Wiktionary:Tea room/2014/July

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← June 2014 · July 2014 · August 2014 → · (current)


how's that for

Is how's that for and adverb? --Type56op9 (talk) 09:09, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

I see how it could be viewed that way functionally, but "Phrase" seems a better L3 header, though it is a misnomer for the headword, it needing an NP to itself be a phrase. DCDuring TALK 11:29, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Polish section of minka

I added the Polish section to minka. The declension is wrong because I have little familiarity with templates and wiki markup, so could someone fix it and tell me how to fix it so next time I can do it myself? Also, I have a quotation I found on facebook: «Co taka smutna minka» (what a sad little face). MGorrone (talk) 16:45, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Take a look at the changes I made. We do not accept Facebook quotations as attestation, but you could probably put it as a usage example (though I think it is not a very good one). Keφr 17:08, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

tool and machine

A hammer is a class three lever

According to the current definitions, these terms mean more or less the same. But that doesn't seem correct. According to Wikipedia, a tool is a specific kind of machine. —CodeCat 19:49, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

No, Wikipedia says, "A machine is a tool containing one or more parts that uses energy to perform an intended action", in other words, a machine is a specific kind of tool. Not all tools are machines. A hammer is a tool, but it's not a machine. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:03, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
A hammer is lever and a lever is a machine (according the scientific definition of machine, which is not the one in common use). --WikiTiki89 20:06, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
I think we're better off defining tool roughly as "something that helps complete a task" and a machine as "something that transfers force". Even though most tools and machines are likely to fit both of those descriptions, it is the implied meaning that matters and not the implied physical properties. --WikiTiki89 20:09, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
How is a hammer a lever? It has no fulcrum. Maybe the hammer together with the arm holding it function as a lever (with the fulcrum at the wrist, elbow, or shoulder), but I don't think the hammer alone is a lever. But it is a tool. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:10, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
The fulcrum is the location where the bottom of your hand is grasping the hammer, and the force is applied at the top of your hand and is thus amplified at the head of the hammer. --WikiTiki89 20:12, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
[I meant a machine is a specific kind of tool; I swapped it accidentally] The lever action is in the length of the hammer and the wrist of the hand holding it, but the lever only serves to increase the velocity of the head of the hammer, and the actual work is then done by the momentum it gains. —CodeCat 21:56, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
There are many levers involved in swinging a hammer, but there is only one that is on the hammer itself, which I drew in the diagram. I agree that the resistance force is none other than the inertia of the hammerhead. --WikiTiki89 14:03, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
For one thing, in probably its most common sense tool refers to something handheld. DCDuring TALK 20:29, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
So a table saw is not a tool? --WikiTiki89 20:33, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
First, I said "in its (probably) most common sense". Second, the various meanings of tool and machine are not disjunctive. Specifically, the abstract sense of tool as "means" clearly applies to machines, table and bench tools, and handheld tools. More specifically, I would expect usage like "the tools [include] ... a table saw ...." to be common, but usage like "table [be] a tool" somewhat less so. I suppose that might mean that a table saw is seen as a member of the class of tools, but is not a central member, typical of that class. DCDuring TALK 21:24, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
An example of a machine that is not a tool might be a machine that does nothing but turn itself off. It does not perform a useful function (which it needs to in order to be called a tool), but it is a machine nonetheless. Similar things might apply to other devices that are purely for "eye candy". —CodeCat 15:55, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that a machine is something that is designed or intended to perform one or more actions on its own. Performing an action requires the use of energy, but there are lots of things that use energy without doing anything, and are not machines. Organisms are like machines, but they're not designed or created for a purpose (theology aside). A hammer's action is strictly that of the one who wields it, so it's not a machine. The same with a hand drill- but not with a power drill. I would call the hand drill a tool or device, but I would also call the power drill a machine. I wouldn't consider a circuit-breaker a machine, though I'm not completely sure why- perhaps because its action is determined solely by the characteristics of the current flowing through it. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:49, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
What about things like bicycles, hand-cranked meat grinders, handcars or even muscle-powered street organs? —CodeCat 17:04, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
@CodeCat I take it that all this has to do with establishing a set of categories that meets some kind of criteria not here stated. Real-life categories are usually designed or selected to achieve purposes. What purposes are the intended categories to serve. DCDuring TALK 17:35, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz A machine, such as a sewing machine that is powered by the operator, is nevertheless a machine in common parlance. The central type of machine is a mechanical device that is somewhat complicated in the sense of having multiple moving parts. Interestingly, prime movers (eg, electric motors (possibly with only a single moving part!), gas turbines, and internal combustion engines) are not usually referred to as machines, though by many definitions they are. DCDuring TALK 17:35, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I think by one possible definition, a machine has moving parts that are not physically a single piece, but use some kind of mechanism for transferring force such as gears or pulleys. That would exclude hand drills which are usually one piece. —CodeCat 17:50, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Computers are called machines too, and yet they have no visible moving parts. Keφr 17:58, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
No one said the moving parts need to be visible. I think that in common usage, the word machine denotes something too complicated for the average person to understand. Everyone knows how a table saw works (the saw wheel spins and cuts stuff), but most people don't understand what goes on inside a sewing machine. --WikiTiki89 18:03, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
…and those moving parts are inside hard disks (or removable drives), so they are not very significant anyway, definition-wise. So it is not just about visibility. But the "elaborate constructed device" idea I do like. Keφr 18:11, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Ahem... --WikiTiki89 18:13, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
If you put it that way, then literally everything in the Universe has moving parts. Which makes the "moving part" term quite useless. And do not get me started on relativity and particle-wave duality… Keφr 18:20, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Take the example of a waterbed. The water and the fancy floaty things inside it move around, but I wouldn't consider them to be "moving parts" because they do not accomplish anything with their movements. In a computer, the electrons are precisely what provides all of the functionality, just the way that levers, gears, and pulleys provide the functionality of a sewing machine. The functionality of a waterbed does not depend on the water moving. --WikiTiki89 19:34, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
So again it comes back to the idea of something that directs and controls movement in order to produce a useful effect. And in physical terms, movement is energy (not necessarily kinetic), so that comes down to manipulating forms of energy. —CodeCat 22:25, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

I've updated the definition at machine to reflect my "conclusion" above. I hope it's an improvement. —CodeCat 21:08, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

How could we show that all the parts of the definition are involved in a given use of the term? That is, is this a testable hypothesis about the way the term is actually used by the population at large? DCDuring TALK 22:19, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Etymology of Persian جنگ


Can anyone please tell me the origin of the word 'jang' in Farsi, meaning war? I heard it was from Chinese? Of so, what word and how did that come about? Thank you! Merci!

As far as I know, the origin of جنگ‎ is unknown. I doubt that there is any relationship with Chinese. If Persian borrowed Chinese (zhàn), they would take it as ژان /ʒan/. جنگ‎ is /dʒaŋg/. —Stephen (Talk) 16:25, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Stephen. I did find one source that claims it comes from Sanskit through Hindi and Pashtu, which makes sense, as they are all Indo-European languages. George

question of language

Question of language and respect.

According to Wiki sources, the English language has over 80 000 words which are of French origin, and which constitutes as much as 30% of the total. Yet there is not a remote possibility that the English language will ever be called Frenglish, Franco-English or Franglais.

Yet any argument against the culturally assimilating term Serbo-Croatian falls on deaf ears. And this despite the fact that no country from former Yugoslavia or elsewhere, uses such a designation in its constitution. You may verify if you wish. English versions of the constitutions of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro are available on-line.

I would invite you to consult the original versions of the following - you may want/need to translate):

1 - Serbian Constitution, article 10, where the official language of Serbia is said to be Serbian using the Cyrillic writing.

2 - Croatian Constitution, article 12, where the official language of Croatia is said to be Croatian, using the Latin writing

3 - Amendment XXIX, to the Constitution Of the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina, states that the official languages of the federation are Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, and both Latin and Cyrillic writing are official.

4 - Constitution of Montenegro, article 9 states that Montenegran is the official language of Montenegro, using ijekavian dialect, and both the latin and cyrillic writing are official.

So where is this hyphenated language written or spoken and by whom? Who is insisting on the hyphenation? Serbia and Croatia have distinct literary histories as well as cultural and religious differences, although they are thrown by the westerners into the same Balkan melting pot. To my best knowledge, both Serbian and Croatian are recognized by world linguists as two distinct languages. Even Bosnian is now an accepted designation, although all three nationalities can understand each other if effort and good will is present.

Those who insist on the melting pot approach of the hyphenation, refuse to acknowledge the situation on the ground. No difference is more apparent than the fact that one uses the Cyrillic and the other the Latin alphabet. If you want to be historically correct, the Serbs would be justified in designating their language as Serbo-Croatian since Vuk Karadzic in laying the foundations of Serbian grammar and dictionary, after 500 years of the Ottoman rule, borrowed over 200 000 words from the Croatian language. Yet the constitution of the Republic of Serbia rightly declares that Serbian is the official language of Serbia, not Serbo-Croatian; just like the English language can borrow words from other languages without losing its identity or getting a hyphenated designation. You may do your own research if interested in this point.

I don't think that there is the political will to dispose of the hyphenated creation of the culturally assimilating term Serbo-Croatian, even though the word 'respect' is used and abused on many politically correct events and billboards. In the background, the colonialist, imperialist mentality prevails and is being imposed on two peoples who have had, continue to have and will probably have in the future, bloody wars and battles. But in this, Serbs Croats and Bosnians are no different than nations in any other part of the world, and there are many examples that could be cited. One public official recently commented on the Serb-Croat situation by saying that not even the strongest glue could bond these two peoples together. So why insist? Why not give the new generations the right to their distinct and separate historic identities? Why not let them coexist on their own terms?

Allow me to conclude by saying that as much as Franglais or Frenglish would be an eye sore on Wiki website because it would reflect a blended fictitious reality, so does the designation Serbo-Croatian.

This type of readily available fact based rhetoric is often ignored since there are strong political lobbies, who for both political and financial reasons, even over 20 years later, refuse to accept the post-Yugoslavia reality and the results of the wars of the 1990's, and who still promote Slavic brotherhood and unity vestiges of the communist regime.

Hopefully the time will come when there will be enough courage, vision and mutual respect and the hyphen will be dropped; the linguistic designations as defined in official constitutions, and not in some scholar's biased, subjective, self-serving and slanted reality will be accepted as the norm.

Peace and order,


PS: It may be useful to suggest that since both languages have Slavic roots, if there is a need or a desire to hyphenate, then they can use the example of the English designations:Canadian English, Australian English, UK English, American English, and use terms such as Croatian Slavic, Bosnian Slavic or Serb Slavic. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

When merging the various Serbo-Croatian standard varieties together, we explicitly did so because we wanted to distance ourselves from political arguments about language status. Instead, we chose the linguistic view, which is that these are one language with multiple national standards, much as Catalan (with Valencian) and indeed English (British and American). I've read quite a few linguistic works about Slavic languages and their development and so far I haven't seen a single one that treated Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin as separate languages. Instead they mostly use the common name "Serbo-Croatian" or the more politically correct "Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Montenegrin". —CodeCat 23:09, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
@Richard. If tomorrow Russian and Ukrainian nationalists declare they no longer belong to East Slavic languages but separate branches, we will still going to treat them as such. The more pressure there is to artificially separate Serbo-Croatian, the stronger Wiktionary policy will get to reflect the linguistic reality. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:38, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I've recently encountered a related problem I wanted to bring up here. We have entries for Malay and Indonesian, which is plain illogical. AFAIK, Malay is the language of which Standard Malaysian (Bahasa Malaysia) and Standard Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) are standardised registers that differ in lexicon and a few other details, but are almost 100% identical in grammar. Having separate entries for Malay and Indonesian is like having entries for English and American English: they are not even on the same level. We should treat all these cases analogically. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:02, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
This has been brought up before, but the attempt at unification ultimately failed to gain enough support. The same with merging Nynorsk and Bokmål into Norwegian. The difference between those and the successful Chinese and Serbo-Croatian unifications seems to be having strong support from regular editors in the affected languages, including help in working out the inevitable technical and conceptual challenges. I'd hazard a guess that, if we'd had a prolific Indonesian contributor willing to campaign hard for it and to come up with technical fixes, things might have been different- but we don't. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's al about the current set of current editors, isn't it? It's possible (technically) to unify Norwegian but editors haven't embraced the idea. Hindi and Urdu are much more different but they share, at least, a set of templates to allow smooth pairs of entries, even if they are not unified. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:39, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
(Before E/C) The process is somewhat reverse with Malay and Indonesian. Indonesian was standardised to match Malay spellings. Even though there is a trend to make them similar, they were more different in the past or rather Indonesia chose a standard, which is very much like Malaysian, although they have a huge number of languages and dialects. If we had some sufficient work going on with Malay and Indonesian, the need to merge them would be more important, to avoid duplications. However, there is no umbrella term for the two, AFAIK, and they were never treated as one language in the past. Even Hindi/Urdu (Hindustani) is different where Urdu was the original name for the two languages. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:25, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
The history you give is either irrelevant or wrong. w:Indonesian language is clear about Standard Indonesian being a standardised register of Malay. Sure there are many varieties of Malay, but Standard Indonesian and Standard Malaysian are both de facto based on only one of them (Malacca–Johor Malay), just like Standard Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are all based on the Eastern Herzegovinan Shtokavian sub-sub-subdialect of Serbo-Croatian and all written varieties of German are based on East Central German. That's a crucial fact that nationalists love to sweep under the carpet. It's a red herring to point to the huge dialectal variety of Malay, Serbo-Croatian etc. when the polycentric written language is based only on a single sub-sub-subdialect of the dialect continuum.
In any case, this still doesn't treat my original objection: Malay is not Malaysian! We do not have separate entries for "American English" or "Nigerian English" when there's already "English", or "Serbian" and "Montenegrin" when there's already "Serbo-Croatian". That's pure raving lunacy, for crying out loud. It's idiotic and makes not the least bit of sense. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 12:32, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
There was a vote to unify them in 2012, but it failed: Wiktionary:Votes/2012-12/Unified Malay. — Ungoliant (falai) 00:19, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for reminding. It seemed we had only one side of the story there - the Malay side, no Indonesian involvement whatsoever. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:25, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Why do you hate THE HYPHEN so much? How is SerboCroatian better than Serbo-Croatian? --Vahag (talk) 06:13, 4 July 2014 (UTC)


Just wondering, isn't googleable vs. unGoogleable kinda inconsistent? There's a cite for unGoogleable, so why not make the capital-G version the main entry?

Is there a difference in meaning in googleable vs. Googleable? Genericised trademark vs. specifically referring to Google's search engine? If so, it would be a better solution to separate the entries. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:49, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

bologna = lie?


Is it true that in North America, we can say bologna for lies? The English Wiktionary miss this meaning. Thanks — Automatik (talk) 09:19, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

"See also: baloney"
--Catsidhe (verba, facta) 09:23, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Ok, so bolognalie I guess. — Automatik (talk) 10:00, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I found a few examples of that sense and spelling when I searched Google Books for "lot of bologna", "it's all bologna", but (not being American) I don't know how common it is. Equinox 11:28, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
We also find this spelling in Urban Dictionary. — Automatik (talk) 11:34, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Based on Equinox's cites and my own suspicions that both spellings have both senses ("sausage" and "nonsense"), I've added {{synonym of|baloney}} {{gloss|nonsense}} to bologna. - -sche (discuss) 13:19, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Interesting. I had always thought that 'baloney' was just a variant of the sausage, used to mean "artificial, not real, not genuine" hence "faux, false, misleading" due to the fact that it was supplemental (I.e artificial) meat product pawned off for real...Leasnam (talk) 13:26, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
additionally I think of bullshit as a right synonym for the 'nonsense' usage. Saying something's "bologna" or someone's full of bologa is basically like saying its bullshit or someone's full of shit. Leasnam (talk) 13:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
This is the synonym proposed by Urban Dictionary. — Automatik (talk) 14:46, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
They must speak American there (@ UD). I agree that bullshit is more apt than lie as a synonym. DCDuring TALK 15:40, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I suspect that the similarity of the first syllable as pronounced in normal speech is no coincidence- it may be at least partly a minced oath. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:01, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree; it probably started as a way of sounding like you were about to say "bullshit", then switching to something innocent at the last second. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:13, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

When you guys have a minute

[Originally posted to SemperBlotto's talk page.]

Not sure where to go about this, but Kephir pointed me here. A user named Dan Polansky has apparently developed both a misunderstanding about copyright law (both in general and particularly the 1st edition OED’s status under it) and a hard-on for my more recent entries. Certainly this edit was uncalled for (as displayed by Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV's swift reversion of it).

My talk page now has an extended conversation covering his stance and my rationale w/r/t content from the OED. In short, he'd like to remind me that copyright violations are bad. While they certainly are, the 1st edition OED no longer qualifies and more recent ones are still fine to lift quotes from, provided they are emended, supplemented, &c. and not wholesale copying.

To the extent I have made mistakes or we need some quotes added to particular entries, kindly let me know. Dan's scattershot blanking and misuse of process (including attempts to claim "consensus" against my improvements to pecker while fellow editors were reverting his changes and going to the talk page) probably means someone should be checking his edits out or holding his hand til he's less destructive of other's attempts to flesh out our entries beyond the old Websters. — LlywelynII 17:17, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Edit: His issues have now extended to spamming my talk page & removing quotes owing to punctuation. Admin got a minute? — LlywelynII 17:21, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, Dan Polansky can be quite annoying and persistent, but he often has a point. I'm not sure if copying the OED's definitions and quotes in large chunks with only some rewording to definitions constitutes actionable copyright infringement, but it certainly smells of plagiarism. I would rather not have Wiktionary become a copy of the OED with all the serial numbers filed off to avoid detection. Chuck Entz (talk) 17:34, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz You call it plagiarism, I call it "standing on the shoulders of giants". In any event, there is a proud tradition of plagiarism in making dictionaries. For example our English entries depend on a vast number of entries taken word for word from Webster 1913. For a very low estimate {{Webster_1913}} is used on 29,269 pages. See Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Webster_1913 for a tedious listing. Similarly Dan Polansky "plagiarized" many entries from the Century Dictionary. DCDuring TALK 18:28, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Specifically, some volumes of the first edition of the OED are freely downloadable, indicating that prevailing knowledgeable opinion (ie, Google's and OUP's attorneys) holds them to be out of copyright. DCDuring TALK 18:36, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's certainly all right to use content from other dictionaries that are out of copyright- with attribution. I'm mostly concerned about taking someone else's work, fiddling with it here and there, and then slapping our own label on it as if we had just made it up from scratch. Is it legal? Probably. Should we be doing it? I would say not. At any rate, it's easily solved by citing the OED as a reference, and putting more thought into reworking things. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:47, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
That is a counsel of perfection, beyond what we can practically achieve, especially in the short run. It fits right in with having three citations and at least one image or example for every definition for which such are possible.
And it is not sufficient to indicate the scope of the appropriate credit. I sometimes insert references to other dictionaries even without actually using them as source material, so a reference without an inline link from the particular element (definition, etymology, synonyms, etc) of the entry for which we are beholden to the reference does not reliably indicate that we are so beholden. DCDuring TALK 20:33, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Speaking directly to the charge, no, he has no point. (1) He is not correcting or improving any entry; he is reverting wholesale unquestionable improvements of content without any improved content of his own. That is unquestionably bad (2) unless there were actual copyright violations involved. There are not, both because the 1st edition definitions and quotes are in the public domain and because I am not simply plagiarizing the content. (3) Even if the considered opinion of other editors were that some phrasings are too similar (there are a limited number of ways to tersely express some ideas), the solution is further rephrasing, not blanking of valid definitions. (4) Your concern about taste only appertains to whether or not to emend my edits (that's fine, btw, and can be taken point by point, but I will stand firmly behind using the 1st edition OED in part and in toto before some of the terrible Webster's content we use now); it has no bearing on whether they deserve extirpation even where they are unquestionable improvements to the earlier entries (as at pecker). We should, for instance, always be including the OED’s first attestations except where they have turned out to have been wrong; their etymologies are usually more thorough, accurate, and authoritative than most of the American editions. I've tried to be mindful of noting the OED in every entry where I've used it, despite the fact we currently don't support the reflist template.
Beyond that, the reason I'm here is the editor's abusive and now rather obsessive treatment. It is fine to offer improvements and point out policies. It is terrible to have an unhinged editor following behind people based on misunderstandings of policy and law, forcing editors to then follow behind him to clean up a mess he shouldn't be making in the first place. I don't want protracted arguments and edit wars across the project with this person; I don't want other editors having to deal with him (as apparently Chuck has or has witnessed). Whom should I be talking to about (a) addressing his few valid concerns (as at radish) and (b) pulling him aside for a discussion about public domain and abuse of fellow editors? I've tried but at this point lost any patience that might've made the ordeal successful. — LlywelynII 03:07, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
In the US, anything including the OED published before 1923 is out of copyright, and that published after that point is still in copyright. That is, everything including Vol. 9/2, Su, is out of copyright, and any fascicles of later volumes prior to 1923 will be out of copyright. That's US law; UK law protects for 70 years from death of author, so as per en:w:Oxford English Dictionary, "William Craigie, starting in 1901, was responsible for N, Q–R, Si–Sq, U–V and Wo–Wy" and Cragie died in 1957; "The fourth editor was Charles Talbut Onions, who, starting in 1914, compiled the remaining ranges, Su–Sz, Wh–Wo and X–Z." and Onions died in 1965. I don't know if Tolkien or other similar employees count; if so, Tolkien worked on Waggle to Warlock and died in 1973, and who knows the other authors and when they died.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:29, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

pecker mill

The quotations currently in the entry do not contain "pecker mill" as a compound noun, so they should not be there as attesting quotations. If you agree with me, can you please remove the quotations? (I tried, but got reverted.) --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:27, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

While I can grant you the idea of a mill with a pecker in it can be confusing, the first quote most certainly does explicitly contain pecker mill as a compound noun. — LlywelynII 17:30, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
The head of an English lexical compound noun can be separated from the rest of it when it appears in a coordinate series of such nouns, eg "refrigerator and cattle cars"[1]. Thus the premise of your argument for removal of the quotation seems wrong. (Filling in the redlinked entry [See refrigerator car at OneLook Dictionary Search] seems a better use of time than debating.) DCDuring TALK 18:15, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
The quote "Rice mills, called pecker, cog, and water mills ..." seems good enough, which I originally did not realize. The second quotation got removed in diff by LlywelynII, without acknowledging that in an edit summary or here. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:23, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
You shouldn't have to wait until your content-blanking edits are reverted before you realize your mistakes; make them in talk pages and policy conferences rather than letting them damage improved entries. As to my "acknowledgement", it's irrelevant to the entry itself but keep rereading the comment above until you see it. — LlywelynII 03:16, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

What does it mean for a seed to be "orthodox"?

Encountered quote: "The seeds are orthodox and can be stored for a year or more" This is in connection with storing seeds from stone fruits. \Mike (talk) 04:11, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

The first Google Books hit on my search for "seed+orthodox" was:
  • 1995, Lawrence O. Copeland, Principles of Seed Science and Technology, page 183:
    To distinguish between these types of long- and short-lived seeds, Roberts (1973) proposed the terms orthodox and recalcitrant seeds. Orthodox seeds are long-lived seeds.
-- DCDuring TALK 04:19, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! The "explanation" I had at hand in the same book, was vague to say the least. \Mike (talk) 04:31, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Apparently it applies at least to pollen, spores, and seeds. It is apparently not used in zoology. DCDuring TALK 04:41, 6 July 2014 (UTC)


I propose that the sense "Someone who or something that pecks, striking or piercing in the manner of a bird's beak or bill" is not made a supersense of which other senses are subsenses. It looks silly and is wrong, since at least the following are not hyponymic subsenses: An eater, a diner; A nose; spirits, nerve, courage; cock, dick, a penis; whitey; white trash; an aggressive or objectionable idiot. So I propose that the entry is reverted to this revision, which only differs from the current one in subsensing.

I know of no dictionary that does the subsenses for "pecker" in this way. I checked pecker at OneLook Dictionary Search dictionaries. I also checked an old edition of OED[2], which has the following: 1. one who or that which pecks; 2a. An implement for pecking; 2b. An obsolete sense for telegraphy; 2c. A shuttle-driver; 3. courage; resolution; 4. Pecker-mill. So even the old edition of the OED does not think that "courage, resolution" is a subsense of "Someone who or something that pecks", unlike what is done in the current revision. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:53, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

In reference to an eater, "pecker" is precisely in reference to them pecking at food in the manner of birds; its reference to cocks, from their similar motion; the sense of nose (as noted) by extension from the sense of a bird's beak; the British senses of spirit (as noted) in turn derive from it. You could remove the "by extension" context template and nest them at further levels, but that seems unnecessary and doesn't change the overall structure. You may have a valid point with the last two: it doesn't change the structure of the definition at all (which is obviously your intent), but it may be valid to list them as etymologies 2 & 3 since they are directly derived by shortening other words and not immediately extensions of the primary meaning peck + er. I placed them where they are now because the compounds they are shortened from are (again) precisely derived from a cock's supposed resemblance to the motion of a bird's beak.
As an aside, I admit I am somewhere curious: you have on other occasions complained that the structure of definitions are under copyright and not to be duplicated; you then proceed to complain that our definitions differ (in simplification and improvement) from those in published dictionaries. What is it you think we should be doing? Do you really believe we have to copy precisely and only pre-1923 sources? I mean, obviously you are still wrong... but even on your take, the OED would still be preferable to the sources you continue to rely on... — LlywelynII 10:51, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Since I do not have access to the modern OED: does the modern OED place "courage" as a subsense of "one who or that which pecks"? In particular, does the modern OED place all their senses as subsenses of a single supersense? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:56, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Subsenses are not about etymology, we have etymology headers for that. Since penis is not a subsense of one who pecks it should not be formatted as a subsense. Simple as that really. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:57, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough w/r/t to nose (derived from beak, which is what is doing the pecking) and spirits (derived from nose), but again the "eater/diner" sense and "penis" senses do directly derive from "one who pecks/makes a pecking motion". What do you think about the placement of pecker (abbreviation of peckerhead and peckerwood)? Should they be additional senses below penis or separate etymology headings? — LlywelynII 05:58, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

pronunciation of a verdict

I was looking for what word to translate the act of announcing a verdict in a court of law, in order to translate Middle French pronunciation. I thought it was pronunciation of pronouncement but neither have such a sense. Am I wrong, otherwise is there a word that means 'the giving of a verdict' in a single word? Renard Migrant (talk) 11:37, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

google books:"pronouncement of a|the verdict" gets a lot more hits than google books:"pronunciation of a|the verdict". Renard Migrant (talk) 11:51, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
pronouncement is fine for this (see sense 1). I think pronunciation is fine too; in that case we are missing a sense (basically the "act of pronouncing").
pronunciation is not fine. There's a lot of English out there I can't speak for, but if I heard it, I would register it as the wrong choice of words. google books:"the pronouncing of the verdict" also gets a number of hits.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:44, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I've seen it used. Maybe it's old-fashioned. 1831: "The second part is the sentence, which is the judge's pronunciation upon a cause depending between two in controversy." Equinox 22:46, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
It may be a bit formal, but forms of pronounc* appears in BNC six times within 4 words of verdict, announc* appears seventeen times. Deliver* appears 24 times, but doesn't quite work with the same subjects. Results are similar at COCA. DCDuring TALK 00:31, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't doubt pronounc*, or the rare or historical use of pronunciation, but I tend to think the meaning of pronunciation has got narrowed from what one might assume from the derivation from pronounce.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:19, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
The existence of the doublet pronunciation and pronouncement has allowed the fairly sharp distinction that we experience in the nouns. But the verb encompasses both sets of meanings. DCDuring TALK 10:43, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

at one's fingertips

This definition doesn't sound 100 per cent right to me. In the developed world water is "readily available" for us, but it would be strange to say it is "at our fingertips", right? ---> Tooironic (talk) 22:31, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Correct, unless if talking specifically in the context of using ones fingers or fingertips to access the water. Leasnam (talk) 23:46, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Not all that strange:
  • 1998, Henry Harrison, Houses: The Illustrated Guide to Construction, Design and ..., page 98:
    To the U.S. homemaker, "running water" conjures up an image of the stainless- steel sink or a sparkling porcelain washer and dryer standing side by side in all their glory. The source of water is at one's fingertips.
-- DCDuring TALK 00:45, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Right, in this particular context it's quite normal; but can you think of other instances (with air, electricity, food, assistance, grace, whatever..) where something is "readily available", but not necessarily "at one's fingertips"? Leasnam (talk) 12:42, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Reading back over my statement above I think I have one--'God's grace'--it's "readily available", but not necessarily "at ones fingertips". Rather, it's 'just a prayer away' ;) Leasnam (talk) 12:49, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I think the current definition should include some mention of apprehension or accessibility by finger or hand Leasnam (talk) 13:19, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I think there is some immediacy in the accessibility. The reason water is not at our fingertips is because most people don't sit right beside fountains all day. --WikiTiki89 13:54, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree. Abstract things such as information can be at one's fingertips without hands of fingers being involved. I think there's more to it, though- something like it being under one's control, though I haven't thought it through completely. Maybe it's something like "readily available for one's use". Chuck Entz (talk) 14:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, actually, abstract things like 'information' are actually at one's fingertips literally...with the use of books, keypads, keyboards, mice, etc...'ideas', 'concepts', etc are not, as they cannot be accessed via handheld devices Leasnam (talk) 14:43, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
There is metonymy in this and other expressions, between the medium of information storage and the information itself. Perhaps the definition just needs a different adverb: "Immediately available." "For use" is redundant. I think 'immediacy' is close to the core of this expression. DCDuring TALK 16:48, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

beag#Old English

Would this not have been pronounced /bæːɑx/? --WikiTiki89 15:30, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

hmm, it has two forms: beag and beah--the latter of which would certainly be pronounced so, I would think. Difficult to say whether this is merely a spelling feature or representative of two different pronunciations. I favour the second, as /x/ was well understood to be written as h. Leasnam (talk) 16:00, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Well I always thought the letter "g" (when not palatalized) was always a fricative and devoiced word-finally (except when following "n", when it is a voiced plosive). --WikiTiki89 16:04, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Like a Dutch g? That might explain the variants with -g and -h Leasnam (talk) 17:17, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually not like Dutch g, since I forgot to mention that word-initially it is a plosive. w:Old English phonology#Consonant allophones confirms most of this but does not mention the devoicing. There are other words that have equivalent alternative spellings (for example, burg/burh), which combined with the fact that s and þ/ð also devoice word-finally (and word-initially) leads me to believe that it was in fact devoiced. --WikiTiki89 17:34, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
In early Old English, the allophones of g still followed the Proto-Germanic/West Germanic distribution, with a plosive only after a nasal and when geminated, and a fricative in all other cases, including initially. Of course Old English palatalised these in some cases, but this didn't disrupt the allophony: fricative [ɣ] became [j] when palatalised, while plosive [ɡ] became [dʒ]. In late Old English, this was still the same, except for one point: plosive [ɡ] now appeared word-initially. This means that even late Old English still possessed [ɣ] non-word-initially, including in this word. But Old English also underwent occasional word-final devoicing of fricatives, which sometimes led to a [ɣ] > [x] change. —CodeCat 17:36, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
So do you agree that /bæːɑɡ/ for bēag is wrong and/or misleading? --WikiTiki89 17:38, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's wrong. I've corrected it to IPA(key): /bæːɑx/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:11, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that for the spelling in -g the voiced ɣ is more appropriate. —CodeCat 00:31, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
How sure are you that it was not regularly devoiced? Either way, I agree with CodeCat that /ɣ/ is better phonemically unless there is evidence that it was 100% always devoiced. --WikiTiki89 13:36, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Old English had no voiced fricatives at the ends of words. None of [v ð z ɣ] could occur there; they appeared only between vowels. The first three were allophones of /f θ s/, but even though [ɣ] was an allophone of /ɡ/ rather than of /x/ (which disappeared with compensatory lengthening between vowels, rather than voicing to [ɣ]), the positional restriction against word-final voiced fricatives still held. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:27, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
The difference though, is that [v ð z] are allophones of /f θ s/, but with [ɣ], it's the other way around. I would even say that [g] is an allophone of /ɣ/, rather than the other way around. The way I see it, is that [x] is an allophone of both /h/ and /ɣ/, and I'm not entirely convinced that /ɣ/ either was or was not always devoiced word-finally (until I see some evidence or citations). --WikiTiki89 15:40, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

tickle someone's fancy

The current definition is "To amuse, entertain, or appeal to someone; to stimulate someone's imagination in a favorable manner." I think the words "amuse" and "entertain" are inaccurate and should be removed. --WikiTiki89 20:50, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Why are you asking a group of mostly non-native speakers (at most a small number of native speakers) an essentially empirical question? Speaking as a data point, I think the definition is fine as is. DCDuring TALK 21:34, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I think at least half of our active editors are native English speakers. --WikiTiki89 13:56, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Who do you think should research the question via cites or sorting through [idiom dictionaries that have this]? DCDuring TALK 14:27, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Well before asking this, I checked a few dictionaries and only found only this, which I agree with more. I think to "cause amusement" is completely different from "amuse" and "entertain". --WikiTiki89 14:56, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
IMO there is no major semantic or grammatical difference among the appropriate senses of cause amusement to someone, amuse someone, entertain someone, and tickle someone's fancy, so that they are effectively synonyms. I suppose that tickle suggests a shorter duration and that entertain suggests a longer duration and allows for "seriousness" of the entertainment. Recognizing and confirming such subtleties would make this a much more useful monolingual dictionary, but would, or should, require significant attestation effort and force many {{ttbc}}s. DCDuring TALK 15:02, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Are you saying that you'd rather have an inaccurate definition than recheck a few translations? I suppose it is the duration that makes up the difference between tickle and entertain, but I think that is significant enough. --WikiTiki89 15:22, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
My preference is a lexicographically ordered one, with FL and translation considerations always being less than monolingual English dictionary considerations, what with this being the English-language Wiktionary. But I feel that English-language considerations are often given short shrift. The result is the poor rating of Wiktionary as a whole in the US (and Australia, NZ, and Canada) relative to WP and to other dictionary sites. I have a feeling that, as far as making Wiktionary an excellent English-language dictionary, that ship has sailed. I don't think we can catch up. We may have five or ten times the number of English terms freely available that MWOnline does, but the entries they do have contain about twice as many definitions and which definitions are rarely inferior to ours and often greatly superior. DCDuring TALK 18:09, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think there is any more negative attitude toward Wiktionary than there is to Wikipedia (percentagewise). --WikiTiki89 19:29, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
You should take a look at the free metrics at alexa for wiktionary.org and their ranking of top dictionary sites. Combing Wiktionary's low US (1069) and UK (759) rankings, but higher (670) ranking globally (specifically, eg, France (213), Germany (375), Poland(320)), MW's approximate parity with wiktionary globally, and MW's lack of non-English content, we must be far behind them in the US. I remember from previous inspections of the data that MW does poorly in the UK and Australia, where the indigenous dictionaries do well.
If you sign up you can do custom comparisons with other sites. DCDuring TALK 20:05, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't mean people have low opinions of it. They might just prefer the thoroughness of professional dictionaries. --WikiTiki89 23:08, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
You have to have heard of something in order to have a low opinion of it. When I tell people in real life that I'm a contributor to (and even an admin at) Wikipedia, they're duly impressed. When I tell people in real life that I'm a contributor to (and even admin at) Wiktionary, I get blank stares or the question "What's that?". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:34, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I looked at the handful of "reviews" or listings of online dictionaries. We are not even mentioned in most of them. In contrast, MW and OneLook (!!!) are in almost all of them. Unfortunately that fits with my experience in telling people about Wiktionary. Except at the recent NYC Wiknic, I have NEVER had someone say "Cool" or something else that suggests they remember encountering the name previously, let alone using it. Globally, WP is #6 in website popularity and we are #670. DCDuring TALK 16:01, 10 July 2014 (UTC)


We're missing a sense of foncier, but I'm not 100% what its English equivalent would be. For example (from this article): un groupe professionnel ne peut atteindre des objectifs élevés s'il n'a pas effectué au préalable une préparation foncière de qualité. BigDom (tc) 08:25, 9 July 2014 (UTC)


The word svidaniya is a redlink on the page, do svidaniya, which is listed in this dictionary as an English word. Does it follow that svidaniya is an English word, and if so, how should we define it? bd2412 T 13:01, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

That's one of the side-effects of {{head}}'s new automatic word-linking feature. I've edited it to get rid of the redlink. It's certainly not an English word: like most English speakers, I had no idea before I started studying Russian that the "s" sound was on the second word- it sounds to me more like dos vidanija. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:20, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe {{only used in}} would be appropriate here? —CodeCat 00:30, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I thought of doing it but DCDuring added head=, which fixed it. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but I think both do and svidaniya would need entries that link to do svidaniya. —CodeCat 00:51, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Like this: svidaniya? I only don't know if it's a correct PoS. "свидания" in Russian is an inflected form but what is "svidaniya" in English? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:03, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Once more the tail is trying to wag the dog. It obviously isn't a phrase. Nor does it fit any of the other PoSs. I don't care that we call the whole term English and that we don't call it a Russian transliteration. But I do care that we might let the "imperatives" of a template force an English entry that makes no sense and an English etymology section that make no sense. If we are really worried that someone will look up "svidaniya" we could make it a hard redirect to do svidaniya. I will RfV for the independent existence of the two components with whatever "meaning" the definer assigns them. DCDuring TALK 01:11, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I support a hard redirect. I oppose linking to do svidaniya from do. --WikiTiki89 13:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I would also support a hard redirect, since this is almost certainly the only form in which English speakers will encounter svidaniya. One would also be needed for svidanya. bd2412 T 18:29, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
English readers will see it in da svidaniya, dasvidaniya, do svidaniya, and dosvidaniya. There are also variations svidania and svidanya. It looks like it also sees a bit of use in French. A redirect page might not be appropriate.
Why is there such urgency to create an entry for something that is not an independent lexical unit? May as well create an entry for da svi-daniya, because a reader may see it at the top of the page following a hyphen break. There is literally a zillion text strings that are not words. Linking or searching for them already returns information on the 404 and search results pages.
The problem here is that the Wiktionary does not yet have an entry page is lacking. It should present search results at the bottom, instead of just a search field as the fifth bullet point.
Another problem is that the search results page has about 660 px of vertical space of confusing clutter above any search results. I wonder how many millions of searchers don’t even see their search results before giving up. Michael Z. 2014-07-11 14:48 z
The range of pages English readers will see it in is the set of alternative spellings of the most common English transliteration of the phrase. That is to say, if there are a half dozen minor variations of the word, we will still be providing the sole definition applicable to all of them if we redirect this to the most common spelling. bd2412 T 15:13, 11 July 2014 (UTC)


South Korean has mostly lost the initial (l/r) in writing and pronunciation, except for some new loanwords, e.g. (yuk) "six" (North Korean retained it: (ryuk)) but it does show in combination with preceding words. Like surname (I) (Yi, Li, Lee, Ri, etc. - North Korean spelling: (Ri)) or number (yuk). Is 십육 (sibyuk) actually pronounced as /ɕʰimɲjuk̚/, rather than /ɕʰibjuk̚/ as if it were written 십륙 (simnyuk) - the North Korean way? @Wyang, @TAKASUGI Shinji, please comment if you can and check if 십육 (sibyuk) needs any changes - pronunciation and transliteration, "sibyuk" is probably a wrong transliteration, since our Korean module uses a phonetic method. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:08, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Please see my edit to the entry. Wyang (talk) 00:15, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
That was quick and easy, thanks :) So, the transliteration should be manual in this case? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:17, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, since the Hangul spelling is non-phonetic. Wyang (talk) 00:18, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again. I wonder why would they need to remove from the spelling, if it still pronounced in non-initial cases (as l, r or n) and is etymologically important. Just a thought. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
They haven’t removed it; the North Koreans have added it for the phonological consistency. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 13:36, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
@TAKASUGI Shinji sorry for the late reply. I heard a different theory but Russian experts of Korean were probably biased by what they got from North Korea. Anyway, they don't only write but also often pronounce r (and sometimes "n" as in 여자->녀자) in initial positions, although older people have trouble with this and some regions prefer to drop it like South Koreans. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:13, 24 July 2014 (UTC)


This is labelled as an "affix". I know nothing at all about Telugu, so I don't really know if this has a commonly understood meaning for Telugu, but we normally specify affixes according to type (prefix, suffix etc) so this seemed a bit odd. I'm bringing it up here in case someone knows more. —CodeCat 00:27, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

w:Telugu grammar refers to it as a suffix. - -sche (discuss) 16:08, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
What about the others in Category:Telugu affixes? —CodeCat 16:24, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't have ఏ or కొరకు or గా or చే or చేత or తోడ or ను or మధ్య or యుక్తుడు (at least not as such; it has several with an additional -న్). It calls ఓ and కూర్చి and పట్టి suffixes. - -sche (discuss) 17:01, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

dyspepsia / dyspeptic

These two words have different etymologies in their respective entries. It seems to me that the one for "dyspeptic" is the better one (especially since the root listed for "dyspepsia" doesn't have an entry in Wiktionary). —This unsigned comment was added by AnthroMimus (talkcontribs).


The third definition (Prejudice or hostility towards adherents of Abrahamic religions.) just passed RFV with citations that use anti-Semitism against muslims. But if that is the meaning they are using, how come there is no google books:"anti-Semitism against Christians"? — Ungoliant (falai) 18:51, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

My guess is that the citations are using sense 2, and just equating Muslims with Arabs. The second citation seems to confirm this, because it speaks of "anti-Muslim racism". Using either sense 2 or sense 3 shows enough of a lack of understanding of the term anti-Semitism that I don't think it implausible that it would go hand in hand with a lack of understanding of the difference between Arab and Muslim. - -sche (discuss) 18:58, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
How's this? - -sche (discuss) 16:06, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I have found some attestation in google groups and made some alterations accordingly. Hope its okay. Pass a Method (talk) 16:00, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting PaM, but I remain unconvinced by your citations. The first one isn’t using the term, it’s just saying that anti-Semitism by Christians is equivalent to the anti-Christianity by Jews. In the second one, it’s the charge of antiSemitism, not the antiSemitism itself that is against the Christians. In the third one, he is saying that Romans regarded Christianity as a branch of Judaism, thus falling into the first definition of anti-Semitism. The sentence that follows the cited one is “The Romans used to call the Christians "the Jews of the sect of Christos".” — Ungoliant (falai) 16:15, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I was just about to say what Ungoliant just said, but then I saw that Ungoliant already said it. --WikiTiki89 16:46, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
You're correct about the second one. For the first one there is a lengthy paragraph where the term anti-semitism is repeated and where it does seem to fit.
Christianity started off as an offshoot of Judaism, so the third cite would not fall under the first definition but would fall under a definition that would resemble "opposition to Semetic religions". On that note, since "semetic religion" and "abrahamic religion" can be used interchangeably they can be viewed as synonymous.Pass a Method (talk) 16:47, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I just read the first cite (here) and it most certainly does not use "antisemitism" to mean hatred against Christians, but simply states that the Jews' hatred of Christians was "the same type of hatred". The third one is better interpreted as implying that the Romans considered Christians to be Jews, which the original Christians in fact were. --WikiTiki89 16:58, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

The whole set of "whole _" terms


  1. the whole nine yards
  2. the whole shooting matchwhole shooting match
  3. the whole shitting matchwhole shitting match
  4. whole package
  5. whole shebang
  6. whole ball of wax
  7. whole enchilada

As far as I can tell, "the" is usually included when all of these terms are used, so I don't see a reason for there to be inconsistency in how they are titled. Should we move the last four to incorporate "the" into their titles, or drop "the" from the first three titles? (There is also kit and caboodle, but its placement seems to be justified by the existence of citations like "a kit and caboodle of".) Whatever we do, we should make sure we have hard or soft redirects at the other titles, e.g. whole shooting match (currently a redlink). - -sche (discuss) 20:05, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

There's also the whole megillah, also currently redlinked. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:40, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
For some of these, the story is as you say (with exceptions that can be ignored), eg, the whole nine yards, the whole enchilada.
Based on COCA data, for none of these expressions involving whole is a or a determiner or a possessive a frequent (>5%) substitute for the.
For ball of wax whole does not seem an essential part of the idiom, though it occurs with very high relative frequency. whole ball of bax = whole + ball of wax, the "whole" form occurring for 24 of the 49 occurrences of ball of wax at COCA.
For whole shooting match (9 such occurrences) an adjective can be inserted (2 such) between whole and the rest.
For whole shebang (95 such) an adjective intervenes 11 times.
Based on my own colloquial experience, for all of them vulgar intensifiers (fucking, damn, bloody etc) readily intervene as well.
Further shooting match often means a contest (in the same way as ballgame, ie "the whole ballgame", so whole shooting match is often (usually?) about a contest or achievement.
Lastly whole package is usually not idiomatic. It might be idiomatic in "Not only is he a very talented ballplayer, but also he's a kid with a great mind, which is more important than skill. You've got to have the whole package." But it has a more specialized meaning. DCDuring TALK 22:01, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
So should I add "the" where it's missing, since a and other things don't usually substitute for it? - -sche (discuss) 18:13, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Are you sure that you want the in the headword for any of these that have a literal reading, which is probably all of them? We probably should have {{&lit}} for all idioms. In literal use the is not assured of being required. We have the option of having a label (usually used with the) on the sense line for the appropriate idiomatic definitions. The weasel word "usually" also gives the entry and definition a bit more robustness against error on our part, linguistic variation, and language change.
Even if you reject the argument above, the ones for which IMO the entry definitely shouldn't have "the", though a sense might, are ball of wax and shooting match, for which there are either other senses or use without the. DCDuring TALK 19:19, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
whole package does seem to occur in what might be an idiomatic sense without the:
  • 2010, Kay Moffett, ‎Sarah Touborg, Not Your Mother's Divorce, page 41:
    But that doesn't mean that he was right for you as a whole package.
I feel a lot better with hard redirects from a "the" form to a bare form, which bare form has labels, that with "the" as part of the headword.
I think the full monty belongs here as well. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:13, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

a rolling stone gathers no moss

"A person who does not keep active will grow mouldy." Really? Can't we word this a bit better? This, that and the other (talk) 06:36, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

lol, I am tempted to add that definition to WT:BJAODN. I've had a go at rewriting it to, among other things, use the same 'tense' (not sure what the right word is) as the original phrase. - -sche (discuss) 07:05, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Side note, the translations need to be split by sense. - -sche (discuss) 07:06, 13 July 2014 (UTC)


The declension table says it's inanimate, the headword line says otherwise. --Fsojic (talk) 09:17, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Fixed. It is most certainly animate. --WikiTiki89 14:40, 14 July 2014 (UTC)


I'm new to wiktionary. Should I add this word to wiktionary? manpack. merriam webster. I think it's a very common word, and it's on merriam webster. Arichnad (talk) 14:53, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Sure go ahead! Just don't copy the Merriam Webster definition. --WikiTiki89 14:55, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Ok. I took a first stab at it. Thanks for your help. Arichnad (talk) 15:11, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I see you made it a noun. MW defines it as an adjective, while it feels to me like a noun that is only used attributively, or at least mostly, since I do find some uses of the plural. The remaining question is whether it is ever used as a predicate adjective (such as "Those devices are manpack."), which I doubt. --WikiTiki89 15:22, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm. It's probably both an adjective and a noun; you're right that I didn't notice it was an adjective on MW. I like the quotations you added to the article. ... I don't think it's an a predicate adjective. Arichnad (talk) 22:19, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

watcha vs. whatcha

Before I grab some tea, I have a question. Should one of the two entries be scrapped and simply defined as an alternative form of the other? Both entries have the exact same definition. Watcha, however, is categorized as slang, while whatcha is categorized as colloquial. Thanks, WikiWinters (talk) 15:23, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, the question is which one? --WikiTiki89 15:41, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
If Google's Ngrams feature is to be believed, whatcha is considerably more common. I've centralized the content there. - -sche (discuss) 15:53, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

סיפא (aramaic)

i don't speak aramaic (well, i guess noone does...) but the hebrew ("end") and english ("sword") translations disagree - anyone would like to arbitrate? thanks! —This comment was unsigned.

The Manual of the Aramaic Language of the Babylonian Talmud by Max Leopold Margolis glosses it as "Schwert, sword". - -sche (discuss) 14:56, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Sked vs. schedule

Being a French guy aged 68, have been learning English since more than 50 years, I understand your word sked is a short colloquial word for schedule. Sked should deserve (at least) another meaning :

  1. a list of main facts for a person, close to our wp infobox, as written in the second part of this 2005 Canadian article: “Biopic looks at Twain's early years”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[3], accessed 2014-07-15

On the other hand, according to my 2010 Collins Robert French dict', there are two other usual meanings for schedule :

  1. a list of goods, contents (French : inventaire)
  2. a list of prices (French : barême)

But has sked exactly the same meanings of schedule ? Especially as sked is absent from the above dict' ;-(

Although the word (informal) allows various uses, I think both current meanings for sked are not properly written, and a native English speaker would be welcomed to improve both entries. Thanks a lot in advance w/ my... best regards from Paris :-) --Bibliorock (talk) 13:34, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I can only speak for myself: I've rarely seen "sked", and only in the timetable sense. Equinox 20:54, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I am a native speaker and honestly till now I have not seen the word before :/ Leasnam (talk) 00:58, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a lot to both of u :-) Let's hope this Canadian journalist invented this shortening only once for this peculiar meaning ! --Bibliorock (talk) 03:44, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

formal language (formal)

Wikipedia has an entry for formal language that suggests we need a new sense of formal. PS I cannot understand our entry formal language! Renard Migrant (talk) 15:05, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I have tweaked the def a little bit (per Wikipedia); whether this makes it clearer to you I don't know; technical topics tend to require definitions that use other technical jargon. I think "formal" sense #6 (or maybe even #5) is adequate. Equinox 18:18, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Reconstructed phrases

In the etymology section of ailleurs, I formatted a reconstructed phrase as {{m|la|[[in]] [[*aliore]] [[loco]]}}, giving: in *aliore loco. I wonder if this is the best way to format this? (@CodeCat I'm happy to see that it works as expected at least!) --WikiTiki89 15:25, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I saw something on Youtube. Where do I discuss it?

Discussion moved from Template:discussion recent months.

I understand that you guys don't use talk pages as much as WP.
The word is leh.
The video is recent and currently has over 2.7 million hits. [4].
How do I do it here on WT? 15:55, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

and why does it show up here Template:discussion recent months? 16:02, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
What exactly do you want to discuss? Renard Migrant (talk) 18:48, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
You can read our Criteria for Inclusion. It seems that this word would not fit those criteria. --WikiTiki89 18:51, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd judge it to be just like meh, but it could "mean" something else. Has it been used elsewhere with about the same import? Has it been used for more than a year? I don't think that we consider YouTube durably archived media, because the video could be pulled, but I'd be a bit surprised if Usenet doesn't show use. Of course there is always the chance that it is being put forward to gain publicity for the group's music. DCDuring TALK 18:52, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I see that there is more than a "chance that it is being put forward to gain publicity". It just looks like a troll for publicity. And it is not easy to find it in use in English at UseNet. DCDuring TALK 19:16, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

  • "and why does it show up here Template:discussion recent months?"
    My error. I'm not often here.
  • "What exactly do you want to discuss?"
    Inclusion of an additional definition to an existing word entry.
  • "You can read our Criteria for Inclusion. It seems that this word would not fit those criteria."
    No, it doesn't seem to, nor does it seem a number of words here fit the criteria, yet they, and this word, leh, exist as entries. I just want to add an extra definition to it.
  • "I'd judge it to be just like meh, but it could "mean" something else."
    Not so according to the Urban Dictionary, for what's that worth.
    The UD definition doesn't unambiguously fit the YouTube use. DCDuring TALK 18:58, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • You callin' me a troll? I first heard part of the song on CBC-1's Q. I then checked YouTube. Cute video. You don't think it's worthy of inclusion? Fine. I thought I'd toss it here for as a topic. It just seems to me that the neat thing about a wiki is that things can be reverted. If YouTube pulls it, pull the extra definition out. 03:59, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Re. "nor does it seem a number of words here fit the criteria, yet they, and this word, leh, exist as entries": If you find a word that does not fit the criteria, you can nominate it for deletion. Also, leh exists as an Albanian entry and has nothing to do with the English word, which is not included on that page. --WikiTiki89 14:32, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Interesting that leh doesn't exist as an entry in the Albanian Wiktionary. It seems that the sourcing for "leh" as an Albanian word here is worse than as Indian slang. 14:52, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The Albanian Wiktionary has much fewer editors than we do, and so is likely missing many words that we have here. Incidentally, you can see in the search results that you linked to that the word leh is actually used on the Albanian Wiktionary. If you look up leh in any real Albanian dictionary (such as this one), you will see they have entries for it. But if you still don't think it exists, you can nominate it for verification. --WikiTiki89 15:21, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Okaaay; and let me guess: that dictionary is more reputable than the Urban Dictionary. So here's a dumb question—from me, a non-Wiktionarian, to you: why isn't it referred to in the entry? 15:42, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Because we don't need to cite references in every entry. Anyway, our verification process does not rely on other dictionaries, but on durably archived quotations of the word in use. Urban dictionary is not a reliable source for any information, since they accept without modification pretty much anything anyone submits. --WikiTiki89 15:56, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

So where are the durably archived quotations of the word leh in use? 16:21, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

We don't look for them unless someone nominates it for verification, otherwise we would have way too much work on our hands. --WikiTiki89 16:45, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
and I don't want to be an asshole deletionist who might nominate hundreds of entries that are likely largely correct, however unsourced or uncited, particularly considering that I'm a newbie here. Would it be okay if I linked to this section from the discussion page once this section has been archived? 18:05, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
From which discussion page? Also, this section is already in its permanent location (we use monthly pages that don't require archiving). --WikiTiki89 18:10, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

The Talk:leh one. Thanks about the info about this page. 19:53, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Quoting above: "No, it doesn't seem to [meet the criteria for inclusion], nor does it seem a number of words here fit the criteria,"
Basically you're arguing because we have some bad entries here, we should include more bad entries? That's a bit like saying lots of people commit murder so why shouldn't I? Renard Migrant (talk) 23:12, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Further point: WT:CFI#Attestation doesn't say the citations have to be in the entry itself, they just have to exist. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:14, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Eventually, I'll give w:Wikipedia:Other stuff exists and w:User:Master Thief Garrett/Don't add sewage to the already polluted pond a decent read—yeah, and I know, this ain't WP. I'm not sure that there are just some bad entries here, insofar that they're not readily sourceable or citable. Again, as I don't spend too much time here, I'm pretty ignorant; but if my suspicions are correct, then my inclusion won't really affect things that much for the worse—and that's assuming my, if you will, to use the metaphor, sewage is just that. Sourced or unsourced, citeable or uncitable, my suggestion that leh is also Indian slang might nonetheless be correct. Either there is little problem here with bad entries, and thus my suspicions are unwarranted; there is a big problem with many bad entries of which I'd add so little to; or the problem is the rule itself, or themselves.

To continue your murder analogy, would it be murder to shoot that which is already dead or dying (no, I'm not sure where that fits in here.:-)

As for WT:CFI#Attestation, it says,

"Where possible, it is better to cite sources that are likely to remain easily accessible over time, so that someone referring to Wiktionary years from now is likely to be able to find the original source. As Wiktionary is an online dictionary, this naturally favors media such as Usenet groups, which are durably archived by Google. Print media such as books and magazines will also do, particularly if their contents are indexed online. Other recorded media such as audio and video are also acceptable, provided they are of verifiable origin and are durably archived. We do not quote other Wikimedia sites[4][5] (such as Wikipedia), but we may use quotations found on them (such as quotations from books available on Wikisource). When citing a quotation from a book, please include the ISBN."

Hence, people here seem to think that while the current definition for leh might not be ideal, it nonetheless seems meet the the criteria for inclusion, however not readily cited; whereas mine, though from a recent YouTube video, is nonetheless linkable, is one with a lot of "hits": 2,853,352 as I link it around now; and will likely remain on YouTube as Lilly Singh doesn't seem all bothered by it existing on YT on Jian's show. Lastly, again, if the video is removed, one can edit out references to Indian slang. 03:03, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

The Albanian entry for leh is readily citeable (see google books:"lehte" "tutje", for example), it just hasn't been cited yet. YouTube is not durably archived, since videos can be deleted or modified. We don't make exceptions to this rule no matter how strongly you believe that this video won't be taken down. --WikiTiki89 13:39, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I did a quick check and will do a better one later. I did not find "leh" in the first few of the results of the search you linked to.
  • the word is "leh," not "lehte" nor "tutje." I understand that Wiktionary can get mightily particular about this: no DAB pages and all that.
  • When I searched "lehte" here, it seemed to re-direct to Lehte, some sort of Estonian female name, "19th century literary invention from leht (“leaf”)".
  • tutje isn't semantically related to "leh"
  • Note I suggested that the YT video will likely be there for a long time, but even if it isn't then simply edit out my proposed addition when the YT video is pulled—again, that's a nice thing about wikis, they're editable. 16:20, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
    Actually, lehte is the third person past tense of leh, and tutje is just an Albanian word that I added to the search to make sure all the results were Albanian. Try also google books:"leh" "tutje" if you're not convinced by the conjugated forms. --WikiTiki89 16:50, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Ah! I see it. First link. You're right. Second link, however looks German, and the third looks like it's some Spanish-speaking university. Seems there might be another definition here. I did a quick check here: w:Singlish vocabulary#L and a source for another possible definition for leh here. Btw, why not make lehte an entry rather than a seeming redirect (at least I think it's a redirect—it was when I was searching for it), and add the Albanian definition to tutje striking out my error here, 18:29, 17 July 2014 (UTC))? Again, I didn't really doubt that leh was an Albanian term, rather I noticed it wasn't (immediately at least) cited. You've corrected that somewhat. Thank you. I'll now also search Google books more often. Still my YT question stands. Why not, until it's pulled—now at 2,892,377 hits?—what's that, about 40 000 a day? 1.2 million a month? (for what it's worth.) 18:19, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

re: "I noticed it wasn't (immediately at least) cited" That would be true of almost all senses of almost all words in all languages in our entries. Similarly for almost all dictionaries for all languages in the world, the OED being a prominent exception.
Citations are present in entries because someone, possibly the creator of the definition, had some doubt about the definition or the citations preceded the definition, in cases where someone couldn't understand what the definition appropriate to the citation was. Finding citations that fit a definition takes a good deal of effort and usually leads to an adjustment of the definition. New uses, obsolete uses, and rare uses are the ones that need citations the most. DCDuring TALK 18:55, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation, and, if I may ask, where would the YT video—and the interview on Q—stand? Could it be used in the citation page? 19:08, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
As I've already said, we don't use YouTube as a source. If you disagree, start a discussion at the WT:Beer parlour, but I'm certain you will get only negative responses. --WikiTiki89 19:16, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

You said, "YouTube is not durably archived, since videos can be deleted or modified." not that WT doesn't use YT videos as a source. Is that explicitly stated in a page here that you can easily and readily cite? Don't worry, I'll soon be letting the issue go. You all have given me much time and effort explaining it to me, and I appreciate that. As previously asked, could I put a link on Talk:leh to this section? 19:27, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm actually not sure where it says this explicitly, but if you read WT:RFV discussions, you'll see that the only sources we really accept are books/newspapers/etc. that are published in print and Usenet discussions. --WikiTiki89 19:45, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Print sounds good, though I'm not acquainted with Usenet (more WP reading for me, I suppose). As I implied, I'm reached my limit here. If the video had, say, 100 million hits, I'd push it more; but given that it doesn't quite have 3 million, there aren't many other sources—none really—at least none I can readily find, and yeah, Lilly Singh has much an interest to promote it, I'll, again, let it go. But again, what about a discussion page link? I don't want to act without an opinion about it here. 20:09, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Sure, there's nothing wrong with putting a link to this discussion on Talk:leh. --WikiTiki89 20:19, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Very well. Thank you. I will do so in no less than 24 hours from this post. 22:16, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
It's been well over 24 hours: almost a month.
I've now turned the internal link to the above talk page from red to blue.
(Also by now [5] the video has gone from over 2.7 million hits in 15 July (2014) to a little over 4.3 million.) 18:24, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

"Words, contractions, and licenses"

I can't seem to figure out what "license" means in this context: http://books.google.com/books?id=kLEVAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover --Brainy J (talk) 23:57, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Probably the "freedom to deviate" sense; see poetic licence. Equinox 23:58, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
So "licenses" here essentially means "idioms" or "metaphors"?--Brainy J (talk) 00:04, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I would say it means "liberties taken with the language", i.e. non-standard usages. Equinox 19:06, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "cutter", "buddy" and similar words

It seems to me that the listed IPA pronunciation of "cutter", "buddy" and similar words doesn't account for this phenomenon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intervocalic_alveolar_flapping

Has this been discussed before? If so, can someone point me to such a discussion? Thanks. —This unsigned comment was added by Gabrielgauthier (talkcontribs).

Cutter and buddy currently only provide broad transcriptions. (Cutter doesn't even provide a complete broad transcription, all it has is a link to a Rhymes page, and those are titled using broad transcriptions of Received Pronunciation, except in cases where the American/Australian/etc pronunciation is phonemically different, as with e.g. lever.) Broad transcriptions don't encode allophonic information like w:Intervocalic alveolar flapping; that kind of information is encoded in narrow transcriptions (even in Wikipedia's page on the subject). Pearl is an example of an entry that provides both a broad and a narrow transcription. You can add narrow transcriptions to cutter and buddy, if you like. Cheers! :) - -sche (discuss) 00:38, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

it's not even funny

I think this phrase merits in entry for use in the sort of disjointed sense found in citations like 2014, Lynne D'Amico, Force of Mind, Song of Heart, p. 61: "We're so far from the head table that's it's not even funny!" Any ideas on how to define it, though? Cheers! bd2412 T 02:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Hearing no response, I'm going to give it a shot. bd2412 T 16:06, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I would add that it is to such an extreme that under most circumstances <such and such> would be found amusing, but in this <extreme> instance it is so bad that it is utterly pitiful and sad that one cannot muster a laugh. Leasnam (talk) 18:59, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Even is definitely optional in this expression. The expression seems so far from being idiomatic that it's not funny any more, at least not to me. DCDuring TALK 19:25, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
BD has come up with quite an interesting entry here. Other alternative forms: it's not funny (per DC), it isn't even funny, it isn't funny, it is not even funny, it is not funny. But how to write a definition that isn't just a gloss? A challenge so interesting that, oh yeah, it's not even funny! (Hmm, I wonder if this expression is ever used, with this sense, without a preceding occurrence of that and an earlier preceding occurrence of so. Y'know, given that the expression only has this sense in a specific kind of context involving a comparison, I'm starting to suspect it is idiomatic.) -- · (talk) 19:56, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The citations provided suggest that the thing need not be something that would actually be "funny" if presented in a lesser degree. For example, if someone says "I respect this guy so much it's not even funny", that would suggest that if he respected the guy, but not as much, it would be funny. However, there is nothing inherently funny about respecting someone, so appending the qualifier makes it clearly idiomatic. I'll add that as used in this sense (as opposed to the literal sense of pointing out that something that is supposed to be funny but is not), the exact phrase "it's not even funny" is used with much greater frequency than any other variation, so far as I can tell. Removing the "even" returns a very high proportion of instances where the writer is merely claiming that a situation literally lacks humor. bd2412 T 18:01, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Just because the frequency of the kind of use of "it's not funny" under discussion to a more straightforward use is low that does not mean it is less frequent that the expression with "even". Are you trying to slip us the old rubber peach? DCDuring TALK 18:22, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I mean that "it's not even funny" being used to indicate an extended degree of some condition appears to get a lot more hits than "it's not funny" being used to indicate an extended degree of some condition. bd2412 T 18:27, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
A search at COCA for collocation with "so" with "it 's not even funny" [sic] yields 11 raw hits, one of which is probably not the use in question. With "it 's not funny" yields 4. I think the more parsimonious version makes for a better headword, but whichever is chosen the other should redirect to it and the inflection line show "even" in parentheses. DCDuring TALK 18:42, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
It is interesting how the use of "even" in this grammatical context has category merged to allow use in phrases such as "I'm not even lying". The intended sense is "I'm really not lying". Rich Farmbrough, 15:33, 17 July 2014 (UTC).

Unspecified in amusical

Under the amusical category there is no mention of those known as amusical because they simply do not like music (any of it). It is not that we do not get music, in fact I am amusical and can fully understand the emotion behind music, and I can hear all tones/sound normally (I took medical tests to confirm this). I even dabbled in writing music, and it was pretty well done. I only stopped because I had no incentive to continue, being amusical and all. If I recall correctly about 3% of the population is amusical.

I think you mean the entry amusical. We go by usage, do people use the word amusical to mean uninterested in music? If so, prove it! Find source that use the word in this way. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:07, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Inverted N to represent Ñ?

I was in Spain last week, and I noticed that in non-typeset all-caps text (both informal, such as graffiti, and formal, such as stone inscriptions on graves in churches), an inverted N (i.e., something like И) was used instead of Ñ. Does anyone know anything about this? —RuakhTALK 23:03, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Drum (house, home) and humdrum etymologies

For the former there are two etymologies floating about, from droma, a Roma word meaning road, or from drummers who knock at doors searching for empty houses to rob. (Also the reattachment to "drum and bass" => "place", the backronym equivalent for rhyming slang.) Any RS, please add to the definition pages. Rich Farmbrough, 15:29, 17 July 2014 (UTC).


Several of the senses and citations seem problematic. First there is the sense "religion, culture and customs of Palestinians and other Arabs", which has citations like "Can Mazel's acts in modem terminology be considered as anti-Palestinian semitism? According to Israeli right wingers the incident is considered as a form of heroic act, some skeptics considered it as a "Mossad" intelligence power play". I find it hard to interpret that as using the sense in question. The other citations, since they specify "Arab semitism", "Palestinian semitism", seem like they are using a (missing) broad sense like "religion and culture of the Semites"; if they were using a sense "specifically, religion and culture of the Arabs", they would be tautological.
Then there is the sense "religion, culture and customs of adherents of Abrahamic religions", which Heka already removed once because "the quotes [it had at that time refer to Jewish features of Islam [...] sense 1". The citation it now has of "vernacular Semitism was again raising its head against Hellenic influence, and asserted to itself the right of translating into the vernacular" seems to be using the sense "idiom of the Jewish vocabulary", or the "religion and culture of the Jews" sense. - -sche (discuss) 16:23, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

The only meaning of the word that I personally know in detail and am confident about -- the linguistic meaning (i.e. "feature of the Greek language usage of the Septuagint or Greek New Testament which is influenced by features of the Hebrew and/or Aramaic languages") -- does not seem to be included. Some people occasionally try to politicize this word by claiming that "antisemitism" is derived as anti+[Semit+ism], instead of as [anti+Semit]+ism, but I don't think that we need to include that here. In the 2000s, the United Arab Emirates created a rather strange institute of Semitism (officially the "Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-up") which was rather creative in redefining words such as "Semitism" with new and twisted anti-Jewish meanings, but that was closed down after a few years... AnonMoos (talk) 15:54, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Since this discussion hasn't attracted attention here, I'm going to post it to RFV. - -sche (discuss) 18:32, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

ain't tryin' to hear

Any idea what to do with this phrase? It's African-American slang used to mean someone would prefer not to hear about something (e.g. 2004, T. Fulton, Da Joka: Frisco's Finest, page 332: "So, now that everybody knows everybody's name, let's smoke, and I ain't tryin to hear that I don't smoke shit either"). Note that the "that" at the end is common, but highly substitutable. bd2412 T 18:10, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Is it used with verbs other than hear? --WikiTiki89 19:13, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
It is, but it seems that other uses ("ain't tryin' to get knocked by the feds", "ain't tryin' to save the world", "ain't tryin' to fuss or fight witchu") would seem to be more literal uses of not "trying" to do something, whereas use with "hear" (and, as it turns out, "see") conveys not wanting to see or hear what is already being seen or heard. bd2412 T 02:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Side note: "tryin' to" seems to be the most common expression, but "trying to" exists, as does "tryna". bd2412 T 02:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't want to hear that you're trying force another non-idiom into Wiktionary, this one wrapped in AAVE disguise. I think that you need to consider meaning of hear other than the most basic. For example, is this evidence that the intransitive sense of hear in "I won't hear of it" has become transitive (dropped the of)? Or is a modern version of heed? DCDuring TALK 10:58, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It has always been my impression that the expression "I won't hear of it" is generally used when the speaker is offering some amenity (e.g. "I can stay in a hotel" "oh, I won't hear of it, you'll stay in my guest house") literally means that if the speaker were not to offer that amenity, they would later hear others talking about their lack of generosity. By saying "I won't hear of it" in that context they mean "I won't, in the future, hear people talking about it". By contrast, when a parent tells their teenage child to clean their room, and the teen responds, "I ain't tryin' to hear that", the teen is basically saying that the instruction is something they would prefer not to have heard (even though they have necessarily already heard it to be saying that). My goal here is not to "force" anything into Wiktionary but to clarify a usage that is likely to be confusing to those who come across it. Of course, if this is a "a modern version of heed" then it probably merits an entry because I know of no other expression where "heed" is used mean "hear", and I think it would be awkward to have a definition line at "hear" indicating that it means "heed", but only in the context of being prefaced by "I ain't tryin' to". bd2412 T 13:29, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
MWOnline's entry for hear has heed as a synonym for one of its senses. AAVE usage examples would certainly spice up our entries.
I know you are not really trying to force-fit an SoP expression into the idiom mold: it comes naturally to you, just as it is natural for me to look at the level of word senses to understand expressions.
If AAVE syntax allows not/n't to be moved from standard English "I'm trying not to hear X" to AAVE "I'm not trying to hear X" that would be a fact about AAVE syntax.
IOW, I think we need more evidence than we have at hand to rule out alternative hypotheses about decoding this. Maybe I'll find a fellow resident of my city whom I can ask about these possibilities, but I doubt that I would get more than just another data point. Maybe I can find something in some book about AAVE, with which my city's library is relatively well stocked. DCDuring TALK 17:28, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, what comes naturally to me is making a hundred thousand good edits to this project, which I think allows me the presumption that I understand what should and should not go into a dictionary that claims to define all words in all languages. With respect to this specific phrase, how is this at all SoP? This is a set phrase that uses words in a way that do not adhere to any of the dictionary definitions that we offer. What definition of "trying" covers preferring not to have heard something? Your own analysis suggests this may be what would be a rather novel pronunciation of "heed". Do you really think that young black people are trying to channel Shakespearean English when they use this phrase? bd2412 T 19:53, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I do not think that you are hearing me or MWOnline or other current dictionaries. The sense of hear ("heed", "pay attention to") is quite current. I have no idea where the authors of these AAVE works actually get their vocabulary, but it is hardly a stretch for any speaker, probably in any language, to use a verb referring to a sensory process (inattentively hearing, seeing, etc) to refer to actually ("really") absorbing the import of the sensory data (attentively hearing, seeing, etc).
I see nothing in any of the citations suggesting inattentiveness. I frankly think that you are imposing your own cultural biases on this phrase, and therefore not understanding how it is actually used in practice. I think some video examples may help you to understand, for example "They wanna see me six feet, I ain't tryna hear it" (at 0:17, 2:05, and 3:26), "are you a gangsta? (nigga, I ain't tryin' to hear that shit) / you bust guns, nigga? (nigga, I ain't tryin' to hear that shit) / oh you a pimp, huh? (nigga, I ain't tryna hear that shit)" (at 0:52); "Save that attitude for someone else. Why? Cause I ain't tryin to hear that. You need what? I ain't tryin to hear that. Check this out. I ain't tryin to hear that." (at 1:02). bd2412 T 00:12, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Could be. DCDuring TALK 00:15, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I think "won't hear of it" means something more like "refuse to allow or to agree to". Think about examples such as "I won't hear of such behavior in my house". Chuck Entz (talk) 01:21, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
If so, then perhaps we need an entry for won't hear of. That is certainly different from "ain't tryin' to hear", which expresses a completely different attitude (for reference, watch those video clips and consider how they would sound if the speaker substituted "won't hear of it"). bd2412 T 14:45, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Phallus v phallus

This seems to be the recommended location for a discussion of the phallus & Phallus entries. (This line should be automatic or prompted, to ensure visitors to this Tea:discussion & the more obvious Discussion:Talk are not missing each other.)
There seems to be two phallus entries, one having no actual definition, but both with a bunch of items.
One is mostly in English, but identified as a 'German' entry in en.Wiktionary.org.
--Wikidity (talk) 00:49, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, that's right. phallus is an English noun, Phallus is a German noun, which is being defined in English in this wiktionary. If you wish a definition of the German noun im Deutsch, then there is de:Phallus in the German Wiktionary. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:19, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
   Ugh! The suffix on the pronounpreposition is right (if you intend to imply the definite article, but anyone who's studied the language says "auf Deutsch" and not even "auf dem Deutsch). My eyes still hurt.
After research on German Google, the auf version has (i'm surprised to say) only twice the hits. One page near the top says
   "In Deutsch" wird häufig als Anglizismus beschrieben, als zu wörtlich übersetzte Version von "in German".
(I read that instance of "zu" as "too", not "to".) Perhaps the ratio reflects massive and lousy machine translations of English Web pages into German.
--Jerzyt 04:36 & 04:49, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
German isn't in my Babel Boxes for a reason... Me not talk Germanish goodly. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 04:39, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
@Catsidhe Sorry, dunno what i was thinking of!
"In Deutsch" is often described as an Anglicism, as [i.e. "in being" (i think)] [an] overly literal translation of "in German".
--Jerzyt 15:03, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
   And while i'm (back) at it, i just read "The suffix on the ... preposition ..." 3 times before going on to the rest of the sentence (and finally making some sort of sense out of it), and find that i've used a wording that sounds bizarre to me, in spite of my inventing it. The word "im" amounts (at least etymologically) to a contraction of the preposition in (meaning ... well, you can guess) and the (dative inflection of the article das, namely dem), but i had never considered the question of how to grammatically describe such an entity; i'm uncomfortable speaking of inflection of a preposition, but that's the wording that got past my original cursory proofreading.
--Jerzyt 15:03, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
All entries at en.Wiktionary.org are in English, since this is the English Wiktionary. If you want definitions, etc. in German, you need to go to de.wiktionary.org, which is the German Wiktionary. The entry at Phallus is about the German word: in German, all nouns are capitalized, so it's under the capitalized spelling. It has a one-word definition, which links to the English entry at phallus. As for "Discussion:Talk"- there's no such page at English Wiktionary, so there's not much risk of confusion between the two. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:25, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

gash (noun)

   Most dicts seem to agree that the core meaning of gash#Noun is a deep cut in flesh (& my favorite lang. authority & i agree), with (the metaphor of?) devastating damage to the landscape or built surroundings being secondary. It's especially egregious to pick a usage of the second kind as the sole example of the noun.
--Jerzyt 03:09, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean by secondary, but https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=gash+in+the in the first couple pages shows a gash in the world, the darkness, the glades, the neck (note that the second one is a mere duplicate), the hat (contrasted with the wound in the head), the young child's head, the pipe, the tread, the side of Building 7, the terrace front, the forehead, the side (of a tree), the cheek, the bark, and the wrist. So ten non-human (no animal, two plant) and five human. And "The wound in the head, which corresponded with the gash in the hat, and the wound just above it were about as far apart as the hammer of a six- shooter, and the cylinder of the same are apart." and "There was a very nasty gash in the pipe, passing three-quarters of the way round its circumference and measuring about 1½ inches in width." don't feel the least bit metaphorical; they're precise technical statements.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:12, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Or to graph this Google Ngrams gives us "gash in the Earth" at four times more common in the modern day as in the cheek, in the head and in the neck combined.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:18, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
The solution is very simple: just add an appropriate quote to go with the one you don't like, so the quotes are more balanced. I will say that having just "a deep cut" seems to oversimplify things a bit, though it does minimally cover all the cases. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:01, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Template:U:gl:false friend

I'm not sure exactly how this template is supposed to work, but clearly not like this. --WikiTiki89 13:29, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

See also WT:RFM#Template:U:es:false_friend.2C_Template:U:gl:false_friend_et_al. - -sche (discuss) 17:31, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
In that case, we should just delete them, since they don't work anyway. If we need them, we can recreate them from scratch. --WikiTiki89 17:34, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It's of questionable use. If you look at French sensible it doesn't have any usage notes about how it doesn't mean sensible. Does it need them, or is there mere fact that sensible isn't listed as a definition enough? Is it good practice to say what a word doesn't mean, even in these circumstances? Renard Migrant (talk) 19:53, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I think it's potentially useful, but only in cases where the difference in meaning is particularly unexpected and particularly likely to cause problems, such as with Spanish embarazada (pregnant), or particularly interesting. Mostly the fact of being a false friend is just one of those bits of trivia that some find interesting and others view as clutter, such as anagrams. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:38, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I bet it's almost never useful as an on-page warning message, since someone who's looking up the word is likely someone who already suspects that it may not always mean what it looks like. But a category or appendix could be useful. —RuakhTALK 23:47, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Anyway, I figured out how the template works and have fixed entries misusing it. Now keeping it can be addressed as a question of its own. --WikiTiki89 20:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

amen in Italian

I am Italian, and in Italian we often use "amen" in the sense of "no matter", "never mind", often in the expression "pace amen", which means the same as "pace". I think we should add that sense to the article. 16:28, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The point of a wiki is that you can add it yourself. --WikiTiki89 17:18, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

bite = a step in suture? (ophthalmology)

Found this unusual meaning of 'bite' while reading ophthalmological articles. Hard to grasp its precise sense at first bite, but seems to the something like "a step, an iteration, one stitch in a continuous suture". Seems not to be covered in the Wiktionary article for 'bite':

Most corneal surgeons prefer deep partial-thickness corneal suture bites over full-thickness bites. Incorporating 95% of the donor’s and host’s relative corneal thickness avoids posterior wound gape. Full-thickness bites may be associated with a higher chance of leakage along suture tracks and serve as a portal of entry for microorganisms or epithelial ingrowth.

--CopperKettle (talk) 17:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

I found a definition via OneLook in Segen's Medical Dictionary that seems possibly analogous to this:
(Pathology) A popular term used as an adjective, noun, or verb in reference to material obtained by a grasping type of biopsy forceps—e.g., alligator forceps
But the term as in the corneal-suture case you found seems to be used in reference to sutures generally. I thing the idea is that a surgeon uses a surgical instrument (eg, forceps, needle) to take a bite of tissue. In the case of a surgeon using a needle the bite seems to be followed by attaching the suture material to the needle and drawing it back through the bite. I can't get an image from Google Books because the ones I've seen seem to all be copyrighted and invisible. DCDuring TALK 23:53, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Bite is used similarly in sewing. DCDuring TALK 23:55, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
So bite seems to mean a stitch or the length of a stitch: "For a perfect invisible hem, adjust the amount of bite of each stitch by adjusting the needle position or stitch width". --CopperKettle (talk) 03:56, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I cannot see the text in the link you provided. But I don't think it is the stitch itself, but the amount of material looped by the needle and thread. DCDuring TALK 04:33, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Here, at Medscape, the expession "to place a bite" is used. Looks very similar to "place a stitch" to me: "This distance is marked on the sclera with the caliper, and 7-0 or 8-0 double-armed polyglactin suture is used to place 2 radial bites on either side of the mark. These bites should be about 1.5 mm long and 1.5 mm from each other." --CopperKettle (talk) 06:44, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I was trying to make sense of how the sense began, but even so, your example is quite clear that the meaning has become "stitch" in some cases. It obviously isn't that in all cases because in the sewing example you give substituting "stitch" for bite yields adjust the amount of stitch of each stitch. So in the course of sense development to stitch it seems to have taken on various meanings including a certain kind of stitch, the amount of material "grabbed" by a surgical instrument or tool such as a needle, etc., the finished suture, etc.
I suspect that this kind of aspectual range of senses occurs whenever a noun (often deverbal in origin) refers to a process the stages and details of which need to be discussed. The context must determine which aspectual definition applies because some of the texts seem to use the word with two or more aspectual meanings. Wording this seems a challenge. A picture would help, but I haven't found one on Commons. I'll look elsewhere for an example that a definer could use and also place a request for an illustrative image at Commons. DCDuring TALK 12:17, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I asked a question at StackExchange, and a guy, a healthcare worker from India, pasted a good image. I later struck upon this page: w:Vertical mattress stitch, and it occured to me that bite is not equal to stitch after all: a stitch may have one or several fragments that go above the patient's tissue. Such a fragment is not part of the bite. The part of the stitch that travels through the tissue itself is the bite. Hence, a vertical mattress stitch has two bites: one is shallower, the other is deeper in the tissue, and two small fragments that go above, these are not part of the bites. --CopperKettle (talk) 13:06, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
The Stack Exchange image is helpful. Not your respondent's caution in verifying the definition. I'd wait for more responses or other information. DCDuring TALK 15:01, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Here is a simple clear image (but copyrighted) using "bite". DCDuring TALK 15:22, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
In sewing bite may be said to be "seam margin", "stitch width", "how far from the edge you place each stitch", etc. This all converges on an intuitive meaning, but still makes a precise gloss that covers all the usage difficult. DCDuring TALK 15:53, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Then maybe we should add one separate definition for surgery: (surgery) The portion of a surgical stitch that traverses through the patient's tissues. And one for sewing: (sewing) the width of a stitch; the amount of fabric used to achieve a stitch. --CopperKettle (talk) 05:53, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


I just changed the context label on the "eraser" sense of rubber from "Commonwealth of Nations" to "UK", but this strikes me as incomplete. My impression is that this is a widespread sense that's been displaced in the US (or North America?) by the "condom" sense, with the taboos associated with the latter sense blocking any other sense that might be confused with it. If that's true, then the "eraser" sense is best described by absence in one region, rather than presence in a somewhat random assortment of regions. Our categorization currently doesn't seem to be able to handle this sort of thing. Any suggestions? Chuck Entz (talk) 19:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

How do you know that's the reason? --WikiTiki89 19:12, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
What part of "My impression is" gave you the impression that I knew it was the reason? :) It just seems like a reasonable explanation. At any rate, my question was about how to change the context label to best fit the distribution of usage- whatever the cause. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:34, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
My experience of its use is that children use "rubbers" to erase pencil marks, but adults tend to associate the word with condoms, and instead use "erasers". Even though we don't, as a rule, call condoms "rubbers". A "pencil rubber" is safely unambiguous. (Melbourne, Australia) --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 22:27, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
What labels would fit that kind of situation? (naive speakers) vs. (sophisticated speakers)? The situation doesn't seem likely to be unusual, though attestation might be difficult. DCDuring TALK 23:07, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

друному in Russian

Browsing the Romanian Wiktionary's Cafanea I came across this word. I'm not an expert in Russian, but I tried to sequence the phrase and crack its meaning. I have two problems. One, which is "secondary", is «I want your words» doesn't quite make sense. Is there a verb implied there? The main point is: the word in the title is unknown to google, and I can't find it neither here nor in the Russian Wiktionary. From the -u ending, I would infer it is a dative, but I'm not sure, maybe in some declension -u is another case. What does that mean? What case is it? Can we create an article about it? P.S. I have read the term «babel box» in a Tea Room discussion above this. What is it and how do I reach/edit it? I'd like to add a few languages, as I understand its function is to list the languages a user understands. MGorrone (talk) 21:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

It's a typo for другому. The phrase "по другому" means "in a different way". As for Babel boxes, you can look at the on my user page as an example and then add your own to your user page. --WikiTiki89 21:15, 18 July 2014 (UTC)


In the definition of "digital" (definition 3, "Of or relating to computers or the Information Age"), you have the example "a digital radio station". Strictly, this is an example of definition 2, "Property of representing values as discrete numbers ...". This is because digital radio is named for its digital modulation, as distinct from analogue modulation such as frequency modulation (FM) or amplitude modulation (AM). A better example for definition 3 would be "digital storage", or "digital camera". However, the whole concept is suspect, of definition 3 being different from definition 2; this is except in so far as "digital", definition 3, is a synonym of "computerised"/"computerized". —This unsigned comment was added by Sedgwicknc (talkcontribs) at 07:00, July 19, 2014.

I've changed the usage example for definition 3; do you like it now? --WikiTiki89 12:41, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

a _plausible_ speaker uses specious arguments or discourse?

That's what the entry for 'plausible' says.

I think _some_ who seem plausible may be using specious arguments or discourse.

But surely not every plausible speaker is doing that.

It seems like plausible speakers should be like plausible explanations: sometimes correct.

Am I wrong?

That definition (currently the third sense) doesn't sound very plausible to me: I would guess it's a misunderstanding based on the fact that you're less likely to point out that someone seems plausible when they're obviously telling it the way it is. Still, it's possible that the misunderstanding might have become part of actual usage. There are a fair number of terms that have changed meanings in such ways: a good example would be prove, which started out meaning "test", but now means "show to be true". I think we should take this to Requests for verification to see if there's any usage that backs it up. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:01, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Now posted at Wiktionary:Requests for verification#plausible Chuck Entz (talk) 02:08, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


I am such a tyro that a made several mistakes (which other editors have helped by courteously correcting) in trying to set up the proper entries for "Acridophagi" (which is probably the only attested form) for a supposed people who are locust eaters, for acridophagus (which is the singular form), and for acridophagi. I managed to create the "uninflected" form, and its lower-case plural, but I have no idea about creating the capitalized form, and I at a loss about conveying the only significant information, that the ancient geographers talked about that supposed people. And, BTW, I am so ignorant about Wiktionary that I bet that I'm posting this in the wrong place. TomS TDotO (talk) 02:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

You have to create Acridophagi as a separate entry. We rarely use redirections. — Ungoliant (falai) 02:44, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I learned that. But I thought that there should not be a totally different upper-case entry and lower-case entry. You're saying that I can create an A...i entry without interfering with the a...i entry. (Of course, I have to note that A...i is related to a...us but I could create A...i ignoring the existence of an a...i entry?) BTW, thank you for cleaning up the messes that I left. And I'll mention why I bothered with such a rare word: I came across the word while reading, and didn't know what it meant, and could not find it in Wiktionary, so I thought that I would save someone else the same work. TomS TDotO (talk) 08:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In this case they have to be totally different, because their meanings and parts of speech are different. — Ungoliant (falai) 17:17, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

to cheese-wire, cheesewire

Do you believe it merits inclusion?

  • Example for cheese-wire, cheesewire: "Long scleral suture bites are recommended to reduce the risk of the sutures cheese-wiring out of the sclera when the sutures are tied." (Strabismus surgery) --CopperKettle (talk) 04:20, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. The denominal verb is transparent given the meaning of the noun and the context, but that is not a reason to exclude it, especially since the medical use of the term includes situations where there is merely pressure rather than a complete or intended cut through tissue. DCDuring TALK 12:20, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


English Wiktionary has an entry for "numericize," a verb defined as "(rare) To represent using numbers; to digitize." The word sounds useful to me (and I'd love to use it) but is it really a rare word, or is it slang that somebody made up on a whim and added here? "Numericize" does not appear in the Oxford English Dictionary or Merriam-Webster. I have no experience editing Wiktionary and do not know what the criteria for creating entries are, but wanted to call this to others' attention. --Meta Self (talk) 16:40, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

It is a real word and includable per our criteria. Judging from the Google Books hits, it seems to be used in a scientific context rather than slang. — Ungoliant (falai) 17:10, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Of course readers can use their own judgment whether they consider it rare or too rare to be considered a 'word'. Some of the words here that meet our criteria inclusion I wouldn't use. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I've added numericise, numericising and numericised are attested while numericises may not be. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:46, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

"Staunton chessmen" and "Jaques of London"

Hi, looks like an over zealous admin deleted "Staunton chessmen" and "Jaques of London" without any discussion or request for more citations. I assume "good faith edit" on the admins part. Please place the words and definitions back. I will abide by the discussion consensus. Thank you WritersCramp (talk) 18:47, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

It seems to me unlikely that "Jaques of London" meets the criteria for inclusion, being as it is just the name of a company. (It should be added to our encyclopedia sister project Wikipedia, however.) "Staunton chessmen", on the other hand, seems like an includable term for a kind of chessmen (like "Very pistol" for a kind of pistol). The only problem I see is that the term isn't entirely fixed; one can also speak of "Staunton chess pieces" or a "Staunton chess set", and possibly other variations. - -sche (discuss) 19:28, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks for responding. w:Jaques of London is in Wikipedia and can be attested, I had this cited in the original definition before it was deleted without discussion. Please note that company names are allowed in Wiktionary, such as Intel, Microsoft, IBM and Yahoo!. I agree with your assertion about Staunton chessmen. I do note that the first original Staunton chessmen were manufactured by Jaques of London in 1849 and the casket that the chessmen were contained within had this label attached to the inside of the lid, which stated "Staunton Chess-men" or in modern day parlance "Staunton chessmen" or "Staunton Chessmen", I can live with either idiom. Let me know what you think. In addition, would you or someone else be able to place back the original definitions for the words and we can craft the new definitions and citations required from that point. This should have been discussed first before deletion. Thank you WritersCramp (talk) 09:09, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem with Jaques of London is not attestation but the fact that it's a company name with no further meaning; see CFI and note that Microsoft does not define the company, but only a generic sense of the word. Regarding the Staunton chess pieces, we do have this at Staunton, which covers "Staunton chessmen", "Staunton chess set", and other forms. Equinox 19:12, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Staunton can relate to anything with Staunton in it, I believe a separate entry is required, such as Staunton chessmen. Should we also delete the idiom fried egg because Wiktionary has the words fried and egg? IBM is a pronoun with a direct link to Wikipedia, seems that Jaques of London could also do that. I do have dictionaries at home with famous company names. WritersCramp (talk) 09:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I can see the merits of an entry at Staunton chessmen because that's an actual non-SOP term with a precise meaning but I can't for the life in me see what place a company name such as "Jaques of London" has in a dictionary, nor can I find any evidence that it should be an entry. The only uses of it are things like "bought from Jaques of London" or "created by Jaques of London" and if we allowed those kinds of uses we'd have entries for almost every shop and manufacturer in the world. On the same note, I don't think we should have an entry at Marks and Sparks, especially considering that Marks & Spencer is (rightly) a red link. BigDom 12:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Hi, I added Staunton chessmen, someone might try to delete it again, so please participate. Thanks WritersCramp (talk) 11:23, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Staunton chessmen should be deleted as SOP, it contains nothing you wouldn't learn from the definitions at Staunton and chessmen, unlike fried egg which tells you "shallow fried". I believe WT:BRAND applies to company names. Siuenti (talk) 12:57, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Certain wording in the definition of Staunton chessmen, to wit, "a particular type of", suggests that we have no value to add to an English-only user of this entry that would not be delivered by a redirect to Wikipedia. Will the translations or links have value? If there is no one-line (alright, maybe two-line) definition, then I would consider the term encyclopedic and therefore not inclusion-worthy. Further I don't see why such amateur content should remain if challenged on other grounds. I also don't see why we should be compelled to rescue all the poor entries made by contributors, even if they might turn out to be (barely) inclusion-worthy with a few person-hours of effort. A contributor who repeatedly makes such resource-draining 'contributions' seems to not share the high standards we hope Wiktionary can attain and maintain and to hold in contempt those who must spend time to bring up to standard entries that will be low-value even after improvement. DCDuring TALK 14:53, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify about DC he is wiki-stalking me all over Wiktionary! The Admins should block his account, this type of behaviour is unacceptable at Wiktionary. This is a self-editing dictionary, if an editor feels a definition can be improved, then improve. A deletionist attitude a Wiktionary is unacceptable, we are here to build a dictionary to be used by the world not pander to few whiners who abuse their admin powers for their petty and childish get-even exploits! WritersCramp (talk) 00:09, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
@WritersCramp Hunhhhh? I haven't used admin powers very much at all, let alone against WritersCramp. I attend principally to cleanup lists, taxa, and discussions. Perhaps I've forgotten something, so I would like to be directed to any specific diff or other instance of such abuse of admin powers or wiki-stalking. It seems to me that s/he just doesn't like opposition to his/her poor quality entries. Wild charges, such as these seem to be, directed against me ARE the kind of thing that can get me viscerally indisposed to a contributor. DCDuring TALK 00:56, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Considering the vehemence of the accusation, WritersCramp should give an example or two of this stalking, or, lacking that, of any instance of you two even editing the same entry about the same time. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:27, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If I see a bad edit, the first thing I do is check the contributions of the editor to see if it's part of a larger problem. That's not stalking, that's good practice based on common sense. While cleaning up an entry is preferable, there are some entries that are inherently not dictionary material, and should be deleted.
I could counter your rant by saying we are here to build a dictionary to be used by the world, not to pander to a few whiners who abuse the admins for their petty and childish reasons, but I'll refrain.
The point is, there are people who disagree with you and dislike some of the entries you've created simply because they care about the dictionary and the quality of its contents, not because they're evil, selfish or childish. They may be mistaken on the details, but that's their motivation. You apparently aren't able to admit that, which I find sad. If anyone says anything about any of your edits, you react either by being defensive, or by attacking them as if they've been calling you names and insulting your mother. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:11, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I have just now reviewed his contributions (for the first time ever AFAICR) to find out what has him so outraged. Over six years he has left comments on my talk page three or four times, apparently more than on anyone else's. I wish someone had looked at his contributions systematically. Most seem OK, though many fewer strike me as likely to turn out useful. DCDuring TALK 01:48, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

we'll see, you'll see

Are these covered by our definitions of see? As in:

Nobody's going to fall for that. / We'll see.
How do you plan to do that? / You'll see.

Are these #3 (understand), #4 (witness) or #6 (ensure)? Keith the Koala (talk) 13:46, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

They look like sense #10: "To determine by trial or experiment; to find out (if or whether). I'll come over later and see if I can fix your computer." Equinox 13:50, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I see :) It's not really trial or experiment in these cases though, more just (future) determination. Keith the Koala (talk) 14:06, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Also relevant is "remains to be seen". The "we" in "we'll see" doesn't seem to be covered by the current senses for that term- sort of like "everybody". It may also be a sort of dummy subject along the lines of the "it" in "it's raining". Chuck Entz (talk) 14:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Isn't there also a sense of "you'll see" (or "they'll see") that means, basically, "I'm going to get revenge on you/them"? bd2412 T 15:21, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure. At least, "foo'll see" certainly sometimes means roughly "Foo doesn't believe I can do bar, but I'll prove Foo wrong"; I'm not sure if that counts as a form of revenge. :-P   —RuakhTALK 16:12, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Now I am thinking that what is missing is a sense of see specifically meaning "to realize that one was previously wrong". bd2412 T 16:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I feel this should be includable within sense 10, because it isn't really that different, is it? I think I wrote that sense line myself and it isn't perfect! Equinox 19:00, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I think there's a nuanced difference between the word as used in "tinker with it and you'll see what works" (nonjudgmental discovery which can be positive or negative) and "mess with me and you'll see what happens" (warning that you'll come to regret it). I'll try and write it up. bd2412 T 19:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Not anymore than there is a difference in die between "If you get lung cancer, you will die." and "If you come near me, you will die." --WikiTiki89 19:44, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the use of "see" to indicate future regret implies experimentation for the purpose of determining what will happen. bd2412 T 19:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the experimentation is part of to see. It just means "to find out", whether through experimentation or sheer chance. --WikiTiki89 19:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's in what would appear to be the main text of the definition. bd2412 T 19:56, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I guess it's debatable whether the experiment is part of it or just implied. But still, in your threat example, the speaker is in fact inviting the listener to conduct an experiment to find out what will happen if he messes with him. --WikiTiki89 20:01, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The threat could relate to a completed action. "You should not have messed with me earlier. Now you'll see." bd2412 T 17:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
In that case, it's a purely observational experiment where all the listener has to do is wait and watch what happens. But in all seriousness, I think that this is one and the same sense, the only question being how to properly define it in a general way. --WikiTiki89 17:18, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
You may be right. Feel free to mess with the definition I added, in this direction. bd2412 T 17:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)


"Emphasises obscenities. fuck! + -h- → fuhuck! damn! + -h- → dahamn!" I have never really encountered this but can somebody confirm the definition? It looks as though it's just a way to extend a syllable into two, whether obscene or not. Equinox 18:00, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

You can totally say things like Yehess!, Amahazing!, etc. --WikiTiki89 18:12, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I've heard things like: "Fuckin' h, man!"--is that something different? Leasnam (talk) 17:29, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's different, but I haven't heard that. I've heard "Fuckin' A". --WikiTiki89 17:30, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
okay, i've looked at the def, it's differrent. however, I would agree with it, similar to -y- as in "dayyummm" for 'damn' --it's just that I've not seen it spelt out using h before. Leasnam (talk) 17:32, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
It's not the def that's the problem, Equinox is disputing that it is only used with obscenities, and I agree. --WikiTiki89 17:37, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
yes, sense two I am wholly unfamiliar with. Leasnam (talk) 00:03, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
I have also never heard of sense 2, but we were discussing sense 1. --WikiTiki89 16:20, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
So now we have graphemes for eye dialect distinguished by their position? How many such graphemes are in puh-leeze? I look forward to seeing the translation table fully developed. DCDuring TALK 01:56, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Translations of this / that as determiners

The translations with qualifier "close to listener" should be reserved to "this"; those with qualifier "far from listener" to "that".

Plural (and dual) forms should be reserved to "these" and "those".

--Lucyin (talk) 13:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

mine =? my house, BrE

On the "X Factor," season 7, episode 11, about 17:29, Matt Cardle seems to say, "Come back to mine," meaning "come back to my place." I'm a native speaker of American English and am familiar with this usage in Italian (da me), but not in English. If I have understood this correctly, it should be added as a noun meaning of mine, and to any other personal pronoun entries that have this meaning. --BB12 (talk) 04:36, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

I haven't watched but was "mine" meant as to "my place", if the other person suggested his/her place first? E.g. "come to my place" - "no, you come to mine". Take a look at the pronoun section of [[mine]]. The preposition + pronoun phrase meaning someone's place, like Italian "da me" is common in many languages, e.g. French chez moi, Russian у меня́ (u menjá), German bei mir, etc. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:50, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for this follow-up. Matt was not prompted by someone else talking about "their place" first. It comes out of the blue. Even that, though, would be odd for me except in a very few sentence flows. The pronoun section does not work for me: as I said, I'm a native speaker of English and his use seemed completely incorrect (I would have corrected him if I were teaching him English). The fact that it's used in other languages and that I knew that assisted me in understanding my native language in this case, and I think Wiktionary needs to reflect this apparent fact for "mine" and any other pronouns that this applies to. --BB12 (talk) 06:15, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes this is standard in UK English, especially in northern forms. ‘All back to mine’ is the classic cry when the pub or club closes. Ƿidsiþ 06:53, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, definitely standard usage in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Merseyside at least. Can't really speak too much for other dialects, but would imagine it's fairly widespread in the UK. "My place" would sound pretty strange to me, I'd always say either "mine" or "my house". "Ours", "yours", "his", "hers", "theirs" can all be used in the same way too. BigDom 07:12, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Excellent, thank you all. While we're on the topic, what is used for the second person plural house in this respect? --BB12 (talk) 19:17, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
‘Yours’. Ƿidsiþ 20:02, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

She is changed (dead) - adjective or verb?

I've added the following sense to change:

  1. (intransitive) To die.
    • 1854, Dickens, Hard Times, Chapter 13:
      Angels are not like me. Between them, and a working woman fu’ of faults, there is a deep gulf set. My little sister is among them, but she is changed.

- But I have doubts. Could it be that changed is an adjective here, and the sense should be added to changed? ---CopperKettle (talk) 08:19, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it's an adjective. Leasnam (talk) 13:00, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, looking at the entry, and the obvious "fu' of faults" line, now I have my doubts...but 1854 is kind of late for this type of contsruct, isn't it? Leasnam (talk) 13:03, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Do you have any examples other than Dickens? Equinox 14:10, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
No, I just looked up in The Century Dictionary, and has the sense of change as death, with some quotes (one is from a religous text) --CopperKettle (talk) 15:12, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
To clarify, it has a NOUN sense of change defined as death. --WikiTiki89 15:27, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. I've reverted by addition to change until there's certainty. (0: --CopperKettle (talk) 16:17, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I asked at StackExchange, and they seem to converge on it being an adjective, but the answerers are not the 'grand artillery' of that site, so I'm yet unsure. --CopperKettle (talk) 15:18, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I think the real question here is whether it is a pure adjective, or an adjectival past passive participle, implying that there is or was a sense of "to change" meaning "to kill" or "to cause to die". --WikiTiki89 15:23, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
MW 1828 and 1913 don't have the right senses of change (vb. intrans.) or changed (adj.) either. The OED might be able to provide some evidence. DCDuring TALK 17:30, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I'll check the OED tonight. I don't have access to it right now. --WikiTiki89 17:33, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I wonder whether this is intended to reflect some kind of Christian belief or hope about the death of innocents, that, just as in the Last Days those who are then alive do not die, but are "changed", so also innocent children pass directly into being angels. I have some memory of a religious teachings of this kind, not mainstream, but reflecting some desire to give comfort to those 'left behind'. The Hard Times passage includes a mention of "angels". DCDuring TALK 17:45, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Very likely. Specifically, people are probably thinking of 1 Corinthians 15:51–52 in the King James Version: "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." It clearly means something different from "We shall be dead", but it's still probably the origin of this euphemism. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:25, 25 July 2014 (UTC)


I propose to make "archeology" the main entry, via the following:

Rationale: "archeology" is many times more common, both in an all-English corpus and in British corpus. archeology, (archaelogy*80) at Google Ngram Viewer. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:01, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

It helps (archeology, archaeology at Google Ngram Viewer) if you spell archaeology correctly. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 09:20, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Silly me. Proposal canceled. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:38, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
The amazing thing about this word is that even in the US, the -ae- spelling is more common. --WikiTiki89 16:23, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


We seem to be missing the sense used in philosophy. Anyone well-versed in this concept? I would add the definition myself except I don't understand it very well. ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:13, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


I propose the following edits:

  • 1. Restore "The pungent root of this plant, usually eaten raw in salads etc" as a separate sense, on a separate definition line. Restore the translation table as well.
  • 2. Remove "The Oriental white radish; its root" from the translation section, as it is not one of the senses of "radish".
  • 3. Remove "The rat-tail radish; its root" from the translation section, as it is not one of the senses of "radish".
  • 4. Remove "botany" context tag, since this terms is userstood by a general user of the language.

Alternatively, restore the entry to this revision.

For refernce: radish at OneLook Dictionary Search. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:57, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


I've read stories of how Nantucketers (or other New Englanders) have a version of "yes" that goes "ayup" or "ayuh". However, when I look up ayup in Wiktionary, it focuses on the East Midlands interjection/warning/greeting in merry old England, and says nothing about the version of "yup" or "yes" in northeastern America. Someone should put in something about the affirmative "ayup" somewhere. Rickyrab (talk) 15:42, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/44/messages/499.html , http://dialectblog.com/2011/04/14/ayuh-americas-oddest-yes/ , http://vacationlandmaine.blogspot.com/2008/01/my-first-ayup.html , http://books.google.com/books?id=rKmH2DNXricC&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=ayup+maine&source=bl&ots=nmVNvti9Ie&sig=agBRyjSKPBepBZJbkxDYWpjtSRg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Wx_VU6n-GI6oyATXwYKACQ&ved=0CCQQ6AEwATge#v=onepage&q=ayup%20maine&f=false , and http://books.google.com/books?id=yXY0yQnvmmUC&pg=PA178&lpg=PA178&dq=nantucket+ayup&source=bl&ots=Lf7kNp9rhh&sig=AAsk_pB-jehrv6-u8n57RSLKDl4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yx_VU53KOIa1yAS_lYG4Dw&ved=0CBwQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=nantucket%20ayup&f=false all point out this use of "ayup". Rickyrab (talk) 15:52, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
A nearly definitive source for this kind of thing is the Dictionary of American Regional English. That would give us some good information on pronunciation and regional distribution of the pronunciations. In the meantime we would benefit from citations in books, probably from fictional dialog that shows how authors choose to convey it. You could select your favorites for ayuh from this Google Books search and for ayup from this one. I'm sure there are other spellings, eg, ay-uh, etc. Oh, BTW, try to limit Stephen King to just one quote for each spelling. I'll try DARE tomorrow at a library, if I can. DCDuring TALK 00:45, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
This search suggests that hey up is not often used in fictional dialog, not nearly as often as ayup and ayuh, so our presentation of ayup seems unlikely. DCDuring TALK 01:37, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I believe the New England "ayup" is just "yup" with a reduced half-syllable leading into it- sort of like using the vowel to get a running start on the "y". Chuck Entz (talk) 03:02, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
DARE reports ayup as a pronunciation spelling of ayuh, but show no terminal consonant in any of the three IPA-type renditions they have for the pronunciation. They do not separately report any geographical distribution information, for any of the variant pronunciations (3) or spellings (7) that they report. DCDuring TALK 15:32, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
That "nearly definitive source" should be us. bd2412 T 17:09, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
DARE did primary, non-armchair, non-introspective research, which, when it is done right, counts for much more than what we do. DCDuring TALK 18:24, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
I've never seen this spelling before, but I guess I have heard people elongate the /j/ in yep/yup/yeah/yuh to the point that it becomes /eɪj/. I never really thought it was noticeable enough to spell it differently. --WikiTiki89 11:37, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
The spelling "ayuh" is fairly common in the works of Stephen King that take place in Maine (i.e. most of them). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:51, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I've somehow managed to have never read Stephen King. --WikiTiki89 14:02, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Gap in your education. If you had, you would have seen this spelling before. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:08, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

give over

Why must we discuss it in that sense? If it is challenged, know that my mother often says it (though in a Northern form that I, if pressed, should transcribe as 'gi' o'er'. -- 22:21, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

or ower (cf. the Scots gie ower - to blin, cease, desist, forlet, abandon, etc.) Leasnam (talk) 02:57, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps senses 4 & 5 can be merged? Leasnam (talk) 03:10, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
You left out the part about krelming the frammistat... However much you may grieve over the death of words like blin and forlet, you do everyone a disservice by propping up their exhumed corpses so you can introduce them as your friends and colleagues. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:42, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but those words are part of my diction. Leasnam (talk) 17:49, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

plain crisps

I've just added plain as a British synonym for ready salted but have a couple of questions. I marked it as (UK) but I'm not actually sure how widespread it is here; I know that in Northern England "plain" is equivalent to "ready salted" as far as crisps are concerned but would just like to know if those two terms are also synonymous in other dialects.

Also, before I add a definition at plain, it seems like it should be covered by sense 2.4 but the qualifier "without toppings or extras" seems to exclude ready salted crisps. Should we change the wording of this sense or add a new definition line? Thanks, BigDom 22:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Isn't there a cultural assumption that crisps, by default, have salt and nothing else? This explains why you can buy "unsalted" crisps. (You can't buy "unpeppered" crisps because people don't expect pepper on basic crisps.) I don't think this is a real sense of the word. Equinox 00:05, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
To give another example: a "plain" burger might have lettuce but no cheese, sauce, etc. It seems very cultural and topical and rather beyond the meaning of the word "plain" as a dictionary would define it. Equinox 00:06, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Re adding/modifying a sense: I agree with Equinox's interpretation. As another example, consider the opposite of a "plain" burger/crisps/etc, a burger/etc served "all the way": in one place that might mean lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, and mustard; in another place, it might mean lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, and chilli; in another place, it might mean slaw instead of chilli, or in addition to chilli (in any case, it does not seem to necessarily include all the toppings and seasonings that are available to the maker/cook); all of that should cover under one sense, in my opinion (but please improve that sense if you can). I think plain's sense "having only few ingredients, or no additional ingredients or seasonings; not elaborate, without toppings or extras" covers "plain crisps", the salt being considered not an extra but part of what makes the crisp a crisp. Re the regionality of "plain" as a synonym of "ready salted": it's my understanding that most (plain) crisps/chips are salted everywhere in the English-speaking world. Wikipedia says "basic chips are cooked and salted; additional varieties are manufactured using various flavorings and ingredients including seasonings, herbs, spices, cheeses, and artificial additives." - -sche (discuss) 05:07, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, so I'll leave plain as a synonym of ready salted but won't add anything at plain. To be honest I was skeptical that such a narrow definition would belong in a dictionary which is why I asked here first but you two have pretty much confirmed it. BigDom 07:00, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

PC: A computer that runs Microsoft Windows

A recent contribution to PC is the definition: "A computer that runs Microsoft Windows". diff

Although this is inconsistant with the Wikipedia page for personal computer and terribly wrong it is a definition that Microsoft has foisted on the masses by way of advertising ("I'm a Mac--I'm a PC (not a I'm a Windows System)") so it has become very popular slang. Should this contribution be deleted or modified and if it is to be modified what should be done?

Thanks Breedentials (talk) 14:01, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

I think it actually may go back to the PC-DOS- and MS-DOS-operating-system days and was how users differentiated the IBM and clone personal computers from others, including Apple II and III. DCDuring TALK 14:43, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
So if I install Linux on a PC does it stop being a PC? Are big-box DEC Alphas that run MS Windows PCs or not? Is "running Windows" the deciding factor for PC-ness? Please read Wikipedia:Personal computer Breedentials (talk) 14:50, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
To some people, yes. And so, we shall document it. Keφr 15:17, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
I asked several questions and you answer "to some people yes". What exactly do you mean? —This unsigned comment was added by Breedentials (talkcontribs).
I think he means that some people would say yes to the first and last of your questions and no to the middle one. --WikiTiki89 15:49, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Note how it's a separate definition and not a replacement for the "personal computer" definition. --WikiTiki89 15:35, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
We could put two definitions "A computer that runs Microsoft Windows" and "A computer that does not run Microsoft Windows" since both are true. -- Breedentials (talk) 02:37, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
If you meant "A computer that runs Microsoft Windows" and "A computer that does not run MacOS", then I would agree. --WikiTiki89 12:50, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Update: It appears that this originated with Apple advertising, not Microsoft advertising see Get a Mac -- Breedentials (talk) 14:30, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I suspect it originated before that. --WikiTiki89 14:36, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I think this 1985 BYTE ad dates it or an earlier related sense (depending on how we want to break it up) to no later than 1985.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:54, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Dude, just say a computer that ain't a Mac! Purplebackpack89 19:20, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
    Is that the case though? --WikiTiki89 19:32, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
    In my experience yes. Google e.g. "PC running Linux". ("PC running MacOS" is much rarer and generally refers to a PC shipped with Windows where a user has, by some hackery or other, replaced it with MacOS.) Equinox 19:49, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
    Google seems to think differently ("PC running Mac OS" gets way more hits), but I agree that people use the word "PC" in varying ways. --WikiTiki89 19:57, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
    A VAX is not a PC by anyone's definition. Nor in the sense that's being discussed, do I think an Amiga or a Commodore 64 counts (which does matter as this sense is presumably supposed to cover uses from the 1980s, too. "Infiltrating and dominating the local IBM PC underground scene was relatively simple, as I'd already been through the process several times before in both the Apple and Commodore 64 worlds. But in the PC world, things were a bit different."Commodork: Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie - Page 98. I'd say that the PC is the IBM PC; maybe hardware designed to run MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows (the x86/AMD64 architecture, but not when used for specialized hardware like the MacOS or embedded systems?) I don't think the Alpha running Windows is really a PC under this definition, but only a fairly tiny minority of the people using this definition would ever hear of such a thing or understand what it means.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:03, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • When you open a gaming magazine and read that a game has been released "for PC and Mac", it is usually understood that the PC ought to run (a relatively recent version of) Windows, even if this is not explicitly acknowledged. You do not have people complaining, "hey, it failed to start on my Haiku". Keφr 20:05, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
    My experience matches Kephir's on this point. - -sche (discuss) 02:57, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

"A computer that runs Microsoft Windows" is nonsense. Big-ass servers run Windows but no one would refer to them as PCs. -- Liliana 22:31, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

That doesn't make it nonsense. It just means it needs a minor change, such as "A personal computer that runs Microsoft Windows". --WikiTiki89 22:52, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
So are you saying that the definition of "personal computer" should be "a personal computer"? -- Breedentials (talk) 13:49, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
There is no such thing as the definition. A definition should be "a personal computer", another definition should be "a personal computer compatible with the IBM PC", another definition should be "a personal computer that runs Microsoft Windows", and yet another definition should be "a personal computer not made by Apple". --WikiTiki89 13:59, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Can you demonstrate using the last sense you gave in a way that cannot be said to be the first sense? Keφr 14:17, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Not a singular usage, but if you take a collection of one person's uses you can demonstrate that sense. --WikiTiki89 14:29, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I think someone who treats "PCs" as distinct from Macs will also treat them as distinct from BBC Micros and Commodores. How can you discern between consistently using this one "non-Apple computer" sense and using either the generic "personal computer" sense or the "IBM PC compatible" sense depending on context? Can you show me someone claiming that an Amiga is a PC but a Mac is not? Keφr 16:06, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
One way is to repeatedly ask the same person "is this a PC" referring to a different thing each time. I doubt this person will be switching his definition in between questions. --WikiTiki89 17:16, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Apple ad in Byte (magazine), August 1978, p. 14-15 includes the text "the world's best selling personal computer". This is referring to the Apple ][ -- Breedentials (talk) 02:33, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
It wouldn't surprise me if "personal computer" and "PC" had different ranges of meaning. For one thing, a "personal computer" is more transparently a descriptive phrase ([[personal]] [[computer]]), even if it is still idiomatic enough to merit inclusion. - -sche (discuss) 02:55, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

It's a definition of contrast. A "PC" is, by default, a personal computer which runs the Windows OS. As opposed to a server (which may or may not run Windows, but is not a personal computer — or, with virtualisation, necessarily a physical device), or as opposed to a Mac (which is a particular type of personal computer which does not run Windows (except possibly in the case of a Mac with Windows installed as the base OS — is a Mac which isn't running MacOS or OSX still counted as a Mac?) or, arguably, a laptop or tablet, which may be a computer, for personal use, running Windows, but is not technically a personal computer, which is usually understood to be a desktop-based thing, not mobile.

The thing about the Apple][ ad is that that was before Windows existed, so that entire aspect of the definition didn't exist yet. A Personal Computer then was any computer of a particular size, meant for home use, as opposed to the mainframes and minicomputers and their associated terminals. The Windows part developed later, partly as a direct result of extensive Microsoft marketing to create the semantic distinction. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 02:45, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

I have two virtual machines running Windows XP on my Mac (it's a long story), and there's the option of newer Macs of having the machine boot up either in Windows or Mac OS.
The sense we're talking about originated with the IBM PC, which ran Windows. At that time the IBM PC and the Apple Macintosh dominated the personal computer market, so anything that wasn't a Mac was likely an IBM PC (PC for short). Apple's philosophy has always been to sell and control both the OS and the hardware. IBM's was to use third-party software (Windows), which allowed for third-party hardware to run Windows as well. All of these non-IBM systems were designed to function along the same lines as the IBM PC, so it was only natural to call them PCs, too- at least when contrasting them with Macs. At the time, there was also the matter of Macs running on Motorola processors and PCs running on Intel processors, though that has since changed.
This sense seems to about a division among personal computers between Macs and the successors to the IBM PC. Because of the more permissive philosophy behind the IBM PC, there's been a huge diversification in hardware and software in the latter group, but it still can be distinguished in some hard-to-define way as a whole from the universe of the Macs. Linux is based in its general design principals on Windows rather than on the Mac, so I would call Linux systems PCs. I'm sure there are other personal computer OSes that are different enough from Windows PCs and Macs to be something else entirely, in which case I don't think this sense of PC would apply to them. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:31, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
The original IBM PC ran DOS, and I believe this division to originate at that point. Many Linux systems aren't PCs; they're computers with 100K per year support contracts or tiny embedded systems. Even those that are personal computers ... are you claiming that an iMac becomes a PC when someone boots Linux on it? I don't think anyone who would lump in Linux and Windows would consider a personal operating system to be an exception; you could run System 360 or VMS on your PC, and few people would notice.
To me, it's mostly about hardware, about commodity x86 systems that can run standard x86 operating systems out of the box. Macs are not commodity hardware in the way that most personal x86 systems.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:02, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
  • In Nigel Calder's 1971 book Technopolis he used the phrase "everyone should have his own small personal computer". -- Breedentials (talk) 03:32, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
    Irrelevant. Even if he had said PC, that's one definition of the word, and wouldn't change the fact that most people don't associate PC with Apple computers.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:07, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
    It is interesting how language evolves. Personal computer started out as a term which was opposing "institutional computer"; one person could own it instead of a team. Then many vendors offered products they called personal computers, for instance the AT&T UNIX PC. Then somehow it changed to mean "computer that runs Windows" despite the fact that institution HPC (supercomputers) can run Windows. -- Breedentials (talk) 14:03, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
    Somehow? The number of people using "PC" is way, way higher then those who have any idea that Windows runs on supercomputers. w:AT&T Unix PC links to a 1985 Byte magazine on the subject, and lo and behold, in that very same issue is an advertisement saying "Discover what 50,000 PC owners now know." As far as I can tell, that ad is all for the IBM PC and compatibles. So by 1985, "IBM PC and compatibles" had got shortened to PC. Saying "IBM PC and compatibles" would feel horribly archaic anymore, especially as IBM doesn't make PCs any more, so it's just the PC. I tend to say that it should be about hardware, not software, but the definition is not made by people with experience in Alphas or supercomputers running Windows.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:50, 31 July 2014 (UTC)


The second definition of "davit" uses the term "maintenance trapeze," which is more correctly called a "maintenance platform".

I'd change it myself if I could, but I only have a limited connection on this phone, so would someone else please change it? I could find no reference to anything called a "maintenance trapeze" on Google (while I personally like the term,) but a search for window washer tools led to window washer platforms and thence to maintenance platforms, which, I think, would be the general term intended by whoever wrote the definition.