Wiktionary:Tea room/2007/July

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← June 2007 · July 2007 · August 2007 → · (current)


corgŵn, corgwn

We presently have two entries for the Welsh plural of corgi. Should thye be merged completely, or should one be marked as an alternative spelling of the other, or should they simply be linked through see also sections? — Beobach972 18:11, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

The cor- prefix means dwarf (as in corach), whereas ci means dog, the plural of which is cŵn. The plural of corgi can be corgŵn or corgwn — the former retains the circumflex from the etymon, whilst the latter does not. Circumflecting denotes long vowels in Welsh but is only consitently applied to homographs which differ in vowel length. As there is no “corgwn” which carries a different meaning, omitting the circumflex from the plural of corgi is not incorrect. I don’t think that it’s necessary to favour one over the other. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 21:51, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm assuming that (as is the case with Latin) we have a policy on whether to include the circumflex in the title or not. — Beobach972 03:04, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Our (implicit) policy with Latin is to use as headwords the spellings that are used nowadays in Latin text, not the spellings that are used nowadays in Latin-English dictionaries. Our explicit policy (to omit macrons and breves, and to distinguish u from v but not i from j) is but an implementation of this. Our implicit policy with English is the same, except that there are no major differences between how English dictionaries spell things and how English running text does, so this policy is less remarked-upon. (But you'll notice that we do include various spellings for English words, as long as all the spellings are in actual use.) Our policy with Welsh should also be the same. If some Welsh speakers use the circumflex in this word and some omit it, then I don't see why we would exclude one spelling just for consistency with the superficial result of our Latin policy. —RuakhTALK 05:04, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Wait, are you saying that we do not include various spellings of English words that are no longer in use, even if they can be attested? DAVilla 17:01, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
No, that's not what I'm saying at all. (Did I mis-write something? I was trying to say that for English words we do include various spellings, provided they're attested.) —RuakhTALK 17:37, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that the plural of corgi should be marked as "corgwn or corgŵn", with the two entries linking to each other as alternative spellings. Both certainly should have entries, as if you do not know the word (a common reason for looking it up in a dictionary) you will not know wether, as here, the circumflexed and unadorned words are the same, or whether they are completely different words, e.g. "tan" (under) and "tân" (fire). 09:51, 2 July 2007 (UTC)


This entry needs some loving. Comparing it with OED shows that some senses are missing. I rfc’d it, but thought I’d better mention it here. H. (talk) 11:23, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

You could always add it as a future Collaboration of the Week entry. Sometimes that leads to nice article cleanup. --EncycloPetey 17:07, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

mutton dressed as lamb

This is currently marked as "British?" - is it a UK only idiom or is it used elsewhere as well? Thryduulf 09:25, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

I (a U.S.-ian) have never heard it. And mutton in general is a pretty rare word in these parts. (Not that we have a different word for it; it's just not something Americans eat. Or maybe we just call it lamb, but even then it's not a very common food here.) —RuakhTALK 17:50, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
I've never heard of this phrase, but it sounds similar to the British phrase wolf in sheep's clothing. I am British.
Actually that's not just British - it comes from Aesop's Fables: Greek ~600 BC ! Wolf/lamb is hidden menace. Mutton/lamb is hidden age ! -- 11:46, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Maybe it should be "former Commonwealth", "non-US", or "non-North American". (It's not spanglish or mexican spanisn, either, AFAIK.) I'd heard it from UK and Oz native speakers, never from US-native speakers. Don't know about Canada, India, Caribbean, Africa. DCDuring 20:12, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Is wiktionary a US-English dictionary, then ? I thought it was global English ? -- 11:50, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
The English Wiktionary covers ALL varieties of English - but where terms do not have a universal meaning across all varieties we mark them as "UK", "US", "OZ" etc. SemperBlotto 12:23, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

X marks the spot

"You'll find what you're looking for under an obvious sign for it. " - original author claims pirate talke means is almost philosophical. I've heard this uttered in pirate movies before, but the definition seems to be missing something. It almost seems like an ominous meaning, like the authour is giving a coded message to someone. You'll find what you're looking for under an obvious sign for it. --Keene 10:23, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

  • This is the only "X" phrase listed in the OED - as part of the definition of X but without a definition of its own. This is what they say . . . SemperBlotto 10:32, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

d. Used to mark a location on a map or the like; esp. in phr. X marks the spot and varr.

1813 M. EDGEWORTH Let. 16 May (1971) 59 The three crosses X mark the three places where we were let in. 1918 J. M. BARRIE Echoes of War 5 In the rough sketch drawn for to-morrow's press, ‘Street in which the criminal resided’..you will find Mrs. Dowey's home therein marked with a X. 1928 R. KNOX Footsteps at Lock iv. 36, I wish I could be there, to see you diving in the mud on the spot marked with an X. 1968 B. NORMAN Hounds of Sparta ix. 64 A message from our alcoholic friend. X seems to mark the spot where he lives.


Definitions five and six are displaying oddly, but I cannot seem to mend it. Pistachio 15:07, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

{{context}} is broken, apparently due to a recent software change, and we haven't figured out how to fix it. —RuakhTALK 17:52, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
The same thing is happening at beef and elsewhere. See Wiktionary:Grease pit#Another buggy template. Thryduulf 18:04, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

white tea

I added white tea here,


Should I have?

Tea room was most appropriate, lol

Family Guy Guy 18:51, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes. I added red tea too :) Scott Ritchie 20:45, 21 October 2007 (UTC)


The example sentence "Poof, he was gone." is included twice on the page. Once in the as an interjection (the definition of which reads more like an etymology), and once as a verb. I'm not certain it is either of these. It is used to mean "to vanish or disappear" (and also "to appear suddenly", but this isn't listed) , but I don't know that it is used itself as a verb ("to poof"? "poofing"?). It is almost being used as a shorthand for "to appear/disappear with a poof" - i.e. suddenly.

What do others think? Thryduulf 10:08, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. DAVilla 12:44, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

recreate, recreation

Hi, can I get a pronunciation guru to properly split this family of articles (recreate, recreation, recreating, recreated, etc.) between the differently pronounced senses relating to 'creating again' and engaging in rest-and-recreational activities? Cheers! bd2412 T 04:59, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Stari Decisis

I did some cleanup on this.

This is listed as all upper case. Is that correct?

I listed language as English although the source is, of course, Latin. Should it also have a Latin section (although it is actually 2 Latin words but one English phrase). RJFJR 14:02, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I think the correct form is stare decisis; this should probably be repackaged as an alternative spelling. I don't think phrases of this nature should have a Latin section unless they are/were idiomatic in Latin; however, the individual Latin words should of course be linked in the "Etymology" section. -- Visviva 14:10, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I've never seen it except as stare decisis - and that one I've seen quite a bit. Cheers! bd2412 T 14:42, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
This gets 6 Google Book Search hits, whereas stare decisis gets 2,460 Google Book Search hits. This is clearly a comparatively rare misspelling due to the mispronunciation of stare as /ˈstɑːɹi/ (instead of /ˈstɑːɹe/). If this is to be kept, it should be as a misspelling only, with the useful contents already therein fused with the contents of stare decisis. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:10, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I've changed it to to use the misspelling of template.

382 googles for thsi spelling, 491,000 googles for stare decisis. I don't think this counts as a common misspelling. I'd support deletion. RJFJR 15:49, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

banyan day

Interesting definition...except that it says from Banyans, a caste that eats nothing that lives. I can't find anything to link Banyans to. (Also, do they mean nothing that has animal life? RJFJR 20:34, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

  • My understanding, from the w:Patrick O'Brian novels, is that on a banyan day (Thursday?) only things like porridge, bread and cheese etc was eaten - not even fish. The banyan is a type of fig - could that be the origin of the phrase? SemperBlotto 11:26, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

The OED spells it banian-day and refers it to the caste of Hindus you mention who abstain from flesh. It's the same word as for the fig-tree, which apparently grew in ports settled by such people. Widsith 07:36, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Camberwell beauty

Should the B be capialized? If so should it just be moved or what? RJFJR 20:37, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Judging from Google Scholar hits, the capital-B version would seem to be much more common. I find this depressing, since the idea that the name for an entire species of animal is a "proper noun" is rather absurd. But we are here to document, not to judge, more's the pity...
I think it is reasonable to keep Camberwell beauty as a variant capitalization, but the content of the entry should be at Camberwell Beauty. -- Visviva 15:16, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

enthousiastic, enthousiastically

French Wiktionary has enthousiastic and enthousiastically, as well as the o-less spellings with which I am familiar. Googles decently. Is this a UK variant? bd2412 T 12:36, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

They aren't variants that I've ever come across as a native BE speaker. Without looking at the google hits, my guess would be they are errors made by non-native speakers/authors who are familiar with UK/US spelling differences like colour/color. Thryduulf 16:48, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I've never seen that in English. The French adjective is enthousiaste (and the adverb is supposedly enthousiastement, but it's quite rare); I therefore suspect that enthousiastic might be a Gallicism. Alternatively, it might be an etymological spelling; according to the OED, enthusiastic comes from the Greek word ἐνθουσιαστικ-όϛ (enthousiastik-os). —RuakhTALK 16:51, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
It's not a UK spelling. Maybe historical, but I've never come across it. Looks more like a mistake to me. Widsith 07:33, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

dissertation, thesis

In the UK, a thesis is submitted for a PhD, a dissertation for an undergraduate degree and it seems to vary for a Master's degree (I'm not 100% about Scotland), which differs from US where a dissertation is submitted for a PhD, a thesis for an undergraduate degree and I don't know which for a Master's degree. I think this information should be added to dissertation and thesis but I don't know whether it ought to be in the form of two definitions or a usage note. Also, I have no idea about Canada and others. Pistachio 18:27, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm in the U.S., working on the thesis for my Master's degree. —RuakhTALK 19:38, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
My understanding is the same. In the US, a dissertation is prepared for a PhD, while a thesis is prepared for a Master's degree. Undergraduate degrees may involve a thesis, but most of the time they do not. --EncycloPetey 23:42, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Some U.S. undergraduate programs allow students to do a "thesis" (or at least they call it that, usually a "senior thesis"). bd2412 T 01:24, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure it's worth taking too much notice over how different universities describe these things. Although I agree that convention usually distinguishes between what's written at Master's and at doctorate level, to me the difference is more to do with what kind of thing is being written. To me dissertation implies more discursiveness, whereas thesis suggests more of a central proposition. That might just be more in connotation than in practice though. Widsith 09:25, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

But it sounds as though there might be a UK/US difference. If so, then that is worth worrying about and including in the definitions. --EncycloPetey 21:01, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

batchelor's fare

Odd spelling but google found a note for the 1811 Vulgar Dictionary, so it may be an old spelling. On the other hand, batchelor's fare gets 20 googles but bachelor's fare gets 1520 and seems to be the same word with different spelling. RJFJR 21:08, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

In the UK at least the two are homophones so the "batchelor's" form might easily be an older or misspelling, although I was unable to find and misspelling uses on Google web but "Batchelor" is a very common surname so misspellings will be naturally harder to find. Note also that Knight Batchelor is at least an alternative spelling for Knight Bachelor. Thryduulf 21:42, 11 July 2007 (UTC)


I was looking for the word unheeded —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 17:05, 12 July 2007 (UTC).

Well, I guess you found it. -- Visviva 14:39, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Third World

Is Third World a proper noun? Is Third-World a proper adjective? (third-world redirects to Third-World). They are listed with caps but the headings are noun and adjective. Are they common or proper? RJFJR 15:09, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

I only recall seeing it as third world and third-world. --Connel MacKenzie 17:31, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
And no, there is no such thing as a "Proper adjective." --Connel MacKenzie 17:32, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Really? I've always seen the noun capitalized. A Google search on Wikisource turns up almost exclusively capitalized forms. The one that isn't is from the Catholic Encyclopedia, and is not referring to the same concept. As the Third World is a specific entity (if a bit fuzzily defined), I'd call it a Proper noun, just like Old World and New World. Connel is probably right about the correct adjective form, but that doesn't mean that people are actually using the correct form. --EncycloPetey 17:44, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
proper adjective & W:Proper adjective RJFJR 18:18, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm with Connel on this: the term "proper adjective" does exist, but is due to a misunderstanding of the meaning of the term "proper noun"; there's no call for Wiktionary to start using it. (As for the capitalization, I'd capitalize "the Third World", but I'd describe a country as a "third-world country". I think capitalizing "Third-World country" is somewhat dated; a quick Google News search suggests that some writers do capitalize it, but most do not.) —RuakhTALK 19:36, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree as well. A proper noun is a noun that names a particular and specific entity. Logically then, proper adjectives should describe a unique and specific thing, but they do not. Some adjectives are capitalized simply because they derive from proper nouns, but they're still just adjectives. An unusual etymology does not create a new part of speech. And I note that the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language makes no mention of "proper adjectives" at all. --EncycloPetey 23:28, 13 July 2007 (UTC)


I see from some dictionaries that this word is in some way related to vitriol. Is it possible that salts of sulphuric agid, either sulphates or sulphites were called vituperates?--Paulwoods54 07:43, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Related to vitriol? Don't think so. Vitriol goes back to Latin vitrum ‘glass’, whereas vituperate is from Latin vitium ‘flaw, fault’ and parare ‘prepare’. Widsith 08:20, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Vituperate from Latin, vituperare, to blame, speak abusively, to use bitter language.
Source: Webster´s unabridged, 2nd edition 1978 pg 2045
—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:20, 20 August 2007 (UTC).

get/have a cob on

There are two related UK slang phrases that we don't have an entry for but should do, "have a cob on" and "get a cob on". b.g.c cites: [1] [2], [3], [4]

I'd add them but I'm not certain what part of speech header to put it under (noun? verb? adjective?), and I'm not certain where the entry or entries should be - cob, cob on, a cob on, get a cob on/have a cob on?? Thryduulf 16:46, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Rather than listing them redundantly as adjective, noun and verb, you should probably just use ===Phrase===. --Connel MacKenzie 18:28, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Hey Thryduulf, please do add the entry as a page. It'll enrich mah vocab, 'cuz ah dunno wotcher* talkin' 'bout but I and I lurve deckin' dis pad ova** wid colloquialisms. * = 'what you are'; ** = 'over' from decades of urban graffiti. Thecurran 15:44, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

the bird, flip the bird

We currently have an out of place entry on bird for "the bird" (extending the middle finger) and a separate entry for flip the bird. Should these be kept as is, merged onto the bird, merged onto bird or something else? Thryduulf 10:46, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Kept as is. There are uses of "the bird" that do not involve the entire phrase, but the entire phrase (in various forms) has a greater meaning. We tend not to include the word "the" as part of an entry name, even in cases where "the" normally precedes the word, as in "the Alps". --EncycloPetey 21:00, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

It may not be etymolygy, but why is the gesture called 'flipping the bird' ? Does it come from falconry ? Or is it rude ? Googling 'flipping the bean' doesn't find any parallels !-- 12:11, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


(Etymology 1) Is the "vulgar, exchange alley" definition really different to the two finance definitions, it reads more like an explanation for the origin of the terms - and is not brilliantly worded at that. Thryduulf 11:30, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree it's too verbose but it seems one describes a market, another describes an investor with certain motives, and the last one describes an investor with unclear motives. Thecurran 15:52, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Whilst meanings 3 and 4 are clearly distinct, surely meaning 6 is just a repetition of meaning 4 with explanation. I agree with Thryduulf that we should delete 6, but add to 4. Dbfirs 22:14, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I've just read it again, and realised that they are different, but they both refer to the same type of trader, except that one fears falling prices whilst the other greedily gains from them (e.g. Northern Rock shares!!!) Which meaning is more common amongst traders? Should they be combined? Dbfirs 22:19, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I think after the verbosity was removed, you would end up with 6 being 4, but with more venom. I'd give it an rfd-redundant tag, personally. DCDuring 01:12, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I've merged them, minus verbosity such as the fable of the huntsman who sold the bear’s skin before the bear was killed. Is that part of the etymology? DAVilla 15:48, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


How to tell someone that he is jealous without actually using the word "jealous" ? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 13:44, 16 July 2007 (UTC).

Say that he is "green-eyed", which is a reference to Shakespeare. --EncycloPetey 20:05, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

currying - noun?

currying noun sense says a technique. A technique is a noun, but this sounds like something you'd do which is a verb... Noun? RJFJR 13:49, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

"To curry [a function]" is indeed a verb. Also, I'm pretty sure the etymology is wrong; I always understood "to curry [a function]" as a verbification of the noun "curry function" (which in turn is named after Haskell Curry). —RuakhTALK 17:05, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Is it a noun the way 'wedding' is? Thecurran 15:53, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't think so, no. google:"a currying" and google:"curryings" don't seem to think so, either. —RuakhTALK 17:00, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

make demands on

I'm not sure what to do with this expression. For the moment I have mentioned it in both demand and demands and put an entry into the make appendix I wonder if it qualifies for an entry by itself as an idiom? Opinions? Algrif 15:48, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

It sounds like you've done well. I don't think it's idiomatic. Thecurran 15:55, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Ludo – wrongly capitalized?

(Discussion moved here from Talk:Ludo)

I believe that the title is wrongly capitalized – I believe that it should be ludo also for the English word, just as chess isn't capitalized either.

The word refers to a general board game, not owned or copyrighted (or patented, today at least) by a particular company. Shell-man 12:27, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Names of specific games are sometimes capitalized, even if it is not a registered name. For instance, my copy of Hoyle consistently capitalizes the words "Poker", "Bridge", and "Whist". As these words are names of specific games, they may be considered proper nouns, even though the majority of people today tend not to capitalize them. --EncycloPetey 20:57, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

branches of government

I created this, but I’m uncertain — is it idiomatic? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:50, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Since it's not talking about limbs of trees owned by the government, I'd say so. Cheers! bd2412 T 15:59, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Shouldn't this be under branches? Given that we also have branches of banks, shops, etc.Algrif 17:02, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
That's not quite an accurate analogy. Branches of banks and shops are largely independent of each other and identical in function and appearance to each other. The branches of government are separate in function, composition, and purpose. I do agree, though, that this ought to be regarded an idiomatic sense of branch, though I'm not 100% convinced of that. --EncycloPetey 20:02, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Thinking about it, “sum of parts” is not a valid reason for exclusion of a phrase. Therefore, this one is OK because (and I defy anyone to prove otherwise) “branch of government” cannot mean an item of arboreal state property. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:13, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure either. But my thinking is that the word branch has the meaning sub-division and is applied in many other situations. Family / evolutionary / etc trees spring to mind. How about a trade-off? in hospital and branches of government? :-) Algrif 16:20, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I disagree on the branch thing. I can 'branch off' into another, follow a different 'branch' of a river, science, medicince, pædiatrics, etc. and my organisation can branch into another field, hinterland, or demographic. I think 'branch of government' gels very well with these meanings without requiring an idiom. I wouldn't disagree with an update to the definition of 'branch' if you found it lacking. BTW, 'hospital' is special in English. I can follow 'at' with 'home' or 'work'. I can follow 'in' with 'bed' or 'hospital'. I can follow either with 'church', 'college', 'day-care', 'kindergarten', 'school', 'temple', or 'university'. I can do all of this confidently without using an article or possessive pronoun in between. These terms have a status different from other common nouns in English that is very difficult for many ESOL folk to grasp. NB: 'home' even counts as an adverb. Thecurran
I don’t see how any of that is relevant. The point is that branch of government cannot be used with any of the meanings which branch has, and the specific sense of branch here seems restricted to too few idioms to justify its being added as a new sense to the entry for branch. Or have you somewhere address that point hereinbefore? (–I can’t tell!) † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:38, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
What I should've said is that I think the current fifth meaning of the noun "An area in business or of knowledge, research" applies here as allocative, executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government are quite similar to areas of research. I do think though that that fifth meaning should be extended to include 'area of practice' as in the cases of medicine, law, or technology &c as in the examples above and, if it feels more complete, to include 'area/ field of government'. In Civil Law places like France the judical sub-branches of prosecution and investigation are usually intertwined into one. I believe there are many other examples of such intertwining, making 'branch' just like 'field'. Opinions? Thecurran 03:07, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
What would clinch it for me is if this separate sense of branch (which I believe to be sufficiently distinct from the fifth sense you mention — even with your alterations — to warrant its own definition) were in use in other idiomatic phrases. If you can show that, I may begin to agree with you here. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:57, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

no singular?

What's that term for a noun that isn't used in the singular? RJFJR 16:14, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Plurale tantum. We also have {{pluralonly}}. —RuakhTALK 17:38, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Bloody Sunday

The current entry is a list from the 'pedia disambiguation page.

The term itself refers to the 1905 St. Petersburg event. Neither of the two predecessors are the "Bloody Sunday" referred to in literary references, and all subsequent events use the name as a direct comparison to St. Petersburg's.

I don't see how this could be more than two dictionary definitions.

--Connel MacKenzie 18:16, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

In current British usage, "Bloody Sunday" refers to the 1972 event in Northern Ireland (w:Bloody Sunday (1972)), all other uses are either clarified or part of an already well-defined other context. I would be surprised if this was not also the case in Ireland. I don't know that this was named for the St Petersberg event, it seems equally likely to an original descriptor or an naming for the earlier event. I think perhaps what we need is something along the lines of
  1. A 1905 event in St Petersburg in which unarmed citizens were killed by state forces.
  2. One of many similar events, see w:Bloody Sunday for a complete list.
  3. (UK, Ireland) A 1972 event in Northern Ireland in which 7 civil rights protesters were shot and killed by a British Army regiment.
Thryduulf 19:26, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
That would be a nice improvement from the current entry. The first definition might say "...in which as many as 4,000 unarmed..." for clarity. --Connel MacKenzie 17:23, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

FWIW, I have never heard the term used in Ireland to mean the first three listed Irish examples, only ever used to mean the 1972 civil rights deaths. But that is like the term "The Troubles" which originally meant the 1916 - 1922 events, but later was used for 1969 onward to the ceasefires.--Dmol 19:58, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

As there have been no objections, I've replaced the entry with my proposed version above (incorporating Connel's suggestion). Thryduulf 20:08, 5 August 2007 (UTC)


Somebody has trouble with the fact that words don't always retain their shades of meaning when borrowed into a new language. Anybody who's ever gone with a Japanese friend to a western sushi bar has heard the cry of "this is not sushi". The def in the English entry is no hypercorrect to conform to the Japanese cultural view. Sadly the English word carries none of this detail and means something much closer to "raw fish on rice wrapped in seaweed". Putting a Japanese definition in the English entry doesn't change this reality. — Hippietrail 09:25, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Indeed; and the entry should also note that this is frequently used in English as a synonym for sashimi. -- Visviva 04:36, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed this was mentioned on WT:TR when I edited the four entries sushi, sashimi, nigiri and sushi roll. (This was after the similar IRC conversation.) I trust these are acceptable now? --Connel MacKenzie 17:25, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Of note: the ==Japanese== definition now incorrectly refers to the English term; it probably should not. --Connel MacKenzie 17:43, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Edited. I hope now it is OK... The link to the English part was left as, after all, they are referring almost same things. --Tohru 00:05, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
"sushi" certainly has a second meaning, or at least it does in Seattle. Here, "sushi" always has rice and is specifically different from "sashimi". I'd like to add a second definition to that effect, but I'm not sure whether the distinction is regional (Seattle or maybe west coast) or just a factor of how large any city's Asian population. Rod (A. Smith) 00:39, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that calling it "West coast" would be over-generalizing. I don't recall that fine-grained (sorry for the pun) pedantry extending to restaurants in So. Cal. Can the Japanese definition be expanded a little, to make it clearer that it doesn't include sashimi? --Connel MacKenzie 16:44, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Proper Noun

Nobel Prize is a proper noun, name of the award, right? RJFJR 16:27, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Nobel is a proper noun

the Nobel Foundation is a proper noun

but a Nobel Prize is a noun. SemperBlotto 16:49, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't recall ever heading of winning a Nobel Prize, but winning the Nobel Prize (or "the Nobel Prize for ...") Since they are almost always referred to only individually, the references themselves end up being proper nouns: "The 1979 Nobel Peace Prize." Is a usage note the way to go for that, or should we list each type of Nobel Prize awarded annually, or both? --Connel MacKenzie 17:38, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
The phrase "a Nobel Prize" certainly exists (granted, some of those are using it attributively with a singular head noun, like "a Nobel Prize winner", but it looks like those are a small minority). I think "Nobel Prize" is both a proper noun construed with the, and a common noun; likewise for the usual names of the various specific prizes ("Nobel Prize in/for economics", etc.). —RuakhTALK 18:23, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
<pet peeve>There Is No Nobel Prize In Economics, there is (formally) only the "Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel", "Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences" or simply "Nobel Memorial Price"</pet peeve> (Ahhh, is there some drama about that name... :) \Mike 18:58, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Likewise, there is no Nobel Prize for Biology; there is only an International Prize for Biology that has been awarded since 1985. Nor is there a Noble Prize for Mathematics; Nobel did not consider math to be of practical value. --EncycloPetey 19:47, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, that's why I said "the usual names", not "the correct names". :-) —RuakhTALK 20:37, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I believe that some people have won multiple Nobel Prizes - and I don't believe that proper nouns can have plurals. SemperBlotto 18:49, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Why not? There are many people named John Smith, ergo, many John Smiths. And I am aware of at least three Miamis. :) bd2412 T 19:32, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Sigh... I guess I need to finish that draft for Appendix:English proper nouns. Proper nouns typically don't have plurals, but many can be used grammatically as common nouns, and then acquire a plural form. The division between common and proper nouns is fuzzier than textbooks would have us believe. --EncycloPetey 19:47, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

FWIW, this shows both "Nobel Prizes" and "Nobel prizes" in use. --Connel MacKenzie 16:34, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

I think when people use 'the Nobel prize' they mean 'the Nobel prize for physics', 'the Nobel peace prize', etc. but shorten it purely for brevity. If I read this year that a political figure just won the Nobel prize, I can assume they meant 'the Nobel peace prize for 2007'. As the context is often implied strongly enough in what I've read to support this view, 'Nobel prize' may yet be a common noun or still straddling the border. Maybe 'Nobel' has become a proper adjective like 'Hamburg' in the 'Hamburger sandwich', which is now usually known as a 'hamburger'. Thecurran 16:31, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Tijuana noir

Tijuana Noir has come into common use to mean a border city, rainy, full of sin, corrupt, violent and a crime infected hell. —This comment was unsigned.

Thank you. We put brand new items like that on WT:LOP until they are widespread. For right now, it is just the title of a book. --Connel MacKenzie 01:13, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Personal note: My experiences in Tijuana would support such a definition, but by no means does that convey that such a term is in common use in the English language. This depiction does not stand on it's own as a linguistic component. --Connel MacKenzie 16:32, 22 July 2007 (UTC)


Is sense 4, "A person who holds biased views." (e.g. "sexist, racist") different from sense 1, "One who follows a principle or system of belief." (e.g. "Marxist, deist ¶Note, these are related to -ism, e.g. Marxism, deism")? Thryduulf 01:18, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I think so, yes. I think sense 4 came from sense 1 (I'm guessing sexist, ageist, etc. are by analogy with racist), and senses 1 and 4 share their parallelism with -ism words, but I think they're now fairly distinct. —RuakhTALK 03:44, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Italian "sono"

I would like someone who has a good command of Italian (or knows where to find information :-) to clear up for me the meaning of the word "sono". It may well be with diacritics actually, but not in the variant that I have come across.--Eate 04:37, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Italian does not use diacritics except in dictionaries. I suggest looking at sono. --EncycloPetey 04:52, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Funny, the Italian Wiktionary does not have a separate article on "sono", but the English one does. I shall from now on turn first to the English version, no matter what language the key word may be in.))) Great, the sono link makes sense. "con il cuore canto e quindi sono", that makes "With heart I sing and therefore I am".--Eate 10:50, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

continental United States

Noun? Proper noun? Phrase? bd2412 T 11:32, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Proper noun might work. But I don't recall ever hearing this to refer also to Alaska (even though a technical combination of the words might refer to those 49 states, instead of the colloquial 48 conterminous ones.) --Connel MacKenzie 16:27, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I was going by Wikipedia for that (it indicates both usages). bd2412 T 06:08, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
The US military (and others) use CONUS and OCONUS meaning contiguous US, and outside contiguous US; a few times I've seen these mis-defined as "continental". Including—ahem—a certain nearby entry ... Robert Ullmann 06:39, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Tijuana Noir

Tijuana Noir has come into common use to mean a border city, rainy, full of sin, corrupt, violent and crime infected hell. —This unsigned comment was added by Teoarango (talkcontribs) at 15:30, 20 July 2007 (UTC).

Define "common use"; I've never heard it. google books:"tijuana noir" pulls up only one hit, the name of a self-published book by Flores Campbell (you?), google groups:"tijana noir" pulls up no hits, and google:"tijana noir" only seems to pull up hits referring to the book. It almost certainly doesn't meet our criteria for inclusion. —RuakhTALK 15:43, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Note #Tijuana noir above. --Connel MacKenzie 16:28, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

I need another word for subhuman i could no find enything

(Moved from Wiktionary talk:Tea room by Rod (A. Smith))

I wold apreciate eny help in finding another word for subhuman —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 2007-07-22T12:03:32.

Do you mean in a scientific context, or as a figurative insult? --Connel MacKenzie 16:24, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
How about Untermensch (if you don’t mind the Nazi connotations)? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 21:37, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I think troglodyte is a fine choice. --EncycloPetey 23:54, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I've seen neanderthal used this way, too. --Joe Webster 17:44, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I'd suggest australopithecine, ape, Cro-Magnon, criminal, freak, Morlock, mutant, prisoner, slave, or victim, &c depending on the context; I hope this is not being used to hurt anybody. Thecurran 16:45, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Canada goose


I've always heard this as Canadian goose. But much to my surprise, a Google search shows this is just as common. Is this variation restricted by region?

--Connel MacKenzie 16:22, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

In the UK I've almost always heard this as "Canada goose"/"Canada geese". with "Canadian goose" being regarded as an error. Thryduulf 17:02, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Precisely; I believe "Canada goose" is unheard of, here in the US. --Connel MacKenzie 19:38, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Um, unheard of in your own neighborhood, maybe. In JackLumber English, it's Canada goose. (Never heard "Canadian goose" before.) Compare: .gov [5] [6], .edu [7] [8]. See also [9]. But: Canadian bacon, never Canada bacon ;-P JackLumber 21:58, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
The fact that it is proscribed, explains the odd numbers on .gov sites (and others) you linked. But 980 vs. 619 means is it very frequent, colloquially. So frequent, in fact, that I've never heard the prescribed form before. --Connel MacKenzie 22:39, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I'll back up Connel MacKenzie from what I've heard anywhere from Pennsylvania to Florida, as well as in Hawai'i (in comparison to the Nene Goose) and Western Australia from the ornithologically minded. Thecurran 16:51, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


Verb sense missing? --Connel MacKenzie 19:23, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

You left the tag, mate. What are you talking about? Thecurran 16:54, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

There is a Northern English verb meaning to rain heavily. Eg, "it's fair silin' dahn today" 13:44, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Philip Melanchthan's Commonplace

I am reading Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writing. In the discourse on The bondage of the will he mentions the writings of Philip Melanchthan's Commonplace. Who is this man and were can I find a copy of Commonplaces. Luther thought his writing was worth reading.

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk).
A dictionary is not the best place to go looking for this information. Try Wikipedia (an encyclopedia) or Wikisource (a collection of writings and documents). --EncycloPetey 23:54, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

special resolution

The resolution doesn't gain its status after the vote; it is called for specially, right? Or is this a subtle meaning specific to GB? --Connel MacKenzie 22:30, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Its not a meaning I'm familiar with, but don't take my opinion as definitive on this one. Thryduulf 23:06, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

ordinary resolution

See above. --Connel MacKenzie 22:44, 22 July 2007 (UTC)


Should bedroomed be moved to -bedroomed, as the former is never written by itself? Same for bathroomed (eg. I live in a three-bathroomed house)

  1. (When preceded by a number) Having the indicated number of bedrooms.
In the usage of Wiktionary and many other dictionaries, a title starting with "-" would suggest that this is a suffix used to form words, which it is not. -- Visviva 13:49, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I thought it did form a word. What do you think about '-legged' in 'three-legged' or 'hairy-legged'? Maybe you're saying that '-bedroomed' is different from '-ing' in how they're appended, because the former use a hyphen but the lattermost/ last doesn't. Anyhow, the hyphen should hopefully be sufficient to tell a reader to look up both what precedes it and what follows it, which would mean a page for '--bedroomed' might be unnecessary and silly-looking. Thecurran 17:04, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

hunt and peck

How is hunt and peck inflected? Is "She hunted and pecked" or "she hunt and pecked" the preferred spelling? --Dictionarybuilder 12:00, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Raw Ghits give about 15:1 in favor of "hunted and pecked" (and also "hunting and pecking"). Books results are similar but somewhat idiosyncratic, possibly due to the small sample size (only 4:1 for "hunting and pecking", but more than 20:1 for "hunted and pecked." So it seems clear that "hunt-and-peck" has not yet fossilized as a word. -- Visviva 13:46, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Neologisticality of embiggen

Considering that our first citation for embiggen is from 1884, is it really fair that its entry be slapped with that big, yellow, disapproving “neologism” box? As a second point, can it legitimately be tagged as a nonce, considering that it appears in an academic paper (I wouldn’t mind if the nonce tag stays, as IMO most uses of this word will be noncy). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:27, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Oddly, the current working definition of "neologism" on Wiktionary seems to be unrelated to time in use, or degree of public acceptance; per {{neologism}}, a neologism is simply a word that doesn't appear in other dictionaries. I can think of some reasons for this, but on the whole I agree that it doesn't make sense, and should be revisited. -- Visviva 01:48, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
So can I. But neologism is not the right word for this. From an etymologial standpoint, we need another word, being as neo- means “new” — 123 years old is not “new” by any definition (for words anyway — geology, astronomy, and other disciplines notwithstanding). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 13:55, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I’ve started a discussion about this here. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:12, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
This one is an archaism and a neologism. This happens in linguistics. Sorry. Thecurran 17:10, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

OK — now this entry looks totally ridiculous. What is a reader going to think, seeing neologism, archaic, and nonce tags, all for the same word‽ Either this needs to resolved, or a hefty explanatory usage note needs writing. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:40, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

I think this entry is absolutely hilarious, in light of the colloquial meaning of 'nonce' and an episode of the Simpson's in which 'embiggen' is the star. You've made my day. Genius. Shona Isbister 16.53, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Having a tag of 'archaic' when three of the four references date from the last twelve years just makes Wiktionary look foolish. As does having a neologism from so long ago (you can hardly expect users to look up the criteria to see just why an old word can be considered a neologism). Again, the fact that there are actually citations covering 11 years makes the tag suspect - the fact that it appears to be justified (according to Wiktionary rules) on the grounds that no other major dictionary has picked it up make it appear that Wiktionary lacks confidence in its own procedures. You don't see OED2 or MW tagging words on the basis of what other dictionaries think Moglex 16:04, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Should there be two senses, one tagged archaic and one tagged neologism? RJFJR 16:10, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

No, there is only one sense being used here. I’ve removed both the neologism and the archaic tag. What little relevance the fact that this same word has been coined separately on two occasions has is now noted in the etymology section, and should not affect the entry proper as it has until so recently.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:56, 26 October 2007 (UTC)


The def of perfidy is

  1. The act of violating faith or allegiance; violation of a promise or vow, or of trust reposed; faithlessness; treachery.

Is the word reposed correct? (link is to repose.) RJFJR 15:37, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Seems to be. [10] -- Visviva 01:50, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I guess so, though it doesn't seem to be any of the senses at repose. Do we need an entry for trust reposed? RJFJR
Maybe it just means 'trust' that has been 'laid down' or otherwise 'ceased'. Thecurran 17:32, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

even though

Not sure of the POS - a conjunction, perhaps? bd2412 T 06:10, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Yup, a conjunction. —RuakhTALK 14:26, 25 July 2007 (UTC)


Is verb sense 4 (To call or summon (someone).) used, other than as per sense 5 (To contact (someone) by means of a pager.)? Thryduulf 21:39, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes! That's where the word "pager" came from after all.... The original idea is "act as page(boy)", "send message to". Widsith 12:04, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
OK, I'd never thought of the origin before! Is it still used, or is it now an obsolete/dated sense? Thryduulf 23:00, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
In the U.S. at least, it's still used in places with public address systems, such as airports. If you're not familiar with it, that probably means it's obsolete in the U.K. —RuakhTALK 23:19, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
In the UK, to page someone would mean to send a message to their pager, although more likely these days anyone without a two-way radio system would have a mobile phone that could be called (the only users of pagers these days in the UK I can think of are on-call doctors, firemen, lifeboatmen, etc.) I don't think there is a single word in British English that means "put a message out for someone over a public address system" - I think I'd ask someone to "put out a call"/"put out a message" or "make an announcement" Thryduulf 09:11, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Ruakh; this is very common in the US. I don't think Widsith was suggesting it is obsolete in the UK, though? --Connel MacKenzie 09:25, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Not obsolete. Besides, it isn't a PA system, it's the tannoy ... ;-) Robert Ullmann 09:32, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I've marked it as obsolete in the UK ({{context|transitive|US|obsolete|_|in UK}})- if it is in use in other places that normally use UK English this might need revision and/or clarification (I ummed and arred about the "US" label) . If of course I'm wrong and other Brits know of its current use on these shores, then feel free to revert me. Thryduulf 10:30, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
By the way, Wiktionary:Wiktionarians has some geographic contributor information. I am sorry if I gave the impression this is solely a US term; I do not think it is. I'm actually surprised to hear that it may be falling out of use in the UK. Or, as you say, completely out of use. --19:12, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, en-gb uses 'ring' when en-us uses 'call'. I guess it's just a natural difference considering that some of these things grew up before constant trans-oceanic mass media or separate from international corporations. ~(c:) (a happy-faced balloon) Thecurran 18:01, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


Could someone please rewrite the definition of this word to be easier to understand for someone not au fait with other programming terms. I know of the word only in the wiki context, and I'm not certain whether how we use the term here is covered by that definition or not. Thryduulf 23:00, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

ç' and ç'-

Does it make sense for these to be two separate entries? It seems to me that all of the senses for both of these should both be at either one or the other. bd2412 T 23:04, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

They should be in one entry. (This is my bad; I made the French entry without checking to see how the Albanian clitic worked.) Personally, I think ç'- is preferable, as it makes clear that this attaches graphically to the following word. —RuakhTALK 23:28, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
I have no aesthetic preference, but surely there must be a rule? bd2412 T 23:51, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Follow up - I poked around a bit, and no hyphen appears to be the norm (see d', l', m', n', o', t'). bd2412 T 23:55, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
From what I've seen, hyphens are generally used for prefixes and suffixes. That in mind, I think that ç' has less opportunity to be misleading. Medellia 03:50, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Could we just redirect one form to the other? That way, if someone looks up the unused variation, they'll get to the definition anyway. bd2412 T 04:38, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't see any immediate problem with entering the redirects from hyphenated to the normal unadorned versions. It does seem weird though. A hyphenated prefix is usually an optional hyphen, but sometimes included. The apostrophe functions like the hyphen for those prefixes, except that it is not optional for most of them. (The apostrophe after "O" is sometimes optional. O'Donnell vs. Odonnell, o'clock vs. oclock, O'Toole vs. OToole, etc.) In one case, the character separator is "-", in the other it is "'". Having both "'" and "-" is redundant, isn't it? --Connel MacKenzie 21:21, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
I expected six blue-links above, not five red-links! I guess there is something to be said for the [Show preview] button. To clarify: I don't think there is anything wrong with being redundant in this way, it just seems weird to me. --Connel MacKenzie 21:25, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

In light of the above, I've moved the content of ç'- to ç' and merged the edit histories of the pages for one comprehensively historied entry. Cheers! bd2412 T 03:06, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Connel MacKenzie, I know that in Scots, people want rid of the apologetic apostrophe but all your examples seem to me to necessitate those apostrophes unless someone was typing without use of an apostrophe input or didn't know better. Thecurran 18:10, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

What does monotony mean

-- 19:02, 27 July 2007 (UTC) i thought it meant neevr ending but this dictonary (english) says its had somthing to do with mathmatics What do you think the definition is?

Monotony is, most simply, the state of being monotonous; that is, having one tone, without variation. Hence the figurative sense of tedium. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:05, 27 July 2007 (UTC)


I was actually going to RFV this, but google books:chillax does pull up exactly three independent English uses over a wide enough time range for this to pass CFI; but even so, some sort of sense label and/or usage note would seem to be in order. Is this restricted to a specific region? Does it have staying power? Is it possible to use this without sounding ridiculous and/or contrived? Etc. —RuakhTALK 05:11, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

This might help you understand its geographical distribution. I've heard from people from ages 12-55 in Australia as well as in US media & I remember accidentally saying it years ago when I misqueued both chill out and relax at once. As those two terms increase in usage, the mixed term should continue to pop up. In the short term, I don't see a decline in either. In addition, groovy waned but never really died, long outlasting tactile groove-based records. This type of word merging around synyonyms with the same phonemic order (~ila, in this case) in the middle is a matter of fact in English and I've noticed many people creating these on the spot and others interpreting them correctly without even realizing the mistake. Real examples become portmanteaus like smog or nonce words like slithy. Some are so old, they became root words for Modern English. Tipsy seems to have been drunkenly collated from a slur of tired and sleepy and perhaps tips. Similar non-mainstream examples of verb forms include thunk, thoughten, caughten, boughten, & broughten. Thecurran 12:35, 31 August 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone hazzard a guessThanks for the correction, SemperBlotto. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:02, 29 July 2007 (UTC) as to what this contemptible piece of business jargon means? (See Google Book Search for clues.) † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:12, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

To people in the health food and natural foods industry, agri-food has the added connotation of big business producing food that is not healthful. The idea is to create things that will sell for a profit but harms the client.--Memorymike 15:03, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

My hazard is that the term is only ever used attributively to describe the sector of industry/commerce that makes food from agricultural products. SemperBlotto 14:26, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

In the US, it is used to identify two groups: agriculture (industry) and food (industry) as a symbiotic collection of related industries. Since the term is limited to Wall Street/finance, it makes sense on one hand to distinguish the two (very different) industries, while sometimes referring to the two (related) as a single combination.
And people grouse at me for POV usage notes? Unbelievable. Guess its OK as long as it is heavily UK biased.
--Connel MacKenzie 21:31, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
I've removed the Usage note, which was just wrong. It had nothing to do with UK, by the way (right, cabal? [winks]). Widsith 09:27, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
And left it categorized in Category:UK, with an incorrect Etymology? This would be better to delete and leave as a red-link until someone comfortable entering the financial definition decides to do so. Cabal? Well, it is an unacceptable UK-POV proscription of a GenAm finance term...a particularly ignorant and incorrect one at that. The notion that US compounds are formed from either Latin etymological roots, or UK patterns is absurd. You are correct that my tone was not helpful - but looking at the entry's history, you can understand my exasperation, right? --Connel MacKenzie 15:05, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I accept that I should not have written that usage note; it was unjustifiably biased of me — as my tone hereinbefore suggests, this is not one of my favourite words, hence my critical stance thereof (however, that does not make what I did any less wrong). Other than that, the etymology is correct as far as I’m aware (perhaps it lacks the necessary detail of a reference to finance and industry, but it is nonetheless correct in essence). Since SemperBlotto and Connel MacKenzie seem to have some knowledge of what this term means, I’m sure they could write an adequate definition for it (and then take it to WT:RFC if they are unsure). As a final point, lots and lots of English neologisms are coined from the classical languages — not just UK English ones (surely you don’t need proof of that, do you Connel?). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:01, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Of course not. But this term very obviously does not come from those origins; it comes from abbreviated forms of other terms (agriculture industry and food industry.) Delete and leave as a red-link for a finance person to define. --Connel MacKenzie 20:10, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, its two parts, agri- and food, aren’t abbreviations of the ‘X’ industry phrases (although the industry connotation is, I believe, intended), but rather an abbreviation of agriculture and the word food, respectively. This means that the present etymology (Agri- + food) is entirely suitable, as agri- denotes agriculture. I concede that this term is not as stupid and contemptible as I first thought.
“Delete and leave as a red-link for a finance person to define” — do you believe that the present definition is incorrect? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:35, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Correct; I think the definition in place does not reflect how this term is used. Instead, it is tailored to match the two "one-off" citations given. --Connel MacKenzie 23:26, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I wrote that definition after reading through quite a number of b.g.c. hits for the term. I chose the two citations as the earliest limited-preview hit on b.g.c. and the most recent. (There was actually a many-way tie for most recent, so I chose the highest-ranked by b.g.c that wasn't using the term as part of the name of an institution.) Even if you think these are unrepresentative — and that's possible, as I'd never heard the term before, so had to work with what I saw on b.g.c. without relying on past impressions — I don't see that the definition can be so bad that the entire article needs to be deleted and redone. —RuakhTALK 00:49, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Wikisaurus entry

I just created wikisaurus:rapt. Could someone check it for me? (It's my first wikisaurus entry.) Is there something more I need to do? RJFJR 20:09, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

We don't (normally) include empty sections (not even in Wikisaurus, AFAIK.) The Roget's link concerns me...where did that come from, an errant Transwiki? That Appendix needs to be checked into; if it isn't a public domain source, we cannot let it stay. --Connel MacKenzie 15:08, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
I copied the format from wikisaurus:insane which was described as an exemplar. I've commented out the headigns that aren't used (in case someone has something to add to one of them). RJFJR 18:33, 30 July 2007 (UTC)


Are noun definitions 4 (# A brown colour/color of the coat of some horses.) and 8 (# (color) a reddish brown colour) really separate? Could they be combined as something like "(color) a reddish brown colour, especially the colour of the coat of some horses"? Thryduulf 09:23, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know. Did you check Wikipedia? They have a very active Colors Project over there. --EncycloPetey 09:24, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
It can mean the horse itself, not the colour ... "somebody bet on the bay ... Doo-dah,doo-dah!", but that's not clear in the definition ! -- 12:50, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Etymology of stud

stud is a name for a type of poker game (i.e. seven card stud, five card stud, etc.). Currently, the article stud has two etymologies, and I don't know to which etymology this usage belongs. As a noob can anyone direct me to a resource that might be of assistance? --Kzollman 19:41, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

It belongs under the second etymology, from a stud as used to fix something in place. In "stud" poker, you don;t get to throw away cards becuase they are stud (fixed in place). --EncycloPetey 19:41, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Kudos for the very quick reply! --Kzollman 19:44, 29 July 2007 (UTC)


Is the plural of locum (British word of Latin origin) locums? RJFJR 18:27, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

The OED doesn't give a plural, so I assume it is regular. SemperBlotto 10:19, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Locum is an informal British abbreviation of locum tenens. The plural of the latter is locum tenentes, so the plural of the former is presumably locums (not loca or whatever else). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:16, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
The Chambers Dictionary (1998) explicitly gives the plural as "locums". Thryduulf 17:11, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
That fact is now noted as a reference in the entry. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:21, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Flag: Male or Female

English nouns have the genre? Is "Flag" male or female?

English nouns do NOT have grammatical gender. SemperBlotto 10:15, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

While some English words represent only male or female objects, English adjectives and articles do not change to match the noun they are associated with. Only pronouns are affected by "inherent gender" in English. --EncycloPetey 00:58, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
It may be helpful to note that a few inanimate nouns are often personified with a set gender. Ships, once christened, are figuratively referred to with feminine pronouns, as is one's native country. I know of no such tradition with flags. Rod (A. Smith) 03:25, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The US flag is occasionally given a feminine pronoun. The song "You're a Grand Old Flag" is often written or sung as "She's a Grand Old Flag", as a Google search will testify. But you're correct, there is no general tradition of doing this. --EncycloPetey 04:49, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The ship thing is kind of old-fashioned. (That's not to say no one ever uses English's female pronouns for ships, but it's much less common than formerly.) —RuakhTALK 03:37, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

can't help

I would propose putting help verb definition 4 as a separate entry can't help Opinions please? Algrif 16:30, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

No, because the sense is not fixed to the verb can or the form can't. It can appear either positive or negative, and can appear with other auxiliary verbs like won't and shan't. (albeit rarely) --EncycloPetey 01:03, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that there is a specific sense with can't help. I can't help liking him. or simply I'm sorry, but I can't help it. are not well catered for in the entry help. I understand what you are saying, which is why I placed this question here, although I would tend to disagree with the idea that won't and other negatives give the same meaning, and the same goes for the affirmative can. (BTW, I have similar queries about can't stand and can't abide, but I will leave those for the moment and concentrate on can't help which I think is more clear cut.)Algrif 11:23, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
"I can't help how I feel." ¶ "Well, I can help how I feel; try harder. Own your emotions."
"A person can't help how they feel." ¶ "Of course they can; that they don't is another matter."
He'd gotten into a fight. Really, this time it wasn't his fault, he hadn't been able to help it — how could he watch a bully pick on a younger kid and not get involved? — but he knew his parents wouldn't believe him.
This minute of flash fiction was brought to you by Ruakh at 13:58, 1 August 2007 (UTC).
Thanks for that. What catches my attention most is the fact that, any example of can help, or (not) be able to help, meaning avoid, is found within a sentence or phrase that has already used the construction can't help meaning can't avoid. The opposite of can't help is NEVER (as far as I can see) implied by can help unless can't help has already been used. Algrif 11:59, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Minor correction. Interrogative Can I help it if he is just plain stupid? But then we have yet another definition where it means be at fault. Algrif 13:51, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
But should you create it as a separate entry, I shan't help but be confused. --EncycloPetey 18:05, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I can't help but think you made up the shan't help example. Any support for that usage? I certainly have never seen / heard it before. What is the real problem here? The fact that the meaning of help is totally dependant on a negative modal! would like doesn't seem to arouse any comment whatsoever. So it must be the negative that is making this one so difficult. Because I'm sure that no-one is really suggesting that can't help is not in common use, and that the meaning is fully dependant on the can't. What we should be doing is finding the correct way to deal with it. An entry under help loses it completely. Try finding this expression in other dictionaries!! Algrif 11:20, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
In a, so far, vain effort to see if I could find even a single example of shan't help meaning can't avoid, or prevent, I came across the following gem in Google books:- He said it was very much like saying to the President, "We can't help your having counsel, but we'll fix it so that they shan't help you much." Here, can't help means can't avoid, or prevent, while shan't help means will not aid. -- Algrif 16:38, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I've just discovered that we already have can't wait. So if you have no further objections, I will just be bold and make the entry. Thanks for your input, though. -- Algrif 16:37, 4 August 2007 (UTC)