Wiktionary:Tea room

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Wiktionary > Discussion rooms > Tea room

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

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

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

Tea room archives edit

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

Oldest tagged RFTs


August 2016

defleaed - or deflead?[edit]

I get a lot of hits on Google for deflead, more than for defleaed, so can it be regarded as an alternative or a misspelling? DonnanZ (talk) 17:52, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

I don't get any for deflead at Google N-grams. DCDuring TALK 17:59, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Make sure that each term is in quotes so Google doesn't "correct" you when you do this kind of search (exact spelling/form).
I get more pages at Google Books for defleaed (8) than for deflead (3). That would suggest that deflead might be an alternative valid spelling, but it would be necessary to examine the citations one by one. DCDuring TALK 18:05, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm trying to think of other English verbs that end in "a", there can't be many. But on reflection, deflead looks wrong anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 18:16, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
English verbs that end in -a. --WikiTiki89 18:20, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
[EDIT CONFLICT] I see way more than 3 for deflead, but I used "deflea'd" in the Search Engine. Notwithstanding, none of the returns I saw contained the apostrophe. There was one as "de-flead" (on the actual book page) Leasnam (talk) 18:23, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Some of those search terms don't qualify, like put to sea, but subpoena is given a hyphenated alternative here [1]. DonnanZ (talk) 18:29, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
You mean "apostrophe'd"? --WikiTiki89 19:01, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Oops, yes. DonnanZ (talk) 19:06, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
The Oxford Guide to Style (2002) says: “Formerly ’d was added in place of -ed to nouns and verbs ending in a pronounced vowel sound: concertina’d one-idea’d dado’d mustachio’d ski’d ¶ This practice is now rare in British English, rarer still in US English, as the apostrophe’d result looks odder to a modern eye than the juxtaposition of vowels without it: subpoenaed shampooed hennaed shanghaied skied” Note that they ironically use the spelling apostrophe’d themselves, but perhaps that is a different case because the vowel happens to be e. --WikiTiki89 19:20, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Deflea must be an exception though, coming from the noun flea, which has the same pronunciation as the verb flee, and the past of that is fled. Hmm. DonnanZ (talk) 20:52, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

country of origin[edit]

Some sense overlap and problems here. In particular, if it means "the country indicated on a label as being the country in which the goods were made", then the usage example "It says Made in Mexico. I wonder if that is the real country of origin" is nonsensical; it would mean someone is wondering about the label, which they can already see. Equinox 20:17, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

I feel like all the senses are SOP. --WikiTiki89 20:20, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
It's a lot like the many other words, phrases, and slogans that advertisers use that promise more to consumers than what the advertising regulators would hold the advertisers to. There is something lexical involved, bit it is more like word use in poetry than something we can readily deal with. DCDuring TALK 20:51, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

deidolize: why was it deleted?[edit]

I added it today, and it was deleted as a creative invention. The verb has been mentioned in printed sources at least 30 times, dating back to at least 1890. So why is it a creative invention? 06:37, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

I can't answer your question. I have restored it. DCDuring TALK 11:01, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
idealize and idolize don't mean the same thing though; i have fixed the definition. It also seems more common as de-idolize. Keith the Koala (talk) 11:15, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

wrong pronunciation (platypus)[edit]

The two audio samples do not match the corresponding IPA representations. --Anareth (talk) 09:48, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

I moved the American English sample beside the American English IPA. The other audio is Australian, so I'll leave another person who is more accustomed to Australian English to sort it out. Hillcrest98 (talk) 14:54, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

Doddle Etymology[edit]

It has always been my understanding that doddle is an English corruption of the Scots dialect "dawdle" as in "beating the English at curling is usually a dawdle". Or "thrashing the Scots at football is always a doddle".

traductor (Romanian entry)[edit]

I've stumbled upon a term that I'm having a hard time translating. The closest I've come to an accurate translation is transmitter, but I still feel that it's not as precise as it should be. Basically, Romanian Wiktionary (here) and DEX (here) – N.B. in Romanian – say that the definition of traductor is:

  • Device, technical system which establishes a correspondence between the measured values of a specific system and the characteristic values of another system – used in technology, electricity and telecommunication; (specifically) a device used in telegraphy to translate received electrical signal combinations into corresponding typographical characters.

Transponder, transducer and transductor all spring to mind, but I'm not that versed when it comes to technological terms. Does anyone have any ideas? Much obliged! --Robbie SWE (talk) 18:16, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

decoder? DTLHS (talk) 18:27, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, we kind of already have decodor in Romanian which is somewhat of a perfect fit. But thanks though! --Robbie SWE (talk) 20:23, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
I think it's a demodulator. Equinox 00:56, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
After reading a definition it does sound right, however, we have demodulator in Romanian too. --Robbie SWE (talk) 09:14, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
translator, perhaps? In another Romance language, French, un traduction is a translation, from the verb traduire. yoyo (talk) 15:23, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Here are the common English translations of Romanian traductor: translator, transcriber, detector, pick-up, transducer, transmitter, probe, gauge, sensing device, sensor. —Stephen (Talk) 15:52, 22 August 2016 (UTC)


Having five senses seems like overkill. Can we merge some of them? Also, it has been observed that this word is mainly used today to describe food, e.g. a sinful chocolate dessert. Equinox 00:35, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

I think 5 and 3 can be merged On second thought, I think 3 can be removed (?) does it ever mean "relating to sin" ? (e.g. one speaks of a "sin issue" not a "sinful issue") Then 4 & 5 can be grouped. Thoughts ? Leasnam (talk) 00:38, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree with removing 3 and merging 4 and 5. But 1 and 2 also look as though they could be merged with 4 and 5; the only apparent difference is that some kinds of sin are prescribed by religion and some are not. I think two senses might cover it. Equinox 00:44, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
Sounds good to me Leasnam (talk) 00:48, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree that this entry is repetitious. I don't really agree that the word is now mainly used to describe food. 02:28, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
How's this? - -sche (discuss) 02:44, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
lovely jubbly. Equinox 02:51, 3 August 2016 (UTC)


I have always pronounced the "g" in this word like "get". Is this wrong, or an Australian English variation? ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:15, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

To me it's a French word, like naive or café, and I pronounce it accordingly (having learned French at school, which might not be common or useful in Australia). My Chambers Dictionary (UK) does not allow a hard /g/. I've never heard anyone say it that way, but it's not a commonly spoken word. Equinox 03:17, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
I too have never heard it with a hard g. Other French words, like cognac, yes, but only humorously Leasnam (talk) 03:24, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
I've always pronounced it /pɔɪg.nənt/, even after learning French, and I'm fairly certain I've heard it pronounced that way more often than the standard pronunciation (I live in western Canada). That being said, I don't think I've heard it spoken very often. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:51, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
I have never heard it pronounced with a "g" like "get", and to me such a pronunciation sounds very wrong. 11:01, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
The American Heritage Dictionary, Dictionary.com's Random House Dictionary, the British and American Cambridge.org dictionaries, the British and American MacMillans, and oxforddictionaries.com's British dictionary have only /ˈpɔɪn.jənt/.
Collins English Dictionary (both on its own site, and when listed as Dictionary.com's 'British Dictionary') and oxforddictionaries.com's American dictionary give /ˈpɔɪ.nənt/ as an alternative (to /ˈpɔɪn.jənt/).
The 1914 Century Dictionary has only /ˈpɔɪ.nənt/ (in their system: poi'na̤nt, as compared to cogman kog'ma̤n, cognac kõ'nyak). On the other hand, Robert Nares' 1784 Elements of Orthoepy spells out that the 'g' is silent and an 'i' is introduced after the 'n', in imitation of the French pronunciation; intriguingly, he also says 'g' is pronounced (in his time) in diaphragm and paradigm, in contrast to phlegm where it is silent. (The 1886 Encyclopaedic Dictionary just says "g [is] silent".)
Merriam-Webster gives /ˈpɔɪn.jənt/ but says it can also "sometimes" be /ˈpɔɪ(ɡ).nənt/, but I've never heard it with a /ɡ/.
- -sche (discuss) 22:14, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
Since we have an Australian, a Canadian, and an American dictionary all saying they've heard /ɡ/, but no other dictionary lists it, I'd speculate that it might be a spelling pronunciation rather than a regional one. According to various websites, Laura Bush and Michelle Bachmann (who famously also mispronounce other words) pronounce the "g". - -sche (discuss) 22:27, 3 August 2016 (UTC)


There seems to be a noun sense of the Latin missus which we are missing from our entry;

A Frankish army, under the command of a reliable missus called Winigis, had been sent to Italy as a relief force to aid these Lombard rulers...
—Hywell Williams, Emperor of the West

However, I am not the right person to be adding a Latin entry. SpinningSpark 11:16, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

missus ‎(envoy). Late or Medieval Latin? DCDuring TALK 12:52, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
This made me wonder, at which point does substantivized usage of an adjective/participle warrant its own separate noun header? — Kleio (t · c) 09:39, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

"Privation" reverted, the reasoning?[edit]

I am concerned that I might have a big 'Revert This Guy's Edits' sign on my backside, as every edit I have made, regardless of my state of sobriety, lucidity, or self-apparent sanity whilst editing these entries seems to make any difference, and I cannot yet ascertain the reasons.

This last edit, on the entry for "privation" is of particular interest, as I followed the prevailing research (Bowlby, 1968) referred to the area of knowledge properly (I believe) and even tidied things up a bit, managing to include a link to the Wikipedia article on the same subject at the last minute just to be thorough.

So, may I have an explanation, please for the reversion?

Regards, RobbertMacGreighgor (talk) 14:46, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

I'd say the main reason is that the definitions you gave are too longwinded and include irrelevant details. A definition's job isn't to describe the referent in too much detail, but to give just the minimum of information to make it clear to the reader what the word refers to. —CodeCat 14:50, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree that the definition in question was unncessarily lenghty, but a good definition might give a little more than "just the minimum of information to make it clear [...] what the word refers to". Methinks. And I think rather often our definitions are like that: they make it clear what the word refers to when I come across it in a text, but they don't enable me to use it correctly on my own. Kolmiel (talk) 20:10, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
Real-world citations are probably better for illustrating how a word is used. Equinox 20:13, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
So, I can handle being considered 'windy', though I have a hard time coping with conflict between me and specific editors. Since the definition as it stands now is incorrect, and ought to be corrected to include what I wrote albeit less wordily, might someone help me be less wordy rather than perfunctorily reverting my edits and simultaneously neglecting to really give enough information about the revert so as to facilitate me, as a n00b actually getting an edit under my belt?

RobbertMacGreighgor (talk) 05:47, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

I can't really see anything you added that improves the meaning of the entry rather than just making it sound more elaborate. We don't need to specify that "necessities of life" include foodstuffs and shelter. We don't need to mention "the Universe" (where else would privation be happening?). We don't need a frankly incomprehensible grammatical chain like "being induced in an individual via a lack of existence of a means by which...". Please don't take it personally but the entry seems fine already. Equinox 09:46, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

, , ∃!, [edit]

These are translingual symbols that have the same meaning in all languages. The language-specific sections just repeat the translingual meaning, but give one possible textual expansion (there is not necessarily just one). Consider that +, -, * and / have no language-specific mathematical definitions either. I think the language-specific sections should be removed unless a clearer use for them can be found. —CodeCat 18:39, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

Deleted them all. Just like the pages for Arabic numerals: don't need to add every language's word for the number (unless they are used in a non-numerical sense, e.g. texting) since 2 to mean two, etc. is pretty universal among languages. Relegate definitions to the spelled-out forms instead. Hillcrest98 (talk) 03:46, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
They have the same meaning in all languages, but obviously not the same name or "pronunciation". Should the names/pronunciations in other languages be listed in English Wiktionary (like "translations", I suppose), or is it intended that English speakers who want to know how to say the symbol in another language should go to the Wiktionary of that language?
I would dispute that ∀ has a pronunciation. It represents another word or words ("for all"), which have pronunciations. We do not, for example, list a pronunciation at 3, but we do at three. Equinox 01:21, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Since these symbols represent ideas, it may be "translated" or "pronounced" in various different ways. For example, for ∃, er is ‎(there is) or er bestaat ‎(there exists) would be equally valid. And even for simple multiplication we have, in English, times and multiplied by. —CodeCat 01:40, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
I think the underlying point here is that ∀ and friends belong to a different language (the "language of mathematics", or logic), in the same way that (say) #ifdef DEBUG belongs to the programming language C, and the only reason that these things are translingual (or have "the same meaning in all languages", as IP says) is that all of those languages have speakers who are familiar with mathematical (or programming) notation. To suggest that ∀ is English, or Bulgarian, or whatever, is rather absurd. Equinox 01:46, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Nevertheless, when reading out a formula, there is a conventional way (or ways) to pronounce it in a given language, such as "for all" in English. I think it is legitimate for Wiktionary to record these. The now-deleted per-language sections had the advantage of giving the opportunity for doing that, albeit in a very space-consuming way. The question, I think, is whether the now-deleted "voor alle", "para todo" and so forth belong anywhere on the page in English Wiktionary.
There should be a link to access the spelled-out English form in the Translingual section, and all translations (voor alle, para todo, etc.) would be listed at the spelled-out English form. e.g. 3 and three. Hillcrest98 (talk) 15:18, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

moisturising cream v. moisturizer[edit]

I've noticed that the translation table at moisturizer has a redirect to moisturising cream.

But not all moisturizers are creams. In particular, aloe vera is a gel. So I had a look at the Wikipedia article and it seems to oppose "cream" and other words including "oil" with other words such as "emollient", "humectant", "lotion", "lubricant", and "ointment".

So it seems to me that "moisturising cream" is actually SOP and might not even warrant a full entry of its own.

But even if it does qualify for an entry it is not a cover term for all types of moisturizer.

We could just remove the redirect. We could reverse the redirect. Or we could instead have a redirect with one or both of those with emollient.

But as emollient is a technical term and I'm not that familiar with it, I suspect it also does not cover every kind of moisturizer. In particular, from the Wikipedia article, especially the other technical term humectant seems opposed to it.

My conclusion is that we should remove the redirect and just allow translations under the most generic term moisturizer and the more specific non-technical term moisturising cream and the more specific technical term emollient.

Separately, we should also debate whether moisturising cream is overly SOP to even have an entry.

Please discuss. —This unsigned comment was added by Hippietrail (talkcontribs) at 00:03, 5 August 2016‎ (UTC). DCDuring TALK 10:52, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

  • It would be nice to know who wrote the above. DonnanZ (talk) 10:19, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
    Did I forget to sign it? Sorry about that. I've got a bit of jetlag and an annoying headcold cold I caught just before flying to the tropical heat. — hippietrail (talk) 13:19, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

On whether moisturising cream is SOP[edit]

Moisturizers are mainly either creams (fatty or oily) or lotions, much less oily, though I think there is a grade or possibilities between the typical creams and typical lotions. No English OneLook dictionary has moisturising cream or moisturizing cream as an entry. DCDuring TALK 18:07, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
I remember hearing it first decades ago in commercials for Dove soap, touting their content of "one-quarter moisturizing cream". This may just be one of those meaningless advertising phrases that have seeped into our vocabulary through constant exposure. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:24, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
I created these entries. The term "moisturising cream" definitely exists; reading off a packet belonging to my stepdaughter; "Olay essentials" "light moisturising cream + touch of foundation" ..."it moisturises, perfects and protects skin"... ..."24 hours moisturisation for long-lasting hydration"... . I don't think it's SoP, it's only intended for the skin. Oxford says for moisturiser / moisturizer "a cosmetic preparation used to prevent dryness in the skin" [2]. DonnanZ (talk) 18:51, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
There are moisturizing gels. There are body moisturizing creams, lotions, and gels, skin moisturizing creams, lotions, and gels, and facial moisturizing creams, lotions, and gels, and hand moisturizing creams, lotions, and gels. These all seem perfectly SoP to me. DCDuring TALK 19:18, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, and shaving cream, shaving foam, and shaving gel, different products for the same job with different consistencies. DonnanZ (talk) 19:56, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
  • As an aside to this, there is also Olay beauty fluid, as described on the bottle, but I think the name may be more of an advertising gimmick and not generally used, unlike moisturising cream. DonnanZ (talk) 06:24, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

On whether the translation table at moisturizer should redirect to that at moisturising cream[edit]

I separated the two topics into independent sections. Obviously the other issue is more subtle and needs discussion. But I feel this one is more straightforward and should go ahead. — hippietrail (talk) 02:59, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

IMO, no. Not all moisturizers are moisturizing creams. They can also be lotions, gels, treatments, fluids, and who knows what else. DCDuring TALK 03:09, 10 August 2016 (UTC)


This verb and its derivatives are listed as class 1 strong verbs, but I'm not sure that's the case: it ends in -de, Proto-Germanic and ON both have it as class 1 weak, and the vowel change in the past is from ON umlaut (it's a *-janą causative) and not ablaut. KarikaSlayer (talk) 14:13, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

Even if it were strong, it would certainly not be class 1. —CodeCat 14:29, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
Also like this are vælge and gøre, both also from weak class 1 -janą verbs. KarikaSlayer (talk) 14:39, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
It's hard to distinguish between strong and irregular verbs sometimes, but I think it's due to the vowel change from "æ" to "a". See also legge in Bokmål. DonnanZ (talk) 16:12, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
It's actually pretty easy: a verb with a dental suffix in the past is weak, regardless of anything else. Compare tell vs told. The phenomenon in question here is Rückumlaut and it's limited to class 1 weak verbs. —CodeCat 16:16, 5 August 2016 (UTC)


We current say this is "US slang", but that it is not really accurate for two reasons: (1) it can be found outside of the US, and (2) it is not used everywhere in the US. It is used by English-speaking Ashkenazi Jews basically everywhere, and also by non-Jews in heavily Jewish-populated areas, such as (but not limited to) New York. This is common with many Yiddish words and phrases. How can we accurately and concisely give fit this into a label? --WikiTiki89 14:53, 5 August 2016 (UTC)


Any Spanish speakers? I've just added a new entry for the English word Corbynista, but now I see that there was already an entry for corbynista, said to be a Spanish word, defined merely as "Corbynista" (which would not have existed in Wiktionary at the time last year when corbynista was created). The example sentence at corbynista seems to be something to do with political theory. Is the Spanish "corbynista" the same word as my English "Corbynista" or not? Should there be a Spanish section at Corbynista? 00:36, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

The Spanish sentence means something like: "For a Corbynista, a society with equal opportunities cannot be achieved through market mechanisms if there is a public alternative" (Google Translate). It's the same thing, but Spanish doesn't spell such words with a capital letter, so it should stay where it is. We distinguish entries by capitals; compare e.g. gift (a present) and Gift (German for "poison"). Equinox 00:42, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
OK, thanks. If it's the same meaning but the Spanish don't capitalise it then everything seems to be in order, as you say.


Should we have a suffix entry for -shed? See the derived terms at watershed. DTLHS (talk) 01:11, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

I think it is probably appropriate. Like -gate (which funnily enough also started with water on it), it now seems to be used without thinking too much about the original term. We do have senses at shed for "a distinction or dividing-line" and "an area of land as distinguished from those around it", but they are obsolete and probably poorly known. Equinox 01:19, 6 August 2016 (UTC)


An Arabic entry created and edited completely by a bot, which I came about upon the Random entry button. Something about this just doesn't seem right to me; it just gives me a feeling like it needs to be cleaned up. The reason is that the verb L4 is used 12 times in the entry. I understand these seem to be different forms inside even their own etymology. But any users who participate in Arabic editing, could I please know why this is? I'm sure there are other entries similar to this. Is it right or not and how should it be modified if it isn't? Philmonte101 (talk) 02:33, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

I believe it's a result of Arabic not usually marking vowels. Look closely at the transliterations under each section. —suzukaze (tc) 02:42, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Right. The word تدرس can be transliterated "tdrs" (no written vowels, since Arabic usually does not write short vowels). But each of the twelve forms has different diacritics (the diacritics indicate vowels and any doubling of consonants, but, as in Latin, the diacritics are normally not written), so they are pronounced differently. Also, they link to two different verbs (one is "drs" and the other is "drrs"). It looks fine to me. If you copy one of the twelve forms, such as تَدْرُسَ, then go to درس and search the conjugation table for it, you will see the instances of it along with the English transliteration. —Stephen (Talk) 02:57, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Alright thanks. Then I think we can drop this now, there's nothing to discuss here. I was just concerned about the repeating of L4s, which you don't see often here, so I wanted to bring it up to people who were more knowledgable about the language than me (who has close to no knowledge of Arabic at all atm). Philmonte101 (talk) 03:01, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Hi. It was my bot that did this. It was not completely clear to me what goes under its own etymology. Generally when editing Arabic I put differently-pronounced forms under their own etymologies, but I made an exception for non-lemma verb forms, where (as Stephen noted) the etymology corresponds to the underlying verb. In this case, there are two different verbs, one meaning "to learn" and the other "to teach", and under each verb there are multiple forms that have the same consonants and hence the same spelling, and each of those forms corresponds to two person-number-gender combinations. Benwing2 (talk) 03:30, 8 August 2016 (UTC)


A Wonderfool sock created this entry, and then right after that, put the discuss template by it. I wonder why... But anyway, I wanted to list it. Doesn't seem bad to me, but apparently there's something he wanted to discuss about it so let's do it. Philmonte101 (talk) 13:21, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

Interesting. It has "simple past and past participle shortcutted", whereas in my (Australian English) usage, it's more likely to be "simple past and past participle shortcut", the shortcutted form seeming to be overly regularised. However, I can offer no sources - for either usage. yoyo (talk) 14:03, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Yahya Abdal-Aziz -- the regularizing phenomenon is well known to linguists in cases where a verb is derived from a noun which is derived from a verb (i.e the verb is not derived directly from another verb). This explains some forms such as "broadcasted", "flied out" (baseball) etc. See also "Toronto Maple Leafs", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahuvrihi etc. AnonMoos (talk) 23:30, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

princely sum[edit]

"princely sum" is often or even usually ironic. This should be mentioned. However, should princely sum be a separate entry? I am in favour of a low bar for inclusion of common set phrases that are arguably just sum-of-parts. 01:55, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

It would be a fine collocation to include in a usage example at princely. Irony is a slender reed on which to build an argument for inclusion of an SoP term. Do you think we should add 'ironic' definitions for all the terms like little, big, noble, etc that are attestably used ironically? What about those used in other rhetorical constructions? DCDuring TALK 12:17, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
"princely sum" is already included in a usage example at "princely". When a specific expression is often or usually used ironically, this should be mentioned. This can be done at "princely" (as I initially added, but then reverted myself), or at a new entry for "princely sum", which I would favour. 12:27, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Some expressions are often used ironically, some not so often. Almost all expressions can be used ironically. Does ironic use, potentially of any sense of a word, justify an ironic definition for every sense attestably so used? Irony is a matter of rhetoric, which, like grammar, does not provide an adequate justification for a separate definition. DCDuring TALK 12:49, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Traditional Chinese Character as orthodox[edit]

I wonder why here in Wik Traditional Chinese Characters are treated as orthodox, given that the majority of the Chinese-speaking population use the simplified one(or this is not true?). Is there any standards, policies or something like that dealing with this issue? Huhu9001 (talk) 05:37, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Yes, this is a policy, adopted after a vote - Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2014-12/Making simplified Chinese soft-redirect to traditional Chinese. Everyone is aware of the usage of simplified characters but it was decided to centralise all the complex contents under the traditional Chinese entries, otherwise all the contents would be required to be duplicated. If you look at entries, the efforts are taken to present all related terms, examples in both scripts. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:12, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Given the current limitations of Wiktionary, it does not seem possible to be able automatically redirect simp to centralised trad entries which contain all the relevant information. This would make it much easier to use for most Chinese-speaking people. ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:51, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Correction: that would make it easier to use for all users of Chinese, since I am talking about having all the information about a term in a centralised page. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:53, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
To Anatoli T.&---> Tooironic: Thank you for answering. I have read the disscussion. But I am not concerned about duplications or redirections. My question is what standard should be followed in Wik when choosing between multiple writing systems. Or in other words, which system should be redirected or removed to prevent duplication, and which other one should be the one that is redirected toward and remain?Huhu9001 (talk) 05:08, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
The argument is that traditional characters are preferred as head words because it is often the case that a simplified character has more than one traditional equivalent, while vice versa is almost never true. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:11, 8 August 2016 (UTC)


Is this a word in English? I heard it in the song "Sit Still, Look Pretty" by Daya. ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:49, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Not according to CFI. It may just be a nonce word, or it may be something that hasn't yet made its way into print. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:59, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
It's not in the lyrics I can find online. The word "captivity" does appear. Misheard? Equinox 17:48, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
OK, thanks guys. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:54, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

I propose "epiphanal" as an alternate for epiphanic[edit]

I used "epiphany" in a sentence just now, as it rolled right off my tongue as natural as can be. When I checked the spelling I was surprised to find "epiphanic" as the adjectival form of "epiphany". Perhaps for some tongues (no doubt the first to utter it) "epiphanic" rolls off as natural as can be; but, to my ear, "epiphanal", similar to "seminal", is a far smoother expression. Moreover, "Epiphanal" puts accent on the same syllable as its root "epiphany", whereas "epiphanic" shifts the accent, making it sonically farther removed from its root. Depending on context, I'm sure "epiphanic" can have its own musicality and I do not suggest getting rid of it. I simply suggest adding "epiphanal" as an alternate for "epiphanic" (perhaps technically a synonym, but only if it qualifies qualifies as a separate word?)

You misunderstand how Wiktionary works: we're a descriptive dictionary, so we document the way language is (or was) actually used- not how it should be used. In this case, there's enough usage to warrant an entry, though I'll leave it to others to figure out the details. For future reference, it would be better to make this kind of request at Wiktionary:Requested entries (English). Chuck Entz (talk) 15:53, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Appears to be a synonym for epiphanic. I have just created it. Equinox 17:50, 7 August 2016 (UTC)


http://www.koalanet.com.au/australian-slang.html#D81.11.219.175 16:29, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

I can only find a typo for "all Indic scripts". Equinox 18:42, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't see what that link has to do with "allindic". Maybe you could try to express yourself more clearly. DTLHS (talk) 18:43, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

inwikt81.11.219.175 19:39, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

"all in dic [=Wiktionary]"? —suzukaze (tc) 19:42, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

ys=intrestinlist:) 19:44, 7 August 2016 (UTC)


This is not a misspelling. It is archaic. Prior to 1840 this was the most common spelling. See [3]

I'd correct this myself but I can't work out how to change it from misspelling to archaic.

Yes check.svg Done Equinox 23:09, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

take advantage vs. take advantage of[edit]

We have both. Almost certainly they should be merged, but which one should be the main form?

Another example: make fun of. If take advantage is the main form, should this be make fun instead?

Benwing2 (talk) 00:32, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

I favor the shortest form, unless the "particle" is virtually universal. Though of is by far the most common particle, take advantage is often used without any following particle. In such uses it could be construed as an ellipsis, but that requires some imagination or more advanced understanding of English. Also, the way our search box works favors shorter forms.
I don't think of make fun as idiomatic English, but rather a calque from a language like German, though it can be used without of in ways parallel to take advantage. DCDuring TALK 04:14, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
I can find a few hits for "make fun" like "I will encourage other players within the team and will not make fun or otherwise upset them." I can imagine someone chiding someone else "don't make fun" (of a given thing). - -sche (discuss) 05:24, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
"There is no way that you can buy me, baby. Don't make fun. You got to dig a little deeper, lady. In the heart? Yeah, if you have one." Equinox 05:28, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
This, and all similar expressions, are US slangy versions. There is no such phrase as "don't make fun" in England. You can compare it to "cave" instead of "cave in", and numerous other phrases where American speakers can't be bothered to give the preposition.
We are a descriptive dictionary, not prescriptive, so we do not dismiss US English as an error. Equinox 07:38, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure the adjective-free form is considered good proper English in US contexts, either, especially not "make fun".--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:51, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
How could you be sure, without authoritative sources, not even a too-small poll of native speakers? DCDuring TALK 15:16, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
A Google Books search for "make fun" reveals no uses without "of" in the sense of "to mock", with the exception of one 15-year-old with autism who is quoted as saying "I know some people try to make fun out of me but I don't particularly care about them." Page 15 comes up with "The fact that Lowell was no longer allowed to make fun came as something of a blow,..." from L.J. Davis's A Meaningful Life, but therein it means "to have sex". There's a "We make fun mostly of ourselves." and a self-published "That isn't to say that I don't have fun, make fun, laugh, tell jokes..."--I'm not entirely sure what sense that uses "make fun" in. "Chico's whole aim in life seemed to be to take every challenge and make fun out of it" is another example of "make fun" where it doesn't mean "to mock". After looking at 17 pages, I have yet to find an edited example that uses "make fun" without "of" to mean mock.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:49, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

German Jugendliche (f.)[edit]

I don't think the strong genitive singular form "Jugendlicher" exists. German singular nouns need a declined article or determiner with them to form a genitive. And when there is such a thing, strong declension is ruled out. Or can anyone give me a sentence? — This wouldn't be so important. (Our verb conjugations are full of phantom subjunctives like "du rappest"...), but we also give "Jugendlicher" in the head template and it does bothers me to have such a phantom form in the head. Kolmiel (talk) 00:46, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

PS: In somewhat poetic style one might produce a strong dative, like: "Manch Jugendlicher ist die Schule ein Greuel." But a genitive seems impossible... Now, even if not, I would propose to change the form of these templates for nominalized adjective. Genitive simply isn't useful here. Kolmiel (talk) 00:58, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
I assume you've gone through the results on Google Books for this form (I can't judge whether they are in the genitive). DTLHS (talk) 01:46, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
I searched around for quite a while and tried quite a few collocations, and could only find citations of the strong genitive plural Jugendlicher, not the strong genitive singular Jugendlicher. With substantivized adjectives like this, would it be better to not list any genitive singular in the headword (the absence might be conspicuous and confusing, especially if it still appeared in the table), or to switch to listing the der/die (or ein/eine?) form, i.e. "Jugendliche f ‎(genitive der Jugendlichen, ..."?
Given that there is a reason why the strong genitive singular would be expected to not exist for substantivized adjectives, if it is also in practice not attested in a large number of cases, IMO it would make sense to also remove it from the table. (The situation would be comparable to uncountable nouns where we don't show a plural, and very different from a case where e.g. "mitternachtsblauen [hypothetically] only gets two (or zero) hits as the neuter mixed genitive form of mitternachtsblau but enough other forms get hits to confirm that mitternachtsblau inflects" — in the latter case, I think suppressing forms would be bad, as I wrote on Talk:midnatten.) - -sche (discuss) 03:29, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
This noun is no different from any other. It's perfectly normal German grammar and whether it's used a lot in everyday language is irrelevant unless you actually want to propose that we send every single form in every declension table through an RFV, which I strictly oppose, even for single exceptions of the rarest of forms. (As in every debate, I oppose any removal of correct information.) That said, for what it's worth, I regularly but rarely use such a strong genitive form, without any intentions to be poetic or archaic whatsoever. For example I'd use "Mit Jugendlicher Übermut..." when referring to my teenage friend if I wanted to start the sentence with the subject in order to stress that the further account has happened specifically because she's a teenager and I felt starting the sentence with "Mit dem Übermut einer Jugendlichen..." would put the focus too much on the brashness rather than her age. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 10:12, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
Besides poetic style, headlinese is another context where you might find substantivized adjectives without a preceding determiner, though there too the dative (e.g. Mann hilft Jugendlicher) is more likely than the genitive (Mann rettet Mutter deutscher Jugendlicher???) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:56, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

to procure[edit]

First defn is simply "to acquire or obtain". I don't think this is quite right, I think "to procure" is more like "to obtain with difficulty" or "to obtain by any means, to obtain by hook or by crook". Am I right? Benwing2 (talk) 00:51, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

Note that the quote from Orwell seems to illustrate this well:
Later there would also be need for seeds and artificial manures, besides various tools and, finally, the machinery for the windmill. How these were to be procured, no one was able to imagine.
Benwing2 (talk) 00:52, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
Dictionary.com has "1. to obtain or get by care, effort, or the use of special means", "2. to bring about, especially by unscrupulous and indirect means". Merriam-Webster has "to get possession of : obtain by particular care and effort". Century has an obsolete sense "trans. To care for; give attention to; look after", and then "To bring about by care and pains; effect; contrive and effect; induce; cause: as, he procured a law to be passed", "To obtain, as by request, loan, effort, labor, or purchase; get; gain; come into possession of". Perhaps we should add the qualifier after an "especially", like MacMillan does: "to obtain something, especially with effort or difficulty". - -sche (discuss) 01:51, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
Also procurement (as by a company or other organization) of supplies, materials, equipment is performed/managed by procurement officers/managers/specialists who presumably can be said to procure those items. To me this does not entail so much difficulty as organization/systematization. Many private sector companies usually refer to the process as purchasing. Government, especially the military, usually calls it procurement. Some would define procurement as a complex process from requirements planning, vendor selection, contract negotiation, through payment, with purchasing placed near the end of the process. DCDuring TALK 03:45, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

might as well[edit]

We really should have an entry for this. It is not might + as well as suggested by the redirect. OED includes two senses for it. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:27, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

I see we have may as well as another redirect to as well. Equinox 05:37, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
We could at least as well redirect [[might as well]] as make it a separate entry. A separate entry would imply that it was an idiom rather than an SoP collocation. I think that as well has the same meaning when used with at least some on the short list (may, can, must?, ought?, will?, shall?, need?, dare?, might, could, would, and should) of English auxiliary verbs that express some kinds of "w:Linguistic modality". If we have entries for might as well and may as well, we should have parallel entries for the others on the short list, though I am not at all sure about those on the list with "?". DCDuring TALK 10:52, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't find ought as well significantly different in meaning from should as well, and would freely substitute either one for the other. Unless you find their usages different, if you're OK with the should version, then you ought as well be OK with the ought version - oughtn't you? yoyo (talk) 14:39, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Russian words in -инг[edit]

Is there a case for a category for Russian words in -ing? These are all borrowings, but there are many of them now and it is an accepted ending at this points. Some academic articles discuss how -ing has taken off. I just looked at рейтинг, but others include кастинг, банкинг, кемпинг, тюнинг, бодибилдинг, and маркетинг. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 06:21, 9 August 2016.

No, there isn't. Words ending in -инг are not generally considered to have a suffix, even if Russians know that -ing is a suffix in English. Words with -инг are usually borrowed in full. There's no suffix-less word "бодибилд", as an example. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:33, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
I have brought up the same issue here. What do you think about that entry?--Dixtosa (talk) 14:05, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
I think -логия has a much better case than -инг. I'm sure there are words with -логия that were actually formed in Russian by academics or the like. --WikiTiki89 14:46, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
The trouble with Anatoli's response is that he discusses whether it is a suffix, and concludes it isn't. But the word suffix does not occur in my post above. I referred to words "ending in -ing", whether suffix or not, because finding them is facilitated by a category. I'm not suggesting it is a productive suffix, but all these words form a "class" of words, words that are painfully pronounced in Russian due to the lack of /ŋ/.
I don't think these words are any more special than any other words borrowed from English. We already have Category:Russian terms derived from English. --WikiTiki89 17:25, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
What about a category called just "Words ending in -инг"? There wouldn't have to be mention of whether it's a suffix, an ending, or neither. 20:25, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
The point is that I don't see a point in having that category. --WikiTiki89 20:34, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
I've found about 400 such words (list). We can create reverse dictionaries like this one.--Cinemantique (talk) 17:54, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Cinematic for a useful list! I wonder what proportion of native Russian speakers know every word in the list.
The reverse index seems like it could be useful. But I don't see a need for a category of words ending in a specific sequence of letters, unless those letters have some sort of special significance. --WikiTiki89 18:17, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
The letters *do* have special significance, which is why the existence of such nouns is a subject of academic interest. For example: https://bells.uib.no/bells/article/download/370/384
The way I see it, that article was just using -инг words to study the popularity of English loanwords and to test out the Russian National Corpus. That doesn't mean there is anything significant about them. --WikiTiki89 12:53, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
There are times when it might be useful if we had some way of categorizing/tracking endings and not just "true" suffixes. Then words ending in -x/-@ like latinx/Chican@ could be more easily tracked, for instance. - -sche (discuss) 03:37, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

Etymology 3 of Russian "вира"[edit]

Etymology 3 of Russian "вира ‎(vira)" has a link that refers to a different etymology.

I don’t understand. Etymology 3 doesn’t have a link. Etymology 3 of вира ‎(vira) is marked as the genitive of вир ‎(vir), which is an archaic form of Etymology 1 of вира ‎(vira, wergeld). So Etymology 1 and Etymology 3 are basically the same, except that somehow вир ‎(vir) gained a final -а in the modern form, and the original вир ‎(vir) came to be no longer used. —Stephen (Talk) 16:30, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Look here: [4] This shows (among other things) Ushakov's dictionary definition of вир, where he defines it as "Водоворот в глубоких местах рек или озер". Where do you see that вир is an archaic form of вира? Benwing2 (talk) 16:35, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
It seemed to be suggested by starling.rinet.ru, where it says that вира ‎(vira) is a kind of штраф ‎(štraf), and both вир ‎(vir) and вира ‎(vira) are marked as variants. But now it seems that вир ‎(vir) is not a variant of вира ‎(vira), but has a different meaning. —Stephen (Talk) 16:44, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Chernozemic, chernozemic[edit]

I moved the entry to the capitalized form because it seemed more common. But here, both forms are being used on the same page. The source uses "Chernozemic soils" but "chernozemic A horizon". What is the distinction here? DTLHS (talk) 00:02, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

Hmmm. I'm no expert on chemistry or whatever, but since the noun it is based on is usually used in lowercase, I'd say it was incorrect to even have an entry on its capitalized form, since it seems more of a nonstandard capitalization sort of thing. For instance, notice how we have The deleted, even though so many sources use The in capital letters. Philmonte101 (talk) 00:34, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
That is completely irrelevant. The term is sometimes capitalized and sometimes not, regardless of whether it is at the start of the sentence. I would like to know why both forms are being used in the same source. DTLHS (talk) 00:38, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
I wasn't just saying because of the first word of a sentence. Sometimes people will randomly capitalize words in documents, as I've found. Well, maybe not randomly, but I find it happening most in words that they find complex or that they might think need to be capitalized for whatever reason. The complexity thing I just mentioned seems like what is happening in the sources you found. I've seen people use these types of miscapitalizations in newspapers, books, signs, and heck, even in formal documents by people with PhDs. Miscapitalizations are much more common than a lot of people might think, that's all I'm saying. Personally, I don't think we should have entries for words that are miscapitalized for such reasons, unless they're done so for a better reason than "oh well it's a common noun/adjective, but a complicated one so I'm gonna capitalize it, unlike everything else in this document, for whatever reason". Philmonte101 (talk) 00:50, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
@ User:DTLHS I've started a new discussion at RFD about Chernozemic that will probably interest you. I have to say, thank you for bringing this up. This is a very interesting case, and I'm honestly but weirdly excited to see where this discussion will go. Philmonte101 (talk) 00:07, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

get one's act together[edit]

There are many entries that could be created that use "act together" at the end, @User:Hippietrail specifically but I am also looking for input from the community. have one's act together, keep one's act together, hold one's act together, and others, are all attested. What should we do? Philmonte101 (talk) 03:21, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

The only other online dictionary I came across that had an entry covered both "keep one's act together" and "have one's act together" but none of the others. It used a format like paper dictionaries where phrasal entries are all listed under the keyword "act", which is a weak point of our format I suppose. We probably have entries for analogous turns of phrase if anyone can think on some.
In the meantime the best I can think up right now is to consider "get ..." and "have ..." to be somewhat similar to lemma or citation forms and variants could have soft redirects if they were to be considered for support. OR having an entry at at together or something else ugly but generalized. Interested to see what others think. — hippietrail (talk) 05:52, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
I like the ugly (act together or one's act together) with usage examples for each verb (verb-pronoun combo?) to which users would find their way via the failed search page. Alternatively or as the center of a bunch of hard redirects from the various verb + "act together" combos, if the failed-search page is unsatisfactory. DCDuring TALK 10:36, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
I prefer your one's act together to just act together since possession is also a key part of the idiom. The only other wording I can think of for one's act to be togetherhippietrail (talk) 07:56, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
I also want to add that I've heard people say things like "You'd better make it so that your act is together again." Or in response to one of the idioms, someone might more commonly than that say "But my act is together." Yeah... I'm confused tbh. I'm in support of creating act together, but what about the verbs that could go in between? Philmonte101 (talk) 16:42, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
In between?
I would favor redirects from, for example, [[get one's act together]], [[have one's act together]], [[get your act together]] to the core [[act together]] entry. I know this doesn't facilitate translations, but I don't really care, because I don't think designing a dictionary around translations is a good idea if idioms are to be covered well. DCDuring TALK 17:46, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't think "act together" is a good entry, because it isn't a lemma, and doesn't really represent a part of speech ("act" is a noun here, but "act together" isn't anything). AFAICT, the only good justification for a non-lemma main entry is being a particle, and this certainly isn't one. Equinox 20:20, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
There are a lot more expressions: "have one's act together", "keep one's act together", "hold one's act together", "one's act stayed together" (not sure what the lemma would be for that one), etc. --WikiTiki89 21:24, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Definitely. But the noun and (adverb?) are juxtaposed rather than being a grammatical unit. My personal feeling is that we should pick the commonest one and make a full entry there, either with a ton of alternative forms and/or with usage notes exemplifying the kinds of similar form that exist. I don't think we should try to make an artificial entry for "act together" when it isn't a meaningful/moveable chunk of a parse tree. Equinox 21:51, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree with your point. I was just trying to avoid entry proliferation, since all the verbs mentioned merit an entry. We would need 'See also' sections filled with still-incomplete lists of cross-references (by virtue of omitting the most common personal pronouns) to related lemmas (like have one's act together [also hold and keep], at least).
If your point is generally agreed to for this entry, we should determine whether similar abominations should get the treatment this would get, perhaps at BP. DCDuring TALK 23:15, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Also get one's shit together. And how many more? DCDuring TALK 23:17, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Consider also:
  • 2012, Mia Downing, Just Ask:
    That right there was messed up enough for a guy with his act together
Does this mean everything should be at [[together]] with redirects? DCDuring TALK 23:27, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
I feel like this could be extended onto the definitions of act and together, now that I think about it. For example: act: one's performance (in any situation), together: in good standing, morally strong. These definitions would probably end up better than I've worded them though. Philmonte101 (talk) 02:39, 12 August 2016 (UTC)


Why do we have a picture of someone with stubble in the entry, when the definition describes peach fuzz on someone unable to grow a beard? I'd just remove it if it hadn't obviously been looked over recently, given that it's WOTD. The caption sucks too...it isn't relevent where the waiter is from, or even that it's a waiter in the picture. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:09, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Well, it is both relevant and irrelevant in many ways where the waiter is from. But the fact that the waiter is (allegedly) from North Carolina (the US state) makes the image slightly less relevant for an entry that is about a term not used in the US (first time I've seen it, and that's where I'm from). Philmonte101 (talk) 04:04, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Stalinism, copied from talk page[edit]

In the Stalinism entry one of the definitions of Stalinism given is 'totalitarianism', [5]. I don't think that definition makes sense. Stalinism is totalitarian, but there are Non-Stalinist and Anti-Stalinist forms of totalitarianism. Trotskyism and Nazism are both Anti-Stalinist forms of totalitarianism. I think defining Stalinism as totalitarianism would be like defining Freudism as psychology, Freudism is only one form of psychology, and Stalinism is only one form of totalitarianism. RandomScholar30 (talk) 08:39, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Well that definition does make sense if people in general use the term Stalinism metaphorically for all 'totalitarian' political systems. But I don't believe they do. I think more people make reference to Nazi comparisons when referring to dictatorships than Stalinist ones. But I could be wrong. RandomScholar30 (talk) 08:46, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
So change it. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 08:53, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
Another editor opposes my changing it. I don't want to change it unless I'm supported by consensus. Do you agree with me that Stalinism does not mean totalitarianism in all of its form, only that specific form of totalitarianism, or do you agree with the editor who thinks it does mean that?RandomScholar30 (talk) 08:59, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
I looked at the talk page debate that previously took place over the issue. [6] I agree with Stephen that we define words based on popular use, not correct use, in a dictionary. However, I don't believe Stalinism is popularly used as a synonym for all forms of totalitarianism, I believe the popular use usually cites Nazism and Fascism as synonyms. But I could be wrong. If it is in the popular use among the majority of people as a term describing all of totalitarianism then I was mistaken to take that usage out. But I don't believe it is. RandomScholar30 (talk) 09:05, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
If you want you can challenge the definition. But only three unambiguous uses in durably attested media are required to retain the definition. The kind of metonomy that would lead Stalinism to be used to mean "totalitarianism" is common. I would expect that Stalinism would be favored over Naziism by some anti-leftist speakers and authors. DCDuring TALK 09:12, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm sure its been used that way at least 3 times. I just didn't think it was commonly used that way. And most journalists and historians are on the left, so I still would say Nazi being used as a catch all for totalitarian is more common than Stalinist. But now that I know it only takes three examples to keep it, I think it will need to stay. I'm sure there are at least three. RandomScholar30 (talk) 09:45, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
How common or how rare is the use of Stalinism to mean 'any totalitarianism'? If it's uncommon or rare it should be tagged as such. - -sche (discuss) 18:43, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

"Afoul" translations.... ?[edit]

I wanted to know translation(s) of "afoul", but there is none in its article: afoul. What would it be in Portuguese? Automatic translation service did not suggest any, and my small dictionary does not have this word.

There ARE none in the article on it. I don't know what the Portuguese translation is, but "to run afoul of the law" means "to come up against the law" in the sense that you've broken the law.
Dear editors, whoever you are (having forgotten to sign your entries!): I suggest you consider translations of the core word form foul. For example, "to run afoul of the law" may also be expressed as "to run foul of the law". afoul uses the prefix a- which has become obsolete in many contexts where it formerly reigned. yoyo (talk) 14:50, 25 August 2016 (UTC)


On Talk:logrolling, a user says this term isn't used in Australian English. (The definition may also need a bit of refining.) Is it used in the UK? It does seem to be attested in North American works. Let's add the relevant regional labels. I presume the distribution of the verb logroll is similar. - -sche (discuss) 19:47, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Definition #3 turns up with frequency in Private Eye's book column, but I haven't heard it elsewhere. Keith the Koala (talk) 21:59, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

желание / пожелание[edit]

There are both "wish". Is there any difference? And if so, can we note it? —This unsigned comment was added by ‎ (talkcontribs).

There are always subtle or less than subtle differences in synonyms.
"пожелание" is more frequently used when you wish someone something, not for yourself, in expressions: "с наилу́чшими пожела́ниями" - "with best wishes" but it could also be your own wish - "Есть ли каки́е-нибудь пожела́ния?" - "Are there (do you have) any wishes/desires?". "пожелание" has a subsense of "recommendation", "advise".--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:47, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation! Very useful.


Currently there are 4 definitions:

   1. A garment to keep the ears warm.
   2. A garment or part worn over a single ear.
   3. A sound-deadening cup or a pair of such cups worn over the ear or ears.
   4. attributive form of earmuffs.

I can understand Nos 2 & 4, but the other two are puzzling. "1. A garment to keep the ears warm" - if I wear one of those headbands covering the ears (or maybe even a beanie, an ushanka &c), does it become an earmuff? "3. A sound-deadening cup or a pair of such cups worn over the ear or ears" - can the singular "earmuff" ever refer to a pair of earmuffs except attributively per def 4? --Droigheann (talk) 14:14, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

No, that would be "Any garment to keep the ears warm". Perhaps "An item worn to keep the ears warm" is better Leasnam (talk) 02:15, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Point taken, but it still seems to me like defining an armchair as "a piece of furniture to sit on". And can it really be in the singular when related to both ears? --Droigheann (talk) 23:34, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
   I may not make it to glasses and spectacles and pants to do my own research, but is it just my ignorance that simply accepts without comment the "singular, but plural in construction" notation (which i understand amounts to plurals of the verbs they are subjects for, and plurals of the pronouns referring to them)? Am i missing something?
--Jerzyt 17:17, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

mentally retarded[edit]

Can we come up with a better definition for this? DTLHS (talk) 16:23, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, it can't be right, since the phrase "mentally retarded child" is sometimes used. Equinox 16:25, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
The definition is overly concerned to preach to people as to whether they should use this phrase. I do use the phrase "mentally retarded".


http://wordspy.com/index.php?word=reax --Espoo (talk) 19:03, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

reax (just inserting a link). —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:32, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

doggone has superlative form doggonest but probably no comparative form: how to declare this in the headline?[edit]

Currently doggone doesn't have its superlative form doggonest in the headline. I don't know how should the headline be changed to reflect this. Maybe the template code should be changed to allow for this? an-edj documentation doesn't say anything about this situation. Could somebody familiar with this fix doggone? 21:53, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

I edited the entry to just use {{head}} directly. DTLHS (talk) 23:12, 13 August 2016 (UTC)


"(grammar) Swedish: verbform in combination with an inflection of ha (sv) to form the present perfect and pluperfect". Does this really needs its own sense? DTLHS (talk) 23:19, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Used that way in "Essential Swedish Grammar" (ISBN 0-486-26953-1)... AnonMoos (talk) 23:45, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Both those noun definitions need improvement (like verbform is not an English word). @AnonMoos DTLHS's question was is this a different definition to definition #1 of the noun? Renard Migrant (talk) 12:24, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't know how the word "supine" is used in the grammatical description of all languages, but in the description of older Indo-European languages it refers to forms derived from verbs which don't decline nominally in any ordinary way, but do have kind of fossilized case endings, and are used as abstract verbal nouns or quasi-infinitives (supines in one language can resemble infinitives in another language). The Swedish usage is rather distinct from this... AnonMoos (talk) 17:20, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
The Swedish supine is a fossilised neuter form of the past participle. —CodeCat 17:25, 14 September 2016 (UTC)


IPA says [-ɪj], audio file says [-ɪç]. Is that kind of devoicing normal? If so, is there a reason it's not reflected in the IPA? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 23:35, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

I think that's just a recording defect. --WikiTiki89 23:43, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Russians will often pronounce the й of -ый/-ий as a voiced palatal fricative ʝ in careful speech, trying to differentiate, for example, -ий from -ии and -и. Even so, I have never seen it represented in IPA as anything other than [j]. —Stephen (Talk) 00:38, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
What about casual speech? Is there a difference between русский and русски in casual or rapid speech? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:32, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
@Angr: I was thinking about this for a while. There is always a difference between русский and русски. It seems in my personal speech, the final vowel of русски is slightly more central and very short, while the final vowel of русский is more tense and longer. So русский is [ˈru(ː)skʲɪː] or [ˈru(ː)skʲɪɪ̯] or [ˈru(ː)skʲɪi̯], while русски is [ˈru(ː)skʲɪ̈]. (In case it matters, it seems that the precise length of the stressed vowel depends on the overall prosody of the sentence.) But that's just my quick analysis based on the far-from-perfect data set of pronouncing these words over and over to myself. Does anyone know of actual research out there on the subject? --WikiTiki89 15:23, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Common etymology of English "Hittite" and German "Hethiter"?[edit]

The etymologies of English "Hittite" and German "Hethiter" (surely having the same origin?) both refer to different Hebrew words. If they are from the same word, as I suppose, then (at least) one is wrong, and it needs to be fixed. If they are indeed from different words, then a note not to confuse them should be added to both.

Please provide links, otherwise it's difficult to follow what you're talking about. I assume you're referring to the etymology sections of Hittite and of de:Hethiter (since en-wikt's own entry Hethiter doesn't have an etymology section). Anyway, you're right, the Biblical Hebrew form is חִתִּי (with a tav), not חִטִּים (with a tet). I've fixed our entry. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:11, 17 August 2016 (UTC)


I'm having some trouble figuring out the paradigm of this noun. The nominative dual form was apparently *h₃ókʷih₁, but the ending *-ih₁ is for neuter nouns while our reconstruction is of a common noun. Was this indeed a neuter noun? Germanic, Slavic and Indo-Iranian all have neuter nouns, but they've all been reformed morphologically in some way. Ancient Greek ὄσσε ‎(ósse) was also neuter apparently, and is a direct continuation of the PIE neuter dual, but ὤψ ‎(ṓps) is feminine and has a strange long vowel. Are there any direct attestations of the singular neuter of this noun? —CodeCat 14:31, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

Is "-toxin" a suffix?[edit]

User:EI at10s has changed a large number of entries from whatever- + toxin etymologies to a -toxin suffix. I don't see how it's a suffix. Others' opinions? Equinox 16:58, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

It would be a suffix if it were different in some way from the regular noun toxin. But I don't see that it is different in any way. —CodeCat 17:03, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
As far as I know, a suffix is a post-root affix, and an affix is simply a morpheme that is attached to another morpheme or word. Suffixes can be inflectional or derivational. Derivational suffixes often change the word class, but not always. A morpheme can be bound, or free. Relying on these definitions, toxin is a free morpheme that can still act as a derivational suffix. In particular, I was drawn to them by the systematicity to which you could suffix stems with -toxin to create a new word, and the amount of words formed this way are far more numerous than simple two-word compounds and much more like affixation. In addition, other plain nouns can be suffixes: -gate and -fag have become suffixes in recent years, and classically -graph and -phobia and even -ism are free morphemes. Anyway, that's my reasoning. —This unsigned comment was added by EI at10s (talkcontribs) at 17:29, 17 August 2016 (UTC).
The suffixes -ism, -graph, and -phobia were widespread before the nouns with the corresponding senses developed. -gate has a new meaning. I have no idea about -fag, given our current lack of meaning-bearing definition. DCDuring TALK 17:40, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
-toxin is never used as a derivational suffix. What is happening is that prefixes are attached to the noun toxin. --WikiTiki89 17:45, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't understand under what stipulation -toxin isn't acceptable as a suffix. A cursory google search reveals several sites and publications list -toxin as a suffix.
Even more, -toxic is the original suffix, which is found in far more dictionaries and terminology references as a valid suffix, and -toxin is merely the nominal form of that. EI at10s (talk) 18:38, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
I'd ask the opposite. In what way is this suffix distinguishable from the noun toxin used in a compound? —CodeCat 18:43, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
(e/c) People in the medical field do not always know a whole lot about lexicography. By the way, can you give some examples of words in which you think -toxin or -toxic is a suffix? --WikiTiki89 18:45, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
I'll grant you that first point. I've been working on {{Category:English words suffixed with -toxin}}, specifically after finding the word picrotoxin already in the Category when I found it. I thought it was a sound placement and decided to follow the pattern. If it was entered erroneously, who's to say. I think it fits in with other scientific nomenclature, especially chemical, with other suffixes like -ide, -ine, -ase or -in. To me it's only coincidental that toxin can stand by itself. I'll correct them all if it's proven it can't be a suffix. As far as Wiktionary is concerned, though, there are also Categories for words suffixed with -craft, -head, -land, -monger, -man, or -work that seem to follow the same pattern. EI at10s (talk) 19:06, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
To me it feels more akin to the alga in microalga or the flora in megaflora. Hard to articulate why. Equinox 19:12, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
I just had a look at zootoxin and the category contradicted the etymology so I removed it. Category:English word suffixed with toxin should not be manually added to words that have an etymology of toxin with a prefix of some sort. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:25, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I still wish to have this more vigorously tested by a wider amount of linguists and lexicographers here. I'm really searching for some kind of consensus and a rebuttal to my other noun-as-suffix examples. How can I get this arranged? EI at10s (talk) 22:01, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
It's very simple. If it can't be distinguished from the noun, then it is the noun. Can you find any example words ending with "toxin" where this morpheme is clearly distinguishable from the noun? —CodeCat 22:22, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
If using the precise definition WT has: "A toxic or poisonous substance produced by the biological processes of biological organisms," I can declare that examples such as cardiotoxin or nephrotoxin are sufficiently distinguishable, as they do not specify the origination of the toxin. Any chemical substance, biological or otherwise, can be a cardiotoxin, and this would constitute additional morphological information than the noun alone. EI at10s (talk) 22:29, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
That just means that the meaning of the word cardiotoxin can't be derived from the meaning of its parts. But do you agree that the "toxin" part of the word aligns perfectly in form and meaning with the noun toxin itself? Consider coalmine by comparison; would you consider "mine" a suffix in that word, or is it just the noun mine? —CodeCat 22:31, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
If I concede that toxin can never be a suffix, can we talk about the other noun-as-suffix examples? Why is -man a viable suffix, when I could make the same argument that each compound could just be more than the sum of its parts? I want to understand what underlying pattern I'm not getting here. EI at10s (talk) 22:37, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
-man is a pretty controversial one as it happens. I'd argue that the man in sportsman, there's no corresponding sense of 'man'. Somehow 'adult male human being' doesn't seem to quite fit. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:57, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
"-man" is also often pronounced differently: "that's a fire, man" /mæn/ sounds different from "that's a fireman" /mən/. The words in question above seem to be using "toxin". - -sche (discuss) 02:13, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Is "savvy?" really an "Interjection"?[edit]

   Perhaps i've failed Wikt by thinking, and maybe saying, "WP is a 'pedia that anyone can edit, and of course Wikt is a dict that anyone can edit". And, correspondingly, by assuming that my experience with WP means i can be useful in wikt without being a linguist. (I'd welcome feedback.)
   Specifically, wikt has, under savvy# Interjection

  1. (informal) Do you understand?

whereas for ordinary human beings the expression of an interjection is enhanced by putting a q-mark and an ex-pt next to each other almost solely as a comic-book trope; this implies to me that the Q-mark is about meaning (which is partly encoded by intonation), while the exclamation point has two distinct purposes (even if both purposes can sometimes be served in the use of the punctuation):

  1. Communicating one's own surprise, and/or belief that the reader will be surprised
  2. In recording speech, verbatim or nearly so, encoding the fact of surprise or excitement being reflected in the speech being quoted

   So, summarizing a long thot, is the juxtapostion of "Interjection" and the q-mark in the same sub-section a "feature" or a "bug"?
--Jerzyt 16:59, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

I'd say this is merely ellipsis, like "understand?" for "do you understand me?". Equinox 17:01, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
We have persistent pressure to declare such use of an ordinary word an interjection and many here seem to lack the wit to vote delete when an RfD comes around. Pragmatics can provide a justification for such use, which is found attractive even by those who don't know what pragmatics is. DCDuring TALK 18:29, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
This is just ordinary use of the verb sense. --WikiTiki89 18:38, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
I think it's short for "Are you savvy to what I'm saying." not unlike "Dig?" = "Can you dig to what I'm saying." or "Get it?" Also, it seems to generally be a UK thing from what I've gleaned via media (though I've never left North America). Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirate's of the Caribbean comes to mind. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 03:30, 18 August 2016 (UTC)


"To bereave or deprive a person of land or territory; confiscate." This makes the object unclear: does one beland a person (of her land), or beland some territory (i.e. confiscate it)? Searching is difficult because of scannos for "be landed", etc. Equinox 20:37, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

Not to be found in Century 1911. OED? DCDuring TALK 20:44, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Not in OED (to which I will lose my university-based access very soon, so grab me ASAP if you need things looked up). Equinox 20:46, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Possibly? DTLHS (talk) 21:08, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
"To be landed ("brought ashore") or unladen ("unloaded (possibly onto another vessel)")". Context is of a port with customs to be collected etc. DCDuring TALK 22:52, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Could it be in the OED in the entry for the prefix be- ? Leasnam (talk) 23:06, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
No, you can search their full text and the only result is an author named D. Beland. DTLHS (talk) 23:09, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
No results for "belanden" or "belenden" either. DTLHS (talk) 23:12, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Ok. It is in Middle English however [[7]] Leasnam (talk) 23:21, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Were you doing that thing where you pretend that an ME term is modern English, and don't even gloss it as obsolete? Stop doing that thing. Equinox 23:26, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Don't you know it's rude to assume :). Coincidentally, this behaviour has stopped. Why do you dig up things I did years ago as though I had done them last night ? Leasnam (talk) 23:30, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
But to be honest, if memory serves, I think I obtained that from a prefix entry (prefix be-)...beland I believe was one of the words used to exemplify a particular meaning of the prefix, and in this instance it had the force of "remove/away", and beland itself may not have even had an entry of its own--the def was summed up there where it was. But it's been so long and I've processed so many over the years. Of course it's not taken from Middle English, the concept of such a word has no bearing in today's world anyway. Why would I need to pass this off as a modern word when there are so many other words that would suit my devious purposes better :p ? Leasnam (talk) 23:56, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Okay, no offence: I didn't check dates, and actually I didn't know you'd stopped. I do quite often stumble across oddities like beflee, beclumpse, betoil, besoothe. Maybe they are old entries but we still owe it to our readers (especially English-learners) to go back and gloss them appropriately. Equinox 23:59, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Evidence that getting 3 citations for every English lemma should be our number one priority. DTLHS (talk) 00:03, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree on all. We're cool : ) Leasnam (talk) 00:05, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

semester hours[edit]

First of all, is this really only attested in its plural form? (Created in 2005) Also, isn't this sort of an SOP (hours (per) semester)? Philmonte101 (talk) 22:52, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

It's a common unit of measure in education. Is it more like light year or mile per hour/miles per hour? DCDuring TALK 23:19, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it should be moved to the singular. I would say it's not SOP. Also, the definition is wrong: one semester hour means one hour per week (of class time) over the course of a semester. --WikiTiki89 14:15, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

sensengasse & sensengasses[edit]

Watching a video I came upon a word I couldn't look up as per usual.

from 44m39s to 44m52s The James Corbett Report and 2015 Emmy winner Lionel in 'Lionel On Trial for Anarchist Thought Crimes' (2015-04-14)

Brobdingnagian and sapiens exist, but the last one sounds like sensengaskis, sensengasses, or sensengasities. On Google the closest hint I found that made sense was a page about Vienna [8], translated to English may be a basis for what might be the beginning of a definition:

  • sensengasse: the golden sense (wisdom? reason? rationality?)

I'd love to either be corrected and pointed to the right word, or have this word and the plural added by someone who can verify and improve. Thanks. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 03:22, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

You're hearing the "s" at the end of the previous word, followed by "and sagacity". Chuck Entz (talk) 06:08, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
"Brobdingnagian sapience and sagacity". DCDuring TALK 15:59, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
FANTASTIC! Thank you so much. It would still make for a great new word.  :) ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 21:17, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

art styles - proper nouns or common nouns?[edit]

Why are Art Deco and Romanticism considered proper nouns and not cubism, neoclassicism, historicism, etc.? We seem to be inconsistent on whether art styles/movements should be proper or common nouns, much like our coverage of religion names. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:36, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

For religions, we settled on considering them proper nouns (except those that are in the grey area of being maybe philosophies); maybe someone will track down the BP link. The "-ism" art styles on the other hand seem like schools of thought (and often are defined as such, in the sense definition-line as at neoclassicism or in an adjacent one as at modernism), and IMO are the same part of speech as liberalism, i.e. common nouns. I suspect the only reason the two you name are labelled proper nouns is that they are capitalized. Many people (including even a college-level grammar textbook I found) say that anything capitalized is a proper noun, even though any Australian (or Russian, or other capitalized common noun) can point out that it's trivially obvious that isn't the case. - -sche (discuss) 11:09, 18 August 2016 (UTC)


This doesn't seem archaic, but I'm also not sure it's separate from the usual sense. One can also say (pulling examples from Google Books) there were "a couple of demure puss-like maidens, of some thirty autumns, habited like nuns", "you were twenty springs old", "twenty Christmases old", "twelve Passovers old", etc. - -sche (discuss) 10:50, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Most of these relate to annual events or periods. We also have moon, well known from movie versions of Native Americans speaking English ("many moons"). None of these seem to me to be truly lexical. I would imagine that each use of any seems to be a re-interpretation of the usual lexical meaning in light of the context. Each particular noun brings its own connotations/associations, but normal use is a deixis. If one is speaking of taxes, one might say "several tax days ago/hence" or "several April 15ths ago/hence". Canine pet time can be referenced as, for example, "three dogs ago". DCDuring TALK 12:58, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

The slow-roll entry should be updated/expanded[edit]

The page for slow roll https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/slow_roll
refers only to the poker gaming context.

The word is being otherwise employed and its meaning is not clear. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Talk:slow_roll#Confusion_with_.E2.80.9Cslow-walking.E2.80.9D

street address[edit]

Defined as a synonym of house number. Is that right? I thought a street address was e.g. "10 High Street" (perhaps with a town, county and postcode too), not merely the number 10. Equinox 18:10, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

  • No, it's wrong. A street address is a number or name followed by a street/road/etc name. In some countries the order of these things is reversed. SemperBlotto (talk) 20:30, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
    • I'd go so far as to say the street address includes the city, state/province (if necessary), ZIP code/postal code (if necessary), and so forth. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:07, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Changed it. Equinox 19:42, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Problem with "unless"[edit]

If you know "he will do his homework unless there are cartoons on TV", and you know there will be cartoons on TV, do you know that he won't do his homework? I got this question from a YouTube video called "Logic Games - 2) Conditional Statements" (question 5) Siuenti (talk) 19:34, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Yes, he won't do the homework. "Unless" is like the opposite of "if". Equinox 20:26, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, I wonder. If we replace "unless" with "if ... not", we get "He will do his homework if there are not cartoons on TV". Although that statement would commonly be interpreted as meaning "if and only if there are not cartoons on TV", according to strict logic, it doesn't mean that. Strictly speaking, the sentence makes no prediction at all about what will happen if there are cartoons on TV. I don't know whether "unless" necessarily has to mean "if and only if ... not", or whether it simply means "if ... not" and thus also makes no prediction as to what will happen if there are cartoons on TV. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:03, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Latin gravida[edit]

Is there any reason to list this as a separate word from gravidus, insisting it is feminine only? It is used metaphorically in any gender all the time (of the tempestuous sea, of the speaker with tears, etc.) It seems to me this is a somewhat trivial semantic distinction being made rather than a grammatical one. Isomorphyc (talk) 00:10, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

I agree. The sense "pregnant" is already at gravidus; gravida and gravidā should just be nonlemma forms of gravidus. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:27, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree as well. Just another one of EncycloPetey's ill-planned entries. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:34, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Don't blame this on EncycloPetey. It's a fairly common misconception that the word for "pregnant" can only be feminine. We had this issue in entries from a number of languages, like Russian and Hebrew. Some real dictionaries even make this mistake. --WikiTiki89 17:50, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
I remember having this discussion with my at-the-time girlfriend about the French word enceinte whether it can ever be enceint because some female animals can have masculine gender (like poisson rouge ‎(gold fish)). She was of the opinion that you always say enceinte no matter what. Renard Migrant (talk) 19:58, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

greatest athlete in the world/world's greatest athlete[edit]

Why wouldn't this be an idiomatic noun? This doesn't clearly show what kind of athlete is referred to, as the term actually means the reigning Olympic champion in the decathlon, and has for decades. [9][10][11][12] -- 08:26, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

This seems to me to be a purely descriptive phrase and hence unsuitable for inclusion in the dictionary. I see no reason to think it must always specifically refer to the reigning Olympic champion in the decathlon. 10:05, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Those people might be of the opinion that the reigning Olympic decathlon gold medalist is the world's greatest athlete, but so what? It's just an opinion and that's not what dictionaries are for. Do we need greatest hockey player of all-time for Wayne Gretzky? Renard Migrant (talk) 19:56, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

-ite vs -lite[edit]

So my problem is this: Somewhere, some time ago, someone decided that the -lite suffix (deriving from -lith should be reconstructed as -ite. As a result, English has many words for minerals and stones that end in both -lite and -ite. Where that's a problem is that this merged with the previous -ite which indicates a person follower. I want to somehow present that these suffixes are etymologically separate morphemes and divide the current {{Category:English words suffixed with -ite}} into two sections for each meaning of the suffix, relating that one form is related to -lite. If this is a suitable suggestion to follow through with, what is the best course of action? EI at10s (talk) 20:15, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

@EI at10s: This is a good point. I had my robot make a list. These are the -lite words also categorised as minerals, meaning they are almost certainly mis-suffixed: User:OrphicBot/Sandbox/lite_minerals. These are the -lite words which are not categorised as minerals; but a great many are indeed minerals: User:OrphicBot/Sandbox/maybe_lite_minerals. Minerals in the latter list will need both suffixes and category tags added. If you would like (and if this seems uncontroversial to others), I can fix them mechanically in a few minutes; but feel free also to use my lists to make any edits if you would prefer. Isomorphyc (talk) 21:09, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
I can pretty accurately identify which are minerals and which are not (possibly in both lists) but I am not quite sure what exactly to do with them. Would the suffix for minerals still be -lite even if there is no L present, or the L is part of the root? EI at10s (talk) 21:20, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I don't think there is evidence or authoritative support for the idea that -ite in any of its uses is derived from -lite. Before embarking on an extensive exercise that may have to be undone, could you provide evidence or authority to support the hypothesis. DCDuring TALK 21:27, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
    • Pardon if it sounds a bit insulting but it's kinda obvious the relation just etymologically, and deriving from the pattern of hundreds of mineral names ending in -ite instead of -lite where phonotactics and nomenclature is concerned. But here are a few sources that provide the explanation.
EI at10s (talk) 21:35, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
The first two -ite minerals I thought of, granite and pyrite, have absolutely nothing to do with -lite. --WikiTiki89 21:47, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Surely there will be a few words ending in "-ite" that are not cognates, but that's fewer than more. I can give you hematite, calcite and magnetite, which are etymylogically separate from your examples. It's just a matter of doing the etymology homework. Also, your pyrite example does in fact come from the Greek λίθος anyway.EI at10s (talk) 22:00, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, please do the etymology homework.
Why in the cases of mellite, hyalite, and tantalite do you ignore the presence of l in the stem (double ll in the case of mellite)? You did not do so in the case of bernalite.
I don't think the forum discussion thread from the Mineralogy Database derives any authority from its presence on that website. I see no evidence of linguistic expertise in that thread. Similarly for Gem Select. The Canadian Encyclopedia supports my view. I'd be more impressed by such a statement from the Mineralogical Association's Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification. DCDuring TALK 22:03, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
According to the OED, -ite is usually from -ιτης or -ιτις, but -lite as an independent suffix is from λιθος. My lists concerned only -lite suffixed minerals, not -ite suffixed minerals. However, I further concede that at least a large plurality of the items in my -lite lists derive from -l stems, and are in fact -ite suffixed; hence they must at a minimum be filtered manually. The OED helpfully points out two things: true -lite suffixed words were often deliberately -olite suffixed after the Greek pattern, collected here: User:OrphicBot/Sandbox/olite terminated words - some not minerals, and also that the /theta/ became /t/ because a great many of these derivations are via French, being a mostly older pattern than the -ite derivation. Isomorphyc (talk) 23:21, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
For mellite I used the Greek word, which would have either indicated the -lite suffix or gemination. I suppose the rest were mistakes. I spent some time researching and I think I see where I went wrong. Nomenclature itself, apart from chemical prefixes and suffixes, are largely up to the author/discoverer of the new species of mineral, and there's no naming convention on that other than what's popular, so it wouldn't be up to the IMA or CNMNC. So they're not related.
In any case, there are still a lot of mineral names, especially those named after places and people, that have a definite -lite suffix where there is no "L" in the stem. Those lists created by Isomorphyc are still good to use. Can I take my foot out of my mouth? EI at10s (talk) 23:42, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Speaking personally, if the /l/ is truly unexpected, I would say the -lite pattern is more likely being followed than -ite, whether deliberately or not. Without evidence, I would preface it with something like `probably.' Whether you were initially more partly right or not, there is a lot of confusion in these entries which would be a worthwhile project to clarify. Isomorphyc (talk) 00:28, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
It is usually better to look for a Latin etymon, eg, mel, stem mell before resorting to a Greek one. The stem of μελι ‎(meli, honey) is μελιτ ‎(melit), which would yield melitite (with -ite) or melitolite (with -lite).
More importantly, thanks for your contributions to the mineralogy terms, which entries are sometimes a bit bare. Etymology, External links (to pages in WP and in high-quality sites like Mineralogy Database), and images (from Wikicommons) would definitely improve them. DCDuring TALK 02:18, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
BTW, though it is rare, some English technical words are derived from other languages, eg, French, German, Tupi, or irregularly from Latin or Greek (deviating from the patterns above). Just give regular derivation from Latin first shot. DCDuring TALK 02:23, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
For minerals I wouldn't say it is rare. It is very common for a mineral to be first published in German or French and soon after appear in English. DTLHS (talk) 02:27, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
What is rare is for a reference work to credit the intermediate language (French, German, Russian etc.) rather than the classical language from which the authors derived the terms. I have mostly seen credit given to the intermediate language when the intermediate language has left a distinct mark on the term. For example, sometimes German changes a Latin (hard) C to a K. DCDuring TALK 03:16, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

put together[edit]

One sense had been tagged RFV, but I was familiar with it, so I cited and tweaked it, but now I'm not sure it's actually an adjective as opposed to a verb form... - -sche (discuss) 23:33, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

It's a verb form (a past participle), but in function it is an adverb and not an adjective in the sentence you're talking about ("all in all, as a whole").
An adverb? Really?? 17:23, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

something is baked into the cake[edit]

Is this a common idiom? And if so, what does it mean? I heard it used twice by the same news reporter. It seemed to mean something like “the situation is messed up” or “the damage has been done”. I may have misinterpreted it, though. (I thought maybe like a ring that's got into the dough and can't be removed anymore.) Kolmiel (talk) 00:32, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

It's not a particularly common idiom ("baked into the cake" gets only two pages of Google Books hits, and many are literal), but it exists. In general, I think it means that something is interwoven into something else to such an extent that it cannot be removed except perhaps with great effort or disruption. Hence I can find:
  • 2012, Robert J. Lieber, Power and Willpower in the American Future:
    We should be skeptical about pessimistic predictions concerning the American future and any notion that decline is already "baked into the cake."
However, there also seems to be a meaning in finance, of "(already) incorporated by the market into the price of a stock, or into the state of the market". There, I see other references give examples like a company or the US Federal Reserve foreshadowing its earnings or policy changes (respectively) so that markets "bake them into the cake" instead of being shocked by them (and having to, I guess the metaphor would be, abruptly and disruptively inject them into the cake).
- -sche (discuss) 00:58, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Even if the phrase is used metaphorically, which I can well believe, I'm not sure that such metaphorical usages necessarily deserve inclusion in the dictionary. Isn't there a virtually unlimited possibility for creating them? 01:39, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
There is no end to the metaphors and terms that could exist, but as only a finite number do, there is nothing wrong with including them when there is no limit to the number of entries we can have. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:23, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
There is "nothing wrong" with including various entries that I have proposed over the years, "princely sum" (above) being the latest. Judging by the almost total lack of support for most of these, I think "nothing wrong" is probably not enough. 02:58, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Princly sum is borderline SOP, however, so I can see why it wouldn't have strong support. I would only hesitantly support its inclusion separate from princely (where "princely sum" is given as a usage example). Baked into the cake is clearly not SOP, on the other hand, so if it is citable, it is worth including separately. That being said, I would like to see a section for collocations, where something like princely sum could be included. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:08, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Then how about "taken by the reins" (metaphorical), or "put back in the box" (metaphorical) or "eaten for lunch" (metaphorical), to give three straight off the top of my head at random, all of which are not literally SOP and are easily attestable in the non-literal meaning? As I say, I think there is an unlimited supply of these phrases. I don't see where it would end. 02:53, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
If they are attestable, then all of them should be included. There is space for thousands of entries on Wiktionary, so as long as someone is willing to add them, there is no reason why they should not be included, provided they are citable (with a consistent meaning and are fixed phrases). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:45, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Attestation needs to be accompanied by demonstration that the figurative meanings of the component terms doesn't help users get the meaning of the collocation.
Taken by the reins/take by the reins is an SoP common collocation using rein ("An instrument or means of curbing, restraining, or governing").
eat for lunch is IMO an SoP common collocation using eat ("To destroy, consume, or use up").
put back in the box might also be common SoP collocation using box ("a restrictive situation"), but it could also use an allusion to Pandora's box or use of box in the sense of the box in which something arrived/was obtained. Even so, put is not the only verb used with back in the box with this type of meaning.
Baked into the cake seems like a fairly pure metaphor. I don't know whether cake is where the metaphor truly resides.
BTW, "If I'd known you were coming, I'd have baked a cake" is a common expression used to express positive (or sarcastic) surprise at someone being present or arriving. I'd have baked a cake might be an idiom, since it can be used with many conditional clauses. DCDuring TALK 12:03, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. I wasn't sure if the first two had any meaning beyond what I gathered without context, but I'm not challenging the idea that idiomaticity is a prerequisite for an entry. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 15:52, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Is it just a flowery version of baked-in? Equinox 09:42, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Flowery or floury? DCDuring TALK 12:03, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
I think it's related but it doesn't seem to mean quite the same thing. If our idiom gets to the needed number of cites, I would be for inclusion. -- At any rate: thanks for the help! Kolmiel (talk) 15:27, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Set in concrete and the similar set in stone are two other idioms that often mean the same thing as baked into the cake. Unless I've missed some nuance of any of them! ;-) yoyo (talk) 13:00, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Watch [13], 1:53 to 2:13. This is actually the context in which I first heard it (Donald Trump's image among the populace being incorrigible). The gentleman says "it's a great metaphor, we use it all the time". Might it be a trending phrase in this context? (Because User:-sche said above that it's indeed a rare expression.) Kolmiel (talk) 01:10, 23 August 2016 (UTC)


"Healing power or quality." What's an example of this sense? DTLHS (talk) 21:31, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

google books:"shopping is my therapy", google books:"music is my therapy". Therapy doesn't always refer to actual medical treatment (or medical-style treatment like massages). There are to be something to cover this. Not sure "Healing power or quality" is good enough though. Renard Migrant (talk) 19:52, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "accueil"[edit]

It feels like the pronunciation of "accueil" in https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/accueil is not accurate when compared to http://forvo.com/word/accueil/ and https://www.bing.com/translator

I don't speak French, which one is right?

I do speak French, and the English Wiktionary pronunciation of un accueil (a welcome) sounds spot on to me! It includes the "liaison" that connects the final N of uN to the beginning of the first syllable AC-, making it sound more like u NACcueil. Please remember that languages often have markedly varying pronunciations (especially for vowels) in different places and times, and that languages are always evolving. French vowels, in particular, seem to have changed quite radically across the last two or three generations (for example, oui that I learnt sounding like "wii" is now often heard as "weh"). So all three sources you mention may represent current speech. yoyo (talk) 12:40, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
I've just checked the TLFi - digitised treasury of the French language) - with the phonetic pronunciation key A-K-E-I and it successfully finds accueil. So there's an authority for my claim that the pronunciation on English Wiktionary is good; it's not just me saying so. yoyo (talk) 14:05, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with Wiktionary's pronunciation, which sounds pretty typical. It doesn't even sound significantly different from the pronunciations on Forvo. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 14:22, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps the OP was thrown off by the presence of un in the recording. If so, he isn't the first and won't be the last to speak up about it. It can be disconcerting, especially for people with little or no French, to see accueil and hear un accueil. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:01, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
As for oui sounding like "weh", isn't ouais considered a different word, just as yeah is a different word from yes? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:06, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
When the audio includes to, un, zu, etc while the headword does not, don't we normally (or ideally) notate that like this? - -sche (discuss) 19:35, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
I certainly do when I come across it, but I can't manually do all the French nouns I'm afraid. And it would be very difficult to automate because any audio files that don't include the article will suddenly have one in the transcription. Renard Migrant (talk) 19:38, 22 August 2016 (UTC)


How useful are these definitions?:

"Along the direction of a plumb line or along a straight line that includes the center of the Earth."

Many young readers will never have seen or used a plumb line, and very few have ever seen the center of the Earth! ;-) Would a definition along the lines of "straight up and down" perhaps be more accessible? yoyo (talk) 12:17, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing. We should probably add a sense that is worded from the point of view of a normal human being rather than from the point of view of the universe as a whole or of a physicist. Both definitions have value, the current one at least adding a note of levity. DCDuring TALK 12:48, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
I thought it would be too much like a physicist to include mention of gravity ... and your note reminded me that years ago I proposed that if we ever do discover anti-gravity, it would be much simpler to call it by gravity's customary antonym, viz. levity! ;-) yoyo (talk) 13:35, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
An extra point: a vertical line does not, in general, go through the center of the Earth! Earth is not a sphere but is flattened at the poles. A more accurate definition is along the lines of force of gravity, i.e. the direction something falls when you let it go. The plumb line is basically one way to measure that. —CodeCat 14:26, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
True, and things can also be vertical on the moon. I've changed the definition a bit, but there's still room for improvement. - -sche (discuss) 16:57, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
I'd be tempted to write 'the direction due to the net effect of gravity' but I fear that's too technical to be useful. Oh and mountains are massive enough to divert the path of a falling object away from the centre of the earth. Renard Migrant (talk) 19:41, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
For a simpler definition, what about "the direction in which things fall"? 00:15, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
One problem with all of these definitions is that they are "down". I think that almost all use of vertical is associated with "up". DCDuring TALK 02:09, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
From a relativistic perspective, it's more about orientation with respect to ones frame of reference: one can be weightless in space and still have a concept of vertical and horizontal. Basically vertical is oriented along the up/down axis, and horizontal is oriented along the left-right and/or front-back axes. It doesn't matter whether it's gravitational, or from visual cues such as floors and walls- if there's an "up" and a "down", you know what direction "vertical" refers to. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:18, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

"thank you" variations[edit]

User:Philmonte101 recently created thank yu so much, thank ya so much, thank u so much, thank ye so much, thank ye very much, thank ya very much, thank yu very much, thank yu so very much, thank ya so very much, thank u so very much, thank ye so very much, thank u very much, thank yu, thank u, thank ya, thank ye. These were evidently created by taking an existing entry and modifying one of the words, rather than by encountering attestable terms. They may or may not be attestable. I think these entries are silly and should be deleted, but I am reminded of Talk:fish 'n' chips. Thoughts please. Equinox 17:02, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Get rid of all of them. All that is needed is an entry for "u", "ya" etc. saying that these can be nonstandard spellings of "you". 17:18, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
@User:Equinox But I literally searched each one of these in Books, Groups, and News to verify them. These terms are all attested and if you want to challenge them, challenge each one individually. The fact is that they aren't SOP, because if thank you is not SOP, therefore thank u is certainly also not SOP, therefore it technically belongs here if it is attested by CFI. So there are no good grounds to this. The worst that would happen to these is a redirect. Philmonte101 (talk) 03:05, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
"you" can probably be attested as "u" in almost every single phrase involving the word "you". It is completely unnecessary to list all these separately. 04:05, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Redirect them all. Having the entries is one thing, but listing them in other entries is incredibly lame: the reader is presented with a long, boring list of trivial variations, none of which has content worth the click to get there. What's more, everything after thank you/thanks is SOP (with a few exceptions), so even some of the previosly-existing variations should be deleted. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:33, 23 August 2016 (UTC)


Sense 3: "Acceptable, appropriate."

This is usually in the negative, in expressions like "That's not on!". "not on" is given as an example, but so are "right on" and "bang on". I question whether "on" in "right on" and "bang on" is the same sense of "on" at all, but before I delete these perhaps someone else can offer an opinion. 17:21, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Very well then, since there has been no comment I will delete them. 19:14, 28 August 2016 (UTC)


Sense three of the Spanish adjective is "rascal". Is this actually a misplaced noun sense, or is it simply a poor translation of one of the adjectival meanings? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:43, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

The Spanish Wiktionary has sense three as «Dicho de una persona, de gusto vulgar o inferior, y hábitos incultos.» (said of a person, of vulgar or inferior taste, and uncultured habits). Maybe this is what rascal sense 3 in the English roto is meant to explain.
MGorrone (talk) 15:09, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll try to think of a good translation of that. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:06, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
If it's anything like French, nouns and adjectives that describe people tend to overlap a lot, like menteur#French which is either liar or lying depending on usage, or adjectives like nouveau#French which gets used as nouns (« c'est un nouveau »). Note how the TLFi defines menteur as « (Personne) qui ment » defining both the noun and the adjective in the same sentence. Renard Migrant (talk)

I seen it[edit]

See the usage note (and edit history) of see. "Many people use seen as the past tense." Can we clarify that any? I know AAVE sometimes uses seen that way; who else? How acceptable is the usage; is it nonstandard? Ngrams suggest it's about 1/30th ([14]) to 1/60th as common as "saw". - -sche (discuss) 19:31, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Incorrect by any standard. By the way, wouldn't your graphs pick up "Have I seen it?", "Where have I seen it?" etc.? 19:43, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Good point re "have I seen it". OTOH, "and I seen it" is still about 1/30th as common (or is that picking up something else with "have" that I'm not thinking of?). - -sche (discuss) 19:58, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
I hear "I seen" fairly often in Alberta, but it is nonetheless far from the standard here. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:13, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be more correct to say that people drop the [v] in rapid/casual speech with this word/coronal fricatives? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 20:40, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Try it with he and she, then. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:16, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
And he seen it is about three times less common than "and I seen it", and about 1/90th as common as "and he saw it". It's uncommon and nonstandard, but apparently not rare. - -sche (discuss) 21:22, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Off topic but related, I hear "seen't it" more often as well Leasnam (talk) 21:26, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
I haven't noticed the [v] dropped with other verbs, aside from cases where it was more likely an example of confusing an irregular past tense with an irregular past participle (e.g. "I drunk" for "I drank"). I've never heard something like "I run" or "I eaten" in the past tense. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:08, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
A parallel can be found in done for did (who done it?). Can't think of another off the top of my head Leasnam (talk) 22:38, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
"come" is another example in some dialects: "An' then 'e come in and 'e sez to me ...". Possibly also "drunk", "sung", "swum" and "sunk", though some of these are perhaps more mix-ups or plain errors than dialect or nonstandard forms. 23:14, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Your example seems more like use of the present tense. "And then he comes in and he says to me" is perfectly okay for telling a story in informal conversation even in standard English. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:07, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
That is just a unfortunate interpretation of the example. The point is that "he come" is used for "he came". 03:55, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
It's common in Appalachia to use come for came. I think it actually comes from a clipping of had come > (had) come Leasnam (talk) 14:00, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I think it's part of a larger trend across English to conflate the forms. After all, in the vast majority of verbs, the two are already identical. I suspect that it may be an indication of the evolution of future English: the total or near-total loss of a distinction between past and past participle. —CodeCat 14:06, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I remember hearing it from other kids back in the early sixties. I think it's associated with poor education and/or rural speech. It's very much proscribed, so people who think of themselves as educated would consider it nonstandard. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:07, 23 August 2016 (UTC)


Is this really current in American texts? I would not expect a modern work to use this spelling. DTLHS (talk) 01:28, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

No, the "-ize" form was neck-and-neck in the early 1700s but has been rare ever since: about 1/200th as common as "surprise", or only slightly more common than the misspelling "suprise" (with no first 'r'). And it's that "common" (relative to "suprise") in both American and British books, so instead of labelling it "US" I would label it "chiefly obsolete" or "now rare and nonstandard" or the like. (Some people do pronounce it with a distinct 'z', though.) - -sche (discuss) 02:07, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Dammit! Renard Migrant (talk) 22:39, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Does it count if my sound was turned off and I didn't hear it? --WikiTiki89 11:42, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

marry off[edit]

Does marrying someone off have to be forcing them into marriage? That is what our definition currently says, but I'm convinced this is always the case. ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:35, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

I believe you may mean "I'm not convinced this is always the case", in which case I agree with you. In fact it is perhaps even usually not the case. 11:07, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
The "forcing" is not essential.
Yet another reason why we need citations when contributors are not advanced speakers.
I agree that the definition is wrong. I think the basic function of off is to allow one to have a sense of marry that has person A causing/influencing person B to marry person C, possibly enjoying a benefit therefrom (ie, prospect of grandchildren, relief from responsibility for support, etc). I'm not sure that marry alone is used in this way very often. An alternative, less commonly used, get (someone) married. One could also say get (someone) married off. DCDuring TALK 11:12, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks guys, I've made some changes now. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:35, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Torch candle?[edit]

I cannot find the English equivalent for the Finnish word soihtukynttilä ‎(lit.transl. torch candle), see entry for photo and definition. Another photo here: [15]. --Hekaheka (talk) 13:30, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

  • It's a tealight - see Tealight on Wikipedia. SemperBlotto (talk) 13:38, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
    I'd also call it a votive candle, though to judge from the pics at Google Images, votive candles are somewhat taller than tealights. In everyday use, though, I don't think I'd bother with that distinction. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:06, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
A tealight warming a teapot

Thank you for your suggestions, but neither is exactly what I'm looking for. I understand that "tea light" (tuikku in Finnish) is similar in design but small enough, about 4 cm in diameter, to be used for keeping a teapot warm, hence the name. They cannot normally be used outdoors because even the slightest wind blows them out. Also votive candles seem to be made for indoor use. A soihtukynttilä is specifically made for outdoor use and has a diameter of 10 to 20 cm and a thick wick in order to withstand wind. The package warns against using them indoors. They are called marschall in Swedish but that didn't help to find the English term. The Swedish retailer Tingstad uses the term "pitch torch" on their webpage [16] (click the little pic under the product photo in order to get a picture of the package), but I'm not sure whether that is a generally accepted term. A google pic search for "pitch torch" returns the Tingstad photos but also lots of pictures of torches made with pitch as the burning substance. Another reason for being doubtful is that the "Finnish" text on the package only resembles Finnish. --Hekaheka (talk) 04:52, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

  • Maybe "pillar candle?" That would be the right size, but not specifically for outdoor use. JulieKahan (talk) 08:29, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

ζωή vs. βίος: differences? Usage notes to be added to relevant articles?[edit]

Title says it all. I was prompted to ask this by a question from the Greek Stack Exchange proposal (http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/101509/greek-language/101561#101561) which explicitly states there is no explanation over here. I checked, and indeed, no explanations. So what is the difference between ζωή and βίος, which both translate to "life" and have given rise to suffixes (bio- and zoo-) referring to life? And should we add usage notes to the relevant articles explaining the differences? And did the difference change since Ancient Greek or is it still the same in Modern Greek?

MGorrone (talk) 14:53, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

The more fundamental problem is that both words have several definitions according to the best Ancient Greek dictionaries, links to which are in the reference sections. We have only one or two. DCDuring TALK 21:03, 23 August 2016 (UTC)


This is a Latin script letter, so you wouldn't expect there to be a Greek or Russian entry for it in first instance. However, these languages certainly have names for this letter; it's not like the letter H just doesn't exist to Russian or Greek speakers. This information is currently missing from Wiktionary altogether. In the same vein, Latin-script languages can have names for Russian and certainly for Greek letters, and this information is also found nowhere. —CodeCat 20:37, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

We do have эйч (linked-to from aitch); we also have алиф, and in the other direction alpha and yus. If some languages' names for letters don't have entries yet, I presume it's because no-one has added them. We could put {{trans-see}}s at H#English pointing to aitch#English, or perhaps move the translations. - -sche (discuss) 21:28, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
For English, we put the pronunciation of H at the entry H. Should we not be doing the same for other languages? —CodeCat 21:38, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Definitely, particularly because the pronunciation cannot be readily deduced from the single letter, unlike with a full word. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:04, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
'ard to say. For many numbers (e.g. 3), we don't seem to include pronunciations in any languages (although we do include an English section for 1, probably because it has other uses/senses). Russian Wikipedia suggests Russian has different names for English H (эйч), German H (ха), etc, in addition to the "classical Russian name of the letter" (аш). It seems like the easiest way to handle that would be to have translations tables at, or linked to from, H#English and H#German etc. Whether it would be better to have a translation table at H#Translingual to house аш and give pronunciation at аш, or to have H#Russian to mention аш and its pronunciation, or to have neither (like we do for numbers), I'm not sure. I suppose we should recognize that even if we only have sections at H for Latin-script languages that use that letter, the page will still contain thousands of sections when it's complete, so adding sections for Russian, Chinese, etc wouldn't add that much in the long run... and it would be useful to have a page that provided the letter's name in each language... - -sche (discuss) 22:18, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I basically agree with -sche, but I don't think we need to have a Russian entry at H itself, the individual names like аш are enough (by the way, the Russian Wikipedia is not trying to say that these are Russian words for German H and English H, but that these are the German and English words for H, transliterated to Russian; some of these names are used occasionally in Russian, but not necessarily limited in meaning to a particular language's letter). --WikiTiki89 11:52, 29 August 2016 (UTC)


Does anyone want to take a stab at condensing my definitions into single English terms if they exist? It would be greatly appreciated! Definition three would also benefit from a word describing a thing that is a source of trouble, though the example phrase partly covers that. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:04, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

I think they're fine the way they are. Leasnam (talk) 01:32, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

paître conjugation chart[edit]

For the automatically generated conjugation chart for the French verb paître it gives the third person single present indicative form as "pait" instead of the correct "paît", how do I change this so that it includes the circumflex? 2WR1 (talk) 08:04, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Unfortunately Module:fr-verb doesn't have any documentation so if you don't know how to fix it (and I don't) you can't learn how to fix it from the documentation. I've had to remove conjugation table from a different verb for the same reason. I think @Benwing2 might be one of the people who knows how it works. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:04, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
@Renard Migrant: thank you! I have no idea how to fix it, the same problem is in repaître. 2WR1 (talk) 21:10, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Is the conjugation similar to croître? If so, I expect the module can be fixed by someone like CodeCat. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:40, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: No, they're like connaître, the only problem is that the third person singular indicative needs a circumflex on the i and the chart does not reflect that. I don't get how these auto chart even work, even highly irregular verbs, when I look at the wikicode, they're just written with "fr-conj-auto". I don't understand how that works for all these verbs. It has the correct placement of the circumflex for connaître and naître. 2WR1 (talk) 08:07, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Lots of special cases, including for paître, are hardcoded into Module:fr-verb. 09:45, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, it doesn't show up correctly for paître, so... 2WR1 (talk) 07:47, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
It's not hard-coded correctly, obviously. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:52, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
I think the way it works at the moment is a but shitty, TBH. I don't agree with hard-coding these things in a cryptic way in a module that very few people will understand how to edit. There should be a more accessible interface. 00:19, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Ya, exactly, I've only ever seen one conjugation chart created without doing "fr-conj-auto" and the wikicode used was very confusing, and also because all the other verbs that are conjugated like paître are all done with "fr-conj-auto" so I can't even look at the way they're coded and try to copy it. It's all very frustrating. 2WR1 (talk) 01:36, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Hi. Somehow I completely missed your ping (it did show up). I will take a look at the module. I didn't write it but I can often figure this stuff out. @Kc kennylau, Hillcrest98 Can you also take a look? Benwing2 (talk) 02:19, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
OK, fixed. However, the conjugation also claims that there are no compound tenses, whereas the French Wiktionary claims they do exist (with participle pu). Which one is correct? Benwing2 (talk) 02:28, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
BTW I agree that the module should not be designed in such a way as to require that it be edited in order to change the conjugation of a verb. A better way, for example, is the way I designed Module:fro-verb. The module only directly conjugates regular verbs, but allows for specifying irregular principal parts of individual tenses as well as directly indicating the forms of an entire tense, including alternatives (which were legion in Old French) or overriding an individual form (e.g. 3sg present for paître). (And it's all documented.) See the definition of Template:fro-conj-conoistre for a typical example, or Template:fro-conj-aler for a particularly complex example. (Note also that this was the first module I wrote and could potentially be done better in certain ways.) Benwing2 (talk) 02:37, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
@Benwing2: Thanks so much for fixing that! I never could have figured that out myself! Really appreciate it! 2WR1 (talk) 03:18, 28 August 2016 (UTC)


Admittedly a minor one but "Strictly correct usage is to reserve electrocute and electrocution for fatal electric shocks" is dictating a standard onto our readers, which clashes with our principles of describing not prescribing. And yet I do feel like we need to mention the issue. Reading a few other dictionaries might be a good place to start. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:04, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

I changed "Strictly correct" to "Standard". Do you think that's good enough, or is "standard" still too subjective? It should definitely be mentioned, however, as many would view the informal usage as altogether incorrect. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 14:22, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Which people? Who gave them such an idea? DTLHS (talk) 00:48, 25 August 2016 (UTC)


Was the sense "a male virgin" still grammatically feminine, as is currently implied by the entry? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 14:42, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me. German Jungfrau is still grammatically feminine when applied to a male. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:01, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

walk through[edit]

Is the first definition, "To explain someone something", grammatical? I thought one had to say "to explain something to someone". --Fsojic (talk) 22:43, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Technically it ~is grammatical, but it is very, very old fashioned and like Equinox says below will sound very odd, yet it isn't incorrect. It's a usage-type error Leasnam (talk) 23:31, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Does sound odd to me. I have changed it. Equinox 22:50, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

tardy bell[edit]

A bell or bell function that is often used in schools. More of a slang term, since kids associate those bells more with being tardy. Is this SOP? I know it's tardy + bell, but often that same bell can be used for other things than what is associated with "being late", right? For instance, the bell rings to go to your next class. I still don't know how to word this though in a definition. Do any of you? Philmonte101 (talk) 22:55, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

I have definitely used this term a lot in elementary school and even high school. It specifically describes the one bell in the bell schedule that designates tardiness. There would be a signal bell, indicating you had five minutes to get to class, and after that five minutes is the tardy bell; anyone not sitting down by that bell was tardy. Of note I guess that it isn't always a bell sound even though most people I believe call it a bell. EI at10s (talk) 17:12, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
I know it from junior high and high school (in elementary school we didn't go from class to class much). There was a bell (and in my day it was a bell sound) to indicate the end of a class period, a second bell to warn you that you needed to be in class very soon, and the third bell—the tardy bell—which meant you were tardy if you weren't in the classroom by the time it rang. I don't think it's SOP since the bell itself isn't tardy. If the term were "tardiness bell" it would be SOP, but I'd say "tardy bell" is idiomatic. Not slang, though. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:18, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
By the way, what's the terminology to distinguish a tardy person from a tardy bell, or a living standard from a living creature? I was explicitly taught this and can't remember. Equinox 13:22, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
P.S. In Britain nobody uses the word "tardy" in the school or work context, only "late". I haven't heard of a "late bell" but it might exist. Equinox 13:22, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
In the U.S., I never heard it at the private school in New York State I attended through age 8. I heard it for the first time at the pubilc school in Texas I started attending at age 9. I think I had to ask my parents or the teacher what the word "tardy" meant, because I had never heard it before. I still associate it almost exclusively with school. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:57, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
THey use "late bell" here in the US Leasnam (talk) 14:11, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
I've never heard the term tardy bell (or late bell, for that matter) in Canada. It was always simply called "the second bell" at the schools I've been to.... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 15:16, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
I would say it's SOP, though perhaps formed in an informal way. I'll add to the anecdotes: In my school, "tardy" was still the official word but had mostly fallen out of fashion in favor of "late". The "bell" was a generated tone rather than an actual bell; at one point they replaced it with music, but we still called it the "bell". --WikiTiki89 12:00, 29 August 2016 (UTC)


Other things drew my attention to this entry, and I found that it's a noun in English too. But I have no idea what it means; it may have multiple meanings. —CodeCat 17:24, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

If I've ever used this word as a noun (which honestly I may have), it was a purposeful misspelling of the word snuggler for endearment, replacing snuggle with snug as a verb, so literally it's just one who snugs. Example: "The retriever's size and fluffiness makes him a good snugger." I doubt this is the meaning it's meant to have, in place for anything more specialized. Maybe related to snigger? EI at10s (talk) 17:30, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Kiwima has found (and cited!) four senses. Nice job. Equinox 15:18, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

black nationalism and white nationalism[edit]

I am considering creating those two entries. Should I? Are they SOP? Should I create them anyway? Purplebackpack89 20:34, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

I interpret them as SOP since the sense of "nationalism" which is used in them is also used 'by itself' (as bare "nationalism") when talking about "the nationalism of the Black Panther party", etc. It is also used in a large number of parallel constructions like "Asian American nationalism", "[separatist] Latino nationalism", "Chicano nationalism", etc, which can similarly be rephrased as the "nationalism of the Chicano movement", etc. [[nationalism]] may need to be expanded in order to cover that sense, though, i.e. it may not cover it yet. Consider also things like "African nationalism". As for "should I create them anyway?": well, our record of keeping-vs-deleting similar entries is mixed; we deleted Jewish supremacy but kept white supremacy and black supremacy... - -sche (discuss) 21:25, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

The personified POS game[edit]

Can't think of a better or worse place to put this. So, if you were a part of speech, which one do you feel like you'd be? And give a reason. You can use any POS that is used as a Wiktionary L3 only, such as noun, adjective, adverb, phrase, conjunction, etc. Personally, I can't think of any to describe myself. Philmonte101 (talk) 01:16, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Haha, you're starting a game like this, and you aren't participating? I'd probably be a phrase, given my tendency towards verbosity.... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:32, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
I changed my mind. I think I'd probably be an adjective or an adverb. Since the adjective sort of "helps out" the noun and the adverb "helps out" the verb, I'd compare that to myself going out of my way to help other people when they need it. Philmonte101 (talk) 03:38, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm a circumfix because I like to give hugs. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:04, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
WT:EL#Part of speech gives a (voted and approved) list to choose from: punctuation mark, combining form, prepositional phrase, romanization, whatever.
I'm a conjunction, I like to connect ideas. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 15:22, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm that emoji that looks like Munch's The Scream. Equinox 15:34, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Punctuation mark. Basically useless when it comes to oral communication. --Droigheann (talk) 20:04, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

ester French conjugation[edit]

For the French verb ester under conjugation it says that this verb is not conjugated and is only ever used in the infinitive. However, on the French wiktionary it gives an entire conjugation chart showing it conjugated as a regular -er verb. 2WR1 (talk) 03:09, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

FWIW, the Academy says "no longer used except in the infinitive" ("N'est plus usité qu'à l'infinitif dans les expressions Ester en justice, ester en jugement.")[17] --Droigheann (talk) 03:24, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
@Droigheann: Hmm, I wonder why the French wiktionary has a conjugation chart for it then. 2WR1 (talk) 03:29, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
You could try looking for conjugated forms on Google Books. And even if the forms are obsolete the conjugation can still be shown. DTLHS (talk) 03:30, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I'd imagine it was still conjugated in the 17th century so it was conjugated in modern French, just it isn't anymore. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:15, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Note that Wiktionnaire says "Le verbe ester est un défectif absolu, c’est-à-dire qu’il n’est accepté qu’au mode impersonnel de l’infinitif, ce qui a pour conséquence immédiate l’emploi d’un modalisateur (par ex., vouloir, pouvoir, devoir, etc.). Voici néanmoins sa conjugaison basée sur celle de l’ancien français (The verb ester is absolutely defective, meaning that it only appears in the infinitive, and consequently, an auxiliary verb (e.g. vouloir, pouvoir, devoir, etc.) is employed with it. Nevertheless, its conjugation follows, based on that in Old French)." In other words, it is implied that the conjugated forms are not attestable in modern French. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:32, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
I looked up http://www.anglo-norman.net/D/ester today. Of course ester and estre overlap so much in conjugation and even in meaning that it's very hard to tell them apart (examples: esté, estant, estois). I'd have thought there must be some usage post 1610 but it's hardly of any importance to prove it, especially if all it means is we're going to change the usage notes to say it was used until 300 years ago, not 400 years ago. But of course if anyone wants to try, good luck to them. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:52, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

cest English pronunciation[edit]

I can't find a pronunciation for the English word cest in any online dictionary. Does anyone have any resources to find this with? 2WR1 (talk) 03:27, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Probably like the first syllable of cestus? DTLHS (talk) 03:31, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
...which would mean /sɛst/. The old Century Dictionary confirms this, notating that cest and cestus are pronounced with the same initial sound (/sɛs/) as cesspool. - -sche (discuss) 04:48, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
@-sche: Thanks! And thanks for adding the pronunciation on the page as well! 2WR1 (talk) 04:59, 28 August 2016 (UTC)


According to the usage note, "earnt" is "entirely acceptable". Says who? And if it is "entirely acceptable" then why can I find it in no other dictionary? 19:13, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

I find 21,100 hits on GBooks, all verifiable as "earned" Leasnam (talk) 19:16, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
That is very likely one of Google's Large Random Numbers. Visibly verifiable results run out in the hundreds. Of course, I am not denying that this spelling is used. My doubt is that it can be described as "entirely acceptable" when (1) no other dictionary that I can find allows it, and (2) it is not hard to find contrary opinions (e.g. [18]). "Of disputed correctness" seems to me to be more reflective of the actual situation than "entirely acceptable". 19:25, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
It's in the OED, but marked as non-standard. Equinox 19:21, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Quite. 19:25, 28 August 2016 (UTC)


Could a Japanese editor check this entry? In Chinese 儒家 almost always means Confucianism and not Confucian (a person who believes in Confucianism). Is this is the case in Japanese as well? ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:03, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Pending a Japanese editor, WWWJDIC, which I generally tend to trust, says it means "Confucianist". Suffix 家 (か) means "-ist (used after a noun indicating someone's occupation, pursuits, disposition, etc.); -er". On this basis I would be inclined to believe the Wiktionary entry, but a native or fluent speaker will have to confirm. 02:45, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
That seems bizarre to me. In the original Chinese term, 家 does not mean -er but rather a philosophical school. There are plenty of other 家, like 道家, 法家, 農家, etc. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:43, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't think it's very surprising that a character might have a different usage in Japanese than in Chinese. For other examples of the suffix in Japanese, see Category:Japanese words suffixed with 家. All those except one are essentially the "-er" meaning. 13:41, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
On the contrary, this is very surprising, since 儒家 is a very old word referring to a very old philosophy, it's unlikely to have a very different meaning in Japanese. We still need confirmation from a native speaker on this. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:20, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Japanese dictionaries say it's "Conficianist". The Japanese Wikipedia mentions that the term refers to "Confucianism" in China. 儒教 (じゅきょう) ‎(jukyō) and 儒学 (じゅがく) ‎(jugaku), etc. are used for "Confucianism". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:23, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing that up. How about the Korean though? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:34, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
The Korean cognate 유가 (儒家, yuga) follows the Japanese usage.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:51, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
  • FWIW, 家 in Chinese also appears to have a sense, specialist (in any branch of art or science). Per Languages of China, MDBG, and even our own Chinese entry for 家 (sense 8 and / or 9 at the moment). I suspect it's a conflation of meaning between the school in general, and a particular well-versed member of that school.
If you can read Japanese, or if you can make enough sense out of the kanji to get the gist, the 儒家 entries at Weblio suggest that 儒家 can mean both the school of Confucianism, and a Confucian scholar or expert. Likewise at Kotobank.
‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:33, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, User:Eirikr. I've updated the entry a bit but not as extensively as you normally do :) Yes, 家 is definitely used as suffix -er, -ist in many Chinese words but not in this case, apparently. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:56, 1 September 2016 (UTC)


"Although this option was shorter and better suited to through traffic, it did not satisfactorily serve the needs of Millau and its area". Is that a verb? --Fsojic (talk) 14:57, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

No. "through traffic" means traffic going through a street (as opposed to going to or from somewhere on the street). --WikiTiki89 15:01, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
I think it is our first sense of through#Adjective. DCDuring TALK 16:57, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, should have reflected on it a bit longer. --Fsojic (talk) 19:04, 29 August 2016 (UTC)


According to Wiktionary, "fuze" -- the noun at least -- is archaic. Some other dictionaries give it as a variant spelling of "fuse" with no particular qualification or with the qualification that it is "mainly US" or "North American". The Wikipedia article makes a technical distinction. It is not a spelling that I am at all familiar with. Perhaps someone else (perhaps an AmE speaker) can figure out what, if anything, needs to be changed. 19:25, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Mineralogy Databases[edit]

Pinging the participants of the -ite/-lite mineralogy discussion: @EI at10s, DCDuring, DTLHS, Wikitiki89. I noticed that the two web databases referenced in that discussion were manually included about 2665 times, as of a few months ago. I thought it might be useful to make a couple of templates: {{R:mindat}} and {{R:WebMineral}}. Would it be helpful to replace the existing links with templates, and also, would it be wanted to add templates to the remaining c. 4000 minerals with database entries which do not have links? If anyone has a better idea than I have about the best way to cite these two webpages, or better ideas for the template names, I would also appreciate any improvements or suggestions. An example of my templates is at laurelite. Thanks. Isomorphyc (talk) 23:10, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

I think the templates would be a wonderful idea. The names that you posit above and the look at [[laurelite]] seem OK to me. I do think it would be useful to allow the link to be to a mineral with a name different from the pagename, though the pagename is obviously the appropriate default. DCDuring TALK 00:34, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks; in both cases this is possible with a single unnamed argument. Please see my sandbox testing example: User:Isomorphyc/Sandbox1. For mindat.org this is particularly helpful due to its idiosyncratic capitalisation conventions; but for webminerals.com also there are a few cases in which several minerals with the same name are identified with parenthetical chemical formulae. Isomorphyc (talk) 00:39, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
So, it was there all along. I thought I had tested it with such a parameter. Sorry. DCDuring TALK 01:02, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
No need to apologise; {{R:mindat}} ignores parameters which do not result in valid links; it is likely you tested this template with a non-mineral argument. Thank you, and Metaknowledge, for both your encouragement. Isomorphyc (talk) 13:18, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Excellent idea! Some day in the far future I need to grab one of those mineralogical etymology books and get to work on adding etymologies for all of them. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:47, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I have been quite surprised at how scrupulous WebMineral especially is about etymologies. User:EI at10s has been doing excellent work of late with just this. Isomorphyc (talk) 01:04, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
The databases are very helpful, though on occasion one will lack etymology, and rarely both will lack it, Wikipedia itself seriously helps in terms of eponyms, and there are other mineralogy articles for new minerals I use as references for etymology when neither database lists it. Of note, I am doing these articles at work, so my activity may be spotty. But I plan on completing the "project" I've made for myself. Using a reference template will only take me learning how to use it, but it would be greatly beneficial. You can change the hyperlink text, right?EI at10s (talk) 23:23, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

looking for a word in English...[edit]

I'm looking for a word in English to describe the act of judging people based on their appearance only - e.g. you only hang out with or date "hot" people, regardless of their personality or integrity. It seems like a simple enough concept that's very commonplace, but for the life of me I can't think of an English equivalent. (The Chinese term is 外貌協會.) Cheers. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:39, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

superficial ? shallow ? Leasnam (talk) 04:26, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I've made some changes. It's the best I can do for now. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:14, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Words used in animal husbandry to communicate with animals[edit]

I'd like to create a subcategory of Category:Mongolian interjections that would hold words used to induce animals to come, move, stop, etc, for example чөх or цуу цуу.
Currently there is no standard category for such interjections, but I feel it might be useful to have one for other languages too.
The problem is, however, that no appropriate name for such a group comes to mind.

I found an example of "animal calls" being used

    • Verbal Gestures in Wolof
      Ronkh Wolof has an elaborate system of animal calls which does not overlap with the verbal gestures. The inventory includes calls to summon a dog, horse/donkey, cat, sheep or a goat, with a set of different deictic calls for ‘come’ and ‘go’. We tested the recordings of animal calls with speakers, who correctly identified them out of context. Second, Dialonotes that the use of clicks and the other verbal gestures identified here is in decline in urban Wolof, explaining this as a consequence of the lack of animals

, but it was deemed unsatisfactory.
There's also "Interjections of husbandry" in Kullman's Mongolian Grammar but I don't like it very much. Crom daba (talk) 12:48, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

I don't know what to call them either (calls for animals?), but we have them in English: soo wee for pigs (see w:Hog calling), giddyup and whoa for horses, gee and haw for mules (and perhaps horses, as well), mush for sled dogs and I'm sure there are others (the movie Babe has some that are used for sheepdogs, and even a song about one of them). Chuck Entz (talk) 13:54, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm a bit startled that there isn't a word for this. I've been trying to think of a good one from Greek, but I keep getting things like zoocybernomenon, which sounds sweet like a catastrophe in which we accidentally create superintelligent cyborg animals. This does not seem appropriate.
I could imagine something like Animal steering/direction terms. —JohnC5 16:21, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
+1 for zoocybernomenon. I nearly had coffee go up my nose.  :D   ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:36, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Comment: "animal calls" is (as may have been noticed) too ambiguous, as it could also mean the calls of animals: woof, moo, etc. A number of books seem to use "cattle calls" to refer to all calls to cattle, horses, goats, etc, but this is not suitable for a category name. - -sche (discuss) 03:57, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

take the rough with the smooth[edit]

Worth an entry? --Fsojic (talk) 20:20, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Do you think anyone would have any trouble whatsoever with guessing the meaning from the meaning of the component words? DCDuring TALK 02:07, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
I support inclusion of well-known or stock expressions even if arguably the meaning can be figured out from the component words. 00:56, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Please explain what you mean by well-known or stock expressions. By what criteria should our votes on each term be guided? An example of a well-known expression is what's for dinner. DCDuring TALK 01:11, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Is it? Do you possibly mean "What's for dinner?" with a question mark? By "well-known or stock expressions" I mean what everyone understands that to mean, i.e. expressions like "take the rough with the smooth", not random sentences like "What's for dinner?" 02:48, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
I reduced the expression to our normal way of representing it. A search for "What's for dinner?" would yield an entry for "what's for dinner" if we had one?
We have long had difficulty in determining what constitutes an idiom, for which we should have an entry vs a "random" expression. Perhaps "stock expression" is a more useful way for our purposes of expressing the notion behind idiom or set phrase Can you reduce "stock expression" to some operational criteria or do we need to rely on the component terms, especially stock? DCDuring TALK 12:49, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
I think so. People do not usually talk about "the rough" or "the smooth" independently. Equinox 08:35, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
The idea behind the expression has a long history, eg, in Middle English:
At the very least among opposed adjectives: take the hard with the soft, the good with the bad, the good with the not so good, the yin with the yang, the rich with the poor, the noble with the base, happy with the sad.
There are numerous additional readily findable oppositions between nouns.
In addition there are other verbs that can replace take, such as accept.
If the fundamental requirement is to help users, how/whom are we helping? DCDuring TALK 12:49, 3 September 2016 (UTC)


A distinction must be made here between adverb and conjunction. Would I be correct in saying that sense 1 is an adverb, while 2 and 3 are conjunctions? Kolmiel (talk) 19:54, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

I agree, but actually, sense 1 is both and the example sentence uses it as a conjunction. An example sentence using it adverbially would be "Visit whenever." --WikiTiki89 19:59, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
I have simply converted the existing section to a conjunction and created a new adverb section. Some of the translations might need to be moved (as I have done with one of the Russian translations). --WikiTiki89 20:03, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Many of the other -ever words need to be similarly cleaned up. --WikiTiki89 20:06, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Screw that. We need Morse code. DCDuring TALK 20:45, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

September 2016

Feedback on a possible entry or two[edit]

Pulchrism (and Pulchristic) See the etymology and instances of its use here. Do other editors think that this warrants inclusion here? —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:09, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

@SemperBlotto: Actual attestations have it capitalized. Why not capitalize it? —Justin (koavf)TCM 14:01, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
[19] uncapitalised except at the beginning of a sentence. [20] ditto and also within Jesse Waugh on Wikipedia. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:59, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

creating slut's wool[edit]

I've just created this page but am not sure how to properly format a noun plural form with two (or three, if you count 's ) parts.

Also I don't have a page number for the quotation, I got it from Google Books [21], not having a copy of the book with me. Not sure I included that link correctly either, I just guessed. --TyrS (talk) 11:59, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

Update - just worked out how to do the headword line, so the only remaining potential problem (that I know of) is my quotation reference (per above). Thanks. --TyrS (talk) 12:07, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't have a copy of the book either and so can't add the page number, but I reformatted the quotation. — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:21, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Any info on the etymology? Is it a joke "opposite" of virgin wool? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:16, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
More likely the older sense of slut: "a slovenly, untidy person, usually a woman". Equinox 17:48, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, OED concurs. I've added an etymology. — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:21, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

one night with Venus, a lifetime with Mercury[edit]

Is it a real proverb/saying? Apparently it means: you get a syphilis infection after a quick sexual relation and then you must spend the rest of your life treating with mercury. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 23:27, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

chaîner conjugation chart[edit]

(moved to Module talk:fr-pron)

asseoir conjugation chart[edit]

On the conjugation chart for the French verb asseoir, for the 3rd person plural assoient, the automatically generated IPA gives /a.swaj/ instead of /a.swa/. I don't know how to fix this. 2WR1 (talk) 02:21, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Weird. Looks like @Kc kennylau needs to deal with this. EDIT: Or maybe @Benwing2? Hard to tell who did what from a glance. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:37, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I think it comes from this diff when Kc_kennylau changed the format for it. I think I've fixed it. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 12:35, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
@Justinrleung: Yes, it's fixed! Thank you! 2WR1 (talk) 05:52, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

very carefully[edit]

I've heard this as a sarcastic response to "how did you" questions from many people in my area (southern US). For example:

  • Q: "How in the world did you start this club, anyway?"
  • A: "Very carefully."

It's sort of a sarcastic response to the question; sort of a copout, possibly to show that they don't want to take the time to answer your question fully? But does it have actual, lexical meaning? Has anyone else heard someone use this? Is it SOP? Does it merit an entry? Philmonte101 (talk) 03:30, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

It's not lexical. Just a joke with many variants. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:34, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I think it may have come from an old joke about porcupines having sex, adapted to other notoriously prickly situations. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:32, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Similar to the joke: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice!" Equinox 20:17, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
If you look at the actual meaning, it means [[very]] [[carefully]], which is the whole reason it's a joke. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:13, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
A valid lexical question...How do the Welsh eat their cheese? --Q9ui5ckflash (talk) 17:14, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Caerphilly! Renard Migrant (talk) 17:26, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
One of my top 3 favourite cheese jokes. --Q9ui5ckflash (talk) 18:06, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

vanishing cream[edit]

The OED disagrees with us on this; it claims it means any cream or ointment that "leaves no visible trace" on the skin. Which definition is correct? ---> Tooironic (talk) 16:05, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

  • The OED is correct - when rubbed into the skin there is no visible trace left. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:09, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

you've got to be kidding me[edit]

Idiomatic? It basically means "Are you serious?", "I can't believe this!", "This is not good!". I feel like it has some idiomaticity because the speaker usually does not genuinely believe that the "you" person is joking. Although, I have a pretty weak feeling about making an entry for it, since it's like you have got to be kidding me. What do you guys think? Philmonte101 (talk) 22:26, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Synonyms: you must be joking, you've got to (gotta) be joking, you must be kidding me, etc... the range of variations makes it sound perhaps less idiomatic and more SoP? Equinox 22:29, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Are you kidding me? Seriously though, bit of a toughie. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:55, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
It's usually used ironically, I think, but it's one of those borderline phrases which can be said without an ironic tone of voice, and still be understood in the ironic sense. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:21, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't know that it's a lexical item. It looks like simply using a metaphor to indirectly express disbelief, interchangeable (aside from the metaphor) with "no way!" and "I can't believe this". As a metaphor it's not to be interpreted literally, but the words used are secondary to the concepts expressed- you could paraphrase it in a variety of ways and it would still be understood the same: "you're not serious", "you're having me on", etc. ~~


No perfectives of this Russian verb are listed. But the Russian Wiktionary has вытошнить, затошнить, стошнить. Is there a difference? Is затошнить "to suddenly start feeling sick"? And is вытошнить not to just feel sick, but "to throw up"? If I'm right on those two, what's стошнить? Спасибо за помощь!

The Russian Wiktionary often lists questionable perfectives that don't quite have the same meaning, as you noted. Benwing2 (talk) 17:52, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
BTW the Russian Wiktionary says стошнить is a synonym of вытошнить. Benwing2 (talk) 17:53, 3 September 2016 (UTC)


Why isn't something like "someone who studies history as a career", or something along those lines, one of the definitions? That's how people have always described the word "historian" to me; "writer of history" makes sense but just sounds really strange to me for some reason. I feel like "documenter of history" or "writer of historical or chronological documents" would make a bit more sense. Philmonte101 (talk) 03:43, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

I think yours is sense 2, not sense 1. Equinox 08:29, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Still, sense 2 does a poor job of capturing it at the moment. Maybe "one whose field of study is history, especially someone for whom it is a career"? - -sche (discuss) 09:58, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Changed sense 2 to "One who studies or researches history", which I think is close to what the previous def intended from the start. Equinox 11:20, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, I live in the US, should I mention. If I was talking to someone, and I told them "Hi. <insert things about me here> and I'm a historian," they would not specifically think of me as someone who was "knowledgable about history", or "a writer of history". They would legitimately think I was someone who studied history professionally on a regular basis. The person I was talking to might ask me, for instance, "Oh, cool! Do you work for a college or university?" rather than "Oh, so do you mean you're a writer of history, or someone who is just good at history?" No, the assumption from "historian" is almost always that it is a career. Although, "amateur historian" (I know it's SOP but I'm using it as an example) might mean someone who studied it but didn't do it professionally, for instance a history student. I might say "I am not a historian (yet), but I am very interested in the field of study." (which is true of me, as a matter of fact) I also have seen on, say, syllabi in high schools "Welcome, young scientists, to _____ High School!" but I think that's just used as a way to make students feel better about being in the class. I question whether that gets a sense of its own. So I suppose any career related to the subject learned could be placed there, which in this case would be "Welcome, young historians, to ______ High School!" Philmonte101 (talk) 10:40, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
We ought to enhance all of our entries that are comparable, making sure that we have a sense to allow for compensated vs uncompensated participation in the activity involved. Perhaps we also need a sense for those who identify themselves or are identified by the activity. Even more generally, we should enhance all kinds of entries by offering definitions for all kinds of relevant modalities of their application. Hospital clown offers a clean slate for this kind of effort. DCDuring TALK 13:32, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

German Sphinx[edit]

For the German word Sphinx I am trying to make the Gender both masculine and feminine and I can't figure out how to do it. For French you can just put "mf" in the gender section of the code, but I got an error when I tried that. Also, there are two possible Plurals for Sphinx, Sphinxe and Sphingen, and I can't figure out how to add two plurals for one word. Can anyone help? 2WR1 (talk) 06:05, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

See Template:de-noun: "To specify more than one gender, use g2= or g3=. Additional plural forms can be added with pl2= and pl3=." Equinox 08:27, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
(We should probably, by the way, standardise how these templates work as far as is practical.) Equinox 08:27, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
@Equinox: Thank you! Ya, I assumed they would work the same for both languages, it's a little confusing to have to learn a new way to do it for a different language. 2WR1 (talk) 17:58, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Some languages inflect differently based on gender, so the masculine declension and feminine declension might be different so specifying mf causes all sort of problems in having to specify which is the plural when feminine and which is the plural when masculine. Also some templates can't simply use {{{3}}} for a second plural because it's already in use for the genitive or something. I think this is the case with {{de-noun}}
Oh, ya, I see, that does make sense. 2WR1 (talk) 23:30, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Example sentence for fille = "girl"[edit]

This example sentence:

Les parents regardaient leurs filles courir dans le parc.

Does not exemplify the meaning "girl". Can someone fix? Thanks! Benwing2 (talk) 18:59, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

I gave it a shot. Feel free to revise. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:10, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

half past[edit]

Labelled a noun. Does not seem like a noun to me. (Same goes for five past, ten past, five to etc.) 19:33, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

... looking again, I wonder if this definition was supposed to be for usages like "The meeting's at half past", rather than, say, "The meeting's at half past one". However, this contradicts the "example of usage" which actually is "half past one". 20:12, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing the usage example problem. DCDuring TALK 20:22, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
The translations are another problem- they seem to be specifically for the "half-past one" usage. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:45, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
I think that's mostly necessary. Otherwise, a substantial number of the world's languages would simply have no translation for this, even though the concepts are clearly similar. —CodeCat 22:21, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Can a part of speech be ascribed to "half past" in e.g. "half past one"? Perhaps there should be two definitions, and the translations should be assigned to the latter one? 19:08, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

not up[edit]

The tennis term "not up" ([22]) ought to be defined, but I am perplexed as to whether "up" has a separable meaning. Would it be reasonable to define "up" as "(of a tennis ball) not having bounced for a second time", or would it be better to have an entry for "not up"? 22:10, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

A similar case is not out. I experimentally searched Google Books for "ball was still up" and found one book describing a tennis game. Equinox 22:27, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
While logically 'not up' the existence of 'up' with the opposite meaning, logic is not truth, and especially not when it comes to languages! Therefore, no, it is not reasonable to define up to mean not having bounced twice because it's not necessarily used that way. I've never come across it (tennis is my favourite sport) but 'not up' is common. Probably gets said by the umpire about once per match. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:32, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Thinking some more about this, actually I think people do use "up" outside the expression "not up", per Equinox. For example: Umpire: "Not up!" / Player: "It was up!". I think I may have heard this usage, in which case "up" is separable for sure. 22:45, 3 September 2016 (UTC)


The entry of shitizen simply states that it is a vulgar, deliberate misspelling of citizen...but isn't it more than that? Doesn't it imply that the "citizen" is either a piece of shit (for lack of a better term) or shitty in some way ? Leasnam (talk) 22:48, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

French arguer[edit]

I'm very confused about the French arguer and the pronunciation of it's conjugated forms. The infinitive is pronounced /aʁ.gɥe/ but the conjugation chart shows the u being silent for the conjugated forms. I thought this was probably just a problem with the auto-conjugation module, but when I looked on the French wiktionary as well, the conjugated forms also had silent u's. This is made more confusing because the 1990 reform spelling created is argüer so you would expect forms like "argüe" to come of that, but the conjugation chart I found on French wiktionary gives "arguë" which is a distinctly non-1990 reform way of spelling /aʁ.gy/ but I also can't find evidence that the spelling "arguë" is used before the 1990 reform. 2WR1 (talk) 05:14, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Note that the French Wiktionary has both pronunciations. There are two different, homographic verbs, one pronounced /aʁ.gɥe/ and the other /aʁ.ge/. The conjugations of both are supplied, with the latter pronunciation on the first tab and the former on a second tab. Our entry is just incomplete, it would seem. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:22, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy: Ah, I see that now, could a similar thing showing multiple conjugations be done on the English wiktionary? @Benwing2 do you know? 2WR1 (talk) 22:19, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
@2WR1 I'll look into it, thanks. Benwing2 (talk) 22:24, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
@Benwing2 Thanks! 2WR1 (talk) 22:26, 4 September 2016 (UTC)


Couscous is not a pasta, surely? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:58, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

See w:Couscous. It really is a pasta. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:34, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
It's made out of semolina, I'm not sure that makes it pasta. Keith the Koala (talk) 22:30, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
For us the question is not fundamentally whether the referent of couscous is a kind of the referent of pasta or whether they are made the same way (typically!) from the same ingredients (typically!, except for the egg often in pasta and fresh pasta being made from soft, not durum, wheat). One might as easily claim that couscous balls are a type of dumpling. The question is more whether the two words are used as if couscous was a kind of pasta. There are many instances in which couscous and pasta are linked by or or and, which indicates that they are viewed as distinct. Some texts refer to using couscous instead of pasta. OTOH a small number of books (probably by culinary Platonists) do refer to couscous as a kind of pasta. The great preponderance of usage does not suggest that writers or readers view couscous as a type of pasta. DCDuring TALK 01:34, 5 September 2016 (UTC)


Senses 1 to 3 probably are comprehensible but is there a better way to word them? —suzukaze (tc) 10:43, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

wah, weh, weeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhh, etc.[edit]

Isn't this also imitating a baby? Like I've heard things like this happen in conversations:

  • Speaker 1: "Agh! I forgot my homework today!"
  • Speaker 2: "Oh, weh weh! Quit your complaining. I don't even do my homework."

So it would be synonymous to "boo hoo".

Also, I think weh and wah are literally used as an onomatopoeia for babies' cries. For instance:

  • "The baby said 'weeeeeeehhhhhhh' when I took out her pacifier."

I just don't know exactly how to word this or which forms are more common. Anybody else know? Philmonte101 (talk) 16:01, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Existing sense: "A cry of fright, distress, etc." That's what babies do, isn't it? Equinox 16:08, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, although I feel that the term arose from the fact that babies will do it. I don't think of a 24 year old man saying "wah" ever, personally, unless he was trying to imitate the baby's cry, like, say, in a roleplay. It seems like more of a childish thing. And, though I see roleplayers use "weh" all the time to mean the exact same thing, weh doesn't have an English entry. Philmonte101 (talk) 16:14, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
I'll just add the entries and additions and such. Sources indicate that adults say these words a lot too. But that confuses me, because I've always heard "wah" to be only something that a baby says (pretty much). For instance, of an adult saying it. "I have to paint today?! Wehhhhhhh." Philmonte101 (talk) 16:20, 4 September 2016 (UTC)


Is it true that leastwise is an informal way of saying at least? I have always thought of it as being more formal.... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:38, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes. A good quoted search string to find examples is "leastwise, that's...". Equinox 17:40, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
The results for "at least, thats..." are pretty similar, though. Come to think of it, "leastwise" seems more informal in writing, but out of place in speech, to my ears. I might have had the impression that it was more formal simply because it is rare in my dialect. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:39, 4 September 2016 (UTC)


Adjective sense #8 ("one A. Lincoln") doesn't sound like an adjective to me - more like a determiner. Cambridge classes it as "number, determiner"; Oxford has it a subsense of the cardinal number. Keith the Koala (talk) 19:33, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

I tend to agree, and I would also question whether some other senses are truly adjectives, such as #1, #2 and #7. 17:42, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

artificial tears[edit]

Could someone make a lemma for this? I think it means contact-lense fluid, but I'm not sure. Kolmiel (talk) 21:00, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done, along with many more related terms when I saw them, as you can see, such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca and dry eye syndrome, to name a few. PseudoSkull (talk) 03:55, 5 September 2016 (UTC)


I'm having trouble defining the French word combientième. Does anyone have any input on a good way to explain it in English? 2WR1 (talk) 22:14, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

I found the word whatth, which I added to the entry, but I can't think of anything better.
Note that we don't use the header "interrogative adjective," but prefer to just use the "adjective" header, and label the sense as "interrogative." Also, it is typical practice here to write only English entries as sentences, keeping definitions for other languages lowercase and without a period. Be careful when copying Wiktionnaire's entries, because they have different standards there than we have here.
All that being said, thanks for the work you've been doing on French! I've noticed that you seem to be pretty active with your contributions to it, which is nice to see. :) Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:56, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
I added an example sentence, which should be sufficient to convey the meaning of the word. Are you going to add the pronominal sense? It's good to make entries as complete as possible when first created, because incomplete entries are far less readily noticed than ones that are missing altogether. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:03, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy Thanks for your revision! I totally missed the pronominal definition, I'll add that now, thanks for pointing that out! 2WR1 (talk) 23:17, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy Can you think of a good example sentence for the first pronominal definition? Also, I wasn't sure how to format an example sentence which includes two voices, can you check my formatting? Thanks! 2WR1 (talk) 23:26, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
I think the formatting is probably fine. I added an example sentence, as requested (guess what I'm eating for supper? ;)). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:46, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy Haha! Yes, I like your sentence! Thanks! 2WR1 (talk) 01:05, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I'd translate it as "howmanieth" or something similar. At least, that's my first instinct, "whatth" doesn't really do it as well. —CodeCat 01:30, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree (though "whatth" came to mind almost instantly when I was trying to think of a translation, and it's just the sort of word I would use). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:08, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
@CodeCat, Andrew Sheedy I think that's mainly because in English we don't have a separate word for "how many" like combien. If you want to ask somebody what king they just mentioned you might say "Henry the whatth?" because we are asking for the ordinal number and we ask for that with a "what". But because number are usually asked for with a "combien" in French, I guess the term was created with that in mind. 2WR1 (talk) 02:12, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Good point. I added "howmanyeth" to the entry anyway. (Incidentally, it may actually be citeable. See the bottom three books at howmanyeth.) Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:14, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy Ya, I get that, but I feel like it sounds more natural to say "That's the whatth hotdog you've eaten today?" than "That's the howmanyeth hotdog you've eaten today?", maybe that's just a personal preference. 2WR1 (talk) 02:21, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't think either are particularly natural, TBH, which is why I didn't translate the example sentences literally. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:23, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy I mean, ya, I guess, I don't say "whatth" very often, but I'd sooner say it than "howmanyeth", haha. 2WR1 (talk) 05:57, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I would avoid the construction all together: "how many hot dogs does that make for today?" Chuck Entz (talk) 07:56, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree that whatth makes a lot more sense than howmanyeth. --WikiTiki89 10:43, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
It may be my Dutch background. In Dutch, there's hoeveel, which is literally just hoe ‎(how) + veel ‎(many), and the ordinal becomes hoeveelste. So "howmanieth" is just a direct calque of that. —CodeCat 13:37, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
  • German uses wievielter for this. The usage example there uses "what number". It's a significant gap in the English lexicon; when I try to explain it to English speakers who know no German, I say it means "how many-eth". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:26, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
how manyth is readily attestable; I have added an entry. 19:19, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

wuxtry pronunciation[edit]

I can't find the pronunciation of wuxtry anywhere, I'm assuming that it's /ˈwʌks.tɹi/, but I want to be completely sure. 2WR1 (talk) 00:04, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

о́, а́, etc. in Cyrillic[edit]

I know that we don't create any entries at all with Cyrillic accent marks in the titles. However, don't these individual accented characters still deserve their own Translingual entries, seeing how someone might want to look up what the symbols actually mean? PseudoSkull (talk) 03:28, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

@ User:Wikitiki89, @User:Atitarev, etc., does anyone want to help me with this? PseudoSkull (talk) 20:34, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't think we need these. No language considers them separate letters or even separate characters. They are simply vowels with an accent mark. --WikiTiki89 20:45, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Technically, they are separate characters and they are attested. When I type à, I don't have a key on my computer that is specifically for "à", but I press option + ` + a. Also, I once tried to look these separate characters up because I wanted to learn more about them, but was disappointed to find that no entries were created for Arabic, Hebrew, or Cyrillic-scripted accents. PseudoSkull (talk) 20:55, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
The Unicode status of characters doesn't really have any merit for whether we include them. We could include a combination of a base character and a combining diacritic, and still call it a "letter" if a language uses it as a single letter. These characters exist in Unicode but they're not a character in any language. They're also, technically, SOP: о́ is just the plain o with a diacritic, and its meaning can be derived from these individual characters. —CodeCat 20:57, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
What makes you say that "technically, they are separate characters"? --WikiTiki89 21:21, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
@User:CodeCat I feel like SOP only counts when there are two words that you can find the meaning to individually, always separated by a space or a hyphen. @User:Wikitiki89 Because they just are. "а́" is clearly pretty different from "а". And if we have Latin diacritical symbols, it's unfair that we don't have the Cyrillic, Arabic, and Hebrew ones too, as well as any other script that has these. PseudoSkull (talk) 21:29, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
"They just are" is not an argument. We have entries for Latin diacriticized characters because in many Latin-script languages they actually are treated as separate characters and their functions cannot always be described in terms of the character and diacritic separately. For the Cyrillic diacriticized chracters you bring up, that is not the case. We do have entries for some Cyrillic diacriticized characters for whoch that does happen to be the case: й, ё, ї, for example. The same goes for the Arabic and Hebrew diacritics, but even more so. For Arabic, for example, this would necessitate over 400 entries for character-diacritic combinations, that are all completely useless because all the indicate is essentially that the letter for "b" combines with the diacritic for "a" to make the sound "ba", and that the letter for "b" combines with the gemination diacritic and the diacritic for "a" to make the sound "bba". And it's not as though it's difficult to figure out how these diacritics are written. They are written exactly the same way regardless of which letter they are on. --WikiTiki89 22:22, 5 September 2016 (UTC)


I have no idea how to edit or display Arabic, after several attempts, so I can't fix this myself. The Arabic word d.ay`ah "village", which should be the linked title of this posting if I'm lucky, has a shadda on the first letter under the Noun subheading. This should be removed. This is presumably because someone created this page through the etymology of the Spanish aldea, which is from the definite form. --Hiztegilari (talk) 10:08, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing it out. Fixed. --WikiTiki89 11:54, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

ΆΛΣ, ὁ; and ΆΛΣ, ἡ[edit]

Am still not clear whether these two lexemes are distinct etymologically: the first meaning 'salt'; and the latter meaning 'sea', being poetical from Homer et cetera. Andrew H. Gray 13:32, 5 September 2016 (UTC)Werdna Yrneh Yarg.


In what context is this used? DTLHS (talk) 17:57, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

so yeah[edit]

I tried to word this the best way I could, but I still feel like something's wrong with it's definition. I've seen "so yeah" be used at the beginning, the middle, and the end of sentences. I gave an example sentence of its usage in case some of you haven't seen this phrase used before. PseudoSkull (talk) 20:58, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Do you think you could produce some citations acceptable for attestation? The usage example you have provided is not consistent with the definition you have provided, the speaker saying more after using the term. DCDuring TALK 21:59, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Good point. I've changed the entry to include two definitions, the second one being a bit more rare, but I didn't include the "rare" label because I feel like it's used quite a bit in colloquial speech and writing. PseudoSkull (talk) 00:08, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
But we still have no evidence from actual usage which would bear on how the expression is used. If you cannot provide any, I will RfV the entry. We will see whether anyone can produce evidence in support of the two definitions or any other definition, other that so + yeah. I also have a feeling that the way the expression is vocalized conveys most of the meaning, which is very hard indeed to document from durably archived sources. DCDuring TALK 01:44, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Give me at least until tomorrow night please before RFVing. I'm tired. *yawn* PseudoSkull (talk) 01:52, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
I think this is SOP and these shades of meaning are conveyed just by the "yeah". For example, there's also "and yeah", "or yeah", "but yeah", "well yeah", etc. --WikiTiki89 01:56, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree. I don't think there is any idiomatic content to "so yeah" beyond "so + yeah", and neither is it sufficient of a set phrase to merit inclusion. 02:29, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
I'd bet against it, but who knows? DCDuring TALK 02:38, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
It may be more of a construction than anything else: "so, no" seems to be exactly equivalent to "so, yeah", but for negative questions, as in "so, no, I don't agree". Chuck Entz (talk) 02:56, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
No, that's not it. It's a filler phrase used in all sorts of situations. so no is SOP, but so yeah is not. I'd argue that but yeah is a synonym in some cases. PseudoSkull (talk) 05:45, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Please remember that addition of so no is usually used in response to a yes or no question. so yeah can be used regardless of what kind of question, if any, is asked. PseudoSkull (talk) 05:46, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Why would the usage at sense 1 not be considered a separate POS, like a Conjunction ? Leasnam (talk) 16:21, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

cognate (linguistic sense)[edit]

Is there a stricter sense alongside the one we mention? In German (cf. w:de:Verwandte_Wörter), words are usually regarded as cognate (urverwandt) only when they are inherited words assumed to have existed in a common predecessor language. This means that borrowings, parallel formations, etc., aren't cognates, and that there can be no cognates between unrelated languages. (The looser use is not entirely unknown in German, but less common, to my best knowledge.) Kolmiel (talk) 02:03, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

PS: Our definition is somewhat open to interpretation, but example sentence 3 definitely mentions words that aren't urverwandt in the above sense. Kolmiel (talk) 02:05, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Note that I just simplified the definition a bit, but I hope that that doesn't invalidate anything you said. The first time I was exposed to the word cognate was in French class in middle school and high school, where "cognates" were word pairs with obvious connections like arriver and arrive, and "false cognates" were pairs whose meanings differed like attendre and attend. It seems to be that that is the way cognate is most commonly used among non-linguists. --WikiTiki89 11:49, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Historical pronunciation of Calcutta[edit]

For some reason I thought Calcutta was a 19th century anglicization of the Bengali pronunciation of the name [ˈkolkat̪a] (now represented by the new spelling Kolkata) or [ˈkɔlikat̪a], and originally pronounced /kɔːlˈkätə/ (when strut was a low central vowel), then somehow had /ɔː/ replaced with the front vowel /æ/ through spelling pronunciation. It is probably a crazy theory invented by my brain (such phoneme replacement would be rather strange without some kind of dramatic event to make people forget the old pronunciation), and there is no indication here or on Wikipedia that this could be true, but does anyone know if there's a source with transcriptions of 19th century English pronunciations of Indian place names, so that the theory can be definitely disproved? — Eru·tuon 05:05, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

I don't know if there is such a source, but it's good to keep in mind that place names are not always borrowed from the locals' own pronunciation. Calcutta might (for all I know) be filtered through a variety of other languages, such as Hindi or Portuguese. (Consider Japan, which obviously doesn't come straight from Nihon or Nippon but rather through some variety of Chinese like Min Nan Ji̍t-pún, then Malay, then Portuguese and/or Dutch.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:00, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

go through[edit]

One of the definitions of "go through" is this:

  1. (intransitive) To progress to the next stage of something.

In my opinion the italicisation of "to" looks odd, and the reason for it is unclear to the reader, and the link on "to" has little value. I removed both, but another user has restored them; see explanation here. I remain unconvinced. Possibly what the editor is trying to achieve could be done by putting brackets around "to the next stage of something". Comments please. 17:49, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

We certainly shouldn't be using {{term}} to do that (or anything else, for that matter). At best, it should say:
  1. (intransitive) To progress (to the next stage of something).
What do others think? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:48, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
In the standard approach in other dictionaries, which we tend to follow, the parentheses imply that one must provide an object of the specified type, which is inconsistent with it being intransitive. DCDuring TALK 13:50, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
In this case, it's a prepositional phrase complement, rather than a direct object, that's in parentheses. I think it's clear enough to any user what they mean. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:00, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Maybe, but we really owe it to our users to be consistent in our presentation, especially of actual content. DCDuring TALK 15:37, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree with DCD, though I'm not sure exactly how it should be solved. I was the one that italicised "to" in this case, as I've done in similar entries, a practice which is used by several print dictionaries. I've seen other entries here that spell these things out long-windedly with a context label like construed with "to", which is also an option, I guess, although I think it makes it difficult to write a definition because one inevitably needs to use the preposition as part of the definition as well. Ƿidsiþ 06:49, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
(OP) It seeems to me that there are two cases to consider. The first is a usage like "Manchester United went through", for which the definition "to progress to the next stage of something" is logical and directly substitutable. Then there is the case like "Manchester United went through to the next round of the cup", for which the definition "to progress to the next stage of something" is not strictly substitutable, but should strictly be "to progress (to the next stage of something)" analogously to the way DCD has explained for direct objects. Having two definitions for these two cases would be way too fussy though. I would be content with either. I don't believe the italicised "to" would be widely understood. 19:17, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
(OP) Very well, since there have been no more comments, and I do not see much support for the present treatment, I have removed the italics and delinked "to" (again). Please put "to the next stage of something" in brackets if you prefer. If any editor absolutely insists on putting back the italicised and linked "to" then I will not change it again, but I am quite strongly of the opinion that most readers will not understand it. 04:08, 20 September 2016 (UTC)


  • Not sure if "K/S" should be on Wiktionary. It is simply an acronymized specific case of slash fiction, that of Kirk/Spock (Kirk slash Spock). K/S is arguably the most notable form of slash fiction, but I think it is something that perhaps could be used within an example on the entry for "slash" (e.g. "A common slash fiction is that of Kirk and Spock, often abbreviated as 'K/S.'") instead of as a main entry. Nicole Sharp (talk) 05:46, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
    • This one is in the OED, interestingly. Ƿidsiþ 06:50, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
    • From what I've seen in a book by Joanna Russ, the term "K/S" occurred before "slash" came into use as a fanfic-classifying word, and in fact the word "slash" was pretty much extrapolated from "K/S" (that etymology is currently shown in the cite under slash noun sense 5, but not in the slash fiction entry). The original "slash" writers were female fans of the Star Trek original series in the 1960s or 1970s who were thrilled by the idea of a Kirk-Spock pairing (don't ask me why). AnonMoos (talk) 00:35, 14 September 2016 (UTC)


I believe this is also a noun, referring the hand other than the one you prefer to use? For example, if you're righthanded, the left hand is your offhand. I've seen it used mainly in the context of swordfighting. —CodeCat 14:08, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

I imagine it more to be a noun-headed phrase, "off hand," when using this sense. EI at10s (talk) 17:40, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

cup noodles[edit]

I'd like to get assistance in creating this entry. There's one in Japanese, but not one in English. I'm sure it's not SOP as the type of cup and the type of noodles are fairly specific when referring to this. Etymologically it's a genericized trademark. I am unsure how to provide solid examples and references for this, but I can vouch it's part of my vocabulary and that of many of my peers, to say "cup noodles" to refer to any product with dried ramen in Styrofoam cups. EI at10s (talk) 17:39, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

The term I'm familiar with in the UK is "pot noodle" (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_Noodle), also a brand name that has become somewhat genericised. 20:08, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I created cup noodles with only the Portuguese section and one citation. It's not SOP in Portuguese either, nobody says "cup" or "noodles" but "cup noodles" is common. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 20:44, 8 September 2016 (UTC)


I didn't want to play with the extant material, but I believe that sense 2 as given here for the word--

 irrelevant, not pertinent (idiosyncratic usage in the works of science fiction author Jack Vance [1916 – 2013][1]; used nowhere else in this sense) 

--is incorrect. Vance was acerbically sarcastic. The example given, "The question is nuncupatory," is always said by a profoundly shady character attempting to avoid too-close questioning. I, at least, think it clear that Vance intended those characters to be consciously bedazzling their opponents with tricky words they won't understand. The character saying that is only, in effect, saying "the question was asked orally," but he sounds as if he is airily dismissing it as in some way technically (and ridiculously) defective.

Anyone reading this who agrees might want to suitably revise the definition of that sense (or, perhaps best, just scrub it, and let new Vance readers have the pleasure of figuring it all out for themselves.)

If it's really used only by Jack Vance then I think we shouldn't have it anyway, since that makes it a single-use nonce word, and we no longer include those. Equinox 22:10, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

تلا فلاال عغ عغعاا غ[edit]

I think this should be speedied. It's not Arabic and is probably gibberish. Benwing2 (talk) 13:47, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

When you want something speedied, just add {{delete}}. Or log into your other account and delete it. No need for Tea Room discussions. --WikiTiki89 13:50, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Right, but I wasn't completely sure it should be deleted, that's why I posted here (maybe it's in some weird language I don't recognize?). Benwing2 (talk) 14:18, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Regardless, there was no usable content in the entry. --WikiTiki89 14:28, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation of damn with an /n/?[edit]

Ian Flemming in Moonraker has one slightly vulgar character utter the word as dam’, apparently marking the absence of a spoken N. Was that a thing, should we add it? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 17:56, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

Doubt it. To me it seems like a classic case of "true" eye-dialect. --WikiTiki89 18:00, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, either eye-dialect or written euphemism (like "d*mn" would be). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:40, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
It's also possible that the author saw "damn" as being a shortening of "damned," and the apostrophe thus represents the ommission of the /d/ sound, rather than a /n/. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:56, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, the old Century Dictionary (which often includes old, then-current pronunciations) has no pronunciation with /n/. - -sche (discuss) 02:04, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

delete, noun[edit]

"A remainder of a music or video release." What does this sense mean? I don't get it. Equinox 22:00, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure if it belongs as a noun. I think it's more the sense "Deleted scenes" or "deleted track." EI at10s (talk) 22:12, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
I think it's "remainder" in sense 4, "Excessive stock items left unsold and subject to reduction in price". See for example the uses in this article:
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=RAkEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PT69&dq=%22deletes%22 11:02, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I've added {{senseid|en|commerce}} to [[remainder]] and linked "remainder" in the challenged definition of delete#Noun to it. DCDuring TALK 11:41, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
BTW, shouldn't "Excessive" be "Excess"? 03:24, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I've changed it, and am RFVing the "delete" sense. Equinox 10:38, 11 September 2016 (UTC)


The entry for heigh-ho seems odd because there's only a verb definition and no definition for an interjection. Does this seem incomplete to anyone else? 2WR1 (talk) 19:27, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

How about now? Equinox 19:31, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
@Equinox Looks good, thanks! 2WR1 (talk) 03:25, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

given to / prone to[edit]

I just added given to (in the sense "in the habit of (doing)") as an adjective. Now I notice that prone to, which seems grammatically similar, is listed as an adverb. I feel doubtful that it is an adverb. Comments please. 13:01, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

I don't think it's an adverb. We already have your sense at given, though the entry notes it's only used with to; however, I think it's better there, because of constructs like "a habit to which she was given". Equinox 16:47, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
One problem with relying solely on the entries for given (or prone) is the way search works in the absence of an entry for given to:
  1. As one types 'given to', 'give' appears, leading to a long entry, with 18 definitions of which number 14 is relevant.
  2. Then 'given' appears, leading to an entry with 3 PoS sections and 7 definitions, of which the last is relevant.
  3. 'given to' would NOT yield those entries, but instead a "failed search" page showing entries with 'given' and 'to' in the headword, then entries with those words appearing somewhere in the text, mostly separately. Neither [[give]] nor [[given]] are high on the list.
A fast or determined typist is likely to skip over 1 and 2.
This is an argument for having some kind of entry for given to. I prefer a redirect to the appropriate definition (using {{senseid}}) on [[given]] (not [[give]]).
This argument applies to many entries, including those for terms called phrasal verbs, but which are not really phrasal verbs. DCDuring TALK 17:54, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, in any case I have changed "prone to" to adjective. If anyone disagrees then please change it to whatever part of speech you think it is. 17:40, 13 September 2016 (UTC)


Screenshot of the BBC News website

Appears at the end of this BBC story - see screenshot in case they fix it. Is this journalist slang for "bye bye" maybe? Keith the Koala (talk) 15:03, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

It's probably the initials of the journalist who wrote the article. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:08, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
I suppose it could also be a random "falling on keyboard" kind of typographical error. If it was initials I would expect a space and/or capitals, though who knows ... 19:28, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
It does seem to have been removed now, so it must have been either a typing mistake or some internal code. Equinox 19:29, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

i griega[edit]

The definition ("Former name of the letter y. Now called ye.") makes it seem as though no one calls it i griega anymore, but I suspect that many people still do (considering that the new name was only officially accepted by the Real Academia Española in 2010, and the old name was never officially rejected). --WikiTiki89 15:31, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Reminds me of the user who tried to get all the pre-2006 Dutch spelling reform words deleted. I got taught i griega back in 2007/08 when I did Spanish and I doubt it's dropped out of use since then. "i griega" sorted by date backs this up. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:15, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: "I griega" is far more common than "ye" in practice and "be (corta)" is far more common than "uve" for v. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:27, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Ok, I have just made these two edits. Regarding v, it seems that uve is the only name for it in Spain. In Latin America, ve is more common (with or without a clarifying adjective corta, chica, chiquita, pequeña, or baja), but uve also exists. --WikiTiki89 19:54, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
@Koavf: I'm not sure that ye was actually introduced by the Academia. Wikipedia says it was proposed in the 20th century (before the Academia adopted it), but does not say by whom or even exactly when in the 20th century. --WikiTiki89 21:55, 12 September 2016 (UTC)


Supposedly a verb, but of the three citations, two are "what the frak" (noun?? anyway not a verb) and the other is "frak off" (phrasal verb, a single unit). Equinox 18:56, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes, noun. Also, in B S Galactica, it was used as an Interjection as well, which we don't seem to have Leasnam (talk) 03:06, 14 September 2016 (UTC)


user:OrphicBot is broken/buggy from the 12 September 2016 update. It doesn't check the existence of pages before removing "redlinks" if the new page hasn't propagated then the link is red, but the destination page exists. This can be considered a problem with either Wiktionary's MediaWiki (cache lag) or with OrphicBot itself (not taking into account server lag)

example: chíp/chip/ChIP delinked new page CHiP

-- 04:16, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

@Isomorphyc: How are you checking for pages' existence? --WikiTiki89 14:29, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
For clarity, technical issues are posted to WT:GP, technically-minded editors are much more likely to see it if posted there. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:52, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: It is not quite necessary to test for pages' existence in realtime (Wikimedia prefers titles queried in groups of 5000 where possible), but I made two small errors: I neglected to refresh my day-old titles list, and I should have skipped over pages edited more recently than the time at which my my titles list was loaded. I believe fewer than half a dozen pages were involved, but I will correct these. The realtime client works from the RecentChanges feed and does not have this type of issue-- this was a one-time subtractive bulk update for ten years of accumulated red links. Sorry for deleting the valid arguments-- they also would have been added back in the next additive iteration. Isomorphyc (talk) 15:53, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Here is the log of the changes: User:OrphicBot/EditLogs/13September2016_Incorrect_Argument_Deletions. The title is a bit of a misnomer; most of the pages except CHiP are recent changes without incorrect removals. But this gives a sense of the daily activity needed to keep the {{also}} templates consistent: about 50-100 edits/day. Isomorphyc (talk) 17:47, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

dun and Dehra Dun[edit]

Etymology 3 at dun gives the gloss, "A valley in the Himalayan foothills, e.g. Dehra Dun." Dehra Dun is listed as an English proper noun, presumably borrowed from a language spoken in that area. The Google mostly gives it as a single word, Dehradun.

I've never heard of dun to mean "Himalayan valley", and it's not in the OED online. OED includes: a fort (in Scotland or Ireland), from dun or din meaning "hill" or "hill-fort" in Gaelic and in Welsh, but nothing I can see from South Asia.

When the sense that is now etymology 3 was added on 12 May 2007, User:LADave speculated "A valley in the Himalayan foothills, e.g. Dehra Dun. [...] Etymology: possibly by analogy to the valley of the Doon River in Scotland." I've seen a couple of pieces online – none that seem all that reliable – deriving Dehradun from द्रोण ‎(droṇa) or from a word in an unnamed language meaning "valley". My guess would be that Sanskrit is more likely than Gaelic.

My question is: is the "Himalayan valley" sense actually an English word, or might it be a misunderstanding? Perhaps it only exists as part of various place names and not as an independent borrowing. Cnilep (talk) 07:49, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

It does not seem to be English: see Dehradun#Etymology. Equinox 16:31, 14 September 2016 (UTC)


Discussion moved from WT:RFV#cōnsors.

Cōnsors can sometimes appear in the ablative as cōnsorte, although on this site it is only declined in the ablative as cōnsortī. There is an example of this use in Ovid's Metamorphoses, book 1 line 319: "cum consorte tori parva rate vectus adhaesit,"

I have no idea where to suggest this fix nor how to do it myself. —This unsigned comment was added at 12 September 2016.

Feminine of cock-a-doodle-doo[edit]

  • What is the name for the cry of a hen (especially one that has lain an egg)? I am trying to translate the French term cot cot codet. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:33, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Well, there's bacaw and its fuller former buck buck bacaw, but in practice they're both probably used more to accuse someone of cowardice than to denote the actual cry of a hen. (As for the feminine of "cock-a-doodle-doo", surely it's "cunt-a-doodle-doo".) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:38, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Erm, enough of that, what about cluck, clucking or cluck-cluck? DonnanZ (talk) 14:41, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
    • As far as I know (not having grown up on a farm), "cock-a-doodle-doo" is used exclusively for male chickens (roosters). Female chickens (hens) typically are onomatopoetized as just "cluck, cluck," or for a more literation translation of the French, "cluck-cluck-cluck" (e.g. "Cluck-cluck-cluck went the hen when she laid the egg.") I do not think that chickens would bacaw when they lay eggs, they would more likely just cluck (but I would suggest asking an egg farmer to be sure). Nicole Sharp (talk) 14:29, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
      • According to Wikipedia, hens are actually capable of crowing the same as roosters. However, the sound for egg-laying is that of clucking not crowing: "Hens cluck loudly after laying an egg, and also to call their chicks." You can probably find videos of chickens laying eggs on YouTube as well for verification, which might be easier than finding an egg farmer. Nicole Sharp (talk) 14:29, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
      • It looks like English "cluck," Spanish "clo," and French "cot" are all for the same sound. I think there is another onomatopoeia in Spanish for "cluck" besides "clo," but I cannot remember what it is. Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:15, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Gender of Juniperites[edit]

Would someone kindly check the gender of Juniperites and update the {{taxoninfl}} template accordingly? Thanks. — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:31, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

To judge from Juniperites subulata and Juniperites acutifolia in the 1835 quote, it's feminine, which is odd since -itēs is normally masculine. But since neither Wikispecies nor Wikipedia has ever heard of Juniperites, and since our quotations all come from the 19th century, shouldn't we change the definition to something like "(historical) A name formerly applied to certain extinct fossil plants resembling the juniper, when they were believed to be a taxonomic genus"? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:50, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't feel qualified enough to judge if the term is now entirely historical and no longer in common use, though. — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:56, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I see that @DCDuring has revised the definition – thank you! — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:59, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
The few modern discussions don't seem to credit the 19th century diagnosis. Thees and similar fossils don't seem to offer sufficient distinct features to make modern authors comfortable with assigning the fossil specimens to genera. DCDuring TALK 18:04, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Hence the "obsolete" label? OK. — SMUconlaw (talk) 18:19, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I notice Juniperites alienus, Juniperites harmannianus, Juniperites brevifolius and aculifolius, in addition to Juniperites aliena, Juniperites brevifelia, Juniperites baccifera, Juniperites subulata. This seems, in other words, to be both masculine and feminine. - -sche (discuss) 19:33, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
The -ites ending is often tacked on to morphotaxon names: these are names for fossils that simply don't show the necessary details for identification or classification. Such names aren't taxonomically valid, so you can't find them in taxonomic references. Thus the name Juniperites can be assigned to any fossil that sort of looks like Juniperus, but can't be identified for sure. I'm sure there are lots of organisms that are known by multiple morphotaxon names: a tree might have wood fossils, leaf fossils, etc., with no way to know that these are all the same species, unless someone finds a more complete fossil that can be matched to the incomplete ones. I don't believe these names are covered by the taxonomic codes, so lack of gender agreement wouldn't be at all surprising. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:43, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
The single online source that might have the name is Fossilworks. Paleontology seems also to retain older names and classifications. DCDuring TALK 11:03, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I clicked on both the Wikipedia and Fossilworks links, but they give no results. Is it useful to keep those links? — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:07, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
My mistake – there is an entry in Fossilworks, though it is pretty brief and says "there are no occurrences of Juniperites in the database" (which I didn't really understand as I'm not familiar with what data Fossilworks contains). — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:10, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Excuse me if this is a stupid question, but how can Translingual entries have genders (and pronunciation, for that matter)? I know that Latin has genders, but that isn't retained in all languages.__Gamren (talk) 12:53, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Not sure, but the documentation of {{taxoninfl}} which is for use in translingual entries relating to taxa specifically requests that editors indicate the gender "based on the etymology, on actual practice as shown in the gender of specific epithets used with the genus, or on some reference source". — SMUconlaw (talk) 13:51, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
@Smuconlaw I've removed the pedia template. The entry is in the nature of a placeholder. The raison d'etre for the database is to provide records of specific fossil specimens, organized under taxa or taxonomic-type names. Either there is no specimen or specimen information has not been entered.
@Gamren Genus names (except for those of viruses) have genders because many specific epithets are in the form of Latin adjectives (others are attributive nouns, genitive forms of nouns, etc). Some specific epithets are actually classical Latin adjectives. The practice of making the specific epithet agree with the genus name has endured from the first use of Latin binomial names as species identifiers. Names above the rank of genus are mostly in the form of Latin plural nouns. Gender does not matter for them because adjectives do not modify them. In the case of viruses, the ICTV started with a relatively clean slate and dispensed with most of the Latin baggage that the taxonomic name authorities (ICZN and IBC/IAPT) retain. Some modern plant higher-group names (as used by APG) are in the form of English plurals (eg, rosids, euasterids I), but there are also corresponding Latin plural names. DCDuring TALK 16:10, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

family values, missing senses?[edit]

To quote myself from a talk page: "When I encounter this term in the context of actual political discourse, it seems to always be some ideal that discoursers refer to to justify discrimination against homosexuals (see for example some pages I took from the first page of a Google search). Is this a separate sense, or a sub-sense of the existing one?"__Gamren (talk) 17:46, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Can a native speaker clear this up?__Gamren (talk) 11:47, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

According to family values advocates, only a man and a woman can form the base for a valid nuclear family, but you're right that common connotations could be explained a little more... AnonMoos (talk) 13:17, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Citations, not intuition, even of a native speaker, would be the best way to illustrate how the terms are used. It would also be nice if the citations were a representative selection. DCDuring TALK 16:38, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

collective term[edit]

I think it's worth an entry, but I'm stuck for a good definition. DonnanZ (talk) 13:45, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Mmmm, what does that mean? — SMUconlaw (talk) 13:51, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I think a word that generally covers some other terms, but putting it in a nutshell... DonnanZ (talk) 14:05, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Like sheep covers ewes, rams, hoggets, wethers, lambs, not to mention different breeds. DonnanZ (talk) 14:21, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I think such a word is called a hypernym. I don't know whether it is also called a collective term. Have you tried looking for quotations of the latter? — SMUconlaw (talk) 14:37, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Synonyms listed on the hypernym page are blanket term, genus, superordinate, hyperonym, superset and umbrella term. — SMUconlaw (talk) 14:40, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
You're not thinking of collective noun are you? 23:13, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Nope. DonnanZ (talk) 06:34, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Confusing note on one/alone[edit]

ōn → ōōōn → wōn → wōōn → wŏŏn → wŭn.
How is that to be read? /oːn → oːːːn → woːn → woːːn → woon → wʊn/? Could someone do us the favour of rewriting both notes (which are also not identical) in a more intelligible way? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 21:16, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Doesn't make sense to me. I would just write ōn → wōn → wŏn → wŭn. --WikiTiki89 21:21, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I think I get it, whoever wrote it intended ōō to stand for /uː/ and ŏŏ for /ʊ/ (and ŭ for /ʌ/). Anyway, in IPA I would put /oːn → woːn → wuːn → wʊn → wʌn/. --WikiTiki89 21:27, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't think there's a /uː/ in the history of the word, though. The word had ā in Old English, the same as stone and broad. So it never would have rhymed with moon. —CodeCat 23:15, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
So how about /ɔːn → oːn → ʊon → wʊn → wʌn/? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 23:39, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
You had it right: After the OE period, it went from /o:n/ > /u:on/ > /won/ despite the long ā in Old English. This word is a special case, probably due to the initial placement of the vowel and the stress placed on it when spoken. It parallels the northern English forms which went from æn > eean > yan/yen "one" Leasnam (talk) 23:53, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I can't seem to remember what they are, but I'm pretty sure there are a few examples of Modern English oo coming from Old English ā. --WikiTiki89 01:08, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
The only ones I can think of involve the incorporation of a w sound in front of the ā, as in OE hwā > who, OE hwām > whom; OE wāse > ooze, etc. Leasnam (talk) 03:20, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

afterthought, why is it a prefix?[edit]

I'm not quite sure what the reasoning is for considering after- a prefix here. In what way does it differ from the regular word after? —CodeCat 17:09, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

In that after does not form nouns. --WikiTiki89 17:37, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
That sounds like a rather ad-hoc explanation, and could easily be countered by saying it does form nouns, because it formed afterthought. So there must be more to it than that. —CodeCat 18:11, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Is the fore in forethought also not a prefix ? Correct me if I'm wrong but I think I see your reasoning of it being an adjective ? Leasnam (talk) 18:27, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I am not arguing that it's an adjective. Just that I'm not sure how the prefixes after- and fore- differ from their standalone counterparts. I'm trying to figure out why Wiktionary makes a difference. What's the essential point, if there is one? —CodeCat 18:33, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, like under- and over-, fore- and after- have always been prefixes in English...so when the word was created it was natural to assume that it was formed from the prefix + the stem Leasnam (talk) 18:35, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Ok, but what makes them prefixes? —CodeCat 18:39, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I see where you're going :) ...for me, it's historical precedence (of course ;)...I understand the train of thought that says a prefix/suffix cannot be a standalone word, but I leave that to the consensus of the team Leasnam (talk) 18:50, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
It's a perfectly reasonable explanation. When after is used as its own word followed by a noun, it forms an adverbial phrase. Forming nouns from other nouns is a function of the prefix after-. --WikiTiki89 18:35, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
That's after thought, a prepositional phrase. But afterthought is one word, a compound. I'm trying to discern whether it's a compound of after and thought or of after- and thought, and how we might tell the difference if there is one. —CodeCat 18:38, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Because "after thought" can only be an adverbial phrase, and "afterthought" can only be a noun. They are entirely different things. --WikiTiki89 18:45, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I know that, I don't think you understand what I'm saying. I'm asking whether the "after" morpheme, found in the word afterthought, is identical to the word after or the prefix after-. And what would allow us to distinguish these two possibilities? How is prefixation with after- different from compounding with after? —CodeCat 19:12, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, to think of afterthought as "that is a good after thought" where after is an adjective is odd. It's not "a thought that is after", but a "thought what comes after", or later (adverb) Leasnam (talk) 18:42, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
After is not an adjective, it's an adverb and an adverbial preposition. Certain adverbs can be used in predicates. --WikiTiki89 18:45, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
We do have it as an Adjective in the entry though, that's why I said it... Leasnam (talk) 18:45, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Hmm... It looks to me that the original form is the prefix, but some people sometimes insert a space. --WikiTiki89 18:48, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree. The sad thing about English is that the longstanding prefixes over time begin to look identical to the adverb, and many simply analyze them as such. Unlike classical prefixes which have an intermediary vowel (-i-, -o-, etc.), English prefixes are left to die in hospice :( Leasnam (talk) 18:53, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Not very many dictionaries find it necessary to have an entry for after- (prefix). DCDuring TALK 00:27, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
If after exists as a stand-alone word (it does) and if the sense it embodies in derivations is the same as the one it embodies on its own (it is, or at least in the majority of these), then there is no reason to postulate its existence as a prefix. I have previously speedy'd fodbold- and jern- for just this reason, and I would have speedy'd hånd-, as well, if I didn't think it has a particular sense (being powered or operated by hand).__Gamren (talk) 11:44, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
But as Wikitiki states above, the standalone form is a likely derived from the prefix, which is older (the standalone form being an incorrect separation of the prefix from the stem). If that be the case, how can we do this and still be right ?Leasnam (talk) 01:11, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
@Leasnam I didn't read it that way before. I suppose that may complicate things, if it is true. Can you give me any sources for that conjecture?__Gamren (talk) 19:45, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, I don't have a source, per se (--come to think of it, don't even know where this info could be looked up offhand, except in the OED ?), but per NGram viewer, for "afterthought"|"after thought"; "an afterthought"|"an after thought", and "afterthoughts"|"after thoughts", in all 3 cases the prefixed version occurs earlier [[23]], [[24]], [[25]] if that can perhaps suffice as any reliable indication Leasnam (talk) 19:56, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I really don't see what that indicates. English has compounds, and sometimes the compounds are written without a space; surely you would not argue that dog- is a prefix because doghouse is a word? OED says there is a prefix, but that it is derived from the standalone word. Merriam-Websters and Oxford Dictionaries do not even claim its existence, and my physical Oxford ALD only has the prefix defined in the after entry, defining it: "happening or done later than the time or event mentioned", which is precisely what after means, which, in my view, renders it unnecessary. Or do I misunderstand your point?__Gamren (talk) 07:17, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
@Gamren, after- is a prefix in Old English (æftercweþan, æfterfolgian, æftergenga) and in Middle English (aftermete, aftertyme, etc.) and is inherited as a prefix in Modern English. When the OED says that it is derived from after, do they mean in Modern English, or in English as a whole (spanning its entire existence) ? In any event, after- has a few senses not covered by the standalone word, such as "subordinate" "inferior", and based solely on that alone deserves recognition as a prefix. Leasnam (talk) 23:41, 25 September 2016 (UTC)


  • As a noun, shouldn't the correct form be age reversal? ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:09, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
    • That is the form I would prefer, but hyphenation in English is notoriously variable. My Chambers Dictionary on CD-ROM has icecap, ice cream, and ice-skater. Attestion is king... Equinox 23:12, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
    • I have never seen the hyphenated term used before, but from the definition provided, it seems that the context of the hyphenated form is specifically for age-reversal therapy and not for age reversal in general. In that context, one could say perhaps "I am going to age-reversal this afternoon," meaning "I am going to an appointment for age-reversal therapy this afternoon," and not meaning having a plan to reverse age (get younger) in the afternoon. It is an unusual spelling and wording though, so I would suggest marking it as "rare" unless citations are found showing a common usage. Nicole Sharp (talk) 14:08, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

赤幟 usage[edit]

I read the usage notes but I'm still not sure how to use 赤幟. Maybe someone could make them clearer, or shorter, or delete them entirely but I have no idea what I just read. Cheers Pengo (talk) 23:31, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

I vote to remove usage notes.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:39, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
History lesson is cool but kind of useless. —suzukaze (tc) 23:40, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Cool stuff moved to the talkpage. Wyang (talk) 23:47, 15 September 2016 (UTC)


hoot has a Scots definition, interjection, "Precedes a disagreeing or contradictory statement" and a note "Frequently used in the set phrase Hoots mon". It is not clear how the usage in this phrase relates to the definition given, nor why "hoot" has changed to "hoots", nor why this usage is listed under "hoot" and not "hoots" (where there is no mention of it, despite the heading of the entry for hoots mon linking there). I don't know how to address this. 03:59, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

I always thought it was "hoot mon", not "hoots mon". — SMUconlaw (talk) 14:06, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
That's interesting, I always thought it was "hoots mon". I don't recall ever hearing "hoot mon". I wonder whether "hoots" could be prevalent in BrE and "hoot" in AmE? 14:15, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
British Scots vs. American Scots? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:40, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
That is another problem, actually. "Scots" is just English with dialect words and point-y spellings. It should not be a language category. It only exists for political reasons. If Scots was a separate language then there would have to be Scots entries for "in", "it" and "the". There would have to be Scots entries for "cheetah", "leopard", "submerge" and "occur". There would have to be Scots entries for a million other English words that are used in "Scots", and for which no one has managed or bothered to contrive a phonetic Scottish spelling. The fact that none of these exist, nor would reasonably be created, shows that "Scots" is not a language at all. 19:38, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
And if we treat Portuguese and Spanish as separate languages, we'll have to have separate entries at words like gato, and if we treat Swedish and Norwegian as separate languages, we'll have to have two separate entries at katt (which we don't; we have three, Swedish, Norwegian Bokmål, and Norwegian Nynorsk.) There is no non-political way to divide a dialect continuum. There are already thousands of entries under Category:Scots lemmas; the fact that nobody has done a bunch of grunt work proves nothing.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:03, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
(OP) I confess I do not quite understand how your examples are supposed to support your argument, but it scarcely matters since nothing you or anyone else says will ever convince me that "Scots" is a separate language, and with this I rest my case. 04:00, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
If no evidence can shake your opinion and you don't care to try and understand any argument, I fail to see why anyone should care to try and convince you. The Scots main page looks to an English speaker just like the Catalan Wikipedia page might look to a Spanish speaker; yet we still keep a bunch of Iberian Latin dialects around as separate languages.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:14, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
These works suggest that "hoot mon" is common in Britain and Ireland and is not merely prevalent in American English: [26] (1780), [27] (1809), [28] (1829), [29] (1844), [30] (1848). "Hoots mon" appears in these works: [31] (1839), [32] (1872), [33] (1873). Based on the admittedly unscientific Google Books search, my impression is that "hoot mon" is far more common than "hoots mon" (only one page of results for the latter, compared to numerous pages for the former). — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:47, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
In GBS I see 16 pages of visible results for "hoots mon" (i.e. where the phrase is visible in bold in the excerpt) versus only 13 for "hoot mon". That's at ten results per page. I'm not sure why we should be seeing such different results. 18:00, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Ancient Greek vs Greek graphical accents[edit]

I doubt this wasn't discussed somewhere else, sorry in that case. In ὄρνεον we can see that the accent is acute, the descendant όρνιο mentioned is Modern Greek with simple accent (no spirit) but still acute. When gone to the page όρνιο, the accent at the top is vertical. There is that inconsistency. As far as I know, Modern G has only one accent, vertical. Or is just an effect of the spirit? Sobreira (talk) 07:55, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

It's just the font. I guess some Greek fonts show the acute accent as vertical. --WikiTiki89 10:47, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes. Apparently when monotonic orthography was introduced for Modern Greek, some typographers set the tonos as a vertical line rather than as a conventional acute accent. That's very confusing for polytonic writing (as in Ancient Greek) though, where the acute has to contrast with the grave. Ideally Ancient Greek should never be printed in a font that uses a vertical tonos rather than a slanted one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:23, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Somehow somewhere I got the idea that the vertical was the official Modern G standard (maybe from its different name and position in Unicode?), but reading again w:Greek diacritics I got cleared. Sobreira (talk) 09:58, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
The trouble is, it doesn't have a different name and position in Unicode. A word like τόνος ‎(tónos) is Unicode-spelled exactly the same in monotonic/Modern and polytonic/Ancient. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:32, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
@Angr Well, well, well, at least they have a different name when joined with psili and dasia, and a different absolute name in a different later set ~>8050:
Html UnicodeNr UnicodeName
ά 940 Greek small letter alpha with tonos
έ 941 Greek small letter epsilon with tonos
ή 942 Greek small letter eta with tonos
ί 943 Greek small letter iota with tonos
ό 972 Greek small letter omicron with tonos
ύ 973 Greek small letter upsilon with tonos
ώ 974 Greek small letter omega with tonos

7940 Greek small letter alpha with psili and varia
7941 Greek small letter alpha with dasia and varia
7948 Greek capital letter alpha with psili and oxia
7957 >Greek small letter epsilon with psili and varia
7972 Greek small letter eta with psili and oxia
7973 Greek small letter eta with dasia and oxia
7988 Greek small letter iota with psili and oxia
8005 Greek small letter omicron with dasia and oxia
8021 Greek small letter upsilon with dasia and oxia
8036 Greek small letter omega with psili and oxia

8053 Greek small letter eta with oxia
8059 Greek small letter upsilon with oxia
8061 Greek small letter omega with oxia

Data from an old MDB of mine, sourced somewhere on the net, I don't remember now. But you can see that the behaviour of the &# is different (ή-ή; ύ-ύ; ώ-ώ; maybe you cannot see it here, but try copy-pasting into the search box), unless this is not Unicode. Sobreira (talk) 08:25, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Wow, I did not know about those last three. In fact, there are separate code points for all of the vowels with oxia, not just eta, upsilon, and omega:
However, the MediaWiki software apparently merges them. When I type [[βουλ&#942;]] and [[βουλ&#8053;]], they point to the exact same article (not even a hard redirect from one to the other): βουλή and βουλή. So while a typesetter might be able to make the difference in a printed document, we here at Wikimedia projects can't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:37, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
If we really want to, we can do it with Lua (e.g. replace the literal ή with &#8053; when the language is Ancient Greek, which will affect the display, but not the link target). --WikiTiki89 15:27, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Unicode Greek is a mess, where decisions about how to do things changed a couple times in the early days of Unicode. Basically Tonos, and Oxia and Acute Accent are all the same in Unicode, and canonical normalization will make them all the same character; pedantically, fonts that treat ά (U+03AC) and ά (U+1F71) differently aren't perfectly Unicode-compliant. Smart fonts should do different things for stuff language tagged el/ell and stuff tagged grc. I'm not arguing for or against pragmatic solutions, but Unicode tools and MediaWiki are going to fight us some.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:42, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89 I guess there could be cases where GRC and EL conflate (converge) but then should be in different pages. Sobreira (talk) 13:08, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I for one do not want βουλή#Ancient Greek and βουλή#Greek on separate pages, and if I've understood Wikitiki89 and Prosfilaes correctly, it isn't even technically possible for us to put them on separate pages. (Personally, I'd prefer to have ἅγιος & άγιος as well as βουλή & βουλῇ on the same page too, but there doesn't seem to be much popular support for that.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:30, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I personally believe our Ancient Greek entries should not have accents at all in the entry names, but only in the entry text, much like we do for Latin macrons. For Modern Greek there is a much weaker case for that. Unfortunately if we do it for Ancient Greek but not for Modern Greek, the entries would only be on the same page for monosyllabic words. --WikiTiki89 14:40, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Another drawback to doing that only for Ancient Greek and not for Modern Greek is that Modern Greek was spelled polytonically until 1982 (and in some cases still is), which means we could wind up with three pages where we currently have two: αγιος for Ancient Greek, ἅγιος for (obsolete/archaic/dated) Modern Greek, and άγιος for post-1982 Modern Greek. So far I don't think we have any entries in polytonic Modern Greek, but in principle there's no reason we couldn't, is there? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:51, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation for abbreviations[edit]

I have recently been working adding syllabification marks for the pronunciation of words. Seeing https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Alder.#English and having just edited the pronunciation for https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Alder#English , I decided to put a pronunciation in for the abbreviation for Alderman i.e. "Alder." What I don't know is if the community has decided that the pronunciation for an abbreviation should be for the full word i.e. Alderman or for the abbreviation as written. Could anyone give me some insight ? Thanks --- Bcent1234 (talk) 13:45, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

I think there is no consistent rule about this:
  • Some abbreviations are read in the same way as the full word. For example, "No. 5" would be read as "number 5", not "no 5", and "etc." is read as "et cetera" and not "ettick" or "ee tee see". I think that "Alder." is probably read as "alderman".
  • On the other hand, there are some abbreviations that are read as spelled, such as "et al." (I don't think people generally expand it to "et alii"), "RSVP" and "the UN".
  • Acronyms are also usually read as spelled rather than substituted with the full phrase that they stand for: "ASEAN", "Pan Am", "UNESCO".
SMUconlaw (talk) 14:05, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
The community does not "decide" what "the pronunciation for an abbreviation should be". We document what the pronunciation is. There's no way to guess it other than by having heard it, or by finding references. --WikiTiki89 15:07, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Basically yeah, add the pronunciation for the way the word is actually pronounced. It's pretty simple, really. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:00, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
So for the case of "alder." which is an abbreviation I don't use, should I just remove the pronunciation I put there, or replace it with the pronunciation of the whole word. Given my druthers, I'd probably put the pronunciation of the whole word, as that is what I'd read it as, should I see it in real life. Bcent1234 (talk) 18:11, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Maybe it would be best to leave it out if you're not sure then. Having nothing is probably better than wrong information. —suzukaze (tc) 18:55, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
The one good thing about the now deprecated Initialism and Acronym headers was that they indicated the type of pronunciation. DCDuring TALK 15:47, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
This can be indicated using {{acronym of}}, {{initialism of}}, etc., although in foreign languages it gets trickier because it often doesn't make sense to use {{acronym of}} in the definition line. For example, the definition of Russian НАТО ‎(NATO) is simply "NATO". At one point I cleaned up all the Russian abbreviations, and in the process I created templates like {{ru-etym acronym of}} for use in an etym section, which indicates in the etym section that the abbreviation is an acronym. I also did create {{ru-acronym of}} for use in a definition line, if it makes sense to do it. The reason for creating a separate template is that Russian (and other foreign-language) entries aren't normally capitalized, which {{acronym of}} does by default as it's designed for English. (Also, {{ru-acronym of}} puts the term both in CAT:Russian acronyms and CAT:Russian abbreviations, which is consistent with how things were done previously in Russian; whereas {{acronym of}} only puts into "FOO acronyms", and doesn't but probably should also put things into "FOO abbreviations".) Benwing2 (talk) 23:58, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Is enough a determiner in "Are you man enough to fight me?‎"[edit]

The article for the word enough has this as an example of enough being a determiner. Can a determiner really follow the noun? Yurivict (talk) 03:55, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

In linguistics it would be termed a "quantifier" (not sure whether that's a recognized dictionary part-of-speech category)... AnonMoos (talk) 08:23, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Det following noun looks suspect to me. Isn't it the adverb, meaning "sufficiently"? Equinox 10:45, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
I was thinking of that as well, but would "man" then be an adjective? We seem to be missing that at the entry for man. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 13:10, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
The usage of man doesn't have enough features to put it in the word class adjective.
Other ways of saying this are:
Are you enough of a man to fight me?
Are you enough a man to fight me?
The second seems a bit awkward, but the first is very common.
Woman and child could fit in similar constructions. Other words can be found in similar constructions with lower frequency, eg, soldier, teacher, dog, bitch, table, house, room, car, coat, shirt, jewel. All these nouns seem to have uncountable senses in the construction.
I think that enough is a quantifier, which could be called a type of determiner. I don't know that there are very many other English quantifiers/determiners that are used postpositively. Perhaps others know some. DCDuring TALK 15:37, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com considers it a determiner, both before and after a noun (they give the example "there'll be time enough to relax"), ditto Michael Swan's 1980 Practical English usage. OTOH, Howard Jackson's Lexicography: An Introduction calls it an adjective, like aplenty and galore. MacMillan notes that the use is not restricted to any one noun, with examples of "reason enough" and "fool enough" [to trust someone], which it does not however seem to indicate the part of speech of. It seems to require a plural or mass noun ("I had reason[s] enough to dislike it", but no *"he adopted dog enough", but with the universal grinder I can imagine "there was dog enough all over the road already"). Eugene A. Nida's A Synopsis of English Syntax says "Substantive expressions [...] occurring without determiners may have the following adverbial attributives occurring preposed, except in the case of enough, which occurs postposed", and then lists several adverb-ish words which can press nouns into adjective-ish use which we probably get by analysing as nouns. Nida's examples include "it was too tenth century", "you are too sledge-hammer in action", and "he is not High-Church enough". Christian Mair and Marianne Hundt's Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory (2000, ISBN 9042014938) calls it a "deferred determiner" (as contrasted with "only" which is a "limiter"). Neither Nida nor Mair/Hundt seems to be using typical parts of speech. - -sche (discuss) 16:24, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

living conditions[edit]

English. It seems odd to me how it's "plural only". I've certainly seen this used in the singular. For instance "Gee, that guy's living condition is pretty bad." Also, could it be SOP? "the condition in which one lives, i.e. (...)" PseudoSkull (talk) 06:36, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

It's far less common in the singular (so use a "(nonstandard) singular of..." entry?). I looked at the first Google Books page for "living condition": there were several academic texts by people who may not have L1 English (Swedish, Japanese and Singaporean names); one uncountable use ("a concise description of poor living conditions/housing. One dimension of poor living condition..."); one religious use ("Our legal position is what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross, while our living condition is what Jesus requires of us in our response to Him"); and some specialised use in biology ("When the feedback mechanisms that create and maintain homeostasis fail, the living condition is threatened"; "consuming raw foods as close as possible to their living condition"). The religious and biological examples do not seem like the singular of "living conditions" in the sense of e.g. human hygiene and housing. Equinox 10:53, 17 September 2016 (UTC)


Regarding āiō: I'm wondering if it, like maior, which is sometimes written māior, actually has a short a but a double i (/jj/). The first-person singular present doesn't occur in the Aeneid, so I can't use metrical evidence, but the i derives from Proto-Italic gj, as it does in maior.

Related concern: {{la-IPA}} does not currently understand that intervocalic i or j in maior or major is a double semivowel rather than a separate vowel. But that should be discussed at Module:la-pronunc, I suppose. — Eru·tuon 03:36, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

I have heard that all i between vowels in Latin is actually /jj/. The same thing is supposed to apply to eius as well. Benwing2 (talk) 04:15, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

"Of or relating to" or "of, or relating to"[edit]

Do we need a comma in the expressions used frequently in definitons: "of, or relating to", "of, from, or relating to"? --Panda10 (talk) 19:07, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

As far as I know, in English, a comma shouldn't go directly after the word "of" unless it is part of a list (for example, "of or relating to" but "of, from, or relating to"). I might be wrong though, so I'm looking it up. --AtalinaDove (talk) 19:16, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
I looked at several sites, which seemed to say the same thing, but this one was a little easier to read (they were usually kind of hard to decipher). It seems to have to do with whether a comma goes before the word "or", not after the word "of". If the conjunction "or" is connecting two independent clauses, you need a comma, but if it's a short phrase or connecting just two words, you don't need one, so I believe in this case you don't need one. As a note, I don't think I've ever seen a comma in "of or relating to". https://webapps.towson.edu/ows/conjunctions.htm --AtalinaDove (talk) 19:25, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
"of, or relating to, X" is a valid style if the desire is to set apart "or relating to". However, it seems unnecessary in most cases. "of, or relating to X" is less justifiable. 19:27, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you both. I searched this wiki for "of, or relating to X". It seems we use it a lot. Even "of, or relating to, X". Can this be corrected by a bot? --Panda10 (talk) 19:32, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
If we had a style sheet, we could appeal to that. Without a style sheet, I don't see how we can justify a bot. Which one of the three is wrong? DCDuring TALK 22:17, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
The one with only one comma is wrong; it should either have no commas or two. I clean up single-comma entries when I run across them. - -sche (discuss) 23:09, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Why do we need the "of" at all? Wouldn't "relating to X" be sufficient? --Panda10 (talk) 23:13, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
An idea of Freud is rather different from an idea relating to Freud. Equinox 18:17, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
@ Anyone else who goes to fix this: note the existence of other forms like "Of[,] or pertaining to". - -sche (discuss) 02:21, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, and also note that the default suggested wording when creating a new page using the "adjective" template is "Of or pertaining to ...". I suppose that template should use the preferred wording. Mihia (talk) 03:15, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

another grammar question[edit]

I just want to confirm if my understanding on this is correct. In English, a sentence can have two tenses, by employing two different clauses, right? Consider the following example sentence: "Even when he was living at home, he would stay away for days." Do we count was or living as the main verb? And do we count would or stay away as the main verb? Lastly, what tense is being used in those two clauses? Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:59, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Off the top of my head: Was and would carry much of the grammatical water (tense/mood/aspect) for the verb phrases. Was living is (simple) past in tense (was), progressive in aspect (living). Would stay away is past (would) with a habitual/repetitive aspect associated with the durative semantics of stay away. DCDuring TALK 12:47, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
The term "main verb" is used in two ways, either to mean the main verb of the sentence, which in your case is "(would) stay" not "(was) living", or the verb carrying the meaning, as opposed to any auxiliary verbs, which in your case would be "living" and "stay" respectively. Mihia (talk) 13:32, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

gingham and its putative origins in Malay[edit]

I was researching the etymology of the Japanese term ギンガム, which was tangentially sourced to Dutch at the w:Glossary_of_Japanese_words_of_Dutch_origin page. Poking around, I found that the WP article at Gingham claimed a derivation from Malay genggang ostensibly meaning “striped”, but researching that term, I could only find native Malay meanings related to ajar and apart, as listed at http://dictionary.bhanot.net/g.html and http://malaycube.com/?term=genggang. The WP article sourced the putative Malay meaning to an online dictionary entry at http://prpm.dbp.gov.my/Search.aspx?k=genggang (in Malay), but running the provided citation through Google Translate and individually confirming the words shows that this citation does not mean what the WP editor thought -- it parses out instead to "genggang: fabric patterned in stripes or checkers; genggang lapis: layer cake made from flour". The Malay word for “striped” appears to be berbelang or berjalur-jalur, not genggang.

Are there any Malay editors active at present? Is there any basis for a Malay derivation for the English term gingham? I'm leaning more towards the alternative WP suggestion that this term is a corruption of the French town name Guingamp, where this cloth may have been produced. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:51, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

I am not familiar with this meaning in Malay, but I don't have much in the way of Malay resources here. The OED does trace the etymology back to genggang, and cites C. P. G. Scott's Malayan Words in English (1897) to back it up. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:53, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

on the loose, on the run[edit]

The first is entered as a prepositional phrase, and the second as an adjective. There seems to be some inconsistency here. DonnanZ (talk) 23:09, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Oxford gives both of them as phrases, pure and simple, and the same for at large [34], [35], [36]. DonnanZ (talk) 23:32, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

They're both prepositional phrases that have come to be used as adjectives- so for our purposes, they're adjectives. If they were really functioning prepositional phrases, you could say *off the loose or *off the run, etc. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:28, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
I see on the run has an adverb entry also. I think it would be better if editors didn't try to be too clever, and treat them all as simple phrases. DonnanZ (talk) 09:24, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
The logic of having {{en-PP}} and {{en-prep phrase}} was to avoid fruitless discussion and attestation effort as to whether a given English prepositional phrase was used as an adjective or as an adverb. Most English prepositional phrases can be found used in both ways. If we view our L3 headers as showing the word class(es) the headword is in, then English prepositional phrases are obviously not in either an adjective or an adverb word class. Wording the definitions to make them substitutable in both types of usage requires that one define each prepositional phrase with another prepositional phrase or a single word (eg, hard) that itself is used both as adjective and adverb. DCDuring TALK 12:08, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, OK, admittedly on the run looks better now. But don't expect me to use the term "prepositional phrase" in Norwegian! DonnanZ (talk) 12:29, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't usually intentionally seek to impose English standards on other languages, though some such impositions may be convenient, this being English Wiktionary. DCDuring TALK 14:14, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Yep, prep-phrase please. We probably need to use that more. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:18, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

cause célèbre[edit]

Should the French pronunciation be included? I suppose people might pronounce it as in French, but I still question the use of the qualifier. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:04, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Is this really the most common English spelling in print and on UseNet? DCDuring TALK 12:19, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
See here [37]. DonnanZ (talk) 12:38, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Compare cause celebre at OneLook Dictionary Search with cause célèbre at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 14:18, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
The only form I've ever seen is cause célèbre, but that doesn't mean a lot, since I've rarely ever encountered it. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:15, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Interestingly, it is the US-based dictionaries that seem less in thrall to the French. Perhaps this will change with Brexit. I expect Canadian dictionary editions might also honor the French orthography. DCDuring TALK 11:00, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Don't forget Paris is only a Eurostar journey away from London. That won't change, hopefully. But which form is more common in Canada? DonnanZ (talk) 21:32, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Will check Monday at the library in the Canadian Dictionary(ies), but a casual search of anglophone Canadian news sources suggest more use of 'celebre' than 'célèbre', which should be a style guide item but apparently is not (CP, Postmedia.) - Amgine/ t·e 16:34, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Deleting pages[edit]

I accidentally made the pages fouanne and fouannes with an extra n, they should be spelt "fouane" and "fouanes". I don't know how to delete these and I don't think I have the power. 2WR1 (talk) 03:24, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

For future reference, you can use {{delete|(reason)}} to mark entries created in error for deletion. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:33, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy Just put it at the top of the page? 2WR1 (talk) 03:42, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
@2WR1: That's correct! —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:43, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
@Koavf Okay, thanks! 2WR1 (talk) 03:44, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
[edit conflict] Yup! See my modification of fouanne. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:45, 22 September 2016 (UTC)


I was looking up trikini and seekini came up as a suggested search. Having clicked on it, I haven't a damn clue what it is (I assume a see-through bikini, but no). PS not CFI meeting unless I'm mistaken. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:34, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

  • See w:Bikini_variants#Terminology. It would seem your initial guess was right. DCDuring TALK 21:26, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
  • See also [38] - so I'll add that definition. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:59, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
    Watch out: the Weekly World News is a spoof publication, like The Onion. Equinox 12:05, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
    Not really -- it's a sensationalistic tabloid (probably aimed at a much less educated demographic than The Onion) -- or it was before it went out of business (not sure if the new website is different from the old newspaper). AnonMoos (talk) 13:13, 23 September 2016 (UTC)


Hey baseball fans! Can you give me an English equivalent of a Spanish piconazo? It's defined as "Lanzamiento en el que la pelota pica en el home plate antes de llegar a la mascota del receptor", or a "pitch which hits home plate before landing in the catcher's glove". A chopper? Or hopper? bouncing pitch? Probs not a Baltimore chop, which one dictionary suggests. This is apparently a piconazo, although it doesn't land in the glove. --Q9ui5ckflash (talk) 14:38, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm not aware of any term (been watching baseball since 1998). If it just has to bounce in front of home plate or on it, then one-hopper (to the catcher) definitely explains it. A ball in the dirt is one that hits the infield dirt, usually behind not in front of the plate. But not real 'set' term that I'm aware of. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:32, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Hmm. The one-hopper in the video looks kinda like the piconazo in the video. But most basebally things look the same to this untrained eye. The same deal happened when I was adding definitions of Spanish bullfighting terms a few years ago. They all look like they're doing more or less the same thing to me. --Q9ui5ckflash (talk) 18:03, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

US pronunciation of otter[edit]

The phonemic transcription seems off here. In this position, /t/ and /d/ are indistinguishable, both pronounced as [ɾ]. So on what basis can it be concluded that [ɾ] in this word maps to /t/ and not /d/? —CodeCat 17:44, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

On the basis of comparison with other dialects of English. A purely linguistic transcription of just US English would use a single phoneme for the merged sound, but I don't think that's necessarily desirable. Also, when some people enunciate, they pronounce it as [tʰ], but that might be a so-called "spelling pronunciation". --WikiTiki89 17:56, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
You could say that the original phoneme is recoverable through the spelling, but that would be a spelling pronunciation, yes. I think we should show the merged phoneme, since that's the only information that's recoverable for someone listening to speech. Using /d/ seems like the more logical choice. When I hear Americans speak an unknown word, and it contains [ɾ], I think I map it to the phoneme /d/ in my head. —CodeCat 18:00, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
I think the actual sound is somewhere between [d] and [ɾ] (at least it doesn't sound exactly like the /ɾ/ from languages like Spanish), so I would have no problem with using /d/, except that I don't think we should show this merger, because it would complicate a lot of things. For example, I pronounce writer and rider differently, even though the consonant is the same. If we show the consonant merger, than we would need to also show the former consonant's effect on the vowels. And that's just the first of the complications. --WikiTiki89 18:07, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
How would an American enunciating say it? Would someone explaining syllables say /ɑ/ (clap) /rər/ (clap), or would it be /-tər/ or /-dər/? I wish more of our editors were American children who cannot yet read... Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 19:09, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Either as [tʰ], as I mentioned above, or as a hard [d] if they're not paying enough attention. I've never heard of anyone clapping between syllables. --WikiTiki89 19:17, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Not between, on them, to explain the concept to primary school children. I'm reasonably sure it's not only a German thing, I remember an (adult) Englander doing it to a (adult) Swede. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 20:05, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
If you think about it, many consonants are only phonetically manifested in their affect on the surrounding vowels even as far as articulation goes, so the difference in preceding vowel length for some speakers between voiced and unvoiced consonants would suggest that the underlying phoneme hasn't completely merged, even if the place of articulation of has. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:30, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
This is the same issue as was discussed on Talk:thirty#Pronunciation_-_final_consonant. It's a tricky. If we're going to provide a broad transcription, Merriam-Webster, Oxford etc all agree the phoneme is /t/ not /d/. (One might jocularly derive a verb and say the otter gets its name because it "otts" [ɑts] — like a refrigerator refrigerates — and would use /t/ in that verb.) An issue with showing the merged sound in the broad transcription i.e. having /ɾ/ as I notice we do on refrigerator is that I'm not sure it meets the basic requirement of being distinctive in a minimal pair, does it? Is there a pair of words different only in that one has /t/ or /d/ and the other has /ɾ/, in any position?
That's a key distinction, IMO, between words like this and words like German Grab, where I support our practice of displaying the final phoneme as /p/ (against the objections of at least one person who would assert /b/), because it is indeed the very phoneme /p/ that (in other positions) contrasts phonemically with /b/. - -sche (discuss) 19:34, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Anecdotal evidence here, since my objections on our German pronunciation practice are consistently met with silence on the respective pages: The Swiss people I met were surprised that final obstruent devoicing is considered proper German in Germany, and Wikipedia, iirc, says that Austrian German doesn't have a codaic fortis-lenis merger either. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 20:12, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Not a broad transcription but a phonemic one. The question is how we can tell that this is the phoneme /t/ and not /d/, when there's no difference in the actual pronunciation. I simply think that we can't tell, and therefore to assume /t/ is misplaced. The argument of "otts" is not relevant here, since that concerns a different word with different phonemes. "Otts" has /t/, but whether "otter" does I highly doubt. You can't tell the phonemes of one word by looking at another word; phonemes are recoverable from the word in isolation, to go any further gets you into Morphophonemics. Morphonemically, there is indeed a /t/ in there, but phonemically, there isn't. The phone [ɾ] can't be assigned to /t/ or /d/ based on the phonetic information present in the word.
Something similar happens in Central Catalan where the two earlier phonemes /e/ and /a/ have collapsed into [ə] in unstressed syllables. Again, morphophonemics lets you recover the underlying vowel (which may reemerge with stress shifts) but with pure phonemics, you can only examine the word itself and therefore the original phoneme is unrecoverable. For that reason, we assign it the separate phoneme /ə/. We could, in theory, try to assign it to either /e/ or to /a/, but this is essentially arbitrary. In the same way, [ɾ] could be considered /ɾ/, a phoneme in complementary distribution with /t/ and /d/, or it could be considered one of /t/ or /d/ but always the same one consistently. To choose one in one circumstance but the other in another circumstance implies incorrectly that there is phonetic information that makes the phonemic distinction recoverable. —CodeCat 20:44, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
If you ignore morphophonemics, the whole concept of phoeneme vs. allophone breaks down. --WikiTiki89 21:02, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
@CodeCat: We can tell that this is the phoneme /t/ and not /d/ because the surface pronunciation is not invariably [ˈɑɾɚ]: it's free variation between [ˈɑɾɚ] and [ˈɑtɚ]. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:11, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

This may only be tangentially related, but I would also like to point out the interesting case of the word ninety, in which the "t" has merged with "d" in a position (i.e. after /n/) where normally a "t" would not merge with "d". Because of this, I added the transcription /ˈnaɪndi/ to it. I'm wondering whether that was the right way to handle this. --WikiTiki89 19:43, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

  • Flapping is always optional in American English, and doesn't occur 100% of the time in environments where it's expected. Even if they're unaware of the spelling, Americans will generally be aware that otter has a /t/ and odder has a /d/, despite usually making them homophones. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:28, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
CodeCat -- some American English speakers do make distinctions between "otter" and "odder" which can be successfully recognized by many other American English speakers, so if both words are transcribed as [ɑɾɚ] or whatever, then that transcription would appear to be inadequate to represent the phonetic facts of the speech of such people. In any case, I'm not sure we want to enforce 1950s-style structuralist "biuniqueness" as an absolute strict requirement on quasi-phonemic transcriptions...
Wikitiki89 -- in my speech, "ninety" does have an ordinary unflapped [d], while the 30-80 words have flaps of some kind (except [t] in "fifty" and "sixty", of course). Not sure what the detailed reason for this is... AnonMoos (talk) 22:03, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Hmmm...I think I only flap "forty"--the rest are all [d]. I would describe it as a flapped /d/, though, as I don't think [ɾ] accurately represents the intervocalic flap in my speech. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:41, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Isn't [d] defined as [ɾː], i.e. only differing by length of the closure? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 10:29, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Very true. It's probably better described as a short [d] rather than a flapped [d]. I definitely say it more like [d] than [ɾ], but it's not the same [d] that's in dog. The [d] in forty might be the same length as the [d]/[ɾ] in better, actually, but there's definitely something different about it. Maybe the position of my tongue. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 15:07, 24 September 2016 (UTC)


The definitions here confuse me a bit. The first says it means "action", and doesn't qualify it with a context so it's used generally. But the second definition repeats the first, except qualified with a context. So this term means "action" in general, but in the military it means "action"? The second sense is redundant to the first. —CodeCat 00:34, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

It was probably just a way of getting the entry into CAT:ga:Military. Sense 2 can probably be removed. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:46, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Danish Daniel[edit]

I consistently hear /deː-/ in that name, and I heard /eː/ for ⟨a⟩ in some other words (which I forgot) from Clement Kjersgaard too. Can anyone shed some light? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 12:17, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

That sounds very strange to me. I'm still learning IPA, but the transcription given at the entry seems good except for the missing primary stress (before the d). It may also be pronounced trisyllabically ([ˈd̥æːˀniəl]), although that may sound a little affected. Do you have a clip?__Gamren (talk) 13:18, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
qwOx-pFXDKA?t=796, tale, only example I can find right now and it's not the best. It's a good deal off from /eː/, not as I heard Daniel from Odense say his name, but I can't bring my ears to hear anything lower than [ɛː] in this example either, or to use a description of my Swedish friend [æ̆ɛ̆ĕ]. ps.: It's a Youtube link. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 20:09, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Burkinabe and Burkinabé[edit]

The former is shown as a noun and the latter as an adjective. Maybe they are interchangeable, but I don't know. Oxford lists Burkinabe as both noun and adjective [39], also gives Burkinan as an alternative. It would be nice to clarify this and add translations sections. DonnanZ (talk) 15:20, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

I have just found Burkinese as well. It's head-scratching time. DonnanZ (talk) 15:30, 24 September 2016 (UTC)


For the English entries, how on earth does it make sense to have two etymology sections if the second etymology is just for the verb meaning "to make perfect"? PseudoSkull (talk) 16:31, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

I suspect it's to separate the pronunciation sections, which isn't necessary, as we use {{qualifier}} for that. We don't, to be honest, it's just a mistake. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:50, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
IMHO, it's OK: the EN verb comes from the EN adjective, and this from FR adjective (no way EN verb from FR adjective or a supposed FR verb —which one?). Sobreira (talk) 18:43, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
We could do it that way, I'd just rather we didn't. Something like "the verb is derived from the noun" or "the verb is attested before the noun" under a single etymology header. Mostly because having extra etymology headers doesn't help anyone understand the word or anything else in the entry. Nor is it really accurate to say that perfect (adjective), perfect (noun), and perfect (verb) have different etymologies. Occam's razor. If there's a simple way and a complicated way to achieve the same thing, use the simple way. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:43, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
As for the etymology itself, the term must have been respelled as some point to more closely match the Latin perfectus, as Middler English perfit couldn't become perfect in any other way. Can we include this somehow please? Renard Migrant (talk) 17:53, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

RFV priss[edit]

Can any Russian check the translation? The IP editor of February 2014 included the equivalents, but also a vandalism. Sobreira (talk) 20:19, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Nonstandard plurals of place names[edit]

This is a very rare case, but I have seen this happen in conversations. For example:

  • Speaker 1: "For some reason, I feel like we need more southern states."
  • Speaker 2: "Why's that? What, do you think we need more South Carolinas? Ha!"

This seems to be highly informal and usually jocular or hypothetical, but still a used alternative in the English language. I have not found a single entry like this, but since they are words, I feel like Wiktionary needs them. How do you guys feel about adding these, as many I find are attested. Many country names, city names, state names, province names, etc., seem to be pluralized in this manner in a number of sources. If we do add entries like these, should we have a Usage notes template that explains the plural form's usage? PseudoSkull (talk) 05:52, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

  • Some of these (e.g. Californias) have specific meanings, but any that you can find evidence for would be welcome. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:23, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
I have created South Carolinas#English, since I found three sources skimming through Google Books. For ones like Alabamas, it's hard to find sources for the plural of the state name since many refer to the Indian tribe. Any feedback on this entry would be greatly appreciated. (This is one out of hundreds of possible entries that could hypothetically have plural forms.) PseudoSkull (talk) 07:57, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
I had once a whole week learning about w:The Californias, w:The Canadas, w:The Carolinas, w:The Dakotas, w:The Floridas and w:The Virginias. I have been mesmerised by names like The w:Catalinas, w:The Ozarks and w:The Appalachians. Sobreira (talk) 08:52, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
In some cases the plural form is widely used, such as Koreas (South Korea + North Korea), Germanies (West Germany + East Germany), and Berlins (West Berlin + East Berlin). — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 03:59, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Almost the opposite of the universal grinder. Equinox 10:29, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, it's not just place names that can be made countable in some circumstances, but all proper nouns, subject only to the restriction that some are too rarely pluralized for the plural to meet CFI. "There are two Elizabeths in town, from very different Londons, preaching rival Christianties: one from the slums extolling the benefits of love and sharing, the other rich and threatening deviants with brimstone. Could their Jesuses really be the same person?" Any that can be attested can be added; I previously went around and added many attested personal-name plurals (Aaliyah/Aaliyahs, etc). - -sche (discuss) 15:25, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Is this really worth anyone's time and MW's server resources? It's part of the grammar of English, not the lexicon. DCDuring TALK 12:25, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Couldn't you say the same thing about toys? Renard Migrant (talk) 17:47, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Unless anyone can give a counter-example, I would suggest that any proper noun can be pluralised in special contexts, simply as a result of the grammar of English, as DCDuring says. It may be a heresy to say so, but whether or not anyone has actually used such a plural in a written source that we can find seems to me of relatively little consequence (unless, I suppose there is a doubt about how the plural should be formed). However, whether all these plural proper names should be included in Wiktionary is another matter; I feel undecided. By the way, I looked at WT:CFI for information about whether and why place names such as "South Carolina" should be included at all, and I found it far from clear. Mihia (talk) 20:44, 26 September 2016 (UTC)


The etymology uses the word "manlard". What does that mean? Equinox 15:01, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Good question. I can't find any uses of the word "manlard" in connection with the eggplant anywhere on the Net except this entry of ours, its mirrors, and people quoting it. Looking through the history, the word "eggplant" was replaced by the word "manlard" in an edit which Chuck Entz hid as "graffiti/vandalism" but neglected to actually revert. (Those links are probably visible only to admins.) I'll revert it now. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:09, 25 September 2016 (UTC)


Adjective sense 8 of off is "Designating a time when one is not strictly attentive to business or affairs, or is absent from a post, and, hence, a time when affairs are not urgent." One of the examples is "He took an off day for fishing." I don't recognise this as natural English, and I can't tell whether it is supposed to mean what I would say as "He took a day off to go fishing" or something slightly different. (off day can also, of course, mean a day when one is not performing well, but that seems not to be the intention in the "fishing" example). Any comments? Mihia (talk) 17:57, 26 September 2016 (UTC)


Etymology says "A euphemistic replacement of Christ in the phrase for Christ's sake". To me this does not seem like a "euphemistic replacement". That description almost suggests that "chris" is the name "Chris", or something like that. I would say that "chrissake" is merely a written representation of a loosish pronunciation of "Christ's sake". Anyone agree or disagree? Mihia (talk) 19:37, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Since the pronunciation is /kraɪsːeːk/, yes, I agree. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 19:57, 26 September 2016 (UTC)