Wiktionary:Tea room/2015/November

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← October 2015 · November 2015 · December 2015 → · (current)



Currently there is only one translation: sheesh, but in this video, eg at 46:14, they subtitled by Jøss! the spoken "Oh, wow!" Any Norwegian speaker here to confirm or contradict that translation? --Droigheann (talk) 02:42, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Pinging User:Njardarlogar as our most-recently-active (and hence most likely to respond) Norwegian speaker. - -sche (discuss) 23:46, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
I suppose it can be translated to different English words depending on context. 'wow' is probably often an appropriate translation. --Njardarlogar (talk) 10:49, 3 November 2015 (UTC)


It seems that there is a typography sense missing. —suzukaze (tc) 06:31, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Typographer, typographical & typo

The etymology for typo says: Shortening of typographer (sense 1) and of typographical error (sense 2).

If this was the case the pronunciation of typo would be either /taɪˈpɒ/ or /ˈtaɪpə/ (both of which sound very unnatural in English). Instead, it is pronounced /ˈtaɪpoʊ/. This suggests to me that the correct etymology is typographical + -o, the same way mo is moustache + -o and not simply a shortening of moustache. Would someone please check this and either reply or correct the entry?

Also, typographer and typographical could both do with pronunciation.

Danielklein (talk) 02:11, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't quite work that way: just as the o in typography is different than the o in typographical due to the accent, the o in typo would be different again by virtue of being in a final, unaccented syllable. I'm not commenting on whether the etymology is correct, just pointing out that the pronunciation of the o isn't evidence against it. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:50, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
The existence of thinko, speako, etc suggests -o is at work. (How old is typo? Speako claims to derive from typo, but speako is attested since at least the 1780s Early Diary of Frances Burney, apparently in this sense.) - -sche (discuss) 05:26, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Exactly why I'm asking for someone else to check it! I'm not an expert, it just looks inconsistent. I would have thought that mo is simply short for moustache but since reading the etymology it makes sense that it is using the diminutive -o. Since typo also seems to me to be a diminutive I'd expect it to also use -o. But I'm happy to learn otherwise if there is compelling evidence for the current etymology. Danielklein (talk) 06:44, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

Smoke (v.)

I can't have been the first to notice Sonny Bill Williams' use of smoke following New Zealand's World Cup win: "Just before he came to give me a hug he got smoked by one of the security guards and I felt pretty sorry for him you know.": see, for example, [1]. The security guard in question tackled to the ground a teenager who had invaded the pitch to meet SBW. Was Williams using the word in one of the senses already captured in our entry, using it in a sense not already captured (NZ slang?), or simply misusing the word? Smuconlaw (talk) 06:31, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I would guess #7: "(New Zealand, slang) To beat someone at something."
I suspect it has a broader meaning than our definition: "to clobber, pound or obliterate; to beat someone brutally and decisively at something". In a way, it might even be sort of a variation on the previous sense, "to kill". Chuck Entz (talk) 07:56, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Hopefully someone familiar with New Zealand slang can weigh in so we can decide if the entry needs revision. Smuconlaw (talk) 11:24, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, "beat someone at something" isn't restricted to New Zealand. Joan Steidinger (who as best I can tell lives in California) wrote in Sisterhood in Sports "They not only won—they smoked the other team. In doing so, they displayed their strength as a team and ended their season on a high note." Michelle M. McCorkle (from New Hampshire) wrote in Life in the Fast Lane "Overall, we smoked the other team. It was great! We did our little team chant, and I ran over to my parents before showering." - -sche (discuss) 17:04, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
The usage in "The Packers got smoked by the Broncos in the second half last Sunday." is pretty common in US sports. It is informally used in other competition. It implies smoke ("beat decisively in a competition") DCDuring TALK 20:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Should we revise the definition of sense 7 along the lines suggested by Chuck, and change the label to "(New Zealand, US slang)"? Smuconlaw (talk) 06:16, 6 November 2015 (UTC)


I added a sense meaning ‘to be,’ but now I think that it’s really just a less restrictive use of sense 4. Not sure, though. What do you think? --Romanophile (contributions) 08:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I would think so, yes. It replaces the verb. There's no difference except that standard English doesn't allow this kind of replacement for certain verbs. -- I don't know how many verbs there are that cannot be replaced with do. Is it just to be and the preterite-presents can, will, etc., or are there more? If not, I would make a usage note mentioning these verbs. And then you can add that AAVE (and maybe other dialects) do allow "to be" to be replaced. I guess... Kolmiel (talk) 14:49, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
I suspect it's that same set of verbs that don't take do-support in questions and negatives: "Are you" not "*Do you be", "You will not" not "*You do not will", etc. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:39, 3 November 2015 (UTC)


I just received an e-mail from Scientific American that included:

John A. Flynn, M.D., M.B.A., M.Ed., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.R., is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is the Director of Clinical Practice Improvement with the Clinical Practice Association and the Medical Director of the Spondyloarthritis Program. In addition, Dr. Flynn is the Co-Director of the Osler Center for Clinical Excellence and founding member of the Johns Hopkins Consortium for Advancement in Primary Care.

I know what all the degrees and the FACP stand for, but when I looked in Wiktionary for FACR the search failed. What does it mean? I expect that Dr. Flynn is a Fellow of the American College of something, but what?

Dick Kimball (talk) 14:18, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Since Flynn is Medical Director of the Spondyloarthritis Program, I'm guessing he's a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. Smuconlaw (talk) 14:31, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Russian пасть, the verb

I think you get it wrong with the figurative meanings. The meaning "to fall" is not at all figurative, it is the direct meaning of the word. The meaning "to die", on the other hand, is an extension. True that the extension is used more often than the direct meaning; still, that does not turn a figurative meaning into a direct one and vice versa. The verb is just a perfective counterpart of "падать", which means "to fall". - 22:25, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I think that was just a mistake. I fixed it. You know, you can fix these things yourself when you see them. --WikiTiki89 22:44, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
I prefer not to. Thanks. - 23:26, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Isn't it easier to fix it than to start a discussion? --WikiTiki89 15:59, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Oh, guys. I just saw this discussion accidentally.
Yes, the meaning "to fall (figuratively)" IS a very fitting definition for this verb. In modern normal-style Russian, it CANNOT be used to name the literal action of falling - this meaning is reserved to the 2 other verbs падать(impf.) and упасть(pf.). However this one, "пасть", has tons of other shades of meaning for which it is typically used.
I'll try to edit this page tommorow, as I see it appripriate. Will be happy to continue this discussion. Borovi4ok (talk) 20:55, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
It still literally means "to fall". I think it would be better to define it as "to fall (usually used figuratively)". --WikiTiki89 21:21, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, Wikitiki89. It is my last intention to have a dispute with you.
If you feel like, you can present examples supporting your claim here - naturally, real-world ones, from verifiable sources. I will be happy to discuss.Borovi4ok (talk) 21:31, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I feel like we are having more of a misunderstanding than a disagreement. I am not disagreeing about how пасть is used, but about how to describe how it is used. --WikiTiki89 22:47, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Wikitiki89, can you please check my today's contribution to this article. I would appreciate if you could further improve it. Borovi4ok (talk) 08:58, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Antonyms and the like

I just encountered the term "coordinate term" in the entries for anode and cathode; I didn't know what it meant, but I could deduce (roughly) from already knowing the relation between "anode" and "cathode". Someone changed this from "Antonym", saying "these are certainly not anyonyms". Well, I suppose it depends what you think "antonym" means, but I am sure that 'antonym' is a much more helpful term than 'coordinate expression'. Is there a policy here? How would I find all the pages with "Coordinate expression" entries on them? Imaginatorium (talk) 05:29, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

English translation of Swedish example sentence for "göra ont"

I'm not a native Swedish speaker, but the translation of the example sentence for göra ont (tån gör ont; translated as the toe hurts) seems unusual to me. From what I know, it isn't incorrect, but since Swedish prefers the definite form for body parts instead of a possessive pronoun (like several other languages), I'd tend to translate this as something like my toe hurts. Yeah, I don't really like to edit things immediately, so I thought I'd post it here. 06:29, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't really speak Swedish, but your point seems correct: I changed it to "(My) toe hurts". Parenthesised, so it can also obviously mean "My child's toe hurts". Imaginatorium (talk) 07:02, 4 November 2015 (UTC)


Can someone find more examples of arrow in the obsolete sense of ever a? The example on the page (‘…I don't believe there is arrow a servant…’) makes it sound as though it was just an alternate form of ever. Esszet (talk) 13:10, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Very similar to the Appalachian dialect. In Appalachia they say ary (e’er a) and the negative nary (n’er a). The adjective arrow (ever a) is Somerset dialect (County Somerset). Just as with ary, some people in modern times will say something like "ary an angel", but more properly it is "ary angel" ("you’re gooder’n ary angel"). It’s just that some people reinterpret it as "ever" instead of "ever a". —Stephen (Talk) 01:44, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

shots fired

In the past few years, the slang term "shots fired" has entered the vernacular as a response to somebody hurling an insult. Should we create it as an entry? Purplebackpack89 21:29, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

So you're saying that shots fired is used sort of like touché? That definitely sounds like an idiom; if it can be cited to the standards of Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion#Attestation, then yes, it should have an entry. —RuakhTALK 05:46, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
More like "it's kicking off" (sense 7; ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84aWlfQRkfY), or "it's on". --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 06:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I've taken a stab at creating an entry. FWIW, Ruakh (and BTW, welcome back), I think shots fired goes in a slightly different direction than touche does. Touche denotes a fair point, a concession. Shots fired suggests much more umbrage. Purplebackpack89 13:28, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
From the way I've seen this phrase used, it seems to be used by 3rd parties rather than the insulter/insultee, so the current definition seems off to me. I've only seen it used to mean that something person A said could be taken as an effective insult towards person B, regardless of the intention, or even of whether B ever heard what A said. Of course, it's quite possible that I've simply missed out on other uses of the phrase. Eishiya (talk) 02:14, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree. There's no indication of "offense" in the expression, merely that a pointed remark has been made, possibly warranting a response. —Pengo (talk) 20:08, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I have reworded it. Purplebackpack89 22:11, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Persian ورقه (varaqe)

To my knowledge this means "sheet of paper", not "bedsheet". The etymology (Arabic ورقة) hints at that too. We already have ملافه for "bedsheet". -- I would normally edit, but it seems to have been worked on several times, at least once by a native speaker. So, I'm clueless. Kolmiel (talk) 02:20, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

I agree, Tajik варақа (varaqa) doesn't have the sense "bedsheet" either. Let's call @ZxxZxxZ. That's a "sheet of paper", isn't it? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:36, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, fixed. --Z 13:04, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Write "kalyptra" in Greek

In the Etymology of calotte, the Greek word "kalyptra" is mentioned but it's romanized, shouldn't it be written in Greek script? Please someone edit it, thanks. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 02:52, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Confusingly, both καλύπτρα (kalúptra) and κάλυπτρα (káluptra) appear to mean "veil" and fit the etymology; I'm not sure which to lemmatise and/or put in the etymology. @JohnC5? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:50, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: I would (and have) lemmatize(d) καλύπτρα (kalúptra). —JohnC5 06:05, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not there anymore anyway. http://www.cnrtl.fr/etymologie/calotte doesn't link back to Greek, nor does it support our current etymology. It's in horrendous shorthand but it links back either to Old French cale with the suffix -otte or a borrowing from Arabic. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:23, 16 November 2015 (UTC)


I did this to the entry, but I'm not comfortable with deleting so much text without checking. I think this long set of rules gives off a false impression that you slavishly have to follow them to sound correct when just using the dative consequently will be perfectly fine. What do you think? Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 12:04, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

I originally wrote the usage note. It has been edited, however, and I don't know exactly what was done to it. I think there are some IP-users who tend to "prescriptivize" everything. I wrote it in a very descriptive way. You're of course right that the dative is not only what you will commonly hear, but is also perfectly correct in all registers and all situations. Therefore, the rules were actually given so that users see in what circumstances the dative must be used. That is actually the essential that, I think, should be added again. Because it's both correct to say: trotz des schlechten Wetters and trotz dem schlechten Wetter. Language users can decide freely. But in trotz Stürmen or trotz etwas Wichtigem only the dative is possible, and users should be "saved" from writing or saying *trotz Stürme or *trotz etwas Wichtigen. Kolmiel (talk) 15:04, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, and it is also mentionable that the genitive is more frequent, though not more correct, in literary style than the dative. Again: this is not my own wish or desire (I always use the dative!), but it's a simple quantifiable fact. Kolmiel (talk) 15:13, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
I was the one who recently added to it and I find that having deleted all of that was counterproductive. Isn't it ideal if a Wiktionary article is clear? Usage notes are necessary here to clarify how to use a word: if there's something wrong with writing down rules and tendencies then why not remove all the rules from other preposition's pages like https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/statt and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/w%C3%A4hrend? It was written in an unbiased fashion that does not favour the Genitive (I am not prescriptivist). I even mentioned that the dative is an acceptable alternative in the standard language (especially in the southern Sprachraum) and that in the vernacular, it is common to use the dative at all times (as Kolmiel does). Does this really seem like I'm obsessing over Genitive usage? Also deleted was a lot of useful information as to where only the dative can be used (which Kolmiel writes of). I definitely think the vital information should by all means be put back, unless being honest and unbiased gives the wrong impression... (Edit: I, who wrote this paragraph and the expansion on the trotz page, have just created this account, TrioLinguist. I apologize if I have breached any rules by leaving an anonymous message previously.) TrioLinguist (talk) 19:02, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
What you did was perfectly fine, I just think the realisation wasn't perfect, since it gave off a completely wrong idea of the usage. I would say it would be more correct to say that in German, trotz is used with the dative, and in formal language, one can alternatively use the genitive in some cases. The way you wrote it, it gave off the vibe that the dative was some colloquial or regional occurrence, when in reality it's simply proper German and used on all levels in all regions.(Disregarding the frequency of either variant.) Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:06, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
ps.: That vibe came from the opposition of 'standard language' and 'vernacular'. The vernacular of most places in the German-speaking realm is some form of the standard language. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:08, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm aware that this discussion is now a few weeks old, so this is fairly late to be continuing it. I will accept that I might have given an imperfect realization, but I also don't think the current one is perfect either. It can be written to say that in the formal or written language, trotz usually takes the genitive, but that both genitive and dative are correct, and that the opposite is true in the colloquial language, where the dative is clearly dominant. Another thing that should definitely be fixed in the article is "While this [the dative] is the predominant usage, ...", as that is definitely representing a distorted and inaccurate representation of the language. It should be made clear that this is the case in colloquial German, but in the formal/written language, it is very much false, because usage with genitive is 43x (give or take) more common there, than usage with the dative as of 2008 (see here: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=trotz+dem%2Ctrotz+des&year_start=1900&year_end=2008&corpus=20&smoothing=5&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrotz%20dem%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ctrotz%20des%3B%2Cc0). It's of course true that "just using the dative consequently will be perfectly fine", and while that is a helpful point that should be made for German learners who see the page, Wiktionary should be simply representing the language as it is, in both the formal and informal contexts. TrioLinguist (talk) 16:18, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
P.S: I want to make it clear that I am not a frantic defendor of the genitive case in its alleged "death-struggle", and I personally treat trotz as a dative preposition at all times. I'm just attempting to describe the linguistic reality with trotz. If the formal language favoured the dative, then I'd represent that (as I recently did when I edited the preposition section on "laut", a preposition that is somehow still excluded from lists of dative prepositions). TrioLinguist (talk) 16:39, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
You deserve a reply, but I'm not a good discussion partner for you in this case because, to be frank, I consider the usage of 'trotz' with a genitive to be plain wrong and a sign of low education, and am thus at direct odds with its acceptance into the official rules. What I want for the article is that it makes clear that the dative is the original form and the genitive is a recent hypercorrection. Any additional information you want to give I can't protest against as long as it doesn't obscure the fact that the dative is the original correct form. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 23:37, 6 December 2015 (UTC)


sleek (adj.) is missing its historic meaning of "well-fed" and "filled-out". This usage was quoted:

Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

And some biblical tools appear to relate "sleek" with "healthy-looking", "attractive", "well-favored", "well-built", "fine-looking", in translations of:

And lo, from the Nile there came up seven cows, sleek and fat; and they grazed in the marsh grass.

- 15:41, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Is that really what it means? It seems like it's just being used to describe the state of their coats: "Having an even, smooth surface". DTLHS (talk) 17:43, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Sleekness may well be considered an aspect of healthiness, but it hardly seems to be synonymous with it.
I see no evidence from other dictionaries that it ever meant "well-fed", "attractive", etc, but I don't have access to the OED. DCDuring TALK 18:02, 6 November 2015 (UTC)


Is it just me or does the audio sound like l'orgueil ? Leasnam (talk) 01:51, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

In some languages, it’s typical to include the definite article when mentioning a word. — Ungoliant (falai) 02:04, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the majority of our audio files for French nouns include the definite article. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:59, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Ok. Thank you ! Leasnam (talk) 13:19, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
I've made this specifically clear in a few cases, less than 100 I think, but of course there are just so many and they all need to be checked, not blanket adding of le, la or l'! A couple even use the plural article les on a singular. Don't ask me which but I've come across it. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:59, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Bundesrath and Kwalm

I'm trying to clear out the non-created Category:German superseded forms. These two words are left, and use Template:superseded spelling of. There is a more specific template Template:de-superseded spelling of that should be used instead but it requires a |used= parameter indicating when the form was superseded and I'm not sure what to fill in here. Can someone who knows German better help? Benwing2 (talk) 07:33, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

I've fixed Bundesrath, but Kwalm is difficult. I can't find any spelling conference that deprecated Kw- spellings (only a failed Nazi conference that would have reinstated them). I've marked it as pre-18th century, per German Wikipedia, but there is one (poetic) citation from 1818. Smurrayinchester (talk) 06:46, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
@Smurrayinchester: Thanks. Benwing2 (talk) 07:05, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
@Smurrayinchester: Some work on Rath and creating Spath along those lines would also be appreciated. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:38, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, we have lots of German th spellings that aren't correctly marked. Just fixed Rath, Thal, Thür, Thier, Thon, Thor and thun, but the ones where the th isn't at the beginning are very hard to find. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:45, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Here's a list of 2223 entries where the title contains "th" and the content contained "==German==" as of the 2015-07-02 dump, including entries where the "th" is correct and modern: User:-sche/de-th. Feel free to edit the list or move it into your own space if you prefer. - -sche (discuss) 20:50, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Something to do on those long winter nights... Smurrayinchester (talk) 21:16, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
For "Kwalm" et al I would use "used=1600s" (Philipp von Zesen tried and failed to popularize them then), unless they also had later periods of use. - -sche (discuss) 06:31, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Regarding "th": There should be exceptions - words which where written with "th" after 1902: 1. It's said (by WP) that the German Emperor (may God bless him) required all texts to be written in the more traditional spelling up until 1908 or 1911 or something. 2. Some words were still written with "th" after 1902 and some are still spelled that way, e.g. "Thron".
Regarding "Kwalm": Yeah, kw (instead of qu) should also have been used past 1610. In some way they should be deprecated in 1902: If the official rules (which should also have a word list) say it's just "Qualm", then "Kwalm" is deprecated. Though, they maybe fell out of use earlier.
BTW: There most likely should be an un-deprecated template at eislaufen (also cf. Eis laufen) ...
- 18:37, 10 November 2015 (UTC), 18:45, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Obviously "Th" words which weren't deprecated (e.g. "Thron") won't be listed as deprecated. (They and words like Gotthelf where "th" isn't even a digraph need to be weeded out of the list I made.) "Kw" words, on further consideration, never seem to have seen regular / widespread use in any time period, so it seems misleading to say they were superseded at any time, especially only in e.g. 1901/1902 — that implies they were either standard/acceptable or at least common before then. Perhaps they shouldn't use {{de-superseded spelling of}} at all, but instead {{lb|de|archaic}} {{rare spelling of|foo|lang=de}}? @Korn, Kolmiel how would you describe spellings like "Kwalm" and "Kwark"? They've probably seen use as eye-dialect, in which case the format I propose would be good, because it could easily be expanded to {{lb|de|archaic|or|eye dialect}} {{rare spelling of|foo|lang=de}}.
We have Template:U:de:1902-1996 spelling; we could copy that format and make e.g. Template:U:de:1996-2006 spelling, or (probably better, if there are a lot of variables) set up one template that accepted parameters indicating when something was deprecated and when it was reinstated. - -sche (discuss) 22:54, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
One could add an adjective like "implicitly deprecated in 1902" or "technically deprecated in 1902", as that should be correct and less misleading. One could also add a longer explanation like "implicitly deprecated in 1902, even though it wasn't in use anymore".
With variables it should be better. The reform in 2004 and the one 2011 could also have added or removed some forms. Also it is said, that during 1902-1996 Duden added and removed words/spellings (also see "Duden-Privleg"), like in one edition one can find a new spelling, and in some later edition it was removed. This should especially be the case for foreign words and spellings like Couch and Kautsch.
Furthermore, in the 19th century there were many German states, like Prussia, Bavaria, Austria, and some of these states had own spelling rules. So, instead of "deprecated in 1902", there could be something like "deprecated in Prussia in 1877, in Bavaria in 1879". In some way this could also be true for the spellings of 1902, as it could be 1902 in main Germany, but 1903 etc. in Austria, Swiss etc.
Regarding the first orthographic conference: Maybe one could add a note like "This spelling was also suggested by (some persons at) the first orthographic conference". And maybe a similiar note could be added for the planned reform of 1944.
- 16:39, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It's simple: The moment when these spellings where no longer official in any German state, they were deprecated. Since neither Duden nor ÖWB cover these spellings, the latest moment that happened can be the moment these two became official. So if there's no reform that specifically addresses them, that's the year to put down. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:27, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
ps.: I don't get the eye dialect-bit. I'd pronounce KW and QU exactly the same in all positions. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:31, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
First of all, I don't think that the spelling kw- was ever common. It may have occurred, but it was always rare. Even in Dutch, in which today they write kw-, the traditional spelling was always qu-. Therefore, the most important thing for me would be to give the necessary attestations for inclusion, and not just put them down because they "may have existed". Otherwise I don't really care. They are as obsolete as anything. If there's eye-dialect use: prove it, and that's okay. Kolmiel (talk) 00:46, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

quahaug, quahog

These are supposed to be alt forms of each other, but look at sense 2 on each page. One talks about large clams, and the other about very small clams. Equinox 19:07, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

They started out the same, but one was changed. From what I've been able to find, the "large clam" sense looks to be correct: the smaller clams are more tender and taste better, so they're eaten by themselves. The biggest ones are old and tough, so they're the ones used in chowder. I think the confusion comes from quahogs having different names, depending on the size: littlenecks, topnecks, cherrystones, and quahogs (some sources have countnecks on the small end and chowder and pumpkinonly one book clams instead of quahogs on the big end). If you're differentiating by species, even the tiniest can be called quahogs, but if you're differentiating by size, only the biggest are called quahogs. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:03, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Following other dictionaries, I combined the two existing senses in quahog and quahaug and added an etymology at quahaug, apparently the older spelling, the only one in Webster 1828. I have no familiarity with what Chuck has uncovered. DCDuring TALK 02:21, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I reworked it again, but you can probably improve on it some more. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:12, 9 November 2015 (UTC)


Does somebody here know what this Russian word means? --Hekaheka (talk) 10:37, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

I think that’s a misspelling of принципом. —Stephen (Talk) 12:26, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it fits. Thanks. --Hekaheka (talk) 16:10, 9 November 2015 (UTC)


In Spanish the plural of sosias is sosias, because the plural of words ending in s when the stress does not fall on the last syllable is the same as the singular. Therefore, the Wiktionary entry sósiases is wrong.

Thanks a lot. We've corrected it. The guy who made the page was neither a native Spanish-speaker nor an native English-speaker. Nevertheless, he has made thousands of top-quality entries, and is a respected user here. --SimonP45 (talk) 11:56, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

put it down

What does "put it down for someone" mean in American English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:53, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

@Tooironic Could you give a bit more context? —JohnC5 06:10, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
I've just heard it a few times in American pop and hip hop songs. You can probably find examples on Google easily enough. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:08, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
I found what you're talking about, but can't find an explanation anywhere. My only idea is that it might mean to "put down a beat" (i.e. "play music with a strong beat") perhaps implying celebration (hence, "for someone/something"). I also hope you understand that this is not "American English", but "American hip-hop slang", which not all Americans are intimately familiar with. --WikiTiki89 15:56, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
put down has a bunch of meanings, most of which can be used in hip hop. I think what you're looking at though is a special idiom that means something like "to show respect for (something) by behaving in a worthy way; to acknowledge the value of". So J. Lo's love song "puts it down for her papi" (acknowledges how she feels about him) and lots of people rap about how they "put it down for (their) niggas"; Twiztid "put it down for" his hood (pledging to show due respect). Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be used in any citable formats. WurdSnatcher (talk)

"Altiora peto"

I've edited both altiora and peto to include this popular school motto as an example. Can someone check that I've got this right, both from a formatting and Latin grammar viewpoint? -- The Anome (talk) 13:59, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

‘eō’ derivatives

Are derivatives of the Latin word ‘eō’ (e.g. adeo, obeo, pereo) stressed normally (i.e. on the antepenultimate syllable) or on the penultimate syllable? I used to simply assume they were stressed normally and edited several entries accordingly, but I've found two more (obeo and pereo) that indicate they're stressed on the penultimate syllable, so I thought I should check here to find out definitively. Does anyone have any definitive sources on the pronunciation of such verbs? Esszet (talk) 18:12, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

The only verb forms that Allen & Greenough mention as exceptions to the stress rule are things like beneˈfacit and caleˈfacit, so the argument from silence (which is a red link here!) is that these compounds take normal stress, as otherwise they would have mentioned them as exceptions too. Not terribly strong evidence, I know, but it's all I got. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:42, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Alright, then I'll edit those two entries accordingly. Esszet (talk) 22:24, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

my sweet bacon

What's the distribution of "bacon" as a term of endearment? Is it dated or regional? - -sche (discuss) 22:37, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

This looks like a job for {{DARE needed}}. I could get to all of them on Saturday. DCDuring TALK 23:04, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

sesquiennial and sesquiannual

There's a bit of an edit war happening over these two, very rare, words. Which one means twice in every three years and which one means three times in every two years? Neither word is in the OED or in any of my dictionaries. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:31, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps it has the same distinction as biannual and biennial? Aryamanarora (talk) 17:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I think I got it. sesqui- means 3:2, so sesquiannual is three times every two years. sesquiennial takes the reciprocal, so thrice every two years. Aryamanarora (talk) 17:08, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Be careful about inferring meaning from etymology. DTLHS (talk) 19:06, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I've found some citations of sesquiannual and sesquiennial where the meaning is clear (they both mean "once every 1.5 years"), and added them to the entries. - -sche (discuss) 21:46, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
FYI, the interest in these words is from a recent XKCD comic. Pengo (talk) 23:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
As mentioned on Talk:sesquiannual, biannual's usage notes seem prescriptivist; on what basis is one usage described as "proper"? - -sche (discuss) 23:41, 11 November 2015 (UTC)


What's the pronunciation of this? Dictionaries only give /dɪˈwɑːli/ (Collins, Macmillan, Cambridge), but the form I hear most is /dɪˈvɑːli/, even from educated/professional sources – see, for instance, this National Geographic documentary, BBC News, BBC Asian Network. Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:02, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

(I've also heard it with a longer first i as /diːˈwɑːli/ / /diːˈvɑːli/) Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:07, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
The Hindi pronunciation is [d̪ɪvɑːliː], at least in the region of Delhi. The v-w allophone of Hindi could make the [v] into a [w], however. Both are acceptable pronunciations. Aryamanarora (talk) 17:01, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd say the Hindi pronunciation is [d̪ɪʋɑːliː] with the labiodental approximant [ʋ] that doesn't occur in English. English speakers perceive it as a cross between [v] (because it's labiodental) and [w] (because it's an approximant, not a fricative). Partially for that reason, and partially because of the alternative spelling Divali, you're probably as likely to hear English speakers pronounce it with [v] as with [w]. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:53, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Yep, exactly. That v-w allophone always affects Hindustani loanwords. Aryamanarora (talk) 18:58, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I wonder if an awareness of languages like German that use w for the /v/ sound helped cement that form. (Trying to think of other terms where I've heard both the /w/ and /v/ forms, I can only think of shalwar ‑ we give the pronunciation /ˈʃʌlvɒː/, but I think we're being over-conservative and most English speakers would say something like /ˈʃælwɑː(r)/). Funnily enough, I've only ever heard wallah with a /w/, possibly because it entered common English use during the Raj.) Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:44, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

tredecillionth, quattuordecillionth, quindecillionth, ..., centillionth: Should they be in wiktionary?

I noticed that many of these words were added before, and later deleted. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_large_numbers#Standard_dictionary_numbers has the complete list.) The numbers like tredecillion and larger are naturally rare, but according to the English language rules, one should be able to form -th (adjective and noun) forms, even though they aren't used much, and maybe there are no uses for some of them at all. Also people might use any of them any time. Should we add them? Yurivict (talk) 00:25, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

If they can be attested I don't see why not. Purplebackpack89 00:55, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, if they're attested, they can have entries. Some have been RFVed (years ago) and failed, but new cites may have become available since then. - -sche (discuss) 01:32, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
I meant that they shouldn't be attested individually, because they are formed based on the rule. Therefore, people are free to use them any time because of the existence of the base form. Yurivict (talk) 00:47, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
No, we shouldn't include theoretical forms. When people do use them, yes, but not just because they could hypothetically be words. (So could "megadogness", for the state of being a huge dog!) We've gone through this before with the SI units (zeppometre, yottabyte, etc.) and opted not to include those that have no real usage. Equinox 02:09, 13 November 2015 (UTC)


I just created this entry, and while searching for citations of the word, I found that the spellings of the inflections given in the header do not seem to be citable. In addition, the inflected forms of the words as found in the quotations are "clattawa’s" for the third person singular and "klatawaw-ed" for the simple past, neither of which agree with the header.

So my question is, should those forms given in the header be included in the entry at all? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:21, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

repeater, held-back student?

Hi. I can't think of the word in English for a pupil who repeats a year/grade in school. repeater would be the obvious, or grade repeater perhaps, but Google doesn't like them. retenter or held-backer don't work either, although they sound good. What the hell is the term for those guys? --SimonP45 (talk) 11:55, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Research suggests "dropout-to-be" would be accurate. Perhaps "lost causes", too.
I see mostly X(es) who repeat and, formerly, X(es) who [(has|have|had been)|was|were] left back, but repeater might be more used in context, informally. DCDuring TALK 14:47, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Possibly retaker? Equinox 14:50, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
I've never heard any nouns used for this. The most common phrases I've heard over my years in the US education system are "he stayed back last year" = "he was held back last year" = "he is repeating a/the grade (i.e. now)", "he stayed back in sixth grade" = "he was held back in sixth grade" = "he repeated sixth grade". "Retaking" is only used of a class or course, not of a whole grade (year). --WikiTiki89 15:55, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
BTW, in German it's Sitzenbleiber, which we are missing; see sitzenbleiben. Equinox 15:59, 12 November 2015 (UTC)


The entry needs to be improved, see Wiktionary:Grease_pit/2015/October#Neger. -Rdm571 (talk) 18:04, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

What a hill to die on. The only change that I can see that needs to be made is that it's not clear whether calling a cue card Neger is now out of fashion (given that Negerkuss chocolates have been renamed Schokokuss, I wouldn't be surprised if other uses of the word have also fallen out of use). That the word Neger is unacceptable in modern German society is uncontroversial: Die Zeit (a centrist publication) said that the Bavarian Interior Minister "äußert sich rassistisch" by calling someone "ein wunderbarer Neger" (and he meant it as a compliment!), and he apologised. The vast majority of definitions of Neger that I find online use the phrase "eine abwertende und rassistische Bezeichnung". You can still find English-speakers who bemoan the fact that they're "not allowed" to say nigger, but that doesn't make anything in that entry incorrect. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:01, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
moved from User talk:-sche (let's try to keep the discussion in one or two places rather than three):
The recent fuzz made me think about the clipping of the usage notes again. I was the one who added the part about older folk not catching on about its change of meaning, because I encountered it with left wing multikulti folk ages 50-60 in Berlin, i.e. as far from racists as you get. Not sure that people not noticing something is citable, so I'm wondering if we can just agree to add an information of the term being the normal word until somewhat recently. I'm not comfortable with the idea that people think the words is as universally and strongly damned in German as 'nigger' is in the US, and then draw wrong conclusions about folks who use it because they didn't catch on to the times. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 16:22, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Let's look for evidence that the term was previously less offensive, and ideally when and among whom.
Kontroverse Begriffe: Geschichte des öffentlichen Sprachgebrauchs, reviewing press usage over time, says that in the 1950s Neger was used "almost exclusively, and without concious denigration", while Farbiger was only sometimes used; by 1962 both terms were equally common, with Neger more common in explicitly negative contexts; now, the book says, it "als explizite Diffamierungsvokabel fungiert und im öffentlichen Sprachgebrauch außer bei den Rechtsextremen vermeiden wird", with avoidance by the press already complete (save for a few exceptions) by 1974.
Erwin Ebermann's Afrikaner in Wien: zwischen Mystifizierung und Verteufelung notes a set of surveys done in Vienna in 1992 and 2000; in 2000, 8% of people used Neger to denote Africans, largely matching (Ebermann says) the results from 1992, when Neger was used chiefly by people over 40 (who would now in 2015 be over 60). When the interview as an authority figure used the word Neger, another 5% of respondents went on to use the term, whereas 10% protested in 1992 and 15% protested in 2000.
- -sche (discuss) 18:49, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Old Church Slavonic romanized word "myjati"

In the etymology of mew, please rewrite the Old Church Slavonic word "myjati" using the correct script (Old Cyrillic or Glagolitic).

If I try using {{m|cu|myjati||to mew}}, it generates a module error because it's a romanized word. Thank you. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 07:38, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Done. Next time you can change it to {{m|cu|||to mew|tr=myjati}} and that will put it in Category:Old Church Slavonic terms needing native script. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:39, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

messeto - Italian or Venetian?

In the etymology of mešetar, there is "Venice messeto".

Does that mean the word messeto is Venetian? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 07:49, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

  • It's Venetian (or a regional dialect form of Italian) and means something like "merchant" (not just an ordinary trader). But I'm not confident enough in its definition to add it. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:01, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

bitter chalice

Would you consider "bitter chalice" idiomatic? It gets more than 3.000 GoogleBooks hits. I'm asking, because its verbatim translation to Finnish, katkera kalkki is a reference to Christ's sufferings and means roughly "something unpleasant that one must endure, often as consequence of one's own selfish action". --Hekaheka (talk) 11:01, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

I think bitter cup (with almost 90,000 Google Books hits) is the more common equivalent. English Bibles usually use "cup" rather than "chalice" in their translations of Matthew 26:39–42, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:46, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

membra (Portuguese)

@Daniel Carrero, @Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV, and anyone else who speaks Portuguese: is membra real? A new user just added it, and I'm skeptical. I don't want to RFV it if a reliable Wiktionarian says it's a real word. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:58, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

It’s real, but nonstandard. I’ve amended the entry. — Ungoliant (falai) 14:02, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
OK, obrigado. He also added a link to it from membro which I deleted. You can put that back if you like. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:06, 15 November 2015 (UTC)


"2. Of limited time; not perpetual." and "4. Lasting a short time only.". Isn't that (more or less) the same? - 14:32, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Definition 2 places "temporal" in opposition to "eternal," while definition 4 emphasizes the shortness of it more. They could be worded more clearly, but they are slightly different. Perhaps they could be combined into one def, but I don't think either should be deleted in favour of the other. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:09, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
"Not eternal" does not mean "short in duration". Something that lasts 100 years is not short in duration but isn't eternal either. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Plip, plipper

The etymologies disagree. Is it a plipper because it goes plip or because of the name of the inventor? Equinox 22:41, 15 November 2015 (UTC)


The only citation under the "membership in these categories: the state of being male, female..." sense is Middle English and wholly unclear; substituting the definition into the citation results in gibberish. Can better citations be found? Also, which sense of "sex" is being used in a sentence like "the effectiveness of the medication is dependent upon age, sex, and other factors"? Sense 1? Sense 4? Prior to the entry being rewritten, that usex was under an awkward, kludgy "sum of the biological characteristics by which male and female and other organisms are distinguished" sense. See Talk:sex#.22Membership_in_these_categories:_the_state_of_being_male.2C_female....22 and the section immediately after it. - -sche (discuss) 22:52, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

boy as sportsman

This sense was just added: "a sportsman: "I still remember the year my boys won the state championship", recalled Coach." I don't know much about sports. Can someone confirm (or deny) that this is a sporting sense of its own, distinct from the existing "(affectionate, diminutive) A male of any age, particularly one rather younger than the speaker"? Equinox 22:57, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

No, it's not sports-specific. A commander could just as easily say "I still remember the day my boys got the order to get Yamamoto — of course, they didn't know it was him at the time." A teacher could say "I still remember the year my boys won the state science project competition", speaking about teenagers. - -sche (discuss) 23:31, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Also only used in the plural, in the singular it would sound demeaning. Brokeback Mountain has "you boys sure found a way to make the time pass up there". Definitely not sports. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:27, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Finnish hupi, huvi and hupa

@Hekaheka, Tropylium There seems to be a clear sense of "fun" shared among all these, but I'm not sure what the relationship is. In any case, hupi and huvi share most of their inflected forms, to the point of wondering if they're not secretly just one lemma. Can someone shed further light on this? —CodeCat 02:18, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Don't know really, but "hupa" may have two etymologies. The sense "quickly diminishing" may be connected with huveta (dwindle, shrink, vanish). From that, "diminishing" is hupeneva which could have been shortened to "hupa". "Hupi" and "huvi" may originally be dialectal variations of one word, as the verb connected with both of them is huvittaa. The "funny" sense of "hupa" is quite rare but there is a whole family of related words: hupaisa, hupainen, hupailu, hupaelma, hupakko, hupattaa. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:29, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm only familiar with hupaisa in the sense of funny'. hupa in this sense looks like some kind of a backformation to me (though I've seen it as a noun meaning 'amusement', 'pastime').
huvi is usually considered to have been analogically generalized from the oblique cases and derived terms of hupi; there are a couple of other similar cases too. --Tropylium (talk) 02:15, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Swedish pil: Two etymologies, one group of definitions

This entry looks wrong to me. Two separate etymologies are given, but all the definitions are grouped under Etymology 2, while Etymology 1 has no definitions. I am not familiar enough with Old Norse to group them correctly, but I'm guessing all the arrow/dart definitions should be under Etymology 1, and etymology 2 should contain only the willow definition. Eishiya (talk) 02:29, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

An IP added the etymologies (apparently copying them from another language section and changing the language codes), but apparently didn't know about the splitting part. I split the definitions by etymology, but someone who knows Swedish will have to finish the job- I have no idea if the gender or declension are the same for both. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:38, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the edit! The declension table is correct - both are common gender and both have plurals in -ar. Eishiya (talk) 18:25, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

vernacular for Glires

  • What is the English vernacular name for a member of Glires (or Euarchontoglires)? A "glirian" (or "gliran" perhaps)? Nicole Sharp (talk) 10:46, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I don't believe there is any such vernacular term. gliriform and glirine are adjectives that describe such animals. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:03, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • I would describe a "gliriform" (noun) as a member of the larger taxon Gliriformes, not its subtaxon Glires, but a noun for members of Glires (and/or Euarchontoglires) would be very helpful. If I was to guess, I would say something like "glir(e)" ("euarchontoglir[e]") or "glir(i)an" ("euarchontoglir[i]an"). wikipedia:Euarchontoglires#Organization Nicole Sharp (talk) 11:19, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Thank you for the vernacular adjectives of Glires and Gliriformes though, I wasn't aware of those. Nicole Sharp (talk) 11:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Think I got something. I checked Google for results on different possible plural noun forms. From "euarchontoglirs," "euarchontoglirans," and "euarchontoglirians," only "euarchontoglirans" produced significant English results: [2] [3]. By analogy then, "glirans" should also be the vernacular nominal form for Glires: [4] [5]. Unlike "euarchontoglirians" though, "glirians" does produce results on Google, but predominantly from blog posts as opposed to published books, so "gliran" seems to be the most-accepted form in academia, not "glirian." I also saw "gliran" being used as an adjective as well as a noun. Nicole Sharp (talk) 11:53, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    • So from above, answered as "gliran" and "euarchontogliran." Title striked. [6] Nicole Sharp (talk) 13:10, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • From a descriptive PoV it depends on what has been or will be accepted, though the analogical reasoning may be a good predictor of acceptance. Also, glirine referred to the Linnaean order Glires, not the modern clade, but could be recycled. DCDuring TALK 14:58, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
        • According to "wikipedia:Rabbits#Evolution," the original Linnaean definition of Glires and the modern phylogenetic definition of Glires are the same. There was a long period of time however after the time of Linnaeus until the time of modern genetic studies where biologists did not believe that lagomorphs and rodents were related, and thus equated the Linnaean taxon Glires with just Rodentia, instead of Lagomorpha plus Rodentia. See my comments at "talk:Glires#Linnaean definition" and "user talk:DCDuring#Linnaean definition of Glires." Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:07, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
          • I have attempted to make a three-definition entry. Please correct anything that you can. BTW, what were Lagomorpha and Rodentia called around the time Linnaeus' work was gaining acceptance in the English-speaking scientific community? DCDuring TALK 15:26, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
            • Latin WikiSource has all of Linnaeus' original definitions, from 1735-1793: "wikisource:la:Systema Naturae." According to English Wikipedia, Linnaeus' original definition of Glires should (either by his brilliant insight, or perhaps just mere coincidence) correspond to the modern phylogenetic definition, so that the 1700s definition is the same as the contemporary 2000s definition, but different from the 1800s-1900s definition (which placed Glires as synonymous with Rodentia, instead of Glires being hypernymic to Rodentia). Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:58, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
            • @DCDuring, yes, you are correct! There are three separate definitions of Glires. The original Linnaean definition does not correspond to the modern definition, nor the 1911 definition. Linnaeus grouped rhinoceroses and hyraxes with rodents and rabbits under his original grouping of Glires. See PDF page 25 of: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Sistema_Naturae_%281758%29.pdf . Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Glires usage

Copied from "talk:Glires." Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:28, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

  • @DCDuring, according to "wikipedia:Rabbits#Evolution," the original Linnaean definition of Glires matched that of the modern definition (i.e. a grouping of both Rodentia and Lagomorpha), then the original definition was modified to not include Lagomorpha until it was recently obsoleted by the current phylogenetic definition that corresponds again to the original Linnaean grouping. I don't know of any other sources other than Wikipedia for the changing definition of Glires over the centuries since Linnaeus though. Gliriformes is a slightly larger (and hypernymic) grouping than Glires but only adds extinct genera to Glires. Nicole Sharp (talk) 14:45, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Take a look at Glires in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.. The Century Dictionary is a reasonable source for widely accepted older definitions, though certainly inferior for scholarly purposes to determining how the word was used by scientists. Unfortunately I don't have access to anything behind a paywall and not all taxonomic literature is freely available. (How much is available online whether or not behind a paywall?)
    • Also glirine was used in English before Linnaeus coined Glires, probably with much less precision and consistency than taxonomic hierarchies imply. It might be wrong to attribute to Linnaeus the derivation from Latin when the term was probably already "in the air". DCDuring TALK 15:10, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • That would then make Glires a Germanic-to-Latin backformation coinage from glirine (or some equivalent) perhaps, but that shouldn't change the etymology of the Latin root as currently stated on the entry. The original definition of "glirine" was probably "of or like a dormouse." Linnaeus was fluent in Latin though from an early age. Most likely he chose his taxonomic grouping based on the Latin for "dormouse" simply due to that the other Latin roots for more-common lagomorphs and rodents were already being used elsewhere. Most scientists of the time used Latin to separate scientific usage from common usage, so he would have probably been less likely to have been influenced by Latinate common usages perhaps, as compared to a pure-Latin derivation. But of course that is all speculation on my part, though I am sure someone somewhere has written a detailed commentary on Linnaeus' choices for various Latin words. I know there was a big kerfluff with naming Primates in relation to Homo. Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:44, 16 November 2015 (UTC)


What happens in Purgatory, does it mean you wait to see if you Sins are forgiven. There is know time content where you are, just a series of pictures running at speed in front of your eyes —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

  • Purgatory is a place or condition of purification for those who are not free from sin. Anyone in Purgatory will enter heaven when this purification process is complete. More generally, the word is also used to refer to any form of punishment or suffering which is temporary.

Phrasal verbs

What makes one idiomatic phrase a phrasal verb and the other not? e.g. stand tall, scare straight, keep abreast, run aground, come ashore, go ahead, run afoul of, come again, run amok, come alongside, run past, come correct, go wide and go narrow Just curious, we don't have any phrasal verbs with "tall", "past", "wide", etc, is there a reason for that? WurdSnatcher (talk)

Does this help, from Wikipedia? "The aspect of these types of phrasal verbs that unifies them under the single banner phrasal verb is the fact that their meaning cannot be understood based upon the meaning of their parts taken in isolation. When one picks on someone, one is not selecting that person for something, but rather one is harassing them. When one hangs out, one is in no way actually hanging from anything." e.g. run past the house wouldn't be parsed as a phrasal verb run past but as simply run with an adverbial: past the house. Equinox 23:22, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I meant run past in the definition given on our page, "to bring a subject to someone's attention". WurdSnatcher (talk)
IMO run past in that definition should certainly be a phrasal verb. Benwing2 (talk) 23:31, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
That'd be our first phrasal verb using "past". Trying to brainstorm if there are any more? Maybe slip past (to sneak something through an inspection), drive past (to drive past without stopping, or is that just a missing sense at past#adverb?). WurdSnatcher (talk)
That Wikipedia definition sounds like it should apply to any multi-word verb phrase. Is add fuel to the fire a phrasal verb? It's both a phrase and a verb whose meaning can't be deduced from its parts. WurdSnatcher (talk) 23:38, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I think some of these might be better in Collocation space should the vote for such space succeed. Traditionally phrasal verbs are of the form [verb + preposition] or [verb + adverb], more recently [verb + particle]. Conspicuously missing is [verb + adjective], the form of some of the above.
IMO run afoul of is run + afoul ( + of ), the of being optional and run simply the most common of the verbs used with afoul, fall being the next most common, but go, come, and be also occurring. Similarly, for stand tall one can also find walk tall, ride tall, sit tall, stay tall, etc., and strong, still, ready, etc. For run amok we can have not only run + amok but also various combinations of go and run (also be, grow) with crazy, rampant, nuts, wild, etc.
In other words, I would resolve the categorization problem by RfDing most of these. DCDuring TALK 05:04, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, the OED definition of a phrasal verb is "a multi-word verb consisting of a verb and another element (typically an adverb or preposition) which together function as a single syntactical unit, as break down, make up, take out, see to, etc.", while Oxford Dictionaries Online have "An idiomatic phrase consisting of a verb and another element, typically either an adverb, as in break down, or a preposition, for example see to, or a combination of both, such as look down on. --Droigheann (talk) 07:28, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Is there a reason it's limited to adverbs and prepositions? That seems like an arbitrary distinction. WurdSnatcher (talk) 11:54, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Those are more likely to function as part of the verb. Subjects, objects and complements aren't part of the verb as a syntactical unit. There's a difference between a verbal phrase and a phrasal verb. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:50, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
[After e/c] @WurdSnatcher: Generally speaking, the tightness of the link between the adverb/preposition and the verb elements is high in phrasal verbs, much higher than for verb-adjective combinations, many of which are SoP collocations, as I suggested above. Some expressions of the verb-adjective form are IMO legitimate entries because one element, usually not the verb, is obsolete, archaic or rare at least in the sense used. But most are just relatively uncommon formations, which can sometimes be viewed as an adjective either standing in less than usual grammatical relation to a verb or functioning adverbially. DCDuring TALK 13:57, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with DCDuring that expressions like run amok are SoP; amok nearly always occurs in run amok and often there's no running involved. Furthermore, amok is an adverb, so this technically fits even the narrower definition of phrasal verb. OTOH, when these definitions say "adverb" they normally mean "adverb that can also be a preposition", which amok can't be. That's why run past of all the examples seems most clearly a phrasal verb, because past is a preposition as well. Benwing2 (talk) 15:09, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
What is your threshold for "nearly always"? What corpus evidence do you have? Hint: Use the BYU corpora. DCDuring TALK 17:29, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Interesting all, thanks, I guess that makes sense. I think I will make run past and slip past tonight (sneak past?). It still looks to me like these are valid: keep abreast, keep abreast of (both idiomatic keep), come alongside (in the nautical sense, and I think there's also a psychological use), come again (idiomatic come) and maybe come ashore/run aground. WurdSnatcher (talk) 01:43, 18 November 2015 (UTC)


I translated the second sense of compaignie as company (sexual liaison). Company has no such sense. I was going to change it to companionship but that also has no such sense. Am I wrong, or do we lack it for one or both of those? Renard Migrant (talk) 23:55, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

It's one of those edge-case euphemisms. Does lonely need a new sense to cover "If you get lonely, there's a brothel down the street."? --WikiTiki89 00:18, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I think sexual liaison, even though I'm basically quoting the Anglo-Norman On-Line Hub which has "sexual relationship", isn't quite right. "I would like to have her company" doesn't mean "I would like to have her sexual liaison". Somewhat relevant, my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993) isn't really bothered about being all that accurate as long as you can basically understand the meaning. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:44, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

annehmen IPA

The current entry for German 'annehmen' is given as /?anne:m@n/, to my knowledge german does not allow for consonant gemination, so I think the entry is in error. More importantly, what is the policy regarding ipa transcriptions for german, or on wiktionary in general? I've also noticed inconsistent transcriptions of <rC> across german entries.

German does allow consonant gemination across the two elements of a compound (and verbs with separable prefixes act like compounds), e.g. Brennnessel also has /n.n/. Our German entries don't have a lot of consistency. Ideally they should all conform to Appendix:German pronunciation but in practice a lot of them don't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:19, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
You can hear /n.n/ gemination clearly by comparing einnorden (orientate) vs de:einordnen (classify). I wonder if there are any minimal pairs where the only difference is gemination, but I couldn't find any seriously used (I did consider Zeittakt and the whimsical Zeitakt, but I don't think "Zeitakt" would be recognised as a real word) Smurrayinchester (talk) 22:17, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Those aren't the best examples of minimal pairs, though, because of the glottal stop before the vowel-initial morpheme: einordnen isn't [ˈaɪ.nɔʁd.nən], it's [ˈʔaɪn.ʔɔʁd.nən]. Likewise a word "Zeitakt" would be [ˈt͡saɪt.ʔakt]. However, Zweitakt [ˈt͡svaɪ.takt] (as in Zweitaktmotor (two-stroke engine)) is a good near-minimal pair with Zeittakt [ˈt͡saɪt.takt]. Another minimal pair using a nonce word is Beiname (byname) vs. theoretical Beinname "leg name" (y'know, if you want to name your leg); these would be [ˈbaɪ.naːmə] vs. [ˈbaɪn.naːmə] —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:14, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
All true. Although these geminates may also be simplified, and the minimal pairs are not necessarily distinct in common speech. I personally pronounce all of those words the way that they are not pronounced according to your statement. Unless I enunciate. Kolmiel (talk) 22:29, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Just for notice, Swiss German, Austrian German, Bavarian German and Ripuarian German all know gemination, preserving words as spelled. E.g. 'Katze' [kät.tsə] and Kanne [kän.nə]. At least for Switzerland and Austria this is part of all registers including top level formal standard language, though not mandatory. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 23:48, 6 December 2015 (UTC)


Just looked through the list of Asian countries in English, and was rather shocked to find that ISIS is amongst the list. I know that ISIS, in the news as of late, might be an organization, but is it really a country per se? I don't think so. --JB82 (talk) 01:03, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Well, it has territory, a capital, national subdivisions, a planned currency, a government, a body of law and it provides public services. — Ungoliant (falai) 01:11, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
ISIS itself claims to be a country. Wiktionary is not in the business of politics and so we neither "recognize" countries nor do we "not recognize" countries. We decide whether it is lexically a country. --WikiTiki89 02:17, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
What does "lexically" a country mean? In any case, by adding the entry for ISIS to the category for countries in Asia, Wiktionary is certainly recognizing it as a country, de-facto, and definitely making a sort of political statement. By not adding it, however, no such statement is made, not least because the category is far from complete. I think in cases like this, the best thing is to leave things out of categories if inclusion is controversial; as you said, Wiktionary is not in the business of politics. Benwing2 (talk) 10:06, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
"Lexically" means that the meaning of the word "ISIS" is a country in Asia, whether or not such a country exists. --WikiTiki89 15:52, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I have two more things to say about this:
Ungoliant (falai) 17:54, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I disagree. Whether or not a country is recognized is not the business of a dictionary. But you maybe right about the difference between "ISIS" and "Islamic State". --WikiTiki89 18:07, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Never mind that. It turns out ISIS is indeed used like that. I support recategorising it as a country. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:11, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd disagree about that. As a descriptive dictionary, we don't care how something defines itself – we care about how the world at large defines it. There's a fundamental lexical difference between, say, San Marino – a small Apennine town internationally recognized as a country – and Seborga – a small Apennine town that no-one recognizes as a country except itself. Even if a non-country entity behaves in some ways like a country (for example, Berwick-upon-Tweed claimed that England didn't represent it in foreign affairs and signed a separate Crimean War peace treaty), if people don't call it a country, it's not lexically a country. Sealand calls itself a country, most of the world does not. Transnistria calls itself a country, most of the world does not. ISIS calls itself a country (indeed, a global caliphate), most of the world does not. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:34, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
    As a descriptive dictionary, if there are differences in usage, we include all of them. What "most of the world" thinks does not matter. --WikiTiki89 16:06, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Smurray. Calling ISIS a country is prescribing a (rather extreme) POV; we shouldn't do it. We particularly shouldn't do it as long as the only definition in the entry is "a group which..." (for citations like "he joined ISIS"); we'd need to have a separate definition "an unrecognized state in..." (if there are any citations like "he moved from Saudi Arabia to live in ISIS") as a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite. - -sche (discuss) 20:09, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
What about "he moved from Saudia Arabia to live in the Islamic State"? It does seem like there are differences in usage between the acronyms and the full name. --WikiTiki89 20:27, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be a big decision for us to just declare that ISIS is a country with apparently, no prior discussion or presentation of evidence. A territory isn't the same as a country anyway. Do we have Quebec, the Basque regions and Catalonia as countries as well? Wouldn't California meet Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV's conditions as well? Renard Migrant (talk) 20:32, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
What is a country? Under some of our definitions, Catalonia and Quebec are certainly countries. California, I'm not so sure about. --WikiTiki89 20:43, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
One thing that seems to have been overlooked: this is in reference to a category, which isn't part of any entry. Its real purpose is to help people find entries, not to describe their meaning. As such, the issues of descriptiveness vs. prescriptiveness and of lexicality are irrelevant. When it comes to categories, we certainly do make judgments. I say we shouldn't have any disputed polities categorized as countries unless people are going to need their categories to be in the country categories in order to find them. There are no doubt a number of people who think that ISIS should be treated as a country, but I doubt that most of them will go to a country category to find it in a dictionary. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:30, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Re "to live in the Islamic State": in that use, it does sound like a place (but I still wouldn't categorize it as a country). In fact, I've noticed that when people speak of "Islamic State" as a group, they often drop the article, hence: "...is the capital of the Islamic State", intermediate "...and (the) Islamic State plans its own currency", but "...after Islamic State beheaded another hostage". Re "what is a country?": that reminds me of this discussion of nations. - -sche (discuss) 04:58, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

life eternal

This was deleted. I think it should be restored though. It's a noun occurring before an adjective, something that doesn't typically occur in English. 2602:306:3653:8920:B493:B6E5:59E1:E317 03:13, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

This is a grammatical issue, not a lexical one. Postnominal adjective used to be doable (Chaucer: "a manly man, to be an abbot able) and still occurs in a few oddities (knight-errant). Equinox 04:21, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
But we have eternal life! Should be restored as an alternative form, if nothing else. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:20, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Murray. Restore Purplebackpack89 16:49, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Restore and go through the usual channels, where I expect it will be kept. Renard Migrant (talk) 10:31, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Restored Purplebackpack89 14:06, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

"Lent Gascon" (Occitan? -> Basque)

Discussion moved to Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2015/November#"Lent Gascon" (Occitan? -> Basque).

"in Cataluña" means Calatan?

In the etymology of bachelier, there's "in Cataluña". I suppose this means the language is Catalan? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 23:48, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Or Old Catalan (roa-oca), or Old Provençal. But the word looks more like Mediaeval Latin. — Ungoliant (falai) 23:53, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
The sentence is referring to places, not languages: "in Cataluña [one thing happened], in Provence [something else happened]". But we do say Catalonia, not Cataluña, in English. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:54, 19 November 2015 (UTC)


  1. A unified federal Islamic government for the Muslim world, ruled by an elected head of state or caliph.

The current definition is de jure correct, but de facto incorrect – there have been periods of history where multiple competing caliphates have coexisted (in the year 1000, I think there were four major political entities calling themselves caliphates), and I don't think any caliphate has ever managed to unite the entire Muslim world. Can anyone think of a better way to define it? Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:47, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

@Smurrayinchester In the definition, does the world "unified" mean "combining church and state" or "combining all peoples in the Muslim world"? If it's the latter, I think you could solve your problems by removing the word "unified" and adding "all or part of" before "the Muslim world" Purplebackpack89 14:09, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89 Well, the theory of a caliphate is that the ruler is a successor to Mohammed, and therefore all Muslims should automatically owe the caliph their loyalty. Of course, in reality Muslims don't have to accept the legitimacy of the caliph (most reject the ISIS caliphate, for example). Actually, now that I read the definition again, the "elected" part is incorrect – I'll change that. Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:51, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
  • If I understand things correctly, no current or aspiring member of the Islamic State is allowed to vote on anything at all, on pain of excommunication and possible execution. There was a lengthy article about ISIS and its policies recently in the Atlantic Monthly: “What ISIS Really Wants”. Relevant quotes (bolding mine):

Denying the holiness of the Koran or the prophecies of Muhammad is straightforward apostasy. But Zarqawi and the state he spawned take the position that many other acts can remove a Muslim from Islam. These include, in certain cases, selling alcohol or drugs, wearing Western clothes or shaving one’s beard, voting in an election—even for a Muslim candidate—and being lax about calling other people apostates. []

[] “This is not permitted,” Abu Baraa said. “To send an ambassador to the UN is to recognize an authority other than God’s.” This form of diplomacy is shirk, polytheism, he argued, and would be immediate cause to hereticize and replace Baghdadi. Even to hasten the arrival of a caliphate by democratic means—for example by voting for political candidates who favor a caliphate—is shirk.

As such, the ruled by an elected head of state might need revising. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 01:15, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Also, am I the only one who pronounces it /ˈkælɪfɪt/? --XndrK (talk) 22:44, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

Probably not. --WikiTiki89 02:00, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

can't even

I'm seeing a lot of this on Facebook, is there any way for it to have an entry? Not sure how to define it. Renard Migrant (talk) 10:26, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I've had a go. Feel free to improve, and to add actual citations instead of an example sentence. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:32, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I've expanded on SemperBlotto's go, as his example sentence struck me as a nonidiomatic usage as opposed to the modern youth-slang version I assume Renard Migrant was talking about. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:42, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Thanks. That modern usage has passed me by. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:45, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
        • You haven't missed much. I suspect in three years no one will be saying it anymore, but I am amused by its intensified version "I have lost the ability to even". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:50, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
          • That's nothing. How about: "I can't even with this. Nevermore shall I even. My evens have vanished, as dust in the wind. All of my evens have been lost at sea, and will soon begin to themselves be unable to even, after which they will anthropomorphize a volleyball. Once the volleyball is unable to even, we will have reached evenception and then the universe will implode." Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:49, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
            • The appropriate response to this is "I can't even". Aryamanarora (talk) 04:57, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Is it ever used in anything but the first person? And should this be indicated some how? Pengo (talk) 08:15, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I think it's rare outside the first person singular present tense, but I can easily imagine "She said she couldn't even". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:28, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
  • FWIW, the Greeks had words for it:
adynaton The expression of the inability of expression —almost always emotional in its nature.
aposiopesis Breaking off suddenly in the middle of speaking, usually to portray being overcome with emotion.
DCDuring TALK 10:10, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
This has become popular meme, but it existed well before that and its lexical significance has not changed. All this is is an elliptical sentence "I can't even ...". In the spoken language, the ellipsis is apparent from intonation. Due to the popularity of the meme, recent internet slang has been leaving off the "...". Thus, I don't think this is dictionary-worthy. --WikiTiki89 15:25, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree. I think it should appear as a collocation, as a usage example at [[even#Adverb]], and as a modern example of adynaton and aposiopesis, the latter two whether or not it is deleted. DCDuring TALK 15:36, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Having read through the examples listed at adynaton, I don't think this is an example of it at all. And while it started out as aposiopesis (which could be mentioned in its etymology), it is no longer that, as the quote Smurrayinchester gave shows. It's similar to the slang "It'll be very!" in Heathers, which is etymologically but not syncronically aposiopesis. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:47, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Except that the Smurrayinchester's quote is an ad that is intentionally abusing the phrase. --WikiTiki89 16:09, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty of other examples where "I can't even" falls in the middle of a sentence (rather than at the end of a half-finished one):
Girl, I can't even with this mermaid business.
I can't even with this video…It's about maternal health in Africa, with Apple Watch product placement
I can't even with the headlights on this Lexus
Like Angr says, it's become a phrase all of its own. Smurrayinchester (talk) 20:31, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Did I forget to mention it's a popular meme? Any phrase that goes viral online automatically becomes every part of speech for a short period of time until people forget about it. --WikiTiki89 21:55, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
@Angr The WP article omits a secondary sense of adynaton to be found at Silva Rhetoricae, which the WP article neglects. (Maybe we should RfV the secondary sense.) DCDuring TALK 16:23, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

"Aquileian": scuttia

In the etymologies of cuteza (Romanian) and cutedz (Aromanian), they mention "Aquileian scuttia". What does "Aquileian" mean? It is a redlink at the moment. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 14:44, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

It’s a dialect of Friulian. — Ungoliant (falai) 14:57, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

féinphic - Irish for 'selfie'

Hello, I've been using Wiktionary for a while as a reference, but only recently I've started to contribute to pages. I am unsure of how to add a word: I would like to add "féinphic", which is the Irish word for 'selfie'. I have references I can cite, and it seems that the translation has already been added on the 'selfie' page in English. I am also unsure of how the Tea Rooms works - I am using it in the wrong way by making this post? If I am, I'm very sorry and please let me know immediately. Thank you! ~Zumley

See Help:Starting a new page for information on how to do it. If have more questions, feel free to ask me on my talk page. I also know some Irish, so I may be able to help you with content as well as formatting. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:50, 19 November 2015 (UTC)


How does one get from "Matilda" to "Mahaut", unless we assume "ma'i'd'" -> "ma-d" -> "ma-uh-d" -> (strengthened) "Mahaut" ("Maud").

Could this have more likelily been influenced by Old High German "Mahthilda"?

Or is it as I aforedescribed? Or... what?

I am quite confused by this matter. Tharthan (talk) 19:12, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Mahaut (silent h, written only to break up the vowel hiatus) would be the normal result of French sound changes applied to *Matald, something like *Matald -> *Madalt (t between vowels voices, final d unvoices) -> *Maðalt (very early Old French) (d between vowels becomes a fricative) -> *Maðaut (l before a consonant becomes u) -> Maaut (ð drops out). It's unclear how *Matald got there from Mahthild; the h's dropping out is not so surprising but the i->a change is a bit odd. The form Mathilde would be a late borrowing of the same word, with feminine -e added. Benwing2 (talk) 00:18, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

upstroke, downstroke in music

These have something to do with music (perhaps specifically percussion?). Should there be additional senses? Equinox 14:58, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

In conducting, a downstroke or upstroke refers to the direct of movement of the conductor’s baton. The initial beat of a measure will be a downstroke, and downstrokes are heavier, stressed. The next stroke is an upstroke, and upstrokes have a lighter sound, unstressed.
In stringed instruments such as guitars, upstroke and downstroke refer to how the strings are attacked, from beneath or from above. Upstrokes, from beneath the string, have a lighter sound, with higher harmonics, while downstrokes have a heavier sound with lower harmonics (sometimes described as a meaner sound).
With stringed instruments such as violins and cellos, which are played with a bow, upstroke is synonymous with upbow/up bow (𝅘𝅥𝆫), and it is a movement of the bow that is upwards, or to the left. A downstroke, or downbow/down bow (𝅘𝅥𝆪) is a bow movement that is downwards, to the right. —Stephen (Talk) 18:26, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I played cello for 20 years and never once heard "upstroke/downstroke" as synonyms for "upbow/downbow". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:30, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I concur - violinist for about 5 years. Aryamanarora (talk) 04:54, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I believe in percussion they refer to being on or off the beat. "start singing on the downstroke" means to start when the drummer is between beats. There is also a Parliament song called "Up for the Downstroke", but like a lot of P-funk's terminology, that's basically a nonce. People do sometimes use it nowadays to mean "ready to get funky" or something along those lines (DJs sometimes say are you up for the downstroke?!); if that's citable, it's a phrase. WurdSnatcher (talk) 18:15, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I am happy to be able to post the question and get this kind of clueful feedback. Please expand the entries :) Equinox 03:11, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Gerund forms for the Latin verb odī

The gerund forms for the Latin verb odi are listed with the stem "whatever". That is, "whateverīre," "whateveriendi," "whateveriendō," and "whateveriendum". It's not written on the page itself, so I don't know where the issue could lie. Calucido (talk) 03:51, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

It comes from Module:la-verb, and was added a year ago by @Kc kennylau, presumably for debugging purposes (it's definitely not good error handling in finished code), and @Esszet has been editing the module the most, recently. Someone who knows what they're doing needs to fix it so so the module doesn't insert nonsense like this without any maintenance category or module error to indicate something's wrong. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:16, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd say that this verb does not have a gerundive (unless someone has a source). They might have a supine, I guess, but someone needs to set the perf-as-pres verbs so that they omit the gerundive material. —JohnC5 06:26, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
My apologies. When I added the "whatever", there was not yet the gerund forms. --kc_kennylau (talk) 07:21, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
But then, of course, the function of the "whatever" is so that someone would discover these "bugs" and report them (to me). --kc_kennylau (talk) 07:32, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I think raising an error would be a better solution than hoping someone comes across the whatever forms. DTLHS (talk) 16:03, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
By the way, JohnC5, can you switch Module:la-adj over to whatever you said you would switch it over to two months ago? The hyphens in plus are still linked. Esszet (talk) 23:18, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
@Esszet: Oh yeah... Could we get Code to do it? I'm trying to write a declension module for Sanskrit at the moment and really don't want to refactor la-adj right now. Can you forgive me? —JohnC5 04:12, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not that big a deal, it's alright. Esszet (talk) 22:31, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

go so far as

Could someone well-versed in English grammar check the usage notes I've added to this page? I wasn't sure if this and that in this context are determiners or pronouns. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:36, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

I think they're pronouns; they're not used with an accompanying noun. I've edited the page accordingly. Esszet (talk) 22:29, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

scared senseless

What is the part of speech of senseless in scared senseless? And do we currently include this sense on Wiktionary? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:47, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

  • It's a sort of quasi-adverb. The OED includes shitless as an adverb, but has senseless and witless (used in the same way) only as adjectives. Perhaps we should add adverb senses. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:53, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It's an adjective in an adjectival resultative construction. It's not modifying the verb so much as serving as the result of the change of state caused by the verb. If it were an adverb, one could use the -ly form: *scared senselessly doesn't mean the same thing, because it specifies the manner of the change, not its result. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:55, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Whether or not one analyzes senseless as an adverb in this or similar constructions, I don't see no value in including an additional PoS section for understanding the meaning of the construction. A usage note or something on the inflection line like (also used adverbially) would seem to better cover the matter without requiring, in principle, duplication of senses and verification for each sense in the adverb PoS. For what portion of languages does the adverb PoS require a different translation that our contributors will provide? Couldn't that need be met either with separate translation tables or additional translations in the translation table for each adjective sense? DCDuring TALK 13:52, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Adjectival, like dress smart, look good, and wake up happy. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:46, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

altar - pronunciation

Our entry currently gives the impression that the first vowel is short in the UK and long in the US (/ˈɒltə/ vs /ˈɔːltəɹ/ respectively). However, the OED suggests almost the opposite ("Brit. /ˈɔːltə/ , /ˈɒltə/ , U.S. /ˈɔltər/ , /ˈɑltər/" [7]). Forvo has files, all with a long vowel, from the US, Canada and the UK [8]. Can the word be actually pronounced either way on either side of the pond? --Droigheann (talk) 15:34, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

I consider the standard UK pronunciation to be /ˈɒltə/ (to rhyme with falter). /ˈɔːltə/, to rhyme with drawl (the first vowel sound, I mean) looks odd to me. The UK Forvo file sounds to me like /ˈɒltə/ more than it sounds like /ˈɔːltə/. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:45, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary agrees with the OED: either /ˈɔːltə/ or /ˈɒltə/ in RP, with preference for the first. In American English it appears to be /ˈɔltɚ/ (GenAm not having distinctive vowel length) in all varieties without the cot-caught merger and /ˈɑltɚ/ in varieties that merge cot/caught to /ɑ/. It appears that alter is always a homophone. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:15, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I speak American English without cot-caught and I say /ˈɑltɚ/, FWIW. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:47, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Well what do you gotta do that for? Messing up my tidy generalizations. Geez, there's one in every crowd.Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:08, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I do not merge cot/caught and my American English has [ɒ] for au (including in altar and alter) and [ɑ] (maybe a bit fronted) for o. My [ɒ] reminds me of the [ɒ] used in RP to pronounce the o vowel except that the RP vowel is rather more clipped. A true [ɔ] for au would be rather strange, way too high, and I think I'm not alone here; I wonder if the Longman dictionary is using /ɔ/ in a sloppy, phonemic kind of way (the same way that /ɔ/ is used in French to represent the vowel of botte and sotte even though it's actually quite different from cardinal [ɔ] as it's mostly unrounded). Benwing2 (talk) 02:42, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the Longman dictionary, like Wiktionary and virtually every dictionary and textbook that uses IPA for American English, uses /ɔ/ (actually, /ɔː/) to symbolize the unmerged thought vowel, regardless of whether the actual realization of that phoneme is open enough to justify a transliteration [ɒ]. In fact, the first edition of the Longman dictionary did use /ɒː/ in its transliteration of American English, but then switched to /ɔː/ in later editions. (One of my biggest pet peeves with Longman is its use of length marks for American English, even for the "short o" of the lot vowel: it transcribes American hot as homophonous with RP heart, i.e. /hɑːt/, which really rubs me the wrong way.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:36, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Alter has /ɔ/ for me. Tharthan (talk) 01:07, 29 November 2015 (UTC)


I can't seem to find the word neuro in conjuntion with the brain. Maybe I had some totally wrong assumptions about the conections with the brain?? neuroplasticity? —This unsigned comment was added by ‎ (talkcontribs).

We include hyphens in the page titles of affixes. The page you are looking for is neuro-. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:35, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

aim to

This seems dubious to me. The "to" is the infinitive of the verb that follows. "aim to" isn't the unit. Equinox 16:43, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

It can be used without a following verb though. Why did you hurt me? I didn't aim to. WurdSnatcher (talk)
On the other hand, "Why didn't you call an ambulance? I didn't think to." "I didn't mean to." "I didn't try to." "I didn't want to." "I didn't say to." There are a lot of verbs which can use to this way - perhaps all verbs that can take infinitive verbs as objects. Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:59, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
That example just shows that to can stand in for an infinitive in final position. I say delete, since that meaning is already noted at aim. —JohnC5 17:02, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree; ellipsis is a regular part of English grammar and doesn't make this string of words idiomatic. If this were RFD I'd say delete. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:36, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
You only have to compare "want to" or "need to". Equinox 03:23, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Delete per all above. DCDuring TALK 05:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)


This entry currently splits pluralizable proper noun sense 1 "a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus" (usex: Do you celebrate Christmas) from pluralizable common noun sense 1 "the day of this festival" (usex: This Christmas we'll open presents). Is that split appropriate? As noted in the earlier discussion about Christianity et al and in discussions of names, many proper nouns can also be used in "common noun-esque" ways; e.g. do you believe in Christianity? vs his Christianity calls for killing non-believers; Richard will arrive shortly vs there are two Richards in my class: this Richard, and that one. We don't split other holidays, e.g. Halloween, Thanksgiving, although they can be used exactly the same ways. - -sche (discuss) 03:08, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Nope it's dumb. Please fix. Equinox 03:12, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
done. Incidentally, this leads me to notice that Thanksgiving is labelled a proper noun while Halloween is currently listed as a common noun. I think they're all proper nouns and will update the header accordingly. - -sche (discuss) 03:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

WurdSnatcher and "prepositional phrases" that possibly aren't

See [9]. Equinox 03:22, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Some plurals for East Asian languages - should we allow them?

I know some people wouldn't want to include plural forms for languages such as Chinese, Japanese or Korean and some other languages lacking inflections but maybe we should have exceptions? Some words for people are used in plural more than others. A simple redirect is not the best solution, IMO, even if, strictly speaking, there are no plural forms in CJKV (including Vietnamese) and others. There are so-called "plural markers" (not suffixes or endings) attached to the end of words (beginning of words with Vietnamese). There is more than one plural marker, especially with Japanese and the duplication is also a common way to mark plurality. Some markers are part of plural pronouns.


Korean: 사람들 (saramdeul) = 사람 (saram, “person”) + (deul, “"plural marker"”)
Japanese: 人達 (ひとたち) (hitotachi) =  (ひと) (hito) "person" +  (たち) (tachi) "plural marker"
(Mandarin) Chinese: 人們人们 (rénmen) = (rén, “person”) + (men) (men, "plural marker")

The Korean word is now a redirect, the Japanese doesn't exist and there is a Chinese term. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:45, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

My opinion: Redirect unless it has fossilised and is included by most native dictionaries. Wyang (talk) 07:20, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I see that we do not have entries for 새들 (saedeul) "birds" nor 아이들 (aideul) "children". Leasnam (talk) 17:51, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
wow, we don't even have entries for 우리들 (urideul) "we" and 너희들 (neohuideul) "you (pl)"...what gives? Leasnam (talk) 18:06, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Part of the problem is that plurals in Japanese are often not regular. Taking the example above, possible plural forms include:
There is no single plural form in Japanese, so adding a "plural" item on the headword line strikes me as untenable.
That said, I am a fan of the idea of including plural forms somewhere for those Japanese terms that have them.
‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:54, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks all. I've added 人達 (ひとたち) (hitotachi). Used in at least three dictionaries. I've added a reference to NHK pronunciation dictionary. @Eirikr Are you happy with its format?
@Wyang What about 사람들 (saramdeul)? I see it's used in some dictionaries. Shall I change it back a proper entry? What format should it have?
@Leasnam 우리 (uri) and 너희 (neohui) are already plurals. Do you mean that 우리들 (urideul) and 너희들 (neohuideul) are valid terms?
Yes, they are valid, as are 그들 (geudeul), 저들 (jeodeul), 자네들 (janedeul) "you (plural)", 당신들 (dangsindeul) "you (plural)", etc....wow the transliteration of the last one looks funny. This is pronounced "tangshindeul" Leasnam (talk) 15:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
I know those. It's fine to make plurals from singulars but not plurals from ... plurals. The transliteration is not funny it's RR standard. I had hard time fixing your numerous badly formatted Korean entries with your transliterations. IPA is use for pronunciations.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 20:50, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
I copied an existing Korean entry and tweaked it to make those, but the IPA looks much truer. Thanks. Regarding the "double plurals", they're still words: attestable, and I hear them all the time and therefore they should have entries. Leasnam (talk) 07:30, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
What other nouns should be included with plural markers? "Students, teachers, children" are common words I often see/hear used in plural in a class environment or textbooks. I guess we can also include 새들 (saedeul) "birds". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:45, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
As pointed out below, there is 책들 (chaekdeul) "books". Additionally, 집들 (jipdeul) "homes, houses", 자동차들 (jadongchadeul)/차들 (chadeul) "cars"...actually, I'm trying to think of a case where it would be wrong to use the plural... Leasnam (talk) 15:46, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
As I have written below, -들 cannot refer to a general concept. You say 사자는 육식동물이다 but not *사자들은 육식동물이다. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 09:51, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Grammatical number is a construct of the Indo-European language family; I have never seen carefully argued evidence to suggest that it is a construct in any other language family, though I have (obviously) seen plenty of assumptions that "grammar" means what Indo-European does. In particular, I speak Japanese, and I know that there is simply no notion, *anywhere*, of grammatical number. Of course there are ways of referring to an explicit plurality of people, but none of these are grammatically productive. In particular, the oft-mentioned 達 (-tachi) is a group marker; so 山田さん達 (Yamada-san-tachi) means "a group of people include Miss Yamada", and not necessarily "the Misses Yamada". So I do not believe it is ever helping the cause of understanding (as opposed to IE missionary zeal) to flag anything in East Asia as "plural". Imaginatorium (talk) 04:49, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
This is not the normal view of linguists. Semitic languages, for example, straightforwardly have grammatical number. For that matter, AFAIK all languages have grammatical number in their pronouns. Benwing2 (talk) 05:38, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I think it's safe to say that East Asia, as a region, doesn't have much in the way of true grammatical gender, but I think you're vastly overreaching to say that IE is the only language family with true grammatical number- w:Afroasiatic languages such as Hebrew and Arabic are pretty obvious counterexamples, and most of the languages I've studied outside of East Asia and Oceania have some kind of agreement in number (Bantu languages have matched sets of singular and plural noun classes, but one could quibble over whether that's actual grammatical number, I suppose). Chuck Entz (talk) 05:59, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Plural personal pronouns are fixed and must have dedicated entries such as 私たち and 我們. Japanese reduplications are also words in their own right such as 人々. However, I’m rather reluctant to add common nouns with a plural suffix such as 人達 and 사람들. They don’t seem to be valid entries. That said, I myself have created 다들 thinking it is useful to explain it somewhere. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 08:28, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Cannot (deul) be appended to any Korean noun to stress (overexaggerate for clarification purposes) plurality, although it is customary to clip the suffix off in modern Korean because it can usually be readily understood from context? Was it a universal plural marker in Old and Middle Korean that in modern times has fallen into disuse? For instance, you can say 책들 (chaekdeul) "books", which is an inanimate object... Leasnam (talk) 15:17, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
That is opposite. The Korean plural suffix 들 is becoming more and more common, and becoming obligatory in some contexts. It refers to a specific group of people or things, which can be translated better with “said …-s” or “certain …-s” rather than just “-s”. 책들 (chaekdeul) means “said books” or “certain books”, not “books” in general. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 00:03, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree it does appear to be more common. Do you think it may be due to English/Western influence perhaps? Leasnam (talk) 07:46, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
It is English influence if any. Other Western language influence is virtually nonexistent in Korea. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 09:51, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Imaginatorium, your brush is too broad. There is also plenty of grammatical number in languages far from the Indo-European family. The Polynesian languages have singular / dual / plural with specific pronouns and prepositions. The Athabaskan languages have singular / dual / plural with extensive differences in verb conjugations. The Salishan languages also have distinct plural forms.
Looking just at East Asian languages, what is 人々 (hitobito) if not a plural? Or 我們 (wŏmen)? I grant that there is no grammatical number agreement, but there is number in terms of singular or plural for specific words, albeit in ways quite different from European languages. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 09:43, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. Please note that I don't think anything I said was contradicted: I did not claim that only IE has grammatical number, but I did stress the (surely indubitable) fact that number is omnipresent in IE, and I said that I personally had never seen a carefully argued case for there being grammatical number in a non-IE language. That is because in most cases (it seems to me), writers are happy to assume that grammatical number is an inevitable and natural part of all natural language, and just start hunting for "plurals". The result is usually a ragbag collection of words that have meanings explicitly denoting collections of more than one something. In a sense, one asks "What harm could this do?" Well, it could give the entirely false impression, in the case of Japanese for example, that this is grammatical number. Consider for example hitobito: is this "plural", and if so, of what is it the plural? It certainly refers to a crowd of people, but (as a native speaker informant just pointed out) essentially always means at least three people. And it does not replace hito when speaking of a plurality of people in general. Compare and contrast:
  • C'era poca gente. (Italian)
  • There were few people. (English)
  • 人は少なかった (hito-wa sukunakatta) (Japanese)
All mean (essentially) the same thing; all imply that there were more than one person present. But gente is singular and people is plural. Which is hito? I submit that it is obvious that any assignment of "number" to hito is bogus. Because, of course, grammatical number is not a direct mapping of any numerical semantics, as exemplified by this delightful Italian word, and by the English expression "more than one" which takes the singular to mean "definitely not one".
The other group of candidates for "Japanese plurals" are the so-called "plural pronouns", but these run up against the other obvious problem that Japanese does not have a grammatical category of pronoun either. Hmmm.
Finally, I am a bit confused by the question: what is being considered for "being allowed" or not? If simply entries such as 'hitobito', surely no problem; if a category "Japanese plural", then I suggest absolutely not.
(postscript) I finally got round to looking at the entries: No, I do not think it is a good idea to define hitobito as "plural" of hito. The -tachi (達) suffix is also definitely not a "plural" marker, in any helpful sense. (In practice, this commonly applied label produces immense confusion in beginners, who try saying things like *hon-tachi for "books".) Really speaking it is a "group marker"; it means "the group (of personalities) associated with [the noun]". In particular, consider:
  • 山田さん達 (Yamada-san-tachi) means "the group of people represented by (e.g.) Miss Yamada" who will usually have different names. "The Yamadas", meaning the familiy next door are 山田一家 (yamada ikka).
  • 桃太郎達 (Momotarou-tachi) just provoked the NSI response: 猿と雉とぉ何だっけ (The monkey, the pheasant, and, um...): see w:Momotarō

I suggest that if the entry for tachi is rewritten along these lines ("... a group marker"), the explanatory footnote could be a lot less confusing. But I would like to garner some consensus rather than just changing everything. Imaginatorium (talk) 14:37, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

The format doesn't have to use "plural". That's why the topic is here. Chinese and Korean suffixes are less controversial but their usage is also limited. The Chinese one can only refer to animate nouns or personifications. Please don't contrast East Asian with IE, there are many language families for which plurals are the norm. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 20:50, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Development of the crime sense of Italian giallo

I dimly remember a friend, who is big into pulp fiction, describing that Italian giallo (literally yellow) came to refer to crime and mysteries by association with the yellowing of the cheap paper used to make trade paperbacks.

Whatever the case, can anyone expand the etymology at giallo to explain where the crime sense came from? The association between yellow and crime isn't exactly clear. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:59, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I've expanded the etymology a bit. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:53, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
As worded, it could imply that the covers were frequently printed yellow, versus yellowing over time. Also, it wasn't just the covers - the interior pages yellowed more obviously than the colourful covers. I've made an edit to make it less ambiguous. Eishiya (talk) 19:49, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

No Chinese hanzi section for Shuowen Jiezi radical

Atitarev removed the "Chinese" section from the page on 11 July, which is one of the Shuowen Jiezi radicals (before I was increasing in activity in the project). Only a "Japanese" section remains and no "Chinese" section. It makes no sense for a Shuowen Jiezi radical to have no "Chinese" section. Earlier, Bumm13 merged the Cantonese, Mandarin, and Min Nan sections into one Chinese section and the user left the other sections untouched. Eyesnore (talk) 04:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

I have restored the Chinese and Korean sections with some changes after some confirmations. Most dictionaries mark it shinjitai, though and it doesn't seem to be used in Chinese today. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:46, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
It’s a different character from the Japanese which is the simplified form of . They happen to have the same form (just like ). The original 豊 is found in . — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 06:28, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
  • For the record, there are many characters in the Shuowen that probably can't be attested anymore, since many books have been lost to history, but there's nothing to gain from not including them on Wiktionary. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:18, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

I need phrasebook?

I see there has been some talk in the past as to whether this or that should go into the phrasebook, but I'd like to point out a pattern to some silly entries which I doubt are actually said in real life; they are too direct (and poorly constructed). The "Phrasebook entries are very common expressions that are considered useful to non-native speakers", okay, but entries like "I need food" or "I need drink" are not something we would want to lead non-native speakers to think are the normal/very common way to say things. At a pinch we might include "I need a drink!" but it is not the usual way of ordering a drink somewhere... it is more a way of confiding to a friend that you have had a hard day, or something like that.

At the very least, these overly-direct phrases should have a list of preferred alternatives (like "We would like to order some food" or "I'd like a drink" or even "I say. Waiter chappy. Would you mind awfully showing us your fruit juice list?". Well, perhaps not the last one).

Ideally, there should be a table with varying degrees of formality (at a posh restaurant or amongst fiends), and some pointers to variations (like I/We), whether it is a question ("What drinks do you have?") and what loaded meanings some words might have (e.g. some people think "drink" automatically means an alcoholic drink; in some situations asking for water might mean expensive bottled water while in others it is a free drink of water from the kitchen tap!)

Has there ever been good research into how people got on trying to use this phrasebook?? —This unsigned comment was added by Maitchy (talkcontribs).

I believe those phrases were not created with the food ordering in mind, rather to help a lost Wiktionarian in a foreign country xD.
So they are here because of "usefulness" not "commonness".
To support this, look, we also have I've been raped. --DixtosaBOT (talk) 08:22, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, "I've been raped" probably is what one would say in that situation (to the police), but "I need food" doesn't seem ideal unless you are starving: it's too blunt for most food situations, as Maitchy says. Equinox 08:24, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
We really need to rethink how we do the phrasebook. I feel that fitting its entries into the same layout style as non-phrasebook entries was not a good idea. It leaves little room for flexibility and leads to silly, useless definitions (I lost my backpack (indicates that the speaker has lost his or her backpack). — Ungoliant (falai) 12:08, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Maybe we could make it work with yet another namespace, provided it was included in default search. The category structure might end up as the principal means of finding an expression to cover a situation. DCDuring TALK 16:09, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
We could also consider leaving this to Wikivoyage, which includes phrasebooks for travellers. —CodeCat 16:12, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I doubt Wikivoyage users have enough lexicographical interest or knowledge to find all the translations and sort out the scripts, templates, translation tables, etc. I wouldn't mind us having a separate namespace. Equinox 16:32, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

sink - adjective or attributative-only noun?

In (British English) phrases like sink estate, sink school (1, 2), sink hospital (1, 2), meaning "deprived and low quality", what is sink doing? (Presumably, all other uses are back formations from sink estate). Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

To me it looks like attributive use of sink "a body or process that acts as a storage device or disposal mechanism" (MWOnline definition, which we lack but is superordinate to some specialized definitions we have. DCDuring TALK 16:14, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The OED says (of the noun) "Used attrib. of a (school, estate, etc., in a) socially deprived area.". SemperBlotto (talk) 16:23, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

öis - Swiss German dative

We list öis as dative/accusative, but I came across the following line from a Lucerne folk band: [...]niemer donde dänkt a üüs [...] bes au är met öis muess choo [...] This seems to me that this is a properly maintained distinction between OHG uns > /yːs/ and OHG unsih > /øɪs/. Maybe the declension template should be changed? Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 21:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Just out of curiosity, what are the sound changes that lead to such a different outcome for the same uns- beginning? It is similar to how Proto-Germanic *eu ends up as modern German ie or eu depending on whether i/u follows in the next syllable? Benwing2 (talk) 08:34, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Regular Germanic Umlaut with a fronting of [u] after the diphthongisation of older [y] vacated the spot: uns/unsiχ > ũːs/ỹːsiχ > uːs/yːs > yːs/øis. It's exactly the process you are thinking of. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:37, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
The Schweizerisches Idiotikon makes no such distinction, as far as I can see. "Üüs" and "öis" seem to be variants. They are both used as dative and accusative on the Alemannic Wikipedia and on Google. And, of course, there is no regular diphthongization of [y:] in Swiss German anyway. Kolmiel (talk) 23:43, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Why don't Russian conjugations have their own pages?

If you head over to the entry for the Russian verb пить and open the conjugation table, you can see virtually none of the conjugations have their own pages. But if you look at the entry for the Bulgarian verb пия, every conjugation has a page.

Is it because no one's gotten around to doing it/writing a bot to do it, or is it something else? It'd be really easy for me to write a bot to do this. If I did, is there some type of bot acceptance process like Wikipedia?

Thanks in advance. Bruto (talk) 04:52, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

It’s because no one has gotten around to doing it or writing a bot to do it. See Wiktionary:Bots. —Stephen (Talk) 05:21, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
@Bruto How much Russian and Russian grammar do you know? I've created some selected inflected forms of пить:
пью (pʹju), note that there's no accent on mobosyllabic words
пе́йте (péjte), the pronunciation differs from the default, perhaps inflected forms created by a bot shouldn't have pronunciation sections? There's no "imperative" category, perhaps a different template or template call should be used.
пью́щий (pʹjúščij) Participles (present and past) have their own inflections. Active participles happen to belong to the same inflection but --
пи́тый (pítyj) a passive participle - may be missing, even for transitive verbs (not all verb types have them), may belong to different inflection type, which affects their short forms.
Inflected forms, IMO, are for a bot, not for humans. Editors can spend time more efficiently making lemmas and creating bots. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:51, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
An alternative to a bot-created entries, we could use an accelerated (controlled) method for creating Russian inflected forms. That way an editor would be able to see if the result is correct - pronunciation, transliteration (required for some irregularly pronounced forms) and the template is right. You're a welcome to have a go at a bot creation but it needs testing. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:57, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
@Bruto Stephen is right that the reason is simply that no one has gotten around to doing it. Just keep in mind that writing a bot to do something like this is not as simple as it sounds. I wrote a bot to create Arabic verbal and other inflections, and it is well over 1,000 lines of Python. Keep in mind you have to handle various cases:
  1. Russian verbs are quite complex and so you have to make sure you get the right form for each verb.
  2. There may be an existing Russian lemma that is spelled the same as a given verb form. Generally if you find such a lemma, you need to create a separate etymology section for the inflection, which means you will usually need to wrap the existing lemma in its own "===Etymology 1===" section (which means you need to increase all headers underneath it by one level, and handle specially any existing Etymology section, as well as any Alternative Forms section, which has to be moved underneath the "===Etymology 1===" header and have its level increased by 1).
  3. There may be an existing lemma in another language that is spelled the same as the given form. In this case you need to create a Russian section and put it in the appropriate place, taking care not to get tripped up by wikilinks at the bottom, which should stay at the bottom.
  4. The identical verb inflection may correspond to more than one combination of person/number/tense/etc., in which case all the {{inflection of}} lines for the different person/number/tense/etc. combinations need to be separate definition lines under the same header, rather than separate "===Etymology N===" sections.
  5. There are also potential issues with multiple inflections that are spelled the same but have different pronunciation and hence can't be combined under one header; for Russian this usually means different stress. These probably need to be separate headers under the same "===Etymology N===" section (and there are two cases here: whether there are separate etymology sections, if so the header needs to be level 4, otherwise level 3). Not sure how often this happens in Russian but in Arabic it occurs constantly because of the defective writing system.
As a first approximation you could refuse to create a lemma if the page already exists, or maybe handle only the case of an existing page without a Russian section; that would simplify things a lot.
I do think inflected forms should have pronunciation sections. The issue with пе́йте (péjte) is going to be fixed soon, as soon as the various Russian editors come to consensus; in the meantime, adding an argument |pos=verb to the {{ru-IPA}} template will future-proof this case. Benwing2 (talk) 08:30, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
We could just make a simple script that scrapes the data from the lemma's conjugation table and creates entries. The table provides all of the necessary data required to identify a verb form - person, tense, mood, even the transliteration. Pronunciation is obviously not going to be possible to do automatically. Perhaps the entries could be checked by a native speaker using semi-automation. They could provide human input on whether or not the default pronunciation is valid, and then the script could quickly add a pronunciation section with the default pronunciation template, or the user could input a string for the pronunciation if it's irregular. Bruto (talk) 08:50, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, didn't mean to revert you, hit the wrong button. Anyway, automatic pronunciation is definitely possible and should in fact be done. All you have to do is add e.g. {{ru-IPA|пью́щий}} and it will generate the right pronunciation. If the word is a 2nd-plural verb form ending in -те, you should write e.g. {{ru-IPA|пе́йте|pos=verb}} and it will (eventually) do the right thing. Benwing2 (talk) 09:08, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

@Bruto Do you feel discouraged already? We don't know your skills but if you feel you can do, you can have a go at simple things on a small scale. You can try creating entries, for which there is no conflict - no existing entry and worry about multiple etymologies and other languages later. Russian grammar and verbs in particular are complicated but inflected forms are normally not much different from other European languages. Perhaps you can start with simpler personal forms (e.g. I, you, he does something), leaving participles and imperatives for later. Just be aware that personal forms of Russian imperfective verbs are present tense and perfective verbs are future tense, e.g. пью (pʹju) (impf.) and вы́пью (výpʹju) (pf.) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:36, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

@Atitarev Nothing like that. I was just waiting until the consensus on what to do about pronunciations was a little clearer. It's not going to be very challenging to write, as all of the necessary data is quickly provided on the lemma's page. Each participle's type is clearly labeled in the first cell of each row (some of which are not applicable, as designated by ). The conjugations pretty much follow typical conjugation conventions. In the imperfective, unique present forms exist for the first, second, and third persons, singular and plural. In the past, unique forms exist for the singular masculine, feminine, and neuter, as well as the plural. The imperative has unique forms for the singular and the plural. The future is constructed, so there are no unique verbs (like English). In the perfective, the participles are again clearly labeled. Unique forms exist for the future. The imperative and the past have unique forms that follow the same convention as the imperfective. And sometimes two forms that share the same meaning are listed (пив, пивши). Did I miss anything? Does this sound good to you? Bruto (talk) 04:03, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@Bruto Forms don't have to be unique, there could be comma-separated variants. If you have a trial run, we can test and see if they are good. The simpler you make them, the better, IMO. Perhaps skip the pronunciation sections, they can be added later. As I said, with passive participles, the declension type should be known, e.g вы́бранный (výbrannyj) is not the same type as да́нный (dánnyj) (expand and see short forms). That's why I prefer you not to start with those. Imperatives are not categorised properly, even though there is an empty imperative category. Bulgarian forms are not necessarily well formatted. Perhaps, it's better to check in WT:Grease pit rather than modelling on Bulgarian entries. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@Atitarev I guess my wording was a little ambiguous. I meant unique in the sense that a form exists for that pronoun group/tense/mood/aspect, not that it isn't spelled like any other verb or has no synonyms. Participle declension can definitely just be a project to do after this has started. And I don't really think a category should exist at all for imperatives, as they are just verb forms. Bruto (talk) 04:23, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@Bruto Not sure if imperatives should have a separate category but we have (empty) Category:Russian verb imperative forms and similar ones with other categories, obviously called templates/modules don't cater for categorisation, ignoring "imperative" (indicative, etc.) parameters. If you make your imperative forms like this:

{{head|ru|verb form|head=пе́йте}}

# {{inflection of|пить||2|p||imperative|lang=ru}}
It's fine by me. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:37, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Question: I see you didn't include |g=impf in the {{head}} template. I see its inclusion is pretty inconsistent among other entries. Personally I think it should only be included on entries for lemmas, as it's kind of redundant to include on entries for forms. Do you agree? Should I include it or omit it on entries for forms? Bruto (talk) 00:53, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
@Bruto:. I agree. Gender, number and aspect information don't belong to {{head}}. It's error-prone. User:KoreanQuoter is a fan of Russian inflected forms and likes to add those. :)
I'd prefer {{inflection of}}, which is more descriptive and has more info to cater better for the grammar of Slavic languages and add categories for e.g. grammatical moods, etc. I am not asking YOU to address that but you might want to double-check if the format (e.g. quantity, order, naming of parameters) of each inflected form is 100% right. I did my best, though. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:59, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm all for making a bot that generates Russian non-lemma entries. So I have no rights to complain about this. I hope it is handled or supervised by a native Russian speaker or an expert on Slavic languages. --KoreanQuoter (talk) 01:15, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
That's why I'm trying to get as much feedback from User:Atitarev as I can. Russian is relatively new territory for me, but I'm very comfortable with languages and grammatical concepts and am used to interacting with Wiktionary and parsing content from it for personal projects. Bruto (talk) 01:23, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Hopefully inflected forms are created once and forgotten (like most soft-redirects) and wouldn't require much maintenance like lemma entries. I (and other Russian editors) can check the linguistic part, experts on templates might check the correctness of parameters. I am not a great expert of templates and modules. As I said, I am not 100% sure if {{inflection of}} call is correct. Should it include aspect (pf/impf), tense? Where should it go? Or should we keep it as simple as possible? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:40, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
If you need an expert on templates and modules, I'm too busy with other things to take any initiative here, but feel free to ping me in any discussions and I will most likely respond or even help debug. --WikiTiki89 01:55, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
It's almost correct, the extra empty parameter before "imperative" just needs to go. Also, many of the moods and tenses have shortcuts, you can type impr instead of imperative in full. —CodeCat 02:13, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
(Before E/C) @Wikitiki89, Bruto: Well, my main questions are in my previous posts. Is {{inflection of|пить||2|p||imperative|lang=ru}} 100% correct (e.g "imperative" is a full word I used, but for indicative we used abbreviations as I've seen in some examples, does it matter?)? Should we include aspect and tense? Can and should some categorisations be added (such as perfective verb forms, etc.).
(After E/C) Thanks, CodeCat. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:16, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Well yeah, that looks right, but always remember to preview these kinds of things to make sure. Once we have the pronunciation module squared away, we should be able to automatically create the pronunciations of inflected forms, since usually knowing what form it is enough to determine how the ending is pronounced. --WikiTiki89 02:25, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
The pronunciation-module code for this is all written, as is the bot code to add pos tags to existing entries ... I'm just waiting for feedback from you, Anatoli and Cinemantique on the choices I've made :-) .... Benwing2 (talk) 03:45, 2 December 2015 (UTC)


I would describe this word in English as "a lover of mollusks; a malacologist" but I can't seem to find any English-language citations for it on Google Search. However, there are a number of French-language citations on Google. Anyone know what the French definition is and if it the same as in English (or does the term not exist in English other than in the generic form "mollusk-lover")? Nicole Sharp (talk) 10:56, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Well, malacophage is certainly French for molluscivore (animal that eats molluscs), But malacophily is the English botanical term for pollination by snails. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:45, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
    • So malacophile is French for malacophilous but may also be an English (and French) word for a plant that is pollinated by snails. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:05, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Thank you for the clarification! So "mollusk-lover" would then be the only correct English term to describe someone who loves mollusks (e.g. a professional malacologist, a nonprofessional who keeps mollusks as pets, or possibly a mollusk zoophile)? Nicole Sharp (talk) 13:55, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
      • I tried looking for other organism prefixes to see if they are used in a human-loving context (i.e. outside of the pollination sense, e.g. "entomophile"). The only precedents I can find are "zoophile" (which typically refers to sexual love of animals as opposed to platonic love) and "cynophile" (which can be a zoophile, or more typically, just a platonic lover of dogs and dogkind). However, I don't see a reason to prevent neologization at will of terms to describe people who love other types of organisms? E.g. herpetophile for reptile-lover, entomophile for insect-lover, botanophile for plant-lover, etc.? Nicole Sharp (talk) 13:55, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
        • There's ailurophile for cats. Your neologisms sound fine but aren't includable here until used in sources meeting WT:CFI. Equinox 15:41, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I recently added ornithophile and aviphile. The former is very citeable, but the latter is only BARELY citeable. I was looking for them for Japanese 愛鳥家 (aichōka). It looks like arachnophile is also citeable so I've added that now. Also, "plant-lover" can also be constructed as phytophile, but there aren't enough citations for that sense of the word. Nibiko (talk) 11:59, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Shouldn't entries for terms such as these indicate their rarity relative to the generic terms? bird + lover would seem to a superior term to either ornithophile or aviphile for any communication of meaning other than that one is a logophile ("word buff"). DCDuring TALK 15:45, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, that's a good point. In this state, the reader has to rely on his intuition. I just generally haven't seen this on entries. I tried to mention the synonym at the end of the definition line, as is done in other entries, but that may not be enough. For other examples where people tried something different, there's podophilia where "foot fetishism" is listed in the synonyms section but it's linked as two separate words, and then there's... Celtology, which you seem to be all too familiar with :P There's always the context template or usage notes, or however you think is a good way ^^ You're right in that these terms would only really be used in subcultures, and I feel a little bit of guilt for making aviphile since it seems to only barely have enough citations, unlike ornithophile which has more citations, seems to be listed in at least one dictionary (the Oxford Dictionaries website), and isn't an unnecessitated hybrid word either. But yeah, the average person would understand "bird lover" best, unless they're really so deeply into loving birds that they're familiar with this or they really know they're English etymologies. So, I've now created birdlover, after easily finding some citations of its usage without a space :) Nibiko (talk) 20:28, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

Why heofona -> heuenes?

Hi. Homework question but I can't find an explanation in my textbooks. Looking at versions of the Bible, OE heofona (genitive of heofon, i.e. "of the heavens") becomes ME heuenes (u=v). Why did that first eo vowel collapse down to e? I know about unstressed a/o/u becoming e or schwa (which explains the vowel in the second syllable), but this is a stressed syllable, and it's eo changing, not just o. Equinox 17:12, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Middle English phonology says "The mid front rounded vowels /ø øː œː/ likewise existed earlier on in the southwest dialects, but not in the standard Middle English dialect of London. They were indicated as ⟨o⟩. Sometime in the 13th century they became unrounded and merged with the normal front mid vowels [e eː ɛː]. They derived from the Old English diphthongs /eo̯/ and /eːo̯/. [...] /øː/ would have derived directly from Old English /eːo̯/, while /œː/ derived from the open syllable lengthening of short /ø/, from the Old English short diphthong /eo̯/." - -sche (discuss) 17:22, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
That explains why eo became ø but then reverted/merged with e in ME dialects that developed of out West Saxon (which our English is not a descendant of), yet we have to remember that eo was not universal to all dialects of OE. It was also written io, e, even as æ and ea in other dialects, later conventionally being used as a standard orthography for e due to the ascendancy of WS. Personally i believe the true sound of eo was e followed by a schwa but thats just my gut instinct. In such case, its easy to see how it could be simplified to e Leasnam (talk) 19:21, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Did that apply even to long ēo? Keep in mind that this derived from the Germanic diphthong eu, and that other West Germanic languages have similar diphthongs like the io of Old Saxon/German. —CodeCat 02:21, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes. For example Old English bēo "be" is written ⟨bo⟩ [bøː] in 12th-century texts, unrounding to ⟨be⟩ [beː] in the 13th century. Benwing2 (talk) 03:41, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, and OE also had bīo, giving rise to SE (Kentish) by (= "be") pronounced [bi:] in ME. In other dialects, ēo just became ēe [e:ə], then ē . There was a great deal of variation with ME dialects. That is really the only thing in general that can be said about them. Leasnam (talk) 15:09, 22 December 2015 (UTC)


How is "(slang, pejorative, dated) Effeminate or flamboyant in behavior" distinguished from "being in accordance with [...or] exhibiting appearance or behavior that accords with stereotypes of gay people, especially gay men"? (Note that we have another slang sense to cover usage like "that's so gay": "(slang, pejorative) Used to express dislike: lame, uncool, stupid".) - -sche (discuss) 22:38, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

From the usage around me, the distinction is new and not necessarily pejorative but more descriptive. People use 'gay' to describe the sparkling vampire from Twilight, because it's the word for that kind of extravagance. At the same time, having sparkling skin is no traditional cliché of homosexuals - though I'm for everyone picking up that practice indiscriminately. While homosexuals might be stereotyped as loving glitter per se, I think it's this kind of distinction the entry aims as. I'm for removing the 'dated' and keeping it, as I can see the word enduring while gay stereotypes pale. It could be changed to something like 'appealing to the stereotypical gay man', but even these stereotypes have diversified beyond the old-fashioned gay cliché which basically was a teenage girl on pep. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 02:27, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

shoe store, shoestore, shoeshop, shoe shop

Seems strange. You go to shoe store and it says alternative form of shoestore which itself is the alternative form of shoeshop which itself is the alternative form of shoe shop. 2602:306:3653:8920:4D75:972:7C97:EC95 22:41, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Not a great way of doing it, but it's so easy for someone to change any one of the four entries without changing the others that we really do have limit most of the content to one entry and make the others alternative-form entries. I changed shoestore to link to shoe shop instead of shoeshop, but I'm not sure if it would be correct to call shoe store and shoestore alternative forms of shoe shop. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:43, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd say we should have two entries that are more than just links to other entries. One at shoe shop and one at shoe store. shoeshop and shoestore should have entries as alternative form of shoe shop and shoe store. shoe store should list shoe shop as a synonym and vice versa. 2602:306:3653:8920:50CA:E362:8C03:92E9 02:32, 29 November 2015 (UTC)


Admittedly, I came to this page when I happened to reckon a xyz-manship in a scenario, however:

  • airmanship is airman + -ship
  • brinksmanship is brinksman + -ship (or is at least analysed that way)
  • chairmanship is chairman + -ship
  • churchmanship is churchman + -ship
  • conmanship is conman + -ship
  • firemanship is fireman + -ship
  • foremanship is foreman + -ship
  • frontiersmanship is frontiersman + -ship
  • gamesmanship is gamesman + -ship
  • horsemanship is horseman + -ship
  • penmanship is penman + -ship
  • ploughmanship is ploughman + -ship
  • seamanship is seamen + -ship
  • craftsmanship is craftsman + -ship
  • marksmanship is marksman + -ship
  • showmanship is showman + -ship
  • sportsmanship is sportsman + -ship
  • statesmanship is statesman + -ship
  • workmanship is workman + -ship

...so the only cases where "-manship" might be considered a valid suffix is "examsmanship", "grantsmanship" and "one-upmanship".

Could someone with better knowledge of this suffix clean up entries which are not derived from "-manship", or, indeed, determine which are and which are not? Tharthan (talk) 00:59, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Is this a suffix ? Leasnam (talk) 02:28, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

All of those entries are for outdated usage though. The current politically correct forms for "-manship" or "-womanship" are instead "-personship." Generally, gendered occupation names should be avoided unless a specific gendered distinction is necessary. Nicole Sharp (talk) 04:51, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Almost nobody says "-personship" in reality. We document the language as actually used. Equinox 05:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Nicole Sharp, -manship is not necessarily gendered. "Man" is not always gendered. "Man" can mean "human being", as in "mankind", and that is its traditional meaning. Please do not tell others how to talk. With that said, I personally prefer to say "fellow" instead of "man", "woman" etc. (I am for gender neutral language when it makes sense) but I do not purport, for instance, "sportsfellow" to be a word. Furthermore, considering what I demonstrated above, -personship is most definitely not an existing suffix.
  • "Mankind" vs. "humankind" is an old argument as well. In professional and academic writing, terms that suggest singling a particular gender (even if they can arguably be used in a multigender context) are recommended to be avoided (Modern Language Association [MLA], etc.). Even many modern English-language Bibles (and Tanakhs) have been edited to such gender-neutral terms as a means to help prevent sexism in language and religion. However, in colloquial verbal usage, usage of such gendered terms is agreeably more common. "Congressperson" I think is perhaps the most commonly used "-person" suffixed name for an occupation in USA English, though suffixing further with "-ship" or "-hood" is less common. Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:58, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't really care about that. There is no sexism inherent in "mankind", so I will (and do) continue to use "mankind" as millions of other people do. However, I will use "firefighter" because it is fair. Again, if it is reasonable, then I will use it. If it is not, then I won't. More to the point, I just think that the suffix "-person" is silly, hence why I do not use it ever.Tharthan (talk) 17:03, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
The sexism derives from placing the word "man" in a privileged status over less-gendered terms such as "person." The primary definition of a man in English is male-gendered human, as opposed to just any human. Using "man" in a multigender sense linguistically (if not semantically) eliminates the presence and contributions of other genders, particularly when used to refer to an occupation. The problem is perhaps not so much in the actual usage but rather from the thousands of years of male privilege over which the English language evolved. Spanish and many other languages have similar problems, e.g. in Spanish a group of people of multiple genders are referred to only by the masculine pronoun, linguistically eliminating the presence of any other genders in the group (even though semantically a Spanish speaker knows that a male plural pronoun can include individuals of non-male genders). Nicole Sharp (talk) 17:30, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
That argument is true of the word "man", but not of "mankind", which has always had a primarily gender neutral definition. The fact that your argument is true of the word "man" itself is precisely why I use the word "fellow" to refer to individuals and the "they" pronoun to refer to them. Like I said, I'm hardly against gender neutral language. I'm just against silliness, is all. Like I said, I hardly if ever use "fireman". I use "firefighter" to refer to a firefighter. Tharthan (talk) 18:19, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Don't forget that language changes: what was gender-neutral in the past may not stay that way. It all depends on the understanding of those who speak, hear, read and write the language. I personally use humanity instead of mankind. I agree about the awkwardness of using person in long compound words, but I know better than to try to dictate the course of language change. The Quakers tried to erase class divisions by using the informal thee and thine for everyone. This is now considered quaint and old-fashioned, because the language now uses the formal you and your for everyone, instead. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:28, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@ Nicole Sharp: I'm not sure whether "Spanish and many other languages have similar problems" or whether "some people have similar problems with Spanish and many other languages". Somehow I can't easily imagine the French arguing that "personne" being feminine, "deux personnes" should only refer to two women. --Droigheann (talk) 19:43, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Nor will anyone who speaks German have any doubts about the femininity of ein Mädchen, in spite of the fact that this word for a young woman is neuter in gender. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:28, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Quite. Although hardly anything can beat boireannach. --Droigheann (talk) 02:26, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, there's cailín, gasóg, and stail. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:26, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Leasnam, this is alleged to be a suffix, but I am questioning that. If it is, then only "examsmanship", "grantsmanship" and one-upmanship" would be examples of it. The others are actually just "-ship". Tharthan (talk) 05:52, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the entries aside from brinksmanship, examsmanship, grantsmanship and one-upmanship were clearly not formed using *"-manship", and indeed most of them already explicitly noted that. I have removed them accordingly. Grantsman and brinksman also exist, so grantsmanship and brinksmanship look like they're also just using "-ship". The one remaining sense does have one citation, and would explain examsmanship and one-upmanship if nothing else does, but that's pretty weak. *"-personship" almost certainly doesn't exist (*"one-upspersonship"?) and is a red herring, although "-person" + "-ship" ("chairpersonship") exists. I can find several hits of "one-upsman" and "one-upsmen", but also one hit of "one-upsman-shippers". Btw, I find exactly one hit for "one-upsperson". - -sche (discuss) 09:56, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
We need to be very careful not to mistake back-formations for the original term. This was discussed previously, and it was found that "brinksmanship" existed before "brinksman", which is derived from "brinksmanship", and not the other way around. I would suggest finding proof that the ship-less term is not the derivation before declaring this as a fact. bd2412 T 15:49, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Dictionary.com dates "airman" to 1870-75 "for an earlier sense" and says it was formed on the basis of "seaman"; Merriam-Webster dates it to 1873. They date "airmanship" to 1860-1865 (D) and 1859 (M-W). The earliest example I can find of "airmanship is 1867 August, Taking the Air, in Tinsley's Magazine: "For jockeyship, or seamanship, or airmanship, or whatever else." "Airman" is hard to search for because it occurs, weirdly, as a common scanno of "answer".
  • M-W dates "chairman" to 1592 and doesn't date "chairmanship". D dates "chairman" to 1645-55 and "chairmanship" to 1840-50. The earliest example of "chairmanship" I find is 1743, A Critical History of the Administration of Sr. Robert Walpole: "As the Chairmanship of this Committee, and the Drawing-up of the Report, were some of the most remarkable Transactions of Mr. Walpole's Life..." I can find many earlier examples of "chairman", e.g. 1624, Robert Howard, The Committee: Or the Faithful Irishman. A Comedy: "Honest Ned, what turn'd Chairman?" (The City-Lady example on Google Books is from 1697, NB.)
  • M-W dates "churchman" to the 1300s and "churchmanship" to 1680. D dates "churchman" to 1350-1400.
  • The earliest examples of "conmanship" I found on Google Books are rom 1961-63. "Conman" is attested since at least 1922, Roy Judson Snell, The Crimson Flash: "Six times he picked the black card correctly. Was the conman drunk?"
  • The earliest example of "firemanship" I find is 1826 March 1, By-Laws of the Fire Department of the City of New-York: "the price of the certificate of Firemanship". I can find citations of "fireman" in the modern sense since at least 1807, and in other senses earlier.
  • D says "seamanship" dates to 1760-70 and was formed from seaman + -ship; MW dates it to 1756. M-W dates "seaman" to "before the 12th century" and D dates it to before 900.
Given that all but one of these "-man" terms are attested before the corresponding "-ship" terms, I put the onus on whoever claims the rest are "-manship" to find evidence of that. - -sche (discuss)


How is sense 10, "(of a person or skin) Lacking coloration from ultraviolet light", used? It is supposedly distinct from both "of or relating to Caucasians" and "pale or pallid, as from fear, illness, etc". - -sche (discuss) 03:20, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like more along the sense of "pale" or "albino," which would be a rare (literal) variant usage of the word "white" to describe people. E.g. "the subject's white face" could mean that they are "White (Caucasian)" or that they are albino, or perhaps dead, or even artificial (e.g. a white-rubber mask, or of the pallor of Data from Star Trek). Some authors capitalize words such as "Black," "Brown," or "White" when referring to racial identity to avoid conflation with the generic color names. Nicole Sharp (talk) 05:06, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I believe that refers to a person who is pale from lack of exposure to the sun. A Caucasian can still be tan or red from the sun; compared to the white of one who stays indoors all the time. bd2412 T 15:46, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
    Aha! I wonder if that actually needs its own sense-line separate from the "pale" sense. In any case, the two lines should be nearer each other. - -sche (discuss) 21:59, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
    The "pale from fear/stress" sense should be by itself- it has very strong connotations unlike those of any other sense. This should be apparent from derived terms such as white as a sheet,white as a ghost, and white as death, which strongly imply this sense unless context indicates otherwise. The "white from lack of sun" sense isn't unique, though: one can be white from illness, fatigue, or death, not to mention makeup for various purposes, each with its own connotations. To give an idea of the complexity, in biblical contexts, having "skin as white as snow" is associated with leprosy, but in fairy tales, "Snow White" is the most beautiful woman in the land. In modern western contexts, white skin is associated with being excessively sheltered and physically unfit, but in older contexts, it was associated with wealth, privilege and refinement. I don't think we should try to capture all of this complexity, but I'm not sure how to combine everything in to one sense. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:31, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
    I do not think they are one sense. The sense discussed here is 'white (antonym of tan)', which is describing and actual impression of visible colour and could apply to e.g. Japanese and German people alike. It is distinct from 'white (of European descent)' and 'white (visibly lacking the normal blood flow in the upper skin)'. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 02:01, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
    ps.: For me, it differs from 'pale' in that I would interpret 'pale' always as a relative condition to some implied mean - unless otherwise specified; whereas I'd interpret 'white' as a range of specific combinations on the RGB-wheel. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 02:03, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

beat around the bush

I was surprised to find we give it two definitions. It looks dubious to me. OED only gives one. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:04, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I like the definition "to discuss a matter without getting to the point." This omits any specific intended or actual effect, which can obviously vary by context. DCDuring TALK 14:20, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Would you mind making the necessary changes? Then I can reformat the translation tables. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:58, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

given that

Could a native speaker add some example sentences? Can it be synonymous with since? --2A02:2788:854:1B49:B49A:F3BA:D221:5818 21:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

It means the same thing as given#Preposition + that.
Given that people have forgotten how to use a dictionary, we need to have more helpful entries.
Given that (ie, that we need to have more helpful entries because...), we need to learn more about what our users expect and are capable of.
That is used in two ways: in the second sentence it is a pronoun; in the first it is a conjunction. DCDuring TALK 23:14, 29 November 2015 (UTC)


Does it exist, on the model of time-consuming? I'm looking for a translation of the French term énergivore (or Italian energivoro). --2A02:2788:854:1B49:B49A:F3BA:D221:5818 21:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Riddle me that, Batman.

Does this phrase have sufficient use to warrant an entry? 22:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

It needs to have a meaning not derived from the meanings of its parts. See riddle#Verb. DCDuring TALK 23:03, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Even as a phrase? What about that one vulgar phrase about Sherlock Holmes, how exactly does that pass? Tharthan (talk) 02:23, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Which phrase? DCDuring TALK 06:25, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Presumably no shit, Sherlock Smurrayinchester (talk) 07:22, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like a movie quotation rather than a phrase with unguessable meaning. Equinox 02:35, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
If you look for the more usual variation "riddle me this, Batman", you'll see that it's a slang expression used (I think) to sarcastically ask a question about something that someone hasn't considered or hasn't wanted to consider. It's not that common, but it's made its way into Parson's dictionary of slang, it's used in contexts that have nothing to do with the DC Comics universe, and it looks like it meets CFI. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:47, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
On better-rested consideration, this does seem to me idiomatic as informal (not slang) usage. Indeed this is rarely used to make inquiries of Batman. It is also hard to see that there is any particular meaning associated with the name Batman, other than the allusion to the fictional character himself, in contrast to the reference to the characteristics of Sherlock and, Nimrod (used of Elmer Fudd by Bugs Bunny) or the personification in Caesar. The idiomaticity of no shit, Sherlock is more questionable.
The use of this or that is incidental, depending on whether the deixis points to an earlier or later expression, so, in the absence of any better means of presenting the two, the less common should redirect to the more common expression. DCDuring TALK 11:40, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The phrase, "riddle me this" goes at least as far back as the 1830s. bd2412 T 12:28, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Japanese フェミニスト: add +1 definition

Japanese フェミニスト is defined as feminist.

Correct me if I'm wrong: I believe a 2nd definition can be added: "chivalrous; gentleman". --Daniel Carrero (talk) 00:39, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, such a sense exists: "a chivalrous man". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:41, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • FWIW, I once had a Japanese woman explain to me that a フェミニスト (feminisuto) was a man who used the Japanese equivalent of please when patronizingly demanding that women coworkers bring him coffee at his desk. o.O ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:57, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • It has a second sense which is close to "chivalrous man" but with more of a negative connotation. Daijien I meant Kōjien --Haplogy () 02:26, 17 December 2015 (UTC) lists two senses, the first being the women's studies variety, and the second being "俗に、女に甘い男。女性崇拝者。" or "Slang: a man who is soft on women. Woman-worshipper." It is a demeaning way of describing someone, like the man who lowered himself to saying please in the example. --Haplogy () 00:25, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • (Totally anecdotal, but anyway...) The woman who explained the term to me understood English well enough to know the English source term, and her point was that フェミニスト != feminist, and referred instead to someone who tried to be outwardly polite while still being a chauvinistic jackass. I'm not certain how mainstream or her definition might be, however. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 01:17, 3 December 2015 (UTC)


Hey! I am new here, I don't really know how to work stuff around here. Can you guys please tell me about superpowers, so that way we can collaborate on certain things. I already know about certain stuff; but I just wanna know about other kinds of powers. Thanks!

SilverFantom (talk) 03:59, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I’m not sure what you have in mind. Wiktionary is a dictionary, so we have simply written a definition for superpower. You might be more interested in the Wikipedia articles (Wikipedia being an encyclopedia): w:Superpower (ability) and w:List of superhuman features and abilities in fiction. —Stephen (Talk) 05:44, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Unless your powers include the ability to accurately edit dictionary entries, you're probably in the wrong place. This is an online dictionary, and, as far as I know, none of us has any superpowers beyond the uncanny ability to produce large volumes of text over very minor stuff. Seriously, though, we only document language as it's used by real people in the real world (see our criteria for inclusion), and we don't deal in creation of stories or imaginary universes, nor do we have any kind of role-playing games. We are trying to document all the words in all the world's languages going back to the beginning of the history of writing, which we find interesting, and which certainly keeps us busy. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:50, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Super busy. Keith the Koala (talk) 09:41, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Ssshhh, or someone will come up with a role-playing game where you get experience points for making templates. Equinox 22:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • none of us has any superpowers beyond the uncanny ability to produce large volumes of text over very minor stuff. - I've never felt so accurately described in my life. He might be talking about 'superpowers' as in dominant nations and want to make entries about the other tiers of like regional powers, for example. Or anything else. Please let him answer the question of what he wants before you jump the gun and tell him to LARP elsewhere. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 13:01, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
    w:User talk:SilverFantom. Keith the Koala (talk) 20:45, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
    I knew it. Youngsters these days... My oh my. Tharthan (talk) 21:38, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Now for an actual Tea-Room-related question: I feel like the definition "A sovereign state with dominant status on the globe and a very advanced military" is way too specific. Couldn't a superpower refer to any dominant entity in any context? Like "Microsoft is a superpower in the computer industry."? --WikiTiki89 21:45, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Intelligible, but no usage I remember encountering off the top of my head, other than 'superpower'-nations, which seem to be a staple of worldwide political analysis. So my gut reaction is yes, it can mean any dominant entity, but only for nations it's really idiomatic. The more general meaning I'd parse as SOP super+power. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 02:36, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I note that the integral term superpower, as I hear it around me, has the primary stress on the first syllable, while super + power has the primary stress on the third syllable (i.e. the first syllable of power). That suggests to me that speakers treat the integral term differently. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:30, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. "Superpower" in Wikitiki's example is a figurative usage based off of the literal nation-based meaning, but it's still idiomatic. Benwing2 (talk) 04:17, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
Another thing I see wrong with the definition is the word "globe". Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome were superpowers, but their dominant statuses certainly did not reach all the way to the Americas, for example. And the word "sovereign state" kind of anachronistic when it comes to these ancient civilizations. --WikiTiki89 19:00, 4 December 2015 (UTC)