Wiktionary:Tea room/2013/August

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← July 2013 · August 2013 · September 2013 → · (current)


Addition to page needed for link to Wikipedia page [[1]]

I have no idea how to do this and don't have the patience to try to sort it out.

Victorsteelballs (talk) 02:42, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

WT:REE#K 2013. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:06, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you mean kapusta#Polish. -- 20:35, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Assessorial vs Accessorial?

Should I use Assessorial or Accessorial? Does anyone have an opinion as to which version the word which means logistics fees beyond basic transportation is preferred?

A British logistics company where I worked preferred "assessorial", but I have seen both. Equinox 11:59, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Category:Brazilian English

What is Brazilian English? Is this just the byproduct of thoughtless, unreviewed autocategorization? Misuse of {{context}}? Overcategorization by {{context}}? DCDuring TALK 17:19, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

The last two. - -sche (discuss) 17:49, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Category:American German

Same. There are more. DCDuring TALK 17:23, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

The entries currently in the category are the result of creative misuse of {{context}} to indicate that a term used in the definition is restricted to US or UK English (whereas, {{context}} is properly used to indicate that the German word or some sense of it is restricted). But it's plausible that there are terms which are or were in use only among German speakers in America (in Chicago, Texas, etc), so the category itself isn't a bad idea. - -sche (discuss) 17:41, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Is this really a misuse of {{context}}? What is the correct way to distinguish English words related to Germany from English as it is used in Germany? DTLHS (talk) 17:54, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
More: Category:European English, Category:Argentinian English, Category:Latin American English, Category:Swedish English, Category:Mexican English, Category:French English, Category:Central American English, Category:Indonesian English, Category:Chinese English DTLHS (talk) 17:57, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I remember that not too long ago, during the discussions on how to reform labels, that I pointed out the need to distinguish between labels indicating countries as a topic, and labels indicating regional usage. —CodeCat 18:01, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes. And MZajac has been crusading for years now on the more general point, arguing that register and topic are not the same thing and that we would inevitably achieve the confusion we are now confronting in a particularly obvious form. DCDuring TALK 18:20, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
@DTLHS: the entries in the category were all German words which used {{context|US}} to indicate that the glosses used in the definition—words like parka vs anorak, or even just spellings like colored vs coloured—were restricted to US vs UK English. The German words are obviously not restricted to US vs UK English. No English entries were in the category. So, yes, it was a misuse of context. I've been finding entries like that for some time. Often, they use the format (''US'') and thus don't categorise. - -sche (discuss) 18:50, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think there is even a need to tag the spellings in the definitions at all. It's not at all relevant to the German word and only distracts from the real point. When I see such entries I usually convert them to a simpler colour/color, or I just list both synonyms as truck, lorry. —CodeCat 19:03, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree; that's what I do, too. - -sche (discuss) 19:20, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I think this misses the larger point. Not only is {{context}} used improperly, but "proper" use also generates many "wanted categories", such as for "Translingual English", "Argentinian English" due to the confusion between topic and other uses of such labels. I've spent time trying to depopulate the ones with more than 3 members, but this will recur and undoubtedly will generate lots of 1-, 2-, and 3-member categories which will probably remain undetected. DCDuring TALK 17:23, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Script Error

In this page, something is causing a script error, but I am not sure what. Could someone repair it? Воображение (talk) 19:41, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Anyway, I made a null edit. Now it's gone. -- Liliana 21:41, 5 August 2013 (UTC)


In the phrases the second most responsible man and the second most wanted person, we can analyze second as an adjective modifying a following noun phrase. But in the following sentences, isn’t it better to analyze it as an adverb modifying a superlative?

  • Chirac was thus the man second most responsible, behind François Mitterrand, for electing the first left-wing president of the Fifth Republic. ([2])
  • The person second most wanted by the FBI for multiple murders was captured while living two doors down from us. (Orange Blossom Wishes)

In the example below, it is impossible to think second modifies the noun fish:

  • Fish was viewed as a relatively safe product, with only one percent ranking fish most likely to cause illness and ten percent ranked fish second most likely to cause illness. (Seafood Safety)

It seems any ordinal except for first can act as an adverb when placed before a superlative. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 10:29, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

In all of those examples, "second" modifies "most", which modifies the adjective. The difference in what the adjective phrase modifies doesn't change that. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:06, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
That’s what I wanted to hear from a native English speaker. We don’t have an adverb entry of second, but it surely modifies most, not a noun. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 15:05, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
It is best called adverb, I suppose, using traditional PoSes. I really wouldn't want to add that PoS section if we could avoid it, as it would be quite duplicative semantically. DCDuring TALK 18:25, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
We need an adverb entry anyway for baseball, up to ninth:
  • Derek Jeter of the Yankees, who is batting second for the American League, smiled when he was told that Barry Bonds was hitting second for the National League. (New York Times)
TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 00:14, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

While we're at it, I've never heard "[a]n additional helping of food" referred to as "a second"; only as "seconds". bd2412 T 18:45, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

I have checked Wikipedia articles of New Guinea for translations of second largest, and I find them interesting.

  • Esperanto: la due plej granda insulo de la mondo (adverb)
  • German: die zweitgrößte Insel der Erde (compound)
  • Korean: 세계에서 번째 큰 섬 (adverb)
  • Mandarin: 世界上第二大岛屿 (adverb)
  • Spanish: la segunda mayor isla del mundo (adjective)
  • Portuguese: a segunda maior ilha do mundo (adjective)

We don’t have an explation in the German entry yet.

And to my knowledge:

  • Japanese: 世界で番目大きい島 (adverb)
  • French: la deuxième plus grande île (adjective, but this is a syntactic Anglicism)

Because of my limited understanding of languages, I cannot retrieve information of other languages. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 12:32, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

funiculì funiculà

I have no idea how to translate these two words. They were used in the song Funiculì, Funiculà that was written to commemorate the opening of the first funicular cable car on Vesuvius. Are they just nonsense words - in which case, I shall ignore them. (But maybe they are Neapolitan) SemperBlotto (talk) 10:46, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

I think they're Neapolitan for "valderi, valdera". —Angr 22:53, 9 August 2013 (UTC)


On this page: χίλιοι#Ancient Greek "Lesbian" does not seem like a valid alternative form. I tried to go back in the page's history to see what it should really say, but it seems to have existed like that since that section was originally added. I have little knowledge of Greek, but I know Lesbos is an actual island in Greece, so I'm uncertain as to whether it actually is vandalism or not? 18:13, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

It isn’t vandalism, Atelaes wrote it. Lesbian is a subdialect of Aeolic. —Stephen (Talk) 18:57, 10 August 2013 (UTC)


Is this a spelling mistake? Wrong kind of phi? —CodeCat 14:57, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Moved. The Unicode character ϕ is for phi used as a mathematical symbol. For words in languages, φ should be used even when its written form looks more like ϕ. — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:50, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
There's also ɸ (U+0278) LATIN SMALL LETTER PHI, which should be used in IPA transcriptions and in Proto-Celtic reconstructions. —Angr 17:04, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Isn't that the character in the entry's original name? Or which one was that then? —CodeCat 17:11, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
The original is U+03D5 (GREEK PHI SYMBOL.) — Ungoliant (Falai) 17:25, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
How many phis are there?? —CodeCat 18:02, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Quite a few. WP has a list. — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:29, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

I just came across this after it was used as a precedent for Deseret being classed as English. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn has previously survived an RFV. The argument appears to be that as it is a made up language and appears in an English book it must therefore be classed as either the fictitious language or English and since the fictitious language is not approved for mainspace it is therefore English. In my opinion this is a murder of the English language and I find myself quite annoyed that editors could have allowed this.

Putting aside the fact that ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn is plainly not English, I would offer the following argument. If it were English it would be translatable into another language in a foreign language version of Lovecraft's book. So is it? In German it is rendered ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. In French the words Cthulhu, fhtagn and R'lyeh are rendered as Cthulhu, fhtagn and R'lyeh. In Polish Cthulhu fhtagn is rendered as Cthulhu fhtagn. In other words, none of these "English" phrases transpose to a phrase in another language. The English translation of the phrase offered by the character Legrasse is rendered in German in the German translation of Lovecraft's book but the original phrase is rendered just as Lovecraft wrote it. Things that are the same in all languages we would normally class as Translingual. So why not here? SpinningSpark 15:31, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Agree it's not English. Neither is the Klingon Qapla', despite what our entry claims. Equinox 15:41, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Does ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn pass the Fictional universes clause in languages other than English? — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:45, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Probably not (but fhtagn by itself probably does). Deseret is far more defensible as an "English" word because it is in a work that is asserted to be non-fictional. bd2412 T 16:28, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
A phrase that is given an English translation cannot possibly be English. Lovecraft gave such a translation, and all the cites in the entry (at least the viewable ones) do so also. They all treat it as a foreign language. At least Qapla' has some uses that don't give an explanation - ie it is actually being used in an English sentence. This entry just makes Wiktionary look incompetent. SpinningSpark 16:55, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
People also say things like “Motivation is a Latin word [] ,” “The term excruciating is a Latin word [] ” and “Christ is a Greek term [] .” People call amscray and uckfay Latin, and problemo Spanish. This is a phrase used in English literature. Calling it translingual is as problematic as calling it English: it is given as a translation from a fictional language, not as a phrase used across multiple languages. — Ungoliant (Falai) 17:21, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't really see your point, motivation can demonstrably be shown to be widely used in English sentences. The same cannot be said of ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. It is only ever used as a quote of a supposed spiritual language or else in a discussion of Lovecraft and his work. SpinningSpark 19:24, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
A great editor once said: "I doubt we should have this entry at all". That opinion remains valid. Cheers! bd2412 T 19:41, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
+1. Hyarmendacil (talk) 00:20, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Now at RFD. SpinningSpark 18:46, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Incorrect source in my opinion of "wash one's hands of"

Wiktionary gives etymology of the phrase "wash one's hands of" to Matthew 27:24 where Pilate washes his hands of the blood of Jesus. However, there is a far more ancient source for this phrase in Deuteronomy 21:6-7 where, regarding the elders of a city closest to a corpse found in the field it states: "All the elders of the city who are closest to the corpse shall wash their hands over the calf [offered as a penitential sacrifice] whose neck was broken in the valley. They shall speak up and say 'our hands have not spilled this blood...'"

Kenneth Prager <email redacted>

Yes, the tradition of washing hands over something has a much more ancient origin, in fact Aaron and his sons washed their hands thereat in Exodus 30:19, but the phrase "wash one's hand's of" in the English language has its most likely origin in an interpretation of Matthew 27:24 (the expression doesn't occur there either, only "innocent of"), but Pilate's intention in washing his hands is to indicate his innocence in the matter of the killing, so he "washed his hands of the matter". It would be interesting to know if similar expressions occur in other languages, and whether any of them pre-date bible translations. Dbfirs 12:06, 12 August 2013 (UTC)


Verb sense 4: "(intransitive) Figuratively, to be relaxed or calm." The given usage example does not match the sense. "...the wind breathes through the trees..." Equinox 13:58, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

I spent some time reworking the verb section. Let me know what you think. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:40, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I think the section looks OK, but I wouldn't be too quick to get rid of the sense Equinox singled out. Collins has an entry for breathe again "to feel relief" ⇒ I could breathe again after passing the exam. I don't agree with Collins that the again is essential, though it does commonly co-occur with breathe in this sense. I also don't think it is included in any of our senses or in any of MWOnline's senses, even as a "live" metaphor.
Also, there are still probably some senses that MWOnline has that are missing in the section. DCDuring TALK 22:54, 24 August 2013 (UTC)


In AAVE, there is a stressed form of the word been which has been traditionally classed by linguists as being a separate lexical item from been due to its differentiated pronunciation and different grammatical use. Speakers of AAVE write it identically to been (or sometimes as eye-dialect bin, but they do that for both been and BIN); linguists use BIN instead when transcribing AAVE speech. It's definitely citable, but would BIN be an acceptable entry? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:56, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

I wouldn't think so. Its distinct spelling is solely for the benefit of scholars reading articles about AAVE, right? It's never written all-caps in ordinary AAVE writing. I'd say even if it's found in example sentences in linguistics papers, it's still a mention rather than a use. —Angr 14:26, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
So the quotation "She BIN married." (which I found in a linguistics article) would be a mention? That's weird, but you would know better than me. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:07, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, in effect. The speaker merely pronounced the word out loud; (s)he didn't write it that way. The linguist wrote it that way, but artificially only in order to distinguish it from the "other" been/bin. Another linguist might have written it "bin₂" or "bin′" or something. Of course it's hard to decide how to spell a lect that's almost exclusively spoken, but when it is written "naturally", I strongly suspect this word is written "been" or possibly "bin" but almost certainly not "BIN". —Angr 16:15, 14 August 2013 (UTC)


Is soddenness also used in the sense "state of being completely drunk"? If it isn't, what's the correct term? --Hekaheka (talk) 05:44, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Yes. SpinningSpark 07:15, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Latin vapulo

I don't think the verb vapulo has passive forms, since it has already a passive meaning in the active voice. So there might be some deletions to do. (and I'm sure there are other similar verbs, but I can't think of anyone at the moment) --Fsojic (talk) 09:26, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Here they are (§77): veneo, exulo, vapulo, liceo, fio. By the way, it might be useful to check the conjugation tables of intransitive verbs in general, because there is no such thing as venior. --Fsojic (talk) 17:20, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

take a wife

Do you think this phrase is idiomatic? The structure at least is unusual. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:14, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

What do you see as unusual about it specifically? You can also "take" a husband, a spouse, a lover, or a mistress. Equinox 00:17, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
It's at least an interesting usage of the verb "to take" in a traditional men-dominated society. Usually it's a man who can "take a wife" ("take a husband" is much less common, even now). The Chinese character () means exactly that - "take (a wife)", only in the context of a man marrying a woman. In Russian we also use "брать/взять в жёны (bratʹ/vzjatʹ v žóny)", lit.: "take into wives". (This type of usage for the verb брать/взять + в + accusative of the noun in the plural form is sometimes used when hiring or marrying). When talking about women marrying men, there are quite different expressions in Chinese and Slavic languages. (Same sex couples haven't developed new vocabulary for situations when men marry men or women marry women AFAIK) --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:45, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
It is certainly not the same sense as take a woman, or take a child. Somewhere between sense#4 accept and sense#8 choose I think. None of the listed senses seem exactly right though some might consider sense#10 endure most appropriate. The real meaning is "to marry a woman" so it is either idiomatic or else we are missing a sense of take. SpinningSpark 11:51, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
I think it is possible that this is sense 8 "to choose", but it could be the "possession" sense. MWOnline has "to bring or receive into a relation or connection" <takes just four students a year> <it's time he took a wife>. That doesn't seem entirely satisfactory to me, not even an improvement. We have a sense "accept" which fits their first usex. DCDuring TALK 23:22, 24 August 2013 (UTC)


SALUTARY [format of this tea-room page clearly not understood - sorry]

CITATIONS Black Monday taught salutary lessons all round Source: Telegraph.co.uk Thursday 15 August 2013

This example reads to us the salutary lesson, that private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagances. And this is the tendency of all human governments. Source: Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816

HMV’s demise offers finance directors a salutary lesson Source: financialdirector.co.uk 23 Feb 2012 By Richard Crump

As the Conservatives resurrect the myth that "we're all in this together", today's figures are a salutary reminder that we're not. Source: By George Eaton Published 14 August 2013 10:35 newstatesman.com.

    I have been interested in the definitions of the word 'salutary'.

It is clear that in medical texts, the adjective is (still) used predominantly in the sense of 'health-promoting'. s. effect, s. actions etc. are the common phrases. But in non-medical usage the meaning has strayed, and in conjunction with lesson, reminder etc.,carries the sense of 'timely, necessary for our benefit'.

   I believe the citations above demonstrate this tendency.
   I would like to edit the entry to include this sense.
   But before I do, I would welcome, being a newcomer, the comments of more experienced editors about

a) the rightness of my observations

b) the way to proceed with an eventual edit.

Thank you in advance to whoever has the time to help me.

I think this might be covered by the non-medical sense 1: "Effecting or designed to effect an improvement". Equinox 17:51, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
The word carries that sort of connotation in my mind also, but it's very difficult to find any evidence that writers intend this extended meaning. The OED has "calculated to bring about a more satisfactory condition, or to remedy some evil; beneficial, ‘wholesome’. Often with [the] figurative notion of ... counteract[ing] a deleterious influence". Does this cover your citations? Dbfirs 17:09, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

"liaison sans lendemain"

I'm not sure liaison sans lendemain is really idiomatic (I'd rather say aventure sans lendemain or histoire sans lendemain anyway). But maybe sans lendemain is? What do you reckon? --Fsojic (talk) 21:13, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

liaison#French is a bit of a disaster, it just says liaison and liaison#English has six definitions. Needs overhaul. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:27, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

flame out

The current single definition doesn't match the translation and the meaning of the English-Russian dictionaries or the term seems to have opposite meanings: 1) fire up, ignite, explode, flare (also figurative), which is the opposite of stall, die (of an engine). The current Polish translation also matches this definition. Please check and add another definition, if it exists. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 05:28, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

It's not a common term in English. I wonder why it appears at all in English-Russian dictionaries. As two separate words, I suppose it can have the meanings you suggest, but I would not consider the term to be synonymous with fire up, ignite, explode or flare. I wonder if the Polish translation need changing? (The Finnish one is OK') Dbfirs 07:55, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I confirm that Finnish is OK; sammua is the Finnish equivalent for "flame out" in all the usexes given under sense #1. --Hekaheka (talk) 11:40, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm certain that the definition is correct. It's the translations that need checking. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:57, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I've never heard of the meaning that Atitarev refers to, which is more like the main meanings of flare up or fire up.
Also, I think this term is of relatively recent use, since the invention of modern rockets and turbine engines, though the definition would suggest that it could apply to a steam boiler or internal combustion engine. When does the OED have first use? MWOnline says 1951 for the term, for which they only give a figurative definition, which I have added. DCDuring TALK 11:39, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
The OED has its earliest cite from National Geographic Magazine in 1950 (Sept. 307/2) where the noun is spelt as a single unhyphenated word. Dbfirs 16:59, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Very sorry for not getting back earlier. I'm not questioning an existing sense but wondering if there is another, rare sense, which I was able to confirm from Google books. Stephen Brown also suggested "The fire flamed out when the wind blew again". I'm withdrawing on Polish translation for now, will double-check again. Russian dictionaries, actually do have other translations, I will add a new English sense and translations later. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:52, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Stephen's usex could easily mean that the fire was extinguished by the wind, as implausible as such a physical eventuality may be in the real world. But it would be a translating mistake to use this possible rare term when there are others that are vastly more common and preserve almost all aspects of the metaphor. If the meaning you suggest exists, then there should be unambiguous citations, probably from before the popularization of the modern sense of flame out. I would search only before 1950 for such citations. DCDuring TALK 14:29, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
In the mean while the eruption from Vesuvius flamed out in several places with much violence, which the darkness of the night contributed to render still more visible and dreadful.
Almost simultaneously there was a sharp metallic "snick," an electric bulb hanging from the ceiling flamed out luminously...
But only for a time, for suddenly it (his name) flamed out in a blaze of glory. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:47, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Are they pre-1950? Attested in durably archived media? Once they are in the entry, they entry is proof against RfV. DCDuring TALK 02:06, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
The examples are all from Google Books but I haven't checked the dates. I don't know why it has to be pre-1950. BTW, I've started this discussion to get some help on this term, not get involved in a fight. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:23, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I was suggesting that there would be fewer conflicts with the modern sense. If it isn't really an idiom, then the greatest help anyone could offer you would be to suggest that you to move on, which I probably should have suggested earlier, though, in the absence of citations it is hard to be sure what one is talking about. DCDuring TALK 03:21, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
There seems to be some confusion here between the term flame out (also flameout) and the two words flame out. They can be clearly distinguished in spoken English by the stress. Dbfirs 16:24, 24 August 2013 (UTC)


In American English, the word chicken is pronounced /ˈtʃɪkɪn/ or /ˈtʃɪkən/ ? 19:47, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

It almost certainly varies regionally. bd2412 T 20:05, 16 August 2013 (UTC)


I am not familiar with the verb 'milhar', though I'm not a native speaker. The other Wiktionaries don't have it, and I haven't found any evidence for its existence on the internet (except for some web dictionaries that didn't have the definition). Taliandr (talk) 21:49, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

It could be a simple error, but Ungoliant, who added it to the page, is a native speaker. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:52, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
It’s extremely rare. WT:RFV it if you think it’s fake. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:03, 16 August 2013 (UTC)


Is this a word? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:24, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

No. We have deleted behavio(u)r. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 02:00, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
That doesn't seem parallel, though. The word behavio(u)r marks a compromise in spelling. The word a(n) marks that the appropriate one of "a" and "an" should be chosen for the following list. You could search and replace behavio(u)r with behavior or behaviour and have a correct document. You'd have to rewrite the text for a(n).--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:48, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't know if it's a word, but it has plenty of usage in written English, so it's worthy of an entry. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:52, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
After looking at it for a bit, it's obvious what it is: it's an abbreviation, probably for the phrase "a or an". Chuck Entz (talk) 04:58, 27 August 2013 (UTC)


The conjugation table for this verb isn't correct. The active singular indicative aorist is ἔδωκα (édōka) (not *ἔδων), ἔδωκας (édōkas), ἔδωκε (édōke), but I don't know how to change it (same goes for τίθημι (títhēmi) and ἵημι (híēmi)) --Fsojic (talk) 12:40, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Judging from the LSJ entry at Perseus, both aorist forms are attested. I don't know Ancient Greek verbs or the templates well enough to figure out whether there's a better way to do this. Atelaes (talkcontribs) has been scarce lately, but maybe Angr (talkcontribs) can shed some light on this. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:05, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, both aorists are attested, but I'm too intimidated by the Ancient Greek conjugation templates to figure out how to get them to show that. If we have to pick one, though, I'd go with ἔδωκα (édōka) as I think it's the more common one. —Angr 16:47, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Done. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 18:49, 3 November 2013 (UTC)


The verb entry lists

1. (intransitive) To lessen in price or estimated value; to lower the worth of; to represent as of little value or claim to esteem; to undervalue.

but then gives transitive usage in the quotes

Cudworth: "[…] which […] some over-severe philosophers may look upon fastidiously, or undervalue and depreciate"
Burke: "To prove that the Americans ought not to be free, we are obliged to depreciate the value of freedom itself"

I believe it should say (transitive). Perhaps using lessen in the paraphrase, which (like reduce) can be used in either way, contributed to the confusion.

On a related note, why use lessen for the first (supposedly transitive) entry and reduce for the second?

2. (intransitive) To reduce in value over time.

This could be confusing in that it suggests the difference between the first two entries had to do with the differences between lessen and reduce. -- 15:29, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

The first sense clearly should be transitive, as you say. I substituted "decline" for "reduce" in the second definition. You seem to have the right instincts for improving entries. Give it a try. We have a lot of things like templates and formatting standards (See WT:ELE.), but much is forgiven if you actually detect some of the numerous poorly worded definitions and outright errors, especially if you are a registered user. DCDuring TALK 16:47, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your changes (I like your use of decline) and your encouragement. I am going to register. -- 16:17, 20 August 2013 (UTC)


Unlike other English dictionaries that I've checked, Wiktionary has an entry listing "handedly" as a single-word adverb. (I'm not arguing against "-handedly" in 'compound adverbs'. I'm only arguing against this single-word entry.)


The entry defines "handedly" to mean "easily; with ease." (If this usage were acceptable, then presumably a very similar meaning would be listed for the adjective "handed"; this is not the case.)

My (obvious) guess is that such usage of "handedly" must be a 'corrupt' substitution for "handily". (Note: Various American dictionaries explicitly list "easily" as one of the meanings of "handily", though Wiktionary currently does not.)

Of the three quotations provided with the entry for "handedly", two contain the phrase "won handedly". Granted, a simple web-search for such a quoted phrase as "won handedly" might produce many thousands of results to demonstrate active usage, though far fewer than the correct form: "won handily".

The same can be said for such common misuse of "handily" as, for example, "single-handily"! Again, a web-search for that quoted phrase produces many results to demonstrate usage, but of course the correct form, "single-handedly", is far more frequent.

Certainly, Wiktionary has an entry for "single-handedly". Clearly, from a 'conservative' standpoint, one would argue that the obviously incorrect form "single-handily" should not be listed in Wiktionary. Thankfully, it is not.

For the same reason, I would argue that "handedly" (as a single-word adverb) should not be listed, as I believe that it is an incorrect substitution found in minority usage. Alternatively, if "handedly" remains listed, then I'd suggest that its presumed likely etymology, as a 'corrupt' substitution for "handily", should be noted in the entry.

Perhaps some applicable policies may provide relevant guidance. (As a newcomer, I'm not very familiar with Wiktionary policy documentation, which I've only now begun to explore.) If I'm correct to assume a 'conservative' viewpoint, demonstrated minority usage would not in itself establish correctness or acceptability for inclusion. (I understand that some might disagree with this view.)

Lucus Anon (talk) 04:24, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

The current entry has enough cites to meet WT:CFI, so we can't just delete it. I tagged it as nonstandard and added a usage note recommending that handily be used instead. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:26, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

dimension stone


I don't find dimension stone in dimension or in stone. I don't know where to add it ? Would someone add it, please ? Thanks. Christian COGNEAUX (talk) 16:01, 20 August 2013 (UTC)


I put ''the same in the plural and feminine'' in the entry, which is obviously wrong. I forget, what's the word for an adjective that doesn't change. --ElisaVan (talk) 22:47, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

cynical v. cynical

If someone were to make reference to a certain group of people as being cynical, would that mean that those people believe that "human actions are motivated only or primarily by base desires or selfishness" (sense 1, and maybe 2 and 3 as well), or would it mean that those people themselves are "showing contempt for accepted moral standards by their actions?" (sense 4).

I would most gratefully and indebtedly appreciate a non-equivocating response. I do not find relying on context to be a compelling answer, particularly when the meanings are so closely related as they are.

I feel that the first senses are the widely-accepted meaning of "cynical" whereas sense 4 seems to come close to contradicting the intent of the word. I have been trying to get this issue sorted out with several language authorities, including the major dictionary publishers, and I have not gotten a satisfactory response yet.

I think what may have happened is that someone meaning to say "sinister" misapplied the word "cynical" instead, or perhaps a listener heard it that way and deduced a meaning from the context, and the rest became history -- this sort of thing happens frequently it seems, especially but not exclusively, among members of the less-educated set; "refutiation" is not really a word, for instance. But I also know of at least one well-known author who uses this latter sense in his many books; it creeps me out every time I read it in that context.

Again, I am seeking a non-equivocating response. Otherwise, don't bother; I've already enough of those in my collection.Subtlenuances (talk) 12:24, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

It really is about context, so you need to quote the sentence, I think. Equinox 12:09, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

How would quoting the sentence clarify which subtlety is intended? Subtlenuances (talk) 12:25, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Because it might give context. If it does not, then we cannot help you: it will be impossible to know which sense they meant. Equinox 12:52, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

I think I was clear that I am not seeking the hackneyed, cliche that word meaning must sometimes be deduced from context. If a word has many meanings, that can work. But here the meanings are so close that even context is not helpful; see my example at the beginning of this section.

What I would LIKE to see happen here is for the latter usage to be dropped; it is the more confusing, and I think based on usage, the less-used meaning. Again, I think it is the result of some casual misuse that was taken literally at some point. The meanings are simply too close to easily distinguish from context alone. The word is simply too important to our language -- especially in today's political climate -- for it to become prey by unethical media to confuse the public.

You can like for that to happen all you want, it's not going to. You don't get to decide what a word means, and you don't get to decide that a word has "too much nuance" or is "too context dependent", and other people aren't allowed to use it in whatever sense now. We record how a word is used, not how you think it should be used. If a word is polysemous, subtly dependent upon context for disambiguation (or even if disambiguation is not 100% possible), that's just how it is, and we can no more change that to suit you than the weather man can make it not rain for your picnic. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 23:47, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Help and follow-up requests from a chronically ill user: Is seter really an English word?

Hi! I'm disabled with the long-term, constant version Adult Onset Still's Disease (see stillsdisease.org if you're curious) but I still try to edit Wikipedia and on occasion Wiktionary when I can, just to keep my hand in. However, I can't do too much or my daily fever will spike higher than normal. I probably won't make it back to this comment, though I added it to my watchlist.

In the WP article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumance I found the word "seter." Part of the time it was italicized and part of the time not, and it was clear that the word was found in some Scandinavian languages.

Trying to find out if it was also an English word so I knew whether to italicize it or not, I found seter here at Wiktionary, with the same image as in the WP article. However, there was only a partial English entry that mentioned Scandinavian languages.

So, I searched the web. The URL http://www.thefreedictionary.com/seter simply redirects to transhumance. Nothing else relevant jumped out at me in the handful of links I skimmed.

So, I'm asking for someone to handle two situations here and one at WP:

  1. Seter needs entries for the Scandinavian languages. The wikipedia:transhumance article seemed to have data that would help.
  2. Determine if seter really is an English word or just a word that is mentioned in English words discussing transhumance.
  3. At WP, once #2 is determined, standardize the italicization of the word in the transhumance article. Note that if it is an English word that when discussing the equivalent Scandinavian word of the same spelling it might need to be italicized. I think. Maybe.

Sorry that this is all I can do on this topic! I've already fried myself too much today.

Thanks in advance,

--Geekdiva (talk) 05:49, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi. Yes, seter is also English. See seter. —Stephen (Talk) 08:03, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Irish confetti

Does this refer to the act of throwing, or to the bricks themselves? I would think the latter. —CodeCat 14:12, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

You're right, it's the bricks (or stones) themselves. M-W defines it as "a rock or brick used as a missile". —Angr 14:48, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Fixed, and marked as slang. Equinox 10:27, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Wikimedia jargon semi

This just popped up on my watchlist. What are the rules concerning our own jargon? I thought a term had to be used outsidde our own community before it got listed. SpinningSpark 15:05, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Since Wikimedia projects aren't considered durably archived, they don't count for WT:CFI#Attestation purposes. So in other words, yes they do need to be used 'outside our own community' as you put it. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:45, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

εἰμί conjugation

The Ancient Greek entry of εἰμί inflects only for the singular and plural of few aspects and moods. However, Ancient Greek had a second and third person dual too, and a much more elaborate conjugation, compare ἄγω that conjugates for many more aspects. Being the copular verb (to be) and hence one of the most important in the language, someone should add the other tenses, persons, moods and aspects for this, right? Vinay.iyer1 (talk) 17:00, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Yes. Have fun! —Angr 17:49, 23 August 2013 (UTC)


I've recently found myself using religious to mean something like 'holding beliefs/opinions that are not thought through; not defensible by argument'. Any thoughts on whether this is an acceptable use of the word? Tafkasean (discuss) 10:12 24 August 2013 UTC

The only question Wiktionary is interested in is whether this meaning is attestable in actual use, not whether such use is "acceptable". —Angr 16:50, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Good point - that's why I asked. I have used the word in this way with colleagues and it did not require explanation/clarification - it was evident from context what was meant. It could be that the folks I'm communicating with who are often non-native speakers are connecting the dots and are deferring to me (as a native English speaker) regarding whether or not such use is appropriate. Tafkasean (discuss) 08:22, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I think you will find many people share your attitudes about religion. They would probably have no trouble attributing such a meaning to the term especially if they believed that you shared their beliefs about religion. If, OTOH, you were communicating to a broader group of people, they might not ascribe that meaning to religious. There are other terms that convey your thought less ambiguously, less controversially, and less insultingly to those who are religious, such "on blind faith" etc. DCDuring TALK 18:05, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Sure - my views on religion are clear and I'm generally upfront on that point. Good point about using the word in a specific context and it being more problematic in more general context. Tafkasean (discuss) 08:22, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
As long as it's only you using it, not it's not acceptable for a Wiktionary entry. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:46, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Sure - I guess I was wondering if other people use this word in this way. Tafkasean (discuss) 08:22, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I suppose someone could define it as "having one shoe longer than the other", but no one would understand them, and it would be very bad to add such a definition to any dictionary. You have yet to present any evidence that your definition is any different from the "having one shoe longer than the other" definition in that respect. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:13, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Of course; I just used it in this way in a few conversations and other people knew exactly what I meant - at least they did not comment on it and reacted in a way that indicated we were communicating effectively. Thanks for feedback in any case. Tafkasean (discuss) 08:22, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
If you have used it that way in speaking, perhaps someone else has used it that way in writing, in a published work or even a durably archived forum discussion. See if you can find some examples of that. Cheers! bd2412 T 13:09, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I think I've seen this discussion previously: Alice speaking with Humpty Dumpty about his use of the word "glory".GaryD144 (talk)

Fugir cojnugation in Portuguese

I'm new here but it looks to me like overreliance on a template assuming a regular conjugation when it's not. See pt Wiktionary for correct conjugation. Anyone up for fixing this? I asked on WordReference to see if fuge/fugem is 'ever' correct in a Lusophone country. - 15:01, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Fixed it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. — Ungoliant (Falai) 20:05, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Apparently sumir doesn't even have an entry on here, and sumir on the pt version suffers from the same problem of using a regular template. I'll try to fix them as best I can. -- 19:26, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
following up (The above was me), I see that these cases have typically been treated as one offs, either in the template itself or (in the pt Wiktionary version) by making only limited use of the template and spelling out all the conjugation. Turns out there are more of these than I realized -- as a new user i cant add a link to an exhaustive list, about a dozen -- so it's probably worth just adjusting the template to handle the general case, no? - Reed9999 (talk) 19:52, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I am working on a new Portuguese conjugation template, which will have better support for metaphonic verbs. — Ungoliant (Falai) 20:50, 26 August 2013 (UTC)


Pinyin is given as kū but I am pretty sure that it is should be gū. Is there anything I need to consider before diving in and changing the entry? Perhallstroem (talk) 23:47, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

I suspect that both values exist, based on this, but I'm not sure enough to advise you- especially since I have basically no experience with Mandarin entries. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:33, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! Never seen that dictionary. The sources that I usually refer to (现代汉语规范词典 and also [3], [4], [5], [6]) does not list kū as an alternative. It is of course possible that the character is sometimes read "kū" but it does not seem to be the most common case... hmm. Perhallstroem (talk) 01:16, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Definitely "gū". Let me know if you need more confirmation but here's one. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:14, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I see it's already given, anyway MDBG and Nciku are well-known and reliable dictionaries. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:15, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I added gū, but left kū. I also made an entry on the talk pages. What would be the common practice in this case regarding kū? That I have never heard it read like that is probably not a good indication of anything, and the original information must have come from somewhere – or is it perhaps down to confusion with Cantonese/Hakka? Also, is there a more specific place than this to ask about things related to CJVK entries? Perhallstroem (talk) 06:19, 26 August 2013 (UTC)


Word: simular

I have never used this word in any of the contexts that are given as definitions. When I have attempted to use the word, I was incorrect and should have been using ‘similar’.

I am no expert, but it seems to me that the word ‘simular’ is or should be obsolete. I have looked up ‘simulate’ and ‘simulator’ and it seems to me that these words have the same meaning. Since there are other words that mean the same thing and since ‘simular’ is possible confused with ‘similar’ by other people, it should probably be noted as being depreciated in favor of ‘simulate’ and ‘simulator’.

Even spell checkers flag ‘simular’ as not a word.

Rod Lockwood (talk) 03:03, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

The adjective is marked as obsolete and rare. simular at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that several other online dictionaries have it. I have marked the noun as "archaic".
I make it a practice of not using rare, obsolete, nonstandard, or archaic terms in speech or writing, though I rarely find that I want or need to use such words. Sometimes I let spelling checkers influence my choice of words. They tend to include the words that are most likely to be understood by a general audience or readership. DCDuring TALK 03:20, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

on the nose

The currently given definition of the idiomatic phrase on the nose is something like the word accurate, which is the meaning of that phrase I've heard all my life as in "Great Job ! Your description of a summer in Cape Cod was right on the nose !"

More recently, like just in the last couple years, I've noticed this phrase being used more and more as a sort of complaint as in "Wearing that floral dress to a garden party was a little on the nose, wouldn't you say?"

I'm not sure this can be called a second definition since both usages are about accuracy, but the difference in tone is striking. This phrase was a solid, well-established, goto pat-on-the-back device. What does it say about us that this phrase is increasingly being used to construct snarky put-downs?

If it's going to be written as a second definition, I think it would be something like "unimaginatively over-literal."

Jgog2 (talk) 07:59, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Added Citations .
Jgog2 (talk) 20:34, 25 August 2013 (UTC)


I wonder how you call the booths on or near a beach which are intended for changing clothes before and after swimming. In Finnish they are uimakoppi (pictures here [7]) and our current English translation is "changing cubicle", which sounds curious to me. Is it correct? --Hekaheka (talk) 04:18, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I found a partial answer: it seems that bathing hut is one possible term, but the other part of the question remains, i.e. may it also be called "changing cubicle"? Are there synonyms? --Hekaheka (talk) 04:35, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Changing cubicle is okay. Changing booth also exists. I'm not sure what I would have called one without any prompting. Equinox 04:37, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
More existing terms: bathing box, beach hut. Funny how they start popping up, once you post a question! --Hekaheka (talk) 05:24, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Is there a distinction between a booth for changing clothes (a cubicle) and a larger house where one can spend a day on the beach hiding from the sun? E.g. a "beach hut" is more than just a place for changing clothes. See w:beach hut (beach cabin or bathing box). --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 05:50, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I think the larger establishment is called bathhouse. --Hekaheka (talk) 06:51, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think they have a bath, not even a shower. Another important difference: a "beach hut" (sense 2) is private, a booth, cubicle (sense 1) is public. Are changing cubicles in your link private or public? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:18, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I did not know the word "changing cubicle" - that's why I posted my question in the first place. I know uimakoppi and they may be private or public, it's the function that is important. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:03, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Beach Cabana-(not sure if i spelled that correctly-sounds like banana) —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:20, 11 October 2013‎ (UTC).

I agree: definitely a cabana. —RuakhTALK 03:58, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Certain words with double-l spellings are still in use in parts of New England.

I tried bringing this topic up before, but it got no responses. I ask you only to hear me out (don't worry, I believe I have a few sources):

When I first visited the page for "travel" and "cancel", I was astounded that "travelled", "travelling" and "cancelled", "cancelling" were listed as "UK" spelling. I'm not sure about other states, but when I was in school, we always learned to spell those words that way (I live in Warwick, Rhode Island, if you need context.)

If you spelt those words with only one "l" on a spelling test, it would be most certainly marked wrong.

I also checked Encarta English Dictionary: North America on Microsoft Word 2010, and it has for travelled: "Another spelling of traveled." It has for travelling: "Another spelling of traveling." For cancelled and cancelling, however, it has nothing, and just redirects to the word "cancel."

I only ask that the tag "New England" be added in addition to the "UK" tag already on the page for those words. If you can only do it for "cancelled" and "cancelling", fine, but I can tell you as a New Englander that those words are spelt the way that I described. Tharthan (talk) 02:25, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

It might be nice if you could find a published source for what you say. There are two approaches you could take:
  1. Find some respectable reference (the w:Dictionary of American Regional English, for example) or scholarly article in a peer-reviewed journal that supports your statement.
  2. Find citations of the use in New-England print documents for a few of the more common ones. Google news might be able to give you the ability to search only Massachusetts-based newspapers or perhaps you can simultaneously search multiple states. Perhaps you can try court reports or transcripts of legislative sessions for the New England states.
Either approach might make it easy for us to do what you ask with some certainty that it was correct. You also might find it entertaining to try to document something like this. DCDuring TALK 03:33, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

I'll try doing that. Thanks. Tharthan (talk) 14:57, 27 August 2013 (UTC) I found this: http://www.eatdrinkri.com/2013/08/02/bizarre-foods-america-in-rhode-island-airs-monday-august-5-2013/ , http://www.puertoricanri.com/1banner/indexf.htm , http://www.rimonthly.com/Blogs/ridaily/April-2012/One-Hundred-Years-Later-Titanic-Mania/ , http://www.seniorsmeet.com/v3/externalsearch/rhode-island/senior-singles/3, http://forums.roadbikereview.com/commuting-touring-ride-reports/rhode-island-massachusetts-ride-8-29-08-a-144474.html, http://www.boston.com/news/local/rhode-island/2013/08/16/man-indicted-charge-took-teen-for-sex/t84KX2Dq6lmicaZh8VLOoJ/story.html, and THIS in "laws of Rhode Island" http://books.google.com/books?id=jTkBAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA150&lpg=PA150&dq=travelled+rhode+island&source=bl&ots=eKM-zOYLaq&sig=UmUf61D_OVCQ-FXb1Q95bi4AF4M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=OL8cUpWAHcj5igKt1IGYDA&ved=0CDEQ6AEwATge#v=onepage&q=travelled%20rhode%20island&f=false . Is that good? Tharthan (talk) 15:02, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

I seriously doubt there's a difference between New England and the rest of the U.S. here. The double-l spellings do indeed occur in the U.S. (much more often than other "British" spellings like favour and centre), especially in unedited writing. I've probably seen more handwritten signs that say something has been "cancelled" than "canceled" in the U.S., for example. But dictionaries and professional editors and proofreaders prefer the one-l spelling. I'd call the double-l spellings "alternative spellings of" the one-l spellings for U.S. English. —Angr 09:57, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Whether you doubt what I'm saying or not is irrelevant. I'm a New Englander and I can tell you for a fact that what I'm saying is indeed the case. While such is mere OR, I am sure that I can find some citations. Tharthan (talk) 14:57, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

It seems that men and wimmen in New England rejected more of Noah Websters spelling reforms than people did in other states? Dbfirs 09:36, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

More or less. Many of us still maintain cultural ties to East Anglia (where those who settled us here were from.) I've seen more Oxfords than any other dictionary in my area over the course of my life. Tharthan (talk) 18:47, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

'sink waste' sense of waste

I've recently come across the term "sink waste" (or "sink wastes") referring to a piece of plumbing equipment associated (predictably) with sinks (see [8] and [9]. I'm not sure if it's used elsewhere than in Australia. Anyone else heard of this? And should it maybe be added to waste? Though I wouldn't be sure how to define it myself.--Person12 (talk) 12:38, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Would that be used like a synonym for drainMichael Z. 2013-09-12 22:00 z
I think it is a shortening of waste pipe. Presumably the sink waste is the waste pipe section that links the sink with the rest of the waste pipes, which convey the waste to the sewage system. DCDuring TALK 22:25, 12 September 2013 (UTC)


What exactly are the conditions for creating this entry? The policy on names has always been rather vague to me. —CodeCat 20:05, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

If any, they are likely to be ambiguous. One possibility is to go by precedent, but that isn't too useful either in this case. We have UNIX and MS-DOS, but are missing Windows, although the link shows blue on the screen. --Hekaheka (talk) 22:04, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
It was deleted once. I saved some parts of it including translations here: User:Atitarev/Linux. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:45, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
"Windows" ... "blue" ... "screen"... yikes!!! Chuck Entz (talk) 00:48, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

great ships require deep waters

This proverb and the variants "great ships need deep water(s)" and "big ships need deep water(s)" are mentioned in several books, and in the entry большому кораблю большое плавание, but nowhere explained. What does it mean? - -sche (discuss) 02:12, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

I think it means that a person's needs (or a company's output, etc.) are proportional to their greatness (or abilities, size, etc.). Compare big fish in a small pond. I just found this: "There we'll find you a proper job instead of making playthings for obscure tastes. Great ships need deep waters!" and this: "The RFSFR [sic — RSFSR] remains in first place [for grain production or similar], but that really doesn't count because, after all, a big ship leaves a broad wake." Equinox 08:58, 28 August 2013 (UTC)


Hi. I've created this from a transwiki request page (since it seems legitimate from Google Books, and I know just enough German to identify it as masculine). However, it needs a de-noun header: could someone help please? Equinox 08:51, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Yes check.svg DoneAngr 12:27, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

by foot

Isn't by foot usually considered as nonstandard for on foot? Shouldn't we label it as such? --Fsojic (talk) 20:27, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

[Considered by whom?]
It is not "nonstandard" in my part of the world at all. The two are perfectly good variants of each other, and which is the "standard" one depends entirely on local habit, if the distinction is made at all. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 21:05, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Long ago, I had been told by an English teacher not to use by foot. And other people seem to prefer on foot as well (without explaining why though): [10], [11], [12]. Maybe someone could find a more reliable source that mentions this? --Fsojic (talk) 17:35, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Catsidhe; where I am the two are used interchangeably. If anything, by foot is possibly the more common. BigDom (tc) 18:52, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think they're completely interchangeable: "Our car broke down, so we traveled by foot" is fine, but "our car broke down, so we were by foot" doesn't. There's a reason by foot has one sense and on foot has two. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:23, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
At OneLook dictionaries other than Wiktionary don't seem to consider by foot to be entryworthy, though several have on foot. They do seem to have redirects, so they must expect folks to search for by foot. I wonder about on foot too, as on skis, on skates, on rollerblades, on horseback seem to be very much in parallel to on foot. DCDuring TALK 21:12, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
But, if it's not idiomatic, why would the singular be used? Also, we don't have a good definition at foot (the 3rd definition isn't substitutable and doesn't really make sense). Chuck Entz (talk) 06:19, 31 August 2013 (UTC)


Hi. How would I get llamame to show up correctly? I'd like it to show that it's a 'vos' form. --Shegashega (talk) 01:28, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi, I have fixed the template {{es-compound of}}. I hope it now works as expected. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 16:41, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks a million! --Shegashega (talk) 17:05, 29 August 2013 (UTC)


Slang? I'd say it's more a euphemism. This isn't even the primary sense, there's another sense which is along the lines of "great, nice". -- Liliana 16:47, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

"used for onomatopoeia"

So what does it sound like, and what sound does it imitate? Equinox 21:07, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

The pronunciation is given in the entry - "chǒu" but I couldn't find any other definition than "used for onomatopoeia". Usually this means that a character is only used phonetically. The Google search gives many mentions but little usage. IMHO, 吜 is used whenever there's a need to produce the sound "chǒu" without giving it any meaning, such as names or nicknames: e.g. nicknames 尐吜渔, 费吜兑, etc. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:26, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I think it refers to the pronunciation niū, as in 吱吜 (zhī niū, "the sound of friction, eg. for a spinning wheel or an opening door"). The examples above are stylised uses of characters on the internet, for example 尐吜渔 stands for 小丑鱼 ("clownfish"). Wyang (talk) 00:05, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

common good and public good

I'm a little bit confused. I thought common good and public good were the same thing, but our entries define them as "a good that is rivalrous and non-excludable" and "a good that is non-rivalrous and non-excludable". Please explain? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:52, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

The precise economic definition for public good, generally attributed to Paul Samuelson, is as we define it. The archetypical example was a lighthouse, in, say, the English Channel, where providing it for one ship during a time interval made it available for all ships during that interval. There is no cost-effective way to exclude any beneficiary, but it is costless to serve an additional beneficiary or there is no lessening of the quality of the lighthouse's service by reason of an additional ship using it.
The term "common good" is often equated to public good, but is also used as a synonym for common-pool resource ("CPR"). The definition of CPR is the same as ours for common good. A CPR is something like the stock of North Atlantic cod at present. There is no practical, politically acceptable way to exclude any fishing boats from fishing for North Atlantic cod. But each cod taken makes it harder for the next boat and reduces the breeding stock.
I am not sufficiently familiar with usage in various communities to be able to tell whether one can count on the term common good to be understood with our definition in any of them. DCDuring TALK 03:07, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Italicized -co- in chemistry

The Wikipedia entry for w:poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) specifically italicizes the "co" part, but that morpheme does not seem to be on Wiktionary. Can anyone knowledgeable about this add the entry? --BB12 (talk) 06:20, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

  • It stands for copolymer, but I haven't a clue which variation of "co" it belongs in. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:02, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
    There's loads of these in copolymer nomenclature; stat (for statistical copolymers), block (for block copolymers), per (for periodic copolymers), alt (for alternating), ran (for random) and many more... BigDom (tc) 07:50, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
    Can it be put under co- defined as short for "copolymer," then? Also, is the italics on Wikipedia wrong? --BB12 (talk) 21:42, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
    It's not really a prefix though, they're used as infixes. And the italics are fine. This PDF shows how IUPAC says they're meant to be used. BigDom (tc) 07:40, 31 August 2013 (UTC)


a witch Glyptocephalus cynoglossus

Do we need other evidence that a fish that looks like this may not be of "unknown" etymology, but that it belongs the main one? DCDuring TALK 22:10, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Yes, we do. For all we know, it may be a folk etymology. —Angr 00:16, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Why is "unknown" an improvement? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. DCDuring TALK 01:07, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Do we accept other, older dictionaries' etymologies, even when they have no particular support - as most assignments of senses to particular homonyms do not? DCDuring TALK 01:30, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
We are usually dependent on other dictionaries' etymologies. All I meant was this one photo is not sufficient evidence that the two senses of witch are related. After all, in other photos it doesn't look particularly nasty. —Angr 09:55, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
It's probably the ugliest thing in w:Torbay (See Torbay sole.) In any event, there are at least three species that seem to called witch, probably from mutual resemblance. I'd guess one of the North Atlantic species was the original. One is common in the Hebrides. Perhaps there is a Scots or Old Norse basis. DCDuring TALK 16:22, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


Shouldn't Ἀχαΐα be transliterated as Achaia (Sorry, I don't know how to label diacritics), but not Akhaia? I think the transliteration should comply with Greek ALA-LC Romanization Tables. Wikipedia Authority issues Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Greek), which is the same with ALA-LC.

We follow WT:GRC TR, which specifies <kh> as the correct transliteration of <χ>. — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:43, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
It is so inconvenient that Wikipedia and Wiktionary even have two transliteration standards, considering many Wikipedia articles are citing Wiktionary links.