Wiktionary:Tea room/2013/December

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← November 2013 · December 2013 · January 2014 → · (current)


Today's word of the day doesn't have any pronunciation information - would someone who knows the word glogg be so kind as to add audio or IPA? Mr. Granger (talk) 04:28, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Category:Ogham script characters

In what languages besides vintages of Irish, eg, Old Irish, was this script used? IOW, what is the basis for classifying this script as Translingual? DCDuring TALK 16:01, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

For some reason, the basic characters of some scripts are labelled as translingual; see also α΄. The characters in other scripts, such as Kannada (, etc), are not labelled translingual, although there are several Category:Kannada script languages. Wiktionary is not known for being consistent in this area. - -sche (discuss) 19:00, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
It was also used for Latin. (Incidentally, dismissing separate languages as "vintages" is wholly missing the point of Translingual.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:40, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Actually, there are examples of Ogham being used to write what we assume to have been Pictish. We assume, because apart from some names, we have no idea what they actually say. ([1]) --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 19:48, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
@MetaK, I was simply trying to distinguish between "languages" separated only by an extremely artificial time line and others with clearer distinctions. I've gotten beaten about the head and shoulders for failing to recognize the essential unity of Middle and Modern English, so it is only right that I get a beating for dismissing such important and undoubtedly separate languages as mere vintages from the same vineyard.
I was interested this case as an example of whether any character set was likely to not be Translingual. All the arguments are that it is Translingual. As -sche points out we are not consistent in how characters are presented.
I have been instructed that Translingual items cannot have pronunciations, because that is something that occurs within a language, which Translingual is not, despite its categories being forced onto a Procrustean bed that assumes it is. In addition, characters have names in each language in which they are used. Thus both pronunciation and naming grounds would seem to require that each language have an L2 for each character it uses. If so, then I don't see why any characters should be in Translingual. DCDuring TALK 22:23, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Insist usage


Is this sentence correct: The Prime Minister insisted on his Chancellor to resign. (from: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/insist#Verb , second meaning)

The second example there has a clear grammatical mistake, which I leave uncorrected by now.

  • No. it's horrible. Should be something like "The Prime Minister insisted on his Chancellor's resignation." SemperBlotto (talk) 17:55, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • "Insist on" has to refer to an action as a noun. "Insist that" would be used with a verb.
The Prime Minister insisted that his Chancellor resign.
The Prime Minister insisted on his Chancellor's resignation.
E | talk 18:01, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

    • Thanks.
[quote]The Prime Minister insisted that his Chancellor resign.[/quote]
Not 'resigns'?
And something like, though a bit scary in this example:
The Prime Minister insisted on his Chancellor's resigning.

  • No: "resign" in this instance is in the subjunctive. (though I am not an expert in grammar, but it just seems right) SemperBlotto (talk) 18:17, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • My grammar book claims that it is the subjunctive (but says nothing about the verb 'insist' in this case).
  • Could You confirm that 'resigns' in this case would be incorrect?
Yes, it would be incorrect for what you want to say. Equinox 19:07, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
As a native speaker, like SB and Equinox, I agree with his sense of what is grammatical and not grammatical.
Also: "The Prime Minister insisted on his Chancellor's resigning." is OK but it emphasizes a process so it would not usually occur without some modifier, like a manner adverb or a temporal adjunct:
"The Prime Minister insisted on his Chancellor's resigning quietly, with as little publicity as possible"
"The Prime Minister insisted on his Chancellor's resigning effective midnight Friday."
HTH DCDuring TALK 19:14, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
BTW, the reason I said "incorrect for what you want to say" is that it could conceivably be correct for a continuative situation. Consider "I insist that my secretary dress nicely" (I am commanding her?) vs. "I insist that my secretary dresses nicely" (I am defending her?). Equinox 19:31, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Altered the article accordingly, including most of the examples given. Thank You for help.

w:Hundred (word)

There is some debate going on in Wikipedia about what to do with w:Hundred (word) (including a proposal to move it here). Do we need an entry at hundred indicating archaic usage to mean 120? Do we need entries for small hundred and long hundred? Also, we do not seem to have a sense reflecting the usage in "eighteen hundred hours". bd2412 T 19:09, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

We have most of the "great hundred", "short gross", "long dozen" etc entries already (in the spectacularly named "Category:en:Historical numbers"); we could certainly use any we're missing. - -sche (discuss) 19:16, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
BTW, there should be certainly a note about these issues there: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hundred#Etymology (not a Wikipedian yet)
We should make sure that the article on hundred has a sense for long hundred, etc. --WikiTiki89 00:06, 2 December 2013 (UTC)


I'm a bit puzzled by this word. Etymologically, it must come from a class 2 weak verb *hrisōną. But the actually attested past is from class 1, hrisede, and the Old Saxon cognate given in the etymology also is class 1. If the word belongs to class 1, though, then it must reflect *hrisjaną or (with a long vowel) *hrīsijaną. Neither of those can give hrisian in Old English; the former would become *hrissan and the latter *hrīsan, with no -i-. In Old Saxon they would become *hrissian and *hrīsian, so only the latter can reflect the attested form and only if it's long. So it comes down to this... a verb in -ian can't be class 1, but its past is class 1 anyway. How was this verb conjugated and how does it fit etymologically? —CodeCat 18:23, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

all the holes in [her/his/the] Swiss cheese

Overheard at a Thanksgiving gathering: "all the holes in the Swiss cheese lined up, and we got flooded". After a quick Google search, I've verified that this is an actual thing that people say — meaning something like "everything worked out"; I'm sure I could find acceptable citations for an entry, but I'm unsure how to represent it. Sometimes it's "all the holes in the Swiss cheese"; sometimes it's with a personal possessive, "his" or "her", etc. Is there a guideline for this? — E | talk 22:06, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

I've found this at Wikipedia: Swiss cheese model:

In the Swiss Cheese model, an organization's defenses against failure are modeled as a series of barriers, represented as slices of cheese. The holes in the slices represent weaknesses in individual parts of the system and are continually varying in size and position across the slices. The system produces failures when a hole in each slice momentarily aligns..

--CopperKettle (talk) 05:53, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Not sure if there's a policy, but have one's ducks in a row is a similar phrase, so might want to use it as a template. Note that the quote on the page is "have our ducks in a row" but the title uses one's. So perhaps "All the holes in one's Swiss cheese"? Pengo (talk) 00:01, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

genders in Swedish & ombudsman note

Just wondering about the following note:

"Since this term is derived from Swedish, it is not gender-specific, and applies to women as well as men"

Does that mean that Swedish doesn't use any gender-specific terms? (I've had a skim through the Pedia article on Swedish and didn't get that impression.) My question is, could we have a link in the above note that explains what is meant/implied there about genders in the Swedish language? Thanks! --Person12 (talk) 01:42, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

It refers to the Swedish suffix -man. This form is used in composition to make many agent nouns and it just means person (i.e., it is not like the identical English suffix -man, which is usually specifically masculine). For example, brandman (firefighter), gärningsman (perpetrator), ombudsman, spelman (musician), tjänsteman (official). —Stephen (Talk) 02:41, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps we should add those details to the Usage Note (or at least a link to -man). --WikiTiki89 02:45, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Stephen & Wikitiki. I am clarifying the note now (and adding a Notes subheading too) to clarify. (I'd agree with Wiki's second suggestion except that the -man page doesn't include Swedish.)--Person12 (talk) 14:48, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Then the link should still be included and someone who knows a bit about Swedish should add a Swedish section to -man. --WikiTiki89 14:54, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Can't understand a word in a BBC video

I hope this kind of question is welcomed here; if not, please forgive me. I have been trying for several times now to make out what is said at 00:20 in this video, but the only verb that seems to fit phonetically (peak or peek) doesn't add up. --Fsojic (talk) 12:16, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

It's piqued, though I had to look up the meaning. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:21, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
It's a true adjective, in the opinion of OneLook lexicographers. DCDuring TALK 13:34, 3 December 2013 (UTC)


Is this ever used in the comparative form "more defo" meaning "more definitely"? It is used in the superlative, e.g. "It was a pure case of where there's muck there is most defo brass."[2] but I can't find any comparative uses. The closest I've come is these two discussions [3] and [4] where I think it is being used as an abbreviation of definition, a sense our entry doesn't have. Thryduulf (talk) 18:56, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

"most defo"/"most definitely" is not a superlative. most in this case is just an intensifier (see definition 4 at most#Adverb). --WikiTiki89 19:06, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, but is the form "more defo" used to mean "more definitely" and are we missing a sense of "defo" meaning "definition"? Thryduulf (talk) 09:01, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I would say no. defo is only used in the "Without question and beyond doubt" meaning of definitely, which is not comparative at all. The comparative forms of definitely are only used for the "In a definite manner; decisively" meaning. Therefore, defo has no comparative and no superlative. --WikiTiki89 14:59, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Imam, imam

According to this ngram, the capitalized version is more common even when not used as a title in a name. --WikiTiki89 19:14, 4 December 2013 (UTC)


This is a rather minor, perhaps not even entry-worthy term, but it raises some interesting questions. NAIOP is apparently a w:trade association in the US. The name used to stand for National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, but they changed it to simply NAIOP, According to their website (http://www.naiop.org/en/About-NAIOP/Who-We-Are.aspx), this was because the spelled-out name no longer accurately described the scope of the organization and its membership make-up. This isn't unique: I participate every year in a charitable fundraising event every year called a "CROP walk". CROP originally was short for Christian Rural Overseas Program, an initiative started in the US to fight hunger in other countries. Since then it's been incorporated into w:Church World Service, so the acronym doesn't mean anything, but people were familiar with the name "CROP walk", so they kept it as a non-acronym. How do we treat this? My guess is to give it a Proper Noun POS and put the old name in the etymology. Or do we leave it as an initialism? Chuck Entz (talk) 14:45, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

As we don't include names of organizations but do include abbreviations without regard to the includability of what is abbreviated, only the abbreviation would be included as I understand WT:CFI. DCDuring TALK 15:22, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

shiksa, שיקסע

Discussion moved to WT:RFV.

Light takes the tree

From Roethke's The Waking:

  • Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
  • The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
  • I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

That could this mean? Fire burns a tree? (But who can tell us how? - well, should be simple enough) I'm curious of a native speaker's view of this sentence. Or.. is it "light travels up using a tree, just like the lowly worm uses a winding stair"? Like in "John takes the stair upstairs" <-> "light (via photosynthesis) creates a tree and as if by a stair travels upwards". --CopperKettle (talk) 17:31, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

I think it has to do with the progression of sunlight from the top of the tree downward as the sun ascends at dawn. However, "but who can tell us how" seems to negate any proposed explanation. DCDuring TALK 17:57, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
As the poem certainly seems to be about aging and death, though he was only 45 when it was published, "Ground" might have to do with burial. If so, then "Tree" may be religious, ie, the Cross, or a w:Tree of life. DCDuring TALK 18:53, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
My first impression is the same — that light is striking the tree — but it's certainly hard to be sure. Equinox 20:59, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
My impression is that the light is "taking over" the tree, which would physically mean that it is covering the tree, but there is a deeper connotation of conquering. The Russian translation given there ("свет дерево укрыл", literally "light covered over the tree") is accurate enough, but it does not preserve the same deeper meaning (although it gives it different deeper meaning). --WikiTiki89 21:05, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Take is so polysemic in English. Does the Russian word have the same range of meanings? DCDuring TALK 21:21, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Russian взять (vzjatʹ) (and брать (bratʹ), which is used interchangeably depending on tense) is usually used to translate English take for almost all its meanings because it is also very polysemic. In this case, however, it doesn't seem fit (at least for how I understand the English). The Russian word used in the translation given (which is not overall a very literal translation) is укры́ть (ukrýtʹ, cover up, cover over), which (again, at least for how I understand the English) has the same physical meaning as take in this case, but not the same deeper meaning. --WikiTiki89 21:33, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
According to w:Theodore Roethke this is the title poem from a book of love poetry. With the exception of "my lovely" in one stanza, I don't see it for this poem at all. The kind of taking seems more like what the grim reaper does. DCDuring TALK 22:29, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
This isn't a love poem. There are no doubt love poems found elsewhere in the same work, but this isn't one of those. I think the main theme is learning to live one's life as it progresses on to death: "waking" is a metaphor for evolving spiritually in order to take the next step- into death, which is referred to as "sleep". The Ground seems to refer to earthly existence, and the worm to that which metamorphoses, as a caterpillar becomes a butterfly to "take the lively air" in a "lovely" fashion.
There's no shortcut to learning life: you learn where you have to go by the act of going there. Seeking knowledge doesn't help: "what is there to know?", since we "think by feeling". As for the phrase in question, I'm not sure what it means- it may mean more than one thing by avoiding obviously meaning any one thing. "Light" might be spiritual Light, as opposed to Darkness, or it might be sunlight. The Tree might be the Tree of Life, or the Cross, or something else, but I don't think it's an accident that it's capitalized. "Taking" might be making a choice ("A or B?" "I'll take B"), going by a route or a means of transportation (as in "I took the train" or "I took the quickest way out of town"), capturing/conquering (as in taking a city), or something else.
This doesn't seem to be the type of poem where you can figure out the meaning of the whole by assigning meanings to its parts and then working it out like an algebraic equation. You have to try on different meanings, read it again, try something else, listen to it (there's a recording of the author reading it here), etc. over and over gain, until you start to get a feeling for what it's about- and there may be more than one answer. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:35, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I actually memorize some poems I love (including this one) while riding a bicycle. So I got the feel of it, having chanted it dozens of times while plodding around snow-laden Yekaterinburg and its vicinities, and meditated upon it, yet I become curious sometimes if a particular phrase evokes something different in a native speaker's mind. It may strike some chord in him, yet ding against a tin year in my case. --CopperKettle (talk) 16:25, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for all the answers and thoughts! I also mused that the line might be intentionally ambiguous, but decided to make sure. It is interesting that Yunna Morits, the Russian translator, construed "to sleep" as a prepositional phrase rather than an infinitive ("I wake into a state of sleep", not "I wake in order to go to sleep again someday"). Maybe this explains the blurry imagery of the worm and the tree with light. --CopperKettle (talk) 03:39, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
In poetry, you can assume that the ambiguity is intentional. --WikiTiki89 04:11, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
That interpretation of "I wake to sleep" certainly makes sense- I hadn't thought about that possibility. It's certainly consistent with how Roethke reads it aloud, though his reading is ambiguous enough that you can't be sure. There's also the possibility that it means waking in order to sleep in the present, not the indefinite future, though that doesn't seem to make as much sense. I think the part about how "Great Nature has another thing to do

To you and me" is very suggestive of metamorphosis, so I still think that the image of a "lowly worm" that "climbs up a winding stair" refers to a long, arduous and twisting way to arrive at metamorphosis into something that's "lovely" and "take(s) the lively air". How does that instance of "take" compare to the one with the Tree as to how it's translated? Chuck Entz (talk) 04:41, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

She omits the second "take" altogether. The penultimate stanza is the most rehashed one in her translation: "Great Nature from on yonder high / Will yet salute(harbor) us. In her forests / learn as you go, you’ll reach your goal in silence." --CopperKettle (talk) 05:41, 8 December 2013 (UTC)


Is folk ever used in the singular to refer to one person (especially with regard to definition 3)? --WikiTiki89 00:15, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

In fact is folk ever singular at all (with the exception of clipped forms such as folk [music]). --WikiTiki89 00:20, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Re definition 3, if such use exists it must be dialectal, and I suspect it does not.
Re singular folk for other definitions: yes, it's not uncommon, although perhaps it's dated or archaic. I found an excellent quote which uses the singular and plural in a single sentence, which I have added to the entry (see there). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:51, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! I guess that makes sense. So, correct me if I'm wrong, folk never refers to one person and derived terms such as commonfolk are never singular. --WikiTiki89 01:04, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Folk appears without an s when it is used attributively.
Webster 1828 said:
"Originally and properly it had no plural, being a collective noun; but in modern use, in America, it has lost its singular number, and we hear it only in the plural. It is a colloquial word, not admissible into elegant style.]
"3. In scripture, the singular number is used; as a few sick folk; impotent folk. Mark 6. John 5."
Century 1912 also allows for singular use in senses like some of those of German Volk.
No source seems to have it in the singular meaning an individual person. HTH. DCDuring TALK 03:34, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Re:3. In the King James Bible, both folk and folks (Acts 5:16) are used, but never for a single person. The OED says "From 14th c. onward the pl. has been used in the same sense [people], and since 17th c. is the ordinary form, the sing. being arch. or dial. The word is now chiefly colloq., being superseded in more formal use by people." The dialectal usage of both folk and folks to mean members of the family is still current here in northern England (as, I think, in parts of the USA, and probably elsewhere), though the plural is more common. Dbfirs 13:04, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

petitio principii

This is the basis for the term beg the question. On what senses of its component terms does this depend for its meaning? Was it an opaque idiom in its use in classical rhetoric in Latin? DCDuring TALK 02:57, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

As best I can determine: petitio (a laying claim to [followed by genitive]) + principii, singular genitive of principium. But the sense of principium eludes me. The classical senses don't fit the supposed meaning very well, nor is any other relevant meaning in my Late Latin glossary. Is it Medieval Latin? Or is it the classical Latin sense of "foundation", which Lewis and Short say is only in the plural. Our entry at [[principium]] departs from Lewis and Short. DCDuring TALK 03:15, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

eyes looking up from a sunken room

From Roethke's On the Road to Woodlawn:

I miss the pallbearers momentously taking their places,
The undertaker's obsequious grimaces,
The craned necks, the mourners' anonymous faces,
—And the eyes, still vivid, looking up from a sunken room.

What could this "sunken room" be? P.S. And should one shift the accent to rhyme grimaces with faces (greem-Ei-sez)? --CopperKettle (talk) 07:23, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

The coffin when it is set in the earth? Or, possibly, the face, which houses the eyes. Equinox 14:47, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, Equinox! I also thought of this possibility (i.e. the coffin) but dead persons usually have their eyes closed; the tradition to put coins on dead persons' eyes comes to mind. Enabling the brainstorming mode, I only can imagine that the poem is told from the standpoint of the dead person, hovering as a ghost above a mourning person that sets his/her eyes to heavens.. that's unlikely. --CopperKettle (talk) 16:15, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
This is a poem- not everything makes literal sense. This evokes a jarring, surreal image to contrast with all the mundane details in the rest of the poem. ~~
OK, thanks! --CopperKettle (talk) 16:49, 8 December 2013 (UTC)


Is not there a childish slang for this, meaning faeces? Воображение (talk) 17:42, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Sometimes do one's duty is used as a euphemism for a child using the toilet (though duty itself does not mean faeces). There's also doody; probably unrelated. Equinox 17:46, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I've heard it used as a seperate noun.
Vanellope von Schweetz: I bet you really gonna watch where you step in a game called Hero's duty[Vanellope Laughs] What's you win a medal for wiping? I hope you washed your hands after you handled that medal
Wreck-It Ralph: Listen, I'm gonna!
Vanellope von Schweetz: Hang on, hang on, why did the hero flushed the toilet?... say why.
Wreck-It Ralph: Why?
Vanellope von Schweetz: Because it was his duty!
Wreck-It Ralph: How dare you insult Hero's Duty you little gar snipe! I earned that medal! you better give it back to me two tweet sister!

From Wreck-it Ralph. Воображение (talk) 18:15, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

I think that's probably a pun on duty and doody. Equinox 18:21, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Even if it is a pun, I think we should include the definition. I've heard it used in other contexts as well. Воображение (talk) 18:29, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
It's definitely not a sense of duty in the above, and must not be added, because puns are deliberate changes of one word for another incorrect word, e.g. "the lesser of two weevils" (for "evils"). Do you have any other examples? Equinox 18:32, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Equinox here. It is a pun and should not be added as a definition. It should be added as a homophone though (for some dialects, notably American and possibly Australian). --WikiTiki89 18:45, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
For what it's worth, the Urban dictionary article on it agrees with me as well. I normally would not trust it, but I am moderately sure that one of the definitions of duty is a faece. While we're on the subject, I believe deuce is also a euphemism. Воображение (talk) 03:13, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
You're certainly right about deuce. You can go ahead and add it if you want. --WikiTiki89 03:20, 9 December 2013 (UTC)


Hey. Anyone fancy having a go at defining clinker, in boatbuilding? --ElisaVan (talk) 18:01, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

  • I don't believe that it has such a meaning. clinker-built, I believe, comes from clincher (A workman who clinched the bolts in ship-building, or a nail used in clinching). SemperBlotto (talk) 21:48, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
It seems to have some attributive use in terms such as clinker plating, clinker planking [5], clinker hull, clinker building style [6], clinker dinghy. We already had it hidden under Etymology 2 of "clinker" as "something that clinches" which I think is ambiguous at best. I think it deserved an etymology section of its own, see clinker. --Hekaheka (talk) 00:01, 12 December 2013 (UTC)


An anon left {{Citation needed|The geography is overly specific to be conjecture.}} in the following definition:

3 (UK, dialect, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Bedfordshire) A party or picnic where attendees bring food and wine; a kind of potluck.

The anon has a point. DCDuring TALK 23:22, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

improper scoping in noun def of halluciantion

Thee etymology correctly states that the noun meaning derives from the verb meaning, and the verb meaning is correctly broad in scope to include imagination and dream, as well as visions induced by drugs (hallucinogens) or by mental malfunctions.

The (first) noun definition goes on to include the cause of hallucinations ("arising from disorder of the nervous system") as inherent in the definition.

In some meditation practices, the goal of meditation is precisely to hallucinate and the hallucinations are not regarded as disorders,but rather as evidence that the subject has improved control over his or her mind.

This definition also categorically rules out form of religious vision, which, objectively speaking, cannot be conclusively diagnosed.

If the definition as stated were true, the sentence exemplifying its use would be a tautology and not an (attempted) insight.

Please consider removing the phrase "arising from disorder of the nervous system" from the definition.

Thank you.


Maybe instead of complaining, you could have fixed it yourself. This is a wiki after all. Anyway I have fixed it for you. --WikiTiki89 16:30, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm quite sure that other entries of interest to you have similar and other weaknesses. We welcome additional participation in improving Wiktionary. DCDuring TALK 16:40, 9 December 2013 (UTC)


I'm trying to figure out the meaning of oatspelt (sometimes oat-spelt or oat spelt. It seems to be the spelt of oats but none of our definitions for spelt seems to fit. An example sentence:- "For our investigation xylan was separated through alkaline extraction of oat spelts." Any ideas? SemperBlotto (talk) 16:41, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

  • It seems to be used almost exclusively in contexts of xylan extraction. I did find this though, which suggests that it is indeed some kind of grain. I don't think it's a new sense of spelt; I would guess that it was named because it resembles spelt in some way? Pure speculation I'm afraid… Ƿidsiþ 17:04, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I think that it is a noun meaning "hull" or "chaff". I found a few instances of rice spelt, millet spelt, buckwheat spelt and oat spelt, as well as numerous uses of the former Sigma-Aldrich product oat spelt xylan (OSX). I gathered that for spelt (the type of grain) some of the chaff does not separate well from the "better" parts. Century says that it is a cognate of German Spelze (chaff, beard of an ear of corn, shell). The German word for spelt (grain) is Dinkel. DCDuring TALK 17:57, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the OED has an additional entry for spelt (and speld) as a verb "To husk or pound (grain); to bruise or split (esp. beans)", though it says it is now dialectal. Presumably any grain can be spelded, spelted or spelt in this way. Dbfirs 12:42, 16 December 2013 (UTC)


This page was deleted years ago and evidently protected to prevent recreation. It's attested as a bowdlerization of cunt (see Citations:c**t), so could someone please unprotect it so that I can create the entry? —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 18:17, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Unprotected. —Stephen (Talk) 00:32, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

and in general long vowels in Japanese

I'm wondering how I can tell long vowels in Japanese, like how do you tell if a word is a long "o" as opposed to "o u". The given character seems to have both readings, "long o" and "ou", separated by a less than sign--what is that less than sign supposed to mean? After hunting through Wikipedia for a while, I found Wikipedia:Wapuro_romaji#Phonetic_accuracy, which implies that kana transcriptions have a certain ambiguity. I tried to find the pronunciation on another site and it was "TOU", but I'm pretty sure that site transcribes long vowels as "OU" as well. I found a Japanese image with furigana, and the kana are definitely "to u", but I'm still not necessarily sure that helps. Is there any way to know for sure? -- 19:12, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Are you asking about romaji, kana, or what? おお and おう and are both pronounced /o:/ (e.g., とお, とう) when in a single morpheme. おお is always /o:/, but おう can be /ou/ when it crosses morpheme boundaries. Here I believe we transcribe /o:/ as ō, and /ou/ as ou. If you mean the kana, then you have to figure out if they belong to one morpheme or two. —Stephen (Talk) 00:49, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Specifically, on'yomi reading for is "tō". The symbol "<" shows the etymology or sound change. various system use "ou" even for long o vowel but we use "ō" and it's a common standard. It's a mistake to transliterate 追う as "ō", it's "ou". Like Stephen said, it's "ou" when it crosses morpheme boundaries. I want to add that "-u" is a verb ending and it should never be merged with preceding "o". --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:39, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
All right. So basically, if おう or とう or something like that is in a single morpheme, then it's pronounced /o:/...always? With 追う, I can see the う there (denoting the verb ending), so it's pretty obvious it's separate from the o sound. In the case of 冬季, then, it's tōki, and you can tell the tō corresponds to the first kanji--a single morpheme. Therefore, since the "ou" (well, "tou") is in a single morpheme, it's a long o. ...Do I have all that right? (Incidentally, thanks for your time in answering this!) -- 09:24, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

sly and cunning

The first definition of sly:

Artfully cunning; secretly mischievous; wily.

The first definition of cunning:

Sly; crafty; clever in surreptitious behaviour.

Anyone smell a problem? --WikiTiki89 02:04, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

No. We are forced to define words using other words. Eventually a user will find a word that he already knows the meaning of. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:02, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
We are not "forced" to use exclusively synonyms. We do so because no one bothered to come up with a way to explain it from scratch without synonyms. --WikiTiki89 13:53, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
One style of definition, which was used extensively by MW 1913 and therefrom inherited by us, is the list of synonyms. MW themselves didn't use that style in later editions and I don't think any others use it any more. It could be minimally acceptable if one term in the list has a defining phrase or an ostensive definition. Of course, making someone go to each of the synonyms in search of that definition is not so good.
I don't think these cases are by any means the worst. If we had a style manual that folks would agree to, then it would be worth creating a clean up list by searching for multiple instances of ";" in a definition line in an English L2 section, one pair of which bracketed a single word. DCDuring TALK 14:40, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Italian entry of pan-

Hi, this is about the italian meaning of pan-. I wrote this (following some entries I found in the relative category), but actually I don't think it is correct. In italian "pan-" as a prefix means "all", just like in english (they bot came from greek πᾶν). In words like panforte, pandoro etc "pan" is an abbreviation of "pane", with the elision of the "e", so their etymology is totally unrelated to words like panacea or panorama, and (imho) they shouldn't be listed in that page or in this category. I.e. the correct etymology of panforte should be pan(e)+forte. Check also on the italian "Treccani" dictionary: pan-, panforte. Bye, --Barbaking (talk) 15:10, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

We would call the words formed using pane (bread) compounds rather than words formed by prefixation. We have {{compound}} which can replace {{prefix}} in the etymology section for the words derived from pane. That will correct the erroneous auto-categorization and the consequent display under Derived terms at pan-. See panforte for an example. DCDuring TALK 18:01, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
I've cleaned up the etymologies that lead to the miscategorization and misdisplay. DCDuring TALK 18:21, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
And speedy deleted the definition at pan-#Italian. DCDuring TALK 18:28, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
perfetto, grazie! :) --Barbaking (talk) 20:09, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing it up. DCDuring TALK 20:13, 10 December 2013 (UTC)


The definition of wholesaler seems to contradict the wikipedia entry to which it refers. And contradict the definition of wholesale. —This comment was unsigned.

Thanks. DCDuring TALK 14:06, 11 December 2013 (UTC)


"I love you" is given as an English meaning of aloha. Erm, since when? —This comment was unsigned.

See WT:RFV#aloha. DCDuring TALK 13:49, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Category:Translingual dialectal terms

There are two characters (, )in this category. What does the category title mean? DCDuring TALK 13:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

It means that someone used {{context|dialect|lang=mul}}, and the category was automatically generated. The label in the first case seems to be taken from the definition at the Unihan site "(dialect) kaoliang; sorghum". I don't know about the second. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:42, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
If the automatically generated category name doesn't make sense, is that a problem of:
  1. the automatic generation process or
  2. an erroneous entry or label.
What is the conceptual basis for evaluating this? What expertise is required to clean the entries up or to create the category? How is it brought to their attention? DCDuring TALK 14:53, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
What is the category title supposed to mean??? DCDuring TALK 14:55, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
The automatically-generated category alerts us to the problem that definitions are currently placed in the translingual section even though, logically speaking, they must belong only to certain languages...especially when there are context labels like this one. In this case, I've moved the two definitions into the ==Mandarin== sections; they can be RFVed if desired. - -sche (discuss) 04:33, 14 December 2013 (UTC)


Header was: English adjective ap

I have found no online reference (other than the entry made to Wiktionary) that identifies ap as an English adjective. As an English word, the Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia and Collins English Dictionary online do provide definitions for ap. 'Century' defines it as a noun, and 'Collins' as a prefix. Both indicate that the meaning to be "son or son of" used in Welsh names. Yet, the definition of the supposed adjective, "in or relating to the apothecaries' system of measures" is not supported with any citations, and I was unable to find such a use online.
Should the entry for ap as an English adjective be removed?
Stuart M Klimek (talk) 09:02, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

If the term indeed has not been used, then — yes, it should be removed. We require that English terms be "verified through (1) clearly widespread use, (2) use in a well-known work, or (3) use in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year"; see Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion#Attestation. If you suspect that a given term meets none of those conditions, you can tag it with {{rfv}} and list it at Wiktionary:Requests for verification. —RuakhTALK 09:26, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

tender = call for bids?

The Call for bids article at Wikipedia says that

A call for bids, call for tenders, or invitation to tender (ITT) (often called tender for short) is a special procedure for generating competing offers from different bidders looking to obtain an award of business activity in works, supply, or service contracts.

Indeed, there seem to be instances of tender used in this sense (to me at least, I'm not a native speaker): "BCCI issues tender for sponsorship", "Ceredigion County Council issues tender for HR and payroll software system" These headlines seem to use "tender" as "call for bids" (the county issues a call for bids). Are they? If they are, is it necessary to add a mention to tender? --CopperKettle (talk) 17:40, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

I think everything needed is at tender#Etymology 3. What do you think? DCDuring TALK 17:57, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
That covers the tenders submitted in response, but not the request for tenders. In my experience, bid can be used in a similar way, referring in the strict sense to the submittal/receipt of bids, and, by extension, to the entire process from the call for bids to the award of what the bids were submitted for/the rejection of the bids received. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:36, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, Chuck Entz! I'm always a bit baffled by the use of "tender" in sentences when translating. Did not know of similar situation with "bid". In Russian, tender/тендер (borrowed from English) always means "the process (the contest for the contract), never "a bid by a potential supplier/contractor". --CopperKettle (talk) 03:34, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
I asked a question at Stack Exchange: "Is it possible to win a tender?" --CopperKettle (talk) 04:29, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Judging by my search for "issu* a tender" at Google books, it looks like international English use of the term differs from use in US English. I certainly would never use tender that way in the US (or elsewhere) unless I knew for sure that my audience normally meant what I would call an RFP. In the US, context might make it obvious that metonymy is being used, but, without contradictory context, tender refers to the offer or, sometimes, what is offered. More often folks refer to the "tendering process", "tendering", or the "tender process" from the point of view of the buyer soliciting the tenders. DCDuring TALK 09:12, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply! I've tried googling for ' "issued a tender" site:.uk ' to narrow down to the Brit use of the term, and got 266 results; quite low.
I'm trying to untangle the use of the term in my mind to apply in correctly when translating from Russian. For example, recently I met a sentence that went (in Russian) like "The Government has announced an international tender for the construction of a factory in..". If I abstain from using "tender" as "contest for contracts", I wonder how exactly should I put it to look generic to the native speaker. "Invited international bidders by issuing an RFP"? "Announced an internationally-open tendering process for.."? --CopperKettle (talk) 03:57, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
In US business, bid is for a relatively standard product. RFP/request for proposal is for complex items, like an upgrade to a cell-phone network, mining equipment, or a fleet of cars, for which price alone is completely inadequate information for a decision. A would-be buyer solicits or calls for bids or proposals or announces that it will accept bids or proposals. There are more ways of saying things like this, but these are some common ones. For a government body, there may be some laws that lay out the way the bidding or proposal process is supposed to work. This could determine the choice of words used in announcements. DCDuring TALK 05:58, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, DCDuring! --CopperKettle (talk) 07:48, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
To put out to tender seems to be the standard phrase here in the UK. We have it as a translation of ausschreiwen and of kilpailuttaa, but does it deserve its own entry? Dbfirs 12:25, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

number: is this sense covered?

I wonder if the following sense is already reflected in the article number:

  • "An infinite straight conductor carries a current of 10 A and a coil has 10 number of turns, radius 10 cm and at a distance of 50 cms from the axis of a straight conductor."
  • "The system has 16 number of generating stations connected at buses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 , 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 21, 23 and 50. "

I've never met such usage before, it seems to be confined to scientific, technical (electrical, for example), and scholarly texts. --CopperKettle (talk) 06:31, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

I think it is sense 5 "quantity". It seems to me that it is the "grammar" that is unusual, not the meaning. I read it as an attempt to mark numbers used to indicate pure quantity differently from numbers used to identify buses and generation stations where there is no unit, such as cm or A to do so. DCDuring TALK 09:20, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Are you sure that this is actually correct English? To me it simply looks wrong. 20:18, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
It looks like a mistake to me. At first I thought it seemed like a non-native speaker, but a native speaker could also make this mistake in the following situation:
— What is the number of cars?
— There are 10 number of cars.
--WikiTiki89 20:33, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
I can't imagine a native speaker making the mistake you're suggesting, unless they're really, really dumb. After tracking down the quotes given, they all seem to be published in India. It may be a regional feature, or it might be interference caused by fluency in another language, such as Chinese, that has noun classifiers a.k.a. measure words. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:17, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree this wouldn't happen when writing, but in speech native speakers make all kinds of mistakes when put on the spot. It may have to do with the fact that you subconsciously want to put the phrase "number of cars" into your answer, but the way you started the sentence it doesn't end up making sense, but you say it anyway. --WikiTiki89 21:30, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for all the answers! Yes, that seems to be a false alarm, probably an unorthodox usage of the word by non-natives. --CopperKettle (talk) 03:32, 15 December 2013 (UTC)


I'm not sure if I understand how an adverb can have an accusative form... —CodeCat 16:35, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

It can't. Some adverbs in Esperanto can take an -n ending to indicate direction of motion ("iru hejmen" = "go home", for instance), but I would be surprised if something like guglen is attested, because Google isn't a location. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 22:51, 15 December 2013 (UTC)


Concerned by Lo Ximiendo's edits. New-Age stones are not medical equipment. Someone please review to stop this revert war. Equinox 18:47, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

  • For what it's worth, I agree that a charmstone is not medical equipment. Unless we also want to add magic wand to the category. Ƿidsiþ 09:53, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Have fun looking up this list, should anyone wish to refute me like I'm Nuberu (Asturian folklore cloud guy who lives on-top a mountain). --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 10:01, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Charmstones are clearly not medical equipment. Lo Ximiendo has been adding other pseudoscience lately too - for instance on autism and cristalloterapia. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 16:01, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Jesus. That edit to autism is particularly outrageous. Ƿidsiþ 16:09, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Those edits. "Iatrogenic" FFS? -- Catsidhe (verba, facta) 19:46, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
And orgone. Sigh! Equinox 16:38, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
It depends how broadly you define medicine. If you including things that supposedly promote health even when there's no evidence for it, then you can include charmstone and whatnot. But I personally wouldn't. Mglovesfun (talk) 00:33, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Medicine existed before the so-called "modern medicine", we should not confuse the two. That would be similar to saying that "computer" can only refer to a modern PC, and not to a mainframe because they are outdated. --WikiTiki89 00:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
No one would think that when a modern person would mean a person computing stuff when he uses the word computer, except perhaps in the most historical of contexts. I would argue that these words have effectively changed meaning.


I live in Derbyshire & this is a really common word particularly around Christmas --TenthEagle (talk) 21:10, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

I've not heard the word used for a drunken party here in Cumbria or Yorkshire. Can you find some cites? The etymology of the word (in older senses) is unclear, but the OED suggests that it might be related to Dutch vod (soft, slack, loose) or to German dialect fuddeln (to swindle). I'm not suggesting that your Derbyshire parties are swindles! Dbfirs 11:00, 18 December 2013 (UTC)


The definition of the word SOLUTISM :

"The system of beliefs (philosophy) that asserts an avoidance of the use of abstract absolutes in attempting to solve problems."

Do you have evidence that people are already actually using this, or is it a word you just made up? We don't include new words until they've been in use for at least a year, and not just by the coiner(s). See WT:CFI. 04:07, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

from here on in (out)

Do phrases from here on in, from here on out merit inclusion? The first phrase I've just met in Salinger's Zooey: "We will, however, leave this Buddy Glass in the third person from here on in." A bit of Googling led to a forum thread where the second phrase was mentioned. --CopperKettle (talk) 14:17, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I think they do merit inclusion. It's one of those pairs of idioms that look like opposites but have the same meaning. Like "I'm up for it" and "I'm down for it." --WikiTiki89 15:02, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

w:Siamese twins (linguistics)

Well, this is interesting. Should we have all of these? Can they be considered "words" for our purposes based on their irreversibility of order? I note that a few ("brown and serve"; "hide and watch") only appear to be irreversible because they are events that must happen in a particular order (you usually can't serve food before you "brown" it). bd2412 T 14:55, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

We should have many of them, but certainly not all. It has to be decided on a case-by-case basis and not all together. --WikiTiki89 15:00, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

talking on the phone by the hour

From J. Salinger's Zooey: " I get five hundred words of copy from her like clockwork every three months on the subject of my poor old private phone and how stupid it is to pay Good Money every month for something nobody's ever even around to use any more. Which is really a big fat lie. When I'm in town, I invariably sit talking by the hour with my old friend Yama, the God of Death, and a private phone's a must for our little chats. " -- I wonder what's the meaning of "by the hour" here. One dictionary on the web says that the idiom is used to mean "once each hour". Is that so here, or is it rather "for ours on end"? --CopperKettle (talk) 16:27, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Nope. It's like Russian "часами". Some equivalent English expressions are "for hours on end", or just "for hours". --WikiTiki89 16:38, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
So I guessed. Thanks, WikiTiki! ---CopperKettle (talk) 16:40, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I think your instincts are good, you just have to trust yourself more. --WikiTiki89 16:42, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
"By the hour" is used most commonly with verbs like charge, pay, rent where it has to do with calculation of payments. It is also used with verbs like grow, fade where is seems to imply that a change in state can be perceived in a time interval as short as an hour. In neither group of cases is "once each hour" a necessary implication. I hope that web dictionary doesn't have too many more such misleading entries. Salinger's use seems to me to possibly have an implication that the participants in the conversation weren't much noticing the passage of time. DCDuring TALK 17:10, 18 December 2013 (UTC)


Another of User:Sae1962's entries. Supposedly the past subjunctive has no -te. I doubt it's correct, can someone check it? —CodeCat 14:43, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

My knowledge of German is based on studying it for seven years at school in1967-73. I'm quite convinced that gewittern is a "weak" verb, not "strong" as suggested by the POS template. I've also understood that the past subjunctive of weak verbs is similar to past tense, and therefore gewitterte would be correct. After a quick search through our entries for common German verbs it seems to me that we do not habitually even list a past subjunctive for German weak verbs. On these grounds we could simply delete past subjunctive from the POS template. See e.g. erinnern. --Hekaheka (talk) 17:07, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
I checked from my German-speaking colleague. He says he's not a linguist but that gewittere sounds real strange to his ear. --Hekaheka (talk) 17:10, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
But what about gewittere (which is the subjunctive form of the verb)? The subject, as I understood, was the past tense of a weak verb. As a German mother-tongue speaker I can affirm, that gewittern is a weak verb and that its inflected forms, as cited here, are thoroughly (and solely) correct, even if unusual for many ears. --Malcolm77 (talk) 19:12, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

my passes at omniscience \ pastiest days

From Salinger's Zooey:

  • As always, my passes at omniscience are absurd, but you, of all people, should be polite to the part of me that comes out merely clever. Years ago, in my earliest and pastiest days as a would-be writer, I once read a new story aloud to S. and Boo Boo.
  • Am I right to think that he means "my attempts to be omniscient" and "pale days" (i.e. his days as a young pale writer)? --CopperKettle (talk) 15:27, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
    Yes, I agree that passes means "attempts" here. As for pastiest, I don't think it is that clear-cut. It could mean either "stickiest" or "palest", or really anything else that is a quality of paste. It's impossible to know what the author had in mind. --WikiTiki89 15:43, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
    • The "attempts" sense is probably covered in the article by "(fencing) A thrust or push; an attempt to stab or strike an adversary." --CopperKettle (talk) 16:03, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
      Oh, and thanks for your answer! --CopperKettle (talk) 16:19, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
      The "attempts" sense is actually missing (the fencing sense is a sub-sense of it though). I will add it. --WikiTiki89 16:28, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

over one year

A quote:

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil futures are up 13 per cent over one year.

- does this mean "compared to a point of time lying exactly 12 months in the past"? Just to be sure (seems a handy phrase for a translator). --CopperKettle (talk) 15:05, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

I guess it technically means the same thing, but the connotation is more like "after everything that happened between now and a year ago", i.e. including everything that happened in between, unlike "compared to a point of time lying exactly 12 months in the past", which seems to say that everything in between is irrelevant. --WikiTiki89 15:10, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, WikiTiki! --CopperKettle (talk) 15:26, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Here are some possibilities:
  1. the "year" is the past year:
    1. it could be an error, with something essential dropped, like "ago".
    2. it could be a customary elision, with "ago" dropped.
  2. the "year" is the upcoming year:
    1. One needs to say what the remaining term of the futures contract is. Oil futures are now available for every month over the upcoming 10 years, but the prices for the out years tend to vary together. Thus one gets the big picture from getting just one price quote, probably the contract expiring 11-12 or 12-13 months hence.
    2. It is simply customary to use this term for the 11-12 or 12-13 month contract.
    3. There may be other possibilities. I think one should investigate unless someone here knows for sure.
I'd place an even-money bet that it has to do with the forthcoming year. I'd need odds to bet on 2.1. DCDuring TALK 16:53, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Maybe I misinterpreted it, but I took it to mean that the futures went up (by 13%) over the period of a year. --WikiTiki89 17:04, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes. My bad luck: I'd lose my bet, based on reading the recent full online article: "Inexpensive oil vanishing at alarming rate", by ERIC REGULY, ROME, The Globe and Mail, Friday, Dec. 13 2013. At least I know know that futures contracts run into the fairly distant future (10 years). Formerly and for quite a while, the maximum term was 12 months. DCDuring TALK 17:12, 20 December 2013 (UTC)


Littler may be non-standard - but why?

  • Just convention. Ƿidsiþ 21:18, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it's really just a convention, but one that has been around for a thousand years. The OED says: " some writers have ventured to employ the unrecognized forms littler, littlest, which are otherwise confined to dialect or imitations of childish or illiterate speech.". Thackeray and Dickens seem to have ignored the convention in Pendennis and Our Mutual Friend. Dbfirs 22:21, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but even in their time, it was probably seen as wrong. --WikiTiki89 22:31, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
The OED editors wrote that over 100 years ago, and I rather doubt the sentiment will survive the ongoing revisions. Ƿidsiþ 08:32, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it will be interesting to see what the OED editors say when they eventually get round to revising that entry. We are correct in recognising the forms, but I think they will still carry an informal feel for another century or more. Dbfirs 19:41, 24 December 2013 (UTC)


This adjective can only be used predicatively. I feel as if this needs to be indicated by a context tag, or at the very least a usage note. I just added one at eh#Adjective for a similar case, but I'm not sure if that is the right way to go about this... This, that and the other (talk) 00:11, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

I generally do this with {{context|predicative}}. --WikiTiki89 00:12, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Broken IPA in Site Logo?

The site's logo is broken. Shouldn't it be something like:

   [ˈwɪk.ʃənˌɛɹ.i] (WIK-shun-air-ee)

As written:

   [ˈwɪkʃənri] (WIK-shun-rrrrrih)

As written, the current IPA uses [r], which is not an English letter (it's a trilled "r", as in Spanish). If denoting the stressed syllable, the other syllables should be denoted as well (and as written, it's also missing a vowel needed for a middle syllable, which could technically still be within (nonstandard) dialectical variation). Finally, the last vowel is incorrect, since English does not end words with lax vowels.

This is asked often. See Wiktionary:FAQ. Hyarmendacil (talk) 00:43, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
The practice of showing -y words ending with the pronunciation "ih" rather than "ee" is an absurd anachronism that is, for some unaccountable reason, continued by certain dictionaries. Absolutely no one in Britain speaks like that, nor have they done for probably at least 50 years. I particularly like the explanation in the FAQ that "it would be difficult to change it without creating a new logo". Well, duh. However, anyone with the slightest skill could change it in about two minutes, so high time it was done, I would say. 18:45, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
"Absurd anachronism"? Are you posting from some future century? There are currently several regional and cultural variations in the pronunciation. An "accountable reason" might be that not everyone pronounces words in the same way that you do. Dbfirs 19:27, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, absurd anachronism, exactly as I said. The reason that some dictionaries give this odd pronunciation is nothing whatsoever to do with trying to reflect some minority regional or cultural variant. It is common sense that standard dictionaries do not have the scope to list such variants. Instead, this pronunciation is supposed to represent a "standard" pronunciation of British English (specifically, probably RP as the FAQ states), but actually is about 100 years out of date. 02:13, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
The reason most dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary, give this pronunciation (for dictionary) is that this is how it is still pronounced by many people in the UK. There might be a small area around London where there is some variation? Are you claiming that your version of RP uses a long "ee" (/iː/) at the end? I've no objection to changing the logo, but, whatever single pronunciation you put there, someone will always say "that's not how we pronounce it". Dbfirs 12:25, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
I would like to point out that the reason to have an "icon" is to represent a concept with a picture. Having an icon that is a word is stupid. Equinox 12:26, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Well it's actually a picture of a dictionary entry for itself, and I find it quite apt, but it has generated so much controversy that I hesitate to support retaining it. What do you suggest in its place? Dbfirs 15:09, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Equinox. A “picture” of text is text, not a logo. I would suggest replacing it with the logo that represents practically all Wiktionaries, because that is what the logo is for. Michael Z. 2013-12-31 18:12 z

Etymology of "dug" meaning "udder".

"Dug" meaning "udder" seems to derive from the Indo-European root *dheugh "to milk" (cf. Sanskrit dogdhi "milks"), yet I can find nothing in the usual places (e.g. American Heritage). If someone could look into this (for example look up the root in Pokorny) that would be great. If this etymology turns out to be correct, it would be an example of the well-known fact that Grassman's Law (which applies in Greek and Indo-Iranian) is not Indo-European. 22:27, 21 December 2013 (UTC) Note: I've left this comment at "Etymology scriptorium" also as I didn't know which was more appropriate.


The term "sidewalk" is sometimes used for sidewalk-like paths that aren't at the side of any road; for example, about a block away from my apartment is a construction sign "sidewalk closed ahead" at the entrance to such a path. I don't know how common that is, though; and in the case of the construction sign, of course they were constrained by the set of construction signs that exist. (It's a stock sign, not custom-made for this use.) Is that use worth mentioning? If so, should it be a separate "by extension" sense, or should we just add a "usually" or "especially" at the appropriately place in the main sense, or . . . ? —RuakhTALK 04:22, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm familiar with this usage. In particular, I'm familiar with lanes of concrete running through grassy areas of university campuses (not alongside streets) being called "sidewalks".
google books:"sidewalk snaked" gets 14 hits, about half of which seem to refer to sidewalks that are not alongside streets, several of which are specifically cement and one of which is specifically made of flagstones. google books:"sidewalks snaked" gets some relevant hits, too, such as "Most of the courtyard was a well manicured lawn, but trails of mosaic sidewalks snaked their way throughout the grass." I think it should be mentioned as "by extension", either on its own sense-line or tacked onto the end of the first sense after a semi-colon. - -sche (discuss) 05:57, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
My impression is that "sidewalk" and "footpath" are basically interchangeable. (In terms purely of what they're describing, anyway.) --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 06:02, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
I would never think to describe a sidewalk as a "footpath"; to me "footpath" sounds like it's unpaved. (But maybe that's just because nature abhors a synonym. There are people who think that "gray" and "grey" have slightly different meanings, so I don't necessarily trust my impression that these words differ.) —RuakhTALK 06:26, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
My understanding, which dictionary.com backs up, is that "footpath" refers in Australian/NZ (and British?) English to the sort of paved path that is called a "sidewalk" in North America, while in North America, a "footpath" is (as Ruakh suggests) an unpaved pedestrian path. - -sche (discuss) 07:59, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
In Britain (or for me at least), "footpath" is almost any pedestrian path, whether paved or not. You can use it to describe the paved walkway beside a road, but "pavement" is much more specific for that. Ƿidsiþ 08:30, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Re: university campuses: Good call. The sidewalks at CWRU (my alma mater) were definitely "sidewalks". And I remember someone at WMU (a school in my hometown) commenting that the Administration would put up "sidewalks" wherever it saw that students were just cutting across the grass anyway. It's funny, I never noticed until today that there's nothing "side" about these walkways. —RuakhTALK 06:26, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
The Chambers definition is "(N Am) a pavement or footpath". Equinox 06:29, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
In the UK, a "footpath" in the countryside may be bare earth, grass or gravel etc, but in towns is always paved. These days asphalted because nobody now knows how to lay paving stones that stay flat. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:34, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
In the UK, "footpath" tends to mean "public footpath" (a right of way on foot), and I agree that it is usually (but not always) asphalt or gravel in towns. "Pavements" ought to be always paved (logically) but they are sometimes (and increasingly) asphalt. They are always at the side of a road, mainly in towns and built-up areas. In the countryside, roads often have just a "grass verge". The term "sidewalk" is not used in the UK. Dbfirs 13:31, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Do you guys in the UK not use the word pave for asphalt? Here in the US, asphalt is just a type of pavement. (Just looked at our entry for [[pave]] and it confirmed this oddity.) --WikiTiki89 17:10, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Following up on the original question, I've added "by extension, any paved footpath" to sidewalk. - -sche (discuss) 07:24, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Now that I think about it some more, a sidewalk does not need to be paved. A gravel path on the side of a gravel road is still a sidewalk. --WikiTiki89 07:28, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Hmm... interesting. A path paved with stones or bricks can be a "sidewalk", but I wouldn't have thought to call a dirt or gravel path a sidewalk. I would have regarded a dirt or gravel path alongside a paved road, or a dirt path alongside a gravel road, as a "shoulder"; OTOH, google books:"dirt sidewalk" gets about 300 hits (if you page through to the last page) and Template:b.c.g. gets about 170. google books:"gravel sidewalk" also gets about 200 hits, but it's less conclusive, because a Google Image search suggests that "gravel sidewalks" are actually paved with paving stones (it's merely the spaces between the stones that are covered with gravel). - -sche (discuss) 08:39, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Google images for "gravel sidewalk" shows both gravel with paving stones and just plain gravel as well. The funny thing about them though is that none of them are on the side of a road, but rather paths in gardens or backyards. I guess most people who would post pictures of "sidewalks" are landscapers. No one would really feel the need to take a picture of the sidewalk on a random street and post it online. --WikiTiki89 19:10, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

let rip

The meaning given is one I'm unfamiliar with. I'm familiar with the meanings "to go ahead" and "to fart" only. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:06, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

I don't recognise that use either (being "to get angry"). In the example sentence, I'd assume that "let rip" means "to go on an angry rant" (with the implication of being uncensored and personally critical).
The sense "to go ahead" I think is in the fixed "let her rip". I stand to be corrected. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 21:24, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Although, on reflection, it does have the sense "to begin to...", in the form "he let rip with a ...", where the action being begun is expressed as a noun. ("... let rip with a loud cry", "... let rip with a flurry of blows", etc.) The implication, in whatever form, is of a sudden onset and energetic action. "She let rip with a long session of quiet reading", for example, is self-contradictory. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 22:53, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
IMO synonyms would be figurative senses of "unleash", "let loose", "uncork". To me the implication is the idea of releasing a previously contained force, which would include anger, a fart, a motor vehicle, or any of the other objects mentioned. DCDuring TALK 03:36, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds more accurate. The "get angry" definition is too mild, and misses all the other senses. Dbfirs 19:33, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking too, although I couldn't express it well. So how to fix the entry?
BTW, Catsidhe, the idiom is "I stand corrected". :-) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:28, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
"I stand corrected" means "I acknowledge that I have been proved to have been wrong". "I stand to be corrected" means "I think I am right, but am willing to accept that I am mistaken." They both correct but different in meaning, and I meant what I said. :-) --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 08:03, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I never heard that before. It doesn't sound natural to me, though it's meaning would be as you say. It doesn't appear in COCA and only once in BNC. DCDuring TALK 12:41, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I've heard that. But I would define it more as "I have yet to be proven wrong" and does not imply whether I am "willing to accept that I am mistaken". --WikiTiki89 15:12, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I took a run at it, with two sense and a few usexes. DCDuring TALK 19:30, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

egyforma declension

This has a declension table, but as far as I know, Hungarian adjectives don't decline for case, only for number. —CodeCat 01:57, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

part of me wonders

why do we have the LGBT sense of tuck, but not rhe LGBT sense of bind? Is there a particular reason why one is idiomatic but not the other? My thought was we should have either both or none, but not just one of the two.

Similarly, we have read (apparently AE), but not clock (apparently BE). Is this our American bias or is one more idiomatic than the other? -- Liliana 11:34, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

I am not particularly familiar with that vocabulary, but I'd just suggest that you add the missing senses (with good citations that can't mean anything else). Equinox 12:35, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

In other projects

Why are there two links to Wikimedia Commons on this page? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 12:31, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

before X was a twinkle in Y's eye

What's the best lemma for this idiom?

I would probably define it something like "From a time before X was even conceived". SemperBlotto (talk) 12:39, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

I don't think it is lemmatizable. I would recommend Appendix:Snowclones. Equinox 12:41, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Could start with "a twinkle in one's eye" Pengo (talk) 11:19, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

biro translations redirected to ballpoint pen

The translations for biro are redirected to ballpoint pen, but in the translations, Italian has only "penna a sfera". Since "biro" is a possibility, it makes sense to put it under biro. If there are only one or two languages that have parallel words for "(ballpoint) pen" and "biro", then redirecting to ballpoint pen seems reasonable. If there are many languages with parallel words, though, adding translations to biro seems better. --BB12 (talk) 20:35, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Ancient Greek words that Wikipedia says are commonly used in systematic names

To encourage Wikipedia users to take advantage of this fine dictionary, I'm linking words from Wikipedia's "List of Latin and Greek words commonly used in systematic names" to their Wiktionary definitions. It's (mostly) all basic words, so the vast majority have definitions already, but I've come across a few ancient Greek words that don't, which I've listed below:

  1. γλυκύς (glukús) — sweet (glycys) [Thanks, Chuck Entz.]
  2. ἔναντι (énanti) — opposite (enanti)
  3. ἔριον (érion) — wool (erion, erio-)
  4. κεστός (kestós) kestos (cestus)
  5. μαῦρος (maûros), μαυρο- (mauro-) — Dark, Black (mauro-)
  6. βράγχια (bránkhia) — gills (branchia)
  7. ἁπλόος (haplóos) — single, simple (haplo-)
  8. λεπτόν (leptón) — light (lepton) - neuter form of λεπτός (leptós, small)?
  9. μικρόν (mikrón) — small (micro), see also μικρός (mikrós)
  10. οἰσέμεν (oisémen), οἰσ- (ois-) — carry (oeso-), see also οἰσοφάγος (oisophágos), oesophagus
  11. φάγο (phágo) — eat (phago), see also: φάγος (phágos, glutton)

The last four listed already have similar/related word definitions, but not sure if any count as the same word. I've added many to "Requested entries", but I'm listing them all here together in case anyone wants to have a go at them. I know little to nothing about grc so apologies if there's anything obvious I've missed. Pengo (talk) 13:04, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

The last two are not correctly spelled Ancient Greek words. οἴσω (oísō) is the future tense of φέρω (phérō) and φάγομαι (phágomai) is the future tense of ἔφαγον (éphagon) (which has no present tense). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:43, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
This is a great project. It is a way of directing our efforts to enhancing entries useful to wikipedians and thereby advertising our wares.
It might be useful to link some of these to lemmas, such as βράγχιον (bránkhion, fin, gills (in plural)). The substantive λεπτόν (leptón) means "small intestine", so the lemma is a better redirect target.
Also sometimes secondary senses of the Greek and Latin words are used in medicine and the sciences, including in specific epithets and taxonomic names. I can only hope that we have all the relevant secondary senses for all the linked words. Our coverage of Medieval and later Latins, sometimes the source of scientific Latin terms, is not so good either.
In some cases, our Translingual section might be the only available target for the link. DCDuring TALK 15:43, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
I've done all the ones I know how to do. #5 has the wrong accent- we already have it as μαυρός (maurós), ἁπλόος (haplóos) is subject to the Attic vowel contraction and hyphaeresis, which means it's more common as ἁπλοῦς (haploûs) (feminine ἁπλῇ (haplêi) and neuter ἁπλοῦν (haploûn))- a bit too complicated and messy for me to figure out easily, and I'm not really up to speed on the verbs- especially irregular/defective ones like the last two (which seem to be done already, anyway). Chuck Entz (talk) 11:50, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the work. I'm still going through the "List of Latin and Greek words commonly used in systematic names" and putting in Wiktionary links / cleaning it up. Pengo (talk) 04:46, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

good shit

"Used to mean "nice move" or "good play" in basketball." Really? I'd say it's just general use and as general use also used in basketball. Could this be SoP? For example "that's some nice shit" (changing the adjective). Mglovesfun (talk) 13:44, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Could warrant inclusion because of Wiktionary:Phrasebook. The general sense, mind you, not the basketball one. "Nice shit", "bad shit", "awful shit" - just doesn't translate as well as "good shit" does, and "good shit" is more of a congratulatory form of expression. But maybe that's just me. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 18:12, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
"Good shit" is definitely not a basketball or even sport-specific phrase. Probably already covered by an existing definition of shit (e.g. 5: stuff), just not very clearly as the existing definitions largely have negative connotations [apart from (6) 'the shit']. Common enough phrase that it might be worth keeping if the definition is reworked. Pengo (talk) 09:24, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
I think that's it. "shit" mostly has negative connotations, but the few exceptional positive instances invoked from the term in the way "good shit" and "the shit" does it warrants some mention. (Except in the also rare case "good shit" is invoked sarcastically.) TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 09:31, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
You're talking Usages notes and usage examples, right? DCDuring TALK 16:25, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
BTW, "He's a good shit." is readily attestable in Books. DCDuring TALK 16:28, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
I thought "good shit" was derived from the slang of drug users, especially stoners/potheads. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:33, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Where do you think they got it from? The "stuff" sense of shit has been part of slang for a while. DCDuring TALK 19:42, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it's used that way, but I don't think potheads were the first to use "good shit". --WikiTiki89 20:35, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

have a good time

Sum of parts? Have a good time, a great time, a wonderful time, a terrible time, etc. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:03, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

As a verb phrase it seems SoP to me, but I think all of these (except "terrible") are conventional farewells, which we would be justified in keeping. This would be an open-and-shut keep if only we could figure out how to have a phrasebook that was not more trouble than it was worth. DCDuring TALK 16:28, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Hm, I don't know but it's not as iconic as have a nice day is. I'm leaning towards a weak delete at the moment. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 18:13, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Wait, I'm forgetting myself, this is not RFD, this is the tea room. By the way, is Wiktionary supposed to be a dictionary and a translation guide, not just a dictionary? That's how I'm currently reading Wiktionary:Phrasebook. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 18:17, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Slap a phrasebook tag on it and "everybody" is "happy". Equinox 18:21, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

褙 in Hangeul should be 배, not 베, see http://dic.daum.net/word/view.do?wordid=hhw000009200

However since these entries are maybe automatically generated, I'm not sure about the procedure for this change, and I am also not sure about the various transscriptions, so I posted this here.

Fixed. Wyang (talk) 02:33, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Meaning of "to"

i recently read pj farmer's To Your Scattered Bodies Go but i'm not sure if i correctly understand this use of the word "to" + verb ?! thanks in advance for any help 19:21, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

In this case, it indicates motion towards the object. A more natural modern way of putting it would be "Go to your scattered bodies".
--Catsidhe (verba, facta) 20:46, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
It's probably a remnant of the original Germanic SOV order. It's still arranged this way in modern Dutch and German. —CodeCat 20:50, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Or it's a remnant of poetry where word order is more flexible. --WikiTiki89 23:38, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it's Donne, one of the holy sonnets: ‘At the round earth's imagined corners blow / Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise / From death, you numberless infinities / Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go…’. Awesome stuff. Ƿidsiþ 15:48, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

thanks! 07:02, 30 December 2013 (UTC)


I'm not sure how to approach this problem, but I've just realized that the entries at phải and trái are inadequately considered 'adjectives' referring to 'right' or 'left' respectively. They're inadequate because when Vietnamese describe things as either 'to the right' or 'to the left' it is more grammatically correct to use the constructions 'bên ‎phải' / 'bên trái' or 'ở bên ‎phải' / 'ở bên trái' rather than simply using the terms 'phải' or 'trái' alone. This brings up the problem where '(ở) bên' can be paired with any number of place nouns, like 'bên Pháp'(at/in France) or 'bên Nhật' (at/in Japan), so we would end up with a lot of entries and maintenance with the general form 'bên + <place noun>" like 'bên phía nam'. Should I start creating any entry beginning with bên, or do we need to put usage notes on each of these words? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 06:57, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Keep in mind that in English, right and left are not really used by themselves either in most cases. You normally say things like "to the right" or "on the right" and certain set phrases like "right/left turn" and "right/left side". --WikiTiki89 07:07, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

in order to

Are these better classed as conjunctions or set phrases? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 07:35, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure about "in order to", but the others you listed are all conjunctions. --WikiTiki89 07:37, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
"in order to" is followed by an infinitive, so I don't think it can be a full conjunction that joins sentence-like clauses. I don't know what it is, though. It's similar to "for the purpose of" which is also followed by a non-finite verb. In Dutch, there is "om te" which is very much the same. —CodeCat 14:13, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
"For the purpose of" is clearly a preposition since it's followed by the gerund, which behaves syntactically as a noun. I don't know what "in order to" is either, but it's the same thing as bare "to" when followed by an infinitive, as in I want to go to Miami. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:09, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
The function of function terms needs to be highlighted. The 'Phrase' header doesn't do that.
In order to is the most troublesome.
Clearly in order to does not have all the same functions as those we show for the particle to. If sense 2 of to#Preposition ("purpose") made it clear that what followed could be a verb phrase, then we might simply call in order to a synonymous preposition. Our usage examples of the senses of to#Preposition include at least one that has a verb after to, so we do not seem to restrict our use of the Preposition header to words only followed by nouns. But we need that missing usage example at sense 2 of to#Preposition and possibly other senses of to#Preposition. Most other dictionaries finesse the grammatical function question by including in order to as a run-in entry under order. Our format and pretensions to completeness deny us that option.
I haven't looked at CGEL yet. I wonder what a generative grammarian would make of the expression. Would it be considered a constituent? What is most helpful to users? DCDuring TALK 15:37, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Maybe the problem is that we're analysing the word following to as a verb infinitive. In Old English, to was followed by a special gerund form of the infinitive, which was inflected as a dative just like you'd expect for any other noun following to. So for Old English, it's clear: to is a preposition and the word following it is a noun. —CodeCat 15:47, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
But not in modern English. If the infinitive after to is modified by something, it's modified by an adverb, not adjective (to boldly go where no man has gone before vs. *to bold go where...) so it's pretty clearly a verb. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:14, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
That's pretty standard in most Germanic languages, probably Old English too. In Gothic (the most conservative Germanic language), infinitives could already take subjects and objects ("I don't want (for) him to see me..."). So being able to be modified by an adverb doesn't make it not fundamentally a noun. In Dutch, you can say het langzaam gaan "the slowly-going", where langzaam is in the adverbial form and not the definite attributive form langzame (although het langzame gaan "the slow going" is also possible). Yet the fact that it's preceded by a definite article makes it a noun without doubt. —CodeCat 16:23, 30 December 2013 (UTC)


The entry claims that the sense "A criminal group with a common cultural background and identifying features" is chiefly American English; I beg to differ. It's a common sense in Australia, and probably the UK too I imagine. Anyway, how is that meaning any different to "A group of criminals or alleged criminals who band together"? They should be merged IMO, with the "US" tag removed. ---> Tooironic (talk) 21:21, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

I agree. Common cultural background has nothing to do with anything. --WikiTiki89 22:53, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Does anyone else agree? I'd like to go ahead and make the edits if there are no objections. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:35, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Gangs usually have a common cultural background, and they do develop all kinds of ways to show their common identity, but I don't think that's part of the definition. That said, there's a social dimension to gangs that this definition is trying to address: they have a very strong group identity, customs and traditions, and an attachment to their neighborhood- it's not just a random group of criminals that ran into each other on the street and said "hey, let's go rob a liquor store". Chuck Entz (talk) 00:37, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
That's also true for the yakuza, the largest gang in the world, which has strong ties to Japan that go way back in history, yet has a higher proportion of ethnic Koreans than the general population (see w:Yakuza#Ethnic_Koreans) Haplogy () 00:44, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
It's just the case of Japan being almost entirely monoethnic for a long time. They didn't want to gang up with foreigners for obvious reasons but having some ethnic Koreans already breaks "common cultural background" part of the definition for yakuza as well. (fixed your link). According to "Kill Bill" movie they had some half Chinese (O-Ren Ishii) as well. :) --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:26, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Ethnic Koreans would not break a "common cultural background". --WikiTiki89 02:29, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Korean and Japanese cultures are similar but not identical at all - directness of Korean and indirectness of Japanese are significant differences, according to some Japanese people I know. More importantly, common language, even accent is also a very important part of cultures, especially with those, who are not known to be tolerant. Of course, the ritual language, eating habits, clothes styles are different and history. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:34, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Cultures and subcultures are very tricky, but my point is that Koreans in Japan have at least partially adopted Japanese culture. --WikiTiki89 02:36, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
So did the Chinese and other gaijin who live there. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:39, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
And they are also in the Yakuza, are they not? --WikiTiki89 02:43, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I would guess that non-Japanese would be more likely to be outsiders in Japanese society, which is probably the common factor with other gang members. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:47, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89. Perhaps but sometimes no matter how you try you may still be considered outsider and not accepted because you're perceived different, even if you're not. My point is, it's too blurred to include in the definition, especially if we're not talking about Japanese yakuza but any gang in any country. It's not necessarily culture but common goals or other things that may unite gangsters of different backgrounds, even if people with common cultures are more likely to gang up. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:51, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it shouldn't be in the definition. I was just disagreeing with your argument that ethnic Koreans break the common cultural background. --WikiTiki89 02:54, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I still disagree that Koreans and Japanese have common culture, unless you consider peoples like, for example Norwegians and Hungarians to have common culture. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 19:52, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Not Koreans and Japanese in general, but the Koreans in Japan. --WikiTiki89 23:04, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Appendix:Unsupported titles

I just found out about this page, and I was wondering if it can be adapted to include a reference to CJKV character entries not in the Unicode character set, as they are defined elsewhere but do not represent their true form? Most recent examples I've been working on are ⿰米頗 and the 勉 versus 勉 distinction. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 19:32, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

The 勉 versus 勉 distinction has nothing to do with this. It's better to just define 勉 at . For characters that don't exist in Unicode such as ⿰米頗, this would be the best solution. There should be as little as possible in this appendix. --WikiTiki89 01:38, 1 January 2014 (UTC)