Wiktionary:Tea room/2017/December

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← November 2017 · December 2017 · January 2018 → · (current)



The pallium in Neuroanatomy is not the same as the cortex, but more like its embryonary origin. Thus, I don't think the definition should redirect to the cortex (and neither the translations section). --Pablussky (talk) 09:30, 1 December 2017 (UTC)


This entry is not created. Is this a SoP? Dokurrat (talk) 18:06, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

I don't think so; English rat poison exists. Wyang (talk) 22:57, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

Talk pages[edit]

Every time I try to write something in a talk page two messages are proposing to not write there. The talk pages of a wiki project are specific pages for discussion about problems in the page so that future editors can see them. By not writing there we "hide" from future editors of that page all these problems. Consider also that some new editors may understand these messages not as hints but as a community request and will not edit the talk page, leaving future editors without clues about problems in that page. We should somehow inform future editors about all other discussions made throughout the years for that specific page. Either by poking an automatic notice that discussions exist, there and there, or by some other idea. The message about the fact that "general questions" should be asked in another place is ok. --Xoristzatziki (talk) 06:53, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

That's why I try to make it a personal habit to put a link to the community pages on the specific talk pages: Talk:paradis fiscal, Talk:tax haven, for example. It's been useful on at least one occasion: Talk:about that life (see the last discussion). But it's rather tedious, and going back to old Tea room/Etymology Scriptorium discussions would be even more. I wish we had some sort of archiver. There's one for RfV and RfD requests, but it removes the discussion from the community page; here we'd want to leave it there. --Barytonesis (talk) 10:45, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

Old-fashioned window[edit]

Hello! How do we call this type of window? Is there a (specific) term for it? Casement? Thank you very much! --หมวดซาโต้ (talk) 08:55, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

awning window. See Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Window on Wikipedia.Wikipedia . DCDuring (talk) 14:30, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

older brother and older sister[edit]

What's going on in the translation tables here? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:34, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

Special:Diff/42846770 and Special:Diff/42846768 by -sche. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 14:46, 2 December 2017 (UTC)


In my observation, this word has been increasingly and steadily associated with internet pornography diffusion. Should we update this entry to reflect such usage? Dokurrat (talk) 18:52, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

It has a whole range of usages. I think it would be misleading to single out any particular one. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:24, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
I think that ## {{lb|zh|specifically}} would be harmless. —suzukaze (tc) 02:27, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
I think this more comes under the heading of Usage notes. But if you added that connotation you'd have to add all the other ones as well, otherwise it would look like that is the most common usage (which it isn't). ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:36, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Script for Cham words[edit]

បែក#Etymology, egg/translations, and Đà_Nẵng#Etymology_2 all use different scripts for cja: Cham, Arab, Latn. Is this right? —suzukaze (tc) 02:33, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

@Stephen G. Brown, do you happen to know? —suzukaze (tc) 04:35, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
There are two dialects of Cham, Western and Eastern (not mutually intelligible). Western Cham (cja) is spoken principally in Cambodia, although there are a few in a small area of Vietnam. Eastern Cham (cjm) is spoken in Vietnam. Eastern Cham of Vietnam uses both Latn script and the Eastern version of the Cham alphabet. The more numerous Western Cham are mostly Muslim, and they use both Arab script and the Western version of the Cham alphabet. —Stephen (Talk) 01:12, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown: Đà_Nẵng#Etymology_2 has Latin-script cja text that is automatically trying to use the Arabic script. Is it the wrong language code? —suzukaze (tc) 07:04, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't know why it would be trying to use Arabic script. When I have used the cja code, I entered the Western Cham alphabet. I think Đà_Nẵng#Etymology_2 should be referring to Eastern Cham (cjm), and it should be Latn script or the Eastern version of the Cham alphabet (Eastern Cham fonts). —Stephen (Talk) 00:54, 21 December 2017 (UTC)


Would gangan be i-umlauted in 2nd and 3rd person present to give something like geng(e)st and geng(e)þ? I couldn't find these conjugations on B&T but Old Engli.sh has gengþ. May or may not be right, just don't know. Anglish4699 (talk) 03:04, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Hmmm, initially I would say yes, and I would think the forms would be *gæng-. Even though we don't have an Old English attestation of it, there is an early Middle English attestation of gengþ from 1275: Þe hare..gengþ wel suiþe a waywart which suggests that it may have been inherited from Old English. Some consider gengþ to be derived from another verb, however, OE gengan, so it's difficult to say for sure. The presence of gengan may have led to the substitution of non-mutated forms in gangan to avoid confusion, but I am just guessing on that. Otherwise, gangan is a strong verb, and is expected to typically have i-mutation in the stem. But I think the way you show it in the Conj table is fine as is Leasnam (talk) 13:57, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Many thanks for the help! Anglish4699 (talk) 04:10, 6 December 2017 (UTC)


@Wyang, Justinrleung, Dokurrat Can this also be pronounced as "mo" or "m" in words like 什麼/怎麼? If so, should they be included in the entry? —suzukaze (tc) 05:50, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

@Suzukaze-c: According to 漢語方言詞彙, in Beijing, 什麼 can be shénm; 這麼, zènm; 那麼, nènm; 怎麼, zěnm. As a side note, I've also heard of 什麼 read as shě(n)mé. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:57, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c: Well... I think I pronounce this syllable as a m+schwa (unstressed), i.e. /-mə/ in my daily life. If I intentially pronounced this syllable stressed (e.g. giving a speech, singing a song), I think I would speak something like /-m(ɯ̽)ʌ/. I think "/-m/" is a more weak form that can be heard in colloquial speech. Not "*mo", at least not me. Disclaimer: personal experience. Dokurrat (talk) 06:08, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c: But "*mo" do looks promising... Maybe we can find verification somewhere in very conservative dictionaries? Dokurrat (talk) 06:12, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
(Teresa Teng uses 怎麼 "zenmo" here. —suzukaze (tc) 06:16, 3 December 2017 (UTC))
@Suzukaze-c: It's probably the same situation as 了 liao and 的 di, where the "original" pronunciation of the character is used. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:18, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
I did not think to compare it to those cases 😅. 的#Etymology_2 includes di; should 了#Etymology_1 and 麼#Etymology_1 include liao and mo? —suzukaze (tc) 06:26, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, mo is an alt reading used in certain registers and is worthy of inclusion. I think m would be better handled as an |m_note=. Wyang (talk) 15:49, 3 December 2017 (UTC)


This term can be used outside of mathematics, figuratively, right? Could someone add this? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:26, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Equinox 20:38, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:39, 4 December 2017 (UTC)


We've an adverb section for precious, where we're glossing it as "very". However, I'm not aware of it being used in other phrases than "precious few" and "precious little". Should I add a note at precious, and create those? (which other dictionaries have) --Barytonesis (talk) 20:22, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Interesting. I thought there must be other words it goes with, but can't think of any. Equinox 20:39, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
"it is of the two-dimensional variety, length and breadth, but precious scant depth" [1].
"The interest on these being deducted, amounting to $600,000, it being doubtful whether they will ever pay the cost of maintenance, and there remains but a precious small sum for defraying the interest on the cost of the enlargement" [2].
"but that is a mere trifle to your facility for building up a formidable theory on precious slight foundations". [3] Mihia (talk) 04:30, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
@Mihia: Thanks for this. I still think that "precious few" and "precious little" might deserve an entry, and that at the very least, a note to the effect of "this adverb is chiefly/overwhelmingly used with "few" and "little"" should be added to precious. Do you agree? --Barytonesis (talk) 18:37, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
And in any case, this only works with adjectives belonging to the semantic field of "little, small, scarce, few". --Barytonesis (talk) 18:42, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, a note seems a good idea. My suggestion would be something like "used with words that express smallness of quantity, especially in the phrases 'precious few' and 'precious little'". Mihia (talk) 21:03, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

out of doors[edit]

Is it simply an alt form of outdoors? Shouldn't it be labeled as "rare"? --Barytonesis (talk) 20:56, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes, I think you’re right that it’s an alt form. I can’t think of any circumstance where they wouldn’t be interchangeable (and out of doors is also used in the noun senses of outdoors, which are currently absent from the former entry). On the other hand, it’s far from rare; maybe “dated” would be a better label, since it doesn’t turn up often in works since the 1950s or so. Google Ngrams confirms that it’s falling out of use, and that it was once as common as outdoors is now. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 02:13, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

For a bot?[edit]

In Category:English words prefixed with anti- some pages anti-+ROOT are collated as beginning with anti- and others with the ROOT. Can a bot fix this easily?

Curious, as I'm not native. Why is anti- pronunciation given as /i/ or /aɪ/ and later in antibiotic as /ə/? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 13:28, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
As the British and American pronunciations for anti- differ, it may depend on where the contributor is from. DonnanZ (talk) 13:33, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Many Americans have them in free variation, fixed only in common lexical items. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:01, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Presumably the /ə/ here should in any case be notated as diaphonemic /ɨ/, as the reduced realization of this vowel is like the one in roses, varying by speaker from [ɪ] to [ɪ̈] to [ə]. Although we notate this vowel as /ɪ/ at enough and the second syllable of mistress, so it seems we’re being inconsistent anyway. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 14:31, 9 December 2017 (UTC)


Would someone know how the Latin superstitio (which comes from supersto (to stand over/upon; to survive)) came to mean what it means? --Barytonesis (talk) 23:19, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

According to etymonline, "There are many theories to explain the Latin sense development, but none has yet been generally accepted; de Vaan suggests the sense is "cause to remain in existence." Originally in English especially of religion; sense of "unreasonable notion" is from 1794.". DTLHS (talk) 04:35, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Lewis and Short's entry has: "sŭperstĭtĭo , ōnis, f. super-sto; orig a standing still over or by a thing; hence, amazement, wonder, dread, esp. of the divine or supernatural." DCDuring (talk) 13:49, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
It is because you imagine things being above your head when you have a godly world in mind. Note that it does mean “religion” in general first. Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 18:31, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

ᚦᚢᚱ, ᚱᛅᛁᛋᛅ[edit]

These two are listed as Old Norse, but should they be Proto-Norse (gmq-pro)? If so, there may be more included in Old Norse [4] DonnanZ (talk) 13:27, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Per Wikipedia, "[Proto-Norse] evolved into the dialects of Old Norse at the beginning of the Viking Age in about 800", so theoretically, a 10th/11th century inscription wouldn't qualify. --Barytonesis (talk) 13:42, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
As a rule of thumb, anything that's attested in younger Futhark is not likely to be considered Proto-Norse. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 21:55, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

point of inquiry[edit]

Why was my entry of Point of Inquiry reverted? (The process of finding answers and seeking new knowledge) Would 'An entryway into idealization on a specific topic' be a more apt description? —This unsigned comment was added by AaronEJ (talkcontribs) at 18:42, 2017 December 6.

I don't know the specifics, but I would probably revert it myself. At the very least I would RfV it to determine whether there really is any attestation that unambiguously supports the definition provided, especially as a cursory review of other dictionaries (point of inquiry at OneLook Dictionary Search) suggests that none of the included dictionaries find it entryworthy with any definition. That w:Point of Inquiry is for a podcast makes me suspicious that the entry was intended to promote the podcast. (That the entity may be non-commercial does not negate the possibility of promotion.) DCDuring (talk) 23:45, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Is point of inquiry in politics really anything different than the SoP term? Is it defined anywhere in a parliamentary authority, eg, in Robert's Rules of Order or Erskine May: Parliamentary Practice, or somewhere in Hansard? DCDuring (talk) 23:59, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Oil-press (or machine) parts[edit]

Can someone help me identify the parts to this in English? I'll list the names in clockwise order spiralling inwards starting from the top:

Outer parts: માકડો, કૂકરી, ફાડ, વાંકેલી, નાડવેલો, માંચ, પૈયું - wheel, ધીંસરું, ઝોળો, કૂકરી - a wooden wedge?, ડાબિયાર, કસવાટ - a wooden frame?, કોઠો, ???, લાઠ, ચૂડી;
Inner parts: ગધેલું, ફાચેરો, કૂંડી, ગજ, જાંગી, થડ, ફીસણ, ઠોઠિયું, નાળવું
Please help. DerekWinters (talk) 00:27, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Was the deleted image of an olive-oil press? There is a commons category of such images. DCDuring (talk) 16:37, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
The deleted image seems to have been this one. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 23:25, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
The stones are a counterweight to allow the operator(s) to lift the pestle(?). All the stuff at the top of the lever that raises and lowers the pestle looks like some lashing to link the curved bit (metal?) to the compound-curved arm (wood?). It looks like the curved bit is not fixed to the lever but attached with rope that has substantial play. Perhaps the chain and the other lever arms also serve to impart circular motion to the pestle, but I don't get the principle. At the bottom of the mortar or drum is a basin to catch leakage and spillage from the opening at the bottom of the mortar. The L-shaped bit must be a latch to hold the door over the opening shut. The ring seems to be intended to hold the short arm the goes through the big lever and the horn-shaped arm to the big lever arm.
I don't understand the full role of the horn-shaped piece that bears on the mortar/drum. Nor do understand the role of the chain
I wonder whether the oar-shaped arm is where the power is applied by men or oxen to impart circular motion to the counterweighted pestle through the heavy horizontal arm.
Alternatively, is the linkage mechanism between the "oar" and the heavy arm intended to impart some limited up-and-down motion to the pestle to press the oil? If we understand how it is supposed to work we could probably find names for the components.
Commons has some pictures of rustic olive-oil presses that might help. DCDuring (talk) 04:29, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

to the effect[edit]

I don't know how to do this entry. --Barytonesis (talk) 18:38, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

in twain[edit]

Archaic, rare, humorous? --Barytonesis (talk) 23:45, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

archaic Leasnam (talk) 03:14, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

at your service[edit]

Our definition is strangely restrictive. Doesn't it simply mean "[I'm] at your disposal"? --Barytonesis (talk) 20:29, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

I think our definition is wrong. The ones included under References are different. DCDuring (talk) 22:24, 8 December 2017 (UTC)


For the verb, this entry previously existed:

To drive around leisurely in a motorised vehicle.

In the UK, at least, there is a dated meaning of "travel by motor car", which does not necessarily imply "around" or "leisurely", so I added:

(Britain, dated) To make a journey by motor vehicle.

But are these actually distinct meanings? Does anyone recognise the first one as modern usage? What is AmE usage here? (And, by the way, is anyone else unhappy, like me, about using "leisurely" as an adverb?) Mihia (talk) 03:03, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

I wouldn't use it intentionally and it shouldn't be in a definiens, IMO. We could use three citations of its use. The one we have might be a way of indicating low-social-status/education of a Chandler hard-boiled detective. I am also chagrined by [[leisurelily]], which I can't imagine anyone actually saying out loud. DCDuring (talk) 20:35, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
I found about as many mentions of leisurelily as uses, some possibly jesting. One work said leisurely#Adverb derives from leisurelily by haplology. Other works mention others adjectives whose -ly form adverbs follow the same pattern: kindly, friendly, lonely, lovely, holy, homely, weekly, deadly, sickly, jolly. DCDuring (talk) 20:44, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't buy that "leisurely" derives from "leisurelily", in the sense that people tried out "leisurelily" first and then decided to simplify it. I think that "leisurelily" most probably was hardly attempted in the first place. For me, many (not all) of those other words sound equally wrong as adverbs. Mihia (talk) 01:27, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Tea_room/2016/October#likely and Category:English words suffixed with -ly (adjectival). --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 01:42, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Sense 1 seems to me to not be a distinct sense. Also, sense 4 seems a particular application of sense 3. Other dictionaries, including my back-straining MW2, don't have these, but do have other senses that are dated and not common, but seem real. DCDuring (talk) 03:57, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
OK, I have merged them. If anyone disagrees, please restore. Mihia (talk) 20:26, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't drive but to describe car travel as "motoring" in Britain definitely has a dated ring to it. (P.S. The "leisurely" argument has got long enough that it should be moved elsewhere.) Equinox 01:35, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

son (German)[edit]

Should son include the meanings "1. (colloquial; singular only) contraction of so ein, alternative form of so'n; 2. (colloquial; in plural) such", that is should the second sense from sone be moved? And should there be an inflection table like this (based on the one from so'n)?

Case Singular Plural
m f n
Nominative son sone son sone
Genitive sones soner sones soner
Dative sonem soner sonem sonen
Accusative sonen, son sone son sone


  • If certain forms (like genitive) are doubtful, there could be an RFV and either doubtful forms get attested, or replaced by — or marked as not attested (e.g. if the unattested forms are at least mentioned in linguistic papers).
  • It could be that so'n has the plural so'ne (and "so 'n" might have "so 'ne"), but for the plural pronoun meaning such that spelling seems to be inferior as the plural pronoun is no proper contraction.

- 13:26, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

en (French)[edit]

This entry is listed under "Pronoun":

  1. Adverbial preposition indicating movement away from a place already mentioned.
    Est-ce qu'elle vient de Barcelone ? Oui, elle en vient.
    Does she come from Barcelona? Yes, she does.

I don't see how an "Adverbial preposition" can be a pronoun, but I leave it up to those whose French is better than mine to determine what, if anything, should be done with this. Mihia (talk) 14:06, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

It isn't a preposition at all, but it is adverbial. I'd just call it an adverb rather than a pronoun. It does have a certain pronominalness about it, but then so do adverbs like here and then. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 20:51, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, they are all pro-forms (hence, I’d guess, the ‘pronominalness’); it’s just that they’re pro-adverbs rather than pronouns, and pro-adverbs usually don’t get analyzed as constituting a separate part of speech from other adverbs. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 23:20, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
If a pronoun is a pro-form that stands in for a noun phrase and a pro-verb is a pro-form that stands in for a verb phrase, then en and y are "pro-prepositions" since they stand in for prepositional phrases. I would say that the usual term for "pro-preposition" is adverb; in other words, adverbs are nothing more than pro-forms that stand in for prepositional phrases. This is true even of adverbs that don't feel "pronominal" such as computationally, which is just a substitute for the prepositional phrase "in a computational manner". At any rate, while I understand that y and en are called pronouns in French-language pedagogy, I don't think that's linguistically accurate. What they are is adverbs. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 09:28, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
en can usually be translated 'thereof' or 'therefrom'; what do we call those words? —Tamfang (talk) 09:08, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Adding 毆打 to tbe "compounds" section of [edit]

I am afraid I do not how to do it properly, but I think 毆打 should be a "Derived word" of . --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:27, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

The entry has been expanded now. Wyang (talk) 15:32, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

motor (again)[edit]

At motor:


motor (not comparable)

  1. (biology) describing neurons that create the ability to move
    She has excellent motor skills.

Is this an adjective? Mihia (talk) 20:31, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

I don't think so:
  • "Those are very motor neurons you've got there."
  • "Those neurons are motor."
  • "Those are the most motor (motorest) neurons I've ever seen."
It would be wonderful if we could get someone to clean up all of the similarly erroneous adjective sections. DCDuring (talk) 20:59, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
OTOH some dictionaries have several adjective definitions for motor, apparently based on adjective usage that does not correspond semantically to any noun usage. See motor at OneLook Dictionary Search, eg, MWOnline. DCDuring (talk) 21:07, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Specifically, MWOnline has "1c : of, relating to, concerned with, or involving muscular movement" motor areas of the brain". The also have an entry for motor neuron. DCDuring (talk) 21:09, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Surprisingly enough Oxford (listed in the refs under One Look) treats motor as an adjective, albeit attributive and not comparable.
1British [attributive] Driven by a motor.
‘a motor van’
1.1 Relating to motor vehicles.
‘motor insurance’
2 [attributive] Giving or producing motion or action.
‘demand is the principle motor force governing economic activity’
2.1 Physiology: Relating to muscular movement or the nerves activating it.
‘the motor functions of each hand’
What else can I say? DonnanZ (talk) 15:20, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
To me the "motor" in "motor skills" is an adjective, even though it's not comparable etc., just because I can't imagine a realistic sentence where it would stand alone as a noun. Equinox 17:54, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
For what it's worth, French moteur in that sense is an adjective as well (definitely not a noun!), even though it's not comparable, etc. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 18:00, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm sure that it is an adjective. But the definition is wrong - "motor insurance" has nothing to do with neurons. I'll see if I can improve it. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:47, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Oxford Dictionaries notwithstanding, I cannot agree that "motor" is an adjective in "motor insurance". Mihia (talk) 01:02, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I can see Oxford's angle, motor trade is another one which may be a contraction of "motor vehicle trade". It doesn't actually have a motor, but handles the sale and repair of motor vehicles and sale of parts. Equally, motor insurance could be a contraction of "motor vehicle insurance". DonnanZ (talk) 10:08, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
In (neuro)physiological contexts, motor *is* an attributive adjective formed from a specific sense of motor borrowed directly from Latin, i.e. 'that which causes to move; mover' (agent noun of moto#Latin, frequentative of moveo#Latin). So, motor function, motor disease, motor pathway, motor neuron, "excellent motor functions" are all intended in this sense. As for automobiles, it might need some tweaking. Moogsi (talk) 18:28, 13 December 2017 (UTC)


I do not know how exactly to write the entry for "lyrata". I have come to understand the meaning of "lyrata" (please read this section: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Glossary_of_leaf_morphology&oldid=814744686#lyrata); I would appreciate it if someone would write and create the page for "lyrata". --NoToleranceForIntolerance (talk) 17:52, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

I see no evidence on Google Books for use in English. I have created the entry for the Latin inflected form. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:57, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Lyrate and lyreleaf are corresponding English words. DCDuring (talk) 22:43, 11 December 2017 (UTC)


Anyone want to deal with this trainwreck? [5] Equinox 19:34, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

@Equinox: Mahagaja posted about it in the GP. As it's a technical issue, I'm not sure how this is relevant to the TR. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:53, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
I had always assumed that it was a verb. But is it used outside of the one (quite famous) book? SemperBlotto (talk) 05:44, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Why don't you look at the entry and see? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 10:11, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
In Watership Down itself I think it is a verb, but in the other works that use it without reference to WD it always seems to be a noun. In all the quotes, it's preceded by a preposition, either on silflay, at silflay, or to silflay (in the 2011 quote it could theoretically be a verb, I suppose, but not in the other three quotes). At any rate, none of this solves the problem that {{der}} seems to think that art-lap is simultaneously both a language and not a language. (Schrödinger's language?) —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:54, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

beat to[edit]

Shouldn't this be moved to beat to it? Cf. [6], [7], [8]. --Barytonesis (talk) 12:06, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

But you can have a full noun in place of it, e.g. "John beat me to the restaurant". —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:56, 11 December 2017 (UTC)


Should this entry exist? Isn't this the same word as đại, but capitalized because it's in a proper noun? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 20:21, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Agreed. Wyang (talk) 15:41, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

big toe[edit]

Is this informal, slightly informal, totally standard? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:18, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

I think that the abundant use of the term found at Google Scholar suggests that it is standard. This Google N-gram search shows that it is at present more common than its synonyms great toe (formerly much more common) and hallux. DCDuring (talk) 22:34, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I suspect that the frequency shift comes from L2 speakers. These are more likely to use “big” and not to use “great” in the size sense (but learners learn to use “great” as “awesome”, “dope”). And yeah, maybe the same applies to children, so it would be slightly informal. Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 06:07, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it's accurate to say thaat applies mainly to learners.... I'm pretty sure most native speakers would typically opt for "big" over "great", and this has been the case for several decades, if not the last three quarters of a century at least. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:59, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
In the UK this is totally standard. I have never heard any other form of the term. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:13, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
In the US, I'd never heard "great toe". I suspect that it lingers in book-based frequency data because of reprints of earlier works. DCDuring (talk) 06:41, 12 December 2017 (UTC)


Could someone check if the recent IP contributions make sense? @Lirafafrod? --Barytonesis (talk) 15:07, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Nah, it's crap. Good revert, BT --Lirafafrod (talk) 23:20, 13 December 2017 (UTC)


The plurals are much too distracting. Any idea for improvement? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 18:51, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

I guess we could remove those that are identical to the top one, adding perhaps "unless otherwise specified" to the already present "plural media or mediums" on the quote-unquote title before sense 1. Note that I suggest removing "media or mediums", not "mediums or media", because the order, I guess, suggests which one is more commonly employed for each sense. MGorrone (talk) 21:14, 12 December 2017 (UTC)


The second quotation uses hinstellen instead of hinsetzen. Matt Zjack (talk) 20:42, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Fixed. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:21, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

"An Ancient translation"?[edit]

I just looked for ἀνία and noticed that the "no results" window displayed "ἀνία is an Ancient translation of the word boredom ("state of being bored").". Err, what? "an Ancient translation"? Surely you mean "Ancient Greek" right? What can be done about this? MGorrone (talk) 21:11, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Good catch. I don't think it's going to be easy to fix, because it's a feature of MediaWiki:Gadget-TranslationAdder.js. It's somehow related to the problem above. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:20, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
On the contrary, it was easy to fix. The translation table at boredom was using the label "Ancient:" instead of "Ancient Greek:", that's all. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:22, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: Yes, but you'll have to fix that manually everytime. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:25, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I think Ancient Greek should not be listed under Greek in translations. What are we saying by doing this? This behavior is controlled in MediaWiki:Gadget-TranslationAdder-Data.js by the way. DTLHS (talk) 05:00, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
People call both Ancient Greek and Modern Greek Greek. If someone wants to find an Ancient Greek translation in the Translations section, he looks for Greek in the alphabetical order. By doing this, we are acknowledging that people call Greek of any epoch Greek. —Stephen (Talk) 06:48, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
If we would really acknowledge that, we wouldn't name any specific type of Greek simply Greek but we would sort it like this:
  • Greek:
    • Ancient Greek: {{t|grc|}}
    • Modern Greek: {{t|el|}}
To be more informative and (in some ways) more user-friendly, there could be other types of Greek like this:
  • Greek:
    • Mycenaean Greek: {{t|gmy|}}
    • Ancient Greek:
      • Homeric: {{t|grc|}}
      • Attic: {{t|grc|}}
      • Koine: {{t|grc|}}
      • [other dialects]
    • Middle Greek: {{t|grc|}}
    • Modern Greek:
      • Katharevousa: {{t|el|}}
      • Demotic: {{t|el|}}
Tsakonian (tsd) and other modern Greek languages might be listed under Greek too. - 01:31, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Does anyone know what the above-mentioned message in the search results is generated by? Maybe the script or whatever it is could automatically determine that the language name is "Ancient Greek". — Eru·tuon 07:31, 13 December 2017 (UTC)


Wondering if þrīfeald should be moved to þrifeald since B&T does not show þrī, but it shows þri. Should this ī to i worry us? Anglish4699 (talk) 05:24, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Old English really didn't use macrons, macrons are added today to indicate probable vowel lengths. As such, there would be no need to "move" the entry, as the entry title would remain the same. I think that there is sufficient reason to keep the vowel long though, since the word is made up of þrī + -feald. We could show one or the other as an alternative form though Leasnam (talk) 16:29, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
B&T also shows the OFS and OHG with a short vowel, which should be long...my experience with B&T (and don't get me wrong, I love em !) is that you have to be careful about the many typos and other "mistakes" they have :\ Leasnam (talk) 16:39, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
From a PIE standpoint, there's three possible grades, *trey-, *troy- and *tri-. The first and third of these would become *þrī- and *þri- respectively. —Rua (mew) 17:04, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
@Rua, do you think this word was likely formed in PIE ? and, would it have to be to show a reflex of *tri- ? Leasnam (talk) 00:44, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Latin diphthongs[edit]

In Ancient Greek does the pronunciation of "ai" in "-ái̯.os" differ from that of "ai" in "-aí̯.aː" or are they "áios" "áiā" (or "áj.jos" "áj.jā"?)?

And how differs it from Latin "-ae̯.us"? In sound examples here I hear "aius" (or "aj.jus"?)...

As in Latin [-ae̯.ʊs] Ancient Greek pronunciation should show this kind of spelling (some say [-aĵ.jos]) and in both languages there should be pronunciation for all genders...

Thank you. -GuitarDudeness (talk) 18:52, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Which sound examples? Many of the Latin sound files are by @EncycloPetey, and reflect a heavy American accent. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:19, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
Sources I relied upon claim [aɪ.jʊs] or [aɪ.jus], which is what I attempted to record. --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:24, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
But particularly "-ái̯.os" and "-aí̯.aː" should thus differ? One falling, other rising?
And, @EncycloPetey, whence did you get that eʁupajjus?? So saying [aɪ.jʊs] or [aɪ.jus] you are not even pronouncing what is spelled on the page, [ae̯.ʊs]... -GuitarDudeness (talk) 23:40, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
If you look at the edit history, you will see that someone changed the IPA after the audio was recorded. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:42, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
In Ancient Greek does the pronunciation of "ai" in "-ái̯.os" differ from that of "ai" in "-aí̯.aː" or are they "áios" "áiā" (or "áj.jos" "áj.jā"?)? -GuitarDudeness (talk) 23:22, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Presumably, yes, there was a difference, -αῖος should have a high pitch from the onset which falls back to the baseline, while -αία starts with a low pitch that rises reaches its peak somewhere around [i], perhaps lingering on α for a bit, IIRC some classical author described the pitch difference as a perfect fifth. If you want to play around with this stuff I suggest downloading Praat, recording yourself and studying the pitch contours.
Latin had dynamic stress which means that -ae- should have greater loudness than other syllables, you can check this in Praat too, but you probably don't need to since it's the same as accenting a syllable in English which you probably can do already.
There was probably some heightened loudness following a Greek accent and maybe some pitch changes on Latin stressed syllables, but you shouldn't worry too much about these, the important distinction was pitch and loudness respectively.
I am incredulous of the acoustical or the articulatory reality of the [j/i/i̯] distinction as well as syllabification, these seem like phonemic (rather than phonetic) constructs, so I'm not sure what exactly is claimed about the sound files here.
Crom daba (talk) 16:04, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
That would be rational... Thank you and for those links. -GuitarDudeness (talk) 13:09, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

Wiktionary - Personnel[edit]

I see that the Wiktionary entry for 'personnel' indicates that it is not a countable noun. Other dictionaries in some of their examples use 'personnel' as a countable noun. Eg., Miriam-Webster's examples include; "They've reduced the number of personnel working on the project".

Would be interested to hear others' views/opinions. Neils51 (talk) 23:17, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

That's not an example of it being countable. Please read Wikipedia's entry count noun so you understand what is going on. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:18, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
But you can say "two personnel" where you can't say "two furniture" or "two rice". Equinox 23:36, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
Maybe you (UK) can, but I (US) can't. DCDuring (talk) 01:15, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
You're NY, aren't you? Crappy wikitext breaks my links. But search Google for "many personnel" site:.ny.us. Equinox 01:33, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
My personnel opinion is that "many personnel" is ugly as sin. --2A02:2788:A4:F44:E0CA:478D:C52:F196 22:48, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I speak neither Bureaucrat nor HR, though some argue that these and English are mutually intelligible. DCDuring (talk) 01:40, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, you seem to be speaking No True Scottish... Equinox 03:17, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Och, aye!   (Sorry, couldn't resist! :) ) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:09, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm just skeptical about the breadth of the usage in the US. It's definitely not much used in my idiolect.
Here is some discussion of the grammatical number of personnel.
Personnel does seem to require a plural verb in English, at least in American English. How do we show that? (It wouldn't seem to be covered by how we use {{en-plural noun}}.) DCDuring (talk) 17:29, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Interesting point -- personnel does appear to be a default-plural noun that has no singular form. Phrases like “a personnel” or “the personnel goes” just sound wrong. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:45, 15 December 2017 (UTC)


Does this need cleanup? The definitions for artificial geysers seem dated or tendentious to me. Ie, what about electric geysers and solar geysers. (I'd never heard of [pleonasm alert] "hot-water heaters" being called geysers, so I have no intuition to work on the entry myself.) DCDuring (talk) 01:12, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

  • It looks OK to me. In the UK it is a very old-fashioned word for device that produces hot water on demand in a bathroom. I haven't heard it used since the 1960s or before. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:05, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
I remember the term, and I can picture one in my mind. I don't think they would pass present gas safety laws as they didn't have a flue. DonnanZ (talk) 09:37, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Third definition: are we talking of a water boiler or a water heater? --Hekaheka (talk) 10:36, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
I think it is a water heater for bathing, showering etc.
A geyser wouldn't seem to be inherently dangerous, unless we are limiting discussion to unflued, badly plumbed installations. Using solar geyser and electric geyser via Google, I can find current commercial sites, but many of the top hits are in Africa and Asia. DCDuring (talk) 16:38, 14 December 2017 (UTC)


We currently have translation tables to two senses of sign that obviously have been deleted from the definitions:

  1. meaningful gesture
  2. any of several specialized non-alphabetic symbols

Should we re-enter these definitions or delete the translations? --Hekaheka (talk) 10:30, 14 December 2017 (UTC)


There is a usage note at -en which states: Currently not very productive (in fact, it is restricted to monosyllabic bases which end in an obstruent). This tends to give it a humorous effect in recent coinages, such as embiggen. First off, what do we mean when we label something as "humorous". Does it imply that the effect is to make one laugh (showing humour) ? Or is it merely a way to disparage an item because one has a bias to it, and they want to ear-mark it negatively so that it doesn't get used seriously ? As far as productivity, I disagree. Words like roughen are not, in my opinion, "humorous" or to be taken lightly at all. Leasnam (talk) 16:09, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

I think this "humorous" label belongs at embiggen (--clearly tri-syllabic, and a word you will probably never hear me use !), not at the very serious suffix -en Leasnam (talk) 16:11, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
I just don't think any of the usage note, as is, is useful to the use of the suffix. The meanings already provided by the definitions are fitting, valid, and really all that are needed. Leasnam (talk) 16:14, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
"Roughen" is clearly not humorous, but is that really a very new coinage? What "-en" verb that doesn't exist could we make up today, that wouldn't sound silly? Equinox 16:24, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Does it matter though if it's an existing -en word or new ? The usage applies to all -en words, not only recently created ones. Still, if one said: I removed it from the heat to coolen it before I serve it. that doesn't sound silly to me. ("embiggen" though does sound silly, because embig sounds funny. biggen though, sounds alright.) (btw, coolen is not an English word AFAICT, but maybe should be ?) Leasnam (talk) 16:41, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm just trying to think of recent/new adjectives to English...all I'm coming up with are slang adjectives, like wack > wacken; hype > hypen, and maybe a noun bling > blingen; but those sound informal not due to the suffix but due to the root. The stem determines the label, not the suffix. There's nothing "informal" or "humorous" about -en, a word suffixed with -en inherits the status of whatever word it's appended to Leasnam (talk) 16:48, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Okay, here's one: the slang adjective boss (excellent, cool, of high quality). If we say: I gave him an edgier haircut to bossen his new look, does that sound at all weird ? Leasnam (talk) 17:01, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Okay, strike that if you will, I found a real one: the adjective crass. To crassen would mean "to make (one) crass". What's wrong with that ? Leasnam (talk) 17:30, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Actually, there is an actual isolated use of crassened in John Dos Passos 1921 Three Soldiers: "In the deserted tea room, among the dismal upturned chairs, his crassened fingers moved stiffly over the keys.", but I cannot find enough of this verb to warrant entry creation :( ...not yet! ;) Leasnam (talk) 18:24, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
And here is a real world example: densen (to make/become dense), which we do not have, but which I will shortly be adding. Leasnam (talk) 17:37, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
I've added densen, basen, cruden, truthen, tarten, spicen, and also bleaken (to become bleak). There is also ruden, nicen, and laten. This suffix is still productive, and not at all humorous. I motion we remove the usage note as incorrect, being based solely on a single lone (ridiculous) example: embiggen, which is not at all indicative of the suffix as a whole. Leasnam (talk) 18:02, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Shouldn't we mark these with (rare) or something? They sound pretty weird to me, although as a L2 speaker maybe I don't get a say in this. But if I was teaching foreigners English, I would certainly correct densen or ruden as mistakes.
They're rare because most of them are rather new. They can also probably be considered non-standard at this point (except for maybe densen due to a lot of hits I got for densening)...but the call-out above was to supply recent creations that didn't evoke the same cringing that embiggen does. Leasnam (talk) 18:46, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Humor is of course context sensitive but the idea here is to portray the dearth of eloquence in which a person cannot remember enlarge or strengthen and so has to resort to building new words (these exist, but they're new to me and probably most other speakers) such as embiggen or strongen to express themselves. Think Buffy the Vampire slayer or Homer Simpson. I guess it's also the same effect as newspeak from 1984, only used for humorous purposes.
Of course you could do this with any suffix like hardity or strongness, but since these are more productive it doesn't sound as funny. Crom daba (talk) 18:18, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
@Crom daba, Thank you for that expanation ! embiggen and strongen definitely deserve those labels in that case. However, I do not feel that -en does. I hope I have adequately demonstrated that the label "humorous" should be applied on a term by term basis, and not to this suffix as a whole; with which the vast majority of words (soften, gladden, madden, whiten, brighten, smarten, etc.) would be in appropriate for... Leasnam (talk) 18:41, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I guess, it should be noted that it can be odd and non-standard though. Crom daba (talk) 19:14, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
@Crom daba, but why ? That's true of all words derived from affixes...why single this one out ? Does super- need a label because you can derive supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from it ?, which, btw, isn't labelled humouros and perhaps should be ? Leasnam (talk) 19:20, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I'd say "for didactic purposes" but I guess teaching language learners is not our responsibility. Crom daba (talk) 20:46, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, I don't think that -en is humorous or non-serious at all in the majority of words where it is found. It certainly does not change a serious-sounding word into a humorous sounding one, simply by being added to it. You can't get more didactic than that. Leasnam (talk) 21:58, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
What point are you trying to make, exactly? Nobody's trying to "disparage" the suffix -en; the only purpose of that usage note is to say that words formed with this suffix sound rather weird/funny (as in "funny smell"). Are you seriously arguing that densen, basen, cruden, truthen, tarten and spicen is perfectly standard English? --2A02:2788:A4:F44:E0CA:478D:C52:F196 22:15, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
No, I am arguing that soften, harden, lighten, flatten, steepen, blacken, heighten, lengthen, loosen, tighten, etc, etc, etc are perfectly standard English and DON'T sound funny at all. I'm not comfortable having a usage note on an entry just because ONE or FEW words with it may sound "funny". Leasnam (talk) 22:54, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
@Leasnam I think the IP has a point, the fact is it's no longer productive except humorously. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 22:18, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
That isn't true. It's already used for almost all monosyllabic adjectives that it CAN'T be productive anymore...our language is saturated already with this suffix. Leasnam (talk) 22:54, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree that it is not a regularly productive suffix anymore, and I think it's hard to imagine someone seriously saying something like "Shutten the door, please" or "I don't like to hurten people" or "these memes need to be dankened." In the first two examples, at least, the root words are certainly not themselves humourous. I think it's worth including something in the usage note along the lines of "given that this suffix is no longer very productive, it can have a humorous effect when affixed to certain adjectives." Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:36, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Or better yet, maybe just use the "humorous" note on those words which actually have it and are used that way ? Why spoil the barrel for a few rotten apples ? Leasnam (talk) 23:33, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
With all respect, Andrew Sheedy, I think you're confusing the suffix in question. This is the specific suffix used to convert Adjectives into verbs with the sense of "to make or give a specific quality to", as in soft > soften "to make soft". It can also sometime be used with nouns with the same force: strength > strengthen Leasnam (talk) 22:58, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
That is exactly the sense I am referring to, and I even followed the rule of using monosyllabic adjectives ending in obstruents as a base. See hurt, shut, and dank, all of which have adjective forms, and all of which end in obstruents (unless I've got my terminology mixed up). The point is that it's an unusal suffix which can often be used to humorous effect. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:19, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
But all suffixes can be used to humorous effect, can't they ? And all words too...are we to add usage examples for everything ? Leasnam (talk) 23:30, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
It's not normally (if ever) appended to past participle adjective like hurt and shut. Never has been Leasnam (talk) 23:21, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy: and danken is a word. I will add it too Leasnam (talk) 23:23, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough. It should still be noted that the suffix has limited productivity. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:32, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I have to say I'm finding this fascinating. "Bleaken" and "densen" wouldn't raise my eyebrow in literature (maybe in conversation); some of the others ("truthen"?) seem bizarre. But it's hard to separate neophobia from genuine weirdness. Equinox 18:57, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox, I never meant to imply that truthen wasn't a little odd; but as you say, it may just be that we're not used to hearing it. Structurally though, it's no different from strengthen, which might sound just as "funny" if we weren't already so accustomed to it. blonden (to make or turn blond) doesn't strike me as weird though, just somewhat unfamiliar. Leasnam (talk) 20:30, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
IMO though, embiggen is rather "weird"...maybe because it's not a natural/organic creation, but rather a forced/conscious creation aimed at ousting or displacing another word or words ;) For the record, I am not necessarily a huge fan of these types of creations, unless they're exceptionally outstanding (which most are not) Leasnam (talk) 20:34, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
I would like to see some recent (say, post 1980) coinages applying -en in the phonetically limited range of stems for which there are older coinages. Are they humorous? "Embiggen" is a poor example, as it also requires a prefix.
I found some discussion of 19th century coinages (densen/densening and danken/dankening) that didn't find them humorous. safen/safening is fairly common in the discussion of agricultural biocides, where it is seems specialized to mean "to protect against the bad effects of biocides, usually on economic crops". I don't find that humorous, except in the context of this particular discussion. DCDuring (talk) 21:52, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
It does seem like the suffix is still at least somewhat productive, even if other suffixes are (possibly even considerably) more common. There are cases where using -en rather than another suffix might strike me as nonstandard, like "chromen the hubcap" would sound wrong, vs "chromify the hubcap" — and "platinumen the hubcap" would sound very wrong, vs "platinumify the hubcap" which would just sound silly. I'm not sure that the suffix -en is humourous, though, as opposed to there simply being words which it is humourous to "verbify" with any suffix ("verben" sounds nonstandard), which—as Leasnam suggests—might be better labelled individually. I don't know, this is a hard case! Aside from the fact that "embiggen" should be removed because it also requires a prefix and isn't just an example of this suffix, is the wording that's in the entry now acceptable, or not? - -sche (discuss) 01:15, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

Southwestern Fars additions[edit]

I'm not sure whether this should be here or under vandalism, but Eeranee (talkcontribs) has been adding Southwestern Fars entries recently, including many adjectives using {{fay-adj}}, a template generating a module error as it tries to reference the nonexistent module MOD:fay-adj. I have not the capacity to judge these entries on their merit, but someone should definitely clean up or delete them. Whatever the choice, these entries should be checked and the module error fixed. Thanks! —*i̯óh₁nC[5] 03:13, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Fixed. DTLHS (talk) 03:16, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
@DTLHS: Thanks! Anything on the actual entries? —*i̯óh₁nC[5] 03:33, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
@JohnC5: Wiktionary:Requests for moves, mergers and splits § Renaming fay. Seems to be a careful user. Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 04:25, 15 December 2017 (UTC)


RDA has "(rare, Avatar) Resources Development Administration; a large corporation from 2009 movie Avatar." as one sense, shouldn't Avatar's RDA need to be referenced in a non-avatar context? --Rasptr (talk) 12:19, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Navajo names for (West) Virginia[edit]

@Stephen G. Brown and anyone else in a position to chime in: we have entries for Navajo Eʼeʼaahjí Bijiniyah hahoodzo (West Viriginia) (without an acute accent on the second vowel of the second word) and Bijíniyah hahoodzo (Virginia) (with an acute accent on the second vowel of the first word). Is that actually right, or should the two words for "Virginia" be the same? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:19, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

I think that's just the placing of pitch accent on the whole phrase. Eʼeʼaahjí has the accent for the first one. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 16:11, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Corrected, Navajo Eʼeʼaahjí Bijíniyah Hahoodzo and Bijíniyah Hahoodzo. In Marvin Yellowhair's The New Oxford Picture Dictionary, Yellowhair spells the translations for Virginia and West Virginia with different tones. Both should have the same tones. —Stephen (Talk) 19:33, 15 December 2017 (UTC)


The page shows a Cantonese pronunciation. Is this word used in Cantonese? @Justinrleung, Suzukaze-c, Wyang. Dokurrat (talk) 19:15, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

@Dokurrat: Pretty sure @Mar vin kaiser got it from Pleco, which has Cantonese for all entries in the Pleco Basic Chinese-English Dictionary. It's definitely not used in the vernacular, and I don't think it's used in 書面語书面语 (shūmiànyǔ). I'm not sure if we should keep the Cantonese pronunciation. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:17, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I think this is too colloquial Mandarin to be literary Cantonese. Wyang (talk) 03:45, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang: I agree. Erhua-ed words are generally to colloquial. The exception might be some really common erhua-ed words like 那兒 and 一點兒. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:34, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

AFChick, AFCness, AFCdom[edit]

More from the incel obsessive. But is incel a true synonym for "AFC" (average frustrated chump)? Equinox 19:48, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Seems to be less extreme than incel, here's the definition from "The Mystery method":
"An armchair pickup artist who is actually just a nice guy with a tendency to place women on a pedestal, only to have them walk all over him. Rarely closes his targets."
Crom daba (talk) 20:56, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
That doesn't answer your question, but I don't think I've ever seen "incel" used outside the manosphere, while "AFC" is standard pick-up community jargon. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:00, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I thought manosphere is a catch-all for any sexual "red-pilling" community including PUA. Crom daba (talk) 21:18, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
@Crom daba: Mh, the two communities are obviously related, but I wouldn't really make either a subset of the other. If anything, I'd say a manosphere guy will be familiar with all the PUA lingo (I'm not entirely sure, though), while the reverse is not true. PUA seems more "mainstream" to me. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 16:26, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
"Closing targets", ewww. Social relationships shouldn't be marketing (says an old man who doesn't use Twitter). Anyway, yeah, my understanding was that incel never got any sex in his life, but AFC just didn't get as much as he wanted. Equinox 19:02, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

keep abreast[edit]

Can you "keep someone (else) abreast" (i.e. "keep informed"), or can you only "keep <yourself> abreast"? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 18:10, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

You normally just "keep abreast": "I kept abreast of developments". But yes, "kept him abreast" has enormous numbers of hits in GBooks. Equinox 18:29, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox: Ok, thanks. Do you think I could create keep abreast? Other dictionaries have it. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 23:28, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
In my experience it is very rare to hear abreast outside of keep abreast, so probably, yeah. Equinox 23:31, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
I do hear it in "three abreast", "four abreast", etc. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 08:07, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
In both the figurative and more literal/concrete senses be, stay, get, and bring are used with abreast. I'd still say that keep abreast warrants a full entry. The others might warrant redirects to [[abreast]] unless there are other references that have full entries for them, in which case I'd favor full entries. DCDuring (talk) 15:21, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

Pinyin needed[edit]

The last point in https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E7%9A%84#Usage_notes needs pinyin for the terms 白勺的, 雙人得, 土也地. --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:18, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

on the telephone[edit]

I've added an entry for on the telephone something that Merriam-Webster has an entry for https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/on%20the%20telephone. I'd say that sense 2 "Connected to a telephone system." "the percentage of households on the telephone" is definitely not SOP and it is apparently specific to British English. Voortle (talk) 05:51, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

main page[edit]

I know this might be radically opposed by some, but couldn't this term merit an entry rather than a mainspace redirect to Wiktionary:Main Page? I think main page in this case could be at least a borderline case of non-SOP, but see how home page also lists start page as a synonym, which looks sort of SOP-ish to me (though I can see why one would say it's not). The main reason I think it could be dictionary material is because it is a set phrase, especially in the sense of wikis. Almost all wikis I've seen call their home page a "main page" rather than a home page or a front page. I also find it strange how it's usually capitalized.

Anyway, here's what an entry could look like:

: ''For Wiktionary's main page, see [[Wiktionary:Main Page]].''




# {{lb|en|especially|wiki}} {{synonym of|home page|lang=en}}


# {{lb|en|Internet}} {{def|The [[home page]] of a [[wiki]].}}


# {{lb|en|Internet}} {{def|A [[home page]], especially of a [[wiki]].}}

The whole concept of how it's called a "main page" always confused me. That's particularly why an entry for main page would interest me. I mean "home page" is a magnitude more common; how come they invented "main page"? It might help to include an etymology section to explain when the term was first used and why, rather than something else like home page. Anyway, this seems almost exclusive to wikis, so in that sense it might not be SOP. What do you guys think? PseudoSkull (talk) 06:22, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

You're probably right. Let's delete main page and recreate it again as a normal entry. --Gente como tú (talk) 14:37, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
Maybe it's called "main page" because it's possible to configure a wiki so that the front/main page isn't the actual "home page" (i.e. not the one at the root of the site)...? Still SoP, don't see point of an entry. Equinox 14:41, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

Mustard (British slang)[edit]

I draw your attention to the discussion page for mustard regarding British slang usage and my very limited exposure to it as a Canadian. I was seeking more information here. I only add where I have certainty, but I don't. Thanks for your attention. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 06:39, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

pot pie[edit]

In my dialect at least, Midwestern American English, a pot pie refers almost exclusively to a savory pie, with the word 'pot' distinguishing it from a sweet pie. Is this just my dialect, or should the definition be altered? It would be interesting to hear from some British or Australian speakers. Nemoanon (talk) 07:00, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

In discussion with British friends, I've discovered that the word "pie" unmodified is generally assumed by Brits to refer to a savory pie and by Americans to refer to a sweet pie. It's therefore unlikely that they would use pot pie to mean any savory pie of any size, since pie alone already means that to them. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:27, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
Canadian usage, which is often similar to that of Midwestern America, follows what you describe. I would never call a sweet pie a "pot pie." Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:53, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree, but not every savory pie would be a pot pie. It has to be very liquidy (like gravy or something brothy). It can't just be a meat pie. --WikiTiki89 18:58, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
I also agree with that. In fact, "pot pie" is how I have always thought that sort of thing was distinguished from tourtière (which, incidentally, is usually made with beef in my experience, possibly because beef is more popular than pork in Alberta). I have never associated it with size. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:11, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

circle of violence[edit]

I'm not sure whether it's worth an entry, it seems to be different from a vicious circle, although I find references to a "vicious circle of violence". I assume it involves tit for tat, one violent action is replied to with another. DonnanZ (talk) 15:51, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

I think it's more about a person who suffered violence as a child becoming violent as an adult; see Cycle of violence. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:25, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, so "cycle of violence" and "circle of violence" are synonyms, more or less. What about a circle (or cycle) of violence in a not-too-peaceful neighbourhood? These don't always happen within families (thinking of Belfast and other trouble spots). DonnanZ (talk) 16:41, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
Not every cliche is an entryworthy idiom. DCDuring (talk) 16:55, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
Whether it's entry-worthy or not it's still worth asking. Funnily enough there is a novel named Cycle of Violence. DonnanZ (talk) 17:00, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it's entry-worthy. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 18:31, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
Not a user I recognise. DonnanZ (talk) 20:45, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't know what that's supposed to mean. Anyway, seeing that English isn't my mother tongue, you can ignore my above statement; I'm not really in a position to judge. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:59, 18 December 2017 (UTC)


I've always pronounced this with stress on the first syllable, like in Irish. My pronunciation is inherited from my father, who is from Dublin. —Rua (mew) 20:24, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

How do you pronounce the first vowel? --WikiTiki89 20:34, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
[ɒ] as far as I can tell. —Rua (mew) 20:43, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
The Irish pronunciation depends on the dialect. In Munster, poitín is stressed on the second syllable. As for the English word, all the dictionaries I've consulted put the stress on the second syllable. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 20:48, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
In other dictionaries, I see — in addition to the pronunciations we give — /-ˈθin/ and /-ˈtjin/ as possibilities for the second syllable and /poʊ-/ and /pɒ-/ as (unstressed) possibilities for the first syllable. However, the narrator does seem to stress the first syllable in this RTE documentary (10 seconds in). I wouldn't normally consider a single video sufficient proof of a pronunciation (and if anyone wants to peruse YouTube for more evidence, please do), but I'd like to trust that the national broadcaster of Ireland would pronounce the word authentically in a documentary about the very topic, heh. - -sche (discuss) 00:28, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
The pronunciation with stress on the second syllable as in the US/UK also seems to be found, of course. I have added both. - -sche (discuss) 16:31, 13 January 2018 (UTC)


The verb to wife#Verb is used in modern slang, it means to marry a girl: "I would totally wife her". Do you think it should be added? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

@ Yes. Please have a go at it. Also, don't forget to sign your posts with ~~~~. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 13:03, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
It helps to have citations for the term in use, for example, on UseNet. Showing that another dictionary or glossary would work if you can find one. DCDuring (talk) 17:59, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
I doubt that there are citations in durably archived sources for this, especially for any particular meaning, even the one given above. Urban dictionary had a few verb definitions, which didn't agree with each other not with the definition above. I'd RfV this. DCDuring (talk) 18:12, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
@DCDuring: this looks easily citable to me: [9], [10], [11], [12] (a mention, though). --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 18:20, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
I couldn't see your first cite. The fourth is a mention, but the usage examples given may, by being in a durably cited work, count. None of the uses correspond to the definition given above. The term would seem to merit {{lb|en|AAVE}}. DCDuring (talk) 18:24, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
At Google Books, searching for "to wife her" gets perhaps five hits that support the definition above, though I didn't check the entire context. DCDuring (talk) 18:34, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, sorry. I must admit I'm more concerned with having a POS header "verb" at all than with giving said verb an accurate definition; another instance of me putting the cart before the horse. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:36, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

maidenhead, virginity[edit]

I was going to redirect the translation table of maidenhead and maidenhood to virginity, when I figured that the first two terms mean specifically "female virginity". But am I right to think that, or does it work for both sexes (that's what happened with virgo/virginitas, after all)? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 15:09, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

  • I would have thought that, as it refers to the hymen, it means female virginity only. SemperBlotto (talk)
    • @Per utramque cavernam: Maybe it's justified and would make sense to have two senses for virginity and also for virgin: 1. (originally/strictly) female person who never had sexual intercourse -- the state of a female person being a virgin; 2. (by extension, colloquially[?]) person who never had sexual intercourse -- the state of a person being a virgin. Then virginity (1) could be synonym to maidenhood and virginity (2) could be a hyperonym to maidenhood. - 01:17, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

@Leasnam, what do you think? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:30, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

I would have thought that maidenhead referred strictly to female virginity, however, I've just added a few cites that seem to point to the fact that (at least in earlier times, maybe still...) a man's virginity could also be referred to as "maidenhead" Leasnam (talk) 21:13, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

Addition of the pronunciation of why're[edit]

I cannot find a reliable source for the pronunciation of why're --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:25, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

It's an homophone of wire. --2A02:2788:A4:F44:7430:B56:175A:9A0 17:29, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
To me wire is one syllable whereas why're is two. That being said I have fairly idiosyncratic pronunciations in general to the extent that people think I'm a foreigner even though I've lived in the same city my whole life. ❃Adelaide❃ (talk) 08:46, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
Or just a rhyme of it, for those of us who still resist the wine-whine merger. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:51, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
I pronounce it /ʍaɪɚ/, /hwaɪɚ/. —Stephen (Talk) 01:02, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

retard DANGER section[edit]

The entry for the derogatory term retard contains a subheading labeled "DANGER". This seems both non-standard (since it's not employed on pages for other slurs) and editorialized. While I appreciate the sentiment, this section should probably be removed by someone with editing powers. --Twentyfists (talk) 04:55, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

Removed. DTLHS (talk) 04:59, 20 December 2017 (UTC)


Is there no relation between yiddish "verkakte" and german "verkacken"? None is mentioned on Wiktionary.--345Kai (talk) 15:53, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

Our entry for פֿאַרקאַקט(farkakt) does say it's cognate with German verkackt. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:26, 20 December 2017 (UTC)


We don't have an entry for the adverb socking (very) (e.g. "socking great jewels", but before I start one, I have some questions:

  1. Is it British English only, or is it also found in American English?
  2. Is it (dated), or is it still used?
  3. Does it modify anything other than great, and if not, should we have an entry for socking great with an {{only used in}} at [[socking]]?

Any other issues? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 10:45, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

At OneLook I found only Oxford to have it. They say it is UK. I'd be surprised if it weren't used with many adjectives, but I didn't look at Google Books to confirm. DCDuring (talk) 14:51, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
"Socking big" occasionally. Equinox 14:56, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
"Socking good", too. Appears in recent fiction, but might be dated. DCDuring (talk) 15:00, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
"Socking enormous". Amazing what a little time looking at authorities and usage can reveal. DCDuring (talk) 15:03, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
A single instance of "socking huge" on GB. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 15:06, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
A single instance of "socking fat" on GB. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 15:12, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
A single instance of "socking enormous" on GB. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 15:18, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your help, everyone. I've added it tagged {{lb|en|UK}} but not "dated". Feel free to fine-tune as necessary. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:10, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
It sounds a wee bit like the F-word f*****g which is also used as an adverb. DonnanZ (talk) 00:45, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: Same questions with heaping / heaping big (Wiktionary:Tea room/2019/April § heaping big, heaping-big). ChignonПучок 08:14, 20 April 2019 (UTC)


Do you think you could have a look at this? I've tagged a few words as "dubious":

  • either because they seem so rare they might not meet the CFI;
  • or because I'm not sure they mean "irrefutable": inattackable/unattackable. I can see a few figurative uses on GB, but I'm not sure;
  • or because they don't mean exactly "irrefutable" ("absolutely certain, positively true" in a good sense): unfalsifiable ("that cannot be disproved, but is not necessarily true". cf. the theory of falsifiability in epistemology).

@AdamBMorgan might be interested. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 16:59, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

In the case of "unfalsifiable," it just captures a different nuance. It's still worth including in the thesaurus. And "unshakeable" as in "unshakeable logic" is a perfectly valid synonym (see sense #3). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:11, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
I've changed the unfalsifiable set to hypernyms as they are a weaker and (in my mind) more general sense than irrefutable. If there are enough synonyms, they could be a separate page in their own right. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 00:32, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

What does this phrase mean? Is there a reference for Chinese food words?[edit]

This should be the name of a packaged food 五香卤块. It may be 5 spice flavor block, or something like that.

I have all kinds of questions now regarding food words:

Is there a compendium of food words where I can match characters to English words? What are good tools for helping to identify characters by drawing them? What are other ways to input characters right now if we don't know their pronunciation? Does anyone know of discussion fora where Chinese ingredients are discussed?


What do you suppose this means? The first cite would suggest it is a synonym for Asia, which matches the part of the definition that says "consisting of [the Indian] subcontinent and Asia proper", but that is irreconcilable with the beginning of that sentence, since Asia is not "the smallest landmass on Earth". Other cites seem to be using the sense to refer to part of Asia. The "Hyponyms" section of the entry just adds to the confusion. This, that and the other (talk) 10:50, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

It might relate to the Indian subcontinent and the rest of the continent Asia and could be "The smallest a landmass on Earth, consisting of the Indian subcontinent and Asia proper", i.e. it could be what others simply call Asia. The reason for using Indo-Asia instead of simply Asia could be geological history, moving of landmasses, tectonic plates, etc. Maybe biggest and smallest were confused? Hyponym Europe however wouldn't fit to this. - 17:08, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm going to send this to RFV, even though it's cited, as I remain entirely unconvinced that the cites support the definition. This, that and the other (talk) 11:39, 20 March 2018 (UTC)


Does this really mean "decay"? The cites I found seemed more like "disintegration", "downfall (into separate elements)", "fracturing" (of movements, countries, languages), as dis- + falo would suggest. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:48, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

Swedish artell[edit]

There are three different declension tables, and two different designs; that's pretty unsightly. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 18:51, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

Agreed, it's a mess. I'm not fond of inflection tables, and am not familiar with the Swedish ones, but someone may know. It doesn't seem to be a current word, not in any online dictionaries apart from SAOB, it's not in the SAOL or Swedish Wiktionary. Ironically none of the inflections have entries. Perhaps the appearance (on the page) of the middle template can be revised, which would necessitate a rewrite of the template. DonnanZ (talk) 20:10, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

gelatin, gelatine[edit]

Are these pronounced differently? DTLHS (talk) 03:26, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

  • I believe that the first one always rhymes with "tin" and the second one either does the same or rhymes with "teen" depending on personal preference. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:06, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I pronounce gelatine and nicotine as in "teen", and tine as in "Tyne". DonnanZ (talk) 09:06, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
    • I pronounce them identically: /ˈdʒɛlətɪn/. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 09:55, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Cambridge online, WordReference's version of Collins, and Fowler's Concise Dictionary of Modern English Usage (→ISBN) say gelatine is /-iːn/ and gelatin is /-ɪn/ (or /-ən/). OTOH, Collins’ own site seems to imply either spelling can be pronounced either way. Other dictionaries I looked at aren't clear, but seem to imply they are both /-iːn/ or both /-ɪn/. It wouldn't surprise me if some speakers used their 'native' pronunciation for both spellings, recognizing them as synonymous variants of each other, while other speakers make a distinction, as several say here they do. As an aside, I used to have a box of the stuff where the front said "gelatine" but the back said "ingredients: gelatin" — as Equinox joked, the other ingredient must have been an E number. - -sche (discuss) 22:00, 24 December 2017 (UTC)


Does this really need separate etymologies for the verb and the noun? I don't think there's any etymological difference, and the entry certainly doesn't indicate that. PseudoSkull (talk) 05:02, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

Note that this is not about the Scots law definition; that one is from receipt and should be a separate etymology. PseudoSkull (talk) 05:03, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
I would have thought not (though it is good for an ety to indicate which came first, verb or noun). Equinox 05:12, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Conversion (word formation) --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 14:44, 24 December 2017 (UTC)


This doesn't strike me as being a Translingual term, should it be Interlingua? DonnanZ (talk) 13:23, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

Added almost three years ago by Stephen G. Brown. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:44, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Interlingua is a conlang. Aho is a word used by a number of different American Indian languages (such as Lakota, Paiute, Apache, Cheyenne, Navajo, Cherokee, Shoshone, Southern Ute and others). It is translingual, although English is not one of the languages that use it. It is translingual in the same sense that the Cyrillic letter б is translingual ... it's used by a number of different languages, although not by English. —Stephen (Talk) 14:05, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
It's certainly not in the same category as the botanical and zoological terms, chemical symbols and compounds included under Translingual, nor of any letter in any alphabet (see A for instance). It would appear to be a waif without a proper home, say ==Native American==, although I have no idea whether it's feasible and how many other terms are like this. Shall we show some Christmas cheer and give it a proper home? DonnanZ (talk) 16:11, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Shouldn't we simply have a section for each language that uses it? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 16:16, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
How is this different from amen? How do you distinguish borrowing into multiple languages from Translingual? Chuck Entz (talk) 16:28, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
A moot point, amen has entries in 13 languages (omitting Catalan, Galician and Spanish amén and German Amen) and more yet to come, but it's not really used for inter-language communication, is it? DonnanZ (talk) 16:57, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
I think that's precisely what Chuck Entz meant; that we should treat aho as we've treated amen, i.e. with several language sections. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:09, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
  • @Stephen G. Brown, that's not how Translingual works. And it is obvious that this won't cover even the languages you mentioned, because they have different writing systems. Will you please convert it into a Kiowa entry and as many other entries are appropriate? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:00, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Changed to Navajo. I really shouldn't have said that aho is not English. It is used in English, but not standard English. It's like that term inshallah, which is neither Arabic nor English, but somewhere in between. When Native Americans speak English, they do use aho in English. There are a lot of words that Native Americans use when speaking English that are not standard English. For example, chúrn (not a Navajo word, yet nothing to do with English churn). Chúrn is an interjection that appears to have been borrowed from English, yet has no similarity in meaning. It even has a high tone, though it is only used in English. I don't know how to characterize these words. Are they a kind of slang? Code-switching? They don't all fall into only one or two categories. Except for aho, which is a very common word in several regions, I have completely ignored words of this sort. Linguistically, they're too weird. Here is an example of English as spoken by a Navajo:
"Aho! Proud of all of you cheii, masani, shima and yazh! He has no right being here on our sacred land! What made him think he could come on our land after everything he's done?!?" —Stephen (Talk) 23:22, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Thankyou, Stephen, I didn't realise it was your entry to begin with. Seasons greetings to you (and to everyone here on Wiktionary). DonnanZ (talk) 23:50, 24 December 2017 (UTC)


I was rereading my copy of The High King of Montival (→ISBN) and I saw this on page 425 " ...pulled the sheathed Sword from its frow." I've never seen this word before, so I came here to look it up. The page "frow" does not have an appropriate meaning. I thought it would be an archaic word for scabbard. Can this be added?--Auric (talk) 19:04, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

That meaning is at frog (a loop of a scabbard). Is frow then a variant of frog or perhaps frock ? Leasnam (talk) 19:26, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
I think we would need more examples to add it to frow- it could be a typo. DTLHS (talk) 19:29, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

sun kink[edit]

Spoorspatting Landgraaf

Is this term actually used anywhere when referring to buckling of railway tracks caused by extreme heat, or is it just a poor translation? It appears in the description of the image, also at Norwegian solslyng. DonnanZ (talk) 10:57, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

I did find one reference in Wikipedia (Buckling#Surface materials) using the same image, but I feel this needs backing up by other reports, e.g. in the press or rail magazines. DonnanZ (talk) 13:40, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

Never heard of it, but it looks readily attestable: google books:sun kink. DCDuring (talk) 00:42, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Also known as a heat buckle. DCDuring (talk) 00:51, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, reading those links gives me the impression that it's an American railroading term, which would explain why I had never heard of it. I had only heard of buckles and buckling. DonnanZ (talk) 10:41, 27 December 2017 (UTC)


(humor) I didn't want to unilaterally make this change, but David Morgan-Mar points out the correct definition for "fortnight" is British slang for a two-week period. We seem to fail to emphasis the slang part in our definition.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:27, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

He seems to be making the point that it is NOT slang. Kiwima (talk) 00:43, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

Old English fore-[edit]

@Anglish4699 Why does this have a long vowel? There isn't one etymologically, and there's no obvious evidence of it in the descendants either. —Rua (mew) 01:00, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

Honestly, I have no clue in the world why it's long. On Bosworth-Toller, it shows "fóre-" for many fore- terms. I don't know if I'm the right one to ask for this since I am not well-read in Proto-Germanic and its descendants. Anglish4699 (talk) 01:09, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
I have seen the OE prefix written both ways, with a short o and what is presumably a long o written ó. I wonder though if this is not an attempt to mark a stressed fore- to distinguish it from unstressed for-. I agree that etymologically it is unfounded. Leasnam (talk) 03:57, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

craftless Etymology[edit]

I was wondering if the English craftless was from Middle English, from OE cræftlēas. Maybe a possible continuation... I just don't know, and I don't have a dictionary around! Anglish4699 (talk) 04:11, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

The same goes for fatherless and OE fæderlēas. Anglish4699 (talk) 04:37, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Someone with access to the OED could see if the words have continuous attestation from the Middle English period to today. DTLHS (talk) 04:38, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
As far as the ME craftles, it is inherited from the OE word cræftlēas. The ME word has the same meaning as one of the Modern senses meaning "unskilled". The ME word is attested at least twice, once in 1225 as creftleas and again in 1425 as craftles. 1425 is only 75 years away from Modern English. I see no reason to think this is not the same word continually. Leasnam (talk) 04:47, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Okay, thank you! By that same logic, fatherless would be from the OE term, yes? Anglish4699 (talk) 04:58, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes. I've also updated the etymology at vaterlos. Sometimes, when an entry is created, a shortcut etymology is provided based on surface analysis...that just means that for those of us who are into etymologies have the task ahead of us to find them all and update them ! Leasnam (talk) 05:01, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Update: Looks like ya beat me to it! Anglish4699 (talk) 04:59, 27 December 2017 (UTC)


Can the verb (second sense) be used figuratively? For byspel, "his mind was cankered by surrounding influences". Tharthan (talk) 13:54, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

It may be so. From The Tract Magazine, and Christian Miscellany, I found some quotes on sin. "but alas ! he employed them in folly and wasted them in sinful pursuits, so that they were cankered to him. . .", (1) "Knowledge is an estimable possession, and Clement did all in his power to attain it; but when gained it made him not happy, for he used it to do evil and not to do good. His knowledge was cankered to him, for it only increased his power to be wicked," (2) and "His reputation was cankered, for it led him to think more highly of himself than he ought to think. . .," (3). There are some on Pg. 168. Anglish4699 (talk) 19:45, 27 December 2017 (UTC)


Catta is currently defined as "cat (or some unknown species of animal or bird)", but is there really such uncertainty about what the word means? The English translation of Baruch 6:21 does make "cat" sound like an unlikely meaning, but Mahagaja points out in the Etymology scriptorium that it's a (awkward) translation of a Greek original that uses αἴλουρος (aílouros) (which our entry says means "cat" or "weasel") and probably isn't meant to imply they fly. - -sche (discuss) 22:44, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

Knight vs. knight: what was the Middle English?[edit]

At Knight we see "from knyghte from cniht", whereas at knight we see "from knight/kniht from cniht". Which one is right? Were all three forms used, in which case all three should probably appear on both entries? MGorrone (talk) 23:52, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

Middle English was incredibly varied, not having a standard version and a multiplicity of dialects. There are certainly more forms than just the 3 mentioned above (like: knigt, cnigt, kniȝt, cniht, knigȝt, kniȝght, kniȝht, knikt, knict, cnict, knicht, cnect) just to name a few. All three then are correct, but it's no necessary to add all of them Leasnam (talk) 02:47, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
Is there a normalized spelling of Middle English that we use? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:10, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
I'd be in favour of one. —Rua (mew) 13:59, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
knight is the headword used in most ME dictionaries. Leasnam (talk) 21:42, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

rectahedron etc[edit]

An orthohedron is defined as being like a cube but with only two faces constrained to be square.

At http://www.fzglobal.org/w040617-040716.htm the word "rectahedron" is mentioned, but suggested to be an erroneous substitution for "orthohedron".

I thought "rectahedron" meant a three-dimensional six-sided polyhedron in which all angles are right. Every pair of opposing sides will therefore be congruent, but none need be squares. An orthohedron is a particular kind of rectahedron. A cube is a particular kind of orthohedron (and therefore a particular kind of rectahedron).

I can't find any attestations to this definition, though I can find occasional usages of it (especially in patent applications), with cognates like "rectahedral", "rectahedra", etc.

Google Scholar seems to be barfing on me right now (though that could be a Javascript problem). I found the page referenced above with plain Google, searching for "oed rectahedron" and saying "no I didn't mean octahedron".

Anybody else think the word "rectahedron" is real, and worth an entry?

  • Nothing like it in MathWorld, but I can see several usages that mostly have to describe it (as a polyhedron with six rectangular faces (i.e like a brick)). SemperBlotto (talk) 06:21, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
p.s. I have added definitions for rectahedron and rectahedral. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:27, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

zed for zombie[edit]

Someone in a video I watched noted that this sense is widespread even in the US. This would mean that the context label in the headword line doesn't apply for this sense. Can this be verified? —Rua (mew) 16:34, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

Was that person American? I am, and I am wholly unfamiliar with this sense. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:10, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes they were. —Rua (mew) 22:25, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, zed for “zombie” is used not that rarely in the USA. That’s something one finds in really trashy movies and computer games, however it is often written Z. Palaestrator verborum sis loquier 🗣 22:42, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
The American (be it US-American or Canadian or both) TV show "Z Nation" should use the term Z or z to mean zombie. z-nation.wikia.com/wiki/Zombie (not reliable) mentions it in the plural as "Z's". - 17:57, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

brown bread#Adjective[edit]

This couldn't just be Cockney rhyming slang. American James Rolfe uses it in this video at 1:44. PseudoSkull (talk) 16:41, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

I strongly doubt it's widely known in American English. I'd say isolated use of Cockney rhyming slang by Americans (I use it myself occasionally, mostly to get a laugh out of my English friends) doesn't mean it's no longer just Cockney rhyming slang. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:36, 28 December 2017 (UTC)


After these edits, the entry has four senses; are they accurate? Calling especially our experts on taxonomic and common names. - -sche (discuss) 03:40, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

I believe the first definition is correct. Not sure about the second. Either way, they need to be cleaned up a bit so they sound more like definitions. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:49, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the fourth sense is correct. I'm skeptical that the second and third senses are actually differentiatable. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 09:58, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

Italian: scatto[edit]

I wonder if in the translations listed for Italian word "scatto" there should also be:

snap (photography)

For example I read a story today with "grazie a uno scatto casuale..." and the meanings listed didn't make me think of a snap (quick photo) that was the meaning of the word in this context.

  • Yes. It can mean the act of taking a photograph. So "snap" is a reasonable translation - added. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:25, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

amici curiae[edit]

Another one which has ended up in Translingual, but it should probably be a Latin entry, or merged with English. DonnanZ (talk) 12:34, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

But doesn't it in fact meet our standard for Translingual entries: that it be used in running text of multiple languages? Is the problem our standard for 'Translingual' or our failure to apply the standard to legal and medical Latin terms? DCDuring (talk) 16:42, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
See the result here. DonnanZ (talk) 16:50, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
Is it used in running text of multiple languages? English it is for sure, thus at least another language is needed for being present in multiple languages. If it's used in multiple languages, where does it come from? In German text sometimes "amici curiae" (with italics) does appear, but it might be a 20th/21st century borrowing from English as to mention, discuss, explain English law stuff, thus the italicised appearance in German texts, wouldn't make it translingual. - 17:48, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The anon has moved a large part of the entry to amicus curiae, which may be the right thing to do, so I'm not contesting it. DonnanZ (talk) 18:11, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

Amicus curiae is with absolute certainty not part of the German language. From a German standpoint it is even hardly imaginable what that even is. I also question the use in Latin, the concept seems to have its home in the Anglo-Saxon countries. Palaestrator verborum sis loquier 🗣 19:22, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

I don't suppose it's used in Scots or Irish or Hindi or Canadian French or any Caribbean Creole. DCDuring (talk) 19:26, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
For a start, Hindi has "squiggly" writing, but it could be used in Indian English. DonnanZ (talk) 19:37, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
@Donnanz: Uh, what? Do you know anything about Hindi? It's not "squiggly handwriting", it's the Devanagari script. Anyways, the singular एमिकस क्यूरी (emikas kyūrī) gets plenty of hits. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 23:02, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
Apologies if I have mortally offended you, but that proves we need contributors who do know Hindi. What I was trying to say is it's not Latin script. DonnanZ (talk) 23:31, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
@Donnanz: Apologies if my reply was a bit acrid... I agree, we do need more contributors for Hindi. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 01:13, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Even more reason to assume it is not translingual. The term has not even had the power to spread thoroughly in the countries where the Anglo-Saxons have had the power. Also it is not used in an ECtHR or an ECJ context even though there are submissions of uninvolved entities before both courts. w:de:Amicus Curiae § Internationale Gerichtsbarkeit presents a hugely misleading dog’s breakfast under its lemma. If somebody has asked himself why Wikipedia is a bad source for linguistic usage: Here you see why. Palaestrator verborum sis loquier 🗣 19:45, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
Why work on assumptions when we can collect evidence? RfV gives a month or more to produce such evidence. If Hindi has a sound-alike term written in Devanagari, that to me is suggestive that it may well be found in languages with Latin script. I though there was a chance that Latin script might appear embedded in Devanagari, as some Latin-spelled terms appear in Japanese and Chinese. DCDuring (talk) 01:28, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
For examples:
Mazeaud D (1995) "L’expertise de droit à travers l’amicus curiae". In: Frison-Roche M-A, Mazeaud D (eds) L’expertise. Dalloz, Paris, pp 107–112
Transparenz im völkerrechtlichen Investitionsschiedsverfahren, J Sackmann, 2012. - nomos-elibrary.de Eingehend wird behandelt, ob die in diesem Zusammenhang häufig angeführte Beteiligung von Amicus Curiae die Transparenz dieser Verfahren tatsächlich erhöht
Two errors in that German quote. It uses Amicus as singular, and writes Curiae with a capital letter while the rule is to write multiple part Latin nominal phrases used in German – i. e. not as code switching – with the first letter after space as a majuscule and the second as a minuscule. Also, it is a quoting of usage in a foreign language (“häufige angeführte”). Palaestrator verborum sis loquier 🗣 10:28, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
You call them errors. I call them evidence. Whatever the other indications, that the quote defies the prescriptive capitalization rule may mean that the author didn't think of the term as true Latin. DCDuring (talk) 18:36, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Still it is a reference to the usage in an other language and not a usage by itself. Even if it is usage, it could be the Privatsprache of the author or code switching, anything that the author has just chosen for analysis but does not actually believe to be part of his language. What does one have to do as an author if one wants to analyse things in foreign countries and not to emburden the dictionary editors with another word that appears to be in the language of analysis? The linearity of language just lets appear code switching and borrowing appear the same. Evaluation is necessary, else we will have hundreds of terms in Category:English terms borrowed from Ge'ez and alike because some philologist and his friends did not use italics frequently and you happen to find three instances of it. Be careful with the word “evidence”. Palaestrator verborum sis loquier 🗣 20:48, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
De Europese Commissie en nationale mededingingsautoriteiten als amicus curiae. Huidig en komend recht, W Devroe "Amice Curiae, quo vadis?" Het openbaar …, 2002 - cris.maastrichtuniversity.nl
In French it would be easy to cite, not too hard in German, possibly in Dutch, Spanish, and Italian. DCDuring (talk) 01:49, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
But then it would need entries in those languages, probably as amicus curiae. It is not translingual in the botanical, zoological and scientific senses, the customary inhabitants of Translingual. DonnanZ (talk) 09:36, 30 December 2017 (UTC).
Taxonomic names and CJKV characters are treated as Translingual because they meet our standard for determining what should be so treated. There is abundant evidence that most medical and legal Latin terms do also. DCDuring (talk) 18:36, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
@DCDuring: If you can find this amongst the other waffle, we need to find out whether other legal and medical terms have been entered in Translingual. This is the only one I know of. DonnanZ (talk) 23:37, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't think very many have been, though I don't understand by what subtle reasoning the plain facts of the matter are argued away. One argument in similar cases is that pronunciations are different in different languages. This applies to many of the other Translingual terms so, if applied, it could lead to the complete depopulation of Translingual and the creation of multiple language sections for each page that currently has a Translingual entry and pointless search for attestion of taxonomic names in multiple languages.
With 38,747 entries currently in Category:Translingual lemmas I don't think there's going to be any serious depopulation. Only a few may need weeding out. DonnanZ (talk) 10:11, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Doesn't AAA#Translingual have pronunciation that differs by language? DCDuring (talk) 10:35, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
I imagine it depends on how the letter A is pronounced in each language and whether each A is sounded separately. For example the audio in Nynorsk for A. DonnanZ (talk) 12:25, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Looking a bit through the translingual lemma category, it looks like translingual terms have a general characteristic that pronunciation does not matter in them but their being written. From their being written they derive their power of being translingual – oral language has it hard to make terms translingual. For German, there is no rule how Amicus curiae is to be pronounced. It can be like in the English, it can be like Classical Latin. Though the latter is more likely because English pronunciation of Latin terms arouses horror, for it makes Latin words unidentifiable for non-Anglo-Saxon ears. Palaestrator verborum sis loquier 🗣 14:56, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
@Palaestrator verborum: Amicus curiae (or amicus curiae or Amicus Curiae) could be a German term, and may it only be used in reference to English customs and laws. | Amicus Curiae with two capitals could be correct, depending on orthography or opinion. For example, Duden has Genus Verbi (Duden). (By the official orthography, a spelling like Genus verbi could be the traditional spelling before 1996, while a spelling like Genus Verbi could be a reformed spelling after 1996.)
@DCDuring: As for German one must be careful regarding spelling (amicus curiae or Amicus curiae or Amicus Curiae?) and also regarding etymology (from Latin as stated at amici curiae#Translingual or from English?).
@Donnanz: Probably, as it's probably better compared to computer (English and anglicism in other languages) than to a biologic-taxonomic term (Latin and then in other languages, or pseudo-Latin but potentially in multiple languages).
- 18:52, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Wow, such an arbitrium introduced by the Communist orthography reforms. de:Genus Verbi with two majuscules, de:Accent aigu with one. Call it a misspelling or not (depending on if you lay value on those reforms imposed by a coterie), but lawyers as well as philologists are still unlikely to write two majuscules for such phrases. Palaestrator verborum sis loquier 🗣 20:48, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
And now analyze, what’s the word “arbitrium” above?
A borrowing?
Code switching?
An L4 interference?
… ?
I can that tell you that it is not a borrowing – for, well, I did not want it to be one. But other authors do not answer yours questions about such. However surely as in this case there are cases where you cannot distinguish unless told but in truth there is no borrowing, just you do not know that there is not. Is there a statistical distribution known though with which one can work through a corpus about that question? That’s hard. Palaestrator verborum sis loquier 🗣 20:57, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, Verbi (genitive of Verbum) is a substantive, aigu is an adjective. That is, for correct spelling one now has to know the foreign part of speech. However, there are also exceptions or somewhat contradicting rules, compare with de facto, in dubio pro reo, High Society.  I wouldn't be so sure about philologists. After all, wasn't the bad reform made by (incompetent) philologists? | As for the above comment (with "Privatsprache of the author or code switching"): Amici curiae could be a German exotism, a German loan word (in this case borrowed from English) for a foreign custom or thing. That's comparable to Oval Office (a certain room in the US-American White House; Duden). (Although the citation above might be a bad one, but there could be better ones.) | I did interprete arbitrium as arbitrary + -ium with the meaning arbitrariness, which would make it an English coinage, probably a neologism. Latin arbitrium or German Arbitrium (Duden) in my opinion didn't seem to fit. - 21:40, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Nice, I forgot the coinage anew. I meant arbitrium – it corresponds to German Willkür. The current definition on en.Wiktionary does not reflect the meaning well. One could translate it with arbitrariness or “arbitrary choice”, or in the specific context “arbitrary decision”, but this would make it more pejorative than it is meant by Latin authors.
It is a funny notion that “Verbi” is the genitive of “Verbum” whereas it is for long the rule not to decline Latin words used in German as in Latin (the last people who did so died out in the earlier 20th century, though I have not much against declining Latin words in German). It looks like the reformers exceeded their mission by even reforming outside the German language, reforming the treatment of languages that are not German: as one has now to know foreign parts of speech, i. e. is clearly somehow codeswitching. Or have the reformers prescribed that such phrases can never be German because they have to be treated as in the foreign language?
As for who made the reforms, of course it has not been the philologists. It was a certain kind of Germanists intensely connected with the educational system of the state. Those who have made the rules perhaps follow them, though this is one of the obscure points. If one writes Genus verbi as a pupil in an exam one perhaps does not get an error ascribed because teachers think that “here German ends and codeswitching begins”. The rules are perhaps of limited scope of application, if one wants to approach to the matter with analogies from law.
For the Anglo-Saxons here I point out that the amount of rules after the reforms has multiplied though their perpetrators have promised that the reforms ease usage (there were some countings too when the reform issue was hotter). Palaestrator verborum sis loquier 🗣 22:12, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

Potential edit war[edit]

Hello, @Rua and me have a disagreement on the content of the inflection table of Proto-Indo-Eurpean *diwyós, and the discussion looked like it wasn't going anywhere. So I decided to resolve it asking for more opinions on the subject. I argue that the references reconstruct *diw-yó-, and this is well supported by the descendants. Yet she won't let me fix the inflection table, and reconstructs it as *dyu-yó-. As I told her in the discussion, we cannot give ourselves the luxury to reconstruct erroneous etymons without support on the daughter languages nor recognizable authors. Either the inflection table is removed, or fixed, but we cannot publish misleading information. --Tom 144 (talk) 16:33, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm not reconstructing it any way at all. I've merely said that using ugly hacks to work around how the template is supposed to work is not a solution. You haven't been helpful in coming up with a real solution, like figuring out why the reconstructed inflection contradicts established PIE phonological rules. —Rua (mew) 16:38, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
*dyew- is a well known dissyllabic root. The hiatus is evident in the Rig-veda. If you don believe me just look at what Sihler has to say about it. Hiatus are not so rare in PIE, they also appear in the thematic optative suffix *-oih₁-, if instead we used the syllabification rules we would have to reconstruct *-oyh̥₁-, which is not attested anywhere. We know there was a first laryngeal there becuase the morpheme must have been *-i(é)h₁-, which is found in the athematic formations. The origin could be the deletion of an early consonant but it is just conjecture. It is not our problem to solve. --Tom 144 (talk) 16:52, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
There are no disyllabic roots in PIE. Roots are understood to consist of a single syllable, having the vowel -e- as its nucleus, and at least one consonant at either end. *dyew- is no different structurally from *ḱlew-. —Rua (mew) 16:56, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
*ǵenh₁- is another dissyllabic root. Root constraints only forbid having more that one full grade, but not more than one syllable. --Tom 144 (talk) 17:10, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
How is it dissyllabic? *h₁ is a consonant. --2A02:2788:A4:F44:E5DC:D203:5BE5:6B80 17:14, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
It can also be a vowel, see for example, *ǵénh̥₁tōr, *ǵénh̥₁trih₂, *ǵénh̥₁mn̥, *ǵénh̥₁tis. --Tom 144 (talk) 17:32, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
That's a post-PIE phenomenon. In PIE itself they were obstruents and didn't participate in syllabification. —Rua (mew) 17:42, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
They could be syllabic, if not, worlds like *ph̥₂tḗr would be monosyllabic, and such consonant clusters weren't allowed in PIE. The epenthesis of ə on syllabic laryngeals was a post-PIE development. --Tom 144 (talk) 16:41, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
This is probably better addressed at the Etymology scriptorium, if only because those who know enough to have useful opinions on the subject are more likely to be paying attention to that forum than this one. I have a linguistics degree with some PIE courses, but that only gives me the background to understand the arguments- not to have anything to say. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:56, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

"on" (or "X-on-Y action")[edit]

Should there be a sense at "on" (or perhaps "-on-" for "having sex with", as used in "girl-on-girl" and by extension, snowclones of the same? For example, "I Trick Bulls Into Gay Sex: 5 Realities Behind Your Beef", Cracked, "So we use a real, live animal. Not a cow, though -- hot bull-on-cow action spreads bovine VD and produces unwanted pregnancies..." bd2412 T 18:10, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

It almost has shades of "versus", e.g. "boy-on-girl wrestling" (not a very common phrase though), "blue-on-blue". Equinox 22:07, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
If a sentenced referenced "blue-on-blue action", the presumption would be that something sexual was going on, wouldn't it? bd2412 T 22:18, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
I think it's just the sexual sense of action, with a phrase specifying who is doing it. I remember seeing phrases like "girl-on-girl wrestling" eons ago, and I suspect the sexual usage was a play on that (of course, back in the day, anything "girl-on-girl" was a transparent excuse to see something vaguely like pornography for those with no access to the real thing). Chuck Entz (talk) 00:33, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
I think you're right; but "X-on-Y" is now often used as a noun, with the "action" or "sex" or whatnot left implied — see e.g. https://books.google.com/books?id=dPHnDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA286&dq=girl-on-girl — so we may want something at [[on]] anyway. —RuakhTALK 04:24, 3 January 2018 (UTC)


Is there any difference at all between undershorts and underpants or are they synonymous? Tharthan (talk) 04:29, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

I do not consider them synonymous; for me undershorts specifically means underwear in the form of shorts, such as boxers or boxer briefs. (So I disagree with our current definition, which takes it to mean underwear that could be worn under shorts. And a Google Image Search for "undershorts" vs. A one for "underpants" mostly seems to bear me out, though it's obviously possible that some people do use it in the way that our current definition suggests.) —RuakhTALK 04:33, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Other dictionaries view them as synonyms, though the definitions usually have an 'especially': "underpants, especially for men or boys". DCDuring (talk) 13:41, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

defense vs. defence double definition[edit]

Hey, I noticed that defence and defense, both dialectal varieties, have the definition on both pages. Is this on purpose? Other pages, like glamor, reference to their Commonwealth/Brittish equivalent (glamour) or vice versa - honour to honor.

--TheDodosaurus (talk) 18:46, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

I support making one an alternative form of the other. —Rua (mew) 18:50, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
defense is nearly twice as common as defence in usage since the 1940s per Google n-gram. DCDuring (talk) 13:46, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

it's a joke, Joyce[edit]

Is this common Australian phrase valid for inclusion, or is it sum-of-parts? It's used to tell someone a sentence they took seriously was a joke (obviously). Does the "Joyce," used no matter what the recipient's name is, make this phrase valid? Jjamesryan (talk) 20:12, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes, that's the easy part. Deciding whether it's independent of the TV show that produced it is the tricky part. We're only interested in phrases that are used as part of the language rather than as a quote. If you have evidence that it's used by people who don't know where it came from, or at least don't assume that those they're saying it to know where it came from, then I'd say it would be a valid entry. That's not to say we don't want to know where it came from- that would go in the etymology. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:57, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Not happy, Jan! Equinox 05:22, 31 December 2017 (UTC)


I have never heard of this, is it an American term? DonnanZ (talk) 21:41, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

  • I've never heard it either, but I haven't lived in America for 20 years. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 22:02, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
It's been here since 2004 without being queried, now it's gone to RFV. Very strange. DonnanZ (talk) 23:00, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
I've seen similar entries before: basically they're old nicknames for the different fingers, supposedly taught to young children (probably part of some sort of rhyme). Since no one would ever still be using such words by the time they were old enough to write, it's not likely most of them would show up in print except as mentions in folklore publications, except for a few that made it into children's books. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:49, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Labelled it as obsolete, not apparently used now. DonnanZ (talk) 09:49, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

lightly Etymology[edit]

I'm pretty sure lightly is from Middle English, from Old English lēohtlīċe, but I don't have dictionary to look it up. I'm almost certain it is. Take a look at the second Middle English quote from The Middle English Dictionary. yes? no? Anglish4699 (talk) 05:38, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes :) Leasnam (talk) 06:51, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

francais, Francais[edit]

English, really? Note the "parlez vous francais" example given at francais. That would make "parlez" and "vous" English too, wouldn't it? Equinox 05:52, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Mais, oui. DCDuring (talk) 08:59, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Lol, is that a realistic English sentence? It makes no sense ahah --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:11, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
I feel like I've heard something like it in a TV show... That and sprechen Sie Deutsch /ˈsprɛkən zi ˈdɔɪtʃ/ are fairly well-known phrases in their respective languages. — Eru·tuon 19:59, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
Is there evidence for francais being used outside the phrase parlez vous francais? I would give the latter an entry otherwise. — Eru·tuon 19:59, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
In the song I Wish I Could Speak French (1962), Alvin sings "You don't parlez English? Well, I don't parlez much French either, but I'll try my best." So arguably "parlez" is used in English sentences by English speakers. I'm going to take my usual standard here; I don't really care about the header as much as the fact that francais and Francais are actually words in use and should have entries.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:14, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
Obvious code-switching. francais or Francais are not English words and entries are not merited in this case, IMO. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:54, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

heavily Etymology[edit]

I believe heavily is from Middle English, from OE hefiġlīċe. Yes no? Take a look at the Middle English Dictionary quotes. Anglish4699 (talk) 19:39, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it is. I've updated the entry to reflect this. Leasnam (talk) 06:18, 1 January 2018 (UTC)