Wiktionary:Tea room/2018/November

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← October 2018 · November 2018 · December 2018 → · (current)


Alla panatura ricorriamo invece nel caso di fette di carne o grossi tranci di pesce. Gli alimenti sono prima immersi nell'uovo sbattuto (talvolta possono essere preventivamente passati nella farina), quindi passati nel pangrattato.[2]

--Edward Steintain (talk) 07:03, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

for if[edit]

a few ideas for if you end up in prison Is for if, meaning in case, a complex conjunction meriting its own entry as even if does? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:00, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

I don't think so. It can be split up. "What's that for?" "If you end up in prison". You can't split even if like that AFAIK. Equinox 11:02, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Clauses introduced by if can be objects of expressions we've placed in Category:English prepositions like for, as opposed to, as well as, aside from, including, no matter, other than, rather than, saving, such as. Use of some of these with if seems non-standard to me. I would probably prefer some other construction to convey the idea.
The point is that there are other prepositions that can fill the slot occupied by for, just as there are other words that can fill the slot occupied by if introducing a subordinate clause, eg, when, before, after, that, whether. DCDuring (talk) 17:05, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
This is probably just a poor translation slash calque of Spanish por si. --XY3999 (talk) 09:50, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
I can see using it as a native English speaker. Especially likely coming out of an exchange like "a few ideas for when ... okay, for if you end up in prison." It's not the most comfortable phrase in my mouth, but it seems correct.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:01, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
When I was an English-language subeditor, I would never have accepted "for if". "A few ideas in case you end up in prison" would be better. But I can't deny some English people do talk (and even write) like this.

escabeche (o scapece)[edit]

escabeche (o scapece)italian noun → en.wp escabeche (pickled seafood → Pickling).--Edward Steintain (talk) 17:18, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Indeed, very much so. A simple request: could you use full sentences, like the kind that has a subject and a verb?  --Lambiam 19:36, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
… come condimento di verbi:
escabeche (o scapece) is also an italian noun (compare en.wp escabeche: „It is known as escabecio, scapece or savoro in Italy.“) Useful to understand the preparation of escabecio, scapece or savoro is „pickled seafood“ → Pickling. I can't do the entry - sorry. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:31, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

echo what can inflect[edit]

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 888

A: He was enthusing about the film. B: He was whatting about the film?

Echo what, unlike interrogative what, can inflect. --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:33, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Hmm, yes, similar to something#Verb. Equinox 17:39, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

olla vaarassa[edit]

In Finnish expressions like olla vaarassa, olla humalassa, olla väärässä, and olla oikeassa the word in the inessive is not an adverb, so many entries need to be fixed. See also http://scripta.kotus.fi/visk/sisallys.php?p=456 In addition, the usage notes of predikaatti seem to be wrong; see http://scripta.kotus.fi/visk/sisallys.php?p=869 --Espoo (talk) 19:51, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

What would they be if not adverbs though? I'm not convinced there is exactly a better category in Wiktionary for them - "phrase"s? SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:31, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
"Lisäksi olla-verbin kanssa esiintyy laaja joukko adverbeja ja substantiivin ja adverbin välimailla olevia tilanilmauksia, jotka ilmaisevat fyysistä tai mentaalista tilaa tai tapaa."
In addition, a wide range of adverbs and expressions of state [dwelling] between nouns and adverbs may appear with the verb olla. They represent a physical or mental state or manner.
...as ISK states. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:37, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
These are expressions [of state or condition (tila does not mean dwelling)] and should be listed as expressions, i.e. as olla vaarassa, olla humalassa, olla väärässä, olla oikeassa, etc. Olla väärässä and especially olla vaarassa are grammatically and semantically very similar or even equivalent to "be in the wrong" and "be in danger", and this and the other expressions could also be listed without olla as nouns or adjectives (in the inessive), but it would be senseless to waste time deciding and debating in each case whether it's an adjective or a noun in the inessive. In any case, it would be just as incorrect to claim that vaarassa or väärässä are adverbs as it would be incorrect to claim that the noun "the wrong" in "in the wrong" is an adverb. Even more obviously incorrect would be to claim that "wrong" or "drunk" are adverbs in "she's wrong/drunk". --Espoo (talk) 00:00, 16 December 2018 (UTC)


Synonyms are mentioned in Etimologia e altri nomi, --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:27, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

sound of sandals[edit]

Hey. What sound to sandals make when being walked in? I would've gone for flip or flop, but possibly slap. It's for a translation for the Spanish word chancletear. --XY3999 (talk) 17:44, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

As any Foley artist can tell you, it depends, among other things, on the type of sandals and the substrate. But according to the Diccionario de la lengua española at the website of the Real Academia Española, the verb simply means “To walk in slippers” – no particular sound effect implied.  --Lambiam 19:32, 2 November 2018 (UTC)


  1. (slang) People; often especially (with personal pronoun), one's friends or associates. [from mid-20th c.]
    Not many peeps here tonight, innit?
    Hey my peeps, how are you doing?
  2. (19th century) People.

Since both mean "people", it is not tremendously clear how or why the C19 definition differs from the C20. Mihia (talk) 21:10, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

It should be added this is extremely relaxed language, unlikely to be accepted other by the least educated in society.

Korean Adjective/Verb (?)[edit]

Okay, can someone please explain to me again why we call Korean Verbs "Adjectives" (cf 맛있다 (mashitda)), but then define them as verbs "to be delicious" ? To me the adjective would be 맛있는 (mashinneun), which yes, is kind of like the present participle of the aforementioned...verb (맛있다 (mashitda)) Leasnam (talk) 03:26, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Ah...I get it. A verb would be like 맛이 있다 (mashi itda). Hrm. Ok. Though I would call that a phrase (i.e. To have tastiness/to be tasty) because it has a noun + verb .... but ok Leasnam (talk) 03:42, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Bunny Hug for people from Saskatchewan (western Canadian province).[edit]

Hello I myself recently came on this term for hoodies. However, in your intro you talk about the Saskatchewan. Canadian provinces like cities don't need the the ie. the Texas for a reference to Texas. However if you refer to the Ozarks or the Rockies that is a different matter.

Have a good evening - live well and prosper, eh. -- 03:54, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

I think you are referring to Wikipedia. This here is Wiktionary, a different project. On the page Bunny hug, over at our sister project Wikipedia, the use of the definite article the in the phrase the Saskatchewan, Canada use of the slang term is not a determiner for Saskatchewan, but for the noun use. Think of Saskatchewan, Canada as an attributively used noun phrase that can be replaced by Saskatchewanian. Personally I’d prefer to see a comma after the restrictive clause Canada, or simply leave it out; not much chance of confusion with some other Saskatchewan.  --Lambiam 07:00, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Handmaid and handyman[edit]

To my eye, handmaid and handyman look like they should be nearly direct counterparts with a common origin (paralogs, you might say, if you know more biology than linguistics like me). Our etymologies do not suggest that. To test my hypothesis I looked up handman and found this from the OED, 15th century. I wonder if it was a late alteration to the word. Is there a case here? Wnt (talk) 20:25, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

I doubt there is a connection. A handyman, unlike a handman, is not a servant, but one who is employed and often an expert at fixing things. A professional. Two very different types of service. A handman is someone at hand, to wait on you hand and foot. A handyman on the other hand (npi) is someone handy at repairing things. Leasnam (talk) 21:12, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Even in biology, going by superficial resemblance can get you into trouble- lungfish are more closely related to us than us than they are to sharks, for instance. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:35, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
(another poster) I think the rough linguistic equivalent of the biological term paralog is cognate.


  1. (transitive) To fathom; to come to comprehend.

Easily attestable, but is this a correct usage? To me it seems more like an error, perhaps based on confusion with words such as "unravel". Mihia (talk) 23:38, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

I think each form is likely to be attestable at Google Books. The usage seems mostly to be in poetry, lit crit, "philosophy", but also by authors who fall for the temptation of wordplay. It doesn't look like an error to me. DCDuring (talk) 03:00, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Not in OED or other commercial dictionaries. Probably sloppy writing. One could charitably posit an etymology of "remove or bring up from the depths". Equinox 03:06, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
It looks like this is a new creation built directly from the noun meaning "to remove the fathom between" (i.e. bridge the fathomability of), and not from the verb to fathom ("to reach to the depths of") Leasnam (talk) 17:18, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
I don't understand what "remove the fathom between" means. Mihia (talk) 23:06, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Fathom here is the unit of distance, so to "un-distance" or to bring closer (to one and one's understanding). Maybe "mitigate or alleviate the distance between" would be clearer (?) Leasnam (talk) 05:06, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
As it stands, I don't think readers will understand it. I am in any case sceptical about this interpretation. Is there any evidence that this is what people actually have in mind when they use the word? First time I looked I could not find any discussion of the issue on the Internet, but looking again I came across this in which several people say they think it is an error, and someone coincidentally gives the same example as I did: "I'd guess it comes from the fact that people do not know exactly what 'fathom' means and are mixing it together with words like 'unravel" and "untangle'." Of course, it's only some random person's opinion, but I think this explanation could be closer to the truth, at least for modern uses. Mihia (talk) 17:24, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't disagree with the idea that it's partially based on error. I'm just trying to offer a logical explanation for the words origin, as it appears to have some footing now Leasnam (talk) 21:42, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
@Mihia: Okay, I've removed that definition since it's unclear. Leasnam (talk) 21:49, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
OK, thanks, I am tempted to put in a label or usage note or something to indicate that some people might consider the word erroneous. Mihia (talk) 17:30, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable; however I would prefer we not use non-standard. I think of unfathom as an emerging word (created 19th c and slowing gaining ground). Even in the case that it may have begun as an error, it has accrued a long-standing usage well over 100 years with respectable authors. Maybe we can label it as may be considered nonstandard ? Leasnam (talk) 19:46, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, "unfathom" isn't a proper word - although some people might use it - but "unfathomable" is. It is one of the unfathomable mysteries of life!
  • I added a usage note. Mihia (talk) 18:50, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

lo scorso (noun)[edit]

In scorso the noun „lo scorso“ is missing. Example: Già lo scorso 29 ottobre, un albero era crollato a causa delle forti raffiche di vento. [3]. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:18, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Why is the term not an adjective here, similar to the use in, for example, lo scorso anno or la scorsa mattina?  --Lambiam 10:41, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
It does exist as a noun (two different meaning). I've added them. SemperBlotto (talk) 19:11, 4 November 2018 (UTC)


Is there a word for this in English? To eat meat and fish for the same meal during Lent (when it's prohibited) --XY3999 (talk) 10:28, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

  • I think the closest EN term is hinted at by both the etymology, and the second sense listed in the entry at the RAE (which we are currently missing):

Participar indistintamente en cosas heterogéneas u opuestas, físicas o inmateriales.

I.e., for the eating-related sense, I suppose you could say something like "to eat promiscuously: to eat meat and fish for the same meal during Lent, even though this is prohibited by religious rules". ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:11, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I would of thunk that “to eat promiscuously” would refer to someone who used to eat at Arby’s on Monday, the next day at Denny’s, then at Sandy’s, Tubby’s and Wendy’s, rounding the week off at Wingy’s and Zippy’s.  --Lambiam 10:26, 7 November 2018 (UTC)


I have searched the internet. There are no durably archived accounts of "yines". Aearthrise (talk) 17:30, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Not sure, but bluyines seems okay. Equinox 17:32, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Spanish Wiktionary has "yin" (with the plural of "yines") as a synonym for jean(s). SemperBlotto (talk) 19:03, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
It's OK, despite being a Wonderfool entry. --XY3999 (talk) 12:59, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

what sense of what[edit]

When someone says: "I'll tell you what, Little Lady, I've never <blah, blah, blah>..." which Noun sense of what are they using ? Is it sense 1 ? Leasnam (talk) 18:42, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

It's interesting that you can't "tell someone what", only "tell you what". Is it a clipping of "tell you what for" that has become fossilized? DTLHS (talk) 18:53, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, true. But you can "tell someone what's what"...perhaps that is it. Leasnam (talk) 18:56, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Incidentally, there's a parallel construction in Belgian French: dire quoi. Per utramque cavernam 19:03, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Could it be a clipping of sentences like “I’ll tell you what’s the matter”?  --Lambiam 22:15, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
"I'll tell you what ..." is usually used to make a suggestion. For example, "I'll tell you what, I'll call again later". The "Little Lady" example seems to be using it in a different way, though it would be good to see the completion of the sentence. Mihia (talk) 23:02, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, in the "I'll tell you what, Little Lady..." what kinda means "something", as in "Let me tell you something, Little Lady..." and is used before making an assertion. I just made it up on the fly above, but searching for those words turns up quite a bit. Here's one: I'll tell you what, little lady; I believe you'll be more afraid than me. = "I'll tell you something, little lady; I believe you'll be more afraid than me." (?) Leasnam (talk) 01:03, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

In german we also have: "Ich erzähl dir mal was", also meaning "something". --2A01:112F:742:C00:957C:6A75:F1F7:D6E3 21:34, 2 December 2018 (UTC)


(Some nameless poster): Like the first word I was able to add to Wiktionary, suffect, this word seems to be to do with classical history, though it's more obscure.

According to this article on the website of The Scotsman newspaper, a dioptrion was a Greco-Roman medical device used to open the anus or vagina in order to allow a doctor to make an internal examination. You can see a photograph here.

However, things aren't quite so simple. The Scotsman is the only good source I was able to find for this term. It's mentioned in an article by the Open University, but only as a caption to an image. There is, in fact, only one image which I can find associated with the dioptron and that's the one I linked above; it seems to originate from this page on the Science Museum website. To add one more layer of confusion, on the page itself they are calling it a speculum.

One more detail: it's also the name of a model of streetlight lantern, doubtless from sense #1 of diopter as a unit of measure of the power of a lens or mirror.

We already have diopter with this sense here on Wiktionary (sense #6), so dioptrion could be either an ancient variant of the term or a modern one (and if modern, perhaps mistaken.) I think we could benefit from a quick scan for sources through somewhere like Google Books.

Searching for διόπτριον I found this.  --Lambiam 22:26, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
There is also a doctoral dissertation (pdf; in Spanish) discussing διόπτριον, mainly in §83.  --Lambiam 09:10, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
(Original poster): Seems like we have enough evidence to add it as a word. How about as A hand-operated speculum used in ancient Greece and Rome; a diopter.?
The uses I found attest to Ancient Greek διόπτριον (dióptrion). Probably, if one looks hard enough, one can also find enough uses to include English dioptrion.  --Lambiam 10:12, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "desert"[edit]

I'm hesitant to edit desert because I'm not an expert, but the given American pronunciation of the English Etymology 2 noun (barren area of land) is given as enPR: dĕ'zə(r)t, IPA(key): /ˈdɛzɚt/. These two seem to contradict each other, and only the second one appears correct to me. AxelBoldt (talk) 03:49, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

I'm not that familiar with enPR, but it looks to me like these are the same, allowing for the different systems of notation. The enPR system is much more limited, since it was designed for American English, so we rely more on IPA. The two are quite different, not just with the vowels, but also the accent notation (the IPA accent symbol goes before the syllable, while enPR puts it after the syllable). The treatment of "er" is more complicated, with enPR: ə(r) covering both rhotic and non-rhotic pronunciations and IPA(key): /ɚ/ specific to the more common rhotic one. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:13, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Ah, I wasn't aware of the different handling of the accent symbol in the two systems. Thanks! AxelBoldt (talk) 04:17, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

julienne and filangè[edit]

Julienne and filangè are missing in Italian. “Il taglio à la julienne (detto anche alla "filangè")“ À la julienne and julienne. Example: Salsa agli agrumi filangè: tagliate la buccia degli agrumi a julienne e fatela sbianchire (sbollentare partendo dall'acqua fredda) in acqua per tre volte in modo da togliere l'amaro. (Rai televideo today, p. 579) --Edward Steintain (talk) 07:42, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

  • julienne is a borrowing from the French, with the same meaning (strictly speaking, there is no letter "j" in tha Italian alphabet. filangè means a sliver or thin strip). SemperBlotto (talk) 20:42, 5 November 2018 (UTC)


This is said to be the "plural of no-trump". Somehow this doesn't seem right to me, but I can't quite get my head round it. Mihia (talk) 18:52, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

It's okay in the sense given, e.g. "Suit responses over two no-trumps are similar to bids over one no-trump, except that there is no weakness take-out on a hand with a long suit and no prospect of game." It's not, of course, the same as the phrase "no trumps" meaning "there are no trumps". Equinox 18:57, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Do you mean that people do (or should) say "one no-trump" because there's only one, but "two no-trumps" because there are two? That doesn't seem right to me. "one" and "two" refer to tricks, don't they? This doesn't have anything to do with the plurality of "trump(s)". Perhaps I have misunderstood what you are getting at. Mihia (talk) 20:35, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
And yet we say one heart, two hearts. —Tamfang (talk) 07:18, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
Maybe logically we shouldn't? Maybe we should logically say "one hearts", i.e. "one (additional) trick with hearts as trumps"? Having said that, I think "heart(s)" is less of a noticeable issue since at least "heart" is countable -- there is such a thing as "a heart", of which one can have one, two, three etc., whereas there is no such thing as "a no-trump". Mihia (talk) 18:10, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Isn’t ”no-trump” short for ”no-trump contract”? Wouldn’t one then naturally shorten a statement like “My partner does not know how to play no-trump contracts” to “My partner does not know how to play no-trumps”?  --Lambiam 10:41, 6 November 2018 (UTC)


This entry contains "(Can we add an example for this sense?)" so should we put in: «For example, when people refer to a hat as a "brim" holonymy enables others to understand the meronym to refer to "hat" and not "cup."»? Ph7five (talk) 19:43, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

From how the term appears to be used, it is not a metonymic figure of speech (using a term to mean something else than the literal meaning), but merely a semantic relation. The converse, meronymy, can be used as a figure of speech but is then known as synecdoche. So I think the example does not need to involve the concept of a recipient understanding the message. Something like “The relation between the terms ‘X’ and ‘Y’ is that of holonymy, since one of the parts of an X is a Y” should suffice. In view of the fact that there are brimless hats, the pair hatbrim may not be the most felicitous. Perhaps footheel? Then we get, “The relation between the terms ‘foot’ and ‘heel’ is that of holonymy, since one of the parts of a foot is a heel.”
Something else, if the second sense given for holonomy is correct, it is a synonym of holonym.  --Lambiam 09:53, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
You're right. Merely the semantic relationship is involved here so you saved me from saying something stupid. We can think of holonymy as a form of hyperonymy (superordination) and meronymy as a type of hyponymy. I first thought of brim because in one of the Englishes I speak we say "brim" to mean "hat," a good example of synecdoche, so holonym:meronym::foot:heel works better for sure. However, perhaps the problem is actually what you raise in your final remark. Some editor is saying an example is needed s.v. holonymy (but not holonomy, btw, a typo I also made), whereas the abstract relationship perhaps begs for exemplification less than the concrete. Would it be better to put the heel-and-foot example s.v. holonymy or link to the face-and-eye example s.v. holonym or both? Thanks, Ph7five (talk) 11:16, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I wasn‘t aware of this synecdochical use of brim. It reminds me of a mysterious Dutch idiom: van de hoed en de rand weten – literally, “to know of the hat and the brim”. So never mind the hat – I didn’t know of the brim. If you can find three cites, it should be added as another sense to brim.
I see that houyhnhnm holonym has an egregiously bad example: wordletter. When one writes a letter, it contains words, like “Dear” and “Sincerely”. So here letter is the holonym. But these words are in turn comprised of letters, like “D” and “e”. So there letter is the meronym. Clearly, polysemy can totally ruin an example. I think we should just leave it at the faceeye example. We can model the treatment of holonym after that of meronym, where the example is not included in the definition but presented separately in the form a usex. Then we get something like this:
holonym (plural holonyms)
  1. (semantics) A term that denotes a whole, a part of which is denoted by a second term.
    The word "face" is a holonym of the word "eye".
The footheel example can then be reserved for use at holonymy.  --Lambiam 19:44, 7 November 2018 (UTC)


The meaning of plafond should be extended in the way of https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plafond (financially and not only architecturally). Example: Poi durante la conferenza stampa ad Algeri spiega che si sta cercando di "ampliare il plafond" a disposizione per il maltempo. (Rai televideo today, p.120). --Edward Steintain (talk) 06:35, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

  • I've added the economics meaning ("upper limit of a credit card &c") SemperBlotto (talk) 06:42, 6 November 2018 (UTC)


This is a very rare word (<100 in GBooks) and I don't think the 3 separate senses are justified. Equinox 15:12, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

  • I've cut it down to two senses - different from the original three. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:18, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

reticella spargifiamma[edit]

A reticella spargifiamma is a gauze used with a Bunsen burner but also being put „tra tegame e il gas“ when cooking: Coprite il tegame, interponete tra questo e il gas una reticella spargifiamma, ponete il fuoco al minimo (source: Sugo di salsiccia di cinghiale). --Edward Steintain (talk) 11:12, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

  1. The term spargifiamma is also used by itself as a noun: [4]; [5]; [6].
  2. The combination “retina spargifiamma” is far more common than “reticella spargifiamma”.
 --Lambiam 20:06, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
The approach to a translation of spargifiamma (spargere-fiamma) might lead via heat diffuser . --Edward Steintain (talk) 12:01, 8 November 2018 (UTC)


A spargifiamma (m noun, /spardʒiˈfiamma/) (per fornello a gas o becco di Bunsen) is a heat diffuser, fire scatterer. There's a stub at en.wp [7]. --Edward Steintain (talk) 09:02, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Another sense of purdah[edit]

There's a sense of purdah as the pre-election period in the United Kingdom, specifically the time between the announcement of an election and the final election results which affects civil servants which is detailed at length on the Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purdah_(pre-election_period). We have the word purdah but not with this sense, which is quite different from the ones already listed and might have a different etymology.

According to the Etymology section of the Wikipedia article, the term comes from the Urdu word purdah meaning "curtain" or "veil". Although this appears plausible to me, the reference provided, an article by Hanna Papanek, does not support the claimed provenance; it does not refer to anything having to do with pre-election periods.  --Lambiam 23:17, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Oxford Dictionaries online gives two senses: 1.1 A curtain used for screening off women, and 1.2 A state of seclusion or secrecy, with one etymology: from Urdu and Persian parda ‘veil, curtain’. Similarly for Merriam–Webster.  --Lambiam 06:21, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

(Original poster): I did a quick Internet search for the tags "pre-election" and "purdah" and I found a lot of references to its use as the name of the pre-election period of political sensitivity in the UK.

| Short definition on the UK Parliament website

| An entire booklet detailing proper conduct by local authorities in purdah

| Newspaper article in The Guardian explaining what purdah is

I haven't had the chance to look for evidence of etymology, but there certainly seems to be no doubt as to the legitimacy of this sense.

kick ass[edit]

Are we possibly missing a sense at kick ass (verb), as in "I'm going to kick your ass" ? Leasnam (talk) 05:14, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

See also Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup#kick ass.  --Lambiam 06:12, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
(Nameless poster): Of course though, between "kick" and "ass" in that phrase can be any person. Not just "kick your ass" but "kick his ass" or "kick her ass" and can even inflect to a plural "kick their asses." But this is not a "sum of parts" as I think I've heard said of some phrases, because though ass-kicking might feature in the attack there is no real statement of it being the major part. And in fact the attack might not even be physical, you can "kick a person's ass" just by beating them in a sports game. I'm reminded of the idiomatic phrase to "burst [someone's] bubble", meaning to shatter their illusions. One final note: in Britain, our local word "arse" is substituted: the phrase would be to "kick someone's arse." —⁠This comment was unsigned.
Yes, I think so, like Duke Nukem: "I'm here to kick ass and chew bubble-gum, and I'm all outta gum!" The owner of the ass may be omitted. Equinox 14:03, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

foglia d'ostrica[edit]

enjoy: 1 foglia di ostrica a porzione. Mertensia maritima. “Mertensia maritima a species of flowering plant in the borage family known by the common names oysterleaf, oysterplant or sea bluebells. ... it is called "oysterplant" because leaves taste of oyster.” Mertensia maritima. Is an entry of foglia d'ostrica needed? --Edward Steintain (talk) 07:03, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Seems SoP to me. We could have an entry for foglia d'ortica though - some sort of heraldry thing.SemperBlotto (talk) 07:28, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I don’t see why this should be SoP. Knowing the meanings of foglia (an organ of a vascular plant that is the principal lateral appendage of the stem) and of ostrica (a salt-water bivalve mollusc) is not particularly helpful in figuring out that this combination refers to Mertensia maritima, especially not if one is not even aware of the existence of that species. Another common name for the same herb, especially in culinary use, is erba ostrica.  --Lambiam 11:56, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
From the point of view of a user, it is useful to find the translation of foglia d'ostrica quickly. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:47, 12 November 2018 (UTC)


The entry for Dutch wentelteefje has a usage note that states, “It is more common to use the plural form; the singular form is only used when referring to one specific piece.” Now it would appear that for almost all Dutch countable nouns the singular form is only used when referring to one specific instance. There are some seeming exceptions, like drie jaar geleden (“three years ago”), but this is generally explained as a petrified use of an older, otherwise obsolete, plural form. In other cases, like brood, the noun has both a countable and an uncountable sense, just like English bread. But in general, a singular form like erwt (pea) is only used for a single item (De prinses op de erwt); for zero, two or more peas, or an indeterminate number of such, the plural form is used. So my question is, is there some reason that makes this worth mentioning specifically here?  --Lambiam 11:38, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

I'd say not really. It's pretty much the normal definition of singular and plural. —Rua (mew) 20:08, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
The usage note is poorly worded, but I think it is true that "It is more common to use the plural form". While "wentelteefje" and "wentelteefjes" get similar numbers of results on Google Books, a lot of the results for the former appear to refer to one "Eefje Wentelteefje", some comic strip character; "het wentelteefje" vs. "de wentelteefjes" does indicate that the latter is more common. I'd replace the usage note with a label like {{lb|nl|chiefly plural}}. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:23, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Doesn‘t the same (chiefly plural) apply to many other words, like erwt, frietje, gebakken peer en poffertje? Perhaps even more so. You can say, “O jee, mijn poffertje is op de grond gevallen“ since (assuming only one ended up on the floor) the use of the plural would give a false impression. But an aspiring Dutch cook will normally search for a recipe for “gebakken peren”, even if they are planning to bake just a single pear. So should we add such labels all over the place?  --Lambiam 22:20, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
Not really, except for poffertje/poffertjes maybe. Also, most of the hits for gebakken peren are for met de gebakken peren zitten, which is an idiom. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:54, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
A "chiefly plural" label indicates a plurale tantum that is sometimes also used in the singular with the same meaning. That is clearly not the case here, since the singular and plural have different meanings. —Rua (mew) 22:39, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

for last[edit]

Does the phrase for last (e.g. save the best for last) deserve an entry of its own? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:53, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

Looking at for last at OneLook Dictionary Search suggests not to me. DCDuring (talk) 15:10, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
You can also save something for later, or for a rainy day – which is idiom, because rainy day is used metaphorically. Also, you don’t have to save it. You can also keep it – not only for a rainy day, but also for a better occasion. So other terms can freely be swapped for last in the phrase. The meaning of for last follows from the meanings of for and last: it is a sum-of-parts.  --Lambiam 21:11, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

(all) that much more[edit]

Would the sequence (all) that much more deserve its own entry? E.g. that hair makes you (all) that much more likeable --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:44, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

This is all that/that (adverb sense) + much + more.  --Lambiam 21:18, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
I disagree, we totally should have an entry for it. Please make one --XY3999 (talk) 10:23, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Can you say how the entry would meet WT:CFI? DCDuring (talk) 13:23, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, it falls under the meaning of "that much". I don't recognise the "all" in this. Your hair-do makes you that much more likeable. Or makes you ever so slightly more likeable. —⁠This comment was unsigned.
I think that all may come up when the expression is used in the negative:
It's not (all) that much more expensive.
*It's all that much more expensive.
All is optional in the negative and wrong in the positive, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 19:47, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
You're right about "it's not all that much more expensive" - but this is a different usage from "that hair-do makes you that much more likeable".

fox guarding the henhouse – meaning[edit]

The present definition is “Alternative form of fox in the henhouse”, which in turn is defined as “A predator loose among the prey”. I think that this is not right. I believe the idiom refers to a conflict of interest, in which someone who is supposed to supervise some operation has personal interests that are at odds with their task to ensure that the operations proceed in an appropriate manner, like when a secretary of state oversees the campaign they themselves are a candidate in.  --Lambiam 19:57, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

fox guarding the henhouse – lemma form[edit]

I suspect the original form of the idiom was “to let the fox guard the henhouse”, used in full sentences such as “Don’t let the fox guard the henhouse”, “We should not let the fox guard the henhouse”, or “That is like letting the fox guard the henhouse”. A recent example: “While robo-car companies understandably work to minimize consumer injury and wrongful deaths associated with their products, we can’t let the fox guard the henhouse when it comes to consumer protection.”[8] For these, the lemma form is clear: let the fox guard the henhouse, although leaving out to may be confusing – the infinitive let can easily be interpreted as a second-person imperative, like in let it be. The embedded metaphor is used in other forms, of which “the fox is guarding the henhouse” is perhaps the most common. We see no implication here that someone allowed this to happen; it is merely a factual observation. But the progressive form guarding is by no means the only possibility. Two examples in one article: “A Fox to guard the henhouse? ... That’s right, the fox will guard the henhouse.”[9] So fox guarding the henhouse is not sufficiently general. It is in my opinion also not really right to classify this as a noun, as if it could be used in an exchange like, “I see two foxes there; which one do you mean? — Why, the fox guarding the henhouse; the other one has no hair.” `This raises the question how to lemmatize this? The infinitive is not an option, since it does not allow a subject.  --Lambiam 20:06, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Stochastic Terrorism v. Scripted Violence[edit]

There are some problems some of us are trying to deal with over at Wikipedia. The terms "Stochastic Violence" and "Stochastic Terrorism" were coined by an earnest anonymous blogger. The term used in social science for over a decade is "Scripted Violence."

More here: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2011/01/10/934890/-Stochastic-Terrorism:-Triggering-the-shooters

Help is requested to sort this out. It seems that the term Stochastic Terrorism is now used in studies of terrorism and risk management.

--Chip.berlet (talk) 20:07, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

You could have referred to your own blog posting Some problems with using the term “Stochastic Terrorism”. I think it is not a task for Wiktionary to help “sort this out”. Our mission is to be strictly descriptive: we record terms and their meanings as they are actually used, not as they ought to be used. So we record dutyfully that amazing can mean “very good”, even when it amazes no one, without passing judgement.  --Lambiam 21:34, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Chip is trying to spread his protologism. I have speedied his entry here, as it seems to be unattested, and nominated the one over at 'pedia for deletion. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:37, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

noce di burro is not butternut[edit]

Related terms:
1 noce di burro <gastr> is a knob of butter. --Edward Steintain (talk) 07:09, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

The French Wiktionary lists as one of the senses of noce: “une quantité de la taille d’une noix”, with as usex una noce di burro. The same meaning is also listed there under noix. (The Italian Wiktionary does not list this sense.) Should we also list this culinary unit of measure as another sense of Italian noce, rather than stashing it with the Related terms? The term is also found as a calque in English: [10].  --Lambiam 10:49, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
What makes a search more effective? --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:25, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
noce di burro is a knob of butter.[11] --Edward Steintain (talk) 14:51, 29 November 2018 (UTC)


coppare. What's the meaning of “Coppate la polenta.” One more example: Con un coppapasta di forma quadrata coppate it filetto creando così 4 cubi e conditeli con l'aceto, l'olio e il sale. [12]. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:22, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

From the context I’d guess it is an Italian cognate of French couper. In this Piccolo dizionario dei termini di cucina the term is explained as: “Coppare: tagliare con il coppa pasta che è una sorta di stampino rettangolare o circolare di varie misure.”  --Lambiam 10:59, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Recipe (Tomato cream canapés) with two translations:
Italiano. Coppate dei cerchi nel pancarrè.
English. Take the round cutter and cut some rings out of the bread slices. [13]. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:37, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
added. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:12, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
  • How does that compare with copparsi (which is said of veneers that curl up when too moist)? SemperBlotto (talk) 08:26, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
  • One more example: L'adesivo è ciò che rende le giunture stagne. "Se non è fatto bene, l'acqua può scendere sulla tavola pressata, e il pavimento si coppa e si arriccia", dice.[14]. It seems that the pavement is considered to be a dough: like stamped out (the single, wet board) and curly. --Edward Steintain (talk) 06:59, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
  • When you search Google Books there is only one single hit for ci coppiamo and this seams to be child's talking.[15] --Edward Steintain (talk) 17:31, 21 November 2018 (UTC)


On this page somebody described the word wrzemię as belonging to modern polish language. But today nobody uses and knows it(I'm Polish) - it should be moved to the Old Polish language section. This word is so archaic, that you can found it only in texts like Holy Cross Sermons or in dictionaries of Old Polish language. Asank neo (talk) 09:40, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

It is labelled as "obsolete" though. Per utramque cavernam 10:11, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Take this passage: Zdziwi nas zapewne, gdy się dowiemy, iż dawni Polacy jeszcze w pierwszej połowie XIV wieku – obok czasu – znali słowo wrzemię i przymiotnik przemienny, ’doczesny’. „W kakie wrzemię zgrzeszył” – pisze świętokrzyski kaznodzieja, i : „w dobrze wrsemiennym lubował”. Oba te słowa mają odpowiedniki w dzisiejszych rosyjskich vrémja i vrémennyj.[16] This appears to confirm that the word is not merely obsolete but indeed Old Polish.  --Lambiam 12:05, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
All we need to do is to check whether wrzemię was used after 1500 (that's when Old Polish develops into Middle Polish, which by the way counts as merely Polish here). I only found it mentioned by A. Brückner [[17]] claiming the word was barely recognizable in the 14th century. Wrzodek (talk) 23:14, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
It's attestable in modern Polish:
  1. ...imię twoje poczną z lata na lato i po wszystkie wrzemiona sławić ciebie nie ustaną! [18]. "W owe wrzemiona biskupstwa krakowskiego sama święta pani, Jadwiga, małżona knezia śląskiego, ...". In the same source.
  2. The genitive form "wrzemienia" is easier cited, e.g.: "Boże wielki, onego wrzemienia doczekać!" - "Great God, I wish I could wait till that time!" Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski - 1929, Wanko z Lisowa: powiesc historyczna z wieku XIII. - Page 110. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:31, 15 November 2018 (UTC)


Search wiktionary for fermarvi leads to this search result. A further page of fermarvi exists. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:20, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

The search box in the Special:Search page shows the results without going to any page. This is very useful for those of us who want to see all of the results even when there's an exact match. The search box in the corner that's part of every page goes to the page of any exact match, which is a better behavior for those who are looking for a specific page. There's nothing wrong with the entry or our search function- it's just something built into the different search boxes. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:47, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

bust one's ass[edit]

How could we best show variations of this, specifically: bust ass (sans possessive pronoun) ("working hard, giving all I've got"), and bust someone's ass (to beat up, kick someone's ass) ? Is there a base verb underlying all of these ? Leasnam (talk) 21:00, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

Alright...I suppose I must make separate entries for all of them...Leasnam (talk) 02:21, 13 November 2018 (UTC)


How can a misspelling have a pronunciation? Equinox 02:01, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

If the misspelling alters the pronunciation. I've seen something similar where "homes" was misspelt holmes, and the l was given pronunciation. Unusual phenomenon. Leasnam (talk) 02:03, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Irregardless, that's a feature of the pronunciation and not the spelling. Nobody spells it "colma" no matter how they say it. DTLHS (talk) 02:12, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
I would have to agree. I've never seen it spelt like that either. But as they say, life imitates art :) Leasnam (talk) 02:19, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
colma for coma could be a joke on Colma, California, a city with more graves than living residents. —Tamfang (talk) 03:25, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
I thought Colma, CA was worth an entry, so it now has one. I suspect the majority of the graves belong to people who didn't actually live there. DonnanZ (talk) 10:10, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
That is pretty funny but I would want to see some strong source for the claim! (Is colma even that common?) Equinox 02:24, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
San Francisco is on a peninsula with very little room for expansion, so at the beginning of the 20th century they decided that they couldn't afford to waste land on dead people- and proceeded to move approximately 150,000 bodies to new graves in Colma, just over the city limits to the south. Given that there are fewer than 2,000 people in the 27% of the land there that isn't cemeteries, and that the cemeteries have continued to receive almost all of San Francisco's dead for a century since then, living people are definitely vastly outnumbered by dead people in the town. Chuck Entz (talk)


I don't know latin and taxonomy, but snow leopard started being called Panthera uncia instead of Uncia uncia and I don't know whether the synonyms page is written correctly at this point, nonetheless they still Uncia uncia and Panthera uncia can be synonymous to each other. I edited the page at first, but later I rolled the edit back because I'm not sure what would be more appropriate for a dictionary. Could somebody more competent have a look at that? —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 14:29, 12 November 2018 (UTC).

I fixed the leopard entry, but I'll leave it to @DCDuring to fix the Panthera uncia and Uncia uncia pages. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:34, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for your attention, I didn't think the editors would react so fast. I must finally make a user account to have an option of looking back at my commitment and get the ability to communicate with other editors, but I don't know if it's necessary with so insignificant commitment like pointing something out or fixing small typos. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 17:01, 12 November 2018 (UTC).
It is easier for us to take seriously those who have registered. Please register. DCDuring (talk) 16:25, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
For mammals the definitive reference is the latest edition of Mammal Species of the World. The latest edition, the third, shows the taxon as Uncia uncia. But it was published in 2005. The fourth edition is overdue. Some taxonomic databases show Panthera uncia as the taxon for the snow leopard and others show Uncia uncia. In all likelihood Panthera uncia will be the more accepted. We will have full entries (cross-referenced) for both at least until the fourth edition of Mammals of the World is published. DCDuring (talk) 16:37, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Another poster: If I can go slightly off-topic, what is our policy on listing Linnean names on Wiktionary? Because after all, this is largely the domain of | Wikispecies which is a separate project.

frolla as a noun[edit]

frolla seems to exist as a noun.

Per la frolla, disporre farina con lievito a fontana e unire burro, zucchero e uova. Impastare velocemente e lasciare riposare in frigo per 1 ora. Per la crema di grano, bollire il grano nel latte a fuoco moderato, con burro e buccia d'arancia. [19] or Lasciate riposare la pasta per la frolla in frigo per 30 minuti. (Rai televideo p.579, today in Crostata di prugne). Per la frolla, what is the meaning? → it.wp Pasta frolla --Edward Steintain (talk) 07:05, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

  • "For the pastry ..." - Noun sense added. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:02, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
    • „la pasta per la frolla“ = The dough for the pastry. I am struggling with the differences of pasta (Sfoglia, frolla e brisé). --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:26, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
    • Is pasta frolla really shortcrust pastry, or is it the short dough used to make shortcrust pastry?  --Lambiam 22:22, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
    • Shortened dough is a short dough linked to Shortcrust pastry; Types of Shortcrust pastry. --Edward Steintain (talk) 12:56, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
      • In Cookbook:Shortcrust Pastry the recipe mentions as main ingredients:
      • 150g unsalted butter, 120g plain flour plus 120 g potato flour (ratio 0,625:1 (fat / flour)). In Pasta frolla the ratio is “in genere 300-350 g di burro per 500 g di farina” (⅔:1). Shortcrust pastry recipes usually call for twice as much flour as fat by weight (½:1).[20] So there seem to be very good reasons to translate basic pasta frolla with shortcrust pastry. --Edward Steintain (talk) 18:43, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
        You start with dough (which is not pastry), then you bake it, and if everything goes as planned you get pastry (which is not dough). I think frolla is shortcrust pastry, while pasta frolla is the type of pasta (dough) used for making frolla; calling this shortcrust pastry is proleptic. If I am correct, frolla is not a synonym of pasta frolla any more than short dough is a synonym of shortcrust pastry.  --Lambiam 21:15, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
        It is actually precisely the same as the situation for English shortcrust. Although currently only classified as an adjective, it can also be used as a noun: [21], and then it does not mean shortcrust dough but shortcrust pastry – and unlike Oxford Dictionaries thinks, it can also be used as a count noun, as evidenced by the Google search.  --Lambiam 23:34, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
        Hi , Lambiam. „I think frolla is shortcrust pastry, while pasta frolla is the type of pasta (dough)“. Please try to apply your understanding to this section of Wikiversità. There does not seem to be a distiction between dough and its cooked product. For the search »shortcrust -pastry -case« I get 159 k-hits; for »"shortcrust pastry"« 891 k-hits. So only 16 % are using shortcrust as a single word if I applied my query correctly. (»- case« to exclude some electronic stuff.) --Edward Steintain (talk) 18:52, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
        159 k is a considerable amount; of course, it also includes hits for “shortcrust dough” (24 k) and “shortcrust pastries” (12 k). As to the Wikiversità page, I think the text actually supports my understanding. In the lead, the term “pasta frolla” occurs twice; in both cases in a sentence of the form “La pasta frolla è un impasto ...” ( “Pasta frolla is a dough ...”). Further occurrences take the forms “... di pasta frolla” (“... [made] of pasta frolla) and “pasta frolla per ...” (“pasta frolla for [making] ...”). I see no occurrences where the interpretation “pastry” is more likely than “dough”, and plenty where the interpretation “dough” is compelling.  --Lambiam 22:54, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
        In the above mentioned section of Wikiversità (referring to 'without „pasta“') „frolla montata“, „frolla ovis mollis“, „ovvero frolla nella quale si ...“, „con questa frolla si ottengono…“ are used in the meaning of dough/impasto. I think we have a „as well as“ situation with the fuzziness of a language. When I restricted the query even more: 4,9k hits for »"shortcrust dough" -pie -pastry -case -pastries«.      91k hits for »shortcrust -pastry -case -pastries -dough -pie«.     833K hits for »“shortcrust pastry“« (this time). My initial problem was „Lasciate riposare la pasta per la frolla in frigo per 30 minuti.“ We could point out that the dough and its cooked product are called … and sometimes named … --Edward Steintain (talk) 10:02, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
        In the midth of February, Italian neighbours of a friend of mine are returning from their winter outing in Sicily. Both are bakers; they will know and I shall tell. The query has been noted. --18:46, 27 November 2018 (UTC)


“Fate ad densare incorporando al latte, i tuorli sodi, schiacciandoli con una forchetta” (Ricetta Giambuglione, Rai today). The Italian verb seems to be missing. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:11, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

I think it should be one word: addensare.  --Lambiam 10:36, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Lambiam, you are right.
Televideo-Page: "Fate ad densare"
RSS-Feed: "Fate ad-
densare". --Edward Steintain (talk) 12:10, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Comparative and superlative of "ill"[edit]

I'm sure this must have been brought up here before, but why does ill list only iller and illest as the comparative and superlative, when any printed dictionary gives worse and worst? It's appropriate for us to say that iller and illest are alternatives, but they should not be listed as the only inflections.


Paul G (talk) 13:25, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

  • I would think "more ill" and "most ill" are even commoner. Ƿidsiþ 10:09, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
    I've added "worse" and "worst" as the standard forms. It's ironic that the comment on the page said that these are incorrect and to check print dictionaries when these are the standard forms listed in print dictionaries. — Paul G (talk) 07:38, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
    The dictionaries you claim list "iller" as a word -- are all dictionaries of US English. As English is, in the final analysis, the language of England, I don't recognise US usage as being at all relevant to a prescriptive approach to the English language. I've never met an American who had anything more than colloquial English. They all write as they speak.
    English is the language of the United States and various other nations that have fewer native speakers of English. It turns out creating an empire that speaks your language leaves you with little recourse to complain about what happens to the language when they become more populous and powerful. Which is fortunate; the French might issue a recall on the French derived parts of modern English.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:35, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

danger signal and danger-signal[edit]

I do find "danger-signal" on some places (dictionary en-nl (1974), Selous 1899) instead of "danger signal". Is it useful to add this notation? And how and where could I do that? --Dick Bos (talk) 07:42, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

You can take the page for cease-fire as a model for a new page for danger-signal. In case it is of interest, here are two more uses found through GBS: [22]; [23].  --Lambiam 14:21, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
I've added the alt-form entry for danger-signal. I also made cease-fire the main entry and ceasefire the alt form, based on Google Books relative frequency. DCDuring (talk) 17:02, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
Maybe I'm an exception, as I have always used ceasefire, and the verb cease fire. DonnanZ (talk) 00:18, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, @User:DCDuring, I added the quotation. --Dick Bos (talk) 09:31, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

or (hime)[edit]

While doing {{ja-readings}} updating, I found a slight misspelling on Digital Daijisen for the archaic (hime) spelling for (shime, hawfinch). However, Daijiten uses . Is the part a misscan/type? ~ POKéTalker) 15:31, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

FWIW, Shogakukan's 国語大辞典 includes the following entry under the ひめ (hime) reading:



The only uses I can find in Shogakukan of the character are with the on'yomi れい (rei), and the MS IME only recognizes this as mapping to either れい (rei) or りょう (ryō), as also listed in KANJIDIC2 as at Weblio.
The JA Wiktionary lists the 鳹 character with the 今 radical in their entry at ja:ひめ (hime, with no entry yet for the kanji itself at ja:鳹), but only the rei and ryō readings at ja:鴒.
The only source I've found so far that lists hime and shime readings for the 令 character variant is the Heibonsha Daijiten. That was published in 1934-36, so their use of this variant cannot be a mis-scan. I suspect the use of the character there is either a typo, or an alternative form. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:00, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
Expanded the entry on (shime/hime). It appears that I forgot to put the link for shime right here. Both shime and hime are used, depending on how you interpret poem 3239 with either or . Also put that poem as a usage example on said entry (with some little corrections). How does it look?
Also, the character looks like a typo to me, this one confirms that the Wamyōshō uses and . ~ POKéTalker) 15:16, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

negeren (Dutch)[edit]

How should we deal with the offensive 'jokey' pronunciation of negeren, /ˈneːɣərə(n)/? Just another pronunciation line with the label "offensive", a usage note, a split etymology (something which I don't really favour here)? neger already links to the entry. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:11, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

This is a different lexeme that happens to be homographic in its lemma form (infinitive). Historically, this was not meant to be jocular and neither was it considered offensive then – but the times have changed. See the entry NEGER in the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche taal. Curiously, the Dutch Wikipedia does not list this sense, but does give its conjugation and has entries for several of its verb forms, such as genegerd. I think it should not be treated differently from other terms that are now offensive. Three uses, the last of which is relatively recent: [24], [25], [26].  --Lambiam 19:33, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, that's not a sense I knew of before. I'm quite sure that some people mean "to ignore" when they say /ˈneːɣərə(n)/ (example), but I've only included the dictionary sense for now, as an offensive pronunciation is a little hard to attest. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:00, 17 November 2018 (UTC)


Hey. We should probably be aware of this change to a definition of a kilogram. --XY3999 (talk) 12:52, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

The change will only be effective as of 20 May 2019, so we have some time to ponder this. (I wonder if there is also an official switchover time, such as 00:00:00 UTC.)  --Lambiam 19:39, 16 November 2018 (UTC)


@Dine2016 @Suzukaze-c Sense 2 is correct, but not necessarily "in a way that makes them uncomfortable". Of course this wasei-kango still has heavy negative connotations, but in contemporary mainland China internet usage, the meaning turned neutral to something like "read all of someone's posts out of genuine appreciation"[1], although the negative sense is still in use. Should we add this mainland China usage as separate sense? Tsumikiria (T/C) 04:52, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

so you say![edit]

Worth an entry? Per utramque cavernam 13:17, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

I'm not so sure about this, because of similar forms like "so he claims!", "so they would have us believe!". It's a little unusual to begin a sentence with "so" like this (which is presumably why you're suggesting it here) but hardly remarkable. Equinox 02:20, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
In all these cases, where the verb is a verbum dicendi, you can replace so by that is what without change of meaning. (For other verbs, like in so the story goes, replace by that is how.) In most cases you can also add or before the phrase, or, synonymously, at least,, making the implied reservation explicit. At least, that is what I think. We see the SV order here. In other uses of so that are affirmative, we find the VS order, as in and so say all of us. None of these usage subtleties can be gleaned from our lemma so. But compare also the SV versus VS order in there we go again versus there goes my day, so which order is idiomatic appears not to be so much a lexical issue.  --Lambiam 09:09, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

Is there a standard way for removing static or noise from audio files?[edit]

For some audio files such as

there is a decent of static in the background, is there any way to easily remove or reduce the static, or request for a rerecording? Or is static of no worry when it comes to audio files? Sorry if this is a question that is answered already somewhere. The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 17:18, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

It's easy to do with programs such as Audacity (Effect -> Noise Reduction). I just tried it with this file and got good results. DTLHS (talk) 17:23, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
It's probably a good idea to mention that the files are hosted on our sister project, Wikimedia Commons (there's a link in the audio viewer), and any fixes would be done there. I'm sure Commons has procedures for requesting a rerecording, though I'm not familiar with them. Chuck Entz (talk) 17:32, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Okay, good to know. When I was asking about audio requests I was mainly curious if Wiktionary had one, but I look at Wikimedia as well. Is there a particular guideline detailing norms when it comes to audio recordings? The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 18:56, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

Terrific! Awesome![edit]

good, great and nice, for instance, have separate interjection senses, while terrific, awesome and cool, for instance, do not. Is there any particular reason for this? Should we be including these types of interjection or not? Any views? Mihia (talk) 21:05, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

It seems to me you can do this with most adjectives expressing a judgement ("splendid! marvellous! shocking!"). What is the benefit of having interjection POS? Do the translations tend to vary a lot? I don't feel that e.g. "nice has a large number of senses" really justifies it alone. Equinox 23:08, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
I'd say the translations might be non-trivial for the most common ones. Per utramque cavernam 09:33, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
Hm, is it possible to exclaim "bad!", "terrible!"? (It seems strange to me.) Perhaps these are special. —Suzukaze-c 06:12, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
These seem less usual than some of the others mentioned, "Bad!" more so than "Terrible!", but I think without doubt both could be attested. Mihia (talk) 17:27, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
It's always seemed ridiculous to me that we have Interjection as a word class for any word that is also in another word class or that could be trivially assigned one, eg, back of the net, an NP. Most of our purported interjections continue to behave as members of the other word class to which they belong, the adjectives accepting modification by adverbs, the nouns accepting modification by adjectives.
Why are go away and nick off interjections, but not other imperative expressions, like march and look out?
There is no word class more in need of reform, ie, purging. DCDuring (talk) 18:38, 19 November 2018 (UTC)

with one hand tied behind one's back[edit]

Is this legit? Per utramque cavernam 22:10, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

I don't see why the wouldn't be include, as well as the other ones you have mentioned. What would make you think they would be denied or need to be verified? Excuse me if this comes off as ignorant or arrogant. The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 23:23, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes. We need to convey the idea that it occurs only in hypothetical constructs, though ("I COULD -- or WOULD BE ABLE -- to do it with one hand..."). Compare piss the Pope off, opening of an envelope. There might also be similar variants like "both hands tied" or "a hand tied": I haven't checked. Equinox 02:22, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
@Equinox: And also with one's eyes closed, standing on one's head, hands down, one-handed (adverb sense 2). Per utramque cavernam 09:31, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
I concur with the dude above that you should just create these things and flag a native speaker to check it if you're scared. Today I tried to speak French to a French guy to be friendly like and he blew up and made fun of me and I will never speak French again. OOPS UNRELATED. Equinox 13:55, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

window and aisle seat[edit]

window seat, aisle seat, aisle, window ; I wanted add them but don't know the grammar thing for "aisle" and "window" are they nouns or adjectives in this cases ? Definition for the words is : place side to the window or aisle in common transport (plane, bus, train, etc.) V!v£ l@ Rosière /Whisper…/ 22:11, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

All are nouns. In the compound nouns window seat and aisle seat the attributive nouns window and aisle are also called noun adjuncts, but there is no need to record that. Just “noun“ for the whole thing will do.  --Lambiam 22:49, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam, thank you very much. V!v£ l@ Rosière /Whisper…/ 12:29, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

in assoluto[edit]

assoluto. „In assoluto“ (Troccoli in assoluto di cardoncelli / engl. Pasta in assoluto of mushrooms) seems to be a noun of a cullinary speciality. --Edward Steintain (talk) 10:08, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

  • I believe that is is the Italian version of the French "sous-vide" but is very rare. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:42, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
  • It´s not "sous-vide". May be you like to have a look: http://www.televideo.rai.it/televideo/pub/solotesto.jsp?regione=&pagina=579&sottopagina=1 --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:41, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I think that assoluto di X means something like “X to a very high degree”, “the very essence of X”, or “the very best [kind of] X”, an exaggeration of what more literally means “the absolute of [what makes something] X”. Like here in assoluto di sport, here l’assoluto di Alberto Giacometti, or here in assoluto di letteratura italiana. The origin may be the philosophical term assoluto. What could be more absolutely cardoncelli than pasta from cardoncelli flour sauteed with cardoncelli and served with a scoop of cardoncelli cream? For the recipe you could translate the title as “Troccoli in absolute cardoncelli” or, more hip, “Troccoli in extreme cardoncelli”, but I think no translation will work across the spectrum of uses.  --Lambiam 22:08, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your help, Lambiam. Shall assoluto be recommended as Further reading? I enjoyed the cardoncelli recipe in assoluto di excitement. --Edward Steintain (talk) 07:00, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
    My pleasure. It would not hurt to recommend the article from the Italian Wikipedia as reading material. I am doubtful about the sense “infinity” given for the noun. Apart from the hyperbolic use as treated above, I think its meaning is not essentially different from that of the English noun absolute. The latter also has a (geometric) sense involving a notion of infinity, apparently for the collection of points at infinity from projective geometry interpreted through hyperbolic geometry, which can be described by a quadric that Cayley has dubbed “the absolute”. Perhaps this is what is meant (but not said) at assoluto.  --Lambiam 18:08, 20 November 2018 (UTC)


I think I goofed this up. I was trying to add the origin for the Irish word Riata and only found the English/ Spanish version which means lariat. The Irish version is related but means "a riding horse" https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/riata

I needed to know what the Irish/Scottish kingdom of Dal Riata meant and lariat made no sense. So I went searching and found an article telling the actual origin of the word from Gaelic here https://hefenfelth.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/the-horsemen/

First edit of any meaning on Wiktionary so, of course, I messed up.

Can someone please fix this or create a new entry if necessary?

Blogs are generally not a good source of information, but in this case the blog author derives her wisdom from James Fraser (2009), From Caledonia to Pictland: Scotland to 795, who writes , “It is striking that later Gaelic réti, and even later ríata, normally denotes a riding horse.”[27] Given the book title, I suppose that he means Scottish Gaelic, not Irish. I am not sure about the significance of the accents; are they an older use for what later orthography denotes as rèti and rìata? Before this is added as a lemma, we need to be sure that this word is attested by actual use, what version of Gaelic it is, and what its spelling is.  --Lambiam 22:34, 18 November 2018 (UTC)


Please see my question at Talk:aungel. Basic'ly the question is, if the plural is (or can be) "angles" or "engles", then is the g really soft in the nominative singular? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 17:34, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

Middle English nouns[edit]

Could someone please check the noun table in w:Middle English? See my comment in w:Talk:Middle English#Noun table. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 17:34, 18 November 2018 (UTC)


Hey all heraldry fans! I keep on having problems with heraldic terms in Spanish. The most recent one is terrasado - which means something like having a grass base. Single case are all fine - I can get you guys to help me. But I wanna help myself too, and become an expert in heraldry. Where do I start? --XY3999 (talk) 20:46, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

  • No prob. You just need to become a "Cronista Rey de Armas". Somebody has to do it - why not you? SemperBlotto (talk) 20:52, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
    • Hmm, I'll have a look and see if there are any courses to become one in Catalonia. --XY3999 (talk) 08:13, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
      Looks like there are. [28] ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:27, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
      • Awesome. I am not actually going to go to that, mostly because it would mean brining Wiktionary into my real life and people might be able to link my offline and online identities, something I've so far avoided --XY3999 (talk) 23:20, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Glosario.net has a Diccionario de Heráldica. It won’t be of much use, though, for finding English equivalents of heraldic terms.  --Lambiam 22:55, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
  • You can use a six-way translation tool here. It gives an English meaning "mount in base" for terrazado. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:25, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
Isn't a terrace generally flat? —Tamfang (talk) 17:59, 19 November 2018 (UTC)

Default pinyin in example sentences: Default for / as '' or 'ge'?[edit]

@Dokurrat, Justinrleung, Wyang, Suzukaze-c, Tooironic, KevinUp, Pololanguage On English Wiktionary, the default pinyin used in Mandarin Chinese example sentences (Template:zh-x) for the character / is currently set as 'ge'. This may reflect actual usage to some extent; I personally believe that in most situations you can pronounce it either in the fourth tone or in a silent tone, no problem. My belief and our current default pronunciation are reflected in this dictionary entry [29] where 'ge' is given as one of the pronunciations of 個 / 个. But outside of that linked dictionary entry, the official standard for 個 / 个 is always given as 'gè' and not as 'ge'. (Evidence: 'gè' 现代汉语词典第7版 page 442, 'gè' 现代汉语规范词典第3版 page 444, 'ㄍㄜˋ' http://dict.concised.moe.edu.tw/cgi-bin/jbdic/gsweb.cgi?o=djbdic&searchid=W00000015960, 'ㄍㄜˋ' http://dict.revised.moe.edu.tw/cgi-bin/cbdic/gsweb.cgi?o=dcbdic&searchid=W00000003979; 'gè' 辞海第6版 page 0706, 'gè' 现代汉语词典试用本1977 page 334) Therefore, I propose changing the default pinyin in Mandarin Chinese example sentences for the character 個 / 个 from 'ge' to 'gè'. This may be more of a grease pit thing, but I want to get the tea room perspective on the 'official' or 'correct' pronunciation for this character too. For more information, see the set of notes I am developing concerning the pronunciation of this character at Talk:個. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 05:51, 19 November 2018 (UTC) (modified)

@Dokurrat, Justinrleung, Wyang, Suzukaze-c, Tooironic, KevinUp, Pololanguage Look at this:
  ―  ge  ―  (please add an English translation of this example)
/   ―  ge  ―  (please add an English translation of this example)
At this time, if you add the simplified form of 个 to an example sentence, you will generate the pinyin 'gè'. If you add the traditional form of 個 to an example sentence, you will generate the pinyin 'ge'. Wow. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 12:35, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
--Geographyinitiative (talk) 12:25, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure why no one has replied (see my reply at Talk:個), but the default pronunciation generated by {{zh-x|個}} should be rather than ge for conformity. @Erutuon, would you mind checking Module:zh-usex to see how the Chinese pronunciation data is obtained? I tried to edit Module:zh/data/cmn-pron but that doesn't seem to work. KevinUp (talk) 17:19, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
It's not true that 'official' dictionaries use ge4 consistently; 现代汉语规范词典, for example, consistently writes it as ge in compounds where 個 is a classifier. In real life, ge is the most common pronunciation for the classifier 個. I disagree with changing it to ge4 since it sounds unnatural. Wyang (talk) 21:54, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
@Wyang I'm aware that the neutral tone ge is used in compounds where 個 is a classifier (see my reply at Talk:個), However, I'm not sure why usage examples in doesn't reflect that. If possible, can Module:zh-usex be tweaked in such a way that 個 alone gives the neutral tone ge (which was what we had previously) whereas 個 as the first word of a word combination such as 個人个人 (gèrén), 個性个性 (gèxìng) gives the fourth tone instead? KevinUp (talk) 03:35, 22 November 2018 (UTC)
@Geographyinitiative I think both and now give under Template:zh-x. KevinUp (talk) 03:35, 22 November 2018 (UTC)
Most uses of 個 in the Chinese-language corpus are for the classifier sense, which is why M:zh-usex was configured to render 個 - originally having ge4 as its pronunciation - as ge in sentences produced by M:zh-usex by default unless specified. M:zh-usex accepts only traditional script input, hence 个 was not corrected, but yesterday the correction for 個 was removed. Configuring the default pronunciation as context-dependent is possible, though current correction algorithm isn't allowed to do that, and it may turn out to be too confusing for the users. Wyang (talk) 03:43, 22 November 2018 (UTC)
@Wyang "It's not true that 'official' dictionaries use ge4 consistently; 现代汉语规范词典, for example, consistently writes it as ge in compounds where 個 is a classifier." I know EXACTLY what you are saying but I think I wasn't clear enough: what I'm saying is that the dictionaries never give the pronunciation 'ge' when it is by itself (not in a compound with 這 or 那 etc situations). I haven't read all the replies yet so this may have been covered --Geographyinitiative (talk) 04:19, 22 November 2018 (UTC)
The reason M:zh-usex was made to correct 個 as ge is that most occurrences of 個 in written Chinese, e.g. as classifiers following numerals, or after 這/那, are expected to be read as toneless ge in normal speech. Using ge4 sounds artificial and like something spoken by foreigners. Commonly accompanying tonelessness in normal speech also is voicing and vowel reduction [ɡ̊ə ~ ɡə], and even fricativisation [ɣə]. Wyang (talk) 04:41, 22 November 2018 (UTC)
@Geographyinitiative, KevinUp, Wyang: I previously changed the module MOD:zh-usex/data to stop it from automatically giving ge, but I've reverted it now to bring it to its original state until this discussion is done. I guess having ge for the classifier reflects actual usage, so it would be better from a descriptivist's POV and a learner's perspective. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:38, 22 November 2018 (UTC)
@Geographyinitiative, KevinUp, Wyang, Justinrleung: I agree ge4 sounds artificial (usually). Using descriptivism-based pronunciations in example sentences 100% fine with me; it would be important to understanding real Mandarin and is one of the strengths of this dictionary. But I would hope that we would have appropriate labels 1) for the example sentences which have pinyin readings that are based on official standard Mandarin pronunciation and 2) for those with pinyin readings that are based on descriptivist Mandarin. I believe the default pinyin should be given according to the official standard and that all the alternative pronunciations should be noted on the appropriate pages and used in appropriate examples. With a firm grasp of the standard, we will then have a clearer idea of which pronunciations are derived from the standard and which are from actual usage. The utility of the dictionary will thereby be increased (in my view). --Geographyinitiative (talk) 06:38, 22 November 2018 (UTC)
Some of the dictionaries recognize some of the so-called 'compounds' as silent tone- like 這個、那個、and sometimes 一個、兩個etc. This change should not affect any of those 'compounds', which either have a confirmed silent tone pronunciation or toneless variant. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 06:59, 22 November 2018 (UTC)
For instance, this [30] pronunciation would be considered 'ge4' in a rigorous reading of the four dictionaries Xiandai Hanyu Cidian, Xiandai Hanyu Guifan Cidian, Jianbian Guoyu Cidian & Chongbian Guoyu Cidian. But I would never say 'ge4' in real life. IMO, we should let the readers know what the standard is in some example sentences and what the more likely reality is in some other sentences, all with appropriate labels. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 07:13, 22 November 2018 (UTC)
I've just edited Module:zh-usex/data so that two character compound words that begin with are displayed as . It seems to work for derived terms of those compound words as well and I am pleased with the results: 個人資料 / 个人资料  ―  Wǒ de gèrénzīliào.  ―  (please add an English translation of this example) KevinUp (talk) 16:08, 22 November 2018 (UTC)


Re "Of or from Beaujeu", can we be more specific? Is this relating to any town named Beaujeu or is there a specific town or region (e.g. Parisian)? - TheDaveRoss 14:03, 19 November 2018 (UTC)

Beaujeu, Rhône, a commune of the Rhône department in eastern France, is the historical capital of the historical province of Beaujolais, a major wine-producing region. Beaujolais is also the demonym for Beaujeu formed with the suffix -ais; it has become the name of the whole region. The origin of the name Beaujeu is possibly bellum iugum, “beautiful mountain summit”.  --Lambiam 20:50, 19 November 2018 (UTC)


"(obsolete) A pair of horses or other animals driven together; usually, such a pair of horses when similar in color, form, and action." Doesn't seem obsolete at all, and no other dictionary at OneLook labels it such (one restricts the sense to North America). ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 14:56, 19 November 2018 (UTC)

The fact that I (BrE speaker) am unfamiliar with this sense is consistent with its being North American, though obviously very far from conclusive. The corresponding verb sense at span is labelled "intransitive, US, dated". Chambers Dictionary labels the noun sense "US" (https://chambers.co.uk/search/?query=span&title=21st) but does not make any mention of its being obsolete or dated. Mihia (talk) 18:33, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
I think the sense of “pair of animals” has a different etymology, being a loan from Dutch span. The word is easily attested, also in contemporary texts: [31], [32].  --Lambiam 20:28, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
The OED supports that etymology (and also the restriction to North America), stating it's from Dutch or Low German. Though at least one dictionary gave an English date of around 1550, which would be a problem. There's apparently also a South African sense "two yokes of oxen", borrowed from Afrikaans. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:55, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
It is theoretically possible that English colonizers brought a Dutch loanword to the North-American colonies, whereupon it disappeared in this sense from British English but survived in American English.  --Lambiam 17:35, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
Don't forget that much of New York (New Amsterdam) and New Jersey were originally Dutch before being ceded to the British. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Chuck Entz (talkcontribs) at 05:57, 21 November 2018‎.
True, but the Dutch isn't attested before the seventeenth century, when it was still a Hollandic regional form, so if that reference to a 16th century cite for English is correct the chronology is incompatible with a loan from Dutch. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 07:53, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
I've changed the label from "obsolete" to "US, Canada". Maybe it's derived from the animals being linked by a span of metal, rope, etc? - -sche (discuss) 18:10, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
If the origin is Dutch (which I think it is, in spite of that one dictionary placing the word in English around 1550), it is derived from the verb spannen, as in een paard voor de wagen spannen (“attaching a horse in front of the wagon”).  --Lambiam 23:05, 21 November 2018 (UTC)

penalty envelope[edit]

“We were told to ask the voter to take her ballot to the closest post office, ask them for a penalty envelope and place her ballot into it for mailing.”[33] Worth an entry?  --Lambiam 20:15, 19 November 2018 (UTC)

That's at most one cite. I'd also give odds that, in context, it is readily understood as penalty + envelope. DCDuring (talk) 20:32, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
I did understand that this was penalty + envelope, but in the context it was just as obscure to me as “amercement enclosure” would have been. Fortunately, Oxford Dictionaries offered an explanation. I guess these also count as cites: [34], [35], [36].  --Lambiam 21:30, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
The last of the three cites doesn't seem to be durably archived. Are the first two independent of each other? The term gets virtually none of its use outside of US government publications, the exceptions being philately and secretarial manuals. First use seems to be 1877 or so cited in biography published in 1895.
It does look includable, however dated it may be and however limited its usage context. DCDuring (talk) 05:04, 20 November 2018 (UTC)


Since "away" has the comparative further away and superlative furthest away, why are "up" adjective and adverb both marked not comparable, instead of higher up, highest up? Why does "through" not have further through, furthest through? (And where are farther and farthest in all this?) I always feel a bit weird about these compara/superlatives that pull in different words. Is there a way to formalise what to do? Equinox 04:12, 21 November 2018 (UTC)

Is there also "further up" ("further up the page you'll find discussions of other terms")? It doesn't seem right to call such words "not comparable". We could just not say anything about comparative or superlative forms — suppress them or switch the pages to {{head}}. But I guess listing the further/farther/higher etc comparatives is good since they're not predictable(?). A dying leaf doesn't "become further brown", right? So only certain words use that collocator. I guess we just have to add the missing "further"s (and "higher"s?) where they're needed. - -sche (discuss) 06:18, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
The Earth is farther away from the Sun in July than in January by more than 3 million miles, and Baltimore is farther away from New York than Philadelphia by about 90 miles. You can argue, though, that what we have here is the comparative of far away. You can say, “Philadelphia is far away from New York, and Baltimore is even farther away.” You cannot say, *“Philadelphia is away from New York, and Baltimore is even farther away.” For the other cases, I am not so sure about their *ative status either. Or is further along as in “We should move further along” the comparative of along?  --Lambiam 12:42, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
That's a good point, although it's still not predictable information(?) since one wouldn't say "Baltimore is more away from New York than Philadelphia". Possibly we should just suppress any mention of comparability or incomparability for such words and make the correct collocations occur among the usexes (or possibly usage notes). - -sche (discuss) 18:07, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
I think it is at least somewhat predictable. Why can you use, in a comparison, collocations like deeper down and higher up? Because you can say, in the absolute, deep down and high up. If one could say *very away, then it would presumably also be fine to say *more away. Compare very nearbymore nearby.  --Lambiam 22:46, 21 November 2018 (UTC)

Good crosses[edit]

Hey. Anyone got any more crosses they can put into my exciting new Category:en:Crosses category? While we're here, we can make some jokes about them. Can you beat mine? How do you make an Ethiopian cross? ................Kick sand in his face. --XY3999 (talk) 23:23, 21 November 2018 (UTC)


Is this suffix worthy of inclusion? I believe it's a back-formation fashion-forward, and it's used in buzzwordy neologisms like "flavor-forward" and "eco-forward" to mean "emphasizing X". My doubt comes from a lack of examples. Ultimateria (talk) 19:29, 22 November 2018 (UTC)

il centrifugato[edit]

centrifugato is also used as a noun: centrifugato di mela, ... di carota --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:14, 23 November 2018 (UTC)


My father, who is from Dublin, also uses this word. Is the word widespread in Ireland too, or confined to Dublin, or something else? —Rua (mew) 16:17, 23 November 2018 (UTC)

Not used (much?, not in DARE) in the US. I heard it in Australia. DCDuring (talk) 17:32, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
I've heard the word in the US, although not nearly as often as vacuum (cleaner). I suspect it's probably an 'independent', obvious semantic development that sees at least some use in any community where Hoover vacuums have been common, even if the UK is where it's most used. google books:"a hoover" "vacuuming" "color", for example, turns up hits, although in most cases it's captalized and it's arguable that specifically a Hoover brand vacuum may be meant. - -sche (discuss) 18:47, 23 November 2018 (UTC)


Noun sense 6.4:

(alcoholic beverages, originally US) An informal measure of alcohol based on its height in a given glass compared to the width of the pourer's fingers while holding it.

The label is {{lb|en|alcohol|originally|_|US}}. I don't know why "alcohol" is changed to the presumably unintended "alcoholism". Messing with templates is above my pay grade. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about such things might want to take a look. Mihia (talk) 00:00, 24 November 2018 (UTC)

It probably shouldn't even be "alcohol", since it's not a measure of alcohol itself, but of drinks containing alcohol. It's fine to have a sense at alcohol reflecting the fact that some don't make that distinction in actual usage, but a dictionary should avoid wording that could be misunderstood in its definitions and context labels. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:00, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
Couldn't it be any liquid? —Tamfang (talk) 23:58, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
Whether the label "alcohol" is necessary or appropriate in this entry is one issue, but the issue that I was actually pointing out is that "alcohol" in the label is weirdly changed to "alcoholism" in the text. Surely that cannot be the way the label is intended or expected to work? Mihia (talk) 01:11, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
My point was that there doesn't seem to be any reason to have "alcohol" as a context label, so the fact that it's been appropriated as a shortcut for "alcoholism" shouldn't be a problem. That's basically what the code in the modules behind {{lb}} is for: allowing shortcuts that save typing, as well as taking various odds and ends of related inputs for labels and make the display uniform. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:08, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
I can't see that saving someone from typing "ism" in a context label justifies the (to my mind) entirely unexpected conversion of "alcohol" to "alcoholism". I do not think that the former can in any way be seen as a sensible abbreviation of the latter, and presumably it was not what the person who added the label intended. I wonder whether there is any way to find if and where this label is used in any other entries? Mihia (talk) 14:50, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
Using the wonders of Cirrus Search I found only [[stale]] to have alcohol second parameter, following "en", in {{lb}}. If I were better at regexes I could find it in other languages and other positions. DCDuring (talk) 16:07, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
Using this Cirrus Search I found one Finnish and one Sanskrit term showing alcoholism as a label and using {{lb}}. DCDuring (talk) 16:26, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
  • The problem is one small consequence of not differentiating between 1., topical labels and, 2., grammar/usage/context labels. What needs to be shown to human users is that definitions like the labeled ones of stale and finger are applied typically and almost exclusively to alcoholic beverages. We sometimes have labels like (of (hard) alcoholic beverages). If such labels don't fit in with our auto-categorization so much the worse for the auto-categorization. DCDuring (talk) 16:41, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure how "alcoholism" is a useful context label. I agree that "alcohol" displaying "alcoholism" is weird, especially when there are probably more words limited to the topical context of alcohol than to that of alcoholism. All uses of the label "alcoholism" need to be checked. I think the label "alcohol" should display "alcohol". Indeed, looking at Category:en:Alcoholism, it seems like an atypical definition of "alcoholism" is being used, whereby any alcohol consumption is meant. It seems like most entries should be moved to Category:en:Drinking. However, in the specific example that started this thread, "alcohol" should be in the definition, not the context label. - -sche (discuss) 22:15, 27 November 2018 (UTC)


Preposition sense 3.3:

  1. (following an intransitive verb) Indicates the source or cause of the verb. [from 10th c.]
    • 2006, Joyce Carol Oates, The Female of the Species:
      He smelled of beer and cigarette smoke and his own body.
    • 2010 October 5, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, The Guardian:
      Two men, one from Somalia and one from Zimbabwe, died of terminal illnesses shortly after their incarceration ended.

Is everyone happy that "smelled of beer" and "died of terminal illnesses" are the same sense of "of"? It seems to me that "died of terminal illnesses" fits the definition, since the terminal illnesses caused the deaths, i.e. we can paraphrase as "died as a result of terminal illnesses". While it may be true in this example that he "smelled as a result of (drinking) beer", I'm not completely convinced that this is what "smelled of beer" actually means. On the other hand, it seems that quite a lot of effort and thought has gone into the article at of, and I don't really want to start messing with the classifications without good reason. What do you think? And if it turns out that "perception" verbs such as "smell" and "taste" do not fit this sense, can anyone think of any examples other than "die"? Mihia (talk) 23:40, 24 November 2018 (UTC)

One can suffer of malnutrition, or fall ill of food poisoning. In the latter case it is not so much the verb as the adjective ill that governs the prepositional clause. Similarly, sick and tired of silly jokes, and indisposed of a cold. Other intransitive verbs use different prepositions, like succumb to one’s wounds. On the other hand, the use of of with the transitive verb heal feels similar to me, like how Naaman was healed of leprosy. His illness was certainly not a cause of the healing. Someone who smells of beer makes me think of my days at Georgetown Prep.  --Lambiam 10:01, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
Sense 3.3. is specifically for "following an intransitive verb". "sick and tired of", "fall ill of" (if "ill" governs the preposition) and "indisposed of" are the next sense, 3.4. "Naaman was healed of leprosy" is sense 2.1. I am not really convinced that "think of X" is the same as "die of X", any more than "smell of X" is. X is the content of the thought, not the cause of thinking. There are a number similar: "talk of", "hear of", "speak of" etc. "suffer of" is the only one of yours that I would say is definitely analogous to "die of", but "suffer of" is not something I hear or use in modern Enlglish. It sounds archaic to me. Mihia (talk) 18:52, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
I am questioning the usefulness of making distinctions based on the PoS assignment for the term governing the prepositional phrase; more in general, I think the present distinctions are overly nice, which is not nice.  --Lambiam 11:50, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
I tend to agree. Mihia (talk) 15:03, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
I am responsible for that breakdown, which took me weeks and seemed necessary given the extremely complex ways a small common word like this can be used. But obviously it's open to improvement. The OED does it similarly. Ƿidsiþ 08:47, 29 November 2018 (UTC)
@Ƿidsiþ: Yes, as I mentioned, I can see that a lot of effort has gone into the classification, so I don't think I am going to try messing with it myself, even though my view is that one or two of the senses could possibly be merged. But going back to the original question, what do you think of "smelled of beer"? Are you still happy that this is the same sense of "of" as "died of terminal illnesses"? Mihia (talk) 00:15, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
I don't see the point of the distinction between 3.3 and 3.4. The grammatical difference doesn't lead to a semantic distinction. In fact, dead of and died of can have the same complements. Born of noble stock is one possible addition to 3.3. DCDuring (talk) 03:39, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
I take your point about 3.3 and 3.4 being pretty similar. Unfortunately "born" is not an intransitive verb so it won't fit 3.3 as it stands. I'm thinking now of "tire" as another intransitive verb example. E.g. "These days I quickly tire of video games". Mihia (talk) 18:48, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
Sorry. In my thoughts I'd already eliminated the distinction between 3.3 and 3.4. DCDuring (talk) 17:10, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

loony left usage notes[edit]

Are these notes necessary? They sound as though they were inserted to suggest that anyone saying "loony left" must be a huge racist, bigot, etc. (There are even mild leftists who resent the extreme left fringe.) Unless the notes stuff relates to the first usage of the term or something with historical lexical importance I feel they are needless POV bias. Equinox 02:22, 25 November 2018 (UTC)

My vote is to delete these so-called "Usage notes" in their entirety. This discussion is beyond what is appropriate for a dictionary, in my opinion. Mihia (talk) 03:16, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
I'd say "loony left" is pretty derogatory from a generally right-wing perspective, but the labels seem to cover that. I don't see a real need for the usage notes here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:19, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
Definitely all those usage notes have to be removed, they read to me as massively biased in the way they cast attributes and motives onto the speaker. -- Nameless poster
Current usage note should go as it is too long and biased. On the other hand, if mere usage connotes to others that the person using it is a bigot, that should be indicated. But recent Google News results don't really indicate that that is the case and the Guardian has a lot of usage by Labour centrists. Also @Enginear. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 09:48, 26 November 2018 (UTC)


Do we need citronette? "A citronette is a vinaigrette in which the vinegar has been replaced with lemon, lime, or other citrus juice."[37] I like Salmoriglio especially :-) --Edward Steintain (talk) 06:40, 25 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Added. You could have added it yourself. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:53, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Thanks, I tend to wait for an ok-sign. Here's anonther one: sopracospargete (sopracospargere). „Stendete con le mani i tre quarti della pasta, e sopracospargete di marmellata“ (Crostata di prugne, RAI). The translation of a native tounge is always to prefer. --Edward Steintain (talk) 12:27, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
    Methinks that ought to have been spelt “sopra cospargete”.  --Lambiam 11:33, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
    Thanks, Lambiam. I've checked it. Lo chef consiglia: crostata di prugne [38] is a mirror of Rai by Rss-feed: It's “sopra” „cospargete”. --18:38, 27 November 2018 (UTC)


In American English this is pronounced /fel/ correct? We currently only have /feɪl/ which is British English AFAIK. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:39, 25 November 2018 (UTC)

I think that also in American English the vowel is clearly a diphthong.  --Lambiam 17:46, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
It monophthongizes in some varieties of Upper Midwestern English and comes close in some Inland North dialects. I definitely wouldn’t consider it a feature of General American, though. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 20:54, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think it's ever phonemically/contrastively /fel/. That is to say, /eɪ/ is not infrequently pronounced [e], but there's no minimal pair where /e/ contrasts with /eɪ/, is there? - -sche (discuss) 22:09, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

downtown used as postpositive adjective[edit]

  • A shop-keeper downtown was shot last night

From the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 1445

The subject of the passive is in bold, so apparently the adjective downtown is used postpositively. Is this correct? should it be added in its entry? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:19, 25 November 2018 (UTC)

It's not an adjective, it's adverbial/locative- analogous to "a shopkeeper on Main Street". I'm guessing it can do this because of its origin as a prepositional phrase: "down town". Chuck Entz (talk) 16:11, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
Similar (which I found on Google Books): "the fish upstream are edible". Equinox 20:20, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
Also upriver/downriver, and maybe uphill/downhill. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:24, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
Totally an adverb. German oben, drüben and so on works the same. Why do we have here as an adjective here: John here is a rascal? It needs to be removed. Fay Freak (talk) 20:31, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
@Fay Freak This use seems (to me) somewhat similar to French ci as in cet homme-ci. You can only use John here when John is actually where “here” is in the context, so there is more to it than emphasis. However, it is different from the shop-keeper downtown in that the locative attribute here is non-restrictive and is not stressed in speech.  --Lambiam 21:46, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
Well I don’t recognize any of it as conclusive though I see which difference you mean. Isn’t it understood so better categorized as “determiner” or “demonstrative pronoun”, like this? Assuming it is like -ci and hence celui. However it seems unnatural to me to see it this way, though it would not entail further contradictions. By the way you can use German hier exactly the same way and it would be very strange to pretend it is an adjective. Fay Freak (talk) 22:15, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
There are a number of these prefixed by up, down, cross (followed by state, county, town, country, mountain, wind, stream, river and a few prefixed by other prepositions, eg, oversea(s), underfoot. To me the postposition is not lexical information, but rather grammar, along the lines Chuck mentions above. No semantic difference follows from the location of these words, so I see no reason to do anything other than, perhaps, show the postpositive use in a usage example. DCDuring (talk) 14:55, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
If shown, under which PoS heading should the postpositive usex be, Adjective or Adverb?  --Lambiam 11:13, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
I'd go with adjective. It is worth remembering that we established "Prepositional phrase" as a PoS header to eliminate the semantic duplication between and adjectival and adverbial use of such phrases. (I am definitely not proposing the creation of "Locative" as a PoS.) Postpositive use is an option, but IMO usexes are better than usage labels or notes to show the phenomenon to a human language learner. DCDuring (talk) 16:51, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Sanskrit एति[edit]

Jasanoff Hittite and the Indo-European Verb2003: 13, gives Hitt. (pā)izzi and not iyatta as the cognate of Skt. एति. I wonder if the comparison with yatta needs more consideration. --Tibetologist (talk) 21:30, 25 November 2018 (UTC)


misticanza. (a mixture of wild greens), called en.wp Mesclun in France. → it.wp misticanza --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:02, 26 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Added (you could have added it yourself) SemperBlotto (talk) 14:15, 26 November 2018 (UTC)


canestrello is also an Italian cookie. --Edward Steintain (talk) 14:10, 26 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Added (you could have added it yourself) SemperBlotto (talk) 14:16, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
  • If I add or not, in the end the ammount of typing is probably higher (correcting me) if I do. Please let me be shy for a while hiding behind le ricette mie (Praline di salsicia turingese (fatto in casa) al cavolfiore spadellato). --Edward Steintain (talk) 14:52, 26 November 2018 (UTC)

Gaufre (Reindirizzamento da Gofri)[edit]

Hi, it might be interesting to approach to Gaufre e Gofri, a waffle. Enjoy! --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:04, 26 November 2018 (UTC)

I’m not quite sure what you are proposing. There are also gòfri piemontesi, spelled with an accento grave.  --Lambiam 11:27, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
Gaufre e Gofri have an article on it.wp, but not in the wiktionary, neither wafel nor waffle in Italian. --Edward Steintain (talk) 16:10, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
A gaufre (Italian speaking[39]) is a waffel, waffle, ferratella, or gòfri, simply and directly translated just a cialda. --Edward Steintain (talk) 10:37, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

al buio[edit]

Although appuntamento al buio is a blind date al buio seems to be in the darkness.[1] Example of basil oil: Tenete una bottiglia a disposizione nella dispensa, mentre riponete le altre al buio, in un luogo asciutto e fresco, fino al momento dell’uso. Chi non ha a disposizione delle bottiglie di vetro scure, può ricoprire quelle di vetro trasparente con uno strato di carta alluminio da cucina. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:40, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

The use in the advice for keeping olio al basilico (which applies to olive oil in general) from going rancid is simply the literal use of the noun buio. If the only use of al buio in the idiomatic sense of “without advance knowledge” is in the phrase appuntamento al buio, it does not deserve an entry as a stand-alone adjective. Are there other uses of this sense? For blind as used in test design (like double-blind), the usual term is cieco. And blind guess seems to correspond to congettura cieca.  --Lambiam 11:05, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
People are enjoying „al buio“ to make up words: Affari al buio, cocktail al buio, parole al buio, apperitivo al buio ... But appuntomento al buio seems to be the only idiom. --Edward Steintain (talk) 18:22, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
I also see occurrences of ospite al buio and invitato al buio, which I guess can be translated as mystery guest. If the enthusiasm in making up combinations with al buio persists and it becomes so commonplace that it is no longer generally recognized as stemming from the idiomatic expression appuntamento al buio, it will have turned into a lexeme on its own. Hard to tell when exactly this will be. The single definition “blind” won’t do then.  --Lambiam 06:43, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
„Hard to tell when exactly this will be.“ - We shall see! Come fa Dante a vedere nell'Inferno se è al buio? ;-) What would be a summary of all these new al buios? What do they have in common? --Edward Steintain (talk) 10:56, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

Erroneous etymology - or plagiarism?[edit]

In "Lords and Ladies", Terry Pratchett defines the "New York second" as the time between the light turning green and the sound of honking from the cab behind you. (This is easily checked by anyone with a copy of the book, as the definition is given in a footnote. In my 2013 paperback edition it's on p301, c.75% the way through the book.) Clearly Mr Pratchett was aware of the phrase "New York minute" and has derived "New York second" from it - so the coining of "New York minute" is older than that of "New York second". But the Wiktionary entry for [New York minute] gives the Pratchett definition in its "etymology" section. Now, either the Wiktionary entry is correct (in which case Mr Pratchett is guilty of plagiarism - a heavy charge indeed) or it is not (in which case, by not citing its source, Wiktionary has plagiarised Mr Pratchett).

Lords and Ladies is from 1982, Wiktionary is from 2002, and the entry New York minute is from 2005. So unless Pratchett was informed through the Wiktionary definition travelling back in time, he is exonerated from any charges of copycatting Wiktionary. However, it appears that one T. T. Wiley, Acting Traffic Commissioner of New York City, described a “split second" in 1951 as “the time it takes for the light in front of you to turn green and the guy behind you to honk his horn”, and Johnny Carson applied this definition to the New York minute in 1980,[40] so Pratchett may not have been totally original. As to reusing the Wiley definition for a different unit of time, I must say that I know of no place where drivers would wait for a full minute before attempting to prompt an inattentive driver blocking their progress, so it would appear to be definitionally less appropriate. If Pratchett was not totally original, at least he was, arguably, semantically more to the point. The phrase is the subject of one of Safire’s language columns, which is where I found the ascription to Wiley.  --Lambiam 10:26, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
The OED has a citation for New York minute from the 50s in the Galveston News, so way before Johnny Carson: "Betty Jean Bird of the Pirate Club has what she claims the smallest French poodle in the nation […] It's no bigger than a New York minute and that's only thirty seconds." Ƿidsiþ 08:44, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

Dutch "wat een"[edit]

Is this worthy of inclusion as a determiner/adverb in the sequence "wat een" + adjective + plural (meaning ~ "what (a), such (a)" as in what a cool car)? [41] [42] [43] [44] A SOP interpretation isn't permitted because een is exclusively singular, so this is something of a fixed expression. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:24, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Although much rarer, you can also find a similar construction for “welk een” and ”zo’n”, as in “welk een fraaie bloemen”, “welk een schone vriendschappen” and “zo’n leuke jongens”, the latter easily attestable – even in a grammar book – in spite of the proscription in the usage notes at zo'n.  --Lambiam 20:22, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
I've had a go the offending usage note. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:34, 6 December 2018 (UTC)


Google has 406 k-hits for verdurine (diminutive of verdure (vegetables) / search for »"verdurine" -mutti«). A low-level Italian speaker does not get this idea. I suggest an entry for verdurine. --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:30, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

  • I believe that is the plural of verdurina - raw vegetables that you dip into a little sauce before eating. (Added) SemperBlotto (talk) 20:30, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) It is the plural of verdurina, which can also be used in a collective sense: [45], [46], [47]. While grammatically a diminutive, I get the impression the meaning is basically “cut-up veggies”, whether for crudités or sauteed (or, in the case of the Mutti brand, mashed into a gustosa salsa).  --Lambiam 21:01, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Thanks to all. Lambiam: «The meaning is basically “cut-up veggies”» PENNE CON VERDURINE (Rai, 21/09/2018): … In una padella dorate nell'olio le zucchine e le carote tagliate a julienne … e spadellateli ! Once I have tried a readymix with verza,spinaci, bietole, scarola plus fagiolo corallo - delicious. --Edward Steintain (talk) 16:01, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
    • In Rome, runner beans are called fagioli corallo or coral beans, probably because they look as if they might grow underwater. [48], --Edward Steintain (talk) 10:47, 29 November 2018 (UTC)
    • The Italian dish Fagioli corallo al pomodoro (image) with Phaseolus coccineus = runner beans [49] [50]. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:30, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
    • The Lexicon of Pulse Crops, 2018 does not mention fagiolo corallo but f. rampicante, which is a "Phaseolus coccineus" = Runner bean as well.[51][52] There´s a large variety of "Phaseolus coccineus" = Runner beans (silvery, true, dense, striped … all some kind of a runner). --Edward Steintain (talk) 12:20, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
    • Translations to be checked in runner bean - German: Feuerbohne, Prunkbohne, Schminkbohne, Käferbohne (Austria) are correct.
      • Aleksandar Mikić (2018) , “Phaseolus coccineus or Feuerbohne”, in Lexicon of Pulse Crops, CRC Press, →ISBN --Edward Steintain (talk) 15:45, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
      I have no idea how beans are supposed to look when it is said that they look as if they might grow underwater. I think I am not alone in this; in fact, I strongly suspect that this applies to the vast majority of people. I also doubt that runner beans have a significantly more salient underwater look to them than other bean species. In other words, I do not believe the explanation offered by As the Romans Do. The Latin specific epithet coccineus means scarlet, and Italian corallo can be used as a colour name too. Maybe it has something to do with older varieties of runner beans actually having red flowers and scarlet seeds.  --Lambiam 09:25, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
      I wouldn't describe the seeds as coral red, but scarlet runner beans have been sold as an ornamental by US seed companies for their red flowers. Flower color is definitely the most plausible origin for the term- the "underwater" origin sounds like like an amateur guess.Chuck Entz (talk) 12:38, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
      Nine percent of all males are suffering from a color blindness (red-green-disorder). They might even see special Gradazioni di corallo when getting married which don't look coral anymore once they take off the snorkel and goggles after the underwater excursion. But the taste of salt cristals on the sun exposed skin is also nice as an après-dive – an Italian song discribes (title/author?). --Edward Steintain (talk) 06:30, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

Mistake in the plural for Spanish por ciento[edit]

Hi, I have reason to believe there has been a mistake in generating a plural for for the Spanish por ciento. The correct form should be por cientos, but that is not the case on the main entry. I don't know how to edit the template so I had to go ask on here... Svenji (talk) 23:08, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Fixed. I don't think por cientos is its plural. At least, I cannot think of an example that would call for por cientos as the plural of por ciento. por ciento means percent, while por cientos means by the hundreds. —Stephen (Talk) 03:12, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
It isn’t hard to find examples (including some from official sources) of (for example) diez por cientos meaning 10%: [53], [54], [55], [56], [57], [58], [59].  --Lambiam 06:18, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
Looking closer, all examples are from Latin America, from the Dominican Republic to Peru, Paraguay and Argentina, so this may be a difference between Peninsular Spanish and the Spanish of Hispanic America.  --Lambiam 21:57, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
They are errors. For instance, in Ley No. 13682 they have "treinta por ciento" and "cinco por ciento", but "diez por cientos". Literally, "treinta por ciento" means "thirty per hundred" (per each hundred, percent), while "diez por cientos" means "ten per hundreds" (per all the hundreds taken together) or "ten percents". It would be wrong in English and it's wrong in Spanish. But if you think that the existence of some nonsense on the Internet makes the nonsense valid and acceptable, then I leave it to you to modify and bend the Spanish language however you like. —Stephen (Talk) 23:22, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
I just report on what I see. I have no stake on what is right or wrong in Spanish; for all I know it is a vulgar corruption of the proper Latin.  --Lambiam 22:56, 1 December 2018 (UTC)


This entry has just been added, and simultaneously an edit to the WP article w:en:palindrome (which has been removed) explained that it was just made up. So I suggest the Wikt entry should be deleted, but am not sure how to go about this. Imaginatorium (talk) 03:09, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

Deleted. DTLHS (talk) 03:16, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
Fun facts (for total nerds): If this had been a bona fide word borrowed from Ancient Greek *μυνώνυμον, its meaning would have been something like “pretense name”. Almost palindromic Central Sierra Miwok myn·ným comes close.  --Lambiam 06:25, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

cespo di lattuga[edit]

Un cespo d’insalata or cespo di lattuga is a head of lettuce. --Edward Steintain (talk) 15:09, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

Eye dialect/pronunciation spelling[edit]

Can someone please describe the difference between these terms? Can they be used interchangeably? Are all eye dielect spellings pronunciation spellings and vice versa?Jonteemil (talk) 22:26, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

@Jonteemil: take a look https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronunciation_respelling --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:52, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
Normally, an eye dialect spelling will reflect the pronunciation more closely than the standard spelling. Li’l Abner’s enuff is a good example. The use of eye dialect spelling is neither intended to indicate a non-standard pronunciation, nor to clarify the standard pronunciation. Pronunciation spelling, on the other hand, aims to point out a nonstandard pronunciation, as in Mr. Naturel’s Keep on Truckin’, or in the common gonna. So enuff is not a pronunciation spelling, as there is nothing particular about the way this is pronounced. Finally, there is also pronunciation respelling, of which the aim is to clarify the (standard) pronunciation to people who may not be familiar with how a word is pronounced. It is like an alternative to IPA. An example is pruh-nuhn-see-EY-shuhn. People not familiar with English pronunciation might think the word is pronounced proh-nuhn-shee-EY-shuhn (combining the pronunciations of pronoun and emaciation). The spelling luv may be interpreted both as eye dialect and as pronunciation respelling – but not as pronunciation spelling, because (as for enuff) it is pronounced the same as love. Conversely, enuff is not a pronunciation respelling, which would be more like innuf.  --Lambiam 12:44, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
@Lambian: Thanks! I think I got it now.Jonteemil (talk) 15:29, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
Regarding whether eye dialect spelling is intended to indicate a non-standard pronunciation, I noticed that the definition at eye dialect now includes this:
(more broadly) nonstandard spelling which indicates nonstandard pronunciation.
Mihia (talk) 18:15, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
The term was coined by George P. Krapp, who defined it in the more restrictive sense. If that broader sense can be attested, it must be due to people using the term without understanding it. Krapp’s formulation that “the convention violated is one of the eyes, not of the ear” explains where the component eye comes from. In the generalized sense, it doesn’t make much sense.  --Lambiam 18:58, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
As has been discussed before, I think, the "broader sense" seems widely applied within Wiktionary [60]. Mihia (talk) 20:40, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

al vivo[edit]

Sbucciare/pelare/tagliare al vivo. „al vivo“ = 700 k-hits. Come sbucciare un arancia a vivo, only to mention al vivo from a gastronomic point of view. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:34, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Sbucciare a vivo is more common. I cannot think of an English equivalent.  --Lambiam 18:35, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
How to segment an orange? [61]. al vivo = 732 k-kit; a vivo = 1.330-k-hit. They have something in common. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:08, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
Citrusfruit: The innermost layer of the pericarp is the endocarp. The segments are also called "liths", and the space inside each lith is a locule filled with juice vesicles, or "pulp".[62]Pelare al Vivo gli Agrumi: To cut the pulp of a citrusfruit into segments (liths) removing any skin / to segment an orange to obtain wedges. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:06, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
to segment an orange 235.000 k-hits (with a knife to get liths) / to cut an orange into wedges 173.000 k-hits. Sbucciare/pelare/tagliare al vivo or a vivo or both as synonymes? --Edward Steintain (talk) 16:07, 1 December 2018 (UTC)


How is this different from espionage? If it isn't different, is it alright to list espionage as a synonym? Tharthan (talk) 17:19, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Espionage is a much more general term. DTLHS (talk) 17:22, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
Spycraft is about the methods used in human intelligence gathering. In spy novels it is sometimes referred to as tradecraft, AFAICR, DCDuring (talk) 04:57, 1 December 2018 (UTC)