Wiktionary:Tea room/2009/February

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← January 2009 · February 2009 · March 2009 → · (current)


Browsing Category:Icelandic declension templates I've found that there's not the template kvk sb dóttir for the irregular noun dóttir and its compounds. How can I add it? Thanks. --Pharamp 17:30, 2 February 2009 (UTC) edited 13:16, 3 April 2009 (UTC) by Ruakh (talkcontribs) to change [[Category:Icelandic declension templates]] to [[:Category:Icelandic declension templates]]

I'll put this here for reference. --BiT 04:12, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

God's grace & mercy

Please explain God's Grace and God's Mercy—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 17:59, 2 February 2009.

Might I recommend one of the following articles at Wikipedia, an encyclopedia, which will be better equipped to deal with such a weighty question than a dictionary will? w:Divine Mercy, w:Divine grace, w:Prevenient grace, w:Irresistible grace, w:Actual grace.—msh210 18:02, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Also try the article w:Jesus for more help. w:God will also help. God Bless you.--God'sGirl94 14:57, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

inverse definition request

What is this thing called? Informally, it's a stripper, or so the workers at a blood drive I visited recently told me, but they didn't know what its real name is.—msh210 18:36, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

If it is "a surgical instrument for stripping the periosteum from bone", then it is a "stripper", according to FreeDictionary.com, which has Elsevier Saunder's veterinary dictionary. Many more impressive sounding surgical terms are taken from French, so an answer might be among French translations of stripper. DCDuring TALK 20:11, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
No, it's a device used to clamp together an infusion (IV) tube and/or to roll the tube through the device so that anything in the tube gets pushed down along the tube to the end. (Or something like that, anyway.)—msh210 21:56, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Someone at Wikipedia's reference Desk has confirmed that it's really called a stripper, not just informally.—msh210 18:06, 3 February 2009 (UTC)


What is the exact eytomology for 'Horologii'? If my badly-patched-together knowledge of Greek serves, the suffix is like 'logy', like a study of X, but pluralised; I think, anyway. I don't know what the 'Horo' means exactly; does it mean time or clock or hour?

Thanks. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 01:51, 3 February 2009 (UTC).

In Greek, the noun ώρα means "time" or "hour" (depending on context) and the verb λέγω means "say" or "tell". The ending of horologii, however, is Latin. According to my limited knowledge of this language, it is the genitive of horologium, "clock"; it comes from the Greek ωρολόγιον, which means the same thing (literally "something that tells the time").
The most common usage of Horologii seems to be in astronomy, referring to stars in the constellation Horologium (e.g. Alpha Horologii, meaning "Alpha of Horologium"). The Duke of Waltham 17:55, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

-fest (suffix)

I see that actionfest has just passed RFV, and I was going to add an entry for the suffix -fest. But not sure what part of speach, and it's difficult to come up with a definition. I had in mind something based on festivities, such as Summerfest. Any ideas and suggestions. --Dmol 07:51, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Just "Suffix" should be OK for the POS... IMO this should have both the literal "festival" definition and the more colloquial "something characterized by a superabundance of X" sense. Not quite sure how best to word that second one (as found in snoozefest, slugfest, actionfest, jokefest, etc.). -- Visviva 08:22, 3 February 2009 (UTC)


hello am new to this site...

my boyfriend, who hails from Bristol, was astonished by my use of a word he thought did not exist, but which came from my childhood days in the North Midlands, when I asked my son to "stop mithering him" for sweets....

have looked it up on this excellent site, and found some wonderful derivations of it...amazingly, as well, it could even come from Welsh origins, which is fantastic, as I am currently living in Wales...

does anyone else use this term/have knowledge of its usage??

Witchy —This unsigned comment was added by Witchy (talkcontribs) 09:00, 3 February 2009 (UTC).

The word is a variant of moider and moither, and also exists in Manx and Irish as well as Welsh, so my guess is that it has a Celtic origin, though I have no proof. Dbfirs 21:40, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

What is "Fañhes" or "Faiches" - a form of vegetable crop which appears in a Herefordshire will, written in English dated 1531?

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the crop being named by the abbreviation "fañhes" or the word "faiches" which appears in an English will from Herefordshire dated 1531? I have scans of the original if my transcription is in doubt.

Not me. But could you perhaps provide a bit more of the context in which the word appears? What leads you to conclude that it is a vegetable crop? -- Visviva 12:09, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Not me either, but see [[faenum]].—msh210 17:51, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

"Item: I wyll & beqe[a]th my hole croppe now sowen in the felds bothe of whete rye barly pesey otts benes & [fañhes/faiches] w[ith] my hole falow now falowed the lords rent for so muche thereof payed & ii acres above bequethed w[ith] the hyred lands onely excepte..." six out of the seven words are the names of grains or vegies I can recognize....

I am no expert, but I think this fañhes/faiches is problem a twist on the french word "fraise" which means strawberry or perhaps the word "fraîche" which means fresh. :)

What's a word meaning to walk reluctantly?

I know there is one and I know what it is, but I can not for my life remember it. I am grateful to any one who can and is willing to tell me of it, or wish me luck in my quest. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:41, 3 February 2009 (UTC).

Indeed, good luck. Might you be thinking of trudge?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:43, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I can think of an idiom, but not a single word: drag one's feet. There are plenty of words for slow walking and procrastination. DCDuring TALK 20:31, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
drag one's feet can also be drag one's heels. Slow, awkward walking, as if hanging back, can be slouch, shuffle, or shamble, but these do not necessarily imply reluctance. Equinox 21:10, 3 February 2009 (UTC)


Do we have a context label for {{context|canon law}}? The entry for metropolis needs one…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:48, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Might it predate "canon law". Is "canon law" what it is called in eastern christian churches? It does seem limited to christianity and have fairly broad application within christianity. DCDuring TALK 19:16, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
You’d have to ask Verbo, the user who added it.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:41, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

New "no entry" page

I like the new "no entry" page (I mean the page that comes up when you look up a word we don't have). It seems quite a bit more concise and clearer. Perhaps this will go a little way to stop people adding Britney Spears to Wiktionary every other day. Equinox 21:23, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

etnisk udrensning

It was listed with a "noun phrase" POS header, which I changed to "noun". Please see its talk page.—msh210 18:06, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

I changed it to noun phrase in the first place, not realizing that noun phrases are deprecated. Danish has some combined nouns, like "golden retriever" that is inflected like other nouns (golden retriever, -en, -e), but "etnisk udrensning" behaves differently. So I propose to classify it as a phrase. – Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 18:35, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Isn't that somewhat analogous to singulare tantum vs. singularia tantum, and also attorney general vs. attorneys general? These are all listed as mere nouns. __meco 10:13, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, yes it is somewhat analogous; but "singulare tantum" is latin, and "attorney general" is a long time attested noun, and further more attorney generals is an accepted alternative plural form. "Etnisk udrensning" has taken a new specific meaning by influence from ethnic cleansing, since about 1990. It is not yet in any dictionaries, so no help there. To me it feels wrong to label it as a noun, thats all. – Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 14:19, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Basically, although for linguistic purposes separating phrases for single words is relevant, for our lexicographical purpose, it is not (and this applies to all languages and POS's). Circeus 04:43, 10 February 2009 (UTC)


I keep hearing a different British meaning mentioned. But all I can find in dictionaries is an alternate sense of “related to land forces”, for the adjective.

Is a US or North America tag on sense 1 correct? Is sense 2 differentiated by dialect? Michael Z. 2009-02-07 04:44 z

Is this really an adjective with separate meaning, or just attributive use of the noun? --EncycloPetey 05:11, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Are you referring to just the one sense? Doesn't the etymology and usage history suggest that the adjective came first. The noun doesn't have the differentiated senses that the adjective seems to, according to other dictionaries. DCDuring TALK 10:10, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

I have added senses, but this needs finer editing. DCDuring TALK 10:10, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

technique vs technic

Hi, what is best term to refere to a surgical procedure: technique or technic? and what is the plural? Thanks, Carlos.—This comment was unsigned.

I'd go with technique(s). Though they are synonymous in some senses, technique is more common (~50X) and more widely understood. DCDuring TALK 18:03, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Carlos. --Jcsau 21:55, 8 February 2009 (UTC)


An inflection table was added, showing plural forms of mælk (Danish for milk), but the inflection line says "uncountable". That is confusing. Retskrivningsordbogen [1] has no plural for mælk. (mælk -en.) – Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 18:40, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Same goes for Norwegian melk. We must refer to "different kinds of melk", not "different melker". The inflection for plural is nevertheless included. The Norwegian Bokmålsordboka[2] also shows no plural for melk. (melk or mjølk -a or -en) __meco 19:29, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
My mistake. I have corrected it now. Kinamand 09:45, 17 February 2009 (UTC)


The Tea room seems especially appropriate albeit oversized for this usage tempest. There had been some 19th century disapproval of "firstly", but by 1926 Fowler dismissed it. More recently, some view "firstly", "secondly", etc as too formal for, say, business writing, but essential for scholarly writing. Others only seek consistency: "First", "Second",.... or "Firstly". "Secondly", ...., but not deQuincey's preferred "First", "Secondly", .... Our entry expends a lot of space on this. Can't it be simplified. DCDuring TALK 18:49, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

I fiddled around with it a bit, though I'm afraid it now takes up a bit more space (but with more whitespace, and hopefully a somewhat more logical flow). Could use a citation for de Quincey (is it one of these?) -- and for Fowler too if it's handy. Would be curious to know what the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage has to say. B.g.c rocks! IMO our entry should cover all of the points in the MWDEU entry, in our own way of course. -- Visviva 06:41, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I would suggest removing the proscribed tag. I am not a native English speaker, but having come across the word in two texts (the link comprises both of them) of Monseigneur Richard Williamson who is a native Brit from the XXI. century and commands one leading organisation of study of Sanctus Thomas Aquinas I am completely persuaded that the word is in circulation amongst the highly educated English speakers and if the common-or-garden-variety speakers sunder from or shun its use this should not be an argument in the current consideration nor stir up obfuscation for the users cherishing literary English. I exhort abolishing the proscribed tag. One must not be proscribed from utilising elevated expressions. Does anyone disprove the removal? Bogorm 10:51, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I think that would be fine. "Disputed" might be a better tag, but having no tag at all is probably the best solution; the usage note is close at hand anyway. -- Visviva 11:17, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Done. Methinks the issue is resolved and rft is no more needed, is it? Bogorm 09:55, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Seeking a word

I'm looking for the English word which means '(formal, disapproving) trying too hard to please sb, especially sb who is important'. Thanks in advance! Vin 13:43, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Would ingratiating do? --Duncan 14:02, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Sycophantic, obsequious, and servile all sound about right.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:07, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Obsequious gives the synonyms: fawning, ingratiating, servile, slavish, sycophantic, truckling. Pingku 16:16, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
There are also oleaginous, smarmy, unctuous. --EncycloPetey 16:53, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Not to mention bootlicking!!!, fawning, toadyish. I like "sycophantic" most of all. DCDuring TALK 17:15, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Didn't he say informal?

Name for this individual:

-- Thisis0 20:10, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

duteous (just came across)? Is it widespread in contemporary English? (Note that Webster 1913 mentions another meaning as well: Fulfilling duty; dutiful) Bogorm 22:52, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
I can't recall ever having encountered duteous, but I think it lacks the "disapproving" connotation sought by the OP. -- Visviva 12:24, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Word ordering question

Sorry for being so confused... but here I go with this.

  • The classes are only taught on Monday afternoons.
  • The classes are taught only on Monday afternoons.
  • The classes are taught on Monday afternoons only.
  • The only classes are taught on Monday afternoons.

What's the correct phrasing for it, i.e. to say the classes are just taught on a Monday, and are not available on any other days? --AnthonySymphony 11:55, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

The first three sentences have the same meaning, as I read them, and differ only in emphasis. I would tend to prefer #3 as putting the emphasis most squarely on what I think you want to emphasize, namely that these classes are not available on other days. The fourth sentence is actually making an assertion about all classes (e.g. all classes offered by a school or program), which is probably not what you want to say. -- Visviva 12:22, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Visviva, except: The first sentence has the same meaning as the second and third only in informal speech. I would not write it in a formal context to mean that (or to mean anything else, for that matter). This is because a stickler might misunderstand it as meaning that the classes are only taught — but not taken, say — on Monday afternoons.—msh210 19:52, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Sentences 1 and 2 could both have that same pedantic meaning (#2: "the classes are taught only on Monday afternoons; they are not recorded then"). Perhaps even #3, but it would be a stretch. I think, to anybody who is just trying to get meaning from the utterance, they would all mean the same thing but #4 would have a different aspect (#1,2,3: "there are some classes, and they are taught on Monday afternoons but never at another time"; #4: "the only classes that exist at all are the ones that are taught on Monday afternoons"). Equinox 01:37, 10 February 2009 (UTC)


Is treaded considered substandard in the UK? It is just lower frequency (except in tread water) in the US. DCDuring TALK 17:14, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Judging from tread in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913 this word must have been not only substandard, but nonexistent in the USA as well. Since I am sceptical towards all things which are more recent than 100 years, I support firmly the usage note as a kind of discouragement for the reader against the use of the non-standard neologistic forms. Bogorm 19:52, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Re: "I am sceptical towards all things which are more recent than 100 years": Does that mean you now support the Arabic script for Tajik? :-)   —RuakhTALK 03:13, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

drift off

This has three intransitive and two transitive senses listed (as of this writing). Seems to me the transitive senses are SoP rather than real phrasal verbs. Citations given for the transitive sentences are if she saw crumbs on the dinner-table her mind drifted off the conversation and Men drifted off the verandah in pairs, which both seem to me to be drifted + prepositional phrase. What think you all?—msh210 18:09, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

So it seems to me too.
Was Msh210 not the one who suggested that, for idioms that had plausible non-idiomatic interpretations as well as the idiomatic one(s), the literal be included for contrast? That has seemed sensible to me most (nearly all?) of the time, especially since common sense usually prevents folks from doing really silly things. However, where there are many plausible non-idiomatic readings this could, in principle, lead to an entry for an idiom in which the single idiomatic sense was buried in plausible non-idiomatic readings that were mostly repetitions of some polysemic words' definitions.
Phrasal verbs pose a problem analogous to the one posed by idioms. There are often both phrasal and non-phrasal readings of the head(multi)word, which arguably should be contrasted for the benefit of (advanced?) language learners. Because phrasal verbs contain both common verbs and prepositions, both of which are often highly polysemic, there is even more potential for obscuring the phrasal senses among contrasting non-phrasal senses. DCDuring TALK 18:50, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I did suggest that, but am not sure to what extent I still agree with it. As DCDuring says, and as I said, it often makes sense; but the problem DCDuring mentions really is a problem. Perhaps a note ("sometimes this is merely A + B") can be placed on the page instead? (That would work for all cases, I think, not only those that would be inundated with literal senses.) It can be placed s.v =Usage notes=, I think, since it is one, or as a pseudo-sense (by which I here mean: on a numbered line, in a POS section, but with only the one line per POS no matter how many senses are meant by the SoP).—msh210 19:00, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Would a template {{usage note}} (or something) inserting boilerplate text including a link to [[idiom]] or [[phrasal verb]] be appropriate? "idiom" and "phrasal verb" could be parameters, which would allow for other applications. DCDuring TALK 19:17, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I think a templatified usage note indicating the existence of SoP senses not listed is a grand idea. Not template:usage note, since there are lots of other usage notes that can be (and have been) templatified: see special:prefixindex/template:en-usage. Perhaps template:en-usage-sum-senses-too or en-usage-phrasal or some such?—msh210 18:34, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I had the same thought about the transitive usages (that they are SoP-ish), even as I was adding these senses and the quotations to this entry. But I decided to stick with them for two reasons: (1) it's not 100% clear where exactly an idiomatic usage shades into a literal one--strictly, I doubt anyone mentioned in any of the quotations is literally drifting, and (2) the construct ("drift off"), with all its varied shades, is well set in the language. -- WikiPedant 21:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
After further consideration, I edited the entry to remove the transitive senses and their accompanying quotations. I added one new quotation, showing intransitive usage, for sense2. The transitive usages probably were unvarnished SoP, and are not recognized as distinct senses of a phrasal verb by other dictionaries. -- WikiPedant 23:52, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

(after edit conflict with news that specific issue is moot, though general one remains)

"Drifting" has figurative meanings. "Off" has many more figurative than literal meanings, if such a distinction has any meaning at all for prepositions and adverbs. The literal/figurative distinction is not part of WT:CFI. We have no specific working definition that distinguishes includable phrasal verbs from non-includable collocations of the same words. We rely on the rules and guidelines for idioms.
The entry for "drift off" does not have all its varied shards. It has three or five. MWOnline shows 6/12 senses/subsenses for "drift" (verb), 5/11 for "off" (adverb), and 4/7 for "off" (preposition). I would expect more than five from among the 216 SoP combinatorial possibilities, not to mention the additional idiomatic ones.
If entries for phrasal verbs have value it would be precisely because they highlight a distinctive combination of senses of the component words by excluding senses that are directly derivable from the general senses of the components. I could see that it might take a language learner a long time to put together the right sense of "set" with the right sense of "out" or "upon".
The OneLook dictionaries have only one sense of "drift off", an intransitive sense meaning "fall asleep gradually". DCDuring TALK 00:17, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
All true, but I'm moving on for now. The WT entry is now superior to any entry for this term which I can find in any other dictionary. (The OED, curiously, has no entry at all for "drift off," not even under "drift" where it does mention drift around, by, in, out, and apart.) -- WikiPedant 00:37, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
The senses not related to sleep seem like a verb + an adverb and, contrary to their context label, not idiomatic. DCDuring TALK 03:06, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I admit I tend to have a lower idiomaticity threshold than some, but it seems to me that all senses pass the Egyptian Pyramid and In Between tests. The most general sense of "drift" (v.) is to be carried in a current or to move aimlessly. All these senses imply more specific sorts of situations and, hence, satisfy Egyptian Pyramid. And it would be unnatural to insert another word between "drift" and "off" when the expression has these senses, satisfying In Between. -- WikiPedant 06:04, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Our current three senses are intransitive: "to fall asleep gradually", "to become inattentive", and "to depart slowly". Of these, I doubt the second. The citation for it is "He ... let his mind drift off", which I think is the "depart slowly" sense. Can anyone find good citations for the second sense? Of the remaining senses, the first is definitely not SoP, whereas the third seems to be, since drift means "move slowly" (first verb sense) and off means "away" (first adverb sense). That leaves us with the first sense only, as DCDuring says the OneLook dictionaries have.—msh210 18:34, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Having mulled this over a bit and checked with other sources, I think that "drift off" has only the one phrasal verb sense. That of "falling asleep". The analysis that "drift" = "move slowly" + "off" = "away" being SoP is correct. (C.f. walk, run, stumble, tiptoe, etc, + "off") However, "to become inattentive" needs a bit more thought on my part. At the moment I think it is the same as "depart slowly", as Msh210 suggests. But let's research some cites before finalising the decision.
    Referring to the idea of including literal definitions or notes about literal definitions being possible; in my opinion I think this is unnecessary and would make many phrasal verb entries unreadable. I do, still, advocate a "phrasal verb" template which would give the possibility of 1) standardising the inflections, 2) allowing a sub-header stating that it is a phrasal verb, and 3) adding the category automatically. -- ALGRIF talk 13:54, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
    I detect an emerging micro-consensus. DCDuring TALK 15:51, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I hope we can agree to strike and revise the entry? I have taken the bull by the horns, anyway. -- ALGRIF talk 13:43, 3 March 2009 (UTC)


commodify has a quotation that uses a template called quote-news that doesn't seem to meet the formatting guidelines for quotations. Or are there special guidelines for the formatting of newspaper quotes that I'm not aware of? - dougher 02:40, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

It's supposed to meet the formatting guidelines, though sometimes it can be a bit difficult to figure out what those are. In fact automated formatting compliance is the whole point of the templates.  :-/ I'm not seeing the issue, though; what part of WT:QUOTE is it violating? -- Visviva 03:37, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps it isn't violating anything because there are no examples there of what a newspaper article quote should look like. I was just extrapolating from examples that are there to what I thought it should look like I'm afraid. I wish there were more examples for different kinds of media than there are. -- dougher 06:13, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree with this. I wonder if we could come up with a list of all types of quotations that it would be nice to have specific examples for. Here are some examples that come immediately to mind...
  • Newspaper/magazine articles
  • Online editions of printed books (where should the URL go?)
  • Poems and song lyrics (in or out of anthologies)
  • Translations
  • Journal articles (with or without DOI)
  • Articles in edited volumes
  • Newsgroup postings
  • Software documentation/code
  • Audio/video
  • Quotations of an unavailable earlier work in a later one
  • Revised editions
So far, our practice for most of these has been ad hoc copying from each other's formats. I know that's what I've been doing. ("Hey, someone put an italicized 'Usenet' at the end! OK, I can do that too...") But it would probably be better to hash them out in a focused way. -- Visviva 04:41, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Could I mention here that there seems to be a numbering problem with the quote-book template. -- ALGRIF talk 17:19, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
One problematic class of sources:
  • Various for which snippets only are available (from Google/Amazon anyway), concealing the specific detail that should be present.
Perhaps there are other situations where we might want to mark the citation as incomplete pending, 1., someone's perusal of a hard copy or, 2., revisiting of the originally restricted source. DCDuring TALK 19:44, 14 February 2009 (UTC)


Hello people, I have added the spelling mistake abouve to draw your attention. I am not the best speller but there are a lot of uses with only one t when it should be double tt, as in committed. This is used in many definitions. Hooroo. Enlil Ninlil 03:29, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

A Google site search for "commited" turned up only 3 entry pages (and 5 non-entry pages). Two had already been fixed, and I fixed the remaining one. Please let us know if you notice any other common typos of this form. I suspect this is due to distraction during wikification; it's easy to type [[commit]]ed and not notice the missing T. -- Visviva 03:45, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Translingual entries for Unicode characters

See discussion about the "white star". I have an inkling that it would be unwise to attempt to include every Unicode symbol merely because it is in Unicode; after all, this includes control characters, many sad and redundant relics of backwards compatibility, and a lot of purely decorative symbols like stars, diamonds, and box drawings [3] which have no use in language (the thing a dictionary is supposed to document). On the other hand, a lot of the symbols are used in language, whether they're convenient icons (like or ) or mathematical shorthand (). Is there any current consensus on this, or could we do some sort of vote? Personally I feel happy about the inclusion of anything that has a meaning in language (perhaps not the box drawing symbols). If we want them, I could fairly easily produce a page of some/most/all of the chars and their names as a starting point for the bored, but it would be a massive page. Equinox 00:30, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

The previous discussions about hangul syllables and some sort of "Technical data" section were circling around this issue. Basically I think the upshot is: 1) yes, we want every symbol/codepoint about which we can present information, even if the only information is technical data; but 2) we're not quite sure how best to format this information. Regarding the list, breaking it down by code block might be the best thing; the considerations will vary considerably from one block to another. -- Visviva 01:28, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Added: while I have some qualms about blanket inclusion, I don't find Strabismus' objections in the linked discussion persuasive. The entire Unicode codespace contains only 1.14 million points -- and that includes a lot of unused codepoints and PUA stuff that we probably don't want. As a dictionary of all forms of all words in all languages, we seek to ultimately include billions of words; Unicode symbols are just a drop in the bucket. Also, the same users who would complain of being unable to render a Yi syllable or cuneiform symbol would have the same problems with Yi or Sumerian words and phrases; but there is no question that we do ultimately want to cover Yi, Sumerian, and every other documented language. The fact that users will have to install specialized fonts is not material. -- Visviva 02:03, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Things like box drawing symbols could probably be covered collectively in appendices. But even for things like this, we should provide some sense of where and how they are to be used. Even control characters could be listed in a table. Michael Z. 2009-02-12 18:23 z
  • Why limit ourselves just to Unicode? We include languages which are outside the scope of Unicode such as sign languages already. I believe Egyptian is also lacking from Unicode so far. Also Unicode includes many dingbats and other glyphs which are not symbols at all in the sense that they do not symbolize anything. They may be better thought of as pictures. Note that Unicode is currently undergoing a debate as to whether to include emoji, icons (many of which are animated) that are part of the encodings of various Japanese mobile phone companies. If we include all Unicode we must include "hatching chick" and friends if they become part of Unicode. If we include these pictures and animations why not include other pictures and animations? How far beyond "all words in all languages" should we go? Another thought is that almost all fonts include both codepoints and glyphs outside Unicode. Why not also include these symbols? — hippietrail 02:49, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, if it can't be encoded in UTF-8, then it can't have an entry in Wiktionary, whether we want it or not, unless someone devises a special workaround such as we have now for ASL. That's been my understanding, anyway... This is particularly painful in the case of Egyptian, but hopefully that will be resolved in the future.
For dingbats and such, it seems like the situation is the same as for the (non-word) Hangul syllabic blocks -- a person who encounters an unfamiliar symbol may want to look it up just to find out whether it has an associated meaning. So even if we just have an entry that basically says "Box drawing symbol, no other meaning," that may be quite useful. (I have pasted unfamiliar glyphs into Wiktionary for this purpose myself, with mixed results.) There are lots of character references out there, but I don't know of any resource that combines a character reference with multilingual dictionary functionality. We can simultaneously answer the questions "what is this?" and "what, if anything, does it mean?" I would imagine that would be useful in the case of emoji as well; cf. our existing Category:Emoticons.-- Visviva 04:20, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
In the case of Egyptian hieroglyphs, these have been approved for Unicode already, and I think the names and code points are already fixed; they haven't been formally added yet, though. Equinox 15:24, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Now putting some lists up at User:Equinox/Unicode. Equinox 22:45, 16 February 2009 (UTC)


in french ipsum is the etymology of ce. why did i get blocked? --Johne000 21:49, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

You got blocked because you repeatedly removed information from ce and eso, and perhaps other pages, without deigning to explain why. When a fellow editor asked you politely about it you removed his question without answering it. In short, you got blocked because you acted like a vandal. —RuakhTALK 21:51, 12 February 2009 (UTC)


Is vapourise a misspelling in commonwealth areas? RJFJR 17:46, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes. Pingku 17:56, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Also vapourize. Please don't use the phrase “Commonwealth spelling,” because there is no such thing. Canada has its own preferred and acceptable spellings. Michael Z.

What would you suggest as an alternative? -- Visviva 04:25, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
British for terms not used in Canada, British, Canadian for terms which are.
The Commonwealth of Nations is a political organization whose membership crosses linguistic lines. Most of its members inherited their English vocabulary and spelling from Britain. The exception is Canada, whose English is closely related to the other main branch, American English, but also influenced by British English and Canadian French.
There's no need, and no economical way, to specify that aluminium is the primary spelling in the UK, Ireland, Australia, India, South Africa, and all the other countries of the Commonwealth except Canada. It's just British English. Specific regionalisms like Australian tucker should be labelled according to their native geography, of course.
I haven't seen any dictionaries which apply the strictly political labels “UK” or “Commonwealth” for varieties of English. Michael Z. 2009-02-22 16:52 z
Ireland ... and all the other countries of the Commonwealth. Please, more cautious with this issue - the Republic of Éire has not been a member for 60 years and is a completely independent country. The Republic of South Africa has not been either from the Verwoerd's times until de klerk came to power. But Éire is definitely not going to rejoin (here all other former members which are not as influential as Éire in matters of regional varieties of English). I personally favour the designation Commonwealth, because in this case we can settle for only 4 templates: UK/British, Ireland, Commonwealth and US (and Canada, although part of the Commonwealth) instead of dozens. Bogorm 17:50, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Oops, sorry. I routinely assume that it's a convenient synonym for “former British Empire” or “British colonies”, but of course it's not.
So should we review all occurrences of the template since Nauru became a “member in arrears?” I notice we didn't use “Commonwealth and Pakistan” during 1999–2004 and 2007–08 when that country's membership was suspended, but I guess we shouldn't worry now that it is reinstated. Fiji, Nigeria, and a few other country's memberships have changed in the last decade. Mozambique is not a British colony at all, and its official language is Portuguese.
By the way, we need way more than four templates to account for members of Category:Regional English, and there's no reason to minimize the number.
Commonwealth membership in good standing has no clearly-defined relationship to the language used in a country, any more than membership in the United Nations, Nato, Nafta, or GATT. Another reason to use geographic labels and avoid purely political ones. Michael Z. 2009-02-22 20:04 z

[I'm copying this discussion to WT:BP#Template:CommonwealthMichael Z. 2009-02-22 20:56 z]

Arabic vocalisation in translation

In my opinion, the Arabic translation of English entries doesn't need the vocalisation (tashkīl تشكيل or ḥarakāt حركات). Firstly, it's not a normal way to write in Arabic, so it's a bit misleading to users, secondly, there could be more than one possible vocalisation. The romanisation seems sufficient (with possible variants where appropriate). Thirdly, it's not easy to type with the full vocalisation. The Arabic entries might provide both vocalised and unvocalised versions, e.g. حكومة and حَكُومَةٌ. Anatoli 22:06, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

This is normal prodecure for Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin. The page name for such words does not include these marks, but the display form in translations, inflection lines, and inflection tables does. See Wiktionary:About Arabic, Wiktionary:About Hebrew, and Wiktionary:About Latin for policies on these languages. --EncycloPetey 02:19, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Any language with "optional" marks is handled this way. Old English is the other prominent example, with minor examples being Turkish and most languages using the Arabic and Hebrew scripts including Persian and possibly Aramaic. The curved apostrophe is also handled this way in most languages. — hippietrail 02:36, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Missed the answers, sorry. It seems cumbersome to add vocalisations for each entry. How strict is this rule? I prefer to add Arabic translation and the transliteration, if anyone has the time, may add later. Actually, the examples in the link don't have tashkīl. Anatoli 23:32, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, then don't worry about it, at least for languages like Hebrew and Arabic where anyone can see that the vocalization is missing. Someone else can always add it later. (For Latin, it's more of a problem, because if a word has no macrons, then the reader can't tell if the macrons are missing, or if the word simply has no long vowels. Likewise for Old English. But for Arabic and Hebrew, there's no risk of confusion.) —RuakhTALK 00:57, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
There's still risk of a lot of confusion with Arabic if there are homographs, e.g. عمان, which can be both Oman (ʻUmān) and Amman (ʻAmmān), the latter can be written with shadda (عمّان), of course, with the missing vocalisation, the romanisation is a substitute. Besides, the romanisation would be required here anyway, as not everyone is familiar with the Arabic script. --Anatoli 02:38, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
That's not what I mean. I'm saying that in Arabic, there's no risk of confusion between عمان (Amman/Oman) and عُمان (Oman), or between عمان (Amman/Oman) and عمّان (Amman). عمان (Amman/Oman) is ambiguous, because it's missing information; but it's not a big deal, because anyone looking at it can see that it's missing the information. Whereas in Latin, re (short "e") is a possible word, so if you write re when you mean (long "e"), the reader is misled. —RuakhTALK 18:21, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I got you. I learned something new, I didn't know Latin uses macrons. There is still similarities in problems, since for ambiguous cases, writers (in certain cases) are supposed to add those extra vowels in Arabic. You are supposed to write عمّان if you mean Amman, if you don't the reader is misled but it happens.Anatoli 00:55, 4 March 2009 (UTC)


The Zoëga dictionary quotes the word with its only meaning brim. When I looked it up in Vigfússon/Cleasby, there was written explicitly ... A. S. barm; all in the sense of gremium: this sense, however, is entirely unknown to old Icel. writers, who only apply the word in like sense as barð, namely, Engl. brim (bold by me). Whilst barmur means bosom in Icelandic, the remark by Vigfússon and Cleasby precludes such possibility for the Old Norse word. I suggest erasing the 1st meaning which developped much later and preserving only the second. If anyone finds a citation in ON where the word means bosom, please state it. Just to mention that in ODS the origin of Danish barm is Old Norse baðmr and there is no trace of barmr at all. Bogorm 20:20, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

The Old English dictionary at <http://home.comcast.net/~modean52/oeme_dictionaries.htm> redirects "barm" to "bearm" which has meanings of lap, bosom, breast, middle, inside and a few others. -VitaminN

Bizarre reference

As I read it, our entry for banyan has a 1914 quotation that is cited from a 1903 publication. Can someone figure out what happened? --EncycloPetey 19:36, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Seems like the editor pasted the wrong info into the reference, and didn't include a "reference" tag, so wouldn't have seen the result. Details from b.g.c are: "The East I Know; By Paul Claudel, Teresa Frances Thompson Benét, William Rose Benét; Translated by Teresa Frances Thompson Benét, William Rose Benét; Published by Yale University Press, 1914." - Pingku 14:40, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
So how does the 1903 reference to a glossary fit into any of this? --EncycloPetey 14:50, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Sod. I missed the first "[1]". The reference applies to the etymology. The second "[1]" is an unlabelled external link apparently created by "quote-book". I haven't used quote-book, so don't know how best to fix this. Pingku 15:26, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I said there was a numbering problem with "quote-book"! It really does need to be fixed. -- ALGRIF talk 16:04, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Grrr.... It would be nicer if the footnotes were fixed to use something that didn't inherently conflict with external links. You know, something other than numbers... Letters, for example. I mean, it's not like {{quote-book}} was the first time anyone ever put an unlabeled external link in an entry that happens to contain footnotes. </gripe>
Would it be helpful to have the URL be non-superscript? It would be rather ugly IMO, but easily done. Another option would be to link the full title, though that is only possible if the title is not already marked up. At any rate, I've replaced the b.g.c. url with a Hathi Trust url that links to the specific page; that should solve the immediate problem. -- Visviva 17:32, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

spanish plurals

User:Ultimateria added almost all of the masculine Spanish noun plurals yesterday, but there are some left that I'm not sure about:

  • hipótesis (hipótesises)
    Larousse Gran Diccionario Español/Inglés-Inglés/Español says this is invariant.
  • lord (lores)
    Larousse Gran Diccionario Español/Inglés-Inglés/Español agrees.
  • milord (milores)
    Here's just one web page I found which concurs: [4]
  • moisés (moiseses)
    Larousse Gran Diccionario Español/Inglés-Inglés/Español says this is invariant.

Are these correct? Nadando 23:03, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

My Collins Spanish Dictionary agrees that hipótesis is invariant, and that the plural of lord is lores, but does not give information about the plural of the other two. --EncycloPetey 23:58, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
As far as I can determine hipótesis is invariant, the plural of lord is lores, but there are plenty of examples on Google of milores as an in-use plural. also see As far as I can determine moisés is invariant. -- ALGRIF talk 16:01, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

full throttle

This word has under the heading Alternative Spellings "full-throttle (attributive use):" Now I wonder, isn't this really tantamount to an adjectival form? __meco 09:23, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

We haven't been showing a separate PoS for attributive use of a noun. I have relied on the simple tests: "Is it used in the comparative or superlative" or "Is it used with a 'grading' adverb (eg,"too", "very"). If it attestably meets at least one of these tests, arguably it should be presented as an adjective and/or adverb. DCDuring TALK 13:03, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I think that full-throttle, when created, should definitely have the POS header "Adjective", since it is never used in any non-adjectival way. However, calling it a derived term in the full throttle entry would be a bit much; keeping it under ===Alternative forms=== is best IMO. -- Visviva 17:06, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Relatedly, I find that the usage preference favoring hyphens in some cases and disfavoring them in others is often disregarded in both directions. It verges on being misleading to present it as I have in this and some other entries, but presenting relative frequency-based usage notes seems like a colossal waste of contributor and user time. It is a case where economy of effort (aka laziness) favors that much orthgraphic prescriptivism. DCDuring TALK 17:37, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Agree. A templated usage note might be a happy medium; it could also reference the various usage authorities that have weighed in on the issue (or that info could be hived off to a linked Appendix). -- Visviva 17:48, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I've never seen "full throttle" in the plural, and wouldn't the engines be AT full throttle, so the noun sense in the current definition is probably out. Also, I could conceive this phrase being used as an adverb, as in "hit the engine full throttle!" In the imperative verb form it has a meaning similar to "step on it." -VitaminN

"Poêle à marrons"

A "pan at chestnuts"

Hello everybody.

  • A few days ago, I created the article on French Wiktionary for the poêle à marrons.
  • This morning, I made a photography of this stuff, and put it on the article.
  • Now, I am searching for an English translation. Could you help me ?

Thanks in advance. --Szyx 18:22, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

It would be a chestnut pan or a chestnut-roasting pan. Equinox 18:29, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Chestnut roasting pan, yes, it seems to be the answer [5]. The word "roasting" was the one I was missing... Thank you, I'll put it on the article. --Szyx 18:53, 15 February 2009 (UTC) My English is terrifically unfficient ! ;-)
I have no real knowledge of the subject, but I made a couple of Google runs anyhow. "Chestnut pan" gets much more hits than "chestnut-roasting pan". Both are beaten by a wide margin by chestnut roaster, which more often than not seems to refer to a pan, but there are other models, too. For example a kind of rotating basket made of metal wire and intended for use over open fire was called "chestnut roaster". --Hekaheka 09:13, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

pronounciation gazette

Reading about Ayatollah Khomeini I have encounter a few interesting words such as: ijtihad

and related words, I could find definitions easy enough, but I wanted to know what the words sounded like, also.


I have added this requested word as a plural of the noun sorry. But the singular is not defined as a noun. Is it reasonable to describe an instance of an interjection as a noun? SemperBlotto 09:12, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

The noun definition of goodbye seems to fit with what you want. Pingku 12:08, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

a dime a dozen

  • Shouldn't this be simply dime a dozen? Isn't the a superfluous and contrary to normal entry criteria? I propose it be moved. -- ALGRIF talk 13:04, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with every statement you make and your conclusion. However, it is not satisfactory that a user who enters "a dime a dozen" would not be provided with "dime a dozen" after [[a dime a dozen]] is removed. Leaving the redirect is adequate in this case but a user who found a less common variant (eg, "dime for a dozen") still wouldn't be lead to the right headword by our search. It would be a little better if they were offered the option of linking to the component terms of the idiom. I had begun a BP discussion on this point. DCDuring TALK 16:15, 16 February 2009 (UTC)


In citing the "get the F off" sense for RFV, I'm finding that some cites seem to mean "get the F out of" — as in, they seem to mean "get the F out", but given the lack of "of", their syntax seems to match "get the F off". (Examples include "GTFO the kitchen", "GTFO the profession", and "GTFO the way".) Looking further, I find that google:"get out the kitchen", google:"get out the way", and even google:"get out the profession" all get hits. I'm not sure what to make of this; we do define out as a preposition meaning "Away from the inside", but our example sentence ("He threw it out the door") is not the same.

I guess what I'm wondering is:

  • are "out the kitchen", "out the way", etc. a regular feature of some form of English?
  • if so, is "GTFO the kitchen" short for "get the F out the kitchen", or for "get the F out of the kitchen"?
  • in ambiguous "of"-less cases, such as "GTFO our [Usenet] group", do you prefer an "out/out of" reading, or an "off" reading?

(I'm ignoring the fact that "off" can appear with or without "of" — "fell off (of) his chair" — because it doesn't seem relevant to me, but maybe it is?)

What do y'all think?

RuakhTALK 19:21, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

In my personal experience out is used as shorthand slang for out of when it precedes the definite article (or a personal pronoun as you note). That seems to be what is happening here. It seems to be more common in British English and African-American dialects of US English than in other places. --EncycloPetey 19:26, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

GTFO, it's definitely just "get the f*** out," and I'm pretty sure it means "let's change the subject" or "I'm sure that you are lying." -VitaminN

"inethical" misspelling?

Is inethical a common misspelling of unethical? RJFJR 21:10, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Non existent at COCA, not common at Google News, but I don't have time at the moment to make sense of the apparently high frequency on Books and on Google Web search. Yahoo Web search has it at .1% of "unethical" which is certainly not relatively common, though it is an estimated 24K raw web hits. Since there are no explicit criteria for common, you can use your judgment. DCDuring TALK 21:46, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Homo sapien

homo sapien

It appears to me that "Homo Sapien" or more specifically "Sapien" is not a word. Homo Sapiens is both the singular and plural much like its taxonomy class Species. Oxford online does not even return any results for Homo Sapien. Should Wiktionary be updated to correct this common misconception? It is marked as non-standard but shouldn't it be removed completely?—This unsigned comment was added by Benjamin.Dobell (talkcontribs) at 12:58, 17 February 2009.

We intentionally have many misspellings and alternative spellings. If a language learner's first encounter with the name is one of the common misspellings or alternative spellings, should we offer no help? DCDuring TALK 13:08, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Alternative spellings are used by educated English speakers, while misspellings in no wise are. Mine opinion about misspellings tallies entirely with Benjamin.Dobell's in the assumption that misspellings ought to be removed altogether. Additionally methinks that Wiktionary should shew people how to spell properly words in lieu of how to spell them as an ignoramus. Bogorm 09:05, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Note, however, that this is not a misspelling but a misconstruction. The problem isn't that people mean to write "Homo sapiens" but accidentally or ignorantly write "Homo sapien" instead (even for a poor speller, the final "s" is hard to miss)... Rather, they are construing "Homo sapiens" as a plural and deriving a novel singular form. An educated speaker could certainly do this for jocular purposes. Of course we should provide the correct information about usage, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't document this usage, even though it currently happens to be considered incorrect. -- Visviva 10:16, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I'd have thought that sapiens is Latin for wise, sapient in English. Mglovesfun 21:36, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Visviva: keep and proscribe. Homo sapiens ought to have a usage note explaining that the word is first and foremost a species name but that it can also be used as an ordinary noun meaning a specimen of that species (i.e., a human being), in which case the singular form is homo sapiens, whereas the plural is homines sapientes.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:41, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

What are we going to do with XXXhomo sapianXXX? Already 36 hits on b.g.c. DCDuring TALK 19:07, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I got 28; 21 verified and 7 rejected ([6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], and [12]). The doubly-erroneous ‘-an’ form is 20–30 times less common than the singly-erroneous ‘-en’ form, which is itself over ten times less common than the standard ‘-ens’ form, so homo sapian is at least a couple of hundred times less common than the correct spelling/construction; this is just an uncommon member of the class of misspellings deriving from <a>–<e> confusion of unstressed vowels (pronounced [ə]), as is the case with independenceindependance. I don’t think homo sapian is worth noting, TBH, but if it gets an entry, it is clearly a misspelling-cum-misconstruction.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:59, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

The term Homosapien comes from the "two" Latin words Homo and Sapien. Homo, meaning "man" and Sapien meaning "wise." The "correct" English spelling of Homosapien is obviously a straighforeward corruption from the Latin. There is no argument or disagreements by linguists regarding the introduction of this word into the English Language. The change to "Homosapian" is a further missspelling and corruption of the English word. 19:50, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I should have said raw b.g.c. hits. We could avoid wasting effort on some misspelling entries if we would agree on what levels of absolute and relative frequency justified inclusion of a misspelling or misconstruction, and what warranted labeling something with any prescriptive marking. One might infer that homo sapien was sufficiently common in absolute terms to be deemed "common", but homo sapian was not. I am less clear about what makes something a misconstruction or misspelling rather than alternative ones. Excluding typos and scannos etc, most "errors" seem to reflect the application of a different rule-set (weak vs. strong conjugation, English vs. FL pluralisation, etc.).
I suppose that a dictionary that relies on inherently backward-looking attestation and is administered by cognoscenti will always take a somewhat prescriptive stance. Evidently many users want us to as well. DCDuring TALK 15:45, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I don’t think that we’re going to get very far if we depend upon “levels of absolute and relative frequency” alone — many misspellings are more common than some very rare words, yet the former are derided whilst the latter are praised; clearly, not all words are created equal. We need to try as best we can to get into the heads of quoted language users; for example, looking over the twenty-one quotations in Citations:homo sapian, I note that a lot of the publications pertain to India (written by non-native speakers?), a few have a grammatical error or two in the same quoted sentence (badly-written / -edited text?), and others seem to ignore some aspects of formal style (like the wholly uncapitalised, unpunctuated, and erratically set out poetry at the bottom and the 2005 quotation’s awkward parenthesis), all of which lead me to believe that these are not sources we can rely upon when we consider whether something is a legimate alternative form. Also, I wish to mention the mistake–error distinction I explain hereat; in the case of homo sapian, I think we can call this a simply mistake, as I explained above with reference to independenceindependance.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:42, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I was hoping for a less labor-intensive and less potentially subjective approach usable as a guideline at least. Also, I noted the relatively large share of Indian authorship and wondered whether there was something in the pronunciation of Indian English that made "homo sapian" seem more plausible. DCDuring TALK 17:14, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

have got

Help! There are apparently three classes of usage:

  1. as an auxiliary ("must"),
  2. as a defective verb ("to possess", "to own"),
  3. as dialect (?) past of get (become).

The "have" sense seems to be derived from the idea that "I have gotten/obtained X" = "I now own X". That would account for its being defective.

How should this be presented? Multiple etymologies? Multiple PoS and inflection lines? One PoS, multiple inflection lines? One PoS, one inflection paragraph? DCDuring TALK 16:58, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand why nº3. Surely that is simply the present perfect tense of "to get" (I don't want to get wet. You'll get wet. I got wet. I have got wet. I had got wet. etc.) and so does not belong here. We don't have entries for perfect inflections. That leaves two entries. The auxiliary should be at have got to and linked as a synonym of have to. That leaves just the one entry; "to possess", "to own". Put an also template for "have got to". Problem solved. IMVHO. -- ALGRIF talk 14:39, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
  1. The reason for including number 3 is to allow support the usage contrast. That could also be achieved with a usage note, I suppose. Also American written usage at least seems to favor "gotten" for the present perfect (except colloquially), judging by the first fifty entries at COCA.
  2. I think of the "to" as part of an infinitive rather than as part of a headword. It seems particularly awkward as it creates a lack of parallelism among the presentations of verb senses which take normal infinitives, bare infinitives, and present participles. Is the inclusion of the "to" of an infinitive in an auxiliary verb entry another undocumented Wiktionary rule? Is it standard lexicographic practice? Is it standard usage/idiom guide dictionary practice? DCDuring TALK 17:06, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
  1. The "got - gotten" difference should still be dealt with under got, not under "have got". These participle differences are not normally put into "have + verb" headwords.
  2. When dealing with modal verbs we have entries with "to" as part of the auxiliary construction, leaving the grammatical rule "modal auxiliary + bare infinitive" intact. See have to and be able to. I would also mention ought to, but for reasons that do not make much sense to me, there is a certain amount of disagreement over that particular entry. -- ALGRIF talk 17:20, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
What started me on this entry was a redlink to have got to. My objection would apply to all of the entries you have mentioned. This seems to be the kind of splitting of an infinitive that is pernicious. The "to" in each of these is indistinguishable from the "to" in many other verb constructions. Is it the current fashion to move the "to" to the auxilliary in all cases? Does this facilitate language learning? Will we be moving the "-ing" soon? DCDuring TALK 18:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Ok what about You've got a package waiting, She's got egg on her face, You've got another think comin'!, I've got you under my skin -- Thisis0 17:40, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Is the problem that they are contractions or that we've not got the appropriate sense of have? I've not gotten around to considering that question. DCDuring TALK 18:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
What we have here is a limited number of AUXILIARY MODAL VERB FORMS. shall, should, will, would, can, could, may, might, must, need, dare, be able to, have to, ought to, be bound to, and (colloquially) have got to. A limited set, as I say. They perform a specific grammatical function as modal auxiliaries, and they follow a set of pretty strict rules, one of which is that they are followed by a BARE infinitive. I recommend you check any decent grammar reference about this, and you will find that it has absolutely nothing to do with split infinitives. These entries (with the "to") are what will be searched. It must be , (or has to be) understood that, for instance, "had to" IS the past form of "must". Another for instance is putting two modal concepts together, such as "can" in the future: "tomorrow I will be able to come" = "tomorrow I can come." And so on. The fact that have got caused you to cry for help surely demonstrates that I possibly am right, wouldn't you say? -- ALGRIF talk 19:11, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
need, dare, and ought certainly are used both with ordinary and bare infinitives. It seems highly artificial to split their entries to create the homogeneous class of modals that you seem to be seeking.
I can't speak whether metaphysically "had to" is a past form of "must". To me it appears to be vastly more straightforward to present "must" as simply defective, with "have to" is a non-defective synonym for some of its senses, perhaps with a usage note.
Further, it seems again vastly more straightforward and in line with universal lexicographic practice that any entries of modals with "to" should simply be redirects to the bare modal. This has the enormous presentation advantage of allowing a user to compare and contrast closely related senses. That they are colloquially used without any expressed infinitive, but with "to", is the principal justification for the redirects in all of these cases. DCDuring TALK 16:59, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Please look here. They explain it much better in Wikipedia than I can in this discussion page. -- ALGRIF talk 17:31, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

DCDuring is right the rest of you got way to involved. Those are all possible colloquial senses of that verbal construction and it is a fair question as to how they should be notated. My best thought would be as separate definitions with something to demarcate a change in verbal aspect in each. -VitaminN


I'd like to know the (subtle) difference between rude and impolite. Many thanks! Vin 16:18, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I suppose that impolite is more likely to be a minor violation of good manners while rude can cover the whole range. (Jumping ahead in a queue is impolite; punching somebody in the face is not merely impolite but outright rude.) Just my feeling on it. Equinox 02:32, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

A Greek name?

Is the name Λουκιανός truly Greek? Or is it merely a transliteration of a Latin version of something? __meco 09:55, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

'Please' and 'police' are homophones

Aren't they? There is a standard deviation continuum of sorts on how a word is pronounced. Admittedly, the standard pronunciation of each of these words does not qualify them as homophones, however, if we consider the sectors of pronunciation continua for each, they do intersect in my reckoning. __meco 02:20, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

They seem totally unalike to me, because of syllable count and s/z sound. "pleez", "pəlees". Equinox 02:29, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I'd be surprised if there were any one accent with any significant overlap. Both syllable count and terminal phoneme could be different, I would expect. Isn't the standard for homophones' pronunciation a bit tighter than the standard for synonyms' semantics? DCDuring TALK 02:59, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Getting all your goats in a row

While starting to clean up the entry cabra, I noticed a small problem with billy goat, billy-goat, billygoat, nanny goat, nanny-goat, and nannygoat. The most obvious is that (at least as I write this) three of these don't even have entries. That would be simple enough to correct, save that I'd prefer to correct another problem first, which pair should be the primary entries? Right now those are billygoat and nanny goat respectively, but ideally it should be either the two word, the hyphenated word, or the compound word for both. Playing with Google doesn't reveal a clear favorite, tho the compound word forms appear to be slightly preferenced. However, the three dictionaries I consulted (one offline, two online) use the two word form as their entry. So which should we use as the primary entries here? Carolina wren 03:32, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

BYU has the British National Corpus ("BNC"} and the Corpus of Contemporary American English ("COCA"). Normally they have special value because they have some transcribed speech. That advantage doesn't apply to spelling issues. BYU's interface gives better performance on its keyword-in-context display than google and doesn't require you to outsmart Google's stemming. It also allows search for a word as a particular part of speech. Yahoo provides more straightforward Boolean searches for words. If you still don't get a clear result, the unhyphenated forms (solid or spaced) deserve preference over the hyphenated form as a noun. The adjectival (attributive) use of a noun, which tends to account for a lot of the hyphenated usage, doesn't usually merit a separate PoS. I've begun showing hyphenated forms as alternative spellings with a label "(attributive use)".
I keep a tab open with COCA at all times though it terminates your session fairly quickly, requiring refresh. DCDuring TALK 12:19, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. After checking with those additional sources, it appears that at least in printed media, the two word unhyphenated form prevails, though none are particularly common in the corpuses. Carolina wren 23:10, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

But shouldn't the hyphenated forms have “Adjective” as the main POS, since that is the “correct” meaning? Billy goat is a noun and billy-goat is an adjective, while the “alternate spelling” usage is non-standard. Michael Z. 2009-02-21 23:46 z

That's one of those prescriptivist rules that gets honored more in the breach than reality. Certainly doesn't match actual usage. Since both "billy goat" and "billy-goat" when used as adjectives have the usual meaning of nouns used as adjectives, i.e., "pertaining to a billygoat", I can't see marking any of these six words as adjectives. Carolina wren 23:18, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
"In the breach" means "by breaking it". The usual expression is "more honored in the breach than in the observance", which is due to Shakespeare, and is usually taken to mean "more often broken than observed", though apparently he meant "more honorable to break than to observe".[13]RuakhTALK 01:19, 23 February 2009 (UTC)


Why was this word tagged as archaic at the 5th non-bot edit (summa summarum at the 7th edit). I suppose that if the archaic nature was incotrovertible, the tag would have been there since its creation. MW does not use any tag whatsoever, can someone check OED? Bogorm 15:23, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

A quick check of the 21 total uses in BNC and COCA indicates:
  1. no colloquial use at all
  2. one use erroneously for "wanted"
  3. several uses in quotations from earlier writings (19th century and earlier)
  4. several uses in poetry
  5. several uses in what look like bodice-rippers. DCDuring TALK 16:43, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
"Accustomed" had more than 4,000 apparent uses in COCA. DCDuring TALK 16:45, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Accustomed is mundane, not to speak of usual, have you ever encountered usual in any poetic work? I just wanted to know whether any of the authoritative dictionares (MW (result: not), OED (result:?)...) bestoweth upon this word the tag archaic. Bogorm 17:04, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Longman's DCE and Camb. Intl. show it as "formal".
CompactOED shows it as "literary" and "archaic".
Encarta shows it as "Literary".
MWO, WMWC, AHD, and RHU show no tag; See OneLook.com. DCDuring TALK 18:48, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate your research. Consequently, I suggest switching from Template:archaic to Template:literary, for of this miltitude of dictionaries a large part did not use any tag whatsoever and the secong largest part seems to opt for literary. Bogorm 18:58, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Some folks have objected to the "archaic" label at Wiktionary.
MW3 uses "archaic" to indicate whether a word survives in non-literary use and did not apply it to "wonted" in 1993. Longman's DCE does not use "archaic" as a label at all. Informatively to me they did not use "pompous" for "wonted". I have not looked, for example, at what labels the other dictionaries use and whether the online editions reflect what the print editions do in this regard. The only definitive way of showing the inappropriateness of the archaic label would be attesting to its use colloquially, in newspapers, in contemporary writing (excluding fiction that might be fairly suspected of archaicism). DCDuring TALK 21:35, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

help please ?

what does "musami" mean ? i think it was something to do with zimbabwe ?

Musami is a town or city in Zimbabwe. -VitaminN


Any South Africans or etymologists know where the interjection magtig comes from? Afrikaans. Dutch for sure, but are there words like mig or tag that are the roots? --Jackofclubs 16:16, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

I think it’s from machtig. —Stephen 01:19, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Rackets, racquets et al

Hi gang, I tripped over a number of one line definitions for "combined" words; tennis racket, tennis racquet, squash racket, etc. I believe these should be combined into simply "racquet" with linkages to each "racquet sport". I tried tagging them for discussion but evidently did it wrong...any experts? Any concerns? -- Mjquin id 20:20, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


ie: ..The tone of Dave Matthews is influctuous...oPEN up YOUR heart AND let me OUOUT little BAby.

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 10:56, 23 February 2009 (UTC).

Wiktionary proper is a dictionary of real words, but you're welcome to add made-up words to Appendix:List of protologisms or to Urban Dictionary. —RuakhTALK 19:36, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

pretty as noun

Is pretty a noun in the phrase 'my pretty'? RJFJR 20:32, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

I found another use of pretty as a noun, so I added a noun sense. RJFJR 21:29, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Commonwealth English

Is this definition supported by any published dictionaries? It's absent from the NOAD, CanOD, Dictionary.com, and M–W online. Michael Z. 2009-02-24 06:46 z

I agree. I once challenged someone to prove its existance. The Commonwealth is a political organisation, it's like saying there is a version of NATO English. Nor can anyone convince me that the same English is spoken in Kenya, Australia, India, Canada, and Belize. And what do we call English spoken outside of the USA if the country is not a member of the commonwealth, such as Ireland, or the version of English used in continental Europe. Why not just call it English, with American English being considered the other version.--Dmol 09:12, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Surely you mean another, not the other.
Claiming only two varieties of English (American and UK or Commonwealth or whatever) is just a step away from Centrism. Yes, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and other varieties of English are different. Some even have their own dictionaries! These varieties have added words from the respective countries - some of which have become mainstream, with others remaining regional. In Singapore, I understand, people move during a single conversation between Chinese, Chinese with some English words, English with some Chinese words, English, and back again. I presume some Canadians can do the same with French. India must be at least as complicated, with many languages spoken in the country, but English used when something needs to be understood by all. And this without mentioning that Scots / Scottish English is at least as old as Middle English.
The difference between American and "English" English is minuscule in comparison with the variation in the language called English. Pingku 15:58, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

The question isn't really whether Commonwealth English exists, or what it is. The question is whether the term Commonwealth English has a conventional meaning (i.e., whether it meets our criteria for inclusion). I don't see it in dictionaries, and from a quick Google Books search it appears to be a sum-of-parts term meaning English in the Commonwealth, and nothing more (i.e., not a recognized variety of the language, or orthographic convention, or something else).

So I've filed an RfVMichael Z. 2009-02-25 20:03 z

Dominant vs. predominant

Does anybody know the difference between 'dominant' and 'predominant'? Thank you. —This comment was unsigned.

See dominant, predominant. Any use? Equinox 19:46, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

A four letter word, please, for the little ferrules at the end of shoe laces.

I may be mistaken, I often am. But I recall once encountering a four letter word naming the little metal ferrules at the end of shoe laces. Can I find it again? No, so I put my little message in an email bottle and toss it into the Wiktionary sea. It was something akin in shape to 'tine', but that's cutlery, or 'kine', but that's agricultural. I have not seen it again in twenty, perhaps thirty years. What was it? —This unsigned comment was added by Luffingboy (talkcontribs) at 11:00, 24 February 2009.

5 letters: aglet Robert Ullmann 11:03, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Damn, he's fast. DCDuring TALK 11:07, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

He's fast, yes, but accurate too! Five letters, well I studied mathematics but arithmetic was never my strength. Thank you for solving my mystery. How about 'faiches' listed above? What the bejesus are they?

From Irish, a green or grasses, grass field. Used here to mean hay I believe. Robert Ullmann 11:33, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, Mr Ullmann, for clearing up two enigmas for me. Really, I am very grateful, and in awe....thank you.


Please someone provide the entry with Arabic script and move it to a new entry whose title is in Arabic script. I can't, I only know that Pashto is written in Arabic script. Bogorm 13:33, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

The Tea Room is not the place to request cleanup. Cleanup requests belong on the WIktionary:Requests for Cleanup. I have removed the entry, since it was not only in the wrong script, but on entirely the wrong page. I have tagged the additions by the same user to metal as needing Arabic script. But again, this is not when a cleanup conversation should occur. --EncycloPetey 03:03, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I had already created Wiktionary:Requests for Cleanup#zar#Pashto and explained why I had posted it there so late. Henceforth I shall know. Bogorm 08:55, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

unicolor vs concolor

Hi, does anyone know what is the different between unicolor and concolor? Does unicolor surface allow diffrent shades of the same color?

The term concolor is Latin for "of the same color". This doesn't necessarily mean all of one color, since it can be used to compare two different objects and mean that one thing is the same color as something else. The term unicolor compares an object only to itself. --EncycloPetey 03:06, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


I have a word, I can't find the defination of. It was in a document sent to me
by the Auditor's Office in Dayton Ohio, in which I was trying to appeal a tax
increase on my property.
> The word is ....casuality.
> In a sentence;
> The property lost value,due to a casuality.
—This unsigned comment was added by Hossmad (talkcontribs) at 14:07, 25 February 2009 (UTC).

They probably mean casualty. Something like a tree falling on it. DCDuring TALK 14:58, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Or ſomething like adverſity. The uſer highteth Bogorm converſation 15:12, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
casualty appears to have special meaning(s) in insurance. III refers to property/casualty insurers, but doesn't define the term. Wikipedia and Ambest equate it to liability, to Lloyd's it's the loss of a ship, and NOAD has a subsense “(chiefly in insurance) an accident, mishap, or disaster.” Michael Z. 2009-02-25 15:58 z

"Casuality" in the sense of "casual"+"ity" is not a word. -VitaminN

fuck (#2)

Look at the interjections. Are these really supposed to be separate interjectional senses of fuck? I think somebody has got mixed up and used it as a catch-all list for terms that contain fuck (e.g. what the fuck), which should and do have their own entries. Equinox 16:35, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

(This got lost like this, I'm just returning it here. --Duncan 16:03, 25 February 2009 (UTC))
I agree. Apart from the intensifier sense, the meaning applies to the phrase, not the word. And as an intensifier sense, the word is not the interjection. Pingku 16:20, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Okay, given the lack of dissent I'm going to tidy up. Equinox 23:01, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

dotted decimal

Is this a noun or an adjective? It seems to be most commonly used as an adjective in phrases like "dotted decimal notation" or "dotted-decimal format". But it doesn't really seem to have a definition that is very adjectivy. (I thought about defining as "describing a number written in dotted-decimal notation" - which is a bit circular and doesn't really reflect its use in phrases like dotted-deciaml form or "a dotted-decimal string"). Conrad.Irwin 19:01, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

I would parse this as "dotted, decimal format" (i.e. one that has both of those characteristics). By that token, if the entry is worth having — perhaps the two have coalesced into a unit — then it would be an adjective and possibly hyphenated. As usual, I might be wrong. Equinox 21:14, 26 February 2009 (UTC)


eu- etymology refers to Avestan which is not in the etymology templates -- should it be added? It also uses non-UTF-8 characters to try to display the Avestan spelling. -- dougher 03:40, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand- does {{etyl|ae}} not work? Nadando 03:48, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I've trimmed this down, as eu- should not refer back to PIE, as it is a borrowing, not a natural descendant. {{ae}} works fine, but this does not come from Avestan at all. Avestan characters are not yet encoded in Unicode, but they will be shortly, and some of us have been jumping the gun a bit. We'll have a nice head-start when Avestan characters come online. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 03:52, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't "eu-" also signify "within" as in the difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells? -VitaminN

Entry_template for Plural

The Entry_template for Plural is inserting this:

<noinclude>[[Category:Wiktionary:English entry templates]]</noinclude>

Is this intentional? -- dougher 04:17, 27 February 2009 (UTC)


The etymology contradicts the Wikipedia entry, which says that "bonspiel" comes from Scots, while this says it comes from German and French, but bonspiel describes a tournament of curling, which is a Scottish sport... 12:33, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

  • It entered English from Scotland, that's for certain, and is attested in Scots earlier than "proper" English. Where the Scots word came from is a mystery though. Probably it is some kind of Germanic, because of the spiel, but Wikipedia sounds like it's overstating the case a little. The OED suggests unattested Dutch *bondspel as a source. (PS this should probably be at Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium..) Ƿidsiþ 15:48, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
CanOD says “perhaps from Low German; compare West Flemish bonespel a children's game.” Michael Z. 2009-02-27 15:57 z
Dictionary of the Scots Language says "O.Sc. bonspel, bonspule, -speil, -spale, a match or contest of any kind. The earliest quotation in D.O.S.T. in the sense of a game of any kind is 1560. The first element is gen. thought to be for Du. *bond = verbond, an alliance, a covenant, hence bonspell, a contest between different bodies. Bense suggests another origin, viz. Du. bonne, vieus, regio urbis (Kilian); cf. O.E. bōnda, a householder, Scand. bōndi, idem, cogn. of O.E. būan, to dwell. For the second element, see ba’spel’, s.v. Ba’, n.1, 3 (2), and Spiel, n." --Duncan 17:43, 27 February 2009 (UTC)


Sense 4 (intransitive, without predicate) elliptical form of for "be here", "go to and return from" or similar.

  • The postman has been today, but my tickets have still not yet come.
  • I have been to Spain many times.

Surely this sense is only ever encountered in the form have/has been and some consider this to be an alternative perfect past form of go. Opinions? -- ALGRIF talk 15:28, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Agree, it doesn't sound like the verb "to be". The expression "been and gone" might throw some light on this? Dbfirs 17:51, 27 February 2009 (UTC)


An IP's new entry. It needs to be corrected, but I don't know whether it is "kumina" or "cumina". I'm not sure about capitalization either. -- ALGRIF talk 16:05, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

It appears that "Kumina" is the more common spelling with "Cumina" being an accepted variant. The 'pedia has its article at Kumina. Carolina wren 16:34, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

What is the word for making up new words in the English language?

I've recently been becoming more and more fascinated with language and I came across a word in the dictonary that meant making up new words. I just can't remember the word! If anyone would know what it is, that would be great! Thanks. —This comment was unsigned.

coin, neologize? Equinox 21:40, 27 February 2009 (UTC)


old "black culture" word meaning to "think on it" I've heard it used for years by some fellow musicians when discussing if they can remember something or recollect a fact —This comment was unsigned.

You mean reconnoiter, right? Do you have any evidence of this black musician sense, such as usage in books? Equinox 23:35, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
As a misspelling of reconnoiter, that use of recognoiter certainly seems to swamp all other modern usage, possibly enough to warrant an entry as a misspelling (several hundred thousand google hits). I tried another possible spelling for the intended word, recogniter and that seems to be a sparsely used term for a module in speech recognition and other AI systems used to recognize certain features of interest, but whether it has enough durable cites to warrant an entry, I'll leave to others to ponder. Carolina wren 20:33, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Go to the last page, and Google shows the more accurate figure of 47 results for recognoiter. Google Books shows a single hit from 1851, looking like a reasonable historical alternate spelling, although it may be a nonce. Michael Z. 2009-03-03 16:23 z


The Wikiquote page of Apuleius translates Parit enim conversatio contemptum; raritas conciliat admirationem with "Familiarity breeds contempt, but privacy gains admiration". Surely this is a mistranslation of the word raritas? If not, privacy would seem to be needing another definition. __meco 08:27, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

It is indeed a mistranslation. --EncycloPetey 19:51, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

auricular theatre

I just came across this in the Guardian, reference to the "last surviving auricular theatre in Britain" at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire. But I'm blowed if I can find out what it is. Seems to be something to do with gardens and flowers (possibly). If anyone knows, please turn the redlink blue. Thx. -- ALGRIF talk 13:55, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I think it is a display area in the rough shape of an ear. But I could be wrong. SemperBlotto 18:45, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

the whole shooting match

Shouldn't this be under "whole shooting match" without the "the"? -- ALGRIF talk 16:33, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I would think so. Despite that search wouldn't take a user who typed the current headword to "whole shooting match". Sigh. DCDuring TALK 21:26, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The question to ask onesself is whether the article is actually itself part of the idiom. So ask yourself: Do people ever talk of a whole shooting match, a whole nine yards, a whole shebang, or a whole enchilada when using the idiom? Uncle G 11:51, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Precisely why I asked here. CFI states "Omit an initial article unless it makes a difference in the meaning." I would be interested to know if consensus leads us to keep or omit the "the". The query can extend to some other entries as well, it would seem from the above. -- ALGRIF talk 13:50, 7 March 2009 (UTC)


Most hits for this word seem to be errors for intrauterine. Does it have a meaning of its own? SemperBlotto 18:42, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

The ratio of "interuterine" to "intrauterine" is much lower on Scholar than on Books, suggesting to me that it probably does not have a technical meaning and that book authors are worse spellers than "scholars". There might be a Buddhist meaning of some kind. Whether or not there are other meanings, it is certainly a common misspelling. DCDuring TALK 21:45, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

regnal name

I'm wanting to add regnal, regnal year, and regnal name. However I'm not certain that the last has more than a sum of parts to it. (Since regnal year is somewhat more than SoP, I'm not hesitant there and have already added it.) Any thoughts before I commit some edits on those other two? Carolina wren 20:15, 28 February 2009 (UTC)