Wiktionary:Tea room/2018/October

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



The page for exponent include this sub-definition:

(mathematics) The power to which a value is raised, for example, the in .


1) "power" is actually ambiguous (referring to the product/result and the exponent)
2) this is not very clear or direct (although it is simple)

I was thinking of changing this definition to the following:

(mathematics) The number to which a quantity is raised, for example, the in . In other words, the number of times a quantity (called the base) is multiplied with itself in a procedure called exponentiation, where the resulting product is called a power, and where this number is usually written as a superscript on the right of the quantity: with a base of and an exponent of , the power is .

Is this satisfactory? Or should it be tweaked in some way to be shorter. I would prefer that the definition be clearer, as it is in the latter part of my proposal.

Zeroparallax (talk) 06:47, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

@Zeroparallax: the problem is that with non-integer exponent you are not multiplying the base by itself e.g. 1/2 times or pi times. Apart from that, it sounds fine. MGorrone (talk) 08:40, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

@SemperBlotto: But that is incorrect: the exponent is not the product of equal factors -- it is the number of factors in a product of equal factors, when abbreviated as a base (the factor) with a superscript number (the number) to the right of the factor.
@MGorrone: Very good point! So maybe I'd re-write (making it even longer):
(mathematics) The number to which a quantity is raised in exponentiation -- for example, the in . In more detail, for positive whole number exponents, an exponent is the number of times a quantity (called the base) is multiplied with itself in a procedure called exponentiation, where the resulting product is called a power, and where the exponent is usually written as a superscript on the right of the quantity: with a base of and an exponent of , the power is . For exponents that are not positive whole numbers, the exponential algorithm is more complicated.
More algorithms could potentially be added. I wonder how far it should go, and how such detail should be organized on the page. Is this proposal good as it stands now? Or maybe the detail should really go in the definition of exponentiation. (The definition of power might also should be modified to include mention of non-integer exponentials. ..Ok, I added some additional clarification to the definition of power.)
Zeroparallax (talk) 09:38, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
I didn't say that the "exponent" is a product of equal factors. I said that the "power" is. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:40, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
p.s. The OED defines "exponent" (in the maths sense) as "A symbol denoting the number of times a particular quantity is to be taken as a factor to produce the power indicated". SemperBlotto (talk) 09:42, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: But isn't that how a definition works? Don't you add "An exponent is" to the beginning of what is written? For what you wrote, that would yield "An exponent is [t]he power (product of equal factors) to which..."
Zeroparallax (talk) 09:50, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
No. Our entry for "power" has several definitions. We add a gloss (in brackets) to indicate which of those definitions we mean. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:55, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: But wouldn't that mean "An exponent is [t]he power (that is, the product of equal factors) to which..."
Zeroparallax (talk) 09:59, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes. p.s. "Mathworld" defines "exponent" as "An exponent is the power p in an expression of the form a^p. The process of performing the operation of raising a base to a given power is known as exponentiation." [1] SemperBlotto (talk) 10:05, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: So you now agree that you've written that the exponent is a product of equal factors, correct? ("An exponent is [t]he power (that is, the product of equal factors) to which...") This other meaning of "power", as a synonym for exponent, is what I was referring to in point 1 above about how that term is ambiguous, and so the definition should not rely heavily on it, in my opinion. (I also think there are good reasons to prefer the "product" meaning of "power", but that's a different point.)
Zeroparallax (talk) 10:16, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
No! The exponent is the "product" (of equal factors) to which a number is raised in exponentiation. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:19, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: I'm not understanding what you're saying. You're saying that 1) "The exponent is the 'product' (of equal factors)...", but you're also claiming that you're *not* saying that 2) the exponent is a product of equal factors...
Zeroparallax (talk) 10:29, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

Ok, I've edited the mathematical definitions of "exponent" and "power" to be more clear, concrete, and complete. However, the usages written at "power" may more properly belong in the definition of "exponentiation" and would probably be easier to read in a table. (Also, the definition of "exponentiation" should be edited to be more clear, concrete, and complete.) I could then add notes to "power", "base", and "exponent" to see "exponentiation" for usage notes.

Do people ever write usage notes in a table?

Zeroparallax (talk) 18:14, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

IMO, this is excessive for a dictionary definition; I pruned everything after the first sentence. - -sche (discuss) 19:41, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
  • @Msh210, although not active since early August, may be interested in this. - -sche (discuss) 19:43, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
Speaking of excessive... SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 19:50, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
@-sche and @Surjection: Fair enough. I've slightly edited the latest (shorter) definitions of power and exponent to retain some important information. I think I'll attempt to create a similarly concise but clearer and complete definition of exponentiation.
Zeroparallax (talk) 20:28, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

Other senses of apel[edit]

I have this song, Kugadaikan Cintaku by Gombloh, where there is the sentence «Aku Apel Di Rumah Mu». Now, I don't know you, but I definitely smell a verb in that "apel". Trouble is, the only sense of apel on Wiktionary is "apple", which is no verb, and semantically fits the sentence as well as <insert negative metaphor here>. Given the stress is on the e, I thought it might be apél (e pronounced /e/), from French "appel", meaning "call", either as a verb or a noun. The noun sense is given on French Wiktionary (apel – guys I just can't get the interwiki to work here, sorry…) as both "appel" in a law sense, or in a military sense "appel, action d'appeler à haute voix des soldats afin de s'assurer qu'ils sont présents" (action of calling soldiers in a loud voice to make sure they are present). Is the verb sense also present, and what is it exactly?

MGorrone (talk) 08:37, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

It's an urban word that means "to go on a date (romantic meeting or outing with a lover or potential lover)", which is also the title of another one of his popular songs in the 1980s. KevinUp (talk) 14:42, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

An Indonesian friend of mine told me "apel", ending indeed in /el/, can mean "date", or (I add) perhaps "come for a date". Can we find proper attestation for this sense? MGorrone (talk) 14:44, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

Oh well, I see my browser failed to load KevinUp's comment before I clicked Edit :). @KevinUp: I guess this is the song, right? Time to add this sense to the entry :). MGorrone (talk) 14:47, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
Or maybe we just posted together :). Anyways, I went ahead and added a verb section with Gombloh's sentence as a usage example. Could you check it @KevinUp:? MGorrone (talk) 14:56, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, apparently we both posted at the same time. Jinx! Anyway, your edit is just fine. I'll split the entry into a separate etymology section later to include the military sense of the word. KevinUp (talk) 15:02, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

Glyphs in Unicode code charts for [edit]

Discussion moved from User talk:KevinUp.
Stroke order
Taiwan & Hong Kong
Stroke order
Mainland China, Japan,
Korea & Vietnam

The glyphs in the code charts are just for reference. I don't think we need to follow them to the dot. There are idiosyncrasies between and the other characters with this component, but it doesn't mean ⿰氵㐬 can't represent the glyph for T. @Suzukaze-c, do you agree? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 17:57, 29 September 2018 (UTC)

I'm guessing Suzukaze-c's not gonna be replying any time soon. @Wyang, Dokurrat, what do you guys think? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 00:38, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree. Wyang (talk) 00:56, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
The right side component found in for the character used in Taiwan and Hong Kong is one of few standardized forms that were created by the Big5 font vendors that differ from the conventional form found in 舊字形 publications. This form is not found in historical Chinese dictionaries, except for the Qing dynasty 《增廣字學舉隅》 which claims that the contemporary form for with 10 strokes (⿱亠厶 at top right) is derived from the form with 9 strokes (⿻一厶 at top right). Note that the character itself (7 strokes, ⿱亠厶 on top) does not match the component found in the Hong Kong/Taiwan form of (6 strokes, ⿻一厶 at top right). Hence, different components apart from were used for . Meanwhile, some characters such as and (found in the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set) uses the original form of (7 strokes, ⿱亠厶 at top right) which is different from the component used in (6 strokes, ⿻一厶 at top right). See also alternative forms of and as well as translingual sections of and 𠫓 for further reading. KevinUp (talk) 14:42, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
@KevinUp, Wyang: These are just particular standards, mostly for computers. To add to the mess, the Unicode glyphs for Hong Kong are quite problematic, and if I remember correctly, there is a proposal for the H glyphs to be changed to conform to current standards (HKSCS-2016). The Hong Kong glyph should actually have ⿱亠厶 instead. I understand that there is some benefit to distinguishing these minor details in IDS, but I think it is unnecessary to distinguish 㐬 from ⿱𠫓⿲丿丨㇄, since the two are unifiable in Unicode. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 15:01, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

Pronunciation at Dom[edit]

It sounds to me like the speaker in the audio file tried a little too hard to emphasize the long vowel rather than just pronouncing it normally. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:16, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

ugrik (1st person sg. indic. pres. indefinite)[edit]

Is ugrom a valid alternative form of the first-person singular indicative present indefinite of ugrik?

These "sources" (of dubious, but non-zero value) 1, 2, seem to suggest that it is, and it would be reasonable, since ugrik is an -ik verb, but I can't find any more reputable sources.

As a partial aside, the current wiktionary page of ugrom says that it's the first-person, singular, indicative, present definite of ugrik, which doesn't seem to make much sense, since ugrik is intransitive. However, before making any corrections, I'd prefer to consult a native or near-native speaker.

(I'll also add comments on the relevant discussion pages (Talk:ugrik and Talk:ugrom), for future reference, in case this goes nowhere now.)

--Gephyra (talk) 18:37, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment. I updated/corrected the entries and replied to your questions on the talk pages. The form ugrom is valid. The verb ugrik is intransitive in most senses, but there are also transitive senses according to the online Hungarian dictionary. E.g.: fejest ugrik, magasat ugrik, bakot ugrik; Az iskolában ugrott egy osztályt. --Panda10 (talk) 21:21, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks very much for your replies and for updating the pages! The explanation and the link to arcanum.hu (I had somehow been unaware of the site) were really helpful. Also, thanks for all your contributions to Wiktionary — they seem to be everywhere. --Gephyra (talk) 21:40, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
You're welcome. Glad it was helpful. --Panda10 (talk) 21:30, 6 October 2018 (UTC)


The etymology currently going around gets to the term Christ being a Anglicization of the Greek "khristos," and then suggests that the term means "anointed" when its well understood that "khristos" is a borrowing which becomes a calque, where the word "khristos" has two meanings, the one the Christian Apostles gave it, and the original meaning. The Apostolic definition does'nt erase original definition. So what is the original meaning of "khristos?" Does it have something to do with "light," as with words like "crystal" and "chrysalis?" Is "kri-/cry-/krai-" a primary lexeme in itself which is quite ancient? -Inowen (talk) 23:05, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

You can figure out the etymology of Christ by following links: Christχριστός (khristós)χρίω (khríō)*gʰrey-*gʰer-.
χρίω (khríō) is not related to crystal, which comes from κρύσταλλος (krústallos). In the first three letters the words differ in χ (kh) versus κ (k), and ι (i) versus υ (u). I'm not aware of any reason these sounds would spontaneously transform into one another. — Eru·tuon 23:31, 2 October 2018 (UTC)
Similarly with chrysalis, from χρυσαλλίς (khrusallís), apparently related to χρυσός (khrusós, gold). This does not start with the same sounds as χρίω (khríō) either.
Ancient Greek "χ" is usually related to Germanic "g", while Ancient Greek "κ" is usually related to Germanic "h". The origin of Christ goes back to the concept of anointing, which was putting oil on someone. Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ‎, the source of Messiah is related to Aramaic words for oil, such as Aramaic משחא‎. See also christen. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:56, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
You seem to be drawing a parallel between transliterations rather than actual Greek morphology/phonology. That is to say, drawing a connection between "υ" and "ι"; "χρι-" and "χρυ-". Though their phonemic values are very similar, they are solidly rooted in their own particular evolutionary origins; in other words to draw an evolutionary connection between "χρι-" and "χρυ" due to their similar transliterations would really be as equally groundless as trying to draw evolutionary connections between the two words "hard" and "heart" because they sound similar in their modern phonations (note: harduzhertô). I'm dramatizing it a bit so forgive me, but my point is that morphologically, iota and upsilon have very distinct origins from one another (and clearly, due to their distinct inclusions, held very different meanings from one another in their ancient development), so to connect their etymologies in this way is a purely constructed idea with no real empirical grounding. Ozelot911 (talk) 04:47, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
Understood. In Greek morphology the "xr" and "chr" are different, and have been differentiated, and it is assumed that this differentiation goes back a long time. There is also the idea of whose morphology a word belongs to, but then what about mixed morphology? There seems to always be some mixed morphology in a word, or saying it differently if there is no mixed morphology then there will be some coincidental similarity in morphology which should be scienced and notated. There is also the study of word fronting, such that looking at "kr-" fronted words may reveal some Proto origion. The word "krishna," is it completely separate from "christos," or is there some Proto? -Inowen (talk) 01:29, 7 October 2018 (UTC) Comment was improperly removed by User:Metaknowledge and restored by its author. -Inowen (talk) 02:30, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
@Inowen: What do you mean by "mixed morphology"?
No, Krishna, from Sanskrit कृष्ण (kṛṣṇa), is not related to Christ, from χριστός (khristós). If I'm reading this table right, Ancient Greek χ (kh) generally corresponds to Sanskrit h, gh, or j, and Sanskrit k to Ancient Greek κ (k). — Eru·tuon 04:37, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for this. There is only the little problem in the language sciences where reconstructive models have developed so well as to rule out possibilities other than language shift, such as early or late migration and transference. -Inowen (talk) 04:51, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
What? This is incomprehensible. Reminds me of a certain banned user...—AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 05:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Reminiscent, yes, but not the same. There's more than one way to go off into the weeds...
They've had several edits reverted that seem to be based on some rather bizarre beliefs/delusions and on totally mistaken understanding of grammatical terminology. I've also removed some borderline word salad that they added to/offered as definitions. Whatever their intentions, very few of their edits have really improved anything. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
"Reminiscent, yes, but not the same" I believe is an ideal summary/distillation of the collective points (or counter-arguments?) being made here, or at the very least the point I was making. Also you mentioned "In Greek morphology the "xr" and "chr" are different"; I'm not sure what you're referring to here. X(χ) corresponds to an aspirated velar plosive (at least it did), transliterated as either "kh" or "ch", hence "Christ" and also "chrystal" (although in English the "H" is dropped) "chrysos" (χρυσός). "X" in Greek is "CH/KH". The only other way I see that you could have meant that is Ξ(ξ), corresponding in English to "X" as in "nix" or phonetically as "KS", which has no relevance here. Furthermore, just remember that although pronunciation evolves and changes, often very dramatically over time, the phonemes (or morpheme roots) used in languages where the language is an extension of the culture itself (Greek, Latin, Chinese, Sanskrit, etc.) tend to remain (or be kept intentionally for the sake of cultural tradition and sentiment) relatively unchanged. In other words, establish a history for the word based on the phoneme structure, then compensate and fill in blanks with phonetics and phonetic shifts. Ozelot911 (talk) 20:27, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
One little nit-pick: crystal comes from κρύσταλλος (krústallos), so it never had ch, unless somebody added it by mistake. — Eru·tuon 21:35, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Oh right, sorry I meant "χρυσός"; my bad. So yes, we have the clear distinction of not only opening-consonant-usage (χ ↔ κ) but also root-vowel-usage (ι ↔ υ). So, Inowen, if you take nothing else away from this, just remember that these graphemes have very distinct origins and must be traced (etymologically) with that in mind, so these words have no real common ancestry in that regard. Also, just a note, in the event that your original inquiry was more related to religious studies, feel free to give me a shout on my Talk Page (or IRC). I always enjoy a good discussiong on ideological roots and parallels (and also to mitigate idle chatter and offensions in the public Tea Room). Ozelot911 (talk) 10:35, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
Holy moley, the descendants of *gʰrey- appear to include the Rohirric name Gríma. —Tamfang (talk) 22:33, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

This/That many (+ plural nouns)[edit]

I think this kind of "determining coumpound", This/That many (+ plural noun), is idiomatic enough, at least logic-wise, to be added. --Backinstadiums (talk) 00:46, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

Which plural noun? All of them? DTLHS (talk) 00:47, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
An interesting opinion. But I can't find the logic in your presentation of the case for its idiomaticity. DCDuring (talk) 00:58, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
@DTLHS: Irony? @DCDuring: check it now. Also here --Backinstadiums (talk) 01:06, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
This just looks to me like the adverbial use of this and that that's already described in their entries, in which this many means roughly "many to this extent" (awkward wording). Or is it somehow different? — Eru·tuon 01:21, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
@Erutuon: Neither entry contains any such example as This/That many (+ plural noun), which would improve them greatly --Backinstadiums (talk) 01:42, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Check what out now? Did you mean check out the entries this many and that many, using the links you conveniently provided? The anecdote in StackExchange is yet another example of the kind of problem ESLers have with English determiners. They have my sympathy. Perhaps we need to start enwikdeterminary for them. DCDuring (talk) 01:29, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
    @DCDuring: it's an issue similar to many_a--Backinstadiums (talk) 01:38, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
    I refute thee thus: no, it isn't. DCDuring (talk) 03:15, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
    @DCDuring: yet wkt's does have the equivalent so_many --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:38, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
    and how many. Equinox 11:21, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

@Equinox: how lacks inflection for plural and singular, unlike this/that. Please, also note that this much is, unlike this many, exhaustively dealt with in, say, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:05, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

Exactly. It's a question of grammar, specifically the grammar of determiners in NPs. I suppose we could choose to allow inclusion of any combination of determiners and pronouns on the grounds that they may befuddle any EnL speaker and those speakers cannot be expected to learn about determiners from grammar books. We could thus provide a platform for inductive learning. Indeed we could do this for any collocation of any PoSes that anyone ever questioned on any written or digital platform.
I await an exposition of your reasoning. So far, I infer that anything mentioned in CGEL should be included in Wiktionary, specifically any combination of terms, no matter their being SoP. Otherwise, I don't see enough of any particular line of reasoning to even charitably infer a rationale for inclusion. I couldn't say that you don't have a coherent line of reasoning, but I could and do say that you haven't laid it out. DCDuring (talk) 18:51, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

Pals, I feel frustrated; I cannot see why I could get through my reasons to add for you just yesterday, but now this proposal seems to make no sense. I keep hearing objections related to the notion of EFL, but my argumentation is rather lexicographic, namely the unpredictability of the sequence following the general grammatical rules of the English language; I could post a link to some academic article with a linguistic approach to the issue if anyone needs further elaboration. --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:31, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

What is so unpredictable? This/that in deixis preceding a determiner is virtually identical to this/that preceding [ADJ] + a. The fact that many/much is a determiner eliminates the need for determiner a. Native speakers only get into trouble with this kind of thing when they analyze it. So only the needs of non-native English speakers could overcome the fact that the collocation is NISoP. DCDuring (talk) 20:39, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: From pag 419 of Mastering English An Advanced Grammar for Non-native and Native Speakers:
Elsewhere, demonstratives normally serve as determiners (as in that exact moment, this way, etc.). BUT in connection with adjectives and quantifiers such as much and many, the singular demonstratives may serve also as degree adverbs, indicating a precise amount or measure:
(14) I didn't give her that much.
(15) Do we need this many recommendations?
(16) The worm was this long.
Yet, despite the number of stars in the sky being uncountable by nature, so no precise amount at all, the sentence I've never seen this many stars (in the sky) is uttered by the character "Ian" in an informal context in the last chapter of the fifth season of Shameless, "Love Songs (In the Key of Gallagher)". --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:14, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
If there are missing adverb senses of this and that, please add them. That does not warrant adding entries for every collocation that uses those senses. DCDuring (talk) 23:30, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
BTW, we have adverb senses of this, that, and plenty of other grammaticized terms. Do many (and much???) need Adjective PoS sections? Consider
The possibilities are many.
Is this predicative use of many supportive of it being an adjective? Collins thinks so.
Oxford, OTOH, has one definition for many and assigns three PoSes to that definition. DCDuring (talk) 23:43, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: how about adding some usage notes like the ones in many_a? What's important is to reflect such usage, even if it's not in an entry of their own (this/that + many + plural). I forgot to mention so_many and so_much --Backinstadiums (talk) 00:11, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
I always favor well-crafted usage examples (not as easy as it looks). Usage notes can also be hard to write so that the people who would benefit from them can understand them. And if the usage note is so long that it makes it hard to compare definitions, eg, in different PoSes, it might be better to have a short usage note that linked to a longer Appendix. DCDuring (talk) 00:33, 4 October 2018 (UTC)

@Mihia what's your say about this issue? Thnx--Backinstadiums (talk) 19:51, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

I agree with what Erutuon says above ("This just looks to me like the adverbial use of this and that ... etc."). Mihia (talk) 17:25, 17 October 2018 (UTC)


Please see this discussion from mid-2009 where an adjective sense of outpatient was kept. I think this was a mistake. Citations like "[the hospital is] more outpatient than it is inpatient" do not prove adjectivity: they are more akin to "this fruit is more an apple than a melon". It's still a noun phrase there, isn't it? Equinox 03:01, 4 October 2018 (UTC)

Are you using the current noun def? Because I think it might cause some head-scratching. The Code Switcher (talk) 04:03, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
AHD has an adjective PoS. MWOnline and Oxford have a noun PoS with a label saying that the word is used attributively. Every other modern OneLook dictionary has only a noun definition, but included among the usage examples attributive use.
As Equinox suggests, almost any noun can be used with more [] than. Is outpatient truly gradable (eg, used with adverbs like too, very, slightly, extremely, so, or more dramatic intensifiers)? I think not. DCDuring (talk) 04:46, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
It could also be a non-comparable adjective, in which case none of those intensifiers are a reliable test of adjectivity. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:48, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
IMO all of the adjectives that we assert to be non-comparable should be reviewed to verify the assertion. When I look into the matter there are usually attestable instances of comparable/gradable usage for genuine adjectives. In very many of the entries that have both Noun and "non-comparable" Adjective PoS sections the "adjective" usage is readily viewed as attributive use of the noun. DCDuring (talk) 04:56, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
OK so in the sentence "this treatment is outpatient", outpatient is some kind of noun. I scratch my head. The Code Switcher (talk) 09:00, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
I read that as "this treatment is outpatient (treatment)." Mostly I think it is a waste of user attention to have an Adjective PoS when there is no additional semantic content, apparently a view shared by the professional lexicographers mentioned above. But what do they know? DCDuring (talk) 21:29, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
To me, "outpatient" does not smell like a true adjective. I think that uses such as "health care is going more outpatient than inpatient" are just examples of the same kind of transference of a noun sense that we see for example in "this town is more tourist than it used to be" or "the business is more walk-in customer than prebooked" (hopefully this won't be taken as an invitation to create an adjective sense for "tourist"!). Mihia (talk) 20:06, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

to boof (NZ/Oz slang)[edit]

I came upon these uses of boof [2] [3] (by the same author) [4], where the existing senses of to boof do not seem a great fit. Does anyone know if boof means something like "to eat (quickly), to chow down" in NZ and maybe Australian slang? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:58, 4 October 2018 (UTC)

Might it be a loan of French bouffer?  --Lambiam 19:39, 4 October 2018 (UTC)


This edit on Wikipedia removed the phrase "unobtainably large" on the grounds that the word does not exist. Assuming that the user was not referring to "large", do we think "unobtainably" is actually a word? It certainly seems to be citable. SpinningSpark 18:06, 4 October 2018 (UTC)

The fact that it is well citable is enough for us to consider it a word. Even setting the specific criteria for inclusion of Wiktionary aside, I can’t think of an argument why it should not be considered an existing word.  --Lambiam 19:44, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
After asking the user, it was flagged as a misspelling by a script that uses Wiktionary as its reference! SpinningSpark 19:59, 4 October 2018 (UTC)


@Mihia Which dialect? DTLHS (talk) 00:55, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

It is traditional-sounding regional dialect from England. I think of it as being primarily northern, e.g. Yorkshire, but I do not know the exact range. I also do not know definitely whether it is (or has been) used outside England. There is a whole set of these: mesen, yoursen, hissen, hersen, oursen, theirsen, probably plus other variants that we don't have yet. Unless anyone knows any better, perhaps we should label these as (Britain, regional dialect). Mihia (talk) 17:28, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
They, or similar forms (yours'n? compare you'ns, youuns) seem like they might also be used in Appalachia, but I don't have time to look at the moment. - -sche (discuss) 22:02, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't know about yours'n, but you'ns and youuns seem to be from "you + ones", whereas the "sen" in "yoursen" is AFAIK etymologically just a variant of "self", so not related. Actually I notice now that we have sen as a separate word in this sense, and it is labelled specifically as "Yorkshire". Mihia (talk) 19:36, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Occurrences found by GBS (e.g. this one – see the footnote on p. 539, and this one – Mikey is from Hull) identify this as Yorkshire dialect. The Urban Dictionary concurs.  --Lambiam 20:31, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Etymology's been added. Leasnam (talk) 20:40, 6 October 2018 (UTC)


If we have any users interested in Colonial American history, I suspect there may be some nuance to this word which I am missing in the definition I gave it, because an unusually large percent of uses seem to be in the context of Colonial America. (Maybe it refers especially to proprietorship of a colony or colonial land??) - -sche (discuss) 06:26, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

  • The OED has proprietarian - "An advocate or supporter of proprietary government in the North American colonies". SemperBlotto (talk) 06:29, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
    • Its third definition of proprietary is "Designating any of various colonies in North America in which rights of government were granted by the British to an individual or group; of or relating to these colonies or their government." SemperBlotto (talk) 06:31, 5 October 2018 (UTC)


I'm failing to see why this is split into two separate etymologies. Before I combine them, is there something I'm missing? Mihia (talk) 17:59, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

@Mihia, be bold and merge 'em. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:21, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, I have done. Mihia (talk) 10:25, 8 October 2018 (UTC)

in reverse[edit]

Is there any reason why in reverse is not added? --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:48, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Equinox 20:19, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

Is makeup a form of attire?[edit]

The entry for disguise gives as its primary sense: “Attire (e.g. clothing, makeup) used to hide one's identity or assume another“. This would imply that makeup is a form of attire. But as I understand the term attire, it does not include makeup. (: Although, if you consider body painting as a form of makeup, then perhaps this qualifies. :)  --Lambiam 05:43, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

I've never thought of makeup as a form of attire... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:23, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
Me neither. How about changing the def to "Clothing, makeup or the like used to hide..."? - -sche (discuss) 04:00, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
I’ve changed it to “Material (such as clothing, makeup, a wig) used to hide...”  --Lambiam 21:46, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
You can certainly put on makeup when you get made up (which could include attire), but I also don't consider cosmetic makeup to be "attire" per se Leasnam (talk) 22:03, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

Is foot trip actually a phrase?[edit]

foot trip claims to be a verb phrase for tripping by knocking someone's feet together deliberately. I can't find any evidence of that usage whatever; I've only ever heard those words together as a noun phrase that serves as a rough synonym for a long (possibly days or weeks long) hike (usually in the context of a vacation). Is this verb form some regionalism I'm not familiar with (Mid-Atlantic American English speaker here)? To me it sounds like something a non-native speaker or preschooler might invent to try to specify how someone was tripped, but not a phrase a native speaker would ever use. -ShadowRangerRIT (talk) 14:32, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

Hmm, it doesn't seem common. I found this in the Irish Times sport section online: "Darragh Breen's moment of madness, when he foot-tripped an attacker in a kickable area, saw him sent to the line." Equinox 14:35, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that the noun sense exists - a low form of leg trip in rugby. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:38, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Equinox: Oh lord, sports writers. That would explain the feel of mangled English. :-) -ShadowRangerRIT (talk) 16:24, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't think we can credit sports writers for lawnmow/lawn-mow. DCDuring (talk) 23:25, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

in favor as adverb[edit]

Can in favor be used adverbially?, e.g. They all voted in favor --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:36, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

I’d say it is elliptic for They all voted in favor of the proposal and classify it as a prepositional phrase, for which some other uses are, All those in favor, raise your hands! and The votes in favor outnumbered the opposing votes by a wide margin.  --Lambiam 18:51, 6 October 2018 (UTC)


New Latin for strawberry - but derives from a French word meaning raspberry? Is this an error? Equinox 18:19, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

It's an error. Fixed. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:41, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
The source referenced in the entry seems to be where the error came from; it glosses it as Erdbeere, but looking around, I suspect there was either a confusion between the red berries or even between the German words. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:45, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

sikes ? psyches ?[edit]

I've frequently heard a phrase to get ones sikes, as in He got his sikes off of rubbing her shoulders, meaning "he derived some level of sexual excitement or satisfaction from rubbing her shoulders innocently"...but I cannot find this in literature anywhere. Am I possibly misspelling this word ? Is it the same word as sike (sigh, moan) ?Leasnam (talk) 21:16, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

Where did you hear it and by who (teenagers?) DTLHS (talk) 00:56, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, heard it from someone who was 19-20ish. He grew up in Chesapeake VA. It was used very much like get ones jollies (from back in my day ;) ) Leasnam (talk) 01:18, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Not familiar, but could it be psych (-ological kicks, or something)? Equinox 01:22, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, possibly. I've been looking for that too but still coming up empty :\ Leasnam (talk) 01:24, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Searching Twitter for "his sikes" (advanced search, exact phrase) has some interesting results. (can't link it due to spam filter). DTLHS (talk) 01:41, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Yep, I see, thanks. A lot of those look to be sikes = psyches/psychs, as in an act of psyching someone out I believe Leasnam (talk) 02:01, 7 October 2018 (UTC)


Is this just a rare form of djellaba? Ultimateria (talk) 02:01, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

It's not the same as the Moroccan garment, but there's another garment called by basically the same name as the Moroccan one (once you allow for regional variation) that fits the description. I've rfved it, because I couldn't find even a mention of this spelling in English aside from the cite already in the entry. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:08, 7 October 2018 (UTC)


1. second-person plural present indicative of grigliare
2. second-person plural imperative of grigliare
Ciao, --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:48, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

Also second-person plural present subjunctive of grigliare, at least according to the conjugation table. Yes check.svg Added.  --Lambiam 15:41, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Also, I would guess, feminine plural past participle. —Tamfang (talk) 22:26, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Also added --Lambiam 21:44, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

I wouldn't know[edit]

Does I wouldn't know deserve an entry of its own? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:02, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

What would be the rationale? Ie, what is the meaning that is not NISoP? IMO the pragmatics of how it is used (eg, as a brushoff) don't seem enough to warrant inclusion. DCDuring (talk) 17:07, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
No, it is covered at would and occurs in other forms ("would you happen to know the time?"). Equinox 17:09, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
As a non-native speaker, its meaning is quite idiomatic to me --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:18, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, if you aren't familiar with the basic building-blocks then you won't be familiar with longer phrases that use them. Equinox 17:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
The meaning of "I wouldn't know" isn't exactly just the literal translation of the words. It means, more or less, "I don't know". You could explain the conditional tense there by some longer phrase such as "I would have no way of finding out", but it doesn't really mean that. It is just a polite way of saying "I don't know", just like in the Russian army, instead of "I don't know", the soldiers, at least in the 19th century century, had to say не могу знать ("I cannot know", but just meaning "I don't know"). —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:09, 8 October 2018 October.
The first subsense of the second sense of would is:
Used to give a conditional or potential "softening" to the present; might, might wish.
IOW, it is semantically about the same as "I don't know", but "softened" by the use of would. This use of would is quite common and can readily be looked up in this or many other comprehensive dictionaries. DCDuring (talk) 05:29, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

SOP, this is just an aposiopesis with a protasis left out. Fay Freak (talk) 19:33, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

@Fay Freak: what does SOP stand for? could you cite any resources indicating this is aposiopesis? In fact, many idioms are so --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:39, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums WT:SOP. Could you profer many examples of idioms being aposiopeses or aposiopeses being idioms? Fay Freak (talk) 19:56, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
 :@Fay Freak how about (I) wouldn't miss it ? even with the same form wouldn't, yet not really idiomaticized (even if... being ellipsis) nor with a similar meaning --Backinstadiums (talk) 23:49, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn’t know the answer to your question, even if my life depended on it. Should I guess? I wouldn’t dare. Shall we ask the neighbours? They wouldn’t know.  --Lambiam 22:25, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

Spanish senda, path[edit]

The etymology from Latin semtia is improbable, and this is almost surely a Visigoth legacy, senda travel.

I don’t see why thus is improbable. In fact, the path sēmĭtasemtasenda seems plausible to me. The etymology for French “sente” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language). is also from Latin sēmĭta.  --Lambiam 21:32, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

(one's) brains out[edit]

Wouldn't (one's) brains out be elligible for an entry? --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:15, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

It looks fine to me, a highly idiomatic postpositional adverb that is easily attestable. I suspect the early uses were in combination with the verb cry, as a humorous variation on cry one’s eyes out. Once brains were substituted for eyes, the bond with this tearful activity was broken.  --Lambiam 21:48, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I hear it as suggesting literal uses with blow or bash or the like; I've never heard cry one's brains out. In the jocular sense, does anyone say it with a verb other than fuck? —Tamfang (talk) 22:00, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
GBS gives several hits for “I cried my brains out”.  --Lambiam
(one's) heart out and (one's) ass off are among others that work figuratively with multiple verbs. Each of these expressions collocates with a limited (but shifting?) range of verbs.
@Lambiam: Why call the entire expression adverbial unless you are already committed to the expressions being idioms? How many adverbs can be modified by possessives? ("fuck some guy's brains out") The particle/adverbs out, off, et al are the only elements that seem truly adverbial. To me these expressions have an intensifying function, but are not grammatical constituents, consisting of a NP + particle following a semantically restricted set of verbs. Unlike some fossilized expressions, these expressions conserve a simple grammatical structure. Should they ever lose that they might become inclusion-worthy. DCDuring (talk) 00:58, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
By calling an expression “highly idiomatic”, as I did above, surely one commits oneself to considering the expression being an idiom. And whether one views it as an idiom or not, surely it is often used as a trope whose meaning is merely that of an adverbial intensifier, such as as much as possible, vigorously or severely, This can be seen in uses like “The people in this town want to go to the game and scream their brains out all afternoon“, “Part of the reason I was getting smarter so fast was that I was reading my brains out, and “So often people set a goal, work their brains out to achieve the goal but then don’t celebrate”.  --Lambiam 10:21, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
I think we should follow the normal practice of distinguishing between grammatical role and semantic meaning or function. IOW, were this a valid entry, it could bear the label "intensifier". But it would also be yet another member of Category:English non-constituents, not Category:English adverbs. DCDuring (talk) 17:27, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

acknowledge & the "Parasitic C"[edit]

I was trying to discover where the "ac" in "acknowledge" came from, when I found the following page, which suggests that "acknowledge" (in English) is merely an ANAGRAM for a Turkish word "just like many other English language words are." (!!!) Can anyone tell me what the "Parasitic C" is (from the wiktionary article on acknowledge) and what - if anything - this person means by stating that the true etymologies of English words lay in rearrangement of Turkish words, unless this is (as I assume) simply to be filed in (particularly "left field") folk etymology.Mousebelt (talk) 21:32, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

I’d say it is not even in the ball park. Obviously, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT is an anagram of TANDEM CLOWN GEEK, which is a simple alteration of Warthog Greek TAN DEMI COULRO GHEEK, which means “I told you so!”. Not a word of Turkish here.
The Online Etymology Dictionary offers the conjecture that the mystery c was slipped in to preserve the /k/ sound that knowledge had lost.  --Lambiam 22:16, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

We can't run this bar without her. Not, and raise two kids[edit]

The following sentence is taken from the series Shameless.US.S06E09, min. 7:00, "We can't run this bar without her. Not, and raise two kids". I don't think such an use of not is described in its entry, is it? --Backinstadiums (talk) 23:32, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

Ellipsis, ellipsis. “[We can] not [run this bar without her], and raise two kids.”  --Lambiam 02:16, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
It's the same thing as "Not if we have to raise two kids at the same time".
And we do not need a new sense of perhaps to explain the following passage: “Can we run this bar without her? Perhaps, but not also raise two kids.”  --Lambiam 10:08, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam: Thank you so much. Check this one . --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:06, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
I would omit the comma. —Tamfang (talk) 21:55, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Indeed. The two clauses (one in ellipsis) are at the same level of coordination. DCDuring (talk) 00:31, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
What if the full sentence means "We could give up running the bar, and thereby be free to raise two kids"? —Tamfang (talk) 07:31, 12 October 2018 (UTC)


I'd like to request help adding citations or references for this word (for both English and Spanish). It's hard to find sources that meet Wiktionary's requirements online, but I know it can be found in printed dictionaries of Chicano slang if someone has access to those. --Lvovmauro (talk) 12:39, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

There might be a sense for a plant as well:
1980, Campbell W. Pennington, The Pima Bajo of Central Sonora, Mexico: The material culture:
Seeds from a chanate or šašan (Rhynchosia pyramidalis) are used to prepare a lotion applied to sore eyes.
DTLHS (talk) 16:53, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
I noticed that, but I'm not sure if this usage exists outside of Pima Bajo. It's also possible the author made a mistake; Wings in the Desert: A Folk Ornithology of the Northern Pimans says that the Pima Bajo name for this plant is shashan m-upui ("blackbird's eye", same as Spanish ojo de chanate), not simply shashan. (Incidentally, the Pima Bajo word šašan/shashan is a cognate of Nahuatl tzanatl.)
The plant seems to be so named because its seeds are red and black, like the plumage of a red-winged blackbird. --Lvovmauro (talk) 00:50, 10 October 2018 (UTC)


as a tagalog verb, as in 'bili na' or 'bili na po kayo.' 15:13, 9 October 2018 (UTC)


verb, as in 'takbo!' or 'takbo, forrest, takbo!' 15:13, 9 October 2018 (UTC)


  1. (linguistics) A reference within a sentence that relies on the context being known to enable correct interpretation.
    The use of pronouns relies on a deixis to correctly interpret them.

To me, the definition does not seem to exactly coincide with the usage example. Which of the following can "deixis" mean?

1. A word (e.g. a pronoun) that refers to something known from the context.
2. The thing that such a word refers to.
3. The context in which such a word occurs.

Mihia (talk) 20:06, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

The usage example is wrong. Take the case of someone saying, ”When we arrived there, it was too late.” Without context, you don’t know when that was, who the arriving “we” were, where that was, nor what it was it was too late for. The deixis here is the use of deictic terms like “when“, “we”, and “there”, whose meaning in the context the speaker presumably presumes known to the intended recipients of the utterance. By extension, a deictic term thus used may also be referred to as deixis (your sense 1 above), but is that then actually a different sense? It is similar to metonymically saying that someone drank a whole keg of beer, while actually they only drank the contents of the keg.  --Lambiam 22:02, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I have reworded the definition and deleted the example. Please make any further changes as you see fit. I do not feel enormously confident about creating another example sentence myself, so if you or anyone else would like to do that, please go ahead. Mihia (talk) 17:56, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Is infructuous a synonym of unfruitful?[edit]

I'm from France, so I know the French word 'infructueux' which gives an English definition of unfruitful. But I found there is an English word with closer spelling to the French one: infructuous, documented as being used in Pakistan and India. Yet, it doesn't link directly to unfruitful, so I'm unsure if it's a synonym, a faux ami, an archaic or a proscribed word. Cœur (talk) 10:38, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

The definition given (“Not fruitful”) is synonymous with ”unfruitful“. “Fruitless” is yet another synonym.  --Lambiam 12:30, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Quotations for archaic forms[edit]

I was working on quotations for the Italian entry beltà, which has the archaic forms (pretty much viewable as Old Italian) beltade and beltate: should the quotations for the latter two be in the beltà page, or in their own, considering their difference from the modern form? — GianWiki (talk) 12:57, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Since archaic forms are usually much harder to cite, I put citations on the page of how they're spelled in the quote. But I think it's generally appropriate to include them on the page of the modern spelling too. Ultimateria (talk) 23:06, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Our usual practice is to put quotes under the exact spelling that they use, unlike the OED. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:49, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Actually I have always understood that citations of variant forms can be used both on the form in question and at the main lemma. Ƿidsiþ 07:18, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
From what I've seen, there are many non-lemma forms quoted at the lemma on Wiktionary. My understanding has been, based on what I've observed, that we allow any forms of the word at the lemma, but only forms that match exactly on the corresponding Citations pages. Otherwise, the earliest known uses of a word couldn't always be included at the lemma, nor could we give a sense of how the spellings have shifted over time. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:19, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
There is a difference between inflected and alternative forms (to which archaic forms belong): Inflected forms are non-lemmas, while alternative forms are lemmas. Citations for inflected forms or non-lemmas belong into the lemma entry. Citations for alternative forms IMHO should belong into the alternative form entry - yet they are also often found in the other form entry.
Another but related problem occurs when the alternative form or both the alternative and the other form is very rare, e.g. when the alternative form is only attested once in Early New English or when only both spellings together add up for having three citations needed for en.wt... -- 06:07, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

legitimate rape[edit]

Definition is IMO unsatisfactory. "Seen by politicians": which, when, where? If this is derogatory slang with a loaded meaning in US politics (I've never heard it in the UK) we must explain this. Equinox 17:40, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

A Slate article on the controversy quotes Akin as apologizing on Huckabee's radio show for misspeaking, saying, “I was talking about forcible rape. I used the wrong word.” There has been one mistaken use while all other occurrences are mentions referring to that one use. Therefore there is no basis for having this as an entry. That makes the issue of the phrasing of the definition moot.  --Lambiam 20:38, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
I have deleted this and given my reasoning at Talk:legitimate rape. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:53, 10 October 2018 (UTC)


I am not comfortable with my understanding of the following senses of publish:

  1. (Internet, transitive) To disseminate (a message) publicly via a newsgroup, forum, blog, etc.
  2. (Internet, intransitive) To convert data of a Web page to HTML in a local directory and copy it to the Web site on a remote system.

Are these just examples of the tendency of techies to claim uniqueness for the meanings of words used in their context, even though more general meanings include those meanings? DCDuring (talk) 21:01, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

The second of these senses, as popularized by Visual Studio but also used by other website builder applications, is synonymous to deploy [5] – although not precisely in any of the senses currently documented – and is not necessarily a form of publishing in the common or legal sense, since the target location need not be publicly accessible but can be “a server on [the user’s] company’s internal network”. It need not even be remote. Also, the verb may be used transitively: “To publish your entire website, click Publish All.” [6]. As the latter example shows, what is being published can more than a single web page; it can be an entire website, .  --Lambiam 11:34, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Public in phrases like "make something public" does not necessarily mean "available to all and sundry". Circulation could be limited to a select group. For example:
  • 2014, Deliang Chen, ‎Alexander Walther, ‎Anders Moberg, European Trend Atlas of Extreme Temperature and Precipitation Records[7]:
    In 2006, this systematic mapping was published as an internal report at the University of Gothenburg, which was one of the participating organizations of EMULATE. However, given the nature of the report, the accessibility is limited.
DCDuring (talk) 16:05, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
The second one (at least) is bad: too narrow. What one publishes to the Internet need not be HTML markup, nor a Web page, nor on the World Wide Web (the Internet comprises more than just WWW); and the deployment location might not be a remote system; it could be the same machine. I think e.g. the Excel spreadsheet also has a "publish to Web" command. It is really just the "make publicly available" sense, but in digital context. Equinox 13:08, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

Pronunciation of motlopi[edit]

Please help to verify the pronunciation of motlopi, a tree native to southern and tropical Africa. Thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 04:07, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

You can hear it here. DTLHS (talk) 04:52, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
And in Tswana, [8], in the first 10 seconds of the video. DTLHS (talk) 05:04, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I didn't listen to the first audio recording (interesting as it seemed) as it required registration, and I actually found and listened to the entirety of the second video before posting the message but never heard the word! Anyway, after listening to the video a few times I have modified the IPA – see if you think it is OK. — SGconlaw (talk) 06:43, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
[9] I have uploaded it here. DTLHS (talk) 06:49, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
  • It can't be right to have an English syllable starting with /tl-/ (as currently transcribed) – surely in English this would mark the syllable boundary /t.l/. Ƿidsiþ 07:16, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
    The t is aspirated, though. If the pronunciation is indicated as /məʊtˈləʊpi/, would that be obvious? — SGconlaw (talk) 07:50, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
    Well, is it really though in English? I hear it in that American English example as something like [tɬ], but I would also consider [məʊʔˈlɒpi] a "normal" way of pronouncing the word in British English. So I'm not convinced the aspiration is essential once it gets used in natural English. Certainly I would interpret syllable-initial /tl-/ as representing a foreign pronunciation. Ƿidsiþ 13:00, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
    If you listen to the recording provided by DTLHS, it is (also, the first vowel is different from what I indicated; perhaps it’s a variant). I realize two data points is not much to go on, but that’s all we have right now. — SGconlaw (talk) 13:15, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
    At any rate, we can always indicate both pronunciations. — SGconlaw (talk) 13:18, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

mirror, milk mirror, and Spiegel[edit]

Are we missing a sense at mirror that covers the use in milk mirror? Is the latter a holdover from Middle or Old English? It's worth noting that there's a similar sense at Spiegel, which is the German word for mirror, but also refers to a white mark on an animal. Since there's no etymological connection, I'm curious to know the logical connection.... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:34, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

  • No it's not old, it comes from a whole series of applications of "mirror" from about the 19th century to things that in some way have a shape or shine or colouring that suggests actual mirrors. A "mirror" can also be a white patch of feathers on a bird, an oval part of the forewings of a cricket, and various other things. (The OED groups them all together, including milk mirrors.) Ƿidsiþ 07:14, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
  • The sense of a white mark is also one of the English senses of speculum, which is the Latin etymon of the German word. The German equivalent of milk mirror is Milchspiegel, with the same meaning. The semantic relationship between the senses of “white mark” and that of “hair pattern on an udder” is not clear to me.  --Lambiam 07:22, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Further investigations have revealed that the milk mirror theory was first presented by monsieur François Guénon in 1838, who called the supposedly revealing patch écusson (escutcheon), sense #9 at the French Wiktionnaire. So I guess this is not a holdover from Middle or Old English. The German translation Spiegel may have been chosen from the sense, not listed here, of the flat or slightly curved rear surface of a sail boat, sense #6 at the German Wikiwörterbuch, as seen here.  --Lambiam 15:38, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

one each of[edit]

Does the following phrase deserve its own entry? one each of --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:26, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

What do you see as special about it? It is separable ("of these, I want one each") and can be used with any number ("two each of tomatoes, pears, and plums"). Equinox 10:50, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
@Equinox: I remember reading this structure is "the marked" one, there existing alternative default ones (similar to one and a half --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:19, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Is it really our job to record all phrases that use determiners, no matter how readily decoded and imitated? That this and similar expressions is a bit resistant to analysis by EFL learners doesn't seem to me to be a good enough reason to include it. DCDuring (talk) 12:00, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
For someone who is a non-native speaker, the sense of the collocation is not readily understood from its components. One would expect something like “Of each of these, I want one” or “Of these, I want one of each”. It looks as if one grammatically indicated occurrence of “of” has been snitched as if two is too many.  --Lambiam 14:41, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring, Lambiam: It wuold be interesting to see how this phrase has come about from Old English to ModE --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:18, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
The alternative expressions you suggest have not an extra of but an extra PP that seems unnatural, redundant. DCDuring (talk) 16:12, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Is there something unnatural in “I want one of this batch, I also want one of this batch, ..., in fact, I want one of each of these.”? The expressions I suggested result from the final clause by simple topicalization moves.  --Lambiam 10:43, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
Sure, I can imagine a context for that. DCDuring (talk) 17:21, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
The answer given here by a retired English grammarian to a question about one/two each of states that in this collocation one each is short for one of each, but that the of tends to get deleted when there is a following of.  --Lambiam 11:58, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
I do not see this as dictionary material. To me it hardly even seems to be a defined phrase, more just some words that might appear together in a sentence. Mihia (talk) 19:10, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

in tone[edit]

The prepositional phrase "in tone" appears in fixed expressions such as "formal in tone". I do not even know what kind of semantic specification it adds. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:16, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

That is a normal construction along the lines of "red in colour", "low in pitch", or "cheerful in spirit". Equinox 15:56, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
We also have “formal in appearance” and “formal in style”. I think it is sense #1.5 of in: “pertaining to”, although “with regard to” works somewhat better as a substitute here.  --Lambiam 15:57, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
To call an ordinary AdjP like "formal in tone" fixed in expression seems to mischaracterize the collocation. I think the term "fixed expression" is wanting in sufficient elasticity to allow its use in this case. DCDuring (talk) 16:21, 11 October 2018 (UTC)



The King himself says the name at 0:53, on announcing the name change.

Catenative verbs followed by a gerund[edit]

I'm putting this here since the relevant talk page appears to get little traffic.

I am struggling to understand the idea behind https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:English_catenative_verbs#Followed_by_a_gerund

Here are a couple of examples from the list:

I dislike working on Saturdays.
I enjoy watching snooker on the TV.

Are these not simply "verb + object" where the object happens to be a gerund phrase?

Why not also "I despise working on Saturdays", "I abhor working on Saturdays", "I reject working on Saturdays", "I eschew working on Saturdays"?

Why not also "I relish watching snooker", "I adore watching snooker", "I dig watching snooker", "I anticipate watching snooker"?

Should all these and other missing "verb + gerund phrase object" possibilities be added to the list? Wherever would it end? Or is there something special about the ones that are included that I am missing? Mihia (talk) 19:06, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

Most of these verbs are synonyms of verbs that are on the list. Clearly, the list there is not complete. I am not sure why we have this Appendix page at all, so I have no opinion on whether we should aim at making the list complete.  --Lambiam 11:11, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, I think the fact that some of my examples might be near-synonyms of verbs on the list is not really the important point. The point is more what would happen in terms of explosion of entries if the list was made complete. Personally, I think the concept itself may be lacking a clear definition in the minds of the creators of that page. Look at an entry like "Deep waters boost swimming". Setting aside the fact that this seems a weird thing to say anyway, surely "swimming" is just an ordinary noun object. What about "I heard banging" or "I can smell burning" or "I learnt fencing" or "She taught dancing"? Should all these be included too? It would get ridiculous, wouldn't it? Or if they are not to be included, how are they different from "boost swimming"? Mihia (talk) 16:54, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
I found a paper, Roberts, J. R. (2012). Serial verbs in English: An RRG analysis of catenative verb constructions. Functions of Language, 19(2), 201–234, that gives a criterion by which a gerund functioning as an ordinary noun object can be distinguished from the catenative case: if it can be passivized (become the subject of the passive form), we have an ordinary noun phrase as object, and not a catenative verb construction – see section 5, pp. 219 ff. Applied to the weird thing to say, we get ”Swimming is boosted by deep waters”, which is still a weird thing to say but appears grammatically acceptable. Verdict: this example is not a catenative verb construction. Likewise, ”Banging could be heard every night, coming from the basement” sounds fine to me. As the cited paper shows, different grammarians have different takes on what makes English verb constructions catenative, or even whether there is something special about these constructions, so this may not be the ultimate definitive last final word on the issue.  --Lambiam 07:30, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam: Thanks for finding that. The passivisation criterion would good for eliminating the "swimming", "banging" etc. cases. It would also eliminate certain other existing entries such as "We do not allow smoking here". As far as some of the others are concerned, what do you feel about "Working on Saturdays is disliked by me"? Or, since some of the unnaturalness may be due to the first person rather than passive per se, "Working on Saturdays was disliked by the staff"? To me this sounds a bit awkward but not completely grammatically impossible. Mihia (talk) 14:01, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
As I’m not a native speaker, my judgement regarding the grammatical acceptability has limited value. That said, I find “Working on Saturdays is disliked by me” unnatural and artificial, while “Working on Saturdays was disliked by the staff” is stilted but acceptable. But I have the feeling that there is a subtle shift in meaning, compared to “The staff disliked working on Saturdays”. In the case of the active sentence, I imagine the staff grumbling while working Saturdays. For the passive sentence, the activity of working seems to have become somewhat dissociated from the target of the dislike, which may have shifted more towards the requirement, as if the sentence is short for something like “The company policy of working on Saturdays was disliked by the staff”, a dislike also felt Sundays through Fridays.  --Lambiam 16:23, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
OK, I can't say I really see such a distinction myself. For now, I have just deleted the daft "boost" example. At the moment I'm not sure what else, if anything, to do with this. Mihia (talk) 20:59, 17 October 2018 (UTC)


I hear contraction d'you've from do you have quite often, broadly /djuv/; should it be added? --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:50, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

No, as it's not written down this way. (Zero hits in Google Books.) Equinox 21:03, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
@Equinox: Surely it's a phonological (phonetic?) word, but I do not know how Wiktionary could deal with them; I see it belonging to a limited group in which two "contractions" are used successively, d'you + you've --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:18, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
I say "javva". As in "Javva minute?" (do you have a minute?)
Our entries are for written words. They have to be, because their titles are text, not audio. If you hear a sound and invent your own spelling for it, but that spelling does not appear in English text (outside of your invention) then we won't add it. Equinox 21:43, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
I found a very few instances on random websites, e.g. [10], [11], [12]. Mihia (talk) 17:05, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
@Mihia, Equinox: how did you find those results? Thnx --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:49, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
I just used Google Search. Mihia (talk) 13:49, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

My wife, I just have the one, is...[edit]

A: Those are my wives B: Well, my wife, I just have the one, is ... This conversation is taken from the series shameless, s07e03, min. 22:47. Is the meaning of the definite article in B's sentence covered in Wiktionary? --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:59, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

It doesn't seem to be covered at the one, not precisely anyway. I don't really understand the logic of the noun/pronoun split in that article, or which section your sense should be added to, if it is added. Note that your sense is not restricted to "one". In theory it could be any number. This may make its idiomaticity more questionable. Having said that, I suppose you could say the same about the present "Pronoun" sense; you could just as well say "Here are the two I want to buy" as "Here is the one I want to buy". In fact, to me the "Pronoun" sense seems more like an "&lit". Mihia (talk) 17:19, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't think that the example that started this discussion has anything to do with the possibly idiomatic definitions in the entry for the one.
In the example there is little difference between "I just have one" and "I just have the one". IMO the adds an implication that the referent (or referents as Mihia reminds us) is, was, or will be specified in some way, possibly only be implication. I think that is the very first definition in the#Article. DCDuring (talk) 16:04, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
Spontaneous spoken text abounds with unfinished sentences. That also holds for text from a script, although originally written, that the writer wants to come across like natural, spontaneous speech. The parenthesis ”I just have the one” can be explained as an unfinished version of ”I just have the one I’m talking about now”.  --Lambiam 11:03, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
Nobody would write or say the full "unfinished sentence". As is often the case in both writing and speech, context provides the missing reference. DCDuring (talk) 14:54, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

Urdu templating wrong[edit]

The Urdu definition for the Urdu word صحرا contains a simplified declension pattern that is incorrect. It should be صحراؤں , etc

How can I help fixing it?


Sense 3 is uncountable, but it appears as a plural in the citation? Ultimateria (talk) 19:51, 12 October 2018 (UTC)


I'm looking for more reliable sources on whorephobia. The user Equinox created the first wiktionary entry of whorephobia.

Can you give me any advice for improving this article?--Danithecounselor (talk) 20:15, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
It seems fairly complete already. You could look for more examples on Google Books. DTLHS (talk) 21:12, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
Are you looking for WT:RFVE and a third cite (and maybe a fourth as the second in whorephobia has marks around it)? -- 05:35, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

yksityiselämää loukkaava tiedon levittäminen[edit]

What is your opinion on whether this Finnish entry would be SoP? yksityiselämää loukkaava tiedon levittäminen (lit. spreading of information (where the spreading is) infringing on private life) It's a term that doesn't seem to have an English equivalent but has a fairly specific and rigorous meaning, being used as a type of criminal offense in Finnish law. For instance, the Finnish Wiktionary has an entry for it. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 21:08, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

It sounds to me like it means the same as doxxing, except that the practice is by itself not a criminal offense in the US.  --Lambiam 11:46, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
It's not exactly the same as doxxing; the Finnish Wikipedia article gives five examples of cases:
  • Displaying the name and picture of a person suspected of fraud in a newspaper
  • A newspaper article describing the extramarital affair of a person working for a political campaign
  • A child displayed in the background of a TV shot (with the prosecutor claiming that the context implied the child had unemployed parents and therefore had relatively lacking social skills)
  • A book describing an extramarital affair of then-Prime Minister written by the woman involved in named affair
  • Picture shared on Facebook that showed a document with the name of a person describing how their loan payment was late
SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 11:57, 13 October 2018 (UTC)

Etymology of word: Satire[edit]

All available explanations offer NO CLARITY OR CERTAINTY as per the etymological source of this word (supposedly/allegedly, from the Greek language), However, I'd like to offer another ecxploration venue, option or linguistic-origin possibility as per the source of the word (from Hebrew-ALSO as ANCIENT language).

In Hebrew, the word for: a SLAP (on the face) is: Setirah סטירה-which can mean that a satirical (humoristic expression with a "stinging" or "jabbing" punchline of a situation) which may exactly refer to the (most pertinent/appropriate) act of slapping (someone "into reality" in order to "wake one up" to see the truth/reality as it is & NOT as it is presented or made to be). This word should be distinguished from yet, another (similarly-sounding) Hebrew word (with a similar spelling-but one letter): setirah סתירה (from the root verb: to hide) &, which means: contradiction! And/or, in Arabic, where the word: satar ستر means to cover & سترة-a jacket (&, I will research, if. as it appears to me by sound to be the case, also, possible etymological connections to Farsi/Persian).

I do not know what sources you consulted, but Wiktionary, as well as all other sources I looked at, agree that the etymon is ultimately Latin satura. It seems more likely to me that the use of סטירה‎ for the loan word סאטירה is a form of folk etymology. Even the Hebrew Wikimillon gives Latin satira as the source of סטירה in the sense of “satire”.  --Lambiam 11:32, 13 October 2018 (UTC)


This was categorized into Category:Arabic pejoratives (which I fixed to Category:Arabic derogatory terms, cf. this discussion). Please tag the relevant senses; all of them, if they are all pejorative.__Gamren (talk) 10:40, 13 October 2018 (UTC)

Asses to ashes[edit]

I noticed that in Template:RQ:King_James_Version it gives Genesis 32:15 as "Thirtie milch camels with their colts, fortie kine, and ten bulles, twenty ſhee aſhes, and ten foales."

I think that should says "aſses" or "aſſes", not "aſhes", even though the link [13] does say "aſhes". Does someone have the means to check?

Eric Kvaalen (talk) 18:33, 13 October 2018 (UTC)

Yes, it's an error, but it's apparently an error that goes back to the first edition. I haven't tracked down an actual image of the page in the original edition yet, but at least two "page-for-page" reprints have it. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:56, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Confirmed, but it was corrected in later editions. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:33, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Every edition will have its own typesetting errors or other variant spellings. Note that the 1612 edition has “ews“ instead of ”ewes”. This early quotation from 1605 retains “aſhes”, but has “ſhe-aſhes” instead of “ſhee aſhes”. This 1633 edition has ”ewes” again, and “ſhe aſſes” instead of the “ſhee-aſſes” of the 1612 edition.  --Lambiam 06:06, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

All right, thanks to both of you! Eric Kvaalen (talk) 15:27, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

"Asses to ashes" ... that's very good. Mihia (talk) 00:36, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

definite article a[edit]

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, pag 529, says:

Predeterminer AdjPs (e.g., such a nuisance, or so serious a problem) occur as external modifier in NP structure, preceding the definite article a.

Therefore, a definite sense/use of such an article should be added to its entry. --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:25, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

I think it is a typo.  --Lambiam 16:30, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
I'd like to see some more explicit discussion of this analysis. I wonder whether it is an error, as the other parts of CGEL that discuss articles maintain the usual distinction between definite the and indefinite a(n). I've sent the authors an e-mail. The seem to like crowd-sourced corrections. DCDuring (talk) 17:14, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
From Geoff Pullum, coauthor of CGEL:
"You seem to be exactly right: it’s a plangent error, “definite” for “indefinite”. Lots of odd things happen in English NP syntax, but use of “a” as a definite article is not one of them!"
Credit to Backinstadiums for careful reading of CGEL. DCDuring (talk) 18:43, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
What does "plangent" mean here? Probably not "Having a loud, mournful sound". DTLHS (talk) 18:46, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
I had assumed "lamentable" was the intent, but maybe "blatant". AHD has "loud and resounding" and "plaintive" as definitions. DCDuring (talk) 19:02, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
It's a clanger! Equinox 19:13, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

ั Thai character was discussed once but tearoom archived[edit]

This character sometimes preceded with another circle could simply be the letter 'a' as was discussed but never edited on it's article page. Here is the discussion I found.

ัWiktionary:Tea room/2015/May (pí’-pít-tá-pan-tá-sà-tăan, or pípíttápantásàtăan). Note: the vowel ◌ั is an a. If the ◌ั were not written over the ภ (pɔɔ), it would be pronounced po. You

== Additionally my first investigation been found in unicode. https://unicode-table.com/en/0E31/

That is all I could find except that it's name is the Thai Character Mai Han-Akat. There is a Man Han-Akat Foundation thus perhaps it has cultural meaning.

Further assistance appreciated. Here is the article link. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ั Mrphilip (talk) 09:23, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

I don't understand this question/feedback - what do you mean by "preceded with another circle"? Wyang (talk) 03:19, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

duty: noun sense[edit]

"Describing a workload as to its idle, working and de-energized periods." Can this be clarified in intent, and written more like a noun definition? Equinox 19:12, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

valvetrain, valve train[edit]

I cannot quite decide which one of these is more common; one of them needs to be turned into an alternative form anyhow (and the Wikipedia templates and translation tables to be merged into the main form), since there's some duplication here. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 22:33, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

"valve train" looks more popular on Google Ngrams. DTLHS (talk) 23:15, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Merged. Ultimateria (talk) 00:05, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

New word for English wikt from NZ named product?[edit]

Hi All,

I'm coming from the English Wikipedia Typo Team and I've got something that hopefully isn't too confusing.

One of our bots found usage of the word 'cargons' (in multiple articles it turned out), and at first, we thought it a simple misspelling of cargo, but after researching it a bit more, I came across this reference 1 which explained the concept and even provided a likely source.

However, said explanation says its a made up noun by a non-English company.

So my question to the Wiktionary Tea Room: How do you want to handle a word like this? Greatly appreciate your input. --Cheers! Elfabet (talk) 14:28, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

Yes, we can include it- it definitely isn't any kind of trademark and seems to be used across many different companies. DTLHS (talk) 17:17, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
It needs a picture. Also approximate period of use. DCDuring (talk) 17:50, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Those are beautiful, peeps. Thanks so much. I'm sorry I don't have an image to share, but I'll keep my eyes peeled. --Cheers! Elfabet (talk) 21:13, 17 October 2018 (UTC)


Could sb please confirm whether 'dn't've is used only with the pronoun y'all to give Y'all'dn't've? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:36, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

I suspect y'all'dn't've is a joke word, not in serious use. If you're making up joke words then you could create more the same way, like I'dn't've, of course. Equinox 15:07, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
@Equinox: user evidence --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:15, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
"y'all'dn't've" has been deleted twice here already, it seems to me that it's being promoted by a single person with a contraction fetish. DTLHS (talk) 16:38, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
@DTLHS: my question is about -'dn't've, which apparently only appears in the form y'all'dn't've. --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:58, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
"y'all'dn't've" doesn't exist, so asking about "-'dn't've" is meaningless. DTLHS (talk) 16:59, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
@DTLHS: what kind of an implicature is that? your statement is fallacious: ben't (< be not) does not exist, so asking for -n't' is meaningless then? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:12, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, if -dn't've only appears in y'all'dn't've, and y'all'dn't've doesn't exist, then DTLHS's statement that asking about -dn't've doesn't make sense makes sense. Per utramque cavernam 17:16, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

@Equinox, DTLHS, Per utramque cavernam: There're entries for I'dn't've, it'dn't've, you'dn't've, but apparently four apostraphes makes y'all'dn't've impossible? --Backinstadiums (talk) 23:24, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

I had never heard of those or knew we had entries for them. I wonder whether they would pass an RFV. DTLHS (talk) 23:27, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
@DTLHS: Several southern people in this thread uses them --Backinstadiums (talk) 23:37, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
You are missing the point. It's not about whether something is theoretically impossible, but whether it's really used in practice or not. There could be a plural "footballdren" for "football" (like "children" from "child"), but there just isn't in reality. Please read WT:CFI to see our attestation requirements. Equinox 23:41, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
@Equinox: exactly, here's WT:CFI's objective criterion : three citations in which a term is used is the minimum number for inclusion in Wiktionary --Backinstadiums (talk) 23:54, 17 October 2018 (UTC)


Looking at the definitions for today's WOTD, I see:

wheelie (comparative wheelier or more wheelie, superlative wheeliest or most wheelie)

  1. (informal) Alternative spelling of wheely (having wheels; mounted on wheels).
    wheelie bag  wheelie bin

Is everyone convinced that "wheelie" in "wheelie bin" is an adjective?

On the subject of the comparatives and superlatives, I found a few examples that seemed to me to be ad hoc special coinages, e.g. "the wheeliest wheelie", but it seems hard to find examples with a systematic meaning. If "wheelie" means "having wheels", what is the comparative supposed to mean? Having more wheels? Having bigger wheels? Mihia (talk) 17:44, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

It seems like an adjective to me. I don't see a noun sense that could be used attributively with the meaning. DCDuring (talk) 20:44, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm skeptical about the comparative and superlative. DCDuring (talk) 20:49, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree that is a potential problem (unless it could be seen as a diminutive of "wheel"), but, while recognising that some adjectives are attributive only, the whole concept of a bin "being wheelie" seems wrong to me. Mihia (talk) 20:54, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I can find instances of a few meanings of wheely as an adjective: "wheeled", "resembling a wheel, wheel-like", "involving extensive reliance on wheels". The latter two would seem plausibly gradable, though I can't find such use. There are also more noun senses to be found: (dated) a bicycle enthusiast; (antipodean) a automobile enthusiast; a wheelchair user; a shopping cart. DCDuring (talk) 21:47, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Looks to me like it could possibly derive be a corruption from of an earlier wheeling bin... Leasnam (talk) 21:29, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Wheeling bin appears once in Books in Life is a Game in 2012, once in Google News in 2104. Wheelie bin occurs in Books in 1978, abundantly after 1985 and in News in 2007 and abundantly thereafter. DCDuring (talk) 22:20, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Originally a trademark perhaps? That would explain the kooky spelling, like kleenex from clean. Equinox 22:38, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Very few trademarks in Category:English words suffixed with -ie. DCDuring (talk) 23:43, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Apropos of wheelie bins, I'm afraid I cannot help myself repeating one of my favourite jokes. A refuse collector goes into a Chinese restaurant. "'Ere mate, where's yer bin?" he asks. "I bin Hong Kong, visit my sister" replies the restaurant owner. "No mate, I mean where's yer wheelie bin?" says the bin man. "I wheelie bin Hong Kong", says the restaurateur. "Why you no berieve me?" Mihia (talk) 19:17, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

live oak[edit]

What does "live" mean in live oak? Is it the last sense, "Vivid; bright."? DTLHS (talk) 18:18, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

It derives from their being evergreen. DCDuring (talk) 18:27, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Presumably, where this term is used (southern US, from California to the southeast) both evergreen ("live") oak species and deciduous ("dead"?) oak species co-exist. DCDuring (talk) 15:43, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

Whither Britannia?[edit]

I've heard this now and again, but am somewhat vague on its meaning. Does anyone know where it comes from? -- Beland (talk) 05:47, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

I see two early uses, both from 1985. One is the title of an article, Clifford F. Beal, “Whither Brittania?”, Journal of Defense & Diplomacy 3, 5 May 1985, pages 23–27. The other use is the first sentence of a section entitled Food, not arms of an article in the journal West Africa, issues 3532-3548, p. 1036: ‘While educationalists here are expressing concern about “Whither Britannia?” comes news that developing countries appear to have curtailed their arms purchases because of their increasingly heavy debt burden.’ Because of the snippet view I can’t see the author and title of the article. Both refer to a dilemma facing the UK: maintain military power as in the good old days of the Empire (unaffordable) or sink to the level of a bit player in the international arena (unthinkable). Some of the much later uses appear to refer to the same issue. I don’t think it has idiomatic status, though. There are many ghits for “Whither America”, and plenty for “Whither France” and “Whither Germany”.  --Lambiam 16:09, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Whither Canada is the title of the first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, shown fifty years and a fortnight ago. —Tamfang (talk) 18:37, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

lyric poet[edit]

There is an entry for lyric poetry, albeit a translation hub. By the way, where should Ancient Greek be placed, under A or G for Greek? I came across lyric poet when creating Norwegian Bokmål lyriker, also found at Latin lyricus. Should there be an entry? DonnanZ (talk) 18:15, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

she sheer[edit]

   Dunno if it might be too much of a nonce word, but IMO it's prolly been fleshed out, widely enuf heard, and esp. misheard, to be worth an entry. (I'm kinda proud of having finally gotten past the pronunciation aided only by repeated attention and musing!) And having searched it up after the fact, I see that Reddit (or something easy for me to confuse with it) has given it enuf play to suggest it may be more than a flash in the pan.
--Jerzyt 20:02, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

What exactly are you suggesting adding? she sheer? What does it mean? DTLHS (talk) 21:34, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
I guess it is a pronunciation respelling of chichier, an alternative comparative of chichi.  --Lambiam 10:17, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

throw something in somebody's face[edit]

Hi, Is this not a derived expression from "throw" (verb)? I am not sure how it should be created or searched: [[throw something in the face]], perhaps? (Example: "I know I've made mistakes but you don't need to throw it in my face every time we argue"). Thanks! --Ahoraes (talk) 01:05, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

The Free Dictionary has an entry “throw (something) in (one's) face”. I don't know if we have a standardized way of normalizing template idioms. We have entries for one's marbles and cry one's eyes out, which are reflexive (you can’t lose someone else’s marbles), and for eat someone's lunch and get off of someone's cloud for the general case. We also have give something a go, so I guess the entry would be throw something in someone's face.
We do have an entry better angels of somebody's nature side to side with better angels of someone's nature and better angels of one's nature, while come to somebody's aid redirects to come to someone's aid, so some standardization may be desirable. And, whereas the occurrence of something in the idiom give something a go is a parameter – it is substitutable: “Let‘s give it a go”; “The mission was given a go” –, it is fixed in idioms like something else and that's saying something, so it might be a good idea to indicate the parameters in template idioms in some way, like The Free Dictionary does.  --Lambiam 10:57, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

stuffing coke?[edit]

Is there a sense for the verb "stuff" meaning to "stuff your nose with cocaine"? Thanks, --Ahoraes (talk) 01:07, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

snuffing coke, perhaps ? Leasnam (talk) 02:13, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, thanks. The thing is I was creating the Spanish verb "estufiar" for wikcionario, which means to sniff (coke), and that serious source (Diccionario de americanismos) says it comes from "stuff", so I am a bit puzzled about the etymology. --Ahoraes (talk) 04:45, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
When people snort coke, their nose gets runny, so it is a good remedy for a stuffy nose. The use of the verb is difficult to examine; 99% of the ghits are typos for estudiar.  --Lambiam 11:42, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Good for (everybody)![edit]

We have an entry for the interjection good for you, but one can also say, for example, “Good for him!” or “Good for her!” (the latter shout out now outdated), so the use of you in the entry appears to be too specific.  --Lambiam 13:08, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Yes. Create good for someone, I suppose. Equinox 13:10, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Shall I then make good for you redirect to good for someone and remove the NISoP adjectival sense (cf. bad for you)?  --Lambiam 19:23, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm not hugely enthusiastic about "good for someone", but since "someone" could be a person's name even, we can't hope to cover all the possibilities with individual entries. Is "good for someone" better than just "good for"? Mihia (talk) 19:29, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
This question is related to the issues I raised above at throw something in somebody's face. If we had guidelines for dealing with questions like this, I‘d happily follow them. I see we have an entry here's to, categorized as a phrase, for which the item being toasted to can be a person, a concrete thing, or an abstract concept (“Here’s to diversity!”), so to include a parameter you’d have to use something awkward like here's to someone/something – as in fact the online Cambridge Dictionary does. For good for in the sense of kudos to, the acclaimee can only be a person or possibly a group of people. Suppose we choose good for as the entry name. This term can also be used with other (essentially NISoP) senses as in “the ticket is also good for two drinks” and “milk is good for the bones”. Should these than also be dealt with in the entry? That would make the exercise more complicated than I hope it can be. With good for someone, I don’t feel we’d need to cater for these other senses.  --Lambiam 08:39, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
Even with "good for someone" you would have that same dilemma, since we can say e.g. "he should be good for a few quid", or "she is good for the kids", or whatever. 03:47, 26 October 2018 (UTC) Sorry, I corrected this earlier but the edit seems not to have saved. Anyway, I got it round the wrong way ... what I meant to say was that we can say things like "Milk is good for you", or even, in theory, "The new boss should be good for a couple of new assistants". Mihia (talk) 11:00, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Why, yes, as almost always, there are also literal uses next to the idiom. Take for example the idiom let someone go. There are sentences containing the collocation “let them go” in the literal sense; for example, “For a while they thought Pharaoh, laid low by the plagues, would let them go without a fight.” Yet our entry for let someone go only treats the idiom. As it is, the literal sense wouldn’t justify the use of someone in the entry name, since one may as well let a vehicle go, or let one’s fears go. Likewise here; it may be good for you, but it may also be good for your reputation. I feel that using a template form for the entry name by including someone should serve to make it clear that we are dealing with idiom.  --Lambiam 21:01, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
For me, the inclusion of the word "someone" by no means makes it clear that we are dealing with this idiom; in fact it is almost the opposite since "good for someone" is hardly even possible in the relevant sense. Mihia (talk) 17:50, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

antonyms of 'left'[edit]

FYI, in the article on 'left' (as an English adjective), I'm adding the antonyms 'dexter' and 'dextral'.

Zeroparallax (talk) 20:15, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Chinese 亮 (liang4) and Greek leukos[edit]

Chinese (liang4) <OC *raŋs. Is it possible Chinese 亮 (liang4) <OC *raŋs<*ragnos<*rug(n)os<*ri(g)nos<*wede-gěnos or wede-gănos i.e. that which makes visible or visibility respectively, making this related to "leukos" and "light"

@Houses39: There's no historical precedent for contact between Indo-European speakers (besides the Tocharian word for "honey" being borrowed as ()) and Old Chinese speakers at that point in history and those sound changes you suggest are blatantly implausible (*ri(g)nos<*wede-gěnos???). Not to mention, why would Chinese borrow the word for "light" from Indo-European and not anything else? AFAICT this etymology (if it deserves to be called that) has no scholarly sources backing it either. So no, I do not think this is possible and in fact I don't even think it deserves consideration. Please don't waste people's time with random made-up etymologies. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 00:05, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
@Houses39: I've added a better supported etymology to the page. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 17:44, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

Old Scratch[edit]

Is this term really restricted to Southern and Midwestern American English? I had always thought that the term predated those dialects, or that it was at least more widespread.

Perhaps it was historically more widespread, if nothing else. And if it truly is restricted to those dialects nowadays, then there ought to be at least some mention in the entry of its historical presence in other dialects, if it was in fact present in other dialects. Tharthan (talk) 07:44, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

Sure, every entry ought to be more complete, but historical dialectal data are hard to come by. I'm an American who's spent a fair bit of time everywhere except the Midwest and the South, and I've never heard this in natural speech, so I doubt it's any more widespread today. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:49, 21 October 2018 (UTC)


In the definition, does poor mean without money or bad?

Based on listening to some singers in videos found by searching for the term, I’d say it means bad, in the sense of terrible. Funny, though, that a language should have a specific word for that.  --Lambiam 10:36, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
I've added an etymology. —Rua (mew) 20:03, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Arabic nouns with a plurality of plurals[edit]

I was confused by the existence of multiple plurals for many Arabic nouns. I tried to address my confusion through some Internet searching but I think there must be more information than what I found. I created a "stub" section at the top of the Arabic nominals appendix. I hope that an Arabic expert can update this with better information. Also it might be good to comment somewhere on the direction we are taking in this project with regards to Arabic plurals, are we trying to provide more information about context in which each one should be used, or are we stuck because reference works like Hans Wehr just list them without context, or is it outside of the scope of the project, or are we trying to figure out how to put plural usage information into the format provided by the markup language and standard word entry structure? When multiple plurals are given, are some of them relatively rare or do we have a relatively balanced distribution? Thanks. Polypz (talk) 01:42, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

The headword templates need to allow for qualifiers; it is not out of scope to try to note usage of plural forms, as they are lexical. I have been annoyed that some prescriptivist IPs just remove existing plurals, see the history of أَسَاس(ʾasās). Also взять (vzjatʹ) is not optimal because it needs to show at the very same page already that the normal imperfective equivalent is брать (bratʹ), while взима́ть (vzimátʹ) is archaic or bureaucratic, and взыма́ть (vzymátʹ) is a rare variant of it. Often I wanted qualifiers in German headword lines too though I do not remember important examples. @Benwing2 @Polypz Fay Freak (talk) 02:01, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
@Fay Freak I think adding qualifiers to headword entries will probably make them too long and complicated; better to use a Usage Notes section, which allows for more detailed explanation. Benwing2 (talk) 02:09, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
@Fay Freak, @Benwing2: I agree with putting information about plurals in Usage Notes. Can we back-pedal a bit and check that my addition to Arabic nominals makes sense? Can anyone add anything? @Fay Freak I read the history of أَسَاس(ʾasās), thanks it was helpful as an example. Polypz (talk) 02:58, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
@Benwing2 That is of course under the assumption that one does not constrain oneself. I rather thought that such qualifiers improve readibility by giving the reader keymarks: Grasping the important information from a single line, good to memorize; even it is – it wants to appear to me so – the order in which the information actually gets saved in human memory: أَسَاس p. أُسُس rarely أَسَاسَات. Otherwise the mind reassembles the information into this order anyway. Or maybe I say this because I have a profuse screen diagonal, on a desktop, where no line is too broad. In any case I find it hard to believe that usage notes are ever less obnoxious to read, or also: to write, for one likely just forgoes formulating usage notes instead of adding a lone qualifying word.
@Polypz I discern no necessity to mend something in your addition. Fay Freak (talk) 03:04, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev What do you think about what Fay proposes? Benwing2 (talk) 03:16, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
@Fay Freak OK now I agree with what you proposed (having edited your comment, substituting أَسَاسَات which I think you intended for the second plural). I have a small screen, but for me it's not so much about line width as the fact that when you have a list of plurals "A or B or C", it's inherently difficult to read because you don't have any idea what you're reading about. (I have a teacher who even suggested that they correspond to different genders) I guess instead of "pl" and "pl2" in the "ar-noun" template, there could be a "pl-rare", "pl-dialect" or somesuch? How would you write "plural for sense number 5"? Polypz (talk) 04:27, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
Also, I know my opinion is less useful as a newcomer, but I was thinking that the English equivalent of this problem manifests itself quite differently, we have tremblor as an alteration or misspelling of temblor, the first one points to the second one but not vice-versa. I think it would be a mistake to list all the misspellings of an English word as prominently as the senses; is that what we are proposing with rare Arabic plurals? Also, this is a bit of a selfish question, but maybe relevant here: I'm curious how you go about looking up the frequency of a word like أَسَاسَات - if I Google it, all the results are results for the English word "foundation". Knowing the relative frequencies would help me evaluate whether أَسَاسَات is a misspelling. Fay Freak quoted BBC Arabic which is, you know, maybe a bit like going to Al Jazeera for the spelling of an English word. Polypz (talk) 06:48, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
@Polypz You know that you can use ASCII quotation marks "" around search terms to make search engines use exactly what you want? Also I generally don’t even use Google but DuckDuckGo for Google has long already the habit of even ignoring this behest of only searching the exact form to “correct” towards more popular searches, a problem because of which in programmers’ circles, too, DuckDuckGo is widespread – the notion that Google gives more or more relevant results must be furiously denied. I see now that Qwant is apparently also not doing bad.
Have you realized the usefulness of Reverso Context already? Many questions about forms can be solved with it. By the way I have wrote quite a beginner guide in regard to references in WT:About Arabic.
BBC Arabic of course is staffed by Arabs, and Al Jazeera English by Anglos, neither are there too many Russian moderators in Russia Today or Iranians in PressTV, etc. We don’t know about Al Jazeera English using less correct English than other media companies, right? By the way only the article page bears a quote from BBC Arabic, Citations:أساس bears the other quotes.
I was thinking about syntax like in {{affix}} which allows |q1=, |q2= for qualifiers, so for Arabic plurals |plq1= |plq2= – more general than |pl-rare= and |pl-dialect=. In أَمَة(ʾama) there are plurals which possibly never existed at all except in poets – Nöldeke in the reference list gives some loci for آمٍ and اَِمْوان, I would just tag them “all only poetry” perhaps. Unfortunately, for Classical Arabic there aren’t strong corpora (no “canon” of out-of-copyright authors is online, so verification requests for pre-modern Arabic do not work to ascertain anything), and the orthography of Arabic makes it almost impossible to search for many forms anyway, because they consist of few characters and transcriptions of foreign words get in the way if not other words: So I only found uses for زِير(zīr, women’s visitor) because I searched it together with نِسَاء(nisāʾ), else the spelling is almost always the passive of زَارَ(zāra, to visit). Fay Freak (talk) 12:12, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
@Fay Freak I was hoping that someone else would have chimed in by now but I should have said "thank you" for the hints on getting relative frequency data out of Google (I checked out Qwant and DuckDuckGo but they don't seem to give result counts). I'm still thinking over your proposal. I noticed that "brethren" is about 5% as common as "brothers", while "أَسَاسَات(ʾasāsāt)"/"أُسُس(ʾusus)" has a ratio of 0.015 on Reverso Context and 0.00044 on Google, the latter being even worse than girlz/girls=0.009 and tremblor/temblor=0.005. Are you sure that أَسَاسَات isn't just a misspelling? Would English-speaking poets using the word "girlz" justify listing it as an alternate plural for "girl"? Anyway, certainly given the number of Arabic alternate plurals I've been running into, it would be useful to have them tagged as in your proposal. But I wonder if it wouldn't be good to eventually move most of these to "Alternate Forms", "Usage Notes", etc. Of course, arguably having "tagged plurals" would not retard the process of eventually creating good usage notes. What kind of tag would you use for the plural corresponding to sense 5 of عَيْن(ʿayn, eye)? Would you say that the English plural "brethren" should be tagged as "rare" or "archaic" in the headword for "brother"? Polypz (talk) 08:40, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
@Polypz, if you are looking for more information about the differences in the Arabic plurals, see شجر#Etymology_3. That was the first entry where we added such information (and probably the only one). The thing with Arabic is that, while the base form of almost all English nouns is a plain singular (such as tree), the base form of many Arabic nouns is a collective (singular in form, but plural in meaning). So a suffix (ة) in needed if you want to specify one single tree. —Stephen (Talk) 10:40, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown Thanks but I think you are misunderstanding, we are talking about words with multiple forms all under the "plural" designation. The above discussion has a couple of examples أَسَاس(ʾasās, foundation) and عَيْن(ʿayn, eye), others are سَاق(sāq, leg), بَطْن(baṭn, stomach). As I said, an example of this in English is brother which has "brothers" and "brethren"... I know about Arabic collective nouns and "tree" certainly isn't the only one; another that comes to mind is بَيْض(bayḍ, egg). There is a category Category:Arabic_collective_nouns. That's a different topic, maybe re-read the above and look at my examples if you are still not clear about the distinction. Thanks. Polypz (talk) 02:51, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
@Polypz, I think we're talking past one another. I'm not talking about collective nouns per se. The collective form is only one of the five forms, along with singulative, dual, small plural, and large plural. I only mention the collective because it's the base form of such nouns, the citation form. Never mind, I leave you to hash it out. —Stephen (Talk) 03:09, 24 October 2018 (UTC)


The definition makes no sense as a noun. —Rua (mew) 12:04, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

The source for the headword line is {{head|gmq-bot|verb|passive|isskes}}. Apparently, the SOP line is in error and should presumably read ===Verb=== instead. But is this really the lemma form, what with the English def being third-person simple present? Is it an impersonal verb? How can it have a passive (“Is occurred by frost”?)? I also wonder, is there a Westrobothnian single word for Shit happens?  --Lambiam 19:52, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
@Knyȝt. —Suzukaze-c 02:25, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
What is or isn’t the lemma form in Westrobothnian is not always easy to tell (sometimes present forms dominate infinitive forms, even replacing them), but in this case the present and infinite forms are probably identical (source doens’t tell), so maybe that means it could be written either way. The verb iisk is defined in Ordbok över Lövångersmålet p. 211 as ’frysa på’ (lit. ’freeze on’), a Swedish verb phrase defined in SAOB as ’opers.: frost inträder (efter blidväder l. nederbörd), det sätter i med (litet) frost’, lit. ’impers.: frost treads in (after thaw or precipitation), (a little) frost sets in’, fig. meaning ’frost appears, is occurring, starts to appear’, or somesuch. It could be a continuous sense. Do you know what the corresponding English phrase would be?
The ’passive forms’ I just call passive because it’s the origin of the form, but they are not passive in meaning; from what I can tell they usually convey intransitivity (though intransitive words do not require this form) and this form of a verb can also have its own special meaning, sometimes even have no ’active’ counterpart, and sometimes they convey reciprocality (this might require this form). In this case I think the only difference between iisk and isskes is that iisk might be used with a particle; e.g. he iisk oppá vs he isskes, both meaning ’there is frost occurring’ or maybe ’frost is occurring right now, more and more’, though there may be some difference; none of this is detailed in the source however, as both forms are simply given the same basic definition. — Knyȝt 16:57, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

No spikka da Grik[edit]

I thought I spotted a bit of finger trouble in the etymology section of apothegm, where the English version of ἀποφθέγγομαι (apophthéngomai, speak out) is rendered as apophthéngomai instead of what I read as apophthéggomai. On deeper inspection it turned out not to be finger trouble at all, but apparently deliberate. Could someone competent in the facts of the matter please confirm that gamma gamma amounts to "ng" in English, or alternatively instruct me in what is going on?
Thank you in expectation JonRichfield (talk) 13:42, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

The transliteration is done automatically by the module grc-translit, using the convention set out in Wiktionary:Ancient Greek transliteration. If you look at the table in the section Consonant digraphs and exceptions, you see that γγ is transliterated as “ng”. See also the section Consonant spelling in the Wikipedia article Ancient Greek phonology.  --Lambiam 19:27, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
I think this is confusing, personally. The transliteration should reflect what is actually written. We do that for Gothic, whose spelling is based on that of Greek. —Rua (mew) 19:58, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
I had suspected the thing about " γγ is transliterated as “ng”", and I have no special objection to such curious pronunciations of letter combinations, having encountered them in other languages, including English. But, as an accredited victim, I agree with Rua, so I'll add an unobtrusive few words to avoid confusing other users. Logically the convention used in Gothic is more correct, as the pronunciation is a separate concept from spelling, and the transliteration refers to spelling, not pronunciation, so if the convention were to change, I would support the change. Thanks for the comments. JonRichfield (talk) 05:18, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
While I agree this may be confusing, letter-by-letter transliteration may be confusing to readers who are used to the customary romanization of Ancient Greek traditionally used in disctionaries, including etymological dictionaries. We also transliterate ρρ as “rrh”, not simply “rr“. For Modern Greek we also do not use letter-by-letter transliteration; for example, ευ may be transliterated as “ev” or as “ef”, depending on the following letter, whereas letter-by-letter transliteration would give “eu”.  --Lambiam 06:36, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
Understood, and your examples are pertinent, but I still feel that one could go further along the route of separating the spelling concerns from the pronunciation concerns. I can offer no global solution, and in this case contented myself with adding a note in parenthesis. The problem would vanish for hellenophones, but for innocents such as myself,I think the note might be helpful. JonRichfield (talk) 08:33, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
It's not a good idea to add notes about site-wide features in individual entries. (I saw someone reverted your edit.) If the site-wide feature changes, then the note will be wrong (in this case, if we change the transliteration of γγ, γκ, γχ from ng, nk, nkh to gg, gk, gkh). And since there are quite a few entries on words with γγ, γκ, γχ or entries that mention such words, the note would have to go all over the place if we are going to be consistent about it. A better place for it is a central location like Wiktionary:Ancient Greek transliteration, though admittedly probably very few who are puzzled by the ng transliteration will know to look there. — Eru·tuon 20:18, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
There could be a little link to that page, like we have with IPA. — Knyȝt 17:23, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

boathook vs setting pole[edit]

I have not come across a setting pole, but by the description it sounds something like a bargepole, and does a different job compared to a boathook. Yet translations for boathook have been shunted off to setting pole. DonnanZ (talk) 19:49, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

@Fay Freak is the guilty party diff. There wasn't any translations before? DonnanZ (talk) 20:09, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz By all descriptions I read, and I read a lot when I collected the words, a boat-hook is attached to a setting-pole, but seen functionally the words are synonymous, i. e. in most contexts where one would use the words they are the same, the distinction is rather theoretical. Specifically I have seen many examples of boat-hook and Bootshaken used so loosely. Also, for example German Wikipedia says about Flößerhaken it is known as Bootshaken in nautical applications, both articles link to pike pole in the sidebar. The way English Wikipedia defines Boat hook it is a special case of the pike pole. This only some examples I give; well the definition of boat hook already contained a second “(by extension) A pole or rod with such a hook at one end”. Also barge pole and setting pole are defined the same here in Wiktionary: But push boats. Are there ship accessories traders who sell those separately and believe that they are essentially different? Could one make type images of each, or are those terms rather an exemplification of the sorites paradox? However you want to distinguish those poles, the translations cannot be mapped onto such minute distinctions in English, one must keep them one level of abstraction higher – the dictionary user must see which distinction he wants to make. Or in other words: You want to know some Russian, Arabic or whatever words but are aware of a distinction in English, what shall the dictionary do? The dictionary gives words which one would like to find there rather than not giving any translations on any page because баго́р (bagór) and مُرْدِيّ(murdiyy) are none of the English terms specifically. Fay Freak (talk) 20:56, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
But a hook on a pole, eg, a boat hook, is used for pulling, whereas a pole alone (possibly with a cap on the end) is used for pushing. A setting pole looks like a smaller version of a barge pole. Is a ruler synonymous with a yardstick? I think not. Is push synonymous with pull? DCDuring (talk) 21:13, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
I am not sure that boat-hooks are used for pulling and not for pushing. I read so: Kommt etwas mit dem Wasser geschwommen, ein Strauch, Baum oder anderes Holzstück; suchen sie es gemeinschaftlich mit Bootshaken unter zu drücken, und zwischen den Pontons hindurch zu flößen. “If something comes swimming with the water, a shrub, a tree, or an other piece of wood; they try jointly to push it down with the boat-hook, and to drive it through the pontoons.” Also technological dictionaries translate setting-pole as Bootshaken and use boat-hook and setting-pole indistinguishably. Ships apparently keep one device for multiple purposes. @DCDuring
German Bootshaken, Danish bådshage, Dutch bootshaak, Swedish båtshake (false blue link) are so obviously boathooks and not setting poles, I can't speak for the rest of the translations at setting pole. The new Norwegian entries won't be entered there. DonnanZ (talk) 21:38, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
I moved the ones I mentioned above. Apparently boathooks can be used for pulling, e.g. picking up floating rubbish, pulling into a berth by hooking onto a mooring ring. DonnanZ (talk) 22:18, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz: I can use CGEL as a doorstop, but that does not make grammar reference a synonym of doorstop. If I sometimes need a pole for pulling and sometimes for pushing, a pole with a hook will do the job provided the hook doesn't cause damage or injury in the process of pushing. DCDuring (talk) 00:15, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
Punting poles as used in Oxford and Cambridge normally do not have a hook attached, and then calling them a boathook is strange. I think this also holds for the setting poles used in canoe poling. The boathooks I’m familiar with, used with sailboats, have blunt tips in the shape of a little ball, unlike setting poles.  --Lambiam 06:49, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

@Atitarev How would you call a setting pole in Russian, also баго́р (bagór)? It seems to me that because this instrument is less well known (depending on local culture; for English I have checked that “setting pole” is rather scarce on the internet, one cannot even order one) that speakers use the names of boathooks as Verlegenheitswörter, substituting a name they do not know, a phenomenon that frequently falsifies linguistic records. This also explains the entries in the technologial dictionaries. Fay Freak (talk) 01:37, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

@Fay Freak: I found these: баго́р-отпо́рник (bagór-otpórnik), шлю́почный крюк (šljúpočnyj krjuk), отпо́рный крюк (otpórnyj krjuk). --Anatoli T. --05:05, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Funny, the part -отпо́р- means “to stem away, repulse”. Fay Freak (talk) 14:33, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

flayer vs. knacker[edit]

@Donnanz, Equinox What is to be done? There are the processes of stripping the hides, then of separating/rendering the animal body in general, then the one of slaughtering worn-out animals, variously stressed by the names in languages. Are those ultimately the same occupations, performed by the same people everywhere? (Often it would be the executioner too, it becomes difficult in ancient languages.) Fay Freak (talk) 20:24, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

tough act to follow[edit]

tough act to follow is a synonym of hard act to follow, which doesn't exist... also tough acts to follow...Leasnam (talk) 00:50, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

Isn't this SOP anyway? --Lvovmauro (talk) 01:01, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
If we may believe Partridge’s Dictionary of Catch Phrases, the original meaning was “an outstandingly successful vaudeville act which might well cast a shade over the following act”. So as a vaudeville artist you wouldn’t want to be scheduled in the slot after such an act. If that explanation is correct – it certainly sounds plausible – the present sense (“A performance that is so outstanding that it is unlikely to be equalled”), which has become independent of the vaudeville genre, is idiomatic.  --Lambiam 15:48, 24 October 2018 (UTC)


Some friends here in Shenzhen use the word to refer to the plain tea brought to us at some restaurants after we sit down. This usage doesn't seem to be covered by our entry—it's tea, not plain water, and I haven't noticed them using the word to refer to other beverages. Should we add a "tea" sense to the entry? Or is the sense broader or narrower than that? Unambiguous citations are hard to search for, obviously. —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:59, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

If at least three of your friends are widespread, durably archived, independent and spanning at least a year :), sure, we should include that sense. Otherwise we may have to wait for further attesting sources. Can you ask your friends how common this use is? It may be a bit of an in-joke.  --Lambiam 07:01, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
Could you give more context? It's quite natural to say something like "喝水,喝水" when telling others to drink the tea in that situation. In that sentence 水 is just something liquidy that quenches the thirst. The opposite is also true - in a lot of places 喝茶 means "drink some water", not tea. Wyang (talk) 07:50, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
My guess would be that is simply being used in that context to mean a generic beverage. — SGconlaw (talk) 08:08, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
To Wyang's question, I hear it used in contexts along the lines of "我给你倒水" or "多喝水", for instance. Today I asked, and they said you can use it informally for any beverage, which seems to match what Wyang and Sgconlaw are saying. This looks like sense #3 ("beverage") then. I'll modify the label, since the sense is evidently not limited to Singapore and Malaysia. —Granger (talk · contribs) 10:41, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
@Mx. Granger, Wyang: In certain contexts, it seems like it can refer to any beverage, but I think in Singapore and Malaysia, it can be used in a wider range of contexts. For example, in this video (around 2:07), the guy says "我的水叻?" to mean "Where's my drink?", but I don't think people in China, Taiwan or Hong Kong would use it like that. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 23:05, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
The usage in that region comes from Min Nan 叫菜 (kiò-chhài, “to order a dish”), subsequently modified to become 叫水 (kiò-chúi, “to order a beverage”). A waiter at a coffee shop would ask 什物 (beh kiò sím-mi̍h chúi, “what drink(s) would (you) want to order?”), and a typical answer would be something like 咖啡烏咖啡乌 (ko-pi-o͘, “Kopi O, black coffee”). As Mandarin education became more widespread (after independence from the British), this sense was gradually incorporated into colloquial Mandarin. KevinUp (talk) 09:54, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Note that this sense is only used when you're at a restaurant or at an event or venue where food is being served. If you're at a friend's house and ask for (shuǐ), don't expect coffee or tea to be served. What you'll get is usually 白開水白开水 (báikāishuǐ, “plain water”) KevinUp (talk) 09:54, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
I forgot to mention, this "beverage" is usually non-alcoholic. (chúi) and (chiú) are not to be confused with one another. KevinUp (talk) 10:14, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

-lah (Malay) and lah (English)[edit]

Would someone mind taking a look at User:Epichaericacianus's edits here? [14] I don't want to be mean, but I feel like reverting all 14 edits because previous examples which reflect modern usage have been replaced by classical quotes that are of the Bazaar Malay variety. Also, the translations provided are written in a prose-like form that does not match well with the original text or reflect usage of this suffix.

In addition, "jussive, imperative" and "emphasised passive ergative verbs" is much too technical compared to "Used to make polite request or to allow something" and "Used to indicate command, imperative, reassurance, emphasis and assertion" found in the previous edit. KevinUp (talk) 17:51, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

@Epichaericacianus Kindly reply after seeing this message. Also, citations added from Hikayat Bayan Budiman is likely to be removed because the original text is written in the Jawi alphabet and not in a Latin script. Modern editions of the text are usually modified to make it easier for the general public to read. In addition, certain undesirable elements may have been removed from the original text, so please provide the actual year and publisher when quoting such works. Examples of the proper citation format for modern Latin transcriptions of Classical Malay works can be found at -kah. Note that original Jawi text can be found at museum archives, and you are advised not to add your own Jawi transcription unless you have photographed samples of the original text. KevinUp (talk) 17:51, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
@Epichaericacianus I'm not sure why ممباچا, a misspelling of ممباچ(membaca (to read)) was added to the entry for membebaskan (ممبيبسکن, to free) in this edit, but you may need to brush up on your understanding of the Jawi alphabet. KevinUp (talk) 09:54, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

Regarding sinitic origins of -lah[edit]

On an unrelated note (not related to User:Epichaericacianus's edits), I don't think this Malay suffix is related to Sinitic (la) as stated in this 2012 edit. Note that the character is not found in Middle Chinese, but there is the possibility of contact between Cantonese and Malay traders during the period of Classical Malay (14th to 18th century). The suffixes -lah and -kah are closely related to one another in the Malay language, and solid evidence is needed to prove the Sinitic connection between -lah and (if it exists). KevinUp (talk) 17:51, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

It might be interesting if Malay -kah (interrogative suffix) is also related to Japanese (interrogative particle) or Korean (kka), but this needs to be proved. On the other hand, I believe this 2011 edit at English lah which claims that lah in English is derived from Sinitic (le) or (la) ( + ) is incorrect. The word is of Malay origin (which has since been added), but I don't think Malay lah is borrowed from Cantonese (laa1).
This is because in Malay, both -lah and -kah are polite forms used when requesting for a specific action to be done, e.g. Marilah makan (Let's eat) and Bolehkah kamu masak untuk saya? (Can you cook for me?). These suffixes are optional but addition of it makes the conversation much more polite. KevinUp (talk) 09:54, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

sweet spot[edit]

Noun definitions 4–5:

  1. (physics, slang) The center of percussion.
    • 1999, Bernard Brogliato, “Two Bodies Colliding”, in E[duardo] D[aniel] Sontag and M. Thoma, editors, Nonsmooth Mechanics: Models, Dynamics and Control (Communications and Control Engineering), 2nd edition, London; Berlin; Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, →ISBN, section 4.1.4 (The Percussion Center), page 116:
      The center of percussion also finds more exotic applications, like in tennis dynamics: the so-called sweet spot [] is a special impact point on the racket strings used to prevent jarring of the hand. It is defined either as a vibration node, or as the center of percussion, or as the point where the restitution coefficient [] is maximum and vibrations minimum [].
    • 2013, John D[avid] Barrow, “Cushioning the Blow”, in Mathletics: A Scientist Explains 100 Amazing Things about Sport, London: Vintage Books, →ISBN:
      Most of us are familiar with the existence of a ‘sweet spot’ on a tennis racket or bat: the place where it is best to strike the ball. [] Physicists call this sweet spot the ‘centre of percussion’ and it occurs at a distance from the top of a cricket or baseball bat that is about two thirds of its total length.
    • 2015, Thomas Jay Smith; Robert Henning; Michael G. Wade; Thomas Fisher, “Variability in Human Motor and Sport Performance”, in Variability in Human Performance, Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, →ISBN, section 2.1 (Introduction), page 31:
      Club heads [of golf clubs] have weight distributions designed to optimize both launch angle of the ball and minimizing the effects of off-center shots that do not precisely impact the so-called sweet spot (the center of percussion).
  2. (sports) The optimal place on a bat, racquet, etc., with which to hit a ball, resulting in the latter rebounding with the maximum possible velocity.
    He hit the gapper right off of the sweet spot.
    • 1987, Howard Brody, “The Sweet Spots of a Tennis Racket”, in Tennis Science for Tennis Players, Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press, →ISBN, page 23:
      When you hit a shot and it really feels good, you claim that you have hit the sweet spot. But can this feeling be quantified? [] Do some rackets have a sweet spot that is sweeter than that of other rackets, or is the size of the sweet spot the only relevant consideration?
    • 1995, Ed[ward] Turner; [Brent] Woody Clouse, Winning Racquetball: Skills, Drills, and Strategies, Champaign, Ill.; Windsor, Ont.: Human Kinetics, →ISBN, page 10:
      There are actually three sweet spots on a racquet's face. Each sweet spot measures a different physical characteristic of your racquet. The sweet spot that most of us think of is the place on the strings where the ball rebounds with the most power, or, technically, the post on the racquet with the maximum coefficient of restitution. The second sweet spot is where the least amount of shock is given to your hand and arm. This is known as the center of percussion. The third sweet spot is the node or place where the least amount of vibration occurs after the initial ball impact. Normally all three sweet spots do not occur in the same location.

First of all, are those the same? The quotations make them seem to be. Also, we don't seem to have a matching sense for percussion. More, the bottom of the entry links to [[w:sweet spot (acoustics)]], but none of our senses mention acoustics explicitly, and if the "The center of percussion" sense is about acoustics then we should have a label and quotation to match. Anyway, the "The center of percussion" sense should be expanded for clarity.​—msh210 (talk) 13:16, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

They appear to be the same; at least, I cannot discern a difference between the given quotations. This sense is, furthermore, not different from, but a specialization of, the primary sense (an optimal place). The acoustic sense from the Wikipedia article is a different specialization of that sense, not related to percussion. As to the lack of a matching sense for percussion, several dictionaries give one definition as “the act, an instance, or an effect of percussing“ or similar, and the meaning of percuss is “to strike”, “to hit”, without an implication of sound being produced. Dictionary.com (based on Random House) has “the striking of one body against another with some sharpness; impact; blow”, and Oxford Dictionaries online has “The striking of one solid object with or against another with some degree of force”. Again no sound implied; we can have soundless percussions in outer space. So the mention of sound should be removed, or made less absolute, like in The American Heritage Dictionary: “The striking together of two bodies, especially when noise is produced”.  --Lambiam 15:15, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
But the physics sense seems to refer to a point, ie, zero extent. In the real world of engineering, things have extent. The first sports citation refers to an entity that has a size. The second refers to two sweet spots that are apparently not the center of percussion.
I am reminded of two of the definitions for iron, one being a physics/chemistry definition, the other being one closer to everyday use of the term, referring to materials more or less as encountered by the senses. Philosophers talk about the relationship of the entities referred to as the Morning star, the Evening star, and Venus. I think for a dictionary those three are not synonymous in at least one of their definitions.
I think it is mistake to conflate everyday and technical definitions, whatever the relationship among them. DCDuring (talk) 17:10, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
The quote from the Brogliato article gives three definitions for sweet spot: (1) vibration node; (2) center of percussion; (3) point minimizing vibrations. These are also the three (not two) of the Turner/Clouse book. Also Brody, if you read on in his book, in the next subsection entitled “The Sweet Spot Trio”, presents the same three, while explaining this all goes back to an article published in 1981 in the American Journal of Physics. What he does not write is that he is the author of the article (H. Brody, September 1981. ‘Physics of the tennis racket II: The “sweet spot”’. American Journal of Physics 49 (9), 816–810. DOI 10.1119/1.12399). The remaining quotations pick one among these three definitions; for a golf club the distinction is probably practically irrelevant.
We shouldn’t seek much importance in the issue of a point versus an extended area; that is, in my opinion, a red herring. Physicists know as well as engineers that these points, as used e.g. in the concept of a point mass, are a convenient simplifying mathematical fiction that should be applied with caution. If you have ever seen a picture of a ball impacting a racket, snapped just before it starts to bounce back, you know that the contact is not a point but a sizable area.  --Lambiam 20:08, 24 October 2018 (UTC)


It seems to me that the sense "junk, trash, anything worthless" already implies the other two (very bad food, and anything disgusting), per citations given. Should we merge them into one sense? Equinox 02:21, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

My father used chazzerai specifically to mean junk food (unhealthy food). Is this a separate meaning? JulieKahan (talk) 06:47, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Rosten's The Joy gives three senses, of which “food that is awful” is the first. The example sentence “That movie was nothing but chazzerai” is straight from Rosten, except that he spells the word chozzerai. The sense “junk; trash; anything worthless”, applied to food, naturally declares it to be junk food, so it wouldn’t be a separate meaning. Depending on one’s taste, the sense of “food that is awful” may apply at the same time.
If the definitions for these senses (taken from Rosten but reordered) are precise, I don‘t think sense #1 quite implies the other two. Something can be worthless junk (a tea pot whose handle has broken off) yet not disgusting or loathsome.  --Lambiam 12:04, 25 October 2018 (UTC)


Is this an obsolete spelling of an entry or entries we already have? DTLHS (talk) 02:57, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

The first sense is Keraite (which we don't have an entry for yet), the second sense is Karaite. --Lvovmauro (talk) 03:34, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, added. I'm never sure how to define these "member of group" type definitions. DTLHS (talk) 03:42, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

Announcing Wikitrace, help shape it and provide all the feedback your want![edit]

The Wikitrace project aims at gathering a perinially acknowledged community of lexicologists around a relational lexicological data bank and related consultation services.

This project find its root in members of the TWUG willing to provide services around Wiktionaries which can hardly be provided direcly by the Wikitionary instances themselves, especially when it comes to cross data relations within and between Wiktionary instances.

Feel free to edit the project page itself, or to provide any relevant feedback in the dedicated talk page.

Cheers, Psychoslave (talk) 03:39, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

to (1)[edit]

Preposition usage note:

In the sense of "as a", it is a fossil word (Standard English only), found usually only in set phrases likeː "to take a woman to wife", "to have someone to friend", "to have something to birthright" etc.. In northern dialects, where it is rare, but still in common use, it is often used in combination with with as inː an idiot with a whore to wife; a shrew with an asshole to man; a loser with shit to job; a ghetto girl with a shit hole to home.

Something cannot be "rare" and also "in common use", and it is also not clear which country "northern dialects" refers to. If anyone knows anything about this, which I don't, perhaps they could improve it. The purpose of the label (Standard English only) is also not very clear. Is it saying that in nonstandard English this sense may be in current use and not a fossil? I feel that this could be more clearly expressed. Mihia (talk) 03:40, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

to (2)[edit]

Particle sense 3:

A particle used to create phrasal or prepositional verbs.

Wouldn't the "to" in prepositional verbs by definition be a preposition rather than a particle? Or can a preposition also be a particle? Mihia (talk) 17:23, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

I would agree; "for" and "along" aren't considered particles in phrasal verbs. Ultimateria (talk) 15:37, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

OK, I have removed reference to prepositional. Mihia (talk) 20:21, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

verdure spadellate[edit]

Mi sembra che ci sia un ulteriore significato di spadellare <gastro>: verdure spadellate https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spadellare. Come si dice spadellare in tedesco e inglese? (shake, don't stir!?) pane raffermo grattugiato e spadellato in poco olio extravergine di oliva insieme a polvere di peperoncino e a un trito d'aglio. Ciao, --Edward Steintain (talk) 19:23, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

Anna Del Conte (2013), Gastronomy of Italy, ISBN 978-1-909815-19-3, entry padella: “‘In padella’ or spadellato is a method of cooking where the food is first sautéed and then finished off at a lower temperature, with the optional addition of some liquid.”  --Lambiam 20:01, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
Italiano: SPADELLARE!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bau56WRsoMs
              Spadellare 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN72rnwVKv8
English: To flip food in a pan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm-lYAqRJYk
Deutsch: Pfanne schwenken: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtUd3UlHh_U --Edward Steintain (talk) 10:55, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Migrants having left Italy in the nineties mainly know spadellare as
(intransitive) To busy oneself with cooking (with pots and pans)
Talking to someone having done a lot of spadelling (used figuratively) means: „Oh, you have spent a long time in the kitchen / at the stove.“ (as the dictionaries declare) --Edward Steintain (talk) 07:10, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Can you find cites for that sense?  --Lambiam 14:12, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
In that example, I would have just translated as "dried breadcrumbs sautéed in extravirgin olive oil." Ph7five (talk) 19:32, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

"later" meaning "longer"[edit]

Apparently, in the following excerpt "later" is synonymous with "longer", Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 711

(iii) Jill still goes to school, whereas Liz is already at university shows still and already in successive clauses contrasting the stage in life that Jill and Liz have reached. The school stage has lasted later for Jill, and the university stage has begun earlier for Liz. --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:32, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

It seems very nonstandard to me... DTLHS (talk) 19:35, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Maybe the word "till" was ommitted before "later"? It seems slightly odd, but understandable in context. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:09, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
I'd vote nonstandard. I'll consult the CGEL errata sheet tomorrow, if there are no supporters or unambiguous cites. DCDuring (talk) 03:25, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
Changing later to longer also changes the meaning. Imagine that Jill started going to school in 2010, and is still in school now, in 2018. Liz first went to school in 2002. She finished school and went to university in 2016. In this scenario, Jill indeed still goes to school, whereas Liz is already at university. Now has the school stage lasted longer for Jill than for Liz? Jill has been going to school for eight years, whereas Liz went there for a whopping 14 years. The answer is a resounding no. But if we ask, Till when did the school stage last?, we see that it finished for Liz in 2016, but not yet for Jill, so for her it will be later. The use in the quoted passage may be nonstandard (and, as Andrew Sheedy remarks, becomes normal if till is inserted; alternatively, replace has lasted by is ending), but the meaning is the usual one.  --Lambiam 09:39, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't think you can say something "lasted later". That implies that the entire "lasting" took place later, so it sounds as wrong as simply saying "my school years lasted": something is missing. Equinox 09:44, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

French lume?[edit]

I noticed this entry for French, but it's not in the TLFi or French Wiktionary. A quick web search doesn't show anything on it either. Can this be sourced/attested? Or is its existence simply based on someone's conjecture about the rhyme "Au claire de la lune"? Word dewd544 (talk) 20:18, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

@Word dewd544: PUC has added it to RFV. This is what you should do in the future when you have good reason to doubt the existence of a word. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:24, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

Wissenschaft Definition[edit]

Shouldn't the first definition of Wissenschaft be science?

The Wikipedia article "Science" is called "Wissenschaft" on German Wikipedia, and the German translation of "Science" here on Wiktionary is "Wissenschaft". The "Bundesministerium für Bildung und Wissenschaft" is called the "Federal Ministry of Education and Science", etc.

"Systematic knowledge" and "scholarly knowledge" seem very vague. --Infinitum11 (talk) 21:37, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

I agree; the definitions were quite awful. I have tried to clean it up, but I feel that I may have sidestepped an older sense that the (admittedly vague) senses that were there before were trying to capture. @-sche, perhaps? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:01, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
The change was made in diff, around the time the same user also changed wissenschaftlich. I'll AGF but observe that their change had the opposite of their intended effect... - -sche (discuss) 04:46, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
In current use, the concept of science is closely related to the scientific method. Originally the term covered all academic disciplines, but the meaning has narrowed, and today the humanities are generally not considered scientific disciplines. In German, the term Wissenschaft has not undergone a similar narrowing. The primary meaning remains the totality of all disciplines aiming at acquiring and systematizing knowledge and understanding.  --Lambiam 12:03, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
Lambian has it right. Wissenschaft covers all of academia, not just the natural and social sciences. The German Wiktionary defines Wissenschaft as "a field or discipline of systematic, theory-based knowledge". Wissenschaft includes all of the humanities (e.g., the systematic study of poetry or theology) and sometimes the fine arts, too – areas that are never considered "science" in modern English. Therefore (and this has probably been true for most a century now), "science" is a poor translation of that word.
Infinitum11, the agency you mention translates their name as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. I agree with you that the German Wikipedia article at w:de:Wissenschaft ought to link to w:en:Wissenschaft, but that's something for dewiki's editors to decide, not us. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:58, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Okay, so basically I just want to know how to say "science" in German? --Infinitum11 (talk) 03:21, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
You can use Naturwissenschaft, assuming you mean a branch of science concerned with the description, prediction, and understanding of natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation.  --Lambiam 14:08, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
I think this is what I was thinking of, thank you. --Infinitum11 (talk) 19:43, 9 November 2018 (UTC)


Can we remove the sense "a recently married couple"? I think "plural of newlywed" should suffice. If I marry Alice, and Bob marries Charles, then all four of us are newlyweds even though we do not form an overall couple. Equinox 09:43, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Agreed, remove. Ultimateria (talk) 01:04, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Dunno, I think it should remain. DonnanZ (talk) 14:34, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Remove. The sense of "couple" is contextual, not lexical. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:17, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Italian – Noun – social[edit]

ad esempio affidare ai social (media). --Edward Steintain (talk) 10:03, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Google search: rai "affida ai social" (with quotation marks). --Edward Steintain (talk) 07:30, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

performing monkey[edit]

Hi. I would like to know if a performing monkey is good at refer to a person who is idiot, funny does stupid or funny things. And therefore he/she is exhibited/displayed so that others see him/her. Basically like a monkey exhibited at a fair/funfair. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 23:03, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

I think you might be right. the organ grinder, not the monkey! Equinox 01:19, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree, but "performing monkey" is more of a cultural concept than a specific term. "I'm not your performing monkey" doesn't sound quite right. Ultimateria (talk) 03:36, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
I find plenty of uses of the literal sense (a monkey kept to perform tricks for spectators) without further explanation, implying that the reader is supposed to be familiar with the concept and suggesting that the term is inclusion-worthy. (For example, “In this study, researchers collected biological samples from hundreds of people and macaques from five urban sites as well as from a group of nomadic people who travel throughout Bangladesh with their performing monkeys.”) For the metaphorical sense, here are two examples of use: “"You see your life being locked in concrete," he says, and adds, "I'm not very good at being a performing monkey."” (NYT, Prince Charles speaking); “Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has told the High Court he felt like "a performing monkey" as he built up his restaurant empire while father-in-law Christopher Hutcheson was "up to no good" in the office.” (The Telegraph UK). The meaning is, however, not the same as being sought in the question posed. The term is not meant to be used here in a self-deprecating way, and does not imply that they did stupid or funny things. So, in conclusion, the answer to the question is that the term will probably not confer the intention of referring to someone idiot or funny doing stupid or funny things.  --Lambiam
@Ultimateria: @Lambiam: In Spanish we have mono de feria, but we don't use it as as synonyms of idiot. We use to refer to someone idiot or funny doing stupid or funny things, but this person is perceived by others as a attraction/draw/show to have fun. E.g. Tomás Roncero is Spanish journalist and Real Madrid 'hooligan', and then this weekend Real Madrid lost 1-5 against Barça. Then a online newspaper recorded his reaction and made a news. Thanks to both. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 20:53, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

adding 'unstarting' to unstart?[edit]

Hello again from the English Wikipedia! Thanks again for your help last time. I have another request, this time hopefully even easier:

Where would the best place to request the addition of the adjective form of unstart as unstarting, still in reference to supersonic airflow (Ref)?

Thanks! --Cheers! Elfabet (talk) 13:40, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

flash point and flashpoint[edit]

The translation sections could possibly be merged, but I can't make my mind up which entry should have the honour. DonnanZ (talk) 14:29, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

For the sense of ignition temperature, ”flash point” is by far the more common spelling. For the figurative senses, “flashpoint” appears to be more common, at least among news sources.  --Lambiam 22:57, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I thought, though Oxford list both senses as "flashpoint". Hmm. DonnanZ (talk) 23:53, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

base number[edit]

Or total base number (TBN). Something to do with lubricants, not maths apparently. DonnanZ (talk) 15:38, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Ah, here we go: Total base number. DonnanZ (talk) 15:41, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

I can't make my mind up here either; should it be an entry for "base number" or for "total base number"? DonnanZ (talk) 00:05, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

inchworm -- can it be a verb?[edit]

Our article gives inchworm as a single sense, (n.) The larva of a moth of the family Geometridae.

I was reading the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotifer and I came upon this sentence:

Some rotifers are free swimming and truly planktonic, others move by inchworming along a substrate, and some are sessile.

I assume that to inchworm is to move like an inchworm, but can we find references for its use as a verb like this?

Try this: inchwormed on GBS.  --Lambiam 20:04, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Since worm functions as both noun and verb, you might bet that compounds headed by worm could also be understood in the verb function by the audience/readership, even if there weren't attesting citations. DCDuring (talk) 21:15, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
(Original poster): Hmm, the excerpts on the Google books page don't give the impression of moving like an inchworm (check out our article for a good diagram of one travelling.) Instead they seem to allude to a vague sense of crawling slowly.
Interesting. So more of a combination of the verbs "to inch" and "to worm" than "inchworm + ing". Andrew Sheedy (talk) 14:39, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Most quotes appear to fit that blended sense, but a few suggest an inchworm-like mode of locomotion, like here for someone stuck in their sleeping bag, and here for a seal.  --Lambiam 22:45, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

(Original poster): This is what I suggest: we make a new section on the inchworm page detailing the verb use. We give it two senses, and an etymology for each one (obviously, to be formatted properly):

1. [From inchworm: To move in a looping fashion, like an inchworm.

2. [Probably either from inch + worm or a back-formation from inchworming, itself from inch + worming]: To crawl or creep slowly.

Then inchworming and inchwormed would of course be inflections of the verb. What do you think?

EDIT: I've gone ahead and added the two verb senses (without etymology.) I haven't made articles for inchworming or inchwormed, pending more discussion.

lip-syncer and lip-syncer[edit]

Does lip-syncer means "a person who lip-syncs" or "the act of lip-syncing"? Now I think is the first (a person who lip-syncs). And does lip-syncer mean also "the act of lip-syncing" (E.g. the worst lip-sync of Justin Bieber)? And then is a verb and noun? Regards and thanks. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 22:39, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

It's definitely not "the act of lip-syncing". We don't use -er for that in English. Instead, -ing has a dual role (etymologically from two different sources) in English: not only is it the ending for present participles, it's also the ending for gerunds. That means that you can say "he is always lip-syncing", but also "his lip-syncing is very good". Chuck Entz (talk) 02:31, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks @Chuck Entz:. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 12:55, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

Anglo-Saxon America[edit]

"The controlling elite and institutions of the United States and Canada". This definition says nothing about ethnicity. Does this sense 2 of "Anglo-Saxon America" then include some black people, for instance? Equinox 19:20, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

IMO the two senses should be geographical and cultural. I've just created White America, and I think Anglo-Saxon America is probably a less common synonym. Ultimateria (talk) 15:25, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

lun (English)[edit]

The final Scrabble board at the world championships included the word lun (you can see an image of the board at this Guardian story). We don't have the word in English, and I can't find any English dictionaries (other than the Scrabble dictionary) which contains the word. Anyone have any good evidence of the words existence? Also, the Scrabble dictionary is crap and I hate it. - TheDaveRoss 20:33, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

What is its definition in the Scrabble dictionary (does it give definitions)? 21:52, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Maybe LUN?  --Lambiam 22:26, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
[15]. Looks like it's used in place names? Not really what I'd consider an English word. The words in the Scrabble dictionary may occasionally by coincidence resemble English, but it should really be considered a separate constructed language, designed to facilitate interesting Scrabble games. DTLHS (talk) 00:15, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • The OED has it as a Newfoundland and regional English spelling variant of lown (shelter, peaceful place; to become calm or peaceful). Ƿidsiþ 13:25, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • The English Dialect Dictionary and Dictionary of the Scots Language have it as a Shetland Islands / Scottish verb meaning roughly "be still and quiet and listen (especially to eavesdrop)", from "Norw. dial. luna, to go quite quietly for the purpose of listening or eavesdropping", and a Scottish / Orkney noun meaning "lull" (which they related to Old Norse linna "stop, abate" and Old English linnan). They have the following citations:
    • 1892, G. Stewart, Shetland Fireside Tales 255:
      I staands close inta da stack an' luns, bit can hear naethin',
    • 1893, Sinclair MS. 2:
      Lungin wi' her lugs, lippenin' Lowrie i' da hoomskier.
Wiktiinary would consider these (and the word) Scots and not English, but some other dictionaries don't make the distinction, including perhaps the Scrabble one? The EDD also has lun and lunn as alternative spellings of lown, like the OED does. - -sche (discuss) 07:29, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

Possible Irish origin of "yeah"?[edit]

Irish English often has a falling diphthong (“eǝ”) for the “ay” sound. Could the Irish pronunciation of “yea” be the origin of “yeah”? Kostaki mou (talk) 22:27, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

Ought this not to be in the Etymology Scriptorium?
Anyway, as much as I would personally love for that to be the case, a number of influential etymological sources have settled on yeah being derived from a drawled or shortened pronunciation of yes. I had always assumed that the word was a colloquial survival of Old English ġēa, but there simply isn't enough evidence to make that a likely enough possibility. Tharthan (talk) 22:57, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, gea already survives as yea. Ƿidsiþ 15:36, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Why would yea and yeah be considered different words? —Rua (mew) 16:13, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Not much of a reason, really, just because they have different meanings, pronunciations, spellings, usage, and etymologies. Other than that, no reason to consider them different words. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:55, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Yet, yea means "yes", and yeah means "yes". The etymology at yeah is ... unsatisfyingly incomplete, and does not rule out that it's actually just a shift in spelling from yea. Perhaps that could be expanded? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:05, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
It used to look like this [[16]] Leasnam (talk) 21:59, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. I see from the edit comment here when Widsith removed most of that etym that he pointed to the OED (to which I have no access), Merriam-Webster, and EtymOnline.
The Merriam-Webster entry does not give any etymology at all, from what I can see, stating only "by alteration", with no further information. That said, the site behaves strangely for me these past few months, ever since they applied some update. Perhaps someone else can see more detail than I?
The EtymOnline entry does state "American English, colloquial, by 1863, from drawling pronunciation of yes". However, searching Google Books finds me at least one clear instance earlier than that from this 1843 publication of a magazine called Punch. I also don't see any other information on EtymOnline regarding their own sources, or their own reasons for arriving at their stated etymology.
I'm left thinking that, 1) even drawled, I struggle to see how yes could easily become yeah, without 2) earlier yea somehow being related here... ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 01:55, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
The OED Online entry has not been fully updated, and does not provide an etymology. The definition is “Repr. a casual pron. of yes adv.” — SGconlaw (talk) 02:01, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr To be fair, we have yep and yup deriving from yeah, with a (therefore) presumed vowel change of [ɛə̯] to [ɛ] / [ɛə̯] to [ʌ]. So if we assume that yep derives from yeah, we have to accept at least that a vowel change of [ɛə̯] to [ɛ] is not unlikely in the forming of colloquial derivations (at least when the vowel is followed by a consonant). Therefore, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that a vowel change of [ɛ] to [ɛə̯] could also occur in colloquial derivations, and I'd say especially so if it would otherwise result in [jɛ], and (again) especially if it is a drawled pronunciation. Interestingly, we have the Online Etymology Dictionary saying that these two words derive from yes, rather than yeah. If that is the case, we could explain away the disappearance of the s in the purported transformation of yes to yeah. Tharthan (talk) 03:06, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
I find our etymology currently at yep to be much more convincing than what's given at EtymOnline (== Online Etymology Dictionary). And even if we posit that yeah came from yes, we have the parallel existence of yea of similar form and function -- is the argument that yea is somehow wholly irrelevant to the development of yeah? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:13, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
You'd have to ask someone who actually agrees with the listed etymology. As far as I am concerned, yeah is derived from an old, colloquial pronunciation of yea (although in actuality, yeah's pronunciation is the older one). The reason why it didn't show up in print for so long is probably (I would guess) because it was treated the same as yea; just another dialectal pronunciation. Tharthan (talk) 00:20, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Yeah is not from yea. Yea is pronounced /jeɪ/. Yeah is actually just "yes", with the s not pronounced, and the e lengthened. Of course, yeah and yes are ultimately connected, but yeah is derived directly from "yes". —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).
Based on what evidence? The say-so of an anonymous user on the internet is insufficient. Your argument is also unconvincing, as already discussed above. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:24, 3 December 2018 (UTC)