Wiktionary:Tea room/2018/August

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← July 2018 · August 2018 · September 2018 → · (current)


bourgie, bougie[edit]

Do these mean two different things in AAVE, or are they alt forms of the same word? If the latter, one should be labelled a synonym or alt form of the other. If the former, usage notes advising "not to be confused with..." would be useful. - -sche (discuss) 01:52, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Also: bougie, at least, does not seem limited to AAVE (and if the citation from Sarah Nicole Prickett is anything to go by, neither is bourgie). - -sche (discuss) 01:53, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
They can't realistically, can they, given the etymology? Let's merge. (I don't think I've ever seen it outside Black Twitter, but I don't get out much. Cites are king.) Equinox 01:56, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I've merged them. I had mostly encountered the spelling bougie and checking twitter confirms that it's more common, so I made it the lemma. - -sche (discuss) 04:14, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

by use and wont[edit]

Is this a set expression?

It would appear so. In this context both use and wont are archaic (meaning, respectively, the usual way of doing things and the habitual way of doing things), so this has to be a set phrase, and apparently an instance of a legal doublet.  --Lambiam 16:28, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

custom and practice[edit]

Same question. “custom and practice” in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.

habits and customs[edit]

Same question.

mores and customs[edit]

Same question.

The reason I'm asking is that I'm looking for a translation of French us et coutumes, and I'd like to render the binary structure of that idiom. Per utramque cavernam 08:53, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

standard procedure? --New WT User Girl (talk) 09:23, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
They all seem to mean basically the same, but are used in different contexts. By use and wont and custom and practice are both legal terminology, used to convey the presumption that longstanding practice confers legal value; of these, custom and practice is specific to labour contract law. The last two belong more to the domains of anthropology and sociology; rather than normative they are descriptive. So the question is how the French phrase is most commonly used. For what it’s worth, the English original of the quotation « Oui, répondit le prieur Aymer ; mais chaque pays a ses us et coutumes ; [...]  » from Ivanhoé found at the French Wikipedia is ‘“Ay, but,” answered Prior Aymer, “every land has its own manners and fashions; [...]”’.  --Lambiam 16:28, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
In my idiolect customs isn't fashions, but Webster 1828 has it so. In my idiolect there is an element of frivolity to fashion, but not to mores, custom(s), practice, habit(s), use, and wont. DCDuring (talk) 19:35, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

bell-bottoms, bell-bottomed trousers[edit]

Are these the same thing? Also, the adjective bell-bottomed is glossed as "a style of pants [...]"; I don't think that's proper. Per utramque cavernam 15:09, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

A Google image search for “bell-bottoms” shows bell-bottomed trousers only. The term pants should be avoided as meaning different things in different parts of the Anglophone world.  --Lambiam 16:45, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Bell-bottoms are understood to be pants/trousers. Out of curiosity and amusement, I searched Google Images for bell bottom shorts/dresses/skirts and found nothing but pants. At least in the US, "bell-bottoms" is the main(/only) form, so I'd change the "trousers" variants to alternative forms labeled as UK. Ultimateria (talk) 12:45, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Chiasmus and chiasmus[edit]

Do we need both of these pages? Is the initial uppercase letter strictly required for the German word? --Proginoskes (talk) 20:16, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

@Proginoskes: Yes. All German nouns are capitalised. Per utramque cavernam 20:18, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
@Per utramque cavernam: Alright, thanks. Proginoskes (talk) 20:28, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
@Proginoskes: Yes. Almost all "Translingual" taxonomic names are capitalized, too. See Chiasmus#Translingual. DCDuring (talk) 00:13, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Pedigree of German Magen[edit]

Why is Magen not listed at Proto-Germanic *magô as a descendant? Also, why is an archaic German Mage listed, a form that does not even have a (High) German entry, neither here nor on the German Wiktionary?  --Lambiam 08:32, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Because the correctly inherited form is
Apparently the addition of an n in the nom.sg. and the strong plural are sufficient for some people to deny the inheritedness and see the word as “derived” only. No, I don’t know, it looks pedantic for me. Imma create an entry for “Mage” in a bit. Should I give an archaic quote and a declension table on the main entry Magen or in the alternative form? I am not sure but I will do the former. Have I offended the layout of this discussion page? I am not sure either. Fay Freak (talk) 09:40, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I can’t even add the self-same declension table code in the entry because I get the message: “Lua error in Module:de-noun at line 360: The parameter "head" is not used by this template.” Is this a dirty trick of the module creator to enforce putting declensions with different nominative singular under a different page? Fay Freak (talk) 09:54, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
The parameter for changing the nominative singular for that module is |ns=. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 16:37, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Pit of cess[edit]

Our cesspool entry states that the origin is uncertain and gives two possible alternative etymologies. The Online Etymology Dictionary presents two more guesses. None of these suggest a relation with the noun cess. Yet our cesspit entry analyzes the word with great confidence as the compound cess + pit.  --Lambiam 08:57, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

cess in the sense of to spill water[1] seems pretty close, or also in the sense a layer or stratum, which would mean that a cesspool or cesspit is a pool in a certain layer or which stratifies water. Fay Freak (talk) 10:59, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
  1. ^ Wright, Thomas (1880), “cess”, in Dictionary of obsolete and provincial English, containing words from the English writers previous to the nineteenth century which are no longer in use, or are not used in the same sense. And words which are now used only in the provincial dialects, volume 1, London: George Bell and Sons, page 295
“Cesspit” does not mean “pit for spilling water”, “pit in a certain layer” or “pit that stratifies water”; these all seem implausible etyma to me. Is there an authoritative source for the etymology of cesspit?  --Lambiam 19:45, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
An earlier revision of our cesspit entry said cesspool + pit instead. Equinox 19:51, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
etymonline (which is plagiarized from the OED), derives it from "cesspool", for which it gives, "the first element perhaps an alteration of cistern, or perhaps a shortened form of recess [Klein]; or the whole may be an alteration of suspiral (c. 1400), "drainpipe," from Old French sospiral". I think we should say the etymology is unknown. DTLHS (talk) 19:52, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Question regarding Norwegian languages[edit]

On Wiktionary There's Norwegian, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk.

As far as I know entries that are the same in both Bokmål and Nynorsk are still entered in both NB and NN, so my question is - what is Norwegian for? I see some words like jo only have an entry for Norwegian, are those yet to be processed by someone and turned into Bokmål + Nynorsk?

Should I treat Nynorsk entries as both Bokmål+Nynorsk for purposes of creating an offline dictionary? C0rn3j (talk) 19:24, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2014-03/Unified Norwegian: see the conclusion. Per utramque cavernam 19:32, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Oh so it's kind of a free-for-all and people can create entries willy nilly either under NO or NB+NN. Guess I'll be inserting NO into both NB and NN dictionaries on my side then. Thanks. C0rn3j (talk) 21:58, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
For many years, this was a topic of theoretical interest. Some Norwegians thought separation was the right thing to do, but not many entries were created anyway. In 2013, this changed, as user:Njardarlogar started to contribute lots of entries in separate languages, and also remove the united Norwegian entries. At the height, Norwegian had 6751 lemmas in January 2013 and now has only 1926 lemmas. In that poll in 2014, you see some non-Norwegians supporting the idea to keep Norwegian united as one language (the old status quo), and some very serious Norwegian contributors (including Njardarlogar) opposing that idea. Inside Norway, the idea to unify the two died in the 1960s (w:no:Samnorsk). LA2 (talk) 23:01, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Among the people who participated in the 2014 poll and who seriously contribute to Norwegian entries on this wiktionary and/or are native speakers of Norwegian, there were 5 that voted for treating Bokmål and Nynorsk separately and 1 who was neutral. So in this group, there is more or less consensus to treat them separately, even if that wasn't enough to take the poll to that conclusion. With the introduction of Lexicographical data on Wikidata, this debate is likely to surface there as well, with a slightly different set of participating users (I did start a section on the Norwegian project chat there, but not much of a debate there yet).

Printed and online dictionaries tend to treat Nynorsk and Bokmål separately as far as I am aware (so a printed dictionary may be either only for Nynorsk or only for Bokmål).

The major downside to treating Nynorsk and Bokmål separately on Wiktionary, are the dialects. Some dialectal entries might fit naturally under a Nynorsk or Bokmål header, but most will probably not - hence a third header "Norwegian" is then be necessary to enter these (unless you want to duplicate their entries).

As for your offline dictionary, how to best treat Norwegian depends on the purpose of the dictionary. --Njardarlogar (talk) 09:21, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

Regarding dictionaries, Det Norsk Akademis Ordbok {{R:NAOB}} doesn't cover Nynorsk at all, and leans towards Riksmål. DonnanZ (talk) 13:40, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
My use for the offline dictionary is mainly Kindle and Kindle for PC. For the Bokmål dictionary on the screenshots I simply scrape entries in a bunch of main Bokmål categories, which ends up excluding words like jo since they are not noted down under Bokmål. Hence my current idea is to also scrape the Norwegian entries into it. C0rn3j (talk) 17:59, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
"I see some words like jo only have an entry for Norwegian, are those yet to be processed by someone and turned into Bokmål + Nynorsk?" The answer to that is, for words like jo, yes. But as far as I can tell, a large proportion of the entries that are left under the heading "Norwegian" are names, of places and people. And names are the same in Bokmål and Nynorsk (with a very few notable examples, like Noreg and Norge) so I doubt anyone will bother making duplicate entries for Bokmål and Nynorsk for all of these.

Some bad surname entries[edit]

I stumbled on Stgermaine, a surname entry that seems to be missing a space (St. Germaine?): I think TheDaveRoss mass-imported surnames at one point and made some mistakes of this kind. Category:English_surnames has further culprits like Stgeorge, Sthilaire, Stpeter, Stpierre... I think we need to do an audit! Equinox 20:20, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Fortunately, most of them can probably just be moved to the proper page, as it looks like we're missing entries for the actual spellings. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:30, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I had thought that @TheDaveRoss was doing this semi-manually, but evidently that is not the case. It makes me concerned that there are other mistakes of this type. @Makaokalani may also be interested. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:47, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
TDR was possibly trolling us. --New WT User Girl (talk) 22:06, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Stcyr too --New WT User Girl (talk) 22:08, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Let's delete everything with weird consonant sequences that isn't Welsh. Ah hell let's delete Welsh too. Equinox 22:09, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
And Dvořák can get the fuck out of Category:English surnames too. And anything double-barelled - Dufour-Lapointe, for example - it should be easy enough to find anything with a hyphen in Category:English surnames --New WT User Girl (talk) 22:24, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Anything beginning with De- (Dela-), Di-, Van- should be checked too. It's hard to know the most common spelling in the US because computers won't accept gaps, periods or upper case letters inside a name. Some names have been genuinely anglicized. Missing diacritical marks in names of Spanish origin might not be the choice of the name bearers. --Makaokalani (talk) 12:27, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

I was doing these semi-manually, but I missed "St" as a prefix to be flagged for double-checking. Mea culpa. I'll delete the problematic ones. - TheDaveRoss 13:44, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
@TheDaveRoss: You also need to delete all the plurals you made, like Stgermaines, and remove the links to both the singular and plural forms that were automatically added to Anagrams sections. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:36, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
That is not necessary, anagrams will be updated by bot eventually. DTLHS (talk) 19:29, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Or just move them? - -sche (discuss) 17:35, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

Belarusian participles[edit]

Прывет! I'm Swedish, learning Russian, and currently creating entries and templates in Swedish Wiktionary for Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian words.

English Wiktionary has а template {{be-conj-table}} for verbs in Belarusian, created in 2013 by @Atitarev. It is similar in appearance to the templates for Russian verbs, but among the participles, the Belarusian template only shows the adverbial ones. Do the other types (active, passive) of participles not exist in Belarusian? For the perfective verb прачытаць (to read through, Russian прочитать), there is a word прачытаны. Isn't this a past participle passive in the same way as Russian прочитанный?

Упершыню курс антрапалогіі быў прачытаны ў 1871 г. ва ўніверсітэце Рачэстара.
For the first time a course in anthropology was read (given, held) in 1871 at the university of Rochester. --LA2 (talk) 22:42, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
@LA2: Yes, passive past participles exist in Belarusian and could potentially be added to the templates but they were not added because they always have to be added manually, which adds an extra overhead, which is also error-prone. And like Russian, far from each verb type has passive past participles. The active present tense participles are normally not used in Belarusian. Compare Russian чита́ющий (čitájuščij, reading) and Belarusian які́ чыта́е (jakí čytáje, reading (lit.: which is reading))
Basically, you need to add each form manually until all the rules and exceptions about the Belarusian verb inflections are described and modules are developed. Such comprehensive work (like the Russian grammar book described by late Andrey Zaliznyak) doesn't exist for Belarusian, which also has two major standards. Serbo-Croatian editors, such as User:Ivan Štambuk and others didn't mind adding inflections manually for many years for Serbo-Croatian but they are native speakers. Russian inflections were also entered manually for years before the inflections were modularised and we have active native speakers who are able to check and fix any errors. Sorry, I don't see a quick solution for missing inflections for Belarusian or Ukrainian languages. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:01, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
For Ukrainian and Belarusian verbs on English Wiktionary, the only templates that exist do enumreate all forms. This is different from the many templates for Russian verbs, which automatically present all forms from a minimum of parameters. With the current approach, I suggest adding a named parameter ppp= for specifying the passive past participle (the default being to leave it out). This is what I intend to do for the Belarusian templates in Swedish Wiktionary anyway. LA2 (talk) 20:30, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
The ppp= parameter is now implemented and works fine on Swedish Wiktionary's sv:прачытаць. LA2 (talk) 08:51, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

durian and English descendants[edit]

There's a large list of words in other languages that were borrowed from the English durian, it's a bit unsightly and doesn't look right. I was looking around for other English entries that have a descendants section but I couldn't really find any (words like computer and cheese don't have them and I feel like they should). So I don't really have anything to go on for how to reformat it better from any English entry. However, I see lot's for Latin words (like the one in pullus) and they're arranged quite nicely so I was thinking, should I just used that formatting for any English entries? I think it would look a lot better and not take up as much space and mess up the flow of the page. Any suggestions would be appreciated. 2WR1 (talk) 23:57, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

It would be desirable to do it like cheese#Derived_terms (i.e. 1. collapsible list, 2. multi-columns to save space). Dunno how. Equinox 00:02, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
@Equinox Ya, definitely! I was sort of thinking that, but I also don't know how to make a collapsible list for a descendants section. The only language that I'm familiar with having lot's of long lists of descendants in its entries is Latin, and that sort of spaces them out into two columns and has a light blue background. There's not really too many examples of descendants formatting to go off of I guess. 2WR1 (talk) 00:44, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I've been using {{des-top}}, des-mid, and des-bottom for lists of descendants longer than 6. I like it over {{desc-top}} (somehow different??) because of the text at the top: "descendants of [pagename] in other languages". Ultimateria (talk) 15:30, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
How certain is it that the routes from Malay to all these languages went through English? I’d expect, in view of existing trade routes, that there are more plausible ways on how the name entered Arabic, Bengali, and Persian.  --Lambiam 20:13, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

tooth mark, toothmark[edit]

Shouldn't the plural be teeth marks? DonnanZ (talk) 10:31, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

If it's attested, go ahead and add it as an alternative, but I'd expect the usual form to be toothmarks. I don't think any native speaker would say *feetprints or *fingersprints, don't see why this is any different. Jonathan Hall (talk) 15:40, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Google ngram viewer shows toothmarks to be more popular than teethmarks, but not excessively so. The singular teethmark is unknown. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:47, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
These might be two separate terms...the mark left by a single tooth is a toothmark and its plural is toothmarks. I've created teethmark (a mark left by multiple teeth) as well. Leasnam (talk) 15:49, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I found plenty of evidence of teeth marks in use, so I added it. It seems more natural to me. DonnanZ (talk) 16:30, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Why isn't teeth marks the plural of teeth mark ? Leasnam (talk) 18:05, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
That one is your idea. You can always add it. DonnanZ (talk) 18:13, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
English doesn't tend to show grammatical number on nouns in attributive position or in compounds- we say armpits, not armspits. Also, to be logically consistent, you would need to say "tooth marks" for multiple marks made by a single tooth and "teeth mark" for a single mark made by multiple teeth, reserving "tooth mark" for a single mark made by a single tooth and "teeth marks" for multiple marks made by multiple teeth. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:29, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. Leasnam (talk) 20:08, 3 August 2018 (UTC)


We have a category called Category:krdict of Korean but we don't have an entry for krdict. What does it mean? Is the category name a good one? SemperBlotto (talk) 15:05, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

At least some of the entries give as Reference [..]krdict.korean.go.kr/eng/dicSearch/[...], which should explain the name. But as Korean is a WT:WDL, this isn't sufficent for attestation... -17:53, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) This is added by the {{R:krdict}} template that @HappyMidnight just created, and is obviously short for Korean Dictionary as well as being the domain name of the dictionary site referred to. The template is a cleaner equivalent of {{NIKL}} (if definitions are copied from the site, we should have a reference stating that for licensing purposes, so I'm not objecting to the template itself).
I do think we should change the category- the name makes no sense and doesn't match the format of any category name we have. I also question whether it's a good idea to even have a category for this reference, since you can get the same information from Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:krdict. Although Hangul entries don't have the level of category clutter that entries with lots of language sections do, I don't see the point. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:11, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Hello, I am sorry for my poor English. I made a Wiktionary article here and a documentation for the template. I agree it doesn't need to make the category, Category:krdict of Korean since we can refer at Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:krdict. Thank you for your kind advice. HappyMidnight (talk) 00:27, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Wiktionary:National Institute of Korean Language's Korean-English Learners' Dictionary belongs at Template:R:krdict/documentation, I guess (nobody will find it else …). And the documentation should be put into Template:R:krdict via {{documentation}} in <noinclude></noinclude>. Fay Freak (talk) 01:40, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

get one's dick wet[edit]

SOP? Per utramque cavernam 15:17, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

It depends. Have you got a definition? DonnanZ (talk) 15:26, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes: dip one's pen in someone's inkwell. Per utramque cavernam 15:43, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
IMO the common use is clearly idiomatic, since it only refers to sex, not, say, falling into a river; and could probably include non-genital-wettening forms of sex. Jonathan Hall (talk) 16:01, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Jonathan's analysis. I'd say create it. Ultimateria (talk) 21:12, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

looking for a term[edit]

In English, we call someone who cares more about material things "materialistic". What do you call someone who cares about their own interests more than anything else? Who is very much focused on achieving their own goals? Is there an -ism for that? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:25, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

I think just egoism/egotism. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:21, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, or self-centered(ness) (or self-absorbed). I think egotism and egotistical connote that the person thinks they are superior to / more important than others, whereas egoism is a more philosophical term for being motivated by self-interest. (Oddly, autism, despite having almost synonymous components, means something else!) You might also consider selfish. - -sche (discuss) 05:22, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Thanks. The problem is I'm trying to translate an extended meaning of Chinese 現實, literally, "realistic", but we use it in the situation of, for example, a young woman who won't marry unless she finds a man who has a good job, car and house. The concept of "realistic" in modern Chinese culture is valuing one's own interests in a very practical and pragmatic way. I've yet to find an exact term in English. "Egoism" is close but too derogatory. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:30, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I like pragmatism, but it could be mistaken for Pragmatism. IMO most of the ism words above convey something with a different flavor than their related adjectives. Pragmatic seems best, perhaps even practical (practicality). Selfish would be good except that it is pejorative and may not fit the writer's view. Its use in the context above could imply that concern for providing a good environment for having and raising one's children is bad. DCDuring (talk) 14:39, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • It appears that no single English word adequately covers the meaning, so a phrasal definition seems in order. Something like, “looking primarily after one’s own interests”?  --Lambiam 19:59, 4 August 2018 (UTC)


I think two words, birch wood, is more likely, both for a wood full of birch trees and the wood from birch trees. I tried Googling and came up with Birchwood as a place name. DonnanZ (talk) 09:52, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

How does ngram handle "a birchwood" and "a birch wood", and "birchwoods" and "birch woods"? At the moment I am dealing with a translation for "birch wood", wood from the tree (which should be uncountable). DonnanZ (talk) 10:04, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
You can experiment yourself at [1]. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:08, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
p.s. Does one of these also mean the wood of the birch tree?
I'm working from Norwegian bjerkeved and bjørkeved, which indeed is wood from birch trees. Anyway, "a birch wood" has the edge over "a birchwood", but "birch woods" is about three times as common as "birchwoods". DonnanZ (talk) 10:22, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Apparently it is popular as firewood. I tried googling "birch wood" and "firewood" and "birchwood" / "firewood"; the latter results were confused by the place name, but there were some. DonnanZ (talk) 10:49, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Bare, uncountable birch means the wood. The addition of wood seems to me warranted only if there is a reason why in the context there is a need to contrast with birch trees, birch bark, birch beer(?) etc. DCDuring (talk) 14:44, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
I have done entries for birch wood (as an alternative form), and Birchwood, as a proper noun. DonnanZ (talk) 19:48, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
See [[woods]]. Woods ("small forested area") is countable and the same form is used for both singular and plural. I think this is inherited by all the SoP terms that use woods in this sense, including birch woods. DCDuring (talk) 21:33, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, woods (sense 2), "I went for a walk in the woods" when you're referring to one wooded area or woodland. But one birch wood, two birch woods. Wood is also used in the names of wooded areas, Highgate Wood in Highgate for example. DonnanZ (talk) 22:06, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm afraid it's also one birch woods. DCDuring (talk) 23:09, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Someone would have to be different... DonnanZ (talk) 23:20, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Both in theory (from wood) and in practice (judging by google books:"a birch wood"), a birch wood is a valid singular for a birch forest. Indeed, it seems to be the only valid singular: birch woods, unlike woods, can AFAICS only take plural determiners, verbs, etc. - -sche (discuss) 01:38, 5 August 2018 (UTC)


Is it the best idea to have separate English, Japanese and Translingual entries for the same thing? Equinox 21:19, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

In the past the rationale for separate L2 sections has been principally divergence of pronunciations, though other content could differ as well. DCDuring (talk) 21:37, 4 August 2018 (UTC)


Mh, does this belong in CAT:English lemmas? Per utramque cavernam 09:42, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

The L2-Header is "English" because the denotated morpheme -ation is English, so it seems to belong in English, because e.g. ⠰⠇ for example has an English header, but also Thai for a different reading. 08:03, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

Why does this constitute an own lemma different from -ation at all? Maybe you should have taken this to the creator, Kwami. 08:03, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

Not sure I follow, but braille English doesn't always correspond one-to-one with linear English orthography, if that's relevant. kwami (talk) 08:12, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, that was a brain fart. Per utramque cavernam 21:14, 9 August 2018 (UTC)


I have added this as a misspelling, however it is especially commonly used in India. It seems as if it has been established as acceptable there. (possible meaning until, up till or up until) How should this be handled in the entry? Graeme Bartlett (talk) 23:36, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

You could use {{cx|India}} with a usage note. "Standard in Indian English" or something. DTLHS (talk) 23:40, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
From the linked to template: "Note: DO NOT USE THIS. Use {{lb}}". label could be: {{lb|en|India}}. - 23:25, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

cattywampus, catawampus[edit]

Each entry gives the other as an alternative form, but their definitions are different. Excluding the "fierce" sense (catawampus probably needs to be split by etymology), what do these mean and do they mean the same thing or not? - -sche (discuss) 04:36, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

DARE devotes a page to catawampus, which it has as the main entry. There's a lot to digest. DCDuring (talk) 17:49, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
I took a run at catawampus. I split the etymologies so the adjective "fierce" and the noun "imaginary animal" share the second. There are Scots verbs, such as wampish, that may account for the wampus. DCDuring (talk) 18:22, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't see why the speculative derivation of cater should appear in this entry. DCDuring (talk) 18:23, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I've moved all the speculation about where cater-corner comes from to that entry (and merely left the note that the first part of catawampus may be related to the first part of cater-corner). The question about definitions remains. - -sche (discuss) 18:38, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Are these terms limited to US (and perhaps Canadian) dialects, by the way? - -sche (discuss) 19:18, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

Hyphenation of many[edit]

According to the entry, many is hyphenated "many", i.e. has one syllable. Is that a thing? Isn't this two syllables? And if so, ma-ny or man-y? MGorrone (talk) 16:01, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

I think (and the template documentation suggests) hyphenation shows where the word can be hyphenated across a line break (according to some rules), not how many syllables it has. - -sche (discuss) 16:49, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Both hyphenations suggested by MGorrone appear in references, ma-ny being more common, especially in books of song lyrics. Some style books explicitly recommend no hyphenation for many; more recommend no hyphenation for short words. DCDuring (talk) 18:36, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
I'd say that song lyrics use different rules for hyphenation from running text, and thus isn't a good example for hyphenation rules.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:16, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

The Polish phrase za rządów[edit]

There are two separate declensions given by Wiktionary for the Polish noun rząd according to meaning. The first of these declensions applies if the meaning is “row”, “order”, “rank” and “horse’s tack” and the second if the meaning is “government”, “cabinet” and “executive branch”. In the case of the phrase za rządów, the second declension pattern applies. Although this noun is grammatically inanimate in all senses it may be that in the sense of “government”, “cabinet” and “executive branch” it is treated as though it were animate and therefore the accusative can be identical to the genitive rather than to the nominative as is more usual with inanimate nouns. Thus, za rządów could mean “for governments”. Please ascertain whether this is the case. Johnling60 (talk) 22:22, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

Rules for forming Veps illatives, terminatives and additives[edit]

The Wikipedia article on the Veps language gives the following rules for retaining the final vowel of the genitive singular stem in forming the illative singular in Veps (see under Grammar/Nouns/Principal parts):

   1. The genitive singular must end in a diphthong.
   2. The nominative singular must have two syllables each consisting of one consonant followed by one vowel.
   3. The genitive singular must consist of a single syllable or of three syllables.
   4. The genitive singular must be a contracted form of the nominative singular.
   5. The final vowel of the genitive singular stem must be preceded by either ll or ľľ.
   6. The final vowel of the genitive stem is always retained if it is preceded by h.

However, although the article says that the illative singular is predictably formed from the genitive singular, exceptions can occur. For instance, by rule 2 above the illative singular of meri (sea) should be merehe but apparently it is merhe. It may be that the illative singular of veri (blood) shows the same irregularity, being verhe instead of the expected verehe. This serves to underline the value of the inflection table templates in Wiktionary, provided, of course, that the tables are complete and all the forms given are correct and not replaced by question marks due to sheer laziness rather than not knowing the forms for the illative singular, first terminative singular and first additive singular in Veps. Regrettably, the Wikipedia article does not give the rules for forming the third person singular and plural imperatives but it may be that they are similar to those for forming the illative singular. Wiktionary gives the third person singular and plural imperatives for the verb olda (to be) but it may be that similar verbs such as tulda (to come) and panda (to put) form their third person singular and plural imperatives in the same way, thus tulgha and pangha respectively. Will someone please ascertain whether this is the case and endeavour to ascertain the rules for forming the third person singular and plural imperatives of all other Veps verbs? Once the illative singular of every Veps noun, adjective, cardinal and ordinal numeral is found, the formation of the first terminative singular and first additive singular should be simple and straightforward, namely by adding the endings sai and päi respectively. The first illative singular, first terminative singular and first additive singular of the pronoun eraz (certain,some) are presumably erasehe, erasehesai and erasehepäi respectively. In an ideal world complete and correct inflection table templates would be given in Wiktionary for every inflected word in all inflected languages; also, all languages would be supported by language websites such as Google Translate, Geonames and Omniglot, and a comprehensive grammar would be available online for every language. Regrettably we do not live in an ideal world. Johnling60 (talk) 23:44, 6 August 2018 (UTC)


This (and 4 other English words) have a PoS section "Postposition".

  1. This is not a generally accepted word class in English lexicography, largely because it isn't part of non-specialist education of users.
  2. It is not recognized in English in this Wiktionary.
  3. It is not at all clear to me that it differs grammatically in any way from ago#Adverb.

Am I missing something?

The other terms in Category:English postpositions and having Postposition headers are agoe, apart, notwithstanding, aside. DCDuring (talk) 03:27, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

  • I am surprised ===Postposition=== is not a deprecated heading, I recommend merging it with the adverb. DonnanZ (talk) 11:30, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
    I think it's not deprecated because it is a recognized word class in other languages, eg, Finnish, Hindi, Navajo. I'd bet that the English PoS sections were added by someone skilled in such a language. DCDuring (talk) 12:05, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
Some children believe prepositions are called so because they describe positions. Was prepostition refering to sentence position, originally, if Latin has a rather free word order? The etymology coverage here ends at Latin with a hint at Old Greek. prae has a sense "because of" ... 12:36, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
It's certainly possible to find references which call ago a postposition; google books:"postposition ago". Whether we should accept this analysis, I'm not sure. You're one of our most adept users at grammar, and the dictionaries I looked at do seem to consider the "postpositional" usexes we have to be adverbial, so I don't mind folding it into the adverb. But we could at least mention, in a usage note a la percent’s, that some authorities analyse it as a postposition. (Obviously, other languages in which "postposition" is a recognized POS can continue to use the POS / header.) - -sche (discuss) 21:18, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
I certainly don't object to any such usage note, nor to a category should there be a well-defined criterion for membership.
CGEL (2002) specifically mentions apart, aside, notwithstanding, ago, and on ("later") as [p]repositions [sic] following their complement in PP structure. They also consider and reject postposition as a word class in English and express regret that adposition phrase is not a term in use to encompass both prepositional and postpositional phrases. [This would make obvious the full/near-equivalence of English prepositional phrases and Japanese postpositional phrases.]
CGEL (2002) treats many words we call adverbs as "intransitive prepositions", nomenclature we are not alone in rejecting. That leaves us with each of these and their alternative forms (eg, agoe) as adverbs. DCDuring (talk) 00:02, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

I think it is a nominative absolute and therefore not to be treated distinctly from the adjective header. A diachronic analysis confirms this anyway. The same for anything in Category:English postpositions. And when searching it it looks like it has been seen like this more often. Fay Freak (talk) 22:22, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

CGEL (2002) specifically addresses the similarity and makes an argument for distinguishing the two which, IMHO, does fit notwithstanding, but does not comfortably fit the postpositive uses of on, ago, apart, aside. But the uses in which the phrase is not set apart by punctuation don't comfortably fit the "absolute" analysis either IMHO. I hope we can just get away with calling them adverbs. When we have cases that can be shown not to fit the adverb treatment, we can address them. DCDuring (talk) 00:17, 8 August 2018 (UTC)


Two senses: "1. A person who has committed a felony. 2. (law) A person who has been tried and convicted of a felony." This seems unnecessary: I mean, we don't distinguish words like thief or murderer in this way. Merge? Equinox 15:29, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Yes - should be just a person who has committed a felony. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:31, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes. I mean, I see a few dictionaries which instead use the "...who has been convicted of a felony" wording for their single sense, but they still have only one sense. (I suppose we could say "...who have committed, or been convicted of, a felony", but that seems unnecessarily wordy.) Dictionary.com has a semi-interesting usage note about how people distinguish convicts and ex-convicts, but felon seems to be a lifelong status with ex-felon little-used (Ngrams). - -sche (discuss) 20:51, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I dunno. People generally use the term both ways. I can probably find evidence of dialogue in which the term is used both ways, leading to disagreement or attempted correction. Convicted felons lose the vote in many US states, sometimes for life. I wonder whether felony is a class of crime that applies before someone is convicted of it. DCDuring (talk) 21:47, 7 August 2018 (UTC)\
    We make that kind of distinction for guilty. Perhaps if we use that word we can rely on the ambiguity of guilty to make two definitions from one. DCDuring (talk) 21:57, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
I'll be interested to see whether or not the senses are distinguished by anything other than the question of whether or not the person committed the act in the eyes of whoever is responsible for the designation. Otherwise, it seems like thief or murderer, as Equinox says, (or rapist, robber, etc, etc) where it refers to someone who committed the act, and a court simply won't use it until they're satisfied that the person did commit the act (at which point they convict them). - -sche (discuss) 22:00, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
There are a good number of cites for alleged/accused/purported/indicted/charged felon. From this I conclude that a single definition limited to convicted would be wrongly narrow. But in law the term felon seems to be reserved for one who has been found guilty, whether or not the person is actually guilty, eg, has been found wrongly accused by post-trial DNA evidence, witness recantation, etc.
That is, the justice system uses the term both in a loose sense, closely related to the popular sense, and more formally in the "convicted" sense.
That said, I certainly see the merits of an "in the eyes of the speaker" definition. DCDuring (talk) 01:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)


Can someone explain the sense "Describing a workload as to its idle, working and de-energized periods". It needs rewriting at the least. Equinox 16:48, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

I think it relates to the expected work a component of a deterministic system fulfills.
2017 June 21, Josh Ray, “Cryorig H7 Quad Lumi Build - Modern Mini RGB Powerhouse”, in Unlocked[2]:
Inside, the i7-7700 takes CPU duty in an MSI Z270 Carbon ITX board.
2017 February 14, “Best free software updater for Windows PC (2018)”, in Techwayz[3]:
Even if you configure [the programs] to run on Windows start-up, you won’t experience system slowdown because the software updater tools I’ve shared above utilize a small amount of CPU duty cycles and RAM.
But this is hard to distinguish from the meaning “The efficiency of an engine etc.”, and from the figurative usage of the first sense. Fay Freak (talk) 18:57, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

mico and other entries with ambiguous definitions[edit]

The ambiguous definition for the Portuguese term in question is: "A monkey with a prehensile tail."

I use this as an illustration of a larger problem, certainly not limited to FL entries, let alone Portuguese entries, though the tendency toward terseness in FL glosses may make things worse.

Does this mean:

  1. Any monkey with a prehensile tail?
  2. Any of a certain species of monkey with a prehensile tail?
  3. A certain individual monkey with a prehensile tail?
  4. Any monkey owning a prehensile tail (not necessarily its own)?

The third we can exclude, I hope, because it appears in the context of a dictionary that normally doesn't have that kind of entry. The fourth is offered purely in jest, but suggests how easy it is to misconstrue a definition.

IMO, the other two are equally plausible. Is there any reason why we should not insert {{rfdef}}, {{rfgloss}}, or similar template to disambiguate such definitions? DCDuring (talk) 20:30, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

You would probably be better off asking the person who wrote it directly, or another Portuguese contributor. DTLHS (talk) 20:35, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the definition could be improved. It has a definition, though, so {{rfdef}} doesn't seem quite right. {{rfgloss}} would work. I typically tag such things {{attention}} or (and this is the way to be sure of getting an answer) ask users who speak the language, or post here. Other poor definitions include "stilt (not the bird)" (which I think Ungoliant first pointed out to me, and which has since been cleaned up, though memorialized in the Anteroom of Silliness). - -sche (discuss) 20:44, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
To which end, pinging @Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV. - -sche (discuss) 20:45, 7 August 2018 (UTC) (not because he wrote the def, but because he presumably knows what the word means) - -sche (discuss) 23:47, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring, -sche. Mico is not a vernacular name of anything (although many compounds containing it are), so it is not obvious which of the first two interpretations is correct. The way it functions semantically is similar to worm, in that it describes a general outward appearance and has at best a secondary connection to specific families, species or what have you.
Priberam and Aulete, which are the two dictionaries that I most trust, define it as something to the effect of “any of several small and long-tailed monkeys” and “any of the Callitrichidae” respectively. A quick Google Books search reveals that the term is also used in reference to at least Cebidae and Saimirinae, so the latter can be excluded. If you think it is important, we can rewrite the definition on the model of waterfowl (i.e. ending in “especially those of the families X, Y and Z”), and there should probably be an emphasis on the smallness, since howler monkeys can be described as small and long-tailed but are too big to be called micos. — Ungoliant (falai) 22:15, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
@Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV: I can't speak to the importance of mico for users of Portuguese entries. [[waterfowl]] is a pretty good example of a well-specified definition of a vernacular term for a group of organisms. I've been wondering how to make sense out of English vernacular terms like beetle, bug, fly, gnat, viper, asp, serpent etc. both with and, especially, without reference to taxonomic names. DCDuring (talk) 23:06, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
I hate to delay the completion of Wiktionary, but this ambiguity makes a difference for taxonomy etc. If a term does not correspond to any particular taxon (current or obsolete) or if the correspondence is hard to determine, that's fine with me. Similarly, if a term does not correspond to any particular narrow vernacular name. But IMO, English determiners and adjectives can help suggest the scope of the definition. I use certain#Determiner to indicate that there is a specific group of referents, which are not currently specified or are specified outside the definition line. Any has clear definitional implications, usually implying that the definition is reasonably well specified.
Further, I think the ambiguity will sometimes affect users, both "ordinary" and other.
Where the scope of the issue is limited to one term, I have usually either resolved it myself (for English or Translingual terms) or gone to the author (where that can be readily determined and if the author is still active). Unfortunately, it is easy to be a little vague in writing definitions. Many other dictionaries seem to have style guides that reduce the risk of such ambiguities. We need to either adopt one or use other means. Is this a BP matter? DCDuring (talk) 22:41, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
  • The Portuguese entry, not just the definition in question, looks much improved. DCDuring (talk) 01:21, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
    The ambiguity remains though for the Spanish entry. I think I have occasionally seen this kind of definitional ambiguity in other (non-zoological) lemmas as well describing something that had no obvious English translation. I don’t remember any specific examples right now, but imagine the definition given for the (imaginary) noun bibiker is “a mug with two handles”. Does that mean that all mugs with two handles are bibikers, or merely that bibikers are a type of mug for which having two handles is the most striking characteristic, one that is needed but not per se sufficient to make a mug qualify for bibiker-hood?  --Lambiam 21:33, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
    Exactly. Determiners and adjectives can reduce the ambiguity.
BTW, which sense of mug (eg, "bloke, fellow") and handle (eg, "name, nickname") did you intend for the definition of bibiker? Using polysemous words in definitions can lead to misunderstanding or require unnecessary decoding effort on the part of the reader. The terser the definition and the fewer the citations or usage examples, the more likely the misunderstanding. Usage context labels can help. DCDuring (talk) 04:47, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Obviously, I meant “bloke with two nicknames” :). Something that should also occasionally help is starting a definition with “A type of” in cases where this is appropriate. Maybe it is time to start a guideline on formulating definitions, more extensive than Wiktionary:Style guide#Definitions, or else expanding Help:Writing definitions into something more like a tutorial with lots of examples (like Help:Table on Wikipedia).  --Lambiam 21:02, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
I'll need to muster the courage for such an effort. I'l have to wait at least until the heat wave breaks. DCDuring (talk) 02:01, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

virgin non-comparable? I think not.[edit]

Definition: "Not yet cultivated, explored, or exploited by humans or humans of certain civilizations."

This is readily found in comparative and superlative "forms". And yet virgin was shown as not comparable (now not so shown). What should the inflection line say for virgin? What should the various definition lines say? For nouns we have a fairly elaborate, but apparently workable, system for showing countability on both the inflection line and on definition lines.

In this case, I don't think that the senses of virgin that are comparable are minor, so there should be recognition of comparability on the inflection line. Does there need to be a qualifier on the inflection line? Should we show comparative and superlative forms without inflection-line qualification and show non-comparability only as a label? DCDuring (talk) 03:17, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

I hypothesized that all the senses would probably be found "graded" relatively often, although when I searched for citations, I found that this was not the case, and "more virgin" is not that common in any sense. Still, I agree it's common enough to merit being on the inflection/headword line, and that the senses which are not usually comparable then need to be marked somehow. I see that many entries use {{lb|en|not comparable}}, and a few use "usually not comparable", so I've added that label to the two senses which seemed to be "graded" least often, the "chaste" and "non-alcoholic" senses. - -sche (discuss) 05:32, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
In many ways we are wasting our users' time and attention by presenting the normal more and most formations on the inflection line. Similarly, are we really providing useful information about an adjective when we assert it is not comparable? The claims never have systematic empirical backing and often are based on nothing more than a contributor's impression based on the semantics. Many of the adjectives that have that inflection-line claim are simply so rare that comparatives and superlatives would be unlikely to be attested, let alone be part of a contributor's experience. There is nothing that makes most adjectives necessarily non-comparable. To the extent that they are not comparable, it seems to me that the unlabeled definition alone would (or should) convey the unlikelihood of comparative and superlative forms. To me the noncomparable claims smack of excessive prescriptivism. If someone wants to say more one-of-a-kind or more abated there is nothing inherent in English that prevents it. Do any other dictionaries make such assertions? DCDuring (talk) 11:40, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
To quote myself from my user page: "Virtually any adjective can take [comparative/superlatives with more and most] if the author wishes it, and it encourages editors to find weird fringe examples to substantiate their existence." Equinox 17:45, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
Why bother with assertions about standard comparability at all? Do they help users construct sentences? Do they help users understand sentences? DCDuring (talk) 03:42, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
It seems to me that the design of the "adj" template is based on the presumption that comparatives are formed with "more"/"most", or with "-er"/"-est", or (rarely) irregularly, or not at all, and that all adjectives fall into exactly one category. In reality things can be a bit more blurry, I would say. In the past I have several times found myself using the syntax "{{en-adj|?}}" because the auto-generated "more ~" and "most ~" forms seemed to be making too much of a big deal of unusual comparatives, and yet I did not want to conclusively say that the adjective was not comparable. Mihia (talk) 23:36, 15 August 2018 (UTC)


Worth an entry? I think it's military jargon. Per utramque cavernam 16:58, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

  • 2018 May 4, “We are defining what fashion is for consumers: Myntra, Jabong CEO”, in Livemint:
    We are doing faster deliveries, not by air shipping but by forward deploying the inventory.
  1. Context is not military.
  2. There seems to be a verb forward deploy with all forms attestable.
  3. The use omits the hyphen.
This example probably isn't durably archived, but there are a number of other usages that support each of these features. A great amount of the usage of the term is in blogs and similar non-durably archived media. OTOH, the vast majority of usage is military, but usage in IT rollouts, emergency preparedness, patent wars(!) can be found. DCDuring (talk) 04:25, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

carrousel and carousel[edit]

Am I right in think that only one of these pages should exist with the other one linked purely as an alternative spelling? They both have overlapping definitions (but not completely, there are more definitions for carousel). Are some definitions spelling-specific? And if they are simply alternative spellings, which spelling should be the default with the other simply linked as the 'alternative'? 2WR1 (talk) 23:43, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

If there are truly differences in meaning, pronunciation, etc between the terms there would have to be two lemma pages. One could still be an alt form of the other for some definitions. You might look at carrousel at OneLook Dictionary Search and carousel at OneLook Dictionary Search (or the OED, if you have access) for clues about differences. DCDuring (talk) 04:32, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Also see carousal in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 (second set of defs.). DCDuring (talk) 04:35, 9 August 2018 (UTC)


I am unfamiliar with German conjugation tables, but shouldn't "klammeren" read "klammern"? Is there a bug in the template? DonnanZ (talk) 09:55, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Fixed. —Stephen (Talk) 13:31, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Ah, the template has to be tweaked. Cheers. DonnanZ (talk) 14:40, 9 August 2018 (UTC)


Transiently amusing though it is, I'm concerned about this entry. Isn't there some threshold level of uptake required for something like this? (Please ping me.) EEng (talk) 11:39, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

@EEng Yes, three independent durably archived cites spanning at least a year, the same as every other word. See WT:CFI. DTLHS (talk) 00:18, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Seems like a low bar, but OK, thanks.. EEng (talk) 13:34, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

object trigger[edit]

Many new Tagalog entries state that they are "object triggers". Does anyone have any idea what that might be? SemperBlotto (talk) 15:07, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

I can't find the phrase in any books. There's a paper, "Malagasy backward object control", by Potsdam, 2009. DTLHS (talk) 04:02, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
@Mar vin kaiser, do you know anything? DTLHS (talk) 04:04, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
@DTLHS: Perhaps, what is meant here is "object focus". Yeah, there's a guy making lots of Tagalog entries recently. He's a bit careless with the entries and making some mistakes, and it's too much for me to fix. So I left a note in his page, explaining to him that he needs to clean up his entries. --Mar vin kaiser (talk) 04:12, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Meaningless definition at jelly[edit]

The current third definition at jelly makes no sense because its context is not clear:


jelly (countable and uncountable, plural jellies)

  1. (New Zealand, Australia, Britain) A dessert made by boiling gelatine, sugar and some flavouring (often derived from fruit) and allowing it to set, known as "jello" in North America.
  2. (Canada, US) A clear or translucent fruit preserve, made from fruit juice and set using either naturally occurring, or added, pectin. Known as "jam" in Commonwealth English.
    • Quotations removed to reduce clutter
  3. A similar dish made with meat.

Emphasis mine. Entry 3 needs its definition clarified or removed. Similar to what? A meat dessert? A meat preserve? Does it have sugar or pectin in it, etc.? It shouldn't refer to something else, especially when that something else is not obvious. Danielklein (talk) 23:32, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Would you be willing to take a run at fixing it yourself? We appreciate the help and can clean up any mistakes. You could compare definitions given at jelly at OneLook Dictionary Search for ideas. DCDuring (talk) 02:05, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
jelly in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 has, as two of its three definitions:
"n. A viscous or glutinous substance obtained by solution of gelatinous matter, animal or vegetable; hence, any substance of semisolid consistence.
"n. The thickened juice of fruit, or any gelatinous substance, prepared for food: as, currant or guava jelly; calf's-foot jelly; meat jelly."
Note the potential for circularity in using gelatinous in the definition. DCDuring (talk) 02:11, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Probably hijacking the discussion or whatever, but we shouldn't say "known as Y" in some sort of incidental sentence within a definition. That is what synonyms are for. I understand that jam/jelly is one of the "biggies" as far as Brit/US confusion goes but it at least needs to be wrapped in some kind of gloss template. We shouldn't just have a random chatty sentence about usage thrown in there. Equinox 03:54, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
So secondly and trying to be relevant: Johnnie Mountain's book Pig: Cooking with a Passion for Pork, which I just borrowed off my sister, who is a rabid vegan, says: "Skim and discard the fat that has settled on top of the cooking liquid, which should by now have set into a jelly". Is that the sense in question, OR is it covered by the following sense "Any substance or object having the consistency of jelly"? While we often have too many senses for the same thing, I am also sometimes concerned that we might merge senses that used to be more distinctive (e.g. types of car or carriage): so any jelly historians around? Equinox 03:57, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Can't you buy tinned ham in jelly? DonnanZ (talk) 10:57, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I've reworded it. Any better? SemperBlotto (talk) 11:04, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I think that def was meaning it as a synonym (or near-synonym) for aspic, which was a usage back when people ate aspics. GaylordFancypants (talk) 20:34, 10 August 2018 (UTC)


Are we possibly missing an adverbial sense at yeah meaning "really", as in Oh, yeah? (= Oh, really?) Leasnam (talk) 02:59, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Hardly a sense, just a context. You could equally use "yes" or (in northern England or Scotland) "aye", couldn't you? It's not a separate sense of the word as far as I can see. Equinox 03:58, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Okay, thanks ! Leasnam (talk) 20:02, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's really entryworthy, especialy not in all definitions, but someone did: oh yeah. DCDuring (talk) 03:00, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
cf "fuck yeah", "hell yeah", "shit yeah". DTLHS (talk) 03:06, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

bible society[edit]

Should I have entered this as Bible society? DonnanZ (talk) 10:54, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Both forms exist according to Google ngram viewer. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:57, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm having second thoughts about this as anything to do with the Holy Bible usually has a Bible compound. DonnanZ (talk) 11:05, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Or even Bible Society (google books search shows it's attestable - also: w:Bible Society & w:Bible society [article title: Bible society; redirect & intro text: Bible Society])? - 20:16, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I think it's a case of a happy medium. At present if you search for [[Bible society]] or [[Bible Society]] you will end up at bible society. DonnanZ (talk) 20:26, 10 August 2018 (UTC)


I've come across cases (Citations:bally) where subbing in the intensifier "bloody" doesn't make sense to me. Is this a different sense, or is it still the intensifier? (On the talk page, a user opines that this should also be attested in a ball-related sense, btw, but it's hard to tell instances of e.g. "bally balloon" apart from "bloody/damned balloon".) - -sche (discuss) 06:07, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

Hmm, unless there was another sense that is now lost, a couple of those are rather old. The more usual sense does mean "bloody", and it's the sort of word Bertie Wooster would use (see P G Wodehouse quote). Added a reference anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 08:09, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
On a different point, the usage note could do with some attention too. It says "Bally is used by the British upper classes, as well as lower classes on the East End". The phrasing "on the East End" surely isn't right. In a British context I would understand "in the East End" to mean "in East London", but I think mentioning London would be a good idea for international readers. However, since I am not at all familiar with the use of this word in that locality I am not going to tinker with it myself. I associate "bally" very much with Bertie Wooster-type characters, as mentioned above, and not at all with folks in the east end of London. Mihia (talk) 22:12, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
You probably wouldn't hear it in today's multi-ethnic East End. I don't know how true that statement is, but I revised it a little anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 08:42, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
It is incredibly old-fashioned. I haven't heard it in decades - not even in jest. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:45, 17 August 2018 (UTC)


Isn't the simple past pronounced "bet"? DonnanZ (talk) 11:24, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

Nope, "beat" and "beat", past and present are homophones. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 12:33, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, /bit/ (like the present tense and like beet) is the only pronunciation I'm familiar with or can find in dictionaries, old or modern. google books:"bet 'em up" and similar searches suggests that "bet" may exist as a dialectal synonym of "beat" (in the present tense, in all the citations I saw, although possibly also in the past tense), although the fact that "bet" (as in "make a bet", like a bettor) can also be used this way means there's a lot of chaff. - -sche (discuss) 21:17, 11 August 2018 (UTC)


I am having trouble finding sources for this noun, which I understand to mean a temporary access path, usually straight or as part of a grid pattern, cut through forest or scrub in the course of activities such as mineral exploration, surveying, forestry, or providing a corridor for powerline or pipeline construction. Maias (talk) 02:40, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Feel free to add it anyway - you will only need to provide citations if it is challenged (and it seems real). SemperBlotto (talk) 05:37, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the tip. Maias (talk) 02:42, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
It seems to be a word mostly or exclusively used in Brunei. Equinox 10:52, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Used in Malaysia too, but it does seem to be more popular in that part of the world. I thought the etymology might be from Malay, but can't trace that.Maias (talk) 13:27, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Though it could come from Malay 'rentas' meaning something like 'cut across' or 'short cut'. Maias (talk) 13:47, 13 August 2018 (UTC)


The proper name regards to German Heinz qua Heinrich means holding the power over his property I m not common with editing Regards 10:32, 13 August 2018 (UTC)


I am surprised to see that we give downtrod as a verb infinitive and state that downtrodden derives from that verb. I would have imagined it came from a past tense from tread. Can we confirm? Equinox 10:43, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

  • The OED only has it as an adjective (synonym of downtrodden) - no obvious verb form of the term there. SemperBlotto (talk)
The entry has citations.
The verb definition is given as: "oppress, suppress, exploit, persecute, step down on; put down; denigrate, subjugate"
This actually seems to be inclusion of three or more definitions. I would never use these terms interchangeably.
  1. step down on (ie, physical)
  2. put down, denigrate (ie, verbal)
  3. oppress, suppress, persecute
  4. exploit (ie, take advantage of)
If these "definitions" are distinct, this entry needs 12 citations not 3. DCDuring (talk) 12:18, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
I think I have found attestation for forms of a verb downtread, downtreads, downtreading, downtrodden (as past participle, not adjective). I'm not sure about downtrod as past. See Citations:downtread in an hour or so. DCDuring (talk) 16:44, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
The attestable meaning for both the verbs downtrod and downtread seems to be "oppress, suppress, persecute". DCDuring (talk) 10:30, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Norwegian Bokmål formatting of some words[edit]

grue - "grue (present tense gruer, past tense grua or gruet, past participle grua or gruet) grue (present tense gruer; past tense grudde; past participle grudd) "

There's no linebreak between them and the second one uses ";" instead of "," which 99.99% of entries do. I'd fix the ";" myself but I've no clue where to in this case, as it links to "nb-verb-4|gru", which seems to be a template. C0rn3j (talk) 14:11, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Another word is meg, which has "me (direct object of a verb); objective case of eg". I'd expect this to be split across two lines.

  • grue: Replaced those two templates. Should read better now.
  • meg: I don't think the first part was completely necessary, so I removed it. Even if it is restored I wouldn't want to create two lines. Added some other info.
DonnanZ (talk) 21:08, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Wow. I have a whole different (and odder) picture now of the oft-quoted line, “You have been eaten by a grue... ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:49, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
A fictional man-eating predator? DonnanZ (talk) 23:31, 17 August 2018 (UTC)


A word of German extraction, found only in rural Scotland? That sounds... odd.


The German section now has red links to variants of Mennonitenbrüdergemeinde. That's surprising because the Moravians don't have a lot in common with Mennonites. Is this really a semantic quirk of German or just a random linkfest? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:14, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

I think it is just plainly wrong.  --Lambiam 12:50, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it's wrong, but maybe not needed. Brüdergemeine might be better as a synonym, and Brüdergemeinde as well. As for the Mennonites, those links are probably under See also because the editor thought that someone looking up Moravian might also be interested in Mennonites. The terms listed for the Mennonites seem okay, but more common is Mennonitische Brüdergemeinden. —Stephen (Talk) 21:13, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

consul general[edit]

Wiktionary incorrectly states that consul generals is the correct plural for consul general. This is wrong. Merriam Webster, American Heritage, and Random House dictionaries all agree that it is "consuls general" just like "attorneys general. Please fix.


No. Thank you. The most common plural shown in Google Ngrams is actually consuls-general, with consuls general a little less popular, and consul generals and consul-generals farther behind. consul-generals is about 20% as popular as consuls-general. DCDuring (talk) 15:29, 15 August 2018 (UTC)


What's the label for this alternative form of LOL? Rare? Internet slang? And is it a back-formation of lulz? Ultimateria (talk) 02:28, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Could be considered eye dialect I think. That's how I'd see it. GaylordFancypants (talk)

m as an abbreviation for thousand or million[edit]

Recently I came across a letter written in 1798 in which the term "9. m. dollars" is used (of money owed to w:William Short (American ambassador)). I assume this meant 9000 dollars. But nowadays one often sees the letter m used as an abbreviation for million. Can someone give us some information on when it meant thousand and when it started to be used to mean million? At present neither meaning is mentioned in m. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 11:27, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

  • "M" (usually, but not always, capital) has been used for "1000" since the 14th century. The OED comments that "In the 15th and 16th centuries it could be substituted for the numeral word in any context; it is now rare except in dates represented in roman numerals". So basically, in the period of your letter it was still sometimes used that way but getting less common. "M" meaning "million" is not found until the mid-twentieth century. Ƿidsiþ 15:48, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, Ƿidsiþ! Eric Kvaalen (talk) 08:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)


Is the sense of "sleep" as in "3 sleeps until Christmas" sufficiently different from the meaning "An act or instance of sleeping" to warrant its own sense (or a subsense)?

This is used as a unit of time, so "3 sleeps until Christmas" means 3 nights until Christmas, whether or not any sleeping is involved, and does not factor in daytime naps either. — Paul G (talk) 11:45, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

I would say it's distinct enough to merit at least a separate subsense. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 13:20, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
In that usage it seems to me to mean "An act or instance of sleeping assuming normal sleeping habits". I'm not sure whether "assuming normal sleeping habits" is enough to make it truly a separate sense.. Mihia (talk) 17:59, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
I disagree. I think that's how the sense developed, but Paul G is referring to "sleep" being used as a unit of measure. It's not the sleep that is important in this case, but the length of time (and "normal sleeping habits" varies with culture, age, etc.). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:03, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
I have been bold and added a subsense. (feel free to improve) SemperBlotto (talk) 08:29, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Noting new parts of speech for words[edit]

I have been trying to add different parts of speech for past and present participles that can serve as adjectives and/or nouns in specific contexts. Apparently my attempts to add such words have resulted in erasing the original meanings, so have been rejected/redacted. Does anyone know how to add a new part of speech application without damage? Scott MacStravic (Scottmacstra)

I don't quite understand what you mean by "resulted in erasing the original meanings". Could you give an example of where this has happened? Mihia (talk) 17:18, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Do you mean edits like this one? It looks like you overtyped part of an existing entry with your new definition. So I guess, don't... do that? 20:18, 16 August 2018 (UTC)


I don't know whether anyone has any ideas about how to improve the layout of the entry starting:

  1. (figuratively, depreciatory) A woman, particularly

I think that "particularly" is supposed to refer to "A bride-to-be ...", which appears just below, but because of intervening verbiage the connection has become unclear, and it looks instead as if some words have been accidentally deleted. I tried putting a colon after "particularly", but that just made it seem even more as if the meaning was "particularly these quotations". Anyway, if anyone can see how to lay this out clearly, please go ahead.

By the way, is that a correct use of "depreciatory", or was "deprecatory" actually meant? Mihia (talk) 17:51, 15 August 2018 (UTC)


I just added a comparable sense for the adjective here, i.e. "He has a very binary understanding of gender." The definition needs tweaking though. Could someone take a look? Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:12, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

are you sure 1 and 7 are different? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk). in diff

Yeah, I don't know if it's a different sense or not... it seems like it may be, though. More citations of this kind of use are at google books:"binary view of". Maybe "Focusing on, or conceptualizing something as consisting of, two mutually exclusive conditions."? "Conceptualizing" could be replaced with some simpler verb. - -sche (discuss) 20:34, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Hyponyms of "marketing"[edit]

May I request a list of hyponyms of marketing? I am engaged in a debate on this point, and would really appreciate an independent view. HLHJ (talk) 03:47, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Some are: advertising, branding, pricing, sales, promotion.
Things like packaging, distribution, service are sometimes included, but I wouldn't. branding can include all kinds of things, such as product design, package design, service personnel uniforms, etc. DCDuring (talk) 18:11, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, DCDuring. That sounds reasonable. Branding on a package would clearly be marketing, unlike, say, making the package cheap to ship, which mixes non-marketing and marketing concerns. Would it be suitable to add your list as a hyponyms section in the marketing article? It would also help inductively define the term. HLHJ (talk) 02:25, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
The first five only. IMO, hyponyms, hypernyms, and coordinate terms are very helpful for understanding nouns, much more than short usage examples or even full citations with context. DCDuring (talk) 11:53, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Of course. Would you like me to do it, crediting you, or would you prefer to do it yourself? I do find them very useful, especially when learning new languages; it gets you more abstract concepts without inevitably inaccurate translations, and gives a sense of the word's context within the language (is there a hypernym for hyponyms, hypernyms, and coordinate terms)? HLHJ (talk) 20:46, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm not worried about credit; my salary is uneffected. I am glad you find these semantic relations useful. Me too. DCDuring (talk) 03:51, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Added to marketing, with credit to you for my sake. I also added semantic relation as a hypernym to all of the things the semantic relation article listed as hyponyms. As these terms are reciprocal, it seems as if it would be possible to have at least semi-automated that, but probably this is an old idea and there are good reasons not to. HLHJ (talk) 21:08, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

mother ship[edit]


Is sense 2 correct in some part of the world? Face-smile.svg Noé 09:47, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Wonderfool added the sense and says he uses it with his mother; maybe he can find some citations. It might be used on Gilmore Girls or Easy A or something (with cool parents who also go by "parental unit"), but I've never heard it in real life. Ultimateria (talk) 14:33, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
I have heard it used IRL but maybe with tongue in cheek. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:47, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Ukrainian participles[edit]

For the Ukrainian verb носити, the form но́сячи is given as a present-tense active participle (активний дієприкметник), but for the verb нести#Ukrainian, the form несучи́ is given as a present-tense adverbial participle (дієприслівник). Is this correct? In my experience (not being very familiar with Ukrainian grammar), similar endings (-чи) play similar roles and for many other Ukrainian verbs (писати, пити, читати) the -чи ending appears in the role of adverbial participle. This website has a different opinion about носити and но́сячи. --LA2 (talk) 11:48, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

@LA2: You're right, they are adverbial participles (дієприслівники), not active participles (активні дієприкметники), so the inflection table at носи́ти (nosýty) needs to be corrected. Also notifying @Vedac13. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:05, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Birth of an Appellation[edit]

On August 5 Boris Johnson declared that "it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes".[4] By August 10, four women had complained of being called letterboxes.[5] So... how quickly can this become an official meaning for the term? Wnt (talk) 14:52, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

When other people start using it, with independent citations spanning a year. See WT:CFI. In the mean time you could collect evidence at Citations:letterbox. DTLHS (talk) 16:07, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
But if enough people use it, it could be included as a "hot word" before then. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:35, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Muslim and Islam in groups and regions.[edit]

I heard and read a few discussions about the pronunciation of Muslim and Islam. Typically, Muslims speaking English would never pronounce /ˈmʊzlɪm/, let alone /ˈmʌzləm/, always /s/, not /z/ in both "Muslim" and "Islam". Also, people more familiar with Islam or someone trying to show political correctness or respect also follows the same pronunciation. Besides, I think outside North America "Muslim" is always pronounced with an /ʊ/, never /ʌ/. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:52, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Oxford and Collins both seem to give /-ʌz-/ among the British pronunciations they list, so I don't know that there's a regional divide. But there does seem to be a split based on group, as you say. Perhaps it could be summed up as some pronunciations being more anglicized and others being closer to Arabic? Incidentally, I think I've heard Aasif Mandvi pronounce this with /-us-/, which matches the pronunciation we give for the Arabic word, so I suppose we could add that one if we find some more examples/references of/to it. - -sche (discuss) 05:42, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. In my first year in Australia someone corrected me when I said /ˈmʌzləm/ (the pronunciation I got from the American media) to use /ˈmʊzlɪm/ and I don't think I ever heard someone pronouncing /ˈmʌzləm/ in Australia since. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:16, 17 August 2018 (UTC)


Sense 2 was marked as uncountable and sense 3 countable.

2. The Internet, the largest global internet. 3. An internet connection, internet connectivity, access to the internet. Do you have internet at your place? My internet is down and I want to check my email.

I have changed 2 to countable and 3 to uncountable.

Although sense 2 refers the sui generis internet, that does not make the word uncountable. Imagine, for example, if several planets each had their own Internet: those would be Internets plural.

Although the definition of sense 3 begins "An", indicating it is countable, the example usage is an uncountable sense (it would be "Bob's and Alice's internet is down", not "Bob's and Alice's internets are down").

Does this seem reasonable? Perhaps some further changes are needed. — Paul G (talk) 08:26, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

The Internet (capital I) entry calls it a proper noun (that's your "largest global internet" sense). Equinox 22:02, 17 August 2018 (UTC)


I know that Wiktionary does not seek to be the place where words are born. But maybe for its internal relevance, an exception could be made for this one.

I have been calling myself a wikist and defining it as an editor of wikis. A plain term without allegiance to any particular wiki, unlike "Wikipedian" "Wiktionarist" or "Wikian". Without connotation of excessive editing, as "wikiholic". Indeed is "wikiholic" the only term listed as a derivative of wiki on that page that remotely fits the bill, and it is too connotative to suit. I find none of the substantial list beginning with "wik" on Appendix:List_of_protologisms/Q–Z#W suitable for my needs: probably the closest is "wikiphilia" which is still connotative.

Do you think the term might have a place? Henstepl (talk) 17:38, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

No, and it seems from your first sentence that you already know why. See WT:CFI for what kinds of words we do accept, and WT:LOP for a place where you can add your protologism. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:02, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
That is indeed a place, though. I did not put a link in the section title because I did not expect it to jump straight to an article. I invite you to consider use of the word in your conversations, in light of its intuitivity and the role of the wikists in deciding the wikists' terminology. Thanks for your links. Henstepl (talk) 18:16, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Not that intuitive, because that looks like it should be "an editor of wiks". Chuck Entz (talk) 21:57, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, you could disparage it on that ground, if you were really concerned for the wik users. The linguistic term is haplology. You might check out the article on Wikiped. Henstepl (talk) 23:54, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Nope, we don't add newly made-up terms even if you really like them! The general term seems to be "wiki editor", thus far in history. Equinox 03:55, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
As an act of solidarity, I'm gonna use the term in my next Quarlek Prime novel though. --XY3999 (talk) 09:06, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
No sympathetic gesture is needed; the only explicit criticism of the word seeming to have been an ignorance of haplology, I am not bothered by that nonargument from nonauthority that defers to its protologistic status. Clearly my word should be in use, even if it is not. Thanks, though! Have a good night. Henstepl (talk) 09:53, 21 August 2018 (UTC)


Is wikian justified as a page, then? There are no citations provided; it is not listed as a derivative of wiki. Were it demanded, to find citations for the uppercase Wikian would be trivially easy, but I doubt this one. Stephen Lafleur (talk) 04:41, 25 August 2018 (UTC) I'm Henstepl, sorry to accidentally sockpuppet

That's precisely why we have the "request for verification" process. —Suzukaze-c 04:50, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

hollow rail[edit]

Can anyone make sense of this definition? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:02, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

It sounds like a hollow curtain rail, but I can't help any further. DonnanZ (talk) 08:53, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
I’ve attempted to write a clearer def. It’s a case of one piktionary is worth a thousand wiktionaries. This pic shows one lying belly-up. The terminology is not standardized; this type of curtain rod goes by many names.  --Lambiam 09:10, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
I should add that the sense of curtain rail is not the only one and probably not even the most common one. All senses appear to have a high degree of SOP-hood.  --Lambiam 09:33, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
It looks like more an RfD candidate than an RfC candidate. The collocation comes up in images for model railroads, bicycle seats, fencing, and miscellaneous industrial components. DCDuring (talk) 15:54, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Or it might have different meanings in various industries/contexts. I notice that there is a lot of overlap between the Google image results for "hollow rail" (with quotation marks) and "rail creux", which I wouldn't expect if the terms were both simply SOP. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:06, 18 August 2018 (UTC)


Sense 3 = person enrolled at university; sense 4 = schoolchild. I find this a strange distinction from sense 1 (someone who learns about a subject), since that is the purpose for which people are enrolled in universities and schools. Can't we merge them? (If not, we would seem obliged to add further senses for other places of study, like colleges, polytechnics, and maktabs.) Equinox 15:44, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Even without enrolment in an institution one can be a student of something (He was a student of human nature.). One can be enrolled at an educational institution without learning. As most wouldn't know whether any given student was actually learning, enrolment is a common readily ascertained proxy.
Simply generalizing definition 3 from "university" to "educational institution" would suffice (at least in my idiolect). Schoolchild seems to me a hyponym of the 'enrolment' sense. DCDuring (talk) 16:01, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Sense 3 and 4 are definitely distinct. It's common (at least where I live) to see cheaper pricing for "students," separate from children and youth pricing, and referring only to students in post-secondary. Being a "student of philosophy" feels very different to me than being a "student of the University of Toronto." I can't quite put my finger on why, but there seems to be a difference to me. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:21, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Checking other lemmings, I see that Merriam-Webster, Cambridge, Macmillan and Dictionary.com all distinguish two senses, one for a person who attends a school/college/university/etc, and one for anyone who is interested in and observes a particular subject. I do sometimes see people distinguish "students" (at university) from "pupils" (of younger age, in lower-level schools), though. Our distinction between senses 1 and 2 seems even more dubious than our distinction of 1, 3 and 4. - -sche (discuss) 19:32, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
What if we merged the former senses 1 and 2, added a general sense along the lines of what other dictionaries have and what DCDuring proposed, but leave the "university" and "pre-uni" senses as subsenses, like [6]? (But are there indeed places where student refers exclusively to a schoolchild, or only places where it refers exclusively to a uni/college-attender, and other places where it refers to any school-attender including a schoolchild?) - -sche (discuss) 19:52, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
@-sche I'm not sure I entirely agree with your merger of senses 1 and 2. "A student of philosophy" can be quite different from "a student of philosophy" (i.e. someone studying philosophy at university who may or may not particularly care for it vs. someone who is not officially studying philosophy but is devoted to learning about it). There's also a possible distinction to be made between "a student of Plato" (someone Plato taught) and "a student of Plato" (someone who learns from and follows Plato's thought and writings (this would probably be the same as the figurative sense you merged into the other one)). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:59, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
And for the benefit of late entrants to the conversation, this is the page as it was before the discussion began: https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=student&oldid=50141450 -- Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:59, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't follow your first sentence, since a university/school student of philosophy and a person who studies philosophy informally are still distinct senses in the entry. You make a good point that "student" sometimes means someone who studies under a specific person; I can also think of examples where a painter is a "student" of another painter in a way that is formal but not institutionalized into anything that would normally be termed an "educational institution", but I wonder if that is adequately covered by sense 1. I do think that distinguishing informal study of an academic subject from informal study of a non-academic subject was an unreasonable distinction, and probably an unmaintainable one since any subject can be academic. - -sche (discuss) 22:48, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Hmmm, maybe you're right. Something "feels" different between student in the academic vs. non-academic sense, but that's not really enough to justify distinguishing them. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 16:34, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

Is there a difference between the audio and IPA transcription of these 'ul' words?[edit]





Neither of the pronunciations provided seem to match each transcript's /ʌ/.

They sound like the same vowel to me. However, Hulk does sound different because the speaker's tongue is raised in anticipation of the velarized L that commonly follows in American English. It's not something we would add to the IPA though. Ultimateria (talk) 13:24, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
In England, most people don't use /ʌ/ before l. Hulk is read as holk in the audio you refer to. Bulb, sulk and similar are all pronounced with o.I don't want to give IPA, as it is often diphthongised too (/ou/), which partly relates to the tendency to vocalise the l. Vulnerable can be volnerable or vunnerable.


I am a bit confused about the use of "true tarantula" for family Theraphosidae, when it is quite clear that the original true tarantula is the Italian species, Lycosa tarantula. Wouldn't the other species be extensions of the name? DonnanZ (talk) 09:01, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

The use of the qualification true is truly unhelpful in this context. The section Tarantula#Etymology at our encyclopedic sister project provides a clear exposition of the current situation. A usage note may be the easiest way to enlighten the reader.  --Lambiam 10:53, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
I would say that it's misleading as it is now. DonnanZ (talk) 11:44, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
Though true is often part of a well-defined and accepted unambiguous vernacular name of a natural kind of organism, material, etc, this doesn't seem to be the case here. As w:Lycosa states, Lycosa spp. are often "incorrectly" called true tarantulas. The Theraphosidae are more commonly called true tarantulas. I think we need to remove true tarantula as part of any definition. We may benefit from having [[true tarantula]] as an entry and certainly should have some usage note at [[tarantula]] if we do not add [[true tarantula]]. DCDuring (talk) 16:41, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
It reads much better now, more or less what I would have done, thankyou. I think the problem may be that the American species are much better known than the single European species which got its name centuries before the others, and the name is of Italian origin. DonnanZ (talk) 17:29, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
Maybe later I'll investigate the English usage of the term to see when it came to be used for the New World spiders. {{defdate}} might help a bit. DCDuring (talk) 18:30, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
Also, the semantics-free etymology we have offers no help. Why do we have such a bias against including semantics in our etymologies? Sometimes a gloss is unnecessary because there is not change in the semantics as a word in borrowed into another language. At other time a simple gloss is helpful, perhaps because meaning broadens or narrows. In this case the connection between a spider and a location makes no sense without an explanation. DCDuring (talk) 18:35, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
I've started looking for older uses, but I feel like it's not going to be possible to adequately distinguish the various modern senses in centuries old quotations, other than "spider from Europe" vs "spider not from Europe". Perhaps they should just go on the citations page. DTLHS (talk) 18:53, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
I still think the name given to the New World species may be an extension of the Medieval Latin and Old Italian names, but the problem is proving that. According to Oxford, tarantula came into English in the mid 16th century. DonnanZ (talk) 20:50, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
Who can read Spanish? There may be something here. DonnanZ (talk) 21:24, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
"Spider from Europe" vs. not from Europe would be good enough IMO for something to put in {{defdate}}, perhaps with a qualifier. DCDuring (talk) 01:22, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm guessing that the European spider (Lycosa tarantula, originally Aranea tarantula L.) was determined to be very like the spiders called wolf spiders (Lycosidae), but that the genus names Tarantula and/or Tarentula (now obsolete) were already being applied to the New World spiders (which are now called Theraphosidae). Whether the connection to Taranto and frenzied dancing causing by spider bites is fanciful or real is secondary to our question, interesting though it may be. DCDuring (talk) 01:36, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
The OED probably has good info on the use of the term. Perhaps they have enough to tell which spiders were being referenced. DCDuring (talk) 01:47, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
The tarantulas of the English-speaking New World are mostly in the southwest, so the NW definition may have been borrowed from Spanish in the 19th century. I have included a long citation at Citations:tarantula that is informative. DCDuring (talk) 02:18, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
The latter theory (in the New World borrowed from Spanish) is quite feasible. DonnanZ (talk) 09:07, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
I have added a postscript to the etymology, if you disagree you can change it. DonnanZ (talk) 13:00, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
I think what we have here is the rather oxymoronic "scientific common name". Scientists know that for the average person all taxonomic names sound alike, so they try to use common names. The problem is that scientists like to be precise and common names tend to be vague- so they change the definition to fit the taxonomy. For instance, a bug used to be just any small, multi-legged critter, but entomologists decided it should refer only to a certain group of insects with incomplete metamorphosis and sucking mouthparts in the order Hemiptera. They couldn't stop people from referring to other critters as "bugs", so they started referring to the insects that met their definition as "true" bugs.
As for tarantulas, people have been using that name for some of the theraphosids (the original tarantula is a wolf spider in the family Lycosidae), so scientists have decided that tarantula=theraphosid, and showed their disapproval of those who would use the name for any old hairy mygalomorph by calling their tarantulas the "true" tarantulas. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:47, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
But, sadly, in much of the 19th C. and earlier, true tarantula seems to have referred to what is now Lycosa tarantula. That is why {{defdate}} can help clarify matters, despite the fact that we haven't formalized criteria for its use (not that we seem ready for that anyway). DCDuring (talk) 18:01, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

á in IPA rendering[edit]

Several IPA renderings of Turkish pronunciations sport the symbol ‘á’, although this is not an official IPA symbol. My first guess was that this was supposed to indicate stress. But then I spotted dujmámák, in which the actual stress falls on the first syllable. What could the intention be? Any guesses?  --Lambiam 10:45, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

The form tɛdʒɾyːbέ, created by the same (no longer active) editor – later corrected by another editor to /tɛdʒɾyˈbɛ/ – makes me believe that the intention was to indicate stress. Presumably, the strange dujmámák is to be explained by a sloppy sequence of copy-and-pastes applied to the original dujmák.  --Lambiam 11:15, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
I see now that this is in fact IPA notation for indicating high tone.Since it is controversial whether word stress in Turkish is tonal, I feel this is ill-advised.  --Lambiam 01:35, 26 August 2018 (UTC)


OED defines alitrunk as: The mesosoma of a hymenopterous insect, especially an ant, consisting of the thorax and the propodeum fused together. This is certainly the sense in which the entomologists that I know use it.

Is our definition wrong? This, that and the other (talk) 01:46, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Estonian noun declensions by User:Johnling60[edit]

Moved to User:Johnling60/Estonian declensions. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:59, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

Arabic alani[edit]

I am looking for an Arabic word like alani = open, public (needed for αλάνι (aláni). I tried from google (Is there a way to search transliterations rather than the real lemmata?) Thanks sarri.greek (talk) 00:53, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

@Sarri.greek: عَلَنِيّ(ʿalaniyy, public, adjective), nisba of عَلَن(ʿalan, public, noun), from the root ع ل ن(ʿ-l-n), indeed a common word and root. Tip: Arabic words can’t ever start with a vowel, and ع(ʿ) isn’t even well searched with transcriptions because it hasn’t got a good character in Latin alphabets and is thus often omitted or transcribed differently. You might want to learn the Arabic writing already because an alphabet takes only two days to learn (one half a day and maybe on top the vocalization marks). Like I always add Aramaic etymologies without knowing the language. Fay Freak (talk) 01:04, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
Oh @Fay Freak shukran. I know my alif baa ta θa, my taa marbutas and my shaddas etc, Ana afhamu al-Arabiya, qalilan. I just wasn't able to find it, without your help! sarri.greek (talk) 01:09, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Croatian Word Kipar / kipar[edit]

After consulting Dictionaries (not only the Croatian Wikipedija) the Entry Kipar is wrong.

  • kipar means sculptor. I have found the translations kipar, vajar, kiparica f
  • The word for Cyprus is Cipar.

If somebody is more native than me please improve it. Rasmusklump (talk) 20:24, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Croatian Word Auto[edit]

The word auto, as far as I see it, may be both male and neuter. I think this should be mentioned. Maybe in Serbia it is neuter and in Croatia male or so.

Rasmusklump (talk) 20:24, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Auto as neuter can occur in Serbian, but it is substandard. Crom daba (talk) 23:30, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

like, such as[edit]

"like" in the sense of "For example, such as" is said to be an adverb, yet "such as" in the same sense is said to be a preposition. Which is it? Mihia (talk) 20:51, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

There is also like#Preposition. For like#Adverb the usage example and cites each show like followed by an NP, ie, in a PP. What distinguishes the purported adverbial like from the prepositional like, seems to be that the PP is set off by commas in the 'adverb' examples. I really don't see how the punctuation setting off the phrases has any implication for the POS of any of the words in the phrases.
Consider: their faces were fine and mild, yet really strong, like the rector's face
One could change the order as follows: their faces were like the rector's face, fine and mild, yet really strong. Does fine and mild, yet really strong become an adverb and like the rector's face become a PP?
The 'like' PPs are just adjectivals in a sequence of adjectivals. Therefore like is just a preposition in these instances. DCDuring (talk) 22:11, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
The preposition sense of "like" gives the example "These hamburgers taste like leather", whereas the supposed adverb sense is defined as "For example, such as". You can't say "These hamburgers taste such as leather" or "These hamburgers taste for example leather", whatever the punctuation. So it seems the two are different somehow, even if not by virtue of PoS. Mihia (talk) 23:14, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

gape-mouthed, gapemouthed[edit]

I'm hesitant just to delete the citations but I think the "adverb" is really just the adjective: "I stood, gape-mouthed" is like "I waited, hungry" or "I looked around, ever cautious". What to do? Equinox 22:54, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

I think you're right, just transfer the quotes and remove the adverb. But why on earth use gape-mouthed when you can use open-mouthed? DonnanZ (talk) 23:13, 21 August 2018 (UTC)


The indefinite forms of the Latin 'quis' (someone, something, anyone, anything) vary slightly from those of the interrogative forms (who? what?), in that 'qua' is commonly used instead of 'quae' for the nominative feminine singular and the nominative and accusative neuter plurals (see Allen, Joseph Henry; Greenough, James B. (1903) Allen and Greenough's New Latin grammar for schools and colleges: founded on comparative grammar, Boston: Ginn and Company, § 149). I've added appropriate entries to the page for 'qua', but I think this should also be noted in declension section of 'quis'. I suggest adding parenthetical entries in the appropriate cells of the declension table, such as 'quae (qua*)', where '*' links to a footnote with a short discussion and a link to the entry in Allen and Greenough cited above. Is this a suitable solution? If so, I'm happy to do it myself, or let someone more experienced do it if they prefer. ---- Wewebber 19:22, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

quote at traulism[edit]

Hey, need your help again. I can't really read Greek, despite claiming I could about 10 years ago so I could run an Ancient Greek bot here (boy, thank goodness that proposal got beaten down, huh?). Anyway, there are a couple of Greek words on this page that I want to put into the boring quote at [[traulism]]. The quote is at the bottom of page 176, onto page 177 - And for %&%& and %^&^%&, I know not what other..... What are the words %&%& and %^&^%& here? --XY3999 (talk) 09:12, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

For the last word on p. 176, I see œœœ, which is definitely not Greek; the ligature œ firmly belongs to the Latin alphabet. The author states on the next page that this word is “manifeſtly of a Greek origin”.
I think I see βοῷο (boōio) on p.177, which is the second-person optative of the passive or middle voice of βοάω.
The verse line near the bottom of p. 176 at which the author directs his lamentation is from Homer‘s Iliad 1.49, which is, with the usual diacritics added: δεινὴ δὲ κλαγγὴ γένετ᾽ ἀργυρέοιο βιοῖο (deinē de klaggē genet’ argureoio bioio); in the 1924 translation by A.T. Murray used at the Perseus Project: “terrible was the twang of the silver bow”. The word βοῷο (boōio) has no relation to the word βιοῖο (bioio) in Homer’s verse.  --Lambiam 16:52, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Need an English native to complete my stubs[edit]

I create English stubs from time to time, but I need a native speaker to add the definitions, as I don't feel competent to do that myself. Is there someone I could ping anytime I do that? Per utramque cavernam 16:56, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

The first request is heavy mob. Per utramque cavernam 16:57, 23 August 2018 (UTC)


Does it really mean both "Finland" and "Sweden"? Per utramque cavernam 20:10, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

@StrombonesΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:12, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
Apparently ruočči can refer to both a Swede as well as a (Lutheran) Finn. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:33, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
Not that I can find evidence of Ruočči meaning Finland which instead seems to be Suomi or Šuomi. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:34, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
Here - ETY. In Karelian proper, "Ruottši" only means "Finland", according to the Karjalan Kielen Sanakirja. In Karelian proper the demonym is a slur.Strombones (talk) 20:39, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
EES glosses are not necessarily 100% correct from my experience, but I can confirm the Karjalan Kielen Sanakirja part; there indeed "ruottši" is a pejorative used to refer to Finns and Finland. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:48, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree, they're quite inaccurate and often misleading for non-Finnic languages, but from what I've seen, they're pretty accurate for Finnic cognates. Strombones (talk) 20:51, 23 August 2018 (UTC)


Is the second sense, "a worldview that frames one group of people as saviors and other groups as needing to be saved by them", used outside the phrase "white saviorism" (which is arguably derived from "white savior [narrative]" + "-ism", not from "white" + "saviorism")? I see a single academic paper mentioning "black saviorism", and nothing for "Hispanic saviorism", "Latino saviorism", "male saviorism" or "straight saviorism", or even "your saviorism". If it's only in that phrase, it seems like we should create [[white saviorism]] and move it there (changing it to "...frames white people as..."). - -sche (discuss) 21:52, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Moved. - -sche (discuss) 08:01, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Sense of can[edit]

I've put a cite with "teenagers can be so cruel" under sense 3, "to be possible, usually with be". Does the definition need to be expanded (or the cite moved) to fit with the example? Ultimateria (talk) 00:03, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Japanese: kun'yomi listed for kanji in reference works, but not confirmable in general use[edit]

Various kanji dictionaries will list kun'yomi (and, less often, on'yomi) that are difficult to confirm in actual usage.

As one example, 貴#Japanese includes an ostensible kun'yomi of taka -- but I cannot find anything other than proper names that uses this reading.

This leads me to a couple questions.

  • Shall we move this to the nanori ("names") line of the ====Readings==== section?
  • If we move the reading, do we include any note acknowledging how other resources might categorize this?
  • What is our policy on categories for nanori? We currently have an anon who appears to be steadily working through ENAMDICT, and they are creating categories like [[Category:Japanese_terms_spelled_with_愛_read_as_ちか]]. This ちか (chika) reading is only ever found in names.

Curious about other JA editors' views. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:14, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Does the form 貴い for たかい not suffice to confirm the たか reading?  --Lambiam 19:05, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

English equivalent of 空焚き#Japanese, 煲乾水#Chinese[edit]

Is there a concise English equivalent for the above terms? —Suzukaze-c 04:47, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

I don't think there is. DTLHS (talk) 04:48, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Nor do I. But if you add a cite to either of them, I'll set it as a FWOTD. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:34, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
I can't find evidence of any concise phrase being in use, not even the cromulent- and obvious-seeming phrases our entries use as glosses(!); English speakers seem to only use longer phrases like "heating pots without anything in them", e.g. here and in the threads Cascabel links to at the top. I would've guessed "to dry heat (the pan)", on the model of "dry fire a bow" (releasing the string without an arrow on it) and some references to "dry frying". (Incidentally, we are missing a sense of [[dry]] that would cover dry firing, dry loosing, dry humping, dry run, etc. Dry run even refers in its etymology to the sense, it's just not there AFAICT.) - -sche (discuss) 07:54, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
What about just heat empty? I seem to recall seeing this emblazoned on restaurant glass coffee pots.
Sure enough: google:"coffee pot" "heat empty" seems to throw up the phrasing I recall. Does this suffice? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:28, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
You can say "to boil dry" as explained here: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-meaning-of-the-term-boil-dry/answer/Jim-Delaney-4Richwarm88 (talk) 22:13, 17 September 2018 (UTC)


Currently says that "either" is a determiner in "You'll either be early, late, or on time". First, the example sentence is incorrectly constructed. It should be either "You'll be either early, late, or on time" or "You'll either be early, be late, or be on time". But the question now is which PoS these two uses of "either" respectively belong to. Conjunction? Adverb? What do people think? Mihia (talk) 10:44, 24 August 2018 (UTC) Please see also the quotation attached to this sense: "[...] no one, either clerks, or friends, or compositors, would have understood anything but a word here and a word there". Aside from the fact that I think it should be "neither" anyway, is this the same sense of "either" as in "You'll either be early, late, or on time"? Where should it be placed? Mihia (talk) 13:28, 24 August 2018 (UTC) ...

Sorry about the slightly chaotic posting but the more I look at this the more confused I get. Currently "either" in "You're either a Jew or a gentile" is also said to be a determiner. Is this actually correct? To me, the determiner sense would be something like "You can have either colour", which seems to be missing altogether. What with all this and a misplaced and confusing usage note too ... I think the whole entry is kind of a mess. Unfortunately I am not clear about PoS, otherwise I would try to fix it myself. Mihia (talk) 13:39, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

I think the present determiners 1 and 3 are conjunctions, only 2 is a determiner. In "You can have either colour", "either" is a determiner (now added as a usex). DonnanZ (talk) 08:48, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Moving determiners 1 & 3 (including translations) to conjunctions is not a simple chore though. DonnanZ (talk) 09:20, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done the move, though the additions to the conjunction section may now need tidying up. DonnanZ (talk) 13:07, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for looking at this. I made one or two further changes. There are a couple of points remaining that I am not sure about.

The adverb sense, which has example "I don't like him, and I don't like her either", gives "neither" and "too" as synonyms. However, you cannot, in the English that I speak, substitute either "neither" or "too" into that example sentence. Is there some other case where these actually are synonyms?

I find the presentation of the conjunction senses a bit confusing. This is what this section currently looks like:

  1. Introduces the first of two options, the second of which is introduced by "or".
    Either you eat your dinner or you go to your room.
  2. One or the other of two. [from 14th c.]
    You can have either potatoes or rice with that, but not both.
  3. (coordinating) Used before two or more not necessarily exclusive possibilities separated by "or" or sometimes by a comma.
    You'll either be early, late, or on time.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, “Prologue”, in The Ivory Gate:
      Thus, when he drew up instructions in lawyer language [] his clerks [] understood him very well. If he had written a love letter, or a farce, or a ballade, or a story, no one, either clerks, or friends, or compositors, would have understood anything but a word here and a word there.

Definition #1 seems to apply equally to the example sentence for definition #2, and vice versa. What is the distinction supposed to be? That #1 applies to clauses and #2 applies to nouns?

Why is #3 labelled "coordinating" but not the other two? The difference between #3 and #1/#2 seems to be that #3 is not mutually exclusive, and can also apply to more than two. If so, the usage example "You'll either be early, late, or on time" does not fully illustrate this as these options are clearly mutually exclusive. Can someone come up with a good usage example of non-mutually-exclusive cases? I can't seem to think of one. (As I mentioned earlier, negative cases such as the quoted, "no one, either clerks, or friends, or compositors", would in my view be better written with "neither".) Mihia (talk) 19:34, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

I think either + or can coordinate just about anything that or can coordinate: from pronouns and adverbs to phrases and clauses, maybe even prefixes. I would never use either unless the choices were mutually exclusive, or intended or thought to be, as in an ultimatum.
It might be worthwhile to distinguish between cases involving two mutually exclusive choices and others. Some would insist on using any of for more than two choices, but that does not work for coordinating verbs, clauses, adverbs, PPs.
You will not be amused to know that Collins calls either a coordinating determiner. Collins COBUILD devotes nearly a full print column to either, offering 5 non-gloss definitions.
I don't think other dictionaries devote any ink to possible synonyms of either as a conjunction. Most dictionary definitions I've seen are not glosses. DCDuring (talk) 20:51, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
OK, I have combined all three conjunction senses. If you want to restore the "two mutually exclusive choices vs others" distinction, please feel free. I have also removed the adverb synonyms. Mihia (talk) 11:28, 2 September 2018 (UTC)


Do we need so many senses? Per utramque cavernam 21:35, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Probably not. I'd delete two, but am not feeling bold enough. --XY3999 (talk) 20:18, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
IMO, there are three kinds of nouns that can be modified by fortunate: an outcome, a prospect, a beneficiary. I think each requires a different definition. The "unforeseen positives", "auspicious", and "presaging" definitions seem to apply to prospects (or omens or auguries). "Favored by fortune" seems to apply to beneficiaries. "Happening by good luck" would seem to apply to outcomes, results, what happens after the die is cast. I think the usage examples, at least, should be unambiguous. So a fortunate event and a fortunate occurrence, synonymous, are not good for illustrating either "outcome" or "prospect" definitions. DCDuring (talk) 23:55, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
I took a run at this, but did not radically reword the definitions. Please make any changes you deem appropriate or ask for clarification. DCDuring (talk) 00:21, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

Finnish noun declension - uudempi[edit]

uudempi (newer) Accusative singular: uudempi, uudemman Genitive singular: uudemman Partitive singular: uudempaa Inessive singular: uudemmassa Elative singular: uudemmasta Illative singular: uudempaan Adessive singular: uudemmalla Ablative singular: uudemmalta Allative singular: uudemmalle Essive singular: uudempana Translative singular: uudemmaksi Instructive singular: N/A Abessive singular: uudemmatta Comitative singular: N/A Nominative plural: uudemmat Accusative plural: uudemmat Genitive plural: uudempien, uudempain Partitive plural: uudempia Inessive plural: uudemmissa Elative plural: uudemmist Illative plural: uudempiin Adessive plural: uudemmilla Ablative plural: uudemmilta Allative plural: uudemmille Essive plural: uudempina Translative plural: uudemmiksi Instructive plural: uudemmin Abessive plural: uudemmitta Comitative plural: uudempine Johnling60 (talk) 22:21, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Inflection table templates needed in Wiktionary[edit]

I am giving the complete inflection patterns for words for which inflection table templates are needed but find to my disappointment that these are being ignored and are not being added to Wiktionary. What is the point of requesting something and then ignoring it when it is provided? Will someone please add the inflection patterns I have provided to Wiktionary? Johnling60 (talk) 22:40, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

This is the equivalent of dumping hundreds of pounds of supplies in someone's driveway unannounced and demanding to know why there isn't a finished piece of furniture the next time you drive by. This is a discussion forum, not a place to leave large amounts of raw data. Also, remember that we're all volunteers, so no one is going to take on a project like this unless you ask nicely, and only if they aren't busy with something else they'd rather be doing. Scolding us like disobedient servants is just making things worse. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:46, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
User:Strombones added an inflection table to kastekann for you. You can add one to veinipudel for example by looking at Category:Estonian declension-table templates and picking the right one and putting the stems in as the parameters. You can model your edits off this: diff. Ultimateria (talk) 13:41, 25 August 2018 (UTC)


I think the translation table needs some cleaning up: several translations belong to the preposition instead of rather than to the adverb. Per utramque cavernam 09:47, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

no use crying over spilt milk[edit]

This entry redirects to cry over spilt milk, but there's also there's no point crying over spilt milk. Should the two even be separate entries? SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 12:07, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

No. It should also be a redirect IMO. RfD it with redirect as recommendation, though SPEEDY replacement with a redirect might be even better. DCDuring (talk) 17:01, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Why compare mattress and divan?[edit]

The etymology section at mattress invites us to compare divan; conversely, at divan we are encouraged to compare mattress. Why? I don’t see the point. Any ideas why that is there?  --Lambiam 01:41, 26 August 2018 (UTC)

As it's etymology, I think we are being asked to compare etymologies, not as a piece of furniture. DonnanZ (talk) 08:04, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
Comparison reveals that both have a non-Germanic origin. So what? Is there any aspect of their etymologies for which a comparison is more interesting than that? As far as I can see, it’s like saying at albatross, “Compare zebra”, and vice versa.  --Lambiam 21:18, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
The pointers were added by @Nbarth in diff and diff, perhaps he can explain the rationale for having them. Otherwise I'd be fine with removing them since they don't seem to be related or to show any e.g. parallel semantic development. - -sche (discuss) 17:30, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Hiyas, thanks for asking!
I've clarified in diff and diff.
Both words were borrowed into European languages from Middle Eastern languages due to Europeans traveling to the Middle East (crusaders for mattress, visitors of the Ottoman empire for divan), seeing the foreign custom of lying on padding on floor, and borrowing the word.
That is, they are words of the same general custom, borrowed by the same mechanism, hence of interest in etymology.
Does this help?
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 03:48, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
According to the entry for mattress at the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word was borrowed as Medieval Latin matracium in Sicily from medieval Arabic. Not really a matter of Europeans traveling to the Middle East. If true, the borrowing would presumably have taken place during the Emirate of Sicily, which preceded the first Crusade.  --Lambiam 12:13, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Quranize, Koranize[edit]

I cleaned up the formatting of these old crappy PaM entries, but is the definition right? See also google books:"Quranized", google books:"Koranized", etc. Maybe "To bring into accordance with the Quran" might be a better definition? - -sche (discuss) 08:13, 26 August 2018 (UTC)


I have found what I believe to be a false Wiktionary entry for "owo" and wish to have it changed. I can't do this myself because it was set to "Autoconfirmed" accounts only, but I only have one edit on a different wiki. I believe the definition should be, "owo is an emoticon used in chat rooms that means a blank stare but the 'w' is supposed to make it cute." or something similar to this, as the current definition is no where similar and does not mean that at all I believe, and it isn't even typed right. -- TheShadowEevee (talk) 13:25, 26 August 2018 (UTC)

Current definitions seem fine; yours would therefore be an additional sense, not a total delete and replacement. (Many words have several meanings.) But can you prove the existence of your emoticon to our required WT:CFI standards? Equinox 13:30, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
I think that he means OwO rather than OWO or owo (two round eyes and a little w for the nose). SemperBlotto (talk) 13:38, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it's the Asian/Japanese horizontal emoticon style (try googling "uwu culture"). But if we're sticking to CFI then it's very unlikely that these will be found in the acceptable places. Equinox 23:53, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
The w is the mouth, not a nose. I'm certainly not the first person to Google OwO expecting an emoticon reference only to find a niche Wiktionary entry on "oral without" for prostitution. 13:07, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

“shockable” definition #3[edit]

The 3rd definition of “shockable” seems to me to be suboptimally worded, although not outright incorrect:

(medicine) Capable of being treated by defibrillator.

I think it should be either

(medicine) Capable of being treated using a defibrillator.

or, better yet,

(medicine) Capable of being treated by electrical defibrillation or cardioversion.

But I want to make sure someone else agrees with me before I go changing anything.

Does the word electrical add something? My layperson’s understanding of defibrillation is that it is administered by a dose of electric current. Apart from that, the last version looks best to me.  --Lambiam 10:07, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
Treatable is more snappy than Capable of being treated.  --Lambiam 17:38, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

Senses of demand[edit]

Market prices usually go up when the amount of a good or service that consumers are willing to buy at the current price exceeds supply. Economics101, right? Now explain in 200 words or less how the first two senses defined for demand are different.  --Lambiam 09:54, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

Demand is sometimes used without consideration of price in popular speech, often just meaning quantity bought or sold ("As expected, lower prices led to more demand"). In economics, it usually understood to mean 'at a given price' or in reference to a demand curve. DCDuring (talk) 17:31, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

enlightened despotism, enlightened absolutism[edit]

Worth entries? Per utramque cavernam 12:04, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

I think so; these are clearly fixed and well-entrenched combinations and not mere SoP’s. And enlightened despot may also be fit for inclusion.  --Lambiam 17:35, 27 August 2018 (UTC)


Aren't senses 1, 2 and 4 somewhat redundant? Per utramque cavernam 17:55, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

I think 1 and 2 can be merged, but 4 might merit at least a separate subsense, judging by the usage example. Sense 4 doesn't seem to have the same implication of apathy that the other two do. It seems more like "I'm happy either way" rather than "Whatever, I don't give a crap anyway." But I might just be reading an interpretation into it that isn't really there. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:40, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
I think I agree with this. On a fairly quick reading of citations, I see no significant difference between #1 and #2. However, #4 ("indiff’rent in his Choice to sleep or die") seems to speak of pure neutrality (as perhaps the unthinking Earth is indifferent to the fate of the organisms that live on it), which is somehow not the same as the "indifferent shrug" (explicit, possibly hurtful, disavowal of any opinion) seen above. And, as ever, fear the made-up usex: I'm not sure that "I am indifferent between the two plans" is a sentence anyone would actually say. Equinox 23:46, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

have a ready tongue[edit]

Is this a thing? I only find it in translation dictionaries, not in usual English dictionaries. Per utramque cavernam 18:25, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

It's real but archaic. DTLHS (talk) 18:46, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
Be cautious about "have __" and "be __" lemmas. Usually the lemma should just be the noun phrase; you might say e.g. "her nagging gave him a ready tongue". Equinox 23:00, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

cheap at half the price[edit]

I think our etymology is BS. It is unsourced (oops, maybe I missed the reference on the page: anyone got the book to check it? even so, I am super-sceptical) — and just doesn't read well. Certainly "cheap" once used to mean something like "purchase, hire" but that isn't enough to support this. Can we shuttle it off to the talk page as speculative, or does anyone know anything I don't? Equinox 00:30, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

The Chaucer quote is for real. It is line 523 of The Wife of Bath's Prologue (except that Wikisource has “prys” instead of “pris”). I’m not so sure about the interpretation given, especially the notion of abundance of supply. My impression is that the line means so much as that something acquired at a bargain rate (to greet cheep) is not appreciated as much as it should be (is holde at litel prys).
Quinion writes that he is sure the phrase cheap at half the price is “a deliberate and humorous inversion“ of the old London street trader’s cry cheap at twice the price, adding that this was also the view of Kingsley Amis, given in the Observer in 1977 (which I haven’t attempted to locate). So the only reference given completely contradicts the presently provided etymology, which turned an earlier etymology upside-down in this edit by a single-edit editor. My recommendation is to revert that change and be done with it.  --Lambiam 09:02, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Here is what Kingsley Amis wrote in the Observer of 4 September 1977: ‘I think it’s an ironical inversion of the salesman’s claim, “cheap at double the price”, and means what it says, it would be cheap at half the price, i.e. it’s bloody expensive.’  --Lambiam 09:35, 28 August 2018 (UTC)


Can anyone explain what the characters for gëünɡ1 gëünɡ1 (everyday) is in the Fuzhou dialect? gëünɡ1 gëünɡ1 in my Fuzhou dialect means exactly the same as 天天 in Mandarin, which means everyday. I was just wondering if the characters for so are actually 天天, although 天 is pronounced as tieng1 in MinDong?Since in Old Chinese (ZhengZhnag), "天" was pronounced as /*qʰl'iːn/. Qhwans (talk) 09:27, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

It's gĕ̤ng: "work" > "a day's work" > "a day; daytime". Wyang (talk) 09:37, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
@Wyang: Ahhh, thank you so much

Please, delete отчаяно[edit]

The page отчаяно should be deleted. The word does not exist in Russian. It's a corruption of another word, отчаянно. Google search shows the two as 0.39 mil. to 6.55 mil.--Adûnâi (talk) 18:40, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

@Adûnâi, Metaknowledge: Done. Pls see details in Wiktionary:Requests_for_verification/Non-English#отчаяно. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:26, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

short-term memory, long-term memory[edit]

Worth entries? Per utramque cavernam 18:47, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

I think so. It's the psychological equivalent of frontal lobe or middle finger, which are seemingly SOP but have sufficiently specific meanings (where there would be ambiguity if the terms were truly SOP) that they merit a definition. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:48, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
There's an awkwardness in that short term and long term are idiomatic (but vague), and then have questionably idiomatic (but specific) meanings in particular fields like neuroscience and economics. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:10, 29 August 2018 (UTC)


I noticed that there is an entry communismus, supposedly a Latin word. It gives the "classical pronunciation"! Aside from the question of whether this word was ever used in Latin (let alone classical Latin), the entry says that it's fourth declension. Is that correct? I checked paganismus and it says that is second declension. But Baptismus gives the genitive as "Baptismus" (without actually saying what declension it is). Eric Kvaalen (talk) 08:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

@Eric Kvaalen: It's easily attested on GB, but in recent (i.e. 20th century) publications of course. I think we should replace "classical" by "classicistic" in these cases; I've already suggested this but I don't remember where exactly.
And it's definitely second declension, not fourth. Per utramque cavernam 08:30, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Per, but what's GB? And what do you think about Baptismus? Is it fourth declension? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 10:54, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
In German, the genitive is definitely Baptismus. It is not a Latin word. Classical Latin words ending on -ismus, like aphorismus, follow the second declension. For what it is worth, the Vicipædia article on Communismus also uses the second declension. More authoritatively, so does the official Latin text of the papal encyclical Divini Redemptoris. I have no clue what the assignment of the fourth declension to the communismus entry is based on.  --Lambiam 13:00, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't notice that Baptismus was said to be German not Latin!
All right, thanks Lambiam. I will fix it. (And I figured out that GB is Google Books.) Eric Kvaalen (talk) 14:55, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
By the way Lambiam, I see that we have entries for communismuum and communismibus, based on the idea that it's fourth declension. These should be deleted, right? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 15:07, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, these are auto-generated Latin noun forms added by a bot based on the fourth-declension table. While these two have been deleted, I still see entries for the forms communismui and communismu, quae etiam delendae sunt. Μετάknowledge?  --Lambiam 18:33, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping. Now gone as well. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:43, 29 August 2018 (UTC)


Recently I edited mithe to prevent it from saying that the past tense and past participle are "mithed", because it was a strong verb in Old English. User:Surjection reverted my edit. I have checked both the OED and Century, but neither gives the past tense or participle. Apparently the word was used in Middle English but not in Modern English (see Wiktionary:Requests for verification/English#mithe). What were the past tense and past participle in Middle English? And should we really say that they were "mithed" if we don't know?? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 08:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

It looks like the form mithed would be attestable in EME, but I'm not so sure that all four definitions in the entry would be attestable in any form. DCDuring (talk) 09:36, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Why do you say that "mithed" would be attestable in EME? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 10:54, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Worth noting that my revert was primarily because it was not formatted well at all, not because I disagreed on how to inflect "mithe". SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 09:48, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Google Books had some volumes dated before 1600 that had mithed. DCDuring (talk) 13:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)


@DCDuring: You're right, if I do a Google search for "mithed" it finds a Middle English Dictionary with lots of quotations, including ones using "mithed". Unfortunately Google Books doesn't allow me to see the beginning of the entry. I will change our article to say Middle English. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 14:55, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

@DCDuring: On second thought, I won't change it because the Middle English entry should be "mithen". Can you give a link to something in Early Modern English? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 15:26, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

One I thought to be EME was a scanno. Here are one [OK by me, Northumbrian, ME]. two [Scottish Engish], three [Scottish Engish], four [lisp], five [Northumbrian, ME]. I didn't have the patience to make sure there are no duplicates. I suspect there are. DCDuring (talk) 17:05, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Link number one shows no text. Number two is the one whose meaning we don't understand -- it's obviously not the word we're talking about. Number three gives a page view supposedly containing "mithed" but it doesn't. Number four is a transcription of someone's way of mispronouncing "missed" I think. Number five is the same book as number one, this time with a page, but as with number three, what I can see of the page doesn't have the word. So none of these gives us an example of the word being used in the desired meaning in Early or non-early Modern English. I think you looked for "mithed" rather than "mithe", but I'd like to know whether "mithe" is used in any tense or form in Modern English. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 20:33, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry. When looking for a rare word it's a good idea to try all forms "mithe"|"mithes"|"mithing"|"mithed" and probably other spellings. It's certainly tedious to sift through them. Anyway, maybe someone with more specific knowledge can help you. DCDuring (talk) 22:27, 29 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. What does "corrosion" mean as a context? I suspect it belongs in the definition, not as a label.
  2. Is the Australian shopping cart sense etymology 2, or etymology 1?

- -sche (discuss) 17:26, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

I think the label is just intended to indicate that the definition is relevant to the topic of corrosion. Mihia (talk) 20:35, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

razor blade[edit]

My 21st Century English-Chinese Dictionary claims this term can also mean "black person". Is that correct? ---> Tooironic (talk) 21:58, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

It's in a bunch of dictionaries: [7] for one. Finding actual usage might be difficult. That link references "Sir, You Bastard" by Gordon F. Newman. DTLHS (talk) 22:11, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "sang" and its rhymes[edit]

In my estimation, there are two different pronunciations of the word sang (and "rang", "hang", etc.) and they aren't just a matter of vowel coloration. One is the British /sæŋ/ which you can most definitely recognize as containing the /æ/ sound when you hear it here. You could say the word "sat" with the same vowel. If you compare that to the pronunciation soundbyte (clearly American) currently used on the Wiktionary page for sang, though, they sound quite different, and I would even argue that the vowel in the Wiktionary sound clip could NOT be used to make the word "sat". I propose that these words be attributed an alternative pronunciation of /-eŋ/, such as /seŋ/ for "sang". What do the rest of you think?

As a west coast American, when I say "sat" back-to-back with "sang", and then "say" back-to-back with "sang", the vowel in "sang" sounds identical to that in "say", or at least much closer than to the one in "sat". It could just be because the /ŋ/ sound at the end of "sang" is higher up in the mouth than the British version and sounds a bit /i/-colored. But that, to me, would also be evidence that the preceding vowel is also pronounced higher in the mouth. I also just asked a fellow west-coast American (from a different but bordering state, for what it's worth) in person, which vowel the one in "sang" sounds more similar to, between the long and short A sounds; he said the long A. Again, I'm curious to see what take others have on this.

It also occurred to me that maybe the intermediate vowel /ɛ/ resulting in /sɛŋ/ could be a more accurate notation, but when I compared my own careful pronunciations of /sæŋ/, /sɛŋ/, and /seŋ/, /seŋ/ still sounds the most accurate to my everyday pronunciation of "sang". (And, again, to the sound clip in the existing Wiktionary article.) —This unsigned comment was added by Andy81990 (talkcontribs).

This is a well-known feature of California English, commonly given in notation as [eə] or similar. Because it's a regularly predictable allophone, it's irrelevant to the rhyme entries or really anything other than dialectal Californian IPA given in entries. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:49, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
In my Canadian English, I think I pronounce it either /seŋ/ or /seɪ̯ŋ/. I think it would be helpful to note these pronunciations in the entries. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:41, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
For me (a midwesterner) "hang" and "sang" don't rhyme. I say "hang" with a long a. Maybe it's just an idiosyncrasy. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 07:02, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Reordering the senses of stay (verb)[edit]

Can we reorder the numerous senses of this verb so as to put the most current senses at the top of the entry? I'd suggest continuing to group transitive and intransitive senses together, but starting with intransitive, and putting "Remain in a particular place" on top, followed by other current senses. Would there be any disadvantages to this change? Aabull2016 (talk) 04:58, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

This sounds to me like a logical change to make. Andy81990 (talk) 06:11, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree with putting intransitive senses first.
We often try to have definitions in historical order, which is useful for understanding sense evolution and for finding definitions used in older works. In this case, historical order might keep all the obsolete and archaic senses at the top of the list, which definitely makes the entry hard to use for learners and for reading current works. But before we do moving within the transitive and intransitive groups of definitions, it might be useful to label the various not-so-current definitions as "dated", "archaic", or "obsolete" as appropriate using the definitions in Appendix:Glossary. A first cut for such labeling might be based on whether a given definition appears in modern dictionaries and whether it appears without such a label. The OED might give information to support providing {{defdate}} for each definition. More modern citations would help, too. DCDuring (talk) 13:42, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Most of the 'definitions' in the entry are just lists of synonyms, which suggests that much of the entry is copied from MW 1913. Actual definitions might help. DCDuring (talk) 13:45, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
We seem to lack definitions for the usage (intransitive) in poker and for usage like They stayed even in the polls until the second debate. DCDuring (talk) 14:04, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
These seem to me to be good suggestions. The closest definition to the usage in your example They stayed even... is "To continue to have a particular quality," but I think that definition is too restrictive to cover all cases of "stay + adjective". The second sense given under remain ("To continue unchanged in place, form, or condition, or undiminished in quantity") would be perfectly usable here, I think. Aabull2016 (talk) 16:01, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

dragante dragon[edit]

Hey. Is there a special term in heraldry for a dragante? Dragons heads in opposite corners with a line between them, I guess they're supposed to be breathing fire into each other's mouth, which is obviously pretty cool. There's one in the Royal Bend of Castile. Apparently dragon head is used, but it seems too simple for heraldry. Also, broadly speaking, we are pretty poor at heraldry terms on WT - if anyone fancies taking on an exciting project, adding heraldry terms would be amazing. --XY3999 (talk) 09:40, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

I think you would fancy it. DCDuring (talk) 14:06, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
I've seen the phrases "serpents swallowing a bend" and "dragons swallowing a bend" used (depending on whether the dragon is technically considered to be a dragon/dragante or a serpent/sierpe), but not anywhere durable. Looking at Spanish blazons, I see coats of arms with dragon heads on them blazoned as e.g. banda de oro, engolada en dragantes de oro, which suggests that a dragante is just a "dragon", and the bit about it being a head and connected with a line is not intrinsic to the word. - -sche (discuss) 22:23, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
A diagonal stripe being swallowed at the ends can be called a "bend engouled" in English heraldese. http://mistholme.com/dictionary/bend/JulieKahan (talk) 07:25, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

block and tackle[edit]

I think the article on block and tackle could use modification regarding its countability or usage forms. (Maybe the attention of a real linguist would help clarify things.)

Right now the article reads (under "Noun"): "block and tackle (plural 'block and tackles' or 'blocks and tackles')".

It could be simply modified to: "block and tackle (uncountable and countable, plural 'block and tackles' or 'blocks and tackles')".

With more complexity, it could instead read something like this: "block and tackle, or block-and-tackle (uncountable and sometimes countable, singular 'a block and tackle' being more common than potential plural forms 'block and tackles' or 'blocks and tackles')"

The current main definition could be split up to distinguish the uncountable form and the countable forms. The first one is potentially more dominant in usage.

1. (uncountable, adjectival modifying compound-noun, where modified noun may be omitted) Referring to a system containing blocks and tackle, usually in which a rope, cable, or chain (the tackle) is passed over pulleys enclosed in two (or rarely more) blocks, one fixed and one attached to a load, which is used to gain mechanical advantage to move (lift, lower, or pull) heavy loads.


  • "A rope block-and-tackle system pulled the stone monument erect." -- Popular Mechanics Mar 1985, page 101
  • "Block and tackle is comprised of the crown block, the travelling block, and the drilling line." -- Petroleum Engineering Handbook for the Practicing Engineer, Volume 2, By M. A. Mian, Mohammed A. Mian
  • "The major components of the hoisting system are (1) the derrick, (2) the block and tackle system, (3) the drawworks, and (4) miscellaneous hoisting equipment such as hooks, elevators, and weight indicator." -- Petroleum Engineering Handbook for the Practicing Engineer, Volume 2, By M. A. Mian, Mohammed A. Mian
  • "Additionally, we discuss the makeup of block and tackle, reeving procedures, and common types of tackle arrangements." -- Steelworker, Volume 2, Training Manual (TRAMAN), November 1996, Chapter 6 Rigging
  • "A better understanding of the changing tension in a block and tackle arrangement can avoid the major problems stated earlier." -- Proceedings [of The] Drilling Conference, Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, 1992 - Gas well drilling, page 166

2. (countable) A system containing blocks and tackle, usually in which a rope, cable or chain (the tackle) is passed over pulleys enclosed in two (or rarely more) blocks, one fixed and one attached to a load, which is used to gain mechanical advantage to move (lift, lower, or pull) heavy loads. (Sometimes simply referred to as "tackle", meaning gear or mechanical appliances, behaving as an uncountable noun or a countable noun.)


  • "BLOCK AND TACKLE, a mechanical appliance consisting of a combination of pulleys and ropes. [...] 'Block' refers to the casing for the pulleys, 'tackle', to the ropes." -- The World Book: Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture, Volume 2, January 1, 1918, Hanson-Roach-Fowler, page 773
  • "The Block and Tackle: A block and tackle is a combination of fixed and movable pulleys." -- Machines & Work (ENHANCED eBook), By Edward P. Ortleb, Richard Cadice
  • "In the requirement for making and demonstrating a block and tackle, be sure to explain its purpose -- to lift weights easily." -- Scouting Mar-Apr 1972, page 12
  • "Systems of ropes, pulleys, blocks and tackles, inclined planes and playout wheels or capstans were used to build what amounted to a giant lever powered by men and horses." -- Popular Mechanics Mar 1985, page 100
  • "Blocks and Tackles: The use of blocks and tackle (pronounced tay-kle) or, to use a higher sounding name, mechanical appliances, on board a small cruising type boat is very limited." -- Chapman Piloting: Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, 54th Edition, By Elbert S. Maloney, page 225


  • "Block and Tackle: The tackle ordinarily used for hoisting, lowering or moving heavy objects consists of two blocks and a rope." -- Popular Mechanics Aug 1956, page 184
  • "A tackle is an assembly of blocks and lines used to gain a mechanical advantage in lifting and pulling." -- Steelworker, Volume 2, Training Manual (TRAMAN), November 1996
  • "Tackle: A combination of blocks, ropes and hooks for raising, lowering or moving heavy objects. A 'tackle' increases lifting power but reduces lifting speed." -- Chapman Piloting: Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, 54th Edition, By Elbert S. Maloney, page 225
  • "Tackles: When a rope is rove through a single block the combined block and rope is named a single whip, but if the rope is rove through two or more blocks the combination is named a tackle." -- Wooden Ship-Building, By Charles Desmond, page 139

Zeroparallax (talk) 01:29, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

Uncountability is principally established by use with certain quantifier determiners (eg, much) or without a determiner and with a singular verb.
The uses of block and tackle modifying a noun are not evidence of uncountability IMO. Is grandfather clock evidence that grandfather is uncountable?
OTOH the Steelworker cite and the first of the two Petroleum Engineering Handbook cites are such evidence. I have also placed three other examples at Citations:block and tackle. I am still not sure that these cases are sufficient. Does the following show that grandfather, et al are uncountable?
  • 2008, David Dary, Frontier Medicine[8], page 178:
    It is too much papa, too much grandfather, too much grandma, too much mama, too much uncle, and too much auntie.
i have run out of time for this right now, but will take it up again in a day or two. DCDuring (talk) 03:34, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

者, difference between derived terms under Kanji vs. under suffix?[edit]

The Japanese section for 者 has a list of derived terms under the kanji section as well as one under the suffix section. For the life of me I can't tell how it is decided which word goes in either section, especially since 者 is used as a suffix for every entry in both. I also wanted to add the fairly common words 患者, 学者, 記者, 作者, but don't know where I should put them? JustOneMore (talk) 20:36, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

What you're running into is a bit of a legacy problem for single-kanji entries. The compounds section was pretty much all we had initially. As the entries have been built out, with etymologies for each individual reading, the derivations (often including compounds) specific to a reading have been going into ====Derived terms==== sections under the relevant readings, and then often removed from the ====Compounds==== section under the ===Kanji=== heading, to avoid duplicates.
The Japanese entry is currently something of a mess, as the mono and sha readings haven't been fully formatted to use ===Etymology=== and ====Pronunciation==== sections. I or another JA editor will get to that eventually.
For now, I'd recommend putting your additional terms under the ====Compounds==== header and emulate the formatting there. The content in the ====Derived terms==== section on that page is auto-generated anyway. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:22, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, please add those terms into the compounds section under the main kanji header. The derived terms under the suffix section are automatically generated by {{suffixsee|ja}} and may contain some errors. In future, compounds below the kanji header will be moved to their respective etymology sections and placed under "derived terms". Only compounds with irregular readings such as  () () () / 如何 (いかが) (ikaga) will be placed under the kanji section. See for example. KevinUp (talk) 09:43, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr would you mind checking my edit here? [9] I'm using {{der2|lang=ja|title=Terms derived from {{ja-r|如|にょ}}:}} instead of {{der-top}} to make things clearer. KevinUp (talk) 14:42, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
(Belated reply...) @KevinUp: Looks good to me, thank you! ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:06, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
@JustOneMore: I've added those terms to the relevant sections of in this edit. KevinUp (talk) 07:14, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks you two! In the future I'll just copy what you did here :) JustOneMore (talk) 18:10, 2 September 2018 (UTC)


Moved over to the September 2018 Tea room.  --Lambiam 09:58, 2 September 2018 (UTC)