Wiktionary:Tea room/2013/April

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
This is an archive page that has been kept for historical purposes. The conversations on this page are no longer live.
discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← March 2013 · April 2013 · May 2013 → · (current)

ringed, rang and rung

None of these make clear that they are only the past of "ring" for certain sentences, e.g., for a telephone, the past tense is "rang". 04:20, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

The lemma form ring makes it clear which meanings have the past tense ringed and which have the past tense rang; it doesn't seem to accept rung as a past tense for any meaning. —Angr 09:06, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, all senses of etymology 2 use rang and rung. The use of rung for the simple past is rare (according to the OED), but possibly retained in some dialects. It's difficult to distinguish between dialect and error in many examples. I've made a few adjustments to make misunderstanding less likely. Dbfirs 16:05, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
The telephone sense is certainly attestable with rung as simple past:
  • 1906, (Please provide the book title or journal name), page 229:
    Mr. Seibels, in his testimony, said I rung him up to see about labels. He is very much mistaken. I rung him up to see about bottles.
DCDuring TALK 16:42, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the cites. The OED says rare, but I thought after I'd added that tag that it's actually quite common (in both senses). Dbfirs 17:05, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
It can be fun citing things. I found a sense of ring up that I hadn't heard of and haven't found in any dictionary in the course of the effort. DCDuring TALK 17:26, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Interesting! I've never heard that sense. Is it just American? Dbfirs 21:10, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
I hadn't either. It might be US. Two of the four cites were baseball, one US basketball. The other was probably from a US author. DCDuring TALK 21:25, 1 April 2013 (UTC)


Tagged but not listed: (disputed) A difficult circumstance or problem. I can see what's going on here; while dilemmas are often difficult circumstances, not all difficult circumstances and problems are dilemmas. Thoughts? Mglovesfun (talk) 14:41, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Fastidious users would not use it in the "disputed" way. Garner's Modern American Usage puts it at Stage 4: "Ubiquitous, but [] ". Perhaps we should have a usage label {{loosely}} for definitions such as this. DCDuring TALK 15:32, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
We have about 30 terms that already link to that ought-to-exist template. Seven entries link to {{disputed}}. I am not sure whether that template should exist.
"Loosely" could be applied somewhat objectively to characterize senses that are non-metaphorical broadenings of more specific senses, but still applying to referents of the same general conceptual type and in the same register and usage context. "Disputed" begs for identification of the disputants, which we often don't provide. DCDuring TALK 15:44, 2 April 2013 (UTC)


This entry, meaning 2, is problematic. My original definition consisted of a list of terms that all begin "social" and end up abbreviated to "sosh", for example, "socialist", "social studies", "social security number", "social climber". (There's also "sociology", as in the college department.) There are others that I have been unable to find CFI attestation, like "social engineer" and the "sosh cut" hair style.

This definition was a mess, and it was changed recently to an "abbreviation of social", which was less messy, but not quite accurate—that's the etymology!—so I've changed it to an "abbreviation for various terms beginning 'social'". But ultimately, that's just a cop out on what was wrong with my original definition.

The different meanings are of course all different senses, yet "sosh" seems to have an innate productivity or flexibility that listing multiple senses doesn't convey. (Personally, I had come across the word a few times and instantly forgot it, then thought I had learned the word for life as an abbreviation for the verb "social engineer" in Michael Connelly Chasing the Dime, but that memory seems to be delusional, meanwhile, when I later heard a government bureaucrat on the phone ask me for my "sosh", I knew instantly what he was asking for.) In contrast, "chem", for example, abbreviates "chemistry", but not "chemical engineer" or "chemical reaction". Or simply contrast the first meaning of "sosh", an abbreviation for "association store". No related abbreviation seems to exist.

Presumably there's a linguistic or grammatical concept here, something backwards from the word-building capability of particles like "-gate", but I'm grasping at straws here.

By the way, is this sosh cut CFI usable? Choor monster (talk) 18:32, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Obviously, I prefer the brief "abbreviation of social" with some kind on {{non-gloss definition}} thereafter. But increasingly we have all kinds of usually unsupported research notes under "Usage notes", "Etymology", "Pronunciation notes" etc. DCDuring TALK 09:23, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Your approach was definitely superior—I only tweaked it. And I try to support my research: the "association store" etymology is taken from the References, and has been there from the creation of the article.
Meanwhile I'm sitting on more citations for some of the senses. I've posted here because I'm hesitant to go forward. This term seems to fall between some cracks. Sense 2 is really Etymology 2. But breaking up 2 into proper CFI senses is going to succeed with some while leave a remainder put in a "miscellaneous" bag, either explicitly like done now, or implicitly, see "Citations". That has to be wrong. But to not refer to the socialsosh productivity also seems wrong. That's what I'm stuck on.
To phrase it differently, Sense 1 (the Scottish co-op), based on Etymology 1, is from a dead, non-productive etymology. Sense 2 needs to be split up into senses, while its etymology should be indicated as still live. That's what I was getting at with the -gate indication above, which has one permanent usage and endless numbers of temporary usages. Choor monster (talk) 19:25, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Portuguese adjective template {{pt-adj/or}}

I think that the feminine plural should be -oras rather than -ores.

See, as an example, pt:contentor or pt:traidor. SemperBlotto (talk) 21:35, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Fixed. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:23, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

put in

  • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 5: "Mrs. Morel was full of information when she got home from Nottingham. The three sat round till bed-time, listening, putting in, arguing." -- does this mean "interrupting each over"? --CopperKettle (talk) 06:46, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
    Yes it does. It emphasizes the contribution rather than the object of the interruption however. It is not too unlike chime in, which is even more positive. Macmillan shows it as transitive with the nominal in their usage example being a quotation. It could also be a "that" clause or a noun phrase like an objection. Intransitive use is no surprise though. Collins has "to intervene with (a remark) during a conversation", both transitive and intransitive, presumably dropping the "with". Our entry for put in has only three senses, one SoP, somewhat short of the eight Macmillan has, the nine Collins has (splitting the 2 senses that are both transitive and intransitive), and the six that MWOnline has. DCDuring TALK 09:07, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

on the club

  • And another one: what does "on the club" mean here? " Then he crept up the stone stairs behind the drapery shop at the Co-op., and peeped in the reading-room. Usually one or two men were there, either old, useless fellows, or colliers "on the club"." (from the same chapter) --CopperKettle (talk) 06:55, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
    Collins has: "(British, slang) away from work due to sickness, esp when receiving sickness benefit". I'd never heard it in the US. DCDuring TALK 09:18, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Thank you, DCDuring! Will keep tabs on Collins now too. (0: --CopperKettle (talk) 09:48, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
      It seems to me that their coverage of UK expressions is probably the best supplement to ours. DCDuring TALK 10:23, 5 April 2013 (UTC)


Sense: "A deformity in humans caused by abnormal curvature of the upper spine."

  1. Why do we limit our definition to this cause? Why do we talk about cause at all?
  2. Is "deformity" essential to the definition?

Both questions have implications for other definitions of other nouns. Including cause can be essential to a definition, but often isn't. Inclusion is often symptomatic of a confusion of the purpose of a dictionary and with that of an encyclopedia. DCDuring TALK 10:13, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

I recommend something like "A protruding portion of a back" and merging it with the camel sense.​—msh210 (talk) 17:56, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

"I have a lot of things on my plate"

Do we cover this idiom anywhere in Wiktionary at present? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:37, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

As we lexicalize everything (for the benefit of machines incapable of analogy and metaphor), we should have something for this. I join Collins and vote for on one's plate. DCDuring TALK 11:41, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
But for most normal dictionary-using humans a line at plate such as this from MWOnline "a schedule of matters to deal with <have a lot on my plate now>" should support the major syntactic variations on the metaphor much better. The variations include "have/get a full plate", "plateful", "a lot on one's plate", and "one's plate [be] full". DCDuring TALK 11:53, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
We have this at [[plate]] already.​—msh210 (talk) 17:51, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Discount house

I looked up discount house in a British financial dictionary but I think I'm missing something in the definition. "Discount house: A city institution specializing in discounting bills of exchange." (p. 121, Oxford Dictionary of Economics, John Black, 2nd edition Oxford University Press, 2002.) What does it mean that it's a 'city institution'? RJFJR (talk) 19:45, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

The City is the London equivalent of Wall Street. DCDuring TALK 00:27, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. It's actually a sense at city. RJFJR (talk) 02:07, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

gone to a better place

When I saw the new entry for ir dessa para uma melhor, I thought I would add a link to the equivalent term in English- but we don't seem to have it.

I've seen both "They've gone to a better place" and "They're in a better place, now" in discussing someone's death. Both could be interpreted as euphemisms for death, or "a better place" could be interpreted a an indirect way of saying "heaven".

It's not completely equivalent to heaven, since it's generally used when discussing how bad it was for the deceased before they died, so there's a literal element to the phrase- but it's understood that the "better place" isn't a physical one in the present world, such as Hawaii.

My question: which is best for the lemma: "gone to a better place" / "in a better place", "a better place", or some option I've overlooked? Chuck Entz (talk) 22:15, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

better place accommodates all the varied forms and would be my preferred choice. DCDuring TALK 00:30, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
There's even "left us for a better place". DCDuring TALK 00:34, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Created; please tweak as needed.​—msh210 (talk) 17:46, 19 April 2013 (UTC)


This has the two definitions "clothes worn next to the skin, underneath outer clothing" and "(euphemistic) men's underpants". It's trivial to find references to women's underpants / panties and bras as "underwear". Should the second sense be changed to simply "underpants", or should it be removed entirely? - -sche (discuss) 08:58, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps change to 'underpants'? The first definition includes the undergarments of other cultures (e.g. loincloths); but this is not the sense in which 'underwear' is commonly used, hence the second definition. --Hyarmendacil (talk) 09:26, 7 April 2013 (UTC)


This category seems to contain almost any gender-neutral occupation name, e.g. firefighter, fresher, reporter, receptionist, assistant, diplomat. Surely these are not PC words! The only ones that strike me as PC are where a traditional -man ending has been self-consciously replaced with -person, as in craftsperson, anchorperson. Equinox 17:56, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

The name of the category strikes me as much more of a problem than the content, but I'm not sure that I could come up with a better-worded substitute. The gender-neutral terms seem fairly homogeneous and also a relatively stable group. Perhaps they should be in distinct category. The ethnic- and disability-group terms seem less stable in that what seems neutral in one period becomes pejorative in another or even a badge of pride. It seems to me that the ethnic and disability terms belong in an Appendix so that there could be some sufficient descriptive verbiage. DCDuring TALK 19:22, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Yeah loads of this just looks like baloney to me. I think I noticed this at the time in the recent changes but considered it too minor to get involved, with respect to the amount of other things that need doing round here. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:34, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
"Expert"? "Grandparent"? Yeah, this needs lots of trimming, if it is to be kept. - -sche (discuss) 20:05, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done I have removed all of the terms that were generic gender-neutrals (sibling, soldier, tailor, etc.), as well as polite (probably added mistakenly for police) and synthetic (didn't make sense to me here). I have left the self-conscious -persons (e.g. anchorperson), the X-challenged and X-impaired, underresourced (poor), differently able, etc. Equinox 18:55, 19 April 2013 (UTC)


Are the words "right wing" and "conservative" interchangeable? Pass a Method (talk) 20:50, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Not always. See sense 1 at conservative: the existing status quo (in some regions) might be liberal/left. Equinox 20:54, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
And right-wing could be non-incumbent fascists. DCDuring TALK 21:15, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

stop away

Does stop away merit an inclusion? Macmillan has it. The meaning is "to stay\keep away from a place". Or would the quotes fit nicely under the "stay" meaning of the "stop" article?

--CopperKettle (talk) 11:19, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

It is a curious juxtaposition to my ear. If it is regional we might want it. DCDuring TALK 11:29, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Supposed to be British vernacular usage. Dickens has it, and E.M.Forster too. --CopperKettle (talk) 08:22, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't know how others feel about it, but it might be just idiomatic enough to merit inclusion. DCDuring TALK 15:00, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Portuguese -ter verbs

In Portuguese verbs such as conter the third-person-singular present tense is given as -ten in our templates, but as -tém in the Portuguese Wiktionary. Which is correct? SemperBlotto (talk) 11:21, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Fixed them. Template:pt-verb/ter is only for the verb ter;for verbs derived from it, the conjugation should use Template:pt-verb/ter2. — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:23, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Cure rhymes with cur; pure rhymes with purr?

In our pronunciations, under RP, we have cure rhyming with cur and pure rhyming with purr as an option. Are there many dialects in which this is true? (possibly some Irish?) Should we mark this as rare? Dbfirs 11:54, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

It's very common in North American English, and at both cure and pure it's marked (US). —Angr 20:44, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I wondered if that was so. It's also so marked under RP, which I doubt, (sorry, see Angr's reply below, I must not have been seeing straight!) but perhaps I just haven't heard it. Dbfirs 08:48, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I find both pronunciations odd. I think there is a regional US distribution, but it would be nice to be able to specify it more narrowly. It might, for example, be "Appalachian", which is quite restricted. DCDuring TALK 12:28, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Dbfirs, I'm sorry, I'm just not seeing that. The RP line at cure says "/kjʊə(ɹ)/, /kjɔː(ɹ)/" and the RP line at pure says "/pjʊə(ɹ)/, /pjɔː(ɹ)/". No rhyme with cur/purr is indicated there; only in the lines labeled US. DCDuring, I don't think this pronunciation is regional. At least, it sounds fully natural to me and I'm not from Appalachia. For me, original /ʊəɹ/ can be replaced by /ɝ/ in almost any word where it's preceded by one of the palatal or palatoalveolar consonants /j, ʃ, tʃ, ʒ, dʒ/. I have free variation between /ʃʊɹ/ and /ʃɝ/ for sure, and /kjɝ/ and /pjɝ/ are also in free variation with /kjʊɹ/ and /pjʊɹ/, though the latter are probably more common in my speech. In multisyllabic words, however, /ɝ/ is even more common; I'm more likely to use it in curious and purity than I am in cure and pure, and I'm quite likely to rhyme fury and jury with furry and hurry. Insurance and Europe are also at least as likely, if not more likely, to have /ɝ/ in my speech as /ʊɹ/, though both sounds are possible in all the words I've mentioned. —Angr 18:40, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
What does one use for facts in this realm of discourse? Where are the oral corpora? None of the OneLook references have pronunciations shown as "pyoor" or similar, with no differentiation. We sure could use an RfVP process. DCDuring TALK 19:43, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
When I'm unsure of a pronunciation I search for that word at YouTube. Often I find several videos in which someone pronounces that word. Of course it's much harder if you're looking for a pronunciation specific to one dialect (group) and it doesn't really give you an idea as to how common one pronunciation is as opposed to another, but at least it helps you confirm that a certain pronunciation exists. —Angr 20:06, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
When is Google going to transcribe and index YouTube for us? DCDuring TALK 20:34, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
That would be cool! In the meantime, though, the recorded speaker at Wordsmyth.net has [ɝ] in pure, as well as in cure, fury, curious, and furious but [ʊɹ] in jury. —Angr 21:06, 14 April 2013 (UTC)


The current definition of this isn't exactly helpful. What does "have in" mean? —CodeCat 15:38, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

According to [1], this verb has two meanings: "to have on hand, to have available" and "to have visiting". I don't know which of those meanings "have in" is supposed to be, though the second seems more likely. Are there dialects of English where it's possible to say, "We've had my mother in for two weeks"? —Angr 20:53, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I'd say it was more like the first of those: you could say "I'm going to the shop because we don't have any food in" or something like that. BigDom (tc) 22:03, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
You could? In what dialect? Certainly if I were editing a text, I'd change that to "I'm going to the shop because we don't have any food" without thinking about it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:24, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Use of "have in" as a gloss is an example of a not uncommon problem. Verb + particle constructions, whether or not one considers them SoP or entryworthy, are highly ambiguous out of context. Rarely should they be the sole definiens. DCDuring TALK 19:48, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I tried to clarify the definition, hope it's fine now. BTW, "have in" seems to have been taken from an online dictionary. Longtrend (talk) 10:35, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
Looks much better now, thanks. —Angr 21:21, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Maybe have in should also be an entry? —CodeCat 21:25, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

rotary dial

An entry which doesn't know whether it's a noun or adjective. First definition is worded as an adjective, second definition is worded as a noun. -- Liliana 19:17, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Until the introduction to push-button controls, there was basically only SoP use of rotary + dial ("The [phone/radio set] was equipped with a rotary dial."). Rotary dial has been used to differentiate the older type in rotary dial phone/telephone. Rotary dial alone is not commonly used as a noun ("He still had on of those rotary dials."). Strictly speaking, I think all of the use as a nominal is a fused-head construction with the fused head being obvious from context. But contributors get so much fun from this kind of entry, why not have it anyway? It needs an {{rfi}}.
As to the PoS, I don't think its usage shows much adjectivity apart from attributive use. OTOH there is some predicative use, certainly more than three instances. DCDuring TALK 20:26, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
A rotary dial is the thing on the front of the phone that you turn when you dial. The fact that it turns, instead of being fixed like the dial on an analog wristwatch, is what makes it rotary. A rotary-dial phone is one that has a rotary dial instead of push-buttons, and is thus attributive use of the noun, "rotary dial" being a variant stemming from failure to hyphenate. Of course, etymology doesn't dictate usage, so it may have been reanalyzed as a compound adjective: one can speak of either a rotary phone or a dial phone (both with the same meaning as "rotary dial phone"), so it might be a pleonasm like hot water heater.
It looks to me like we need to add a noun sense to rotary dial to cover the dial itself- unless it's SOP. The entry at rotary phone assumes that we already have one. If there really is an adjective sense, then the second sense in the current entry could be either a nominalization of the first sense, or a synechdoche based on the rotary dial phone's main feature. It also wouldn't surprise me if there were both adjective and attributive-noun variations in use- both hyphenated and non-hyphenated examples are fairly common. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:12, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

four foot

We have entries at four foot for a rail transport term and 4-foot for a curling term and four-foot as an alternative form of both. I've fairly crudely linked them as alternative forms of each other as a quick glance showed they're both used for both. It would be good though if someone could take a look at them, and maybe see whether the entries are actually at the most common form for each meaning or if it would be better to put both on the same page? Thryduulf (talk) 13:03, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Oh and there are the related terms six foot (rail transport), 12-foot (curling) and 8-foot (curling). I've not looked around all the other forms of these, but they should probably be handled similarly. Thryduulf (talk) 13:06, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
I've added the missing "=" in the header for 4-foot. I don't know which should be the main form. How many more are there of these? Dbfirs 07:26, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I only know the rail transport uses of four foot and six foot, I found the curling senses when adding the numerical form as an alternative version. I don't know of any others, other than occasional uses of things like n foot (with the meaning of the space between the rails) on railways of different gauges where the gauge is rounded down to the nearest who number of feet, although at least in Britain "four foot" is also when the gap is less than four feet. I don't have citations for any of that though. Thryduulf (talk) 15:54, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

well-known and little-known

We have an entry for well-known, but not little-known. Should these be considered words? WordNet includes both of them; Merriam Webster has 'well-known', but not 'little-known'; Same for Oxford English. Seems strange to me that we would only have one though. Kaldari (talk) 02:07, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

The OED includes little-known amongst its "little" compounds. Dbfirs 07:23, 18 April 2013 (UTC) Dbfirs 07:23, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
COCA has 26 hyphenated terms with at least three uses (ie, easily attestable) that are headed by known in which it is modified by an adverb. I think most of them are not entry-worthy because they represent only orthgraphic clarifications of what the adverb modifies. Little-known and well-known are apparently considered more entry-worthy by some lexicographers probably just because they are more common and the definitions of these adverbs as used in these terms "not much" and "fully") are not widely known in contemporary English apart from these and very similar terms. DCDuring TALK 13:59, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

set a fire

Is the sense of set used in she set several fires covered by our entry [[set]]? Am I correct in analysing set as suggesting more criminality than start? (Can one set a fire in a fire pit at a summer camp so that children can roast marshmallows over it, or can one only start such a fire? I know one can either start or set a fire in a house so as to burn it down.) - -sche (discuss) 23:18, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

I hardly speak English, but for me the "set" in "Mechanic: Somebody set up us the bomb. Engineer: Somebody has planted a bomb." didn't mean a criminal act, but an intentional act. I think that's because I would understand "she set fire" to mean "she intentionally lit a fire", not "she criminally lit a fire". -- 02:43, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's criminality so much as destructiveness: you set fire to something as an attempt to burn it up, not just to light it. Of course, there's considerable overlap between criminality and destructiveness- but they're not the same. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:29, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
"Somebody set us up the Internet" wouldn't be seen as a destructive act at first. -- 03:45, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
... and, in older UK usage, to "set a fire" is to arrange the combustible materials in a grate ready to be lit. Dbfirs 07:38, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

References to dictionaries

Should editors really provide references (not citations or user examples) to dictionaries for word definitions, e.g. see cartomancy or 左利き? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:59, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

I don’t see why not. — Ungoliant (Falai) 01:13, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
It's like admitting that the source is not the editors themselves but "stolen" from another dictionary. Firstly, it seems a bit unethical or there could be a copyright issue, secondly, entries may change significantly from the original version and not match what the dictionary says. We don't provide references to translations either. I just want to verify the exact policy on this, if it exists. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:36, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I am not a lawyer, but I don't see how citing one's sources can be a copyright problem. Try asking User:BD2412 for more about US copyright law. Adding dictionary references seems like a good thing to me, and can only help us keep reliability and accountability higher. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:03, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Can we then (if it's OK to use commercial dictionaries) import or digitise and enter here existing commercial dictionaries in bulk, including their definitions, usexes, etc.? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:46, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
No, because exact phrasing of a definition (unless it's just "Wörterbuch — dictionary" or something obvious like that) or a usex is intellectual copyright in US law. (Wiktionary's servers are in the US, so US law applies.) But again, ask BD2412 for more. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:13, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Not the same. It's one thing to paraphrase a definition and cite where you got the information from, it's another thing entirely taking definitions en masse. You can't really copyright any single piece of information, but the expression of that information or the collection of it as a whole can be copyrighted. In the case of definitions, it's arguably a gray area, because it's hard to show that one has added something new with a short and somewhat stylistically-constrained piece of text. At any rate, it's perfectly legitimate to use another dictionary as the source of the concept behind the definition, as long as we express that concept in our own words. If we do that, then there's nothing illegitimate about showing our sources. There are practical issues such as the ones you mentioned, but they're the same for any references on any wiki. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:22, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Plagiarism, while distasteful, is not illegal. So long as the amount copied is small enough to qualify for fair use, no citation to source is required by law. However, it should be required by our policies, unless the definition is so simple that there is really no more concise way to put it, and it would have ended up that way whether copied or not. Cheers! bd2412 T 04:39, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I think I have "immoral" and "illegal" slightly confused :) As long as our current methods are legally blameless, it all sounds good to me. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:35, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Anna Russell can help you there. In her analysis of Die Walküre she says that Siegmund "falls madly in love with Sieglinde, regardless of the fact that she's already married to Hunding, which is immoral, and she's his own sister, which is illegal." Anyway, I agree that while we shouldn't be copying other dictionaries' definitions word for word (even if they're out of copyright, which is legal), there's nothing wrong with providing links to other dictionaries so that users can verify our definitions and see what other dictionaries have had to say on the topic. —Angr 07:57, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for all the replies. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 11:03, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Coincidentally (or I think it is) I reviewed Wiktionary:References. I'd like some input on it, please. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:08, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I think we should most often use the heading "External links" rather than "References", unless the dictionaries were used to actually source something, such as etymology. This is already the practice in many entries. As regards Wiktionary:References, I think it should have remained a redirect to WT:ELE; what happened to the page is the characteristic policy or guideline creep that happens to Wiktionary namespace pages uncontrolled by WT:VOTE. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:11, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
By the way, this is a Beer parlour subject, as it does not pertain to a single word. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:12, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

to speak of

"He has no money to speak of." I'm surprised we don't have an entry for "to speak of", a very common idiom. I would put it in the requested entries page but I think this urgently needs to be created. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:11, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

I think it is a type of adjective, and means significant, of significance, worth mentioning. —Stephen (Talk) 20:05, 26 April 2013 (UTC)


Not sure how to categorise this. Is there a template for egyptian suffixes? Hyarmendacil (talk) 03:07, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

When there isn’t a specific template, you should use {{head}}. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:16, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Meanings for the English auxiliary verb can

The English auxiliary verb can currently has only two translation glosses but I know of at least 4 words in Finnish that can be glossed from can and they are mostly not interchangeable. I have therefore suggested (here) that the current two translation glosses be extended to four. Are there any polyglots out there who would like to comment on my suggestion as to how this word should be glossed for translation or check over some of the existing translations (at least one of which seems to be wrong). The other problem is that I don't think it should be split up only if this is only a problem for Finnish, so I am wondering if the same problem of translation exists in other languages. If it does, then maybe four translation are needed. 09:33, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

All languages have this problem with some words. If the split is simple and straightforward, you could list the two translations along with qualifying comments. I think some cases are too complex for this strategy, and it is better to just put one translation, and then on the page for the translation, the other cases could be clarified with usage examples and links to those other possibilities. —Stephen (Talk) 19:56, 26 April 2013 (UTC)


I see this example : "My computer goes idle after 30 minutes without use." What does this mean ?

It means that it goes to sleep. —Stephen (Talk) 19:47, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the technical term is hibernate. Strictly speaking, your computer is "idle" when you are not giving it anything to process, so it is technically idle for 30 minutes before it goes into hibernation mode (to save power). I've corrected the colloquialism that you saw in the idle entry. It was misleading. Dbfirs 20:16, 28 April 2013 (UTC)


Hi! Isn't this word from a 90's video game where you slap a duck and it would say "weeaboo"? Shikku27316 (talk) 02:54, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

No. weeaboo has the correct etymology.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:55, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm guessing you read this page [2] which appears to be made up. Equinox 10:55, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
So someone just randomly made up sounds and gave it that meaning? Or maybe it is linked to "Wapanese" somehow? Shikku27316 (talk) 05:23, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
See the etymology we already have on the word's page. Equinox 05:24, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
But it just says it was made up, it doesn't say it's made up sounds or anything. Shikku27316 (talk) 03:44, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
4chan randomly chose this word to replace "wapanese". The word itself is taken from the Perry Bible Fellowship comic, which was created by Nicholas Gurewitch; you would have to contact him to learn more about its origin (but know that he had no idea his word would become used for "wapanese" by others). Equinox 13:00, 26 May 2013 (UTC)


I don't see this use of cast in the noun section of cast. I'm not sure how to define this use, I think it may be more general than I'm thinking of it.

"This vanilla ice cream has a yellow cast from the egg yolks."

It seems to be sense 10 of the noun. —Angr 15:51, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

You'd complain if you were hung with a new rope

Indicating that somebody is never content. What's the correct lemma form for this? "You'd", "someone would"...? There are many different forms, too, e.g. "hung/hanged", "complain/bitch/gripe". Equinox 10:54, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Should really be hanged I suppose. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:48, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Created you'd complain if you were hung with a new rope, with usage notes. Equinox 13:31, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Simple and good, adjectives for people

Dear Sirs and Madams, I wish to ask you what is the adjective for a person to tell he/she is uncoplicated, because "simple person" in English means "stupid person". I also ask you if telling "good person" is the same as "nice person/good sort". Best regards

1. Not certain what you mean, but possibly straightforward or down to earth. 2. A nice person acts pleasantly and kindly. A good person does good deeds. Equinox 15:34, 28 April 2013 (UTC)


We are missing the common sense of "sunken eyes/cheeks". Anyone care to add it? ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:53, 29 April 2013 (UTC)


Why was direkto deleted? I've recreated it for Esperanto and found that all the conjugations existed. Looking at the log, it existed for 5 years before it was deleted, so I'd like to see what was there in case there was something that can be merged into the current bare bones entry.

I tried to restore it, but it looks like that just made things worse. Weird. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:32, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Never mind. It just took a minute to come back. At any rate, Neskaya (talkcontribs) was deleting (presumably bad) Hiligaynon entries, and there was some collateral damage. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:38, 30 April 2013 (UTC)