Wiktionary:Tea room

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Tea house party in Japan (not tea ceremony)-J. M. W. Silver.jpg

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

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

Tea room archives edit

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

Oldest tagged RFTs


October 2015


Do we currently include the sense as in "shave on/against the grain"? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:58, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

I think "a linear texture of a material or surface" ought to cover it, though the given example is for wood. Equinox 15:02, 1 October 2015 (UTC)


Could somebody amend the translation in the 2nd ux for the Russian word хуйло? It should be "Who's that dipshit smoking outside of [that building's] entrance?" instead of "What kind of dipshit is smoking outside of [that building's] entrance?"

(We also need to create Хуйло for Vlad—the nickname has really caught on.) that guy 18:35, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Since the page was protected, I fixed it. As for the second thing, you know you can do things instead of asking for them to be done. Also, keep in mind that for attestability, there need to exist citations spanning at least one year. --WikiTiki89 18:50, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, it's been more than a year, so I think it's fine. I guess I'll do it, only it requires research and all that. that guy 18:54, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, actually, as a quick web search of "хуйло сказало" revealed, the word хуйло is never capitalized when referring to Putin. So I guess we'll have to add it to the existing entry on хуйло, and I can't do that as I'm still not autopatrolled. that guy 18:59, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
You will be soon. --WikiTiki89 19:07, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Hope so. :) that guy 19:10, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Russian: слышимый, обитающий[edit]

Aren't they both participles (and not adjectives)? that guy 19:38, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

A participle is an adjective. I guess we consider them to be adjectives when the meaning is different than it would be as the participle of the verb. --WikiTiki89 19:40, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
"A participle is an adjective."—that's not what they taught us in school...
"A participle is a form of a verb that is used in a sentence to modify a noun, noun phrase, verb, or verb phrase, and thus plays a role similar to that of an adjective or adverb."
"Как формы глагола, причастия обладают некоторыми его грамматическими признаками. Они бывают совершенного вида и несовершенного; настоящего времени и прошедшего; возвратными и невозвратными."
Слышимый — слышанный — услышанный, etc.—is that an adjective? that guy 19:54, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes. --WikiTiki89 14:31, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
By the way, I don't mean that all participles are adjectives, only adjectival participles. --WikiTiki89 14:32, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

the female equivalent of men definitions[edit]

The current def of "bushman" is "The female equivalent of a bushman."

Is it Wiktionary policy to define women in terms of men? I thought this sort of sexism was not pc any longer in dictionaries. Also, it makes for a poor definition as what type of "equivalence" is intended? Do bushwomen do the same type of work as bushmen? (Actually, the definition of bushman needs some work as well, a bit overspecified at the moment). Also, it raises the question of why we don't first define bushwoman and then define bushman as "the male equivalent of a bushwoman". The current def style was common in print dictionaries that used alphabetical order and were attempting to save page space - not a factor in an electronic dictionary.

I think it would be better to define bush woman with something like "a woman who lives in the bush; a woman accustomed to the harsh life of the bush" ...

This makes wonder how many entries there are with "The female equivalent of xxx" definitions...and whether a policy is needed (or already in place) about this issue.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 00:16, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

See my response at Talk:bushwoman. I think you are right, and I don't define entries this way any more, but I created a few. Equinox 01:25, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Many words like that were formed by taking the -man form and appending -woman, and the -woman form will pretty much never be used as a generic, whereas the -man form at some point in most cases has been used with women. We don't need to save page space, but we do need to make sure that male/female versions of the same base word don't drift apart in definitions, implying a difference that doesn't exist. I certainly oppose taking e.g. aviatrix and changing it from "a female aviator", because that what it is, an aviator limited to one gender.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:11, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Glad you agree. I will edit bushwoman ... however, is there some way to get a list of them all? A bot perhaps?Sonofcawdrey (talk) 05:40, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

To continue with this ... I agree that "a female aviator" is well-worded and accurate since the term "aviator" is generic. However, there are times when xxx-man and xxx-woman are not the same thing as well, i.e. there is a difference that does exist. I don't think bushman/bushwoman are the same as aviatrix/aviator. There are also cases where the -man version really does refer to men, rather than generically referring to people (men or women). Haven't really thought much about other cases, but it might be a good pet project for someone.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 08:06, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Do we define parts of speech in other languages in terms of English grammar?[edit]

This is a continuation of a previous thread, but now the question that I have is more general.

Russian words слышимый and обитающий are participles. In Russian grammar the participle is seen as its own part of speech, separate from the verb and the adjective. In English grammar a participle is a form of a verb that can act as an adjective. In the above entries Russian participles are listed as adjectives—and their English translations might very well be adjectives. But the Russian words themselves aren't.

My question is: do we define parts of speech of other languages in terms of English grammar? Is there a policy to this effect? that guy 14:53, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

To answer your literal question, no we don't define other languages' parts of speech of terms of English grammar. As for particples and adjectives, the way I see it is that adjectives are part of speech, while participles are forms of verbs, so as long as the participle is nothing more than a form of the verb, then we put it under a ===Verb=== heading, but when the participle has its own meaning separate from that of the verb, it becomes indistinguishable from an adjective. слы́шимый ‎(slýšimyj) has two meanings, one is the present passive participle with the translation to English "being heard", while the other is an adjective with the translation to English "able to be heard", i.e. "audible". As for обита́ющий ‎(obitájuščij), I agree that we can delete the adjective sense and leave just the participle sense. --WikiTiki89 15:33, 2 October 2015 (UTC)


Does classical only refer to ancient Greek or Latin culture/society? Or can it also be used to refer to, say, ancient China, for example? ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:57, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

I think used on its own, it's only Greek/Latin. In the context of a discussion about China, "classical" might mean a particular era of China. But without context, I think it's always Greco-Roman culture. WurdSnatcher (talk) 16:01, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, it is a bit ambiguous at times. If we talk about "Indian classical dance" then clearly is it referring to India, not Greek/Roman culture. But the context does not have to be specifically stated verbally: in an Indian newspaper, "classical dance" would refer of course Indian classical dance, not Greek/Roman dance, and if the article was about say Greek dance, then that would have to be specified. In any case, it is better to be specific about what culture you are referring to when you can and not just assume classical=Gk/Rm.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 08:12, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
And yet I note that both Wiktionary and the OED specifically define classical as pertaining to Greek/Latin cultures only. According to the information provided above (and my own gut feeling), this is incorrect. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:34, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

No, "Classical" or "classical" can refer to a classical period in any civilization, often defined by notable production of literature, drama, and/or music. Some civilizations may even have more than one classical period, e.g. Europe before and after its dark ages. In Western (Euro-American) society, "classical" usually refers to European classical periods, but that is only due to ethnocentrism. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:21, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

the meaning of the word Eclectic[edit]

what is the meaning of the word Eclectic and were did it derive from,and from which language/

Please see our entry for eclectic. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:19, 3 October 2015 (UTC)


For definition two, how would it be conjugated?

Is it:

yede, yeded, yeding

yede, yode, yoden, yeding

yede, yode, yode, yeding

yede, yede, yede, yeding

yeed, yede, yeding


Are other forms unattested?

I know that the verb "yede" only exists as an obsolete pseudo-poetic verb which arose from a misunderstand of the original past tense of go ("yode"), but surely it must have some method of conjugation.

Someone more familiar with the verb might wish to add the correct conjugation to the page. Tharthan (talk) 14:56, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

BUMP Tharthan (talk) 21:00, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
BUMP Tharthan (talk) 14:24, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Bumping is somewhat obnoxious. Anyway, it doesn't seem to conjugated much (although the term is rare in general); the only conjugated form the OED has in a citation is yeding, and I can't find any more in the wild. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:00, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


The last definition in whip is very weird: Any of various pieces that operate with a quick vibratory motion, such as a spring in certain electrical devices for making a circuit, or a rocking certain piano actions. Can someone clarify this? I'm not familiar with it, but it doesn't seem very sensical to me. Don't all electrical devices make a circuit? (at least the functioning ones) And "a rocking certain piano actions" looks like a random grouping of words. WurdSnatcher (talk) 15:47, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Old def from Webster 1913. Perhaps the spring closes the circuit. Agree, the piano bit looks like a scanno that's propagated around the Web. Equinox 18:18, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
The 1917 Webster is easily findable on Google Books; it does not include the rocking certain piano actions part.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:16, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
In any case I think some words were lost. An "action" can be a moving mechanical component, so it might be intended for e.g. "a rocking part in certain piano actions". Equinox 19:00, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
NB: "The action is the mechanical part of the piano that transfers the motion of the fingers on the keys to the hammers that strike the strings."Piano technicians guild The lower arm in the grand piano action is the whippen or whip, and includes such structures as the whippen heel, whippen body, whippen flange, and whippen flange rail. - Amgine/ t·e 03:15, 7 October 2015 (UTC)


Can someone with access to the OED or some knowledge of geology find a meaning of tan related to sedimentary rock? Dinneen's Irish–English Dictionary ({{R:ga:Dinneen}}) says the following in its definition of leac: "any sedimentary rock, a tan; [] l. liath, lime-tan; l. ruadh, iron-tan." I've found nothing in Wikipedia or Webster's Third New International (or the 1828 or 1913 Webster's) or in Google Books (even restricted to the 19th century in case it's an old-fashioned term no longer in use). All I can find is references to various tan-colored rocks, but I don't think that's what Dinneen is talking about. Any ideas? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:32, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

The OED has nothing. The only connection to Irish in its entry on tan is a reference to the w:Black and Tans. Probably not relevant: "In the manufacture of artificial marble, to steep (the composition) in a hardening and preservative preparation: cf. tannage n. 1." DTLHS (talk) 17:45, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm guessing it is a reference to the colour of the rock. SemperBlotto (talk) 18:25, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
Century doesn't have anything relevant, either. It has "tan" as "the bark of the oak, willow, chestnut, larch, hemlock, spruce, and other trees abounding in tannin, bruised and broken by a mill, and used for tanning hides", and (from a different etymology) "a twig, or small switch". - -sche (discuss) 08:21, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • This is certainly not in current use in geology, and I am also largely failing to find anything that matches it in older texts. I could imagine that it refer to a weathering surface, but I've no evidence for that. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:05, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Thanks for trying to figure this one out, everyone! Patrick S. Dinneen was from County Kerry; I wonder if it's a word only used in Hiberno-English, or even his local Kerry variety of Hiberno-English, and maybe he didn't realize that people from outside his area wouldn't know this word. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:12, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

James Taylor "doggies retire".[edit]

James Taylor "thinking about women and glasses of beer he closes his eyes as the doggies retire". I know doggies or dawggies or dowggies means cattle. Does this term have history? Is it cattlemen slang? Are there other instances were this term is used?

It's usually spelled dogies, but the origin is unknown. I know it from Git Along, Little Dogies. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:29, 3 October 2015 (UTC)


I'm not sure how to go about adding it to the posh article, but posh is also dialectal for "slush", e.g. Walt Whitman, "To Think of Time", 'Cold dash of waves at the ferry-wharf, posh and ice in the river, half-frozen mud in the streets...'

student syndrome[edit]

Does this term only refer to students? The entry claims it doesn't. But wouldn't that make it the same procrastination in general? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:43, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

It is procrastination by anybody: e.g. "This initial research investigates three behavioral issues which may affect team member productivity in both a traditional waterfall project and in a Scrum project: the management of stress, the use of slack and the student syndrome." Equinox 12:19, 4 October 2015 (UTC)


This "fictional" form of transport has now been invented, albeit not exactly the same as it was in Back to the Future Part II. As a dictionary, I think we should mention this. --Zo3rWer (talk) 12:14, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

They aren't common. Change it to "mostly sci-fi". Equinox 12:18, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Zo3rWer is somewhat valid; what those guys are calling "hoverboards" are actually known as wikipedia:self-balancing two-wheeled boards. Perhaps people call them that because those who have ridden it have probably mastered it quickly. I propose entering that definition as an "informal." Railer-man (talk) 20:08, 24 November 2015 (UTC)


"Incorrect, useless, or broken." Those are three quite different things. Should we just get rid of this sense? This, that and the other (talk) 06:33, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like the computing slang sense (not perfectly covered by any of the other senses), as detailed in e.g. Eric Raymond's "Jargon File". Equinox 19:01, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Ah, yes. Broken may also be a CS term meaning incorrect or useless. -- 09:57, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Yukon or Yukon Territory[edit]

Should Yukon or Yukon Territory be the primary term, i.e. which one should have the definition of "Territory in northern Canada which has Whitehorse as its capital"? The status quo is that Yukon Territory has the definition, and Yukon links to Yukon Territory in its definition. According the Wikipedia article, Yukon Territory is the former name of the territory, but still more popular than Yukon, the official name. Justinrleung (talk) 04:23, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

More common where, I wonder? I've always heard it as "(the) Yukon" here in Alberta. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:24, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Agreed with Yukon. Yukon is the place, Yukon Territory is the political entity. Yukon will always be Yukon, even if it becomes a province instead. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:13, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
I think you've misunderstood my question. AFAIK, Yukon is the official name of the territory, while Yukon Territory is its former name. Justinrleung (talk) 06:40, 11 October 2015 (UTC)


What does Matamoros mean? --Romanophile (contributions) 09:03, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Kills Moors. It originated with the legend of Saint James Matamoros, also called Saint James the Moor-slayer. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:10, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
What kind of scumbag would use that as a placename? --Romanophile (contributions) 09:13, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Matajudios and Matajudíos also exist. They have some hits on Books. --Romanophile (contributions) 09:34, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
The city in Tamaulipas is named for Mariano Matamoros. I have no idea whether Spanish speakers even think of the etymological meaning of the name. No worse than Killarney, Kilkenny, and Killowen in Ireland (though the kill- element of those names is etymologically unrelated to the verb kill). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:06, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
La Mort aux Juifs, Castrillo Matajudíos, commons:File:EVR.png. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:31, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Haha, what the fuck? They were so proud of killing Muslims that they had to put it on their coat of arms for everybody to see? Holy hell. --Romanophile (contributions) 16:49, 7 October 2015 (UTC)


Erudite can be a noun right? "He was a erudite..."? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:15, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Well, "He was an erudite". I found some noun uses on b.g.c: [1], [2], [3]. The first two mean "an erudite person", the third means "being erudite". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:10, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Chinese word for woman, slightly unclear explanation[edit]


When referring to an adult female in a neutral sense, 婦女/妇女 (fùnǚ) and 女的 (nǚde) are often preferred to the synonym 女人 (nǚrén), as it can carry potentially offensive connotations of a female of low social standing or worth (similar to woman and lady in English).

I've flagged the word "it" in brackets. Does "it" refer to "the latter" i.e. 女人 (nǚrén) ? If so, perhaps "it" should be replaced by "the latter" to make it completely clear what can carry offensive connotations? 12:08, 8 October 2015 (UTC) Twitter.Com/CalRobert (Robert Maas)

Done. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:40, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Short sound[edit]

Which words there are in English for a sound caused by a short release of air or other gas, like e.g. the sound of opening a bottle of soda? Are there different words for strong and weak sounds? --Hekaheka (talk) 15:55, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

I don't think there's a word for that specifically, but you could call it a hissing sound. I think I've seen that used onomatopoetically for opening a bottle of soda. swoosh or woosh might work too for similar but weaker sounds. WurdSnatcher (talk) 18:50, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I completely forgot what the word is, but yes there is a word for that sound. I remember I took a class on cartooning and the instructor was discussing how to write that sound in a cartoon. I would suggest trying to perhaps google for cartoon strips picturing sodas being opened and see what words are written to depict the sound. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:05, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
cloop, but it's not common. Equinox 19:20, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Based on our definition of cloop, that's not the same sound as a for a bottle of soda. --WikiTiki89 19:49, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Here's an article by Ross Eckler analysing the onomatopoeia in a certain comic. It includes some onomatopoeia I haven't seen before, but ones I've seen are: fizz and variants fzzz and fsss for a soda bottle or can, psst for a spray can or a mouth (it's the usual "whisper" onomatopoeia), sss for air escaping from a balloon or tire, w(h)oosh and fwoosh for breezes caused by one thing moving quickly past another thing. - -sche (discuss) 08:12, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

category talk:en:Place names[edit]

See category talk:en:Place names for reorganization suggestion of toponyms. Both the currently-existing categories of "Demonyms" and "Place names" can be subcategorized under a new category "Toponyms," since toponyms include both the individual placenames as well as derived adjectival demonyms. The recategorization is necessary since some adjectival forms of toponyms are not used as demonyms (i.e. they describe the place, but not the inhabitants of the place). Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:00, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

German "ärgerlich" is still confusing me[edit]

According to ärgerlich, the word means "annoying". Examples I find elsewhere make me think it rather means "annoyed".

"Über seine Verspätung war ich wirklich ärgerlich" -> I was really annoyed about him being late. "Ich war ärgerlich" doesn't mean I was annoying, it means I was annoyed?

If there's a use where "annoying" is an appropriate translation for an adjectival use of this word, can someone add it? I'm guessing perhaps inanimate objects, because they can't be annoyed, might result in an "annoying" interpretation of the word?

If something unpleasant happens, you can say, "Das ist ja ärgerlich", so in that context it means "annoying" and not "annoyed". I'm not a native speaker, but I would say "Über seine Verspätung war ich wirklich verärgert", but maybe other people would say "ärgerlich" there. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:11, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I added "annoyed" to the entry. If you check Duden, which we link, you'll find both senses: 1. verärgert, 2. Ärger erregend. de.wikt has "Ärger empfindend" as sense 2. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:22, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, it can mean both depending on whether it refers to a thing or a person. Like AnGR, the use in the sense of "annoyed" sounds a bit odd to me, but it's rather current. I'm going to have a quick look at the lemma. Kolmiel (talk) 09:20, 12 October 2015 (UTC)


practice can be used in sentences like "I've got practice", where the type of practice (practice for sports activities) is passively known by the speaker and listener. Does this deserve a definition line? —suzukaze (tc) 22:36, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

That would seem to me to be the usual state of actual spoken language: the context provides some of the meaning of the utterance. DCDuring TALK 02:10, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
No, but I just added a sense for "practice" as something one attends (it could probably use some tweaking). The same should be done for rehearsal, as well as some more specific things that are somewhat analogous, such as lab for a chemistry class. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:14, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

don't know whether to shit or go blind[edit]

Sometimes "spit or go blind" instead. What's it mean? What form should we lemmatize? - -sche (discuss) 07:59, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Never heard it before, but it must mean "in a quandary", but more emphatically. DCDuring TALK 12:53, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Capitalisation of Lunarian & Earthling?[edit]

Is there a reason why Lunarian, Earthling and other sci-fi words like this are capitalised? Is it an acceptable alternative to use lower case? Any reply will be appreciated. 16:24, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

I think they are seen as being a proper noun, like Asian or North American. But yes, I've seen earthling in lower case definitely. Don't recall seeing lunarian before, but that's a lot less common even capitalized. WurdSnatcher (talk) 16:29, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • An earth is any Earth-like (Terra-like) planet, similar to how a sun is any Sun-like (Sol-like) star, and a moon is any natural satellite, whereas the Moon is Terra's satellite, Luna (Terra I). Likewise, an earthling is technically a being from any earthlike planet, whereas an Earthling (a Terran) is a being from Terra (Sol III). It is recommended to use the capitalized Latinisms Terran and Lunarian (or Selenite) over the Germanistic synonyms (Earthling, Mooninite) to avoid confusion. A human born in a colony in another solar system might be an earthling, but would not be an Earthling (from the Solar System). So yes, it is acceptable to use lower-case, but the lower-case form does not provide precise information on where the entity is from. A lunarian would technically be an entity from any moon (anywhere), whereas a Lunarian would be an entity specifically from Luna. Nicole Sharp (talk) 00:57, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Meh. That is how some people may use the words, but I wouldn't say it's universal. I don't think earth has got genercized planet-wise for most people, and sun as generic is not universal. It is recommended to use the Latinisms because Germanic roots in English sound base or common, and by extension sometimes silly. Terran is what award-winning science fiction writers used, where as Earthling is what cheap sci-fi movie writers used. Nothing about confusion.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:56, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd go with WurdSnatcher here. To expand, earthling, Vulcan and Klingon seems weird capitalization-wise, as does decapitalizing alien names. Names derived from places tend to be capitalized; if an Earthling is one born on Earth/belonging to Earth (cf. the use of Asian to apply to people who have several generations of ancestors born in North America), it should be capitalized. Lower-case earthling might better be a generic name of the (intelligent) species originating on Earth. I would use it capitalized.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:56, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • A klingon is a member of the klingon species, whereas a Klingon is a member of the Klingon Empire. A human can be Klingon, but not klingon. The capitalization is important when talking about large interplanetary regions with multiple species from multiple planets (including both homeworlds and colonized worlds). In a local context (e.g. one intelligent species on one planet, such as most Earthlings [earthlings] today, which only live on or around Earth [the earth]), it becomes less important since there is less risk of conflation. Nicole Sharp (talk) 17:08, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Except that's not what the pages you link to say; klingon has no English entry, and Klingon only refers to the race. Descriptively, that's not how Klingon works in English. My proscriptive streak likes it that way; making distinctions based on capitalizations gets you in trouble at the start of sentences or when a text is spoken.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:43, 16 October 2015 (UTC)


The definition of the word says that it's a payment (in money or goods) given to the groom, or at least given by one family to the other. In German, the translations Aussteuer and synonymous Mitgift most often refer to household items, sometimes also money, given to the bride by her own family. These things obviously become the property of the married couple after the wedding, so the difference may be more symbolic than financial. But it's a difference after all. So does "dowry" necessarily mean something given from one family to the other, or can it be understood as something given to the bride by her own family? Kolmiel (talk) 18:57, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Well, German Wikipedia's article w:de:Mitgift says, "[die Mitgift] wird vom Vater der Braut (oder ihrer Verwandtschaftsgruppe) an den Vater des Bräutigams (oder seine Verwandtschaftsgruppe) oder direkt an das Ehepaar übergeben" (the dowry is given by the father of the bride (or her kin group) to the father of the groom (or his kin group) or directly to the married couple), so the Mitgift isn't necessarily given to the bride either. At any rate, I don't think there's any substantial difference in meaning between Mitgift and dowry: whatever fine semantic details are found to pertain to the English word will doubtless be found to pertain to the German word as well, and vice versa. Any differences in dictionary definitions are probably more the result of differing cultural attitudes on the part of the various lexicographers. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:24, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Okay, all right. Yeah, it's of cause a cultural thing. The sense I mentioned is definitely the normal one in Germany. All that Duden Online says about "Mitgift" is: "Vermögen, Aussteuer in Form von Geld und Gut, das einer Frau bei der Heirat von den Eltern mitgegeben wird." But especially when referring to other cultures it can mean that which you mentioned. The question was just whether "dowry" could have both senses, and that seems to be the case then. Thanks. Kolmiel (talk) 09:54, 12 October 2015 (UTC)


Not sure if there's anything relevant to this project in this question, but I don't know where else to ask. In the UK tv show Twenty Twelve, there's a subplot about the lady in charge of "sustainability" for the 2012 Olympics having a rivalry with the lady in charge of "legacy". I feel like there's some connotation there I didn't get. Is it assumed that "sustainability" is a part of "legacy" in the UK? People keep mistaking one for the other, and I'm not sure why. I don't think these concepts are particularly linked in the US, and I guess I could see their dept heads as being rivals in the US, but the show assumes that the viewer will expect them to be opposed to each other. Was that a noted issue wrt to the 2012 games in particular? WurdSnatcher (talk) 16:52, 12 October 2015 (UTC)


Where does the Latin verbo *gannō come from? --Romanophile (contributions) 01:13, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

I’ve never seen that in Latin before. Are you sure you don’t mean ganniō? —Stephen (Talk) 14:33, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Of course, you've never seen it. It is unattested, which is why we have an asterisk. I assume what Romanophile is referring to is the stem of ingannō. --WikiTiki89 15:45, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Set to[edit]

I have definitely seen this phrase (She set to the task at hand). This is clearly different from set to music. I also could not find a corresponding definition in the admittedly long and messy article for set. Is this the meaning of the phase set to work? -- 09:52, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

It does not set right with me. I would say "she set about the task at hand". —Stephen (Talk) 14:44, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
"set" can mean "to begin work" (used with to and a noun, often a gerund -- e.g. "she set to performing the task at hand"), you can see it in other uses if you google phrases like "set to the task", "set to the job" or "set to the work". I think this is the same meaning we have in set as "To devise and assign (work) to", which I don't think is a great wording of the definition as it doesn't make clear that one can set oneself or someone else and that it strongly implies that the worker actually began work (e.g. if you say "I set to the task at hand" and it turns out you only prepared but never actually started the task, you'll be accused of lying). WurdSnatcher (talk) 15:12, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Note also set-to (which is lacking the corollary sense "a party, esp. wild/debauched - We had quite a set to the other night." GB: 1841 Naval Journal - Volumes 13-14 - Page 51) - Amgine/ t·e 18:19, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I would say set to implies preparation and resolve whereas set about implies action. Nonetheless, if 'to devise and assign (work) to' is a match, my question is resolved. I feel, however, that "She set herself to the preparations" might be a closer match, as by substitution in "She assigned to herself the preparations." Unless herself here is implicit in the phrase "She set to making the preparations." 18:31, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I think the SOED rather supports the OP's point. This is generic "set to"+Ving something; to me (BrE) it sounds rather old-fashioned, and I'm quite old already, so this is probably a dying expression. It really means getting on with doing something, whereas "set about" sounds more like starting to make preparations. (Rather the opposite of what 174 said.) Imaginatorium (talk) 09:50, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


I'm struggling to think of an English translation of the rare French adjective heraldicomane / héraldicomane - having an excessive interest in heraldry. Any ideas? SemperBlotto (talk) 10:08, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

armorially-focused? or armoriaphilic would make sense but was made up by me about two seconds ago. I would just write "heraldry-loving" or something along those lines if I needed to use it in a book. WurdSnatcher (talk) 14:53, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
  • vexillomania would be an obsession with flags. I am not certain if that would include heraldry as well. Nicole Sharp (talk) 02:27, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia seems to indicate that vexillology is a subfield of heraldry, not vice versa, so it would not fit. I do not know of any prefix in English, so the English translation would simply be "heraldry mania" / "heraldic mania" / "heraldric mania" or an Anglicization of the French to "heraldicomania" / "heraldimania" / "heraldomania" / "heraldrimania" / "heraldromania." The most natural translation to English though would arguably be "mania for heraldry" rather than a compound though. "John suffered from a terrible mania for heraldry that destroyed his marriage." Nicole Sharp (talk) 02:45, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


When I created this entry a while back, I added the following sense: "(probably an error for hexad) A group, series or set of six things." However, since I only found one source which used the word in this way, I wonder if the erroneous sense should just be deleted. Thoughts? Smuconlaw (talk) 18:37, 13 October 2015 (UTC)


Err... doesn't this mean young fish? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:36, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


# {{context|baseball|softball|lang=en}} A [[player]] who is [[on base]].
# {{context|baseball|softball|lang=en}} By extension, a player who is trying to advance from [[base]] to base.

What's the difference here? I don't follow softball but in baseball, a player who is on base is also trying to advance to the next base whenever possible. Can anyone think of a distinction and better than that, actually back it up with citations? Because I can't. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:31, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

I suspect what someone's trying to say is that the baserunner need not have his foot on the base; he's still a baserunner when he's standing a third of the way between his current base and the one he's aiming for (which happens all the time). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:32, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Definition 1 applies to being on 1st, 2nd or 3rd base; Definition 2 applies to being between the two. Purplebackpack89 16:43, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's "by extension", but a natural part of the definition. I would say it's "a player who is on base or running from base to base", although that technically doesn't exclude fielders who happen to be running from a base to another base. --WikiTiki89 18:19, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
One reason our definition of on base is idiomatic and includable is that it is not any normal sense of on + base. What a baserunner does or intends to do when on base doesn't seem like an essential part of the definition.
The second definition looks a great deal like an effort to include the logic and rules of baseball, an encyclopedic topic if ever there was one, in our humble lexicon. DCDuring TALK 23:50, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Let me ask you this, then, User:DCDuring: does the term "running the bases" illicit definition 1 or definition 2? IMO, it's 2. Purplebackpack89 15:34, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Running the bases is obviously an activity, not merely standing around. But a baserunner stands around while waiting for the opportunity to run the bases. A pinch-runner (like a pinch-hitter) also does a lot of standing around. Much of baseball consists of standing around. A fielder mostly stands around while waiting for the ball to be hit.
Baseball terms are often baseball-specific constructions using baseball-specific extensions of normal terms. Terms associated with other sports are similar. One should be too simplistic in constructing definitions.
To make clear that a runner is not always running, one need only listen to a sportscaster saying "Runners on first and third, tying run at the plate." They are never actually running at the time this is said. DCDuring TALK 16:39, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
But this is true of anything. A "writer" is a "writer" even when he/she is not writing. --WikiTiki89 17:34, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't have insight into "anything". DCDuring TALK 18:20, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Someone who was a runner in the first inning, when he was on base for some reason, is not a runner again until he gets on base again. It is not one's long-term condition as being a professional or avocational writer presumably is. DCDuring TALK 18:24, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
If a writer stops writing and becomes a musician, in some sense, he/she is no longer a writer, but in some sense, he/she still is a writer. Likewise, in some sense Dave Roberts is a runner whether or not he is currently on base and whether or not he is currently even playing a game, but in some sense, he is only a runner when he is on base. I guess the details are complicated and more suited to a doctoral thesis than a dictionary. --WikiTiki89 20:14, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

wereporcupine as humorous?[edit]

@Equinox tagged wereporcupine as "humorous". It strikes me like the "sarcastic" tag, in that it's not really tagging something semantic. There are two cites on there, with a third in Google Books that I ... decline to add to the page. The first is part of a joke, unsurprising as it's part of a humorous webcomic. The second isn't; glancing at the surrounding text, I see no reason to disbelieve in wereporcupines as part of the universe. A websearch reveals many non-humorous uses; [4] describes Fringe episode w:The Transformation as having a wereporcupine, a phrasing used elsewhere. Deviant Art has several wereporcupines. A Japanese card game has a うぇあぽーきぱんぬ (Wea Pōkipainnu or wereporcupine) which doesn't cite the word, but indicates the idea has non-humorous uses.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:44, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Edit made and copy of this discussion (such as it is) taken to Talk:wereporcupine.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:16, 1 November 2015 (UTC)


I just noticed in The Economist, it says: if Vice-President Joe Biden is minded to jump into the race, he needs to hurry -- is that a normal use of "mind" in Britain? mind gives a similar obsolete use (To have in mind; to intend), but that doesn't account for the weird passive voice. I thought it might be a British writer who doesn't entirely understand the American idiom have a mind to. Anyone know what's up? Is that not really an obsolete usage? Is it always passive? Just a mistake? WurdSnatcher (talk) 22:41, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

I think it is the adjectival suffix -ed, which forms adjectives from nouns (left-handed, red-haired, big-nosed, wide-eyed). It usually has the sense of "having" or "with". —Stephen (Talk) 03:13, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense, feels like a weird use of it to me, but maybe that's how they say it over there. WurdSnatcher (talk) 04:43, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
We do have an entry for the adjective minded. It sounds fine to me, and I'm American. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:30, 15 October 2015 (UTC)


For all FL entries on the page, "nortes" is given as a plural of "norte" (meaning "north" in all cases), and a couple of them have actual entries for the plural. Are there any contexts in which the word could indeed be plural in those languages, or did someone just use the wrong template? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:55, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

For Spanish there is the sense of "goal, objective" that can definitely be plural. And even in English you can talk about "Norths" if for some reason you need to distinguish various kinds of North. DTLHS (talk) 23:10, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
The definitions don’t help, but there are senses that are more clearly countable: “a region in the north of a place” (Os nortes dos países europeus), “either of the north poles” (Os nortes geográfico e magnético) and “(figurative) guide; guiding light” (Meus nortes são a bíblia e os meus pais). — Ungoliant (falai) 23:13, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
That clears it up (and I see now that one of the senses for Galician is countable). The second definition you mention should be added to the Portuguese entry. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:22, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


Doesn't "wisp" also mean a flock of snipe?


Civilocity is a neologism which describes a form of government where the people can watch and listen to the leader of their country for the entire time that person is leading their country. In 2007 Nathaniel Wenger took it upon himself to coin, classify, and copyright this pragmatic philosophy. Nathaniel began talking about civilocity, which he often calls wengerocracy as it remains in its neologism phase, to emphasize the importance for countries to watch the leader of their country no matter where they live. Civilocity can be defined as a form of government where the people can watch the leader of their country 24/7, 365 days a year, including the extra day once every leap year broadcasted live on public television to the entire world. Civilocity allows you to know every single thing the leader of your country did and having it all online.

state police[edit]

Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.
  • Should "state police" have its own entry to contrast with "national police?" The distinction is only present in US American English, where the adjective "state" refers to subnational government instead of national government. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:50, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Just to be a pedant, the distinction is also present in Australia. More seriously, shouldn't this be under requests for deletion rather than requests for verification? It is common enough not to require verification, but a SOP argument is valid for getting rid of it. Kiwima (talk) 00:02, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
      • I did not know that! I had always assumed that Australia had provinces like Canada; thank you for that information. Do you also have state troopers? I put "state trooper" as USA English since I did not know that other countries also had "state" subnational polices. In that case, I would say it should be an entry, since outside the USA and Australia then, "state police" is synonymous with "national police," and the term needs the country-specific disambiguation of definition. Nicole Sharp (talk) 01:42, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I have moved this discussion to the Tea room – RFV is not the right place for it. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 00:35, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Depending on the country and the jurisdiction, you have federal police, state police, military police, reservation police, harbor police, airport police (Los Angeles even has police for at least one city department- and I'm not talking about the police department). In the US we don't have county/parish police, because those are known as sheriffs and sheriff deputies, but I'm sure they exist in other countries. Of course, there's also the w:Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In short, there are lots of kinds of police, so the distinction between state and federal police doesn't seem like something to create an entry over. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:48, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
More to the point, the confusion over what state police are has more to do with confusion over what is meant by "state". Just about anything that's shared by both state and national governments will have the same problem. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:54, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I went ahead and created the entry since the use of the word "state" is technically a misnomer in the USA and Australia to refer to subnational instead of national government, so that "state police" is an exception to other types of police in that it is not a sum of parts. "National police," "park police," etc. are all sums of parts with the same meaning in English regardless of location, unlike the term "state police," which has different definitions depending on location. Nicole Sharp (talk) 01:59, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
    • By that reasoning we should have entries for state budget, state election, state jurisdiction, state boundary, etc. The meaning of all of those depends on whether you're talking about a federal system of government. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:05, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
      • w:State (polity) makes it pretty clear that it's hard to call any such use of the word "state" a misnomer, and state is pretty clear that that's one of the meanings, and as Chuck Entz pointed out, it's a meaning frequently used in compounds.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:20, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
      • @Chuck Entz, I see your point, e.g. state university. In that case I would say to feel free to delete the entry if you feel it is necessary as a sum of parts. Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:55, 15 October 2015 (UTC)


Is there an English word for the definition I gave of the French word? Can the English word "synopsis" have that meaning (in which case it needs a definition on Wiktionary)? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:38, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

The OED has, under "synposis", "A book of prayers for the use of the laity", with a single attesting quotation. DTLHS (talk) 02:44, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, that wouldn't quite be it. The French word is more about comparison between the three most similar gospels in the Christian Bible. I guess I defined it well enough, then. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:26, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, synopsis is used that way in English. This Google Books search turns up definitions such as this this and this, as well as other clear, but less direct statements such as this and this- not to mention a lot of works that call themselves synopses. It may be that its restriction to biblical scholars and publishers might explain its absence from regular dictionaries, but, whatever the reason, it definitely meets our CFI. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:36, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I'll add that definition to synopsis if I have time today, unless someone beats me to it. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:20, 18 October 2015 (UTC)


Again, is there an English word for this? I've been adding new French words I learn to Wiktionary as I come across them, and sometimes it's difficult to find a translation to English (or in some cases, there isn't such a translation), but if one exists, I'd like to know what it is. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:34, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

I think it's stich, as in telestich. Equinox 15:30, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
I was going to add stich to the entry, but I realized that not only is the definition distinct, it is obsolete in English (the French isn't — I came across it in a recently printed book). I imagine they both come from the same word, but they don't seem to have close enough meanings for one to translate the other. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:27, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
At my request, someone created the entry over at Wiktionnaire (see stique) with more detail, and I clarified the English entry. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:14, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

illapse of the Holy Spirit[edit]

This redlink is currently at the top of the Wanted entries list. The synonym illapse of the Holy Ghost gets almost as many hits at b.g.c, so if we have one, we should have the other. (And illapse of the Spirit gets even more.) But should we have it? Looking through the uses of both variants at b.g.c, I think it's SOP: it's just an illapse of the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost. It refers to the Holy Spirit descending upon Mary to get her pregnant with Jesus, but it also refers to the Holy Spirit descending upon other people at baptism and entering the host at Eucharist. I don't think it's a specific enough term to warrant a separate entry. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:15, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. Just add some quotations showing its use in relation to the Holy Spirit. Smuconlaw (talk) 10:12, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
It's been created now, so I've RFD'd it. New thread is at WT:Requests for deletion#illapse of the Holy Spirit. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:09, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

pronunciation of August and august[edit]

Are these two words always pronounced differently? (I feel like an idiot - I thought they had the same pronunciation until I just heard, for the first time, someone use the latter word out loud.) ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:26, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

I've always pronounced them the same way, though I can't honestly say if I've heard "august" spoken aloud. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:37, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
I know that they're pronounced differently (different stress/→vowels), but I can't imagine where I learned this. —suzukaze (tc) 04:30, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
I think I've only ever heard [[august] in the context of fancy titles, e.g. in movies. In the TV show Rome, I think they introduce someone as "His August Majesty" or something along those lines. Maybe wasn't Rome, I don't remember. But I don't think I've ever heard it in normal speech. WurdSnatcher (talk) 04:34, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • The stress difference is standard in English. It's rather handy as a disambiguator, too. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:42, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, in the uncapitalised adjective, the stress is always on the second vowel. You don't hear it much because we just don't use the word much. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:06, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
    Our pronunciation recordings agree with how I have heard them and would pronounce them. DCDuring TALK 11:46, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Is 'bioremediation' really 'usually about microorganisms?'[edit]

The reason I ask this question is a) because it is dangerously easy to slip in such assertions as fact, without (citing) evidence, and b) I was personally drawn to the subject following a piece on public media regarding the value of certain houseplants - notably ivy and dracaena - in absorbing atmospheric contaminants.--Londheart (talk) 15:19, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Question: "Chinese" as attributive[edit]

Is it grammatically incorrect to say "Chinese young people" and "Chinese ancient history"? Must we say "young Chinese people" and "ancient Chinese history"? I've never quite understood what the rule is regarding the position of "Chinese" when used as an attributive. ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:09, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

'Do as you would be done by' occurred as a reasonable response.--Londheart (talk) 15:20, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
To me, "Chinese ancient history" could be the ancient history of China, or it could be ancient history described in a Chinese language, or the ancient history of Greece interpreted by Chinese historians. "ancient Chinese history" is only the history of ancient China. WurdSnatcher (talk) 15:23, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
"Chinese young people" sounds fine to me, and gets lots of Google hits, including in edited writing. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:56, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
I think the difference is a matter of grouping: we tend to interpret items to the left as modifying things to their right. Thus "young Chinese people" would be ((people) who are young) who are Chinese, and "Chinese young people" would be ((people) who are Chinese) who are young. With a list of modifiers like this that represents the simple intersection of sets, it doesn't make much real difference in the meaning, though there might be a slight emphasis on the relationships in the inner groupings over the outer ones: "young Chinese people" would treat the fact that these are "Chinese people" as more basic than the fact that that they're also young, while "Chinese young people" would say these are primarily "young people" who are also Chinese. In most cases, the distinction is too subtle to bother with, but sometimes it matters. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:52, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
An example of a place where there would be a clear preference would be a discussion that mentioned both young Chinese people and young Indian people. Notwithstanding the order just given, I would generally use "Chinese young people" to contrast with "Indian young people". DCDuring TALK 17:42, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
Notwithstanding (and having read) all the intervening responses, I feel that my original response (if anyone read it?) still holds water, on the basis that 'English young people/Chinese young people' sounds more distant and more likely to be stated by someone of a different nationality, and therefore more questionable from the perspective of universal usage. As a tolerant English person, I feel viscerally reluctant to actually condemn usage which makes semantic and grammatical sense - and I trust the sentiment is reciprocated?; but I wouldn't necessarily therefore recommend it to a learner.--Londheart (talk) 10:00, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

mistake in entry for "rhetor" in Latin[edit]

Hi: There is a mistake in the entry for "rhētor" in the Latin section. The "o" before the final "r" is listed as long in forms other than the nominative singular. That is wrong. It's an understandable mistake. Many Latin nouns follow the pattern "-or, -ōris m." However, rhētor is a Greek word, and the original Greek word has "-ōr, -oros, m." The Latin noun preserves that short "o" before the r while shortening the "o" in the first form (following a typical Latin pattern of shortening vowels before final "r") So the word should be "rhētor, rhētoris, m." I was able to change the first listing of the word. However, there is a chart in which it is declined. I could not figure out how to edit the chart (I'm new at wiktionary), so the chart remains wrong. Every "ō" should be "o". To verify this info, check out this entry in Lewis and Short, the classic Latin/English dictionary. —This unsigned comment was added by Jrundin (talkcontribs) at 15:39, October 17, 2015.

Thanks for the effort. Perhaps someone will eventually initiate you into the mystical order of the declension table module. (BTW, please sign to improve your chances at initiation. DCDuring TALK 21:09, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • @Jrundin I'll fix it straightaway. It seems that you're new to wikis, in which case our system may indeed be too complex to learn easily; if you find any more problems of this kind that you cannot fix, please leave a message on my talkpage. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:36, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Word of the Day for October 17, 2015: Volute[edit]

There is a typo on today's landing page in the definition of volute. Spirals was spelled "spirls". Oops.

Now fixed; thanks for catching it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:50, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
The typo originated from the entry volute; I've corrected that too. Smuconlaw (talk) 20:35, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

"goose party"[edit]

Any one know what a goose party is? "The company may be as numerous or as exclusive as one likes. Even a tiny goose party would be delightful." (link) Thmazing (talk) 04:13, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Apparently a party that makes little boys and girls wildly happy. Possibly a shortening of Mother Goose party, which looks to have been an older term maybe? WurdSnatcher (talk) 17:35, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
This slang lexicon defines it as a wedding dinner. Also, these pictures suggest a Mother Goose party is a themed fancy dress affair, not necessarily for children. — Pingkudimmi 06:20, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

'(ɹ)' in BrE IPA transcriptions[edit]

User @Peter238 has made quite a lot of edits to words like discordant lately, removing '(ɹ)' from the IPA transcriptions of BrE pronunciations and putting 'not an RP pronunciation' in the edit summaries. The thing is, not everyone in Britain speaks with received pronunciation, and putting 'ɹ' in brackets is the standard practice employed by some dictionaries. Should we kindly ask this contributor to stop making such edits? that guy 13:06, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Pronunciations tagged with {{a|UK}} should be RP, as per Wiktionary:About English#Pronunciation. Pronunciation in other British dialects need to be tagged with their respective names. — Ungoliant (falai) 13:09, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I didn't know.
Alright, let us be the BBC of the 1960s. that guy 13:15, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Some of the transcriptions I've altered may still be wrong in RP as far as other vowels are concerned (for instance, I changed wrong /ɜː/ to /ə/ at least once, and /ɛː/ (i.e. /ɛə/) to /ɜː/ a couple of times). If someone could check these in Longman Pronunciation Dictionary it'd be great. Peter238 (talk) 13:35, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Basically, nothing should be labeled {{a|UK}} or {{a|US}} (though a lot of things are). When tidying up pronunciations, please use more specific labels like {{a|RP}} and {{a|GA}}. RP should always be one of the British pronunciations we show, but it needn't be the only one. If you want to add pronunciations for Estuary English or Devonshire or the North of England or Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland or what have you, that's fine too, but RP should be there as a minimum, and should not show /ɹ/ before a consonant, even in round brackets. At the end of a word, on the other hand, there may be an argument for including /(ɹ)/ to show the r-sound that appears when the next word starts with a vowel. Thus I can live with transcribing star as /stɑː(ɹ)/ since star is is /stɑːɹ ɪz/. But start should only be /stɑːt/ since there's never an /ɹ/ in that word in RP. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:56, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm all for this approach, yet somehow I never see {{a|RP}} or {{a|GA}} used anywhere. Maybe we should use some kind of a bot to change all {{a|UK}} to {{a|RP}}, and all {{a|US}} to {{a|GA}}? Because that's basically what people mean when they mark pronunciations as 'UK' or 'US' . that guy 14:31, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
I change {{a|UK}} and {{a|US}} wherever I see them, but I'd rather do it manually than by bot so that any errors in transcription can be fixed at the same time. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:37, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

do or take some exercise[edit]

Would it be correct to say "take some exercise" is old-fashioned English? In China, students are taught this expression, but it's always sounded strange to me. In Australia, at least, we usually say "do some exercise". ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:36, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

In Canada, I think we'd say "do some exercise" too. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 02:53, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, "take some exercise" is old-fashioned, but it looks like it does have some current use. "Do exercise" is more normal, or just use "exercise" as a verb. WurdSnatcher (talk) 03:09, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
It sounds moderately old-fashioned to me (south-east England), as does "take the air" for getting fresh air (by walking etc.). Equinox 23:23, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

the play's the thing[edit]

Heard this as a one-liner in the American TV show Madam Secretary, with no explanation given (the person being spoken to seemed to understand it immediately). I know the origin in Shakespeare but what does it actually mean in modern English? I'm surprised we don't include it. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:39, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Have a look at this. A fuller quote would be "... the play's the thing / Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King" – Hamlet includes a few lines alluding to his father's murder by the King into a play that the King will be watching, to see if the King flinches. Does the play's the thing have any additional, non-SOP meaning in English? Smuconlaw (talk) 12:37, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
I think people say it to mean "murder will out". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:40, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
In that case, time to look for citations to bear that out. Smuconlaw (talk) 13:01, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
@Tooironic: Which episode? Or when did it air? DCDuring TALK 16:43, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
It was about half way through season one. (spoiler warning) It's the episode when Madam Secretary and her CIA friend hunt down the guy responsible for interfering with the plane that ended up crashing. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:55, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Does it make sense to mean "I/we will engineer circumstances so that the guilty person incriminates himself"? Because that's what Macbeth is planning when he speaks that line. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 04:33, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Wrong tragedy, Catsidhe. Plus, no engineering was required in Macbeth, just a bit of mental instability on the part of the murderers... —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:30, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Here is the quote. DTLHS (talk) 04:43, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

.htaccess file, hosts file[edit]

Just a note: I created .htaccess file and hosts file.

As far as file names go, I think these two are acceptable, as common configuration files. Often I've seen in running text "edit your hosts file" without any explanation of what it is, so I guess this falls under the scope of "it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means".

I'm not sure where to draw the line, though. These look too similar in format and attestability as, say, httpd.conf, Autorun.inf and maybe AUTOEXEC.BAT. Probably others. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 09:47, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

[Comment of DCDuring 18:27, 19 October 2015 (UTC) moved to intended location, next topic]
I don't follow. Did you mean to ask this as a response to my message, or were you intending to open a new TR post about invoices? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 19:22, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
See the topic below, which is what DCD apparently meant to reply to. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:47, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

final bill, final invoice[edit]

Oxford has an entry for final invoice [5], but "final bill" sounds more idiomatic. I was thinking of the final bill for a major contract (where progress payments have been made) after it is completed. Donnanz (talk) 17:09, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

What is the last bill/invoice sent by a vendor called before the vendor turns the account over to a collection agency? DCDuring TALK 18:27, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
It wouldn't be a bill or invoice as the debtor would have already received that, probably a final reminder or warning letter. Donnanz (talk) 21:10, 26 October 2015 (UTC)


Is there an in‐depth etymology out there?

  1. Why does it mean ‘clever?’ Is it from being multilingual? Is it from knowing Latin?
  2. Does it mean multilingual because Spaniards frequently learnt Latin?
  3. Why does it mean Judeo‐Spanish? --Romanophile (contributions) 05:55, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
To your third question, there's some interesting discussion at w:Mozarabic language#Native name. Basically, in early Medieval Spain, Spanish speakers called their language "Latin" (it was, after all, descended from the local variety of Vulgar Latin) primarily to distinguish it from Arabic. For whatever reason, over time it was only the Spanish Jews who continued to call their language that, while the Christians called their language Spanish or Castilian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:09, 20 October 2015 (UTC)


Doesn't 'fink' mean 'someone who informs on people'—as opposed to the current definition that reads, 'someone who betrays a trust'?

"Thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business. Thanks for a nation of finks."William Burroughs [[6]]

ShitiBot left you a message on ଉଇକିପିଡ଼ିଆ[edit]

Hi. I recevied an email from an assumed indian wiki (wiki@wikimedia.org), using these words:

Is it pure joke, or do these words exist in any language ? --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 19:54, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

The script is Oriya. The first word means "Wikipedia". I don't know about the rest. Oriya isn't available at Google Translate. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:36, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
    • ଉଇକିପିଡ଼ିଆ = Wikipedia
    • ନିମନ୍ତ୍ରଣ = invitation, invite
    • ସମସ୍ତ = all
    • ବଦଳ = change
    • ଦେଖନ୍ତୁ = style —Stephen (Talk) 21:24, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

use of "in" indicating a time frame[edit]

According to my research - and backed up by the definitions we give at "in", this preposition can mean both AFTER a period of time and WITHIN a period of time. So saying you'll hand in your report "in two weeks" must be a pretty vague deadline to give yourself, right? English is a bizarre language at times. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:59, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Hmm... To me, "in two weeks" means (more or less) at the end of two weeks. The other meaning would have to be "within the next two weeks". Equinox 04:34, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't say those two senses of "in" are interchangeable, though. If I say "I'll help you in two days" I mean that at the end of two days I will help, and I would always understand it that way.The examples given for the "within a certain elapsed time" definition seem to use two different senses of the word... "In" still means "at the end of" in "Are you able to finish this in three hours?" The "finishing" is expected to happen at the end of the three hours.
In "The massacre resulted in over 1000 deaths in three hours," the second "in" does mean "within," but I can't think of any examples of that sense used outside of describing past events. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:58, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Context matters:
  1. IMO: "We will finish in three hours." can mean either "Whenever we start, we will take three hours to finish." or "We will be finished three hours from now."
  2. IMO: whether the interpretation is an expected average time-to-completion, an earliest time-to-completion, or a latest time-to-completion is dependent on context.
  3. IMO: the nature of the action specified by the verb affects the interpretation. DCDuring TALK 09:08, 21 October 2015 (UTC)


I don't think the current definition is accurate. I think なんて (in the sense of "How [adjective]" is used almost as frequently to emphasize good qualities and is not necessarily an expression of disgust or the like.

The following: About.com article uses positive examples: http://japanese.about.com/library/blqow17.htm

Japanese kokugo dictionaries similarly don't state in their definitions that it's necessarily used in a negative sense, and Googling phrases like なんて美しい or なんて楽しい yields plenty of actual usage examples that clearly aren't expressing contempt.

なんて silly Wiktionary page that requires editing!

2400:2410:A220:C500:C12C:8021:ED0A:E5F3 05:39, 21 October 2015 (UTC)


As the concept of "multi-verse" becomes more engrained, we need a word to describe the fine-tuning for other universes. We cannot rely on the Anthropic principle for this description, hence happenstantiality "The physical laws of a universe as discovered by consciousness". I'm not sure whether the laws are invented or discovered.

Sorry, we don't do newly-coined words. See WT:CFI. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:37, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


Calling Japanese editors: is it possible the Japanese entry is missing the "monk training" sense? I would be surprised to find it didn't carry over from Chinese. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:07, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


There is an English sense defined as "(China) beauty girls". What does that mean? Why is it "MM": does it stand for something? Equinox 12:09, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Googling brought up this – "w:Chinese Internet Slang": "MM: mèimèi (妹妹 or 美美 or 美妹 or 美眉), Little sister, young girl, pretty girl. Often written as “MM,” which usually refers to a young girl or pretty girls." Smuconlaw (talk) 13:32, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


In minutiae, it’s said it’s pronounced /maɪˈnjuː.ʃiː.aɪ/ , on Wikipedia, it’s /mɨˈnjuːʃɪ.iː/, the singular minutia is /maɪˈnjuː.ʃə/ , eSpeak (en-rp, en-us…) gives me /mɪnjˈuːʃɪˌiː/ , merriam-webster says \mə-ˈnü-sh(ē-)ə, mī-, -ˈnyü-\ for minutia and \-shē-ˌē, -ˌī\ for minutiae. Who’s right? 22:48, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

All of them. --WikiTiki89 23:02, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
1. If they are all correct (“alternates”) then why give only one? And why not give the same in WP and WT?
2. I don’t know where all the dictionaries get their content but it seems WT is the only one giving /maɪ/…. 00:59, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

generic (grammar)[edit]

We have a grammar sense for generic, namely “specifying neither masculine nor feminine”. I'm aware of this sense. It also exists for German generisch. But this latter has another meaning. I wonder whether it exists for English generic too, or else what is the equivalent? — The sense is “specifiying no particular individual”, “referring to a category, a genus”. Take for example French: Le chien est un animal, German: Der Hund ist ein Tier. In these sentences the words chien, Hund are used generisch, that means they don't refer to a particular dog, but to “the dog” as such. Kolmiel (talk) 00:02, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Anyone?! I just used the French/German examples because they're particularly clear. The word milk in: Milk is white, is also "generisch". There must be some term for it, I'm sure. Kolmiel (talk) 23:16, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
I think generic would work. I've been reading about Biblical Greek grammar lately, and discussions of the w:Gnomic aspect as it relates to various syntactic categories are stiff with the term generic. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:02, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
The grammatical term for “specifying no particular individual” is indefinite, but I’m not sure if it applies to your examples. — Ungoliant (falai) 23:18, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
In case of "determination" (that's how the German wikipedia calls it), generic and indefinite are different terms: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determination_%28Linguistik%29 . google book search has results like this:
  • "between definite and indefinite generic reference"
  • "Dahl (1975:99) defines 'generic' in the following way: 'The common semantic property of all generic expressions is that they are used to express law-like, or gnomic, statements." and "Allan (1986:136) points out that there are three different of types of generic NPs in English: the definite generic, which occurs only in countable NPs; the a(n)-generic; and the unmarked indefinite generic, which occurs both with plurals and with uncountables."
That seems to mean the same as German generisch, doesn't it?
"The man is a mammal" could be an example for definite generic, as it uses the definite article, but refers to humans in general. "An elephant has a trunk" could be an example for indefinite generic.
-Rdm571 (talk) 11:04, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's what it is. It's not the same as indefinite. So is there nothing in English? Hm, okay.. Kolmiel (talk) 20:14, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
"The man is a mammal" sounds awkward because the usual generic is just "man" without an article, thus: "Man is a mammal." A better example of definite generics is "The lion preys on the antelope." In colloquial language, the indefinite plural is usually used for the generic "Lions prey on antelope.". I wouldn't consider "An elephant has a trunk." to be an indefinite generic, although it has similar properties; I would consider it a use of an example instance with an implied extrapolation. --WikiTiki89 20:25, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I think "generic" is a good translation of generisch as a descriptor of things like "a dog has four legs". I'm not sure if it needs a separate sense or if sense 1 covers it already. Wikipedia's article on Gnomic aspect mentions "generic" as a synonym, but we seem to lack a linguistics sense at gnomic. - -sche (discuss) 21:03, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
google books:"generic" "is a mammal" turns up plenty of books describing sentences of the form "[some kind of mammal] is a mammal" as "generic", but they do seem like they could be analysed as using the general sense of the word; e.g.:
  • 2007, James R. Hurford, ‎Brendan Heasley, ‎Michael B. Smith, Semantics: A Coursebook (ISBN 1139463322), page 59:
    The whale is a mammal (understood in the most usual way) is a generic sentence. That whale over there is a mammal is not a generic sentence.
- -sche (discuss) 21:06, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Okay. But it does need its own definition, because only the "male-female" sense is labeled grammar, and that implies that only this sense is grammatical. Kolmiel (talk) 21:02, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

ride in Irish English[edit]

Google "an absolute ride" and you'll find various hits of people and places being described as such in Irish English. What does it mean? - -sche (discuss) 01:29, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

This example is pretty clear about what it means. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:00, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Aha. Now added. - -sche (discuss) 02:31, 23 October 2015 (UTC)


Can crib also mean cheat sheet? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:36, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Not as far as I know. It can be a verb meaning "to cheat", so it wouldn't surprise me if there was some time and place when it was a noun too. But I haven't heard of that. WurdSnatcher (talk) 11:48, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
People say crib note (probably more common in the plural) as a synonym of cheat sheet, though. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:23, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Ah, good point, I forgot about that. WurdSnatcher (talk) 14:43, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
We have def 14 of crib#Noun: "(usually in the plural) A collection of quotes or references for use in speaking, for assembling a written document, or as an aid to a project of some sort; a crib sheet." DCDuring TALK 04:29, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
This is a modification of an earlier definition explicitly about "cheating". DCDuring TALK 04:31, 24 October 2015 (UTC)


I think this French word is that of the tool that a piano tuner uses to adjust the tension in the strings. What is it called in English? The word might also mean tuning fork but I'm not sure of that. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:38, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

This mentions both pianos and organs, which means it has to be a generic term for tools used to make adjustments in tuning- the mechanisms for pianos and organs are completely different. The term clef d'accordeur mentioned there seems to refer to a w:Tuning wrench, so I would guess that's what the term means when you're talking about pianos, and this page seems to confirm it. Of course, this page and its French translation seem to indicate that the term for that is clé d'accord, but they can certainly both be correct. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:30, 24 October 2015 (UTC)


Is there any actually proof that this comes from Old High German mulināri? Couldn't this just be Mühle + -er?

I'm no expert in German, but since there are parallel formations in English ("miller") and Danish ("møller"), who is to say that this wasn't coined as a compound in German?

Even if it wasn't, is there any reason to assume that it wasn't later analysed that way? 03:11, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

A German etymological dictionary would say (which is why WT:ES would be a better place to post this). Perhaps someone could check such a dictionary? Regardless, we could always add the fact that from surface analysis, the term may be analysed as Mühle + -er. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:26, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Kluge's Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache says it comes from OHG mulināri but that it's unclear whether that's an internal OHG formation from mulīn or whether the word as a whole was borrowed from Medieval Latin molīnārius. If it were a modern German formation from Mühle we'd expect a long vowel (*Mühler) rather than a short vowel (Müller). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:29, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
re: parallel formations in English ("miller") and Danish ("møller"): this and this would seem to indicate that the "parallels" aren't quite as parallel as they might seem at first. Miller may indeed involve an agentive suffix, but that would have had to have happened in Middle English, though this mentions an Old French form molnier that could have at least influenced the formation of the Middle English word (the Old English term was mylen-weard). As for Danish, the second reference above seems to say (if I understand the abbreviations correctly) that it's inherited from Old Norse, which borrowed it from Middle Low German, which ultimately came from Medieval Latin molīnārius (it also mentions OHG mulināri, but apparently for comparison). This is the kind of pattern one would expect for a relatively new technology that seems to have been introduced to Germanic Europe via the Romans. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:40, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Müller wasn't formed in German with -er (or its Old High German descendant -ari) — mulināri, borrowed whole from molīnārius, is actually one of the words from which German generalized that suffix. From the handbook of Sociolinguistics / Soziolinguistik, edition 2, volume 2 (2005, ISBN 978-3-11-017148-8): "Aus Lehnwörtern wie althochdeutsch mulinari vom mittellateinischen molinarius „Müller“ wurde das Suffix -arius für Personenbezeichnungen abstrahiert und ins Deutsche entlehnt, wo es seit althochdeutscher Zeit äußerst produktiv ist." Peter Eisenberg, in Das Fremdwort im Deutschen, says the same. The loss of the -in- was gradual; in Middle High German it evolved from mülnære to mülner to just Müller. - -sche (discuss) 17:40, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
One cannot base an etymology on superficial analysis. It must be based on how the word actually (that is, historically) came to be. Since we have an abundance of historic sources, and since the analysis of these sources leads all relevant dictionaries to the conclusion that Müller is a contraction of mulinari, there's absolutely no reason to say otherwise. Moreover, Müller cannot even be re-analyzed as Mühle + -er because it isn't Mühler. Kolmiel (talk) 21:13, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


Is kiasi a noun or an adjective? The examples in the entry make it seem like an adjective. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 20:42, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

Definitely an adjective. I don't think I've ever seen a noun usage. Smuconlaw (talk) 11:24, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I did find some noun uses, so I've added those. Smuconlaw (talk) 21:20, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

proceso Argentino[edit]

-- Why this word chosen for the Dirty War (la Guerra Sucia) —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Probably because people who are doing extreme things like to make them sound very routine and harmless. I'm sure it was also important to be vague, as well, so no one would think about what the term really referred to. I believe the full term was "Proceso de Reorganización Nacional", which would mean "National Reorganization Process" in English. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:16, 26 October 2015 (UTC)


There's a hymn called "Sing to the Lord of Harvest" which is, rather incongruously, set to a tune named "Wie lieblich ist der Maien" (at one time it was used as the tune for a spring-themed hymn of that name). We don't have an entry for this form, yet- is it simply an old alternative form for Mai, or is there more to it than that? Chuck Entz (talk) 13:49, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

According to w:de:Maien (Zweig), a Maien is a sapling or fresh twig or branch. It gets its name from the month of May, but it doesn't mean 'May'. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:53, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Oh wait, according to w:de:Maien it's also a poetic word for May, which makes more sense in the song you linked to. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:59, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
In early modern German Mai inflected like a weak noun. So Maien (or meien) was the non-nominative form. Later on the noun became strong, making Maien just a poetic variant of Mai. Kolmiel (talk) 21:06, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


There is a variant of 産 that looks like 瘟 but rather than 囚 on the inside there is something that looks (something) like 云 (but with 十 in place of 一). Maybe it is not yet in unicode? I ran across it in the Taisho Tripitaka. Tibetologist (talk) 01:48, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Is it 𤸱 (U+24E31)? It doesn't seem like a variant of 產, though. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 02:15, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
BTW, 云 (but with 十 in place of 一) would be 去. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 02:16, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

-meter vs. -metre[edit]

A lot of entries for words with -meter have an alternative forms section with the -metre form labelled nonstandard (e.g. acidimeter, ammeter). Is this accurate? Aren’t those forms obsolete, regional, archaic or something of the sort? — Ungoliant (falai) 01:35, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

It's just American English vs. British English. Purplebackpack89 01:41, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
No, it's not. When speaking of a device, the spelling is normally -meter even in the UK. -metre is only for units of measurement. —CodeCat 01:44, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
As worded, -metre only applies to the unit. Purplebackpack89 02:12, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Not true. The definitions "Used to form the names of measuring devices" (-meter) and "Alternative form of -meter (suffix used to form the names of measuring devices)" (-metre) say nothing about the units measured by the measuring devices. I'm not so sure we should be treating either as a suffix, though, since both the unit and the device are nouns in their own right that take prefixes. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:33, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Can confirm that the measuring devices are ammeter, voltmeter, etc. in Britain, whereas the units are centimetre, etc. Equinox 13:27, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


Why do we call lovers ‘babies?’ It sounds kind of creepy when you think about it. --Romanophile (contributions) 08:14, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

If you're thinking babies = infants then yeah, I suppose it is. But baby can also mean someone you care for/take care of, someone totally dependent on you for all their needs... In that sense it's kinda hot ;) Leasnam (talk) 14:44, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
But why do you think that it means someone you care for/take care of, someone totally dependent on you for all their needs? I’m sure that you can figure out the answer. --Romanophile (contributions) 14:48, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, just speculating, it probably started as a male to female pet name, corresponding to how a girl might call her male lover "daddy" or "daddyo". Baby girl probably then got clipped to just baby? I dunno... Leasnam (talk) 14:52, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Taking it one step further, baby was affected as bae-bae ("my bae-baeyyy"), and we now have the much disdained bae (which I don't personally seem to have any problem with :) Leasnam (talk) 14:54, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Except that it looks like and sounds somewhat like Danish . --Romanophile (contributions) 14:57, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
You know, that is all over the internet ! Haters will hate, I guess. :D Leasnam (talk) 14:58, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Plausible; that does make sense. It still sounds creepy, though. --Romanophile (contributions) 14:53, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
From w:Neoteny: "human evolution's trend toward neoteny may have been caused by sexual selection in human evolution for neotenous facial traits in women by men with the resulting neoteny in male faces being a "by-product" of sexual selection for neotenous female faces. Jones said that this type of sexual selection "likely" had a major role in human evolution once a larger proportion of women lived past the age of menopause. This increasing proportion of women who were too old to reproduce resulted in a greater variance in fecundity in the population of women, and it resulted in a greater sexual selection for indicators of youthful fecundity in women by men." —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:56, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Did a well‐educated anthropologist actually say that? --Romanophile (contributions) 16:15, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
You just need an evolutionary perspective (faith?) to make such a hypothesis. I have no idea how to make it specifically testable for humans. But perhaps an analogy to a similar process in shorter-lived animals would be convincing, unless one were of a contradictory faith. DCDuring TALK 17:49, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
The sources are in the article. This particular study was published in 1995, in Current Anthropology 36 (5): 723–748. The article has a whole section on Attractive women's faces (I don't know if that's [attractive] [women's faces] or [attractive women's] [faces]) with other sources by other authors coming to basically the same conclusion: babyish faces are felt to be more attractive than non-babyish faces. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:05, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
How could you possible distinguish [attractive] [women's faces] from [attractive women's] [faces]? Presumably "attractive women", as determined by interview subjects based on physical features, have "attractive faces", and vice verse. bd2412 T 00:07, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
See butterface. DCDuring TALK 00:42, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Also, someone could be butt-ugly and still be an attractive candidate for a job, or something like that. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:29, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

French Translation of Nut (hard edible)[edit]

My CollinsRobert translating dictionary confirms that this should be "fruit à coque" and that the present entry of "fruit sec" actually means dried fruit.

Dick Kimball (talk) 17:53, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

The French Wiktionnaire sort of agrees and sort of disagrees...most confusing. Apparently "fruit à coque" is the preferred translation, but "fruit sec" is not entirely incorrect. https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/fruit_%C3%A0_coque https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/fruit_sec

Dick Kimball (talk) 18:11, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Seems to be fruit à coque, fruit sec is dried fruit, and I don't know why Wiktionnaire classes it as a 'quasi-synonym' (not even a full synonym) of dried fruit. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:18, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
I have heard from various people who have nut allergies and travel to Quebec a lot that there is no single French word encompassing the meaning of English nut, and this causes lots of problems for them. --WikiTiki89 19:02, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Not surprising, considering the wide variety of unrelated foods called "nut" in English. Most people are aware that peanuts are not true nuts; many fewer people are aware that almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts are not true nuts either, though people with nut allergies have to avoid them all in addition to true nuts like chestnuts and hazelnuts. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:54, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Why are botanists allowed to redefine English words? Clearly our immune systems are not OK with that. --WikiTiki89 21:11, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Our current definition is only the culinary one; we should probably add the botanical one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:12, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
In general, I think you can get away with using noix or noisette for the edible things. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:18, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

"inhibited" as an adjective[edit]

Currently, inhibited is only a verb. Is it not also an adjective? Thoughts? :-) -- Tomz0rs (talk) 00:41, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

It is also an adjective Leasnam (talk) 03:16, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
I've added an adjective sense. WurdSnatcher (talk)


Should the list of ingredients in 少林風濕跌打膏 be removed? — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 12:41, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

I think so. A list of ingredients might be appropriate for an encyclopedia, but not a dictionary. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 15:23, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Abbreviation "Bohem." in an etymology[edit]

What does the abreviation "Bohem." mean in the etymology of fimbul-? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 15:49, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Czech. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:08, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
Really? In what appears to be a list of Germanic cognates? Needs more explanation if that is indeed the case. This, that and the other (talk) 06:50, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
This dictionary confirms that there is a word fimol ‎(sharp metal wedge) in Czech, borrowed from German. --WikiTiki89 07:18, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes. However, I do think that we should generally make a clearer distinction between actual cognates and borrowings. For example, in this case: German Fimmel (whence also Czech ...). It's sometimes misleading to just mention any word in any language that is somehow related. Even if there's nothing technically wrong about it. Kolmiel (talk) 16:05, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

November 2015


Currently there is only one translation: sheesh, but in this video, eg at 46:14, they subtitled by Jøss! the spoken "Oh, wow!" Any Norwegian speaker here to confirm or contradict that translation? --Droigheann (talk) 02:42, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Pinging User:Njardarlogar as our most-recently-active (and hence most likely to respond) Norwegian speaker. - -sche (discuss) 23:46, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
I suppose it can be translated to different English words depending on context. 'wow' is probably often an appropriate translation. --Njardarlogar (talk) 10:49, 3 November 2015 (UTC)


It seems that there is a typography sense missing. —suzukaze (tc) 06:31, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Typographer, typographical & typo[edit]

The etymology for typo says: Shortening of typographer (sense 1) and of typographical error (sense 2).

If this was the case the pronunciation of typo would be either /taɪˈpɒ/ or /ˈtaɪpə/ (both of which sound very unnatural in English). Instead, it is pronounced /ˈtaɪpoʊ/. This suggests to me that the correct etymology is typographical + -o, the same way mo is moustache + -o and not simply a shortening of moustache. Would someone please check this and either reply or correct the entry?

Also, typographer and typographical could both do with pronunciation.

Danielklein (talk) 02:11, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't quite work that way: just as the o in typography is different than the o in typographical due to the accent, the o in typo would be different again by virtue of being in a final, unaccented syllable. I'm not commenting on whether the etymology is correct, just pointing out that the pronunciation of the o isn't evidence against it. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:50, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
The existence of thinko, speako, etc suggests -o is at work. (How old is typo? Speako claims to derive from typo, but speako is attested since at least the 1780s Early Diary of Frances Burney, apparently in this sense.) - -sche (discuss) 05:26, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Exactly why I'm asking for someone else to check it! I'm not an expert, it just looks inconsistent. I would have thought that mo is simply short for moustache but since reading the etymology it makes sense that it is using the diminutive -o. Since typo also seems to me to be a diminutive I'd expect it to also use -o. But I'm happy to learn otherwise if there is compelling evidence for the current etymology. Danielklein (talk) 06:44, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

Smoke (v.)[edit]

I can't have been the first to notice Sonny Bill Williams' use of smoke following New Zealand's World Cup win: "Just before he came to give me a hug he got smoked by one of the security guards and I felt pretty sorry for him you know.": see, for example, [7]. The security guard in question tackled to the ground a teenager who had invaded the pitch to meet SBW. Was Williams using the word in one of the senses already captured in our entry, using it in a sense not already captured (NZ slang?), or simply misusing the word? Smuconlaw (talk) 06:31, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I would guess #7: "(New Zealand, slang) To beat someone at something."
I suspect it has a broader meaning than our definition: "to clobber, pound or obliterate; to beat someone brutally and decisively at something". In a way, it might even be sort of a variation on the previous sense, "to kill". Chuck Entz (talk) 07:56, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Hopefully someone familiar with New Zealand slang can weigh in so we can decide if the entry needs revision. Smuconlaw (talk) 11:24, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, "beat someone at something" isn't restricted to New Zealand. Joan Steidinger (who as best I can tell lives in California) wrote in Sisterhood in Sports "They not only won—they smoked the other team. In doing so, they displayed their strength as a team and ended their season on a high note." Michelle M. McCorkle (from New Hampshire) wrote in Life in the Fast Lane "Overall, we smoked the other team. It was great! We did our little team chant, and I ran over to my parents before showering." - -sche (discuss) 17:04, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
The usage in "The Packers got smoked by the Broncos in the second half last Sunday." is pretty common in US sports. It is informally used in other competition. It implies smoke ("beat decisively in a competition") DCDuring TALK 20:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Should we revise the definition of sense 7 along the lines suggested by Chuck, and change the label to "(New Zealand, US slang)"? Smuconlaw (talk) 06:16, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

AAVE do[edit]

I added a sense meaning ‘to be,’ but now I think that it’s really just a less restrictive use of sense 4. Not sure, though. What do you think? --Romanophile (contributions) 08:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I would think so, yes. It replaces the verb. There's no difference except that standard English doesn't allow this kind of replacement for certain verbs. -- I don't know how many verbs there are that cannot be replaced with do. Is it just to be and the preterite-presents can, will, etc., or are there more? If not, I would make a usage note mentioning these verbs. And then you can add that AAVE (and maybe other dialects) do allow "to be" to be replaced. I guess... Kolmiel (talk) 14:49, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
I suspect it's that same set of verbs that don't take do-support in questions and negatives: "Are you" not "*Do you be", "You will not" not "*You do not will", etc. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:39, 3 November 2015 (UTC)


I just received an e-mail from Scientific American that included:

John A. Flynn, M.D., M.B.A., M.Ed., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.R., is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is the Director of Clinical Practice Improvement with the Clinical Practice Association and the Medical Director of the Spondyloarthritis Program. In addition, Dr. Flynn is the Co-Director of the Osler Center for Clinical Excellence and founding member of the Johns Hopkins Consortium for Advancement in Primary Care.

I know what all the degrees and the FACP stand for, but when I looked in Wiktionary for FACR the search failed. What does it mean? I expect that Dr. Flynn is a Fellow of the American College of something, but what?

Dick Kimball (talk) 14:18, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Since Flynn is Medical Director of the Spondyloarthritis Program, I'm guessing he's a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. Smuconlaw (talk) 14:31, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Russian пасть, the verb[edit]

I think you get it wrong with the figurative meanings. The meaning "to fall" is not at all figurative, it is the direct meaning of the word. The meaning "to die", on the other hand, is an extension. True that the extension is used more often than the direct meaning; still, that does not turn a figurative meaning into a direct one and vice versa. The verb is just a perfective counterpart of "падать", which means "to fall". - 22:25, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I think that was just a mistake. I fixed it. You know, you can fix these things yourself when you see them. --WikiTiki89 22:44, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
I prefer not to. Thanks. - 23:26, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Isn't it easier to fix it than to start a discussion? --WikiTiki89 15:59, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Oh, guys. I just saw this discussion accidentally.
Yes, the meaning "to fall (figuratively)" IS a very fitting definition for this verb. In modern normal-style Russian, it CANNOT be used to name the literal action of falling - this meaning is reserved to the 2 other verbs падать(impf.) and упасть(pf.). However this one, "пасть", has tons of other shades of meaning for which it is typically used.
I'll try to edit this page tommorow, as I see it appripriate. Will be happy to continue this discussion. Borovi4ok (talk) 20:55, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
It still literally means "to fall". I think it would be better to define it as "to fall (usually used figuratively)". --WikiTiki89 21:21, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, Wikitiki89. It is my last intention to have a dispute with you.
If you feel like, you can present examples supporting your claim here - naturally, real-world ones, from verifiable sources. I will be happy to discuss.Borovi4ok (talk) 21:31, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I feel like we are having more of a misunderstanding than a disagreement. I am not disagreeing about how пасть is used, but about how to describe how it is used. --WikiTiki89 22:47, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Wikitiki89, can you please check my today's contribution to this article. I would appreciate if you could further improve it. Borovi4ok (talk) 08:58, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Antonyms and the like[edit]

I just encountered the term "coordinate term" in the entries for anode and cathode; I didn't know what it meant, but I could deduce (roughly) from already knowing the relation between "anode" and "cathode". Someone changed this from "Antonym", saying "these are certainly not anyonyms". Well, I suppose it depends what you think "antonym" means, but I am sure that 'antonym' is a much more helpful term than 'coordinate expression'. Is there a policy here? How would I find all the pages with "Coordinate expression" entries on them? Imaginatorium (talk) 05:29, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

English translation of Swedish example sentence for "göra ont"[edit]

I'm not a native Swedish speaker, but the translation of the example sentence for göra ont (tån gör ont; translated as the toe hurts) seems unusual to me. From what I know, it isn't incorrect, but since Swedish prefers the definite form for body parts instead of a possessive pronoun (like several other languages), I'd tend to translate this as something like my toe hurts. Yeah, I don't really like to edit things immediately, so I thought I'd post it here. 06:29, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't really speak Swedish, but your point seems correct: I changed it to "(My) toe hurts". Parenthesised, so it can also obviously mean "My child's toe hurts". Imaginatorium (talk) 07:02, 4 November 2015 (UTC)


Can someone find more examples of arrow in the obsolete sense of ever a? The example on the page (‘…I don't believe there is arrow a servant…’) makes it sound as though it was just an alternate form of ever. Esszet (talk) 13:10, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Very similar to the Appalachian dialect. In Appalachia they say ary (e’er a) and the negative nary (n’er a). The adjective arrow (ever a) is Somerset dialect (County Somerset). Just as with ary, some people in modern times will say something like "ary an angel", but more properly it is "ary angel" ("you’re gooder’n ary angel"). It’s just that some people reinterpret it as "ever" instead of "ever a". —Stephen (Talk) 01:44, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

shots fired[edit]

In the past few years, the slang term "shots fired" has entered the vernacular as a response to somebody hurling an insult. Should we create it as an entry? Purplebackpack89 21:29, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

So you're saying that shots fired is used sort of like touché? That definitely sounds like an idiom; if it can be cited to the standards of Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion#Attestation, then yes, it should have an entry. —RuakhTALK 05:46, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
More like "it's kicking off" (sense 7; ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84aWlfQRkfY), or "it's on". --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 06:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I've taken a stab at creating an entry. FWIW, Ruakh (and BTW, welcome back), I think shots fired goes in a slightly different direction than touche does. Touche denotes a fair point, a concession. Shots fired suggests much more umbrage. Purplebackpack89 13:28, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
From the way I've seen this phrase used, it seems to be used by 3rd parties rather than the insulter/insultee, so the current definition seems off to me. I've only seen it used to mean that something person A said could be taken as an effective insult towards person B, regardless of the intention, or even of whether B ever heard what A said. Of course, it's quite possible that I've simply missed out on other uses of the phrase. Eishiya (talk) 02:14, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree. There's no indication of "offense" in the expression, merely that a pointed remark has been made, possibly warranting a response. —Pengo (talk) 20:08, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I have reworded it. Purplebackpack89 22:11, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Persian ورقه (varaqe)[edit]

To my knowledge this means "sheet of paper", not "bedsheet". The etymology (Arabic ورقة) hints at that too. We already have ملافه for "bedsheet". -- I would normally edit, but it seems to have been worked on several times, at least once by a native speaker. So, I'm clueless. Kolmiel (talk) 02:20, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

I agree, Tajik варақа ‎(varaqa) doesn't have the sense "bedsheet" either. Let's call @ZxxZxxZ. That's a "sheet of paper", isn't it? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:36, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, fixed. --Z 13:04, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Write "kalyptra" in Greek[edit]

In the Etymology of calotte, the Greek word "kalyptra" is mentioned but it's romanized, shouldn't it be written in Greek script? Please someone edit it, thanks. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 02:52, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Confusingly, both καλύπτρα ‎(kalúptra) and κάλυπτρα ‎(káluptra) appear to mean "veil" and fit the etymology; I'm not sure which to lemmatise and/or put in the etymology. @JohnC5? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:50, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: I would (and have) lemmatize(d) καλύπτρα ‎(kalúptra). —JohnC5 06:05, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not there anymore anyway. http://www.cnrtl.fr/etymologie/calotte doesn't link back to Greek, nor does it support our current etymology. It's in horrendous shorthand but it links back either to Old French cale with the suffix -otte or a borrowing from Arabic. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:23, 16 November 2015 (UTC)


I did this to the entry, but I'm not comfortable with deleting so much text without checking. I think this long set of rules gives off a false impression that you slavishly have to follow them to sound correct when just using the dative consequently will be perfectly fine. What do you think? Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 12:04, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

I originally wrote the usage note. It has been edited, however, and I don't know exactly what was done to it. I think there are some IP-users who tend to "prescriptivize" everything. I wrote it in a very descriptive way. You're of course right that the dative is not only what you will commonly hear, but is also perfectly correct in all registers and all situations. Therefore, the rules were actually given so that users see in what circumstances the dative must be used. That is actually the essential that, I think, should be added again. Because it's both correct to say: trotz des schlechten Wetters and trotz dem schlechten Wetter. Language users can decide freely. But in trotz Stürmen or trotz etwas Wichtigem only the dative is possible, and users should be "saved" from writing or saying *trotz Stürme or *trotz etwas Wichtigen. Kolmiel (talk) 15:04, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, and it is also mentionable that the genitive is more frequent, though not more correct, in literary style than the dative. Again: this is not my own wish or desire (I always use the dative!), but it's a simple quantifiable fact. Kolmiel (talk) 15:13, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
I was the one who recently added to it and I find that having deleted all of that was counterproductive. Isn't it ideal if a Wiktionary article is clear? Usage notes are necessary here to clarify how to use a word: if there's something wrong with writing down rules and tendencies then why not remove all the rules from other preposition's pages like https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/statt and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/w%C3%A4hrend? It was written in an unbiased fashion that does not favour the Genitive (I am not prescriptivist). I even mentioned that the dative is an acceptable alternative in the standard language (especially in the southern Sprachraum) and that in the vernacular, it is common to use the dative at all times (as Kolmiel does). Does this really seem like I'm obsessing over Genitive usage? Also deleted was a lot of useful information as to where only the dative can be used (which Kolmiel writes of). I definitely think the vital information should by all means be put back, unless being honest and unbiased gives the wrong impression... (Edit: I, who wrote this paragraph and the expansion on the trotz page, have just created this account, TrioLinguist. I apologize if I have breached any rules by leaving an anonymous message previously.) TrioLinguist (talk) 19:02, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
What you did was perfectly fine, I just think the realisation wasn't perfect, since it gave off a completely wrong idea of the usage. I would say it would be more correct to say that in German, trotz is used with the dative, and in formal language, one can alternatively use the genitive in some cases. The way you wrote it, it gave off the vibe that the dative was some colloquial or regional occurrence, when in reality it's simply proper German and used on all levels in all regions.(Disregarding the frequency of either variant.) Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:06, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
ps.: That vibe came from the opposition of 'standard language' and 'vernacular'. The vernacular of most places in the German-speaking realm is some form of the standard language. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:08, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm aware that this discussion is now a few weeks old, so this is fairly late to be continuing it. I will accept that I might have given an imperfect realization, but I also don't think the current one is perfect either. It can be written to say that in the formal or written language, trotz usually takes the genitive, but that both genitive and dative are correct, and that the opposite is true in the colloquial language, where the dative is clearly dominant. Another thing that should definitely be fixed in the article is "While this [the dative] is the predominant usage, ...", as that is definitely representing a distorted and inaccurate representation of the language. It should be made clear that this is the case in colloquial German, but in the formal/written language, it is very much false, because usage with genitive is 43x (give or take) more common there, than usage with the dative as of 2008 (see here: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=trotz+dem%2Ctrotz+des&year_start=1900&year_end=2008&corpus=20&smoothing=5&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrotz%20dem%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ctrotz%20des%3B%2Cc0). It's of course true that "just using the dative consequently will be perfectly fine", and while that is a helpful point that should be made for German learners who see the page, Wiktionary should be simply representing the language as it is, in both the formal and informal contexts. TrioLinguist (talk) 16:18, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
P.S: I want to make it clear that I am not a frantic defendor of the genitive case in its alleged "death-struggle", and I personally treat trotz as a dative preposition at all times. I'm just attempting to describe the linguistic reality with trotz. If the formal language favoured the dative, then I'd represent that (as I recently did when I edited the preposition section on "laut", a preposition that is somehow still excluded from lists of dative prepositions). TrioLinguist (talk) 16:39, 28 November 2015 (UTC)


sleek (adj.) is missing its historic meaning of "well-fed" and "filled-out". This usage was quoted:

Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

And some biblical tools appear to relate "sleek" with "healthy-looking", "attractive", "well-favored", "well-built", "fine-looking", in translations of:

And lo, from the Nile there came up seven cows, sleek and fat; and they grazed in the marsh grass.

- 15:41, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Is that really what it means? It seems like it's just being used to describe the state of their coats: "Having an even, smooth surface". DTLHS (talk) 17:43, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Sleekness may well be considered an aspect of healthiness, but it hardly seems to be synonymous with it.
I see no evidence from other dictionaries that it ever meant "well-fed", "attractive", etc, but I don't have access to the OED. DCDuring TALK 18:02, 6 November 2015 (UTC)


Is it just me or does the audio sound like l'orgueil ? Leasnam (talk) 01:51, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

In some languages, it’s typical to include the definite article when mentioning a word. — Ungoliant (falai) 02:04, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the majority of our audio files for French nouns include the definite article. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:59, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Ok. Thank you ! Leasnam (talk) 13:19, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
I've made this specifically clear in a few cases, less than 100 I think, but of course there are just so many and they all need to be checked, not blanket adding of le, la or l'! A couple even use the plural article les on a singular. Don't ask me which but I've come across it. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:59, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Bundesrath and Kwalm[edit]

I'm trying to clear out the non-created Category:German superseded forms. These two words are left, and use Template:superseded spelling of. There is a more specific template Template:de-superseded spelling of that should be used instead but it requires a |used= parameter indicating when the form was superseded and I'm not sure what to fill in here. Can someone who knows German better help? Benwing2 (talk) 07:33, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

I've fixed Bundesrath, but Kwalm is difficult. I can't find any spelling conference that deprecated Kw- spellings (only a failed Nazi conference that would have reinstated them). I've marked it as pre-18th century, per German Wikipedia, but there is one (poetic) citation from 1818. Smurrayinchester (talk) 06:46, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
@Smurrayinchester: Thanks. Benwing2 (talk) 07:05, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
@Smurrayinchester: Some work on Rath and creating Spath along those lines would also be appreciated. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:38, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, we have lots of German th spellings that aren't correctly marked. Just fixed Rath, Thal, Thür, Thier, Thon, Thor and thun, but the ones where the th isn't at the beginning are very hard to find. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:45, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Here's a list of 2223 entries where the title contains "th" and the content contained "==German==" as of the 2015-07-02 dump, including entries where the "th" is correct and modern: User:-sche/de-th. Feel free to edit the list or move it into your own space if you prefer. - -sche (discuss) 20:50, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Something to do on those long winter nights... Smurrayinchester (talk) 21:16, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
For "Kwalm" et al I would use "used=1600s" (Philipp von Zesen tried and failed to popularize them then), unless they also had later periods of use. - -sche (discuss) 06:31, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Regarding "th": There should be exceptions - words which where written with "th" after 1902: 1. It's said (by WP) that the German Emperor (may God bless him) required all texts to be written in the more traditional spelling up until 1908 or 1911 or something. 2. Some words were still written with "th" after 1902 and some are still spelled that way, e.g. "Thron".
Regarding "Kwalm": Yeah, kw (instead of qu) should also have been used past 1610. In some way they should be deprecated in 1902: If the official rules (which should also have a word list) say it's just "Qualm", then "Kwalm" is deprecated. Though, they maybe fell out of use earlier.
BTW: There most likely should be an un-deprecated template at eislaufen (also cf. Eis laufen) ...
- 18:37, 10 November 2015 (UTC), 18:45, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Obviously "Th" words which weren't deprecated (e.g. "Thron") won't be listed as deprecated. (They and words like Gotthelf where "th" isn't even a digraph need to be weeded out of the list I made.) "Kw" words, on further consideration, never seem to have seen regular / widespread use in any time period, so it seems misleading to say they were superseded at any time, especially only in e.g. 1901/1902 — that implies they were either standard/acceptable or at least common before then. Perhaps they shouldn't use {{de-superseded spelling of}} at all, but instead {{lb|de|archaic}} {{rare spelling of|foo|lang=de}}? @Korn, Kolmiel how would you describe spellings like "Kwalm" and "Kwark"? They've probably seen use as eye-dialect, in which case the format I propose would be good, because it could easily be expanded to {{lb|de|archaic|or|eye dialect}} {{rare spelling of|foo|lang=de}}.
We have Template:U:de:1902-1996 spelling; we could copy that format and make e.g. Template:U:de:1996-2006 spelling, or (probably better, if there are a lot of variables) set up one template that accepted parameters indicating when something was deprecated and when it was reinstated. - -sche (discuss) 22:54, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
One could add an adjective like "implicitly deprecated in 1902" or "technically deprecated in 1902", as that should be correct and less misleading. One could also add a longer explanation like "implicitly deprecated in 1902, even though it wasn't in use anymore".
With variables it should be better. The reform in 2004 and the one 2011 could also have added or removed some forms. Also it is said, that during 1902-1996 Duden added and removed words/spellings (also see "Duden-Privleg"), like in one edition one can find a new spelling, and in some later edition it was removed. This should especially be the case for foreign words and spellings like Couch and Kautsch.
Furthermore, in the 19th century there were many German states, like Prussia, Bavaria, Austria, and some of these states had own spelling rules. So, instead of "deprecated in 1902", there could be something like "deprecated in Prussia in 1877, in Bavaria in 1879". In some way this could also be true for the spellings of 1902, as it could be 1902 in main Germany, but 1903 etc. in Austria, Swiss etc.
Regarding the first orthographic conference: Maybe one could add a note like "This spelling was also suggested by (some persons at) the first orthographic conference". And maybe a similiar note could be added for the planned reform of 1944.
- 16:39, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It's simple: The moment when these spellings where no longer official in any German state, they were deprecated. Since neither Duden nor ÖWB cover these spellings, the latest moment that happened can be the moment these two became official. So if there's no reform that specifically addresses them, that's the year to put down. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:27, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
ps.: I don't get the eye dialect-bit. I'd pronounce KW and QU exactly the same in all positions. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:31, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
First of all, I don't think that the spelling kw- was ever common. It may have occurred, but it was always rare. Even in Dutch, in which today they write kw-, the traditional spelling was always qu-. Therefore, the most important thing for me would be to give the necessary attestations for inclusion, and not just put them down because they "may have existed". Otherwise I don't really care. They are as obsolete as anything. If there's eye-dialect use: prove it, and that's okay. Kolmiel (talk) 00:46, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

quahaug, quahog[edit]

These are supposed to be alt forms of each other, but look at sense 2 on each page. One talks about large clams, and the other about very small clams. Equinox 19:07, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

They started out the same, but one was changed. From what I've been able to find, the "large clam" sense looks to be correct: the smaller clams are more tender and taste better, so they're eaten by themselves. The biggest ones are old and tough, so they're the ones used in chowder. I think the confusion comes from quahogs having different names, depending on the size: littlenecks, topnecks, cherrystones, and quahogs (some sources have countnecks on the small end and chowder and pumpkinonly one book clams instead of quahogs on the big end). If you're differentiating by species, even the tiniest can be called quahogs, but if you're differentiating by size, only the biggest are called quahogs. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:03, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Following other dictionaries, I combined the two existing senses in quahog and quahaug and added an etymology at quahaug, apparently the older spelling, the only one in Webster 1828. I have no familiarity with what Chuck has uncovered. DCDuring TALK 02:21, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I reworked it again, but you can probably improve on it some more. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:12, 9 November 2015 (UTC)


Does somebody here know what this Russian word means? --Hekaheka (talk) 10:37, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

I think that’s a misspelling of принципом. —Stephen (Talk) 12:26, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it fits. Thanks. --Hekaheka (talk) 16:10, 9 November 2015 (UTC)


In Spanish the plural of sosias is sosias, because the plural of words ending in s when the stress does not fall on the last syllable is the same as the singular. Therefore, the Wiktionary entry sósiases is wrong.

Thanks a lot. We've corrected it. The guy who made the page was neither a native Spanish-speaker nor an native English-speaker. Nevertheless, he has made thousands of top-quality entries, and is a respected user here. --SimonP45 (talk) 11:56, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

put it down[edit]

What does "put it down for someone" mean in American English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:53, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

@Tooironic Could you give a bit more context? —JohnC5 06:10, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
I've just heard it a few times in American pop and hip hop songs. You can probably find examples on Google easily enough. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:08, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
I found what you're talking about, but can't find an explanation anywhere. My only idea is that it might mean to "put down a beat" (i.e. "play music with a strong beat") perhaps implying celebration (hence, "for someone/something"). I also hope you understand that this is not "American English", but "American hip-hop slang", which not all Americans are intimately familiar with. --WikiTiki89 15:56, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
put down has a bunch of meanings, most of which can be used in hip hop. I think what you're looking at though is a special idiom that means something like "to show respect for (something) by behaving in a worthy way; to acknowledge the value of". So J. Lo's love song "puts it down for her papi" (acknowledges how she feels about him) and lots of people rap about how they "put it down for (their) niggas"; Twiztid "put it down for" his hood (pledging to show due respect). Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be used in any citable formats. WurdSnatcher (talk)

"Altiora peto"[edit]

I've edited both altiora and peto to include this popular school motto as an example. Can someone check that I've got this right, both from a formatting and Latin grammar viewpoint? -- The Anome (talk) 13:59, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

‘eō’ derivatives[edit]

Are derivatives of the Latin word ‘eō’ (e.g. adeo, obeo, pereo) stressed normally (i.e. on the antepenultimate syllable) or on the penultimate syllable? I used to simply assume they were stressed normally and edited several entries accordingly, but I've found two more (obeo and pereo) that indicate they're stressed on the penultimate syllable, so I thought I should check here to find out definitively. Does anyone have any definitive sources on the pronunciation of such verbs? Esszet (talk) 18:12, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

The only verb forms that Allen & Greenough mention as exceptions to the stress rule are things like beneˈfacit and caleˈfacit, so the argument from silence (which is a red link here!) is that these compounds take normal stress, as otherwise they would have mentioned them as exceptions too. Not terribly strong evidence, I know, but it's all I got. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:42, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Alright, then I'll edit those two entries accordingly. Esszet (talk) 22:24, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

my sweet bacon[edit]

What's the distribution of "bacon" as a term of endearment? Is it dated or regional? - -sche (discuss) 22:37, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

This looks like a job for {{DARE needed}}. I could get to all of them on Saturday. DCDuring TALK 23:04, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

sesquiennial and sesquiannual[edit]

There's a bit of an edit war happening over these two, very rare, words. Which one means twice in every three years and which one means three times in every two years? Neither word is in the OED or in any of my dictionaries. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:31, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps it has the same distinction as biannual and biennial? Aryamanarora (talk) 17:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I think I got it. sesqui- means 3:2, so sesquiannual is three times every two years. sesquiennial takes the reciprocal, so thrice every two years. Aryamanarora (talk) 17:08, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Be careful about inferring meaning from etymology. DTLHS (talk) 19:06, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I've found some citations of sesquiannual and sesquiennial where the meaning is clear (they both mean "once every 1.5 years"), and added them to the entries. - -sche (discuss) 21:46, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
FYI, the interest in these words is from a recent XKCD comic. Pengo (talk) 23:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
As mentioned on Talk:sesquiannual, biannual's usage notes seem prescriptivist; on what basis is one usage described as "proper"? - -sche (discuss) 23:41, 11 November 2015 (UTC)


What's the pronunciation of this? Dictionaries only give /dɪˈwɑːli/ (Collins, Macmillan, Cambridge), but the form I hear most is /dɪˈvɑːli/, even from educated/professional sources – see, for instance, this National Geographic documentary, BBC News, BBC Asian Network. Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:02, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

(I've also heard it with a longer first i as /diːˈwɑːli/ / /diːˈvɑːli/) Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:07, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
The Hindi pronunciation is [d̪ɪvɑːliː], at least in the region of Delhi. The v-w allophone of Hindi could make the [v] into a [w], however. Both are acceptable pronunciations. Aryamanarora (talk) 17:01, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd say the Hindi pronunciation is [d̪ɪʋɑːliː] with the labiodental approximant [ʋ] that doesn't occur in English. English speakers perceive it as a cross between [v] (because it's labiodental) and [w] (because it's an approximant, not a fricative). Partially for that reason, and partially because of the alternative spelling Divali, you're probably as likely to hear English speakers pronounce it with [v] as with [w]. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:53, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Yep, exactly. That v-w allophone always affects Hindustani loanwords. Aryamanarora (talk) 18:58, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I wonder if an awareness of languages like German that use w for the /v/ sound helped cement that form. (Trying to think of other terms where I've heard both the /w/ and /v/ forms, I can only think of shalwar ‑ we give the pronunciation /ˈʃʌlvɒː/, but I think we're being over-conservative and most English speakers would say something like /ˈʃælwɑː(r)/). Funnily enough, I've only ever heard wallah with a /w/, possibly because it entered common English use during the Raj.) Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:44, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

tredecillionth, quattuordecillionth, quindecillionth, ..., centillionth: Should they be in wiktionary?[edit]

I noticed that many of these words were added before, and later deleted. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_large_numbers#Standard_dictionary_numbers has the complete list.) The numbers like tredecillion and larger are naturally rare, but according to the English language rules, one should be able to form -th (adjective and noun) forms, even though they aren't used much, and maybe there are no uses for some of them at all. Also people might use any of them any time. Should we add them? Yurivict (talk) 00:25, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

If they can be attested I don't see why not. Purplebackpack89 00:55, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, if they're attested, they can have entries. Some have been RFVed (years ago) and failed, but new cites may have become available since then. - -sche (discuss) 01:32, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
I meant that they shouldn't be attested individually, because they are formed based on the rule. Therefore, people are free to use them any time because of the existence of the base form. Yurivict (talk) 00:47, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
No, we shouldn't include theoretical forms. When people do use them, yes, but not just because they could hypothetically be words. (So could "megadogness", for the state of being a huge dog!) We've gone through this before with the SI units (zeppometre, yottabyte, etc.) and opted not to include those that have no real usage. Equinox 02:09, 13 November 2015 (UTC)


I just created this entry, and while searching for citations of the word, I found that the spellings of the inflections given in the header do not seem to be citable. In addition, the inflected forms of the words as found in the quotations are "clattawa’s" for the third person singular and "klatawaw-ed" for the simple past, neither of which agree with the header.

So my question is, should those forms given in the header be included in the entry at all? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:21, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

repeater, held-back student?[edit]

Hi. I can't think of the word in English for a pupil who repeats a year/grade in school. repeater would be the obvious, or grade repeater perhaps, but Google doesn't like them. retenter or held-backer don't work either, although they sound good. What the hell is the term for those guys? --SimonP45 (talk) 11:55, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Research suggests "dropout-to-be" would be accurate. Perhaps "lost causes", too.
I see mostly X(es) who repeat and, formerly, X(es) who [(has|have|had been)|was|were] left back, but repeater might be more used in context, informally. DCDuring TALK 14:47, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Possibly retaker? Equinox 14:50, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
I've never heard any nouns used for this. The most common phrases I've heard over my years in the US education system are "he stayed back last year" = "he was held back last year" = "he is repeating a/the grade (i.e. now)", "he stayed back in sixth grade" = "he was held back in sixth grade" = "he repeated sixth grade". "Retaking" is only used of a class or course, not of a whole grade (year). --WikiTiki89 15:55, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
BTW, in German it's Sitzenbleiber, which we are missing; see sitzenbleiben. Equinox 15:59, 12 November 2015 (UTC)


The entry needs to be improved, see Wiktionary:Grease_pit/2015/October#Neger. -Rdm571 (talk) 18:04, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

What a hill to die on. The only change that I can see that needs to be made is that it's not clear whether calling a cue card Neger is now out of fashion (given that Negerkuss chocolates have been renamed Schokokuss, I wouldn't be surprised if other uses of the word have also fallen out of use). That the word Neger is unacceptable in modern German society is uncontroversial: Die Zeit (a centrist publication) said that the Bavarian Interior Minister "äußert sich rassistisch" by calling someone "ein wunderbarer Neger" (and he meant it as a compliment!), and he apologised. The vast majority of definitions of Neger that I find online use the phrase "eine abwertende und rassistische Bezeichnung". You can still find English-speakers who bemoan the fact that they're "not allowed" to say nigger, but that doesn't make anything in that entry incorrect. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:01, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
moved from User talk:-sche (let's try to keep the discussion in one or two places rather than three):
The recent fuzz made me think about the clipping of the usage notes again. I was the one who added the part about older folk not catching on about its change of meaning, because I encountered it with left wing multikulti folk ages 50-60 in Berlin, i.e. as far from racists as you get. Not sure that people not noticing something is citable, so I'm wondering if we can just agree to add an information of the term being the normal word until somewhat recently. I'm not comfortable with the idea that people think the words is as universally and strongly damned in German as 'nigger' is in the US, and then draw wrong conclusions about folks who use it because they didn't catch on to the times. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 16:22, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Let's look for evidence that the term was previously less offensive, and ideally when and among whom.
Kontroverse Begriffe: Geschichte des öffentlichen Sprachgebrauchs, reviewing press usage over time, says that in the 1950s Neger was used "almost exclusively, and without concious denigration", while Farbiger was only sometimes used; by 1962 both terms were equally common, with Neger more common in explicitly negative contexts; now, the book says, it "als explizite Diffamierungsvokabel fungiert und im öffentlichen Sprachgebrauch außer bei den Rechtsextremen vermeiden wird", with avoidance by the press already complete (save for a few exceptions) by 1974.
Erwin Ebermann's Afrikaner in Wien: zwischen Mystifizierung und Verteufelung notes a set of surveys done in Vienna in 1992 and 2000; in 2000, 8% of people used Neger to denote Africans, largely matching (Ebermann says) the results from 1992, when Neger was used chiefly by people over 40 (who would now in 2015 be over 60). When the interview as an authority figure used the word Neger, another 5% of respondents went on to use the term, whereas 10% protested in 1992 and 15% protested in 2000.
- -sche (discuss) 18:49, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Old Church Slavonic romanized word "myjati"[edit]

In the etymology of mew, please rewrite the Old Church Slavonic word "myjati" using the correct script (Old Cyrillic or Glagolitic).

If I try using {{m|cu|myjati||to mew}}, it generates a module error because it's a romanized word. Thank you. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 07:38, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Done. Next time you can change it to {{m|cu|||to mew|tr=myjati}} and that will put it in Category:Old Church Slavonic terms needing native script. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:39, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

messeto - Italian or Venetian?[edit]

In the etymology of mešetar, there is "Venice messeto".

Does that mean the word messeto is Venetian? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 07:49, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

  • It's Venetian (or a regional dialect form of Italian) and means something like "merchant" (not just an ordinary trader). But I'm not confident enough in its definition to add it. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:01, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

bitter chalice[edit]

Would you consider "bitter chalice" idiomatic? It gets more than 3.000 GoogleBooks hits. I'm asking, because its verbatim translation to Finnish, katkera kalkki is a reference to Christ's sufferings and means roughly "something unpleasant that one must endure, often as consequence of one's own selfish action". --Hekaheka (talk) 11:01, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

I think bitter cup (with almost 90,000 Google Books hits) is the more common equivalent. English Bibles usually use "cup" rather than "chalice" in their translations of Matthew 26:39–42, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:46, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

membra (Portuguese)[edit]

@Daniel Carrero, @Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV, and anyone else who speaks Portuguese: is membra real? A new user just added it, and I'm skeptical. I don't want to RFV it if a reliable Wiktionarian says it's a real word. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:58, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

It’s real, but nonstandard. I’ve amended the entry. — Ungoliant (falai) 14:02, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
OK, obrigado. He also added a link to it from membro which I deleted. You can put that back if you like. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:06, 15 November 2015 (UTC)


"2. Of limited time; not perpetual." and "4. Lasting a short time only.". Isn't that (more or less) the same? - 14:32, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Definition 2 places "temporal" in opposition to "eternal," while definition 4 emphasizes the shortness of it more. They could be worded more clearly, but they are slightly different. Perhaps they could be combined into one def, but I don't think either should be deleted in favour of the other. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:09, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
"Not eternal" does not mean "short in duration". Something that lasts 100 years is not short in duration but isn't eternal either. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Plip, plipper[edit]

The etymologies disagree. Is it a plipper because it goes plip or because of the name of the inventor? Equinox 22:41, 15 November 2015 (UTC)


The only citation under the "membership in these categories: the state of being male, female..." sense is Middle English and wholly unclear; substituting the definition into the citation results in gibberish. Can better citations be found? Also, which sense of "sex" is being used in a sentence like "the effectiveness of the medication is dependent upon age, sex, and other factors"? Sense 1? Sense 4? Prior to the entry being rewritten, that usex was under an awkward, kludgy "sum of the biological characteristics by which male and female and other organisms are distinguished" sense. See Talk:sex#.22Membership_in_these_categories:_the_state_of_being_male.2C_female....22 and the section immediately after it. - -sche (discuss) 22:52, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

boy as sportsman[edit]

This sense was just added: "a sportsman: "I still remember the year my boys won the state championship", recalled Coach." I don't know much about sports. Can someone confirm (or deny) that this is a sporting sense of its own, distinct from the existing "(affectionate, diminutive) A male of any age, particularly one rather younger than the speaker"? Equinox 22:57, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

No, it's not sports-specific. A commander could just as easily say "I still remember the day my boys got the order to get Yamamoto — of course, they didn't know it was him at the time." A teacher could say "I still remember the year my boys won the state science project competition", speaking about teenagers. - -sche (discuss) 23:31, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Also only used in the plural, in the singular it would sound demeaning. Brokeback Mountain has "you boys sure found a way to make the time pass up there". Definitely not sports. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:27, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Finnish hupi, huvi and hupa[edit]

@Hekaheka, Tropylium There seems to be a clear sense of "fun" shared among all these, but I'm not sure what the relationship is. In any case, hupi and huvi share most of their inflected forms, to the point of wondering if they're not secretly just one lemma. Can someone shed further light on this? —CodeCat 02:18, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Don't know really, but "hupa" may have two etymologies. The sense "quickly diminishing" may be connected with huveta ‎(dwindle, shrink, vanish). From that, "diminishing" is hupeneva which could have been shortened to "hupa". "Hupi" and "huvi" may originally be dialectal variations of one word, as the verb connected with both of them is huvittaa. The "funny" sense of "hupa" is quite rare but there is a whole family of related words: hupaisa, hupainen, hupailu, hupaelma, hupakko, hupattaa. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:29, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm only familiar with hupaisa in the sense of funny'. hupa in this sense looks like some kind of a backformation to me (though I've seen it as a noun meaning 'amusement', 'pastime').
huvi is usually considered to have been analogically generalized from the oblique cases and derived terms of hupi; there are a couple of other similar cases too. --Tropylium (talk) 02:15, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Swedish pil: Two etymologies, one group of definitions[edit]

This entry looks wrong to me. Two separate etymologies are given, but all the definitions are grouped under Etymology 2, while Etymology 1 has no definitions. I am not familiar enough with Old Norse to group them correctly, but I'm guessing all the arrow/dart definitions should be under Etymology 1, and etymology 2 should contain only the willow definition. Eishiya (talk) 02:29, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

An IP added the etymologies (apparently copying them from another language section and changing the language codes), but apparently didn't know about the splitting part. I split the definitions by etymology, but someone who knows Swedish will have to finish the job- I have no idea if the gender or declension are the same for both. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:38, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the edit! The declension table is correct - both are common gender and both have plurals in -ar. Eishiya (talk) 18:25, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

vernacular for Glires[edit]

  • What is the English vernacular name for a member of Glires (or Euarchontoglires)? A "glirian" (or "gliran" perhaps)? Nicole Sharp (talk) 10:46, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I don't believe there is any such vernacular term. gliriform and glirine are adjectives that describe such animals. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:03, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • I would describe a "gliriform" (noun) as a member of the larger taxon Gliriformes, not its subtaxon Glires, but a noun for members of Glires (and/or Euarchontoglires) would be very helpful. If I was to guess, I would say something like "glir(e)" ("euarchontoglir[e]") or "glir(i)an" ("euarchontoglir[i]an"). wikipedia:Euarchontoglires#Organization Nicole Sharp (talk) 11:19, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Thank you for the vernacular adjectives of Glires and Gliriformes though, I wasn't aware of those. Nicole Sharp (talk) 11:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Think I got something. I checked Google for results on different possible plural noun forms. From "euarchontoglirs," "euarchontoglirans," and "euarchontoglirians," only "euarchontoglirans" produced significant English results: [8] [9]. By analogy then, "glirans" should also be the vernacular nominal form for Glires: [10] [11]. Unlike "euarchontoglirians" though, "glirians" does produce results on Google, but predominantly from blog posts as opposed to published books, so "gliran" seems to be the most-accepted form in academia, not "glirian." I also saw "gliran" being used as an adjective as well as a noun. Nicole Sharp (talk) 11:53, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    • So from above, answered as "gliran" and "euarchontogliran." Title striked. [12] Nicole Sharp (talk) 13:10, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • From a descriptive PoV it depends on what has been or will be accepted, though the analogical reasoning may be a good predictor of acceptance. Also, glirine referred to the Linnaean order Glires, not the modern clade, but could be recycled. DCDuring TALK 14:58, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
        • According to "wikipedia:Rabbits#Evolution," the original Linnaean definition of Glires and the modern phylogenetic definition of Glires are the same. There was a long period of time however after the time of Linnaeus until the time of modern genetic studies where biologists did not believe that lagomorphs and rodents were related, and thus equated the Linnaean taxon Glires with just Rodentia, instead of Lagomorpha plus Rodentia. See my comments at "talk:Glires#Linnaean definition" and "user talk:DCDuring#Linnaean definition of Glires." Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:07, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
          • I have attempted to make a three-definition entry. Please correct anything that you can. BTW, what were Lagomorpha and Rodentia called around the time Linnaeus' work was gaining acceptance in the English-speaking scientific community? DCDuring TALK 15:26, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
            • Latin WikiSource has all of Linnaeus' original definitions, from 1735-1793: "wikisource:la:Systema Naturae." According to English Wikipedia, Linnaeus' original definition of Glires should (either by his brilliant insight, or perhaps just mere coincidence) correspond to the modern phylogenetic definition, so that the 1700s definition is the same as the contemporary 2000s definition, but different from the 1800s-1900s definition (which placed Glires as synonymous with Rodentia, instead of Glires being hypernymic to Rodentia). Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:58, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
            • @DCDuring, yes, you are correct! There are three separate definitions of Glires. The original Linnaean definition does not correspond to the modern definition, nor the 1911 definition. Linnaeus grouped rhinoceroses and hyraxes with rodents and rabbits under his original grouping of Glires. See PDF page 25 of: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Sistema_Naturae_%281758%29.pdf . Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Glires usage[edit]

Copied from "talk:Glires." Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:28, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

  • @DCDuring, according to "wikipedia:Rabbits#Evolution," the original Linnaean definition of Glires matched that of the modern definition (i.e. a grouping of both Rodentia and Lagomorpha), then the original definition was modified to not include Lagomorpha until it was recently obsoleted by the current phylogenetic definition that corresponds again to the original Linnaean grouping. I don't know of any other sources other than Wikipedia for the changing definition of Glires over the centuries since Linnaeus though. Gliriformes is a slightly larger (and hypernymic) grouping than Glires but only adds extinct genera to Glires. Nicole Sharp (talk) 14:45, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Take a look at Glires in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911. The Century Dictionary is a reasonable source for widely accepted older definitions, though certainly inferior for scholarly purposes to determining how the word was used by scientists. Unfortunately I don't have access to anything behind a paywall and not all taxonomic literature is freely available. (How much is available online whether or not behind a paywall?)
    • Also glirine was used in English before Linnaeus coined Glires, probably with much less precision and consistency than taxonomic hierarchies imply. It might be wrong to attribute to Linnaeus the derivation from Latin when the term was probably already "in the air". DCDuring TALK 15:10, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • That would then make Glires a Germanic-to-Latin backformation coinage from glirine (or some equivalent) perhaps, but that shouldn't change the etymology of the Latin root as currently stated on the entry. The original definition of "glirine" was probably "of or like a dormouse." Linnaeus was fluent in Latin though from an early age. Most likely he chose his taxonomic grouping based on the Latin for "dormouse" simply due to that the other Latin roots for more-common lagomorphs and rodents were already being used elsewhere. Most scientists of the time used Latin to separate scientific usage from common usage, so he would have probably been less likely to have been influenced by Latinate common usages perhaps, as compared to a pure-Latin derivation. But of course that is all speculation on my part, though I am sure someone somewhere has written a detailed commentary on Linnaeus' choices for various Latin words. I know there was a big kerfluff with naming Primates in relation to Homo. Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:44, 16 November 2015 (UTC)


What happens in Purgatory, does it mean you wait to see if you Sins are forgiven. There is know time content where you are, just a series of pictures running at speed in front of your eyes —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Phrasal verbs[edit]

What makes one idiomatic phrase a phrasal verb and the other not? e.g. stand tall, scare straight, keep abreast, run aground, come ashore, go ahead, run afoul of, come again, run amok, come alongside, run past, come correct, go wide and go narrow Just curious, we don't have any phrasal verbs with "tall", "past", "wide", etc, is there a reason for that? WurdSnatcher (talk)

Does this help, from Wikipedia? "The aspect of these types of phrasal verbs that unifies them under the single banner phrasal verb is the fact that their meaning cannot be understood based upon the meaning of their parts taken in isolation. When one picks on someone, one is not selecting that person for something, but rather one is harassing them. When one hangs out, one is in no way actually hanging from anything." e.g. run past the house wouldn't be parsed as a phrasal verb run past but as simply run with an adverbial: past the house. Equinox 23:22, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I meant run past in the definition given on our page, "to bring a subject to someone's attention". WurdSnatcher (talk)
IMO run past in that definition should certainly be a phrasal verb. Benwing2 (talk) 23:31, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
That'd be our first phrasal verb using "past". Trying to brainstorm if there are any more? Maybe slip past (to sneak something through an inspection), drive past (to drive past without stopping, or is that just a missing sense at past#adverb?). WurdSnatcher (talk)
That Wikipedia definition sounds like it should apply to any multi-word verb phrase. Is add fuel to the fire a phrasal verb? It's both a phrase and a verb whose meaning can't be deduced from its parts. WurdSnatcher (talk) 23:38, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I think some of these might be better in Collocation space should the vote for such space succeed. Traditionally phrasal verbs are of the form [verb + preposition] or [verb + adverb], more recently [verb + particle]. Conspicuously missing is [verb + adjective], the form of some of the above.
IMO run afoul of is run + afoul ( + of ), the of being optional and run simply the most common of the verbs used with afoul, fall being the next most common, but go, come, and be also occurring. Similarly, for stand tall one can also find walk tall, ride tall, sit tall, stay tall, etc., and strong, still, ready, etc. For run amok we can have not only run + amok but also various combinations of go and run (also be, grow) with crazy, rampant, nuts, wild, etc.
In other words, I would resolve the categorization problem by RfDing most of these. DCDuring TALK 05:04, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, the OED definition of a phrasal verb is "a multi-word verb consisting of a verb and another element (typically an adverb or preposition) which together function as a single syntactical unit, as break down, make up, take out, see to, etc.", while Oxford Dictionaries Online have "An idiomatic phrase consisting of a verb and another element, typically either an adverb, as in break down, or a preposition, for example see to, or a combination of both, such as look down on. --Droigheann (talk) 07:28, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Is there a reason it's limited to adverbs and prepositions? That seems like an arbitrary distinction. WurdSnatcher (talk) 11:54, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Those are more likely to function as part of the verb. Subjects, objects and complements aren't part of the verb as a syntactical unit. There's a difference between a verbal phrase and a phrasal verb. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:50, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
[After e/c] @WurdSnatcher: Generally speaking, the tightness of the link between the adverb/preposition and the verb elements is high in phrasal verbs, much higher than for verb-adjective combinations, many of which are SoP collocations, as I suggested above. Some expressions of the verb-adjective form are IMO legitimate entries because one element, usually not the verb, is obsolete, archaic or rare at least in the sense used. But most are just relatively uncommon formations, which can sometimes be viewed as an adjective either standing in less than usual grammatical relation to a verb or functioning adverbially. DCDuring TALK 13:57, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with DCDuring that expressions like run amok are SoP; amok nearly always occurs in run amok and often there's no running involved. Furthermore, amok is an adverb, so this technically fits even the narrower definition of phrasal verb. OTOH, when these definitions say "adverb" they normally mean "adverb that can also be a preposition", which amok can't be. That's why run past of all the examples seems most clearly a phrasal verb, because past is a preposition as well. Benwing2 (talk) 15:09, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
What is your threshold for "nearly always"? What corpus evidence do you have? Hint: Use the BYU corpora. DCDuring TALK 17:29, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Interesting all, thanks, I guess that makes sense. I think I will make run past and slip past tonight (sneak past?). It still looks to me like these are valid: keep abreast, keep abreast of (both idiomatic keep), come alongside (in the nautical sense, and I think there's also a psychological use), come again (idiomatic come) and maybe come ashore/run aground. WurdSnatcher (talk) 01:43, 18 November 2015 (UTC)


I translated the second sense of compaignie as company (sexual liaison). Company has no such sense. I was going to change it to companionship but that also has no such sense. Am I wrong, or do we lack it for one or both of those? Renard Migrant (talk) 23:55, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

It's one of those edge-case euphemisms. Does lonely need a new sense to cover "If you get lonely, there's a brothel down the street."? --WikiTiki89 00:18, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I think sexual liaison, even though I'm basically quoting the Anglo-Norman On-Line Hub which has "sexual relationship", isn't quite right. "I would like to have her company" doesn't mean "I would like to have her sexual liaison". Somewhat relevant, my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993) isn't really bothered about being all that accurate as long as you can basically understand the meaning. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:44, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

annehmen IPA[edit]

The current entry for German 'annehmen' is given as /?anne:m@n/, to my knowledge german does not allow for consonant gemination, so I think the entry is in error. More importantly, what is the policy regarding ipa transcriptions for german, or on wiktionary in general? I've also noticed inconsistent transcriptions of <rC> across german entries.

German does allow consonant gemination across the two elements of a compound (and verbs with separable prefixes act like compounds), e.g. Brennnessel also has /n.n/. Our German entries don't have a lot of consistency. Ideally they should all conform to Appendix:German pronunciation but in practice a lot of them don't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:19, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
You can hear /n.n/ gemination clearly by comparing einnorden (orientate) vs de:einordnen (classify). I wonder if there are any minimal pairs where the only difference is gemination, but I couldn't find any seriously used (I did consider Zeittakt and the whimsical Zeitakt, but I don't think "Zeitakt" would be recognised as a real word) Smurrayinchester (talk) 22:17, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Those aren't the best examples of minimal pairs, though, because of the glottal stop before the vowel-initial morpheme: einordnen isn't [ˈaɪ.nɔʁd.nən], it's [ˈʔaɪn.ʔɔʁd.nən]. Likewise a word "Zeitakt" would be [ˈt͡saɪt.ʔakt]. However, Zweitakt [ˈt͡svaɪ.takt] (as in Zweitaktmotor ‎(two-stroke engine)) is a good near-minimal pair with Zeittakt [ˈt͡saɪt.takt]. Another minimal pair using a nonce word is Beiname ‎(byname) vs. theoretical Beinname "leg name" (y'know, if you want to name your leg); these would be [ˈbaɪ.naːmə] vs. [ˈbaɪn.naːmə] —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:14, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
All true. Although these geminates may also be simplified, and the minimal pairs are not necessarily distinct in common speech. I personally pronounce all of those words the way that they are not pronounced according to your statement. Unless I enunciate. Kolmiel (talk) 22:29, 23 November 2015 (UTC)


Just looked through the list of Asian countries in English, and was rather shocked to find that ISIS is amongst the list. I know that ISIS, in the news as of late, might be an organization, but is it really a country per se? I don't think so. --JB82 (talk) 01:03, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Well, it has territory, a capital, national subdivisions, a planned currency, a government, a body of law and it provides public services. — Ungoliant (falai) 01:11, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
ISIS itself claims to be a country. Wiktionary is not in the business of politics and so we neither "recognize" countries nor do we "not recognize" countries. We decide whether it is lexically a country. --WikiTiki89 02:17, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
What does "lexically" a country mean? In any case, by adding the entry for ISIS to the category for countries in Asia, Wiktionary is certainly recognizing it as a country, de-facto, and definitely making a sort of political statement. By not adding it, however, no such statement is made, not least because the category is far from complete. I think in cases like this, the best thing is to leave things out of categories if inclusion is controversial; as you said, Wiktionary is not in the business of politics. Benwing2 (talk) 10:06, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
"Lexically" means that the meaning of the word "ISIS" is a country in Asia, whether or not such a country exists. --WikiTiki89 15:52, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I have two more things to say about this:
Ungoliant (falai) 17:54, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I disagree. Whether or not a country is recognized is not the business of a dictionary. But you maybe right about the difference between "ISIS" and "Islamic State". --WikiTiki89 18:07, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Never mind that. It turns out ISIS is indeed used like that. I support recategorising it as a country. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:11, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd disagree about that. As a descriptive dictionary, we don't care how something defines itself – we care about how the world at large defines it. There's a fundamental lexical difference between, say, San Marino – a small Apennine town internationally recognized as a country – and Seborga – a small Apennine town that no-one recognizes as a country except itself. Even if a non-country entity behaves in some ways like a country (for example, Berwick-upon-Tweed claimed that England didn't represent it in foreign affairs and signed a separate Crimean War peace treaty), if people don't call it a country, it's not lexically a country. Sealand calls itself a country, most of the world does not. Transnistria calls itself a country, most of the world does not. ISIS calls itself a country (indeed, a global caliphate), most of the world does not. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:34, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
    As a descriptive dictionary, if there are differences in usage, we include all of them. What "most of the world" thinks does not matter. --WikiTiki89 16:06, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Smurray. Calling ISIS a country is prescribing a (rather extreme) POV; we shouldn't do it. We particularly shouldn't do it as long as the only definition in the entry is "a group which..." (for citations like "he joined ISIS"); we'd need to have a separate definition "an unrecognized state in..." (if there are any citations like "he moved from Saudi Arabia to live in ISIS") as a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite. - -sche (discuss) 20:09, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
What about "he moved from Saudia Arabia to live in the Islamic State"? It does seem like there are differences in usage between the acronyms and the full name. --WikiTiki89 20:27, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be a big decision for us to just declare that ISIS is a country with apparently, no prior discussion or presentation of evidence. A territory isn't the same as a country anyway. Do we have Quebec, the Basque regions and Catalonia as countries as well? Wouldn't California meet Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV's conditions as well? Renard Migrant (talk) 20:32, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
What is a country? Under some of our definitions, Catalonia and Quebec are certainly countries. California, I'm not so sure about. --WikiTiki89 20:43, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
One thing that seems to have been overlooked: this is in reference to a category, which isn't part of any entry. Its real purpose is to help people find entries, not to describe their meaning. As such, the issues of descriptiveness vs. prescriptiveness and of lexicality are irrelevant. When it comes to categories, we certainly do make judgments. I say we shouldn't have any disputed polities categorized as countries unless people are going to need their categories to be in the country categories in order to find them. There are no doubt a number of people who think that ISIS should be treated as a country, but I doubt that most of them will go to a country category to find it in a dictionary. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:30, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Re "to live in the Islamic State": in that use, it does sound like a place (but I still wouldn't categorize it as a country). In fact, I've noticed that when people speak of "Islamic State" as a group, they often drop the article, hence: "...is the capital of the Islamic State", intermediate "...and (the) Islamic State plans its own currency", but "...after Islamic State beheaded another hostage". Re "what is a country?": that reminds me of this discussion of nations. - -sche (discuss) 04:58, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

life eternal[edit]

This was deleted. I think it should be restored though. It's a noun occurring before an adjective, something that doesn't typically occur in English. 2602:306:3653:8920:B493:B6E5:59E1:E317 03:13, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

This is a grammatical issue, not a lexical one. Postnominal adjective used to be doable (Chaucer: "a manly man, to be an abbot able) and still occurs in a few oddities (knight-errant). Equinox 04:21, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
But we have eternal life! Should be restored as an alternative form, if nothing else. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:20, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Murray. Restore Purplebackpack89 16:49, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Restore and go through the usual channels, where I expect it will be kept. Renard Migrant (talk) 10:31, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Restored Purplebackpack89 14:06, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

"Lent Gascon" (Occitan? -> Basque)[edit]

Discussion moved to Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2015/November#"Lent Gascon" (Occitan? -> Basque).

"in Cataluña" means Calatan?[edit]

In the etymology of bachelier, there's "in Cataluña". I suppose this means the language is Catalan? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 23:48, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Or Old Catalan (roa-oca), or Old Provençal. But the word looks more like Mediaeval Latin. — Ungoliant (falai) 23:53, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
The sentence is referring to places, not languages: "in Cataluña [one thing happened], in Provence [something else happened]". But we do say Catalonia, not Cataluña, in English. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:54, 19 November 2015 (UTC)


  1. A unified federal Islamic government for the Muslim world, ruled by an elected head of state or caliph.

The current definition is de jure correct, but de facto incorrect – there have been periods of history where multiple competing caliphates have coexisted (in the year 1000, I think there were four major political entities calling themselves caliphates), and I don't think any caliphate has ever managed to unite the entire Muslim world. Can anyone think of a better way to define it? Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:47, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

@Smurrayinchester In the definition, does the world "unified" mean "combining church and state" or "combining all peoples in the Muslim world"? If it's the latter, I think you could solve your problems by removing the word "unified" and adding "all or part of" before "the Muslim world" Purplebackpack89 14:09, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89 Well, the theory of a caliphate is that the ruler is a successor to Mohammed, and therefore all Muslims should automatically owe the caliph their loyalty. Of course, in reality Muslims don't have to accept the legitimacy of the caliph (most reject the ISIS caliphate, for example). Actually, now that I read the definition again, the "elected" part is incorrect – I'll change that. Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:51, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
  • If I understand things correctly, no current or aspiring member of the Islamic State is allowed to vote on anything at all, on pain of excommunication and possible execution. There was a lengthy article about ISIS and its policies recently in the Atlantic Monthly: “What ISIS Really Wants”. Relevant quotes (bolding mine):

Denying the holiness of the Koran or the prophecies of Muhammad is straightforward apostasy. But Zarqawi and the state he spawned take the position that many other acts can remove a Muslim from Islam. These include, in certain cases, selling alcohol or drugs, wearing Western clothes or shaving one’s beard, voting in an election—even for a Muslim candidate—and being lax about calling other people apostates. []

[] “This is not permitted,” Abu Baraa said. “To send an ambassador to the UN is to recognize an authority other than God’s.” This form of diplomacy is shirk, polytheism, he argued, and would be immediate cause to hereticize and replace Baghdadi. Even to hasten the arrival of a caliphate by democratic means—for example by voting for political candidates who favor a caliphate—is shirk.

As such, the ruled by an elected head of state might need revising. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 01:15, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

can't even[edit]

I'm seeing a lot of this on Facebook, is there any way for it to have an entry? Not sure how to define it. Renard Migrant (talk) 10:26, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I've had a go. Feel free to improve, and to add actual citations instead of an example sentence. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:32, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I've expanded on SemperBlotto's go, as his example sentence struck me as a nonidiomatic usage as opposed to the modern youth-slang version I assume Renard Migrant was talking about. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:42, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Thanks. That modern usage has passed me by. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:45, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
        • You haven't missed much. I suspect in three years no one will be saying it anymore, but I am amused by its intensified version "I have lost the ability to even". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:50, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
          • That's nothing. How about: "I can't even with this. Nevermore shall I even. My evens have vanished, as dust in the wind. All of my evens have been lost at sea, and will soon begin to themselves be unable to even, after which they will anthropomorphize a volleyball. Once the volleyball is unable to even, we will have reached evenception and then the universe will implode." Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:49, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
            • The appropriate response to this is "I can't even". Aryamanarora (talk) 04:57, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Is it ever used in anything but the first person? And should this be indicated some how? Pengo (talk) 08:15, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I think it's rare outside the first person singular present tense, but I can easily imagine "She said she couldn't even". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:28, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
  • FWIW, the Greeks had words for it:
adynaton The expression of the inability of expression —almost always emotional in its nature.
aposiopesis Breaking off suddenly in the middle of speaking, usually to portray being overcome with emotion.
DCDuring TALK 10:10, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
This has become popular meme, but it existed well before that and its lexical significance has not changed. All this is is an elliptical sentence "I can't even ...". In the spoken language, the ellipsis is apparent from intonation. Due to the popularity of the meme, recent internet slang has been leaving off the "...". Thus, I don't think this is dictionary-worthy. --WikiTiki89 15:25, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree. I think it should appear as a collocation, as a usage example at [[even#Adverb]], and as a modern example of adynaton and aposiopesis, the latter two whether or not it is deleted. DCDuring TALK 15:36, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Having read through the examples listed at adynaton, I don't think this is an example of it at all. And while it started out as aposiopesis (which could be mentioned in its etymology), it is no longer that, as the quote Smurrayinchester gave shows. It's similar to the slang "It'll be very!" in Heathers, which is etymologically but not syncronically aposiopesis. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:47, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Except that the Smurrayinchester's quote is an ad that is intentionally abusing the phrase. --WikiTiki89 16:09, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty of other examples where "I can't even" falls in the middle of a sentence (rather than at the end of a half-finished one):
Girl, I can't even with this mermaid business.
I can't even with this video…It's about maternal health in Africa, with Apple Watch product placement
I can't even with the headlights on this Lexus
Like Angr says, it's become a phrase all of its own. Smurrayinchester (talk) 20:31, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Did I forget to mention it's a popular meme? Any phrase that goes viral online automatically becomes every part of speech for a short period of time until people forget about it. --WikiTiki89 21:55, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
@Angr The WP article omits a secondary sense of adynaton to be found at Silva Rhetoricae, which the WP article neglects. (Maybe we should RfV the secondary sense.) DCDuring TALK 16:23, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

"Aquileian": scuttia[edit]

In the etymologies of cuteza (Romanian) and cutedz (Aromanian), they mention "Aquileian scuttia". What does "Aquileian" mean? It is a redlink at the moment. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 14:44, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

It’s a dialect of Friulian. — Ungoliant (falai) 14:57, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

féinphic - Irish for 'selfie'[edit]

Hello, I've been using Wiktionary for a while as a reference, but only recently I've started to contribute to pages. I am unsure of how to add a word: I would like to add "féinphic", which is the Irish word for 'selfie'. I have references I can cite, and it seems that the translation has already been added on the 'selfie' page in English. I am also unsure of how the Tea Rooms works - I am using it in the wrong way by making this post? If I am, I'm very sorry and please let me know immediately. Thank you! ~Zumley

See Help:Starting a new page for information on how to do it. If have more questions, feel free to ask me on my talk page. I also know some Irish, so I may be able to help you with content as well as formatting. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:50, 19 November 2015 (UTC)


How does one get from "Matilda" to "Mahaut", unless we assume "ma'i'd'" -> "ma-d" -> "ma-uh-d" -> (strengthened) "Mahaut" ("Maud").

Could this have more likelily been influenced by Old High German "Mahthilda"?

Or is it as I aforedescribed? Or... what?

I am quite confused by this matter. Tharthan (talk) 19:12, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Mahaut (silent h, written only to break up the vowel hiatus) would be the normal result of French sound changes applied to *Matald, something like *Matald -> *Madalt (t between vowels voices, final d unvoices) -> *Maðalt (very early Old French) (d between vowels becomes a fricative) -> *Maðaut (l before a consonant becomes u) -> Maaut (ð drops out). It's unclear how *Matald got there from Mahthild; the h's dropping out is not so surprising but the i->a change is a bit odd. The form Mathilde would be a late borrowing of the same word, with feminine -e added. Benwing2 (talk) 00:18, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

upstroke, downstroke in music[edit]

These have something to do with music (perhaps specifically percussion?). Should there be additional senses? Equinox 14:58, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

In conducting, a downstroke or upstroke refers to the direct of movement of the conductor’s baton. The initial beat of a measure will be a downstroke, and downstrokes are heavier, stressed. The next stroke is an upstroke, and upstrokes have a lighter sound, unstressed.
In stringed instruments such as guitars, upstroke and downstroke refer to how the strings are attacked, from beneath or from above. Upstrokes, from beneath the string, have a lighter sound, with higher harmonics, while downstrokes have a heavier sound with lower harmonics (sometimes described as a meaner sound).
With stringed instruments such as violins and cellos, which are played with a bow, upstroke is synonymous with upbow/up bow (𝅘𝅥𝆫), and it is a movement of the bow that is upwards, or to the left. A downstroke, or downbow/down bow (𝅘𝅥𝆪) is a bow movement that is downwards, to the right. —Stephen (Talk) 18:26, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I played cello for 20 years and never once heard "upstroke/downstroke" as synonyms for "upbow/downbow". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:30, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I concur - violinist for about 5 years. Aryamanarora (talk) 04:54, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I believe in percussion they refer to being on or off the beat. "start singing on the downstroke" means to start when the drummer is between beats. There is also a Parliament song called "Up for the Downstroke", but like a lot of P-funk's terminology, that's basically a nonce. People do sometimes use it nowadays to mean "ready to get funky" or something along those lines (DJs sometimes say are you up for the downstroke?!); if that's citable, it's a phrase. WurdSnatcher (talk) 18:15, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I am happy to be able to post the question and get this kind of clueful feedback. Please expand the entries :) Equinox 03:11, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Gerund forms for the Latin verb odī[edit]

The gerund forms for the Latin verb odi are listed with the stem "whatever". That is, "whateverīre," "whateveriendi," "whateveriendō," and "whateveriendum". It's not written on the page itself, so I don't know where the issue could lie. Calucido (talk) 03:51, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

It comes from Module:la-verb, and was added a year ago by @Kc kennylau, presumably for debugging purposes (it's definitely not good error handling in finished code), and @Esszet has been editing the module the most, recently. Someone who knows what they're doing needs to fix it so so the module doesn't insert nonsense like this without any maintenance category or module error to indicate something's wrong. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:16, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd say that this verb does not have a gerundive (unless someone has a source). They might have a supine, I guess, but someone needs to set the perf-as-pres verbs so that they omit the gerundive material. —JohnC5 06:26, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
My apologies. When I added the "whatever", there was not yet the gerund forms. --kc_kennylau (talk) 07:21, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
But then, of course, the function of the "whatever" is so that someone would discover these "bugs" and report them (to me). --kc_kennylau (talk) 07:32, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I think raising an error would be a better solution than hoping someone comes across the whatever forms. DTLHS (talk) 16:03, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
By the way, JohnC5, can you switch Module:la-adj over to whatever you said you would switch it over to two months ago? The hyphens in plus are still linked. Esszet (talk) 23:18, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
@Esszet: Oh yeah... Could we get Code to do it? I'm trying to write a declension module for Sanskrit at the moment and really don't want to refactor la-adj right now. Can you forgive me? —JohnC5 04:12, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not that big a deal, it's alright. Esszet (talk) 22:31, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

go so far as[edit]

Could someone well-versed in English grammar check the usage notes I've added to this page? I wasn't sure if this and that in this context are determiners or pronouns. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:36, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

I think they're pronouns; they're not used with an accompanying noun. I've edited the page accordingly. Esszet (talk) 22:29, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

scared senseless[edit]

What is the part of speech of senseless in scared senseless? And do we currently include this sense on Wiktionary? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:47, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

  • It's a sort of quasi-adverb. The OED includes shitless as an adverb, but has senseless and witless (used in the same way) only as adjectives. Perhaps we should add adverb senses. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:53, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It's an adjective in an adjectival resultative construction. It's not modifying the verb so much as serving as the result of the change of state caused by the verb. If it were an adverb, one could use the -ly form: *scared senselessly doesn't mean the same thing, because it specifies the manner of the change, not its result. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:55, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Whether or not one analyzes senseless as an adverb in this or similar constructions, I don't see no value in including an additional PoS section for understanding the meaning of the construction. A usage note or something on the inflection line like (also used adverbially) would seem to better cover the matter without requiring, in principle, duplication of senses and verification for each sense in the adverb PoS. For what portion of languages does the adverb PoS require a different translation that our contributors will provide? Couldn't that need be met either with separate translation tables or additional translations in the translation table for each adjective sense? DCDuring TALK 13:52, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Adjectival, like dress smart, look good, and wake up happy. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:46, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

altar - pronunciation[edit]

Our entry currently gives the impression that the first vowel is short in the UK and long in the US (/ˈɒltə/ vs /ˈɔːltəɹ/ respectively). However, the OED suggests almost the opposite ("Brit. /ˈɔːltə/ , /ˈɒltə/ , U.S. /ˈɔltər/ , /ˈɑltər/" [13]). Forvo has files, all with a long vowel, from the US, Canada and the UK [14]. Can the word be actually pronounced either way on either side of the pond? --Droigheann (talk) 15:34, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

I consider the standard UK pronunciation to be /ˈɒltə/ (to rhyme with falter). /ˈɔːltə/, to rhyme with drawl (the first vowel sound, I mean) looks odd to me. The UK Forvo file sounds to me like /ˈɒltə/ more than it sounds like /ˈɔːltə/. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:45, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary agrees with the OED: either /ˈɔːltə/ or /ˈɒltə/ in RP, with preference for the first. In American English it appears to be /ˈɔltɚ/ (GenAm not having distinctive vowel length) in all varieties without the cot-caught merger and /ˈɑltɚ/ in varieties that merge cot/caught to /ɑ/. It appears that alter is always a homophone. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:15, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I speak American English without cot-caught and I say /ˈɑltɚ/, FWIW. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:47, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Well what do you gotta do that for? Messing up my tidy generalizations. Geez, there's one in every crowd.Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:08, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I do not merge cot/caught and my American English has [ɒ] for au (including in altar and alter) and [ɑ] (maybe a bit fronted) for o. My [ɒ] reminds me of the [ɒ] used in RP to pronounce the o vowel except that the RP vowel is rather more clipped. A true [ɔ] for au would be rather strange, way too high, and I think I'm not alone here; I wonder if the Longman dictionary is using /ɔ/ in a sloppy, phonemic kind of way (the same way that /ɔ/ is used in French to represent the vowel of botte and sotte even though it's actually quite different from cardinal [ɔ] as it's mostly unrounded). Benwing2 (talk) 02:42, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the Longman dictionary, like Wiktionary and virtually every dictionary and textbook that uses IPA for American English, uses /ɔ/ (actually, /ɔː/) to symbolize the unmerged thought vowel, regardless of whether the actual realization of that phoneme is open enough to justify a transliteration [ɒ]. In fact, the first edition of the Longman dictionary did use /ɒː/ in its transliteration of American English, but then switched to /ɔː/ in later editions. (One of my biggest pet peeves with Longman is its use of length marks for American English, even for the "short o" of the lot vowel: it transcribes American hot as homophonous with RP heart, i.e. /hɑːt/, which really rubs me the wrong way.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:36, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Alter has /ɔ/ for me. Tharthan (talk) 01:07, 29 November 2015 (UTC)


I can't seem to find the word neuro in conjuntion with the brain. Maybe I had some totally wrong assumptions about the conections with the brain?? neuroplasticity? —This unsigned comment was added by ‎ (talkcontribs).

We include hyphens in the page titles of affixes. The page you are looking for is neuro-. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:35, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

aim to[edit]

This seems dubious to me. The "to" is the infinitive of the verb that follows. "aim to" isn't the unit. Equinox 16:43, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

It can be used without a following verb though. Why did you hurt me? I didn't aim to. WurdSnatcher (talk)
On the other hand, "Why didn't you call an ambulance? I didn't think to." "I didn't mean to." "I didn't try to." "I didn't want to." "I didn't say to." There are a lot of verbs which can use to this way - perhaps all verbs that can take infinitive verbs as objects. Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:59, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
That example just shows that to can stand in for an infinitive in final position. I say delete, since that meaning is already noted at aim. —JohnC5 17:02, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree; ellipsis is a regular part of English grammar and doesn't make this string of words idiomatic. If this were RFD I'd say delete. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:36, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
You only have to compare "want to" or "need to". Equinox 03:23, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Delete per all above. DCDuring TALK 05:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)


This entry currently splits pluralizable proper noun sense 1 "a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus" (usex: Do you celebrate Christmas) from pluralizable common noun sense 1 "the day of this festival" (usex: This Christmas we'll open presents). Is that split appropriate? As noted in the earlier discussion about Christianity et al and in discussions of names, many proper nouns can also be used in "common noun-esque" ways; e.g. do you believe in Christianity? vs his Christianity calls for killing non-believers; Richard will arrive shortly vs there are two Richards in my class: this Richard, and that one. We don't split other holidays, e.g. Halloween, Thanksgiving, although they can be used exactly the same ways. - -sche (discuss) 03:08, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Nope it's dumb. Please fix. Equinox 03:12, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
done. Incidentally, this leads me to notice that Thanksgiving is labelled a proper noun while Halloween is currently listed as a common noun. I think they're all proper nouns and will update the header accordingly. - -sche (discuss) 03:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

WurdSnatcher and "prepositional phrases" that possibly aren't[edit]

See [15]. Equinox 03:22, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Some plurals for East Asian languages - should we allow them?[edit]

I know some people wouldn't want to include plural forms for languages such as Chinese, Japanese or Korean and some other languages lacking inflections but maybe we should have exceptions? Some words for people are used in plural more than others. A simple redirect is not the best solution, IMO, even if, strictly speaking, there are no plural forms in CJKV (including Vietnamese) and others. There are so-called "plural markers" (not suffixes or endings) attached to the end of words (beginning of words with Vietnamese). There is more than one plural marker, especially with Japanese and the duplication is also a common way to mark plurality. Some markers are part of plural pronouns.


Korean: 사람들 (saramdeul) = 사람 (saram, “person”) + (deul, “"plural marker"”)
Japanese: 人達 (ひとたち) ‎(hitotachi) =  (ひと) ‎(hito) "person" +  (たち) ‎(tachi) "plural marker"
(Mandarin) Chinese: 人們人们 (rénmen) = (rén, “person”) + (men, "plural marker")

The Korean word is now a redirect, the Japanese doesn't exist and there is a Chinese term. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:45, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

My opinion: Redirect unless it has fossilised and is included by most native dictionaries. Wyang (talk) 07:20, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I see that we do not have entries for 새들 (saedeul) "birds" nor 아이들 (aideul) "children". Leasnam (talk) 17:51, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
wow, we don't even have entries for 우리들 (urideul) "we" and 너희들 (neohuideul) "you (pl)"...what gives? Leasnam (talk) 18:06, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Part of the problem is that plurals in Japanese are often not regular. Taking the example above, possible plural forms include:
There is no single plural form in Japanese, so adding a "plural" item on the headword line strikes me as untenable.
That said, I am a fan of the idea of including plural forms somewhere for those Japanese terms that have them.
‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:54, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks all. I've added 人達 (ひとたち) ‎(hitotachi). Used in at least three dictionaries. I've added a reference to NHK pronunciation dictionary. @Eirikr Are you happy with its format?
@Wyang What about 사람들 (saramdeul)? I see it's used in some dictionaries. Shall I change it back a proper entry? What format should it have?
@Leasnam 우리 (uri) and 너희 (neohui) are already plurals. Do you mean that 우리들 (urideul) and 너희들 (neohuideul) are valid terms?
Yes, they are valid, as are 그들 (geudeul), 저들 (jeodeul), 자네들 (janedeul) "you (plural)", 당신들 (dangsindeul) "you (plural)", etc....wow the transliteration of the last one looks funny. This is pronounced "tangshindeul" Leasnam (talk) 15:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
What other nouns should be included with plural markers? "Students, teachers, children" are common words I often see/hear used in plural in a class environment or textbooks. I guess we can also include 새들 (saedeul) "birds". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:45, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
As pointed out below, there is 책들 (chaekdeul) "books". Additionally, 집들 (jipdeul) "homes, houses", 자동차들 (jadongchadeul)/차들 (chadeul) "cars"...actually, I'm trying to think of a case where it would be wrong to use the plural... Leasnam (talk) 15:46, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Grammatical number is a construct of the Indo-European language family; I have never seen carefully argued evidence to suggest that it is a construct in any other language family, though I have (obviously) seen plenty of assumptions that "grammar" means what Indo-European does. In particular, I speak Japanese, and I know that there is simply no notion, *anywhere*, of grammatical number. Of course there are ways of referring to an explicit plurality of people, but none of these are grammatically productive. In particular, the oft-mentioned 達 (-tachi) is a group marker; so 山田さん達 (Yamada-san-tachi) means "a group of people include Miss Yamada", and not necessarily "the Misses Yamada". So I do not believe it is ever helping the cause of understanding (as opposed to IE missionary zeal) to flag anything in East Asia as "plural". Imaginatorium (talk) 04:49, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
This is not the normal view of linguists. Semitic languages, for example, straightforwardly have grammatical number. For that matter, AFAIK all languages have grammatical number in their pronouns. Benwing2 (talk) 05:38, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I think it's safe to say that East Asia, as a region, doesn't have much in the way of true grammatical gender, but I think you're vastly overreaching to say that IE is the only language family with true grammatical number- w:Afroasiatic languages such as Hebrew and Arabic are pretty obvious counterexamples, and most of the languages I've studied outside of East Asia and Oceania have some kind of agreement in number (Bantu languages have matched sets of singular and plural noun classes, but one could quibble over whether that's actual grammatical number, I suppose). Chuck Entz (talk) 05:59, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Plural personal pronouns are fixed and must have dedicated entries such as 私たち and 我們. Japanese reduplications are also words in their own right such as 人々. However, I’m rather reluctant to add common nouns with a plural suffix such as 人達 and 사람들. They don’t seem to be valid entries. That said, I myself have created 다들 thinking it is useful to explain it somewhere. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 08:28, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Cannot (deul) be appended to any Korean noun to stress (overexaggerate for clarification purposes) plurality, although it is customary to clip the suffix off in modern Korean because it can usually be readily understood from context? Was it a universal plural marker in Old and Middle Korean that in modern times has fallen into disuse? For instance, you can say 책들 (chaekdeul) "books", which is an inanimate object... Leasnam (talk) 15:17, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Imaginatorium, your brush is too broad. There is also plenty of grammatical number in languages far from the Indo-European family. The Polynesian languages have singular / dual / plural with specific pronouns and prepositions. The Athabaskan languages have singular / dual / plural with extensive differences in verb conjugations. The Salishan languages also have distinct plural forms.
Looking just at East Asian languages, what is 人々 ‎(hitobito) if not a plural? Or 我們 ‎(wŏmen)? I grant that there is no grammatical number agreement, but there is number in terms of singular or plural for specific words, albeit in ways quite different from European languages. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 09:43, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Development of the crime sense of Italian giallo[edit]

I dimly remember a friend, who is big into pulp fiction, describing that Italian giallo ‎(literally yellow) came to refer to crime and mysteries by association with the yellowing of the cheap paper used to make trade paperbacks.

Whatever the case, can anyone expand the etymology at giallo to explain where the crime sense came from? The association between yellow and crime isn't exactly clear. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:59, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I've expanded the etymology a bit. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:53, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
As worded, it could imply that the covers were frequently printed yellow, versus yellowing over time. Also, it wasn't just the covers - the interior pages yellowed more obviously than the colourful covers. I've made an edit to make it less ambiguous. Eishiya (talk) 19:49, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

No Chinese hanzi section for Shuowen Jiezi radical [edit]

Atitarev removed the "Chinese" section from the page on 11 July, which is one of the Shuowen Jiezi radicals (before I was increasing in activity in the project). Only a "Japanese" section remains and no "Chinese" section. It makes no sense for a Shuowen Jiezi radical to have no "Chinese" section. Earlier, Bumm13 merged the Cantonese, Mandarin, and Min Nan sections into one Chinese section and the user left the other sections untouched. Eyesnore (talk) 04:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

I have restored the Chinese and Korean sections with some changes after some confirmations. Most dictionaries mark it shinjitai, though and it doesn't seem to be used in Chinese today. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:46, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
It’s a different character from the Japanese which is the simplified form of . They happen to have the same form (just like ). The original 豊 is found in . — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 06:28, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
  • For the record, there are many characters in the Shuowen that probably can't be attested anymore, since many books have been lost to history, but there's nothing to gain from not including them on Wiktionary. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:18, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

I need phrasebook?[edit]

I see there has been some talk in the past as to whether this or that should go into the phrasebook, but I'd like to point out a pattern to some silly entries which I doubt are actually said in real life; they are too direct (and poorly constructed). The "Phrasebook entries are very common expressions that are considered useful to non-native speakers", okay, but entries like "I need food" or "I need drink" are not something we would want to lead non-native speakers to think are the normal/very common way to say things. At a pinch we might include "I need a drink!" but it is not the usual way of ordering a drink somewhere... it is more a way of confiding to a friend that you have had a hard day, or something like that.

At the very least, these overly-direct phrases should have a list of preferred alternatives (like "We would like to order some food" or "I'd like a drink" or even "I say. Waiter chappy. Would you mind awfully showing us your fruit juice list?". Well, perhaps not the last one).

Ideally, there should be a table with varying degrees of formality (at a posh restaurant or amongst fiends), and some pointers to variations (like I/We), whether it is a question ("What drinks do you have?") and what loaded meanings some words might have (e.g. some people think "drink" automatically means an alcoholic drink; in some situations asking for water might mean expensive bottled water while in others it is a free drink of water from the kitchen tap!)

Has there ever been good research into how people got on trying to use this phrasebook?? —This unsigned comment was added by Maitchy (talkcontribs).

I believe those phrases were not created with the food ordering in mind, rather to help a lost Wiktionarian in a foreign country xD.
So they are here because of "usefulness" not "commonness".
To support this, look, we also have I've been raped. --DixtosaBOT (talk) 08:22, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, "I've been raped" probably is what one would say in that situation (to the police), but "I need food" doesn't seem ideal unless you are starving: it's too blunt for most food situations, as Maitchy says. Equinox 08:24, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
We really need to rethink how we do the phrasebook. I feel that fitting its entries into the same layout style as non-phrasebook entries was not a good idea. It leaves little room for flexibility and leads to silly, useless definitions (I lost my backpack ‎(indicates that the speaker has lost his or her backpack). — Ungoliant (falai) 12:08, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Maybe we could make it work with yet another namespace, provided it was included in default search. The category structure might end up as the principal means of finding an expression to cover a situation. DCDuring TALK 16:09, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
We could also consider leaving this to Wikivoyage, which includes phrasebooks for travellers. —CodeCat 16:12, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I doubt Wikivoyage users have enough lexicographical interest or knowledge to find all the translations and sort out the scripts, templates, translation tables, etc. I wouldn't mind us having a separate namespace. Equinox 16:32, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

sink - adjective or attributative-only noun?[edit]

In (British English) phrases like sink estate, sink school (1, 2), sink hospital (1, 2), meaning "deprived and low quality", what is sink doing? (Presumably, all other uses are back formations from sink estate). Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

To me it looks like attributive use of sink "a body or process that acts as a storage device or disposal mechanism" (MWOnline definition, which we lack but is superordinate to some specialized definitions we have. DCDuring TALK 16:14, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The OED says (of the noun) "Used attrib. of a (school, estate, etc., in a) socially deprived area.". SemperBlotto (talk) 16:23, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

öis - Swiss German dative[edit]

We list öis as dative/accusative, but I came across the following line from a Lucerne folk band: [...]niemer donde dänkt a üüs [...] bes au är met öis muess choo [...] This seems to me that this is a properly maintained distinction between OHG uns > /yːs/ and OHG unsih > /øɪs/. Maybe the declension template should be changed? Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 21:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Just out of curiosity, what are the sound changes that lead to such a different outcome for the same uns- beginning? It is similar to how Proto-Germanic *eu ends up as modern German ie or eu depending on whether i/u follows in the next syllable? Benwing2 (talk) 08:34, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Regular Germanic Umlaut with a fronting of [u] after the diphthongisation of older [y] vacated the spot: uns/unsiχ > ũːs/ỹːsiχ > uːs/yːs > yːs/øis. It's exactly the process you are thinking of. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:37, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Why don't Russian conjugations have their own pages?[edit]

If you head over to the entry for the Russian verb пить and open the conjugation table, you can see virtually none of the conjugations have their own pages. But if you look at the entry for the Bulgarian verb пия, every conjugation has a page.

Is it because no one's gotten around to doing it/writing a bot to do it, or is it something else? It'd be really easy for me to write a bot to do this. If I did, is there some type of bot acceptance process like Wikipedia?

Thanks in advance. Bruto (talk) 04:52, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

It’s because no one has gotten around to doing it or writing a bot to do it. See Wiktionary:Bots. —Stephen (Talk) 05:21, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
@Bruto How much Russian and Russian grammar do you know? I've created some selected inflected forms of пить:
пью ‎(pʹju), note that there's no accent on mobosyllabic words
пе́йте ‎(péjte), the pronunciation differs from the default, perhaps inflected forms created by a bot shouldn't have pronunciation sections? There's no "imperative" category, perhaps a different template or template call should be used.
пью́щий ‎(pʹjúščij) Participles (present and past) have their own inflections. Active participles happen to belong to the same inflection but --
пи́тый ‎(pítyj) a passive participle - may be missing, even for transitive verbs (not all verb types have them), may belong to different inflection type, which affects their short forms.
Inflected forms, IMO, are for a bot, not for humans. Editors can spend time more efficiently making lemmas and creating bots. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:51, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
An alternative to a bot-created entries, we could use an accelerated (controlled) method for creating Russian inflected forms. That way an editor would be able to see if the result is correct - pronunciation, transliteration (required for some irregularly pronounced forms) and the template is right. You're a welcome to have a go at a bot creation but it needs testing. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:57, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
@Bruto Stephen is right that the reason is simply that no one has gotten around to doing it. Just keep in mind that writing a bot to do something like this is not as simple as it sounds. I wrote a bot to create Arabic verbal and other inflections, and it is well over 1,000 lines of Python. Keep in mind you have to handle various cases:
  1. Russian verbs are quite complex and so you have to make sure you get the right form for each verb.
  2. There may be an existing Russian lemma that is spelled the same as a given verb form. Generally if you find such a lemma, you need to create a separate etymology section for the inflection, which means you will usually need to wrap the existing lemma in its own "===Etymology 1===" section (which means you need to increase all headers underneath it by one level, and handle specially any existing Etymology section, as well as any Alternative Forms section, which has to be moved underneath the "===Etymology 1===" header and have its level increased by 1).
  3. There may be an existing lemma in another language that is spelled the same as the given form. In this case you need to create a Russian section and put it in the appropriate place, taking care not to get tripped up by wikilinks at the bottom, which should stay at the bottom.
  4. The identical verb inflection may correspond to more than one combination of person/number/tense/etc., in which case all the {{inflection of}} lines for the different person/number/tense/etc. combinations need to be separate definition lines under the same header, rather than separate "===Etymology N===" sections.
  5. There are also potential issues with multiple inflections that are spelled the same but have different pronunciation and hence can't be combined under one header; for Russian this usually means different stress. These probably need to be separate headers under the same "===Etymology N===" section (and there are two cases here: whether there are separate etymology sections, if so the header needs to be level 4, otherwise level 3). Not sure how often this happens in Russian but in Arabic it occurs constantly because of the defective writing system.
As a first approximation you could refuse to create a lemma if the page already exists, or maybe handle only the case of an existing page without a Russian section; that would simplify things a lot.
I do think inflected forms should have pronunciation sections. The issue with пе́йте ‎(péjte) is going to be fixed soon, as soon as the various Russian editors come to consensus; in the meantime, adding an argument |pos=verb to the {{ru-IPA}} template will future-proof this case. Benwing2 (talk) 08:30, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
We could just make a simple script that scrapes the data from the lemma's conjugation table and creates entries. The table provides all of the necessary data required to identify a verb form - person, tense, mood, even the transliteration. Pronunciation is obviously not going to be possible to do automatically. Perhaps the entries could be checked by a native speaker using semi-automation. They could provide human input on whether or not the default pronunciation is valid, and then the script could quickly add a pronunciation section with the default pronunciation template, or the user could input a string for the pronunciation if it's irregular. Bruto (talk) 08:50, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, didn't mean to revert you, hit the wrong button. Anyway, automatic pronunciation is definitely possible and should in fact be done. All you have to do is add e.g. {{ru-IPA|пью́щий}} and it will generate the right pronunciation. If the word is a 2nd-plural verb form ending in -те, you should write e.g. {{ru-IPA|пе́йте|pos=verb}} and it will (eventually) do the right thing. Benwing2 (talk) 09:08, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

@Bruto Do you feel discouraged already? We don't know your skills but if you feel you can do, you can have a go at simple things on a small scale. You can try creating entries, for which there is no conflict - no existing entry and worry about multiple etymologies and other languages later. Russian grammar and verbs in particular are complicated but inflected forms are normally not much different from other European languages. Perhaps you can start with simpler personal forms (e.g. I, you, he does something), leaving participles and imperatives for later. Just be aware that personal forms of Russian imperfective verbs are present tense and perfective verbs are future tense, e.g. пью ‎(pʹju) (impf.) and вы́пью ‎(výpʹju) (pf.) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:36, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

@Atitarev Nothing like that. I was just waiting until the consensus on what to do about pronunciations was a little clearer. It's not going to be very challenging to write, as all of the necessary data is quickly provided on the lemma's page. Each participle's type is clearly labeled in the first cell of each row (some of which are not applicable, as designated by ). The conjugations pretty much follow typical conjugation conventions. In the imperfective, unique present forms exist for the first, second, and third persons, singular and plural. In the past, unique forms exist for the singular masculine, feminine, and neuter, as well as the plural. The imperative has unique forms for the singular and the plural. The future is constructed, so there are no unique verbs (like English). In the perfective, the participles are again clearly labeled. Unique forms exist for the future. The imperative and the past have unique forms that follow the same convention as the imperfective. And sometimes two forms that share the same meaning are listed (пив, пивши). Did I miss anything? Does this sound good to you? Bruto (talk) 04:03, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@Bruto Forms don't have to be unique, there could be comma-separated variants. If you have a trial run, we can test and see if they are good. The simpler you make them, the better, IMO. Perhaps skip the pronunciation sections, they can be added later. As I said, with passive participles, the declension type should be known, e.g вы́бранный ‎(výbrannyj) is not the same type as да́нный ‎(dánnyj) (expand and see short forms). That's why I prefer you not to start with those. Imperatives are not categorised properly, even though there is an empty imperative category. Bulgarian forms are not necessarily well formatted. Perhaps, it's better to check in WT:Grease pit rather than modelling on Bulgarian entries. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@Atitarev I guess my wording was a little ambiguous. I meant unique in the sense that a form exists for that pronoun group/tense/mood/aspect, not that it isn't spelled like any other verb or has no synonyms. Participle declension can definitely just be a project to do after this has started. And I don't really think a category should exist at all for imperatives, as they are just verb forms. Bruto (talk) 04:23, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@Bruto Not sure if imperatives should have a separate category but we have (empty) Category:Russian verb imperative forms and similar ones with other categories, obviously called templates/modules don't cater for categorisation, ignoring "imperative" (indicative, etc.) parameters. If you make your imperative forms like this:

{{head|ru|verb form|head=пе́йте}}

# {{inflection of|пить||2|p||imperative|lang=ru}}
It's fine by me. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:37, 30 November 2015 (UTC)


I would describe this word in English as "a lover of mollusks; a malacologist" but I can't seem to find any English-language citations for it on Google Search. However, there are a number of French-language citations on Google. Anyone know what the French definition is and if it the same as in English (or does the term not exist in English other than in the generic form "mollusk-lover")? Nicole Sharp (talk) 10:56, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Well, malacophage is certainly French for molluscivore (animal that eats molluscs), But malacophily is the English botanical term for pollination by snails. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:45, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
    • So malacophile is French for malacophilous but may also be an English (and French) word for a plant that is pollinated by snails. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:05, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Thank you for the clarification! So "mollusk-lover" would then be the only correct English term to describe someone who loves mollusks (e.g. a professional malacologist, a nonprofessional who keeps mollusks as pets, or possibly a mollusk zoophile)? Nicole Sharp (talk) 13:55, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
      • I tried looking for other organism prefixes to see if they are used in a human-loving context (i.e. outside of the pollination sense, e.g. "entomophile"). The only precedents I can find are "zoophile" (which typically refers to sexual love of animals as opposed to platonic love) and "cynophile" (which can be a zoophile, or more typically, just a platonic lover of dogs and dogkind). However, I don't see a reason to prevent neologization at will of terms to describe people who love other types of organisms? E.g. herpetophile for reptile-lover, entomophile for insect-lover, botanophile for plant-lover, etc.? Nicole Sharp (talk) 13:55, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
        • There's ailurophile for cats. Your neologisms sound fine but aren't includable here until used in sources meeting WT:CFI. Equinox 15:41, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Why heofona -> heuenes?[edit]

Hi. Homework question but I can't find an explanation in my textbooks. Looking at versions of the Bible, OE heofona (genitive of heofon, i.e. "of the heavens") becomes ME heuenes (u=v). Why did that first eo vowel collapse down to e? I know about unstressed a/o/u becoming e or schwa (which explains the vowel in the second syllable), but this is a stressed syllable, and it's eo changing, not just o. Equinox 17:12, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Middle English phonology says "The mid front rounded vowels /ø øː œː/ likewise existed earlier on in the southwest dialects, but not in the standard Middle English dialect of London. They were indicated as ⟨o⟩. Sometime in the 13th century they became unrounded and merged with the normal front mid vowels [e eː ɛː]. They derived from the Old English diphthongs /eo̯/ and /eːo̯/. [...] /øː/ would have derived directly from Old English /eːo̯/, while /œː/ derived from the open syllable lengthening of short /ø/, from the Old English short diphthong /eo̯/." - -sche (discuss) 17:22, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
That explains why eo became ø but then reverted/merged with e in ME dialects that developed of out West Saxon (which our English is not a descendant of), yet we have to remember that eo was not universal to all dialects of OE. It was also written io, e, even as æ and ea in other dialects, later conventionally being used as a standard orthography for e due to the ascendancy of WS. Personally i believe the true sound of eo was e followed by a schwa but thats just my gut instinct. In such case, its easy to see how it could be simplified to e Leasnam (talk) 19:21, 28 November 2015 (UTC)


How is "(slang, pejorative, dated) Effeminate or flamboyant in behavior" distinguished from "being in accordance with [...or] exhibiting appearance or behavior that accords with stereotypes of gay people, especially gay men"? (Note that we have another slang sense to cover usage like "that's so gay": "(slang, pejorative) Used to express dislike: lame, uncool, stupid".) - -sche (discuss) 22:38, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

From the usage around me, the distinction is new and not necessarily pejorative but more descriptive. People use 'gay' to describe the sparkling vampire from Twilight, because it's the word for that kind of extravagance. At the same time, having sparkling skin is no traditional cliché of homosexuals - though I'm for everyone picking up that practice indiscriminately. While homosexuals might be stereotyped as loving glitter per se, I think it's this kind of distinction the entry aims as. I'm for removing the 'dated' and keeping it, as I can see the word enduring while gay stereotypes pale. It could be changed to something like 'appealing to the stereotypical gay man', but even these stereotypes have diversified beyond the old-fashioned gay cliché which basically was a teenage girl on pep. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 02:27, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

shoe store, shoestore, shoeshop, shoe shop[edit]

Seems strange. You go to shoe store and it says alternative form of shoestore which itself is the alternative form of shoeshop which itself is the alternative form of shoe shop. 2602:306:3653:8920:4D75:972:7C97:EC95 22:41, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Not a great way of doing it, but it's so easy for someone to change any one of the four entries without changing the others that we really do have limit most of the content to one entry and make the others alternative-form entries. I changed shoestore to link to shoe shop instead of shoeshop, but I'm not sure if it would be correct to call shoe store and shoestore alternative forms of shoe shop. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:43, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd say we should have two entries that are more than just links to other entries. One at shoe shop and one at shoe store. shoeshop and shoestore should have entries as alternative form of shoe shop and shoe store. shoe store should list shoe shop as a synonym and vice versa. 2602:306:3653:8920:50CA:E362:8C03:92E9 02:32, 29 November 2015 (UTC)


Admittedly, I came to this page when I happened to reckon a xyz-manship in a scenario, however:

  • airmanship is airman + -ship
  • brinksmanship is brinksman + -ship (or is at least analysed that way)
  • chairmanship is chairman + -ship
  • churchmanship is churchman + -ship
  • conmanship is conman + -ship
  • firemanship is fireman + -ship
  • foremanship is foreman + -ship
  • frontiersmanship is frontiersman + -ship
  • gamesmanship is gamesman + -ship
  • horsemanship is horseman + -ship
  • penmanship is penman + -ship
  • ploughmanship is ploughman + -ship
  • seamanship is seamen + -ship
  • craftsmanship is craftsman + -ship
  • marksmanship is marksman + -ship
  • showmanship is showman + -ship
  • sportsmanship is sportsman + -ship
  • statesmanship is statesman + -ship
  • workmanship is workman + -ship

...so the only cases where "-manship" might be considered a valid suffix is "examsmanship", "grantsmanship" and "one-upmanship".

Could someone with better knowledge of this suffix clean up entries which are not derived from "-manship", or, indeed, determine which are and which are not? Tharthan (talk) 00:59, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Is this a suffix ? Leasnam (talk) 02:28, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

All of those entries are for outdated usage though. The current politically correct forms for "-manship" or "-womanship" are instead "-personship." Generally, gendered occupation names should be avoided unless a specific gendered distinction is necessary. Nicole Sharp (talk) 04:51, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Almost nobody says "-personship" in reality. We document the language as actually used. Equinox 05:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Nicole Sharp, -manship is not necessarily gendered. "Man" is not always gendered. "Man" can mean "human being", as in "mankind", and that is its traditional meaning. Please do not tell others how to talk. With that said, I personally prefer to say "fellow" instead of "man", "woman" etc. (I am for gender neutral language when it makes sense) but I do not purport, for instance, "sportsfellow" to be a word. Furthermore, considering what I demonstrated above, -personship is most definitely not an existing suffix.
  • "Mankind" vs. "humankind" is an old argument as well. In professional and academic writing, terms that suggest singling a particular gender (even if they can arguably be used in a multigender context) are recommended to be avoided (Modern Language Association [MLA], etc.). Even many modern English-language Bibles (and Tanakhs) have been edited to such gender-neutral terms as a means to help prevent sexism in language and religion. However, in colloquial verbal usage, usage of such gendered terms is agreeably more common. "Congressperson" I think is perhaps the most commonly used "-person" suffixed name for an occupation in USA English, though suffixing further with "-ship" or "-hood" is less common. Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:58, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't really care about that. There is no sexism inherent in "mankind", so I will (and do) continue to use "mankind" as millions of other people do. However, I will use "firefighter" because it is fair. Again, if it is reasonable, then I will use it. If it is not, then I won't. More to the point, I just think that the suffix "-person" is silly, hence why I do not use it ever.Tharthan (talk) 17:03, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
The sexism derives from placing the word "man" in a privileged status over less-gendered terms such as "person." The primary definition of a man in English is male-gendered human, as opposed to just any human. Using "man" in a multigender sense linguistically (if not semantically) eliminates the presence and contributions of other genders, particularly when used to refer to an occupation. The problem is perhaps not so much in the actual usage but rather from the thousands of years of male privilege over which the English language evolved. Spanish and many other languages have similar problems, e.g. in Spanish a group of people of multiple genders are referred to only by the masculine pronoun, linguistically eliminating the presence of any other genders in the group (even though semantically a Spanish speaker knows that a male plural pronoun can include individuals of non-male genders). Nicole Sharp (talk) 17:30, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
That argument is true of the word "man", but not of "mankind", which has always had a primarily gender neutral definition. The fact that your argument is true of the word "man" itself is precisely why I use the word "fellow" to refer to individuals and the "they" pronoun to refer to them. Like I said, I'm hardly against gender neutral language. I'm just against silliness, is all. Like I said, I hardly if ever use "fireman". I use "firefighter" to refer to a firefighter. Tharthan (talk) 18:19, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Don't forget that language changes: what was gender-neutral in the past may not stay that way. It all depends on the understanding of those who speak, hear, read and write the language. I personally use humanity instead of mankind. I agree about the awkwardness of using person in long compound words, but I know better than to try to dictate the course of language change. The Quakers tried to erase class divisions by using the informal thee and thine for everyone. This is now considered quaint and old-fashioned, because the language now uses the formal you and your for everyone, instead. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:28, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@ Nicole Sharp: I'm not sure whether "Spanish and many other languages have similar problems" or whether "some people have similar problems with Spanish and many other languages". Somehow I can't easily imagine the French arguing that "personne" being feminine, "deux personnes" should only refer to two women. --Droigheann (talk) 19:43, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Nor will anyone who speaks German have any doubts about the femininity of ein Mädchen, in spite of the fact that this word for a young woman is neuter in gender. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:28, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Quite. Although hardly anything can beat boireannach. --Droigheann (talk) 02:26, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Leasnam, this is alleged to be a suffix, but I am questioning that. If it is, then only "examsmanship", "grantsmanship" and one-upmanship" would be examples of it. The others are actually just "-ship". Tharthan (talk) 05:52, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the entries aside from brinksmanship, examsmanship, grantsmanship and one-upmanship were clearly not formed using *"-manship", and indeed most of them already explicitly noted that. I have removed them accordingly. Grantsman and brinksman also exist, so grantsmanship and brinksmanship look like they're also just using "-ship". The one remaining sense does have one citation, and would explain examsmanship and one-upmanship if nothing else does, but that's pretty weak. *"-personship" almost certainly doesn't exist (*"one-upspersonship"?) and is a red herring, although "-person" + "-ship" ("chairpersonship") exists. I can find several hits of "one-upsman" and "one-upsmen", but also one hit of "one-upsman-shippers". Btw, I find exactly one hit for "one-upsperson". - -sche (discuss) 09:56, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
We need to be very careful not to mistake back-formations for the original term. This was discussed previously, and it was found that "brinksmanship" existed before "brinksman", which is derived from "brinksmanship", and not the other way around. I would suggest finding proof that the ship-less term is not the derivation before declaring this as a fact. bd2412 T 15:49, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Dictionary.com dates "airman" to 1870-75 "for an earlier sense" and says it was formed on the basis of "seaman"; Merriam-Webster dates it to 1873. They date "airmanship" to 1860-1865 (D) and 1859 (M-W). The earliest example I can find of "airmanship is 1867 August, Taking the Air, in Tinsley's Magazine: "For jockeyship, or seamanship, or airmanship, or whatever else." "Airman" is hard to search for because it occurs, weirdly, as a common scanno of "answer".
  • M-W dates "chairman" to 1592 and doesn't date "chairmanship". D dates "chairman" to 1645-55 and "chairmanship" to 1840-50. The earliest example of "chairmanship" I find is 1743, A Critical History of the Administration of Sr. Robert Walpole: "As the Chairmanship of this Committee, and the Drawing-up of the Report, were some of the most remarkable Transactions of Mr. Walpole's Life..." I can find many earlier examples of "chairman", e.g. 1624, Robert Howard, The Committee: Or the Faithful Irishman. A Comedy: "Honest Ned, what turn'd Chairman?" (The City-Lady example on Google Books is from 1697, NB.)
  • M-W dates "churchman" to the 1300s and "churchmanship" to 1680. D dates "churchman" to 1350-1400.
  • The earliest examples of "conmanship" I found on Google Books are rom 1961-63. "Conman" is attested since at least 1922, Roy Judson Snell, The Crimson Flash: "Six times he picked the black card correctly. Was the conman drunk?"
  • The earliest example of "firemanship" I find is 1826 March 1, By-Laws of the Fire Department of the City of New-York: "the price of the certificate of Firemanship". I can find citations of "fireman" in the modern sense since at least 1807, and in other senses earlier.
  • D says "seamanship" dates to 1760-70 and was formed from seaman + -ship; MW dates it to 1756. M-W dates "seaman" to "before the 12th century" and D dates it to before 900.
Given that all but one of these "-man" terms are attested before the corresponding "-ship" terms, I put the onus on whoever claims the rest are "-manship" to find evidence of that. - -sche (discuss)


How is sense 10, "(of a person or skin) Lacking coloration from ultraviolet light", used? It is supposedly distinct from both "of or relating to Caucasians" and "pale or pallid, as from fear, illness, etc". - -sche (discuss) 03:20, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like more along the sense of "pale" or "albino," which would be a rare (literal) variant usage of the word "white" to describe people. E.g. "the subject's white face" could mean that they are "White (Caucasian)" or that they are albino, or perhaps dead, or even artificial (e.g. a white-rubber mask, or of the pallor of Data from Star Trek). Some authors capitalize words such as "Black," "Brown," or "White" when referring to racial identity to avoid conflation with the generic color names. Nicole Sharp (talk) 05:06, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I believe that refers to a person who is pale from lack of exposure to the sun. A Caucasian can still be tan or red from the sun; compared to the white of one who stays indoors all the time. bd2412 T 15:46, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
    Aha! I wonder if that actually needs its own sense-line separate from the "pale" sense. In any case, the two lines should be nearer each other. - -sche (discuss) 21:59, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
    The "pale from fear/stress" sense should be by itself- it has very strong connotations unlike those of any other sense. This should be apparent from derived terms such as white as a sheet,white as a ghost, and white as death, which strongly imply this sense unless context indicates otherwise. The "white from lack of sun" sense isn't unique, though: one can be white from illness, fatigue, or death, not to mention makeup for various purposes, each with its own connotations. To give an idea of the complexity, in biblical contexts, having "skin as white as snow" is associated with leprosy, but in fairy tales, "Snow White" is the most beautiful woman in the land. In modern western contexts, white skin is associated with being excessively sheltered and physically unfit, but in older contexts, it was associated with wealth, privilege and refinement. I don't think we should try to capture all of this complexity, but I'm not sure how to combine everything in to one sense. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:31, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
    I do not think they are one sense. The sense discussed here is 'white (antonym of tan)', which is describing and actual impression of visible colour and could apply to e.g. Japanese and German people alike. It is distinct from 'white (of European descent)' and 'white (visibly lacking the normal blood flow in the upper skin)'. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 02:01, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
    ps.: For me, it differs from 'pale' in that I would interpret 'pale' always as a relative condition to some implied mean - unless otherwise specified; whereas I'd interpret 'white' as a range of specific combinations on the RGB-wheel. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 02:03, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

beat around the bush[edit]

I was surprised to find we give it two definitions. It looks dubious to me. OED only gives one. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:04, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I like the definition "to discuss a matter without getting to the point." This omits any specific intended or actual effect, which can obviously vary by context. DCDuring TALK 14:20, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Would you mind making the necessary changes? Then I can reformat the translation tables. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:58, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

given that[edit]

Could a native speaker add some example sentences? Can it be synonymous with since? --2A02:2788:854:1B49:B49A:F3BA:D221:5818 21:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

It means the same thing as given#Preposition + that.
Given that people have forgotten how to use a dictionary, we need to have more helpful entries.
Given that (ie, that we need to have more helpful entries because...), we need to learn more about what our users expect and are capable of.
That is used in two ways: in the second sentence it is a pronoun; in the first it is a conjunction. DCDuring TALK 23:14, 29 November 2015 (UTC)


Does it exist, on the model of time-consuming? I'm looking for a translation of the French term énergivore (or Italian energivoro). --2A02:2788:854:1B49:B49A:F3BA:D221:5818 21:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Riddle me that, Batman.[edit]

Does this phrase have sufficient use to warrant an entry? 22:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

It needs to have a meaning not derived from the meanings of its parts. See riddle#Verb. DCDuring TALK 23:03, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Even as a phrase? What about that one vulgar phrase about Sherlock Holmes, how exactly does that pass? Tharthan (talk) 02:23, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Which phrase? DCDuring TALK 06:25, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Presumably no shit, Sherlock Smurrayinchester (talk) 07:22, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like a movie quotation rather than a phrase with unguessable meaning. Equinox 02:35, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
If you look for the more usual variation "riddle me this, Batman", you'll see that it's a slang expression used (I think) to sarcastically ask a question about something that someone hasn't considered or hasn't wanted to consider. It's not that common, but it's made its way into Parson's dictionary of slang, it's used in contexts that have nothing to do with the DC Comics universe, and it looks like it meets CFI. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:47, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
On better-rested consideration, this does seem to me idiomatic as informal (not slang) usage. Indeed this is rarely used to make inquiries of Batman. It is also hard to see that there is any particular meaning associated with the name Batman, other than the allusion to the fictional character himself, in contrast to the reference to the characteristics of Sherlock and, Nimrod (used of Elmer Fudd by Bugs Bunny) or the personification in Caesar. The idiomaticity of no shit, Sherlock is more questionable.
The use of this or that is incidental, depending on whether the deixis points to an earlier or later expression, so, in the absence of any better means of presenting the two, the less common should redirect to the more common expression. DCDuring TALK 11:40, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Japanese フェミニスト: add +1 definition[edit]

Japanese フェミニスト is defined as feminist.

Correct me if I'm wrong: I believe a 2nd definition can be added: "chivalrous; gentleman". --Daniel Carrero (talk) 00:39, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, such a sense exists: "a chivalrous man". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:41, 30 November 2015 (UTC)


Hey! I am new here, I don't really know how to work stuff around here. Can you guys please tell me about superpowers, so that way we can collaborate on certain things. I already know about certain stuff; but I just wanna know about other kinds of powers. Thanks!

SilverFantom (talk) 03:59, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I’m not sure what you have in mind. Wiktionary is a dictionary, so we have simply written a definition for superpower. You might be more interested in the Wikipedia articles (Wikipedia being an encyclopedia): w:Superpower (ability) and w:List of superhuman features and abilities in fiction. —Stephen (Talk) 05:44, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Unless your powers include the ability to accurately edit dictionary entries, you're probably in the wrong place. This is an online dictionary, and, as far as I know, none of us has any superpowers beyond the uncanny ability to produce large volumes of text over very minor stuff. Seriously, though, we only document language as it's used by real people in the real world (see our criteria for inclusion), and we don't deal in creation of stories or imaginary universes, nor do we have any kind of role-playing games. We are trying to document all the words in all the world's languages going back to the beginning of the history of writing, which we find interesting, and which certainly keeps us busy. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:50, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Super busy. Keith the Koala (talk) 09:41, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Ssshhh, or someone will come up with a role-playing game where you get experience points for making templates. Equinox 22:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

December 2015

missing a sense at moment?[edit]

Are we not missing the sense of, she has her moments, it has its moments, etc.? ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:58, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it would go at moment. It looks like the sense used is simply "A brief, unspecified amount of time". I'm guessing the proper lemma would be have one's moments, but I'm not sure about the definition. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:46, 1 December 2015 (UTC)