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


February 2017

µm, µg, etc. (U+00B5) → μm, μg, etc. (U+03BC)[edit]

Currently the pages with μ (U+03BC, Greek small letter mu) are redirected to the pages with µ (U+00B5, micro sign). However, the latter is a legacy character for backward compatibility and we should use rather the Greek mu. I would like to switch the real pages and the redirects. I did so on French Wiktionary in 2013. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 03:13, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

I never realized that. I thought the micro sign was intended for use as the SI prefix. I certainly didn't know it's deprecated, especially since it's available as AltGr+m on my German keyboard. But reading the link you provided convinced me, so I have no objection to your switching the direction of the redirect. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:06, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
Since there are dozens of pages to rename, I have to wait for an answer for my problem. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 15:53, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

Yes, last I heard, even the Unicode Consortium recommends using the letter mu to represent "micro" instead of the micro sign. However, I still think the micro sign is useful, since it allows a string search to specifically find the letter mu as used in units, as opposed to other scientific uses such as a variable, the symbol for a muon, etc. (e.g. a mu can be a muon or a micron, but a micro sign can only be a micron). Since Wiktionary should be as comprehensive as possible, I would recommend following the Unicode recommendation to use the letter mu for units inside pages, but still leave the micro sign for page names as synonyms, especially since that is how the units were previously coded (even though they are visually identical on most fonts). Entries using the micro sign can simply be labeled as "former encoding for," or something like that. Nicole Sharp (talk) 10:47, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

I will keep them as redirects. The difference between μ (U+03BC) and µ (U+00B5) is only in encoding and negligible for human eyes. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 12:39, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I support using the Greek mu in all these entries and keeping redirects wih the legacy character micro. I was already thinking of doing that, but I focused on doing other redirects and left that for later.
In Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2016/October#Proposal: Redirect many single-character entries, I had suggested redirecting the µ (micro) itself to μ (mu). I did that today, if that's OK. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 12:53, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

✓ Done. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 13:26, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

I thought about it too but I was too busy. Good job. --Octahedron80 (talk) 13:29, 17 February 2017 (UTC)


@Tooironic, Wyang, the definitions needs some labels (childish, colloquial, etc.). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 02:31, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

User:Tooironic has added some. I think the senses "egg", "fruit", "spherical object" and "very" may be dialectal. Wyang (talk) 05:15, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
@Tooironic, Wyang: thanks for your input! Hanyu Fangyan Da Cidian only mentions "boy's testicles" (SW Mandarin: Dafang), "fruit" (Jin: N. Shaanxi) and "very" (Jin), but are these just used in these regions? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:46, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
My feelings are: "boy's testicles" (colloquial: pan-Mandarin, Jin, and potentially others; often childish), "egg" (dialectal or childish), "fruit" (dialectal), "spherical object" (dialectal) and "very" (dialectal). Wyang (talk) 05:48, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang: I've made some changes accordingly. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:19, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

fear and loathing[edit]

Def and usex are very politically charged. Is it accurate? Can it be toned down a bit? Equinox 07:01, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

The usage example indicates that the definition is wrong. The first question is whether fear and loathing is not SoP or more like milk and honey. What does it collocate with? Eg, NP in "fear and loathing of [NP]". From that we might be able to sort out meanings to determine if any of them are not SoP. The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing is the only OneLook reference that has the term (FoLDIS has copiers.). It has a similarly tendentious definition, but in IT. DCDuring TALK 12:06, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

final illness[edit]

I created this but User:SemperBlotto deleted it. The reason given was just nah. I assume the actual reason is sum of parts. However, I would argue the phrase isn't simply sum of parts–suppose Bob has a cold, from which he completely recovers, and then two weeks later he is murdered. That cold was the last illness he had in his life, but few people would call that cold his final illness. final illness means the illness which kills you, which might not actually be the last illness of your life if you die from non-illness related causes (such as murder, accidents, natural disaster, war, etc). Yet, since one of the senses of final is "last", a person (especially a non-native English speaker) might think "final illness" just means "last illness in ones life" not specifically "illness from which one dies". Given this, the term isn't simply sum of parts, therefore I think it should be included. 10:19, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Not found in any medical dictionary and all usages that I can find (in a short search) were sum of parts. We do now have terminal illness that has the same meaning, but has lots more usage (and a Wikipedia entry as well). SemperBlotto (talk) 12:55, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
That’s a reasonable objection. I have restored it. @SemperBlotto: Please go to Wiktionary:Requests for deletion to delete it. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 15:33, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
terminal illness and final illness are used in different ways. When a historian talks about the death of a historical figure due to illness, they will usually say "Mozart's final illness" not "Mozart's terminal illness". That is because "final illness" is more non-medical (such as historical or literary) terminology than medical terminology. Compare Google searches of "Mozart's final illness" to "Mozart's terminal illness", you'll find the first phrase is significantly more popular, and also the results for the second phrase tend to skew in a more medical direction. "Terminal illness" also (often) implies an illness that contemporary medicine cannot cure (or at least its attempts to cure it are very hit and miss), e.g. many forms of cancer, whereas in history many "final illnesses" would be things which would not be considered a "terminal illness" today. Historically many people's final illness was syphilis, but it seems strange to contemporary ears to call that a "terminal illness" since today it is quite easily treatable and very rarely fatal. The term "terminal illness" is often (but not exclusively) used in ways which focus on the type of illness a person has–a common cold is not a terminal illness but certain aggressive cancers are–while you can talk about a particular person's terminal illness, you also often talk about particular medical conditions as terminal illnesses without reference to any particular person suffering them–whereas the term "final illness" is used in ways which focus on the person whose illness it is, even when (as in many historical cases) the specific medical condition they had is unknown or can only be guessed at–i.e. one can talk about a specific medical condition (without reference to any person who has it) as a "terminal illness", but to call such a condition a "final illness" sounds very odd. 21:10, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
I think this should be deleted as SoP even though the two words could theoretically have another meaning. Context and common sense are probably sufficient. Even our classic textbook example of "brown leaf" could mean something else (the brown old page of an ancient book). Equinox 21:16, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Appealing to "common sense" is a poor argument because what is common sense to a fluent speaker of English may be confusing or unclear to someone with less fluency who simply doesn't know the "common sense" which fluent speakers possess. I don't think "brown leaf" is a good counterexample, because using "brown leaf" to talk about a brown page of a book is not a usage which anyone would say is wrong or particularly confusing; whereas, saying "Bob's final illness" when talking about the chronologically last illness of Bob's life when he died from non-illness related causes is something which very many people would consider at least confusing or even just downright wrong. There is nothing wrong with the sentence "The brown leaves of the book were faded". There is something wrong with the sentence "Bob's final illness lasted six weeks" if Bob was murdered 6 months later. The first sentence doesn't deceive or confuse, the second sentence does, for it implies the illness killed him even though it didn't. ("Bob's last illness lasted six weeks" isn't necessarily as confusing because "last illness" doesn't have as strong an implication of death as "final illness" does–I might say "Bob's last illness took him a long time to recover from" and there's nothing wrong with that sentence but "Bob's final illness took him a long time to recover from" sounds potentially contradictory since "final" implies no recovery.) Where some of the plausible SOP readings are actually ruled out by common usage, the phrase isn't purely SOP any more. 01:13, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

trait#English - Different uses of the two pronunciations?[edit]

My impression in Australia is that the pronunciation /treɪt/ is the usual pronunciation, and the pronunciation /treɪ/ is typically only reserved for genetic or other academic uses. For example, one speaks of “sickle cell trait /treɪ/” and “thalassaemia trait /treɪ/”, never /treɪt/ (saying this in this situation may cause others to wince.). Wyang (talk) 13:02, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

I don't think I've ever heard /tɹeɪ/ in en-US at all; I'm pretty sure /tɹeɪt/ is the only pronunciation in all uses. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:28, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Ditto. I would wince only at hearing it pronounced sans t Leasnam (talk) 15:09, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
What is the fact base or methodology we use to determine or confirm the existence and relative frequency of pronunciations? DCDuring TALK 15:45, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Well, apparently some dictionaries show the other pronunciation without the t as secondary. Leasnam (talk) 16:09, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
So, is it a pronunciation used by French-trained doctors? DCDuring TALK 16:17, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
I note that some OneLook dictionaries have the silent-t pronunciation as UK. Medical dictionaries usually don't have pronunciations. DCDuring TALK 16:25, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes UK Leasnam (talk) 16:28, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
John C. Wells in the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary gives both options for UK English but gives preference to /tɹeɪ/. He says nothing about the two pronunciations being used in different contexts. For US English he lists only /tɹeɪt/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:18, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

mute h[edit]

This definition seems too narrow. I'm sure the term is also used to refer to unpronounced h'es in Spanish, etc. And what about English? What do you call the "h" in hour or honour? Kolmiel (talk) 15:24, 3 February 2017 (UTC) Hmm, I was a bit overhasty (again). I wasn't aware of the term silent h. However, I've also found "mute h" as a synonym, for example referring to English. I'd create that entry and make a link, but the problem is that any letter can be silent or mute. Kolmiel (talk) 15:30, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

The difference between French and English is that the "h" in hour is silent while the "h" in house is actually pronounced. But French phonology distinguishes between mute h and aspirated h by their behavior, even though both of them are in fact silent: le héros is pronounced /lə e.ʁo/, not */lə he.ʁo/. So mute h in this sense is something English and Spanish don't have, because English just has ordinary silent h’s opposed to pronounced h’s, and in Spanish there's no different behavior between two different kinds of silent h. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:45, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
I would say that the more familiar English term is silent h, with mute h being used more when referring to the traditionally silent h in languages like French (mute h always makes me think of French), but that may not be universally true. Leasnam (talk) 20:30, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

live in, live out[edit]

Where are these used? They sound unnatural to me (an American English speaker). DTLHS (talk) 21:05, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Not in Canada... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:50, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
The terms are used with reference to household servants, domestic help, nannies, etc. A "live in nanny" vs. a "live out nanny". Or cook, gardner, maid, butler, cleaner, chauffeur, whatever. Once you understand the context (I didn't at first since the entries really don't make the context clear) the terms don't sound unnatural at all. 01:22, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
That's not how the entries present the terms. They are defined as verbs. We have live-in which matches the adjectival sense you describe. DTLHS (talk) 01:28, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Imagine three nannies talking. The first nanny asks the other two, "Do you live in or out?" The second responds "I live in". The third says "I live out". To read "live in"/"live out" as verb phrases seems a very natural reading of such a conversation. (The stuff about "My commute is two minutes" in the example for live in is stupid though, since if you have a two minute commute you don't reside at your place of employment – e.g. maybe you bought an apartment across the street from your employer's offices, so you only have a two minute walk to get to work in the morning, but you don't actually live in your employer's offices.) 01:55, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Some dictionaries restrict these to the UK, but others do not. In the US live in seems common enough to me, but not live out. DCDuring TALK 15:52, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
(Incidentally, live out probably needs another sense. Can't you live out a dream, or a fantasy?) Equinox 06:42, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree. More importantly, some idiom/phrasal-verb dictionaries do too. DCDuring TALK 15:52, 4 February 2017 (UTC)


I've heard in Urban Dictionary it's also "cigarettes niggers smoke", so should that be another definition here?

If it can be cited, that is, if three durably archived usages can be found (see WT:CFI). -Lücht (talk) 01:18, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Added with three citations. I defined it "as an inferior cigarette" (the term is used e.g. to complain about menthols); not sure whether it really has anything to do with black people's smoking preferences; def may need tweaking. Equinox 06:48, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
In my long-lost youth "Kool" was a brand of menthol cigarette that was reportedly popular among American blacks. More recently in the US, there have been brands of cigarettes whose popularity was principally due to their low prices relative to the traditional brands like Marlboro. DCDuring TALK 16:09, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
I found a blog post discussing this: [1]. Equinox 20:39, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

"1/100th" when discussing currency subunits[edit]

Many of our currency entries describe a unit as "1/100th" of another. This always looks wrong to me. It's 1/100, or one hundredth, but not one slash hundredth. You wouldn't write "1/3rd", would you? Do others agree these should be changed? Equinox 19:05, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

Seems a bit weird yeah, I'd change it if I saw it. — Kleio (t · c) 19:06, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

Yes, this is an error. The correct way to write such a measurement is either as 0.01 or 1/100. A hundredth (one hundredth) can be written as "a 100th" but not "1/100th," since 1/0.01 = 100. Nicole Sharp (talk) 10:35, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Got rid of all "1/100th". There are probably still a few instances of other numbers than 100... Equinox 15:40, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

It is rare and dated but attested: [2]. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 05:06, 10 February 2017 (UTC)


I can't seem to source the 1990 George Bush citation (from a speech), which actually just seems to be Bush mispronouncing "family values". Did he really mean farmly as defined? If not this should be removed. Equinox 22:43, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

Given that he followed it immediately with "family", the implication is that he either used it as a one-off pun (he got a laugh) or it was a slip of the tongue. As for the second quote, "farmly" is immediately followed by "farm", which would be rather awkward if it was intended to be used with the challenged sense. It looks more like a typo for family influenced by the similarity to the following word. As for the third quote: it's in a poem, and modern poets are well known for bending vocabulary into unnatural shapes for artistic reasons. I don't think any of them really supports a word with any existence independent from the specific circumstances of each instance, and three times nothing is still nothing. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:57, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
2 additional cites with clear "farm"-related meaning. Leasnam (talk) 17:40, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I mean, the cites are pretty awful (including an odd poem that may not support this sense, one that seems to be a very clear mistake, one making fun of a half-educated Japanese immigrant's English, and what appears to be a classic Bushism). That said, under the normal interpretation of CFI, these would indeed pass if RFV'ed. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:55, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Confusion about cloud ear, Jew's ear, 雲耳 and 木耳[edit]

After reading the descriptions and seeing pictures of Auricularia polytricha and Auricularia auricula-judae, if cloud ear is the same thing as 雲耳, then cloud ear should be Auricularia auricula-judae (or Jew's ear), the softer of the two, instead of Auricularia polytricha, the harder, crisper one, contrary to how Wikipedia names these. The Wikipedia article named cloud ear fungus says the Chinese name is 雲耳, but this is not supported on the Chinese Wikipedia or by any sources. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:29, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

This calls Auricularia auricula-judae "cloud ear mushroom". — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:35, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

fiddle about, fiddle around[edit]

I thought these terms suggested unskilled mechanical fixing activity, e.g. fiddling around inside the back of a TV set to try to make it work. The given definitions (from the same IP) suggest they just mean idling, lazing around. Is that right? Equinox 19:14, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

Doesn't seem right to me (or at least it isn't a definition I was aware of). The sense you mention is the only one that is familiar to me. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:58, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
I now see that the same IP initially defined "ferret out" as "to fatten by feeding"!! Their entire contributions merit sceptical investigation. Equinox 20:05, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Fiddle about strikes me as the UK version of US fiddle around. What our definition lacks IMO is the notion that the "fiddler" is engaged in a pointless, valueless activity, the sole result of which is the waste of time. DCDuring TALK 23:10, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

I think it can go either way. E.g. "Quit fiddling around with that TV!" would mean that the person is wasting their time with an unproductive or detrimental activity (in the opinion of the person speaking). However, "I spent the afternoon fiddling around with the TV to improve its color balance" would mean a productive activity. Whether fiddling around is productive activity or not obviously depends on context. I think that "fiddling around" specifically just implies a mechanical or repetitive activity (by analogy of instrument-playing), and not so much as whether that activity is productive. Though in most cases, it is used either in a pejorative (for nonproductive activities) or tongue-in-cheek (for productive activities) context. Nicole Sharp (talk) 10:26, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

invasive carp[edit]

I'm intrigued about this being glossed as a euphemism. It sounds worse than "Asian carp", doesn't it? What's the story? Equinox 20:34, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

See Talk:Asian carp. DCDuring (who created invasive carp) seems to classify it as euphemistic. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:15, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
What has happened is that certain laws and regulations seem to use invasive carps where the carps in question are more usually called Asian carps. I believe that this is done not as a euphemism for the fish but for Asian-descended voters, whom some considered to be offended or potentially offended by the association of their continent of ancestry with these invasive species, against which extensive control efforts were or are to be undertaken (revocation of visas?). The invasive Asian carps are bighead carp, silver carp, black carp, and grass carp.
Does anyone know of a better term than euphemism, which term seems to actually fit this situation by our definition. DCDuring TALK 23:05, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
That makes more sense to me now, although perhaps the entry could benefit from an explanatory usage note? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:44, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Or a citation or two. DCDuring TALK 11:39, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Politically correct? — Ungoliant (falai) 17:58, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I was trying to avoid that label by using something more generic, less political, but that may not be possible. DCDuring TALK 00:59, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Ensemblist is not a word[edit]

Why are there entries for words that don't exist? Ensemblist is not a word. Using Soloist as an example is not valid. So why is this entry on the Wiktionary?

Of course it's a word: [3]. Equinox 00:30, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

About njeri[edit]

The current article is lacking two things:

  1. A translation of the usage example;
  2. A different section (maybe with alternate etymology) for the pronominal use, which at present is only mentioned in a quotation in the references.

So I wonder:

  1. Is it correct that "atë njeri e njihja" means "I knew that man"?
  2. Does the pronoun "njeri | anyone" share the etymology of the noun "njeri | man" or is it distinguished from it not only "semantically and grammatically" (quoting the reference) but etymologically as well? And in the latter case, where is the pronoun from?
  3. Could someone add these things to [the article]?
  4. Is the TR the right place to bring up such issues (of articles lacking info) or is there a more appropriate place for this?

MGorrone (talk) 15:05, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

This is one place to discuss it. Usually the best place to discuss language-specific details is the talk page to the "About" page for the language (in this case, Wiktionary:About Albanian), but I don't see much activity there, and the talk page is a redlink. Albanian isn't very widely studied by non-Albanians, and it has a sad history of heavy-handed interference by various parties for various political reasons, so we get a lot of Albanian editors with agendas working on etymologies and not a lot of basic dictionary work. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:27, 7 February 2017 (UTC)


In English this is also pronounced PREEM-ee-er, right? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:33, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

I agree. Here in Canada, I've only heard /ˈpɹimjɚ/. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:10, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Not in the UK. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:12, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware, it's only /pɹiˈmɪɚ/ in the U.S. —Stephen (Talk) 09:05, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of presentation[edit]

Is the pronunciation of presentation as /ˌpɹizənˈteɪʃən/ actually used in the UK? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 08:12, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

I've heard it used in at least one British movie/TV show. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:17, 7 February 2017 (UTC)


Looks like we need a new entry for predicate in the sense of criminal predicate. And here's a quote: "Those require a criminal predicate, or reasonable suspicion. New York TimesJan 25, 2017" --Espoo (talk) 09:09, 7 February 2017 (UTC)


I have been using the word "artifice" as a verb for years, in the sense of "to make artificial (from something natural)," e.g. "to artifice a mine from a mountain," or "to artifice trees into paper." However, I can't seem to find any citations for this. Have I been using this word incorrectly all this time? It does have a nice poetic ring to it. Nicole Sharp (talk) 09:58, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

  • It does seem a little odd, but the OED has the verb sense "trans. To make or shape by artifice; to apply artifice to; to construct, contrive. Now chiefly of immaterial things." (with citations from 1652 to 1995) SemperBlotto (talk) 10:15, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
    • Oxford University Press OxfordDictionaries.com came up on a Google Search for "artificing," but it still only lists "artifice" as a noun. If you have any citations or usages, see if you can add them here on Wiktionary, since they don't come up for me on Google. Nicole Sharp (talk) 10:56, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
By the way, shouldn't there be an uncountable sense? DTLHS (talk) 16:06, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
There are lots of uses of artificed that seem to be adjectival and of artificing that seem to be nominal, though some could also be interpreted as verbal. I found three uses that seem to me to be clearly verbal. They are in the entry, but I have not provided a definition. DCDuring TALK 16:29, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

take over[edit]

I wonder why every single sense has been labelled "idiomatic". DonnanZ (talk) 12:58, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Because none of them can be deduced from the definitions of "take" and "over". A example of a non-idiomatic use would be "I took the horse over the bridge". Siuenti (talk) 13:58, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, yeah, but I still wouldn't class it at being idiomatic, implying an idiom, even though there's a different sense. Saying "company X took over company Y" is the same as "company X took company Y over". It's just a phrasal verb that can be split, nothing remotely idiomatic about it. DonnanZ (talk) 15:10, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Lexicographic idiomaticity is principally in the semantics, not the grammar, at least as we consider it. DCDuring TALK 15:53, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I question the value of labelling every idiomatic sense as such, though. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:16, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I've inserted {{&lit}} which, arguably, obviates the need for all those "idiomatic" labels (which I did not remove). DCDuring TALK 00:08, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
They're removed now, the note "used other than as an idiom" is enough to indicate an "idiomatic" phrase. It is still recorded as an idiom after the labels are removed, so the labels are / were actually superfluous. DonnanZ (talk) 10:22, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

"help" meaning "do for"[edit]

I've met some African speakers who use the word "help" in the sense of "do for", e.g. "I'll help you wash the car" would mean "I'll wash the car for you". I'd like to add something to "help" to point out this is non-standard in most varieties of English, but I'm not sure how to proceed. (Chinese people also do this [4]) Siuenti (talk) 14:03, 7 February 2017 (UTC)


Daniel C added two curious senses, with idiosyncratic cites that might not reflect normal usage: (i) a person, regardless of their gender, who is perceived as conforming to female stereotypes; (ii) a man who does not have a healthy penis. To me this is deliberate playing with language rather than mainstream dictionary senses. Imagine a woman saying: "My father was never home, so, growing up, I had to be the father in our house." Equinox 21:09, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

To me, these senses are OK. We have the sense "A person who plays the role of a father in some way." at father. If we found the sentence "My father was never home, so, growing up, I had to be the father in our house." in a book, I'd support using it as a quote for that sense. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 19:52, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Wow, that sense of "father" really surprises me! I mean, it's like having a sense at "spaceman" for "a child playing at being a spaceman" (as in "this time you be the spaceman and I'll be the alien"), or at "teapot" for "a small model of a teapot belonging to a doll's house". I feel the same about "catgirl" defining a cosplayer, as I once mentioned before. Sometimes one just refers to something as X because it is a simulacrum of X, even though you know it's not a real X. Equinox 20:56, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Quite. --Droigheann (talk) 23:33, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Or Shirley Temple at teapot... Chuck Entz (talk) 03:49, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox: Allright. I removed the 2 senses from girl. I only left the quotations there, if that's OK. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 13:23, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

heel of a hand[edit]

We don't seem to have this either under heel or as a separate entry. Could someone who's - unlike me - quite certain which part of the hand it refers to add it? --Droigheann (talk) 00:03, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

I'm familiar with the term...for the area of the palm nearest the wrist Leasnam (talk) 02:58, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd say add it under heel. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:29, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Added by DCDuring - special thanks for finding a picture which made it crystal clear! --Droigheann (talk) 17:28, 8 February 2017 (UTC)


The entry shows the stress on the third syllable, which jibes with most usage I've encountered ... but I've occasionally heard the adverb stressed on the antepenult: AmE /ɪndɨfəˈtɨɡəbli/. Can anyone confirm whether that's considered a standard variant, or a solecism? If the former, can anyone attest a similar pronunciation of the adjective (e.g., /ɪndɨfəˈtiɡəbəɫ/)? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 14:41, 8 February 2017 (UTC).

It's obviously stressed on the penultimate, because it rhymes with Clark Gable. —CodeCat 15:31, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
I can't tell if CodeCat is joking or not, but I've certainly never heard either the adjective or the adverb stressed on any syllable other than fæt. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:47, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of the existence of what seems to be the standard pronunciation.... I'm only familiar with /ˌɪndəfəˈtiɡəbəl/ and /ˌɪndəfəˈtiɡəbli/. It's possible my pronunciation is idiosyncratic though, and I've never actually heard the word (although that seems unlikely). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 09:59, 14 February 2017 (UTC)


Noun sense 2, the plural form should be following, or there should only be a singular form.

For the sense defined as “Something to be mentioned immediately later”, I believe that it is incorrect to use the form followings, even when referring to several things. For example:

The following are common words:

  • list,
  • item.

However, when referring to several things after this fashion, I do not know if we actually use the plural of following—although with an identical spelling—or if the word in this sense has no plural and we actually use the singular form here too. Either way, the definition for this sense should belong to a different section. --Anareth (talk) 17:06, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

I added a note "singular only". I think this is worth mentioning, for one thing because "the followings" is an error sometimes made by non-native speakers. I also took the liberty of adjusting the heading of this thread. Mihia (talk) 10:31, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Ooops, sorry, I need to revisit this as, of course, we can say "the following are ..." as well as "the following is ...". I have just reverted my edit for now, as I have to go and have no time to look at it now. Mihia (talk) 10:36, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I had another go. Please anyone change it if you prefer different wording. Mihia (talk) 18:23, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Calques and translations[edit]

Where is the line drawn between translations, translations that feature word order that is identical to the source word/phrase, and calques? Like Red Square, which currently claims to be a calque. —suzukaze (tc) 23:06, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

A calque is a translation, specifically a loan-translation. That means that it's translated, but then this translation becomes part of the language's idiom rather than being a one-off. —CodeCat 00:07, 9 February 2017 (UTC)


-tastic, is this really a suffix ? If so, then is -tel a suffix (motel, boatel, floatel, etc.) ? Leasnam (talk) 17:26, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Same for -tacular, -riffic, -licious Leasnam (talk) 17:29, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
FWIW, the OED calls -tastic a "combining form" and defines/describes it "Forming adjectives designating someone or something perceived as excellent or remarkable as regards that which is denoted by the prefixed word. Cf. POPTASTIC adj. In early use freq. punningly used to create a word phonetically similar to fantastic." [5] They also have a "combining form" -riffic [6] but none of the others. --Droigheann (talk) 03:02, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • It's officially recognised on Oxford Online as an informal combining form, "Forming adjectives denoting someone or something regarded as an extremely good example of their particular type" in words such as poptastic and funtastic.
  • As for -tel, I think this is just a blend based on hotel, and not a suffix as such. DonnanZ (talk) 18:22, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Welll, my point is: isn't poptastic just a blend of pop/popular and fantastic in the same way that boatel is a blend of boat and hotel ? A combining form is a suffix, is it ? ok, I see it now. Thanks Leasnam (talk) 21:22, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
I think it depends on how old and well-established it is. The first few words in -athon would have been regarded as blends, but now it's easy to use that on new words without particularly thinking about the root word marathon. Equinox 21:38, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

in places[edit]

Meaning only in some places and not everywhere. It may be worth an entry: I have just found a translation for this, e.g. "... that in places has led to the establishment of grass cover". DonnanZ (talk) 18:06, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Spatial equivalent of at times — though there are other similar versions like in spots. Equinox 20:51, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
It's not to be confused with in place either. Anyway, I have created an entry for in places; I have classified it as an adverb for now, but someone will surely reclassify it. DonnanZ (talk) 10:52, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Confused by first definition of agency[edit]

The first definition of 'agency' reads: "The capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power..."

This expands to:

   1. The capacity power, or
   2. The condition power, or 
   3. The state of acting power, or
   4. The state of exerting power

The last one is the only one that I understand. Maybe an additional 'of' or other preposition or word went missing. Are the following meanings what are intended for the first three?

   1. The capacity also called power, i.e. 'agency' is a synonym of 'power'
   2. The condition of power, i.e. the state of being in power, or the effects of being in power
   3. The state of acting while in power, i.e. availing oneself of one's power, i.e. the state of enacting one's power
         or the state of acting (pretending to be) powerful

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:20, 10 February 2017 (UTC).

EDIT: Oops, now I see that it may have meant

   1. "The capacity, condition, or state of acting, or the capacity, condition, or state of exerting power..."

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:26, 10 February 2017 (UTC).

It can be read in still other ways too. Thanks for bringing the lack of clarity to the attention of the community. DCDuring TALK 23:43, 10 February 2017 (UTC)


Are there really four distinct senses of ety 1? Mihia (talk) 05:22, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

I've encountered all four of those. Equinox 13:33, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
So how is #1 different to #2? #1 definition is "hey", and, as far as I can see, "Oi! Stop that!" means "Hey! Stop that!". Mihia (talk) 14:28, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Those two could probably be merged. Equinox 14:30, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree; I have merged them. Mihia (talk) 21:49, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

definition of subdural[edit]

Hello, the definition for subdural seems wrong:

The definition for 'subdural' is: "(anatomy) located beneath the dura mater and above the meninges"

When I clicked on 'dura mater' it said: "(anatomy) The tough and inflexible outermost of the three layers of the meninges "

And the definition for meninges was: "(anatomy) The three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord."

These three definitions obviously aren't self consistent. It seems more like the definition for subdural ought to be " located between the dura mater and the arachnoid mater" or perhaps, since 'arachnoid mater is a pretty obscure word: "located between the dura mater and the next most inward layer of the meninges"

But, I'm no expert, I'm just basing that suggestion on what makes sense from the three definitions above.

DlronW (talk) 21:21, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Thanks, subdural has been modified accordingly. Wyang (talk) 21:54, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Olomouc[edit]

Is there an established English pronunciation of the city of Olomouc? Can the one given in the entry be verified in some reliable sources? --Jan Kameníček (talk) 23:47, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Not listed in either the 4th edition (1937) or 14th edition (1977) of the Daniel Jones "English Pronouncing Dictionary", so I would tend to doubt that there's any conventional English pronunciation which is very widely known... AnonMoos (talk) 19:48, 26 February 2017 (UTC)


haze says that hase is an alt form. Is that real? If so, does it need marking as archaic or obsolete? Equinox 12:31, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

It's obsolete (of course).
    • 1721, Bailey:
      "A Hase, a thick Fog or Rime."
I've added a label Leasnam (talk) 17:16, 13 February 2017 (UTC)


A relative newbie, Mr. Yazar, just added this as a preposition, but the leading hyphen makes me doubt this analysis. @Strombones, Hekaheka, Hyark, Puisque, Tropylium and anyone else who knows Estonian: what is this really? A preposition? A postposition? A suffix? A case ending? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:50, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

I'd call it a clitic. Compare -kin and -kaan in Finnish. —CodeCat 16:03, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
It's a case ending for the comitative. Strombones (talk) 21:27, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
We usually call case endings suffixes, don't we? Do we have entries for other Estonian case endings? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:33, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Should be a case ending, yes. Category:Estonian inflectional suffixes only has a few members so far though. --Tropylium (talk) 21:50, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your help, everyone. I've changed the POS to suffix, and CAT:Estonian inflectional suffixes now has one more member. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:46, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Hi, sorry I missed this. Yeah, I haven't taken a full course in Estonian, but I would say it is the comitative case ending (tema sõidab autoga "he/she drives a car", lit. "he/she drives with/using a car"). (CodeCat, -gi/-ki is the clitic cognate with -kin and -kaan. :) -- Puisque (talk) 16:12, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I also agree that -ga is the suffix for the comitative case. ¦ hyark digyik 20:34, 14 February 2017 (UTC)


Two questions:

  • Why is this reconstructed with a laryngeal? Derksen, who is quite laryngeal-happy, reconstucts *smey- without a laryngeal and specifically says the acute tone in Balto-Slavic is an innovation. Sanskrit smita would seem to preclude a laryngeal. The long ī in Latin and Germanic can in both cases come from -ei-.
  • Why the s-mobile? The only languages without the initial -s- are Latin and Greek, and both are known to have dropped initial -s- in *sm-. Furthermore, Homeric φιλομμειδής (philommeidḗs, smiling gladly) seems to specifically indicate a former -s-.

I think this should be moved to Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/smey-. Benwing2 (talk) 20:38, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

@CodeCat Benwing2 (talk) 20:38, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
LIV has indeed just *smey-. No need to assume s-mobile or a laryngeal, as far as I can see. --Tropylium (talk) 21:52, 12 February 2017 (UTC)


The audio file is not working for me, is it working for anyone else? ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:48, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Not working for me either. It probably needs to be recorded again. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:54, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I fiddled with the audio and it should work now. —suzukaze (tc) 06:20, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Many thanks, it's working for me now. ---> Tooironic (talk) 16:17, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
It's not working for me though, just a little phut is heard. I have found many audio files don't work properly; I would like to export them to Norwegian, but I won't do this with broken audio files. DonnanZ (talk) 10:29, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Reverting edit about "Spock" gesture[edit]

@Equinox, Chuck Entz. This was discussed here a bit: User talk:Equinox#Spock.

I'd like to revert diff. I believe the word "Spock" meaning basically "a gesture in rock paper scissors" is a common noun, not a proper noun. In this sense, we are not talking about the fictional character named Spock. I believe all words for gestures are common nouns, including RPS handshapes (rock, paper, scissors), and other handshapes such as shaka, hang loose, thumbs up, corna (no English section), facepalm, fig (sense missing).

This was pointed out in the discussion linked above: "The hand gesture is named after Spock, but it isn't a direct reference to him, any more than an axel is a direct reference to w:Axel Paulsen." --Daniel Carrero (talk) 04:53, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

But that's a countable common noun: "an axel, two axels". In the finger game, you don't call "a Spock"! It's just the name Spock, a proper noun. More like Old Kent Road in the board game Monopoly. Equinox 18:55, 13 February 2017 (UTC)


Please add this word: "Pedophocracy". I'm not a word smith. I don't know Latin or how this word came to be. I wrote an article about it here with lots of references for you if needs be: infogalactic.com/info/Pedophocracy Full disclosure: I was banned from Wikipedia for a year. I'm a truther. I don't believe everything the government or corporate media tells me. Nor do I believe much of the independent media. I believe in letting people know all sides if possible and that nothing should be censored, hiding not only the truth, but the crimes and criminals. Nuf said. Though I'm not happy with the anti-"fringe" fascists at Wikipedia, I've only got good things to say about Wiktionary and Wikiquotes, and most Wikipedians for that matter. Thank you in advance. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 16:39, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

It can be added if you can find three independent sources (not your own website) using the word and meeting WT:CFI. Looking on Google Books and Scholar it looks like D McGowan is the only one to use it and therefore it should not be added. DTLHS (talk) 17:32, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Good to know. Thanks for the prompt response. McGowan coined it some time ago, but it seems to be catching on. Is Wiktionary like Wikipedia when it comes to "fringe" sources? For example, I learned about it from independent journalists who have used it recently, likely due to the Pizzagate stuff. FYI, InfoGalactic is not my site (terrible name) - it is an encyclopedia forked from Wikipedia intending to grow in ways WP refuses to. Because I just finished that article including living persons, it was moved back under my user page until legal can go through it, whatever that means. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 17:45, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
We don't care about fringe sources, just that they are durably archived and demonstrating usage (in practice this usually means we rely on Google Books and Google Scholar). DTLHS (talk) 17:49, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for this info, though I'm a little confused and I'm sorry to bother you again. Many independent news and other sites use the term, (pages and pages easily found: https://www.google.ca/search?q=Pedophocracy) and many are well archived on their sites as well as the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Does this count? Also, if "pedo" means child and "cracy" means rulers, what does "pho" mean besides tasty soup? ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 06:02, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
It sounds like the word is formed by adding -cracy to a clipping of pedophile (with the interfix -o-). I disapprove of the way the word is formed; I would prefer pedophilocracy, but I guess people find that to be too long. Anyway, this means that the -pho- part has nothing to do with soup; it's just the first digraph in the morpheme -phile plus the linking vowel -o-. — Eru·tuon 06:26, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Duh. I feel embarrassed I didn't see that. Thanks. The longer version is better, more clear, and less confusing. The shorter one might be confused with a ruler of feet. Or a ruler in feet. Not inches. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 09:30, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Also, in addition to being less clear and accurate, why this shortened version of this "new" word is bad, if you actually say it aloud, not that it comes up often in conversations, it sounds kind of like "pedo-fuck-crazy" which is tragically like putting a clown nose on a very very serious subject. I wish this word wasn't invented in the short version and I wish we didn't need any word like it at all. For whatever it's worth the new InfoGalactic article has passed legal and has been released, edited, for better or worse: https://infogalactic.com/info/Pedophocracy ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 15:26, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
That doesn't look like a durably archived source, and it still doesn't look like the word has been used by multiple, independent sources, in other words, by people who have nothing to do with the coiner of the term. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:58, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Yet another word formed from Classical elements by people who know nothing or almost nothing about either Greek or Latin (others are "thealogy", "homophobia", "noctcaelador" etc etc). You'd think those who are not experts would be able to face up to the fact and ask those who are experts for help. As far back as the 1920s, some were complaining that the "o" should be omitted from "psychoanalysis" to be strictly correct, but that seems minor now... AnonMoos (talk) 20:02, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Nothing wrong with mixing roots. What do you call a television? Equinox 20:05, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Television mixes Greek and Latin (another bugbear of early 20th-century classical purists which seems almost trivial now), but it doesn't show conspicuous faults in word formation (as thealogy and noctcaelador do), or an intended meaning strongly divergent from the meaning indicated by the roots (as homophobia does). AnonMoos (talk) 20:35, 26 February 2017 (UTC)


I've seen this specifically refer to two alternating lights at a railway crossing. Should this be added? —CodeCat 18:55, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

I would say so, yes. I've found several cites supporting this usage Leasnam (talk) 19:14, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't think two alternating flashing lights were used originally, just one light suspended on a pendulum-like device which swung from side to side, hence the name wigwag. DonnanZ (talk) 10:22, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
No, it's obviously an extension of usage, much like using torch for the electrical variant. But we don't even have a sense for the mechanical wigwag, let alone the electric one. The current definition is overly broad. —CodeCat 19:02, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Or electromechanical? DonnanZ (talk) 20:50, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
I have added a nice image, maybe they are still used in the USA. DonnanZ (talk) 11:35, 17 February 2017 (UTC)


Why do we have a reconstruction for this when it's very obviously attested? —CodeCat 01:49, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

I assume some of the conjugated forms are unattested. DTLHS (talk) 01:55, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
It's a reconstruction for Vulgar Latin, so many of the forms are probably unattested. Do we have a ruling on this? Reconstructing a word which is attested in a language for a poorly attested dialect of that same language? At least I think the argument shouldn't be that it would be allowed if the infinitive happened to be something other than amare but this way it's not. Kolmiel (talk) 04:41, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
If we needed it, it should be at Reconstruction:Latin/amo, since we use the 1st person singular present active indicative as the lemma for Vulgar Latin just as for Classical. But IMO we don't need a reconstruction page for an attested lemma just to show its unattested inflected forms. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:03, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
While we're on the subject, it may be interesting to have those Vulgar Latin inflections somewhere on the main entries where applicable? — Kleio (t · c) 22:29, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Angr. — Ungoliant (falai) 22:33, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Well, I also agree, kinda, but having the inflections is nice, while putting them on the main entry -- I don't know. Kolmiel (talk) 02:19, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Why not create an appendix with Vulgar Latin inflections (compare with the appendices in Category:Latin appendices)? Then one could conjugate Vulgar Latin amo by knowing that it stayed in the first conjugation and then one wouldn't need Reconstruction:Latin/amo. - 01:13, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

ying-yang, yin-yang[edit]

ying-yang means 1. anus and 2. penis; while yin-yang means vulva. That seems odd. Can't both forms mean all three things, in slang? Equinox 22:39, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Why??? This is a sacred Chinese concept. This needs to be explained in the etymology (of one or both entries). Wyang (talk) 08:43, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
There aren't that many slang senses under yin-yang on Google Books or Google Groups. Maybe they should all go to ying-yang, which could be just a reduplication. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:50, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Category:English terms spelled with ’[edit]

What's the correct response to this strange category? I noticed it when someone changed Dollo's law to use the curly apostrophe (I prefer the plain one, and it prevents this category happening!). Equinox 19:55, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

The pages should be moved. DTLHS (talk) 20:25, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

suck off[edit]

Is it always until the ejaculation? I think I've read some instances where it was not the case. --Barytonesis (talk) 01:57, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

I've added "usually" to it Leasnam (talk) 03:14, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
What do citations say? UseNet and Google Books (fiction) would be the sources.
It seems like suck + off to me. DCDuring TALK 13:16, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Could it also be a blend of suck and get off, with the off added alluding to the latter ? Leasnam (talk) 18:11, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
I strongly suspect that off has the same meaning ("achieving orgasm") in combination with any of several verbs. See WT:RFV#suck off for other problems with the definition. DCDuring TALK 18:31, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Same could be asked about pull off and jerk off (though we don't currently define them as reaching orgasm). Equinox 18:41, 17 February 2017 (UTC)


Calling this term 'rare' is a bit of a stretch I think. I have heard native speakers use it from time to time. Any thoughts? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:43, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

You have? I've only heard Germans use it as a mistranslation of Adaption. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:40, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
OED labels it "now nonstandard" and comments that "despite the long history of adaption in English, adaptation is now the preferred form". (Their quotations range from 1615 to 2007).[7] --Droigheann (talk) 21:15, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
In light of that, I have changed the label to "proscribed". ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:07, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

tautology and pleonasm[edit]

I wanted to edit these because they sound very negative. Of course, according to our present "capitalistic" stylistic norms we should say everything as fast and simply as possible. But tautology and pleonasm are rhetoric figures, not defects as such. Depending on the language and age they may be regarded as signs of great eloquence. And even now they are used for emphasis etc. — Now the problem that I have is that I might do this wrong because the German use might be different from the English. German wikipedia describes Tautologie and Pleonasmus as synonymic per se, with different not generally accepted attempts at distinguishing them (e.g. that there's a tendency to use Tautologie when the two are of the same part of speech as in "fright and fear"). English wikipedia's Tautology_(rhetoric), however, is a very different and somewhat strange entry. Thanks for your input! Kolmiel (talk) 04:04, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

I can't think of an example off the top of my head where it makes a difference (if there is one), but my impression is that a tautology is a repetition of either the whole term or just the meaning, while a pleonasm is unnecessary extra verbiage, whether it's a repetition or not. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:16, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds very similar to what my mother's old Advanced Learner's English dictionary says. Kolmiel (talk) 04:29, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
That would make tautology a hyponym of pleonasm. DCDuring TALK 13:39, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
FWIW, Oxford perceives tautology as negative, "a fault of style" [8][9], while being kinder to pleonasm, "a fault of style, or a rhetorical figure used for emphasis or clarity" [10][11]. Then again, the entries may have been dealt with by different editors. --Droigheann (talk) 21:51, 16 February 2017 (UTC)


In Act 1, Scene 2 of King Lear, Edgar asks Edmund, "How long have you been a sectary astronomical?" Does "sectary" mean "believer" here? If so, we are missing that sense on Wiktionary at the moment. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:26, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

  • I think that means "member of a sect". SemperBlotto (talk) 07:52, 16 February 2017 (UTC)


Does this never mean "to plot against; to scheme" in Japanese as it does in Chinese? If so, this would appear to be a false friend. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:37, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

  • @Tooironic: According to the monolingual JA resources I've consulted, in Japanese, this only ever means "to calculate in one's head, without using tools or writing anything down". ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:12, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

tax return[edit]

I seem to have seen Americans using this to mean the amount that is refunded if you have overpaid. To me it refers only to the form that you fill in, does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 21:28, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

It isn't supposed to mean the amount that's refunded; that's tax refund in American English (at least). I wouldn't be surprised if some people get confused because of the similarity in sound and because of the ambiguity of the word return, though; nor would I be surprised if such confusion is occasionally found in permanently archived sources. But I would still call it an error. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:29, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Looking at Twitter, though, most of the recent tweets using 'tax return' are from Americans using it to mean the refund: https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=default&q=%22tax%20return%22&src=typd There's even memes about spending your tax return, which was what confused me at first. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 22:41, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, a lot of people misuse the term. Though I noticed that it wasn't only Americans, since some people were talking about their tax "returns" (i.e. refunds) in pounds sterling. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:47, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Maybe it should be cross-linked to a new entry for tax refund, or a note added saying a tax return is not to be confused with a tax refund, which is the return to a taxpayer of overpaid tax. DonnanZ (talk) 11:00, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

classical conditioning[edit]

What sense of classical is invoked in this term? ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:17, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Probably it was just the type studied earliest by academics and understood somewhat before the other types... AnonMoos (talk)


Nootropic should be added to the derived forms of -tropic, which (going by a peek at one word that is) is apparently done with a confix template in the etymology. But there is no entry for the other half noo-, and the only other word I can think of beginning with that is noosphere. I have exhausted my small knowledge of templates. Should we do it anyway? --Hiztegilari (talk) 14:54, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

noocracy! I suppose we'd best create noo-. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:16, 20 February 2017 (UTC)


The current entry for "ooch" seems to be a French usage. But there is a good English usage of the term and it should be added to the wictionary:

Ooch -- move in small steps

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ooch http://www.thepalife.com/ooch/ http://andyburkhardt.com/2014/02/17/ooching-cultivating-an-attitude-of-experimentation/

See ooch at OneLook Dictionary Search. It is a redirect to scrunch in a single dictionary of American slang. We need citations, which IMO may include usage examples from DARE. DCDuring TALK 17:08, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

Thanks, I did look at DARE and did find a couple of usages of "ooch." It looks like a contraction of the word scooch, so maybe the action to take (if any) is to add "ooch" as an Alternative form.

As for usage examples, there are actually quite a few, listed below, and a usage in the rule book for the America's Cup, which may date as far back as 1851 [1]

42.2 Prohibited Actions

Without limiting the application of rule 42.1, these actions are prohibited:

(a) pumping: repeated fanning of any sail either by pulling in and releasing the sail or by vertical or athwartship body movement;

(b) rocking: repeated rolling of the boat, induced by

(1) body movement,

(2) repeated adjustment of the sails or centreboard, or

(3) steering;

(c) ooching: sudden forward body movement, stopped abruptly;

(d) sculling: repeated movement of the helm that is either forceful or that propels the boat forward or prevents her from moving astern;

(e) repeated tacks or gybes unrelated to changes in the wind or to tactical considerations.

When your economy is kind of ooching along, it's important to let people have more of their own money.[2]

To echo UM ‘73, my career was chosen such that I would never get away with ooching towards a solution with woulda, shoulda, coulda. [3]

What he needed to do, he realized, was OOCH! To "ooch" is to construct small experiments to test one’s hypothesis. [4]

Ooching is the opposite of jumping in headfirst into something. Ooching is conducting “small experiments to test one’s hypothesis.” [5]


It's also used as a pronoun, but we have no entry.

As a determiner: Several people got on the train.
As a pronoun: Several of those waiting got on that train.
DonnanZ (talk) 20:27, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
We would not have to include a pronoun L3 header if we could count on our users to know what a determiner is and that (almost?) all of them can be used in "fused head" or pronominal constructions. I don't know whether the duplication of definitions in Determiner and Pronoun L3 sections is more or less confusing than eliminating the Pronoun L2. Some modern UK dictionaries do a pretty good job of handling this question, eg, Collins, Longmans DCE, probably Oxford and Cambridge advanced learners, etc. DCDuring TALK 00:20, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Clearly, having the header "Determiner and Pronoun" is totally lame. --Quadcont (talk) 11:17, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Hmm, OK, I have made a combined L2 header [12], and added {{en-pron}}. Will that be OK in an odd situation like this? Usage examples can be added, of course. DonnanZ (talk) 11:20, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I'd do it that way, but we should get reactions from others. This should probably go to WT:BP (or WT:AEN). DCDuring TALK 16:52, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
As you wish. DonnanZ (talk) 18:51, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
I take it this should also mean changes to many, few, either and probably others. What about those like some where there is only a partial overlap? --Droigheann (talk) 00:45, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
The broader the reach of the changes, the more we need some kind of broader consensus. Someone is going to have to wade into the contemporary distinction between pronoun, adjective, and determiner both in function and as word classes. They should also remain aware of the incompleteness of acceptance of "determiner" as a word class rather than "pronoun" or "adjective" among many humans. As an indication, MWOnline, AHD, and RHU (all "US") do not include "determiner" among the word classes of several. One US dictionary even has several as a noun not a pronoun. In contrast most UK dictionaries do.
Some "UK" dictionaries have determiner and pronoun as word class labels for all almost all definitions of several (excepting true adjective usage as in "the several states"). Others distinguish by individual definition. One includes "quantifier" as a word class.
Hardly any dictionaries dispense with word class labels entirely, so we need to address the question to be taken seriously as a dictionary, IMO.
And, of course, older reference grammars, older dictionaries and older editions (pre 1980?) did not have "determiner" as a word class.
Do WP's articles cover the lack of historical consensus very well? Can we rely on them to even show what the contemporary consensus among grammarians is? Should we rely on a single reference grammar, eg, Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL) or also consider learner's grammars and older reference grammars (Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Houtsma, even Jespersen)? CGEL distinguishes its more controversial positions from more settled matters. Is that reliable enough for us? Can we stretch the Usage notes header to include the mostly academic question of word class membership? DCDuring TALK 17:04, 19 February 2017 (UTC)


One of the synonyms gives the sense "unbound". However, none of the actual senses in the entry is "unbound". Which sense does this synonym belong to? —CodeCat 20:55, 17 February 2017 (UTC)


Similar to the German entry above, here it's also not very clear which senses the synonyms belong to, as the given senses do not appear listed. Moreover, the translations also give senses which do not actually exist in the entry. At the very least, I would suggest moving many of the translations to a more accurate synonym, e.g. put the translations meaning "member of Felidae" at felid. —CodeCat 21:04, 17 February 2017 (UTC)


There's a sense label for "sex" here but there's no such sense listed in the entry. —CodeCat 23:01, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

aesthetics and massage[edit]

What does aesthetics mean in the context of "massage and aesthetics" or "body work and aesthetics"? (google these phrases to find uses). DTLHS (talk) 23:52, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

It means they offer the services of an aesthetician (= beautician). Equinox 00:26, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Forcouth: English?[edit]

There is currently no citation for "forcouth" in the English language, but only in Middle English (dating from 1200). Should this entry be relabelled as a Middle English word, or is there a citation of it in Modern English (post-1500)? Dylanvt (talk) 04:33, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Definitely only Middle English. DTLHS (talk) 04:34, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

nolle prosequi, nolle prosequis[edit]

Both nolle and prosequi are Latin infinitives, and the 'nolle prosequi' entry is OK.

'prosequis', however, does not exist in Latin. It is at best an informal English plural. It is, therefore, wrong to say that 'nolle prosequis' is a 3rd person singular.

They are English entries, and as English entries they can be correct even if for a Latin entry it would be incorrect and nonsense. -Slœtel (talk) 10:38, 18 February 2017 (UTC)


Is the entry correct?
The mentioned book contains for example: "כוזרי [?] Liber Cosri" (title page), "Liberum Cosri", "Cosri pars prima" (p.1, followed by Semitic characters), "[number] Cosri"; "Regem Cosareorum" (title page), "Regem Cosar" (p.6), "nomen viri Cosroes" (p.6), "Regem terrae Cosar" (p.6), "[...] [5.] Socii, h.e. sapientis cujusdam Doctoris Judaici, qui agebat apud Regem [6.] Cosar, qui annis abhinc quadringentis amplexus est Religionem nostram [...]".
I would guess that Cosri could be a proper noun and a book title, known in English as Kuzari (w:en:Kuzari) - which is already present at Cosri. The German wikipedia (de:w:Jehuda ha-Levi) writes: "Der Titel „Kusari“ bezieht sich auf den gleichnamigen König der Chasaren", i.e. "The title 'Kusari' refers to the king of the Khazars with the same name". So even if "Cosri" appears without "Liber" or "pars", it could have another meaning than Khazars.
As the entry Cosar explicitly mentions the title page as a source for the meaning and as the title page only contains "כוזרי [?] Liber Cosri", "Regem Cosareorum" and "Cosareorum Historia" (it's "Cosareorum", not "Cosrōrum" as in the entry) (or did I miss something?) the entry would be unsourced. -Slœtel (talk) 10:34, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

For a better comprehension of the Latin text I compared it with an English translation of the original text found at wikisource. As the English translation is a translation of the original text and not a translation of the Latin text, it does not translate the Latin annotations of course.
"Regem Cosar" = "King of the Khazars", "Religione Cosaritica" = "Khazar religion", "populus Cosariticus" (precided by "multus") = "Khazars", "Rex Cosar" = "King of Khazar", "[number] Cosri = "[number] Al Khazari" and "the Khazari" etc., "Posthaec ergo dixit Cosri in corde suo" = "After this the Khazari said to himself", "tibi" = " to thee, a Prince of the Khazars", "Sabaeis, Indis, Cosareis (Persis)" = "peoples of Sind, India, and Khazar", "Rex Cosar" = "O King of the Khazars"
So it should be:
  • Cosri = 1. Kuzari (book title), 2. Al Khazari, the Khazari
  • Cosar (indecl.; pl. in meaning, but could also be a collective singular) = Khazars (pl.)
  • Cosarei (-orum, m.) = Khazars (people of Khazar), hence: *Cosareus (-i, m.) = Khazar
  • Cosariticus (-a, -um) = Khazar -
It seems like no singular Khazar occurs in the English text, so the Latin text could miss it too. Latin "Cosroes" in "Ego puto esse nomen viri Cosroes, quod Perficorum Regum olim fuit." in an annotation would miss a translation, but should be a name of a man ("nomen viri").
-Slœtel (talk) 13:12, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
@JohnC5. As for the etymology:
On the Latin title page is written "כוזרי" which without adding unwritten vowels should be kvzry or kuzri in an English transcription. This should be the origin of Cosri. A vocalised Hewbrew spelling and a proper English transcription could however be "כּוּזָרִי" and "kuzari" (from Khazar#Translations, cp. English Kuzari). Compared with the text from here English [number] Al Khazari: should be ":אמר הכוזרי [number]" [number] 'mr hkvzry: which could mean "[number] The Kuzari said:" (cp. אמר, ה). As Latin has no article it's omitted and like in the English translation said is omitted too, so only Cosri remains. Thus the Latin origin for both meanings should be an unvocalised כוזרי.
"King of the Khazars" could be "מלך הכוזרים" mlk hkvzrym in the Hewbrew text (cp. מלך). So Cosar could come from a vocalised כּוּזָרִים without the im (cp. ־ים).
So how about "From an unvocalised {{etyl|he|la}} {{m|he|כוזרי}}" and "From a vocalised {{etyl|he|la}} {{m|he|כּוּזָרִים|tr=kuzarim}} without ''im''"? -Slœtel (talk) 22:50, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
I think you're making this more complicated than it needs to be. Hebrew is normally written without vowels, but it always has vowels. The entry at Hebrew כּוּזָרִים (kuzarim) gives the singular as Hebrew כּוּזָרִי (kuzari) . The -i at the end is an adjectival ending that's often used with places and nationalities (think of Israeli from Hebrew יִשְׂרְאֵלִי (yisr'elí)), but such adjectives can be used as nouns, as well. As for Hebrew כּוּזָרִים (kuzarim), it's simply the plural, so "כּוּזָרִים without the im" is just the singular, Hebrew כּוּזָרִי (kuzari). As for whether to include the vowels or not: the links module generates a link to the correct lemma whether you supply vowels or not, so either way is fine inside most templates. It would be best IMO to write it with the vowels, as I have. There's no entry yet for the singular, so it's a redlink, but if there were an entry, it would link to it correctly. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:43, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Diacritics in Middle English[edit]

Randomly browsing the Wiktionary, I bumped into this page. I saw the Middle English part, and I was wondering: what are the dot below and the breve below denoting in those Middle English words? E.g., in what is "hẹ̄rest" different from "hērest"? Or "ẹ̮̄rde" from "ērde"? Or "hē̱rd" from "hērd"?

MGorrone (talk) 10:43, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Those were added by User:Doremítzwr, who is no longer active here. User:Doremítzwr had a special love, or obsession, with diacritics. I believe that he added the macron to indicate a long vowel. To that, he added a dot below (ẹ̄) for an open vowel (bate, pate, late), or a breve below (ē̮) for a closed vowel (bet, pet, let). To my knowledge, Middle English was not written with these things. At the moment, I'm at a loss to explain ẹ̮̄ and ē̱ . —Stephen (Talk) 16:10, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
It would be helpful to indicate the distinction somehow. In Proto-Romance or Vulgar Latin transcription, I think the underdot (, ) is sometimes used for the close-mid vowel and the hook below (ę, ǫ) for the open-mid vowel. Middle English has the same distinction in long vowels, so it would be nice to mark this somehow. I wonder if there is an existing convention for how to mark it. — Eru·tuon 21:22, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Scholars could use diacritics, even if Middle English was originally written without them. But different scholars could use different diacritics. Wiktionary:About Middle English#Diacritical marks mentions that dictionary editors used different diacritics to indicate "length and stress of vowel sounds". Maybe some dictionary editors or some grammar authors also used other diacritics.
Germans use phoentic transcriptions with diacritics to mark close- and openness, and besides systems in the late 19th and early 20th century which could be individual systems used by single authours there is en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teuthonista . But Teuthonista is intended to be used for German dialects and could likely be insufficient for Middle English. - 00:50, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
This information is best shown in the =Pronunciation= section. Ƿidsiþ 16:16, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Stephen G. Brown -- in some forms of Middle English, there was an [ɛː] long vowel and an [eː] long vowel which were phonemically distinct. The former often became "ea" in modern English spelling and the latter "ee". Eventually they ended up mostly merging in modern standard English pronunciation (with a few sporadic exceptions). Using ē̮ for [ɛː] and ẹ̄ for [e:] was a philological practice common in early 20th century scholarship, where you could mark up the spellings in a medieval manuscript to indicate the probable medieval pronunciation, rather than producing a separate phonetic transcription... AnonMoos (talk) 20:22, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Comments in the 'discussion' sections in entries of Arabic in https://en.wiktionary.org/[edit]

Hi community, I've been added comments on some entries for arabic terms on the 'discussion' tab. Obviously, and I am terrible sorry for it, I've learned of the 'tea room' a bit too late, so I'd like to know whether somebody can check my history and automatically transfer them all on the 'Tea room' so that those entries can be discussed and improved. Thank you so much in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:16, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums: You can check your own history at Special:MyContributions. You can select "Talk" from the dropdown menu labeled "Namespace:" to see only your contributions to entry talk pages. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:49, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: May I post them all in one single post in the 'tea room' --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:51, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: You may, but you might be more likely to get good responses if you don't overwhelm us with a bunch of questions at once. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:29, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Sanskrit words in "bahuvrihi"[edit]

Hello, could someone familiar with Sanskrit kindly check if I indicated the two Sanskrit words in the 1825 quotation in bahuvrihi correctly? Much obliged. — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:08, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Look good to me. —Stephen (Talk) 17:38, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Great! Thanks. — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:53, 18 February 2017 (UTC)


Sense 1 is given as "dated", but no indication is given of a "more modern" term. Is it really dated as stated? DonnanZ (talk) 21:53, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

It is not dated in BrE. As far as I can guess from Google results, it is not dated in AmE either. I don't know where the idea that it is dated comes from. Mihia (talk) 18:26, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
My impression too. I'll probably end up removing the label, but I'll give it a few more days. DonnanZ (talk) 18:42, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
Webster 1828 has: "One that studies natural history and philosophy or physics; one that is versed in natural history or philosophy. It is more generally applied to one that is versed in natural history."
I think the underlined portion is dated, but not our definition. DCDuring TALK 23:02, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
I have attempted a new def to cover the dated part; criticism/improvement is welcome. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:14, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
There is yet another (current) sense relating to art and literature: "a person who practises naturalism in art or literature" (Oxford); "a person who writes, paints, etc. in the style of naturalism" (Cambridge). DonnanZ (talk) 09:46, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
We have that ism at naturalism. We could replace our current second def. with "One who adheres to or practices naturalism." That would include even more usages (even future ones) without requiring more definitions. DCDuring TALK 13:17, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

mob cap[edit]

It's labelled "chiefly historical". Is this true and if so, what are the similar modern head coverings prevalent (not only) in food production usually called? The term should be there as a synonym because clearly people do use mob cap [13]. --Droigheann (talk) 00:52, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

This supplier, at least, still refers to them as "mob caps". Mihia (talk) 18:32, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article is worth a read, it mentions both historical and modern senses. The original mob cap wasn't meant to be disposable, unlike the modern mob cap. I think the entry could be amended accordingly. DonnanZ (talk) 22:18, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
I have added the modern sense, and left the "mainly historical" label in, it may still be possible to buy the historical type. DonnanZ (talk) 22:31, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
Note that there's also a modern sense that may or may not meet CFI. DTLHS (talk) 22:35, 19 February 2017 (UTC)


We are missing, aren't we, the reading and sense of rev-EN-yoo (sometimes spelt revènue)? E.g. in King Lear, et al. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:00, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

have been in the wars[edit]

The form "be in the wars" is also used, but I'm not sure how to handle it. Should the entry be made at in the wars? Mihia (talk) 04:49, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

  • Yes. I've added it. Some paper dictionaries have "be in the wars" but I think such forms are SoP. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:10, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks ... Do we need both in the wars and have been in the wars? While I feel that "in the wars" can't mean exactly the same in both, I wonder if it would nevertheless be clearer to treat everything under one entry. Mihia (talk) 20:33, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
The OneLook lemmings speak with three weak voices: there is is one dictionary for each of in the wars, be in the wars, and have been in the wars. Though I have not yet investigated, I feel that one could say was in the wars in the sense in question, but not use the present tense or any infinite form. One could say in response to "How did he get all banged up?", "In the wars". One common expression is that one "like one was in the wars". That makes me think that the core idea is that a metaphorical war (some arduous struggle) is the cause of some injury. Perhaps we should just have the metaphorical "definition" of in the wars and redirect everything else to it. DCDuring TALK 20:53, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
That is my feeling too, but I also feel an uncertainty about "have been in the wars" meaning damaged/injured (now) and "be in the wars" also meaning damaged/injured (now). Mihia (talk) 21:42, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's the fatal flaw of the in the wars entry as it now stands. How can it be an adjective if it's used with a past participle to describe present condition? If it were an adjective, you could say "that hat is in the wars", or "it will be in the wars when I get through with it".
It's also more complicated than what we've discussed so far: I can find usage for "been through a few wars", "been through the wars", "been in a few wars", "been in the wars", "been through a war", even "been through war". There's also similar usage for "through the mangle/wringer/ringer". It all points to "war" as something metaphorically difficult or horrible that leaves its marks on anyone/anything that goes through it or has been in it. The only commonality is a verbal expression in the past perfect indicating being or experiencing + a preposition indicating location or movement inside + a noun phrase including war. This seems like a metaphor that's given rise to a few set phrases, but is still live in its own right. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:00, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure that there is a "fatal flaw" the in the wars entry as it now stands. People do say things like "He's in the wars", for example, to talk about present condition, which matches that definition. I just think the different interpretations (present condition versus past experience) make it a little more difficult to reconcile both uses under one heading, in terms of the actual wording and presentation used (which is where I came in). Mihia (talk) 23:18, 20 February 2017 (UTC)


This was (and maybe still is) a generic nickname for a Twitter user who is also a leader (used for Barack Obama and Kevin Rudd). Since July 2016 it has increasingly become a personal nickname for Donald Trump. The generic sense maybe a little hard to cite under CFI and the personal nickname would have to be a hot word. Worth adding? Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 14:26, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

If attestable by three durably archived cites (WT:CFI), it should be worth adding as "all words of all languages" (WT:Main Page). If not attestable by durable arcived cites, one could at least add it to Appendix:List of protologisms/Q–Z. - 01:06, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

looking for a word[edit]

How would you describe countries like BRIC that are surpassing the economic development of other countries? Surpassing development? Is surpassive an attestable word? (I'm trying to translate 趕超發展.) ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:56, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Can you use faster here? Faster-growing, faster-developing. DonnanZ (talk) 16:22, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
outpacing, surpassing? It's a bit out of date, though, only India and China are outgrowing the rest of the world now. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 16:11, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Seems like this would be best translated by rephrasing – there isn't a good adjective that does this job in English, AFAIK. Ƿidsiþ 16:13, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

German genitive of Olmütz[edit]

I created the entry Olmütz and the template {{de-proper noun}} has automatically created its genitive. However, it seems that this word has never been used in genitive, at least I failed to find such an example. If it is true, what can I do so that the template did not form the genitive? I found there only possibilities of adding alternative forms, but not how to turn it off. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 18:59, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

The expected genitive is Olmütz' (with an apostrophe) before a noun, e.g. in Olmütz' engen Gassen. In other contexts the genitive is probably identical to the nominative, e.g. die Häuser des alten Olmütz or wegen Olmütz. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:16, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! --Jan Kameníček (talk) 19:18, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: There are three expected genitives: Olmütz' <thing>, Olmützens <thing>, <thing> des Olmütz. But an expectation does not attest a genitive.
Genitive in - but with article does exist: "Ruhm des alten Olmütz", "Bauwerk des alten Olmütz", "Mauern des alten Olmütz" (post 1945).
Genitive in -ens does exist: "von der Belagerung Olmützens", "sich Olmützens zu bemachtigen", "hatte Olmützens Bischof Bruno" (Der Spiegel, so post 1945).
Genitive in -' I did not find as google ignores the apostroph and as e.g. "Olmütz' Bischof" or "Olmütz' Belagerung" did bring up unfitting results.
"wegen Olmütz" alone does not attest a gentive as wegen is also used with dative and already occurs with dative in the 19th century. Only if the author uses wegen with genitive elsewhere, one can assume that he uses it with genitive in "wegen Olmütz" too. Anyhow, two texts I arbitrarily picked used it with genitive.
@Jan Kameníček: You could use {{head|de|proper noun|g=n}} which does not create a genitive form. One could also replace {{de-proper noun|n}} by {{de-proper noun|n|?}} to indicate that the genitive is unknown, but it would be better if the template wouldn't link and maybe wouldn't show the question mark similar to {{en-noun|?}}.
- 00:32, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
I see. Thanks for explanation and for fixing it. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 10:51, 21 February 2017 (UTC)


Judging by the definition "gutter (duct for water)", one would think this refers to a gutter in a street, but it looks to me like it refers specifically to a rain gutter or eavestrough in a roof. If I read the entry at TLFI correctly, it also has a number of other senses that mostly don't overlap with those of English gutter. I had two years of college French three decades ago, so I don't feel comfortable fixing this myself. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:06, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Indeed, I wouldn't use it to refer to a street gutter; that would be a caniveau. --Barytonesis (talk) 09:41, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Guianan [edit]

Is Guianan OK? --Quadcont (talk) 21:24, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

See WT:ATTEST and Guianan at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 00:38, 21 February 2017 (UTC)


What does that mean? --Barytonesis (talk) 13:44, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

In modern slang, HIV positive. There may be older meanings. DTLHS (talk) 15:08, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

roof over one's head[edit]

How should we configure the plural form here? roofs over one's head? roofs over their head? ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:12, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

  • Whichever one(s) you can find usages of. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:35, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Just to complicate things, my preferred plural is rooves. DonnanZ (talk) 10:23, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
To simplify things Google ngram shows rooves to be about 1/400th as common as roofs. Roooves over our|your|their heads cannot be found at all at Google n-gram, whereas the roofs forms can. DCDuring TALK 17:04, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
OK, but I prefer to be in the minority. And I'm not surprised you can't find "Roooves over our|your|their heads." See [14] DonnanZ (talk) 00:17, 2 March 2017 (UTC)


This word does not exist in Bashkir. How do I have it deleted? Borovi4ok (talk) 10:49, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

  • Make an entry in RFD (Requests for Deletion). DonnanZ (talk) 11:38, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
    • Better yet, make an entry in WT:RFV (Requests for Verification). Sometimes, people assert that a given word "does not exist" in a certain language, but it turns out that the word is used in that language, but isn't standard or is looked down by language purists, or that sort of thing. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:36, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
      • Thanks guys. Put it for deletion.
      • Yes, I'm pretty sure it does not exist in Bashkir. Its exact cognate exists in Kazakh though.Borovi4ok (talk) 16:58, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
If it's a Kazakh spelling can it just have a change of language? It still needs double-checking though. DonnanZ (talk) 21:37, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Kazakh doesn't use the letter ҙ (ð). iceberg in Kazakh is айсберг (aysberg), көшпе мұз (köşpe muz) or мұзтау (muztaw). The last one is a Bashkir cognate. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:39, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
OK, it's been marked as RFD but not listed there, would someone like the honour of adding it there? DonnanZ (talk) 18:32, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Did so. Borovi4ok (talk) 08:13, 27 February 2017 (UTC)


I just noticed that we have get ahold of and get ahold of oneself. Is this truly a use of ahold and not merely a hold ? Leasnam (talk) 20:14, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

The noun sense at ahold smells a bit fishy to me. Doesn't it stem from confusion/error, like alot? (Perhaps, for example, get a hold has been confused with get ahead.) Is it in other dictionaries? I think ahold's noun might benefit from more usage notes and a separate ety section. Equinox 16:50, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
OED has it as an adverb and says:
2. So as to hold on to someone or something; with a firm hold or grip. Chiefly with of. Cf. aholt adv.
Chiefly regional, and in representations of colloq., and nonstandard speech. Some examples may represent instances of the indefinite article with hold n.1 2. Cf. to catch, get, lay, lose, seize, hold at hold n.1 2a.
  • 1850 Graham's Mag. Aug. 119/2 The good sailor who had caught ahold of her when she was fallin', told her to cheer up.
  • 1879 Scribner's Monthly May 17/1 With one bee a-hold of your collar..and another a-hold of each arm.
  • 1887 W. Morris tr. Homer Odyssey x. 264 He caught ahold upon me.
  • 1905 Southwestern Rep. 88 491/1, I had one hand ahold of the car.
  • 1925 E. Hemingway In our Time (1926) v. 79 Nick dropped his wrist. ‘Listen,’ Ad Francis said. ‘Take ahold again.’
  • 1994 J. McNaught Perfect 238 He grabbed ahold of the branches of the fallen aspen.
--Droigheann (talk) 19:33, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I think it may have been construed as a- (in) + hold (a grasp or grip). AFICT a-#Etymology 2 has been a productive prefix until fairly recently. Words like abed and amidst are examples, but see Category:English words prefixed with a-, among which are more. It is hard for me to see how any other reading of "I had one hand ahold of the car." is possible. DCDuring TALK 15:39, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Collins dictionary [15] gives "get ahold of" as an example for both noun and adverb. Personally I find it hard to see the supposed noun sense as anything other than an error for "a hold". Mihia (talk) 19:05, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

right as variant of completely[edit]

I don't know etymology of it. d1g (talk) 10:41, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure exactly what you mean. An appropriate definition ("veritable") appears as def. 6 of the adjective under Etymology 1. Are you saying that you don't get the connection between that definition and the others? DCDuring TALK 15:19, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
I meant this one:
"windows right to the floor" - all the way
окна до самого пола (или: окна у самого пола) d1g (talk) 19:14, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Etymology two, adverb, "Immediately, directly.". DTLHS (talk) 19:22, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Are you sure? My understanding that it is ADVdef4 from MW, not 6a or 6b d1g (talk) 19:36, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
It seems that many speakers simply say "floor to ceiling", without any adverb. I don't understand if MW is wrong or right. d1g (talk) 19:45, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Sorry about missing that the adverb was in question, not the adjective. I like MWOnline's adverb definition 6a for right to the floor. I don't think that "immediately, directly" is accurate for this purpose. 6a "In a complete manner" (ie, "completely") is semantically related, but distinct, and covers some other usage for which the other definitions are not substitutable. DCDuring TALK 22:27, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

is it OK to add redirects for phrases?[edit]

If you lookup the phrase "by that token" in English Wikipedia, you won't find anything. I was thinking I would add a redirect to the page "token" but I'm not sure if this would be a good edit. Any thoughts, or could you redirect me to a relevant policy? Proxyma (talk) 18:25, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

  • It is normally OK if the meaning is obvious. In this case though I don't think it is - so I have added by that token. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:04, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
    • SemperBlotto I merged that entry with "by the same token" using a redirect. Can you take a look to ensure I setup the alternative form correctly? Proxyma (talk) 20:27, 5 March 2017 (UTC)


The Conjugation table at onwæcnan displays a preterite of onwōc, which is identical to the past forms of onwacan, a strong verb. According to Bosworth & Toller, the past for onwæcnan should be weak (e.g. Ðá hí onwæcnedun) Leasnam (talk) 19:04, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

nm, Fixed. Leasnam (talk) 19:13, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Edits of User:[edit]

This user has been editing a lot of Old English entries, in particular pronunciations. Many of the edits are fine, but not all of them are. For example, they removed the phonetic transcription of sagu, and put an invalid phoneme in scafan. I don't know what to think of the edit to prætt. @Leasnam, can you have a closer look? —CodeCat 19:52, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Serbo-Croatian сврбјети[edit]

Can someone who knows Serbo-Croatian help with the tone? The entry says свр̀бјети but Derksen says свр́бјети. Normally I would check the Hrvatski jezični portal, but the entry for this word has the r garbled. Derksen sometimes gets his Serbo-Croatian tones wrong but I've also seen mistakes in Wiktionary. Derksen quotes Chakavian forms with both long and short r, so they are of no help. Benwing2 (talk) 21:57, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

@Ivan Štambuk, Zabadu Benwing2 (talk) 21:58, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Garbled r is р̀, HJP uses some encoding of their own. You can also check Vuk (Karadžić)'s dictionary wherefrom most works get their accents anyways, which has свр́бјети.
As a native speaker I think I have свр́бети, although my accents and especially the short rising accent is instable. You should add both accents in any case.
Crom daba (talk) 23:04, 28 February 2017 (UTC)


We want the etymology category Category:en:Backformations, right? --Quadcont (talk) 10:04, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

@Quadcont: It's at CAT:English back-formations. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:56, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
go raibh maith agat. --Quadcont (talk) 11:01, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

dāh -> daoch ?![edit]

Why exactly does dāh redirect to daoch when dāh is an Old English word whose entry is under dah? Shouldn't dāh redirect to dah (maybe dah#Old_English) instead?

MGorrone (talk) 10:09, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

The redirect is there because the page daoch used to be at dāh, and the redirect was kept when the page was moved. In fact, dāh shouldn't redirect anywhere (that's not how we used redirects here), so I'll just delete it now instead. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:55, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

get up to[edit]

Is this British English, as the OED claims? ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:43, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Not exclusively British English, at any rate; Americans certainly use it in the senses illustrated by the usexes too. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:07, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
It's used all the time in Canada as well. Maybe it was originally exclusive to Britain, but not anymore. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:27, 28 February 2017 (UTC)


In Dutch, its cognate verdaan is a past participle. Is this true of German as well? —CodeCat 20:00, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

@CodeCat: Yes, it's also the past participle of vertun. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:29, 28 February 2017 (UTC)


deadwrong, one word. Isn't this just dead (adverb sense 2) +‎ wrong ? Leasnam (talk) 23:02, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

I've RfVed it. Under WT:COALMINE the main entry would be at [[dead wrong]], if this is attestable. DCDuring TALK 23:10, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Some collocations using dead (adverb) are: dead certain, dead last, dead quiet, dead honest, dead still, dead asleep, dead tired, dead fast, dead slow, dead on, dead earnest, dead honest. But dead is collocated with relatively few adjectives and the ones it collocates with are not entirely predictable semantically (or otherwise) IMO. DCDuring TALK 23:32, 28 February 2017 (UTC)


I recently deleted a string of number including 143 pursuant to established consensus on inclusion of numbers. However, I seem to recall from my youth that 143 was at some point used as shorthand for "I love you" (based on the 1, 4, and 3 representing the number of letters for each word in the phrase). There appear to be a smattering of sources for this proposition, e.g., 2011, Dr. Brian Snow, Santa Claus and Little Sister: “I love you. Love always, Your wishful daughter, Lupe. P.S. 143” I put Lupe's heart down and wiped my eyes. I learned from the girls that “143” meant “I love you” from the old military days when messages had to be quick and cheap on Western Union. Does this ring a bell for anyone else? bd2412 T 02:50, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

I have seen 143 used for I love you over the past several years. —Stephen (Talk) 18:09, 1 March 2017 (UTC)


Is it accurate that this was originally leetspeak? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:17, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

Whatever you want to call it, it originated as a frequent typo in textual computer communications which was later elevated into a thing of its own, like "teh", "pron" etc. AnonMoos (talk) 16:40, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Although the typo pwn has surely occurred many times since the typewriter was invented, the slang verb pwn was first deliberately used and popularized in leetspeak. —Stephen (Talk) 18:07, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

March 2017


Verb sense 7.1:

(transitive) To follow or proceed according to (a course or path).  
Let's go this way for a while.‎
She was going that way anyway, so she offered to show him where it was.

I disagree that these examples demonstrate transitivity. "this way" and "that way" are surely adverbial. There is also a quotation, "I wish that you would go this path up to its end", which seems less clear to me in terms of transitivity, but "go this path" is not a kind of usage that I ever hear. Opinions please. Mihia (talk) 04:14, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

It certainly doesn't feel transitive to me in those cases, but you can also say "Let's go one way, and if it takes too long, we'll go a different way coming back." Are "one way" and "a different way" adverbial in those cases? Or is "go" actually transitive when used that way? I'll leave it to the experts to decide. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:29, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Aren't go viral, go medieval, go Hollywood, go home all examples of adverbial usage with this sense of go? DCDuring TALK 08:37, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Go in this case can basically mean "walk" or "travel", and you can definitely say "I wish that you would go walk this path up to its end" and it be clearly transitive. It is certainly not something you hear here in the States. It sounds UK dialectal to me Leasnam (talk) 14:49, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Passivizing doesn't seem to work: *This way was gone by many people sounds bad. Inasmuch as that's a test of transitivity, the verb isn't transitive. — Eru·tuon 21:04, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
BTW, as one might expect, this use of go has a parallel temporal usage: The meeting went three hours. I didn't see the corresponding temporal definition. DCDuring TALK 02:43, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

knob job[edit]

Someone create that please. --2A02:2788:1004:11D6:948A:FE27:DF2A:F6D0 19:03, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Personally, I haven't got a clue what a knob job is. There's not much point in creating an entry without a definition. DonnanZ (talk) 09:49, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
    My two guesses are "(slang) reconstructive breast surgery" and, possibly, "(slang) Effort to a penis to cause an orgasm" . DCDuring TALK 13:00, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
    Confirmation of def 2: google books:"good knob job", but it seems to specifically mean "blow job". I can't find confirmation for my def 1 guess. DCDuring TALK 13:12, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
    I don't know how reliable Urban Dictionary is, but here is the UD article on knob job.


The English entry should apparently be deleted. I couldn't find any evidence of use in English in the 1940s or later except in explanations of the term and concept as being Finnish, never used in an English sentence as a loanword. --Espoo (talk) 22:10, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Move to WT:RFV. —CodeCat 22:16, 3 March 2017 (UTC)


It's not archaic as far as I know. DonnanZ (talk) 00:34, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Looks like the archaic label showed up in this edit by Widsith back in April 2008. Subsequent restructuring of the entry divorced the label from its originally appropriate context. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:49, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Why do we have two different senses? I can't for the life of me understand the difference between them. "Excrement" just means "waste matter", AFAIK. The OED also only lists this one sense. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:28, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
    I've always understood it to apply only to solid (fecal) waste. Note that the example for the first definition is clearly referring to mucus, which is not nowadays thought of as excrement, at least in my experience. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 07:34, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Oh, it was after midnight and my brain had ceased functioning. I was beginning to think humans don't produce excrement (solid waste), only animals. I think I'll add "human" to the current sense 2, and reverse the order of the senses. DonnanZ (talk) 09:19, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

sexually mature[edit]

I think it's entry-worthy, being able to reproduce. There's a couple of translations lurking in the system, and I know of more. DonnanZ (talk) 11:17, 4 March 2017 (UTC)


Where's the stress placed? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 00:00, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

On the penultimate. —Stephen (Talk) 09:45, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

pollus and polus[edit]

To confirm my correct knowledge of the vulgar meaning of Spanish "polla", I loaded the page. I read it all, and saw "pollus" in Latin. The article for "pollus" says it is an adjective, an alternate form of "polus", and gives the inflection. Trouble is, the article for "polus" only gives it as a second-declension noun, meaning "pole". So either we have something missing in "polus", or "pollus" is an unrelated word. In any case, what does "pollus" mean? And while we're at it, is "pollus" maybe a noun too, meaning "chicken" (cfr. pollo in Italian and Spanish), perhaps with "polla" as a feminine form for "hen"?

MGorrone (talk) 17:34, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

It would help if you'd give links to the pages you're talking about; it makes it easier to follow your comment. The Latin word from which Spanish pollo (chicken) is derived is pullus (chick, young animal), with a "u". Lewis and Short don't list a corresponding feminine noun pulla, but I wouldn't be surprised if it existed at least in Late Latin. The Latin word polus (pole) has nothing to do with it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:29, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
The whole issue of Spanish polla is beside the point- that's just how MGorrone stumbled upon the pollus entry. Special:WhatLinksHere/pollus consists solely of the inflected-form entries created by SemperBlottoBot from the entry, and now Requests for verification (I just posted an rfv) and this page. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:11, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
@Angr and @ChuckEntz to add to this matter, Glosbe (pollus and polus) gives "pollus" as "small, little" and "polus" as both "pole" and "little", and has "pollulum" = "polulum" = "a little". Latin-dictionary also gives "pollus" = "small", and has [v separate entries] for "polus, pola, polum" = "small" and "polus, poli" = "pole". "polla" is not really entirely baside the point: I also conjectured "pollo" and "polla" might stem from "pollus" and "polla" respectively, which @Angr stated to be an incorrect conjecture. That is where the conjecture that "pollus" might mean "chicken" stemmed from. MGorrone (talk) 09:17, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

air cell[edit]

The word "contraption" seems to be misused in this definition. What word did the writer mean, though? Perhaps compaction? Equinox 01:43, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

contraction? DTLHS (talk) 01:58, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Contraction sounds better. I think it can be found in a hard-boiled egg. DonnanZ (talk) 12:10, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
The definition seems to cover an instance of the use of air + cell, ie SoP. Other dictionaries do not have such a definition, but do have at least two distinct definitions that don't seem SoP to me. DCDuring TALK 14:03, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Please see my proposed version of the entry. DCDuring TALK 14:15, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

chinese literal word-by-word translation[edit]

HI, I think it would improve chinese entries (for example 他把刀放在桌子上) to add the literal word-by-word translation with some grammatical anotation, as can be seen in the wikipedia page for Chinese grammar:

他tā 把bǎ 盘子pánzi 打dǎ 破pò 了le。 [他把盤子打破了。]

he OBJ-plate hit-break-PF.

He hit/dropped the plate, and it broke.

(double-verb where the second verb, "break", is a suffix to the first, and indicates what happens to the object as a result of the action.)

Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:33, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

It would be interesting but
  1. not all of us are master grammarians,
  2. Chinese parts-of-speech can be really ambiguous, and
  3. no other language at Wiktionary does this at the moment: there is no framework.
Also potentially of note is that unlike most other languages on Wiktionary, usage examples automatically link to all the words featured.
suzukaze (tc) 11:36, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with Suzukaze. It's definitely interesting, but it's absolutely unpractical in the long run. Wiktionary is meant to be a dictionary, not a linguistics textbook. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:08, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

German Arzt and Doktor[edit]

My German friend told me there is a difference between Arzt and Doktor (doctor) in the sense of “(medical) doctor”, in that an Arzt does not hold a postgraduate research degree, whereas a Doktor always does. In other words, someone is an Arzt when he/she has received their license to practice medicine, and the title Doktor is awarded only if someone has completed the research component on top of this. An Arzt is addressed as “Herr”, and a Doktor, “Herr Doktor”. I'm not sure whether this is true, and if so, how this may be clarified in our entries. Wyang (talk) 11:43, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

It is true. My GP told me not to call her Frau Doktor because she doesn't have a doctorate. However, holding a doctorate doesn't preclude you from being an Arzt, so it's more accurate to say an Arzt does not necessarily hold a postgraduate degree, not that an Arzt does not hold a postgraduate degree. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:50, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Wyang (talk) 06:35, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


Why did this fail our verification process? The OED has it. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:16, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

  • I think it is because some people don't approve of our mission statement (all words in all languages). SemperBlotto (talk) 18:44, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
    It is foolish to pretend commercial brands are exactly the same as other types of word. Equinox 19:09, 7 March 2017 (UTC)


I think we're missing a couple of definitions maybe: earplugs for listening to mobile phones, also for listening to iPods etc. (those which can't be called headphones), not to mention those for hearing aids. These aren't ear protection devices. DonnanZ (talk) 20:18, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

They would be "earphones", wouldn't they? I have never heard them called "earplugs". Mihia (talk) 04:26, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
I have on a number of occasions. I'd call it nonstandard, but that usage definitely exists. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:12, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
I was coming to that conclusion. So could sense 2 "(non-standard) an earphone" be added? DonnanZ (talk) 10:46, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Icelandic man#Etymology 3[edit]

“Borrowing from Hebrew מן ‎(mān, “manna”), perhaps via , appearing in Guðbrandur Þorláksson’s 1584 Bible translation.”

Perhaps via? @Krun (diff). Wyang (talk) 23:39, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Fixed. Thanks. Wyang (talk) 06:34, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

The word "end" meaning the beginning.[edit]

The word end seems to invariably mean a distant point in time or similar, but I wonder about it being used to indicate the current location, eg, "The phone line problem is at our end", or "The council will repair the road from our end". Sense 1 does not seem to cover it, and I think it needs more than a usage note. --Dmol (talk) 04:15, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

  • I've tried to improve the definition. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:10, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
I still see "terminal" in the two examples above. Of a phoneline, the beginning is at the switching station, and the two customers are each at their own respective ends. Same for end of a road: depends on what is considered the start of the road. Leasnam (talk) 00:23, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
The two ends of a cable etc. are the points where it terminates (in space): I think sense 1 covers it okay...? Equinox 00:54, 9 March 2017 (UTC)


Is there anybody who still pronounces the w? — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 05:07, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

I do ;) Leasnam (talk) 00:25, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Really?? Or are you kidding? I have never heard the "w" pronounced in "two", though I have heard it in the dialect "twa". Mihia (talk) 04:23, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
I think he might be referencing his affinity for Old/Middle English... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:14, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Possibly, or he could be the last descendant of English colonists on some obscure islet. — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 08:26, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, does Treasure Island count as an obscure islet? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:41, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese[edit]

Both of these should really only have one sense each, and one translation table too. Anyone want to take a stab? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:27, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


What does this mean in Japanese? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:31, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

I suspect this is 大君 in Japanese (太 and 大 can both be pronounced tai in Japanese). – Krun (talk) 10:35, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes, this is an alternative spelling. means “large; great”, whereas literally means “fat”, with connotations of “well-off”. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:21, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
PS: I should have clarified, this is an unusual alternative spelling. This isn't listed in dictionaries. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:23, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


Does it make sense to list various religions as hyponyms? DTLHS (talk) 02:23, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

No, it was added by a known bad editor (now blocked). I have removed a lot of fluff from the entry. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:57, 9 March 2017 (UTC)


Is Oxford correct in claiming that lumber means two different things in British and American English respectively? ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:52, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Well, what does it say? As an American, I'm only familiar with our sense 1 of the noun. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:06, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Assuming this is the noun that is meant. From Oxford Online:
  • 1 British: Articles of furniture or other household items that are no longer useful and inconveniently take up storage space.
[as modifier] ‘a lumber room’
  • 2 North American: Timber sawn into rough planks or otherwise partly prepared.
‘he sat at a makeshift desk of unfinished lumber’
  • Another sense which is Scottish:
Scottish informal: A person regarded as a prospective sexual partner.
‘they end the evening in a disco where they wait for a lumber’
The use of lumber meaning a pawnbroker's shop is obsolete.
DonnanZ (talk) 13:43, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, this North American would only use the sense marked "North American" above. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:46, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Me, too. Never heard the others AFAICR. DCDuring TALK 19:03, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Now labelled accordingly. DonnanZ (talk) 09:55, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

looking for a term[edit]

"Over the past ten years, people — especially young people — have become aware of the need to change their eating habits." What is "especially young people" called in English? I mean the grammatical term for it. In Chinese it is a 插入語. ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:04, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

  • I don't think there is one, bearing in mind that "especially" is an adverb. Young people can also be referred to as adolescents and juveniles, but "young people" is a broader term. DonnanZ (talk) 18:48, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
    The relationship between "people" and "especially young people" is called apposition. See w:Apposition. I think the shortest term applicable to "especially young people" relative to "people" is appositive phrase. DCDuring TALK 18:56, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
    I disagree. Because of the word "especially" this is not quite an appositive. I think this is a compound subject, with the adverb "especially" serving as a conjunction (otherwise, how could an adverb be modifying a noun?). You could just as easily say "people — and especially young people — have become aware...". If this were an appositive, you wouldn't be able to add the word "and" without changing the meaning. --WikiTiki89 20:29, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
    Properly speaking, especially would be modifying not the noun people in young people, but the whole noun phrase young people. So the rule does not apply. However, it is a meaning of especially that I am not sure how to define exactly. It's some special type of adverb, or perhaps it would be called a focus particle (looking at the definition in especially). — Eru·tuon 01:01, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I would call it a parenthetical phrase. Mihia (talk) 21:37, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
    Yes, it is a parenthetical phrase. —Stephen (Talk) 23:03, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Thanks everyone. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:36, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
    Which relationship does 插入語 refer to, parenthesis or the narrower apposition? Is the usage context grammar — or rhetoric? DCDuring TALK 13:08, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
    AFAIK, the former, on both accounts. But admittedly most of this is over my head. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:30, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Latin nouns ending in eus (Greek εύς)[edit]

Common nouns:

Proper nouns:

In Greek these words belong to the third declension. In Latin they have forms of Greek's third declension and of Latin's second declension.
Using ~ here to split it up like Orph~e͡us, Orph~eī etc.

Nom. ~e͡us [-εύς], rarely ~eus (i.e. ~ĕŭs)
Gen. ~eī, (Gram.) in poetry also ~e͡i ~eos [att. -έως, ion. -έος, ep. -ῆος & sometimes -έος]
Dat. ~eō ~ei, (Gram.) ~e͡i, ~ī [att. -εῖ, ep. -ῆϊ & sometimes -εῖ]
Acc. ~eum ~ea, rarely -ēa [att. -έᾱ, in drama rarely -έᾰ, ion. -έᾰ, ep. -ῆα & sometimes -έᾰ]
Voc. ~e͡u [-εῦ]
Abl. ~eō
Nom. *~eī ~īs (but depending on edition) [att. -ῆς & later -εῖς, ion. -έες]
Gen. *~eōrum ~eon [?] [att. & ion. -έων, ep. -ήων]
Acc. ~eas/~eās [?] [att. -έᾱς, ion. -έᾰς, ep. -ῆας]


  • Greek forms are from H. W. Smyth's grammar (nominative, genitive -έως, accusatives), LSJ (nominative, genitive -έως and ionic and epic genitive) and another grammar. Appendix:Ancient Greek dialectal declension#ευ-stems mentions some more forms.
  • Forms marked with (Gram.) were mentioned in grammars, but not in dictionaries.
  • nom. sg.: Dictionaries have ~eus with a mentioning of syllables or ~e͡us with a ͡  . Gaffiot has ~eūs but that's very likely an improper form of ~e͡us. Sometimes the ~eus could be unmarked in dictionaries, e.g. digitalized L&S just has "dēmogrammăteus" which could have a monoyllabic ~e͡us or di(s)syllabic ~eus.
    Dictionaries rarely mention nom. ~eus (i.e. ~ĕŭs) like Phălērĕŭs, e.g. in L&S: "Phălēreus (mostly trisyl.) [...] Scanned as a quadrisyllable: Demetrius, qui dictus est Phalereus, Phaedr. 5, 1, 1."
    In wiktionary one can't link like {{l|la|Orphe͡us}} (Orphe͡us) which is also the reason why ͡   was omitted in the examples above, though {{l|la|Orpheus|Orphe͡us}} works.
  • gen. sg.: Dictionaries often have ~eos, very rarely ~eōs. ~eos could have short vowels, or the vowel length could be unknown which was marked improperly. Sometimes the genitive is mentioned later in dictionary entries without marked vowel lengths.
    L&S and Gaffiot using breve sometimes have ~ĕos which would mean it's not ~ēos (Greek epic -ῆος).
    Grammars have ~eos and some mark it with two breves as ~ĕŏs.
  • dat. & abl. sg. in Latin form: Orpheo and Peleo are mentioned in dictionaries.
  • dat. sg. in Greek form: Dat. ~ī is said to occur in Persi ("Cic. Tusc. 5, 40, 118. Liv. 42, 25, 2. 42, 49, 7. 42, 52, 3. 43, 7, 9. 43, 8, 6. 45, 19, 5. Sens. cons. Marc. 13, 3") and in Orphi (Macrob. Sat. 5, 17, 19 in some manuscripts) besides Orphei (Verg. Ecl. 5, 57 in some manuscripts). The Latin Library has "Persei" in these places of Livius, and "Persi" in Cicero. L&S mentions Orphei too, and it has Persi (s.v. Perses, not s.v. Perseus), but not Orphi. Other dictionaries have ~ëi (with misplaced trema?) for Nēre͡us.
  • acc. sg.: Dictionaries often have ~ea which could have short vowels, or the vowel length could be unknown which was marked improperly. Sometimes the accusative is mentioned later in dictionary entries without marked vowel lengths.
    L&S using breve has Orphĕă and Orphēā, but also unmarked Capanea and Pelea. Acc. Orphēā is an error in L&S as that's the fem. abl. sg. of the adj. Orphēus in Ovid. Met. 10. 3 belonging to voce.
    In case of Īlione͡us dictionaries mention the acc. Īlionēa (source: Vergil).
    Grammars have ~ea (rarely ~ēa), sometimes marked with two breves as ~ĕă.
  • nom. pl. and acc. pl.: Dictionaries mention Phinei with acc. Phineas, but do not mark the vowel lengths of it. Maybe only the accusative is attested, so the nominative mentioned in some dictionaries could be *Phinei or more properly *Phīneī.
    The source for the acc. is Mart. 9, 25, 10 (or 9, 26, 10 in digitalized L&S which could be an OCR error).
    Some books mark the a with breve, but some others with macron.
    Another word with acc. pl. could be Sinōpe͡us of which some dictionaries mention acc. pl. Sinopeas.
    For Mylase͡us dictionaries mention the nom. pl. Mylasīs = Μυλασεῖς in Cicero, but it might depend on edition as some editions might have it in Greek letters. There might also be Alabandīs belonging to *Alabande͡us from Ἀλαβανδεύς. In Cicero it is: "[...] ut tibi nolim molestus esse. Mylasis/Mylaseis/Μυλασεῖς (Mylasii) et Alabandis/Alabandeis/Ἀλαβανδεῖς (Alabandenses) pecuniam Cluvio debent [...]" (Cicero's Epistulae ad familiares 13, 56, 1). The words depend on edition. Mylasii and Alabandenses do occur in a text from 1554. Another edition comments those forms with "e correctione non necessaria". And Mylasii could rather be Mylaseī, Mylasēnī or Mylasēnsēs anyway.
  • gen. pl.: strōmateus has stromateon. The o clearly should be long, the e most likely should be short.


  • How should the diphthong in nom. and voc. be marked, by ͡   or by a counting of syllables? Or should it be unmarked and just be "eu̯" in the "Pronunciation" section?
  • What's the correct vowel length of the Greek forms? Well, maybe sometimes it's simply unknown...


  • Of the above mentioned proper nouns once only Enīpeus had a Latin entry here in wiktionary. In wiktionary it was mentioned as a normal second delension noun with voc. Enīpee. But even L&S has "Ĕnīpeus (trisyl.)" and later "voc. Enīpeu". Some dictionaries do also mention gen. ~eos or acc. ~ea (short or improperly marked), but without reference, so maybe it's unattested for classical Latin.

- 14:14, 10 March 2017 (UTC) till 14:43, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

"flunk" vs. "bocciare"[edit]

There appears to be an inconsistency between the article about Italian "bocciare", which says it means "to fail, flunk (someone)" and thus suggests the subject would be the teacher, and the translation at "flunk", which list "bocciare" as "fail" and not "deny a passing grade". I am Italian, and I never heard "bocciare" used as "He flunked math", but only as "The teacher flunked him". In fact, the sentence "He flunked math" is one I'd translate to a passive "È stato bocciato in matematica" or a pseudo-impersonal "L'han bocciato in matematica" (lit. "they flunked him in math"), and "segare" (given translation of "deny a passing grade") is, to my ears, a more colloquial and vulgar synonym of "bocciare". This says that the usage of "bocciare" as "flunk (an exam)" «appartiene o all'italiano adoperato in determinate aree geografiche o, in altri casi, a un livello popolare, forse anche trascurato, di uso della lingua» (belongs either to the Italian used in some geographical areas or, in other cases, to a popular, maybe even sloppy, of language usage». So maybe "bocciare" should be a translation of the other sense, and of this sense but marked as "regional" or the likes? Also, "trombare" as "flunk"… never heard. And I'd expect it to be an even more vulgar synonym of "segare", "bocciare", as "The teacher flunked him" = "La prof l'ha bocciato/segato/trombato". The last one feels pretty weird to my ears, and would sound like the teacher actually had intercourse with him if a complement like "all'esame", "at the exam", were not present. "Fottuto" might be less weird but still very uncommon, and it would probably be taken as the teacher either actively trying to flunk the student (e.g. by asking him about stuff not covered in the class nor in the material the student studied on -- yeah, that can happen) or involuntarily making an extremely unlucky choice of questions (e.g. asking the only thing the student didn't know that well), much like "fregato" would. Also, "cannare" is another synonym of "segare" in the above sense". Do you guys agree to this? What should we do about those translations?

MGorrone (talk) 14:56, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

surviving cohabitant[edit]

If one of a cohabitant (unmarried) couple dies, which word should be used of the survivor? I'd guess widow or widower won't do. --Hekaheka (talk) 23:00, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, "surviving cohabitant" vs. "deceased cohabitant". —Stephen (Talk) 23:06, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I have seen "unmarried widow". Equinox 23:07, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I'd have difficulty parsing "unmarried widow" as it seems to be either a tautology or a contradiction in terms, or possibly both simultaneously. Personally, I would probably describe such a person as "surviving boyfriend/girlfriend". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 00:24, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
It's not that unusual for an adjective to cancel out one of the usual assumed attributes of the noun... Equinox 13:23, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Nevertheless, I'd have difficulty understanding it. If I heard someone described as an "unmarried widow", my first thought would be that she hadn't remarried since the death of her husband. I wouldn't understand it to mean that her previous life partner, whom she wasn't married to, had died. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:19, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't regard myself as an "unmarried widower", I still wear my wedding ring. A "surviving partner" may be an option where a cohabiting couple were unmarried. DonnanZ (talk) 13:18, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
"Surviving partner" gets 90 times as many hits in a basic Google search as "surviving cohabitant". It would seem to me that that's the way to go. Thank you again for your contributions. In Finnish we have avioliitto (marriage, literallly married union or union in marriage) and avoliitto (unmarried partnership, literally open union). Many words with "avio-" may be changed to refer to cohabitation by changing "avio-" to "avo-", e.g. aviopuoliso (spouse) becomes avopuoliso (cohabitant). I still have one related term to which I would like to find the English equivalent. In similar manner as above, avioero (divorce) becomes avoero (separation of an unmarried couple), but what would it be in English? --Hekaheka (talk) 20:38, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
One has to be careful with the term "surviving partner" though, it could also refer to a surviving business partner. "Separation of an unmarried couple" - just that I suppose, they can't be divorced as such. But married couples can also separate without being divorced. DonnanZ (talk) 20:51, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
The separation of an unmarried couple is simply called a breakup. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:44, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

lemon soda, lemonade[edit]

I assume that lemon soda is a synonym of lemonade (sense 2). DonnanZ (talk) 13:05, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

given to[edit]

I don't think it's right to call this an adjective. Equinox 21:17, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Looking at given (adjective sense 5) there is a similar example. Also mentioned here [16] (scroll down a bit). DonnanZ (talk) 22:04, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
    Not only those, but also our entry for give has:
    14 (reflexive) To devote or apply (oneself).
    The soldiers give themselves to plunder.
    That boy is given to fits of bad temper.
    (The "reflexive" seems confusing or even wrong with respect to the second usage example.)
    But given to at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that some dictionaries include given to as an entry, including MWOnline and a couple of idiom dictionaries. None of them give it a PoS. We may be well advised to punt and call it a "Phrase". DCDuring TALK 22:09, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
  • If this is changed then I guess prone to should be also. I originally created given to, and I believe I just copied the PoS from "prone to". I seem to recall that I had doubts about it at the time but I guess I took "prone to" to be the authority. Mihia (talk) 23:12, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
We list bound to as a Phrase. But I can't help seeing all of these merely as SoP Adj + Preposition :\ Leasnam (talk) 02:09, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
It should depend on whether there is "sufficient" semantic departure of the phrase from the current definitions of the components or of the grammar (eg, complements) from expected behavior. If this is too hard, we could rely on lemmings. Other dictionaries don't include bound to, except as a phony entry (not even a redirect). One idiom dictionary includes bound to do (something). One includes prone to.
IMO, just one lemming with a real entry is sufficient reason for inclusion. DCDuring TALK 11:57, 15 March 2017 (UTC)


Noun sense 1:

The act or result of overturning something; an upset.
a bad turnover in a carriage

I believe in putting most frequent / most important / most fundamental meanings first, but I have never heard of this meaning. I suggest it should have a label and/or be moved down the list, but what label? Is it archaic? Rare? Has anyone else heard of it? Mihia (talk) 23:07, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

It's from Webster 1913. It's dated. Today we'd talk about a crash, etc. but cars don't fall over like carriages did. Equinox 23:10, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
OK, I have demoted that entry. Mihia (talk) 00:48, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

cailín (irish)[edit]

Good evening-

Are you sure cailín is masculine ?

--ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 21:31, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

@ArséniureDeGallium: Yes! Similarly to German Mädchen, the gender of the word for "girl" is determined by its suffix (in this case, -ín), not by its meaning. Nevertheless, pronouns referring back to cailín are feminine. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:36, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Other cases where grammatical gender doesn't match natural gender in Irish are gasóg f (boy scout) and stail f (stallion). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:40, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
@Aɴɢʀ - thank you very much --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 22:12, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Upcoming changes[edit]

There are a lot of small changes happening in the next couple of weeks, and I wanted to give you all a quick heads-up about them. Please share this information with other people/languages/projects that will be interested:

  • There's a change to how columns in reference lists are handled, at the request of the German Wikipedia. This change will improve accessibility by automatically formatting long lists of <ref>s into columns, based on each reader's screen width.
    • What you need to do: Nothing visible is happening now. I'm not sure how much this will affect the Wikitionaries. If your project uses the normal <references /> tag (or doesn't really use refs at all), then file a Phabricator task or just tell me, and I'll get your wiki on the list for the next config change. If your project uses a "reflist" template to create columns (but not if it only adds a section heading), then please consider deprecating it, or update the template to work with the new feature.
  • The label on the "Save changes" button will change on most projects tomorrow (Wednesday) to say "Publish page". This has been discussed for years, is supported by user research, and is meant to be clearer for new contributors. (Most of us who have been editing for years don't even look at the button any more, and we all already know that all of our changes can be seen by anyone on the internet, so this doesn't really affect us.)
    • If you have questions or encounter problems (e.g., a bad translation, problems fixing the documentation, etc.), then please tell me as soon as possible.
    • When we split "Save page" into "Save page" and "Save changes" last August, a couple of communities wondered whether a local label would be possible. (For example, someone at the English Wikipedia asked if different namespaces could have different labels [answer: not technically possible], and the Chinese Wikipedia has some extra language on their "Save page" button [about the importance of previewing, I think].) Whether the Legal team can agree to a change may depend upon the language/country involved, so please ask me first if you have any questions.
  • As part of the ongoing, years-long user-interface standardization project, the color and shape of the "Save changes" (or now "Publish page"), "Show preview" and "Show changes" buttons on some desktop wikitext editors will change. The buttons will be bigger and easier to find, and the "Save" button will be bright blue. (phab:T111088) Unfortunately, it is not technically possible to completely override this change and restore the appearance of the old buttons for either your account or an entire site.
  • Do you remember last April, when nobody could edit for about 30 minutes twice, because of some work that Technical Ops was doing on the servers? The same kind of planned maintenance is happening again. It's currently scheduled for Wednesday, April 19th and Wednesday, May 3rd. The time of day is unknown, but it will probably afternoon in Europe and morning in North America. This will be announced repeatedly, but please mark your calendars now.

That's everything on my mind at the moment, but I may have forgotten something. If you have questions (about this or any other WMF work), then please {{ping}} me, and I'll see what I can find out for you. Thanks, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:36, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

@Whatamidoing (WMF): Thanks for the update. For future reference, when technical mass updates are left at the English Wiktionary, they should be added to Wiktionary:Grease Pit. Also, to the extent we use inline references (which is infrequent), we use <references />, so I suppose en.wikt should be put on that list. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:39, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:25, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
The config changes should be happening in the next few minutes. Please ping me if there are any problems (or comment at the Phabricator task, if it's urgent). Thanks, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 20 March 2017 (UTC)


What is "special steel"? Is it a particular alloy? DTLHS (talk) 16:09, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

  • I believe that it means any of various steels made for a specialized use - typically by adding small amounts of other metals, or by physically working it in a special way. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:16, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
    I think the more common English equivalent is specialty steel, which AFAICT includes any sufficiently "engineered" or customized steel. DCDuring TALK 12:23, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
I think it might deserve to be deleted. I don't know if there's an idiomatic sense in metallurgy, but otherwise it simply means "kind of steel adapted specially for a particular use". I can make the same kind of compound with most any noun: Spezialschuh (specialized shoe), Spezialseil (specialized rope), Spezialziegel (specialized brick), etc. Kolmiel (talk) 18:11, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: We have traditionally interpreted SOP only to apply to terms consisting of multiple words, so all the German compounds would not be deleted even if unidiomatic. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:33, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I know that's the case for English and other languages in which closed compounds are a reasonably restricted class. I thought there was a different policy for languages like German and Dutch. In fact, the difference between English open compounds and German closed compounds is purely orthographic. So it would seem quite inconsistent to treat them differently. Kolmiel (talk) 21:47, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
And then I can make additional SOP compounds with the SOP compound, e.g. Spezialstahlhersteller ("specialized steal producer"), Spezialschuhhandel ("specialized shoe business"), both of which are very attestable and could probably even meet our standards for inclusion. It would be a bottomless pit. Kolmiel (talk) 21:59, 17 March 2017 (UTC)


It seems redundant to have all of these three senses:

  1. (more rarely) Resembling or characteristic of an adult male (as opposed to a boy).
  2. (Caribbean, Guyana) Impertinent; precocious; assertive.
  3. (African American Vernacular) precocious

Of the two citations under the Caribbean sense, "for all his mannish ways, he’s still just a little tyke" could just as easily be using the "characteristic of an adult male" sense. I suggest moving it, possibly removing "precocious" from the Caribbean sense (on the grounds that Caribbean use of the word to mean "characteristic of an adult male" is just use of that sense), and merging the AAVE sense into the "adult male" sense or into the Caribbean sense. - -sche (discuss) 05:42, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

The Caribbean sense is sourced and supported by a citation, so we should keep it. I wish we had a source or citation for the AAVE label.
Also, most OneLook references are more focused on subtle distinctions in meaning (which we combine in definition 1) according to whether the noun modified is a woman or a thing, eg, article of clothing, manner of communicating. We at least need usage examples for the two noun types. DCDuring TALK 12:11, 15 March 2017 (UTC)


Isn't the sense "high in price, expensive" dated? --Barytonesis (talk) 17:01, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

In North America, I think so, yes, but I've heard British speakers use it in that sense. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:16, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Maybe? Maybe not? "He paid dearly for that decision" is doesn't feel dated to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:15, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
In my experience (UK), yes, a bit dated. (Figurative "dearly" may be different.) Equinox 19:19, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
There's also the expression "dear price" (to pay dearly = to pay a dear price). --WikiTiki89 21:47, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
It seems normal to me (but I am getting on a bit). SemperBlotto (talk) 07:15, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
It sounds a bit dated to me, but I think it's a regional thing. There are parts of the country where it wouldn't surprise me to hear people of any age use it. Ƿidsiþ 08:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)


Aren't the senses 5 ("to consist of a certain text") and 6 ("Of text, etc., to be interpreted or read in a particular way.") almost identical? --Barytonesis (talk) 17:07, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

I don't think they're exactly the same, although they are similar. It's the difference between saying "The first part of my post reads 'I don't think they're exactly the same'" and "The first part of my post reads that I disagree with you." Then again, the difference might just be the quotation marks... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:02, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
"That sentence doesn't read very well" suits #6 but not #5. Equinox 03:07, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
That's a much better example, thank you. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:16, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
I think #5 is just a special case of #6. We should merge them. --WikiTiki89 20:59, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
I think Equinox's example is a good case for keeping them separate. Perhaps they should be made subdefinitions of a more general definition? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:07, 16 March 2017 (UTC)


Lithuanian apparently has the same word for both "mother" and "wife". How does that work? How do people not get it all mixed up? 20:02, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

It's solved by not using the word motė much at all. You normally use motina for "mother" and pati for "wife" (there's also žmona for wife, but I'm not sure if it's used much in normal speech). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:02, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
In English, some family men use "mum" for both their wife and mother. Not perfectly the same thing maybe, but close. Kolmiel (talk) 13:37, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Wiktionary Etymologies interface[edit]

Etymologists may be aware of a grant building an etymology GUI, etytree, drawing on Wiktionary etyms. The grant is up for renewal and they are looking for feedback/support as announced on the mailing list. - Amgine/ t·e 20:22, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

regrets only[edit]

Is this really a noun? Isn't this more of an interjection? PseudoSkull (talk) 23:21, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

What exactly is the emotion expressed? DCDuring TALK 10:59, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I'd call it a phrase. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:06, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Chemical compound names.[edit]

Robert Ullmann's missing redlinks list is well populated with names of chemical compounds like barium sulfate, potassium ferrocyanide, and calcium polyphosphate. Do we intend to create these? If so, can we have a bot make them? bd2412 T 00:35, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

We desperately need a policy on chemical names and especially formulae; this may be a good excuse to draft one that can justify semiautomated creation, should such creation be found to have consensus. Do you remember where previous discussion on this topic happened? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:59, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I recall discussing abbreviations before, but not spelled out formula names. I will search later. bd2412 T 17:11, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I found Talk:lithium fluoride#Discussion moved from RfD, where it appears that we decided in 2005 (although not without dissent) that names of chemicals should be included. bd2412 T 20:01, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
We should have a new discussion if the old one was more than a decade ago, especially if mass creation of new articles is being proposed... - -sche (discuss) 22:02, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Isn't that what this is? On the merits question, I think that it would be worth having these entries. We already have many (nitrogen pentoxide, carbon diselenide, sulfer trioxide, along with more widely known names like carbon monoxide and hydrogen peroxide) and so long as a particular chemical name is attested per CFI, I see no good basis for exclusion. bd2412 T 20:01, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
If we did have blanket inclusion, I would like to see some language that prohibited people from bot creating the millions of potential entries. DTLHS (talk) 20:12, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. When I look up chemical compounds in the dictionary, I hope to see a bit more information than the surface analysis, such as what it looks like, is used for, etc., and maybe a picture (essentially a highly condensed encyclopedia entry). That would be missing in bot created entries. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:17, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Are there millions, though? Actual names of chemical compounds are far less in number than mere chemical formulae. They tend to spell out the relationship between only two or three different elements. bd2412 T 20:20, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes there are millions. Think about how many ways there are to arrange three different elements. DTLHS (talk) 20:24, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
That is precisely my point - it doesn't matter how many ways there are to arrange three different elements, because a dozen different arrangements of the same element, while having a dozen different formulae, will all have the same name as a chemical compound. There are about 130 chemical elements, not all of which are capable of forming compounds at all (some because they are inert, others because they are too large to create stable bonds). If we generously suppose that there are a hundred elements that can form bonds, and were to count the few dozen elements with which each of these is able to bond (because their atomic structures correspond), we would have a few thousand. Note that more complex molecules, if they are attested at all, are usually given shorter, often single word names, like sucrose or iron pyrite. bd2412 T 20:46, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
So you're not actually advocating for inclusion of all chemical compound names. DTLHS (talk) 20:50, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Per my original post, I am advocating for the inclusion of the chemical compound names on Robert Ullmann's list of missing red links. bd2412 T 21:17, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't know about a bot, but the lemming principle seems to have found considerable support, and barium sulfate is in M-W[17], while calcium polyphosphate isn't there and is not in OneLook. This could give us something to start with, although it is not really based on a lexicographical principle but rather on us being an inclusion copycat. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:34, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I would rather that we have a principle of inclusion or exclusion of chemical names, and apply it uniformly to all attested names. bd2412 T 20:02, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Andrew that these are not very useful unless they describe the chemical's use and characteristics in some way. Just auto-generating chemical formulae from the names (if that's even possible) seems like having those number entries for 109, 110, 111, etc. Equinox 21:22, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
How about the notion of exclusion based on absence of substantive definition, in this case some reason why one would be interested in the substance. "If you don't have anything nice [sense 4] to say about the term, don't say anything at all." (I am still struggling to provide such "nice" definitions for many taxonomic names.) DCDuring TALK 01:50, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
To start with, any entry with no meaning that can't be derived from the name should be deletable as SOP. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:08, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
By that reasoning, we could easily delete at least a third of the existing entries in Category:en:Inorganic compounds. bd2412 T 03:40, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Whether we decide to include these or not (or include some subset of them), I have gathered all of Robert Ullmann's "missing" chemical compound names at User:Robert Ullmann/Missing/chemical compounds. There are about 185, and also about two dozen chemical formulae that appear in that form in the bluelinked entries. bd2412 T 02:38, 22 March 2017 (UTC)


Is this really a prefix? I always intepreted it as a compounding form of Haupt. @-sche, Kolmiel, KornΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:49, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

I agree; not a prefix. The forms in question are compounds of Haupt. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:04, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
What Angr says. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 11:00, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I always wonder about this. I sort of agree that it's not a prefix, but if this is so, neither are vor-, herum-, über-, etc., in my opinion. Or do I miss the difference? (At least, melde- and wegwerf- should also go, probably also küchen- although I created that myself.) Kolmiel (talk) 11:53, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I think the separable prefixes aren't true prefixes either, but the inseparable ones are, so ˈüberˌsetzen (to pass over) is a compound, while ˌüberˈsetzen (to translate) has a prefix. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:41, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Okay... What makes you think that one is a prefix and the other isn't? I mean, everything that isn't a word in its own right, like zer-, that's obviously a prefix; but otherwise I don't know how we distinguish them. Kolmiel (talk) 18:07, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
The stress pattern: "pass over" has the stress pattern of a compound word; "translate" doesn't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:17, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
To take a Dutch equivalent doorlopen, the stress pattern of the separable verb is indistinguishable from that of door lopen, as two separate words. In the forms where the two parts separate, they're completely indistinguishable, even in writing. They are also conceptually equivalent, and I find myself occasionally hesitating, for certain combinations of verbs and adverbs, whether to separate the two with a space or not. —CodeCat 18:25, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
This problem also exists in German, albeit to a lesser extent than in Dutch because they don't let us separate our pronominal adverbs in writing. — @Angr: But what is the "stress pattern of a compound"? Compounds aren't necessarily stressed on the first component. Take ˌsüßˈsauer for an example. Kolmiel (talk) 20:46, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, good point. I was just remembering when I first moved to Germany I referred to Norway as Norˈwegen; the person I was talking to corrected my pronunciation to ˈNorwegen, saying, "Even though it's a place name, it still has the stress pattern of a compound". The other example that occurs to me is that the place in southeastern Niedersachsen is ˌSalzˈgitter, but a literal grid or grille made of salt would be a ˈSalzˌgitter. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:09, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes :) Well, the vast majority of compounds are definitely stressed on the first component, but exceptions exist. In longer compounds it can also vary. For example, most people including myself say ˈBlaubeerˌpfannˌkuchen, but my mother who's from Westphalia says ˌBlaubeerˈpfannˌkuchen. Kolmiel (talk) 21:23, 19 March 2017 (UTC)


Why is this in Category:English words affected by confusion? Because some people use "incredulous" to mean incredible? Well, do they also use "incredible" to mean "incredulous" in a way that is not standard? If not, the category seems unnecessary. And more generally, it seems that whenever the category is included, a usage note should explain what the confusion is! - -sche (discuss) 22:05, 18 March 2017 (UTC)


Why all the -i- reflexes in Romance? Is there a variant lacrīma attested anywhere? KarikaSlayer (talk) 23:32, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

It's puzzling to me. If they had developed from *lacrīma, then they would have accent on the penult, not the antepenult. But if they developed from lacrima, they would be expected to have e rather than i. Perhaps the word preserved its vowel by analogy with the Latin form. — Eru·tuon 03:40, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
A lot of the words, except for the ones in French and Romansh and maybe some of small languages, seem to be borrowings rather than inherited terms. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:58, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
This is exactly the problem with listing borrowed terms alongside inherited terms. When I first started using ‘Descendants’ as a header (and I think I might have been the first to do so), it was supposed to be for words inherited into other languages. If we also list borrowings under this header (which personally I think is overwhelming – consider English words like bar or taxi), they should be clearly marked as such. Ƿidsiþ 08:27, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

'perfume' as a word and the pronunciatioon of 'alas'[edit]

As a non-specialist, non-native user I have to questions: 1) Shouldn't perfume be given a separate pronunciation as a verb? According to some educatory pages, it is stressed on the final syllable. 2) What about the word 'alas'? Wiktionary gives the pronunciation /əˈlæs/, but the rhyme -ɑːs.

1) You are correct. I have added North American pronunciations with that distinction.
2) I have never heard "alas" pronounced /əˈlɑːs/, and looking at the history of the rhyme page for "-ɑːs", I see that "alas" was added once and then removed. I think a link to the rhyme page is automatically added to the main entry when someone submits a new rhyme, so it must have just been mistakenly left on the main page all this time. I will take the liberty of removing it until someone can attest that it is in fact a valid pronunciation. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:25, 22 March 2017 (UTC)


I don't know what this guy did, but it seems to be messing with {{grc-IPA}} in the entry, because omicron is not transcribed. --Barytonesis (talk) 20:02, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Same thing for Κλεoφῶν (Kleophôn). --Barytonesis (talk) 20:04, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
@Barytonesis: They had the Latin letters K and o instead of kappa and omicron. The correct entries, Κλέαρχος (Kléarkhos) and Κλεοφῶν‎ (Kleophôn‎) already existed. —JohnC5 20:30, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

declare war[edit]

This term can be used figuratively, right? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:36, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Any term can be used figuratively. --WikiTiki89 12:33, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Don't we include figurative uses on Wiktionary? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:53, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Only if it has become lexicalized. --WikiTiki89 02:08, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
We need to modify the entry in some way so as to indicate that it isn't always a government authority that is declaring war, at a minimum. Some other dictionaries have a non-governmental sense, so I've added one. - -sche (discuss) 01:00, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
That's much better now. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:27, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

round prices[edit]

1854, Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste: Or, Transcendental Gastronomy[18], page 108:
Young girls often acquired a very sufficient dowry, and towns-folk who wished to eat them had to pay round prices for them.

Does this use of "round" fit into one of our existing definitions? I'm not sure what it means. DTLHS (talk) 23:42, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

I don't think it does, but it means that the prices were high. I've seen it most often in "a round sum" (= "a sizeable sum"). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:58, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Dictionary.com has it (see definition 13). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:58, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Incidentally, if that quote is used to support the sense in the entry, it really ought to be given a bit more context. I initially thought that "them" referred to the "young girls". —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:32, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


Shouldn't this be under Middle English (at least the sense used before the 16th century and the 15th century quotation)? Crom daba (talk) 10:24, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes. It's now at RFV to see if modern citations can be found. - -sche (discuss) 04:19, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

get one's butt somewhere[edit]

Admittedly, I'm not a native speaker, but I've never heard/read this instant to mean "now". Is it common? --Barytonesis (talk) 15:40, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes. Mostly interchangeable with "right now" and "right this second". --WikiTiki89 15:50, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Now with no delay. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:08, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I like the sound of it. --Barytonesis (talk) 00:09, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


This is said to be both an obsolete spelling of she and specifically an obsolete emphatic form of she; likewise mee, etc. Is that correct? - -sche (discuss) 00:52, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Not sure about whether it was more common emphatically, but certainly this spelling used to be used. The OED dates it from ‘ME–17’, i.e. from the Middle English period to the 18th century (and slightly later in Irish English). Ƿidsiþ 07:42, 25 March 2017 (UTC)


  • How is sense 3 ("morbid enjoyment") distinct from the other senses? - -sche (discuss) 04:20, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
    • Sense two is sexual, which seems like an important distinction to make. I think the other three senses could be merged however. DTLHS (talk) 04:28, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
      • Eh, I think the psychiatric sense can stay separate from the lax informal sense, assuming it's accusate. But I've now removed the "morbid enjoyment sense". - -sche (discuss) 05:43, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • The (US) American Psychiatric Association defines sadism as the enjoyment of inflicting pain or humiliation on others. So someone can be sadistic without causing any physical pain. However, it is only a mental disorder if such enjoyment negatively interferes with someone's ability to participate in day-to-day activities (e.g. not able to perform as an effective boss due to desires to humiliate employees). Nicole Sharp (talk) 07:36, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
    • However, should we also add a separate entry for Sadism (capitalized) as pertaining specifically to the philosophy and practices of the Marquis de Sade, which does not necessarily correspond to the common or psychiatric definitions? Nicole Sharp (talk) 08:39, 25 March 2017 (UTC)


Does the fifth sense ("to possess something special") make it a synonym of sport in sense 3 ("to display; to have as a notable feature")? --Barytonesis (talk) 15:23, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it's more or less a synonym; but I think "boast" usually refers to an inanimate object having something ("the new software boasts a number of cloud features") while "sport" is often a person and e.g. clothing ("he sported a bright green tie"). Equinox 16:42, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

"srdce" is seriously screwed![edit]

I just stumbled upon the entry for srdce and my is it screwed! Every line has at least one Lua error (save for the titles of the sections and the table of contents), therein including the declension tables, where every cell is an error… and this across all languages! What in the world is going on there?!

MGorrone (talk) 22:11, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

A temporary error in module code that is gone now. —suzukaze (tc) 22:13, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


  • I suggest that the entry for "retosituo" be deleted. This entry was a mistranslation created by me in 2010, and was automatically added also to "website#Translations" by a bot from Ido Wiktionary, where the mistranslation has since been corrected as "retoloko" ("webplace"/"weblocation") instead: http://io.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=website&action=history. "Retosituo" translates in English as a "websituation," and not as a "website." I would suggest "reteyo" as a better Ido translation of "website" though, by analogy from Esperanto "retejo." Nicole Sharp (talk) 07:32, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
    • Actually, it would be better to simply move the wikipage to either "retoloko" or "reteyo," with appropriate changes. Nicole Sharp (talk) 07:47, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
    • From Google Search, "retoloko" appears to be the most common usage, particularly for Ido Wikipedia, so I will go ahead and move the page there, which corresponds to Ido Wiktionary. Nicole Sharp (talk) 07:52, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I have made all the necessary corrections here on English Wiktionary I think, including redirects at "retosituo" and "retositui." However, if someone who understands Malagasy could make a similar correction on the Malagasy Wiktionary, it would be appreciated, thanks: http://mg.wiktionary.org/wiki/retosituo. Nicole Sharp (talk) 08:06, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

cheese and spaghetti in gamer slang: to add or not to add?[edit]

I just went to the cheese and spaghetti pages, and saw that:

  1. The former has the gamer sense in the verb section, but not as a noun;
  2. The latter has perhaps a hint of the gamer sense in "Short form of spaghetti code", and no hint at the verb sense.

cheese, in gaming slang -- as I picked up from the videos of Youtube users such as carlsaga42 and ryukahr --, is an exploit to make beating a game easier than was intended. I guess this sense comes from the related verb sense of "using an exploit to beat the game easily", which is present in the Wiktionary entry and given as a derivative of cheesy (what sense? Sense 3, "cheap, of poor quality"?). What should we do about the noun sense? Should we add it under Etymology 1 as sense 14 or add a new "Etymology 5" where this noun usage is said to stem from Etymology 4 of cheese as a verb? Also, one might want to add that queso can be used as a synonym in this sense. I have a video title "koopas with a side of queso" and a vague memory of an utterance of "smell that delicious queso?" as examples for this.

As for spaghetti, as a noun it means a stupid and/or ridiculous mistake in playing a game. Many examples of this usage can be found in Youtube videos by carlsagan42, GrandPoobear, ryukahr, and more I guess but I'm not sure. The first one actually has a series about Mario64 which is referred to in the series as "Spaghetti64", because he spaghetties all over the place in that series. As a verb, it means to make such a mistake. Is this really a derivative of spaghetti code via abbreviation? In any case, maybe we should add it to the spaghetti article, either as another Etymology "By extension from an abbreviation of spaghetti code", because the inputs in a game are not really like a programming language, or as another sense after the abbreviation one. What say you guys?

MGorrone (talk) 12:07, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

They should be added iff they are attestable. Please see WT:ATTEST. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:47, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
For attestation, here are examples of spaghetti in the above sense. MGorrone (talk) 15:36, 26 March 2017 (UTC)


  • I noticed this thanks to Equinox's excellent efforts to add etymologies to things: should terms like this be categorized as eponyms? There's no-one named "Tudorbeth" from whose name this is derived. But one of the individual words which were blended, Elizabethan, is derived from a name. I have no strong feelings one way or the other, it just stood out to me as something I wanted input on due to the absence of anyone named Tudorbeth as the immediate eponym. - -sche (discuss) 15:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
    • You are correct. It is not an eponym as far as I can tell. Cat removed. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:32, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
    • I would disagree. The word is a portmanteau of "Tudor-Elizabethan," which would make it an eponym of Elizabeth. Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:05, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
      • And "Tudor" itself is also eponymous, so it is actually a double eponym. Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:08, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Since the "beth" part definitely comes (albeit indirectly) from "Elizabeth", I see it as an eponym. Chambers defines eponym as "a person, real or mythical, from whose name another name, esp a place name, is derived; the name so derived". Does any source say that an eponym can only be direct, and not indirect? Equinox 18:40, 25 March 2017 (UTC)


(continuing from Talk:PPT) Is PPT used in English speech to refer to PowerPoint? Or does it usually just refer to the file format? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:13, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

@Justinrleung: I cited PPT in English, in two senses now: the PowerPoint software (proper noun), and a PowerPoint file (common noun). --Daniel Carrero (talk) 00:40, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, @Daniel Carrero! I'm curious as to how native speakers of English would usually read this or use this (in text and in speech). I don't hear native speakers saying /piː piː tiː/ in normal speech (unless they are referring to the file format/file extension). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:52, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Also, is it actually an initialism? T is not really the first letter; in fact, it's the last letter. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:54, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
You're welcome. Equinox fixed it, apparently it's an abbreviation. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 04:00, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Swazi and Swaziland: etymology?[edit]

I just stumbled upon the Swazi and Swaziland entries. Swaziland is said to stem "from Swazi + -land" in its entry. Swazi has no etymology in the English section, but the French one states it comes "From Swaziland". Um, etymo-loop-ical problems? Which comes from which, and what does the "parent word" come from in turn? I looked across all linked other-language entries, and all the etymology I could see was in the Romanian article:

  1. Din limba swati siSwati. | From Swati siSwati.
  2. Origine incertă. | Uncertain origin.

So is it correct that Swaziland<Swazi<siSwati? And if so, how did the t become a z? And where does siSwati come from in the first place? Is this dictionary entry right in saying siSwati comes from the name of king Mswati?

MGorrone (talk) 17:51, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

The explanation is simply that the English name comes from Zulu, rather than from Swazi itself. And yes, it's in reference to the name of a king. I'll fix the relevant entries. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:56, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Is the Zulu name of the king, perhaps umSwazi or similar, attestable? Also, is it not more plausible that Zulu iSwazi is from Swazi liSwati? —CodeCat 18:22, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I assume the name would be thus in Zulu, but I can't find any attestation. And though the Zulu name may come from the Swazi, it may also be of equal age; I think it's essentially impossible to determine that, because the sound changes would happen regardless. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
What I'm trying to ascertain is whether the Zulu named the language/people directly after the king, whose name was in turn borrowed from his native Swazi name, or that this process happened in Swazi and the people/language names were then borrowed fully-formed into Zulu. —CodeCat 18:52, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
As I said, I think it's impossible to determine. The names probably arose more or less simultaneously, but the phonological alteration to make words fit in has the side effect that borrowing is indistinguishable from inheritance on deeper time scales. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:46, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

منيَ minniya 'of me'[edit]

Hi, could sb. please add when to use this form, and confirm wether such a form is the one that appears in the following poetry excerpt. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:47, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

the talk[edit]

Should we have an entry for this? --Barytonesis (talk) 23:01, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

For a moment there I was afraid you were gonna give us the talk here in the Tea room. Crom daba (talk) 23:16, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
We could, although whether it's better at the talk with a soft-redirect (pointer) from talk or vice versa is a matter of discussion. :p The entry should possibly have both the sex-specific sense and a broader sense along the lines of "A customary uncomfortable talk by a parent to a child about a reality of life" (or whatever better wording anyone can come up with), to cover other customary talks — e.g. for many African American speakers "the talk" is the talk about racism and violence from police (although, that use is probably so widespread as to meet CFI as its own sense). - -sche (discuss) 00:01, 26 March 2017 (UTC)


It seems evident to me that birb mimics a common mispronunciation of bird by children. Birb is an affectionate term and has a connotation of cuteness (look at the kyute widdle birb, so precious, completely adorbs wow :3, my birb is so smol – huh, I didn't realise that smol is a loan from Torres Strait Creole apparently ...). (Compare lolspeak, which follows the same "amusing baby-talk" strategy, as childlike speech is considered appropriate to cute cats.) This may be "duh obvious" to most of you, but people who are not very Internet-culture-savvy, have never encountered the term before in context, or aren't native speakers, may not find it so obvious at all, so perhaps it should be noted in the article. Is there a standard way to indicate something like that?

(Side note: I wrote mimicks first, but then realised that this is a non-standard spelling influenced by mimicking that I accidentally produced independently.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 10:47, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Not sure if this is what you're asking for, but it seems like the most appropriate category for this word in Category:English terms by usage would be Category:English childish terms, which is added by {{lb|en|childish}}. I'm not sure if there's a category for terms derived by alteration of pronunciation in the manner of a child; there should be. — Eru·tuon 11:02, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Polysemic vs Polysemous[edit]

The pages for polysemic and polysemous don't clarify the differences between the two. Do they have distinct meanings? Are they used in different academic communities but for the same concept? Are they both identical?