Wiktionary:Tea room/2009/May

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


May 2009


I have just observed about 40 instances of "bonded labours" being used where I would have wanted "bonded labourers". Is "labours" often used this way? In compounds? Context? Region? I could see this as a typical evolution. How do we present it? DCDuring TALK 11:30, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

A couple of words from the French Wikt.

I'm an admin on fr.wikt which is why I keep bringing these up. These are ones that someone (usually me) has nominated for deletion, but they've been kept. So, here they are:

Well knock yourselves out! Mglovesfun 09:54, 2 May 2009 (UTC)


A few things to be checked/improved:

  1. The first definition given was "specific; discrete; a part or portion of something."
    1. I don't get this "a part or portion of something" - I'm unsure why it is there, should probably be split off to another definition
  2. {{en-adj|-}} in the inflection line
    1. Is there a way we can change it to "sometimes comparable"? - The first definition is non-comparable, bu the second one is (fussy, picky, fastidious)
  3. Two definitions only:
    1. Could be a few more for the adjective. Webster's 1913 has 6, M-W has 6, Encarta has 8

--Jackofclubs 09:57, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

  • I've added a few more and put the ‘partial’ thing onto a separate def. Ƿidsiþ 10:09, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
    • That's exactly what I had in mind. Muchas gracias. --Jackofclubs 10:46, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

An adjective for Poe

Is there an adjective for the style of Edgar Allan Poe? I thought perhaps Poean (however you'd pronounce that!), but most Internet matches are manglings of paeon. Equinox 22:44, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps Poetic ? :P I'll poke around and see what I can find. --EncycloPetey 22:53, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I've found an instance of Poean:
  • 1992, Richard Kopley, Poe's Pym, page 241
    Contrasting Poe's concern with transcendence and Wells' with transformation leading to an ideal earthly realm, Rainwater elucidates a number of parallel concerns in Pym and Blettsworthy (mutiny at sea, Tsalal/Rampole Island, and language), and argues that in Blettsworthy Wells reconciles his concern with rationality with a Poean nonrationality.
Try an advanced search of b.g.c using Edgar and Poean as required words. You'll still get some scannos for poem, but there seem to be enough valid citations to meet CFI. --EncycloPetey 23:05, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I just hit upon Poesque — not quite the same, because you couldn't use it to describe Poe's own works, but interesting. Equinox 23:11, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

How about "phantasmagoric repose"? -VitaminN

Babel boxes and sub-conversational familiarity

I was looking at User:Carolina wren's page and his/her use of zero to indicate some very basic understanding of a language without being able to converse or add entries usefully. Would it benefit us to add some level to these templates indicating this? (The zero actually seems pointless, because I'd assume anyhow that any language not present on a user's page was one they didn't speak.) It struck me for instance that I can read German aloud quite well, and spot certain kinds of error, even though I could barely order a meal in that language. Equinox 00:52, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't think they're useful on Wiktionary, for the reasons you've given. Also, the meaning of a "0" Babel box is open to interpretation because of the point you raised. There are many Romance languages that I can read for general meaning, but for which I would have little confidence in doing much else without additional reference. It seems pointless to me to list "0" boxes for all those. --EncycloPetey 03:03, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

to some extend

Should to some extend be entered as a common misspelling of to some extent? It is clear that it is common, judging from google:"to some extend" and google books:"to some extend", but am I right that it is a misspelling? --Dan Polansky 08:10, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

No, I object against that. However common the ignorance and however unpopular the sooth, one should always adhere to the latter. A widespread delusion ought to be shunned, combatted and confuted in lieu of stirred up. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:47, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
It's not just "to some extend": [1], [2], even [3]. I think a usage note at extend to the effect "shouldn't be confused with extent though often is" would be a better way to treat this. --Duncan 10:46, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Wiktionary includes common misspellings, so that people can find an explicit statement of the fact that it is a misspelling, rather than try to guess the fact that it is a misspelling from the absence of an entry. Admittedly, this may be not so much a common misspelling as a common error.
A usage note in "extend" could do; correct. Still, a misspelling entry does no harm, or does it? Wiktionary already includes misspelling entries. I can imagine having a misspelling entry, pointing the reader to a usage note in "extend. --Dan Polansky 11:14, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd argue that to some extend is not a misspelling of to some extent; rather, extend is (among other things) a misspelling of extent, and to some extend is SOP: to some extent + [misspelling of "extent" as "extend"]. —RuakhTALK 21:23, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

looking for a word

Is there an English adjective which means something like "feeling bitter about something but not very bitter because you knew that that which you feel bitter about was inevitable" ? 50 Xylophone Players talk 17:02, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Being resigned to something implies this situation. Michael Z. 2009-05-03 17:11 z
Oh yeah, thanks. I just couldn't think of what it was. 50 Xylophone Players talk 17:13, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Also, to grit your teeth, to grin and bear it, or to suck it up describes someone's response to it. Michael Z. 2009-05-03 17:14 z
Or this colorful phrase describes the outward response. --EncycloPetey 22:11, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Resignedness doesn't imply the bitterness, though. I doubt you'll find one word with the entire desired meaning. Equinox 22:26, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Haha, thanks EP. I'd say the one that best suits the situation and who it will be read by (don't want that goin' there… ;) 50 Xylophone Players talk 22:35, 3 May 2009 (UTC)


uncountable sense. "I can get more house in a distant suburb." Is this US only? I am not happy with the wording of the definition I've added (the last noun sense) and am not sure about including that type of sense. This kind of uncountable sense occurs with many (all???) nouns. ("That Newfie sure is a lot of dog!") When should we include it as a sense? Should we normally omit this kind of meaning? DCDuring TALK 23:38, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Pick your favorite count noun and you can {{informal}}ly stick it in "get a lot more ... for your money". Just a feature of English, I think.—msh210 15:48, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I tried it with cormorant and door. Didn't work so well empirically. Are you saying it applies to all and only nouns that refer to items of merchandise or even more broadly? Is it ever worth including? If any countable sense of a noun can be used uncountably, then only senses that cannot be used both ways should ever be marked. Mostly only mass nouns would meet that test. I don't see how we could have a factual basis for making a determination on frequency grounds for all senses of all nouns. DCDuring TALK 17:14, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
"More door for your money" can actually be found on the Web. Equinox 21:52, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
A low bar, indeed, even for collocations. DCDuring TALK 22:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, "more ... for your money|buck|dollar" is only for items of merchandise, of course. Even if it's not attested, as an native speaker of English you should recognize it as good English. Sugar gets marked as a non-count noun even though it's also countable simply because it has a sense in which it's always uncountable, not only in certain collocations. (Or something like that.)—msh210 16:07, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Only items of merchandise? So what's the going rate for bang? :) Pingku 17:09, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Polish verbs

I can see specific verbs (in polish) that will show all tenses and conjugation
it has a specific format
Q1: if we find a missing verb, can we add it to the list ?
Q2: as I want to respect the format of other verbs, can we use a kind of template to create a new verb entry or how do we do that ?
Thanks for all info
Best regards, Guy Przytula

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 13:01, 5 May 2009 (UTC).

new polish verb

I can see a list of available polish verbs with conjugation in different tenses
there is a specific format related to this entry
Q1: if we see a missing verb, can we introduce a new entry ?
Q2: if we want to use, the same existing format, where can we get this or how to introduce a new verb with this specific format
Thanks for all help
Best regards, guy przytula

—This unsigned comment was added by Przytula (talkcontribs) at 13:06, 5 May 2009 (UTC).


ATM, we have an English entry for debûtante as a rare alternative spelling of débutante. (Google Book Search says that it doesn’t exist, but then again it’s always been rubbish at picking up diacritics, especially in English; I only managed to find the one quotation we do have because it appears in the OED (It’s the first quotation, dated 1801.), so I did a phrase search, sans the circumflex.)

Obviously, this term derives from French, as does the circumflex on its ‘û’, I’m sure; a Google Web Search backs that up, returning the same piece of French text in quintuplicate. However, interestingly enough, the sole Google Books hit for the masculine debûtant is from a German–French dictionary, whereas half the Google Web Search hits therefor are German.

Neither my French nor my German is good enough for me to add either term in either language. Assuming that they are verifiable, would any other editors care to create the entries for these terms?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 10:49, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

It could be a pre-1835 spelling. However a circumflex usually denotes an elided s, and I don't think that debuter/débuter ever had an s, so this ought to be wrong. Perhaps a hypercorrection, I'll look into it. Mglovesfun 12:22, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, like with hostelhôtel. Thanks; do let me know what you find. Remember that even if the spelling with a circumflex is a hypercorrection, it still needs a French entry (if it is verifiable), wherein its hypercorrectitude can be noted.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:21, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Heh. It happened again. Whilst trying (and failing) to verify the English term I just used (hypercorrectitude), I’ve collected enough examples of the homographic French term (hypercorrectitude) for it to satisfy the CFI; if you or anyone else would like to create an entry therefor, you can find the citations at Citations:hypercorrectitude.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:50, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
There is no etymological justification to the circumflex. And I've been unable to find a single attestation in Google books (for French books), whatever the century. In French, it's a misspelling. In English, it's probably a misspelling too? It might have been created here because of the OED quotation, but misspellings are not impossible, even in old texts. Lmaltier 16:12, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
And we should not forget that dictionaries may be wrong: an example is the supposedly French verb bamboucher, which is included in many dictionaries. But all these entries seem to come from a single source (a dictionary written in English), and it's very probable that thre is a typo in this source (the actual verb is bambocher). Lmaltier 16:23, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Vide supra: “Google Book Search says that it doesn’t exist, but then again it’s always been rubbish at picking up diacritics”; the fact that GBS doesn’t have it isn’t particularly convincing for me when trying to find forms written with diacritics. I independently verified that the source text used the circumflex in spelling the word; see the entry. I’m not sure that a word borrowed literatim from another language could be a misspelling, even if it were a misspelling in the source language… (However, if debûtante is a misspelling in French, then it should say so in the Etymology or Usage notes section of the English entry.)  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:44, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
The only hit I have in French for debûtant is this; in English I can only find this (hahaha, Mglovesfun 16:12, 9 May 2009 (UTC))
I agree with Lmaltier, it's a typo.
FYI, the french term is hypercorrection, hypercorrectitude is to be listed with bravitude. :D --Szyx 10:07, 11 May 2009 (UTC)


I'm sure matraca has an interesting etymology, but can't find any similar Spanish word. Though it could also be Portuguese. There's a French word matraque (club?) too. Any relation? --Jackofclubs 16:17, 6 May 2009 (UTC)


Today on the radio I heard downgrade used where I would have expected denigrate. It seems to have been an error — the speaker immediately followed it up with, "or say bad things about it" (or something to that effect) — but some of the hits at google:"feel downgraded" and google:"downgraded me by" suggest that it's not a unique error. I can't tell if this is an extension of the existing uses of downgrade, or if it's an eggcorn for denigrate, or what; and, I don't know if it's something we should cover. What do y'all think? —RuakhTALK 18:29, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I have a hunch that it's an error for degrade, not denigrate. Equinox 15:31, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
But "degrade" doesn't seem to have the right meaning. If it's an error for "degrade", that's only because "degrade" is an error for yet another verb. :-P   —RuakhTALK 19:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
World Wide Words has a take on this. DCDuring TALK 20:05, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
That page doesn't seem to mention downgrade. What am I missing? —RuakhTALK 00:19, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
It is about a motive for the avoidance of denigrate, the term you expected. If it was, say, NPR you were listening to, they might be hypersensitive to potentially offensive terms. (Remember niggardly.) If self-censoring by a sophisticated language user was in operation, it might explain a "late" substitution of "degrade" for "denigrate". DCDuring TALK 00:45, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. It was indeed NPR. (Well, technically it was a local program, but it was on the NPR affiliate station. You know what I mean.) It hadn't occurred to me that the speaker might intentionally be avoiding the word denigrate. There were so many appropriate alternatives — besmirch, derogate, insult, and disparage, just to name a few — that it seems unnecessary to co-opt "downgrade" for this purpose, but I suppose taboo avoidance can take odd forms. :-)   Incidentally, it occurs to me that the program is available for online listening, here, if anyone is curious. (The word "downgrade" itself is at 2m00 in; the sentence as a whole starts at 1m47.) Re-listening to it now, I notice that the speaker is definitely weighing his words carefully, trying to sound a bit formal; and in "to downgrade", he does stretch out the word "to", apparently searching for a good verb to follow it with. It would make sense if he had already considered "denigrate" and was trying to think of a good alternative (especially since the interviewer is black). —RuakhTALK 02:00, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
In the course of checking this out on Google Web, I also not how many not-so-sophisticated sorts were blithely using "denigrate" in discussion of the offensiveness of the "n-word". Your interviewee might be much more sensitive than the average person writing for the Web. DCDuring TALK 02:38, 8 May 2009 (UTC)


We currently have the following =Verb= sense:

  1. To state for illustrative or approximate purposes
    He's, say about six feet tall.

Another example (from this diff):

Consider someone who bakes a mammoth chocolate-chunk cookie, say some yards in diameter, so as to get into the record books.

Is this really a verb? If so, it certainly doesn't inflect: it's used as a command only (second person future tense, I suppose?), and a tag or usage note should indicate as much. Or is it an adverb (which is what we call for example, e.g., and for instance), or what?—msh210 18:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Interjection maybe? Or filler? But we don't have a category for that. Mglovesfun 19:01, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I, too, think it's an interjection, usually and most clarifyingly set off by pairs of commas. But it could also be read as being an adverb meaning something like, say, "for purposes of discussion", which wouldn't seem to need commas. DCDuring TALK 19:11, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I've added it as an interjection, but since it can never be used on its own it might need a usage note (or even to be reclassified as an adverb, but that feels like a "dustbin category" in this case). Equinox 15:42, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I think interjection is about right. I would interpret this as being "let's say" with ellipsis of the "let's". That would make it a first person plural imperative. -- ALGRIF talk 09:01, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Verb is the most appropriate part of speech (it's a first-person plural imperative, as Algrif says). It's not an interjection, otherwise it would be permissible write: He's, say! about six feet tall, and clearly no one would ever do that. Note that it is translated as an imperative in other languages (eg, "say" = "disons" = "let's say" in French). As it is an imperative, it doesn't inflect.

Note also that "say", is an interjection in the sense of "I say!", as Say! Let's go to the beach today!. — Paul G 15:56, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Etymologically, it was a verb form, as Algrif says. It seems to have evolved in some use to be synonymous with an adverbial phrase "for purpose of discussion" or "about". Many prepositions and common adverbs have evolved from other parts of speech, haven't they? What do Quirk or CGEL say about this? MW Online offers it as an adverb with 2 senses: "about" and "for example". DCDuring TALK 17:10, 14 May 2009 (UTC)


In the article trimestriel I put trimestral as the translation. But it's coming up in red, so what is it then? The 'what links here' for trimester doesn't help either. Mglovesfun 19:00, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Not in most modern OneLook dictionaries. =trimestrial. Neither in COCA. Both probably attestable, just not much used. Even trimonthly only 3/385mm words. DCDuring TALK 19:22, 6 May 2009 (UTC)


As an alternative of Wed (Wednesday). I'd tend to say or write Weds to avoid confusion with the verb to wed. But I thought it put it here before going ahead and starting the article myself. Mglovesfun 12:18, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, definitely widely used. And I hate that confusion too. The number of times I've got married in the middle of the week... Equinox 15:29, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Striking (do we do this in the Tea Room?) since it's now been added. Equinox 21:52, 19 May 2009 (UTC)


At least two of lock in, lock-in, and lockin don't seem to agree: I think we are also missing the bossnapping sense (see w:Lockout). (Incidentally, I see loads of supposed nouns from verbs with a space in, like this. The way I learned English, you need that hyphen if you're making a noun from the verb phrase. I've never been sure enough to change them, though.) Equinox 16:05, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

I was also brought up with the hyphen for the noun formation. But Wiktionary seems to look down on this somewhat, preferring either one word or two words. A quick subjective check on a few newspapers shows about 50/50 for "lockout" / "lock-out" with "lock out" showing almost exclusively as a verb. But "lock in" is different, (not surprisingly. Lockin looks really odd) with the only hits for "lockin" being in fact "lockin'", leaving the field clear for 100% "lock-in" as the noun and adjective, and 100% "lock in" as a verb. I would vote for the noun entry at lock in to be removed and the hyphenated entry to become the main entry, along with the example quotation which demonstrates the use of the hyphen. So where does that leave us? Personally, I would wish to see a more structured use of the hyphen in entries, with alternative spellings becoming much more common than they are at the moment, and more in touch with how these forms are actually being used. -- ALGRIF talk 15:56, 9 May 2009 (UTC)


Ran a search for ÖDA on Wiktionary and found for the word means:

         1. waste, to spend in vain, often used about time

On other sites, found ÖDA means:

    Swedish form of  Old Norse  Auðr, meaning "deeply rich."
    (i.e., http://www.20000-names.com/female_o_names.htm)

Which one is correct? And any way to add the second meaning to the Wiktionary?



The translation "deeply rich" is one which I have never heard, and neither have I ever heard "Öda" to be used as a name. But, according to svenskanamn.se there exists one (1) woman today with this as her first or middle name. I won't make any guesses on the origin of the name, but trust the site you linked that it originally meant something like "deeply rich" (our page on auðr translates it as "wealth"). However that sense does not belong on the page "öda".
However, I would like to make a few changes, most importantly to move the name from the page öda to Öda. \Mike 13:36, 8 May 2009 (UTC)


This seems to me to be a false friend, for example, for German speakers. It occurs once in COCA (out of 385MM) vs. 190 for given name; 52 for Christian name; 1193 for first name (mostly in the hyponymic sense). Does it need a usage note or context tag? DCDuring TALK 14:53, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, from a search in Books seems all right to me: [4]. --Duncan 15:29, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
It is definitely attestable. It is in the BNC more frequently than given name, but less than Christian name. A look at the first 20 Google News hits has 1 US hit, an 1898 article about the undesirability of the term "Christian name". It is arguably superior to its synonyms, too, much better for academic and technical writing. But it just seems alien to me and, apparently, to my American contemporaries. Perhaps, it just needs a "mostly UK" or "mostly non-US" tag. DCDuring TALK 15:56, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
{{chiefly|UK}}? It is completely fine in t’UK.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 11:33, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

On a side notes, our name-related definitions are very western-skewed. According to full name, Icelandic names do not qualify. According to forename, somebody who have no family name proper has no forename (what is the forename of an Arabic name?), and first name has Chinese and other "reverse names" the wrong way. I believe we need to choose a few terms that all others will refer too (if only because the current situation almost certainly include some circularities), or this mess will never get sorted out. Circeus 01:40, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

We should be able to address that with context tags and/or See-alsos pointing to some WP article on "nymology" or "nymics" or what it the field is really called. I would think it appropriate for there to be such a majoritarian-Western skew at en-Wikt, so that the dominant majoritarian-Western senses should not require context tags. DCDuring TALK 02:09, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Do you mean nomenclature, or something else?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 11:33, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Crysal says onomastics and anthroponomastics. Perhaps anthroponymy, like toponymy. I suppose andronymy is too gender-limited. DCDuring TALK 12:03, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
nymology seems still-born in 19th century, probably not attestable; nymics just a few morphemes. DCDuring TALK 12:12, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Anthroponym(y) sound(s) about right; what would the equivalent for surnames be? (I guess I’m asking what family is in Ancient Greek, so that I can suffix -onym to it.) Maybe surname will do just fine, despite not being an etymological parallel. (Or is its definition also non-universalisable, like those of forename &c.?) FWIW, you should be looking for onomology and onomics, not *nymology and *nymics — the latter two are badly formed: the prefix onom- derives from Ancient Greek’s ὄνομα (ónoma, name), whereas the suffix -onym derives from ὄνυμα (ónuma, name), a Doric and Aeolic variant spelling thereof; in both cases, the initial <o> is part of the word itself, rather than the interfix -o-.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:15, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
anthroponomy covers the entirety of personal names. "Nymics" would have been a good terse word, derived by violent barbaric excision and macaronic blending. DCDuring TALK 13:50, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, well; technical terms in academia still tend to follow these classical rules of word-formation, even if common usage may not always do so. We could use onyma or onoma (pl. onymata, onomata), if they’re attestable; alternatively, if you’re not fond of the case ending (-a-ata), we can just have onym(s) or onom(s); they’re all pretty terse at 2–3 syllables (in the singular, anyway).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:38, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
What about idionym, which seems to be in some use (as idi- (as in idiosyncrasy and idiolect), from ἴδι(ος) (ídi(os), private”, “one’s own”, “distinct”, “peculiar) + -onym, from ὄνυμ(α) (ónum(a), name))?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:46, 9 May 2009 (UTC)


I'm looking at the etymology. I don't have much sources at hand, so I might be completely off, but it seems a bit more to me like non- + commit + -al. I could not readily find appropriate uses of adjectival committal (we currently only have it as a noun). When I see it used, adjectival committal means "related to a committee, to a commitment ceremony". Is it just a case of the original adjective being obsolete or is this a genuine negative-only word? (which are slightly more common in French with compounds such as imparable or inébranlable, who were created as negatives, and whose equivalents are unused) Circeus 20:25, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Probably. Chambers doesn't have committal as an adjective, only (like our entry) a noun. Equinox 21:10, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The earliest OED "noncommittal" cite (1829) is ambiguous between "not committal" and the modern sense, but the subsequent usage seems overwhelmingly the modern sense. Only one OED 1884 cite of "committal" seems to be the opposite of "noncommittal". IOW, that evidence is supportive of your assessment. I'd go with it or wait a bit for more opinion or someone with access to the OED itself. DCDuring TALK 21:23, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Beginning of the alphabet OED should be taken with a grain of salt. Most the first half of the Alphabet is still in the state Murray published it, unless it was a word added in the mid-20th century revision. The committal entry is thus probably still as it was in 1893. Nonetheless, the absence of a relevant meaning for it is probably relevant. As it is, the noncommittal entry would have been revised (probably sometime in 2004 or 2005) since the revised range begins at M (bare other relevant entries taken across the dictionary), so I'll try to get to my college at some point by next week to have a look. In the meantime, I'll comment out the etymology. Circeus 01:24, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

I’ve had a look-see at the full OED, and it gives the etymology as non- + committal, as originally; I’ve noted this in the entry. However, Circeus, you were right to {{rft}} this, since it does seem suspect. FWIW, I wouldn’t entirely trust the OED on this one, for it contradicts itself in the etymology section of its entry for committal, wherein it states “app. a back-formation on non-committal n. (a.) b.”, which, of course, is impossible if non-committal was formed from non- + committal. I am mindful, however, that whilst the entry for non-committal is a draft revision from June 2008 whose most recent quotations are both dated 1991, the entry for committal is marked “second edition 1989” and its most recent quotation is from 1884, which, given what Circeus claimed supra, may mean that that entry hasn’t been touched since 1893, which may make the information therein obsolete. The older, second-edition revision of non-committal also claims non- + committal as its etymology; however, nota that its most recent quotation is dated 1973, which rules out its contemporality with the entry for committal. So, what shall we do? Should we trust the OED’s more recently-made claims, or should we throw it out as an authority in this case, given the self-contradictory information it presents?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 11:59, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Not to mention that it is possible (and even likely) for modern use of comittal (at the time) to have been done as backformations, just like sensical, or the occasional use of couth or kempt which are by no mean felt as resurrection of obsolete words. What we need is a significant number of relevant quotations of comittal antedating or contemporary to earliest noncommittal. In the absence of these, it is simply not sound to ascribe the non+committal etymology. I'll add the earliest Gbooks cite (1818) for the time being. Circeus 16:19, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
As a side-note, non-commitment seems older (it's documented in a early 18th century published account of 17th century UK parliamentary debates). Circeus 16:36, 9 May 2009 (UTC)


I created fr:-footed as a suffix, and now I'm thinking that it might be b*llocks. Is it really a suffix, or just the word footed prefixed with another word? Mglovesfun 16:05, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Baring the uncommon left- and right-footed (analogical creations on the hand adjectives), these are adjectives from noun phrases, there's no proper suffix involved anymore than sensical is a suffix in nonsensical and commonsensical. Circeus 16:22, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
-natured should possibly be renamed then, as that's not a suffix either. If anything it's the word natured prefixed by something else. Mglovesfun 18:32, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
And -eyed. Equinox 15:39, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
And WT:RFD#-dimensional :) Equinox 16:15, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
For the record: -based, -holed torus, -torus, -holed solid torus, -sphere.—msh210 23:27, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

These are all combining forms and, as such, should be kept. Perhaps we need "Combining form" as a new POS. — Paul G 15:46, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

If we delete such things, they should redirect imo.—msh210 17:17, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Although I'm not sure how often users would type in "-footed", at least the redirect would take them to the right place. It would also reduce the number of RfD and TR discussions. We could have a BP discussion and settle this, including the PoS question. Is there a rule or technical restriction against putting redirects in categories? Putting this class of redirects in a category called, say, "English combining forms" would facilitate rapidly implementing any change in policy or practice. DCDuring TALK 18:57, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
No technical restriction.—msh210 19:33, 14 May 2009 (UTC)


Interesting comment on the talk page of this entry. -- ALGRIF talk 12:38, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

{{rfv}}?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:56, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

expiry of volumetric solution

Hi guys can you help in finding the expiry of volumetric solution in general way for all volumetric solutions. i want to know that are we giving any expiry to volumetric solution when we prepared them if yes then on what basis and how much expiry would be of any volumetric solution and is this expiry is given in any pharmacopoeia please help me as soon as possible.—This comment was unsigned.

Try Wikipedia, an encyclopedia. This is Wiktionary, a dictionary.—msh210 18:47, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

of course

I much prefer this version to the current version of "of course". What I see are different meanings, not just nuances of meaning to be constrained to a usage note. The difference in meanings can be spotted on synonymy: while "admittedly" seems to be a synonym to one of the senses, it is not one of all senses. In any case, as a user of a term, I am interested more in the meaning of the term and the impact of the term in the receiver's mind than in a broad meaning of the term.

The preferred version:

  1. (idiomatic) Indicates enthusiastic agreement.
    Of course I'll go with you.
  2. (idiomatic) Acknowledges the validity of the associated phrase.
    Of course, there will be a few problems along the way.
  3. (idiomatic) Asserts that the associated phrase should not be argued, particularly if it is obvious or there is no choice in the matter.
    Of course I know that!
    You will, of course, surrender all your future rights to the property.

The current version:

  1. (idiomatic) naturally, indisputably

====Usage notes====

This phrase is used to accomplish various functions, for example:

  1. to indicate enthusiastic agreement:
    Of course I'll go with you.
  2. to acknowledge the validity of the associated phrase:
    Of course, there will be a few problems along the way.
  3. to assert that the associated phrase should not be argued, particularly if it is obvious or there is no choice in the matter:
    Of course I know that!
    You will, of course, surrender all your future rights to the property.

I was inclined to revert to the preferred version, but then, what do I know. --Dan Polansky 10:25, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you, I think the preferred version is better and see no reason to make those changes. —Stephen 10:30, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Go ahead, of course. The present layout is not really WT anyway. Improved version would be clear and intelligible. -- ALGRIF talk 13:26, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
The old Algrif version seems a better presentation. The two synonyms in the "current" version are useful. The non-idiomatic usage is helpful for contrast and etymology/evolution of meaning. The phrase matter of course seems to merit a link and/or inclusion as a usage example here. The {{non-gloss definition}}, which does currently does nothing I think, would enable us to locate this among similar entries and eventually enable consistent distinctive formatting. DCDuring TALK 14:23, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Replaced some time ago. --Dan Polansky 09:04, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

an irregardless correlation

Does anyone else think the word "correlation" is as redundant to "relation" as "irregardless" is to "regardless"?

Also, does anyone still use the word "betwixt"?

Oh, and what the heck is a "tutnum"?

-- OlEnglish 01:29, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Things can be related without being correlated. Tutnum is one of these ridiculous ego-strokers; doesn't appear to be a real word. Equinox 17:10, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Tutnum is a deliberately made up word, see WP:Service Awards. RJFJR 14:53, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
As for "betwixt". Any newspaper search will show plenty of present day usage. The prepositional phrase betwixt and between is very common indeed. -- ALGRIF talk 12:34, 14 May 2009 (UTC)


I'm not sure about "literated", but is there a word meaning to convert non-written material such as thoughts and feelings, into words other than using the term "writing them down"? Is "transcribe" a suitable word?

I suppose you don't want "writey" words like pen, then. How about textualize? Equinox 11:54, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 1831, John Wycliffe; Robert Vaughan, The life and opinions of John de Wycliffe, D.D., page 343:
    discovering through life a remarkable propensity to commit their thoughts and feelings to writing
DCDuring TALK 14:59, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

creme brulee

Someone created this on fr and I let it stand. I think it's either a misspelling or an acceptable variant. I'm of the school that accents (diacritics) aren't mandatory in English of words borrowed from other languages (the New Oxford Dictionary of English 1998 gives voila but not voilà for instance), so in this case {{alternative spelling of|crème brûlée}} seems fairer than {{misspelling of|crème brûlée}}. But hey, if I were totally sure of myself, I wouldn't have posted it here. Mglovesfun 13:43, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Sure, if you pronounce the word as [ˌkɹiːmˈbɹʌliː]. ;-)
Seriously, though; yeah, it exists, and yeah, it’s not a mistake. This arises out of laziness, so it ought to be defined:
  1. (non-standard) Alternative spelling of crème brûlée.
 (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:47, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
To call such a common usage nonstandard is to ignore the facts, which, I note, don't seem to be required in this discussion. DCDuring TALK 12:48, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Lotsa common stuff ain't standard alright? — hippietrail 04:01, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
And what is the authority that we rely on for our descriptive dictionary? Our votes? Is anyone who doesn't know how to produce diacritics on their keyboard but still e-mails about the great creme brulee they had nonstandard? Anyone who doesn't write Yiddish in the Hebrew alphabet? Is mensh a good transliteration and creme brulee bad? Both? Neither? Reversed? Why? I don't think the "nonstandard" label serves our users very well without a lot more explanation, a lot like "ergative", "bitransitive", "attributive". At the very least they would each need to like to a WP or WT article explaining them. I doubt that anyone here would (could ?) take the time to do the usage note explaining the sense in which each sense or spelling marked "non-standard" was not standard and against which standards. DCDuring TALK 04:25, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Doremítzwr about non-standard (and with Hippietrail, although I would appraise the stuff in question more scathingly than common): a literate person ought to be aware where to put the accents in a simple French borrowing. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 08:04, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Is this attestable per CFI? Sure diacritics are often dropped for technical reasons, as in typewriting and email, but that doesn't make them optional. If I had to type creme bru1ee on a manual typewriter, they would still be there in spirit, along with the letter el. (for you young'uns: manual typewriters use the same strike for small el and figure one, and capital O and figure zero.)

And we are a descriptive dictionary. There are no “rules” and everything is optional. That means we don't give authority to “all French borrowings must have their original diacritic,” nor to “accents aren't mandatory in English.” Is this form unusual, rare, or very rare in durable quotations? The way Google and americancorpus.org ignore diacritics it would be some work to determine this.

How do we determine non-standard? Attestable in recent writing but recommended against in three recent style guides? Should we even be using this prescriptivist label?

“Alternate spelling” sounds odd, because this is the same spelling with different orthographic or typographic details. Alternate form feels right. Michael Z. 2009-05-15 17:20 z

One thing I can tell you is that COCA does not have any instances of "crème brûlée", I assume for technical and data-entry simplicity. I don't take that as proof of the unattestability of that form in American English, but it is suggestive. Perhaps a UK tag on that spelling? DCDuring TALK 20:00, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
COCA seems to drop the accents, so it is useless for us. It quotes “macadamia-nut brûlée”[5] as “macadamia-nut brulee”, “ seven desserts, including crème brûlée”[6] as “seven desserts, including creme brulee”.
I wouldn't just drop “UK” on there based on speculation. Until we do some research, we can go by good dictionaries. Both the corpus-based NOAD and CanOD give only crème brûlée. OED also cites crême brulée (1909 & 1959). Michael Z. 2009-05-15 20:54 z
Michael, not accent circonflexe, but accent grave - crème. OED can not cite misspelt French... The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 06:55, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Not accent circonflexe what? I don't know on what basis you can say what the OED can or cannot cite, but in this case it is no French at all, but English, with correct spelling, and alternate arrangements of accent marks. Under crème n. OED has one citation of crème brûlée and two of crême bruléeMichael Z. 2009-05-22 13:26 z

I randomly picked the first ten Google Books results with previews. For diversity, I ignored cookbooks, and ended up with a selection including computer programming and geology, all American but one. It looks to me that writers use the dictionary. I imagine newspapers and possibly magazines could drop more diacritics, but I don't know that for a fact. Michael Z. 2009-05-15 21:19 z

  1. Crème Brulée (US)
  2. crème brûlée (US)
  3. crème brûlée (US)
  4. crème brûlée (US)
  5. crème brûlée (US)
  6. crème brûlée (US)
  7. creme brulee (US)
  8. crème brûlée (US)
  9. crème brûlée (UK)
  10. creme brulée (US)


I am not sure how to present the use of "ish", as in "I'll be there ten-ish". It is derived from, but not the same as, the suffix -ish. DCDuring TALK 12:38, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

For my part I am happy with what is there now: a strange sort of adverb, even with a citation for "Twelve-thirty. Ish." Equinox 21:48, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
In "I'll be there ten-ish", "ish" is not the suffix "-ish", as it is in "tenish". Is it the adverb used as a combining form? Or is it just something unremarkable that one could do with any suffix? As in "link-eration"? DCDuring TALK 23:53, 19 May 2009 (UTC)


On English Wikipedia I have been expanding en:Locoweed and was moved to write this:

The word locoweed is a compound of loco and weed. Loco is a en:loanword from the Spanish loco, which has several senses. Loco is understood by most English-speaking users in the sense of crazy, and this appears to have also been the sense understood by vaqueros. However, in en:Spain, where the native Astragalus species are not known to cause locoism, loco is applied to these species in the sense of rambling. Astragalus has been known for centuries by common names such as yerba loca (hierba loca; rambling herb) and chocho loco (rambling lupine).

I am unsure if this level of detail belongs in Wikipedia, in an article that is not about the word loco. What could/would you do with this content? The idea among English speakers is that loco simply means crazy (omitting the other Spanish sense); would you call that a folk etymology. --Una Smith 15:26, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

airport novel

Encountered the term in an essay. It was compared to being a page-turner. Has anyone seen its usage as well? -- 04:31, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

This was posted by me, Icqgirl. Anyway I found http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/airport_book ; I'd just like to see what you guys think of the term. --Icqgirl 04:49, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Well it's like elevator music and coffee-table book. I'm sure one could find three citations from durably archived sources. It seems to be a much-less-than-obvious attributive use of airport that would meet WT:CFI. DCDuring TALK 00:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia covers it at w:Airport novel. At the very least we should direct folks there. DCDuring TALK 00:10, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree that it should be included. And the French term, roman de gare, too. Lmaltier 08:23, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
A less-than-obvious attributive use means it's not a sum of parts, and deserves an entry! --Icqgirl 08:14, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that bathroom reading/bathroom book is as attestable. There may be a few more in books and reading, still more in music. These are low- and middle-brow genre terms, quite analogous to terms like incidental music, occasional music and recessional. DCDuring TALK 20:11, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Also grocery-store novel/grocery store novel, grocery-store book/grocery store book. If such a qualifier can be attested applied to different nouns, then it should have its own adjective entry with a context label (of written matter). Michael Z. 2009-05-15 20:25 z
Richard Herring (or was it Stuart Lee?) Stewart Lee recently did a TV comedy skit about "toilet books", presumably the same thing as "bathroom books". Equinox 14:23, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Hello Michael. What do you mean by an adjective entry with a context label? Do you mean the term should be under airport? --Icqgirl 08:14, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Eh, entry done. --Icqgirl 06:21, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

misgo, Citations:misgo

While reading Past and Present, I came across this verb and created the citations accordingly. However, I could not find it in Webster 1913 nor 1828. From the sentence I suppose the meaning is similar to fail, misfire... Can someone explain more precisely and, which is more important, to determine whether the word may be dated, i. e. rare in contemporary usage? Is it used in modern English? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 07:56, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

  • I've created the page. I've heard the word used in Scotland once or twice, but basically it's not in use anymore. Ƿidsiþ 08:13, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Great, Carlyle himself was also of Scottish origin. This can not be accidental... The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 08:39, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
It seems to have been around in Middle English, fully inflected both as ancestor of "misgo" and "miswenden"-> "miswent". Google makes it hard to use the typescript many-volume Middle English dictionary. DCDuring TALK 20:42, 15 May 2009 (UTC)


There's lots of hits for Maurician, but I can't figure out which Maurice they refer to. I'll get some quotes on Citations:Maurician, but the definition lines could look like:

  1. Of, or relating to, w:Maurice (emperor)
  2. Of, or relating to, w:Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange
  3. Of, or relating to, w:Saint Maurice
  4. Of, or relating to, w:Emil Maurice
  5. Of, or relating to, w:John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen
  6. Of, or relating to, w:Frederick Maurice
  7. Of, or relating to, other people called Maurice

This looks prety ugly though. Any suggestions how to simplify this? --Jackofclubs 11:19, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Likely, the Roman emperor can be kept separate, and the other grouped into a "relating to various people named Maurice such as [one or two examples]"? Circeus 16:21, 15 May 2009 (UTC)


This may be just me and my little (and often eccentric) notions, but I seem to remember from somewhere having seen caboodle spelled "kaboodle" for some reason. I've looked it up in the dictionary and obviously didn't find the "k" spelling ... Is this just me or is "kaboodle" out there somewhere?

NOAD has caboodle (also kaboodle). Michael Z. 2009-05-15 19:07 z

I should've mentioned ... the dictionary I looked it up in was Webster's Third.

There is a chain of US stores selling clothing and furniture for young children and babies named "Kid and Kaboodle". If you're in the US, you might have seen one of their stores at some point. --EncycloPetey 14:19, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Is a male barista a baristo?

Is a male barista a baristo? RJFJR 17:48, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

I found some use of it, though hardly from reputable sources. I’d wondered about this one myself, too; it’s nice to have my curiosity satiated!  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:44, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Definitely not in Italian. Doesn't seem to be so in English either. SemperBlotto 17:51, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I’m curious; would you mind?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:59, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
The suffix is -ista for Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin (-iste in French), and it is common gender. Terrorista, barrista, comunista, and so on. —Stephen 18:20, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Aah, I see! Thanks. So, *fashionisto would be hypercorrect, then, yes? (Alongside its many other failings!)  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:44, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

study leave

Does it mean (as it seems to me from a BBC page ([7], pic No 9)) "a leave for studying at home rather than at school before taking one's finals"? If so, does it also mean "a leave from work for studying" (which would probably make it an SOP) or is it worth an entry? --Duncan 21:05, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Tangō or tetigistī

I just added the rem acū tetigistī and acū tetigistī as translations of hitting the nail on the head. The two Latin phrases are both normally written as rem acū tetigistī and acū tetigistī which means "you have touched the issue with a needle" and "you have touched with a needle" respectively. Should the entry rather be rem acū tangō (I touch the issue with a needle) and acū tangō (I tough with a needle), since Latin words are usually cited in using the first-person singular present tense in the indicative mood and active voice etc.

I'm sure there is a rule about this, like even though the English entry is usually used "you hit the nail on the head" it's entry is "[to] hit the nail on the head". Shouldn't this apply to Latin as well? --BiT 04:25, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

That depends on whether it's a phrase or a proverb. If the combination appears in various tenses, then the verb lemma is usually used (in this case tango). However, proverbs typically have a set form for the words included, and if it's a proverb almost always found in a particular person/tense, then that form ought to be the lemma, in my opinion. --EncycloPetey 04:28, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Here it is written as acu rem tangere which is also a lemma (thanks, that's the word I was looking for). Older Latin books seem to use the infinitive instead of the first person singular form for some reason. I would love to hear whether there are any explanations for that? --BiT 04:40, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
This, this and this all seem to indicate that it's a phrase. --BiT 04:44, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I also tried searching Google for rem acu tetigit or "he/she hit the nail on the head" and got works like this and more convincingly this. I'm almost convinced it's a phrase now, does anyone mind me creating an entry for rem acū tangō? --BiT 04:53, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Which older books? The oldest dictionaries I've seen use the first principal part, including the 16th century dictionary by Calepinus and 18th century Facciolati Lexicon. Lewis & Short use the first principal part, as does Oxford's dictionary. In short all the major dictionaries for the last 500 years that I've examined seem to use the first principal part. This seems to be borne out by the detailed study published by DeWitt & Starnes on historical Latin dictionaries. You seem to have found minority dictionaries. Or, are you referring to the index form for this entry only? If so, then I have no opinion, because it's not one of the phrases I've learned and so cannot offer comment. Quotes would be the preferred method of supporting a choice of form with evidence, but I don't know how difficult that would be to research, given the plethora of possible verb forms. --EncycloPetey 04:51, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
This was just something I (thought?) I'd noticed. I guess I was wrong. So the first person form is almost always used in Latin? --BiT 04:57, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
For indexing in dictionaries, yes. The same is true for dictionaries of Ancient Greek. --EncycloPetey 04:59, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict, 3 goddamn times) I also tried searching Google for rem acu tetigit or "he/she hit the nail on the head" and got works like this and more convincingly this. I'm almost convinced it's a phrase now, does anyone mind me creating an entry for rem acū tangō? --BiT 04:53, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
It is also used by a pedagogue in the novel Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott: ""The old woman hath touched it again," said the pedagogue; "REM ACU TETIGIT--she hath pricked it with her needle's point. This Wayland takes no money, indeed; nor doth he show himself to any one." (an alternative source can be found here). What do you think? --BiT 05:11, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry for drowning you guys with links, but this book seems relevant. --BiT 05:14, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I've decided to create an entry at rem acu tango, since this doesn't seem to be proverb. I spoke to many people that are knowledgeable of Latin and they agreed that using the form "tango" (even though the form "rem acu tetigisti" is more used) is the best solution. If anyone has any issues with this decision then please contact me, thanks for your help EncycloPetey --BiT 15:36, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


I just spent three hours fixing sophist, which was then promptly reverted (in typical wiktionary style without any rationale whatsoever).

Upon re-reverting (with a demand for rationale), I got a notice on my talk page about it being allegedly an encyclopedic and not dictionary entry, and about it "included many errors. For example, the word is pronounced with only two syllables, not three." One hell of a lame "rationale" that.

Well, gee whiz. So I didn't give due diligence to a copy/paste (!) Big deal. (not to mention that there was no pronunciation before at all).

But apparently, rather than fixing the two stops in the pronunciation, it was deemed necessary to revert. Apparently, in the mind of that reverter, those two bytes seem to have outweighed the fact that entry now had a correct etymology, and proper definition, and had more than tripled in size.

Not cool at all. A sure-fire way to chase away contributions. Sheesh. Even if it does go over the top in terms of definition length (you have limits here?), it is a correct and complete definition (and etymology). Not some half-backed stuff that has remained unchanged since 2004, with a supposed "etymology" that was originally not one.

Well, I'll leave it up to the competent people to decide on the "many errors" there really are, and whether these actually outweigh the fact that entry now had a correct etymology, and proper definition, and had more than tripled in size. -- 22:22, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

You have noted one of the problems (the extra stops) but not the primary reason for reversion. Your contribution included encyclopedic content rather than lexical content, including (but not limited to) lists of sophists, quotes from Plato about sophists, and a wealth of other information unsuited to a dictionary entry about the word. This is Wiktionary, not Wikipedia. --EncycloPetey 22:28, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
  1. I did indeed refer to the alleged encyclopedic and not dictionary entry. Indeed, I have done so twice, once with the words "alleged encyclopedic and not dictionary entry", and again in reference to length.
  2. Moreover, given that you could not be bothered to be precise on this issue until now, and moreover not address ostensible "encyclopedic content" in any way but a revert, there was/is also no way to respond to your "encyclopedic content" assertion. While reverts are a nice and tidy dead-end "solution", going backwards never goes anywhere.
  3. The distinction between "encyclopedic content" and dictionary content is a matter of perspective. I used a quote from Plato about sophists as a source. Fine, you don't like sources, ok. No big deal, remove it. (and I'm glad I left others inline).
  4. Also fine that you don't want a list of sophists. That can be removed too. But, as noted in point #2, issues can't be fixed if you go around reverting whole-sale.
  1. I really expected you to respond on the points made though. That is: Although you allege that points are not addressed (even though they were as far as possible), you don't seem to want to actually address any points yourself.
  2. I have also noted that you have again resorted to vague hand-waiving about "a wealth of other" stuff. I can't address vague hand-waving, and I cannot read your mind.
  3. Again: issues can't be fixed if you go around reverting whole-sale. So, please lay off the "This is Wiktionary, not Wikipedia" assertions until a justification for the predisposition to revert rather than fix has been provided. "This is Wiktionary, not Wikipedia" is pointless to address until fixes can actually be made (in which case you could even fix them yourself!). Apologies in advance if such a sane step-by-step approach is disconcerting, but I live in a civilized country, so I lack the necessary cultural appreciation for a gunslinger-cum-steamroller mentality. -- 23:32, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I have better things to do than wiki-lawyering. Sorry that you did not understand what Wiktionary is all about. --EncycloPetey 23:34, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
May I interpret that as your acknowledgment that your trigger-happiness was stupid? Or as a decision to let sanity prevail? (one can only hope) -- 23:42, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
You've been rude. I will accept an apology if you write one. --EncycloPetey 23:44, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Say what? You reverted me. Do you perhaps not know that steamrolling legitimate content is uncouth? And, you refuse to justify your choice to revert instead of fix? And, you don't care that I spent three hours working on something that took you a blink to revert? And, you don't respond to anything I've said? And, after all that "I'm tops here, you're shit" you tell me I'm rude? Wow. Just wow. -- 00:07, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Mud-slinging aside, can somebody with a "classical" knowledge determine whether 134.93's edit was accurate? If so, we should strip out the encyclopaedic bits and keep what remains; if not, of course, bin it. I assume there was more to it than pure encyclopaedia. Equinox 23:46, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I have a Classical knowledge, but the added bits do not apply to the English word; they apply to the topic. Hence, they are encyclopedic information, not lexical. How the Ancient Greek used their word does not necessarily affect the meaning of the English word. The information belongs at the Wikipedia article about the sophists, not in a dictionary entry about the English word. --EncycloPetey 23:55, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Interesting notion since "topic" is the definition of the old #1 too.
And then, we have Random House, 2002:
1. (often initial capital letter) Greek History.
a. any of a class of professional teachers in ancient Greece who gave instruction in
various fields, as in general culture, rhetoric, politics, or disputation.
b. a person belonging to this class at a later period who, while professing to teach
skill in reasoning, concerned himself with ingenuity and specious effectiveness rather
than soundness of argument.
Note, that is again the first definition, just like the pre-rewrite stuff on Wikitionary. So again, wow. Just wow. -- 00:07, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Better and better. dictionary.com has quite a few "dictionary definitions". Guess what they all say? Yeah, EncycloPetey's "not lexical" seems to be a wee bit off. -- 00:11, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Seriously, let's try to improve the dictionary rather than scoring points in an argument. Equinox 00:12, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Seriously, that's why I wrote the entry, only to see it reverted rather than fixed.
Fixing is what ought to always happen for constructive edits. By whatever standards that may apply (but that an inexperienced editor cannot of course yet know), fixing is always the way forward, and its simply absurd to steamroll everything because it doesn't meet standards.
That those standards then turn out to be false (EP comment of 23:55 UTC) does not mitigate the misguided conviction with which they are asserted.
Yes, off course I am pissed off. Its not the revert itself; its the tenacity with which EP clings to his assertions and the complete disregard for retrospection that pisses me off.
The thing is EP knows that he's treading water. He has read up in the meanwhile so he knows that his revert was a mistake. But rather than back off and acknowledge the mistake he's diving in deeper and deeper, and making it all worse. In the meanwhile no fixes are happening, which could have been dealt with painlessly already. As you say, "improve". But that can't ever happen with a revert button. -- 00:35, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Part of your improvements included defining the derived terms on the same page. This is completely and absolutely wrong to do here. I can't be as assertive on the rest of it, but I like what Wikipediant has done. DAVilla 11:41, 18 May 2009 (UTC)


The previous definition of maze didn't look right to me, so I changed it. Still doesn't look right - the first definition should be the thing made of hedges, which I can't manage to define concisely. Any takers? --Jackofclubs 17:38, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Maybe we could have some sub-definitions of the ##type, eg.
# A complicated set of networks, which you have to get through
##One made of hedges and walls, designed for people's entertainment
##One for mice, for experiments
##A pencil-and-paper puzzle
##The computer version

--Jackofclubs 17:44, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

I think part of the problem is that the "wild fancy" definition is Middle English (Chaucer used it.). The whole entry seemed largely unchanged from Webster 1913, which had labelled "wild fancy" obsolete. Was the "wild fancy" sense used in Modern English?
The one-word definition labyrinth apparently would reflect a sense already present in Middle English. The other senses above just seem to be implementations. Something from WikiCommons might illustrate the "hedge labyrinth" sense. There is also figurative use. DCDuring TALK 20:33, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

the meaning of a name?

my boyfriends name is Hawkeye and we are trying to find the meaning of his name but i can't find it so if someone no's the meaning of the name hawkeye please let me no—This comment was unsigned.

Have you considered looking up hawkeye?—msh210 18:56, 18 May 2009 (UTC)


Italian noun, defined as “filmology, cinematography,” but these are two different things. Cinematography is the activity or field of filmmaking; filmology is a theoretical movement of the 1950s–60s. The proper noun sense should either be separated or removed from the entry. Michael Z. 2009-05-18 19:17 z

  • Seems to just mean filmology (according to the Italian Wikipedia article). SemperBlotto 11:16, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
    Thanks, didn't think of looking there. I'll separate the senses and RfV cinematography. Michael Z. 2009-05-20 22:03 z NmMichael Z. 2009-05-20 22:03 z


No definition. Is this Joycean nonce definable? If not, why have it? What's next? A complete set of First Folio typos? DCDuring TALK 19:55, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand the rules on nonce words. Why do we have brillig and slithy but not toves? Where do we stop? Should they all go in an appendix? Dbfirs 08:13, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd be happy with getting rid of all the long nonces. I'd be happy if we didn't have any nonces, whether coined by Shakespeare or not. The nonce coinages of Shakespeare, Joyce, Burgess, Nabakov, Lewis Carroll, and Rowling all seem equally unmeritorious. (If they are actually taken up by others, then they are not nonces.) Unfortunately someone will feel compelled to enter them. Putting them in an eppendix with an "only in" entry (and the citation on the corresponding citations page may serve to discourage fruitless expansion of the entry and inclusion in grammatical categories where no value is added by their presence. Most of the items in Category:English long words are nonces. They even mess up the formatting of columnar data when present. Placing a context tag on nonces would serve to warn users and help in collecting them all for whatever action the community might take concerning them. DCDuring TALK 15:29, 5 July 2009 (UTC)


What.. no pronunciation??

Is it toy-oda?

Or toe-yoda?

I must know this.. -- OlEnglish 11:07, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't know about other people but I usually pronounce it toy-oh-ta or toy-oh-da. --Logomaniac 15:29, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
In American English, approximately as toe-YOE-da. —Stephen 20:30, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
It’s pronounced [toˈjota] in Japanese, so the most faithful (RP) Anglicised pronunciation would be something like [tɒˈjəʊtə] (enPR: tŏyōʹtə).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:41, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

/təˈyoʊda/ /təˈjoʊda/. All three vowels tend to be somewhat reduced. Michael Z. 2009-05-20 21:59 z

Nota that <y> invalid IPA characters (<>)enPR: y — the former is the sound of the French ‘u’ and the German ‘ü’ (usually also enPR: ü), whereas the latter is properly the English semivowel ‘y’ (<j> invalid IPA characters (<>)).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:41, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Oops, that was just a dumb mistake. Michael Z. 2009-05-25 15:10 z
  • For Australian English I would put [tɔɪˈjəʊtə] for a phonemic representation. Phonetically though most people would say something closer to [tɔɪˈjəʊdə] unless they're being careful. — hippietrail 03:19, 25 July 2009 (UTC)


Some senses are marked as British. Is this correct? Would an American or Canadian never say e.g. "he had to squelch through the mud to get home"? (Even if it's not used in North America, perhaps we need other glosses like AU/NZ.) Equinox 21:41, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I spot-checked COCA. That kind of use got 3 out of the first 50, even though I'd never heard it. For me two of the other meanings prevent me from using or possibly even hearing that kind of usage. DCDuring TALK 00:06, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I've never heard it either as a Canadian, but I do hear it meaning “to crush” or “suppress” which is derived. This is an unmarked sense in both NOAD and CanOD. Michael Z. 2009-05-20 00:15 z
As an American I've at least used it in that sense as an onomatopoeic word as in, his shoes went squelch squelch ... I've also heard it meaning "to crush or suppress" like "to squelch an uprising". I don't think I've heard sense 4, meaning to make that noise, before. But sense 3 at least is not just British. --Logomaniac 14:23, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

sixth sense?

Hi, I'm looking for a word (if there is one) ... is there a word for that sixth sense that some people have, where you can just look at a person (or animal, etc.) and figure out exactly what he/she/it's thinking and/or feeling at that exact moment? Or is "sixth sense" the best that we've got? Thanks! --Logomaniac 14:27, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

empathy, people skills, street smarts; also intuition, ESP. These cover much of the territory. It is a bit of a misnomer to call it a "sense", because it is more learned that the traditional five. To call it "sixth" demotes proprioception "body sense", which some call a sense. DCDuring TALK 14:46, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I think intuition is what I was looking for. I know I've seen it before but couldn't remember ... Thanks! --Logomaniac 15:33, 20 May 2009 (UTC)


This Galician word has me baffled. It's an obvious cognate for schist, and is some sort of stone, but the Galician Wikipedia article w:gl:Xisto seems to be about slate and shale. This could be the result of errors in the Galician Wikipedia, or the term might be a false cognate, and might cover a variety of kinds of stone in the language. Anyone out there know? --EncycloPetey 02:51, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, in French shale = schiste (schists are called micaschistes), and given that slate has very similar uses to shale, I'm not surprised one bit that galician wikipedia treats them together. Circeus 16:55, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Proper nouns in English

I was, at least until this year, under the impression that any noun starting with a capital letter in English is a proper noun. Yet Greek seems to contradict this. On the French wikt we tend to classify things like American as a common noun, despite the capital letter. That could be an analogy with the French Américain which is classified as a common noun, or it could be correct! Any input, with sources if possible that I can read myself? Mglovesfun 12:20, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

See Appendix:English proper nouns. The short of it is that "proper noun" and "common noun" are grammatical terms that apply to words themselves, independent of how people happen to write them. In English we generally capitalize proper nouns, as well as certain types of proper-noun–derived adjectives and common nouns. —RuakhTALK 13:00, 21 May 2009 (UTC)


disinter has an orphaned rfv. There is not entry for it on the rfv page so there's no way to tell why the rfv was placed on disinter. Can I just delete the rfv? -- dougher 23:44, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

The entry history shows it was about the proper spelling of the present participle and the past (the number of "r"s). The inflection line was changed and the one-"r" versions are now shown as common misspellings. I had made the corrections, but probably only checked dictionaries. I doubt that anyone including the nom (RJFJR) is concerned. It probably should have been a Tea Room item. Give it a little time in case we missed something, like it not being either common or a misspelling, in general or in a region. DCDuring TALK 00:12, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Sorry about that. I've removed the rfv tag. It was a year ago and edit comment says it was about whether disinterring/disintering and afte that the en-verb template was changed to specify two Rs. I may have thought at the time that it put it in a category instead or may have just forgotten to list it on the page. RJFJR 15:55, 22 May 2009 (UTC)


An Ocker should take a look at this, or someone with a Macquarie's or similar. DCDuring TALK 11:18, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Just looks like a misspelling of whinge to me (being a whinging pommy). SemperBlotto 11:21, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, but now that I've cited it.... BTW, I assume "whinge" (or "winge") is used in UK, Australia, NZ. I don't think much in US. Don't know about Canada, India, etc. DCDuring TALK 11:38, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I thought "misspelling" too, but Chambers has it: "non-Scottish (esp Australian) variant of whinge". Equinox 18:55, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Good spot! Interesting. Ƿidsiþ 19:02, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

German declined adjective

zweiter redirects to zweite (but zweiten has an entry that says it is a declined form). What is the policy on having entries for German adjectives declined by grammatical gender? RJFJR 15:49, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Inflected forms are always allowed, so go ahead (I can't speak much German, sorry}. Mglovesfun 16:51, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Request for a Russian speaker

On the French Wiktionary. It's been proposed as "sum of parts" but nobody else can read Russian. You can comment in English if you like. Mglovesfun 16:50, 22 May 2009 (UTC)


Is quieten of regional use? Is it common? RJFJR 17:57, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Not common in US. COCA has 5 hits for "quieten". (I didn't check inflections.) 2 were from works that used UK terms ("solicitor", "apothecary"); 1 clearly more US; others unclear, probably US. BNC has 75 (with about 27% the word count). Seems regional. DCDuring TALK 18:48, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I would never have considered this rare, and am surprised it's uncommon in the US. Definitely heard quite often in the UK. "All right — quieten down and let's start the lesson." Equinox 18:52, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
OALD tags it (BrE) as well. --Duncan 19:18, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I have heard it used before. It is not uncommon in the region where I live in (North Carolina), but seems more prevalent in the inland regions of the state. I reside on the Coast (Jacksonville). I once had a Pastor from Goldsboro NC who used it a lot. —This comment was unsigned.
It's a big country. I understand that the dialects of the uplands of the South are descended from the English of the north of England and Scotland. I'll bet that DARE could pin down US usage by region. DCDuring TALK 19:57, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Plural form of plate-forme

According to the french version of wiktionary, the plural form is plates-formes. As I'm not a specialist of wiktionary, I wasn't able to correct it on this version... Could somebody do it ? Pleclown 10:11, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Done. Equinox 21:40, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

(I) wouldn't piss on (him) if (he) were on fire

I think the above phrase is idiomatic (well, it is) but I can't think how you'd title the article as there's no infinitive for 'would'. would not piss on one if one were on fire is the best I can get, which is frankly poor. For those unfamiliar, it means 'I dislike that person'. That is, if they were on fire, I wouldn't put the fire out. Mglovesfun 11:04, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

A lovely example of the trouble lexicographers constantly run into. Circeus 21:17, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd accept your proposed title. Pity it's not an infinitive, but this really is only used with "would", isn't it? It's still closer to our norm than to have only (say) "I would not... if he...". Equinox 21:43, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure that you are doing the expression justice by having a subjunctive in the subordinate clause. Or would that just be the left-pondian version? DCDuring TALK 22:40, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
"was" form gets 52 b.g.c. hits to 22 for "were" form ("wouldn't-piss" "he-[was/were]-on-fire"). DCDuring TALK 22:47, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Pagename ideas: would not piss on someone if someone was on fire perhaps, or would not piss on someone if he was on fire (or, of course, the same with were).—msh210 16:08, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I strongly dislike the idea of using "he" as a default pronoun in the absence of a gender-neutral one. Much as I hate the singular "they", I prefer it over that kind of sexism. If we can possibly use "one" (which is the sort of default, colourless dictionary pronoun anyway), I'd prefer it. Equinox 18:26, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Greetings and Waves.

hello !

Perhaps this post better belings in teh etymology scriptorium, but that place seemed kind of dead.

I have noticed that in english and spanish greetings are tied to waves.

1. In English: it is common to "wave" when greeting someone. 2. In Spanish: Hola is a homophone with ola which means ocean wave 3. In Spanish: Que Ondas is a slang greeting and an Onda is a wave.

Any other examples one can think of ?

Thanks 21:47, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Ah, but doesn't "que ondas?" imply something more like "what's moving?", i.e. what is the focus of action. That wouldn't especially relate to the waving motion of hands. Equinox 22:51, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but IMHO, if "que ondas?" means "what's moving", then wouldn't it have something to do with "onda" wave because a wave, after all, is moving? But it doesn't necessarily relate to the waving motion of hands. And I didn't know that waving to greet someone is an entirely English phenomenon! :) Logomaniac 19:35, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

{{uncommon}} and {{rare}}

Why two templates? Is this a distinction without a difference or are "rare" terms supposedly rarer than "uncommon" terms? -- WikiPedant 00:31, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

In my mind, there is a clear difference between them. Typically, a "rare" word is a word that would greatly surprise me, if I knew it at all. An "uncommon" word is not one I'd use everyday, but certainly not as rare as a "rare" word. The problem is probably more that "uncommon" feeds into the "rare" category, while it could aguably do without feeding into anything. Circeus 02:11, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Circeus on the differences in terms of everyday usage. What would be our criteria for using these? Is the reference time period current (ie recent) use? Is it a statement of attestability in print (or durably archived works)? Would it be rare if it appears in neither COCA nor BNC? Only in the works of one author (and commentators). DCDuring TALK 02:42, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
We should define these in WT:GLOSS. I agree that uncommon is simply not common, but rare sounds very uncommon. I doubt that uncommon is very useful to anyone.
But they certainly don't mean that a term is absolutely not common (we don't mark poison arrow frog as rare just because we don't see many poison arrow frogs in our daily lives, or talk about them very often). They mean that a term is significantly less common than some other synonym. And if we agree that this is the case, then the definition or usage notes should mention the more common word. (Or do we definers simply add the label because we disapprove of a definition?) Michael Z. 2009-05-24 02:47 z
{{uncommon}} may have value in marking words that may be offered as translation glosses, but are not actually often used so that the use marks the speaker or writer as non-native. I had been wondering how to indicate that in the case of the word irreality, for example. This "context" does the job, I think, in line with thoughts on this. DCDuring TALK 04:11, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
So uncommon becomes a milder form of non-standard and proscribed, and opposite of hypercorrect? Seems okay in principle, but I can think of two disadvantages:
  1. “uncommon” sounds neutral to me, giving no indication that this is non-native, or unskillful, or odd sounding. A term so labelled could just as easily be snooty, or intellectualized, or archaic, or something else.
  2. I'm skeptical that there is any realistic use in grading a rather subjective or arbitrary scale into finer subdivisions.
For that specific purpose, I would prefer a more descriptive term, like non-native or something. Michael Z. 2009-05-24 04:46 z
On a tangent, we have many redundant labels which just confuse editors and readers by implying that there is a difference where there is none:
We should create redirects for synonyms, and describe them in WT:GLOSSMichael Z. 2009-05-24 02:47 z
In the first group {{chiefly}}, {{mainly}}, and {{primarily}}; and {{generally}}, {{mostly}}, and {{usually}} all seem synonymous, though the first three could be distinguished from the latter three.
{{often}} and {{frequently}} are synonymous and distinct from the others.
{{markedly}} and {{especially}} are distinct.
As for the other pairs and triplet, it would be us to say how we want to use them, at least if there is a sustainable distinction in ordinary or linguistic parlance. I can see distinctions, but not every distinction is worthwhile. OTOH, there may be little reason to gore someone's ox for the sake of the hobgoblin. DCDuring TALK 03:53, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
In applying a label, an editor makes a judgment call, introducing an element of uncertainty into what the label signifies. Not having any documentation multiplies the uncertainty. When a reader interprets a judgmental, undocumented label then the uncertainty is further multiplied. Having synonymous labels just insures that these multipliers are sometimes applied in opposite directions (sometimes an editor will decide that two labels are identical, or exclusive, and a reader will decide the same or the opposite). This way, the meaning of labels becomes purely random and impressionistic.
We should document every label, based on a survey of dictionary labelling if possible, or arbitrarily otherwise. This is a prescriptive exercise.
You are guessing whether there is a distinction being applied. We need to completely eliminate the guessing. Michael Z. 2009-05-24 04:37 z
I don't remember if it was Landau or somebody else, who noted there is hardly any label that is perfect? I think might "eliminating the guessing" might be a noble aim, but it is also near impossible, if only because language itself is not so easily encapsulated by dictionaries (he mad an interesting point about the definition of "star" to illustrate that I seem to recall). Circeus 05:56, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't remember that one specifically, but are you sure he wasn't demonstrating problems with current and past dictionaries? Landau discusses the way usage labelling can be improved in many ways, especially by replacing the subjective judgment of lexicographers and panels of experts by more specific and objective labels informed by actual usage documented in corpus lexicography and so on.
Sure, nothing is perfect, but we can improve the usefulness of our labels by eliminating the needless guessing. Michael Z. 2009-05-24 16:28 z


There's a few repeated definitions to be merged. Specifically the nouns those under Etymology 2:

  1. The distribution of cards to players; a player's turn for this.
  2. A particular instance of buying or selling, a transaction
  3. An agreement between parties; an arrangement

Compare with those under Etymology 1 and you'll see some overlap. I'm not sure where to merge them to however, under Ety 1 or Ety 2

  1. An oral trading agreement or contract.
  2. (archaic) A division, a portion, a share.
  3. (often followed by of) An indefinite quantity or amount; a lot (usually qualified by great or good.)
  4. One of or all the hands dealt in one round of a card game.
  5. (informal) A situation, occasion, or event.
  6. (informal) A thing, an unspecified or unidentified object.

--Jackofclubs 08:09, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

  • I think I've sorted this out. Most of them should be under Etymology 2 (they're derived from the verb); presumably, people saw the earlier Noun section under Etymology 1 and tried to add new senses, not realising they already existed further down. Ƿidsiþ 15:26, 25 May 2009 (UTC)


"Hello there", "ahoy there", "whoa there". Is this just the typical sense, i.e. "hello to you who are over there", or anything more? Equinox 16:39, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Seems to me to be the former.—msh210 03:05, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Longman's DCE has a non-gloss definition saying that this is the adverb used to draw attention. Some other OneLook dictionaries have such a sense, but some of them call it a pronoun in such use. We don't have such a definition. Arguably it is not exactly included in the other senses. However it seems it might be affected by the other aspects of this entry. It wouldn't hurt to have it somewhere as part of modernizing this vestigial Webster's 1913 entry. DCDuring TALK 04:24, 26 May 2009 (UTC)


This entry has two major problems, IMO:

  1. Sense 4 requires the attention of a linguistic adept to correct what looks wrong to me about the use of "there" as the subject placeholder in "There is a need for changing our policies."
  2. Usage notes are interleaved with definitions and quotes. Would it make sense to group them by sense using {{sense}} under a to-be-added "Usage notes" header? DCDuring TALK 18:55, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
'sense 4' (by now it became #5) i had once added. it was a definition that was lacking, but it has now been added more correctly as a pronoun lower down the article, so i've removed that definition of there, along with the tearoom tag. --w:user:lygophile


This is called a past of "work". It is derived from an etymon of "work" and looks to me like an orphan form in later Modern English. It was apparently the dominant form in the 16th century, but was supplanted by "worked" some time thereafter. Is this really the best way to present it, as opposed to as a derivation of the past participle and/or past of Middle English "werken" or its Old English ancestor? Even as is, it needs an archaic tag, I think. Many of the modern occurrences seem to be with God or otherwise quoting, paraphrasing or echoing the KJV. Others seem quite self-consciously selecting an "olde" word. ("what Wright hath wrought") It appears often with "hath" in contemporary usage. It also seems not to have the same range of senses in contemporary English. Looking at b.g.c. hits that include both "worked" and "wrought", the authors use "worked" in a large range of senses and wrought in a much more limited range, something like "crafted" or "performed a powerful, miraculous transformation on". DCDuring TALK 20:36, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Consider: "The hurricane has wrought destruction" vs. "The hurricane has worked destruction". I think these words have drifted apart. DCDuring TALK 20:45, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

"Has worked destruction" seems to be quite common in books, if slightly older ones (I saw 1949), and sounds okay to me. OTOH, "what God has wrought" would sound bizarre if you replaced it with "worked". We probably need at least to restrict it to a particular sense: you definitely couldn't say "He's dead tired because he wrought [worked, went to work] all week." Equinox 14:16, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I always think of "wrought" as the past of the verb "to wright" (obsolete), rather than of the modern senses of "to work", though the distinction probably doesn't have etymological validity. Dbfirs 07:45, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I did, too, until I couldn't find it in dictionaries. If it does exist, it seems not common and/or a back-formation. OED? DCDuring TALK 13:04, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

bling - another definition?

The current definition of bling does not cover the context where I discovered the word. On many of the FriendFinder sites, a member's profile can contain one or more blings. Based on what they look like and their use, I would say that the definition is sort of a terse or abbreviated component of one's avatar. The avatar was first discovered by me on Yahoo Messenger, for those that wanted a graphical representation of themselves. But unlike an avatar, a person can have many blings, each one representing one personality characteristic or desire. So I discovered it was missing and ask that others more qualified than I actually add it. —This comment was unsigned.

I tried a few searches and I can't find anything on Google Books or Groups discussing this (we need to meet WT:CFI); it might be too specific, as a term used by one particular set of Web sites that (apparently) nobody has written about. A comparable sort of thing might be the use of gleam specific to Windows Live Messenger (it's an icon that appears next to a contact who has updated his/her Web page), but that one could actually be evidenced from Google Groups, just about. Equinox 14:12, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

buoys, gulls

The new senses at buoys and gulls should go, right? I don't see it as our place to explain puns like "I scream" (ice-cream) unless they have become totally assimilated and opaque. Equinox 10:16, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

  • I was idly wondering if they were wonderfoolisms (but I may just be paranoid). SemperBlotto 10:19, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Are there regions where "gull" and "girl are real homophones? I can't see a legitimate way to have buoys and gulls together on the same page except in a citation. Here's one:
  • 1973, Carlos Baker, The Gay Head conspiracy: a novel of suspense‎:
    "Like the sidewalks of New York, buoys and gulls together." Tom said, laughing, that it was a very good pun.
There are numerous references to waterside restaurants' euphemisms being so labeled, some of which might not be mentions. DCDuring TALK 18:22, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's probably a real-world usage, but do we need an entry for every bad pun that goes the rounds? SemperB is right; it all seems a bit like wonderfoolery. -- WikiPedant 19:43, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I occasionally use funny quotes to illustrate words. Sometimes they aren't the best illustrations. But they do give users a reason to come back. I don't know whether this one is worth it. Wordplay is in our line. Why do we have anagrams? Why do we have Joyce's silly nonces? Why not some entry-level puns? If it was good enough for Shakespeare, .... DCDuring TALK 20:43, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, DC, old Bill had his characters make lots of great and not-so-great puns. But, if he could join us now, I'm not so sure that he would want to create a Wiktionary entry for each of them. With specific reference to "buoy" and "gull", I can sort of live with these 2 punny defns but I wouldn't miss them either. As for humorous quotations, I use them too and for the same reasons you do. No problem there. -- WikiPedant 22:36, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
My issue with it is that these two puns are only funny at all because you'd glance at them in the restaurant and think, "What? Oh, boys and girls. Ha." If they had properly entered the lexicon, they would be such clichés that there'd be no point in trying to amuse with them (but conversely they might be worth documenting). Perhaps I just haven't been to enough seafood restaurants? Equinox 20:47, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I can recommend the "Altanella" on the Giudecca in Venice. But you won't find any silly puns there. SemperBlotto 21:49, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Don't let the waiter take my plate yet; I've just gondola bathroom. Equinox 21:53, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Good one! I canal ready see it as a new entry. -- WikiPedant 22:40, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Hurry up and Venetian we can get the bill. Equinox 23:03, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I can see what troubles would result from any further legitimization of puns. I was just thinking of using a punning citation to illustrate the straight sense. The WikiPun project would be the only right home for these, building on our fine content, of course. DCDuring TALK 23:54, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I've seen boars (or maybe bears) and ghouls on restrooms before in a Halowe'en-themed restaurant before. But am not planning on creating such definitions. --Jackofclubs 13:32, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
LOL, take a leek. --Jackofclubs 13:36, 6 June 2009 (UTC)


I've just uploaded the Australian English pronunciation of the term. Could somebody please check that the 'm' is not being cut off? It doesn't work for me, but then I've had problems playing video files as well. Cheers, Ottre 13:28, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

The M does seem to be cut off. Equinox 17:56, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Ditto, you’ll have to redo. H. (talk) 11:39, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


We have Category:Tacana nouns but not Tacana! Mglovesfun 16:52, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

We do now. H. (talk) 11:28, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


The sense used for computer hardware etc. Does this exist outside Apple trademarks? If it's only in trademarks, aren't we merely speculating about any "definition" it has? Equinox 17:54, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, at least there's "iGoogle" ... can't think of any other things at the moment. Logomaniac 23:23, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Also "iWireless", from some unknown cable company, I saw it on a billboard recently. Logomaniac 00:28, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Striking this section, since someone's brought the issue to WT:RFV.​—msh210 21:44, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

A word for nitpicking

Looking for word or phrase, probably latin, describing mania for faultfinding, mania for detecting small grammatical errors, etc —This comment was unsigned.

While probably not exactly what you are loking for, some of the following Wikisaurus entries could help:
--Dan Polansky 09:22, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


As the pedia link suggests, these are not only in Greek mythology. Other senses should be added, or the definition should be made more general. H. (talk) 11:26, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

in relation to

This recent entry is described as a phrasal preposition. Isn't it just a preposition that happens to consist of several words? SemperBlotto 16:50, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Fixed.—msh210 17:27, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Verb tenses

I would like to ask about verbs like spell, dwell, learn, burn, dream, etc. which have two preterite and participle forms, one ending in a -t and another ending in -ed. They are widely said to be locationally differentiated, the first one is said to be the Commonwealth and the second the American English form, though neither entry mentiones it. Should they or should they not, why? Ferike333 16:28, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

As I asked the question, I'd like to tell my opinion first. I think they should be shown just on the same way as travel (travelled is the Commonwealth and traveled is the American one) because it gives more information. A non-native speaker can be very confused having seen the one they did not know and they may use it and then their speech is going to be mixed, neither British nor American (sorry for not mentioning the other dialects, just these two are the most often mentioned) and the mix of British and American English are unacceptable in our language exams (nor American itself is, but that's another thing). Ferike333 16:28, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know, the -t forms (being older) are rare in non-British English. But to call one British and the other "US" (or whatever; not sure about Australia etc.) would be a bad oversimplification, because "dreamed", "spelled", "learned" etc. are also common in the UK. Equinox 18:20, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
But it would be an improvement over making no differentiation (apart from order). A simple "mostly UK" would suffice for the inflection line. There are plenty of complications, such as some dialectal usage in the US of the -t form and the fact that it is probably becoming less common everywhere. A note in an appendix that explained this and appeared as a link in Usage notes might help, but would still miss differences in the geotemporal distribution among individual words. Whatever we do is a compromise, but we can improve the entries by showing something brief in the inflection line with more in Usage notes if anyone cares to. I cannot see having all the details of geotemporal distribution in the inflection line. One good place for something really extensive would be in Usage notes at the -t form, with a link thereto from Usage notes or the inflection line at the lemma. DCDuring TALK 19:00, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
BTW, "dwelt" is more common in US than "dwelled" on COCA, especially in academics and fiction, but also in magazines. Not so for "spelt" and "spelled" DCDuring TALK 19:13, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Dwell is an archaic-sounding word at the best of times, so I suppose it was more likely to keep its older past tense. Also: geotemporal! Equinox 19:19, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
spatiotemporal would have been the better word, but 300+ raw b.g.c. hits for geotemporal. They seem synonyms or nearly so. DCDuring TALK 19:44, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the answers. So both forms are used on both sides of the Atlantic and their usage depends on smaller regional dialects. I see. Ferike333 07:42, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Unambiguous doubtful or dubious

I'm looking for a word which has the same meaning as doubtful and dubious in the sense of causing doubt, while not also meaning having doubt. Is there such a word in English? --Joti 16:50, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Might questionable or debatable do? --Duncan 21:52, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
That will do. Thank you! --Joti 12:04, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

The area underneath a stage

I can't think of the word for the area underneath the stage in a theatre. In Italian it is either iposcenio or sottopalco, presumably from the Greek and Latin respectively. Any ideas? SemperBlotto 08:37, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

It is the trap room (from whence the traps are operated, etc) Robert Ullmann 09:11, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Looking it up in google, this is interesting ;-) Robert Ullmann 09:15, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't think there is really a word for it. When I was at stage school we used to call it the crossover (because you could get from one wing to the other unseen, but not all of them have a passage in that way). To me trap room is a specific thing, there isn't one under all stages. The word hyposcenium exists, which is like the Italian, but in English that means the wall which supports the stage. Ƿidsiþ 09:54, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Some works refer to it as the substage, suggesting an absence of a really good word. DCDuring TALK 10:28, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
And even more call it the understage. DCDuring TALK 10:51, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
OK - thanks - I'll go with "understage area" (plus the ancient Greek word that needs a definition). SemperBlotto 11:06, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Although "the understage" is fairly common, "the understage area" seems more so. DCDuring TALK 11:13, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Spelling suggestions

Hooray! Thanks to whoever implemented the useful WP-style "spelling suggestions" in the Wiktionary search. Equinox 14:27, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Trying to add a new word "glog" to Wiktionary/Wikipedia - how do I do it?

The word "glog" was created by the company Glogster and means graphical blog. A glog is an online interactive multimedia poster. If you are a participant, you are a "glogger" and if you are in the act of participating, you are "glogging"

Since this is a recently invented word without popular currency (yet), you should go to WT:LOP and add it there. That's a list of new coinages. We don't add words to the main dictionary until their existence can proven from books and the like. Equinox 19:05, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Striking, as it's now been added there. Equinox 23:50, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


w:ISO 639:e states that the native name of the E language is E. Could somebody confirm? Lmaltier 20:45, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

[8] "E is their name for themselves." Equinox 21:14, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
This confirms the name. But is it how this name is written in E? I had added it to the French wiktionary, and it is repeatedly removed. I would like another source and, if possible, a citation. Lmaltier 05:24, 30 May 2009 (UTC)


I came here by clicking the "+" in the text "The Tea room(+) is discussing this entry at the moment." orient page, as I could not find any discussion in the Wiktionary:Tea room itself.

Anyway as a relative newcomer to wiktionary I have just added citations from my paper dictionaries to oriental and noted it needed verification. Does wiktionary accept the wikipedia style of citing by the way?

I added some definitions from my dictionaries to orient, and then I looked at the translations to be checked:

  • my 1960 Larousse dictionnaire moderne anglais-français section page 456 translates orient as "n. Orient", "adj. Oriental" and "v. tr. Orienter".
  • the français-anglais section page 502 translates "orienter as "v. tr. orient" and gives the usual senses plus some nautical terms and a figurative use to steer a conversation or debate. Then follows "v. pr. S'orienter" meaning to take ones bearings, plus a figurative use of "to show a trend towards".

Hope this helps. 84user 00:36, 31 May 2009 (UTC)


If this is a "Translingual symbol" and not an English word, why has it been given an English plural in -s? Equinox 21:08, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks. (The symbol ŋ itself is translingual, but as you say, the word eng is an English name for it.) —RuakhTALK 19:30, 6 June 2009 (UTC)