Wiktionary:Tea room/2009/March

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

March 2009


I'm thinking about adding a noun defintion to upper, from which derive washer-upper, cheerer-upper, looker-upper, beater-upper etc. and I'm struggling to do better than "an agent noun for phrasal verbs ending in up". Also, is there a linguistic name for the process of changing these phrasal verbs into nouns? --Jackofclubs 13:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Clearly, this is not convential English - colloquial or slang at best. Similar situations arise with e.g. maker-outer, cooler-downer and theoretically with all phrasal verbs however ugly they sound (emailer-backer sniffer-arounder? puller-togetherer? comer-upper-wither? getter-ridder-offer?) There's a few googles for all these terms, although mostly none of them are CFI-meeters. --Jackofclubs 13:25, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't say those derive from upper. The term washer-upper comes from wash up + -er. --EncycloPetey 03:40, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Dalzell's New Patridge agrees with you, noting that washer-up is the original agentive formation, to which a second -er is added, and to which, for comic effect, a third -er is sometimes added: washer-upperer.

      I am not suprised, given the apparent tendency to stick as many -ers on the end as possible, that we have washer-upper but don't yet have the older (Google Books has occurrences from the 1820s.), more common (and more sensible) washer-up. ☺ Uncle G 02:12, 6 March 2009 (UTC)


Synonym for panache? Definitions need cleanup as well. Nadando 02:34, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Flamboyant, colorful, flashy Cellofortist 16:01, 31 March 2009 (UTC)


I want to add an entry for this, which is an initialism for Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (Bach Works Catalogue). The BWV number is the standard way to refer to the musical works of J. S. Bach. My only quandary is should this be under Translingual or German? Carolina wren 02:41, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

I would vote for Translingual as the primary entry. If it's German, then it's also English, French, Korean and God alone knows how many other languages. (And yes, I'm afraid that rationale applies to a lot of "English" initialisms too; all in good time...) -- Visviva 05:07, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Since I was strongly leaning that way myself I went ahead and did it. Carolina wren 05:37, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

take its toll

What are we supposed to undertake in order to unify in one single article the current take its toll and take their toll, when the devastation is inflicted by multiple factors, exempli gratia years of no exercise and lots of junk food have taken their toll? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 15:27, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Also take a heavy toll, etc. Convention seems to be to pick the most general form as the “lemma” entry, and mark up the others as alternative forms. Michael Z. 2009-03-03 16:18 z
per COCA: "take a toll" - 100; "take its toll" - 95; "take their toll" - 65; "take a heavy toll" - 14; no others with more that 6 hits. DCDuring TALK 23:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)CA

New to tea room...can you help me?

I've been searching for an English translation of the Latin word vivo. Recalling my school-day Latin I think it means I live, first person singular from the verb vivere to live. At work part of our organisation has renamed itself VIVO and are saying that it means to sustain or to support. I think that sustinare means to sustain or to support and that this translation is dubious to say the least. Any latin scholars out there able to help me out? Thanks from Blue Stobo.

See vivo. I don't speak Latin, but that entry suggests "I live". Equinox 01:56, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Indeed vivo, vivire, vixi, victum means "to live", so vivo would be I live or I am living (Latin doesn't distinguish the two). "To sustain" would be closer to alo, alere, alui, altum, "to nourish". Not even the right declension, and if they want an infinitive form instead of first-person singular (as I suspect they must have been intending), they couldn't be wronger. Maybe it's the way that Latin dictionaries list principal parts. I'm amazed that nobody pointed it out, as the cognates of vivo with Romance languages (well, the ones I know, anyway) are quite obvious. 23:54, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


Fortnight has a number of slightly inaccurate translations. For now I've contented myself with pointing out that the Catalan and Portuguese quinzena; the French quinzaine, the Italian quindicina, the Spanish quincena, and the Greek δεκαπενθήμερο are all actually 15 days long, not fourteen. Should these close but no cylinder of rolled tobacco leaves entries be kept? In the case of the five Romantic entries, there likely should be a good entry to link them together at given their common origin, but I'm thinking that halfmonth would likely do the job as well. Carolina wren 03:43, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

  • It's not as simple as observing that the root of the word is the number 15 rather than the number 14. Current usage, of which examples abound, is that these, however inaccurate they may be from a strict non-idiomatic point of view, are the translations that are actually in use in the world at large. One could generate a list of examples as long as one's arm, but I'll start with just one: The Quinzaine des réalisateurs at the Cannes Film Festival is, in English, the "Directors' Fortnight". And that translation has been around for 40 years, now.

    Note, by the way, that there's no inherent logical disagreement between a period of 14 nights and one of 15 days — the other "but these aren't the same thing!" argument that is often proposed.

    Also note that the translation for week into Welsh is wythnos, which is eight (wyth#Welsh) night(s) (nos#Welsh). One can cry that the numbers are inconsistent until one is blue in the face. That doesn't change the fact that these are the translations that the world uses. Uncle G 01:54, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

    • It all makes perfect sense if one thinks that the first and last nights are not complete - i.e. only 'half nights' - and the whole period is bounded from midnight to midnight. Pingku 16:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

I'll throw in another way to look at it: 15 days have 14 nights between them... --BigBadBen 22:04, 14 June 2009 (UTC)


Compare Gunther and Günther. It's not clear which are misspellings (or valid alternate spellings) of which, and I think the entries are contradictory. Equinox 17:48, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I added usage notes and explanations. Is it better now? --Makaokalani 15:21, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Yep, that looks good to me. Equinox 10:14, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Is there a term for pointed redefinitions?

My guidance counselor in high school had, on the walls of her office, a variety of quotes and sayings and such. Among these were a few of what you might call pointed redefinitions: sayings that are phrased as definitions, but that are intended to edify (or convince, or even brainwash, depending on your point of view). For example, one was "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity": clearly this is only meaningful to someone who already knows that that is not, in fact, what the word luck means. Another started "violence is any"; I don't remember the whole thing, but it's the same general idea as what you see in the Google hits: a broadening of the word violence far beyond its ordinary sense, in the hopes of exploiting the term's negative connotations to discourage other kinds of interpersonal misbehavior. If that was actually what the word meant, then there'd be no point in posting the definition, at least not without some sort of comment about violence (such as "violence is not allowed on school grounds" or what-have-you).

Which is my long-winded way of asking, is there a term for this sort of pointed redefinition? Or does anyone have any suggestions for a good way to refer to them?

(BTW, lest I give the wrong impression, I should say that said guidance counselor was, and presumably still is, a wonderful woman. I'm just not a big fan of the pointed redefinition thing.)

RuakhTALK 03:46, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

They are usually called aphorisms. Uncle G 11:58, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, but I'm looking for something more specific to this. She had a lot of aphorisms on her walls, but only a few of them were these pointed redefinitions. Thanks, though. :-)   —RuakhTALK 03:26, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Looking at the examples in 'Pedia, I think this is the right word. -- ALGRIF talk 17:10, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Looking at the aphorisms, I found but one that was almost a "pointed redefinition": Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. But I also found an aphorism that may reflect Ruakh's attitude toward them: A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Unfortunately I don't know of a term for them. I take it that the word should be like the words for the classical rhetorical devices. DCDuring TALK 18:04, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Silva Rhetorica provides:
  • Genus and Species: A topic of invention by which one identifies a given thing as being part of a larger class ("genus"), sharing the properties of other members of that class.
    • Example: Like other crimes against society, littering should be strongly punished.
Perhaps it should be thought of as reclassification rather than redefinition. DCDuring TALK 18:25, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

A term for the term "pointed redefinition"- aphoristic neologism. But I call it sloganeering. JustaAverageJoe 18:55, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

homiletic redefinitions? (Sorry, I don't know of a single word to express it either.)--Tyranny Sue 02:24, 30 August 2009 (UTC)


The quotation by Dante Gabriel Rossetti shows clear-cut the form prankt as past participle as does prankt in An American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828.. However, in Webster 1913 and the subsequent edition MW online I could not find this form. Could anyone check OED for it and ascertain whether it is dated, archaic, poetic or not? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:12, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

  • I'd have thought it a Websterism that never took off, were it not for the fact that it occurs in The Castle of Indolence (in Canto I verse 2) by James Thomson — 10 years before Webster was even born. He uses it as a synonym for adorned or perhaps coloured. Uncle G 12:09, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
    Well, it occurs in Rossetti's writings as well, but the quæstion is to what extent this form is common in contemporary English. Is it tagged by the OED as dated, poetic or not? Is it used oftentimes by native English speakers in their writings, when they want to express the words adorned, embellished with a synonym? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:02, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    Truth be told, in the English I speak (Midwestern US), prank isn't really used as a verb at all. I would say "he pulled a prank on her," instead of "he pranked her." No idea if this helps at all. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 09:15, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • It's definitely still in use. Remember the infamous Canadian radio DJ who rang Sarah Palin pretending to be Nicolas Sarkozy? The conversation included the following exchange:
    Marc-Antoine Audette: I really loved you and I must say something also, governor, you've been pranked by the Masked Avengers. We are two comedians from Montreal.
    Palin: Oh, have we been pranked? And what radio station is this? (here; there are plenty of other hits in newspapers.) Ƿidsiþ 09:22, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    Well, but mine intention was not to quæstion the existence of the verb, but instead to ask whether this particular form - prankt should be marked with some kind of tag, if it is added to the inflection template of the verb next to pranked. Webster 1828 does not use any tag soever, but I am interested in modern authoritative dictionaries such as OED. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 10:04, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Oh OK, yes, the -t spelling is now obsolete. Ƿidsiþ 11:02, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    But I intend to add this nice form with the respective tag, so that the quotation by D G Rossetti does not seem to use a form which is missing in the template. It is obsolete according to OED, right? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 11:16, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    This is strange - 1880 (quotation) is not too distant in the past and if the form was in the vivid language then, to become obsolete for less than 130 years... I have always imagined obsolete as something which is not in use for at least 200 years, id est before Emperor Napoléon. If OED lists it as obsolete and if obsolete æquals not used for only 100 years, then what are we supposed to do with the y- participles, which have not been used for 300 years? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 11:23, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    Obsolete means it's not used anymore. Archaic means it is sometimes used for deliberate effect, and you could call this archaic I guess. The OED doesn't comment on prankt specifically, but in discussing -ed, it says the following: ‘From 16th to 18th c[enturies] the suffix, when following a voiceless cons[onant] (preceded by a cons[onant] or a short vowel), was often written -t, in accordance with the pronunc[iation], as in jumpt, whipt, stept. This is still practised by some writers, but is not now in general use. Where, however, a long vowel in the v[er]b-stem is shortened in the p[artici]ple, as in crept, slept, the spelling with -t is universal. Some pples. have a twofold spelling, according as the vowel is shortened or not in pronunc.; e.g. leapt (/lɛpt/), and leaped (/liːpt/).’ All of which seems pertinent. Ƿidsiþ 11:29, 7 March 2009 (UTC)


I've got a bit of a conundrum with the Catalan entry. I don't want to include this in Category:ca:Latin letters since it isn't the name of that digraph. Category:Catalan digraphs would make sense save there is no parent Category:Digraphs. So what to do with it? Carolina wren 01:40, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I am not convinced this deserves an entry, actually. Would we make one for the ph digraph in English? It has a surprising pronunciation and a consistent etymology and appears in many words, but it's still just a pair of letters. Equinox 22:59, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
The case is certainly stronger for a digraph entry for ll#Catalan than for ph#English. If the English ph were treated equivalent to the Catalan ll it would have a name of its own (perhaps *Greek ef) and when the digraph occurred as a result of /p/ + /h/ instead of /f/ it would be marked so that mophead would instead be *mop·head. Catalan treats ll differently from l·l. In any case, I can't see any justification for deleting ll#Catalan and not also deleting b#English, f#Dutch, and a number of other language specific orthographic entries. Not that I am arguing for doing so. Quite the reverse. However, if consensus is that non-translingual orthographic units don't get entries of their own, I can live with it. Carolina wren 07:23, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I think this would go fine in Category:ca:Latin letters. On the other hand, based on the other children of Category:Latin letters, things like i grega should not be there (it would be nice to have a category for letter names, but it would need to be called something else). -- Visviva 07:39, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


There seems to be different opinions on whether the regular inflection "slayed" exists. We are having the same discussion on sv:wikt; could someone please advise us? \Mike 10:19, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Just to point out that in slay in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913 it was not mentioned, whence follows that it is either a novelty or a hoax. But I am eager to hearken unto the opinion of some native speaker as well. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 10:30, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
One source which has been mentioned is this. Also, our own Appendix:English irregular verbs mentions it. \Mike 10:51, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Books have 527 hits for "he slayed", and having looked at a few of the first they refer to the "kill" sense. --Duncan 11:00, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • It's not in the OED, which suggests that the weak inflection is fairly rare, or fairly new. It's interesting, and the sort of thing Wiktionary should have a page on if we can find some nice citations for it...I don't think it's been well documented in any other dictionaries. The practice of strong verbs becoming weak is, of course, extremely common in English. Ƿidsiþ 11:06, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Has attracted coverage from various usage authorities, of which the MWDEU is (as usual) the most thoughtful and thorough.[1] Basically, it is most common with the quasi-showbiz sense ("he slayed 'em tonight!"), which we didn't have until just now. Have added usage note to this effect; please improve & expand. -- Visviva 11:22, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
(Man, I love that book. Ƿidsiþ 11:30, 7 March 2009 (UTC))
I am against everything which is absent from the OED. I would not add Template:rfd on the entry, but if some native speaker does, he can reckon with my support. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 11:33, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
It should go without saying that the OED does not have an entry for "slayed", as like every dictionary other than Wiktionary they do not have entries for mere inflected forms. On the other hand they do have one quote that uses "slayed", dated 1927 under the showbiz sense (5b). -- Visviva 11:39, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Wellaway... But since this form is not mentioned in the caption next to slain, we could probably tag it is proscribed. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 11:41, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
A review of US usage 2000-2009 in COCA suggests that "slayed" is increasing in popularity, but remains less common than "slew". It is very rare in UK usage (BNC). DCDuring TALK 13:14, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

See "slain." -VitaminN

Spanish flu etc

Noun or proper noun? SemperBlotto 11:29, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

  • An excellent question. The first thought that comes to mind is that if it were regarded as a proper noun by its users, the second word would be capitalized, too. But the second thought that comes to mind is that that actually can be found happening. ☺ ("Although the article spotlighted influenza as a serious health threat, the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 is […]" — →ISBN pp. 80) Uncle G 11:59, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • (After edit conflict) The lowercase spelling suggest a common noun to me. The Spanish flu can still be thought of as an individual, but so can inventions such as "the computer", or particular substances such as epinephrine. Other names of specific diseases such as Barrett's esophagus and Japanese encephalitis are classified as common nouns, too. So I'd think that no name of a disease, regardless of how specific it is, can be classified as proper noun. --Dan Polansky 12:05, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Since the spanish flu refers to a specific pandemic, I think it is a proper noun. It is a named epidemic. It's a specific incidence of an outbreak of a disease. I would say it's analogous to Hurricane Andrew being a hurricane, or the Middle Ages being an age. The Spanish Flu is a flu pandemic, but a particular one. 12:54, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • See Black Death, which is listed as a proper noun. 12:59, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Sounds convincing to me. I think I have confused a disease, which basically has no extension in time, with a specific pandemic, which has a narrow extension in time. It still remains unclear whether there is a disease "Spanish flu", which in its turn has caused the pandemic of "Spanish Flu". W:1918 flu pandemic tells me that the pandemic was caused by "an unusually severe and deadly Influenza A virus strain of subtype H1N1." For comparison, google books:"Spanish flu" gives mixed results as regards capitalization of the term, with many hits of the lowercase "flu". --Dan Polansky 14:35, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
      • Perhaps a divided defintion, the "disease" would be Spanish flu and the pandemic would be Spanish Flu? (The definition at Spanish flu is for the pandemic, so that would need to be moved) 12:48, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
        • That doesn't wholly work, either. "Known as Spanish flu or la grippe, the influenza epidemic of 1918 and 1919 was a global disaster." — →ISBN pp. 119. "The horror of the Spanish flu was that, like the war itself, it seemed especially fatal to the young and healthy. " — →ISBN pp. 207. Uncle G 15:53, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


Can anyone ascertain whether the word bridewell (small prison) is soothly only UK, as it is currently tagged? In the entry on MW online, which is US-based and which tags UK words as chiefly British, there was no such tag. Is it widespread in the USA? For more see User talk:SemperBlotto#bridewell. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 15:51, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I am an American and this word is completely unfamiliar to me. It also lacks an entry in Macquarie (the leading dictionary of Australian English), so it might be micro-British rather than macro-British. -- Visviva 15:57, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
There are an astonishing-to-me 31 hits for this word in the BNC, though a number of these are capitalized references to Bridewell Hospital (source of the common noun?). There are 14 hits in COCA, of which 11 are for the surname Bridewell. For common nouns only, the BNC-to-COCA ratio is 14:3. Factoring in the size of the relative corpora, I would call that a "coefficient of Britishness" of 18.0, which is pretty darned British. -- Visviva 16:05, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
There is, apparently, a 'Bridewell Street' in Los Angeles. It may well be a herring - does anyone know what colour? Pingku 16:28, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
If so, then someone must bid MW online insert the chiefly British tag, which they have not done hitherto. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 16:45, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
It exists, at least as far as google is concerned, but what is its etymology? Pingku 17:27, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Most likely it's named after someone named Bridewell. -- Visviva 17:34, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Well of course, but can you verify that?? Pingku 17:55, 7 March 2009 (UTC) 17:47, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
There's a Bridewell in Dublin Ireland as well. But in all my time in Ireland I never heard is used as such for a prison--Dmol 10:46, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
    • "[…] not in the Corporation Block, as much ground to spare from its present uses, as would be required for erecting a Bridewell, […]" — Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784–1831‎, pp. 592
    • "[…] which is for building a Bridewell or Work House in the said City no Provision is made nor Power given nor method prescribed […]" — The Colonial Laws of New York from the Year 1664 to the Revolution pp. 975
    • "The Sub-Committee found that establishment to be totally distinct from, and by its construction incompatible with the arrangements necessary for a Bridewell" — Records Relating to the Early History of Boston‎ pp. 194
  • Last time I checked, New York and Boston were not British in the 19th century. ☺
    • "[…] any other use than that of a Bridewell, the property should then become vested in […]" — A history of the city of Dublin‎, pp. 8
    • "[…] and accordingly he set to work to obtain a site near the College and money to build a Bridewell for the restraining of vagrants and beggars […]" — An Epoch in Irish History: Trinity College, Dublin, Its Foundation and Early Fortunes, pp. 130
  • You didn't spend enough time in Ireland, Dmol. Uncle G 16:05, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Marvellous, thus we can get rid of the UK template and input these citations on Citations:bridewell (but the problem is the capitalisation - on Citations:bridewell or Citations:Bridewell ?). As a conclusion, bridewell turned out to be a full-scale English word. Has anyone from the USA any onjections? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 16:30, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
      • We certainly can not get rid of the UK template, based on the evidence presented thus far. A regional template does not mean that a word is used only in that region -- not in the sense that no published uses outside of the region can be found. After all, it is not that hard to find even words like "lorry" in putatively US sources if one looks hard enough. Thus, the cherry-picked citations above are not particularly relevant IMO. In the case of bridewell, based on the evidence given I think it would be fine to replace {{UK}} with {{mostly|UK}} or {{UK|rare or obsolete elsewhere}}; the last in particular would be both accurate and precise. But to simply remove the template would be to remove useful, correct information about regional usage patterns. -- Visviva 17:12, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
        • When quotations that show you to be in error appear, calling them "cherry-picked" is a sign of reaching. Uncle G 12:30, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
      • I agree with Visviva. The fact that a very small number of citations can be found in US-published materials does not make this a part of the US lexicon. I have never heard the word used outside of British television, or seen it outside of British novels or newspapers (and I have experienced a very large numbmer of all three British sources). I can remember first learning this term from British television and I had to go look it up. Growing up in america, I had not heard it used here. The fact that a word can be found in a US publication does not mean that the American public uses it or knows its meaning, the above quotes indicate to me only that the Irish, Irish immmigrants to the US, and colonial citizens of the future US use this term. --EncycloPetey 17:22, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
        • Who said the number was small? I didn't. And you haven't looked. The fact that your vocabulary doesn't include the word means nothing. Aside from the fact that no-one's personal vocabulary ever represents the totality of a language, the word almost certainly isn't in the modern Brit's vocabulary either, but here you are arguing that it is a U.K. English word nonetheless.

          The simple fact is that the word has dropped into desuetude, because such institutions no longer exist, but was in both U.S. and U.K. English. You haven't paid attention to the dates of the quotations. The Boston Records were written in 1821, for example — the 19th century, as I said. Trying to turn that into a pre-Independence quotation is both drawing a highly erroneous boundary around U.S. English (whose evolution didn't magically start in 1776 — read American English#Creation of an American lexicon if you are confused upon this point) and a rather large re-write of established history.

          You can find similar uses in the Statutes of Nova Scotia (1822) and the Laws and Ordinances of the City of Chicago (1873). The city council of New York had a Jail and Bridewell Committee until the at least the 1820s, when the slum problem of Five Points (which didn't even exist prior to the 19th century) came up for review before it. The city council of Chicago had a Bridewell Committee right up until the early 20th century. Chicago had an official position of bridewell keeper. (The incumbent of that office in 1855 was a David Walsh, for example.) It had a City Bridewell until at least 1898 (when the Chicago Woman's Club was lobbying to stop children being sent there). It's ridiculous to think that all of the U.S. English speakers speaking about, writing about, and lobbying over all of these never used the word "bridewell". And it's clear from the Boston Records, for one, that on the contrary they did use it.

          Trying to paint this as a non-U.S. word is a nonsense. Both of you, as established lexicographers, should know better than to conflate your personal vocabularies with the language as a whole, and both of you should know better than to conflate the fact that a word isn't now used with the premise that it wasn't ever used. Accept the fact that Merriam-Webster is right and you are wrong. Clearly the M-W lexicographers have done their research. Uncle G 12:30, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

          I suggested that it be tagged "rare or obsolete" outside the UK. I don't see anything in your evidence that would contradict this, and the discrepancies in the counts between the COCA and the BNC lean very strongly in this direction. The fact that this is in contemporary use in England, but (apparently) not or very rarely in use elsewhere, needs to be documented... unless it is false. But you haven't shown that it is false, and there seems to be abundant corpus-based empirical evidence that it is true. -- Visviva 10:52, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
          It's not in contemporary use in the UK. It's just an archaic word, everywhere. Ƿidsiþ 11:36, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
          No, please not archaic, SemperBlotto already weighed it up as dated, so in the case of UK it would be too strong. US based Merriam Webster does not use any tag soever, and I personally would infer thence that this is a wonted word in both the Commonwealth and the USA, but if all of you except Uncle G are keen to contest it..., I cannot but hearken thereunto. I am a foreign speaker of English after all. Ceterum censeo that the tag dated is more well-placed. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 12:08, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
          Well, this is interesting. The frequency in the BNC is about 1 in 3 million, which suggests a relatively infrequent word, but one that a native speaker would probably be familiar with. (Does that jibe with your experience?) The frequency in COCA is less than 1 in 100 million, which suggests a word that a person could go their entire life without encountering (as I'm pretty sure I had, until this entry was created). As a sanity check, the difference between these distributions has a log-likelihood of 29.75, which corresponds to p < 0.0001 (probability of significance greater than 99.99%). But I suppose it's possible that the BNC is in some way biased towards texts that happen to include the word "bridewell"... -- Visviva 14:27, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


The first two definitions seem commingled to me.

  1. {{legal}} Evidence of a long-term debt, by which the bond issuer (the borrower) is obliged to pay interest when due, and repay the principal at maturity, as specified on the face of the bond certificate. The rights of the holder are specified in the bond indenture, which contains the legal terms and conditions under which the bond was issued. Bonds are available in two forms: registered bonds, and bearer bonds.
  2. {{finance}} A documentary obligation to pay a sum or to perform a contract; a debenture.
    Many say that government and corporate bonds are a good investment to balance against a portfolio consisting primarily of stocks.

__meco 10:03, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

IMO, the legal def is secondary in usage to the finance sense. The legal sense is too long. The rewrite should be along the lines of "finance: a right to receive interest and usually the face value". "legal: the evidence and specification of terms and conditions of such a right." DCDuring TALK 12:49, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


As an English word, ought this not be spelled with a lower case 'b'? Compare with Weltanschauung/weltanschauung. __meco 10:33, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

  • When I entered this, I wasn't sure whether it should be English at all. Except that the quote I had was from a novel in English, in which the word has some importance (always used with a capital B). And from there it has become a term used sometimes in various bits of Pychonalia. Maybe it should still be a German section though, I'm not sure. Ƿidsiþ 10:48, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
    • No, it should not be - the German section is at Brennschluß. Please, preserve the capitalisation, this is the sound orthography for German nouns and for nouns derived from German - cf. Schadenfreude. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 14:56, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
      • Brennschluß is the old orthography. It should not be used anymore. -- Prince Kassad 15:21, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
        • Well, when I was learning German, it was not standard (yet), so you probably understand my reluctance to embrace this Helvetisation/Verschweizerung of German orthography. But it is not up to Bulgarian learners to decide, if you insist, then ich bin mit meinem Latein am Ende. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 15:32, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
          • My German is too not so good. However, going by the model of schadenfreude, the English ought to be brennschluss. (Assuming that is, that it is accepted as a loanword.) And if you go by the example of Schluß, the preferred German would be Brennschluss. But whoever said a dictionary had to be consistent? :) Pingku 16:44, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
            • Niemals habe ich behauptet, daß mein Deutsch nicht fließend ist und bin bestimmt nicht im Begriff, mich einer solchen Unterschätzung zu unterziehen./Never did I claim that my German was not fluent and do not intend to inflict on myself such an underæstimation. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 17:42, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
      • You are citing the German entry at Schadenfreude. The relevant entry would be schadenfreude, which is the English entry. Add to that weltanschauung as I initially presented and a rather clear pattern emerges which dictates that the English entry for the word we are discussing should be at brennschluss. __meco 12:30, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
        • Yes, but it needs to be established that brennschluss is properly a loanword in English. The Pynchon reference does not do this, as it emphasises that it is a German word (including capitalisation). The Wikipedia page mentions a Heinlein novel, but appears to overhype its usage there. Wikipedia also refers to a NASA glossary, which includes brennschluss, uncapitalised. Pingku 16:50, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
            • "The brennschluss time is, arguably, one of the main controlling parameters on flame dynamics — if the brennschluss time is very short […]" — →ISBN pp. 95
            • "Notice how the velocity tails off in the interfals between the ignition of the various steps. Brenschlusss at 25½ seconds." — Rockets, Missiles, and Space Travel, Willy Ley, Viking Press, 1957. pp. 223
            • "In rocketry, Brennschluss has two implications, but the same basic meaning. The first implies that the driving fuels are all expended […]" — Air Pictorial and Air Reserve Gazette, Rolls House, 1951.
          • On the matter of loaning, particularly, this quotation seems particularly apt:
            • "The German language has also contributed such words as blitz, brennschluss, immelmann, lufbery, and strafe. For the most part, borrowing from foreign aviation terminology occurred prior to World War II." — The Special Vocabulary of the United States Air Force, George Lloyd Rule, Stanford University, 1957.
          • So, are you prepared to accept running English prose and to take the word of an 1957 M.A. thesis? ☺ Uncle G 00:44, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
              • Looks fine to me. With the (especially lower case) cites it appears verified in a technical/jargon (aeronautics?) sense. The NASA ref might confirm it is still current. Pingku 16:11, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


rook Etymology 1, etymology section has non-UTF-8 characters in it which display as little red boxes on Firefox. -- dougher 22:39, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Those are UTF-8, but they aren't Plane-0 characters since the Gothic alphabet isn't in Plane-0 but in the Plane 1 range: U+10330–U+1034F. I did add the appropriate sc=Goth script parameter, but if you don't have a Gothic font installed, you won't see the letters. —This unsigned comment was added by Carolina wren (talkcontribs). 01:20, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Since we cannot expect from every user of Wiktionary to install Gothic fonts, I bestow upon the Gothic cognates romanisation, whenever I descry that it is missing. If the user has a zest for the Gothic language, he will install the script. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:44, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
What Bogorm is trying to say is that the script template takes a tr= parameter, which allows you to include a transcription in Latin characters. Ƿidsiþ 15:56, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Why trying? Did I commit any mistake or mine English is not fluent enough? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 18:40, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Ohmigod. --Duncan 19:50, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Duncan, I meant it seriously - I still have no babel template for English on my user page, because I am in the(rectification, vide infra) process of incessantly learning it on the Internet, in prominent writers' works and I would appreciate any appraisal soever by a native speaker of mine abilities to converse in it, so that I know what number to add next to en. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 12:08, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
English speakers would tend to say "in the process of", not "in process of". Your use of obsolete constructions ("mine abilities", "soever") is likely to baffle some modern speakers. Equinox 12:16, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate your remark and shall pay hanceforth more attention to the use of the definite article (I rectified the above mistake). The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 12:25, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

paulinsk --> Paulian?

In Norwegian we have a word, paulinsk, which is an adjective form of Paulus (Paul), meaning "Pertaining to the biblical apostle Paul or his writings" ... Am I wrong, or is Paulian an English equivalent to that word? --Eivind (t) 09:54, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

It's usually Pauline (yes, I know it's a girl's name too!). Equinox 10:12, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh, thanks! I knew I had heard a word for it somewhere! So now, is Paulian a lesser used version of Pauline, or is it simply not an English word? --Eivind (t) 10:21, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
It's in the OED as a synonym of Pauline (adjective) or a follower of St Paul (noun) SemperBlotto 10:28, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
It is also (along with Paulist) a likely term for the supporters of any person known by the surname Paul, such as 2008 US presidential candidate Ron Paul. -- Visviva 10:36, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


from http://www.economist.com/daily/news/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13253784&fsrc=nwl , second paragraph[I loved the book it refers to, thought it was hilarious. When reading what I've read about itin my 20s, in da good way]

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/in-a-cleft-stick.html expounds very nicely on the relatod sayin, I would say, smiley

I could not find it/ both of them in either wiki PDia or wictionary, which seems to be a bit of an omission to me -- would somebody braver than me feel like adding the entry?[I'm still wet behind mi wictionary ears as they at least tend to say in Brabantian in such caseof inexperience as a newcomer, so I'm a bit hesitant with making new entries in generalfor now.

Thank you in advance--史凡 11:40, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I came to the same conclusion spelling wise but just copy and pasted. Especially you're nown entry helpd me better understand whathe quote was about So thank you so much!![As far as I remember the Waughbook, "scoop" it was full of I guess, very English ways of expressing things. Perhaps I should have another go at it smiley--史凡 13:12, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

nemine contradicente

isn't the IPa for thissupposed to be written with" --ei." at the end in the standard international version?my Longman dictionary gives the' --e" for the American pronunciation of this soundfor which unfortunately it seems to use a modified systemas in the entry itseems. Since I have a Chinese version 'n my Chinese is not that good I couldn't readily take from the introduction which exactsystem they are using for each pronunciation[UK/US], but likely in "gooed" tradition. the American one is not rendered instandardIpA, likely to "serve" the American buyers of this dictionary... so I respectfully await de opinion of the dear tearoominstead of perhaps prematurely already make a correction/change[and if somebody could clear me up about the competing phoneticsystems and perhaps successive updates happened to IpA that would be just toowonderful smily--史凡 12:42, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

it is KK--史凡 13:20, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

phrase - inclusion of single words

Are single words included in the concept of phrase? The definition suggests so: phrase—"A word or group of words that functions as a single unit in the syntax of a sentence, ...". If single words are included, then "phrase" is a synonym of "term", if not, "phrase" is a hyponym of "term". --Dan Polansky 17:13, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

  • There may be some technical uses in which a word can be considered a special type of phrase, but I think in practice ‘phrase’ almost invariably implies more than one word. Ƿidsiþ 18:18, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
A single word can be a phrase if you're doing some sort of computational-linguistic parsing (e.g. "X goes to the shops" must have a "noun phrase" for X, which could just as well be "John" as "the man wearing a stolen hat"), but I agree with Widsith that in normal usage it never would be. Equinox 22:52, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I think sense 2 is currently defined correctly, but sense 1 does normally refer to utterances of more than one word. -- Visviva 05:14, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


whats an antonym for trickster?

I found victim, greenhorn (if you want "the one who gets tricked (by the trickster)"... probably not what you want ... can't think of any suitable "antonyms" - but there are lots of synonyms ... need to go to bed ... will think more in the morning or whenever I'm awake ... L☺g☺maniac chat? 00:55, 15 July 2009 (UTC)


Is a real verb? M-w don't know it and I seems to have trouble getting meaning. Could someone give an example of usage? Or, that is just some sort of slang? TestPilottalk to me! 05:54, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

It's certainly not common, and most English speakers wouldn't know what you meant. We should perhaps revisit this entry. Equinox 00:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Ok! Thank you. Seems that Conrad.Irwin fixed that entry(I have bugged him enough on IRC to make him do that) :P TestPilottalk to me! 01:22, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
You do have to nag him. He's an awful person! Equinox 01:24, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
If only I could nag myself as easily as you guys can nag me, I might get useful stuff done :D. Conrad.Irwin 01:25, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

lamprey-- IP a?is it ˈlamp.rɪ?

. I could give it in with my speech recognition[the word] but. it is not carried in my dictionary. Wiki PDia neither has it,tha pronunciation. I wouldnot really trustother web sources with the IP a aS I wouldn't trust them to be necessarily standard, and rather than going by circumstantial dactation evidence, I prefer asking the community. Thank you in advance--史凡 06:45, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I'd say the IPA of lamprey is /læmpri/, US pronunciation, lamp- sounding like ham and -rey like key. -- 04:31, 14 May 2009 (UTC) (Forgot to sign in. This is mine. --Icqgirl)

as of now

Could someone be so kind as to create an entry? But first please read [2] and probably [3]. Speaking of second link, would it be a proper English to use phrase like "As of now there is no cure exist for AIDS."? TestPilottalk to me! 07:47, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

  • No - it would be either "As of now there is no cure for AIDS." or "As of now no cure exists for AIDS.". It means the same as "at this moment in time" or, even simpler, "now". SemperBlotto 07:56, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
  • We do have entries for as of + now. Ƿidsiþ 15:25, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Did the entry at as of not help? One can use the preposition as of with any noun phrase designating an event or point in time, I think. It is mostly used to discriminate between when an action formally takes place and when the action takes delayed or retroactive effect. "The Governor signed the bill at 12:07pm yesterday making such crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies as of last July 1." "As of now" evokes the idea of a powerful, but fair (?) rule-maker demanding an immediate response. DCDuring TALK 15:38, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Discussion rooms

Someone needs to fix this.

It should be colspan=5 not colspan=4 08:43, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

NOTE: Wiktionary talk:Discussion rooms redirects here. 08:45, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Fixed. (and you only needed to ask in one place) SemperBlotto 08:48, 12 March 2009 (UTC)


We have a definition of the microblogging sense of the verb. But what do you call an individual "message"? Is that also a "twitter", or maybe a "twit"? It seems to be twittata in Italian, but I haven't added the noun sense yet. SemperBlotto 10:48, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

I believe it's a "tweat". Conrad.Irwin 10:51, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Ah - we have it as tweet. Now I'm wondering about twitterati. SemperBlotto 10:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC
Why does this deserve any kinder treatment than all the entries and senses that are summarily deleted as neologisms? DCDuring TALK 11:17, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Huh? If they have three independent citations in durably-archived media, spanning at least a year, we certainly shouldn't be deleting them, and AFAIK we haven't. (Possible exception: the exceedingly problematic "santorum".)-- Visviva 11:53, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, we welcome neologisms; it's only protologisms that get the chop. SemperBlotto 11:59, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

be to

I have been thinking about creating an entry for be to to cover the function it has in e.g. "you are to come", "I am to die", "they are to play" … I reckon it does function like either going to, will or ought to. Am I correct? Should I create it and redirect to it from am to, are to and is to?

  • This is already covered in sense 13 of be - (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form future tenses, especially the future subjunctive.
I am to leave tomorrow.
I would drive you, were I to obtain a car.

as it is "be" followed by the infinitive, rather than "be to" followed by the bare infinitive. -- ALGRIF talk 17:10, 12 March 2009 (UTC)


No mention - Abbreviation (grammar) of past participle?

Added. --Jackofclubs 11:58, 16 June 2009 (UTC)


Yes, I know this entry has been deleted several times before, but I have now recreated it, as I found citations on the word being used to refer to the four first letters on the home row. Could someone please have a look at it, and tell me if they agree? I reckon the word is worthy an entry. --Eivind (t) 13:56, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

It looks to me like the only time this was deleted as something other than vandalism was when Williamsayers79 deleted it, apparently out of process, despite it having survived RFD three times (!). I think the use as a metasyntactic filler merits inclusion (provided it can actually be verified per CFI -- I see it all the time on blogs but not elsewhere). On the other hand I don't think the current sense 1 is really a sense, exactly; people aren't using "asdf" to mean "the first four keys of the home row", they're just listing the first four keys of the home row, in a way that is readily understood in context. That's the way it seems to me, anyway. So while I think the information itself is good, I'd rather it was in the etymology. -- Visviva 15:10, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Hm; I would have said delete, and the first citation is just listing four particular keys where you put four particular fingers. However, the second and third are arguably identifying the home row, just as qwerty identifies a particular keyboard layout.
Nothing whatsoever to do with typography though. The subject is typewriting, but I don't see the need for a restricted sense label. Michael Z. 2009-03-12 15:42 z

Discussion in the office.........what does pp mean when you add it before you sign something on another persons behalf? We reckon its Latin??? Anybody help us?

See ppMichael Z. 2009-04-22 16:26 z

life / love

I have been studying Indo-European roots and found aiw-/ayu- (vital force, life, eternity) that is also the source of ever, never, aye, nay, eon, eternal, medieval, primeval, utopia, Sanskrit Ayurveda, and aught). Does anyone know of have an idea as to whether this root might also give us "LOVE" and "LIFE." I don't know enough about inflected forms of Indo-European roots to determine if the addition of the letter "L" at the beginning of Love and Life may, in fact, be reflective of some observed construct. craigsalvay 04:21 14 March 2009 (UTC)


This entry already has a number of etymologies, but it does not have an entry for Verb = 1) "to go riding on horseback" 2) "to allow a young falcon to fly free". Nor Noun = 1) "a horse hired out to be ridden, to be taken hacking." I'm not sure if this is yet another etymol. Any help would be appreciated. Cheers. -- ALGRIF talk 11:08, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Added. Ƿidsiþ 17:20, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Looks greatly improved. Thanks. -- ALGRIF talk 17:30, 16 March 2009 (UTC)


Hi. Another one. 3 etymologies and none of them include the verb = "bird of prey swooping down onto a quarry" Is this another etym. or does it fit in one already there? Help much appreciated. -- ALGRIF talk 14:41, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Added. I think we are missing a few senses from this one.. Ƿidsiþ 17:26, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Again.. Thanks -- ALGRIF talk 17:36, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Loyal Order of Moose

Hello i have a question about this fratneral organization is this asseptable for your wiki? thank you --Mogyop 22:57, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Sorry i also forgot here is some info on this. initial capital letter) a member of a fraternal and benevolent organization (Loyal Order of Moose). found on dictionary.com --Mogyop 22:58, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

"Loyal Order of Moose" would not be an acceptable entry here on Wiktionary. Wikipedia, on the other hand, already has a an article about Moose International, and I'm sure they would love to have it expanded and improved. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:14, 15 March 2009 (UTC)


These two have Translingual entries referring to the battery size. However, the judging by Wikipedia's List of battery sizes, I'm doubtful of the Translingual nature of those entries, but think they probably ought to be under English as the corresponding entries for AAAA, C, and D are. Carolina wren 16:55, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

They are used in French as well as English (because there's a jurisdiction called Quebec which is French-speaking and uses North American standards) 12:21, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
That would argue for entries under English, French, and possibly Spanish rather than Translingual if the usage of that set of names of battery sizes in limited to just North America. Translingual is not the same as Multilingual, but implies that the entry could be used in any language. Carolina wren 20:12, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, I could add at least Swedish to that list. \Mike 09:48, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
No it doesn't; not under current practice anyway. Many words and symbols tagged as "Translingual", such as the Han characters, are used only in a limited subset of languages. AFAIK, we don't have a definite cutoff for when something becomes translingual, though it is somewhere above the three-language mark. We should probably be more thorough about identifying the languages in which particular translingual terms are or aren't used. -- Visviva 11:04, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
"AA" and "AAA" are used routinely in Korean, FWIW. [4] "D" and "C" are also used, but are usually joined the modifier 형 ("type") -- C형, D형. Still, translinguality (though not panlinguality) seems likely for all of these. -- Visviva 11:04, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Moved the pronunciation hint from Translingual to English for AAA, but unless someone brings an objection, I think that's about all I'll do to these two and find something else to dunk my crumpets into. Carolina wren 17:44, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Does Puerto Rico use these? It's a US territory bucking to become the 51st state, and Spanish-speaking. 08:48, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

What about Jamaican Creole, Cajun, Portuguese, aboriginal languages of the western hemisphere, Gullah, Hawaiian, Tagalog(???)? Wherever the batteries are, so the term is probably in the Language.

A reader has emailed in a correction for this article. They say the KangXi reference is wrong, and should point to page 271, character 4 instead. Since I can't vouch for the correction, I thought I'd take it here instead of editing it myself. Hopefully someone can take a look. Thanks. Dominic·t 20:07, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Page 271, character 4 is -- Prince Kassad 15:40, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

KangXi don't have "娴" and must not have it. "娴" is the simplefied character of "嫻".--Dingar 14:36, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


See androgenous and Talk:androgenous. Our definition may be wrong. Equinox 01:29, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

hybrid hot tub

IP created entry. A quick google was enough to convince me this could be more than just SoP but I'm not certain the provided meaning is correct or not. Carolina wren 02:09, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I'd say it was SoP, with hybrid and hot tub, where hybrid can either mean it's a cross between a hot-tub and an excerisize-pool (we should probably include the exact meaning of this sense, if it met CFI), or (rarer) a "hybrid" "hot tub" that uses multiple energy sources. Conrad.Irwin 02:19, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm the originator of this definition (apologies for forgetting to log in, this is my first wiktionary post). The definition is, in fact, in reference to a hot tub with multiple energy sources.--Nickcastoro 02:31, 18

Hey, great to hear from you! I don't think Wiktionary needs an entry for hybrid hot tub as it already has the information at hybrid and hot tub; otherwise we'd have to include hybrid car and hybrid oven and [[hybrid <nameanythinghere>]] which is not practical. Conrad.Irwin 02:33, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the quick reply. I noticed that hybrid car has its own entry, and think that since products such as hybrid ovens and hybrid hot tubs become more common in society, they deserve entries. Apart from being similar in principle, each use different methods of energy generation and conservation. Nickcastoro 02:51, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Just for the record, I marked this as spam because the original post had an example sentence suggesting how luxurious and great they were and a hyperlink at the bottom. I removed the link when marking it for deletion to prevent the spammer (if so) from getting any hits off it. Equinox 10:03, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

definition : the definition of the word encroachment , as used in the medical meaning i.e. encroachment on the cervical spine.

Request for new entry/discussion

See open sunshine, closed door. —RuakhTALK 03:25, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

The expression "open sunshine" is very common in English, particularly in reference to government. Googling, I get 13,200 hits for the expression, including 17 for "open sunshine policy" (not all relevant). In any case, it is commonly used to mean "transparent," and particularly "open to the public." The expression "closed door" is essentially the opposite, though it has a wider range of use. "Closed door meeting," for example, gets 432,000 hits. I created entries for both of those, but both were deleted by a Wiktionary bureaucrat. Although Wiktionary is a collaborative space, the deletions were done without discussion or notice. I believe the proof for these two expressions is adequate and that neither can be understood easily from the component words. Any discussion is welcome, though the re-creation of these entries (particularly by an administrator) would be even better. Wakablogger 21:38, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

There have been no comments on this. Tomorrow, I will attempt recreating these pages. If the bureaucrat again deletes them and/or modifies my account so I cannot edit, I will report here again. Wakablogger 02:49, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I really don't think "open sunshine" merits an entry. Despite what you say, it's actually pretty rare; going through google:"open sunshine", I find that a small minority of hits are using it in the sense you describe. (Of the first ten hits, only one is.) It's understandable why people would use it — both open and sunshine can have this sense, but only if the context is clear enough, so putting them together can help clarify. But until this particular combination becomes a fixed expression, it's not worth including. —RuakhTALK 03:25, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for the response. Here are some citations from the Internet that I think demonstrate its fixed status in English:
  • This change, dubbed the Open Sunshine policy, de-classifies the formerly confidential criteria used to determine the amount of money an organization would receive. [[5]]
  • Drawing a contrast between the policy of disciplined quid pro quo engagement and South Korea's more open "sunshine policy" would highlight both the value and the spirit of the South's investments in the process. [[6]]
  • Nor are the protesters advocating a more open "sunshine policy" toward their communist cousins in North Korea. [[7]]
  • It is our opinion that a record is only presented for deliberation by the board when it is presented at an open Sunshine law meeting: Under the Sunshine law, “deliberation” is, “the discussion of agency [school district or board committee] business held for the purpose of making a decision.” [[8]]
  • Such an open sunshine law should bring benefits. [[9]]

Wakablogger 22:34, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Each of the links show either usage in quotes or a usage that is clearly not of the set term (eg, open "sunshine law"). Also, only two are from sources acceptable for attestation. The phrase does not seem at all like idiomatic English to me. DCDuring TALK 23:19, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I personally use "open sunshine" as an adjective, which is supported here as well as lots more hits on the Web. Wakablogger 02:34, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but not all your hits are relevant. First of all, South Korea's Sunshine Policy is something else entirely; the name is a reference to one of Aesop's fables. Secondly, even if it were using "sunshine" in this sense, that wouldn't make something like "a more open 'sunshine policy'" be relevant; the quotations make it quite clear that "open" is modifying "sunshine policy", so "open sunshine" isn't acting as a single adjective. If you really think that open sunshine warrants an entry, then I'd recommend starting Citations:open sunshine, adding relevant quotations from books (using e.g. google books:"open sunshine"). Those can make a better case for the entry than any discussion could. —RuakhTALK 14:03, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
"More" can qualify "open" just as it can qualify "open sunshine" if "open sunshine" is an adjective, though it may be that in that case, the author did intend it that way. In any case, it seems clear to me (from my own use and that of others) that "open sunshine" is a standard expression. It might be likely unfamiliar to those people whose governments do not have such a policy, but my local governments are very proactive in open sunshine regulation and policies. Her are some better-searched hits that should provide indisputable proof.
  • Topics will include the federal Open Sunshine Act, how the Washington Public Records Act affects electronic records, Washington open meeting issues and records exemptions in Washington. [[10]]
  • The activities of the Agency and its advisory committees must take place in the open sunshine of public scrutiny and accountability. [[11]]
  • This change, dubbed the “Open Sunshine” policy, “de-classifies” the formerly confidential criteria used to determine the amount of money an organization would receive. [[12]]
If you or others object to these examples, I will put them and some others into a citation file as you suggest, but I think they clearly demonstrate that "open sunshine" is a standard expression and that it's appropriate to recreate the entries. I will link them to this page to try and dissuade the bureaucrat from striking again without discussion. Wakablogger 19:28, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Okay, I have recreated the open sunshine entry. "Closed door" is next. Wakablogger 13:34, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm absolutely shocked. An administrator has decided that rather than discuss the issue, he or she would single-handedly delete the entry. This appears to be a clear instance of POV pushing. What a waste of my time. Where is the discussion about my examples? Where is the note to me that my work has been erased? Where is the courtesy? The common sense? Reasonable action? Wakablogger 02:19, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

subject heading

I'd like to create an entry for subject heading - "(information science) The name of the category in which a bibliographical record is included." But it looks a bit SoP-ish; it indeed is a heading of a subject. As I see it, the value of having the entry is that it is a standard term in its trade; the name of the concept could as well be one of "subject category", "topic heading", "topic head" or "topic class", but it isn't; the authorized term for the concept is "subject heading". What do you think of me creating the entry? --Dan Polansky 17:10, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

It certainly seems to merit entry within its specific context, which makes other complications moot. DCDuring TALK 19:07, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
If that's really the standard term, then fine. Consider adding a usage note to explain this. Equinox 00:38, 20 March 2009 (UTC)


We've been having some rather abrasive arguments here, owing to the Macedonia naming dispute, and I think what is needed is a few more disinterested observers. I think that distinct progress has been made, but perhaps a little more could be gained, as well as some solidification from consensus. Please stop by and join the fray. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:02, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

We had a similar dispute with Kosovo about a year ago. Consensus was to include all meanings of the word, and that seems applicable here too. I'm not an expert on the region so I won't judge which definitions are considered correct.--Dmol 01:44, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Most common verbs

Are there any lists of the most commonly used verbs in English, or other languages for that matter?

Looking at the 100 commonest words from the Oxford English Corpus, the commonest verbs are: 9. have; 19. do; 28. say; 33. will; 37. would; 47. get; 49. go; 52. make; 53. can; 59. know; 60. take; 67. could; 69. see; 74. look; 76. come; 79. think; 83. use; 87. work; 93. want; 97. give. Equinox 00:35, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Er....what about be? Ƿidsiþ 09:05, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Oops, yes, that's number 2. Equinox 15:16, 20 March 2009 (UTC)


{{subst:Tea room}} if two people have the SAME BIRTHDAY is there a WORD for that? is there any WORD that refers to that relationships!

I was thinking about the word NAMESAKE for two people with the SAME NAME!

Thanks Duane

Doubt it. However, astrological twins seems to be used in astrology for people born on the same date in the same year, usually at almost the same time of day. Equinox 15:18, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Recalling the episode of Friends where Joey finds his "hand twin," I found citations for "birthday twins." Most Google hits are not relevant but a few are. See for example [[13]] and [[14]]. This seems to refer to two people born on the same day, same month, same year, though, not just the same day and month. Wakablogger 02:53, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

angle of refraction and angle of reflection

Can anyone help with the meanings of the angles of reflection and refraction? I came upon those words in some homework i was set and cannot find a definition anywhere.

Refraction refers to the change in direction which happens when light goes through something, eg a prism; reflection means the change of direction when light "bounces off" from something. --Duncan 11:10, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Technically, refraction (and reflection) happens at the boundary of different mediums. Thus, a beam of light passing through a piece of glass will be refracted twice: once when it enters the glass and again when it exits. This is particularly relevant when the entry and exit boundaries are not parallel, such as in a lens. Pingku 14:01, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
While we're at it: am I right in supposing that (angle of) reflection refers only to light, while (angle of) deflection may refer to just about anything which has changed direction after meeting some barrier? --Duncan 22:40, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I think it's quite subtle. First of all, you can speak of the deflection of light (e.g. "deflection of light by a gravitational field"); equally, you can speak of reflection of things that are not light (1974: "Consider a pinball machine in which a rolling ball strikes a cylindrical post (pin) and is reflected."). I think that the difference is usually in the nature of change of direction: a reflection is a symmetrical sending back (like light from a mirror, which returns in the opposite direction), while a deflection is a deviation from the normal course in any direction. Equinox 22:49, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, in normal English (as opposed to scientific jargon), I think that in deflection the emphasis is on deflecting away from the previous direction or destination, whereas in reflection the emphasis is on reflecting back toward the point of origin. —RuakhTALK 23:48, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I suppose reflection would be anything less than 90º and deflection and refraction would normally be more. (Rule of thumb rather than scientific). -- ALGRIF talk 13:05, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I think you mean that reflection means a deflection from the original course of more than 90º while deflection and refraction would be less. More or less. :) Pingku 16:25, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
IMO angle has nothing to do with it. Reflection implies a discrete boundary upon which the trajectory bends. Deflection is a continuous bending of the trajectory, a slide along/through the boundary. Refraction implies fraction, the trajectory splits into multiple path. Coleste 17:29, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

in a jiffy

Literally this would translate as "in a very short time". The present definition seems a little off-kilter; there's something missing, I sense. __meco 12:04, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Are we missing the appropriate sense of in? I'm having trouble seeing the problem. Could you try another way of saying it? DCDuring TALK 14:32, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I suppose the role of in as a preposition gets lost in the present definition. __meco 11:15, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I have just added Category:English prepositional phrases I hope this answers your query. -- ALGRIF talk 13:01, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Composite terms for numbers

Just saw six hundred in the RC and saw that we also have seven hundred, one thousand, etc. How are these different from six apples, one house, etc.? If we accept all of the preceding as valid entries, we must also accept the likes of two hundred thousand, forty-seven million, etc. ad infinitum. I don't mind the entirely hyphenated ones (thirty-two as opposed to one hundred and thirty-two) but the rest seem excessive. Any rules on this that I've missed? Equinox 00:10, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

In the case of one thousand, not so long ago it was a redirect to thousand until I expanded it because it is also used as an idiom. However, for six hundred, etc., and the other n-hundreds, they serve as useful collection points for translations from languages that do use a single word for the concept, of which there are quite a few, as for forty-seven million, if there is a foreign language that has a citeable, single word equivalent, I'd be happy to have an entry for it. (Note some languages do have words for every number; Italian has quarantasettemilione (see Appendix:Italian numbers), but it is doubtful they would ever merit inclusion in most cases.) Carolina wren 00:30, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. Why is there not even one Web page on Google with quarantasettemilione on it? There are about 700 Books matches and 4000 Web matches for forty-seven million in English; I can't imagine that Italians have never yet used this number online. Equinox 00:34, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
And just three hits for "quarantasette milione". There are also far more hits for "dieci milioni" than "diecimilioni" (10 million) which seems to indicate its a form that while legal, isn't followed very often. Carolina wren 01:28, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I notice that we are missing the "charge of the light brigade" definition at "six hundred". I would add it, but I'm not sure if it should be capitalised as a proper noun or not. -- ALGRIF talk 12:57, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
No, we aren't missing that definition. That meaning is implicit in the "cardinal number" definition and Numeral part of speech. All cardinal numbers may be used that way. It would therefore be better to have a uniform usage notes section templated into every entry for an English cardinal number and/or link to an Appendix that explains how cardinal numbers are used in English grammar. Just as we don't include attributive senses of English nouns as separate Adjective sections, we shouldn't be endlessly repeating the grammar of numerals in their entries as separate definitions either. --EncycloPetey 05:29, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Fair 'nuff. I also had that thought running through my mind. -- ALGRIF talk 19:10, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Is our Appendix:Italian numbers entirely accurate? Some time ago, when I quoted from it, I was told by a native speaker of Italian that the concatenation rules for the larger numbers are not valid? Dbfirs 07:48, 9 April 2009 (UTC)


We need the definition of this word. —This comment was unsigned.

singer-songwriter or songwriter-musician

Is there a word for someone who sings or plays (on an instrument) — or both — a song he wrote himself? For example, Elvis; John and Paul; or Bono. Wikipedia calls them singer-songwriters, but is there a single word?—msh210 17:25, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

The closest word in English is probably bard but that is seldom used for modern singer-songwriters. A number of the Romance languages have words like the Iberian cantautor (ca, es, gl, and pt; possibly others) and the Italian cantautore derived from a portmanteau of their words for singer and author. Possibly someday one of those might get Anglicized. Carolina wren 18:14, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
In French, those who have no accompanying musiciens are ofteb called (at least in Quebec) chansonnier (lit. "songer"), but that tem is usually applied to satyrical or humorous singers. The general term is the mouthful auteur-compositeur-interprète (since the lyricist/parolier) is often not the music composer. auteur-interprète also exists, but is less frequent. Circeus 18:35, 23 March 2009 (UTC)


The first form of the word Psyche listed on its page is a common noun, which presumably would include would use a lowercase 'p'. In fact, one of the definitions uses the word itself (admittedly a fault in the page, though not mine) and uses the lowercase form. As such, I changed the common noun form to lowercase but it is still filed on the Psyche page rather than the psyche page. As such, I am considering merging the common noun form of Psyche with the psyche page but thought it would be useful to receive some other user input prior to making such a drastic change to the pages' structures. Please respond with your thoughts and opinions on the matter and any recommendations on how to go about doing this (ex. which etymology the transferred definitions would fit under, if they did not indeed require a new one).

Multiple issues on this page (Psyche & psyche).
  1. Etymology: The Greek (uncapitalised) means either butterfly or soul, according to my copy of Chambers. Capitalised, it is the goddess. The butterfly was a symbol of the goddess Psyche, who apparently is sometimes represented with butterfly wings.
  2. The Psyche (or psyche) butterfly may specifically be Leptosia nina. Lower case psyche might also mean any butterfly. I've no idea whether upper or lower case predominates, but perhaps an entry psyche butterfly might be considered.
  3. The taxonomy reference, Psychidae, should likely be a See also.
  4. Some of the proper noun senses look encyclopaedic, rather than dictionary entries - specifically the band, the album and the Linux code name.
Comments? Pingku 17:55, 26 March 2009 (UTC)


Is "Watchamacalit" the correct contraction word for "What You May Call It"?

It seems to exist in a few texts, but the more intuitively spelled whatchamacallit is far commoner. Equinox 22:21, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Colony Collapse Disorder or Colony collapse disorder?

Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Colony_Collapse_Disorder#Move.3F Is it a proper noun or not? Thanks 21:23, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Not a proper noun. We already have this entry at colony collapse disorder Cheers. -- ALGRIF talk 12:47, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I have to say this tendency to capitalise terms of arts in the sciences (items, apparatus, diseases, processes etc.) has always intrigued me. I'm thinking myself it's used roughly to hint at the common abbreviation of these terms. Circeus 17:38, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Hunger and Thirst

If satiated is the opposite of hunger, what is the opposite of thirst? 10:32, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

satiation would be the antonym of hunger, not "satiated". As far as I know, satiated is an appropriate antonym to either hungry or thirsty. Circeus 17:43, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Or satiety. Equinox 19:23, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Satiation (fulfilment) is not the the opposite of hunger; nor is quenching (extinguishment) the opposite of thirst - but they serve. Pingku 19:13, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Open sunshine

Twice, without discussion or a note, administrators have deleted my entry on open sunshine. While I believe that is prescriptive, noncollaborative and counterproductive, here is another attempt to open discussion on whether people agree that "open sunshine" is a term suitable for entry.

Here are three citations from the Internet demonstrating that "open sunshine" is a word:

  • Topics will include the federal Open Sunshine Act, how the Washington Public Records Act affects electronic records, Washington open meeting issues and records exemptions in Washington. [[15]]
  • The activities of the Agency and its advisory committees must take place in the open sunshine of public scrutiny and accountability. [[16]]
  • This change, dubbed the “Open Sunshine” policy, “de-classifies” the formerly confidential criteria used to determine the amount of money an organization would receive. [[17]]

Wakablogger 07:15, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

You have gotten comment that this entry does not seem to meet our standards for inclusion. The three quotations above are not durably archived. (See WT:CFI.) "The Open Sunshine Act" is a proper noun. A usage in quotes indicates that "Open Sunshine" is being mentioned not actually used (See w:Use-mention distinction.) DCDuring TALK 12:50, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Quotation marks are used to mention a term, but that is not their only use. To say that this must be mention because the term is demarcated is to discount the possibility of irony, nickname, title, emphasis, quotation of speech or writing, or unusual usage of a term not "in its current, commonly-accepted sense" per w:Quotation mark. DAVilla 01:00, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
I have been told to not defend the citations, but let them stand on their own. Please advise whether "open sunshine" merits inclusion. I think these nondurable citations indicate widespread use, but please advise if I need to find durable citations. Wakablogger 16:25, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
The second citation above seems to be from a report of the House of Commons, which I imagine is durably archived. The other two citations seem to be referring to specific policy as the Open Sunshine policy/Act, a name, which is not the same as open sunshine the noun/adjective. Please collect citations, here, or, even better, at citations:open sunshine. Three good ones mean that, yes, you can re-create the entry (or ask an administrator to undelete it, so you don't have to bother rewriting it).—msh210 16:48, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and "clearly widespread use" has been for used in the past AFAIK for things like "dog", meaning a kind of animal, not for something like this. Basically, if you don't see a bunch of posts in this discussion saying "it has clearly widespread use!" then it doesn't.—msh210 16:52, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Note that none of those quotations is using "open sunshine" as an adjective. —RuakhTALK 17:12, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I have created a citation page as suggested at citations:open sunshine and stopped at 21. I believe they show that this word is so widespread that it is used in blogs, in conversational-type comments, in newspapers, and in official government records among other uses. For an indication of popular use, I can recommend that people telephone their local governments and ask them a question such as "Do we have an open sunshine policy? If so, what is its official name?" Separately, I am not supposed to defend my citations, but I hope Ruakh will explain how s/he thinks open sunshine is being used as I think that would be more conducive to collaboration. Wakablogger 20:26, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

As a noun. And, why don't you telephone your local government and ask them, "Do we have a sunshine policy?". The "open" is not necessary. By the way, you say that you "have been told to not defend the citations, but let them stand on their own." Who told you that? I don't get it. —RuakhTALK 16:13, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I complained to an administrator about the administrator abuses that have been going on with the open sunshine entry, and he told me to start this new section and not defend the entries. I think I can say that regardless of whether "sunshine" can stand on its own, the citations indicate that "open sunshine" is also a term. Wakablogger 16:50, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Update: The entry open sunshine has been undeleted. I hope that any future concerns about the entry will be brought here rather than through deletion. Wakablogger 21:38, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

It seems like a poetic compound to me, not necessarily a dictionary entry. -VitaminN


This is Middle English, right? 13th and 14th century. --Jackofclubs 12:03, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

I created nat at the same time from the same quotation, so you may want to do to that whatever you do to yif. Equinox 18:40, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
See also yiff (scroll down past the stupid Internet animal stuff). Equinox 22:54, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

bone up or bone up on

I see that "bone up on" redirects to "bone up". According to all the sources I can find, it should be the other way round. I am asking consensus permission to make the necessary changes, please. -- ALGRIF talk 14:00, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Withdraw request. I've just realised that "bone up" can be put with "on" or "for" My mistake. -- ALGRIF talk 14:33, 28 March 2009 (UTC)


Sense 2: Any of ship, real or fictional, named USS Constitution. The Constitution is moored in Charlestown.

Obviously, this quote refers to a particular ship Constitution, not any Constitution. I suspect that there is one famous Constitution which is easily attested as the Constitution. Anyone know? Michael Z. 2009-03-28 18:29 z

The fictional one is from Star Trek. There was another whose construction was abandoned in the 1920s. There was a passenger vessel in the 1950/60s. More info available via the WP link in the entry. DCDuring TALK 23:59, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
The usage example is just a usage example. DCDuring TALK 00:01, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
But which is likely to be attestable for CFI? Any ship doesn't define this term; perhaps one of the ships named USS C. would, but that's still unsuitably vague. Michael Z. 2009-03-29 00:04 z
I see w:USS Constitution is quite famous, but I'm not sure if any ship would pass the attributive use rule at WT:CFI#Names_of_specific_entities. An reason not to RfV this sense? Michael Z. 2009-03-29 00:10 z
Agree. Any ship is clearly unsatisfactory. RfV should clear up whether the cited ship passes CFI (noted in a US context). Pingku 12:11, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Hmm... Enterprise? Equinox 03:44, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
By the way, I posted this at Wiktionary:Requests_for_verification#Constitution. I'll post Enterprise too – I would speculate that the starship Enterprise would pass, and possibly even a space shuttle and Navy ship. But it will take a bit of work, because the attributive use rule applies. Michael Z. 2009-03-31 05:57 z


I've been adding a few interesting quotes and terms from a 1940 GM pamphlet "Optics and Wheels" tonight. As I prepared to add country beam and traffic beam as dated synonyms for high beam and low beam I came across a problem. First off we only have high-beam as an entry right now. Easily fixed, tho I am coming here to ask whether the hyphenated entry or the unhyphenated entry should be made the primary entry for the high and low beams. My instinct after a quick google says the unhyphenated forms, but since it would involve changing an existing entry, I thought I'd ask here first. Carolina wren 00:28, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

open sunshine - figurative?

The meaning of open sunshine I gathered in the citations file has now been labeled as figurative. I think this noun is so well established, that it is not figurative. Moreover, the related meaning under sunshine is not listed as figurative. What do others think? Wakablogger 17:34, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if I count as "others" (since it's I who added the tag to the main entry), but I think it's far too rare to be considered "well established". google books:"open sunshine" gets just a few hundred hits (somewhere around 350, though it's hard to be sure of the exact number — Google Book Search isn't very consistent with that), and of the first fifty, none are in this sense. There are a few copies of this semi-figurative quotation:
  • The moral health is also dependent upon cleanliness and sunshine. The girl or boy whose mind is unclean, whether from evil associations, evil practices, unclean books, speech, or amusements, who does not live in the open sunshine of confidence with himself and with his parents, will sooner or later fall a vicitim [sic] to disease more serious than any physical ills.
but that's not the sense you're referring to. There's also one uses "open" and "sunshine" next to each other, both in their relevant senses:
  • Agencies have thus been thinking about how they could have open Sunshine Act meetings under such emergency circumstances with commissioners at a remote location for an extended period of time or able to communicate only by telephone.
but it's clear here that "Sunshine" is modifying "Act", and "open" and "Sunshine Act" are separately modifying "meetings".
So, while the noun open sunshine may meet the CFI in your sense (I'm not sure whether it does), I really don't think it's anywhere near "so well established, that it is not figurative".
RuakhTALK 19:07, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
By the way, the first fifty Google news archive hits do have one use of "open sunshine" in the sense that you mean. (And it's not actually fifty hits — for some reason the search pulls up a lot of articles that don't actually use the phrase.) —RuakhTALK 19:44, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, first of all, I don't think it's appropriate to change an entry that is being discussed. The entry clearly has a Tea Room link to it and unilaterally making a large change like this does not seem appropriate to a collaborative effort. As you are an administrator, it makes it even more frustrating to me because administrators have a great deal of power including that of disabling my account, so I feel like this is being shoved down my throat, like it or not. Particularly given the administrative abuses of this entry in the past, this non-collaborative change seems particularly inappropriate.
As to whether it's figurative, I think many uses such as Janet Reno's where reference is to law or administrative policy are not figurative at all. For my part, I never considered it to be figurative as I consider it simply an everyday word common in use in government. The possibility of it being figurative only arose in my mind when the entry was changed. Wakablogger 18:10, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your candor. I do think it's appropriate to edit collaboratively during discussion, and I don't see how you can think otherwise. The entry is not protected, and you are quite welcome to edit it yourself (as, in fact, you have done). I don't know what "administrative abuses" you think have taken place, but I can assure you that no one is going to block you for good-faith edits.
You're right that the Reno quotation doesn't seem to be figurative, but it also seems infelicitous at best and ungrammatical at worst, which makes me suspicious of the transcript. (Quite likely the only problem is that there shouldn't be a comma after "good", but without some sort of audio, I don't know how to determine for sure. Alternatively, since she immediately clarifies what she means, perhaps the transcript is an accurate rendering of her own misspeaking and subsequent self-clarification.) And you say that you "consider it simply an everyday word common in use in government", but from all evidence I've seen, I'm pretty confident that it's not common or everyday. I'm still not sure whether it even meets CFI.
RuakhTALK 00:14, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I once received a very stern warning about editing during a Tea Room discussion because it can be taken and/or is POV pushing. As I have mentioned, open sunshine was deleted once without warning, again during a Tea Room conversation, and now it has been changed with the addition of the figurative item during another Tea Room conversation. The only change I made during this Tea Room conversation was to add a link to the citations file, one that was silly as there is obviously a tab at the top of the page. It seems that discussing before making major changes is the proper way to go about it when there is a Tea Room conversation present.
There are lots of examples of open sunshine that I believe represent a firm use of the term. Telephoning local government administrative offices and asking about "open sunshine" I believe will further support this. Also, by searching for ["open sunshine" government -Korea], lots of Google hits to corroborate my claim come up. Further, searching on "more open sunshine" and "most open sunshine" yield examples that demonstrate that open sunshine is an adjective, though this entry is tricky because "open" is an adjective itself. At this point, I am tired of dealing with these non-collaborative changes and will therefore bow out of this conversation. At least this word has been added, which was my main goal. When I have more time and energy, I will gather citations for closed door which was deleted unilaterally at the same time as open sunshine. Wakablogger 01:38, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I've added the citations link back and resurrected the other page. A lot of times making changes especially during discussion has more to do with making them "correctly" i.e. using the accepted format and almost instinctively knowing how much is too much as far as crossing the line. I don't think it's right but it looks like admins are balking at technical issues more than anything else, and cutting all the way back without salvaging positive contributions. DAVilla 06:26, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for restoring and cleaning that up as well. It is really frustrating when administrators just delete entries. Ruakh says that "no one is going to block you for good-faith edits" but deleting my entries and unilaterally undoing my good-faith efforts without so much as a note amount to the same thing. And my account has indeed been blocked before by an administrator when I was making a good-faith effort. Very nasty without an explanation. The reason for blocking me was for "vandalism." Wakablogger 00:50, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
You're right, I'm sorry, I can't make that assurance. All I can assure is that no one is going to block you for what they recognize as good-faith edits. —RuakhTALK 02:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
I've run the searches you suggest, and actually, no: not that many Google hits come up, and the ones that do, don't corroborate your claim. —RuakhTALK 02:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh, well. Some other day, then. Wakablogger 17:43, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

bum rush, bum's rush

Are these really opposites: one meaning entering and the other meaning leaving? Equinox 23:13, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes. This pair of words was even Random House's Word of the Day for 13 July 2000. — Carolina wren discussió 02:24, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

nothing to see

Apparently used a synonym for 'have "nothing to do" with'. It doesn't seem idiomatic to me. Is it a translation of an idiom from one or more other languages? DCDuring TALK 11:06, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

I think there's a French expression "rien a voir" which would fit the above. Trafford09 11:26, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

never derivatives

I can't seem to find N'ere as in never. Where should it be? Similarly Nerdowell. Trafford09 11:10, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm newish to Wiktionary, so not bold enough to add them, for fear of putting them in the wrong place. Also: I'm not sure on their spelling! Trafford09 11:18, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Do you mean ne’er?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:30, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh - yes, so it's already there, and also ne'er-do-well. Sorted - thanks. Trafford09 20:34, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
You’re welcome.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:21, 1 April 2009 (UTC)


I was looking for *æææ (as a variant of aeaeae). No luck there, but it does seem to be a word in Danish and/or Norwegian according to these Google Book and Group search results. Perhaps someone versed in either or both of those languages would be interested in creating an entry for this word, if that’s what it is.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:26, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

meseems - herseemed

We have an entry for meseems, but I want to add a quotation with herseemed. Shall I create a herseems entry and add it on Citations:herseems or may I directly add it on Citations:meseems, considering herseems identical to meseems? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 17:01, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

If the word exists it deserves its own entry since "it seemed to her" is not the same as "it seemed to me". What is the quote you had in mind and when was it uttered? The only instance I could find is as a faux archaism used in a 19th century poem by Rossetti. Pre-Raphaelite nonce words aren't likely to meet CFI. — Carolina wren discussió 20:03, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Hm, exactly there did I encounter the word. So, you think that finding another 2 citations would be unfeasable? Perchance... but I have always cherished one quotation by Rossetti by far more than dozens of 20th/21st century mass medias. Just mine opinion. Wellaway then, I am not going to create the entry, until I discover another use of this word. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 20:25, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Do create that Citations: page for the meantime, however.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:20, 1 April 2009 (UTC)