Wiktionary:Tea room/2018/July

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



I wish to change the English Language Entry for silver taking out the Indo-European source word and adding the words: "The replacement of Indo-European *H¹erĝṇtom in Germanic has been thought to be linked to increasing metalurgical sophistication." To add "but has been considered phonologically and geographically improbable" to the discussion of an Akkadian source also inserting the Akkadian script. I also wish to cite references for this - any problem if I add this to the Etymology bit or should I put it under further reading? Is there any problem with me doing this?

No response so I've gone ahead and done it.

For future reference, posts about etymologies should go in the WT:Etymology scriptorium. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:04, 6 July 2018 (UTC)


@Mocha2007 pointed out on the talk page that the "humorous misspelling of girl" definition would seem to be a separate etymology.

I'm not really sure how we should handle it: on the one hand, it's definitely derived from girl, but on the other, it's also definitely derived from grill. This is a pun, which takes its humor from simultaneously being (sort of) both of two different terms or senses.

Is this really a lexical form of either girl or grill, or is it merely the substitution of one lexically-unchanged word for another in order to make a joke?

I see that we have ladies and germs from "Good evening, ladies and germs", but we don't have a sense at germ for "(humorous) gentleman", and we don't have "I resemble that remark" or a sense at resemble for "(humorous) resent". Chuck Entz (talk) 04:37, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Is there anything prohibiting an etymology along the lines of: "Humorous misspelling of girl influenced by the spelling of grill"? Mocha2007 (talk) 17:04, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Examples of where this is used would help. "I resemble that remark" seems not to be using "resemble" to mean "resent", but rather to be using it to mean "resemble" and humorously replacing disagreement with a remark with agreement. It seems no more entry-worthy than "I resent that remark". "Ladies and germs" seems like it probably is as idiomatic as "ladies and gents". To the extent it exists, a separate etymology section for this (grill) seems fine, especially as the page already has several, so it's possibly unclear which of them girl is being respelled to resemble (but again, examples might help clarify). - -sche (discuss) 17:20, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
"I resemble that remark" = "I am like or similar to that remark"? It doesn't make sense to simply insert the one current sense we have for resemble in there, and it certainly sounds like a new, unfamiliar sense to my ear.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:24, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

grill 2: obsolescence[edit]

Are the "provoke", "terrify", "shiver" and "snarl" senses obsolete? Century marks the first as obsolete even in its (1910s) day, so I've added a tag, but I suspect the others may also be no longer used. Other dictionaries I checked don't even have them. - -sche (discuss) 17:17, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

I think they should be labeled as obsolete until someone produces contrary evidence, eg, attestation of entry from OED, DARE or other high-quality authority.
But the only real problem is that someone might come across the term, eg, in Wikisaurus, and decide to use it in an entry, ie, as part of a gloss. I don't think an obsolete definition should ever be used in a list of synonyms without the appropriate qualifier. I hope it isn't a common problem, as it would be hard to clean up. DCDuring (talk) 17:59, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
With the search "Wikisaurus: grill" I found four pages that used grill, none with the offending definition. OTOH, looking at Wikisaurus:frighten (for the "terrify" gloss), I found affright and harrow without any qualifier label, though fray is labelled "archaic". DCDuring (talk) 18:14, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
I've marked the senses as obsolete. - -sche (discuss) 13:59, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

"what all you can do"[edit]

Seen today: "here's what all you can do with (such-and-such a tool)", i.e. the totality of what can be done with it. Seems to be US usage; reminds me of y'all. Should we cover this at all somehow, or even at what all? Equinox 18:21, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Good catch. what all at OneLook Dictionary Search shows only MWOnline (and Urban Dictionary) as having a real entry. MWOnline defines it as "whatnot". For many usages "whatever" seems good too, possibly covered in whatever#Pronoun.
It is probably a use of all. It derives from, extends from all in "We all wanted to come visit." It is not limited to use with pronouns. Proper nouns (plural) and common nouns (plural) also accept all in the right sense, I think. "The Smiths all wanted to visit." "The drivers all wanted to visit." "The cars all ran out of gas." DCDuring (talk) 20:09, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
What all seems to allow for a large number of things, whereas whatever seems to allow for any one thing. Whatnot does seem closer. DCDuring (talk) 20:12, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
"Whatnot" doesn't seem like a substitutable definition, though, since it doesn't seem possible to say "here's whatnot you can do with it". And in order to substitute "what all" into the usexes at "whatnot", it seems it might be necessary to add "else" (examples from Google Books: "cigarette stubs and chewing gum wrappers and Babe Ruth wrappers and what all else", "knowing the love that flows within this family, our history, and what all else, I'll admit I was hurt").
I'm not sure whether it should be at what all and who all or at all. The similarity to we all that you mention, and the fact that I would expect although I can't find evidence(!) that one could also less frequently express "why all they did it and how all they did it", would suggest it could be at all. But the lemming principle suggests we should at least have redirects at what all, etc, if we don't lemmatize there.
Inconsistently, Merriam-Webster does not have an entry for who all and instead covers it with a definition and usex at all which seem just as applicable to what all.
- -sche (discuss) 15:23, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Not in the OED, but they do have who-all, which is similar. Ƿidsiþ 09:35, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Yale's Grammatical Diversity Project has an example of "where all did he go" from Kanye. They quote McCloskey (2000), Murray and Simon (2006) and DARE as saying that "what all"-type constructions are found in many dialects, including the South, South Midland, and Midland in America, and Scots and Northern Irish in the UK. - -sche (discuss) 15:34, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
I grew up in Texas thinking this was standard. I would add this to "all" because it extends to "what all", "who all", and "where all" (but only these three) to the same effect. But I've never come across an example like the one Equinox gives. I thought it was exclusively interrogative, or interrogative-adjacent (my mind is blanking on the term) as in Yale's example of "tell me what all happened". Ultimateria (talk) 15:53, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
I would have expected "where all did he go?" to mean "which (multiple) places, countries, etc. did he visit?" but apparently it just means "where" (which single place). But it is stupid Kanye. Equinox 00:44, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
Robert Cirillo, "What all happens when a universal quantifier combines with an interrogative DP", in The Noun Phrase in Romance and Germanic (→ISBN), explores examples of constructions like this in various languages, writing that "British English"—(but compare the claim about Scottish, above!)—"and the Romance languages do not have it, Swedish seems to be evolving away from it, and American English applies it arbitrarily and inconsistently, allowing all to occur only with singular interrogative DPs." He opines that, because not all phrases are actually valid (*"why all", *"how all"; a LinguistList poster adds *"when-all"), those which do occur (he cites "whom all"(!), "what all" and "where all") are "indivisible phrases in the lexcon", "lexical rather than syntactic [...] comparable to lexicalized, 'frozen' expressions". But I think decent arguments have been made above for nonetheless putting this at "all" with senseid-specific redirects. And I can find an example of "how-all": in Football's Best Short Stories (Paul D. Staudohar, 1998), on page 107: "I mean, you could have called us—collect, o'course—jes' to let us know how-all it's a-goin'." This StackExchange thread mentions "which all", and says Indian English also uses these but with plural verbs ("who all were at the party"). - -sche (discuss) 16:23, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Wouldn't our usual practice be to have both a definition at [[all]] and entries at [[who all]], [[what all]], and [[where all]]? DCDuring (talk) 18:21, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
...would it? It seems to me we'd usually either redirect "what all" et al to a senseid-specific sense of "all" that would cover all these, or have a line at "all" saying "Only in what all, who all, and where all." If this is a general sense of all, then who all etc would be SOP, no? (The fact that different dialects differ on which ones they allow, and on whether they take a singular or a plural verb, could argue for or against or be orthogonal to idiomaticity, I guess.) - -sche (discuss) 19:41, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
I've thought so, but, to take another example where such a question arises, I don't think that we always have a suitable definition in the entry for the verb incorporated into a phrasal verb. Ie, does [[put#Verb]] have any definition that is usable in understanding put up with, even some kind of "only in" non-gloss definition. (It would be a major task to check all of the entries involved.) In the case of phrasal verbs we seem to often have both a phrasal-verb entry and some kind definition for the particle-free verb that corresponds. DCDuring (talk) 15:01, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

Dutch/Low German hard[edit]

Not actually an invitation to 'Dutch hard'. The word 'hard' seems to resist the shift /Vrd/ > /Vːrd/ that exists in these languages, cf. Dutch aard, baard etc. Does anyone have any idea why that is? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 20:50, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

I don't know the answer, but we also have Dutch flard. Since final d is devoiced, if this is a systematic shift, you would also expect /ɑrt/ > /art/. Examples where such a shift did not happen abound.  --Lambiam 11:54, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

"legal representant"[edit]

Hello, is legal representant considered as a set phrase in English? French Wiktionary has an entry legal representant, but I suspect it is only to translate the French phrase représentant légal (used in law). — Automatik (talk) 10:44, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Apparemment, on dit plutôt legal representative en anglais : [1], [2]. Per utramque cavernam 11:01, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Normally "legal representative" DonnanZ (talk) 13:23, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
English representant is considered obsolete. DonnanZ (talk) 13:30, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Reorganizing the entry for Basque verb izan[edit]

This verb izan can be used as an intransitive copula ("be"), as transitive verb meaning "have", as an auxiliary for intransitive verbs (with finite forms the same as the copula), and as an auxiliary for transitive verbs. It's also used as an auxiliary for intransitive verbs with a dative argument, with a whole different set of finite forms. The dative argument is usually translated by a possessive in English. (These are called nor-nori verbs in Basque.) It's used as an auxiliary with transitive verbs with dative arguments (nor-nork-nori verbs) as well, with yet another set of finite forms. The nori (dative) argument of these verbs sometimes corresponds to an indirect object in English, in other cases to a possessive.

Linguists usually give a separate etymology for the transitive forms even the citation form and participles are the same in standard Basque. Some regional dialects have separate participles for the transitive forms.

The verb has about 1500 inflected forms (not counting hika and subordinate forms) and multiple meanings and usages, so the entry needs to be broken down into subsections somehow to make it easier to follow. I guess, following standard Wiktionary formatting, I can use the etymology to split the entry into two parts. In outline, the result will look like this:

Etymology 1[edit]


izan (intransitive)

  1. to be
    (usage examples)
  2. (auxiliary for intransitive verbs)
    (usage examples)
  3. (auxiliary for intransitive verbs with dative arguments)
    (usage examples)


(Conjugation table for nor verbs)

(Conjugation table for nor-nori verbs)

Etymology 2[edit]

From an unattested earlier form *edun, reconstructed on the basis of the finite forms and the dialectal participle eduki.


izan (transitive)

  1. to have
    (usage examples)
  2. (auxiliary for transitive verbs)
    (usage examples)
  3. (auxiliary for transitive verbs dative arguments)
    (usage examples)


(Conjugation table for nor-nork verbs)

(Conjugation table for nor-nork-nori verbs)


I'd like to split the entry up into four parts, though, with separate sections for the transitive and intransitive forms with nori (datve) agreement, so that the conjugation tables will show up under the relevant definition.

I've only been active on Wiktionary for about two weeks, so I wanted to run this by people here and get some feedback before jumping in and doing a major reorganization of an entry. If anybody has some good ideas about handling the subsections for nori agreement forms, I'd appreciate it. Namnagar (talk) 13:53, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

I would agree with this separation only if there are in fact two separate etymologies. If not, the following structure is fine:
  1. to be
    1. aux.
    2. aux.
  2. to have
    1. aux.
    2. aux.
As for the conjugation tables, there's no problem in putting usage notes between them, explaining in one or two lines which sense each one applies to and any other info that's necessary. I can't really find an example since I don't know of any other languages that have different conjugations for different senses...
Since I'm totally ignorant of Basque, I have to ask: are these four conjugations are completely different or do the last three just have elements that the "nor" table does not? Ultimateria (talk) 16:19, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
The agreement prefixes and suffixes are pretty regular and predictable once once you get the hang how they work. For this verb, the in-between stuff, the variant forms the stem takes, isn't predictable.
Thanks, @Ultimateria:. You reply has been very helpful. And thanks to you and others for cleaning up behind me. I'll go edit the entry shortly and try to make less mistakes! Namnagar (talk) 01:33, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Part of the reason the conjugations are different is because Basque synthetic verbs agree with the subject, the object, and the indirect object (if present or required by the verb), so eman nion means "I gave it to her", and "I gave them to her" is eman nizkion. Nintzen, "I was", on the other hand, just has nor (intransitive subject) agreement. This all the more confusing because Basque has ergative alignment and there are lots of idiomatic usages. I picked past-tense examples because they're easier to follow and the first-person singular prefix n(i)- is the same in all three.
There are suppletive stems throughout the transitive and intransitive izan paradigms, but there seems to be enough evidence for the transitive and intransitive forms having separate origins to list them under separate etymologies. If this is disputed, we can go with your suggested alternative, breaking the entry down by the the glosses of independent forms. The entry for izan is going to get really complicated once it's fleshed out. Basically, what I care about is making sure we still have a readable entry once we get there. Namnagar (talk) 04:12, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Wow, I see how that would add up to a lot of verb forms. I would say go ahead and make any changes you see fit to the page, since I can tell you know your stuff (although I definitely appreciate your seeking help before making big changes!). I've added izan to my watchlist so I can check up on it every few days to see if there are any errors. If you need any help with conjugation tables, I'm useless on that front, so you should make a post in the Grease Pit, or you can probably do a lot just by copying and tweaking the existing ones. One last formatting gripe: synonyms should be connected to their respective senses; the trend lately is to use {{synonyms}} for that. Ultimateria (talk) 13:07, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, @Ultimateria:! I'll feel a lot better knowing that somebody who knows what they're doing is keeping eye on the entry, because I'll probably make a lot of mistakes. Also, if some of my examples and explanations don't make sense feel free to let me know, and I'll try to make them clearer. Thanks for the heads up about {{synonyms}}. I'm still pretty fuzzy about anything that isn't "Derived" or "Related". I really need to learn how to format "See also" sections, and when they're appropriate.
Anyway, once again, thanks for all your help! Namnagar (talk) 14:30, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done, sort of. I reorganized the entry, with each usage of izan that has different conjugation listed as a separate verb. I hope this will make these entries easier to follow when they're fleshed out more.
Glaring things I know I need to fix: The nor nori table has some layout issues and needs to be replaced. I need to make nor nork and nor nori nork tables. (I'm still learning templates, so this will take me a while.)
The usage notes for izan/egon aren't entirely accurate for northern Basque. Northern varieties do make the same distinction between inherent and temporary qualities, but don't use different verbs. I need to check to make sure I've got the northern usages right before editing that part. I'm not sure how to format the usage examples for this section.
Any feed-back would be welcome! Namnagar (talk) 23:45, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Another sense of bebop?[edit]

There is currently a verb sense referring to dancing to bebop jazz, but it is commonly used to refer to a type of walking, in an easygoing or maybe even jaunty manner. Would this merit another sense or could it fall under the existing one? I have some cites if that helps:

  • As soon as I'd gulped down my breakfast, I'd bebop over to the sink ...
  • Just about this time Mary Helen came bebopping into the room and plopped down in the other chair.
  • He has a small radio and he plays it full blast as he bebops down the dirt road ... [walking]

-Ultimateria (talk) 16:58, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

I read that as something like boogie on down, i.e. not really describing the style of walking at all, but just giving it a joky or informal twist in the telling. Equinox 00:45, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

are you and we determiners real?[edit]

At you, we have a Determiner section to cover "have you gentlemen come to see the lady?" and "you idiot!" Other dictionaries I checked don't have such a section (though one has a noun section for things like "another you" and "that outfit is so you", which seems equally hard to justify). But are these really determiners, or just uses of the pronoun? Because other pronouns can be used this way, too, e.g. e.g. "y'all fools" and "sing y'all folks a song" are both attested, as is "we Canadians" (which I notice we also have a determiner section for), and not just in English: "wir Deutschen sind eine Nation von Kaffeetrinkern" and "ihr Deutschen seid" and "Du Idiot!", "nous ne consentirons jamais, nous Françaises, à nous transformer en mères gigognes" and "Parisiens, et vous Français de tous rangs et de toutes les classes", etc. - -sche (discuss) 17:18, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

They serve a determinative function, I think, parallel to these, those, as does us. Not all of the English personal pronouns seem to function as determinatives in mainstream English AFAICT, eg, not I/me, he/him, she/her (her possessive is a semantically different determiner.), they/them, so there may be reason to note that we/us and you can. DCDuring (talk) 21:23, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Good point. I suppose only some of the second-person pronouns function this way, too; e.g. "y'all / all y'all / youse / ye Americans use a lot of fireworks" work(s) this way (in speech and on the web, "you-uns" sometimes does too, but apparently not in CFI-compliant media), but *"you guys / you lot Americans use a lot of fireworks" do(es) not. - -sche (discuss) 03:33, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
CGEL favors the determiner treatment too. DCDuring (talk) 03:02, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
OK. I've added determiner sections to y'all, all y'all, yous and youse. - -sche (discuss) 14:11, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

take a shit, give a shit...[edit]

Etymology-wise, why is it that you take a shit when you leave one behind, but when you give a shit (which no one but plants might actually want), it's a good thing?

How did these uses develop?

Similar for take a piss (i.e., "why take?", although I don't think there's an analogous give a piss expression...).


‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:32, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

For "take" (American English) read "have" in British English. There is also the crude "(don't) give a fuck". DonnanZ (talk) 18:57, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Even for have, the semantics are odd: once one does the deed, one doesn't have a shit any longer because it has been left behind. The meaning of the verb (either take or have) has been almost reversed. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:48, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
To have a shit is to "have (an episode of) shitting" Leasnam (talk) 22:11, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, like "having" a dinner party or a psychotic episode. It doesn't particularly imply possession. Equinox 22:18, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
For "take a shit", compare take a leak, take a walk, take a nap, take a break. I think this is take sense #14 ("To experience, undergo, or endure."), maybe subsense #4 (compare the example sentence "I had to take a pee."). As for "give a shit", compare give a damn, give a fuck, give a rat's ass. I'm not exactly sure how this sense of "give" developed, but here's some speculation: if you care a lot about something, you might say you would give anything to have it happen (or not happen). If you don't care at all about something, maybe you could say you wouldn't give a rat's ass; in other words, you wouldn't give anything, because you care so little. Maybe something like that developed into the expressions like "give a shit" that are common now. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:04, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Could also include sense #33 "perform, do", which I have expanded just a bit by the addition of "practice", "carry out", "execute" (e.g. an action or task), so take a shit can be thought of as "performing/carrying out/executing a shit (i.e. a defecation)" . Leasnam (talk) 05:51, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Granger, I don't think it's sense 14.4, to participate in, and I don't think that sample sentence is appropriate there. The expression take a pee (or take a shit) is nearly always used in a single-person context, whereas participate implies some sort of cooperative endeavor.
@Leasnam, sense 33 seems more likely, but I note that other "activity" expressions using take are more clearly actions, like walk or vacation or voyage, whereas shit when preceded by an article parses more as a physical thing.
Hmm...I'm not so sure. What do you make of take a poop ? It wouldn't quite be the same if I said take a turd (which is a physical thing), so clearly shit and poop here are actions (cf. "that was a good shit this morning" or "I took a loooong shit" --the piece of shit wasn't long, but the duration of the activity of shitting was), see, not physical things, right ? Leasnam (talk) 08:57, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Both, all, I am curious about the historical development of this particular phrasing. Aside from specific excretory functions, I cannot think of other cases where one takes something in order to get rid of it. I don't think one takes a puke, for instance. At a bare minimum, this is a semantic oddity. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 06:37, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
I can't help but think that reasoning take to somehow mean "get rid of, give" is a step in the wrong direction...it doesn't mean "give" that at all. I think we may be incorrectly re-analysing it and getting ourselves lost... take a shit is exactly like take a nap, take a break, take a rest, take vengeance and take a bath where bath here refers to "a bathing" (action). Leasnam (talk) 09:15, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Compare also take the waters, which does not mean "take possession of the waters", but "practice bathing as a therapeutic activity".  --Lambiam 22:13, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
I've switched out the "take a pee" usex for "take a meeting". Regarding "taking" something to get rid of it, sense 54 is "give" ("lett me se the tribute money. And they toke hym a peny"). And in baseball, to take a pitch is to decline to swing at it, letting it pass untouched. Erutuon seems right that this is a light verb with little semantic content, but it wouldn't surprise me if the original notion was from one of the many senses, like 45 "deal with" (as in "take matters as they arise"), or a notion of "taking a shit [out of one's body]", related to "I need to take a minute [out of the day / my time]". - -sche (discuss) 07:28, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@-sche, I've added "bring" to sense 54. I think the the example of the tribute money can also be explained as they brought him a penny Leasnam (talk) 09:48, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
to shit means to defecate, related to de- (remove) and faeces. Words do not have an inherent positive meaning: the meaning is determined by context. To take can loosely mean to do an action, e.g. to take breakfast (to do breakfast), which is broader in meaning than to eat breakfast, but often used interchangeably. So, to take a shit can be analysed as to do a shit without any special etymology. I don't give a shit is basically I care so little I couldn't even be bothered to defecate in support. Considering that defecation is a necessary bodily function, and not defecating when needed can be unpleasant or painful, this is an extreme and offensive way of expressing your disinterest. to give a shit is equally offensive, even though it is a positive statement. It is usually defensive in nature. Do you even give a shit? Of course I give a shit! It would be odd in the extreme to say out of the blue I give a shit about you! Danielklein (talk) 05:38, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Danielklein, the term defecate is not at issue here. Regarding shit, see above: it is odd to take something to get rid of it. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 06:37, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
This might not really be an answer as to how the sense developed, but I think take in take a shit is just a light verb. So maybe take is just forming an idiomatic verb phrase with shit and it doesn't really have a meaning on its own. Light verb constructions are puzzling. — Eru·tuon 06:48, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
The origin might (and I stress might) be slightly reflexive. Consider take a ride (e.g. a horse ride) back in the Middle Ages. If I say "I'm going to take a ride" that means that "I am going to take (for me / for myself) (a / some) riding" OR "I am going to help myself to (some / a little bit of) riding" (--as if riding were somehow like cake or something). From here it is easy to see how take can enter into these types of constructs, where it has distanced itself utterly from its original meaning of "apprehend/appropriate" Leasnam (talk) 09:31, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Again, take a bath = "take (for myself) a little bit of bathing" ⇒ "help myself to some bathing" = take a bath . Of course this is only speculation at this point, but it does demonstrate well how English uses of simple verbs have become obscured over time Leasnam (talk) 09:35, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr This seems obvious to me, but shit is usually a mass noun (occasional exceptions notwithstanding) so "to take a shit" obviously implies an action/activity rather than actual (metaphorical) feces, compare "to take shit" which means something else entirely.

Thus you couldn't say (excuse the graphics) "took a piece of shit" or "took a bucketload of shit" to mean defecating as it would force the mass noun interpretation.

I would also consider "someone left a shit in my toilet" borderline ungrammatical, although googling it shows that some people do use it like that, although maybe they aren't native speakers (I'm not a native speaker either) or maybe they are just joking. Crom daba (talk) 15:03, 12 July 2018 (UTC)


I can't think of the English term for this - personal possessions buried with the deceased owner, as in “gravgods” in Det Norske Akademis ordbok (NAOB). and “gravgods” in Den Danske Ordbog, literally "grave goods". DonnanZ (talk) 20:09, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

I think the term is grave goods, or sometimes "burial goods". - -sche (discuss) 21:02, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Well I never, and it's in Oxford too. There is a main entry for grave good, which isn't quite right, I think. Thanks. DonnanZ (talk) 21:30, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
It's in Merriam-Webster, too; I reckon that lemming argument and the subtle restrictions of it (one wouldn't normally call the clothes a person today is buried in "grave goods", though our current definition is very basic and doesn't reflect that) make a case for having an entry. Looking at Ngrams, the plural is much more common than the singular, so this seems like a case where the plural could be made the lemma and the singular entry could use {{singular of|grave goods}}; what do you think? - -sche (discuss) 23:53, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I would agree with making the plural the main entry. In Danish and Norwegian gravgods appears to be uncountable. DonnanZ (talk) 08:45, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. - -sche (discuss) 01:35, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Are these calques in some direction? DTLHS (talk) 01:30, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
It's hard to tell, as grav and gods are Norwegian / Danish words anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 07:32, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
There are also terms for a single item of grave goods, German Grabbeigabe (Oxford Duden calls it a burial object) and “gravgave” in Den Danske Ordbog. DonnanZ (talk) 08:17, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

nonce etymology[edit]

The etymology for "nonce" (cryptographical sense) claims its etymology is a contraction of "number used once". The cited definition for the edit that originally added the etymology is from Ross Anderson, Security Engineering. Luckily, the full text of the book is freely available online. The relevant quote from chapter 3, page 66, is:

"The in-car token sends its name T followed by the encrypted value of T concatenated with N, where N stands for ‘number used once’, or nonce."

I don't believe this qualifies as an etymology, however, it is quite widely believed. The author is giving two definitions of N, not defining the word nonce. "number used once" is simply a convenient way for programmers to remember what a nonce is used for, and is inaccurate in that it's not actually a number. I think it is only worth mentioning in order to debunk it. I would like to see this entry merged back into nonce#Etymology 1, with a note about the dubious folk etymology. Danielklein (talk) 04:49, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Done. DTLHS (talk) 04:51, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
How does our definition fit nonce bit (17 Google Books hits) and nonce bits (55). DCDuring (talk) 18:14, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
What's not actually a number? It's digital; everything is a number, and there's no reason to think about N as a string or other object instead of a random number. It's possible that "number used once" came first, and then it was contracted to "nonce", which already had a convenient meaning.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:14, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

nonce (British slang?)[edit]

1985, Hunter Davies, The Beatles:
Paul did things much quieter. He had much more nonce.

Any other examples? DTLHS (talk) 05:02, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Is this is a mistake / misprint for nous (common sense). SemperBlotto (talk) 05:06, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Nuance? — SGconlaw (talk) 17:43, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Looking a Google Books search for "more nonce" finds mostly typos and scannos for notice and more'n once, and linguistics. I'd go with nuance in the citation, looking at the context. DCDuring (talk) 18:10, 4 July 2018 (UTC)


Would a linguist kindly confirm the pronunciation of mirative? Is it /mɪˈɹeɪtɪv/, /ˈmɪɹətɪv/, or both? — SGconlaw (talk) 17:42, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

I would think /ˈmɪɹətɪv/, but I've never heard it pronounced. For comparison, its possible immediate English etymon admirative apparently used to be pronounced /ˈædmɪɹətɪv/, as that is the only pronunciation in Century (although modern dictionaries give only pronunciations with /-maɪ.rə-/ or /-mə.reɪ-/). And when I search for other French words ending in -ratif (like this word's possible French etymon), they seem to correspond to English words in /-ɹətɪv/, although admiratif is the only one in -iratif I can find. - -sche (discuss) 20:34, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I was unsure as the word doesn't appear in online dictionaries like Merriam-Webster Online and Oxford Dictionaries Online, and the first edition of the OED indicates that one pronunciation of admirative is /ædmɪˈɹeɪtɪv/ (unless I read it wrongly). I even tried searching on YouTube for a video to no avail. — SGconlaw (talk) 22:14, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@-sche: thanks for this edit. Actually, what is the difference between /ɪ/ and /i/? You said in your edit summary that /mi/ sounds like me, but I thought that would be /miː/? "Wiktionary:English pronunciation" claims that General American would use /i/ where Received Pronunciation would use /ɪ/. — SGconlaw (talk) 02:48, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Me is /miː/ in dialects where length is contrastive, like many British dialects, and /mi/ in dialects where length is not contrastive, like GenAm. When the only difference between RP and GenAm is the length marker, many editors don't consider it worthwhile to separate the pronunciations, so many entries only give /miː/, etc. /i(ː)/ and /ɪ/ are different sounds; the former is used in beat and meet, the latter in bit and mitt. Note that the appendix only says (certain) Brits have /ɪ/ and Americans have /i/ in words like ready, where (conservatively-speaking) Brits do end the word with the bit vowel; our logo famously formerly prescribed that pronunciation for the y at the end of our name, which made us seem very stodgy. The appendix correctly reflects that in see, both Brits and Americans use /i/, and in bit, both use /ɪ/. - -sche (discuss) 03:57, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
OK, thanks! — SGconlaw (talk) 04:09, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
This mood occurs in Albanian (where it is also called admirative) and is sometimes said to occur in Tibeto-Burman languages and Navajo, so perhaps User:Stephen G. Brown, User:Wyang or User:Etimo has heard the word pronounced...? - -sche (discuss) 00:57, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I've only seen the word mirative, and have never heard anyone pronounce it. When I read it, I pronounce it /ˈmɪɹətɪv/ to myself. —Stephen (Talk) 04:20, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I had a look at a print copy of OED2 (sadly I no longer have access to OED Online). Mirative does not appear in it, but the pronunciation of admirative is given as either /ædmɪˈreɪtɪv/ or /ædˈmaɪrətɪv/. I don't know if this is a good guide to the pronunciation of mirative, which could thus be either /mɪˈreɪtɪv/ or /ˈmaɪrətɪv/. — SGconlaw (talk) 06:18, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I would certainly say /ˈmɪɹətɪv/. It's not an easy pronunciation to verify, since it's so rarely used – I can't find anything obvious on YouTube. If someone pronounced it differently I would be surprised, but it would be hard to justify calling it wrong. Ƿidsiþ 11:09, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Norse ᚱᚨᛇᚺᚨᚾ (raïhan)[edit]

Is this evidence for the preserving of nasal vowels in Proto-Norse? Wikipedia's article on Proto-Norse mentions uncertainty of nasal vowels in PN.

It's not even certain that ᚱᚨᛇᚺᚨᚾ's Proto-Norse; it could be the predecessor to Old English rāha, rāa, (each representing successive forms of this word's development, though it's usually considered to be North Germanic due to the form of the ᚺ) --Hazarasp (talk) 09:13, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

bad loser[edit]

NISOP? --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 14:49, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Yes, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 16:54, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
How would this entry be considered SoP? What sense of 'bad' is being evoked in the definition, "Someone who gets upset when they lose a competition"? ---> Tooironic (talk) 16:13, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
bad#Adjective sense 3: "Seemingly non-appropriate [sic], in manners, etc" DCDuring (talk) 19:29, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
MWOnline's definitions aren't worded to make applicability to this collocation clear, but Oxford has "Failing to conform to standards of [moral virtue or] acceptable conduct." We have sore loser, which I thought might be a synonym, as does MWOnline. MWO also has sore: "Angry, irked", with usage example a sore loser. DCDuring (talk) 19:39, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

salsa sauce[edit]

Hey all. I want to put salsa sauce in a category like Category:English reduplications. Are there any more expressions like this - made up of an English word and its translation in another language? Things like madera wood, poissonfish, tympano drum would work. Also, PIN number and other RAS syndrome stuff should probably be categorized somewhere. --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 15:21, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Like pizza pie? DCDuring (talk) 16:55, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Or Sahara desert. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:25, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't wish to spoil this nice party, but isn't salsa sauce SOP ? Leasnam (talk) 22:05, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I think so, as are some of the others. It might make a better Appendix than a category, with no link shown for the SoP terms. DCDuring (talk) 03:57, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes. But your example of "pizza pie" does suggest a category idiomatic entries could go in: Category:English pleonastic compound nouns. - -sche (discuss) 04:37, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Lake Chad? —Suzukaze-c 04:39, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
See also w:List of redundant place names. - -sche (discuss) 04:48, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Category:English pleonasms? As for it being SOP: for the people who use the term, it isn't. They have no idea what salsa means, so it's no more SOP for them than hollandaise sauce. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:00, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Point taken. DCDuring (talk) 19:42, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Does this seems like an interesting linguistic phenomenon, @Per utramque cavernam?. DCDuring (talk) 19:45, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: I didn't get your ping. I've added that to my user page. Per utramque cavernam 09:56, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I got yours. Apparently I found yet another way of making {{reply}} not function. DCDuring (talk) 12:50, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
One of my favorite such examples was on a bilingual placename sign in Tokyo.
English: "Shinsen-gawa River"
Literally, "New-River River River". Oofda. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:16, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Beautiful. —Suzukaze-c 02:28, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

have had the Richard[edit]

Australian slang, apparently along the lines of "be screwed", "be FUBAR". Anyone familiar with it? It's in a couple dictionaries, some of which even have citations (from local Australian papers, etc), but I can't find any citations on Google Books or Issuu. - -sche (discuss) 02:53, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Apparently we are missing a bit of Cockney rhyming slang: Richard <= Richard the Third "bird '(slang} A loud sound expressing disapproval; a raspberry.'" I wonder whether 'the Richard' occurs in other expressions. DCDuring (talk) 04:15, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
The Australian National Dictionary's entry on "richard" seems (from a screenshot I saw of it) to only have examples of this one phrase. Beside the bird theory some other sources mention, they mention that it could also be a play on dick. (I can see how "have have the dick" could be a circumlocution for "be / have been fucked", like "extract the urine" for "take the piss".) - -sche (discuss) 04:36, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
One problem with rhyming slang is that there are usually multiple possibilities for the rhyme, eg, turd and word, not to mention less likely possibilities among nouns like herd, curd, and nerd. And, as you say, Richard could be intended to evoke dick, which adds sick, kick, and mick. This adds a huge amount of polysemy to possible entries and ambiguity to instances of possible attestation of meaning. No wonder that we have relatively little of such slang. DCDuring (talk) 11:18, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Disputed entry: wallless[edit]

Hi. I believe this wiktionary entry should be verified again. The English language generally doesn't allow words with 3 letters the same, concurrently; they are usually hyphenated, and Merriam-Webster hyphenates Wall-less (here. Could we get this checked please? See other examples such as cross-section, bell-like and so on. DaneGeld (talk) 21:30, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

We actually have crosssection! I agree we haven't done enough to indicate how rare these forms are. Equinox 21:34, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Wallless doesn't seem excessively rare; it was historically like 1/10th as common as wall-less, and even now it's like 1/17th. (For comparison, that's about the difference in commonness between "United States" and "United Kingdom".) Then again, our criteria for labelling something "rare" or "uncommon" are not partcularly clear. - -sche (discuss) 22:09, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Can we be certain that Google's Ngram Viewer doesn't ever run together word-wrapped words that have a hyphen ("wall- / less")? Note this person's comment: [3]. Equinox 22:17, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Good point. - -sche (discuss) 22:20, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't trust those numbers; a Google Books search for "wallless" turns up so many hits that show wallless in the sample text and wall-less (or wall- (line break) less) in the scans. The rule of "no 3 letters the same" seems like a rule that pedants and careful editors might use, but English users seem quite likely to write "wallless" and not worry about such pedantic rules.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:22, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes. To cite words like this you absolutely need to see an image of the text and not what Google's OCR thinks is the text. DTLHS (talk) 22:23, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Oxford also has wall-less which is definitely preferable, but there's no entry for that. DonnanZ (talk) 22:59, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
  • David Foster Wallace uses these a lot. I remember "tallly" occurring in Infinite Jest. Ƿidsiþ 11:19, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Missing entry for dørslå in Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

In Norwegian Bokmål, there is no entry for dørslå/slåen, which seems to be a door lock/type of a door lock. So far I can't even say I know the basics of NB so adding a whole new page myself is out of the question, as it'd end up being sub-par at best.

Would someone with more knowledge than me be so kind and add it? C0rn3j (talk) 23:02, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

It's a bolt for a door, I'll do an entry in the morning. DonnanZ (talk) 23:11, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
dørslå Yes check.svg Done, I also added this sense to slå. DonnanZ (talk) 10:46, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

Missing entry for drogene in Norwegian Bokmål[edit]


I think I'll run into quite a few in the next few days, is it okay to keep posting like I've been doing? Or perhaps keep posting under a single thread instead of creating a new one like this?

By the way, thanks DonnanZ! C0rn3j (talk) 22:10, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

@C0rn3j: There is Wiktionary:Requested entries (Norwegian). —Suzukaze-c 21:58, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c: Thanks! I'll post my further requests in there then. C0rn3j (talk) 22:10, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
I will have to make a point of looking in requested entries, I usually forget. DonnanZ (talk) 22:54, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
@C0rn3j: Do you have any context for drogene? It is a definite plural of both drog and droge. DonnanZ (talk) 09:25, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz: Third paragraph, might be drugs. https://i.imgur.com/EJ23F8b.png C0rn3j (talk) 09:53, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
@C0rn3j: Yes, drugs. Drogene han solgte (The drugs he sold). Entries Yes check.svg Done for droge, drogene etc. DonnanZ (talk) 11:08, 8 July 2018 (UTC)


So, WF is using signposts in cartoons as quotes now. It's probably OK, as all Simpsons episodes are 100% archived. The question is, how's the formatting? --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 09:59, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

Maybe not the best cite in the world. Formatting looks okay to me. Find something else to do, like adding crappy sports journalism to everyday verbs. (TWO NIL. OI! OI!) Equinox 10:52, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments, Eq --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 14:25, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

drug (translations)[edit]

Should we shunt off translations for pharmacological drugs to medicine? DonnanZ (talk) 12:38, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

It's already redirecting to medicine with {{{{trans-see|substance used as a medical treatment|medicine}}}} --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:44, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I know, that's stating the obvious. I don't think it should. DonnanZ (talk) 13:50, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
That's stating the obvious to you. It wasn't obvious to the rest of us that you knew that, or that that was true. This is not a vote; don't tell us that you think it should, discuss why it should or shouldn't.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:46, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
I want to know why this has happened, I won't be entering any translations until I find out. If the answer is unsatisfactory, no translations. DonnanZ (talk) 23:07, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz: It wasn't obvious to me why you were asking. In many languages, pharmacological drug = medicine but not all languages. You can either add to medicine with a {{qualifier}} or create a new translation section like this:
Put it below the redirect {{trans-see}} and add new translations to it. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:14, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I realise now that my question was ambiguous. Let me look into this, I have seen another way (maybe it's the same way). DonnanZ (talk) 08:21, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz: While you're deciding what to do with the Norwegian translations, I've added a Norwegian/Bokmål translation droge m (drug) to medicine#Translations. Ambiguity/multiple senses of terms makes translation work harder but it's not that the problems can't be solved. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:29, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: I knew I would find it in the end: {{trans-top-also}}, which seems to be quite useful. DonnanZ (talk) 13:07, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz:: Good job. I've added a German and Swedish equivalent translations, even though our Swedish drog entry is incomplete. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:14, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Apparently French drogue can be both a narcotic and médicament, it was already shown as a narcotic translation. DonnanZ (talk) 13:27, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Third-person plural perfect and pluperfect passive indicative of mute and liquid Ancient Greek verbs[edit]

In mute and liquid verbs, the third person plural of the perfect and pluperfect passive is formed by means of the perfect passive participle and εἰσί(ν), ἦσαν, from εἰμί. [4] The monolectic forms τετάχαται, γεγράφαται, ἐφθάραται, ἐτετάχατο are very rare and the forms τεταγμένοι εἰσί(ν), γεγραμμένοι εἰσί(ν) etc. should also be included in the respective templates. -- 17:59, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

pay tribute[edit]

Hi friends.

Is there any reason why this article doesn't exist here on en:? I just created fr:pay tribute, and was wondering if I was making a mistake, due to my limited understanding of English language.

Waiting for your lights, --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 18:51, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

The reason may be that pay may mean "to give (something else than money)", as in pay attention, while that which can be paid can not only be attention or tribute, but also homage, respects, and reverence. So it can be argued that the term pay tribute is sum-of-parts. On the other hand, the list of things that can be paid is rather limited; you may give someone a minute, but you wouldn't say that you pay someone a minute of your time. The sense of "give (something else than money)" is, apparently, not idiomatically productive. So a lot can be said for having separate entries for the combinations that are idiomatic, as we already have for pay a visit, pay heed, and pay attention. On the other hand, not only can you pay attention, we hope you will then also pay proper attention; likewise, not only can you pay respects, you can also pay your respects or even last respects, and instead of plain homage you can pay someone a well-earned homage, and so on. So I'm not sure where this would end. An interesting aspect of pay tribute is that the original, literal sense, actually was about the transfer of substantial amounts of money or monetarily valuable goods. So the something-else-than-money" sense was, I think, not inherited from the verb pay, but induced by the transition to a figurative sense.  --Lambiam 20:36, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
The argument that I usually make about this kind of thing is that it is transparent to decode it. Others make the argument that it is not transparent to encode it. My counter is that the place where it belongs for encoding is in the glosses in the FL entries for the words for which it is the most natural translation. But FL contributors seem to find it much easier to add a red-linked translation that to add an entry with, eg, pay tribute as a gloss. So entries for such SoP terms serve as a kind of scaffolding for the eventual construction of the future Wiktionary that has no redlinks on translation tables. DCDuring (talk) 02:11, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
To pay is to render or give something that is due, so it's narrower than simply "give" Leasnam (talk) 02:16, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
It may be easy to decode, but it is not easy to know whether or not it exists. "Give tribute", "pay tribute", "render tribute" – not to mention phrases using words like "tax" or "security" or "impost" – are all equally easy to decode. Is one of them orders of magnitude more common than the others? If so, it may be a set idiomatic phrase. Extra points if it's unexpectedly difficult to translate. These factors add up and make me more inclined to give something its own entry. Ƿidsiþ 11:07, 10 July 2018 (UTC)


The English definition of this word says it's slang, used as an intensifier, but I have never seen "hecken" used anywhere. Shouldn't the correct form be heckin', a shortened term of hecking in a similar pattern to freaking/freakin'? Tymewalk (talk) 22:40, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

@BelandSuzukaze-c 02:16, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
You are not alone in your skepticism. Such doubts are resolved by finding "attestation", instances of use in durable media with a given definition (WT:RFV). hecken has come up in an RfV discussion of another word. DCDuring (talk) 02:22, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I misspelled heckin, which I found without an apostrophe but we also have heckin'. 8( [5] -- Beland (talk) 04:50, 10 July 2018 (UTC)


This is the first time I have seen a dictionary define a word by noting that it is a proper noun, and giving some usage notes (italicized in brackets), without telling you what it is the name of --- the most important function of a dictionary was omitted. Unforgivable! -- Solo Owl 11:57, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean, as the entry clearly states that the word means “Facebook”. — SGconlaw (talk) 12:49, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

take it out on? should the "it" be there[edit]

I'm just wondering, since it seems you can replace "it" with a bunch of things, like "take your stress out on your friends", "take their marital problems out on the kids". Should a separate entry be made at take out on? Mofvanes (talk) 22:10, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

You're right. I believe the main entry should be take out on, and take it out on should redirect to it. Ultimateria (talk) 15:00, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Seconded. DCDuring (talk) 15:17, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Or should the lemma include "something", like "give something a try" and several other "give something..." entries do? "take something out on" should be a redirect, at least. - -sche (discuss) 04:50, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I support a soft redirect from "take it out on" to "take out on." Soft, because the "it" is not a self-explanatory component of the phrase as "one's frustration" would be in "take one's frustration out on." Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:27, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Some Bokmål words that are also Nynorsk are not defined in Nynorsk[edit]

Here's a list(not complete) of words that are defined in Bokmål but not Nynorsk https://haste.rys.pw/mukehukoze

lots of those seem valid but there are also some that are not (hellig for example, it seems to exist in Nynorsk too as a noun).

Am not sure if you guys have such a list (you probably do), but on the off-chance there's none and someone wants to spend time going through it, hope I helped.

C0rn3j (talk)

It's a wiki! If you are comfortable with Nynorsk, feel free to add the missing entries! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:12, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
Absolutely uncomfortable with Bokmål, much less Nynorsk! Just thought it'd be useful for someone who is ^^ C0rn3j (talk) 08:01, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
As far as I can see hellig doesn't occur in Nynorsk, but helling does, is there any confusion there? Apart from that there are spelling differences between the two, as well as some verbs entered in Bokmål but not Nynorsk, due to a period I went through. Also some words have been entered in Nynorsk but not Bokmål, for example I sorted slagmark out today. A dictionary never seems to be complete. DonnanZ (talk) 23:32, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
You know what, looking at the dictionary site I used for a quick check again(dinordbok.no), the H for the Nynorsk entry is capital, so I guess it is a name. Or a wrong entry there. If it'd be any help I could also create a list of entries only defined in Nynorsk and not Bokmål. As I said, am not sure if this functionality is not provided by the wiki itself and my whole post pointless ^^ C0rn3j (talk) 08:01, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Your interest is appreciated. As you feel uncomfortable with making entries yourself it is perhaps better to add requests for missing words as you have been doing. When creating entries I look for words that are missing in what I read, and don't work from a vocab list. However I don't enter every word I come across, especially compounds, if there is no dictionary back-up. DonnanZ (talk) 10:40, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
I should add that Norwegians make spelling mistakes just like English speakers, even on Wikipedia, which doesn't make the task any easier. DonnanZ (talk) 11:04, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

defeat (noun)[edit]

I think the translation table should be split; a défaite in French is always an instance of being defeated, not of defeating someone. Per utramque cavernam 10:47, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

I agree. Most other major dictionaries I checked, and some of the minor ones, also have separate senses here. I've split the senses and added two more. - -sche (discuss) 04:44, 12 July 2018 (UTC)


Objective pronouns work also as emphatic by nature not "understanding"

"if the me is understood as an emphatic form". (from the entry for 'i') but... it is. should say, "but that prescription is only sociolinguistically meaningful." Yoandri Dominguez Garcia (talk) 15:56, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

I've just dropped that part; it didn't make sense. - -sche (discuss) 04:25, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

電 as a semantic compound[edit]

Why is 電 described as a phono-semantic compound of 雨 and 申, instead of just a semantic compound? 雨 being rain or cloud, and 申 being lighting. The resulting pronunciation could have been inherited from 申, which was 電's original character. Perhaps, at some point, 申 was re purposed (as we can see due to the plethora of uses and meanings this character was given), and a new semantic compound character was created referring to the original word, the same as, for example, 無 and 舞. QAureal (talk) 06:38, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

"that day month", "that day year"[edit]

Just came across the phrase "that day month" in Charles Dickens' excellent short story Captain Murderer (see the citation at paste); you can also find "that day year". What is the syntactical explanation for these curious phrases? Are there others? ("That month year" doesn't seem to be used this way, nor "that hour day", etc.) Is it something we can/should document? Equinox 04:55, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Yes it's a special sense something like, "Used with another measure of time to indicate the same day that distance into the past or future". Usually it crops up with "this" rather than "that", and as far as I know it only affects day. Ƿidsiþ 09:17, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I was almost tempted to make the "closed" set of six entries [this|that] day [week|month|year], but then I saw this day three weeks. Something for the hypothetical future WikiGrammar, then. Equinox 21:16, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
    In Scotland they had a special one: "This day eight days", meaning a week today (or a week ago). Ƿidsiþ 06:04, 14 July 2018 (UTC)


Would someone be willing to clean this up? All these definitions look very redundant. @-sche? Per utramque cavernam 14:01, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

I've had a go at it (the adjective only, for now). I removed a few redundant senses, and some with defdates saying they weren't attested in English, which also weren't in other dictionaries. Incidentally, Century has a sense I wasn't sure if we lacked or simply covered in a different sense: "10. Immeasurable; not definable by measurement; not led up to by insensible gradations: as, the distinction between right and wrong is absolute. The opposition is no longer of the rigid or absolute nature which it was before, A. Seth." Other dictionaries have a sense, similar to the sense "positive (form of an adjective)", for the "lemma" or "isolated" form of a word as opposed to the form that appears in contractions, but I haven't spotted citations that show usage of that yet. - -sche (discuss) 05:43, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

defence force[edit]

It seems to be a euphemism for a military force, as in Israel, so it may be entry-worthy. DonnanZ (talk) 17:56, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

Etymology of Istanbul[edit]

The conventional etymology of the name of Istanbul is as a bastardization of the Greek phrase εἰς τὴν Πόλιν. In a process known as iotacism, the pronunciation of the letter η had already been raised and changed to /i/ by the time Turks presented themselves adjacent to the Byzantine Empire. The sound shift /i/ > /a/ is hard to explain. It is even harder to explain in the Turkish name for the island of Kos, İstanköy, which has a similar etymology, because there it also goes, on either side, against Turkish vowel harmony.

Several sources explain the etymology as stemming from the dialectal variant εἰς τὰν Πόλιν; for example, here in a commentary in a 2015 edition of Pliny's Natural History, or, in a Greek-language source, in a contribution by Misaïl D. Engonopoulos – an expert on the many names of Byzantion/Constantinople/Istanbul – to the 2000 book Κωνσταντινούπολη: λογοτεχνική ανθολογία – 60 κείμενα για την πόλη (ISBN 9607771354, page 60, unfortunately no Google preview).

Should we mention this as an alternative etymology, or perhaps even replace the current one?  --Lambiam 12:14, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Sounds good, go ahead. Crom daba (talk) 22:53, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
It's favorable to this explanation that according to the Ancient Greek dialects map on Wikipedia, Doric, one of the dialects that had τὰν (tàn), was spoken around the area of what's now Istanbul – rather than Ionic, which, like Attic, had τὴν (tḕn). — Eru·tuon 00:41, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I was aware of that, but that map is derived from Woodward, and in the source its caption is, “The Greek dialects in the first millenium BC and neighboring languages.” So we are looking at a time gap here of 10 to 20 centuries, and it is doubtful whether the dialectal variations with their geographical distributions survived all this time. A Google search reveals many later instances of τὰν and even the phrase εἰς τὰν πόλιν, but I don’t know the locations of origin of their authors.  --Lambiam 09:59, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

at play[edit]

Would the sense "at play" as in "there may be other factors at play" be considered SoP here? ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:50, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

We would first need a sense of "play" like "operation, activity" for it to be SoP. I think that sense might only be used in "at play" and "in play", but I've also looked for translations of that sense many times... Ultimateria (talk) 13:02, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Terms of abuse ending with "fucker"[edit]

Hello. There are many vulgar terms of abuse that end with fucker — e.g. camelfucker, catfucker, dogfucker, donkeyfucker, duckfucker, goatfucker, horsefucker, mousefucker, pigfucker, ratfucker — but I haven't found any category or list that link them to each other (e.g. fucker#Derived terms or Thesaurus:git, where I guess they could be added). Moreover, should animal-related terms be grouped in any list? For example, a category, a thesaurus, etc.? — Automatik (talk) 13:04, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

They almost certainly belong only at fucker#Derived terms. This search finds 80+ terms most of which would belong there, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 15:46, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
Note that not all terms that end in fucker have the same semantic relationship with the preceding morpheme. DCDuring (talk) 15:49, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
What criteria could we use to determine if this is suffixation or compounding? DTLHS (talk) 16:14, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

freeer and freeest[edit]

I noticed that freeer is in the dictionary as a common misspelling, and created freeest as a natural companion (and one that is also attested). I am wondering, however, are these really misspellings, and not valid alternative spellings, or perhaps previously valid spellings? They seem to have been used by literate people in the past. bd2412 T 21:07, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

These don't appear in any OneLook reference, nor in MWDEU or Garner's. Take whatever action you deem appropriate. DCDuring (talk) 15:08, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I am more interested in whether there is some rule of construction in the English language that would make these wrong. Since one who boos is a booer (granted, a different part of speech), is an adjective ending in "-ee" (I can't think of any others besides, "free") prohibited from having an "-er" appended to that? bd2412 T 00:17, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Maybe the rule is that for adjectives ending in e, you add -r and -st instead of -er and -est. Compare nimble/nimbler/nimblest, true/truer/truest. Similar to what we do with -ed on verbs (sample/sampled, free/freed - not "freeed"). —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:22, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
The word seer (see + -er) might also be a useful comparison. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:28, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
I suppose we could infer a (descriptive) 'rule' if we find some number of relevant cases in which the offending vowel triplet could have been used by authors. If the number of cases for which the triplet occurs more than rarely or more than some percentage of the time, we could say that such a proscriptive rule is empirically followed by authors. The cases are few and far between. So a 'rule' may not really be inferrable. Thus we are left with only prescriptive rules, which we eschew.
One can also find attestably common use of the base words with -er (eg free-er, wee-er; pee-er, flee-er, see-er). DCDuring (talk) 16:30, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Following on from seer, there is overseer. DonnanZ (talk) 09:59, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
A Google Ngram search finds that these variations had their height of popularity towards the end of the Eighteenth century - with "freeer" hovering around 3% for a stretch, and "freeest" approaching 2% in a slightly later stretch. It therefore does not appear that there is any period where this was well-accepted as a correct spelling. bd2412 T 18:53, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

percent, per cent[edit]

Both are given as nouns. It doesn't feel right to me. Then "ten percent" sounds like Det+N (like "ten apples"), whereas really it's "ten per [for each] cent [hundred]", more like "ten out of twenty" or "two outside the door". Should we change the PoS; if so, to what? Equinox 01:11, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

Phrases like "half a percent" and "a tenth of a percent" are attested, which makes it look like a noun to me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:38, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Hmm. Those suggest "twenty percents" (if "a percent" is the unit). We do offer "percent" as an alternative plural but that feels like syntactic rationalisation after the fact. Equinox 01:41, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I see what you mean – the analysis that it's an irregular plural (singular percent, plural percent) is a little unsatisfying. But it explains the data as far as I can tell, and I'm having trouble thinking of another analysis that makes sense. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:54, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I see a big problem with claiming an irregular plural being the same as the singular: in many cases where nouns are used as (counting) units, it is extremely common for the singular to be used with a number >1. "He weighs more than 14 stone." "How long? Ten foot six." and so on and so on. It is much more plausible (to me at least) that these are simply uses of the singular. Imaginatorium (talk) 04:35, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
It seems to me like a prepositional phrase that was later reanylized as a unit of measure, thereby nominalizing it. (So the "of a percent" sense should go under a different POS heading rather than analyzing the original sense based on the newer one). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:17, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
That sounds good to me; don't know if others see it as overly pedantic...? BTW this should also affect permille, per mille, per mil, per mill, maybe others I've never heard of. Equinox 02:29, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Is there any evidence that this was ever a prepositional phrase in English? In Latin it was (per centum), but maybe it was borrowed into English as an irregular noun. Can we find any quotations that don't fit under the "Noun" heading? (Maybe something like "There were a lot percent"? A usage like that wouldn't be explainable as a noun, but a Google Books search for "a lot percent" doesn't find anything. Or "How many answers were correct percent?"?) —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:49, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
What about (from Google Books) "How many per cent of the class are girls and how many per cent are boys?" Equinox 03:08, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
That still looks like it could be a noun. Compare "How many members of the class...". —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:11, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I read it like "how many per household pay tax?". The space in "per cent" feels like a clue. Equinox 03:19, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I think the space in "per cent" is there because there's a space in the Latin phrase it was borrowed from (compare per se). To me, the lack of a space in the now more common spelling "percent" feels like a clue that it isn't a prepositional phrase. :P
Either analysis (noun or prepositional phrase) would explain the "How many per cent of the class" sentence. But we already need the "Noun" heading to explain uses like "half a percent", and if that heading can also explain all other uses, then I don't see any reason to create another heading. This is similar to how we don't create an adjective heading in an entry based solely on attributive use that can already be explained by an existing "Noun" heading. —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:35, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
It seems your argument would also work for "fused" English PPs like instore and onboard (which we don't count as nouns, correctly IMO). Ah well. Going in circles by now. Equinox 03:44, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Maybe I'm not making myself understood. I'm saying that the word "percent" needs to have a noun sense like the current sense 1 ("A part or other object per hundred") because that's the only way I can see to explain phrases like "a tenth of a percent". Given that, we should only create a new "prepositional phrase" sense if we can find usages that can't be explained with the existing senses.
In contrast, the words "instore" and "onboard" shouldn't be labeled nouns. Unlike with percent, there are no uses like "*a tenth of an instore" or "*a tenth of an onboard" (at least not without a noun following them). If there were uses like that, then I would say those entries should have a "Noun" heading. —Granger (talk · contribs) 04:04, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Taking "per cent" to be a noun in "How many per cent", with or without the space, makes it sound very awkward, almost like Doge/Doggo-speak, like "how many grammar". So it does seem more like a phrase of some sort there, to me. - -sche (discuss) 03:57, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
The way the entry is currently written, I think "per cent" in that sentence is analyzed as a plural noun (like "members" in my comparison above), not a singular or uncountable noun like "grammar". —Granger (talk · contribs) 04:04, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
That's one way of reading it, but to me it seems at least as likely to be using [how many] [per] [cent] (rather than [how many] [per cent]) in the same way as ... [per] [mille] or indeed [per] [hundred]. - -sche (discuss) 04:31, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Or "how many per day/week/month/year dropped out of the course", yes... Equinox 05:30, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I wonder if o'clock is analogous ("of the clock"): we call that an adverb!! Equinox 02:30, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Hmm. I wouldn't say "*half an o'clock", "*a tenth of an o'clock", "*thirty o'clock(s)", or "*0.5 o'clock(s)", whereas percent can be used with any of these and with any other number. Phrases like "What o'clock is it?" are attestable, though I think they're archaic. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:49, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Lemming report: Merriam-Webster, the American Heritage Dictionary and Collins have it as an adverb, an adjective and a noun. Cambridge and oxforddictionaries.com call it an adverb and a noun. Dictionary.com has it as a noun and an adjective. Macmillan and oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com call it a noun only. (We had an adjective section until this IP edit which seemed correct to me at the time.) Century directs readers to separate entries for per and cent, as if considering it SOP. One of the condensed OEDs I looked at has per annum, per capita and per cent all as adverbs (only).
IMO, it can be a noun at least some of the time, so it needs a noun section, but it seems like it can also be an adverb or phrase some of the time, and so may need a section for that, too. - -sche (discuss) 04:05, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster, Cambridge, Collins, oxforddictionaries.com and Dictionary.com all have per mill(e) exclusively as an adverb. This lends support to the idea that, when used in the same way as that word, per cent is (at least sometimes) an adverb or non-noun. - -sche (discuss) 04:10, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
A large number of older reference works call it a phrase (google books:"the phrase per cent"), and at least two discuss it being an adverb and not a noun: The American Schoolmaster volume 12 (1919), page 445: "A well known book on English composition cautions students against the use of per cent for percentage, as when some persons erroneously say a large per cent. The explanation furnished for correction of the error is that per cent is an adverb [...]", and Charles Harvey Raymond's Essentials of English composition (1923), page 461: "Per cent is an adverb meaning in the hundred. [...] Percentage is a noun meaning rate per cent." OTOH, one from the same time period does call it a noun: The Literary Digest volume 42 (1911), page 496, responding to a reader's question about whether to say "ten per cent of the books is" or "...are", says "the modifying phrase 'of the books' must not be considered in the decision as to the correct form of the verb, as the noun 'per cent.' is here the subject of the sentence." (That so many other dictionaries and works analyse it as an adverb should be mentioned in usage notes if we don't decide to have that POS.) - -sche (discuss) 04:31, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
That information from other reference works is interesting, and it could be that The Literary Digest and I are wrong. But I still don't see any examples that aren't explained by the existing noun senses. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:27, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I definitely consider "per cent" to be an adverb. I was always taught that saying "half a per cent" is wrong (which is why on the news you say that interest rates are being raised by "half of one per cent"), though I see that this noun use is in the OED without any qualifiers. Ƿidsiþ 06:01, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  • A small number of dictionaries have cent as an abbreviation of "(one) hundred". This is consistent with viewing per cent as a prepositional phrase, even an SoP one (per#Preposition + cent). (We don't have cent#Noun defined as "one hundred".) As a prepositional phrase it could function adverbially and, in principle, adjectivally.
Otherwise, it just seems like a noun to me, accepting modification by some determiners, pluralizing with s in some senses, serving as subject of verbs and object of prepositions and verbs.
I don't believe that it can pass our tests as a "true" adjective. DCDuring (talk) 16:47, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree that the non-nounal use doesn't seem to be a true adjective. It seems to be either an adverb or a prepositional phrase. Do you have an opinion on which of those we should label it as? I have tentatively added it to per cent and percent as a prepositional phrase, like per annum, with usage notes discussing the evolution and recognition of its part(s) of speech. - -sche (discuss) 14:49, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
I would characterize usage like the percent change was misreported as attributive use of the noun percent. I hope that the Prepositional phrase section is seen as encompassing adverbial usage of per cent. I don't think there is usage of percent that can only be analyzed as adverbial. Attestation could prove me wrong. I think this is exactly what @Mx. Granger: has argued throughout. DCDuring (talk) 15:23, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
I still don't see any evidence that this is anything but a noun. Can any citations be found that aren't explained by the existing noun senses? —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:33, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
It also seems strange to call percent a prepositional phrase when it is written as one word and we don't have any relevant noun sense at cent. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:36, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree that we need a noun definition for cent#Noun "(hundred)". It would be nice if we could find the meaning in an expression other than per cent.
The citation for percent#Prepositional phrase seems to be actually of percent#Noun.
I could imagine percent being an adverb if it is used in exactly the same way as per cent#Prepositional phrase. I think we are at least mostly in agreement on this. DCDuring (talk) 03:28, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: What is the adverbial way you see/magine per cent being used that isn't like the citation in the entry? As for cent: if we can find it outside per cent we should add it; otherwise, there's no more reason to have it just because of per cent than there would be to have *annum#English just because of per annum#English.
@Mx. Granger: It does seem awkward to call it a phrase when it's one word, though it's not the only one-word phrase we've had; I don't mind relabelling it an adverb, though I do think percent and per cent, to the extent they are interchangeable, should probably not differ in POS. As far as other citations: Equinox and I have viewed citations like the one currently under the sense as being non-nounal, and although you've opined that they can be explained as nounal, that interpretation seems awkward to me. I think it meets a WT:JIFFY-like "Talk:aliquot" test, anyway: since was originally only a phrase/adverb, before later additionally acquiring noun senses/uses, at worst the non-nounal uses might be obsolete (but when some current uses are identical to uses from the time when it was only a phrase/adverb and had no nounal uses, it seems hard to call those uses obsolete). - -sche (discuss) 03:45, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
I have added the following to cent#Noun (obsolete, except in per cent) Abbreviation of centum. One hundred. That seems to fit the facts. From Middle English to the middle of the 18th century, cent meant "one hundred". I'm relying on other dictionaries, not citations, and I don't have access to the OED.DCDuring (talk) 03:54, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Per cent as a prepositional phrase could be said to be used adverbially in an expression like "five per cent", if it is an adjective phrase (AdjP) modifying some omitted noun to be understood in context. It is conceivable that percent could be analyzed as an adverb in AdjP "five percent", but it seems much more natural to analyze it as an NP headed by Noun percent. That is probably because in much of its usage percent can only be analyzed as a noun (subject of verb' object of verb and preposition; determiner modification). I think that in many of those uses the percent spelling is more common that the per cent spelling. Now that the unquestionably nounal uses of percent have gained acceptance, the nounal analysis of per cent is replacing its analysis as a prepositional phrase. DCDuring (talk) 04:46, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

as an alternative form of ?[edit]

Our entry for Chinese (zhā) says that it can be used as an alternative form of (zhá). Is the reverse true as well? I ask because I encountered the following sentence in Sanmao's book 撒哈拉的故事 (Stories of the Sahara): "这个啊,是春天下的第一场雨,下在高山上,被一根一根冻住了,山胞好了背到山下来一束一束卖了米酒喝。" I can't make sense of it with either of the senses listed at , but it makes sense if it means "to tie; to fasten; to bundle" (sense 3 at ). Is this just a typo, or can 札 be used as an alternative form of 扎? —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:36, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

@Mx. Granger: Seems to be a typo in your version. Compare 扎 in: [6][7][8][9][10][11], and 紮 in: [12][13][14]. Wyang (talk) 01:44, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Looks like you're right. Thanks! —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:48, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

be a dead man[edit]

Worthy of an entry? Per utramque cavernam 17:49, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

I think so. "I'm a dead man" is clearly not SOP. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:37, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Doesn't dead have a sense "doomed"? AFAICT, we don't have it in our entry and MWOnline doesn't have it, but still [] .
  • 2009, Noel Hynd, Midnight in Madrid[15]:
    You're dead. A million and one thoughts pounded her at once. But one overpowered all the others. This time you're dead.
It could be that 're ("are") is used in a sense meaning "are about to be" or dead could mean "about to be dead", ie, "doomed".
DCDuring (talk) 19:25, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Right, this seems like a sense of dead. There's also google books:"you're a dead woman", google books:"you're a dead dog", etc, and as DCDuring points out, "you're dead". We actually have two senses in this vein in our entry, 18. "(informal) (Certain to be) in big trouble. You come back here this instant! Oh, when I get my hands on you, you're dead, mister!" and 3. "(of another person) So hated that they are absolutely ignored. He is dead to me." - -sche (discuss) 19:38, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
AHD has "Marked for certain death; doomed": was marked as a dead man by the assassin. DCDuring (talk) 06:00, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
I've edited our "certain to be in big trouble" sense so that it now covers that (and moved it to a place where it seemed to fit better in the flow of the senses). - -sche (discuss) 06:31, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Redundant entry for 'eder' in Norwegian Bokmål[edit]


eder (Bokmål)

   indefinite plural of ed

I think this "(Bokmål)" is a leftover from when Nynorsk and Bokmål wasn't separated? It seems redundant but am unsure, so am asking here instead of deleting it outright.

C0rn3j (talk) 20:53, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

  • It is correct, but both this entry and the parent entry ed needed revision. It should be OK now. DonnanZ (talk) 07:24, 16 July 2018 (UTC)


Is this really a conjunction? Per utramque cavernam 13:53, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Isn't it "A word used to join other words or phrases together into sentences."? DCDuring (talk) 22:07, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
In some cases you can replace it by where: You can sit wherever you likeYou can sit where you like; Add quotations wherever they are neededAdd quotations where they are needed. In such cases, it is just as much a conjunction as where is.  --Lambiam 22:14, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Are relative pronouns then a subset of conjunctions? —Tamfang (talk) 19:33, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
@Tamfang — I don’t think so. Categorizing words or phrases by part of speech tends to be a minefield, approached differently by different schools of grammar and even differently by different grammarians within the same school. In many cases there are no clear criteria to determine whether a given word in a given context does or does not fit a given category. In general, Wiktionary tends to follow the more traditional ways of assigning parts of speech to terms, which is not always the way that makes most sense to me. I was careful above not to state that wherever “is” a conjunction, but only that it is just as deserving of that label as where is. And that happens to be the traditional category you will find in most dictionaries for its use in sentences like above. Personally, though, I would hesitate to label where in these example sentences as a conjunction, if only because you cannot comfortably replace the word by and or but.  --Lambiam 18:40, 28 July 2018 (UTC)


Hello, the entry resting place was deleted 10 years ago and not recreated since then, however it seems that it is the most common way to spell the word—without hyphen? — Automatik (talk) 00:56, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

"resting place" was deleted as vandalism, there was nothing worth keeping. Create it if you want. DTLHS (talk) 01:18, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done resting place — I added a sense that the first definition didn't clearly include imo. Please feel free to double check :) — Automatik (talk) 11:42, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

emoji definition date[edit]

Requesting citations from the 1990s as the definition claims. DTLHS (talk) 22:50, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Can't we wait till after 17 July, when the word has ceased to be Word of the Day? Cry.png. — SGconlaw (talk) 22:53, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
That depends, can we not add {{defdate}} when there is no evidence to support it? DTLHS (talk) 22:55, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
The information was from ODO, so it wasn’t plucked from the air. Face-smile.svg Also, I think RFV is the wrong forum for this issue, as the word is clearly verifiable. I suggest moving the discussion over to the Tea Room, and removing the tag. — SGconlaw (talk) 01:22, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I do agree that it seems odd how difficult it is to find quotations before the 2000s. — SGconlaw (talk) 02:47, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

Presumably it would have been talked about online first. Usenet? DTLHS (talk) 02:48, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Good point. Is there a way to search https://groups.google.com by date? I only seem to be able to arrange the results chronologically, and so am getting nothing but recent posts. — SGconlaw (talk) 02:54, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't know either. DTLHS (talk) 03:05, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
My attention was drawn to this website, but I can't find anything before 2010. — SGconlaw (talk) 06:22, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Figured it out, you can use "before:2000/01/01" to restrict the date. DTLHS (talk) 06:28, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. No useful results, I'm afraid. I'm only getting the name of a Usenet group, "alt.friends.emoji" (or something like that). — SGconlaw (talk) 06:42, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
From an article on the website of MOMA on the 2017 exhibition titled “Inbox: The Original Emoji, by Shigetaka Kurita”: “In 1999 the Japanese telecom NTT DOCOMO released the original 176 emoji (e meaning “picture” and moji “character”) for mobile phones and pagers.” That does not directly answer the question when the rōmaji form emoji entered the English language, but it sets a lower bound.  --Lambiam 13:51, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
The emoji entry in the Online Etymology Dictionary states: “Its adoption in English was driven by Apple iPhone's inclusion of the feature in 2008.”  --Lambiam 16:48, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
DTHLS has found a 2002 quotation. Since attempts to find quotations from the 1990s have drawn a blank, I guess we can take it that the ODO's mid-1990s date was inaccurate. — SGconlaw (talk) 09:20, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
The ODO simply states “1990s”, and 1999 is still 1990s. But it looks like the term entered English vocabulary only later. The 2002 quote talks specifically about mobile phone users and particularly high-school students in Japan.  --Lambiam 10:30, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
The original emoji may have been released in 1999, but, as you pointed out, that doesn't really indicate unambiguously when the word entered English. — SGconlaw (talk) 11:05, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

eating habit[edit]

Can this be considered a set phrase? The reason I ask is that Norwegian Bokmål matvane and Swedish matvana are literally "food habit", German Ernährungsgewohnheit "nutrition habit", Dutch eetgewoonte follows the English pattern. DonnanZ (talk) 14:25, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

Personally, I would consider it a compound word, spelt as 2, so Yes ;) Leasnam (talk) 17:34, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
I have made an attempt at an entry. the definition can be revised or added to: I came across statements like "eating breakfast is a good eating habit". DonnanZ (talk) 20:05, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
But in most cases, I feel that the best translation would use a plural form in English. We usually talk about "eating habits", don't we, rather than a specific "eating habit"? Ƿidsiþ 07:31, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, mostly but not exclusively plural. I guess "mostly plural" can be added. Looking at “madvane” in Den Danske Ordbog this is recognised - "Grammatik - især i pluralis" (especially in plural). DonnanZ (talk) 08:04, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
It doesn't sound like a set term that occurs in English very often, I have to say. — SGconlaw (talk) 09:21, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
The usual term is indeed eating habits. See e.g. this online article. The plural is indicated for semantic reasons (the habits should be considered in combination), just like the plural customs in “culture and customs of Somewhereland”.  --Lambiam 10:17, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
I have added a usage note. DonnanZ (talk) 11:30, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

ethic and aesthetic[edit]

Hello, Does anyone know whether there's an etymological connection between the two words ethics and aesthetics? My search came up with two similar (but not identical) sources (ethikos for ethics and aisthetikos for aesthetic), but I'm wary of making the connection without knowing Greek or having any linguistic background. Any thoughts would be most welcome! :) Thanks! Gal.

Wiktionary is your friend. Just look at ethic#Etymology and aesthetic#Etymology and keep clicking through until you hit the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European roots. Then you will see that ethic goes back, ultimately, to the reflexive pronoun *swé (self) + *dʰeh₁- (to put, place, set), whereas aesthetic goes back to *h₂ew- (to see, perceive). No connection.  --Lambiam 16:37, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

chicken hawk[edit]

Should the senses be split by etymology? Sense 2 is "a hawk of chickens, a chicken hawker", while sense 3 is "a hawk that is chicken". Per utramque cavernam 08:31, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Added a reference which supports all three definitions in the current entry. DonnanZ (talk) 09:52, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

back, verb, definition 1[edit]

"the train backed into the station;  the horse refuses to back". These seem like very different uses of the word. DTLHS (talk) 21:53, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Instead of “To go in the reverse direction”, which raises the question, “reverse with respect to what?”, I’d say, “To go in the backward direction”, or simply, “To go backwards”. I think this covers both sentences: “the train went backwards into the station;  the horse refuses to go backwards".  --Lambiam 23:35, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
How so? You're not thinking of buck (etymology 2, definition 2), are you? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:37, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
If we consider "the horse backed into the stall", we see that train and horse are both active agents. In "the horse refuses to back", the horse is apparently not an agent but could be considered a patient. The physical movement in the two 'horse' cases seems to me to be the same. That is, the word refuse is responsible for the change in perceived meaning, which I think is wrongly attributed to back. DCDuring (talk) 00:26, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
In “I refuse to obey immoral orders”, the subject “I” is as much an agent in the linguistic sense as in “I shall obey all orders unconditionally”. (The subject of the second sentence, if not a robot, may be a mental patient, though.) For another example: “The patient could not raise his left arm.” Here the patient, although incapacitated, is linguistically an agent, and the sense of raise is just the usual sense of causing to rise.  --Lambiam 09:52, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
Whether or not I used the word patient properly, the physical action of back is the same in "the horse backed into the stall" and the "the horse refused to back'. In the second sentence it is clear from the use of refuse that a command or perhaps an equestrian maneuver is involved. Is there a specific equestrian maneuver? DCDuring (talk) 13:39, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
We are on the same page: there’s nothing wrong with the two examples for sense 1.  --Lambiam 22:26, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
Ah. Consider: "What do we mean by ‘backing your horse’? Well, at a top level it means to teach a horse to wear a saddle and bridle, and to carry someone on their back." (not durably archived).
That is certainly a different sense of back. Presumably it is both transitive and instransitive. DCDuring (talk) 13:39, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
back in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 has two relevant verb senses:
(transitive) To get upon the back of; mount: as, to back a horse.
(intransitive) To move or go backward: as, the horse backed; the train backed.
"The horse refuses to back." could be an intransitive use corresponding to either of the transitive senses illustrated or defined above.
So there might be five senses (treating intransitive and transitive as separate) of specific relevance to the discussion or, at least, to horses. DCDuring (talk) 13:47, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
A circus horse trained to get upon the back of an elephant might one day become obstinate and refuse to back Jumbo.  --Lambiam 22:26, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

consume mass quantities[edit]

Entry draws a distinction between a humorous Coneheads sense and an &lit (I have just made a couple of changes to it, but there were always two senses): I don't see that the distinction is justified. Equinox 00:02, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

IMO, it's just an allusive SoP collocation, somewhat reminiscent of non-native use of English, made memorable by SNL. DCDuring (talk) 00:29, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
Is "is this a dagger I see before me?" any less allusive and entryworthy? DCDuring (talk) 00:31, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
A case for RFD, surely. Ƿidsiþ 07:29, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
Already passed RFD in 2007; see talk page. Equinox 11:59, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
Huh, I see I voted at the time. Well, at least I'm consistent… Ƿidsiþ 12:01, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
So, it was kept by a 3-4 3-5 vote? DCDuring (talk) 12:15, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
I say send it to RFV. Having never seen the phrase before, I'm not convinced it has entered the language at large. — SGconlaw (talk) 12:18, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
It has 1300 b.google hits. I don't think the existence of this string of words is in question, but is it anything other than a fairly uncommon catchphrase? Ƿidsiþ 14:46, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
It is just an example of a current cultural allusion. Saturday Night Live had good performers, writers, and good skits, especially in the early years. The Coneheads were a series of skits, eventually becoming a movie in 1993. Such allusive catchphrases seem to endlessly fascinate the occasional casual contributor. This particular collocation is also not very common in conversation, which makes it a good catchphrase.
I don't see why we shouldn't RfD it, especially given decision to keep it despite a 3-5 vote against. DCDuring (talk) 19:50, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

Norwegian - some entries have fringe inflection formatting compared to the rest of the site[edit]

I fixed about 30 entries myself where I knew how exactly to edit them (vast majority were simple typos and a few used ; instead of , for a separator), although I'm not exactly sure with the following entries.

Some have different formatting where the inflections are supposed to be - (Note: when I use "every other entry", I mean about 15000 words I am currently processing)

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/helvete#Norwegian_Bokm%C3%A5l "genitive helvetes" I'd expect this to be in brackets as every other entry seems to be

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mang_en - Seems to have completely different entry-style as compared to everything else, for example fly - https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fly#Norwegian_Bokm%C3%A5l

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/s%C3%B8ster#Norwegian_Bokm%C3%A5l - "colloquial søs" is outside the brackets

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kristadelfianer#cite_note-1 - seems to have a reference referencing the reference almost directly below it, is it necessary? No other entry seems to do this.


https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/skulle#Norwegian_Nynorsk - these seem to have "does not occur" instead of a "-" used in every other entry(8 total). I guess both are considered correct but wouldn't it better to use one standard?

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/skulla#Norwegian_Nynorsk - ^

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/baskisk#Norwegian_Bokm%C3%A5l - "or indeclinable n." - I think this may be correct, but it's still the only entry with "indeclinable" in it which my script doesn't catch, just making sure before I add a workaround for it in my script.

Thanks in advance for checking my problems out.

  • helvete. I will look into helvetes, it can be an adjective (the blue link is Swedish).
  • mang en: A rather odd determiner, I have looked at it before. It's OK.
  • søster: søs removed. It was added by an anon.
  • kristadelfianer. I have come across these references in other languages. I'm surprised there are no others in Bokmål.
  • skulle, skulla: It is quite possible that an imperative is not used. The same can happen with passive forms and present participles. It depends on the particular verb. Done by Njardarlogar, who has done more work on this I think.
  • baskisk. Languages can be both masculine or neuter, and the neuter form is not inflected. Normally I just show the masculine form.

DonnanZ (talk) 22:45, 20 July 2018 (UTC)

I didn't explain my point good enough, so besides kristadelfianer and søs I'm still unclear.
My issue is not with the content but the formatting. For example helvete
helvete n (virtually never inflected); genitive helvetes
I'd expect something like this instead:
helvete n (genitive helvetes) (virtually never inflected)
and similarly I'd expect
mang en (singular masculine) - mang ei (singular feminine) - mangt (et) (singular neuter) - mange (plural)
To look something like this instead:
(singular masculine mang en, singular feminine mang ei, singular neuter mangt, plural mange)
and for skulla,skulle, my problem is with "does not occur", which are the only entries that have that instead of a "-" which all other entries have, 8 total. Though I'll probably just filter that out too instead of expecting people to only use one form.
and last for baksisk I'd expect a multi-line entry instead that'd look like this
baskisk m (definite singular baskisken, uncountable)
baskisk n (indeclinable)
C0rn3j (talk) 00:27, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
  • skulla and skulle were fixed using a newer template {{nn-verb-irreg}}. DonnanZ (talk) 07:47, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
  • baskisk amended. DonnanZ (talk) 08:17, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
  • mang en revised, the job was only half-done before. DonnanZ (talk) 10:45, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
  • helvete: I had to put my thinking cap on. I have included inflections as red links, but kept the qualifying note and scrapped the genitive: helvetes is regarded as an adjective which is the genitive of helvete. There are also compound words with helvetes- as the first part. In any case genitives are not recorded in Norwegian, and quite honestly I agree with that; all you have to do is add an "s" to a noun. Including genitives creates a lot of extra work adding inflections, which I regard as unnecessary (it wasn't me who decided this, no genitives were being recorded in Norwegian before I arrived on the scene). DonnanZ (talk) 13:01, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
Thank you a lot for fixing all of them! As I said, my only issue was with formatting, so I wasn't really pointing at a problem of having genitives or not, but rather having it in a weird format (outside of brackets). Although I kind of do have a horse in this race, am using the entries from here to create a dictionary for my e-reader (so it works with word-lookup within a book), so having all the possible inflections is important for me, but am not really sure if genitive cases in Norwegian are used often at all. (if that intrigued you, the dictionary is here) C0rn3j (talk) 17:07, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
Oh, genitives are used all right, for both nouns and proper nouns in the same way as 's and s' in English, e.g. Oslo's in English would be Oslos in Norwegian. But if these are the only irregularities you found, that's not bad at all. DonnanZ (talk) 19:06, 21 July 2018 (UTC)

my stories[edit]

This has been discussed before (see talk page); however, it's clear by examining usage that the "my" is variable based on who is talking about the soap opera (so you could say "he wants to watch HIS stories", etc.). We must move this to either "one's stories" or just "stories". The current "my stories" is not appropriate. Thoughts regarding which move is best? Equinox 02:06, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Aren't my soaps, my shows, and my programs about as common and virtually synonymous. What makes this entryworthy? DCDuring (talk) 04:29, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
No, since "my soaps" obviously refers to soap operas and "my shows" or "my programs" could be any type of TV show. DTLHS (talk) 04:33, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
RFD on the ground that it's SoP. It's no different to my pet = "the pet that I own" and my car = "the car that I drive". — SGconlaw (talk) 06:41, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
@DTLHS: That argument would justify, at most, only an additional definition of story/stories. DCDuring (talk) 17:15, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
If Equinox is right that the pronoun is variable, then it shouldn't be at my stories. I would prefer to handle this with a sense at story or stories. If at stories, then with a pointer at story, like what's in message, since most people probably realize to look up the singular of any word they're unfamiliar with, and might not notice any sense that was only present in the plural and unmentioned in the singular entry. - -sche (discuss) 17:13, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
To give a couple of examples of what I have found: "They were not even to dream of disturbing the man when he was watching his stories, that dreary-ass Dark Days of Our Lives" (2014, Munraff, Lost in Time); "She'd [] perch on a tree branch outside Ms. Buncombe's living room while the old lady watched her stories on an ancient TV" (2010, Miller, The Eternal Ones). I don't think we should delete the "stories" thing altogether because nobody says "which story were you watching?" when they mean "which soap?", but I don't like the my lemma. Equinox 00:17, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

How to gloss these "goddess" entries?[edit]

Someone created Goddess knows, good Goddess, goddessdammit, Goddess forbid, goddessdamn, Goddess only knows, thank the goddesses, and thank Goddess. It is fairly obvious that these weren't created because "oh, we don't have entries for these everyday phrases!" but rather by some well-meaning process of "let's take all the male phrases and make them female". At the risk of being yelled at for being sexist or whatever, I think they need to be glossed accordingly, i.e. these are mostly extremely rare or humorous phrases, and not everyday ones like "goddamn". Thoughts? Equinox 02:16, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Send to RFV first? — SGconlaw (talk) 02:48, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't dispute that they exist, and 3 cites could be found for most or all. I just object to the unglossed "synonym of X" when in the real world they aren't equivalent or interchangeable. Equinox 02:58, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps "anti-sexist" could be a serviceable euphemism for feminist moonspeak. Crom daba (talk) 03:52, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
We killed the "politically correct" category a while ago, so I don't think that will fly. BTW, I don't even think that feminist activists use these phrases. Equinox 03:54, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
Maybe rare or neologism could do? Crom daba (talk) 04:06, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
There's a paganism connection I believe. DTLHS (talk) 04:08, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. This is a Wiccan/paganism inflected thing, as far as I understand. Ƿidsiþ 08:28, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
Can we source it as such per CFI? Equinox 09:18, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't know. I think I've encountered thank Goddess before in some Wicca-related context. If there are any of them that don't have Wiccan/pagan connections, they could possibly be defined similarly to womyn, which currently says "(very rare) Feminist spelling of woman". But it depends on the citations—we should look at how the phrases are used and edit the definitions accordingly. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:01, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
If we can't find credible authorities, we can't just depend on our own idiolects. As time-consuming as it may be, we need citations. It might be a legitimate shortcut to go from two or three cited entries with confirmed definitions and labels to the other five or six. DCDuring (talk) 15:51, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
They're probably mostly used by people who believe in goddesses, some of them maybe also infrequently by some feminists, and some of them maybe also rarely by other people to be contrarian/jokey/etc. True to that, among the first three hits I see for "Goddess knows" are Eva Indigo's Laughing Down the Moon, used by the narrator who believes in a goddess, Womonseed: a Vision (→ISBN), which seems like a feminist work(?), and Episcopalian author Susan Palwick's Shelter (which also uses "Goddess" a lot and so may be set from a pagan or feminist perspective?). Maybe label it {{lb|en|uncommon|chiefly|_|in|_|paganism}}?
"Goddessdammit" just seems very rare, maybe too rare to classify further; of the three Google Books hits I see, one seems to be from someone who believes in a goddess, one is from a "Filipina ex-Catholic, who married an Italian hippie from Santa Cruz", and the third one also seems to be pagan. So: {{lb|en|rare|chiefly|_|in|_|paganism}}? - -sche (discuss) 17:26, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
The worlds of feminist theory and neo-paganism interact in many circles, and it's hard to separate them; it's also true that many writers simply borrow from these ideas without necessarily being part of them. In the same way, perhaps, that an expression like "brava!" has become more frequent. I've almost come full circle now and think maybe it's better for these just to be unlabelled (given enough citations), rather than try to explain all this by corralling it into several different, related registers. Hard to see a perfect solution. Ƿidsiþ 12:10, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
Hmm. I don't oppose that, although "chiefly" followed by whatever the main registers are might adequately allow for use outside the (apparently two) main registers. I suppose we could at least label them as less common? I've done that, added "uncommon" without any additional labels, at good Goddess, because it seems to be used by a number of not-particularly-pagan/feminism-centred books. Should we put terms like "good God" and "goddamn" in CAT:en:God, and terms like these into a *CAT:en:Goddess, btw? - -sche (discuss) 15:46, 26 July 2018 (UTC)


Do we have any editors sufficiently familiar with India (User:AryamanA? User:DerekWinters?) to check the definition and/or add the etymon (Hindi? Bengali?) ? - -sche (discuss) 03:36, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

@-sche: I have never seen gram sansad shortened to sansad (which is "parliament" or "legislature" in most Indian language). Also the definition is wrong. I will move this entry to gram sansad and we'll see about sansad later. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 03:44, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Maybe the short form just means "parliament"; I see it used in google books:"the sansads", e.g.
  • 2000, B. K. Chandrashekhar, Panchayati Raj in India: Status Report, 1999:
    After deliberation, the Gram Sabha will adopt resolution which will prevail over the resolutions of the sansads, provided that the constitution of beneficiary committees by the latter shall not be questioned in any meeting of the Gram Sabha.
Could you also take a look at parishad? - -sche (discuss) 04:06, 24 July 2018 (UTC)


Do we really need three different senses? Per utramque cavernam 07:24, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

IMO yes, probably more, though I agree they're not very well distinguished at present. I'll try and work on the page this week sometime, FWIW. Ƿidsiþ 12:42, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree. I had a quick go at expanding the first three definitions so the distinctions are a bit clearer, and at adding three more senses, but more could be done. Several dictionaries split what we currently have as sense 3, which I left as one sense, into two or more senses — basically separating "Aware of, observing and noticing" as in conscious of the noise and "sensitive to, being strongly interested in or concerned about" as in class-conscious. I considered splitting them in our entry, but it could be hard to cleanly sort/assign a lot of quotations at that point: is "class-conscious" a different sense than "conscious of differences in income"? and is "conscious of differences in income" different from "conscious of a noise"? They're both things one is perceiving. - -sche (discuss) 16:59, 24 July 2018 (UTC)


Are we supposed to include words like this in Category:English_words_suffixed_with_-ible? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:18, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

I'd have preferred not, because it is a direct diachronic borrowing of Latin flexibilis, but we have incorporated the synchronic derivation into etymologies using the wording "equivalent to {{suffix|en|flex|ible}}". DCDuring (talk) 14:24, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

fat chance[edit]

As a native speaker of (American) English, I feel that the meaning of "fat chance" is literally an antonym to "slim chance", that is, a good chance, and its very common use as a synonym for "slim chance" is sarcasm. I notice that this original meaning is not cited widely in dictionaries. Wikipedia does not, but it provides a "sarcasm" tag. I wonder whether the sarcasm is being lost in the youger generation, and wonder how both slim and fat chances are synonyms. Should what I feel is the core meaning be listed, perhaps being noted as "obsolete" or "rare"? TomS TDotO (talk) 13:40, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

I've never heard of such usage. Can you find it in any books or newspapers, for example? Equinox 13:43, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
Presumably the usage would be SoP if it could be found, so {{&lit|fat|chance|lang=en}} would be the definition line. It tried searching Google Books for "fat chance of winning|succeeding" and "fat odds" without success. There were some instances of word play like "fat chance of losing weight" that might be ambiguous, but they would have to be dismissed for the matter at hand. DCDuring (talk) 14:19, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree that the phrase "fat chance" is always used in the sense of "little chance". I am relying on my native grasp of English to say that this usage is sarcasm - the context, for example. But my attention was drawn to this when someone commented on the oddity that "fat chance" and "slim chance" meant the same thing. My search in reliable sources told me that "fat chance" has lost any sense - if ever it had - of antonymic to "slim chance". I don't understand how "fat chance" could have synonymy to "slim chance" except by its use as sarcasm. But I don't know. Which is why I brought up the subject here. Thank you for your help. TomS TDotO (talk) 15:33, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
I do find it odd that we cannot easily find any use of fat chance except in the very common sarcastic sense, when the sarcastic sense would seem to depend on the existence of a 'straight' understanding of the expression. A discussion of the phrase can be found here in the 1999 archives of the American Dialect Society. Interesting also is the use of fat in expressions like "A fat lot of good it will do you." DCDuring (talk) 15:59, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
I have never heard of "fat chance" meaning anything other than "little chance". Even if non-sarcastic use does not exist, my feeling is that "fat" is used sarcastically. Mihia (talk) 20:08, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
I've just recalled a fat lot, as in "a fat lot of good that'll do you!" (no good at all). Equinox 00:08, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

The polite plural[edit]

ie tu/vous, du/sie etc — do we have an English term for this other than the above? — Saltmarsh. 18:33, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

Perhaps y'all? Or all y'all? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:59, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
It's occasionally called the V plural (i.e. T–V distinction). Equinox 19:00, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

Poltergeist English pronunciation[edit]

For the English entry on poltergeist there is included a "Germanic" pronunciation. I have no idea what this is supposed to mean and the transcription doesn't make much sense. I don't know what a "Germanic" English pronunciation is. I would just remove this but I thought I would point it out if anyone knows if this is something legitimate. I don't know how to mark a specific element in an entry as needing verification, so. Thanks 2WR1 (talk) 17:37, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

Some words that are not fully naturalized into the English language are pronounced as if they were non-English words by some speakers. There might be a better way of wording the label, but it basically means that people who perceive it as a German word in English text might pronounce it that way. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:20, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy I can see that, but the pronunciation given /ˈpɵ̙ltəɡaɪst/ doesn't make sense as it contains IPA symbols that aren't standard in either English or German, namely the /ɵ̙/. If a semi-German anglicised pronunciation wants to be shown, it should use like /o/ or /ɔ/ or something. I'm not saying no-one pronounces it that way, but I can't find that pronunciation cited anywhere, when you look the wor up you just find normal anglicised pronunciations like the RP and US ones shown. 2WR1 (talk) 22:26, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
The more foreign a word is, if by its outer form or by its usage area, the less uniform are the pronunciations and the more likely schematic pronunciation claims are wrong. At its outer tips a language can include pronunciations which aren’t in its repertory. There is no rule that says that this needs to be code switching. Clearly all those weird words used by philologists and ethnologists or other members of parallel societies like polnoglasie, Amazigh, astaghfirullah contain sounds most speakers of the same language struggle to produce. Fay Freak (talk) 00:50, 27 July 2018 (UTC)


Adjective sense: especially of elephants. ORLY? --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 11:51, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

Oxford doesn't regard rogue as an adjective at all, only a noun modifier, but also has an entry for rogue elephant. DonnanZ (talk) 23:16, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
User:Rogue elephant - my next nickname, methinks --New WT User Girl (talk) 21:26, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

throw the baby out with the bathwater[edit]

We have stress on water but our entry for bathwater has it on bath, as has ODO and Forvo, and I've recently heard it in a radio programme by (apparently a native speaker) pronounced/stressed liked that even in the very phrase itself, so should the stress be moved in our entry for the phrase? I'm somewhat reluctant to do so on my own, not being a native speaker myself. --Droigheann (talk) 15:54, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

Native speaker here. I would definitely stress the first syllable in the word "bathwater" in this phrase, and I've adjusted the entry accordingly. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:43, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Me too. DCDuring (talk) 18:39, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Go for it. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:01, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks guys! --Droigheann (talk) 16:55, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

set on / set upon[edit]

When used in the following sense, are "set on" and "set upon" dictionary-worthy phrases, or are they sum-of-parts? If the former, which part-of-speech heading should they come under? To me they seem adjectival, but on the other hand they are transitive.

Most alarming of all was the conclusion that Washington was set upon achieving regime change in Russia itself.
He was set on going to university.

Mihia (talk) 20:02, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

[[set#Adjective]], sense 4? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:24, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I guess you're right. I thought they may be worthy of individual entries, but you could replace "set" with "intent" or "decided", say, so I guess it's probably not merited. Mihia (talk) 20:46, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

paramour no paramor?[edit]

Any reason why we don't have paramor as an American spelling? Does it exist? I note the original French doesn't have a U in it. ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:06, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

  • I'm not convinced that it exists. Anyway, I've added the surname Paramor to be going on with. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:12, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
It doesn't exist; neither does amor for amour. Equinox 12:17, 28 July 2018 (UTC)


"We had very little to do" is given as an example of "little" as a determiner. Is that correct? Mihia (talk) 13:07, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

If one follows the "fused-head" analysis of Huddleston and Pullum in CGEL it is a perfectly normal, even common use of a determiner. But they highlighted their analysis as controversial. Other dictionaries would probably put that usage example under a noun or pronoun PoS. DCDuring (talk) 13:32, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Earlier I added a pronoun sense that was missing, with example "Little is known about his early life". Do we agree that's a pronoun? There are other senses that also seem to be missing, e.g. "I know a little about it" and "I'll tell you the little that I know". Should these come under noun, pronoun or determiner? Does anyone have a view on this? Note that a little also has its own entry with adverb and determiner senses. Mihia (talk) 13:39, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
It isn't really a matter of what it is but rather a matter of how we present it to users. It should align with their expectations. We use the determiner word class only because some number of the recently educated are familiar with the term. They may view us as retrograde for even having the pronoun PoS for words that are also determiners, but many other users don't have any understanding of determiners. It seems like yet another area where we duplicate content (definitions, etc) to address the needs of diverse users. DCDuring (talk) 17:06, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Do you have an example where we presently duplicate content in this way? While of course I understand that sometimes there are differing schools of thought about how to classify certain words, I don't personally agree that the same sense or usage of a word should be listed twice under two different parts of speech, if that's what you suggest. I also don't really agree, as a general principle, that we should classify words according to what we imagine readers' expectations to be. In my view we should classify words according to what we think they are, based on our own coherent and consistent policy. Mihia (talk) 17:34, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
There are 69 entries that are in both Category:English determiners and Category:English pronouns and 17 in both Category:English determiners and Category:English adjectives. One could start by excluding the recently discussed determinative use of personal pronouns. One would also want to exclude regional, archaic, and obsolete terms and definitions to make it possible to use native-speaker intuition. Of the remainder most have some duplication or, at least, overlap of definitions.
I consistently oppose any group narcissism. We need to at least make some kind of effort to consider user PoVs. If we can't take the trouble to do that, then we must at least consider the disagreement among authorities, including other lexicographers as well as grammarians. If we can't do that, we should not be using WMF resources in an exercise of self-indulgence: we should fold up the tent and go home. DCDuring (talk) 18:21, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Being in multiple categories is not in itself a problem. There is no problem with a word having, say, determiner, noun and pronoun senses, provided that these are conceptually distinguished. For me, a determiner should always modify something, so that provides a clear distinction between determiner and noun/pronoun. The distinction between noun and pronoun can be more tricky. Having a consistent policy on such matters seems to me to be an unequivocally good thing. Of course, received wisdom from various external sources, including what other dictionaries do, should be taken into account. Mihia (talk) 19:49, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
That means you reject the fused-head analysis out of hand. I don't think that it is possible to semantically distinguish most determiner definitions from noun or pronoun definitions, which forces the grammar to carry all the water for the distinctions. I see no semantic distinction between little pronoun and little determiner. BTW, you must want to give a little similar treatment. What do you do with that pesky a? DCDuring (talk) 05:20, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Sorry for the very belated reply. As far as I can gather (please correct me if I am wrong) the "fused head" analysis says, for example, that "little" in "little is known" is short for "little information" or something similar. That isn't unreasonable, but "little information" is a noun phrase, so if "little" means "little information" then "little" itself is essentially noun-like, and quite distinct in function, in my opinion, from "little" as a determiner, i.e. a modifier of a noun. Mihia (talk) 17:15, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
In traditional grammar and many dictionaries, esp. those published in the US, little in 'little information' is treated as an adjective. But the most normal use of determiners is to "modify" nouns that are present (not merely 'understood' in context), but in a less semantically rich and more grammatical way than an adjective does. The determinative function can be carried out by articles, demonstratives, quantifiers, possessive nouns and pronouns, and others (eg, we in we women are united). Some grammarians believe the determinative function must be served in any NP, which compels than to posit the 0-determiner as in (0) Information was scarce or (0) Little information was available.
In the decade of so since I learned about determiners and the determinative function, I have come to appreciate the value of the word class and the associated grammatical analysis. But many (most?) users are still not familiar with the word class, so we end up duplicating definitions in determiners PoS sections and adjective, noun, or pronoun PoSes. DCDuring (talk) 22:39, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes indeed, so-called "determiners" have traditionally been called adjectives. I personally think that the distinction between adjectives and determiners is useful, though don't ask me to precisely define it. In any case, we certainly should not be duplicating the "modifier" sense of words such as "little" across both "adjective" and "determiner" headings. Any such instances should be merged to the preferred heading. On the other hand, the distinction between "adjective/determiner usage" and "noun-like usage" seems to me to be entirely valid, and indeed essential if we are to fully explain the usage of words such as "little". Mihia (talk) 00:03, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
By the way, looking specifically at what has been done at most, the determiner examples are all modifiers, so that seems OK. "most" in "the most" seems to be distinguished as a noun from just "most" as a pronoun, presumably on the basis that pronouns should not take articles? This seems to be consistent with "little" being a pronoun in "Little is known about his early life" and a noun in "I know a little about it" and "I'll tell you the little that I know". Then "most" in "most of" is said to be a noun rather than a pronoun, I suppose on some logical ground. So there seems to be no actual duplication, just different classifications of different usages. I would support a "Noun or pronoun" PoS heading for cases such as this, so that the noun-like uses can be grouped together. Mihia (talk) 20:19, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
It seems to me that there are a few ways for a dictionary to treat words that, in much or most of their usage, serve a determinative function:
  1. Have no determiner word class and disperse definitions and usage examples among adjective, pronoun, and adjective PoS groupings of definitions etc.
  2. Have a determiner word class
    1. narrowly defined, only invoking the determiner function when the others seem forced or to omit recognition of some grammatical behavior.
    2. broadly defined, using fused-head analysis to subsume most 'noun' and all 'pronoun' definitions
  3. Finally a dictionary could try to meet the expectations of all kinds of users by simultaneously following two or even all three of the approaches laid out above.
We formerly followed the first approach. We now have the determiner word class and seem to be following the narrow definition. CGEL follows the broad definition, which is, IMO, cleaner, allowing users to find most definitions and usage example in one place. If we try to provide both that 'clean' experience but also allow users to find definitions under the traditional PoS headers that they may remember from their education, then we must have duplication of definitions. If we stick to the narrow definition of determiner we have simply added an additional potential location for the definition a user might seek.
[[little]] is a tough case because there is clearly much pure adjective usage and the meaning in all the determinative usage, both fused-head ('noun' and 'pronoun') and other, is clearly derived from the adjective. In addition there is a little.
In my own thinking I have surrendered to the CGEL broad definition and the fused-head analysis. I don't like our current approach of the narrow definition of determiner, even from the PoV of users who never heard of determiners. DCDuring (talk) 23:17, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Yes, I agree that "little" is a tough case. I notice that Oxford Dictionaries [16] groups pronoun and determiner uses under the same heading, but labels the individual senses to indicate which it is. Returning to my original questions, if (as is presently the case) the usage "We had very little to do" belongs under the "determiner" heading, on the basis that "very little" implies "very little work" or something similar, it seems logical to me that "I know a little about it" should come under the "determiner" heading at "a little", on the basis that "a little" implies "a little information" or something similar. As I mentioned, I added the "Pronoun" heading, example "Little is known about his early life", because to my mind a determiner could not stand alone as the subject of a verb. However, I am concerned that I cannot see any fundamental difference between "Little is known about his early life" and "We had very little to do". I wonder whether I should just remove the pronoun sense. Mihia (talk) 19:30, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
I share your perplexity. I need to reread my grammars.
Cambridge Advance Learner's has a brief elementary grammar lesson on little and a little. Where they use "pronoun" you could substitute "fused head".
Just to make the cheese more binding (US def.), in CGEL adjectives can also appear in fused-head constructions (The poor shall always be with us.). ::::::::But little in the initial example clearly is a quantifier, as opposed to little in The little need protection. DCDuring (talk) 18:04, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

train - order of definitions[edit]

The entry train lists A line of connected railway cars or carriages considered overall as a mode of transport as definition 2.8. I would have thought it should be the first definition, as I have the impression that this meaning is the one most frequently encountered.

Is there a general policy on how varying definitions of the same word should be ordered?

-- 17:54, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

  • I think they are in a more-or-less historical sequence. The later definitions derived from earlier ones. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:59, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
    There is also some effort to group related definitions, sometimes leading to the creation of subsenses etc, which usually forces departure from historical sequence. We also sometimes push regional, dialectical and specialized senses to the bottom of the list even when they then appear out of historical sequence or split from a group of similar current and general definitions. DCDuring (talk) 18:27, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

outbrake oneself[edit]

Hi outbrake oneself has a different meaning to outbreak someone else. If A outbrakes B, A appies their brakes later than B, (in order to overtake). But if A outbrakes himself, it means he applied the brakes too late for the bend and could not get around it properly. (go wide). So it deserves some kind of mention. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:54, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

I am moving this discussion to where other people can see it. DTLHS (talk) 02:00, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
@Graeme Bartlett. DTLHS (talk) 02:01, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
This probably applies to all forms of automotive racing on tracks with curves.
And presumably if trucker A does a better job of braking than trucker B on eastbound I-70 going into Denver, he is outbraking trucker B.
  • 2015, Sean Bennett, Heavy Duty Truck Systems[17], page 982:
    Numerous tests have proven that rookies driving ABS-equipped rigs can safely outbrake seasoned truck drivers driving the same rig with the ABS electronically defeated.
  • 2018 June 27, “2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Track Drive: Hammer 'n Tongs”, in Motor Trend:
    The new wagon's rear weight bias might have helped it outbrake the sedan in 105 feet versus 116 from 60 mph.
That would seem to mean "to stop in a shorter distance than (another vehicle moving at the same speed)" DCDuring (talk) 02:34, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
As to outbrake oneself, Google News has several hits that seem to be from print magazines and newspapers. DCDuring (talk) 02:39, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
On Wikipedia most uses are "outbrake himself" as it seems that most drivers that get into trouble this way are male. So should this variant meaning get mentioned at outbrake or should it have a separate wiktionary entry? (my original query). Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:50, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
The main entry would be outbrake oneself. outbrake himself could be a hard redirect. outbrake oneself should also be a derived term at outbrake. DCDuring (talk) 12:17, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

Ruts left standing?[edit]

This is a question about English usage, but in regard to the Japanese word わだち (wadachi). This is normally written like this in hiragana, but the kanji entry has a fuller explanation. It comes from wa meaning "wheel" and tachi/dachi meaning (roughly) "stand", and refers to a rut, as the depression left by the passage of wheels. This seems a trifle odd, since the wheel obviously pushes the earth down rather than up, but it could be interpreted that the effect is one of vertical relief, which tachi could encompass. Well, those are my musings on the Japanese word, but the English translation given under "Etymology 1" says: "...the shape of the rut left standing after the passage of the wheel." This agains strikes me as odd: can we really say the rut is "left standing"? Any suggestions?

Incidentally, the entry at わだち should surely be merged/redirected/something to the entry under , but I am not sure how to do this. Imaginatorium (talk) 09:43, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

The wheel obviously pushes the earth up, as well. It depends on the material and situation, but if the mud is incompressible, then as some goes down, some must be pushed up. The walls of the rut are certainly left standing.
That said, while it's not wrong, one could drop the "standing" in the English version; it seems slightly colloquial, and it's unnecessary for the meaning. "the shape of the rut left" would do just as well.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:44, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
  • The hiragana entry at わだち already redirects (as a soft redirect) to . Depending on how the JA editors carry out the implementation, past discussion threads suggest that we may want to move the lemma content from the kanji spelling to the kana one.
Also, the EN wording "standing" was deliberate to echo the "standing" and "stand" in the glosses of the verb forms right there in the etymology, explicitly linking the JA term with the EN definition. I'm not married to that wording; I just wanted to explain the rationale. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:01, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

antipodes pronunciation[edit]

We offer the substandard pronunciation /æntɪi.pəʊdz/. Is that right? I've never seen /ɪi/ like that before. Equinox 14:10, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

Seems strange to me. I say /ˈæntɪpoʊdz/. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:05, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
/ɪi/ is probably an alternative spelling of what is usually written /iː/: antee-. I don't say it that way either. Maybe it could be a jocular or ill-informed pronunciation: someone analyzing the word as anti- plus a nonexistent word *podes (plural of *pode, rhyming with mode). — Eru·tuon 05:42, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
  • You can compare with the audio and IPA here. DonnanZ (talk) 08:22, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I've replaced it with a referenced pronunciation /ˈæn.tɪ.poʊdz/ tagged as applying to the sense "plural of antipode". It wouldn't surprise me if that sense, at least, were also attested with /i/ by some people (the word does recognisably contain anti-). - -sche (discuss) 04:38, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. It makes me wonder (and my Wikt policy knowledge is weaker than it should be): is there a sort of RFV for pronunciations? (Heaven knows how we would attest them.) Equinox 04:44, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
No. The de facto verification is, "another dictionary has a pronunciation", or more rarely "here's a youtube video". DTLHS (talk) 04:47, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Yeah. Or even, rarely, a bunch of us say "well, that's how I pronounce it", if there are no other dictionaries or videos to be found (as with mirative). Conversely, if other dictionaries have one pronunciation but we've only heard it pronounced differently, including in YouTube videos we check, we've been known to disclaim the other dictionaries' pronunciation the way we would a dictionary-only sense or word (angstrom, bon appétit). As to the venue, if you doubt any other pronunciations, this is the usual venue. - -sche (discuss) 05:13, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
(Think of it – we could actually be establishing the "correct" pronounciations of entries!) — SGconlaw (talk) 07:44, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Norwegian - few entries with fringe formatting[edit]

forenkla - This entry looks correct to me - it has one definition per line - https://i.imgur.com/moCX3kA.png

bok - This entry and the following ones do not. bok has

1. a beech (tree). Alternative form of bøk.

where I'd imagine them as two lines instead.

1. a beech (tree)
2. Alternative form of bøk.

These are the only three entries I found with this formatting ("Alternative form of X").

tjukkelse - Same as above.

måla - Same as above.

mange - "many (really plural of mang)" - similar as above and is different from other entries

skjønne - This one seems to have really weird definition in one part - https://i.imgur.com/p39XnYi.png - which I don't see anywhere else, I guess this is wrong?

As always, thanks to anyone and everyone spending their time on these formatting issues of mine!

  • All revised or fixed. DonnanZ (talk) 08:10, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Awesome, thanks! C0rn3j (talk) 13:14, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

-ый (-yj), -ный (-nyj)[edit]

@Atitarev, pronunciations don't match. Allahverdi mentioned that [əj] may be dated, at least in some contexts. Crom daba (talk) 12:36, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

@Crom daba: I've let the module Module:ru-pron do the job. [ɨj] is the most regular and common modern pronunciation of the ending. [əj] is not just dated, it would require some labelling, which I'm not so certain about. I don't think it was ever standard. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:43, 30 July 2018 (UTC)


Is there a source for this pronunciation? @JohnC5. DTLHS (talk) 21:45, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

Poking around YouTube, I can find that a fellow named Ken Canterbury pronounces it at about 0:09, 0:30, 0:52 and 1:00 in this video like /ˈɛɡɹɪɡɔɹ/ (~/ˈɛɡɹəɡɔɹ/), with the first syllable like egg and the last one like gore, and someone named Govan Kilgour pronounces it that same way in this video at about 0:22. - -sche (discuss) 02:22, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I honestly have no idea. Perhaps this was based on the egregor spelling? This was one of the earliest entries I made, so I have no recollection. —*i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 04:01, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
It's the pronunciation I would expect, given the French pronunciation. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:45, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
The pronunciation in the entry now has been corrected from what it was at the time the thread was opened. - -sche (discuss) 22:28, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Ah, OK. I was wondering why it was being questioned. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:57, 2 August 2018 (UTC)


Are senses 1 and 2 truly distinct? 1: "dissatisfaction"; 2: "a longing for better times or circumstances" (with Shakespeare citation about "the winter of our discontent"). Being dissatisfied might (though not necessarily) make one desire better times, but I'm not sure it's a separate sense. Equinox 00:17, 31 July 2018 (UTC)


Aren't senses 3 and 8 redundant? Per utramque cavernam 10:42, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

I'm not sure. In the quotation for sense 8 (which maybe needs marking as dated or archaic) it isn't caused by exercise, wheras I don't think I'd say "stitch" if I had the same pain as sense 3, but it wasn't caused by exercise. Not sure (sports) is right for sense 3 either - it was a common childhood term for me. Jonathan Hall (talk) 11:06, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
My intuition is in agreement with Jonathan's. We would need citations to support sense 8, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 11:59, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
The first definition of stitch in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 is conflates our definition 3 and 8. BTW, for most people the anatomical explanation is not part of the definition, which refers to the experience of the pain (location, etc). DCDuring (talk) 12:04, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I've removed the anatomical explanation, which w:Side stitch says is dubious anyway Jonathan Hall (talk) 12:10, 31 July 2018 (UTC)


How did we get from sense 1 to sense 2? Is this a similar semantic development to the one of staff? Per utramque cavernam 10:43, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

I would say it is similar to staff. Club used to refer solely to the weapon, then to a large bulky mass or glob. It was from this "large mass" that the "company of associates gathered and organised for a cause" evolved. Leasnam (talk) 21:17, 1 August 2018 (UTC)


I think there's a difference between "last year" and "the last year" (also for week, month, decade, century, millenium) - the former means "(in) the most immediately past Jan-Dec" (so currently "last year" means the year 2017), whereas the latter means "the period of one year ending now" (so "the last year" currently means August 1st 2017 - July 31st 2018)

Firstly, do other English speakers agree with me?

Secondly, if so, how should this be documented in the dictionary? My sense is it's a difference between the relevant determiner and adjective senses, and warrants a usage note at both, along the lines of “When used with a singular period of time, refers to a calendar period” and “When used with a period of time, refers to the interval of that length ending at the present” respectively.

Prompted by Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion/Non-English#l'an_passé Jonathan Hall (talk) 11:00, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

In inflected languages, we don't have semantic distinctions written into each inflected form of each inflected word. Determiners seem more like inflection markers than anything else. It is easy to get confused because words of open, lexical classes have gotten appropriated or partially appropriated to perform grammatical functions, though retaining a connection to their purely non-grammaticalized past.
Doesn't the last year always refer to an extent of time? Isn't last always an adjective in that expression, the performing the determining function. It seems to me that last can take any one of the adjective definitions in that expression (though usually defs. 1 or 2. Other determiners can fill the grammatical slot occupied by the (eg, a, this, that, some, any, each, possessives, interrogatives, quantifiers)
Doesn't bare last year often perform an adverbial function, referring either to an extent or a point in time? In that expression last seems to perform a determining function and can be replaced by certain other determiners (this, that, each, any, some, others?).
To me the complexity of the matter seems much more than a dictionary can address in the entries for words, without resorting to multi-paragraph usage notes, which would obscure the essentially grammatical nature of the matter and tend to make the entry unusable for its basi functions. DCDuring (talk) 11:50, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

A somewhat related discussion: Wiktionary:Tea room/2018/May § "Last April" "Next October" Per utramque cavernam 11:56, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

  • While we are at it, the second definition of last#Determiner seems too restricted. At this writing we have:
2. (of a day of the week}} Closest to seven days (one week) ago.
It's Wednesday, and the party was last Tuesday; that is, not yesterday, but eight days ago.
Isn't the usage a little less precise, not being limited to a day that could be referred to as yesterday? Writing today (Tuesday), last Sunday could be used to contrast with this past Sunday, in which use it would be the same as Sunday a week (ago). I don't know how far back it can extend. Perhaps most relevant is the contrast.
Doesn't this also work for months and seasons? This (last) Spring contrasts with last Spring (Spring of last year), This (last) June with last June (June of last year). DCDuring (talk) 13:49, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

vitrum and glastum as woad[edit]

Reading an interesting article on the unsuitability of woad as body paint, one of the things it states is that vitrum and glastum being translated as woad is a later loaded sense dating to 1695 and not actually substantiated by Latin texts. Worth noting on Wiktionary? -Stelio (talk) 14:52, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

You could use {{defdate}} and perhaps {{lb|la|erroneously translated}} or {{lb|la|la|in mistranslation}}, but there may be some other convention. Is there a reliable source? DCDuring (talk) 22:51, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
It looks like the key reliable source is Bog Bodies: New Discoveries and New Perspectives (1995), British Museum Publications, edited by Rick C. Turner and Rob G. Scaife. I've ordered a copy, and can report back in a few weeks' time. -Stelio (talk) 10:15, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
We should check if misidentification of the words with woad has led to them being used to mean "woad" anywhere, e.g. New Latin texts about woad. If so, the thing to do would probably be to have separate senses for the original meaning and for "woad", and explain in the etymology that the second sense arose from misidentification. If the words aren't used to mean "woad", and that sense is found only when translating the words, I think we mostly note that kind of thing in usage notes, unless the original meaning isn't knowable, in which case we could use a {{non-gloss definition}} like comneibi, íviðja, עצה or גתית to say something like "a word of uncertain meaning, traditionally translated as "woad" although this is now thought to be in error". (ψυχή mentions its dictionary-only additional sense curtly in the etymology; הרון discusses its questionable translation in the etymology and definition—see also Talk:conception.) - -sche (discuss) 16:09, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

@DCDuring, -sche... Reliable academic sources found and transcribed here: User:Stelio/Woad. -Stelio (talk) 14:33, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

Hmm. I'm less convinced than Pyatt et al that glastum can't be woad; the leaves don't seem that incomparable, and given how many ancient sources describe Ethiopians as blue (not just in Latin and Irish, but also e.g. Norse), I'm unpersuaded by the claim that Pliny couldn't have also thought of them as blue. The critique of vitrum is also odd; they seem to argue Pliny's uses are better seen as meaning "glass"; since the term does also mean glass, I don't see how they take that to mean Caesar couldn't be using it in the other sense, of "woad"; they say Pliny's use of caeruleum to describe azurite is evidence that the word refers to something copper-based, but that seems a bit of a stretch, since both words (also) just clearly refer to blue. However, it seems reasonable to add a usage note to vitrum with their information that it "has been translated as woad since the sixteenth century (Golding 1565)" but the identification is not certain. They also seem to be suggesting that the translation of isatis as woad is similarly suspect(?); perhaps all three should have usage notes. If there are New Latin uses (and for isatis, at least, I suspect there are) where the word clearly does mean "woad", that could also be mentioned. (Like "as a result of the traditional identification, medieval and New Latin authors have used the term to mean woad".) - -sche (discuss) 19:33, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

cooperate a doublet of cover?[edit]

Cooperate comes from PIE *h₃ep- via Latin operor. Cover from PIE *h₂wer- via Latin operior. Can't see how they're doublets, as indicated in the cooperate English etymology. They have no common etymological roots. —This unsigned comment was added by Lwvz (talkcontribs).

@LWVZ: Indeed, I've removed that. Also, don't forget to sign your messages with ~~~~, please. Per utramque cavernam 17:44, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
@Lwvz: Per utramque cavernam 17:44, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

The figurativeness of "marble" as a verb[edit]


Definition number 5 reads "(by extension, figuratively) To lace or be laced throughout." However, the first quote, "The exercising of the cattle causes the fat to marble right through the animal", uses the word in a literal sense. Is it not a figurative verb? Is it figurative and the author of the quote just uses it incorrectly or has bad science?

I think that citation should be moved under sense 4, not 5. Equinox 19:28, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
What is the figurative point of the figurative label, (figuratively)? DCDuring (talk) 23:00, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
In the 1993 cite (a trait marbles someone's character) it is figurative because characters aren't actually physical things that can be streaked or marbled. Equinox 01:19, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I'd love to see more cites of the "figurative" sense, but they would be hard to find and would at best lead to a change in wording. (Lace seems like a poor defining word for this, even though it can be synonymous in literary use.) It just looks like an uncommon literary metaphor. DCDuring (talk) 01:50, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Then RFV it. I think this is excellent writing (2004, Bevan, Battle Lines: Australian Artists at War): "But then he does talk, and generously, mining his memory and following the vein of a life marbled with experience..." Equinox 01:52, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I fear that the occurrences of figurative sense are too uncommon to be more than nearly invisible specks only discoverable applying a microscope to the fines of well-crushed ore. DCDuring (talk) 02:04, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
See? You just haven't got it. In your local US vernacular, RFV OR GIT, BOY! Equinox 02:24, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm sure the figurative usage is attested. I suppose it's often going to be debatable whether figurative uses of a verb merit a separate definition-line or not. I think I added the sense many years ago when I went through every use of the verb I could find and (with Ruakh and DCDuring's help) overhauled our entry documented every attested use/sense. - -sche (discuss) 04:25, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I think it's valuable to have separate senses for figurative usage (but appropriately marked with labels like "literary" or "rare") because (a) it's not always clear which aspect of the word is important in the figurative sense, (b) a non-native speaker who encounters the figurative usage might not know it's supposed to be figurative, and (c) figurative senses frequently become distanced from the more literal sense over time and sometimes even supplant it, and figuring out where to draw the line would be almost impossible and probably inconsistently applied, knowing us. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:43, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

in love[edit]

Aren't senses 1 and 2 identical? Per utramque cavernam 19:43, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

Dictionary.com makes the same distinction.
Also, sense 3 differs from the others in both the inanimate nature of the object of the love and its being a negative polarity item. Do those characteristics necessarily go together? DCDuring (talk) 01:17, 1 August 2018 (UTC)