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.[1]

--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)

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)


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)

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)

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. [2]. --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)


(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: [3]; [4]; [5].
  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 [6]. --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)

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.”[7] 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.”[8] 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: [9].  --Lambiam 10:49, 10 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. [10]. --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. [11]. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:37, 12 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.[12] 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 [[13]] 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! [14]. "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)


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)

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. [15] 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).[16] 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: [17], 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 thing 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)


“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)

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: [18]; [19].  --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)

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)

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)


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