Wiktionary:Tea room/2018/February

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← January 2018 · February 2018 · March 2018 → · (current)



How legitimate is the term loxism? The earliest reference I can find is 2006 on Urbandictionary, followed by 2008 at Vanguard News Network (see w:Alex Linder) and Uncyclopedia (now-deleted); it more recently appeared on the Daily Stormer and certain parts of Twitter. It seems fair to revert this edit at the very least, but I'd like to get a second opinion on all this. grendel|khan 05:05, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Looking around, the word does seem to be mostly or entirely limited to neo-Nazi jargon, so I've restored a tag. We probably need one or two consistent labels for terms in several languages which are like that, including ((( ))), übermensch and ghost skin in English, and Rassenpflege, Blutschande, Rassenschande, and other Nazi jargon terms in German. Something like "{{lb|en|white supremacist ideology}}"? (Many terms are most typical of (neo-)Nazi jargon, but are there enough terms which are limited to specifically-Nazi white supremacy to require a separate label for that?) Currently, "Nazism" is encoded as a topic label, although many entries use it to indicate Nazi jargon. - -sche (discuss) 06:16, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
I've added a label and category, but I'm not sure it's preferable to have two categories ("white supremacist ideology", "Nazism") and not one. But so many terms are most typical of specifically-Nazi jargon/contexts that it does seem like the more expected label than the broader "white supremacist ideology". Meh. - -sche (discuss) 20:17, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
@Grendelkhan@-sche Why "of (non-Jews)" instead of "(of non-Jews)" or no parentheses at all? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 10:55, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Hm? The definition is "Hatred of (non-Jewish) whites by Jews." Putting the "of" into the parentheses, leaving the unparenthetical sentence as "Hatred whites...", wouldn't make sense. "Non-Jewish" is in parentheses because there's disagreement inside and outside Jewish communities over whether or not any Jews are white (and some African Jews are clearly not), so it parenthetically clarifies that the alleged hatred is directed only at non-Jewish whites (but it's in parentheses, because for anyone who considers Jews to not be white, "whites" is already distinct from "Jewish people"). That's the logic behind the current state of affairs, anyway; perhaps it can be improved upon... - -sche (discuss) 16:32, 7 March 2018 (UTC)


I feel like putting "politically correct" under the See also section of -person is a bit unnecessary. Sure, I can see why there'd be an association but putting it there seems inflammatory towards the existence of gender-neutral language, especially considering the modern context of the term. Lookatroopa (talk) 21:46, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Someone's removed it. Equinox 16:29, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Why would the fourth sense (nationality) be 'implied male', btw? Seems to me that the point of using the suffix is exactly to avoid gendering, not to imply a specific gender. The cite doesn't seem to support that specification either. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 16:35, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Looks like a copy-paste error from -man; now removed. Can we mark that one "non-standard"? e.g. "Scotperson" sounds utterly absurd. Equinox 16:38, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Yep, thanks for catching my copypasto (the entry was in a poor state with only one sense before I expanded it). Sense 4 does seem nonstandard, I'll tag it; I would expect "Norse person", "Scottish person" etc with a space as the standard gender-neutral phrase, and I wonder if that merits mention in a qualifier. Sense 2 is standard at this point. Senses 1 and 3 are harder to judge. - -sche (discuss) 16:49, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive[edit]

What is the relationship between these two (unlinked) terms? My instinct is to semi-merge them and say four-wheel is a synonym of all-wheel applied more specifically...but four-wheel is definitely the more common term, and I would consider it the main entry. Ultimateria (talk) 04:01, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

I'm no mechanic, so I can't give you a precise definition of either, but they aren't synonymous. Four-wheel drive provides better traction because power can be distributed to each wheel separately. All-wheel drive only allows for adjustment in power distribution between axles. That's my understanding, anyway. All I know for sure is they definitely aren't the same. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:39, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
All-wheel-drive could apply to a vehicle with more than four wheels or more than two axles. DonnanZ (talk) 16:37, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Struck that, Oxford says all-wheel drive is permanent four-wheel drive, 2-wheel drive isn't an option. DonnanZ (talk) 17:29, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Your struck comment seems to be correct, too; e.g. Mike Woof in Ultra Haulers (ISBN 1610592360), page 96, writes: "rigid-chassis vehicles with three axles and all-wheel drive had been used as dump trucks and by the military for years" (unless only two of the three axles had "drive"?). - -sche (discuss) 17:44, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, that's where 6x6 and 8x8 are used, as in Wikipedia six-wheel drive DonnanZ (talk) 18:06, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • In my experience it's the opposite of the first thing Donnanz said. Four-wheel drive just puts power on both axles and is common in off-roading vehicles (e.g. Jeeps), while all-wheel-drive has the ability to control the distribution of power to each wheel individually, and is common in ordinary vehicles that might need to drive through mud or snow (e.g. Subarus). --WikiTiki89 12:30, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Etymology of saoirse[edit]

saoirse meas freedom in Irish. The entry says it comes from Old Irish saírse. Then you go look at it, and it means craftsmaship. How did craftsmanship turn to freedom? The you look at the Middle Irish segment of saírse, and see two etymologies: meaning craftsmanship coming from OI saírse, and meaning freedom from OI soíre «modified to match etymology 1». So where does saoirse come from? OI saírse with totally unrelated meaning? Or the related MI meaning of saírse coming from soíre? MGorrone (talk) 10:27, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

It should (and in a moment, will) say that Modern Irish saoirse comes from Middle Irish saírse (freedom), which is derived from Old Irish soíre, but which had the s added under the influence of saírse (craftsmanship). The problem comes from the homophony of the two basic senses of saor: "free" and "craftsman, carpenter". They were originally quite distinct (Proto-Celtic *su-wiros and *saɸiros), but by late Old Irish they had become homophones. The fact that in feudal times craftsmen were free men, not serfs, led to the two senses becoming mixed up in people's minds, so the abstract noun associated with the "free" meaning changed its shape to become identical to the abstract noun associated with the "craftsman" meaning. So you could say the semantics of saoirse comes from Old Irish soíre (freedom), but the form comes from Old Irish saírse (craftsmanship). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 14:20, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

male, female[edit]

section previously titled time-travellers knew about chromosomes in the 14th century?

As noted on Talk:male, definition 1 of [[male]] currently reads "Belonging to the sex which has testes and/or XY chromosomes. [from 14th c.]" But chromosomes weren't known until a series of discoveries starting in the 1880s, and sex determination wasn't known until the 1900s. As Pengo said: "Is there a way to phrase it so it doesn't appear anachronistic? Perhaps the clause about XY sex-determination could be dropped, as I don't think it adds greatly to this definition anyway considering the myriad of sex-determination systems in animals (and plants)." [[Female]] has a similar sense, but at least it lacks the claim of use by time-travellers in the 14th century.

I'm not sure how to revise it, but the entry needs to be robust enough to cover everything from "Pope Francis is male" and "an unidentified male figure, dressed all in black, was seen leaving the scene" (if the suspect is unidentified and clothed, his gonads and chromosomes are generally not known, but only assumed...) and "a male voice", to (quoting from Google Books) "the male gonad", "the nublike male chromosome", "male sperm fertilized the egg", and "XX male subjects" and "XXY male subjects", as well as e.g. a male writer who was born without, or subsequently lost, testes. (Perhaps our definition should say "Belonging to the sex which typically has..." or "Typical of the sex which [typically] has..."? And perhaps it should be split?)

"Male careers", "stereotypically male interests", "trans male writer", "male writer" used of a trans male writer, and other phrases pertaining to gender are apparently intended to be covered by sense 2, which however might also benefit from revising to "Belonging to or typical of..." to cover the first of those examples ("male careers"). Female needs to handle the mutatis mutandis counterparts of the preceding uses. - -sche (discuss) 16:41, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

You're absolutely right, of course. But given your excellent wording on related entries, I can't imagine I can come up with something better than what you can. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:23, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Typical seems like a very useful word for such definitions. This reminds me of discussion about scientific vs. everyday definitions of iron as a material. I didn't think about the anachronism at the time. DCDuring (talk) 17:35, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
The "unidentified male figure" (when male is only assumed) seems no different from an "unidentified Mediterranean assailant" etc. You can assume anything from a glance; it is not specific to sex/gender. Equinox 17:51, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Indeed. We shouldn't get into epistemic and evidentiary definitions or distinctions among definitions any more than we should get into definitions that differ by degree of sincerity with which they are written or spoken. DCDuring (talk) 19:09, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
True. I doubt most people today are thinking of chromosomes at all in the everyday use of the word, though, any more than the people who lived before chromosomes were discovered were(n't). A combination of dropping the mention of chromosomes (because as noted there are other male/female sex determination systems besides XX vs XY, in addition to there being XX males, etc) and editing it to "belonging to or associated with the sex which typically has testes" (giving "male chromosome" and "male hormone" as usexes) would seem to solve many of the issues, although I'll keep thinking this over. - -sche (discuss) 20:25, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I think it's important with such words that we start with a more colloquial, general definition and move into something more scientific by means of a phrase like "now understood as being…" or similar. The sun, for instance, could be defined as the "bright celestial object providing light in the day, now recognised to be the star around which the earth and other planets rotate". This covers uses from the twelfth century as well as modern ones, and I think it's important to say that they are not different definitions. (Though sometimes they are – see for instance planet, senses 1 and 2, which really are different.) There's nothing wrong with mentioning chromosomes per se, I don't think (though the OED doesn't) – it seems comparable to mentioning that a tiger is Panthera tigris despite the fact that the word predates the binomial classification. Ƿidsiþ 08:03, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
In general, I agree, especially with including the taxonomic name of the [[tiger]]. In this case, the diversity of factors influencing sex (and the fact they don't align in some hundred-or-so million people) means we must be mindful how we word it or the definition becomes inaccurate and "True Scotsmen"-y the more qualifiers are added — and there are quite a few qualifiers.
Having thought about this more, it's probably worth mentioning that until the 1800s external genitalia, not internal gonads or gametes, were the primary physical factor determining maleness vs femaleness, though a person's sense of self was long deferred to in cases where genitalia was ambiguous; using this as a definition is complicated, however, not only by the existence of intersex and trans people, but because not all species have penes, those that do are not all homologous, and there are species where the female has the penis-analogue and the male has the vagina-analogue.
In the 1800s, as doctors sought definitions to reduce the number of people who couldn't be classed as male or female, they switched to gonads. Our definition (of female, to which I recently matched male, mutatis mutandis), matching many other dictionaries', uses the gametes one produces. Later chromosomes were discovered, including in species that don't use XX-vs-XY, but they aren't definitional in everyday language because the other factors are easier to observe and arguably more important to a person's reproductive function. Development of Müllerian and Wolffian ducts is another component of whether someone is male or a female, but like genitals, gonads, etc, it can develop non-typically/non-alignedly and so has to be qualified. Then there are sexually-distinct brain structures that (seem to) correlate to gender identity.
I'm starting to come around to the idea of having a definition that mentions that diversity/evolution of factors up front, à la your "[definition], now understood to be [definition]", with "typically" qualifiers. I wonder if it would be most sensible to roll senses 1 and 2 together at that point. Adding subsenses might or might not be good. I'm just spitballing, but what about:
  1. Belonging to or characteristic of the sex which in most species typically has a penis, and typically also produces sperm or spermatozoa, which is now understood to be in most cases the one with XY (or in some species ZZ, X0 or X) chromosomes, or to the masculine gender which is typically associated with it.
? - -sche (discuss) 17:26, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
IMO, the boring common-person's definition is somewhat distinct from the evolving and taxon-specific definitions. Scientific definition of human maleness deserves a definition with subsenses. Maleness among mammals is close to the human maleness and is also subject to a popular definition. Among egg-laying taxa femaleness is more noticeable than maleness, except in mating behavior. Thus it is also definable in a popular way. Maleness in other taxa, eg, plants is much harder to observe and probably has only specialized (horticultural, scientific) definitions.
But, when all is said and done, we are a dictionary, not an encyclopedia, so we can and should limit ourselves to broad-brush coverage of this. DCDuring (talk) 18:08, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
There's a bit of ugh here; that literally says nothing. Which may be a property of the word, a box around humans and domestic animals that got extended to cover everything, so I'm not blaming you, but still. I'd drop the "(or in some species ZZ, X0 or X)"; I'm not sure it adds anything to anyone trying to use it. If we can split it down into large cases, where we say "in mammals it typically has a penis; in birds it's the non-egg laying group"? Or maybe go all the way there--define it as the group that fertilizes the egg, which I think gets more species (and birds, which are an important, very visible group of species) than "has a penis"?
It might help if our example quotes were more about the normal aspects instead of the more lexicographically interesting ones. The Platonic example of this guy on the Pioneer plaque with XY chromosomes is probably more useful, and more direct to what the word means to English speakers, than "in an XX male subject, SRY is absent in blood leukocytes but present in gonadal cells." (Nice citation sentence, but awful example sentence.)
Ugh. Words where cross-species biology, human biology, psychology, sociology, and contemporary politics intersect are never going to be fun, and I totally respect the effort.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:17, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, it's tough; I think you're spot on that it's a problem of language-users conceptualizing a "box" with men and bulls in it as being a box they can also apply to everything [every species]. We don't want to focus on "non-typical" cases, but we can't deny they exist. I guess I'm OK with dropping the "ZZ" bit, since "in most cases the one with XY" still allows for cases where males aren't XY; or better yet we could stick to leaving chromosomes out entirely (except as a usex/cite), as we do at present. My reason for suggesting including "penis" is that that probably is an aspect ordinary users of the word have in mind, but I can't decide if I think it's actually needed or not! I'm OK with moving most of the "non-typical" cites to the cites page; I suggest having in the main entry 1-2 cites that refer to "typical" males, 1 that uses "male careers" or another collocation that shows why the def says "belonging to or characteristic of...", and 1 that refers to either an intersex or a trans male (or 1 each) to show why the def is qualified with "...typically...". I think it'd also be useful to string common and/or important/informative collocations together as a line of usexes, like:
a male artist; large male hands; a male voice; male insects; male plants; the male organ; male gonads; male chromosomes; male hormones; an intersex male patient; a trans male vlogger; traditionally male jobs
. - -sche (discuss) 19:28, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I like your suggested def of 17:26, except that I'd cut the ZZ X0 bit and I also think that "belonging to" and "characteristic of" are in fact separate senses. A male voice is different from a male tiger, in the sense that it doesn't get together with a female voice and produce baby voices, and to me this difference seems fundamental. Ƿidsiþ 21:06, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Good point. Hmm, if we did split the senses that way, a lot of phrases even for things involved in reproduction but that aren't "reproducers", like "male hormones" that females also typically produce, might even make more sense under "characteristic of...". Also, "belonging to" kinda sounds like it means the same thing as "characteristic of"; I wonder if the first sense should be "being a member of the sex which..."? I guess it depends on whether we want sense 1 to cover only creatures, or also e.g. "the male chromosome". Well, spitballing take two: replace the current definitions 1 and 2 with these, [single brackets] indicating things I'm not sure about including, based on Prosfilaes' points:
  1. Being a member of the sex which, in most species, typically [has a penis and] produces sperm or spermatozoa [to fertilize eggs], or to the gender which is typically associated with it.
    male writers, the leading male and female singers, a male bird feeding a seed to a female, in bee colonies, all drones are male, intersex male patients, a trans male vlogger
  2. Characteristic of this sex/gender. (Compare masculine, manly.)
    a male voice boomed over the loudspeakers, stereotypical male interests, an insect with typically male coloration, like testes, ovaries also produce testosterone and some other male hormones
"The male chromosome" should be a usex under of the senses, but I'm not sure which one. - -sche (discuss) 16:41, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that this is (or isn't) a good idea, but: maybe if we added a third sense like "Tending to lead to or regulate the development of sex characteristics typical of this sex", it might cover "male hormones" and "the male chromosome" and "a male gene" even better than either the above-proposed sense 1 or 2. (And once all this is done, we can edit [[female]] to delineate things similarly.) - -sche (discuss) 16:49, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
I've revamped the entry in the manner proposed. - -sche (discuss) 00:09, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

make due[edit]

Is it fair to label it a misspelling if it is fairly well in use since at least the 15th century in phrases such as "make due preparations", "make due process" by the house of lords no less? Google books doesn't go to far before, but the french influence was stronger before that, so wouldn't it be reasonable to assume "make do" was a reduction of "make due _", even if both were infrequent at the start of the graph (the high peak renders the baseline invisible in proportion)? The uptick after 1950 is notable as well, likely an Americanism. If people write make due instead of the simpler do, that probably implies they are saying it like that, too, in which case it isn't a mere misspelling.Rhyminreason (talk) 19:11, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

‘Make do’ isn’t a reduction of ‘make due …’, but rather of ‘make it do’; see the quotes at make do for some examples. The use of ‘make due’ in ‘make due preparations’ and the like is not idiomatic and doesn’t have anything to do with the origin of ‘make do’, nor does it have the same meaning or syntax, hence why using ‘make due’ for ‘make do’ is usually seen as an error. Regarding people ‘saying it like that, too’, due and do are homophonous for the majority of English speakers, so confusion between the two doesn’t really imply anything. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 20:34, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
After e/c
In "make due preparations" and "make due process" we do not have a misspelling at all. We have "make" + "due preparations" and "make" + "due process".
I do not think you have presented evidence that "make do" is a reduction of "make due". A Google Books search for "make|makes|making|made it do" yields a number of early 19th and late 18th century quotes that seem to me to be in the current sense of make do, eg
  • 1830, Radical reformists, The radical reformists, by the author of The legend of Stutchbury[1]:
    ... as to candles, we dry the rushes ourselves, in summer, enough to serve the winter, and sometimes we get a bit of grease, which makes them burn brighter and last longer." "The more fool you, to make such pitiful savings. Your husband and boy earn but ten shillings a week, and you have all these contrivances to make it do.
Earlier we find the following:
  • 1679, Robert Hooke, ‎John Martyn (Londres), ‎Richard Chiswell (Londres), Philosophical Collections: Containing an Account of Such Physical, ...[2]:
    And therefore he that cannot make the experiment succeed in small, will be sure never make it do in great.
This seems to me to approach the current usage in its meaning.
Thus, to me the evidence is suggestive that make due is an erroneous Francified misspelling of make do. DCDuring (talk) 20:36, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
As for "saying it like that", Wiktionary says that for Americans, "do" and "due" sound the same, so what spelling is in use can not be derived from the pronunciation for many speakers.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:04, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
None of that is tangential to the question in context prior to 1600. Rhyminreason (talk) 05:01, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
That all of America pronounces due like do is not true, if you'd ask around in New England. Anyway America is not pertinent to origin from before 1600.
"Make it do" doesn't appear in ngram before 1650 - in contrast to "make do with this wage" (1593). "make due fit" is from 1655, probably a misspelling in which case it is proof that due was pronounced do.
... doesn’t have anything to do with the origin - That's still the question. The argument is a bit ad-hoc. nor does it have the same meaning or syntax - I'm no grammarian, but there is hardly any syntax to speak of. At least, the placement of a zero grade is not really fixed by a position, because it has no position. The purpose of a blank is exactly to simplify the syntax, e.g. to be underspecific, e.g. because of lack of command of the language.
Why anyone would misspell a word as basic as do is beyond me. Rhyminreason (talk) 05:33, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I believe that they are making an error about the spelling of the idiom, not of do.
Also, what does the OED have to say about this? DCDuring (talk) 15:52, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I did not say that "all of America" pronounces it like that; in fact, I could would even infer from general knowledge that when someone says "X says Americans pronounce these words the same" that the British don't, and therefore some subset of Americans don't. And the last sentences of your original post are about here and now, not before 1600.
As DCDuring says, the problem is not "do", but "make do", which becomes reinterpreted as "make due". I can't say what was being used before 1600, but even if it was make due, that still doesn't make it not a misspelling in the modern day. If make due was the correct form before 1500, that doesn't even show it was ever the correct form in Modern English.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:55, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Your circular reasoning is appalling. The question is whether "make due" is an individual expression. Your implied assertion that "make do" were a reasonably grammatical construct has hardly any bearing on the question.
As a weird example: If there was a stadium shaped like football, in which football had been played, but now it was used exclusively for American football, and a Brit says, let's go to the football-stadium, thinking he described the form, and an American said the same, thinking of the sport played there, then neither would be a misspelling in writing. And soccerball stadium wouldn't be, as well. Is my analogy insufficient? Rhyminreason (talk) 01:05, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Hearkening back to your initial examples, all cases I've seen so far of make due are where due is an adjective modifying a following noun. Meanwhile, in make do, the do is clearly a verb. I fail to see how these two could be viewed as identical. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 03:43, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
@Rhyminreason The contribution with which you opened the discussion was shown to be faulty, make due being a non-constituent and not an idiom. Subsequently you have been argumentative, but it is not clear how your arguments relate to the original topic. You have not shown any idiomatic use of make due with a meaning related to make do or with any other meaning. It seems that you are now emotionally committed to "winning" the argument, not to making a useful contribution to Wiktionary. What due you now want the entry to say? Why? DCDuring (talk) 03:50, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
If I had a suggestion I would have named it. I only suggested not to describe make due as a misspelling. Because it is quite idiomatic either way. One link that I read estimates 10% of the expression to be written wrong. As mentioned above, its various applications are hard to search, because "make due" and "make due $NP" is a stark difference. Nevertheless The ngram showed that make due lost in popularity correlated to the increase of make do. The obvious inverse proportionality implies the subsumption of all usages of make due, constituent or not.
While we are down to 5% make due for make do now, that's just a doubling over the previous prevalence. I don't consider the 20th century archaic enough to disregard this.
I agree with the idiom to be considered in whole, of course, not only in the particular do/due, because the syntax is important. I wonder still how either could be formally grammatical at all, so that the distinction between the two could be analyzed as you say you did, because its chiefly colloquial.
I'm actually from the make do camp myself so refer to comments in the linked article to point out which senses of due make sense: As adjective "adequate" (adverbial I guess), or as noun "debt". Those alternatives don't make a difference, because "due _" is a noun phrase. By the way, the blank is supposed to be any implicit noun, a zero grade;. Of course proper nominalization of an abstract adjective would require the definite article. Ironically, someone who has to make do wouldn't care much for grammar.
Of course what I'm saying is a hard pill to swallow, that ca. 90% make a mistake. Who am I to say what's fact, anyway. The resistance is expected. It makes the problem difficult and hence interesting.
I suggest make due should be incorporated in the wiki as "variant". Rhyminreason (talk) 05:52, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

Should 'data liberation' have its own article?[edit]

data liberation can be defined as "A process of downloading of user's data from an online service like a social network or a forum." It isn't immediately obvious what it means. But, on the other hand, it may seem obvious. Yurivict (talk) 22:38, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Probably yes. It could (but doesn't?) mean other things, like removing intellectual-property restrictions. But if it can just be called "liberation" ("liberate your data"?) then it could go at that entry. Equinox 22:43, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Possibly the majority of the hits on Google Books are to "the Data Liberation Initiative", which is about Canada's effort to make data more freely available. Removing that and Google's own "Data Liberation Front", which is more along your lines, and it's a mixed bunch. We get something from American Demographics (1989): "The latest advances in microcomputer technology will enable even the smallest of companies to put census data to work. "Data liberation" is what Edward Spar, president of Market Statistics of New York City, calls it. Data liberation will provide opportunities not only for the businesses that use census..." Getting Started with Data Science: Making Sense of Data with Analytics (2015) also uses it in the sense of making data easier to get a hold of. I'm seeing more uses in the sense of "making data more freely available" than "freeing one's data from an online service", far more if we include "the Data Liberation Initiative". In any case, I just see "data" + "liberation".--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:16, 2 February 2018 (UTC)


This Russian verb is given five definitions, of which the last two are:

  • (computing, rare) to save (to write a file to a disk)
  • (computing) to burn (to write a file to an optical disc)

I assume the definitions are supposed to be different meanings, but I cannot see that these are different at all, just using a colloquial verb ("burn") in some cases. I'm also a Russian beginner, but when I (accidentally!) ended up using the Russian interface to edit at Commons, Записать was the verb used for "Save (edit)". So I wonder if this is really "rare"?? Imaginatorium (talk) 14:39, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

go amiss[edit]

I used the term, without realising there's no entry for it, usually used with "wouldn't", e.g. as shown here. What form should an entry take? DonnanZ (talk) 15:12, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

go amiss at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring (talk) 18:50, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, probably go amiss, with redirects from not go amiss, would go amiss, would not go amiss, wouldn't go amiss. I do worry that when an expression is often used in the negative, with "not", and we lemmatize it in the positive, people who don't notice that (especially if they followed a redirect) may misunderstand, but I guess that can't be helped, except by a usage label or qualifier like "often in the negative". - -sche (discuss) 23:01, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I've Yes check.svg Done a basic entry which of course can be played around with. I'll think about redirects later. Cheers. DonnanZ (talk) 00:11, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Great, I've added the redirects. Is the expression really only British, though, and not general English? - -sche (discuss) 00:28, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You may see nothing amiss, but we have a good number of idioms that consist of go, referring to a change of state + a descriptive adjective: go bad, go crazy, go wrong, go pear-shaped, go red, go blue, go native to which could be added go good, go green, go legal, go legit, go quiet, go silly. There's a variation with an adverbial tinge: go James Bond, go medieval, go postal, go Terminator, but it's all the same idea. On the one hand, these aren't all obvious, but, on the other hand, there are a lot of potential combinations. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:50, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
To simplify things, follow the lemmings. That way only more problematic cases reach this page. DCDuring (talk) 00:59, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Looking at OneLook coverage, they seem to agree with our inclusions, except go red and go blue. For the most part they agree with our exclusions as well, though they have go legit. DCDuring (talk) 04:42, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
I know what you (-sche) mean about the negative/positive redirect, but that seems in some way a search problem, not something that should change how we write entries. Equinox 04:49, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I was worried about in the first place, the search problem. DonnanZ (talk) 10:49, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

wedded to[edit]

Which of our entries, in any, cover and allow me to make sense of the phrase "I'm not wedded to any particular theory"? Wed has a sense "to commit", but it's labelled rare and obsolete. Wedded only has the literal "joined in marriage" sense. Wedded to is a redlink. - -sche (discuss) 19:35, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

"To commit" doesn't seem obsolete or rare to me. The definition could be enhanced IMO as "To commit, as if by marriage" with a usage example like "I'm not wedded to this proposal; suggest an alternative."
However, wedded to at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that some OneLook dictionaries (legal (1), idiom (2), learner's (1)) have wedded to, though the learner's dictionary has just a redirect to wedded.
In contrast, wedded at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that many dictionaries have entries for wedded, though many are redirects to the verb. Some of the adjective entries don't have the figurative sense. 'Very|too wedded" are attestable in both marital and non-marital figurative use, so we could have an adjective entry. Not all, but most, usage of wedded as an adjective seems to have "to complements". DCDuring (talk) 23:51, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the resources and suggestions. :) I have edited wed (which turns out to have also had a second "commit"-like sense, which I wedded to this sense), and wedded, and redirected wedded to to wedded. - -sche (discuss) 01:24, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

Irish aisling: verb or not?[edit]

Wiktionary says Irish aisling is dream both as a noun and as a verb. However, this dictionary doesn't give it as a verb and Rachel Anderson on Quora stated that «aisling is not a verb». Can we verify it is a verb, or should we remove the verb part of the entry? MGorrone (talk) 21:42, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

O Donaill 1977 claimed that it was a verb in a literary register. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 22:38, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I see what look like hits for the verb form aislingthe: google books:"aislingthe". - -sche (discuss) 22:57, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Dineen also gives it as a verb, but it does seem to be extremely rare. I can't find any unambiguous verbal uses at the Historical Irish Corpus (where I would expect to find it if it were common in the literary register); the Dictionary of the Irish Language gives a single cite from an early translation of the Bible. As for aislingthe, it can also be a form of the noun (see the noun entry at DIL). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 08:10, 4 February 2018 (UTC)


See Citations:valetin. Should this have an English entry? It seems to exist exclusively as a translation of 凡爾丁. DTLHS (talk) 03:54, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

I don't see why not; it seems not much different than entries for the names of culture-specific food dishes or sometimes other things like ranks/titles that are not infrequently referred to using borrowed/calqued terms not used to refer to anything else. - -sche (discuss) 16:57, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
@Wyang, can you clarify the definition of 凡爾丁 any? Presumably that would help us figure out how valetin should be defined. - -sche (discuss) 18:00, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
@-sche I have expanded the definition of 凡爾丁. I hope that helps! By the way, it would be fantastic if someone can figure out the source via some detective work. I now think it could even be the name of some western person who invented this fabric, since no word seems to exist. Wyang (talk) 23:49, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, this is definitely a chicken-and-egg problem: the Chinese looks like a transliteration of a non-Chinese word/name, but the only attestation outside of Chinese seems to be translations of the Chinese. My guess is that we're looking at a misreading of some similar term. So far I've found valentine and veletine, which, however, seem to be silk rather than wool. Then again, this page seems to say valentine. At any rate, I asked for help at Wikipedia (see w:Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Textile_Arts#Valitine/Valetin/Valitin)- perhaps something will come of that. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:50, 5 February 2018 (UTC)


The disambiguation page for the hiragana rendition of ぼうし shows 16 different kanji renditions, but no actual definitions that would differentiate them, and most of them don't even have a page. How can this be amended? AstroVulpes (talk) 12:26, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

I glossed several, but I don't know of Japanese words 傍視, 坊市 (maybe town or market?), 暴死 (probably violent death or sudden death), 茅茨, 謀士, or 鋩子. Cnilep (talk) 01:56, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Likewise at ほうし, I don't know 芳姿, 放氏, 蓬矢, 鋒矢, or 褒賜. Cnilep (talk) 02:19, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I finished up the expansion by adding the last few missing glosses and adding in pronunciation information to differentiate by pitch-accent patterns. Striking as done. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:49, 2 March 2018 (UTC)


Yuk! Is that the predominant form? The two Os should be pronounced separately, even though they sound the same. I certainly won't be putting any translations here. DonnanZ (talk) 16:36, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

Ngrams suggests "co-owner" is markedly more common; I've swapped which one is the lemma and which one is the alt form. - -sche (discuss) 16:53, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Much better. Thanks! DonnanZ (talk) 17:00, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
The New Yorker would doubtless spell it coöwner. I think Condé Nast and David Remnick must own stock in a dieresis factory. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:32, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
And then there's coown... DonnanZ (talk) 19:31, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

pronunciation of oïl[edit]

We have ɔjl as the French pronunciation of "langue d'oïl", but https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langue_d%27oïl#cite_note-1 claims that's Franglais. --Espoo (talk) 20:58, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

FWIW fr.Wikt has \ɔjl\ but also mentions \wi\. - -sche (discuss) 23:29, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Wouldn't Ofr oil also be pronounced /ɔjl/ ? What then, makes oïl, with diareses, distinct ? Not sure but I would imagine /ɔˈil/ would be a reasonable candidate Leasnam (talk) 02:53, 5 February 2018 (UTC)


Is this really, as the entry claims, sometimes pronounced /mæk.əˈdoʊ.ni.ə/? Is that pronunciation limited to the "ancient Greek region" sense? - -sche (discuss) 22:10, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

Removed. - -sche (discuss) 17:43, 9 February 2018 (UTC)


Despite what looks like a change from its etymological origin, is it correct to label تیراژه as a misspelling if it's a form listed in a dictionary?[3] Thanks. Biosthmors (talk) 22:36, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

I'm going to go ahead and remove the mention that تیراژه is a misspelling. If I'm mistaken please revert. Biosthmors (talk) 14:19, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

भोः bhoḥ[edit]

I don't know any Sanskrit. Is it possible to use this Sanskrit word to express respect, with a meaning similar to reverend, venerable... ? Lmaltier (talk) 06:46, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

It's the vocative form of a second-person pronoun that can be used to show respect, but I reckon the meaning would be more like "Sir/Lord So-and-so" when speaking to someone. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:36, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. Lmaltier (talk) 08:24, 10 February 2018 (UTC)


Aren't some of the usexes a bit OTT (i.e. borderline)? DonnanZ (talk) 00:54, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

If there is no response I will remove them all. DonnanZ (talk) 09:50, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

It's Dick Laurent (now known as Qehath). We generally leave them on vulgar words, but you can remove them if you like. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:35, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. If I find them potentially offensive no doubt other users would too. DonnanZ (talk) 17:58, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Off the immediate topic, but on the subject of vulgar Turkish words starting with sik-, I am reminded of the usage note I had to write for sikişmek, warning that you may literally die if you confuse this word and sıkışmak. I am also reminded that our Turkish conjugation templates are still not yet complete enough to list the precise forms that most famously got mixed up. - -sche (discuss) 05:21, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

The funny thing is I wasn't even looking for Turkish, but for any Low German reflexive pronouns (similar to German sich), but drew a blank. DonnanZ (talk) 12:32, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz: I've added the Low German pronoun now. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:24, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether it goes back to Middle Low German, probably does if it comes from Old Saxon, but that's great, thanks. DonnanZ (talk) 13:38, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm sure it does, I just didn't bother listing that step. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:55, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, it can be a grey area, a lot of words in the Scandivanian languages come from Middle Low German or Low German, and dictionaries don't always specify which, perhaps they don't know precisely either. DonnanZ (talk) 14:41, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Scandinavian loanwords from Low German were probably almost all borrowed during the era of the Hanseatic League, which would make it Middle Low German. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:02, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Probably. The Norwegian dictionary we use never mentions Middle Low German, only Low German, so I often refer to the DDO to see what they have to say. DonnanZ (talk) 15:22, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

Seaxa (Old English pronunciation)[edit]

This Old English pronunciation was added by @Beognoth, and I formatted the IPA with a template. I, however, cannot vouch for its accuracy. I just want to make sure it is correct. Cnilep (talk) 01:31, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

@Cnilep: Corrected it. — Eru·tuon 01:54, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

to be sure[edit]

some info. regarding the apparent infinite structure of to be sure? Thanks--Backinstadiums (talk) 17:23, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

This is one of a small group of expressions of the form to be + [ADJ] used as sentence adverbs. Adjectives that are fairly common in this sentence-adverb pattern include honest, frank, fair, precise, exact, clear, complete, kind, and brief. The meaning of most of these is transparent, once one recognizes how sentence adverbs work. Some, but not all, are synonymous as sentence adverbs with corresponding -ly adverbs (eg, honestly, frankly, clearly, briefly). To be sure is probably the least transparent of all of these. An infinitive structure can occur in other sentence adverbials without to be, for example, the idiom not to put too fine a point on it and expressions like to put it mildly, to clarify. I don't think that this is truly lexical rather than grammatical information. DCDuring (talk) 05:42, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: to say the least, to say nothing of? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 16:44, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
to say the least fits a similar pattern. To say the least, our entry does not do it justice.
to say nothing of is different grammatically in that it requires a following noun, but with the following noun it might be said to function as a sentence adverb. Rhetorically it often introduces a correctio or hyperbaton. DCDuring (talk) 17:08, 26 February 2018 (UTC)


"to be merely afraid that" is its definition a natural English sentence? Even so, can merely be left out? --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:49, 6 February 2018 (UTC)


Can sb. confirm the pronunciation with third tone for the verb, yet fourth tone for the noun ? If so, it should be specified at --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:41, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

I don't think that's the case. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:53, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

I need a guide[edit]

I have noticed that the phrase I need a guide was deleted in March 2017 by Daniel Carrero but I failed to find any archived RfD discussion. Although the English phrase was deleted, its equivalents in other languages were kept, such as potřebuji průvodce or ich brauche einen Fremdenführer. It was also kept in the Appendix:English phrasebook/Travel. I believe the phrase should not have been deleted and suggest recovering. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 10:00, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

Yana page: English Noun actually is Tibetan/Sanskrit/Pali not English[edit]


Hi was interested because the page for Yana says it is an English word, which is not the case

"(Buddhism) Any of the vehicles of Buddhist or Tantric practice."

Then three quoted related terms

Related terms Hinayana Mahayana Vajrayana

To have these listed in English is inaccurate, they are not English words


It's not a native English word, no, but it is used in English, and that makes it an English word, just like yoga and Buddha and any other number of Sanskrit borrowings. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:18, 11 February 2018 (UTC)


(and various other edits by

Specifically, this revision does not appear to be accurate. There is contemporary informal use of Scotch to refer to the people of Scotland, and to both Scotch Gaelic and Scots, however incorrect/inappropriate that use may be. My question is basically how far is povioring to be ignored, as the individual appears to be a valuable contributor? - Amgine/ t·e 16:53, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

Evidence from N-Grams? DCDuring (talk) 17:11, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
For "set" phrases in which Scots/Scotch/Scottish might occur, it seems that Scotch persists, especially in the US. Scotch-Irish is more popular than Scots-Irish The matter of Scotch-Irish is discussed at length here. Scotch pine, Scotch broom, Scotch woodcock are other examples, but there are many. Finding usage of the attributives outside set phrases is more time-consuming, but may be worth while for Wiktionary. DCDuring (talk) 17:38, 8 February 2018 (UTC)


Is it nonstandard and considered offensive in some communities? Sure, Somali is more common but is the label correct? --Robbie SWE (talk) 19:28, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

There are dozens of threads on forums where Somalis describe the term as incorrect; here is one example: [4]. If you want to hear a Somali specifically calling the term offensive, well, here is an example in this video at 1 hour 15 minutes where he specifically describes it as offensive: [5]. Any offensive term cannot be tagged as standard. 19:52, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Standard for whom? Somali is an ethnic group, which makes up 85% of the population of Somalia, but 15% of people living there are not of that ethnic group. By what term should they be described as "non-Somali citizen of Somalia" ? - Amgine/ t·e 21:55, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
That's hardly unique to Somalia. Not all French citizens are ethnically French; not all German citizens are ethnically German; not all Russian citizens are ethnically Russian, and so forth. It's an ambiguity we have to live with for a very large number of demonyms. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 22:05, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I expect citizens of the d:United Kingdom of Scottish, Welsh, and Irish extraction dislike being described there as British. The point being that Somalian is more inclusive than Somali, and appears to me to be in standard use at least in North American and possibly other outside-of-Somalia contexts. - Amgine/ t·e 22:20, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Actually the term "Somalian" is more exclusive than "Somali". Take for instance inhabitants of Somaliland who may feel left out by the usage of that term. 22:33, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Where Somaliland is viewed as a sovereign state, the citizens would not be Somalian. Where it is viewed otherwise, they would be. (But I have to admit "Somalilander" is not beautiful in my ear.) - Amgine/ t·e 22:42, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
The attractiveness of Somali over Somalian in a volatile part of the world is that the former doesn't carry the same political overtones as the latter. 22:47, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
So there is a standard freighted meaning to the use of Somalian, presumably a nationalist point of view, which is not present in Somali? Perhaps that should be mentioned in a usage note? - Amgine/ t·e 22:54, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
In northern Somalia, I would say yes, not necessarily in central or southern Somalia though. 23:07, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
As for the usage note, that's up to you. 23:25, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
FWIW the AP stylebook agrees that it's Somali not Somalian. - -sche (discuss) 17:42, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
NYTimes disagrees, and uses both depending on context. Which is neither here nor there since the question seems to be "should Wiktionary take a position rather than describe use?" I would err on descriptive, rather than prescriptive. - Amgine/ t·e 17:55, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

Usage examples of sacre: untranslated Middle English[edit]

I visited sacre and there is at least one usage example in ME with no translation. Most of it is understandable, but there is "hondis" which I cannot fathom, and which doesn't have its own Wiktionary entry. Should we not add a translation? And about that, what does hondis mean? (Also, IIRC this example is in the "English" section, and if that is the case it should at least be moved to the ME section.

Yes, you should add a translation if you are able to. Feel free to move any Middle English content you find to its own Middle English entry, assuming one exists. DTLHS (talk) 20:22, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Middle English hondis means "hands"; the Vulgate says cunctorum consecrabis manus (you will sanctify the hands of all). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 20:36, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

pearl necklace[edit]

It's possible that all the translations for the second sense need to be checked (NSFW image in Wikipedia link), how can that be done? Just by pinging those who speak the relevant languages? Please also see the question I raised about the Chinese translation at RFV. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 23:34, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

All batch-added by User:IvanScrooge98. Removed the Chinese translation. Wyang (talk) 03:56, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev Please could you check the Russian and Ukrainian. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 12:58, 9 February 2018 (UTC) Also @Alexander Mikhalenko.
@Kaixinguo~enwiktionary: They are correct but the term is an SoP and should be rfd-ed. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:06, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Thanks, but do you mean SoP in English or in other languages? Also, could you vouch for the Belarusian as well? Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 13:17, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
@Kaixinguo~enwiktionary: English and other languages are SoP. The Belarusian is correct but the entry is still a waste, even if it was me who added the Russian translation in diff in 2012. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:27, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: OK, I see you have now removed all the translations and requested deletion. I don't mind, I was only trying to help because I noticed the Chinese and Persian were wrong. But now I have really wasted my time trying to sort this out. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 13:52, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, I think I can safely say that my attempts to edit outside of Persian have been a total disaster and a total waste of time. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 14:08, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
@Kaixinguo~enwiktionary: I have removed only but the 2nd section of translations, which were an exact copy of the first, as if the stupid sense exists in all languages. If the entry survives the rfd, the translations will stay. Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 19:32, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr, Suzukaze-c Please could you check the Japanese. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 13:11, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
It's marked del, but for reference -- Shogakukan's J→E dictionary lists 真珠ネックレス (shinju no nekkuresu, literally, pearl + (possessive particle) + necklace) as a usage example in the entry for pearl. Note that this is SOP in Japanese and the entry should probably link separately to the constituent parts. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:26, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
@IvanScrooge98 Please could you check the Italian. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 12:59, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the Italian is fine. Sorry for some of my additions. [ˌiˑvã̠n̪ˑˈs̪kr̺ud͡ʒʔˌn̺ovã̠n̪ˑˈt̪ɔ̟t̪ːo] (parla con me) 13:04, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
@IvanScrooge98: Why? Don't be sorry :) Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 13:18, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

Because User:Dan_Polansky isn't Polish, I can't find anyone to look at the Polish. The only names I recognise from Category:User pl-N etc. have not been not active recently. Can anyone think of anyone? Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 13:24, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

up a storm[edit]

Adverb as part of speech is misleading here. It's not talk + up a storm (like bark up a tree); it's talk up + a storm. Since other verbs than talk can be used, I don't know what to call this if not adverb, though. Equinox 08:11, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

There is no definition of storm that would be substitutable and yield the meaning of, say, "preach up a storm". There is also no phrasal verb preach up, though I'm sure some would want to add one. I also don't think that talk up + a storm is the right analysis. Talking up a storm in that sense is what American broadcast weather forecasters do to make people come back to their next appearance. Perhaps up a storm might best be considered a prepositional phrase. DCDuring (talk) 08:57, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
It is also not true that it is felicitous to use up a storm with any intransitive verb. For one thing, it usually doesn't seem right with verbs that do have a common associated phrasal verb with up, eg. *"speak up a storm", *"drive up a storm". *"think up a storm". But it does work with a great variety of verbs. DCDuring (talk) 09:25, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
I just tried a few random ones I thought up ("shopping up a storm", "sang up a storm", "dancing up a storm", "ate up a storm") and all are well evidenced in GBooks. To me the phrase feels syntactically comparable to whipping up (swiftly producing). Could be wrong; it's not one I use much. Equinox 09:45, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
I've heard it on TV shows in US, especially those in rural/Western settings. Sadly, I don't yet own the appropriate volume of DARE. I think there are so many verbs with which up a storm is acceptable that it needs its own entry. Though I can't yet improve on our entry or that of MWOnline (Those copycats!), I think there is room for improvement, perhaps reflecting the range of verbs with which it does not work or perhaps just reworded. DCDuring (talk) 13:05, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
Maybe the verbs are just those involving activities that can be intensified (eg, study, read, cook, write, knit, but not *open, *close, *dine, *glue), but aren't inherently intense (eg, *rage, *electrify, *sprint, *slice). DCDuring (talk) 13:13, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
Who's good with grammatical analysis? I appreciate the theorising above (and thanks for responding to my post) but I would like a bit more, uh, Chomskyan aboreal bitching, who knows. Equinox 22:20, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
aboreal? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:27, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
It's not really any part of speech, since it takes part of one node in the structure and joins it with another node. This is really a substitutable pattern along the lines of a snowclone ([VERB up] [a storm]). Chuck Entz (talk) 01:11, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions has this (under its own headword, "up a storm"), labelled "mod.", the same 'part of speech' as "on the road", "in one's blood" and "in the black". The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines "cook/dance/talk, etc. up a storm" as "idioms" under the headword storm. MacMillan also has it as "up a storm", as a phrase. I think the entry as it stands now looks OK. Redirects from common verbs like [[talk up a storm]] would probably be good for improving search-findability. - -sche (discuss) 04:33, 10 February 2018 (UTC)


Any idea how the colours at Appendix:Colors are assigned? I believe mignonette and reseda are synonymous, but they are given different values at Appendix:Colors. — SGconlaw (talk) 14:22, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

Dutchman (and similar demonyms)[edit]

The definition for Dutchman currently specifies only a man (which can be assumed to mean an adult male), but many people, including Wiktionary's own list in Appendix:Countries of the world use the word for a person (generally) of the Netherlands. I think that the definition of Dutchman (and some words like it) should include the fact the word has often been used for any gender or age (plus a usage note). The entry for -man uses the phrase "implied male" - but for some demonyms the implication is maybe weaker than others - e.g. when the -person alternative is uncommon, and implications have changed with time. Perhaps for some words two usage notes are needed: one for readers (what was probably meant when it was written?) and one for writers (what might people assume you mean if you use this word today?).

Possibly also helpful: another column in Appendix:Countries of the world for usage notes where there may be negative reactions from using certain words - e.g. if a country's status is disputed, if a word is ambiguous (e.g. American), if two words are used interchangeably in English when they shouldn't be (e.g. Holland and the Netherlands), as well as the gender-specific implication. It could even include the demonym the people of the country prefer to use for themselves in their own language - that would be helpful. Maitchy (talk) 20:57, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

Please check my edit in page выделенный (ru)[edit]

Could you, please, check my edit? I'm not sure about syntax in case when we have link to another article. --Важнов Алексей Геннадьевич (talk) 05:33, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

That's fine. For non-English entries, we usually write glosses in lower case, with no period/full stop at the end; for English entries, we usually write definitions beginning with an upper-case letter and with a period/full stop at the end. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 18:40, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
(Why, actually? Shouldn't all definitions regardless of the entry language be a proper sentence, beginning with a capital letter and ending with a full stop? — SGconlaw (talk) 03:39, 14 February 2018 (UTC))
A sentence is a logical assertion, so what would assertion would there be in a definition of "banana"? Actually definition is normally a phrase, being an equivalent of the word being defined ("a tropical fruit in the shape of a crescent moon"). Preceding this with "This word means..." and adding a full stop makes it into a sentence, but wastes paper. Checking the nearest "real" dictionary (SOED 3rd ed.) it does start with a capital letter and end with a full stop, but the beginning is a phrase, followed by a sentence. ("A tree (Musa sapientum) cultivated largely in tropical countries; it grows to a height of 20 feet 1697.") Hmm, not exactly normal sentence construction... Imaginatorium (talk) 05:02, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
English entries have definitions (Starting with a capital, ending with a dot.); foreign-language entries usually have glosses (lowercase, no dot). - -sche (discuss) 22:24, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

translation hub for look out! watch out! careful![edit]

Don't we have one already? I cannot find it. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:33, 13 February 2018 (UTC)


Are the any rules (like WT:CFI rules) for letters?
How is the sense

a Modern Greek ("Greek", code el) letter? - 00:00, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

This is another entry (I was just about to post about a different one) where the senses haven't been substantially updated in a decade and it shows. They date to a time when editors here sometimes treated Ancient Greek as Greek, especially in cases like this. The sense should be moved to an Ancient Greek section, I think. - -sche (discuss) 00:20, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I'd move it to a Greek ("Ancient Greek", code grc) entry - but knowing how some rollbackers sometimes do react, I was asking for rules and thinking of challenging it at WT:RFVN or WT:RFD. - 03:06, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I've given it a shot. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 19:32, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. - 23:11, 14 February 2018 (UTC)


I saw our weirdly split definitions and suspected this was another entry from a decade ago, when entries often used multiple definition lines to cover one sense from different angles. Sure enough, it is. It's particularly odd one sense is labelled 'derogatory' but the other isn't. I don't think the split is made in practice, and other dictionaries have only one sense, which combines these two. I suggest rewriting it to have one sense, perhaps along the lines of "One who has obstinate ideas about race, religion, gender, politics, etc, and is intolerant of people with different ideas or of different races, religions, genders, political factions, etc." Thoughts/ criticism/ suggestions for improvement? - -sche (discuss) 00:22, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

The two senses refer to the same thing. I don't think a "derogatory" tag is necessary for the same reason we don't have one at ugly. The second half of your definition looks good to me; I feel like "obstinate" is just a connotation. Ultimateria (talk) 12:48, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I've edited the entry. FWIW, I was only familiar with the second half of the definition myself, but almost every other dictionary I looked at included verbiage to the effect of the first half, so I retained it (from sense 1 of our weirdly split entry); apparently it is a thing that the term means...? - -sche (discuss) 22:22, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

racial supremacy[edit]

Grammatically (changing the references to sneetches to references to human races), "white supremacy" can be used in all of the ways that this entry's usexes show "racial supremacy" being used, yet [[white supremacy]] gets by with only one sense, whereas this entry has four. Does this entry have over-many senses, or do "white supremacy", "black supremacy", "Arab supremacy" (and "German supremacy" and other supremacies anyone wants to add) need more senses? Or should the terms just be RFDed again as obvious SOPs? They passed, but Talk:Jewish supremacy failed. - -sche (discuss) 00:28, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Definitely take it down to one sense, and then RFD that one sense. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:34, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
It seems bad form (open to accusations of dishonesty) to redefine an entry and then RFD it; I'll just RFD it. It can be cleaned up if kept. - -sche (discuss) 05:27, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
There are certain topics (race, feminism, any kind of politics seem to be among them) where most people just go blind and spazz. Those entries end up being blind spazz entries. We should be merciless in cutting them down. Equinox 01:40, 14 February 2018 (UTC)


  • By Wiktionary:About Middle English ("between 1150 and 1500") the cite from 1554 would be Modern English. Is it Middle or Modern English?
  • The reference and the talk page hint that it's Middle Scots. Is it English or Scots? (Maybe compare with the discussion entitled "Middle Scots" below.)

- 03:06, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

1554 is definitely too late to be Middle English (a few people have sometimes pushed for a different chageover date than 1500, but generally an earlier one, 1470). - -sche (discuss) 04:22, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I've changed the citation and Reference Leasnam (talk) 05:15, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. - 23:11, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Middle Scots[edit]

How's Middle Scots treated at wiktionary?

  • Scots Dauid has a label "Middle Scots" implying that Middle Scots and Modern Scots form a single language Scots at Wiktionary. Compared with other languages (Old English, Middle English, English; Old High German, Middle High German, German; Old Dutch, Middle Dutch, Dutch; ...) that seems unusual and strange.
  • Category:Middle Scots language got deleted with the reason "no such language - It is really a local variant of Middle English - Scots is a language now in its own right". By wikipedia that doesn't fit, compare en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Scots : "Middle Scots ... from 1450 to 1700", with Wiktionary:About Middle English: "Middle English ... between 1150 and 1500."

- 03:06, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Scots developed out of Middle English, so Scots is not as old as English. Old Scots corresponds roughly to late Middle English, and Middle Scots roughly aligns to Early Modern English. Since we don't separate Early Modern English from Modern English, I don't see a need to do the same with Middle Scots and Modern Scots. Leasnam (talk) 05:07, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Having read w:History of the Scots language, I would suggest treating Scots words from before 1100 as Northumbrian Old English, those from 1100 to 1450 (i.e. Early Scots) as Scottish Middle English (which can be a subcategory of Regional Middle English), and those from 1450 to 1700 (i.e. Middle Scots) as Scots archaic terms or Scots terms with archaic senses. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:13, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Okay. Thanks. - 23:11, 14 February 2018 (UTC)


Is the use of nay as an interjection really archaic? Or is it dated/dialectal? Its ngram shows a decline similar to its coordinate term yea, which is labelled as dated.

Anecdotally, I use nay frequently as an informal interjection equivalent to no, however I may be just applying English phonology to German nee, as I tag-switch between English and German a lot. As a native (American) English speaker, I'd be more taken aback by lo, also an archaism, or alas, which is not labelled archaich or dated. – Gormflaith (talk) 17:49, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

If you plot it out to 2018, it shows a slight increase in all three terms [[6]]. Additionally, nay is far more common than nope and even yep, something I found very surprising Leasnam (talk) 22:52, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Maybe reprints distort the picture if they're included. Crom daba (talk) 00:23, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Missing sense of flare?[edit]

A flare at an oil refinery. [7]. DonnanZ (talk) 01:06, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

It does look like we're missing the noun sense.
The transitive verb sense in the linked article appears to be covered by sense 4: "To cause to burn." ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 01:10, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Also, sense 5 of the noun is hardly different from sense 1. I would group any flame-related senses and all the widening senses. I suppose the photography sense is close to the flame senses. DCDuring (talk) 02:27, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I have added it as sense 8 (can be revised), but maybe some grouping can be done as DCDuring suggests. Found an image too, which can be downsized if necessary. DonnanZ (talk) 10:00, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
If you look in Wikipedia at lens flare, it's described as a scattering of light. DonnanZ (talk) 10:54, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

megadontia, macrodontia, megalodontia[edit]

Do these terms mean the same thing, or are there differences in terms of what they refer to? If they mean the same thing, which one is the most common one? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:23, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

  • Copy pasting the title of this section into the Google ngram viewer shows that macrodontia is much more common than megadontia, and that megalodontia is unused. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:27, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
    • It seems to me that megadontia is mainly a medical term, whereas macrodontia is also used in anthropological contexts. Ƿidsiþ 06:18, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

investment and vestment[edit]

Currently we claim at investment that "that with which anyone is invested" means vestment, but this is not reflected at vestment. Notably, OED does not have this sense. Any ideas? ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:17, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

I don't find that sense at vestment at OneLook Dictionary Search or vestment in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911. DCDuring (talk) 14:53, 15 February 2018 (UTC)


Another call for help, pretty urgent: we are missing an adverb, noun and verb sense for posh currently listed in the OED. Anyone? ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:50, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Probably "(UK) in a manner associated with the upper class" She talks posh, but she's from Brixton. DCDuring (talk) 14:57, 15 February 2018 (UTC)


I'm talking about a sense that goes something like this:

  1. Term of affection used in some romantic or sexual relationships that suggests that the woman being called this is is the nurturer of the other.

This is not a well-worded definition, but I hope you guys get the idea. It involves the sort of rare MDLB (mommy dom/little boy) or even rarer MDLG (mommy dom/little girl) fetishism/lifestyle, which I admittedly happen to be into (the term is modeled after DDLG, in which the male partner is called "daddy"). Should we have a definition for this, or is it too related to the original definition? Last time I looked for citations for the abbreviation MDLB, I couldn't find enough... Any takers? PseudoSkull (talk) 21:00, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

If it's used in roleplay, I wouldn't think it was a different sense; someone could also roleplay a teacher-student thing and call their partner "professor", without that being a different sense. OTOH, if it's become as general as the sexual sense of daddy (which seems to be used outside of roleplay) and we can find citations of it, it probably has as much merit as the sexual sense that's currently in that entry. This seems somewhat related (topically, not etymologically) to little#Noun (currently labelled "BDSM", but is ageplay restricted to BDSM?). - -sche (discuss) 22:17, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I was discussing this with PseudoSkull off-wiki. I said (paraphrase): It depends. If you're acting out a roleplay and you call someone mommy because in that roleplay they are the mother, that's just like a kids' game where you play House and say "I will be daddy". It's not a separate meaning. But if "I am a mommy" means "in ageplay i act a certain role" then yes it's a separate sense. Equinox 19:57, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

play dumb[edit]

Did the second (and now more common) meaning derive from a misunderstanding/reinterpretation of the first meaning, going into it with the perspective that dumb meant "foolish, ignorant"? Tharthan (talk) 22:01, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

I would think it was another instance of play + adjective, like "play coy [with]". (Googling even finds some hits for "play ignorant".) - -sche (discuss) 22:20, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
It may have evolved as the meaning of dumb evolved, first from meaning "unable to speak" to (under German influence) "not smart, stupid" Leasnam (talk) 22:26, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree, in my view it's a simple parallelism. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:30, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Is play possum a stative verb? Is "possum" a direct object (as in "play tennis"), or is it a predicative? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:30, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Play possum, as an idiom, is not a good model for 'normal' grammar. One can't play vulture, for example.
There are numerous adjectives that form common collocations with play in addition to those already mentioned: dead*, dirty*, fair*, false, ignorant, innocent, nice*, rough*, safe*, smart, and fast and loose* and hard to get*. I don't think that most of these can be considered adverbs. The ones marked with "*" might form an idiom with play, but I don't think so. For example, they accept adjective-modifying adverbs like very, too, a bit, kinda etc., so they fail to be set phrases, sensu stricto.
My argument would be that the purported "misunderstanding/reinterpretation" goes back to dumb. The entry for “dumb” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018. has Old High German thumb, but not many cognates, meaning both "mute" and "stupid". Modern English use of dumb in the "stupid" sense apparently dates from the early 19th century. It would be interesting to know whether it originated in the US or the UK, the US having a significant minority of German speakers at the time. DCDuring (talk) 15:14, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
One can play the fool, play the goat, and rarely play pigeon...these constructs remind me of similar formations using act (e.g. act chicken). As far as play possum is concerned, I think it's modelled on play dead (?) Leasnam (talk) 16:44, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Grammatically, the play + ([DET) [NOUN] construction and the play + [ADJ] contructions (which started the discussion) should be looked at separately.
To me play possum seems like a reduction of something like "play a/the possum" unless Possum is considered by the speaker to be a character like Br'er Rabbit. In any event I think it may be one of the very few expressions of this type, involving play, that is a true idiom. DCDuring (talk) 19:00, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Right. I can't think of any other animal that plays dead, 'cept'n a possum. Leasnam (talk) 20:04, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

I am tryiing to add a new word uberlate[edit]


(verb) : being late for a appointment or commitment which forces you to call a Uber or lyft. Uberlate

Why can I get this word addded

First you should understand the difference between verbs and adjectives. Then read WT:CFI and provide evidence of the word's use. DTLHS (talk) 02:08, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

to get old[edit]

In the sense of "to get boring, to get repetitive". Is that entry worthy? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 13:45, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

old adj sense 5 uses "getting old" in the example. Equinox 13:47, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Whoops, small oversight. Thanks. Is it used in that sense outside of "to get old", though? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 13:49, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
It can be (e.g. from the Web: "Apologise, say the bitching has grown old and agree to all behave in kinder, less judgemental ways in future"). "Get old" is a common collocation, but then so is "get old fast". Equinox 15:16, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Also, from the web:
"the initial hiding was awesome, it just became old with repetition."
"Intelligent swords had additional powers, but even that could seem old after a while."
"even great beats can start to sound old after a while." DCDuring (talk) 15:37, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Ok, thanks to you both. No need for a new entry. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 16:00, 16 February 2018 (UTC)


I just created this entry, but I immediately realized I may have created a SoP page, as I think 去 is quite productive; I can say 去殼, 去核, 去死皮/去角質, 去斑, 去黑頭. So is it a SoP? Dokurrat (talk) 16:32, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

hopeless romantic[edit]

Originally I added this entry to WT:REE (I need to remove it actually), but I decided that the definition I had in mind was at least logical, especially for hopeless + romantic.

PUC and I are pretty sure this is a set phrase, as mentioned on the talk page, but unsure if it has any idiomatic meaning beyond the definition that's currently there as of this post. Lots of the web definitions seemed weird to me, seeming to describe mostly about what they think a "hopeless romantic" tends to be like in personality beyond just the basic definition of what a hopeless romantic is; even the one from Urban Dictionary seemed to do this. I'm pinging @Per utramque cavernam and @suzukaze-c in this post. Any other ideas on what to do with this entry are appreciated. PseudoSkull (talk) 16:40, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

It's not obvious to me that it's a set phrase, sensu stricto: "hopeless old romantic", "hopeless young romantic", "hopeless charming romantic", "hopeless bygone-age romantic", "hopeless ridiculous/pathetic romantic". As a common collocation it probably merits being included in usage examples at both [[hopeless]] and [[romantic]]. DCDuring (talk) 17:04, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I think we are missin: g a sense of hopeless: "incurable", "irremediable" which fits with "romantic" in this collocation because being romantic is metaphorically a disease. In that sense one can be a hopeless idiot/fool/failure/duffer/dilettante/collector/second-rater/felon/truant/bibliophile, all of which are metaphorically diseases in the collocation. DCDuring (talk) 17:13, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Ya can be lots of hopeless things: it isn't really about hope, except in a vague "there's no hope for him to stop being an X!" way (see DCDuring's comments); rather similar perhaps to the slang "sad", he's sad or a "sad case", he cannot be cured from being a nerd. This topic reminds me of unrequited love which I swear passed an RFD, but apparently not -- I'm even querying this long ago on the talk page -- but there was something like this which was kept and shouldn't have been. Equinox 19:49, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
@Equinox Could you be thinking of unconditional love, which failed an RFD? PseudoSkull (talk) 20:04, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, I really could have sworn that the one I'm talking about survived. So I don't think it's that. But it's a very close topic and you could conceivably be right. Equinox 20:47, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
incurable romantic? secret admirer? :) -- Curious (talk) 21:00, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Ahah, well done. The RFD of incurable romantic dates back to February 2009, a few months before Equinox's post on the talk page of unrequited love (July 2009), so maybe he was thinking of that? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:05, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes! Sorry this is such a deep (indentation-wise) "derail" but that's the one. Equinox 22:17, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, I don't know now. hopeless romantic and these are definitely common collocations, but are they entry worthy? Maybe not. (PseudoSkull is gonna hate me.) --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:26, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
It was once suggested that we could use a separate namespace for common collocations. That might be a tremendous help in doing definitions that surpass those in the other online dictionaries. The managing editor of Collins described how their lexicographers used such collocations from their COBUILD database to infer meanings, grouping the collocations by common elements. Thus, the predicate uses of hopeless might be separated from the attributive and the various nouns that appear with hopeless could be further grouped, eg, situation and similar nouns would be a cluster that generated one definition (or more); idiot/fool/failure might be another cluster; etc. Collins collocations. Collins used a KWIC format for the collocations. Does anyone else see the appeal of this? It would be a key element of a "lexicographer's workbench", especially useful for highly polysemic English words, but also, probably, for combining closely related definitions. DCDuring (talk) 23:06, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
OED does it, and I would have thought they are the gold standard for English dictionaries, HAHA! I just looked up gold standard and it actually says that in the usage example (we shouldn't use brand names in usexes, can we change it?). However, we don't have any particular mechanism for "common collocations". Some entries do have lists of them (sorry, I don't have one off the top of my head, but many major words have those lists). If this was something that was raised at work I would immediately demand a requirements meeting: who wants them, why, what will they do with them, what do we need to provide? I can definitely see some use (primarily for foreign learners? DCD's comments above are useful) but they do fall a little outside of merely defining a word, and they are something we would need to keep up to date over time (and surely we should preserve the history of previous common collocations). Wow I've derailed this discussion twice! A topic to break out, though? Equinox 23:54, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
The topic has to go to BP, I suppose, because this is supposed to be "A place to ask for help on finding quotations, etymologies, or other information about particular words." DCDuring (talk) 00:08, 17 February 2018 (UTC)


antimicrobicide - OneLook - Google "antimicrobicide" (BooksGroupsScholar)

Not quite sure how to write this entry - a strange word that appears to be a 'mis-form' of microbicide in many uses, even in a Nature (Publishing Group) publication:

Findings of a randomized phase III clinical trial demonstrate that a vaginally-applied topical gel containing the antimicrobicide tenofovir can prevent the transmission of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), when used pericoitally.

Wyang (talk) 05:23, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

  • I've added an initial entry. Feel free to improve or delete as appropriate. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:12, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Looks good, thanks. (I think it might be good to have a template for these misconstrued (?) words.) Wyang (talk) 06:24, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Antimicrobicide is misconstructed by the speaker/author, I think. It is based, possibly on misconstrual by the speaker/author of the meaning of the morphemes anti- and -cide.
It's not a misspelling, IMO, of either antimicrobial biocide or microbicide. It seems to me to be constructed as an imperfect blend of antimicrobial and microbicide, without interference from thought about the alternative construction anti- + microbicide or the double dose of death in anti- and -cide. It could be defined as "(nonstandard) An antimicriobial; a microbicide". DCDuring (talk) 15:52, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
@Wyang: We have {{misconstruction of}}, used for example in evolutionary stable strategy (it unfortunately categorises the entries that use it as "misspellings", but that can easily be changed.) Would that help? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 11:45, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes. That's much better (I've changed it accordingly). SemperBlotto (talk) 11:53, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
@Per utramque cavernam I agree with SemperBlotto. Thanks. Wyang (talk) 11:56, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
I've edited the entry so it seems right by my lights. Google antimicrobicide (BooksGroupsScholar) shows that it is not rare at Google Books and G. Scholar. Feel free to revert. Also see Talk:antimicrobicide. DCDuring (talk) 14:08, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
It could be interpreted as emphasis of the killing element of the organism or substance by repetition of the same concept. It would be like the expression to kill someone dead. DCDuring (talk) 14:24, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
Or just throwing multiple semantically-similar morphemes onto the same word without thinking about how they go together. A hot water heater isn't any hotter than a water heater. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:43, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
Good example.
On Google Scholar, the vast majority of authors who use the term seem to not be native speakers.
It seems to exist in French as well.
Of course, it might be used to mean anti- + microbicide or even antimicrobe + -cide, but I haven't yet found such use. DCDuring (talk) 16:33, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

honorary doctor, honorary doctorate[edit]

What do you all think? Are they entry-worthy? DonnanZ (talk) 11:54, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

I think [[honorary]] covers it. DCDuring (talk) 15:57, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
So is an honorary doctor in the same league as a witch doctor? I don't think so. There is a difference between a medical doctor and a non-medical title given by a university. The two terms go together. DonnanZ (talk) 12:00, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
Honorary doctor is in the same league as honorary mayor, honorary witch [book title], honorary fellow, honorary member, honorary degree, honorary coauthor, honorary consultant, etc. How could we improve the definition or usage examples of honorary to make that more clear. DCDuring (talk) 14:06, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
That kind of attitude shouldn't be tolerated for potential translation targets, as in this case. It's probably better to not ask, and take the bull by the horns. DonnanZ (talk) 10:09, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
Attitude? What phrase (or mere collocation) isn't a potential translation target? Why aren't any, indeed all, of the other collocations with honorary potential translation targets? DCDuring (talk) 12:28, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
They are, more than likely. DonnanZ (talk) 17:15, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
If other languages form their translations of these collocations with the same word/prefix for "honorary" that they use in forming their terms for "honorary fellow of the royal society", etc, then I don't see why we would even need a translation target; "honorary" does seem to cover this quite well. As DCDuring says, this sense can be used with a great many words. "She was made an honorary citizen of Canada" or "given honorary citizenship", "she was named an honorary member of the board" or "given honorary membership", etc... - -sche (discuss) 14:38, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
In certain languages compounds are derived from the word for honour rather than for honorary. DonnanZ (talk) 17:12, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
But that's true for all such terms (it's not limited to "honorary doctor" but is also how "honorary citizen" is formed), right? So it's something to document in [[honorary]]'s translations table. - -sche (discuss) 17:29, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz: Thinking of Germanic, how about "{{l|de|Ehre|Ehren-}} {{qualifier|in compounds}}" or more properly "{{t|de|Ehre|alt=Ehren-}} {{qualifier|in compounds}}" as a translation in the entry honorary? An example would be Ehrendoktor (Ehre + Doktor) = honorary doctor. - 12:36, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
You can I suppose, but anything like that is a poor (or makeshift) substitute for the actual term. DonnanZ (talk) 12:54, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

reprendre le flambeaucarry the torch, pick up the torch, take up the torch[edit]

I'm trying to translate reprendre le flambeau (which basically means "to take over") in English. carry the torch, as defined by Collins and Macmillan, could fit the bill, but we're redirecting it to carry a torch for. Is that redirect a good thing, and aren't we confusing two different idioms? (Longman is occupying a sort of middle ground, though)

I'm also finding results for pick up the torch and take up the torch, but it looks like Franglish. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:38, 18 February 2018 (UTC)


The definition at Enlgish kawaii says "cute, adorable", but is that accurate ? That may be what the word means in Japanese, but I think the word in English is better depicted in second 2010 citation which describes it as "disproportionately large eyes and heads, and thin bodies"...should this be changed to something like "Of or relating to a style that displays images as juvenile, neotenic, childlike, or vulnerable" ? I can't see anyone saying "Oh, I think that girl's kawaii (i.e."cute, adorable") Leasnam (talk) 20:59, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

I've heard people say "kawaii" meaning "cute" (and never the other body-style one). Equinox 21:01, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
Hrm...okay Leasnam (talk) 21:03, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
I hear "kawaii" as "cute" as well. For the physiognomic sense you describe above, I'd use BESM. -Stelio (talk) 17:14, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

greatest philip[edit]

  • 2018 February 16, “History made in Sierra Leone’s democratic transformation, as Presidential candidates rumbled in landmark debate”, in Cocorioko[8]:
    The greatest philip for me is the fact that people are really deeply debating the key issues.

What does this mean? DTLHS (talk) 21:04, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

@DTLHS: It's either a misspelling or an archaic spelling of fillip. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 22:14, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

birds and bees[edit]

The current definition is "Informal sex education, especially describing the sexual activity of animals rather than that of people." This seems unusual and I have never heard it used that way. I was going to boldly change it just to "informal sex education", but noticed the def came from user:SemperBlotto, an experienced and well respected editor. It's not enough for RFV so thought a tea room discussion would be a good place to enquire. Regards --Dmol (talk) 22:44, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Doesn't it just mean "sex"? Yeah, it's often used in contexts of informal education, but if you say "Have you told him about the birds and the bees yet?" it doesn't mean "Have you told him about informal sex education". Ƿidsiþ 06:12, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
See also the Wikipedia page. —suzukaze (tc) 06:20, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
The recently-modified version seems OK now. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:11, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
I have never heard this in anything other than the full form "the birds and the bees" (italics mine). The citations are to this form. Is "birds and bees" attested? — Paul G (talk) 20:28, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

justice warrior[edit]

Is this entry-worthy? It looks like a kind of back-formation from social justice warrior. I can find a few instances on GB, but I dunno. [9], [10], [11], [12]. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 16:44, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

英語を話せますか | Eigo WO hanasemasu ka or 英語が話せますか | Eigo GA hanasemasu ka?[edit]

I see that 英語 has a usage example あなたは英語が話せますか | Anata wa Eigo ga hanasemasu ka, translated to "Do you speak English", whereas do you speak English has the translation 英語を話せますか | Eigo wo hanasemasu ka. To me, using "ga" feels wrong: "ga" is the subject particle, and the subject here is "you", not "English". So I'd expect the latter to be correct (perhaps with 英語は話せますか | Eigo wa hanasemasu ka as an alternative), whereas the former would be wrong IMO. Is this assessment right? Are they both correct or is there an incorrect one? If both are correct, how is English the subject of "do you speak English?" for the Japanese language? MGorrone (talk) 18:26, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

@MGorrone: In Japanese, potential verbs actually describe a quality of the thing that English speakers would regard as the object: not so much "I can do the thing", and more "the thing is doable by me". So when one uses the verb form 話せる (hanaseru, often glossed as “to be able to speak”), the verb is describing a quality of the term that would be the object in English. A more direct translation would be that "English can be spoken [by someone]". Some verbs of potential can take the direct object particle を, and I've occasionally encountered the opinion that Japanese grammarians regard this as influence from English (which has been a required subject in Japanese education for many decades, possibly since the 1880s if my understanding is correct). However, the default is often が. Another everyday verb of similar construction is 分かる (wakaru). This is often glossed as the transitive English verb to understand, but it is idiomatically closer in meaning to the intransitive construction to be understandable or understood, and the verb requires (ga, the subject particle): 英語分かる (Eigo ga wakaru, English is understandable [by someone]).
I'll have a look at the phrasebook entry. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:22, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr: interesting. So both options are correct but the GA option is "more natural". If potentials work that way, what happens if I passivize them? Suppose I write 話せられる | hanaserareru, passive of potential 話せる | hanaseru. Does that exist? If so, what does it mean? —This unsigned comment was added by MGorrone (talkcontribs) at 21:46, 19 February 2018 (UTC).
@Mahagaja:MGorrone: As far as I've learned, the potential cannot be combined with the passive. In fact, for many verbs (all the ichidan conjugation verbs; I can never remember what these are called in English materials, maybe "type 2"?), the passive is the potential in standard Japanese, such as 食べられる (to be eaten; to be edible, to be able to eat). Some dialects like what I heard up in the Tōhoku region employ what is called ra-nuki ("ra dropping") to distinguish these two senses for ichidan verbs, resulting in 食べれる (tabereru) as the explicit potential (and not passive) and 食べられる (taberareru) as the explicit passive (and not potential). Be that as it may, the potential and the passive are not combinable as verb conjugations. The closest you could get is a construction like 食べられることできる (taberareru koto ga dekiru, to be able to be eaten). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:06, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr: I see. Oh and it was me posting the above comment, but Wiktionary got confused because of what I added to it. MGorrone (talk) 23:21, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
@MGorrone: That was me that added the {{unsigned}}; I apologize for getting confused when viewing the page history. I've taken the liberty of fixing the {{unsigned}} parameters and removing your irate comment. Please restore if that is somehow material to the conversation. Please also let me know if the above leaves anything unanswered for you. FWIW, the Japanese Stack Exchange site has a number of relevant threads discussing this grammar. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:51, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

What is going on with the edit buttons?[edit]

I just added a reply to this thread, and noticed the "reply|" template is missing an open brace {. To my surprise, the Edit button for that post is GONE! And not only that: all the February 2018 posts from "up a storm" on are missing the edit buttons, both on my Mac OSX 10.9's Firefox and on my Huawei p10 lite's Firefox AND Chrome! What is going on? MGorrone (talk) 21:58, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

UPDATE And by what magic does this thread have its edit button? MGorrone (talk) 21:59, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Fixed it. And this is presumably why the edit button came back for this thread. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 22:11, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
Now I am thoroughly confused. The buttons did come back, but on opening the "this" link I came to the bottom of the page to find no edit buttons AT ALL! And the "this" sentence wasn't there! Is this link an archived version of an older revision prior to the adding of that sentence? And anyway... Oh wait I think I get it. The "Fixed it" edit fixed a double brace to a double square bracket in the entry before "up a storm", which was closed by the one in my messed-up reply. So from a something going from that error to mine and being rendered as is without the addition of edit buttons, this went to what it should have been. The unmatched double closed brace was just ignored. The "this" link is a link to an older revision and such libks always lack edit buttons. Correct? And the buttons came back with this post because the double brace matching the erroneous one was in the post before this one, so the no-edit-button rendering spanned up till then and everything was back to normal after that. Correct @Mahagaja:? MGorrone (talk) 23:16, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
@MGorrone: Yeah, what happened was there was a {{ without a closing }} in #pearl necklace above, which didn't cause problems until there was a }} without an opening {{ in the Japanese question thread immediately before this thread. Once that happened, the software decided it was all one huge template call beginning in the "pearl necklace" thread and ending in the Japanese thread, and that knocked out the [edit] links. (I'm surprised it didn't do more damage TBH.) And the diffs I linked to are me fixing the two errors so that both threads have correctly opened and closed template calls. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 10:34, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

Origin of Catania: Sicilian or Siculian?[edit]

Given that Catania is said to be an indigenous name of the Sicels, it seems strange that it would come from a "Sicilian" word, given that Sicilian is in fact a Romance language derived from Latin (with other influences). Perhaps Siculian (cfr Wikipedia) was actually meant? Or is Siculian sometimes called Sicilian? MGorrone (talk) 23:03, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, except we call the language Sicel here (code scx). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 10:37, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

✓ does not universally indicate correctness[edit]

On , definition 3 of the translingual entry says: "Indicates correctness. See also: ✗ (“indicates wrongness”)."

In Swedish usage, and possibly elsewhere, ✓ usually indicates wrongness whereas R indicates correctness. Can/should this be reflected in the entry? HannesP (talk) 08:41, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

Yes; I think it's the same in German as in Swedish. ✓ is used to indicate correctness in (many? all?) English-speaking countries but not everywhere in the world. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 10:42, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, in Québec, ✓ indicates an error, whereas B (for "bon") is used to indicate correctness. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:52, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
Japan and Korea use O (according to Wikipedia; I've heard of this regarding Japan before). Equinox 21:12, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Don't we need language-specific entries for these? A Translingual entry won't be much help to someone looking for how something is used in particular languages. The most it can do is indicate that the symbol is used in multiple, not-necessarily named languages with a given meaning. Usage in various languages may reflect spheres of influence in the educational system, eg, the colonial empires. DCDuring (talk) 15:51, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
@HannesP, Mahagaja, Equinox: In German ✓ indicates correctness too (de:w:Häkchen (Schriftzeichen)), even though it might be an Anglicism (maybe imported through US-American TV shows?).
If ✓ indicating wrongness is translingual too, there could be a meaning like "3. Indicates correctness or wrongness, depending on language or culture." or two meanings like "3. Indicates correctness. | 4. Indicates correctness." with label or usage notes. With Swedish and French, ✓ indicating wrongness might be translingual, even though the antonym (French B, Swedish R) maybe isn't. Non-translingual antonyms could be mentioned in a usage note and so could be Korean O and Japanese (in wiktionary that are different characters). If there are too many non-translingual antonyms, only a few examples could be given, and all antonyms could go in language specific-entries (like Swedisch with Swedish antonym R). - 12:25, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia edition[edit]

i created new word melsus to express brilliant or intelligent person .

We do not include words that aren't found in published works. See WT:CFI. Crom daba (talk) 14:25, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

used to[edit]

@DCDuring and others with an interest in grammar may want to look over this entry and use to and see if the usage notes need any improvement. I also agree with the user on the talk page who opines that it is suboptimal to gloss this verb with the adverb "formerly"; if no-one can think of a way to gloss this with a verb, we could at least make the current adverbial gloss a {{non-gloss definition}}. - -sche (discuss) 01:00, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

I think it is fossilized, dating from ME before 1400. If it were not, we would have all we need at [[used]] or even [[use]], which is exactly where CGEL has it. Other modals verbs that seem to incorporate to are (have) got to, have to, need to, (be) supposed to, ought to, be going to. As with most of the other modals used to is much more common in speech (including dialog, etc in fiction). For almost all of these there is a common pronunciation spelling that reflects the incorporation of to (usta, gotta, hafta, oughta, gonna).
For used to the extent of verb-type inflection is limited to the bare form use to, which occurs sometimes with did ("Did he use to go there?) and didn't ("What trouble didn't he use(d) to get into?"), which some do not find acceptable even in speech. It is interesting that usta would work as a reduction of use to as well as of used to.
It is parallel to did as a marker of the past, both being used with the bare form of a following verb:
I did play basketball there at night. ~ I played basketball there at night.
I [used to|usta] play basketball there [at night|nights]. ~ I would play basketball there [at night|nights].
Unlike do/did, used to/usta can be used with be.
Tonight I'm only capable of offering thoughts, not of working on the entry. Please comment. DCDuring (talk) 03:03, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I feel that all of this is a little backwards, at least historically speaking. The non-past form "to use to" was not uncommon right up to the 19th century. Milton uses it ("The English then useing to let grow on thir upper-lip large Mustachio's") and so does Charles Lamb ("…how she uses to dress when going to praise") and also Richardson (‘Shall I give it you in plain English?’ ‘You don't use to mince it.’). Samuel Johnson even uses it imperatively ("Your letter had no date of time or place... Use to date fully"). Apparently this is still used in Caribbean dialects of English. So to me the main lemma should be there, with "used to" as a separate sense marked in past tense which is not marked "obsolete". Ƿidsiþ 17:08, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
"Didn't use to" still occurs (though often butchered into "didn't used to"). Equinox 17:19, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
"Didn't use to" is usage after "did", like the entry's usage note talks about. I do think it would be sensible to change the entries around like Widsith proposes, though, and just let the usage notes explain that some speakers (some authorities, even?) now use only used to in most cases. (In particular, I doubt most speakers would consider "(s)he uses to..." standard anymore!) The situation before I started this discussion was that use to didn't have an entry at all! - -sche (discuss) 17:26, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
No OneLook dictionary treats use to as a lemma. Almost all omit it entirely, which we, being among other things a historical dictionary, should not. Webster 1913 has an entry only for use and doesn't have helpful citations for used to. Century 1911, too, has no entry for either use to or used to, including everything at their entry for use, without even a bold run-in for the forms with to, either as a preposition or infinitive particle. They are at least present in citations.
I suppose that we could have two lemma entries:
1. [[used to]] for the current form, with use to's limited current use with didn't and perhaps did mentioned in a usage note. The spelling confusion should be mentioned and the etymology should refer to [[use to]].
2. [[use to]] for the dated/archaic/obsolete historical lemma.
We probably should add links in all appropriate places so normal users will have every chance to look at both entries. DCDuring (talk) 20:34, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Thinking about it, perhaps a better way is to have all this stuff at use with a sense "have as a regular habit (+ infinitive)" and note that it is "obsolete except in past form used to", with a separate entry there covering the current usage. Ƿidsiþ 08:19, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
We could use senseid-specific redirects from use to and used to and usage examples to help users navigate and recognize what they needed at [[use]]. DCDuring (talk) 15:46, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

advance is missing a sense?[edit]

We're missing a sense here. In tool-assisted speedrunning, you can advance the frames via emulation to allow yourself to go frame-by-frame as you wish while playing the game. What sense is this? I don't see that in our current entry. PseudoSkull (talk) 03:12, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

Do you have some citations so that we can see grammar, how people use the term, etc? DCDuring (talk) 13:04, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
I think it's sense 1. You're not advancing the frames per se as the direct object, you are advancing the emulated processes by a frame. You are making the emulated processes go forward on by 1 frame, or "advancing 1 frame". Moogsi (talk) 23:32, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Speedrunning is too specific. If it's not already covered, it at least applied earlier to working with video material. Equinox 23:59, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

丑鸭 / 丑鴨 (Chinese)[edit]

The Wiktionary page on 丑鸭 [13], meaning 'harlequin duck', has a 'See also' redirect to 醜鴨[14].

It also carries the note:

For pronunciation and definitions of 丑鸭 – see 醜鴨 (“harlequin duck”).
(This term, 丑鸭, is the simplified form of 醜鴨.)

This information is incorrect. The Simplified character 丑 is actually a simplification of two Traditional characters: 醜 meaning 'ugly' and 丑 meaning 'clown'. In the case of 丑鸭, the correct Traditional form is 丑鴨 literally 'clown duck' (that is, 'harlequin duck'), not 醜鴨 'ugly duck'. This is quite apparent if you visit the Wikipedia page on 丑鸭, where the Taiwan traditional character version gives 丑鴨.

I would fix this myself but I'm not sure how to go about it. Fixing it requires 1) transferring all the information from the 醜鴨 page to the 丑鸭 page, and 2) deleting the 醜鴨 page completely. 09:52, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

@ Great feedback, thank you. I have corrected them (see 丑鴨 and 丑鸭). Please feel free to flag any other potential errors in the future. Wyang (talk) 09:53, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

creative journalism[edit]

I observe there is currently nothing for this in Wiktionary and feel there should be an entry.

My initial thought was creative journalism is to journalism as creative accounting is to accounting ... both accounting and journalism in there purest form are supposed to be factually correct. And I feel a lot of others would feel the same way. To some extent creative journalism is a misnomer because it is attempt to creative writing and journalism. This usage possibly it has some overlap with tabloid journalism/yellow journalism ...

However it would appear creative journalism is or has been used in a number of different ways or contexts.

  • High Cudlipp has described and used it as it as: as the art of causing something to occur that would not otherwise materialise and the antithesis of the phantom scoop where the foretold event does not occur. He also puts it as making news not faking news. Ref: isbn 978-0436199929.

Some references to use for the term creative journalism are:

Googling reveals some some references to creative journalism may simply be an incorrect attempt to combine creative writing and journalism

I basically came across the idea for a spin off wikipedia article on this when developing the biggest little railway in the world article on wikipedia ... I have an article for Creative Journalism in draft on Wikipedia ... but that draft has significant issues at this current stage. However I have come to the opinion a Wikitionary entry for Creative journalism would be useful .... but I am hear to discuss ideas and content (and perhaps ideally someone else to develop it!). Thanks. Djm-leighpark (talk) 10:43, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

Wiktionary is about words, not concepts. creative can be used in the sense used in creative accounting with other terms. For the meaning to come across it needs to be applied to noun that refers to something that isn't supposed to be creative, where creativity means falsification or violating legitimate expectations. DCDuring (talk) 13:09, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Creative is now so much a word for branding something as positive, dynamic, that negative uses, like creative accounting are hard to find. Innovation and revolution were once considered bad things, especially in matters of law, legislation, social structure. Now it is hard to find any application of the terms that has negative implications. DCDuring (talk) 14:26, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
In a legal context, creative compliance is considered negative, at least by legislators and rule-makers: subverting the "spirit of the law" by outsmarting the legislators or rule-makers. DCDuring (talk) 14:34, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Thankyou for investigating this. I observe you've extended the previous meaning of creative in WT to now include the falsification meaning (for nouns), pointing that out is helpful. In view of that modification and your explanation I am currently minded not to pursue considering creative journalism in WT but your explanations have been helpful. Thankyou. Djm-leighpark (talk) 16:46, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

capital murder[edit]

Doesn't this simply mean "a murder that is (or seems) punishable by death"? It doesn't look like the term is in non-historical use after jurisdictions abolish capital punishment. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:06, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

love letter[edit]

What about the figurative sense? As in, "This movie is a love letter to New York". Is that a separate sense or could it be included in the main one? Ultimateria (talk) 11:40, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

I've added it. Improve as needed. Equinox 17:02, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

English citations for mancia[edit]

Is there any evidence this is a word borrowed into English? Both of the citations seem to be using it as an Italian word. The Pynchon one immediately glosses it and the Burgess one is from a novel with a heavy Italian context. If the italics are in the original text it suggests this is being used as a foreign word Moogsi (talk) 12:49, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

  • The Pynchon cite doesn't immediately gloss it; it uses it as part of a list of synonyms. If it needed a gloss as such, it wouldn't have been a very good choice for the list. Ƿidsiþ 15:33, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

odi and odio[edit]

I just looked up odi and found the full conjugation. Now I was skeptical on the present forms, given that as far as I remember odi (like memini and coepi) only have the perfect-root forms, so I googled odite and found myself sent to odio. Now this verb has no etymology, and the entry on *h₃ed- which spanws odi doesn't have it as a descedant. My guess here would be odi>odium>odio. Step 1 is confirmed by the etymology at odium. Is Step 2 correct? Coming back to odi, does this verb really have present (and imperfect and future) forms? Should we add "Second person plural present imperative form of odi" to odite, or should the conjugation of odi look like that of memini, which has no present, imperfect, or future forms, and only has perfect indicative, pluplerfect indicative, the same-tense subjunctive forms, future perfect indicative, future imperative, and supine? MGorrone (talk) 18:17, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

Oh excuse me, memini has forms that are conjugated like those I listed, but called present indicative, imperfect indicative, the same tenses in subjunctive, future indicative, future imperative, and supine, and empty slots for present imperative and some infinitives. Oh, and meminisse is called present active infinitive. MGorrone (talk) 18:20, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

privet etymology 2[edit]

I don't understand. Why is there a regional tag (Russia) there? This is supposed to be an English word. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:13, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

It's used ironically sometimes when the speaker wants to sound somewhat Russian... cites would help. DTLHS (talk) 19:20, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

dog food, dog meat[edit]

Both say "synonym of dead" (i.e. "you're dog food/meat!") but under a Noun heading. How can we fix this? Equinox 17:01, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

Are they ever used outside of “to be dog food/meat”? — Ungoliant (falai) 21:33, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
GBooks has e.g. "cut, make, chop, beat you into dog meat". So it should be under the noun, but defined in a nouny way. Equinox 21:40, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
"Dead person(s)"? Also, it shouldn't use the "synonym of" template, since the usage context and connotations are very different; it should have a definition... - -sche (discuss) 23:21, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Does this need a stronger label than "slang"? Is it vulgar? - -sche (discuss) 23:27, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
More like "the depersonalized and debased/degraded remains of a human being". "Meat" gives the connotation of something inanimate with no human identity, and something would have to be lower than a dog to be eaten by one. Death is only the beginning of the abuse envisioned. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:08, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
I've expanded the definition along the lines you suggest. Does this need a stronger label? - -sche (discuss) 23:10, 28 February 2018 (UTC)


At Düsseldorf there is a translation into Old English as Dysselþorp. This term is not attested AFAIK in the OE corpus, but is rather a neo-Old English creation. How do we handle these types of words ? The same way we do for neo-Latin terms ? Leasnam (talk) 19:44, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

I just think this is a bit of a slippery slope... Leasnam (talk) 19:45, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
How is this a slippery slope? We don't allow unattested translations. This translation is unattested, so I removed it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:19, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Right. Thanks ! Leasnam (talk) 20:20, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes. I know you already know this (Meta), but for the record, this is also how neologisms designed to be "Gothic" are treated — they are not allowed here (although the Gothic Wikipedia apparently allows them). - -sche (discuss) 23:18, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

Albtraum, Alptraum[edit]

Do we have access to a recent corpus which might back up the claim, behind recent edits to these articles, that the Duden's preferred Albtraum is "now more common"? Because Ngram data from before and after 1996 shows Alptraum still more common. When I search Google Books with the date range restricted from 2016 to 2018, Alptraum still gets more hits than Albtraum (when I search from 2010 to 2018, the number of hits for each are equal). - -sche (discuss) 23:38, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

蒜苗 -- garlic or leek[edit]

The definition for 蒜苗 (suanmiao) is "tender rachis of the garlic". I don't know if it ever means garlic, but it does mean leek. Sources: the menu at lunch and a native Mandarin speaker.Vox Sciurorum (talk) 01:12, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

@Vox Sciurorum I'm only familiar with the current sense, and Google Images doesn't seem to suggest it is leek usually (which is 韭蔥 to me). It could be dialectal, regional, or idiolectal, even. Some discussions on the related garlic/leek terms: [15][16][17]. There could be a lot of confusion surrounding vegetable names in Chinese, as each dialect uses the names slightly differently, and Chinese people can and often have no idea what the other person is talking about. It is falling apart. Wyang (talk) 05:33, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
To complicate things further, there are Chinese plants that are neither w:garlic nor w:leeks in the European sense, but are called one or the other, or both. A good example is w:Allium tuberosum, which is called Chinese chives, garlic chives, Chinese leek, and oriental garlic in English. Since both the European and the Chinese plants are grown and eaten in China, it's hard to tell what's meant even by dictionaries when only English common names are given in a Chinese context. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:28, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
This is a good excuse to mention a reference I've used from time to time, the Flora of China. Of course, the names that floras use aren't always ones used in real life by non-botanists, but at least they're provided by someone familiar with the botanical details. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:28, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
Pleco dictionary defines the term as 'garlic bolt', if that's helpful. Zumley (talk) 12:35, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
How do bolt and rachis apply to any of the candidate Allium species? We can't be talking about cloves of garlic or leaves or bulbs of leeks. DCDuring (talk) 15:02, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
I interpret it to mean the immature flowering stem of the plant: the rachis is the main stalk that holds the smaller stems with the individual flowers in a compound inflorescence. A leaf or root vegetable is described as bolting when it blooms, so bolt makes sense. The plant sends lots of nutrients into the shoot for the new growth and the fiber hasn't developed yet, so I'm sure this would be quite good. The fact that we're having this discussion suggests that a less technical term than rachis might be a good idea. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:31, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
That would be true even if I knew what it meant before looking it up. Bolt isn't much better, especially as long as we don't have a botanical definition for the noun (or verb?). So is it a "stem in early growth"?
And I take it that the terms apply to many Allium species and to other genera. DCDuring (talk) 17:26, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Baidu Baike defines it as Allium sativum, which according to Wikipedia, is garlic. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:27, 25 February 2018 (UTC)


I don't know anything about Achang orthography, but this seems a bit too non-phonemic. @-sche is this pronunciation correct? – Gormflaith (talk) 03:54, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

(If you're wondering about the absence of an /s/,) Achang is one of a number of languages which use certain letters at the ends of syllables to indicate tones; the written s indicates a high tone. Hmong languages are better known examples. - -sche (discuss) 04:37, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the confirmation! That's very interesting; I would of never though of letters rather than diacritics to indicate tone. – Gormflaith (talk) 15:41, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
@-sche: OK, that explains the -s, but jei- for /ti/ is also a little unexpected. And Douglas (2003), listed in w:Achang language#Further reading, gives the pronunciation of the word for 'water' as /d̤ʒei³²/. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 07:16, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
I suspect the difference may be dialectal. STEDT has ti⁵⁵ as "water", in the Xiandao dialect, sourced to Huang Bufan and Dai Qingxia's 1992 Tibeto-Burman Lexicon. - -sche (discuss) 19:02, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
Probably. I hope they aren't just different words. I'd hate to think we're doing the equivalent of saying that the word lorry is pronounced /tɹʌk/ in the United States. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 22:19, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
Other forms:
  • (Lianghe) IPA(key): /tʂz̩⁵⁵/ (Dai Qingxia and Cui Zhizhao, Brief description of the Achang language, 1985, via STEDT, as /tʂɿ⁵⁵/)
  • (Longchuan) IPA(key): /ti⁵⁵/  (Huang Bufan and Dai Qingxia, A Tibeto-Burman Lexicon, 1992, via STEDT, and Sun Hongkai et al, Tibeto-Burman phonology and lexicon, 1991, via STEDT)
  • (Luxi) IPA(key): /tɕi³¹/ (Dai Qingxia and Cui Zhizhao, Brief description of the Achang language, 1985, via STEDT)

- -sche (discuss) 23:10, 26 February 2018 (UTC)


I wanted to include a word from a fictional work several times and did not do so because I did not manage to fulfill the demand from Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion/Fictional universes, stating that the word has to be used outside the original fictional work and independent of reference to that fictional universe. Now I see that the word Nadsat is included in the main space although all the citations come either from the original work or refer to it, and this entry even made it to the main page into the WOTD section. May I ask for clarification of the above mentioned rule so that I know better which words I can include next time? --Jan Kameníček (talk) 09:03, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

As the question seems unnoticed, I asked for verification at Wiktionary:Requests for verification/English#Nadsat. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 22:10, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

(sich?) entspannen[edit]

Is the German verb entspannen always or just sometimes reflexive? The entry lacks information as to whether it is reflexive or not. Help appreciated. Thanks Zumley (talk) 12:30, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

Just sometimes reflexive. Not positive but fairly sure that it's reflexive referring more intangible things (e.g. I relaxed after school; The situation finally eased up; Let's chill out), but not reflexive when referring to more tangible things (e.g. The relaxant really made my muscles relax; I slackened the rope). Some examples sentences both reflexive and not reflexive here and here. – Gormflaith (talk) 04:59, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
@Zumley: Better now? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 07:18, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
@Mahagaja:, @Gormflaith: Fantastic, that's really helpful. Thank you! Zumley (talk) 19:36, 26 February 2018 (UTC)


Does anyone know what this term means (or can pick it out of context at uses at Books, etc.)? To my knowledge, it's an adjective attributed to pajamas, but I feel bad for not knowing what it means. PseudoSkull (talk) 16:22, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

Something less than a onesie is perhaps meant there, but I feel the definition given is overly specific. Looking at usages on Twitter and Instagram (not a lot in the way of "proper" sources out there) the meaning seems more general like "of or concerning the feet". SpinningSpark 18:23, 25 February 2018 (UTC)


The IPA pronunciation given has a definite French flavour, but this word seems commonly to be anglisized amongst gamers. See this forum discussion for instance, or this Youtube instructional video. SpinningSpark 18:16, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

Many of those videos are produced automatically, so I wouldn't put much stock into them. I've added a couple pronunciations based on the forum link. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:41, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

brand name vs. trade name[edit]

I wouldn't have thought they are the same thing, as suggested under brand name, and of course translations are shunted off to trade name. Grr! DonnanZ (talk) 23:58, 25 February 2018 (UTC)


How best to handle the use of last as in "(with a period of time) disparagingly outmoded"? Example usage: "That is so last season." Other common collocations with the same usage include "so last year", "so last month", "so last week". Further, "so yesterday" can be used as a synonym in this sense. Should we enter a single sense at last, or at so last, or add each of these synonymous phrases? The latter seems best to me, but I thought I'd check before spamming several related entries. -Stelio (talk) 10:27, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

This isn't a special use of last; it's a special use of so with a noun to mean "so characteristic of". An example without last is a quote from Heathers: "Grow up Heather, bulimia's so ’87." —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:02, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
Good call. So this definition needs adding to so as a new sense under Etymology1 Adverb #2, yes? -Stelio (talk) 15:12, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
"This definition" is just an intensifier. What would you add? You can say "this is Greek" or "this is so Greek". A look at the etymology should explain why. *swé is a reflexive pronomial stem, translated as "self", therefore "so" in this manner can be understood to mean "nothing but", "exclusively belonging to". This special use case is not really an innovation, I think and covered by interpreting it as "so good", "so bad". Languages with different ideas of time might have a different perspective on this. Rhyminreason (talk) 03:00, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Granted, yes. But there is a specific idiomatic sense here that intensifier doesn't capture. Taking it as just an intensifier, "That's so last year" means "That is characteristic of the period from 1 Jan 2017 to 31 Dec 2017" (neutral tone). But in practice to say "That's so last year" means "This is ridiculously out of date" (negative tone, with no actual reference to a specific period of time). That's the sense that I think we're not capturing. -Stelio (talk) 09:37, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
How very 1992. Ƿidsiþ 15:31, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
As Widsith implies, the phenomenon is conversion of a noun to adjectival use. This is simply a feature of the grammar of (spoken?) English. DCDuring (talk) 16:21, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
So, impossible for us to capture this idiom on Wiktionary, then? -Stelio (talk) 16:40, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
It would make a good usage example in any of several entries like [[so]], [[very]], [[last]], and [[year]], especially if there were a sense of one of those words that the expression clearl;y required. But there are many phrases that embody this kind of conversion of nouns (including proper nouns) and noun phrases that characterize (metonymy) a style or fashion. When used as part of a predicate in a phrase that highlights its adjectivity (comparative or graded) the noun's conversion is more noteworthy. DCDuring (talk) 17:08, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

the Revenue[edit]

"The Revenue" was used in the UK to refer to the Inland Revenue while it existed. I've created a sample page entry at User:Stelio/the Revenue. Is that suitable as is, does it need further editing, or is it unsuitable for inclusion? -Stelio (talk) 15:16, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

@Stelio: I'm not sure, but I expect that we would want such an entry at Revenue (with "the" retained in the headword line). Compare the American IRS, which is always referred to with a definite article but would not be given an entry as such. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:38, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Page created at Revenue. -Stelio (talk) 09:59, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

left alone[edit]

I think I heard it but I'm no native. Could left alone mean "let alone#Conjunction"? As let alone#Verb and leave alone are synonyms... Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 15:33, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

I'm no native either, but I've never heard "left alone" used as a conjunction synonymous with let alone; it sounds wrong. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 15:39, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
From leave alone. No connection with let alone as a conjunction. DonnanZ (talk) 16:53, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
There are verb senses of let alone and leave alone that are about the same, but, the connection to the conjunctive use of let alone is not close (etymological?). DCDuring (talk) 17:37, 26 February 2018 (UTC)


I refuse to believe that at least some usage of this couldn't pass CFI. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:45, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

second cousin[edit]


Is there any difference between the meaning no. 1 nd 2? --Jan Kameníček (talk) 21:57, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

No; in fact all three meanings are functionally identical. Seems like they should be merged onto a single line since they are the same sense? Similarly, the two senses at first cousin are functionally identical. -Stelio (talk) 10:02, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Look at the first 15 edits by Special:Contributions/, in 2009: they did this to several entries, but most of it has been fixed. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:38, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Do these terms apply if one shares only one grandparent? Is there some further specification that is possible, as by half-, as in half-brother. DCDuring (talk) 16:20, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
I think so, yeah. My grandmother described herself as Edwin Hubble's half-second cousin, because their grandfathers were half-brothers. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:35, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

one's life away[edit]

To drink one's life away means to drink (alcohol) until one dies. But then we have smoke one's life away, possibly eat one's life away, etc. "one's life away" can probably also be used in exaggeration. How do we deal with situation? I'm uncomfortable adding one's life away as an entry since I don't know how you'd classify that. PseudoSkull (talk) 22:10, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

It'd be an adverb/adverbial phrase, wouldn't it ? Leasnam (talk) 22:11, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure this is from "gamble ones life away", as you can literally bet your life or essential belongings on an outcome. Metaphorically, risky behavior is a gamble. But you can't drink your live, so it's a weak metaphor (whereas the head of a family literally has a head, and you can literally throw your Leib away). Rhyminreason (talk) 05:01, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't think a POS can be ascribed to it, because as Chuck Entz said about up a storm, "it takes part of one node in the structure and joins it with another node."
"one's life" is the direct object of several phrasal verbs using the particle "away".
Maybe we should call these "patterns"? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 14:43, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
We use the heading phrase imprecisely, but it is a good garbage-bin term. A generous sampling of the more frequent predicates using this collocation could be redirects to the entry and usage examples in the entry. DCDuring (talk) 15:08, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
On second thought one can 'fritter/gamble/drink etc. one's paycheck/time/(the) day|week|month|year/youth etc away'. Why should any one of them merit an entry? Perhaps some usage examples so that someone searching for the expression could find the example and infer the full meaning of the collocation in use. I'll put a usage example at [[fritter]] (Verb). Where else? DCDuring (talk) 15:15, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
This is already covered in away sense 5, 6 and 7 -- 7 seems to be the originator for the other two ("dance the night away" is figurative). There's a lot to say about "to drink life", but suffice to say that my initial remark about that was misguided. Rhyminreason (talk) 17:02, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
My vote is for sense 3 of away#Adverb "out of existence". Perhaps that sense could be reworded. DCDuring (talk) 18:17, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
A Collins dictionary has a non-gloss definition: "indicating activity that is wasteful or designed to get rid of something". DCDuring (talk) 18:21, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Between metaphorical extension and the bleeding of one definition into another, often any reasonably small number of definitions is insufficient to cover real-world usage. DCDuring (talk) 18:25, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, regarding the POS, it describes an extent or degree to which a given action is performed, which makes it adverbial, right ? Leasnam (talk) 18:37, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
We should probably be thinking of word class rather than part of speech. Most other dictionaries don't bother with trying to come up with equivalent word classes for multi-word expressions, even when they have a full entry for them.
The expression in question may be performing an adverb-like function is some cases, but not in, for example, in the predicate "piss one's life away", in which the contribution of "one's life away" is not distinguishable from that with many of the other verbs mentioned above. Piss one's life away does not mean "piss to a great extent or degree". In expressions of the form '[VERB] one's [NOUN] away' the focus may be on VERB or NOUN. Perhaps in some cases in which the focus is on the verb, one's [NOUN] away may be construed as an intensifier. DCDuring (talk) 22:15, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

Arabic transliteration[edit]

Hello. I've seen many great Arabic transliterations here. I wonder if they're done via software or by real persons?

It's a mixture of both. If an Arabic word is given with its complete pointing, its transliteration can be automatic. If not, its transliteration has to be added manually. Also in the case of foreign words where the transliteration doesn't correspond to the spelling, it has to be added manually. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 10:25, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

tracking down "N. Stett. Ztg.", 19th c. German newspaper[edit]

I'm trying to figure out what newspaper this is. It's an abbreviation used in a Dutch newspaper in the 1870s, referring to an unspecified contemporary German newspaper. "N." is "neue" and "Ztg." is "Zeitung" of course, but it's not clear to me what "Stett." means. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:15, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Stettiner? Crom daba (talk) 13:19, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
"Namslauer Stadtblatt. Zeitschrift für Tagesgeschichte und Unterhaltung."? SemperBlotto (talk) 13:20, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm also gonna go with Neue Stettiner Zeitung: [18], [19]; it was apparently later merged with the Ostsee-Zeitung. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:53, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
It looks like that's the one. Thanks guys. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:03, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

go to plan? (or go to plan?)[edit]

Does go to plan exist? I feel like I've heard this before ("if all goes to plan"), but other dictionaries only have go according to plan or go according to plan. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:59, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

I would say "go according to plan", but "go to plan" seems fairly common, for example. DTLHS (talk) 18:32, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

have a place[edit]

Does this merit an entry? I suppose that some editors may think that somewhat transparent expressions such as this one do not have a place at Wiktionary. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:41, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

My thoughts: if this expression *has a place* in Wiktionary, then what is that place? Furthermore, it does not translate word for word into other languages (for example, wordreference.com translates "not have a place" into Italian as "non essere il benvenuto" — to be unwelcome) and for those reasons, I would say this is idiomatic. However, it may be that not have a place and have no place are the appropriate forms of the idiom, and this is typically generally in the negative (or interrogative) form. — Paul G (talk) 20:21, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
It is more often negative than not, but those should merely be redirects to the positive form if this is created. Example in the positive from BGC: "While it does have a place in our own lives and sometimes in the lives of others, too often meddling is unnecessary." —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:17, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Why are we falling all over ourselves to include the most transparent of metaphorical uses of multi-word expressions? It's hard enough to come up with definitions that span the range of meanings for individual words. Our arguments seem increasingly Scholastic to me. DCDuring (talk) 02:29, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
In my experience "have its place" is more common. Equinox 15:57, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

Comparability of Scandi[edit]

Scandi is labelled as "not comparable", and yet the adjective of which it is an abbreviation, Scandinavian, is labelled as comparable, which seems inconsistent. Surely something can be "more Scandi" (or possibly "Scandier", on the model of two-syllable adjectives ending in -y). Are there attested comparative and superlative forms of "Scandi"? — Paul G (talk) 20:16, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Have you ever heard of the no true Scotsman fallacy? I.e. you are asserting Scandi would be a quantitative property, the article in question assumes it's a qualitative property. I tend to think it's incomparable. The attestation is unfair insofar you can't reasonably attest those who avoid it on purpose. Certainly, being from somewhere isn't comparable, and I'd hazard a guess that Scandinavian says "someone who is from Scandinavia". If it is comparable, the definitions should reflect that, but they don't. Rhyminreason (talk) 21:33, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
As an adjective describing a quality, there's no reason it couldn't be comparable. Indeed, google:"more scandi" finds an example in the top ten hits: "Make your Home more Scandi". ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:45, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
An adjective doesn't have to be comparable. Take "comparable" for example. Are there adjectives that are more comparable than others? Does my usage of the comparative form in the previous sentence justify it's use anyway? I showed good reason why Scandinavian is marked as not comparable. You didn't show the opposite. You are implying it should be obvious to see that the example you gave is understandable. It is, indeed, but on a different level than the definition we are having right now. Rhyminreason (talk) 01:06, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
I haven't been following the general discussion recently, so (unofficial) policy may have changed, but about 10 years ago, many of us thought the deciding factor for whether we should list an adjective as comparable should be the same as for including the word itself, ie does it meet WT:CFI. So if it is used comparatively in at least three appropriate sources, then it should be tagged as comparable, and otherwise, it should be tagged either as incomparable or perhaps as as "comparative not attested". (An alternative view was that only one "appropriate" attestation was sufficient.)
In this case, a Google search for "more Scandinavian" [including the quotes] has just brought up 3 hits of comparative use in the first 10, and "more Scandi " [including quotes and trailing space] gives 3 hits of comparative use in the first 22. I haven't checked those to see they are "appropriate" sources, but having 3 hits so early in the list suggests that both are very likely to meet CFI. I would therefore list both words as comparable.
I disagree with Rhyminreason. In English, it is very common for qualitative properties to be comparable, including specifically national characteristics. It is more frequent for things to be compared in this way, eg "a more Scandinavian [style of] kitchen", but people have often been described as "more English than the English" too. These usages fit the definitions in the articles.
Amusingly, a Google search of "more comparable" has, in second place, a grammar site saying "things cannot be 'more comparable'. They are either comparable or they are not" but then, within the first 20, at least 3 uses clearly using it comparatively, eg "software is more comparable to books and articles than to inventions". And half of the first 10 hits for "more unique" are discussing whether that is or is not a correct formulation! But the fact is that it is often used, so we tag it as such, along with a usage note that some proscribe it.
Clearly, some adjectives are truly incomparable, eg "first", and sure enough, it is hard to find any examples of "more first" used comparably ... Hard, but not quite impossible. Some people are incorrigible manglers of language, and appropriately, at position 35 I found "Mr. Trump also made choices demonstrating that parts of America will be more first than others". I think that is an excellent example of why we should require full CFI, ie 3 appropriate uses over more than one year, for comparatives, so it doesn't pass!
But tagging of comparability is not an issue I feel strongly enough about to change the tagging very often -- even the mangled "some ... are more first than others" is clearly recognisable as a comparative, and people don't need a dictionary to work out what it was intended to mean, perhaps seeing some nod towards the famous quotes "first among equals" and "some are more equal than others". While our noting "good, better, best" is important, noting whether people do or do not actually say "more or most x" is less so. --Enginear 02:50, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
@Rhyminreason, restoring my genuine query. In future, if you'd prefer not to answer, just don't answer. Editing someone else's post to remove content is in very poor form. Please don't do it again.
To restate: What are you doing here? Paul G's query at the start of this thread is trivial to look into, and yet all you've done is respond with (what appears to me as) ungrounded nonsense. I ask out of curiosity and honest confusion -- what are you hoping to accomplish here, at Wiktionary? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:00, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with the topic. It is not exactly good form to post this here instead of my talk page, so please continue there. By the way, if it is trivial to look into, then Paul G should have done it, so don't blame me. The "more Scottish" fallacy is highly relevant, anyway. Rhyminreason (talk) 04:11, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure you understand the "No true Scotsman" fallacy -- it is not relevant to discussions of whether a given adjective is comparable.
If you are trying to assert that Scottish is not used as a comparable adjective, a quick Google search refutes that easily: google:"more Scottish than"
I asked you in this thread about your intentions, as that has bearing on this thread and your participation in it. Your replies look increasingly like deliberate obfuscation and pot-stirring. I would be happy to be incorrect, as I much prefer that editors here contribute constructively. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:07, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
@Rhyminreason, I have indeed heard of the no true Scotsman fallacy. Could you explain how it is relevant to my question?
The comparability or not of "comparable" isn't under discussion here, but saying that "Scandi" isn't comparable when uses of "more Scandi" can be found seems to me somewhat disingenous.
By the way, "Paul G should have done it" isn't how Wiktionary (or any wiki, for that matter) works. Not everyone has the time or inclination to do this sort of research, and no one "should" do anything here. Wiktionary is a collaborative project and contributions are made voluntarily. — Paul G (talk) 18:06, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
The only occurrence of the No true Scotsman fallacy here is in responding to the statement that comparative usage exists by saying, in effect, that it's not true comparative usage of the term as defined. It doesn't matter whether those uses are quantitative or qualitative- if they exist, a descriptive dictionary has to deal with them. For what it's worth, I think Rhyminreason means well, but is too disorganized to realize when they're going off into the weeds- their train of thought doesn't seem to have any tracks. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:15, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Is this a matter of being more correct than just correct -- hypercorrect, so to speak?!
I assumed "not truly Scottish" and "less Scottish" are exchangeable. I guess so far you can follow and only take issue with the fact that food seasoning is hard to transfer in an analogy to the general abstract case precluding the existence of any quantitative qualities of nationality. Well that is a tall order indeed.
I checked the first three pages of search results and most if not all were basically advertisements telling me to get more (of) Scandi this-and-that or what could likely be grammar mistakes.
Strictly speaking, iff this type of usage were a type error, then the usage you'd find would be idioms, but the idiom would be SOP and not meet CFI. How do you deal with that? That's a weird thing to say, it's ungrammatical but still understandable. You can also write grammatical, but un-understandable anyway. Both cases are not ideal.
I'm really interested in the typology of this and not just arguing for arguments sake. In fact I would use it nonchalantly, but I'm afraid it would be wrong on a deeply theoretical level. On the other hand, I came to think that maybe I am committing to the fallacy. Maybe all adjectives are comparable. Or maybe national is exactly not as fundamental as to be an exception to the rule. Rhyminreason (talk) 11:30, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

Etymology of iarăși[edit]

[Post was deleted?!, reposting] Currently the Etymology section of the entry for Romanian iarăși only reads "see iar". I know iar has an older form iară which would give the first part, but the și part is left unexplained. Shouldn't we add an explanation for it? Is it correct that iarăși = iar + și? MGorrone (talk) 23:20, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

@MGorrone -- PseudoSkull moved your post to the Etymology Scriptorium and tried to ping you, but it seems the ping didn't go through. Have a look at the thread there. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:33, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

I want to make something like 'Category: Shenyinbiao'[edit]

Summary: By making an edit in the pronunciation box, I'd like to automatically produce categories with the English equivalent of Category:1957年审音表初稿, Category:1959年审音表初稿, Category:1962年审审音表初稿, Category:1985审音表, Category:2016审音表(修订).

Hey! I passionately believe that this dictionary will increase in value (bigly) if something like this could be added to the page of characters like that were directly given a standard pronunciation in the 审音表. Here's how I was doing it:

|m=wēi,wéi,1nb=Mainland (since 1985; proposed in 1959),2nb=Taiwan

Source for this- these dates are based on these sources: 普通话异读词审因表 (published 1987; quoting 1985 list) pg. 42, 86; 中國語文. Aug 1959 pg. 321, 325.

I don't know if anyone will care about it unless I go in and (boldly as it were) add this info like I have been with the experimental edits- honestly, so I just gave it a try. Can we have some kind of way of notation that lets people know that some of the Taiwan/Mainland pronunciation differences trace back to the 1985 审音表? By making an edit in the pronunciation box, I'd like to automatically produce categories with the English equivalent of 1957年审音表初稿, 1959年审音表初稿, 1962年审审音表初稿, 1985审音表, 2016审音表(修订). --Geographyinitiative (talk) 23:31, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Hmm, maybe we could list the pronunciations in an Appendix (or zh.Wikisource), and have a link to the list in {{zh-pron}}. —suzukaze (tc) 00:56, 1 March 2018 (UTC)