Wiktionary:Tea room/2008/October

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← September 2008 · October 2008 · November 2008 → · (current)



I have always thought this word to mean

a.) verb- to saunter in a rainstorm i.e.) After we went watheing for a while, we decided it best to go home and dry off

b.) noun- a walk where one becomes wet/soaked with rain i.e.) She and I embraced during our wathe.

Now there has been discussion that the word "wathe" comes from latin derivitives meaning "moist" and "walk". Others beleive it be from current mixture of modern colloquialisms pertaining to wash and bathe.

What are your thoughts?

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 00:51, 1 October 2008 (UTC).

The word doesn't seem to exist. It's not in the Oxford English Dictionary Online, nor in any of the dictionaries at onelook.com, nor in UrbanDictionary; and Google Web Search and Google Book Search don't turn anything up on a cursory look-through. If it does exist, then I'd hazard that it's probably quite new, and therefore more likely a blend of walk and bathe than any sort of Latinism. —RuakhTALK 01:26, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
You probably meant wade. H. (talk) 10:06, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
There are words spelled something like that that mean "ford", "path", "harm, injury" that are UK dialect, or Old English, or Middle English. I haven't yet found something closer to what you have heard. Where would you have heard or read it? DCDuring TALK 12:42, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I would think that the ford meaning is the most likely derivation (still retained in some northern UK place-names), because one could get very wet from using these crossings (these days it is just my car that gets wet). Your usage seems like a transferred meaning from this sense of wath, but I can't find it recorded anywhere. Dbfirs 09:40, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

need help

to get around something _ _ _ _ _ _ _ E N T What is it? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 01:28, 1 October 2008 (UTC).

We have an entry for get around, and it contains the word you're looking for. —RuakhTALK 02:57, 1 October 2008 (UTC)


I don’t like the definition of the noun senses 3, 6 and 7 and the verb sense 4. They are sort of derived senses, that fit with the sense of the quotes, but aren’t really explanations of the word ‘gall’ in them itself. H. (talk) 10:03, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Galled, are you? Indeed. Perhaps we need a usage note about the connection between the gall bladder and bile and the various bilous states that galled people according to the psycho-medical theories of the time. Some of the quotes might be better on the citations page. Maybe it is even simpler than that. Gall (noun) means various shades of anger. Gall (verb) means to cause those shades of anger: irk, annoy, exasperate. I think that would allow consolidation of the senses that galled you. DCDuring TALK 12:10, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Gee, there's so many different definitions for this word. I have this as a vocabulary word, and I have no idea which one is the correct definition. Hmm, I wonder which one is most commonly used. 14:33, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't like the definition of noun sense 8; noun sense 7 is the same thing except in humans, and stated better. The quotation used for 8 is bizarrely not to the point; was it written by "armchair" horsemen? --Una Smith 05:33, 24 October 2008 (UTC)


I've done some googling and some reading about this, but most of it is just a little bit beyond my grasp. The mathematics of co-algebra seems to be related, and seems to be the study of `recursion` into the depths of a not well-founded set; however I'm not sure how distant the computing definition is. Conrad.Irwin 21:37, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

yeah or ya?

What is the correct spelling for when you want to express happiness, or excitement about something, yeah or ya? I always think of yeah as meaning yes. But ya does not seem correct either? —This comment was unsigned.

Perhaps yay. DCDuring TALK 12:35, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
As our entry states, yeah can be an expression of “joy, celebration, glee, etc.” Ya (you) is normally pronounced /jə/ (rhyming-ish with “the” and with “duh”), whereas ya (yes) is normally pronounced /ja/ (rhyming with “la”, “gah”, “saw”, and/or “far”, depending on your form of English). So far as I know, neither sense of ya is used as an interjection of happiness or excitement. —RuakhTALK 12:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
yahoo comes to mind...? --Una Smith 03:22, 4 October 2008 (UTC)


The current pronunciation given has a soft g, but I've always pronounced this word with a hard g. Similar English words with a soft g end in "-gy", not "-gey" (vide bulgy, edgy, argy-bargy), so my assumption has always been that Lewis Carroll (aware of this) used the "-gey" spelling purposefully.

Ultimately, the question comes down to how people are actually pronouncing the word, but it's not in most dictionaries, so I can't check that way. does anyone have access to audio recordings of Carroll's poem, perhaps through a local library? The only audio source I have at hand to check is the Pythonesque film Jabberwocky, based very loosely on the poem. --EncycloPetey 19:36, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

  • It is in the OED, pronunciation as given. Ƿidsiþ 20:33, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I've always used the hard g. And I am fond of reciting the poem (;-). I think it is a matter of personal choice, it is an invented nonce and used by its creator in a written work. (As against, say, "supercalifragi..." which has a canonical pronunciation from the film.) Perhaps we ought to give both alternatives? Robert Ullmann 14:51, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Carroll does give us guidance in the preface to Through the Looking Glass:
The new words, in the poem "Jabberwocky", have given rise to some differences of opinion as to their pronunciation: so it may be well to give instructions on that point also. Pronounce "slithy" as if it were the two words "sly, the": make the "g" hard in "gyre" and "gimble": and pronounce "rath" to rhyme with "bath".
but unfortunately does not mention "tulgey" there. There is more in the preface to The Hunting of the Snark, but again not about this specific word. Robert Ullmann 14:59, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Cubist Capitalized?

Cubist is currently capitalized with a redirect to it at cubism. Does this need to be capitalized? RJFJR 01:08, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Other OneLook dictionaries almost entirely have cubism and cubist lower case. Usage seems to be both ways. We don't have an easy way to count relative frequencies of upper- and lower-case forms, AFAIK. DCDuring TALK 01:18, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

New word - numberth

This new word "numberth" is like an ordinal number but its value is unknown. It is used as Adjective. When we question it with "what", its real ordinal number position is known and it will indicate its position in the ordered-sequence of numbers. Its known value will be like fourth or fifth, etc. The sequence must be in some order - that may be chronological, or seniority, size, importance, etc, order as per the context of the matter in the question. The word - Numberth doesn't mean "How many?" or "How much?"

Please read the following statements under mentioned.

1. Mr. Kennedy was the 35th president of the USA. 2. I am the fourth child in my family. 3. I am going to see this movie third time. 4. My British uncle is visiting India for the first time. 5. She is his second wife.

The straight-forward questions for the above statements are given below by using the word numberth.

1. What numberth president of the USA is Mr. Kennedy? 2. What numberth child are you in your family? 3. What numberth time are you going to see this movie now? 4. What numberth time is your British uncle visiting India now? 5. What numberth wife is she to him?

Source: Tamil Language Author: Er.S.M.M.Hanifa, Kadayanallur

—This unsigned comment was added by Hanifasmm (talkcontribs) at 11:29, 5 October 2008 (UTC).

You may be interested in [[Appendix:List of protologisms]]. —RuakhTALK 12:36, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Well it seems to already be in use in English, especially in writings about computer programming. From there it might spread. There is a particular usage that has some promise: "For the big-numberth time. ...." I had heard and said "For the nth time (where n is large) ...." repeating a phrase common in mathematical proofs. It is somewhat natural so I am almost surprised that it hasn't appeared in dialogue, supposedly spoken by a child or an uneducated native speaker. DCDuring TALK 13:49, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

chase a rainbow

I'd like to add this expression but need the help of a native speaker. What is the correct form: chase a rainbow or chasing a rainbow, what is the POS: idiom or verb? Thanks. --Panda10 12:37, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

It is a verb - should be tagged with {{context|idiom|lang=und}} —This unsigned comment was added by Jackofclubs (talkcontribs) at 15:09, 5 October 2008 (UTC).

greatest thing since sliced bread

Claims it is "sometimes used sarcastically". Any more so than other phrases in English? --Jackofclubs 15:08, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Probably not, but hard to document one way or the other. I think such comments about the "tone" of an expression almost always belong in Usage notes, if anywhere. The assumption that the "tone" in which an expression is used in one's own cultural reference group is worth recording seems common. DCDuring TALK 12:13, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't seem particularly meaningful here, at least barring evidence disproving that every expression is sometimes used sarcastically. I just don't think “sometimes” is a useful context label. Michael Z. 2008-10-07 13:43 z
I agree with your specific point. "Sometimes" is usually a low-value word in an entry, particularly a definition. Words like "rarely" and "usually" communicate something for such a phenomenon whereas "sometimes" does not. DCDuring TALK 15:58, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I've commented out the "sarcastically" bit. --Jackofclubs 17:27, 7 October 2008 (UTC)


How should English-speakers pronounce this? --Borganised 08:56, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

"Any way that others will understand," is the short answer. According to the Cambridge Pronouncing Dictionary, the UK pronunciation is /ˈvrɒt.slɑːf/, but they don't use the inverted "r" (ɹ) or its variants in their transcriptions. --EncycloPetey 23:50, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that sounds about normal. Often these days the /l/ is pronounced Polski-stylee as /w/. Ƿidsiþ 11:25, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
NOAD gives /ˈ(v)rɔ(t)slɑf/. Interestingly, it gives the English spelling as Wrocław only, with the slash-el, and Breslau is defined as the German name. Michael Z. 2008-10-09 16:20 z

Santana wind

The Santa Ana mountians lie east of the southern California LA basin. Most of the year the prevailing winds in Southern California are from the west. Winds that emanate over the ocean bring a cooling effect to the area but bring with them the negative effect of keeping the smog "locked" in the basin. Occasionally high pressure systems center to the east of the area causing the winds to reverse their normal pattern. The winds then blow from the east (the hotter desert area)over the Santa Ana Mountains, through the basin and out to sea. The result is clean, hot,dry windy conditions known as "The Santa Anas". This brings in hot weather and clean air and results in high fire danger in many areas. --Tclavey 08:30, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

In the Etymology section of this entry is a purported Spanish term "vientos de Sanatanas", for which the translation "Satan's winds" has been given. Spanish is not a language of mine, but cursory search suggests that "Satanas" would be the word. The spelling gets to the plausibility of Santana wind vs. Santa Ana wind. "Sant' Ana" is my favorite etymology, based on not much. DCDuring TALK 23:43, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

  • "Santana" is a common Spanish abbrev. of Santa Ana, and I'm sure that's the source of this term. I think the Spanish given here is probably just a mistake, since the Spanish Wikipedia article calls the phenomenon Vientos de Santa Ana. Ƿidsiþ 11:34, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Random House and MW3 (print}, the only two that have Santana or Santana wind, both favor the contraction etymology. To me this seems settled, not really disputable. The only authoritative sources that have spoken on the subject come to a conclusion that seems to fit the data I can find and a linguistically simple, unromantic conclusion. OTOH, Santana wind and probably santana/Santana seem fairly common usage and should remain or be added. DCDuring TALK 20:34, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I just realized that another entry I looked seemed to illustrate a somewhat similar phenomenon: San Diego < "Santa Iago". I want to tread carefully because evidently folks in Southern California get very excited about this. The first thing is to get the "satanic winds" etymology handled appropriately. The earliest News cites call it the "Santa Ana wind", but date only back to the early 20th century. I (or the entries) could use a little help from someone with some Spanish. DCDuring TALK 14:27, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


What is someone born in Leo called? i.e. Sagittarian is to Sagittarius as ???? is to Leo? --Borganised 11:22, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Rather disappointingly, it seems to stay unchanged. "I'm a Leo" etc. You would expect "Leonine" but it does not appear to be used in this way. Ƿidsiþ 11:30, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
    • I've found Leonian actually - but thanks for pointing me in the right direction. --Borganised 11:38, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


I know zilch about Esperanto. This entry translates itself as unagreeably. Does this word exist? (537 raw google hits) Or should the entry be modified to disagreeably? -- ALGRIF talk 15:42, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Unagreeable is in a few dictionaries. unagreeably is in one. They both look citable. Disagreeable is vastly more common. Though disagreeable is a synonym of unagreeable in Webster 1913, the sense of "disagreement" between or among people seems to leave room for unagreeable, meaning something more like distasteful or unpleasant. There were a large number of occurrences of "not unagreeably", BTW. To me the word has an old-fashioned sound. I have no idea what the Esparanto nuance is supposed to be. DCDuring TALK 16:55, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Hot or spicy?

I've been asked about the difference between hot and spicy and I have answered that they are synonyms. I've found, though, a text saying that a meal was hot and spicy. Are there any differences in their meanings? Thanks. —This comment was unsigned.

See hot#Adjective and spicy#Adjective. DCDuring TALK 21:48, 9 October 2008 (UTC) Also see hot#Synonyms. DCDuring TALK 21:58, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

To me, spicy usually means “hot” (as in pungent, peppery, piquant), but sometimes also means “spiced, fragrant, or aromatic” thanks to spices and herbs. In contrast, sweets are more often called spiced or spice in combination (e.g. spice cake), rather than spicy. I think the set phrase hot and spicy makes it clear that one means hot of taste, not in temperature, and may also imply both kinds of spicy. Michael Z. 2008-10-09 22:33 z

See also hendiadys. —RuakhTALK 20:17, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

blinde Passagier

This is the inflected form. Is there any reason it's there instead of at the non-inflected form, blinder Passagier? -- Prince Kassad 22:10, 9 October 2008 (UTC)


An IP has just created this as a redirect to pundit. 1. It might well be a real word and 2. I don't think it means pundit. Opinions please. -- ALGRIF talk 14:56, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Seems to be a misspelling of both pundit and pedant - I have already deleted the redirect. SemperBlotto 15:06, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
The bgc hits were mostly scannos or French, with one possible nautical exception. There was one misspelling there of "pundit", 5 on news, 2 on Scholar, a long way from a common one, though there was a mention that complained about "pundit" being pronounced "pundant" on US TV. DCDuring TALK 18:28, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


A request for Brits: Why are people with no mates called Billy? Maybe we should have a page Billy No-Mates too. --Jackofclubs 09:54, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

I've waited a while to see if anyone responded. Basically because I have never come across this before, and I've lived in all 4 corners of UK. -- ALGRIF talk 08:56, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
  • OK, I will respond then! Yes, this is pretty common. I have heard it lots--I used to think it was a kind of playground slang, rbut recently I've heard from people of all ages. I don't know why it's Billy no-mates rather than any other name, but there you go. It does have a certain ring to it. Also, see here for a not-very-convincing trace of the word to 1996. Ƿidsiþ 09:52, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm sure I heard this long before 1996, as I think I remember it from primary school in the mid-late 1980s. Thryduulf 15:05, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
    Indeed, a quick google has found it in a usenet post from December 1994 [1]. And a books hit [2] implies that it was used in the 1990 book "The psychology of consumer behavior" [3], but this doesn't seem to be indexed online anywhere. The hits do seem to confirm though that it is typically a children's phrase. Thryduulf 15:20, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Prince Albert

Would a Prince Albert be classed as jewlery? --Jackofclubs 08:19, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Only if you wear it in a way that people can see it. (Were you thinking of doing so?) SemperBlotto 15:41, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
  • A Prince Albert is a piercing, like a pierced ear or nose. You can wear jewellery in it, but it isn't jewellery itself, or that's how I would see it. Ƿidsiþ 15:53, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree with Widsith. This is a type of piercing, not a type of jewelry, as illustrated by the price list from my favourite piercing parlour. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 19:20, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
  • {What the hell is an Apadravya? Ƿidsiþ 07:38, 16 October 2008 (UTC))


I just read http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24486511-2,00.html and was wondering: why would you call “Taxi!” if you hear someone breaking a glass? Maybe someone can add that usage? H. (talk) 15:30, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I doubt it's a different sense; it seems to imply that if a glass breaks, someone may have had too much to drink, and they need a taxi. sewnmouthsecret 15:37, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

To fraud

Does the word 'to fraud' exist ? It is mentioned in my English workbook, but I can't find it in a dictionary. Shouldn't it be 'to defraud' ? Thanks! Vin 17:42, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

To defraud is correct. Michael Z. 2008-10-14 18:56 z
"To fraud" exists, but is definitely not preferred, not appearing in current dictionaries. It appears occasionally in some fictional dialogue, older print works, and some technical and legal works. Much better avoided. DCDuring TALK 19:02, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED} confirms that "to fraud" is an obsolete verb meaning "to defraud." The most recent quotation the OED provides for this sense is dated 1623. -- WikiPedant 19:06, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

what you call someone with a large vocabulary

I need to know what the word is that defines someone with a very large vocabulary —This comment was unsigned.

Clever?? -- But seriously, I don't think there is one single word that means that exactly, although I'm sure one of my learned colleagues will soon put me straight. -- ALGRIF talk 08:53, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
No - inteligence has nothing to do with it. The obvious answer is adult - most adults have an enormous vocabulary. But if you mean "much larger than average" - I suppose literate comes reasonable close. If you find such a person, they will probably know what the word is! SemperBlotto 08:59, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps Mr Ammon Shea could help (see this). Duncan MacCall 09:30, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm guessing you've seen that Marilyn vos Savant recently addressed this in her column, without finding an answer? —RuakhTALK 12:22, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Shakespearean would be a possibility. He had about 29,000 words at the last count. (I jest, of course) -- ALGRIF talk 15:37, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
  • logodaedalus is "someone with great word skill"....then there is sesquipedalian "using many long words". Neither of them are quite there. Words like polyloquent don't really do it either. A word like multiverbal might do the job, though whether it's ever been used like that I don't know. Ƿidsiþ 16:21, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I would think lexical would work but I don't know if that is a used sense. sewnmouthsecret 16:59, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
  • There is also vocabularian - one who knows and uses words that are beyond the comprehension of normal people --Ivan Štambuk 17:10, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Also there is the vocabulous, which Urban dictionary defines as The attribute of a large vocabulary, To have an extensive knowledge of words and their definitions., but it probably wouldn't pass CFI.. --Ivan Štambuk 17:26, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
  • ...and there is verbose. sewnmouthsecret 17:12, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
    Which in many cases will be antonymous to the speech of someone with a large vocabulary who will be able to use a single word that expresses what others would need several for. Thryduulf 19:30, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
    The ability to use one word where others would use many would likely show one having a large vocabulary, would it not? sewnmouthsecret 20:48, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
    Yes, but that is being concise not verbose. Thryduulf 21:17, 15 October 2008 (UTC)


I came across this word in an article in the journal "Nature". It looks like a mispelling of toxicology, but Google shows quite a few hits in other official documents, and scientific journals. Is it really just a common misspelling that gets through the spellcheckers? SemperBlotto 09:06, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Sure looks like it; a lot of webpages use it interchangeably with toxicology, and I don't see anything to suggest a distinct meaning. Has about 1/1000th of toxicology's web frequency (according to Google), and about 1/2000th of its frequency on b.g.c.; that seems about right for an occasional typo. Odd that it would find its way into Nature though... -- Visviva 10:36, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

banjo - verb

Apparently to banjo someone is British slang for to deck someone or kick someone's ass. Any suggestions? --Borganised 13:26, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Not just UK, I think. DCDuring TALK 14:16, 15 October 2008 (UTC) Also:

  • 1989, Susan S. M. Edwards, Policing 'domestic' Violence: Women, the Law and the State, page 95
    Admitting the assault, the husband said that he had given her a 'banjoing' but that she had asked for it.
  • 1998, "Fergie's world just gets Madar."(Sport), Sunday Mailm Jan 4, 1998
    Madar was turfed out on a final misdemeanour of banjoing one of his teammates in training before a big game
  • 2007, "Return of Smeato, the extraordinary hero", Times Online, Jul 31, 2007
    "Me and other folk were just trying to get the boot in and some other guy banjoed [decked] him”.


And just to confuse things...

  • 1949, Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, Nation's Business (p. 78)
    Informed of this, Caton's eyes banjoed bigger than ever.

- Pingku 17:59, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I wonder what that means. I'd put the above quote on the citations page at banjo. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 18:30, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
I've done that. Thanks. My guess is something like 'fluttered', but it's only a guess... - Pingku 18:59, 10 January 2009 (UTC)


Suggest a name

We are UAE based non-profit trade association, our members are companies engaged in the business of Construction equipment include Authorized distributors, independent dealers, rentals, manufacturers & related industry trade associations. Kindly suggest us a name for our organization.

Similar words

What are the similar words to Distributors or Dealers. -- 16:15, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Define the word cantacle

Hello all,

I'm stumped and wonder if anybody knows the definition of the word cantacle? If you do know and would be so kind e-mail the definition or link Thank you,


See canticle. DCDuring TALK 03:12, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

ain't- Usage notes

I believe a couple of points in the usage notes may only apply to the US, or don't apply to UK usage. For example, "This word is commonly considered non-standard and is possibly stigmatized often based on racist issues,", well I am not aware of any racial issue surrounding 'ain't' in England. Also "However, its use is common among all social classes." In England, I would say its use is not common among all social classes, it's more of (but not exclusively) a working-class thing. It sounds like 'ain't' is somehow more controversial in the US than the UK. In England, it's just part of some accents like a London accent, and sounds a bit slangy. If anyone is aware of these issues existing in the UK then I would be interested to know about it. Kaixinguo 20:13, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you, I know of no racial connotations to "ain't" in the UK. It is a feature of some dialects more than others - I head it far more in Yorkshire than in Somerset for example. It's a slang word that isn't considered proper, at least in middle and upper class speech, although I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it's working class. Thryduulf 11:36, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
I think that "ain't" is just a focal point for broader concerns about dialectal English in the US, which are somewhat associated with race and with education policy and practice. Although ain't is used in AAVE, it is also used in dialects of mostly white speakers. As statistics suggest, we don't seem to have enough US users, especially contributors, to be well covered with respect to US regional dialects and slang. DCDuring TALK 12:15, 25 October 2008 (UTC)


Does anyone know the latin word for step? As in "to take a step" or "a journey begins with a single step." —This comment was unsigned.


"Sounding horribly." Granted it's fairly obscure, but rather a nice word I think. Would be nice to see it included. What do people think? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:12, 18 October 2008 (UTC).

It definitely meets our criteria for inclusion. —RuakhTALK 14:28, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

plural of denarius?

What is the plural of denarius? RJFJR 14:04, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Denarii and denariuses are both attested, with the former being much more common. (I listed both in the entry, but actually I'm not sure if denariuses even warrants mention there.) I couldn't find any evidence for plural use of denarius, nor for denari in this sense, but neither would shock me. —RuakhTALK 14:36, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

"in the weeds"

I've seen this several times in print by professional cooks meaning "behind in work" or "overwhelmed", but the other day I heard it on NPR to describe McCain's trailing presidential campaign. But I'm not sure where to put this weeds, in the weeds? RJFJR 15:11, 19 October 2008 (UTC)


Acvot. To our new regeim in the u.s —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).


why does all these easy word get sentnese and noot harder words like disposition! why i really need help and a sentces would help!thanks, from, confused and annoyed

—This unsigned comment was added by (UTC) (talkcontribs) at 20:59, 21 October 2008.


can someone discribe how the four processes in the formation of a protein —This unsigned comment was added by Guyselman (talkcontribs) at 00:47, 22 October 2008.

You'll likely have better luck over at the reference desk; Wikipedia has articles like protein biosynthesis which might be useful to you as well. grendel|khan 20:05, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Seeking Turkish speaker

Could someone please verify the following Turkish sayings: "it havlar, kervan gider" or "it ürür, kervan gecser". I have no idea if the spelling is correct, but they are supposed to mean "the dog barks, the caravan proceeds". Some sources say the Hungarian saying a kutya ugat, a karaván halad came from the Turkish saying. Thanks. --Panda10 23:01, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

You might ask User:Sinek, who speaks Turkish. --EncycloPetey 20:00, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
The first phrase is correct, the second phrase should be "İt ürür, kervan yürür". "it ürür, kervan gecser" is a misspelling of "it ürür, kervan geçer" which is a misquote of the Turkish Proverb "İt ürür, kervan yürür." Hope that helped! --numbeast


Etymology looks incorrect to me; at the very least, there would be an intermediate Latin etymon.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:20, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I added Latin, and there's more at etymonline.[4] Michael Z. 2008-10-23 20:56 z


Feb 9 -35

red rag to a bull

I wish to make an entry for this expression. The problem is that it does not always occur as "like a red rag...", and the entire phrase is too complex to be called a noun. (Or is it?) What does anyone suggest? -- ALGRIF talk 14:59, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd put the entry at red rag to a bull, with a redirect from like a red rag to a bull. As for the header, "Phrase" or "Idiom" perhaps? Thryduulf 22:58, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I was thinking of something like that, except that these headers are now deprecated, AFAIK. At least, they no longer appear in WT:ELE -- ALGRIF talk 12:14, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Seems nounish enough to me (although I think one could be forgiven for using "Idiom" in this context). "Rag" is the head of the phrase, and both "red" and "to a bull" (="as perceived by a bull"?) are just specifying attributes of the rag. -- Visviva 12:26, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
OK I'll take both your advices (this word really ought to be countable ;-)). Then if anyone disagrees, they can edit it as they see fit. Cheers. -- ALGRIF talk 12:50, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
On checking further, I find that red rag without the "bull" is used a lot with the same meaning. This would make red rag to a bull the secondary etymology, and so now simply a special case. -- ALGRIF talk 13:04, 25 October 2008 (UTC)


Are all these noun senses really distinct? Thryduulf 11:32, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, the nautical sense and the working-group sense are definitely distinct IMO. The theatrical sense doesn't have much support in the other dictionaries I looked at (RHU, MQ, WN), but it seems as distinct in its own right as the nautical sense. In both theater and sailing, "the crew" is *the* crew, a specific entity not requiring further definition, whereas in more general use it is simply *a* crew -- the B&G crew, the repair crew, my crew -- one of many possible groupings of people. -- Visviva 12:20, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
I added the sense of loose social grouping. Such groups can be capable of working on a common task (getting into a fight, raising money for a good cause), but don't usually. I don't see the theatrical sense as really distinct from, say, a logging sense, both of which seem to fall under sense 2. To me there is some kind of shared purpose, but somewhat distinguishable kinds: shared tangible piece of equipment, shared task or project, shared potential to act as a unit. I can't think of words that would allow fewer senses. DCDuring TALK 12:53, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
I've started Appendix:Dictionary notes/crew for our entertainment and edification... Only the OED has anything resembling the theatrical sense. And yet, I can't help but think that "crew" (="not cast") is at least as important a distinction as "crew" (="not officers"), which gets a separate sense in 3 of the 9 dictionaries I surveyed. -- Visviva 15:30, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for very interesting and well-presented e&e. An excluding-leadership sense seems important. The idea that there can be multiple sections of the total complement operating a piece of equipment (eg, flight crew, cabin crew) is also worth capturing for completeness. I am disappointed in myself for having forgotten the hip-hop sense (roughly synonymous with "posse"), despite living in the self-proclaimed hip-hop capital of the world, though it is not really distinct from the older sense. I also think that that older social-group sense is often pejorative as a few of the dictionaries indicate or perhaps jocular. I have never liked definitions with narrow contexts that differed little in substance from definitions in other contexts, but the cost in loss of concreteness and vigor in the wording of a general, multi-context definition can be high. DCDuring TALK 16:21, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I've done a bit of work on this now, though I'm not sure it is really in any better shape than when I started. I found on close inspection that both the theatrical and quasi-nautical senses can refer either to a certain type of group (plural "crews") or to a member or members of the group (plural, and rare singular, "crew"). It seemed like this was too much information to pack into a single sense line, so I have split both of these senses for now (having first attempted to unsplit the quasi-nautical sense before realizing what a mess that would create). If anyone has a better idea, please jump in. Thankfully this does not seem to apply to any of the other senses.-- Visviva 15:12, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
    These could be merged by adding “or a member of such a crew,” but then it may not be explicit how the respective plurals are formed. Michael Z. 2008-10-30 15:31 z
    A usage note regarding the plurals would probably be a good idea in that situation. Thryduulf 17:45, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
    Well, in addition to the plurals, these two senses (or aspects of a sense?) have will have different synonyms (sailor, hand, crewer vs. ship's company, staff) and frequently different translations... I expect that would apply to the dramatic sense(s) as well, though I'm less familiar with that case. -- Visviva 02:59, 31 October 2008 (UTC)


Is ther a sense for trail meaning to use as bait or offer as bait? (Might be a primarily british use.) RJFJR 22:42, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

could this be to drag something odoriferous (like a red herring!) to train or mislead a scent-following hunting animal? DCDuring TALK 23:03, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Here's the cite: Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives (It's a spy/horror novel, the laundry is a nickname for a secret agency. I checked: the author is British):
"It's you they're after. As long as you're here in a laundry safe house they can't get to you. But if we trail you in front of them, ... , we might be able to draw them out."
It seems like a figurative extension of the second sense of trail, more specifically the sense I suggested above (Owww! [pulled muscle patting myself on the back]). I would definitely put the citation on the citation page. I don't think the usage is particularly UK, but the UK has reputedly had better spies-on-the-ground than the US. The question is whether it would be better to have:
  1. a figurative sense of "trail" which would be closer to the use above, but not include purpose
  2. an extension of sense 2 incorporating purpose, but remaining concrete, physical about the "trail".
  3. a sense specific to the usage illustrated.
  4. more than one of the above.
I think I prefer having both 1 and 2, but not 3. DCDuring TALK 19:41, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I would gloss this as dangle, which is somewhat different from what we have at sense 2 currently (though the senses are certainly related). Supporting cites for something like this: [5], [6], [7]. Seems likely to be derived from the angling sense, in which one trails a lure behind a boat. -- Visviva 15:33, 30 October 2008 (UTC)


It's also a French name meaning transom (architectural). 01:38, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for this, I've added a French section to imposte and the French translation at transom. You may wish to take a look at these and check I've understood you correctly, as I don't speak French myself. Thryduulf 11:07, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I think that French imposte means fanlight, and that the French for transom is either croisillion or meneau. What does French Wiktionary have to say? SemperBlotto 11:25, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know any of these words in French or English, but to answer your question, [[fr:imposte]] has three definitions, roughly:
  1. (Woodworking) The fixed upper portion of a door or window, that lessens the height of the moving portions.
  2. (By extention) The fixed glass portion of a door or wall, that's intended to give daylight to a dark room.
  3. (Architecture) The last stone of the upright of a door or arcade, that sticks out over the other stones and is usually somewhat decorated.
[[fr:croisillion]] is a redlink, but I'm guessing you mean [[fr:croisillon]], which has three definitions, roughly:
  1. A crossbar, the horizontal bar of a cross.
  2. (By analogy) An arm of the transept of a church.
  3. Pieces of wood or iron, arranged in a cross shape, across a bay (??) or frame of a window, which hold the panes.
[[fr:meneau]] has one definition, roughly:
  1. (Architecture) A wood, stone, or iron upright or crossbar that divides an opening to form a cross shape.
Hopefully those translations are sufficiently accurate and clear that y'all can figure out the right English translations. (You can also click the links; there are helpful images for some of the senses.)
RuakhTALK 18:45, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

some queries??

Hi there.I've some questions.I hope I'll be helped out.What's the plural of crux?What's the difference between instant and moment?Suggest me the most appropriate synonym for 'moment'.Moreover what is a hairpin curve?Are hairpin curve and hairpin turn the same.Moreover what's the meaning of short in electricity?Thanks. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).


There's a fair chunk missing from this entry. Like an adjective part for a start. --Jackofclubs 14:43, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I added the adjective and preposition, but better somebody check it after me. --Duncan MacCall 15:23, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not seeing the difference between these two senses:
  1. No longer existing.
    The days of my youth are gone.
  2. Used up.
    I'm afraid all the coffee's gone at the moment.
msh210 20:06, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
In the first sense the thing has finished or passed with time, without anybody's action, while in the second sense somebody must have done something to make the thing "gone". --Duncan MacCall 22:41, 29 October 2008 (UTC)


Is sense 4 (terrorist, slang) real, or perhaps only restricted to fiction and video games? A quick search finds a bunch of schlocky-looking novels, one historical reference to charlie tango (CT) for “communist terrorist”,[8] and one non-military book.[9] Michael Z. 2008-10-27 20:02 z


Is yay as an adverb really comparable? Thryduulf 22:19, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't think so. A pain to get confirmation, though. Other pointing adverbs seem to be: "Did he do it the way I do?" "No, more thusly." But not the closer parallel so ("He was about so high"), AFAIcT. DCDuring TALK 22:48, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think so. (And shouldn't it be {{misspelling of|yea}}, anyway?) —RuakhTALK 02:48, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
It is possible, but this pointing sense is not clearly in any OneLook dictionary def or "yea", except possibly something from compact Oxford. I have heard "so" and "yo" with the same meaning. This needs a slang dictionary and/or OED. DCDuring TALK 03:07, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Huh, whaddaya know? the OED Online has it only under "yay", and only in the phrases "yay big" and "yay high". (It considers it U.S. slang, and gives "yea" only as a probable etymology.) *is shocked* —RuakhTALK 17:12, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
It's interesting; a b.g.c. search for "about yea high" vs. "about yay high" (precise enough to filter out most of the gunk) goes 2:1 for "yea"; but the same search on the Web goes about 2:1 for "yay." I find the "yay" spelling bizarre for this sense, but I guess people are using it... {{alternative spelling of|yea}} (keeping the main entry at "yea") seems most plausible, at least until the world of print begins to follow the example of the illiterate online multitudes -- which I fear is just a matter of time. -- Visviva 15:40, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
CONDESCENDING,asalweiz. -- —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).
I try, thanks. -- Visviva 10:12, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I would have thought so too, but NOAD has “yay2 (also yea)” for this sense. It has a separate etymology “1960s: probably a variant of the adverb YEA1.”
To me it sounds quaint and old, so it should be spelled yea, but it turns out to be relatively new and probably seldom written, so the phonetic yay is a more common form. Michael Z. 2008-10-30 16:08 z
The truly illiterate just say it. Most dictionaries don't have it defined in this sense at either yea or yay. In the US aye is more common for voting than yea; we have yes-men (and nay-sayers, but not so many yea-sayers. Yea may already be archaic, yea, obsolete. DCDuring TALK 16:18, 30 October 2008 (UTC)


Is there a scientific word for liquidy - for example the consistency of custard or maybe jello or possibly half-melted butter - which is kinda liquid and kinda solid. --Borganised 11:33, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

I think this will do as I remember it from Junior Cert Science. To the best of my knowledge a solid that i "sloppy" or "liquidy" like custard or yoghurt is said to be non-crystalline (not sure about the hyphenation though, you'd need to search b.g.c. or something to find whether a hyphen is often used or not.--50 Xylophone Players talk 11:40, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
I found amorphous as a result of a non-crystalline search, which might be what I want, but it has a complicated definition - even w:simple:amorphous solid wasn't simple enough for me - I did the Junior Cert Science too, and I remember the teacher saying how glass wasn't really a solid (What? of course it is solid!!) and we mentioned custard too, and maybe treacle or something like that.

Anyway, I also found gloopy and slushy and mushy (all great words in their own right) for non-scientific terms which seem to be synonyms. --Borganised 12:07, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

  • The word you are looking for is semiliquid. Custard, I seem to remember, is a thixotropic liquid - if you add just a little milk to the Bird's custard powder and mix it, then it becomes almost solid when you pause the mixing. SemperBlotto 12:16, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Viscous? Ƿidsiþ 12:17, 30 October 2008 (UTC)



  • Yes. (and you don't need to ask the same question in two different places) SemperBlotto 17:19, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

meaning of French verb "borner"?

See above. I found the word "bornee" (with accent on 1st e) in a mathematical text and don't know what it means.-- 17:50, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

  • bornée is the feminine of the adjective borné - I think it means having a limit (in a mathematical context). SemperBlotto 17:54, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Thanks. However, the context is "sur toute partie bornée" - so what could this mean? "On each bounded part"? "On each closed part"?-- 18:02, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
      • It means "bounded on each side" (or each part? something of the kind). Equinox 18:04, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

correct use of the word: feral

can you use the word feral to describe wind...(it may also be relevant that this is in reference to a poem)

Poet's are licensed to push the limits of the language. Natural phenomena have long been viewed as like animals or even as animals (or people or Gods). To call a wind feral is to remind us of the feeling of being at the mercy of a powerful, unlistening beast. DCDuring TALK 20:23, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Citations:if, as and when

What would be the best POS header for this? -- Visviva 04:00, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd go with "Phrase". -- WikiPedant 05:48, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
In its main use it looks like a conjunction to me. I've just included it as an alternative form when, as, and if you pull the trigger and enter it. DCDuring TALK 11:38, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, Visiva's citations look, in the main, like adverbial usages to me. But each of these terms can serve as multiple parts of speech, so in combination who knows exactly what the official POS is. I still say the only circumspect way out is "Phrase." (BTW, Visviva -- I'd be inclined to put these quotations on the main entry page, not in one of those separate "Citations" gulag subpages. It is still permissible and desirable to include one or two or three telling quotations on the main page, to support the definition. After all, the meaning is the use, and hence good usage examples belong in the definition directly illuminating the meaning, especially in the case of oddball expressions like this.) -- WikiPedant 23:53, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Washingtonian proper

Is Washingtonian a proper noun or a common one? (As usual properness confuses me). RJFJR 16:38, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

A common noun. The issue is a bit thorny, but [[Appendix:English proper nouns]] gives some guidance. —RuakhTALK 18:19, 31 October 2008 (UTC)