Wiktionary:Tea room

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

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

For questions about the general Wiktionary policies, use the Beer parlour; for technical questions, use the Grease pit. 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

April 2022

tama (Afar)[edit]

The definition says that tama is a masculine "this" while the table of pronouns below says that it's a feminine and not even the nearest kind (medial instead of proximal). I don't know Afar at all, but clearly there is a contradiction somewhere. Mölli-Möllerö (talk) 08:29, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Mölli-Möllerö: Thanks for the catch, it's a copy-paste error. Thadh (talk) 08:33, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

German template proper noun > surname[edit]

There's a little mistake in this template: It gives the feminine genitive without "-s", but there is no such gender distinction:

    • (Herrn) Müllers Haus, das Haus des (Herrn) Müller
    • (Frau) Müllers Haus, das Haus der (Frau) Müller

So the word "masculine" in "masculine genitive" can be stricken, as can the entry "feminine genitive". 19:00, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Pinging @-sche for example: Any sense in the IP's comments? This, that and the other (talk) 07:13, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Malformed Middle Chinese pronunciation entries[edit]

The following entries contain malformed MC pronunciation data:

  1. Module:zh/data/ltc-pron/摵
  2. Module:zh/data/ltc-pron/椔
  3. Module:zh/data/ltc-pron/𧽸

The corresponding pages throw Lua errors when using Template:zh-pron with mc=y. They all seem to have been introduced in the original Automatically creating Middle Chinese pronunciation data set of revisions. Please rectify. --BKalmar (talk) 19:57, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

FWIW the data is probably ultimately from https://github.com/BYVoid/ytenx. —Fish bowl (talk) 07:22, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The correct data for Module:zh/data/ltc-pron/摵 is:
return {
	"生東三開 入所六", 
	"精東三開 入子六", 
	"生耕二開 入山責"
And the correct data for Module:zh/data/ltc-pron/𧽸 is:
return {
	"見元三合 入居月"
I'm not sure what the correct data for Module:zh/data/ltc-pron/椔 should be, as my source only contains the two correctly-formatted entries. Perhaps the malformed entry should just be removed?

Iwsfutcmd (talk) 01:48, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Nur as Lake[edit]

Hey- the concept of 'Nur' as a lake appears in the words Lop Nur and Sogo Nur, as well as other lakes. However, I'm not clear if "Nur" is an English word (on it's own). How can I connect these two words? I plan to do a "See also" connection for these two, but that's a stop-gap. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 15:34, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Generally, borrowings in toto of multi-word terms are treated as a whole integral piece. Constituent parts are not necessarily treated as part of the borrowing language's vocabulary.
By way of example, we have Danish New Jersey, but that doesn't make constituent word "New" a Danish word. Likewise, we have English Lop Nur, but that doesn't make constituent word "Nur" an English word. There may well be homographs in the borrowing language, such as English lop, but these are usually unrelated to the constituent words in the compound borrowing, or they were borrowed separately, as is the case with Danish Jersey. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:30, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure there's enough evidence to support "nur" being borrowed as a distinct word into English, but here are a couple potential citations: [1], [2]. I suspect that it derives from Mongolian нуур (nuur, lake) and the cognates listed therein. 22:06, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

agudization, reagudization[edit]

Are these Spanish-speaker errors common enough to keep? Equinox 07:24, 4 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

There's more than enough on Google Scholar for both to pass RFV. 21:58, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I guess. It's got a better claim than peacemaker (which could be an inadvertent typo, which these can't be). It's interesting the sorts of macaronic compounds like this that make it into scholarly writing. - -sche (discuss) 16:44, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

We need an entry for this Chinese word "開往"[edit]

We should create a dictionary entry for this Chinese word Kai1 Wang3 "開往" in simplified characters "开往". This word has a definition of "(of a bus, train, etc) to leave for or heading for"

Probably not. It's sum of parts: ("to drive") + ("towards"). Not in any of the monolingual dictionaries. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:27, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

кафе and кофе: Ukrainian?[edit]

I am just learning Ukrainian and don't feel qualified to add these words, but I'm pretty sure that кафе means cafe. I don't know whether кофе (coffee) is a word in Ukrainian, as it is in Russian. Can someone add Ukrainian entries for these words, as appropriate? Thanks! Peter Chastain (talk) 21:47, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

ка́ва (káva) means coffee. [3]
кафе́ (kafé) means café; it is synonymous with кав'я́рня (kavʺjárnja). [4]
ко́фе (kófe) means coffee; it is synonymous with ка́ва (káva). [5] 21:53, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Peter Chastain Ukrainian entries for кафе́ and ко́фе have been added. Voltaigne (talk) 22:27, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Voltaigne, thanks very much. You and other contributors have made a huge difference in my new efforts to learn the Ukrainian language. Peter Chastain (talk) 05:38, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

blow - another missing sense[edit]

When windows ‘blow’ then their seal breaks, letting in condensation. I’m having difficulty finding durable quotes, due to other meanings such as windows being blown in/out by an explosion or storm, glass blowing, or references to wind blowing in through a window, but here is a link explaining this meaning:- [6]. Mainly a British usage? Overlordnat1 (talk) 22:04, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I’ve now added the passage from checkatrade.com to the sense ‘suddenly fail destructively’ but if anyone can find a more durable quotation which is properly dated and with a named author please do. Does anyone think it should perhaps be listed as a separate sense? It seems likely to me that it should but I’m loath to do that unless and until I find better citations. Overlordnat1 (talk) 15:16, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


I was checking the most viewed pages, and noticed this word ranked highly: [7]. If I had to guess, it may be because of the recent spotlight on Jada Smith, which recalled her past euphemistic use of the word to refer to affairs. I wonder if this meaning can be supported by citations or not. 22:15, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

It's attested, Citations:entanglement, and doesn't even seem to be recent; some cites are from the early 1900s, and I see a 1962 book which has "romantic entanglement" in a list of words for "love affair":
  • 1962, William Coyle, Paragraphs for Practice: A Workbook in Rhetoric and Grammar, page 71:
    Americans also sympathized with his request that he face a firing squad instead of being hanged like a (criminal, transgressor, crook, malefactor). Rumors of an unhappy (amour, love affair, romantic entanglement, affair of the heart) [circulated].
My only question is whether it is really best handled via a (sub?)sense specific to love affairs, or as part of a more general sense (e.g. one cite I added there speaks of an affair with someone in the same breath as an apparently(?)-nonromantic entanglement i.e. involvement with terrorists). - -sche (discuss) 16:52, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Splendid work, thank you! We could add it as a subsense of a more general sense if you think that's best, but I do personally think the affair meaning should be explicitly mentioned in some way. 17:16, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Added like this. Please suggest or make any further changes which are necessary. - -sche (discuss) 21:22, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

gendervague vs. gender-vague[edit]

The definitions are totally different. Can this be right? Equinox 22:16, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The quotations do appear to support separate meanings. In case you think that the "gendervague" quotations are using it to refer to the same thing as "gender-vague", with just coincidental mentions of autism, here is an article by Brown (one of the quotees) who explains that the coinage "gendervague" specifically relates to neurological disorders: [8]. 22:58, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm surprised by the distinction, but it does seem to exist, as the IP says, though I suspect (as I generally expect whenever two senses are distinguished only by a hyphen) some use of each spelling with the other sense may exist... so it's another blacksnake situation. (I guess I shouldn't be surprised; words like genderspeak and genderism each have totally different, contranymic senses without even the possibility to distinguish them in spelling, hah.) - -sche (discuss) 17:07, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


There are two senses: 1. not disturbed or agitated; 2. calm. These seem to be the same thing, but I think the intention was probably to split the physical sense (undisturbed water) from the mental (an undisturbed mind). They have separate translations. Which sense should be which? Can it be made clearer? Equinox 18:36, 7 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

One sense is about the state of mind of an animate agent (not necessarily a person, as suggested at calm; also a rhinoceros can seem undisturbed[9]). A more material sense can refer to a liquid, such as water, but also to e.g. soil,[10] a scene or an object.[11] Moreover, that which is undisturbed can be a flow[12] or a pattern or process.[13] I think all these senses are in the core already present in the verb disturb. In general, we can only guess which sense editors had in mind when supplying translations. For ἀτάρακτος (atáraktos) Bailly has (I) a general passive sense of “non troublé” and hence “régulier, égal (mouvement); sans désordre, sans confusion (troupe de soldats); qui ne se laisse pas troubler (par la passion, etc.)”, and (II) an active sense, “qui ne cause aucun trouble”. LSJ gives “not disturbed, uniform; not disturbed, without confusion, steady (of soldiers), generally, quiet; not excited, calm” – the latter attested as applied to the sea. Bailly glosses ἀθόρυβος (athórubos) as “sans troubles, paisible”; LSJ has “without uproar; unperturbed; not causing confusion”. These Ancient Greek adjectives appear rather synonymous to me, covering a similarly wide range of senses as peaceful.  --Lambiam 15:31, 8 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

When is mau the genitive of magu in Estonian?[edit]

The page magu says that the genitive of magu in both meanings is mao and not mau, yet the both this wiki's mau page and the Italian version say that it is the genitive of magu. Mölli-Möllerö (talk) 19:55, 7 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

According to [14] it's mao. Thadh (talk) 20:11, 7 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
OK. I've deleted the Estonian section of mau in both en-wikt and it-wikt. Mölli-Möllerö (talk) 10:26, 8 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Isn't this a specialist term in linguistics, for when you adapt your language to the listener/reader? For example, in the pub I bump into someone and say "SORRY MATE!" but in Harrod's I say "I do beg your pardon, good sir". Should we have a subsense for this? Equinox 02:46, 8 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

w:Communication accommodation theory? - JrawX (talk) 07:28, 8 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I found cites. I notice we had a sense along these lines(?), which Lambiam adjusted, and which I adjusted a little further (to allow for sign languages and writing, not just speaking), and was briefly tempted to move to be near the other linguistic subsense, under the general sense of "adaptation". - -sche (discuss) 17:20, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
In general, we would benefit from systematically reviewing language-related terms to find cases where someone has loosely written "speaking" where "communicating" (in writing, sign, etc) is meant / is more accurate... - -sche (discuss) 17:22, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Terminology for kind of formation[edit]

Is there a word for the type of formation seen in French abat-jour ("abates-light")? It could be (non-ideally) described as the nominalization of an indicative conjugation of a verb combined with an object, to refer to something that does the verb to the object. I'm guessing there might not be a specific term for it, but it does seem to be common in French, and it's not the same as "light-abater". I think garde-dame ("watches-lady") is another example, based on the hyphenation and lack of "de", although garde on its own is also a noun so it could be interpreted that way too (hence the two plural forms). 23:31, 8 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Could you potentially describe it as a sort of compound? Aside from that I think nominalization makes the most sense, I've seen other similar POS conversion. Vininn126 (talk) 07:31, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Are you looking for something more specific / technical than verb-noun compound, which is how such constructions are currently categorized here? "Compounds in which the first element is a transitive verb, the second a noun functioning as its direct object, and whose referent is the person or thing doing the action." Voltaigne (talk) 10:15, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@User:Voltaigne, thank you! Actually that category appears to be pretty much exactly what I was looking for (at least according to its current description, which I see is being debated below). 22:27, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
verb-noun compound lists all the English verb-noun compounds as ‘exocentric verb-noun compounds’ but all other languages simply as ‘verb-noun compounds’. Is there any reason for this? Can endocentric verb-noun compounds even exist? Overlordnat1 (talk) 11:11, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There is no sense of exocentric by which the compound noun bafflegab in that category is exocentric. Elsewhere I saw the term exocentric explained as referring to the grammatical role of the compound differing from those of its constituents; compare the definition we have of endocentric. However, that does not make sense, since the grammatical role (like subject and object) of a term depends on how it is used in a sentence. I’d call tumbleweed a verb–noun compound, but here the noun is the subject of the intransitive verb, while the text at Category:Verb-noun compounds by language states: “Categories with compounds in which the first element is a transitive verb, the second a noun functioning as its direct object, and whose referent is the person or thing doing the action.” There are a few exocentric verb-noun compound categories for other languages, such as Category:German exocentric verb-noun compounds. There is one endocentric verb-noun compound cat, Category:Dutch endocentric verb-noun compounds. The description given there seems to me that of a (Dutch) verb–noun compound in general: “Dutch compounds in which the first element is a verbal stem, the second a nominal stem and the head of the compound.”  --Lambiam 11:54, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia presents a semantic classification of compounds in which an endocentric compound is one whose meaning is a modification (restriction) of the meaning of its head. So, since an airfield is a field (one that is used for a particular purpose), the compound airfield is endocentric, and similarly Dutch vliegveld, in which the first compound is the stem of a verb. An exocentric compound, in the classification at Wikipedia, is one in which the compound has no head (“a hyponym of some unexpressed semantic category (such as a person, plant, or animal): none (neither) of its components can be perceived as a formal head, and its meaning often cannot be transparently guessed from its constituent parts”). As examples, white-collar and scarecrow are given. In this semantic classification, a verb–noun compound will usually be exocentric when the noun is the object of the verb, as in scarecrow, erected to scare the crows. Theoretically, though, there could also be exocentric verb–noun compounds with the noun as subject.  --Lambiam 12:30, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
On this basis, the description currently provided on Category:Verb-noun compounds by language ("Compounds in which the first element is a transitive verb, the second a noun functioning as its direct object, and whose referent is the person or thing doing the action") needs to be changed or expanded, as it applies only to exocentric verb-noun compounds, and not to verb-noun compounds as a whole. (As an aside, Category:English endocentric compounds seems rather underutilized!) Voltaigne (talk) 14:35, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  1. Do we need Category:English noun-verb compounds in addition to Category:English verb-noun compounds?
  2. Do we need, for example, Category:English noun-verb compound nouns and Category:English noun-verb compound verbs.
  3. Should Category:English compound words contain only categories (including Category:English compound words needing additional categorization) or should it be the dustbin category itself?
  4. Does this kind of discussion belong at WT:ES? DCDuring (talk) 15:56, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    On points 1 and 2: are you thinking of words such as homebrew#Verb ("I homebrewed this beer") or airstrike#Verb ("The oil terminal was airstruck")? In the case of homebrew it isn't clear whether this should be analyzed as a compound of home#Noun + brew#Verb, or as a verbing of homebrew#Noun, because either way the resultant verb is conjugated the same. Conversely, airstruck appears to be the result of airstrike being analyzed as a noun-verb compound (air#Noun + strike#Verb), otherwise I imagine the past form would be airstriked. I think there's a danger that the more categories we create for English compounds, the more analytical dilemmas we give rise to (noun+verb vs compound noun --> verb, noun+noun vs verb+noun etc). For example, to spraypaint (verb) - is this noun+verb, verb+verb, or verbed noun-noun compound?
    On point 4: Yes, this probably needs to be moved/be continued elsewhere, given that the discussion has gone beyond abat-jour. Voltaigne (talk) 23:02, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
How much subcategorization is maintainable? "Exocentric" vs "endocentric", "verb-noun" vs "noun-verb" ... "exocentric verb-noun" vs "endocentric noun-verb"? As Voltaigne says, the more categories we have, the more cases cause trouble or are blithely miscategorized by less-adept users. If we categorize "noun-noun", "noun-verb", etc, it invites adverb-noun (tickly-bender, and per our entries arrière-bras), "adjective-noun" (greathelm, thickhead, strongback, quickthorn, redshirt—side note, do we really need three etys that all say "red + shirt, because such people typically wear red shirts"? couldn't we present all the details as bullet points of a combined ety?), "adjective-adjective", "adverb-adverb", "adjective-adverb" and vice versa, "[adjective/adverb]-verb", etc (German quicklebendig, schnelllebig, English thickset, slowmoving), verb-adjective (lookalike)... admittedly, it might be interesting to be able to look up some of these, e.g. to see how many adverb-noun compounds there are.
Also: should categories be based on etymological or superficial analysis? Consider e.g. slowworm / slowhound (folk-etymologically altered), or French hausse-col, apparently originally a Middle Dutch hals (throat) Middle Dutch kote (coat), but folk-etymologically reinterpreted like the verb-noun compounds OP mentioned (+ a lot of garde- armour words). Also consider terms that were adjective-noun, noun-noun, etc in one language, but now exist in another language, e.g. German Fastfood / oldschool, should they be categorized? - -sche (discuss) 15:06, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed. Have we already passed the point of unmaintainabilty with our current categorization with regards to exocentric and endocentric compounds? DCDuring (talk) 18:51, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


In diff, the US pronunciation was changed from /ˈkwɑɹ.ən.tin/, /ˈkwɔɹ.ən.tin/ to /ˈkwɔɹ.ən.tin/, /ˈkɔɹ.ən.tin/ with /ˈkwɑɹ.ən.tin/ restricted to NYC. Is this right? I think /ɑ/ is widespread as a less-common alternative, not just in NYC (and I expect /ɔ/ is also sometimes found in NYC; w:New York accent says "/ɔ/ [and] /ɔr/ [...] are kept strongly distinct from /ɑ/"). Conversely, I'm not familiar with /kɔɹ-/ like core. @Mahagaja. Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com have /ˈkwɔɹ.ənˌtin/, /ˈkwɒɹ.ənˌtin/. (Dictionary.com also has /ˌkwɔɹ.ənˈtin/, /ˌkwɒɹ.ənˈtin/ with stress on the last syllable, something Cuomo seems to do at 2:09 here.) Cambridge and MacMillan only list /ˈkwɔːɹ-/ for the US (/ˈkwɒɹ-/ for the UK), though their audio files seem to have /kwɒɹ-/. - -sche (discuss) 22:50, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

A bit beside the point, but shouldn't it be /kwɔ.ɹə-/ (rather than /kwɔɹ.ə-/) in any case? Thadh (talk) 23:52, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I could potentially maybe seeing both syllabifications, what with r colored vowels. As to the original point, I can neither deny it being restricted to NYC, but I'd say that first vowel with an /o/ personally. Vininn126 (talk) 00:42, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@-sche: It's not exclusively NYC, but outside of NYC there aren't very many areas in the US that have /-ɑɹ-/ before a vowel in words where RP has /-ɒɹ-/. I refer to it privately as the "Flahrida ahrange juice" accent because it has /ˈflɑɹɪdə/ and /ˈɑɹɪnd͡ʒ/ rather than the /ˈflɔɹɪdə/ and /ˈɔɹɪnd͡ʒ/ that's typical in most of the rest of the country. In terms of Wells's lexical sets, although lot words typically have /ɑ/ in GenAm, words with the lot vowel plus /ɹ/ plus another vowel typically have /-ɔɹ-/ in North America, with the exception of NYC and some other areas of the East Coast. (A notable exception is the words sorry, sorrow, borrow, tomorrow, which have /-ɑɹ-/ in almost all parts of the US; for these words, /-ɔɹ-/ is a strong indicator of a Canadian accent. There's a joke that you can tell a Canadian by the way he says sorry – first, that he pronounces it /ˈsɔɹi/ and second, that he's apologizing at all. That said, there are parts of the US, especially New England I think, that do have /-ɔɹ-/ in these words.) As for the /w/, it may not be reflected in dictionaries yet, but it is common in the U.S. for speakers to drop the /w/ in the sequence /kwɔɹ/. In my own unguarded speech I have no /w/ in quarantine, quarry, quart, quarter, quartet, and quartz, though I do retain it in quark and quarrel for some reason. Quorum feels right both with and without the /w/. Finally, as to the syllable boundary, those are very uncertain in English in many cases, as English has a strong tendency to ambisyllabic consonants, but I do think it makes sense to consider r-colored vowels as having the /ɹ/ in the same syllable as the vowel it's coloring. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:07, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Most of this matches how I speak, personally, especially dropping /w/. I think my o is a little more raised in this situation, but I've also heard people speak this way as well. Vininn126 (talk) 10:59, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I agree about the raised vowel. I use /-ɔɹ-/ because it's traditional, but especially for those of us with the horse–hoarse merger, the vowel in question could just as accurately be transcribed /-oɹ-/. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:49, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Okay, noted, but RP doesn't have vowel colouring, so why would the syllable boundary be the same there? Thadh (talk) 08:58, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Thadh: Even without r-coloring, stressed lax/"checked" vowels of English tend to attract consonants into their codas. Most phonologists interpret these consonants as ambisyllabic, but there's no convenient way to show ambisyllabicity in running text, so we show it as if the consonant were entirely in the coda of the preceding syllable, e.g. the RP pronunciation of otter is shown as /ˈɒt.ə/. I personally am not a big fan of showing syllable boundaries in English, partly because they're so hard to define, and partly because transcriptions like /ˈɒtə/ and /ˈkwɒɹəntiːn/ are completely unambiguous without them, but others seem to be partial to them and like to put them in where they're missing. (I usually show syllable boundaries only in cases like mosaic, where /moʊˈzeɪɪk/ might be confusing or interpreted as a typo.) —Mahāgaja · talk 07:38, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


This I think is dated, and means on alternate days - "and the chief interest of the scheme is that the three routes are followed in turn, day-and-day-about, with identical starting and arrival times". DonnanZ (talk) 09:58, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

If attestable, it deserves an entry. It certainly doesn't seem transparent to this American English speaker. DCDuring (talk) 14:02, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure it is properly attestable. The above quote came from the Railway Magazine of May-June 1942, and could conceivably be used without hyphens, as with turn and turn about. But it's worth a mention. DonnanZ (talk) 14:56, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It looks snowclonish; compare shift and shift about ([15], [16], [17]).  --Lambiam 19:44, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well, it's rare enough, and I've never said it myself, but I'm English and understood it right away. It is attested. See from books google com a novel by Anthony Trollope where the sentence reads "He was quite willing that they should perform the task day and day about,—but should his wife omit the duty he must go in his wife's place". The link is https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_Complete_Works_Novels_Short_Stories/bFRjDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=%22day-and-day-about%22&pg=PT4584&printsec=frontcover You can also find it in the OED - you need to do an Advanced Search, which searches all the example sentences, and then you find it under the word "sap" (noun, meaning 3) where the example sentence is "the Namur and Valiant took it day and day about to fight a sap battery". Note: neither of these examples shows the phrase to be hyphenated. If this phrase is entered in Wiktionary, maybe there should be a mention of it under "about". See the OED under "about", meaning A II 5 b ("in succession alternately"). 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:3012:FA85:8D30:D857 04:20, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Are there any more such phrases? If there are we could save it as a snowclone, otherwise I think if it's just the two, it'd be "compare x other phrase". Vininn126 (talk) 08:49, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There is no such word in English as "snowclone". It is just a made-up word. If you mean all the relevant phrases are just iterations of each other, then they may be, but there are many such phrases. Try "reading verse about" in books google com. Also, don't ask other people to do your research for you. Try the OED as your first port of call.2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 11:17, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowclone If you aren't willing to do the research, do not take part in the discussion ;) Vininn126 (talk) 11:18, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Testiness aside, snowclone is a Wikimedia word, not in normal dictionaries. DonnanZ (talk) 11:46, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well, not in Oxford, but Collins has it, not that I understand the definition. DonnanZ (talk) 12:19, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Snowclone is mostly limited to those who work with contemporary language, but it is readily attestable. Words with similar distribution include mondegreen, eggcorn, and Hobson-Jobson. DCDuring (talk) 14:30, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
How does day-and-day-about/day and day about compare in meaning to day in and day out/day in, day out/day in day out? DCDuring (talk) 14:30, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
"Day in, day out" means something like "all day, every day". He works in the shop day in, day out - he works long hours there every day. He works there day and day about means he works there on alternate days, every other day. Yes, admittedly, this usage is receding and may not be meaningful to many. I haven't looked it up on Ngrams but that could be interesting.2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 15:05, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Finding an entry on Wiktionary is not "research". That is not a real word. 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 15:01, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It's a term we use to explain such structures, and whether or not it's in use outside of that has nothing to do with this conversation. Vininn126 (talk) 15:10, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I don't find shift and shift about transparent either. DCDuring (talk) 14:32, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • The construction apparently applies to singular periods of time at least from hour to year. Not all the usage is old, at least in Google web-wide search. Words like season and shift work, so perhaps other similar words as well. DCDuring (talk) 15:41, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    I have looked it up on Ngrams. It was most common in the first decade of the 19th century, but also fairly common throughout that century, but use of it has since declined greatly, although not to zero. 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 17:03, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
A Google search also produces examples of week and week about, month and month about and year and year about, all time-related. DonnanZ (talk) 17:56, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
So this might indeed be like a snowclone, in that case, . Vininn126 (talk) 17:58, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
To me every form using this construction, whatever the noun, is not transparent. The construction is not part of the grammar of all the major lects of English, just of some (UK, Ireland, at least; maybe ANZ, India; not US). If we are hoping to get people to rely on Wiktionary to decode texts (and speech), we need to have a way to make it easy for them to access an entry that either offers a definition of exactly what they encountered or that enables them to decode the construction by substituting the noun from the form they encountered into the expression in the snowclone entry. That would imply that we either have full entries for each attestable form of the snowclone or that we have a snowclone entry and redirects from each attestable form of the snowclone.
If we want to facilitate translations, I don't think that redirects to the snowclone are sufficient, because FLs may not use snowclones for the English snowclone. This tilts the choice between snowclone-and-redirects and full-entries-for-each-form toward full-entries-for-each-form, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 13:41, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If there aren't that many we could probably add them all as separate entries. Vininn126 (talk) 14:39, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There is no such word as "snowclone" and no such word as "lect". So this whole discussion is being conducted in an ignorant fashion. We are going round and round in circles simply because DCDuring has never heard the phrase - although Ngrams shows that it is used in US English. It is likely that more phrases built on the examples of "day and day about" could be found, and so there will no "complete list". To that extent, yes, "day and day about" provides a (limited) productive template. Take a look in books google com for "verse and verse about", as of people reading successive Bible verses. There are quite a few examples there of "verse and verse about". I don't think it should be implied this "format" is endlessly productive. E.g. if you were leafleting an area with a friend, and you said "we'll do alternate houses", it would be odd to say "we'll take it house and house about". Maybe day, shift, turn, verse, week, month, year will provide nearly all of the attested examples. I have already stated that an entry under "about", mirroring the OED entry under "about" could be put in, and maybe a separate entry for "day and day about". 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 15:01, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Of course the various words that you dislike are share by communities of speakers. If you don't believe us, then RfV the entries.
I doubt that the snowclone X and X about will turn out to be very productive in current English. But as a practical matter, we might need to have quite a few redirects or full entries to serve all those who wish to decode the terms or translate them. DCDuring (talk) 17:48, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This whole thread is one long hissy fit because DCDuring apparently does not understand a phrase attested in both US and UK English. 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 01:40, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Can we ignore this guy already? Vininn126 (talk) 07:40, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Is there evidence of attestation in US English? DCDuring (talk) 11:05, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yes - see Ngrams and search for the corpus of US English.2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:947B:22DF:5B06:979 20:11, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I wish you good luck in finding actual cites from that source that are demonstrably or even probably by US authors, unless Trollope is American and Australia was once part of the US. DCDuring (talk) 23:24, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Cite is a verb, not a noun. Get your mouth out of the gutter.Why are Americans always so pleased with themselves for lacking a good education and speaking poor English? George Washington did not wish to see an idiocracy created. His speeches were in good English. 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:947B:22DF:5B06:979 05:33, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You don't seem to have the right attitude to be a lexicographer, even an amateur. We are a descriptive dictionary, as are almost all dictionaries now. Perhaps you would like a dictionary like American Heritage Dictionary, which likes to lecture, though not berate, its readers. DCDuring (talk) 11:52, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Whose English are you describing? That of the educated middle class? Or the uneducated and illiterate? If all attested words, however deprecated, are included, then they need to be flagged as such (as many words are flagged as "proscribed" in Wiktionary--although I think it is an odd term, as if someone had the right to "forbid" a usage). I spent years as a subeditor at a well-known publishing house -- and "cite" as a noun would have been vaporised in an instant. 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 20:10, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Lmao Vininn126 (talk) 20:14, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
We attempt to describe English as she is spoke by all. DCDuring (talk) 20:57, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that an entry for X and X about would be next to useless. DonnanZ (talk) 08:38, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That is a generic issue with our listed snowclones; how could anyone expect someone puzzled by the phrase “as close to heaven as it gets”[18] to find our entry Appendix:Snowclones/as X as it gets? It defies any plausibility. (We do have as good as it gets but (a) the user might not see the connection; and – worse – (b) the meaning is (hardly subtly) different, from an apologetic admission of a slight disappointment to a gushing appreciation.)  --Lambiam 11:09, 16 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It could work with redirects from the attestably "common" instances of the snowclone to the generic snowclone entry with the X,Y,Z placeholders. I agree that without such redirects a snowclone entry is of no value to normal users. DCDuring (talk) 20:28, 16 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Derived Terms versus Related Terms[edit]

Hey, are Echeng and Ezhou derived terms of E (an ancient nation in China located at those modern locations) or are Echeng and Ezhou merely related terms? [19] Thanks for any guidance. Seems like related terms at best; maybe not even related terms in the sense meant on Wiktionary? Anyway, there seems to be a relationship since these two locations are mentioned one of the definitions for E. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 16:55, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Cheng means city. Zhou means prefecture. So Echeng would be the city in the prefecture, the built-up town. 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 17:08, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's just what I mean- there is clearly a relationship between E and Ezhou & Echeng. Is that relationship technically referred to as a "derived terms" relationship (as I did in this edit) or "related terms" relationship or something else? My gut is really "derived terms", but the page on Wiktionary Entry Layout kind of leans me toward "related terms". There is some kind of relation between the terms that a good dictionary resource would likely want to tell readers about. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 17:19, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think "related terms" works. The English word Echeng is not derived from the English word E, if we're being pedantic, since both are borrowed from Chinese. But the words are certainly related, as the Chinese word Echeng is derived from the Chinese word E. That said, if you were to list it under "derived terms" or even "see also" I wouldn't complain. 12:39, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Latin: Memento listed as future imperative when it's possibly better regarded as present imperative?[edit]


"second-person singular future active imperative of meminī"

Similarly it's listed in the future imperative section table here - https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/memini#Latin

However, I see people analysing it as morphologically a perfect imperative form (otherwise obsolete in Latin) - https://latin.stackexchange.com/questions/2345/is-mementote-semantically-a-future-imperative https://jcmckeown.com/fch7.php

I don't understand the issue enough, but my guess would be to suggest that the memento form might want to be listed in the present imperative slot in the table (with perfect-looking inflection). If that makes sense?


Formally it is the future imperative. The English command remember is commonly also used when, semantically, thou shalt remember is in order. The first few commandments of the Ten Commandments in the Latin Vulgate translation[20] all use the future tense: (II) Non habebis, (III) Non facies, (IV) Non adorabis, (V) Non assumes, so it is better to interpret (VI) Memento as also being in the future tense, even though the KJV just has Remember.[21] The commandment is not to be mindful of the sabbath day right now, but to be so to the end of days.  --Lambiam 12:15, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's a rather well-chosen counterexample. Thank you! 2A01:C23:64DA:6500:903A:7F5C:830B:7E10 05:28, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I was chatting with a Hebrew-speaking friend, who said that the tenses of the biblical commands for the negative ones are all not+future, and the two positive commandments are a imperative without any particular tense (memento/honora), that just being how negative/positive commands are formed in Hebrew. So I could imagine someone making the case by parallelism with the Hebrew source that it is indeed present tense imperative. But this is even more out of my depth; I'm just mentioning it as a curiosity :)
  • Non habebis ( future indicative )
  • Non facies ( future indicative )
  • Non assumes ( future indicative )
  • Memento ( ? imperative)
  • Honora patrem tuum ( present imperative)
  • Non occides ( future indicative )
  • Non mœchaberis ( future indicative )
  • Non furtum facies ( future indicative )
  • Non loqueris ( present/future indicative)
  • Non concupisces ( future indicative ) 2A01:C23:64DA:6500:55A8:32B8:15E7:50B5 14:51, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


In US statements about delivery of aid (most recently to Ukraine), drawdown seems to mean something like "provision, supply", e.g. recent announcements of a "drawdown of security assistance" (contranymic to what the word would normally mean), "this additional drawdown brings the total U.S. security assistance commitment to Ukraine to more than $2.4 billion". Unlike the banking sense, the equipment doesn't seem to be loaned, just given(?). Is this US and/or military-specific, or do other governments use it? And is the basic sense more like "provision / making-available (of equipment, to someone)" like the banking sense, or is it more like "reducing / drawing-down (of stockpiles)" (like the main sense), where it's only euphemistically applied to a case where the stockpiles are being drawn-down/reduced by giving them to someone? - -sche (discuss) 10:05, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I think that the core idea is that one draws down from inventory or from some authorized appropriation or allocation. In finance, one could have a drawdown of cash, without lending being involved or the source of the cash being specified, but this draws attention to the limits on the amount of cash. I don't think the emphasis is on the supply, though drawdown has an official, bureaucratic, military tone to it which may be hard for a journalist to resist, so it may have come to be used in cases where the supply aspect seems the important one. DCDuring (talk) 11:31, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
BTW our entry for draw down seems to me both wrong (def. 2 "To acquire or pull in, as funding.") and deficient (omits usage such as draw down of inventory).
MWOnline has drawdown as "reduction" or "the process of depleting", which definitions include a few of our definitions, which read more like use cases than good, inclusive definitions. DCDuring (talk) 11:41, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Normalised vs. Non-normalised forms[edit]

I am totally for normalised forms for languages with sparse attestation, like Yola and Middle English. Here is the issue I see regarding relying on attested-only forms: Yola has a word that means "to quiver, tremble, shiver" in bebber which has a variant bibber. Now, the present participle bibbern (quivering, trembling, shivering) is attested only for bibber. Not attested is the present participle *bebbern for bebber. But it can be deduced to be such.

So why do we show bibbern as the participle of bebber ? This is grossly misleading because it leads the user to think that the present participle of bebber changes the e to i in the present participle when actually it doesn't. bibbern should be shown at bibber. This sloppiness leads to confusion if someone wants (for any reason) to construct a sentence in Yola using our dictionary. This sort of thing is rampant in our Middle English entries as well so much so that it is the primary reason why I did not want to participate in the creation of Middle English entries, and do not trust or use them now despite the wonderful and admirable effort put forward by those who have faithfully worked to create them. All other dictionaries use consistent normalised headwords - not attested forms which might be one-off variants or dialectal corruptions. I know it's not the worst thing in the world, but are we all happy with the status quo ? If we are then it is what it is, right ? Personally, I don't think this is the best we can do. Leasnam (talk) 18:36, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

This is a problem I have thought about too.
One potential way of handling this would be to change the headword template to {{head|yol|verb|present participle|*bebbern}}, and then create Reconstructions:Yola/bebbern, where you can explain there that this specific form is not attested but bibbern is. You could even say that the attested bibbern is an alternative form of the reconstructed *bebbern (compare aflicão for precedent), although in this case it's better explained as the participle of bibber, which is an attested alternative lemma form.
With languages whose morphology is very well-understood, like Latin, you can create expected inflected forms in mainspace even if they aren't directly attested, as long as it's clear that they would have existed. I'm not sure where we draw the line for what languages we allow this for, though.
Another possibility would be to just not list forms that aren't attested. 22:48, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

play doctor[edit]

Are the verbal senses SOP? Same goes for the French and Polish translations, e.g. see sense 3 of jouer and sense 8 of bawić. 20:59, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Oh, I just clicked the Wikipedia link and it's about something completely different we don't mention. (Unless this is what sense 2 is supposed to refer to? I assumed it was roleplay among adults.) 21:11, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I thought about that as well. But in the sense of "the sexual act", I seriously doubt that that's SOP. Any other one probably would be. to play doctor usually means two small children who examine each other, usually out of curiosity. that would be sense 2. Vininn126 (talk) 21:16, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, I just realized it had that sense label before, but then it was removed, and now you have readded it. It makes more sense to me now. I was not familiar with that meaning of the term beforehand. 21:35, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
To play doctors and nurses. 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:947B:22DF:5B06:979 05:30, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


According to the Wikipedia article w:Anoatok, the name of this house is an Eskimo word. But we don't have an entry. SpinningSpark 14:57, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Possibly from an explorer's form of ([22]) Greenlandic Anoritooq, old spelling Anoritôq (a community in northwestern Greenland), from anori (wind) + -tooq. 16:37, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Verbs of motion[edit]

Should we have a usage note or usage notes explaining the difference between bring, take and fetch when these verbs are used with their senses relating to movement? Cambridge [23] and MacMillan [24] already do this. Perhaps we could explain it more clearly than they do by using the words to and from though as I think determining when and where to use the forms bring to, bring from, take to and take from is the source of most of the confusion. Overlordnat1 (talk) 11:09, 16 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

hostess with the mostess[edit]

This is probably a humorous/jocular term, and the plural's weird. I'll probably return to the entry when I'm sober unless someone else fixes it Notusbutthem (talk) 20:56, 16 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The provided plural is much more attested than the "regular" plural, FWIW. Vininn126 (talk) 22:22, 16 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
See also Wiktionary:Tea room/2021/July § hostess with the mostess, hostess with the mostest, hostess with the moistest(???).  --Lambiam 08:40, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

English noun "hoot" and bad(?) translations in Spanish[edit]

The entry for the English language noun "hoot", entry 3, "A fun event or person", has two translations into Spanish, "pera" and "polla".

I can find no such meaning for these words on Wiktionary or the online Diccionario de la lengua española. I also searched through print dictionaries, both English/Spanish and Spanish only, and again find no such meanings for these words.

I think that unless someone can provide a source for such meanings or cite a quotation, that these Spanish translations should be removed.

This is my first entry or foray into Wiktionary so I have no good idea how to do this or who would be interested in confirming, or not, my opinion.

AndyAxnot (talk) 00:45, 17 April 2022 (UTC)AndyAxnot[reply]

Good catch. Although it's probably correct in some context its presentation is lacking and can be misleading. ApisAzuli (talk) 08:15, 17 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If they are slang terms in Spanish, like they are in English, lexicographers of a more traditionalist bent may not have deemed them worthy of admission into their dictionaries.  --Lambiam 12:24, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

midwife (verb)[edit]

The conjugation template and the usage note seem to say that in this verb final "f" should alternate with internal "v". Is that correct? I'm not aware of any other verb with such an alternation, which does of course exist in nominals. My educated guess (not more, not less) would be that there are two alternative forms "to midwive" and "to midwife", both conjugated in the normal fashion. 03:03, 17 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

"To midwive" seems to be attestable: [25]. As a matter of fact, we currently have a verb entry at midwive, describing it as obsolete. So maybe the infinitive with a "v" is obsolete but the other forms are still in use? Dunno. I would ideally want to see text where the "f" infinitive and "v" conjugations are closely juxtaposed in order to establish that speakers treat it as an inflectional change rather than an alternative form; but searching for this on Google Books was not very fruitful. 03:10, 17 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Verbs using the voiced version is a pretty frequent occurrence in English - at least in pronunciation, perhaps that is what was meant. Compare bath bathe. Vininn126 (talk) 08:47, 17 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Happy Easter and thanks to you two for your input! -- From a historical perspective the alternations that exist in several English word stems between voiceless /f/, /θ/, /s/ and voiced /v/, /ð/, /z/ are due to the fact that in earlier Middle English only the voiceless fricatives were possible in word-final position. The voiced ones always had a vowel after them, usually a schwa /ə/. In later Middle English this schwa was generally lost and thereby /v/, /ð/, /z/ became possible also in word-final position. -- This means that if there was a Middle English verb midwiven, this would indeed become modern to midwive. But my point is not so much whether the v-form is more correct or the f-form. The point is that the entry as of now posits that the conjugation should be "to midwife, he midwives" and so on. And that is quite an unsual case, because the above-mentioned alternations otherwise do not occur within the conjugation of a verb, only between nouns and verbs (life - to live) or between noun singulars and noun plurals (one life - several lives). --Indeed, as the anonymous user said, the best test would be to see whether speakers actually conjugate the verb in this way. If that's the case, there's now arguing with reality. However, it would still be questionable whether such a conjugation would be the prescriptively "correct" or preferred way, as the usage note claims. 15:29, 17 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I can't remember the name of the website but there is a place where you can check youtube clips of given words, we could check variations of midwife (including verb forms to ensure we have the right form) to check if some pronounce it with /f/ or /v/. Vininn126 (talk) 15:33, 17 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The null hypothesis would be that any given person will use just "f" or just "v". To minimally prove this we need to show that the same person uses both. To complicate things further, there's also the possibility that a given person might randomly use either without respect to where in the conjugation table a given form is. That would require a larger body of evidence to eliminate- I'm not sure it's even possible with random YouTube clips. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:48, 17 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Right. But I think if speakers randomly use "to midwife" (and forms) as well as "to midwive" (and forms), that's still in line with the idea that there are merely two alternative verbs. The irregular case would only exist if there were a set of speakers who more or less consistently use /f/ in final position and /v/ in non-final position. If we don't have any clear indication of that, I'd edit the entries in such a way that "to midwife" has only f-forms and "to midwive" has only v-forms and the latter (being less common) is linked as an alternative form of "to midwife". 18:11, 17 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The website in question is Youglish. I’ve found at least 6 instances (most of the 236 hits are false positives) where people say ‘to midwife’ on YT [26] there but none at all where they say ‘to midwive’, there is one hit for ‘he midwives’ though [27] (“He midwives his son Israel through the travails of Egypt”) and one for ‘we midwife’ [28] (“While we midwife the birth of the new structures and systems”). Overlordnat1 (talk) 20:41, 17 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I've updated the entry at midwive (adding cites, and removing the 'obsolete' label); and also (hopefully) improved the Usage note at midwife. Leasnam (talk) 02:47, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Great job. We might consider creating another figurative definition: “To aid in the survival of” based on the YT quote found via Youglish (“He midwives his son Israel through the travails of Egypt”), I would do it myself but I’m having great difficulty finding other examples of the word being used in this way. Overlordnat1 (talk) 11:21, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The answer is simple: midwife is not a verb in good English. You are talking here of a supposed normative form of a substandard usage. 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:C060:5DB1:1857:53E3 15:40, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
We'll be sure to run all words past you in future, to check which are good and which are bad. Equinox 15:42, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Oh good, our little prescriptivist is back! thank god, our project is saved! Vininn126 (talk) 15:43, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This reminds me of how knife is now the usual verb, but knive seems to be attested earlier and is in line with how the verb for strife (n.) is strive, etc. But yes, as 90.186 says, one would expect the infinitive with f to inflect with f, and v to inflect with v, not for them to mix! There are cases where consonants change, obviously, like bring-brought, but are there any where the change is between f and v, or even /ð/ and /θ/? We have a verb bath, but we (AFAICT correctly) distinguish its participle bathing with /-θ-/ from bathe's bathing with /-ð-/, so I might imagine other cases like loath#Verb would also have the same final consonant throughout their inflected forms. - -sche (discuss) 19:17, 19 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

English Shave[edit]

Are Shave and Shear doublets? I was reading through bescheren (Dutch and German), and the past tense for dutch is beschoren. Also, does bescheren have any relationship with share? Compare Beschert (Yiddish), I'm thinking be-shere. Many thanks! ADDSamuels (talk) 20:53, 17 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

In the linguistic sense, a “doublet” is understood to be a pair of words derived from the same etymological root. The verb shave is thought to derive from Proto-Indo-European *skabʰ- (to cut, split, form, carve), whereas shear comes from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to cut). So no, these are not doublets. The scheren component of bescheren is related to share, which shares its roots with shear.  --Lambiam 08:28, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with the above. However, if it were possible to connect *skabʰ- with Proto-Indo-European *sek- (to cut), which might also be the root of *(s)ker-, then maaaaaybe an argument can be made to tie the two together, but that is a huuuuge stretch. Leasnam (talk) 14:35, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Does the word medegevoel, meaning "compassion" or "sympathy", exist in Dutch? I've just seen it in a translation of a Max Stirner quote (with the original word being German Mitgefühl) on the Dutch Wikiquote. - Munmula (talk) 14:48, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Munmula: It does, see also [29]. Thadh (talk) 15:20, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Defined as "a crane system". What does this mean exactly? Is it a machine like a crane? A path for cranes to travel along? Equinox 18:16, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

"A crane system" does sound vague and ambiguous. According to Merriam-Webster, "craneway" means:
  1. the part of an area served by a crane
  2. the beams on which a crane trolley travels
  3. the opening in the end of an industrial building which allows cranes to pass from the interior to the yard

- Munmula (talk) 18:37, 18 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I made it slightly less shit, but some input from a person with experience in the industry might help. Equinox 03:48, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Sorghum Whisk(e)y[edit]

How should we account for what is known as sorghum whisk(e)y? It’s made from a syrup derived from the sap of the sorghum plant, not the grain. Should we just create a new entry called sorghum whisky/sorghum whiskey, treating it as an idiomatic set phrase, or add a new sense to our definition at whisky/whiskey? Overlordnat1 (talk) 09:28, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Are there similar types of not-true whiskeys made from the same process? If so, new definition. Vininn126 (talk) 10:01, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Whisky in the Tea room! We have a Beer parlour, but not yet a Whiskey saloon. The same process as is used for making malt whisky from barley or corn whiskey from corn will work for sorghum, and there is no a priori reason to sequester the resulting beverage in the not-true whiskey department. Because of the naturally high sugar level in sorghum, the malting step used for barley can be skipped. I think the term sorghum whiskey is just as much a sum-of-parts as corn whiskey. (IMO tying the definition of the latter to specifically whisky produced in the US in accordance with the regulations of the Tax and Trade Bureau is too narrow.)  --Lambiam 15:07, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Oops, I did not read the question carefully enough. One can make whiskey from sorghum grain. I was not aware the term is used for a distilled (I presume) beverage made from sorghum sap, which looks like first making sorghum beer and then distilling it. In that case it is definitely not whisky as the term was understood before this product got to the market.  --Lambiam 15:21, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It seems to be closer to rum, in that it is made from the crushed stalks of the sorghum plant rather than its grains (unlike sorghum beer and the other kind of sorghum whisky). Apparently it is also called sorghum rum (which begs the question: do we need an entry called sorghum rum, as it’s not really rum either because of the fact that it isn’t made from sugar cane)[30]. I may create these entries but I’ll hold off for a while to give people time to find other examples of not-true whiskies and not-true rums, if they exist (in which case I’ll just create new senses instead). Overlordnat1 (talk) 19:17, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Oel ngati kameie[edit]

Na'vi (Avatar film) for "I see you" (and therefore "I know you/know your heart"). Worth an entry ? Leasnam (talk) 01:10, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

No, unless it can pass WT:FICTION- i.e., real humans in the real world using it to talk about real-world things. It might merit an appendix entry, depending on how well-known Na'vi is as an artificial language. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:17, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The term unicorn is used by real humans in the real world, but not to talk about real-world things.  --Lambiam 19:18, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Zoltan meaning "life"[edit]

Various websites on the internet suggest that the name Zoltan means "life". Is there any basis for this?

No.  --Lambiam 19:24, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

countervalue sense 2: meaning?[edit]

"To make a counter estimate of something's value." What is a "counter estimate"? Equinox 11:49, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Whatstheword, a counter bid? Potentially SoP. ApisAzuli (talk) 12:43, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
An estimate by which you counter (contradict or respond to) another estimate, though this is (more?) often unspaced, e.g. X estimates one banana is worth five peanuts, I make a counterestimate (counter estimate?) countervaluing it at ten peanuts. Perhaps "estimate" should be changed to "assessment" since I see no reason it'd have to be "a rough calculation". Looking at google books:"countervaluing", perhaps the sense should be changed further, or we need one or more new senses, since I'm not sure the existing senses capture what's going on in "laws which mandate the collection of countervaluing duties to offset foreign export subsidies" (~"countering" and equalizing/offsetting the value of the subsidies?) or "To combat this tendency crip/queer subcultures rise as a countervaluing mechanism [...]" (more like ~holding or assigning contrary values?). - -sche (discuss) 15:38, 24 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

-mate suffix?[edit]

Should it have an entry? There are many uses in etymologies (Special:WhatLinksHere/-mate), though they could equally be converted to compounds with mate. Equinox 12:47, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I think they're better as compounds. We could potentially make a big long derived terms box. Vininn126 (talk) 13:59, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Okay. Anyone want to automate it? I'm busy chewing my toenails. Equinox 02:40, 24 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
(BONUS CONTENT: I think it's also mostly wrong that we use that -man suffix instead of man compound on a ton of modern jobs. railwayman is a -man suffix?! Yeah? But I've been bullied into doing it too.) Equinox 02:41, 24 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Words ending in mate or man are almost always compounds. I don't think we are doing users or ourselves a service by showing these as suffixes. We are making ourselves look amateurish when we do this kind of thing.
Do we need some kind of standardized "see" pseudo-entry to direct users to the appropriate sense(s) of man and something analogous to {{suffixsee}} to provide automatic lists of such derived terms? DCDuring (talk) 15:15, 24 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That actually would make things really convenient. You could even seperate it out by where it is in the word. Honestly it'd be convenient to have automated related/derived sections, but that's a whole other can of worms... Vininn126 (talk) 15:24, 24 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well, in England the final syllable of railwayman has a neutral vowel (schwa). There is a difference in pronunciation between railway man and railwayman. Of course, it is not compulsory to neutralise the vowel there, but there you have the reason.2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 06:52, 30 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
FWIW, the RFD which resulted in -man being kept due to "no consensus" from ~7 participants was over a decade ago, and rested partly on arguments about the pronunciation, which seem obviously misguided (*-berry sometimes has reduced pronunciation too, but...). Perhaps a new RFD is in order, unless there was a more recent discussion somewhere I'm forgetting about? - -sche (discuss) 15:47, 24 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I never understood -man as a suffix either Leasnam (talk) 13:32, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe because you speak US English? 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 06:53, 30 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Many terms ending in man have a reduced pronunciation in US English pronunciation. We even pronounce Leominster as a three-syllable word and Worcester as a two-syllable word, though we have almost as many toponyms Wooster as Worcester. DCDuring (talk) 01:06, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

harp on[edit]

Something's just not right about the entry at harp on. I think it needs review. On the one hand, we have harp on which means "to harp, and keep on harping" (cf carry on - it's progressive - that would be the phrasal verb and should be intransitive). Otherwise to harp + on is the use of the verb harp ("to pluck or strum", also "repeatedly mention something") + a preposition and means "to belabour (something)" and is transitive. One can also harp at something or someone. So the current definition should be at harp (which it already is). Leasnam (talk) 16:00, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I have seen it transitively, for a person ("harping on me about X") or a thing ("harping on topic Y"). Equinox 16:06, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
(I wouldn't use it myself this way, though: to me it's intransitive, and "harping on" is like "ranting on", i.e. doing it at some length.) Equinox 16:35, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It might be a US vs UK thing. Harp on is very popular in my neck of the woods of the sates. Vininn126 (talk) 16:37, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Agree with Equinox - to harp on someone means to be critical of someone or nag them and has a direct object. You could alternative analyze it as "to harp + on someone" but that seems wrong in many ways. Vininn126 (talk) 16:34, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well, this is actually the crux of the matter. I don't see it as "to [harp on] [someone]" but as "to [harp] ([on] [someone])", like "to [walk] ([on] [the road])" rather than as "to [walk on] [the road]". Leasnam (talk) 18:22, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure other people analyze it that way and most people would lemmatize it as harp on + someone. Vininn126 (talk) 18:23, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
In a use like “he kept harping on me”[31] it is (IMO) unambiguously transitive, similar to hate on, hit on and many other English phrasal verbs with particle (on). —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Lambiam (talkcontribs) at 20:07, 22 April 2022 (UTC).[reply]
In my view, for a phrasal verb to qualify as unambiguously transitive it must contain an adverbial particle which:
  • can go after the direct object if it is a noun or non-personal pronoun: turn the radio on ✅, let somebody in
  • must go after the direct object if it is a personal pronoun: He fought them off ✅, He fought off them
Harp on, hate on and hit on don't fulfil these criteria. IMO these are phrasal verbs which are fundamentally are a combination of intransitive verb + preposition (as opposed to transitive verb + adverbial particle), but which somehow "feel" transitive because of the strength of association between the two elements of the collocation (Hate can be used intransitively, as in haters gonna hate. Arguably this is the sense incorporated into hate on).
Turn on provides a classic example of a phrasal verb which can be either (1) unambigously transitive or (2) ambiguously (not really) transitive, with very different meanings:
1. She turned him on (she excited him) - This is an instance of "to [turn (transitive verb)] [him (personal pronoun, direct object of the verb)] [on (functioning here as an adverbial particle, not as a preposition)]
2. She turned on him (she rebelled against him) - This is an instance of "to [turn (intransitive verb)] [on (preposition)], but "turn on" in the sense of "rebel against", "lash out at" etc. is such a well established usage that admittedly it does somehow "feel" transitive.
Note also that when spoken, the stress defaults to the adverbial particle "on" in example 1 and to the verb "turned" in example 2 (unless the speaker wishes to override this and stress a different word for emphasis). This is another characteristic distinction between the two types.
Anyway, this is just my view and the distinction outlined above doesn't appear to be generally reflected in the categorization or transitivity labelling of phrasal verbs on Wiktionary (not consistently, anyway)—but I think it would be good if we could account for it somehow (given its semantic and syntactical implications). Voltaigne (talk) 00:10, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
An afterthought: the analysis of harp on, hate on and hit on as transitive phrasal verbs (rather than intransitive verb + preposition) may also be influenced by the fact that "on" as a preposition is used figuratively in each case (i.e. not physically on the person). Voltaigne (talk) 00:20, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I suppose I was unclear in my opening statement. Yes, harp on is transitive. That was not the issue I initially had. My concern was with regards to the sense, which isn't in the entry, that the missing "continuously harping" would would be intransitive if listed. Sorry for the confusion, all. Leasnam (talk) 20:49, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Further, my primary question was whether harp on meaning "to repeatedly do (to someone)" was in fact a true phrasal verb, since it seemed to me a regular verb followed by an independent proposition, since an intransitive use of it would mean something totally different (e.g. he's harping on him vs. he's harping on) and on can be replaced with at, about, etc. Lambiam's examples of English phrasal verbs with particle (on) settled it though. Leasnam (talk) 20:52, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I’d definitely say it’s a true phrasal verb. He’s harping on him sounds very odd in my idiolect compared to he’s harping on at him. The example he’s harping on is just short for he’s harping on about it which has a different meaning because harp on is followed by about rather than on. It’s probably true to say that harp on is a phrasal verb (that feels intransitive) in British English but that harp is an intransitive verb in American English. In both language varieties, the meaning changes depending on whether the verb or phrasal verb is followed by at or about. I would also say continuously harping on rather than continuously harping. Kudos to Voltaigne (talk) for an excellent and detailed analysis. Overlordnat1 (talk) 08:08, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Party like it's 1999[edit]

Honestly surprised we don't have this already. It would see there are enough variations this would be a good candidate as a snowclone of X like it's Y. But perhaps there's also be value in having "party like it's 1999" as its own lemma and having a link to the snowclones, seeing as it's the most common variant? Vininn126 (talk) 13:42, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

For context on the extent that variants may exist, a search in the iWeb corpus for PARTY like it BE _mc gives 192 hits for "... 1999" and a total of 291 hits for other years, with popular ones being 1989 (per Taylor Swift, 19 hits), 1776 (US declaration of independence, 14 hits), 1899 (turn of the century [arguably], 12 hits). Verb forms other than party also exist, but they seem quite rare. A search in the same corpus for VERB like it BE 1999 returns 65 hits for "party ..." and 4 hits for "coding ..." as well as 3 hits for "dance ..." and "dress ..." with all others showing even less prominence. Personally, I would support a main space entry and possibly a snowclone entry, though I need to read Wiktionary:Tea room/2022/April#day-and-day-about to get a better feel for the issue. —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 21:28, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Upon further reading, I do indeed support a snowclone entry in addition to a mainspace entry. The form party like it's 1999 has lexicalized in my opinion to the point it is its own reference point for other phrases instead of just being the most common among many or that the variants reference the Prince song that spawned it (most don't know this origin!). Given that, the formulas party like it's X and X like it's 1999 are "multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, quoted or misquoted phrase[s] [] that can be used in an entirely open array of different jokey variants by lazy journalists and writers" [32] so they pass in my mind as snowclones. —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 02:32, 24 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I have made the entry, however I'm sure a lot is missing. I just wanted to get the ball rolling. Would you take a look? Vininn126 (talk) 08:00, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I've done a number of overall improvements of the entry. Another use is earlier than the one I've give, but it seems less independent ([33]). I've also noticed other usage that doesn't literally refer to partying ([34][35][36][37]) and don't know if/how to document them. Lastly, I'm wondering how the inflection should be given because of the unusual way be inflects. He are the possibilities that I see, minus it's-its distinctions:
party like it is 1999 party like it was 1999
partying like it is 1999 partying like it was 1999
parties like it is 1999 partied like it was 1999
Take care. —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 19:19, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Also past tense: “partied like it was 1999”.[38][39][40] Also two uses of the present prefect (“have partied like it was 1999”),[41][42] and several of the future (“will party like it’s 1999”).[43][44][45]  --Lambiam 21:08, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The Stephen Brown a.k.a. translator argument: "I don't really know what it means so we should have an entry". It does seem... idiomatic. Equinox 02:43, 24 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Obviously SoP. Why should we be shilling for the estate of Prince (or whoever else now gets the royalties)? DCDuring (talk) 17:12, 26 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I strongly disagree. We don't use like 1999 that much to mean intensely. And most of the time it's lemmatized with party. Second of all having a SOP isn't ALWAYS bad. Vininn126 (talk) 17:15, 26 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Those aren't god arguments for it not being SoP. SoP wouldn't even be the primary concern in view of the original. The fact that it has escaped it's fictive environment is significant, that is fictive in the sense that 1999 is otherwise meaningless and therefore subject to reinterpretation, as "Bill Mayes parties like it's 19,99" attests to. I had assumed it has to be "1995" and that Kewler's demoscene production of same name was the origin, maybe because the scene was officially declared dead with the success of Windows 95 over Amiga, so I appreciate the heads-up very much. Whether Prince's '99 or Little Bitchard's '95, there's something about lexical indexing and self referentiality here is much more restricted than 1995, which would be inadmissable indeed. It is a metonym or metaphor. Time being of the essence, ngrams show steady upticks towards the '99 new year's, and a magazine contemplating how odd would it be to use the phrase when it is 1999 for once. S'pose most of you have been there.
Hence, as a speaker with morphologically indexed konjunktive, "Party like it was 1999" feels rather subjunctive, not the least because past-tense would violate agreement. Past and subjunctive are contradistinct because it has definitely been 1999 once, it isn't now, and it would be kewl if it were, "if tomorrow was X". I oppose a snowclone because many entries would be SoP nevertheless, that's why they are work without knowing the reference. Individual entries should suffice if they meet CFI. 23:42, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

-er [edit]

Can we look at Etymology 1 sense 9 7 ? The label and definition read: (derogatory, added to nouns) Person who subscribes to a particular conspiracy theory or unorthodox belief. I'm feeling a lot of inappropriate personal feeling woven into this, it's alarming. For instance, if I take the word 'apple' and stick sense 9 suffix on it, I get 'appler' - "a person who subscribes to unorthodox beliefs or conspiracy theories regarding apples" and this term is inherently "derogatory" ? WTH ? ! The examples listed can be grouped by those qualities, but those qualities are not carried in or conveyed necessarily by the suffix itself. Leasnam (talk) 21:29, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Looks better now. Thanks. Leasnam (talk) 17:34, 26 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It might help to have cites, to see whether X-ers' X is always a conspiracy theory (or regarded as such by people who call its supporters X-ers). The cites I see of google books:"the applers" are a different sense, "one who grows apples" ("the shepherds died off and the applers took over and grew orchards of Cortlands"). I can find web hits for e.g. "world-peacers", but I'm not sure this is the same sense: AFAICT "world-peacers" are people who support world peace, whereas "birthers" aren't people who support birth, they're people who adhere to a conspiracy theory about where Obama was born. (Or, they're people who give birth, but that's definition 1, not this.) google books:"forced-birthers" are people who support (forced) birth, but that just returns to the question of whether "world-peacers" and "forced-birthers" et al. (people who support X) is the same sense as "birther" (people who believe conspiracy theories about X) or not... - -sche (discuss) 06:39, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Compare ism and ist. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:49, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I am not comfortable with this. I can't deny that whoever added this sense thinks about those words like that. The only challenge is to see if it's linguistically and lexicographically sound.
"Birther" was lexical before Obama (The Happy Birth Book, eg.). So besides home-birth you have pro-birth as hyponym of pro-life, later in contrast to pro-choice, for somebody who delivers in a pro'ish manner, pro bono. Can this be sourced? Birth per se is not "a theory, opinion, or belief", anyway.
The sense of conspiracy in flat-earther is very clearly licensed by flat-earth being understood as wholecloth. That -er attaches to it might be sheer coincidence, seeing that earther has been and is common still in fiction (necessarily more common in ngrams because it includes the compound phrases [46]). Pressumably it meant a terran (compare German Erdling or Terraner).
Truther likewise predates 9/11 by a mile.
That leaves (anti-)vaxxer in the given examples, which is simply deverbal after backformation from the noun and it is agentive rather than patient, maybe partitive, in the sense that one takes (part in) the action of getting vax'd, while the physician is not so named. Anti- is a bona fide prefix. Although vaxer is not citable until recently, vaxer (physician) can be easily constructed from sense 1 and would be understood easily if given sufficient context. This vaxer regularly subscribes to the theory of germs, as much as a hammer abides by the laws of physics. That's not the point. An anti-vaxxer is first of all somebody who is on behavioral grounds obviously not willing to get a jab. That is a simple observation shared by everyone, not exclusive to the "theory, opinion, or belief" of the vaxxer. Conversely, a person who, vaxxer or not, contemplates that the anti-vaxxer will change eventually is on utilitarian grounds quite different from a vaxxer who simply ...
It is not enough that a morpheme can be extracted if it can only be reapplied to the same words by zero-derivation.
Also, since all of those topics are outrageous stereotypical Fox News material, I don't believe the morpheme is productive and citable outside the news-room, wherein the creation of short and punchy words is a valid strategy for headlines, typically with the most underspecified semantics, which contravenes the effort of finding a definition narrow enough to be distinguishable from the ones that were already in place. In fact, we have precisely that already under 7. "Used to form nouns shorter than more formal synonyms." If you have more examples new or old they may be more difficult to judge.
Nevertheless it should be deleted if the initial edit was obviously not well founded. 22:44, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Is this right? I find no hits for "an argyraspide" in GBooks. Wikipedia only gives the plural, "argyraspides", which is of course from Greek and not an English plural with -s. Furthermore it usually seems to have a capital A. @SemperBlotto Equinox 20:06, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The Ancient Greek term Ἀργυράσπιδες (Arguráspides) – which I think of as a proper noun – is a plurale tantum for the whole corps. Formally, it is the plural of Ἀργυράσπις (Arguráspis), from ἄργυρος (árguros) +‎ ἀσπίς (aspís), so if an English singular is needed, it should be Argyraspis. In fact, argyraspis is a common specific epithet (Acalyptris argyraspis, Acrocercops argyraspis, ...).  --Lambiam 09:54, 28 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There are plenty of uses of argyraspid in singular and English-style plural. DCDuring (talk) 01:39, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Okay. I don't want to reject any adopted English form as long as it actually exists: I have seen such things from Greek. But this one looks a bit dodgy. God bless whoever does the cites. I have better things to do, like deciding whether Leasnam totally made up crowly, etc. Equinox 03:54, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


We say this is pronounced /ʒə.nə.vjɛv/ with three syllables; the French Wiktionary says it's /ʒən.vjɛv/ with only two. (Our Avignon pronunciations also differ.) Which is it? And as long as we're on the topic, what's the *gʷībā portion of the possible Celtic etymon mean? - -sche (discuss) 18:48, 28 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

It has three syllables (at least that's one possibility; it's how I heard it in France). Equinox 18:50, 28 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Or four: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCCCJxF9-mk.  --Lambiam 15:08, 29 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


This is confusing:

Here (mas) it is described as:

  • translingual
  • neither singular nor plural
  • metrological

Here (ma) it is described as:

  • english
  • [mas] plural of 'ma'
  • astronomical

Is it slightly different for metrology versus astronomy?

Should they respectively be:

On 'mas':

  • translingual
  • plural of 'ma'
  • metrology, astronomy
  • abbreviation of milliarcseconds

On 'ma':

  • translingual
  • (plural mas)
  • metrology, astronomy
  • abbreviation of milliarcsecond

Aoziwe (talk) 12:57, 29 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


I found an older, pre-internet, use of this word in A Midsummer Tempest by Poul Anderson. In Chapter XI, 'The Taproom of the Old Phoenix' there is the following exchange between Prince Rupert and Will, his companion:

(Will) "To Rupert: 'Fear not. It was her toaken led us heare.'

The prince shook himself. 'Aye.' With a stiff grin: 'Maybe I'll get used to trollery.'"

The verb "troll" is an ancient or at least medieval word (A Midsummer Tempest is set in an alternate late medieval history) and I see no reason why it cannot have the meaning of being led somewhere like a fish trolled for. I don't have the skill with the tags to enter this as a definition, and I am not sure that it's not a misprint of "drollery," either. Opinions?

(edit) Let me add that here there is a definition that seems much broader than the internet definition: "Art, craft or practice. Characteristic of. Class or group, collection of. Organisation or movement. Place of art, craft or practice." The site does not give any examples of use. Wastrel Way (talk) Eric —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Wastrel Way (talkcontribs) at 16:43, 2022 April 30‎.

Inclusion at Wiktionary and the better commercial dictionaries is governed by citations, not plausible morphological derivation. The existence of diverse meanings of troll is certainly good grounds for searching for such citations. DCDuring (talk) 17:01, 30 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Taking a quick look at Google Books before 1880 (to exclude the numerous uses where a modern speaker would expect trolley as well as the internet uses) I find mostly typos and scannos for drollery. YMMV. DCDuring (talk) 17:18, 30 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


I was going to create a page for ansägen. Is "to saw into" a good definition? Dngweh2s (talk) 18:06, 30 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Dngweh2s: What about "incise with a saw"? –Austronesier (talk) 10:31, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


The definitions are way too old-fashioned... Zumbacool (talk) 21:47, 30 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Wow, that's gross. I tried to update it.
What does "Secured by thrift; well husbanded" mean? OED has this sense but it is supported by only a Shakespeare quote. It's RFV time. This, that and the other (talk) 04:27, 5 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

looking for an English word[edit]

In textiles, what do you call the process of combining strands of yarn, silk, etc.? Or the product derived from that process? I need this for the 併線 entry. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 22:44, 30 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

To weave? Vininn126 (talk) 23:29, 30 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yarn itself is produced by combining fibers in a process called spinning, which is a form of twisting. The result is a single thread. Combining threads to form a rope or similar is usually also done by twisting. The process can be repeated (a thick rope formed by twisting thinner ropes together formed by twisting threads together formed by twisting fibers together). Another way of combining threads or thinner ropes is by braiding. The term twisting is not specific to textiles, and I am not aware of a generic term that covers both twisting and braiding.  --Lambiam 12:59, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you both for responding. I think I'll leave the definition as is for now. I dare not modify it without fulling understanding the nuances. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:32, 4 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

May 2022

Latin vernus = crocus?[edit]

The Wikipedia article Crocus vernus cites Dr. Peter Jarvis, The Pelagic Dictionary of Natural History of the British Isles, who writes: “Vernus is Latin for both ‘vernal’ and ‘crocus’.” Is there a factual basis for this claim? (I can believe that the term flos vernus (“spring flower”) has been used as a name for the crocus, but that does not make vernus mean crocus.)  --Lambiam 13:47, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Maybe it does not mean mean that in the sense of commonly understood, but clipping is a valid word formation process and it could be a rare poetic epithat. This isn't RfV, what's your point? 13:07, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
RfV is for entries on Wiktionary. This is not about Wiktionary. It is a request for information about the meaning(s) of a term. Perhaps golden has been used as a rare clipping of a poetic epithet to mean chrysanthemum, but that is not a licence to claim that “Golden is English for both ‘gold-coloured’ and ‘chrysanthemum’.”  --Lambiam 14:02, 8 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


In the infrequent times when I pronounce hasten, it almost always has an audible t, similarly sometimes for often, but never for whistle, chasten, and others. Is that just me? DCDuring (talk) 14:52, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

So far I've found only MWOnline has the audible t pronunciation, which they list first. Even AHD ignores that pronunciation. DCDuring (talk) 14:58, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Personally I wouldn't say it that way. We are from different regions, however. Vininn126 (talk) 15:06, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I say /ˈheɪ.sən/; no audible t. Tharthan (talk) 02:44, 2 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Like the above two commenters I don’t have an audible t either. I think I have heard it with a t on rare occasions from native English speakers but I can’t remember the specifics about when and where I’ve heard that pronunciation and which country or region the speaker was from, I just have a vague inkling that I’ve heard it before and thought it to be a bit peculiar. None of the U.K. or Aus speech examples on Youglish are of someone saying it with the t pronounced and the same goes for the first 40 of the 462 American speech examples [47] but I got bored looking after that. Overlordnat1 (talk) 08:59, 2 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe it isn't used enough in my hearing to provide me with a reason not to resort to spelling pronunciation. DCDuring (talk) 10:56, 2 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
An audible t in hasten is simply incorrect. The t in often appears in the UK to have become pronounced by many as a reading pronunciation after the introduction of universal literacy in the 19th century, but is also prescriptively incorrect. Of'n is the correct pronunciation. DCDuring's post is a reminder that native speakers don't always have good pronunciation.2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:A966:B4CA:DD7B:F8A4 20:09, 3 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Any pronunciation that sees significant use is, by definition, one of the correct pronunciations. This is how language works. Whoop whoop pull up Bitching Betty ⚧️ Averted crashes 06:24, 22 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Lol Vininn126 (talk) 20:11, 3 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Merriam-Webster is falling into error, having had it right in my 1993 print edition of their 3rd International, but now claiming that the 't' ought be pronounced, though it allows the 'silent'-t as a second pronunciation. I checked Google N-Grams on the relative frequency of hasten and hurry in the US. Hastened has been in steady decline since about 1845, at which point its use equaled that of hurried. Hurried nearly matched the absolute amount of decline, but was used almost twice as frequently in 1977, when its use soared, reaching more than six times the usage of hastened in 2019. British English showed almost the same pattern, but with the rise of hurried being delayed until just after 2000. My theory is that because hasten is not much spoken anymore, probably due to the general decline of civilization, that speakers increasingly resort to a spelling-based pronunciation. There are other explanations for the decline of hasten relative to hurry. Maybe we live in an age in which hastening/hurrying is increasingly done transitively, but possible transitive use of hasten has been forgotten. Maybe in the decline of civilization we can't handle a word that differs from its corresponding noun by even a single letter. DCDuring (talk) 05:52, 4 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
"Hasten" is in decline, but it is frequently heard in the phrase "I hasten to add". That one phrase may account for the majority of uses in speech. 2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:8DD7:9064:77A:8731 12:50, 5 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Relatedly, interesting is intéressant, so the t must have been inserted by analogy. Nobody uses a gerund or participle, cf. vb. interest, "Action films don't really interest me." ≠ "* Action films aren't really interesting _ me". The preposition "to" should be evidence of epenthesis and rebracketing Action films aren`'t really interssentᵊ me" (cp. Ger. interessiert mich nich, interessiert wieder keinen, nicht von interesse), though MLat. shows similar usage, "Qui Matutinis intererit a principio de", "Interesse panis". Imaginably, the insertion is from assimilation to the t in inter- that could otherwise go lost, as I'm sure I heard inneressing often enough. Converesely, I want to say that a morphological explanation from desiderative exponents would of been a possibility. 12:42, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


This obviously has a problematic definition. "And they deny that", apart from the poor style of starting sentences twice with this ponderous opening, is no way to expand even in a non-gloss definition; it is also an issue that the categorical subclauses are either dubious (it is widely known that vaccines have side effects) or politically contentious (stating that it is generally true that governments use coronavirus as an expedient to commit abuses violates NPOV).
Additional attestations: [48] [49] ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 18:12, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The definition provided is in fact a gloss definition, not a non-gloss definition. An example of a non-gloss definition would be "Word used to refer to people who deny..."; "A person who denies..." is a gloss, since you could substitute that phrase for the word tragacionista in a sentence.
The edit by Lambiam after this thread was started greatly clarified the meaning, assuming it is correct. One could potentially even simplify it down to "Someone who supports the official account...", avoiding the potentially confusing double negative, but there may be difference if e.g. the term is only used for people who actively argue for the position, against detractors, and not those who passively accept it.
My personal suggestion for improvement would be to add citations of the term that provide context; the current ones don't clarify its usage, but do at least attest to the term's existence. 20:30, 3 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Presumably the term is used by covid/vaccine "skeptics"/conspiracy theorists? In which case, it would be helpful to note that (although I guess "derogatory" sort-of implies it to some extent). - -sche (discuss) 04:22, 4 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

hit different[edit]

Worth an entry? PUC – 11:17, 2 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Meaning? DCDuring (talk) 12:01, 2 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Usually in reference to drugs, media, etc., meaning it has a stronger/unusual effect on the receiver. Vininn126 (talk) 12:08, 2 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That just seems like different#Adverb. DCDuring (talk) 14:07, 2 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Which sense of hit#Verb is being used here? Is it sense 12? It can be used for things other than drugs. Further, the person is the object of the verb, not the subject. 20:22, 3 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think its just plain old sense 1, used metaphorically, just as we use metaphors like "it hit me like a ton of bricks" .... as you say it's definitely not just for drugs .... it's for anything that can be forceful, even metaphorically... e.g. "the new hot sauce definitely hits different". Soap 22:45, 3 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Should we add a subsense to cover this metaphorical use? It would not be clear to a non-native speaker, and the label for sense 1 has "physical" which does not apply. 01:16, 4 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I don't know about younger English, only that anders is used in an ameliorative(?) sense quite recently, intensive anders geil and eventually just anders. Is that perhaps a calque? ApisAzuli (talk) 04:27, 4 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I was trying to find a definition in our entry for hit, but then it hit me: we may not have all the definitions that other English dictionaries have. AHD has a definition "suddenly arose in the mind of", which seems quite metaphorical, though I'm not sure what literal base definition fits. Most other dictionaries don't have AHD's definition. Some dictionaries have "affect, especially negatively", but we omit "especially": "affect negatively". Perhaps a revised definition like "affect, especially strongly or negatively" would cover this and many other 'figurative' senses. DCDuring (talk) 05:05, 4 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm inclined to say we should have an entry at hit different because:
  1. hit different means that the experience was better/fuller/more insightful/richer, which isn't obvious at all by the adverb "different". It's not merely unusual, because it can only ever mean the experience was more impactful, not less.
  2. Are there any other adverbs that would work with such a sense of hit? While you could probably cite "hit differently", I don't think "uniquely" or "unusually" could be used in the same way ("that hit unusually"), which by rights they should be if this were SoP. As constructions, they go over the line from unusual-but-plausible to non-viable, which makes me think that this is a set phrase rather than a mere collocation.
Theknightwho (talk) 19:57, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The normal start by a lexicographer adding a new definition is to find cites that illustrate the novel usage. Do we have any of these? DCDuring (talk) 20:19, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
genius delivers. ApisAzuli (talk) 02:45, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Most contemporary lyrics are like most contemporary poetry in not providing clear illustrations of the meaning of an expression. DCDuring (talk) 21:36, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Like almost all language, the difference being whether you allow yourself to be judgemental about it. ApisAzuli (talk) 22:13, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


I'm not sure exactly what to do with this one: it's very rare, but I can find at least two uses, so an rfv would probably be a waste of time. It's definitely SOP, with an infinitely productive vulgar infix, but we don't recognize unhyphenated single blocks of letters in English as SOP according to CFI. Maybe we should just clean up the definition a little. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:51, 4 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Perhaps a "vulgar emphatic form of congratulations" label would suffice for such things. Vininn126 (talk) 15:03, 4 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Strictly requiring cifuckingtations might reduce any pofuckingtential flood of such entries. DCDuring (talk) 16:37, 4 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You can't be too strict on requiring the citations yet, because Wiktionary is still on baby-level in terms of citing anything. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 13:02, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It's a matter of discretion. Simply applying our existing rules strictly is a fairly good way of addressing minor problems without adding additional rules. DCDuring (talk) 14:24, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
An "infinitely productive vulgar infix"? i know American linguists, McWorther e.g., do like to riff on this usage, but isn't the joke in this one that it sounds like -u-fuck-u- as the reduplicated vowel indicates, plausible because congrat- is recognized as a morpheme (in contrast to unaccented ci- or po-), somewhat like a jocular Australian yer counts? Because it licenses emphasis through a repetitive rhythm, "philla-fuckin-delphi-a", it cannot be infinitesimally productive. Stop telling people that, or they will use it even liberallier.
Also, it's remarkable that, surely, you are concerned only because the slur word triggered a warning. How infatuating.
As regards your stance on unhyphenated spelling forbidding the SoP argument, you should make liberal use of the spelling mistake loop-hole. Not that I'm a friend of that, but I really wouldn't know how to read the word with-out. 12:54, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Plural of сто (Ukrainian and Russian), and some questions about etymology[edit]

How would we say I have hundreds of hryvnias In Ukrainian? Our Ukrainian declension chart for сто shows no plurals—and even in Russian, the chart shows no form for nominative plural. I am a very new student of Ukrainian, but when I look at the last part of words like двісті (for which we, unfortunately, do not provide an etymology) and п'ятсот (for which the etymology simply equates сот with "hundred"), I see what look to me like plural forms (nominative and genitive, respectively). Turning to триста and чотириста, we see that ста is a genitive (etc.) form of сто. I assume that is singular, but that seems inconsistent with the convention that the numbers 2, 3, and 4 are followed by a nominative plurals. Peter Chastain (talk) 07:02, 5 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Peter Chastain: To express “hundreds”, a nominalised word со́тня (sótnja) used, in both Ukrainian and Russian, eg “сотні гривень” is “hundreds of hryvnias” in Ukrainian. The other words you listed are regular numerals.
As for the endings. Number 1; 2 to 4 and > 5 all have different endings. It’s a bit of grammar with numerals you need to know. I will give you a link or explain later if you need to know more. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:01, 5 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Peter Chastain The Wikipedia articles on various Slavic grammars, particularly the numerals, all have pretty good explanations. Vininn126 (talk) 09:03, 5 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

🤦‍♀️ and 🤦‍♂️[edit]

These are given as "alternative form of [emoji that looks identical]". I can see some sort of gender modifier (?) in the URL but the main form and alt form in each case look identical. So what do these entries mean, and what are they achieving for Wiktionary? Equinox 15:54, 5 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

They don't look identical to me - the first is female and the second male on Windows 11. That should probably be explained. Theknightwho (talk) 19:44, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
To me, 🤦‍♂️ (FACE PALM + ZWJ + MALE SIGN) looks identical to 🤦 (FACE PALM alone). The female version, however, appears different on my screen. I'm sure some fonts distinguish the male and gender-neutral versions, but apparently not the default emoji font installed on my system. 20:09, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
For me, the 'default face palm' shows up as the woman (identical to the 'female face palm') and the 'male face palm' is the different one, so there's some inconsistency between systems. As Equinox says, there are a lot of variants due to the possibility to apply gender and skin-tone modifiers. I'm not sure whether it'd be better to redirect all the variants to the default glyph and mention/show the main variants there like how we handle fullwidth letters, or have separate entries with more information definitions. I can see some marginal utility to being able to look up an emoji and find out what the base emoji is and what modifiers have been applied. - -sche (discuss) 08:16, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Given the above: it's possible to use modifier characters to change a picture into a gendered picture on some systems. Is this in our remit? I think not. If they were separate chars (like 0x09 is a boy and 0x0F is a girl) then yes, but if there is a specific "make it male/female" modifier, why is that lexical? Shall I RFD? Equinox 03:42, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
We should have policy on this, BTW, because it is probably pretty widespread, or will be, e.g. female Santa with skin-tone-4. That's great, Apple, thanks, but it's not a dictionary entry, OR IS IT? What would OED think? Equinox 03:56, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It's a bit like upper versus lower case, and roman versus italics. That may or may not have lexical significance, depending on actual use.  --Lambiam 11:11, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
In general the significance of the skin tone or gender is that it reflects the speaker's; at first blush I might not consider this to be an overly dictionary-entry-worthy thing (like Equinox), but it does seem to have parallels to having different affixes for a woman speaker vs a man speaker, or for one caste or social rank vs another, like some languages do... - -sche (discuss) 00:18, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

"Crop" as a verb - meaning missing (BDSM-only?)[edit]

I know that crop may be used as a verb, similar to whip, but the article does not mention such use. May it be added (if sourced)? In addition, cropping lacks such a meaning altogether as well.--Adûnâi (talk) 01:52, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

A verb crop is listed, in the sense of snipping off a part. Do you have another verb in mind?  --Lambiam 14:43, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Presumably they mean a verb based on these nominal senses of crop: "The lashing end of a whip; An entire short whip". So "to crop" would be "to whip". Some uses: [50], [51], [52], [53]. 20:04, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You're right and it's not BDSM-only: "She cropped the horse into a comfortable canter" (found in some recent shitty romance novel). Go ahead. I've added it. Equinox 04:04, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


The connotation of girl "cocaine" is quite opaque. If there's no logical explanation at hand, this should be phono-semantic matching from a foreign word, perhaps of Indian English extraction. I'm surprised to find that cream has no Indo-Iranian cognates. Regardless, powder#translations delivers eg. Assamese guri (guri, powder), but I cannot confirm a sense of drugs for any of the attractive phono-semantic matches.

At best I can relate that Farsi گل(gol, rose, flower) may be "cannabis" in the streets, that's likely hashish more often than bud (viz. flower); a relation to alcohol would have to be rather deep (Fa. gh ~ g are described as allophones, but my informant rejects this). Given the Andean provenience of yay, any Central Asian etymology would more likely have to stem from the Opium trade, surely, and gol happens to be a homonym for "hero". I have more, but I know it's time to stop when I end up in Sumerian.

I could care less about the origin only to deny that the good word is tainted, and a separate section would expose it even more, so I should hope for plausible deniability if somebody knows a good folk etymology.ApisAzuli (talk) 03:35, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Maybe white girl will help? Equinox 03:41, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, doesn't rule out guri possibly having a subsense. ApisAzuli (talk) 03:54, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Your etymology is really wacky, it's much more likely that it just comes from "cocaine is white" -> "white girl" (maybe some connection to US racial divide) -> "girl". I don't think we need alien pyramid theories about this. Equinox 03:58, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
With all due respect, calling it "powder" is reasonable, as the synonyms Bolivian marchingpowder and German Marschierpulver might suggest; India is a probable vector to English. The comparison to gol could be secondary evidence because the etymology of the Sanskrit etymon that underlies Assamese is uncertain. Admittedly, I have confused the Sanskrit d for l because l ~ r is quite common and there is another etymon that shows l, tangentially relevant for the previous gyros thread where Schabefleisch (ie. gyros) could relate to scabs as grind relates to Grint ("scabs") and cream. ApisAzuli (talk) 04:25, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Nothing you say ever makes any sense. Equinox 04:28, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
No, right, and thug means "bandit" and wasn't instrumentalized by the Brittish government to instigate hatred? Might be I misunderstood the counter claim. ApisAzuli (talk) 04:49, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
For comparison, in slang, "boy" means heroin. The terms "boy" and "girl" (or whiteboy and whitegirl) are often found juxtaposed in reference to drugs. Your theory doesn't explain this part.
Further, {{R:Partridge New|entry=girl|page=868}} claims a US origin from the 1950s so it would be weird for it to be from Assamese.
Cassell's Dictionary of Slang gives an even more detailed explanation for "boy" [54] and "girl" [55]: the type of thrill given by the drugs is variously seen as "masculine" or "feminine". The list of synonymous slang terms for cocaine ("lady", "her", "missy", various female names) and for heroin ("big daddy", "him", "mister", various male names) also makes me think it's fundamentally about gender, not a phonological corruption of an Eastern language. 04:50, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Right. But have you ever tried taking a bone away from a dog? Equinox 04:58, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
So I'm trying to whitewash sexist propaganda now, except I'm not sure which part of it is myth. There's no surprise that synonyms and antonyms will be used if they are readily available, so this is no strong point. It beares mention that hero-ine is precedented to be feminine, but this won't tip the scale. ApisAzuli (talk) 06:18, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
schizoid, call a doctor Equinox 06:28, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This is simply a case of Occam's razor: unlike opium, cocaine has always come from South American sources, and this a term from US urban slang with no reason to assume borrowing from Asia. No one cares about whether anything is "tainted", nor does this involve anything having to do with gender politics. You're obviously just desperately searching for some exotic hidden explanation so you can feel like you discovered something- but sometimes reality is dull and ordinary. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:45, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Not that it is relevant to the overall point, but just to be pedantic, English heroin derives from German Heroin, originally a trademark. Note that the German noun is of neuter gender. The German suffix -in can be used to create feminine forms of words, but it is also separately used to create (neuter-gendered) names of chemicals.
More to the point, the peer-reviewed article at doi:10.1080/13648470.1999.9964574 contains interviews with actual drug users who describe their gendered model of the two drugs, including reference to the slang words "boy" and "girl". It's not "sexist propaganda"; it's the most plausible and well-documented hypothesis for the origin of the words. And even if you think the idea of explicitly imposing the gender binary onto the two drugs came later, it seems much more likely that the terms originate from the ordinary English words "boy" and "girl" than from Persian, especially considering the social milieu in which the words were historically used. 06:49, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Anything you said is not only irrelevant. It's also what Equinox has said. ApisAzuli (talk) 22:28, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • For analogy consider Vietnamese, i. bột, "powder", "flour". ii. nàng tiên (I can't parse vi.WT), literally means both C. or H. and is explained as "white fairy", nàng, SV "lady"; we have angel dust, which I thought was PCP. iii. tóc vàng hoe - blond "fair-haired person" – the coda gives it away, vàng, SV "yellow", "gold", like bạch bạc, trắng, "white", "silver", and somewhere there is "gray" in it, too, as well as "small". ApisAzuli (talk) 09:28, 13 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Cf. Daniel Midgley, "They called it that because it was like, you know, a heroine of a novel or a hero of story." [56]. I'm not making it up. If that's a folk etymology and certainly not from an authoritative source I'd actually I doubt it, because heur, heureux (cf. fr.WT, "Qui rend fortuné, qui procure du plaisir ou qui est favorable et avantageux." "Choses sujettes à quelque danger, lorsqu’elles arrivent sans accident." etc. p. p.), like, dope matches (un peu) d'opium very well as well (pace "dip"). ApisAzuli (talk) 06:57, 17 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Imagine if all the effort of this total bullshit nonsense discussion had gone into creating new entries, or heating a shelter for poor people. FOCUS, FOCUS. When I have the choice between doing boring entry clean-up that an AI bot will be able to do in 10 or 20 years, versus writing a definition that only a human can understand... Well, don't waste your time, everybody. (You could also totally drop Wiktionary and go out for a nice walk in the park.) Equinox 06:52, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The return on simply reading, citing, and correcting our existing entries may be even higher than that on creating new entries. DCDuring (talk) 21:45, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Seemingly duplicate definitions at שלי[edit]

The entry שלי has the following two definitions:

  1. Form of שֶׁל (shel) including first-person singular personal pronoun as object.
  2. Form of שֶׁלְּ־ (shel'-) including first-person singular personal pronoun as object.

I'm confused why both of these words are listed since they are essentially the same word. I was about to delete one of the definitions (שֶׁלְּ־) from the list, but I hesitated since they have been there since the beginning of the page, in 2009. Is it okay to delete one, or am I missing something? Thanks! Llama Linguist (talk) 19:59, 7 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

If I'm understanding this correctly, שֶׁל‎ was not used as a standalone word in the Hebrew Bible, ancient manuscripts, and Talmud; instead שֶׁלְּ־‎ was prepended to the word that followed. So in the context of the Hebrew used in those documents, שלי‎ could not be considered a form of the former, as it did not exist. Semantically these interpretations are equivalent, though. 03:40, 8 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ah, I think I understand now. I'll leave it the way it is. Thanks! Llama Linguist (talk) 04:35, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Error with wikipedia pages[edit]

There's this page called https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=card-carrying_Communist&action=edit&redlink=1 Thank links to nothing instead of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card-carrying_communist Can someone fix it I think they are supoosed to link to the same thing —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 14:38, 8 May 2022 (UTC).[reply]

User:Chuck Entz has resolved the issue by removing the link from card-carrying. The term card-carrying Communist would likely be disqualified from having an entry according to our "sum of parts" policy, so this seems like a reasonable course of action. 17:24, 8 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Can someone figure out why געווינס(gevins) is in CAT:Requests for transliteration of Yiddish terms with Hebrew-only letters? I can't find any words with Hebrew-only characters that haven't been correctly transliterated there. —Mahāgaja · talk 16:58, 8 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

It's coming from the usage example template. The code that is adding it is here. 17:17, 8 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Specifically, it is due to {{...}}, which expands to <span class="q-hellip-sp"> </span><span class="q-hellip-b">[</span>…<span class="q-hellip-b">]</span><span class="q-hellip-b"> </span>. This string contains the character q, which it doesn't like. In the output HTML it's even changing the class names to a-hellip-sp, etc. 18:01, 8 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That was it. I replaced {{...}} with the character ⟨…⟩, and that solved the problem. Thanks for your help! —Mahāgaja · talk 19:35, 8 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Pinging User:Erutuon or anyone else who might be able to fix the underlying issue, though, since the module freaking out at {{...}} and changing the span-class seems like... not desired behaviour? - -sche (discuss) 02:18, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Watching a film called knuckle about bare-knuckle boxing bouts between the feuding Irish traveller/gypsy clans, the Quinns and the Joyces, currently available on NetFlix (at least in the U.K.), I was struck by the way that many of the travellers said the word ‘clan’ as ‘clang’! Has anyone else come across this quirky pronunciation? Would we say it’s a dialect pronunciation or code-switching into Shelta/Gammon/Cant? Overlordnat1 (talk) 20:33, 8 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Ukrainian pronoun щось[edit]

Is щось always neuter, and should we indicate that in the dictionary entry? Peter Chastain (talk) 00:13, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Example: вони роблять щось нове Peter Chastain (talk) 00:23, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Peter Chastain: Easily fixed with |g=n. Yes, it's a neuter. Good point. Anything derived from що (ščo, what) is a neuter and anything derived from хто (xto, who) is a masculine. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:27, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


It seems highly likely that this character, instead of having the two independent senses of mulberry and paper, has the single sense of paper mulberry (i.e. the tree). Can an expert in Chinese confirm? 04:11, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Just based on English sources like this one, I agree. The dual definition goes all the way back to its importation by bot from the Unihan database in 2003, and the definitions in that database are notoriously unreliable. For those unfamiliar, this is a tree related to the mulberry whose inner bark is used in East Asia to make a very high-quality paper (it's also the source of Polynesian tapa cloth). Chuck Entz (talk) 05:24, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
FWIW, the Chinese Wikipedia has w:zh:楮 as Broussonetia kazinoki (their article about Broussonetia papyrifera, corresponding to w:Paper mulberry, is w:zh:構樹). - -sche (discuss) 06:33, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


We have two "Preposition" senses:

  1. (UK, Ireland) Half past; a half-hour (30 minutes) after the last hour.
  2. (in some languages but rarely in English) A half-hour to (preceding) the next hour; i.e. 6.30="half (to) seven"

I imagine the second sense is attested in English somewhere, but presumably it needs a regional label. Where in the world is this used? Is it just {{lb|en|NNSE}}? This, that and the other (talk) 13:13, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Most of what I can find are explanations of other languages' practices (many, perhaps all, might be dismissed as mentions), or instances of it being put into the mouths of characters who are speaking about (or in) their native region's/language's practice (e.g. "Half eight is 7:30 here"), although it seems to have also been truly used in the dialects of originally-non-English-speaking communities who became natively English-speaking, e.g. the Pennsylvania Dutch and perhaps other German/Dutch/Scandinavian immigrant communities in the US. Citations:half#of_time:_half_an_hour_before. - -sche (discuss) 19:51, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Notice how this has the same counterintuitive order as thirteen or two (and) twenty (as German does it), which would imply 7½, not 6:30, unless counting backwards. twelf ("two-left", if the etymology is correct) would match as if acognate, but that explains very little. Perhaps there is no need to blame the Dutch. ApisAzuli (talk) 23:15, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This might be one of those hyperforeignisms that Americans assume must be used "by the British", helped by the fact that the British do use the phrase, just not with that meaning. And it might be used by L2 speakers. But it makes me think of phrases like vinculate and close the lights, .... are they really English if they're used almost entirely by English language learners? Soap 07:27, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


The definition of flatulate says: "Thus flatulate is to fart as urinate is to piss and as defecate is to shit." I disagree with this; in my experience, "piss" and "shit" are more offensive than "fart," although there are certainly people who would be offended by all three. Maybe "pee" and "crap" are closer? 20:04, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

"crap" might still be slightly more offensive than "fart", but "poop" is too childish and I can't think of anything else. "turd" could work, but it's a noun. 20:13, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'd say more "poop". Vininn126 (talk) 21:48, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Do we need a comparison at all? I'd say there isn't a good one. If we're trying to help out English language learners here, I'd recommend they use a multi-word phrase like pass gas instead of this word which I'd think even doctors would find clumsy. pass gas is the polite version, the phrase best suited to complement urinate even if the formation is different. Soap 07:32, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed that we probably don't. Vininn126 (talk) 07:48, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think the analogy is useful, but I do agree that pass gas is better. How would I add that to the page, considering the comparison is on the flatulate page? 22:14, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • We need more flatulating audios on the page Zumbacool (talk) 00:14, 11 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I've a thirst on me[edit]

I added an entry have a thirst on to cover the Irish English idiomatic phrase meaning, "to be thirsty". I'm happy with it, and I can provide a bunch of citations beyond the first person transitive formation (which is the most common).

Buuuut... "I've a [noun] on me" as a set structure of a phrase can take other [noun]s as well:

What do you think?

  1. Delete have a thirst on and completely forget that this idiomatic Irish English phrase exists?
  2. Put the phrase structure on another more generic page ("have a property on", perhaps; sounds awful though) and redirect have a thirst on?
  3. Keep have a thirst on as the most common formation and redirect other phrases there?
  4. Add each CFI-passing phrase ("have a head on", "have a hunger on", "have an anger on") and cross-link via "See Also"?

-Stelio (talk) 08:57, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Sounds like a snowclone. Vininn126 (talk) 09:12, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It seems like in both English and especially in Irish, the noteworthy phenomenon in those examples is the use of "...on (one)", and "thirst" is just one possible object. I can also find "I got a thirst on me" (which would probably be fine to consider that an ellipsis of "have got..."), "Still with the thirst on me, I...", "She can see the thirst on me", "Christ, the thirst on me", etc, and various citations of "there (is/was) a thirst on me" (and likewise with "hunger", "depression", some of which citations ay not be Irish). So maybe just redirect the most common phrases to a relevant sense of on? (Compare "All of the responsibility is on him.") I take the "snowclones" appendix to be more for memetic phrases rather than just any phrasal verb or prepositional phrase (hence we cover "having me on", "had the radio on", "have a shirt on" in the mainspace at have on, not at Appendix:Snowclones/have X on). - -sche (discuss) 19:19, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
So you would suggest "have on one"? as the entry? I could see that working. Vininn126 (talk) 20:00, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I considered "have on one", but ... you can also say "there is a thirst on me", "the hunger is on me", etc without have (indeed, that's closer to the Irish phrasing), or even "Christ, the thirst on me!", "she can see the thirst on me", "the cold brings the hunger on me", so maybe the core is just on? (or perhaps on one?) Maybe Mahagaja or Codecat or other editors with some familiarity with Irish English can weigh in. - -sche (discuss) 20:58, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
What immediately came to mind on reading this from my EXTREMLELY limited knowledge of Irish was the phrase tá brón orm. Do people ever say ‘sorrow on me’ when speaking English? Overlordnat1 (talk) 21:25, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
One can say “the sorrow be on me”,[57] or “Shame, and guilt, and sorrow be on him.”[58]  --Lambiam 07:46, 11 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
For decoding, this term is transparent for at least most English speakers. Is helping someone encode into Irish English a function of a dictionary? Does having an entry, eg, for a snowclone, even help with such encoding? I'm skeptical about how much a dictionary can help with encoding, apart from translation. DCDuring (talk) 15:55, 11 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This is an etymological dictionary. So, if there was some etymology involved instead of lumping all up that must be basicly common English, that would be great. I mean, it could be well justified. Can't help but think of German bin am verhunger-n (starvin), einen Harten haben (hard-on; also in other phrases, obviously, cp. golden, or jungen, not sure), so eine Art an sich haben (fairly in-transparent, viz. Art un' Weise `characteristic waysʼ if at all related). On second thought, I would more often use about, he has a certain air about him, cp. ambi-, um, omb, etc. (somebody ping l'ambiam). Otherwise I have obviously no clue about and no opinion on Cletic or ME, me. ApisAzuli (talk) 16:55, 11 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
In this view I concure it would be good to have such phrases that are idiomatic, and I guess I have to agree with -sche that redirects are formally the correct solution, unless more can be said than surface analysis might suggest. ApisAzuli (talk) 16:55, 11 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


While creating shrimp chip, shrimp cracker and adding a new definition to krupuk, I realised that the second definition for prawn is a little off. It claims that a prawn is a crustacean sometimes confused with a shrimp but crustacean seems too general as it includes crabs and even woodlice and moreover this definition presupposes that there is a clear distinction between a shrimp and a prawn in the first place. How should we improve this without getting too encyclopaedic? Overlordnat1 (talk) 10:49, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Quoting the Wikipedia article Prawn: “The terms shrimp and prawn themselves lack scientific standing. Over the years, the way they are used has changed, and in contemporary usage the terms are almost interchangeable.” The article section Shrimp § Shrimp versus prawn gives more detail. The wording “sometimes confused” betrays a prescriptive attitude. Our definitions should follow how the terms are used. We have a qualifier “(sometimes proscribed)” at the synonym prawn listed for shrimp. Usage notes may be a more adequate medium for noting existing attitudes.  --Lambiam 08:37, 11 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Jiangmen and Kongmoon[edit]

@ Hello all. I see these two words as synonyms, not alternative forms of the same word. I see it this way because of the extreme divergence between the intended pronunciation and spelling of the two words in English. If this view is correct, I would like to see this series of edits (starting with [59]) reverted). If this were Japanese and Mandarin, there would be no question I would be in the right. Thanks! --Geographyinitiative (talk) 14:02, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

While it's hard to draw an absolute line, this seems like a little too much distance to call them alternative forms. After all, we don't treat Peking and Beijing as alternative forms, even though they also are basically the same word. I wouldn't go so far as to revert everything, though- they cleaned up the formating and replaced {{etyl}}, which we're trying to get rid of. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:00, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, I think the combination of different etymologies (coming from different Chinese lects), substantially different pronunciation and different spelling make for too much distance to call them alternative forms, as you both say. - -sche (discuss) 19:40, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


The title of this page is a Unicode Han composition sequence. I'm pretty sure that was not intended. I looked at the Unihan link to try to find the right character, but it just goes to a description of an entirely different character (). This entry should either be moved to the correct Unicode character or deleted. 20:08, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I've deleted it. The content is a bit dubious, and it's best not to create these unless absolutely needed. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:21, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Wycliffe quote request[edit]

The modern English entry wretchful is asking for a quotation from the Wycliffe Bible. I managed to track down such a passage:

There are two versions in the book, presented in columns side-by-side. I want to add a quote from one and fulfill the request, but at the same time, these are actually Middle English, and the spellings are wrechful and wretcheful. How should I proceed? 00:12, 11 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Similar situation with withinforth: 00:41, 11 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The entries were imported from Webster 1913, which didn't distinguish Middle English from Modern English. If you are really sure the word doesn't exist in modern English (EEBO is a good place to check, although you have to try various spellings, as is OED if you have access), you can move it to the attested Middle English spelling and reformat it as a Middle English entry. You need to create an account to be able to move entries, though.
In the case of wretchful OED only has these two attestations from Wycliffe (1382). So the entry should be moved to one or other of these spellings, and the other can be created as an alternative form.
Withinforth may be citeable in Modern English. If you contest this assertion, you can send the entry to WT:RFVE.
Plenty more like this at WT:Todo/English Chaucer. This, that and the other (talk) 03:09, 11 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, and to answer your real question: a Middle English attestation of wrechful should go at a Middle English entry wrechful, not in a Modern English entry. This, that and the other (talk) 03:38, 11 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


@Atitarev: @Benwing2: The Russian plural of port is пОрты in the normal sense, but портЫ in the sense of "computer ports". The Russian Wiktionary gets this right. But the English Wiktionary has the wrong stress on the npl and gpl in the second meaning. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by 2a00:23c8:a7a3:4801:733e:646c:63da:cf9d (talk) at 07:55, 11 May 2022 (UTC).[reply]

@Atitarev, the IP forgot to sign so their ping didn't go through, so I'm re-pinging you for them. - -sche (discuss) 07:38, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@-sche, Benwing2, 2a00:23c8:a7a3:4801:733e:646c:63da:cf9d: Thanks. This has been addressed. I can't fully agree that the computing sense uses only stress pattern "b", even if IT people would prefer to use stress pattern "b" (a so called "professional pronunciation"), so I have provided both "a" and "b". This can change if it can be proven otherwise. @Benwing2, this may requiring a rework on inflected form entries. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:11, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you. I didn't know you had to sign for the ping to work.2A00:23C8:A7A3:4801:733E:646C:63DA:CF9D 09:57, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

English words ending with /æ/[edit]

Do baccara, pancreata, traumata, puerperia, and residua really end with /æ/? It seems to be really uncommon for English words to end with this sound. For comparison, a search finds 5693 words with final /ə/, 69 with /a/, and 19 with /æ/. 12:07, 13 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

baccara: this case seems somewhat plausible to me (I don't know this word) if a bilingual French-English speaker is trying to approximate French, although if a pronunciation with final /æ/ exists it should probably also be listed at baccarat. Verdict: I'm not sure on this one. The others are clear errors for words which actually have final /ə/.--Urszag (talk) 16:08, 13 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
As Urszag says, these are wrong. The one in pancreata goes all the way back to Doremítzwr's creation of the entry; he had some peculiar ideas of how Latinate terms ought to be pronounced. Traumata is an interesting case because other dictionaries assert the second vowel (and not just the final vowel) is /ə/, but this seems unnatural; the other pronunciations Urszag added feel more natural. - -sche (discuss) 07:58, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The closest I can think of would be the Scouse practice of saying the final schwa as ‘e’ or ‘ɛ’ but even that’s not quite an ‘æ’(and it would be daft to add this to every word ending with a schwa or an unpronounced ‘r’). Overlordnat1 (talk) 19:32, 17 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Slavic prefix з-[edit]

The з- page (linked, e.g., by знайти as з-#Ukrainian) contains no section for Ukrainian or any other Slavic language. Peter Chastain (talk) 08:49, 14 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Yes check.svg Done for Ukrainian. Voltaigne (talk) 19:09, 18 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Italian pudico[edit]

Italian word pudico 'modest', derives from Latin pudīcus, which would have yielded the pronunciation "pudìco", but the word actually shifted the stress on the antepenult "pùdico" due to folk-etymology back-fromation to *pud- (root in common with pudore 'modesty') + -icus (words suffixed with -icus are stressed on the antepenult). This shift is common to all the Romance languages (except French which doesn't have stress) some considering the term with the stress on the antepenult as the standard pronunciation (Spanish púdico, Romanian pudic, Galician púdico) while other languages "borrowed" the conservative pronunciation directly from Latin and treat the "inherited" pronounciation as a common "mistake" (Italian pudico, Portuguese pudico).

The problem that arises in Italian is how to form the masculine plural. The masculine plural of adjectives or nouns ending in -co is usually -chi (/-ki/) if the word is stressed on the penult (cf. ròco, ròchi), while -ci (/-tʃi/) if the word is stressed on the antepenult (cf. mèdico, mèdici). This leads to two possible plurals for the word, pùdici, which is the common yet proscribed one, and pudìchi, attested in all vocabularies and used in the written language.

I don't know how to incorporate these forms on the page pudico which currently only mentions the common proscribed plural.

Catonif (talk) 14:53, 14 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Take a look at my changes and modify them as you see fit. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:38, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you, I had no idea how to make the templates work. I dealt with the pages of the plural forms. Catonif (talk) 19:08, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Do we need two figurative senses? I don't really see a difference. PUC – 21:19, 14 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I think the usexes illustrate the difference well. The first sense applies to someone who is brutish and animalistic in their behaviour, like the stereotypical caveman. The second applies to someone who is backwards or old-fashioned. A person could be very progressive in their thinking but very slovenly or childlike in their behaviour, which would fit the first figurative sense but not the second. Likewise, someone could have refined tastes and wear tuxedos every day, which doesn't fit with the first figurative sense but is compatible with the second. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:32, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This is an interesting question. It's possible to distinguish the two kinds of cavemen Andrew mentions, but do uses of the term always fall into one or the other sense, or is there one general idea ("backwards person, who does not think/act like a modern person is expected to") of which "person with backwards brutish behaviour" and "person with backwards opinions" are only two possible manifestations / subsenses? The Clarke citation abou a cavemanish husband always interested in sex, currently under sense 3, does not in fact seem to be about "old-fashioned opinions", but it doesn't seem to be about savage behaviour per se either, it's more like "person with backwards / primitive interests or motives". Someone who is progressive in his view of women etc and non-brutish in behaviour, but who distrusts tech and refuses to get a cell phone, is a technological "caveman" in a way somewhat distinct from either the brutish caveman or the political caveman who wants to roll back women's suffrage. Ehh. What doees anyone think of having a "supersense" and the behavior/opinion senses as subsenses, like this? I also tweaked the definitions a bit, borrowing some wording from Neanderthal. - -sche (discuss) 20:36, 17 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Musical sense of "change"[edit]

I want to add the following sense to change, but I don't know enough about music theory to tell if it's right:

  1. (music, chiefly in the plural) A change from one chord to another; a chord progression.

I left citations to support this at Citations:change. 03:02, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

  1. I think our definition of chord progression (“a repeating pattern of two or more chords, often chords diatonic to a particular key”) is incorrect. vi–ii–V–I is a chord progression, but not a “repeating pattern”. A simple fix is to delete “repeating”.
  2. We should avoid circular references, like the definition of a sense of change using [[change]].
  3. IMO a “chord change” involves just two chords; it is the movement from one chord to another, and the vi–ii–V–I progression involves three chord changes, so “a chord progression” is too general here.
  4. A possibility is to define the term as {{short for|chord change}}, which however requires a determination that “chord change” is not merely a sum of parts. There is a lemming: Collins. The same definition is found here.
 --Lambiam 08:46, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The noun sense in campanology is close enough to chords to suspect that the words are etymologically related, inasmuch as the origin is uncertain and coincident with that of chimes. See also onom. twang, maybe imitative tang, and uncertain tune (viz choon). ApisAzuli (talk) 15:02, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Apis, I understand you're trying to participate, but pointing at words and going 'these look similar; etymologically related?' is not actually helpful (or relevant in this case). Is this the same user as Rhymeinreason? - -sche (discuss) 17:40, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
See also the section User talk:Chuck Entz/2021 § Rhyminreason redux? and the earlier thread User talk:Chuck Entz/2021 § ApisAzuli / Rhyminreason, which I had not noticed then.  --Lambiam 20:11, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


LlywelynII is adding the label "pejorative" to all the senses, but I don't think that either of the sense merits that label. In the quotes and uses, it does not seem pejorative. —Svārtava (t/u) • 10:47, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Svartava It's certainly pejorative. If I said your revert without comment was heavy-handed, you'd start thinking if you could put together enough of a case to get the admins to come yell at me to be more polite.
The real argument is is whether it's worth noting pej. for all negative senses of words, which could get unhelpful pretty quick. At the time I was thinking that 2nd language learners and the like might not realize how annoyed people would be when it gets used in their direction (and thanks for demonstrating the idea just now!) but overall it's a fair point. — LlywelynII 10:52, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
FYI, a literally heavy hand isn't particularly meaningful. A german analogon is mit erhobener Hand, ie. with raised hand, rather than mit dem Holzhammer which indeed suggests crudeness as hölzern "wooden" generally does. . ApisAzuli (talk) 15:07, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This is tricky. Where is the line between a word being derogatory, vs just meaning something it's bad to be? Is bad derogatory? Is ugly? You make a negative judgement if you say something is bad and ugly, telling a bride on her wedding day that her dress is ugly and bad is outright offensive and someone would probably "yell at you to be more polite", but I don't think we should have a "derogatory" label at ugly, or an "offensive" label at bad, because the derogation isn't coming from the word choice, unlike how e.g. wetback is a derogatory word for something you could express neutrally. (BTW: we need to clean up mojado to indicate if it's derogatory/offensive, or not define it using an offensive word if it is not itself offensive...) Some senses of heavy-handed, e.g. "Excessive, overdone" and its quote "recently I got a little heavy-handed with the red pepper", are not derogatory at all. I am not sure the others rise to the level of pejorative, either, but it's more debatable. I also think we have too many senses. - -sche (discuss) 18:46, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think I agree with -sche, but I don't think it's so much tricky as simply wrong. The label seems redundant to most of the five definitions. If we want to have categories for headwords that have negative valence definitions, whether or not we want to label them derogatory, that seems like a job for the separate insertion of categories. DCDuring (talk) 18:52, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that they're redundant. Ultimateria (talk) 17:18, 19 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Any idea what this gardening machine is called in English? Zumbacool (talk) 14:33, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Did you mean ponchadora? Vininn126 (talk) 14:45, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Probably not - those guys look very different to the pinchadora Zumbacool (talk) 16:43, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
When I link to the link provided I first get only items captioned ponchodora for which the English is crimping tool. If I insist on pinchadora, I get images that look like aerators, but I'm just repeating what -sche says below. DCDuring (talk) 18:57, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm. Some of those results use pinchadora together with the (more common) word aireadora, this thing, which is an aerator, but I'm not sure if they're actually using pinchadora and aireadora as synonyms or just speaking of items that can serve either function (like in English you might see an "aerator / dethatcher" device). Is a pinchadora the same thing as an aireadora, or is it perhaps a scarifier or dethatcher? - -sche (discuss) 18:59, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This site distinguishes between "Las que solo pinchan la superficie (Aireadoras pinchadoras)" and "Aireadoras provistas de saca bocados (Sacan un cilindro de tierra a la superficie)". I think this lines up with Wikipedia's definitions of a "spike aerator" as opposed to a "core aerator". 21:49, 15 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, I'll go with spike aerator. Thanks a bunch, guys Zumbacool (talk) 08:22, 16 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


English Wiktionary contains an entry for "declimb" which I can find no usage of, and which is, on its surface, a ridiculous construction, a sort of bastard conflation of 'descend' and 'climb down'. Can it be removed, and perhaps more importantly, where did it come from in the first place? —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Allermesuffit (talkcontribs) at 14:07, 16 May 2022 (UTC).[reply]

Well, someone added it. To be fair, it has a nonstandard label on it, which means "most speakers don't think this is a word". Since the entry has no quotes, you could start a request for verification about it (if no quotes are found, it will be removed). — SURJECTION / T / C / L / 14:39, 16 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
A quick glance at Google Books reveals the requisite three cites, though most are admittedly scannos. "[M]any a citizen [...] wishes to climb or declimb these very stoop steps" is very real, though.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:12, 18 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Lackings of the entry "lilac"[edit]

I've noticed that the entry "lilac" has a reference to the etymological origin entry in Arabic, which has a list of descendant words in all kinds of languages, but not the Hebrew parallel, "לילך" /lilax/, which most probably comes from the same origin. I do not know how to edit, nor do I know the exact etymological origin, so I'd just like to start a discussion in hopes that, eventually, someone smarter than me would add this information. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 09:34, 17 May 2022 (UTC).[reply]

This is a New Hebrew loanword. I can’t tell which was the proximate donor language. Arabic? Polish? Nineteenth-century French?  --Lambiam 14:38, 18 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Ukrainian: низький на зріст[edit]

I am seeing this expression for "short" on Duolingo, but have not been able to guess the dictionary form of зріст. Do we have it? Should add a definition for низький на зріст, either under низький or as a separate page? Peter Chastain (talk) 17:53, 18 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

It means height or growth. That would be a collocation. It just hasn't been added yet. Vininn126 (talk) 18:24, 18 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
зріст (zrist) is there now, with usage examples (including низьки́й на зріст (nyzʹkýj na zrist). Voltaigne (talk) 18:34, 18 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks very much! Peter Chastain (talk) 20:37, 19 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Ukrainian possessive pronouns vs adjectives vs determiners[edit]

In most of the Indo-European languages that I have studied, possessives are treated as adjectives, agreeing in number, gender, and case with the noun that they modify (e.g., Latin meus, -a, -um, etc.). In Ukrainian, we follow this practice for the first and second person (мій, моя, моє, мої), while the third-person possessive is a true pronoun. (Його and її do not change their form to agree with the noun that they modify.) So here are my questions:

  • Should we change the entries for мій and твій (which currently call them pronouns) to indicate that they are adjectives? (Or do we just go with more current terminology and call them all determiners?)
  • Might it be appropriate to have a note somewhere, calling out the difference between how мій and твій are declined and його is not? (I ask, because this difference has been a source of confusion to me, as a novice student of Ukrainian; OTOH, an explanation might just add to the confusion and this matter might better be left to Wikibooks:Ukrainian.)

Peter Chastain (talk) 21:40, 19 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Declining like adjectives does not an adjective make. POS is less about declension and more about function and position. There might be a tag on його, її, and іх saying indeclinable (but if you got to the first and last one they have that). Vininn126 (talk) 09:26, 20 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think the terminology has changed since I was a kid, studying Latin. We called meus, etc. adjectives, because we thought they worked like an adjective: my ball and red ball both provide additional information about ball. I see that the Wiktionary entry for meus calls that word a determiner, and I think we should do that for мій and тій, because calling them pronouns is even less accurate than calling them adjectives, IMO.
Calling його, її, and іх indeclinable would not be helpful, IMO, because they are in fact forms of the declinable pronoun я pronouns він and вона. Peter Chastain (talk) 22:47, 20 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
pronouns are a type of determiner, and crack open basically any grammar and you'll see them called possessive pronouns. I don't know what weird stuff you learned from where. And these are only considered declined forms of those pronouns when not used as possessive pronouns, i.e. as the object of the sentence. Your suggestions are not very lexical nor are they reflective of how this works. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Vininn126 (talkcontribs) at 01:54, 2022 May 21.
Possessives in general, eg, my, George's are determinative in function. We don't have a separate entry and PoS section for George's. I don't think the metaphysical question of what PoS my IS (determiner/adjective/pronoun) should govern how we show it in an entry. Mentioning the determinative function in another PoS section for the word would be more than sufficient. We don't usually waste time, space, and user attention including common grammatical phenomena in usage notes.
How do modern Ukrainian grammars and dictionaries present the words/forms in question? DCDuring (talk) 14:23, 21 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language in 20 volumes calls them possessive pronouns (присвійний займенник):
Voltaigne (talk) 23:03, 21 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


I think there's a mathematical sense that we currently do not have in our entry: see w:Deformation (mathematics). However, the English Wikipedia article is completely beyond me. Wonder if there's anyone who would like to attempt a definition. — Sgconlaw (talk) 21:52, 20 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Msh210, perhaps? - -sche (discuss) 00:51, 21 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
My feeling is that this is insufficiently different from the nontechnical sense “change the form of (something)”. A physical object may be deformed by applying a force. In the mathematical sense, the form of a solution is changed by making changes to the parameters of the problem. As such, it is hardly a technical term. The situation for the noun deformation is entirely different. It does have a quite specific technical mathematical meaning. I do not believe, though, it is possible to give a dictionary definition that is at the same time accurate and understandable for people not already familiar with the concept. We do have definitions, such as, “pushforward: (mathematics) The differential of a smooth map between smooth manifolds.” I can’t see who is really served by this. And, of course, there are innumerable terms that we do not cover, such as e.g. crystalline cohomology, so it should not be a blow to our pride that we are not complete in our coverage of such esoteric mathematical terms.  --Lambiam 10:43, 21 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
OK, great. Thanks. — Sgconlaw (talk) 12:52, 21 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Acid/alkaline/neutral ash[edit]

Following a WT:REE request for "acid-ash" (which defined it incorrectly), I have added quotations for the following terms:

More variations could probably be cited, like "basic ash" or "acidic ash". I'm wondering whether these terms are SOP or not. I guess it could be analyzed as just alkaline + ash (chemistry sense?), and the adjective uses could be seen as attributive uses of the SOP noun phrase. But I don't think the meaning of "acid-ash food" or "neutral-ash diet" is completely self-evident, as shown by the fact that the REE requester got it wrong.

Perhaps these quotations would at least justify an additional sense of "ash" specific to the residue left behind by eating food, but that's technically just a special case of burning/oxidation. 05:38, 21 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

one over the eight[edit]

The definition doesn't match the quotes, which mean something along the lines of drunk:

  1. (colloquial) During a drinking session, the drink that makes a person drunk.

I don't know the usage enough to tell whether this distinguishes between slightly ("just one over the limit") and totally (as a polite or humorous understatement) inebriated. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:45, 21 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

If you search for "had one over the eight" on Google Books, that may support the current definition better. Most of the results are mentions in dictionaries of idioms, but there are some actual uses. I agree that the present quotations fit an adjective meaning "drunk". 18:53, 21 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


witch of Agnesi says it's "a mistranslation of Italian versiera", but versiera's definitions are "witch" and "witch of Agnesi" (as if it's an OK translation). Italian Wikipedia says the maths thing was called versoria by e.g. Guido Grandi before another Italian named Maria Agnesi introduced versiera; they also say the sense "witch" is from avversaria. So, does the entry need to be split into two etymology sections, one for versiera (from versoria?) in maths, and one for versiera-from-avversaria meaning "witch"? Pinging @GianWiki. - -sche (discuss) 21:12, 22 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

It appears that Luigi Guido Grandi (1671–1742) is responsible for the substitution of Italian versiera for Latin versoria, writing, “quella curva ... che da me suole chiamarsi Versiera, in latino però Versoria.[60] Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718–1799) apparently merely copied Grandi’s fanciful term.[61] I have no reason to think that Grandi was not aware of the meaning of versoria in Latin, and inasmuch as the transmogrification may be called a “mistranslation”, it appears to have been intentional.  --Lambiam 07:49, 23 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This source states that Italian versiera is (also) a nautical term for the rope that turns the sail, presumably the mainsheet. If this is correct, Grandi’s substitution was not fanciful at all.  --Lambiam 08:10, 23 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ok, I've split the etymologies. If versiera ("rope that turns a sail") is attested, let's add that sense, too. - -sche (discuss) 08:35, 23 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I can’t find any confirmation of this nautical sense, for which the common Italian term is scotta, only sources that state that Latin versoria has this meaning, and an obviously confused source stating that versiera is a Latin term with this meaning. So I guess the author of the Spanish book I cited also got confused.  --Lambiam 08:43, 23 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Who is the "he" mentioned in the etymology of witch of Agnesi? 08:48, 23 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

rajola de xocolata[edit]

Catalan pronunciation of o in rajola is [ɔ] in all dialects shown (Balearic, Central and Valencian). The plural form is rajoles de xocolata, not rajola de xocolates (as in "chocolate bars", not "chocolates bar"). Could you correct it? --Enric (talk) 02:10, 23 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]