Wiktionary:Tea room/2016/July

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← June 2016 · July 2016 · August 2016 → · (current)



Is the etymology correct, i.e. is it really a possessive and not a plural s? Equinox 18:32, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Usually these come from a genitive form (and the OED says this one does), though I think the etymology should say that specifically and not write "handicraft's" since the apostrophe is probably anachronistic. Ƿidsiþ 17:02, 2 July 2016 (UTC)


1549, Sir Thomas Chaloner, The praise of Folie[1], translation of original by Desiderius Erasmus:
Of this grape are suche also as in makynge and publisshinge of new bookes, do fisshe for a praise and glorie.

What sense of grape is this (or is this some kind of mistake in translation / transcription?) DTLHS (talk) 22:10, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Judging by the intelligibility of the translation, I'd say error, whether in printing or elsewhere I wouldn't say. DCDuring TALK 22:50, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
It looks like this is a translation of: "Huius farinæ sunt et isti, qui libris edendis famam immortalem aucupantur", and is an attempt to provide an equivalent to the metaphor of being made from the same raw material: instead of bread being made from the same meal, it's wine being made of the same grapes. I suppose it's the same metaphor as cut from the same cloth. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:46, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

quiet down, meaning 2

The second meaning of quiet down and quieten down currently reads

To reduce intensity of an activity.
Diplomacy can only begin when the violence quiets down.

I think the definition should be changed, since the violence is not reducing intensity of anything. I don't know how to phrase it better though.
AxelBoldt (talk) 23:10, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

   I read that example as invoking "quiets [itself] down", i.e. subsides, and believe you've ID'd the need for noting that there are both transitive and intransitive senses. (IMO, the lack of an explicit object is the normal means, at least for this verb, for recognizing the intransitive sense.)
--Jerzyt 07:18, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


Someone who lacks sufficient knowledge has entered declension and stress information on many Russian words inaccurately. The Russian wiktionary entries are correct; the English ones deserve to be treated with suspicion. What made this clown think the plural is end-stressed? The Russian wiktionary shows the stress is stable on this word. The Wiki world is full of dodgy material by people who DON'T KNOW. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

The internet is also full of those who anonymously leave gratuitous insults about people they don't know. We've just converted large numbers of entries to use new templates, and have been working on the modules behind them, so it's certainly possible there are errors- I'll leave that to our Russian editors to determine. I'll alert a couple of the people who have been working on this: @Benwing2, Atitarev. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:37, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
It looks like Anatoli accidentally gave this the wrong stress class; fixed. Are there any other words you know that have errors in them? BTW Anatoli certainly does know Russian and is a native speaker with quite a lot of linguistic insight, so I imagine this is an isolated error. In general I think our entries are pretty high quality, and in the case of short adjective forms in many cases we are better than ruwikt. Benwing2 (talk) 16:32, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that was an accident. Thanks for fixing. I'm unconcerned about casual morons posting here. I can't be bothered counting errors on the Russian Wiktionary either.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:34, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
What about оказать then? This is not оказаю. (окажу in the Russian wiki is correct). The entry for скорость is wrong too. It is скоростЕЙ, скоростЯм итд. unsigned comment by User: 18:18, 3 July 2016‎ (UTC)
The Russian conjugations and declensions are accomplished by the use of complex templates. The pattern, or paradigm, for each word is specified by the used of codes such as 1a+p, which tell the template all of the necessary information to write a correct table. However, since these codes are complex, it is rather easy to make a mistake. It is only a typing error (typo). It does not mean that the contributor "lacks knowledge" or "doesn't know". Our Russian editors are very knowledgeable in the language, and they know the correct declensions and conjugations perfectly well. Whenever you find such an error, we are very glad when you point it out for us. However, you should always notify us of errors in a professional and respectful manner, and not accompanied by such insults and rude comments that you used above. Simply say that the declension or conjugation has mistakes and we will fix it right away. —Stephen (Talk) 19:34, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, constructive criticism or feedback is always appreciated with no insults. We have less people working on the Russian entries here than in the Russian Wiktionary. Yes, I think our overall quality of Russian entries is very high. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:57, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
I seem to have bumped into Stephen the Twitter warrior. At least Wiki allows more than 140 characters, right? An SJW in his spare time? unsigned comment by User: 19:52, 3 July 2016‎ (UTC)
I don’t use Twitter and I don’t know the abbreviation SJW. оказать and скорость have been corrected. —Stephen (Talk) 20:03, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
бунтарь - ending-stressed in the genitive —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).
бунтарь is corrected. —Stephen (Talk) 20:32, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
SJW=social justice warrior. If I didn't know better, I could swear we're being trolled... Chuck Entz (talk) 03:49, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Also оглянуться is wrong too. It is not оглянётся, but оглянется. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:17, 10 July 2016.
Thanks, I'll fix it. Benwing2 (talk) 19:50, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
So the meaning of SJW has now bleached further to "a person who insists on respectful and polite demeanour" (which includes tons of stuffy conservatives, making the term terminally useless). Noted. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:36, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Only if you take that one person to be using the term accurately, which he isn't... Equinox 15:42, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Since when were social justice warriors restricted to the internet? --WikiTiki89 15:44, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
When have we changed from descriptive to prescriptive linguistics?
I was alluding to the fact that "SJW" is often used broadly to refer to anyone supportive of feminism or stereotypically leftist/progressive causes (while according to the original definition of the term, some of the people typically supported by people who use "SJW" derisively, ironically, could qualify for the term, compare RationalWiki). With a derisive slang term whose definition is as vague, opportunistic and contested, up to the point where people sarcastically use it as a self-identifier, I doubt it is possible to use it "correctly" or "incorrectly". It's become so void of meaning, it can mean anything you want it to mean. It basically just indicates you don't like someone, like "nazi" or "asshole", and disagree with their (political or other) opinions, as it has not only simply replaced "feminazi" and "pc" as the reactionary slur-to-go, it's become even more general, because it can be used to mock, say, people (vocally) opposed to racism or supportive of environmentalism or content warnings too, without them being known as explicitly concerned with feminism. Actually I think the extension to people demanding respect and politeness is only logical because the original idea of political correctness is nothing more than that, even if its advocates may sometimes be overzealous. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:25, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Why are we even arguing about this? --WikiTiki89 18:41, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Likely erroneous verb form and conjugation tables

The Portuguese entry for the verb "vir" most likely has an incorrect spelling of the second person (familiar) singular present. To the best of my knowledge, the correct form is "vens" and not "véns". I'm not knowledgeable enough about editing to edit a verb table, however. S. Neuman (talk) 14:09, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

@S. Neuman Thank you; fixed. Benwing2 (talk) 16:38, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

raw dog & hot dog

Are these terms related somehow? --Fsojic (talk) 23:31, 2 July 2016 (UTC)


Can someone explain the grammar of the Drummond citation for the adultery sense? I can't parse it. Equinox 13:41, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

  • It's not really a noun here, I think it's in the wrong section – ‘adulting the issue’ here means ‘diluting the parentage of the child’. Ƿidsiþ 13:55, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
    •    Uh, am i crazy, or is the relation in origin of adulterate (cf. adultery) somehow enter in here??
      --Jerzyt 07:26, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

kind of

What is the etymology trying to say? Equinox 14:41, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

That the expression was originally part of normal expressions of the form "a kind of ADJ NOUN", that speakers came to think of kind of as modifying ADJ, so that one could say "NOUN is kind of ADJ" instead of "NOUN is a kind of ADJ one". DCDuring TALK 15:13, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I find it very hard to comprehend. Want to be brave and improve it? Equinox 08:40, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
I was hoping those with more formal linguistics background than I would address this. DCDuring TALK 11:01, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Question book magnify2.svg Input needed
This discussion needs further input in order to be successfully closed. Please take a look!
You already have a very full answer, even if you don't realise it. "A kind of problem"---> "kind of a problem". What's so difficult? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 14:49, July 8, 2016.
Hunh? DCDuring TALK 19:05, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
I think the explanation is confusing and unnecessary. Maybe it should be removed ? Leasnam (talk) 17:18, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree. The "explanation" is baffling to me. 02:10, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
What we are dealing with here is your low IQ. There is nothing wrong with the explanation. I think you would be better off directing your attentions to manual hobbies like woodwork. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 11:00, July 12, 2016.
Or learning manners and how to respect others. If an explanation is not so expertly crafted as to be understood by even the youngest of children, then perhaps it's no marvellous explanation at all huh ? Leasnam (talk) 15:06, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

depublish -- use outside California law?

The only quotations I found for the term "depublish" appeared to be in discussions of the practice of California courts to retroactively prevent previous cases from being used as precedent. If anyone can dig up other quotations, that would be interesting. JesseW (talk) 23:59, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

It seems that unpublish is more common a choice for a prefix meaning reverse + publish.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:55, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

doneness -- beyond cooking food?

The only quotations I found for doneness related to cooking food, and so I narrowed the meaning to that. I certainly may have missed some that use it in a broader sense, so I'm bringing it here to see if others can find them. JesseW (talk) 02:27, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

I found another sense. Equinox 10:35, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

light up like the Fourth of July

Is this, or perhaps just "like the Fourth of July", idiomatic? - -sche (discuss) 01:11, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

I'd vote no: that only rarely would such a simile be suitable for a dictionary. Fourth of July should include a reference to fireworks and that should suffice. DCDuring TALK 05:26, 5 July 2016 (UTC)


I think the uncorporeal page should remark that, even if it is a valid word, one is more likely to want to use incorporeal. Ohnobinki (talk) 16:10, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Batman (the Turkish province)

Please see "Talk:Batman#Pronunciation". — SMUconlaw (talk) 20:08, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

It's pronounced /ˈdɪnə dɪnə dɪnə dɪnə dɪnə dɪnə dɪnə dɪnə bætmæn/. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:03, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
   OK, i'm the self-designated spoilsport. That was a joke, based on the theme music (and single-word lyric) of the 1960's TV show, and it deserves a laugh: Heh!
--Jerzyt 07:49, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Missing tone notation. —suzukaze (tc) 02:31, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

I created an entry in Wiktionary but unfortunately it was entered as anonymous

I have just created the entry помолвить in Wiktionary, but I made a mistake of saving it without being logged in. Is there any way to amend the entry's history showing my IP address to rather come up with my proper user name? Cheers —This comment was unsigned.

One good idea would be sign your contributions on discussion pages, such as this one. Are you sure that you want that IP address to be associated publicly with your user name? DCDuring TALK 02:59, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

mula as in money

I'm surprised we don't have this common slang expression for money - mula. Did I spell it correctly? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:23, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

moola. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:27, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:58, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Moola or moolah.


I found out that Category:Bahamas is not the Bahamas. I found out that according to this BBC article ([2]),

But according to several authoritative sources, such as the CIA World Factbook, the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World and the US Department of State, only two countries, The Bahamas and The Gambia, should officially be referred to with the article.

Would it be better to change it to Category:The Bahamas? --KoreanQuoter (talk) 14:34, 7 July 2016 (UTC)


Does this word fit in Category:English words with vowel pseudo-digraphs? DTLHS (talk) 21:01, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Tangential: as I wrote at WT:RFM#Category:English_words_with_consonant_pseudo-digraphs, I wonder if there's any practical way of maintaining these categories... - -sche (discuss) 22:27, 7 July 2016 (UTC)


Would this be an example of a word that is pronounced differently in the UK and the US? In Australia I guess FILL-eut is more common, while my American friend insists they always pronounce it as fill-LAY. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:59, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

Well, the only person I've heard to pronounce the final consonant was from England, and the pseudo-French pronunciation is very common here in the US, but I don't know anything about the relative frequencies in the UK. After all, hypercorrection can theoretically happen anywhere. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:11, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
AIUI, and from my life experience as a Brit: "fillet" has the final /t/, but "filet" (as a French loan) does not. (Chambers Dictionary agrees with me on this.) One common exception is the McDonald's burger called Filet-o-Fish: they pronounce the /t/ in their advertising, and it would feel a bit pretentious to use the French pronunciation for fast food. Equinox 03:21, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
In American McDonald'ses it's pronounced "fi-LAY o' fish" and that doesn't feel pretentious to us at all. But my experience of American English includes only the word filet; I don't think fillet was ever a part of my active vocabulary, and not a very significant part of my passive vocabulary, either. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:33, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
For one thing, fillet is a verb; there's no way to be "filleting" a fish without /t/. Re McDonald's, see their 1990s ad on YouTube [3]: "fille/t/ o' fish for my wife!" (a bit of a catchphrase for Brits of a certain age, I suspect). Equinox 08:36, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, that's another pondian difference then. In US English you'd be fileting a fish and pronouncing it to rhyme with "praying". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:42, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
I find it fascinating that some French words are pronounced French-like in British and English-like in American and some are pronounced French-like in American and English-like in British. In all cases everyone makes fun of everyone for pronouncing things wrong. --WikiTiki89 18:17, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

no-lose synonym

I heard a financial word that sounds like "albatross" which is essentially a no-lose scenario for the investor - they either (at minimum) break even or come out ahead, but do not lose on the investment. It's fundamentally the opposite of a "lose-lose" situation... has anyone heard of this word and the proper spelling?

Well, an "albatross" would refer to a lose-lose situation, perhaps you're thinking of this? Benwing2 (talk) 23:18, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
   (Do note that albatross(albatross) as a metaphor -- for a worthless burden you can't get rid of -- is based on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.)
   Could the non-signing colleague possibly be confusing in the term arbitrage(arbitrage)?
--Jerzyt 08:10, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


I'm English and can tell the editors for nothing that "ternament" is not an RP pronunciation of this word. It would be regarded in England as an ignorant pronunciation by someone who didn't know the correct pronunciation.

That looks strange to me too. Equinox 22:27, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
All the pronunciations look strange - I've never heard /-mɛnt/, only /-mənt/. Keith the Koala (talk) 17:20, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Keith the Koala, you're right, it is /-mənt/ (or more likely /-mənʔ/ with a glottal stop). —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:16, 10 July 2016.
Better? I can personally attest that in American English all three initial vowels exist. --WikiTiki89 14:42, 11 July 2016 (UTC)


I was wondering if the character 𧦅 is a shinjitai form of 謳 (part of JIS X 0213). Could anyone clarify this is correct? Dingo1234555 (talk) 03:33, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

It's for round-trip compatibility (謳 = 1-75-80, 𧦅 = 2-88-54): "To preserve data integrity through multiple stages of code conversion (commonly known as “round-trip integrity”), any ideographs that are separately encoded in any one of the source standards listed below have not been unified." Nibiko (talk) 07:12, 9 August 2016 (UTC)


The AAVE sense of the term that I have quoted means running [away from] but evidently, it is a contraction of "mercenary" meaning "to kill". Does anyone have any better sources on this? I would love to expand our coverage of American slang. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:12, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

I thought it might come from murder, not mercenary. Equinox 13:47, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
What about Mercury (for the running sense)? Leasnam (talk) 17:16, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
AAVE isn't particularly known for allusions to Roman mythology. The slang term merc, short for mercenary, does exist (it's in the New Oxford American Dictionary app on my computer). Semantically, one could make a connection based on fighters who are only in it for the money being less likely to stay around when things go bad. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:26, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, no, but it's not an allusion necessaily to Roman mythology. Lot's of familiar companies use Mercury's winged sandals, for instance Goodyear tires do, and so does a footwear brand (Athletes ?). Red Bull is another, right ? Anyway, it was just a guess :) Leasnam (talk) 22:03, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Do those actually mention the name Mercury, or do they just use symbols that can be recognized by someone familiar with Greek mythology? Chuck Entz (talk) 23:16, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
With Goodyear/Michelin, they're called Mercury tires. I think Mercury is also the name of several different labels of athletic shoes. My reasoning for the connection, I could honestly see someone saying "You need to move/act/fly like Mercury" => "you need to Mercury yourself up out of here" => etc. though it's a distant connection at best Leasnam (talk) 23:34, 9 July 2016 (UTC)


I'm a bit puzzled by etymology 2 here. The form ἄω (áō) doesn't actually occur in the inflection table, so is it even attested? Or should the lemma be moved to one that is attested, ἄεσα (áesa)? —CodeCat 20:51, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Attested or not, it seems to meet CFI's LDL requirements, since it's in LSJ under ἄω. It may be a more extreme case, but our treatment of it follows from the decisions to always use the present active first-person singular as the lemma, and to show unattested forms in inflections. Moving it to what's normally a non-lemma form would be inconsistent, but then there doesn't seem to be any unreservedly good choice here, just a very few that are all flawed, but in different ways. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:52, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, for Latin deponent verbs, we use the passive form because the active form doesn't exist. Same for Greek ones. We don't use the present of meminī as the lemma either. This case, which also lacks the present, seems similar enough. —CodeCat 23:08, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
All of those are semantically present and active, even if they're morphologically passive or perfect. More importantly, there's a consistent practice among dictionaries and lexicons of those languages to use them as lemmas. I don't see that here. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:38, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

VIN, vehicle identification number

Re (US) labels: these terms may have originated in the US, but seem to be much more widespread now. DonnanZ (talk) 11:36, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Could be. I have moved the main entry to vehicle identification number based on it apparently being the more common form. OTOH VIN is more common than vin. DCDuring TALK 15:37, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
A good move, I was going to suggest that. Yes VIN is the common form, not to be confused with vin (wine). The words VIN/Chassis|Frame No. appear on the registration certificate dated 1999 for my old Mercedes, so the term has been used here for quite a while. DonnanZ (talk) 16:01, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
  • No further comments forthcoming, so I have removed the labels. DonnanZ (talk) 09:13, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
    I'd give it a week because we have some folks that drop by on only a weekly basis. DCDuring TALK 12:29, 13 July 2016 (UTC)


I think all of the adjective senses could be combined into "of or pertaining to a brother or brothers". Does anyone disagree? DTLHS (talk) 18:06, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

I agree, except for numbers 3 and 6. --Paradichlorobenzene (talk) 18:30, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Agreed, but I would probably leave 8 as a separate sense as well. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:29, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

click and klick


  1. Alternative spelling of click


  1. Alternative spelling of klick

I think it would be useful if one or both of these had a context label?? Keith the Koala (talk) 20:26, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Not a label but a gloss and sense id. —CodeCat 20:36, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

or words to that effect

This entry is too specific and should be replaced by to that effect. In addition to the example given

When he hit his finger with the hammer, he said "ouch" or words to that effect.

...it could also accommodate...

Your sister also said something to that effect.

DanwWiki (talk) 13:41, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Yup. Thanks. We have {{rfm}} (to be inserted in the entry) to initiate the process of considering such a move. What seems natural and desirable to you or me wouldn't always seem so to others. DCDuring TALK 18:19, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Many dictionaries have some of all of to the effect (that)/to the effect that, in effect, take effect, for effect. Only one OneLook reference has or words to that effect. I wonder whether we would have it were it not for the abbreviation OWTTE. DCDuring TALK 18:29, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

until the cows come home

Could someone check if I applied {{head}} properly in "until the cows come home"? There are examples of the phrase appearing the form until the cows came home, but I'm not sure if this is correctly described as the "simple past and past participle" of the phrase. (Also, I found one instance of the form until the cows are coming home, but this was from a work by an Indian author so it could be an isolated non-standard form. I don't suppose I should add this to the entry, should I?) — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:48, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

A prepositional phrase is not really a verb. But I think what I did is better at the very least. --WikiTiki89 17:26, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I wasn't sure about how to deal with this situation – I don't have a linguistics background. — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:46, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Nor do I really. I'm a self-taught linguist (and mostly through thinking rather than reading). --WikiTiki89 17:49, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
The phrase is a subordinate clause, not a prepositional phrase.
My preference would have been to not include the tense variations on the inflection line. One possibility would be to treat all the attestable variations (til, singular cow, possibly different determiners [all the] and adjectives [eg, proverbial, sea, metaphorical, unholy] as well as different verb tenses and aspects) as alternative forms. Another is to have a usage note for the classes of exploitative variations. Those possibilities could be combined.

intermediate precision

Do such terms as "intermediate precision" merit inclusion in the dictionary? ---CopperKettle (talk) 17:28, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Isn't it just intermediate + precision? --WikiTiki89 17:31, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I see. It's only a sum of parts. Thank you. --CopperKettle (talk) 08:22, 13 July 2016 (UTC)


  1. 1885 November 20, English Mechanic and World of Science[4], volume 42, page 241:
    [] and not be led astray by the coveted, but most fallacious, "honour" of orthodox interment in the sarcophagan "journals," or "horals" of any scientific "society," by which so many "good men and true" have been totally lost to the practical world of science.

What does this mean? DTLHS (talk) 18:59, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Possibly unrelated DTLHS (talk) 19:21, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
A journal posted once every hour? Latin hōra. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:57, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Right: it's the difference between Latin diurnal (French journal) and horal. The writer is probably satirising their excessively frequent publication. Equinox 23:32, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Noch ist Polen nicht verloren

I made a little mistake. It must be noch ist Polen nicht verloren, I think. Could one of you guys move it? Sorry and thanks! Kolmiel (talk) 20:16, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

I've moved it Leasnam (talk) 20:36, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

storm stick or stormstick

Has anyone else heard this term, or is it confined to Australia and NZ? It's a jocular name for an umbrella. I certainly remember it [5]. DonnanZ (talk) 19:38, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

circular definitions – motion picture and film

The third definition for film is motion picture. The second definition for motion picture is film. What is the difference between the meanings defined on the page motion picture? --Anareth (talk) 05:25, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. Our basic English-language content suffers from many lapses like this, principally lack of extensive verbal definitions or of explanatory images.
Both motion picture and film (with this meaning) are much less common than movie, which is where IMO a substantive definition should be. I've taken a run at such a definition. Please take a look. DCDuring TALK 11:03, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
In Br. English we are more likely to use the term film, rather than the other two. Could motion picture be considered old-fashioned now? DonnanZ (talk) 11:08, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't know. You could check how OneLook dictionaries treat it. One Look has Oxford, Cambridge, Collins, and Macmillan that have good UK coverage and AHD, RHU, WNW, and MW that have good US coverage. Google News supports country-specific searches so relative frequency of the terms could be compared.
Motion picture is still in use, probably because movie seems so informal. DCDuring TALK 13:01, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, according to Oxford motion picture is "chiefly North American" (“motion picture” (US) / “motion picture” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.). It doesn't say it's old-fashioned though. DonnanZ (talk) 13:15, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
"Motion picture" is dated in informal use, but not in names of institutions, job titles, regulations, etc. —This unsigned comment was added by Chuck Entz (talkcontribs) at 09:41 14 July 2016.

transferal vs. transferral

Only transferral is used in British English, is transferal used in the US? Which is considered the main form? DonnanZ (talk) 10:13, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

This doesn't happen with referral - there is no entry for referal. DonnanZ (talk) 11:40, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Google N-Gram shows that the 2-r form has been more common in books from 1940 to 2008, but has declined in relative usage since about 1990. DCDuring TALK 15:20, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Looking at transferral at OneLook Dictionary Search and transferal at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that some British dictionaries have the main entry at transferral and US at transferal. None I've seen mark either spelling as regional. DCDuring TALK 15:25, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
(e/c) See transferal vs. transferral, referal vs. referral. See also transferal vs. transferral specifically in British English and in American English. Seems that the main entry should be moved to transferral because that is more common overall. An interesting note is that my spell checker marks transferral and referal as misspelled. --WikiTiki89 15:27, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Separated out by national variety, the two-r version is still much more common in en-GB, but the one-r version has become more common in en-US since 2001. (In my own writing I wouldn't use either form, but would just use transfer as a noun.) "Referal", on the other hand, is virtually nonexistent in both national varieties. Interestingly, Chrome's spellchecker, when set to en-US, marks "transferral" as a spelling error but approves "transferal". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:29, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
All very interesting, and yet very odd - why does it happen to transferral and not to referral? Pronunciation perhaps? I would pronounce them both the same way. DonnanZ (talk) 16:32, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
As an American English speaker, transferal looks somewhat wrong to me, but YMMV. Maybe it's based on the difference in pronunciation of the base forms TRANSfer vs. reFER (even though this doesn't apply to the derived terms). Could be just random though. Benwing2 (talk) 16:36, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
  • FWIW, I think Google's spellchecker is in the wrong. And transferal with one r parses to me as trans- + feral, which is all kinds of wrong.
For background, I grew up in the Washington, DC area with native-English-speaking parents who hailed from Minnesota and New York state. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:55, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I think it's because as Angr said that most Americans would just use transfer instead, and therefore the spelling of transferral is left to the people who actually use the word, who are more likely to be Brits living in America or something like that. --WikiTiki89 16:39, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe. I've just been looking at conferral, deferral, and inferral - no other spellings entered. DonnanZ (talk) 16:49, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I did a little more digging and found that transferal is the spelling used when stressed on the first syllable, which is apparently how it's pronounced in American legalese. --WikiTiki89 17:24, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Ah, does that explain the two different IPA pronunciations given? I haven't learnt how to read those things. DonnanZ (talk) 20:41, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Nope. All the transcriptions there put the stress on the second syllable. The difference between the two British ones is whether the vowel is as in father or as in trap. --WikiTiki89 20:50, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
All trans- words have the "a" as in trap. Listen to the audio here [6]. DonnanZ (talk) 20:58, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm just telling you what the IPA says. --WikiTiki89 21:12, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Even the page Donnanz linked to gives the option of pronouncing the a as in father, it just doesn't have a corresponding sound file. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:15, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
OK, I'll admit that it's feasible, but I never hear the "aa" form in the Greater London / Surrey area. DonnanZ (talk) 21:24, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
/ˈtrɑːnsfɜː/ sounds plausible, but I'm not certain I've ever heard it. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:47, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
The OED and Chambers both have that pronunciation. It sounds dated and plummy to me, but I'm an Estuary yob. Equinox 16:50, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

"filler text" terms

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ, abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz, asdfghjkl, asdfghjkl;, qwertyuiop. Not sure about these being uncountable nouns. If anything I would class them as interjections, since they don't occupy any particular slot in the grammar. Thoughts? Equinox 16:44, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Unless they're used to refer to the filler text rather than serving as the filler text themselves, I would get rid of the filler text senses altogether- by definition, they don't mean anything. In other words, it's okay to have an entry for lorem ipsum, but not for "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...".
By the way: the quote from Cicero in the lorem ipsum entry doesn't belong there: it may be the source of lorem ipsum text, but it isn't lorem ipsum text itself. Perhaps a trimmed version of the text could be moved into the etymology.Chuck Entz (talk) 20:17, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I tidied up the entry and moved the Cicero quote into a footnote in the etymology section. — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:14, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
asdf is another. On the talk page, I say I created an RFD for it, but I can't find one. Equinox 23:08, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
@Equinox: You did. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:46, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
I'd say delete them for the reason given by Chuck. — SMUconlaw (talk) 10:20, 8 December 2016 (UTC)


Currently, there are many senses listed under the etymology of the agent noun that are not derived from verbs and don't seem to have much to do with an agent noun. In particular, something like pro-lifer seems more like a person associated with the pro-life movement than someone who engages in some kind of action. Therefore, I'm tempted to think that these senses actually belong under the "inhabitant" etymology, further down, placing it instead in the same league as New Yorker for example. —CodeCat 18:04, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, a pro-lifer isn't someone who "pro-lifes", so it isn't quite the same thing as runner or frequent flier. OTOH I think we are getting too specific with some of our senses, since "person who subscribes to a particular conspiracy theory or unorthodox belief" (truther) is just one particular type of turning a thing-noun into a person-who-likes-it-noun, like pro-lifer. Equinox 18:39, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Isn't a New Yorker someone who New Yorks? --WikiTiki89 18:44, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
No, it's someone who just started Yorking... Chuck Entz (talk) 18:50, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I think senses 6 and 7 can be merged into a simpler "person associated with or promoting". —CodeCat 19:17, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree. - -sche (discuss) 19:39, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
What's wrong with Etymology 4? Chuck Entz (talk) 18:55, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Nothing in principle, but how many nouns are really derived from that etymology, and is it really productive? There's not much in the entry to decide. —CodeCat 19:14, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
After thinking about it some more, Latin -ārius was attached to nouns, to indicate a person associated with something, very similar to the sense in English. This sense remains productive in modern French, so it's a good source for the English version. We'd really need some Old and Middle English usages to see how this evolved. —CodeCat 19:31, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
The -ier page notes that the English descendant is -eer, which makes sense in terms of stress. This suffix is stressed, while -er is not. —CodeCat 19:35, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
The occupational sense illustrated by astrologer, cricketer, trumpeter would seem to belong under Etymology 4, notwithstanding that a trumpeter is also one who trumpets. It had never heard cricketer, but had heard cricketeer. Are there other such alternants?
Does the OED have a satisfactory explanation of -er as used in senses 2-7 of Etymology 1?
Supporting Chuck: in the absence of other etymological explanations, Etymology 4 does seem to me the best location for all of what are now senses 2-7 of Etymology 1. DCDuring TALK 22:13, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Even sense 2? It's not an agent noun, but a patient noun, so it's still associated with the verb, which can't be said for the other senses. —CodeCat 22:20, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Also, what explanation can be found for the stress alternation between -er and -eer? —CodeCat 22:23, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Sense 2 is the least suitable for the shift, but the examples are obviously not strictly speaking instances of agency.
One source I like to look at for affixes is Michael Quinion's Affixes: the building blocks of English, which has this for something like Etymology 4. He includes looker there.
Though it would be interesting to "account for" the stress alternation, there is no denying that it exists, at least in the case of cricketer/cricketeer. Also, I am using the alternant synchronically because the diachronics is what we are trying to deal with. If there are no other examples, we could basically ignore it. Many of the modern formations from -eer seem to be informal, possibly more so than comparable formations from -er, though the Variety -er, for one, is principally informal. DCDuring TALK 22:47, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Swing shift

The swing shift page here, as well as on other online dictionaries lists swing shift as the equivalent to second shift (usually 4pm-12 midnight). I have never ever heard swing shift ever be used when talking about second shift, and everyone else in my family agrees that this definition is bogus.

Swing shift to us means an alternation of shifts. As in a set cycle of working days then nights. For example in a month, one could work 2 weeks of days, then have a week off, then work the following two weeks nights. Called so because one who works it swings between the two shifts. One who works such shifts is a swing shifter. Has anyone ever actually heard swing shift refer to the second shift? Rhinorulz (talk) 18:59, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

I've never encountered your definition before, but it's easy enough to find examples of both in Google Books. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:28, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

no more = dead

This may not be of first-class importance: but does it make sense to say that "no more" has a sense "dead" just because of phrases like: When I am no more... He is no more..., etc.?? I mean, obviously, this is just "to be" in the sense of "to be there, to be alive" negated by the adverb. (Or in other words, it's: he is no more, not: he is no more.) May I delete? Kolmiel (talk) 20:04, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Probably. One can also say someone "lives no more", "breathes no more", etc. - -sche (discuss) 20:24, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
If you replace be with exist, it becomes obvious that be isn't a copula in this context, but a regular verb. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:32, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree. --WikiTiki89 20:48, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. Done. Kolmiel (talk) 21:43, 15 July 2016 (UTC)


1900, John Bostock, The Natural History of Pliny[7], volume 2, translation of original by Pliny, page 537:
A feather also is inserted, and passed across through the nostrils, care being taken to move it every day; while their food consists of leeks mixed with speltmeal, or else is first soaked in water in which an owlet has been dipped, or boiled together with the seeds of the white vine.

Is he literally talking about a small owl, or is there some other use? DTLHS (talk) 21:17, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

I think it's literal. OED only reports two senses: (1) young owl; (2) (US) owlet moth, a type of moth (but no quotation containing the latter goes further back than the 19th century). — SMUconlaw (talk) 21:38, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
This translation has "either steeped in water in which an owl has been dipped or else...", which suggests that he is indeed talking about an owl. How odd. - -sche (discuss) 22:25, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
It is possible that Pliny was reporting on the use of a specimen of Athene noctua (the little owl), common in Europe and Asia. The adults are only about 22 centimeters long and weigh about 180 grams. DCDuring TALK 22:58, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Here is the Latin text, and you'll note that the word used is noctua. It's a real owl, all right, and almost certainly Athene noctua. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:55, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Poor owl. — SMUconlaw (talk) 10:46, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

whose coups?

generals' coup

colonels' coup

Are these just SoP terms - a coup led by generals, or a coup led by colonels? Keith the Koala (talk) 12:51, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

From the definitions I gather that a colonels' coup does not have to be led by colonels specifically, but by any somewhat lower-ranking kind of officer. That would make it not SoP. —CodeCat 22:23, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Definition of capitalism

Does anyone know where to look for definitions in old dictionaries from, say, a century ago?

What do you think of the current definition of capitalism?

  • (politics, uncountable) a socio-economic system based on private property rights, including the private ownership of resources or capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of a market unregulated by the state.
  • (economics, uncountable) a socio-economic system based on the abstraction of resources into the form of privately owned capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of a market unregulated by the state.

Here is the definition from January 2005.

A social and economic system based on the protection of individual rights, especially property rights, including the private ownership of resources or capital. The practical implementation of capitalism within political systems varies between complete (laizzes-faire) free markets and mixed-economy state-capitalism.

I've looked at other sources and Investopedia.com among others draws a distinction between capitalism and free market.

The criteria in terms of distinction seems to be between a market economy and a mixed one with the former corresponding with the free market ideal.

Perhaps two definitions can co-exist seeing that mainstream usage of the word has evolved?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. --JamesPoulson (talk) 13:12, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

You could try looking for old full-text dictionaries at Google Books. — SMUconlaw (talk) 18:49, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Re: Current definitions: "a socio-economic system based on the abstraction of resources into the form of privately owned capital" What does "abstraction of resources into" mean?
Generally, Palgrave is the best source for definitions of economic concepts, at least for the purposes of economists. The articles are long. The abstract of the one for capitalism, by Robert Heilbroner, from the 2008 edition follows:
"Capitalism is a unique historical formation with core institutions and distinct movements. It involves the rise of a mercantile class, the separation of production from the state, and a mentality of rational calculation. Its characteristic logic revolving around the accumulation of capital reflects the omnipresence of competition. It displays broad tendencies to unprecedented wealth creation, skewed size distributions of enterprise, large public sectors, and cycles of activity. Whereas students of capitalism traditionally envisaged an end to the capitalist period of history, modern economists show little interest in historical projection."
Such a definition is obviously too long for a dictionary and may not reflect actual usage, even by economists. capitalism in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 has "The concentration or massing of capital in the hands of a few; also, the power or influence of large or combined capital."
MWOnline has: "an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market". This definition seems good but it excludes state capitalism.
If one's definition of capital means tools of production then any definition of the term capitalism that used the word capital without somehow referencing unfairness or at least inequality or concentration misses the mark on current usage, say, on an "Occupy Wall Street" poster. DCDuring TALK 19:23, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Archive.org Subject:English language dictionaries has a pretty good collection. Especially check out the New English Dictionary on Historical Principles -- that is, the OED1 before it got named the Oxford English Dictionary.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:57, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

kunstig intelligens and similar Danish adjective + noun non-SoP locutions

User:Donnanz recently introduced me to a problem with my entry kunstig intelligens, which I made several mistakes in at once adding the inflections of because I have to combine adjective and noun inflection, and also abide by the adjective + noun rules in the Danish language. They are, to my knowledge, as follows:

(I am using "kedelig klasse" as an example, which means "boring class" in English)

  • The singular indefinite is the lemma form, obviously would just be "kedelig klasse" as in "en kedelig klasse" (a boring class)
  • plural adjective + noun (the boring classes) would be {plural of adjective} + {plural indefinite of noun}. This would be "de kedelige klasser" (the boring classes, de means "the" in the plural). This would replace a noun's plural definite form.
  • singular adjective + noun (the boring class) would be {definite of adjective) + {singular indefinite (not definite) of noun}. This would be den kedelige klasse. (NOT de kedelige klassen) This replaces the singular definite.
  • plural INDEFINITE is just {plural of adjective} + {plural of noun} I believe. So it would just be like saying "boring classes are ____", so that would be kedelige klasser er ____".
  • The genitives I believe are the same, as in "kedelig klasses", "den kedelige klasses", "kedelige klassers", and "de kedelige klassers".

So what are we supposed to do about creating entries for these? The problem is, putting "the" before an entry is kind of impractical, but in this case we may have no choice? Also, as I've been confused with this, many other users, maybe even native Danish speakers, may very easily make mistakes when modifying the inflection templates with these locutional inflections. Although, hypothetically, shouldn't they technically be here? I mean inflections of non-SoP locutions are still not SoP and verified, and therefore exist, are attestable, and are words, right? But how would we go about it?

A suggestion I have: we could create "kunstige intelligenser" and put something like this:

# {{plural indefinite of|kunstig intelligens|lang=da}}

# {{context|used with [[de]]|lang=da}} {{plural definite of|kunstig intelligens|lang=da}}

And "kunstige intelligens" as:

# {{context|used with [[den]]|lang=da}} {{singular definite of|kunstig intelligens|lang=da}}

What do you guys think about this? Especially asking people more knowledgable in Danish than I, such as natives. @User:Donnanz, @User:Pinnerup, @User:Gamren, @User:ContraVentum

(See also: the precursor to this topic at RFV) Philmonte101 (talk) 22:06, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Leave the entry in the indefinite singular form as it is at present. There is no point in creating a load of inflections, especially genitive forms (I don't know why we bother with those, they're not entered in Norwegian fortunately). DonnanZ (talk) 08:52, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
  • @User:Donnanz Genitives are still inflections of the noun. The only reason we don't include 's inflections in English here is because everyone who comes here already know what English genitives mean, and because 's and s' are just additions to the word rather than actual inflections, as we decided via consensus. We haven't decided the same thing for Danish. The reason that it's good to have Danish genitive inflections is because you'll have people coming here looking for a Danish word when they don't know anything about genitives or singular definites or most of the other linguistic stuff that we're even discussing here. Someone could look up intelligensens for example, when they found the word looking at a Danish newspaper, having literally no idea what the word meant. So there it is: "genitive singular definite of intelligens", so they go to "intelligens" to see that it means "intelligence", or "intelligentsia", or "..." well whatever else, you know what I mean. Beautiful, right? So there you have it. Consider our lurkers. In short words "why bother?" is a question we barely ask here about inflections that are attestable, correct, and not SoP. The worst that could really happen is making certain inflections redirects, such as with English locutional verbs containing words like "one's", so use a bot to redirect "my", "his", "your" inflections. Philmonte101 (talk) 09:24, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I don't mind entries for inflected forms (like "intelligensens" and "kunstige intelligenser"), but I don't think we should create entries prefixed with "de" or similar. Nor do I think we should include "(used with de)" headings in such entries, just like we don't include "(used with los)" in the entry for Spanish hombres or "(used with die)" in the entry for German Hunde. However I think we could perhaps have an inflection template for Danish adjective-noun composite terms like these, and then we could insert that into the entry for the base lemma to show the relevant forms. How does that sound? —Pinnerup (talk) 12:54, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
  • That sounds like a great idea, Pinnerup. But why do you not like it to say "used with de"? I understand what you're saying. Although hombres is not always used with "los". I've certainly seen (informal) cases of "Hombres son ____" or "_____s son ____" in Spanish. I am not knowledgable of German, so I can't relate to that example. Although, can an adjective+noun locution really be plural definite without having the "de" before it? I mean are there significant informal cases in Danish where the addition of "de" is not used for the plural definite? I don't know, I'm asking you since I am not a native Danish speaker. Philmonte101 (talk) 13:08, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
The place of the definite article may be taken by one of many other words, like a noun or a pronoun. I am inclined to agree with Donnanz that we do not need these inflections; however, I would not mind if someone made a derivative of {{da-noun-infl}} that linkifies each word. The genitive forms always seemed silly to me, too. Your argument about English genitives does not make sense; we do not exclude information merely because "everyone knows it already".__Gamren (talk) 08:54, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Your questions about "why do we need genitives in Danish" are very simply answered by asking yourselves "why do people read dictionaries (besides to help edit them)?" They read dictionaries to find out what words mean. And if Wiktionary doesn't have an "-ens" form of a noun, when someone doesn't know have any clue what that means or if it's a lemma or not, then people are left clueless. Keep in mind that not everyone, in fact very few people, in this world, are trained enough to know the basic linguistic structure of nearly every language (notice I said nearly). So, as a dictionary, we should respect those who don't have a clue what the word they're looking for means, and who don't know a lot of this linguistic terminology we're using ("genitives", "possessives", "locutions", etc.) by including Danish genitives. Same with Norwegian genitives, or Swedish genitives. Just my opinion. Philmonte101 (talk) 11:19, 18 July 2016 (UTC)


Do all of these citations fit under the same definition, particularly the earlier ones? DTLHS (talk) 16:48, 17 July 2016 (UTC)


According to the OED this has a different meaning in North America. Can anyone help? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:59, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

I don’t think it’s a different meaning in N.A. Maybe some minor variation in legalities related to the creation of a townsite. See w:townsite. —Stephen (Talk) 11:36, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

veterinarian vs veterinary surgeon

The OED claims that veterinarian is American English, while veterinary surgeon is British English. Is this true? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:39, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Yes, I believe so. veterinarian seems strange to my UK ears. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:02, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I've certainly never heard anything but veterinarian here in the US. I would have expected a veterinary surgeon to be strictly someone who specializes in performing surgery on animals, not a general practitioner. On a similar note, doctors in the US have offices, not surgeries. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:56, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
  • We tend to use the term vet for short in Br. English, but veterinarian sounds very American to me. DonnanZ (talk) 07:44, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Vets needn't be confined to surgeries, some also visit farms, stables and attend race meetings at racecourses. DonnanZ (talk) 07:55, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
As I remember, on All Creatures Great and Small the farmers often addressed the vets as "vet'n'ry", so maybe veterinary by itself can be used colloquially as a noun in some varieties of British English. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:00, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
That was set in rural Yorkshire in the 1930s, so maybe it's a term local to there. DonnanZ (talk) 09:41, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
We always just say vet. I sometimes get very confused watching US programs when they talk about looking after vets because to me those are doctors who look after animals. I couldn't really tell you which is the full form of 'vet' for a British English speaker, nor do I care. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:46, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
"looking after vets" - short for veterans? DonnanZ (talk) 17:50, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes. In American English, vet is short for both veteran and veterinarian. You have to use context (or the unclipped term) to distinguish them. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:57, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Chuck, although I'm fairly sure I have heard veterinary surgeon in the US, with the meaning Chuck describes. --WikiTiki89 18:32, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
I, too, agree with Chuck's report on US usage of veterinarian and veterinary surgeon also with Angr report of polysemic vet. DCDuring TALK 18:39, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
  • A search for "vetinaries" and phrases like "The veterinary looked"/"The veterinary came" finds a lot of hits in both British and American journals up to around 1930, when it suddenly disappears on both sides of the Atlantic. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:58, 19 July 2016 (UTC)


I'm wondering if the third definition – "A Muslim imam" – is correct? I looked it up in my Oxford Dictionary back home and it wasn't listed, neither was it mentioned on Dictionary.com. I was always under the impression that "pastor"/"shepherd" as a spiritual leader was kind of a Christian thing, I could be wrong though. Has anyone seen, read or heard of pastor being used to describe an imam? --Robbie SWE (talk) 19:08, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Doesn't seem obvious from a quick look at Google books. It should be RFVed. DTLHS (talk) 19:11, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
It's definitely a Christian term, but these are sometimes -- in a doubtful way -- applied to Islam. Compare evangelicalism, in which the doubtfulness is even more striking. (If attestable, it should probably be labelled "by extension", "by analogy", or "sometimes also", or something, in order to show that this not within the original and predominant sense of the word.) Kolmiel (talk) 20:26, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
A pastor is a Christian rabbi. That would make an imam a Muslim Christian-rabbi. Everything depends on your own perspective. I don't think we need these kinds of analogical definitions even if they are attestable. --WikiTiki89 20:36, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Fine by me :) I just mean, if we have it it should at least be labelled. Kolmiel (talk) 20:51, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
It's POV-pushing by a known (and blocked) POV-pusher. - -sche (discuss) 21:12, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

pluo, pluit

We have one lemma with two different lemma entries. We should choose one and turn the other into a form-of entry. —CodeCat 00:30, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Hyphenated fractions as adjectives

one-fifth, two-fifths, and many others. I don't know how these would be used as adjectives. "It was two-fifths of the whole" seems more like a noun. Any examples of clearly adjectival use? DTLHS (talk) 00:33, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

It's not uncommon to drop the "of a" when fractions are used to modify measure words in recipes, etc., though measures used in recipes are based on multiple of 1/2 and 1/3, not 1/5 (unless you're adding a lot of liquor...). Maybe that's what the entry is getting at. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:24, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
I would think that they would be used just as half#Adjective is used. DCDuring TALK 02:26, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm not really sure that half or any of the hyphenated fractions (or terms such as one percent) are true adjectives, rather than being nouns sometimes used attributively. DCDuring TALK 02:30, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
That makes sense... I didn't think of usages like this:
1888, The Northwestern Reporter, volume 35:
It provides for the sale of four-fifths of certain land, while the mortgagor owned only two-fifths, and the decree was so drawn as to lead to an inference that the intention was that a two-fifths interest belonging to the plaintiff should be sold in connection with the mortgagor's interest.
But like you said this could be considered attributive use. DTLHS (talk) 02:35, 19 July 2016 (UTC)


I missed seeing entry number 4,750,000 to add to Wiktionary:Milestones. Any ideas? SemperBlotto (talk) 20:15, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

I nominate pangngalan, since it seems to be around the right number and it wasn't created by a bot. DTLHS (talk) 20:51, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
That will do. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:30, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
How many entries are in a mile? --WikiTiki89 21:13, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Currently 250,000 - we increase the number from time to time. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:30, 20 July 2016 (UTC)


Surprisingly this wasn't coined until around 1850. Can anyone find citations earlier than 1849, specifically the "Month. Rev." that the dictionary is citing? DTLHS (talk) 20:53, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

  • 1839, Franz Karl Naegele, “The Obliquely Contracted Pelvis: Containing Also an Appendix of the Most Important Defects of the Female Pelvis”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name):
    I mentioned it publicly in my earlier lectures as well as at the meeting of the society of Natural Science and Therapy November 24th, 18321 and also — in order to learn the opinions of others — in my lecture on the 23rd of September, 1834
    1Heidelb. Jahrb. d. Lit. 1832, No. 12.
This would seem to indicate that the translators could expect therapy to be understood, at least in the specialty readership of such a monograph, as translating its German equivalent Therapie, which had apparently been in use since the previous century. DCDuring TALK 21:30, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
I think that wasn't translated until 1939, based on the title page. DTLHS (talk) 21:31, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Indeed: "newly translated".
therapia seems to have been in abundant use, including in many book titles, in medical Latin works for quite some time. Therapeutic has a much longer history in English, where I found it in Monthly Review of July 1758. DCDuring TALK 21:51, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Problems with the French 'que' page

There are mistakes for 'ne ... que' (French for 'only') on https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/que#Adverbe_2 and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/que#Conjunction_3

The most serious problem is that the French page classes it an Adverb, but the English a Conjunction. Can someone please correct them?

HF and AC

I've seen some boxes of plastic glasses whose lens colors were described as: "HF Green 2.0", "HF Green 3.0", "AC Green 2.0", "AC Green 3.0", "HF Amber", "AC Amber", "HF Smoke", "AC Smoke", etc.

Without opening the boxes and checking the glasses, what do HF and AC probably mean in this case?
--Daniel Carrero (talk) 01:35, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

   Likely you speak of tinted corrective lenses, as 2.0 and 3.0 are over-the-counter degrees of correction in reading glasses (especially for aging eyes). You can find (clear) .5, 1.0, and 2.0 as drugstore glasses including @ Walmart, and i happened to find a set of 3.0's that suit me slightly better in a European pharmacy.
(At the risk of throwing in a red herring, i do note that H. F. AMBER, INC. exists, as does Ac Green Mortgage Modification [snicker].) I don't see anything at Wikipedia:AC and Wikipedia:HF, so those may be style codes, or initials of companies too boring to have WP articles.
--Jerzyt 07:03, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
HF lenses would be "helical focus" in photography [8], but I doubt glasses have the same kinds of lens. Equinox 08:46, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
HF means "half frame" SemperBlotto (talk) 08:56, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Then AC is probably an acetate frame. Equinox 08:59, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Simple Google searches ("HF half-frame" and "AC Acetate frame") make those seem likely. DCDuring TALK 10:14, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
That's how I found it (but I had to dig around, because there were quite a few false positives too). Do you reckon I could get paid for doing Google searches for people? Equinox 17:12, 22 July 2016 (UTC)


I believe we should change this and any other entries to Old English words with the ð character to have the þ character since that seems more widely used, and it seems impractical to have to "guess" whether to input a Ð or a Þ looking for a word.—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 04:46, 21 July 2016‎.

   Here are the entries for the 4 chars mentioned: ð, þ, Ð, Þ.
   98...'s proposal sounds like a wild guess by someone who doesn't realize that redirects from variant spellings to preferred spellings should be able to deal with the problems of users who are in the dark about the unfamiliar characters; in some cases it may be that Dab pages will be needed to guide them with hints about which confusion-prone spellings are associated with which meanings.
--Jerzyt 09:25, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

scare up

   I've discussed, on that verb's talk page, my reasoning for introducing, after

To find or procure something ...

the new wording

while relying on chance to provide the means

and i hope the change will deserve colleagues' attention, whether positive or negative.
--Jerzyt 06:25, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


Can a pest be a plant (e.g. an invasive plant species)? Wikipedia seems to think so, but both Wiktionary and the OED define pests as creatures and insects/animals respectively. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:51, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Yes. The OED has "Any animal, esp. an insect, that attacks or infests crops, livestock, stored goods, etc. Also (less commonly): a plant that is an invasive weed." SemperBlotto (talk) 10:04, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Empty bulleted line appears in Mobile view but not Desktop?

On multiple pages in sections such as References and Readings, a bulleted line that is empty of text appears in Mobile view but not Desktop view. If global, would this be fixable by bot?

* {{template}} renders in Desktop view:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

In Mobile view:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

To see an actual example of thsee results, toggle between the two views (using the link at the very bottom of each view) for this archived revision of 囟 and compare Chinese § References, where I removed *, and Japanese § Readings, where I did not.

See my recent history for more examples, especially my edit summaries at Revision history of "囟".

Please verify this in each view on a desktop or laptop computer. My desktop computer, alas, is broken, so when I have been verifying this for the Desktop view, I have been using Chrome for Android, a mobile platform, on a Samsung phone. I don't see why that would matter, but just in case...

Side question: Where in Wikimedia would I go to report other issues that affect mobile editing on both WT & WP?

Thanks! --Geekdiva (talk) 10:12, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

It looks like a browser- or OS-specific issue, because I did not see the problem occur when I viewed the pre-edited version of the page using an iPhone. Technical issues that relate to Wikimedia generally should be reported using the Phabricator. — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:21, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


For the Particle part of speech: 1. Is "vocative" a sufficient explanation? Many slightly older books use it the same way we would use "oh" today, e.g. when somebody falls and hurts himself. 2. The usage notes say that the word is not strictly archaic. Who says? It looks very old-fashioned to me, and I think it needs a gloss. Equinox 08:41, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

As I read it, you (and the entry) seem to be suggesting that the vocative sense and the "Oh" sense are the same etymology. Is that right? I would expect to see the "Oh" sense classified as "Exclamation", not "Particle". 23:04, 24 July 2016 (UTC)


Is Atatürk really a proper noun meaning the "father of the Turkish people", or is it just a name that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk coined for himself? I feel like this is like defining Johnson as a proper noun with the meaning "son of John". --WikiTiki89 15:57, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

We have both Il Duce and Führer. So Atatürk should be acceptable is a specific title carried by a single person if we allow such thing. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 14:57, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I think it should be allowed, too. Although "the Führer" was the leader of a "Führerstaat", which was considered the proper Germanic form of government. So in theory Hitler should have been replaced with another Führer (führer?) after his death. That might be a difference. Kolmiel (talk) 10:37, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I'm not complaining about the inclusion of the word, but about the definition. Also, Atatürk was not his title but his surname. --WikiTiki89 16:23, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
@User:Wikitiki89: Good catch. As far as this is a proper noun, it is a designation for Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The definition--"Predecessor or father of the Turkish people"--is wrong and needs a correction. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:44, 24 July 2016 (UTC)


Keeps getting added as Anglo Norman, with incomprehensible formatting. Is there a real entry possible here? DTLHS (talk) 23:53, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

This idiot keeps adding a factoid about an Anglo-Norman name and its similarity to an Old English one to every entry even remotely spelled like this- even Old Irish, Sardinian and Vietnamese! My guess is that it's someone (they consistently geolocate to Colombia) who's obsessed with proving that their name has nothing to do with cows and who has no clue about language headers or language codes. I'll have to see if I can come up with an edit filter. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:22, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

ginger (redheaded person)

Someone said on Facebook that the term 'ginger' for a redhead goes back to Southpark of all things. Clearly bollocks. Can anyone be bothered to check when the redhead term originated? OED might have a date for it, but I'm not a subscriber. Many thanks. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:25, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

It seems to have originally been used to refer to cocks, and only later to people. Etymonline is usually good for a free summary. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 12:47, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I think "ginger" as a noun referring to a redhead (as in "He's a ginger") was virtually unknown in American English until it was popularized by South Park. I can't say whether it was used that way in British English before that, but I suspect it was. (South Park also introduced Americans to the word minge, which was previously unknown in the States.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:20, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
The adjective "ginger" describing "red" hair is common in Britain, and long predates South Park. The noun, "a ginger", meaning a redhead, is not common here in my experience. To me it is essentially unknown, though I would guess the meaning if I did hear it. 21:06, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
The OED has this noun sense- "A cock with reddish plumage; also, a red-haired or sandy-haired person." with an example (of person) from 1885. SemperBlotto (talk) 20:32, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Easy disproof using only recent popular culture: Geri Halliwell was known as Ginger Spice before South Park even started. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:28, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
We're talking about the noun, though. I remember hearing it at my secondary school in the 1990s, derisively pronounced with two hard /g/ sounds — probably not usual. Equinox 15:32, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I did notice the nonstandard pronunc in our entry. The term we had was ginner (i.e. [ˈdʒɪ.nə]). Renard Migrant (talk) 15:50, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I never realized until now that red hair is a totally different color than the ginger root and so the origin of this term is not as obvious as I thought. --WikiTiki89 15:33, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

God Almighty

is a mistranslation Talk:God Almighty. Lysdexia (talk) 22:22, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Which says "A mistranslation of -èl shaddæ which really means "hillish god", a god of earth/ore/war equivalent to ares/mars/tiw, but -ijjob usually didn't even qualify that with "god"." The last group of editors the Hebrew Bible got were monotheists, and when their output said אֵל שַׁדַּי they did not mean "hillish god". It's not a mistranslation; it may be a translation of the post-exile Jewish interpretation and edit of the Bible, which may be a misinterpretation and rewriting of the originals, but then you start to get into hairy questions of the "meaning" of the text. Anything we say on this should be nuanced and cited; it is certainly not a simple "mistranslation". --Prosfilaes (talk) 20:09, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, Hebrew speakers have been consistently translating it into other languages as something meaning "Almighty" since the first known translation, the Greek Septuagint, which is well over 2,000 years old. Was it understood that way when it was first written down? We'll never know. I suspect that the etymology of the term was long forgotten by then, but that's just an educated guess.
Knowing the etymology of a term is better than nothing, but it usually leads you astray as a translation aid: although you can trace nice back to a Latin word meaning "ignorant", I would translate it into French as gentil, not ignorant. Unless you're translating something from several centuries ago, the latter choice would be dangerously incorrect. Also, "hillish" is pretty silly: it strongly implies that what it refers to resembles hills or mountains, rather than being associated with them.
Besides, the similarity to the Akkadian word could be a coincidence, and the origin could be something that's been lost. If I had to guess, I'd go with your etymology- but it would still be a guess. Who knows- in 50 years that etymology could be considered just as wrong as the one that derived the name from the Hebrew word for breast, and claimed that the term refers to God's feminine side. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:52, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I would more likely say that we simply don't know the origin, rather than connecting it to Akkadian. The Akkadian origin does not seem any more appealing than a native Hebrew origin whose details we don't know. Trying to bring polytheism into this doesn't make much sense either, because Exodus 6:2-3 make it pretty clear that the three names used in those two verses all refer to the same G-d. --WikiTiki89 15:23, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

custom/logic/tradition dictates

We seem to be missing a definition at dictate for "custom/logic/tradition dictates that...". The first sense is below standard, too. --Turnedlessef (talk) 22:39, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Isn't this just sense 1 ("order, command, control")? — SMUconlaw (talk) 07:00, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps, but that sense needs better wording anyways. --Turnedlessef (talk) 07:33, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
See {{sofixit}}. DCDuring TALK 14:20, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Many other words can fit where custom/logic/tradition fit without altering the definition IMO, eg, hope, experience, love, hatred, geometry. DCDuring TALK 14:25, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I assume he wants suggestions on how to word it. I agree that the definition is either inadequate or lacking, but I'm not sure how I would word it either. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:20, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I do want suggestions, especially how to word it without those slashes. MackyBlue11 (talk) 02:07, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

sweets (candy, cookies, cake, etc.) is British-only?

Not according to this American. I removed the label. I think the same should apply to sweet (singular) = a cookie, a piece of candy, cake, etc. Benwing2 (talk) 21:05, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

As a Brit, I wouldn't describe cookies or cake as sweets in the candy sense, although cake can be sense 3 of sweet (i.e. a dessert course). Keith the Koala (talk) 18:43, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. Sweets are things like toffees, lemon drops, pineapple cubes (I mean the sugary kind, not actual lumps of fresh fruit), and chocolate bars — not cookies and cakes. "Sweet" for dessert feels like a qualitatively different sense. Equinox 19:37, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Hmm. "Can I see the sweet menu" sounds strange to me, we'd say "dessert" in place of it. But it's perfectly OK to say "I like sweets" referring to confections in general (cookies, candy, cake, ice cream, etc.), which correspond to the sorts of things eaten for dessert; although "sweets" in this sense doesn't include fruit even though fruit is often eaten for dessert. Usually we would say "sweets" (plural) but we could also say "I have a craving for a sweet today". Not quite sure how to describe this properly. Is this usage also British? Benwing2 (talk) 00:30, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't think so. In BrE, in the non-dessert sense, "I like sweets" does not include "cookies" (or biscuits as we call them here), cake or ice-cream. It only includes what is called "candy" in the US. In the dessert sense, which is much less likely in this sentence, it could conceivably include cake or ice-cream. 02:38, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

thousand one, thousand and one, one thousand and one

thousand and one is automatically redirected to thousand one, which is totally foreign to British users. It prevents a British English label being added to a proper entry, which then can be given a redirection. Can this thoughtlessness be undone? DonnanZ (talk) 08:53, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Yes check.svg Done Found out how to undo the redirect. DonnanZ (talk) 15:52, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Additional connotations of fox in the sense of "attractive person"?

Does fox in the sense of "attractive person" have any additional connotations, such as a (hot or even explosive) temper, fierceness, sexual hunger, a predatory spirit? The citations aren't clear, but suggestive of the possibility that additional connotations associated with the animal (which include reddish hair) or with an "animal nature" could have influenced the choice, like, "rrrrr, she/he's a total fox, a wild thing, hot in every respect".

Also, in the spirit of KISS, how about replacing "man or woman" with "person" or "human"? (That would, incidentally, also be neatly inclusive of non-binary genders.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:44, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Chambers just has "an attractive young person, esp a woman". To me it suggests some kind of promiscuity (i.e. would not fit a modest and unexperienced virgin) but that may just be my own associations with the supposedly fierce and cunning animal. Equinox 09:45, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
JFTR: I know that connotations are not usually included in our dicdefs. This is rather a question out of personal curiosity, and I'm asking for personal opinions; I'm not sure if we can actually prove such implications. Though I guess psychologically, the tendency to read them into the use of the term are hard to avoid. Also compare vixen. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:19, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation of taffety

This is apparently an archaic spelling of the word taffeta, but I can't find anywhere whether it was pronounced the same way or if it's pronounced as it looks. Does anyone know where I might be able to find the pronunciation for this term? 2WR1 (talk) 23:48, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Webster's Third New International and Kenyon and Knott both say taffety is pronounced with a final /i/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:13, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
@Angr: Okay, great, thank you! 2WR1 (talk) 16:27, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

later on has no definition

Some relevant information can be found here.--Anareth (talk) 13:01, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

And no earlier on, these seem like genuine entries to me. Objections? Renard Migrant (talk) 14:48, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't object to the entries, but what is it that on adds to either earlier or later? I don't think that what it adds is strictly semantic. Is it prosodic? Or what? DCDuring TALK 18:40, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I think that the forms with "on" always link related events e.g. "It rained and later on snowed". The forms without "on" can do the same, but don't always. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:17, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

anta (Italian)

Any citations for the Italian sense under etymology 2, derived from the ending of quaranta, etc? I've never heard it.

Incidentally, this cannot be a heteronym unless the words are pronounced differently. Since neither word has an accent on the final "a", the pronunciations must be identical as "a" has only one sound in Italian. I have removed this category label. — 14:15, 27 July 2016 (UTC)


I disagree with diff. The entry iron is the most obvious place to look for these translations, not the much more obscure term ferrous. —CodeCat 16:36, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Seconded. Benwing2 (talk) 23:08, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Ferrous does not mean "made of iron". One of its meanings is "containing iron". I find the idea of calling Margaret Thatcher the "Ferrous Lady" amusing though. DCDuring TALK 23:56, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Our definition is "of or containing iron" so theoretically it could mean "made of iron" if not used in chemistry. But I agree with CodeCat, words like Russian железный (železnyj) are most naturally translated as simply "iron". Benwing2 (talk) 00:05, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
It is foolish to rely on our definitions as authoritative about actual English. Many of the dictionaries in OneLook are better. The OED is better yet, if one has convenient access. DCDuring TALK 00:27, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I was about to bring this up ion relation to stone#Adjective. I don't think "made of stone" (or made of iron) is adjectival but it's complicated by the existence of other adjectival definitions. Furthermore nouns used attributively can have adjectival translations, and iron is a particularly good example. The thing is, at what stage do we include things that don't exist just to include translations. железный (železnyj) translates as iron#Noun used attributively, but is itself an adjective. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:28, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Where does it end? Do we have be tall to accommodate Chinese , which is a verb, or have mercy on to accommodate Ancient Greek ἐλεέω, or speak Cahuilla to accommodate the Cahuilla translation, which is a single word? Other languages are structured differently, and we can't reflect all of those structures in our English entries. Chuck Entz (talk) 17:32, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
In cases where we want to have other languages' adjectives for "made of iron" hosted in iron, but iron does not seem to be an adjective in English, DCDuring and I tried a couple of alternative ideas in 2011: either merge them into the noun translation table with a note (as in cork), or give them their own translation table in the noun section (as in brass; Ctrl+F "attributive" in both entries to find the relevant bits, with the translations tables expanded). - -sche (discuss) 03:25, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
I think either of those is a good solution. But we do also have to resign ourselves to the fact that not every non-English word is going to be able to be listed in the translation section of some English word. Wiktionary is very good at being an English dictionary, and it's very good at being an X-to-English dictionary for any other language X, but its design simply won't let it be a good English-to-X dictionary. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:40, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Should overpopulated have two etymologies?

The user Britannic124 insists that the adjective and the verb originated independently, therefore they should be under the separate etymology sections. But they have the same root. So should there be two etymologies? Are there any other examples like this? 23:51, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

For reference: the two etymologies appear to be over- + populated, and overpopulate + -ed. I believe it makes logical sense to have both, since those are genuinely distinct formations, though it makes the entry look a bit unwieldy. Equinox 00:08, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
In this case the semantics seem to clearly support two etymologies.
In other cases an adjective ending in ed (or ing) predates the verb, which might be considered a back-formation, which is an even stronger argument for distinct etymologies. DCDuring TALK 00:54, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I treat different parts of speech as different etymologies in pretty much all cases, and always separate lemmas from nonlemmas. —CodeCat 01:00, 28 July 2016 (UTC)


Should the third sense of lousy be moved to lousy with for "we don't need any more X, we're already lousy with X"? RJFJR (talk) 00:30, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Some would look the usage up at [[lousy]], so I don't think we should get rid of that. Most dictionaries have the usage at lousy, with at least a usage example containing with. Two OneLook references have lousy with, but as a run-in. One idiom dictionary has lousy with as an entry. We could also have [[lousy with]] either as a full entry or a hard redirect (which I prefer). DCDuring TALK 00:47, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
There was a suggestion a little while ago to include collications among the definitions with a "see (term)" kind of sense. —CodeCat 01:01, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't really see how this differs from being packed, stuffed, bursting, etc. "with". Equinox 01:12, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't. It's just a question of whether some folks will search for "lousy with", in which case they will get what they want faster. DCDuring TALK 02:04, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I can't see any advantages. Would fail WT:CFI#Idiomaticity and I can't imagine anyone looking it up. If you don't know what "we don't need any more X, we're already lousy with X" means you look up the word or words you don't understand, you don't look them up in pairs. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:24, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
By having so many MWEs for metaphors, similes, collocations, and phrasal verbs that don't feel much like non-SoP idioms, we are training users to look things up that way. I have heard folks hear claim (without evidence or cited authority) that 'chunks' are the units in which we learn language.
To the extent we are willing to recognize that we are competing with other references, to the extent that idiom dictionaries are among our competitors, and to the extent that we wish to actively compete for users, we should have an entry (or redirect) for lousy with because idiom dictionaries have entries for such terms. DCDuring TALK 12:28, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Contributions by User:MahiraYT

Some of these seem rather dubious or even downright incorrect. They added an Old English translation for "etymology" and an Old Church Slavonic translation for "Serbo-Croatian". If they're making these kinds of edits, it puts everything they do in doubt. —CodeCat 01:04, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

I think they're just taking words from different Wikipedias, without knowing if they are actually native words. DTLHS (talk) 01:13, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
From the messages they sent me and Chuck about this, I gather that they don't understand CFI. —CodeCat 16:47, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
Old Church Slavonic, like Latin, is still in use as a liturgical language. I have a Yup’ik acquaintance in Curyung, Alaska, who is the priest of a Russian Orthodox Church there (usually preferred by the indigenous Alaskan peoples), and he speaks Old Church Slavonic, Yup’ik, and English, as do most of his congregation (at least passively). As a result of its continued use, the language develops terms for modern technology and vocabulary. —Stephen (Talk) 18:22, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
I think you're confusing OCS with CS. CS isn't a single language though, but rather the local language "archaified" a bit. —CodeCat 18:36, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
You’re right, the liturgical language is Old Slavic, as opposed to OCS. What I found states that the Russian recension was developed after the 10th century on the basis of the earlier Bulgarian recensions, from which it differed only slightly. Its main features are: substitution of the nasal sound ǫ with [u]; and merging of letters ě and ja. So it does differ a little from OCS, but just barely. Based only on this small description, it sounds to me as though the difference is similar to the difference between British English and American English. My Alaskan connection has sent me some bits of literature and a calendar, and I’ve started looking for them, but so far I can’t find where I put them. I would like to take another look to see if I can find differences, now that I know that there are differences. —Stephen (Talk) 19:51, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
The differences are a little bit more substantial, mainly in terms of spelling. The yers are dropped except word-finally, and there's vocabulary differences to match the local language. It's a bit like Medieval Latin versus Classical Latin, but spoken in a local "accent" with local words and a little bit of local grammar too. Imagine they had kept speaking Medieval Latin to the people in churches of Romance areas, but made it a bit more like the local language so people could still follow. —CodeCat 20:12, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
It means the local languages of that time, like 1100 years ago...not the local languages today. The differences between the languages were small then. The Old Russian language (Old East Slavic) was considered a dialect of OCS and they were mutually intelligible. —Stephen (Talk) 20:28, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
The theory is irrelevant. What matters is whether the words are attestable with that meaning. Also, OES was not a dialect of OCS, they were simply related languages with a high degree of mutual intelligibility. --WikiTiki89 14:17, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
It is not so cut and dried as that. Horace Lunt, in On the Relationship of Old Church Slavonic to the Written Language of Early Rus’, 1987, proposed that Old East Slavic and Old Church Slavonic be viewed as two variants of Late Common Slavic. You can deny that they are dialects if you want, but I consider them dialects of one language. And the thing that makes the theory relevant is that in CodeCat’s view, OCS and the Russian recension were petrified over a thousand years ago, and therefore attestations must be limited to that ancient time; while I believe that the languages/dialects are still in liturgical use and, like Latin, and are still spoken today and include some modern vocabulary, including words for Serbo-Croatian. —Stephen (Talk) 05:33, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't care about dialects vs. languages, so I'm ok with saying that OES and OCS are dialects of Late Common Slavic. What I'm not ok with is saying that OES is a dialect of OCS. That would be like saying that American English is a dialect of British English. But the reason I say all this is irrelevant is that it doesn't matter whether these languages could or couldn't have a word for "etymology" or "Serbo-Croatian", what matters is whether they do or they don't, which is a verifiable fact that does not require debating the theory. --WikiTiki89 15:31, 2 August 2016 (UTC)


The entry says that the singular "paparazzi" is nonstandard, but almost every usage I see in English (which is not the same language as Italian) uses "paparazzi" in the singular form, while both "paparazzi" and "paparazzis" are used for plural. The entry seems to confuse the language in question making Italian grammar rules override actual English language borrowing. Shouldn't English language borrowings use the form used in the English language, instead of the form used in the language of origin, since English isn't Italian? -- 11:56, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

There is no written rule. It usually depends on who uses the word. In the case of paparazzi, most of the users are journalists, actors, directors, photographers, etc., and they have a tendency to adopt the spellings, pronunciation, diacritics, and plurals used by the language of origin. —Stephen (Talk) 18:13, 30 July 2016 (UTC)


The plural of the french word landau should be landaus instead of the expected landaux. But for some reason the page for landaux exists. Should this be deleted or something? 2WR1 (talk) 16:31, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

@SemperBlotto: Thanks! 2WR1 (talk) 06:25, 12 August 2016 (UTC)


For the page déjeusner there are automatically generated pronunciations given in the conjugation chart, however these do not take into account that the s should be silent and so are all incorrect. Is there any way to just remove the pronunciations from the chart? 2WR1 (talk) 16:42, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

See WT:Grease pit/2016/July for my comments. Benwing2 (talk) 17:46, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
@Benwing2: I see what you're talking about, but it doesn't seem to fix the problem. 2WR1 (talk) 00:06, 31 July 2016 (UTC)

'grenouille' gender

I've added the gender of 'grenouille' to the article on this word. This was inspired by looking up the word and not being told. I could have found it by following a link or looking for the word on French Wiki. But unsophisticated wiki users might not think of it (I'm not all that sophisticated myself).

If this is contrary to a general policy which had been fully thrashed out and decided, perhaps some kind person could reverse my edit = and point me in the direction of the discussion?Twr57 (talk) 21:08, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Thanks, but it was already there, directly underneath the Noun header: the letter "f" for feminine. This is the standard way of doing it with our templates. Equinox 21:13, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out, and reversing the otiose edit. Apologies for giving you the trouble!Twr57 (talk) 21:25, 30 July 2016 (UTC)


Can conjunctions really even have plural forms? Should we modify the definition to say "same as albeit, but tends to match more with plural circumstances" or something? (I'm bad with wording things...) Philmonte101 (talk) 13:39, 31 July 2016 (UTC)

It does seem odd. "Albethey" (first time I've ever seen it!) seems to be intended to mean "although they be...", which isn't a plural as such. Equinox 14:16, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
See albe in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911. Spenser had "albe they". Google n-grams shows no usage of "albe they" or "albethey". DCDuring TALK 14:42, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
Our etymology seems overlong and tendentious. OTOH, I hope we don't have a role in starting a trend favoring usage of this. Albeit is bad enough. DCDuring TALK 14:46, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, we should modify the entry in the manner you suggest. The user who created it also created subaudi with subaudite as a plural form of it, but I suggested a better presentation on Talk:subaudi. - -sche (discuss) 18:04, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for discussing. I also wanted to add that, as DCDuring is saying, we've given bots false info on other Wiktionaries. The examples put are ar:albethey, da:albethey (but this wasn't a bot, that was me some years ago), and my:albethey. Perhaps we should contact users of those other Wiktionaries about this, though it's probably not (nearly) the first time a false bot entry has happened. Philmonte101 (talk) 18:19, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
@DTLHS or anyone else, do you think it would be possible to find if there are any other English entries where a normally non-pluralizable part of speech is defined as the {{plural of}}/{{en-irregular plural of}} something, or (if it would be easier to search for) any normally-non-pluralizable lemma that lists a plural on the headword line like albeit did? Would that be: any part of speech other than 'noun', 'proper noun', 'pronoun'? Or do other parts of speech regularly pluralize? Verbs maybe, except that most don't have plural forms separate from the lemmas. Conceivably some French-derived adjectives might have plural forms, but it might be interesting to have a list of them. I wouldn't expect adverbs or conjunctions to pluralize. - -sche (discuss) 18:20, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
Agreed with User:-sche. I think we should find entries like this somehow and edit them to the way they should be. (if it were me, I'd also search for adjective or verb or etc. plurals in English, in case of mistakes with that) Philmonte101 (talk) 18:29, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
@-sche OK, I can check for the headings ['Adjective', 'Adverb', 'Conjunction', 'Determiner', 'Interjection', 'Morpheme', 'Numeral', 'Particle', 'Phrase', 'Postposition', 'Preposition', 'Verb'] at l3 or l4. Any more? DTLHS (talk) 18:43, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
Not that I can think of, except maybe — should we check for prefixes/suffixes? Or do they validly pluralize often? Thank you, in any case. - -sche (discuss) 19:23, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
@-sche User:DTLHS/cleanup/English pos with plural of I can look for affixes if you want, which would pick up things like -a. DTLHS (talk) 19:42, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
Oh, right; I suppose suffixes which are listed as "plural of" are probably fine, then, like -a is. Thanks for the list. The alchemical terms are indeed just nouns, as Phil points out, and it was good to catch them. notate bene seems like the same kind of thing as subaudite, and et seqq. and operibus citatis seems like the same kind of thing as that or as pp. vs p.. - -sche (discuss) 21:02, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
@ User:DTLHS, I fixed a few of these. turn coats was only a typo, and philosophers of fire is actually a noun as well. Although, with the numeral I can see why one would make that mistake. Perhaps we should discuss each of these terms separately other than the 4 that have been fixed. By the way, thanks a billion for creating this list. Philmonte101 (talk) 20:35, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
unvigintillions highlights something which I think has been discussed before but obviously not resolved: numbers like that can pluralize, but the plurals aren't always linked-to or mentioned on the singular pages, e.g. there's no link in billion to billions. - -sche (discuss) 21:14, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
Changed unvigintillions to have a noun heading. Reason: All numerals seem to have the capability of being used as nouns. But question, why don't we put noun headers in the numeral entries that say something like "This term can also be used as a noun." or something idk? Philmonte101 (talk) 04:12, 1 August 2016 (UTC)


I'm very curious about this word because 1) it is a Scrabble word 2) When I search for it I get noise, e.g. the Diatron company ...

From Google Book search I can find some references to it from around 1947 and 1953 but I think it has more history to it than this. It's something about electronics, vacuum tubes ... Purportedly it was "invented by" Irving Langmuir but some of his other inventions were disputed (he was more the popularizer). But so far I haven't run across anything that really specifies what a diatron is .... missing in wikipedia, google, and wiktionary, so my whole world view is crumbling here ...

I'm thinking possibly in the 1950s someone started using the word and soon other people started using it for various other things soon after, so maybe it never had a clear meaning. So then a reference should be available for the various uses, as clear as possible.

Seems like the beginning of a project, or else I am just missing the right sources (likely).

Are you sure it's an official Scrabble word, and not just something like Words With Friends, which is probably full of errors? What's your exact source? I don't see it in the list (though mine might be a few years out of date). Anyway: words with -tron are usually physical devices like particle accelerators. I already tried researching this word when you posted it the other day, but could find nothing much. Equinox 00:38, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Aha... I just checked Hasbro's official site here [9] and it defines diatron as "a circuitry design that uses diodes". Equinox 00:40, 1 August 2016 (UTC)