Wiktionary:Tea room/2003

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Skagerrak discussion moved to Talk:Skagerrak

Wax lyrical

What is the meaning of "waxing lyrical"?

"Wax lyrical" is an idiom that means "to begin speaking or writing in a poetic or musical style". (one meaning of "wax" is "to pass from one state to another") Bluelion 17:36 Jun 14, 2003 (UTC)
Well, it meant that orignally; now it just means someone who is (very) enthusiastic about something and talks about it as such. Further, I think that 'wax' is being used here as an antonym to wane - that is, to increase (in stature, by context).
-- James F. 23:07 Jun 21, 2003 (UTC)
I assume this "wax" is the same as some germanic languages have for "grow" - German has wachs I think? Swedish has växa (Norwegian, Danish have similar). I offer no proof, but I'd be very surprised if this wasn't the origin of the word. OlofE 11:14, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Yes, "to grow", and hence, "to become". The main current use of the verb in the sense of "to grow" is of the moon. -- Paul G 12:29, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
"Waxing lyrical" in modern usage as rightly suggested above (someone who is (very) enthusiastic about something and talks...) can also be an offshoot or an alternative term for "Waxing Eloquent" Noopur 16:37 April 12, 2008 (UTC)


I am looking for the definition of successism. I have not found it in any dictionary. Any help is welcome. -- youssef

I couldn't find it in any dictionary, either, and I looked in some big dictionaries. It seems to be a neologism, which was my first guess. I did a web search and it turned up in a few sermons. The writers seemed to have a rather dim view of successism. To quote one of those: "Theologically it is akin to worshipping a false god called success." That's his opinion. Whether successism has other meanings, I don't know. Bluelion 08:28 Jun 26, 2003 (UTC)
I looked it up on Google and also in Amazon's brand new full-text search. It does, in fact, have a limited but distinct use, mostly in reference to the spirit of competition that arose during the Meiji Era of Japanese history. I have pieced together and added a definition, under successism. I appeal for help filling in the Japanese definition, which may shed light on the English. --Dvortygirl Oct. 26, 2003
Added definition of Japanese term 立志主義. I didn't find it in my usual dictionaries, but the construction makes sense (well, as much sense as "successism"). Google only turned up one hit, which I used as a quote. Doesn't look like amazon.co.jp has the full-text search, but I almost have to assume it has usages in print if it's referenced by a scholarly work in English. --Dunhamrc 19:12, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Ancient Translations

Lately I've been very intrested in foreign languages, both modern and ancient ones. What is everyone's opinion about placing translations to old and dead languages in here? Would it be a nice idea or is it useless in the context of this project? -- hybrid-2k (2003.10.20)

In principal all languages are treated the same here. The fact that it is a dead language does not matter. We would be very interested in articles for a word in an ancient language, provided that explanations are in English. Similarly the translation of an English word into that language is welcome on the page for the English word. Eclecticology 00:07, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)


did anybody here know what the german word "nerven" means (in english) marti7D3

do you have some context? As a verb it can be: to bug (annoy); as a noun: nerves. There might be more meanings, I'm not fluent in German. InfoSlave 19:46, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)
absolutely correct Kku 19:03, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)



I hope I'm in the right place to ask my question; I'm writing an article for the French Wikipedia about vowel reduction in Russian. In order to finish it, I need to know the place of the accent in the first name Екатерина (I know it cannot be on the first vowel; none of my Russian dictionaries has accented first names). May anybody help me? Thanks, Vincent 18:14, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Fourth syllable (Екате'рина)
Большой спасибо, Сталкер! By the way, is there possible to pronounce it /ekate'rina/ instead of [jekate'rina]? I've read (is that true?) that it is the case with Елена /e'lena/ ~ /je'lena/ (I'm not sure of the accent) Thanks again, Vincent 19:56, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Oui -- the Russian letter е is always pronounced /je/ at the beginning of a word -- par exemple, le nom du poèt Yevgeni Yevtouchenko est Евгений Евтушенко dans l'alphabet cyrillien. Also, I believe that the accent in Елена is on the second syllable /je'lena/ -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 21:33, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC) (fr:Bcorr/)