Wiktionary:Tea room

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Wiktionary > Discussion rooms > Tea room

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

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

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

Tea room archives edit

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

Oldest tagged RFTs


July 2017

tentorium plurlization[edit]

I found some use of the plural form tentorii. Would this be considered nonstandard? DTLHS (talk) 00:01, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

I think so. It is easy enough to see how the mistake might occur: misconstruction and imitation of incisurae tentorii. DCDuring (talk) 23:47, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

hot glue gun[edit]

This needs more of a definition than just "a form of glue gun". What kind? How is it distinguished? Equinox 23:09, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

I don't know of cold glue guns, though they may exist. DCDuring (talk) 23:29, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
I could find images of various glue guns that are not hot glue guns and have so modified [[glue gun]] and [[hot glue gun]]. DCDuring (talk) 23:39, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't think either is SoP. DCDuring (talk) 23:40, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

evolutionary stable strategy[edit]

I wouldn't call that a "misspelling", but I don't know how I would call it. --Barytonesis (talk) 13:16, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

Just as "SoP/Encyclopedic" as the other spelling? Or: "Poor grammar"? "Use of unattested/proscribed adverb evolutionary"? DCDuring (talk) 13:32, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Basically a typo, similar to how you can sometimes miss out an entire word if you're distracted. I see virtually no value in such entries. Equinox 13:34, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Usually I'd agree with you, but I suspect many people really don't think of it as a mistake at all. [1] --Barytonesis (talk) 13:39, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
When I page through, I see 66 Google Books results for "evolutionary stable strategy". Nearly half (30) also use "evolutionarily stable strategy", which is strong evidence the nonstandard spelling is a typo in those works. Some of the works that don't also use "-il-" may only use the term once, making it hard to judge if it's intentional or not. But Ngram data suggest this ratio is true over all the texts Google has seen: "evolutionary stable strategy" is used once for every two times "evolutionarily stable strategy" is used, and numbers in a Google Scholar search of journal articles are similar, meaning it's a very common (mis)spelling, certainly inclusion-worthy.
I'd guess it's caused by the ease of the typo in the long word, and the fact that it can be parsed as grammatical, as "evolutionaryadj, stableadj strategy" or with a misunderstanding of the meaning as "(evolutionaryadj stablenoun)"attributive" phrase strategy". Maybe some spell-checker programs even recognize "evolutionary" but not the far less common word "evolutionarily", and prompt people to change "evolutionarily" to "evolutionary". Compare how "evolutionary successful" is used about 1/4 as often as "evolutionarily successful"! - -sche (discuss) 15:49, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
As for what to call it: I think it's OK to call it a "misspelling", but another possibility is to use Template:misconstruction of. - -sche (discuss) 15:54, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

Arabic ڭ‎ (ng) differing in medial position in historical texts.[edit]

So I am basically looking at Kashgari's transciriptions in the original Arabic script and I noticed that his ng is perfectly what you expect at the end of a word (ڭْ) but the expected shape in medial position is not similar and there are no three dots or anything like that as in ـڭـ‎. Rather I see there is a middle dot at the right hand side of medial Kaph (ـکـ). Is there a way so that I can create this original form using some Unicode letters? It is like there is no ج and I must create it from ح but I can not find this dot. --Anylai (talk) 18:15, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

Side note: I noticed he sometimes has it as نْكْ in the final position, unification of نْ and كْ --Anylai (talk) 18:29, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
I came to realise that it is no different than realization of نْكْ at medial position, it is just his hand writing that confused me. the middle dot I saw apparantly belongs to ن. So medial -ng- in Kashgari is ـنــ‍ك‍ـْـ --Anylai (talk) 19:45, 2 July 2017 (UTC)


"he defines something which he calls inclusive fitness, which is an absolute swine to calculate". We're missing a sense. Could I say "a bitch to calculate"? --Barytonesis (talk) 20:27, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

Yes. Added. Equinox 00:04, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Finger mix-up[edit]

See leech-finger and its large list of synonyms (and related back-linking synonyms on further pages), and the change I just made to medical finger. I think the creator of these entries had the fourth and third finger mixed up, and thus got the medical/physician/etc. finger synonyms and definitions wrong in most places, but it's actually making my head spin now so I've stopped trying to fix them all... Equinox 00:04, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Looks like "fourth" here refers to fingers, exclusive of the thumb, which isn't a true finger (?). So the index finger would be the first finger, right ? Fourth finger is the pinkie. Leasnam (talk) 02:00, 3 July 2017 (UTC)


At homogenous, it says that in General American it is "often pronounced as homogeneous, with some dictionaries listing only this pronunciation". Now, I understand that there is a confusion between "homogenous" and "homogeneous", but putting that aside, given that the word "homogenous" is used, do Americans really often pronounce it as "homogeneous"? That seems unlikely to me, and I can't find the supposed dictionary evidence. Mihia (talk) 11:31, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

As no one has recognised this as being correct, I have deleted it. Mihia (talk) 22:32, 6 July 2017 (UTC)


I don't really understand this, so I'm seeking other opinions rather than making changes unilaterally.

At homogeneous, under the heading "Alternative forms", it says:

Is this the "wrong way round"? Shouldn't the "Alternative forms" section be presented as alternative forms of the headword, not words that the headword is an alternative form of?

Beyond that, this note, and also the sense "(proscribed) Alternative form of homogenous", appear to be saying that the biological sense of homogenous (the only sense that is said to be correct at homogenous) is commonly (or reasonably commonly) incorrectly written as "homogeneous". Is that actually true? Or is this all a big muddle, and what is actually meant is that the word "homogeneous" is often incorrectly written as "homogenous"? Mihia (talk) 20:07, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

  • I have simplified the section. I don't believe that either of the two forms are proscribed - it's just a transpondian thing. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:59, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
    • @SemperBlotto: in U.S. English at least, homogenous is proscribed when it means homogeneous. The opposite situation almost never applies, since it's so rare for someone to actually use homogenous correctly; though I can imagine that a correct usage of homogenous may occasionally be altered to homogeneous by hypercorrection. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:06, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
      • Yes, it's not hard to find opinions that "homogenous" for "homogeneous" is incorrect, or traditionally considered incorrect, but I have not yet seen any other suggestions that it is an AmE/BrE issue. My feeling also is that the opposite situation almost never applies, so I suggest that the sense "(proscribed) Alternative form of homogenous" probably is a mix-up, as I suggested it might be, and should be deleted. Also, I think there ideally should be a way of showing in the "Alternative forms" section that "homogenous" as an alternative form is considered incorrect by some. Mihia (talk) 20:28, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Why not just put something under Usage notes or See also? DCDuring (talk) 03:49, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
  • As no one has recognised it as being correct, and it seems wrong, I have deleted the sense "(proscribed) Alternative form of homogenous". I have also cross-referenced the usage note at homogenous. Mihia (talk) 22:21, 6 July 2017 (UTC).

select for - select against[edit]

"With this mode of natural selection, intermediate forms are selected against". Should we have an entry for that? --Barytonesis (talk) 12:51, 4 July 2017 (UTC)


I wonder if there's an English equivalent for Finnish aikamiespoika (unmarried man who lives with his parents). --Hekaheka (talk) 21:41, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

The closest I can think of is basement-dweller, although it is decidedly pejorative; not sure about the Finnish term (its literal translation appears to be "man-boy"): if it is pejorative too (which I strongly suspect), you should add a qualifier. In Japan, there's also the term Parasite single. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:04, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
There's man child in English, which may share some of the negative connotations of basement-dweller, but that also doesn't say anything about living with parents. I don't think there's an English word with the requested meaning. Equinox 15:55, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
In medicine especially, you can call such a person a “failure to launch” (unisex), colloquially. Wyang (talk) 12:24, 8 July 2017 (UTC)


This nonstandard past and past participle appears to be found mainly in specific technical contexts – literal and metaphorical binders (as in folders or ring binders), and coding. Maybe this should be mentioned at both bind and binded. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:52, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

I think binded is mostly used in contexts where the author is not a native speaker. That would include many technical fields. But it is not limited to non-native speakers, nor to technical contexts. Garner's Modern American Usage (both 2009 and 2016) proscribe it. DCDuring (talk) 04:34, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Latin: luo[edit]

The entry for Latin "luo" <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/luo#Latin> says the word is active only. It appears, however, in passive voice ("luitur") in classical Latin. E.g. in Seneca's Epistulae Morales XLVII. This is also verifiable from Perseus or Logeion.


  1. (Britain, education) A class or year of students (often preceded by an ordinal number to specify the year, as in sixth form).
  2. (Britain) Grade (level of pre-collegiate education).

What is the difference between these two senses? Mihia (talk) 22:46, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

  • As no one has proposed any difference, I have merged them. Mihia (talk) 20:48, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Serbo-Croatian krst and krstjanin[edit]

Sorry in advance for meddling with Slavic: Shouldn't the accusative of krst be unchanged because it's inanimate? And is krstjanin really a derivation from the former or isn't it another borrowing from Greek? (Maybe adapted to -janin, if this suffix is native?) Kolmiel (talk) 19:20, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

I've searched "krst" and "krsta" with a couple of transitive verbs and seemingly I was right. My knowledge of Serbo-Croatian is limited, but I was bold and changed the declension. Kolmiel (talk) 16:28, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel Yes, you are indeed right. As for krstjanin, Serbocroatian regularly borrows Greek χ as h, not k, unless the word goes through Latin first, hence e.g. Krist from Latin vs. Hrist from Greek. However, it’s almost certainly neither from Latin nor Greek but from Old Church Slavonic крьстиꙗнинъ (krĭstijaninŭ). — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 14:49, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
But don't forget that Proto-Slavic *krьstъ itself is ultimately derived from Greek. --WikiTiki89 15:01, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Interesting that SC borrowed /x/ as h, but Proto-Slavic used k. —CodeCat 15:56, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps the spirantization of chi wasn’t yet complete when PSl borrowed the word? AFAIK Armenian transcriptions of Greek continued to render chi as aspirated k until almost the end of the first millennium, so maybe some speakers still pronounced it that way. But things would have to have changed by the time of OCS, since OCS borrowed the same word as христъ (xristŭ). My bet would be instead that *krьstъ came from Greek indirectly, through some other language, given that most PSl borrowings from Greek seem to be mediated by either Romance or Germanic. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 17:02, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, Vasmer says *krьstъ came through Old High German. I'm not sure what the evidence for that is, but it seems more or less reasonable. --WikiTiki89 17:24, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
And OHG got it from Latin, I assume? It too had /x/ after all... —CodeCat 17:39, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Of course; I didn’t mean to imply anything beyond the immediate borrowing. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 17:02, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
I wasn't necessarily addressing that to you, just pointing it out. --WikiTiki89 17:24, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
My question concerning krstjanin was not so much the path of borrowing, but whether the -janin part is really a native Slavic formation independent of Ancient Greek Χριστιανός (Khristianós) and Latin Christianus. Kolmiel (talk) 23:38, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
It is indeed native, or at the very least nativized. Crom daba (talk) 14:45, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

chocolate bar vs. bar of chocolate[edit]

Our entries insist that these are two different things. New to me. Is the distinction real? Is it universal? Equinox 16:24, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

A chocolate bar is usually some form of bar of chocolate, but they're not mutually inclusive. bar of chocolate is more generic and literal, as in a "an hunk of chocolate shaped into a bar" (compare brick of chocolate). The other is synonymous with chocolate candy bar. Leasnam (talk) 17:59, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Chocolate bar is similarly "literal". Consider: chocolate drop, chocolate kiss, chocolate bark, chocolate brownie, chocolate soda. Coconut bar, nougat bar, etc are similar for the other part of the collocation. DCDuring (talk) 20:44, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I wonder too if chocolate bar is a blend of "chocolate" and "candy bar" in the way a cheeseburger is a blend of "cheese" and "hamburger" Leasnam (talk) 01:57, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Britain doesn't use the word "candy" so I doubt it. Equinox 01:58, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I created bar of chocolate. I think I'm right with the def, but is there a difference between UK and US defs? I don't know. DonnanZ (talk) 18:08, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I'd have assumed they are the same thing. I wonder in what context a difference is maintained. It would be nice if there were is essential that there be citations to support this kind of distinction. DCDuring (talk) 20:00, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Any ideas for search strategies? I suppose we could pick popular brands of e.g. creme-filled bar and see if people call them "bar of chocolate" in books etc... Equinox 20:06, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I guess starting with the two in Google N-Grams would enable us to see some collocations. We could use some of those collocations and anything suggested by them in the more complete Google corpora to find specific support for the distinction. DCDuring (talk) 20:24, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
BTW, at OneLook only Collins, WordNet, and Vocabulary.com find chocolate bar inclusion-worthy (other apparent entries are copies, redirects, or failed-search pages). No OneLook reference finds bar of chocolate inclusion-worthy. DCDuring (talk) 20:31, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
  • (UK) To me there is no difference between "chocolate bar" and "bar of chocolate" (except that the latter feels faintly more idiomatic). The "candy bar" sense does not exist here: a chocolate bar is always made from chocolate. Mihia (talk) 20:57, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
    I absolutely want citations proving that in Canada, something can be called a "chocolate bar" without containing any chocolate. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:12, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
    I wonder whether white chocolate bars qualify and can be found in Canada. DCDuring (talk) 23:31, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
    As a Canadian, I would call a bar of white chocolate either a chocolate bar or a white chocolate bar. But I also think of white chocolate as a form of chocolate...just not "real" chocolate, so I don't think it's evidence that "chocolate bar" can mean a candy bar of some other sort. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:00, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
    I think you are right. I remember it as tasting somewhat chocolaty, not all that much different from milk chocolate. I expect that others would agree, so it doesn't qualify. DCDuring (talk) 01:35, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
My conclusion from the above is that nobody is aware of the chocbar/bar-of-choc distinction and we should remove it from the entries. Will anyone be upset if I do? Equinox 01:15, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Not I. DCDuring (talk) 11:51, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

some or -some?[edit]

"I've been working here for 30-some years."

What does this sentence mean? Does it mean "I've been working here for about 30 years." or "I've been working here for 30-something years."?

And does this sense belong at some or -some? PseudoSkull (talk) 19:06, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

it means 30-something. I think it's a shortening of 30-some(thing) Leasnam (talk) 19:59, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
30-some years is almost the same as and, I think, lexicographically analogous to 30-odd years. Semantically a possible difference is that 30-odd might be "30 +/- [1-5]" whereas 30-some might be "30 + [0-9]". Lexicographically some in these expressions seems to me to be just a postpositioning of some#Determiner ("A considerable quantity or number of"), as in "I've been working here for some 30 years." DCDuring (talk) 20:19, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Doesn't "I've been working here for some 30 years" mean "I've been working here for about 30 years" though ? It could be anywhere from 29-31 years, but 30-some could not be used if it had actually been 29. Leasnam (talk) 22:48, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't think so, but it would take {many) citations to determine the answer.
I think someone might be able to say "I worked there for some 35 years.", it doesn't seem to work postpositively. But that seems to me to be determined by euphony. I doubt that "some" and "odd" are used much with numbers that are not round (unless they small (single digit)?). DCDuring (talk) 02:54, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
But that would seem to confirm Leasnam's interpretation: "some 35 years" works because it means "circa 35 years", whereas "35-some years" doesn't work because the postpositioned "some" replaces the last digit. Kolmiel (talk) 16:18, 11 July 2017 (UTC)


Most such words seem to be an existing -ize verb plus agentive -er. We don't have e.g. -izable or -izing. Equinox 22:44, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

Should we have them? I mean that's just an addition to the current suffix by another suffix. PseudoSkull (talk) 23:24, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
de.Wikt had a similar discussion some time about about the verbal suffix -ieren, which (it was ultimately decided) is coverable by entries for -ier(-) and -en. Somewhat related in Talk:-icity, where however there is a change in pronunciation ("-icity" is not pronounced the way "-ic /ɪk/ + ity" would be). I suppose we could try to find examples of "-izers" than lack corresponding "-ize" verbs. If we decide not to have an entry for this, it should at least be a {{no entry}} that directs people to "-ize" and "-er", IMO. Among "lemmings", oxforddictionaries.com has an entry for "-izer". - -sche (discuss) 00:13, 13 July 2017 (UTC)


At fishing, we have an adjective which looks to me like an attributive noun. Not saying that there may or may not be a true adjective for fishing (e.g. a fishing man), but that would be derived from the present participle. Leasnam (talk) 23:42, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

The only usage example for the supposed adjectival sense, namely "Ivor had acquired more than a mile of fishing rights with the house", is certainly an example of an attributive noun, not an adjective. I personally feel that routine adjectival use of present participles as in "fishing man = a man who is fishing" is a regular feature of English that does not merit a separate PoS entry. In other cases, where the participle is a "strong" adjective, a separate entry may be desirable. Mihia (talk) 01:06, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
We do have e.g. fishing cat, which is a cat that fishes, not a cat used in fishing. I don't feel such adj entries add much either, but the OED does include them. Equinox 01:53, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
As far as I understand it, fishing cat is a species of cat, not merely a cat that fishes. Mihia (talk) 02:44, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, but you can see how it was formed. It's more a living creature than a living standard IYSWIM. Equinox 02:46, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I thought we had the same discussion about garden but I can't find it. Anyway I agree with you. Equinox 01:15, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I can at least imagine that someone might say "[it is a] very garden [thing, plant, etc]", whether or not they actually do (a matter for RFV?), but it doesn't seem at all possible to use fishing adjectivally. "The rights were very fishing"? "That pole is more fishing than this one"? It seems like an error; many people mistakenly assume that anything that modifies a noun (the way "fishing" modifies "rights" in "fishing rights") must be an adjective. - -sche (discuss) 01:41, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
One can even view fishing rights as a compound noun, as if it were fishing-rights or fishingrights (cf. driving school, driving permit, fishing pole, etc.). Leasnam (talk) 01:48, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

metroprolol vs metoprolol[edit]

There are pages for both metroprolol and metoprolol. However, I am quite sure both are the same medication and that metroprolol is a misspelling of metoprolol. In my job, I often see this medication, and it is always spelled without the initial r. The page for metroprolol cites this NIH article, which shows the word spelled metroprolol throughout, but a quick Google search shows that metroprolol is a common misspelling of metoprolol, which is a generic form of a medication known as Lopressor. For example, see [2].

Should these pages be merged into one, or should we just have a note on the metroprolol page that it is a common misspelling of metoprolol? I did an IPA transcription on metroprolol not noticing that initial r and was trying to add audio, which didn't work because I used the usual spelling in my audio filename (en-us-metoprolol.ogg). Given the existence of a scholarly article using the misspelled version, I would lean toward just adding a note vs merging the pages. If I do this, where should I put the note? Thanks! BirdHopper (talk) 16:08, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Converted to misspelling. DTLHS (talk) 16:11, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for that quick response. I see now that I could have just gone to Help:Misspellings. Noted for future edits. BirdHopper (talk) 16:24, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Sorry; my screw-up. This is one of the rare cases where I think a misspelling entry might be justified; it is very common. Equinox 01:13, 23 July 2017 (UTC)


platyfish Definition says any member of the genus Xiphophorus, but this would also include swordtails. Are swordtails therefore platyfish? (I'm in doubt about this...) Leasnam (talk) 01:34, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

w:Xiphophorus makes it look as if platyfish and swordtail constitute two disjoint sets of species of the genus. I'll check Fishbase and WoRMS for the vernacular names they have to confirm WP. DCDuring (talk) 04:01, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
There are two main types of platies (among a few other rare varieties): regular/common platies (Xiphophorus maculatus) and variatus platies (Xiphophorus variatus), neither of which has a sword-like projection on the lower tailfin. I believe the definition would be correct if it mentioned this detail Leasnam (talk) 04:16, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

s'en être[edit]

This verb is a very special case where it's only conjugated in the past historic and used in place of the past historic for s'en aller. I don't quite know the best way to represent this in the article. Should this be in the usage notes? And how do I create a conjugation chart for a defective verb? 2WR1 (talk) 01:45, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

It's not used in place of the past historic of s'en aller ("il s'en alla" is correct); it's a literary variant of it. But otherwise you're right, we should add this somewhere. --Barytonesis (talk) 21:41, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

puppy dog eyes[edit]

The definition is along the lines of naiveté, credulity, and lack of sophistication. That may be perfectly correct. I just want to allude to my interpretation of the analogous German Hundeblick. If this notion existed in the English term as well, it should probably be added. Kolmiel (talk) 01:15, 11 July 2017 (UTC)


Could the examples of usage of a rather rare and pretty word not reference a boil? I am imagining the sensitive individual who first learns of this word forever associating it with that.


At least in Finnish and German there's a word for a "person with profound knowledge of their field, but relatively ignorant and unappreciative of other fields of knowledge and art" (fakki-idiootti and Fachidiot respectively). Is there a corresponding English word? A geek seems to come close, but is it associated with computers only? Can one be a law geek? --Hekaheka (talk) 06:58, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps monomath, monomaniac, one-trick pony. In Japanese, there is 専門バカ. Wyang (talk) 07:01, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
As Google Books attests, you can certainly be a law geek (or a geek of any specialised subject; anyone remember the old Internet "geek codes"?), but I don't think that necessarily implies you are ignorant of other things, merely that you have a somewhat obsessive focus on law. Equinox 01:12, 23 July 2017 (UTC)


Where is the usual stress for this word? I've heard it pronounced in Australia as in-TERN-ship. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:09, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

In the US it's on the first syllable (IN-tern-ship) Leasnam (talk) 16:38, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
Ditto in UK. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:22, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
Which pronunciation are you dittoing? DTLHS (talk) 05:28, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

preferably and preferentially[edit]

What's the difference in usage? --Barytonesis (talk) 18:04, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

If our entry doesn't explain it, it seems like a question for Google or Garner's Modern American Usage or a functional equivalent for other flavors of English. DCDuring (talk) 21:41, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Abstract senses of guard[edit]

We have an entry for being on one's guard, though there is no corresponding sense in guard to fit this use. I don't think on one's guard is strictly idiomatic, because similar uses of guard occur in phrases like "dropping one's guard", "keeping your guard up", and more distantly, "standing guard". (This last case is different as guard acts as an adverb and seems a bit less flexible; "posting guard" is also possible, though that may instead be an uncountable reference to members of a squadron.) The desired sense seems to be "a defensive or vigilant state" (or "defensively; vigilantly" in the adverb use). Do we have cause for the addition of this sense? Also, what do you think about the addition of entries for phrases such as keep one's guard up, let one's guard down, raise one's guard, and drop one's guard? Rriegs (talk) 23:09, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Also, I just noticed on guard and on one's guard are near identical, and in fact on guard essentially serves the adverb sense in standing guard (though of course with different wording; "standing on guard" should also be acceptable). Regardless, I think we still need to add a sense to guard. Rriegs (talk) 23:14, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. As to definitions of guard, MWOnline has:
2 a : a defensive state or attitude "asked him out when his guard was down"
b : a defensive position (as in boxing)
3 a : the act or duty of protecting or defending
b : the state of being protected : protection
We don't have our own versions of those senses, three being abstract states of general applicability. DCDuring (talk) 21:34, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

live free or die[edit]

"New Hampshire's state motto" is not a definition. Equinox 01:06, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Well, being denotatively SoP, it could be formatted as a non-gloss definition. Connotatively, it is evocative of revolutions or wars of liberation. DCDuring (talk) 21:25, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
Are mottos really within our scope? There are so many thousands of them, and to me, they seem more like encyclopedic content than worthy of a dictionary entry. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 15:53, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia does seem to have such content, just as they often have etymologies, pronunciations, translations, synonyms, etc. In this case they have a fairly credible article. The translation-target rationale would seem to apply. I think some such mottos are indistinguishable from proverbs. DCDuring (talk) 17:33, 15 July 2017 (UTC)


I note that sense 7 ("used before a body part as an alternative to the possessive pronoun") can indeed apply to any (physical?) part of something, rather than just body parts. For example, "a stone hit her car on the windshield", or "my teacher corrected our papers in the margins". I note, however, that this entire sense may in fact be a special case of sense 6 ("used to indicate a certain example of which is most usually of concern"): "a stone hit him in the head" has "his head" as the reference that is "most usually of concern". That being said, I'm not sure I completely understand sense 6, given it's awkward wording.

Also, which sense applies to uses such as "she's in the hospital", "we went to the park", or "I'll take the train"? These of course could refer to a specific hospital, park, or train, though I don't feel the sentences would typically be interpreted that way. In particular, in UK English, the first is equivalent to "she's in hospital", elevating hospital (and by extension, US English's the hospital) to signify something more like the concept of being at a hospital, rather than any specific hospital. Other words in this category (in either US or UK English) are work, school, and home (the later being even further optimized into an adverb in uses like "he went home"), though none of these involve the (anymore?). I don't think this is sense 6, as no certain example can be identified, nor do I think it's sense 4 ("introducing a singular term to be taken generically") because that would imply reference to, e.g., all hospitals. Is there need for an additional sense, to the effect of "used to indicate a generic example, especially of a kind of location or establishment"? Rriegs (talk) 20:00, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

I made minimal changes to sense 6, which IMO, address the awkwardness complaint. Does it help?
The US "in the hospital" example does seem synonymous with UK "in hospital". I think that hospital in the UK case means "the state of being hospitalized" rather than a corresponding concept. I wonder whether US "in the hospital" is derived from most speakers in the US only having had practical access to a single community hospital. I can't think at the moment of another comparable example of such use of "the". DCDuring (talk) 21:07, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
There are a number of cases of "the [noun]" and "[noun]" being mutually substitutable. Words like Fall, Spring, earth (fall to earth, fall to the earth) come to mind. DCDuring (talk) 21:23, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
A couple other comparable uses that come to mind are "go to the doctor", "at the library", "to the police station", etc. In my experience, all of those can be used regardless of how many of those things there are nearby. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 15:51, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Good examples. Thanks. They remind of still more: "the bank", "the post office", "the park", "the beach", "the store", etc. In all of these cases there is or was some local uniqueness that has pretty much disappeared in many urban and suburban contexts. But is this really a new sense of the or a bleaching or generalization of sense 6? It seems to me that "the library" means "THE library appropriate for the context". Similarly for the others. That is, it seems to be a more general kind of deixis than supports the wording of our definitions. If the context makes the specific referent unclear, one could ask "Which one?", which question itself supports some kind of uniqueness in the intended referent. This is really just like the deixis of pronouns, which can be ambiguous in specific instances. DCDuring (talk) 17:24, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

English mental[edit]

Should this be split into two etymologies? Wyang (talk) 08:01, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

One for the mind and one for the chin? Yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:20, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, one for the mind and one for the chin. Wyang (talk) 11:14, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Before this post sinks into the depths of Wiktionary... I've gone ahead and split the etymology. Wyang (talk) 01:11, 16 July 2017 (UTC)


At soup, is there any difference between Etymology 1 and Etymology 4 ? If not, I suggest we remove Etym 4 Leasnam (talk) 16:14, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

thrift for thrift shop?[edit]

[3] Is this common usage in some dialect? DTLHS (talk) 17:48, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

I think it's just short for thrift shop/store/sale/etc., left off due to either laziness or for the sake of being concise (?) Leasnam (talk) 19:49, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Does this support that sense? Equinox 20:00, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
  • 2004, Los Angeles Magazine (volume 49, number 2, page 88)
    I love the American Cancer Society Discovery shops because they are good matches between thrifts and resales.
update. I was at the beach this weekend and I saw a shop called "<something> Thrift" and I immediately remembered this thread. I can't withcall the name, and it is so new that it's not in Google Maps yet (--the location is in Maps, but it was a closed shop till very recently and it still shows as a vacant building). I'm having someone get the name for me (it was like "Sunset Thrift", "Coastal Thrift", "Topsail thrift", etc.), but apparently it is used this way. Leasnam (talk) 16:08, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
It was Bayside Thrift Leasnam (talk) 16:41, 31 July 2017 (UTC)


I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but an IP user,, has been adding a bunch of translations of Muslim and removing other translations, for instance those that are derived from Muhammad: diff. For example, he or she removed German Mohammedaner and Russian магомета́нский (magometánskij). I don't know what the motivation for this is: maybe this person is a Muslim and is censoring Muhammad's name because it's too holy to be used in a word referring to a member of the religion. Or maybe it's because these would be better as translations of Mohammedan. In any case, what should be done here? — Eru·tuon 22:41, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

I can't speak for the Russian, but the German word is certainly better as a translation of Mohammedan than of Muslim. Just like Mohammedan, German Mohammedaner is very old-fashioned and might even be vaguely offensive if used nowadays. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:43, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
It's old-fashioned in German, but not very old-fashioned. It was in normal use until, I guess, ~1980. So as as other dated terms are found in translation sections, this one should as well, probably with a note (dated). Kolmiel (talk) 22:01, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
In some other languages, it may still today be in normal use. I don't know; but if so, these terms must definitely be put back on. (Descriptivism!) Kolmiel (talk) 22:05, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
As to the censoring, it's not because the name is too holy. It's because Muslims believe that the teaching of all prophets was the same and contained all the main tenets of faith from the beginning on (differences existing only in the specifics of law and ritual). Therefore they tend to disapprove of the word "Muhammedan", which implies the idea, unacceptable to them, that Islam is a form of monotheism specific to Muhammad. Kolmiel (talk) 22:01, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Done. The person who deleted it doesn't seem to have had much knowledge of German. They deleted the dated "Mohammedaner" but left the much more archaic "Muselmane" and even the now clearly derogatory "Muselmann". I've deleted the latter, provided "Muselmane" with the label "archaic" and "Mohammedaner" with "dated". Kolmiel (talk) 20:17, 19 July 2017 (UTC)


Why just surgically remove? I've heard people talk about amputation from some sick serial killers for instance, with the general meaning of cutting parts off of people's bodies. "The serial killer had a pattern of amputating the bodies of his victims postmortem." PseudoSkull (talk) 19:53, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Generally a serial killer will cut the parts of the body off, in a surgical fashion. Getting blown off with explosives generally seems to be different from amputation, though there are some Google books hits that use "amputate" to include parts blown off by explosions.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:42, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

scream blue murder[edit]

I had never heard this phrase before. (I thought it was a mistake for "bloody murder".) Is it mainly a UK thing? — Eru·tuon 20:04, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Could be. I am from the UK and it is a familiar expression to me. Mihia (talk) 20:44, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
It probably is British, I've heard it used, and probably used it myself. It was WOTD actually. I'm not sure the def is complete though - from Oxford: "to make cries of terror or alarm; to make a noisy and extravagant protest or outcry; to raise a commotion". DonnanZ (talk) 21:29, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
Why isn't this just a redirect to [[blue murder]]? One can yell/cry/holler/shout/kick up/swear/threaten/squall/squeal/roar blue/bloody murder as well. (all from first 6 pages of bgc results) DCDuring (talk) 21:47, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
In my experience the most common verb used here is scream. So why is there an entry for scream bloody murder and not for the variants? DonnanZ (talk) 22:42, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
Because it is more common, obviously, and therefore more likely to have been heard by someone who is unaware of blue murder as the core of the expression, never having happened to have heard it with another verb. And because it is less work or more fun to add an entry for a term that is not part of one's idiolect than to work on entries for common words that need it. There are lots of instances of a [Verb1] + [NP] collocation being more common than [Verb2] + [NP] where [Verb1] and [Verb2] are somewhat similar. DCDuring (talk) 23:25, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
It is most definitely British - but now very dated. I haven't heard it in years. (but always with "scream" rather than any other cry) SemperBlotto (talk) 04:56, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
I by no means hear it every day, but it doesn't strike me as dated. Mihia (talk) 01:37, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

English roseola meaning “German measles” (definition #3)?[edit]

I don't think it's modern usage at least. Should it be reworded as an obsolete sense of "any disease with a red rash, such as scarlet fever, measles and rubella."? Wyang (talk) 11:45, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

translations for translingual entries[edit]

Do we add translations for translingual entries e.g. at Prunus spinulosa? I couldn't remember. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:53, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

I think there is acceptance, though a common practice is to use {{trans-see}}, to a translation table at an English vernacular name. As commonly used vernacular names are very often ambiguous, this practice seems somewhat undesirable. DCDuring (talk) 04:40, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, there was overwhelming acceptance shown in the 9-1 vote favoring them (Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2016-01/Translations of taxonomic names}. DCDuring (talk) 04:46, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Entry_layout#Translations: Translations should be given in English entries, and also in Translingual entries for taxonomic names. --Hekaheka (talk) 01:07, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

half gyp, whole gyp[edit]

What's the difference? Anyone know? Equinox 01:05, 18 July 2017 (UTC)


What is the difference in usage between definition 1 and 2? And which definition should I have put my usage example under (it's currently the second one under definition 2)? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:39, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

The usage example for sense 1 should be under 2, I think. It may be better to merge both senses. Female Jehovah's Witnesses are known as sisters, e.g. Sister Smith, but I'm not sure whether it's a formal title.
What is missing is the nursing sense, a sister in charge of other nurses. My mother was known as Sister Raymond (her maiden name) before she married. DonnanZ (talk) 08:02, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Actually, I think the usage examples may be transposed, a sister in a religious order, like a nun, is more likely to use a Christian name than a surname. DonnanZ (talk) 08:20, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
This entry is in a poor state, as is Brother. IMO senses 1 and 2 should be merged in both entries. Sense 3 does a terrible job of covering the word as used in its usex, while a general sense used among comrades in many types of movement is missing ("Sister Huerta led us on the path to unionization", etc). Use of nurses, like Donnanz mentions, also needs to be covered somewhere... maybe "religious" and "fraternal" (sororal!) use should be split? I have boldly edited the entries along the lines I suggested, but use of nurses still needs to be added. - -sche (discuss) 18:04, 18 July 2017 (UTC)


Because of this revision.

That doesn't fit together. "unterschreiben" indeed has the participle "unterschrieben". But as for a possible WT:RFVN/WT:RFD for "untergeschrieben": A German word "untergeschrieben" does exist as in "untergeschriebenes Iota" (= iota subscript). "untergeschrieben" could be an adjective (unter + participle or participial adjective geschrieben), another verb (with participle "untergeschrieben"), or it could be an old participle form of "unterschrieben". - 02:49, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

The underlying verb is a rare and possibly defective únterschreiben ("to write below", first syllable stress). The infinitive, particularly the extended infinitive unterzuschreiben, doesn't sound all that strange to me. For example: "Wenn man das Iota in einer Handschrift hinzufügen wollte, war man gezwungen, es unterzuschreiben." This use is attestable on google books. I don't know if conjugated forms are attestable; they are difficult to search for at any rate. But in my opinion, the two existing forms would be enough to create the verb with a note that conjugated forms are very rare. Kolmiel (talk) 04:10, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Done. Kolmiel (talk) 17:49, 19 July 2017 (UTC)


𪜈 is the only katakana digraph registered in CJK Unified Ideographs Extension. I’m not sure how to change it to a proper entry. The other digraphs and are correctly registered in respective blocks in Unicode, and categorized as symbols here in Wiktionary. Isn’t it better to treat them in the same manner? — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 13:21, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

@TAKASUGI Shinji: Maybe we could treat it as a katakana digraph and have a usage note that says that it was mistakenly included in Unicode as a kanji. —suzukaze (tc) 09:01, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

Bastard capitalization[edit]

i don't use Wiktionary very often, so please forgive this question: Is capitalization the only reason (and/or sufficient reason) for bastard and Bastard to have separate pages?

i wasn't sure if i should ask the question here, or at Talk:bastard (Talk:Bastard was previously deleted).

As a curiosity, when i use the "Search in the archives of Tea room" box to search for "bastard", would it find any occurrences of "Bastard"? Here is my first page of search results copied and pasted; should i have added this question to an existing thread, or is this new discussion better?

   Wiktionary:Tea room/2007/October (section pommy bastard)
   no parallel terms I can think of such as British bastard, yanky bastard, kiwi bastard, aussie bastard, etc. It's pretty subtle though and I wouldn't want
   62 KB (9,237 words) - 11:25, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2012/December (section bastard#Noun)
   for "she is a real bastard", "she is a complete bastard" and "she is such a bastard". There are plenty of hits for "she is a bastard" but they seem only
   80 KB (10,503 words) - 11:01, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2008/September (section bastard)
   somewhere. RJFJR 13:58, 2 September 2008 (UTC) The definition for the word "bastard" says "born to unmarried parents". Does this mean that birth rather than
   133 KB (17,512 words) - 11:27, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2017/January
   the entry itself here says literally 'son of a prostitute'. However, a bastard is not necessarily a son of a prostitute, but rather a female who had sex
   108 KB (15,050 words) - 04:27, 28 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2010/March
   something where something can be from some set of terms like "freak", "bastard", "monster", "ass", "shrew", etc? It all might be somewhat useful for,
   59 KB (8,335 words) - 11:08, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2009/December
   to merit an entry. DCDuring TALK 23:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC) Re: bastard#Interjection. Isn't this just the noun used as a vocative? Like cunt, bitch
   138 KB (19,656 words) - 11:09, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2010/December
   of Wiktionary - or any dictionary. But no one seems to object to pommy bastard as an entry, which I "advocated" as a joke. Is the use of the term "poor"
   52 KB (7,286 words) - 11:06, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2011/October
   can also be inverted: "If ever there was/were a person to be called a bastard, it would be him." This may make one consider it more a literal, though
   88 KB (12,968 words) - 11:04, 2 June 2017

Thank you for your patience.

-- 17:14, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

I believe the search form is case-insensitive. Yes, they're separate entries because German nouns (as far as I know) are always capitalized. The capitalization policies were fleshed out I think pre-2006. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 22:32, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
In this particular case the meanings are the same. A better example is polish and Polish. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:04, 19 July 2017 (UTC)


Could a Japanese-speaking editor check the Japanese definition? It seems wildly different to the Chinese meaning. ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:30, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

@Tooironic: It seems to be right. See [4], which says that it is Myrica rubra. —suzukaze (tc) 11:45, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
OK. Thank you. ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:46, 19 July 2017 (UTC)


Plural of "kanji". I have seen it used, but I always thought it was bad English. Any opinions? Mihia (talk) 22:01, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

It's a rare plural form; that means that someone is going to object to it as bad English. IMO, English words that don't come from Middle English should pluralize regularly, with -s or the appropriate variant of that. But it is more popular to carry over the pluralization of the original, at least for the null plurals of Japanese.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:43, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
How do you feel about "a kanji" meaning "a kanji character"? (I know that the "ji" means "character", so by that token it should be OK, yet in English I feel that "a kanji" is somehow substandard.) Mihia (talk) 00:23, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
It seems well-attested.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:45, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
Well, "alot" is also well-attested ... but, joking apart, some of the attestations for "a kanji" do seem somewhat reputable, so perhaps it's only me who feels that it is substandard. Mihia (talk) 00:00, 25 July 2017 (UTC)


yearling: an anom added an adjective header citing [[5]]...is it really an adjective ? I thought such uses were attributive cases. Leasnam (talk) 03:20, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

Several dictionaries give it as an adjective, Century in particular cites: A yearling heifer and As yearling brides provide lace caps, and work rich clothes for the expected darling. I'm having trouble finding solid usage examples as an adjective though... Leasnam (talk) 03:31, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
I find lots of yearling males, yearling females, yearling ewes, yearling rainbow trout, etc. and an odd This very yearling ram of mine goes back three generations on his dam's side to sheep bred here on this farm, ...--this last one looks to me like (This)+(very =adj)+(yearling+ram =noun) Leasnam (talk) 03:39, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
The OED has it as an adjective, but says it is attributive use of the noun. The problem with the anon's input was that it wasn't formatted and was added in the wrong place. I'll add it in the correct format. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:37, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
To me, "adjective" and "attributive use of the noun" seem mutually exclusive. Mihia (talk) 00:24, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
  1. The adjective definition ("adj. def.") is not substitutable.
  2. As shown the adj. def. is obviously semantically identical to a noun definition.
  3. AFAIK, it won't be possible to attest instances of any use of yearling that are comparable, gradable, used as a predicate adjective, or used attributively in a sense not used by the noun.
  4. We have a practice (polcy???) of eliminating the adjective PoS section for a word that is a noun and doesn't have those kinds of use, even though it is attestably used attributively. In principle, ANY English noun can be used attributively, which is why we don't bother to duplicate the noun definitions with definitions that differ from the noun only by rewording as if it were a true adjective, or by rewording that makes it superficially appear that the adjective use is a novel sense.
  5. Other dictionaries have different practices. It would be nice to know whether they had explicit policies about the matter. For example, do they included an adjective PoS because users want/need it, on relative frequency grounds, or on some other basis. WordNet might use translation target arguments.
In the end, the general question is a policy matter (BP), but whether a particular term should have an adjective PoS is and RfV matter. Whether the wording of an adjective definition is sufficiently distinct from the noun definitions is an RfD matter. DCDuring (talk) 02:24, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
Unless anyone can present any convincing true-adjective usage examples, I vote that the adjective sense should be deleted. Mihia (talk) 23:32, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, as far as I've seen we don't provide separate adjectives for attributively-used nouns; compare shade as in "a shade plant". I also note that when I check the Middle English Dictionary, they only have it as a noun... if it had formerly been clearly adjectival, and survived in modern English in places like "yearling lamb" where either an adjective or a noun fits, then one could've made an argument based on that that it was still an adjective. I haven't found any use of the form "the lamb is yearling", either... only cases where it seems to be a noun modifying another noun. - -sche (discuss) 16:21, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Homer's nodding[edit]

Could someone help me clean up Homer nods, even Homer nods and even Jove nods? We should not be duplicating all of this considering they are all alternative forms of the same expression. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:05, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

I'll try what I can--Sigehelmus (talk) 23:47, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

kanji (different meaning)[edit]

What does this use of kanji refer to? Alternative spelling of an entry we already have? DTLHS (talk) 00:30, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

  • If it's not found in other contexts, I would argue that this is a Mongolian term used in English text. It is first introduced in italics, and loosely defined, and only then used without italics, clearly indicating that the author did not expect his English-speaking readers to be familiar with the term. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:52, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
PS: Reading further through that text, it appears that -jis may be a suffix indicating an office or job title. It is also unclear if the final -s is inherent to the terms, or if this is the author appending the normal English plural suffix. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:55, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

The meaning of the word ལྟམ (ltam) in Tibetan[edit]

In the dictionary this word is defined as the honorific version of the verb to be born (intransitive) or to give birth to a child (causative). I've searched through various other Tibetan dictionaries on the internet and even in the STEDT, and apparently the word ལྟམ (ltam) has another meaning apart from the ones suggested in the translation. It seems to related with the words ཐམ་པ (tham pa) and གཏམ་པ (gtam pa) (Benedict, 1972). The former is an adjective which means full or complete, while the latter is verb with a similar causative meaning to fill up. It ultimately derives from the PST root *l-(t/d)jam.

Do you think that this other meaning should be added in the page for the word ལྟམ (ltam)? Is this a case of homophony? Does some of you have additional information about this word? — Sorjam (talk) 20:26, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

Pinging @Wyang as our only active editor whose Babel box lists knowledge of Tibetan. In general, if the senses you mention are attested i.e. actually used, they should be added, but I don't know if they have the same etymology or not. - -sche (discuss) 16:10, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
@Sorjam Yes, absolutely. I will add it. Wyang (talk) 23:56, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Reformatting, cleanup, and expansion of trasgo[edit]

I don't know where to start on this one, but all I'll say is that trasgo has both a Spanish and Portuguese definition that to my research are extremely similar if not the same, but I'm still not 100% certain and it's missing a lot of info concerning all definitions and synonyms and the like, as well as formatting. Can someone help please? I never really fleshed out an article here before but I tried a fair amount.--Sigehelmus (talk) 23:46, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

Should foreign PPs be treated as PPs in English?[edit]

Stuff like à trois or in extremis. Prepositional phrase, or not? Equinox 00:05, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

It's complicated. I think there may be some cases such as in extremis where the foreign words are close enough to English ones that English speakers may see the parts as words that mean something. They may not know the exact meanings, nor would they know what case extremis is in, nor how that would affect the meaning of in, but they probably can guess that in is a preposition and extremis is a noun. In other cases, they wouldn't know the difference between the parts of voilà and à la- just how they're used as a whole in context. I think that alternate/nonstandard forms such as wallah for voilà and pronunciations such as /ˈboʊnəˌfaɪd/ for bona fide may show that the whole has lost all connection to the parts, but it's not always that easy to figure out. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:47, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
What else could they be?
  • Adjectives (as currently in à trois)? Doesn't seem to be a good choice.
  • Prepositional phrases (as currently in in extremis)? Might be somewhat incorrect, misleading or unprecise as the preposition isn't English.
  • Just phrases? Seems to be the better choice (IMHO). Maybe the etymology section could somehow state that it is a (non-idiomatic) prepositional phrase in the source language. 16:47, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

general education[edit]

The current def ("Education in a number of important subjects, taught in schools") seems somewhat SoP and is also possibly wrong. Other sources say that general education is non-academic, character-forming stuff like culture and citizenship. (When I was at school, this is probably what they called PSE: personal/social education.) Equinox 11:49, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Divisions to clean up[edit]

Anyone who's bored or feels like some botting might like to clean up these Divisions [6]. The capitalisation within the link needs fixing, i.e. division, not (German noun) Division. I was going to recommend the same for Districts [7], but we seem to have an English generic District (of questionable value: see Talk:New). Equinox 12:18, 22 July 2017 (UTC)


There are currently two subsenses, for "the Eurozone" and "the European Union", but the usexes for each contain context that makes clear what block of countries is meant by "[the] bloc", and one can speak similarly of many (all?) other blocs, e.g. "The Secretary General of NATO announced the bloc's position", "ASEAN states agree bloc should take hard line". So should the subsenses be folded into the general sense i.e. removed? - -sche (discuss) 16:06, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

I think so. Bloc is either explicitly qualified (eg, Eastern bloc) or contextually determined. DCDuring (talk) 18:17, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Βλάχος in Greek[edit]

Just wanted to note that the first entry on this page for Ancient Greek should technically be Byzantine Greek (by the time interaction with Slavs and the Old Church Slavonic language happened, it was well past the ancient/classical Greek era. Or I guess it would have been a transition between Koine and Medieval Greek). I'd change it myself but I don't know how that would affect the rest of the entry, with the inflection template still modeled on the ancient/classical forms; I'd imagine there'd be some inconsistencies. Word dewd544 (talk) 18:30, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

I tagged it as Byzantine Greek and removed the dual (which AFAIK was no longer in use by Koine, let alone Byzantine). Are there any other differences in the inflection? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:10, 22 July 2017 (UTC)


The Japanese section gives a definition plus readings, but then the usage note says "This character is not used in Japanese", which is a bit bizarre. Category:Japanese terms spelled with 你 includes only one entry: 你好, which is said to be "rare" and "usually in the Chinese context", so I'm not sure whether it is fully considered a Japanese word. Anyway, the current presentation is peculiar, but I'm not sure how it should be fixed. Mihia (talk) 21:02, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

The usage note was in need of some expansion, which I've since added. I also updated the Japanese 你好 entry to clarify. An argument could be made that this is not a Japanese term, but rather a Chinese term that is sometimes used by Japanese speakers to sound deliberately Chinese-ish, much like English speakers might say guten Tag to fellow English speakers to deliberately impart a certain German-ness to the conversation.
There are various kanji characters that are included in Japanese character dictionaries for sake of completeness, even though the characters themselves are never -- or hardly ever -- used in modern Japanese, and might only appear either in historical works, or in renderings of non-Japanese text. The in 你好 is one such instance. Japanese readers may encounter this character often enough, given its use in the ubiquitous Chinese greeting 你好. In fact, 你好 is included in both the Daijirin and Daijisen monolingual Japanese dictionaries (such as here at dictionary aggregator Kotobank) -- and these entries basically state that this is Chinese for こんにちは (konnichi wa, hello, good day).
On a separate note, one important distinction to make is "character" and "word". is certainly a character, but it is not a word in Japanese. Likewise, is a character, but not a word on its own.
Have a look at the Japanese entry and see if that answers your concerns. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:43, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for looking at this. Mihia (talk) 20:03, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

zincirleme ad tamlaması[edit]

Anyone competent to change the "penis size" fun to something less ridiculous? Equinox 01:08, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

get one up on someone[edit]

I have just made get one up on someone. My first impression was "surely this phrase already would have an entry in WT", followed by "I must've made a calamitous spelling mistake or something". Looking at one up and one-up and onupmanship, still I was shocked not to see any note of this entry. Anyway, I put some spoilers for last week's Game of Thrones in a few entries. And hopefully I can annoy some people by tricking them into reading entries featuring spoilers for the next episodes of GOT. I assume that at least half of us watch the show. -WF

I am not sure whether the lemma should be "get one up on someone" in full. We can use "get one up" without the "on someone" part, and also "be one up (on someone)" without the "get" part. I wonder if the relevant meaning should be added to one up instead. Mihia (talk) 19:36, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm not actually sure that I've heard "get one up" without the "on X". Is it common? Equinox 22:12, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
It seems somewhat familiar to me, though I doubt it would qualify as "common". A search like this throws up some, but you have to page through a lot of irrelevant stuff. Some examples:
  • WePay wants to get one-up in the mobile payments race with its new iOS app for small businesses [8]
  • He tends to view dealing with others through a kind of "win-lose" lens, seeking to get "one up" whenever possible. [9]
  • “It’s exciting, you’d love to get one up and say you coached against one of the greats of all time,” he said. [10]
Also, some people seem to say "get one up over someone" rather than "on". I wonder whether this might be just confusion with "get one over" though. Mihia (talk) 19:37, 24 July 2017 (UTC)


I find the etymology to be inadequate. How exactly did the verbal suffix emerge in Old English? Was it a dialectal variant of -aþ? — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 07:07, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

It was not a dialectal variant of . It is actually the same verbal ending as the second person singular indicative (i.e. -s, -st), as in thou singst, which was originally lacking the final t. It was due to levelling of the verb inflections due to Scandinavian settlers taking up English (rather, Old English), with the pattern of levelling being carried over from Old Norse. Leasnam (talk) 18:17, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

rather used at the end of a clause[edit]

An example. Does this fit with any existing sense? How should it be defined? DTLHS (talk) 01:04, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

I think it fits with sense 5, although that definition might need to be expanded slightly to fit that usage perfectly. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:12, 25 July 2017 (UTC)


Is the nominative singular really with short -es? I thought such nouns normally had identical singular and plural forms. Also, the genitive seems wrong, and the second reference doesn't actually contain "martes". —CodeCat 12:30, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Fixed the genitive and removed the second reference. Lewis & Short doesn't mark the -es as long, but then it doesn't for nūbēs either, so it could be wrong. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:06, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Checked the OLD, but the word isn't even listed there! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:38, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Is this word Mediaeval Latin ? Maybe a label is needed. Leasnam (talk) 19:44, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Used in De re metallica (1556). DTLHS (talk) 19:48, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Is this the earliest record of it ? Leasnam (talk) 00:24, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Lewis & Short have it because of a possible use in Martial, but they mark it "dubious" and list some alternative readings. Its absence in the OLD suggests to me that modern scholars have probably accepted one of the alternative readings as the accurate one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 05:51, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Wow. Did the Romans really not have a word for martens? —CodeCat 11:55, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

business before pleasure, head over heels, time after time[edit]

Is there a classification by which to categorize idioms phrased as a "thing preposition thing" like business before pleasure, head over heels, and time after time? I am thinking of something like Category:English coordinated pairs, containing phrases like bait and switch, law and order, and wheel and deal. bd2412 T 20:35, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Why is Category:English coordinated pairs not appropriate for these? Equinox 20:37, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, I don't know that it is inappropriate, but virtually all of the terms presently in that category are "foo and bar", not "foo preposition bar". The former suggests things that merely go together, while the latter suggests a specific relationship between the things. bd2412 T 21:20, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Prepositions aren't coordinators like and, or, and/or (and ,?).
The examples aren't quite the same. The first is an elliptical form of a proverbial-type expression, like age before beauty.
The latter two seem to be adverbial, following a common pattern like the phrases using other prepositions: cheek by jowl/cheek to jowl, head-to-head, north by northwest, hat in hand, side by side. All of them seem like ellipses of absolutes, eg, heading north by northwest, walking side by side. Category:English elliptical absolutes doesn't seem to me to be a category that would be recognized, let alone used, by anyone, but it's the closest I can think of. DCDuring (talk) 02:55, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
My interest is in putting all the things that share a common grammatical feature together, however it is titled. bd2412 T 22:16, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
You could always do it with a user page. DCDuring (talk) 22:45, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, but the point is to organize things that may be of lexical interest to the general reader. bd2412 T 13:12, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
How is a "general reader" supposed to access the category when there is no obvious name? I have no evidence that anyone cares about this. Would it help us with entry maintenance in some way? DCDuring (talk) 16:44, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Is Category:English coordinated pairs an "obvious" name to the general reader? If there is utility to categorizing that body of phrases, why would there not be equal utility to categorizing a similarly related body of phrases? bd2412 T 19:48, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

بيت لحم[edit]

Hi, could sb. please add the declension of بيت لحم, a compound term. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:06, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums I'm not sure why the 2nd part looks indefinite as in a phrase "the book of a man" كِتَابُ رَجُلٍ (kitābu rajulin). In the definite, the fully vocalised form with ʾiʿrāb should then be بَيْتُ اللَّحْمِ (baytu l-laḥmi). But this must be a borrowing, the full term is then declinable as بَيْتَ لَحْمُ (bayta laḥmu) where "bayta" is indeclinable but "laḥmu" is declined as a diptote. I left it in the indefinite state for now - it's too late here. @Wikitiki89, Benwing2, Erutuon, Kolmiel, feel free fix as appropriate, if you know how. I'll get back to it, if nobody does. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:00, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: The Wikipedia article (as well as the Online Etymology Dictionary) indicate the word comes from the name of a god, Lahamu or Lahmu. Given that this name is spelled with in the article, I guess the Arabic is folk-etymologized: it should be something like *بيت لخم, with the other consonant that corresponds to Hebrew ח. (Maybe the Hebrew was affected the same way, but the consonant isn't evidence, as historical *ḥ and *ḫ merged in Hebrew anyway.) So, there's no definite article because it was a name. Not sure how to add this information to the etymology. — Eru·tuon 02:58, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Well if Arabic got it from Hebrew via Aramaic, then that explains the consonant in Arabic. An an interesting point though, is that the Septuagint has Βηθλεεμ (Bēthleem) [11], Βαιθλεεμ (Baithleem) [12], and Βαιθλαεμ (Baithlaem) [13] (and Βαιθμαν (Baithman) [14]), when it often distinguishes the earlier *ḫ, which still quasi-existed in Hebrew at the time, with χ (kh). --WikiTiki89 16:19, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Ahh, so that's evidence it had the reflex of *ḥ rather than *ḫ, at least at the time of the Septuagint. Maybe then the second element of the word had already been reanalyzed or folk-etymologized or censored by the Hebrews (the name of a god → a word for food), transforming *ḫ to *ḥ, before it got to Arabic. (My statement about the phonemes merging wasn't accurate for earlier periods of Hebrew.) But I'm speculating. — Eru·tuon 20:40, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
It's not conclusive evidence, because there are other names where you would expect *ḫ, but the Septuagint does not have χ (kh). Then there is also the separate matter of whether the vowels in לֶחֶם/לָחֶם (léḥem/lā́ḥem), as opposed to the would-be expected לַחַם/לָחַם (láḥam/lā́ḥam), say anything about the nature of the consonant in previous stages of Hebrew. In other words, one might speculate based on the vowels that the ח () in לֶחֶם (léḥem, bread) was not originally a pharyngeal and so it must have been *ḫ, but on the other hand we know that the Arabic cognate has rather than . So who knows. --WikiTiki89 20:56, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

Oddly enough, In ‘Arabic: An Essential Grammar by Faruk Abu-Chacra’ pag. 153 both terms appear with فتحة, unlike the terms before/after it (Por Said, New York, etc.). --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:06, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

The final "-a" must be a typo in that book. I "vote: for this declension, since I don't have a source ready (diptote, the first part "bayta" indeclinable):
The audio in the entry matches this in the pausal form, Hans Wehr also suggests a romanisation "baytalaḥm" for the alternative term written without a space - بيتلحم. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:13, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
So what's the verdict? Is it بَيْتَ لَحْمُ (bayta laḥmu) or بَيْتَ لَحْمَ (bayta laḥma) in the nominative? --WikiTiki89 14:27, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
I now lean towards بَيْتَ لَحْمُ (bayta laḥmu) but I'll wait and see if there are other opinions or sources. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:29, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
If it wasn't clear, I have already voted for this declension above with a table. I think Backinstadium's book has a typo. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:31, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, when I asked that I had misread your table above as having a nominative بَيْتَ لَحْمَ (bayta laḥma), which confused me. --WikiTiki89 14:38, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
It would appear to be either a diptote bayta laḥmu or an invariable bayta laḥma. The information in the grammar is inconsistent, but there's no way to decide whether they mistakenly put the final -a, or whether they mistakenly called it diptote. I'd not put a declension table at all until we find additional information that confirms the one or the other. Kolmiel (talk) 14:32, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
I think we can keep the diptote declension for now until we find evidence against it, as it makes more sense and goes along with the fact that it can be spelled as one word بيتلحم. --WikiTiki89 14:38, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Yeah... I think many an Arabic philologist would be hard-pressed to decline this word, and it might not just be because they don't know but because no one really knows. But if we must decide, then I agree that bayta laḥmu is more likely. Kolmiel (talk) 14:41, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

I've also found بيت لحمٍ --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:51, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

Yes, that's what I had suspected. The readings bayta laḥmu, baytu laḥmin, baytu laḥma, etc., probably all occur. Maybe the first is the most accepted. The source for it seems more reliable.... provided that we've interpreted it correctly. Kolmiel (talk) 15:48, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
I've made some small changes. Feel free to improve. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:03, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

to mount[edit]

Am I just stupid or does this definition for "to mount" actually make sense: "to deploy (cannon) for use in or around it"? --Hekaheka (talk) 08:33, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

If I am reading it correctly, it says to me: to set up a cannon for use, either "in it" or "(round) about it". I think we could just change it to "deploy a cannon for use" and be okay. Leasnam (talk) 11:53, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
I thought that would be the case. --Hekaheka (talk) 12:02, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm always interested in the source of erroneous or questionable definitions. I think this came from a usage example in Webster 1913: A fort or ship is said to mount cannon, when it has them arranged for use in or about it. DCDuring (talk) 12:56, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Ahh...Leasnam (talk) 13:14, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

IPA æ[edit]

This is a Pronunciation question I've been churning for quite a while now. In looking at the English pronunciation of haystack, we show the IPA pronunciation as /ˈheɪˌstæk/. My question revolves around the use of æ for the English sound...It's shown as a "short" vowel, but in actuality, for many speakers (US especially) it's pronounced "long" as /ˈheɪˌstæːk/. In American English, I can't think of a single word that uses a true short vowel /æ/. Has anyone else ever noticed this before ? Leasnam (talk) 13:12, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

Well, it's short compared to the vowel in stag, due to regular vowel lengthening before "voiced" stops. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:31, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
stag almost sounds like a diphthong to me: /ˈstæːɘɡ/ or /ˈstæːɪ̯ɡ/ Leasnam (talk) 16:01, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
In fact, length is not longer an issue in English phonemes. --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:11, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums, but we should represent the pronunciation correctly. If we say "/'stæːk/" we should show /'stæːk/, right ? /ˈstæk/ to me approximates more like how some Germans might pronounce Stäck (--just the vowel). I'm concerned, because I add a lot of pronunciations for Old Enlgish, and Old English bæþ (/ˈbæθ/) doesn't sound at all like Modern English bath. Modern bath would come closer to OE bǣþ (/ˈbæːθ/ or /ˈbæːɘθ/) Leasnam (talk) 16:09, 27 July 2017 (UTC) Leasnam (talk) 16:01, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
@Leasnam: What accent of English do you speak with? For me Modern English bath and Old English bæþ sound basically identical. As for stack, it's true that open vowels tend to be longer than close vowels, so stack has a longer vowel than stick, but as Chuck Entz points out, it has a shorter (and more monophthongal) vowel than stag. But at the phonemic level, there's no reason to consider the vowel of stack long, because there's no short vowel it contrasts with, nor is there any reason to consider the vowel of stag phonemically a diphthong, because there's no monophthong it contrasts with. At the phonemic level, they're both just /æ/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:23, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't think Old English bæþ was pronounced like Modern English bath. I think it sounded more like what we would hear as [beθ] in Gernal American, but with the vowel very short. Maybe something like a Northern England bath, from Lancashire or Merseyside. Leasnam (talk) 18:31, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Of course we have no way of knowing the precise phonetics of the Old English, but whether or not modern English bath sounds like it depends a lot on what variety of English you speak. Someone from Northern England says [baθ], London says [bɑːθ] (or [bɑːf]), someone from Sydney [bɐːθ], someone from Boston (with the now recessive traditional Boston accent) says [baːθ], someone from New York says [beə̯θ], someone from Alabama says [bæɪ̯ə̯θ], and I say [bæθ]. Which one of these does the Old English (presumably) not sound like? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:42, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
If your [bæθ] is anything like the clip at bath for US pronunciation, then that how I pronounce it. Incidentally, that is not how I imagine (give or take) how the Old English sounded. I imagine that an OE speaker hearing the US pronunciation would write that as bǣþ [bæːθ]. Their bæþ would sound much shorter. Leasnam (talk) 18:51, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
The audio clip at bath is more diphthongal than my pronunciation; more like an Old English *beaþ. Since vowel length was phonemic in Old English, I suspect their short vowels were shorter but also that their long vowels were longer, so an OE speaker might feel like our /æ/ (at least before a voiceless consonant) is somewhere between his /æ/ and his /æː/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:22, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
@Angr Where (if you don't mind me asking :) is your accent/dialect located ? Leasnam (talk) 21:28, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
My accent is a very regionally neutral General American. My parents both grew up in Los Angeles, so I have definite West Coast influences (cot-caught merger, for example, though not consistently: Don and dawn are homophones for me, but stocking and stalking are different). From the ages of 2 to 9 (L1 acquisition window) I lived in Rochester, NY, but I don't think I have any significant Inland North/Northern Cities Vowel Shift influences, at least none that I'm aware of. From the age of 9 to adulthood I lived in Austin, TX, but I don't have a canonical Texas accent (as Austin is a cosmopolitan university town, probably more than half of my peer group were from someplace else, so there was no particular pressure to develop a Texas accent); the Texas influence on my speech is more lexical than phonological. And for the past 20 years I've lived in Germany, where most of my English-speaking friends have been British, so that has also had a "leveling" influence on my speech, as I don't want to say anything that my German friends won't understand or that my British friends will snicker at. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:28, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
The issue of actual phonetic vowel length in English is very complicated, and varies very widely by region. Let's stick with phonemic length. --WikiTiki89 16:58, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Also, the fact that English is a stress-timed language makes vowel length an even trickier issue. --WikiTiki89 21:38, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You're not distinguishing between phonology (phonemes) and phonetics (phones). The transcriptions between slashes // are phonemic, while transcriptions between square brackets [] are phonetic. I think you're talking about phonetics, unless you've done some phonological analysis. So you should be writing [ˈstæːk], not /ˈstæːk/.
The question is, does the long [æː] correspond to a phoneme /æː/ or not? Stack might be phonetically [ˈstæːk] but phonemically /ˈstæk/, as the the length of the vowel might not be phonemic. Does the long [æː] contrast with a short [æ] in a way that is not predictable from the phonological environment? (For instance, is there a word with a long vowel, [ˈstæːk], that has a different meaning from a word with a short vowel, [ˈstæk]?) Then it's phonemic. That's the most obvious way to establish the long vowel as a phoneme. (It can be used to establish the Finnish ää vs. ä contrast as phonemic.)
I'm not aware of there being such a contrast in American English, but there are quite a few subtle differences between American dialects, and maybe there's one that makes the contrast. (You say that there's not a word in which the vowel is short; that suggests there isn't a contrast.) Maybe there are other ways to determine that a vowel is phonemically long, but that's the easiest one.
German has a vowel length contrast, we don't. So if Germans use their phonology when reading the transcription /ˈstæk/, and interpret the vowel as phonetically short, they're misunderstanding how American English phonology works. Sometimes vowels transcribed as short in phonemic transcriptions are pronounced long, or are diphthongized. — Eru·tuon 17:07, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
@Erutuon So when I use æ in Old English, it represents a different sound than when I use æ for Modern English ? Leasnam (talk) 17:16, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
@Leasnam: Yes, if you mean Old English phoneme /æ/ and American English phoneme /æ/. Because Old English /æ/ contrasts in the feature of length with the long vowel /æː/ (and contrasts in other features with the diphthongs /æɑ æɑː/, and with the other Old English phonemes), it's a different entity from American English /æ/, which is not involved in the same contrasts in the American English phonological system. A phoneme is defined by what it contrasts with and by the features that the language's phonology uses to distinguish the phoneme from others. So phonemes in different languages that are represented with the same symbol are not necessarily the same entities. (Perhaps they never are, since no phonological system is completely identical.) — Eru·tuon 17:35, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Excellent. Thanks!
Since it's been mentioned several times in this discussion: Standard German has phonemic [corrected] vowel length only for /a/ and /ɛ/. Nevertheless we use /ː/ for all long vowels. And I think that makes sense, too. Because otherwise one might think that /i/ is as short as /ɛ/ when it's actually as long as /ɛː/. — And then the question is why we use /ː/ for English transcriptions at all? (We don't in GA, but we do in RP.) Kolmiel (talk) 04:57, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I think German vowel length is phonemic for vowels other than /a/ and /ɛ/, even though there aren't other short–long pairs with the same place of articulation (/ɔ oː/ for instance, differ in quality). The criterion above, that there be a minimal pair distinguished only by vowel length (not quality), is not the only way to establish vowel length as phonemic. But I'm not sure what criteria are used for the German vowels that don't form exact short–long pairs, aside from the fact that the (stressed) long vowels are pretty noticeably long, as you say.
RP and Australian have phonemic vowel length, General American apparently doesn't. Australian has the pairs /ɪ ɪː, e eː, ɐ ɐː/ (hit here, dress square, strut palm) and maybe /ʊ oː, æ æː/ (foot thought, trap glad). A surprising number of closely corresponding short and long vowels.
RP's more complicated; nowadays it has long vowels that were formerly (and are still usually transcribed as) centering diphthongs, as well as diphthongs that were formerly (and are still usually transcribed as) long vowels. But, as in Australian, kit and near, dress and square are basically short–long pairs. Wikipedia transcribes them as /kɪt hɪər drɛs skwɛər/, but (ignoring the rhoticity) using a strong diphthong sounds pretty old-fashioned; it should be /hɪt hɪː drɛs skwɛː/, as given by Geoff Lindsey.
So, both RP and Australian have clear short–long pairs; General American doesn't. — Eru·tuon 06:18, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
If you define phonemic vowel length in such a way that length can be phonemic even without there being a short vowel of the same quality, then that's a different definition. Maybe GA could be said to have phonemic vowel length as well by that definition, whatever it may be.
I've seen the interpretation by Geoff Lindsey before, and I agree that it's much more realistic. (Except for /ʌ/ maybe, which I don't hear as [ə], but still as [ɐ].) But the point is that the traditional transcription of RP requires length marks just as little as GA, so why use it in one and not in the other? Kolmiel (talk) 07:30, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
For one thing, using length marks in RP facilities cross-dialect comparison. The vowel in RP heart /hɑːt/ is significantly longer than the vowel in GenAm hot /hɑt/, so if we're listing both varieties it would misleading to imply they're homophones. (The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary does exactly this, but by marking them both long: it claims that both RP heart and GenAm hot are /hɑːt/, much to my annoyance. I think there are other British dictionaries that want to show American pronunciation that do the same thing.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:03, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
That's a terrible reason. The the word Bob is pronounced significantly longer in GenAm than in RP, so then why don't we put a length mark in GenAm? --WikiTiki89 15:24, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I've often seen /i/, /u/ used instead of /iː/, /uː/ for GA. Take the entry use. Etymology 1, the noun, has /juːs/ for both accents, while etymology 2, the verb, has /juːz/ for RP and /juz/ for GA. If I'm not totally wrong, all of these are the same phoneme everywhere. So this facilitates nothing, but only makes a mess. Kolmiel (talk) 14:57, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
For fleece, goose, and thought I usually use /iː/, /uː/, and /ɔː/ for a bidialectal pronunciation when nothing else is different (so I would not have separate RP and GA lines for the verb use), but if there are other differences in a word with one of those two vowels (e.g. beater, where you need separate lines because of the -er), I use /iː/, /uː/, /ɔː/ in RP and /i/, /u/, /ɔ/ in GA. Maybe that isn't entirely logical, but it makes things easier to read. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:07, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: Regarding your earlier comment: length marks cannot be removed just because the phonemic symbols would still be distinct without them. That's a mechanical question of which symbols to use; the actual question is whether the phonological system as understood by its speakers includes vowel length. Anyway, older RP had a couple of short–long pairs that were almost at the same place of articulation: /ɪ iː, e eɪ, ʊ uː, ɒ ɑː/ (modern /ɪ ɪi, ɛ ɛi, ɵ ɵu, ɔ ɑː/). So even using the criterion I mentioned above, it wouldn't make that much sense removing vowel length. Perhaps there are other criteria.
There are other considerations: some of the phonemes derived partially from former diphthongs. Diphthongs generally become long vowels. For instance, /ɔː ɑː/ from former /ɔə ɑə/ in force, start. That was a fairly recent change, as I think the diphthongal pronunciation was used at the beginning of the 20th century. It would be odd for vowel length to suddenly vanish after this monophthongization. And of course, Middle English had vowel length, but that doesn't really have bearing on RP specifically. — Eru·tuon 16:40, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't necessarily want to remove length marks. That's not the point. I simply don't understand — that's what I've been trying to say all along: Why do we use length marks in RP, but not in GA, when there is absolutely no difference between the two regarding this matter. (Length marks could be removed in both. Keeping them does make a lot of sense in both.) Kolmiel (talk) 18:26, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
PS: You said: "Length marks cannot be removed just because the phonemic symbols would still be distinct without them." But yes, that's exactly what we do with GA. (Isn't it?) Kolmiel (talk) 18:29, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
And I've forgotten exactly how the test was formulated, but supposedly, the reason for not using length marks for GA is that the erstwhile long vowels aren't consistently much longer or aren't consistently much longer than the erstwhile short ones, when they are recorded and their length measured. Vowel length is determined more by pre-fortis clipping. I can't remember where I read this, perhaps in a quote from Wells. Anyway, I think GA more than either old or new RP has distinct vowel qualities that do not overlap. — Eru·tuon 18:50, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
@Erutuon: I addressed that point below. --WikiTiki89 19:53, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Let's take the examples of bit, bid, beat, bead, bitter, bidder, beater, beader in my idiolect. Here's the breakdown of the vowel lengths of the /ɪ/ and /i(ː)/ vowels in my realization of these words (or as far as I can tell, so don't take this as scientific research):
  • Ultra-short: bit
  • Short: bid, beat, bitter, bidder, beater*
  • Mid-length: beater*, beader
  • Long: bead
* beater can be either short or mid-length
As you can see, the environment alone (in these examples, the two environmental factors are the voicing of the following consonant and the presence or absence of a second syllable) cannot determine the length of the vowel. Therefore, the length distribution among these environment factors must be an inherent property of each vowel. Now this length distribution property may actually be more complicated than simply "long" and "short", because I'm not sure that all other vowels will exactly match the pattern of either /ɪ/ or /i(ː)/ (although perhaps they will, it's hard to tell without going through each one). And furthermore, not all the vowels will match according to their "traditional" length; i.e. /æ/ and /ɒ/ might match up more with /i(ː)/ than with /ɪ/. But still I think that until all these things and their dialectal distributions even within the US are well-understood, we're better off keeping the traditional length distinctions for American English. --WikiTiki89 15:55, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
You might find ShipOrSheep useful. -- ALGRIF talk 07:48, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

to channel[edit]

I'm British and I read today in Politico that Scaramucci "channelled Priebus as he spoke".[15] (In the last few months US politics has become my favourite on-line entertainment). I could think of various plausible meanings for "channelled" and one was confirmed by Wiktionary: "assume personality of other person". I'm pretty elderly but have never come across this usage and neither have two British teenagers I asked. I did not dare put {{lb|en|North America|informal}} because I do not know its regional usage and Wiktionary is too highfalutin (Wikt is wrong to say this is limited to the US but in Britain it can merely mean "stylish") for me to feel comfortable. Can anyone help? Is there a known origin for this? To me it seems a curious, and possibly recent, usage. Thincat (talk) 17:05, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

I think it comes from the idea from Eastern philosophy of "channeling energy", i.e. opening a channel within yourself to let some sort of external energy pass through you so you can make use of it. This later was extended to things other than spiritual energy, such as wisdom and personality. --WikiTiki89 17:08, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I think our entry lacks definitions or even usage examples that show the transition in meaning. I could recommend looking in the OED until we improve our entry. DCDuring (talk) 19:50, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Referring to channel at OneLook Dictionary Search I find that MWOnline refers to channeler, which it defines as "a person who conveys thoughts or energy from a source believed to be outside the person's body or conscious mind; specifically: one who speaks for nonphysical beings or spirits", indicating first known use in 1987. DCDuring (talk) 19:54, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Our definitions at channel#Verb, channeler, and channeling don't provide sufficient semantic content or even reference to external content to be very helpful to someone seeking to find what these words mean. DCDuring (talk) 19:57, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I agree that the sense "assume the personality of another person" derives from a sense that we're missing, the New Age sense of channeling spirits. I can't find any earlier usage on Google Books than 1987 either. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:46, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
The OED's earliest quote for the New Age sense is from 1977. — Eru·tuon 20:52, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
There is an earlier intermediate/transitional sense as shown in this indirect citation of a 1959 scholarly article:
  • 1986, Ronald L. Baker, Jokelore: Humorous Folktales from Indiana, page xvii:
    In 1959 Dorson viewed folklore as "the oral traditions channeled across the centuries through human mouths.
In a popular book of 1983 the spiritualist sense appears, though not with an individual person or spirit or....
There was an earlier (1972) work co-authored by Jane Roberts (1949-1989) and Seth (spirit) that may have used channel in the spiritualist sense. See Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Seth Material on Wikipedia.Wikipedia . That work spawned an enormous literature. For a larger context see Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Mediumship#Channeling on Wikipedia.Wikipedia .
The 1987 date must be with a given person/spirit as object of the verb. Usage now is well outside the spiritualist context, at least in the US. DCDuring (talk) 22:51, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Thank you for all those replies. I expect it is commonplace to the regulars here but for me it is fascinating how a word can be used metaphorically and the new meaning can become established, and on and on. So what was at one time a reed (κάννα#Ancient_Greek beside a channel) can now be an impersonation. Meanwhile, although my original source has been channelled to another place, I'll stick with US "fake news" since British politics are so dismal. Thincat (talk) 13:51, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
    I don't think impersonate is quite right. I have revised the channel#Verb. HTH. DCDuring (talk) 04:26, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

objectivity#Noun, sense 3: unclear definition[edit]

I do not even understand the sentence grammatically. Here it is:

3. That which one understands, often, as intellectually, of all and everything, of what is sensed as felt, thereof

--Anareth (talk) 17:28, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

The grammar works if you take "as" to mean "for example" (common in Webster 1913's definitions; rather pedantic in modern English). But yes it's an unhelpful mess. Equinox 17:33, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

my favorite part was the end[edit]

A sarcastic phrase that means someone didn't like a video or book. Does this merit an entry? Does it have a lot of variants? I would say it isn't SOP, but others may disagree? PseudoSkull (talk) 18:59, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

Reminds me of the common YouTube quip of saying that one's favourite part was from 00:01 to 25:34 (or whatever the entire length of the video is). Equinox 19:06, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Seems pretty transparent to me. Sarcasm usually doesn't make something idiomatic, since almost any utterance can be sarcastic. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:53, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
I agree. This is not dictionary material in my view. Mihia (talk) 02:07, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

Etymology of 尉犁 (Yùlí)[edit]

This is the name of a state in the Western Regions during the period 2nd c. BCE – 2nd c. CE, and is now the name of a county in Xinjiang, where the previous state was.

This word was discussed in the article On the Place Name Yuli and Rouran (《尉犁地名和柔然源流考》) by Li Shuhui (李树辉).

The name Yuli is said to come from Turkic (J)yrægir (“one who is stationed; one who stays”), the name of a Turkic clan, and derived from yræ- (verb form yryk, “to be stationed in”) + -gir (adjectival suffix). Both (J)yrægir and yryk are said to have been recorded in the ancient dictionary Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk (“Compendium of the languages of the Turks”), however I could not seem to find these words in the Chinese and Arabic versions of the book, and I could not find an index for the book to help me locate these words.

I'm wondering if anyone familiar with Turkic/Arabic/Arabic script is able to help out with finding the original Arabic-script form of this name, or the description of the Turkic clan in the book or elsewhere, or related words in Turkic languages. Pinging @Anylai, Crom daba, ZxxZxxZ, Vahagn Petrosyan.

Thanks in advance, Wyang (talk) 00:24, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

Looking at Clauson, a better translation of yra- seems to be "to be distant", and yryk is "distant, far" as in Turkish ırak. The original Arabic is يِراقْ (yıraq) (Kashgari even gives a verse using the word, we can use it as usage example). Unfortunately I wasn't able to find the name of the tribe neither in Clauson nor in Atalay's index. Maybe there's a separate index nominum, but I can't find it. Crom daba (talk) 02:25, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
There is an Oghuz clan which sounds close. Kashgari introduces them as اُرَكِرْ (Üregir), يُرَكِرْ (Yüregir), the 15th clan of the Oghuz. But unsure how that was to be realised in Ancient Chinese records. --Anylai (talk) 18:15, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

noun + ed e.g. legged[edit]

Just a query really. Is there a linguistic name for this kind of word formation / transformation? Noun + "ed" as if the noun were a verb in past participle form making an adjective? For example legged leg (noun) +‎ -ed giving rise to long-legged, hairy-legged, etc as adjectives. Or haired giving rise to long-haired, raven-haired, etc. Or brimmed meaning having a brim. brim (noun) +‎ -ed giving rise to wide-brimmed, leather brimmed, etc. Any takers? What is the technical terminology for this word formation, please? -- ALGRIF talk 08:01, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

It's only like the past participle by coincidence. It's actually an entirely separate suffix going back to PIE, see Proto-Indo-European *-eh₂tos. —CodeCat 10:28, 30 July 2017 (UTC)


Wonderfool entry for "a cocky man". The word seems quite rare, and it's hard to tell what it means. Might be an insult from cock (penis), etc. Anyone familiar with the word? Equinox 12:14, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

gorge vs. ravine[edit]

These two are synonyms right? I wanted to merge the translation tables, but many of the languages seem to have completely different words given on these pages. How do we deal with this? Crom daba (talk) 15:52, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

  • Hmm. Is a ravine always formed by a river, but a gorge may be formed by other means? I forget. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:52, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Chambers rather entertainingly defines gorge as "a deep narrow valley" and ravine as "a deep, narrow gorge". Equinox 06:10, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
and how does it define canyon? SemperBlotto (talk) 06:15, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
AFAIK, canyons and gorges are distinguished from valleys and ravines by the rockiness of their walls, which therefore also tend to be steeper. Canyons and valley are generally wider than gorges and ravines. The US uses all of these in toponyms. The land features called canyons in the US are also in the southwest where Spanish toponyms are common. Ravines are also more western, but of French derivation. DCDuring (talk) 12:22, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
They are all formed by water, though they could be dry currently. Other terms for similar, more modest features are gully and gulch. DCDuring (talk) 12:26, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
"A deep gorge or ravine"! Ha. Equinox 14:39, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
Grand Canyon of the east
the gorge
A Google search for "canyon "New York"|"New England"" found some places that where asserted to be the "Grand Canyon of the East" or "little Grand Canyon" and a recently created underwater park: "Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument". The place most commonly so named is described as follows:
Letchworth State Park, renowned as the "Grand Canyon of the East," is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. The Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs--as high as 600 feet in some places--surrounded by lush forests."
In Colorado two features called Royal Gorge and Black Canyon of the Gunnison differ only modestly in their shapes, so treating these terms as synonyms seems justified. I think there is a modest tendency toward associating walls that are more nearly vertical from top to bottom, through harder rock, with gorge and walls carved though softer sedimentary rock, that are much less vertical at their base due to large volumes of fallen rock, with canyon. DCDuring (talk) 15:46, 1 August 2017 (UTC)


I have a book that uses this word with the sense of artificiality or vapidity. Does this fit into one of our current definitions?

  • 1989, H. T. Willetts (translator), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (author), August 1914, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ISBN 0-374-51999-4, page 163:
    This had given him the strength to leave cadet school at seventeen and volunteer for active service, reach the rank of second lieutenant no later than his hothouse-bred contemporaries, begin his military studies in the General Staff Academy itself, and, still only twenty-five, graduate not only with top marks but with promotion out of turn for special excellence in military science.
  • 1989, H. T. Willetts (translator), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (author), August 1914, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ISBN 0-374-51999-4, page 182:
    In 1906 and 1907 defeat was not yet total, society was still on the boil, spinning around the rim of the maelstrom. Lenin had sat in Kuokkala, waiting in vain for the second wave. But from 1908, when the reactionary rabble had tightened its grip on the whole of Russia, the underground had shriveled to nothing, the workers had swarmed like ants out of their holes and into legal bodies—trade unions and insurance associations—and the decline of the underground had sapped the vitality of the emigration too, reduced it to a hothouse existence. Back there was the Duma, a legal press—and every émigré was eager to publish there.

Germyb (talk) 18:02, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

Good catch. Definition 2 seems slightly off the mark. I'm not sure whether we need to reword it or have a definition closer to my understanding of the most common use of the term, which definitely refers to an artificial environment favorable to the growth of something that would not prosper as well or survive in a more natural environment. DCDuring (talk) 19:42, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
In the common attributive use it is somewhat comparable to test tube or laboratory, but applicable to something that has achieved some kind of maturity, DCDuring (talk) 19:45, 30 July 2017 (UTC)


Our "intransitive" definition seems to be reflexive, and it seems like maybe we could collapse the two definitions into one. Am I missing any subtle distinctions? Germyb (talk) 01:57, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

On a completely unrelated note, I have never in my life seen or heard of this word before. It sure is an odd-looking one. PseudoSkull (talk) 06:31, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Maybe your English teacher missed off on it... Leasnam (talk) 15:46, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I'd definitely change "intransitive" to "reflexive". I'm inclined to keep the regular transitive and reflexive senses separate, if only because the reflexive is so much more common. I have heard this word before, but it's rare and kind of old-fashioned; when I have heard it, it's almost always been reflexive. I've definitely heard of people bestirring themselves, but I don't know if I've ever heard of anyone bestirring someone else. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:39, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I see that Citations:bestir has a couple of examples of transitive use from Pilgrim's Progress, which I've never read. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:42, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Most other dictionaries don't bother with a reflexive label, but have reflexive use in the usage examples. I don't know of any that have intransitive senses, but I don't have home access to the OED. DCDuring (talk) 12:31, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: I think the two examples in Citations:bestir are actually reflexive: i.e., him and them are used in place of himself and themselves. — Eru·tuon 16:45, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I think you're right. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:53, 31 July 2017 (UTC)


The Latin section of the ita (so, yes, thus) page lists the etymology as having possibly derived from Proto-Indo-European *éy (the (just named, anaphoric)) and *só (this, that). Could this derivation possibly be precisely (zero-grade form of *éy) +‎ *th₂h₁ (zero-grade form of *téh₂(e)h₁, instrumental of *só)? —This unsigned comment was added by 2601:80:C202:9166:0:0:0:42A3 (talk) at 04:12, 1 August 2017 (UTC).

August 2017

Latin zephirum and cifra[edit]

A couple of questions:

  1. Can a straightforward borrowing be said to be “coined” (zephirum)?
  2. Why is it zephirum (consonant and vowel)?
  3. Is the pronunciation at cifra#Latin correct / temporally appropriate?

Wyang (talk) 11:57, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

  1. Not really. I have changed "coined" to "used".
  2. Due to analogy with zephyrus.
  3. No. I have added ecclesiastical IPA to the template, but I don't know if it's currently possible to prevent the classical IPA from appearing.
Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 13:35, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge Thanks! #2 sounds very interesting. Perhaps the etymology at zephirum could be expanded to explain such association. Wyang (talk) 13:39, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't think there's anything semantic going on, just the tendency of (postclassical) Latin to adapt words so that they look like they fit in with Latin's set of used syllables. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 13:43, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Your first two questions sort of answer each other: if it was a straightforward borrowing, why is it "zephirum" instead of cifra? As for the second question: I don't know the details of medieval Arabic pronunciation, but modern Standard Arabic ص () is unlike anything in the Latin consonant inventory, an s sound made emphatic through pharyngealization/tensing of the area around the back of the tongue (I'm a bit fuzzy on the exact physiological details). Again, I don't know the exact details of medieval Italian pronunciation of Latin, but I believe modern Italian pronunciation of Latin z is an affricate not all that different from Mandarin/Pinyin z or c. I would guess that z was the closest match in the phoneme inventory of a medieval Italian to the sound he would have heard from Arabic speakers of the time. I would also note that modern ص () is a very strong sound that influences neighboring vowels, so the first vowel of صفر is lower, further back and more schwa-like than the same sound in other environments. As for your last question, the answer is obviously "no", since the word didn't exist in classical Latin. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:41, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks both. I think the Classical pronunciation should be suppressed in this case. @kc kennylau Could you please help? Wyang (talk) 21:25, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang: Done. --kc_kennylau (talk) 03:07, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

IPA on Arabic أَزَلِيّ and صُوفِيّ[edit]

Are these pronounced identically to the hypothetical *أَزَلِي (ʾazalī) and *صُوفِي (ṣūfī), in Modern Standard Arabic and/or Classical Arabic? In other words, are مالِيّ (māliyy, financial) and مالِي (mālī, my property) entirely homophonic in MSA? Wyang (talk) 12:58, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

@Wyang. In the formal Arabic, especially in Quranic recitations, the shadda (gemination) is clearly pronounced but the less formal it gets, the less obvious the difference is. You will hear even from native Arabs that the pronunciation is identical but because it's not always the case and depends on the level of formality and the position in a sentence, we romanise nisba endings as "-iyy"" but informally as "-ī". MSA doesn't always follow classical pronuncations, so simplified endings and lack of ʾiʿrāb occurs all the time and not just in pausa.
Besides, -iyy ending is the pausal pronunciation, as you can see in the inflections of أَزَلِيّ (ʾazaliyy). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:39, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Anatoli. Does this imply that these pairs of words could be minimal pairs when pronounced in a formal manner? (in relation to the output of {{ar-IPA}} - dual pronunciations?) Wyang (talk) 21:25, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang Yes, Frank. عَرَبِيّ (ʿarabiyy) is an example of a nisba and حَبِيبِي (ḥabībī) is an example of an enclitic pronoun "my" - ـِي (). They both have pronunciation sections. The difference in pronunciation is /-ijː/ vs /-iː/, in transliteration: -iyy vs . The nisba ending -iyy is a formal version without any ʾiʿrāb (case) endings. You may find nisba handling a little bit confusing, since the headword transliteration is "ʿarabiyy" but the declension table has ʿarabiyy with ʾiʿrāb endings attached, e.g. "ʿarabiyyun" (masculine, nominative, indefinite) and "ʿarabī" marked as "informal" --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:08, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Anatoli. It seems transcribing the IPA of these entries as /-i(j)ː/ may be better; same with the output of {{ar-IPA}}. Wyang (talk) 07:14, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang I think showing the canonical pronunciation is better and besides, it's a phonemic transcription. There are too many nuances in Arabic, including shortening of long vowels and lack of good resources on pronunciation. (That's why dictionaries, including Wiktionary often skip the final sukūn - lack of vowel in the headwords). If a shadda is written, as in عَرَبِيّ (ʿarabiyy), then it has a value, otherwise, it's the colloquial form عَرَبِي (ʿarabī) - without the shadda. To show the colloquial pronunciation it would suffice to use the spellings without the shadda - {{ar-IPA|عَرَبِي}}. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:37, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev Ok, I have converted the two entries to use {{ar-IPA}}, which presently gives a /-ijː/ output. The specifics of the notation can be further discussed, and implemented automatically via the module. Wyang (talk) 10:25, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

English toxic[edit]

This has an additional meaning in English, e.g. google:"the+child+looks+toxic". Wyang (talk) 13:36, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

I've added it. Feel free to improve on the definition. Wyang (talk) 22:20, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

English youngling[edit]

As with yearling, is this really an adjective ? Leasnam (talk) 21:09, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

  • No. Its adjectival usage is just attributive use of the noun. Don't know what to do about the translations in this sort of instance. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:21, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

English physical examination[edit]

I think there should be two senses for this: one referring to an examination with the aim of diagnosis (i.e. when patients present to hospitals), and one referring to an examination to see whether one is in a good health state. The translations should be checked and split too - the names are often different for these two senses in other languages. Wyang (talk) 21:32, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Having different translations does not mean they need to be separate senses in English. List both translations. The question is whether they are separate senses in the mind of an English speaker. --WikiTiki89 21:37, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
The current definition (“the examination of the patient's body with the use of such methods as inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation”) is for the first sense. A “physical examination” in the second sense entails a distinct set of procedures from the first, typically including a medical history + a brief “physical exam” (in the first sense, i.e. inspection +/- palpation/percussion/auscultation/specific tests) + most importantly laboratory tests and scans. Wyang (talk) 22:14, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

English intussusception[edit]

I think the intestinal and vascular definitions of intussusception should be listed separately. Intussusceptive angiogenesis (pictures available on Google Images) has a different mechanism from the one described in definition #2 of the entry. Wyang (talk) 23:20, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Arabic إدْحِيّة, أُدْحُوّة, أُدْحِيّة[edit]

Masculine or feminine? (Entry says masculine.) Wyang (talk) 07:15, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

I am pretty sure they are feminine and there's no shadda, at least in the referenced أُدْحِيَة (ʾudḥiya) (HW). Can't verify the related terms. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:40, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! I think Lisan al-Arab (page 1338) was what the creator used. All five words are recorded with a shadda on yāʾ or wāw. Wyang (talk) 13:01, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
Hans Wehr proved to be much more reliable and it shows no shadda. However, if أُدْحِيّ (ʾudḥiyy) is originally an adjective, formed with a nisba, then أُدْحِيّة (ʾudḥiyya) would be its feminine form. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:08, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89, Erutuon, Stephen G. Brown, Kolmiel, Benwing2 Any thoughts? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:22, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
Pity, no reply. It's sometimes hard to establish what is correct in Arabic. The definition of "correct" is blurred, if there are no defined standards and very few resources on pronunciation. Lisan al-Arab shouldn't be discarded. What should we do? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:09, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't have any insights, but how about showing both vocalizations and adding a usage note explaining which is given by which reference? — Eru·tuon 07:23, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
@Erutuon, Wyang, I'm having trouble finding the shadda myself on the page provided but could find more examples in [16]. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:45, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev It's in the middle of page 1338 - I highlighted it here. Wyang (talk) 07:52, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. And here (Arabic-Persian) all or most of the forms are listed (marked مُرَادِف (murādif, synonym)) without the shadda. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:16, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

What is the origin of the tāʾ marbūṭa in Arabic خَلِيفَة?[edit]

Wyang (talk) 07:28, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

I don't know. tāʾ marbūṭa is a noun forming suffix (one of the senses is singularity) but since caliphs are usually men, then it's a masculine. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:10, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
I haven't studied the matter, but at university I was taught that it was a regular ت initially which became "corrupted" overtime (something that has happened with other letters, as you probably know, in Arabic calligraphy as in other related scripts, but curiously the final ת that marks, among other things, fem. gender in Hebrew has not changed) --- Now, the thing is that in Egyptian the phonetic equivalent of "t", and also marker of fem. gender, is used in a manner much like the tā marbūṭa and even resembles it, but I don't know if that's more than chance. In any event, is easy to see how a scribe with space-constraints made a ة out of a ت Gfarnab (talkcontribs)
Sorry, next time I will read your query UNTIL THE END before I attempt to answer it: re the in Khalifa I know at least than in the oldest Islamic mss. no diacritic marks existed, so ة and ه were one and the same and 'twas the scope of the reader to distinguish upon context which of the two corresponded. Thus, "his successor" and the modern word "Khaleefa" were indistinguishable. (Facts hitherto; now my theory is that) someone must have misinterpreted "his successor" for a noun without a suffixed pronoun and started the whole shebang, but I have no documental proof to this extent Gfarnab (talkcontribs)
That doesn't sound plausible, since the feminine ending and the masculine singular possessive pronoun are still pronounced differently. And most average people didn't read or write. --WikiTiki89 15:15, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
I think it was probably originally an abstract noun referring to the position itself and then later came to refer to the person in that position (or something of the sort). --WikiTiki89 15:13, 7 August 2017 (UTC)


"The man was charged with the abduction of the 6-year old girl with the intent to defile her." Does this really mean "to make her dirty"? What is the real meaning of "defile" in that sentence? PseudoSkull (talk) 02:26, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

I know it links to impure which gives the definition of "Not virgin" but I think the whole sex act thing should really be specified and explained better in that entry, perhaps with a separate definition? PseudoSkull (talk) 02:34, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps. I think it's more along the lines of soil, deflower ("to stain, tarnish, mar"), but yeah, a separate sense is probably justified Leasnam (talk) 14:26, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
I've added it. Leasnam (talk) 14:30, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

The other sense "make impure or dirty" is not particularly accurate either. It suggests that the word could be used to describe getting dirt on yourself or mixing dirt with water. But if I heard "he defiled the water", I'd assume that implied the water was somehow sacred, or that urination or defecation was involved (along with some facetiousness on the part of the speaker), not simply that someone mixed a little dirt into water. Defile usually implies something sacred losing its sacredness, and it's most often used (non-ironically) in religious contexts. — Eru·tuon 17:54, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

@User:Erutuon I replaced that definition with a new definition specifically about something considered sacred. I heard the word "defile" used on Forensic Files originally in the second sense, and I don't think they were referring to someone's virginity in a religious context, but rather an etho-legal context. I wonder if my new first definition really is optimized either, so someone may want to check it. PseudoSkull (talk) 19:07, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
The original definition was not inaccurate. Defile can still be used to mean "make unclean". I've added it back. Leasnam (talk) 12:25, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

Proto-Slavic *dorgъ[edit]

Did this also mean “dear (lovable; precious)”? (e.g. Romanian drag, dragoste) Wyang (talk) 02:53, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

Yes, of course. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:05, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

Sanskrit borrowings in Urdu.[edit]

I see a lot of Urdu words listed here which are supposed to be the equivalents of words in literary Hindi & which are borrowed from Sanskrit. If possible, someone could check whether these following Urdu words are attested (they are all literary Hindi words btw):

It should be noted that for most of these words the top result is Wiktionary itself. آرمبھ actually has no hits on Google Books, the rest may be rare or obsolete terms, and I think پریم is easily attestable as a name. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 10:01, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

Trafficking, trafficker, trafficked but NOT traffick[edit]

There is no such word as traffick. Never mind some entry in Wiktionary or its use by Al Jazeeera (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/07/escaping-clutches-sex-trafficking-thailand-170730071208339.html) I suggest checking with Oxford, Cambridge or Merriam-Webster. Please consider removing false and misleading material from the Wiktionary website

You should post your concerns to WT:RFV instead. That is the place for discussing the existence of terms. —CodeCat 17:42, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
I'm not finding any instances of traffick without -ing, -ed, or -er at the Al Jazeera cite linked anyway. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:49, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
Nor of traffic. --WikiTiki89 18:16, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
At b.g.c I'm only finding it as an archaic spelling (up to the 18th century) and in book titles, where it appears to be being used for artistic effect. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:53, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
It seems extremely common to me. I have no idea why authors are using "traffick" instead of traffic when referring to illegal goods. DTLHS (talk) 18:27, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
@DTLHS: Can you give some examples of where you've seen it? --WikiTiki89 18:31, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
In the entry. DTLHS (talk) 18:31, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
I suppose that it's a backformation from the verb form trafficking. DTLHS (talk) 18:43, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
I'm inclined to call it a {{misspelling of}} rather than an {{alternative spelling of}}. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:08, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
Note Equinox's comment on the talk page. Is he right? Never mind, it looks like someone added that info to the entry already... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:21, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

Requesting verification of kun reading: まさ-る, まさ-に for 多[edit]

The only online source I can find for these readings of is kanjidic and enamdic. It may be nanori because まさる appears as a reading for 多 in enamdic. 馬太阿房 (talk) 18:21, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

Arabic أَرْضِيّ شَوْكِيّ‏ (ʾarḍiyy šawkiyy‏)[edit]

How should this be declined? (Please also check this entry, thanks!) Wyang (talk) 02:27, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

I think it would just be declined as if it were a noun–adjective phrase. Also, fascinating word! First phono-semantic matching that I've heard of in Arabic. — Eru·tuon 02:33, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, @Erutuon! Wyang (talk) 02:35, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
On the other hand, the current construct-state الْأَرْضِي الشَّوْكِي‏ (al-ʾarḍī š-šawkī‏) and definite أَرْضِي ... الشَّوْكِي‏ (ʾarḍī ... aš-šawkī‏) both look odd... it would be good to have some confirmation. — Eru·tuon 03:45, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
The definite form appears to be الأرضي شوكي. I'm unsure how this could be generated in {{ar-decl-noun}}, though. Wyang (talk) 04:55, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
If that's the case, then the whole term should be inflected as a whole word. A recent case is بَيْتَ لَحْم‏. Then the declension should be simply like this:
H. Wehr only lists the word under أَرْضِ (ʾarḍi). I guess there is no shadda on أَرْضِي. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:08, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
@Erutuon, Wyang: Guys, it's invariable. There is no evidence of an alif after any of the components for the term. There are only a few hits with no space "أرضيشوكي" but they still make the case stronger. Furthermore, there are no shadda and the colloquial pronunciation is أَرْضِي شَوْكِي (ʾarḍī šōkī). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:31, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev Should the head/pronunciation be أَرْضِيّ شَوْكِيّ (ʾarḍiyy šawkiyy) or أَرْضِي شَوْكِي (ʾarḍī šawkī)? Steingass has the former, and the former is definitely the etymological spelling. I suspect the pronunciation in Wehr is an attempt to transcribe the dialectal pronunciation, not really MSA. The regional nature of the word may mean it is rarely inflected in MSA, but I feel it may be declinable. The form أَرْضِيٌّ شَوْكِيٌّ (ʾarḍiyyun šawkiyyun) is recorded in Almaany, and the definite forms الأرضي شوكي, الأرضي الشوكي are amply attested online (the first can also be heard in this video from the UAE). Perhaps the following is how an Arabic speaker would decline it in MSA:
Indefinite Colloquial أَرْضِي شَوْكِي (ʾarḍī šawkī)
Nominative أَرْضِيٌّ شَوْكِيٌّ (ʾarḍiyyun šawkiyyun)
Accusative أَرْضِيًّا شَوْكِيًّا‏ (ʾarḍiyyan šawkiyyan‏)
Genitive أَرْضِيٍّ شَوْكِيٍّ (ʾarḍiyyin šawkiyyin)
Definite Colloquial الْأَرْضِي شَوْكِي (al-ʾarḍī šawkī)
Nominative الْأَرْضِيُّ الْشَوْكِيُّ‏ (al-ʾarḍiyyu l-šawkiyyu‏) الْأَرْضِيُّ شَوْكِيُّ‏ (al-ʾarḍiyyu šawkiyyu‏)
Accusative الْأَرْضِيَّ الْشَوْكِيَّ‏ (al-ʾarḍiyya l-šawkiyya‏) الْأَرْضِيَّ شَوْكِيَّ‏ (al-ʾarḍiyya šawkiyya‏)
Genitive الْأَرْضِيِّ الْشَوْكِيِّ‏ (al-ʾarḍiyyi l-šawkiyyi‏) الْأَرْضِيِّ شَوْكِيِّ‏ (al-ʾarḍiyyi šawkiyyi‏)
Wyang (talk) 10:39, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang You're good with your resources, mate! The reason I decided against this was that I couldn't find a single hit with the accusative أَرْضِيًّا شَوْكِيًّا‏ (ʾarḍiyyan šawkiyyan‏), which doesn't look good but I admit I didn't check further, e.g. الأرضي الشوكي, which is against my suggestion but الأرضي شوكي only proves that the term may be considered a single noun (with the declinable final part) - a definite phrase like the English "the good book" would be "the book the good". Perhaps it can be both? Good work on a new language! --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:46, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Anatoli! Let's see if others have more input on this. I'll also see if I can get the chance to ask some native Levantine Arabic speakers about the declension in the next few days. Wyang (talk) 11:59, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang Sorry for mucking around. Since there are eight hits in Google for "أرضيا شوكيا". That may be enough. I have restored Erutuon's version. I have also asked about this term on an Arabic forum. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:32, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang My question has been answered. See rayloom's reply. It seems we are both right. The term can be treated as a compound and word and as one word. He also rejected the idea of a fatḥa inbetween. MSA accepts the dialectal pronunciation (we need to make it work both with "ʾarḍiyy šawkiyy" or "ʾarḍī šōkī"). Please note that on this forum they often simplify the formal nisba endings, displaying -iyy as "ī" or even "i". @Benwing2, Wikitiki89, Erutuon, Kolmiel, Backinstadiums I could use some assistance in making the templates work for both paradigms (compound and single word) and two types of transliteration. If I do it myself, I'll have to put multiple tables. The invariable paradigm should never be discarded completely either, especially for loanwords. Pretty sure it's perceived as such, even if it's double-borrowed. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:55, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev So there is indeed no correct way of declination :/ I think using multiple tables is the best solution at the moment. It seems we will need a policy on how to handle dialectal/colloquial Arabic pronunciations. Wyang (talk) 13:15, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
According to this dictionary only the second term would be declined, and there is evidence of other compounds following the same pattern (حَبْلُ شَوكِيّ, عَمُود شَوكِيّ). I hope it helps. User:Gfarnab
[Evidence 1]
[Evidence 2]

@Benwing2, Wikitiki89, Erutuon, Kolmiel, Backinstadiums Hello all. The inflection has now been verified by native speakers. Could someone please join the inflection into one table? The diptote declension is more common. There is a small problemm with the triptote part. The disjointed construct forms like "ʾarḍī ... aš-šawkī" should be disabled, please. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:43, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

I disabled the disjointed construct forms for now. Attention is still needed on merging the declension tables. Wyang (talk) 10:50, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

English absence[edit]

This is pronounced /ˈæb.sɒns/ or /æb.ˈsɒns/ (if I transcribe them correctly) when used for the medical sense (e.g. “absence seizure”). Please check if the IPA is correct and help add it to the entry, thanks. Wyang (talk) 07:35, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

I've added the General American version of that transcription to the entry. — Eru·tuon 02:09, 5 August 2017 (UTC)

A few more pronunciation problems[edit]

  • umbilicus: Also pronounced /ˌʌmbɪˈlʌɪkəs/.
  • cervical: In Australia, /səˈvaɪ.kəl/ refers to the neck, /ˈsɜ.vɪ.kəl/ refers to the cervix.
  • duodenum: Also pronounced with the accent on o, only in the US it seems.
  • skeletal: Predominantly pronounced with accent on first e in the US, but British pronunciation could be both skelétal and skéletal, with the former appearing to be more common.
  • centimetre: Also pronounced /ˈsɒnt-/ (chiefly by healthcare professionals, it seems).
  • facet: Also pronounced fuh-sét, e.g. “facet joint”.
  • raphe: Predominantly pronounced /ræˈfeɪ/ in Australia, e.g. “raphe nucleus”.
  • angina: The two pronunciations are regional in distribution. /ˈæn.dʒɪ.nə/ is more common in US, but almost unheard of in Australia.
  • oestrogen: Pronounced /ˈiːstɹədʒən/ in Australia.
  • peroneal: The current pronunciation is missing a primary stress. Also /ˌpəˈɹəʊniːəl/ to differentiate from perineal.
  • melena: Pronounced differently in the US (mélena) and UK (meléna).
  • transference: Pronounced differently in the US and UK.

Please check the IPA as above. Wyang (talk) 08:10, 4 August 2017 (UTC)


@ street, Noun sense #8. These are definitions for an adjective. Usex is for a noun. Leasnam (talk) 14:57, 4 August 2017 (UTC)


Are the two definitions different? And is it just a synonym of phylogenetic; can we merge the info into the entry of the more common one? Ultimateria (talk) 15:00, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

Past participle of Portuguese verb abrir[edit]

The conjugation table for "abrir" lists "abrido/os/a/as" as the participle forms of the verb. However, I am just learning that "aberto/os/a/as" are actually the correct participle forms. According to Collins dictionary, "aberto/os/a/as" are not Portuguese words at all. If this is verified to be the case, be sure also to remove the "abrido/os/a/as" entries that point back to "abrir". unsigned comment by User:LelandSun 00:10, 5 August 2017‎ (UTC)

@Daniel Carrero. —Stephen (Talk) 22:43, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
@LelandSun, Stephen G. Brown: I believe this is Yes check.svg done.
  1. I fixed the conjugation table located at abrir#Portuguese (by editing this data module: Module:pt-conj/data/-ir).
  2. I deleted the entries abrido, abrida, abridos, abridas.
  3. I moved the participle senses from these deleted entries to aberto, aberta, abertos, abertas.
--Daniel Carrero (talk) 06:51, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

Imperative of Portuguese verb ouvir[edit]

The conjugation table for Portuguese verb "ouvir" lists "ouça" and "ouçais" as its affirmative imperative forms for the second person singular (tu) and plural (vós), respectively. However, according to http://www.conjuga-me.net/en/verbo-ouvir, they should instead be "ouve" and "ouvi", which would make more sense. Would someone confirm this and make the necessary corrections? unsigned comment by User:LelandSun 00:31, 5 August 2017‎ (UTC)

@Daniel Carrero. —Stephen (Talk) 22:39, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
You're right, fixed now. Thanks! – Jberkel (talk) 09:13, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

English: use of collect[edit]

Collect had a sense like "gather" -- "I collect it is now rare" would mean you infer so, similar to gather in the phrase "I gather you're new here."

I just added a usage from Jane Austen. I think the other two are wrong -- the Mantel one sounds to me like a mistake by Mantel, trying to sound of-the-period, and I think she misused it -- the loudness would make it hard to "make out" or "discern," not difficult to infer what was being said; and I don't think collect ever had such a sense. If it did, I think it is under the wrong head on Wiktionary page.

The other example is taken from Johnson's dictionary, and he lists it as a different sense, meaning to infer (and come to a mistaken conclusion in the case at hand) from leading clues deliberately set out is how I would paraphrase his definition.

I left the two other examples alone but especially Mantel's I think is just that author's mistake (if it turns out she's quoting a real diary, I'm wrong, obviously, but I'm pretty sure it's her creation from google search HastyBeekeeper (talk) 01:59, 5 August 2017 (UTC)

Should be glossed archaic? Equinox 10:23, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
I searched 21st century books at Google for "collect|collects|collecting|collected that" to catch instances in which collect is followed by a that-clause, because that seemed like the only reasonable way to get a reasonably high yield of the relatively uncommon sense we are considering. I found two instances of usage, but they were both in works originally published 150 years or more ago. In contrast, I found 18 uses of [gather] that, about half of which were in works written after 1999.
"Archaic" seems to understate the case. I'm inclined to label it "obsolete", especially since the Mantel example seems wrong. DCDuring (talk) 14:24, 5 August 2017 (UTC)

Plurals of words with -ness[edit]

Hi, I'm pretty new here.

Words with -ness suffixes are listed here as having plurals nesses.

In my use of English and in the material I have read, etc it seems to me that this is generally not the case. For example, I can't imagine a sentence with the word fixednesses nor calmnesses. (An exception to this that I can think of is kindnesses where the word essentially replaces something like gift).

Anyway, I was wondering if somebody could point me to the general methods of verification or text corpora that might be used to decide whether a word like fixednesses exists or not.—This unsigned comment was added by BuddyJay (talkcontribs).

Searching Google Books finds phrases like "the five fixednesses" and "the metaphysical fixednesses of the very learned doctors". It is rare, as stated in entry. Equinox 12:18, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
Ok! So is searching something like Google Books a good method for researching topics like this? Are there others you could tell me about quickly? BuddyJay (talk) 12:21, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
Other sources that we use as evidence for attestation are Google News, Google Scholar, and Usenet (included in Google Groups [One needs to check whether the group is part of Usenet or just a Google group]). We tend to use only these for other purposes as well. These sources are "durably archived" and also tend to exclude many kinds of errors which would be extremely tedious to include in a dictionary. DCDuring (talk) 22:16, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
All I can say is that anyone who is familiar with the term "corpora" should know how to go searching. The problem is that some of the classic corpora (e.g. BNC) are outdated and pre-date the Internet, and many others are very specific and don't help you in tracking general usage. Equinox 00:33, 7 August 2017 (UTC)


Tagged but not listed, with the comment “Verify that it is "fourth declension". In several books it's 3rd declension (kind of irregular, but it's coming from Greek).” - -sche (discuss) 08:51, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Lewis and Shorts: "ēcho, ūs, f., = ἠχώ"
Georges: "ēchō, ūs, Akk. ōn, Abl. ō. f."
So the declension seems to be doubtful (ablative ēchō, or also ēchō besides ēchū). :-Rdm571 (talk) 13:35, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

I'm resurrecting this discussion because I feel the situation still isn't resolved.

At present Appendix:Latin_third_declension insists: ‘While these words usually belong to the third declension, some English-speaking grammarians (incorrectly) put them to the fourth declension.’ (emphasis mine)

However, Appendix:Latin_fourth_declension lists echo as an example, with endings -o -us -o -o -o.

echo itself says it's 4th declension, but with endings -o -us -ui -um -u -o / -us -uum -ibus -us -ibus -us.

The works quoted by L&S at first glance just use the form ‘echo’. Ovid seems to stick with the nominative.

All inflected forms I could find were post-classical, either -us, -um or apparent forms of echo, echonis. I couldn't find -ui, -u, -uum or -ibus at all, although they might exist. Maybe I didn't look hard enough or maybe they aren't on the internet yet.

I found a (post-classical) document using ‘echon’, but in the nominative. And I've also found ‘echo’ in the accusative.

Anyway, Wiktionary is contradicting itself and I'd like to see this fixed, but I'm uncertain how to approach this. Any ideas?


@Angr I'm struggling with the declension here. Apparently this silly noun declines in all three genders and I'm 98% sure I got my declension tables wrong this time. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 19:32, 5 August 2017 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the æ becomes a in the plural of the a-stem declension. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:02, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
I was thinking that was the case. Thanks for confirming! Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 22:40, 5 August 2017 (UTC)


This entry looks very funny. Mlle is a French entry that links Mdlle as an alternative form, but when I clicked it, it was an English entry, not a French one, without the dlle in superscript. Also, the entry links to a French term in the definition, even though the entry has an English header. What the hell? PseudoSkull (talk) 23:42, 5 August 2017 (UTC)

Both the entries and the links between them were added by WF, who probably wasn't paying attention to what language he was working in. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:32, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
Just changed Mdlle to French. It might occur in English too, I dunno. Equinox 00:34, 6 August 2017 (UTC)


All five quotations under hundred#Numeral look grammatically incorrect to me, as they each have two articles. For example:

"That has really soared over the past a hundred years or so."

should be:

"That has really soared over the past hundred years or so." or "That has really soared over the past one hundred years or so."

Anybody agree? Auximines (talk) 00:26, 6 August 2017 (UTC)

Wow, yes. I'd accept it as informal but it does feel wrong. Maybe a US thing? Equinox 00:30, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
Seems nonstandard to me, too. These are all transcriptions- I wonder if anyone actually said it that way. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:50, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
I checked the Merriam-Webster one, and she did actually say that, though you could easily miss the "a" if you weren't listening for it. I don't remember ever hearing this construction before, but maybe I did and just filtered it out.Chuck Entz (talk) 01:08, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
I've heard it a few times before, but mostly from less educated people, so I would call it nonstandard. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:53, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
I interpret all of these as illustrations of a (one), as suggested above. The citations seem totally unbalanced, so I assume they were inserted in connection with some debate over numerals, but I have not followed these discussions and could not divine any unexpressed intentions of participants. Moving the current citations to the citations page and adding citations or usage examples illustrative of the range of more normal usage. DCDuring (talk) 03:24, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
I'd certainly say something like that. Not speaking formally or usually in writing, but in my idiolect "the past hundred years" is wrong, even if I recognize it as correct standard English; it has to be "the past one hundred years", or "the past a hundred years" in speech.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:36, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
In my idiolect "The past hundred years" and "the past one hundred years" seem fine, but "the past a hundred years" seems almost as wrong as "the first a hundred years", which seems very wrong, having three determinatives. DCDuring (talk) 20:31, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
My idiolect is like DCDuring's. It's pretty simple "the year" and "the one year", but not "the a year". Likewise "the past year" and "the past one year", but not "the past a year", and likewise "the hundred years" and "the one hundred years", but not "the a hundred years", and likewise finally "the past hundred years" and "the past one hundred years", but not "the past a hundred years". --WikiTiki89 21:13, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
The problem with "the past hundred" is that "hundred" needs a, um, quantifier(?) before it; "A hundred guys died." and "One hundred guys died." are okay, but not "Hundred guys died." That's what makes "hundred" different here. It seems the grammar generalized differently in my idiolect than yours. I'm not arguing that "the past a hundred" is correct in standard English, but it don't think it's all that rare in spoken English.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:49, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: Take a closer look at the third of my four example sets. In other words, take away the word "past" and see if you still agree with what you just said. --WikiTiki89 02:25, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

assortment / assortiment[edit]

In Dutch an assortiment can also mean "everything a store has to offer". For example the question "Heeft u ook donuts?" (Do you also have donuts?) could be answered with "Sorry, die zitten niet in ons assortiment.". (sorry, those are not something we offer)

Is this sense also valid in English? W3ird N3rd (talk) 11:25, 6 August 2017 (UTC)

No, you can't say that in English. Auximines (talk) 14:59, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
@Auximines Thanks. I've added the sense to the Dutch page. (otherwise I would have added it to the English page which the Dutch page was referring to) Does a synonym exist? I'm thinking "current offerings" or "available in this store", but is there a single-word equivalent and/or more common way to describe that? W3ird N3rd (talk) 08:14, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
The closest thing I can think of is range. A company could say that a certain product is or is not in its range (or range of products), but it would sound a little strange at a supermarket. The supermarket employee would more likely say "Sorry, we don't carry those." —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:40, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

About the examples in susu#Javanese[edit]

I just stumbled on susu, and noticed that the Javanese usage examples have the sentences in Javanese reported twice with different indentations, as if there were a transliteration process going on, except there is none. What is going on there?

MGorrone (talk) 14:17, 6 August 2017 (UTC)

nudge nudge wink wink[edit]

Hi, all. @BadenBrit recently updated the stress pattern at nudge nudge wink wink: see [17] and the talk page comment. Do people really stress the second and fourth word though? Comments welcome. — SGconlaw (talk) 14:32, 6 August 2017 (UTC)

I would say that's correct. Auximines (talk) 15:04, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: I think it's weird too. If I had to, I'd put primary stress on the 1st and 3rd instead. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 17:24, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
Stressing the 1st and 3rd words seems weird to me. I always stress the 2nd and 4th. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:43, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
I stress them all equally, and insert a pause between "nudge" and "wink" (and thus would probably punctuate it as "nudge-nudge, wink-wink"). --WikiTiki89 18:58, 7 August 2017 (UTC)


Is there a tutorial about how to create content for the Wikitionary? I don't have a specific question.

Best Regards, Bfpage (talk) 16:31, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
@Bfpsge: Wiktionary:Welcome, newcomers.Jonteemil (talk) 00:01, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Etymology of tsar[edit]

This doesn't add up:

English etymology on tsar:

Borrowing from Russian царь (carʹ), from Old East Slavic цьсарь (cĭsarĭ), from Old Church Slavonic цѣсарь (cěsarĭ), from Gothic 𐌺𐌰𐌹𐍃𐌰𐍂 (kaisar), from Byzantine Greek Καῖσαρ (Kaîsar), ultimately from Latin Caesar.

Swedish etymology on tsar:

From Russian царь (carʹ), from Old East Slavic цьсарь (cĭsarĭ), from Old Church Slavonic цѣсарь (cěsarĭ), from Gothic 𐌺𐌰𐌹𐍃𐌰𐍂 (kaisar, emperor), from Latin Caesar.

Russian etymology on царь (carʹ):

From Old East Slavic цьсарь (cĭsarĭ), from цѣсарь (cěsarĭ), from Proto-Slavic *cěsarjь, ultimately from Latin Caesar.

Gothic etymology on 𐌺𐌰𐌹𐍃𐌰𐍂 (kaisar):

Borrowing from Koine Greek Καῖσαρ (Kaîsar), from Latin Caesar, or a direct borrowing from the Latin.

Old Church Slavonic etymology on цѣсарь (cěsarĭ) / ⱌⱑⱄⰰⱃⱐ (cěsarĭ):

From Proto-Slavic *cěsarjь, from Latin Caesar.

It's quite inconsistent. Please fix!Jonteemil (talk) 23:59, 6 August 2017 (UTC) ps. I changed all the etymology templates to cognates so all the catigorization wouldn't be active.

I think the full chain should go like this:
Borrowing from Russian царь (carʹ), from Old East Slavic цьсарь (cĭsarĭ), from Proto-Slavic *cьsarjь, shortened form of *cěsarjь, from a Germanic language (possibly Gothic 𐌺𐌰𐌹𐍃𐌰𐍂 (kaisar)), ultimately from Latin Caesar (possibly via Byzantine Greek Καῖσαρ (Kaîsar)).
but I’m not sure about the Latin -> Gothic pathway (does Gothic 𐌺𐌰𐌹𐍃𐌰𐍂 (kaisar) not come via Proto-Germanic *kaisaraz?). — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 10:12, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
@Vorziblix: It does accoeding to *kaisaraz but bot according to 𐌺𐌰𐌹𐍃𐌰𐍂 (kaisar) itself. Since it's a Germanic language you can suggest that the Germanic derivation is more logic but I don't know. Everything isn't logic in this world.Jonteemil (talk) 23:20, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Pikachu and Pokémon[edit]

I believe we should have both as entries if we're going to have one and not the other. How did Pikachu warrant an entry and not Pokémon? Pokémon is an EXTREMELY, TREMENDOUSLY popular series of anime, manga, toys, cards, video games, fictional creatures, and all sorts of stuff. I think the sense "A single fictional creature in the franchise (...)" needs to exist, as it is pretty clear that it is way attested. Of course I don't support having every individual creature, but if we're gonna have Pikachu, we better damn have Pokémon. PseudoSkull (talk) 05:09, 7 August 2017 (UTC) I'd say Pokémon is more attested than a lot of words that border around WT:FICTION that we have here. PseudoSkull (talk) 05:10, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Pokemon: "Informal form of Pokémon.". pokémon: "Spanish for Pokémon." (Spanish? what'd I miss?) This is just silly. Just search for "pokemon-like craze" and you probably get enough hits already. "pokemon-like craze" doesn't refer to the Pokémon universe, does it? And since we have quaffle shouldn't we also have Pokéball? W3ird N3rd (talk) 09:29, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
@PseudoSkull It was started as an "only in Wikipedia" article and evolved (https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Pok%C3%A9mon&diff=26674715&oldid=18523708) until it looked like it does now with the template complaining about not meeting CFI. No proper definition for it ever existed here. I'd say just create it, finding out-of-universe sources if anyone really wants them won't be that hard. I would also be happy to if you don't feel up to it right now. W3ird N3rd (talk) 12:17, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
@PseudoSkull There you go, I've added three out-of-universe examples from books to Citations:Pokémon. Now you gotta catch 'm all create that entry! W3ird N3rd (talk) 14:35, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
@PseudoSkull If these citations are no good, please let me know. (and tell me why so I can learn) If you don't feel like creating this entry, let me know. If you're still working on it, let me know. We even have an entry for Pokémon Goer so if we can't have Pokémon that's just.. I wouldn't mind creating it myself, but feel like I would be "stealing" it from you. W3ird N3rd (talk) 19:36, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
I'll get around to it. If you want to create the entry so it gets done earlier, go ahead. There is no "stealing" from anyone here. PseudoSkull (talk) 00:22, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

nudge nudge wink wink sense[edit]

I looked at it because of the discussion above here, but I think there's a sense missing. It currently says: "(idiomatic, humorous, also attributive) A phrase used to hint that the speaker is euphemistically referring to something else.". I'm not sure this would cover use like Hey, if you wanna have a "white Christmas" I know a guy you know, nudge nudge wink wink (in reference to narcotic use). It feels like the definition mentioned by wisegirl at https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100219100609AAYLnSB isn't covered either: It's a gesture that accompanies an innuendo. Example: Your dad says, "I just got a $5,000 bonus at work. I wonder what I should do with it." and you say, "You could buy a new car for your favorite child, wink wink nudge nudge.". But I could be wrong. W3ird N3rd (talk) 08:59, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

The first example you give fits the definition perfectly. However, I don't think the second fits with the idea that the speaker is euphemistically referring to something else, as the name of the "favorite child" is in no way offensive or vulgar, although perhaps it could be considered blunt (see our entry for euphemism).... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:32, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
I think you're right. In both cases it's replacing something that would be considered (more) blunt. I was overthinking this, the definition covers it just fine. W3ird N3rd (talk) 23:18, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

box set and boxed set[edit]

I have always assumed that box set originated as a corruption/mispronunciation/mishearing of boxed set, as box set literally means just a set of boxes. Is it worth adding this to the etymology? Auximines (talk) 11:19, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Gee, I always assumed it was an instance of attributive use of a noun in a term that was a synonym of boxed set. I don't think these are the only examples of such pairs. DCDuring (talk) 12:17, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
You might be interested to know that boxset is a valid Dutch word (borrowed) and so are verzamelbox (collect box, from verzameling/collection) and verzamelset ("collect set".. which seems strange now that I think about it) I think of it as a shortened version of "box, containing set". Boxed can't be translated to Dutch, we can only say "packed in a box". Dutch for box is doos, but verzameldoos will usually not be used in this sense. A verzameldoos would be more likely to be a box that for example old pictures or toys have been collected in. A setdoos just plain doesn't exist and a doosset might be a collection of boxes but would never refer to a boxset. One more thing: we haven't borrowed box as a synonym for doos, but we do refer to a playpen as a "box". This probably doesn't answer your question, but it shows how confusing this can get. W3ird N3rd (talk) 12:49, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Just found this relevant article in The Spectator. Auximines (talk) 20:22, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

I've always parsed it more like "book collection". Equinox 18:26, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
If a "book collection" is a "collection of books", then parsing "box set" that way would make it a "set of boxes". I've never heard "box set" before, so to me it was natural that "boxed set" is the correct form, until I just thought about it and realized that "box set" can also make sense as "a set in a box", just like "house party" is a "party in a house". --WikiTiki89 18:32, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
And box set is perfectly valid in both forms, just like house party. W3ird N3rd (talk) 21:20, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
You mean like a party of houses? --WikiTiki89 21:21, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
I think I meant house party as in either a party with house music or a party in a house (like a housewarming party), but now I'm not sure anymore! I like the idea of dancing houses though! W3ird N3rd (talk) 21:35, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
Ok, so you were saying they were similar in that they both have multiple interpretations, rather than that the other interpretations are equivalent. Got it. Anyway, what I meant by house party is simply that the house is used to host a party, as opposed to an apartment party, dorm party, block party, beach party, etc. --WikiTiki89 21:42, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
I think my comparison wasn't entirely correct in hindsight. A "house" has many meanings. "There will be no house music in this house, anyone who disagrees can find themselves another house to live in by which I don't mean the guest house, and unless your contract with that publishing house comes through I doubt that's going to happen!" is using five separate meanings of "house". A few more would be in "Damn, if only House didn't serve our guests so many drinks on the house I could just watch House or check out what the house is debating today, I just wish I was in the house of God right now.". W3ird N3rd (talk) 22:18, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Concerning the extra click inflicted on those who search for Chinese terms with Simplified characters[edit]

I don't know if this is the right place for this question. Anyway, am I the only one who is incredibly annoyed at how, quite some time ago, all Simplified Chinese entries were emptied and left with merely a link to the corresponding Traditional entries? Why was this done? And couldn't a redirect be made when the article is simply a pseudo-redirect, like e.g. 世间? I mean really, why do I have to be annoyed every time I look up a Chinese word because I have to click an extra time on a link in a totally useless "article"? Wouldn't it be better to make a redirect to the traditional entry instead, with the usage note on Traditional/Simplified moved over there? I mean, the best thing would be what the situation was before these pseudo-redirects appeared, i.e. duplicated info on both the simplified and traditional article, but a change was made, and I assume there was a reason, perhaps memory shortage, so…

MGorrone (talk) 16:42, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

The reason was primarily to reduce the duplication. It presents additional work for our already overworked force of editors to keep them in sync and to create both entries each time. Maybe the simplified entries could be turned into true redirects. Are there any other languages that use simplified that would make this not work? —CodeCat 17:55, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang: Any thoughts about turning them into hard redirects? --WikiTiki89 18:03, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
I know next to nothing about Chinese, but aren't some simplified characters used for more than one traditional character? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:27, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
I did a quick search. Of the 41,299 articles in Category:Chinese simplified forms, 36,807 appear to be simple “soft redirects”, and 4,492 had other stuff on the page, either other languages or additional etymologies. Converting them into hard redirects cannot be done on this proportion of the simplified forms. Part of the rationale for leaving the simplified forms as soft directs was to prepare them for the time when the infrastructure allows for automatic generation of simplified content to display on the simplified pages, using the code on the traditional pages (using css +/- js). Wyang (talk) 21:21, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
Which other languages are those? —CodeCat 13:37, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
Probably Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Zhuang, etc. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 00:00, 13 August 2017 (UTC)
What about a JS gadget that automatically sends users to the traditional Chinese entry, for users uninterested in Japanese and such? —suzukaze (tc) 21:24, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c: what would happen to the additional info displayed in those 4,492 entries that @Wyang mentioned? I'd prefer to delete the redirect completely. --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:17, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:CirrusSearch can help out; should I ask? --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:18, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: It is completely possible that users may not care about the additional info, especially when interested solely in Chinese (for users uninterested in Japanese and such). —suzukaze (tc) 23:52, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
  • The simple answer is we do not currently have the technology to allow for an automatic redirect to the main entry. Things are then complicated when hanzi is used for other languages like Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:23, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
@Tooironic At least it should be the traditional Hanzi the ones that redirect to the official simplified ones --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:08, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
Official? —CodeCat 17:58, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
@CodeCat: I meant
Simplified Chinese characters (简化字; jiǎnhuàzì)are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, it is one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s in an attempt to increase literacy.[2] They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

--Backinstadiums (talk) 21:32, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums et al. The decision to use traditional Chinese characters as the main form was a joint decision of Chinese editors (including non-natives). It's not a political decision. Everybody knows where simplified and traditional characters are used. It's based on feasibility. Mostly, a technical decision. It would make much more sense when you know that e.g. converting traditional to simplified Chinese is 100 times easier than the other way around. You will also see that traditional entries consistently provide simplified forms as well - in synonyms, related terms, alternative forms, etc. Most importantly, in usage examples. You will hardly find an electronic or paper dictionary, which can simultaneously provide both traditional and simplified forms in all articles. Dictionaries, such as Pleco or Wenlin allow options in settings but they either make errors in conversions or make users make a conversion decision (Wenlin). There is no information loss in Wiktionary, only extra clicks. Hopefully, a technical solution is found to include all the contents from traditional entries in simplified entries as well. Hard redirects is definitely not an option. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:07, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
The problem with that option is that the Traditional Chinese entries often have Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese on the same page, so they cannot be made into redirects. The page can only be redirected when there is no content other than the Chinese section. — Eru·tuon 21:40, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

How can we decide the best way to proceed then? This issue is a serious drawback for users' usability --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:53, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

In the past, I'd suggested transclusion as a means of resolving this kind of issue, where one headword has two variant spellings, but all the other content is essentially shared. At the time, the idea was shot down, partially (if memory serves) for technical reasons. I don't know if our infrastructure has developed to where that might be a viable option. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:35, 11 August 2017 (UTC)

Where should I ask whether @Eirikr's 'transclusion' implementation is feasible? --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:46, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

What a lot of stuff that happened here! Would it be possible to turn the 36.807 simple soft redirects with nothing else on the page into hard redirects, and going back to duplicate status for the other 4.492 that have other stuff on the page? This way the duplication is still significantly reduced, and no extra clicks are required for any entry. MGorrone (talk) 20:29, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

@MGorrone: Could you please break down those 4492 according to HSK levels? That would show the QUALITATIVE importance of those characters --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:25, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

Request for verification of a publishing date[edit]

Here is a use of the term "duck press", supposedly from 1890. There's a copyright date on one of the title pages. However, "pressed duck" doesn't seem to have been invented that early (see citations on page). This is also the only the use of "duck press" from the 19th century. What's the deal here? DTLHS (talk) 22:42, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Can mortem be used on its own as a noun?[edit]

2017 August 1, “Man dies after voting in Kisumu”, in Daily Nation[18]:
The body of the 64-year-old man was moved to Ahero Sub-County Hospital mortuary awaiting mortem.

DTLHS (talk) 17:41, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

How are post-mortem and ante-mortem spelled anyway? Oxford says "post-mortem" and "ante-mortem" while Merriam-Webster says "postmortem" and "antemortem". And we say "post mortem" and don't have an entry for "ante mortem" yet have had an entry for antemortem since 2008 but no alternative spelling entries at ante mortem and ante-mortem. W3ird N3rd (talk) 18:28, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
That's determinable on Google n-grams. DCDuring (talk) 19:56, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=post-mortem%2C+post+mortem%2C+postmortem&year_start=1950&year_end=2017&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cpost%20-%20mortem%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cpost%20mortem%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cpostmortem%3B%2Cc0 I'm still not quite sure. Seems like our spelling is the least common. It's more clear for antemortem: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=ante-mortem%2Cante+mortem%2Cantemortem&year_start=1950&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cante%20-%20mortem%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cante%20mortem%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cantemortem%3B%2Cc0 as antemortem just peaked. I'll do some things. W3ird N3rd (talk) 23:22, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
@DTLHS I think mortem can't be used on it's own as a noun in English. But mortem has no English definition, so that's fine. Searching for "awaiting mortem" brings up exactly the line you quoted, "for mortem" seems to provide no sensible results and neither does "the mortem". I'm pretty sure what they meant to say was "man was moved to mortuary awaiting postmortem", but this is no common error. You can contact them, looks like they are from Africa. Which would explain any odd errors. If you drop them a line they may actually correct it. W3ird N3rd (talk) 16:58, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
It's also possible that mortem on its own is a word of African English, or just Kenyan English, but not of British or American English. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:09, 9 August 2017 (UTC)


Are terms like lightweight, drinking game and finger really appropriate for this category? Perhaps the cat should just be called "drinking alcohol"? Equinox 23:34, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

"Alcohol consumption"? W3ird N3rd (talk) 23:50, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
I remember WF making, heavily populating, and getting minorly pissed off about the deletion of, Category:en:Boozing. We could recreate it, IMHO. --WF on Holiday (talk) 12:36, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
boozing: The act of drinking heavily. booze: (slang, uncountable) Any alcoholic beverage.
So I would still vote for alcohol consumption. Unless you are suggesting to have a separate category for heavy drinking, which I still wouldn't call boozing as that is or borders on slang. It might actually be called just that - "Heavy drinking". That could also include terms like drinking game. Someone who participates in a drinking game may not suffer from alcoholism, but does participate in heavy drinking. W3ird N3rd (talk) 16:47, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
There's Category:en:Drinking. I think we should merge it into that. Equinox 18:27, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
We should also rename it. The most common meaning of drinking is still that of any kind of drink, not just alcoholic. —CodeCat 18:29, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Arabic اللّٰه (allāh)[edit]

I think a bit more explanation on this term would be beneficial. Specifically,

  1. What is the origin of the /ɫ/ (and the usage etc.) and why is it not found in other words with similar phonological shapes?
  2. How did الْإِلٰه (al-ʾilāh) evolve into the current “three l's form” (effectively), with a shadda on the second lām?

Thanks. Wyang (talk) 03:09, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Regarding the /l/ vs. /lˁ/, some dialects of Arabic have a regular distinction between /l/ and /lˁ/ and between /r/ and /rˁ/ that arose in certain phonological environments and later became quasi-phonemic. I suspect that this phenomenon spread into Quranic reading traditions and then somehow into Standard Arabic specifically for this one word, which is a very significant and important word in Islamic culture. Regarding the elision of إِ (ʾi), this seems to have once been a regular phenomenon whose scope only included a limited set of words, the only other of which I know is الْأُنَاس (al-ʾunās) > النَّاس (an-nās) (from which نَاس (nās) is a back-formation). Note that there are not "three l's", but rather only two: the first is from the definite article, and the second from the original word. As an orthographic convention to show that they are pronounced as a single geminate consonant, the first ل is unpointed, indicating that it should be ignored, while the second one has a shadda, indicating a geminate pronunciation. This is perfectly regular and applies to any nominal that starts with a coronal consonant (e.g. اللُّغَة (al-luḡa), النُّور (an-nūr), etc.). --WikiTiki89 16:19, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
Great answer. Thank you! Wyang (talk) 23:14, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
Feel free to incorporate parts of that into the etymology. But note that when I say "I suspect", that is my own speculation and I have no sources to back that up. --WikiTiki89 15:57, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

diggety and diggity[edit]

PS claims they're particles, which looks like a reasonable guess at POS. I disagree with "particle", however. It's probably a noun, you know. -WF

Yes, noun Leasnam (talk) 20:13, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

if I had a nickel for every time[edit]

Possibly a set phrase. Possibly a snowclone - I tried my first snowclone page at Appendix:Snowclones/if I had an X for every time I Y, which probably is substandard. --WF on Holiday (talk) 15:28, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Probably a snowclone, as "nickel" can be replaced with just about any unit of currency (usually "dollar"), and the phrase is virtually always followed by "...X verbed Y, I'd [be rich, have a million dollars, etc.]." Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:45, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
There are also variations like "If I had a nickel for every time that happened.. I'd now have a quarter. But you get my point.". W3ird N3rd (talk) 21:44, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

chin up[edit]

Sure, it's a phrase - but may also be a verb. " I chinned up to the window I'd looked in earlier, and tried to shove it open, but it was locked tight", "I then suggested he try chinning up the leg of the slide.". --WF on Holiday (talk) 15:39, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Missing item in English List of Words by Suffixes[edit]

I don't know where exactly to request this, but the list of words by suffixes (super cool) is missing "-ifact", as in artifact and ventifact.

Is there anyone here who knows the quick way to request or add that?


"artifact" was not formed by suffixation. You need to provide evidence that this is actually a productive suffix in English. DTLHS (talk) 17:44, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
-ifact might be a candidate for a category of words by ending or whatever word we chose if we decided to create such categories (see Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2017/August § Category name: "words pseudosuffixed with" or "words ending in" for more on this), but, as DTLHS says, it's not a suffix. — Eru·tuon 17:53, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Remove hot word template from Kondo?[edit]

There are now citations spanning 2015 to 2017 for Kondo. Should the hot word template be removed now? Talk to SageGreenRider 17:40, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it shouldn't need a discussion. --WikiTiki89 17:58, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
Right. DCDuring (talk) 00:50, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

"Rectus Femoris" Pluralization (Latin)[edit]


My knowledge of Latin is very limited, so I'm not the most knowledgable about things such as grammatical rules regarding the genitive case. Would the plural of "rectus femoris" (a muscle of the thigh) be "recti femoris" or "recti femorum"?

Many thanks! Taurvaethor (talk) 14:55, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

Postscript: This is my first tea room post so I apologize if I'm missing any conventions with it.

I'd use recti femoris as each rectus muscle is associated with a single thigh. If you said recti femorum it might sound like each muscle was associated with both thighs. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:03, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: Mightn't one think that recti femoris means that both muscles are associated with the same single thigh? (PS: That was definitely the only time in my life I've used the word mightn't.) --WikiTiki89 18:14, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

different kind of animal / different kind of beast[edit]

Something completely different from what we have seen before. Can equally apply to living and inanimate things. Are these idioms or should I just add a sense to animal and beast? Definitions #4 and #5 of beast are roughly describing this, but it doesn't feel complete. W3ird N3rd (talk) 18:09, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

Simple figurative use of animal/beast; might make a good usage example for some current or new sense at beast. DCDuring (talk) 07:43, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't know, how do you tell the difference? Because I can't think of any other way to use it.
  • "a new kind of animal" odd
  • "a different breed of animal" questionable
  • "a different type of animal" nope
  • "a different style of animal" stop painting my dog
  • "an altered kind of animal" doubt it
  • "an improved kind of animal" wtf
  • "a different species of animal" unlikely
  • "a changed kind of animal" what many husbands promise to become but will never be
This doesn't seem to work outside of the combination. If it's just figurative use, shouldn't it be able to work in at least one other combination? The only thing that can be changed is animal. You can say "a different kind of magazine", that's valid. And "a new kind of magazine" or "a different style of magazine" seem okay. But for animal in this figurative sense this appears to be fixed to different and kind. W3ird N3rd (talk) 08:34, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
You can't attest a negative. See citations at beast, sense 8, for attestation of beast in various collocations in the same sense as different kind of animal, which may not even even be more common than entirely/altogether different beast/animal. IMO, it is more productive to look at common collocations, such as those under discussion here, as a possible indication of missing senses of component terms than as possible entries in themselves. DCDuring (talk) 17:32, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
You are right. I can't attest a negative, but it can help to try: often I'd stumble upon a positive. In this case, beast can indeed work in other collocations and I think to a slighty lesser degree so can animal. I think different kind of animal is a very (maybe most) common collocation for this sense, but you've proven it's not the only one. The alternatives (when used with animal) feel a little odd to me, but that's not relevant. Thanks for adding the sense! W3ird N3rd (talk) 19:51, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
I'll try to add cites for the sense at animal. DCDuring (talk) 20:04, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
  • MWOnline has an entry for different animal. They rarely (never?) have SoP entries, so they may have researched uses of animal to find other adjectives that collocate with it and come up dry. DCDuring (talk) 21:29, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
Hadn't thought of that, different animal works indeed and different kind of animal is just a longer version or alternative form of that. I can't think of another adjective that works with this sense of animal. Anything you would expect to work doesn't: altered animal, improved animal, adjusted animal, modified animal, tweaked animal. May a kind of animal we haven't seen before but even that doesn't feel too natural and still implies different. W3ird N3rd (talk) 22:33, 11 August 2017 (UTC)


"Did you hear? Pat won the lottery!" "Wow, that's wild!"
Are we missing a sense to cover this? Dictionary.com has "amazing or incredible" with an example sentence about someone getting kicked out of a club (suggesting it can be used of either negative or positive things). - -sche (discuss) 01:12, 11 August 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it's a sense we are missing, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 07:51, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
Pat won the lottery! W3ird N3rd (talk) 08:42, 11 August 2017 (UTC)


I see several cites on Google Books that do not (clearly, at least) support the definition, including one that explicitly refers to different-sex parents:

  • 2017, Meghan Jakobsen, Alle regnbuens farver: - fra Georgia til Sjælland, Art People (ISBN 9788771806427)
    En familiefar med fast arbejde på Ford-fabrikken. Og han bliver også altid budt pænt velkommen. Det er først, når naboerne har set hans lille regnbuefamilie – mørkebrune mor og hendes mælkechokoladefarvede børn – at man beder dem forsvinde.

I suspect it has at least three definitions. For example, in this one, it seems to be a fish thing. sv.wikt also has the word.__Gamren (talk) 13:35, 12 August 2017 (UTC)


Could a Japanese language editor check the reading here? I read that it should be チャヨウ (chayō). ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:02, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

Both readings exist. I have expanded on the entry. Wyang (talk) 14:14, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
Excellent. Many thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:40, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

currymuncher, curry muncher[edit]

Interesting difference in gloss and definition between these two, isn't there? Equinox 19:27, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

The term doesn't seem to be restricted to New Zealand(?), so I removed that part of the label. Other than that, I just combined the definitions, and made the form that seemed less common an "alt form of". - -sche (discuss) 05:05, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

About the genitive "Sapphonis"[edit]

Consulting Bergk's edition of Sappho, I have seem various instances of this genitive "Sapphonis" (e.g. «Sapphonis esse videtur») in the critical notes. This struck me as odd because I'd always known Sappho as a Greek name which as such was declined in Latin as in Greek. Tonight I opened the Sappho entry here, and I found confirmation of my knowledge, and no trace of the genitive Sapphonis. So I ws wondering: is it a very late genitive of Sappho, or is there a whole other version of the name giving this genitive? And if the former, shouldn't we mention it in Sappho? And if the latter, do we have an entry covering that version?

MGorrone (talk) 20:20, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

lay on[edit]

One of our example sentences is "He layed on compliments." Other senses use "laid on" in their examples. Are both past tenses used, and is there differentiation between different senses?

Probably someone's oversight; I have changed it to "laid". You can find "layed on" but it's probably archaic. Equinox 14:38, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

Imperative of Portuguese verb ter[edit]

The conjugation table for Portuguese verb "ter" lists "tenhas" as the second person singular (tu) affirmative imperative, identical to the corresponding negative imperative, while http://www.conjuga-me.net/en/verbo-ter says this should instead be "tem".

@Daniel CarreroΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:56, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

English lever arm[edit]

Is the current definition correct? Wyang (talk) 02:40, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

  • It is a bit simplistic. The term is most often defined as the perpendicular distance between the axis of rotation and the line of action of a force. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:05, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
    I think the perpendicular distance concept is entirely different from the current definition. If that is the case, then either the current definition is wrong or both definitions exist. Wyang (talk) 04:16, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

hard disc[edit]

This is given as an alternative form of "hard disk", but do we have any citations for this? British English uses the American spelling "disk" in the computing sense, with the exception of "compact disc" and "optical disc". I suspect someone might just have assumed that "disk" and "disc" are interchangeable in this sense. — Paul G (talk) 06:49, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

Not always true; I remember e.g. the ZX Spectrum +3 manual used "disc" for the rectangular 3" floppies. Equinox 11:36, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
There are numerous examples of its use here. Mihia (talk) 19:36, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

bottom man[edit]

In circus, acrobatics, and physical culture, "one who physically supports a formation of acrobats".

This a part of a group of terms: human pyramid, understander, under-stander. It seems to be the hardest to justify as it can be viewed as completely transparent in its normal context of use, to wit, discussion of acrobatic performances in vaudeville, circuses, etc. Should we have an entry for it? DCDuring (talk) 10:55, 14 August 2017 (UTC)


Does this really have a circumflex accent, or is it supposed to be an overbar marking a scribal abbreviation? — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 02:05, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

I assume the latter, as User:יבריב doesn't seem to know what he's doing. @Angr, JohnC5? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:56, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
I assume the latter too, but I know nothing whatever about Greek scribal abbreviations. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:20, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
I'm in the same boat: all my paleography is Latin. This page, however, seems to show that overbars and tilde like abbreviation marks were used. —JohnC5 14:05, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
You know, just because I'm not a native English speaker doesn't mean I don't even try to research the things I'm putting up on the english wiktionary. I understand I may have made mistakes in the past, but you don't think with a language barrier I'd try extra hard to make sure what I'm doing is correct? יבריב (talk) 15:13, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
@יבריב: Your ability in English has nothing to do with it. Can you produce any evidence to show that this actually should have a circumflex? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:01, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
source 1, source 2, source 3, for starters. Note the affirmation that Χαναάν first enters recorded history in the writings of Hecataeus, as the abbreviated Χνᾶ יבריב (talk) 18:06, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

English hernia and -cele[edit]

“Hernia” has a much narrowed definition (compared to our current definition) in modern literature. ICD-10 defines “hernia” only as these entities, and w:Category:Hernias reflects this definition and current usage. Thus the entries hernia and -cele should be amended; entities like meningomyelocele and hydrocele are not usually perceived as hernias.

(Note this is different from English herniate or herniation.)

Wyang (talk) 04:27, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

one word about specific ceramic in Baltic languages[edit]

1 I'm not sure if we can written sources for them.

Wikidata ID is Q4329074. d1g (talk) 06:19, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

About radical indexes and language links from Chinese Wiktionary[edit]

I opened a character entry in the Chinese Wiktionary, then opened [the Chinese Wiktionary index for radical ⾔], then clicked on the language link for English, and that index does not exist. I'm sorry? What? Turns out Chinese Wiktionary uses KANGXI RADICAL SPEECH, whereas our index uses CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH 8A00. What should we do to fix this issue? Fix the links on w:zh, adopt KANGXI RADICALs for our indexes, or make w:zh adopt CJK UNIFIED? Interestingly enough, the Chinese link on our index works fine. MGorrone (talk) 10:19, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

@MGorrone: could you please elaborate a bit on the 'KANGXI RADICAL SPEECH'? --Backinstadiums (talk) 06:27, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: That is the name of the character . (Compare , which is the corresponding unified ideograph.) For the meaning of "radical", see Kangxi radical. — Eru·tuon 05:22, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
1. I don't know about other editors, but I support using KANGXI RADICALs, as God intended.
2. As for the broken interwiki links, I predict Unicode normalization is messing something up. (@Lea Lacroix (WMDE)) —suzukaze (tc) 04:31, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
It does make sense to use the radical characters, as opposed to not using them anywhere. But switching over might take a lot of work: I think all the Chinese sortkey data modules that I just created don't use Kangxi radical characters! — Eru·tuon 04:52, 18 August 2017 (UTC)


RFV-pronunciation: /ˈmeɪŋɡoʊ/. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 12:54, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

There are accents of American English where /æŋ/ always surfaces as [eɪŋ], see w:/æ/ tensing#Additional /æ/ tensing before /ɡ/ and /ŋ/. I'm a little reluctant to assign this to the phoneme /eɪ/ myself, though. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:16, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
User:Gilgamesh~enwiktionary seems to have added similar things to a number of words with -ang(-). See rang and sang, to start with. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:06, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
I think if the [eɪŋ] variants were to be listed, (a) they should be phonetic, not phonemic, and (b) they need a more specific label than US. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 14:09, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

About Latin levis, etymology 2[edit]

Etymology 2 of levis#Latin says it comes from Greek λεῖος, "smooth", and then goes back to PIE. If that is so, how did the "v" get placed in? Why don't we have *lēus instead of lĕvis? Was there a dialect form with a digamma from which lĕvis comes, or is this Greek etymon total bogus?

MGorrone (talk) 14:10, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

I think it's bogus. The Greek is probably a cognate, but not an etymon. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:34, 15 August 2017 (UTC)


How commonly is it read as an acronym? I've only heard it read as an initialism. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 14:25, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Personally I have never heard it said as "earl". I doubt I would even understand it. Mihia (talk) 21:37, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
@Hippietrail, are you sure that it can also be pronounced as "earl"? Do you have any video/audio recordings of it being read as "earl" to back this up? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:28, 17 August 2017 (UTC)


This word is in the news (and receiving commensurate edits) a lot lately since American president Donald Trump used the term in a press conference earlier this week. The definition already at alt-left (meaning essentially "hypocritical left") didn't necessarily seem to fit Trump's use of the word as an antonym to alt-right. Therefore, I created a definition which reads A section of the political spectrum that is left-wing while being vehemently anti-racist, antifascist and politically correct. I have also tagged the sense I added as a hot sense, and moved any quotes relating to Trump's use of the word to that sense. Thoughts? Purplebackpack89 17:38, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

  • Alt-Left means different things to different people, so we will have to wait to find quotes and usage of the term. IQ125 (talk) 18:46, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
Short for alternative left, it's an imagined alternative to conventional American left-wing and Democratic ideologies. The alt-left is an imaginary militant group of left-wing ideologs who are rabidly opposed to white nationalism and white supremacy, and supportive of multiculturalism and egalitarianism by race and gender. Anyone who physically or verbally attacks a member of the alt-right, or punches or injures any member of the alt-right even in self-defense, is called alt-left. —Stephen (Talk) 19:43, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
  • AFAICT none of the citations are from Usenet or printed sources. We need a single definition that therefore spans the political spectrum of user as much as possible. That would serve to neutralize the entry and discussion to the extent warranted. The first citation (Usenet, not neutral politically in the use) I've found is from 8/30/2016, so this will soon not be a hotword. DCDuring (talk) 20:40, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
The actual usage citations I've seen so far (See Citations:alt-left.) are much less vituperative and tendentious than our "definitions", which are not definitions so much as the evaluative predicates applied by those represented in the "citations" provided.
It is clear that alt-left was first used in explicit contrast to alt-right. DCDuring (talk) 21:44, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
Actually, the term was first used in explicit similarity with alt-right. During 2016 it was used by Clintonites to suggest that the Bernie bros, the Greens.the BLMers, and so on, were to be thought of in the same boat as the alt-right, i.e., too extreme. All so clever until Trump used the term. See [19] for a history of the term and much much better citations. 22:13, 17 August 2017 (UTC)


This is an adjective, but the definition is for a noun. —CodeCat 19:36, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

hemisymptoms (symptoms on one side of the body)[edit]

Singular unattested. How should this be formatted as an English noun? Wyang (talk) 00:42, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

I would just make an entry at hemisymptom and make a note that only the plural is attested. DTLHS (talk) 00:51, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
Ah okay thanks. I've created the entry. Wyang (talk) 02:50, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

political compass[edit]

Wikipedia uses this as a common noun in the first sentence and title, but mostly uses it as a proper noun elsewhere. If this is actually a common noun referring to "the invention made by "The Political Compass Project" or whatever then it may merit an entry perhaps? PseudoSkull (talk) 02:22, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

pronunciation of scallop[edit]

What is the difference between the pronunciation /ˈskaləp/ and the pronunciation /ˈskæləp/? I can't work it out from https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:English_pronunciation. Mihia (talk) 21:26, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

Broad and slender "a". The former has the "a" in "farther", and in some accents approaches "skolləp". The latter is the "a" in "hat". Australian English features both pronunciations, depending on you grew up. (Melbourne typically says /ˈskæləp/, Adelaide says /ˈskaləp/, for example.) --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 21:40, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
That isn't what the key seems to say. There, the vowel in "farther" is shown as ɑː, ɑ, ɒ, ɐː or ä, depending on region, but a appears only as a synomym of æ, as far as I can see. Is the key incorrect? Or maybe I am misunderstanding it somehow? Mihia (talk) 22:06, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
No, I think that's right. /a/ is also used for modern RP short a (slender a) by Geoff Lindsey. I'm not aware of any dialect in which scallop would be pronounced with broad a (skahluhp), though in Scotland they would probably use the undifferentiated central a. — Eru·tuon 22:11, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) I'm guessing that the original editor used /a/ (which isn't an IPA letter) instead of /ɑ/ (which is, but is an allograph in other contexts), and didn't notice. @Erutuon, I just told you a dialect which uses broad "a". I speak it. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 22:16, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
Right, but I thought broad a referred to the sound of father, identical to start in non-rhotic dialects, a long vowel in dialects with phonemic length, and not just a less front pronunciation of the vowel of cat. Do you mean that scallop is pronounced as if spelled scarlop in Adelaide, with a long vowel? — Eru·tuon 23:41, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
No, the "ar" is long in "farther", I was just talking about the quality, not the length. I just meant that Adelaide tends toward the "rhymes with dollop" end, rather than the "rhymes with ballot" end of the /o-æ/ spectrum. I didn't want to use "father", partially because I didn't trust that there's not a slender-er pronunciation but mainly because I hadn't had any coffee yet. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 00:26, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
Ah, okay. We're just using different definitions of "broad a" then. To explain what I meant a different way, I don't know of a dialect in which cat and father have different vowels, and scallop has the vowel of father. — Eru·tuon 01:02, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
And I do, because I speak it. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 02:28, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
Gah. I mean, the two having the same phoneme. You said scallop doesn't have a long vowel like farther does, and as I gather Australian English distinguishes short and long versions of the vowel quality [a], scallop has a different phoneme from farther (= father). — Eru·tuon 03:03, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
I'm trying to leave vowel length out of it and stick to the place of articulation. There's a lot of overlap between [a] and [ɑ] in practice. There's not just the regional broad/slender "a" variants — such that the "a" in "Newcastle" is spoken broadly by its inhabitants, and the "a" in "Castlemaine" is spoken narrowly by its inhabitants — but also social variants, from thick Strine through to the higher-register Cultivated. "Scallop" is a weird word in Australian, not only in pronunciation, but also in that the meaning can be different. One of the Australian shibboleths is whether a "scallop" is made of potato or not. (In some parts, when you go to a fish and chip shop and order a scallop, you get an item of seafood, in others, you will get a potato cake; battered and deep fried in either case.) So canonically, one of the main intra-variations is between [ɐː] and [æ], but "scallop" can vary further out than that, even, towards [ɑ] (approaching the English pronunciation indicated by the variant spelling scollop). My own pronunciation varies between /skɐləp/ and /skɑləp/ depending. Am I making sense?
And that's not even taking into account the "salary-celery" merger. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 03:32, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
The key also says that "RP /æ/ is sometimes transcribed /a/, for example in dictionaries of the Oxford University Press". If anyone is confident that /ˈskɑləp/ was meant and not /ˈskaləp/, then maybe it can be changed. However, currently the article says that this pronunciation is "UK and Ireland" (other pronunciations are also given for UK). While I am not sure about Ireland, I can't recall ever hearing anyone in the UK saying "scallop" with the vowel of "father", so I am still a bit dubious. Mihia (talk) 23:06, 17 August 2017 (UTC)


Verb definition:

(transitive) to make or cook scallops

To start with, the definition seems to be that of an intransitive verb, but even supposing it should say "to make or cook (scallops)", how would it be used? "I'm scalloping these scallops"? And how do you "make" scallops, given that we are apparently talking about the shellfish (rather than the decorative feature, which is the previous definition, "To cut in the shape of a crescent"). Can anyone make sense of this definition? Mihia (talk) 21:32, 17 August 2017 (UTC)


Just made a Spanish entry for amigx, which is a "feminist word" of some kind. Sadly, I know little about gender neutrality or feminism, and am surely missing out on something here... if I were a paid editor, I'd use my money to interview the Mexican feminist who wrote her entire thesis without the letter "o" to get an insight into the whole thing. --WF on Holiday (talk) 22:25, 17 August 2017 (UTC)