Wiktionary:Tea room/2010/February

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← January 2010 · February 2010 · March 2010 → · (current)

February 2010


Long ago, when I first heard this term, in the song “Baby Got Back”, I assumed it meant something rather *cough* physiological. More recently, I've heard it in various contexts where that doesn't make sense — its current sense definitely matches our def (“utterly infatuated”) — but I'm wondering if it did use to have that other sense (in which case the current sense is presumably a generalization or amelioration or something), or if I just had a dirty mind.

Also, I've added some cites, rewritten the def, added usage notes, etc., based on usages I've encountered and usages I found via Google, but if someone is more familiar with the term than I am, please have at it!

RuakhTALK 01:18, 1 February 2010 (UTC)


Can someone please edit this to reflect that English can be counted when referring to dialects (see Englishes)? Cheers. Tooironic 11:49, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- ALGRIF talk 17:14, 1 February 2010 (UTC)


See Talk:Gypsy#pejorative?!. Any reasonable opinions are appreciated. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 10:56, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

prīma opera

Hi all. Would prīma opera be an appropriate Latin phrase to translate the English phrase early works?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:01, 2 February 2010 (UTC)


We have this verb sense:

  1. To travel to.
    Let’s do New York also.
    • 1869, Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, 1957 ed. edition:
      We 'did' London to our heart's content, thanks to Fred and Frank, and were sorry to go away, []
    • 1892, James Batchelder, Multum in Parvo: Notes from the Life and Travels of James Batchelder[1], page 97:
      After doing Paris and its suburbs, I started for London []
    • 1968, July 22, “Ralph Schoenstein”, in Nice Place to Visit[2], page 28:
      No tourist can get credit for seeing America first without doing New York, the Wonderful Town, the Baghdad-on-Hudson, the dream in the eye of the Kansas hooker []

Seems to me this means "to travel in", not "to" — or, worded better, "(transitive) to tour". Thoughts?​—msh210 17:45, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps as in "Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt." Pingku 18:18, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
That's definitely better wording, IMO. DCDuring TALK 18:22, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Fine, done, thanks, striking.​—msh210 17:33, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

see to it

I wonder if this deserves its own entry. E.g. "Can you see to it that these documents get printed in time." or "We should see to it that the best workers are given encouragement." Tooironic 04:55, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

See see to. Also WT:REE. DCDuring TALK 11:12, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

excuse oneself

No entry? Is this just excuse + oneself? Are other dictionaries giving this (admittedly, under excuse I imagine). Mglovesfun (talk) 19:32, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

I can easily think of examples of this phrase using both sense 2 and sense 3 of excuse. (Sense 1 doesn't really apply, since one can't normally forgive oneself.) Can you think of a way in which it's not SoP?​—msh210 19:47, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I excused myself to go to the bathroom? Hmm. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:49, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes - it means to leave temporarily in order to go to the toilet. SemperBlotto 19:52, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, a sentence just like that is (and has been) a usex at excuse.​—msh210 19:53, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I drop my case. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:00, 4 February 2010 (UTC)


What's the preferred plural? basepersons or basepeople? Google suggests both have roughly the same usage--Rising Sun talk? 20:58, 4 February 2010 (UTC)


Heads-up: I have drastically edited "scanty", so if you disagree, correct me. --Dan Polansky 10:21, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, definitely an improvement. I would have added "; meagre" to the end of sense 1 so that we can keep the translations. Dbfirs 15:46, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
I've updated the translation table with the new gloss.
I have considered adding "; meagre." to the end already when I was reworking the entry, but then droped it, as the meaning of "meagre" seems slightly different, implying also an insufficiency or bare sufficiency in quality in addition to amplitude, quantity, degree or extent. --Dan Polansky 17:54, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
I'll think about the nice distinction. The entry is certainly improved. Dbfirs 21:42, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

the first thing

Not sure about this entry I just created. Some feedback would be great. Cheers. Tooironic 12:33, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Looks just fine to me. -- ALGRIF talk 14:20, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Why "the"? DCDuring TALK 15:01, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that's my biggest concern. I know that you pretty much always say "the first thing", don't you, when using this phrase, but as to whether it should appear in the entry name I'm not sure. Articles have always been my weak point. Tooironic 21:32, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
I think the should be dropped (redirect kept). Now, [[first thing]] already exists (different sense), so we'd need to merge histories. I'll get on it in a coupla days (if I remember to) if there are no objections.​—msh210 16:55, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Done. And added delete request. Cheers. Tooironic 13:44, 14 February 2010 (UTC)


What's the English term for pavaner? It means in French when a bird prances about for courtship purposes or in a display to e.g. repel others from its area. I don't think birds can strut their stuff or show off. Also, is there a general term to describe an animal's display when trying to attract a mate? --Rising Sun talk? 16:34, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps you want w:courtship display. Pingku 17:50, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
it's an interesting entry , but doesn't an equivalent verb. --Rising Sun talk? 03:37, 7 February 2010 (UTC)--Rising Sun talk? 03:37, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

economic crisis / financial crisis

As much as these are probably SoPs, I think they would be really useful to add, especially for the sake of translations. What does everyone think? Tooironic 02:21, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

I say you shoud define. Looks like sth worth keeping --Rising Sun talk? 03:37, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, I gave it a try. I'm not economics expert though, so someone should deffo verify out my definitions. Tooironic 08:35, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Antonym of suspenseful?

Is it unsuspenseful? Neither Wiktionary nor MS Word seem to consider it a word. Tooironic 04:41, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Well anyway the Google Books results looked promising so I've created an entry. Tooironic 13:54, 14 February 2010 (UTC)


I carried over some information from the German page, but could not translate all of it. A native speaker of English who understands German or maybe the inverse is needed to finish this. H. (talk) 10:32, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

bat out

I think there's a cricket term bat out, but I can't figure out what it means - is it like to bat until the end of the game or to hit a six? These citations might help.

  1. I knew that if we batted out the overs, we were going to win.
  2. Number 11 batsman Graham Onions batted out the last over for the second time in the series as England escaped with a draw on the fifth day
  3. Gautam Gambhir made 114 and Sachin Tendulkar hit an unbeaten 100 as India batted out the final day to draw the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka

--Rising Sun talk? 21:50, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

  • I've added the most commonly used meaning. SemperBlotto 08:36, 8 February 2010 (UTC)


Two meanings from fr:voiturier.

  1. Someone who transports things over long distances
  2. Someone who parks your car (at a hotel, for example)

I can't think of a simple English word for either definition. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:15, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

valet (sense #5) would seem to fit the latter; haulier for the former? Interplanet Janet 11:03, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Cheers. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:10, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Boom pole

Could somebdy describe this term or phrase for me? I translate a book from English into Hungarian and I don't exactly understand what ist is exactly. It's about a picture in which a man holds a tree or timber uop to his chest and a hawk is sitting on the tree. The text about picture is the following. "Harriss's Hawks will make the most of any vantage point. Even Nick's boom pole." Thank you for your help. --Ksanyi 08:20, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

  • The phrase seems to be very rare. I can only see it used as the long pole that carries a microphone over the heads of actors in a film or TV studio. Could it be bean pole? SemperBlotto 08:24, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Very good. It fits to this situation also.As I watch it more properly he may be a spokeman. First I thought the tree is the important here. Thank you for your help. --Ksanyi 08:28, 9 February 2010 (UTC)


The listed definition, "An idiot, a dim-witted person" is not really accurate. Actually, douchebags are ppl who are blowhards, know-it-alls, self-aware, self-important, jerks. Donald Trump was a much better example. You can be smart or dumb and still be a douchebag. In fact, smart ppl are more likely to be one.--Esprit15d 15:29, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Basically, I agree. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:57, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

"Britney Spears can't sing for shit"

How would we define this kind of usage of shit here? As for shit? Or can't do something for shit? I'm totally at a loss. Tooironic 04:56, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Never mind, looks like def #8 of shit covers it! LOL. Tooironic 04:58, 10 February 2010 (UTC)


I commented on the Talk page, but since it's the WOTD: it seems to me that all three definitions are, in fact, one and the same. Thoughts? Ƿidsiþ 08:45, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

buy something off someone

This is used in the UK as well, but is this usage idiomatic/limited to dialects in America? Is there somewhere where this is not used, then I can remove the American tags? Kaixinguo 12:50, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

It's perfectly sum of parts AFAICT. buy (purchase) something off (from) someone. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:56, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
ok, I will add a request for deletion. Kaixinguo 12:58, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
The usage of off in question here is common colloquially in the US. Is it acceptable in any written English? (AHD, RHU, Wordsmyth call it informal, Encarta calls it non-standard (?), MWOnline doesn't mark it(?).)
The entry for off is unsatisfactory from a mono-lingual perspective, omitting many aspects of the word. "Defining" one core English preposition as another polysemous preposition, from in this case, without specifying the sense is yet another indication of major quality deficiency. DCDuring TALK 16:37, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

romanize; romanization

Aren't these usually capitalized? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:59, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

In the sense of transliteration, they are very often uncapitalized. I guess that they are more likely to be capitalized in a direct reference to Rome, as in “Romanize the church.”
Lowercase headwords are found in OED (also NOAD, CanOD), M–W; uppercase in AHD, RH. See G-books romanize -intitle:romanize Michael Z. 2010-03-06 17:26 z


Is this entry supposed to be Welsh or English? Does Welsh really pluralise in -s? Equinox 23:28, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Colloquial usage of "suck" / "suck on"

Consider this example sentence: "Vancouver was voted the number one most livable city in the world. Suck on that, Vienna!" How do we define this kind of usage? At suck? As suck on? Or as suck on that / suck on it / suck on this / etc? Tooironic 04:18, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

"all that and..."

"Get over yourself. You're not all that and a bag of chips." How to quantify this idiom? As all that and a bag of chips? Or is the bag replaceable with some other kind of item? Tooironic 04:55, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

I searched for the string you're all that and a on Google Books, and the bag of chips was practically the only one. Equinox 11:02, 12 February 2010 (UTC)


(From "Have a little faith" by Mitch Albom, page 114) "As the Great Depression widened, Albert had but two sets of clothes, one for weekdays, one for Sabbath. His shoes were old and cobbled, his socks were washed out nightly."

Does cobbled here mean repaired (by a cobbler) or patched from odds and ends? RJFJR 18:14, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

  • As it is shoes - repaired by a cobbler. SemperBlotto 18:17, 13 February 2010 (UTC)


Any suggestions why in Czech an imperative is used in "Vitejte!" The invitees are ordered to invite?! Zuzana NY

I don't know about Czech, but I think it's an imperative utterance generally, meaning "be welcome!" Equinox 22:36, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
We use imperatives for many different things - giving advice or orders or requests --Rising Sun talk? 16:54, 17 February 2010 (UTC)


This word is tagged as uncountable. However, one English entry solitudes exist and at least one durably archived quotation proving its countability is at hand:

Wild fowl scream in those ancient silences, wild cattle roam in those ancient solitudes; (1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. 5, Twelfth Century)

Do we need to change the tag? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 20:40, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Plural is very attestable. Changed. Equinox 21:23, 13 February 2010 (UTC)


Does anyone have a clue as to why Wonderfool changed the tag from (his own) archaic to obsolete? Was he reliable in determining similar contexts? I do not find obsolete justifiable, unless it can be confirmed by a reliable source. Doe OED præfer obsolete or archaic? May we change it back to archaic, since the quotation is from 1843, it is not poetic and something used less than eight scores of decades ago (perhaps in more recent literature too, but I came across this particular sentence) could hardly seem obsolete? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 18:26, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

I am not content with the same tag in morrow either, as we have there an even newer quotation from 1896. Should they both be changed to archaic? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 18:44, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

From dictionaries having the word slipt Webster's Unabridged tags it with archaic, Random House Webster's Unabridged too with archaic, Webster's New World College Dictionary with archaic or old poetic. Almost all dictionaries tag morrow as archaic. So, go ahead, replace the obsolete tag. --Vahagn Petrosyan 18:48, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I suspected it. But I nevertheless consider this discussion ineluctable, since a non-native user who durst change context tags without prior notification would certes look suspicious. Thanks for the confirmation. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 19:06, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
The distinction supposedly has to do with the intelligibility to the target user most in need of such guidance. As, judging by RfD discussion of multi-word terms that are utterly transparent in construction, our target user is apparently a dictionary-use-challenged non-native speaker, whereas the other dictionaries are aimed more at native speakers, you are probably as good a judge as most. Is it obvious to a non-native speaker that slipt is a form of slip? Or is the old-fashioned "-t" not likely to have appeared in the kind of materials such a language learner has learned from. Or is the main concern the impression created on readers of such a learner's prose? Since we have insufficient interest in such matters to have had discussions in the last two years, it's anybody's guess. We may as well follow the other lemmings, despite our divergent concept as to who our target users might be. DCDuring TALK 20:19, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Copyright infringement

The photo shown in "Zamboni" is not a Zamboni. Zamboni Ice resurfacers are made by Frank J Zamboni Co in Paramount, CA. The machine shown in the picture is made by Olympia, a company in Canada. Yes there is a difference. Only the machines made by Frank J Zamboni Co may be called a Zamboni. The picture shown is a copyright infringement.

You seem not to know what a copyright infringement is then. Don't you mean "a mistake"? Mglovesfun (talk) 10:07, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean “may be called?” When the ice resurfacer enters the arena, people don't run down to check the brand name, they just call it the Zamboni, and no language police runs in to charge them. Perhaps Zamboni's corporate marketing department is displeased with this, but our task is to report English usage. The picture is not copyright infringement, although if Olympia advertised its machines as “Zambonis” then Zamboni Inc. might accuse them of trademark infringement. Michael Z. 2010-02-25 14:38 z
Which would not be our problem, because we're not selling ice resurfacing machines. bd2412 T 01:59, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Maybe to you, a Zamboni is not a Zamboni when it doesn't have the same Trademark on it. However to others, a Zamboni colloquially refers to any ice resurfacers. This is no copyright infringement as it's not an entry for the brand, but an entry for a word that is synonymous to an ice resurfacer. JamesjiaoT C 02:12, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I have updated the page using {{trademark erosion}} to clarify the situation. Conrad.Irwin 02:26, 26 February 2010 (UTC)


Pretty sure this is countable, e.g., "the hilarities of life." Tooironic 11:07, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Probably. The problem with abstract nouns such as this is that you cannot really say things like "I have two hilarities" or "I see three precariousnesses" and still make much sense. As a result I think the situation is that many (or at least some) authorities on the English language have (in their books) automatically ruled out all possibility of countability for most if not all abstract nouns like these. 50 Xylophone Players talk 12:58, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
The facts of usage argue that most nouns that have uncountable senses also have closely related countable "instance of", "type of" senses, sometimes quite common in use, sometimes limited to use in special contexts. "-|s", "s|-" options in en-noun allow is to specify both countable and uncountable conveniently. DCDuring TALK 13:23, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that's kinda what I was trying to get at too. And yeah, I was aware of that option in {{en-noun}}. 50 Xylophone Players talk 13:55, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Added countable sense "something that induces laughter", with 2 citations. Pingku 14:45, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah you're right DCDuring. I had a similar conversation with one of my ESL students. Countable and uncountable nouns are a big pain for non-native speakers. Even if we tell users which nouns are countable and which aren't, sometimes we don't outline which context calls for which usage. It's frustrating to say the least. Tooironic 08:34, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

a couple (literally) of protolanguages

Hey, could someone create (if necessary) decent entries for Proto-Norse and Proto-Finno-Permic? I'm posting this here because I have been creating wanted categories and I have come across categories related to these languages. Oh and while I'm at it Lombardic also needs an entry. (N.B. Lombard≠Lombardic) 50 Xylophone Players talk 12:53, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

definition issue

Click on slam. First definition: an act of slamming. Click on slamming. Definition: Present participle of slam. Oh dear .Tooironic 08:26, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Widsith has corrected this. Is there any reason to assume in our entry that there are two independent etymologies? Shouldn't we just combine them? Dbfirs 13:32, 26 February 2010 (UTC)


How about that verb you always hear in medical dramas - "Come quick, the patient's coding!" Tooironic 11:06, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

sexual partner

"A person or being with whom somebody or something has sex, voluntary or not." Really? Would a rape victim call his or her perpetrator their [sexual] partner? Tooironic 04:42, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Do only rape victims use the term? Also, how would one refer to an accused date rapist before there was additional evidence to support the accusation ? This seems like a case for RfD or RfV. DCDuring TALK 11:18, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I think the word "partner" suggests some measure of equality in the relationship. It looks to me like the editor was placing too much generalisation into a single gloss. The primary def should be one concerning consensual sex between humans. Use of this term for sex between non-humans and for non-consensual sex are separate issues, and to my mind need to be cited. I'm assuming the implied possibility of inter-species sex or sex with a robot was accidental... Pingku 16:35, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually now that I've thought about it more I suppose, legally speaking, we might say people who have had sex are all respective sexual partners of each other, regardless of whether it was consensual or not. But this is a tricky word and certainly needs RfV. Tooironic 22:58, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I think you are complicating sex! A sexual partner is just someone one has sex with. Voluntarily or not. We need to explore the minds of rape victims to delve deeper into DCDuring's question... However, the ====See also==== section definitely needs looking at. --Rising Sun talk? 23:50, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Try telling that to a gender studies scholar. I'm not the one who complicated the word. :P Tooironic 00:48, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
There seems to be room for disagreement about what the word "should" mean. RfV should at least determine whether the defined sense corresponds to actual usage. Pingku 16:02, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we should separate the "normal" usage which is really just sum of parts (but very widely used in this sense of a wife, husband, or near-equivalent, though sometimes temporary), and the strange (rare?) sense that some (deviants?) seem to read into it? Apologies for the PoV and implied insult Dbfirs 13:05, 26 February 2010 (UTC)


An anonip has started a conversation at [[talk:mustn't]] which I've continued there.​—msh210 17:26, 18 February 2010 (UTC)


This is a very interesting word, maybe a WOTD future candidate, which should be expanded and formatted in a better way. The etymology should be checked and formatted and the pronunciation section added. Pharamp 15:57, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I have cleaned up the etymology, but it should still be checked. VNNS 08:52, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

hold out

Is "hold out" in the phrase "hold out hope" just another example of the current definition "To set something aside or save it for later" (which, if so, needs to be worded better to allow for hope to be held out also)? Or is it a different sense?​—msh210 18:42, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

No, I would say that it is the sense "extend forward". Should we add "offer" to this sense? Dbfirs 12:57, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Hello, would admins please get involved on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse discussion page to avoid what seems to be an edit war. I asked Ruakh on his talk page to work with me constructively, but he refuses too. Thank you. WritersCramp 17:41, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Correction, Ruakh is now discussing the definition on the idioms discussion page; however, I would politely request other editors input. WritersCramp 18:05, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Basically, it is alternating between two bad definitions. 1) A definition of four horsemen cant start with "Where . . ." 2) It is manifestly not four beasts. SemperBlotto 17:44, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
  • The "beasts" part is actually in both definitions. I put it in bad definition #2 because I assumed that the person who put it in bad definition #1 knew what they were talking about. (Being a Jew, I don't know all that much about Christian theology. I mostly just fixed the obvious problems with bad definition #1.) If not, feel free to correct it. —RuakhTALK 18:31, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Hi, would you please comment on the idioms discussion page, I am hopeful we can work constructively to create a strong definition. Thank you. WritersCramp 17:49, 20 February 2010 (UTC)


The word claviform seems to mean either club- or nail-shaped, being derived from the latin words clava and clavus. But what is the word for key-shaped (derived from clavis) ?

a new definition for "rack"?

I have used the terms: "rack", "racking" and "racked" for many years in carpentry (as well as heard it used by engineers in related mechanical fields) to describe 1. the tendency for a rectilinear structure to collapse or partially collapse due to insufficient strength (specifically no diagonal or cross-bracing). Imagine a free-standing bookshelf that leans to one side, imitating the text-book shape of a rhomboid parallelogram...that's said to be "racked". When a piece starts to display that weakness it's said to be "racking" and when a design looks weak we'll say it looks like it will "rack". I've heard the much more clumsy term "parallelogramming" used for the same things, but not sure if that's a real word or an adaptation. 2. When I've seen it written it will sometimes be spelled with a w: wracked, wracking, wracked. 3. No dictionary I've found seems to have this definition.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Hello, would an administrator kindly arbitrate at the talk page of the idiom Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Myself and another editor have reached an impasse on the definition of the term. I would like to avoid an edit/revert war. Thank you. WritersCramp 21:43, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Irish borrowed words.

I wanted to add a few terms used in Ireland by English speakers, that are direct copies of the original Irish words. I'll add them as English if there is a commonly used English spelling. Not being an Irish speaker, I don't know the literal meanings or the correct spelling. Below are some rough phonetic versions with the context and approximate meaning after them.

Bool / a / boss. (Similar to cheers, after a performance etc)
Shim / a / lair (similar to :that's life, c'est la vie)
Gwawl (An armful)
Mawla (Plasticine, modelling clay. This might be just a trade name).

I'm sure there are dozens of others, so feel free to add to the list. Thanks.--Dmol 23:03, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

plamas. (Previously deleted)

While working on the above about Irish borrowed words, I wanted to add plamas (Anglicisation of plámás) but noticed that the entry had been deleted.(05:45, 16 December 2005 Connel MacKenzie (Talk | contribs) deleted "plamas" ‎Failed RFV).

I can't find this in the archives, so not sure what the reasoning was. Can someone copy the archive here, or link to it, as I think there is enough usage of this English spelling to warrant its inclusion.
I won't add it until there is consensus, but it will give me a chance to work on it. Thanks.--Dmol 23:23, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requests_for_verification_archive/November_2005#plamas -- Prince Kassad 17:55, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, it looks like it died from lack of support. I think I could find enough cites to get it over the line. What is the procedure here, do I note the new entry here, or should I relist it in the RFD section--Dmol 01:13, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Just re-create the page with citations attached. (Ideally copy the RFV debate onto the talk page so that people can find it next time). Conrad.Irwin 13:00, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

shut up

A while back I put together a Wikipedia entry on the phrase shut up, (primarily to accommodate links made to that page in talk page conversation), but I would like to include a more substantial etymology for the phrase, and the words shut and up, indicating how each came to be amenable to combination in this phrase. I would appreciate if anyone with the linguistic chops to provide these could do so. bd2412 T 00:43, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd still like someone with the appropriate linguistic knowledge to take a shot at this. bd2412 T 16:33, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

what about

I didn't realise sentence examples were allowed in Translations. Should these be kept? Tooironic 12:32, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

They're not. I've removed them now. Thanks for pointing it out. :-)   —RuakhTALK 15:00, 23 February 2010 (UTC)


The quotation by Carlyle clearly uses infeft as the past participle. Does this mean that it is a second form next to infefted? Is the verb strong? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 16:15, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Well...is "infefted" actually used? (Hard to check -- most of the g.hits are scannos of "infested".) Normally the verb is enfeoff, which conjugates as expected. But infeft, which seems to be some kind of back-formation from the past form anyway, probably doesn't inflect much at all. Citations would clear this up.... Ƿidsiþ 16:23, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
    Does OED indorse infeft or infefted as past participle? Is the verb indeed obsolete given the quotation from 1843? Perhaps it is just dated? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 16:59, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
    The OED only includes it as a 17th-century spelling variant of enfeoff, and none of their citations even use this spelling, in the past or any other form. Ƿidsiþ 17:05, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
    Ok, but Carlyle does use it in the past, therefore one has no reason to dismiss infeft as a valid past participle. 17th-century spelling variant?! But the quotation is from the 19th century. I am aware that Carlyle was of Scottish origin, but the quotation still stems from the 19th century. So you are not favourable of a mitigation of the context tag (obsolete)? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 17:30, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
    I'm not dismissing infeft as a past participle, on the contrary what I'm saying is that we need evidence that infefted was ever used instead. Ƿidsiþ 06:27, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not an expert on obsolete Scots, so I might be wrong, but I would have thought that, from the citation, enfeft and infeft are just the past participles of enfeoff (or infeoff) and not verbs in their own right. Dbfirs 12:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
That is also what I suspect. Ƿidsiþ 13:16, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

The term is used in Scottish legalese, as observed in the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979 Section 3(6). Both infeft and uninfeft are used. As a layman trying to decipher the mentioned act I have struggled to find a definition of the term, even in the OED. I thought I would add this reference to provide an example of its use. --Fussy 1 18:50, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


I think this also means tampon in Australia, but I'm not one hundred per cent sure. Tooironic 06:13, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

More likely to mean sanitary towel - women used to use rags before these were invented. SemperBlotto 17:42, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
There's on the rag, at least. Equinox 17:35, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Hello, could you please light up my lantern on « aruga » & « douchebag » ?

(cf Tea-room supra, on 13th of last january , & on 9th of february)

  • « douchebag » (as « bore » or « jerk ») : in France, we have only useful-&-agreable devices in our bath-rooms, like our « little horse »...What is this bag your women douche with & which his so overwhelming ?
  • « aruga ! » : I have seen Tex Avery's wolf howl, bob his eyes out, bite the table away etc... but never shout « aruga !! ». Where does this word come from ?
  • & can some currently italian slang-speaking person have a look on the DP of « douche-bag » , I'm not so sure of « stronzo » ...

Thanks a lot, T.y. Arapaima 10:30, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Here's a douchebag [3]; and aruga (awooga, etc. etc.) is supposed to imitate the sound of a siren. Equinox 22:09, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a lot Equinox ! WOW !.Must be an annoying device... The last one I saw was in a museum glass case, & made of leather pouch, gutta-percha hose & silver cock...Our european "little horse" wash basin is written about in Brantôme's (1540-1614) "Vies des dames galantes", & has of course been decisively improved by the apparition of running water....T.y.Arapaima 07:56, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Ain't etymology

I suggest "ain't" is derived from "bain't" which one sees often rendered in dialog in fictional texts of the 1700s & 1800s. "Bain't", I suggest, is a dialect contraction of "be not" using the older form of the English verb "to be" rather than is/are. Thus, "ain't" deserves a place in the dictionary of English as the older and "more English" usage than the Norman French "is / est."

-- John Hamilton—This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

I have always understood that ain't is from a Bostonian or New England pronunciation of aren't...something like aahn't. —Stephen 06:36, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Ain't is recorded earlier than bain't, so that can't be right. Ƿidsiþ 13:08, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

attorney's work product

I think this is SoP and we should have work product instead, which is anything produced by someone in someone else's employ. Examples from books: "Client owns consultant's work product"; "The work product doctrine only protects tangible items". Equinox 17:36, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree. Also, what we currently have as the definition ("Evidence which a party to a lawsuit does not have to reveal during the discovery process because it represents the thought process of the attorney preparing for trial") is wrong: it states a property of work product, not the definition of the term.​—msh210 17:48, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
It's a legal term of art, and one you'll find a heading for in a good legal dictionary. Modernly, one simply wouldn't say "lawyer's work product" (48 Google book hits in the last decade), as opposed to "attorney's work product" (275 Google book hits in the same span, and I'd bet a much higher proportion in reported cases). Note that the "property" of work product set forth in the definition is not applicable to a consultant's work product, or anyone else's that was not produced upon legal advice in preparation for litigation. If an attorney hires an accountant to evaluate a client's finances in preparing a defense, the accountant's work is protected as attorney's work product. On the other hand, not everything that is the 'work product' of an attorney is "attorney's work product". For example, if an attorney writes a contract, that is not considered "attorney's work product" under the doctrine because it is merely the product of the attorney's work, and not reflective of the attorney's thought process regarding impending litigation. If the attorney scribbles some illegible notes about a litigation strategy on a pad, that is protectable as "attorney's work product". bd2412 T 05:15, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
If that's the case, then keep this, but the definition is still wrong. It says the legal ramifications ("Evidence which a party to a lawsuit does not have to reveal") rather than a definition of what the attorney's work product is.​—msh210 16:39, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I'll scare up some language from case law this weekend. Cheers! bd2412 T 05:18, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Probably should actually be at attorney work product:
  • The Rule permits disclosure of documents and tangible things constituting attorney work product upon a showing of substantial need and inability to obtain the equivalent without undue hardship.
    • William H. Rehnquist, Upjohn Co. v. United States, 449 U.S. 383, 400 (U.S. 1981).
Cheers! bd2412 T 12:50, 2 March 2010 (UTC)


any Hebrew specialist to complete the French etymology ? thank you. --Diligent 17:50, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Good now?​—msh210 17:57, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

more than one can shake a stick at

Is this really comparable? A quick search of google books and google groups (I don't have time for more atm) bring up no hits for the exact phrase "the most one can shake a stick at". I certainly can't recall hearing the phrase used comparatively and I'm struggling to think of a situation where one would. Thryduulf 23:56, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I removed the comparative forms because they were (in their entirety) "yet more" and "the most", with no mention of sticks. I doubt there are any such forms involving sticks, but if somebody can find them, they should feel free to re-add them properly! Equinox 00:11, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Good work. I've added more than one can poke a stick at as a synonym. Tooironic 07:31, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

just now

For the first sense, this entry gives the following example sentences:

  1. We do not have that item in stock just now.
  2. I was talking to my friend on the phone just now.

However, to me, these two usages are quite different. Does anyone else get the same feeling? I can't explain it very well; all I know is that I certainly wouldn't translate it the same in Chinese for both. Tooironic 14:07, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Why do we even have this SoP phrase? This illustrates the problem of what we suffer from having them. The entry misleads even experienced contributors into believing the entry is a true idiom. Now has a range of meanings, differing principally in the width of the interval in time and whether the interval is in the near future or near past. Just effectively restricts the meaning to a very narrow interval. DCDuring TALK 16:05, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Are you sure? To me "I was talking to my friend on the phone now" sounds pretty awkward, as does "I was talking to my friend on the phone right now", whereas "I was talking to my friend on the phone just now" sounds perfectly O.K. —RuakhTALK 16:19, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
(Must be a difference in dialect (or idiolect), then. They all sound fine to me. In any event,) "I live in a red, big house" sounds more awkward than "I live in a big, red house", but that doesn't mean we should have [[big, red]].​—msh210 16:42, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
True, but the awkwardness of "I'm eating a hot foot-long dog" does mean we should have [[hot dog]]. The question is why it's awkward, or alternatively, what kind of awkwardness it has. —RuakhTALK 18:11, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
It is possible that we need to have a whole series of phrasal adverbs of the form degree adverb + time/place adverb, where the degree adverb is in a set including at least "right", "only", "just". It may be that these sometime synonymous degree adverbs do not combine arbitrarily with all such adverbs and the valid combinations cannot be predicted based on the lexical entry for the component words or any obvious syntactic rule. If so, I would like to know. Accordingly, I have opened an rfd for just now and right now. I wonder whether our entry for now captures regional differences in meaning for this very high-frequency word. DCDuring TALK 16:48, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good, thanks. —RuakhTALK 18:11, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
  • It has two major meanings -- "at this present moment" (sentence one); and "a moment ago" (sentence two). I only use it in the second sense, and the first sounds kind of dialectal to me -- my wife uses it routinely, but then she's Scottish and says all kinds of weird things. Ƿidsiþ 16:29, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

gender (excluding sense 4)

I propose that the systemic bias indicated by the ordering of the two (human) genders in sense 5 of our entry for 'gender' ( "... The sex of individuals (male or female)" )
be addressed by alphabetically reordering 'female' and 'male'. (In the absence of any other objective, dispassionate ordering rationale, the alphabet seems the most obvious choice).

I have actually made this edit, but my edit has been reverted in a way which clearly reflects systemic as well as personal bias (the reverter accuses me of making 'political' edits while reverting to an ordering which places his personal gender first, meanwhile giving no objective argument or rationale to justify reversion to the original non-alphabetic ordering, and despite discussion on personal talk pages my argument has not been given consideration).

(It may be worthwhile mentioning that I have never suggested we place all terms associated with femaleness before all terms associated with maleness as has been somewhat hysterically and reactively suggested.)

I have since been blocked from further editing the 'gender' page while no objective argument or rationale has yet been given for reverting back to a clearly political and personally subjective ordering. So I'd like to hereby open the matter up to the wider Wiktionary community. --Tyranny Sue 06:27, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Oppose this proposal. Standard usage generally places masculine terminology before feminine, as far as I can see. --Yair rand 06:36, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
The problem with this argument is the fact that in this case "standard usage" equals systemic bias. (The politics of it are very old, but it is still a politically loaded and politically motivated ordering.)
While I'm here, I'd like to point out that there seems to be a strong tendency for some editors/admins to respond in a way (ranging from automatically dismissing it to accusing me of harboring a variety of extreme but undemonstrated intentions) that suggests they feel personally threatened by this suggested alphabetic ordering. I'd just like to urge editors/admins who are likely to feel in any way upset by reading "daughter and son" or "female and male" to reflect seriously before responding, and to seriously consider the nature of systemic bias before dismissing (or attempting to dismiss) my suggestion without attempting a balanced, dispassionate consideration of it. --Tyranny Sue 22:13, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I haven't seen any evidence for the suggestion that a term occurring first in a pair of terms actually implies that it is better than or superior to the other. Should we call monochromatic films white and black half the time? Equinox 22:16, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
It's a matter of unconscious habits. Putting one thing before another does prioritize it. A choice is being made, with or without good reasons.--Tyranny Sue 22:29, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
As for monochromatic films, why not just call them monochromatic films? :) Though I have no problem with calling them "white and black" half (or so of) the time, but there are several fairly huge differences between the gender terms and the monochromatic film terms:
  • 1, the subject of monochromatic films doesn't come up with anywhere near the frequency that gender-related terms do,
  • 2, there is nowhere near as large a number of terms involved (e.g. daughter, girl, woman, female, sister, mother, aunt, etc & all the male counterparts), and
  • 3, the subject of monochromatic films doesn't directly apply to the nature of people, as do general terms directly applying to people (like the gender ones), so it's not as likely to be politically loaded in the way gender terms are.--TyrS 02:16, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
  • In my opinion the best way to approach this is the way we approach US versus Commonwealth spellings in entries – ie, if the definition is already written that way then it's impolite to change it; but if you are the first one to write the definition you should be free to order male and and female as you wish (proviso: unless the ordering is somehow crucial to the definition, of course). Ƿidsiþ 07:05, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Ok, that seems the way to go for the moment. Could you please tell me if there's a quick way to find out who started an entry? Thanks very much. --TyrS 01:41, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Ah, do you go to page history & click on 'Earliest'? What if the person who created the page says that they are ok with 'female' and 'male' being alphabetically reordered?
Seems best. Equinox 11:51, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Widsith.​—msh210 17:56, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, I kind of think that this instance of systemic bias is a bit more serious than US vs Commonwealth spellings.--Tyranny Sue 22:24, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
This is not the place to change systematic bias. AFAICT you're just proposing we substitute one bias for another, not very appealing. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:31, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
No, actually I'm not. I'm proposing we balance out a systemic bias by agreeing to recognize a dispassionate, politically neutral ordering rationale (in the absence of some other overriding, politically neutral rationale like grammar, etymology, etc) which sometimes puts female-related terms first (e.g. "female, male; daughter, son") and sometimes puts male-related ones first (e.g. "boy, girl"; "man, woman").--Tyranny Sue 23:27, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
It just ocurred to me that I might not have exactly understood what you meant by your comment, Mglovesfun. Specifically, what bias is it that you think I'm proposing as a substitution for the systemic bias/'standard practice'?--Tyranny Sue 00:10, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I only ask because, unless I'm misinterpreting your comment, I did (try to) address that very fear/concern in my 3rd paragrpah from the top of this section. What I'm talking about trying to do is to remedy bias, so of course I don't want to substitute another regime for the existing one. My main point is that the alphabet provides a balance & a political neutrality that can replace an existing systemic bias. Am I being clear? It seems to be quite a simple, uncontentious thing to me. (There is no hidden, evil agenda here, guys! The alphabet is not going to emasculate you!)--TyrS 01:36, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
I find the notion that you want every pair in alphabetical order quite hard to swallow; and forcing this pair to be in alphabetical order, while ignoring every other pair (the cold and hot taps?) seems to suggest alterior motives. I am personally a fan of consistency over fair-ness, in remaining consistent, we stay easier to read; if masculine and feminine is always used in that order it becomes a single unit when reading, the same could be true of feminine and masculine, it isn't to me. There are no convincing arguments either way, at the most pathetic it is a choice between male or female dominance, at the most pernickety a choice between alphabetical or conventional ordering. I think Widsith's proposal is the only workable one; and (for Englishes at least) it is a solution that has shown to be stable. It is the worst solution, consistency either way would be better, however it is the only politically feasible solution; in some ways our lack of a decision-making authority is not such a good thing. With this method, not only is the representation of opinions proportional to the amount of contribution given to the dictionary from either side of the debate, no-one feels bitter that the "enemy" has won. Conrad.Irwin 02:53, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Regarding your stated suspicion of "alterior motives" on my part, I belive I have already covered the whole area of miscellaneous other word pairings in the English language above in the discussion about monochromatic films. (I can't help wondering, though, do you really think the ordering of 'cold' and 'hot' is also a case of systemic bias? If you do, I encourage you to start a new thread on the ordering of those two words.)
Yes, it is a systematic bias, but I don't regard systematic bias as a problem; it is inevitable and, as above, often better than the high-entropy alternatives. Conrad.Irwin 18:01, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
This discussion is about human gender - not temperatures, or films, or any other unrelated topic or possible set of word pairings in the English or any other language - and the systemic bias that strongly appears to be associated with them on Wiktionary. Your comment could appear - if one was into giving way to paranoid suspicions - like an attempt to cloud the issue, but I'll resist making any emotional accusations of that kind. Highly subjective reactions are not going to get us anywhere.--TyrS 03:36, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for the misinterpretation, I have to confess to being guilelessly misled by your alphabetical ordering bluff above. I disagree with your assertion that the bias of listing men first is "on Wiktionary", a quick skim through some general English reading material should quickly convince you that the ordering is something we have inherited from our culture, however backward or chauvanistic it may be. (google:"men and women" vs. google:"women and men" implies a shocking 85% of people use this ordering (hrm, perhaps it's the alphabetical factor, google:"male and female" vs. google:"female and male" is only 83%) - "boys and girls", "sons and daughters", "male female", "masculine feminine", etc.etc. show similar results - though very interestingly "masculine and feminine" does not). It is arguable that this social convention is sub-optimal, as you are doing, however, as stated above, I find that convention is considerably more tidy than fairness. As I am of the opinion that both sides of the debate can be argued with equal vigour, I maintain that Widsith's compromise (is there already a proper name for it?) is the only, albeit the worst, solution. Conrad.Irwin 18:01, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, in case you missed it, I agreed, above, that Widsith's comment.
As far as your accusation of "bluffing", this appears to be a symptom of a rather Freudian type of paranoia which it might be beneficial to try to be mindful of.--TyrS 23:31, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
How about gentlemen and ladies then? Mglovesfun (talk) 22:43, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Overriding, politically neutral rationale: 'ladies and gentlemen', with that specific ordering, is an idiom.--Tyranny Sue 23:35, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
It's an idiom, so that's what sounds natural, whilst the other arrangement sounds stilted, right? The same goes for these various locutions that enumerate terms that pertain to the two sexes. It's like how "the big red bus" sounds natural, whereas "the red big bus" does not. (For adjectives, the usual rule is that they're listed from the general to the specific, but is size really more general than colour? Consider "the big dark bus" vs. "the dark big bus" &c.) I agree both that revisions such as those that you are proposing are on all fours with spell-warring, and with Ƿidsiþ’s compromise™; that said, if you insist upon some kind of rational (!), rather than historical, principle for term-ordering, then at the very least show that the change is in accordance with the order preferred by common usage.
As an aside, please take note of how petty this concern of yours seems to many of us. It is more contemptible than spell-warring: Spell-warring has as its ultimate end the promotion or depreciation of a given spelling — which it directly achieves (albeit usually in the short term only); by contrast, revisions to "de-politicise" term-ordering have as their ultimate end gender equality — and it is dubious whether it achieves any such thing. On the contrary, such endeavours seem so vanishingly inconsequential as to invite ridicule — ridicule which might spill over onto more meritorious attempts to achieve what is a noble end. It is your choice which battles you choose to fight — whether you're more concerned with righting real wrongs and fighting conscious injustices or with such laughable enterprises as "wymyn's herstory".  — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 02:46, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Actually, no, "gentlemen and ladies" doesn't sound "stilted", it's just obviously not the way the idiom is worded. Furthermore, "female and male" certainly does not sound "unnatural" (and certainly, in the case of the parenthetical listing of genders in gender's sense 4, shouldn't present a problem to any but the most entrenched obsessively compulsive prioritizer of all terms masculine). ("The big red bus" is a case of multiple adjectives, not the ordering of nouns, and so isn't particularly relevant.)
Re. your aside, if you find this discussion "petty" and "contemptible", why bother participating? And, no, I personally have nothing to do with "wymyn's herstory", and I respectfully request that you not attempt to put words into my mouth (a practice which I personally find petty and contemptible).--TyrS 09:45, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Regarding your claim that the "goal" of these types of edits is "gender equality", I've explained already that this is actually about bias and balance. These are quite different concepts to the out-dated one of "gender equality", and furthermore I have never used the latter to justify edits. It's worth trying to be clear about this and to resist getting sucked back into 1960s terminology and arguments.
As far as your warning that you think "many" Wiktionary blokes (the ones who have become upset at my suggestion, I guess you mean) are laughing at me over this, I honestly couldn't care less, and find it pretty laughable that you feel the need to try to shame me into silence.--TyrS 10:20, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

would it were

Before I add the entry to Wiktionary:Requested entries:English, I wanted to know if everyone contests its right to an entry. This phrase had been completely obscure to a foreign speaker like me, until I found a satisfactory explanation yesterday here (if only, I wish it were). There one suggests that it is strictly 19th century English. Is it therefore dated? Here a quotation for a future entry:

Thomas Carlyle, Past and Præsent, book 3, chapter 1, Phænomena
Consider, for example, that great Hat seven-feet high, which now perambulates London Streets; which my Friend Sauerteig regarded justly as one of our English notabilities; “the topmost point as yet,” said he, “would it were your culminating and returning point, to which English Puffery has been observed to reach!”

This phrase seems to me as peculiar as would to, as they both use would in a noteworthy and peculiar manner. However, would to was unfortunately deleted and I am eager to know if this one has any chances to share its fate, if created. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 08:33, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Not that I object, but the real problem here is that our entry for would is woefully inadequate. I already spent a lot of time expanding will recently, so I will try and get stuck into would today. Ƿidsiþ 08:41, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • *pant, pant* Have a look at what is currently sense 2.3, which I think covers this (as well as "would to"). Ƿidsiþ 10:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    Great, now it covers that sense. Do you think that Carlyle’s sentence fits well there as a third quotation? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 13:07, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
O, would that we did not fill said page with usage examples of distant times. Yea, verily, it behooves us to render our entries more utile for readers with archaic computing machines with small viewing portals. Perchance, citations in excess of one for each sense ought to be ensconced in Citations:would. DCDuring TALK 15:39, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Your counſel has been hearkened unto. Henceforth 3 ſupplemental citations may be eſpied on the Citations page which underwent ſaid augmentation and a needful cleenup. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 19:55, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Hats off to Widsith for great depth of coverage at would. DCDuring TALK 10:55, 26 February 2010 (UTC)


Could someone please make an entry for this? The reason I ask directly is because I know a lot of linguists haunt this place and surely it wouldn't be that hard for one or more of you to whisk up an entry. You can find more info about it on its Wikipedia page. Thanks. Tooironic 15:09, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Done (Wikipedia defines it as if it were a verb!). The Capitalized version is a moth genus. SemperBlotto 15:33, 27 February 2010 (UTC)


To-day I added the adjectival sense of dastard from Webster 1913, but there is no comparative or superlative degree mentioned there. Given that the comparative or superlative of dastardly are formed by adding -er, -est, I deem it highly probable that this is also the case with dastard. Please correct it, if necessary. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 15:22, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

all right?

How do you spell the British English greeting "all right"/"orright"? Do we have an entry for it already? Tooironic 10:12, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

We've got alright and awright already --Rising Sun talk? 00:14, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Added an entry at all right --Rising Sun talk? 00:16, 1 March 2010 (UTC)


Is there a more standard part-of-speech to describe these, or correlative correct? Conrad.Irwin 13:08, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

tone poem

I've never really understood this word, even as a native speaker. Unfortunately, this definition is terrible. Can anyone help? Tooironic 13:17, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

anglophile vs. Anglophobe

We have really inconsistent capitalization on our national prefixes. Of note I just created Helleno- and Hiberno- which frankly we should have had ages ago. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:38, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I think they should all go in uppercase, anglophile is the French for the English Anglophile. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:40, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
As far as I can see, Anglo-, whether a hyphenated or unhyphenated prefix, is nearly always found as a capital. -- ALGRIF talk 15:44, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I've been adding these back with {{alternative capitalization of}}, does that sound reasonable. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:25, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I didn't count, but my impression on glancing at bgc is that anglophone is about evenly split in terms of whether it's initial-capitalized.​—msh210 16:48, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, please let's go by usage in each particular case, and not risk getting it wrong by applying rules that seem “correct”. Anglophone and francophone, for example, are often used in Canadian contexts, and their (un-)capitalization is influenced by French. Both OED and CanOD, and even M–W, give uncapitalized main headwords for these two. There are nuanced differences from the meaning and etymology of some capitalized terms, like Anglo-Canadian and Franco-ManitobanMichael Z. 2010-03-05 22:20 z
Google Books seems to ignore capitalization. Going by usage is gonna be tricky, then. I'm certainly not advocating deleting the uncapitalized forms, in fact I'm trying to be consistent. As pointed out by Michael, maybe a bit too consistent. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:25, 5 March 2010 (UTC)


Apparently the name of Lenin's mistress. Is this name used in English? Equinox 15:36, 28 February 2010 (UTC)