Wiktionary:Tea room/2015/October

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



Do we currently include the sense as in "shave on/against the grain"? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:58, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

I think "a linear texture of a material or surface" ought to cover it, though the given example is for wood. Equinox 15:02, 1 October 2015 (UTC)


Could somebody amend the translation in the 2nd ux for the Russian word хуйло? It should be "Who's that dipshit smoking outside of [that building's] entrance?" instead of "What kind of dipshit is smoking outside of [that building's] entrance?"

(We also need to create Хуйло for Vlad—the nickname has really caught on.) that guy 18:35, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Since the page was protected, I fixed it. As for the second thing, you know you can do things instead of asking for them to be done. Also, keep in mind that for attestability, there need to exist citations spanning at least one year. --WikiTiki89 18:50, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, it's been more than a year, so I think it's fine. I guess I'll do it, only it requires research and all that. that guy 18:54, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, actually, as a quick web search of "хуйло сказало" revealed, the word хуйло is never capitalized when referring to Putin. So I guess we'll have to add it to the existing entry on хуйло, and I can't do that as I'm still not autopatrolled. that guy 18:59, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
You will be soon. --WikiTiki89 19:07, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Hope so. :) that guy 19:10, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Russian: слышимый, обитающий

Aren't they both participles (and not adjectives)? that guy 19:38, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

A participle is an adjective. I guess we consider them to be adjectives when the meaning is different than it would be as the participle of the verb. --WikiTiki89 19:40, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
"A participle is an adjective."—that's not what they taught us in school...
"A participle is a form of a verb that is used in a sentence to modify a noun, noun phrase, verb, or verb phrase, and thus plays a role similar to that of an adjective or adverb."
"Как формы глагола, причастия обладают некоторыми его грамматическими признаками. Они бывают совершенного вида и несовершенного; настоящего времени и прошедшего; возвратными и невозвратными."
Слышимый — слышанный — услышанный, etc.—is that an adjective? that guy 19:54, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes. --WikiTiki89 14:31, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
By the way, I don't mean that all participles are adjectives, only adjectival participles. --WikiTiki89 14:32, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

the female equivalent of men definitions

The current def of "bushman" is "The female equivalent of a bushman."

Is it Wiktionary policy to define women in terms of men? I thought this sort of sexism was not pc any longer in dictionaries. Also, it makes for a poor definition as what type of "equivalence" is intended? Do bushwomen do the same type of work as bushmen? (Actually, the definition of bushman needs some work as well, a bit overspecified at the moment). Also, it raises the question of why we don't first define bushwoman and then define bushman as "the male equivalent of a bushwoman". The current def style was common in print dictionaries that used alphabetical order and were attempting to save page space - not a factor in an electronic dictionary.

I think it would be better to define bush woman with something like "a woman who lives in the bush; a woman accustomed to the harsh life of the bush" ...

This makes wonder how many entries there are with "The female equivalent of xxx" definitions...and whether a policy is needed (or already in place) about this issue.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 00:16, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

See my response at Talk:bushwoman. I think you are right, and I don't define entries this way any more, but I created a few. Equinox 01:25, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Many words like that were formed by taking the -man form and appending -woman, and the -woman form will pretty much never be used as a generic, whereas the -man form at some point in most cases has been used with women. We don't need to save page space, but we do need to make sure that male/female versions of the same base word don't drift apart in definitions, implying a difference that doesn't exist. I certainly oppose taking e.g. aviatrix and changing it from "a female aviator", because that what it is, an aviator limited to one gender.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:11, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Glad you agree. I will edit bushwoman ... however, is there some way to get a list of them all? A bot perhaps?Sonofcawdrey (talk) 05:40, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

To continue with this ... I agree that "a female aviator" is well-worded and accurate since the term "aviator" is generic. However, there are times when xxx-man and xxx-woman are not the same thing as well, i.e. there is a difference that does exist. I don't think bushman/bushwoman are the same as aviatrix/aviator. There are also cases where the -man version really does refer to men, rather than generically referring to people (men or women). Haven't really thought much about other cases, but it might be a good pet project for someone.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 08:06, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Do we define parts of speech in other languages in terms of English grammar?

This is a continuation of a previous thread, but now the question that I have is more general.

Russian words слышимый and обитающий are participles. In Russian grammar the participle is seen as its own part of speech, separate from the verb and the adjective. In English grammar a participle is a form of a verb that can act as an adjective. In the above entries Russian participles are listed as adjectives—and their English translations might very well be adjectives. But the Russian words themselves aren't.

My question is: do we define parts of speech of other languages in terms of English grammar? Is there a policy to this effect? that guy 14:53, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

To answer your literal question, no we don't define other languages' parts of speech of terms of English grammar. As for particples and adjectives, the way I see it is that adjectives are part of speech, while participles are forms of verbs, so as long as the participle is nothing more than a form of the verb, then we put it under a ===Verb=== heading, but when the participle has its own meaning separate from that of the verb, it becomes indistinguishable from an adjective. слы́шимый (slýšimyj) has two meanings, one is the present passive participle with the translation to English "being heard", while the other is an adjective with the translation to English "able to be heard", i.e. "audible". As for обита́ющий (obitájuščij), I agree that we can delete the adjective sense and leave just the participle sense. --WikiTiki89 15:33, 2 October 2015 (UTC)


Does classical only refer to ancient Greek or Latin culture/society? Or can it also be used to refer to, say, ancient China, for example? ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:57, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

I think used on its own, it's only Greek/Latin. In the context of a discussion about China, "classical" might mean a particular era of China. But without context, I think it's always Greco-Roman culture. WurdSnatcher (talk) 16:01, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, it is a bit ambiguous at times. If we talk about "Indian classical dance" then clearly is it referring to India, not Greek/Roman culture. But the context does not have to be specifically stated verbally: in an Indian newspaper, "classical dance" would refer of course Indian classical dance, not Greek/Roman dance, and if the article was about say Greek dance, then that would have to be specified. In any case, it is better to be specific about what culture you are referring to when you can and not just assume classical=Gk/Rm.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 08:12, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
And yet I note that both Wiktionary and the OED specifically define classical as pertaining to Greek/Latin cultures only. According to the information provided above (and my own gut feeling), this is incorrect. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:34, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

No, "Classical" or "classical" can refer to a classical period in any civilization, often defined by notable production of literature, drama, and/or music. Some civilizations may even have more than one classical period, e.g. Europe before and after its dark ages. In Western (Euro-American) society, "classical" usually refers to European classical periods, but that is only due to ethnocentrism. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:21, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

the meaning of the word Eclectic

what is the meaning of the word Eclectic and were did it derive from,and from which language/

Please see our entry for eclectic. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:19, 3 October 2015 (UTC)


For definition two, how would it be conjugated?

Is it:

yede, yeded, yeding

yede, yode, yoden, yeding

yede, yode, yode, yeding

yede, yede, yede, yeding

yeed, yede, yeding


Are other forms unattested?

I know that the verb "yede" only exists as an obsolete pseudo-poetic verb which arose from a misunderstand of the original past tense of go ("yode"), but surely it must have some method of conjugation.

Someone more familiar with the verb might wish to add the correct conjugation to the page. Tharthan (talk) 14:56, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

BUMP Tharthan (talk) 21:00, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
BUMP Tharthan (talk) 14:24, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Bumping is somewhat obnoxious. Anyway, it doesn't seem to conjugated much (although the term is rare in general); the only conjugated form the OED has in a citation is yeding, and I can't find any more in the wild. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:00, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


The last definition in whip is very weird: Any of various pieces that operate with a quick vibratory motion, such as a spring in certain electrical devices for making a circuit, or a rocking certain piano actions. Can someone clarify this? I'm not familiar with it, but it doesn't seem very sensical to me. Don't all electrical devices make a circuit? (at least the functioning ones) And "a rocking certain piano actions" looks like a random grouping of words. WurdSnatcher (talk) 15:47, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Old def from Webster 1913. Perhaps the spring closes the circuit. Agree, the piano bit looks like a scanno that's propagated around the Web. Equinox 18:18, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
The 1917 Webster is easily findable on Google Books; it does not include the rocking certain piano actions part.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:16, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
In any case I think some words were lost. An "action" can be a moving mechanical component, so it might be intended for e.g. "a rocking part in certain piano actions". Equinox 19:00, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
NB: "The action is the mechanical part of the piano that transfers the motion of the fingers on the keys to the hammers that strike the strings."Piano technicians guild The lower arm in the grand piano action is the whippen or whip, and includes such structures as the whippen heel, whippen body, whippen flange, and whippen flange rail. - Amgine/ t·e 03:15, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, it does mean some kind of mechanical component in piano actions, so I have inserted some words along the lines that Equinox suggested. Mihia (talk) 18:44, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Other dictionaries have wippen (wippen at OneLook Dictionary Search). Perhaps we should define whip as "A wippen". whippen seems to be an alternative spelling.
whip in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911. has the electrical circuit sense, which seems to fit what Amgine has. DCDuring TALK 01:25, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
I've converted the definition in question to a sense/subsense structure and made whippen an alternative form of wippen. The image at wippen has other components of a piano action. I'd be surprised if we had entries for all of them. Century has senses of whip, possibly archaic or obsolete, that we don't have. DCDuring TALK 01:29, 12 February 2017 (UTC)


Can someone with access to the OED or some knowledge of geology find a meaning of tan related to sedimentary rock? Dinneen's Irish–English Dictionary ({{R:ga:Dinneen}}) says the following in its definition of leac: "any sedimentary rock, a tan; [] l. liath, lime-tan; l. ruadh, iron-tan." I've found nothing in Wikipedia or Webster's Third New International (or the 1828 or 1913 Webster's) or in Google Books (even restricted to the 19th century in case it's an old-fashioned term no longer in use). All I can find is references to various tan-colored rocks, but I don't think that's what Dinneen is talking about. Any ideas? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:32, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

The OED has nothing. The only connection to Irish in its entry on tan is a reference to the w:Black and Tans. Probably not relevant: "In the manufacture of artificial marble, to steep (the composition) in a hardening and preservative preparation: cf. tannage n. 1." DTLHS (talk) 17:45, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm guessing it is a reference to the colour of the rock. SemperBlotto (talk) 18:25, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
Century doesn't have anything relevant, either. It has "tan" as "the bark of the oak, willow, chestnut, larch, hemlock, spruce, and other trees abounding in tannin, bruised and broken by a mill, and used for tanning hides", and (from a different etymology) "a twig, or small switch". - -sche (discuss) 08:21, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • This is certainly not in current use in geology, and I am also largely failing to find anything that matches it in older texts. I could imagine that it refer to a weathering surface, but I've no evidence for that. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:05, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Thanks for trying to figure this one out, everyone! Patrick S. Dinneen was from County Kerry; I wonder if it's a word only used in Hiberno-English, or even his local Kerry variety of Hiberno-English, and maybe he didn't realize that people from outside his area wouldn't know this word. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:12, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

James Taylor "doggies retire".

James Taylor "thinking about women and glasses of beer he closes his eyes as the doggies retire". I know doggies or dawggies or dowggies means cattle. Does this term have history? Is it cattlemen slang? Are there other instances were this term is used?

It's usually spelled dogies, but the origin is unknown. I know it from Git Along, Little Dogies. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:29, 3 October 2015 (UTC)


I'm not sure how to go about adding it to the posh article, but posh is also dialectal for "slush", e.g. Walt Whitman, "To Think of Time", 'Cold dash of waves at the ferry-wharf, posh and ice in the river, half-frozen mud in the streets...'

student syndrome

Does this term only refer to students? The entry claims it doesn't. But wouldn't that make it the same procrastination in general? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:43, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

It is procrastination by anybody: e.g. "This initial research investigates three behavioral issues which may affect team member productivity in both a traditional waterfall project and in a Scrum project: the management of stress, the use of slack and the student syndrome." Equinox 12:19, 4 October 2015 (UTC)


This "fictional" form of transport has now been invented, albeit not exactly the same as it was in Back to the Future Part II. As a dictionary, I think we should mention this. --Zo3rWer (talk) 12:14, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

They aren't common. Change it to "mostly sci-fi". Equinox 12:18, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Zo3rWer is somewhat valid; what those guys are calling "hoverboards" are actually known as wikipedia:self-balancing two-wheeled boards. Perhaps people call them that because those who have ridden it have probably mastered it quickly. I propose entering that definition as an "informal." Railer-man (talk) 20:08, 24 November 2015 (UTC)


"Incorrect, useless, or broken." Those are three quite different things. Should we just get rid of this sense? This, that and the other (talk) 06:33, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like the computing slang sense (not perfectly covered by any of the other senses), as detailed in e.g. Eric Raymond's "Jargon File". Equinox 19:01, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Ah, yes. Broken may also be a CS term meaning incorrect or useless. -- 09:57, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Yukon or Yukon Territory

Should Yukon or Yukon Territory be the primary term, i.e. which one should have the definition of "Territory in northern Canada which has Whitehorse as its capital"? The status quo is that Yukon Territory has the definition, and Yukon links to Yukon Territory in its definition. According the Wikipedia article, Yukon Territory is the former name of the territory, but still more popular than Yukon, the official name. Justinrleung (talk) 04:23, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

More common where, I wonder? I've always heard it as "(the) Yukon" here in Alberta. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:24, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Agreed with Yukon. Yukon is the place, Yukon Territory is the political entity. Yukon will always be Yukon, even if it becomes a province instead. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:13, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
I think you've misunderstood my question. AFAIK, Yukon is the official name of the territory, while Yukon Territory is its former name. Justinrleung (talk) 06:40, 11 October 2015 (UTC)


What does Matamoros mean? --Romanophile (contributions) 09:03, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Kills Moors. It originated with the legend of Saint James Matamoros, also called Saint James the Moor-slayer. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:10, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
What kind of scumbag would use that as a placename? --Romanophile (contributions) 09:13, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Matajudios and Matajudíos also exist. They have some hits on Books. --Romanophile (contributions) 09:34, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
The city in Tamaulipas is named for Mariano Matamoros. I have no idea whether Spanish speakers even think of the etymological meaning of the name. No worse than Killarney, Kilkenny, and Killowen in Ireland (though the kill- element of those names is etymologically unrelated to the verb kill). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:06, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
La Mort aux Juifs, Castrillo Matajudíos, commons:File:EVR.png. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:31, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Haha, what the fuck? They were so proud of killing Muslims that they had to put it on their coat of arms for everybody to see? Holy hell. --Romanophile (contributions) 16:49, 7 October 2015 (UTC)


Erudite can be a noun right? "He was a erudite..."? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:15, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Well, "He was an erudite". I found some noun uses on b.g.c: [1], [2], [3]. The first two mean "an erudite person", the third means "being erudite". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:10, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Chinese word for woman, slightly unclear explanation


When referring to an adult female in a neutral sense, 婦女/妇女 (fùnǚ) and 女的 (nǚde) are often preferred to the synonym 女人 (nǚrén), as it can carry potentially offensive connotations of a female of low social standing or worth (similar to woman and lady in English).

I've flagged the word "it" in brackets. Does "it" refer to "the latter" i.e. 女人 (nǚrén) ? If so, perhaps "it" should be replaced by "the latter" to make it completely clear what can carry offensive connotations? 12:08, 8 October 2015 (UTC) Twitter.Com/CalRobert (Robert Maas)

Done. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:40, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Short sound

Which words there are in English for a sound caused by a short release of air or other gas, like e.g. the sound of opening a bottle of soda? Are there different words for strong and weak sounds? --Hekaheka (talk) 15:55, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

I don't think there's a word for that specifically, but you could call it a hissing sound. I think I've seen that used onomatopoetically for opening a bottle of soda. swoosh or woosh might work too for similar but weaker sounds. WurdSnatcher (talk) 18:50, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I completely forgot what the word is, but yes there is a word for that sound. I remember I took a class on cartooning and the instructor was discussing how to write that sound in a cartoon. I would suggest trying to perhaps google for cartoon strips picturing sodas being opened and see what words are written to depict the sound. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:05, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
cloop, but it's not common. Equinox 19:20, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Based on our definition of cloop, that's not the same sound as a for a bottle of soda. --WikiTiki89 19:49, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Here's an article by Ross Eckler analysing the onomatopoeia in a certain comic. It includes some onomatopoeia I haven't seen before, but ones I've seen are: fizz and variants fzzz and fsss for a soda bottle or can, psst for a spray can or a mouth (it's the usual "whisper" onomatopoeia), sss for air escaping from a balloon or tire, w(h)oosh and fwoosh for breezes caused by one thing moving quickly past another thing. - -sche (discuss) 08:12, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

category talk:en:Place names

See category talk:en:Place names for reorganization suggestion of toponyms. Both the currently-existing categories of "Demonyms" and "Place names" can be subcategorized under a new category "Toponyms," since toponyms include both the individual placenames as well as derived adjectival demonyms. The recategorization is necessary since some adjectival forms of toponyms are not used as demonyms (i.e. they describe the place, but not the inhabitants of the place). Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:00, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

German "ärgerlich" is still confusing me

According to ärgerlich, the word means "annoying". Examples I find elsewhere make me think it rather means "annoyed".

"Über seine Verspätung war ich wirklich ärgerlich" -> I was really annoyed about him being late. "Ich war ärgerlich" doesn't mean I was annoying, it means I was annoyed?

If there's a use where "annoying" is an appropriate translation for an adjectival use of this word, can someone add it? I'm guessing perhaps inanimate objects, because they can't be annoyed, might result in an "annoying" interpretation of the word?

If something unpleasant happens, you can say, "Das ist ja ärgerlich", so in that context it means "annoying" and not "annoyed". I'm not a native speaker, but I would say "Über seine Verspätung war ich wirklich verärgert", but maybe other people would say "ärgerlich" there. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:11, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I added "annoyed" to the entry. If you check Duden, which we link, you'll find both senses: 1. verärgert, 2. Ärger erregend. de.wikt has "Ärger empfindend" as sense 2. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:22, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, it can mean both depending on whether it refers to a thing or a person. Like AnGR, the use in the sense of "annoyed" sounds a bit odd to me, but it's rather current. I'm going to have a quick look at the lemma. Kolmiel (talk) 09:20, 12 October 2015 (UTC)


practice can be used in sentences like "I've got practice", where the type of practice (practice for sports activities) is passively known by the speaker and listener. Does this deserve a definition line? —suzukaze (tc) 22:36, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

That would seem to me to be the usual state of actual spoken language: the context provides some of the meaning of the utterance. DCDuring TALK 02:10, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
No, but I just added a sense for "practice" as something one attends (it could probably use some tweaking). The same should be done for rehearsal, as well as some more specific things that are somewhat analogous, such as lab for a chemistry class. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:14, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

don't know whether to shit or go blind

Sometimes "spit or go blind" instead. What's it mean? What form should we lemmatize? - -sche (discuss) 07:59, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Never heard it before, but it must mean "in a quandary", but more emphatically. DCDuring TALK 12:53, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Capitalisation of Lunarian & Earthling?

Is there a reason why Lunarian, Earthling and other sci-fi words like this are capitalised? Is it an acceptable alternative to use lower case? Any reply will be appreciated. 16:24, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

I think they are seen as being a proper noun, like Asian or North American. But yes, I've seen earthling in lower case definitely. Don't recall seeing lunarian before, but that's a lot less common even capitalized. WurdSnatcher (talk) 16:29, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • An earth is any Earth-like (Terra-like) planet, similar to how a sun is any Sun-like (Sol-like) star, and a moon is any natural satellite, whereas the Moon is Terra's satellite, Luna (Terra I). Likewise, an earthling is technically a being from any earthlike planet, whereas an Earthling (a Terran) is a being from Terra (Sol III). It is recommended to use the capitalized Latinisms Terran and Lunarian (or Selenite) over the Germanistic synonyms (Earthling, Mooninite) to avoid confusion. A human born in a colony in another solar system might be an earthling, but would not be an Earthling (from the Solar System). So yes, it is acceptable to use lower-case, but the lower-case form does not provide precise information on where the entity is from. A lunarian would technically be an entity from any moon (anywhere), whereas a Lunarian would be an entity specifically from Luna. Nicole Sharp (talk) 00:57, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Meh. That is how some people may use the words, but I wouldn't say it's universal. I don't think earth has got genercized planet-wise for most people, and sun as generic is not universal. It is recommended to use the Latinisms because Germanic roots in English sound base or common, and by extension sometimes silly. Terran is what award-winning science fiction writers used, where as Earthling is what cheap sci-fi movie writers used. Nothing about confusion.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:56, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd go with WurdSnatcher here. To expand, earthling, Vulcan and Klingon seems weird capitalization-wise, as does decapitalizing alien names. Names derived from places tend to be capitalized; if an Earthling is one born on Earth/belonging to Earth (cf. the use of Asian to apply to people who have several generations of ancestors born in North America), it should be capitalized. Lower-case earthling might better be a generic name of the (intelligent) species originating on Earth. I would use it capitalized.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:56, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • A klingon is a member of the klingon species, whereas a Klingon is a member of the Klingon Empire. A human can be Klingon, but not klingon. The capitalization is important when talking about large interplanetary regions with multiple species from multiple planets (including both homeworlds and colonized worlds). In a local context (e.g. one intelligent species on one planet, such as most Earthlings [earthlings] today, which only live on or around Earth [the earth]), it becomes less important since there is less risk of conflation. Nicole Sharp (talk) 17:08, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Except that's not what the pages you link to say; klingon has no English entry, and Klingon only refers to the race. Descriptively, that's not how Klingon works in English. My proscriptive streak likes it that way; making distinctions based on capitalizations gets you in trouble at the start of sentences or when a text is spoken.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:43, 16 October 2015 (UTC)


The definition of the word says that it's a payment (in money or goods) given to the groom, or at least given by one family to the other. In German, the translations Aussteuer and synonymous Mitgift most often refer to household items, sometimes also money, given to the bride by her own family. These things obviously become the property of the married couple after the wedding, so the difference may be more symbolic than financial. But it's a difference after all. So does "dowry" necessarily mean something given from one family to the other, or can it be understood as something given to the bride by her own family? Kolmiel (talk) 18:57, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Well, German Wikipedia's article w:de:Mitgift says, "[die Mitgift] wird vom Vater der Braut (oder ihrer Verwandtschaftsgruppe) an den Vater des Bräutigams (oder seine Verwandtschaftsgruppe) oder direkt an das Ehepaar übergeben" (the dowry is given by the father of the bride (or her kin group) to the father of the groom (or his kin group) or directly to the married couple), so the Mitgift isn't necessarily given to the bride either. At any rate, I don't think there's any substantial difference in meaning between Mitgift and dowry: whatever fine semantic details are found to pertain to the English word will doubtless be found to pertain to the German word as well, and vice versa. Any differences in dictionary definitions are probably more the result of differing cultural attitudes on the part of the various lexicographers. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:24, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Okay, all right. Yeah, it's of cause a cultural thing. The sense I mentioned is definitely the normal one in Germany. All that Duden Online says about "Mitgift" is: "Vermögen, Aussteuer in Form von Geld und Gut, das einer Frau bei der Heirat von den Eltern mitgegeben wird." But especially when referring to other cultures it can mean that which you mentioned. The question was just whether "dowry" could have both senses, and that seems to be the case then. Thanks. Kolmiel (talk) 09:54, 12 October 2015 (UTC)


Not sure if there's anything relevant to this project in this question, but I don't know where else to ask. In the UK tv show Twenty Twelve, there's a subplot about the lady in charge of "sustainability" for the 2012 Olympics having a rivalry with the lady in charge of "legacy". I feel like there's some connotation there I didn't get. Is it assumed that "sustainability" is a part of "legacy" in the UK? People keep mistaking one for the other, and I'm not sure why. I don't think these concepts are particularly linked in the US, and I guess I could see their dept heads as being rivals in the US, but the show assumes that the viewer will expect them to be opposed to each other. Was that a noted issue wrt to the 2012 games in particular? WurdSnatcher (talk) 16:52, 12 October 2015 (UTC)


Where does the Latin verbo *gannō come from? --Romanophile (contributions) 01:13, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

I’ve never seen that in Latin before. Are you sure you don’t mean ganniō? —Stephen (Talk) 14:33, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Of course, you've never seen it. It is unattested, which is why we have an asterisk. I assume what Romanophile is referring to is the stem of ingannō. --WikiTiki89 15:45, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Set to

I have definitely seen this phrase (She set to the task at hand). This is clearly different from set to music. I also could not find a corresponding definition in the admittedly long and messy article for set. Is this the meaning of the phase set to work? -- 09:52, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

It does not set right with me. I would say "she set about the task at hand". —Stephen (Talk) 14:44, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
"set" can mean "to begin work" (used with to and a noun, often a gerund -- e.g. "she set to performing the task at hand"), you can see it in other uses if you google phrases like "set to the task", "set to the job" or "set to the work". I think this is the same meaning we have in set as "To devise and assign (work) to", which I don't think is a great wording of the definition as it doesn't make clear that one can set oneself or someone else and that it strongly implies that the worker actually began work (e.g. if you say "I set to the task at hand" and it turns out you only prepared but never actually started the task, you'll be accused of lying). WurdSnatcher (talk) 15:12, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Note also set-to (which is lacking the corollary sense "a party, esp. wild/debauched - We had quite a set to the other night." GB: 1841 Naval Journal - Volumes 13-14 - Page 51) - Amgine/ t·e 18:19, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I would say set to implies preparation and resolve whereas set about implies action. Nonetheless, if 'to devise and assign (work) to' is a match, my question is resolved. I feel, however, that "She set herself to the preparations" might be a closer match, as by substitution in "She assigned to herself the preparations." Unless herself here is implicit in the phrase "She set to making the preparations." 18:31, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I think the SOED rather supports the OP's point. This is generic "set to"+Ving something; to me (BrE) it sounds rather old-fashioned, and I'm quite old already, so this is probably a dying expression. It really means getting on with doing something, whereas "set about" sounds more like starting to make preparations. (Rather the opposite of what 174 said.) Imaginatorium (talk) 09:50, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


I'm struggling to think of an English translation of the rare French adjective heraldicomane / héraldicomane - having an excessive interest in heraldry. Any ideas? SemperBlotto (talk) 10:08, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

armorially-focused? or armoriaphilic would make sense but was made up by me about two seconds ago. I would just write "heraldry-loving" or something along those lines if I needed to use it in a book. WurdSnatcher (talk) 14:53, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
  • vexillomania would be an obsession with flags. I am not certain if that would include heraldry as well. Nicole Sharp (talk) 02:27, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia seems to indicate that vexillology is a subfield of heraldry, not vice versa, so it would not fit. I do not know of any prefix in English, so the English translation would simply be "heraldry mania" / "heraldic mania" / "heraldric mania" or an Anglicization of the French to "heraldicomania" / "heraldimania" / "heraldomania" / "heraldrimania" / "heraldromania." The most natural translation to English though would arguably be "mania for heraldry" rather than a compound though. "John suffered from a terrible mania for heraldry that destroyed his marriage." Nicole Sharp (talk) 02:45, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


When I created this entry a while back, I added the following sense: "(probably an error for hexad) A group, series or set of six things." However, since I only found one source which used the word in this way, I wonder if the erroneous sense should just be deleted. Thoughts? Smuconlaw (talk) 18:37, 13 October 2015 (UTC)


Err... doesn't this mean young fish? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:36, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


# {{context|baseball|softball|lang=en}} A [[player]] who is [[on base]].
# {{context|baseball|softball|lang=en}} By extension, a player who is trying to advance from [[base]] to base.

What's the difference here? I don't follow softball but in baseball, a player who is on base is also trying to advance to the next base whenever possible. Can anyone think of a distinction and better than that, actually back it up with citations? Because I can't. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:31, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

I suspect what someone's trying to say is that the baserunner need not have his foot on the base; he's still a baserunner when he's standing a third of the way between his current base and the one he's aiming for (which happens all the time). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:32, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Definition 1 applies to being on 1st, 2nd or 3rd base; Definition 2 applies to being between the two. Purplebackpack89 16:43, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's "by extension", but a natural part of the definition. I would say it's "a player who is on base or running from base to base", although that technically doesn't exclude fielders who happen to be running from a base to another base. --WikiTiki89 18:19, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
One reason our definition of on base is idiomatic and includable is that it is not any normal sense of on + base. What a baserunner does or intends to do when on base doesn't seem like an essential part of the definition.
The second definition looks a great deal like an effort to include the logic and rules of baseball, an encyclopedic topic if ever there was one, in our humble lexicon. DCDuring TALK 23:50, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Let me ask you this, then, User:DCDuring: does the term "running the bases" illicit definition 1 or definition 2? IMO, it's 2. Purplebackpack89 15:34, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Running the bases is obviously an activity, not merely standing around. But a baserunner stands around while waiting for the opportunity to run the bases. A pinch-runner (like a pinch-hitter) also does a lot of standing around. Much of baseball consists of standing around. A fielder mostly stands around while waiting for the ball to be hit.
Baseball terms are often baseball-specific constructions using baseball-specific extensions of normal terms. Terms associated with other sports are similar. One should be too simplistic in constructing definitions.
To make clear that a runner is not always running, one need only listen to a sportscaster saying "Runners on first and third, tying run at the plate." They are never actually running at the time this is said. DCDuring TALK 16:39, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
But this is true of anything. A "writer" is a "writer" even when he/she is not writing. --WikiTiki89 17:34, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't have insight into "anything". DCDuring TALK 18:20, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Someone who was a runner in the first inning, when he was on base for some reason, is not a runner again until he gets on base again. It is not one's long-term condition as being a professional or avocational writer presumably is. DCDuring TALK 18:24, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
If a writer stops writing and becomes a musician, in some sense, he/she is no longer a writer, but in some sense, he/she still is a writer. Likewise, in some sense Dave Roberts is a runner whether or not he is currently on base and whether or not he is currently even playing a game, but in some sense, he is only a runner when he is on base. I guess the details are complicated and more suited to a doctoral thesis than a dictionary. --WikiTiki89 20:14, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

wereporcupine as humorous?

@Equinox tagged wereporcupine as "humorous". It strikes me like the "sarcastic" tag, in that it's not really tagging something semantic. There are two cites on there, with a third in Google Books that I ... decline to add to the page. The first is part of a joke, unsurprising as it's part of a humorous webcomic. The second isn't; glancing at the surrounding text, I see no reason to disbelieve in wereporcupines as part of the universe. A websearch reveals many non-humorous uses; [4] describes Fringe episode w:The Transformation as having a wereporcupine, a phrasing used elsewhere. Deviant Art has several wereporcupines. A Japanese card game has a うぇあぽーきぱんぬ (Wea Pōkipainnu or wereporcupine) which doesn't cite the word, but indicates the idea has non-humorous uses.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:44, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Edit made and copy of this discussion (such as it is) taken to Talk:wereporcupine.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:16, 1 November 2015 (UTC)


I just noticed in The Economist, it says: if Vice-President Joe Biden is minded to jump into the race, he needs to hurry -- is that a normal use of "mind" in Britain? mind gives a similar obsolete use (To have in mind; to intend), but that doesn't account for the weird passive voice. I thought it might be a British writer who doesn't entirely understand the American idiom have a mind to. Anyone know what's up? Is that not really an obsolete usage? Is it always passive? Just a mistake? WurdSnatcher (talk) 22:41, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

I think it is the adjectival suffix -ed, which forms adjectives from nouns (left-handed, red-haired, big-nosed, wide-eyed). It usually has the sense of "having" or "with". —Stephen (Talk) 03:13, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense, feels like a weird use of it to me, but maybe that's how they say it over there. WurdSnatcher (talk) 04:43, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
We do have an entry for the adjective minded. It sounds fine to me, and I'm American. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:30, 15 October 2015 (UTC)


For all FL entries on the page, "nortes" is given as a plural of "norte" (meaning "north" in all cases), and a couple of them have actual entries for the plural. Are there any contexts in which the word could indeed be plural in those languages, or did someone just use the wrong template? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:55, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

For Spanish there is the sense of "goal, objective" that can definitely be plural. And even in English you can talk about "Norths" if for some reason you need to distinguish various kinds of North. DTLHS (talk) 23:10, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
The definitions don’t help, but there are senses that are more clearly countable: “a region in the north of a place” (Os nortes dos países europeus), “either of the north poles” (Os nortes geográfico e magnético) and “(figurative) guide; guiding light” (Meus nortes são a bíblia e os meus pais). — Ungoliant (falai) 23:13, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
That clears it up (and I see now that one of the senses for Galician is countable). The second definition you mention should be added to the Portuguese entry. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:22, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


Doesn't "wisp" also mean a flock of snipe?


Civilocity is a neologism which describes a form of government where the people can watch and listen to the leader of their country for the entire time that person is leading their country. In 2007 Nathaniel Wenger took it upon himself to coin, classify, and copyright this pragmatic philosophy. Nathaniel began talking about civilocity, which he often calls wengerocracy as it remains in its neologism phase, to emphasize the importance for countries to watch the leader of their country no matter where they live. Civilocity can be defined as a form of government where the people can watch the leader of their country 24/7, 365 days a year, including the extra day once every leap year broadcasted live on public television to the entire world. Civilocity allows you to know every single thing the leader of your country did and having it all online.

state police

Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.
  • Should "state police" have its own entry to contrast with "national police?" The distinction is only present in US American English, where the adjective "state" refers to subnational government instead of national government. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:50, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Just to be a pedant, the distinction is also present in Australia. More seriously, shouldn't this be under requests for deletion rather than requests for verification? It is common enough not to require verification, but a SOP argument is valid for getting rid of it. Kiwima (talk) 00:02, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
      • I did not know that! I had always assumed that Australia had provinces like Canada; thank you for that information. Do you also have state troopers? I put "state trooper" as USA English since I did not know that other countries also had "state" subnational polices. In that case, I would say it should be an entry, since outside the USA and Australia then, "state police" is synonymous with "national police," and the term needs the country-specific disambiguation of definition. Nicole Sharp (talk) 01:42, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I have moved this discussion to the Tea room – RFV is not the right place for it. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 00:35, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Depending on the country and the jurisdiction, you have federal police, state police, military police, reservation police, harbor police, airport police (Los Angeles even has police for at least one city department- and I'm not talking about the police department). In the US we don't have county/parish police, because those are known as sheriffs and sheriff deputies, but I'm sure they exist in other countries. Of course, there's also the w:Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In short, there are lots of kinds of police, so the distinction between state and federal police doesn't seem like something to create an entry over. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:48, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
More to the point, the confusion over what state police are has more to do with confusion over what is meant by "state". Just about anything that's shared by both state and national governments will have the same problem. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:54, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I went ahead and created the entry since the use of the word "state" is technically a misnomer in the USA and Australia to refer to subnational instead of national government, so that "state police" is an exception to other types of police in that it is not a sum of parts. "National police," "park police," etc. are all sums of parts with the same meaning in English regardless of location, unlike the term "state police," which has different definitions depending on location. Nicole Sharp (talk) 01:59, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
    • By that reasoning we should have entries for state budget, state election, state jurisdiction, state boundary, etc. The meaning of all of those depends on whether you're talking about a federal system of government. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:05, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
      • w:State (polity) makes it pretty clear that it's hard to call any such use of the word "state" a misnomer, and state is pretty clear that that's one of the meanings, and as Chuck Entz pointed out, it's a meaning frequently used in compounds.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:20, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
      • @Chuck Entz, I see your point, e.g. state university. In that case I would say to feel free to delete the entry if you feel it is necessary as a sum of parts. Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:55, 15 October 2015 (UTC)


Is there an English word for the definition I gave of the French word? Can the English word "synopsis" have that meaning (in which case it needs a definition on Wiktionary)? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:38, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

The OED has, under "synposis", "A book of prayers for the use of the laity", with a single attesting quotation. DTLHS (talk) 02:44, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, that wouldn't quite be it. The French word is more about comparison between the three most similar gospels in the Christian Bible. I guess I defined it well enough, then. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:26, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, synopsis is used that way in English. This Google Books search turns up definitions such as this this and this, as well as other clear, but less direct statements such as this and this- not to mention a lot of works that call themselves synopses. It may be that its restriction to biblical scholars and publishers might explain its absence from regular dictionaries, but, whatever the reason, it definitely meets our CFI. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:36, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I'll add that definition to synopsis if I have time today, unless someone beats me to it. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:20, 18 October 2015 (UTC)


Again, is there an English word for this? I've been adding new French words I learn to Wiktionary as I come across them, and sometimes it's difficult to find a translation to English (or in some cases, there isn't such a translation), but if one exists, I'd like to know what it is. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:34, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

I think it's stich, as in telestich. Equinox 15:30, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
I was going to add stich to the entry, but I realized that not only is the definition distinct, it is obsolete in English (the French isn't — I came across it in a recently printed book). I imagine they both come from the same word, but they don't seem to have close enough meanings for one to translate the other. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:27, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
At my request, someone created the entry over at Wiktionnaire (see stique) with more detail, and I clarified the English entry. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:14, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

illapse of the Holy Spirit

This redlink is currently at the top of the Wanted entries list. The synonym illapse of the Holy Ghost gets almost as many hits at b.g.c, so if we have one, we should have the other. (And illapse of the Spirit gets even more.) But should we have it? Looking through the uses of both variants at b.g.c, I think it's SOP: it's just an illapse of the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost. It refers to the Holy Spirit descending upon Mary to get her pregnant with Jesus, but it also refers to the Holy Spirit descending upon other people at baptism and entering the host at Eucharist. I don't think it's a specific enough term to warrant a separate entry. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:15, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. Just add some quotations showing its use in relation to the Holy Spirit. Smuconlaw (talk) 10:12, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
It's been created now, so I've RFD'd it. New thread is at WT:Requests for deletion#illapse of the Holy Spirit. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:09, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

pronunciation of August and august

Are these two words always pronounced differently? (I feel like an idiot - I thought they had the same pronunciation until I just heard, for the first time, someone use the latter word out loud.) ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:26, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

I've always pronounced them the same way, though I can't honestly say if I've heard "august" spoken aloud. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:37, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
I know that they're pronounced differently (different stress/→vowels), but I can't imagine where I learned this. —suzukaze (tc) 04:30, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
I think I've only ever heard [[august] in the context of fancy titles, e.g. in movies. In the TV show Rome, I think they introduce someone as "His August Majesty" or something along those lines. Maybe wasn't Rome, I don't remember. But I don't think I've ever heard it in normal speech. WurdSnatcher (talk) 04:34, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • The stress difference is standard in English. It's rather handy as a disambiguator, too. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:42, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, in the uncapitalised adjective, the stress is always on the second vowel. You don't hear it much because we just don't use the word much. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:06, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
    Our pronunciation recordings agree with how I have heard them and would pronounce them. DCDuring TALK 11:46, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Is 'bioremediation' really 'usually about microorganisms?'

The reason I ask this question is a) because it is dangerously easy to slip in such assertions as fact, without (citing) evidence, and b) I was personally drawn to the subject following a piece on public media regarding the value of certain houseplants - notably ivy and dracaena - in absorbing atmospheric contaminants.--Londheart (talk) 15:19, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Question: "Chinese" as attributive

Is it grammatically incorrect to say "Chinese young people" and "Chinese ancient history"? Must we say "young Chinese people" and "ancient Chinese history"? I've never quite understood what the rule is regarding the position of "Chinese" when used as an attributive. ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:09, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

'Do as you would be done by' occurred as a reasonable response.--Londheart (talk) 15:20, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
To me, "Chinese ancient history" could be the ancient history of China, or it could be ancient history described in a Chinese language, or the ancient history of Greece interpreted by Chinese historians. "ancient Chinese history" is only the history of ancient China. WurdSnatcher (talk) 15:23, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
"Chinese young people" sounds fine to me, and gets lots of Google hits, including in edited writing. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:56, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
I think the difference is a matter of grouping: we tend to interpret items to the left as modifying things to their right. Thus "young Chinese people" would be ((people) who are young) who are Chinese, and "Chinese young people" would be ((people) who are Chinese) who are young. With a list of modifiers like this that represents the simple intersection of sets, it doesn't make much real difference in the meaning, though there might be a slight emphasis on the relationships in the inner groupings over the outer ones: "young Chinese people" would treat the fact that these are "Chinese people" as more basic than the fact that that they're also young, while "Chinese young people" would say these are primarily "young people" who are also Chinese. In most cases, the distinction is too subtle to bother with, but sometimes it matters. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:52, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
An example of a place where there would be a clear preference would be a discussion that mentioned both young Chinese people and young Indian people. Notwithstanding the order just given, I would generally use "Chinese young people" to contrast with "Indian young people". DCDuring TALK 17:42, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
Notwithstanding (and having read) all the intervening responses, I feel that my original response (if anyone read it?) still holds water, on the basis that 'English young people/Chinese young people' sounds more distant and more likely to be stated by someone of a different nationality, and therefore more questionable from the perspective of universal usage. As a tolerant English person, I feel viscerally reluctant to actually condemn usage which makes semantic and grammatical sense - and I trust the sentiment is reciprocated?; but I wouldn't necessarily therefore recommend it to a learner.--Londheart (talk) 10:00, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

mistake in entry for "rhetor" in Latin

Hi: There is a mistake in the entry for "rhētor" in the Latin section. The "o" before the final "r" is listed as long in forms other than the nominative singular. That is wrong. It's an understandable mistake. Many Latin nouns follow the pattern "-or, -ōris m." However, rhētor is a Greek word, and the original Greek word has "-ōr, -oros, m." The Latin noun preserves that short "o" before the r while shortening the "o" in the first form (following a typical Latin pattern of shortening vowels before final "r") So the word should be "rhētor, rhētoris, m." I was able to change the first listing of the word. However, there is a chart in which it is declined. I could not figure out how to edit the chart (I'm new at wiktionary), so the chart remains wrong. Every "ō" should be "o". To verify this info, check out this entry in Lewis and Short, the classic Latin/English dictionary. —This unsigned comment was added by Jrundin (talkcontribs) at 15:39, October 17, 2015.

Thanks for the effort. Perhaps someone will eventually initiate you into the mystical order of the declension table module. (BTW, please sign to improve your chances at initiation. DCDuring TALK 21:09, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • @Jrundin I'll fix it straightaway. It seems that you're new to wikis, in which case our system may indeed be too complex to learn easily; if you find any more problems of this kind that you cannot fix, please leave a message on my talkpage. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:36, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Word of the Day for October 17, 2015: Volute

There is a typo on today's landing page in the definition of volute. Spirals was spelled "spirls". Oops.

Now fixed; thanks for catching it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:50, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
The typo originated from the entry volute; I've corrected that too. Smuconlaw (talk) 20:35, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

"goose party"

Any one know what a goose party is? "The company may be as numerous or as exclusive as one likes. Even a tiny goose party would be delightful." (link) Thmazing (talk) 04:13, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Apparently a party that makes little boys and girls wildly happy. Possibly a shortening of Mother Goose party, which looks to have been an older term maybe? WurdSnatcher (talk) 17:35, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
This slang lexicon defines it as a wedding dinner. Also, these pictures suggest a Mother Goose party is a themed fancy dress affair, not necessarily for children. — Pingkudimmi 06:20, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

'(ɹ)' in BrE IPA transcriptions

User @Peter238 has made quite a lot of edits to words like discordant lately, removing '(ɹ)' from the IPA transcriptions of BrE pronunciations and putting 'not an RP pronunciation' in the edit summaries. The thing is, not everyone in Britain speaks with received pronunciation, and putting 'ɹ' in brackets is the standard practice employed by some dictionaries. Should we kindly ask this contributor to stop making such edits? that guy 13:06, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Pronunciations tagged with {{a|UK}} should be RP, as per Wiktionary:About English#Pronunciation. Pronunciation in other British dialects need to be tagged with their respective names. — Ungoliant (falai) 13:09, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I didn't know.
Alright, let us be the BBC of the 1960s. that guy 13:15, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Some of the transcriptions I've altered may still be wrong in RP as far as other vowels are concerned (for instance, I changed wrong /ɜː/ to /ə/ at least once, and /ɛː/ (i.e. /ɛə/) to /ɜː/ a couple of times). If someone could check these in Longman Pronunciation Dictionary it'd be great. Peter238 (talk) 13:35, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Basically, nothing should be labeled {{a|UK}} or {{a|US}} (though a lot of things are). When tidying up pronunciations, please use more specific labels like {{a|RP}} and {{a|GA}}. RP should always be one of the British pronunciations we show, but it needn't be the only one. If you want to add pronunciations for Estuary English or Devonshire or the North of England or Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland or what have you, that's fine too, but RP should be there as a minimum, and should not show /ɹ/ before a consonant, even in round brackets. At the end of a word, on the other hand, there may be an argument for including /(ɹ)/ to show the r-sound that appears when the next word starts with a vowel. Thus I can live with transcribing star as /stɑː(ɹ)/ since star is is /stɑːɹ ɪz/. But start should only be /stɑːt/ since there's never an /ɹ/ in that word in RP. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:56, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm all for this approach, yet somehow I never see {{a|RP}} or {{a|GA}} used anywhere. Maybe we should use some kind of a bot to change all {{a|UK}} to {{a|RP}}, and all {{a|US}} to {{a|GA}}? Because that's basically what people mean when they mark pronunciations as 'UK' or 'US' . that guy 14:31, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
I change {{a|UK}} and {{a|US}} wherever I see them, but I'd rather do it manually than by bot so that any errors in transcription can be fixed at the same time. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:37, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

do or take some exercise

Would it be correct to say "take some exercise" is old-fashioned English? In China, students are taught this expression, but it's always sounded strange to me. In Australia, at least, we usually say "do some exercise". ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:36, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

In Canada, I think we'd say "do some exercise" too. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 02:53, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, "take some exercise" is old-fashioned, but it looks like it does have some current use. "Do exercise" is more normal, or just use "exercise" as a verb. WurdSnatcher (talk) 03:09, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
It sounds moderately old-fashioned to me (south-east England), as does "take the air" for getting fresh air (by walking etc.). Equinox 23:23, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

the play's the thing

Heard this as a one-liner in the American TV show Madam Secretary, with no explanation given (the person being spoken to seemed to understand it immediately). I know the origin in Shakespeare but what does it actually mean in modern English? I'm surprised we don't include it. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:39, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Have a look at this. A fuller quote would be "... the play's the thing / Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King" – Hamlet includes a few lines alluding to his father's murder by the King into a play that the King will be watching, to see if the King flinches. Does the play's the thing have any additional, non-SOP meaning in English? Smuconlaw (talk) 12:37, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
I think people say it to mean "murder will out". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:40, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
In that case, time to look for citations to bear that out. Smuconlaw (talk) 13:01, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
@Tooironic: Which episode? Or when did it air? DCDuring TALK 16:43, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
It was about half way through season one. (spoiler warning) It's the episode when Madam Secretary and her CIA friend hunt down the guy responsible for interfering with the plane that ended up crashing. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:55, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Does it make sense to mean "I/we will engineer circumstances so that the guilty person incriminates himself"? Because that's what Macbeth is planning when he speaks that line. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 04:33, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Wrong tragedy, Catsidhe. Plus, no engineering was required in Macbeth, just a bit of mental instability on the part of the murderers... —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:30, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Here is the quote. DTLHS (talk) 04:43, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

.htaccess file, hosts file

Just a note: I created .htaccess file and hosts file.

As far as file names go, I think these two are acceptable, as common configuration files. Often I've seen in running text "edit your hosts file" without any explanation of what it is, so I guess this falls under the scope of "it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means".

I'm not sure where to draw the line, though. These look too similar in format and attestability as, say, httpd.conf, Autorun.inf and maybe AUTOEXEC.BAT. Probably others. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 09:47, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

[Comment of DCDuring 18:27, 19 October 2015 (UTC) moved to intended location, next topic]
I don't follow. Did you mean to ask this as a response to my message, or were you intending to open a new TR post about invoices? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 19:22, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
See the topic below, which is what DCD apparently meant to reply to. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:47, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

final bill, final invoice

Oxford has an entry for final invoice [5], but "final bill" sounds more idiomatic. I was thinking of the final bill for a major contract (where progress payments have been made) after it is completed. Donnanz (talk) 17:09, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

What is the last bill/invoice sent by a vendor called before the vendor turns the account over to a collection agency? DCDuring TALK 18:27, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
It wouldn't be a bill or invoice as the debtor would have already received that, probably a final reminder or warning letter. Donnanz (talk) 21:10, 26 October 2015 (UTC)


Is there an in‐depth etymology out there?

  1. Why does it mean ‘clever?’ Is it from being multilingual? Is it from knowing Latin?
  2. Does it mean multilingual because Spaniards frequently learnt Latin?
  3. Why does it mean Judeo‐Spanish? --Romanophile (contributions) 05:55, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
To your third question, there's some interesting discussion at w:Mozarabic language#Native name. Basically, in early Medieval Spain, Spanish speakers called their language "Latin" (it was, after all, descended from the local variety of Vulgar Latin) primarily to distinguish it from Arabic. For whatever reason, over time it was only the Spanish Jews who continued to call their language that, while the Christians called their language Spanish or Castilian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:09, 20 October 2015 (UTC)


Doesn't 'fink' mean 'someone who informs on people'—as opposed to the current definition that reads, 'someone who betrays a trust'?

"Thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business. Thanks for a nation of finks."William Burroughs [[6]]

ShitiBot left you a message on ଉଇକିପିଡ଼ିଆ

Hi. I recevied an email from an assumed indian wiki (wiki@wikimedia.org), using these words:

Is it pure joke, or do these words exist in any language ? --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 19:54, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

The script is Oriya. The first word means "Wikipedia". I don't know about the rest. Oriya isn't available at Google Translate. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:36, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
    • ଉଇକିପିଡ଼ିଆ = Wikipedia
    • ନିମନ୍ତ୍ରଣ = invitation, invite
    • ସମସ୍ତ = all
    • ବଦଳ = change
    • ଦେଖନ୍ତୁ = style —Stephen (Talk) 21:24, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

use of "in" indicating a time frame

According to my research - and backed up by the definitions we give at "in", this preposition can mean both AFTER a period of time and WITHIN a period of time. So saying you'll hand in your report "in two weeks" must be a pretty vague deadline to give yourself, right? English is a bizarre language at times. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:59, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Hmm... To me, "in two weeks" means (more or less) at the end of two weeks. The other meaning would have to be "within the next two weeks". Equinox 04:34, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't say those two senses of "in" are interchangeable, though. If I say "I'll help you in two days" I mean that at the end of two days I will help, and I would always understand it that way.The examples given for the "within a certain elapsed time" definition seem to use two different senses of the word... "In" still means "at the end of" in "Are you able to finish this in three hours?" The "finishing" is expected to happen at the end of the three hours.
In "The massacre resulted in over 1000 deaths in three hours," the second "in" does mean "within," but I can't think of any examples of that sense used outside of describing past events. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:58, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Context matters:
  1. IMO: "We will finish in three hours." can mean either "Whenever we start, we will take three hours to finish." or "We will be finished three hours from now."
  2. IMO: whether the interpretation is an expected average time-to-completion, an earliest time-to-completion, or a latest time-to-completion is dependent on context.
  3. IMO: the nature of the action specified by the verb affects the interpretation. DCDuring TALK 09:08, 21 October 2015 (UTC)


I don't think the current definition is accurate. I think なんて (in the sense of "How [adjective]" is used almost as frequently to emphasize good qualities and is not necessarily an expression of disgust or the like.

The following: About.com article uses positive examples: http://japanese.about.com/library/blqow17.htm

Japanese kokugo dictionaries similarly don't state in their definitions that it's necessarily used in a negative sense, and Googling phrases like なんて美しい or なんて楽しい yields plenty of actual usage examples that clearly aren't expressing contempt.

なんて silly Wiktionary page that requires editing!

2400:2410:A220:C500:C12C:8021:ED0A:E5F3 05:39, 21 October 2015 (UTC)


As the concept of "multi-verse" becomes more engrained, we need a word to describe the fine-tuning for other universes. We cannot rely on the Anthropic principle for this description, hence happenstantiality "The physical laws of a universe as discovered by consciousness". I'm not sure whether the laws are invented or discovered.

Sorry, we don't do newly-coined words. See WT:CFI. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:37, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


Calling Japanese editors: is it possible the Japanese entry is missing the "monk training" sense? I would be surprised to find it didn't carry over from Chinese. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:07, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


There is an English sense defined as "(China) beauty girls". What does that mean? Why is it "MM": does it stand for something? Equinox 12:09, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Googling brought up this – "w:Chinese Internet Slang": "MM: mèimèi (妹妹 or 美美 or 美妹 or 美眉), Little sister, young girl, pretty girl. Often written as “MM,” which usually refers to a young girl or pretty girls." Smuconlaw (talk) 13:32, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


In minutiae, it’s said it’s pronounced /maɪˈnjuː.ʃiː.aɪ/ , on Wikipedia, it’s /mɨˈnjuːʃɪ.iː/, the singular minutia is /maɪˈnjuː.ʃə/ , eSpeak (en-rp, en-us…) gives me /mɪnjˈuːʃɪˌiː/ , merriam-webster says \mə-ˈnü-sh(ē-)ə, mī-, -ˈnyü-\ for minutia and \-shē-ˌē, -ˌī\ for minutiae. Who’s right? 22:48, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

All of them. --WikiTiki89 23:02, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
1. If they are all correct (“alternates”) then why give only one? And why not give the same in WP and WT?
2. I don’t know where all the dictionaries get their content but it seems WT is the only one giving /maɪ/…. 00:59, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

generic (grammar)

We have a grammar sense for generic, namely “specifying neither masculine nor feminine”. I'm aware of this sense. It also exists for German generisch. But this latter has another meaning. I wonder whether it exists for English generic too, or else what is the equivalent? — The sense is “specifiying no particular individual”, “referring to a category, a genus”. Take for example French: Le chien est un animal, German: Der Hund ist ein Tier. In these sentences the words chien, Hund are used generisch, that means they don't refer to a particular dog, but to “the dog” as such. Kolmiel (talk) 00:02, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Anyone?! I just used the French/German examples because they're particularly clear. The word milk in: Milk is white, is also "generisch". There must be some term for it, I'm sure. Kolmiel (talk) 23:16, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
I think generic would work. I've been reading about Biblical Greek grammar lately, and discussions of the w:Gnomic aspect as it relates to various syntactic categories are stiff with the term generic. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:02, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
The grammatical term for “specifying no particular individual” is indefinite, but I’m not sure if it applies to your examples. — Ungoliant (falai) 23:18, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
In case of "determination" (that's how the German wikipedia calls it), generic and indefinite are different terms: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determination_%28Linguistik%29 . google book search has results like this:
  • "between definite and indefinite generic reference"
  • "Dahl (1975:99) defines 'generic' in the following way: 'The common semantic property of all generic expressions is that they are used to express law-like, or gnomic, statements." and "Allan (1986:136) points out that there are three different of types of generic NPs in English: the definite generic, which occurs only in countable NPs; the a(n)-generic; and the unmarked indefinite generic, which occurs both with plurals and with uncountables."
That seems to mean the same as German generisch, doesn't it?
"The man is a mammal" could be an example for definite generic, as it uses the definite article, but refers to humans in general. "An elephant has a trunk" could be an example for indefinite generic.
-Rdm571 (talk) 11:04, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's what it is. It's not the same as indefinite. So is there nothing in English? Hm, okay.. Kolmiel (talk) 20:14, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
"The man is a mammal" sounds awkward because the usual generic is just "man" without an article, thus: "Man is a mammal." A better example of definite generics is "The lion preys on the antelope." In colloquial language, the indefinite plural is usually used for the generic "Lions prey on antelope.". I wouldn't consider "An elephant has a trunk." to be an indefinite generic, although it has similar properties; I would consider it a use of an example instance with an implied extrapolation. --WikiTiki89 20:25, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I think "generic" is a good translation of generisch as a descriptor of things like "a dog has four legs". I'm not sure if it needs a separate sense or if sense 1 covers it already. Wikipedia's article on Gnomic aspect mentions "generic" as a synonym, but we seem to lack a linguistics sense at gnomic. - -sche (discuss) 21:03, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
google books:"generic" "is a mammal" turns up plenty of books describing sentences of the form "[some kind of mammal] is a mammal" as "generic", but they do seem like they could be analysed as using the general sense of the word; e.g.:
  • 2007, James R. Hurford, ‎Brendan Heasley, ‎Michael B. Smith, Semantics: A Coursebook →ISBN, page 59:
    The whale is a mammal (understood in the most usual way) is a generic sentence. That whale over there is a mammal is not a generic sentence.
- -sche (discuss) 21:06, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Okay. But it does need its own definition, because only the "male-female" sense is labeled grammar, and that implies that only this sense is grammatical. Kolmiel (talk) 21:02, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

ride in Irish English

Google "an absolute ride" and you'll find various hits of people and places being described as such in Irish English. What does it mean? - -sche (discuss) 01:29, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

This example is pretty clear about what it means. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:00, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Aha. Now added. - -sche (discuss) 02:31, 23 October 2015 (UTC)


Can crib also mean cheat sheet? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:36, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Not as far as I know. It can be a verb meaning "to cheat", so it wouldn't surprise me if there was some time and place when it was a noun too. But I haven't heard of that. WurdSnatcher (talk) 11:48, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
People say crib note (probably more common in the plural) as a synonym of cheat sheet, though. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:23, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Ah, good point, I forgot about that. WurdSnatcher (talk) 14:43, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
We have def 14 of crib#Noun: "(usually in the plural) A collection of quotes or references for use in speaking, for assembling a written document, or as an aid to a project of some sort; a crib sheet." DCDuring TALK 04:29, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
This is a modification of an earlier definition explicitly about "cheating". DCDuring TALK 04:31, 24 October 2015 (UTC)


I think this French word is that of the tool that a piano tuner uses to adjust the tension in the strings. What is it called in English? The word might also mean tuning fork but I'm not sure of that. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:38, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

This mentions both pianos and organs, which means it has to be a generic term for tools used to make adjustments in tuning- the mechanisms for pianos and organs are completely different. The term clef d'accordeur mentioned there seems to refer to a w:Tuning wrench, so I would guess that's what the term means when you're talking about pianos, and this page seems to confirm it. Of course, this page and its French translation seem to indicate that the term for that is clé d'accord, but they can certainly both be correct. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:30, 24 October 2015 (UTC)


Is there any actually proof that this comes from Old High German mulināri? Couldn't this just be Mühle + -er?

I'm no expert in German, but since there are parallel formations in English ("miller") and Danish ("møller"), who is to say that this wasn't coined as a compound in German?

Even if it wasn't, is there any reason to assume that it wasn't later analysed that way? 03:11, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

A German etymological dictionary would say (which is why WT:ES would be a better place to post this). Perhaps someone could check such a dictionary? Regardless, we could always add the fact that from surface analysis, the term may be analysed as Mühle + -er. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:26, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Kluge's Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache says it comes from OHG mulināri but that it's unclear whether that's an internal OHG formation from mulīn or whether the word as a whole was borrowed from Medieval Latin molīnārius. If it were a modern German formation from Mühle we'd expect a long vowel (*Mühler) rather than a short vowel (Müller). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:29, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
re: parallel formations in English ("miller") and Danish ("møller"): this and this would seem to indicate that the "parallels" aren't quite as parallel as they might seem at first. Miller may indeed involve an agentive suffix, but that would have had to have happened in Middle English, though this mentions an Old French form molnier that could have at least influenced the formation of the Middle English word (the Old English term was mylen-weard). As for Danish, the second reference above seems to say (if I understand the abbreviations correctly) that it's inherited from Old Norse, which borrowed it from Middle Low German, which ultimately came from Medieval Latin molīnārius (it also mentions OHG mulināri, but apparently for comparison). This is the kind of pattern one would expect for a relatively new technology that seems to have been introduced to Germanic Europe via the Romans. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:40, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Müller wasn't formed in German with -er (or its Old High German descendant -ari) — mulināri, borrowed whole from molīnārius, is actually one of the words from which German generalized that suffix. From the handbook of Sociolinguistics / Soziolinguistik, edition 2, volume 2 (2005, →ISBN: "Aus Lehnwörtern wie althochdeutsch mulinari vom mittellateinischen molinarius „Müller“ wurde das Suffix -arius für Personenbezeichnungen abstrahiert und ins Deutsche entlehnt, wo es seit althochdeutscher Zeit äußerst produktiv ist." Peter Eisenberg, in Das Fremdwort im Deutschen, says the same. The loss of the -in- was gradual; in Middle High German it evolved from mülnære to mülner to just Müller. - -sche (discuss) 17:40, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
One cannot base an etymology on superficial analysis. It must be based on how the word actually (that is, historically) came to be. Since we have an abundance of historic sources, and since the analysis of these sources leads all relevant dictionaries to the conclusion that Müller is a contraction of mulinari, there's absolutely no reason to say otherwise. Moreover, Müller cannot even be re-analyzed as Mühle + -er because it isn't Mühler. Kolmiel (talk) 21:13, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


Is kiasi a noun or an adjective? The examples in the entry make it seem like an adjective. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 20:42, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

Definitely an adjective. I don't think I've ever seen a noun usage. Smuconlaw (talk) 11:24, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I did find some noun uses, so I've added those. Smuconlaw (talk) 21:20, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

proceso Argentino

-- Why this word chosen for the Dirty War (la Guerra Sucia) —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Probably because people who are doing extreme things like to make them sound very routine and harmless. I'm sure it was also important to be vague, as well, so no one would think about what the term really referred to. I believe the full term was "Proceso de Reorganización Nacional", which would mean "National Reorganization Process" in English. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:16, 26 October 2015 (UTC)


There's a hymn called "Sing to the Lord of Harvest" which is, rather incongruously, set to a tune named "Wie lieblich ist der Maien" (at one time it was used as the tune for a spring-themed hymn of that name). We don't have an entry for this form, yet- is it simply an old alternative form for Mai, or is there more to it than that? Chuck Entz (talk) 13:49, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

According to w:de:Maien (Zweig), a Maien is a sapling or fresh twig or branch. It gets its name from the month of May, but it doesn't mean 'May'. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:53, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Oh wait, according to w:de:Maien it's also a poetic word for May, which makes more sense in the song you linked to. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:59, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
In early modern German Mai inflected like a weak noun. So Maien (or meien) was the non-nominative form. Later on the noun became strong, making Maien just a poetic variant of Mai. Kolmiel (talk) 21:06, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Two fluent speakers of German commented here yet nobody has created the entry in the intervening year. I just did so, but I wouldn't mind if someone would look it over and fix anything that needs fixing. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 08:38, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

There is a variant of 産 that looks like 瘟 but rather than 囚 on the inside there is something that looks (something) like 云 (but with 十 in place of 一). Maybe it is not yet in unicode? I ran across it in the Taisho Tripitaka. Tibetologist (talk) 01:48, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Is it 𤸱 (U+24E31)? It doesn't seem like a variant of 產, though. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 02:15, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
BTW, 云 (but with 十 in place of 一) would be 去. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 02:16, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

-meter vs. -metre

A lot of entries for words with -meter have an alternative forms section with the -metre form labelled nonstandard (e.g. acidimeter, ammeter). Is this accurate? Aren’t those forms obsolete, regional, archaic or something of the sort? — Ungoliant (falai) 01:35, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

It's just American English vs. British English. Purplebackpack89 01:41, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
No, it's not. When speaking of a device, the spelling is normally -meter even in the UK. -metre is only for units of measurement. —CodeCat 01:44, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
As worded, -metre only applies to the unit. Purplebackpack89 02:12, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Not true. The definitions "Used to form the names of measuring devices" (-meter) and "Alternative form of -meter (suffix used to form the names of measuring devices)" (-metre) say nothing about the units measured by the measuring devices. I'm not so sure we should be treating either as a suffix, though, since both the unit and the device are nouns in their own right that take prefixes. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:33, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Can confirm that the measuring devices are ammeter, voltmeter, etc. in Britain, whereas the units are centimetre, etc. Equinox 13:27, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


Why do we call lovers ‘babies?’ It sounds kind of creepy when you think about it. --Romanophile (contributions) 08:14, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

If you're thinking babies = infants then yeah, I suppose it is. But baby can also mean someone you care for/take care of, someone totally dependent on you for all their needs... In that sense it's kinda hot ;) Leasnam (talk) 14:44, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
But why do you think that it means someone you care for/take care of, someone totally dependent on you for all their needs? I’m sure that you can figure out the answer. --Romanophile (contributions) 14:48, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, just speculating, it probably started as a male to female pet name, corresponding to how a girl might call her male lover "daddy" or "daddyo". Baby girl probably then got clipped to just baby? I dunno... Leasnam (talk) 14:52, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Taking it one step further, baby was affected as bae-bae ("my bae-baeyyy"), and we now have the much disdained bae (which I don't personally seem to have any problem with :) Leasnam (talk) 14:54, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Except that it looks like and sounds somewhat like Danish . --Romanophile (contributions) 14:57, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
You know, that is all over the internet ! Haters will hate, I guess. :D Leasnam (talk) 14:58, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Plausible; that does make sense. It still sounds creepy, though. --Romanophile (contributions) 14:53, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
From w:Neoteny: "human evolution's trend toward neoteny may have been caused by sexual selection in human evolution for neotenous facial traits in women by men with the resulting neoteny in male faces being a "by-product" of sexual selection for neotenous female faces. Jones said that this type of sexual selection "likely" had a major role in human evolution once a larger proportion of women lived past the age of menopause. This increasing proportion of women who were too old to reproduce resulted in a greater variance in fecundity in the population of women, and it resulted in a greater sexual selection for indicators of youthful fecundity in women by men." —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:56, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Did a well‐educated anthropologist actually say that? --Romanophile (contributions) 16:15, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
You just need an evolutionary perspective (faith?) to make such a hypothesis. I have no idea how to make it specifically testable for humans. But perhaps an analogy to a similar process in shorter-lived animals would be convincing, unless one were of a contradictory faith. DCDuring TALK 17:49, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
The sources are in the article. This particular study was published in 1995, in Current Anthropology 36 (5): 723–748. The article has a whole section on Attractive women's faces (I don't know if that's [attractive] [women's faces] or [attractive women's] [faces]) with other sources by other authors coming to basically the same conclusion: babyish faces are felt to be more attractive than non-babyish faces. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:05, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
How could you possible distinguish [attractive] [women's faces] from [attractive women's] [faces]? Presumably "attractive women", as determined by interview subjects based on physical features, have "attractive faces", and vice verse. bd2412 T 00:07, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
See butterface. DCDuring TALK 00:42, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Also, someone could be butt-ugly and still be an attractive candidate for a job, or something like that. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:29, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

French Translation of Nut (hard edible)

My CollinsRobert translating dictionary confirms that this should be "fruit à coque" and that the present entry of "fruit sec" actually means dried fruit.

Dick Kimball (talk) 17:53, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

The French Wiktionnaire sort of agrees and sort of disagrees...most confusing. Apparently "fruit à coque" is the preferred translation, but "fruit sec" is not entirely incorrect. https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/fruit_%C3%A0_coque https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/fruit_sec

Dick Kimball (talk) 18:11, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Seems to be fruit à coque, fruit sec is dried fruit, and I don't know why Wiktionnaire classes it as a 'quasi-synonym' (not even a full synonym) of dried fruit. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:18, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
I have heard from various people who have nut allergies and travel to Quebec a lot that there is no single French word encompassing the meaning of English nut, and this causes lots of problems for them. --WikiTiki89 19:02, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Not surprising, considering the wide variety of unrelated foods called "nut" in English. Most people are aware that peanuts are not true nuts; many fewer people are aware that almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts are not true nuts either, though people with nut allergies have to avoid them all in addition to true nuts like chestnuts and hazelnuts. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:54, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Why are botanists allowed to redefine English words? Clearly our immune systems are not OK with that. --WikiTiki89 21:11, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Our current definition is only the culinary one; we should probably add the botanical one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:12, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
In general, I think you can get away with using noix or noisette for the edible things. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:18, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
fruit à coque is more precise than fruit sec: fruit sec includes dried fruit such as Corinth raisins or dried apricots, but it also includes most nuts, because nuts are most often eaten dry. Walnuts (noix) or hazelnuts (noisettes) can be consumed fresh, but are usually dry (also note that sec means dry, dried is séché). fruit déshydraté means dehydrated fruit (artificially dehydrated: mango, etc.), and is never called fruit sec by specialists. Lmaltier (talk) 21:56, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

"inhibited" as an adjective

Currently, inhibited is only a verb. Is it not also an adjective? Thoughts? :-) -- Tomz0rs (talk) 00:41, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

It is also an adjective Leasnam (talk) 03:16, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
I've added an adjective sense. WurdSnatcher (talk)


Should the list of ingredients in 少林風濕跌打膏 be removed? — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 12:41, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

I think so. A list of ingredients might be appropriate for an encyclopedia, but not a dictionary. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 15:23, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Abbreviation "Bohem." in an etymology

What does the abreviation "Bohem." mean in the etymology of fimbul-? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 15:49, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Czech. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:08, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
Really? In what appears to be a list of Germanic cognates? Needs more explanation if that is indeed the case. This, that and the other (talk) 06:50, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
This dictionary confirms that there is a word fimol (sharp metal wedge) in Czech, borrowed from German. --WikiTiki89 07:18, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes. However, I do think that we should generally make a clearer distinction between actual cognates and borrowings. For example, in this case: German Fimmel (whence also Czech ...). It's sometimes misleading to just mention any word in any language that is somehow related. Even if there's nothing technically wrong about it. Kolmiel (talk) 16:05, 2 November 2015 (UTC)