Wiktionary:Tea room/2020/July

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← June 2020 · July 2020 · August 2020 → · (current)

Adjective: predicative leftover vs attributive left over[edit]

left over reads:

Use left over after a verb, in a predicate phrase. When directly before a noun, use leftover. 

Is this a general productive pattern? Otherwise, any reference for this usage note? --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:16, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Seems correct to this American raised in the Northeast. I would say "The food is left over from last night" or "These are leftovers from last night" but "I ate the leftover food." Vox Sciurorum (talk) 15:25, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
Seems OK to a transpondian as well. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:24, 2 July 2020 (UTC)

Content Removal Request[edit]

Discussion moved to Talk:niggerfucker.

The same request has already been posted on the above talk page. — SGconlaw (talk) 19:50, 2 July 2020 (UTC)

vial vs. phial[edit]

I heard an American woman on the radio saying "vial", whereas I would say "phial". Oxford doesn't help here, but I would like to know which spelling (and pronunciation) is more common in the States. DonnanZ (talk) 23:45, 2 July 2020 (UTC)

My native-speaker intuition says vial is more common, and b.g.c ngrams agrees. However, ngrams also says that vial has been more common in British English as well since about the 1970s. —Mahāgaja · talk 07:37, 3 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm surprised by the British results though. DonnanZ (talk) 08:18, 3 July 2020 (UTC)

implex and pedigree collapse[edit]

Are these actually synonyms (as listed)? Implex defines itself as "a genealogical coefficient of a given genealogical tree; defined as the difference between the number of theoretical ancestors of a person and the number of his/her real ones in a given generation." Pedigree collapse, on the other hand, seems to refer to (and is defined as) not a coefficient, but the phenomenon of having n slots in one's family tree filled by <n people. The definitions do not sound synonymous, although they both pertain to the same topic area, and I see a book saying "a coefficient of inbreeding can be calculated for an individual as a measure of the amount of pedigree collapse within that individual's genealogy" as if the coefficient and the pedigree collapse are indeed distinct. - -sche (discuss) 17:09, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

In accord with common usage, I would expect a coefficient to be a multiplier, perhaps derived as a ratio of two numbers, not their difference. Such a coefficient (or difference) might be a measure of "pedigree collapse", just as kg is a measure of mass without kg being a synonym of mass. DCDuring (talk) 19:09, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
Pedia has w:Coefficient of relationship (presumably a measure) and w:Consanguinity (a phenomenon), which are almost certainly closely related to the terms under discussion. DCDuring (talk) 19:14, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

Take the shilling[edit]

In the usage example given, these people aren't actually joining the military, are they? They're just accepting defense contracts, right? Esszet (talk) 02:26, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

I added the quote fairly recently. No, not defence contracts, and no, they're not joining the military. What Christian Wolmar was saying is that some people in the rail industry previously employed by private companies are now government employees (having figuratively taken the shilling, a coin that no longer exists anyway) and thus no longer have the ability to contradict the government. That's my interpretation. DonnanZ (talk) 23:51, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

Londra, Londres[edit]

Why is there an r in these? That doesn’t correspond to the original Latin form at all. Did it derive from an intermediate form suffixed with -arius or something? —(((Romanophile))) (contributions) 07:05, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

I speculate that it comes from an earlier /n/, changed to /r/ to make a better onset cluster, just as the /r/ sounds in hombre and nombre do. —Mahāgaja · talk 07:11, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

bias: reason(s) for doubling the last consonant before inflectional endings[edit]

Forms such as concussed or discusses may lead people to wrongly double the final consonant of focus ―at least that's the only reason I have come up with.

Yet, I cannot come up with a potential explanation of why people wrongly write biassed or the plural biasses. --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:51, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

A lot of words end in -sses, e.g. basses, tosses, hisses. Easy mistake for anyone who doesn't think carefully about why words are spelled a certain way, and just memorises individual spellings. Equinox 22:14, 5 July 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox: that's definitely unlikely because bias is both two syllables long ending only in one -s, and the first syllable even presents a diphthong, so different from bass, toss or hiss --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:11, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Doubling a final consonant even after an unstressed vowel is not unknown in English. With l, it's the preferred spelling in en-GB (cancelled, travelled) and is widespread in en-US as well, though American editors and proofreaders will usually change such spellings to canceled and traveled. With other consonants it's less clearcut, but worshipped and kidnapped are both common enough. For this reason, I don't find it hard to understand the reason for the misspelling biasses at all. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:26, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
It's for phonological reasons. "Focused" might otherwise be assumed to rhyme with "fused" – similarly "biases" should not rhyme with, for example, "phases". The issue is that words ending in -e which take an inflected -s or -d are indistinguishable from those ending in a consonant which take an inflected -es, -ed – but the pronunciation can be different. Ƿidsiþ 13:19, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
@Ƿidsiþ: no English aliasses though --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:38, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Well, you can find that spelling in Google Books, so some people use it. I would guess that it's not as productively integrated into English morphological/orthographic patterns as some of the others, but, really, I think you're trying too hard to make everything fit into a system of rules. There are always exceptions, and you can never explain everything. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:00, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz, that comes of a little passive aggressive, and discouraging towards foreign language learners (Spanish, German). Shouldn't be your problem, but we can only hardly learn English writing like a first language, memorizings items as individual zero order rules, if practice starts rather late. 06:44, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Adding to what Widsidth has said: Intuitively I'd assume that gemination is going on, as the phonotactics are equivalent to genitive -s, which is elided after s, "Jonas' car", in English as well as in German; Spanish and French construct different posessives, and the French etymon has no morphological plural to begin with, but clearly 's' + '-s' should be equivalently 'ss' or 's'. The epenthetic schwa, substandard for possesive, obligatory for the plural in English, tends to assimilate the first s for its onset in my experience--not basing this on any formal study--so I get gemination: bias-ses; also seen in Missus "Mrs." (u for schwa, as eye-dialect), whence miss "Ms.", from mistress, IIRC. I wouldn't even know how to avoid it, and for brevieties sake's(?) I won't try to explain. I can see both variants listed, now, so I merely complain about missinformed allegations like @equinoxxes above.
There might be an interesting argument about how many of the offenders are loanwords or other innovations, if those wouldn't fit the phonotactics, and how old dislects handled this. Same goes for coming ~ Ger. n. Kommen, etc. vice versa Ger. gemein ~ Lat. communis, yet, bisection vs. dissection (viz. *dwi-, *dwis-); from an etymological PoV the systematicy is quite important. The etymology of bias is uncertain, not to say biased, after all; perhaps a case of reduplication, thus compare perhaps uncertain both, ME "bo", North Frisian "biise", Latin "ambo", "ambae", Galician "ambos", Latvian "abi", Macedon obata, dvata (you may have doubt about this comparison ~ zweifel, not zweifalt- "two-fold", zwispalt "predicament", cp. spell 2. cf. forespell and 3. cf. dry spell). 06:44, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Your post shows that your English is really bad so it's a bit rich to complain of my "misinformed allegations". No offence, I don't know how to say it nicely. Equinox 21:46, 22 July 2020 (UTC)

dice: (uncountable, formerly countable, cooking)[edit]

Hower its entry in the American Heritage Dict reads

DICE: 2. pl. dice(s) (used with a pl. verb) Small cubes of food]

Which entry is correct?

Secondly, apparently die is also used to refer to the game of dice; otherwise, what does ahdictionary refer to by

1. pl. dice
b. dice (used with a sing. verb) A game of chance using dice.

--Backinstadiums (talk) 18:22, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

my sides[edit]

Is this worth an entry? People say it if they are (claiming to be) laughing hard, i.e. something is side-splitting. On the other hand I suppose you could say "ouch! my finger!" or "my head!" when you hurt yourself, so maybe it is SoP? Equinox 19:22, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

English: (plural) The people of England; Englishmen and Englishwomen[edit]

Since English meaning "the natives or inhabitants of England collectively" it is uncountable, the current definition "Englishmen and Englishwomen" is misleading.

Secondly, its usage note reads: "The people as a collective noun require the definite article "the" or a demonstrative adjective", but isn't there a term covering both the and demonstrative adjectives? Still, the potential use of a demonstrative adjective here is not deictic, which should also be emphasized. --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:09, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

For your second point: example for demonstrative adjective: "those English next door". Equinox 19:55, 5 July 2020 (UTC)
For your first point: it is not uncountable, but plural. "The English are coming" (not "is"). Equinox 19:56, 5 July 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox: please check I edited my second point. According to the CambridgeGEL, *two English is not gramatically correct, so what would that imply if it's not uncountability? --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:00, 5 July 2020 (UTC)
"Two English" sounds (only) about as wrong to me as "two Chinese", and indeed I can find a few books saying things like "we were a small army, six Americans, one Canadian, two English and several Hollanders." and "bring the sailmakers aboard. Not the Japans—only the two English and the Spaniard." Anyway, it seems like many words are in this category / this is a general phenomenon, like "those Irish", "the poor are", "the deaf are", but not normally "two poor are". - -sche (discuss) 23:02, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

Six foot tall; a herd of elephant: special use of the singular in certain syntactic contexts[edit]

CambridgeGEL, page 1588 reads

In a herd of elephant it is arguable that the construction involves not a base plural, but a special use of the singular in certain syntactic contexts (comparable to the six foot tall construction).

What are that "special use" and those "syntactic contexts" the author refers to? --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:09, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

Huntin', shooting' and fishin'. 'The plural is regularly shot off game', so the first expression derives from the environment of big game hunting. As for noun adjunct phrases including numbers, such as six foot tall or a ten mile hike, the absence of a plural marking is completely regular. The nominative/accusative plural ending of Old English (specifically of the main masculine declension) has not been extended to these adjuncts, I think as the modern possessive ending has similarly not been extended and indeed has been removed in others. --RichardW57 (talk) 11:10, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
@RichardW57: You misunderstood. CambridgeGEL, page 1588 reads
Examples like She’s six foot tall  involve a special use of the singular form rather than a base plural: the difference between this and How many feet are there in a mile? is a matter of syntax rather than of inflectional morphology. --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:00, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

Bare genitive[edit]

Page 1595 of the CambridgeGEL reads

In writing the bare genetive has the form of an apostrophe at the end of the word: dogs’. In speech it has no realisation at all [...]; an optional bare genitive is found in certain types of proper names, where it is more likely in writing than in speech.

It's obligatory with plural nouns ending in s, regular or irregular. Nouns like species which have identical singular and plural forms with final s take it in the singular as well as the plural, and in writing this will apply to nouns like chassis too.

The bare genitive is the only possibility in fixed phrases with sake : for convenience’ sake has a spoken /s/ but not written s.

As is clear, there are several contradictions in this page.

According to the text, the singular species (ˈspiːʃiːz —some speakers pronounce the singular with -ɪz, the plural with -iːz) also takes a bare genitive, species', unlike the example given by the author in the same page quiz's (which follows the usual rule). Therefore, one would never know whether species' refers to the singular or plural.

Furthermore, chassis' for both the singular /ˈʃæsi/ and plural /ˈʃæsiz/; why not the usual rule for the singular one chassis's /ˈʃæsiz/?

Must bare genetives be divided into spoken and written forms?

What are the characteristics that would define the bare genetive as distinct form other type(s)? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:16, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

Neither the usage note in -' nor the one in -'s mention a case such as Descartes /deɪˈkɑːrt/; in the following article both forms are used https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-epistemology/. Furthermore, The pronunciation section of -' reads "pronunciation of -es'". Is the suffix -es used here? If so which meaning(s)? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:42, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

Underwear terms[edit]

Just wondering if there's an issue here or if I'm making a sandwich of a nothingburger: I suspect that some of User:BlackAdvisor's edits are POV-pushing. For instance, I argued that keeping the line "[...]chiefly worn by women" at G-string does not exclude male users – it's just how reality is, if we look at manufacturing and sales. I took a step back in order to avoid an edit war, but it still kind of bugs me – in my world, terms like "chiefly", "mainly" and "mostly" don't exclude any given group of people. Don't we miss an important aspect if we strip senses from these kinds of facts? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for gender neutrality and keeping senses as unbiased as possible, but I just can't wrap my head around what BlackAdvisor is trying to achieve with several of their edits.

Another problematic edit was labelling undershorts as "dated" – in what capacity is the term dated? If it's usage, then it's obviously wrong – just Google it and you can buy hundreds of them on several websites. --Robbie SWE (talk) 11:37, 7 July 2020 (UTC)

Some edits looked problematic to me too. Equinox 11:54, 7 July 2020 (UTC)

Pointless translations[edit]

It has been brought to my attention after being invited to participate in a discussion in the German Wiktionary and a follow-up debate in Teestube, that we might have a similar problem here.

I was surprised to find out that we too have, what I perceive to be, an issue in our translations of various languages, e.g. someone has added limba albaneză as a translation in Romanian for the language Albanianalbaneză is the direct translation and perfectly sufficient in all instances where one is referring to the language. Adding limba is only for disambiguation purposes, commonly used in Wikipedia but not necessary in everyday speech. Finnish, Estonian, Georgian, Romansch and Lithuanian are also listed as having these kinds of translations and I for one can't understand to what avail – these collocations are common in most languages and why on earth do we have them in some translation sections, or, for that matter, why do we single out just some languages? I mean, why didn't someone add langue albanaise (FR), lingua albanese (IT) albanische Sprache (DE), lengua albanesa (ES), língua albanesa (PT), albanska språket (SV) or Albanian language as a synonym in the English section of that entry, if we are to be consistent? These collocations are utterly pointless and do not help anyone looking, because at the end of the day we're dealing with tautologies. I'm inclined to delete instances where the Romanian translations look like this, but I'd appreciate input from other users. PS: I'm aware that there might be languages where this construction is obligatory to express this notion – I'm only motivated to edit in languages where I know that it isn't the case. --Robbie SWE (talk) 14:13, 7 July 2020 (UTC)


As Wyang mentioned on Xanadu's talk page, we are missing the figurative sense of this word. We only have the literal sense. Other dictionaries have a figurative sense of something akin to "an idealised, exotic place of great contentment and beauty". Tharthan (talk) 18:39, 7 July 2020 (UTC)

BUMP Tharthan (talk) 15:26, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
@Tharthan I have a classy quote for that Alexis Jazz (talk) 16:05, 11 July 2020 (UTC)

Is a murderer always male?[edit]

The Finnish Wiktionary says that English murderer is means a male murderer, and the translation at murhaaja also implies so (and thus that the word murderess must be used of female people who murder). However, the page murderer itself does not say that a female person who commits a murder isn't a murderer. Mölli-Möllerö (talk) 18:47, 7 July 2020 (UTC)

Definitely not. See numerous search results for "she was a murderer". DTLHS (talk) 18:52, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
"Murderess" is quite dated, in my experience. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.
In any case, Mölli-Möllerö, "murderer" is perfectly legitimate in reference to either a man or a woman. Tharthan (talk) 20:12, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
It might be acceptable to add murderess as a second definition for a translation from a foreign word of female gender, but murderer would always be considered correct. It's not like actor vs. actress or waiter vs. waitress. The female forms of those words are in common use and many people will expect you to use the correct one. On the other hand, some will insist that only the masculine (unmarked, linguistics sense) form should be used. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 23:02, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
FWIW, as a subjective note, I seem to be hearing actor used more and more as a non-gendered term. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:48, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Some news sources have adopted style guides banning actress. The Guardian, for example[1]. You'll also be seeing Black instead of black more often as a racial classification thanks to recent style guide changes. These choices are among the many little ways people use language to signal social and political attitudes. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 20:47, 10 July 2020 (UTC)
It seems still uncommon in Dutch to use acteur in a non-gendered fashion instead of actrice, but I can see how that could change. Alexis Jazz (talk) 17:11, 11 July 2020 (UTC)


Was recently WOTD, so I guess it got through an evaluation, but I'm curious why isn't it sum-of-parts. Mihia (talk) 09:53, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

Because it's a single word; semi- is a prefix, not a separate word so as to make this a hyphenated compound. —Mahāgaja · talk 15:29, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
Oh, is that how it's meant to work? Even though "semi-" can be added to almost any adjective? Mihia (talk) 19:24, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
-ing can be added to absolutely any verb, but going, sleeping, and staying aren't SOP either. —Mahāgaja · talk 20:23, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
But those aren't hyphenated. Personally I think that even solid words are easily capable of being SoP, e.g. cannabislike, but that opens up a new can of worms. The difference with hyphens is that the component boundary is clearly delineated, as clearly as if it were a space. Mihia (talk)
Possibly WT:COALMINE applies? Equinox 18:03, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
*groan* excuse me while I go and kick the cat. Mihia (talk) 19:24, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mihia: We have no entry for kick the cat, although Wikipedia has one. PUC – 12:01, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

get old[edit]

There is a sense "tiresome" on old, but I can't think of any way to use it without "get". Can anyone else? If not, I think we should create get old? Alexis Jazz (talk) 15:15, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

I think you can say something "is old" rather than "is getting old". It sort of implies that the activity isn't merely starting to get tiresome, it's already reached that level. —Mahāgaja · talk 15:27, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
We had this conversation in 2018: Wiktionary:Tea_room/2018/February#to_get_old. Equinox 18:02, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I've added some cites. Would it be entirely controversial create get old and immediately delete it again with links to existing discussions left as a the reason, to prevent future conversations? Alexis Jazz (talk) 19:19, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
I have redirected that page to old, to prevent this discussion coming up yet again ;) Equinox 21:36, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

least#Etymology_2 as a prepositional phrase[edit]

Calling this a "phrase" seems awkward; is it really not some other part of speech? See also Talk:least where Equinox raises another possible issue with this section (ety 2). - -sche (discuss) 19:08, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

This solves the need to repeat all PoS from at least, if it substitutes all of them, but also leaves me uncertain about that, as is. It hardly deserves it's own ety section, if the ety line could go as definition under the first--that brings up the question of PoS again. Neither variant would really save me speculation about '?t'least' ~ Ger. nicht zuletzt "at least; (last but) not least" (not "not the least", nor "not at last"). Euinox implies lest, which occured to me too. Without cites it's useless anyhow. The phrase at least has only one PoS header to date, so the bare least would be a preposition in that view. Preposition can run under Ety-1's adverb header, the waste basket of PoS. 20:21, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
There is only one PoS at at least: Prepositional phrase. Leastways, I can imagine this used adverbially, but not at the moment as an adjective. DCDuring (talk) 23:33, 8 July 2020 (UTC)


There are some problems with the categorisation of the verb run, especially with the grouping labelled "(social) To carry out an activity." In my view "To carry out an activity" is too all-encompassing to be useful, and I have no idea what "social" is supposed to mean. I don't understand on what principle this group is presently constituted. I have made several attempts at redefining it and/or redistributing the elements, but I have not been able to arrive at anything that I find satisfactory for the article overall. I'm noting this here in case anyone else feels like having a go. Mihia (talk) 21:35, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

I believe it was @-sche who inserted that dummy definition to work around some 'features' of wikitext to make the grouping of the definitions under it more apparent. Many dictionaries (See MWOnline) group definitions without having a definition under which the members of the group are placed. I don't think anyone loved the idea, but no one could suggest a practical alternative, as subsenses seem very useful to make entries for highly polysemic words like run more comprehensible. DCDuring (talk) 23:43, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
The contributor was actually User:ReidAA, no longer active, in this diff. User:-sche has worked magic on similar entries. DCDuring (talk) 00:10, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
I see no point in grouping subsenses unless one can identify and express some sort of broad or overarching definition. Mihia (talk) 00:47, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, I use subsenses where they let specific iterations of some basic meaning be grouped, but I think things should only be made subsenses if there is an intelligible "supersense" (for lack of a better word). If the desire is simply to group similar/ related/ connected senses that don't share a basic meaning, they can just be ordered in a row. In this case, we might make "to participate in a race" (electorial or foot- or motor-...) a supersense for several of those subsenses, and "to present or be presented in media" as one if we wanna group those senses, but I'm definitely not seeing "smuggle guns" and "be a candidate for mayor" as subsenses of one unified supersense. - -sche (discuss) 08:47, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
I removed the spurious "macro-"sense. - -sche (discuss) 05:24, 26 July 2020 (UTC)


There's a quote request for "A rough, flat scrubbing broom for scrubbing a ship's bottom under water".

I just ran into "I would not consider a ship unseaworthy because she had a hog. There is no danger to life in sailing in a hogged ship. I have sailed in vessels having a 2-ft. hog in the keel. The keel has been straightened by being filled in underneath."

This is something else I guess? It's a nautical term, though. Verb sense 4 seems related, but here we have a noun. Alexis Jazz (talk) 22:09, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

It would be a ship that's hogged. Perhaps noun is missing. Equinox 22:32, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
Added noun. Alexis Jazz (talk) 15:18, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

argon and unwork are doublets of each other?[edit]

Is that correct? What does it mean to say so? How does it help readers? Equinox 00:17, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

That is not what a doublet is. Removed. DTLHS (talk) 00:38, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
This is rather far-fetched, but both constituent parts (a-/un- and ergon/work) are indeed doublets. PUC – 10:53, 10 July 2020 (UTC)

幾度 / 何度[edit]

Hello, I don't think these entries are pronouns. Opencooper (talk) 01:59, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

@Opencooper, what's your thought then on the classification of English how many as a pronoun? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:46, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
@Eirikr Hmm, seems I was mistaken in what counts as a pronoun. Thanks for the link. Opencooper (talk) 20:40, 9 July 2020 (UTC)


I translated the Spanish verb rochar (Limpiar el terreno de matas antes de sembrarlo.), as deshrub, but then lol'ed as that's not really a word. Is there a word for this in English? --Dada por viva (talk) 14:41, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

How about brushcutting? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:43, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
brushclearing also seems to have some currency. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:44, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

Requesting a specific English translation of the Chinese word 互文[edit]

The term 互文 in the context of rhetoric and narratology refers to a suprasegmental feature where texts from neighbouring segments are understood to be inseparable. Chiefly, the subjects should "share" their respective predicates with each other in some way across segments. A frequently quoted example is

將軍百戰壯士十年 [Classical Chinese, trad.]
将军百战壮士十年 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: c. NanbeichaoTang eras, anonymous, Ballad of Mulan (《木蘭詩》)
Jiāngjūn bǎizhàn sǐ, zhuàngshì shínián guī. [Pinyin]
[Translation intentionally left out; see below.]

A literal reading would have been

Generals, after hundreds of battles, are killed; warriors, after a decade's fighting, return.

However, with 互文 it is understood to mean

Among generals and warriors, many are killed after a decade of countless of battles, but some of them survive and return.

On smaller scales one may find

顏色 [Classical Chinese, trad.]
颜色 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: 816, Bai Juyi, Ballad of the Pipa Player (《琵琶行》)
Mùqù zhāolái yánsè gù. [Pinyin]
[Translation intentionally left out; see below.]


Evenings go; mornings come; my countenance becomes old.

With 互文

Evenings and mornings come and go; my countenance becomes old.

One could have explain 互文 thus as "reciprocal reading of syntactically parallel text", etc. But I sense that there must be one super precise translation of this term in English (probably derived from Ancient Greek roots). Suggestions? Thanks! --Frigoris (talk) 14:56, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

Nothing comes to mind, but you might want to browse the en:Rhetoric category in hope of getting lucky. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:07, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, @Vox Sciurorum. On second thought, such phenomenon kind of straddles grammar and rhetoric. --Frigoris (talk) 18:29, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Some thoughts: the characteristic of the examples can be summarised as:
Where A, B, A', B' is displayed textually,
There A, A', B, B' is meant.
This has some similarity to a chiastic construct, but not the same (the parity is different). --Frigoris (talk) 19:50, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Honestly, examples on the entry may be superior than finding a word for it. —Suzukaze-c (talk) 02:36, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
@Tooironic, Suzukaze-c, thanks! Of course a precise and brief translation would be preferable. But if that isn't practical, a precise yet slightly wordy one would be good, too. --Frigoris (talk) 11:27, 12 July 2020 (UTC)

wansta, hasta[edit]

Taking into account the definitions of wansta, hasta, namely Third-person singular simple present indicative form, the entries of wanna/hafta shouldn't reads just "(informal) Represents a contracted pronunciation of want/have to", respectively --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:32, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

I would define them as pronunciation spellings of wants to and has to rather than conjugations. And I'm getting the urge to reread Riddley Walker. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 20:36, 10 July 2020 (UTC)

false hope, false hopes[edit]

Worth an entry? {{R:Cambridge}} has one. PUC – 10:26, 10 July 2020 (UTC)

more than ever[edit]

Worth an entry? PUC – 10:43, 10 July 2020 (UTC)

deejay : acronym[edit]

Is deejay an acronym (as opposed to the abbreviation DJ)? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:23, 10 July 2020 (UTC)

I would call it a pronunciation spelling of DJ. DCDuring (talk) 16:15, 10 July 2020 (UTC)
I think "DJ" is technically an initialism. All initialisms are abbreviations, but not all abbreviations are initialisms. If it were up to me, I'd pattern the deejay/DJ entries off the emcee/MC entries. 2601:49:C301:D810:24D0:E544:65D6:C41E 02:42, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, any English acronym from DJ would be impossible- no vowel. To illustrate the difference with ISO: as an initialism it would be /ˌaɪ ɛs ˈoʊ/ (General American pronunciation), but as an acronym it would be /ˈaɪsoʊ/. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:49, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

HQs : plural of the abbreviation of “headquarters”[edit]

According to the CambridgeGEL, headquarters has the same singular and plural form, but HQs is the plural of the abbreviation of "headquarters".

Aren't both statements contradictory? According to Wiktionary, hdqrs (plural hdqrs). Yet, does h.q. or H.Q. have a similar plural? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:02, 10 July 2020 (UTC)

Unsure what you mean? A statement about the plural forms of Word A has little bearing on the plural forms of Word B. The term headquarters is one lexical item, with a plural form that is identical to the singular. The term HQ is a completely separate lexical item, which has a plural form that differs from the singular.
Could you restate your question? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:06, 10 July 2020 (UTC)
When HQ is pronounced as an initialism, there is no "s". When the plural is pronounced as an initialism, there is an "s". When HQ is pronounced as headquarters, HQs is also pronounced as headquarters. This is the kind of peculiar little detail that CGEL is not going to bother with.
No human language is simple enough to be completely described by any single reference work. I don't think CGEL's authors would claim otherwise. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:45, 10 July 2020 (UTC)
Just to be ornery: when you ask "Aren't both statements contradictory?", are you implying that it's possible that one statement is contradictory, but the other isn't? That question makes about as much sense as some of the questions you tend to ask here. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:52, 10 July 2020 (UTC)


On June 30 I asked if there was an opposite word for "racist" that wasn't negative? My question is legit and honest - yet it seems to have been scrubbed. I was having a conversation and stated "I like the Green Ladies on Star Trek - does that make me racist or anti-racist or philoracist or racephile? I don't know if those words even exist so I asked on Wiktionary." I honestly would like to know if there's a pleasant word I can use to say I like all colours, shapes, sized, etc. without dredging up the divisiveness of today. Censoring my query does not help anyone. If there is no such word then say so (and wonder why not). Censorship is never the answer, better ideas are. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 16:59, 11 July 2020 (UTC)

Not censored, but misinterpreted as off-topic. @Metaknowledge thought you were asking for help in making up a new word, which is not something Wiktionary does.
I've heard racialist used to refer to someone who thinks in terms of the characteristics of different races as a whole without racial hatred. In reality, it's not much different from racism in the narrow sense- it still leads to racial discrimination, and it can progress into full-blown racial hatred very easily. In modern usage, racism usually includes both racialism and racial hatred. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:35, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, in practice "racialist" (and also e.g. "race realist") is often used as a literally "eu-phemistic" (i.e., casting the concept as a positive or neutral thing) word for "racist". If one wants to say one "like[s] all colours", I'm not entirely sure why there would be a word for it, any more than there would be a word for someone who likes people of all religions, or hair colours. - -sche (discuss) 19:21, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
@JasonCarswell I suggest calling yourself a hippie. Alexis Jazz (talk) 22:55, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
If you like them all then you could presumably use nonracist... Equinox 23:22, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox It is rather suspicious though. Like calling yourself a nonrapist or nonmurderer. Buy cereal. Alexis Jazz (talk) 23:31, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
Reading this exchange the term euphemism treadmill comes to mind. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 00:02, 12 July 2020 (UTC)

racialism, racialist[edit]

The definitions and labels here have room for improvement, I think: I don't think the use of "racialis(t|m)" to mean "racis(t|m)" is just a dated British thing, I expect it still happens some today (as a euphemism especially in self-identification, see the section above). Also, def 1 of racialism corresponds to def 1 of racism, AFAICT, making it and def 3 of racialism redundant. (Defining racism is also tricky and may also need review; Merriam-Webster recently made headlines by tweaking their own definitions of it.) - -sche (discuss) 19:27, 11 July 2020 (UTC)

Linguist John McWhorter's 2016 essay[2] is worth a read for his thoughts on what racist means. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 19:02, 13 July 2020 (UTC)


I think the adjective form of Democrat, the form that liberals hate to hear because Rush Limbaugh uses it, is really a noun. You don't say "Senator Warren is Democrat". You say "Senator Warren is a Democrat". It happens that Republican is identical in noun and adjective form so you can't which form is used for "Republican Senators". I propose to delete the adjective sense and keep the essence of the usage note. Maybe, "When used attributively, ..." Vox Sciurorum (talk) 21:44, 11 July 2020 (UTC)

Good point. Pending evidence of actually adjectival usage, I agree with you; existing usage does seem adequately explained as attributive. - -sche (discuss) 02:18, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
But it is used in place of "Democratic": some people would say "The Democrat Party". DTLHS (talk) 02:25, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
That doesn't stop it being a noun, though (like "The Independence Party" or "the secession party"). - -sche (discuss) 05:08, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
Doesn't this ignorant form go back to Goldwater, and perhaps further back to rustic speech in parts of the South? Modern users might intend to create a distinction in their speech between "democratic" and "Democratic", but I always thought that this originated out of ignorance of grammar amongst some less educated folks. Tharthan (talk) 03:17, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
I always perceived this as associated with advocacy of the notion that the "Democrat Party" was not democratic, ie, it was controlled by the party elite and institutions such as the Trilateral Commission, the Ford Foundation, etc. Since the ear doesn't recognize the difference between Democratic and democratic, speechwriters must have been trying another way to reinforce their point. DCDuring (talk) 04:54, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
Compare small-c conservative! Equinox 04:56, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
We have separate noncomparable Adjective PoS sections for many words, eg, Communist, Socialist. In most case the word rarely is used in ways that meet the tests for adjectivity. We have these Adjective PoS sections because contributors seem to be unaware of the fact that (almost?) any English noun can be used attributively and that no new semantic information is added in most of these Adjective PoS sections. DCDuring (talk) 05:09, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
For "communist" and "socialist" you can of course qualify them with "very", "more ~ than", etc (at least in lowercase: finding capitalized examples could be tedious). For "democrat", whether capitalized or not, I have not seen evidence that this is possible. - -sche (discuss) 05:16, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
Is that done for the capitalized forms? Is it possible to determine whether a given use is of a proper or common noun? One can stretch the use of virtually any proper noun by using more, very, too, etc., but we don't generally seem to deem that sufficient.
I'll bet I can find usage of very Democrat, though I'm not confident it would be durable archived. That doesn't mean I'd advocate keeping the Adjective PoS section. DCDuring (talk) 05:31, 12 July 2020 (UTC)


Has anyone come across this word?

"Allied to this is the greater prevalence of 'leaveism', where employees are unable to disconnect from work because of the increased use of technology." DonnanZ (talk) 21:57, 11 July 2020 (UTC)

I forgot to check Wikipedia (Leaveism), I will try to understand that... DonnanZ (talk) 22:06, 11 July 2020 (UTC)



Currently אמן is listed with four interjection senses — respectively, "so be it", "surely", "truth", and "faith" — and {{attention|he|these senses seem like they belong to a noun and an adverb}}. I personally know only one definition for this word: {{n-g|Used to express agreement with what was just stated}}. I suspect that the four definitions we have are trying to get at that. (FWIW, they were all written by the same author, and later merged into the current entry.)

Also, amen is now listed with an adverb and an interjection sense — respectively, "At the end of religious prayers: so be it" and "An expression of strong agreement. Often, though dated, in the phrase 'Amen to that'" — which seem to duplicate one another.

Whadday'all think?​—msh210 (talk) 12:31, 12 July 2020 (UTC)

I would hazard a guess, especially since the senses were added in 2008, that this may be another example of the once-common tendency to add "different ways of expressing definition x" as different definition-lines. - -sche (discuss) 19:53, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
I updated the entry to use Msh210's wording. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:33, 15 July 2020 (UTC)


Please move this page to Module:zh/data/ltc-pron/翱. Thanks. -- 13:52, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

@Suzukaze-c, Justinrleung -- 05:40, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
@沈澄心: Yes check.svg Done. Next time, just ping me on the talk page. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:30, 19 July 2020 (UTC)


Please move this page to Module:zh/data/ltc-pron/扯. Thanks. -- 13:53, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

@Suzukaze-c, Justinrleung -- 05:40, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:32, 19 July 2020 (UTC)


This has had a module error since in the Etymology 2 Noun declension template since @Rua edited it a couple of days ago. This revolves around matters of Proto-Slavic accent and automatic detection of accent classes, which I know little about- but it needs to be fixed. Also pinging @Benwing2, who was the last to work on the module in question. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:25, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

@Chuck Entz, Rua The module is correct in that a lemma that's accent a needs a grave accent on it, marking the old acute register. I'm not sure why Rua made that change; if she doesn't respond in a day or so I'll revert it back to where it was before. Benwing2 (talk) 00:15, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
Oh, I made a derp. The lemma previously said *dь́rča, which is invalid, but I replaced it without looking at the AP. Fixed now! —Rua (mew) 08:17, 14 July 2020 (UTC)

Conflict over content of Plasmodium[edit]

@陳弈豪 has repeatedly deleted content from Plasmodium and is persisting in doing so without discussion of his objections to the content. Could someone in a position to act as arbiter please intervene. I have just begun a discussion at Talk:Plasmodium and invite inspection. JonRichfield (talk) 18:48, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

I've reverted back to 陳弈豪's version. Your edits are clearly inappropriate for Wiktionary — just try to find another definition that's three sentences long! Moreover, you seem to have Translingual and English confused; one should not be discussed in a definition line under the other's section. Also, I fixed your links above.Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:58, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
@Μετάknowledge Please give me a link or similar source to clarify Translingual and English, and explain its relevance to this dispute. JonRichfield (talk) 04:12, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
See About English and About Translingual. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:04, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. That was informative. However @Μετάknowledge, it is perfectly valid to point to the related article to prevent confusion, as might easily arise in this context. (I bet most of Wkt's participants do not know offhand that there is a significance to the capitalisation of the word.) JonRichfield (talk) 08:33, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
That's what {{also}} is for, which is already at the top of the entry. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:29, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
The entry looks pretty good to me, except for the overlong caption for the image. DCDuring (talk) 21:36, 13 July 2020 (UTC)


vṛddhi and vr̥ddhi are the more commonly used spellings in literature for vrddhi. I'd like to recommend selecting vṛddhi as the primary form, and making vrddhi and vr̥ddhi hard redirects to it, congruent with Wiki Vṛddhi (not that that matters). @Rua --{{victar|talk}} 21:58, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

Can you provide any evidence for your claim? I looked at BGC, and I mostly see vrddhi. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:08, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
Also, hard redirects are explicitly forbidden by WT:REDIR. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:09, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: Relying of Google OCR to differentiate vṛddhi/vr̥ddhi from vrddhi is probably virtually impossible: vṛddhi/vr̥ddhi[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]. How many examples do you want? Hard redirects aren't forbidden for diacritical differences. --{{victar|talk}} 22:24, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
Re OCR: Yes, that's why I clicked through to look at the books in question. Re your references: What is your point? We want to determine commonness. Re hard redirects: please actually read WT:REDIR. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:01, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: The point is to give you a list of commonly cited academic sources that all use vṛddhi/vr̥ddhi. You need to be mindful that you're actually referencing usages referring to the linguistic process, and not the Sanskrit word itself. For that, you're better off searching for "vrddhi derivative". --{{victar|talk}} 23:26, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
That's a good point. With more careful searching, I am now convinced that I was wrong and vṛddhi is most common. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:33, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
Addressing the redirect issue, vr̥ddhi is a diacritical variant of vṛddhi. Is that also a non-permissible hard redirect? WT:REDIR only covers that vrddhi => vṛddhi is forbidden. --{{victar|talk}} 01:52, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
It's a different orthographic choice, and therefore should be a different entry. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:01, 14 July 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Matasović, Ranko (2009) Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN
  2. ^ Martirosyan, Hrach (2010) Etymological Dictionary of the Armenian Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 8), Leiden, Boston: Brill
  3. ^ Kroonen, Guus (2013) Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN
  4. ^ Fraenkel, Ernst (1962-1965) Litauisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, volume I-II, Heidelberg-Göttingen: Carl Winter and Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
  5. ^ Schrijver, Peter C. H. (1995) Studies in British Celtic historical phonology (Leiden studies in Indo-European; 5), Amsterdam, Atlanta: Rodopi
  6. ^ Zair, Nicholas (2012) The reflexes of the Proto-Indo-European laryngeals in Celtic, Leiden: Brill, →ISBN
  7. ^ Sihler, Andrew L. (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN

getting any younger[edit]

Entryworthy? I think it's saved from being SOP by the fact that it's basically a euphemism for "getting old". Taken literally, of course no one is getting any younger, but in practice it would be absurd (and probably deliberately humorous) to say of a six-year-old, "Well, he's not getting any younger." —Mahāgaja · talk 08:10, 14 July 2020 (UTC)

Why wouldn't you say "Should we tell him the truth about Santa Claus? Well, he's not getting any younger."--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:39, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
I don't think I'd say that. It sounds odd to me. But maybe other people? —Mahāgaja · talk 13:06, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
The entry would probably be [[not getting any younger]] rather than [[getting any younger]]. But we should not have this. It's a standard example of litotes. Likewise, we should not have [[not so pretty]] (=ugly), [[not such a smart guy]] (=stupid guy), etc.​—msh210 (talk) 14:01, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
MWOnline has an entry for not getting any younger, probably because they are trying to serve a market that includes those who don't know what litotes is. Fortunately we don't have that problem, except for a negligible number of English learners.
I'd argue that we may as well include the not. One can also find not gotten any younger, not get any younger, and (not) gets any younger ("none of us/nobody/no one gets any younger", "no X gets any younger", "one never gets any younger"). So perhaps the lemma would be not get any younger with no explicit form for not gets any younger, but a perhaps a usage note for the way not occurs. DCDuring (talk) 14:07, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
One doesn't need to know what litotes is called to know how to use it. It's a standard part of how English works, a/k/a SOP.​—msh210 (talk) 08:19, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
The 'extra' definitions in almost all polysemic words are applications of metaphor and yet we have definitions. (See head.) DCDuring (talk) 15:08, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
This from Lexico. Yes, not getting any younger, I say it often. DonnanZ (talk) 14:26, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
The reason I didn't include the "not" in the suggested lemma is that the negation can be expressed differently, e.g. "Neither of us is getting any younger". Negative polarity items can usually be found in questions: "Which of us is getting any younger, after all?" sounds plausible. —Mahāgaja · talk 15:24, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
And there are other 'licensing conditions' too. (See w:Polarity item.)
But I think that the form with not is more common and readily recognized. We can just have a hard redirect from one to the other, in either direction. DCDuring (talk) 15:08, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

I think it's not SOP because the sense should probably read something like "action should be taken sooner rather than later". (feel free to copy that if you like) If I say "my car is getting old", it means.. that my car is.. err.. aging, nothing special. But if I say "my car is not getting any younger", it is probably in a context that suggests we should drive it right now. First three (usable) results from Google books:

    • 2008, Linnea Larsson, Coeur D'alene, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 168:
      She said in a monotone, “Not getting any younger.” “You don't want to go on for ever working here. The last year, six months, you've pretty much run the place. I figured—” I didn't finish because Angie had dropped her face into her hands and begun to hiccup.
    • 2014, Kieran Kramer, You're So Fine: A Novel, St. Martin's Publishing Group, →ISBN, page 27:
      “Lots of 'em. They're my most popular item. But you're not getting any younger, honey.” Sheena's voice quivered with the nervous energy she usually suppressed when Walt was around. “No one's getting any younger, and I'm doing just fine with that.” “And I know from experience”—Sheena wasn't listening at all—“that with a child in tow, it's gonna be that much harder to find someone.” “I don't want a man.”
    • 2015, Christine Feehan, Wild Cat, Hachette UK, →ISBN, page 13:
      I'm not getting any younger, Siena, and you might start thinking about marriage and babies. Come to think of it, Elijah isn't married, and he's not getting any younger. He's quite goodlooking.

I would actually consider a separate sense for "suggesting someone should get married or have children", which this phrase is very commonly used for. Alexis Jazz (talk) 11:01, 16 July 2020 (UTC)


There is now an excess of information about comets. Is this a good thing or bad thing? DonnanZ (talk) 09:21, 14 July 2020 (UTC)

There are also thousands of minor planets left to add, if they are welcome. Most of the words belong in a dictionary for other reasons. Some of them are two word names collapsed to a single word, like 4418 Fredfranklin and 4749 Ledzeppelin. Some are transliterations of non-Latin names, like Kozlovskij for Козловський. According to Wikipedia that could also be spelled Kozlovsky or Kozlovskiy, but only one spelling is used in the list of minor planets. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 13:48, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
Hmmm, in the Robert H. McNaught article in Wikipedia it lists all his discoveries anyway. This one was named after him, he didn't discover it. DonnanZ (talk) 14:16, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
I'd argue for a more compact presentation of synonyms and hypernyms, ie, a horizontal, comma-separated list and no coordinate terms. Couldn't any comet name go into the coordinate terms list. When I use coordinate terms in entries for taxonomic names, I have some terse, but explicit clue about the principle by which terms are included in the list, eg, "in tribe X". DCDuring (talk) 14:21, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
If we don't want every coment and minor planet, a rule like the one for chemical formulae at Wiktionary:CFI#Chemical_formulae would be a good compromise. Uses in writing for a general audience count, checklists and scientific publications do not. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 14:36, 14 July 2020 (UTC)

English scan vs. skim?[edit]

"I scanned the essay" vs. "I skimmed the essay"... I always get these two mixed up. What exactly is the difference? Is there a difference? I vaguely remember hearing that "scanning" and "skimming" are distinct, yet similar? I also see that the scan page has a link to a usage note on the peruse page, but I'm not entirely sure what it's saying. Is it basically saying that "scan" and "peruse" are ambiguous? They could mean "to read carefully", or they could mean "to skim"? 2601:49:C301:D810:2D48:EAA4:A308:F590 02:31, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

In my usage the order is skim, scan, peruse in increasing order of attention. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 15:48, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

primary tense, secondary tense[edit]

Worth entries? PUC – 12:50, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

@PUC: Yeah, or else just add appropriate senses to primary and secondary. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:34, 16 July 2020 (UTC)


I have found an inconsistency that I cannot solve by myself.

The source that I use is this and in chapter II (section I.2.1) it firstly says the following thing:

"Les noms à finale vocalique accentuée sont tous marqués comme féminins. Nous avons pour notre part connaissance de deux exceptions : abbá « père », kataysá « ami » qui sont sont masculins."
"The nouns that are accented on the final vowel are all marked as feminine. We ourselves know only two exceptions: abbá « father », kataysá « friend » which both are masculine."

But then the paper goes on to state in section I.5.1.2 that there are two words to describe a camel, alá « female camel », that is feminine as a gender, and rakúb « male camel », and this is where it strikes me as odd, as they say that this word is masculine, even though the word is stressed on the last syllable. So which is it, is it a feminine word to describe a masculine meaning or is it a masculine word that they overlooked in the first section, or is it actually rákub (stressed on the first syllable) and thus masculine? Thadh (talk) 14:12, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

@Thadh:, Finale vocalique seems to me to mean not "last vowel", but "Vocalic ending", i.e. the word ends with the stressed vowel. wouldn't include rákub.--ColinFine (talk) 11:06, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
Ooh, thanks, I guess I read over it; That explains a lot. Thadh (talk) 11:25, 17 July 2020 (UTC)

pram vs. stroller vs. pushchair?[edit]

Could I have some clarification on this from native speakers? Are these terms synonyms?

  • pram currently reads "A small vehicle in which a newborn baby is pushed around in a lying position"
  • while stroller reads "A seat or chair on wheels, pushed by somebody walking behind it, typically used for transporting babies and young children"

But in some entries, those are said to be synonyms (for example, at baby buggy). Also, pushchair is sometimes given as a synonym of stroller, sometimes as a hypernym of both pram and stroller. I find it very confusing.

In French, I'd say there's a distinction between a poussette and a landau: here's what I have in mind.

PUC – 15:13, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

A pram is your "landau" picture. A pushchair is your "poussette" picture (a pram is evidently not a chair). Don't know about stroller as it's not UK English. Equinox 15:18, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
The images you have provided are typical of the old, but still used US terms baby carriage and stroller. The strollers of the 50s-70s were intended to be lightweight and compact when folded up. They were flimsy. Newer stroller designs are sturdier. I think there are now various terms intended to distinguish these sturdy designs from the flimsier ones. I don't see baby carriages, as pictured, much anymore either. DCDuring (talk) 15:43, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
We call them strollers where I live. I am not familiar with other terms for the concept than baby carriage and stroller being used for these things in my neck of the woods, even by younger parents. I am aware of pram and (to a lesser extent) pushchair being Briticisms for the same concept(s). Tharthan (talk) 21:49, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
In Dutch it's just a buggy, sans baby. Which according to that page is also valid in the UK. Like DCDuring, I don't recall seeing prams much recently. Alexis Jazz (talk) 11:24, 16 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Having had two kids while I lived in France, I had some time to consider this vocab! A poussette is a pushchair, which is also a stroller in US English. A landau is a pram or baby carriage, but they're not very common now. A buggy can be either – it just means "something you push your kid in". That's how I'd divide them up, anyway. Ƿidsiþ 20:11, 16 July 2020 (UTC)
  • In my experience, the wheeled things babies sit up in are called "strollers" in American English, and I don't recall seeing the wheeled things babies lie flat in, except in media about the past or the posh (where the things are "baby carriages"). Google Image searches support my feeling, as far as what type of thing those words typically refer to, and also that the things babies lie flat in are also at least sometimes called "strollers" these days. Google Image search suggests "baby buggy" typically refers to the things babies lie flat in rather than the things they sit up in, in whatever varieties of English use it. - -sche (discuss) 01:02, 17 July 2020 (UTC)

How do you call this?[edit]

How do you call this?

How do you call such bags in English? cooler bag, cool bag, thermal bag (see thermal bag), insulated bag, something else?

And if these are not cooler bags, what are cooler bags?

Also, a freezer bag is something different, right? PUC – 15:44, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

@PUC In Dutch it's a diepvriestas. Lidl, Appie Though it's probably also known as a koeltas or vriestas.
There may not be a specific term for it in English. Tesco has a Tesco Icecream Insluated Bag and Tesco Tropical Large Insulated Bag. Walmart has the Walmart Canada Hot And Cold Thermal Bag. Target sells a Reusable Thermal Freezer Bag, though on the bag itself it says "insulated thermal bag". Alexis Jazz (talk) 06:25, 16 July 2020 (UTC)
Actually Dirk and Spar call it a koeldraagtas. (cooling shopping bag) Jumbo and Plus call it a diepvriestas like AH and Lidl. Alexis Jazz (talk) 01:01, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
I hear them called insulated + (shopping) + bags. DCDuring (talk) 10:49, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
@DCDuring What would you call this? Alexis Jazz (talk) 11:57, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
Big + insulated + bag. DCDuring (talk) 14:11, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
For all of these sometimes tote instead of bag. Tote replaces older shopping bag for many speakers, partially because they are used for more than shopping. DCDuring (talk) 14:18, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
BTW, the correct English question is "what do you call...". "'ow do you call" is a bit of a stock phrase in mock-Franglais of the kind Hercule Poirot might use :) Equinox 16:08, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
Gaah, I make that mistake all the time! Thank you ~ PUC – 20:23, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox, so, what are you feeling today? (in Dutch it's also "hoe noem je dit?", not "wat noem je dit?") Alexis Jazz (talk) 09:28, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
@Alexis Jazz: Well, those could both work in English: "how do you feel?" "sad"; "what do you feel?" "sadness". I am reminded of a certain weird prescriptive habit that makes some people say (IMO wrongly) "I feel badly" instead of "I feel bad". One feels badly if one is wearing thick gloves. Equinox 21:42, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox: Linguistically both work, but their meaning tends to be different. During an experiment or examination one might ask "What are you feeling?", the question being inquisitive and the person who asks doesn't necessarily care if you feel good or bad. On the other hand, "How do you feel?" is often asked either because one cares about how you feel or because one wishes to pretend they care. Since in many instances it's inappropriate to answer that question negatively. This is why NLP is so difficult, no AI could ever come up with this. Alexis Jazz (talk) 01:34, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
Source??!! Haven't you seen that Star Trek film with Spock? "HOW DO YOU FEEL..."? Equinox 01:41, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

sin arcada no hay mamada[edit]

Thanks to WF's filling the newly-created Category:Spanish rhyming phrases, I've discovered this pretty little entry. Wiktionary really is a beautiful place! PUC – 21:31, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

A web search turns up an alternate form "si no hay arcada no es mamada". Vox Sciurorum (talk) 11:43, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

Consequences for translation sections of not splitting senses in English entries[edit]

Let's take a look on exhausted, which provides a good example of what happens when senses are not split properly from the start. The two senses 'depleted' (of resources) and 'very tired' were lumped together, and it was not until this edit in 2014 that a new translation gloss was added. Both before and after this edit, both senses were probably added as translations to the first translation gloss. After this edit, the only glosses that should be in the first translation box should be the ones belonging to 'very tired'. However, I can see that at least Russian исче́рпанный (isčérpannyj) and вы́работанный (výrabotannyj) and Swedish uttömd belong to the sense 'depleted' (of resources). It is probably the same for many more languages that I don't know currently being in that box. Fixing all these translations by moving is a large task. And it's all because senses were not split properly from the beginning. Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 22:31, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

Common problem. Replace {{trans-top}} with {{checktrans-top}} to get some attention to the problem. Also replace {{t}} with {{t-check}} for individual translations to get attention from those interested in the language in question. DCDuring (talk) 14:21, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
Yes, it is common to find translations out of sync with English definitions, or not obviously corresponding to specific English definitions, or where the necessary development of English definitions breaks or splits some translation headings. Per DCD, I put the ones I don't understand or can't resolve myself into a "checktrans" section, often along with an explanatory inline comment. Mihia (talk) 22:13, 22 July 2020 (UTC)


More input at Talk:secondmost would be welcome. Equinox 03:59, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

bien public[edit]

Bien public is literally translated as public good in the sense used in economics. I added a quotation (at amende) which uses it in a different sense, physical things that you're not allowed to vandalize. I translated as public works. Is that correct? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 13:54, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

@Vox Sciurorum: I'm not a native, but I'd speak of public property instead; as I understand it, public works refers to something massive, while a bien public could be something rather trivial, such as a bench, a bin or, as here, a road safety camera. I don't think one would describe any of these things as "public works".
I've added a new sense, but it sounds rather SOP. PUC – 18:33, 16 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. It's one of the situations where we need the sum of parts definition to complement the specialized meaning. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 20:07, 16 July 2020 (UTC)


The last of three or more items can be referred to as the last-named 

--Backinstadiums (talk) 18:02, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

drop a chalupa[edit]

"After a supposed resemblance of pieces of shit to chalupas". I know we're describing a slang term, but that doesn't sound like the right register for an etymology section. PUC – 18:32, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

Changed to feces. Ultimateria (talk) 04:38, 17 July 2020 (UTC)

Colors in Polish[edit]

I've just seen Colors table in Polish and it looks like some terrible result of machine translation. "Cyjan" is not a color in normal Polish and the link on its page (PWN) only confirms it (it says it's some sort of gas). I have never ever heard "magenta" used and pronounced the way its page suggest, the word might be used among specialists, but should it be included in the table then? Webdevelopers occasionally use the English term, but it's definitely a jargon. "fuksja" and "indygo" are used but they are of those terms an average male would have no idea what they really describe -- the right and most obvious word in this cell would be "fioletowy". The term "miętowy" or "limonkowy" could probably be marginally used as a colors, but so is "śliwka" (plum) or "łososiowy" (salmon) and I've heard the latter ones used quite a few times and can hardly recall the former ones being really used in everyday conversations or the literary laguage. "karmazyn" or rather "karmazynowy" is, I'd say, literary. I dare to say most of people couldn't probably tell what kind of red it really is and nobody uses the word in everyday conversation to describe color of things. The more I look at the table, the stronger is my impression it was filled by an automatic (if not machine) translation of the English original.

If the table is meant to represent the common color system of Polish, I'd say "mint green" is just "zielony", so is "lime" (or they should be grayed out). There should be no "karmazyn", "fuksja" or "magenta". And so my question is: what is this table meant to represent? Could somebody help me decide what is a clear omission or mistake here? And could somebody help me edit it at all so that it wouldn't be considered vandalism? -- Zalmoksis (talk) 19:46, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

  • I have converted it to the noun "hydrogen cyanide" with a basic headword. I know nothing of Polish colours. SemperBlotto (talk) 19:52, 16 July 2020 (UTC)
Most of the color tables are similarly awful as a result of trying to shoehorn the color systems of every language into a single common scheme, represented by the parameters of Template:table:colors. Having such a common table was a bad idea from the beginning. Individual language's color systems should have custom tables that reflect how those languages actually divide up the color space. (See Template:table:colors/egy as a potential example.) — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 21:04, 16 July 2020 (UTC)
While I think it can be useful to know what each language's word for each of the "English" colours is, or to know that a language does not have a word for a certain such colour, I do agree that the "main" or "basic colours" list should be organized based on what colours that language considers basic. I like the setup of the Egyptian template. I think there should be some mention in readable English of what the colours are, though (where currently only hex codes, images, and Egyptian words are provided), for accessibility to e.g. screen readers for blind users who can't see the colours, though also for anyone who's unsure what a certain cell is "supposed" to be; this could just be added to the alt text if it is considered unimportant to "average" users. (E.g., instead of the alt text over the pure-black square being "#000000", I would prefer "#000000, black".) - -sche (discuss) 21:57, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
If you look at the history of {{table:colors}}, it was okay up to about here (I don't think cyan was a good idea, but, other than that...).
That said, the main problem is that the boxes contain precise color values, but color terms in normal language are ranges or even groups of ranges.
To do it justice, you would need to have a gradient from one limit of the color to the other at the very least. Then there are phenomena such as red vs. pink and black vs. gray vs. white which add a dimension of lightness to the dimension of hue.
Otherwise, you run into issues like deciding what to show in languages that don't distinguish between certain colors (hint: cyan is a lousy compromise between green and blue)... Chuck Entz (talk) 02:33, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

cauldron battle[edit]

Is this word, meaning "battle of encirclement" and calqued from German Kesselschlacht, worth including? Attestation isn't a problem [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8], and it appears most results refer to battles involving the Wehrmacht, as could be expected. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:37, 17 July 2020 (UTC)

Yes, as cauldron does not have the relevant meanings Kessel has, so cauldron battle is not SOP. Fay Freak (talk) 09:40, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
That might have a cross reference to kettle (verb). --ColinFine (talk) 11:15, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
So, how should the label read? "Only by authors with German as first language"? "Only in works about conflicts involving German troops"? DCDuring (talk) 14:09, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
The first one wouldn't be true (R.H.S. Stolfi, Lee Baker, V. E. Tarrant and Stephen Walsh all seem like native speakers of English to me), the second wouldn't be far off the mark in any case and it gave me pause as to whether it merits inclusion. In a way the uses seem rather mentionlike, even if they aren't italicised or in quotation marks, and the word can only be said to be part of the English language in a very marginal way. Fay Freak's argument on the other hand would also be my case for inclusion. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 17:15, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps, only by authors who speak both German and English. It needs some kind of hint that it is not part of the vocabulary of more than 99.9% of English speakers. It might make sense to some of the 99.9% only because of the live metaphor. DCDuring (talk) 19:47, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
@DCDuring Do you think the current labels and usage notes suffice to get the point across (they might as well be a bit of overkill)? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:34, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
I'd say that both the label and usage note are too long, by about a factor of two, but at least it's accurate. DCDuring (talk) 15:02, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
@ColinFine It's been included. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:34, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
Deserves a definition in both languages, even leaving out the many instances in English of "Kesselschlacht, literally 'cauldron battle'". Vox Sciurorum (talk) 18:51, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks to all participants for your input. I have found it invaluable. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:42, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

0 /ou/[edit]

What are the stresses reading dates such as 1901, /nainti:n oυ wan/? --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:18, 17 July 2020 (UTC)

Multiple. If you have multiple words there is no one word stress. (Lemmings suggest us to add word stress, word accent, lexical stress, lexical accent.) Fay Freak (talk) 09:42, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
I'd pronounce it /ˌnaɪntiːn oʊ ˈwʌn/. —Mahāgaja · talk 10:37, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: so stress shift on nineteen even though /oʊ/ is not stressed? how do you pronounce nineteen nineteen (the year 1919)? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:46, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: /ˌnaɪntiːn naɪnˈtiːn/. Maybe there's a tertiary stress on /oʊ/, but there's no IPA symbol for tertiary stress. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:56, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: Currently nineteen reads (UK, US) /ˈnaɪn.tiːn/ (next word stressed near the first syllable). However, you avoid stress clash even in 1901. Last question, what about nineteen ninety-nine ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:42, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: /ˌnaɪntin ˌnaɪntiˈnaɪn/. To be fair, I avoid stress clash in phrases like ˌnineteen greˈnades and ˌnineteen creˈators as well. —Mahāgaja · talk 16:23, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: maybe here's the reason: (LPD: occasionally, when stress-shifted, also /ˈnaɪntən/) A schwa cannot be stressed. Could you tell me whether you also avoid stress clash in the rest of the teens? Thnx --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:11, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: It's definitely the same for all the teens, not just nineteen. And I don't reduce the second syllable to schwa. Failing to shift the stress when the following word starts with an unstressed syllable (e.g. nineˌteen greˈnades) doesn't sound wrong to me at all, and I might say it that way myself sometimes, but ˌnineteen greˈnades definitely feels more natural. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:13, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

in danger[edit]

I don't see a difference between our two senses. PUC – 10:37, 17 July 2020 (UTC)

See in danger at OneLook Dictionary Search. Can you see the difference in MWOnline's two definitions? DCDuring (talk) 11:58, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
The first is location, the second direction. Translate into Latin and you see. Fay Freak (talk) 15:49, 17 July 2020 (UTC)


I was very surprised to not find the words ordentlikheid and ordentlik here or even in the Afrikaans Wiktionary since they are or were used very often and in very multifaceted ways in South Africa. Here and here are detailed discussions of the very important social situations they describe and that are determined by them, but it doesn't seem to have sentences in Afrikaans. On the other hand, these terms are or were apparently often used in English too, very similar to the use of apartheid in English.

It's just as surprising that there is not even a single paragraph on ordentlikheid in either the Afrikaans or English Wikipedias.

The main reason i looked for these terms in Wiktionary is because i heard that they don't or no longer exist in Dutch, but then they are missing as older forms of Dutch. --Espoo (talk) 07:04, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

Our coverage of Afrikaans simply isn't that extensive. You'll find that many basic words are still missing.
"i heard that they don't or no longer exist in Dutch". That is incorrect, ordentelijk and ordentelijkheid are current terms in Dutch. Our entry for ordentelijk is in fact relatively complete. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:45, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
Defining "multifaceted" words may be best left to people who live in South Africa and understand the social situation, lest we offer a misleading definition. I try to stick to simple concepts, usually with exact translations, in languages other than English. There is a page for requests: Wiktionary:Requested_entries_(Afrikaans). Vox Sciurorum (talk) 12:29, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

clip it[edit]

clip it wasn't tagged when I came across it. I added {{lb|en|idiom|archaic}}, but then had doubts. Is it archaic? I seem to remember my grandfather using the term, but he's not durably archived...--CasiObsoleto (talk) 11:28, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

Shouldn't this be at clip ? Leasnam (talk) 02:07, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
Not if it's specifically used only with it. Compare leg it, peg it. Equinox 02:54, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

?! vs !?[edit]

Is there any differnce in meaning between the two orders? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:43, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

I feel like the first is a stronger form of a question mark (sort of ?? or just a question that is shouted out loud), while the second one is the question about a specific shout (like yes!? means 'is it correct to say "yes!"?'). But I think this is more a subjective question. I doubt that there is an official difference in meaning. Thadh (talk) 13:37, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
I also tend towards a grammatical distinction where ?! will be used in a question (which would normally end in ?), versus !? in an assertion or exclamation (where ! could be normally used). I don't think this is standardized enough to be documented though and I would not be surprized to hear that someone e.g. uses the exact opposite distinction from me. --Tropylium (talk) 15:50, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
I have rarely if ever seen "!?" and would not use it. Equinox 16:18, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
In chess they have very canonical meanings, and are clearly distinct. -- King of ♥ 03:10, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
They seem interchangeable to me.__Gamren (talk) 11:19, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
At some point I noticed-determined that !? is Japanese preference and ?! is English preference (perhaps not actually true). —Suzukaze-c (talk) 05:48, 22 July 2020 (UTC)

Alternative forms per etymology[edit]

Hey, I encountered a little sort of a problem. The word manzu in Corsican can mean either ox or tame. The first meaning has only the alternative form mansu, while the second is itself the alternative form of a more regular mansu, which in turn has also the alternative form massu, which cannot (or at least, I haven't found evidence it can) be used for the first meaning. (Yep, it's a little complicated). So to sum up, I have Etymology 1 and Etymology 2 and the two have different alternative forms. How should I make the entry, as the Alternative Forms should precede all Etymologies? Thadh (talk) 13:32, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

@Thadh: In this case you can make alternative forms postcede the glosses – some put it so anyway if there is only one etymology, especially if the alternative forms are really irrelevant like for water. So far only as a section; I think there should be a template for alternative forms equal to {{syn}}. You can also make them follow the etymology immediately, that is precede pronunciation and part-of-speech headers. So to summarize, the ordering of the alternative forms according to WT:EL does not work if there are numbered etymology section which WT:EL also allows, therefore of course it cannot apply then that “alternative Forms should precede all Etymologies”, and as there is such a gap in the regulatory framework and the ordering sometimes also contravenes relevancy principles in user-offending ways it also doesn’t generally apply. Fay Freak (talk) 14:14, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
Alternative forms do not have to precede the etymology or the POS section. You may also place it as a subsection of the POS section. So manzu (ox) can have the alternative form mansu, while for {{m|co|manzu||tame} you should probably use {{alternative form of|co|mansu}} as the definition line and then you can put the alternative forms manzu and massu at mansu (tame) under the (I presume) adjective section. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 16:27, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
Thank you both, this is wonderful. I will probably use post-etymology pre-definition formatting, as it is the closest to my standard formatting, but it is nice to have my options open :). Thadh (talk) 18:55, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

Attributive noun vs. adjective[edit]

In poker slang, there are several words which can only be used attributively, i.e. to modify a noun or other word. For example:

They cannot be used as a normal noun:

*I have a nut
should be
I have the nuts
(a defective plural, so I don't think you can say it's just the plural form of the singular "nut")
Hero decides to fold here
(a completely different sense of the word "hero" referring to the protagonist player, regardless of whether they make a heroic move)

They also cannot be used as a predicative adjective:

*This straight is nut
*That call was hero

So my question is, in these cases, how can you tell if a word is a noun or an adjective/adverb? I will note that Wiktionary currently has nut as a noun, and hero as not a word (i.e. the meaning can only be found at hero call). I disagree that hero call is a set phrase, and believe that it should instead be considered SoP, because hero is at least somewhat productive: "hero fold", "hero laydown", "hero bluff", etc. -- King of ♥ 03:07, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

The standard tests used to determine whether a word that is sometimes used with a given meaning as a noun is also an adjective are:
  1. Predicate use,
  2. Modification by adverbs like very and too (gradability), and
  3. Use in comparative and superlative constructions
We just need one of these tests to be attestably met.
If a word when used attributively takes on a meaning not found when used as a noun we would also show that meaning under an adjective PoS heading.
From what you have written so far, we would probably place the poker definitions of hero and nut under noun headings. DCDuring (talk) 06:53, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
Interestingly, nut itself is a superlative, albeit a defective one. For example, you can say "second nut flush" (cf. "second best flush"), but there is no comparative or regular form of nut.
Anyways, are you ultimately saying, it doesn't matter if a word can be used as a normal non-attributive noun or not, the only thing we care about is whether one of those three adjectival properties hold? I'm not sure I agree with your criteria. For example, main can only be used attributively, and meets none of the three criteria, but is uncontroversially considered an adjective. -- King of ♥ 13:05, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
The tests are to reduce duplication of noun and adjective PoS definitions. We use these tests because they are advanced in CGEL (2002). We are trying only distinguish adjective usage from noun usage where a given word is used with both functions with the same semantics. Main as adjective does not have a semantically corresponding noun in current mainstream usage. The nouns that do correspond semantically are clearly derived from the adjective. DCDuring (talk) 19:24, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
Etymology sometimes helps: if something was an adjective before it was a noun, later use in situations where it could be either can be considered to have continued being adjectival, under a WT:JIFFY-like Talk:aliquot test. (See also Wiktionary:English adjectives.) There's also been discussion of whether something being adjectival in e.g. Middle English would suggest "ambiguous" cases in English should be seen as continuing to be adjectival (see Talk:silk, though silk#Adjective was deleted in part because the "adjectivalness" of the Middle English word was itself suspect), which might be relevant to main.
Otherwise, treating a word as continuing to be whatever it was until there's proof it has changed would lead me to view these as nouns. Occam's razor: we know nut (in other, etymologically-related and even semantically-related senses) is a noun, so absent proof it is an adjective, I'd treat "ambiguous" cases as nouns, since they can be adequately explained as nouns, and doing that does not require us to posit novelly (and without proof) that the word gained a new part of speech. - -sche (discuss) 19:12, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
I tend to agree. I would say that "unusual" claims of the adjectival use of words that are ordinarily known only as nouns, such as "nut" and "hero", do require a reasonable level of positive "proof". The expression "second nut" seems interesting though. If this is to be understood analogously to "second best" (which I wouldn't know myself), then "nut" does seem hard to explain as a noun. There could be other possible analyses though. Mihia (talk) 19:37, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
I can find some examples that seem like superlatives, like:
  • 2014, Nicolae Sfetcu, About Online Poker:
    In poker, the nut hand, or just the nuts, is the strongest hand possible in any particular situation. [...] On this same board, the hand 5♧ 5♢ would be the second-nut hand, four fives; and the third-nut hand would be any pair of the remaining three aces, making a full house A-A-A-5-5.
But, as you say, other analyses are conceivable. The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang only has "nut flush" and "nut player" but not "nut" by itself — I looked to see if they gave any indication of its part of speech. - -sche (discuss) 20:11, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
On raw Google (but not in durable places yet) I can find people saying a "[hand/flush] [was/is] nut high", where analysing "nut" as the same kind of thing as "best" does not seem to work as well (one can say "the hand was best high", but it means something different, I think). I can find one book referring to "a nut high draw", parallel grammatically to another book saying "A player can, but doesn't need to, use the same two cards to make both a best low hand and a best high hand." Perhaps it is a superlative adjective... - -sche (discuss) 20:20, 22 July 2020 (UTC)


Since the main entry is located in , should this page be moved to Module:zh/data/och-pron-ZS/圞 (if so, Module:zh-glyph/phonetic/list and Module:zh-glyph/phonetic should also be changed)? -- 05:32, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

@Suzukaze-c, Justinrleung -- 05:39, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
I don't have the confidence to make such a decision. —Suzukaze-c (talk) 06:09, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
I didn't move this one, but just created Module:zh/data/och-pron-ZS/圞 with the same data as Module:zh/data/och-pron-ZS/圝. I don't think we should make big changes with the glyph origin stuff. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 07:52, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

to advantage, to good advantage, to great advantage, to best advantage, show to advantage?[edit]

Worth an entry? Multiple dictionaries have an entry for one of those.

PUC – 10:04, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

cheap at twice the price // cheap at half the price > dear at half the price, expensive at half the price[edit]

I can find a few hits for dear at half the price and expensive at half the price, but I don't know if those are worth entries. PUC – 12:39, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

anaphora (plural anaphora(s) or anaphors)[edit]

Can anaphors really be the plural of the singular anaphora? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:11, 19 July 2020 (UTC)


There's a cute quote at fling, "Tis Fate that flings the dice: and, as she flings, / Of kings makes peasants, and of peasants kings" which is attributed to Dryden. Literally every quote page on the internet has this phrase too, attributed to Dryden, but for the life of me I can't find it in any of John Dryden's works. Either the whole word made a mistake, or I didn't crank up my quote-searching skills to 11. Can anyone lend a hand? --CasiObsoleto (talk) 22:24, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

Apparently a translation of Juvenal's Satires: "Si fortuna volet, fies de rhetore consul, si volet haec eadem, fies de consule rhetor." Equinox 10:26, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
If derived from these lines of Juvenal, then a paraphrasing rather than a translation.  --Lambiam 23:10, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
Here the source is given as “The Works of John Dryden Volume XV, 1821 Edition (p. 103)“, and so do several others,[9][10][11] but I did not find it on that page, nor on any other page of that volume. The lines are clearly from a poem (or form an entire two-line poem).  --Lambiam 23:10, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Translation target: minimum/maximum punishment[edit]

I'd like to make a translation target for "the range of allowed punishments for a given crime", but I don't know what to call it. Initial translations would be Danish straframme, German Strafrahmen, Swedish straffskala. I was thinking "punishment range". I believe English doesn't have a word for this because most Anglophone countries practice common law. There is however the concept of Mandatory sentencing.__Gamren (talk) 11:13, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

Together they define some sort of range (sentencing range, sentence range, guideline range) in many U.S. jurisdictions. Vox Sciurorum (talk)
If you want to get an idea how legal professionals discuss sentencing in the United States, browse the Sentencing Law and Policy blog. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 16:30, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
For update: I made sentencing range.__Gamren (talk) 07:19, 1 August 2020 (UTC)

Proto-Finnic *mato (worm)[edit]

@Tropylium: You write, that a borrowing from Proto-Germanic *maþô (worm, maggot) is unlikely "due to the lack of a clear Indo-European etymology", but the connection to and origins of Sanskrit मशक (maśaka) are far less certain, with no clear PIE cognates, but also a pretty divergent meaning of "mosquito, fly". The paradigm of the Germanic points to a pre-Germanic formation, giving it actually a pretty good provenance. Germanic also has the additional definition of "moth", found in *muþþǭ, which connects much better to Samic *muocē (moth), if that's a hat we're trying to hang on this as well. --{{victar|talk}} 16:02, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

I'm paraphrasing Holopainen for that. Really the crux of the argument is Sami though: there's no way to derive *c from *þ(þ) (none to derive *uo from *u either), but it would be regular thru Iranian. Once we have a pre-Samic *mača around, there's also no reason to not also connect Finnic with that. — FWIW even the opposite could be really more feasible (*muþþǭ as a separate borrowing from Samic), as proposed in the the 2000 paper from Kallio that suggests *maþô as a loan from Finnic.
We don't actually have any kind of a special paradigm attested in Germanic, do we? As far as I can tell it's one of the cases where Kroonen reconstructs an alternating paradigm from just a lexical doublet (but I don't have his thesis around to check). --Tropylium (talk) 22:35, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
@Tropylium: The glaring issue that none of these authors seem to acknowledge is the semantics. A midge ≠ a worm. I can understand how you can get from one to another but, undeniably, the Germanic semantically fits better with the Uralic terms than with Iranian. Also, I don't know what PG *-þ(þ)- to Samic would look like, but Samic *-c- > PG *-tt- doesn't seem very convincing. PG exhibits a PIE (pre-Germanic) n-stem paradigm of *maþô ~ *muttaz, from *mat-ḗn ~ *m(a)t-nés, according to Kroonen. The Iranian forms derive from *máxšiH ~ *maxšyáHh, whence Pashto ماشی(mā́šay, mosquito, midge) and Sanskrit cognate मक्षि (makṣi), मक्षिक (makṣika, bee, fly), so *máxšiH → PF *mačo also seems very problematic. --{{victar|talk}} 23:01, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
@Tropylium: OK, I created PII *mákš which seems the root of the various forms. To again contradict Holopainen et al., the Indo-Iranian presumes a *mak-/*mek- root, not **maḱ-. --{{victar|talk}} 04:33, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
I can see the paradigm that Kroonen reconstructs, the question was if any of it is attested. It seems to me that reflexes only show the two unalternating stems with no direct evidence of them having been the same paradigm.
Anyway, let's see if we can agree first on what is going in Indo-Iranian. For starters note that the Uralic etymology is not with Sanskrit मक्षिक (makṣika), but मशक (maśaka) + Pashto māšay (mosquito) taken together. The latter is currently listed under *máxšiH, but there's obviously something wrong with this, since distinct mučəy (fly) is also given as a reflex. (Though to me it seems this also points to something else yet like **muška-; a direct cognate of musca??) Per Mayrhofer (EWAia II:335), māšay is instead from *māsyaka (should be *masyaka though; *a *ā > ā o in Pashto) and together with Sanskrit points to separate PII √mać-, with further cognates in Baltic (Lith. mašalas, Latv. masals; Derksen agrees). Mayrhofer also does not share our currently listed analysis that मशक (maśaka) is metathetic and *makácaH would be original, but instead suggests the opposite. FWIW this makes sense to me: given the "animal suffix" *-āća-, metathesis from *maćaka- to *makāća- (or "distant haplology" via *maćakāća-) would be motivated, while the opposite not really.
A second problem is that your derivation of *mákšiH from an unattested *mákš doesn't seem to make sense. If this were a root noun *mak-, suffixing feminine *-iH would instead result in **mákiH; while if the cluster were a part of the stem, then *makáćas ~ *makátas could not be derived from it. It seems to me that anything like this should require either closer morphological analysis or a reference of some sort (preferrably both). --Tropylium (talk) 15:28, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
  1. Semantics matter, and I'll keep repeating this until my face is blue. 🥶
  2. Yeah, n-stems level like that in PG. See: {{R:gem:Kroonen:2011}}.
  3. -xšy- > -š- is a predictable outcome in Pashto, compare PIr *báxšyah > Psht وېش(weš, division), and -xš- (> -šk-) > -č- is seen elsewhere, cf. PIr *rixšáh > Psht ريچه(ričá, nit), but it's also been suggested that this form is borrowed/influenced by Dardic, compare Kashmiri ماچُهی(mač̣hí). The -u- is simply from labial rounding of an unstressed vowel.
  4. You have two scenarios that you can believe: a) That both Iranian and OIA, represented by Pali makasa (which, mind you, is a separate branch from Sanskrit, and not descended from it), both independently metathesized ć..k > k..ć, or b) Sanskrit alone metathesized k..ć > ć..k and reanalyzed it as a ka-suffix.
  5. How Latvian masals and Lithuanian mašalas fit in this, I have no clue, but if we're going to throw other languages families into it, you can't ignore Latvian mãkatas. I haven't really looked into Latin musca, but it wasn't that long ago people were trying to connect maggot directly with this root.
  6. It's annoying, but sometimes the stems of nouns are included in derivatives. This happens quite a bit with r/n-stems, but also s-stems, ex. *dʰrā́gʰs > *dʰragʰs-tó-s > PG *drahstaz > *drastaz > PWG *drast.
--{{victar|talk}} 22:45, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Sidenote: I do also have a couple cute little theories on *makš-: 1. PIE *medʰ- (bee) (whence *médʰu) ⇒ *médʰ-k- > PII *makš-, and 2. PIE *menk- (to torment, pester) (whence PBS *mánˀkīˀtei) ⇒ *mn̥k-s- > PII *makš-. --{{victar|talk}} 02:40, 23 July 2020 (UTC)


According to the CambridgeGEL, page 1763,

Omission of initial h (the ’ammer) or the final g of the gerund-participle suffix (huntin’) is found in the representation of direct speech to indicate socially distinctive pronunciations.

Why is 'ammer added but not huntin'? --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:22, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

Every single -ing word in the world could be spelled -in`, and every single word beginning with h pronounced /h/ could also replace it with an apostrophe. Just like you can turn any th into s/z to imitate a Frenchman's English ("zis is ze way to do it"). It's silly to think about adding these nonstandard forms that are "procedurally generated" from normal spellings rather than being words of their own. You should instead ask "why do we have 'ammer?"; the answer is that the troll Wonderfool added it. Equinox 18:30, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
Possibly a stupid question, but in that case, why not update the CFI to not adding such entries, and delete 'ammer? Thadh (talk) 21:33, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
There's no guarantee that such an update if put to a vote would pass. DTLHS (talk) 01:21, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

Polish ślub and Belarusian шлюб[edit]

To my knowledge, Polish ślub means "matrimony", "marriage" (in general). The Ukrainian descendant шлюб (šljub) only means "matrimony", "marriage". I am less sure about the Belarusian descendant шлюб (šljub). Does the Polish word also mean "wedding" (wesele) as the "marriage ceremony" or "party"? @DrKumpelek, Tweenk.

In Polish ślub means "wedding", as an act of marriage, espiescially matrimonial vow. The noun wesele means "wedding" in the sense of party after matrimonial ceremony. --DrKumpelek (talk) 01:25, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
@DrKumpelek: Thanks for the quick response. I have updated both ślub and шлюб (šljub). Pls let me know if you disagree. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:00, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
I can confirm, ślub means "marriage ceremony" and usually occurs either in a church or a government office, wesele means "wedding reception" or perhaps more accurately "wedding feast". --Tweenk (talk) 15:21, 22 July 2020 (UTC)

Also calling @Benwing2, PUC, I don't know if the "wedding" sense in the Belarusian entry in this revision was accurate. It can really go both ways, it probably depends on the Polish usage of the word. I am pretty certain that the Ukrainian шлюб (šljub) doesn't have this meaning but Ukrainian and Belarusian don't have to be the same. http://www.slounik.org/ has a lot of examples and translations, among them is "(обряд) венчание ср.; бракосочетание", which made me doubt that my removal of the "wedding" sense was justified. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:19, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

rolling boil[edit]

Entryworthy? PUC – 13:36, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

bicycle path[edit]

I propose to change the definition of bicycle path from "segregated from other traffic" to "segregated from motorized traffic". The so-called bicycle paths where I live in New England are really mixed-use paths or shared use paths, allowing people on foot, skateboard, bicycle, unicycle, etc. Twenty years ago an editor of US DOT standards was aggressive about changing all references to traffic to explicitly include pedestrians. If this attitude is common the use of traffic in the definition may mislead readers. Are non-motorized paths elsewhere called bicycle (bike, cycle) paths? (Aside: I was going to describe the DOT editor as having a burr in his ass about the issue, and then I noticed there is no definition here. Is that a well known idiom?) Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:45, 22 July 2020 (UTC)

In the Netherlands a bicycle path may also be used by scooters, which is a type of motorized traffic, so I'm not sure if the definition will be correct. I think it depends strongly on the region you live in. Thadh (talk) 19:51, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I added a usage note instead. Is your description of a fietspad? In my area if the pavement is contiguous with the main road we say bicycle lane, even if there is a marking or row of plastic poles to separate traffic. Does Dutch make the same distinction? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 20:06, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps (although I cannot come up with a term right off the top of my head), but there is no difference in terms of usage; a scooter will always ride on the same part of the driveway as a bike. Thadh (talk) 20:13, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
I don't drive or cycle, but I had some idea that a cycle lane was a reserved bicycle lane on a road for motor vehicles, while a cycle path was indeed more like a path or footpath, perhaps e.g. going through a park and not part of a road at all. (I believe in parts of the UK these are called greenways and also support pedestrians and horses. We don't seem to have that sense of greenway yet. Cf. redway.) Typing "cycle path" into Google Images (admittedly low-effort) seems to find pictures of both paths and traffic lanes. Equinox 21:29, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
To me here in the UK, "bicycle path" and "bicycle lane" both feel rather unidiomatic. Not that I am saying you will find no examples, but the usual terms are "cycle path" and "cycle lane". As far as the difference between these is concerned, I would agree with Equinox. Mihia (talk) 00:50, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
Here in the US (Los Angeles), it's mostly "bike path". Chuck Entz (talk) 03:38, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

Why does dicky have 2 separate etymologies?[edit]

They both basically say "dick + -y". I ask because I was going to add the slang sense of "penis" (OED has it) but it's not clear which ety it should go under. Equinox 21:27, 22 July 2020 (UTC)

Because etymology 2 is etymology 1 of -y and etymology 1 etymology 2 of -y. The etymology of the adjective under etymology 1 I do not understand for sure. Conversion of dicky “louse”? As in lousy and nitty? Or of someone who just wears a shirt? Fay Freak (talk) 00:32, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
It would be helpful to know which sense of "dick" is referred to by ety 1, if it is etymologically distinct from "penis" that would be a rationale for keeping them distinct . Ety 2 is of course referring to "penis" and is where the "penis" noun would go, if the etys are kept separate. - -sche (discuss) 03:09, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

Is "for" an adverb ?[edit]

conj.: Because; since.
adv.: Because of this; for this reason.

However, the only "adverbial" meaning/use I can find elsewhere doesn't match AHD's

21. (adverb, prep) in support of something: in favor of or in support of something
prep Who's for the motion and who's against it?
adverb Ten voted for, and eleven against.

--Backinstadiums (talk) 10:18, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

  • ... coming for to carry me home. ? SemperBlotto (talk) 10:21, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I can't think of any case where "for" means "because of this" or "for this reason". The other case that you mention, e.g. "ten voted for", where "for" is a "preposition" used "adverbially" with absent but implied object, is a bit of a pain, but as we presently treat these, probably we should list it separately as an adverb. Mihia (talk) 22:11, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mihia Ouch! We'd have to include against as an adverb as well, then. It seems more natural to adopt a grammar rule that the object of a preposition can be understood. --RichardW57 (talk) 08:38, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
Yes, "against" would work the same. I suppose to get a proper handle on this we would need to assess existing preposition articles to discover how many "preposition with implied object" cases we presently list as adverbs, and would therefore lose by a policy of excluding them, and how many extra "adverbial" entries we would need to add if we systematically listed all of them. Another thing to bear in mind is that omission of the preposition object is not by any means always possible; for example in the case of "for", skimming through the list of preposition senses, I think "Supporting; in favour of" may be the only one that allows the object to be dropped/implied, so by treating this as a blanket rule of English we would lose this information. Another option, of course, would be to make a note at the individual preposition sense that omission of the object is possible. Mihia (talk) 16:57, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
For now, what I've done is just add a usex to the preposition sense, labelled "with implied object". Mihia (talk) 17:15, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
Sometimes FOR begins a dependent clause and follows a comma, and sometimes it begins an independent clause (as if it were a conjunctive adverb like moreover) and follows a semicolon or period (when it is capitalized as the first word of a new sentence).

--Backinstadiums (talk) 23:45, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

Is this meant to explain how "for" can mean "because of this" or "for this reason"? I would like to see an actual example because at the moment I don't see it. As far as the "conjunctive adverb" possibility is concerned, well, if that is defined in terms of possible punctuation styles, we may as well include "but" as a conjunctive adverb, since it can, in a certain writing style, "follow a semicolon or period" and be "capitalised as the first word of a new sentence" just as well as "for". Sometimes conjunctive adverbs are distinguished from conjunctions on account of their being moveable; this would differentiate "moreover" from "for". However, defining "conjunctive adverb" can be a grey area. Mihia (talk) 00:19, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
My 2 cents. The only adverbial use I can find or think of is the "vote for something" which is the same as, for example, "I was all for going to the lakes, but the others wanted to go to the beach". -- ALGRIF talk 11:16, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

Possessive marker in nouns ending in a silent -s (Descartes)[edit]

Neither the usage note in -' nor the one in -'s mention a case such as Descartes /deɪˈkɑːrt/; in the following article both forms are used https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-epistemology/

Furthermore, The pronunciation section of -' reads "pronunciation of -es'". Is the suffix -es used here? If so which meaning(s)? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:35, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
That is a French name. There is no reason to expect a French name to sound like English or to be an English word because it isn't one. Jesus Christ. STOP STOP. Equinox 23:33, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox: a Middle French name to be precise. --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:06, 25 July 2020 (UTC)
Wiktionary says Descartes also an English word! A less iffy example may be précis, though its possessive is relatively rarer, as some consider it bad style. --RichardW57 (talk) 08:46, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

performative authoritarianism[edit]

I tried, but I'm sure someone could improve on my attempt at a definition. Thanks. -- ALGRIF talk 10:18, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

Sounds SOP, I would RFD it. PUC – 11:11, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
Pretty good definition. I wonder whether there are cites that fit the definition. DCDuring (talk) 16:29, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
Sounds a bit SoP to me too but I've never heard of it before. Is this a widespread term? Can we get more citations to convince one way or the other? Equinox 04:44, 30 July 2020 (UTC)


Adverb, usage note:

"When describing literal position, one can always substitute the word inside for in, and in many constructions, this is mandatory. For example, one must say a room with a rabbit inside, not *a room with a rabbit in."

This seems untrue. For example, "Look, there's a plane coming in" cannot be replaced by "Look, there's a plane coming inside", and ditto for "He ran to the edge of the swimming pool and dived in". I propose just deleting this note unless anyone can see something that I don't, or something worth salvaging. Mihia (talk) 18:56, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

Aren't come in and dive in spearate lemmas from come and dive, respectively? The first one I am fairly certain about, the second one I have my doubts about, but it seems like it (although the lemma doesn't give such a definition). Thadh (talk) 19:00, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
Well, we have to choose representative examples for the relevant adverbial sense(s) of "in". I don't think it matters if there are also idiomatic senses, which may happen with such a ubiquitous word as "in", as long as the examples are literally or systematically explainable as verb + adverb "in", which I think these are. Mihia (talk) 19:06, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
However, in the end I chose "flew in" for the "plane" example in the article. Mihia (talk) 21:17, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

When a noun followed by a restrictive clause is preceded by “whichever” or “whatever”, it is incorrect to introduce the clause with *that*[edit]

When a noun followed by a restrictive clause is preceded by whichever or whatever, it is incorrect to introduce the clause with that in formal writing: Whatever book you want to look at will be sent to your office or Whichever book costs less is fine with us.

What are the grammatical reasons for this? Is it worth adding this info as a usage note? --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:20, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

To me this feels at or beyond the limit of what a dictionary should concern itself with. I feel uncertain generally about the purpose of usage notes, and where we should stop. For any given sense of any given word, voluminous usage notes might be written. I don't know on what basis we include certain information. At the moment it is probably random, based on whatever some editor thought of. Mihia (talk) 22:09, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
IMO, the content of a usage note should be brief and specific to the headword. If the same note would apply to more than a handful of other headwords, then it is too general, too much like grammar. It would belong in our sister project Wikigrammar or possibly Wikistyle. DCDuring (talk) 04:51, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

rootin' tootin'[edit]

Currently our definition reads "Alternative form of hootin' tootin'", which itself is defined as "Of or pertaining to hooliganism." Personally I have never heard of hootin' tootin', and "hooliganism" is not exactly how I would think of rootin' tootin'. I think of it more like the definition at [12], "Brashly or boisterously enthusiastic", merging into connotations of something like "very good/impressive in a lively way". So, two questions. Do people generally view hootin' tootin' as the primary form to which rootin' tootin' should direct? Do people see "hooliganism" as valid sense separate from the others I quoted, or is "hooliganism" just a strange (to me) attempt at expressing the "boisterously enthusiastic" meaning? Mihia (talk) 10:57, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

Per Ngrams, "rootin' tootin'" is the main form ("hootin' tootin'" is to rare to plot). - -sche (discuss) 05:05, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mihia: Like you, I haven't heard of h~t~ and would have guessed it meant r~t~ which I associate with boisterous activity but not criminality. Equinox 21:47, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
  • OK, what I've done is relegate "hootin' tootin'" to a "See also". Mihia (talk) 08:28, 4 September 2020 (UTC)

alongside of[edit]

alongside: prep. or alongside of
--Backinstadiums (talk) 11:34, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

back of[edit]

The expression back of is an informal variant of in back of and is best avoided in writing: a small stable in back of the house --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:57, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

Emmental cheese, Abertam cheese etc.[edit]

In the entry cheese. Do we really need all these entries? "Emmental cheese" is something I would only say if talking with someone who might be expected to not understand that I was talking about cheese. I see it as just a short way of saying "Emmental (which is a kind of cheese)".__Gamren (talk) 12:51, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

I agree. If created, these entries would be SOP in my opinion. —Mahāgaja · talk 13:33, 25 July 2020 (UTC)
If speakers and writers always followed Grice's maxims (specifically "Avoid obscurity of expression"), then no one would need a dictionary. One can indeed hardly find Emmental used to refer to the cheese without cheese or fondue on the same page. Otherwise the use follows use on previous pages or is geographic, which use is not covered in our entry for Emmentaler.
BTW, in English, according to MW Online, Emmental is one of three alternative forms of Emmentaler, the others being Emmenthaler and Emmenthal. But, according to Google Ngrams Emmental is the most common, followed by Emmentaler, Emmenthal, and Emmenthaler. In the 19th century, Emmenthal was by far the most common, exceeded by Emmenthaler only in 1890. The uncapitalized forms are one fourth or less common than the capitalized ones, emmental (no English entry) being the most common, followed by emmentaler, emmenthaler, and emmenthal.
Of the capitalized form Emmental cheese is more than four times as frequent as any other form in collocation with cheese.
So there is a little constructive work to do to sort this out in the mostly missing entries.
Abertam seems a simpler case, except for the etymology being from Czech Abertamy, from German Abertham. DCDuring (talk) 21:33, 25 July 2020 (UTC)
I think there is no harm from creating them and it is actually elliptical if one does not add “cheese”. Often this is just necessary. Vienna sausage. Why not Frankfurter sausage, frankfurter sausage? This must also be by WT:JIFFY or an analogy to it. Fay Freak (talk) 22:43, 25 July 2020 (UTC)
They do not seem necessary to me. Why not remove them from "derived terms" at cheese (if that's where they are) and instead add Emmental, Abertam etc. as hyponyms? Equinox 21:49, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

Breathless prose[edit]

Would someone review my edit to breathless, please? I added another example of usage in the same style as an existing one but am not convinced that I have done so correctly, it doesn't look to be formatted correctly. More generally, shouldn't "Breathless prose" have its own entry, as 'purple prose' does? --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 21:53, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

Not bad. Milton Keynes 16:30, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
Looks fine. I wouldn't give breathless prose an entry because it's adequately explained by the two separate words, whereas purple prose really seems to be a unit (you don't hear about *purple writing). Equinox 21:51, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

Object boy[edit]

In a recent discussion with others I found some people (including myself) use boy to mean thing (in roughly the same way one would use one or sucker), like "I went to the store and picked up a frozen pizza. That boy cost me five bucks.". I feel like this usage is common enough for cites to exist but I'm struggling to find any myself due to the other senses polluting searches.

Here are some non-citable examples of the usage I'm referring to:

-- Mocha2007 (talk) 02:04, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

Some of the reddit examples remind me of the phenomenon of referring to e.g. cats or snakes as [e.g. long] boys (or bois); it seems plausible (and your examples seem to show) that people would also apply the word to plants and then even to objects. "Bad boy" is used somewhat similarly, as seen via google books:"this bad boy cost". (I would've expected "ol' boy" to be used similarly, but could not find examples.) We would need citations from books or the like (magazines, newspapers, songs that were released on CDs or other formats that libraries archive, etc) in order to add it. - -sche (discuss) 04:56, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
I'm reminded of how Irish uses buachaill (boy) and cailín (girl) to refer to objects that are grammatically masculine and grammatically feminine, respectively. For example, if you ask for a spoon (spúnóg f) and someone offers you several because they don't know which one you want, you can say Sin í an cailín ceart (That's the right girl) as you take the correct one. —Mahāgaja · talk 23:43, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Also that's the bunny. Equinox 23:58, 1 August 2020 (UTC)

Not really Eyeline or guideline...?[edit]

I am looking for a word that I am sure exists, but I do not think it is either "eyeline" or "guideline". In data presented in multiple columns of matching items one often has a line, or a string of dots or stripes of alternating colours to assist in the visual matching of entries and values, functions or locations. Is there a general term for such guiding lines?

For example:

Chapter . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page

Setting out . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Arrival. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Suggestions welcome. JonRichfield (talk) 04:31, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

@JonRichfield: Leader? J3133 (talk) 05:38, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
@J3133: Much appreciated. I was not aware of that usage at all, but it seems to be the precise term for the printing I described. I thought there must be such a term, and if no wiser than before, I now am better informed. Thank you very much. I shall post a related query shortly. JonRichfield (talk) 18:43, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

Ruling and shading terms[edit]

Writing paper commonly is feint-ruled in various patterns, but sometimes one gets paper, usually for computer printout, in which, instead of feint ruling, one gets alternating stripes of white and a faint colour, usually a light blue or cyan. Writing or printing then is done on both tinted and white stripes. This can be useful in printing wide pages of reports, and sometimes for writing too, providing much of the same function as a leader. Could anyone please tell me of any accepted term for such striping? JonRichfield (talk) 18:43, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

That's called zebra striping. Equinox 21:53, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

posh pronunciation of Israel[edit]

See diff: is /ˈɪzɹeɪel/ the right transcription, and can we do better, as far as the label, than "Posh RP"? - -sche (discuss) 05:19, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

Wight as an adjective[edit]

Would someone review my edit to wight, please?The quote in question

In judging of that tempestuous wind called Euroclydon,” says an old writer—of whose works I possess the only copy extant—“it maketh a marvellous difference, whether thou lookest out at it from a glass window where the frost is all on the outside, or whether thou observest it from that sashless window, where the frost is on both sides, and of which the wight Death is the only glazier.

I've moved it to the adjective area. What do y'all think of it? Jerzy (talk) 07:50, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

@Jerzy Nice quote, but I strongly disagree with the part of speech intended by the source. I say move it as it stands to the noun section. JonRichfield (talk) 03:06, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
@Jerzy “Death” is treated here as a proper noun. The grammatical composition of ”the wight Death” is similar to that of “the child Charles”[13] or “her husband John”.[14]  --Lambiam 22:16, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
@JonRichfield,@Lambiam Thank you for your precious feedback. Lambiam's examples finally convinced me and I restored the quote to its original section.

Jerzy (talk) 10:15, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

@Jerzy No problem; my apologies for not backing up my view with an example as clear as @Lambiam undoubtedly gave. JonRichfield (talk) 14:42, 31 July 2020 (UTC)


'til is considered acceptable, though it is etymologically incorrect. 

--Backinstadiums (talk) 10:03, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

Personally I disagree strongly, no matter what the authority of the source dictionary linked to might be. This is a question of context and intention, not of etymology. Personally I use both "until" and "till" because they fit more comfortably into different metres, and there is no point to substituting an apostrophe for an "l" (it doesn't after all conserve much ink), but if the intention is to abbreviate until, then 'til does not change the etymology and is logical. What would be illogical and in fact incorrect in current English, would be 'till. Granted that the abbreviation is hardly worth while (which is the reason I personally use "till") an author might have perfectly good, though arguably trivial, reason for using it (for example to highlight slurred dialect) but that does not invalidate the logic, nor the arbitrary preference. JonRichfield (talk) 03:30, 27 July 2020 (UTC)


Despite this earlier (very brief BTW) discussion, nothing has been done to improve this disaster of a definition page. It is hopeless. How could a reader be expected to understand "...the UK is pandering to the USA ...." by looking at pander ??!! It just looks like the UK is delivering sexual favours to Trump. Really. Check it out for yourselves. Please please please could someone sober rewrite this entry. The sooner the better. Thank you. -- ALGRIF talk 10:14, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Moved common modern-day sense to top. Did you want anything else? Equinox 21:59, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

Several have already signed up; The lake and various of its tributaries[edit]

For Random House Learner's Dictionary of American, several is a plural noun, but it's a plural pronoun for the American Heritage Dictionary, which also shows various as a plural pronoun.

What's the best way to deal with their entries? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:13, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

In the provided usex it is a quantifier, like some, several, many, two, a couple of, etc. According to Wikt, a quantifier is a type of noun. However, "various" can also be a pronoun or an adjective. Depends the sentence structure under study. -- ALGRIF talk 11:57, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
According to the way we generally (at least in many articles) treat this phenomenon at present, "several" and "various" in those examples would be nouns/pronouns. This is because they stand alone and do not explicitly modify or determine anything. The ability to omit and often imply a modified noun, e.g. "several" = "several people", is a common property of determiners/quantifiers, and it has been discussed before whether we need separate noun/pronoun sections which essentially replicate the information at the determiner section, or whether we could treat this as a general feature of English that doesn't need explaining separately every time, e.g. under a "Determiner/Pronoun" heading. As far as distinguishing nouns from pronouns is concerned, there are some suggestions at Wiktionary:Tea_room/2020/May#more. Mihia (talk) 17:16, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mihia: Apparently, various shows plural verb agreement only when followed by a prepositional phrase requiring it, so *various are flying is not possible. --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:31, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
I think the issue here is less about verb agreement specifically, and more about the very limited cases in which "various" can behave like a noun at all. Despite what I said generally, "various" is actually a bit of an oddity since, to the extent it is a determiner at all, it can't generally drop the determined item. For this reason, maybe amongst others, it might be thought of more as an adjective. https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/various lists determiner, adjective and pronoun senses, but then in the usage note says "various is properly an adjective". The only pronoun example that they seem to have come up with involves the "various of ~" construction, which they say is "discouraged by some traditionalists". I haven't checked other dictionaries to see what they say about it. Mihia (talk) 17:47, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
I would disagree with "various is properly an adjective"; as I read it that seems to imply that other usages are improper or wrong. That would be unjustifiable and artificial, and what is worse, unstable. I am all in favour of dictionaries having a prescriptive function as well as a recording function, but in artificial cases that would be pernicious, because futile. JonRichfield (talk) 03:50, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mihia: https://ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=various --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:41, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

Words that end -ies[edit]

Should we add a Category page named e.g. English singular nouns ending in "-ies"? There will be very few of them. Below I have copied some ideas that I put on the Talk page.

I have started an item in the Tea room based on the advice of @surjection who said: You'll probably have better luck asking over at the Tea Room. Entry talk pages aren't used that often.

The word "congeries" is interesting because it is very rare to have a singular noun that ends with "-ies". Off hand the only other one I can think of is "caries". Are there other English words like this? Also the singular form and plural form are the same, but that occurs in more words. Stolkin (talk) 22:44, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

The main page for Category talk:English plurals ending in "-ies" says: "Some sources consider these plurals to be irregular." What sources are those? That seems very strange. Almost all singular nouns that end with "-y" have the plural form that ends with "-ies". There are more than 6000 in this list. There are very few where the singular ends with a consonant followed by a -y where the plural is made by adding an "-s"; those are the irregular forms. Stolkin (talk) 23:01, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

These are from words of the Latin fifth declension, and follow the Latin pluralization pattern. There are not many even in Latin: this is the smallest Latin declension class. Most of them are abstract nouns and so were not often found in the plural in Latin (plural forms are somewhat better attested in later, scientific Latin texts than in Classical Latin). For comparison, some words with this origin that show the same absence of (common) plural forms in English today are rabies and sanies.
The most common ones that you have not yet mentioned are species and series.
Uncommon examples that can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary are acies, canities, colluvies, congeries, eluvies, effigies, facies, subfacies, intemperies, ingluvies, meridies, progenies, superficies, hirsuties.
The OED also has socies and consocies, which are not from Latin but are modern coinages made by blending soc- and consoc- as in sociation and consociation with the end of species.
In Latin -ies is a disyllabic termination, and the OED still records disyllabic English pronunciations for -ies in some of these words (e.g. caries pronounced as "carry-ease"). However, you're unlikely to hear that in real life.--Urszag (talk) 23:37, 26 July 2020 (UTC)


What're its possessive and reflexive forms? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:06, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

For the possessive, the same forms are used as for the normal pronoun.[15][16][17] For the reflexive, yousself is used.[18][19][20]  --Lambiam 08:59, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Or for the plural, "yousselves". I can find "yous's", but only as "yous is" i.e. "you are"; on the other hand, for youse, I can indeed find "youse's" as a possessive:
  • 1901, Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, a Popular Journal of General Literature, page 34:
    "Went away quick, now, or I'll come out dere an' bite off wan o' youse's fins."
  • 2004, Stephen J. Cannell, Hollywood Tough, Macmillan (→ISBN), page 152:
    "Mr. Valentine wants that youse keep that as his gift, and would very much like the pleasure of youse's company—no strings."
  • 2013, Patrick Taylor, Fingal O'Reilly, Irish Doctor: An Irish Country Novel, Forge Books (→ISBN):
    "Ladies and gentlemen. If I can have youse's attention? The dogs is at the start, and—” There was the sharp crack of the pistol. “They're off.”
- -sche (discuss) 19:12, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
I added a mention of the reflexive forms of plural and singular yous, and added mention of the reflexive and possessive forms of youse. Better labelling and/or migration into the headword-line template may be needed. - -sche (discuss) 19:28, 31 July 2020 (UTC)


Trentenaire is translated as exactly thirty years old. A newspaper in Luxembourg[21] used that word to refer to a 34 year old man ("un jeune homme de 34 ans était convoqué devant le tribunal correctionnel ... le juge retient que le trentenaire..."). Is that a standard use? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 12:58, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

Le Dico des Ados defines the noun as “someone who is between 30 and 39”,[22] where I assume they mean the range to include the bounds. I expect that it is easier to find uses with that meaning, than where the meaning is that the age of the person is exactly 30. But there are also forms such as trente-et-unaire for a 31-year old, so the narrow meaning cannot simply be discarded. The analogously formed noun centenaire definitely normally means the same as English centenarian: someone who is 100 or older. German Dreißiger also means: someone in their thirties (next to the meaning seen at Dreissiger).  --Lambiam 21:55, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I've added a broader definition for the noun form. Trésor de la langue française informatisé[23] (in the further reading section) gives the narrow definition: "Adj. Qui existe depuis trente ans, qui est âgé de trente ans, qui dure trente ans. ... Subst., rare. Personne âgée de trente ans." Vox Sciurorum (talk) 12:12, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
See however its entry for quadragénaire. PUC – 12:21, 29 July 2020 (UTC)


RFV-pron: Dungan, Wu & Xiang. Tagged by @沈澄心 but not listed. --TheDarkKnightLi(STAY HAPPY) 15:15, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

There's no evidence that it is used in Wu or Xiang. I have no source of Dungan. @Justinrleung? --TheDarkKnightLi(STAY HAPPY) 15:56, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
@Thedarkknightli: They look totally wrong to me - it looks like 公共 rather than 共同. Pinging @Atitarev, who added these. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:31, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
@Thedarkknightli, Justinrleung: Fixed,sorry. I meant to add it to 公共, not 共同. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:13, 28 July 2020 (UTC)


Castilian is defined as "The main and official language of Spain, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, etc." When I have seen Castilian it has been used to contrast the dialect spoken in Spain from New World Spanish. So seeing it defined as the "main and official" language of Mexico seems wrong to me. I don't know what the official language of Mexico is (or if Mexico has any official languages) but the main dialect is not the one they speak in Spain. Spanish has both castellano and español and according to our usage note they can sometimes be used to distinguish the two dialects. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:41, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

It can be used both as a synonym of Spanish and specifically to refer to the standard variety of European Spanish. I've modified the definitions accordingly. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:58, 29 July 2020 (UTC)


RFV-pron of Teochew. @The dog2 — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 18:02, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

@Justinrleung: I have replied on the main RFV page. The dog2 (talk) 00:21, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

The reason I left is I was bored[edit]

Is reason in these types of sentences functioning as something other than a noun? That was one reason he didn't like my title --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:12, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

It's modified by the, and the phrase the reason is the subject of the verb is; I don't see how it could be anything other than a noun. —Mahāgaja · talk 21:56, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
I see this as an example of a "why" adjective clause, with the "why" omitted, as the grammar of this structure allows. "That was one reason WHY he didn't like my title." Being an adjective clause, the question to ask is which noun is being described by the adjective? It must be the noun phrase "one reason". Adjective clauses are quite slippery customers, and need a bit of study to fully appreciate them for what they are.-- ALGRIF talk 09:31, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
Wouldn't Occam be happier with analyzing "I was bored" as a that-clause with that omitted, as it so often is. I think (that) that-clauses are less slippery. DCDuring (talk) 02:33, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
Well, you might be right. I kinda loose interest because it would help if Backinstadiums would confine his questions to one usex and one point in particular. He seems to be on a quest to understanding English grammar via the Tea Room. Not the best place, IMHO. -- ALGRIF talk 14:54, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
@Algrif: what's usex mean? I am only interested in lexicographical approaches, but I am not a native speaker of English --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:05, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: usex = example of use. It is "Wiki-speak" that means the phrase including the word you wish to discuss, which should be a phrase which demonstrates the word in the actual grammatical form (noun, verb, adj, adv, etc.) you are interested in. In this request, for example, you give us two usex which leaves us not sure which one you are trying to discuss. 1)"The reason I left is I was bored" and 2)"That was one reason he didn't like my title" -- ALGRIF talk 17:03, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
@Algrif: I've recommended Quora. DCDuring (talk) 20:49, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
I would be inclined like DCDuring to mentally insert a that, or even quotation marks! (cf. "I am bored" was the reason I gave for leaving). But regardless reason is unquestionably a noun. Equinox 22:15, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
The reason why I was talking about a missing "WHY" is that I was looking at the other usex; namely "That was one reason he didn't like my title." Hence my recommendation to stick to only one usex and only one grammatical or lexical doubt at a time. If I were to consider the other usex, then there is an ellipsed "that" from the joining of clauses, just as DCD points out. This whole discussion supports my main argument, that we cannot have a sensible debate or make a correct answer if we are not clear from the start about what is the point in question and a single given usex. -- ALGRIF talk 06:53, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
@Algrif: The reason why I left is I thought it was better for my carrear --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:01, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

takeaway as adjective[edit]

We list an adjectival sense for takeaway, with as usex, I couldn't be bothered cooking, so I bought a takeaway curry. Isn’t this simply the attributive sense of the noun in sense 2, "A meal bought to be eaten elsewhere"? If it is an adjective (several lemmings also list it as such), then what about the use in takeaway message?  --Lambiam 14:08, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Yes, noun compounds. Even the rare predicate usages I find (“is not takeaway”) turn out to employ but a noun. The classification as adjective seems to be analogic to to go. The noun in the meal sense is apparently countable and uncountable, so this is how sentences like “it was takeaway” work. Fay Freak (talk) 00:23, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
On takeout we have also both adjective and noun, on carryout only a noun. Fay Freak (talk) 00:27, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
It seems more plausible IMO that a take-away meal (or whatever noun) was the earlier form, and then takeaway as a noun derived from that. Haven't got sources though. Only sauces. Equinox 22:06, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

padde in the strawe ~ pad in the straw[edit]

Said to be an obsolete synonym of snake in the grass. PUC – 15:49, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

fer à repasser, machine à laver, maître à penser[edit]

French has many lexicalised terms such as those: "a X for doing Y". I want to create a category for them. Would someone have an idea how to name it? PUC – 22:41, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

What about a larger category for French nominal phrases, which would also include terms like abeille à miel and abus de langage? —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Lambiam (talkcontribs).
Hmm and what about those "stacked" ones like moissonneuse-batteuse? (Sorry, I tried a little basic searching around but I couldn't find a name for your thing.) Equinox 08:11, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
French noun-noun compounds?  --Lambiam 09:02, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
These are called dvandvas, if I'm not mistaken. See Category:English dvandva compounds, with tractor-trailer as an example. PUC – 09:26, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Brrrr, yes, I now remember having a grammar exam where we knew one of the questions would be about all the possible types of compound (pickpocket, strawberry etc. etc.). I found it impossible to remember all this stuff by normal means, so I made an alphabetical series of sentences (like A="All compounds work such and such a way", B="Bobson wrote in 1973 about the blah blah") and I marched around a field reciting the whole thing out loud for hours until I had memorised it. And I spat out a perfect essay and got great exam marks. Now I've forgotten the whole fuckmass. Equinox 09:53, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

let me be the judge of that, I'll be the judge of that[edit]

Worth entries? PUC – 22:50, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

It is #4, "a person who evaluates something or forms an opinion". Your phrases are quite common but the meaning seems transparent: "leave that decision/evaluation to me". Equinox 22:54, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
The phrases are common, so it would be nice for us to have a usex at [[judge]] that included "judge of that". DCDuring (talk) 14:56, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

manner : kind(s); sort(s):[edit]

a. Kind; sort: What manner of person is she?
b. Kinds; sorts: saw all manner of people at the mall.
[singular;  but used with a singular or plural verb]
What manner of man is he?
All manner of things were happening.

What is the best way to deal with such situations? --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:02, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

To clarify: we give manner as a simple noun with a plural, but then under sense 7 we have the usex "all manner of persons participate", where one would expect manners. So we are missing some grammatical information. Equinox 10:22, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox: maybe the plural noun manners has something to do with this behavior, as opposed to kind/sort/type (as in the agrammatical these kind of people) etc.
I don't think so because the only special meaning of manners (as it says) is etiquette. This is the type/kind/sort sense. Equinox 10:45, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
@Equinox: I meant there's no idiomatic kinds. Secondly, unlike the meaning "a class or group", there's an uncountable meaning of kind not appearing on the Wiktionary entry (by the way, in the third meaning, does the bracketed label "[a + ~ + of + noun]" have a lexicographical meaning?)
2.[uncountable] nature or character:
to differ in degree rather than kind.
3.[countable;  a + ~ + of + noun] a more or less adequate example of something:
The vines formed a kind of roof.
--Backinstadiums (talk) 11:12, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

@Equinox Currently a number of reads

1. several A number of people have commented on it.
2. several of I spoke with a number of them about it.

I do not know whether there're differences between this approach and several (of) --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:56, 31 July 2020 (UTC)


Why is this a pronoun? Thadh (talk) 11:56, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

@Thadh: Did you mean a different page? The page you named, which I've added a link to, says it's a noun, and always has. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:56, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Oh, I see the problem. It was accidentally categorized as a pronoun even though the L3 header says noun. It's just a mistake, and I'll fix it now. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:58, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. I wasn't sure, as it was so explicitly categorized. Thadh (talk) 12:59, 30 July 2020 (UTC)


There's an unnecessary bracket "[" before the year 1951 in the first quotation of hydroxychloroquine. I don't know how to fix that. Mölli-Möllerö (talk) 18:43, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

Fixed. -- ALGRIF talk 19:45, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Separate issue, is the final vowel in GenAm really /i/ and not /ɪ/? I think it is at least sometimes /ɪ/... - -sche (discuss) 21:44, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
I heard an interview with an American scientist who pronounced chloroquine with an /ɪ/ sound. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 18:24, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
I've changed it to /ɪ/. /i/ could be added as another pronunciation if it also exists (I suspect that even /aɪ/ is found sometimes). - -sche (discuss) 19:31, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
I would have rhymed it with quine (/kwaɪn/) if I hadn't heard a professional say it. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 19:38, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
The New Oxford American Dictionary app on my computer gives "ˈklɔrəˌkwin" for chloroquine. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:03, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
Poking around, the first two NBC News pieces I saw (local, with two different newspeople saying the word, and national) use /ɪ/, as do the first two (1, 2, including Trump saying it) ABC News pieces I looked at, and the first CBS News piece I looked at. I also looked at a sampling of videos from before 2019 (A, B), which also used /ɪ/. I would expect the other two pronunciations given at -ine to be out there, but I haven't found them yet. - -sche (discuss) 20:36, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

Latinate possessives in English, e.g. Jesu[edit]

A recent question about whether other spellings of 's-possessives like kings or kinges or kingis are also banned, or just king's, got me to wondering whether any other types of possessives are attested in English. I can find exactly one book that consistently uses Jesu as the genitive of Jesus in running English. Can anyone find other examples of this or other Latinate possessives or genitives? - -sche (discuss) 21:41, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

The OED dict cd-rom finds 215 matches for "jesu" https://www.oed.com/oed2/00123577 --Backinstadiums (talk) 23:06, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, the word is not uncommon as a vocative or alternative nominative form. However, this did make me realize that I can find some examples of the collocation "of Jesu" used repeatedly (enough to be clearly not a typo) in books that in turn use "Jesus" as the nominative, like this, though that's less clear than Bjerregaard's use of bare "Jesu" in front of nouns. - -sche (discuss) 01:12, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

Answering a request for a quote from Thomas Jefferson using the word "evanishment" as found in the Wiktionary[edit]

Quote from Jefferson Notes on the State of Virginia Query XVIII Manners

"For if a slave can have a country in this world, it must be any other in preference to that in which he is born to live and labor for another: in which he must lock up the faculties of his nature, contribute as far as depends on his individual endeavors to the evanishment of the human race, or entail his own miserable condition on the endless generations proceeding from him." —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 04:53, 31 July 2020 (UTC).

Latin decresco, decerno[edit]

The supine form decretum is common to both, but this is not recognised. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 06:57, 31 July 2020 (UTC).

Fixed. —Mahāgaja · talk 07:40, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

“then” used after “but”[edit]

4. Used after but to qualify or balance a preceding statement: The star was nervous, but then who isn't on the first night of a new play
Idiom: then again

I do not understand its lexicographical treatment: but then is not an idiom as then again is, but still the definition says "used after but".

Wiktionary has an entry for but then again as an "Alternative form of then again" --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:59, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

I’d say that but then is an idiom. But then, who am I to judge this? Given that we have the entry but then, listing this sense separately as a sense of then appears pointless. The phrase should be listed as a derived term both of but and then.  --Lambiam 13:34, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
@Lambiam Currently a number of reads
1. several A number of people have commented on it.
2. several of I spoke with a number of them about it.

I do not know whether there're differences between this approach and several (of) --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:10, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

Is it by mistake that you copied your text from manner : kind(s); sort(s): above here?  --Lambiam 14:32, 31 July 2020 (UTC)


In Turkmenistan they ward off coronavirus by burning a type of grass called yuzarlik.[24] Since it's newsworthy it would be a good addition to the dictionary. It appears in the English requested words page, but it's more likely a Turkmen word. I did a little searching and found nothing useful. It does not appear in small Turkmen to English dictionaries based on the Latin alphabet. There is a suffix -lik with meaning and vowel harmony rules approximately the same as Turkish -lik. I didn't see any plausible base word to go with that suffix. Wiktionary has no request page for Turkmen words. Anybody know more? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 14:01, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

With vowel harmony this is yuzarlık. In Turkish, it is known as üzerlik,[25] (pdf) which is Peganum harmala or harmal. According to the source linked to, the Turkmen term is also üzerlik, while yuzarlık is Uzbek. Turkish üzer means something like “cream” (stuff that floats on milk). If you inhale enough harmal smoke, you are more likely to imagine that your country has zero cases of COVID-19.  --Lambiam 14:25, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. So not a grass (member of family Poaceae) despite being reported as one. A Chinese friend also tends to say grass when she means herbaceous plant. Maybe that's a distinction that often gets lost in translation. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 15:21, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
That is very possible. The most common Turkish word for “grass” is ot, which has old Turkic roots, so I expect many Turkic languages to have cognate terms. Yet the meaning is actually, more generically, any (green) grass or herb. Turkish ESL speakers may learn that their green ot is even greener “grass” at the other side of the language divide and not realize the English translation does not have the same range of meanings. Turkmen also has the term ot, for which we only list the sense ”grass”, but which I expect to have the same range of meanings as the Turkish term.  --Lambiam 14:52, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Possibly it is üzärlik in Turkmenistan. "A shower of sparks igniting the flame in the cauldron looked like burning üzärlik"[26] Vox Sciurorum (talk) 18:54, 30 August 2020 (UTC)