Wiktionary:Tea room/2013/September

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

make one aware

I realise this is maybe not the best place to talk about this, but I'll probably get more (relevant) answers here. I've just encountered make one aware (created by a native speaker) on the French wiktionary, which is supposed to match French tenir au courant (to keep in the loop, abreast, etc.). But it seems a bit strange, and SoP at least. What do you think? --Fsojic (talk) 00:00, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Make aware could be a one-time conveying of information. Keep current certainly means repeated conveying of information. To keep (someone) current/informed is SoP in English. current suggests getting the information in a more timely way than informed does. abreast usually wants a complement headed by of. in the loop is more appropriate for someone who can (or is flattered to think they can) influence a decision, not someone who merely adjusts to the news. DCDuring TALK 01:23, 1 September 2013 (UTC)


I'm not really happy with the translations I gave to the more idiomatic uses of this Latvian word -- especially not with the translations of examples. My gut feeling is that "productive", "producing" or "production-based" are not the best, most idiomatic translations. Perhaps the native speakers of English here could give me some suggestions? Thanks in advance. --Pereru (talk) 09:02, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

At the conceptual level, if I were writing (not translating), I would use transforming to contrast with gathering. Is the usage example really a typical use of ražojošs? DCDuring TALK 10:32, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
My impression is that ražojošs suggests a bit the language of economics, especially the language of Marxism ("the productive classes", as contrasted with "parasitic capitalists", would probably include ražojošs. But this may also be because most larger Latvian dictionaries were published in Soviet times. But there are more recent uses: Ražojošs uzņēmums SIA "Zieglera mašīnbūve" is used to translate German "Ziegler Maschinenbau GmbH" (Ziegler Machines Ltd). Since "uzņēmums" means "firm" or "company", a "ražojošs uzņēmums" is apparently a "productive firm/company", meaning by this (I presume) a firm/company that actually produces (rather than just distributing or advertising) something. Does that help? --Pereru (talk) 16:56, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
For that kind of use, English would have formerly used manufacturing, as in "Standard Manufacturing Company" or "Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing" (aka "3M"). Nowadays, the English names of Chinese companies often include the word manufacturing and US companies may include a product class or dispense with any connection with a function or product. In any event, something using "produc(t)-" can't be the sole English gloss. Manufacturing fits at least some of the modern uses, with transforming possibly working in some archaeology/anthropology/sociology/"(Marxist) economic theory" contexts. DCDuring TALK 18:45, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Is transportation a ražojošs activity? Power generation? Power distribution? Telecommunications services? Insurance? Wholesaling? Retailing? DCDuring TALK 18:48, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
As far as I know, none of these acctivities is ražojošs (though I'm not sure about power generation). My impression is it really has to do with manufacturing things, which is why I like your suggestion. I'll adapt the translations accordingly. --Pereru (talk) 09:48, 4 September 2013 (UTC) Hm, a potential problem that occurs to me now is that ražojošs is not only connected to industry, but also to agriculture: food-producing farms also count as ražojošs. So it's manufacture + food production... a hard concept to translate into one English word. --Pereru (talk) 09:48, 4 September 2013 (UTC)


This is defined as a louse or sputnik; neither of those entries have a definition to match this symbol. Once at least one of them does, we should move the translations section there, and use a trans-see instead. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:49, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

The more common name seems to be currency sign, especially since that's Unicode's name for it (see w:Currency (typography)) Chuck Entz (talk) 22:28, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
The usage of its names might be restricted to technical talk about text encodings, and the symbol itself might never have been used. I will RFV. Michael Z. 2013-09-12 21:57 z

Zoroastrianism translations

What language is "Afghanistani"? There's already a Pashto translation. DTLHS (talk) 22:00, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

The contributor who added that never edited in any Afghani language, so it's probably an error for Pashto. I don't know any Pashto, but the Pashto translation, زردشتي, looks like an adjective formed from what could very well be pronounced as "zardosht", which seems to be the name of Zoroaster in the language. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:55, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Nouns are often made from adjectives in a few languages. I have removed "Afghanistani". --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:51, 5 September 2013 (UTC)


The definitions on this page are awful, by the way. --Shegashega (talk) 22:45, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

That's why we need you to help. DCDuring TALK 23:18, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
I totally suck at defining stuff, Dennis. That's common knowledge around here. You, on the other hand, have a wonderful talent for it and should show it off. I've noticed you've slacked off with actual word defining recently. Poor form, if you ask me ;) -WF
It's just not as much fun as it used to be. Many of my old typing habits have rendered wrong. Taxonomic names is a realm where I make my own templates, at least until someone decides to muck them up. DCDuring TALK 01:06, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
The definitions of very many of our English words are crap. That's why I wouldn't dream of using Wiktionary to find the meaning of a (non-technical) English word (with so many better dictionaries online). It's the "all words in all languages" feature that marks us out as special. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:16, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
It's usually the real basic words that have poor definitions, such as this one. Mglovesfun (talk) 03:45, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Those words are almost always polysemic. A polysemic word is hard to define, keeping the senses distinct and covering the whole range of uses. It is particularly hard to word the definitions in a way that convinces the wide range of users that we have not omitted a definition that covers the use of a word in a particular collocation or catchphrase that is part of their idiolect.
It's all well and good that we have so many languages (though mostly shallowly covered, often with incomprehensible or obsolete definitions, or referring to polysemic English words without glosses that narrow the meaning). But how good can the translations be if the English definitions are not so good or "crap"? DCDuring TALK 04:07, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Is that better? –Catsidhe (verba, facta) 04:56, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

No offense, but I've RfVed the "breath" definition. MWOnline has seven definitions; we have four, three if "breath" is wrong. The definitions are excessively conceptual and somewhat encyclopedic so it is very hard to test them by substitution into real usage. DCDuring TALK 13:08, 3 September 2013 (UTC)


Perhaps these 3 definitions are superfluous to one another--Shegashega (talk) 23:05, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

The first definition is almost identical to the sole definition in Webster 1913. This Google n-Gram shows how much the usage has increased since that time. Webster's 2nd expected the user to combine effective with -ness and provided six definitions of effective:
  1. (obs.) having the function of producing an effect
  2. producing a desired or decisive effect.
  3. ready for service.
  4. (fin., econ.) real, actual
  5. (grammar) of a verb form or aspect, indicating a final result or state.
  6. (law) in actual operation
Only the two non-obsolete, general senses seem relavant, which is confirmed by the two definitions in Webster's 3rd:
  1. the quality or state of being effective
  2. the power to be effective.
MWOnline once more relies on -ness + effective, which has six definitions. Relative to MW 2, they drop the obsolete and grammar definitions, break out 1b "impressive, striking" from 1a "producing a desired effect", which they keep; keep 2 "ready for service"; drop (fin., econ.) from 3 "real, actual"; drop (law) from in actual operation", worded as 4 "operative"; and add 5 a highly specialized sense relating to rates of interest.
Most other dictionaries do what MW 2 and MW online do: rely on effective to carry the water for all the terms derived by affixation from effective, even though at least 3, possibly 5, of the definitions of effective do not carry over to effectiveness.
So do you think we should make an effort to define effectiveness in a non-trivial way?
"The condition of having actually produced an effect" certainly differs from "The state of being able to produce an effect". And effectiveness often does become a matter of degree, which is the third of the senses. These are all different aspects of essential the same concept, but one cannot substitute the different definitions equally well into all the uses of effectiveness in real usage.
I suppose that, at the very least, the definitions could use good usage examples. If you don't think that effectiveness is used in all of these ways, you could challenge any of the definitions. DCDuring TALK 00:15, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


We are missing the business sense. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:57, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Now added. --Avenue (talk) 15:39, 12 November 2013 (UTC)


Could the example Arbeit macht frei at Arbeit please be removed? It is deeply offensive. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Done. A German speaker might like to check the translation of the example which was stolen wholesale from das freie WörterbuchCatsidhe (verba, facta) 10:08, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't see why we can't have both. The original is quite famous. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:13, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but using it as an example of how a word is normally or typically used might be seen as contraindicated. —Catsidhe (verba, facta) 10:16, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Offensiveness is purely a subjective matter. Still in this case it makes sense to replace it with a better example. Linking to Wikipedia inside usage examples is also nonstandard. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:40, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree Arbeit macht frei is not a good example. I have changed the translation of the user example a bit. BTW, the title should be "Arbeit", not "arbeit", German nouns are always capitalised. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:40, 5 September 2013 (UTC)


I had originally thought that this English word must be a US nonstandard form (it's in Merriam Webster), but Google book search throws up many Scottish usages. Is it OK to just tag it as "nonstandard"? SemperBlotto (talk) 11:27, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

It is still used in some northern English dialects, but it's dying out. (There's the story of the Yorkshire schoolboy who, when he was reproved for writing 'putten' in his exercise book, replied: 'Whya! ah've nobbut putten " putten" when ah owt ti a'e putten " put ".) Dbfirs 22:20, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

file allocation table

This is not a generic term for a data structure found in file systems. "File Allocation Table" is a proper noun referring to the specific file system developed by Microsoft, and the structure used by it. I am quite doubtful that this entry is dictionary material. Shall I {{rfv}} or {{rfd}} it? Keφr 20:37, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

I think that the term is also used generically, but I don't know if it has relevance outside the FAT file system. Either way, the filesystem is called FAT but there is also a data structure called a "file allocation table" used in implementing that file system. —CodeCat 21:26, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
UFS and ext3 call this an "inode pointer structure", for btrfs it is an "extent allocation tree", NTFS has something called a "Master File Table" which looks like it holds equivalent data, while the HFS Plus documentation seemingly does not even bother to name the thing. So, this is hardly an established generic term. And even if, is it not a SOP? Because the current definition pretty much boils down to "a table that deals with allocation of files". Also, definitions in other entries (FAT, FAT32, etc.) seem to conflate the two senses. Keφr 22:33, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
If file allocation table is the structure that exists only within the FAT system, then it can't really be SOP because there are other tables that allocate files but they are not file allocation tables. So this passes the "fried egg test" (why is that not in WT:GL?) of idiomaticity. —CodeCat 22:37, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
This is why I started the question with "And even if [it is an established generic term]". My point was, either the definition is wrong or so obvious that it should not be here. Keφr 23:07, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


I noticed that under the definition of "ravage", the word "rapid" is listed as a "related term"; why? There is no mention in the OED of any such relation.GaryD144 (talk)

They are etymological cousins:

They both derive from the concept of being taken away at speed, but I don't think there's any closer connection, and I suspect that link can be safely deleted. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:30, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

The OED (1937) shows the origin of "ravage" as the French "ravir": to RAVISH; showing the origin of "rapid" as Latin "rapidus: MOVING WITH GREAT SPEED. I will delete it. GaryD144 (talk)

I have restored it. The Related terms heading is for terms which are etymologically related. Lots of people get that wrong, even regulars. Maybe it needs a better name. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:07, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I understand etymological relationships and would greatly appreciate the source; I am unable to locate a reliable source that derives ravage from rapio.GaryD144 (talk)
You can go step-by-step through Robert (definitive online French dictionary) for the portion of the derivation that goes from Latin to any vintage of French. Start here by searching for ravir. DCDuring TALK 12:37, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Specifically: "Du lat. pop. *rapīre (cf. ital. rapire, roum. rapi), altér. du lat. rapere « entraîner avec soi; enlever de force »."
Which agrees with (and is probably the source of) Etymology Online's version. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 12:59, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
The problem is the distance of the relationship: there are lots of terms that are distantly related if you go back far enough, but they're better off only mentioned as cognates in the etymology. A few examples: Tuesday and divine, wit and video, steam and fumigate (and probably dust and possibly thyme)). As you get more and more distant, such information goes from being useful to being clutter. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:11, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

"Right-wing discourse"?

There are just six articles that says a term is "right-wing discourse" (namely, s.vv.: Islamofascist, death panel, activist judge, activist justice, Islamofascism, Islamonazism). There are zero pages on Wiktionary that use the term "left-wing discourse." Is there a better, less-POV way this can be expressed on these six pages? Tuckerresearch (talk) 01:20, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Gee. I'd just remove it unless there is some actual evidence supporting it for a particular entry. DCDuring TALK 01:27, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Shoot-from-the-hip "discourse analysis" (only without any actual analysis) is not what we need. DCDuring TALK 01:32, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. Tuckerresearch (talk) 15:33, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I'd like it if more participated in this matter, one way or another. DCDuring TALK 15:48, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't think Islamofascist, Islamofascism, and Islamonazism are "right-wing discourse" (which wouldn't use "fascism" or "Nazism" pejoratively). I do note we don't have hasbara (see w:hasbara and w:Hasbara Fellowships). -- 23:39, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Modern-day conservatives mostly don't identify with fascists or Nazis, and are trying to redefine them as liberals. At any rate, they're not shy about using pejoratve reference to Nazism in feminazi. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:15, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Just pointing out that you are confusing conservative and right-wing. You definitely can't call fascists and Nazis "conservative" because they were radical, which is the opposite of conservative. You can call them right-wing, but as you mentioned many modern-day right-wingers are conservative and therefore not fascists or Nazis. --WikiTiki89 04:10, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Are you new to American politics? Our right-wing extremists have taken over the word conservative. It's one thing to allow them to corrupt their own language about themselves, it's quite another to object to their attempts to corrupt language regarding the enemies they see everywhere. Roughly speaking, their entire discourse is button-pushing word salad. Choor monster (talk) 13:14, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Other fascists spread the term "homofascism". I think the category should stay. Right now, in Russia, right-wing extremists use pejorative forms usually having to do with homosexuals, such as "tolerast(y)" (tolerance/pederasty), "liberast(y)" (liberal/pederast), "Gayrope" (gay/Europe), etc. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:49, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps "politically charged?" That could be applied to loaded terms used on all sides of the political spectrum. More detailed information about the type of political discourse in which a term is generally used (e.g. progressive, conservative, libertarian, etc.) could be provided in a usage note where appropriate. -Cloudcuckoolander (talk) 00:21, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
It's not a dictionary's job to explain such things- such references should be replaced in the context template with "Politics", and if we have to explain any further, it should be in a usage note.Chuck Entz (talk) 03:15, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz (talkcontribs): My thoughts exactly. Thanks. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 03:36, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
I think it entirely our job to explain when words are carrying baggage along that someone who has to look it up might not be familiar with. I think that a context tag of "politics" doesn't begin to explain that "fascism" and "Islamofascism" are not nearly as similar words as they look like, and that any use of the later is going to annoy a certain fraction of English speakers.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:41, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
I think the tags pejorative and offensive say enough. There is no reason to guess at the political views of people who use the term. --WikiTiki89 12:43, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
The "politics" label is kind of a catch-all for terms used in political discourse (for example, Veepstakes). It doesn't convey that a term is politically-charged/loaded. "Pejorative" and "offensive" don't always cover it, either, since words can be pejorative or offensive without being politically-charged. I'm in agreement with Prosfilaes. We'd be doing our readers a disservice if we didn't inform them (as neutrally as possible) about the existence and nature of a word's baggage. -Cloudcuckoolander (talk) 14:04, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Ok, well I think the combination of politics, pejorative, and offensive conveys the message quite well. My other point is that left-wingers (although admittedly more rarely) may also use these terms in the same way. Also, the definitions of "right-wing" and "left-wing" are unstable and constantly changing and twenty years from now those tags will mean something something completely different. --WikiTiki89 14:31, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
That depends by what you mean by "completely different". Of course the issues will change. It's a safe bet that the American right-wing, 20 years from now, will be claiming Obamacare as their greatest success story. And today's right-wing is willfully unaware of the numerous times Reagan raised taxes, the debt ceiling, the national debt, and all that.
In general, pejorative status is unstable. Think of all the words you've been using all your life, and then suddenly you discover it's a big no-no. And then they get adopted or co-opted yet again. Do we have a system of keeping track of taboo word fashion? All those Victorian euphemisms, say. Choor monster (talk) 14:52, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
The word pejorative is most certainly not unstable. Yes some words become pejorative and some pejorative words become non-pejorative, in those cases we simply update the tag. But if the word pejorative itself came to mean something different, it would be much more difficult to change every definition that uses it. --WikiTiki89 15:09, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Islamofascist, death panel, etc. would be more accurate and less partisan with labels like “used by opponents of Islamic fundamentalism/federal health care/etc.”. — Ungoliant (Falai) 13:37, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

People's Liberation Army Navy

Classes as Chinese English. How does that work?

Because of {{context|China}}. But it's not a Chinese regionalisms, it's about something which is topically about China. This is why we don't use {{context|US}} for New York State even though it's in the US, because it's not a US regionalism. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:35, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I believe that's were the label historical comes into play, basically. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 03:38, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Much work, preceded by much thinking, needs to be done to straighten out topical vs register labeling and categorization. This is one of many stupid results of the current system, ie, the system in existence since User:Daniel Carrero hijacked what had been labels used to mark definitions used in specialized contexts to populate his topical category empire. DCDuring TALK 04:03, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

geek chic

OED gives " the dress, appearance, and culture associated with computing and technology enthusiasts, regarded as stylish or fashionable." The author of our definitions states, fairly, that they aren't the best. --Rich man at camp (talk) 18:55, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Latvian spilgts, spulgs, spožs (and perhaps spīdīgs)

These are all adjectives having to do with light emission/reflection: "bright", "shiny", "shining", "gleaming", "glowing"... there are so many words in this semantic field in English! Since my own native language (Portuguese) is rather poor in this area, I'm not sure I get all the semantic nuances right. So I'm wondering if any of you might cast a glance at my translations of the Latvian examples for these words to tell me if they sound OK in English. Thanks in advance! --Pereru (talk) 19:42, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Two of the usage examples bothered me: "bright color shade" and "brightest character trait". "Bright" and "shade" are nearly contradictory to me. I would use shade to mean "hue", as would many, I think. But I think many English speakers might not be bothered by "bright color shade".
"Bright character trait", though, just doesn't seem right. Striking, notable seem better.
The others seem adequate to very good to me, but they may indeed be perfect translations, with my hesitations being of a conceptual, non-linguistic nature. DCDuring TALK 20:18, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I'll get rid of "bright character trait". Thanks for the help! --Pereru (talk) 21:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

faigh cuidhteas

This entry contained the ungrammatical mess "faigh cuidhteas iad"; I've corrected it to "faigh cuidhteas dhiubh". When "faigh cuidhteas" means " get rid of" it requires the preopistion "de" (compunded when the object is a pronoun, as here, freestanding with all other noun forms (which will be in dative case)). When it means "get/come clear of an obstacle, the obstacle takes the genitive case and there is no preposition. The entry also gave only the get rid of meaning, not the get clear of meaning - I guess I should fix that too. The Scottish Gaelic content generally seems a bit weak, this is just one example.

in the buff

I'm not sure I agree with the distinction between adverb and adjective. To me it's just a matter of attributive/predicative use of an adjective. We're not going to create an adverb section for naked because of sentences such as: "I've seen a man walking naked in the street." The same goes for French à poil, from which I've removed the adverb header. --Fsojic (talk) 16:24, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

It's a bit tricky though, since there is a Russian translation for the adverb. --Fsojic (talk) 16:26, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, and the derived adverb nakedly has a somewhat different meaning - "without concealment; plainly, openly; blatantly" SemperBlotto (talk) 16:32, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Don't we call these prepositional phrases? Mglovesfun (talk) 16:33, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
We do whenever it does not disturb existing work. From an English language perspective it usually is more economical, less duplicative to do so. It is nice to have double up on the usage examples though. DCDuring TALK 23:32, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
The definition "while nude" doesn't substitute for all verbs. He was sitting on the patio in the buff. *He was sitting in the patio while nude. The prepositional phrase definition might be "in an unclothed condition" or something similar.
Notwithstanding the grammar, clearly in the buff semantically has little to do with the verbs in our examples and much to do with the state of the person. DCDuring TALK 23:47, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

far point

Just checking sense #2. Some examples would be appreciated. The Finnish translation is horisontti (fi), which is "horizon". --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:10, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Horisontti just happens to be the metaphor that is used in Finnish for this concept. In concrete sense (#1) the "far point" is kaukopiste. --Hekaheka (talk) 11:58, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
It sounds very vague, but presumably designed to cover lots of senses of the (SoP) far + point. Does it also cover vanishing point? Dbfirs 12:40, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

take a piss

We have take a shit, though take a piss has been created before and rejected to as sum-of-parts. Either we should add take a piss or delete the current take a shit in order to be consistent. 01:45, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Add take a piss, take a leak, and take a crap. I think it is counterintuitive that one should take such things, when leaving them would seem more appropriate. —Stephen (Talk) 15:32, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
They are the same sense of take as "take a ride", "take a look", "take a walk", "take a smell", "take a stab", etc. --WikiTiki89 15:41, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

baked pork, roast pork?

What's the English term (if it exists) for German "Schweinsbraten"/"Schweinebraten", French "rôti de porc" and Russian бужени́на (buženína)? I know "buzhenina" (from Russian) is also used, perhaps when referring to the Russian variety. In Japanese the dish is called ローストポーク (rōsuto pōku), i.e. "roast pork" but is "roast pork" used as the name of the dish? Any of the foreign language terms above may produce Google images, if you wonder what the dish looks like. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 05:03, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

(before edit conflict) BTW, the Russian бужени́на (buženína) is not restricted to pork. It can also be made of lamb and bear meat. (The tool panel doesn't work, have to add the signature and formatting manually') --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 05:13, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
"Roast pork" is correct. And delicious. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 05:08, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) Thanks, Catsidhe, I will make an entry modeled on roast beef. Pity there is no English Wikipedia article on the dish but there are in other languages. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 05:13, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
The prepared dish can also be called a pork roastMichael Z. 2013-09-11 21:49 z


Can this word be a noun as well? This person seems to have translated it as such in the verb translation table (German was correct; Dutch and French are nouns; Tagalog and Danish need double-check). --Fsojic (talk) 09:42, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

google books:“a retch” shows many noun hits. I’ve added the sense. — Ungoliant (Falai) 09:49, 10 September 2013 (UTC)


hearty can mean "sincere" according to our entry. But it seems it can also mean almost the exact opposite: " 'Well done, Hermione,' said Harry, so heartily it did not sound like his voice at all [...] 'Cool,' Harry said, and he was relieved to hear that his voice had stopped sounding hearty. " (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, pp. 151-152) --Fsojic (talk) 15:29, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

To me it seems like in that quote, "heartily" is meant in the sense of energetically, which we already have in our definition. Out of interest, what do you take it to mean? BigDom (tc) 16:30, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
You have to take the definitions and usage examples with a grain or more of salt. The entry hardly looked changed from Webster 1913. DCDuring TALK 16:45, 10 September 2013 (UTC)


if a police officer hears a person being arrested tell another person to go to her house would that be hearsay? the person she told later got charged with burglary for being in her house... thanks

Sorry, we can't give legal advice. You need to speak to a lawyer in your jurisdiction. —Angr 00:08, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Our entry at burglary (and Wikipedia:Burglary) suggests that the question of an offence hinges not on hearsay but on lawful purpose, but the fine detail depends on the exact law in your country, as explained above. Dbfirs 20:44, 12 September 2013 (UTC)


I think this is missing the sense that is used in "In 2013, 12 September falls on a Tuesday". But I am not really sure how to describe this sense. Does anyone else know? —CodeCat 12:59, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

What about {{n-g|Specifies the weekday on which a date occurs}}? — Ungoliant (Falai) 13:03, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
It works, but it's very specific. Are there other similar uses that this could be generalised under? —CodeCat 13:23, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
M-W combines this sense with our sense 7, as well as the sense of "the stress falls on the second syllable". —Angr 14:43, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
"Weekday" isn't good enough, because e.g. "Easter usually falls in April" (a month). Chambers just has "happen, occur". Equinox 23:24, 12 September 2013 (UTC)


Quote link is dead, suggest using:

  | date = 2003-02-22
  | author = PJ Doland
  | title = Defending My Yonic Houseplant
  | blog = The Frosty Mug Revolution
  | archiveurl = http://web.archive.org/web/20041021051338/http://pj.doland.org/archives/004835.php
  | archivedate = 2004-10-21
  | accessdate = 2013-09-12

Hobart (talk) 14:37, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

I have put three citations from books there instead. We don't usually cite Weblogs. Equinox 14:45, 12 September 2013 (UTC)


We have a single definition at agriculture, for which there are (now) two German translations listed: Landwirtschaft and Ackerbau. The trouble is, I have a strong feeling that those two German words are not really synonyms, and that the one is 'agriculture' only in some senses, while the other is 'agriculture' only in other senses. The problem is that as a nonnative speaker of German, and as a city kid, I don't have a very good feel for what the distinction is. I think sort of vaguely that Ackerbau is what people do when they aren't hunter-gatherers or nomads--maybe more generally the "production" side of agriculture, while Landwirtschaft is the business side or "distribution" side of agriculture. Can other German speakers (especially native ones) help hammer out a distinction between the two? Do we need a second sense of the English word? German Wikipedia has separate articles on Ackerbau and Landwirtschaft; one difference between them seems to be that Landwirtschaft includes raising animals, while Ackerbau doesn't. —Angr 14:47, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

I think yes. Slavic terms starting with "zem(l)-" are similar to German Ackerbau (excluding raising animals). --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:55, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
All the English dictionaries but one at agriculture at OneLook Dictionary Search seem to have one definition similarly worded to ours. Webster 1828 has that definition, but suggest the a more proper definition just relatives to the cultivation of grain. The SIC codes for agriculture do not include firms principally engaged in any form of processing further than harvesting. DCDuring TALK 01:35, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
We could use {{qualifier}} then. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:40, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Also, there is the term agribusiness, which includes businesses not directly engaged in growing things. The US also has w:agricultural cooperatives, which engage in processing, distribution and marketing on behalf of farmers. DCDuring TALK 05:12, 17 September 2013 (UTC)


Given the current definition of the label historical, I don't understand why it is there for the three first meanings of doom. --Fsojic (talk) 21:14, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

"Historical" is intended to included use in historical works (or historical fiction) where it may evoke special meaning or atmosphere. It looks to me like a problem with the Glossary definition. DCDuring TALK 02:08, 13 September 2013 (UTC)


Per User talk:Mglovesfun#incomber, we in incomber and the French Wiktionary in fr:behove translate incomber as behove. This doesn't fit our definition of behove, but, I check in my New Oxford Dictionary of English (2001) and it gives behove to mean exactly incomber, to be a responsibility to. So either our definition is wrong or we lack a definition that in an OED. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:56, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Actually, I've just noticed that the US form behoove is more complete... --Fsojic (talk) 11:06, 13 September 2013 (UTC)


I think this definition needs substantial changes. The definition needs to be updated to more accurately reflect the meaning of the word, and in particular the noun section needs replacing with a proper noun section. I think the page as a whole also needs renaming to include capitalisation, since that's the primary usage of the word. There's also one synonym entry to remove entirely, another to re-categorise, the verb definition to correct, the French definition to correct and the Spanish version to capitalise. I'm happy to make most of the changes, but renaming the page appears beyond my capabilities at the moment. Feraess (talk) 19:31, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Esperanto word "farti"

I discovered that the entry farti had a conjugation template for a transitive verb, but farti is intransitive. I changed the template, but entries have been created by User:MewBot for fartata, fartataj, fartota, and 24 other forms that would only exist if the word were transitive. These forms are meaningless, and I think they should be deleted, but I'm kind of new here, so I'm not sure how to go about nominating them for deletion. (Especially since there are 27 of them.) I'd appreciate some help. Thanks! Mr. Granger (talk) 13:53, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

If a bot has created forms because of a mistake in a template, you can just put {{delete|created in error}} on the page. Someone will delete them then. —CodeCat 13:58, 14 September 2013 (UTC)


Why does CORM fail CFI? A simple link to CFI doesn't point out what point it fails. And deleting it while I was editing doesn't allow me to flesh out the thing either. -- 14:18, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Probably because challenger of record management does not seem to have enough cites available. I only found one cite in GB: challenger of record management. It needs two more. —Stephen (Talk) 15:49, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

machine translation

The definitions in that entry do not look very well. It is unclear which meaning of "translate" is meant. I think the definitions should look like:

  1. The act of transforming a computer language into another computer language using a computer. (I assume this is what the original second definition was meant to… mean.)
  2. The act of translating text in a natural language into another natural language by means of an algorithm.
  3. The discipline dealing with studying and devising such (2) algorithms.

This is a change I consider somewhat nontrivial (the translation list will have to be looked over), and I think there might be better ways of redefining the term, so I would like to ask people around about this. Keφr 21:23, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Beethoveniano (definition).

Please see wiktionary's article 'beethoveniano'. You will see it only has one entry, namely for Italian. But this term happens to belong to the lexicon of Spanish too: lema dot rae dot es.

Interesting that the Italian doesn't drop the -h-. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:45, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

advertising pillar

We don't have this. I have nominated the phrase for deletion in French Wiktionary as being non-idiomatic. That's right, isn't it? bd2412 T 03:12, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

I have no idea what kind of metaphorical pillar they could be talking about in the absence of context. DCDuring TALK 03:47, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
So, it's a literal pillar, for advertising. I don't think that the thing exists in the US. It smells like a calque of a Continental European term. That makes me think of it as SoP and easy to decode with the least bit of context. DCDuring TALK 03:53, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Advertising pillar, Marine Parade - geograph.org.uk - 1378817.jpg
Oh, you mean one of these. I didn't know what they were called, so maybe we need an entry. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:00, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
WP calls them advertising columns or morris columns (which we have only as capitalized Morris column). The latter is definitely not SOP. Whatever term is most common in English-speaking countries that have them could probably be created and kept at least as a translation target for things like Litfaßsäule. —Angr 09:48, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
A dictionary entry is no help at all for a native speaker to find what something other than a term is called. It can only help with decoding something or translating. The existence of multiple descriptive ways of referring to the physical entity is highly suggestive that the term is SoP. In contrast morris column/Morris column is not SoP and is apparently the only suitable entry as a translation translation target. A translation that linked to the individual component terms, advertising and pillar or to advertising pillar is less desirable. DCDuring TALK 15:28, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm. Morris column doesn't seem to be used in reference to anything but the advertising columns of Paris or of France. commons:Category:Advertising columns shows cylindrical and non-cylindrical structures, structures that are not free-standing, and shows them principally in several Continental European countries.
Both a Morris column and a Litfaßsäule are conceptually types of advertising columns. Morris column, but not Litfaßsäule (wrong language), would be a hyponym of advertising column. But hypernymy is not a reason to have an entry. DCDuring TALK 16:11, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Then what shall we call Litfaßsäule and афишная тумба (which incidentally seems to be just as SOP as "advertising column" is)? Just separately linked "[[advertising]] [[column]]"? I pity the readers who see that and are none the wiser, since just because one knows what advertising is and what a column is, one doesn't necessarily know what an advertising column is. If we can't have an entry for advertising column I'd rather use the WP link as the translation target so that users get at least some context and some help understanding the German/Russian/whatever word. —Angr 16:23, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Each of them can be called an [[advertising]] [[column]] without harm. An image and handy links to Advertising column and, especially, commons:Category:Advertising columns is more than sufficient to both indicate what is being referred to and provide all the context one could possibly need to decode and translate. We don't have to become a short-attention-span encyclopedia.
I think that many of our entries are simply the product of a contributor stumbling across something they hadn't heard of and deciding therefore that it is entryworthy, without consideration of its actual linguistic, lexical merit. The novelty is often conceptual or cultural, sometime not the least bit linguistic. I ssuppose that, if we think including these items makes Wiktionary more fun and thereby increases contributions to more core entries, then the dilution of the meaning of dictionary might be a small price to pay. DCDuring TALK 17:26, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree that this is SOP. But there are some clues that this belongs to the vocabulary of the English language: its inclusion in at least two other dictionaries: http://www.interglot.com/dictionary/en/sv/translate/advertising%20pillar and http://en.bab.la/dictionary/english-dutch/advertising-pillar and the fact that Google finds more pages for "advertising pillar" than for "Morris column". If it's a term of the English vocabulary, it should be includable, even if SOP, because we are supposed to include all terms of the vocabulary. If so, its inclusion is useful: a dictionary is not used only to look for the meaning of a term, it can be used to learn new terms (categories are especially helpful when you want to learn new terms ; and I'm not sure that it would be used naturally, as shown by DCDuring, who was surprised by it). Lmaltier (talk) 17:43, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Note that I'm not sure that it's a term in English. But the question should be is there a term (or a few possible terms) in English to refer to this object? If the anwer is yes, these terms should be includable. If the answer is no (i.e. if you have to create your own phrase when you need it), then it's should not be included. Lmaltier (talk) 20:36, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
According to a brief Google Books search, advertising column is about five times as prevalent as advertising pillar, so if we were to choose to have an SoP term as a translation target, it would seem that "column" would be the place to go (although I suppose some hits might intend a newspaper column). I tried to search for "advertising post" also, but was stymied by the large number of false positives. Another question, I think, is whether we should care that French Wiktionary has this (although it has advertising pillar, and not advertising column). bd2412 T 21:31, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Personally, I don't want to create pages as translation targets only: translations for little bird can be included in bird, if needed, there is no need for a little bird page. But all true terms should be includable. Lmaltier (talk) 05:58, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure why the US doesn't have these (the physical things) in sufficient number to have a term in general use, at least one I would recognize. (I also have been looking to see if there is a term used within the US outdoor-advertising industry.) Does it require a certain mix of regulation, public squares, and pedestrianism? If the phenomenon doesn't exist, then foreign-word borrowing, calques (Morris column), and general rules of construction of ad hoc compounds would be sufficient.
The WP article on street furniture (w:Street furniture) referred to poster poles and did not mention any of the other terms. (I added the link to w:Advertising column.) DCDuring TALK 22:05, 17 September 2013 (UTC)


I heard someone say "operate the patient" in a medical context and, after finding it in Google Books also, wanted to see how we document it. Unfortunately, the definitions at operate are all rather confusing to me, and the two that relate to medicine I'm not sure how to distinguish. I've marked them all as transitive or intransitive, but they could really use some examples to show how they can be either. DAVilla 23:45, 17 September 2013 (UTC)


Yesterday, I added the word "metabolismics" to Wiktionary, and someone deleted it. The reason given was that it is a protologism.

My question is how to reverse this dismissal. Here is the background for the word "metabolismics:

I created "metabolismics" just this week in a scientific seminar here at University of Basel. Those present agreed with me that it is an accurate description of a field of research in which studies have been performed and published for ca. 35 years, but which has lacked a descriptive term. I have worked in the field personally for ca. 14 years. Studies in "metabolismics" are a major and growing subset of studies which are generally performed using isothermal microcalorimetry. I wrote and published a major Wikipedia article on this topic in 2012. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isothermal_microcalorimetry It receives ca. 600-900 visits per month.

Below is my definition of "metabolismics" along with some further explanatory information. Please tell me how i can get "metabolismics" accepted by Wiktionary. Kind regards, DanDaniels (A.U. Daniels, PhD & FBSE, Prof. Emeritus, University of Basel Faculty of Medicine)

Metabolismics is the quantitative measurement of the rate at which heat is produced or consumed vs. time by cells (including microbes) in culture, by tissue specimens, or by small whole organisms. Metabolismics has been shown to be useful as a diagnostic tool; especially in either identifying the nature of a specimen from its metabolismic signature or determining the effects of e.g. pharmaceutical compounds on metabolic processes, organic growth or viability. Metabolismics is related to metabolomics. The latter is the systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind; i.e. the study of their small-molecule metabolite profiles. Most studies in metabolismics are done using isothermal microcalorimetry (IMC) instruments. When such studies are performed, the products of the metabolic processes evaluated are available for metabolomics studies. Since IMC does not employ biochemical or radioactive markers, the IMC specimens consist only of remaining culture medium (if any was used) and metabolic products. Laboratory studies employing metabolismics plus metabolomics provide a complete picture of the dynamics of metabolic processes and their products. DanDaniels (talk) 08:50, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

  • Wait until you can show that other people have been using the word for over a year. Typically, that would mean it would show up in a Google book search or on www.plosone.org or something similar (nothing yet). SemperBlotto (talk) 09:00, 18 September 2013 (UTC)


What is the origin of the v in Shavian (from Shaw), Whovian (Doctor Who), Kachruvian (Kachru), Monrovia (Monroe)? Should we have an entry for this intruding -v-, as we do for e.g. the -k- in picnicking? Equinox 10:57, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

  • Taking Shavian as an example:- it is from the latinized form of the surname Shavius (Whovian is whimsy and sounds nice). SemperBlotto (talk) 11:11, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
    • I was going to say that the "v" in "Whovian" was merely inspired by Peruvian, but then the question struck me: what is the origin of the "v" in "Peruvian" (from Peru)? bd2412 T 14:13, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Other dictionaries agree that ‘Shavian’ is due to the influence of Latin. For ‘Whovian’, ‘Kachruvian’ and ‘Peruvian’, I wonder if the v is the result of the hardening of /-u(w)iən/ (to /-uviən/). French and Italian also have an intrusive v in their Peru-based adjectives: ‘péruvien’, ‘peruviano’. Checking Onelook, I can't find any common English word formed by the addition of /-iən/ to /-u-/ that doesn't bring in a /v/. ‘Siouian’ exists, but ‘Siouan’ is ~100x more common. (With an /o/, as in Monrovia, ‘Chicagoian’ also exists, and was even almost as common as ‘Chicagoan’ until the late 1860s, but is now outnumbered by it 400 to 1.) - -sche (discuss) 01:59, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

cachet usage

cachet#Usage_notes says that "cachet" is usually used with a negative connotation. To me, it's usually used in expressions like "X has a certain cachet," which is positive. Is anyone opposed to deleting this usage note? --BB12 (talk) 02:50, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Genuinely have no idea. So I don't object. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:28, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
The usage note seems wrong to me. I doubt any good evidence could be found to support it. DCDuring TALK 16:13, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Deleted. --BB12 (talk) 20:41, 21 September 2013 (UTC)


The definition of kimono is "A form of traditional Japanese clothing that is worn in formal occasions." I think that's almost always true these days, though there are probably still some people who wear them on non-formal occasions. Is there a way to phrase this along the lines of, "These days, as a general rule..."? Also, the world of fashion has adopted the word "kimono" to refer to all sorts of gown-like clothing, including yukata-like garments. See, for example [1]. That should be added as well. --BB12 (talk) 04:51, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

I second adding the second sense of "traditional gown-like garment" because a yukata is also known as a "summer kimono."--Haplology (talk) 05:01, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
I have altered the definition, added two more definitions and added a usage note. --BB12 (talk) 22:06, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Misleading caps in etymologies?

How do people feel about this? [2] Ungoliant and I obviously disagree. I don't see an etymology (which is like a simple formula a + b) as a "paragraph" that should conform to sentence capitalisation rules. Equinox 12:33, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Rephrase. "From planes + walker." No more misleading caps. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 12:37, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
I just don’t see how it is misleading. Is your comment misleading because its first word is How instead of how? — Ungoliant (Falai) 12:40, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
No. But if I said that kitbag comes from Kit + bag (or formatted it thus), that would be misleading, since Kit is short for Christopher — not same word as kit. Equinox 13:49, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
It’s misleading because you are linking to Kit. I did no such thing, it displays Planes but links to planes. And how is this any different from most people’s practice of considering definitions sentences. Is the fourth definition of liquor, “(chiefly US) Strong alcoholic drink [] ”, misleading readers due to the surname Strong existing? — Ungoliant (Falai) 14:39, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
The entry has to stand whether or not a user clicks through to the link or hovers. DCDuring TALK 14:46, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
People are aware that paragraph sentences begin capitalised, and that it doesn’t necessarily mean the first word is capitalised. — Ungoliant (Falai) 14:56, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
IMHO, it is better to show the unambiguous word that you mean (e.g. strong) than to force them to hover or click to see that, oh, it was only capitalised by formality, and really the linker meant to say strong. Equinox 00:58, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
I don’t mind using “From [] ”, but I’m not happy with being accused of misleading readers for using proper paragraph capitalisation in paragraphs. You often capitalise definitions yourself, so why am I the misleader? — Ungoliant (Falai) 01:14, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
I think that etymologies have much more potential for ambiguity because they are a much less natural context for reading words than etymologies definitions. But we should avoid such orthography-caused ambiguities in definitions as well. I don't know how often the potential ambiguity actually appears, but I don't expect it to be often. DCDuring TALK 02:04, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Start with 'From' then you dodge the issue. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:42, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
As Translingual and German nouns are sometimes explicitly involved in etymologies capitalization can make a difference in the clarity of presentation. MG's suggestion seems good to me if a contributor really wants initial capitals. Most etymologies aren't really full sentences. For now it's a matter of contributor preference, though it could be part of ELE, if we could reach consensus. DCDuring TALK 13:44, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, please either treat this as a bare fragment with no caps or period, or make a sentence-form fragment with “From” and the period. As etymologies grow, more will have to include the sentence formatting, so why not just adopt this as a convention? Avoid recapitalizing the linked term, because this dictionary hasn’t been able to fully embrace the concept of lemma.
Although there may be some valid logic behind not starting a million out of a million etymologies with the word “From,” including it probably makes them more accessible to many readers. I.e., it makes their message self-evident. Michael Z. 2013-09-20 15:17 z
I concur with Michael; "From x + y.", "A compound of x + y." or "x + y" seem like the ways to go. Bare "x + y" isn't a sentence. - -sche (discuss) 01:12, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

at the very least

I'm sure this is an idiomatic phrase, but since nobody had defined it before, and there were no incoming likes, perhaps I'm missing something. -WF

It seems like at least with "the very" as an infix. Maybe we need another sense for "very" since I think "the very best" means "the absolute best", not "the true best". bd2412 T 22:32, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It's just a stronger variation of at least, with "the" and very added for emphasis. I've also seen "at the least" and "at the absolute least" Chuck Entz (talk) 22:39, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
At least seems much more idiomatic to me than the others, because it has lost its connection with grammaticality by losing both the noun that might have been modified by least and the determiner the. I don't think there is any plausible definition of least as adjective or noun in our entry or at MWOnline that fits this use of least. So perhaps all of these are idiomatic. DCDuring TALK 23:02, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Door darkening

I noticed that WF added darken a church door, which is really of a piece with darken someone's door (and its variants darken someone's doorstep and darken someone's doorway). It seems like it's used mostly in negative constructions to indicate the absolute minimum that could be construed as visiting a place (casting a shadow as one approaches the door). The most familiar is the very dramatic "never darken my door again!", but also "he's obviously never darkened the door of any institution of higher learning" or "I would be surprised to see her ever darken a church door", or "they almost never darken the door of their poor old mother's to see how she's doing". There's also the use in literary writing to refer to blocking the light from outside as one looms in the doorway, but it's a different figure of speech.

My question is: how do we best capture this? What should be the lemma, how should we define it, and how should we describe the relationship between it and the other entries? Chuck Entz (talk) 23:27, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Contrary to my expectations, darken someone's door is decidedly not the majority of usages of darken X door at COCA. Most of the cases were darken the door of something, so perhaps that should be the additional lemma. The negative can sometimes be fairly distant from the phrase, so I'm not sure how helpful it is to note it. A usage note could refer to some types of variations. DCDuring TALK 23:50, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
If you think about it, darken someone's door is just a variant of "darken the door of" with "someone's door" being metaphorically substituted for "the door of someone's home/place". Chuck Entz (talk) 00:21, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
That's true. Perhaps the sole lemma should be at [[darken the door]] with a redirect from the 'someone's' entry. I've sometimes thought we should have redirects from all the pronoun forms of 'someone' lemmas. Similarly for the main applicable determiners (including the null determiner). DCDuring TALK 00:29, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

on Goide

I need proof that goide means theft, or to steal, in scotch gaelic. [3] There's always Google. DCDuring TALK 03:59, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

My friend, If I had found an answer within Google then I would not be here seeking other living beings responses. Google has failed me.

You did try the link above, right? DCDuring TALK 04:59, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

How are you defining proof? We have an entry goide that says 'genitive singular of goid'. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:52, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Good question, my definition of proof comprises extra curricular utilization of said term, i.e. - an outside document

containing this term. DCDuring's link suffices, but more would be better of course.

Latvian dzirkles

As a non-native speaker of English, I'm not sure if it's OK to use the word shears to refer also to those large scissors used in gardening, which apparently is one of the meanings of dzirkles. Maybe one of you native speakers could have a look at my translations there to see if they're OK, or if you'd rather use a different word (say, garden scissors?) for this notion? Thanks in advance! --Pereru (talk) 19:31, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

"Shears" is the correct term- "garden scissors" sounds silly to me, like we're talking about using the kind of scissors designed for cutting paper to trim hedges. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:46, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Good to know. Thanks! --Pereru (talk) 21:07, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
garden shears are a kind of shears, some very scissor-like. One's garden scissors might be ordinary scissors in one's gardening tool kit for cutting twine, labels, etc, ie, scissors for gardening. DCDuring TALK 21:59, 21 September 2013 (UTC)


Are we missing some senses of for? I can't figure out which of the current senses is being used in phrases like "She's in mourning for her mother" and "He feared for his life". Is the first really "She's in mourning on behalf of her mother"? That sounds as if the mother is the one who really ought to be in mourning, but the daughter is a substitute mourner. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:57, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

MW Online starts of their entry with three non-gloss definitions, one of which covers your use.
Our 14 senses include one sense worded as if for were a verb, two supposed sports senses that seem to me to be applications of general senses, and one punt: "Used to construe various phrasal verbs". This compares to the 16 definitions under 10 senses at MWOnline. I doubt the OED has fewer. Preposition entries are hard work, I find, because the most common usages are so far below consciousness and because there are so many uses. DCDuring TALK 16:42, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
Even MW 1913 has definitions that cover common usage better than ours, except, of course, for the wording. DCDuring TALK 16:46, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

The yoozh?

How do you spell /juʒ/, the slang shortening of usual? I very commonly hear (and sometimes say) things like "What'll ya have?" "The /juʒ/." or "He's ten minutes late, as per /juʒ/." The more I hear it the more I'm fascinated by the fact that such a common term doesn't have a common spelling. Ultimateria (talk) 18:33, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Don't think I've ever heard that. The immediately tempting spellings would presumably be "us" (already taken) and "use" (already taken), so it's hard to say. Reminds me of zhuzh/zhoosh somehow. Excellently, just the uzh does find a single Google match. Equinox 20:33, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Urban Dictionary has a few theories about how to spell it . . . —RuakhTALK 17:28, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

it is a plural of "you" and not considered to be grammatically correct. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:09, 11 October 2013‎ (UTC).

Nah, you're thinking of /juz/ (typically spelled <yous> or <youse>). This is /juʒ/, that is, the first part of usual. And anyway, no one's asking what it means, or whether it's grammatical; we're just wondering how people spell it. —RuakhTALK 03:55, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

have it all

What d'y'all reckon? Is have it all idiomatic? -WF

There is a grouping in some accounts of idioms called "it idioms". I think that the "it" often has a fairly specific meaning in each one, which is what makes them (barely) idiomatic. This might qualify. DCDuring TALK 20:26, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't object to it necessarily but your entry didn't really show or explain anything. What else can one do with "it all"? Quite a lot. "The winner takes it all" (was that Abba?); you can want it all, possibly demand it all. Is this a case for it? Equinox 20:30, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
It is interesting to look at the category and try to figure out what the it is and whether that meaning of it is free of context, narrowly defined as the immediate situation (not just the preceding text), possibly with whatever might be human universals.
In the case of have it all, the idiomatic it seems to mean "(the) elements of success" or something. (I think the definition should be substitutable into have all of it, which is a transformation of have it all.) DCDuring TALK 22:33, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Genitive plural of olje in Slovene

In Slovene, the genitive plural has no ending for neuter nouns, so usually a fill vowel is inserted before a final consonant to break up a cluster. Before -j this fill vowel is normall -i-, so that would give olij. But at the same time, -lj and -nj are (exceptionally) valid final clusters, so it could also be olj. So which is it? Is there someone who knows or who find out? —CodeCat 21:26, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

For what it's worth, "velikih olj" gets about 100 Google hits, while "velikih olij" gets none. "Oil" of course isn't one of those words that appears in the plural very often. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 23:54, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
And it wouldn't make much sense to use velik (big, great) with "oil" either. I get the impression that even Slovenes can't make up their mind about it, though. On a Slovene forum topic discussing different types of motor oil[4], one poster uses olj and someone else further down uses olij. So maybe both are possible, but I'd still like to know what a native Slovene speaker can say about this before blindly putting that assumption into our inflection tables. —CodeCat 00:08, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I was hoping velik would also mean "many" in the plural (I looked at the translation table under many and it gave veliko). Alas, none of the users at Category:User sl-N seems to be terribly active. BTW, "motornih olj" gets over 16,000 Google hits and "motornih olij" gets only 5. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 00:43, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
It's definitely "olj". E.g. "rezultati analiz vzorcev ekstra deviških oljčnih olj v letu 2012." - "results of analyses of samples of extra virgin olive oils in 2012." --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:59, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
It's actually veliko, an invariable adverb that takes a noun in the genitive plural. I just added it, although I'm not quite sure how it works in all use cases, because there's also mnog... —CodeCat 01:17, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
veliko is invariable but mnog is declined, e.g. "mnogi ljudje" = many people. Cf. Russian мно́гий (mnógij). The singular masculine form is only used for completeness. velik means "big, great"--Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:25, 24 September 2013 (UTC)


This Latvian word (clearly a borrowing from Russian хала́т (xalát), itself of Turkic origin) covers a range of meaning in which several English words fit: gown, dressing gown, robe, coat, (work) coat, lab coat... I'm therefore not 100% sure of my translations -- especially with respect to darba halāts: "work coat"? "overalls"? "work robe" (if such a thing there be)? (here is a picture of a guy wearing a darba halāts; what exactly would you call it in English?) Thanks in advance! --Pereru (talk) 17:06, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

If your long definition is right, then all the one-word English glosses look like hyponyms for a non-existent English word, although there may be some uncommon or obsolete English word. The list would seem to belong after the definition, preceded by "such as" or "for example". DCDuring TALK 23:10, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
That's a definition based on the range of uses I saw for that word; my Latvian-English dictionary has simply "gown; robe; overall", and the Latvian online dictionaries I use have a word that roughly means "outside cover" (= something worn over other clothes). Thanks for the comment -- I've made the change you suggested. --Pereru (talk) 23:35, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
I wonder if that is the kind of term that leads a translator to find the obscure English terms that seems to infest some languages' English glosses. If the culture is sufficiently different there could be many such terms. I think such a term would really need a picture if one is available. In some cases a gallery of pictures would seem warranted. (Is a bathrobe the typical halāts?) DCDuring TALK 23:43, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
I can't say it for sure with respect to Latvian. My wife, however, is Russian, in which the cognate and synonymous word хала́т (xalát) exists; for her, the typical хала́т (xalát) is indeed a bathrobe, and I had at first thought it was its only meaning, until I saw other uses. --Pereru (talk) 18:17, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
In any event, the entry looks good. Now someone should get the Turkish etymology into the Russian term. It would be interesting to determine what kind of garments were included in Russian and Turkish. That would mean similar effort on those entries, probably by native speakers. DCDuring TALK 18:28, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
The Russian хала́т (xalát) apart from bathrobe/dressing gown includes oriental robe and medical robe. @Pereru, if you know that a Latvian word is derived from Russian and you want to know its ultimate source, you can use Vasmer's (read: "Fasmer") etymological dictionary - Vasmer's dictionary. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:48, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
robe and rope are different words, if Turkish halat means rope, you need another etymology. -- 23:15, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Circular definitions in loyalty, loyal, and allegiance

The definition listed for allegiance is "Loyalty to some cause, nation or ruler."

Click loyalty, see this definition: "The state of being loyal; fidelity."

Click loyal, see this definition: "Firm in allegiance to a person or institution."

So it looks like allegiance is defined in terms of loyal, and vice versa. Is this the case, or have I misinterpreted? 18:17, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Almost all English dictionaries define these words similarly.
It is nice if at least one word in such a circle has a definition using words from outside the circle. Preferably that word should the most common and basic term and should use defining words that are simpler as well as being outside the circle. I've added a definition at loyal that might fit the bill. DCDuring TALK 19:29, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Origin and reason for Stigma as part of flower.

I was wondering about the origin of the name stigma used to describe the top of the pistil on flowers. The obvious definitions of Stigma have to do with a 'physical mark of infamy or disgrace' or other markings on an anatomy...however stigma is also a ligature of the Greek letters Sigma and Tau which looks like this ϛ Certain flowers have stigmas with similar appearances which leads me to wonder if the ligature answer might be the correct one. Does anybody out there know?

στίγμα (stígma) just means "mark", and could also be taken to mean "stamp". The Dutch word for the flower's stigma is in fact stempel (stamp), so maybe that gets things on the right track for you? —CodeCat 22:09, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Are you sure? Dutch stempel has two etymologies:
  1. from the verb stampen (to stamp, to stomp), still retained (but not yet in wiktionary) as stimpstamp, that is stamppot rauwe andijvie; perhaps a straight loan from German Stempel.
  2. a leg of furniture (not yet in wiktionary)
I wouldn't rule out the second possibility, because the stigmata of flowers often look like the legs of chairs and other furniture. -- 22:26, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Latvian tilts

Tilts basically means "bridge", but it has one use (the last definition) as a body position that can occur in martial arts or other similar sports. I translated it also as "bridge" in this sense, but I didn't see any corresponding definition under English bridge, so I'm wondering if I should use some other word instead. What do y'all think? --Pereru (talk) 23:38, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

No personal experience, but "bridge position" occurs in martial-arts books [5], so I imagine it's right. Equinox 23:40, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
How does it correspond to the images at w:Bridge (exercise)? DCDuring TALK 00:01, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
As far as I can see, you are right. The description in the Latvian dictionaries corresponds to the pictures, and the attestations in martial arts books corroborate that. You're really good at finding arcane things in the internet! Thanks for the help. --Pereru (talk) 18:20, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
One final question -- shouldn't this martial arts / sports meaning of bridge be included in the entry bridge? --Pereru (talk) 18:31, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I simply don't know what term is actually used in the literatures of each of the sports/martial-arts traditions: "bridge"? "bridge position"? I have no personal knowledge of experience to help me, so I'll leave it to someone else. DCDuring TALK 00:17, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
This last sense is "backbend". --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:47, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Atitarev! I'll have both bridge position and backbend as translations in Latvian tilts.--Pereru (talk) 14:48, 28 September 2013 (UTC)


The noun definition depends on the verb's definition here. So why was the noun placed first? That's not very intuitive or useful and it would probably confuse our users as well. —CodeCat 12:06, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Possibly because the (proper) noun existed before the verb. I've switched them around now. Equinox 12:19, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I've seen this done on many other entries too. Something that is used primarily as a verb often still has the noun or adjective definition first. I think that whoever did it thought that part of speech headers should appear in alphabetical order, disregarding the way we order senses otherwise. Should I switch it around whenever I see it? —CodeCat 14:00, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
The alphabetical-order-for-PoS-sections point was made explicitly during my sojourn here, though it is often silly to adhere to it. In this case, it seems obvious to me that diachronically recycle (verb) => freecycle (verb) => Freecycle/freecycle (noun), at least in someone's mind. It would be interesting to date the early attestable uses of the noun, the proper noun, and the verb. DCDuring TALK 15:10, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
The wording of the definitions could either reflect the order of sense evolution or be independent if the order is not obvious, as it apparently isn't. DCDuring TALK 15:21, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

public interest

I was surprised to find a simple link to another entry for this, and also no entry for in the public interest (ok that's a debatable one) and no explanation of its legal use. I believe in the UK all prosecutions are supposed to be in the public interest. Maybe this is not the phrase used in the US and elsewhere? Honestly I think we need more on this. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:31, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

supposedly, obviously

Shouldn't these words be particles, as well as adverbs, at least in the cases where they are sentence-initial (like supposedly, this is the right way to do that, or obviously, he failed)? --Pereru (talk) 14:44, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

They are conventionally called sentence adverbs and convention rather than being up-to-the-minute or even up-to-the-decade ought to govern our selection of terms where possible if we are to maintain the fiction that we serve users other than ourselves. See Category:English sentence adverbs. DCDuring TALK 14:53, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Hm... But I'm now wondering what to do with their Latvian equivalents (like acīmredzot). Should I follow the English tradition and call them adverbs, should I simply copy what the dictionary says (they don't agree: one calls them "particles", the other "adverbs"), or should I try to find out what the Latvian grammatical tradition says on these terms (which I don't yet know)? --Pereru (talk) 15:10, 27 September 2013 (UTC) In fact, what is the usual policy for similar forms in other languages (say, French d'ailleurs, or German selbstverständlich, etc.)? Do we follow the native tradition of the language in question, or do we follow the English tradition (to the extent that it is possible) on words with those meanings? --Pereru (talk) 16:24, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
If it isn't too much of a strain on the the customary FL grammatical tradition we would use the English categories, but a consensus among FL grammarians in another direction would certainly be respected. Latin has a great number of entries with Participle PoS headings.
English adverbs include both open-class adverbs, mostly ending in -ly, and closed-class adverbs, such as those that also function as prepositions. The members of that subgroup, when not functioning as preposition or as a true adverb, are often called particles, but I think that is usually only when they are part of a phrasal verb.
In English, sentence adverbs can be grammatically and semantically replaced by phrases and clauses, which, to my mind (an example, BTW), makes the label 'particle' seem inappropriate. DCDuring TALK 17:11, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
I suppose the safest way out in this case would be to consider acīmredzot and similar words adverbs. I will change the heading accordingly. --Pereru (talk) 14:35, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
It can always be revisited. I think it's a little easier on some users to stick with the traditional English classes, but not if the target language has a strong different tradition. DCDuring TALK 17:55, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

propose and transitivity

The "intend" sense at propose is marked as transitive. Example: "He proposes to set up his own business." Is that correct? I am not sure that the infinitive "to set up" is an object. Equinox 15:17, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

"I propose a 'book under my authorship'/'to write a book'/'(my) writing a book'/'that I write a book' on the uses of transitive."
Longman's DCE (1987) presents the definition as transitive, but explicitly notes use with to-infinitives in the same definition. DCDuring TALK 17:35, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

How to change entire etymology of a word?

The etymology of ballpark estimate is incorrect in it's entirety. It means estimating how many are in attendance by comparing previous ticket sales, previous actual attendees, and previous verses current empty seats to arrive at a rounded whole number "ballpark estimate".

You are indulging in folk etymology. Scholarly sources (Online Etymology) reveal that the meaning of ballpark estimate as an "acceptable range of approximation" was first recorded in 1954, originally in the jargon of atomic weapons scientists. —Stephen (Talk) 11:03, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Isn't it derived from in the ballpark? A ballpark estimate or ballpark figure is one that is in the ballpark of the actual amount. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:05, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, not directly connected with the game, just the area. First used as American Air Force slang (1943 in print) for the physical area sense, then in 1945 for the approximation sense (OED). Dbfirs 22:10, 30 September 2013 (UTC)


I can't seem to find anywhere the English word for those "light rockets" that one can shoot up in the sky at night to increase visibility (e.g., during military operations, to see where the enemy might be). I've called them "light rockets" in the translation of the last example in Latvian redzamība, but my guts tell me this is probably wrong. Can someone help me out? Thanks! --Pereru (talk) 14:39, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Are they flares? Equinox 14:46, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
I second Equinox. And we say "to shoot up a flare". -WF
The Wikipedia article Flare may be more helpful here than our entry. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:00, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
That's indeed what I needed! I'm going to correct that translation right now. Thanks a lot! You guys are incredibly helpful. --Pereru (talk) 16:20, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
This is the kind of thing that Wiktionary should be good at, especially if good questions are asked. DCDuring TALK 17:57, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
It's true, Dennis. You guys are good at answering my questions. And I know that Pereru will always answer our queries when we get lost in Latvia and don't understand the signpost. -WF
Judging from what I hear, many young Latvians are quickly getting quite good at speaking English, at least enough to explain signs. You may have fewer problems than you expect in your Latvian odyssey. --Pereru (talk) 11:59, 6 October 2013 (UTC)


Sorry to bother everyone, but I'm not sure what to do with this page. It uses , used in Chinese, which is not , which is used in Japanese. 今晚 isn't in other Japanese dictionaries but a large number of results come up after searching Google Books. So is this a misspelling, a rare form, or simply not a Japanese term at all? I added the current usage note in the meantime. --Haplology (talk) 04:48, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Is it kyūjitai? There's little visual difference between the Japanese and the Chinese (common CJKV) , though. If it's kyūjitai, then it's easy to reformat, otherwise it's a common misspelling. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:37, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
It looks like it may be, but I haven't dug too deeply yet. The Japanese Wiktionary calls it kyūjitai and hantaiji. I hadn't considered kyūjitai before because the two are virtually identical, but it seems that the kyūjitai has a left leg that comes from inside the horizontal box so I guess that in this case the simplification was in the type of strokes rather than the number of strokes. I think JA WT is enough to go on for now so I'll go ahead and format it as kyūjitai if nobody objects. --Haplology (talk) 14:45, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

hammer and sickle

I think this is missing some senses. As far as I know, it's used as a metonym for the USSR flag as well. It may also have been used for the USSR itself, or for communism in general. But I don't really know for sure. —CodeCat 00:10, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

In the USSR, the Russian "серп и молот" (lit.: sickle and hammer) (or other languages of the USSR) was the symbol of the union of workers and peasants, the symbol of communism (the symbol itself more than the words), never a metonym for the USSR, although it was the main Soviet symbol. Not sure about English or other languages or countries. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:49, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
There a few other potential propagandistic associations of hammer and sickle (English), eg, "Russian/Soviet imperialism", the Iron Curtain, world communism, the Red menace, etc. In English this particular term lacks favorable associations in general usage. A reasonable additional sense is CodeCat's suggestion, something like "The flag of the USSR". DCDuring TALK 16:10, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Translations of euphemisms.

I am slightly concerned that, while the euphemistic "shoot", "fricking" and "heck" have translations separate from their expletive forms, "darn" and "son of a gun" do not.

I (as both a linguist and a person who doesn't ever use vulgar terminology) refuse to believe that there exists (in no language) a translation for "darn" that is not a translation for the vulgar d-word. Tharthan (talk) 18:59, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Your multiple negatives make it difficult for me to be sure what point you're trying to make, but in general we ought to be translating euphemisms with euphemisms and dysphemisms with dysphemisms; for example I would hope (but I haven't checked) that our German translation of darn is verflixt or the like, while our German translation of damn is verdammt. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:19, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

That's my point. Check the page for "darn" and "son of a gun" and you'll see that it tells you to go to the vulgar d-word's page for translations. On the vulgar d-word's page no mention is made of a translation for "darn/dang/drat." In addition, we don't even have a page for "verflixt."

I'm sensing that whomever decided to create that page was anti-euphemism (or pro-dysphemism). Tharthan (talk) 20:52, 30 September 2013 (UTC) Bump. Tharthan (talk) 18:24, 1 October 2013 (UTC)