Wiktionary:Tea room/2017/September

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← August 2017 · September 2017 · October 2017 → · (current)


light rail[edit]

The definition seems overly specific and US-specific. Even if it originated out of the US, you can have light rail in other countries that don't match up to such specifications. The usage notes seem to be encyclopaedic too. Anyone? ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:22, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

I think the term light rail is used more in the US than in Britain, where the term tramway is normally used for any rail transport that can run in a street as well as on reserved track. These need grooved rails in street sections as standard rails are unsuitable. Overhead power wires are used, use of a third rail power supply with the risk of electrocution is probably banned in a street environment. Suburban rail services which use standard railway tracks aren't classed as light rail. DonnanZ (talk) 10:42, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Agree, light rail is common in the US and Canada but not elsewhere. Cheers, Facts707 (talk) 17:13, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
In the US, light rail is intended to refer to passenger-carrying rail lines that have rights of way that are not on streets shared with cars (but may use pedestrian malls?), but use streetcar-like equipment. The idea was that these overcome some disadvantages of streetcars, but are less expensive to build than conventional rail lines (lighter track, sharper curves, etc). I remember it as a way of selling legislatures and voters on funding for mass transit by differentiating it from both traditional subways/els and commuter rail. DCDuring (talk) 12:39, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
My memory is consistent with the various relevant WP articles and supporting documents. The term was apparently coined or, at least, adopted by UMTA, the US Urban Mass Transit Administration, in 1972. DCDuring (talk) 12:48, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
If this weren't specific to the US it would probably be SoP, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 12:51, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
This isn't specific (or, at any rate, unique) to the US. Melbourne, Australia, used to have light rail lines (as opposed to trams), and Adelaide still does. In Australian use, it's something in between trams and trains: using tram-style stock and rails, but on dedicated lines rather than along streets and roads. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 22:08, 21 September 2017 (UTC)


(French and Middle French) A street-seller of drugs. I got the wrong impression when I first read this, would drugs be better defined as quack medicines or remedies? DonnanZ (talk) 10:05, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

Changed to "medicines". —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:25, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

Manchu for knee[edit]

If anyone happens to know how to write Manchu, could you add it to the translations for knee. It currently has just Manchu: {{t|mnc|tobgiya}}, which produces the interesting effect of the transliteration tobgiya running vertically and red-linked, like this in fact: Manchu: tobgiya (tobgiya). --Hiztegilari (talk) 10:14, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

I've changed it. Wyang (talk) 10:27, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
There's more. (@Wyang) —suzukaze (tc) 03:17, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm too lazy to check all of these... If anyone is interested, {{subst:mnc-Latn-translit}} can be used to convert from Latin-script Manchu to Mongolian-script Manchu. Wyang (talk) 06:07, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

Access to Wikidata data will be enabled on September 7th[edit]

Hello all,

You may have followed the discussions during the last months about enabling the access to Wikidata data for English Wiktionary. This request from the community will be implemented on September 7th, from when you will be able to include data from Wikidata in all your pages. For example, in order to improve the citations by taking the information about the work from Wikidata. (last discussions: June, August)

A special page has been created to coordinate the efforts around Wikidata on English Wiktionary: Wiktionary:Wikidata. You can find here a lot of useful resources, and on the talk page, announcements, questions and requests can be made.

Important note: Wikidata is not ready to store information about words yet. This part of the plan is currently in development and the team is working actively on it, to provide in the next months the possibility to describe Lexemes, Forms and Senses in Wikidata. In the meantime, Wikidata only stores information about concepts, and this is how it should be used on Wiktionary as well.

If you have any question or concern, feel free to share. Thanks, Lea Lacroix (WMDE) (talk) 13:25, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

I'm happy to announce that the access to Wikidata data is now enabled :) Lea Lacroix (WMDE) (talk) 15:18, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

peel me a grape[edit]

Could someone please clarify the definition, and maybe provide a usage example as well? The entry as it stands is not very useful. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:43, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

What I understand from the entry is: if someone asks you to do something that they could perfectly well do themselves, this is a retort. Maybe like "no, you should do it yourself!" I haven't heard it in real life. Equinox 14:46, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Even if the expression is used this way (an open question), why does it need a separate sense line? Or even a usage note? Rare is the expression that cannot be used sarcastically or ironically (or suggestively, interrogatively, etc)). DCDuring (talk) 05:53, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

batten as in cotton batten a.k.a. cotton batting[edit]

Cotton batten gets about 2000 hits in Google Books vs. ~100K for cotton batting but I think they mean the same thing? I don't think batten shows this sense. Facts707 (talk) 17:18, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

Old High German houwan[edit]

Would anyone happen to know what the past tense forms of this verb were? —Rua (mew) 20:07, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

According to Braune Althochdeutsche Grammatik it's singular hio, plural hiewun in Frankish and singular hiu, plural hiuwen in Upper High German. I've added these to the headword line. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:17, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. —Rua (mew) 20:56, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

WOTD: wigwag[edit]

The Sept. 2 Word of the Day entry wigwag makes me think of zigzag. But I am not sure how to set up a "link" between those two words (I edited wiktionary only a few times, and I can't find anything that resemble a editor guide for wiktionary). I believe these words will be listed under Synonyms in both pages. Thanks for consideration and responses! --TheBlueWizard (talk) 02:20, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

They're not exactly synonyms, but they do have some sort of a link. I listed it under 'See also'. You can read more about these kinds of headers at WT:EL. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:23, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
They are rhymes at least. DTLHS (talk) 02:30, 2 September 2017 (UTC)


In 2015, User:Tweenk has removed a number of senses in diff, which I don't agree with. E.g. a Russian translation Ре́чь Посполи́тая (Réčʹ Pospolítaja) doesn't refer to the modern Poland but to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, also called "Rzeczpospolita", even though the English name is less common than the Eastern European cognates. I suggest reinstating senses, not sure how many are required but the translations refer to various historical regions, not the modern Poland. Perhaps all three Rzeczpospolitas can be combined into one sense. Maybe the endonym sense needs to be verified. Is "Rzeczpospolita" used in English to mean the modern Polish state? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:30, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

"the+rzeczpospolita"&oq="the+rzeczpospolita"&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.3...7770.9114.0.9460. Almost all mentions refer to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 12:37, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
I re-added the "Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth" sense. --Tweenk (talk) 00:57, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

Passion flower[edit]

With a capital P? There is another entry for passionflower, the two have different definitions. Oxford has passion flower (small p) [1]. DonnanZ (talk) 16:58, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

Added one; I'm sure there are more, as the Passion of Christ is often written with capital P. Boring to search through all the small p results though. Adding old words like "thou" may help. Equinox 17:02, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, OK, fine on the quotation, but shouldn't it be treated as an {{alt form}} of passion flower? DonnanZ (talk) 17:13, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
Another odd entry is Passion, plural of Passion flower. It doesn't say why. DonnanZ (talk) 18:55, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
Apparently I added that in 2016. We may never know why. Removed. Equinox 18:57, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
Per Google N-Gram viewer the order of frequency of the alternative forms is passionflower, passion flower, Passionflower, Passion flower.
Main entry at [[passionflower]]; others are alternative forms, translations and other content merged. DCDuring (talk) 03:27, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
I think the quotation Equinox added should be moved back to Passion flower.
I don't place too much faith in N-Gram viewer. I did find mixed results in dictionaries, which I have added to passion flower and passionflower. DonnanZ (talk) 09:42, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
Passion flowers are not strictly of North American origin either, as far as I can make out. DonnanZ (talk) 10:22, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
Feel free to make any changes you are confident about. DCDuring (talk) 12:43, 3 September 2017 (UTC)


Discussion moved to Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2017/September#User:TNMPChannel.

as it were[edit]

It currently reads "more likely, using an obsolete sense of were (“would be”)". Why is this sense considered obsolete? Isn't it just the imperfect subjunctive? (were, sense 5). – Jberkel (talk) 16:14, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

Just for the record, you're referring to part of the etymology, not the definition itself. The modernity of the subjunctive is a tricky issue: for large numbers of speakers it's obsolete, for some prescriptivists, it's something that should be used regardless of whether you or the person you're communicating with understand it, in order to preserve "proper English", and then there are the people who just use it and don't understand all the talk about it being obsolete. @Leasnam doesn't strike me as someone who would be confused by an old subjunctive construction, so there may be more to it than that. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:46, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
Much of the contemporary usage I've seen is to draw attention to a metaphor or a metaphorical sense of a term, often one that might be confusing, eg:
She gave all of the women seated at the restaurant food for thought, as it were.
[T]heir [Neanderthals'] cancer-causing wart viruses evolved with them–until that fateful moment when Homo sapiens and Neanderthal came together, as it were.
Our definition and citations are remarkably unhelpful. DCDuring (talk) 04:43, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz Regarding the modernity of the subjunctive, this is very interesting usage information, maybe we should add it. – Jberkel (talk) 06:33, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
@Jberkel:, it's not really sense 5 (--grammatically it is, but it's a special usage and meaning which might warrant its own sense). It's the were we find in the KJV passage in 1st Corinthians 12:17 "If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing?" --this is an obsolete usage meaning "would be". It survived into EME, but it is quite obsolete everywhere that I am aware of, and has been for quite some time, except in fossilised expressions like as it were. Leasnam (talk) 18:48, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
I see, thanks for the explanation! – Jberkel (talk) 20:36, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

芽菜 (yacai)[edit]

Wiktionary translates 芽菜 as bean sprouts. Wikipedia describes 芽菜 as pickled mustard greens, and a native Chinese speaker just used it in that sense talking to me. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ya_cai

Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:01, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

The characters themselves would allow either, so it's probably a regional issue. I wouldn't trust the IP that created the entry as far as I could throw them (I could recruit lots of volunteers for the toss, though...), but I believe I actually bought soybean sprouts in a Los Angeles-area Chinese market under that name, eons ago. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:25, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
I added the second meaning with a (regional) label, assuming it's an originally Sichuan term with inconsistent adoption elsewhere. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 21:35, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
AFAICT it's basically only used in Sichuan (and in the Sichuanese cuisine context). Being a Cantonese speaker, I am only familiar with the bean sprouts sense. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:01, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
I hope you realize that most North American English speakers are unaware of any kind of bean sprouts other than mung bean sprouts, so saying bean sprouts implies that 芽菜 is just another way of saying 綠豆芽. Is there any way to clarify? 00:59, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: It actually does usually refer to mung bean sprouts. I've put an example to show that it could be used for other beans. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 01:10, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Category:English internet slang[edit]

1. This used to produce internet slang as a gloss in entries, but now it just produces internet, which makes it easy to confuse Internet slang with technical terms about Internet infrastructure. 2. I think we should capitalise Internet in such categories, since it's the Internet, not just an internet. Equinox 17:48, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Daniel Carrero (talkcontribs) has merged the labels Internet and Internet slang. Although Category:en:Internet had a lot of terms that belonged under Internet slang (or Networking), I think it would be better to try and clean up the category and maintain the distinction between words related to the Internet and slang used on the Internet. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:07, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
I agree, this is an important distinction. Couldn't this be modeled by combing the internet and slang labels, {{lb|en|Internet|slang}}? Just {{lb|en|Internet}} would then be about networking protocols. The template code could figure this out and produce the right categories. – Jberkel (talk) 20:33, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Insufficient: there might be a word that is slang, and refers to Internet technicals, but is not slang used specifically on the Internet. Equinox 20:34, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm perfectly fine with undoing my change and letting {{lb|en|internet}} categorize again into Category:en:Internet. Should this be done now or is there something to be discussed here first? Do we even need a tag "Internet" in entries like breadcrumb, barnstar, etc.? Maybe just categorizing these entries without a tag would be enough. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 23:36, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
This is symptomatic of the failure to distinguish among topic, register, and usage context. We might be able to get away with combining register and usage context for categorization. Failing to categorize by register/usage context is a problem and failing to distinguish topical from register/usage context categorization is a problem. But why don't we just once more kick the can down the road? It's not going to go nuclear on us. DCDuring (talk) 04:09, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
The ongoing, large vote Wiktionary:Votes/2017-07/Rename categories suggests a way to fix that problem by renaming many categories. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 03:13, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

Is Swabian defined as a dialect or a language?[edit]

It has happened again, this time with Swabian. According to the defintion, Swabian is "[o]ne of the Alemannic dialects of High German". However, we treat it as a language and it even has its own language code. So, what is it going to be? --Robbie SWE (talk) 18:12, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

It's both. It's a German lect. That's a jargon term that I'm not a real fan of using in the dictionary proper, but it is the best term to use here. Depending on how verbose we like the definition, we could point out that it's treated as both, but I see no particular reason for what we treat as a language for our purposes to be called a language in its definition.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:21, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
I see. The reason I asked is because of a controversy relating to the German entry Schwäbisch. There, it's defined as a language with a link to Category:Swabian language, but the English entry for Swabian defines it as a dialect. --Robbie SWE (talk) 08:35, 5 September 2017 (UTC)


Anglosphere claims that "Coined by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his book The Diamond Age, published in 1995." and provides http://wordspy.com/index.php?word=anglosphere as a cite. I don't feel that's an incredibly solid citation. A Google Books search was frustrating. One, it seems absolutely clear that the word Anglosphere appeared in English texts prior to 1995. (Or at least "Anglo sphere" or "Anglo-sphere".) Two, the snippets seem to be a slightly different sense. And three, like many searches on Google Books for works published before the electronic era and after 1922, I can't see what I need to see, even so far as to figure out original spellings or correct dates in many of these cases. Nor do I know how to do a newsgroup search for pre-1995 posts--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:40, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Google Ngram shows some usage around 1900 and then a slow increase starting around 1992. Stephenson definitely didn't coin it, but maybe the use in Diamond Age helped to spread it. – Jberkel (talk) 07:03, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I think that's less reliable than Google Books. I'm not seeing any hits in many of the period links below, and the link that has pre-1995 hits, there's one in the introduction of a misdated recent edition of a 1935 work, and two that are virtually identical: "Chicano Studies, because of its nature, was radical* and was not an Anglosphere." (* "new" in one edition.) That's a different sense.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:48, 7 September 2017 (UTC)


Synonym of Norway. Never heard of it; I am guessing you wouldn't see this on modern maps or in tour guides. Does it need glossing somehow, e.g. archaic? Equinox 21:47, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Would it even pass RfV? It doesn't strike me as archaic, especially after doing a Google Books search; the one clear use for the nation (as opposed to a boat or part of another geographic feature) is from a modern work that looks like a vanity work. I think it's most likely to see use in the modern world where some people are making a big deal about local names instead of the older names entrenched in English.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:29, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
I have definitely heard of Norvegia, from Latin Norvegia. DonnanZ (talk) 19:21, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Category:Hybrids (biology)[edit]

Should we have a category for wholphins, ligers and grolar bears? --Barytonesis (talk) 22:23, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

There are hybrids that aren't animals too, e.g. youngberry. Equinox 10:11, 5 September 2017 (UTC)


The Wiktionary and Wikipedia entries for ponerology don't line up exactly. I'm not familiar with the word enough to correct or adjust anything. The WP could use a Wiktionary link too (I'd do it but I've been censored/banned for a year ending in December). I'd also appreciate seeing ponerology added to other articles in the sections below, like "Related Terms", etc. Ignore this or jump on this as you see fit. Thanks for you attention. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 04:53, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

It seems that there are two senses- Andrzej Łobaczewski revived / reinvented the word in 1998. I am going to RFV the newer sense. DTLHS (talk) 05:09, 5 September 2017 (UTC)


The (5-year-old) usage note about its use in Cantonese to mean black is kind of dubious. I personally have never heard of such usage. 廣州方言詞典 does say it is used to mean “black” and lists 青衣轎, but it doesn't mention anything about 乞. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 07:04, 5 September 2017 (UTC)


"Technical term in Hinduism used to classify..." That's not a definition. What does the word really refer to? Equinox 11:33, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

@Equinox: About to fix. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 19:28, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Done. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 19:41, 5 September 2017 (UTC)


(Dutch) I imagine it should be sense 2 of amnesty, not sense 1. DonnanZ (talk) 16:32, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

You're right, it was an old Tbot error. Fixed. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 14:02, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

Category:English three-letter abbreviations[edit]

I removed sci (science) from this category, as it doesn't appear to fit the intent or current contents (which are initialisms like BBC). However, "sci" does have three letters. Was I right? Equinox 17:58, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

It's also an abbreviation... —Rua (mew) 17:59, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Well, this category looks like it wants to be Category:English three-letter initialisms (which doesn't exist for some reason). Why the inconsistency? Equinox 18:11, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

About the apparent negative "s'" in the examples at mirë[edit]

I just opened mirë and saw the example: «S'flas mirë shqip», «I don't speak Albanian». Now "mirë" means "well", "shqip" (which should be capitalized IMO) means "Albanian", but "S'flas"? I tried looking for it, and found "flas", meaning "I speak". So it appears "S'" is some kind of (informal?) negation. Trouble is, neither the translations at not nor the page nuk mentions it. So is "S'" an informal equivalent of nuk along with the jo mentioned at nuk? Should we create an entry for it? Also, based on the above analysis, the more literal translation of the sentence is «I don't speak Albanian well». Since it's supposed to be an example of mirë, it is pretty sloppy IMO to not even translate mirë, so maybe we should change the translation too? MGorrone (talk) 18:16, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, s' as a negator exists, it very well should deserve an entry. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 23:35, 7 September 2017 (UTC)


I feel like the first three definitions are all really the same thing and should be merged into one:

  1. (phonetics, phonology) A process whereby a vowel or a consonant is pronounced farther to the front of the vocal tract than some reference point.
  2. (phonology) A phonological relationship where a front vowel is found in place of a relative back vowel in an inflected form of a word.
  3. (linguistics) An analogous relationship between the vowel sounds in a dialect of a language relative to the language standard or an earlier form of the language.

--WikiTiki89 19:15, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

They each differ. Nardog (talk) 15:09, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Can you elaborate? It seems that the second and third definitions above are just situations where definition #1 applies. At the very least they should be given as subsenses. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:01, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
I think the first def is supposed to be referring to the (diachronic) sound change itself, the process by which the other two (synchronic) kinds of fronting arise. But then, the third one also includes some diachronic considerations (‘...or an earlier form of the language’). — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 04:50, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

Charles Thomas definination of members.[edit]

We recently just admitted Charles Thomas into our political discussion group. I attempted to engage hombre in discussion, as is our group guidelines. He continually insulted me and made dirogatory comments, though I just was expressing a personal common view.

Then he went into Wiki, and created a very humiliating false derogatory profile in Wiki.

The irony is, I was quoting your site, as a source of information. He used his power here to create a fake horrible definition of me on this site.

Thank you for your time —This comment was unsigned.

I understand why you were vague, and, fortunately, there was an attack page sitting there that needed to be deleted, but in general I can't fix something I can't find. I hope what I got was what you were upset about.
It's times like this I wish I could activate a cattle-prod in the users seat, but we'll have to settle for deleting the entry, protecting it from re-creation, and permanently blocking the cretin who did this. Wiktionary is a dictionary, and we don't allow articles about named individuals, let alone infantile attack pages like that. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:47, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of ln (and log)[edit]

Where should the pronunciations for these two mathematical symbols be put? In Canada, we usually say /lɒn/ and /lɒɡ/. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:58, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

Never heard of /lɒn/... usually el en in Australia. Wyang (talk) 05:15, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
el en in America as well. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 14:13, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Here's an interesting reddit post about this. /lɒn/ does seem to be a Canadian thing. Here is an example of such a pronunciation. Some people also say /lɒɡ/ for ln. There seem to be other ways of pronouncing it elsewhere, like /lɪn/ or /lʌn/, but I've never heard of those. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:12, 7 September 2017 (UTC)


(Indonesian) This was queried by Mglovesfun, I think it can safely be changed to an adjective. DonnanZ (talk) 11:16, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

The word for autonomous in Indonesian is otonom. I think autonom is a misspelling or at least an alternative form of otonom. Look here and here. -- Heydari (talk|contibs) 07:59, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
@Heydari: Ah, I can't read Indonesian, should it be moved to otonom? There is an entry for otonomi. DonnanZ (talk) 19:53, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
Besides this, these are 54 pages in Category:Requests for attention concerning Indonesian. DonnanZ (talk) 20:08, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
@Heydari It is listed in this English-Indonesian dictionary. Could it be a superseded or dated form? Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:01, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
@Donnanz: Yes, otonom is the official spelling. OK I'll clean some of those pages.
@Lingo Bingo Dingo Apparently you're right, otonom is the Perfected Spelling from previous Republican Spelling System. However, some words still keep the auto- spelling as in autobiografi and autodidak. -- Heydari (talk|contibs) 03:49, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

your call will be answered in the order it was received[edit]

The literal interpretation of this is, more or less, that "your call will be answered from its beginning to its end", though it is clearly intended to mean the "calls, including yours, are answered in the order in which they are received". I don't think there are any definitions of order or it that allow this to be properly interpreted.

The expression is very common (I'm listening to it now.), but I haven't yet checked for attestation.

If we do not want to have this as an entry, what is the rationale? Wouldn't almost any rationale for excluding it also catch many entries that we now have? DCDuring (talk) 18:17, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

I'm not understanding- surely a single call doesn't have an "order" and therefore there is no ambiguity? DTLHS (talk) 18:19, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
@DTLHS: Perhaps, but what is the appropriate substitutable definition? DCDuring (talk) 03:00, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
A number of singular nouns have an "order": argument, parade, team, program, development. It takes only the most modest mental effort to break anything that occurs in time into constituents. DCDuring (talk) 03:00, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
This is sloppy thinking, where people confuse the order of a collection of telephone calls with the index (or specific position within the collection) of one particular call within the collection. People being sloppy isn't usually a reason to give a new definition for a word. Equinox 22:57, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
This is like the misspelling questions, where if you cornered the writer of I like dogs and I like cats to and said "is this what you really meant to write?", they would probably admit "no, it was my mistake". Our own SemperBlotto has a certain grammar error I have frequently corrected, along the pattern of "either of two organic compounds that reacts with carbon". There are two compounds that react (plural form) with carbon, and then "either" is an additional grammatical component on top. To turn this error into a new sense of a word would make us even more of a comical farce than we already are. I am playing the long game and I have a huge bookmarks menu of misspellings that I will some day challenge vote-wise. Equinox 23:01, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
I think that "sloppy thinking" may actually be forcing a word that's almost right into a slot that no other word fits. The merit of "your call will be answered in the order it was received" is that it is fairly brief (14 syllables vs. 18 for my alternative), includes the word your, involves no interruption of flow, and is not too informal. Apparently the advantages of the shorter expression are compelling as it is almost always part of call-answering systems in the US.
IOW, call-answering systems demand a word with a definition that does not exist, so an almost-right word is pressed into service. In the expression, no old definition quite fits. Ergo, a new definition is required.
Obviously, this is all speculative. It may be that contrary evidence against one element in the chain of reasoning destroys the argument. DCDuring (talk) 03:00, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
  • A definition for order#Noun like "position in a sequence" rather than "sequence" would be sufficient. The extension of meaning is by metonymy (synecdoche), a not uncommon mode for semantic change. DCDuring (talk) 05:43, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
    I have added such a definition and provided what I think are suitable citations. Please take a look. DCDuring (talk) 23:35, 9 September 2017 (UTC)


I understand this is possibly Old Dutch for bamboo, which is close to modern Dutch bamboe. Can this be confirmed? DonnanZ (talk) 19:01, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

A couple of sources: “bambus” in Den Danske Ordbog and “bamboo” (US) / “bamboo” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.. DonnanZ (talk) 19:09, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

See also Duden (Herkunft). DCDuring (talk) 02:54, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
@Donnanz Yes, it was the common form before the early 20th century. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:44, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
@Lingo Bingo Dingo: Great, I see you've added an entry. Was it the original form, going back to Middle Dutch? DonnanZ (talk) 11:01, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
@Donnanz It indeed looks like it was the original form, but I don't think the word goes that far back. I haven't come across anything older than the 17th century on either Google Books or DBNL. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:11, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
OK, I'm not sure when Middle Dutch evolved into modern Dutch. I think the 17th century may have been the heyday of Dutch explorers. DonnanZ (talk) 11:22, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Should Arabic dialects "borrow" from the standard Arabic?[edit]

User:عربي-٣١ has been creating quite a few entries in Hijazi Arabic, which "borrow" from MSA, such as موقف‎. Is this correct? In fact, most such entries only differ by the regional pronunciation. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:10, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

If they are in fact borrowed, then yes it's correct to say that. But just because he says "From Arabic" doesn't mean necessarily that it was borrowed, because inherited words would also be "from Arabic". It's an important distinction to make, even though it is sometimes blurred. For example, in Syrian Arabic there was a word kaddāb (liar), but today for most speakers, it is pronounced kazzāb, due to influence from MSA كَذَّاب(kaḏḏāb). Now is this a "borrowing" or just an influence? In some cases it's clearer than others, but borrowings do exist. --WikiTiki89 15:13, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
I understand but in my opinion, the majority of those words are cognates, not borrowings. Your example كَذَّاب(kaḏḏāb) is interesting, I was going to suggest the same in showing how dialects pronounce words with the same spelling. My Hippocrene dictionary (ISBN-10: 0781806860) actually says that the Syrian pronunciation is kizzāb and Egyptian is keddāb. Of interest here are the consonants, not the short vowels, though. I think what happens here, dialects retain the standard Arabic spelling but pronounce them differently, so ذ() may be realised as /z/ or /d/ in dialects, which can also be seen in Persian or Urdu borrowings from Arabic. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:22, 9 September 2017 (UTC)
But if you look at it from a chronological point of view, in Syrian, this word also used to have -dd-, until it was influenced by MSA (whether spoken or written, I'm not sure). A cognate would be when a dialect has natively inherited the word, but if the dialect didn't have a word and took it from MSA, that's clearly a borrowing rather than a cognate. So I don't know what you mean by "a majority of these words", because I didn't try to give any number of how many borrowings there are. --WikiTiki89 17:32, 11 September 2017 (UTC)


@I'm so meta even this acronym (and anyone else who knows Welsh): Does this form actually occur, or is mutation suppressed for miliwn and biliwn? It would be bad if dau filiwn were ambiguous between "two million" and "two billion". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:03, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

biliwn doesn't seem to soft mutate. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 15:05, 8 September 2017 (UTC)


The usage note says:

In reading education, "rime" refers to the vowel and the letters that come after the eventual initial consonant(s) in a syllable. For example, sit, spit, and split all have the same rime (-it). Words that rhyme often share the same rime, such as rock and sock (-ock). However, words that rhyme do not always share the same rime, such as claim and fame (-aim and -ame). Additionally, words that share the same rime do not always rhyme, such as tough and though (-ough). Rhyme and rime are not interchangeable, although they often overlap.

How much truth is there in this statement? AFAIK the distinction between "rime" and "rhyme", if made, is usually that they are used in linguistics and in poetry respectively. For the record, the kind of distinction explained above does seem to be made at least in some circles,[2][3] but how common is this? Is it something universally agreed upon in "reading education" everywhere? If not, the note seems to be too broad of a statement and creating confusion that wouldn't exist otherwise. Nardog (talk) 14:52, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

I think the distinction is between linguistic & non-linguistic use. Reading education, at least in recent times, gets a lot of its vocabulary from linguistics, so I don't think it merits special mention. Actually, I'm not familiar with any usage of rime in modern English (ignoring the "Rime if the Ancient Mariner" as archaic) except the linguistics sense, which is well established in discussions of syllable structure. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:13, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
AFAICT the ‘reading education’ sense as given above isn’t the same as the linguistic use; it’s purely orthographic. So if such a sense actually is in use, it would merit special mention. However, the first link Nardog provided makes a mess of confusing orthography and syllable structure, so it’s hard to tell what’s intended there. Maybe the ‘reading education’ sense is just a rare misinterpretation of the linguistic sense? — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 04:43, 12 September 2017 (UTC)


I was not familiar with the term agelast -- someone who never laughs. Following the synonym links led to hypergelast.

I don't edit in Wiktionary, don't want to tinker. But on the hypergelast page, the same definition seems to be given for hypergelast, its antonym (agelast) and a synonym (cachinnator).

thanks GeeBee60 (talk) 14:58, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

The entries all seem to be correct as they are. It appears to me that you have misinterpreted the qualifier showing which sense the synonym and antonym apply to. To remove this confusion, I will reformat the entry a bit. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:21, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

black swan[edit]

A black swan, in the figurative sense, can refer to a person or animal right? It doesn't have to be an occurrence AFAIK. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:50, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Apparently it can. Added a reference from Oxford. DonnanZ (talk) 10:57, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
The three "Oxford" examples given do not unambiguously support the third definition they give. Occurence can easily be interpreted as including the occurrence of a (kind of) person or (kind of) thing. DCDuring (talk) 17:26, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Really? I wouldn't say a person is an occurrence. A person doesn't occur - an event occurs. Animals don't occur either. But I think the entry is OK as it stands now "something believed impossible or not to exist". For us translators, these distinctions are really important. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:09, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
I occur as an instance of human, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 16:18, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
The last time I saw a black swan it was a bird. But the term was apparently coined before this species was discovered. DonnanZ (talk) 08:34, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Category:First person pronouns, Category:Second person pronouns, Category:Third person pronouns[edit]

Hyphenated names (...-person) instead? Wyang (talk) 08:58, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Yes, and with "by language" at the end, i.e. Category:First-person pronouns by language etc. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:51, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Why isn't this adequately addressed by Category:English pronouns and what should appear under the synonyms heading in each entry? At most a user has to guess that I rather than, say, you all is first person. If there are languages with scores of first-person pronouns, perhaps they merit such a category. DCDuring (talk) 16:25, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

minus (mathematics) Conjunction[edit]

Most dictionaries tag the use of minus in sentences like 'seven minus two is five' as a preposition, not a conjunction. --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:41, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Are there any guidelines in wiktionary on how to differentiate between a preposition and a conjunction? --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:56, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums: A preposition introduces a noun phrase. A conjunction introduces a clause.
@TAKASUGI Shinji You're the one who changed the original header "preposition" to "conjunction". You referred to Wiktionary:Tea room/2010/March in the edit summary, but I couldn't find anything about "minus" there. I know you're keen on accurate parsing, so I'm curious as to what lead you to that decision. --Barytonesis (talk) 14:34, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Tea room/2010/March#times was moved to Talk:times#Preposition?. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 14:58, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
@Barytonesis: I am strongly in disagreement with what you seem to imply about prepositions not introducing clauses. Similarly, and and or can obviously link words and phrases as well as clauses. Or did you mean something else? DCDuring (talk) 16:18, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
@DCDuring: No, I write loads of crap in here... --Barytonesis (talk) 10:37, 14 September 2017 (UTC)


How was this word pronounced? Tharthan (talk) 20:14, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Given that it’s a learned borrowing used in very few written works, I’d think it’s doubtful it was used in spoken language at all. Were I to pronounce it, I’d say IPA(key): /saɪl/. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 23:54, 17 September 2017 (UTC)


There is a nasty mix-up here, I reckon. If you are creating a myth, you are mytho-poietic; that's totally different from being mytho-poetic, which would be myths plus poetry. Our entry seems to conflate the two. Anyone got the energy, NAY, THE CHUTZPAH, to untangle this? Equinox 00:08, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

Matters are further confused by entries like mythopoet and mythopoeic. Maybe we should just delete all the M-words and start again. Equinox 00:12, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Etymology isn't destiny. Besides, a poet is, etymologically speaking, a maker, so it's not as far-fetched as you might think. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:52, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

Category:English elongated forms[edit]

How do we feel about this excellent use of somebody's time? All words in all languages with all durations? Equinox 00:25, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

I don't know about most of them, but categorizing redirect pages is a really bad idea, so I stripped the cats from all of those I could easily find. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:05, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

"a break in the case"[edit]

"I think we've got a break in the case!" somebody said in The X-Files, and I can find it elsewhere too. Seems to be a point in a (criminal?) investigation where something changes, allowing sudden progress, like a metaphorical break in a dam perhaps, but I don't know if that's the origin. Is there a sense we are missing at break, or is this a set phrase of its own, or...? Equinox 02:14, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

Shortening of breakthrough ? Leasnam (talk) 02:17, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Or the 7th noun sense: "A significant change in circumstance, attitude, perception, or focus of attention.". There are example sentences referring to a "lucky break" or a "big break". Chuck Entz (talk) 02:27, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
MWOnline has a few senses of the verb we don't have AFAICT, though they could be deemed to be included in senses we have as they are metaphors based on the same base meaning.
All of the verb senses are included in the first definition of the noun: "an act or action of breaking". Two or three of the verb senses which we lack are:
1 a :to find an explanation or solution for: solve the detective broke the case
Also, do we have the following?
2 a :to make known: tell break the bad news gently
b :to bring to attention or prominence initially radio stations breaking new musicians break a news story
MW omits some of our noun senses, apparently because they are covered by "an act or action of breaking". DCDuring (talk) 04:11, 12 September 2017 (UTC)


Our only definition is "filled beyond capacity", but I don't think that's true of overstuffed chairs. Certainly the chair in the picture at the entry is not filled beyond capacity, because it is still successfully containing its stuffing. I don't know whether this warrants a separate definition line or whether overstuffed chair is a non-SOP idiom or what, but I think we're missing something. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:22, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

How about "filled beyond normal or recommended capacity"? --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 22:24, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
The usual meaning when modifying a noun denoting upholstered furniture is something like "(of a piece of furniture, such as a chair or sofa) Covered completely and deeply with upholstery". "Deeply" is intended to include a top layer of stuffing that is soft/cushiony. DCDuring (talk) 04:56, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Looks good, thanks for adding it! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:03, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

"rout" again[edit]

The article lacks two common meanings: (1) a disorderly retreat (except in the etymology) and (2) to retreat in disorder (for example, "the cavalry pursued the routing opponent.") 15:44, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

I have expanded noun sense 3 and added another verb sense, I hope that will do. See rout. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:51, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

About hyphenation and inflection of newly-created mindannyiuk[edit]

Just copypasted the code from mindannyiunk and tweaked it to create the current mindannyiuk. The inflection template should be checked by someone more template-savvy than me, though taking the template from mindannyiunk and removing the "n" from the parameter where "mindannyiunka" was given should logically produce the right table. Also, the hyphenation "mind-any-nyi-uk" doesn't convince me, nor does "mind-any-nyi-unk". While "mind-any" instead of "min-dany" might be due to etymology (as in, "mind" is a prefix that stays separate in hyphenation - correct me if this is not the reason), what doesn't convince me at all is the "any" part: does "nny" really get hyphenated with an extra "y" as "ny-ny" instead of as "n-ny"? Also, is the "i" never reduced to a glide, justifying a hyphenation of "mind-an(y)-nyiunk"? MGorrone (talk) 17:40, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

UPDATE: Whoops! I misspelled the title as mindanniuk. How do I change the title? MGorrone (talk) 17:45, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

I’ve moved it to mindannyiuk. For future reference, hovering over the ‘More’ tab next to the search bar will reveal a ‘Move’ button and let you move the page. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 02:13, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

to neighbour[edit]

Sense 1: "To be adjacent to (more often used as neighbouring)". What is that parenthesis supposed to mean? --Barytonesis (talk) 23:00, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

It means the verb is more commonly used in the participial form than the other forms. — Eru·tuon 23:27, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
I've moved it to the Usage notes, to avoid confusion as part of the actual definition Leasnam (talk) 13:18, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Arabic آخر[edit]

Is the pronunciation file for آخِر(ʾāḵir) (Etymology 1) or آخَر(ʾāḵar) (Etymology 2), or is it not possible to tell? Currently it is under Etymology 1. Wyang (talk) 09:43, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

I think it's completely wrong. I looked at a few other examples at the original shtooka.com site, and found some wrong ones, such as استثمار. —Stephen (Talk) 10:26, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
For the file for اِسْتِثْمار(istiṯmār), the speaker is from Tiznit, Morocco, and in the case of آخر‎, the speaker is from Rabat, Morocco. The issue for اِسْتِثْمار(istiṯmār) appears to be the same as the one discussed today at Talk:امرأة, which was that initial iCC developed into CC in Moroccan Arabic, hence the loss of the initial vowel (although the /t/ also seems to be largely elided?).
With آخر‎ though, I'm just not sure what the speaker is trying to say as the second vowel. Our entry says it corresponds to MSA /i/, but to me it sounds more like an /a/. Wyang (talk) 10:45, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
They share the basic (unvocalised) spelling but it's "a", not "i" and I can't hear the final "r". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:13, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Lojban je[edit]

"ro lo nanmu je ninmu" doesn't make sense. It means "all the hermaphrodites" (those that are both men and women). I'd say "ro lo nanmu ja ninmu" or, more verbosely, "ro lo nanmu .e ro lo ninmu". PierreAbbat (talk) 11:43, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

@PierreAbbat: My own lojban is very rusty, but I think you’re right; feel free, of course, to change or remove the usage example. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 23:49, 17 September 2017 (UTC)


"a year of the duodecennial Jovian orbital cycle or of the sexagenary cycle based upon it, (particularly) used in discussion of age." This seems overly specific and encyclopedic. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:31, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

... I support just replacing it with “year (of age)”. Wyang (talk) 11:09, 15 September 2017 (UTC)


How is this pronounced? We may also be missing a sense, for a style of music. - -sche (discuss) 01:56, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

/ɡɑ̤ːːː/. Wyang (talk) 11:05, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
I don't know how experts familiar with this word pronounce it, but if I encountered it in my reading I would pronounce it /ɡəˈnɑːwə/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:20, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

long for and ache for[edit]

Could I create pine for, yearn for, hanker for, yen for, spoil for? Also, is there a verb "to cream for"? --Barytonesis (talk) 11:59, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

Translations at double check[edit]

Can someone please fix the presentations of the translations in the title? At the moment, they look like this: "复查 (zh) (fùchá) (traditional: 複查)". The traditional should be a parameter, but I don't know what the name is. Also, I'm not entirely sure about 雙槳, given to me by the keyboard as the traditional form of 双将… or well, now I'm certain it's wrong. Seems the keyboard doesn't know about the word. What it's giving me is actually traditional for 双桨, "two oars". Will fix now. MGorrone (talk) 19:51, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

@MGorrone: There is no parameter for traditional. It should look like {{t|cmn|雙將}}, {{t|cmn|双将|tr=shuāngjiāng}}. —suzukaze (tc) 00:02, 18 September 2017 (UTC)


Does "a footpath, usually paved" mean that sidewalks are usually paved or that "sidewalk" usually refers to a paved footpath? In some US state laws, "sidewalk" seems to include even strips of grass on the side of the road in the public right of way, which might be quite numerous. But I'm not sure how often "sidewalk" is used this broadly outside of these laws. Germyb (talk) 22:19, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

I wouldn't call an unpaved surface as a sidewalk as an American; it's strikes me as sort of a "ketchup is a vegetable", letting local governments claim sidewalks where there are none.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:45, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Actually, I might be wrong about whether these laws classify such grassy areas as "sidewalks". Some people on the internet think they do, but I'm having trouble finding significant court cases that support this view. Germyb (talk) 04:37, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

a rolling stone gathers no moss[edit]

The only known passage of this sense I found is in this video. part of Pebbles Proverbs 09:06, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

Spanish pronunciation of fascismo[edit]

Can someone check the automatic pronunciation? (Castilian) /fasˈθismo/, [fasˈθizmo], (Latin America) /fasˈsismo/, [fasˈsizmo]. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:24, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

Sub judice[edit]

I think that the entry "sub judice" should have a pronunciation given. When I see the term I'm inclined to pronounce it as if it were ecclesiastical Latin, but I'm sure the Englishis different. Caeruleancentaur (talk) 15:26, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

malloot (Dutch)[edit]

Copied from the discussion page which I just started on the malloot entry: On this page, 'malloot' is listed as an adjective. However, I thought it was a noun, and the Dutch version of Wiktionary actually does specify it as being a 'zelfstandig naamwoord', which translates to a noun. 607 wikipedia (talk) 19:41, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

Added while unaware that the person who was asking had already posted the above
The question has been raised on the talk page as to whether this is an adjective or a noun. The revision history shows that it was created by a Dutch IP as an adjective, but with the definition for a noun. The same day was its only other edit by a human being, but one who doesn't speak Dutch. Since then it's only been edited by bots. Would someone familiar with the term either fix the entry or confirm that it's correct? Thanks! Chuck Entz (talk) 20:01, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
Definitely a noun, but possibly also an adjective in a use that's not familiar to me. —Rua (mew) 20:12, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
It's normally a noun, but it's occasionally used as an adjective. Not very common though. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:15, 18 September 2017 (UTC)


Paper that is cream in colour and wove: but we have no adjective "wove". Is the paper "woven"? (How does one weave paper?) What are we missing? Equinox 22:56, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

  • It is real and in the OED. I have added an appropriate adjective sense at wove. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:46, 17 September 2017 (UTC)


It seems we are missing a sense at cut (verb) meaning "switch" (i.e. "stop filming over here and start filming over there"). I just heard someone say "Then they cut to the woman in the front row" meaning the camera folks "cut over to" the woman. We have a similar (i.e. root) sense at sense 4, which is repeated somewhat again at sense 16, but how should this best be treated ? It's really a shortening of cut over (to) Leasnam (talk) 16:20, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

MWOnline handles it as a sense of the intransitive verb: "to make an abrupt transition from one sound or image to another in motion pictures, radio, or television" - The film cuts from the ballroom to the garden.
Ok, added right after sense 4, since the two are related. Leasnam (talk) 15:05, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

shaddock-plant brought to Jamaica or Barbados[edit]


in shaddock Captain Shaddock introduced its seeds (of the shaddock plant) to Barbados.

While in en:w:Grapefruit: a certain "Captain Shaddock"[6] brought pomelo seeds to Jamaica as well as : Grapefruit is a hybrid originating in Barbados as an accidental cross between two introduced species, sweet orange (C. sinensis) and pomelo or shaddock (C. maxima).

Could somebody explain whether the captain has first brought pomelo-seeds to Jamaica and then by accident hybridised shaddocks on Barbados? Thanks, B Lemeukx (talk) 16:47, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

I tried to understand this a while ago and only got confused. Crossing and re-crossing of fruits with hybrids of hybrids. And then this mysterious Captain Shaddock... Jberkel (talk) 22:33, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

"You gotta put yourself out there more"[edit]

How do we parse the phrase, "You gotta put yourself out there more"? Where do we put our definition? At put oneself out there? Or out there? ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:49, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

I parse it as you gotta put yourself out there ("out of one's comfort zone"). The sense of out there is related to the "crazy, insane,unconventional" sense. DCDuring (talk) 17:54, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
I've added the relevant sense now. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:58, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
That is a definition I don't find in other dictionaries, but it fits my understanding of the usage. Other English speakers, especially, EN-N or EN-4+ resident in an English-speaking country should review. DCDuring (talk) 05:07, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Is it actually an adjective in this case? What is it modifying? DTLHS (talk) 05:35, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Also... I can't conceive of "out there" being used in this way with any other verb but "put"- so maybe the best place would be put oneself out there? DTLHS (talk) 05:45, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Well one could say "you should be out there more", couldn't one? ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:42, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Also get (one)self. Possibly have (one)self, get, and go. DCDuring (talk) 11:08, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Here's my understanding of these phrases. "Get yourself out there" can refer to getting you or your product/business/etc. out into the public eye so that they know about you. It can also just mean getting yourself out into a place (such as a public place), but "out there" here is probably more of a SoP.
"Put yourself out there" can probably also mean the same thing about putting yourself in the public eye. A more nuanced sense has to do with making yourself vulnerable (or going out of your comfort zone), especially by putting yourself in a position where others will judge/critique you. These two senses can overlap. And then finally, there's a separate idiom "put yourself out for someone", which has to do with inconveniencing yourself, and it is possible that this sometimes appears in the form "put yourself out there", although I am not sure.
I am not confident that my understanding is correct.
Germyb (talk) 23:20, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
I think you could also interpret "out there" as "visible to others". So "put yourself out there" is like "make your presence known". --WikiTiki89 14:44, 19 September 2017 (UTC)


Are there words in Russian, Greek etc (or even in English) that correspond to English words such as P-shaped, but refer to letters in other alphabets? SemperBlotto (talk) 05:50, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Relatedly or perhaps unrelatedly, Chinese has words like 一字 (一-shaped), 八字 (八-shaped), 丁字 (丁-shaped), 十字 (十-shaped), used in e.g. 十字架 (十-shaped frame, i.e. the Cross), 八字腿 (八-shaped legs, i.e. bowed legs), 金字塔 (金-shaped pagoda, i.e. a pyramid). Russian has words like п-обра́зный (p-obráznyj), I believe. Wyang (talk) 07:45, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
I've certainly seen Russian texts that describe things as П-shaped; it gets translated into English as U-shaped! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:22, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Likewise, Russian texts that describe things as Г-shaped get translated into English saying L-shaped. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:09, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
English has one or two for Greek letters, e.g. ypsiliform. Equinox 12:03, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Also: deltoid, lambdoid, sigmoid, upsiloid/ypsiloid (and hyoid), and omegoid. -Stelio (talk) 14:11, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto The suffix for such word is -обра́зный (-obráznyj), e.g. Т-обра́зный (T-obráznyj, T-shaped), pronounced тэобра́зный (tɛobráznyj), not to be confused with о́бразный (óbraznyj) with a different stress. Most such letters have some equivalent in Cyrillic but if it isn't, one can say - в фо́рме бу́квы ... (v fórme búkvy ...), ie. in the shape of letter ... --09:47, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Portuguese bomba[edit]

Does/Did this have any meaning of “fire brigade/firefighter” by itself?

Its derivative bombeiros means firefighter, but several loanwords of bomba in other languages have meanings of “fire brigade, firefighter or fire hydrant”. For example, bomba in Malay is the fire brigade, and Gujarati બંબો (bambo) is fire hydrant. Wyang (talk) 14:33, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

I couldn’t find any evidence of this sense. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:35, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

ten to[edit]

This, as well as half past, quarter to etc., is classed as a noun. I don't feel too convinced by that...--WF on Holiday (talk) 18:32, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Are we gonna create an entry for every number: five to, six to, twenty-three to? --WikiTiki89 18:35, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
I've noticed before that these entries are problematic. Sometimes the definition suggests no hour ("it was already ten to, when I arrived") but then there's a usex like "ten to three" underneath. Quite different. Equinox 18:45, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Even when there's no explicit hour, it's understood- "ten to" is really "ten (minutes) to (the hour)". Chuck Entz (talk) 20:02, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
As to the original question, terms of this form, when they omit the hour, seem very noun-like to me. They could be a subject "Five to is when the bell rings", an object of a preposition, "The bell rings at five to", etc.
When the hour is present, I would parse it as five + PP, where PP = to + [number designating hour]. Ie, ten to is a non-constituent and is SoP.
A reading that ten to was an adjective when the hour number is present, if that's the alternative, would somehow say that the hour is always the head of an NP that includes it. But that substitutes semantics for grammar, which seems particularly wrong because, even semantically, the minutes could be more important than the hour, as they clearly are in the case of the elliptical use. DCDuring (talk) 20:40, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

the man different sense[edit]

(I've also posted this at the phrase's discussion page)

Legendary humorous British writer P.G. Wodehouse (and no doubt others of his era, not necessarily fiction-writers) occasionally used "the man" immediately before a proper name to show that the character in question was an object of suspicion. For example,

"The point I am trying to make," I said, "is that the boy Glossop is the father of the man Glossop. In other words, each loathsome fault and blemish that led the boy Glossop to be frowned upon by his fellows is present in the man Glossop, and causes him--I am speaking now of the man Glossop--to be a hissing and a byword at places hike the Drones, where a certain standard of decency is demanded from the inmates."[4]

There's another instance (I can't remember which of his books at the moment) where the character in question is wanted by the police. I strongly suspect that in those days, "the man Smith" as a phrase would have been used by the police, but unfortunately I don't know of any documentation of this (not having access to such things except what's on the web) so if anyone else is aware of this usage and can help that would be wonderful.--Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 02:10, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Not at all. The example you gave is merely referring to the phenomenon of character traits in a boy giving rise to the character traits of the man he becomes. It refers to "the boy Glossop" in order to make clear that the references is to Glossop as a boy, not to Glossop as the man he later became. You're reading a lot of unnecessary subtext into a very straightforward passsage. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:38, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Not at all, Chuck Entz. As already stated, the quote above is only one example of several instances of Wodehouse using this (with no "the boy" or similar involved). Being unfamiliar with the writing under discussion is fine, but jumping straight into aggressive accusations is just a bit odd.--Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 05:30, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

English depot[edit]

This is currently missing a medical and pharmacological sense (or several), relating to a form of injection that results in the slow release of drugs. It can refer to the injected body area where the drug accumulates locally, the injection itself, the drug given by the injection, or the injection regimen (e.g. "put someone on a depot"). Not sure how to include this in the entry though. Needs EN-+++. Wyang (talk) 07:11, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

English diagnosis of exclusion, working diagnosis[edit]

Worthy of being created, or nah (< SoP, etc.)? Wyang (talk) 08:01, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Spanish translations of clique (1st sense)[edit]

Could someone who's rather good at Spanish check whether mundillo, bando and bolita should be kept as translations under "small, exclusive group" and whether the entries should be expanded?

I've removed the following examples from the translation table (some might make nice usage examples though):

mundillo m as in "El libro solo fue bien recibido por el mundillo literario". bando m as in "La convención se dividió en bandos que nunca se pusieron de acuerdo". bolita f in México city, as in "Acabo de ver en la cafetería la bolita de Juan" means I have just seen in the coffe shop Juan's group of friends. (Needs revision)

Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:39, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

pronunciation of Weds[edit]

How is the abbreviation Weds to be pronounced? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:44, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

/ˈwɛnzdeɪ/, /ˈwɛnzdi/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:47, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

bus driver "on a bus" vs. "in a bus"[edit]

<<A person employed to drive people around in a bus.>>

I've been trying to change the "in" to "on". However both times I have I got reverted. "on a bus" is correct. The word "on", not "in" is used for buses. 2602:306:3653:8440:E4:5197:B84B:3729 17:13, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Both on and in are used with different verbs and/or shades of meaning. The people on the bus are being driven around in a bus. There's a very real distinction here that you're ignoring, which is leading you astray. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:07, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

("I was hardly" / "you're not exactly") Miss Popularity, Mr Popularity[edit]

Should we have entries for these? Are there other similar ones with different nouns? Equinox 20:16, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Seems like a property of Mr / Miss? "Mr. X" signifies someone who exemplifies the properties of X. DTLHS (talk) 20:26, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Mr. Handsome, Mr. Clumsy, Mr. Stupid, Mr Right. DTLHS (talk) 18:09, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
  • 2010, Muhammad Cohen, Hong Kong on Air, page 120:
    “Like a hole in the head I needed you then, too, Mister Too-Good- For-the-Beach-Club. So you spent what, fifty thousand dollars, sixty thousand dollars . . .” Actually $112,000, Ma. “. . . for a lousy boat.
I think Mister is highly productive of novel expressions of this kind. DCDuring (talk) 22:53, 21 September 2017 (UTC)


where does the vowel /ʊ/ come from in Abdul? --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:09, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

عَبْد(ʿabd, slave) is in the construct state, which is عَبْدُ(ʿabdu), and then the following epithet of God has the definite article, the vowel of which is elided following the /u/. Some English speakers substitute /ʊ/ for /u/ in that environment, although in my experience, such substitution is rather uncommon in the US. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:19, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
As an American, I pronounce the name /æbˈduːl/ to rhyme with pool, not /æbˈdʊl/ to rhyme with pull. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:22, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

that way[edit]

Can that way also be a conjunction or adverb meaning "so that, therefore, thereby"? For instance: Do it now, that way I won't have to wait for it later. Leasnam (talk) 16:44, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

That's a run-on sentence, so I don't think it can be a conjunction. Not sure about adverb. See "this way", where someone has added the same sense, but incorrectly as a noun! Equinox 18:41, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
(In) this way and (in) that way seem to me to be noun(prepositional) phrases that are ellipses for a subordinate clause: something like Were you to do it (in) this/that way, [] . of If you were to do it (in) that/this way, then [] . But the ellipsis could be in just about any aspect, mood, or tense.
"Thereby" might be substitutable, though I wouldn't have used it (until now?). So I suppose that way is as much an adverb as thereby, which to me seems like an archaic form of a deictic prepositional phrase. DCDuring (talk) 23:18, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
"That way" might be particularly conducive to this kind of run-on sentence. But in a standalone sentence like "That way I won't have to wait", there is nothing special about "this" or "that". You can also say "The other way, I won't have to wait", and similar substitutions would be "my way", "his way", "one way or another", "either way", etc. Germyb (talk) 21:46, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

senso stricto[edit]

Is this really the main form of this phrase (not just an adverb?) in English? I thought the sensus in the ablative here was always understood to be the fourth-declension noun sēnsūs (which is sēnsū in the abl. sg.), not the participle (which does yield sēnsō in the masc. abl. sg.). Sēnsū strictō certainly appears to be far more common also in English (spelled without macrons, usually). — Kleio (t · c) 18:05, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

Also senso lato. — Kleio (t · c) 18:05, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
@KIeio: I can't answer your original question, but it is and it has to be the noun sensus (syntactically speaking, since stricto is already a participle), and so it has to be sensu. All the other forms are wrong. Btw, in French, the most common ordering is stricto sensu. --Canonicalization (talk) 11:33, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
The most common spelling is sensu stricto in taxonomic/biological usage, AFAICT. The other spellings seem uncommon in such usage, though probably attestable. DCDuring (talk) 12:24, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Arabic هاتف[edit]

Any difference between senses #3+#4, and #5 apart from number? current version Wyang (talk) 02:44, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

User:Benwing, aka User:Benwing2 (his current account) must have misread H Wehr. The plural form is هَوَاتِف(hawātif), which applies to most senses where plural is applicable. In the dictionary, the plural was added only against senses where it's used. Fixed, reference added. If you paste "هتف" in the search, you'll find the entry in the Hans Wehr dictionary. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:13, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

teenagehood and teenagerhood[edit]

Is there a difference between those two? --Canonicalization (talk) 11:07, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

I don't think so. Being a teenager and being teenage are the same thing. Equinox 16:39, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

infatti vs. in fact and actually[edit]

At infatti, the explanation for the adverb sense is "indeed, in fact, actually". Now, indeed is OK to my ears as a translation of infatti, but the others are not. Indeed, when I look at their entries, I only see usage examples showing a contrastive meaning, that is, where in fact and actually show a contrast or contradiction. As far as I know, infatti does NOT have that meaning. Indeed, looking at the translations for in fact and actually I find in realtà, which is indeed often used contrastively, whereas infatti matches to indeed, so it gives either a cause (=because, essentially) or an explanation/proof (=indeed) of what comes before. Now, I am bringing this up here to ask:

1. Is it possible to use in fact and/or actually in the way I described the usage of infatti above? That is, are there contexts where indeed can be substituted with in fact and/or actually and indeed is not used in the sense of truly (as in the second sense of the indeed entry)? 2. Is my impression of infatti not totally accurate, that is, can infatti in fact be used in a contrastive sense like in fact and actually? If so, examples please?

MGorrone (talk) 15:40, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

French speakers have similar problems when they want to translate en fait, de fait, en effet (≠ in effect!), effectivement and so on.
Anyway, I've removed the translations "in fact" and "actually" from infatti. But indeed is still glossed by "Truly; in fact; actually" in its own entry. I can understand why, but it's confusing. --Canonicalization (talk) 22:09, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Also, we might consider creating in actuality. --Canonicalization (talk) 23:29, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

nothing to report[edit]

Does it deserve an entry? --Canonicalization (talk) 21:43, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

I don't see that it has any meaning not obvious from the meaning of its components. How and why this particular expression rather than others of similar meaning is used is a matter beyond the scope of any dictionary that I know or can conceive. DCDuring (talk) 23:45, 22 September 2017 (UTC)


I recall as a young girl , ( I'm 75 now ) my GrandMother in Ireland often used the word Dotard , when describing some one she found to be totally absorbed in themselves ( He/she so full of themselves ) ! She said they were so in love with themselves with their own delusional ideas, much better than anyone else's ideas. According to her, this person had wee white sugar mice running around in this person's head that made made him/her fly higher than any kite in the Sky ! She called them shallow people with no love for anyone but themselves ! I remember wishing she hadn't told me about the sugar white mice with two little red eyes , it was my favourite candy, sadly I never ate another one , so frightened I would fly up to the sky ! But I am sure she pronounced the word more like Dodard -- to my ears anyway at that time ! However it certainly would apply & describe Mr Trump !!!


Can this also mean mantou? Or just Korean mandu? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:32, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

Definitely, in a Chinese context. Wyang (talk) 03:15, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

English dotard[edit]

Also pronounced with /-tɑː(ɹ)d/ (e.g. CNN), as if suffixed with English -tard? Wyang (talk) 03:02, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

No. That's a spelling pronunciation for what is clearly to them a newly encountered word. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 06:58, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

to uninvite vs. to disinvite[edit]

Both entries include this usage note:

The prefix dis- gives a more negative implication to disinvite than the neutral implication un- gives to uninvite. One might "uninvite" guests because one had more than an anticipated number of acceptances. One might "disinvite" someone for a reason specific to the person.

However, this merriam-webster.com article doesn't make a distinction. (It appears to be a fairly recent article since it includes a usage example dated December 14, 2016.) Thoughts? ‑‑Dyspeptic skeptic (talk) 09:51, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

This is what Google is for. DCDuring (talk) 12:32, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
@DCDuring: I guess I should've made my question explicit. Is there a reference for the usage note? I see you're the editor who added the usage note to both entries, coincidentally. ‑‑Dyspeptic skeptic (talk) 16:47, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
I can't support the usage notes. I did find a relatively extensive discussion of the two words at MWOnline. DCDuring (talk) 21:50, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
In my idiolect the usage note applies. I think it reflects a weak tendency based on the relative meanings of words with same stem that have derived terms with both prefixes. But I don't find much support for that simplification of the complexities of the uses of these prefixes either. DCDuring (talk) 21:59, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
I have just added the following at Quora in response to a question about these words.
“Grammaticality” is not the issue, semantics is.
The words seem to have no difference in meaning. “Uninvite” has been somewhat more common over the last 10 years, but “disinvite" was much more common in the 70s and 80s. Complicating matters is the other meaning of the adjective “uninviting” (‘an uninviting dish’) which has assumed a meaning rather different from that of the participles “disinviting” and “uninviting” (‘I was in the process of uninviting them when you called.’) Many dictionaries show “uninvited” as an adjective and have no entry for the verb “uninvite”. To me, the prefix “dis-” seems more negative and more active than the prefix “un-”, but I don’t know whether many share that view.
Nowadays, “uninvite” may seem more appropriate for the sense of “invite” used in social media. In fact, that might account for the usage of “uninvite” surpassing that of “disinvite” in the last decade.
I think the talk pages for the two words would better suit this matter than usage notes, given the absence of authoritative support for them.
I will investigate further the recent use of uninvite vs disinvite for social media. DCDuring (talk) 22:21, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
More than 90% of the contemporary usage of uninvite on Google Books is not in the context of social media, though the social media usage may account for preferences having flipped. DCDuring (talk) 01:39, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

falla = fa + la?[edit]

... falla un'altra volta (La bella lavanderina, Canto tradizionale infantile). --Edward Steintain (talk) 10:10, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

Non capisco il tuo punto. Puoi spiegare con maggiore chiarezza? C’è qualcosa di sbagliato con la voce falla? —Stephen (Talk) 19:44, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
"fai la giravolta, falla un'altra volta". Il significato di falla (= fa + la?) non viene spiegato come un composto in falla. --Edward Steintain (talk) 09:57, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Arabic أعطف, عاطف[edit]

Both pages need to be fixed. Wyang (talk) 14:23, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

@Wyang: Can you specify what is at odds? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:36, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
Well... the original form of the adjective is using the wrong template in declension, and on both pages the elative form has ṭāʾ taking a fatḥatayn, which doesn't make sense. Wyang (talk) 14:43, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
I think it's fixed. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:55, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Anatoli! The declension on the page عاطف is still incorrect. Could you please take a look as well? Wyang (talk) 01:03, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
I see. Fixed that as well but I don't know the broken plural form, so it shows "???". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:17, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Wrong French audio file for "moins"[edit]

In the French article for "moins" (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/moins) the audio says "de moins en moins", instead of just "moins".

There is a discussion page from 2012 on taht article where someone noticed the same, but the audio has not been fixed.

The file should be renamed as well, so that there is no further confusion. —Rua (mew) 18:20, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
The Stewards in charge of commons do not rename or delete bad files. You can upload a new file using the same name, if you like, except that you change the extension from .ogg to .oga. —Stephen (Talk) 19:29, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
The Stewards don't, but the admins do. I think even non-admins can rename files on Commons, and anyone can nominate a file for deletion there. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:38, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
Which I have just done, instead of merely discussing it... —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:56, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

enthaltt, enthältt[edit]

Errors or real forms? —Rua (mew) 22:12, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

Errors. – Jberkel (talk) 07:59, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
And not even common typos or anything, just template/bot errors. Deleted. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:28, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Spandrel, spandril in evolution and architecture[edit]

1: I have added the following proposal to the discussion page of spandrel and would be grateful for comments.

Spandrel as an intellectually significant contribution is more important (and creative) in the evolutionary sense than elsewhere. I think the definition could be improved as follows, but did not wish to do so without inviting discussion:
An attribute, commonly functional that originated as a side effect of adaptational natural selection, most obviously phenotypic, but potentially also as a structural or functional effect within the genome.
This concept is not easy to express as a helpful dictionary definition, and I am tempted to split it into some explanatory sentences, but have not yet worked it out. Discussion welcome. JonRichfield (talk) 05:14, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

2: WonderWheeler added the following.
(architecture) A horizontal member between the windows of each storey of a tall building
I think it would be helpful if someone could supply an illustration, preferably in wikimedia commons. I have difficulty finding one that fits precisely and is available for copyright permission, especially as the google images seem to be rather vague and variable in their application of the term.JonRichfield (talk) 05:14, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

I've added an image that is also used on Wikipedia. It is very basic and not elegant, but it makes the meaning clear. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:28, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
I have added a link to w:Spandrel (biology, which should suffice to give a greater understanding of the biological use of the term than would be appropriate in a dictionary. I think that the entry's biological definition needs to worded more simply. Perhaps the target reader should be a college freshman coming across the term in a work referring to Gould's. Gould's work itslef provides more than enough explanation. DCDuring (talk) 12:35, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

ute, a bit hand-wavy?[edit]

The ute entry, though generally good, contains the phrase: "similar but not identical to a pick-up truck". Though this is not inaccurate, it is unhelpful, giving the impression that there are specific differences by which one can tell the differences. Not being Australian, but South African, where our usage "bakkie" is very similar indeed, I hesitate to zap it boldly, but propose instead something like "The usage in common speech is similar to pick-up truck" in the hope that some obliging Ozzie will step in with somethingmore generally acceptable. JonRichfield (talk) 09:31, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Speaking of what?[edit]

Doesn't exist the English expression (kind-of-idiom) speaking of the Devil or is it my imagination? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 06:45, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

It does, it is included as speak of the devil. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 09:12, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
I added a couple of redirects to [[speak of the devil]]. DCDuring (talk) 12:24, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Hebrew: צילום[edit]

This Wiktionary gives the meaning of צילום as "a copy, a photocopy", but the corresponding article on the Hebrew Wikipedia is about photography. Can someone with knowledge of the language check that? Thanks.

--ValJor (talk) 09:54, 26 September 2017 (UTC)


The link in the second sense ("Irmin") doesn't lead to an English lemma and it seems more like a proper noun. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:21, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

public bus[edit]

Why a city? Can a "public bus" not be a rural service? Equinox 19:39, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

There's nothing stopping a private citizen from owning a bus. DTLHS (talk) 19:50, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
There are both public and private bus companies. Think tour buses for example. But this is definitely SOP. --WikiTiki89 20:15, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
This user also created commuter bus, city bus, stage bus, and transit bus, all with the same definition. I suspect that a look through their contributions will yield a number of other similarly simple-minded definitions. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:25, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

heart of glass[edit]

The definition as it currently stands is not very detailed. What does "heart of glass" really mean specifically? ---> Tooironic (talk) 22:36, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Easily broken-hearted, I think. Equinox 22:38, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Prevailing opinion about live metaphors, especially phrasal ones, would have this be included, but it seems silly to me. See also heart of stone. DCDuring (talk) 00:04, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
heart of glass means something like hypersensitive, or wearing your heart on your sleeve. It isn't about love. For example, there is a popular Chinese athlete named Sun Yang (an Olympic swimmer). When a Western athlete accused Sun Yang of using performance-enhancing drugs, the people of China went wild. The internet is blocked in China, and it is illegal to get around it. The Chinese were so enraged that a large percentage of the population obtained VPN to get access to the internet so they could defend Sun Yang. As a result, the Chinese are said to have hearts of glass. —Stephen (Talk) 15:28, 1 October 2017 (UTC)

Hindi हवाला (havālā), हवालात (havālāt)[edit]

Is the Arabic etymology correct here? Is it related to حَوَّلَ(ḥawwala)? —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 22:56, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Yes, they are related. The same root letters "ح و ل". I don't know why the transliteration didn't work, I have replaced it with the spelling حَوَالَة(ḥawāla) (can't tell visually) but it means, according to Hans Wehr dictionary "assignment; cession (jur.), bill of exchange, etc." --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:18, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) For future reference, questions like this are better raised at the Etymology scriptorum. Just off the top of my head, if it really is from Arabic, I'd think a Persian intermediary would be more likely. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:24, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
It's always a choice editors should make whether to show the ultimate source (here: Arabic) or the intermediary (here: Persian) or show the full path. If a reference exists for one source only, then that should be provided. Also, "likely" doesn't mean "only". Urdu/Hindi borrowed from Arabic directly as well and sometimes in a different way from Persian. Also, the question "which one is older or original - Hindi or Urdu?" will never be answered, IMO. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:31, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
I could be wrong, but my impression was that contact with Arabs was mostly in the context of trade, but parts of Indian were ruled by Persian-speakers, so legal terminology would be more likely from Persian. I found a plausible candidate here, though I don't know enough about the history of the terms in Persian or in Hindi to do more than guess. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:49, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: Thanks, you have confirmed the Arabic origin with this link, not sure if you realise that :) Please see what I mentioned about the letter tāʾ marbūṭa below. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:48, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Thanks! Preferably Persian should also be there; however, in this case it is probably Arabic since the Persian is حوالة(havālat) with enunciated ta marbuta... As for Hindi/Urdu, I don't bother at this point. Consider though that every Urdu word can be used in Hindi, but not all Hindi words (I mean Sanskrit borrowings post-Partition) are there in Urdu. Modern Standard Hindi is pretty young; the Khadiboli dialect only took off late 1700s, while Classical Urdu flourished under Mughal and south India patronage (as Dakhini) as early as the 1500s. Before, Braj (which can be considered a dialect of Hindi) flourished 1300 onwards, and Awadhi (same situation) flourished in the 1500s, but Awadhi absorbed lots of Perso-Arabic words. It's a complicated situation... —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 23:57, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Chuck, Arabic is a language of Muslims, so Muslims learned Arabic through Qur'an and other religious texts even if they didn't have any direct contact with Arabs. Urdu and Hindi often follow Arabic in genders and the pronunciation of many vowels, which may not be natural, if the words were native to Hindustani and the vowels would follow closer the Persian, not Arabic. Persian is genderless. I don't have a source for that, just some observations. Perhaps some adjustments were made to match standard literary Arabic or Persian was different in the past.
Aryaman, Persian doesn't use tāʾ marbūṭa at all! It's a bad mistake but common, unfortunately, even some Ottoman Turkish "experts" start using it in terms like رَاحَة حُلْقُوم‏‎(rāḥat ḥulqūm). It's a relatively new letter.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:10, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Whoops! Forgive me, I meant ت‎... my point being that हवाला (havālā) would be *हवालत (*havālat) if it had gone through Persian. I believe Classical Persian had a more Hindi-Urdu-like system of vowels; apparently modern Dari retains the old vowel system more than Iranian Persian. But it should be clear now that I know very little about Persian. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 00:16, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
Aryaman: No worries at all, BTW, you have removed Chuck's comment in diff! It can be ت or ه, it really depends on the pronunciation. The final ه in Persian can be silent after short vowels and is often used in Arabic loanwords. हवाला (havālā) sounds more like Arabic than Persian but the Persian spelling حواله(havâle) should be checked as well, which may be the immediate source for हवाला (havālā). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:27, 27 September 2017 (UTC)


Verb sense: "To assault a blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition; to besiege." The reference to a blockade in the first part seems incorrect and I guess it was meant to refer to fortifications instead; isn't this word fully synonymous with "besiege"?

Also, is this type of use considered standard? It is less common than "besiege" and is absent in many dictionaries, but it goes at least as far back as the 18th century. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:50, 27 September 2017 (UTC)


This little fellow is about to become part of the English language. In the meantime, it apparently already exists in the Marovo language (note: we don't have an entry for Marovo). Add it, somehow? bd2412 T 17:06, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

{{hot word}} DTLHS (talk) 17:07, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Should we have an entry for Barack Obama?[edit]

Dictionary.com and Merriam-Websters have entries for such http://www.dictionary.com/browse/obama?s=t, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Obama should Wiktionary? 2602:306:3653:8440:B104:F902:6507:79A6 11:13, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Good question, but no, it's not our policy: "No individual person should be listed as a sense in any entry whose page title includes both a given name or diminutive and a family name or patronymic." Barack Obama is also included under Obama, by the way. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:00, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
No. Equinox 09:19, 30 September 2017 (UTC)


I've added the verb form of blacklegged. (See, for example, Collins and Oxford dictionaries.) I don't see an adjectival form of blacklegged in a dictionary, but it is in use as part of a common name for a species: the blacklegged tick. Is this kind of use (an adjective meaning "having black legs" but only in a species name) added to Wiktionary or not? -Stelio (talk) 12:47, 28 September 2017 (UTC)


I have a quotation, but no meaning for the word scoparil:

  • 1939, Philip George Chadwick, The Death Guard, page 184:
    Haggard had told me to get some hell into me and this was the novel method which had presented itself. In Yorkshire dialect I was as bright and active as a 'scoparil'.

No other context in that source text to help. All I find on the internet are references to a chemical (which I assume is derived from scoparone). Presumably no direct link to scoparius. Perhaps a local name for the plant Cytisus scoparius? Without any evidence, there's nothing more for me to do with this word. -Stelio (talk) 13:28, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Good call! Thanks for that pointer. The English Dialect Dictionary demonstrates it as a Yorkshire term, which fits (and also gives various other spellings). Looks like there are more definitions to add as well. Notes to self: Chamber's, Middle English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster. I'll get around to expanding that out at some point. -Stelio (talk) 08:37, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

put into words[edit]

SOP, but is it entry worthy anyway? --Barytonesis (talk) 18:41, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

make good time[edit]

Is it worthy of an entry? --Barytonesis (talk) 19:05, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Hmm... There's also "make bad time", "make great time", "make terrible time". --WikiTiki89 19:07, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Romanization for "spouse-to-be"[edit]

@SemperBlotto, the word-by-word transcription of both 許婚 and 許嫁 is 言い付け. Which is preferred, ii or ī? POKéTalker (talk) 08:54, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

With all due respect to Semper, I'm not sure why you pinged him -- he works more with Italian and English, and (AFAIK) not with Japanese.
In answer to your question, the long-I ī is only used when the two morae are within the same morpheme. For 言い (saying), the preferred romanization here is ii, as this is the stem of the verb 言う (iu, to say), and the first i is the core of the verb root, and the second i is the ending of the conjugation stem. For 良い (good), again the preferred romanization here is ii, as the first i is the the core of the adjective root, and the second i is the ending of the inflection stem.
There are few instances I can think of where ī with the macron is preferred; the only one that comes to mind at the moment is お兄さん (onīsan), where both of the i vowel sounds (vowel components of the two morae) occur within the single morpheme (irregular noun stem for “elder brother”).
HTH, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:04, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
It was @SemperBlotto who deleted iinazuke sometime after myself created that, @Eirikr. Initially, it was a redirect to īnazuke, which this is not a redlink. For me, it was a bit confusing. How about the kana entries, should they be ii or ī? It should be ii, because the original was (from my above question) 言い (ii). --POKéTalker (talk) 04:42, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
Aha. Looking at the previous version of the entry, Semper was correct to do so -- we generally don't use hard redirects like that on the one hand, and the macron ī spelling was incorrect as well for the above-mentioned morpheme analysis reasons. I've recreated the entry at iinazuke, and reworked the kana entries at いいなずけ and いいなづけ to ensure that the romaji on those pages is correct. HTH, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:09, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
Fixed the romaji spellings in the kanji entries as well. If you want a refresher, another word using ī is (hīragi, Osmanthus heterophyllus, historical hihiragi). --POKéTalker (talk) 21:21, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the rom fixes at 許婚 and 許嫁. Re: hīragi, I've never heard the word before -- botany is not quite my forte, even less so in Japanese. Thank you for the additional example. :) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:22, 30 October 2017 (UTC)


Should we add to slughorn a definition as a musical instrument? As per W:Slughorn this was an incorrect usage by Thomas Chatterton in the 1700s (five occurrences of slughornes), but was in this sense used again by Robert Browning in 1855 (as slug-horn). Terry Pratchett then references it jocularly in 1989's Guards! Guards! (slug-horn again). That's three sources over an extended period of time... but only three sources, the latter of which is a deliberate reference to the first. -Stelio (talk) 15:45, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and added this definition to the entry. -Stelio (talk) 09:19, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

Making coßike, cossike, & cossick for cossic[edit]

What is the preferred way of adding archaic spellings to a page and of creating pages for those archaic spellings?

I want to add lines about coßike, cossike, and cossick on the page cossic. These words are used in the 1557 mathematics book famous for first introducing the equals sign, The whetstone of witte, whiche is the seconde parte of Arithmetike: containyng thextraction of Rootes: The Coßike practise, with the rule of Equation: and the woorkes of Surde Nombers. They are archaic modern English spellings of cossic. I also want to make the pages coßike, cossike, and cossick. I don't however want to do these things improperly because I really don't want to rub anyone else the wrong way. Warmest Regards, :)—thecurran Speak your mind my past 04:07, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

coßike is not an archaic English spelling. The ligature of ſs is a ligature in English, not a letter like in German.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:33, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
@Thecurran You can create links to cossick and cossike in an "Alternative forms" section (see WT:ELE for more) which is either the first 3rd level header of a language section or the first 4rth level header of a PoS section. You can then add the entries and use a form-of template like {{obsolete spelling of}} for the definition line. One example is the pair magic and magick. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:48, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

as we know it[edit]

Any earlier collocation than R.E.M.'s 1987 "end of the world as we know it"? It needs a page but most every subsequent usage prefaces it with "end". Lysdexia (talk) 14:29, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Plenty to be found at you (BooksGroupsScholar) with pronouns other than we. Even more with we. DCDuring (talk) 16:56, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
I'd parse that as "the end of (the world as we know it)" rather than "(the end of the world) as we know it". Equinox 16:58, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
There's w:The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (1977). —Tamfang (talk) 07:13, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

Season names for a person's coloration[edit]

Is there anyone here who understands the way season names are applied to a person's coloration? Along of the lines of "I'm a summer, you're a fall, she's a winter"? It has to do with a combination of hair color and skin tone. If anyone reading this knows how they work, could you add relevant senses to spring, summer, fall/autumn, and winter? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:53, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Totally new to me, but it seems that "seasonal color analysis" is the term to search for. Equinox 19:02, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
WP has this: Color_analysis_(art)#Prominent_systems_of_seasonal_color_analysis_since_the_mid-1970s. Equinox 19:06, 30 September 2017 (UTC)


An anom has changed the definition from "wife of one's child" to "wife of one's son". However, in the case of a woman married to another woman, the former would be more inclusive, right ? Leasnam (talk) 23:53, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

I almost want to change it to read "The wife of one's son or daughter", but should we make separate senses for the traditional vs. the more progressive sense ? I'm not 100% sure about the best way to approach this Leasnam (talk) 00:01, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
It should be "child". If we are just reflecting actual reality (where women can, indeed, marry women, at least in some jurisdictions) then we aren't being "progressive" or pretentious by saying this, and would be inaccurate if we didn't. (Lemming test: Cambridge has "the woman who is married to your son or daughter".) Equinox 00:22, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
I think "child" is the least POV choice: those who don't believe in same-sex marriage don't believe that a daughter can have a wife, so it doesn't contradict their beliefs. If you say "son or daughter" or "son", you're making a statement that contradicts one belief system or the other. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:40, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
One other option I considered was to add a separate sense with an LGBT tag, but I cringe at this...it just doesn't seem right, but I agree that I think there should be a traditional definition and then a non-traditional (?) one (if that's even the correct term for it) Leasnam (talk) 02:08, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't see any need for two senses. The wife of one's child is one's daughter-in-law. If you accept the validity of the marriage, then it's obviously true. If you don't accept that two women can marry, then it's still true.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:18, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
The same IP has been POV-pushing their heteronormative definitions of inlaws since March, and doing nothing else here. I've rolled them all back and would not be opposed to a block. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:50, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
"Child" per the good arguments for it above. DCDuring (talk) 01:28, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
I also see no reason for separate definitions. Just "child" should do it.__Gamren (talk) 11:30, 2 October 2017 (UTC)


Same logic Leasnam (talk) 23:56, 30 September 2017 (UTC)