Wiktionary:Tea room

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Wiktionary > Discussion rooms > Tea room

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

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

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

Tea room archives edit

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

Oldest tagged RFTs


November 2016

Category:Thai royal vocabulary[edit]

Wasn't sure which forum this best fit on, so I went for this one.

Aren't 'royal' and 'ecclesiastical' topical categories, therefore they should be Category:th:Royal (or something like that) and Category:th:Ecclesiastical? I can't make my mind up what we should do with these. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:10, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

Geek (verb)[edit]

geek--Etymology 1, verb: "to get high on cocaine"--okay. yes. We've all heard of those who "geek out" when they get high, but does it actually mean "to get high on cocaine" ? I thought it was "to act like a geek, especially when doing drugs (cocaine, methamphetamine, ...whatever), i.e. to tweak out, etc. ? Anyone else have a similar take or am I just geekin' ? Leasnam (talk) 15:44, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

...because swim can take cocaine without necessarily geeking out, per se right ? Leasnam (talk) 16:13, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
Based on these (fairly well-known) rap lyrics, geeked up can be associated with rolling, which refers to usage of party pills, especially MDMA (the annotation for geeked up on that website supports this link). A quick google search for "geeked", when restricted to site:genius.com (which is one of the most extensive hiphop lyrics sites on the web) shows the term is also associated with xanax as well as "a pill" (almost certainly MDMA again; definitely not coke). You can probably find more, but our current definition is surely wrong: it's definitely not limited to cocaine. (I've personally always understood it to mean the equivalent of having a good time (similar to getting turnt) on any drug, but especially stimulants like coke, molly or speed.) — Kleio (t · c) 00:17, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
awesome ! I'll go ahead and give it a stab Leasnam (talk) 02:07, 2 November 2016 (UTC)


What does "homebody" mean in the definition at second cosmic velocity? Equinox 16:28, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

  • I think it should be "home body", meaning the body (planet, moon etc) that the thing is escaping from. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:31, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Changed it. Equinox 20:40, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

deceased, diseased and desist[edit]

At the moment the entry for diseased (with audio similar to /dɪˈziːzt/) lists deceased (/dɪˈsiːst/) as a homophone. My understanding is that desist should be listed as a homophone to deceased and that's all. Could someone please check? Thanks. --One half 3544 (talk) 20:37, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

In my accent, none of these words are homophones. Deceased is /dɪˈsist/, diseased is /dɪˈzizd/, and desist is /dɪˈsɪst/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:28, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
I think only in foreign accents can any of these be homophones. --WikiTiki89 21:53, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
They all sound different to me. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:53, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Same as Semper; UK /dɪˈsiːst/, /dɪˈsiːzd/ and /dɪˈsɪst/ as far as I can tell. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:41, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
@Renard Migrant: You don't pronounced diseased as /dɪˈziːzd/? --WikiTiki89 13:08, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
I pronounce it with an initial /dɪs/, yes. The same for disease. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:14, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Is that a UK thing or a you thing? I cannot find such a pronunciation even in British dictionaries. --WikiTiki89 14:32, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
I've never thought about it before. Might be just me. If I could find some audio clips (more than one obviously) of people in the UK saying 'disease' might help. I'm trying to think of a good YouTube search. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:39, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
They are not homophones in any speech that I've noticed, certainly not in my idiolect. DCDuring TALK 14:46, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Here 'disease' sounds like /dəˈsi:z/ to me. It is supposed to be British accent... --One half 3544 (talk) 22:59, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Interestingly, Renard Migrant's pronunciation of diseased is homophonic with my pronunciation of deceased. I can't imagine them being homophones within a single dialect, though. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:15, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, there's Come Together by the Beatles, but it may not be very useful for this discussion. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:04, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
For what it's worth I heard myself say /dɪˈziːzd/ earlier today, so maybe I do say it like that. Or maybe I say both. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:18, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

take a dig at someone[edit]

Worth an entry? --Fsojic (talk) 00:31, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Probably, but at take a dig at. Also worth a usage example at [[dig]]. DCDuring TALK 11:06, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Though I would say have a dig; is this perhaps just a sense of 'dig' with normal uses of 'take' and 'have'? Take a shot at, take a swipe at, etc. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:42, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Have a and take a alternation are common, but both may form idioms. take a dig at at OneLook Dictionary Search show that one idiom dictionary has an example. Some Cambridge Learner's Dictionaries have "having a dig at" as a usage example. Amusingly, one book (ENGLISH for LOVERS of ENGLISH: Comments on English Usage for Advanced Learners) has the following: "You have a dig at someone. You also make a dig at someone. You don't take a dig at someone." I consider the last evidence supporting inclusion, if only to note where the various alternants occur. DCDuring TALK 12:47, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
google books:"was|is a dig at". Perhaps it's a singulare tantum though as it's uncountable (singular article 'a') but nobody really takes digs at people. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:16, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Maybe nobody really does, but taking/took/take digs at is readily attestable. DCDuring TALK 14:42, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Shih Tzu[edit]

"A small dog breed which originated in China." as distinct to sense #2 'A dog of this breed'. Is it sensible to have these as separate definitions? Do we do this for other breeds of animals? I say no, even if it's possible to make the distinction, there's no advantage to it. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:46, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

    • Seems strange. All I can think of is that the dogs are countable but the breed isn't. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:48, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Couldn't you use carrot in the same way? 'The carrot is a very useful vegetable'. Not worth another sense. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:00, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
This is a common aspect of many nouns in English: they are used both for a "kind" and individual examples/instances/specimens of the "kind". When used for the kind they are usually singular, but there can be a "kind" of a "kind", analogous to a subspecies of a species in Taxonic. In formal Taxonic, this is not possible, because all taxonomic names are Proper nouns. In informal Taxonic, the taxon is used for the individual examples/instances/specimens. DCDuring TALK 14:36, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
I would combine the senses because "the shih tzu / beet / carrot is..." type use seems to be a feature of grammar, not a definition; compare my comments about beet at WT:RFC. - -sche (discuss) 22:13, 2 November 2016 (UTC)


Shouldn't the first syllable be the neutral tone, rather than the second? This is how the word appears in virtually all entries in the Pleco dictionary app.  WikiWinters ☯ 韦安智  21:49, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean. Pleco has it same as us: fourth tone + fourth tone. Same as the 现代汉语规范词典 and moedict. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:09, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
@Tooironic: I think Wyang has already fixed this. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:24, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
Yeah I added some clarification on the toneless variant. I'm not sure if this is what WikiWinters meant though. Wyang (talk) 06:06, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

-et- = infix, right?[edit]

I believe -et- in Esperanto and Ido is an infix instead of a suffix, is it not? In this case, Category:Esperanto words suffixed with -et- should be Category:Esperanto words infixed with -et-. Am I wrong? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 05:05, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

It's essentially a suffix -et that always requires a vowel to come after it. I don't really care how we handle it, as long as we are consistent. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:04, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
Some Esperanto/Ido sources call it a suffix, but in fact it seems to be an infix because it's added in the "middle" of the word; I mean, apparently the last vowel in the final word is supposed to be the same as in the original word. You mentioned "as long as we are consistent", and I'm thinking in how we could achieve consistency; I don't know whether you'd agree with me, but I think we should either call it an infix whose page title is -et-, or alternatively if that doesn't work, a suffix whose page title is -et (without the last hyphen). --Daniel Carrero (talk) 13:51, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, an infix is an affix that appears inside a root, i.e. there are parts of the root on both sides. An example famous in phonology circles is Tagalog -um-, which (under certain circumstances) appears inside a root: gradwet(graduate)gr-um-adwet. If it comes after the root, it's a suffix, even when it always has to be followed by another morpheme before the end of the word. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:14, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
I second what Angr said. But could it be called an interfix? Not according to our current definition, but that might be too narrow? Kolmiel (talk) 15:41, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
For what it's worth, another true infix is -t- in Semitic words like Arabic التزام(iltizām) from the root l-z-m. Kolmiel (talk) 15:47, 3 November 2016 (UTC) (Corrected the underlined part: Kolmiel (talk) 15:56, 3 November 2016 (UTC))
It's a suffix in the same way that Latin -ulus is. —CodeCat 15:48, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
Now, suffix may indeed be the correct term. I do think so. But it isn't "in the same way", because -ulus can be at the end of a word, which -et- seemingly can't. That's the point of the question. Kolmiel (talk) 15:53, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
So, -et- is comparable to Latin -ul- but not -ulus. Kolmiel (talk) 15:55, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
My point was that -ulus includes the case ending as well, so that is part of the suffix. But now I see that the Esperanto suffix can be added to adjectives and verbs too. The thing, though, is that Esperanto's inflectional endings like -o, -a are not part of the word stem, but they act like endings in the same way that Latin case endings do. So -et- is a suffix, because it's added to the stem. The reason it ends in a hyphen is because an ending still has to be added. —CodeCat 15:21, 4 November 2016 (UTC)


Isn't the third sense "dated" or "archaic"? --Fsojic (talk) 16:17, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

At least "archaic". I've changed it. DCDuring TALK 17:24, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Category:English words suffixed with -toxin[edit]

I would like to change all these etys back to toxin, since -toxin isn't a suffix. There was a recent-ish discussion about this but I can't find it. Can anyone help? Equinox 19:59, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

It's Wiktionary:Tea room/2016/August#Is_.22-toxin.22_a_suffix.3F. Yes, please change them back to toxin. - -sche (discuss) 14:57, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Support. —CodeCat 15:22, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Equinox 00:37, 6 November 2016 (UTC)


Attested as a verb, apparently (1, 2, 3)? I'm looking for a translation for the French verb ruer dans les brancards, which seems to be usually translated as kick over the traces; but I've read it's an old-fashioned expression. --Fsojic (talk) 20:08, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Not just gadflying, but also gadflied (Google books). (One can also find, on the web at large, gadflew and gadflown, mostly in a humorous context.) DCDuring TALK 21:50, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
Differing a bit but similar in meaning: Go off the reservation, slip the leash/slip one's leash. DCDuring TALK 21:50, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

word order[edit]

Word order is displayed as an uncountable noun, but I don't believe it is. Just thought I'd get a second opinion before I changed the entry. Zumley (talk) 20:01, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Why not? I guess you could imagine a sentence with this in the plural, but wouldn't it feel a bit contrived? --Fsojic (talk) 20:16, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
I just checked the wiki page for w:Word order, and a search for the plural resulted in fifteen hits. A Google search also brought up many results for the plural form Zumley (talk) 21:03, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
"Different languages can have different word orders" doesn't seem contrived to me at all. It behaves very much like length. —CodeCat 21:06, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Well, never mind what I said. I didn't really think it through. --Fsojic (talk) 00:15, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
Like "order" itself, it can be both countable and uncountable, depending on context. Mihia (talk) 21:30, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
What's more acceptable: "Too much word order" or "Too many word orders"? (Neither being likely to occur much) DCDuring TALK 21:34, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Neither of those sounds at all likely to me. I don't think the question tells us much. Mihia (talk) 21:38, 4 November 2016 (UTC) OK, I suppose you could say something like "This syntax is too confusing for me; there are too many (possible) word orders". I can't think of any use for "too much word order". Mihia (talk) 21:52, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
I agree. I can imagine a meaning of "too many word orders"; I can't imagine a meaning of "too much word order". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:01, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Though ... it only just occurred to me ... if the question was supposed to tell us whether "word order" is uncountable or countable then it overlooks other contexts in which it could be uncountable, a simple example being, say, "Word order is important". Mihia (talk) 23:08, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
In one sense, it's the name of an attribute associated with collections of items, an abstract concept with no measure or count. Also, it doesn't use the sense of order that can be spoken of as having degree: "word order" applies equally to "random" and "alphabetical".
In the other sense, it's the application of that attribute, which is a discrete item that can be counted. Thus "word order is more important in English than in Latin", but "the word orders of Latin and English are quite different". Chuck Entz (talk) 23:25, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
  • 2007, Helma Dik, Word Order in Greek Tragic Dialogue - Page 19:
    while the two resulting units have become too short to have much word order left to explain (καὶ ἡ γυνή does not admit alternative orderings, after all, and neither does the second colon)
  • 2014, Timothy Baril, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla: Prelude To Dracula:
    I have altered much word order and grammar and vocabulary
It may not be common, but doesn't seem strange in context. DCDuring TALK 16:40, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but the original question was about the phrase "too much word order". Mihia (talk) 20:00, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
An adverb modifying much shouldn't make any difference. DCDuring TALK 21:50, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
Apparently it does make a difference. As you have illustrated, the words "much word order" can feasibly occur in sentences. "too much word order", though grammatically possible, does not seem to occur in practice. Mihia (talk) 23:01, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
... although perhaps we are simply talking at cross-purposes. Mihia (talk) 23:14, 5 November 2016 (UTC)


See [1]. Is it a misspelling or an alternative spelling? Mihia (talk) 11:27, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

It doesn't "feel wrong". Alt spelling? We have gooseish! Equinox 14:00, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

paint oneself into a corner[edit]

Should it be reclassified as an idiom? Doing verb inflections including "oneself" would look a bit silly, I think. DonnanZ (talk) 14:53, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

"Idiom" isn't a part of speech though. Note that we are generally replacing headers like "Abbreviation" (which aren't parts of speech) with the true PoS such as "Noun". Hiding obvious inflections can be achieved with {{head|en|verb}}, though I suspect that many users (not me!) would actually prefer to create them all. Equinox 14:59, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
It has that template already, no need to change it. OK, no harm in asking. DonnanZ (talk) 15:21, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

treat with contempt[edit]

I've just deleted this because it's a clear SoP in English (and was entered as a noun!). Do we want to put the Maori translations somewhere else? They were tokoreko, whakamanioro, whakataurekareka. Equinox 15:47, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

In stub entries for the Maori terms? DCDuring TALK 16:41, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
I tried creating one and used {{attention}}. DCDuring TALK 16:51, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
Another approach is to use WT:Requested entries (Maori). Both seem reasonable, though the "requested-entries" approach would probably be less upsetting. DCDuring TALK 16:54, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

waycism, waycist[edit]

I have edited similar entries to point out that they are mimicking childish speech (e.g. dwagon, pwincess) but I'm not sure about these two. Judging by Google Groups, these words are usually used to mock black people who make accusations of racism. They need some kind of gloss to explain the usage context, but I don't know how best to do it. Equinox 23:48, 5 November 2016 (UTC)


This is naturally difficult in searches because of the word "weird". I want to know whether we should change it to an adjective, to match the definition. If it is in fact a noun (like WASP or WAIF) then we should tweak the def to include "a person". Equinox 01:11, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

I believe the pronunciation of חור is incorrect[edit]

At %D7%97%D7%95%D7%A8#Hebrew , the pronunciation is listed as חוּר • ‎(ħur) I am nearly certain that this is actually pronounced ħor, חוֹר.

References: - http://www.morfix.co.il/hole - https://milog.co.il/%D7%97%D7%95%D7%A8/e_2154/%D7%9E%D7%99%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%9F-%D7%A2%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%99-%D7%A2%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%99

Should I simply make the change, tag it with something specific or some other course of action? —This unsigned comment was added by Senorsmile (talkcontribs) at 05:10, 6 November 2016.

I've fixed the entry. --WikiTiki89 15:55, 7 November 2016 (UTC)


Hi. I've recently changed the page ingeniárselas from a combined form to an idiom. As it is a single "word" without any spaces, perhaps it doesn't look like an idiom to the untrained eye. Are we happy with this? --Derrib9 (talk) 11:14, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

pifiar, or blowing the flute too hard[edit]

Hi all. Just been adding pifiar, a beautiful Spanish word. Possibly a WOTD, in fact. One of the meanings according to DRAE is "to make an audible blowing sound when playing the flute, which is a very notable error". Looking around for an English equivalent, I couldn't quite get one. overblowing doesn't quite seem right, as it appears to be a "good" technique. Any flautists out there? --Derrib9 (talk) 12:55, 6 November 2016 (UTC)


Hello, in ditch, it is written that it means "to deliberately crash-land an airplane on the sea". Could this verb also mean "abandon any vehicle (ship, car, ...)? Pamputt (talk) 16:47, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

AHD has it as only applying to airplanes. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 03:10, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Well, it can me to abandon anything or anyone, and that includes vehicles, though there isn't a vehicle-specific sense. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:18, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
That's the transitive sense, isn't it? One can ditch their vehicle because it's sinking into something. That's covered by our sense 1. Sense 2 is intransitive. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 03:29, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Ok, thank you for your replies. It is indeed cover by sense 1. Pamputt (talk) 06:18, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
   Is there a line, having to do with jargon and/or cant, where the cooler usage is transitive with the object ("one's class or class schedule") understood? And/or is there need to distinguish between transitive and intransitive, denying the stage where ditching one's fighter becomes familiar that there's no distinction between an active usage in which the speaker "trails off" the utterance of the object "fighter", "plane", or "Spad", and an intransitive one, where "you hear the period (or full stop)"?
   I'll echo Chuck Entz, above, by highlighting anyone. I'm not sure if my most vivid gradeschool memory of getting ditched reflected my low endurance, what may have been the steepest hill in town, the 2- or 3-speed gear shift of my bicycle, or just global nerdiness.... In any case, the objective component was my companions outdistancing me, without comment, by sufficiently far that i'd have had to guess at what turns they'd made.
   And perhaps the suspect or fugitive who "ditches his or her tail" exemplifies the same, or another, sense of ditching a person.
--Jerzyt 11:22, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
   In any case, tho, "abandon or discard" either denies or at least slights the sense i see in the example,
Once the sun came out we ditched our rain-gear and started a campfire
which probably means "put out of the way" (either "laid aside" or "packed away"), and not "began regarding as trash/litter". I.e., i think you can ditch gear into your pack.
   More generally, in fact, are we missing senses, or are such metaphorical uses as "ditching our previous plans" insufficiently lexicographic for coverage? My own sense is that dictionaries should document actual metaphorical senses that are verifiable, rather than ignore a distinction between real social language and some potential metaphorical usages that would be understood, but are used, say, so seldom as to be only individual exercises in obscurity (strap a recorder onto me for the occasions when i'm in that mood!), and mere coincidences when they happen to be duplicated.
--Jerzyt 11:22, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

stroke order[edit]

I see there's a conflict between the stroke order we give for 曲 and this one from visualmandarin.com. What explains the discrepancy? Is one of them wrong? Is this a Chinese vs. Japanese type difference? (Speaking as someone who doesn't actually know any East Asian language, I'd be least surprised if what we have is the Japanese order.) 4pq1injbok (talk) 18:18, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

That's the Japanese stroke order, and I'm equally surprised. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:13, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

pili-pala and pilipala[edit]

These are obviously alternative spellings, but there's nothing to indicate that. Which is the more common spelling of the two? Also, could pronunciation and a cite be added for FWOTD purposes? Pinging @Anglom because I don't know who else edits Welsh nowadays. Anyone reading, feel free to ping people you think can help. —CodeCat 19:30, 6 November 2016 (UTC)


Fr.Wikt says this term usually means "with the sexes separated or distinguished", and only as an anglicism means "with the sexes not separated or distinguished". Is this correct, and if so, is there a less ambiguous word for "unisex" in the sense of "with the sexes not separated or distinguished"? - -sche (discuss) 19:08, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps the listed antonym: mixte? Also, once all the relevant senses are added to the English entry, don't forget to add it to cat:French contranyms. Crom daba (talk) 21:20, 7 November 2016 (UTC)


In many other languages, this is called the red lynx (translated). Is that name also used in English, as an alternative name, or is it exclusively "bobcat"? —CodeCat 20:08, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

It seems to get mostly mentions in lists of "(other) common names". I'd call it "rare" until we get contrary evidence. It's not a term I would want to see in translations of terms that were translations of "red lynx" or vernacular names for Lynx rufus.
I've created the entry. DCDuring TALK 21:21, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

genuine article[edit]

Worth an entry? --Fsojic (talk) 23:23, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

If you do create one, real McCoy is a good synonym. Equinox 23:25, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Another example of a common collocation, well worth one or two usage examples, until they have a nicer home in collocation space. DCDuring TALK 02:47, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
What about examples such as "he's the genuine article"? Chuck Entz (talk) 03:02, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Is there anything in our definitions of article that covers this? Or do all the definitions carry an implication that a person can't be an article. I remember the use of article with other adjectives, like shrewd, which would be another attestable collocation. DCDuring TALK 15:34, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
BTW, I think "(the) real thing" is synonymous. Again, we have no entry and it might be construed as SoP. Equinox 03:03, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, create it. --Derrib9 (talk) 14:34, 8 November 2016 (UTC)


This is a diminutive form of اِبْن(ibn) that Hans Wehr transcribes as bunaiya (= bunayya), which I assumed meant that it has a final -a in the nominative singular. I tried using {{ar-decl-noun}} to generate its inflection, but it gave weird forms like nominative singular indefinite bunayyaun. Anyone know what sort of inflection it actually has? — Eru·tuon 04:18, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

I just realized it must have the possessive suffix ـيَ(-ya). I should have known that since Wehr's translation is "my little son", not "little son". — Eru·tuon 13:59, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Actually, (according to Lane's lexicon) بُنَيَّ(bunayya) or بُنَيِّ(bunayyi) are irregular vocative forms, usually used after the vocative particle يَا(), similar to the even more irregular vocative forms أَبَتَ(ʾabata) and أَبَتِ(ʾabati) of أَب(ʾab, father). Literally, "my little son" would be بُنَيِّي(bunayyī). I added the full declension to the entry and will add a note about the vocative forms. --WikiTiki89 14:42, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Interesting! I didn't know there were special vocative forms in Arabic. Thanks for sorting this out. — Eru·tuon 14:52, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Usually the vocative of a single singular noun (i.e. without iDaafa) ends in -u with no nunation, so we normally just say that the nominative indefinite is used for the vocative, but you could also analyze it as its own case. In iDaafa constructions, the vocative is the same as the accusative case of the phrase. --WikiTiki89 15:07, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
It's true that there are some special vocative forms, though these are somewhat poetic. There's also for example yā waladāh from ولد(boy), but you could also say yā walad or yā waladī. Just one question: Are you sure about bunayyī? The possessive ending tends to be -a after -yy-, for example mu‘allimiyya ("my teachers"), not mu‘allimiyyī. However, I don't know about -ayyī, which is rare, maybe that's allowed. Kolmiel (talk) 20:48, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: It's -ya after diphthongs and long vowels, but as far as I know not after -yy. In your example, it's muʿallimī (= muʿallimiy) > muʿallimiyya (= muʿallimīya); note also muʿallimū > muʿallimiyya, which could have several different explanations. Other examples: muʿallimay > muʿallimayya, muʿallimā > muʿallimāya. --WikiTiki89 21:09, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
I see your point. But word-final -iyy (= -īy) becomes , so the distinction is somewhat ambiguous. What about the nisba? I don't have a grammar at my disposal right now, but for example "my pharmacist", should that be صيدليي(ṣaydaliyyī) or صيدليَّ(ṣaydaliyya)? I would have thought the latter, but maybe I'm mistaken. Possessive suffixes after a nisba are also very rare... It would still be interesting to know. Kolmiel (talk) 22:37, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Even in the dialects/registers where word-final -iyy merges with (and thus also with -i), when you attach a suffix, it's not word-final anymore. I tried to think of a word ending in -yy that might occur with possessive suffixes; all I came up with was نَبِيّ(nabiyy), which occurs in the Quran with only the 3rd-person plural possessive suffix: نَبِيُّهُم(nabiyyuhum) (note that a true final would produce -īhim rather than -iyyuhum). Thus, until I see evidence to the contrary, I see no reason to believe that it shouldn't be بُنَيِّي(bunayyī), صَيْدَلِيِّي(ṣaydaliyyī), and نَبِيِّي(nabiyyī). --WikiTiki89 13:05, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
In what registers does word-final -iyy not merge with (long!)? That these words, including the nisba, have -iyyuhum and so on is clear. I was speaking about the first person singular specifically. Logically, you're right, it should thus be ; but you know how far logic goes in languages. Now for some reason I thought it should be -(y)a, that's why I was asking. I didn't want to make you believe anything. Kolmiel (talk) 14:21, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
PS: If you include dialects (which I didn't), you'll definitely get nabī-ya because in their phonological system the difference is totally lost and the word has a true word-final vowel. (Except that you'll get nabī-yi in Lebanese, which also says mu‘allimī-yi, or m‘allmī-yi rather.) Kolmiel (talk) 14:28, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
In proper MSA and Classical Arabic, even when case endings are dropped, -iyy does not merge with . --WikiTiki89 14:53, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
When there's an i‘rāb ending, it's not "word-final"; so I'm obviously referring to the pausa. Now, who says that it's improper Arabic to merge them in pausa? I'm not saying you're wrong. I've heard the pausal pronunciation [ʕɑrɑˈbɪj] alonsigde more common [ˈʕɑrɑbiː]. But I've never heard the notion that the latter is less proper. And the pausal transcription of e.g. عربي is ‘arabī. I don't think I've ever seen ‘arabiyy or ‘arabīy. (Admittedly, we also often transcribe أمة as ’umma instead of more proper ’ummah, but the latter is commonly seen at least.) Kolmiel (talk) 22:32, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: When I woke up half an hour ago, I suddenly remembered what my reasoning had been for thinking ṣaydaliyya. (I learnt this stuff some 8 years ago, so it had become subconscious.) It's this: All persons other than the 1st singular add the possessive ending to the inflected stem: bintu-ka, baytu-hā, ṣaydaliyyu-kum. The 1st singular adds it, at least outwardly, to the uninflected pausal stem: bint-ī, bayt-ī, and hence in my assumption ṣaydalī-ya. I guess you see the inner logic now. It may still be wrong, of course. And if you say that -iyy is distinguished from in classical Arabic, that weakens my case a lot. I don't think your claim holds to true for MSA, in which [-ɪj] is quite rare, but maybe for classical you're right. Kolmiel (talk) 06:54, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
A better way to think of it is that the suffix uses the same stem as -ka and the others, but eats up any preceding short vowel. --WikiTiki89 20:20, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Don't know if this is "better", but I s'pose it's the etymological way, that's why I said "outwardly". Kolmiel (talk) 17:36, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

suss out[edit]

   I picked the term up from context about 40 years ago in the US northeast, maybe entirely from commercial radio. While the etymology here is strikingly convincing, i've always assumed its emphasis was not on the effort or thoroness required, but on the ambiguity of the data, and depending (say, in the case of "sussing out" what a word denotes and connotes) on indirect evidence and intuition (about, say, the meaning of a term, say for example, the term "suss out"). (Perhaps stretching the evidence a bit too far, i might if asked have compared it with "winkle out" and said that "suss" suggested to me more intuition in the face of less detailed evidence.) It never occurred to me until this moment (as i'm typing!) that my having to suss out (in the sense i use the term) its meaning may have influenced my impression that intuition is an important part of its denotation.
--Jerzyt 09:29, 8 November 2016 (UTC)


@CodeCat and other Dutch speakers: is this edit by an anon kosher? (The spelling of guarantee has been corrected; I'm asking about the rather drastic change in meaning the edit caused.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:31, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

It's actually not such a big change in the meaning. The new sense is really just an extension of the old sense, though, so they should both be there. —CodeCat 21:34, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
OK, I restored the older definition and kept the new one as sense 2. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:34, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

Am I guessing the right word here?[edit]

I am transcribing a doctor's testimony. Her quote is:

I also have several child abuse misceres that I'm a member of that I receive updates on information, case discussions and that kind of thing that allow me to make sure I'm fairly current on the literature.

I'm guessing Latin because of her profession. Any suggestions appreciated. TIA

I doubt that it is Latin. Do you have the audio? Can you send a snippet? An .ogg file would be great.
How many syllables in the word? Is it a "soft" c or a hard one, like k? What country is the doctor from? In what country are the proceedings? Any answers along these lines would help, unless someone here (Not me!)can make a good guess. DCDuring TALK 19:02, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Could it be message boards? DCDuring TALK 19:08, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
It's a long shot, but could you be mishearing "listserv"? Equinox 18:45, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Or maybe mailserv(e)s in the meaning "mailing list". Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:01, 21 November 2016 (UTC)


I was reading Fossils at a Glance, 2nd edition, by Milsom, Clare & Rigby, Sue. At page 115, there is this word paleoenvironment. What could it be translated to in other european languages, like swedish, danish, german etcetera. Is it synonymous or related to paleoecology? OliverBear (talk) 20:51, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

  • It is most likely to be translated as simply paleo- plus the word for environment. I've added the Italian. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:23, 9 November 2016 (UTC)


Our entry says that the "modern period" began around 1800. In Germany, (which is not Anglophone of course,) we learn that Moderne is what came after the Middle Ages, starting around 1500. On American television, I've quite often heard "modern history" or "modern times" to mean something like the past 30, 50, or 100 years at most. I'm assuming a) that there are several usages alongside each other, and b) that usage might be somewhat different between European and colonial English. Kolmiel (talk) 14:08, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

Of course, what got me thinking about this was when they said that this was "one of the most significant elections of modern history", and I said to myself: Your country didn't exist before "modern history" ;) Kolmiel (talk) 14:12, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Our definition seems to be so narrow as to be in error. It would be almost impossible to find all the contexts (not just time periods) in which modern has referred to a time period with a given (usually approximate) starting point or, for that matter end point. (When did post-modern times begin?) Rather than try to cover all of the possible context-dependent meanings, our definition should be more vague, encompassing the range of possibilities. DCDuring TALK 14:25, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Agree. But some usages may be more typical than others. I guess it depends if you base it on intellectual history (Renaissance/Reformation > c. 1500), or economic/technical history (Industrial Revolution > c. 1800), or maybe something else. Kolmiel (talk) 14:32, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Maybe we would need entries for specific things called modern: eg, modern jazz, modern art, modern dance, etc. DCDuring TALK 14:40, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Unless "modern period" is defined to be something more specific than just generic "modern" + "period", I see no point in having definition #2 at all. Mihia (talk) 02:51, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
I found a range of dates for the start of "modern" by searching Google books for "modern * began in": 960-1279, 1500, 17th century, 18th century, 1750, 1776, 19th century, 1890-1900, 1900, WWI, 1923, 1971, 1976. These are all in different contexts of course. DCDuring TALK 03:15, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Very interesting! I'd only heard of 1500, and maybe the industrial revolution thing. Of course, I'm not really referring to the English word anyway, but maybe the same variation exists for German "modern" as well. Kolmiel (talk) 06:57, 11 November 2016 (UTC)


This word is also used in the sense "disbelieving a conspiracy theory, supposedly uncritical or ignorant" by conspiracy theorists. It's similar to the slang sense "inattentive". Is it worth including? Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 14:37, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

If it is included, seems to be quasi-antonym of woke... AnonMoos (talk) 00:27, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
In Why England Slept, which of our definitions fits? Or is it just an obvious metaphor? DCDuring TALK 02:11, 11 November 2016 (UTC)


I'm not sure about the second definition "a drink that includes espresso as an ingredient", what kind of thing would that be? Siuenti (talk) 22:29, 9 November 2016 (UTC)


Would "Paddington train crash" count as a separate sense under our definition? For instance, in these examples:

  • 2003, Christine E. Doyle, Work and Organizational Psychology: An Introduction with Attitude, Psychology Press (ISBN 9780415208710), page 198
    After Paddington, many people were outraged to learn that fitting an advanced warning device, which may have prevented the accident, had been rejected on the grounds that it was "uneconomic" in terms of the number of lives that would thereby have been saved.
  • 2011, Miranda Glover, Soulmates, Random House (ISBN 9781446497388), page 59
    It was London's worst rail incident since Paddington.
  • 2014, Pam Warren, From Behind the Mask, Biteback Publishing (ISBN 9781849547154)
    Also, having avoided trains or train travel for a decade I thought the premise they were proposing, of me coming back to talk to the rail executives about the improvements made since Paddington, would be an interesting one on a personal level too.

Quite a few locations of train crashes subsequently become the name of the crash itself - so for instance, I can also cite

  • 2007, European Conference of Ministers of Transport, Competitive Tendering of Rail Services, OECD Publishing (ISBN 9789282101636), page 19
    Table 7 shows that the TOC's own operating costs have also increased by nearly 50% since Hatfield.
  • 2008, Michael Regester, Judy Larkin, Risk Issues and Crisis Management in Public Relations: A Casebook of Best Practice, Kogan Page Publishers (ISBN 9780749451073), page 191
    She said: 'John Armitt [the chief executive of Network Rail] appeared on television denying systemic management failure, just as happened after Potters Bar.
  • 2008, Sir Richard Branson, Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur, Random House (ISBN 9780753515884), page 105
    Since Hatfield, however, the rail industry has slowly begun to turn the corner.
  • 2009, Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Transport Committee, The Use of Airspace: Fifth Report of Session 2008-09; Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence, The Stationery Office (ISBN 9780215539861), page 49
    I am not sure whether I am historically correct but, since Clapham Junction, a lot has been done and you are in the forefront of running safety programmes.
  • 2011, Nina Bawden, Dear Austen, Hachette UK (ISBN 9780748127450)
    My Australian brother has sent me the report on a rail crash that took place near Melbourne a few months after Potters Bar in which the same number of people were killed and almost the same number injured.

Is this kind of sense worth having? Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:29, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

It's like 9/11 or Waterloo (coincidentally also a London station, but I mean the historic battle). Something like metonymy, isn't it? People aren't as passionate about Paddington as about 9/11 or Waterloo, though. Small disasters won't tend to be added. Equinox 19:01, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
Personally I think it is doubtful whether these are dictionary material unless they have entered the language in a wider sense in the way e.g. Equinox's example "Waterloo" has. Mihia (talk)
I am in favour of these. The citations given seem to correspond to the definition given. I note we also have Lockerbie - and I would have merged the two definitions. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:19, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
The difference between Lockerbie and Paddington is that in the quotations, Lockerbie is being used generically to refer to terrorist bomb attacks on airplanes in general, while Paddington is being used to refer only to one specific attack. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:18, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
I wonder if these examples would justify "Hatfield" as having the generic sense "train crash" then:
  • 2001, December 30, Joanna Walters, "Today a spilt cup of coffee... tomorrow another 'Hatfield", The Guardian
  • 2009, Christian Wolmar, Fire and Steam: A New History of the Railways in Britain, Atlantic Books Ltd (ISBN 9781848872615)
    Billions of pounds were spent across the network in order to prevent another Hatfield and the cost of the work soared as safety procedures were tightened up
  • 2013, Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Transport Committee, Rail 2020: Seventh Report of Session 2012-13, Vol. 2: Oral and Written Evidence, The Stationery Office (ISBN 9780215052308), page 185
    Despite rail journeys being currently the safest transport option, this record will be under threat of another Hatfield disaster
  • 2014, Michaelbrent Collings, The Colony: Shift, Michaelbrent Collings (ISBN 9781499734294)
    The train slowed. Stopped. Ken wanted to lay there. Just lay there and stare into the sky that was somehow untouched by what had happened. But he didn't have the time. He had to see if this was another Hatfield.
Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:01, 11 November 2016 (UTC)


Can anyone identify any way in which verb sense #3, "To act suddenly, unexpectedly or quickly", is not covered by other listed senses? Since there are no usage examples, I'm not sure if I exactly understand what it is referring to. If anyone can identify it as distinct, please add usage example(s). If not, I will delete it. Mihia (talk) 01:35, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

It seems to me that it should be an RfV, not a unilateral speedy deletion. DCDuring TALK 02:22, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
See WT:RFV#pop. DCDuring TALK 02:28, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

haramija, haramije[edit]

@Crom daba One of these is possibly incorrect. Only one of them has a Cyrillic entry. —CodeCat 15:41, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

Haramije is plural. Crom daba (talk) 15:42, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
@Crom daba Would you mind fixing it please? —CodeCat 20:08, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
Done. Crom daba (talk) 20:12, 12 November 2016 (UTC)


The word “compassionate” appears in the list of synonyms, but no such sense of “sensitive” is defined on the page. I believe two definitions are indeed lacking: sensitive to people’s feelings, and sensitive to art. See Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. --Anareth (talk) 04:25, 12 November 2016 (UTC)


Why does chick mean woman? Is it because the youth of the subject was confused with her gender? — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 06:35, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

Not confused with, it's just used to emphasize cuteness and littleness and delicacy and vulnerability and all those things straight guys apparently find attractive in girls. The British slang term bird with the same meaning does the same thing. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:10, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
Haha. Bloody hell. Straight blokes are FUBAR. — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 03:12, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

lemma: why aren't all definitions included?[edit]

Here's another definition of "lemma" (already in Wikipedia); yes, I know there's a link at the bottom of this entry, but why isn't it included directly as an additional definition? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemma_(botany) Thanks! Philiptdotcom (talk) 20:01, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

It is included though, under Etymology 2, since it has a different etymology from the other definitions. — Kleio (t · c) 20:05, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

Aspirate mutation of Welsh albwm and albymau[edit]

On Google search, "ei albwm" returns 10,200 results and "ei halbwm" returns 4,550 results. What to do? --kc_kennylau (talk) 00:49, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

"ei albymau" returns 236 results and "ei halbymau" returns 140 results. --kc_kennylau (talk) 00:50, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

They're both right, but they mean different things. "Ei albwm/albymau" means "his album/albums", while "Ei halbwm/halbymau" means "her album/albums". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:30, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Indonesian translation of Aceh: dated? And what do the single words mean?[edit]

This morning, I was verifying the spelling of Liechtenstein (Lie- vs. Li-, which deserves another question as to how it came to be Lie- when the i is short). I saw a section of the article titled "Acehnese". What is that, I thought. Looked for it, and eventually got to "Aceh". Looked at the translations, to see an Italian one, and "Indonesian: Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam". OK, Aceh I now know. But the other two words? Nothing to be found here, and Google doesn't know them. I tried Wikipedia, and I noticed that:

– English Wikipedia says «Aceh was first known as Aceh Darussalam (1511–1959) and then later as the Daerah Istimewa Aceh (1959–2001), Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam (2001–2009) and Aceh (2009–present). Past spellings of Aceh include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin.»; – Indonesian Wikipedia has much the same sentence, and the article is titled "Aceh".

So I was wondering: should we update the translations to say "Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam" is an old name, and the place is now simply called Aceh?

Also, what do "Nanggroë" and "Darussalam" mean? Are they Indonesian words or loanwords? And if the latter, where are they from?

MGorrone (talk) 11:04, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Darussalam is Arabic for 'House/Abode of Peace', and is an honorific addition. Brunei is in full Brunei Darussalam, and most of the Malaysian states have similar Arabic honorifics in their full name. --Hiztegilari (talk) 16:18, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

About the spelling of Liechtenstein[edit]

This morning, I wished to verify my knowledge of the spelling of "Liechtenstein". So I loaded the article. My memories were confirmed, but I saw the etymology is Licht+Stein, and, in the German section, I saw that «despite the spelling <ie>, the i is short». So I was wondering: if it comes from Licht, and it has a short vowel, why is it spelt -ie- and not -i-? How did the -e- come to be present?

MGorrone (talk) 11:11, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Licht was formerly spelled with an e, reflecting its older Middle High German pronunciation. The etymology doesn't currently show this. —CodeCat 14:30, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
@CodeCat: I've added this. It reminds me there is something I have been meaning to ask you. Is it correct to use {{inh|...}} for every point along the chain of inheritance, as I did here? Thanks, Isomorphyc (talk) 15:31, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
@Isomorphyc Almost. The term is not directly inherited from Proto-Indo-European *lewk-, so {{inh}} is not appropriate there. —CodeCat 16:38, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
Answers were entirely correct. Note additionally that the standard form "Licht" with a shortened vowel is Central German, while Upper German dialects including that spoken in Liechtenstein itself still today pronounce this word with a diphthong [liə̯xt]. Kolmiel (talk) 20:47, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

start (game)[edit]

Hello. Can the word start mean "flee" in game (for example, in video games, or in any other type of game)? I want to know if this word can be a translation of the French word "déguerpir" (déguerpir). By advance, thanks for any help you can provide. — Automatik (talk) 14:45, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

It can mean "move suddenly" (like a rabbit when surprised by a hunter), but not "run away" in general. Equinox 16:56, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
So, at first glance, there is no any special meaning in the field of games. I'll probably remove this translation then. — Automatik (talk) 08:33, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

(Afrikaans) Baing as old spelling of baie (1909 spelling reform?)[edit]

So, baie on the Afrikaans Wiktionary lists baing as an old spelling of baie. A lot of other pages do the same, providing a pre-1909 spelling. 1909 was the year the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (South African Academy for Science and Art) was founded. Die Taalkommissie (the language commission) was founded in 1915, as part of the SAAWK, but I can't really find anything about a spelling reform actually happening in 1909, does anyone else here know more? NINTENPUG (talk) 16:32, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Definition of embellishment[edit]

I am not familiar with the editing process here and I would like to suggest that the definition for the word 'embellishment' should be changed. I think that the word 'unnecessary' can be deleted. The current definition sounds as if an embellishment is always unwanted. Thank you Bobdog54 (talk) 16:39, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

I agree. I deleted that word. Mihia (talk) 01:05, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
For relatively minor changes (such as the one you mention) you can bypass our request for deletion (RfD) system and make the change yourself, especially if you have read all our definitions of the word in question and have looked at other unabridged dictionaries' definitions. You could also insert a better substitute definition and use {{rfd-sense}} in the old definition to make sure that others agree that your substitute is at least an adequate replacement. DCDuring TALK 02:21, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

repose in action[edit]

This appears in (English translations of) Around The World In Eighty Days. Is it used anywhere else? Equinox 19:25, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Oriya character (ଜ଼) with invalid parameters in the character box[edit]

FYI: The Oriya entry ଜ଼ was created by an anon in April 2016. It contained a character box, saying that the character is U+0B5B = ORIYA LETTER ZA, but both that codepoint and that character name are invalid in Unicode. So, I removed the charbox. It would be nice if someone checked if the character itself actually exists, because I don't speak Oriya. The Wikipedia article Odia alphabet does not contain either "ଜ଼" or any character romanized as "za".

See the wikitext of the old revision with the charbox. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 00:19, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

What this entry is, is U+0B1C ORIYA LET­TER JA plus U+0B3C ORIYA SIGN NUKTA . I don't know Oriya either, but it's plausible that that's how /z/ would be represented, since in Devanagari (for example), /z/ is represented by ज़, which is also the "j" letter with a dot under it. The difference is just that Devanagari ज़ is a precomposed character and Oriya ଜ଼ is built out of its component parts. But again, I don't know if this character actually exists in Oriya, merely that it's plausible that it could exist on the basis of its Devanagari analogue. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:40, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

hold my beer[edit]

This seems to have become shorthand for "watch while I do something crazy". Entry-worthy? bd2412 T 15:42, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Sure, if it's citeable from CFI-compliant sources. I've also heard it as hold my drink. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:02, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
I think "beer" is a more American variation. Cites:
bd2412 T 16:27, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
It was the last quote in particular where I heard "Hold my drink". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:02, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

LA ferio[edit]

Two etymologies, only one definition. I assume the PIE well differentiated (though the meaning of the second doesn't match the ultimate link), but no meaning? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:23, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

If you look at the edit history, you'll see that the second etymology was inserted right in the middle of the entry, apparently due to disagreement with the original etymology (it was pretty bad). Later, the original etymology was fixed, so there are now two etymologies that say basically the same thing. Chuck Entz (talk) 10:21, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Sheila refers to a head scarf???[edit]

So the entry for sheila claims that it can refer to a head scarf, but the reference that it refers to seems like a typo or an editorial error, rather than a common use of the word. —This comment was unsigned.

It's an alternative spelling of shayla, both probably being transliterations of Arabic. DCDuring TALK 03:30, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Are "concentration camps" necessarily Holocaust-related?[edit]

I used the term concentration camp recently to describe a situation in a fictional work where a group of people was being detained without charges because of their species. This turned out to massively derail the discussions I was having, because people assumed it was somehow a Holocaust reference? But we weren't talking about extermination camps, we were talking about literal concentration camps.

The thing is, I thought I remembered the term being sensitive, so I checked several dictionaries before I used it, including Wiktionary. I didn't find any notes about Holocaust connotations. Is there a common assumption in English that a "concentration camp" kills people and is Holocaust-related? This information was not in the entry.

No; the term was first used in the Cuban War of Independence so predates WWII by nearly a century. However the concentration camps used by the Nazis are certainly the most famous to most people, and so the connotations are usually there. Ƿidsiþ 15:19, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Ok, well if it's a commonly assumed connotation, shouldn't it be in the entry? I got kinda blindsided by this. -- 15:26, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
In my opinion no, but perhaps other editors will disagree. Ƿidsiþ 15:31, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Wait, why no? Shouldn't the dictionary contain all of the information you need to understand how the phrase is used in various contexts, and how it will be interpreted by others? If one of the common meanings of "concentration camp" is "probably-Nazi concentration camp", then that's a definition. And if people take "concentration camp" as necessarily derogatory or offensive, then shouldn't it be tagged that way? -- 15:36, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Because it is very hard to know what connotations a word has with users, especially when we are dealing with usage across large areas and time periods. Maybe it would be justified if we took a good look at lots of citation evidence. Ƿidsiþ 15:39, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
It seems like definitions 1 and 2 could be merged. DTLHS (talk) 15:34, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
I agree, and did exactly that. Ƿidsiþ 15:47, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Would a Holocaust usage example help? DCDuring TALK 16:38, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
  • The answer to the titular question is no. Contemporaneous with the Holocaust, people of Japanese heritage were put in concentration camps in the U.S., albeit ones that were not "death camps" Purplebackpack89 19:38, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
    But those are more commonly referred to as internment camps. --WikiTiki89 19:49, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
  • I came across this DonnanZ (talk) 13:42, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

I think "concentration camp" first attained real prominence in the coverage of the Boer War. Its use for Nazi death camps could be considered something of a weaselly euphemism, but is quite standard now. AnonMoos (talk) 15:05, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

We definitely need to mention the association with the Holocaust, because it is very common to refer to concentration camps in a general context and expect people to know that you are referring to the Holocaust. Also, when referring to the Holocaust, I feel that people who don't make the distinction between concentration camps and death camps are simply being non-specific rather than euphemistic. --WikiTiki89 15:21, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
I actually agree. But it's difficult. Even within Nazism there are important differences. The first German concentration camps in the early 1930-ies were actually "concentration" camps, where political enemies, chiefly Communists, were "concentrated". The concentration camps after 1939 were totally different, of course. And the Boer War may deserve to be mentioned as well, because that's indeed where it became a "term" or a "thing". And I'm not sure, maybe the word still has exactly this connotation in the ears of a South African. Kolmiel (talk) 02:23, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
Hmmm... mixed. Increasingly I would say that the first impression nowadays is of the WWII camps and similar affairs. However, until well after WWII in many, especially traditionalist Afrikaans, ears, "konsentrasiekampe" would be a second-boer-war association (actually "'n tweede-Engelseoorlogse" association; it was the English who called it the Boer war! :D ) There were similar long-standing hangovers of terminology concerning the American civil war of course. JonRichfield (talk) 13:03, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

fish food and fish feed[edit]

I sense a subtle difference here in usage: fish food seems to be used for aquarium fish, and fish feed for fish in fish farms. Has anyone else noticed this? DonnanZ (talk) 20:07, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Dog food, cat food, chicken feed, cattle feed... Seems like you're on to something. --WikiTiki89 20:10, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Having the senses teased apart in this way in both [[feed]] and [[food]] would seem right. It would also seem to make collocations like fish food SoP unless COALMINE can restore fish food via fishfood a la dogfood/dog food. DCDuring TALK 20:36, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Oxford has fish food so there's nothing wrong with that spelling, it's standard in the UK, I don't know about stateside. [2]. DonnanZ (talk) 20:49, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
WT:COALMINE doesn't care about what's standard. --WikiTiki89 20:51, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
No, but it does require fishfood to be significantly less common than fish food, which it is. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:15, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Anyway, I came here to discuss both terms mentioned above, not WT:COALMINE. That vote was decided well before I arrived on the scene as a user. The question stemmed from research I was doing into translations for fiskefor and fiskefôr, and I discovered that fish feed is also in use as described above. I think it's worth an entry, but I don't want to stick my neck out and create it, in the light of what has been said. DonnanZ (talk) 23:47, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
If fishfeed isn't attestable etc. then fish feed would not meet CFI, AFAICT. DCDuring TALK 00:40, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
I have added fish feed. Feel free to delete it if you don't think we need it. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:01, 17 November 2016 (UTC) p.s. I think that fish foods exists.
I've added both fishfeed and fishfood as I've found them both on bgc. As far as I'm concerned, that COALMINEs in both fish feed and fish food. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:52, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
food is for family and pets; feed is for livestock and animals reared for food Leasnam (talk) 23:33, 17 November 2016 (UTC)


Is it just me, or are there too many separate senses here? Mihia (talk) 21:15, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

It's not just you, but the OED would have more senses, not fewer. We chase after the OED. DCDuring TALK 23:12, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Whether there is redundancy among the senses now in the entry I don't know. It may be that the only way we can have OED levels of comprehensiveness and offer some clarity is with a sense/subsense organization of the current and missing senses. DCDuring TALK 12:43, 18 November 2016 (UTC)


Hello, I have started a discussion on the talkpage of the new hot word whitelash, to improve the definition. I hope to build a consensus and improve the definition. It is an interesting new word and I would appreciate your input! Thank you IQ125 (talk) 11:57, 17 November 2016 (UTC)


"The person who will become President of the United States…" (etc.). This seems wrong. For a start, it's used as a title in many non-American contexts. But also, there seems to be no real consistency in capitalization (see e.g. the cites for president-elect). I'd suggest this would be more accurately rewritten as an "alternative form of…" entry. Ƿidsiþ 13:13, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

I replaced the definition, what do you think? --WikiTiki89 13:48, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
And I replaced the replacement with {{alternative case form of}}, which seems most appropriate to me. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:55, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Yeah I didn't realize there was already a better definition at the lowercase spelling. --WikiTiki89 14:03, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Well that was easy. Looks good to me. Ƿidsiþ 14:15, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

death camp[edit]

It may be rightfully associated with the Holocaust, but can't it apply to any camp in which a large number of prisoners die? My father managed to survive the Japanese camps during WWII, which were notorious. DonnanZ (talk) 16:29, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

I think you're right. DCDuring TALK 02:34, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
On google books I've found one reference to the Japanese camps along the w:Burma Railway and one to the Soviet w:Gulag. Up to 99% of those I've seen are Holocaust, however. Kolmiel (talk) 02:49, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
My father worked on building that railway. DonnanZ (talk) 15:25, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
The more general meaning might be SOP. Crom daba (talk) 14:21, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't have thought it's SoP. It's more of a label that is given to such camps because of what happens in them. No authority that establishes a camp that acquires this title would openly call it a "death camp", they would give it a more euphemistic name. DonnanZ (talk) 15:08, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
The fact that they don't call themselves "death camps" has absolutely nothing to do with whether "death camp" is SOP. --WikiTiki89 15:52, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
Or not. The SOP part of the general meaning is that it's a camp relating to death, but that it refers to the inmates' death (who are there involuntarily) requires contextual knowledge. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:44, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
Agree. It could be, for example, an esoterical get-together where people camp and share their thoughts and ideas about death. Kolmiel (talk) 23:41, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
Polysemy is not an argument against SOP. --WikiTiki89 14:31, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
Is that a rule? Maybe it can be an argument sometimes. But that's not my point. The argument is the fact that "death camp" could not be used that way (without being highly offensive), because its meaning is fixed. Kolmiel (talk) 16:50, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
I disagree. If you had such a camp, you could very well call it a "death camp". --WikiTiki89 17:41, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
Okay. I can't judge that. Surprises me though. Kolmiel (talk) 00:31, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
It would be in extraordinarily bad taste to call an esoterical get-together where people camp and share their thoughts and ideas about death a "death camp", and anyone who did so would probably get all sorts of irate phone calls and flames on the Internet, but it wouldn't be ungrammatical. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:04, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
I haven't found a dictionary at death camp at OneLook Dictionary Search that restricts the definition to the Holocaust. Many dictionaries have the term.
Interestingly, Collins characterized death camps as "concentration camps" (of the kind we've been discussing) and also those 'to which prisoners are sent for execution'." DCDuring TALK 14:46, 22 November 2016 (UTC)


It seems like this entry lacks the meaning "word of mouth", isn't it? Cf. [3]. — Automatik (talk) 18:49, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

I think that's an SOP of mouth + to + mouth. --WikiTiki89 18:52, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Not really; you don't speak into other people's mouths. That said, I'm not familiar with this usage at all. If I had been the editor of the publication linked to above, I would have written "face-to-face communication" rather than "mouth-to-mouth" in the headline. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:03, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
I don't think it's an SOP either: in French, we say bouche à oreille, litterally mouth-to-ear, which is actually more SOP-like. — Automatik (talk) 21:52, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
I think the idea is that you are using your mouth and the other person is using their mouth. --WikiTiki89 23:23, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
I know what you mean. Should we therefore add this meaning using {{&lit}} or by creating a common definition? — Automatik (talk) 14:05, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

iron(III) chloride[edit]

I'm no expert in chemistry, and I don't know how this should be handled. I have done an entry for the synonym ferric chloride. Another tricky one is iron(II) chloride (ferrous chloride). I will leave these for someone else! DonnanZ (talk) 22:07, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

What is unclear about how it should be handled? It seems like just another chemical name to me. —CodeCat 22:09, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
And what is our policy on chemical names? DTLHS (talk) 22:10, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
In cases like this, I haven't got a clue. DonnanZ (talk) 22:22, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Exactly, there isn't one, so do whatever you want (and someone will probably RFD it). DTLHS (talk) 22:26, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
In that case, no entry. DonnanZ (talk) 22:28, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Since "iron(III) chloride" appears in [[ferric chloride]] (which looks OK to me), someone searching for "iron(III) chloride" would find a relevant entry. DCDuring TALK 02:39, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
You have to use {{head}}= to avoid red links, Ultimateria worked that one out with iron(III) oxide. DonnanZ (talk) 11:54, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

matate (or matáte)[edit]

At matar, we have the vos imperative matá, but this is missing from matarse, which only has the tu imperative mátate. Not knowing much about the subject, the reason I have to believe this exists is the title of the book Matate, amor, which in Google Images can be seen spelled as both Matate and Matáte, but not Mátate. --WikiTiki89 14:47, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

mátate (tú form) means "kill yourself." matate is a noun that means a bag-shaped net; it's also a verb (vos form), that means "kill yourself." The spelling matáte is obsolete (should be matate), the accent having been dropped around eighteen years ago in a spelling reform. —Stephen (Talk) 20:20, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown: Ok, thanks. So why isn't this form listed in the conjugation table at matarse? --WikiTiki89 14:37, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
We're working on the Spanish conjugation templates. The voseo forms are gradually being added across the multiple conjugation templates, which are now modules. --Juan the fool (talk) 22:06, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

draw a blank[edit]

Doesn't it also mean "to loose one's thought", while delivering a discourse ? --Jerome Potts (talk) 16:41, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

I think that's the same as the first sense. Perhaps it can be reworded to be more clear. --WikiTiki89 16:55, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
I've changed "produce" to "recall". Equinox 17:51, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I've found brain cramp which looks a bit more explicit in that specific way. --Jerome Potts (talk) 20:56, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

you pays your money and you takes your choice[edit]

Wiktionary and others agree that this saying asserts balanced choice, with none the obviously better choice. The earliest quotations are in innocuous contexts, which does not explain the odd but universal use of "pays" in second person.

In my family usage, probably from my Worcestershire-born father, the idiom origin is specifically from a bordello: pay your money and choose which girl you want. Based on this purported origin I was admonished for using the phrase in common polite conversation.

This origin would explain the use of "pays": reflecting the likely class and usage of a bordello proprietor. It might also explain why written usage is in innocuous context and apparently much later than spoken usage. Or "you pays" may just be second person singular "thou payest" en route to "you pay".

Has anyone else encountered this association of the phrase with commercial sex?

Just last week [] No, never. DCDuring TALK 22:47, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
I know the phrase as "You pays your money and you takes your chances", and interpreted it as participating in a Lucky Dip. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 23:12, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
According to this, both expressions exist and have different meanings. Mihia (talk) 18:36, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

on the other side of ("after")[edit]

As in "We'll continue our discussion on the other side of the commercial break". Would this deserve an entry? I think it's idiomatic. Would be impossible to use such an expression in most languages, I suppose. Kolmiel (talk) 20:05, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

I've created it. Kolmiel (talk) 23:39, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
Also; "older than". DCDuring TALK 00:02, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

ceil (computing)[edit]

We don't have an entry for the computing sense of ceil - as a synonym for ceiling function and ceil function. Google results: take the ceil" or "the ceil of". Specifics examples, perhaps usable as citations if Stack Exchange comments are reputable enough: [4], [5], [6]

On a related note, ceiling's mathematics sense should probably just be a link to ceiling function, but I am reluctant to change it because I'm not sure where the example should go in that case. Eishiya (talk) 01:41, 19 November 2016 (UTC)


NORM (capitals) as an acronym for "Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material(s)" seems to me to justify a dictionary entry. Will someone else produce one, and if I do so instead, does it need its own entry as distinct from norm, is there any special format for the entry, or what is the preferred procedure? JonRichfield (talk) 04:37, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

Try your hand at it. Look for something similar at Category:English proper nouns, NOT Category:English abbreviations. DCDuring TALK 04:59, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
DCDuring Thanks and wish me luck! JonRichfield (talk) 06:59, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
Whoops! I see Equinox (welcomely) beat me to it. I'll see whether I can supply a suitable quote or so. JonRichfield (talk) 07:07, 25 November 2016 (UTC)


Is it proper English? Is it commonly used? (Sparked by a discussion here regarding the appropriateness of usage of 'more seldom' and 'seldomer' in the contemporary English) --One half 3544 (talk) 22:34, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

Perfectly fine, though not very common. Maybe it has a slight hint of regionalism now. Cormac McCarthy uses it in Suttree: "I see him seldomer and seldomer." Ƿidsiþ 09:44, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
I'd call it archaic (def. 2). Google Books search shows that even the limited use in recently published (1920+) works is limited to republications of earlier works and quotations of earlier works. DCDuring TALK 13:21, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
I am suspicious of labels of archaism; these things come in waves and crop up regionally and episodically. Words that faded after Spenser or Chaucer, maybe, but even then a whim often will resuscitate them. Remember what Bierce said:
LEXICOGRAPHER, n. A pestilent fellow who, under the pretense of recording some particular stage in the development of a language, does what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods. For your lexicographer, having written his dictionary, comes to be considered "as one having authority," whereas his function is only to make a record, not to give a law. The natural servility of the human understanding having invested him with judicial power, surrenders its right of reason and submits itself to a chronicle as if it were a statue. Let the dictionary (for example) mark a good word as "obsolete" or "obsolescent" and few men thereafter venture to use it, whatever their need of it and however desirable its restoration to favor -- whereby the process of improverishment is accelerated and speech decays. On the contrary, recognizing the truth that language must grow by innovation if it grow at all, makes new words and uses the old in an unfamiliar sense, has no following and is tartly reminded that "it isn't in the dictionary" -- although down to the time of the first lexicographer (Heaven forgive him!) no author ever had used a word that was in the dictionary. In the golden prime and high noon of English speech; when from the lips of the great Elizabethans fell words that made their own meaning and carried it in their very sound; when a Shakespeare and a Bacon were possible, and the language now rapidly perishing at one end and slowly renewed at the other was in vigorous growth and hardy preservation -- sweeter than honey and stronger than a lion -- the lexicographer was a person unknown, the dictionary a creation which his Creator had not created him to create. (my italics)
My apologies, but I didn't have the heart to abbreviate that quote as I had intended at first. And no, I am vividly aware and have not forgotten that much of what he says does not fairly apply to Wiktionary  :-) JonRichfield (talk) 06:55, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
Is there contrary evidence from any durably archived source that gives warrant to your suspicions? DCDuring TALK 19:36, 26 November 2016 (UTC)


Adverb sense 3:

Along, forwards (continuing an action).
drive on, rock on
  • 2012 May 5, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport[7]:
    He met Luis Suarez's cross at the far post, only for Chelsea keeper Petr Cech to show brilliant reflexes to deflect his header on to the bar. Carroll turned away to lead Liverpool's insistent protests that the ball had crossed the line but referee Phil Dowd and assistant referee Andrew Garratt waved play on, with even a succession of replays proving inconclusive.

I am unsure whether "wave play on" (with transitive verb) is really the same sense of "on" as "drive on" or "rock on" (with intransitive verbs). Does anyone have any thoughts about this? Mihia (talk) 20:32, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

It seems to me the same as "wave the bus on" and "wave them on. / on their way." Semantically I don't see differences. Full declarative sentences might make better usage examples than imperatives. DCDuring TALK 21:07, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
When you say "the same as", I'm not sure what you are comparing. "wave play on", "wave the bus on" and "wave them on" are all analogous, as far as I can see. What I question is whether "on" in those examples is the same "on", for the purposes of dictionary definition, as in, say, "We didn't like the look of the hotel, so we drove on". Do you mean you think that it's the same? Mihia (talk) 21:32, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
In "he drove on", "on" applies to the subject, because that is what is moving, while in "he drove the cattle on", "on" applies to the direct object, because that is what is moving. It's the same exact sense. --WikiTiki89 21:47, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
As "on" is supposedly an adverb, I question whether it "applies to" the subject or object. It should apply to (i.e. modify) the verb. You may nevertheless be correct in your conclusion. Mihia (talk) 22:01, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
It's more complicated than that. In the first sentence, the meaning of "drive" is that the subject is moving (in a car), while in the second sentence, the meaning of "drive" is that the subject is causing the cattle to move. The adverb "on" applies to the motion, so in the first sentence it applies to the motion of the person, while in the second it applies to the motion of the cattle. --WikiTiki89 22:07, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
After e/c
Yes, they is semantically the same IMO. OTOH, the words given in the definition do not cleanly substitute in the examples we have:
"She told her husband to drive on/?along/?forwards."
"The band rocked on/*along/*forward til dawn.
"The ref waved play on/?along/?forwards."
"He realized he didn't have enough for the fare and waved the bus on/?along/*forwards."
"The border guard waved them on/along/?forwards."
"The policeman told them to move on/along/*forwards."
It isn't easy to produce substitutable definitions of such basic words, especially not short ones. We need longer definitions, either substitutable or non-gloss. DCDuring TALK 23:42, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
One more:
"As the locomotive backed out of the siding, the switchman signaled it on/???along/***forwards." DCDuring TALK 23:45, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand the concept of substitutability. --WikiTiki89 21:46, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
School me. DCDuring TALK 22:08, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Curious to note: you can substitute "keep" + gerund in some of them without changing the meaning, but not all :
"She told her husband to drive on." = "She told her husband to keep driving." (sometimes means the same)
"The band rocked on til dawn. = "The band kept rocking till dawn." (basically the same)
"The ref waved play on." ≠ "The ref kept waving the play." (not the same)
"He realized he didn't have enough for the fare and waved the bus on." ≠ "He realised he didn't have enough for the fare and kept waving the bus." (not the same)
"The border guard waved them on." ≠ "The border guard kept waving them." (not the same)
"The policeman told them to move on." = "The policeman told them to keep moving." (basically the same) Leasnam (talk) 00:09, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
I think there may be a difference in the type of construction. "Wave play on" doesn't mean "keep waving play". Equinox 00:15, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
exactly, that's my point :) Leasnam (talk) 00:17, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
That might be a good way to split uses of on and come up with substitutable definitions for both of the groups. DCDuring TALK 12:11, 23 November 2016 (UTC)


I wish to inquire in what way the word is proscribed. My understanding is that the label (likely to stay) is meant to indicate an error in grammar, spelling or semantics, while it is not evident from the entry that the word is considered an error in any of these fields. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 21:42, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

This word doesn't lexically exist in standard Russian. It's a suppletive paradigm of imperfective класть and perfective положить, even though some people might (mistakenly, humorously, dialectally, etc.) use the imperfective ложить or the perfective покласть. Not much different from someone saying "goed" instead of "went". --WikiTiki89 21:52, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

rub oneself off or rub one off[edit]

This entry was created as "rub one off", then moved to "rub oneself off" with the following diff summary: "how other reflexive verbs are done". But it wasn't a reflexive verb in the first place, is it? This seems perfectly parallel to crack one off to me. --Fsojic (talk) 22:45, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

@WurdSnatcher --Fsojic (talk) 22:45, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
You are correct, it is the literal word "one" and not a reflexive pronoun. --WikiTiki89 23:20, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Changed to its own entry. Equinox 23:25, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

homonyms, homographs, and homophones[edit]

I have an idea for changing the definitions of these three words and adding three more to create a list of six words so as to have clear and unduplicated definitions of the terms needed to cover the issues.

language of verb "maken"[edit]

Please fill in the language code of the verb "maken" in the etymology of Makler. Maybe it's from German, Dutch or Low German. Thanks. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 19:22, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Done. It's either Middle Dutch or Middle Low German, depending on which is the origin. Kolmiel (talk) 11:07, 25 November 2016 (UTC)


As a verb, this word gives two different senses, one linguistics and the other computing. However, I think doing that misleads people into thinking that the word is used with fundamentally different senses in linguistics and computing. On the contrary, the theory of parsing natural languages and the theory of parsing computer languages have a lot in common at a high level. (Once we get down into the details, of course, they are distinct.) But, both linguistics courses and programming language theory courses may cover the Chomsky hierarchy, for instance, because that is part of the overlap between the two disciplines. And "parsing" is part of the overlap, that commonality, between human linguistics and programming language theory, and it is fundamentally the same concept shared between those two disciplines. The confusion possibly is that "parse" in computing gets used both for programming languages, which have some complexities in common with human linguistics, but also for the degenerate case of very simple languages (e.g. a CSV file), and that degenerate case is probably what inspires the second verb definition – but, in the non-degenerate case, it is actually fundamentally the same as the first definition. 09:52, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

They share something but are not really the same; compare "paint" for (i) splashing liquid on canvas and (ii) updating a graphic display. Chambers has two separate senses for "parse". How would you, personally, phrase a combined definition, and do you think it would really be more useful to a casual non-expert user who has stumbled upon the word for the first time? Equinox 16:42, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
I think verb sense (2) should be changed to make it more linguistic. If we are talking about parsing a programming language, we are fundamentally transforming a linear sequence of characters, first by grouping adjacent characters into tokens, and then by converting a linear sequence of tokens into a tree of tokens – i.e. "x = x + 1" => x, =, x, +, 1 => (= x (+ x 1)). But, linguists do the same process to human languages - "The cat sat on the mat" => "The", "cat", "sat", "on", "the", "mat" => (sat (the cat) (on (the mat)). The deep parallels here are evident to anyone with a basic understanding of linguistics, programming language theory, and the mathematical theory of languages – since the first two disciplines are each in part different applications of the third discipline – and sense (2) should be worded to reflect those parallels better. 22:26, 26 November 2016 (UTC)


Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

I'd want to clarify the sense #1:

  1. Having an excessively favorable opinion of one's abilities, appearance, etc.; vain and egotistical.

Is it one or two senses? We have two translation tables for this one sense. Should the translation tables be merged or, should the English definition be split in two? --Hekaheka (talk) 09:01, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

acting the maggot, acting the jennet[edit]

It seems odd for these to have noun senses, when any verb can be used in such constructs, and there's no plural form with "actings". Equinox 04:14, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

trivia and administrivia[edit]

These can be either plural or uncountable, but never singular-countable ("a trivia"). How can we indicate that using the en-noun template? Equinox 04:21, 28 November 2016 (UTC)


الكويت(Kuwait) certainly has the form of a diminutive, but Wehr doesn't say so; he just lists it alphabetized under كوت. It would be interesting if some meaning could be found for the root, though evidently there are no relatives of it in Arabic. Perhaps a borrowed word was diminutized a long time ago? A long shot. The Wikipedia article doesn't mention any candidate for an original word. — Eru·tuon 04:24, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

I was going to say that it's also possible that a borrowed word sounded similar to the diminutive pattern and so was fit into it from the beginning, but then I found this: “from Arabic al-kuwayt, diminutive of kut, a word used in southern Iraq and eastern Arabia for a fortress-like house surrounded by a settlement and protected by encircling water, and said to be ultimately from Persian.” --WikiTiki89 16:04, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

suckener / thirl[edit]

At suckener, there is the following definition: '(obsolete) The tenant of a sucken, who under the law of thirlage had to mill his grain at the mill of his feudal lord or thirl.' (with hyperlinks, of course).

But at thirl, there isn't a definition listed relating to feudalism or milling. However, thirlage has a definition which looks correct to what it's been cited as.

Personally, I'm unfamiliar with these words, but I noticed this discrepancy. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Also, the only definition of sucken reads '(obsolete) The duty of a tenant to bring corn etc to a particular mill to be ground; the land so astricted.'. But in the suckener definition, sucken is being used like a feudal title whereas, according to its own definition, it is a duty. Perhaps the sentence structure should have been 'A tenant obliged by the duty of sucken, who...'

Conservative Party, Conservative party[edit]

A circular mess. Equinox 14:02, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

  • I agree. Should it be grouped under Conservative Party? I tried searching for conservative party and was redirected there. DonnanZ (talk) 16:31, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
  • In the UK, the proper name should properly be "(the) Conservative Party" in my opinion, but "Conservative party" is attested in some reputable sources such as the Guardian newspaper, so I suppose it should be represented. I would prefer to see the main definition of the proper noun at "Conservative Party". The supposed British definition "A political organisation that is said to be closely affiliated with the Church of England" is odd. The sole emphasis on the Church of England is odd and misleading. Mihia (talk) 21:55, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I am not sure about the British definition "Any of a number of political parties of various nationalities, often opposed to labour parties". I am not sure whether it is suggesting that "Conservative party" can be a generic decriptive phrase (in which case shouldn't it be be "conservative party"?) or whether it is saying that "Conservative party" is the actual proper name, or the standard translation of the proper name into English, of various political parties in other countries. If the latter, I don't really know why the sense would be tagged "British". There also seems to be an inconsistency in that "Conservative party" (large C) is contrasted with "labour parties" (small l). Mihia (talk) 22:05, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

December 2016


We currently have English alim as a singular with a plural alims, and then ulema as a plurale tantum. Does that make sense? Kolmiel (talk) 15:49, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

I did a quick GBooks search and yeah, both alims and ulama are used as plurals to alim. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 23:59, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
So would you agree with me that ulema (and all the variant spellings thereof) should be non-lemma forms? (Because that's the point of my question. To be sure, I didn't mean to question the word "ulema" as such, just its being a plurale tantum rather than a plural.) Kolmiel (talk) 00:39, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
I have come across quite a few GBooks texts that use ulama but never alim, so maybe we can keep both as lemmas. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 16:22, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Course we could. But why should we if one is the plural of the other? The only argument would be that "ulema" is actually not used as a plural of "alim", but is a totally independent word in English. But you said it was used that way, and I think so too. Now, the plural is more common, that's true, because it refers to the Islamic "clergy" as a whole. But I don't think that counts as an argument. "Eyes" is more common than "eye", but it's still a non-lemma plural. Kolmiel (talk) 23:32, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Persian Gulf[edit]

I'm wondering whether gulfs like this can be categorised as seas even though they are named gulfs - there's no category for gulfs anyway, and on the other side of the Arabian Peninsula the Red Sea, which is similar, is categorised as a sea. DonnanZ (talk) 16:40, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Our definition of gulf says in part "a partially landlocked sea", so I don't see (ha-ha) why not. Gulfs are a particular kind of sea. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:41, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough. I was also looking at large bays like the Bay of Biscay, Bay of Bengal and Hudson Bay, which are all in Category:en:Seas so this is obviously the right treatment. DonnanZ (talk) 22:53, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

simple present[edit]

Can someone who knows a bit about English grammar improve the definition given here? It does not specify how simple present differs from present tense. Thank you. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:40, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

  • Should all the related "tenses" really have to word "tense" included? Don't we use, for instance, "the past historic" rather than "the past historic tense"? SemperBlotto (talk) 08:38, 2 December 2016 (UTC)


Why no pronunciation? —This unsigned comment was added by Oldspring (talkcontribs) at 04:45, 2 December 2016.

  • It's not a common word, so it's not surprising. I wouldn't have a clue how to pronounce it anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 22:14, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

all that, all that and a bag of chips[edit]

Shouldn't the adjective senses be nouns? Equinox 09:53, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Maybe. But where are the citations? They would tell us a lot about the grammar. DCDuring TALK 14:55, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

the word dividings applied to a waterway[edit]

In Georgia USA there is a part of the Cumberland River called the Cumberland Dividings. Why dividings? Are there any other waterways named thus? —This unsigned comment was added by Jcrcrabtree (talkcontribs) at 13:32, 2 December 2016.

It's pretty easy to find dividings in use in the sense involved on Google Books. For example:
  • 2005, Mary R. Bullard, Cumberland Island: A History, page 5:
    All the Sea Islands have what are called dividings, shoal areas behind the barrier islands where the tides meet and divide.
It looks regional in that use. There are other uses of dividings, including something to do with preventing mine cave-ins. DCDuring TALK 15:08, 2 December 2016 (UTC)


Where to add a salute to The Guide when there is no noun entry in that Wikt page ? --Jerome Potts (talk) 17:04, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

How would you have added it if there were a noun entry? --WikiTiki89 18:09, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
And is it actually used outside of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? SemperBlotto (talk) 06:48, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
It has previously failed RFV. Equinox 14:13, 5 December 2016 (UTC)


Is once really a homophone of one's as claimed on that page? It isn't the way I pronounce it. SpinningSpark 18:39, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

Nor the way I say it, nor the way I can recall hearing anyone else say it. Mihia (talk) 02:40, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
No, it isn't. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:40, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
I've removed it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:18, 5 December 2016 (UTC)