Wiktionary:Tea room/2012/August

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← July 2012 · August 2012 · September 2012 → · (current)

dinged-up -- from the verb ding or dinge ?

I've started the dinged-up and is unsure whether it is derived from "to ding" or "to dinge". Would be grateful for clarification. Cheers, --CopperKettle (talk) 13:36, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Definitely ding (in the sense "To inflict minor damage upon, especially by hitting or striking"). Chuck Entz (talk) 13:51, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you! I'll start the new article for "to ding up" then. (Watching a movie "The Right Stuff, saw this dialogue: "A horse threw me last night and I dinged up my goddamn ribs"). --CopperKettle (talk) 13:57, 1 August 2012 (UTC)


Is it possible that the word aboriginal true meaning is god's original? I based this thought on the premise that in most cultures that when a word is prefixed with (Ab).it is to note god.as (Ab) is derived from the word Abba , meaning father.I also find it strange that words are changed to deceive people.

such as nigger which is not a mispronunciation of negro. but is a mispronunciation of Niger the Latin name for an African nation .negro is a mispronunciation of negro, the Latin word for black.both words were derived from Nero the black king of Rome whom, making the use of the word, not an insult. but a compliment.as calling someone a nigger is tantamount to calling them king. Webster changed its meaning to mean lazy person.this is an attempt to hide the true guides of the word being a negative term.in the eyes of fools. they should have given it a positive meaning they would have neutralized the use of the word.and it would have lost its power in it's bigotry form.because bigots could not use the word for hate.but with the definition of lazy shiftless person, it leaves it open for use as a negative part of history.

Ethiopian is another word that is used to discriminate. Ethiopian some will tel you that Ethiopian means people with burnt faces, but what they don't tell you is it really says more. the (E)sound of the word notes god. Ethiopian means gods people of burnt faces. we call the Christ the king of kings. by the way was only given to the line of Menalech the son of Solomon.the king of Ethiopia.also the the son of the queen of Sheba. hum?

The OED gives "ab" as meaning "from."
The OED says both "nigger" and "negro" derive (probably) from the Latin "niger," meaning "black." See Nero on Wikipedia to learn about his family.
The origin of "Ethiopia" is not clear. It comes from the ancient Greek (as far back as the "Iliad") Αἰθίοψ, (Aithiops), meaning "an Ethiopian." Beyond that, Wikipedia says that modern scholars believe it comes 'from the Greek words aitho "I burn" + ops "face".'
It is easy to corrupt words and invent etymologies to confuse and deceive people. Even if it's true that "Ethiopia" comes from "I burn face," that does not mean that in ancient Greece it was considered a mark of discrimination. Does the expression "flaming red hair" indicate discrimination against people with red hair? --BB12 (talk) 04:53, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
@BB: Note that the form "I burn" is just because the lemma form for verbs in Ancient Greek is 1st person singular present active indicative. Αἰθίοψ is more likely to be from the past participle of that verb, thus "burnt face".
@96: We call this a folk etymology. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:11, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
What the hell did I just read? You find it strange that words are changed to deceive people? I find it strange people make up nonsense etymologies that “coincidentally” fit their views and spread ludicrous fake historical “facts”. — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:12, 2 August 2012 (UTC)


I was about to remove the translations for "Past participle of hide", but then I hesitated. Any opposition or ideas? --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:13, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

The "definition" of the adjective read the same as the definition of the past participle would: "that has been hidden". But something that has the attribute "hidden" need not have been hidden by anyone or anything. I have added two adjective senses, one about ~invisibility, the other about ~obscurity. It would not surprise me if all the adjective translations warranted {{ttbc}}. Are the translations in the past participle section any worse? Maybe all the translations, from both PoS sections, should be in one big checktrans table. DCDuring TALK 20:01, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
We voted on this, the translations of "Past participle of hide" are invalid per the vote (cannot remember the name, sorry). Mglovesfun (talk) 16:52, 3 August 2012 (UTC)


What does this term mean? --Æ&Œ (talk) 22:08, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Across all Romance languages. —Angr 22:30, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

amo, amas, amat

I get the feeling that this is an English interjection, but I'm a bit on the fence for both the language and the part of speech. Moreover, I don't know what the meaning is. Should I say An interjection used to denote elementary Latin education? (P.S. Yes, I can cite it in English texts.) --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:33, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

It may be more of a meme than an idiomatic phrase. —CodeCat 15:53, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
In this case, I don't know how to differentiate. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:16, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I suppose it's about the difference between social/cultural aspects and language aspects. A meme seems like something that is known and used because of its place within social and cultural norms, while an idiom is part of the language. I don't really know how else to say it. Think of an idiom as "that's how we say it in our language" while a meme is "that's how we say it in our social/cultural group". They can coincide, and often do, but they don't have to. —CodeCat 16:20, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree because it seems that this could be used in any language really. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 10:55, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Nefarious etymology

  • The nefarious article has an etymology that diverges a bit from "nefarious" at Online Etymology Dictionary. A person with the knowledge might want to examine this. Cheers, --CopperKettle (talk) 13:00, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
    I don't understand. The etymologies are almost identical to one another. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:33, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
    Never mind. I see that DCDuring just fixed it. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:36, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
    Great. I'm just not versed in Latin to decide which etymology was more correct. --CopperKettle (talk) 01:01, 7 August 2012 (UTC)


The second sense currently reads "A place for storing goods", and has a quotation. But it seems to me that the quotation doesn't support that sense. After all, the place where water was stored didn't literally plunge, it was the amount of stored water that decreased. So I think the quotation actually supports a sense that is still missing from the entry? —CodeCat 20:13, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

That seems right. DCDuring TALK 01:13, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Strongly agree that the quote doesn't back up this sense. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:28, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Does Wiktionary need a kerfing?

kerfing - from "to kerf" - a technique of bending wooden workpiece by weakening it on one side with parallel incisions, or kerfs. Does the gerund merits an inclusion in the dictionary in the sense of a noun? --CopperKettle (talk) 23:59, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

If the "ing"-form, 1., attestably occurs as a plural or, 2., has a different sense than the verb, we would have an entry for it. Kerfing looks like it might make it on both accounts. See this specialized glossary for a definition, not closely related to what you are referring to. The plural seems mostly connected to this different sense. DCDuring TALK 00:58, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Very interesting, thank you! --CopperKettle (talk) 01:47, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the source is linguistically reliable, in that their definition of kerf#Verb and its etymology seem implausible and are not supported by any dictionary I've looked at. It would make more sense to me to think of (countable) kerfing to be derived from the meaning of kerf as "cut" so a kerfing would be a kind of "cutting", perhaps a very thin, flexible one, like a spline.
Relatedly, is there a word for a strip of wood used to fasten two thin panels together? Imagine making a box out of veneer or very thin plywood. Each pair of abutting edges of the panels could be fastened to a molding strip on the inside of the box. Fastening could be by glue or other means. The molding strips need not be joined to each other to form a frame. A glue strip is this kind of strip, but isn't there a generic one-word term? DCDuring TALK 11:47, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Hm.. For guitars at least, that word may be "lining" - I've found that most probably the "kerfing" is a lutherie cant word for "kerfed lining". --CopperKettle (talk) 10:33, 11 August 2012 (UTC)


Is fine as in "I paid a fine" the same sense as "I received a fine"? In the former, the "fine" means "money paid as punishment", but you can't substitute that same meaning into the latter - I didn't receive money off someone, I received a notice telling me that that I have to pay someone else money. Are these separate, or am I reading too much into this? Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:51, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

I think it has more to do with senses of pay and receive. One receives a bill, an invoice. etc. and pays the same. Chuck Entz (talk) 11:36, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
"I received a bill" and "I paid a bill" are both using the same sense of bill, "a notice of money owed" (with pay as in DCDuring's sense given below). The point I was trying to make (which I probably didn't make clearly enough) is that the term fine seems to refer both to the notice and the money itself. Perhaps it's clearer to illustrate it like this: you couldn't say "This money here is the bill", but you could say "This money here is the fine". Smurrayinchester (talk) 13:08, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
It's hard to know when to stop adding definitions to cover metonymy. DCDuring TALK 15:26, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
As is so often the case with our entries for the most common words, we lack the transitive sense of pay: "to discharge a debt for". We had a corresponding intransitive sense. We could have edited down and split the verbose Webster's 1913 definition: "To discharge, as a debt, demand, or obligation, by giving or doing what is due or required; to deliver the amount or value of to the person to whom it is owing; to discharge a debt by delivering (money owed)." DCDuring TALK 12:17, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Smurrayinchester. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:40, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
While on the topic of legal fines, if you follow the Wikipedia link to the disambiguation of fine you will see that there are two other meanings for that etymology (the legal one, that has this link). As a Wikipedia ignoramus who mainly adds quotes and is not, it would seem, a proper User, should I add these meanings ??? Hlmswn 2013 January 4


Adjective: Having part of the face projecting beyond the body or shank; -- said of type.

Worded this way the connection to kern#Verb is obscured. Is it attestable in this meaning as opposed to as a past participle of kern? I can't find evidence of comparability of gradability. But Webster 1913 had this definition.

Our etymology follows Online Etymology Dictionary, a usually reliable source, from a French word meaning "corner". Century has the sense evolution as kern (grain) => kern (a projecting bit of a letter) (metaphor). From there, for both the evolution continues => kerned (having such a projection) (suffix), from which the evolution continues => kern (to adjust letter spacing for such projections) (back-formation) => kerned (inflection).

We lack the older senses of kern, which Century has or at least supports.

In a strictly contemporary dictionary, the adjective PoS would not belong. We would, I'm sure, be happy to have the older, missing senses of kern. To do this justice, we should have each milestone on the evolutionary path recorded and both etymologies. Is this too obsessively complicated? Am I missing or imagining something? DCDuring TALK 18:43, 8 August 2012 (UTC)


Is ê an IPA character? Mglovesfun (talk) 10:10, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

According to w:IPA, it is a tonal mark that indicates a falling tone. I don't know if that is what it means in Kurdish though. —CodeCat 10:31, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
WP says it’s [e]. — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:42, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Everything in Category:Kurdish rhymes seems to be based on Latin orthography rather than IPA. As long as the orthography faithfully represents the pronunciation (like Finnish and unlike English) I don't see a problem. —Angr 19:56, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem would be when two terms rhyme but aren't spelled the same. In English fair and fare would do it. Mglovesfun (talk) 08:00, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Not necessarily, provided words are entered onto rhyme pages according to their pronunciation rather than their spelling. Say Kurdish borrows the English word save for use in computing contexts, retains the English spelling, but pronounces it as a homophone of sêv (apple). In that case, save#Kurdish could still be listed at Rhymes:Kurdish:-êv even though it's not spelled with -êv. —Angr 09:33, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

inclusion of the word 'OVERSKIES' in wiktionary

Can the word 'OVERSKIES' be included in wiktionary? This word is used in the novel '3rd planet' published on amazon.com to indicate space travel. The book imagines life on other planets and travel between the galaxies and in that context this word is used.

Can someone help? —This unsigned comment was added by Bravikiransingh (talkcontribs).

  • The word overskies is very rare. It seems to be invented from the word overseas. Basically, you need to be able to provide three independent citations of its use. Good luck. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:19, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
A search on Google Books for "overskies" ([1]), yields three or four citations with one or two meanings, and that does not include "3rd planet," so you should be able to add it. --BB12 (talk) 07:36, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
As always when defining a term or sense not in other dictionaries, before trying to produce a definition, collect a few citations (on the citations page, if you'd like). It may not be used most commonly with the meaning it might have in the novel. Most of the usage seems literary. But poetry rarely makes a good citation, since the meaning is often highly ambiguous. Also, the occasional use in technical papers is likely by non-native speakers and so may be of questionable use. DCDuring TALK 14:09, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
And, obviously you should look at both oversky and overskies as the relationship between the two is probably much like that between sky and skies. DCDuring TALK 14:11, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I've started some collections at Citations:oversky and Citations:overskies. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 14:39, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I've made a first attempt at overskies. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:51, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

a lot

I am bothered a whole lot by the presentation of this as an adverb.

  1. (idiomatic) Very much; a great deal; to a large extent.
    Thanks a lot for listening to me.
    It's a lot harder than it looks.
  2. (idiomatic) Often; frequently.
    I go swimming a lot.

It seems to me that it is based on a confusion of levels of analysis. A lot functions adverbially but is obviously a noun phrase. That it is a noun phrase can be seen most clearly when it either accepts an adjective modifier in any of the usage examples from the entry or can become an object of a prepositional phrase:

Thanks a whole lot for listening
It's a hell of a lot harder than it looks.
I go swimming an awful lot.

The ability to insert such modifiers also demonstrates that it is not a set phrase, at least not for native speakers. The plural form lots can be substituted for a lot in at least two of the original entry usage examples (?Thanks lots is certainly attestable).

In addition, various other nouns can substitute for lot in this class of usage and related classes, such as load, bunch, ton, heap, bundle, million.

Also, I am not sure that thanks a lot is a good usage example for this, being itself as much a unit as a lot.

All that said, the very high frequency of this term in this kind of usage warrants inclusion. My inclination would be to put all of the usage for the entire entry under a Phrase L2 header, perhaps providing the peculiarly adverbial usage with a grammatical usage label. Thanks a whole bunch for giving this your attention. DCDuring TALK 13:26, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Also note that you can replace lot with virtually any noun associated with being large (e.g. a ton, a heap, a million, a bunch, etc.). --WikiTiki89 (talk) 13:42, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
That was a good read. I think it functions adverbially, and thus considering it an adverb makes perfect sense. The insertion of modifiers is highly standardised, and I would argue that they are in fact simply there for emphasis, and their placement like modifiers is a throw-back to an age where people really considered this to be a noun phrase (the extremely common nonstandard spelling alot is testament to how much that is no longer true). --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:39, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  1. Function is not the sole issue. Should we have a load, a bundle, a heap, a ton, a buttload, all of which would be attestable, as well as many I haven't thought of. Should we have a lot of?
  2. If making sense were the sole consideration, we wouldn't be putting non-constituents under the "Phrase" header.
  3. Almost any adjectival intensifier will do to modify lot as well as words like surprising, huge, scary in contemporary usenet and print usage, usually informal.
  4. Emphasis is what intensifiers provide, but they usually do so in conformity with syntax.
  5. The use of a modifier with lot is quite abundant currently. The word lot is still used abundantly in other, related ways that are even more "throwbacks" to earlier usage.
  6. The spelling a lot is more than 3,000 times more common than alot at COCA. a whole lot is 60 times more common.
The purpose of have a Phrase section would be to properly treat the abundant non-SoP usage that breaks the set-phrase mold into which our entry attempts to force this idiom without having to duplicate everything to include both adverbial usage with modifiers and use of a lot in the construction a lot of.
To some people, even a majority, our presentation may seem adequate, but to a lot it isn't. DCDuring TALK 18:38, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Once you also consider antonyms like a little and a bit and everything in between (a small amount, a decent amount, a good amount, a good bit, etc.), it becomes clear that it is a noun and that the usage of this type of noun phrase as an adverb is better explained by English grammar than by definitions. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 18:58, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I think we could still keep definitions at a lot#Noun (or a lot#Phrase) for "(used adverbially) In a large quantity; often". That definition covers a lot, but not well, so perhaps we should retain the two senses. Usage notes and usage examples might be the best ways to handle the variations. DCDuring TALK 19:58, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
AFAICT, [[a damn sight]] and [[a fuck sight]] have the same POS issue. - -sche (discuss) 19:27, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Does demerit slip merits inclusion?

demerit slip - does it merits an inclusion? As I understood, the meaning is generally such: 1. a written notice of demerit given to a pupil or serviceman for bad conduct. 2. An unfilled paper form, with some possible offenses pre-printed, given to a pupil or servicemаn to have on himself at all times in case a demerit should be given to him by his superior. --CopperKettle (talk) 15:51, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

  • What's idiomatic about it? This is just the ordinary sense of slip as a small piece of paper (used as a token, voucher, note, or record). The same constructions exist with chit: sales slip/chit, receipt chit/slip, meal slip/chit, and so forth. Uncle G (talk) 18:26, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
    • OK, I was also unsure. I just saw the phrase in my English-Russian online dictionary. Thank you for the answer. --CopperKettle (talk) 02:02, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
      • Just a note about the section title: In English you don't normally see two inflected verbs in the same sentence: when there's an auxiliary verb such as "do", it takes the inflected form (here the 3rd-person singular form "does"), but the main verb is just the bare infinitive (here it's "merit"). It's not that big a deal, but I figured you would want to know the correct way to say it. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:51, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Sense 2 up there (pre-printed form) seems idiomatic to me. Siuenti (talk) 18:53, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

As per

I feel sure that the 'as' in this phrase is redundant. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 2012-08-13 15:40:56‎.

  • Very likely. However, that's what people actually say. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:48, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Like of a after an adjective instead of simply a, you mean? You could have told that it wasn't that big of a deal, for example. Or you could have explained that once something reaches that great of a use descriptivist lexicographers regard exclusion as too wrong of an idea. (Yes, the emphasized phrases are all fairly well attested colloquialisms, however much you might be thinking "Damn it! Really?" right now. ☺) There's an interesting usage note in ↑ISBN, on p. 81, saying that as per "originat[ed] in commercialese". Uncle G (talk) 17:54, 13 August 2012 (UTC)


I have often come across this word in books and articles to denote a verb derived from a noun or adjective, typically in the context of Indo-European. So I think this may be missing a sense but I am not quite sure what that sense actually is. Wikipedia is no help either, it redirects w:Factitive to w:Causative and doesn't make any mention of this kind of usage at all. —CodeCat 17:52, 13 August 2012 (UTC)


Sense 2: Rain, considered as a countable plural.

What is that supposed to mean? That raindrops is a suppletive or something? I'm guessing that this should be deleted, but.... DCDuring TALK 18:02, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Silly: the song means that literal raindrops, drops of rain, are falling. The given sense is misleading and not needed. Compare snowflake, hailstone. Equinox 18:04, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Equinox; delete. - -sche (discuss) 19:17, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Equinox and -sche; delete. (BTW, such terms are called "singulatives", at least in the context of languages where they're a more productive feature of the grammar.) —RuakhTALK 20:08, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I was about to lose my temper over this and could not think straight. Should this go through the RfD process or can it be speedied? DCDuring TALK 20:45, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Just speedy it. The original version of that page didn't present "plural of raindrop" and "rain, considered as a countable plural" as two separate senses IMHO. —RuakhTALK 21:01, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Gone. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:31, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

hurry-furry merger

Can someone check that the pronunciations in [[hurry]] and [[furry]] are correct, and label them as "with the hurry-furry merger" or "without the hurry-furry merger" as appropriate? I've assumed that if (as WP says) /ɜː/ is the vowel in the RP of "furry", /ʌ/ must be the vowel of "hurry" in accents that use different vowels in the two words. (This issue was brought to my attention by a thread on Ruakh's talk page.) - -sche (discuss) 19:41, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

hurry: /hʌɹi/
furry: /fɝ.ɹi/ Tharthan (talk) 20:04, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
So, if the "hurry-furry" merger results in "hurry" (which is otherwise /ʌ/) being rhymed with "furry" (/ɜː/), then furry should never be pronounced with /ʌ/, regardless of the merger. Right? - -sche (discuss) 21:50, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I think so, yes. —Angr 22:10, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Mary-marry-merry merger

What are the vowels of unmerged "Mary", "marry" and "merry"? And what vowel is used when they are merged? As I commented here: WP gives the merged pronunciation as /ɛ/ (which is the vowel of "met", and of "merry" in unmerged speech), but I generally heard the words merged with the sound of "mare", which WP says "Mary" has (and which [[mare]] gives as /ɛ(ə)/). - -sche (discuss) 20:01, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Mary- has the "a" of "scary."
Merry- has the "e" of "met."
Marry- has the "a" of "hat." Tharthan (talk) 20:04, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
When they're merged, the vowel is /ɛ/, i.e. that of unmerged merry, but there's no difference between that vowel and the vowel of mare in accents with the merger, so it's not inaccurate to say the merged vowel is that of mare too. —Angr 21:02, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
When they are merged, in America at least, the vowel is the same as that of Mary for those without the merger (IPA(key): /eə̯/ in General American, although I would describe it as a unique sort of vowel that doesn't quite fit within IPA). --WikiTiki89 (talk) 21:22, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't know about you, but I don't have anything even approaching a diphthong when I say "Mary/merry/marry", and when I compare my merged pronunciation with the unmerged pronunciation of British friends, "merry" is the one word we pronounce alike. My pronunciation of all three words is different from the Brits' pronunciation of "Mary". —Angr 21:36, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I would agree that it is not a diphthong, that is just how I've seen it transcribed. It is some sort of vowel that I have not been able to precisely identify. I am from New England, and for me it is the same vowel as in man (with æ tensing). There are people here with full mergers, partial mergers, and no mergers, and the commonality is everyone pronounces mare the same way, no matter which merger they have or don't have. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 21:58, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, I don't have æ-tensing, but I identify the vowel before the /ɹ/ in all four words (mare, marry, Mary, merry) as /ɛ/. More generally, I don't have any vowels before /ɹ/ + vowel that I don't have before /ɹ/ + consonant or syllable boundary, so sorry/starry have the same vowel as star, marry/merry/Mary have the same vowel as mare, serious/Sirius have the same vowel as steer, forest/Laura/glory have the same vowel as horse/hoarse (as those two are also merged), and hurry/furry have the same vowel as fur. Other accents (non-North American as well as more traditional East Coast accents) have more vowels before /ɹ/+vowel than before /ɹ/+consonant/syllable boundary. —Angr 22:19, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
(after e/c) FWIW, I agree with the analysis of "mare" as having something more like /eə/ than /ɛə/.
MacMillan's British dictionary has "mare" as /meə(r)/, "airy" as /ˈeri/ and "Mary" (in their entry for "Hail Mary") as /ˈmeəri/ but with audio that sounds to me more like "airy" than "mare". They also have "merry" as /ˈmeri/, with audio that (to my ear) clearly distinguishes it from "Mary", but also sounds subtly different from "airy". And they have "marry" as /ˈmeri/. I'm not sure that's helpful... their transcriptions merge "marry" and "merry" but not "Mary", and their audio seems to only subtly distinguish "merry" and "marry". - -sche (discuss) 22:22, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
If they imply that airy and Mary don't rhyme, it's a mistake. I don't think there's an accent of English anywhere in which airy and Mary have different vowels. —Angr 22:37, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I would like to point out that I pronounce dairy as DAY-ree (IPA(key): /ˈdeɪ̯.ɹi/). However this only applies to dairy and not other -airy words, although this might just be a me-ism. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 22:47, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll record my pronunciations if anyone's curious (south-east England). They are three distinct vowels, like bad, bed, bared (BrE is non-rhotic). One thing I note is that the vowel in "Mary" is longer in duration than the others. Equinox 22:21, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
(after e/c) I'd be quite interested to hear how you pronounce them. :) - -sche (discuss) 22:22, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Here ya go: [2] Equinox 22:30, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Equinox's pronunciations would be considered standard in the UK. There are regional variations, of course, but I can't think of any regions that have merger in careful speech. (No doubt someone will insist that, where they live, they can't tell the difference between two of the pronunciations, but I would suggest that such merger is rare in the UK. I'm puzzled by MacMillan's suggested similarities.) Dbfirs 11:39, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

eat out

Does this term also mean ‘to perform anilingus’? --Æ&Œ (talk) 20:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

  • I'd say so, yes. —Angr 20:58, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
"Eat out that ass" gets hits on Google Books. Whether "eat someone out" (a person) can refer to anal, I am not sure. P.S. Yuck. Equinox 22:03, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I think it can apply to pretty much anything (not only body parts), only that when you are referring to a person, there is a specific implied body part. So I think one sense can cover it all. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 22:11, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

last night

The translation table has "the previous night or evening", which reflects the definition immediately preceding the current one: (often used adverbially) The evening or night immediately before the present. (This entry is here for translation purposes only.), with the usage example: He said he didn't get any sleep last night and I know he hadn't gotten much the previous night.

As a definition "The previous night or evening" misses the fact that this is used only relative to the speaker's present. The usage example may not be ideal for the long run but it illustrates the difference between previous and last, which may be useful for translators.

  1. Previous definitions have wavered between these two definitions. Do all of the translations need checking?
  2. The PoS is properly noun, but the use of the noun phrase is very often adverbial. The distinction between the Noun and Adverb PoS is silly from a monolingual dictionary point of view. Do our translators need the separation to be reminded of a possible distinction?
  3. Given the apparent difficulty contributors have with this, it seems we need to have a real entry rather than one that "is here for translation purposes only." DCDuring TALK 20:34, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with your third point. Since this entry survived an RFD, I think it is reasonable to let it live on without that bizarre "translation purposes only" disclaimer. As such, I've removed it. This, that and the other (talk) 12:03, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Category:Akkadian determinatives

The description at the top of the category is a bit strange. It says 'words' but at the same time they are used along with 'logograms'. To me, that means that these characters, when used in that function at least, are purely an orthographic device and not a part of speech (which is where this category is currently placed). Can anyone who knows more please shed some light on this? —CodeCat 16:38, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

I've never studied Akkadian and I can't read cuneiform, but I've studied Ancient Egyptian and I'm starting on Chinese, which are both very similar. I think that these are correctly identified as belonging to a POS unto its own. At least in Egyptian, they are not pronounced, but they provide context to the preceding phonogram (and they identify it as being a phonogram rather than an ideogram). For example,
indicates that the previous character(s) is/are the name of a deity. Similarly, in Chinese, means "river"; historically, its pronunciation was probably very similar to that of ("able"), which is etymologically unrelated. To disambiguate the characters, was added to the left side of 河, as an abbreviated form of ("water"), with 氵 serving as a determinative. Does that explain it sufficiently? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:34, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't that make them more like punctuation? Like how we use ! to indicate a nuance that is lost in writing? If they are not pronounced at all, ever, it seems very strange to call them "words". —CodeCat 17:36, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think so. The problem is that we can argue endlessly about whether they are words or not, because they are not in the Western tradition. Wiktionary was not designed to cater to the oddities of most non-Western scripts, which is why our Chinese, Manchu, and other selections are really bad - our basic organizational premise does not fit the way the scripts work. Basically, we should treat them as words because they belong in a dictionary, and I know from experience that I stumble upon them and want to know what they mean. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:49, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Wiktionary includes lots of things that are not words. My question was only whether it is right to call them a part of speech, when they not used in speech. —CodeCat 17:55, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
It's a similar problem, to which I give a similar answer: call it a part of speech, because under the Western system, it's close enough. Or just categorise straight to Category:Akkadian language, so we don't have to worry about how logically people think when they're looking for it. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:01, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
As I understand it, there are two things you want to change: (1) you don't want Category:Akkadian determinatives to be a subcategory of Category:Akkadian parts of speech; (2) you want the category description to say something like "Akkadian symbols that [] " instead of "Akkadian words that [] ". Is that correct? If so, then I agree with you on both counts. —RuakhTALK 18:43, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Mostly the first, but I think the second point makes sense too. —CodeCat 18:45, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

युवन, युवन्

I'm as far as one can get from being a Sanskrit specialist, but aren't these two the same word? In which case, shouldn't their respective entries be joined into one page? --Pereru (talk) 03:09, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

The entries are the same, but the spelling should render them different. Devanagari (at least as used in Sanskrit) is inherently syllabic: the default is that each consonant has a vowel. If the vowel isn't supplied by the diacritics, than the vowel is a schwa or similar short vowel (transliterated normally as "a"). The diagonal mark suppresses the implied vowel, which means that the first word should be transliterated as yuvana, not yuvan. If it were Hindi, yuvan would be correct.
I wonder if the first one was a typo, with the second one being created because a search for the correct spelling went to a redlink. Of course, it's been a quarter of a century since I took Sanskrit at UCLA, so I could be forgetting some exception to the rules. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:21, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Following the link at युवन to the Monier-Williams dictionary page, the definitions used for युवन are all under the युवन् entry, and युवन is defined as "yuvana (?), m. the moon, L." That means that युवन is definitely an error. The etymologies should be reconciled and merged into the युवन् entry, and then युवन should be changed to include only the moon definition- or simply deleted. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:39, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The question mark in "yuvana (?), m. the moon, L." makes me reluctant to include it here, and the "L." means it's only found in lexica (ancient word-lists), not in running texts, so it probably doesn't meet CFI. And AFAICT युवन yuvana isn't even an inflected form of युवन् yuvan, so युवन yuvana should just be deleted. —Angr 10:00, 17 August 2012 (UTC)


Do we need both? They're both English. In Edgar Rice Burroughs' book A Princess of Mars, it is lower case: I had but jumped from purgatory into gehenna.

We keep both, because they're separate spellings, but we should probably turn gehenna into {{alternative capitalization of|Gehenna}}.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:53, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Should also sync up the etyms and the even the meanings. I think Gehenna has the better etym but I don't want to get in the middle. I rather let someone a little more knowledgable clean 'em up. --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! (talk) 13:22, 18 August 2012 (UTC)


Used to say that "Manchurian" especially applies to non-Manchu; now says that it especially applies to non-Han. Which is it? Is it more complicated than either version? —RuakhTALK 01:28, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

I think that it's correct now. I know somebody from Shenyang who is ethnically Han, and she does not identify as Machurian, nor do I think any modern sources would label people thus, but the Manchu, Jurchen, and other traditionally pastoral peoples, especially in Heilongjiang province, would not unlikely be called Manchurians in ethographic studies. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:13, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

tot up to - separate from just tot up?

  • tot up is listed to mean "to calculate the sum": "If Debbie can tot up the scores".

But there's also a meaning "to aggregate to a certain amount, to equal, to amount to": Appropriations By Congress Tot Up To 13,110,000,000 (3rd July 1939). Should this meaning be included in the "tot up" or should a new article, "tot up to", be started? Does the preposition "to" tots it up to a separate linguistical entity? (0: Cheers, --CopperKettle (talk) 07:30, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

A second sense at tot up sounds good. See add up, which can also work both ways. Equinox 10:17, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
In US English I have heard tot up ("Let me tot up the bill") as the same as tote ("I toted the package upstairs"). Is it the same in UK English? What I hear is consistent with the etymology, but not with the double-t spelling or the "ed" and "ing" forms, which do, nevertheless, appear to be attestable. DCDuring TALK 12:51, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I think what you heard was tote ("To add up; to calculate a total"). Equinox 12:54, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I think that tot, being an abbreviation of total, is likely to be pronounced like tote. tote would then be an alternative spelling that reflects some people's pronunciation. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 13:56, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Lemming check: Chambers has verbs tot and tote, but does not list the tote (long o) pronunciation as a pronunciation for tot. Can you find a dictionary that does? Equinox 14:09, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem is, in spoken language, you can't tell how a word is spelled, while in written language, you can't tell how it is pronounced. It takes a bit of experimentation to find the right answer and this doesn't seem to be an important enough word for anyone to have conducted experiments on it. Here is what I think: In British English, it may well be that tot is pronounced with a short o, but in American English, the short o differs too much from the original long o in total for tot to be heard as a short form of total. Therefore tot would have to be seen as independent word to be pronounced with a short o in American English and it is not widespread enough in spoken language for this to be the case. If tot is seen as merely a short form of total, it will be pronounced with a long o in American English. Unfortunately, this falls under original research and I cannot find any proof, since if I here someone use a long o, there is no way to tell that they would spell it tot rather than tote. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 14:27, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
There is no NOR here.
Both forms clearly exist. The relative frequencies of single-t and double-t spelling of the ing and ed forms might have given some indication of the pronunciation of tot, but don't. At Google Books (One must discount Google's estimated totals on the first page of results.):
tot/tote up the bill: 1.41; tots/totes...: 1.58; totted/toted...: 2.15; totting/toting...: 1.06.
If long-o spellings had been more relatively more frequent in forms other than the base form than in the base form, that would have suggested that writers thought it was pronounced with a long o. I haven't looked at other corpora, but expect similar results. I also expect US speakers, at least, to agree that tot has a long o in the sense in question.
In any event, I think these facts suggest that tote and tote up could be considered alternative forms of tot and tot up. DCDuring TALK 15:01, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I checked. To my surprise, WNW and AHD showed the same pronunciation for tot (young child) and tot (total). I don't think we can call one an alternate form of the other. DCDuring TALK 15:15, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Doing better than Wikipedia from a standing start


I said that we could. Do you feel like proving me right? Uncle G (talk) 16:45, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

  • It still needs a good inflection line and a declension table, and the reference templates seem to need work. DCDuring TALK 18:40, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Not a very difficult challenge to be honest. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:02, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
      • True. But it visibly makes a point that I've been making for some time, now. We really can do lexicography better from a standing start, this being the lexicography project and all. ☺ Uncle G (talk) 22:04, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I've started adding quotations to the senses. :) - -sche (discuss) 19:18, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I've added a pronunciation, an inflection line, and a declension table. And !voted to delete the Wikipedia article without transwikiing it here. —Angr 21:22, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Thank you. Keep up the good work. Uncle G (talk) 22:04, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Splints (horse - bone swellings)

See w:Splints - usually mentioned in plural, as far as I've understood; should this meaning be added into splint or into splints? (Was watching w:War Horse (film) and saw a mention at an episode where a horse undergoes a vet exam before being requisitioned into Army: "No curbs, no splints. Good feet and teeth.") Cheers, --CopperKettle (talk) 07:28, 21 August 2012 (UTC)


I've heard and seen this term used quite a lot in online gaming to refer to a match between players playing the same ingame "faction" against each other (rather than two different factions). Such a match is called a mirror match, often shortened to just mirror. I wonder if mirror by itself would be a noun in this sense, or an adjective synonymous with mirrored? —CodeCat 20:41, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

If it walks like a noun, and quacks like a noun, then it's a noun to me! I mean, it's taken from an adjectival past participle, but it's used as a noun (mirror's / mirrors / mirrors' ) Leasnam (talk) 20:45, 21 August 2012 (UTC)


I don't get what the contributor was getting at with this sense:

4. (slang, with falling pitch) Used either to belittle the issuer of a statement/question, or sarcastically to indicate utter agreement, and that the statement being responded to is an extreme understatement. The intonation is changed to distinguish between the two meanings - implied dullness for belittlement, and feigned surprise for utter agreement.

(belittlement) A:"We should go to an amusement park, it would be fun." B:"Huh."
(agreement) A""Murder is bad." B:"Huh!"

I have made some changes, but my changes may not have been good ones for this sense. See this earlier version, which reflected User:SCOTIMUS's original 2005 conception. DCDuring TALK 20:55, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Seems to me it's just sarcasm and should be removed or moved to a usage note. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 21:44, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


Metaknowledge's edit to Southern belle (which I agree with; even a Google image search for "black Southern belle" turns up almost entirely white women) has me wondering how many other terms imply race. Is "Bubba" used of African Americans, or should "white" or "(usually white)" be added to some or all of its definitions? Also: I suspect "memaw", "papaw" and similar terms may be restricted to white usage, with AAVE using different words. If that is the case, is there a context tag for this like {{AAVE}}, or is it something to put in a usage note? - -sche (discuss) 06:30, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

A Bubba is definitely white, as is a Southern belle, though it is not limited to the antebellum South, carrying over to recent times and possibly the present. We have {{Appalachian}} and {{Southern US}} as tags, but they don't apply to Bubba and Southern belle, which are merely about the South. Appalachian might fit some small number of terms like memaw and papaw. The definitive source for this kind of thing is DARE, which has recently completed its first run through the alphabet. DCDuring TALK 08:38, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I have always assumed that "Southern US" was not limited to white speech. Appalachian is, being from the hilly and mountainous parts of the South, but extending into West Virginia and possibly Pennsylvania, in which few blacks lived. DCDuring TALK 08:44, 23 August 2012 (UTC)


Two separate definitions, to place in a physical place, and to place metaphorical, non-physical place. Do we normal, or indeed ever outside this entry, make this distinction? I don't think so. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:24, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

And the example sentences actually seem to be for a participial adjective situated, rather than for the verb itself. —RuakhTALK 15:55, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

closet (verb)

We currently define the verb "closet" as "to have a private meeting", but the usage example is "the ambassador has been closeted with the prime minister all afternoon", which seems to be slightly different grammar. Should the usex be changed, or the definition?

The usex sounds OK to me; I'd change the definition to something like "to be in a private meeting (with)". —Angr 18:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
But that sounds like a definition for "be closeted", rather than for "closet". —RuakhTALK 19:02, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Oxforddictionaries.com defines "closet" as "shut (someone) away, especially in private conference or study". How about "shut (someone) away in a private meeting"? - -sche (discuss) 20:21, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I have added two senses and the somewhat fusty quotations from Websters 1913. Some of their wording seemed wrong, even for their examples. I also stretched the wording of the second to encompass the most common current sense. We could use some contemporary examples. The first added sense seems to correspond to the LGBT sense, which might warrant an 'especially', if not a separate sense. The "closet" metaphor in that sense was used to include situations of both concealment and confinement. DCDuring TALK 22:09, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I have combined the second of the senses you added with the sense which was already in our entry. I think the entry looks good now, although I wonder whether "interrogation" should be split off from or taken out of the current first sense. - -sche (discuss) 02:14, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd have to look at et some of the older citations again, but there were definitely uses that involved confinement and close (!) questioning or lecture and threat. Maybe it was all metaphorical then, as in the cite in which an entire Legislature was closeted. DCDuring TALK 04:17, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Alright, I've undid the merge, but I have changed the wording of the original sense (that is, the one which was first in the entry) from "to have a private meeting" to "to shut away for private discussion". Do you think the interrogation sense should have a {{dated}} tag, or is it still used? - -sche (discuss) 04:27, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll look at this again on Sunday. It needs some cites for the older senses. I see good continuity with the contemporary senses, but lots of change. DCDuring TALK 04:46, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

virtual machine

We have two senses that I think refer to the same kind of thing and should be merged. Note that they do not appear to correspond to Wikipedia's distinction (which seems to refer to platform-independent machines, such as the Java VM, versus OS-hosted environments for running software from other platforms); even so, both are the same thing basically. Equinox 18:44, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Both definitions seem like encyclopedic detail to me. Isn't the essence of the matter that the virtual machine 'behaves' like a real machine from the point of view of an OS programmer? DCDuring TALK 19:27, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's my point. What you use a virtual machine for (which might be running Microsoft Office on a Linux system, or simply running a Java applet in your browser) doesn't change the fact that any software emulation of a (real or theoretical) processor and environment is a "virtual machine". Equinox 19:31, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
First, it is a just question of how the words are used, not what is actually true. Aren't the people who use the term virtual machine OS programmers or similar, who are interacting with the machine at the relevant virtual-machine-specific level? If I have a Mac and run a Windows emulator, would I call that a virtual machine or virtual Windows or what? DCDuring TALK 20:57, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't see them as the same thing; a program running on a JVM can still be entangled with the details of the operating system its running on, like where the files are stored, whereas an OS hosted environment is more of a virtual computer, in that programs running on it can't (in theory) figure out what the underlying system is or necessarily that they're even running on a virtual computer. We're talking about two completely different styles of encapsulation.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:00, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Those seem to be two distinct uses of virtual machines, rather than two distinct meanings of "virtual machine". To compare: the fact that some operating systems can reach outside their own remit and look at other OSes on the same disk doesn't really give us a separate sense of "operating system". Equinox 03:43, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't see that as parallel. A full operating system has control over the whole machine and can look at anything else on the machine. The virtual computer sense strikes me as almost SOP; it's a virtual machine that's running on. The JVM, OTOH, is not a machine that's been virtualized.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:46, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Prosfilaes; these are two different uses of the same word-sequence. If someone said "I ran the program on a virtual machine", and it turned out they just meant that it was a Java program that they ran using java.exe . . . well, I'd be completely confuzzled. —RuakhTALK 03:43, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't know about one or two definitions here, I only ever use this term in the second sense. I do think that the use of the word "partition" is dangerous, because it has a very specific meaning in computing and I don't think that is the meaning intended in the definition. - [The]DaveRoss 23:30, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Re: "[partition] has a very specific meaning in computing": I don't think that's true. You can 'partition' a hard drive (meaning that a single physical disk holds multiple separate filesystems); you can 'partition' a database table (meaning that a single logical table is comprised of multiple separate table structures); you can 'partition' a database (meaning that different parts of the database on located on separate servers); you can 'partition' a system's memory (meaning that each process is assigned a well-defined block of memory); and so on. The common factor is generally that entities at one level of abstraction are in a one-to-many or many-to-one relationship with entities at a lower level of abstraction. —RuakhTALK 18:12, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


Does "maegth" mean "a girl's name", or is it a girl's name? See Talk:maegth. - -sche (discuss) 23:40, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Is it any of those? — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:49, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Not hard to find. Look on one of the many sites for baby names: Maegth girl's name. I chang'd it to: a girl's name: Maegth ... If someone wants to split it off and make it another entry, be my guest. --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! (talk) 16:59, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
As such (a female given name), it should be spelt: Maegth, which it is at its proper entry. I can't think of any time one would spell their name with a lowercase letter...Leasnam (talk) 17:43, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Nowadays it’s trendy to spell proper nouns with lowercase. I see this all the time with company names and occasionally with given names. I don’t think we should have entries for that though. — Ungoliant (Falai) 17:48, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Is it attested, though? I see absolutely no relevant hits on Google Books for "dear Maegth", "named Maegth", "called Maegth", "her Maegth", "Ms/Mrs/Miss Maegth", etc. To RFV it goes... - -sche (discuss) 19:41, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

seeing is believing

Is this definition accurate? The second half ("visible facts cannot be denied") sounds right to me, but the first half ("You need to see something to believe it") seems backward. To me it the expression seeing is believing means only that seeing requires believing, not that believing requires seeing (which is what "You need to see something to believe it" implies). Is that just me? —RuakhTALK 03:32, 27 August 2012 (UTC) Edited 03:47, 27 August 2012 (UTC) in the hopes of de-confusing Equinox.

"You need to see something to believe it" = "seeing something is a prerequisite to believing that thing" = "believing requires seeing". What am I missing? Equinox 03:37, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Ruakh is saying he doesn't think it means "believing requires seeing"; he thinks it only means "seeing requires believing". (Consider the Mad Hatter's distinction between 'you see what you eat' and 'you eat what you see'.) But actually I think it may mean "you may not believe it until you see it, but once you've seen it you'll believe it", which seems to be close to the current def? - -sche (discuss) 03:45, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Seeing is surely a prerequisite for believing, but more surely more than that, as suggested by the images on the left. (RE: "What am I missing?") In the one, you see a gray bar of physically invariant shade that physiologically looks variant from context to context. In the other, you see black dots appear and disappear at random at the crosses. What's seen isn't fully truthful or trustworthy, but more or less like a mirage -- perhaps the gravest grave of empiricism and positivism. Therefore, you'd better see (than just hear) to believe, and best see what's unseen (yin) from what's seen (yang). I hope the definition could reflect this principle so as not to misguide the readers. Cheers.
--KYPark (talk) 05:13, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, we're just a dictionary; our goal is only to tell people what's meant by the saying "seeing is believing". We don't care whether the saying is accurate or not. (Note that we can include both absence makes the heart grow fonder and out of sight, out of mind, both sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me and the pen is mightier than the sword, both statutory rape and if there's grass on the field, play ball, and so on.) —RuakhTALK 05:23, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Simply, this is just a dictionary. More precisely, however, it is much more than that, say, perhaps the greatest global conglomerate unprecedented. Simply again, the dictionary is just a collection of some common uses or definitions, which nonetheless may have served for sophistry as well as telling the truth. More precisely again, therefore, it is much more than that, than usual; it would or should tacitly try to exclude bad, untrue and immoral uses, if any. Unlike the typical dictionary entries, the very proverbs come in pairs, as heavily but slipperily loaded by a sense of truth and morality perhaps too much for a mere dictionary, but anyway ...
A proverb ... is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth ....
I hope indeed this would, if not should, better remain a tool of truth than sophistry.
--KYPark (talk) 08:26, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
FWIW, The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy (third edition, page 56) defines "seeing is believing" as "I'll believe it when I see it with my own eyes."
The Free Dictionary defines it as:
  • "It is hard to believe something you have not seen. (Implies that you will not believe the thing under discussion until you have actually seen it.) Jill: They say Melissa has become a wonderful housekeeper now that she has her own apartment. Jane: Seeing is believing. I really didn't think that Jerry's girlfriend could be as pretty as he said she was, but seeing is believing."
  • "something that you say which means you can only believe that something surprising or strange is true if you see it yourself I'd never have imagined my parents could dance, but seeing is believing."
- -sche (discuss) 01:26, 28 August 2012 (UTC)


I've always pronounced this "es-CHEW", which matches the pronunciation we list, as well as the pronunciations listed by other dictionaries. However, I've twice recently heard it pronounced as "e-SHEW" (with the <sch> being /ʃ/, German-style): once on an episode of the TV show Bones, and once on today's edition of the Cleveland radio program "Around Noon". Is this just a mispronunciation, or has it become an accepted alternative pronunciation? Should we mention it? —RuakhTALK 16:55, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

I have heard the 'shew' pronunciation more than the 'chew' pronunciation, but the word is not one that I hear nearly as often as I read. I assume that experience is shared by those who have trouble with the pronunciation and continue to eschew this word in speech. Garner's (2009) has:
eschew, v.t.; eschewal, n., The second syllable of both words is pronounced just as the word chew is pronounced: /es-choo/. Many seem to think that the esch- sequence is pronounced /esh/. It is not. The /esh/ sound makes the word resemble a sneeze.
Of course, the 'choo' pronunciation corresponds to the conventional achoo/atchoo representation of a sneeze as well, so the rationale is merely a rationalization. That Garner's includes it suggests we should, too. DCDuring TALK 18:18, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
MWOnline has the 'shew' pronunciation first and also includes as 'skew' pronunciation. Some others have a 'tchew' pronunciation. Perhaps the 'shew' pronunciation is US? DCDuring TALK 18:23, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
(On the very rare occasions when I say the word,) I say /ɛ.ʃu/, but German is probably influencing me there. I happen to be video-chatting with a friend from Florida; I wrote "I eschew such formalities" on a piece of paper and asked her to pronounce it; she said /ɛ.tʃu/. The Germanic etymon would have had /sk/, whereas the modern German cognate has /ʃ/. - -sche (discuss) 20:45, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
/ɛ.tʃu/, not /ɛs.tʃu/? How strange! Should that be listed, too, then? —RuakhTALK 21:14, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
(And Garner thought /s.ʃ/ sounded like a sneeze!) I'm still impressed DCDuring found a dictionary with /sk/. /s.tʃ/, /s.ʃ/, /sk(j)/? or /s.sk(j)/?, /tʃ/ ... it's a free-for-all, apparently! Probably because no-one knows the word well. Ideally, we'll be able to find a Dialect-Survey-like overview of regional pronunciations...or we'll be able to cobble our own together from isolated references. - -sche (discuss) 22:44, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
There's a WordReference thread about this: [3]. MacMillan has /ɪsˈtʃuː/ (but the accuracy of MacMillan's pronunciations has been cast into doubt recently), and my print copy of Cassel's German & English dictionary has /isˈtʃuː/ (but I don't know how much weight I would attach to that). - -sche (discuss) 22:49, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Keynon and Knott's A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English gives us ɛs'tʃu, ɛs'tʃɪu.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:48, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Does /ɪu/ (or [ɪu]?) mean the sound of "you"? —RuakhTALK 23:56, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd seen the /ɪsˈtʃuː/ pronunciation only at Macmillan. I have heard the second syllable vowel as something like /ɪu/, I think, that is, like "you". DCDuring TALK 00:01, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't have /j/ in "chew" or "eschew"; for me /tʃj/ is an impossible onset, always reduced to /tʃ/ (yod-dropping, y'know). —RuakhTALK 00:05, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
My knowledge of pronunciation is such that I am not a reliable reporter on details of this kind of thing, but I think I have heard it. But it may have only been someone laboring over the pronunciation. DCDuring TALK 01:01, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
They list you as ju; there's a long section that starts with "In words containing 'long u' there is variation between the sounds ju, ɪu and u too complicated to be fully described here." and ending (after several paragraphs) "In the vocabulary, the symbol ɪu is always taken to mean ɨʉ." (except that it's small-cap I-bar, which I can't find.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:51, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
ᵻ? - -sche (discuss) 00:54, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Using all the references we've found, I've made a pronunciation section on Talk:eschew (under "To be moved to the entry when ready"). See what you think.
PS, A Dictionary of the Anglo-Saxon Language (1838), in its initial section on how pronunciations of modern English words do or don't match their roots, has perhaps the most impenetrable comment I've seen: "the English first pronounced [it] e-schew, and afterwards es-tshow (ou French)". - -sche (discuss) 00:46, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
No additional opinions beyond those already expressed, but I have copy edited the Talk page section, as there were some stress marks done with an apostrophe, and there were a lot of misplaced syllable markers. The "." is not normally used when a stress marker appears in the location of the syllable break, as the stress marker necessarily implies a syllable break. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:14, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity while we are talking about the ".", when is a dot necessary and when is it not necessary at a syllable break without a stress mark? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 06:35, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
In English, it's never necessary to explicitly note a syllable breaks, but a given entry should either consistently include them or consistently exclude them, lest readers read too much into the difference! —RuakhTALK 13:54, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
There are some editors who never include "." for syllable breaks, and others (like myself) who prefer to include them. We've never made an explicit decision on the matter that I know of. I prefer to include them, so that a reader can determine how many syllables a word has, and so English learners won't think words like paranoia end in a complex triphthong. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:41, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
And I prefer to omit them, because a large proportion of syllable breaks in English fall inside consonants rather than between segments. For example, happy is neither [ˈhæ.pi] nor [ˈhæp.i], but [ˈhæpi] with an ambisyllabic [p], which there's no convenient way of representing without drawing tree structure. [ɪs.ˈtʃuː] has a clear enough syllable break, but [ɪsˈtʃuː] is unambiguous without the dot, so why bother with it? —Angr 00:10, 30 August 2012 (UTC)


This is a legal arrangement known at least in Nordic countries and Germany. I wrote the Finnish definition as follows:

A pension-like arrangement in which a former owner of a property retains the right to dwell in some part of the property and often receive a regular payment or in-kind settlement for a fixed period of time or lifetime; this type of arrangements are typically agreed on in connection with selling a farm.

Is there an English word for this? There's no Wikipedia article in English on it, at least not one which would be linked to fi, sv, de etc. articles. It appears that it would fall within the concept life interest, but life estate it isn't. --Hekaheka (talk) 11:26, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Google Translate says Life annuity, though its somewhat statistically-generated translations are not always to be trusted. Equinox 18:04, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia "life annuity is a financial contract in the form of an insurance product". Syytinki is a private contract, often between relatives, e.g. when parents cede a farm to their siblings they may retain the right to live in a building on the farm and to receive a regular subsidy of some sort. --Hekaheka (talk) 07:47, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Syytinki seems to be, like Ausgedinge, a sort of partial w:life estate plus pension. I find exactly one usage of "retired farmer's life interest" on Google Books as a term for the Polish equivalent. in the end, I think the def you have, rather than any clumsy gloss like "retired farmer's life interest", is best... this is one of the rare cases in which I think Wiktionary should allow non-English entries to host translations, so we could link syytinki to Ausgedinge and other translations without just a lot of see-alsos. - -sche (discuss) 08:42, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
PS other glosses of the German equivalent (Altenteil/Ausgedinge) include "anticipated inheritance" (from the child's point of view) and "farmers' old age security". See also [4]. There is no good gloss, so a definition is best. - -sche (discuss) 09:02, 30 August 2012 (UTC)


Wow. Our definition for the main verb sucks here. "To connect". Gives no image of the action whatsoever. Can anyone help? ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:44, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Any better? I wonder if we need to distinguish between binding things together and binding something to something else. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:47, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Each sense could use transitive/intransitive tags. At least those in fairly frequent current use could use a usage example or two. Then it should be easier to tell what's missing. COCA and the other BYU corpora are very good, much better than anything google has to offer, at checking for the relative frequency of collocations, such as with to and together. DCDuring TALK 14:25, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I wonder if we should distinguish physical from nonphysical binding: binding someone by tying them to a chair seems likely to have a different set of translations than binding someone by (having them swear) an oath. - -sche (discuss) 20:25, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I have added everything that Webster 1913 had - which was a lot - and put it into our format. The wording is only lightly edited so far. The added material includes two legal senses and a general figurative sense. I really couldn't figure out what corresponded to "couple".
Lots of fun for translators. I assumed that all of the translations were for transitive senses.
I haven't matched the senses against COCA yet. DCDuring TALK 23:57, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

beat up enemy's quarters

  • beat up has a lot of quotations under "to attack suddenly, to alarm" and they all have as their object the enemy's quarters, the enemy's camp. Seems to be a stable, a bit antiquated, expression dating from (probably) 17th century, English Civil War era. Maybe this expression needs a separate article. --CopperKettle (talk) 08:36, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
    It might be worth splitting and citing the "alarm" part of that sense at [[beat up]]. The prevalence of quarters in the cites might be an artifact of the search process for attesting the term. From the variation of the object, even just between camp, quarters, and pronouns replacing them, I don't see why it should be a dictionary entry. I'd hardly be surprised if there weren't other terms, not to mention modifiers. DCDuring TALK 12:31, 29 August 2012 (UTC)


The pages for bizatch and biznatch describe those terms as eye dialect spellings for bitch. How exactly are they eye dialect? The pronunciation is clearly different. The point of eye dialect spellings is that the pronunciation does not really diverge. The Dictionary of American Slang given on biznatch describes it as an altered pronunciation. The actual origin seems to be the "hip hop infix" -iz(n)-. Compare shiznit. So the correct template to use would be something different, but I'm not sure which one would be the most appropriate here. Can somebody have a look at that? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 11:30, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Use {{context}} with what you think is appropriate. DCDuring TALK 12:34, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
It reminds me of Pig Latin, which we mostly omit. But see Category:Pig Latin. DCDuring TALK 12:36, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't really know anything about this, but I've found a discussion thread on the Straight Dope forums which suggests that a variant of Double Dutch is the origin of this slang phenomenon. (Any better sources? Language Log perhaps?) However, shiznit, biz(n)atch, hizouse and perhaps a few others seem to be lexicalised, and even I myself have encountered them "in the wild", i. e., not specifically among hip-hop enthusiasts – I do not frequent such circles, neither online nor off. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:36, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
See Ubbi dubbi, Double Dutch Bus and -izzle. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:43, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
As you said, they are not eye dialect, in any event. We do have a few non-pharmaceutical infixes as partial precedents and models: -fucking- and -bloody-. There probably is a WP article that cover this to some extent. DCDuring TALK 21:39, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Sociolinguistically, I think this is closer to rhyming slang than anything else- used to make it harder for outsiders to follow, and to skirt taboos. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:14, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, "Dizzouble Dizzutch", like "shizzolation", is a cant/cryptolect (or at least an in-group/subcultural lect), but language games like Pig Latin, gibberish and Double Dutch serve cryptolectal purposes, too. Verlan and Louchébem are cryptolects, but based on language games, just like "Dizzouble Dizzutch". Leet is similar in that it is based on regularly (but not bijectively) derived distortions of plain words, not primarily on special vocabulary, like rhyming slang. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 09:30, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
For our purposes, some examples have been lexicalized. I'm not sure that we have a "context"-type label that is both accurate and intelligible by ordinary dictionary users. "Cant" might be the best we can do, unless there has emerged some term to characterize this particular cant. DCDuring TALK 13:16, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Words like "bizatch" seem to have become more widespread than most -iz- terms. I think "cant" should be part of etymology, not a {{context}}. - -sche (discuss) 18:46, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
See also biatch and all the alternative forms, which had not included bizatch and biznatch. DCDuring TALK 20:44, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree, let's simply use "slang". (BTW, Leetspeak is not a good example, as the cryptolectical property is primarily in the written medium; LOLspeak may be a better one, but it's still too much writing-centred.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:51, 5 September 2012 (UTC)


I've received an email on the subject of User:Torvalu4 and his insistence on putting Albanian into Romanian etymologies, removing all other etymologies. The email was inappropriate as it addresses me personally and I have no knowledge on the subject so I have nothing useful to add. So am bringing it up here. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:54, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

I've asked our resident Romanian-speaker, Robbie SWE, for input. - -sche (discuss) 20:57, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
He was the one who emailed me. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:27, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I noticed yesterday that Torvalu4 edited the etymology of barză, ridding the article of the linguistic discussions surrounding the term and its history. Unfortunately, this is neither the first time nor the first term that Torvalu4 has stripped of ambiguity in favour of an Albanian etymology. Word dewd544 and I brought the matter to Torvalu4's attention in order to have a productive discussion and hopefully come to an agreement, but with no results. My main reasons for reverting his/her edits have been 1) using sources selectively to promote chosen theories (e.g. Torvalu4 criticised the use of DER 1958-1966 for being outdated and, I quote, "[...] a sign of incompetence" - then he/she uses bits and pieces of the same source to motivate a reedit), 2) trying to make Romanian terms appear as if they were borrowed from Albanian just because they coincide semantically - historians and linguists have a hard time making such strong affirmations taking into account that historical documentation is nonexistent, and 3) not taking into consideration that neither Word dewd544 nor I ever denied or expunged Albanian cognates where they have been evident – for concrete examples, just compare the history of articles such as barză, viezure and mal. For me personally, this situation is bizarre because it's quite evident that drawing straight lines from words in language A to language B just because they share certain similarities, isn't a mark of serious linguistics and has definitely no place in this project. How would I be confronted if I changed the etymologies of stâlp (obviously from Swedish stolpe; same meaning), târg (also from Swedish torg; similar meaning) and wasp (from Latin vespa), excluding linguistic discussions surrounding the terms? Naturally, these examples are preposterous. However this is basically what has happened to several Romanian terms. For more information about the discussions held with Torvalu4 see his/her talkpage (under "Romanian-Albanian cognates") and the discussion with Word dewd544 (under "Concerning Torvalu4"). PS: yes, I contacted Mglovesfun with this matter since I am not completely acquainted with the procedures governing issues like the one I'm addressing. I apologise for contacting you directly and assure you that I now know how to make issues known to the community. Regards, --Robbie SWE (talk) 10:37, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
This is clearly wrong. Firstly, deleting other etymologies as if the Albanian one was the only possible one. Both languages are only relatively recently attested, so there's no direct evidence of the history of either language to support Torvalu's assertions as provable facts. They may be right, they may be wrong, but they're not proven. Second, deriving them from modern Albanian (like deriving English castle from French chateau), rather than some earlier stage in the language. Were the two languages even in contact at that time? Chuck Entz (talk) 19:23, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
If Torvalu removes other valid/cited etymological information, that should be reverted. If Albanian etymons are added to entries which previous had no etymology section, we must decide whether having an etymology which is (given the discussions on Torvalu's talk page) likely POV is better or worse than providing (in those entries, until such time as other editors can look into their etymologies) no etymological information. Unfortunately, this case is in some ways similar to the cases of KYPark and Nemzag, whose copious edits to etymologies ultimately had to be reverted because they were so often POV and inaccurate. - -sche (discuss) 20:42, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, keep undoing any seemingly bad edits you find, let the admins deal with the rest in terms of warnings/blocks, especially since you've already tried. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:13, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Hi. I'm a little shocked that no one here seems to be talking about the actual word or its etymology. As best as I understand the policy here, anyone is allowed to challenge anyone else's work, and that's what I've done, even providing tagline comments with my edits. I've also provided rather extensive citations, although those seem to have been overlooked here, whereas I can't say the same for Robbie. If you read her etymology (and I don't understand why everyone seems to have sided with Robbie without any investigation), you'll find that it quotes (rather closely) an etymology given in a single dictionary (1959-1966) (here: [5]) (which is then contradicted by more recent dictionaries) and makes rather blatant errors (about Sp/Fr, Romanian b ~ g being interchangable, etc.). I addressed this very briefly in the comment taglines on the edits. If anyone would like, I can talk at some length about the word in question. Otherwise, I'll continue to undo Robbie's edits, all of which I might add, are taken directly from the same 50-yr old dict. Torvalu4 (talk) 20:04, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
This is not a question of who sided with whom – it's a question of whether or not your edits are admissible and there is reason to suspect that they aren't. If we return to the subject at hand, you seem to overlook that examples of the "g" to "b" confusion are given (for instance Latin rubus > Romanian rug; Latin lingua > Romanian limbă etc.). Where is the inaccuracy? Garza means "heron" in Spanish, as does garça in Portuguese. Again, where is the inaccuracy? Although you provided citations, these were taken from linguists you have criticised for being treated by DER which is according to you "[...] a sign of incompetence" (e.g. Hasdeu who died 1907). Why are you selectively using Romanian quotes to motivate edits? I'm not acquainted with your knowledge of the Romanian language - fact being that you have refused to create a user page letting us know which languages you master and to what degree you master them - the "cf." in DEX'98 does not mean "originates from"; it means "confer". I've tried telling you about the debates within the Romanian community concerning DEX'98 and its shortcomings (even DER's shortcomings), the most notable one being an oversimplified approach to etymologies which in some cases has proven to be wrong and in other cases oversimplifying the findings of renowned linguists. That's the reason why DER is referenced on dexonline.ro; that's the reason why Word dewd544 cites DER occasionally and that's the reason why I've tried talking to you about this. However, neither I nor anyone else seem to be getting through to you. It's a pity to have to keep an eye on this cluster of words in danger of being altered to the point of expressing speculative linguistics. Rest assured Torvalu4, every time you will undo Romanian etymologies, I'll be there to reedit them. --Robbie SWE (talk) 21:01, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Good, you're finally talking to me. Romanian g doesn't become b but instead [ʤ] (cf. generis > ginere, ligare > lega, frigus > frig, ingluttire > înghiti), whereas only -gu- [gw] becomes b (lingua > limbă (as you stated); but not always sanguem > sânge). As for rug, it must come from a variant *rugus (cf. Ital. rogo ~ rovo, Sard rúgu ~ rubu), plus it's a homophone of rug "pyre", which incidently comes naturally from L rogus. As for Sp/Pg, yes, they mean "heron", but they are (quite obviously) not from g + ardea (!); they're traced back to *kárkia; the z ~ ç can only come from -ki/e-. So, this bit is pure nonsense. Same thing for Fr barge, which is actually from < *bardica (attested form bardala). As for citing the DER, I lifted it's citation list to show EVEN the DER recognizes the long list of scholars who tend toward Alb. for this word. I haven't committed a taboo, and if you take offense, then it's probably because it's the only source you've ever cited. You can talk 'til you're blue in the face about DEX'98, but you've got too many other scholars to contend with, and if you're not happy with 1 dict., you don't fall back on another that's 50 yrs old without consulting other refs. Then there are the phonetics of the word itself (which you keep avoiding): barză, along with the dial. forms bardăș, bardoș 'heron' & Arom bardzu 'white' clearly show that barză < bardz-, and is in particular consistent with Rom outcomes of Alb -dh- (z < dz < dh; cf. viezure < vjedhull, mazăre < modhull ~ d < dh; cf. urdă < urdhë, Transyl. dandăr < dhendhër). In all other phonetic respects this word is identical to Albanian, which isn't possible if they've been separated for 1500 years and are part of different language families. Besides, IE *bʰerHǵos 'white' > Dac *berzas > Rom *bierz (not -dz- ~ -d-). The other options don't make any sense. Torvalu4 (talk) 23:34, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
“the z ~ ç can only come from -ki/e-”. This is outright wrong, the most common source of <ç> is Latin <ti> or <te>. It can also come from <di> (almoço, calabouço, caroço, impeça), although this is not particularly common. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:37, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Ti/e isn't relevant. But, yes, di/e does give ç/z in some cases, but usually doesn't (Sp día < diem, urdir < ordire, caer < cadere, poyo < podiu). calabouço/calabozo is disputed (not attested during MidAges; probably from Arab., compare Sard. kalavóyu, kolovóyu w/out -d/z/cc, etc.); impeça: while there's a ç in Pg, there's no corresponding -z- in Sp. (impida, impidió). almoço/almuerzo and caroço/carozo do come from -d-. Torvalu4 (talk) 04:18, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
@Torvalu: you're welcome to add information that certain reference works or linguists derive certain Romanian words from Albanian; the problematic thing is your insistence on removing other theories which also have references. You shouldn't do that. - -sche (discuss) 22:07, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
This isn't really a question of "certain... other"; it's the vast majority. And any theory will have a reference... if you can't remove material because of that then there are a lot of hairbrained notions that could potentially be added all over Wiktionary that would then be unremovable by your logic. At some point you have to discuss the actual material and get into the specifics, which I've tried to do, whereas Robbie hasn't. Above I've addressed how the other theories don't make any sense (the Sp/Pg/Fr ~ ardea fantasy, etc.), and I've talked about how Robbie's one source isn't trustworthy. What more can a person do? Also, you say "shouldn't", but nothing I've seen so far on this site indicates that users behave that way. Ultimately, whether something is sourced can't be the measure of its validity. Torvalu4 (talk) 00:16, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I've been talking to you all along Torvalu4, but your antagonistic inclination has prohibited you from taking notice of my tries to solve this conflict. Your attempt to dismiss the "g" vs. "b" example proves yet again to the entire community that you don't know Romanian at all. Are you saying that lega, frig and înghiți prove a [ʤ] development? Wow, this statement left me gobsmacked - have never seen such a blatant disregard for semantic and phonetic evolution. If only Latin <gu> became "b", how do you explain Latin interrogāre > Romanian întreba? Several ortographic phenomena exist in Romance languages: when Latin "b" became "g" (e.g. nebula > Romanian negură); when Latin "v" became "g" (e.g. naevus > Romanian neg); when initial "v" became "g" (vastāre > Italian guastare) and when "b/v" (habēre > Occitan aver) became "v/b" (vir(i)dia > Spanish berza, vĕtĕrānus > Romanian bătrân). These changes are attested and not at all unusual – do you deny their occurrence? You are mistaken when you discuss the Spanish and Portuguese words garza/garça, the latter remarked upon by Ungoliant. The French term barge is believed to have originated from the Vulgar Latin form bardea, a variant of Gaulish bardal(l)a. How many examples should I keep giving, because it's starting to get ridiculous? The linguists you mention express the theory that the Romanian and Albanian terms are related, that they have a common ancestor – not that one is derived from the other. My point is, I'm not advocating a Latin origin, a substratum origin or an Albanian origin of the term barză – I'm advocating (in accordance with Wiktionary's guidelines) the use of "an origin unknown" or an "origin disputable", with an account of the different theories attributed to the word, since historic documentation does not exist - unless relying on guesswork is the new fad. The article on Wiktionary is today presented with the linguistic discussion surrounding the term, unless you once more leave your mark upon it. I have more than one source Torvalu4 (which I don't use selectively like you do). However, I don't see how literary works in DER, which are evaluated by the Romanian Academy are poppycock especially when they present several different – and at times conflicting – theories. Do you look down upon Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, huitième édition (1932-1935) and Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) as well because of their age, despite them being considerable providers of material in several Wiktionary projects? What really bugs me is that you have a condescending and obnoxious tone towards other people and their work. "Hairbrained" (correct form is "harebrained", FYI), "'til you're blue in the face", "blatant errors" etc.; the list is long – degrades everyone even you. I'm at my wits' end with this matter and I regret apologising for my initial remark concerning your ability to take part in a rational discussion – it is evidently impossible. --Robbie SWE (talk) 13:09, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • First, even the DER explains that întreba < *interguare < interrogare; this is also shown in OFr enterver, where the -gu- was switched with -v- (which occasionally happened); the normal outcome for -g- in OFr would be total loss. I don't follow whatever point you're trying to make about v/b, which seems irrelevant. In the case of Ital guastare, the word is borrowed from OProvençal, where the -gu- comes from Gmc influence, and this is where a lot of -gu- sequences come from in western Romance. In the case of CLat naevus, it had already contracted to *neus (> mod.Ital neo), and a variant inserted a yod *neju (> OItalian niego, Rom neg). Negură < *negula, which also gave OFr nieule, Sicil negghia. Sp berza < OSp verça, along with a handful of words, shows a recent change internal to Sp (because v/b = [β]). Romanian bătrân is random; isolated or initial v doesn't regularly change to b.
  • Ultimately, however, you haven't explained the underlying problem of a meaningless g- being randomly prefixed to ardea. While Ungoliant is right, so would be ki/e-. garza/garça are nonetheless etymologized as from Celtic *kárkia (Corominas, 1996). About barge, this is a great example of where you keep making the same methodological mistake; if you look at a more recent edn. of the Académie's dict. (TILF), or any other, you'll find that (1) barge doesn't mean "heron", but "godwit", and coupled with Liguro berta "magpie", is semantically too distant; (2) it comes from *bardea (or potentially *bardica) (the root was *bard- in any case), and this is also attested as bardal(l)a (w/ diff. suffix) in Latin, and (3) this goes back to Gaulish.
  • As for the use of old dictionaries, it's a terrible idea to use them to supply a 21st cent. dict. w/ info., since language changes and etymologies are always being revised. They were imported initially as a quick, copyright-free way to build the Wiktionary backbone, but the entries have since been heavily revised with... more recent, accurate material. The idea that anyone would still be using Webster's Int'l from 1913 is ridiculous.
  • I haven't relied at all on guesswork. At every turn I've provided mainstream, up-to-date explanations for everything, and I'd consider that rational. You still haven't addressed a number of the issues I raised earlier, and continue to fumble around with this v/b/g non-issue. Torvalu4 (talk) 04:18, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
As I stated in my previous post Torvalu4, this discussion isn't going anywhere. I hope you realise that practically all your examples to contradict my examples are reconstructed hypothetical terms, not found in written documents of the time (e.g. *interguare, *neus, *neju, *negula, *kárkia). DER explained that Meyer-Lübke and Rosetti proposed *interguare (hypothetical form) as a possible source, but that this explanation wasn't necessary to explain the transition from interrogāre < întreba. Bătrân is not an isolated development; vetus < biet, *verrucata, verruca < beregată, vox < boace, vessica < bășică. Although the initial "g" in gardea might seem meaningless, it provides a theory as to the development of garza/garça and potentially even barză. I'm well aware that barge means "godwit" and not "heron". However, it is not uncommon that terms used for birds designate other species in modern use. Mainstream work is not always the most reliable Torvalu4, especially when it completely disregards previous findings - instead of discussing them rationally, providing facts (N.B. not guesses). I have tried to address every question you have raised Torvalu4, but you contradict everything I say so I'm not going to waste my time anymore especially when you condescendingly believe that I "fumble around" when I provide examples. My point with the consonant shifts in Romance languages was to make you see that these at times unexplained changes are frequent and present in all Romance languages. Languages are alive – they are not static – and regardless how much we would like to logically explain phenomena, we sometimes don't have answers. You base too many of your assumptions on "shoulda coulda woulda" and that just doesn't cut it, even though you provide references that do the same thing. You can't cut the puzzle piece to make it fit – sometimes you have to accept that a definite answer isn't there and move on. --Robbie SWE (talk) 10:55, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Sorry for the delay.
  • The reason this conversation is going nowhere is because you keep harping on the same non-issue and refuse to talk about any of the other points I've raised. If you don't, then you'll be forfeiting.
  • Here are some facts: you've so far shown that v > b in certain instances in Romanian, but this isn't the sound change involved here. You haven't shown conclusively that g > b because all of your examples are ambiguous; either a -u- is present or there's another explanation. You've also ignored the fact that neither garza nor barge are etymologized back to ardea in Sp or Fr literature, plus g > b is phonetically impossible in Fr, and you still haven't explained the random prefixation of a meaningless g-. And despite your appeals to the randomness of language, languages actually evolve for the most part in predictable ways - that is after all the basis of historical linguistics, including etymology.
  • It's hypocritical to exclude reconstructions when it suits you, while relying on a far-fetched reconstruction yourself for your argument.
  • A little bit more about neg: naevus > nevus > neus is precisely attested by It neo, Sard neu, and is the regular outcome, and this should have given *nău in Romanian (cf. reus > rău); compare rivus > It/Sp rio, Rum râu, vivus > Rom viu, novus > nou. A -g- in this word must come not from the -v- but from another sound that would not have been dropped, as attested by OIt niego. For negură, here again, the presence of a -g- is attested in Sicil negghia, OFr nieule. As for interguare it's necessary enough that the DEX'98 used it, and it's the only way to explain the Rom and OFr cognates.
  • Mainstream and recent; don't forget that. You can't disavow 3 mainstreams at once, and relying on grossly outdated material is a bias. It's the very definition of "backwards". Torvalu4 (talk) 18:44, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
This is not a question of winning and losing, even less forfeiting - it's about having a civilised discussion. This infantile approach to the matter is not worthy of this project. I've addressed all your issues and I feel content with the point I was making. This is the last time I'm going to comment your remarks, because my initial prediction that discussing this with you would be futile has been confirmed. And by the way, at least I didn't desperately try to make a point by using a source from 1891 (!) and bringing ethnogenesis to etymologies. --Robbie SWE (talk) 19:41, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, I engaged you on all the points you've raised, but you still haven't addressed mine and apparently never will. Nor have you dealt with the weaknesses of your own argument. Beyond the DER, you haven't quoted any sources that corroborate your theory. Sadly, no one else has really weighed in either. I never, at any point, brought "ethnogenesis" into this - where in the world did you get that from?! 1891 - what are you even talking about? Because it's certainly not the word barză or this discussion. Torvalu4 (talk) 01:56, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
You can pick apart competing etymologies all you want, but you haven't explained why yours should be stated as if they were fact, with no possible other explanation. Where are the attested precursor and intermediate forms? Where is the evidence that we know all the languages in the area that might have had contact with Romanian? It all no doubt seems quite straightforward to you, but etymological certainty in a language with no documented history beyond its modern form is extremely optimistic, at best- especially when the source of the alleged borrowings is equally undocumented. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:21, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
  • The possible explanations put forward by Robbie are not possible, thus they shouldn't be mentioned.
  • The explanation, in full. Romanian has dial. (Transylvanian) bardzu "white", also in Aromanian and Megleno-Romanian, and barză would be the expected feminine, with regular archaic dz > modern z. So, Alb bardhë 'white' > bardzu, -ă 'white' > barză 'stork' (nominalized adjective). Incidently, Aromanian is conservative enough that it can often stand in as an immediate precursor to the Romanian forms, at least in certain respects. In addition, the dial. (Oltenia) masc. forms bardăș, bardoș "stork", with middle -d-, strongly imply (1) common derivation from an adj. (diff. endings/diff. genders), and (2) that -z- in barză < -dz-; the split Alb -dh- > dz > Rom z vs. -dh- > Rom d is attested elsewhere. Anyway, the sense development "white" > "white bird" is pretty normal, at least in the area: Alb. dial. kan(j)ushë 'stork' < L canus 'white'; Gk pelargos 'stork' < pel- + argos 'white'; Serb-Croat labud, Bulg lébed 'swan' < *olbǫdǐ < IE *h₂elbʰ- 'white'. The other theory adduced, one connecting the word to L ardea "heron", by means of a random g- prefix is highly unlikely, esp. since ardea was nowhere else preserved in Romance and a g- prefix is otherwise unattested and unexplainable. Sp garza/Pg garça "heron" and Fr barge "godwit"/NItal berta "magpie" are unrelated phonetically & semantically, and are etymologized to completely different words.
  • As for Dacian (aka the substrate), even though it's rather theoretical, the sounds involved are some of the least theoretical, so IE *bʰerHǵos 'white' > Dac *berzas > Proto-Rom *bierzu (not -dz- ~ -d-; wrong vowel) > mod. Rom *bierz. Dac. was a satem lang., so ǵ > z, bʰ > b are expected; short e > e common (and attested), o > a attested and common regionally (Gmc, Balto-Slav, Alb); loss of -H- pretty much universal. In any case, taking the word back to Dacian when there's a good fit in Albanian seems totally unwarranted, esp. since it essentially replicates the Alb. etym. while roundaboutly avoiding Alb.
  • Reminder: most of the languages that did have contact with Romanian are actually well documented. First, Romanian is from Latin, which is well documented, and so are the Romance languages, which means the Latin element is far from theoretical. Greek & the Slavic langs are well-documented and thoroughly etymologized; Hungarian, though an isolated late-comer to the area, is also earlier documented than Romanian and part of a wider language family (Finno-Ugric). Albanian is poorly documented, but it's now rather well etymologized. Even Dacian, which is virtually unattested, is an IE lang., which means it too can be compared against what we know about IE. So, there are actually a lot of good bases for comparison, and things are nowhere near as up in the air as you claim.
  • In any event, the problem here doesn't have anything to do with documentation. No matter what language is involved, no matter how well attested, there are always certain lexical elements that simply aren't transparent etymologically, but that doesn't mean those etyms. are unrecoverable. Torvalu4 (talk) 01:56, 28 September 2012 (UTC)