. DCDuring (talk) 22:25, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
And pusillanimous? (Not really.) Equinox 22:29, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
This exists in many languages. It's really unfair, particularly when I think about childbirth. Kolmiel (talk) 23:16, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Syntax der arabischen Schriftsprache der Gegenwart[edit]

Apparently the best syntactic analysis of Arabic is that of the 'Syntax der arabischen Schriftsprache der Gegenwart', yet the work is only offered in German. I'd like to know whether it'd be possible to organize a group of users interested in translating it into English, dividing the work among them proportionally yet helping each other so that it is not that cumbersome. After completing it, we'll be able to edit arabic entries to the level of other languages such as Chinese or English. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:00, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Wiktionary really isn't the place to suggest such things. --WikiTiki89 15:15, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Wikisource hosts Wikimedian-led translations, but only of public-domain works. This book is still under copyright, so any translation of it would be a copyvio unless we had permission from the copyright holder. And in that case, it wouldn't be usable under our CC-BY-SA and GFDL licenses anyway. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:09, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

@Angr: It can be used for reliable reference added by editors, but it cannot be hosted by the wikifoundation. Adding sentences from it cannot copyvio since such examples are taken from a public corpus of language, i.e. sentences are not made up by the authors themselves since it's a pure descriptive grammar. Granted, tea_room might not be the most proper page to suggest this, so please let me know if there's a better page where I can post my suggestion --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:22, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Quoting individual sentences would probably fall under fair use, but hosting it publicly anywhere (even on a non-Wikimedia site) would be a copyvio. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:27, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: That's it, it cannot be 'hosted' or similar anywhere, which obviously I have not mentioned at all. It would be a collaborative personal work from which the entries would benefit, but wiki foundation itself does not have to be involved at all. I hope I have expressed myself clearly, otherwise just let me know --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:02, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
I understood it that way to begin with, which is why I said Wiktionary isn't the place to suggest such things. --WikiTiki89 17:06, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: I know here there are people who love languages and learning, who are more experienced and savant than me; yet, I'd like to know of any alternatives you could have in mind, if any. --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:10, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't know where the right place is, but it's inappropriate to ask for volunteers for a private project on a public project like Wiktionary. --WikiTiki89 17:18, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Perhaps I can mention it as part of my personal info., in my personal page or profile, just as an interest or future project -Certainly, it's the first time I cannot find an important work from the XXI century that's not published/translated in english. --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:44, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Appendix:Unicode/Arabic Presentation Forms-A[edit]

Hi, in the appendix of the Unicode ligatures for arabic the column where the images are shown should use a different typeface (Unicode pdf document shows one similar to 'Arabic Typesetting').

PS Would this fit best in beer parlour? --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:28, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

I see only one image, for the Allah ligature. The other column is plain text. —suzukaze (tc) 18:33, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Even that image was overly calligraphic, so I've removed it. --WikiTiki89 18:49, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
This is how they should appear. The wikipedia page shows the same issue. --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:50, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: Feel free to gather up the images, and I'll show you where to add them. --WikiTiki89 19:54, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: I have them all in a word document. Perhaps I can ask in MS forum for a macro to turn them all into images, but I have no idea about the format needed here. How's it work? --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:58, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: First of all, you need to make sure you use a font that has a compatible license. The "Arabic Typesetting" font is owned by Microsoft and I doubt it has a usable license. Images can be uploaded at the Wikimedia Commons. Ideally they should be PNG files with transparent backgrounds. You can download GIMP which should help you create those. You should probably name the files after their Unicode codepoints. Then you'd need to list them at Module:Unicode data/images/00F. --WikiTiki89 20:06, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Actually, ideally they should be SVG files with transparent background, shouldn't they? Commons even has templates and categories requesting for existing images to be converted to SVG. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 20:15, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
+1 for SVG, infinitely resizable vector graphics. —suzukaze (tc) 21:35, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure how well that would work with text when the font matters. Would the font have to be embedded in the SVG? --WikiTiki89 21:43, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Nope.suzukaze (tc) 01:51, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: First I'll ask in stackoverflow about the possibilies of Adobe Acrobat DC‎, since we already have a pdf. Do you know whether wiki foundation has asked Unicode for something similar before? Maybe Unicode can somehow provide those images directly --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:11, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Unicode uses a proprietary font that they don't release in their PDFs. The PDFs don't have images, just text directly rendered with the fonts. --WikiTiki89 20:16, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

what's new[edit]

This noun sense isn't justified, is it? Kolmiel (talk) 23:17, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Totally SOP and unnecessary. --WikiTiki89 23:44, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Also, it's a noun phrase, not a noun. If it is kept, it should be moved to the Phrase section. — Eru·tuon 00:50, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
We treat noun phrases as nouns, just like we treat verb phrases as verbs. --WikiTiki89 14:18, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Could you give some examples of noun phrases being treated as nouns? This noun phrase doesn't even have a noun as head (its head is a pronoun, what), whereas verb phrases generally have verbs as heads. — Eru·tuon 18:26, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
The first one I thought of was apple of someone's eye. We could call it a pronoun then. --WikiTiki89 18:29, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
I guess the difference between that and what's new is that one has a noun as head, whereas what's new is a phrase headed by an interrogative pronoun (complementizer). So, apple of someone's eye can have the inflectional characteristics of a noun (for instance, pluralization: apples of someone's eye), while what's new doesn't. Not sure if there's a better word for what's new, parallel to calling a prepositional phrase that and not naming it an adverb or adjective from its function in a given sentence. — Eru·tuon 19:05, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
That's why I said we could call it a pronoun. --WikiTiki89 19:55, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Ohh, that's what you were saying. That sounds odd too: it's a phrase headed by a pronoun, but I'm not sure that makes it a pronoun. — Eru·tuon 20:01, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
The noun definition should be moved to the Phrase PoS. I don't think that the nominal use of what's new is equivalent to what is new, ie, I asked him to tell me what's new is not equivalent to I asked him to tell me what is new. DCDuring (talk) 01:43, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
That's a good point, I'll have to think about it. In the given usage example, however, it's certainly SOP. --WikiTiki89 14:19, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Is it any more SoP than the definitions under the phrase PoS? That two expressions using synonymous, indeed mostly identical, components (-n't being equivalent to not) cannot be used interchangeably is evidence of the idiomaticity of one of the expressions. I think that what's new as a nominal refers means only the kinds of things that might be elicited by the expression as a question, which several dictionaries find idiomatic. DCDuring (talk) 23:48, 28 April 2017 (UTC)


Some books like Medieval Arab Cookery (2001) by Maxime Rodinson et al say that حُمَّاض (ḥummāḍ) (by itself) meant "citron" as well as "sorrel", and the derivative حُمَّاضِيَّة (ḥummāḍiyya) denoted a sort of stew made with citron. Is this still the case in more modern Arabic? - -sche (discuss) 02:33, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

@-sche I couldn't find this meaning in Hans Wehr but the root letters ح-م-ض (ḥ-m-ḍ) are about acidity. Also: حَمْضِيَة (ḥamḍiya, citrus fruit), حَمُضَ (ḥamuḍa, to be/become sour), حَمْض (ḥamḍ, acid). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:00, 30 April 2017 (UTC)


Ido: yen, etymology 1.

There are currently three part-of-speech headers for the particle yen. I think the interjection header is appropriate, but the other two seem mismatched to me and I'm not sure what the best option is as they do seem distinct. The example at the section "preposition" is interesting because it governs a clause and yen is synonymous with yen ke, appending ke is normally the way to form a conjunction from a preposition. Esperanto jen may also provide a proper model. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:02, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

Hi. I found all this information in the text book by Talmay (1919) and in the Dyer dictionary. I tried my best to interpretate it correctly and add good examples (please correct me if any of my information is incorrect). Here's an excerpt from Talmay: https://imgur.com/gallery/jYptK. – Algentem (talk) 10:03, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I think your interpretation of the described options is reasonable, it's just that the word doesn't really behave like a preposition or a conjunction semantically. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 09:59, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

sugar high, sugar rush[edit]

Isn't hyperactivity from sugar a myth? Do the entries need changing? Equinox 03:17, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

How about "caused, or believed to be caused, by"? But I don't think it's a myth that sugar gives you a burst of energy that drops off rapidly, even if there's no evidence that sugar consumption causes ADHD. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:45, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I think in all our definitions, perception is implied. If some day it is discovered that dinosaurs never existed, but that unicorns do exist, in theory that shouldn't change our definitions. --WikiTiki89 18:48, 1 May 2017 (UTC)


I added a second adjective sense based on psychological/medical jargon from the 1910s and 1920s (describing a different diagnosis that was considered child schizophrenia) and continued pejorative use, but should it be labeled offensive? Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:34, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

Just as the literal meanings of words shift over time, so do the implications. I think we have to be careful with glosses that have changed over time: one very basic approach is to say "now offensive" rather than (implicitly always) "offensive". Equinox 13:27, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
The APA Dictionary of Psychology has a second definition of autism: "abnormal introversion and egocentricity. It is one of the primary signs of schizophrenia described by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler. See also fundamental symptoms."
Many polysemous terms have bits of evaluation that bleed from one definition to others. It might be historical or dated. Apparently Bleuler is the source of a few psychiatric terms. DCDuring (talk) 22:55, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
FWIW, the OED deals with this sense thus: "A condition or state of mind characterized by patterns of thought which are detached from reality and logic, formerly sometimes regarded as a manifestation of schizophrenia or other psychiatric illness. Now hist." (my bolding) --Droigheann (talk) 23:55, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I've also added a historical sense at autism equivalent to that. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:31, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

indeterminate gender[edit]

Especially since this is a PaM entry, I suspect the def is wrong. Gender isn't physical sex, is it? - whereas intersex does refer to physical attributes. Equinox 12:10, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

I would expect that it would refer more to a state of ignorance about the grammatical gender of a word, or about the sex of a person, rather than definite knowledge of being intersex, but I don't have documentation on that... AnonMoos (talk) 15:42, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, some speakers use "gender" to mean "sex", but even then, the meaning of this phrase is that the gender (in whatever sense of that word) is not determined (not specified or not clear), not that it is definitively intersex; google books:"of indeterminate gender" shows this. And that makes this seem rather SOP. (For a direct "gender" counterpart to "intersex", see "intergender" as in e.g. google books:"intergender people".) - -sche (discuss) 22:21, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
I've started Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion#indeterminate_gender. - -sche (discuss) 22:37, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

murder will out[edit]

How is this parsed syntactically? Is "out" a verb, or is it an adjective, with verb elided? (Cf. Shakespeare: "Truth's a dog that must to kennel.") Equinox 12:46, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

Fascinating question, Equinox! Is it not same as verb sense 5 though? (And, oddly, not all that different from verb sense 2.) --Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 17:26, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, that was only a partial reply. Isn't it verb phrase ellipsis? (E.g. "come out" with the "come" elided? Or "will out itself" with the "itself" elided)?--Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 18:47, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
It's an adverb, with the main verb implied. ‘Out’ here means ‘be discovered’, ‘become known’, and it used to be used more widely – but now only exists in these specific set phrases. Ƿidsiþ 19:14, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
That's interesting. What's the implied main verb, just out of curiosity? --Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 20:17, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Well – "get", "become", "be", that sort of thing. Ƿidsiþ 20:25, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Thanks :) --Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 20:33, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I know that in Middle English, one could say "I will to [location]" and the verb go was understood. Not sure if that construct ever included come or get but why not ? Leasnam (talk) 18:53, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

Tactile Sign Language[edit]

Hi, I haven't researched a lot about this version of sign language, but at least its alphabet should be added to Wiktionary. I don't know whether it should be a a type of fingerspelling or rather a new language as such. http://www.deafblindinformation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/db-tactile-alphabet.pdf Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:52, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

go from strength to strength[edit]

[Copied across from RFV.]

I was just wondering whether the article should be on "from strength to strength" without the "go". If I am right about that then it would not be a verb. John Cross (talk) 07:12, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

  • I think it should be left alone, it makes more sense as it is now. DonnanZ (talk) 09:09, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
This isn't really an RfV question, rather a Tea Room item.
From strength to strength is occasionally used with other verbs, such as grow, continue, went on, as well as in titles without any verb. I would try to reword the definition to suit the prepositional phrase, move the entry to [[from strength to strength]], and make [[go from strength to strength]] a redirect as it is by far the most common use in running text. DCDuring (talk) 09:52, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Move this to the Tea Room then. DonnanZ (talk) 10:39, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

[Now in Tea Room]

Copied across. John Cross (talk) 15:15, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

Just wondering why we don't have it as "to go from strength to strength"? The definition uses a "to". --Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 17:05, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Same reason our entries are for eat and sleep, etc., not "to eat" and "to sleep". Equinox 17:08, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Oh, I thought we put a "to" when it's an idiom. I'm sure I've seen one like that here at some point in the last 8 years or so but can't remember which.--Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 17:28, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't think we ever do that for verb phrases. It's different if the headword is an entire clause or sentence, like to err is human. Equinox 17:32, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

homophone formatting[edit]


Since in Australia & New Zealand, "shown", like known, is often pronounced as two syllables, I was thinking of adding something like the following to the pronunciation section of shown, except that I don't know how to replace the comma (between "show" and "un", below) with a hyphen.

Any help will be very much appreciated. --Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 17:02, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

I've added it as follows for now. I hope that doesn't bother anyone too much.
--Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 18:30, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
We generally don't use {{homophones}} just to show a divergent pronunciation. It's used if there's another full word that has the exact same pronunciation as the current word. I'm not sure if what you say is correct (I've heard, I can't remember where, that the two-syllable pronunciation is a misperception), but it should be transcribed using the pronunciation respelling or the IPA as given at Appendix:English pronunciation. — Eru·tuon 19:08, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Ok, that's understandable. I would be very interested to read anything that discusses it at all, I haven't been able to find anything so far. Obviously I don't think it's a misperception. --Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 20:21, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
p.s. I'm interested in this idea of 'misperception'. Isn't perception of pronunciations a question of perspective? For example, with the homophones we've got under the pronunciation of "bin". The first one is from a non-New Zealand perspective, the second is from an NZ perspective. But if you have some kind of authoritative source on this I'd love (as I said above) to find out more. --Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 20:30, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I think it was a discussion somewhere – maybe on Wikipedia. I don't have any sources on this topic. Don't let my skepticism discourage you from adding the pronunciation using the IPA or the pronunciation respelling system (again, see Appendix:English pronunciation). — Eru·tuon 20:37, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Cool bananas. I did just find this [9] after searching for "known" and "shown" pronounced as two syllables, in case you're interested. --Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 21:16, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
For the purposes of the template, homophones are actual terms that sound the same. That's not the case here. That makes no more sense than saying that hippopotamus is a homophone of hip + opotamus. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:36, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that makes sense. I'll revert my addition now.--Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 20:21, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

About the homophone "shone", I'm pretty sure that's not a homophone of "shown" in the UK - is that right? If so should it have a US (and maybe Australia, NZ) qualifier on it? --Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 21:01, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

I've just sub-sectioned the US homophony of "shown"/"shone", bullet-wise - hopefully that makes sense - I think (and hope) that that's right. --Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 21:13, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
  • On a related note, we often pronounce pool, fool and film as two syllables - POO-eul, FOO-eul and FILL-eum respectively. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:08, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

hemorrhoidal face[edit]

I found this quotation that doesn't seem to match the usual meaning of hemorrhoidal, since it is used to describe the face. Does anybody know of other examples where the word is used this loosely?

Germyb (talk) 01:47, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

Sounds like you have noted an extended use of hemorrhoidal. Perhaps "related to or resembling hemorrhoids". It would be handy if there were an illustration. What is the Russian word? What translation do other translators offer? DCDuring (talk) 18:38, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Judging from this unlovely image it may refer to a face of a very fat person. DCDuring (talk) 18:41, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
The phrase in Russian is "с геморроидальным лицом". Another translator says "with a dyspeptic complexion". Germyb (talk) 01:09, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
The main word, геморроидальным (gemorroidalʹnym) in that phrase seems to be based on a Russian word for hemorrhoid, (In case you're wondering, г (g) is routinely used to represent an h in borrowings). The translators probably just transferred/calqued the literal meaning to English, and didn't bother with whatever figurative meaning it might have had in the Russian (@Atitarev might know what that is). You'd really need to find usage outside of a translation to even figure out what it means in English, if anything. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:32, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
The figurative dated sense of геморроида́льный (gemorroidálʹnyj) here is of officials who have been sitting on the same chair (i.e. occupying the same position) for a very long time (and got hemorrhoids as a result) - source--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:03, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

May 2017

Two issues with de[edit]

Just found the de entry and browsed through most of it. I noticed two things:

  1. If the link is to the article titled w:African American Vernacular English, why on earth would the link only be in the first three words, i.e. like "African American Vernacular English", instead of "African American Vernacular English"? This is a template problem, so I couldn't fix that for myself.
  2. What is "Balaang Bata sa Sugbo" doing as a usage example for Cebuano "de"? I mean, OK, it's a synonym of "Santo Niño de Cebú", but why put a double Cebuano version?

MGorrone (talk) 10:56, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

NOTE: The above-mentioned template is "{ {pronunciation spelling|the|from=AAVE|lang=en} }", which results in Pronunciation spelling of the, representing African American Vernacular English..

MGorrone (talk) 11:52, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

I think the AAVE template is fine as is. I agree that the Cebuano usage example in question was flawed, and have removed it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:18, 3 May 2017 (UTC)


la @Angr The Wikipedia article w:ga:Luchóg is about the computer mouse, while our entry is about the animal. Is one of these two incorrect? Also, if it does refer to the animal, it's not explained how it differs in meaning from luch. —CodeCat 18:44, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

If [10] is accurate, both terms refer to both senses. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:13, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Jaffa orange[edit]

Recent additions to this entry by an anon have pushed it into the realm of POV. Personally, I had no issues with the initial definition, however, I guess that recent additions don't stray too far off from historical correctness. With that said, the subject is touchy for some and I just want to figure out if the changes should be reverted, kept as they are, or, if they should be modified. The Jaffa orange is undeniably connected to the Israeli export industry, so we should mention that somewhere, shouldn't we? --Robbie SWE (talk) 08:32, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

  • No, we're a dictionary, not an encyclopedia. I've removed all mention of both Israel and Palestine and just defined the variety of orange as what it is, and mentioned the city in the etymology section. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:05, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
@Angr I see what you mean and I agree in principle — we're a dictionary and as such, shouldn't accept encyclopedic material. Thank you for amending the entry! --Robbie SWE (talk) 09:37, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

syncronization is proscribed or misspelled?[edit]

Given that syncronize is documented as proscribed, then what is syncronization: proscribed or misspelled? Cœur (talk) 16:29, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

You can only talk about these things in the context of the text in which they appear. A given usage could theoretically be either be a misspelling, or an intentional spelling (which would be proscribed). Now all we need to do is figure out whether it's common for people to intentionally spell it that way. --WikiTiki89 16:55, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
oh well, someone changed syncronize to misspelled, so I'll assume syncronization is misspelled too. Cœur (talk) 12:55, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

whiz kid[edit]

Can this also be spelt "wiz kid"? Tharthan (talk) 17:32, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Seems not impossible, but it looks wrong to me. Ƿidsiþ 14:22, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Definitely! "Whiz" and "wiz" are identical according to Grammarist. Perrytech 15:15, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

pluralia tanta[edit]

As I just found out, pluralia tanta as the plural of plurale tantum is bad Latin. Tantum in this case is adverbial, and if tantus is used as an adjective, it results in the nonsensical "plurals so great". Is it common to the point where it needs to be mentioned at all, or should the entry just be deleted? Esszet (talk) 20:14, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

@Esszet: We don't delete words that are actually used just because we don't like them. Please see WT:CFI. However, it is appropriate to mark this form as nonstandard, which I have done. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:16, 3 May 2017 (UTC)


Is this the singular as well as the plural form? Urial uses "arkars" as the singular. I found one hit for the singular "arkar" but that might be a mistake. DTLHS (talk) 23:34, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Chinese potential complements examples[edit]

@Wyang, Justinrleung, Suzukaze-c, Tooironic Are any of these worth including: 稱得上称得上 (chēngdeshàng), 說得上说得上, 用得上, 數得上数得上, 犯得上 (fàndeshàng)? We already have 比得上 (bǐdeshàng) and 比不上 (bǐbùshàng).

What about 得上, as a suffix? We have 不上 (bùshàng). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:20, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Yeah, I think they are okay. Wyang (talk) 05:46, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

meet (English adjective): merging suggestion[edit]

There are two sections for the adjective, and they seem to describe the same sense, so they should be merged. --Anareth (talk) 07:33, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Yes check.svg Done; and some other cleanup as well. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:07, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

far right[edit]

The translations for this currently soft-redirect to ultraright. But in my experience, "far right" is the more usual term in English (assuming they actually mean the same thing, which I'm not sure about..) and I believe the translations should appear at this page. Ƿidsiþ 14:21, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

I agree. I don't recall ever seeing/hearing the term ultraright, to be honest (although I probably have at some point...). To me it sounds even more right than far right—closer to alt-right (although I might be splitting hairs at this point). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:10, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I too do not recall ever seeing or hearing the term ultraright. Tharthan (talk) 19:49, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Widespread typo - bot fix please?[edit]

A large number of entries refer to a dictionary published by "Oglivie", but it should be "Ogilvie" [11]. Is this an easy fix for someone? Equinox 17:51, 4 May 2017 (UTC)


Regarding the usage notes...

The derivative "childrearing" sees use in American English (at least in some of the dialects of American English that I know of), and anecdotally I can attest to having seen or heard the use of either definition one or two before.

I'm wondering whether or not we ought to add the former fact to the usage notes. I'm willing to defer to someone who knows more about this, however. Tharthan (talk) 22:24, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks to -sche for rewording the usage notes. Tharthan (talk) 14:08, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, I reworded the mini-notes that were placed after the first two senses. Regarding the Usage notes section, it would be good to get references for the claims. - -sche (discuss) 16:53, 6 May 2017 (UTC)


Two different Ancient Greek translations for the town- are they both correct? DTLHS (talk) 01:42, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes, and no. Yes, there are two Ancient Greek names for the place, but no, they weren't both correct (one was misspelled). I removed the translation for the province (now a "Metropolitan City") because I believe only the city goes back to Ancient Greek times (feel free to put it back if I'm mistaken). Chuck Entz (talk) 02:54, 6 May 2017 (UTC)


How can i move the nearly nonexistent vandalieren to the much more common vandalisieren? "Ngrams not found: vandaliert, vandalieren" --Espoo (talk) 06:20, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

You would treat vandalieren similar to acceptible#English. Just decide what vandalieren is... dated, alternative form, misspelling, colloquial, or what. —Stephen (Talk) 06:31, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
I've moved the main entry to vandalisieren and labeled vandalieren "rare". That can be altered as necessary. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:05, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I've weakened the label to "uncommon": vandalieren seems to get ~3/5 as many hits as vandalisieren, and vandaliert gets about 1/6 as many as vandalisiert (when I page through to see how many hits there are, because Google's estimates are often off), which strikes me as too high a portion to be "rare". The -is- spelling is not that common itself, which may explain why neither spelling is in the dictionaries I just made a quick check of even though both have been in use for over a century continuing to the present day. - -sche (discuss) 07:45, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
As i already wrote Ngrams not found: vandalieren, vandaliert. Google hit results are not reliable indicators of frequency even if you page thru them and even if you remove as many dictionary sites as possible, almost all of which copy the nonsense we had here on Wiktionary. Although Ngram Viewer only records use in print, it gives a clear indication that vandalieren is much rarer in speech too and much rarer than 3/5 of the frequency of vandalisieren. --Espoo (talk) 10:08, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

there is a new sheriff in town[edit]

I created this article yesterday, but I feel that there is something wanting in the definition that I gave. Would someone mind rewording the definition so that it sounds better? I tried my best to give a good definition, but I don't really like what I ended up putting down. The etymology wording is also a bit shaky, I feel. Tharthan (talk) 14:56, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

This expression is one of the uses of new sheriff in town, which is also used (bare) as a title of books, chapters, articles, etc. and with other determiners. I would define it a a noun, keep the current headword as a hard redirect. DCDuring (talk) 16:50, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
There is a new sheriff in town, as the most common use (by far), deserves to be in a usage example as well. DCDuring (talk) 16:52, 6 May 2017 (UTC)


An IP inserted material from another website here a short while ago. Could someone sort out the wheat from the chaff in the contribution? Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 17:49, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

hərf has screwed templates[edit]

Just stumbled upon hərf, and those inflected forms seem to stem from a misprogrammed or misused template. The code currently reads { {az-noun} } and produces Tea room (definite accusative ?, plural ?) (without the "Tea Room/May" stuff). Anyone fix that? What is it, missing parameters not provided to the template?

MGorrone (talk) 19:05, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

@MGorrone: Yeah, the problem is missing parameters. Looking at the code, you have to add |def-acc= or |1= to produce an accusative form, and |2= or |pl= or |plural= to produce a plural form. |1= and |2= are the definite accusative and plural endings, whereas the other parameters are the entire definite accusative or plural forms. I've changed the template code so that the forms will be omitted if nobody has provided them. Now, the headword just shows hərf. — Eru·tuon 19:16, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
@Erutuon: just found another template with the same problem: a template for Turkmen used at gar. Can you fix that too?
MGorrone (talk) 20:43, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
I did my best, though I'm not sure how to make the "uncountable" thing work. — Eru·tuon 21:05, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Figured it out... I think. But there are currently no Turkmen uncountable nouns. — Eru·tuon 21:14, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
That's what you get for naming an entry "hərf", obviously. —CodeCat 21:09, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of majorant[edit]

I just looked up majorant to see IPA and found none. I googled, and found this, which has what sounds like /'mæ.dʒɔ.ɹənt/, /mə:'dʒɔ.ɹənt/ and /'meɪ.dʒəˌɹæənt/ to my ears, this which also has /'meɪ.dʒəˌɹæənt/, then this, which sounds like /'meɪ.dʒɔ.rənt/, this, which has explicit IPA as /ˈmeɪdʒər(ə)nt/, and then I got fed up of looking :). I do not know how to classify these pronunciations, nor if there are nonstandard ones, so could someone read these and put them into the article with appropriate classification (and perhaps narrower IPA)?

MGorrone (talk) 13:19, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

Based on Stack Exchange answers, I'll go ahead and add /'meɪdʒərənt/ to the entry. MGorrone (talk) 10:27, 15 May 2017 (UTC)


There is no entry for the adjective. DonnanZ (talk) 09:16, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

main page[edit]

Why don't we provide a definition of this term on Wiktionary? All I'm getting at the moment is a redirect to Wiktionary's main page. ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:53, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Is it though? Is our main page really our principal, or most important page? It's just synonymous with home page, I would think. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 16:09, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

He who pays the piper[edit]

1. Note lack of supporting documentation. 2. Entry as of 8 May 2017 may be correct as to current majority (but not universal) view. See in particular https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/classics/cucd/atkins.html#n6 (although is 2003 ancient history?). Nonetheless I agree with her that as late as the 1970s "calls the tune" and "chooses the tune" were synonymous and "tells the piper how to solo" was not involved. "Has control" in the entry is almost certainly an overreach, in my opinion. 3. Note further than in the Earl of Chesterfield's letters control is certainly not indicated, so the usage is changing over time. 'The other powers cannot well dance, when neither France nor the maritime powers can, as they used to do, pay the piper.'[1] 4. The reason this is relevant to me is because of (brand name) internet search, and I had to check accuracy of a reference. Well, now I have to fix a Wiktionary entry (unless someone whose specialty this is gets to it before I do). Is there a way to set a tickler from this website or do I have to do it from my own calendar? Sighthndman (talk) 20:52, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Letters written by the late right honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, to his son Philip Stanhope esq., 25 December 1753.


When you say "I'm good at ...ing", or similar with some other adjective, which sense of at is being used? Do we even have that sense? It's certainly worth a translation table because in Dutch you'd actually use in for this construction, with the infinitive. —CodeCat 20:58, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

The final sense? ("regarding"). We have a similar sense at in: "Pertaining to (that particular thing). He has passed in English." Equinox 21:01, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
It didn't immediately occur to me to consider it as belonging to that sense, especially because it uses "subject" and "skill". You can be good at running, sleeping, even falling flat on your face. —CodeCat 21:20, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that sense needs a bit of improvement. (I've moved the sense slightly, it is now second-to-last with the dialectal Irish sense last.) On the whole, unlike some other basic words, we cover this one with more senses that other dictionaries (including considerably more senses than Century), and they all seem appropriate; go us! Interestingly, Meriam-Webster considers both "at work" and "good at chess" to be examples of their "occupied [in]" sense, which seems wrong (you're actively working when you're "hard at work", but a chess grandmaster can be "good at chess" even if she's currently just driving into town listening to music). The only senses we seem to be missing are the use of at instead of to as the particle before an infinitive verb (a use which may not be attested in modern English), and possibly a sense to cover "at her best", "at his worst", etc, which some dictionaries have a separate sense for (one lumps them, oddly, with "at cost"). - -sche (discuss) 22:25, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Reflective thing[edit]

What do we call these in English: 1, 2, 3? In Switzerland (where they're called Leuchtbändel) all the kids wear them. Would we say a reflector? Reflective ribbon? Ƿidsiþ 11:00, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

I'd call it some sort of hi-vis thingy. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 11:08, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
It's a hi-vis garment of sorts, without covering the whole torso. I haven't seen them around here in a well-lit suburban area, but they may be more necessary on rural roads. DonnanZ (talk) 11:50, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
This page calls it a "high visibility reflective triangle sash tabard v-vest", which doesn't exactly trip off the tongue. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:01, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
That would do for a translation, it's descriptive enough. No doubt the name will be shortened if they come into use in English-speaking countries. DonnanZ (talk) 12:13, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
It looks like a kind of (children's/child's/kid's/kid) reflective safety vest. There is a similar thing called a reflective safety harness. DCDuring (talk) 16:11, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Well spotted, Angr! Thanks all, I guess we don't really have a convenient term in English. Ƿidsiþ 16:25, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

is dropable really US spelling?[edit]

Hello. Considering droped and droping have no entries, I currently see them as misspellings (of dropped and dropping). But dropable, despite being highlighted as wrong by my spellchecker, has an entry on the Wiktionary as US spelling. Is that correct? In that case, should I conclude that US spelling is likely versatile and inconsistent among variations of words? Note that dragable doesn't exist either, despite the common formula of drag and drop. Cœur (talk) 14:53, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

No, this is clearly a misspelling. Benwing2 (talk) 15:14, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
I disagree. A Google Books search finds many (US-specific, often US government) documents using the spelling consistently, written by authors with English-language-sounding names. Equinox 15:19, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
The double p in inflected forms of the verb doesn't have strong implications for terms derived from the verb IMO. DCDuring (talk) 16:31, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it occurs once for every 16 droppables in American English, whereas it's too rare to track in British English. How about this? (Using "American spelling" rather than "US" to put it into categories for spellings rather than dialectal words, per this point.) - -sche (discuss) 17:06, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

double casement window?[edit]

I know what a 'double-glazed' window is and I gather if instead you have two separate frames for a sash window, it's called 'double-hung', but what do you call it if you have two separate frames for a casement window as on this picture? Or are they not seen in Anglophone countries? (I've never seen a sash window here and wouldn't know if it has a Czech word for it, so I could accept the same applies for this kind elsewhere.) --Droigheann (talk) 15:37, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Usage of double casement window seems limited to window units that have a left and right casement windows, almost always opening outward. The one instance at Google Books that I found of a use of double casement window to describe a window like the one in the image you provided was in a book edited by a Austrian ecological construction institute (IBO) published in 2017. DCDuring (talk) 16:29, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Pirahã hoi[edit]

I know Pirahã is supposed to have weird quantifiers, but I suspect there's some mistake when hoi is glossed as both "some (more than a few)" and "a few (less than some)". Should these differ by tone, perhaps? -- 16:21, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

The senses were added all the way back in 2006. According to Everett and Frank, leading scholars of the language, the distinction is as you guessed, a tone-based distinction between hói "relatively small quantity" and hoí "relatively large quantity". - -sche (discuss) 16:47, 9 May 2017 (UTC)


Can this word refer to behaviour as well as language? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:38, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes. Leasnam (talk) 18:45, 11 May 2017 (UTC)


An IP user,, who has been working on letter entries and alphabet templates, added L·L. Is it considered a letter? I know @Vriullop speaks Catalan and may be able to answer. If not, perhaps it's a digraph or trigraph; but I am not sure if such things get to have entries. — Eru·tuon 06:24, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

It is not a letter in the Catalan alphabet. Strictly it is not a digraph as it does not represent a single phoneme. It is a modified digraph with a diacritic sign. Generally it is handled as other modified letters (à, ç, ...) It is not incorrect at all to include it in brackets or by other means as other modified letters. See ca:Template:alfabet/ca. --Vriullop (talk) 07:02, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
@Vriullop: Thank you for the clarification and for cleaning up the entry! — Eru·tuon 20:14, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
@Vriullop, Erutuon Like any other entry for a digraph, it runs into the problem of capitalisation. Capitalising a single letter is easy, but when there's several letters, do you capitalise both, or just the first? And could l·L theoretically exist, in some weird kind of typesetting? —CodeCat 21:13, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
@CodeCat It is explained at ela geminada, no titlecase form as it never occurs at the begining of a word. It is usually lowercase, or both uppercase for a whole word in uppercase. Maybe L·L could be simply a redirect to l·l, or other combinations for other digraphs. I can not remember a sophisticated typography alternating l·L, but often it can be found (incorrectly) with multiple variations of the midpoint l.l, l-l, l•l... In printed books with accurate typography it is writen with two keystrokes ŀl, using U+0140, instead of three keystrokes, both accepted. --Vriullop (talk) 22:00, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
@Vriullop: Actually L·L might occur in words written in all capitals. It's *L·l that should never exist. — Eru·tuon 22:45, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Right, but I understand the concern of CodeCat. There are no entries for all capitals, it is not a different codification nor a different lexical meaning. With a quick special:search of "digraph" I can only find CH and LL with three case forms but Esperanto digraphs are only in lowercase. Probably it needs a discussion. As for Catalan I think it is appropiate l·l, and its redirect from ŀl, but I am indifferent about all capitals. --Vriullop (talk) 06:41, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
@Vriullop: Well, I think the lack of mixed-case and upper-case forms is simply incompleteness; there's no rule against including them. {{mul-letter}} shows both "mixed case" and "upper case" already. See, for instance, dz and DZ. — Eru·tuon 16:33, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

prime the pump[edit]

See no page for "prime the pump." Assuming that's because Trump just invented the phrase. Hyperbolick (talk) 20:10, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

It is the first of the definitions under prime#Verb and probably doesn't need any more entries. --LA2 (talk) 21:14, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
That's not the idiomatic sense, however. Added. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:20, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
The "definition" in question would relate to the explanatory metaphor for how deficit spending was a remedy for an economic downturn that didn't have to be continued. It dates from the 1930s AFAICK. See w:priming the pump, which redirects to w:Stimulus (economics). DCDuring (talk) 12:33, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, there was a "Pump Priming Act" in 1938, so the metaphor dates at least that far back. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:37, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

a while and awhile[edit]

I have always just used "a while" and I don't recall ever using "awhile" at all. To be more clear, I don't say things like "can you stay awhile?" I would always say "can you stay for a while?" But I would say "this might take a while". Is there anything grammatically or otherwise wrong with this? Tharthan (talk) 21:28, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

There's nothing wrong with what you say, IMO, but the adverb awhile is also normal. DCDuring (talk) 01:23, 12 May 2017 (UTC)


The page on you'd've describes it as informal, but is it actually grammatically incorrect? Thanks, 00:40, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

If it isn't, it is at least very colloquial in its usage. But I guess if we can have abbreviations like bo's'n and fo'c's'le, we can have you'd've. Tharthan (talk) 02:08, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I would say the grammar isn't wrong/incorrect, but in many situations the register would be wrong/inappropriate, for which reason the use of the form could be seen as an error. - -sche (discuss) 04:58, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Nothing ungrammatical about it IMO. How does it violate grammar? Equinox 17:59, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I say this constantly, as well as you'dn't've and y'all'd've. It is very informal in register, but certainly not ungrammatical in Southern English. —JohnC5 18:09, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Southern American English you mean. Southern English has a very different meaning. Also, you say you'dn't've? I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that in my life; I have at least heard you'd've in speech before. I assume that you'dn't've and that other one you mentioned must be largely confined to subdialects of Southern American English. Tharthan (talk) 18:28, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree, perfectly standard in spoken English. I wouldn't use it in writing, though, not even informal writing. Same with y'all'd've. I'd say them this way, but I'd spell them "you'd have" and "y'all'd have" no matter how casual my writing was. I don't think I'd ever say you'dn't've, though. Even in rapid speech it would come out [jəˈwʊdn̩əv] with an uncontracted would. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:31, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I say you'd've, but not you'dn't've or y'all'd've. I can't recall hearing you'dn't've before. I must not be very exposed to Southern American English. — Eru·tuon 19:15, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

maths in French[edit]

Can some French-speaking contributor improve the definition of maths in French? The description of this noun is very poor. And while at it, can somebody tranlate "Ce type-là, c'est une tronche en maths." from tronche in English? --KoreanQuoter (talk) 15:19, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Done. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:51, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic *langaz: from *dl̥h₁gʰós, from dluh₂gʰó- or from *longʰo-?[edit]

  1. The article about Proto-Germanic reconstructed *langaz says it comes «from Proto-Indo-European *dl̥h₁gʰós (long);
  2. The article about lang#Danish traces it to *langaz, which, it says, is «from Proto-Indo-European *dluh₂gʰó- (long)»;
  3. The same article, in the lang#Old English section, traces Old English lang back to the same *langaz, and then back to Proto-Indo-European *longʰo- (long);
  4. lang#Scots agrees with the *dl̥h₁gʰós (long) origin, as do langur#Faroese and lang#Icelandic;
  5. The article about *dl̥h₁gʰós (long) does not show *langaz as a derivative, but rather *tulguz, a separate word;
  6. *dluh₂gʰó- (long) and *longʰo- (long) presently have no articles.

So who is right? Is it the same root reconstructed differently by different authors and/or in different times? Is it different forms of a single PIE word? If the latter, what is the main form, and shouldn't the various forms be added to the main article along with their derivatives, as happens with *dʰeh₁(y)- (suckle)?

MGorrone (talk) 16:00, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

*dl̥h₁gʰ- would indeed give *tulg- so any attempts to connect *langaz to it are mistaken. —CodeCat 16:09, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Couldn't Proto-Germanic *langaz be a loanword from Latin longus? Is there any other way to get it into the *dl̥h₁gʰós family? Especially considering the expected *tulguz also exists. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:37, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Both the Germanic and the Latin require an o-grade, and an explanation for the -n-. The Latin outcome of *dl̥h₁gʰ- would be *lāh-; compare lātus from *tl̥h₂t-. —CodeCat 18:44, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Given the closeness of d and l, is there a possibility that there might be a PIE variant with the two merged? Chuck Entz (talk) 18:50, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
In Latin the d would be lost, so in theory longus could come from *dlongʰos too. But that leaves the n unexplained. I don't know what would happen in Germanic, but I suspect it would be the same as no dl- or tl- clusters are found anywhere in Germanic. —CodeCat 18:54, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
It's a pity there's no Celtic cognate, since Celtic preserves dl-. But maybe there is: some scholars believe that Old Irish long/Welsh llong (ship) is not a loanword from Latin at all, but a native Celtic word of unknown etymology. What if they're right that's a native Celtic word, but the semantics of the loanword argument ("long" > "ship") are also correct, and Proto-Celtic *longā (ship) started out as a substantivization of an adjective *longos (long)? Then Celtic, Germanic, and Italic would all share an etymon *longʰos (long), which would be unrelated to *dl̥h₁gʰós (with which, after all, it shares nothing but l and ). There are certainly plenty of words that are geographically restricted to those three branches. All just speculation, but I find it an intriguing idea. Is there any evidence for a *d in the Latin word? Or do people just postulate *dlongos so it looks more like *dl̥h₁gʰós? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:29, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Philippa links the Germanic word with Latin and with Gallic "longo-" to reconstruct PIE *longʰ-. She says: "Alongside there is a root *delh₁gʰ-/dleh₁gʰ-/dlh₁gʰ- ‘long’, which is widespread in the IE languages [...]. Linking these two roots is very problematic. It requires to postulate that in *longʰ- the laryngeal was dropped and a nasalized o-grade was introduced. However, the semantic correspondance and the fact that the words [for "long"] are complentarily distributed among the IE languages are strong indications of a mutual relationship. Therefore the speculation that the Germanic and Latin words are not IE, but borrowed from a pre-IE substrate language, is unlikely." My translation, Dutch original here. This is, of course, a dictionary that postulates substrate etymologies for many words, so the fact that she doesn't support it here is mentionable. Kolmiel (talk) 20:48, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Except that *tulguz shows that there isn't a complimentary distribution. I find that argument strange anyway; is it so strange that languages tended to retain only one of a pair of synonyms? —CodeCat 20:52, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. I chiefly wanted to note what she said about the phonetics. And also her mention of Gallic "longo-", because Angr wanted a Celtic cognate. Kolmiel (talk) 20:58, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
She doesn't gloss Gaulish longo-, but she must be talking about *longā (ship), attested in the place name Longaticum (today's Logatec, Slovenia). At any rate, if the Celtic "ship" word really is related to the Italic/Germanic "long" word, then that's good evidence that the pre-form is *longʰo- without d-, because Celtic would have retained the dl- cluster of a *dlongʰo-. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:58, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: marginally related: w:Logatec mentions a "Celtic root *longo-": is that a typo for *longā or a different root? MGorrone (talk) 09:33, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
If *longā is just a noun meaning "ship", then *longo- is a mistake; but if the noun is derived from an adjective meaning "long", then *longo- is the stem of that adjective. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:44, 19 May 2017 (UTC)


  • Is the sense "person employed to save swimmers" really limited to the US? Wikipedia has long sections on the certification of Pool Lifeguards in the UK, and on lifeguards in Canada, which suggests the term is also used there. Is it also used in Australia?
  • Can someone clarify sense 3? Does it refer to any lifesaver, e.g. to use the usex of lifesaver could you call a paramedic a lifeguard? Or is it an attempt to say that "lifesaver" is the term used in some dialects that don't call swimmer-savers "lifeguards"?

There might also be some better context label for sense 1. - -sche (discuss) 17:32, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

temper tantra[edit]

What to do with this? There's a handful of GBooks hits, probably mostly self-consciously humorous, but it's nonstandard at the very least. We don't have a tantra entry in this sense. Equinox 23:18, 12 May 2017 (UTC)


Something's wrong with sense 2. It says this is a proscribed form of "defusion": the very same word. Looking back in the history, this used to be diffusion, with a completely different citation. I don't like to waste my time on misspellings but perhaps someone else does. Equinox 01:44, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

'Bull': 3. An adult male of certain large mammals, such as whales, elephants and seals.[edit]

Hi, I know about the term 'collective nouns, e.g. a school of fish, a pride of lions, etc., so I'd like to know whether there's a technical linguistic term for this semantic feature of male/female animals. Furthermore, I'd love to find a category for those terms. --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:42, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

red wings[edit]

I think it should be capitalised as in Detroit Red Wings. DonnanZ (talk) 17:14, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Rhyme group of anonymous[edit]

Previously, anonymous had IPA /əˈnɒnəməs/ and rhymes -nɪməs. Of course, this is inconsistent, so I went ahead and changed it to rhyming with -nɒnəməs. Just pointing it out. Pointed it out on the discussion for that page as well.

MGorrone (talk) 17:30, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

That's the wrong rhyme. It's -ɒnəməs, rhyming with Hieronymus. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:09, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
It depends who and where you are. In the UK the vowel in question can sound like /ə/ or /ɪ/ or anywhere in between (which is why the /ᵻ/ symbol used by the OED and others is so useful). Ƿidsiþ 08:58, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
@Widsith: what Metaknowledge was pointing out is not something about the vowels, but rather the fact that the rhyme doesn't have the "n" before that "ɒ" (i.e. it's -ɒnəməs, not -nɒnəməs). What vowel were you referring to? The ɪ or the ə in the original wrong rhyme -nɪməs? At any rate, whatever the actual sound, I'm pretty sure Hieronymus and anonymous rhyme for anyone. Do you have any evidence of the contrary? MGorrone (talk) 10:25, 15 May 2017 (UTC)


An anon has made a large change to our entry on synergy. I can't make out if it is a good edit or a good-faith bad edit. I'm pretty sure it isn't vandalism. Any ideas? SemperBlotto (talk) 08:06, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

It might be best to reformat those two paragraphs as quotations? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:56, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

contractions: They'lln't've'd, Y'all'n't've, N'am'onna (do you know what I am going to)[edit]

Hi, I've found these contractions/shortenings quite often cited in the internet, so I'd like to propose adding them to wiktionary. --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:47, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

I get 12, 20 and 7 Google hits respectively. I wouldn't exactly call that "quite often cited". --Droigheann (talk) 13:53, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

die: is dead vs has died[edit]

Is it true that "be dead" was formerly more usual than "have died"? See Talk:die#English_usage_note. - -sche (discuss) 17:32, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Sort of. In Shakespeare and the King James Bible, the present perfect tense of die was am, art, is, are dead, rather than have, has, have died as it is today. Die was one of the verbs that took be as their perfect auxiliary rather than have. That was also true of rise: hence, the Easter greeting is Christ is risen, which would be Christ has risen in Modern English. It's like how sein as well as haben is used as the perfect auxiliary in German, and être as well as avoir in French. (I say sort of because I'm not sure if be dead was grammatical as a perfect infinitive, the way have died is today.) — Eru·tuon 18:09, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
But even if die took to be as its auxiliary, we'd still expect "be died", not "be dead", since "dead" isn't the past participle of "die", and wasn't in Early Modern English either. This is different from French, where mort is both the adjective "dead" and the past participle of mourir, so that il est mort is ambiguous between "he is dead" and "he has died/he died". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:13, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, so it's an irregular case, where an adjective is used as if it were a participle. — Eru·tuon 19:39, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
And per the talk page, it seems that both forms always saw some use. - -sche (discuss) 19:43, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Could you point me to what you're referring to? The use of "had died" as a counterfactual form? — Eru·tuon 19:47, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Of course, this may be due to my imperfect knowledge of English, but I don't understand the discussion. What is the difference between early modern English and contemporary English? Aren't "to be dead" and "to have died" totally different things? Like "to sit" and "to have sat down", or whatever? Kolmiel (talk) 04:04, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: They're different in modern English, but it seems like in early modern English, "is dead" means what we mean by "has died" today. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:14, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Early Modern English is the period in which such archaic features as thou, ye, and the inflectional suffix -th were used. At that time, be and have were both used as perfect auxiliary, as in German and French, and is dead was apparently used in place of has died. The use of be here is expected, but the adjective dead being used in place of the past participle died is not. (It would make more sense if the form were is died.) Aside from the adjective issue, the Early Modern English is dead is sort of like German ist gestorben. — Eru·tuon 04:17, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Um, what? Middle English, just like Modern English, distinguished between the adjectival "is dead" and the past participle "has died". [12]: Lay. Brut (c1275 l.3737) "Aganippus was dead, Leir king idæied." I don't think there is any point in English history in which *"he was died" was correct. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 04:30, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
To answer Eru's question, 2 Samuel 19:6 in the King James says, "for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well". More often, "had died" is used as a wish: "Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt" (Numbers 16:3). But I disagree with the notion that "dead" is just an adjective. As I mention'd on Talk:die, Galatians 2:21 says, "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead [ἀπέθανεν] in vain." (The word "come" here is subjunctive, being in an "if" clause.) Obviously Paul did not think that Christ was still dead! So it's not an adjective here, it's a verb tense. The word being translated means "died" (or "would have died", a contrary-to-fact apodosis). I would also point out that this usage is not confined to Early Modern English. For instance, we have in the Wycliffe Bible (1382) in Matthew 9:18, "Lord, my douyter is now deed", translating the Latin "Domine, filia mea modo defuncta est" which means "my daughter has just died". (This is the standard Latin past tense for this verb. In Galatians 2:21, the Latin "ergo gratis Christus mortuus est" is translated "thanne Crist diede with out cause", showing that "mortuus est" was understood as a verb form.) In the Wessex Gospels this verse says "min dohtor ys dead", showing that even in Old English this was a common form. As for the quote from Layamon, the word "idæied" is a past participle, not a past tense, isn't it? In other words, "Aganippus was dead, [and] King Leir dead". Eric Kvaalen (talk) 07:38, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Some strange interpretations here…yes, it's true that "to be dead" was preferred over "to die" or "to have died", this was even the case in Old English. It doesn't mean that "dead" is a participle, it's just a normal adjective functioning normally. The OED has a specific entry for it, under dead 1.e. Ƿidsiþ 08:48, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) "Aganippus was dead, King Lear died". "To be dead" is exactly as adjectival as "to be green". More than that, in Old English, deād was an adjective, whereas the verb dīgan looks to have been rarer, and wouldn't conjugate to deād anyway. I don't know how much more clearly to say it: "Lord, my douyter is now deed" is an adjectival construction, not a verbal one. It was common practice in Old and Middle English to use the adjectival construction instead of the verbal, but that doesn't make "dead" a conjugated verb instead of an adjective. (More to the point, "filia mea modo defuncta est" can also be interpreted as the participal behaving like (and being treated like) an adjective, in which case "my daughter is recently dead" is a good translation. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 09:03, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
In reply to Ƿidsiþ, "to be dead" does not mean the same thing as "to die". I'm not saying that "dead" was a past participle exactly, but it was used like one, just as "mortuus" was used for both, or "mort" in French. Catsidhe, isn't "idæied" a past participle? And a question for either Ƿidsiþ or Catsidhe, how do you explain Galatians 2:21 in the KJV? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 09:40, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Je suis mort doesn't mean the same thing as "I died"... and yet it does. idæied is the Middle English of what would in Old English have been "ġedīġede", it's the perfect past tense (as in: dīġede as the past tense of dīġan, and ġe- marking a perfect aspect). Galatians 2:21 is simple: it's a simple if:then statement. "If righteousness come[s] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." "If I empty this paint can on a wall, then that wall is green". Technically, of course, "he died" and "he is dead" are not exactly the same, because like Lazarus, Jesus, and many people who have received medical treatment in time, it is possible to die and get better. In which case it's possible to argue that this is an example of a historical present: using the present tense to describe an event in the past. That doesn't stop "dead" being an adjective, not a verb form. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 10:18, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
But it wasn't used like a participle, and it is unlike French mort, which IS a participle. It's a perfectly normal adjective. The fact that a verb construction is translated by using an adjective is not all that unusual. It may be that, for instance, ‘to die’ was slightly taboo and saying ‘be dead’ was considered less direct and slightly euphemistic. But not necessarily, it might just have been the more normal, idiomatic way of expressing the idea. Ƿidsiþ 11:06, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
I see that "dead" has been given a verb sense which makes the same claim that "[be] dead" was used as a verb form, citing the same one questionably-interpreted quotation from Galatians as above. What I don't see is consensus here that that is descriptively correct, nor reference works on English grammar that make the claim either prescriptively or descriptively. It is worth noting that the translators of the KJV sometimes used words or phrases that carried connotations or even denotations that were wrong (like in Esther 1:6, and possibly in Genesis 3:16). - -sche (discuss) 10:28, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
@-sche: I can't cite any reference works on English grammar on this point, but the OED's entry on dead says the following under list item 1e: to be dead was anciently used in the sense ‘to die’, and later in that of ‘to have died’; also = ‘To die at the hands of anyone, to be put to death, be killed’. (Then they list quotations that illustrate this.) Not sure if any of this indicates that dead counts a verb form. It is perhaps more parsimonious to say that be dead is idiomatic, and deserves an entry. — Eru·tuon 19:14, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't know what indentation to use! Several points:
"Je suis mort" means both "I died" and "I am dead". Usually those are equivalent, but sometimes not.
I don't know what you mean, Catsdhe, by "perfect past tense". Do you mean a form like "I have been"? In that case we use the past participle. Isn't "ġedīġede" a past participle?
Old English dīġan was a strong verb (pret. dēog), so a past participle for this verb would have been something like *ġedēan, *ġedeġen. [Interestingly, there is another OE verb ġedīġan (to escape; succeed; thrive; survive; benefit; prosper), however this is completely unrelated.] In Middle English, a form like idæied or idied would almost certainly be understood to be a past participle of the verb dien; there is no recorded usage of a Middle English verb *idien meaning "to die completely" from an Old English *ġedīġan (to die completely), and ġedīġede would appear to fit the paradigm of a preterite form rather than a participle Leasnam (talk) 20:14, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Paul is not saying in Galatians that if whatever then Christ would still be dead. He's saying that Christ's death would have been in vain. The meaning of the Greek is "if ... then Christ died in vain" or "would have died in vain". The King James translators understood the Greek. (They were not translating from the Latin "mortuus est".) They translated it correctly, but meaning "Christ died in vain" or "Christ has died in vain", not "Christ is dead" in the modern sense of that. They are not using a historical present! You will find, if you look, that the Greek past "died" is often translated "is dead" in the KJV. It was just normal English for the "present perfect" or perfect tense. The reason I mention this verse in Galatians is that it is the only one where it is clearly not a description of the present situation, because Paul believed Christ to be alive.
In short, the expression "is dead" meant "has died", and therefore the word "dead" is not being used as an adjective. "Is dead" was used as the perfect tense of the verb "to die".
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 13:53, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
But again, what's the difference in comparison to contemporary usage? For example, a doctor leaves the operation theatre and says: "She's dead", in the sense of "She has just died." Isn't that normal English? In my interpretation, these are totally different sentences, which only happen to express the same thing in some contexts. Kolmiel (talk) 18:25, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
(Well, okay. In the Bible verse, Christ is now not dead anymore. Is that the difference you mean? But this is a very special case. Are there other examples of this kind. Where "be dead" is used for someone who died at some point but is considered alive now?) Kolmiel (talk) 18:38, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Or in other words: Was it ever possible to say: "He is dead, but now he is alive."? That would prove it to be a perfect tense. Otherwise I'm not convinced. Kolmiel (talk) 18:46, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
You can't really say "He has died, but now he is alive." either (unless you're using "has died" in the iterative sense). I would say that there really is nothing that can differentiate between a participle and an adjective in this situation (i.e. What's the nafka minah?). --WikiTiki89 19:09, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
All this reminds me of a recent Oxford Dictionaries blogpost in which the author sort of claims that as you can say, after visiting a toilet, "I went an hour ago", but not "I’ve gone an hour ago", you have to say "I’ve been an hour ago", been is in this particular context a past participle of go. Go figure. --Droigheann (talk) 19:31, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Kolmiel, there are very few cases when it would have been appropriate to say "He is dead, but now he is alive". You would have to have been referring to someone who rose from the dead. There are many places in the King James Bible where the past tense of the Greek verb meaning to die is translated by "is dead" (or similar, like "are dead"). The advantage of the Galatians verse is that it shows that "is dead" is not just a paraphrase for "has died" – in this verse the translators were certainly not implying that Christ was still dead. They did not mean "Christ is now in the state of death (in vain)". They did not believe that and they knew that Paul did not believe that. Which means that in all the other cases where they translate the Greek word for "died" as "is (are ...) dead", they were not paraphrasing the Greek, they were just using the normal English perfect form for the verb "to die". And when Yair says to Yeshua "Lord, my douyter is now deed" he's not saying, "Well, that's it, she's dead now". He's saying "she has just died" (which is what the Greek says). As to Wikitiki's question, yes, there are situations where you could say "He has died, but now he is alive". For example, I could say, "It was necessary for the Mashiach to die. Well, now he has died, but he is alive again. He rose from the dead." It's true that you would not use the present perfect tense for something that no longer has an effect. In the case of Galatians 2:21, the translators decided to go with their equivalent of "then Christ has died in vain" rather than "then Christ died in vain". (The Darby translation says, "then Christ has died for nothing", and Webster's translation says "then Christ hath died in vain".) Eric Kvaalen (talk) 19:50, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
In the absence of consensus that dead is a verb form, I reworded the notes to not make a claim that dead is or is not a verb form. Preference for one construction over another does not mean the two must have the same part of speech; compare "he lives" and "he is alive". (In German one has a third option, besides a verb and a verb+adjective construction: am Leben sein. A similar construction, "on life", is the origin of alive. And I haven't seen any grammarians argue that the noun Leben is a verb or adjective, and I haven't found a defining dictionary as opposed to a translation dictionary that gives am Leben or be alive an entry, re Erutuon's suggestion of making "be dead" an entry.)
When I search google books:"participle dead", I see mostly works discussing the etymology of the word's precursor in Proto-Germanic, or other languages entirely — many books discuss the Hebrew word that means "dead", or the Albanian word, which is a participle. The books that do discuss English mostly say dead is not a participle in English:
  • William Lennie A key to Lennie's Principles of English grammar (1850): "One of our latest writers on Grammar has inserted the verb to die in his list of irregular verbs, and made the past participle dead: now dead is an adjective and not a past participle." (I take that to be sense 2 of "now", "used to introduce a point, a remonstration or a rebuke", rather than sense 1, "at the present time", but YMMV.)
  • Walter William Skeat An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language (1898): "DEAD, deprived of life. (E.)       M. E. deed, ded; Chaucer, C. T. prol. 148. — A. S. deád, "dead", Grein, i. 189; where deád is described as an adjective, rather than as a past participle. And to this day we distinguish between dead and died, as in the phrases 'he is dead' and 'he has died;' we never say 'he has dead.' But [...] in Moeso-Gothic [...] there can be no reasonable doubt that dauths was formed with [a] participial ending.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. A phrase in one Bible translation, in which a minority of people claim dead should be a verb form because the implications of an adjective seem off — while the book is known to translate things with the wrong implications and denotations in other cases — is not even clear evidence. - -sche (discuss) 21:24, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, I disagree with your edits. Do you realize that in the New Testament the verb "to die" is rendered 30 times as "is dead" or variations thereon? The only places where "had died" or "have died" are used is in John chapter 11 (the story of Lazarus) where these are contrary-to-fact forms ("if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died" twice, and "And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?")? In other words, the King James translators consistently used "be dead" as the perfect tense of "to die". Eric Kvaalen (talk) 06:30, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
They consistently use the phrase "be dead", and we have a usage note in die explaining that the phrase be dead was formerly used in situations where now the more direct die would be used. All that note does not do is make the extraordinary assertion that "dead" is a verb form rather than the adjective which it has been from the days of Old English through to the present. - -sche (discuss) 07:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
So, stated another way: be dead is used as a verb form (in place of the perfect tense), but dead on its own is still just an adjective. Is that accurate? Perhaps the entry be dead should be created. — Eru·tuon 08:24, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
@-sche, it's not "die" that we use, it's "have died" or similar (but your usage note puts this correctly). My objections are that, first of all, you call "be dead" a descriptive phrase, but it's not. It's a past tense, just as "mortuus est", "est mort", and "ist gestorben" are in Latin, French, and German. (That Galatians verse is "ergo gratis Christus mortuus est", "Christ est donc mort inutilement", and "so ist Christus vergeblich gestorben" respectively. None of these is trying to say that Christ is now dead. They are all past tenses.) It is often a translation of a past tense, and it is usually used as a past tense, and the verse in Galatians is a perfect example where it's clearly a past tense and not a descriptive phrase. Secondly, you took out what I said about this being the case in Middle and Old English as well. It's not just some temporary quirk of Early Modern English. And I object to the fact that you completely removed the information which I put under the entry "dead" (although I would agree to putting it somewhere else – it's not actually a verb, it's a word used to form the perfect tense of a verb). @Erutuon, I agree that "dead" without some form of the verb "to be" is just an adjective. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 13:11, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
OK, I have restored the mention of Old and Middle English, and I have templatized the note (it can be found and edited at Template:U:en:be dead) and placed it in dead, as well as die. However, you are conflating "is often a translation of a past tense" with "is a past tense". Galatians is not "clearly a past tense", as evidence by how few people, in this discussion and in grammar books generally, agree with your assessment to that effect.
@Erutuon: AFAICS it's not "used as a verb form" or entry-worthy any more than "be alive", "be red", "be silent" (which is used in English when translating many other languages' verbs, and only has an entry as a translation-target because, unlike in this case, English has no single verb for the concept), etc. - -sche (discuss) 22:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
@-sche: Huh? "Be dead" is idiomatically used as a perfect tense, while the other things you mention are not idiomatic. — Eru·tuon 22:50, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
You assert that it's used "idiomatically used as a perfect tense", but all you point to are places where someone has chosen to use a stative verb + adjective construction instead of the simple verb, something which is still possible to this day ("John died", "John has dead", "John is dead", "John is deceased", "John is no longer with us", "John is six feet under", ...). We clearly disagree on whether the synonymy of the two constructions transforms the [stative verb +] adjective into a verb. - -sche (discuss) 00:05, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay. To be clear, you also disagree with the OED on this point. — Eru·tuon 00:09, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Do you disagree only on be dead or dead being a verb, or also on be dead having an entry? Whether or not it's a verb, doesn't it qualify for having an entry by being idiomatic (non-SOP)? — Eru·tuon 00:16, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Does the OED claim dead is a verb form? Widsith says above "it's just a normal adjective functioning normally. The OED has a specific entry for it, under dead 1.e." And I find grammars specifically saying dead is not a verb form, but the only one I find that claims it is a verb form (in English) is a grammar of Egyptian that only makes the claim in passing while relating an Egyptian construction to English, and it seems to be confused.
I disagree with the suggestion that be dead is more idiomatic than be alive, since the only quotation where a straightforward interpretation of it as be + dead is problematic is the one from Galatians, and a single quotation is not enough for an entry, especially when it's a translation and we have reason to think it may be a faulty translation, the way the translation's use of "conception" is also problematic. - -sche (discuss) 00:23, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
@-sche: Even if you put a note in saying that is dead was used with the meaning has died in Early Modern English, I disagree that this is also true for Middle English, and outright dispute anything of the kind for Old English. Apart from an argument from analogy from French, Latin and German (which isn't bulletproof, because the adjective and the past participle in these languages is identical, which is not the case in English), the only evidence proffered is from KVJ, where the fact that the Middle English bibles don't use this construction is somehow evidence for the argument? If Eric wants to make the claim that Middle English used is ded as meaning "has died" (without ambiguity, which will be difficult for reasons described in the dog's breakfast of a discussion above), then let him provide it. And I outright deny that Old English had any such construction. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 23:20, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
@Catsidhe: On the contrary, it seems to have been used in Middle English: the OED lists two quotations from Wycliffe's Bible in which be dead has the meaning died or have died. The earliest quotation dates from 1000, so you might be right about Old English. — Eru·tuon 23:28, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
However, Wycliffe's Bible was translated from the Vulgate, and the Latin text of the two quotations (Romans 5:15 and 2 Corinthians 5:14) uses a form of esse (to be) plus the perfect passive participle, so the construction could be a copy of the syntax of the Latin. There are other quotations given by the OED in which that would not be true. — Eru·tuon 23:49, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
If it's from his earlier version, then it's a word for word translation of the Latin Leasnam (talk) 23:53, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
The quote from Romans is from the earlier version, and the one from 2 Corinthians from the later. — Eru·tuon 23:57, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

section break for ease of editing[edit]

I'm looking over the quotations given in the OED.

One quote from King Lear seems to be unambiguously un-stative: Your eldest daughters haue foredoome themselues, And desperatly are dead. It does not make sense for the adverb desperately to be applied to the stative "being in the state of deadness", since desperateness is a mental quality that can only apply while one is still alive. It can only apply to the daughters if the meaning is "have died", in which case it can describe their mental state immediately before their death.

Similarly, this one from Romeo and Juliet: Dread Souereigne, my Wife is dead to night. It would be odd for a stative to be qualified with to night. It would suggest something absurd: that while she's dead tonight, tomorrow she'll come to life again. (The state of being dead is restricted to the period of time referred to by tonight.) Interpreting it with the meaning "has died" makes far more sense: then the adverb of time refers to the time at which they died.

There is also a quote with was dead (T. Beddoes, Hygëia): I heard..that he was dead of scarlet fever. This appears to have the meaning had died. — Eru·tuon 00:33, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Do I infer from Widsith's comment that the OED lists these under the adjective "dead", not under "die" (where I would guess they put quotations of inflections of "die", like "died")?
"Was dead of scarlet fever" looks like a normal use of the adjective "dead" which is still current: "Within weeks she was dead, of scarlet fever." (2013), "Jedrek was dead. Of scarlet fever." (1976) "Dead of" is also found in places that make clear "dead" is adjectival because it can't be replaced with "has died": Jane Austen's "if he had not supposed me dead of a scarlet fever" (parallel to "he supposed me sick"), or G. Gilson's "Moore was found dead of a drug overdose".
"Is dead tonight" seems to emphasize the recentness of the death; NBC News used the same wording to announce "John Lennon is dead. Lennon died in a hospital [...]. Again, John Lennon is dead tonight of gunshot wounds." You find the same phrase "dead tonight" in e.g. "Sanford Bloom [was] just appointed to the post of New York District Attorney, replacing Francis Phillip Garrahy, dead tonight of a heart attack," where there's no "is", which seems to confirm that "dead" is an adjective rather than a verb form, and that "tonight" is indicating timing and not provisionalness or that he'll come back to life later.
It seems somewhat similar to the construction "is [not alive] [length of time]", where many words can be used in place of dead even to this day (although it seems literary or dialectal?), like "my Frieda is dead four years" (2011), "Today [Joe's father] Al is gone four years" (2014 book about funerals).
- -sche (discuss) 03:36, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
@-sche: Yes, these quotes are from the OED's entry for dead. But I think, since the definition discusses specifically the phrase to be dead, our practice, in contrast to the OED's, would be to put this in a separate entry be dead. — Eru·tuon 22:36, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
I will answer down here to the things that were said since yesterday (I was busy today).
@-sche, when I said "be dead" is often a translation of a past tense, what I mean is that it's not always a translation of a past tense. There are a few verses in the KJV where the Greek says "is" (or "was") "dead", like "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17). In those cases, "be dead" is not a past tense. But in 30 other cases, it is a past tense. To use something like your example "be six feet under", in Galatians one could not say "Christ is in the grave in vain", but one could (back then) say "Christ is dead in vain" because it meant "has died in vain".
Your examples like "she was dead, of scarlet fever" or "John Lennon is dead tonight" don't really counter Eru's examples. Yours either have a comma, or a period, or they are "headline English". Nowadays people may say "Frieda is dead four years", but not "Frieda is dead four years ago". But in the past, they could say "my douyter is now deed", meaning she just now died.
@Catsidhe, I gave an example of where forms like "is dead" meant "has died" in both Middle English ("Lord, my douyter is now deed") and Old English ("min dohtor ys dead"). See my comment at 19:50 15 May. You know, when the Latin says "mortuus est" or "mortua est", people would have understood that as a past tense, not as a description of a state.
@Erutuon, a quote from 1000 AD would be Old English.
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 21:56, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
No, you gave examples of forms where the Latin adjectival construction is the same as the past participle (filia mea mortua est means both "my daughter is dead" and "my daughter died", and similarly for ma fille est morte and Meine Tochter is gestorben), and the English translators used the adjectival form. (Presumably the girl didn't get better, and so for all intents and purposes the two forms are equivalent in meaning: "my daughter ceased living".) Maybe the Anglo Saxons started using the adjectival form from analogy with the Latin, but that doesn't magically make it syntactically a verb form. You are confusing syntax and semantics. You also seem to assume a lot about what "people would have understood". English did, of course, adopt an auxiliary verb for the pluperfect: "had". It takes the past participle: "my daughter has died". That's: a verb form. If "be" was adopted as an auxiliary verb for the simple past, then one would normally expect it to take the past participle as well, and yet MEn *"my daughter is died" only works if she has been dropped into a vat of pigment. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 02:04, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
You can certainly say "Christ is in the grave in vain". "She was dead, of scarlet fever" is not headline English and the comma is not necessary. You can say today "My daughter is now dead", meaning she just now died. How can you possibly know how Latin speakers two thousand years ago would or wouldn't have understood "mortuus est"? --WikiTiki89 22:24, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, there are books analyzing the semantics of verbs in ancient languages. I have such a book for Classical Greek. — Eru·tuon 22:31, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
By "you" I meant specifically Eric Kvaalen, not the generic "you". --WikiTiki89 22:52, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
@Eric Kvaalen: Quite right. So the OED has one quote from the end of the OE period. — Eru·tuon 22:34, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
I picked examples that punctuate "was dead, of fever" because I felt they emphasized the adjectivity of "dead"; there are also examples used to this day without punctuation, if you prefer: "General Jackson received word that Janie Corbin was dead of scarlet fever" (2014), parallel to e.g. "Would she remember the children dead of scarlet fever[...]?" (2014) where "who were" is elided and the adjectival nature of "dead" is thus made clearer.
"Is dead [length of time] ago" is still used, in the same infrequent literary-or-dialectal way as "is dead [length of time]": from Twain's "the writer of it is dead years ago, no doubt" and a 1922 Breeder's Gazette’s "Fleming is dead years ago, and his stock of horses gone" to Jane Duncan's 2015 "Poor Ella, I suppose she is dead years ago but it will be nice to know".
As Wikitiki notes, English speakers can and do still say "my daughter is now dead" (also "my daughter is now sick", etc), so I'm not sure what you're getting at with that example...? - -sche (discuss) 00:26, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

I tripped over this this morning, which I think gets to the nub of this discussion. This entire discussion is about confusing syntax with semantics. Semantically, "he is dead" might have been understood to mean that he has, in the past, died, with no further implication on his current state. That is a completely different question to whether "is dead" is a verb form. Because syntactically it isn't, and it never has been in English. In those languages where you can confuse the adjectival and the past participle, then "mortuus est" or "est mort" or "ist gestorben" could be either. Even in English, the past participle can act like/become an adjective, if there is not already an adjective ready. "He is risen", "I am depressed", "they are drowned". "Die" is not one of those cases, because "dead" is already there. I'm not sure how much sense I'm making here.--Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:21, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Again I will respond down here to whatever has been added since last my contribution.
It's proper English to say "Christ is in the grave in vain", but I meant that Paul would not have said that, because Paul did not believe that Christ was in the grave anymore. I was not saying that "she is dead, of scarlet fever" is headline English. I was referring to the examples "Sche" gave from NBC News.
Sche, it's nice to know that people still use (as of 2015!) the expression "is dead" as a past tense! That's what "I suppose she is dead years ago" means. It means, "I suppose she died years ago". You can't do that with an ordinary adjective. You can't say "I suppose she is alive years ago". By the way, I don't understand what your URLs are for – they just go to a Google book, but not to the actual quotation.
As I said earlier, Yair in Matthew 9:18 did not mean, "Well, she's dead now", he meant "she has just died" (as is clear from both the Latin and the Greek).
I think the reason some of you don't accept the idea that "is dead" was meant in the sense "has died" is that you're not used to hearing forms of "be" used to make past tenses. You know intellectually that it is done in French, German, Latin, and earlier English, but it sounds strange to you. So when I tell you that "is dead" simply meant "has died", you have trouble accepting that, or when I say that people reading the Latin Bible would have understood "mortua est" as a past tense.
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 05:58, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
@Catsidhe: I suppose if we base the POS of this idiomatic be dead solely on the syntactic properties of the individual words be and dead, it cannot be categorized as a verb or even be considered a verb phrase, as dead isn't a verb, but has to be categorized a phrase. But I am curious if the semantic value ever results in phenomena that can be considered syntactic indicators of a verb. I'm not sure what those would be, though. Anyway, I don't know what the part of speech of this idiomatic be dead should be. Probably just "phrase".
@Eric Kvaalen's arguments from the Bible passages make the most sense when referencing the KJV, which was translated from the Greek, not the Latin. As I understand it, the Greek aorist, ἀπέθανε (apéthane) or ἐτελεύτησε (eteleútēse), can only have an eventive meaning: "died", "has died". To say "be dead" (stative), you would use the perfect, τέθνηκε (téthnēke) or τετελεύτηκε (teteleútēke). (These are the third-person singular forms.) So, translating a Greek aorist as is dead would be flagrant mistranslation, if that phrase didn't have the eventive meaning died or has died.
Latin, on the other hand, doesn't have any way to distinguish "died" from "is dead", because the perfect tense (mortuus est) is either eventive (perfective) or stative. The Latin perfect expresses the meanings of the Greek aorist and perfect. And the same phrase can probably be a copula plus adjective. So a translator working from the Latin has more room for misunderstanding. Still, it would be translational malpractice to not get it right based on context, in some of these cases. — Eru·tuon 07:26, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
The KJV wasn't created from a vacuum; it relied more heavily than many would have supposed on Wycliffe and Tyndale (and thus on peculiarities of the Vulgate). So it's not unreasonable to assume that infelicities in translation in those works would be carried over. Also, the KJV scholars weren't above translating creatively for the sake of euphony and rhetorical effect over accuracy. Also, as has been pointed out above, sometimes KJV scholars just plain got it wrong. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 07:32, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I think saying "Christ is dead in vain", when the writer does not consider Christ to be dead, is a "syntactic indicator of a verb".
By the way, another way to say "be dead" (stative) is simply νεκρος εστιν (or similar, depending on the gender and number). In the verse from James 2, it's νεκρα εστιν (neuter plural takes a singular verb in Greek).
The point of the KJV (or at least part of the point) was to correct the Tyndale translation using the Greek. Anyway, it's surely not true that in all those 30 places where the Greek past tense is rendered with a form of "be dead" the translators were unaware that the Greek was a past tense, and were simply carrying on from Tyndale!
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 09:44, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Wasn't KJV primarily based on The Bishops' Bible? --Droigheann (talk) 16:25, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes. But to quote a BBC programme I was listening to recently, "The whole story of the Bible is unthinkable without [Tyndale]. He was the material on which all those later translators, a whole series of them, through the 16th century, got to work." They said that a lot of phrases in the KJV come from Tyndale. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 17:43, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
A key problem with analysing some instances of "be dead" as a verb form, in my view, is precisely that it entails analysing some instances as a verb form, and then other identical instances as the normal and expected adjectival phrase, based on factors like whether the source text of a translation used a verb or an adjective, or even when the sentence was written — since we apparently all except Eric agree that modern uses of "is dead", whether in "my daughter is dead" or "I suppose she is dead", are all adjectival, but disagree on whether old uses of those same sentences are also adjectives, or verbs (well, actually, is anyone besides Eric and Eru arguing they're verbs?). If there were actually an "is..." past tense of "die" the way there was of some other verbs, it would be "is died", which apparently does not occur.
A Hebrew or Greek (or German, etc) verb form won't always be rendered into English with a verb form: in some cases, for various reasons (Widsith suggests some above; perhaps "is dead" may have been seen as more polite), English uses another construction such as an adjectival phrase some or all of the time. Besides "be dead", another example is how the Hebrew verb שָׁתַק is often rendered into English with "be quiet/calm", including in the KJV: וַיִּשְׂמְח֥וּ כִֽי־ יִשְׁתֹּ֑קוּ וַ֝יַּנְחֵ֗ם אֶל־ (then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth), אֶל־ הַיָּ֔ם וְיִשְׁתֹּ֥ק הַיָּ֖ם מֵֽעֲלֵיכֶ֑ם (so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know).
- -sche (discuss) 22:33, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
I've said I don't consider be dead to be a verb; I am not sure if it qualifies, especially not as a perfect, since it does not consist of auxiliary plus past participle. It would be best to call it a phrase when someone makes an entry. — Eru·tuon 23:46, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Sche, the fact that a phrase like "be dead" can have more than one meaning (such as "have died" and "be in the state of being dead") is often true. For example "I could do it" can be a past tense, or it can be a conditional. You know, in languages like French you have the same ambiguity as with "be dead". If you say "Ce poisson est mort", it would probably be taken as a description, whereas if you say "mon grand-père est mort cette nuit" it's definitely a verb form. By the way, why is it that your Jane Duncan can write "I suppose she is dead years ago" but cannot write "I suppose she is alive years ago"?
Obviously we have to use "be quiet" or "be calm" for שתק because we don't have a verb in English. But that explanation doesn't apply in the case of "be dead".
In my opinion, the expression "is dead" was thought of exactly like other perfect tenses like "is come", "is gone", "is risen", et cetera, but they used the word "dead" instead of the past participle "died". Can someone give us an early example of the use of the true past participle? (I would say, the word "idæied" in the quote about King Leir.)
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 17:43, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
a1300 Floris (Vit D.3) 77/84: We scholden habbe idiȝed boþe in ar niȝt.
c1390 Chart.Abbey HG (Vrn) 359: Þei wolde not þat he hedde Idyed til he weore an-honged. Leasnam (talk) 18:46, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I see that neither of these is a normal indicative. In the first we have an infinitive and in the second a past subjunctive (second subjunctive). That's similar to what we find in the King James Version. Whenever they wanted a normal perfect indicative they would say "is dead", but for the infinitive as in John 11:37 they put "have died", for contrary-to-fact they put "had died" (John 11:21 or 11:32), and for wishes also "had died" (as in Numbers 16:3).
@-sche, did you see my question about Jane Duncan?
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 19:33, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
@Eric Kvaalen, I don't see how that would make any difference...the grammatical form would be the same. Even though we have no evidentiary proof, I can't see why a ME speaker would differentiate between a normal indicative vs. a modal construct. Leasnam (talk) 15:58, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

free, white, and twenty-one[edit]

Was this also used by black or otherwise non-white people)? Was it also used by white people of non-white people ("that black girl is free, white, and 21"?). I feel like this needs usage notes or just an expanded definition, clarifying that/if only white people used it. - -sche (discuss) 19:45, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

RFI: "to know the least iota"?[edit]

From w:Alexander Garden (naturalist). Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 08:36, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Did you see sense 2 of iota? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:41, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

"part nouns" : slice, piece, item, clove, blade, etc.[edit]

Hi, I do not know the exact linguistic terms used for them, but just as other quantifiers such as collective nouns are identified and categorized, doing so with them would enrich wiktionary a great deal and add an unvaluable resource for learners. --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:38, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Hmm, they're sort of meronyms. I agree they could be useful to include, and not just for English words. Without changing our current structure, they could be added in usexes or in usage notes (like on goose), or sometimes maybe as meronyms. There is the potential for several to apply, and with different meaning, e.g. a piece of garlic is not so specific about how much, a clove of garlic is obviously one clove, and a slice of garlic is a slice... - -sche (discuss) 01:16, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think they are called measure words. Equinox 01:22, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

-o and similar suffixes IN ENGLISH[edit]

This is sort of a racist thing at times, but I've heard people use the "-o" suffix before on just random words to mock the Spanish or Italian language, sometimes on television. For instance, an old man sees a Mexican walking a dog, and their dog poops on their lawn. The old man says "Hey there el Mexicano! Get your damn doggo to stop taking a shitto on my lawno!" What kind of alternative form is this? And this could really be used to modify any English word. PseudoSkull (talk) 23:23, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

The suffix itself is covered in Etymology 2 of o-, but I'm not sure what to call the forms derived using it (at least, the nonce-y ones you describe, as opposed to a few well-established ones like problemo). {{pronunciation spelling|foo|lang=en|from=}}, maybe? With from= set to (and a label created for) something like "Spanish-accented English"? I expect that some words that would be used in the situation you describe, might also be put directly into the mouth of Hispanic characters in novels, etc, i.e. used to suggest that they were speaking with an accent, which the old man is then adopting mockingly. If only a few -o terms are usually derogatory, they could be {{label}}ed individually; if derogatoriness is a general feature of such words, we might want to add a qualifier (like ", chiefly derogatory") directly to the template. - -sche (discuss) 00:57, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
There are ways to modify words whose results don't really belong in a dictionary, e.g. you can make any noun sound comically French by prefixing it with le, but other than the famous cartoon catchphrase le sigh I doubt we'd want entries. Same goes for word games like Pig Latin: again, perhaps kayfabe came from that, but it's an exception in having truly entered English. Equinox 01:05, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
True, we do exclude some regular modifications, like 's or Latin -que (Talk:fasque). - -sche (discuss) 01:38, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

die: synonym of laugh[edit]

Recently added by user:Romanophile . I have heard of the phrase "to die laughing". There is also "you kill me" which I think is implying much the same metaphor. Not sure that that amounts to a synonym though. SpinningSpark 10:38, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

‘To laugh intensely’ would probably more more accurate than simply ‘to laugh’. Even so, I’ve seen this sense quite a few times in recent years, which is probably why people say ‘I’m literally dying’. — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 11:23, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Have you got any cites for it? "I'm literally laughing", which is what you get if you substitute the alleged synonym, does not make much sense. Also, if it only occurs in set phrases then it should be presented as such. SpinningSpark 12:26, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
"Literally" is often used figuratively, so I wouldn't take "I'm literally dying" to be evidence that "die" has acquired a new literal meaning. --WikiTiki89 14:54, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I've heard the usage that I think is being referred to, but I think it's a general image that someone is so amused, pleased, or shocked, that it's killing them. There's an episode of Graham Norton where he quotes Taylor Swift's fans saying things like "we all died like for real" (when she appeared), "I legit almost told Mama Swift to call me an ambulance because I wasn't going to make it", one song "slayed everyone to heaven and back", "while listening to the song I literally had to plan my funeral arrangements because I wasn't going to make it". - -sche (discuss) 18:24, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
It's possible we need to add or expand a metaphorical sense of "die", which seems to be the "base" of the metaphor (which some examples above are then picking more elaborate and expressive synonyms for), but that sense is probably more general than "to laugh". Another usage we're missing (if it's citable) is ~"to black out, and usually vomit, due to excessive alcohol or drugs" ("I fucking died last night"), or perhaps a more general sense of "to fail to the point of not being able to continue". - -sche (discuss) 18:38, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
We also need the relatively modern intransitive sense of slay, roughly "be awesome", as in "[Melissa] McCarthy ... slayed during her monologue ... as she joined SNL’s famous Five-Timers Club."Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:03, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think the last sense of slay ("incapacitate by awesomeness") is an attempt to cover that. - -sche (discuss) 19:41, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
There's also "I nearly died" when someone is mortified/embarrassed. Equinox 19:30, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think that's covered by "To be mortified or shocked by a situation." - -sche (discuss) 19:41, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think something like "be completely overcome with laughter or emotion" would cover it. The implication is of being so completely incapacitated as to seem like one is dying. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:49, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Btw, Century has two senses we don't quite have: "to lose vital power or action; become devitalized or dead; [...] as, 'certain plants die down to the ground annually, while their roots live'" and "in theol., to be cut off from the presence or favor of God; suffer eternal punishment in the world to come: 'so long as God shall live, so long shall the damned die'". - -sche (discuss) 19:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Appendix:ISO 3166-1[edit]

Should we strictly follow how the International Organization for Standardization names the countries and areas based on United Nations? See also w:Template:Editnotices/Page/ISO 3166-1.--Jusjih (talk) 01:39, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Inside this appendix, you mean, or on Wiktionary in general?
Appendices for ISO language and script codes seem useful, but this appendix seems like it could go on 'pedia. But if we keep it, I haven't seen a reason not to use the ISO's country names in it. - -sche (discuss) 04:13, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
I just mean this Appendix, without talking about Wiktionary in general. The Appendix may be kept here to link to alpla-2 and alpha-3 codes. Some ISO's country names are subject to political disputes, so I ask here while linking to a template on Wikipedia reminding users not to fight on "Taiwan, Province of China" or similar disputes. ISO just follows the UN.--Jusjih (talk) 19:25, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
If this template is kept, then I guess it should use the ISO's names, with a note like the one you link to on en.WP. But I think it should be deleted. - -sche (discuss) 20:52, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

-cele -coele -coel suffices[edit]

It seems to me that there is some confusion in the use and etymology of the -cele -coele and -coel suffices. Which are currently indicated as being alternative forms of each other, with -cele seemingly being preferred (in the -cele entry, -coel and -coele are indicated as alternative spellings; and in the -coel and -coele entries, it is indicated that these are variants of -cele). Even though these suffices are (in my opinion erroneously) used as synonyms, there is a difference between -cele on the one hand and -coel and -coele on the other. -cele refers to tumors or hernias, and derives from Ancient Greek κηλη (tumor or growth), whereas -coel and -coele refer to body cavities, deriving from κοῖλον (cavity). This distinction is also apparent in the entries ending in -coel (which all refer to body cavities), and -cele (which all refer to tumors or hernias). I added the meaning of cavity to the -coel and -coele entries, but I am unsure of how to indicate that the -cele entry is sometimes (incorrectly) used in lieu of -coel. Any suggestions? --Kwataswagri (talk) 12:01, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

If what you say is accurate, each term should probably either have {{lb|en|nonstandard}} {{altform|THE OTHER PAGE}} or a usage note mentioning the other page. - -sche (discuss) 20:55, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Alright. How would I convince you of my accurateness? --Kwataswagri (talk) 09:31, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

clinically proven[edit]

Okay, so I've gotten some confusion now. I did my best with the definition, but apparently this word can mean a lot of things (or, according to some sources, nothing at all actually). Some sources claim that "clinically proven" just means that the product was not tested well and was put there as sort of a copout of it. (But we don't want this in our definition I don't believe; I think we want to tell what the person writing the word means.) So, can someone define it better, or did I do a good job? PseudoSkull (talk) 01:58, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

How is this different from "clinically" + "proven"? --WikiTiki89 14:29, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't know. It just seemed like it had some idiomatic meaning. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:29, 18 May 2017 (UTC)


And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

What on Earth did they mean by ‘plank’ here? Is it physically possible to have a slab stuck in the eye? — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 05:00, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

I think it's just hyperbole, to emphasize the irony in trying to correct someone else's faults when one's own faults are far greater. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:53, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense. I thought that it was a sense that nobody uses anymore. — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 05:56, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
It's definitely meant as hyperbole. Some translations use "beam" or "log" (see The Mote and the Beam). The Greek word is δοκός (dokós). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:35, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

rise from the dead[edit]

I'm working on this entry in my userspace. I think it's non-SOP, and I have enough quotations. However, several uses are in headlines, and the quote templates seem to want a quotation. Is there a way to indicate that I'm quoting the headline? — Eru·tuon 20:28, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, it doesn't quite feel SOP. There's obviously more to it than just rising.... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:55, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Etymology of že[edit]

I was browsing a couple Czech words today and trying to add etymology. I added information for když and kdy based on French articles (if anyone could verify that it would be great). Then I came to že. I saw an etymology «From Proto-Slavic *juže, *uže.» for the Slovene word. "OK, great", I thought. "Certainly the etymology is the same for Cech". But to be scrupolous, I checked with w:fr:že and found «Du vieux slave же, že, qui donne le polonais że, , le slovaque že, le bulgare че, če, же, že en russe.» (links were to French articles of course)», that is «from Old Church Slavonic же, že, which gives Polish że and , Slovak že, Bulgarian че (če), če, Russian же (že)». Is the French etymology correct? Does thaat OCS word stem from the PS word given at the etymology for the Slovene word? And if so, why doesn't the French wiktionary say it, tracing the OCS directly back to PIE *ghe? That would be consistent with the etymology found for Latin hic over here: «From Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰi-ḱe (this, here), from *ǵʰi-, *ǵʰo-, *ǵʰeh₂- (particle) + *ḱe- (here). First element cognate with Ancient Greek γε (ge, intensifying particle), Czech že (that, conjunction). Second element cognate with Latin cis (on this side), ce-dō, Ancient Greek ἐ-κε-ῖνος (e-ke-înos, that), Old Irish (here), Gothic 𐌷𐌹𐌼𐌼𐌰 (himma, to this). More at he, here» (I assume the three forms given are masculine, feminine, and neuter singular nominative respectively, and that this is some kind of demostrative pronoun -- "particle"? what does that mean?). If that is not the case, are the words že in Slovene and Slovak and the word že in Czech really not from the same PS word? MGorrone (talk) 21:21, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

PS I also added translations for the examples at slavon in the meantime, if anyone could verify them it would be good. MGorrone (talk) 21:29, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

We shouldn't say that any of these words comes from Old Church Slavonic. People sometimes lazily consider OCS to be basically the same thing as Proto-Slavic, but it isn't. Modern Slavic languages—especially those whose speakers are predominantly Eastern Orthodox—often have OCS loanwords, but the modern languages don't descend from OCS. And I really doubt that Slavic is really from Proto-Slavic *juže, *uže rather than from *že. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:52, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Well it seems that *(j)uže is really just *(j)u + *že, the first part cognate to Lithuanian jaũ. Also, How can there be a connection with Latin hic and Ancient Greek γε (ge)? PIE *ǵʰ and became PS *z, not . --WikiTiki89 15:28, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
But *že and Sanskrit (gha, at least , surely , verily , indeed , especially) can both come from *gʰe with a pure velar; in which case they're not related to γε (ge). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:41, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Just wondering, how would we even know that either the Latin or the Greek velars go back to palatals? Also, since the Greek velar isn't aspirated, how can it even be related to Latin h-? Clearly, the Greek particle isn't related at all, while Latin hic can in principle well reflect the same *gʰ- pronominal stem that the Sanskrit and Slavic particles might go back to. However, the Slavic *ž- is, in itself, ambiguous. And I don't get how anyone would connect Bulgarian Bulgarian че (če) with all this, when it starts with a completely unrelated phoneme; that's really sloppy scholarship. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: to be precise I'm not too sure how to translate "vieux slave". Literally it would be "Old Slavic", so I would have gone for Proto-Slavic, as I did in the etymology of když IIRC. I went for OCS here because it was written in Cyrillic, which would be odd for a protolanguage, and because w:fr:Vieux-slave has a link to English w:Old Church Slavonic, but there might be room for doubt there. MGorrone (talk) 09:43, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Older literature, in particular, doesn't always differentiate between Proto-Slavic, Old Slavic and Old Church Slavonic, treating Old Church Slavonic as a dialect of Old Slavic, also known as Common Slavic, which these scholars effectively consider Proto-Slavic.
It all leads back to the issue of what exactly Proto-Slavic is and what a proto-language is and if a proto-language is a language in the sense of dialect continuum (like Common Slavic) or more like a regional dialect (originating from a larger, older dialect continuum) that starts spreading, becomes a lingua franca (widespread second language), and eventually develops regional variants. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

From The Monty Python[edit]

Looking from pining in w:Dead Parrot sketch, I found that is synonym for longing and yearning. Can this meaning be included in Etym2Verb or we need another sense? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 11:03, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

In the sketch it's used as a verb form, and as far as I can see we already have an entry for this, which refers you to pine. Ƿidsiþ 16:35, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

feel like just yesterday[edit]

I know it seems a little bit SOPish, but "feel like just yesterday" is far more common that "feel like just last week", etc. It has to do with a psychological effect that makes things feel closer in time than they actually were. PseudoSkull (talk) 15:25, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

"I wouldn't know"[edit]

Hi, Leonardo Dicaprio says the sentence "I wouldn't know" after asking the woman engraving his oscar "you do this every year?". I do not understand the use of the modal here, nor can I find it in its entry. What paraphrase would fit best for it? --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:42, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

See [13]. Equinox 20:44, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox Regarding its modality, I still can't match it with any of the ones mentioned in would. Should it have an entry of its own? It seems to be a set phrase always involving the verb to know --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:51, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
No, consider e.g. "I wouldn't have thought so". Equinox 21:53, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox Could sb. please offer a translation into Spanish? I still can't grab it --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:34, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
As the StackExchange thread says, the difference is usually that "I don't [know, think so, etc]" simply declares that the person doesn't [verb] — the person happens to not [verb], for whatever reason — while "I wouldn't [verb]" implies that there is a specific reason why the person doesn't [verb]. In this case, Leonardo is saying "I wouldn't know ... because I've never won an Oscar before." And as an answer to a question, "I wouldn't know" can sometimes be more dismissive than "I don't know". - -sche (discuss) 19:31, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  • It's our definition 1.6. He's saying "It might be expected that I don't know (given the constraints of the circumstances)", the circumstances in this case being that he's never won an Oscar before. It sounds complicated, but it's a common phrase in English which is well-understood and has familiar ironic overtones (roughly: "Don't ask me!"). Ƿidsiþ 19:40, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
    @Widsith Re: definition 1.6. I am not at all familiar with any definition of determined that make "could naturally have been expected to" a paraphrase or specialization of meaning. Is it a non-current or regional (eg, UK) sense of determined. If it is either not current or regional, then it shouldn't be in a definition. Even if it is just (much) less common, the definition might be improved by a change. DCDuring (talk) 23:14, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

As if on a cue... [14] --Droigheann (talk) 09:18, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

@Droigheann Hi, what do you mean by a 'cue'? Furthermore, could you please paraphrase the turtle's 'Guess I wouldn't know'? what is the illocutionary force of it? Lastly, I do not understand the final vignette, what is to be seen again? Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:58, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
The turtle wouldn't know if it's a nice day for flying, because it is impossible for a turtle to fly, having no wings. A bird might say "I don't know" instead. Equinox 13:44, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
It should have been on cue without the article, my bad. As regards the end of the strip, I guess the turtle actually thought it did skip - but not by the bird's standards. --Droigheann (talk) 13:59, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

So long as the specific modality of would is not stated, the lexicalized sentence will not be definied properly, that is technically/linguistically. I cannot find anything on Google Scholars. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:56, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Could sb. please confirm wether in this excerpt the same sentence is being use? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:03, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

The sentence "I wouldn't know about that" (Coetzee) is doing the same thing. It means "being who I am, I am not in a position that allows me to know about that". Equinox 16:11, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox is 'I wouldn't know' always paraphrasable by 'How would/should I know(!)?' Otherwise, what differences can be spotted between them? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:10, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
The meaning is very similar but (anecdotally!) I'd say the tone is different. "How should I know?" is often aggrieved or impatient, when asked a question one cannot reasonably answer. ("When does McDonald's open?" "How should I know? I don't work there!") "I wouldn't know" is more neutral, and in some cases might even be aloof and snobbish, indicating that one is not part of the (implied inferior) group of people who would know. ("Are the burgers at McDonald's any good?" "I imagine so, if you like fast food. I wouldn't know.") Equinox 17:22, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox can that snobbish feeling be detected in DiCaprio's statement? the engraver does smile though. Furthermore, then it is not the same as Coetzee's one --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:36, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
DiCaprio is joking. He's saying that he wouldn't know (isn't in a position to know) whether it's the same engraver every year, because he (Leo) isn't a successful enough actor to win an Oscar every year and find out. Equinox 18:21, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I've just found the expression 'wouldn't you know it', which does have an entry of its own. Once again, its modality is not straightforward, plus it's an exclamation with inversion. What similarties can you see btw. them? --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:14, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Locative plural of Czech sen#Czech[edit]

sen#Czech and [Czech Wiktionary] say snech/snách, [French Wiktionary] has snéch/snách, my half-Czech half-Italian friend says snech is dreams and snách is engagements, and her Czech mom (unless I'm misunderstanding her email) says snéch is invented and the other two are fine, so who’s right and who’s wrong?

PS Is there a quicker way to link to a foreign-language Wiktionary article than just entering the full link, like for French Wikipedia you write w:fr:a and it links to http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/a? MGorrone (talk) 13:10, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

UPDATE: Seems my friend was getting confused with "snahách", from snaha. MGorrone (talk) 14:07, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

The French snéch was nonsense, probably a typo for snech, I corrected it. My two online sources say locative plural snech and locative plural snech, but ve snách ["in dreams"]; personally as a native speaker I perceive snech as the common form and snách as somewhat literary (although for all I know there may be dialectal differences as well).
See Help:Interwiki linking. --Droigheann (talk) 18:41, 20 May 2017 (UTC)


Apparently bitty is also a baby-talk expression (possibly only in the UK) meaning something like "breast", "breastfeeding" or "breast milk", popularised by the character Harvey in Little Britain. Since I am not familiar with either the expression or the show, I've refrained from editing the entry and ask a native speaker to add this meaning.

The Wikipedia entry only refers to the catchphrase, but bitty clearly has several meanings, and the word does not refer to "extended breastfeeding" as such (that's a connotation due to the show), but to something more general, which is why the treatment over there is likely to confuse or mislead the reader. Bitty also seems to be a hypocoristic form of Elizabeth (maybe a dialectal variant of Betty?), as in Bitty Schram, which could be added to Elizabeth (given name). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:50, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I think this was invented for Little Britain, and isn't a term in general use. Equinox 17:54, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Even if that is so, it should be citable. South Park even used it once in one of their episodes. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:40, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia says South Park used it in reference to Little Britain. Seems a bit early for an entry. Equinox 18:04, 24 May 2017 (UTC)


There seems to be a sense missing that means "tell", as in give me your name or give me a random number. Or would that go under a sense that I missed? —CodeCat 20:05, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I think those (along with give me your answer, etc.) could be lumped under a more general "to provide", because giving one's number could also be done through writing. Leasnam (talk) 20:07, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
But then so could "tell", right? —CodeCat 20:14, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Sure, but provide is more clear. Tell can mean "provide" in non-verbal ways, but that is not what one thinks of first off Leasnam (talk) 20:23, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Do any other dictionaries give "tell" as a definition of give. MWOnline gives gave me his phone number as a usage example for one of their definitions of give. (MW does not use "provide" as a definition of give.) DCDuring (talk) 23:23, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@ DCDuring, we do. It's sense 4 Leasnam (talk) 23:30, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@Leasnam I asked specifically about other dictionaries because our definitions are often unreliable, being unedited or poorly edited copies of obsolete definitions from dictionaries more than a hundred years old. DCDuring (talk) 23:40, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
MW uses it in give a party, and give of. Collins uses it "to grant, provide, or bestow", and also lists it as a synonym. This is all via OneLook... Leasnam (talk) 00:06, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, I suppose we can use communicate instead Leasnam (talk) 00:08, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
To me, one indication of a possible problem with a given definition is that it is one that no other modern dictionary offers. Sometimes the problem is a poor choice of words, other times an overspecialization of a definition. There can be more exotic problems such as those stemming from false friends or the assumption that the early stages of etymological development should yield a corresponding definition.
"Tell" seems like a poor definition for give because it seems overly narrow and to miss any connection with the core meaning of give. Give is not substitutable for tell in any but a small number of uses of tell. DCDuring (talk) 00:26, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
EDIT CONFLICT: Well, in a sentence like Give me a random number, the closest thing I would substitute it with would be "provide (with)" or "supply (with)" ...I sound like a broken record (IK) Leasnam (talk) 00:34, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Provide would allow for the possibility of the response: "That'll be $.0.05 per digit. How many would you like? Shall I overnight them to you?" DCDuring (talk) 09:17, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't really see your point. Give allows for a response like "you give me some money first!" but it's hardly likely. Equinox 17:03, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Etymology of dredh[edit]

I stumbled upon the Proto-Indo-European *terh₁- entry and noticed the Albanian descendant dredh. I went to look at the dredh entry and it says it's from Proto-Indo-European *dreǵʰ. Is that two forms of the same word or is there an error in one of the entries?

Also, is there a smarter way to enter ₁ than the Character viewer? Can't seem to find it up above the sandbox, neither in Latin extended nor in Symbols… MGorrone (talk) 09:39, 21 May 2017 (UTC)


please can someone create this if it is a real word, i am unfamiliar with the website 11:52, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

It's rare, but it exists: Oxford dictionary. —Stephen (Talk) 12:11, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

booty call[edit]

Couldn't booty call also mean someone who is used only for sex, such as a friend with benefit, corrupt relationship, etc.? I've heard people say things like "He just acts like I'm his booty call that's only used for his sexual gain." PseudoSkull (talk) 17:00, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes. Leasnam (talk) 17:38, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Isn't it kinda at #3 already ? Also, is it really a telephone call ? I always took it to mean "call on (someone)" like a visit or a request, not literally a telephone call Leasnam (talk) 17:40, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
A booty text seems to be used to mean both a kind of booty call and an alternative to a booty (phone) call. That is, it certainly refers to the communication. I don't know whether it refers also to what happens in a successful call, whether a visit, (video) phone sex, or sexting. DCDuring (talk) 18:24, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
We'd have to rule out analogy with booty call on that one :) but yeah it probab ly originated from a telephone call, which turned into a visitation call, or something... Leasnam (talk) 18:33, 21 May 2017 (UTC)


In We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement there is "For the Bourbon White elite and their allies, the intimidation of the Black laborers and farmers was necessary to prevent their political involvement and to maintain their subjugated location in the economy." This use of Bourbon does not seem to be covered by any of the senses at either Bourbon or bourbon. I'm not even sure what is meant. Perhaps white gentry? SpinningSpark 17:48, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Or is it intended to evoke the French Revolution? Has anyone else used it this way? DCDuring (talk) 18:30, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm seeing a few more -
  • It was "a fundamental impossibility" for a black person to be a Bourbon, white-supremacist Democrat, but a black individual could very well become a "progressive Democrat." [15]
  • Colonialist power was located in Bourbon white aristocracy. Houat set up not a conflictual dyadic political structure— whites/blacks— but a triadic one: Republican France/ Bourbon white aristocracy /the free coloreds and slaves.
  • As a practical matter, blacks had been denied a fair vote and a fair count even before the 1901 Constitution, because the Black Belt Bourbon white politicians used fraud and intimidation to manipulate the black vote to support conservative Democratic candidates. [16]
WIkipedia's article w:Bourbon Democrat would seem to suggest that the term, as applied to conservative whites generally, was limited to Mississippi in the post Civil War period. SpinningSpark 23:07, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Wow! Is "chiefly historical" a good label for this? DCDuring (talk) 00:11, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

"Subversive" un- with nouns and verbs[edit]

I've encountered interesting ways of employing un- that I'm not sure are covered by our definitions. One I found particularly surprising is the noun unconference. I think the idea is that an unconference is a conference that is organised radically differently from a traditional conference. The verb unschool has a comparable subversive idea behind it. It's similar to anti-, as in anti-art and anti-humor, but there may be different nuances. (There's even a book Undoing Gender by Judith Butler whose title plays on the term doing gender, and seems to follow from the same idea, but it's also a pun on undo.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:42, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

unbirthday is another. Equinox 22:47, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Reminds me back in the 80's (I just dated myself) when 7-Up came out with a new term for their soft drink, marketed as the "un-cola". Its interpretation is like that of a blend of "not", "alterative to", and "non-traditional". Since then, it seems these types of creations have been on the rise. Leasnam (talk) 17:46, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

santas pascuas[edit]

I just came across these words being used together in a Spanish book. What do they mean? I got the feminine plural of saint for santas but nothing for pascuas. --Polyknot (talk) 22:50, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Well, pascua means Easter, so I suspect this is simply an old-fashioned way to refer to the holiday. Supporting this are es:pascuas and w:es:Pascuas, which redirects to w:es:Pascua. However, Google brings up this, which suggests that in context, santas pascuas more likely refers to Christmas. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:36, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

@Polyknot MODISMO: y santas Pascuas : and that's that/it --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:47, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums: Thanks, I'm thinking of adding an entry for "y santas pascuas". What do you think? And what heading would it go under? --Polyknot (talk) 19:16, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
@Polyknow: HEADING "y santas pascuas", an idiom --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:50, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

turn up trumps[edit]

Our definition seems (to me) to imply that the subject is a person, but the quotation suggests that the subject is the thing that turned out successful (in this case, an investment). Other dictionaries seem to differ on which definition they give. Germyb (talk) 23:19, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Citations rule. DCDuring (talk) 00:12, 22 May 2017 (UTC)


   What are portlets?
   why we use portlets and what are its advantages
See portlet and en:w:Portlet? If that doesn't help, en:w:Wikipedia:Reference desk/Computing could be a better fitting place to ask the question. - 10:35, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

French translation offered for the English word Repository[edit]

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/repositoire#French Currently, the French word "repositoire" is offered, with a link to http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/repositoire i.e. in Trésor de la langue française informatisé but it would appear that the word "repositoire" does not exist in French, and the above link leads to an error message.

Suggest removing the word repositoire.

The ref doesn't have it, so I removed it. The word could still exist. WT:RFV and WT:Requests for verification/Non-English is the place to ask for verification if there are doubts. - 10:31, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Does that look better? --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 13:03, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

wouldn't you know it[edit]

Besides its modality not being straightforward, it's an exclamation with inversion, so it would enrich the wiktionary to indicate the reasons for it, either adding a usage note or a category, as there's one for concatenative verbs. Lastly, any sililarities with the sentence "I wouldn't know" should be remarked. --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:16, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

ass o'clock: can we find attestation for it?[edit]

This is an expression I ran into while watching a CarlSagan42 video some time ago. It's an English idiom, I guess, meaning (from the context it was in) either unreasonably early or unreasonably late. This definition is confirmed by [Urban Dictionary], but I fear that is not enough for attestation, so I'll keep googling, but can someone help me find more reliable sources to attest it and warrant the creation of an entry? I like the expression and find it a pity we don't have an entry for it… MGorrone (talk) 20:55, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Could this be the etymology?

One citation. Two citations. Possible third citation. OK, gotta get back to my work now :). MGorrone (talk) 21:06, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

I've never heard this, but I've heard its synonyms God thirty (in the morning) and stupid o'clock (in the morning), both meaning unreasonably early. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:12, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

take place[edit]

"Take place" seems to differ to "happen" and "occur", as one can say, "This story takes place in 1999", but not "This story happens/occurs in 1999", right? We should add usage notes to advise on this. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:49, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

I think you are right about occur not being substitutable for take place in all instances. But for the usage example you offer, I think one could say "This story happens in 1999", meaning "The events in this story happened/occurred in 1999."
I don't find this in my usage books, though there has been a sometime distinction mad between happen (restricted to chance events, happenstances, mishaps, etc.) and occur (either all events or restricted to events not thought of as chance events). But The Merriam Webster Dictionary of English Usage referred to this as a mere tendency.
This seems like a subtler phenomenon than we are likely to do justice to. DCDuring (talk) 14:55, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

make do and mend[edit]

Our definition "A philosophy, during World War II, of repairing clothes etc that would normally be discarded due to shortages and rationing" seems too narrow when compared with ODO example sentences which are neither restricted to WWII nor to "clothes etc". We also seem to miss the attributive (adjectival?) form make-do-and-mend. I'm shy about meddling with the entry myself as I've only heard the phrase for the first time yesterday (in a programme about British railways, which talked about the "make-do-and-mend attitude" allegedly continuing there after the war before their privatisation) - could somebody else? --Droigheann (talk) 19:40, 23 May 2017 (UTC)


disembowel current gives the following definition:

To take or let out the bowels or interior parts of; to eviscerate.

However I'm not sure if it means interior parts of the body or even inanimate objects so I suggest changing it to:

... parts of the body ...


... parts of (something) ...

depending on which it means.

What do you think? --Polyknot (talk) 20:22, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Seeking suggestion.[edit]

Is it correct to use the word 'operationalize'?

  • It is an Indianism - only used on the Indian subcontinent. If people understand what you mean, then carry on using it. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:28, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
It is a word, yes. Equinox 10:51, 24 May 2017 (UTC)


Is the use of "anyhow" to mean "randomly, haphazardly" a UK thing? I never heard that meaning growing up in the US, but I've seen some British authors use it that way. JulieKahan (talk) 14:21, 24 May 2017 (UTC)


I'd like to know who coined the term. The earliest occurrence I can find right now is from Actes du troisième congrès international des linguistes (1935), but it was obviously created earlier than that, since it's used in running text here. --Barytonesis (talk) 15:01, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

An occurrence of univerbazione in 1917. --Barytonesis (talk) 15:20, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

Between festus and profestus and fastus and nefastus[edit]

From what I gather, from Macrobius, "festus" is that day of sacrifice and feasts, holiday. Against it is "profestus", that common day of work/ business. Now "fastus" is that day when saying is permitted, day of judgments and business. Against it is "nefastus", that day when these businesses may not be held. From this may not "profestus" be "fastus" and "festus" "nefastus"? Macrobius seems to say so... And this is noted in the Glossary of Ancient Roman Religion, where it is even said that days could be profestus and nefastus. Macrobius also gives the example of the day of Jupiter's feast (festus dies) coincide with a market day. So for the rites to be conducted and market to be held that day was made fastus. So here a festus dies may be a fastus dies... But Lewis & Short and Paul the Deacon immediately couple festus with fastus. How is this if first a festus dies is a day of no work and a fastus dies is a day of work? Moreover "fas" is for religion and "nefas" is against religion. Derived from these "fastus" seems only referred to permission of business and "nefastus" to prohibition of business and opposed to religion (which seems contradicting if a nefastus dies is a festus dies). - GuitarDudeness (talk) 02:58, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

genuine leather[edit]

Hi, right the opposite meaning of genuine applies to genuine leather. How should this issue be dealt with? --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:09, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

That is not the opposite meaning, that is the exact same literal meaning. --WikiTiki89 17:55, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

bear cat[edit]

w:Bear cat redirects to the binturong, which is also what I understood the term to mean. —CodeCat 17:19, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bearcat, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bear%20cat. --WikiTiki89 17:58, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Probably the source of the error in the entry is that (allegedly at least) bearcat can refer to any of three Carnivora species, including the red panda. DCDuring (talk) 18:51, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
bearcat and bear cat look like alternative spellings of the same term, so one of them should be turned into a soft redirect. —CodeCat 18:53, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
That doesn't agree with the sources. We already have mutual {{also}} and distinct content on the pages. We could send each of the definitions through RfV. DCDuring (talk) 18:58, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
There isn't enough use in Google N-grams of the different forms to refer to animals for that to help. The Stutz Bearcat and the use of Bearcat as a school sports name make such simple methods useless. DCDuring (talk) 19:06, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Usage example at ember#Hungarian[edit]

Just stumbled on that translationless usage example and tried translating it. My Hungarian is next to zero, so I started with Google and then proceeded with a word-by-word analysis. In the process, I'm pretty sure I found a typo: mindannyiuknak was supposed to be mindannyiunknak, as I corrected. There are a couple words that should be split into to IMO. For example, "jól esett" is really two words, and indeed it's spelt as two over at esik. Besides that, I went for a guess on the last part, because beszéd as a nominative singular doesn't make much sense to me there, and I would expect an inessive plural, beszédekben. Also, félelmében is indeed an inessive singular as expected, except according to félelem it should be félelemben, with the penultimate e short and before the m, as opposed to the long one after the m in the quote. So could anyone chime in on this and on my translation, and perhaps correct the translation or the original quote? MGorrone (talk) 21:28, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

NOTE: The part with the example currently reads:

    • 1922, Zsigmond Móricz, Tündérkert,[17] book 1, chapter 9:
      Az ebédrehívás mindannyiunknak jólesett, mert az ember megéhezik a sok beszéd közt s a háború félelmében.
      The lunch call was good for all of us, because anyone is hungry between many words and the fear of war.

The same example, still untranslated, is present at megéhezik as well.

Edit to paeninsularium[edit]

What's going on with diff? Latin didn't have any phonemic long vowels before a nasal + consonant combination. Look at the 3rd person plural form of 1st conjugation verbs: -ant has a short vowel, from an earlier *-ānt. When the nasal was followed by a fricative, the nasal was lost altogether, but this wasn't indicated in the spelling. —CodeCat 23:00, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Dictionaries do have īnsula, īnsulāris, īnsulānus, paenīnsula (pēnīnsula) - while the old L&S has insula, paeninsula. That is, it's īnsula or uncertain īnsula or insula. And there or other such terms like pūnctum (or doubtful pūnctum or punctum as it's punctum in L&S). - 23:18, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Dictionaries can be wrong. The understanding of Latin phonology at w:Latin spelling and pronunciation is that the vowel was only long after the nasal consonant was already lost. So īsula or insula, but never īnsula. It's a mystery to me why dictionaries claim that these vowels were long, but we shouldn't necessarily follow them. {{la-IPA}} shows a long vowel while omitting the nasal, but since the spelling of Latin reflects the older situation before the loss of the nasal, the vowel should not be marked as long. —CodeCat 23:26, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, it's a weird situation. One analysis would be that, in the Classical era, the combination of the vowel with n before s or f represents a long nasalized version of the vowel, at least phonetically. So the n then represents both vowel length and nasalization of the preceding vowel. Under that analysis, adding a macron might be pleonastic: the vowel length is already indicated by the n. Or you could say that the macroned long vowel represents the long vowel, while the n represents the nasalization (and not length). Then, īnsula is also a coherent way of representing the word. — Eru·tuon 01:05, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps so, but the spelling gives the impression that there is an actual consonantal /n/ and a long vowel, thus making an extra-long syllable of some kind. But that never actually occurred; the vowel extended into the gap left by the loss of the nasal, the syllable length wasn't modified. {{la-IPA}} shows the phonemes as simply a short vowel plus /n/, noting the nasalisation in the phonetic representation. I think our use of macrons should match this. —CodeCat 01:09, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
A pleonastic marking isn't bad, and it would only pleonastic if it's assumed that the reader knows Latin pronunciation.
insula was already in 2008 "īnsula". Thus with "paenīnsulāris" it is more consistent, or else many entries would have to be changed.
Dictionaries can be, and indeed sometimes are, wrong, but same is true for wikis and books in general, and dictionaries are a better source than wikis and personal knowledge or opinion. Furthermore, German wiki has īnsula [ˈĩːnʂʊɫa] (with 'probably') and Latin wiki has īnsula [' ĩːsʊl̴a]. So both do have a long vowel, although both do not explicitly give any source for their statement. But even if there were sources, it could be POV by a selective picking of the sources.
Another and neutral way would be to use something like "{{la-noun|īnsula|īnsulae|f|first}} or {{la-noun|insula|insulae|f|first}}" etc. or to use another diacritic besides macron for doubtful or disputed vowel lengths, as with dictionaries and maybe also with books about Latin pronunciation both can be cited.
  • F. W. Westaway, Quantity and accent in the pronunciation of Latin, 1913, page 51: "Vowels are always long before ns, nf"; page 108: "īnsulāsu̯e" and "i:nsula:swe" (in the "system of the Association Phonétique Internationale" = (old) IPA) for Catullus' "insulasve".
  • W. Sidney Allen, Vox Latina, a guide to the pronunciation of Classical Latin, 2nd edition, 1978, page 65: "One such rule concerns vowels before the groups ns and nf. [...] the vowel in such cases is always long; and this is clearly indicated by the frequent use of the apex and I longa. We also find Greek tanscriptions of the type [khnswr], [Kwnsentia] [..]. [...]"
- 01:21, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
As I already said, there never existed, at any point in time, a long vowel before /n/ + fricative. It was originally a short vowel and /n/, and this then became a long nasal vowel. German, Latin and English Wiktionaries all indicate the latter pronunciation phonetically. Wiktionary also includes a phonemic representation, which is the underlying short vowel plus /n/. Westaway's description is, quite simply, wrong. The modern understanding is that the apex in these words indicated the long vowel after the nasal was already lost. Since long and short vowels had differing quality, the apex indicated that the quality of the vowel was as a long vowel, even though the following /n/ remained written despite not being pronounced (just as final -m was not pronounced). —CodeCat 01:29, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
I'd quibble with the statement that this n or m was simply not pronounced. It was pronounced as long as there was nasalization: it just represented nasalization, not a nasal consonant as would be true in other environments. — Eru·tuon 01:34, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm not sure if that's an accurate phonological representation, because mensis, for instance, has reflexes of a close e in its Romance descendants, as if it were spelled mēsis, and W. Sidney Allen's book quotes inscriptions that indicate it was perceived in the Classical era as having a quality similar to short i, as was true of conventional long e. That indicates to me that after having its e nasalized and lengthened, it had the long e phoneme rather than the short e one. Or maybe there's an alternative explanation. — Eru·tuon 01:33, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, this is correct. The same happened to word-final nasal vowels as well; there is evidence that -um merged with -ū at first instance, before merging with -u and -ō later on in the Romance languages. Sardinian keeps final -um and -ō separate to this day, but in other Romance languages evidence is provided by so-called metaphony. See w:Metaphony (Romance languages). So the vowel of -um, too, had the quality of ū, and could theoretically be denoted -ūm if we decided to use macrons to denote quality rather than length. —CodeCat 01:43, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, the fact that we don't write -ūm is an argument against macrons before ns and nf, for consistency's sake. — Eru·tuon 02:14, 26 May 2017 (UTC)


I have tried to differentiate the two senses, but I'm not happy with the wording, any help would be appreciated. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:47, 26 May 2017 (UTC)


This is currently placed in the category CAT:Russian adjective-forming prefixes (which is not even recognized by {{auto cat}}). Does it qualify? I gather that, like Latin in- and English un-, it doesn't usually change the part of speech, just negates the meaning of the unprefixed adjective. Does "adjective-forming" require that the part of speech change from, say, verb to adjective? — Eru·tuon 05:04, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

The only examples provided were Latin loanwords where im- = un- (immaterial, immoral). Some of the examples have the Latin prefix ir- (irrational, irreal, irregular). These are borrowed prefixes, not native Russian. There are also some words where the borrowed Latin im- have other senses (imperial, empire, immigrant, import, impulse). Again, these are borrowed from Latin or English, and there are not many of these words. Since it is not a native Russian prefix, I don't see why we should have this entry. Russian words such as имматериальный (immaterial) should deal with the prefix in the etymology. —Stephen (Talk) 00:15, 27 May 2017 (UTC)


Is the inflection correct?
The entry has "ῥήτωρ" as nominative and vocative.
But grammars state this:

  • Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for colleges, 1920, page 58 (in § 249) (an edition online at ccel.org): "Barytones use the stem as the vocative: δαῖμον, ῥῆτορ from δαίμων divinity, ῥήτωρ orator."
  • William W. Goodwin, A Greek Grammar, 1900, page 47 (in § 220): "But barytones have the vocative like the stem; as δαίμων (δαιμον-), voc. δαῖμον. (See the paradigms in 225.)", and on page 50 in § 225 it is "Nom. ῥήτωρ" with "Voc. ῥῆτορ".

- 22:59, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

I think you're right. I recall learning that these words had the short-vowel form of the stem in the vocative. I'll try to edit Module:grc-decl to reflect this. — Eru·tuon 01:32, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Actually, the problem was in one of the older declension templates. When I update to {{grc-decl}}, the vocative singular is correct. — Eru·tuon 01:35, 27 May 2017 (UTC)


I thought this word was mainly American, but there's no label to that effect in the entry. I'm American and don't really know whether or how often it's used in other dialects. Could our non-American English speakers comment on this? — Eru·tuon 01:30, 27 May 2017 (UTC)