Wiktionary:Tea room/2009/January

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This is an archive page that has been kept for historical purposes. The conversations on this page are no longer live.
discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← December 2008 · January 2009 · February 2009 → · (current)

January 2009

calculus missing sense

From this article, I believe we are missing a sense at calculus. I'll fill it in tomorrow if nobody else does. Nadando 03:34, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Added what I think the article means (via the OED). SemperBlotto 08:52, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

pour féliciter

Is the phrase "pour féliciter" or its initialism "PF" used on New Year's greeting cards in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia or other English speaking countries? Or is it at least used in speech?

The entry pour féliciter has the phrase as a term used in English, while the Czech Wikipedia tells me the phrase is used only in Czech; that's why the question. --Dan Polansky 13:10, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I don't think it's used in English. I've never seen it in Britain. Ƿidsiþ 10:41, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I've never seen it in English but I've been speaking English for 41 years and in the book I'm reading I've seen at least three other words that I've also never seen before. So me not having seeing it is not a perfect metric. Try Google Books or looking in other dictionaries. — hippietrail 11:14, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Inverse request: coin-pushing gambling machines

Is there a name for that particular kind of gambling machine, found in seaside arcades, that has a moving shelf that pushes coins forward? The player drops coins in at the top and attempts to create a sufficiently large heap to cause more coins to drop out at the bottom. I've heard coin pusher and penny pusher, but they aren't in Google Books. (Perhaps nobody has written books about these arcades?! Hard to believe.) Equinox 22:35, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

There are plenty in Google images. "penny pusher".
in the trade, simply "pusher". Variants are "quarter pusher" etc. Also "slider", and (e.g.) "penny falls". Robert Ullmann 13:46, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

sortie de route

Just a sanity check that there is no more common terms for this fairly common French term than the rather technical run-off-roadway accident. It is NOT a roadside accident, which is much more broader in meaning (cf. a sortie de route stops being one when barrel rolls begin). Circeus 15:26, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I don't think there is a good word for this in English (I've actually never heard "run-off-roadway accident"). Normally in English you would word this differently, eg French J'ai fait une sortie de route = English I came off the road. Ƿidsiþ 15:48, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
    • As I said, the term is very technical (it's found primarily in e.g. road safety and pavement research). The w:OQLF gave "ram-off roadway accident", which lead to this term. It is a useful term to quantify different type of accidents, much like how CFIT might sound ridiculously euphemistic while remaining a relevant term to aviation specialists. You hear about sorties de route a lot in Quebec during winter storms. Circeus 16:58, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • But sortie de route isn't technical (or at least, it's used a lot in common speech as well – 7.5 million g-hits, compared to fewer than 1500 for "run-off-roadway accident"). I would say it's best translated using some sort of periphrasis in English – we would say I came off the road or even my car came off the road rather than using a noun to describe the accident. Ƿidsiþ 17:05, 2 January 2009 (UTC)


Isn't this usually capitalized in all senses? --EncycloPetey 17:51, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Apparently mostly yes when used a noun, but mostly not when used as an adj., derived terms mostly not, per MWOnline. It seemed that way from a quick look at books, too. Their reputation for having an alphabet but no literature is possibly undeserved. Apparently they wrote on a kind of material that lasted not very long compared to parchment and papyrus. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 18:18, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
The word is slated to be WOTD on the 16th of this month. It could use cleanup for that. --EncycloPetey 02:26, 9 January 2009 (UTC)


I was considering making entries for some common mnemonic phrases such as every good boy deserves favour, and Richard of York gained battle in vain etc. But then I thought ..."Do we really need these?". Opinions please? -- ALGRIF talk 13:43, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

This is a good idea, but the mnemonic you’re thinking of is Richard of York gave battle in vain.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:00, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
and the derived: Black Boys Rape Our Young Girls, But Violet Gives Willingly (for 10 silver or 5 gold) ... Robert Ullmann 19:42, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps an appendix listing the really common ones? Equinox 03:30, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't suppose we need them, but IMO they add some interest and value and there should be no problem with adding them (assuming they are attestable, etc.). -- Visviva 12:03, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Visviva. It seems to me that at least some of them are set phrases, certainly more than sum of parts, and generally meaningful phrases which should be citable. Also, I think that the translations sections would be particularly interesting. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 12:14, 5 January 2009 (UTC)


Are we missing a noun sense - some sort of leaf that is chewed by people in North Africa and the Middle East? SemperBlotto 22:36, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

I think you mean khat. It's from Arabic قات (qāt), so there are lots of alternative spellings depending on the transliteration. I don't know if chat is one of them, probably though. Nadando 23:45, 3 January 2009 (UTC)


(abet — part 1)

QUESTION: Is there any way to track the edits on a particular word. I continue to post a logical, researched and widely accepted etymology for "abet" and it continues to be edited out. Thanks. CraigSalvay

Usually you'd just add the page to your watchlist (which happens automatically when you edit it), and monitor that. If you dispute the currently given etymology, you could use the rfv-etymology template to set up a discussion for it. Equinox 03:29, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Can someone explain where I get more complete instructions about editing and how to present source material? I have read the "Help" section of wikipedia.org. and am unable to find a comprehensive roadmap to the process by which words are edited and sources are given. Thank you CraigSalvay

Also, Equinox, how do I message you about abet? I would be grateful to learn the ropes on this word. Thank you.

I have suggested an alternative etymology and asked that someone please tell me what criteria an entry must meet in order to be included. It appears that those comments have been edited out of this discussion altogether. So, again, I submit an alternative etymology for ABET and ask that someone (perhaps User:Equinox) explain what additional information I need to adduce in order for the inclusion of my research into this word. CraigSalvay 18:57, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Alternative etymology without loss of meaning from Semitic languages to present-day English. From Hebrew עבד (Ahbed) “to work” “to serve.” Biblical Aramaic, Aramaic and Syriac all use the word in the sense of either “slave” or “servant.” Hence, the meaning of abet as “assist [in the manner of servant].” Compare Aramaic and Syriac [script needed] (avdah, slave, servant) and Arabic ’abada (’abada, he served, worshipped, obeyed) and Ethiopian ’abbata, meaning "he imposed forced labor" and Akkadian abdu, meaning "slave." NOTE: Modern Ethiopian still uses the word “abet” as a response to one’s being hailed by name, in the sense of, “At your service.”

The problem is that, while your research is entertaining — it's always cool when unrelated languages happen to have words that sound similar and have similar meanings — see http://web.archive.org/web/20070227031854/http://members.aol.com/yahyam/coincidence.html for a bunch of examples — it is known that abet doesn't come from these Semitic roots, so no amount of information adduction will make this research relevant to [[abet#Etymology]]. —RuakhTALK 16:49, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

(abet — part 2)

Note: this was originally a separate section, below. I've brought it up here for clarity. —RuakhTALK 16:54, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

User:Craigsalvay has an alternate etymology for abet that has been reverted a few times due to lack of sources. I suggested that he put it up for discussion instead of repeatedly adding the same text. He sent me his ety suggestions by e-mail, so I am reproducing them here where they can be discussed. (Everything after this paragraph is from Craig. I hope e-mail hasn't trashed any important non-standard characters.) Could somebody with specific knowledge of abet take a look at this, so we can either integrate it into the entry or make a permanent, properly evidenced decision to reject it? Equinox 23:19, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

The etymology that appears in the "old" sources, OED and Century Dictionary, for example, appear to derive from the similarity in sound between ABET and the words (ME. abetten", OF. "abetter" and "abeter" [bait, as a bear], Icel. "beita" [bait, cause to bite]. While the Europeans who conjured these etymologies surely had good intentions, they largely overlooked Semitic language word origins; perhaps, they were unfamiliar with the languages - Ancient Hebrew, Arabic, Akkadian, Syriac, Aramaic, Hittite - or perhaps their Euro-centric view did not permit them to imagine that some words have been in continuous use, with their meanings virtually unchanged, for more than 5,000 years. One such word is ABET. I have provided the following information about the Semitic language origins of the word, namely: Alternative etymology without loss of meaning from Semitic languages to present-day English. From Hebrew עבד (Ahbed) "to work" "to serve." Biblical Aramaic, Aramaic and Syriac all use the word in the sense of either "slave" or "servant." Hence, the meaning of abet as "assist [in the manner of servant]." Compare Aramaic and Syriac [script needed] (avdah, slave, servant) and Arabic abada (abada, he served, worshipped, obeyed) and Ethiopian abbata, meaning "he imposed forced labor" and Akkadian abdu, meaning "slave." NOTE: Modern Ethiopian still uses the word "abet" as a response to one's being hailed by name, in the sense of, "At your service."

You indicated that there needs to be additional information about the source of this information. Can you tell me how (in what format) I enter that source information? My point of departure for my etymology was a book by Ernest Klein, "A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of Hebrew Language for Readers of English," MacMillan Publishing Company (NYC), 1987, at page 461.

—This comment was unsigned.

Hebrew עֶבֶד (`ebhedh, éved, slave) does exist, but Craig's conspiracy theory has no basis: there are plenty of words with accepted Semitic etymologies. I see no reason to diverge from accepted scholarship about this word. —RuakhTALK 23:39, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
A quick glance at the OED suggests that his etymology is probably wrong. Their earliest citation for the word (the etymology of which agrees with our current text) is 1380. Considering that there was significant contact between Old French and English at that point in time, the etymology is perfectly reasonable. Additionally, the citation shows a meaning close to what would be expected from the Old French. The alternative etymology is that much less likely as the original meaning was something like "bait, hound on". Further, if I have my history right, Semitic influence in English would have been very sparse in the 1300s. Besides that, for a borrowed word like that to have no semantic shift at all for such a period of time would be highly unlikely. That all points to the alternative suggestion as being a wrong assumption. —Leftmostcat 00:21, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Additionally, I find the expression the Europeans who conjured these etymologies outrageous and the theory aptly described as conspiracy - dismissible. I disprove adding such kind of original research no less than I disprove the theory about the Korean origin of cub. I really think that we should adapt some rule in accordance with the one in Wikipedia about original research. Bogorm 16:30, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
First to the conspiracy theory. Repeated review of the OED shows that its compilation, while masterful, based its etymologies only on predecessor words that appeared in writings that were submitted and classified in the famous "Scriptorium." However, there was little or no inquiry into sources for the English words that pre-dated Latin, Greek and middle and high Teutonic languages. Notable exceptions to this practice of compilation by the editors of the OED were those words appearing in the Hebrew Bible (Tanach) which were preserved in that book and continuously used by their reference in biblical exposition; for example, there remains the word Behemoth cited as coming directly from the Hebrew, for which no intermediate Latin or Greek citation is given.
Leftmostcat says his history suggests "Semitic influence in English would have been very sparse in the 1300s [AD]." This assertion is not correct; Phoenician traders (from the Levant, modern-day Lebanon/Syria, have been traveling the Mediterranean for more than 3,000 years; for example, the traditional year given for the founding of Cadiz, Spain (originally Gehdehr) by the Phoenicians is 1104 BC. Further, the concept of indentured servant and slave were both prevalent in Phoenician society and were expressed by a word similar to Ehvehd in Phoenician. Also, of great interest to me in recent research of the word "abet" has been my correspondence with a professor in Ethiopia who, in her last email, told me that Modern Ethiopian still uses the word 'abada' as a response to one's being hailed by name, and that response is understood to mean 'At your service'. craigsalvay 04:36 UTC
I'm not disputing the use of Semitic languages, but the amount of contact they'd have had with English. I very much doubt that English was in common use by Mediterranean traders before 1340. It wasn't until a number of years later that English even regained status as a language of government in England. From around the Norman invasion of 1066, Old French was the prestige language for a few hundred years. Additionally, as Widsith mentions below and as I mentioned above, the original use of the word abet was quite different in meaning. It is through semantic shift, another of the arguments for the unlikelihood of your claim, that it comes to have any connotations of servitude at all. Regardless of whether the OED is eurocentric or not, they still have a much more solid case in this instance. —Leftmostcat 08:04, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
  • The modern meaning of abet might be "assist (in the manner of a servant)" (although personally I dispute that), but that is certainly not what the word meant originally. The root is Old French beter (bait, hound on) and its original meaning in English was ‘encourage, urge on’, as in Fleming's “The Scottish queene did not onelie advise them, but also direct, comfort, and abbet them, with persuasion, counsell, promise of reward, and earnest obtestation.” The idea that abet means just "help" or "assist" is fairly modern and has probably come about from the usual legal collocation of "aiding and abetting", which always used to mean "helping and inciting". Ƿidsiþ 07:38, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
First, the interpretation of the word "abett" in Fleming's work does not seem inconsistent with the definition "serve;" I posit that the word "abet" originally meant and still broadly means "serve" or "assist." Further, English law has often uses tautology to express an all-encompassing concept. You cite, "aiding and abetting." You might also cite, "rest, residue, and remainder." In the latter, all the words generally mean that which is left from a set. So the same, "aid and abet" is likely a tautology.

QUESTION: As a new user of Wiktionary, what is sufficient proof in order to add a possible etymology to Wiktionary such as the one I have proposed for abet? craigsalvay 04:51 01 Feb 2009 (UTC)

Further information regarding ABET: Modern Greek uses the word ypoboitho (υποβοηθώ, the root pronounced voyTHO). It incorporates the initial silent letter (essentially a place-holder for a diacritical mark) that is written " ' " in the International Phonetic Alphabet, and it follows that letter with "B" (pronounced "V" in Greek) and the sound "TH," an aspirated "T." Thus, ypoboitho is a word that means "help" or "assist" and contains all the sounds in order of the Semitic word A-B-D. Any comments? I would appreciate someone expert in Greek to comment. craigsalvay 04:53, 07 Aprila 2009 (UTC)


Should this be surrebuttal? Or is that a synonym? Nadando 02:47, 4 January 2009 (UTC) Restoring section blanked by Craigsalvay. -- Visviva 04:39, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, a (less-præferred) synonym, it seems.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:12, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Common name for View configure and back up operation

Hi want to know what will be the common name for View,Configure and Backup ??


Specifically the pronominal senses. Hamaryns rfc'd this awhile back (rightly so, in my opinion), but it's a bit tricky. My first instinct was to simply merge the senses and translations and be done with it, as English does not distinguish between the nominative and accusative case, and the distinction seems purely morphological for other languages, not worth splitting up translation sections. However, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps there are two meaningful senses (which, btw, are not correctly distinguished by the defs nor by the example sentences). The first sense is simply an indefinite referential pronoun: "I want the green one". It can (but doesn't have to) take determiners. The other is.....a little trickier: "One should always remember to bring an umbrella when rain is possible". It can't take determiners, and is far more prevalent as the subject, but it can be the object (especially if the subject is also "one"). It's often used in moral platitudes. Additionally, there are other problems with the entry (e.g. I'm troubled by the fourth adjectival sense and its example sentence). Can someone with more sophisticated grammar skills look at this please? -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:46, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

The second sense you describe "One should always remember..." is sometimes called the impersonal pronoun, and sometimes called "fourth person". Something like it exists in Spanish as well. Yes, there are many, many problems with the entry for one, in part because it's an extremely complicated little word. I'll take a look, but I expect it will take the efforts of half a dozen of our best contributors here, and even then it may fall short. --EncycloPetey 07:55, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Annoyingly, the term impersonal pronoun is used both in reference to this sense of one/you (and FL counterparts), and in reference to expletive uses of it (ditto). The term indefinite personal pronoun, which seems to be used only in reference to this sense of one/you (and FL counterparts), might be better. —RuakhTALK 17:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I've made an attempt at this, but I lack confidence in my skills in this matter. I would greatly appreciate a review by someone more skilled than I. In any case, I feel that the example sentences are properly sorted, even if the definitions are.....wanting. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:30, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
I wonder if maybe it should be split into two POS sections? Only sense #1 has a plural ("The big ones look good", "I want the green ones"), and only sense #2 has a reflexive (oneself). Also, while one's can have either sense, only for sense #2 does it seem to be a possessive pronoun like my etc.; for sense #1 it looks like normal one + 's. —RuakhTALK 14:44, 14 January 2009 (UTC)


I have this nice quote here, but I am unsure under which definition to put it. Seems to me it would justify an ‘Adjective’ section:

    • 2003, Nicholas Asher and Alex Lascarides, Logics of Conversation, Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, p. 46
      [Discourse Representation Theory] is a paradigm example of a dynamic semantic theory, […]

Can somebody make sure this finds its suitable place? Cheers! H. (talk) 09:35, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm... paradigmatic might be better suited for the sentence, but nevertheless it seems just like a noun being used attributively. No drama. Pingku 18:13, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
As Pingku says, this is an example of attributive use of a noun. It does not require an additional part of speech section, since this is a regular feature of English grammar. Witness: "computer table", "printer paper", "economics class", "refrigerator magnet", "soccer game", "train ticket", etc. Practically any English noun can be used atributively in front of some other noun to create a compound expression, so this does not justify an Adjecitve section. --EncycloPetey 18:56, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

The right words for a specific sentence on tolerance

What I want to say is:

The main quality of every human being is to be a human being. The whole sentence is ment as a statement for tolerance in the sense that every human being is first of all a human being.

I browsed some dictionaries and thesaurus to find the appropriate words for the meaning of this sentence but am not quiet sure how good they match. Is it:

- main - primary - first - or any other word? The meaning should be: the first and most important of different characteristics or qualities

- quality - characteristic - maybe nature? or any other word?

- human being or man?

How do you like the sentence?

Thank you for your help and feedback! Jack

Clearly this is a matter of taste and intent, but if I were to write such a sentence, I think it would run something like, "The fundamental essence of every human, is to simply be human." -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 11:40, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Atelaes for your answer! Although it sounds maybe too sophisticated for just a lot of people (I thought of writing this sentence in a public ad or so... Just an idea ;-) ) I like it in the use as something like a "quotation". But is "fundamental essence" not like saying a thing twice? I mean, is an essence not anyway fundamental because it's the essence of something? Or can there be several essences of one thing? I mean this as real questions. What do you think about "The essence of every human is to be human". How does the meaning change when you write "to simply be human" instead of "to be human" (my native language is german...)? I'm looking forward to your reply and/or other suggestions! -- Jack-72 13:00, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm.....I think you have a point. Essence is necessarily fundamental, so it is a bit redundant. "The essence" would probably get the same information across more concisely. As for "simply," I think I inserted it for metrical reasons more than anything. I suppose it does change the meaning of the sentence a bit, but I just feel like there should be more of a pause between the two "humans." -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 13:11, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, I think I got my sentence now. Be it with simple or without, I've not decided yet but it's not so important ;-). Thanks, Atelaes - Jack-72 13:37, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The "to be" makes it sound to me like the sentence is a moral lesson: you, O human being, should be a human being! In fact, you're saying that each human is a human being, so how about, instead of "is to (simply) be (a) human (being)", "is that he is (a) human (being)"?—msh210 20:05, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

The essence of every human being is simply being human. Pingku 18:19, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

black letter

Entry says countable. True?—msh210 20:57, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

The type style is both countable and uncountable. I'll add some citations. Michael Z. 2009-01-05 23:21 z
Surely the type is the proper noun Blackletter, whilst one can also say “there’s some blackletter [the text as a mass]”, “it’s written using blackletters [referring to the individual characters]”, &c (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:17, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
It is not the proper name of a typeface like Helvetica, but a type style, comparable to roman, italic, etc (there might also be specific designs titled Blackletter by their designer).
It seems that every spelling is used every conceivable way: the noun is more commonly black letter, and attributive more often black-letter or blackletter. A typeface is blackletter or a blackletter, while text printed in this style is blackletter or (set) in blackletter.
The plural definitely applies to particular fonts, for example, in the days of metal type, a typesetter's 12-point blackletter and his 24-point blackletter were two blackletters (just as your computer's Helvetica italic and Times italic are two italics). I suspect that type can be set in blackletters too, but I don't see an example at the moment. Michael Z. 2009-03-31 22:55 z
I stand corrected!  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:16, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Zocken auf Englisch

Als Auslandsdeutscher ist mir der Begriff Zocken bzw. Zocker neu. Ich wuerde gerne die Wurzeln des Wortes kennen - und wie man es denn am besten auf Englisch uebersetzen koennte, denn die oberflaechliche Uebersetung (gamble, gambler) wird der eigentliochen Bedeutung nicht gerecht.
Danke fuer den Input.

for feedback please use <e-mail address redacted>

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 03:52, 6 January 2009 (UTC).


Is dowse a synonym or alternative spelling? Is it transitive or intransitive or both? Wikipedia claims one can also throw a bucket of water over oneself, and that it is always with cold water. H. (talk) 11:16, 6 January 2009 (UTC)


(to become blue presently ...)

Good new word. This is from a film review [2]:

«L'ultima frontiera della rivoluzione sessuale», ha commentato il quotidiano Die Tageszeitung sotto il titolo obamiano «Yes, we can».
"the ultimate frontier of the sexual revolution" commented the daily Die Tageszeitung under the Obamian title "Yes, we can." (my translation)

If it is good enough for Corriere della Sera to use in print today, it is good enough for me! Robert Ullmann 11:49, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I have a strong suspicion that they're only calling it the latest frontier, not the ultimate one. I'll be happy to be wrong, though. :-)   (BTW, is "over 70" standard in Italian, or is the headline just using English for fun?) —RuakhTALK 01:19, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Judging from n.g.c., this won't technically meet CFI for another month or so -- the first cite I saw was from early March 08 -- but I don't think there's any room for reasonable doubt that it will pass (the papers aren't just going to suddenly stop using it, though it may acquire new meanings). :-) Seems that it is sometimes capitalized? -- Visviva 01:53, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


According to the Wikipedia article, there are a lot of senses missing. Probably, the etymology needs to be split up (from unruly crowd to criminal organization is an extra step). H. (talk) 20:44, 6 January 2009 (UTC)


The uses I can find don't seem to match the given definition, but I can't quite express the senses I'm finding, such as on b.g.c. --EncycloPetey 00:22, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


I'm reading "Gaspar brought a curiously chased flask of myrrh, a royal embalming oil. " This from a text relating to yesterday (the holiday Epiphany). I cannot find any sense of this word that sheds meaning to this quote. Anyone? __meco 09:10, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Looks like Etymology 3, Verb, sense 3 under chase. An unfortunate casualty of our layout conventions? -- Visviva 10:25, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Appreciated! I missed that one. __meco 16:54, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Old High German ch/k

Here User:Drago spells Old High German sound k as ch. This is also the case with Deutsches Wörterbuch (vide kratzen < chrazzon), the greatest dictionary of the German language. However, Ordbog over det danske sprog shows a propensity towards k (krazzon here) as does Online Etymology Dictionary (“grate” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018.). I am perplexed by such a dissonance and would like to ask which orthography is to be præferred. Despite being able to speak fluently German, I am by no means conversant with Old High German, but strongly doubt that condoning a policy of laissez-faire and shunning unification of the spelling would be laudable. Bogorm 12:14, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

That user's spellings of Old high German words were not always the best. The German wiktionary prefers k (see e.g. de:Kraft), as does Köbler, so I advocate k. Only the contrary preference of the Deutsches Wörterbuch gives me pause... — Beobach972 19:12, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Kluge's Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache seems to prefer "k". --EncycloPetey 16:58, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
But we have no Wiktionary:About_Old_High_German policy, have we? It would be good to create such pages for OHG and Old Norse, because there is one for OE. In Old Norse for example, I met somewhere the recommendation to use ´ instead of macrons, but I do not remember where. And there is the issue with the ö, introduced later. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 21:03, 2 April 2009 (UTC)


While wading through the cognates of lind in Deutsches Wörterbuch, I noticed that the Old English word is spelt lyðe (Angelsachsisch ebenso lyðe = OE idem lyðe ) [3]. I skip these cognates usually, but this time I was surprised by the discrepancy and given that the entry's main contributor is User:Drago, I would like to request someone who is conversant with that language to check whether it is ð or þ. Bogorm 21:30, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps Wiktionary:About Old English#Þ and Ð might be illuminating on this topic. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 21:46, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
The OED Online gives only <ð> and <th> spellings, but a number of its quotations have it with <þ>. —RuakhTALK 02:30, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
The two letters are semantically identical. We use thorns here, but the Anglo-Saxons used both interchangeably, with no apparent rhyme or reason. Ƿidsiþ 15:22, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

take your ball and go home

What does this phrase mean?? I've heard it being used several times, but can't work out what it means. If anyone knows that would be helpful, I can add it in the ball article, where it's relevant. AC --Sunstar NW XP 01:07, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

The action is an assertion of one's power to get out of a situation that has turned to one's disadvantage. From the point of view of others engaged in the game so brought to an end it might be seen as an act of selfishness. I'm not 100% sure it merits inclusion as a separate entry. Perhaps you can find a quotation to place at the appropriate figurative sense of ball (which might well be missing). DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 20:48, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
I think take one's ball and go home deserves an entry. It's one I hear often enough and which is highly idiomatic. --EncycloPetey 20:48, 17 January 2009 (UTC)


Would someone please take a look at the verb section, there is a sentence that does not seem to belong to anywhere, I wasn't sure what to do with it. Thanks. --Panda10 20:06, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Resolved + PoS corrections. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 20:40, 10 January 2009 (UTC)


Defined as "The womb or vulva, or a symbol of it..." etc. I feel that I want to take out "womb", because although the Sanskrit word can have that meaning, I'm not sure it's ever used that way in English. But maybe someone else knows otherwise...? Ƿidsiþ 23:41, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Sending to RfV for resolution since it didn't get any here. — Carolina wren discussió 02:42, 5 April 2009 (UTC)


Is it sure that this entry deserves to be considered (modern) English, given that it is not present in Webster 1913 and that in Deutsches Wörterbuch from the first half of the 19th century it is not even mentioned. If the word was obsolete in 1850 and has never been used after Chaucer, then it is probably Middle English. Would anyone check this, please. Bogorm 09:51, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Currently, the OED's last citation is from 1507, which is rather after the Middle English period. Ƿidsiþ 10:29, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


if a relationship is uninhibited, what exactly does this mean ? —This comment was unsigned.

Assuming a two-person relationship, Uninhibited with respect to:
  1. Relationship and behavior between the partners
  1. Relationship and behavior between each partner and others.
I'd say you would want more information to make that kind of distinction. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 23:26, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


New to this, I'm a carpenter who was looking up "dote" to find the spelling of doty, both of which mean rot or incipient decay in wood.

I found a spelling of doty here; http://www.answers.com/topic/doty-1 The US Forest Products Labs (a recognized industry authority) mentions the use of Dote, or Doze, in a pdf here; http://usasearch.gov/search?affiliate=fpl.fs.fed.us&v%3Aproject=firstgov&query=dote

Sorry I don't know enough about the parts of speech, or whether this is too specific, to edit a dictionary, thanks and best luck. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 04:48, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

do you know who I am?

This entry could do with a review from another pair of eyes. I haven't really described this right - I mean, how people say this when they expect differential treatment for some reason, and they don't get it (I'm sure there's a word for this). There's tonnes of great potential citations around on the web, but my brain isn't up to adding citations or usage notes at the moment. --Jackofclubs 15:53, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Could equally be don't you know who I am?. I don't entirely like the definition given, because it's not directly an arrogant expression of one's importance, is it? They do literally mean to ask whether you are aware of their identity; the preferential treatment is just something to be deduced from that awareness. Equinox 16:15, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
You're right, of course - "don't..." is probably better. I guess it's a question of intonation, too. If I asked you just now "do you know who I am", then you would probably say, "yes, you are Jackofclubs, it says so on your profile" and not think too much about it, but if I said "don't you know who I am" then we can assume that I consider myself superior, and you stupid scum who should do as I wish. Also, we could add something like "if someone says this, he is deemed to have lost the moral argument" - ach, my brain isn't in the right state to express myself at the moment. --Jackofclubs 16:35, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Jackofclubs, do you not recognise me? Can you not see what is before your eyes? Dost thou not recognise the sum of parts? Pingku 18:30, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
The question is as nothing: the rhetorical point is your implied stupidity in not knowing the answer. Pingku 18:44, 28 January 2009 (UTC)


Is it not highly likely that this and all forms using it are actually not English but rather Middle English? Generally, a significant proportion of the English senses marked "archaic" and "obsolete" seem to be more conveniently treated as Middle English. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 16:30, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I think yclept is occasionally found in Modern English. —Stephen 19:35, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
  • The problem is many of these forms, though not survivng to modern English, outlasted the M iddle English epriod by some way. As Stephen says, yclept and a couple of others are still sometimes used as deliberate archaisms. Ƿidsiþ 20:08, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Actually the only thing I dislike is showing the "y-" and other mostly Middle English forms on inflection lines, where they add clutter and no value to all but a tiny number of users. I agree that we need some way of referencing the Middle English forms in the English entry. To some extent, including the Middle English lemma in the etymology, even when its spelling is identical to the Modern English, would provide the required link. I'm sure there are cases like "yclept" and "ycumen" that might warrant a full Modern English entry. DCDuring TALK 20:23, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't think I understand you. Where else would they be if not the inflection line? They're words, after all.... Ƿidsiþ 20:28, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  1. They would have their own entries as inflected forms, with both English and Middle English language sections.
  2. They would also appear on the inflection line for the identically spelled Middle English form as well as any other appropriate Middle English spellings.
  3. The Middle English lemma would be in the Modern English etymology.
Thus any experienced user and most enwikt-newbie scholars of early modern English would readily find the inflected forms. The gain would be a less confusing, misleading, and antiquarian appearance of the inflection line for "ordinary" users, including especially language learners. DCDuring TALK 20:39, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
See the newly-created lend a helping hand. You can see that the arch. 3rd-pers. sing. præs. act. ind. form and the rare past form are both clearly marked with the appropriate context tags; this is what we do wherever forms needing comment appear — why ought conjugation and inflexion lines be any different?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:51, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Ah, right....well if this is what DCDuring meant, then I agree with him. Not that this is ME, but it certainly seems unnecessarily messy to me. Ƿidsiþ 21:43, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
(Returning to margin for examples’ sake):

Not that I think it’s messy, but I agree that the situation is less than ideal. Lendeth a helping hand should really go a the end of the conjugation (after the past forms), and ditto *lendest a helping hand; however, the way that {{en-verb}} is set up at præsent doesn’t really allow that. (I could write in the past forms’ parameter:

'''[[lent a helping hand]]''' ''or'' (''rare'') '''[[lended a helping hand]]''', ''archaic second-person singular simple present'' [[*]]'''lendest a helping hand''', ''archaic third-person singular simple present'' '''[[lendeth a helping hand]]'''

to give the conjugation line as:

lend a helping hand (third-person singular simple present lends a helping hand, present participle lending a helping hand, simple past and past participle lent a helping hand or (rare) lended a helping hand, archaic second-person singular simple present *lendest a helping hand, archaic third-person singular simple present lendeth a helping hand)

but that code would be very messy.) Ideally, we’d have named parameters such as arch2= and arch3= for these forms which, if not specified, would simply display nothing. Thoughts?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:57, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I wholly embrace this proposal, since the second person sg. pronoun thou should undoubtedly be included as should the archaic ending -eth for he/she/it. Bogorm 16:16, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
This seems to make a strong case for using {{infl}} for verbal idioms. I dread the appearance of even lend under this proposal (if it is indeed a proper proposal). OTOH, keeping ordinary users away to the greatest extent possible might reduce the need for patrolling and would certainly reduce the load on the servers. I'm sure that those who use our content for their own on-line dictionaries will not have any serious trouble stripping out what they don't need. I know also that language learners also need to be encouraged to use other on-line resources beside enwikt. So, by all means, we should have a template that facilitates placing more obscurantist content on the inflection line. DCDuring TALK 16:49, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be under the impression that today is Sarcasm Day, but in fact it's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Don't feel bad; J. Edgar Hoover made the same mistake. —RuakhTALK 17:02, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Moi? DCDuring TALK 19:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
DCDuring, this is not an attempt at obscurantism; please try to suggest ways that this information (which is perhaps of more historical interest) can be clearly præsented without detracting from information which aids learners. E.g., would it be possible for the end of the conjugation line to feature a button — similar in function to rel-tables’ show/hide toggles (but instead with the text [more]/[less]) — by default set not to show the additional, more academic content, which could be clicked by users with an interest in these archaic and other forms?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:14, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
IMO this is one of many excellent uses for Usage notes -- in this case, to describe certain historical aspects of usage. (With a usage note, we could even, if we wished, note the specific historical periods in which a particular inflection was current.) -- Visviva 17:19, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Fwiw, I agree obsolete forms do not belong in an inflection line where a corresponding form is currently used. (In other words, if the word currently has no third-person present, then by all means list the obsolete form, marking it as such. But if it does, don't.)—msh210 17:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
True current and fairly recent (19th century? older?) alternative forms should appear on the inflection line.
  1. Visviva's suggestion of Usage notes covers more cases. We may need to have some more structure for Usage notes as we have more content that we place there.
  2. My original proposal stands: Put forms prevalent in Middle English under Middle English entries, referencing the Middle English in the English Etymology, even if the forms were used in the Early Modern English period. This is admittedly not 100% accurate, but offers practical advantages. I guess it is true of many Middle English forms that they survived into Early Modern.
It is rare, obsolete, and archaic forms that we would want to remove from the inflection line (not, I hasten to add, remove their entries nor exclude them altogether from the English lemma). I don't know whether something similar to the Middle English trick would work for any dialect forms. DCDuring TALK 19:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Nota the quotation from 1852 in our entry for lendeth — from the mid-19th century — 482 years after the traditional date when Middle English became Early Modern English (circa 1470) and 202 years after Early Modern English became Modern English (circa 1650, according to Wikipedia).
One may quæstion the utility of specifying the arch. 3rd-pers. sing. præs. act. ind. form, seeing as it is formed so regularly (+(e)th); however, the same, of course, goes for both the non-arch. 3rd-pers. sing. præs. act. ind. form and especially the præsent participle (though not the past forms, which display irregularity with far greater frequency). This form is often misused (sometimes so much as to be used for all three persons and for both numbers, as well as sometimes being applied to tenses other than the præs. ind.), so it could be argued that we’re teaching more people something they didn’t know already by specifying the archaic third-person yaddy rather than the non-archaic third-person yadda (not, of course, that I’m advocating the absurdity of leaving out the current common form).
FWIW, I see specifying the arch. 2nd-pers. sing. præs. act. ind. form as more important than doing so for the 3rd, since while the latter is pretty much solely used for archaism nowadays, the former still has applications for shorthand translations of languages that still distinguish the singular and plural 2nd-person pronouns as well as English dialects that also maintain the distinction (such as the Yorkshire dialect); furthermore, the arch. 2nd-pers. sing. forms seem a lot more anomalous than the arch. 3rd-pers. sing. forms, often featuring markedly distinct indicative and subjunctive, and præsent and past forms (e.g., art, wast, wert, hast, hadst, shalt, shouldest, shouldst, thinkest[4], thoughtest[5], &c.).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:10, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Hear, hear. And let's not forget the added benefit, that we can show everyone exactly how smart we are. (By "everyone", I mean of course "us", since no one else would likely bother to use Wiktionary if this approach became standard.) :-P Hmm... perhaps part of my unease at this proposal is that I don't want people to know exactly how smart I am. Much, much better to keep them guessing. -- Visviva 17:19, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


What is the the definition? I cannot find it.

Where did you encounter it? It looks like a first-person singular perfect active indicative verb form, but if it is then I don't recognize the base verb. It could also be a compound from ipse (himself), meaning something like "all himself". However, the -i ending would make it dative "wholly to himself", and impossible to determine the gender. --EncycloPetey 05:31, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's Latin; I suspect it might be English omni- +‎ psi "all-psychic". It doesn't seem to meet our criteria for inclusion, though. —RuakhTALK 20:09, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

balkanise or Balkanise?

balkanise or Balkanise? Either? RJFJR 15:02, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

google books:intext:balkanise?complete=0&num=100 shows a clear preference for lowercase, especially among uses, but capitalized is not uncommon. google books:intext:balkanize?complete=0&num=100 (with a Z) is less clear, but still seems to prefer lowercase. —RuakhTALK 23:47, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
As usual I'll chip in with Chambers' rendition: Bal'kanize or Bal'kanise, vt (also without cap) to reduce to the condition of the Balkan peninsula, which was divided in the late 19th and early 20th centuries into a number of mutually hostile territories. In any case it's pretty clear that we are talking about the Balkans, which are generally capitalised, so any lower-case variant is a sort of assimilation of the original upper-case one. Equinox 01:12, 14 January 2009 (UTC)


I wonder about the meaning of the word wave in this snippet from the Gnostic text "The Exegesis on the Soul": "It is therefore fitting to pray to the father and to call on him with all our soul - not externally with the lips, but with the spirit, which is inward, which came forth from the depth - sighing; repenting for the life we lived; confessing our sins; perceiving the empty deception we were in, and the empty zeal; weeping over how we were in darkness and in the wave; mourning for ourselves, that he might have pity on us; hating ourselves for how we are now. " __meco 14:40, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I'd be suspicious of the translation. "In the wave" probably is a literal translation that should be better translated by "in the waves", "at sea", or "lost". DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 15:12, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Sure, "lost at sea" is a metaphor which fits very well into the context. __meco 15:18, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

sadi - previously deleted

I was about to create the entry for sadi, but then there was a warning that the page was previously deleted. sadi is listed as an alternative spelling for sadhe. I was going to create an entry very similar to sade, another alternative spelling. I'm not sure if this is related, but Sadi with capital "S" redirects to sadhe. sadi is listed on the Association of British Scrabble Players website: http://www.absp.org.uk/words/4s.html Any reason why I should not create this entry? Disclaimer: I have no expertise on the Hebrew alphabet, but was hunting for anagrams for "said". :*) --AZard 23:36, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

The capital version Sadi is left over debris from the case conversion; it should have been left at lc; the lc (also a redirect) was subsequently deleted. I've deleted Sadi, you should go ahead and create sadi again as alt-spell of sahde. Robert Ullmann 11:39, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


Seeking a consensus on a good, comprehensive arrangement and wording of definitions. See also WT:RFC#nationality, Appendix:Dictionary notes/nationality. The discussion has gotten a bit long and bogged down, so I'm moving it here.

User:Chelentano has made rather ingenious use of the dictionary notes to prepare a sort of consensus ordering of definitions, to wit:

1) Membership of individual or organization in a particular state, by origin, birth, naturalization, ownership, allegiance, etc. See citizenship
2) Membership of individual in a particiular nation by origin or birth. See ethnicity
3) A people sharing a common origin, culture, language, etc.
4) Existence of a region or people as a distinct nation or state
5) An emotional attachment to one's nation; patriotism

Do folks have any further thoughts about how best to order and word these, for maximal clarity and minimal confusion? I'm inclined to think that the last two should at least be labeled {{dated}}. -- Visviva 04:15, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

(Responding to myself :-) A good bit of the earlier discussion turned on the relationship between "nationality" and "citizenship". Turning to Black's, I note that it has definitions 3 and 1 above, followed by the "nationality of a ship" definition. Curiously, it defines #1 above solely in terms of the relationship between a citizen and a state, and also notes that this is sometimes used as a straightforward synonym for citizenship. Unlike some other dictionaries, Black's does not indicate that this term can be used for the relationship between a non-citizen national and a state. This seems odd, but I'm hardly in a position to argue with the dictionary of Anglo-American law. Would anyone with legal training care to weigh in? -- Visviva 04:28, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with Black's or US law, so I'm speculating, but it seems to me that general US law would only be concerned with legally-defined nationality and citizenship. Since US justice is blind, ethnicity would be omitted, since any mention of it in legal proceedings might represent prejudice being applied. We could add a specific definition which is restricted to (US law).
This would be country-specific. In Canada, for example, various rights and equity laws recognize visible minorities, Aboriginal and First Nations status, minority languages, and multiculturalism. Michael Z. 2009-01-16 19:54 z
2) Membership of individual in a particiular nation by origin or birth. See ethnicity - Where did you guys get this? This is not a common definition in our Appendix? Besides, the word particiular spelled wrong. The #2 must be removed. I specifically oppose the 'ethnicity' part. "origin or birth" is not the same as ethnicity. Also the 'ethnicity' ranked #9 (the last place) in the Appendix table. We should not accommodate all 9, but pick the top 4 or 5, not more. Chelentano 04:54, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
  1. State or quality of belonging to a nation by origin, birth, or naturalization; citizenship.
  2. Patriotism/nationalism
  3. Race or people; nation; ethnic group; traditions
  4. Relationship of property, holdings, etc., to a particular nation, or to its members: the nationality of a ship.
  5. National integrity/independence
This version does not involve unusual definitions and should be fair for everyone. -Chelentano 02:46, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually the "ethnicity" part of the definition is a very important part of the ambiguous meaning of "nationality" in English. It is exactly what is meant by "membership in a nation, ethnic, cultural group, etc." It is the ambiguity of meaning that "nationality" has between citizenship and ethnicity that sparked this discussion in the first place at the Taras Shevchenko page in Wikipedia--one of the adversaries was treating the word "nationality" as citizenship (so that the grumpy mustachioed one was Russian) while the other was treating the word "nationality" as ethnicity (so that he was Ukrainian). BOTH parts of the definition are important components of nationality. (Didn't Taras ever smile? I never saw a statue of him in Ukraine with a smile on his face--except his portait on the banknotes.) Just because no dictionary has divided up the "nationality" pie in this particular way does not mean that the pie isn't divided this way. Every dictionary has citizenship definitions and ethnicity definitions. 1 and 2 above are simply clarifications of the two meanings. (Taivo 05:45, 15 January 2009 (UTC))
Ah, if this is overflow from a 'pedia dispute, the tenor of discussion makes a bit more sense. We tend to be fairly low-key over here. -- Visviva 11:31, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
It was copied verbatim from your posting on RFC. :-) -- Visviva 05:26, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, my comment related to Chelentano's revision where he de-emphasizes the ethnicity component of the definition. It should not be de-emphasized, but citizenship and ethnicity should be equal partners. (Taivo 06:05, 16 January 2009 (UTC))
However, since Mzajac as an administrator has complete control over the editing of the entry at this time, he doesn't seem to be interested in participating in the discussion. It's unfortunate since he is one of the two original parties to the dispute over the relationship of citizenship and ethnicity to the definition of nationality. I will assume that he is just unable to get to a computer and spend time right now. (Taivo 06:08, 16 January 2009 (UTC))
Yeah, I took little break from this. There are lots of other editors who can edit the entry.
I don't think the average rank of each entry is the best way to determine the order. It's skewed because some dictionaries with restricted scope have only one sense, while others appear to have as many as seven or eight subsenses. Someone smarter than me may develop a more complex formula, but I'm not sure if the results would have any meaning at all except as the best possible facsimile of the average dictionary, since different dictionaries seem to order these senses by different criteria.
The table is also rather inexact in lumping together senses without reference to the full text of the original dictionary entries.
Better to use these dictionaries as a guide, identify factors that make individual senses more or less prominent for us, and order them logically on this basis. An order based on any single logical framework would better serve the reader than one mathematically derived from an inexact equation between several orders derived by unknown but obviously different frameworks. Michael Z. 2009-01-16 19:54 z
I think more definitions (than 5) are fine, as long as they are clearly and unambiguously distinguished, and make things more clear rather than less so. I could see a plausible case for at least 10... -- Visviva 11:31, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Subdivision of senses should be done cautiously. Typical use of the word depends on its inclusiveness (or “ambiguity” if you like, without a negative connotation). For example, although a particular nationality (=nation) may be delineated by its religion (e.g. Mennonites), a mention of nationality encompassing this nation is unlikely to be restricted to this definition only. Michael Z. 2009-01-16 19:54 z
I would prefer one of two solutions to the citizenship/ethnicity issue. 1) Divide the senses into two definitions as I did above with cross-references, or 2) Reword the first definition to "nation or state" rather than just "nation". That way we either 1) specify the different senses or 2) make the ambiguity between ethnicity and citizenship clear by using both terms "nation" and "state". Since the article is currently blocked, not everyone can edit this. (Taivo 01:19, 17 January 2009 (UTC))

  • Mr. Taivo, I have to strongly disagree. Citizenship and ethnicity should NOT be equal partners. Ethnicity definition is used rarely while Citizenship used most of the time. The citizenship definition has the highest ranking in the Appendix, while ethnicity is the lowest: number nine, so it would not be fair squeezing it into the second spot. If they are equal, I’d like to see some substation evidence. I agree with you, though, that Mr. Mzajac has complete control and basically blocks the process. The Admin status is abused here. --Chelentano 06:21, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Mr. Mzajac, you scraped the original definition the “Citizenship” while making a reference to a dictionary. Now when Citizenship is ranked number 1 and Ethnicity is number 9 among all dictionaries, you are trying to dismiss inconvenient truth: “less prominent for us”, “restricted scope”, “mathematically derived from an inexact equation”, “rather inexact in lumping together senses “, “nationality may be delineated by its religion“, “senses more or less prominent for us”, bla-bla-bla... You also dismiss examples of real-life usage/meaning of the word Nationality found on collaborative sites, Yahoo answers, and Wiktionary itself. Everything is dismissed: the respected dictionaries as well as real-world examples, and nothing substantial is offered as alternative. To your credit, you did attempt to be fair and invited me to the discussion, but still you are very biased. The ‘ethnicity’ is promoted from the 9th spot to the second, which is an obvious bias and lack of verifiable evidence. And the worst is that you abuse your admin status. --Chelentano 07:50, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Well then, blah, blah, blah to you, too. Michael Z. 2009-01-17 16:23 z
Actually, Chelentano, the very origins of this dispute illustrate the inherent ambiguity between the citizenship and ethnicity definitions of "nationality". You wanted Taras Shevchenko's nationality to be Russian, Mzajac wanted his nationality to be Ukrainian. In fact, you were both correct and the problem had to be solved by writing his citizenship as Russian and his ethnicity as Ukrainian. That very conflict, in and of itself, should show that the first definition here (or the first two in my original solution) should give equal footing to the two notions of citizenship and ethnicity. My problem with the currently published solution (which Mzajac has complete control over as an admin) is that it does not give equal weight to the citizenship aspect. I have given my proposals for a solution in my previous post. (Taivo 12:52, 17 January 2009 (UTC))
Folks, I didn't protect the article, and I'm not the King of Wiktionary, so please stop implying that I'm responsible for all of your frustrations. I've put as much energy into discussing this entry as anyone. When there's a consensus for changes which improve the entry, I'm sure they can be made without trouble. Michael Z. 2009-01-17 16:23 z
No, you didn't protect the article, Stephen Brown did. Chelentano is off-base for implying that you are somehow abusing your power. I actually think that Brown acted inappropriately for blocking the article without any discussion of what I thought were improvements. His argument was basically, "That's not the way it was and you wrote more than one sentence on the Talk page so I'm not going to bother to read your input". (Taivo 21:33, 17 January 2009 (UTC))
  • Taivo, I agree with you that citizenship aspect is unfairly removed. Mr. Mzajac is ignoring here opinion we both expressed. I disagree however that citizenship and ethnicity should be given equal place in defining nationality. Ethnicity definition is mentioned only in 3 (BTW none are accessible online) out of 16 dictionaries, number 9 ranking overall. The same situation exists when we look into informal, collaborative online sources: no ethnicity definition. There is no equality. The meaning of nationality pretty much straight forward: in English it’s basically a membership in a state or nation, commonly defined as citizenship. If you believe opposite, please offer some evidence in support of your notion that citizenship and ethnicity should be given equal place defining nationality. I have not seen a sufficient evidence yet to dismiss 16 dictionaries. --Chelentano 05:45, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Sometimes nationality is defined as ‘national character’, but never the way it’s offered by Mzajac: ‘National or ethnic character’. This phrase is another attempt to imply that nation and ethnicity are the same concept: they are not. --Chelentano 05:45, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Taivo, I did not say that Mr. Mzajac protected the article, did I? I did say though that he is abusing his admin status: he is the only one, who takes advantage of it being protected: he is making his edits, while ignoring other facts and opinions, and while keeping the article blocked from us. A reasonable admin should revert to the original definition and stop making his own edits until we come to agreement – that’s the way I see it. --Chelentano 05:45, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Mzajac is not abusing his admin status. He has made only minor edits to the definition as it existed before the block was placed on it, and those edits were actually the result of discussion (he moved an archaic definition to the bottom at my suggestion). He is not keeping the article blocked. The block was placed by Stephen Brown until the 26th. (Taivo 08:00, 19 January 2009 (UTC))
  • There are no ANY other online dictionary which use “ethnic” / ”ethnicity” to define "nationality" in any way, and if you find otherwise, please provide a link. For now, let’s not make stuff up artificially extending English. Chelentano 04:24, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
It's in the MW3, definition 5b ("a group of people ... forming one constituent element of a larger group (as a nation ): an ethnic group"), and OED Online definition 3b ("...a nation; an ethnic or racial group"); unfortunately both of these are accessible by subscription only. More to the point, many other dictionaries clearly refer to ethnic/racial groups without using that exact word; since this isn't Wikipedia, we are allowed to exercise a measure of common sense. ;-) -- Visviva 04:45, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
"Subscription only" is not good enough: I'd like to see it. I am not talking about Wikipedia, I am talking about Webster, Collins, Cambridge, Princenton, etc. If "other dictionaries refer to ethnic groups without using that exact word", why we are smarter then all these respected dictionaries? A common sense to me is when we use a real life meaning of this word in the English-speaking world rather in some Slavic country. Trying to bloat and overextend this word by dozens of useless "synonyms" is not a measure of common sense. :-)
Chelentano 04:58, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
  • NOAD nationality
    • 1 b “distinctive national or ethnic character”
    • 2 “an ethnic group forming a part of one or more political nations”
  • CanOD nationality
    • 3 “an ethnic group forming a part of one or more political nations”
  • M–W Online nationality
    • 5 b “an ethnic group constituting one element of a larger unit (as a nation)”
 Michael Z. 2009-02-03 06:50 z
If you'd like to see it, feel free to fork over the subscription fee (quite reasonable for the MW3, somewhat less so for the OED). Or just waltz down to your nearest public library. Or -- here's a thought -- you could try engaging in this discussion as a collaborative effort, instead of a dogfight in which you try to show your own superiority. I'm done with this discussion. There is far too much actual work to be done on Wiktionary for any of us to be wasting our time on this juvenile crap. I have reverted your non-constructive edits to the entry. Ciao, -- Visviva 07:06, 3 February 2009 (UTC)


It says "present active" but isn't that incomplete? Shouldn't it indicate either "present active infinitive" or "present active participle"? __meco 09:23, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

It's incorrect. It's the second-person singular future active indicative. I have corrected the entry. --EncycloPetey 09:49, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


This entries needs etymological information but there are many versions of the origin of this word.

The Zingarelli Italian dictionary gives another (and not precise) etymology.

  • from Arab, probably similar to Late Latin cūfia, bonnet.

I check also in the Robert (French) dictionary and it gives Arab original names.

  • from Arab kaffiyah, Literary Arab kuffiyah.

Do anyone has other sources? I think there are enough info but I've not the level of English for explain all this. Thanks. --Pharamp 19:59, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for those links. All sources seem to agree that it comes from Arabic كوفية, so I've added that information to the entry. The differences seem to be in where the Arabic word came from; the French Wikipedia article and the Zingarelli Italian dictionary seem to agree that it comes from a Western word (Latin cūfia, Italian cuffia, etc.), whereas the Italian Wiktionary says it comes from the name of the Iraqi city of Kufa. Of the three, only the French Wiktionary sounds very sure of itself; make of that what you will. —RuakhTALK 23:24, 17 January 2009 (UTC)


"The player was trying to push on the student and he wouldn't have any part of it. He got what he deserved! Hook-um"

This is an excerpt from a Yahoo sports commentary chat -- does the last word mean anything?

By the way, could the page not found section also mention the Tea room, and offering a link perhaps, instead of only proffering the possibility of making a new entry?-- 10:52, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

maybe Hook 'em Horns or Hook 'em - both connected to the University of Texas at Austin. --Jackofclubs 11:12, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Ah, thanks so much! Sometimes such, err is Americanisms the right word?, can really throw me poor old middle European! Smiley-- 02:43, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

canteen cup

Should this be added as an entry? Or as a separate sense under canteen or cup? --Panda10 15:08, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I've never heard of it, but it looks like it's a pretty specific thing, much more than I would have imagined from canteen + cup. So yeah, I'd go with creating it as a separate entry. -- Visviva 15:29, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I thought that dictionaries in general and Wiktionary in particular are about "words" not "things", as in "all words in all languages".
This seems like attributive use of the noun canteen. I would contrast this to dixie cup and loving cup. If distinctive thinginess is what counts, then we need to adjust cfi more along the lines of an encyclopedic dictionary, lest we include, say, computer monitor and magazine article. DCDuring TALK 16:52, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Not sure I follow... judging from the images -- which are all I have to go on at the moment -- this refers to a particular kind of funny-looking metal cup. How does that follow from the meaning of "canteen"? Is it a cup used at a canteen? Or made from an old canteen? Puzzledly, -- Visviva 17:42, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Now that the entry has been created, I am somewhat less clueless. Still, it's not a canteen, or part of a canteen; it's a cup that is located near and in a unique relationship to the canteen. Since I don't think of canteens as being associated with cups, I would have had no idea what someone writing about a "canteen cup" was referring to. (I probably would have assumed it was one of those little metal mugs that backpackers carry.) -- Visviva 18:08, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
A good dictionary is a book about the "words" for "things", even things that have more than one word in their names. As an example, some languages (polysynthetic) have an infinite number of single-word verbs, the vast majority of which correspond to a complex notion in English (such as "we gave those two dead animals to these beautiful young girl yesterday"), while other languages have rather few simple verbs at all (Chechen, for example, like to make verbs with a noun and the verb дан, to do), so that if only single words are entered, a Chechen dictionary would have few verbs in it. Abstract and concrete "things" should always have entries, even when they take more than one word. Individual words may not always merit an entry because their meanings are too complex (e.g., Spanish explicándoselo, "explaining it to him", or Finnish tottelemattomuudestansa, "because of his lack of obedience", or Ojibwe enihtaagwaashkwebijibii'igeng, "knowing how to write syllabics"). —Stephen 20:44, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Visviva: Then would the rule be that: if any admin didn't get any of the extant meanings of the collocation, then the collocation should be included? I don't see how the considerations you mention are part of the criteria for inclusion. Perhaps they should be.
SGBrown: I can't speak to the best rules inclusion for Chechen Wiktionary, which might well be exactly as you say. Of course we have many entries that for multiple-word units of meaning, for which we have criteria for inclusion. If our essential purpose is to create target entries for other languages, then our criteria for inclusion should definitely be so amended.
Both of these lines of discussion would seem to warrant a BP discussion of the criteria for inclusion. DCDuring TALK 21:23, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
But it's more than a collocation; it's an idiom. If our definition is correct, then it's a specific term with a specific meaning that cannot be guessed from the meanings of its components, even knowing which is the relevant sense for each component. —RuakhTALK 22:37, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm slightly bewildered by this turn of discussion. All I'm saying is that this term appears, to me, to meet the fried egg test; it has a meaning that is more specific than the combination of its parts. If that's not the case, our definition is in error. -- Visviva 01:24, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for making explicit the rationale. I think I understand the "fried egg" test. The idiomatic fried egg is a only a subset of eggs that are fried, the SoP meaning of the collocation. I don't see how this applies here. A canteen cup is a cup for a canteen or a cup that accompanies a canteen or a cup that is issued with a canteen. I believe that all and only "canteen cups" fit that and that there is no other extant or even plausible SoP meaning. There may be some other rationale, but I am not convinced of this one. DCDuring TALK 04:46, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, I interpreted “canteen cup” to mean something synonymous with “cafeteria cup”.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:28, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. I have only a quick scan of Google Images (and Books) to go on, but all of the images seem to depict the same type of cup -- which, not being a military person, I can't recall having seen before. The Books hits generally seemed consistent with the images, though it's hard to be sure; they are also overwhelmingly military in nature. Many Books hits use "canteen cup" independent of any reference to a canteen, e.g. [6], which suggests they are referring to a specific, known type of cup. I would be interested to know if there are cases of canteen cup used to refer to some other type of canteen-associated cup, such as a hiking mug (or whatever you call those things). -- Visviva 05:48, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The context of use plus the meanings of the component words provides the definition in the usage I have looked at. All the usage that I looked at was military/outdoorsy and in no way depended on any specific aspect of cup design (except that it be fire-resistant and plausibly present in the setting). If one didn't know what a canteen was or expected another type of canteen, one would be quickly set on the right path by looking up canteen. I would would have thought that this would be deemed encyclopedic except for its triviality. DCDuring TALK 17:22, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
How can you tell that in the citation above the writer wasn't referring to a cup he took from the canteen (cafeteria) down the road, or a plastic cup he keeps in his canteen (compartmented box), or a ceramic mug he packs in a bag next to his canteen (water bottle)? How can you tell that he's referring to a cup designed to nest with his water bottle and fit into a purpose-made pouch on his military web gear? Michael Z. 2009-01-20 19:27 z
If such specificity were required, we would be hard-pressed indeed to find attestation citations that confirmed that the specific definition of "canteen cup" in fact corresponded to the "canteen cup" in the citation. In the fifty or so citations I looked at, there was nothing much that would have precluded any of the meanings except plausibility: ceramics in combat?, plastics in a fire?, "canteen" (vs. "mess" or "field kitchen") in a combat environment?. There was nothing in any of the citations (except for congressional testimony about a redesign of the canteen/cup system) where the specifics of the design in any way mattered. US military designs probably differ from those of other militaries, from civilian models, and designs differ by era. The constant element is that the cup is designed to suitable for use with and in the same conditions as the canteen it accompanies.
I suppose that, in an adversarial setting, a speaker or writer might try to mislead one about the meaning. But speech is normally more cooperative, so it is left for punning humorists to play against our usually legitimate and rarely disappointed linguistic expectations. DCDuring TALK 21:39, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Hm. I don't think these things are self-evident, and the job of the definition is to make them explicit. But I suppose to do a thorough job, we ought to find attestations which do prove these relationships. I really can't prove that canteen cup is not etymologically related to the canteen (mess kit) or canteen (field kitchen).
But also don't make any unjustified assumptions. Soldiers do carry other cups around in the field, including plastic (melmac) cups and plates they've been issued, and ceramic cups hoisted from a base mess. The Squadron Sergeant Major does set up a canteen (snack shop, not mess or kitchen) in the back of a truck where the men can buy chips, coke, and possibly beer during field operations. And, at least to me, a canteen cup is designed so that one can use it to eat a whole meal out of, when he has lost or broken his issue plate. Don't know if the dictionary should agree, as this is all from my own experience.
And I suppose a civilian camper can carry a tin cup or a canteen cup.
I should look over more attestations. Did you use books.G.c, or other sources too? Michael Z. 2009-01-20 23:45 z
I always start with b.g.c. because it provides high-quality text with plenty of context (as opposed to Usenet) with no disappointment due to need for a subscription (Scholar and News). I really wish we had less debatable "rules" with respect to includable noun phrases. Many of the "easings" lead to way too much inclusion. DCDuring TALK 00:27, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Most of the photos show the US style of canteen cup. There are at least a few other kinds: similar designs,[7][8] German ones in which the cup nests on top,[9][10] and at least one non-military imitation.[11] It is a cup specifically made to fit the canteen, and is part of the kit including canteen, cup, and holder for the web belt. If I took a cup from my kitchen and stuck it in with the canteen, it still wouldn't be a canteen cup (although I may call it my “canteen cup”, quotation marks sic).

Perhaps this needs a (military) or (camping) context label. If you say “canteen cup” to a North American soldier, outdoorsman, or boy scout, he will have a very specific image in his head. Michael Z. 2009-01-19 15:29 z

I added the context labels and the second sense. Please correct if needed. Thanks. --Panda10 15:39, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that these are two different senses. These are the main groups I can think of who would use the term, perhaps also including hunters, rangers, etc; anyone who spends time living in the field. Michael Z. 2009-01-20 16:18 z

Interesting, after scanning the first few results pages in Google books, I notice that a significant number refer to the cup's capacity: including recipes, estimations of water for sustenance, etc. One German culinary dictionary even provides a measurement: “canteen cup US = 710 ml (Kükchenmaß)” (1.5 pints).[12] I don't know if this is prominent enough to add a sense, but I suppose the name of any standard container is also a measure of what it holds.

Is canteen cup only an American (and Canadian) usage? I didn't notice any which were obviously British. Michael Z. 2009-01-22 23:16 z

Now that this is becoming a life-or-death matter, perhaps we need the "canteen cup" entry for a UK user who, stranded in the desert, with his netbook's last bit of battery life connects wirelessly to Wiktionary to help decipher the potentially life-saving note left by a US soldier in North Africa that he has just discovered which measures everything in canteen cups. One can only hope that a German cookbook author is using a captured vintage American canteen of the same specification. DCDuring TALK 01:19, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Hindi translation

How would the Hindi word for "dancer" be written in English script? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:22, 18 January 2009 (UTC).

Narthak for male dancer and narthaki for female dancer. --Satish 05:38, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I am adding {{trreq|Hindi}} to dancer for you. This is the way to request a translation of a particular word into a particular language. — hippietrail 10:04, 23 January 2009 (UTC)


I'm not sure how/where to ask this so I'll ask it here. Could someone please add pronunciation info on gecko? I wonder if the 'g' is pronounced as 'j' (as in 'jail') or 'g' (as in 'guild'). Thanks, Malafaya 19:19, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

It has been added. It’s a hard 'g' as in guild. —Stephen 20:48, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Correction to entry for Finnish verb - tulla ??

In the wiktionary entry for tulla there is the following entry:

2) (intransitive) To become, get, go, turn — translative + 3rd-pers. sg. + noun/adjective in nominative or partitive or tulla by person + translative. Hänestä (elat.) tuli (3rd-pers.) rikas (nominat.). S/he became rich. He tulivat hulluiksi (translat.). They got crazy.

Given the examples, I think it should read

....... go, turn - elative + 3rd-pers. sg. + noun/adjective in nominative or partitive......

I am not a native Finnish speaker so will defer to the more knowledgeable!

--Satish 04:55, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikisaurus:Native American

This wikisaurus entry mixes up two or three different things, and probably belongs under a less US-centric headword.

The indigenous, native, or Aboriginal peoples of the Americas include not only Indians, but also Inuit and Eskimo, Aleut, and Métis.

Indians live in both North and South America. American Indian, Native American, Amerindian or Amerind often refer to people specifically in the USA. In Canada, First Nations is more acceptable than Indian in formal writing. Sometimes Indio is used in a Latin-American context. Michael Z. 2009-01-19 15:02 z


I am interested in the dialectal words of English in the Old World (Eurasia and Africa) and I just read in one grammar that in East African English Slim means AIDS. Can someone with appropriate background or acquaintances verify this? Bogorm 21:23, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I have a medical background, with a certificate in tropical medicine, and indeed seem to have heard such too, probably because of the weight loss in the later stages of the disease, though I have no sources is at hand.-- 01:59, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
google books:slim aids agrees. It also pulls up occurrences of the fuller form "slim disease", though most of those seem to be mentions. Mentions of slim itself seem divided between specific reference to said weight loss, and general reference to AIDS as the disease that causes it. Uses seem mostly to have latter sense, I think. The latter certainly meets our criteria for inclusion, and the former may, though I'm not sure. (We can sidestep this issue by putting both senses in one sense line, something like "AIDS, or the weight loss associated with its later stages.") —RuakhTALK 02:07, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

pull out every stop

as in: "To mark the anniversary festivities of the founding of the People’s Republic, the authorities will pull out every stop to ensure a trouble-free capital."

The meaning seems clear from context, is this standard usage? If so, should an entry be created?-- 01:47, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure if it's standard. It's definitely not as common as pull out all the stops. —RuakhTALK 22:35, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Surprisingly to me, almost as common on bgc as [[pull out all the stops]] is [[pull out the stops]]. A larger portion of the hits for this less emphatic form seem to be of the more literal meaning having to do with making music (organ? piano?). DCDuring TALK 00:40, 21 January 2009 (UTC)


NEED DEF NNNOOOWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 —This unsigned comment was added by Jimb-chipeta (talkcontribs).

DEF PROVIDED NNNOOOWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 —This comment was unsigned.


I am extremely skeptical of the present voluminous etymology entry for the word. The fact that some of it verges on the incredible and no attested sources or authorities are included is completely unacceptable. Also, no mention of any cognateness with German ficken is acknowledged, and that word states in its etymology that it originates at least back to Middle High German (1050 – 1350). In general I find our lack of referenced etymology entries untenable. We really should start to dig deeper in the area of etymological research, certainly commence garnering a consensus for it. __meco 15:09, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

That definition is actually quite accurate and would be well-accepted by linguists. Some have suggested that the word was borrowed from Low German sometime before the first attestation in either language, but I'm not sure of the reasoning behind that. One source (Sheidlower, pg. xxv), says that it cannot be Anglo-Saxon, but the reasoning is not made clear for that conclusion. German fikken is not listed because there is a problem with the vowel in that form. It's not a clear cognate because of that. Ultimately a Proto-Germanic *fuk- is going to be derived from Proto-Indo-European *pug- making "fuck" possibly cognate with Latin pugno 'fight' (one form borrowed into English as pugilism) or Greek pugmē 'boxing' (but Greek pugē 'rump, buttocks' may be closer) and Ukrainian pkhaty/pkhnuty 'to push, give a push', etc. But there aren't certain etymologies as above written out anywhere that I've seen. The closest complete etymology I've seen is that found in Jesse Sheidlower, ed., 1999, The F Word (second edition, Random House), pages xxv-xxxii. The problem is that there are no attestations of "fuck" or its cognates in any Germanic language prior to the 15th century. Sheidlower should probably be considered the most comprehensive source. (Taivo 19:17, 21 January 2009 (UTC))
Just looked up ficken in the 24th edition of Kluge (Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, pp. 291-292) and he mentions the problematic vowel in relation to English fuck, but relates it nonetheless. The problem is that none of these forms (except ficken) predate the 15th century. Ficken goes back to the 11th century. It mentions the Latin and Greek cognates, adding an additional Latin possibility in pungere 'to stab' and reconstructs the PIE as *peuk-/peug- (I don't know why the k version). (Taivo 19:43, 21 January 2009 (UTC))
Just looked up fokken in De Vries (Nederlands Etymologisch Woordenboek, pg 174) and he doesn't include English as a cognate, but lists Greek pugē 'rump' and Latvian pūga 'wind' as cognates. However, this definition is solely based on a meaning of fokken as some sort of sail, it seems. Fok is a foresail, but De Vries seems to be talking about a sail at the aft end. My Dutch isn't fluent by any means, but his use of Greek pugē is worth pointing out in this context. (Taivo 20:00, 21 January 2009 (UTC))
  • I think it's a good and full etymology. Ƿidsiþ 06:38, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
According to Deutsches Wörterbuch (on which I have full confidence) the German word may originate from French piquer (or It. piccare). No mention of the English equivalent, but instead of English fidge(t) (fidge-ficken is compared to bridge-Brücke, edge-Ecke and so on). Please note that the meaning in the 19th century and before was just rub(any trace of that in ME/OE?). Thence I would disprove adding the German word as a cognate. No trace of Swedish, Dutch or dial. Norwegian, which means that they are not connected to the German word. Whether they are connected to the English word, is an entirely different question. Also, please note, that there I could not think of/find out any Danish cognate - thence the word is most likely not Common Germanic. Bogorm 14:03, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
The fact that there is not a readily "memorable" Danish form does not mean that the word was not Common Germanic. The presence of a Swedish form and a cognate Dutch form (there is also a cognate Frisian form) is sufficient to place the word in Common Germanic. Taboo words like this frequently drop out of common usage. A Danish cognate is not critical. While Grimm is a good dictionary, Kluge is generally considered the more authoritative when it comes to etymology, just as the OED is a great citation dictionary, but it leaves much to be desired in the etymology department. This has always been a taboo-word related to copulation in English attestations--it isn't written down until Early Modern English times, the earliest attestation in OED is 1503. The problem with bringing in French or Italian equivalents is that the initial consonants are wrong. There is no reason why a word beginning with p in French would be borrowed into German with an initial f. More likely is that ficken is cognate with the other Germanic forms, but with an unusual vowel correspondence, just as Kluge states. (Taivo 14:57, 22 January 2009 (UTC))
Some linguists, though, accept the following etymology:
-Old Dutch "folc", translated to Old English focce, Middle English fuce, Modern English fucke, more commoly written as fuck.
-Old Norman "folk'" (to do sex), from Basque "fulku" (to have sex) (fulkutxariota), from Old Spanish fullecare (to do sex) (Modern Spanish follar).
-Fullecare from Latin fullceum (to be obsessed with sex), also pulceum (someone who does sex)
-Pulceum from Greek phugis, from Turkish poghis, from Assyrian poeges, from Arabic foz-ekhes, meaning "sex".
—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 16:25, 24 March 2009 (UTC).

I find it ridiculous that you have nothing better to do than debate the origin of the word "fuck." I'm sure you wonderful lingual talents would be much better put to use on a more important word than fuck. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:43, 30 March 2009 (UTC).

Considering how often this word is used in informal speech, this is probably one of the more important words to have a good entry for. — Carolina wren discussió 22:21, 30 March 2009 (UTC), I can see your point - this word is a four-letter word, proscribed in refined and elaborate language, but it is (unfortunately) one of the first words a foreign learner of English encounters. Furthermore, it is not præsent in the North Germanic languages (only in English and German and even the connection is dubious, see above for ficken < piquer), which indicates that it is a loanword (from French). Which again is curious to note, since the French word for this activity n...er is again a loanword from Arabic. The Slavic languages, on the other hand, have præserved a Slavic root for this, as have the North Germanic ones. And so forth. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 21:14, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

So how does the French foutre fit into all of this? Or indeed does it? Pingku 17:59, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

It is derived from Latin futuo, futuere (third conjugation). The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 18:23, 3 April 2009 (UTC)


I'm seriously doubting that people honestly intend to mean "abdominal muscles" in general when they use ab or abs. In reality, this sounds like a folk taxonomy, and what is so designated is more specifically the banding patterns of the rectus abdominis muscle. cf. six pack, when you'd need to make a larger provision if you were actually counting all the pattern of the frontal abdominal muscles. Circeus 04:02, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Why wouldn't "abs" be a clip of "abdominal muscles"? "Abdominal muscles" > "abdominals" > "abs" is certainly the derivation of the term. Any other derivation is a stretch and violates Occam's Razor. (Taivo 05:36, 22 January 2009 (UTC))
Just because that's the etymology doesn't mean that's what people use it for. If you ask people to actually count abs, how many are likely to count the oblique abdominals (technically, the rectus is a pair of muscle, but the point regarding the definition still stand)? Many people won't consider somebody even has abs unless the ridges are actually visible.
We have a virtually identical issue in the definition of pec, which is not just a pectoral muscle, but very specifically the pectoralis major. Circeus 06:29, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
But if a person is doing situps, whether they have visible ridges or not, and you ask them what they are doing, they are quite likely to respond with "I'm working on my abs." While the onlooker may require visible ridges to say "abs", the person doing the workout can call his own stomach "abs" whether or not ridges are visible. Both aspects of the definition are important. (Taivo 07:34, 22 January 2009 (UTC))

Personally, I have never heard "ab" (singular) used. I have heard trainers say "This exercise will target your abs.", and there is no reason to think that a person must have visible abdominal banding of the rectus abdominus muscles for that statement to apply. --EncycloPetey 16:36, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Some people are told to "work their abs" by orthopedists, "sports doctors", and chiropractors not for the appearance, but to reduce the incidence of back injury or pain. Surprisingly not every speaker of English is in the 21-44 demographic. DCDuring TALK 16:53, 25 January 2009 (UTC)


Can someone rename SLNE? It should be SNLE 09:16, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Done. RJFJR 14:15, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


"Alternative spellings: cosey, cosie, cozey, cozie, cozy (North America)". Are the first four real? They don't seem to be! Update: I'm marginally less sceptical now that I realise they might only be used for the noun (teapot cover) and not the adj, but only a little. Equinox 19:47, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Just speculation, but they may also be archaic spellings. Michael Z. 2009-01-22 22:27 z
Sounds believable, but if so they should definitely be marked as such. Equinox 22:32, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

field of fire

opinions on whether or not this should be in the wiktionary? --Sawbackedeagle 20:54, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Not sure, but compare field of vision, field of view, line of fire, line of sight, kill zone, beaten zone, crossfire. Surest way to answer the question is to find three or more solid attestations. Michael Z. 2009-01-22 22:27 z
I'm happy with it, even though I know I'm a bit of a sum-of-parts Nazi most of the time. I can imagine somebody looking it up, and it isn't the most obvious way to put those parts together to produce the meaning. Equinox 22:28, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Added. SemperBlotto 22:38, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Nazi (pronunciation)

When I called myself a "sum-of-parts Nazi" in the section above, I looked up Nazi to see whether Wiktionary had the slang sense of a disciplinarian, and I suddenly remembered my history teacher at secondary school. She insisted on calling them the "nazzies" (a bit like the navvies, who also came up in modern history), which tended to amuse the class because we all knew they were "nart-sees". So I suddenly wonder whether this is a legitimate Anglicisation or merely one teacher's bizarre kink. Anybody know? Equinox 22:31, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I've heard that too, but I suppose it must be an affected use, because my standard references don't have it. I'll add pronunciation, though. Michael Z. 2009-01-22 22:56 z
Sounds like a spelling pronunciation. (Taivo 02:36, 23 January 2009 (UTC))
I seem to recall Winston Churchill was known for deliberately and consistently mispronouncing "Nazi" as "nah-zee" (i.e., without the "t" sound). Pingku 06:38, 23 January 2009 (UTC)


This could do with a re-read. My Egyptian Arabic knowledge starts and stops with baksheesh. --Jackofclubs 19:15, 23 January 2009 (UTC)


Noticed that this is formatted badly, but I don't know how to fix it. - dougher 23:14, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Problem was the reference template had the bullet point included. Fixed (but now a hundred-odd transclusions may have some awkwardness). Michael Z. 2009-01-24 00:13 z


I would appreciate the opinion of everyone interested in Nietzsche or Gothic or Old Norse on the discovery I reached, having been inspired by Skok's mention of the Gothic cognate of that word. I am not sure whether to propose it for discussion here or on Talk:loš, where its inception was, but right now I am elated and would impatiently await opinions on whether to include the philosophical connection in the etymological section. Bogorm 11:11, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

You may or may not be correct, but Wiktionary is not the place to pursue original research. (Taivo 12:20, 24 January 2009 (UTC))
We are discussing the information on the TALK PAGE, not the etymology, which is sourced! Please, do not remove the etymology. I changed the caption, lest any other become confused like you. Bogorm 14:16, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
It should be noted that Wiktionary does not actually have any policy corresponding to w:WP:NOR, and in fact certain aspects of our work (particularly the documentation of obscure senses and usages) require a measure of original research. The line between acceptable and unacceptable OR is drawn only by our collective common sense. (This is just a general observation; I think all of us -- including Bogorm -- would agree that original research in the context of etymology should be kept to a minimum.) -- Visviva 13:33, 26 January 2009 (UTC)


The only English use of that derived term I know is as the English name of the anime series ああっ女神さっ (Aa Megami-sama). Anybody have a reason to put forward to keep that in the entry? 50 Xylophone Players talk 01:08, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I can find citations in The Vagina Monologues and in Jackson Square Jazz. --EncycloPetey 17:22, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Seems to have been taken up by feminists as a variation on "oh my God", although usage patterns likely differ. It is also used reverently or as a supplication by such as wiccans and pagans, and in poetry. This latter may be sum of parts, though. Related is a metaphorical use, the 'goddess' (uncapitalised) being a desirable woman, probably a lover. Pingku 15:30, 1 February 2009 (UTC)


Please give some meaningful sentences which contain the word sanguinary.


What does serenity means?

That you're serene, in other words, you're calm and not disturbed by anything. (See the article serenity) -- Frous 22:06, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

in the old money

I was going to add the entry in the old money meaning in an alternate previously used scale, but I am not sure what is the part of speech. Would Idiom be correct, as it certainly doesn't apply to money despite the term. Exampes would be "We drove 800 kilometres, or 500 miles in the old money". --Dmol 09:19, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

It's an adverb, I would say. BTW, if you put it in, could you add Category:English prepositional phrases please. Cheers. -- ALGRIF talk 12:35, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
It also appears as in old money. Partridge's has an entry in this sense for old money (noun), with "in old money" applied to Fahrenheit as an example. They also say it can be used for anything but money in this way. DCDuring TALK 20:42, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that would cover it. Thanks.--Dmol 05:26, 27 January 2009 (UTC)


A device or devices that owe their function to the flow of electrons through conductors and semiconductors; devices that operate on electrical power (battery or outlet.)

How is this used as the subject of a sentence? With a singular or plural verb? Where is (was?) it used in this sense. The part of the definition after the semicolon seems to be for "electrical". Is "electronics" used this way? Does this need a good RfVing? DCDuring TALK 20:30, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

It should probably be redefined to "electronic devices" (however, electronic lacks a matching definition, and has a mildly circular definition). It's certainly a sound word, just an hopeless outdated definition. Circeus 23:17, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
In principle we should have the whole sequence of all attestable senses. But at the highest priority is to have the current ones. If people use electronic(s) to refer to any electrical device with nary a diode or triode therein, we need to have that too. DCDuring TALK 23:39, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't think people refer to any electrical apparatus as apparatus. I certainly wouldn't use it to refer to a dishwasher, for example. I think electronics is more about devices with electronic circuits, and particularly ones who are used for pleasure or research purpose rather than more practical aspect (such as tools and most household appliances). Circeus 23:48, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Many modern appliances, including dishwashers, contain microprocessors. Nevertheless I agree that the principle function of a dishwasher does not require electronics. Pingku 15:09, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

rolf meanin

ken ne1 say me d meanin of rolf plz..,!!!!!! —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 10:45, 27 January 2009 (UTC).

I imagine it's a typo for rofl. —RuakhTALK 12:25, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Seems to be a trademark for a kind of massage, too. [13] Equinox 19:53, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
done. "To rolf" and "Rolfing". DCDuring TALK 20:26, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Cannot vs. can not

Hi, since I'm not a native writer in English, I don't understand the difference bewteen those two and the article cannot doesn't clarify the difference to me at all. Could someone please take a minute explaining that to me? -- Frous 22:04, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Cannot means "am/is/are unable to": "I cannot do it" means "I am not able to do it". Can not supposedly means "am/is/are able to not": "I can not do it" means "I am able to not do it". In this use, "I can not do it" is roughly synonymous with "I can do it", whereas "I cannot do it" is its exact opposite. However, in the vast majority of cases, can not is just an alternative spelling of cannot. (I believe this used to be the normal spelling, and it is still fairly common, though personally I'd consider it a misspelling in modern writing.) —RuakhTALK 02:01, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Muchas gracias. :) -- Frous 15:29, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Ruakh. It's a double negative; most of those are meant to be jocular or are used by people or fictional characters who may be perceived as slightly stupid in some ways, e.g.
  • Irregardless (regardless is already negative so prefixing it with ir- negates the negation)
  • I didn't see nothing (literally means "I saw something" but is generally used by slightly dim-witted people to mean the exact opposite.)
—This unsigned comment was added by PalkiaX50 (talkcontribs) at 00:49, 2 February 2009 (UTC).
It's not really a double-negative, since there's nothing "double" about it. Really, it's just an issue of orthography. With "could not", both senses are written the same way ("We tried, but could not find a way" vs. "We could do it; or, alternatively, we could not do it, and see what happens"); with "cannot"/"can not", we supposedly use a space to make the distinction, but unsurprisingly, not all writers are consistent about this. —RuakhTALK 04:13, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
NOAD's etymology says this is a contraction of can not (and that can't is a further contraction).
  • do not > don't
  • could not > couldn't
  • can not > cannot > can't
Dictionary.com has a long note addressing the perceived double-negative function.[14] Michael Z. 2009-02-04 17:57 z
No, the AHD's usage note is about "cannot but" vs. "can but". —RuakhTALK 18:37, 4 February 2009 (UTC)


I tagged this as a misspelling, but there are so many hits for this on Google News, that it might even be able to be classed as an alternative spelling. Granted, none of the hits are from world-famous newspapers, so maybe {misspelling} is a better tag. While this is on my mind, how could we tag something as "obsolete or misspelling of stomache"? --Jackofclubs 08:16, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I think it's enough to use {{obsolete spelling of}}. This makes it clear that if you see it in a modern source, it's likely to be a mistake. However, you could add {{misspelling of}} on a spearate line if you wanted to. Ƿidsiþ 21:12, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

quasi and quasi-

Concerning the etymology: it should really mention which derived from which (most probably the prefix from the whole word, right?).

Quasi is difficult: what exactly is its POS? Provide some examples which illustrate the differences between the two POSes given. This will help translation as well. H. (talk) 15:11, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

The "conjunction" is hard to find and does not appear in the OneLook dictionaries. quasi might also be an adverb, though quasi- takes the role of modifying adjectives almost always. I have RfVd the conjunction, but OED might have it. DCDuring TALK 13:17, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

One word for " former employee'

Would anyone help me please determine the best word ( one word only if possible ) for " a former employee".

Thanks a lot.


—This unsigned comment was added by Epssmith (talkcontribs) at 22:22, 29 January 2009 (UTC).

I'd go with "former employee" if you want to be neutral, "ex-employee" if you want to be slightly negative, and "alumnus" if you want to be positive. (Why does it need to be a single word?) —RuakhTALK 22:48, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
firee? :-) (probably not general enough, alas.) -- Visviva 03:52, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your replies, Ruakh and Visviva. I want to form a Google group that will contain the "former employee" word. Using "ex-employees" or "former employees" in the group name or email address seem lengthy or odd. I thought about "alumni" too but the word is more appropriate for graduates of educational institutions. Would any others have any more suggestions. Thank you very much. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:16, 31 January 2009 (UTC).

In some contexts, alumnus has no (or little) educational-institution denotation. For example, if the group is to be for ex-employees of, for example, Bank of America, you can name the group "BoA exes" or "BoA alums". Imho.—msh210 18:09, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

anaphor vs. anaphora

There is much confusion in the terminology here. Etymology might help, I am unsure I got all the “nym”-relations right. H. (talk) 11:08, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

hairdryer treatment

I found the above in an English yahoo article about the local going out scene and famous soccer players [I do not provide the link, as I then have to re -type that pesky wavy word string- thingy, though I can do so upon request, as long as I have the web site available]:

"If you are going to have 10 years or more at the top, you more or less have to live like a vicar if you want to stay out of trouble.

Some players can do it - like Ryan Giggs, who has behaved himself ever since Alex Ferguson went round Lee Sharpe's house in the middle of a party and gave them both the hairdryer treatment!

If he goes out it will be for a quiet drink with his friends in Swinton, where he grew up, not some massive city-centre nightclub."

though I can guess what it means from context, it would be nice to have a "gold standard"--could I tap into Wiktionarians ' talent pool for such? as my native language doesn't have such image, could it, the bolded phrase, in some form be added to wictionary [not necessarily as an entry in its own right, perhaps also under one of the two composing words, I am most happy to leave that to your good judgment smiley]?thank you in advance!史凡 07:20, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Judging from google:"hairdryer treatment", the term is specific to Alex Ferguson: it's when he walks up a player, stands very close, and yells very loudly. The image is of his blasting enough hot air, close enough to the player's head, to dry the player's hair if it's wet (such as after a locker-room shower). (Note to other editors: the article is at http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/paul-parker/article/2112/2/.) —RuakhTALK 16:45, 31 January 2009 (UTC)


Here one dictionary explains that the origin of the modern English word is the OE noun stow. However, at least one citation discloses its use as a noun in modern English (19th century). Would it be therefore be admissible to add the nominal meaning under ==English== or one must provide 2 more citations for that? Does any native speaker of English recognise the word as a noun? Bogorm 11:58, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

  • The OED has its meaning as place marked as obsolete. Does that still make it modern? I always thought it was spelled stowe, but maybe not. SemperBlotto 12:05, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I have found a modern mention (as "a place") in line with Middle and Old English. I have entered the noun as obsolete. It is easier to find Middle and Old English usage and/or dictionary mentions. Also see citations:stowe DCDuring TALK 18:33, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
There might also be a nautical meaning something like "an arrangement of cargo in a hold." A bad stow could lead to damage of the cargo. DCDuring TALK 18:36, 31 January 2009 (UTC)