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.

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September 2020

Is -ant a German suffix?[edit]

There are three nouns in Category:German words suffixed with -ant, but -ant is not defined as a German suffix. It does form agent nouns in Dutch. Is it really a German suffix? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 16:16, 2 September 2020 (UTC)

Yes, I would say it's a suffix, and the Duden, DWDS and en.Wiktionary's colleagues over on de.Wiktionary (who seem to be relatively conservative about what is considered a suffix) have it as such. It's also commonly found as an ending on borrowings where it's borrowed 'wholesale', similar to the situation described in the usage notes of English -ant. - -sche (discuss) 20:30, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
I updated Aspirant which is borrowed from French. Ultimateria (talk) 17:22, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
Yes, but rarely productive at any point in history; most of the examples listed on de.Wiktionary do not count because they are “borrowed wholesale” from Latin or French nominalized participles. Antifant is surely a jocular condescending formation that I think the edgelords repeatedly invented in the decade 2000–2010 until it lexicalized, Lieferant I just put into the category is from the macaronic baroque, for as you might know during some decades in the 17th century there was a lot of artificial style owing the physical intrusion of foreign elements, which had to be mended by the Fruitbearing Society, and influenced by Low German and Dutch trade usage. Fay Freak (talk) 00:54, 4 September 2020 (UTC)


Page 759 of the Collins English Usage reads

A slash, stroke, or oblique is used between two words describing something that is in fact two things, as in a washer/drier, a clock/radio or a lounge/diner.

--Backinstadiums (talk) 11:00, 3 September 2020 (UTC)

Ngrams seems to support this
All rooms have color TV, alarmclock/radio, en-suite bathrooms, the child whom the alarm clock/radio wakes up, cord pulls are fitted to the lounge/diner and bedroom windows, in one combination washer/dryer unit

—⁠This comment was unsigned.

Or entry on / could definitely use some improvement as far as the use of the slash between nouns, or words in general as opposed to numbers, percents, dates, etc. Also, the claim that both the use of it for exclusive or and the use of it for inclusive or are proscribed could stand to be substantiated with references and/or a usage note. - -sche (discuss) 08:04, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
Collins may prefer it like that, but if you look for clock radios in shops, you will often find "clock radio". —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 08:26, 13 September 2020 (UTC).


I don't know much Romanian, but I'm wondering about the pronunciation distinction given here—that the [j] is dropped after el and ea. That is contradicted in this video, where Nico clearly says [ˈjel ˈjeste] and [ˈja ˈjeste]. But I see the same distinction is given on Romanian Wiktionary. Is it possibly a matter of slow/fast speech? —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Lesgles (talkcontribs).


Has this ever been used to mean "immortal", either as a noun ('the undying') or an adjective? Tharthan (talk) 00:36, 4 September 2020 (UTC)

  • For sure; that was the original meaning. Milton uses it that way in Paradise Lost I'm pretty sure. Ƿidsiþ 11:10, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
It occurs in Book VI of Paradise Lost, line 739, in the phrase “th’ undying Worm”. It seems to me that the meaning is more that of a never-ending torment in Hell (see worm sense 10) than that of a tubular invertebrate of the annelid phylum that has gained immortality. Milton uses a thrice repeated metaphor from Mark 9:43–46, which in turn stems from Isaiah 66:24.
Do you think, then, that we ought to include that as a secondary definition in our entry? I don't think that definition 1 is sufficient to imply to a Wiktionary reader that the word could be used to mean "immortal". Tharthan (talk) 16:11, 4 September 2020 (UTC)

Three for three[edit]

First, I've encountered this phrase in /Nho9HWVPgh4?t=28 on YouTube (which is spam-filtered here). Later today I noticed it again in /F_Riqjdh2oM?t=3155 also on YouTube.

The meaning seems to be rather consistently explained in the following threads:

but it does not seem to have a Wiktionary page. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

  • Three could be replaced by another number. The definition is at for (out of; used to indicate a fraction, a ratio). Vox Sciurorum (talk) 21:40, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
  • I noticed, but three seems to be significantly more frequent then other numbers. I don't know if it is entryworthy though. 12:02, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Ok, it is not: ngram comparison 12:23, 5 September 2020 (UTC)


"(linguistics) Present at an abstract level, but not realized in the data." Are we missing a sense of data here? This, that and the other (talk) 03:23, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

No, we just have a poorly written definition. I'll change it now. —Mahāgaja · talk 07:32, 5 September 2020 (UTC)


I plan to add a sense for the "in" that is used in combination to indicate a gathering of people assembled for a stated activity, as in e.g. "sing-in", "pray-in", "hug-in", but what PoS is "in" in these compounds? Any ideas anyone? Mihia (talk) 09:25, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

I'd call it a suffix. —Mahāgaja · talk 09:42, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
Oh, do you think so? It did briefly cross my mind as to whether to put it at -in with the other suffixes, presumably in a new ety section, but I dismissed that idea. Do you think it should go there? Mihia (talk) 11:20, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
As a very young suffix applied to verb stems to form nouns, originating from a generalization of its first applications in sit-in (1939?) and next by analogy in the (then) neologism teach-in (1965), it is an odd bird in the suffix aviary. I think that the notion that the activity is a form of activist protest is part of the original uses, but this may have been watered down in some later uses.  --Lambiam 11:04, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
FWIW, Dictionary.com agrees with the view that it is a suffix, calling -in a "suffixal use of the adverb", and noting both the protest sense and the extended social activity sense. (Merriam-Webster, in turn, has only the protest sense of -in as a "noun combining form", as distinct from the chemical and pharmaceutical -in which they call a "noun suffix". Both dictionaries agree on putting it in a separate ety section, btw.) Ngrams suggests that a spaced form "sit in" (specifically, I searched for the plural in the phrase "sit ins in", to ensure only nouns turned up) is about 1/200th as common as "sit-in", which is rare enough that finding specifics examples is tedious (because outside of Ngrams a Google Books search for "sit in" "helpfully" also returns hits for "sit-in"), and probably rare enough not to impede analysis as a suffix. - -sche (discuss) 16:29, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
It also seems curious to have the "particles" baked-in (or is that baked in?) to phrasal verbs not be called suffixes when they are at least as tightly linked to the verb as -in. Our -in doesn't survive (or does interfere with) verb inflection whereas phrasal verb particles do. DCDuring (talk) 19:04, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
Personally I see e.g. "sing-along" as a compound word, not word + suffix. I feel the same too about "-in" in e.g. "sing-in", though per above I have deferred to the majority view on that. I would definitely not call the small adverb of a phrasal verb a suffix even when hyphenated e.g. attributively. Mihia (talk) 19:28, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
If there are references which support analysis as another part of speech, let's talk about them. :) I merely reported what I could find. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary calls "-in" a "combining form". OTOH, I see the 2004 Chambers has this under "in prep", as something used "in compounds". The existence of unspaced forms like "sitin" with the plural "sitins" (which Ngrams says is about 1/30th as common, searching for the phrase "sitins in" in an effort to ensure only nouns are returned), and indeed the fact that the hyphenated noun inflects as "sit-ins", suggests that "in" is more tightly linked to the main word here than in phrasal verbs like "bake in" (where the inflected form is, as you note, "baked-in", not "bake-ined"), no? - -sche (discuss) 22:16, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
I couldn't think of another example where a particle/adverb/preposition acquired so much meaning from its early uses as to productively add that meaning to words it is subsequently combined with. An analogy might be up and down which lost any spatial meaning they had in their early uses (I think) and became more or less aspect markers (indicating something like "thoroughly"). Perhaps off as in play-off, bake-off, cook-off, face-off, run-off possibly from fight off/beat off.
But we don't normally call a morpheme an affix if it is normally linked to other morphemes by a hyphen. It has to be a bound form, but in is normally not a bound form in the cases advanced.
Because sit-in had a clear spatial component (the sitting took place in a place that was an object of the protest), the extended meaning of in seems much like other extended meanings, not warranting the imposition of the PoS "suffix" when it does not meet the most basic condition for being a suffix. DCDuring (talk) 04:02, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
OK, so if we were to move it back from -in to in, under which PoS at in do you think it should go? Sounds as if you might be inclined towards preposition? Mihia (talk) 10:45, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
The absence of any specific spatial object makes me think objectless preposition, that is, adverb. The definitions "At or towards the interior of a defined space, such as a building or room." and "So as to be enclosed or surrounded by something." seem close enough to ground the extended meaning. DCDuring (talk) 11:40, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
Digging some more, I found an old paper, Stanley Peters, Goals of Linguistic Theory (1972), page 13, which says: "Consider the recent popularity of event nouns used in the context of social protest in which the first element is a verb and the second element is the preposition in, as in sit-in, love-in, etc."
Among non-linguistic books, Teach-ins, U.S.A. (1967), p. 5, correctly predicts "in future dictionaries of American English, the suffix '-in' may well be defined as referring to a technique of social protest", and [among non-linguistic books I would not ascribe much weight to] Carson's 1990 The Student Voice, 1960-1965, p. 15, Sheppard's 2005 The Party, p. 35, and Hanshew's 2012 Terror and Democracy in West Germany, p. 91, also call it a suffix.
The 1973 New York Times Encyclopedic Almanac, page 427, speaks of "use of the preposition in with verbs to form nouns expressing the mass occupation of a place for the purpose of performing the action described by the verb, often as a protest, as in sit-in, love-in, be-in, work-in, etc." And an old (1950s?) work hostile to civil rights [which I would not ascribe much weight to], reprinted in/as other books like The Right Not to Listen (1964), says "The preposition “in” will not be found as a standard addition to verbs in dictionaries of the English language. [...] But in the past few years, our newspapers have devised a new vocabulary to meet the needs of the times by adding “in” to almost every action verb in the dictionary, as, for example, in “sit-in"." (I did not spot any books which call in an adverb.)
The 1972 A Grammar of contemporary English also apparently mentions "woman-haters break-downs close-ups grown-ups sit-ins lay-bys (NB: spelling) stand-bys (NB: spelling) take-offs gin-and-tonics [and] forget-me-nots", but I can't find a searchable copy of the book to find out what they say about any of the words in that odd list.
It seems the possibilities are "suffix -in" or "preposition in" (or "combining form -in" per some dictionaries, but we don't use that POS for English AFAIK). - -sche (discuss) 17:38, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for all that research. Yes, it would certainly be easier if we allowed a "combining form" PoS! Mihia (talk) 20:03, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
I guess there's no inherent reason we couldn't start using that POS for English (we have some Ancient Greek things like -φοβία as a "combining form" rather than a suffix, for reasons that are opaque to me), but I don't see what benefit "[hyphenated] combining form" would have over "suffix"...? - -sche (discuss) 22:23, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
In the 1985 A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Quirk and his co-authors (authors of the 1972 A Grammar of the English Language) have a footnote in their "Appendix I: Word-formation":
"Conversion to noun'
"[B] Event/activity (from verbs used dynamically)
"attempt, fall, hit, laugh, release, search, swim; shut-down, walk-out, blow-out (of a tyre)
"Note: It will be noticed that the examples above include nouns formed from phrasal and prepositional verbs. The type of informal deverbal coinage represented by teach-in belongs to Type [B] rather than to any other, but unlike shut-down it cannot be derived from a phrasal verb (there is no *We taught-in last night). The vogue for such formations produced sit-in, love-in, swim-in, and others. They signify an activity (that denoted by the verb) being carried on corporately (typically within an institution and with overtones of social protest)."
The other types of deverbal conversion are 'State', 'Object of V', 'Subject of V', 'Instrument of V', 'Manner of V-ing', 'Place of V'.
Quirk et al. do not explicitly address the word- or morpheme-class to which in would belong, that being a secondary matter in a footnote in an appendix.
The other CGEL (2002) separately mentions sit-in and its descendants as one of several groups of compounds.
I would draw attention to the six adverbial definitions of in at in#Adverb. I see no reason why a non-gloss definition would not fit in that group and do so more aptly than among the preposition definitions. There is no specific associated place inherently involved in these terms, with the possible, occasional exception of sit-in. Even in that case many sit-ins were not conducted in any protest against the place or owners of the place at which the sit-in occurred. DCDuring (talk) 23:15, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
  • OK, I have now moved this to the "adverb" section of "in". Anyone adamant that it should not be there but should be somewhere else, please feel free ... Mihia (talk) 17:37, 27 September 2020 (UTC)


English gloriole sense 2 is defined as "golden ring". Does this just mean a ring of gold (in which case it shouldn't be a red link)? Is it in fact distinct from sense 1, the halo? Equinox 18:17, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Added by an IP last March. Looking at the first few pages of books that use both terms (google books:"gloriole" "golden ring" and google books:"gloriole" "gold ring"), gloriole always seems to mean "halo" or something to that effect.. - -sche (discuss) 16:34, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Therefore temoved, pending any evidence of its existence. - -sche (discuss) 20:53, 7 September 2020 (UTC)


A definition of adj. "out" read "Openly acknowledging that one is queer and/or genderqueer". I changed this to "Openly acknowledging that one is homosexual" with the comment "avoid slang in definitions", and similarly for the corresponding verb sense. Editor @AugustusVarius changed them back with the comment " queer is not slang, and is not replaceable by the narrower homosexual". I disagree that it is not slang. I believe that the word "queer" in this sense is widely perceived not only as slang but also widely as offensive slang, and that it is inappropriate for us to use it in this way in our definitions. Please comment. Mihia (talk) 19:08, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

I think the term has been reclaimed to the extent that it no longer carries a pejorative connotation and can no longer be considered slang. Many queer people proudly declare themselves “proud to be queer”.[1][2][3] The initialism LGBTQ, in which the letter Q is usually taken to stand for “queer”, is a now a mainstream term, as is the term “queer rights”.  --Lambiam 11:19, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
I have only ever heard out used by or about people who would idenfity as or be called gay, lesbian, or bi. Never queer or neologisms. There was talk about queer being reclaimed as positive in the early 1990s. I don't know when it really happened. The gay, lesbian, and bi people I knew in the 1990s and 2000s never identified themselves as "queer" (etc.), and so were not "out" as "queer" (etc.). But I can't assert confidently that kids these days don't use out differently. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 16:37, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Queer is used by enough queer people and formal contexts that I don't think it's any more pejorative or slangy than e.g. gay, long widely used as a slur for "lame, retarded". There are academic disciplines called "queer theory" and "queer studies", which suggests a high level of acceptability (non-pejorativeness) and entails formal use of the word. In turn, while homosexual is probably still fine to use in a definition where it's a semantically correct word, it does have (decently correct, IME) usage notes about how it's now disfavored by many gay/queer people, so I wouldn't think of it as obviously 'better'. But the main problem is that both "homosexual" and "queer or genderqueer" are too narrow: one can be e.g. an out bisexual, or an out trans man or trans woman, besides google books:"an out queer" person or google books:"out nonbinary" person. (This also applies to the verb.) I thought our entry covered trans people before... ah, it was changed in diff, which treated "trans" as being under "queer" (which is...not the most common definition of queer). I'd suggest either "queer or transgender" or "LGBT+" (relying, in both cases, on the broad definition of "transgender"/"T" by which it theoretically covers nonbinary). - -sche (discuss) 17:16, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
I think we're better off not being specific: the basic idea is being known as being something unacceptable according to traditional views on sexual orientation and gender. It started with homosexuality, but has been progressively broadening as new movements have borrowed terminology from older ones. Chuck Entz (talk) 17:31, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
I'm inclined to have two senses, one covering the queer/trans sense, and one for the later(?) extension(?) to unrelated things; in line with what the verb section already does. This is because you can just say someone is "out" without further specification, and that alone denotes "openly queer or trans". Indeed, not only do you usually need to specify in order to convey something else, but even when you do, calling someone "an out spy" still suggests "an openly gay spy", and when I search for google books:"an out Nazi", "an out Muslim", "an out Jew", etc, many (most?) results are for ones who are "openly lesbian", "openly gay", etc, not ones who are merely open about being Nazis, religious, etc. - -sche (discuss) 18:13, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
I agree with having two senses, just not using "queer" in the definitions, per my comment below. Ultimateria (talk) 05:09, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
  • I am surprised that there is any support for "queer". To me, "queer" is a startlingly inappropriate word to encounter unmarked in a dictionary definition. I am aware that some activists have have tried to "reclaim" the word, but that is far from saying that acceptance has extended to the general population. Can anyone provide examples of mainstream publications -- say mainstream media or dictionaries -- that use the word "queer" in this sort of unmarked or unconcerned way in normal editorial content? In these matters we should take our cue from mainstream usage, not marginal use by in-groups. Mihia (talk) 22:15, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
From my perspective it casually used much more widely than just by "some activists". A quick search in The Guardian (yes, I know) shows hundreds of uses of "queer people", "queer spaces", and "queer culture". However, even if I encounter it almost always as a neutral term, the fact that it can be pejorative leads me to agree with you that we should not use it in definitions. Ultimateria (talk) 05:08, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
Queer is one of many polarized words in modern culture. It is a Guardian word, and probably an NPR word in the United States, but you will rarely if ever find it used on Fox News outside of quotations or quotation marks. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 13:11, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
I might go as far as to say that these days it seems to be largely "some activists" (particularly TERFs and conservatives who say it "erases" gays / lesbians by including "too many" other identities) who are the main people who want it stigmatized, and some older people who think it is stigmatized, while it's nonetheless common. It's in the names of multiple fields of academic study and a quick search like google scholar:"queer patients" finds it in medical literature, which seems about as formal as you get short of being codified into law. (I'm not sure if even gay, with into own long and ongoing use as a slur for "lame/retarded", has been reclaimed enough that it's in laws, though I think both terms are still fine to use.) We can certainly word this definition another way—I suggested "LGBT+" (maybe something like "openly acknowledging having an LGBT+ identity"?)—but I definitely push back on the idea that queer can't be used, and the idea that homosexual, a term disfavored for its medicalizing and sometimes pejorative connotations, is better. (PS I wouldn't interpret non-use by Fox as suggesting they find it pejorative, since Fox has no problem using pejoratives: a quick search finds stories on "illegals" and "gypsies", for example.) - -sche (discuss) 18:34, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
Maybe there are cases where it makes sense to use queer in a definition, but I strongly prefer the more neutral LGBT(+/Q/QIA) in at least this case. In speech I use queer ten times more often than LGBT, and I agree with your observations about the word's politics, but like I said, if any negativity can be read in our wording, let's avoid it. Let's go with LGBT+ as you suggested. Ultimateria (talk) 17:19, 8 September 2020 (UTC)


Moved to RFV. Mihia (talk) 20:38, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

more than one cares to mention[edit]

Methinks either I put this expression at the wrong lemma, or that it's redundant somehow to something. --Java Beauty (talk) 19:22, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Compare the (more common) idiom more often than one cares to admit and more often than one cares to think about: the verb mention is not a fixture of the phrase; other verbs that can be used include hear, face, imagine, know, realize, recount and see.  --Lambiam 09:06, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
I don't think it's a determiner phrase. I do think it's NISoP. DCDuring (talk) 21:50, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

idem sonans: plural[edit]

We have this as an adjective, but I also see idem sonantia used in plural contexts. Is that a Latin plural adjective, or a noun? How can we fit it into the English entry? Equinox 22:57, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Hard to tell. Latin adjectives can be used as nouns, usually in their neuter forms, which for singular sonans is the same as the masculine and feminine forms, but the plural form sonantia is neuter only. (For pluralis, the neuter form plurale is also distinct in the singular.) I have not investigated this, but I’d not be surprised if the use of the term idem sonans in English legalese is often, perhaps even more commonly, as a noun, just like the term plurale tantum in grammatical treatises. (Note also that Latin nomen is singular, and idem sonantia is plausibly a short form of the Latin phrase nomina idem sonantia – “names that sound the same” – in which sonantia is unambiguously an adjective). --Lambiam 08:55, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

Strike jamb[edit]

What on earth is a "strike jamb"? I came across the phrase "strike jamb" in (or on, whichever preposition our needlessly difficult language requires here) the instruction sheet for installing a shower door. Wiktionary has no entry for "strike jamb".

I'm sure I once saw a jazz band called Strike Jamb. --Java Beauty (talk) 02:00, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
It is not specific to shower doors. For a hinged door, the two jambs are called the hinge jamb and the strike jamb. See further this guide to door part terminology.  --Lambiam 08:36, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Do we think strike jamb, strike plate, mortise strike, deadbolt strike, latch strike, door strike, etc. are derived from the verb or the noun? Our entry for strike has separate derived terms sections. I don't know that they are all attestable, but they don't seem SoP. DCDuring (talk) 21:12, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
WTF is "SoP"? 2602:252:D14:F900:3CD7:BD8B:3A02:85CB 23:52, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Sum of parts. If a term is understandable by going to the dictionary entries for its components and testing in context the meaning that results from each combination of definitions, then it is SoP. Rarely is the process so laborious as to require testing more than a few combinations. In contrast, no such determination of meaning is possible for a pure idiom like kick the bucket. At WT:RFD we regularly consider such matters. DCDuring (talk) 00:03, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
Right. If a friend takes you to the cleaners because you spilled something on your best suit and your car is in the shop, we don't want a dictionary entry about that. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:57, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
I think that strike in strike jamb or door strike is short for strike plate, which is mounted where the latch strikes the jamb, so this is probably a verb-noun compound, like push button.  --Lambiam 08:47, 9 September 2020 (UTC)

malé ryby taky ryby[edit]

An anonymous editor recently added a Czech proverb malé ryby taky ryby. Literally, "small fish are still fish". According to some guy on the internet[4], it has the expected meaning "be happy with what you got." But the editor gave it the mysterious translation small cattle are also crap. That English phrase is a new one for me. (Currently subject to RFV. And just deleted as a protologism.) Any Slavic speakers want to offer a better translation? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 16:20, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

Pinging User:Dan Polansky, since he speaks Czech. - -sche (discuss) 17:21, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
See also Wiktionary:Requests for verification/English#small cattle are also crap, which gives the plausible hypothesis that this arose from the mistranslation (actually the product of Google Translate) of a German saying whose proper translation is “small livestock also produces manure” – in which the product is considered a valuable commodity, being fertilizer, not to be poopooed (sorry) because of the small amount compared to the heaps of BS available from cattle. It seems to me that the message is the same as for the Czech proverb: every little bit helps, so do not dismiss minor things – small fry – as having no value just because the value is not large. We define the mistranslated German proverb as meaning “many a mickle makes a muckle”.  --Lambiam 16:02, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
I translated Czech malé ryby taky ryby as half a loaf is better than none. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:10, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

move upward by grapple gun[edit]

Especially in superhero fiction, someone will sometimes fire a grappling hook at e.g. the top of a nearby building, and then the grapple gun will winch the line back in, so that they "fly" upward to where they hooked their grapple. Is there a word for this action, "the hero/villain [verb]ed to the top of the building", the way sliding rapidly downward on a rope that you anchored somewhere is rappelling / abseiling? TVTropes says someone "is pulled up" by their gun, but I wondered if there was a more specific word. - -sche (discuss) 03:14, 7 September 2020 (UTC)

I see all of two book hits for "grappled to the top" and two for "grappled up to the top" (of the building, robot, etc). Maybe that's it, or maybe there are other/better words... - -sche (discuss) 03:24, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
Do grapple guns exist in the non-fiction universe? DCDuring (talk) 22:39, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
Apparently, they do! DCDuring (talk) 22:51, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
Yes, the Allies used some to scale cliffs on D-Day, and Russian police have a man-portable one. At least a few hobbyists make ones that winch users up, like superheroes'. I just wonder if there's a better word for "move via grapple gun" than "be winched up". - -sche (discuss) 23:02, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
I have yet to see one that has the power to lift anything, let alone a superhero and rescuee (~300+ lbs.). They just seem to use compressed air to fire the grappling hook and a rope ladder (say, 50 lbs with high-tech materials) perhaps 100 feet vertically. Then the muscle-powered ascent begins. DCDuring (talk) 23:26, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
'The Hacksmith' built one that can winch someone up like Batman's can, and an engineering student built something similar for the US military, so they do exist, even if only as "one-offs". - -sche (discuss) 23:40, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
I'd love to see one work that could not only fire the grappling hook and its strong trailing rope/cable a hundred feet (the easy part), but also have enough power to lift two people a hundred feet at 10 ft/sec. DCDuring (talk) 15:01, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
Unlike Hacksmith, Batman didn't need an extension cord. DCDuring (talk) 19:47, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

gender reveal, gender reveal cake[edit]

We have gender reveal cake (since 2017), but it seems SOP, since there are also "gender reveal balloons" (which become visible and are a certain colour), "gender reveal smoke (bombs|cannons)" (which give off a certain colour), etc, and the "gender reveal parties" people use them at. My question is, do you agree gender reveal cake is SOP, and if so, is it [[gender]] [[reveal]] [[cake]], or should we have [[gender reveal]]? On one hand, a gender reveal is just revealing someone's [presumed] gender; OTOH, the fact that it usually refers to a baby, and only rarely to an adult, could be idiomatic; OTOH, that's arguably a practical rather than a lexical restriction. - -sche (discuss) 02:38, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

The common meaning of the compound noun gender reveal is “gender-reveal party”.[5][6][7] This is just like baby shower is short for “baby-shower party”. However you analyze it, gender reveal cake is SOP.  --Lambiam 08:38, 9 September 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia as a source[edit]

It is stated here, "According to Wikipedia..." Is it acceptable here to cite a wiki?—Fezzy1347 (talk) 05:26, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

Citing Wikipedia for this seems substandard to me. If the statements are sourced on Wikipedia (they are), to sources which indeed say this, let's just cite those sources (as I have now done), if nothing else. In this case, I added one more source for the date it was dropped from the DSM, and replaced WP's citation of the American Heritage Medical Dictionary with one of {{R:AHD}}, which confirms the main sentence about the term no longer being used in mainstream psychiatric diagnosis. - -sche (discuss) 07:05, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

rolled ice cream[edit]

Needs a definition. --TheDarkKnightLi(STAY HAPPY) 06:00, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Equinox 18:21, 10 September 2020 (UTC)


From looking at 10 different dictionaries, it would appear community as a definition of place, is missing here. [8] [9] [10] [11] I have not edited Wiktionary before, and I hate getting my edits reverted or flagged.... so leaving this here for someone more familiar with the site to pick up. Dagelf (talk) 06:12, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

I also question the decision to have "Internet community" as a separate sense [in our entry] from sense 1, when even one of the citations begins by paraphrasing sense 1: "Online gaming communities develop their own language, history, routines, and relationships." At a minimum, there should probably be some better sense grouping / subsensing. - -sche (discuss) 07:14, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
A community can be an administrative division in various countries; see Community (administrative division) on Wikipedia. It is also used informally in other countries than listed there for a small populated place; for example Bayou Chene, Louisiana and Pooleville, Oklahoma. It can furthermore (just like commune) refer to a dwelling, compound or settlement where a group of people forming a community of like-minded individuals resides, like the utopian socialist communities founded by Robert Owen, such as the Owenite community in New Harmony.  --Lambiam 17:33, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

Case sensitivity[edit]

Why is there a Community as well as a community, should these pages not be merged? Dagelf (talk)

  • The first is German, the second is English. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:38, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

out (2): push someone out the gate, etc[edit]

The preposition, "from from the inside to the outside of", was formerly labelled "now nonstandard". But the 2012 citation "she sat looking out the window" is perfectly standard, and phrases like "shove someone out the door", also perfectly standard to this day AFAICT, seem to have the same grammar as the Shakespeare citation "when you have pushed out your gates the very defender of them". So I removed the "now nonstandard" tag. Am I wrong? - -sche (discuss) 18:54, 9 September 2020 (UTC)

For me, "looking out the window" and "shove someone out the door" are most definitely not formally correct in modern English, albeit this is a form that one might lapse into in casual speech. I am not knowledgeable about historical usage, but the present label, Now often as "out of", does not fully capture my perception of modern usage. Mihia (talk) 23:19, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
The problem with "when you have pushed out your gates the very defender of them" seems to have more to do with ordering and syntactic structure than with the semantics. There's a big difference between "pushing someone out your gates" and "pushing out your gates someone". The second order makes you want to interpret it as the gates being pushed, until you hit the noun phrase and are forced to mentally move everything into the first order. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:33, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
From about 1980 bare out has become more frequent than out of with window and door at Google NGrams. In 2000-2019 the out the window is about twice as common as out of the window and out the door is about five times as common. With gate and room, the out of collocation is more common over the entire period from 1800 to 2009, with out of the room being more than 50 times as common as out the room and out of the gate about three times as common as out the gate. The results are similar to the latter for out (of) the car, out (of) the train, out (of) the house, and out (of) the office. In all cases use of out has had an uptick in the last two decades. I haven't looked at the specific uses to make sure they were comparable semantically.
I tentatively conclude from this that out the window and out the door have become 'almost' idiomatic. A more radical interpretation is that these are leading indicators of language change. But I am reminded also of the common omission of determiners in some prepositional phrases headed by in, at, to, and from, with home, work, school, college, uni, church, prison, jail, etc. as objects, which has been a stable part of usage for quite some time. DCDuring (talk) 08:30, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Fascinating: looking into this, it seems to be (partly?) a US(+Aus+NZ) vs. UK thing. Merriam-Webster, a US dictionary, not only doesn't indicate any nonstandard- or datedness of out in this sense, they use it themselves in their own voice, e.g. in a historical note in the entry on defenestration: "the [most famous] tossing out the window was quite literal. [...] they were thrown out the window of Prague Castle." OTOH, Lexico says it is "standard in American, Australian, and New Zealand English" but "traditionalists do not accept it as part of standard British English". MacMillan says it's common "in American English and spoken British English [...] but many British people consider that this use is not correct". I took a stab at a usage note, please revise / expand as needed. (Canada is a notable omission at present.) - -sche (discuss) 08:36, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
OK, I'm surprised to learn that this is considered standard in any formal register of English, if that's what Lexico are saying. I never knew that. As far as BrE is concerned, I would agree with your note, except that it might be useful to say that it is not standard in formal BrE, rather than just BrE, and also to mention the formally correct alternative, i.e. "out of". Mihia (talk) 17:00, 10 September 2020 (UTC)


Should we include a specific reference to the slang/neologism "sth is such a mood", "mood!", etc.? It means something along the lines of "that's so relatable". ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:13, 9 September 2020 (UTC)

I can find three citations, so I'd say yes, they should either go under an existing sense or a new sense. (Two are "[be a] whole mood" and one is "[be a] whole-ass mood", but that's just an artifact of those being the only phrases that didn't turn up tons of chaff.) Of the senses in the entry, "a prevalent atmosphere or feeling" seems most closely related to the sense of this slang. - -sche (discuss) 09:21, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

dynamic equilibrium[edit]

Does this have a different sense in physics? If so, what is it? ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:28, 9 September 2020 (UTC)

A great amount of the usage of this phrase seems SoP to me. A system can be viewed as in equilibrium with many of its state variable being in flux. If some relationship of interest among the state variables in invariant, than the system can be said to be in equilibrium. The chemical sense in the entry seems more specific. I'm a but skeptical that anyone but a chemist would use the term in its supposed extended meaning. DCDuring (talk) 08:43, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
A chemist would probably not guess the meaning of the term as used in economics and ecology, and conversely. If this supposition of mine is correct, then the term is not transparent to either group. In the eco* and similar uses, the sense is that there are opposing forces that change (hence dynamic), but in such a way that they cancel each other and therefore do not disturb an existing equilibrium. A very simple example is when the populations of a predator species and a prey species grow, but in equal proportions. For an exposition of the use in economic theory, see Economic equilibrium#Dynamic equilibrium on Wikipedia. The chemical sense is indeed much more specific. A nice definition, which however only works if you already understand the concept, is this one: “An system is in dynamic equilibrium, if, observed from afar, the state of a system doesn’t change although all the time reversible processes are going on.” An example in an upcoming election would be that for each option the number of potential voters remains constant; although individually they are changing position all the time, the absolute rates of inflow and outflow are the same. In all cases there is an invariant relationship between the state variables, but its nature is very different.  --Lambiam 21:27, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
I don't think that dynamic is limited to directly opposing/offsetting forces/phenomena, with the apparent exception of chemistry. I'd be interested to see uses of the first sense, which seems like a chemist's attempt to generalize/broaden the application of the chemical definition. DCDuring (talk) 23:29, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
Vaporization and condensation taking place simultaneously, leaving the amounts of a substance in its liquid and gaseous states invariant, is an instance of a dynamic equilibrium that is, strictly speaking, not chemical, because these phase transitions are not reactions in the sense of chemistry. It falls, however, in the realm of physical chemistry. But here are some uses that are squarely non-chemical: [12], [13], [14]. The chemical sense is actually that of sense 1 in a more specific context, except that sense 1 should be made more precise in the sense that these opposite changes do not only occur simultaneously, but that they also cancel each other, so that together they have no net effect – where judging the existence or absence of a “net effect” is context-dependent.  --Lambiam 12:01, 12 September 2020 (UTC)


The current definition of acciaccatura is, as far as I can tell, unsourced, and to me it seems inaccurate. Admittedly I am not a professional musician, just a competent amateur, but I have three main issues with the current definition: I generally understand acciaccature as occurring an infinitesimally short time before the beat rather than on the beat: appoggiature, on the other hand, would be on the beat.

I do not see why for a grace note (with a slash through) to qualify as an acciaccatura it should have to be diatonically immediately above or below the main note, I can think of many examples of what most people I know would refer to as acciaccature which are further away from the main note. If this is a matter of differences between common usage and technical definitions, it may be prudent to mention this.

The mention of interpretations of grace notes in Baroque music being different and stricter seems unhelpful and ambiguous to me here more than anything. I would even argue that in the case of the acciaccatura the Baroque interpretations may be less strict, as they could be more varied, e.g. sometimes occurring before the beat, sometimes on the beat*; in Romantic or 20th century music an acciaccatura would essentially always be before the beat. Conversely appoggiature are probably interpreted more strictly in Baroque music, with it also being relevant that they are considerably less common in Romantic and 20th century music. An updated definition probably should mention the differences in interpretation between Baroque (and Classical) and later eras, but ensuring that there is no ambiguity neither with respect to what the differences are, nor with regards to whether it is referring to the interpretation of acciaccature or appoggiature, possibly avoiding mentioning appoggiature for this reason.

  • Concrete example that comes to mind: So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen from St Matthew Passion by Bach, I am fairly certain I have heard just about every possible interpretation of the grace notes in this duet, and I have also very unhelpfully seen the grace notes printed with slashes in some editions and without in others.

Anditres (talk) 04:55, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

For the Baroque interpretation, a somewhat authoritative treatment can be found here on p. 22 ff. – but not quite as authoritative as the ascription “By Johann Sebastian Bach” in the sidebar might make one hope. For later periods, see e.g. here. But there is no definitive contemporaneous description of how these and many other kinds of grace notes were performed during the lifetimes of the composers in earlier periods, often by performers who had quite some latitude to improvise as they saw fit, so anyone is free to form their own theories and perform them accordingly, based on what they feel makes the most sense, musically speaking – where it must be noted that once you get used to a certain style, it may begin to feel as if this is the way it has to be.
I think we should do well by aiming for the simplest definition that is more distinctive than “a kind of grace note” but not wrong, and rely for the rest on referring the reader to Wikipedia, which allows all room for a variety of significant points of view, provided they can be backed up by reliable sources.  --Lambiam 17:05, 10 September 2020 (UTC)


Can "Czech" also be attested as denoting "Czech Republic"? I have heard things like "He is from Czech" numerous times, but I always assumed Czech can only be an adjective, or refer to a person from the Czech Republic. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:40, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

I've heard this. It sounds wrong to me, but I can find citations [which I've moved to the entry now]. - -sche (discuss) 10:29, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
Added, labelled "nonstandard". - -sche (discuss) 03:42, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks everyone! ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:05, 12 September 2020 (UTC)

English for "board game move made assuming the opponent will blunder"?[edit]

Trying to find a single-word English equivalent for Korean 꼼수, if there is one at all.--Karaeng Matoaya (talk) 05:43, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

A similar concept is a Trick play, but I'm not sure if that translates this exactly. - -sche (discuss) 09:48, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
It describes perfectly how I play chess. It is not a dependable tactic, though: if your opponent is strong, they are probably on to your game, and if they are weak, they’ll spoil your cunningly crafted stratagem with a random idiot move. I see some uses of “ploy move”.[15][16] A single term but not a single word, and also not enough uses to confidently call this an equivalent. In many contexts this may nevertheless be understood without further explanation.  --Lambiam 14:32, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
If successful, you might say your opponent took the bait. But I don't see a path from there to a one word definition. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 18:21, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
gambit perhaps? —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Algrif (talkcontribs) at 13:11, 13 September 2020 (UTC).

measle, measled[edit]

Some clarification is needed here.

Lexico indicates that measled is derived from measle, the 'singular form of measles + -ed, but was perhaps influenced by measle (presumably the second "measle" in the etymology is referring to the unrelated Latinate noun that has to do with leprosy).

We, meanwhile, list "measled" under derived terms of measle (as in, the Latinate noun referring to leprosy).

We also, by the way, have "a tapeworm larva" as a secondary definition of "measle", again under the same etymology as the Latinate.

But we have, at measles, "[a] disease of pigs and cattle, caused by larval tapeworms" as the third definition, given as the same word as the Dutch-derived condition also known as Rubeola.


This really needs to be cleaned up by someone who can figure what on Earth is going on with those entries. Tharthan (talk) 05:56, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

It may be hard to figure out the exact relationship. I don't know if this is of any help, but the learned term for the disease of pigs and cattle is cysticercosis. The problem is really figuring out the relationship between the vernacular plural name for cysticercosis, and the singular name for its etiological agent. It is possible that measle in the sense of tapeworm larva is a back-formation from the formally plural disease name. (One would say that “pigs have the measles” rather than that they have measles,[17][18] which suggests that the disease name is not simply the plural of the infecting agent. Although not in any way conclusive, note that one wouldn’t say *“dogs that have the worms”.) The oldest use of the singular I managed to find with Google Books dates from 1857. The oldest use found of the vernacular plural name for cysticercosis predates this by 27 years; it is from 1830, embedded in a sorry story with a happy ending.
The Etymology Online Dictionary offers the hypothesis that the form measles was influenced by Middle English mēsel, which, I suppose, corresponds to our formulation “due to confusion with measle”.
If measles as an animal disease derives from the singular measle and not from the name of the highly contagious human disease with its characteristic rash, it should have a separate etymology from the human and tree diseases. If the derivation is the other way around, as seems more plausible to me, the tapeworm sense of measle should be etymologically separated from the leprosy sense.  --Lambiam 16:37, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

Rhyme page[edit]

Not sure where to request rhyme pages. We need one for hickory, stickery, pickery, liquory --Java Beauty (talk) 14:14, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

Is something keeping you from creating  Rhymes:English/ɪkəɹi  yourself (which may be more accurate than the cauda /-ɪkəɹiː/ we have now for hickory)?  --Lambiam 14:47, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
I'm kinda hoping someone else does it for me. Also a page for sheepish and sleepish would be awesome. But the real question is: Is there a Requests for rhymes page? Should be, IMHO. --Java Beauty (talk) 19:16, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

Paumanok and the Algonquin language(s)[edit]

Paumanok is the word for Long Island in one of the Algonquin languages. Not sure which one (most sources list the origin as simply "Algonquin"), although it's apparantly not the Algonquin that we call "Algonquin", which only applies to one dialect. Let's figure out what dialect and create the entry.

On a related note, should we consider renaming what we currently call "Algonquin language" to something more specific? Purplebackpack89 21:14, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

I thought we followed ISO standards on language names, rather than making them up ourselves...? Equinox 23:53, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox: The relevant think tank Wiktionary:Languages#Language names doesn't mention ISO standards at all, instead recommending a consensus process for the community and a few criterion to use. —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 02:50, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
(ec) We try to use whatever name is most commonly used in English, unless that name is identical to the name of another language. As a perusal of WT:LTD shows, we've renamed numerous languages from the names the ISO/Ethnologue picked. (The basic system is describe on WT:LANG.) As far as I've seen, Algonquin usually is called Algonquin, and is already distinct from the name of the Algonquian family, which has an extra a. - -sche (discuss) 02:55, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I was probably thinking of language codes, not names. Equinox 22:14, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
As for this name, William Bright, Native American Placenames of the United States (2004), page 373, says that the name, "also written as Paumanack and Pommanock, is of unclear derivation (Tooker 1911)" (though clearly Algonquian). Some sources say it's Lenape (most likely Munsee), and one says it's "Renneiu", which linguistlist says "appears to be P.'s name for the r-dialect Munsee spoken in western Long Island". Munsee is plausible based on the geography. Some sources even assert a meaning, "land of tribute", but I have not yet found a reliable, modern, linguistic source confirming this or giving the spelling of the original Munsee name. - -sche (discuss) 02:55, 11 September 2020 (UTC)

@Purplebackpack89 you're already in way over your head. Please stop digging. There is no such thing as the "Algonquin languages"- Algonquin is an
language, spoken in Canada, not New York. It's not a dialect of anything, except perhaps Ojibwe. The Algonquian languages are quite diverse and widespread, ranging from Cheyenne and Arapaho, spoken at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, to Mi'kmaq of Canada, to Massachusett/Wampanoag, spoken by Squanto, and Powhatan, spoken by Pocahontas, as well as Blackfoot, Cree, Menominee, Shawnee, Fox, Kickapoo, Abenaki, Penobscot, Etchemin, Malecite-Passamaquoddy, Mahican (which is not Mohawk), etc. As part of the Algic languages, they're related to the Yurok and Wiyot languages of northern California.
The language spoken on Long Island was probably a Lenape language such as Munsee or Unami, which, as Eastern Algonquian languages, are only distantly related to Algonquin: look at Appendix:Algonquian and Iroquoian Swadesh lists and compare the column for Ojibwe, which is fairly close to Algonquin, and the column for the Lenape languages. There's really not much chance of one being a dialect of the other. It's unfortunate that the names sound similar, but that's the predominate English usage. On a similar note, people get Sweden and Switzerland mixed up (and the Swiss share languages with the Austrian aborigines, not the Australian aborigines). Chuck Entz (talk) 17:44, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
Well then, we'll create it in Munsee or Unami! And apparently, we'll ignore the numerous source material that refers to its origin as "Algonquin" Purplebackpack89 17:53, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
Wiktionary is descriptive, not prescriptive. Please stop trying to change history because that's not what we're here for. PseudoSkull (talk) 18:17, 11 September 2020 (UTC)

Possible new glossary and dictionary entry "sideform"[edit]

I noticed that the word sideform appears in in the etymology sections for a small number of terms (for example, streng#Danish, öm#Westrobothnian, kofta#Swedish) each of which had the word added by a native Danish or Norwegian speaker (specifically Enkyklios, Knyȝt, and Tommy Kronkvist) where sideform seems to be native term. At no:sideform the term's definition is machine translated as "(linguistics) In Norwegian, until 2012, words that could be used correctly in Norwegian by schoolchildren and private individuals, but not public bodies." which seems to suggest it is related to the Norwegian language conflict and the idea of a sidemål. Doing some more research I found a small number of published uses of the term, all of which also seem to be by people with North Germanic backgrounds. The specific usages are at page 261 of Aspects of the Early History of Romani, page 40 of A Study on Compound Substantives in English, and page 9 of Continental-Germanic Personal Names in England in Old and Middle English Times. The word "sideform" seems to carry a specific, idiomatic meaning which I am unsure of and seems to fufill the criteria to be considered attested (3 usages over more than a year). Should it therefore be added to Wiktionary as an English word and to Wiktionary's glossary or would it be more accurate to describe it as a repeated similectic phenomenon? Thanks and I hope you the best. —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 23:50, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

It may have this meaning in Norwegian, but that does not mean it has this very specific meaning in English as well. I think that in English it often more generally means the same as “alternative form”, without any implication about who may or may not approve, by whatever authority, of its use in given circumstances, as used here in “naught, which is a sideform of nought ”; or here in “āsīna is ... a sideform of āsita”. The authors do not appear to have North Germanic backgrounds. The English term sideform may sometimes be a calque of German Nebenform (cf. English side effect = German Nebenwirkung).  --Lambiam 15:59, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
The usual word in English is byform; I suggest we change the very rare "sideform" to that in those etymology sections. —Mahāgaja · talk 16:52, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
Or the rather more common synonym ”variant”?  --Lambiam 19:04, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
I agree that the meaning is not as specific in English as it appears to be in Norwegian. Thanks for doing more research on its usage, it is encouraging to see more usages have been found which don't seem to be related to North Germanic backgrounds. Such shows to me beyond a reasonable doubt that sideform is a word in English. It is intriguing to think that a the word has entered English on multiple occasions and by multiple routes, one a borrowing and the other a calque. As to what term should be used to define sideform and replace it in etymology sections, I think all of the proposals make sense. —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 23:42, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
Good news, and for the record, I have created an entry for sideform! —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 03:15, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

Latin: pila#Etymology_1_5[edit]

re: the latin 'ball' sense of pīla. Sources that distinguish vowel length allow for 'pĭla' to be 'ball', but not 'pīla'. There's no 'ball' sense of 'pīla' given in the "Etymologisches Wörterbuch der lateinischen Sprache" from Schwenck/Konrad https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pila#Etymology_1_5 ( https://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10586460_00584.html ).

Let me check the sources listed

  • "pila in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press" does't seem to differentiate long and short vowels, so it's hard to know if it's talking about 'pīla' or 'pĭla' (which means 'ball' in the German source)
  • "pila in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers" - oh, that's the same link.
  • "pila in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)" - my Latin is basically non-existent, but this also doesn't seem to distinguish long from short vowels...
  • "pila in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette" does distinguish vowel length, and doesn't allow 'ball' for 'pīla' but does for 'pĭla'
  • "Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book‎[1], London: Macmillan and Co." doesn't mention vowel-length and talks about a 'spear' sense of 'pila'
  • "pila in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers" distinguishes vowel length and doesn't allow for 'ball' sense
  • "pila in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin" doesn't distinguish vowel-length.
  • "De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, page 465" talks about the 'column' sense of the word "pīla" only.

ok, given all of this I'm just going to remove the 'ball' sense for 'pīla'; it's probably a mistake.

2001:770:10:300:0:0:86E2:510C 15:37, 11 September 2020 (UTC)

hunker down[edit]

Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/English § hunker down.

Is this chiefly AmE? ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:07, 12 September 2020 (UTC)

It's a common phrase in America, at least in news reporting (reporters and people quoted on the news). I never hear hunker alone. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 09:05, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
@Tooironic: Why is this question in RFD? Are you nominating this entry for deletion? J3133 (talk) 16:10, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
According to a BBC program, "The Old Norse “huka” means to crouch or squat. However, “hunker down” was a Southern United States dialectal phrase – a dialect that was popularised by Texan President Johnson in the mid 1960s." Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:19, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Sorry, this should be in the Tea Room. My mistake. What is the protocol for moving it now? ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:20, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
  • My perception as a BrE speaker is that "hunker down" has an AmE flavour but is (now) not overwhelmingly or exclusively AmE. BTW, I do wish that editors who make changes while TEA, RFD, RFV etc. discussions are ongoing would note this at the discussion (I know that I am guilty myself of sometimes not doing this). It is confusing to try to address the original point when the article has changed with no notice. Mihia (talk) 22:10, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

tap (vulgar slang)[edit]

The current definition is: "To have sexual intercourse with." This is probably a stinker to cite, but I suspect this definition is too broad. A brief web search and skim of examples at Urban Dictionary (their definitions aren't ) suggests the intercourse described by the verb typically involves a penis (maybe also an artificial one?) that is used for penetrative or mammary intercourse. I also note that some UD definitions are acronyms, presumably backronyms for tits, ass, pussy. As for the direct object, other things I noticed are that the direct object is often an orifice or pair of breasts, and that it often contains that or those (both as pronoun and determiner). Furthermore, is the direct object almost exclusively a woman or a part of her body? Or is it not that common for the direct object to be a person at all, except perhaps in the phrase tap that? Finally, is there evidence that this sense is particularly objectifying compared to other slang terms for sex (have people commented on this, etc.)? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 14:28, 12 September 2020 (UTC)

It's always a male doing the tapping, in my experience, and usually if not always the man is tapping that or that ass (body). Vox Sciurorum (talk) 15:55, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
As for the tappee, in this case as in virtually all cases of sexual slang, if a straight man can say it of a woman, a gay man can say it of another man. I strongly suspect straight women and lesbians can also say they'd like to "tap that", though I really don't feel like going searching for citations to prove it. —Mahāgaja · talk 16:03, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
People have seen a double entendre in headlines like "Trump taps Haley" (i.e. the president nominated Nikki Haley to be ambassador to the UN). Tap in the sexual sense is still a transitive verb that could take many objects without confusing people. But I have not seen it used with the full range of possible objects. You'd be more likely to bang a named woman and tap a demonstrative. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:30, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
As Citations:tap I've put four examples of women referring to tapping men: The tapper might be usually a man, but not exclusively. (I share Mahagaja's suspicion that women can also tap women.) - -sche (discuss) 22:01, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
OK, it's not a common word in my experience and I may not encounter a representative spectrum of uses. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 20:35, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

that was that[edit]

I added a quote here which doesn't seem to fit in with the definition of that's that. In this case it seems to mean "job done". Any thoughts? DonnanZ (talk) 16:53, 12 September 2020 (UTC)

Verb inflection entries for VPs with a trivial base verb[edit]

This user [19] has been making a point of expanding verb phrases to include all the forms: for example go the distance would become went the distance, going the distance, etc.. I think this is basically a waste of time and space and I don't like it. I would like to propose that we introduce a system where we can mark these phrases with the HEAD verb (in my example go) which would mean "to inflect the phrase, you simply inflect that head verb normally". I don't know how we would technically achieve this but I don't like loads of stupid pages being created for stuff like went the distance. Thoughts, feelings, kisses? Equinox 18:47, 12 September 2020 (UTC)

I agree that it can seem overkill, or look a bit silly or laborious, to list the full inflections of verb phrases of more than a couple of words. To suppress this, I have in the past used {{head|en|verb}}, as at draw a line under. What would be the actual appearance at the main entry of what you are suggesting? (My favourite, for those who haven't see it: give_a_shit#Conjugation. I just 'lol out loud', as the youngsters say, every time I look at this.) Mihia (talk) 19:26, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
I also 'lol out loud' when I saw that!! Brilliant craziness! Someone really gave a shit about that particular entry. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 18:54, 20 September 2020 (UTC)
No kisses. DonnanZ (talk) 19:36, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
Donnanz I also use the "head|en|verb" but we're dealing with someone now who is replacing that with explicit inflection lists. That's why I raise the question now. xoxo. muhahaha. To answer "what do I expect to see?": I'm not sure: it would be OK for the head verb (go in my example) to be linked, and the other words not linked...? but that's maybe a down side because you can't get a quick definition for other words in the phrase. Or we could just show the base form (go the distance) and have a little automatically computer-generated text saying "for verb forms, see go", or something. Equinox 19:42, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
I have started using {{head|en|adjective}} when I'm unsure about comparatives (they can always be amended), but not {{head|en|verb}} for longish verb phrases, and usually list the inflections without creating entries for them. I think this is OK, but the downside is all the red links can be offensive to the eye. I did add given place today, only because I added a quote which included it. DonnanZ (talk) 20:42, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
"en-adj" has a "?" parameter for "when the inflection is unknown or uncertain". I have also used this to suppress inflections in cases where I do not want to state that an adjective or adjective phrase is "not comparable", but on the other hand I do not want to draw so much attention to it as to explicitly list "most ~". But thanks for mentioning "head|en|adjective" as that had not occurred to me. However, personally I think it would be a lot easier if there was a flag on "en-adj", "en-verb" etc. whose express purpose was simply to suppress inflections. Mihia (talk) 21:19, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
  • It is in fact rather worrying. If this editor decides to attack such phrases as take it or leave it? -- takes it or leaves it. taking it or leaving it. took it or left it. taken it or left it. That would make interesting reading for what should be a simple entry. -- ALGRIF talk 12:31, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
    That reminds me of a sketch or movie I once saw - it may have been a translation, CTMI. The fiancé(e)s were trying to come up with fancy phrases on a wedding invitation and one suggested a phrase like "You shall be wine-dined!" and was corrected by the future spouse "you mean wine and dined", then another correction was "actually, they will be wined and will be dined". They got into an argument after that, and changed it to something banal like "there's food and drink". I assume they broke off the wedding after that, and also assume that at least one of them was a lexicographer. --Java Beauty (talk) 21:10, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
Anyone want to have a vote about this? I know "blah blah wikis aren't paper" but this is still a stupid waste of space since the inflections for any multi-word phrase are always based on one of the verbs in it. Let's nip it in the bud. Equinox 23:25, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
  • I for one vote to nip it in the bud. -- ALGRIF talk 17:36, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

I'm in two minds. At present, if someone searches for "drew a line under", because they had read the expression in this form and were completely unfamiliar with it, they will be told it is not in Wiktionary and they can create an entry for it if they'd like to. Not really helpful to the poor confused user. However, if they had searched for "drew a line in the sand", for the same reasons as above, then they would have been okay as some editor has created the conjugation entries for that expression. To not have these conjugation entries assumes that the user's knowledge of English is good enough for them to go: "Oh, _drew a line under_ is not in Wiktionary, how about I try _draw a line under_". Easy for us, but difficult for a learner of English, for example, who may not be able to get to the infinitive when confronted with an irregular verb form. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 18:46, 20 September 2020 (UTC)

I get what you're saying about helping English learners, and I generally agree with this aim, yet on the same grounds one could also argue e.g. that in addition to raise one's hand we should include separate entries for raise my hand, raising her hand, raised their hands, etc. etc. for all permutations, in case a learner (or indeed native speaker) cannot figure out the dictionary base form. To me, this seems like overkill. Another way of handling these cases would be auto-redirects for all permutations, but generally I dislike auto-redirects as they can seem like unexpected or unexplained behaviour for exactly that category of user that we might be trying to help. Personally I would prefer more than an auto-redirect, yet a lighter touch than a full article, more like a "you may be looking for ..." hint, or however we prefer to phrase it, similar (in terms of presentation style) to the "you might mean ..." hint that we should use for typos. Mihia (talk) 22:28, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

bang on about[edit]

Why is this now a redirect? It is a well-known two particle phrasal verb. No idea if the US uses it, but in UK it is v. v. common. Please restore it. Thank you. Please note that to bang on does not mean to talk, however to bang on about something does. -- ALGRIF talk 08:33, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

Just click on "bang on about" in the message (Redirected from bang on about), which brings you to the page, then you can edit it. DonnanZ (talk) 09:17, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
Looking at the history of the entry, it seems to have been redirected as the result of an RFD in 2011. DonnanZ (talk) 10:04, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
It doesn't just mean "talk". It means "to go on and on and on about" in an obsessive way. A very common example in the UK is "banging on about Europe", implying that some political parties are obsessed with Brexit. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 10:48, 13 September 2020 (UTC).
Looking at the usage examples for bang on in Lexico almost all of them include "about". DonnanZ (talk) 11:09, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
Yes. Exactly what I find. Which is why I am requesting that bang on about be restored as a separate entry with a specific definition, rather than a redirect (which to me is more like a misdirect!). (edit) (I am asking first, because this seems to have been changed, perhaps by RFD) -- ALGRIF talk 12:18, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
I don't support having separate entries for bang on and bang on about. The present entry for bang on, "To constantly talk about", is faulty, being the definition of a transitive verb, whereas bang on is intransitive. With that fixed, I would support a label at bang on reading "often with 'about'" or similar. I think this should be adequate. Mihia (talk) 20:38, 13 September 2020 (UTC) Sorry, I see there is already a usage note to this effect. I personally prefer labels for things that can be explained in a few words, since I think people tend not to notice usage notes. 20:41, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
I note that one can bang on that/how, with those words introducing noun clauses. Can one bang on and on?
Consider: "Isn't this what DAP and party veteran Lim Kit Siang kept banging on when they were the opposition?" Is this the same sense of bang on? DCDuring (talk) 08:17, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
Yes, one can certainly "bang on and on", and indeed "bang on and on and on", for as many "on"s as you want. The sentence that you quote is likely to be a mistake or slip. The writer forgot that an "about" was needed. Having said this, the ratio of Google hits for "banging on this point" to "banging on about this point" is FAR higher than I would have expected. I think that many people may simply be misunderstanding the idiom; on the other hand, if you really can "bang on" a point, then apparently it cannot be the same expression as the intransitive "bang on (about)" that we are talking about. Mihia (talk) 09:29, 14 September 2020 (UTC)

Definition of "drift" -- should sub-definition be moved to primary definition?[edit]

In the definition of drift, a meaning is nested under the primary definition that seems to me to be a primary definition itself.

The sub-definition is this: "A mass of matter which has been driven or forced onward together in a body, or thrown together in a heap, etc., especially by wind or water." If I were writing this definition anew, I might say: "An accumulation or mass of natural material, such as snow, leaves, or plants, often piled up or carried along by wind or water."

Right now, this meaning is nested under the first definition: "(physical) Movement; that which moves or is moved." That definition strikes me as both too general, and too broad -- referring both to movement itself as well as things that move (themselves) or are moved.

I suggest that this common meaning of "drift" (e.g., drift of snow, drift of sand) should be "un-nested" and made the second definition. Thoughts?

--Lucida sidera (talk) 17:32, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

On the face of it, I wouldn't object to the "movement" and "thing that is / has been moved" senses being split. I guess one would need to see how it all looked when all the senses were in their new places. There seem to be some anomalies anyway with the existing article, so it wouldn't hurt to give the whole thing a work-over, I would say. Mihia (talk) 21:19, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

up close[edit]

Adverb  up close (comparative more up close, superlative most up close):   1. Very nearby.

Worth an entry?  --Lambiam 07:33, 14 September 2020 (UTC)

Lemmings say yes: up close at OneLook Dictionary Search. See also up close and personal at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring (talk) 08:01, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
I agree that up close and up close and personal are both deserving of entries. Sorry to nitpick, but the present definition of adverb "up close" is "very nearby", which to me is not 100% natural English, and also the example sentence, which is "Viewed from up close, the image becomes a blur of coloured dots", does not seem to be an example of adverbial "up close". Mihia (talk)
It is not hard to find uses of “very nearby” (e.g. [20], [21], [22]); what is the issue? The lemmings that assign a PoS to up close (without a hyphen) call it an adverb. What else could it be? Is nearby in the common combination[23][24][25][26][27] “viewed from nearby” not an adverb? Why should it be different for up close?  --Lambiam 21:55, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
E.g. at [28] (second definition) they label "nearby" as "not gradable", which in careful English I would agree with, albeit I think non-gradability may be more obvious in adjectival use. No doubt in practice you will find examples that violate this. As far as your second point is concerned, I don't see how an adverb can be the object of a preposition ("from"). In "viewed from nearby", the word "nearby" is apparently functioning as a pronoun, meaning "a nearby place", and similarly for "viewed from up close". Mihia (talk) 19:32, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
Many locative expressions are problematic. I don't think that the usage example in question is in any way wrong, but it is an example of an atypical use of an adverbial. At the very least we need more typical examples of adverbial use. IDCDuring (talk) 21:50, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
I agree that locative expressions can be problematic, but personally I do not see it as problematic to assert that X cannot be adverbial in the expression "viewed from X". I guess opinions vary. In any case, I think we should not need to use such a usage example when uncontroversial examples, or, as you express it, more typical examples, surely abound. Mihia (talk) 19:22, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
From, which we class solely as a preposition, can have such terms as nearby, far away, alongside, and above in place of nouns. Only the last is included in nouns, but only for special derived meanings. DCDuring (talk) 05:51, 20 September 2020 (UTC)


There's a quote given here, but I think it's crap because a) There's no author called Sandor Johnson, b) He didn't ever write any book and c) WTF kind of tag is "seduction community" anyway? @Equinox was the user who originally added the quote. --Java Beauty (talk) 13:06, 14 September 2020 (UTC)

    • Sandor Johnson, Call of the Loons (page 272)
      It's called peacocking. Gets the chicks to notice me. Gives 'em a conversation piece.
If (a) there's no author then (b) how can you say whether he wrote a book or not? I found it at the time. "Peacocking" is a pick-up artist thing, it's tacky Internet dating advice, and this isn't exactly some famous tome you can request in the British Library. I did not make up a book... Equinox 23:23, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
Sandor Johnson's bio on pinterest.com does mention "writer" although I can find no trace of this particular book. DTLHS (talk) 23:29, 15 September 2020 (UTC)


In which computing context does this mean 'compatible'. If I think about compatibility and computing, the first Finnish translation that comes to mind would be yhteensopiva. Mölli-Möllerö (talk) 15:24, 14 September 2020 (UTC)

Shouldn’t this be at WT:RFVN?  --Lambiam 11:09, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
Oh yes, sure. I've moved the question there. Mölli-Möllerö (talk) 15:12, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

Pull Through Caravan / RV Term[edit]

Talk Page In short: A campsite where you can pull your 5th wheel or trailer through instead of backing into it. Inetbiz (talk) 15:53, 15 September 2020 (UTC)


"(chiefly in verb forms) Added after a word’s terminal ‘c’ when it is suffixed by a morpheme beginning in ‘e’, ‘i’, ‘y’, ‘æ’, or ‘œ’ (usually -ed or -ing), so as to preserve its “hard” [k] sound (as opposed to [s])."

  1. It's easy to think of (and our category holds) examples of e (frolicked), i (frolicking) and y (colicky), but what are examples of this with æ or œ, or are those spurious?
  2. This list is missing that -k- also added before the past tense marker -'d (and possibly -d), as in google books:"frolick'd" "frolic".

- -sche (discuss) 08:30, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

Oh honestly, this isn't an interfix. It isn't a morpheme at all. It's just an artifact of English spelling. The entry -k- ought to be deleted. —Mahāgaja · talk 10:39, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
Hmm, I could see redirecting it to k and explaining it there, like @ explains Chican@ and Pin@y or like x explains alumnx, Chicanx and womxn, but I wouldn't delete the content entirely; it's clear that a book that uses frolic but frolicked or colic but colicky has added a k and that's worth documenting somewhere in my opinion. No objection to deleting the category, though. We don't track mere use of gender-neutralizing @ or x anywhere in a word, either (though words that end in an @ or x that replaces a/o are trackable via using a certain template in their etymologies). - -sche (discuss) 16:27, 16 September 2020 (UTC).
I'm really not sure whether this deserves an entry in a dictionary. As far as I can see, we might as well have entries for -b-, -g- etc., noting doubling of consonants in e.g. "grabbed" or "bugged". Mihia (talk)
Hmm, good point. (And grab -> grabber and bug -> buggy shows it's not just verbs in those cases, either, I now realize.) Perhaps it's another phenomenon to describe in WikiGrammar, then. (Appendix:English grammar? Appendix:English language?) - -sche (discuss) 19:19, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
This seems less about grammar than about spelling, strictly speaking -- this is a purely orthographical phenomenon, which has no bearing on the spoken language. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:07, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
I would agree. I don't see this as a grammatical issue. Mihia (talk) 21:26, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
You could add that the variation between -c and -ck- is found in modern English. If you go back a couple of hundred years, you can find spelling like publick, and they were considered correct spellings at the time 21:31, 17 September 2020 (UTC)


7. A stage of a journey, race etc.
9. (nautical) One side of a multiple-sided (often triangular) course in a sailing race.

Is sense 9 really a distinct nautical sense, or is it just one example of sense 7? Mihia (talk) 17:24, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

Most lemmings that give a nautical sense, e.g. Collins and Webster's New World College Dictionary, define it as “the run made by a sailing vessel on one tack”, without involving a sense of a race. The American Heritage Dictionary gives the nautical sense as a subsense of the general sense “a stage of a journey or course”, as does Oxford’s online Lexico. Merriam–Webster combines the nautical sense with the sense “a portion of a trip” as separate subsenses of a common (but not verbally defined) supersense. Several have a (sub)sense of “one section of a relay race”, not specifically involving sailing.  --Lambiam 11:35, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
Note that we have "A distance that a sailing vessel does without changing the sails from one side to the other" (i.e. on one tack) as a separate definition. Mihia (talk) 18:38, 17 September 2020 (UTC)


Any of our biology/taxonomy-inclined editors want to figure out whether this is taxonomic Latin or English and what it means? There are more citations on Google Books, beyond the two I added. - -sche (discuss) 20:38, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

It is common in context to use only the species part of a binomial name. I don't consider it a dictionary word in either Latin or English. You shouldn't see such use without a prior mention of the full name in the same paper. Say you had a quotation "Homo neanderthalensis became extinct soon after contact with H. sapiens. Leading scientists think that is because neanderthalensis was cursed by God." I would not count that as supporting a word neanderthalensis. Only if the word started appearing frequently without introduction, the way Neanderthal does. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 13:56, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
As for the meaning, it may have been a variation on the related species name Papilio chrysippus. The description (Cramer, 1777) reads "Fig. E. F. Alcippus. Ce Papillon, quant au dessein, a beaucoup de ressemblance avec le Chrysippus, que est représenté fur la Planche CXVIII. Fig. B. C. Il se distingue seulement par les aîles inférieures dont les deux surfaces sont tachetées de blanc. On le trouve à la Côte de Guinée, à la Sierre Leona." Or if you prefer Germanic to Romance, the other column reads "Deze Kapel heeft, wat de Tekening betreft, veele overeenkomst met den Chrysippus welke op Plaat CXVII. Fig. B. C. is afgebeeld, alleen onderscheid ze zig in de aan beide zyden witgevlakte ondervleugels. Men vindtze op the Kuft van Guiné, aan de Sierra Leona." Much later, by the late 20th century, zoologists decided to explicitly recommend that species descriptions explain the etymology of new names. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 16:19, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
It is a genus name in the family Pentatomidae and also part of the specific epithet of the monarch butterfly subspecies D. c. alcippus of Danaus chrysippus (formerly Papilio chrysippus). GBS also shows mentions of Limnas alcippus, not found as such on Wikispecies, where the genus Limnas is exclusively a genus of grasses. The term alcippus is not a common Latin or Greek noun, but the Ancient Greeks were fond of horse-related names, which in Latinized form end on -ippus (for males) or -ippe (for females). The best known of these is Philippus (“fond of horses”), but we also have Alcippe (“battle horse”), Chrysippus (“golden horse”), Leucippus (“white horse”), Melanippus (“black horse”), Plexippus (“horse driver”), and Xanthippe (“yellow horse”). Why Linnaeus chose to give quite a few butterflies in the Danaus genus horse-related epithets is a mystery to me.  --Lambiam 17:34, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
According to Wikpedia, Linnaeus named the species after the sons the twin brother of Danaus, king Aegyptus, who fathered fifty sons.  --Lambiam 18:37, 17 September 2020 (UTC)



  1. irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable
    That imam said that drawing the prophet Muhammad is a form of blasphemy.
  2. the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for any religion's deity or deities

Are these two different senses? Assume that we know that Ali suspects Bilal of lacking respect for a sacred tenet, even though Bilal’s behaviour does not show any sign of lack of respect, which Ali admits. Can we then say that Ali suspects Bilal of blasphemy? Is not some act of disrespect required? Mere irreverence, as in the definition of sense 1, does not suffice. Drawing a figure as in the usex for sense 1 is an act (as in sense 2). If used in a religious context, the term blasphemy includes the act of contradicting tenets of a religion. Lack of reverence (I prefer “lack of respect”) subsumes insulting and showing contempt, so the definition of sense 2 can be simplified. And a religion’s deities will generally be considered sacred or inviolable by its ardent followers. So is there any substantive difference left? Can we combine the two into

  1. An act that shows lack of respect for something considered sacred or inviolable

?  --Lambiam 11:02, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

Re Ali and Bilal: I mean, I would say yes...? I don't think the two senses above are different senses when the thing disrespected is a god / religiom / religious tenet, etc (although the intended distinction might have been between disrespecting a god vs disrespecting a nonreligious thing like a company ethos, because other dictionaries handle the latter with wording almost identical to our sense 1, but we [also] have it as a separate sense 3). But I'm not sure the result of a merger / restructuring should necessarily be to definitionally require an overt "act", even though I concede other dictionaries typically do (for the religious sense, but not the nonreligious sense, for some reason). I can find references to "unspoken blasphemy" that someone merely thought inside their own mind:
  • 2013, Tom Clancy, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, Penguin (→ISBN), page 548:
    And perhaps not even Him? the Archer wondered, then chastised himself for the unspoken blasphemy.
  • 1920, John Rougier Cohu, The Bible and Modern Thought, page 325:
    Had God cancelled His everlasting Covenant with Israel? The mere thought was blasphemy! But what did God's silence and the present dark cloud mean?
and one can say that someone's google books:"views are blasphemy" / google books:"views were blasphemy. Granted, this is typically in reference to expressed views, and expressing a view is an act (and thinking a thought is technically an "act"), but it seems like the view itself, rather than only the act of expressing it, can be called blasphemy. Incidentally, other dictionaries have a sense we lack, for claiming to have the attributes/qualities or rights of a god. - -sche (discuss) 19:13, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
Maybe [revise the current 3 senses to] something like:
  1. Irreverence or contempt toward a god or toward something considered sacred; an impious act or utterance.
  2. Irreverence towards anything considered inviolable, such as life.
with usexes to illustrate other things sense 2 can be in reference to?- -sche (discuss) 19:19, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
Wondering and thinking are not externally noticeable acts, but they are acts nevertheless.  --Lambiam 23:22, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
True. I suppose even a view or belief existing could be an act (with regard to phrases like "[their] views were blasphemy", and google books:"belief is blasphemy"), although this may not be the most intuitive definition of "act" for readers. I admit other dictionaries do use language like "an act or utterance" or "an act", for the religious sense, although oddly often not for the nonreligious sense. Should we say something like "an act or belief that shows [...]"? Or perhaps "an act [...]" is indeed fine. I would keep a mention of either God or "a god" in the religious def, as other dictionaries do, for more clearly distinguishing it from our sense 3.. - -sche (discuss) 06:26, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
I revised the definitions, merging the two religious-related ones, like so. See if you think further changes are needed. We're still missing the "assume the qualities of a god" sense mentioned above, if it exists distinctly. - -sche (discuss) 15:06, 26 September 2020 (UTC)


1. Facts or observations presented in support of an assertion.
4. A body of objectively verifiable facts that are positively indicative of, and/or exclusively concordant with, that one conclusion over any other.

Can anyone see any important difference between #1 and #4?

Originally raised at Wiktionary:Requests_for_verification/English#leg_(2). Mihia (talk) 19:49, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

go the way of the dodo[edit]

Today's WOTD is labelled "idiomatic". I don't believe that it is idiomatic, not in our sense, and given that go the way of exists as a generic recipe. It seems non-literal only in the most obvious figurative way, that could be applied to any number of extinct creatures. Perhaps the dodo is the most common example, but I don't believe that "go the way of the dodo" is qualitatively different from numerous other examples that could probably be found. Mihia (talk) 22:30, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

last night[edit]

Is it possible for last night to mean "the previous night" in reported speech?

Page 516 of the Collins English Usage reads

A place clause usually goes after the main clause. However, in stories, the place clause can be put first
Where Kate had stood last night, Maureen now stood

Dickens [Wikisource], in Edwin Drood (p 125) uses 'last night' deictically in a narrative:

The Weir ran through his broken sleep, all night, and he was back again at sunrise. It was a bright frosty morning. The whole composition before him, when he stood where he had stood last night, was clearly discernible in its minutest details.

Secondly, is this a general use of the adjective last in reported clauses? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:21, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

I don't think this works in reported speech generally (?He told me yesterday that he'd been there last night.) but in narrative, even past-tense narrative, temporal expressions are often relative to story time. If you google expressions like "were going tomorrow" and "was now", you'll find plenty of examples. --ColinFine (talk) 12:28, 18 September 2020 (UTC)


Can someone check the pronunciation labeled "Slang"? I've never heard it, and /t͡s/ represents the voiceless alveolar sibilant affricate, which is rare, if used at all, in English. Glades12 (talk) 15:58, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

The only slang pronunciation I know for this word is /ˈbijæt͡ʃ/. —Mahāgaja · talk 16:30, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
Or /ˈbiːæt͡ʃ/? The pronunciation /bɪt͡s/ was added by Ozelot911.  --Lambiam 09:53, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
I've never heard of this either (though there is bish). Equinox 20:10, 23 September 2020 (UTC)

Longest definition?[edit]

A while back I looked up an English interjection, containing just one meaning, but the longest meaning I've ever seen on this site - It was a full two lines long, even on my widescreen monitor. Initially I thought it was ridiculous and that there was surely a simpler way to say it, but after thinking about it I couldn't find a way to make it any shorter.

I tried looking for it again but couldn't find it in the sea of other interjections. It wasn't a common interjection, but it was common enough to where most would know it. Anyone know what it is? Thanks. -- Mocha2007 (talk) 17:08, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

I wasn't able to find it, but I was able to find OK, boomer which is also two lines. -- Mocha2007 (talk) 17:26, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
huh? blah? yeah, no? DTLHS (talk) 17:43, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
It was none of those, but those are even more than what I needed, so I'm satisfied. Thanks! -- Mocha2007 (talk) 18:20, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

@Erutuon can probably make a list of the longest definitions. They love that kind of stuff! Java Beauty (talk) 13:11, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

Negative form of be able to[edit]

Should be unable to be added? --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:34, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

I question whether the entry should be at "be able to" anyway. I think it should be at "able to" (which is presently a redirect). Mihia (talk) 10:36, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
Isn't able to the outcome of the sum able (sense 4) + to? I think though we need this as a translation hub. In Turkish the ability to do something is generally expressed with a suffix attached to the verb stem: vermek = “to give”; verebilmek = “to be able to give”. In the negative, it changes in an unexpected way: verememek = “to be unable to give”. Also, for the verb be able to, we could record that can/could are synonyms for the finite forms in the past and present tenses.  --Lambiam 12:17, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
Well, in my view, "able to" is no more or less the outcome of "able" + "to" than "be able to" is the outcome of "be" + "able" + "to", so if the latter is considered non-sum-of-parts, then the former presumably should be too. I would say that the essence of "be able to", such as exists in a non-SoP way, does not depend on the "be" verb, but resides in "able to", which can indeed stand without the "be" verb. I take your point about the translations, though, albeit they seem to be replicated anyway at can, and also the desirability of, um, being able to reference "be able to" as standing in for the absent infinitive or fully inflectable form of "can". Mihia (talk) 13:28, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
Any copulative verb could take the place of be, eg, seem, feel, appear, grow, become. (I wonder whether this simple test should be applied to other headwords containing be.) Or we could simply assume that our users know the be is a placeholder for any copulative verb. Or we could insert a usage note in each such entry suggested that some or all copulative verbs could substitute for be. DCDuring (talk) 04:03, 20 September 2020 (UTC)
Irish faigh, French pouvoir, Icelandic kunna, Italian sapere, Japanese できる, Marathi शकणे, Russian мочь, Sranan Tongo man and many many more entries link to be able to. It is definitely a translation hub for incoming traffic. Is that a point of consideration?  --Lambiam 21:28, 20 September 2020 (UTC)
Generally speaking, I think we should place entries at the smallest common component, so for example if you can "be X", "feel X", "become X", "appear X", and so on and so forth, then the entry should be at X, However, in this one special case, I believe the points raised by Lambiam do have some weight. Mihia (talk) 23:38, 24 September 2020 (UTC)


If any Administrator or User (other than the one on whose page my edit is placed) wishes to reply to a question or contribution of mine, can they PLEASE do so on my talk page and not on that of someone's else's. Many thanks. Andrew H. Gray 16:50, 19 September 2020 (UTC) Andrew


Your feet will soon warm up once your socks are on.

What PoS is "on"? Ostensibly it may seem to be an adjective. It describes the state or condition of your socks, as much as if they were loose or sweaty. OTOH, I don't feel thrilled about listing it as an adjective. Is it instead an "intransitive" preposition, just short for "on your feet"? And yet again I have seen words like this categorised as adverbs. Even Lexico give "make sure the lid is on" as an example of adverb "on", for which I can see no explanation or justification, but perhaps someone can offer one. Mihia (talk) 22:06, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

Putting this sense under an adjective PoS indeed seems to give no thrill at all to many other dictionaries. An exception is Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary ("CACD") (via OneLook), which has:
on preposition, adjective, adverb [not gradable] (COVERING)
covering or wrapping another thing:
The child had no shoes on her feet.
You should put a coat on.
The baby’s got nothing on (= is not wearing anything).
[None of these examples seem to use on in a clearly adjectival way, whereas your example above does.]
CGEL (2002) advocates the nomenclature intransitive preposition for the Adverb PoS section for headwords that are principally used as prepositions. IOW if you don't like calling the usage 'adverbial', you shouldn't like calling it 'intransitive prepositional' either.
I think you can construct plausible examples using other copulative verbs besides be, such as seem, appear, etc. One might find citations for some of these. You might get a kick out of such examples if you have nothing else to do.
To be clear, I would include a definition like CACD's under our Adjective PoS section. DCDuring (talk) 04:52, 20 September 2020 (UTC)
OK thanks, I think I will leave it as adj. then. (Sorry, I didn't make it clear in my original post that it was me who had already added a new adj. sense with this as an example. Now I look at it again, it sort of reads as if I was questioning someone else's entry.) Mihia (talk) 13:38, 23 September 2020 (UTC)


Thoughts on this? It was created as slang for inappropriate but I think it's a fumbled spelling attempt at an opposite for apropos; I've split it up a bit to indicate this but it still seems like a very dodgy entry. Equinox 08:00, 20 September 2020 (UTC)


Any golfers here? I know a straightaway is a thing in golf, but I don't know what it actually is, and we don't have a sense for it. bd2412 T 20:48, 20 September 2020 (UTC)

It appears to describe a fairway that runs straight from tee to green without a dogleg. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 19:52, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
Noting also that the form "straightway" appears to be used by some people, at least as evidenced by hits for e.g. "straightway hole". Whether this is a genuine variant or just error/typo, I know not. Mihia (talk) 14:24, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

Wonkiness under Japanese section of [edit]

It appears to suggest that 体 is two separate kanji with different readings, meanings, and grades/classes. The source uses the same character for both, but uses custom formatting to try and make it look different. Only the first kanji has words and compounds given.

If there really are two slightly different kanji which have undergone Han unification, then that should be so stated, along with a textual description of their graphical difference. On the other hand, if their glyphs are identical then the claim they are still distinct seems implausible, and requires substantial supporting evidence. 01:06, 21 September 2020 (UTC)

Does it look clearer now? (The appearance really is the same.) —Suzukaze-c (talk) 23:17, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c: One comment: both characters have a link "See also: Category:Japanese terms spelled with 体", but a search for terms spelled with the "Obsolete form of 笨" meaning seems to bring up all the terms that use the ordinary common meaning. Mihia (talk) 19:05, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
@Mihia: I don't think it can be helped. It's just a naive check that the category with that name exists. —Suzukaze-c (talk) 20:44, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c: OK, thanks, with the latest edits the issue has gone away anyway. Mihia (talk) 19:28, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Per the JA WT entry at ja:体, this is not two glyphs that converged, but rather one glyph that was repurposed. If that's correct, this was originally an alternative form of , which was later re-interpreted as a logogram consisting of (← , “person”) + (“basis, root”). This simpler character of only seven strokes was thus used as an abbreviated replacement (略字) of the full form of 23 strokes.
I see that at least two Chinese dialects, Mandarin and Cantonese, have two distinct pronunciations and meanings for this character, suggesting that the repurposing happened in Chinese before the character was borrowed into Japanese. I also see from various resources that the original form is almost wholly unused in Japanese, appearing only as rare surname Takeno and in the uncommon term 粗笨 (sohon, rough, unfinished; sloppy, crude, careless). I have not found any instances where can be substituted for in Japanese.
Various sources list with a kun'yomi of gasa, but I cannot find any such term with this spelling, or any related "rough" meaning. Without any examples of actual use, and indeed not even any mentions anywhere that I can find, I'm inclined to remove this from the list of readings in our entry.
I'll try editing the Japanese entry and see if I can make the situation any clearer. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:57, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

en proie[edit]

En proie à is translated as "in the grip of" (etc.). Today I saw a use with de instead of à: "Le radar mobile était en proie des flammes."[29] "The speed camera was engulfed in flames." (Destroying speed cameras is a popular pastime in France.) Should the word be renamed to simply en proie? Is there any difference in meaning depending on the following preposition? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 14:49, 21 September 2020 (UTC)

I have the feeling this conflates this idiom with the also common une proie de “a prey of”.  --Lambiam 18:19, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
In recent years American news sources have earned a reputation for sloppy writing by cutting editors and proofreaders. Is it the same in France? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 22:47, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
Here are three uses of specifically the collocation une proie des flammes: [30], [31], [32]. The accompanying verb is preferably être or devenir.  --Lambiam 19:13, 22 September 2020 (UTC)

Chinese names for languages and dialects[edit]

Are these word nouns or proper nouns? -- 05:58, 22 September 2020 (UTC)


For the French etymology we have

Supposedly, this word originates with a dispute at the Collège de France circa 1550, over whether to use a traditional French pronunciation of Latin or a reconstructed pronunciation of Latin. One of the points of most dispute was the pronunciation of qu, with the word quamquam exemplifying this: it was pronounced in reconstructed Latin as [ˈkʷam.kʷã(m)] but pronounced in French Latin as /kɑ̃.kɑ̃/ ("cancan"). After this debacle, a "cancan" came to be "any kind of scandalous performance".[1]

, but Oxford English dictionary has

French (16th cent. in Littré), noise, disturbance, ‘rumpus’, also the dance. Of uncertain etymology, the popular fancy being that it is the Latin quanquam, about the proper pronunciation of which a noisy wrangle is said to have occurred in the French schools. But Littré also points to an Old French caquehan tumultuous assembly; Scheler thinks it the verbal noun < cancaner, which he thinks was ‘to quack as a duck’.

I don't know french, but it seems there are some threads missing from the english etymology page (The german one mentions parrots for some reason...), though I thought I'd flag it for others...


The etymology section of Le Trésor appears to support the fancy origin, citing a 1584 use of faire quanquam for “much ado about little”.  --Lambiam 16:24, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
Interesting, thanks for looking into it :) 09:51, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
The fancy etymology is in theory compatible with others. If the traditional pronunciation of quamquam was a homophone of "quack quack", some reformer could have taken a potshot at it and led to this word becoming the emblem of the pronunciation dispute. I wonder if the primary sources of the time mention anything like that. 4pq1injbok (talk) 09:54, 28 September 2020 (UTC)

idiom: descended from[edit]

To be related to (an ancestor) by genetic descent from an individual or individuals in a previous generation: She claims to be descended from European royalty. --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:09, 22 September 2020 (UTC)

Seems like SOP to me. Ultimateria (talk) 04:56, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
@Ultimateria: an adjective? or rather an auxiliary to form the perfect aspect (as in "He is finished", and "He is gone")? descend is intransitive for this meaning,
to have a specific person or family among one's ancestors (usually followed by from):
He is descended from Cromwell. 

--Backinstadiums (talk) 05:59, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums: I think it's just a verb, as you suggest. We have relevant senses at descend. Ultimateria (talk) 06:03, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Robert Burns's language[edit]

We have a bunch of Robert Burns quotes, like those in Category:Requests for date/Robert Burns, which are all in the English section. Before dating all of them (coz these days I date quotes, it's my hobby...), I was wondering if they'd be better off in a Scots section of the entry. Before tackling them, I'll ask for your advice. --Java Beauty (talk) 12:59, 23 September 2020 (UTC)

Burns wrote in both languages, so you have to look at the whole quote to decide. For example, I'd say the quote at beild is in Scots but the quote at Novemberish is in English. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:16, 23 September 2020 (UTC)

German IPA request[edit]

Can someone add IPA for "uns" Dngweh2s (talk) 18:37, 23 September 2020 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done  --Lambiam 22:19, 23 September 2020 (UTC)

chewie really UK??[edit]

See [33]. What is the process (RFV etc.) if I want to challenge "chewie" being used in the UK (I don't think it is)? Otherwise this will be a revert war. Equinox 02:45, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

I suppose it would be RFV, i.e. request verification that it is used in the UK? FWIW I have not heard it used in the UK, which doesn't prove anything of course, but I'm pretty sure at least that it is not in long-standing widespread use here. Most references that I found seem to be in an Australian context. I also found this, which includes "Picked up some chewie from Tesco on the way home", while I believe there are no Tesco stores in Australia. Again, it doesn't prove anything since the writer could be an Australian living or staying in the UK. Mihia (talk) 10:04, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Guess I'll RFV it then. Mihia, it would be nice if you could reiterate your unfamiliarity with the term at the RFV. Equinox 10:19, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Put something out to tender[edit]

TENDER: (intransitive) followed by for: to make a formal offer or estimate for (a job or contract).

What part of speech are tender and to in put something out to tender ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 06:20, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Intuitively I feel this is the noun. I see that grammatically it could be the verb. Can't offer anything more than native-speaker intuition unfortunately. Anyone else got a plan to prove it one way or the other? Equinox 10:17, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
It looks like "to tender" is the verb and "tender" can be both verb and noun. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:22, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
Sure, but "put sth out to tender" must be one or the other. (Putting cattle out to graze, or out to grass?) Equinox 10:25, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
My intuition is also that "to" is a preposition and "tender" is a noun. Mihia (talk) 22:26, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
I suppose the fact that we can say e.g. "put something out to general tender" would "prove" it. Mihia (talk) 00:59, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
“Put out to open tender”: [34], [35], [36]. So tender is a noun.  --Lambiam 12:50, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
@Lambiam: New regulations force a hospital to put a service out to tender by private sector companies. [37] --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:33, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
How is this relevant? Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden refused Monday to say whether he supports proposals by several prominent Democrats ...[38]  --Lambiam 15:14, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
@Lambiam: But propose is transitive, tender here is intransitive --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:38, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
Actually, the verb to tender is transitive (“to tender one’s resignation”). And proposal is not a verb. “Proposals by” is short for “proposals made by”, or “proposals forwarded by”. Even assuming that the verb tender is intransitive, I do not get what the point is you are making.  --Lambiam 16:09, 25 September 2020 (UTC)


uncountable 3. (grammar, of a noun) That cannot be used freely with numbers or the indefinite article, and therefore usually takes no plural form.

However, with a word such as odds, numbers can indeed be used, despite the fact that odds cannot be counted (an uncountable plural name). Should the current definition therefore be reworded? Furthermore, is the OR in the definition inclusive? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:16, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

I wouldn't classify "odds" as an uncountable noun. For one thing, uncountable nouns take a singular verb, whereas "odds", in normal modern usage, takes a plural verb. Mihia (talk) 22:23, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: Odds is a so-called plurale tantum and is in its main form already plural. So it being uncountable is simply impossible.Jonteemil (talk) 00:02, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

two-weeks' notice[edit]

For me it's uncountable, either two weeks' notice or two-week notice. Yet I just found two-weeks' notice. Is this used of the hyphen grammatical ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:37, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

"two-weeks' notice" seems wrong to me. Mihia (talk) 19:29, 25 September 2020 (UTC)


  1. Directly. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  2. At once; forthwith.

Firstly, does anyone understand what the difference is supposed to be between these two senses?

Secondly, how do people perceive the status of the word "straightway", as used in the broad sense of "at once"? Do we need some kind of label? Our examples are all from old-ish books, and use "straightway" where I would use "straightaway" (or "straight away"). Lexico calls "straightway" an "archaic form of straightaway", and Collins also labels it "archaic". M-W has no label. Ngrams shows a steep decline in usage of "straightway" over C20, then an uptick, but throughout much of the last 100 years the ratio of "straightway" to "straightaway", and even to "straight away", is much higher than I would have expected. Any thoughts anyone? Mihia (talk) 19:29, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

2. a straight stretch of highway
--Backinstadiums (talk) 20:03, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
How is this relevant? Mihia (talk) 20:34, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
Straightway definitely feels odd to me, not part of the current standard. Century has "straightway" and "straightways", neither marked archaic at the time they were writing (a century ago), defined as "immediately, forthwith, without loss of time, without delay".
Perhaps our "directly" sense is intended to describe a spatial or other non-temporal directness? I do find a few hits for google books:"located straightway" in Indian English, and it's possible it existed in other English varieties in the past, unless it's just a typo or misspelling in the Indian books. (I would move it below the "at once" sense, and RFV it unless more citations can be found.) - -sche (discuss) 16:27, 26 September 2020 (UTC)
OK. Added at Wiktionary:Requests_for_verification/English#straightway. Mihia (talk) 16:47, 27 September 2020 (UTC)



Would anyone care to add a bit usage notes regarding its use, both currently and historically. As far as I know it is what African slaves would refer to white people as. It would be intresting to see an elaboration of the currently quite unelaborated entry. Jonteemil (talk) 23:56, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

Slaves could refer in a variety of ways to white people; see e.g. buckra. Do you have references to books or other (permanent) sources that establish the term was used by slaves?  --Lambiam 16:18, 27 September 2020 (UTC)

signed language counterpart of 'listen'[edit]

In spoken language, one person speaks, another listens.
In written language, one person writes, another reads.
In signed language, one person signs, and the other person ... does what? Is there a more specific verb than "watches"? I know you can "read the signs", but do you "read" what a user of signed language is signing, is that the verb for that?
I was thinking about this because we formerly defined interpreter as "One who listens to a speaker in one language and relates that utterance to the audience in a different language." I found a way of broadening the definition to include signed languages that didn't require expanding "listens to a speaker" to "listens or ___ to a speaker or signer", but I'd still like to know what verb would go in that blank. - -sche (discuss) 16:51, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

not a few, quite a little (determiners)[edit]

We have the determiners not a little and quite a few.

Secondly, why not add not little/few or quite little/few? --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:10, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums:, do you have evidence that these are used? And that they have meanings separate from Sum of parts?
The iWeb corpus shows the following counts for the four phrases:
Quite a few 144076
Not a little 5005
Not a few 3607
Quite a little 502
So Quite a little is 300 times less common than quite a few, and it is not clear to me looking at the examples how many of them have the sense of quite a few, i.e. "much more than 'few'". Some of them do, certainly, but not all.
In not a few, you have a stronger case: more than two thirds as many as not a little; and inspection shows that most if not all have the same sense of "much more than few". --ColinFine (talk) 16:06, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
@ColinFine: Source: https://www.wordreference.com/definition/few --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:16, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
@ColinFine: Source2: https://www.wordreference.com/definition/little --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:30, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

town centre[edit]

"The main commercial or business area of a town, containing the principal shops, banks, restaurants and public traffic hub."

Anyone else feel that "public traffic hub" reads somewhat weirdly, and could possibly be intended to say "public transport hub"? Or is "public traffic hub" an actual thing? Mihia (talk) 09:22, 27 September 2020 (UTC)

I don't know how normal it sounds. But I would understand "public transport hub" as one for public transport (buses, trains, etc.), whereas a public traffic hub could just be the place where most public-owned traffic goes (e.g. people's individual cars). Equinox 16:23, 27 September 2020 (UTC)

search it up[edit]

Search up has the label rare. I think it may have become common among younger Internet users. I recall being told by an 11 year old YouTube addict to "search it up." Anybody have observations to add? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 13:32, 27 September 2020 (UTC)

I have always used "look [it] up" to mean "search via an Internet search engine, website, etc." for textual, video, image, etc. sources.
I have never heard "search up", though. I am not sure why numerous people would fuse "search" and "look up" to mean "look up on the Web", when "look up" can be used for that purpose already, and is plenty heard. Tharthan (talk) 14:55, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
I don't understand why we should call search up "nonstandard", as it is now labelled. Perhaps it should be labelled with an antonym of dated. And consult is not a synonym. DCDuring (talk) 16:22, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
My first impression is that "search up" would be an error by a non-native speaker mixing up "search" and "look up". It does not seem standard English to me, though its meaning would be obvious enough in context, I think. However, if kids use it nowadays I probably would not be aware. Mihia (talk) 16:46, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
Having both forms is a common enough pattern in general: wake, wake up, call, call up (on the phone), slice, slice up (an onion). Equinox 16:49, 27 September 2020 (UTC)

a bit of[edit]

a bit of ⇒ rather
a bit of a dope

Secondly unlike with bit, *a little of wine is not grammatical, but this different behavior isn't explained in either entry currently.

[a + ~ + of + uncountable noun] a small quantity of something:
I'd like a bit of wine to go with this.

--Backinstadiums (talk) 19:06, 27 September 2020 (UTC)

"A little of the/that wine" would be okay. Equinox 19:12, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox: A user would never know from reading the current entries --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:19, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox: --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:30, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

Scalding hot vs scolding hot[edit]

I just found out that "scalding hot" is correct, while "scolding hot" is wrong. The Google test shows that both spellings are equally common, so it is a common error. Since I don't know how to correctly add this to Wiktionary I would like if someone could add something about this at the entries scolding, scalding and scalding hot.

I don't know if you do redirects from common misspellings and similar like we used to do at Wikipedia. But in this case it seems unnecessary since when searching for "scolding hot" the Wiktionary search suggests the page "scalding hot".

--Davidgothberg (talk) 18:58, 27 September 2020 (UTC)

If you look at books.google.com/ngrams, which measures use in print materials, the two spellings are not even close to being equally common. I don't think scolding hot is common enough to warrant an entry. —Mahāgaja · talk 19:18, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
I think there are sufficient citable uses for us to include "scolding hot" were it a genuine expression, but whether there are enough for us to bother recognising it as an error/mishearing/misunderstanding I'm not sure. There are also hits for e.g. "scolded my hand" etc., so if we were to include it, perhaps it could be as "Error for scald" at verb "scold". Mihia (talk) 19:42, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
Also, when you search on "scolding hot" using Google, it says "About 994,000 results", but when you click to see the next page of results, that changes to "Page 2 of about 132 results". Chuck Entz (talk) 19:47, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
Yep, that'll be Google's large random number generator™. It worries me that so many people (I don't necessarily mean at Wiktionary) quote these numbers as if they had any value or meaning. Even worse is when people don't put phrases in quotation marks and think that there are a trillion hits for any daft phrase such as big fat pencil or my orange cat. Mihia (talk) 19:59, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
Strangely, you get more genuine hits (1,700 vs. 132) searching Google Books than in the plain search. The new Google Books interface leaves a lot to be desired: it changes double quotes to "&quot;" in the "search within this book" form, and can't find "scolding hot" until you change it to "scolding hot porridge"...
For what it's worth, this is more of an eggcorn than a simple typo, so it may merit more leniency re: the quantity of hits- some may think this is how it's spelled even if they're never seen it in writing. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:29, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
I agree, the Google test is not a very good test. And I didn't bother to double check it since it was not especially important. I just wanted help with adding something like "Scolding: Not to be confused with scalding". Just that I spent almost an hour trying to figure out how that should be written on pages here, but I failed to find any existing examples at other words, or policy documents about it. There probably are some, but I am bad at finding stuff like that. (I am an experienced Wikipedia editor and template programmer, but have very limited experience editing Wiktionary. Though I use Wiktionary a lot and love it!)
Chuck Entz: When I do a Google search for "scolding hot" (and I use quotation marks in my searches to get the actual expression) I get one million hits and all ten result pages are full of hits. I don't get that "Page 2 of about 132 results" that you got. And when I search for the correct "scolding hot" I get less hits (800 thousand hits). So for me it seems the wrong spelling is more common on web pages. And I am not surprised that when searching books the correct spelling is more common, since books usually have better spelling.
--Davidgothberg (talk) 22:38, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
Try paging through to the very end of the visible results. You may see that you get a hugely smaller final "of ~" number, at or before the point when Google stops showing actual results, compared to the initial large random number. For example, at page 11 of "scolding hot" I see "Page 11 of about 107 results", while "scalding hot" gives up at "Page 20 of about 191 results". I still think it is surprising that "scalding hot" would only be a bit less than twice as common as "scolding hot", but as far as the "big number" is concerned, keep in mind that the initial hit count displayed by Google often bears no relation to actual retrievable results, and it is AFAIK unexplained and undocumented as to what it actually means. Until and unless there is reliable information about how these Google numbers are calculated or estimated, I believe we should not use them alone to support arguments about commonness. Recently I have begun to question certain Ngrams numbers too. It would be very disappointing if we also could not rely on those. Mihia (talk) 23:42, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
I always have "Results per page" in my Google settings at the maximum 100. That means my single page is the equivalent of 10 pages at the standard setting. You might have to go to the 13th or 14th page to see the reduced number. Update: I just paged all the way through to the end of the "1,750" Google Books results for "scolding hot" and had only 2 hits on the 4th page, which would mean 302 actual hits, even though that page said "Page 4 of about 1,750 results". Chuck Entz (talk) 01:06, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
The iWeb corpus (from the web, rather than from print) has 991 for "scalding hot" vs. "90" for "scolding hot". --ColinFine (talk) 16:10, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
My feeling is that this mistake is common enough for us to mention at scold at least, which I have now done. Mihia (talk) 19:50, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

oil and water don't mix[edit]

Does this need some labels; like, who uses it, and is it dated? Also, the use of miscegenation in the definition is...dated? (See our usage notes about that word.) - -sche (discuss) 21:50, 27 September 2020 (UTC)

GBS filtered for 19th century shows several examples of the general figurative sense, but none of the putative racial sense. Obviously, opponents of miscegenation (likely the only ones using that term) might use the idiom by way of adminition, just like a person distrustful of investment scams might admonish someone expounding how some business proposal will make them heaps of money by saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.“ That does not mean the idiom has a separate sense meaning “do not engage in get-rich-quick schemes”.  --Lambiam 15:04, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
If the racial sense can't be attested, I'd suggest deleting the entry and hard-redirecting it to oil and water. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:49, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
This has now been RFVed; at that discussion, I noted that "oil" represents the black and "water" the white, which seems to make this more than the generic sense. Equinox 14:50, 29 September 2020 (UTC)


I would like to have opinions on the latin root of de-struire. To my knowledge struire means to build with the prefix de. In dictionaries oftenly destruct is equivalized with ruin. However, de-struct is it not the negation of struire? - As compared to its antithesis like in ruin (?) —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 14:01, 28 September 2020 (UTC).

De-struction is the undoing of con-struction. The Latin prefix de- can have the sense of undoing or depriving, as seen in, e.g., demolior “demolish” (molior, like struo, can mean “build”), deargento “deprive of argentum = money”, deduco “to reduce” (literally, “lead away”), dedolo “make smooth” (by hewing away bumps), dedo “surrender” (i.e., “give away”), decarno “deflesh”, decollo “decapitate”, and so on.  --Lambiam 15:26, 28 September 2020 (UTC)


"Pertaining to a garden patch or truck garden." Really an adjective as opposed to a noun used attributively? I am sceptical. - -sche (discuss) 19:45, 28 September 2020 (UTC)

Agreed that it's an attributive noun in the given citations. Have subsumed into the related noun sense. 4pq1injbok (talk) 10:36, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

boot money[edit]

boot money is defined as "(sports, slang) Bribes paid to rugby or soccer players" and has as one of its two modern quotes "For years, the little tax-free extras or inducements took the form of “boot money” – a few notes left surreptitiously in a player's boot […]". But on lagniappe starts with an 1852 quote "Lefe had been successful, and was supposed to have amassed quite a "pile," which he was very loth indeed to part with; and when he lost, if the money were not absolutely staked, would usually put off the winner with some old horse that he had fixed up for sale, or a dubious note that he had received as "lanyappe," ( (Anglice, boot money.)" Which is a quote about as old as those two sports, and thus almost certainly having a broader meaning originally.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:22, 28 September 2020 (UTC)

I found this term in Jonathon Green's Newspeak (a slang dictionary from 1984), which also made the sports connection; however, that dictionary is a bit idiosyncratic and I did spot a few errors and oddities in it. Equinox 13:48, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

square up, sense 4[edit]

This is gibberish to me: "to face (someone) for arrangement of the relation"...? What does it mean? The citation is a rap song which I'm also too old and uncool to understand. Equinox 14:38, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

  • You and me both - remove the (non)sense. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:40, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
  • I read it as a sense of square (to resolve or reconcile) which has square up as an example. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:03, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
If it were reworded as "to confront (someone) to repair(?) one's relationship with that person", it would make sense, though we should be able to find better wording than mine. DCDuring (talk) 01:05, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, the meaning is something along the lines of what DCDuring says. I'm not sure, without lookng at it more closely, whether it's better to handle this at square up or square. IMO, phrasal verbs like this which have additional senses that are just "[main verb] + [other particle]" should use {{&lit}} so users realize that and check the main verb pages. - -sche (discuss) 04:34, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

concrete interface[edit]

Defined as "an interface that extends another" (in OO programming). I don't think this will cut it, since you can actually derive an abstract interface from another abstract interface, can't you? Actually aren't all interfaces abstract? You make a concrete class by implementing the interface. (Also, the citation seems to be calling out the term as SoP by putting a comparative on the adjectives: "The more concrete interface extends the more abstract interface." Thoughts? Equinox 14:57, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

I think this belongs at concrete (particular, specific, rather than general). Vox Sciurorum (talk) 18:15, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Yeah. I don't even think a "concrete interface" is a thing. It's like dry water or cold heat. Equinox 03:34, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

-ee as an ethnic slur[edit]

Ety 3 is labelled an "ethnic slur", but that seems odd to me: I would take "ethnic slur" to mean an insulting term that denotes (a member of) an ethnic group, whereas this seems to be a term used to (racistly) mock speakers from various ethnic groups, but doesn't mean "a Chinese person". (OTOH, google:"slur him as" finds people referring to e.g. adjectives as slurs, like "slur him as unpatriotic".) Most of the entries in Category:English ethnic slurs are terms denoting [a member of] an ethnic group, but there are a few others like bud-bud-ding-ding. Is this OK, or should these be relabelled somehow, perhaps as "derogatory" + Category:en:Racism? - -sche (discuss) 17:38, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Related to Wiktionary:Tea_room/2019/February#heap_big, about the use of heap big to imitate or mock American Indian speech. The majority opinion (2-1) said that sort of deliberately wrong construct isn't for a dictionary. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:48, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
The suffix itself isn't an ethnic slur, but it's used to form pejorative terms. Before I looked at the entry, though, I was expecting the suffix in question to be the one found in terms like Portugee, which is derogatory but etymologically nothing more than a back-formation from Portuguese taken to be a plural noun Portugees. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:51, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
To Vox's point, I think an unspaced word like likee, and especially the suffix -ee such words use, has more claim to belonging in a dictionary than a collocation like heap + big. We do have a sense at heap to cover its use in such collocations ("heap big", "heap good", etc). - -sche (discuss) 18:23, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
(I created this.) I suppose it's not in itself an "entire slur" (!) but it can only be used in a rather belittling way against people of certain races. So at least there should be a usage note or something. Equinox 18:12, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
As you suggest with bud-bud-ding-ding we could possibly come up with a new category for these, like "ethnically pejorative" (catchy!). I mean, it's a bit like putting julienne into a food category: it's not a food, but it is strongly related to the topic. It depends whether you are trying to collect a set of terms (of any part of speech) related to a certain thing, or a set of nouns (or hyponyms) designating a certain type of thing. Equinox 18:14, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
I feel like -ee³ doesn't need a usage note; the definition itself makes it clear that it's used in a disparaging way. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:18, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, I think the context labels and non-gloss definition elements (as in bud-bud-ding-ding, which I just revised) can be expanded to convey what needs to be conveyed. But should they be categorized into, or nah? - -sche (discuss) 18:30, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Also in Category:English ethnic slurs: Judeo-Bolshevik, Judeo-Bolshevist, Serbo-Bolshevik, Serbo-Communist. Are these really ethnic slurs, per se? - -sche (discuss) 18:41, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
My instinct is no. I see the insult as rooted in ideology with ethnicity being almost incidental, maybe. Ultimateria (talk) 00:25, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
Ethnicity is clearly not incidental in either of those. Identifying the Bolshevists as Jews and Communism as a Jewish ideology has long been part of antisemitism's talking points. I'm not familiar with Yugoslavian politics, but Serbo-Communism says "Yugoslavian socialism when viewed as a Serb political ideology", which given what I know about that part of the world, sounds like an ethnic attack, blaming all the problems of the former Yugoslavia on Serbs.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:16, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

adjectives and other words derived from ethnic slurs[edit]

Do we want adjectives derived from ethnic slurs to themselves be categorized as ethnic slurs? For example, niggeresque currently is, while Jappy and coonish are not (and indeed, currently do little to indicate whether they are offensive at all). - -sche (discuss) 19:02, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Do we want other words that contain ethnic slurs to be categorized as being themselves ethnic slurs, like nigger killer (which I just uncategorized, because, no, IMO) and niggerize, Niggertown, and niggerology? - -sche (discuss) 18:58, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
If I couldn't get service station in Russian, why is that two-word sum of parts term here? -- Dentonius (talk) 04:30, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
-sche, before you go all-out in changing these categorisations, it seems to me that the slur is in the intent and the usage, and that's the useful content of the tagging. (Imagine an English-learner looking up a word they heard in a film, and seeing "oh, that's racist, I didn't know.") I don't see much benefit in dropping "slur" just because it's not actually a noun phrase...? Equinox 20:28, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
We should mark them offensive if they are. A few months back I added a bunch of South African words derived from kaffir or kaffer and marked them as at least potentially offensive due to etymology rather than meaning. Personally I don't find slur a useful label. Derogatory describes the speaker's intent and offensive describes the listener's likely reaction. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 20:37, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Basically there are words that are unambiguously deliberately intended to be offensive or derogatory (like "she-male") and words that might offend but may not be intended that way (like using the pronoun "he" for a transwoman). There are always the shades of grey. Writing about "niggers" in the 1800s was probably a socially acceptable way to refer to black people but certainly would not fly now. I suppose in an ideal world with unlimited resources and citations we could mark the offensiveness with a series of dates, just like we mark some old senses of popular words with tags like "18th century". Equinox 20:42, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
-sche, you also removed the ethnic slur tag from "you can take the monkey out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of the monkey" (among others): I think this is not the best idea, because again our theoretical foreigner who just learned the phrase from a film will now not realise that it's a racist phrase. I suppose ideal solution would be to mark the n-word in some way with "this is a racist word" and therefore the system would know that any phrase using that word carries the same connotation. (And I know that's not great because of ingroup reclaiming etc. But it's a thought.) Equinox 20:45, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
From a purely semantic or machine-driven point of view: there are senses of monkey that are not racist (e.g. the animal) and senses that are racist (e.g. a black person). In a derived phrase using the word, how can we tell? By comparison: there are words that have both normal and slang senses (e.g. "puff" can be a breath of air, but it's also Cockney slang for a person's life). A derived term that uses the slang sense will itself be slang, obviously, since it's got a slang word in it, but we have got no way to indicate that. We almost want to "inherit" the slang, or racist, etc. gloss from the parent word, but we have got no mechanism to do so. That is why we need to repeat the gloss on the derived phrase. Equinox 20:49, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
I mean, I replaced "ethnic slur" on that phrase with "offensive, derogatory"; it's not as if it's unmarked. But, I did stop editing and bring this topic here to await others' views once I realized how many entries, especially dozens of derivatives of nigger, were currently categorized this way. Maybe we should use "racist" as a label, or we do already have "white supremacist ideology" as a label? We could perhaps have a templatized usage note advising something along the lines of "[relevant word foobar, inserted by parameter] is offensive, including in derivations like this, see foobar#Usage notes"? I'm just spitballing at the moment. - -sche (discuss) 23:41, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
"Racist" is a better gloss than "white supremacist", lest we succumb to the fashionable idea that only whites can be racist. But "ethnic slur" seemed fine to me... Equinox 03:05, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
  • The various categories at Wiktionary containing offensive words have been proposed to be used to eliminate such words from appearance in search auto-completion lists. Weigh in at Phabricator. If the list might be so used we need to be particularly careful about the label and especially the categorization. DCDuring (talk) 01:16, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

You all are hilarious. Anything which would get you a beat-down in real life is offensive. You wouldn't dream of saying these things face to face to the ethnic groups mentioned. Or maybe if you did and got away with it in real life, you were lucky. So clearly they're offensive. Tag all offensive words and their derivatives as such and hide from autocomplete in the search. Seriously, ridiculous ... -- Dentonius (talk) 04:15, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

TBH I remember a schizophrenic guy who cut his daughter apart because she was wearing a hat and he thought she was a witch. So "you will get a beat-down" isn't the greatest measure of anything. Equinox 04:19, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
A dose of empathy will answer most of these questions. -- Dentonius (talk) 04:25, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
You appear to have misunderstood; this is no proposal to stop labelling the words as offensive or derogatory. This is a question about whether a word which doesn't mean "a member of [such-and-such ethnic group]" can properly be considered an "ethnic slur", or only a word which is offensive and derogatory; perhaps all these things are still ethnic slurs, although "you'd get beat if you said them" isn't why. - -sche (discuss) 04:31, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

embarras de richesses[edit]

An overabundance of desirable things that makes choice among them difficult 

--Backinstadiums (talk) 14:28, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

Do you know that the expression is actually used in French, @Backinstadiums:? Accepted that the English embarrassment of riches comes from the French expression, but the French expression is there explained as the title of a play. The French translation given in that item is embarras du choix. --ColinFine (talk) 16:17, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
@ColinFine: source: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/embarras-de-richesses --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:22, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

play the field[edit]

The 4 definitions here could easily, and probably should, be merged into one. --Daleusher (talk) 14:50, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

I agree that four definitions is making too much of a meal of it. Mihia (talk) 22:04, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

Donald: a dispute[edit]

I am not explaining the context in details here as it is very clear from the page history. But the pith of the matter is: In our entries for surnames, the names of famous/infamous people are included as definitions. That is why, we have this list of derived terms in the entry Trump. However a similar list of derived terms and descendants should not be in the entry Donald, inasmuch as, in literature, famous/infamous people are referred to by their surnames, but are they by their given names? Obviously not, and in this case “Donald” can refer to any Tom, Dick or Harry. Thoughts? inqilābī [ inqilāb zindabād ] 16:47, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

Who has this name and how they are referred to is not relevant. The terms are derived from Donald. J3133 (talk) 17:21, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
@Inqilābī, you're making a strawman argument. donaldtrumpi a compound of both Donald and Trump, and, as such, belongs on both pages as derivatives. --{{victar|talk}} 18:06, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
@J3133, Victar: I beg to differ, but I think there's some misconception here. Actually, such terms as Donald Trumpesque, Donald Trumpian, Donald Trumpish & donaldtrumpi— to be fair —are derivatives of neither Donald nor Trump (which are lemmas) but of Donald Trump (which is not any lemma but the name of an individual). Since we as a dictionary do not keep entries for full names, as well as the fact that the entry Trump defines Donald Trump as one of its definitions, only this entry, and not Donald, is the correct place in which to keep the aforesaid derivatives. I hope you got my point. inqilābī [ inqilāb zindabād ] 19:41, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
If it's got the indivisible unit Donald in it, then it belongs in the entry. We don't throw the usual rules out the window because a certain Donald seems to monopolise lexical formations from the name. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:02, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
Logically, I don't see why we should include the person under Trump yet not have an entry Donald Trump. If an individual person is includable (by virtue of importance, I suppose?), then why would they not be includable under their full name? Mihia (talk) 20:01, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
Because of a little thing called WT:CFI. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:02, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
Where does it say that? Mihia (talk) 20:41, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
WT:NSE. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:34, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
I have to mull this over a bit more, but I can say now that I disagree with the principle that a term can be considered a derived term of any “indivisible unit” it contains. For example, the phrase as tight as Dick's hatband is listed as a derived term at the entry for Dick's hatband, which is fine. But I should oppose it being listed as a derived term of as, even though this word occurs (twice even) as an indivisible unit. Also, I feel it is incorrect to list Donald Trump as derived from the term Donald. Note that we also do not list John Hancock as derived from the given name John or the family name Hancock, nor should we. So is there an argument for including derived terms of Donald Trump as being derived from Donald when the obvious stepping stone is not?  --Lambiam 22:25, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
I didn't say any indivisible unit. I would generally support linking from ones that contribute to the semantics, rather than the grammar: in your example, tight and Dick's hatband should link to as tight as Dick's hatband. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:34, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

get to[edit]

At get to, all entries are presently in the same section under the heading "Verb", and yet there are two grammatically different types of usage, as exemplified by "I’ll call you when I get to the railway station", where "to" is a preposition, and "I get to clean the toilets today", where "to" is an infinitive marker. Are we justified in putting these within the same section, and, if not, how could we differentiate them? Mihia (talk)

Actually, this is complicated further by the overlap with definitions at get. Mihia (talk) 20:40, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
Get sense 16 ("to be able, permitted") is redundant with get to sense 3 ("to have an opportunity to or be allowed to"). I think get is the better place for the definition; the infinitive functions like a noun. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 20:43, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
I think you're right. E.g. "get to clean" is not really "get to" + "clean". Mihia (talk) 20:47, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

Senses of own[edit]

Own has two senses that seem identical: "To defeat or embarrass; to overwhelm" and "To defeat, dominate, or be above". Is there any meaningful difference between them? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 19:58, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

A as filler word[edit]

A etymologies 6 and 11 appear the same to me based on the examples given. Etymology 6 is defined as "A meaningless syllable: ah." with example "I love to sing-a / About the moon-a and the June-a and the Spring-a." Etymology 11 is defined as "Alternative form of -a (“empty syllable added to songs, poetry, verse and other speech”)" with example "I show a you right a here I can fuck a you." I think the uses are the same in meaning. A etymology 11 is from -a etymology 6, which has no further etymology given. So the senses of a are not necessarily distinct in etymology either. Unless there is a way to distinguish the senses of a I think they should be merged. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 20:40, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

honestly i just think its a mistake, so i deleted sense 6, which was not hyphenated. this makes 11 the new 10. thanks, Soap 01:52, 1 October 2020 (UTC)


I can't find the definition for the English word vorlages in any dictionary I can access and the page doesn't include any citations. Can anyone find a source? I have find other definitions for the singular and I'll make a page for that. Thanks! 2WR1 (talk) 00:29, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

The entry has 4 citations. What else do you want? This word seems to have been a very temporary fad from the 1960s and is unlikely to appear in a published dictionary. DTLHS (talk) 00:36, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

October 2020

Is nut gendered?[edit]

Noun sense 13 reads: "(vulgar, slang, countable) Orgasm (male), ejaculation, release of semen". Megan Thee Stallion, "Girls in the Hood" has the line: "I ain't lyin' 'bout my nut just to make a nigga happy". (The artist is female.) Is this a one-off, or is it just usually male and the definition should be changed? grendel|khan 02:31, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

I'd be open to further evidence, but those lyrics are explicitly playing with gendered language, as a woman's response to the 1987 song "Boyz-n-the-Hood". Ideally, you'd want use (even use that doesn't meet CFI) in a natural conversational context, rather than a song with gender as a theme. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:57, 1 October 2020 (UTC)
Rap lyrics are pretty good for slang use, aren't they? (Hard to decipher sometimes, but I can point to these: [39] [40]) I can point to sources that don't meet criteria ([41] [42] [43]); are you thinking maybe more lyrics, or transcripts of TV shows or movies? This probably also broadens verb sense 3, "(slang, mildly vulgar) To ejaculate."; see [44] [45] [46]. grendel|khan 05:54, 1 October 2020 (UTC)


How best to add this info?

(postpositive) followed by to: found in connection (with); related (to)
(postpositive) followed by upon: caused (by)
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publisher

--Backinstadiums (talk) 05:26, 1 October 2020 (UTC)


Why does this entry have a translation table that is separate from while? Couldn't they just be merged seeing whilst is little more than an alternative form for while? — surjection??⟩ 07:23, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

Probably, yes. You could create a trans-see if you want, and migrate any leftover translates to while. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:34, 1 October 2020 (UTC)