Wiktionary:Tea room/2018/December

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← November 2018 · December 2018 · January 2019 → · (current)


uni (as in university)[edit]

My feeling is this is only used in British and Commonwealth English. Do Americans ever use it? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:53, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

I'd say it's becoming more common over the last decade, but more or less, Americans don't use it. DTLHS (talk) 02:56, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
OK. I've made changes to that effect. Thank you. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:18, 1 December 2018 (UTC)


Brand name of a (not especially widely known) toy. We have a lot of entries about the Rubik's Cube and its offshoots, I suppose because somebody liked Rubik's Cubes. Anyone else feel this one is a bit too much on the commercial brand side? Equinox 11:00, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

Yes. Plenty of toys and other products are unique and one word, but that doesn't merit inclusion. Ultimateria (talk) 22:30, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

of (2)[edit]

These are senses 7.2, 8.1 and 8.3 of of:

  1. (following a noun) Indicates a given part. [from 9th c.]
    • 2005, Naomi Wolf, The Treehouse, page 58:
      everyone, even the ladies of the village, called the dish tzigayner shmeklekh, or “gypsies' penises.”
    • 2006, Norman Mailer, The Big Empty:
      That, I think, is the buried core of the outrage people feel most generally.
  1. Belonging to, existing in, or taking place in a given location, place or time. Compare "origin" senses, above. [from 9th c.]
    • 1774, Edward Long, The History of Jamaica. Or, General Survey of the Antient and Modern State of that Island, volume 2, book 2, chapter 7, 5:
      The building was erected in two years, at the parochial expence, on the foundation of the former one, which was irreparably damaged by the hurricane of Auguſt, 1712.
    • 1908, EF Benson, The Blotting Book:
      Thus, as he dressed, the thoughts and the rage of yesterday began to stir and move in his mind again.
    • 2003 August 20, Julian Borger, The Guardian:
      Within ten seconds, the citizens of New York, Cleveland, Detroit and Toronto were being given first-hand experience of what it was like to live in the nineteenth century.
  1. Belonging to (someone or something) as something they possess or have as a characteristic; the "possessive genitive". (With abstract nouns, this intersects with the subjective genitive, above under "agency" senses.) [from 13th c.]
    • 1933, Havelock Ellis, Psychology of Sex, volume 4:
      The breasts of young girls sometimes become tender at puberty in sympathy with the evolution of the sexual organs [].
    • 2010 October 29, Marina Hyde, The Guardian:
      It amounts to knocking on the door of No 10 then running away.

My questions are:

1. What is the essential difference between "the ladies of the village" (7.2) and "the citizens of New York" (8.1)?

2. What is the essential difference between "the buried core of the outrage" (7.2) and "the door of No 10" (8.3)? Obviously the former is more abstract and the latter more concrete, but that isn't apparently the distinction made. Abstractness or concreteness aside, doesn't outrage "have" or "possess" a core in just the same way as No 10 "has" or "possesses" a door? Isn't the door a "part" of No 10 in just the same way as the core is a "part" of the outrage?

Mihia (talk) 18:38, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

As for question 1, there's a subtle difference that would be better served with a quote in 7.2 like "the members of the jury" or something like that. I see 7.2 being roughly "that make up (this collective)" and 8.1 as "residing in" and/or "originating in". I think the "time" aspect of 8.1 is worth keeping separate, but the "place" aspect could very easily be absorbed into a previous sense.
And 2, I agree, the "core of outrage" hardly "indicates a given part". It's not an orb of outrage that has a special core; it's a core that is made of outrage. Ultimateria (talk) 22:28, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Regarding question 1, I stand to be corrected, but I'm not sure that "that make up (this collective)" is exactly the intention of 7.2. Given that 7.2 is under the "partitive" heading, I thought perhaps the intended distinction was that ladies form only a part of the populace, whereas citizens form all of the populace. However, this would seem to lead to "citizens of New York" being a different sense of "of" than, say, "shopkeepers of New York", which seems wrong to me. Anyway, in terms of inclusiveness, "members of the jury" seems to me even more like "citizens of New York" than does "ladies of the village" ... but perhaps inclusiveness is not, after all, what the distinction is about. Mihia (talk) 23:01, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
I take a term of the form “the Xs of Y” to mean, basically and in almost all cases, “all Xs of Y” – the collective of all individual items that can be called “an X of Y”. For example: “the parents of Juanita”; “the towers of Tuscany”; “the legs of the table”; “the sayings of the fathers”; “the colours of the rainbow”. This holds across different senses of of; it says more about the meaning of the. But note that you would normally not say something like ”Fred is a shopkeeper of New York”. You can say instead, ”Fred is one of the shopkeepers of New York”. On the other hand, ”Fred is a citizen of New York” and ”Fred is a member of the jury” are fine, as is “white is not a colour of the rainbow”. Does that have to do with different senses of of?  --Lambiam 18:03, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't have thought so myself. In any case, "a lady of the village" seems just as good to me as "a citizen of New York", so such a distinction, if it existed, would not seem to explain the separate senses presently in the article. Mihia (talk) 21:53, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
  • @Mihia Question 1 is a subtle one, because with words like this, all the meanings start to bleed into each other. But the principle is there: 8.1 is using of to identify a (spatial or temporal) location, whereas 7.2 is using it to specify a part of a whole. "The ladies of the village" could, indeed, be used in a locative sense if you were writing about the ladies of the village compared to the ladies of the town. But here that's not what she means: she is not talking about those ladies who are located in the village, but rather those members of the village who are ladies. Do you see the difference? As for question 2, the difference is between partitive and possessive, which again can be a subtle distinction. "The door of Number 10" indicates the prime minister's door, in a possessional sense, whereas "the core of the outrage" does not mean a core belonging to some outrage, but rather that part of the outrage which is at the very centre (i.e. its most essential aspect). Of is a particularly tricky word because it is used to express a lot of case effects that are hard to explain and hard to illustrate. Ƿidsiþ 06:05, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
@Widsith, Ƿidsiþ: (When I use "reply to" to you, which form of your name do I use, or does it not matter?) Hmm, OK, thanks for your reply. Would you be able to come up with any usage example for 7.2 that is as far as possible from 8.1 and 8.3, where the distinction would be most obvious to readers? Mihia (talk) 18:35, 8 December 2018 (UTC)


There seems to be the verb appenare[1] and a 3. person singl. present appena (I don't know for sure). Example: Rosola i porri in una padella con olio e sale, finché saranno appena imbionditi (Frittata al forno con zucca e porri al rosmarino – low carb). --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:10, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

In the recipe it is the adverb appena. You have to sautee the leeks until they just begin to brown. As the etymology section for the adverb appena states, it is not related to the noun pena, which is a cognate of English pain and the source of the verb appenare.  --Lambiam 20:06, 1 December 2018 (UTC)


A tea coasy covers the teapot to keep the tea warm. Is it spelled coasy or coasey? LFlagg (talk) 01:43, 2 December 2018 (UTC)LFlagg

The most common spelling seems to be cosy. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:55, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
I have never heard of either "coasy" or "coasey", and I would consider both to be misspellings, absent evidence to the contrary. Mihia (talk) 18:39, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

solid, adj sense 2[edit]

Does "solid" really mean "large, massive"? If you describe a building or a tree or a person as solid, those would all bring to mind sense 4, "strong or unyielding". The large size would just be a connotation. Ultimateria (talk) 02:11, 2 December 2018 (UTC)

It is certainly not included in the original meaning, but by contamination the connotation spilled over into the sense as used at least sometimes by some speakers. Examples: On top of that, the speaker is big, so you may have to set aside a solid amount of space for it. and U.S. online and bricks-and-mortar retailers are reporting solid sales for Black Friday Weekend. It is easy to see how, for example, the collocation a solid sales performance, that is, a solid performance regarding sales, can be erroneously reanalyzed as a performance of solid sales. I wouldn’t put it as sense #2, though; it is relatively recent and still rare. Just as we can label a word as a misspelling, can we label a sense as being a misunderstanding?  --Lambiam 07:16, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
I might add that massive underwent a similar sense development much earlier.  --Lambiam 07:29, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
The "sales" uses could easily be interpreted as not quantitative, but rather in line with our sense "excellent". I wish I could explain away all popular use of "solid amount", but I can't.
Substantial, included in one of our definitions of solid, also is used in a purely quantitative sense. like massive.
I often hear "small, but solid". Such usage is something like "(of a mammal) muscular", but maintains the notion that solidity is distinct from size. DCDuring (talk) 12:57, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
I have removed the sense and its translation table. The misunderstanding suggested by Lambiam is interesting, but I don't think it falls under the scope of lexicography. Ultimateria (talk) 01:04, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I have reverted the changes. The forums for removal are RfD and RfV. Also I didn't detect any consensus here that would possibly justify expeditious deletion. DCDuring (talk) 04:45, 5 December 2018 (UTC)


il pane e la fiaschetta d'argento (Picknick) and 20 pomodorini (fiaschetto). I think fiaschetto is an adverb of fiaschetta (noun); small fiasco-like is missing. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:44, 2 December 2018 (UTC)

I think both are nouns, the diminutives of, respectively, fiasca and fiasco. The attributive use in pomodorini fiaschetto may have to do with the somewhat bottle-like shape. Occasionally (but rarely) in English the term bottle tomatoes is used.  --Lambiam 09:58, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
Added. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:27, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
fiasca and fiasco, interesting. Thanks! In Google-Books one finds pomodoro Fiaschetto (with a capital F). --Edward Steintain (talk) 11:56, 2 December 2018 (UTC)


The page for copycat claims without citation that the etymology is from copycut which pronounced with an American accent became copycat. On the other hand this page is more convincing:


I think whoever claimed the origin as copycut should provide proof.

Changed etym to something reasonable; the "copy cut" theory lacks evidence and credibility.-Sonofcawdrey (talk) 16:34, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

cavolo di Pechino[edit]

Do we need cavolo di Pechino /[peˈkiːno]/ f for a quick Wiktionary stir fry with napa cabbage and w:napa cabbage? --Edward Steintain (talk) 14:58, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

en.wp: Napa cabbage (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis or Brassica rapa Pekinensis Group)
it.wp: Cavolo di Pechino (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis (Lour.) Hanelt)
de.wp: Chinakohl (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis, Syn.: Brassica rapa subsp. glabra, B. pekinensis (Loureiro) Ruprecht)
(Confusion predicted: “Nicht zu verwechseln damit ist der Chinesische Senfkohl (siehe Pak Choi), der etwas kleinere Köpfe und dem Mangold (it:Bietola) ähnelnde dunkelgrüne Blätter bildet.”) User: Edward Steintain, 18:44, 3 December 2018


  • Feng Cheng (2016), “Figure 1: Images of the different morphotypes of Brassica vegetables.”, in Genome resequencing and comparative variome analysis in a Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea collection, Nature. Scientific Data volume 3, Article number: 160119 (2016) doi=doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.119      [3]. The official looks of certain cabbages and their scientific names pekinensis versus chinensis. --Edward Steintain (talk) 11:36, 4 December 2018 (UTC) How is a doi formatted properly?
  • Here's the morphotype of Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis in en.wp, it.wp, and de.wp (in comparison with the Nature-immage) as specified by links a couple of lines above. --Edward Steintain (talk) 14:32, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Bok choy, pak choi or pok choi (Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis) is a type of Chinese cabbage. Chinensis varieties do not form heads and have smooth, dark green leaf blades.[4]. Cavolo di Pechino[5] (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis (Lour.) Hanelt) does not and is called Napa cabbage[6] – I think. --Edward Steintain (talk) 14:00, 5 December 2018 (UTC)


Shall we start the topic bietola which is even more extremly confusing - to me? --Edward Steintain (talk) 18:44, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

  • Bok choy has flat leaves on stalks, napa cabbage forms heads somewhat reminiscent of Savoy cabbage, but more compact, and with crisp stalks. As for napa, it's from the Japanese name. Finally, the image at bietola is chard, which is botanically a type of beet, but which is grown for the leaves and leaf stalks. Without further research, I'm not sure whether bietola is really chard or the image on the page is incorrect. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:31, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Beta vulgaris L. (scientific names, common/English names, Vernacular names) in Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants: Volume 10, Modified Stems, Roots … von T. K. Lim [7], p. 26 and 27. Barba = Barbabietola = Bietola Bianca, …, Mangold, Beet, Beetroot, Chard, Arde (French), Salk (Iraq). --Edward Steintain (talk) 14:56, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Beta vulgaris var. ciclo L. is a synonym for Beta vulgaris L. - they say (p. 26). Google images of Beta vulgaris var. cicla L. --Edward Steintain (talk) 15:12, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I've found Commons-logo.svg Beta vulgaris cultivars on Wikimedia Commons.Wikimedia Commons helpful. The subcategories have vernacular names in many languages. DCDuring (talk) 16:33, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you very much. But - I am stunned. Inhibition by substrate excess. Certainly we shall sort this out. --Edward Steintain (talk) 14:00, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

give it up[edit]

Why do we not have the other meaning, the imperative? That was the first meaning that came to mind for me when I noticed our entry, and I was surprised to not see it in our entry.

The meaning that I am referring to is the imperative demanding that the person being spoken to cease doing something that they are doing. Tharthan (talk) 15:22, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

One reason might be that it is SoP. See give up def. 3 or, more remotely, give + up. DCDuring (talk) 15:57, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

prostate cancer[edit]

I think the entry for this term should be restored.

This term failed RfD. OTOH breast cancer passed RfD, the RfD discussion referring to the prostate cancer RfD. To me it seems clear that cancers are tagged by the organ in which they are first detected, but that they then spread to other organs, the organs differing by the type of cancer. Prostate cancer metastasizes to the bone, sometimes to the parotid glands and elsewhere. In addition prostate cancer may originate from the parotid glands (saliva glands). Thus it seems that the term is conventionalized and has a meaning beyond "a cancer of the prostate". Also prostate cancer at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that some other dictionaries have the term. DCDuring (talk) 15:44, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

I would support an undeletion per the lemming principle if it comes up in a vote, on the condition that the eventual definition will be more informative than the one in Collins' online version. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:34, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I'm on the fence about whether or not this is entry-worthy; isn't it just "a type of cancer that originates in the prostate", even if it later spreads and is not "a cancer of the prostate"? (I don't know.) I do think it's good to open a new discussion, given the inconsistency you note, and that the previous RFD was from seven years ago (and although I think a request for undeletion would typically be done at WT:RFD, I suppose here is fine). - -sche (discuss) 04:08, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
My literal mind thought that if that page was for both deletion and undeletion it should have been called RFD&U. But, yes, RfD makes more sense.
Apparently prostate cancer can originate elsewhere. Different cancers seem to have propensities to metastasize to different organs. Being informed about someone getting a diagnosis of a type of cancer should generate responses in discourse that differ by type, based on their speed of progression once diagnosed, treatability, eg, "Everyone man over 70 has that", "I'm glad they caught it", "I know a great wig store", "What stage?", "Where's the wake?". Why should someone have to labor through a WP article in hopes of finding out what to say?
According the OneLook the following are types of cancer commonly defined in dictionaries, with the number of OneLook references that include them (possibly as redirects):

DCDuring (talk) 13:24, 6 December 2018 (UTC)


I don't think this is glossed well. The translation is "brutal", but in брутальный мужчина the meaning is not negative, but positive. Not a "brutal man", but a manly man, a masculine man, even maybe macho??

Looking at the citations and synonyms at the Russian Vikislovar, the sense does not appear unequivocally positive. But at least one of the citations, by Pavel Kuznetsov (not the well-known painter but a philosopher and essayist) suggests a connotation of vitality. There is an extensive discussion of the word here (in Russian), which calls it “a bright sign of masculinity” (яркий признак маскулинности). Perhaps this is better indicated in a usage note than in the definition.  --Lambiam 22:40, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
The word is used in idiomatic Russian speech to refer to a manly man. It's odd that you look at the Russian Wiktionary without realising that dictionary definitions are only accurate if they correspond to real usage.
The citations given there are from actual usage.  --Lambiam 13:23, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
Lambiam, can you watch the X factor Ukraine Youtube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-sy3selrv0, and go to 8:11, and explain what брутальный means in the context? I think you will have to admit (kicking and screaming, maybe) that dictionaries describe usage. Damn it! I will force you to recognise that basic point!


Is ritard well enough established as a synonym for or English form of ritardando? Lots of New York Times examples. Or a rather nice use by John Cheever writing in The New Yorker in 1991: "In some of the emotional scenes she strikes with exceptional accuracy that balance between the ritard of observation and the flow of feeling."

Sometimes the word appears in print as an abbreviation of ritardando, but see the discussion by members of the Budapest String Quartet here and their biographer's use of the term here. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 04:03, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

I can find abundant use at Google Books of ritard as an abbreviation, both with and without a following period, and as an English word meaning "ritarando". So it would seem to merit an entry. DCDuring (talk) 13:33, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it's used. Ƿidsiþ 05:50, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Then I hope someone add it. I don’t do Wiktionary much myself. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 15:16, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Interlingua negro & negra[edit]

I have added negro and negra, but I don't know whether these terms are potentially offensive or not. Most results on Google Books and Scholar are from the 1950s and 1960s and Usenet isn't helpful either, so I don't know whether it is even knowable. Should it have a usage note warning users that the offensiveness isn't known and that its reception will possibly be influenced by a user's native language? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:47, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

semantic opposite of boom (antonym)[edit]

Please let me ask the question: What is the semantic opposite of boom or the antonym of boom town (in a post-industrial society)? --Edward Steintain (talk) 14:34, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

Possibly bust (a slangy term for bankruptcy or failure): "boom or bust" is a common collocation. Economically one can also talk about a slump. Equinox 15:21, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
What is the opposite of boom (sound)? DCDuring (talk) 16:15, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Maybe whimper? (To loosely follow T. S. Eliot, even if that was bang rather than boom.) — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 16:59, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
From the Wikipedia article entitled Decline of Detroit, section Urban decay: “Detroit has been described by some as a ghost town”, with links to a Wired article and an article in The Courier-Mail.  --Lambiam 18:58, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Thanks to all so far – if one reaches frontiers it's alwas nice to get to know someone who tried to step beyond. (Wiktionary exists in a post-industrial society – Life beyond new forntiers.) Please: More input! --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:29, 4 December 2018 (UTC)


minestra seems to exsist in a solid and liquid version.[8] Minestra: The first course of a meal after the antipasto either soup, pasta, rice, gnocchi or similar. Minestra asciutta: Dry minestra, i.e. Pasta, rice, etc. eaten with a fork and not a spoon. p. 351.[9] I ran into this surprize by „Filetto di maiale con tortino di minestra“[10]. Challenge: "1 barattolo minestra sgocciolata". --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:19, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

This page offers an explanation.  --Lambiam 07:17, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
What I understand the preparation of pasta asciutta and minestra asciutta (and the result of cooking) might be similar but they can't be used as synonyms.[11]. --Edward Steintain (talk) 17:50, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
It seems to me that the parenthesis in that entry is saying that pastaciutta is also called minestra asciutta (“accordingly also called, distinguishing it from other minestre, dry minestra”).  --Lambiam 11:46, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
The Google-search for "ricetta minestra asciutta" shows only four results so the term is not used so much an instruction for cooking. When you order/get „minestra asciutta" as one course of your meal, you get „pastasciutta“ - right? If one follows it.wp Minestra has different meanings in different places (A) in the family, in the restaurant and elsewhere) and is distinguished by wet or dry. Shall minestra asciutta be explained as a „Derived term“ at minestra. --Edward Steintain (talk) 10:02, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

This way ???

  • family:
    • an antipasto is followed by minestra asciutta (pastasciutta)
    • minestra (in brodo) = prima portata
  • restaurant: minestra = prima portata
  • usually: minestra = primo piatto in brodo, --Edward Steintain (talk) 10:02, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
I‘m not sure, but my inclination would be to
  1. not make distinctions in the definitions according to where the course is served;
  2. give two senses: the present one and that of minestra asciutta;
  3. state in the Usage notes that in the Italian culinary tradition of a multi-course dinner this is usually the first course (not counting antipasto, if any);
  4. possibly explain that just minestra without further specification will most commonly refer to the first sense (in brodo);
  5. give appropriate synonyms, primo piatto in general and more specific ones for the separate senses, such as pastasciutta for sense #2.
Disclaimer: I am only vaguely familiar with Italian culinary traditions – just enough not to eat salad next to the main course, or to sprinkle parmigiano over my trota al burro e salvia.  --Lambiam 12:20, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

Thanks Lambiam for your contritubution on our path to minestra asciutta. I feel like our ancestors in the Iron Age trying to copy a production once invented. I shall be off pretty soon for the next weeks with a chance to get into details. minestra asciutta will be still on my mind in 2019 – like “Yellow Vests, Gelbe Westen and gilet giallo“. --20:28, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

Lambiam 12:20, 8 December 2018 (UTC). Sorry, I wish I could do it, --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:37, 10 December 2018 (UTC)


gilet giallo "Ora spazio al dialogo", dice il premier francese Philippe, serve "ricucire l'unità nazionale, con dialogo e lavoro" (Rai 8.12.2018). How things are named and how people talk. Wiktionary is global. Honestly: bietola makes me feel universally - eternally to the end of the univers. I am not kidding - just post-industrial. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:42, 8 December 2018 (UTC)


deglassare. Deglassate con il vino. What's going on here? --Edward Steintain (talk)

Deglazing, I assume. DTLHS (talk) 22:48, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Added. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:19, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
For a discussion of the term, see here. I find it plausible that also English deglaze in the culinary sense #3 is a loan from French déglacer – even though we do not list the culinary sense at the latter entry (but see the French Wiktionnaire).  --Lambiam 07:10, 6 December 2018 (UTC)


This very ancient page appears to be a discussion about another very ancient page that no longer exists. It isn't relevant to the actual word Polish. Should we just delete it? Alternatively, a better location might be Wiktionary talk:About Polish, but it hardly seems to mean much in that context either. Equinox 15:02, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Since the page it’s about was ultimately moved to Wikibooks:Polish, I suppose it would make the most sense to copy this over to Wikibooks and then delete it here (if it’s worth the trouble). — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 02:38, 7 December 2018 (UTC)

Found a messed up definition[edit]

Hello, I came across this and there's clearly something off, but I don't know what's going on or how to fix it. From comic strip: A series of illustrations, in sequence, often but not necessarily depicting something funny or political in nature, comics of short duration with the charts disposed and organized in form of a strip, how the proper name already implies and that contain strong critics for the social values. 607 wikipedia (talk) 16:26, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Thanks, that is indeed royally messed up, thanks to this contribution. Funny that no one noticed this all this time – or could not be bothered to at least report it. I have undone the bad edit.  --Lambiam 16:47, 6 December 2018 (UTC)


Could someone who knows Arabic check the translation, which is being changed from "patron of Abel" to "camel herder"? DTLHS (talk) 03:26, 7 December 2018 (UTC)

The original translation was by @Stephen G. Brown, but it makes absolutely no sense. The version with "camel herder" seems correct. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:30, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
I have no memory of this or what I was thinking of. It's إبلراع(rāʿ), or camel herder. —Stephen (Talk) 04:59, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
It’s إبلراعي‎, since the first word is in the construct state. إبلراع(rāʿ) is a soloecism. Fay Freak (talk) 17:15, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
Google translates it (in context) as “I am the patron of Abel.” In isolation, the sentence is translated as “I’m the shepherd of Apple”. Maybe Google knows something we don’t know, such as that Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Turki’s camel is actually a sheep named “Abel” or “Apple”. Seriously, should راع(rāʿ) also have a sense “herder”?  --Lambiam 13:20, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
The linked article has presents an embedded video with the words. He says أَنَا رَاعِي إِبِل (ʾanā rāʿī ʾibil). And yes, رَاعٍ(rāʿin) is basically the equivalent of Germanic *hirdijaz. Apparently in English they say shepherd oftener than equivalents, especially than the simplex “herd”, including there being said biblically “The Lord is my shepherd”, while in German it is only “Der Herr ist mein Hirte”. آبل‎ is in some corpora the transcription of English Abel and Apple. Of course after رَاعٍ(rāʿin) simple-Alif ابل‎ can only mean “camels”. In biblical usage one would translate “shepherd” to stay idiomatic, but it does not mean “shepherd”. Idiomatic glosses are misleading. Fay Freak (talk) 17:15, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

fall off the wagon[edit]

Is the past participle of this truly the same as the simple past form of this, as the entry states, or was this caused by some oversight or error? I would make the change myself, but I thought "Hey, y'know, it is possible I guess that this could be true. I mean no one says that a baseball player has 'stricken out', so... perhaps this is a similar situation."

With that said, "he had fell off of the wagon" sounds utterly ridiculous to my ears. But, again, I could be wrong. Tharthan (talk) 06:10, 7 December 2018 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Fixed. People sometimes forget about the second past form in the template (especially with come phrases). Equinox 07:40, 7 December 2018 (UTC)


Our first sense at bead is defined as "prayer", but the citation says "tell his beads" ("tell" here in the older sense of "count", i.e. literally count the beads of the rosary). Does "bead" actually mean "prayer"? Chambers 1908 includes the phrase "say/tell/count one's beads", meaning "to offer a prayer". Equinox 16:27, 7 December 2018 (UTC)

In the plural in a metonymical sense, perhaps, but I don't think it merits a separate definition (perhaps just a mention as part of a definition for beads in the sense of "rosary.")
Etymologically, the metonymy went the other way: the first sense was the original one, and beads were just a way of counting the prayers. The question is whether this sense survived into modern English. It looks to me like "tell one's beads" is a fossilized set phrase still in use after the original senses of tell and bead were forgotten. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:27, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
Oh, interesting. I missed that information in the etymology. Maybe the current definition is good as is, then. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:48, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it originally meant prayer – cognate with German Bitte (request). (That's why historical ordering is important.) I would agree it's now obsolete. Ƿidsiþ 14:17, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

appareil quiche[edit]

My French-speaking friend says that this is a set phrase, but I don't know how to define it. Any takers? —Rua (mew) 14:18, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

Never heard of it, only one hit on GB. Per utramque cavernam 14:20, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
In French culinary jargon, an appareil is a preparation that is a ready-to-use mixture of the basic ingredients for making a dish. Given that sense, I think that appareil quiche (or appareil à quiche) is SoP. You can also have appareil (à) tarte, or appareil (à) crème brûlée, and so on. Here is one recipe for appareil à quiche – or rather, instructions, as this is in preparation for the actual cooking.  --Lambiam 19:50, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam In that case, appareil seems to be missing senses. —Rua (mew) 13:28, 11 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes, we list a mere three senses, while le Wiktionnaire has eleven, of which ten with usexes. Le Trésor seems to have even more senses. I find it hard to ascertain if all are truly distinct or merely the application of the same sense in another domain.  --Lambiam 19:55, 11 December 2018 (UTC)


According to Cambridge Grammar of English Language, page 1688, unuseful is not a grammatical term; since it's a descriptive grammar, I wonder what the issue is here. --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:14, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

Well, it's not standard English, AFAIK. Per utramque cavernam 16:16, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
Don't know, but could be something about markedness...? What does the book actually say about it? Equinox 16:21, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
Just that useless is preferred to unuseful, as careless is preferred to uncareful. It is in the chapter "Lexical word-formation". DCDuring (talk) 17:52, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
My conjecture is that words of the form unXful will be found for cases where Xless exists but Xful and Xless are not your standard pair of antonyms. For example, helpless exists but is not an antonym of helpful, so there we have unhelpful assuming the role of antonym. I do not think this is the full story, since it only predicts the presence of an unXful antonym but says nothing about its absence. For example, we have skillfulskillless as a nice pair of antonyms, and yet we also have unskillful as a synonym of skillless. Similarly, we have ungainful next to gainless, and unmistrustful next to mistrustless.  --Lambiam 20:21, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
Skilless (as it is spelt in the Oxford English Dictionary, without three l's) and unskilful are not synonyms. Apart from skilless being a rare word, it means "devoid of skills, completely lacking in skills", whereas unskilful (as it is spelt in the OED, with no medial double l) means "clumsy, not showing expert command of a skill", but not necessarily entirely skilless. The OED glosses skilless as unskilful, but these are not entirely the same in meaning. A skilless person is much worse off than an unskilful person, who has poorly honed skills. As for unuseful, I've never come across it in real life (or don't recall doing so), but the OED does list it, stating it was common in the 17thC, and in the 18thC and 19thC it was found only in negative constructions ("this is not entirely unuseful").


Has this word ever been used for the sense "zombie" before The Walking Dead (comic book) was first published in 2003? Also, are there any quotation examples of the "zombie" sense being used outside The Walking Dead (franchise)? KevinUp (talk) 17:11, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

Don't know, but walking dead can be found in a poem published in 1843. DCDuring (talk) 18:02, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
See w:Walkers (novel), by Gary Brandner, published 1980. DCDuring (talk) 18:11, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Thanks! I've added quotations from the novel in this edit but I'm not sure why the characters "&#32" have appeared next to the title. KevinUp (talk) 04:53, 9 December 2018 (UTC)
It was a missing semicolon in Template:quote-meta/source. I fixed the obvious problem, but User:Sgconlaw should probably check whether that was the correct fix. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:08, 9 December 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, you almost got it. The colon should have been a semicolon. I deleted the redundant colon. — SGconlaw (talk) 09:26, 9 December 2018 (UTC)

Translation sections requiring review[edit]

On my page there are words whose translation sections might need review. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 17:22, 8 December 2018 (UTC)


Its entry seems to convey Brit is pejorative only when used as a common noun; is it so? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:51, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

The "proper noun" senses are not pejorative. The sense "A British person" is not normally pejorative (the label says "formerly offensive"). It could be pejorative if e.g. said with a sneer in a negative statement, but then so could almost anything. The inclusion of the proper noun senses seem a bit questionable to me. In the case of special need, such as frequent repetition or lack of space or time to write the word in full, very many words can be truncated. This is a regular feature of English. I see the abbreviation of "Britain" to "Brit" (or "Brit.") as somewhat ad hoc, more like the abbreviation of "America" to "Amer" than a properly recognised form. Opinions may vary. Mihia (talk)
Er, well the abbreviation Brit is thought to have been invented by the IRA in their newspaper APRN.
British people use Brit anyway. Coined in the early 20th century. DonnanZ (talk) 00:28, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

double dutch[edit]

I ran into this sentence: “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is now in double-dutch because prosecutors say he lied when he promised to stop lying.” Here, “to be in double dutch” apparently means something like to be in trouble. It is a sense I was not familiar with; it is not given under double Dutch in Wiktionary or any dictionary I looked at. I found no plausible matches with GBS, but one in a news search: “Marquez-Peterson is in double dutch with Pima County’s red suburban precincts and Democrats would be stupid not to run on Donald J. Trump’s antics.” Is anyone familiar with this idiom? Is it derived from the difficulty of double Dutch rope skipping?  --Lambiam 08:00, 9 December 2018 (UTC)

double + in Dutch. Some writers tend to be drawn to alliterative phrases like moths to a flame, and the subliminal connection to children's games was probably too good to pass up. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:27, 9 December 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. The columnist could have used “double-trouble”. Apparently the allure of alliteration trumped the chime of rhyme.  --Lambiam 20:21, 9 December 2018 (UTC)
If this were attested often enough to meet CFI, I would think it was idiomatic enough to have an entry. (We do have soem other combined phrases, like "does the Pope shit in the woods", and the meaning is clearly unguessable for at least some people, unlike e.g. "in very deep shit" which people could probably figure out was a variant of "in deep shit".) - -sche (discuss) 04:08, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

graphic artist vs. graphic designer[edit]

It seems that these two are not synonyms based on this article. Wikipedia also links these two together, see Graphic designer and Graphic artist. Panda10 (talk) 19:55, 9 December 2018 (UTC)

Graphic design combines a number of skills. While there may be a division of labour as indicated in the article, in practice the tasks of producing the graphic artwork and of incorporating it in an encompassing design will often be handled by the same person. In, for example, this extensive profile for a graphic designer, the tasks assigned by the Chron piece to graphic artists are included in those of the graphic designer; in fact, the profile states explicitly that graphic designers are also referred to as graphic artists. Also in this job profile for a graphic designer, no distinction is made; the text even states that job satisfaction comes from “creating high-quality artwork” – which is supposedly the task of a graphic artist. So the distinction may be not so clear-cut as the article would have us believe. It reminds me of the division of labour in software system design and implementation, with a separation of tasks between software engineers and computer programmers. In practice this does not work well; you want to have people who can handle both aspects.  --Lambiam 21:24, 9 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. This was very helpful. Panda10 (talk) 23:47, 9 December 2018 (UTC)


Do we currently have the sense as in "East-meets-West"? I can't seem to find it. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:53, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

Isn't that sense 3.1 ? Leasnam (talk) 06:13, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
It can also be sense 2.1 (“East Meets West is a conference and festival of ideas that introduces modern people to eastern and western wisdom, wellness and world culture”), or any of various other senses, depending on how this is used. Can we see an example of use in the sense that seems hard to find?  --Lambiam 11:32, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
I think the labels (of individuals, of groups) applied to the groups of definitions suggest more specificity of usage than is warranted by actual usage. Perhaps the entry is an opportunity to demonstrate one's skills. DCDuring (talk) 14:55, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

protean / Protean[edit]

Should these remain separate? The only real difference is capitalization, though as the page suggests the capitalized variant “Protean” might be used more frequently in phrases directly pertaining to Proteus due to its clearer semblance to the proper noun. No traditional dictionary would have distinct entries on the two so I can't think of how such a distinction would even be sourced. I believe the Wiktionary consensus is to leave distinct capitalizations on separate pages, though WT:Capitalization and the style guide are of no help. In any case I'm unsure whether the definition of “Protean” should be changed to something like Alternative letter-case form of protean (but, if so, I am still unsure whether the capitalized form should be considered the "alternative" one).  — J​as​p​e​t 06:08, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

In the sense of variable, as in the protean nature of..., the word is always in sentence case when used in running text. So the suggested change would seem to be erroneous. It is not true that the only real difference is capitalization. The entry for protean has two senses, whereas Protean has only one. I think the entries are fine as they are.  --Lambiam 11:21, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
We could, though, handle case #2 of protean in the same way as case #2 of platonic, which would give us:
  1. Exceedingly variable; readily assuming different shapes or forms.
  2. Alternative letter-case form of Protean (of or relating to Proteus).
 --Lambiam 11:51, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

Etymology of Old High German nihein[edit]

I added a potential etymology of Old High German nihein, but I'm not sure whether it's ok the way I did it. I'm pretty sure the etymology itself should be right, but of course it's conjecture. Could anyone look over it and give me some feedback, please? --RayZa (talk) 14:41, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

Do both nih and ein exist as separate terms in Old High German? —Rua (mew) 13:23, 11 December 2018 (UTC)
I don't think so. Only ein seems to be attested on its own. --RayZa (talk) 02:17, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
Then I wonder what the proper chronology is. If the combination already existed in Proto-Germanic, then we'd have to reconstruct *nehwainaz. But it's also possible, even likely, that *nehw persisted in the early history of West Germanic and Old High German, before any written records exist. The combination could have been formed in that period. What to call the language of that period is a difficult matter. —Rua (mew) 12:42, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
I guess we can't say for sure when this formation happened. Assuming nihein was indeed attested and since Old Dutch nehein / nechein (among other variants) was apparently also a thing (see http://gtb.inl.nl/iWDB/search?actie=article&wdb=ONW&id=ID3033&lemma=neh%C4%93n&domein=0) I would think such a formation was already in place before Old Dutch and Old High German can be considered split. It can be found in Old Saxon as nigên (apart from nên and nênig) as well apparently (see http://www.koeblergerhard.de/as/as.html). So I would guess something akin to *nehwainaz would have indeed been a thing in late West Germanic at least. --RayZa (talk) 14:47, 13 December 2018 (UTC)


...meaning something like "consistent with a person or company's recognized style". See e.g. google books:"very on-brand". Is this entry-worthy? It could be compared to "on-topic" and "on point", but I'm struggling to think of other examples ("on subject"?). Alternatively, which sense of "on" is used in these phrases? - -sche (discuss) 14:47, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

on-message is another. Equinox 15:19, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
(after e/c) It doesn't seem to me to rise to being an idiom rather than a common collocation. Another example is the common collocation on/off-message. I think our entry for on-message is instructive. On(-)message seems idiomatic only insofar as the message is the party line (not the dated telephone sense!). I suppose the idea that the message has some normative value not explicit in a definition of message might make it idiomatic. but it could be what one intended to say when planning the communication, or what one's handlers or boss or god wished/ordered etc one to say. It certainly isn't limited to politics, just as brand isn't limited to company, but could refer to any cohesive group or ideology as well as a person or persona. DCDuring (talk) 15:30, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
I don't think the "on" in "on topic" is quite the same as the one in "on-brand": you might say "she spoke on a particular topic" but not "the spokeperson's words were on such-and-such a brand". Equinox 15:34, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
Part of my response above was 'on a/the topic', but it could be said to be 'off topic'. DCDuring (talk) 15:52, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
Well, if you want another example, you could think of the (very annoying) phrase "on trend", meaning "fashionable". Most clothing stores in the UK have websites that plaster this word all over as if they employ the same low-IQ individual with poor English who thinks screaming out "our clothes are on-trend" will make people buy them.

I can't comment on the sense of "on", but I think we're missing a sense of "brand" that ties into "on-brand" (and indeed probably comes from it): one's publicly projected image and typical behavior. See tweets with "my whole brand", as in "I think my whole brand is doing things without thinking and then hating myself after🤷‍♀️". Definitely distinct from "his brand of humor" in sense 9. Ultimateria (talk) 21:38, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

Good point. The missing definition would be something like "public image, reputation" (with public construed to include "company-/facility-/department-/industry-wide"). Such a definition is not to be found in most dictionaries, but Oxford has something like it. "A particular set of characteristics associated with an individual, group, or organization, usually considered as an asset" might cover it. DCDuring (talk) 23:47, 11 December 2018 (UTC)


The Latin entry seems to imply that this is a real animal, not a fictional one. Is that right? (The tragelaph may or may not be related!) Equinox 15:19, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

Some species of genus Tragelaphus can currently be found as far north as southern Sudan and Ethiopia. Reports or rumors of such animals could easily have reached Greece and Rome. Remember too that the black swan was once thought fictional and was even used as an example of named things that did not exist. DCDuring (talk) 15:43, 10 December 2018 (UTC)


In the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 1699, the version is rhymster. Is it just a variant spelling? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:28, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

The rhymester spelling is in 24 OneLook references; rhymster in 4. I didn't confirm the entries, but three of the four I wouldn't take seriously and the fourth (Webster 1828) didn't actually have an entry. DCDuring (talk) 16:01, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
I think it is just a variant spelling, like judgementjudgment.  --Lambiam 18:47, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

student doctor[edit]

Is the narrow sense 2 accurate? In what contexts? I see plenty of uses where it seems to refer to just any student of medicine training to be a doctor. - -sche (discuss) 19:13, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

Sense 2 is not a "narrow sense" or even a separate definition really. Doctors are trained via studentships. You don't sit in a classroom for six years with no contact with patients before being launched into a real hospital. After the first couple of years of theoretical study you're more and more integrated into the real life of a hospital as a student doctor.
Ok, I've RFVed it (with some more extensive comments there). - -sche (discuss) 07:46, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

The pronunciation of inflected forms of German adjectives in -ig[edit]

I just looked at the entry for gläubiger and was surprised to find the pronunciation listed as /ˈɡlɔybɪçɐ/. I had the impression before that while (in some varieties of German) -ig is pronounced /ɪç/, it is so only word-finally and is still pronounced (universally) /ɪɡ/ before inflectional endings such as -er, -en, etc. German Wiktionary seems to support this (see de:gläubiger), but since the /ɪç/-pronunciation was added by a native German speaker (@Sae1962) I thought it best to investigate further. Is this a legitimate pronunciation, and if so, who uses it? Is it a regional/dialectal thing or perhaps a register-specific pronunciation? Comments by native speakers or people familiar with different German varieties would be very much appreciated. (@Florian Blaschke, Matthias Buchmeier, AndreasWittenstein, BlaueBlüte, Palaestrator verborum, Rua) – Krun (talk) 12:51, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

Although there is no such thing as an official standard pronunciation for German I can confirm that the above pronunciation (ɡlɔybɪçɐ) is at least very rare/regional (maybe from the Mainz/Frankfurt/Schwaben region although more pronounced like /ɡlɔybɪʃɐ/ there).Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 14:04, 11 December 2018 (UTC)
It's also usual in East Central German (where predigen and Brötchen can be homophonous). But definitely not in Standard German, see here. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:24, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
I don’t think I’ve ever noticed significant prevalence of the /…ɪçɐ/ pronunciation, based on experience in the mittelbairisch-speaking area. ―BlaueBlüte (talk) 22:06, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
@BlaueBlüte: The pronunciation /-ɪçɐ/ appears to be unheard of in regions where the pronunciation /-ɪç/ isn't current or common, either. The whole south of the German language domain, where the traditional dialects are Upper German, is the domain of /-ɪk/ and /-ɪgɐ/. I can't remember encountering /-ɪçɐ/ "in the wild" (I may have heard /ˈɡlɔybɪçɐ/ in speakers with a strong East Franconian accent, for example, but whether their speech should be classified as Standard German is a bit doubtful – probably not in the Siebs sense; it's rather borderline). Krun is right to be sceptical. I believe /-ɪçɐ/ is largely limited to the realm of traditional dialect, even in the centre and north of Germany, and not usual in the standard language. According to the FAQ I linked to, Siebs (who is more tolerant of regional variation than his reputation might make you to believe; his main concern is unamplified stage speech – of which I just heard Austrian/Viennese-tinged examples in a theatrical performance, though –, and he acknowledges that his rules do not necessarily apply in more relaxed, casual speech, even on the radio) specifies that /-ɪç-/ is not pronounced before vowel in the standard language. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:29, 13 December 2018 (UTC)


In the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 1715, scarify appears meaning "to make scared". --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:58, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

That is a second, rarer meaning with a totally different etymology. It is, for example, found in the collocation “the scarifying truth”. Used this way it is synonymous with “the scary truth”.  --Lambiam 22:21, 11 December 2018 (UTC)


The informal noun and verb definitions relating to the ejection of saliva are listed along with the definitions relating to jesting and enticing looks. However, the Wikipedia entry for gleeking suggests that gleek might be a variant of gleet, and the etymology we give for that word is much more plausible. Do we therefore require a third etymology at gleek? — 12:33, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

milliard "a thousand times a million"[edit]

The entry for milliard describes it as "a thousand times a million"; is it similar to the commoner "a thousand million"? --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:07, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

The person means that this is a word for "billion", but as billion has more than one meaning (long count/short count), the definition given clarifies that this is a short-count billion. A thousand million would also be right.


rapini: The synonym noun of cime di rapa is missing, I think. --Edward Steintain (talk) 17:40, 11 December 2018 (UTC)


Are there any sound recordings available, to illustrate what this word actually refers to? I think it would be helpful. —Rua (mew) 18:56, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

dook-dook-dook-dook. I am sure a pet owner on Wikipedia could oblige if you want a recording for the entry. Equinox 19:03, 11 December 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I meant specifically on Commons or something, I should have specified. —Rua (mew) 21:46, 11 December 2018 (UTC)
The sound is visually represented here :).  --Lambiam 12:28, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
Please, the correct sound for chugging from a bottle is gluck, possibly preceded by cloop. Equinox 12:30, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

don't be a fool, wrap your tool[edit]

This seems more like an ad campaign slogan than a dictionary phrase or proverb. Apparently it has been used in schools. Keepworthy? Equinox 19:11, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

holy man[edit]

/* Noun */ A Person using all 3 Paths, to seek God(Holy Spirit); the Religions, the Philosophies, and the Sciences. - Defining holy man

I would greatly appreciate feedback on changing the current definition of "holy man" First Tea room. Learning as I go. —This unsigned comment was added by Drrnbrllrd (talkcontribs) at 06:17, December 12, 2018‎ (UTC).

See Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/English#holy man. Where did you get this highly idiosyncratic definition from? As you can see from the comments at RfD, the use is much broader than that.  --Lambiam 12:21, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
Also, using all caps for certain words and capitalization for most of the rest makes your definition look unprofessional. It should be written in lowercase, unless you are using a proper noun. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:42, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your help. I received the new definition from God(Holy Spirit). The definition is designed to appear almost singular in purpose, yet, like you stated has almost a Buddhist(Philosophical) principle to encompass all readers. It is designed to be broad in definition so that, hopefully, every person that reads it can identify with it. The 3 paths are intimately connected, despite some efforts(SoP) to separate them. I considered holy man to be gender neutral. I considered adding Holy Spirit in parenthesis after the word God, to make it more inclusive, as well. Much Gratitude for the discussion and research done by All. Drrnbrllrd (talk) 04:15, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
Note that we don't define things based on what people will identify with or what encompasses all readers. We define terms based on how they are used. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:43, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
Well, this is how God uses it, according to OP here! ;p I suppose the question is, do the three persons of the Trinity count as "independent" for the purposes of CFI? 😂 - -sche (discuss) 05:02, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
LOL, I didn't even pick up on that when I first skimmed his post! That's hilarious...God is now providing us with new definitions with Wiktionary. We should ask him to make an account and add the content himself. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:10, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
Only after using the term in permanently recorded media (stone tablets, anyone?), conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year. No one, not even the persons comprising God, should be above Wiktionary policy.  --Lambiam 11:06, 13 December 2018 (UTC)

for it[edit]

Sense 1:

  1. quickly, with haste
    make a break for it
    run for it

I am not convinced that "for it" in these examples means "quickly, with haste", but unfortunately I have been unable to come up with an alternative definition. Perhaps someone else can? Mihia (talk) 18:08, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, "it" either replaces something like "your life" or refers to the goal being sought (i.e., freedom, safety, etc.). It has no direct connection to haste as far as I can tell, and that analysis seems bizarre to me. "It" seems to have evolved into a dummy subject though, so while what I suggested may be true, writing it into a definition might be trickier. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:41, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that's a good idea. Perhaps the definition could be something along the lines of:
Replacing a phrase such as "for one's life", "for safety", "for freedom", etc., often implying that an action is done with haste or urgency.
Mihia (talk) 19:01, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
That seems a lot like Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see for,‎ it.. DCDuring (talk) 21:52, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
Well, to be fair, that definition did not exist when I made the suggestion. But anyway, do you have any other ideas? Mihia (talk) 22:02, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
To be fair, the possibility that a multi-word term has some, even only, SoP senses should always be on one's mind in assessing such entries. DCDuring (talk) 16:25, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
I think that the sense “quickly, with haste” is the result of an incorrect analysis. In the usexes, this sense comes purely from the verbs: make a break (break sense #10), run. You can encourage someone to go for it, which does not have a connotation of haste. Someone can be all in for it, or even mad for it, where it can also be slow food. And when we tell our audience to wait for it, we don’t mean they should wait quickly. We already have entries for the idioms make a break for it, make a run for it and run for it. We don’t need an imaginary sense for an isolated for it. It should be deleted.  --Lambiam 10:58, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
As people have already pointed out, "for it" does not have any connotation of "haste". It suggests trying to reach some goal. Make a run for it = take your chance to escape (the goal being to achieve a successful escape and arrive on the other side). —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 07:15, 2018 December 14‎.
I think that in in for it the it is definitely not a goal – at least not of the person who has it coming. And whose goal is it when we’re told to wait for it? Also, it is easy to imagine that not stand for it could reach the status of idiom; again, there is no sense of goal here. Just like the sense of haste in the two usexes derives from the semantics provided by the verbs, so does the sense of goal in some of the collocations using for it with unspecified but possibly implied it; that sense is not inherent in the prepositional phrase itself.  --Lambiam 11:35, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
Lambiam, you are not a native speaker of English. I am. Your English is quite confused and difficult to understand, like a collection of words that have no coherent sense. So your views are the views of someone peering into the English language from the outside. In "wait for it", you might have taken the trouble to reflect that "wait for" is an idiom ("what are you waiting for?"), whereas if you said "what are you running for?", it would simply mean "why are you running?", in the normal sense of "what... for?" "Run for" is not an idiom in the same way as "wait for" is. If you divide up the words by their sense groups, we have: wait for | it, but run | for it. In for | it. In for | a good hiding (you probably don't know what this means, and will start telling me it doesn't mean a spanking, but that is indeed what is means). By the way, I have no idea what you mean by "usexes". —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 07:20, 2018 December 14‎.
I hadn't noticed any problem with Lambiam's English- your gratuitous criticism of it definitely doesn't help your argument. "Usex" is Wiktionary shorthand for "usage example". Chuck Entz (talk) 19:18, 14 December 2018 (UTC)


What part of speech is the word "spring" in the phrase "spring tide"? Mihia (talk) 18:53, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

A noun that modifies another noun, forming a compound. —Rua (mew) 22:26, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
Some grammarians call a noun used as a modifier a noun adjunct. In other compounds with tide (high tide, low tide, neap tide) the modifier is an adjective, so it is natural to wonder if perhaps spring is an adjective here as well. But no other potential adjectival uses are known; hence the interpretation as a noun. Actually, one may wonder (and I do) if neap in neap tide is not a noun adjunct as well.  --Lambiam 09:32, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
I always thought it came from the season of spring (in which case it would be a noun), but apparently it doesn't. Equinox 11:34, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
And perhaps spring in spring chicken comes from the fact that they rebound when you step on them, like a spring mattress. Actually, I find the idea plausible that English springtide is borrowed from Dutch springtij, which has the same meaning. In Dutch it is not uncommon to form compound nouns in which the first part is a verb stem (bemoeizucht, vliegveld, voegwoord, to mention a few random examples).  --Lambiam 15:34, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
It seems spring tide reflects the Dutch influence someone has adduced here. But spring chicken is not from any notion that chickens bounce back if you step on them. I'm pretty sure if you step on a chicken, it dies. The etymology here is from spring as a season. I'm not au fait with farming, but maybe many new chicks are born in February, March and April?

commerbund - as in scubagear; distinct from cummerbund?[edit]

Helloo again, fine wiktionary-ites~

What's your take on the subject based on info found at wikipedia:Cummerbund#Cummerbunds_in_scuba_diving? Sourceable? Includable? My Google suggests to use the double-u spelling, but doesn't call out scuba divining specifically.

Thanks for your diligence! Cheers~~ Elfabet (talk) 21:01, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

I don't like it. Searching for "commerbund" on Google Books gives only 71 results, none related specifically to scuba diving. There are only 3 patents [12] that use that spelling, but many more that use the standard spelling. It just looks like a rare misspelling and there's no evidence it's specifically used by scuba divers. DTLHS (talk) 22:12, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
It was the result of vandalism. The same IP also introduced another typo, which was immediately undone, but the other edit remained. I now have corrected the article.  --Lambiam 09:13, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
Thanks kindly! Shame on me for not doing my due-diligence before coming here too. Much appreciated, @Lambiam. Elfabet (talk) 19:59, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
My pleasure.  --Lambiam 21:34, 13 December 2018 (UTC)

Antonym of inline#Adjective?[edit]

Is there an antonym of inline? or am I stuck with non-inline? —Suzukaze-c 07:48, 13 December 2018 (UTC)

  • In what sense? Ƿidsiþ 07:50, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
  • For the sense of a mathematical formula, an antonym is displayed, like seen here.  --Lambiam 09:03, 13 December 2018 (UTC)


Where is the vocative? Y'know, "Hey there, slick. What's going on?"

Trying to find references to this meaning on the Web has given me the impression that (generally) the term of address "slick" is meant to be at least somewhat derogatory or mocking, but I personally don't recall it being derogatory. With that said, in looking it up, I have only found three instances (not from reliable sources) that give a definition supporting the meaning and usage that I remember (although even one of those defines it more as a nickname-esque thing, rather than as a general term of address). From what I remember, it was fairly popular in the 2000s. I don't know if it is still regularly used. I haven't heard it in many years.

Just in case you are interested, the three instances giving a definition that matches the one that I remember were from 2005, 2007 and 2011. I suppose that that supports what I said about it being popular during the 2000s (the 2011 instance could be interpreted as a holdover from the 2000s).

I have to wonder if the meaning that I am thinking of arose out of an earlier pejorative meaning, which was then misunderstood, perhaps influenced by the adjectival meanings given here on Wiktionary at definitions 2, 4, and 5, kind of like what happened in the evolution of the word guy...

EDIT: Well, apparently we do have this meaning, but it is at Slick, rather than at slick. Good to know that I wasn't imagining that that meaning exists. I must say that it's a little surprising that Wiktionary has it, considering the dearth of attestations of that definition (at least on the Web) given in definitional form.

Is there a reason why we don't have slick at least listed as an alternative form of Slick? Or is there not enough evidence that it is an alternative form? Tharthan (talk) 19:35, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

How do we treat Fatty (see Fatty Arbuckle) and fatty#Noun? I think there are a good number of adjectives that function this way and more that could, eg red/Red, stoney/Stoney, rocky/Rocky, woody/Woody, skinny/Skinny, happy/Happy, chubby/Chubby. There are even more ordinary nouns that are used as nicknames, eg Fats, Monster, Muscles, Legs, Knuckles, Knot. Why do we need to note such usage when it is so ordinary? DCDuring (talk) 16:41, 15 December 2018 (UTC)
You make a good point. The only reason that I can still think of, is that, due to the fact that some of the common meanings given to the noun at slick seem to conflict with (or at the very least incorrectly colour in people's minds) the meaning of Slick. So if some people are using slick in the same way that Slick has been used, it might be helpful to make a note on slick stating that "slick" can also be an alternative form of Slick. Otherwise, it would be (and to some extent already is) very bewildering in communication. Some would take slick to mean "a negative term for one who is sly and untrustworthy", whereas others would take it to mean "a neutral or even positive term for a man--perhaps even a stranger--with the implication that the one that is being addressed is sophisticated". Tharthan (talk) 18:32, 15 December 2018 (UTC)


The character does not occur in the category Chinese numeral symbols and is absent from the table by stroke number at Category:Chinese numerals. Is that an oversight, or is there something more to this?  --Lambiam 08:55, 15 December 2018 (UTC)


what's the reason (apart from not being a Pinyin syllable) for piā (e.g. in )) not to be included as a searchable Mandarin romanization? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:22, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

Latin expert needed[edit]

This edit was made by a la-2 user so i dare to claim it's incorrect. As far as i know and was able to verify, the grammar and meaning of puerī indī are both incorrect: indi is a noun and should be the adjective indicus, and the correct adjective would apparently be pakistanicus. This can't be an accidental mistake, so perhaps the editor is trying to break a lance for a certain political view or thinks we should not use Modern Latin terms to talk about modern things (and prefers using confusing ancient geographical terms to talk about modern geographical entities)? --Espoo (talk) 00:36, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

I have fixed the caption. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:08, 16 December 2018 (UTC)
"the grammar and meaning of puerī indī are both incorrect" -- no, it isn't. While indus is indeed a noun, it's both a substantive and a adjective, and in "puerī indī" it's obviously the adjective. puerī indicī could've been better though. -20:28, 16 December 2018 (UTC)


This is defined as a clipping, in English and French, of several redlinked terms. What's the best course of action? My inclination is either revise the entry to instead have an actual definition like Anti-Antifa does, or delete it as SOP, but I could also see linking the terms as [[anti-]][[antifa]] etc. (I don't think we would want to create [[anti-antifascism]], etc. That seems quite SOP.) - -sche (discuss) 04:36, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

It seems obvious to me that it's opposition specifically to antifa, not to anti-fascism in general- so we can get rid of all those redlinked terms, and forget about clipping. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:10, 16 December 2018 (UTC)
We ought to have an entry for English anti-Antifa = anti- +‎ Antifa, and then we can define English anti-antifa as an Alternative letter-case form of anti-Antifa. For French we can simply use anti- +‎ antifa.  --Lambiam 07:18, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

Russian romanization[edit]

I have been looking at a Wikipedia article w:LK (spacecraft), and notice completely erratic rendering of Russian words (adjectives in particular). I understand the basic convention to be ы=y, й=j, and the Wikt entry лунный indeed shows it as "lunnyj". But the WP article renders Лунный корабль as "Lunniy korabl". I wonder if this is in any sense a "standard" rendering, perhaps on the basis that "yj" just looks too funny? (Wikt is not very consistent either, rendering the feminine лунная as "lunnaja" with a j not a y.) The remainder of WP article is all over the place, also offering "lunnyi". I would like to make this consistent, but cannot find any sort of authoritative statement of a standard system -- or is there one? (Learning Cyrillic seems so easy by comparison...) Imaginatorium (talk) 07:41, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia’s rules for the romanization of Russian (given there at Wikipedia:Romanization of Russian) are very different from the method we use here (see Wiktionary:Russian transliteration). Our friends at Wikipedia use y for both й and ы, as well as for the endings -ый and -ий, and for the /j/ sound in е (at the beginning of words or after vowels), ю and я (and several other uses – the rules are not simple). We use y exclusively for ы, and j for all /j/ sounds. For Wikipedia, with its many editors and if possible even more rules, consistency is indeed not its strongest point. According to their rules, Лунный should have been romanized to “Lunny”. At least it did not become “Loony”. I don’t get why you think Wiktionary's romanization of лунная as “lunnaja” is not consistent, unless you mean: not consistent with Wikipedia.  --Lambiam 10:37, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

Fell (English) etymology 2[edit]

I have never heard the word fell used in the sense of etymology 2, "an animal skin, hide, pelt" or "human skin". The newer of the two citations is to Shakespeare. Should it be marked archaic or obsolete? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:27, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

Things are marked archaic or obsolete only when they are so. There are attested uses in the modern day. E.g. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mS9E8tEkUI8C&pg=PA157&dq=%22the+fell%22+%22the+skin%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjy7bmw-KTfAhURqXEKHc9RAnQ4ChDoAQg4MAM#v=onepage&q=%22the%20fell%22%20%22the%20skin%22&f=false where we read in a book published in 2012 on raising livestock "Don't cut too deeply; you don't want to cut into the fell". It may be a use more likely to be found in the English of those rearing livestock, but is not obsolete.
Another use, although as part of a compound (“fell-mongering”), in an encyclopedia from 1907.  --Lambiam 18:14, 16 December 2018 (UTC)
The OED defines it as "The skin or hide of an animal, esp. a sheep, as distinguished from the hair, wool, etc. Obsolete." SemperBlotto (talk) 08:01, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Which edition? My CD Rom is I believe the 4th edition, but there are minor differences between the editions of the OED. A word is not obsolete if it's still in use. There was a newspaper debate a year or two ago about charabanc being obsolete - despite there being modern usage examples. —This comment was unsigned.
The current online edition. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:33, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
The archaicism of this term among the general population of speakers is probably attributable to the remoteness of animal hide processing from most contemporary experience. Perhaps a topical label is sufficient to indicate the current and past usage contexts. DCDuring (talk) 13:09, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
A word is not obsolete if a linguistic authority says it is. That is not the correct definition of "obsolete". A word is obsolete if it is no longer used. And if there are recent uses by those working in the field, then it is not obsolete. If you're asking me whether I've heard anyone use it, that would be a "no". But I don't rear animals or tan animal hides. As the OED lists words based on usage, even where they're not proper words (zizzy etc), pointing them to a real use could lead to a revision of the entry. —This comment was unsigned.
Having looked at the OED 2nd edition version 4 on CD Rom, I see that it has your definition, or definitions, but that you run two definitions together. You quote it as "the skin or hide of an animal, esp. a sheep, as distinguished from the hair, wool, etc. Obsolete". But the edition I quote has "1. The skin or hide of an animal: a. with the hair, wool, etc. b. as distinguished from the hair, etc. Obs.". There is also a dagger symbol before the b meaning, showing this to be obsolete. If you looked at the formatting on the page, you would see that the Obsolete only refers to meaning b, i.e. a meaning that distinguishes the skin or hide from the hair. The meaning that includes the hair is not obsolete. You are saying the more up-to-date website version is as you have given it. Can you check this and report back? I think you will find that the meaning of skin including the hair is not obsolete, whereas the meaning of skin as opposed to hair is. It's amazing the wealth of misleading information that is given in these Tea room pages - more often than not the information is just plain wrong.


Why are the two senses split by status? Isn't it the same to call a princess or a king "Highness"? Ultimateria (talk) 20:05, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

Also, it seems redundant to have Highness, Your Highness, His Highness, and Her Highness (with somewhat contradictory definitions, no less). And likewise for the other terms, like Majesty. - -sche (discuss) 23:12, 16 December 2018 (UTC)
I would support redirecting these to Highness. Also, only by reading the usage note at Majesty do I understand the distinction at Highness. Could we link to an appendix to avoid explaining all these titles and pronouns on so many pages? It seems like too much info to explain which countries use which titles over and over. Ultimateria (talk) 20:15, 17 December 2018 (UTC)


Is the sense "man with a beard" slang, I presume? And dated? - -sche (discuss) 03:24, 17 December 2018 (UTC)


I am not familiar with the first definition given ("To bend the knee, as in servitude") insofar as it would be distinct from the second ("To briefly touch one knee to the ground, typically associated with religious worship"). Is the first usage obsolete? Can it involve both knees? Is it synonymous with kneel? (To me kneel involves both knees, and can refer to a process or a state, not a distinction made in our entry.) DCDuring (talk) 09:52, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

The practice of genuflection in servitude may be out of use, but to describe this in, say, a historical novel, or in fantasy, the term may still be used. In a liturgical context, one can genuflect on both knees, but genuflection on one knee is the more common form and probably the one understood when the verb is used without further qualification – so this is the mirror situation of kneel, where two knees is the default and you should qualify the verb if one knee is meant. For the common form on one knee the whole act typically lasts but an instant; one touches the floor and immediately gets up. With two knees, genuflection can be a state.  --Lambiam 19:05, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
That is more or less consistent with my understanding. I'm going to label the 'servitude' sense as archaic. If someone wants to change that label, I'd benefit from knowing about any evidence or authority to support the change. DCDuring (talk) 19:14, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
I'm still bothered by the wording of the first definition. It implies one knee and does not make clear that, say, sitting down in a chair, squatting to defecate, or doing runner's stretches do not qualify as genuflection. As a lexicographer can one assume that knee-bending in servitude is a human universal, so that "servitude" is sufficient to clarify. DCDuring (talk) 19:24, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

Senses of mutual[edit]

mutual (comparative more mutual, superlative more mutual)

1. Having the same relationship, each to each other.
They were mutual enemies.
3. Reciprocal.
They had mutual fear of each other.

Aren’t senses #1 and #3 mutually the same?  --Lambiam 19:18, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

IMO, no. The first applies to organisms or groups of organisms (that are, eg, enemies); the second to the relationship between them (eg, enmity). DCDuring (talk) 20:03, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes, those meanings are the same.


Consider a sentence like “Note: This word may be considered offensive by some people.” How should we analyze the word Note here? As an imperative verb form, like “Please take note: This word...” (cf. Latin nota bene)? Or as a noun, like “Comment: This word...”?  --Lambiam 19:36, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

Reply to "How should we analyze the word Note here?": Note: means "What follows is to be taken as a note." DCDuring (talk) 20:08, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
I read it as a verb; in the case of "please note", it can't be a noun. Equinox 20:09, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Response to Equinox: Your example differs in the punctuation. The same punctuation as in Lambian's example can be used with a large number of nouns and NPs, such as the two in this comment and my previous. DCDuring (talk) 20:17, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
"Please note" can and often does precede a colon. However, I've just thought of "Warning" and "Caution", which are used the same way and have to be nouns. Equinox 20:22, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
I think one can find adjectives as well as nouns and verbs as labels, headings, etc., but I think nouns are the most common. Looking at a print mushroom guide close to hand, mixed in with nouns like Habitat, Description, Spore Print, Season, Notes is verb Compare, all followed by colons. DCDuring (talk) 22:11, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Important: adjectives can be used this way, too. (And yes, verbs like "look" as well as nouns like "caution".) I suppose it may be impossible to tell which POS is intended in any given instance. - -sche (discuss) 23:38, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

quotation for the intransitive sense of owe[edit]

Doesn't the quotation (from The Merchant of Venice) given for the intransitive sense actually use the transitive sense (twice)? 01:34, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

Yes, indeed. Good catch. Thanks. I moved the quote to the other sense. DCDuring (talk) 03:05, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

'Tasse' in German[edit]

Following up various links in German in en.wiktionary.org, I came across the German expression: 'nicht alle Tassen im Schrank haben', which means to have a screw loose. It is one of many possible expressions implying one does not have the full set of something. However, as etymology, the entry claims the literal meaning is 'to not have all the marbles in the cupboard'. However, all other references confirm that 'Tassen' means 'cups', not 'marbles'. Using 'cups' seems to make more sense, as one can imagine keeping the tea service in a cupboard.

I could just edit the original entry to delete 'marbles' and put 'cups', but I'm not sure of the etiquette. Maybe the original author knows something I don't. Should I just go ahead and edit?

Peter Kenny

This is clearly a mistake due to a momentary lack of attention of the editor who provided that etymology. I hope there are no screws loose in that cupboard or we might lose all cups.  --Lambiam 11:37, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
I had not thought to look through the history - I'm new to this business. It was right until an edit was made on 15 Mar 2017. So I've edited in 'cups' to correct it. Peter Kenny

Czech verbs future tense[edit]

The future tense of the verb "jet" (to go by vehicle) is incorrect in the conjugation section. The verb of motion "jet" has its own special future tense, not infinitive combined with byt: pojedu, pojedeš, pojede, pojedeme, pojedete, pojedou. "letět" and "jít" are also incorrect. I sometimes edit regular Wikipedia, but have no idea how to add a conjugation table or to label correctly in Wiktionary, sorry. 11:31, 18 December 2018 (UTC)vaughnski

I’ve made an adjustment; I hope it is correct now. Please check (cs-0).  --Lambiam 12:07, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

top-hole etymology[edit]

Can we get an etymology for top-hole? bd2412 T 15:01, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

Golf? Per utramque cavernam 15:09, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
My assumption was that it referred to an article of clothing with an extraneous button hole. bd2412 T 17:40, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
Maybe it's related to top notch. Here a relation to horse jumping is suggested. DTLHS (talk) 17:45, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
The tentative etymology at top notch (“Probably from an unknown nineteenth-century game ...”) can safely be deleted as being utterly unenlightening as well as indefensible (how can this be “probable” if the game was apparently so obscure as to have been relegated to oblivion?). It seems almost evident to me that this is related to sense #4 of notch: “a level or degree”. When something is at the highest possible level, it is at the top notch. I have no immediate opinion about the relation to the level of a bar in jumping sports, except for thinking it does not appear implausible.  --Lambiam 19:33, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

pop the cherry[edit]

"To break the hymen; to lose one's virginity."

Can a woman say "I broke the hymen" or "I popped the cherry" while speaking of herself? Per utramque cavernam 15:29, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

I think she’d be more likely to say “I popped my cherry”.  --Lambiam 19:17, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

How is this not SOP? Cherry meaning “hymen” is also used separately from this phrase, as with bust. Fay Freak (talk) 20:13, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

@Fay Freak: And lose too. Btw, I think glossing cherry by "hymen" is a bit weird; as far as I'm concerned, anuses don't have hymens. virginity would be closer to the mark; then again, can you "pop" someone's virginity? Per utramque cavernam 20:20, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
Though the word’s meaning be defined as “to burst with a popping sound” it suffices that the burst is only imaginary for the word to be used, busting things that don’t give out a sound – in this case it is rather sexual imagination or figurative use. They let many things “pop” in hip-hop songs without one even knowing what it concretely is (“let it pop, let it pop”, you know), it apparently has an abstract meaning in slang. Fay Freak (talk) 20:51, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
"Anal cherry" is simply an analogy or extension of the hymen meaning of cherry. It's going to be complex, as slang often is; cherry is probably going to float closer to the idea of virginity than the literal hymen, but they aren't really two separable definitions.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:34, 19 December 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. Per utramque cavernam 13:19, 23 December 2018 (UTC)

debt raiser or debt-raiser[edit]

A word to consider. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 21:01, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

And what is more exactly to consider? Fay Freak (talk) 21:04, 18 December 2018 (UTC)


The sense "paper cone" doesn't seem to cover what the Czech word means; w:cs:Kornout is linked to w:en:Schultüte, which uses the German word as the article title and glosses it as "school cone". It's not just a paper cone; it's a specific object not common in English-speaking cultures. (We don't have Schultüte, not for German nor for English. A quick Google search shows it's at least possibly citable as English, though those aren't from durable media; they tend to gloss it as school cone or, in one case, kindercone.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:40, 19 December 2018 (UTC)

  • I'm pretty sure that this is unknown in the English-speaking world. I at first thought you meant dunce cap until I saw the picture. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:00, 19 December 2018 (UTC)

happy days! good times![edit]

Are these genuine interjections? That's what WordReference translates French à la bonne heure with. Per utramque cavernam 10:28, 19 December 2018 (UTC)

Yet they're genuine interjections. Are they "lexical enough" to include in a diction'ry? Maybe not, but they are valid interjections.
Are these expressions of emotion? Which one(s)? Is every expression of emotion an interjection? What if it wereas a full sentence - or a paragraph? Why wouldn't we just label them as phrases? DCDuring (talk) 13:15, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
Well, maybe I should clarify that they are not interjections, but rather exclamations, and noun phrases can be exclamations. I don't think the question of how to classify them really important. —This comment was unsigned.


The structure of mall has the "shopping", "walk" and "street" definitions (by far the most common in my region) as sub-senses of the "game venue" sense. While this may be true etymologically, I can't imagine that this is the most helpful structure, nor that the "shopping" definition is really a type or specific version of the "game venue" sense. I am never totally clear when sub-senses are appropriate, but this seems like a case where they are not. Anyone have other feelings? - TheDaveRoss 13:03, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

One possible solution might be to split the etymology into two, grouping the "promenade" and "shopping centre" senses under Etymology 1 (deriving them from 'The Mall', a generalised use of Etymology 2) and move the remaining senses for "pall-mall" and a "alley for playing" it under Etymology 2. The senses at Etymology 1 can be arranged to show the "shopping centre" meaning first, as it's most common nowadays. Just a suggestion. Leasnam (talk) 22:02, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
The subsenses are totally inappropriate. "An old game" is not a subsense of "a hammer"! A shopping center is not a subtype of "place used to play game of pall-mall"! I've removed them. Further improvements are welcome. - -sche (discuss) 21:43, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

Crutchers - individuals who practice 'crutching' or shearing certain parts of the sheep?[edit]

From wikipedia:crutching, are there any sources for 'one who crutches'?

Any insight appreciated. Otherwise, I'll just put in graziers and call it good enough. Thanks! Elfabet (talk) 14:59, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

It seems there are multiple meanings: sheep, and something in soap making. DTLHS (talk) 16:09, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
I've added the shearer sense from DTLHS's source. As always, please improve me if I have goofed. Thanks for the help. Elfabet (talk) 16:22, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

Category:Cambridge University slang[edit]

I don't think all of these terms are slang. It used to say just "Cambridge University" but apparently someone changed the templates to say "slang" too. We should probably keep "slang" as a separate thing. Equinox 23:18, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

Particularly since we can conveniently use the search box to find entries that are in the intersection of multiple categories. DCDuring (talk) 23:23, 20 December 2018 (UTC)


Shouldn't the adjective "very or much: that's a canny big horse" be listed as an adverb instead? Equinox 05:33, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

Yes, I think so. The English Dialect Dictionary has canny as both an adjective and an adverb, although they seem to consider this use to be adjective sense 7: "of quantity, time, distance, &c.: considerable, fair", for which they give usexes and quotations like "a canny bit of a fally-o", "a canny few fathoms", and "a canny long journey", which nonetheless do seem adverbial (one would normally say "a considerably/fairly long journey", right? unless, instead of being considerably long, the journey were both long and considerable). The EDD also has several other senses: adjectival "skilful, dexterous, handy", "favorable, safe, fortunate, lucky", "gentle, quiet, steady, careful"(?), and adverbial "gently, carefully, quietly, steadily"(? this odd combination seems to correspond to our odd combination of words in adverb def 2), and "fairly, tolerably". I will add the ones that meet our own CFI in a moment. - -sche (discuss) 21:38, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. - -sche (discuss) 22:57, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

comitative: IPA disagrees with OED and MW[edit]

OED (and MW) gives /ˈkɒmɪteɪtɪv/ but comitative lacks the /eɪ/ diphthong entirely. I don't feel comfortable enough with the pronunciation of the word to just change it on my own (is the current IPA also correct?), but I suspect it should either be changed or extended to include this other pronunciation.

I think both pronunciations coexist. I’m doubtful, though, about the schwa for the vowel of the second syllable. I think the /ɪ/ of OED and MW is more like it.  --Lambiam 17:57, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
The following comments relate to BrEng. Comitative is a rare word likely to exist only with the pronunciation given in the OED and MW. There are words like qualitative with a BrEng pronunciation that lacks /eɪ/, but I'm reluctant to surmise such pronunciations for rare words that no-one is likely to have heard with the /eɪ/ pronunciation. To develop a theory on such words, you could compare laboratory (BrEng /ləˈbɒɹətɹi/) with celebratory, /ˈsɛlɪbɹeɪtəɹi/ (I'm quoting the OED here; the Wiktionary article has a different pronunciation, and one that seems wrong to me). Why is it not /sɪˈlɛbɹətɹi/? Or why is revelatory /ˈɹɛvɪleɪtəɹi/ and not /ɹɪˈvɛlətɹi/? I'm not sure there is a complete answer, but it could be that there is a stress pattern whereby -ation words have cognates in -atory with initial stress that are seen and felt to be words connected with the words in -ation, which keeps them aligned with the standard stress pattern of such words. By contrast, although laboration exists, it is a very rare word, and laboratory is generally seen and felt to be a free-standing word (a noun), and not a backformed adjective meaning "pertaining to laboration". We can add in here procuratory: this is /ˈpɹɒkjʊəɹeɪtəɹi/ because it falls into the pattern of adjectives formed from nouns in -ation (I'm rejecting the OED pronunciation for this word). Words like qualitative don't have the same stress-shift pattern that applies to the words in -ation and -atory, but here we note that qualitative is felt to be a cognate word of quality, explaining the pronunciation /ˈkwɒlɪtətɪv/. Yet comitative is a free-standing word (related to the Latin comitari), and not seen and felt to be a backformed adjective meaning "pertaining to comity" (although comity is ultimately related through Latin to comitative). It probably would be /ˈkɒmɪtətɪv/ if a connection with the word comity were strongly felt. So you see, there is method in the madness of English.
I am an Englishman, and I pronounce it with schwa for the <a>. I am pretty sure that this is due to the influence of other case names - nominative, accusative, ablative and locative. I probably picked up those pronunciations from Latin classes at school. --RichardW57 (talk) 23:41, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

"nonstandard" pronunciation of recognize/recognise[edit]

The article for the American spelling of this word ("recognize") gives /ˈɹɛkənaɪz/ as a "nonstandard" pronunciation. It is my understanding that the pronunciation with the g is in fact a spelling pronunciation and that the g-less pronunciation is older. (The word entered English from French, where it didn't even have the g, which was added to fit the ultimately Latin origin of the word (similarly to the b in debt and doubt).) I know an elderly lady who actually regards the pronunciation with g as incorrect! (I have no axe to grind in the matter. I'm in favor of recognizing both pronunciations. I put in the g myself.) Kostaki mou (talk) 20:01, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

That may originally be true (and if it can be referenced, it should be added to the entry), but currently, it is clear that the g-less pronunciation is nonstandard and associated with casual speech or a lower-class speaker in the US. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:40, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
Certainly it should be referenced. I'm only bringing the question up. I beg to differ about this pronunciation being necessarily "associated with casual speech or a lower-class speaker." I've known some highly literate people who used it (including the lady I mentioned). Kostaki mou (talk) 15:29, 26 December 2018 (UTC)


How is mithril pronounced? What stress is the syllable on? Mcavoybickford (talk) 15:14, 22 December 2018 (UTC)

  • I should think it is stressed on the first syllable. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:17, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
I've added the pronunciation. - -sche (discuss) 21:37, 22 December 2018 (UTC)

Rhyme of Venable[edit]

Should words such as Venable, possible, and improbable be considered to rhyme just l̩, or would considering them to rhyme bl̩ be better? Mcavoybickford (talk) 16:00, 22 December 2018 (UTC)

Neither. Rhymes always include the stressed syllable, so the rhymes for all three of those are 3 syllables. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:14, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
So this probably rhymes with tenable. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:43, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
I'd be amenable to that conclusion. DCDuring (talk) 22:11, 22 December 2018 (UTC)


What part of speech should these be? .ac, .ar, .no etc. --Pious Eterino (talk) 18:06, 22 December 2018 (UTC)

They should be deleted. See Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Non-English § .fr Per utramque cavernam 18:46, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
I don't think they should be deleted. --Pious Eterino (talk) 00:09, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
You're free to vote in the discussion I linked to! Per utramque cavernam 01:01, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
These are definitely erroneous: the dot is a separator. In a string like bob.users.example.com, the units are bob, users, example and com (which express a hierarchy) and the dots only serve to separate. In everyday slang people use words like dotcom but it is ignorant and VERY foolish to have entries for every TLD with a preceding dot. I have never been happy about these but when I've raised it before people have disagreed; I am strongly convinced they are wrong. Equinox 02:45, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
It may be ignorant and wrong, but this is how people actually use it, as seen on this rather official page: “the .gov domain”. It is used there as a noun; I think an argument can be made for it being a proper noun, like “US” is.  --Lambiam 12:40, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam, Equinox I have a sudden flash of wit: The dot is a classifier! Fay Freak (talk) 06:15, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
Wit in more than one sense :).  --Lambiam 06:52, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

peace talks[edit]

Why should this be marked as plural only? It's trivial to find examples of a singular "peace talk". Is there some distinction that should be made? DTLHS (talk) 03:50, 23 December 2018 (UTC)

@Tooironic as the creator. DTLHS (talk) 03:55, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
If you can attest the singular form, feel free to make the necessary changes. Cheers. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:43, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
Many instances of peace talk are uncountable (and SoP). At Google NGrams Peace talks has been increasingly more common than peace talk since 1945. It has been about 30 times more common than peace talk since about 1970. That's a little tricky to present and it doesn't seem to me to be worth presenting as it seems quite transparent in the plural countable. Only Collins among OneLook references has an entry for peace talks; no dictionary has an entry for peace talk. DCDuring (talk) 05:04, 23 December 2018 (UTC)

strike root(s?)[edit]

As a synonym of take root. Is this legit? It's in Webster apparently. Per utramque cavernam 14:46, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

Samuel Johnson has two cites at this entry for root, one from "Mortimer, Husbandry", another from "Evelyn, Kalendar". Milton's "On Time, Death, Friendship" has:
True love strikes root in reason, passion's foe:
No OneLook reference has it, so we really need cites. It seems somewhat current. Four book titles at Google Books (1978, 1979, 1996, 1998) have the expression in their titles. It is much less common now than it was at the beginning of the 19th century. DCDuring (talk) 18:27, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • 1858, Asa Gray, How Plants Grow[13], page 34:
    Every one knows that most stems may be made to strike root when so covered and having the darkness and moisture which are generally needful for roots.
You knew that, didn't you? DCDuring (talk) 18:32, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
Does it mean "produce roots" or "take root"? 08:40, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
How do those differ in meaning? If they are different could you detect which one was intended in Google Books hits? DCDuring (talk) 13:33, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Of course, it's common knowledge! Per utramque cavernam 21:32, 25 December 2018 (UTC)

pass through[edit]

"To infiltrate. We passed through enemy lines in the fog." Passing through something suggests you came out on the other side, but infiltrating suggests you remained within. How to resolve? Equinox 15:24, 25 December 2018 (UTC)

Delete entire verb section as SoP. DCDuring (talk) 16:03, 25 December 2018 (UTC)

Semicolon ; as Greek question mark[edit]

The usage example seems wrong, since that example does in fact use a question mark as normal, and not a semicolon. Can a Greek speaker confirm and fix? Equinox 16:35, 25 December 2018 (UTC)

The transliteration uses a regular question mark, but not the original in Greek alphabet, which correctly uses the semicolon. Or have I misunderstood something? Per utramque cavernam 16:39, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
I see it now. I got confused because the example sentence also happens to have a semicolon in it earlier on. Equinox 00:44, 26 December 2018 (UTC)


Sense 1 ("To make (someone) aware of impending danger etc.")

  • 1) seems redundant to sense 3 ("To notify (someone) of something untoward.")
  • 2) is oddly defined compared to the usex: "We waved a flag to warn the oncoming traffic."

That usex, by the way, sounds weird: is warn commonly used that way? I don't think I've ever heard that, and I'd expect "to warn of the oncoming traffic" instead.

And how is sense 4 intransitive? The following that-clauses are functionally equivalent to a direct object. If the usage note is warranted (i.e. that using warn with that-clauses is indeed discouraged), I think it should be rewritten.

@-sche? Per utramque cavernam 21:46, 25 December 2018 (UTC)

If there's something to be avoided behind you, you would want to alert the drivers of cars in front of you who are heading in your direction. Substitute "warn" for "alert" and "oncoming traffic" for "the drivers of cars in front of you who are heading in your direction", and you'll see it makes perfect sense. Also, if the "that" clauses were the equivalent of a direct object, you couldn't add another direct object: "she warned me that the chair was broken", and you couldn't make a passive construction out of it: "I was warned by her that the chair was broken", but not "that the chair was broken was warned by her". They're more like indirect objects ("She threw him the ball"- "him" isn't getting thrown, so it's indirect). My own objection is that there is an implied/unexpressed object in the examples: "Every country has its resident experts who warn [somebody] that imported television will destroy the national consciousness". Semantically, warning isn't warning unless there's a recipient. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:35, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: Whoops, indeed. That's obvious now, but for some reason I kept reading that usex the other way. And my parsing of the that-clauses was very hasty. Still, I think my first point stands.
Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "My own objection". Your own objection to what? Per utramque cavernam 22:45, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
My own objection to calling the sense intransitive. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:56, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
Mh, now that I reread your message it was fairly obvious too. Perhaps I should get some sleep...
Anyway, I'm not very happy with the current state of the entry, and would welcome some rewriting. Per utramque cavernam 23:06, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
Simon Heffer, in his book Strictly English, talks about the word "warning", and how it was once always accompanied by the object (the person warned), whereas now "the government warned that XXXX" would be a frequently encountered construction. He said that older speakers would always have said "the government gave warning that XXXX" in such circumstances. I don't think younger speakers of English find "warn" without an object strange at all.
I've given etymolgy 1 a "basic English" overhaul. The former sense 3, "notify of something untoward", was indeed indistinct from sense 1. I removed "untoward", but we could merge what are now the first two senses (the basic idea is the same), though other big dictionaries don't. We're still missing a sense "To notify or order to go or stay away." ("warn trespassers off the site"), but I wasn't sure whether that was better placed at [[warn]] or [[warn off]]. Century also mentions an obsolete sense "to defend, keep or ward off" but it may not have survived into modern English (like also etymology 2, which I may RFV soon). - -sche (discuss) 03:09, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
In the other direction, some dictionaries separate out "warning" someone to appear in court or at a meeting or the like. (The English Dialect Dictionary words it as "to cite, summon to some public office or duty; to give notice of a meeting, &c., esp. to summon by verbal invitation to a funeral.") The EDD also has a sense "Of a clock: to make the clicking sound shortly before striking", with just enough citations that it would meet our CFI, if we wanted it. - -sche (discuss) 03:23, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
I object to an entry for warn off. I can find attestation for warn away, warn out, and for PPs with many different prepositions. DCDuring (talk) 04:02, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

madam (English)[edit]

The article on 'madam' seems to claim that the use of 'madam' as a polite form of address is dated or archaic seems to be without ground. The on-line Oxford dictionary provides that '[it is] used to address or refer to a woman in a polite or respectful way'. Similarly, the Cambridge on-line dictionary provides that '[madam is] a formal and polite way of speaking to a woman'. Furthermore, the appelation of archaic or dated does not accord with my own experience of the use of the term which is commonly used in Australia as a polite term of address.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/madam https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/madam

Deonyi (talk) 06:59, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

In the UK: it's not something I often hear outside of "dear sir or madam". It might sound a bit quaint and dated to me. Equinox 07:03, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
Definitely "dated". I can't remember anyone using the term seriously. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:06, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
It can be heard in the US Senate: “Excuse me, madam.”  --Lambiam 15:02, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
I changed it to "dated in the UK". It's not dated in the US; during the most recent presidential election Clinton was addressed as "Madam Secretary", for example, and this is also the title of a TV show (about someone else). OP says it isn't dated in Australia, and I doubt it's dated in India. (As far as the UK, I can find hits for "Madam Prime Minister" but, at a very cursory glance, they seem to refer to Thatcher, which doesn't contradict it being dated.) - -sche (discuss) 08:29, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
It is used in limited formal contexts e.g. "Madam Speaker", or calling the Queen "ma'am". We don't so much tend to use it, nor "sir", to get someone's attention in the street, or to talk to customers etc., as (I think) people do in the US. Equinox 08:39, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
From the US, I've heard sir and ma'am frequently enough, but madam certainly seems dated to me. I guess I would expect it from the stereotypical British butler in US media, and it wouldn't surprise me in fixed titles like "Madam Secretary" and on the floor of Congress. Searching for '"madam prime minister" may' seems to come up with a number of hits, including sample letters from the British Deaf Association and the West London Synagogue. We could possibly say it's dated in both countries, except in certain ossified constructs?--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:16, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

don't change a winning team[edit]

According to Google Books Ngram Viewer, never change a winning team is more common than don't change a winning team – in fact, it reports: “Ngrams not found: don't change a winning team”. A standard GBS agrees, as does a Google news search. So shouldn’t this be the main entry? I think the adage never change a running system was cloned from this under snowy conditions. Also, is this really a synonym of if it ain't broke, don't fix it? I think that winning is much stronger than not broke, and that this is reflected in actual usage, which often is about actual sports teams or other successful teams.  --Lambiam 07:04, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

Anatolian dorsals[edit]

@Victar, JohnC5, AryamanA, Mahagaja: There's a paper by Melchert refuting his old position on Luvo-Lycian's threefold dorsal distinction. He was the one who stablished the idea that Lycian and Luwian preserved the three dorsals stops in the first place, which was one of the stronger arguments against the two velar series theory. But now he claims Anatolian to be centum, does that mean that we should move our entries containing "ǵ" or "ḱ"? --Tom 144 (𒄩𒇻𒅗𒀸) 13:23, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

@Tom 144: You've misinterpreted this paper's finding. There is still a conditioned contrast of the palatals in Luwian and Lycian; he's just narrowing it from his previous claim. It's accurate that in terms of unconditioned sound changes, they are more like centum languages, but this still requires that PA distinguish palatals for this result to come out correctly. This is a similar situation to Armenian and Albanian, where there is still a conditioned 3-way contrast. —*i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 20:43, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing that up, @JohnC5. --{{victar|talk}} 23:41, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

Hyponym is to Hypernym as Troponym is to ?[edit]

Wiktionary defines troponym as: "(grammar) A verb that indicates more precisely the manner of doing something by replacing a verb of a more generalized meaning." I have been unable to find a term for the "verb of a more generalized meaning". Hypernym appears to be the word referring to a term having the equivalent relationship with a word of more specific meaning, or hyponym. My understanding is that troponym is only applicable to verbs whereas hypernym and hyponym are not. I would expect there to be a term for the general case that is only applicable to verbs as well.

The scholars who coined the term troponym apparently felt no need for a term for the superordinate side of the relation. They actually also avoid the term hypernym. If there is a serious need for such a term, it will have to be invented. Since the component tropo- indicates some specific manner; we’d like to use some Greek word that means “somehow” – we don’t care to specify how. A candidate is Ancient Greek πῇ (pêi). The word is invariant, so we cannot discern a stem form to be used as a prefix to be put in front of -onym. But perhaps unchanged pei- will (somehow) do.  --Lambiam 11:04, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year[edit]

Is that a real interjection? The indefinite article in Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year suggests that it is rather a noun phrase as in I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you just say Merry Christmas as an interjection, which would you say after that, … and Happy New Year, or … and a Happy New Year? — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 12:35, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

It looks like a phrase to me. --Pious Eterino (talk) 12:58, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
You can get a sweatshirt from Amazon that says “We Wish You Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”.  --Lambiam 16:11, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Personally, I would say "and a Happy New Year". Not having the "a" there would make it sound strange (to me anyway). Tharthan (talk) 19:21, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
I usually say/write "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's" without the a. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:55, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Now that might be a bit different. See, "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year('s)!", as a greeting, parting words or the like, doesn't sound strange to me. I think that it's because I don't generally use that phrasing that I didn't get what Mr. Takasugi was referring to. If I wanted to wish someone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year('s Day), I would say "I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" or "Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!". I wouldn't really say anything shorter than that. Tharthan (talk) 20:43, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
I’d like to confirm that the following sentences are correct (John is used here to make sure that there is no preceding word):
  1. John, Merry Christmas!
  2. John, Happy New Year!
  3. John, I wish you a merry Christmas.
  4. John, I wish you a Happy New Year.
Now I’d like to know the acceptability of each sentence below:
  1. John, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
  2. John, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
If you say only I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, that’s okay, but that’s not my question. I’m thinking about whether or not we should rename Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 03:02, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
I don't care what the entry on Wiktionary says (as if that makes any difference to anyone). As for the issue: John, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! is correct. Without the "a", you could have: John, Merry Christmas! And Happy New Year! For some reason, without the "a", you are starting off a new exclamation, which is ideally shown as a separate sentence.
@TAKASUGI Shinji My apologies for misunderstanding your question.
I largely agree with the previous comment. But the thing is, both "John, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!" and "John, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" are possible, at least I think that they are. Like I said, I don't phrase the statement in those ways. Nevertheless, even though I am a native English speaker, with this one, I couldn't really tell you if the former would be looked at as proscribed by trustworthy authorities. I can see why you are wondering about this! Hmm... it's odd, when I look at the former, initially it seems slightly off, but when I actually say it and think about it, I could easily see a native English speaker using it with no raised eyebrows from the person being spoken to. Hmm... thinking more about it, I wonder if the latter would sound better as "John- a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!" or "John- have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"? Yeah, I think that it sounds less awkward if one says "John, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!" OR "John- a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!"/"John- have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!". Yeah, I'm not saying that the latter is wrong per se, but I think that if you stuck "have a" after "John", there would be absolutely no problem. Sorry if I still couldn't help you. Tharthan (talk) 05:45, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you guys, you helped me a lot. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year may be grammatically inconsistent but people use it anyway. The RFD of 2007 has no sense then, as it is not a sum of two interjections. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 06:57, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
I hardly see why we need to distinguish an interjection from an NP at all. It is a general construction that you can say things like "happy St George's Day!" and have them understood as a wish for the other person. Equinox 07:58, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
Why, yes, but note that you cannot say, *“Have happy Saint George’s Day!”. Now suddenly the indefinite article is obligatory. So this reveals (I think) a difference between “happy Saint Quisquis’ Day‎” as an NP and as an interjection.  --Lambiam 10:18, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
If we simply called the bare NP a 'phrase' and had two definitions, one being {{&lit|happy|New Year}}, the other being {{n-g|Used as a holiday greeting}}, wouldn't we have covered the matter in its entirety. The precise grammatical analysis of the expression could then be consigned to our much anticipated sister project Wikigrammar or to a grammar namespace. DCDuring (talk) 18:59, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
You can (and we should) explain the construction Happy + holiday name in the entry of happy, but you can’t explain logically why Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year contains an indefinite article. That’s why I asked about it. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 02:16, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
It's just elliptical, isn't it, like "Raining again, and I have lots of work to do"? Equinox 05:00, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

Unol Daleithiau America[edit]

I probably shouldn't be dabbling in anything but English, but I decided to make a Welsh entry. I'm sure it's missing something, so feel free to reprimand me if necessary. --Pious Eterino (talk) 13:04, 27 December 2018 (UTC)


This entry says that the plural is zite, but ziti says that it is the plural. —Rua (mew) 22:06, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

in-line, sense 3 wording[edit]

Wondering about "3. (computing, of source code) Being of a different type written in the body of a program..."?

By "type" does it mean in the computing theory sense (type, sense 9: "A tag attached to variables and values used in determining which kinds of value can be used in which situations; a data type." - )?

Thanks in advance.--Philologia Sæculārēs (talk) 12:59, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Used in a combination like in-line code, the term can mean several things. It can refer to code obtained by in-line expansion – or not yet encapsulated in a function or macro definition. Examples: “"In-line" just means that the code is written out right there in the body of the loop, instead of being in a separate function which the loop calls.”; “New command doesn't work the same as in-line code”. Or it can mean a code insert written in another language than the context in which it appears. Kind of like code switching in natural language. Examples: “What follows is a chunk, and then two short paragraphs with in-line code.”; “In-line Code: Create in-line monospaced font by surrounding it with backticks (`), not with single quotes (‘).” The latter is the sense 3 of the entry in-line. The last example happens to be about a font family, but that is accidental. The choice of the highly ambiguous word “type” in the wording is unfortunate. It just means, quite generically, “kind”, or “nature”; replacing it by “language” will already be an improvement.  --Lambiam 13:38, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes. Yes check.svg Done Equinox 07:54, 29 December 2018 (UTC)


The entry states it is Japanese and it looks Japanese, yet it is under an English heading. --Pious Eterino (talk) 15:09, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

It is used in English texts, like Volkswagen Group Japan K.K. or Procter & Gamble Japan K.K. In Japanese the latter would be presented as プロクター・アンド・ギャンブル・ジャパン株式会社, in which the last four characters correspond to K.K.  --Lambiam 17:31, 28 December 2018 (UTC)


The page for the late kingdom Pharaoh is currently called "Tutankhamon". Tutankhamun is overwhelmingly the more common spelling, as evidenced by the title of the corresponding Wikipedia article about the same Pharaoh. I also feel compelled to point out that a google search of "Tutankhamon" results in did you mean Tutankhamun?

And arguably, neither spelling is particularly authentic to either the hieroglyphs nor conventional transcriptions, since, as Wiktionary page "Tutankhamon" admits, the vowel was not present in the original hieroglyphic spelling. Nevertheless, -amun is treated as an alternate spelling in spite of being just as valid a rendering and much more widely used.

I considered the possibility that this was for the sake of consistency; perhaps the creator god that makes up part of Tut's name was referred to as Amon on Wiktionary. But alas, no, he's called Amun here too.

Insisting on -amon, to me, smacks of running against the grain for it's own sake. I really think it ought to be moved to Tutankhamun.

The vowel in question in the name of the God seems to have followed the trajectory ā > ō > ū. The first two staɡes are evidenced by cuneiform transcriptions, the second stage is backed up by Greek (though where the doubling of the 'm' in Jupiter-Ammon comes from is another matter), and the third stage is where Coptic terminated - mō > mū is a sound change leading to Coptic. I'd bet on the vowel being [ō] in his lifetime. However, that doesn't justify making 'Tutankhamon' the primary form for English. Additionally, 'Tut' is a purely conventional spelling of //twt//. --RichardW57 (talk) 14:45, 30 December 2018 (UTC)

stab, figurative senses[edit]

Are the two senses "pain inflicted on a person's feelings" and "criticism" truly distinct? Equinox 07:52, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

In “The council's first stab at the policy ...”, it really means a “critical examination”; no one’s personal feelings may be hurt in the process. I also doubt that “a thinly veiled stab at the policies of corporate America” will offend the sensibilities of the Walton family or others implied in the criticism. Conversely, you can hurt a person’s feelings very much by telling them that you won’t care if they step in front of a train. That is a cruel thing to say, but it is not criticism.  --Lambiam 11:35, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
I can't access your first link (blocked due to GDPR) but "stab at the policy" sounds like another sense, an attempt ("I had a stab at creating an entry") -- perhaps I'm wrong though? Anyway, even if not all criticism causes pain, I suppose I'm asking whether stab does mean those two separate things and not just one of them. Equinox 16:14, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
I question whether either of the senses or a combined sense are unambiguously attestable. Not in MWOnline or Century 1911. Also MWOnline has "a sudden sharp feeling", which is makes more sense in terms of plausible sense evolution. DCDuring (talk) 01:26, 30 December 2018 (UTC)


Is corollary really a comparable adjective? I've never heard it used in that way. The definition doesn't make sense as a comparable; either something is proved, or it is not proved. It can't be more proved or most proved. In fact, I would argue it is not an adjective at all, but an attributive noun. SpinningSpark 09:12, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

It is already very rare to see it used as an adjective at all, although it can be attested as such ([14], [15], [16]). I suspect that the attributive use in cases like “corollary result” is originally the attributive use of the noun, which was mistakenly interpreted as an adjective. The sense does not invite comparison, yet examples of comparatives and superlatives can also be found ([17], [18], [19]); one may wonder, though, if the authors of these texts understood the meaning of the term.  --Lambiam 11:16, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
I'd say the text of link 18 makes relative sense: "They have nearly all served some useful purpose, but such functions have been more corollary than primary". The other two are much more debatable... Per utramque cavernam 11:25, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
There are degrees of debatability, but I think it is still eminently debatable. Corollary does not mean “ancillary”. It means, “being a consequence of something that has been established already”. In the context, the useful purposes of the breeds of steed being discussed would need to have been a consequence of their serving as “status symbols of man”. That is clearly not the idea the author of the text wishes to convey.  --Lambiam 11:47, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
An obsolete sense of the noun is "a surplus" according to corollary in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911, which, they say, is thought by some to be derived from Latin corollarium ("a garland of flowers"). Thus usage in the link currently known as [18] could be of that sense, possibly no longer obsolete. That would be attributive use of a noun. DCDuring (talk) 01:13, 30 December 2018 (UTC)


In the Encarta dictionaries, numerous is defined as "many in number", but is there any other meaning of "many" apart from the numnerical one? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:03, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

many in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 def. 4 on page 3622 has many defined as "much" in "Prov. Eng.". They also have it as an alternative spelling of meiny/meinie. DCDuring (talk) 01:05, 30 December 2018 (UTC)

Asturian forms *fixiemos/*fixieron[edit]

The entries fixiemos and fixieron for asturian verb facer are incorrect. The correct forms are fixemos and fixeron (now including the asturian entries). Can anyone delete these pages? You can check it in [20] (page 213) and [21] (page 205). Thank you. --Limotecariu (talk) 02:54, 30 December 2018 (UTC)


Many of the pages in Category:en:Incoterms look incorrect to me, especially with them being called nouns - and the definitions seem to have been copied from Wikipedia too. Check out Ex Works for an example of a substandard page. --Pious Eterino (talk) 14:36, 30 December 2018 (UTC)

To start, I think they should be viewed as translingual; they can be used in Spanish like Ex Works es la mejor opción, or in Swedish Ex Works är det bästa valet. In these sentences they serve as a noun; in common combinations like “Ex Works price” and “Ex Works shipping” they are also nouns, so considering them nouns seems reasonable to me. The definitions here are often unnecessarily inaccurate; those at Wikipedia tend to be more precise but too lengthy for our purposes. Here is a tentative non-gloss def for Ex Works: A commercial term signifying that the costs and risks of transporting goods from the seller to the buyer will be fully borne by the buyer.  --Lambiam 19:54, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
I agree 100% with Lambiam. DCDuring (talk) 20:05, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
BTW, something boring that I happen to know (from a previous job in logistics): the list of official Incoterms was revised a few years back, so some will have been added and removed. Equinox 20:10, 30 December 2018 (UTC)


The citation says "sluther up now" and the meaning isn't clear: is he telling the girl to go away, to leave? perhaps to sneak away upstairs, else why "up"? Equinox 15:22, 30 December 2018 (UTC)

The man apparently liked aspect markers (See w:Grammatical aspect.) like up and out, both of which are in the cite. MWOnline has: " (prov. English) to slip along : shuf fle, slither" DCDuring (talk) 20:14, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
Here the expression is explained as meaning “Hurry up”, in which the use of “up” also does not imply an upward motion. In the novel Tilly came from the dairy and presumably returned there; a dairy would not have been upstairs.  --Lambiam 20:15, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. That suggests that sluther up should be a separate entry and the cite should move there, because it doesn't mean "slither" at all. Equinox 20:39, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
Except for the fact that we have only a single cite. This adverbial use of up can perhaps be viewed as an aspect marker (see DCD’s contribution), asking for thorough and complete compliance with the demand, or as the rather similar sense 14: Sluther now completely. In spite of what the explanatory note says that I referenced above, I think that in this quotation the verb has the sense of locomotion, not of haste; specifically, (seemingly) effortless motion. To me, it comes across as quite rude. I think DHL wanted to convey that Tom is annoyed by Tilly’s embarrassing attitude.  --Lambiam 22:29, 30 December 2018 (UTC)


The current definitions:

  1. (US, slang) "original gangsta"; a person associated with the earliest era of gangsta rap
  2. (US, slang) (by extension from sense 1) Any person associated with an earlier, more traditional, and perceivedly more authentic era of an artform or movement

I always thought that the term originally referred to a veteran gang member who was no longer active in the gang, but who was respected and listened to by current gang members. From that came the current sense 2, with the current sense 1 as a specialized instance of sense 2. I don't exactly have first-hand knowledge of this kind of thing, so I thought I would see what anyone else might be able to dig up on the subject. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:10, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

As a former OG I can confirm that bitchez ain't sheeee-it. Equinox 06:15, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
I suspect that O.G. is not an adjective. DCDuring (talk) 06:17, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
You can find some uses on the web of X is more O.G. than Y, apparently meaning that chick/dude X has more cool than chick/dude Y. Mostly not durably archived though.  --Lambiam 17:00, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

Spinone Italiano[edit]

I'm a bit confused about this English-language entry. Should it really be capitalised? Should the synonyms also be capitalised? (The Italian form is definitely not capitalised and I'm pretty sure we don't capitalise other names of dog breeds) SemperBlotto (talk) 18:24, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

WT does also cap other animal names, e.g. German Shepherd - though German shepherd could be an alt form... - 10:00, 1 January 2019 (UTC)