Wiktionary:Tea room

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Tea house party in Japan (not tea ceremony)-J. M. W. Silver.jpg

A place to ask for help on finding quotations, etymologies, or other information about particular words. The Tea room is named to accompany the Beer parlour.

For questions about the technical operation of Wiktionary use the Beer parlour. For questions about specific content, you're in the right place.

Tea room archives edit

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Oldest tagged RFTs


March 2017


Verb sense 7.1:

(transitive) To follow or proceed according to (a course or path).  
Let's go this way for a while.‎
She was going that way anyway, so she offered to show him where it was.

I disagree that these examples demonstrate transitivity. "this way" and "that way" are surely adverbial. There is also a quotation, "I wish that you would go this path up to its end", which seems less clear to me in terms of transitivity, but "go this path" is not a kind of usage that I ever hear. Opinions please. Mihia (talk) 04:14, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

It certainly doesn't feel transitive to me in those cases, but you can also say "Let's go one way, and if it takes too long, we'll go a different way coming back." Are "one way" and "a different way" adverbial in those cases? Or is "go" actually transitive when used that way? I'll leave it to the experts to decide. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:29, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Aren't go viral, go medieval, go Hollywood, go home all examples of adverbial usage with this sense of go? DCDuring TALK 08:37, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Go in this case can basically mean "walk" or "travel", and you can definitely say "I wish that you would go walk this path up to its end" and it be clearly transitive. It is certainly not something you hear here in the States. It sounds UK dialectal to me Leasnam (talk) 14:49, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Passivizing doesn't seem to work: *This way was gone by many people sounds bad. Inasmuch as that's a test of transitivity, the verb isn't transitive. — Eru·tuon 21:04, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
BTW, as one might expect, this use of go has a parallel temporal usage: The meeting went three hours. I didn't see the corresponding temporal definition. DCDuring TALK 02:43, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

knob job

Someone create that please. --2A02:2788:1004:11D6:948A:FE27:DF2A:F6D0 19:03, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Personally, I haven't got a clue what a knob job is. There's not much point in creating an entry without a definition. DonnanZ (talk) 09:49, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
    My two guesses are "(slang) reconstructive breast surgery" and, possibly, "(slang) Effort to a penis to cause an orgasm" . DCDuring TALK 13:00, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
    Confirmation of def 2: google books:"good knob job", but it seems to specifically mean "blow job". I can't find confirmation for my def 1 guess. DCDuring TALK 13:12, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
    I don't know how reliable Urban Dictionary is, but here is the UD article on knob job.
  • Never thought I'd be offering expert advice...but "knob" is slang for the penis, "knob job" is fellatio. Probably more common spoken than written, and middle to low register. It can also refer to a person (as in "Joe is a real knob job") as a general insult.

I remember the term from many 80's era movies - if you need references, screenplays and movie quote sites are probably your best bet. For example: https://books.google.com/books?id=JpJ-kK1j2_MC&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=movies+with+the+term+%22knob+job%22&source=bl&ots=gf7hjytiAc&sig=dwsb32uiy5jgcPqMy_MCTKevOiI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjB-9K72JDTAhWigFQKHcbECS8Q6AEIHjAB#v=onepage&q=movies%20with%20the%20term%20%22knob%20job%22&f=false http://www.quotes.net/show-quote/67272 http://www.angelfire.com/grrl/mandabear/moviequotes.html


The English entry should apparently be deleted. I couldn't find any evidence of use in English in the 1940s or later except in explanations of the term and concept as being Finnish, never used in an English sentence as a loanword. --Espoo (talk) 22:10, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Move to WT:RFV. —CodeCat 22:16, 3 March 2017 (UTC)


It's not archaic as far as I know. DonnanZ (talk) 00:34, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Looks like the archaic label showed up in this edit by Widsith back in April 2008. Subsequent restructuring of the entry divorced the label from its originally appropriate context. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:49, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Why do we have two different senses? I can't for the life of me understand the difference between them. "Excrement" just means "waste matter", AFAIK. The OED also only lists this one sense. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:28, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
    I've always understood it to apply only to solid (fecal) waste. Note that the example for the first definition is clearly referring to mucus, which is not nowadays thought of as excrement, at least in my experience. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 07:34, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Oh, it was after midnight and my brain had ceased functioning. I was beginning to think humans don't produce excrement (solid waste), only animals. I think I'll add "human" to the current sense 2, and reverse the order of the senses. DonnanZ (talk) 09:19, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

sexually mature

I think it's entry-worthy, being able to reproduce. There's a couple of translations lurking in the system, and I know of more. DonnanZ (talk) 11:17, 4 March 2017 (UTC)


Where's the stress placed? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 00:00, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

On the penultimate. —Stephen (Talk) 09:45, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

pollus and polus

To confirm my correct knowledge of the vulgar meaning of Spanish "polla", I loaded the page. I read it all, and saw "pollus" in Latin. The article for "pollus" says it is an adjective, an alternate form of "polus", and gives the inflection. Trouble is, the article for "polus" only gives it as a second-declension noun, meaning "pole". So either we have something missing in "polus", or "pollus" is an unrelated word. In any case, what does "pollus" mean? And while we're at it, is "pollus" maybe a noun too, meaning "chicken" (cfr. pollo in Italian and Spanish), perhaps with "polla" as a feminine form for "hen"?

MGorrone (talk) 17:34, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

It would help if you'd give links to the pages you're talking about; it makes it easier to follow your comment. The Latin word from which Spanish pollo (chicken) is derived is pullus (chick, young animal), with a "u". Lewis and Short don't list a corresponding feminine noun pulla, but I wouldn't be surprised if it existed at least in Late Latin. The Latin word polus (pole) has nothing to do with it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:29, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
The whole issue of Spanish polla is beside the point- that's just how MGorrone stumbled upon the pollus entry. Special:WhatLinksHere/pollus consists solely of the inflected-form entries created by SemperBlottoBot from the entry, and now Requests for verification (I just posted an rfv) and this page. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:11, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
@Angr and @ChuckEntz to add to this matter, Glosbe (pollus and polus) gives "pollus" as "small, little" and "polus" as both "pole" and "little", and has "pollulum" = "polulum" = "a little". Latin-dictionary also gives "pollus" = "small", and has [v separate entries] for "polus, pola, polum" = "small" and "polus, poli" = "pole". "polla" is not really entirely baside the point: I also conjectured "pollo" and "polla" might stem from "pollus" and "polla" respectively, which @Angr stated to be an incorrect conjecture. That is where the conjecture that "pollus" might mean "chicken" stemmed from. MGorrone (talk) 09:17, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

air cell

The word "contraption" seems to be misused in this definition. What word did the writer mean, though? Perhaps compaction? Equinox 01:43, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

contraction? DTLHS (talk) 01:58, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Contraction sounds better. I think it can be found in a hard-boiled egg. DonnanZ (talk) 12:10, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
The definition seems to cover an instance of the use of air + cell, ie SoP. Other dictionaries do not have such a definition, but do have at least two distinct definitions that don't seem SoP to me. DCDuring TALK 14:03, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Please see my proposed version of the entry. DCDuring TALK 14:15, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

chinese literal word-by-word translation

HI, I think it would improve chinese entries (for example 他把刀放在桌子上) to add the literal word-by-word translation with some grammatical anotation, as can be seen in the wikipedia page for Chinese grammar:

他tā 把bǎ 盘子pánzi 打dǎ 破pò 了le。 [他把盤子打破了。]

he OBJ-plate hit-break-PF.

He hit/dropped the plate, and it broke.

(double-verb where the second verb, "break", is a suffix to the first, and indicates what happens to the object as a result of the action.)

Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:33, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

It would be interesting but
  1. not all of us are master grammarians,
  2. Chinese parts-of-speech can be really ambiguous, and
  3. no other language at Wiktionary does this at the moment: there is no framework.
Also potentially of note is that unlike most other languages on Wiktionary, usage examples automatically link to all the words featured.
suzukaze (tc) 11:36, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with Suzukaze. It's definitely interesting, but it's absolutely unpractical in the long run. Wiktionary is meant to be a dictionary, not a linguistics textbook. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:08, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

German Arzt and Doktor

My German friend told me there is a difference between Arzt and Doktor (doctor) in the sense of “(medical) doctor”, in that an Arzt does not hold a postgraduate research degree, whereas a Doktor always does. In other words, someone is an Arzt when he/she has received their license to practice medicine, and the title Doktor is awarded only if someone has completed the research component on top of this. An Arzt is addressed as “Herr”, and a Doktor, “Herr Doktor”. I'm not sure whether this is true, and if so, how this may be clarified in our entries. Wyang (talk) 11:43, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

It is true. My GP told me not to call her Frau Doktor because she doesn't have a doctorate. However, holding a doctorate doesn't preclude you from being an Arzt, so it's more accurate to say an Arzt does not necessarily hold a postgraduate degree, not that an Arzt does not hold a postgraduate degree. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:50, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Wyang (talk) 06:35, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


Why did this fail our verification process? The OED has it. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:16, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

  • I think it is because some people don't approve of our mission statement (all words in all languages). SemperBlotto (talk) 18:44, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
    It is foolish to pretend commercial brands are exactly the same as other types of word. Equinox 19:09, 7 March 2017 (UTC)


I think we're missing a couple of definitions maybe: earplugs for listening to mobile phones, also for listening to iPods etc. (those which can't be called headphones), not to mention those for hearing aids. These aren't ear protection devices. DonnanZ (talk) 20:18, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

They would be "earphones", wouldn't they? I have never heard them called "earplugs". Mihia (talk) 04:26, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
I have on a number of occasions. I'd call it nonstandard, but that usage definitely exists. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:12, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
I was coming to that conclusion. So could sense 2 "(non-standard) an earphone" be added? DonnanZ (talk) 10:46, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Icelandic man#Etymology 3

“Borrowing from Hebrew מן ‎(mān, “manna”), perhaps via , appearing in Guðbrandur Þorláksson’s 1584 Bible translation.”

Perhaps via? @Krun (diff). Wyang (talk) 23:39, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Fixed. Thanks. Wyang (talk) 06:34, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

The word "end" meaning the beginning.

The word end seems to invariably mean a distant point in time or similar, but I wonder about it being used to indicate the current location, eg, "The phone line problem is at our end", or "The council will repair the road from our end". Sense 1 does not seem to cover it, and I think it needs more than a usage note. --Dmol (talk) 04:15, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

  • I've tried to improve the definition. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:10, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
I still see "terminal" in the two examples above. Of a phoneline, the beginning is at the switching station, and the two customers are each at their own respective ends. Same for end of a road: depends on what is considered the start of the road. Leasnam (talk) 00:23, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
The two ends of a cable etc. are the points where it terminates (in space): I think sense 1 covers it okay...? Equinox 00:54, 9 March 2017 (UTC)


Is there anybody who still pronounces the w? — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 05:07, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

I do ;) Leasnam (talk) 00:25, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Really?? Or are you kidding? I have never heard the "w" pronounced in "two", though I have heard it in the dialect "twa". Mihia (talk) 04:23, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
I think he might be referencing his affinity for Old/Middle English... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:14, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Possibly, or he could be the last descendant of English colonists on some obscure islet. — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 08:26, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, does Treasure Island count as an obscure islet? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:41, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese

Both of these should really only have one sense each, and one translation table too. Anyone want to take a stab? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:27, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


What does this mean in Japanese? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:31, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

I suspect this is 大君 in Japanese (太 and 大 can both be pronounced tai in Japanese). – Krun (talk) 10:35, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes, this is an alternative spelling. means “large; great”, whereas literally means “fat”, with connotations of “well-off”. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:21, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
PS: I should have clarified, this is an unusual alternative spelling. This isn't listed in dictionaries. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:23, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


Does it make sense to list various religions as hyponyms? DTLHS (talk) 02:23, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

No, it was added by a known bad editor (now blocked). I have removed a lot of fluff from the entry. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:57, 9 March 2017 (UTC)


Is Oxford correct in claiming that lumber means two different things in British and American English respectively? ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:52, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Well, what does it say? As an American, I'm only familiar with our sense 1 of the noun. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:06, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Assuming this is the noun that is meant. From Oxford Online:
  • 1 British: Articles of furniture or other household items that are no longer useful and inconveniently take up storage space.
[as modifier] ‘a lumber room’
  • 2 North American: Timber sawn into rough planks or otherwise partly prepared.
‘he sat at a makeshift desk of unfinished lumber’
  • Another sense which is Scottish:
Scottish informal: A person regarded as a prospective sexual partner.
‘they end the evening in a disco where they wait for a lumber’
The use of lumber meaning a pawnbroker's shop is obsolete.
DonnanZ (talk) 13:43, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, this North American would only use the sense marked "North American" above. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:46, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Me, too. Never heard the others AFAICR. DCDuring TALK 19:03, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Now labelled accordingly. DonnanZ (talk) 09:55, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

looking for a term

"Over the past ten years, people — especially young people — have become aware of the need to change their eating habits." What is "especially young people" called in English? I mean the grammatical term for it. In Chinese it is a 插入語. ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:04, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

  • I don't think there is one, bearing in mind that "especially" is an adverb. Young people can also be referred to as adolescents and juveniles, but "young people" is a broader term. DonnanZ (talk) 18:48, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
    The relationship between "people" and "especially young people" is called apposition. See w:Apposition. I think the shortest term applicable to "especially young people" relative to "people" is appositive phrase. DCDuring TALK 18:56, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
    I disagree. Because of the word "especially" this is not quite an appositive. I think this is a compound subject, with the adverb "especially" serving as a conjunction (otherwise, how could an adverb be modifying a noun?). You could just as easily say "people — and especially young people — have become aware...". If this were an appositive, you wouldn't be able to add the word "and" without changing the meaning. --WikiTiki89 20:29, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
    Properly speaking, especially would be modifying not the noun people in young people, but the whole noun phrase young people. So the rule does not apply. However, it is a meaning of especially that I am not sure how to define exactly. It's some special type of adverb, or perhaps it would be called a focus particle (looking at the definition in especially). — Eru·tuon 01:01, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I would call it a parenthetical phrase. Mihia (talk) 21:37, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
    Yes, it is a parenthetical phrase. —Stephen (Talk) 23:03, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Thanks everyone. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:36, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
    Which relationship does 插入語 refer to, parenthesis or the narrower apposition? Is the usage context grammar — or rhetoric? DCDuring TALK 13:08, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
    AFAIK, the former, on both accounts. But admittedly most of this is over my head. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:30, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Latin nouns ending in eus (Greek εύς)

Common nouns:

Proper nouns:

In Greek these words belong to the third declension. In Latin they have forms of Greek's third declension and of Latin's second declension.
Using ~ here to split it up like Orph~e͡us, Orph~eī etc.

Nom. ~e͡us [-εύς], rarely ~eus (i.e. ~ĕŭs)
Gen. ~eī, (Gram.) in poetry also ~e͡i ~eos [att. -έως, ion. -έος, ep. -ῆος & sometimes -έος]
Dat. ~eō ~ei, (Gram.) ~e͡i, ~ī [att. -εῖ, ep. -ῆϊ & sometimes -εῖ]
Acc. ~eum ~ea, rarely -ēa [att. -έᾱ, in drama rarely -έᾰ, ion. -έᾰ, ep. -ῆα & sometimes -έᾰ]
Voc. ~e͡u [-εῦ]
Abl. ~eō
Nom. *~eī ~īs (but depending on edition) [att. -ῆς & later -εῖς, ion. -έες]
Gen. *~eōrum ~eon [?] [att. & ion. -έων, ep. -ήων]
Acc. ~eas/~eās [?] [att. -έᾱς, ion. -έᾰς, ep. -ῆας]


  • Greek forms are from H. W. Smyth's grammar (nominative, genitive -έως, accusatives), LSJ (nominative, genitive -έως and ionic and epic genitive) and another grammar. Appendix:Ancient Greek dialectal declension#ευ-stems mentions some more forms.
  • Forms marked with (Gram.) were mentioned in grammars, but not in dictionaries.
  • nom. sg.: Dictionaries have ~eus with a mentioning of syllables or ~e͡us with a ͡  . Gaffiot has ~eūs but that's very likely an improper form of ~e͡us. Sometimes the ~eus could be unmarked in dictionaries, e.g. digitalized L&S just has "dēmogrammăteus" which could have a monoyllabic ~e͡us or di(s)syllabic ~eus.
    Dictionaries rarely mention nom. ~eus (i.e. ~ĕŭs) like Phălērĕŭs, e.g. in L&S: "Phălēreus (mostly trisyl.) [...] Scanned as a quadrisyllable: Demetrius, qui dictus est Phalereus, Phaedr. 5, 1, 1."
    In wiktionary one can't link like {{l|la|Orphe͡us}} (Orphe͡us) which is also the reason why ͡   was omitted in the examples above, though {{l|la|Orpheus|Orphe͡us}} works.
  • gen. sg.: Dictionaries often have ~eos, very rarely ~eōs. ~eos could have short vowels, or the vowel length could be unknown which was marked improperly. Sometimes the genitive is mentioned later in dictionary entries without marked vowel lengths.
    L&S and Gaffiot using breve sometimes have ~ĕos which would mean it's not ~ēos (Greek epic -ῆος).
    Grammars have ~eos and some mark it with two breves as ~ĕŏs.
  • dat. & abl. sg. in Latin form: Orpheo and Peleo are mentioned in dictionaries.
  • dat. sg. in Greek form: Dat. ~ī is said to occur in Persi ("Cic. Tusc. 5, 40, 118. Liv. 42, 25, 2. 42, 49, 7. 42, 52, 3. 43, 7, 9. 43, 8, 6. 45, 19, 5. Sens. cons. Marc. 13, 3") and in Orphi (Macrob. Sat. 5, 17, 19 in some manuscripts) besides Orphei (Verg. Ecl. 5, 57 in some manuscripts). The Latin Library has "Persei" in these places of Livius, and "Persi" in Cicero. L&S mentions Orphei too, and it has Persi (s.v. Perses, not s.v. Perseus), but not Orphi. Other dictionaries have ~ëi (with misplaced trema?) for Nēre͡us.
  • acc. sg.: Dictionaries often have ~ea which could have short vowels, or the vowel length could be unknown which was marked improperly. Sometimes the accusative is mentioned later in dictionary entries without marked vowel lengths.
    L&S using breve has Orphĕă and Orphēā, but also unmarked Capanea and Pelea. Acc. Orphēā is an error in L&S as that's the fem. abl. sg. of the adj. Orphēus in Ovid. Met. 10. 3 belonging to voce.
    In case of Īlione͡us dictionaries mention the acc. Īlionēa (source: Vergil).
    Grammars have ~ea (rarely ~ēa), sometimes marked with two breves as ~ĕă.
  • nom. pl. and acc. pl.: Dictionaries mention Phinei with acc. Phineas, but do not mark the vowel lengths of it. Maybe only the accusative is attested, so the nominative mentioned in some dictionaries could be *Phinei or more properly *Phīneī.
    The source for the acc. is Mart. 9, 25, 10 (or 9, 26, 10 in digitalized L&S which could be an OCR error).
    Some books mark the a with breve, but some others with macron.
    Another word with acc. pl. could be Sinōpe͡us of which some dictionaries mention acc. pl. Sinopeas.
    For Mylase͡us dictionaries mention the nom. pl. Mylasīs = Μυλασεῖς in Cicero, but it might depend on edition as some editions might have it in Greek letters. There might also be Alabandīs belonging to *Alabande͡us from Ἀλαβανδεύς. In Cicero it is: "[...] ut tibi nolim molestus esse. Mylasis/Mylaseis/Μυλασεῖς (Mylasii) et Alabandis/Alabandeis/Ἀλαβανδεῖς (Alabandenses) pecuniam Cluvio debent [...]" (Cicero's Epistulae ad familiares 13, 56, 1). The words depend on edition. Mylasii and Alabandenses do occur in a text from 1554. Another edition comments those forms with "e correctione non necessaria". And Mylasii could rather be Mylaseī, Mylasēnī or Mylasēnsēs anyway.
  • gen. pl.: strōmateus has stromateon. The o clearly should be long, the e most likely should be short.


  • How should the diphthong in nom. and voc. be marked, by ͡   or by a counting of syllables? Or should it be unmarked and just be "eu̯" in the "Pronunciation" section?
  • What's the correct vowel length of the Greek forms? Well, maybe sometimes it's simply unknown...


  • Of the above mentioned proper nouns once only Enīpeus had a Latin entry here in wiktionary. In wiktionary it was mentioned as a normal second delension noun with voc. Enīpee. But even L&S has "Ĕnīpeus (trisyl.)" and later "voc. Enīpeu". Some dictionaries do also mention gen. ~eos or acc. ~ea (short or improperly marked), but without reference, so maybe it's unattested for classical Latin.

- 14:14, 10 March 2017 (UTC) till 14:43, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

"flunk" vs. "bocciare"

There appears to be an inconsistency between the article about Italian "bocciare", which says it means "to fail, flunk (someone)" and thus suggests the subject would be the teacher, and the translation at "flunk", which list "bocciare" as "fail" and not "deny a passing grade". I am Italian, and I never heard "bocciare" used as "He flunked math", but only as "The teacher flunked him". In fact, the sentence "He flunked math" is one I'd translate to a passive "È stato bocciato in matematica" or a pseudo-impersonal "L'han bocciato in matematica" (lit. "they flunked him in math"), and "segare" (given translation of "deny a passing grade") is, to my ears, a more colloquial and vulgar synonym of "bocciare". This says that the usage of "bocciare" as "flunk (an exam)" «appartiene o all'italiano adoperato in determinate aree geografiche o, in altri casi, a un livello popolare, forse anche trascurato, di uso della lingua» (belongs either to the Italian used in some geographical areas or, in other cases, to a popular, maybe even sloppy, of language usage». So maybe "bocciare" should be a translation of the other sense, and of this sense but marked as "regional" or the likes? Also, "trombare" as "flunk"… never heard. And I'd expect it to be an even more vulgar synonym of "segare", "bocciare", as "The teacher flunked him" = "La prof l'ha bocciato/segato/trombato". The last one feels pretty weird to my ears, and would sound like the teacher actually had intercourse with him if a complement like "all'esame", "at the exam", were not present. "Fottuto" might be less weird but still very uncommon, and it would probably be taken as the teacher either actively trying to flunk the student (e.g. by asking him about stuff not covered in the class nor in the material the student studied on -- yeah, that can happen) or involuntarily making an extremely unlucky choice of questions (e.g. asking the only thing the student didn't know that well), much like "fregato" would. Also, "cannare" is another synonym of "segare" in the above sense". Do you guys agree to this? What should we do about those translations?

MGorrone (talk) 14:56, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

surviving cohabitant

If one of a cohabitant (unmarried) couple dies, which word should be used of the survivor? I'd guess widow or widower won't do. --Hekaheka (talk) 23:00, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, "surviving cohabitant" vs. "deceased cohabitant". —Stephen (Talk) 23:06, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I have seen "unmarried widow". Equinox 23:07, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I'd have difficulty parsing "unmarried widow" as it seems to be either a tautology or a contradiction in terms, or possibly both simultaneously. Personally, I would probably describe such a person as "surviving boyfriend/girlfriend". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 00:24, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
It's not that unusual for an adjective to cancel out one of the usual assumed attributes of the noun... Equinox 13:23, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Nevertheless, I'd have difficulty understanding it. If I heard someone described as an "unmarried widow", my first thought would be that she hadn't remarried since the death of her husband. I wouldn't understand it to mean that her previous life partner, whom she wasn't married to, had died. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:19, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't regard myself as an "unmarried widower", I still wear my wedding ring. A "surviving partner" may be an option where a cohabiting couple were unmarried. DonnanZ (talk) 13:18, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
"Surviving partner" gets 90 times as many hits in a basic Google search as "surviving cohabitant". It would seem to me that that's the way to go. Thank you again for your contributions. In Finnish we have avioliitto (marriage, literallly married union or union in marriage) and avoliitto (unmarried partnership, literally open union). Many words with "avio-" may be changed to refer to cohabitation by changing "avio-" to "avo-", e.g. aviopuoliso (spouse) becomes avopuoliso (cohabitant). I still have one related term to which I would like to find the English equivalent. In similar manner as above, avioero (divorce) becomes avoero (separation of an unmarried couple), but what would it be in English? --Hekaheka (talk) 20:38, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
One has to be careful with the term "surviving partner" though, it could also refer to a surviving business partner. "Separation of an unmarried couple" - just that I suppose, they can't be divorced as such. But married couples can also separate without being divorced. DonnanZ (talk) 20:51, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
The separation of an unmarried couple is simply called a breakup. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:44, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

lemon soda, lemonade

I assume that lemon soda is a synonym of lemonade (sense 2). DonnanZ (talk) 13:05, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

given to

I don't think it's right to call this an adjective. Equinox 21:17, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Looking at given (adjective sense 5) there is a similar example. Also mentioned here [1] (scroll down a bit). DonnanZ (talk) 22:04, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
    Not only those, but also our entry for give has:
    14 (reflexive) To devote or apply (oneself).
    The soldiers give themselves to plunder.
    That boy is given to fits of bad temper.
    (The "reflexive" seems confusing or even wrong with respect to the second usage example.)
    But given to at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that some dictionaries include given to as an entry, including MWOnline and a couple of idiom dictionaries. None of them give it a PoS. We may be well advised to punt and call it a "Phrase". DCDuring TALK 22:09, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
  • If this is changed then I guess prone to should be also. I originally created given to, and I believe I just copied the PoS from "prone to". I seem to recall that I had doubts about it at the time but I guess I took "prone to" to be the authority. Mihia (talk) 23:12, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
We list bound to as a Phrase. But I can't help seeing all of these merely as SoP Adj + Preposition :\ Leasnam (talk) 02:09, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
It should depend on whether there is "sufficient" semantic departure of the phrase from the current definitions of the components or of the grammar (eg, complements) from expected behavior. If this is too hard, we could rely on lemmings. Other dictionaries don't include bound to, except as a phony entry (not even a redirect). One idiom dictionary includes bound to do (something). One includes prone to.
IMO, just one lemming with a real entry is sufficient reason for inclusion. DCDuring TALK 11:57, 15 March 2017 (UTC)


Noun sense 1:

The act or result of overturning something; an upset.
a bad turnover in a carriage

I believe in putting most frequent / most important / most fundamental meanings first, but I have never heard of this meaning. I suggest it should have a label and/or be moved down the list, but what label? Is it archaic? Rare? Has anyone else heard of it? Mihia (talk) 23:07, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

It's from Webster 1913. It's dated. Today we'd talk about a crash, etc. but cars don't fall over like carriages did. Equinox 23:10, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
OK, I have demoted that entry. Mihia (talk) 00:48, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

cailín (irish)

Good evening-

Are you sure cailín is masculine ?

--ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 21:31, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

@ArséniureDeGallium: Yes! Similarly to German Mädchen, the gender of the word for "girl" is determined by its suffix (in this case, -ín), not by its meaning. Nevertheless, pronouns referring back to cailín are feminine. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:36, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Other cases where grammatical gender doesn't match natural gender in Irish are gasóg f (boy scout) and stail f (stallion). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:40, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
@Aɴɢʀ - thank you very much --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 22:12, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Upcoming changes

There are a lot of small changes happening in the next couple of weeks, and I wanted to give you all a quick heads-up about them. Please share this information with other people/languages/projects that will be interested:

  • There's a change to how columns in reference lists are handled, at the request of the German Wikipedia. This change will improve accessibility by automatically formatting long lists of <ref>s into columns, based on each reader's screen width.
    • What you need to do: Nothing visible is happening now. I'm not sure how much this will affect the Wikitionaries. If your project uses the normal <references /> tag (or doesn't really use refs at all), then file a Phabricator task or just tell me, and I'll get your wiki on the list for the next config change. If your project uses a "reflist" template to create columns (but not if it only adds a section heading), then please consider deprecating it, or update the template to work with the new feature.
  • The label on the "Save changes" button will change on most projects tomorrow (Wednesday) to say "Publish page". This has been discussed for years, is supported by user research, and is meant to be clearer for new contributors. (Most of us who have been editing for years don't even look at the button any more, and we all already know that all of our changes can be seen by anyone on the internet, so this doesn't really affect us.)
    • If you have questions or encounter problems (e.g., a bad translation, problems fixing the documentation, etc.), then please tell me as soon as possible.
    • When we split "Save page" into "Save page" and "Save changes" last August, a couple of communities wondered whether a local label would be possible. (For example, someone at the English Wikipedia asked if different namespaces could have different labels [answer: not technically possible], and the Chinese Wikipedia has some extra language on their "Save page" button [about the importance of previewing, I think].) Whether the Legal team can agree to a change may depend upon the language/country involved, so please ask me first if you have any questions.
  • As part of the ongoing, years-long user-interface standardization project, the color and shape of the "Save changes" (or now "Publish page"), "Show preview" and "Show changes" buttons on some desktop wikitext editors will change. The buttons will be bigger and easier to find, and the "Save" button will be bright blue. (phab:T111088) Unfortunately, it is not technically possible to completely override this change and restore the appearance of the old buttons for either your account or an entire site.
  • Do you remember last April, when nobody could edit for about 30 minutes twice, because of some work that Technical Ops was doing on the servers? The same kind of planned maintenance is happening again. It's currently scheduled for Wednesday, April 19th and Wednesday, May 3rd. The time of day is unknown, but it will probably afternoon in Europe and morning in North America. This will be announced repeatedly, but please mark your calendars now.

That's everything on my mind at the moment, but I may have forgotten something. If you have questions (about this or any other WMF work), then please {{ping}} me, and I'll see what I can find out for you. Thanks, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:36, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

@Whatamidoing (WMF): Thanks for the update. For future reference, when technical mass updates are left at the English Wiktionary, they should be added to Wiktionary:Grease Pit. Also, to the extent we use inline references (which is infrequent), we use <references />, so I suppose en.wikt should be put on that list. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:39, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:25, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
The config changes should be happening in the next few minutes. Please ping me if there are any problems (or comment at the Phabricator task, if it's urgent). Thanks, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 20 March 2017 (UTC)


What is "special steel"? Is it a particular alloy? DTLHS (talk) 16:09, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

  • I believe that it means any of various steels made for a specialized use - typically by adding small amounts of other metals, or by physically working it in a special way. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:16, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
    I think the more common English equivalent is specialty steel, which AFAICT includes any sufficiently "engineered" or customized steel. DCDuring TALK 12:23, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
I think it might deserve to be deleted. I don't know if there's an idiomatic sense in metallurgy, but otherwise it simply means "kind of steel adapted specially for a particular use". I can make the same kind of compound with most any noun: Spezialschuh (specialized shoe), Spezialseil (specialized rope), Spezialziegel (specialized brick), etc. Kolmiel (talk) 18:11, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: We have traditionally interpreted SOP only to apply to terms consisting of multiple words, so all the German compounds would not be deleted even if unidiomatic. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:33, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I know that's the case for English and other languages in which closed compounds are a reasonably restricted class. I thought there was a different policy for languages like German and Dutch. In fact, the difference between English open compounds and German closed compounds is purely orthographic. So it would seem quite inconsistent to treat them differently. Kolmiel (talk) 21:47, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
And then I can make additional SOP compounds with the SOP compound, e.g. Spezialstahlhersteller ("specialized steal producer"), Spezialschuhhandel ("specialized shoe business"), both of which are very attestable and could probably even meet our standards for inclusion. It would be a bottomless pit. Kolmiel (talk) 21:59, 17 March 2017 (UTC)


It seems redundant to have all of these three senses:

  1. (more rarely) Resembling or characteristic of an adult male (as opposed to a boy).
  2. (Caribbean, Guyana) Impertinent; precocious; assertive.
  3. (African American Vernacular) precocious

Of the two citations under the Caribbean sense, "for all his mannish ways, he’s still just a little tyke" could just as easily be using the "characteristic of an adult male" sense. I suggest moving it, possibly removing "precocious" from the Caribbean sense (on the grounds that Caribbean use of the word to mean "characteristic of an adult male" is just use of that sense), and merging the AAVE sense into the "adult male" sense or into the Caribbean sense. - -sche (discuss) 05:42, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

The Caribbean sense is sourced and supported by a citation, so we should keep it. I wish we had a source or citation for the AAVE label.
Also, most OneLook references are more focused on subtle distinctions in meaning (which we combine in definition 1) according to whether the noun modified is a woman or a thing, eg, article of clothing, manner of communicating. We at least need usage examples for the two noun types. DCDuring TALK 12:11, 15 March 2017 (UTC)


Isn't the sense "high in price, expensive" dated? --Barytonesis (talk) 17:01, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

In North America, I think so, yes, but I've heard British speakers use it in that sense. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:16, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Maybe? Maybe not? "He paid dearly for that decision" is doesn't feel dated to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:15, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
In my experience (UK), yes, a bit dated. (Figurative "dearly" may be different.) Equinox 19:19, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
There's also the expression "dear price" (to pay dearly = to pay a dear price). --WikiTiki89 21:47, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
It seems normal to me (but I am getting on a bit). SemperBlotto (talk) 07:15, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
It sounds a bit dated to me, but I think it's a regional thing. There are parts of the country where it wouldn't surprise me to hear people of any age use it. Ƿidsiþ 08:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)


Aren't the senses 5 ("to consist of a certain text") and 6 ("Of text, etc., to be interpreted or read in a particular way.") almost identical? --Barytonesis (talk) 17:07, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

I don't think they're exactly the same, although they are similar. It's the difference between saying "The first part of my post reads 'I don't think they're exactly the same'" and "The first part of my post reads that I disagree with you." Then again, the difference might just be the quotation marks... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:02, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
"That sentence doesn't read very well" suits #6 but not #5. Equinox 03:07, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
That's a much better example, thank you. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:16, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
I think #5 is just a special case of #6. We should merge them. --WikiTiki89 20:59, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
I think Equinox's example is a good case for keeping them separate. Perhaps they should be made subdefinitions of a more general definition? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:07, 16 March 2017 (UTC)


Lithuanian apparently has the same word for both "mother" and "wife". How does that work? How do people not get it all mixed up? 20:02, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

It's solved by not using the word motė much at all. You normally use motina for "mother" and pati for "wife" (there's also žmona for wife, but I'm not sure if it's used much in normal speech). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:02, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
In English, some family men use "mum" for both their wife and mother. Not perfectly the same thing maybe, but close. Kolmiel (talk) 13:37, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Wiktionary Etymologies interface

Etymologists may be aware of a grant building an etymology GUI, etytree, drawing on Wiktionary etyms. The grant is up for renewal and they are looking for feedback/support as announced on the mailing list. - Amgine/ t·e 20:22, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

regrets only

Is this really a noun? Isn't this more of an interjection? PseudoSkull (talk) 23:21, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

What exactly is the emotion expressed? DCDuring TALK 10:59, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I'd call it a phrase. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:06, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Chemical compound names.

Robert Ullmann's missing redlinks list is well populated with names of chemical compounds like barium sulfate, potassium ferrocyanide, and calcium polyphosphate. Do we intend to create these? If so, can we have a bot make them? bd2412 T 00:35, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

We desperately need a policy on chemical names and especially formulae; this may be a good excuse to draft one that can justify semiautomated creation, should such creation be found to have consensus. Do you remember where previous discussion on this topic happened? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:59, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I recall discussing abbreviations before, but not spelled out formula names. I will search later. bd2412 T 17:11, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I found Talk:lithium fluoride#Discussion moved from RfD, where it appears that we decided in 2005 (although not without dissent) that names of chemicals should be included. bd2412 T 20:01, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
We should have a new discussion if the old one was more than a decade ago, especially if mass creation of new articles is being proposed... - -sche (discuss) 22:02, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Isn't that what this is? On the merits question, I think that it would be worth having these entries. We already have many (nitrogen pentoxide, carbon diselenide, sulfer trioxide, along with more widely known names like carbon monoxide and hydrogen peroxide) and so long as a particular chemical name is attested per CFI, I see no good basis for exclusion. bd2412 T 20:01, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
If we did have blanket inclusion, I would like to see some language that prohibited people from bot creating the millions of potential entries. DTLHS (talk) 20:12, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. When I look up chemical compounds in the dictionary, I hope to see a bit more information than the surface analysis, such as what it looks like, is used for, etc., and maybe a picture (essentially a highly condensed encyclopedia entry). That would be missing in bot created entries. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:17, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Are there millions, though? Actual names of chemical compounds are far less in number than mere chemical formulae. They tend to spell out the relationship between only two or three different elements. bd2412 T 20:20, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes there are millions. Think about how many ways there are to arrange three different elements. DTLHS (talk) 20:24, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
That is precisely my point - it doesn't matter how many ways there are to arrange three different elements, because a dozen different arrangements of the same element, while having a dozen different formulae, will all have the same name as a chemical compound. There are about 130 chemical elements, not all of which are capable of forming compounds at all (some because they are inert, others because they are too large to create stable bonds). If we generously suppose that there are a hundred elements that can form bonds, and were to count the few dozen elements with which each of these is able to bond (because their atomic structures correspond), we would have a few thousand. Note that more complex molecules, if they are attested at all, are usually given shorter, often single word names, like sucrose or iron pyrite. bd2412 T 20:46, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
So you're not actually advocating for inclusion of all chemical compound names. DTLHS (talk) 20:50, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Per my original post, I am advocating for the inclusion of the chemical compound names on Robert Ullmann's list of missing red links. bd2412 T 21:17, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't know about a bot, but the lemming principle seems to have found considerable support, and barium sulfate is in M-W[2], while calcium polyphosphate isn't there and is not in OneLook. This could give us something to start with, although it is not really based on a lexicographical principle but rather on us being an inclusion copycat. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:34, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I would rather that we have a principle of inclusion or exclusion of chemical names, and apply it uniformly to all attested names. bd2412 T 20:02, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Andrew that these are not very useful unless they describe the chemical's use and characteristics in some way. Just auto-generating chemical formulae from the names (if that's even possible) seems like having those number entries for 109, 110, 111, etc. Equinox 21:22, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
How about the notion of exclusion based on absence of substantive definition, in this case some reason why one would be interested in the substance. "If you don't have anything nice [sense 4] to say about the term, don't say anything at all." (I am still struggling to provide such "nice" definitions for many taxonomic names.) DCDuring TALK 01:50, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
To start with, any entry with no meaning that can't be derived from the name should be deletable as SOP. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:08, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
By that reasoning, we could easily delete at least a third of the existing entries in Category:en:Inorganic compounds. bd2412 T 03:40, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Whether we decide to include these or not (or include some subset of them), I have gathered all of Robert Ullmann's "missing" chemical compound names at User:Robert Ullmann/Missing/chemical compounds. There are about 185, and also about two dozen chemical formulae that appear in that form in the bluelinked entries. bd2412 T 02:38, 22 March 2017 (UTC)


Is this really a prefix? I always intepreted it as a compounding form of Haupt. @-sche, Kolmiel, KornΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:49, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

I agree; not a prefix. The forms in question are compounds of Haupt. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:04, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
What Angr says. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 11:00, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I always wonder about this. I sort of agree that it's not a prefix, but if this is so, neither are vor-, herum-, über-, etc., in my opinion. Or do I miss the difference? (At least, melde- and wegwerf- should also go, probably also küchen- although I created that myself.) Kolmiel (talk) 11:53, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I think the separable prefixes aren't true prefixes either, but the inseparable ones are, so ˈüberˌsetzen (to pass over) is a compound, while ˌüberˈsetzen (to translate) has a prefix. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:41, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Okay... What makes you think that one is a prefix and the other isn't? I mean, everything that isn't a word in its own right, like zer-, that's obviously a prefix; but otherwise I don't know how we distinguish them. Kolmiel (talk) 18:07, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
The stress pattern: "pass over" has the stress pattern of a compound word; "translate" doesn't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:17, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
To take a Dutch equivalent doorlopen, the stress pattern of the separable verb is indistinguishable from that of door lopen, as two separate words. In the forms where the two parts separate, they're completely indistinguishable, even in writing. They are also conceptually equivalent, and I find myself occasionally hesitating, for certain combinations of verbs and adverbs, whether to separate the two with a space or not. —CodeCat 18:25, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
This problem also exists in German, albeit to a lesser extent than in Dutch because they don't let us separate our pronominal adverbs in writing. — @Angr: But what is the "stress pattern of a compound"? Compounds aren't necessarily stressed on the first component. Take ˌsüßˈsauer for an example. Kolmiel (talk) 20:46, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, good point. I was just remembering when I first moved to Germany I referred to Norway as Norˈwegen; the person I was talking to corrected my pronunciation to ˈNorwegen, saying, "Even though it's a place name, it still has the stress pattern of a compound". The other example that occurs to me is that the place in southeastern Niedersachsen is ˌSalzˈgitter, but a literal grid or grille made of salt would be a ˈSalzˌgitter. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:09, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes :) Well, the vast majority of compounds are definitely stressed on the first component, but exceptions exist. In longer compounds it can also vary. For example, most people including myself say ˈBlaubeerˌpfannˌkuchen, but my mother who's from Westphalia says ˌBlaubeerˈpfannˌkuchen. Kolmiel (talk) 21:23, 19 March 2017 (UTC)


Why is this in Category:English words affected by confusion? Because some people use "incredulous" to mean incredible? Well, do they also use "incredible" to mean "incredulous" in a way that is not standard? If not, the category seems unnecessary. And more generally, it seems that whenever the category is included, a usage note should explain what the confusion is! - -sche (discuss) 22:05, 18 March 2017 (UTC)


Why all the -i- reflexes in Romance? Is there a variant lacrīma attested anywhere? KarikaSlayer (talk) 23:32, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

It's puzzling to me. If they had developed from *lacrīma, then they would have accent on the penult, not the antepenult. But if they developed from lacrima, they would be expected to have e rather than i. Perhaps the word preserved its vowel by analogy with the Latin form. — Eru·tuon 03:40, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
A lot of the words, except for the ones in French and Romansh and maybe some of small languages, seem to be borrowings rather than inherited terms. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:58, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
This is exactly the problem with listing borrowed terms alongside inherited terms. When I first started using ‘Descendants’ as a header (and I think I might have been the first to do so), it was supposed to be for words inherited into other languages. If we also list borrowings under this header (which personally I think is overwhelming – consider English words like bar or taxi), they should be clearly marked as such. Ƿidsiþ 08:27, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

'perfume' as a word and the pronunciatioon of 'alas'

As a non-specialist, non-native user I have to questions: 1) Shouldn't perfume be given a separate pronunciation as a verb? According to some educatory pages, it is stressed on the final syllable. 2) What about the word 'alas'? Wiktionary gives the pronunciation /əˈlæs/, but the rhyme -ɑːs.

1) You are correct. I have added North American pronunciations with that distinction.
2) I have never heard "alas" pronounced /əˈlɑːs/, and looking at the history of the rhyme page for "-ɑːs", I see that "alas" was added once and then removed. I think a link to the rhyme page is automatically added to the main entry when someone submits a new rhyme, so it must have just been mistakenly left on the main page all this time. I will take the liberty of removing it until someone can attest that it is in fact a valid pronunciation. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:25, 22 March 2017 (UTC)


I don't know what this guy did, but it seems to be messing with {{grc-IPA}} in the entry, because omicron is not transcribed. --Barytonesis (talk) 20:02, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Same thing for Κλεoφῶν (Kleophôn). --Barytonesis (talk) 20:04, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
@Barytonesis: They had the Latin letters K and o instead of kappa and omicron. The correct entries, Κλέαρχος (Kléarkhos) and Κλεοφῶν‎ (Kleophôn‎) already existed. —JohnC5 20:30, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

declare war

This term can be used figuratively, right? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:36, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Any term can be used figuratively. --WikiTiki89 12:33, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Don't we include figurative uses on Wiktionary? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:53, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Only if it has become lexicalized. --WikiTiki89 02:08, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
We need to modify the entry in some way so as to indicate that it isn't always a government authority that is declaring war, at a minimum. Some other dictionaries have a non-governmental sense, so I've added one. - -sche (discuss) 01:00, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
That's much better now. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:27, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

round prices

1854, Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste: Or, Transcendental Gastronomy[3], page 108:
Young girls often acquired a very sufficient dowry, and towns-folk who wished to eat them had to pay round prices for them.

Does this use of "round" fit into one of our existing definitions? I'm not sure what it means. DTLHS (talk) 23:42, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

I don't think it does, but it means that the prices were high. I've seen it most often in "a round sum" (= "a sizeable sum"). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:58, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Dictionary.com has it (see definition 13). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:58, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Incidentally, if that quote is used to support the sense in the entry, it really ought to be given a bit more context. I initially thought that "them" referred to the "young girls". —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:32, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


Shouldn't this be under Middle English (at least the sense used before the 16th century and the 15th century quotation)? Crom daba (talk) 10:24, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes. It's now at RFV to see if modern citations can be found. - -sche (discuss) 04:19, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

get one's butt somewhere

Admittedly, I'm not a native speaker, but I've never heard/read this instant to mean "now". Is it common? --Barytonesis (talk) 15:40, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes. Mostly interchangeable with "right now" and "right this second". --WikiTiki89 15:50, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Now with no delay. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:08, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I like the sound of it. --Barytonesis (talk) 00:09, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


This is said to be both an obsolete spelling of she and specifically an obsolete emphatic form of she; likewise mee, etc. Is that correct? - -sche (discuss) 00:52, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Not sure about whether it was more common emphatically, but certainly this spelling used to be used. The OED dates it from ‘ME–17’, i.e. from the Middle English period to the 18th century (and slightly later in Irish English). Ƿidsiþ 07:42, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
-sche -- Probably sometimes a doubled vowel letter indicated that a pronoun was not unstressed (as pronouns often are/were). Not sure if that's the same as "emphatic". AnonMoos (talk) 23:26, 26 March 2017 (UTC)


  • How is sense 3 ("morbid enjoyment") distinct from the other senses? - -sche (discuss) 04:20, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
    • Sense two is sexual, which seems like an important distinction to make. I think the other three senses could be merged however. DTLHS (talk) 04:28, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
      • Eh, I think the psychiatric sense can stay separate from the lax informal sense, assuming it's accusate. But I've now removed the "morbid enjoyment sense". - -sche (discuss) 05:43, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • The (US) American Psychiatric Association defines sadism as the enjoyment of inflicting pain or humiliation on others. So someone can be sadistic without causing any physical pain. However, it is only a mental disorder if such enjoyment negatively interferes with someone's ability to participate in day-to-day activities (e.g. not able to perform as an effective boss due to desires to humiliate employees). Nicole Sharp (talk) 07:36, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
    • However, should we also add a separate entry for Sadism (capitalized) as pertaining specifically to the philosophy and practices of the Marquis de Sade, which does not necessarily correspond to the common or psychiatric definitions? Nicole Sharp (talk) 08:39, 25 March 2017 (UTC)


Does the fifth sense ("to possess something special") make it a synonym of sport in sense 3 ("to display; to have as a notable feature")? --Barytonesis (talk) 15:23, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it's more or less a synonym; but I think "boast" usually refers to an inanimate object having something ("the new software boasts a number of cloud features") while "sport" is often a person and e.g. clothing ("he sported a bright green tie"). Equinox 16:42, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

"srdce" is seriously screwed!

I just stumbled upon the entry for srdce and my is it screwed! Every line has at least one Lua error (save for the titles of the sections and the table of contents), therein including the declension tables, where every cell is an error… and this across all languages! What in the world is going on there?!

MGorrone (talk) 22:11, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

A temporary error in module code that is gone now. —suzukaze (tc) 22:13, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


  • I suggest that the entry for "retosituo" be deleted. This entry was a mistranslation created by me in 2010, and was automatically added also to "website#Translations" by a bot from Ido Wiktionary, where the mistranslation has since been corrected as "retoloko" ("webplace"/"weblocation") instead: http://io.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=website&action=history. "Retosituo" translates in English as a "websituation," and not as a "website." I would suggest "reteyo" as a better Ido translation of "website" though, by analogy from Esperanto "retejo." Nicole Sharp (talk) 07:32, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
    • Actually, it would be better to simply move the wikipage to either "retoloko" or "reteyo," with appropriate changes. Nicole Sharp (talk) 07:47, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
    • From Google Search, "retoloko" appears to be the most common usage, particularly for Ido Wikipedia, so I will go ahead and move the page there, which corresponds to Ido Wiktionary. Nicole Sharp (talk) 07:52, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I have made all the necessary corrections here on English Wiktionary I think, including redirects at "retosituo" and "retositui." However, if someone who understands Malagasy could make a similar correction on the Malagasy Wiktionary, it would be appreciated, thanks: http://mg.wiktionary.org/wiki/retosituo. Nicole Sharp (talk) 08:06, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

cheese and spaghetti in gamer slang: to add or not to add?

I just went to the cheese and spaghetti pages, and saw that:

  1. The former has the gamer sense in the verb section, but not as a noun;
  2. The latter has perhaps a hint of the gamer sense in "Short form of spaghetti code", and no hint at the verb sense.

cheese, in gaming slang -- as I picked up from the videos of Youtube users such as carlsaga42 and ryukahr --, is an exploit to make beating a game easier than was intended. I guess this sense comes from the related verb sense of "using an exploit to beat the game easily", which is present in the Wiktionary entry and given as a derivative of cheesy (what sense? Sense 3, "cheap, of poor quality"?). What should we do about the noun sense? Should we add it under Etymology 1 as sense 14 or add a new "Etymology 5" where this noun usage is said to stem from Etymology 4 of cheese as a verb? Also, one might want to add that queso can be used as a synonym in this sense. I have a video title "koopas with a side of queso" and a vague memory of an utterance of "smell that delicious queso?" as examples for this.

As for spaghetti, as a noun it means a stupid and/or ridiculous mistake in playing a game. Many examples of this usage can be found in Youtube videos by carlsagan42, GrandPoobear, ryukahr, and more I guess but I'm not sure. The first one actually has a series about Mario64 which is referred to in the series as "Spaghetti64", because he spaghetties all over the place in that series. As a verb, it means to make such a mistake. Is this really a derivative of spaghetti code via abbreviation? In any case, maybe we should add it to the spaghetti article, either as another Etymology "By extension from an abbreviation of spaghetti code", because the inputs in a game are not really like a programming language, or as another sense after the abbreviation one. What say you guys?

MGorrone (talk) 12:07, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

They should be added iff they are attestable. Please see WT:ATTEST. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:47, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
For attestation, here are examples of spaghetti in the above sense. MGorrone (talk) 15:36, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
And here is another example by someone else. The above was by CarlSagan42, this one is by GrandPoobear. MGorrone (talk) 19:23, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
And this is an (admittedly not too clear, but whatever) example of usage of spaghetti by ryukahr, a third youtube user.
Cheese and spaghetti compilations by CarlSagan42. Featuring «Oh no no no no no I spaghettied everywhere!» around 1:04, «Oh Jesus, the spaghetti! I bonked my head!» at 1:13, «OK, stop trying to go fast, or I'll just spaghetti all over these ghosts» at 4:06, and a written «THEN CARL SPAGHETTIED FOR A LONG TIME» at 4:49-4:59 in the spaghetti compilation. MGorrone (talk) 17:46, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
And here is a cheese compilation by ryukahr. Is all this stuff enough for attestation of these senses of spaghetti and cheese @Metaknowledge:? MGorrone (talk) 18:00, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
No. You should read WT:ATTEST, which I already linked you to. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:08, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Here is Poobear again, with «That was a lot of spaghetti right there» or the likes. MGorrone (talk) 20:30, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
I personally wouldn't think it has much to do with 'spaghetti code', but rather with this meme which is fairly well known on 4chan, and to a degree reddit, tumblr, and FB meme pages from what I've seen. But yeah, proper attestation is going to be an issue. — Kleio (t · c) 20:48, 5 April 2017 (UTC)


  • I noticed this thanks to Equinox's excellent efforts to add etymologies to things: should terms like this be categorized as eponyms? There's no-one named "Tudorbeth" from whose name this is derived. But one of the individual words which were blended, Elizabethan, is derived from a name. I have no strong feelings one way or the other, it just stood out to me as something I wanted input on due to the absence of anyone named Tudorbeth as the immediate eponym. - -sche (discuss) 15:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
    • You are correct. It is not an eponym as far as I can tell. Cat removed. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:32, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
    • I would disagree. The word is a portmanteau of "Tudor-Elizabethan," which would make it an eponym of Elizabeth. Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:05, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
      • And "Tudor" itself is also eponymous, so it is actually a double eponym. Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:08, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Since the "beth" part definitely comes (albeit indirectly) from "Elizabeth", I see it as an eponym. Chambers defines eponym as "a person, real or mythical, from whose name another name, esp a place name, is derived; the name so derived". Does any source say that an eponym can only be direct, and not indirect? Equinox 18:40, 25 March 2017 (UTC)


(continuing from Talk:PPT) Is PPT used in English speech to refer to PowerPoint? Or does it usually just refer to the file format? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:13, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

@Justinrleung: I cited PPT in English, in two senses now: the PowerPoint software (proper noun), and a PowerPoint file (common noun). --Daniel Carrero (talk) 00:40, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, @Daniel Carrero! I'm curious as to how native speakers of English would usually read this or use this (in text and in speech). I don't hear native speakers saying /piː piː tiː/ in normal speech (unless they are referring to the file format/file extension). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:52, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Also, is it actually an initialism? T is not really the first letter; in fact, it's the last letter. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:54, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
You're welcome. Equinox fixed it, apparently it's an abbreviation. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 04:00, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Can't be an initialism because the T doesn't stand for anything; it's just the final t from point. Presumably PowerPoint was abbreviated PPT to permit 3-letter DOS/Windows filename extensions, and then users took that as a standard abbreviation for PowerPoint in general. Equinox 19:27, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox, thanks for the explanation! BTW, isn't {{abbreviation of}} a definition line template? Should it be used in etymologies? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 15:08, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
@Justinrleung: About {{abbreviation of}}, {{initialism of}} and {{acronym of}}. They're formatted as definition line (non-gloss) text, italicized, yes. So, I don't like very much using them in etymologies, and I'd prefer having separate templates for etymology use. At the same time, they are already being used in etymologies so we would need to edit a lot of entries to make that separation. For the time being, I'm using them in etymologies, too. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 18:09, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Swazi and Swaziland: etymology?

I just stumbled upon the Swazi and Swaziland entries. Swaziland is said to stem "from Swazi + -land" in its entry. Swazi has no etymology in the English section, but the French one states it comes "From Swaziland". Um, etymo-loop-ical problems? Which comes from which, and what does the "parent word" come from in turn? I looked across all linked other-language entries, and all the etymology I could see was in the Romanian article:

  1. Din limba swati siSwati. | From Swati siSwati.
  2. Origine incertă. | Uncertain origin.

So is it correct that Swaziland<Swazi<siSwati? And if so, how did the t become a z? And where does siSwati come from in the first place? Is this dictionary entry right in saying siSwati comes from the name of king Mswati?

MGorrone (talk) 17:51, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

The explanation is simply that the English name comes from Zulu, rather than from Swazi itself. And yes, it's in reference to the name of a king. I'll fix the relevant entries. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:56, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Is the Zulu name of the king, perhaps umSwazi or similar, attestable? Also, is it not more plausible that Zulu iSwazi is from Swazi liSwati? —CodeCat 18:22, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I assume the name would be thus in Zulu, but I can't find any attestation. And though the Zulu name may come from the Swazi, it may also be of equal age; I think it's essentially impossible to determine that, because the sound changes would happen regardless. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
What I'm trying to ascertain is whether the Zulu named the language/people directly after the king, whose name was in turn borrowed from his native Swazi name, or that this process happened in Swazi and the people/language names were then borrowed fully-formed into Zulu. —CodeCat 18:52, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
As I said, I think it's impossible to determine. The names probably arose more or less simultaneously, but the phonological alteration to make words fit in has the side effect that borrowing is indistinguishable from inheritance on deeper time scales. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:46, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

منيَ minniya 'of me'

Hi, could sb. please add when to use this form, and confirm wether such a form is the one that appears in the following poetry excerpt. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:47, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

The normal reading would be minnī (as you seem to be aware). The reading minniya wouldn't surprise me before a wasl, for example if the following word had the article, that is minniya l-[...] instead of (or alongside) minni l-[...]. In your poetic example, I'd say that it might be used for metric reasons, but this is just conjecture. I do think that you identified the word correctly. Kolmiel (talk) 23:20, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: Phonetically, /i/ may easily be turned into a semiconsonant, /y/. Yet, the opposite process occurs in the informal pausal pronunciation of مِصْرِي /miṣrī/--Backinstadiums (talk) 14:36, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
You mean the semiconsonant /j/, which is written in Arabic tanscription as "y". (Don't write /y/ because that refers to the vowel in French lune or German grün). — What you describe is a general phenomenon. Arabic /i:/ (transcribed ī) will always become /ij/ (transcribed iy) when a vowel is added. That needn't worry you. The interesting part is really the vowel "a".
Now take for example the prepositions بِ (bi) and لِ (li). With the suffix of the 1st-person singular they become بِي () and لِي () respectively. However, if the following word has the article there's no way to identify the suffix: قالَ لِي اَلْحَقِيقَة (qāla lī l-ḥaqīqa) would sound the same as قالَ لِلْحَقِيقَة (qāla lilḥaqīqa). Therefore it is common to use a linking "a" in the former phrase: قالَ لِيَ اَلْحَقِيقَة (qāla liya l-ḥaqīqa), meaning "he told me the truth". With مِن (min) this additional "a" isn't necessary because the forms remain distinguishable; apart from the fact that the following word in your example doesn't have the article at all. But as I said, the "a" was probably used for metrical reasons. Kolmiel (talk) 16:04, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: So when followed by article, long i loses its quantity? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:45, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Kolmiel (talk) 18:11, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Or changes to "-iya". --WikiTiki89 19:34, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

the talk

Should we have an entry for this? --Barytonesis (talk) 23:01, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

For a moment there I was afraid you were gonna give us the talk here in the Tea room. Crom daba (talk) 23:16, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I lol'd much --Barytonesis (talk) 22:04, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
We could, although whether it's better at the talk with a soft-redirect (pointer) from talk or vice versa is a matter of discussion. :p The entry should possibly have both the sex-specific sense and a broader sense along the lines of "A customary uncomfortable talk by a parent to a child about a reality of life" (or whatever better wording anyone can come up with), to cover other customary talks — e.g. for many African American speakers "the talk" is the talk about racism and violence from police (although, that use is probably so widespread as to meet CFI as its own sense). - -sche (discuss) 00:01, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
The talk is also used by the Alt-Right (eg. John Derbyshire) to refer to the talk about African Americans and how to avoid them owing to crime etc. The white version of the talk - an article on this had JD sacked from National Review. —This comment was unsigned.
What about the movie? --WikiTiki89 21:14, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
What does it mean? --Barytonesis (talk) 22:04, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
I have added this, at talk (with a redirect at the talk to talk#the_talk) per the prevailing practice of such things being at the the-less forms. - -sche (discuss) 22:02, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! --Barytonesis (talk) 22:04, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
I changed the redirect a bit, so that it works with {{senseid}}. —CodeCat 22:07, 27 March 2017 (UTC)


It seems evident to me that birb mimics a common mispronunciation of bird by children. Birb is an affectionate term and has a connotation of cuteness (look at the kyute widdle birb, so precious, completely adorbs wow :3, my birb is so smol – huh, I didn't realise that smol is a loan from Torres Strait Creole apparently ...). (Compare lolspeak, which follows the same "amusing baby-talk" strategy, as childlike speech is considered appropriate to cute cats.) This may be "duh obvious" to most of you, but people who are not very Internet-culture-savvy, have never encountered the term before in context, or aren't native speakers, may not find it so obvious at all, so perhaps it should be noted in the article. Is there a standard way to indicate something like that?

(Side note: I wrote mimicks first, but then realised that this is a non-standard spelling influenced by mimicking that I accidentally produced independently.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 10:47, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Not sure if this is what you're asking for, but it seems like the most appropriate category for this word in Category:English terms by usage would be Category:English childish terms, which is added by {{lb|en|childish}}. I'm not sure if there's a category for terms derived by alteration of pronunciation in the manner of a child; there should be. — Eru·tuon 11:02, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Cf. pasghetti, helichopper (childish nonstandard). Equinox 19:25, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, I've added it! And how would you note the affectionate part, and the connotation of cuteness? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:23, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Polysemic vs Polysemous

The pages for polysemic and polysemous don't clarify the differences between the two. Do they have distinct meanings? Are they used in different academic communities but for the same concept? Are they both identical? —This unsigned comment was added by Creidieki (talkcontribs) at 10:53, 26 March 2017 (UTC).

GoPro, gopro

Has this undergone genericization? --Barytonesis (talk) 19:26, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

I don't think so. I think it still refers to cameras made by a specific corporation. DTLHS (talk) 15:10, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
I would call any camera similar to the ones that corporation makes a "gopro" and I honestly wasn't aware it wasn't a generic name (I don't think I've ever seen it written in camelcase, so it never really occurred to me). I have no evidence that other people use "gopro" the same way, though. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:26, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

I've seen the terms action camera and action cam (action-cam, actioncam?) used on the Internet as well, but I don't know if that warrants an entry. --Barytonesis (talk) 21:30, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

hāḏā qadr ḏālika

Hi, a succession of 3 consonants is impossible, so قدر#Etymology_2 in the first sentence must be corrected (e.g. hāḏā qadr ḏālika). --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:48, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

That just means there's a missing case vowel. Since I don't know what case it's supposed to be, I won't add it. --WikiTiki89 14:56, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: In a nominal sentence the predicate is always indefinite genitive (ـٍ). Incidentally, I do not know what is the lexicographic pattern followed in arabic citation forms in wiktionary --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:33, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
In a nominal sentence, the predicate is normally in the nominative, not the genitive. But this could be a predicate, or an adverbial clause. I don't know. --WikiTiki89 15:36, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: The adverbial accusative would be قَدَرًا, so the acc. form of the term must be ruled out. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:48, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
No, because it's in the construct state. It's either قَدْرُ (qadru) or قَدْرَ (qadra). --WikiTiki89 15:50, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Wiktiki is right. I'm relatively sure it should be qadru (nominative), but their doubt is understandable and I wouldn't put my hand in the fire for it either (as we say in German). Kolmiel (talk) 16:09, 27 March 2017 (UTC)


Is there any way to type Akkadian mihiştu (Sumerogram gu-šum2) in cuneiform Unicode? It is the Akkadian endonym for cuneiform script (ISO 15924 xsux), meaning "cuneiform writing, cuneiform wedge." A:M M2:54 I cannot seem to find the characters in the cuneiform Unicode block unfortunately to be able to type them without needing an image file. It should look like (𒄖 -šum2): http://psd.museum.upenn.edu/epsd/psl/img/popup/Oceb.png Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:19, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

  • @Nicole Sharp: Note that that in the transcription it's supposed to be an S with dot below, not S with cedilla, and the H has a half ring below: miḫiṣtu. Also, I don't know where you got that the Sumerogram is šum2, it's SUM. Also, don't forget that this word is also just spelled syllabically as mi-ḫi-iṣ-tu(m), not only with the Sumerograms GÙ.SUM (GÙ = GU3). The syllabic spelling would be: 𒈪𒄭𒄑𒌅 (mi-ḫi-iṣ-tu), and the Sumerogram spelling 𒅗𒋧 (GÙ.SUM) (the image you link to has 𒄖𒋧 (GU.SUM); I'm not sure whether that's a valid alternative or not). --WikiTiki89 22:29, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
    • Thank you very much! There are at least three different Romanizations provided between the University of Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary (HTML) and the The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (PDF), cited above. I missed SUM in the Unicode block, since I was searching for the string "um2" from the PSD. Nicole Sharp (talk) 06:50, 28 March 2017‎ (UTC)
    • In the PSD though, there is only one Sumerogram provided for Akkadian mihiştu ("cuneiform [writing]"), which is GU-ŠUM2 (𒄖𒋧). GU3-ŠUM2 (𒅗𒋧) corresponds in the PSD instead to Akkadian šagāmu ("to echo, roar, or shout"). Nicole Sharp (talk) 07:05, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
      • It could be that ŠUM2 is another name for SUM. As for the correct spelling, it is quite possible that both Sumerograms existed. I don't have the resources to verify them. --WikiTiki89 17:39, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

bitches be crazy

How do you parse this? --Barytonesis (talk) 16:29, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

"Be" is used as a dialectal/slang/ungrammatical (or something like that) present tense form. --WikiTiki89 16:52, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Ok, so this is not an imperative? I was picturing something like "[Let them] bitches be crazy; it doesn't matter". --Barytonesis (talk) 21:18, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
It theoretically could be, but without context, I would parse it the same way as Wikitiki. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:22, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Just to add a bit, when "be" is used this way, I feel that it takes on the tenses, aspects, and moods of the simple present of active verbs (i.e. in the indicative mood, it would have a present-tense habitual aspect), rather than the stative meaning of the grammatically correct "are". --WikiTiki89 21:39, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
As displaying habitual be (sense 20): "bitches tend to be crazy" or alternatively "bitches are wont to be crazy" if you want to be pizazzy (and a little incongruent in register). Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:59, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
So "bitches are crazy" doesn't mean the same thing? Siuenti (talk) 05:00, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
It still basically means the same thing, but it's not 100% equivalent in meaning. It's meaning is more like "bitches are always crazy", but with the "always" deemphasized. (I don't think this has to do with sense 20, since there it's an auxiliary verb, while here it's the main verb.) --WikiTiki89 14:25, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Some commentators on habitual be also note that it can be used as a copula. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:54, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
But I don't even think that the habitual copula "be" is an AAVE thing. I think it is universally common in children's speech, and can be conjugated as "bes" in the third-person singular and perhaps even "beed" in the past tense. I don't know if anyone has written about this, but I think it's somehow intuitive. Just that kids learn not to use it as they get older. --WikiTiki89 14:27, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
It means exactly the same thing, to my understanding. "Be" is used for "are" in some low-prestige forms of English. Equinox 12:59, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
I think, in AAVE at least, the copula would simply be omitted: "Bitches crazy". — Eru·tuon 20:54, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Not if it's habitual. The origin of the phrase appears to lie in urban African American (hip-hop) culture and therefore AAVE, and habitual be is a characteristic feature of AAVE. ---Florian Blaschke (talk) 10:37, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
I think that's what Erutuon was saying, that the simple copula would be omitted, but the habitual copula would not be omitted. --WikiTiki89 17:59, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

لِأَنْ (liʾan)

Hi, the entry for ل#Synonyms should redirect to لِأَنْ , yet it shows the meaning of لِأَنَّ. I'd like to know whether sb. could add لِأَنْ and wether they're the same. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 22:54, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums Done - created a new section with the new reading لِأَنْ (liʾan). The term is in the standard Hans Wehr dictionary. Since you seem to have an ongoing interest in Arabic, I recommend getting the dictionary, so that you have to rely less on other editors and switch from request to more contribution mode. :) It doesn't mean that you're not welcome to ask questions but you will ask questions, which are less basic. Also, you need a user page with a Babel table, you have been a while with us. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:22, 28 March 2017 (UTC)


Shouldn't there be some kind of label? literary, formal, archaic or what not? --Barytonesis (talk) 02:28, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

In the 19th century and early 20th it may have been literarily archaic, but the 2012 usage seems to be quite jocular and facetious (maybe even re-created from scratch based on the analogy long:length::strong:strength::wrong:X)... AnonMoos (talk) 16:58, 28 March 2017 (UTC)


Is the usage example quoted from somewhere? Is the "orgasm" translation accurate? DTLHS (talk) 17:33, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

It's from Slovene Wikipedia article on Operation Overlord, literal translation seems alright, the "figurative" translation is clearly a joke. Crom daba (talk) 19:35, 29 March 2017 (UTC)


Hi, regarding فوق#Etymology_1, it would improve the entry to add why فَوْق is a defective noun, as well as why مِن فَوْقُ is an irregular expression. Finally, personally I do not undertand why there're two etymologies. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:07, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

The usage note already explains everything. --WikiTiki89 20:18, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Sorry to bother you, but since prepositions generally do not affect the case of adverbs, I cannot see why مِن فَوْقُ is irregular. --Backinstadiums (talk) 22:54, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Because it's originally a noun (like most adverbs and many prepositions). So it's at least "notable". I think it would be fine if you were to replace "irregular" with that latter adjective, if it's important to you. Kolmiel (talk) 13:23, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

hypercorrect Cockney?

So apparently "The often exaggerated addition of /h/ before words like "out" in written Cockney is a hypercorrect affectation." This means if I see some "written Cockney" and I see the word "out" and I pronounce it as "hout", I am being hypercorrect? Siuenti (talk) 05:09, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

The person writing it is neutral. The Cockney's speech that they are attempting to transcribe is hypercorrect. Equinox 13:00, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Or in other words: it has nothing to do with writing. (When writing Cockney you can write hout or out, neither of which would be hypercorrect, just different dialectal orthographies.) The hypercorrection is in the speaker, who adds the /h/ in his pronunciation of (h)out, thinking that it belongs there. Kolmiel (talk) 13:27, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
It is strange. I'd skipped the word "written". What's that about? Kolmiel (talk) 13:29, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure this is being fair to Cockneys actually, aspiration/non-aspiration might be in free variation rather than result from attempting to speak "correctly". Siuenti (talk) 21:00, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, true. But that would another question. The point is really why it says "addition of /h/ in written Cockney". That doesn't make sense. /h/ is IPA, i.e pronunciation, and pronunciations cannot be added to written text. Kolmiel (talk) 21:18, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Do you think it meant "h"? Siuenti (talk) 04:43, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Maybe. That would mean writers add h'es when they write out Cockney because they think it's more correct Cockney when it really isn't. I don't know if that would be technically true. But it would definitely be a very bad and complicated example of "hypercorrection". Kolmiel (talk) 15:58, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. Something like octopi being made the plural of octopus might be a better example. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:28, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

الْعَناصِرِ الْإرْهابِيَّةِ

Hi, regarding the sentence 'تَمَّ اعْتِقالُ عَدَدٍ مِنَ الْعَناصِرِ الْإرْهابِيَّةِ فِي الْقاهِرَةِ لَيْلَةَ الْأَمْسِ‎' I'd like to know whether it's o.k. to use the feminine in the phrase الْعَناصِرِ الْإرْهابِيَّةِ. Also, I cannot find it with the meaning 'terrorists'. Finally, I'd write آعْتِقالُ. Is the sentence in MSA?. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:46, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Well, I wrote that sentence. An Arabic stylist might be able to perfect it, but it's no so bad as for you to doubt that it's even in MSA... Frankly. Now, you could have googled عناصر إرهابية yourself, and you would have seen that it's a very common journalistic expression. It's also grammatically normal because, عناصر means "elements", so it's not animated per se, even it refers to animated beings in this case. Accordingly, you could translate it literally as "terrorist elements", but that doesn't seem to be common journalistic style. Translation isn't always literal. Kolmiel (talk) 20:59, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
It seems to me that Backinstadiums is still just a beginner at Arabic, so his questions should be taken as confusion rather than criticism. --WikiTiki89 21:02, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, you're right. I may have sounded more iritated than I was. But they really could have googled it. (And then maybe they could have asked: hey, why isn't the adjective plural?) Kolmiel (talk) 21:15, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
That is a justified question, of course. I remember that when I wrote it, I also checked the correct agreement — by googling. Kolmiel (talk) 21:26, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel By the way, we should never capitalise Arabic transliterations, not for emphatic consonants or following English capitalisation rules e.g. اَلْقَاهِرَة (al-qāhira) is "al-qāhira", not "al-Qāhira". Pls follow WT:AR TR :) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 21:34, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Generally, I do. The question of capitalization is not mentioned on the page as far as I can see. I disagree with the standard if that's it. But I will try to respect it. (Maybe by avoiding proper nouns as much as possible ;)) Kolmiel (talk) 21:59, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
But why? Do you really feel the urge to capitalise proper nouns in Arabic? Hans Wehr doesn't do that and no respectable dictionary. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:16, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Oh, I feel that not to capitalise proper nouns is against the nature in which man was created. Kolmiel (talk) 23:50, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Ha-ha. A lot of cultures live without capital letters just fine. Most don't even have to worry about the distinction between common nouns and proper nouns or even assigning a permanent PoS to words. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:54, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
That's true. As a German, however, my natural disposition is to capitalize all nouns. Just proper nouns would be like a minimum for me... But actually, are you sure that Wehr doesn't do it? I mean the original German Wehr? (I'll check when I get home, which won't be until Sunday, however.) Kolmiel (talk) 00:00, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel I'm sure. I've got the 4th edition and I saw 3rd edition scans. It's important that regular contributors are on the same page and follow policies. Or they can challenge the policies by agreeing on a change. If it really is an issue for you and you have some serious arguments, bring it up in BP. The majority so far, to my knowledge, agreed to not to use caps for Arabic and you can rely on automated transliteration in 95% of cases. Otherwise, your position seems a little Euro-/Anglo- or Germano-centric. I mean, I don't project Russian or English on other languages I worked with. Es gefällt mir, dass die deutschen Substantive mit Großbuchstaben geschrieben sind, aber Deutsch is eine wichtige Ausnahme, die die deutsche Sprache auch sehr interessant und verschieden von anderen Sprachen macht!--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:19, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Well :) I really don't think it's Euro-/Anglo-/Germano-centric. It's simply useful to mark proper nouns by means of capitalisation, even if Arabic doesn't do it. We also separate certain words with a hyphen, even though Arabic doesn't. And we write as-, at-, ar-, etc., even though Arabic doesn't. Because these things are useful. The thing about capitalising all nouns was a joke. But my honest opinion is that capitalising proper nouns would be good. It's also common to do that in transliteration in scientific literature, albeit far from universal. I do agree that following policies is the most important thing, and of course I will do that (and as I said, I always have). All fine :) Kolmiel (talk) 00:42, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
As for the question about the وَصْلَة (waṣla), it's frequently omitted on Wiktionary, but I don't think there's a rule against adding it, if you want to. I just did in تَمَّ (tamma). — Eru·tuon 21:49, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: Hi, I didn't mean to offend you. I do constantly google them (see our conversation above regaring لِأَنْ (liʾan)), yet there're no parallel corpora to see a proper translation, and I am not able to read arabic yet. Regarding my asking whether it is MSA, I thought it could be Egyptian Arabic, for most pre-al-jazeera journalistic style was so. Semantic agreement is a rough issue for some purists of the language. --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:02, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums: You didn't offend me. Maybe I was a bit annoyed, all right. But you did nothing "wrong". Just try to answer your questions on your own as far as you can. And when you can't, then do ask. Kolmiel (talk) 14:00, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Kolmiel -- one minor issue: the English grammar term is "animate", not "animated"... AnonMoos (talk) 13:23, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for mentioning it. Kolmiel (talk) 14:30, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev I've just arrived home. And well, I just had to go and check even though you said you were sure. But... Wehr does capitalise proper nouns in the original German dictionary: Rōmā, al-Qāhira, Miṣr, etc. Mine is the 5th edition. It could be an innovation, of course, but in his preface he explains in detail certain minor changes in the transliteration system and doesn't mention capitalisation at all. Do you have your 3rd edition at home? Is it really all lowercase? Maybe the change happened in the 4th edition? Kolmiel (talk) 00:15, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
PS: I see that you have the 4th edition, not the 3rd. So is it really lowercase? We're talking about the German edition, the Arabisches Wörterbuch für die Schriftsprache der Gegenwart, right? Then it would have to be an innovation in the 5th edition. But as I said, he doesn't mention it all, while mentioning less important stuff. Kolmiel (talk) 00:21, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel I'll check again when I get to the dictionary. I have just checked the scans for the 3rd edition and "miṣr" appears in lower case on page 928. Translations are in upper case, sometimes lacking transliterations but not transliterations, e.g. "al-maksīk" on page 935. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:38, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Not sure if it helps but Wikipedia article about the dictionary also says "Capitalization: The transliteration uses no capitals, even for proper names.". As I said, I'll double-check. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:58, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Okay. Thanks :) I don't mean to imply that it's extremely important or anything. Just when you said Wehr didn't have capitalisation, I was confused because I've been working with it for years, and I was pretty sure it had it. But all right. They must have changed it in the 4th or 5th edition. Kolmiel (talk) 03:01, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev What article? Kolmiel (talk) 03:10, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev All right. I googled it and found it. It's not the article about the dictionary but the transliteration. But this probably refers to the English editions. — But okay, we know that the 3rd German edition is lowercase and we know that the 5th is with capitalisation, so the only question is about the 4th one. Kolmiel (talk) 03:17, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel Confirmed - 4th edition (English version) - all transliterations are lower case. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:35, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev Hey, no, wait. Why English version? I've stressed four (!) times that I'm talking about the German edition of Wehr. Have you seen any German editions? Kolmiel (talk) 23:09, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel No, I always meant the English version, I have never seen the German version. Sorry if I caused the confusion. Germans must be unable to handle proper nouns in lower case letters (joke) :) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:28, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev Okay... Did you ever actually read what I wrote? I mentioned that I was speaking about the German version four times! I even once spelt out the whole name of the dictionary in German. Kolmiel (talk) 00:58, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I have already apologised for my inattention. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:27, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Oh yeah. That's all right :) I didn't mean to offend you. It's just that I mentioned it so often, because that was really the point of the whole thing. But I've probably done something similar sometime. Bye. Kolmiel (talk) 20:17, 4 April 2017 (UTC)


Is this an alternate / nonstandard spelling of cornice? DTLHS (talk) 20:46, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Obama is the 44th President?

I believe that if someone says, today, that Obama is the 44th President of the USA, it's not exactly untrue, but it is unusual phrasing. How unexpected is it? If people see "X is the 45th Y", are they going to be almost certain that X is also the current Y? Please assume these people come from a wide range of English-speaking countries. Siuenti (talk) 03:23, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

How is this relevant to the dictionary? Questions like this can go in WT:ID. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:43, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
The currency is suggested by "is", isn't it? For a past president, "X was the 39th Y" would seem to be the norm. - -sche (discuss) 03:51, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
OK sorry wrong place, I'll ask there later. Ty -sche Siuenti (talk) 04:04, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
My intuitions are different. If I say "X was the 39th President" it sounds like he's dead; "X is the 39th President" sounds like he's alive, even if he's no longer president. Helmut Kohl is still the 6th Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, even though we're now up to 8 Chancellors. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:57, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, but when he's dead he'll still be the 6th. And Adenauer will still be the first. I would only use the present tense when it's a more abstract context, like making a list, X is the first, Y is the second, who's the third again? Otherwise I'd always use the past tense for someone who's not in office anymore. Kolmiel (talk) 17:49, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with -sche and disagree with Angr. Another example is you can't say "Obama is an African-American president", because he isn't any kind of president anymore, even though he is still African-American. --WikiTiki89 17:57, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree that "Obama is an African-American president" is infelicitous since January 20, but I still can't say "Obama was an African-American president" either, because he's still alive. For me it has to be "Obama is an African-American ex-president". As for Kohl, I disagree that when he's dead he'll still be the 6th chancellor. Rather, when he's dead he will have been the 6th chancellor. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:20, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
I would hate to be you; I'd never be able to say anything. --WikiTiki89 18:39, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Reminds me of Wikipedia's policy that you have to say "Dallas IS a TV show" even though it's finished now. Equinox 18:23, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
With anything recorded in durable media, the present can make sense. If I could watch Dallas right now, then Dallas is still a TV show. --WikiTiki89 18:39, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
You can tack temporal position onto that. If Dallas IS (still) a 1970s TV show, then Obama IS (still) the 44th President. Nobody is saying he is the current one, nor that today is the 1970s. Equinox 22:17, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
I think the issue here is a generational difference in the meaning of TV show. For older people, a TV show is only a TV show when it is first airing, and if you watch it after that it's a rerun (or a tape). While for younger people, a TV show is always a TV show for as long as it is possible to watch it (of course using the past tense is still not out of the question for a number of other reasons), whether as a rerun, or as a tape, or online. And this is only compounded by the streaming video age when most shows aren't watched as they air anymore anyway. This explains the difference between saying "Dallas is a TV show" and "Dallas was a TV show". I think everyone would agree that Lord of the Rings is a book (not was). --WikiTiki89 17:56, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it's TV-specific. If Tolkien stops being so popular and somebody later asks me what LotR means, I think I'd say "oh, it was a fantasy book [published in such-and-such a year, etc.]", not "is". Equinox 18:01, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
That falls under my parenthesized comment. The past tense is always possible in certain situations, the only question is whether you'd use the present in other situations. For example, "I just read LotR and it was an amazing book, so now I'll go and tell my friend that it is an amazing book." --WikiTiki89 18:15, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
So you mean 'if you want temporal precision, you can tack that onto "is the 44th President"' such as by saying "is the 44th and current President" ? Siuenti (talk) 00:01, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
No, I mean that you can add temporal precision to "president" by saying "44th president", which tells you which one you mean, in the numerical sequence of all presidents. Equinox 00:03, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
I see. I think "is the President" also has a kind of temporal precision because it only applies to the current president, whereas "is the Xth president" is ambiguous as to current or not. Siuenti (talk) 05:51, 2 April 2017 (UTC)


HI, shouldn't the plural of قهوة be قهاوٍ 'Arabic nouns with diptote broken plural in -in', instead of قَهَاوِي? thanks in advance --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:19, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, that's correct. It's indeed قَهاوٍ (qahāwin). Although this form is a bit unusual, because most of the time such a plural would be formed from a noun with four consonants (either with four root consonants or a prefix, such as m.). Kolmiel (talk) 14:05, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: Therefore, قهاوي is wrong, isn't it? I do not undertand how, but as I've seen its pattern in many more entries, I guess there's a 'template' to automatically insert such a form. By the way, do you know whether such a pattern exists in real Arabic words? If so, even for broken plurals? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:14, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Since we also have قاضٍ (qāḍin) under this lemma (and not under قاضِي (qāḍī)), the same should apply here. What exactly do you mean by "whether such a pattern exists in real Arabic words?"? The pattern of this plural is faʿālil or KaKāKiK, which is the single most common plural pattern. The somewhat unusual thing is that the root, which is actually q-h-w has apparently been enhanced to q-h-w-y in the plural. I don't know another example, where that happens, but maybe there is one. Kolmiel (talk) 15:44, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Off the top of my head: لَيَالٍ (layālin), أَسَامٍ (ʾasāmin). This search also finds many more. --WikiTiki89 15:58, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
All right. There you go. Ism is a bit peculiar because it only has two root consonants and the root is commonly enhanced to s-m-y/w, for example also in verbs. But the layla example fits perfectly. (Amazing what you find on the top of your head ;)) Kolmiel (talk) 16:01, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums What exactly is broken? Where do you see the form قَهَاوِي? I created the templates in question. Benwing2 (talk) 02:55, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
@Benwing2: those irregular plurals are جَمْعُ تَكْسِيرٍ. The fully declinable form قَهَاوِي has already been corrected; If I come across one again, I'll let you know. --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:55, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
@Benwing2: It has been dealt with. Kolmiel (talk) 14:26, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums, Kolmiel: OK, thanks. I see now what you're referring to. Those forms are added by hand, not by any template I created. Benwing2 (talk) 21:32, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

semantic notion of 'future مستقبل' : 'that which is (to be) _____'

I'd like to add the semantic notion associated by native speakers to the term 'future مُسْتَقْبَل', which is a اِسْم الْمَفْعُول from form X اِسْتَفْعَلَ. In theory, the blank could be filled with one or more of the following 'that which is to be received/met/confronted/faced/assumed'. Feel free to add choose or add yours together with your dialect. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:50, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

'احتمل (passive) to be allowable, be possible'

Hi, should a new entry be created for اُحْتُمِلَ as there's one for شُفِيَ ? Thanks in advance.--Backinstadiums (talk) 21:00, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

There's an ocean of work to be done with Arabic and many other languages. The entry CAN be created, even if it were not considered a lemma but a {{passive form of|اِحْتَمَلَ|lang=ar}}. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:55, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: I'd like to know if, at least, it's possible to automatically create a category for verbs used with a different meaning in the passive. Some time ago I asked in the beer room to automatically obtain the patterns of arabic terms and so divide the different parts of speech by patterns. --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:35, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Such a category cannot be created automatically, someone would have to create it manually. I'm not sure what you have in mind for a category. I don't think we have categories for words that have different senses in certain word forms. You might have a difficult time persuading the community that the category is needed. —Stephen (Talk) 10:39, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown: I think that's a fairly advantageous alternative to having an additional entry for the forms with special/different meanings, as in this case the passive, and a lexicographic one as well. --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:19, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

April 2017

Obsolete IPA character

Which IPA character should be used instead of the crossed I shown in Hartlepool (apparently obsolete)? It should sound like hart-le-pool. DonnanZ (talk) 13:28, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps /ɪ/ or /ə/. (See .) — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:57, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
/ɪ/. /ə/ would be used to transcribe dialects in which the phoneme /ɪ/ does not occur unstressed (i.e., it has merged with /ə/). — Eru·tuon 17:45, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks to both, I think it may be ɪ, le is actually from Norman. I couldn't format it for {{IPA}} as the pronunciation I filched from Wikipedia has that invalid character. DonnanZ (talk) 18:19, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
You can still use {{IPA}}- the error message will only show up in the preview. DTLHS (talk) 18:23, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Oh I see, I didn't chance it, thanks. DonnanZ (talk) 18:27, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

not quite

Is that a good definition? --Barytonesis (talk) 23:54, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

I think it's pretty accurate, but it doesn't seem to capture the connotation of not quite, which I think has a bit more emphasis on the negative than your definition implies, if that makes sense. I can't think of a good way to make it better though. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:13, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy: That's what bothers me. Pragmatically, you can't use it like you would "almost" or "very nearly". Is it rather a synonym of "not exactly", or "not really"? --Barytonesis (talk) 17:19, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I think "not exactly" is pretty close in meaning. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:28, 4 April 2017 (UTC)


  • We currently claim the deceiving sense is slang. This seems highly unlikely, since it is such a common usage in all English speaking countries. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:59, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Yeah, that doesn't seem right to me. Maybe someone was referencing an older dictionary that classified it as slang? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:16, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
      • I feel that we constantly use "slang" where it doesn't apply. Particularly it's often used for "informal" or "colloquial". In my understanding, slang requires that a word can't be used towards a vast portion of society, because they would either censure it or not understand it. Kolmiel (talk) 10:23, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Is this the same usage as "the con of man" from The Da Vinci Code? I would say that it is not a slang usage; "informal" might be the best descriptor. Nicole Sharp (talk) 08:24, 4 April 2017 (UTC)


Is this a word in English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:21, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Not to my knowledge. It sounds awful anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 12:15, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
It gets more than enough hits on Google books to be includable. DTLHS (talk) 14:56, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes; created. Equinox 16:36, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
These abominations show up all over the place, especially in technical contexts. Start with a verb (inform), evolve into a noun (information), transmogrify into another verb (informationize, unattested to my knowledge), then burst forth as yet another noun. This is mechanically doable in English through the magic of lexical suffixes, a process that has no limits in principle but eventually unravels into verbal refuse. Just stop it.
Who are you telling to "stop it"? The English language has been doing things like this for hundreds of years and a stupid dictionary is hardly going to stand in its way. DTLHS (talk) 22:43, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Down with antiaffixizationers! --G23r0f0i (talk) 21:12, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

affix, clitic

Each of these entries links to the other as a coordinate term, but the difference between them is not made clear. MW's definition of clitic implies that it is used only of that which results from a contraction, but then the English possessive -'s is clearly not an enclitic.__Gamren (talk) 17:53, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

An affix turns one word into another word (or form of a word). A clitic functions grammatically as its own word, but is pronounced as part of another word. The possessive -'s in English is a borderline case where a former affix has taken on some properties of a clitic, such as being able to be applied to phrases, rather than individual words. Take for example "Jack and Jill's pale", if the -s were still purely an affix marking the possessive "case", then you'd expect "Jack's and Jill's pale". --WikiTiki89 16:15, 3 April 2017 (UTC)


The definition is incorrect (cf. ileus on Wikipedia). Wyang (talk) 11:04, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

I tried to fix it myself... after several days of unresponsiveness. Wyang (talk) 08:58, 7 April 2017 (UTC)


Is this a word in English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:31, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

I can't find anything useful on b.g.c. except an old-fashioned dialectal form of rinse (e.g. [4], [5]). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:05, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
It would be an understandable misspelling for wrench. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:25, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

How to conjugate irregular compound verbs

I just heard a commentator on SoCal public radio (KPCC) use the term 'greenlit' in reference to a film project initiated some years ago. I often hear an irregular compound verb like this conjugated like the basic verb. I think we all agree that the past tense of 'undergo' must be 'underwent' if only because 'undergoed' sounds horrendous. In the case of greenlight, however, the word derived from a noun--an electric traffic control--so the choice between 'lit' and 'lighted' is more nuanced. Are there rules here or merely stylistic preferences? —This comment was unsigned.

I have heard it said that verbs formed from nouns are always conjugated regularly -- hence "the batter flied out" (not "flew out"), and "the soldiers ringed the fortress" (not "rang the fortress"), which suggests that "greenlighted" is correct since it's formed from the noun phrase "green light", as you note. Benwing2 (talk) 17:31, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
In the case of ring, the verb and noun are unrelated, so it wouldn't make sense to say "rang" anyway. For "fly out", people always seem to be tempted to say "flew out" even though everyone says "flied out" is correct. With "greenlight", however, I think "greenlit" is the most commonly used form. --WikiTiki89 17:38, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm guessing that the only player who ever actually flew out was Yogi Berra. —This unsigned comment was added by Robinsjo (talkcontribs) at 22:43, 3 April 2017.
Which proves that they are not "always conjugated regularly". They just may be or tend to be. There are probably other examples for both cases. Kolmiel (talk) 20:20, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Of course, this tendency could be a factor in the collapse of the system of English strong verbs, which we expect to happen in the 32nd century. Because the main factor that blocks forms like flied and eated is that they sound strange and give you a little shiver deep insde. But when you can say "flied out", with time "he flied to Amsterdam" might not sound just as strange anymore. Kolmiel (talk) 20:33, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
All we need is a generation of children to grow up without parents or schoolteachers. That should take care of all the strong verbs. --WikiTiki89 20:37, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
You think? I'm not sure. All Germanic languages except Afrikaans, even including all dialects, still have them, although those were spoken for maybe 1700 years since Proto-Germanic without any education among the normal population. Kolmiel (talk) 21:08, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Down with parents and teachers! --G23r0f0i (talk) 21:10, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I mean those people did have parents, but not educated ones. Kolmiel (talk) 21:09, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Yeah but look what happened to Afrikaans in a matter of a couple centuries. --WikiTiki89 21:24, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Admittedly, there is a difference now with people moving around so much, and so many non-native speakers using English. So maybe you're right with regards to English at least. But nah, I like strong verbs. Of course, it's only because I'm used to them. But, actually, it's the only thing I would change about Afrikaans. It's a cute language, but something like ek het gevind ("I has finded")? No, sorry, I'm too conservative for that. Kolmiel (talk) 21:44, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
When I was studying morphology in college, we discussed this in two separate contexts: the regularization of irregular verbs with significant semantic drift and irregularity in novel compounds. For the first category, we had the "flied out" example, as well as the fact that many people consider the plural a computer "mouse" to be "mouses". Similarly, I have since noticed speakers' unwillingness to make the past of "to grind on someone" (the dance move) as "He ground on her" with most people favoring "grinded" (though this could represent the effect of verbification if the etymology is "to do the grind" > "to grind").
For the second category, one of my friends noticed that, when asked to form the past of a compound verb where the first member was irregular, the speaker might doubly mark the past tense. So some speakers would consider the following conjugations well formed:
  • "to breakdance" → "to have brokedanced" or "to have breakdanced"
  • "to sleepwalk" → "to have slepwalked" or "to have sleepwalked" (but not "to have *sleptwalked")
All this to say that these effects can go in either direction depending on a wide variety of factors. —JohnC5 00:12, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Looking at language histories, I think that simple past forms will disappear altogether before the strong verbs get regularized. Crom daba (talk) 22:07, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Indeed that has happened in some languages. Afrikaans, again. And also in most of High German the simple past is at least unproductive. In Yiddish and Swiss German it has disappeared entirely. In Luxembourgish, as a northern High German language, it's restricted to some 20 simple verbs. However, all High German dialects still have strong verbs, because they use the perfect tense and the perfect participle remains strong. In English, maybe people will substitute he did fly, so that would mean they're gone. Kolmiel (talk) 22:33, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm speaking about trends I see in English, not general cross-Germanic or cross-linguistic trends. In American English, the pluperfect will soon be replaced entirely by the simple past. So the simple past is not going anywhere. The simple present, on the other hand, is more likely to disappear, for active verbs at least, although as of now its habitual-aspect uses and non-indicative uses are still highly productive. My comment about strong verbs disappearing is based on the fact that children do tend to say things like "flied" and "eated" until they are taught not to; although there are some strong verb patterns that are on the contrary likely to grow in usage, like the -ing/-ang > -ung pattern (note also that the simple past/past participle distinction is collapsing into just one form), so sang/rang will be gone in favor of sung/rung, and brought will become brung, and I wouldn't be surprised if weak verbs like banged become bung. --WikiTiki89 23:35, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes. The perfect is also used less (I think especially in American English) than what traditional grammar would imply, isn't it? You're likely to hear I brought you some flowers instead of I've.... So the English past tense seems stable. -- I think small children are likely in most languages to use regularized forms. They also do in German. But the fact that older children don't, needn't be because they're told "don't say that", but because they adapt later on. Of course, it's hard to find out and distinguish. Kolmiel (talk) 00:40, 5 April 2017 (UTC)


  • Zero Google Books hits; zero Google Groups hits. Words that only appear in lists, and not in usage, are not for us. The correct and standard term is "base 128". I have never seen such a base used by anyone for anything. Equinox 18:46, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Yes, I cannot find much on Google either. The only citations for "ducentahexaquinquagesimal" I can find seem to be from Wikipedia, for which the entry is marked as missing a citation. Even if the terms are not in usage though, they can still be added in a Wiktionary Appendix for reference. The naming system seems fairly systematic to create new names for arbitrary bases, as I did with 128 and 512, but I am not sure of the origins or formalism of the naming system. Nicole Sharp (talk) 18:54, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Other than Wikipedia, this is the best citation that I can find: http://www.mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/60405.html, which additionally cites "Schwartzman S (1994). The Words of Mathematics: an etymological dictionary of mathematical terms used in English (ISBN 0-88385-511-9)." I don't have access to the book cited, but the prefixes listed on the webpage seem to confirm "centoctovigesimal" as the non-numerical term for base 128. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:51, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
      • "Centoctovigesimal" (I miswrote it as "uncentoctovigesmal" earlier) does have one citation on Google: [6]. Not sure if the poster there is the same as user "@double sharp" here on Wiktionary. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:51, 3 April 2017 (UTC)



Is it vulgar? --Barytonesis (talk) 22:18, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps it should also be marked as rare or archaic. Crom daba (talk) 08:04, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Saare County and others

User:BD2412 recently added a bunch of entries for Estonian counties, all with "County" at the end of the name. I'm wondering, firstly, if they are not known better by their Estonian names (e.g. Saaremaa), but also whether this combination is SOP or not. —CodeCat 22:53, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion#McClain_County? —suzukaze (tc) 22:54, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I think this is different, though. The US counties are rarely if ever used without "County". I'm not sure if that's also the case with Estonian counties. —CodeCat 22:56, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
  • A few things on this. I created them because Saare County is on Robert Ullmann's list of missing red links. Although they are called "counties" they are top-level administrative divisions, and therefore the equivalent of U.S. states; it hardly seems fair that we would include U.S. counties, but exclude state-level subdivisions from another country. If they are sometimes used with "County" (all the Wikipedia articles are so titled), then they would at least be legitimate alternative forms. bd2412 T 22:58, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia articles can be SoP though, so that doesn't help us here. What I'd be more interested in is whether English speakers really do use these "County" names or if they're something Wikipedia writers invented. I would just call it Saaremaa myself. —CodeCat 23:04, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
      • Google Books returns a few thousand hits for "Saare County"; whether or not it is the best usage, it is attested as a unit. bd2412 T 23:06, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
        • Ok, that is one thing down. What about the name Saare alone, is that ever used? The funny thing about this is that in Estonian, saare is a case form, the lemma being saar (island). So it seems like the creators of Saare County just tore off the Estonian word maa and replaced it with county regardless of Estonian grammar. The names without maa are never used in Estonian to refer to these counties, it would be like using Eng alone to refer to England. —CodeCat 23:09, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
          • These aren't ==Estonian== entries. bd2412 T 00:50, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
            • I'm aware. I just find it striking that whoever coined the term knew enough Estonian to analyse it as (name) + maa, yet not enough to recognise that saare is a genitive form. —CodeCat 01:04, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
              • Well whoever did it, it seems to be in use since about 1991. bd2412 T 23:25, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Spanish coquizar, coquificar

  • "To use heat to decompose high molecular weight hydrocarbons, in order to obtain petroleum coke" ([8]). Is there an English verb for this? DTLHS (talk) 03:46, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
    • cokify? Nicole Sharp (talk) 04:02, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
      • "Cokify" is used in the translation for French "cokéfier," and there is also "coking" ("to coke"), but that seems to be a different context. Nicole Sharp (talk) 04:07, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
      • "Coking" is the term used on "wikipedia:petroleum coke." It would have to rely on context though to refer to either the production of the coal byproduct (coke) or the petroleum byproduct (also coke). Nicole Sharp (talk) 04:12, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
        • Thanks. I guess it's better just to provide the gloss rather than rely on a potentially inaccurate one word translation. DTLHS (talk) 17:47, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

squad, section, platoon, company, etc.

Shouldn't we try to organise these terms? -- 15:52, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Turkish proverb in usage examples for "alan": noun or adjective sense?

I just stumbled upon alan and the Turkish section has the same proverb, "Atı alan Üsküdar'ı geçti", as a usage example both for adjectival usage (in the only present sense, with translation "The one who is the recipient of the horse has already passed Üsküdar. (It is too late to do anything; you have missed the train.)") and noun usage (in sense 2, with translation "[The person] who took has passed Üsküdar. (Too late to do anything about it, as the chance has been missed.)"). While I see that the senses are very close, using the same usage example for both, and with different translations, seems fishy to me. From the translation it seems clear that this is an example of the noun sense, and analyzing word-by-word gives "horse (acc.)-recipient-Üsküdar (unknown case, I have no inflection table at Üsküdar or at wikt:tr:Üsküdar)-passed (simple past, third person singular)", which reinforces the impression that this is a noun usage, and that a more appropriate translation would be "The person who received the horse has passed Üsküdar". This means that the usage example for the adjective sense is missing, and the translation for the noun sense had better be changed to include "the horse". I will do this, but I cannot provide a new example for the adjective sense. Can someone do that for me? Also, is this "alan" a passive active participle that can be used as adjective or noun or is it a verbal noun that can be used as an adjective? MGorrone (talk) 16:35, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm guessing that this is a present participle of almak (and Üsküdar'ı is the accusative).
Turkish participles AFAIK can be used both attributively (as an adjective) and substantively (as a noun), you are right in noting that the example displays a substantive usage, but it should arguably be listed under a single participle or verb heading and linked to the main entry anyway. Crom daba (talk) 20:01, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
However, we don't seem to list -an participles as verb forms currently. @Anylai, could you tell me the reasoning behind this convention, are such words treated as independent form? Crom daba (talk) 20:09, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
It is not a verbal noun, -an makes adjectives, although there is not a very clear line between adjectives and nouns or adjectives and adverbs in Turkish.
Let's take a look at another sense of al- and derive alan in a different sense. Using the sense "to buy";
alan kişi (buying person),
Alan razı, veren razı. (the buying (person) is willing, the selling/giving (person) is willing). The second one is a proverb, meaning "mind your own business".
I guess we need some sort of a template, otherwise we can never get out of the complexity of -an, -en creates, it is very productive and meanings will depend on context. See above, alan in the second example can mean "buyer". Well sometimes words get specific senses, I guess they can be mentioned separately. I wish I were competent enough in this subject to decide on whether it is past or passive active participle. --Anylai (talk) 20:29, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the response @Anylai:. My approach to participles/converbs and other non-lemma forms in Mongolian is to omit such nuances or even a translation, and merely link the lemma form and the suffix, the user should provide their own knowledge of syntax and grammar of a language to use the dictionary properly (I try to give a bit of that in the suffix entries however). See баяжсаар and -саар to see what I mean. Crom daba (talk) 20:53, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Dutch participles

@CodeCat, @Lingo Bingo Dingo, @KIeio: Inspired by the paragraph above this: We don't treat participles as verb forms in Dutch either. I'm not sure if that's good, but at least it should be standardized between languages. Right now German gelogen and Dutch idem are different parts of speech, although there's not the slightest difference in how they're used. (Except that in Dutch you can say thinks like na gegeten te hebben, but I don't think this is a factor here.) So may I ask to hear your arguments? Kolmiel (talk) 20:49, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

To call it merely a verb form would ignore the fact that participles behave like adjectives as well. That's what the different header is meant to signify. To call it a verb while giving it an adjective inflection table is weird. —CodeCat 20:58, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Okay. Thank you. I don't think I agree, though. Adjectives can be nouns and adverbs, as well. In Dutch they even have different nominal inflections (with the -en form; the -s form has been called nominal as well). The point for me is that participles are always derived from verbs. That's what makes them participles and hence verb forms. I suppose you will answer that it makes them deverbal derivatives, but that doesn't seem to be justified when half of the conjugations requires this form to be used. Kolmiel (talk) 21:04, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
IMO, the formatting of Dutch entries is good, but participles should be categorized under verb forms in our cat tree hierarchy. Crom daba (talk) 21:15, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
What about other languages that use the "Participle" header, such as Latin? If we're going to phase this header out, we should do so for all languages. —CodeCat 21:16, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Actually now I see that particles are already categorized as verb forms.
In case I wasn't clear, I do like the participle header. Crom daba (talk) 21:27, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I didn't see that either. I admit that it makes the situation a bit different. I found it particularly strange that they should be lemmas, but they aren't. Still, there should be a consistent policy for at least all continentenal West Germanic languages. Kolmiel (talk) 21:36, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I also like the Participle header and use it in a wide variety of languages. However, I think "accelerated page creation" or whatever it's called with the green links automatically inserts a ===Verb=== header for participles, which is why so many participles (and probably not just in German) are labeled Verb. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:02, 4 April 2017 (UTC)


By the way, can Dutch say the equivalent of Das ist gelogen! to mean "That's a lie!" or gelogenes Alter to mean "an age that's been lied about"? I think we have to consider those usages a real adjective, and not just the past participle of lügen. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:02, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Dat is gelogen, yes. Do you think really think this is an adjective? It's the same as: Das ist ausgedacht. Das ist bestätigt. Das ist richtig gerechnet. I don't know the exact grammatical term for this is, but it tends to be considered a second form of the perfect tense: Der Kuchen ist gegessen. ("The cake is eaten.", i.e. "gone"), versus: Der Kuchen ist gegessen worden. ("The cake has been eaten.", i.e. "someone ate it".) The thing is that in Dutch there's no distinction. Both would be: Het gebak is gegeten. — The adjectival use is rare in Dutch, but it's also rather rare in German. This could be an adjective since you can't generally construe lügen with a direct object. So that could be the point. Kolmiel (talk) 22:28, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
The term I've seen used for this construction in German is stative passive. Crom daba (talk) 22:45, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, thanks. I googled "static perfect" and found nothing. Yours is right. Kolmiel (talk) 22:47, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Well, maybe the direct-object argument refers to the first usage as well. But only in this verb then, not with transitive verbs. Alternatively one could say that lügen is occasionally used transitively. Er hat die Geschichte gelogen instead of erlogen is a bit doubtful to my ears, but definitely not impossible. Descriptively speaking. Kolmiel (talk) 22:40, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Yet another way would be to read "das ist gelogen" as an impersonal passive. Then it underlying sense wouldn't be "That has been lied about", but rather "They who said it lied." Kolmiel (talk) 22:46, 4 April 2017 (UTC) No, this might work for "das ist gelogen", but not when the subject is not a neuter pronoun. Kolmiel (talk) 22:56, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
The main reason I think this is a real adjective is that lügen is an intransitive verb; that's the difference to Das ist ausgedacht. Das ist bestätigt. Das ist richtig gerechnet. Der Kuchen ist gegessen. Could you call a conversation held on the phone ein telefoniertes Gespräch? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 23:11, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I realized. Only instead of "transitive" I said "construed with a direct object". Yes, you're probably right, as I implied somewhat unclearly in my last not stricken answer above. Of course, you couldn't say ein telefoniertes Gespräch. I did mention that lügen can sometimes be transitive. However, this latter construction is (prescriptively at least) nonstandard, while das ist gelogen is not at all. So, yes, we should probably have that as an adjective. I just didn't realize at first that you were speaking about the word "gelogen" specifically. Kolmiel (talk) 00:31, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Done. Kolmiel (talk) 00:58, 5 April 2017 (UTC)


Is the Italian entry meriare some kind of dialectal term or something, because I can't seem to verify its existence in standard dictionaries? Word dewd544 (talk) 23:16, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

It seems to be Tuscan http://kielipiha.blogspot.rs/2013/06/meriggiare-curioso-e-raccolto.html "Una variante toscana di meriggiare è meriare." Crom daba (talk) 23:31, 4 April 2017 (UTC)


The two definitions "A person who is a founder of a colony" and "An original member of a colony" do not seem distinct. Our definitions of colony are also suboptimal. - -sche (discuss) 01:36, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

I see it as differentiating specific creators of the colony from the general people who moved to the colony to live/work there. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 14:40, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

arabic definite article

Hi, in حق#Etymology_3 we find

        (in the plural, law) rights, claims, legal claims (الْحُقُوق — law, jurisprudence). 

The lexicographic treatment of الـ definite art. is quite complex, and usually overlooked, yet I think it would enrich the wiktionary to add in the descriptions its definiteness if necessary, e.g.

        (in the definite plural, law)

Granted, I do not know whether حقوق may be used withouth it meaning 'law, jurisprudence science' (the examples appearing in other entries seem to corroborate it) --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:02, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

If you mean that under اَل (al-), we could give some basic (!) information about how the article is used in Arabic, then yes, that may be a good idea. It's not that complex actually, pretty much the same as in Romance languages. Except that it's also used with adjectives, of course. Kolmiel (talk) 18:33, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
But maybe you don't mean that. Er, yes, sometimes it may be worthwile to add a note that a particular use is always definite. Most of the time, grammar already implies it, but we can add notes when we think it helpful. I've seen that being done in other languages, too. Kolmiel (talk) 18:38, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
I think it might be incorrect to use the word "always". I'm sure there are cases where حقوق is used in the indefinite with this meaning (it's certainly used in the construct state, but the resulting construct is also usually definite). --WikiTiki89 18:50, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Finnish "kauaksi"

kauaksi has only one sense:


  1. To far away.

Is this entry OK? It could be just me, but I don't think that definition sounds like normal English.

Going out on a limb: if it's an adverb, should it be distantly? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 15:05, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

I suspect what it means is far away but with motion towards a far-away place, i.e. "he's going far away" but not "he's living far away". @Hekaheka, what say you? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:23, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
That seems to be the case. Compare kaukana. —CodeCat 15:33, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
In that case, "towards far away" might be a clearer definition. - -sche (discuss) 16:48, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
That doesn't sound like good English to me. Equinox 17:43, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Neither does "to far away". In fact it's very tempting to interpret that as a misspelling of "too". --WikiTiki89 18:11, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

I think it is translated into English as "far". In English the difference between being far away and going far away must be inferred from the context. In Finnish there's different word for "in a faraway place" (kaukana) and "to a faraway place" (kauas, kauaksi). "From far away", btw., is kaukaa in Finnish. I have edited the entry. Is it clear now? --Hekaheka (talk) 21:02, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps a usage note could be helpful. Crom daba (talk) 08:23, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
This is a standard thing in Finnish. I don't think we want to have to put usage notes everywhere this happens. Someone with a basic knowledge of Finnish will already know that the translative case indicates a change of state. —CodeCat 13:08, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I see. Crom daba (talk) 17:14, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

dry hump

Is dry hump a hyponym of dry run? --Barytonesis (talk) 16:47, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Not that I know of. Why did you think so? Equinox 18:10, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
@Equinox: I'm trying to broaden my vocabulary; to that end I make as many associations as possible. This one was a bit off, though --Barytonesis (talk) 15:11, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Confusion of different kinds of sentence-modifying adverbs - reason for the objection to "hopefully"?

I just put this on the talk page for "hopefully":

Some sentence-modifying adverbs "really mean" "it is x that," e.g.:

Naturally, she dyed her hair. (It is natural that she dyed her hair.)

Unfortunately, he died. (It is unfortunate that he died.)

You can't say, "It is hopeful that the war will be over soon," therefore, "Hopefully, the war will be over soon" is wrong.

But other sentence-modifying adverbs describe the manner in which the statement is made:

Frankly, he annoyed me. ("Frankly speaking" or "I tell you frankly.") (I don't think anyone would claim that this means, "He told me exactly what he thought of my daughter's singing.")

Confidentially, its aroma leaves much to be desired. ("I tell you confidentially")

Briefly, he says she's a fake. ("To be brief") (I'm summarizing his eighteen volumes.)

Truthfully(!!!!), I haven't started it yet. (Nobody seems to object to this one.)

(It is frank that? It is confidential that? It is brief that?)

The "incorrect" use of hopefully seems to me entirely analogous. —This unsigned comment was added by Kostaki mou (talkcontribs) at 18:52, 5 April 2017.

You can say "It is hopeful that the war will be over soon." and you can "It is truthful that I haven't started it yet." --WikiTiki89 19:05, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
You can say anything. These are hardly idiomatic and the first changes the meaning. Kostaki mou (talk) 19:36, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Of course it's not idiomatic and hardly anyone would say it, but it does not change the meaning and grammatically it makes sense. --WikiTiki89 19:44, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Kostaki that it changes the meaning. "It is hopeful": what is? It's not like the other sentences. Equinox 19:48, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Also, "truthfully" seems to be more logically analyzed as "truthfully speaking" or "I tell you truthfully" than "it is truthful that." People do say "it is true that," but not "it is truthful that." The meaning is not quite the same though. Kostaki mou (talk) 20:49, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

aforementioned (alternate pronunciation)

The pronunciation given (/əˌfoː(ɹ)ˈmɛn.ʃənd/) is the only one I have seen in dictionaries. In recent years I have heard the pronunciation "/ˌæ.fə(ɹ)ˈmɛn.ʃənd/" ("AFFermentioned")from several people. Any idea when that came into use? —This unsigned comment was added by Kostaki mou (talkcontribs) at 23:26, 5 April 2017 (UTC).

I've heard that pronunciation too (and find it quite frustrating). I don't know when it arose. It probably indicates that the speaker isn't aware of the morphology of afore, or they would destress the prefix a-. — Eru·tuon 00:31, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
My guess is that it's an overcorrection based on pronunciations like "AP-li-ka-bl" (for "applicable") and "FOR-mi-da-bl" (for "formidable") (both of which I myself use) and "DES-pi-ka-bl" (for "despicable") (which I don't). Many people pronounce any or all of these words with the accent on the second syllable, which seems to be most accepted for "despicable" and least accepted for "formidable". Kostaki mou (talk) 21:06, 14 April 2017 (UTC)


Is the Baptist religion referred to as "Baptism" in English? (In German, we do have Baptismus, but it may be an independent [back?]formation from "Baptist".) Kolmiel (talk) 05:42, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

I don't think so. Baptism only refers to the ceremony. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:55, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I've used both "Baptism" and "Baptistry" jokingly to refer to the Baptist denomination, but in fact, neither word has that meaning. You have to just say "Baptist denomination/faith/beliefs", etc. Actually, Baptistism is attestable, but it's very rare. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:14, 7 April 2017 (UTC)


Hi, in the declension table of كسلان the form كسلى seems to be both msc. pl. and fem. singular. Could sb. confirm this? I cannot find it in any grammatical resource. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:14, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Figurative senses of "warm"

I think we're missing figurative senses, as in google:warm piano sound. —suzukaze (tc) 08:44, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

I took a stab Leasnam (talk) 22:14, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

laugh on the other side of one's face

What does it mean? --Sonovobić (talk) 23:13, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

If you tell someone that they will laugh on the other of their face, you're saying that something bad is going to happen to them and they won't laugh like they are now. Equinox 23:26, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
I know it as laugh out of the other side of one's mouth. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:36, 9 April 2017 (UTC)


There are a LOT of Scouting-related terms that are attested, and I keep adding ones that blow my mind that they weren't here already, such as merit badge. I propose creating the new category Category:en:Scouting, and appending Scouting terms with the new label "Scouting", which will automatically add Category:en:Scouting to the page. PseudoSkull (talk) 00:22, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Yep. Don't forget Venturer Scout, woggle, and dyb! Equinox 00:26, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
I have created User:PseudoSkull/Scouting. A mess, and contains some likely entries, although I suppose some of them may be SOP. Could someone look over them from time to time? Oh, and scouting terms seem to have a lot of alternative forms. PseudoSkull (talk) 00:59, 9 April 2017 (UTC)


This entry has one sense:

  1. Exhibiting a love of sophistry or logical reasoning; philosophical; may include fallacious reasoning.

Is it OK? The part "may include fallacious reasoning" looks off to me. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 07:19, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm not personally familiar with this word. Maybe it's an RFV matter? Equinox 01:29, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
It seems rare / obsolete. DTLHS (talk) 01:30, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
I created an RFV for it. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 21:23, 10 April 2017 (UTC)


Definition 9 currently reads "(topology) The infinitesimal open set of all points that may be reached directly from a given point." The part about "may be reached directly" is probably a handwavy way of saying "connected space", but that seems wrong. I have no idea what "infinitesimal" is supposed to mean in this context, and I am not sufficiently confident in my math-fu to remove it summarily.__Gamren (talk) 18:10, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

w:Neighbourhood (mathematics) gives two definitions:
Intuitively speaking, a neighbourhood of a point is a set of points containing that point where one can move some amount away from that point without leaving the set.
If '"`UNIQ--postMath-00000001-QINU`"' is a topological space and '"`UNIQ--postMath-00000002-QINU`"' is a point in '"`UNIQ--postMath-00000003-QINU`"', a neighbourhood of '"`UNIQ--postMath-00000004-QINU`"' is a subset '"`UNIQ--postMath-00000005-QINU`"' of '"`UNIQ--postMath-00000006-QINU`"' that includes an open set '"`UNIQ--postMath-00000007-QINU`"' containing '"`UNIQ--postMath-00000008-QINU`"'.
It seems like one of those math words that you can either give a clear English definition, or a precisely correct one, but not both.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:53, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
How about "A set containing a given point and an open set around it"? Our definition of open set is pretty nice so I'd be happy with sending the reader over there. Crom daba (talk) 18:43, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

pushed out the door, he returns through the window

The above is what we now have in Czech vyhodíte ho dveřmi, vrátí se oknem. google:"he returns through the window" suggests to me this is not a native English idiom, or is it? Is there a native idiom? --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:40, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

I've certainly never heard it in English. What does it mean? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:53, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
  • @Dan Polansky, is it equivalent to fall seven times, stand up eight? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:34, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
    @Metaknowledge: Probably not entirely; the saying you quote seems to describe a response to adversity in general rather than a response to human rejection of a proposal in particular. Furthermore, the Czech saying seems to complain of someone's persistence, whereas the quoted fall-saying seems to commend it, but I do not really know. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:27, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that it means that someone is impossible to get rid of. Get rid of them one way, and they just sneak back in another way. —CodeCat 20:44, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
    • That seems accurate. It seems to indicate the behavior of someone who does not get easily rejected; once their proposal is rejected, they come up with a modification of the proposal, doing that again and again, or they come up with a proposal that merely appears to be different. However, I do not use the Czech saying and the quotations that I find do not provide all that much context from which to extract the meaning so I am not really sure. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:27, 16 April 2017 (UTC)


It seems that the sense in "it was lying on its side" is currently missing. Sense 5 comes closest, but that refers to the human body. It could probably be generalised somewhat? —CodeCat 23:09, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Until I added it 13 months ago, we didn't even have that sense! Feel free to generalize it, or add a new sense along the lines of "the corresponding part of an animal's body". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:48, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
It can apply to objects too. A spinning top can also lie on its side, for example. So I'm not sure how to define that accurately, and there are people here who are better with English definitions than I am. Non-English is more my thing here. —CodeCat 18:47, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Isn't that just sense 2? A spinning top doesn't really have a front and back to distinguish from its sides, the way a human or animal body does. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:40, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Although, come to think of it, a house does, and we do speak of the side of a house as distinct from its front and back. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:41, 11 April 2017 (UTC)


Is there a less technical definition of the word that we're missing, or am I thinking of another word? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:26, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

can of worms

Not sure why we need two separate definitions here. Can't we merge them? --WikiTiki89 15:30, 10 April 2017 (UTC)


Hi, unlike the categories for the rest of the verbal forms, the verbal nouns are not grouped in different categories according to the forms they belong to. Could this ordering be systematically implemented? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:26, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

I think the same is true for participles: there's no category for Form I participles, for example. I wonder if it would be desirable or possible to make {{ar-act-participle}} and {{ar-pass-participle}} automatically determine the form and categorize. If not, editors would have to go through and add a |form= parameter to all instances of these templates in order for them to categorize. — Eru·tuon 23:35, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Verbal nouns of the form I are unpredictable and numerous, hence its priority. --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:01, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

(not) be a patch on

"The second film isn’t a patch on the first.": Aren't we missing this sense of patch? --Barytonesis (talk) 20:57, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

We do have not a patch on. Equinox 17:21, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, hadn't looked hard enough. I'm a bit baffled by the "preposition" header btw. --Barytonesis (talk) 18:04, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation for Mandarin and mandarin

Is there an actual difference between /ˈmæn.də.ɹɪn/ (on Mandarin) and /ˈmæn.dəɹ.ɪn/, /ˈmæn.dɚ.ɪn/ (on mandarin)? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:10, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

No, just a difference in transcription habits. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:28, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
In rhotic US English, the /ɹ/ of the /ɚ/ and /ɹ/ at the onset of the last syllable is the same /ɹ/, which makes the transcription tricky. --WikiTiki89 17:50, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
Should there be some sort of convention we should stick to to make things less confusing? It's really odd to have different transcriptions for basically the same word. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:34, 13 April 2017 (UTC)


Is the pontificate#Etymology 2 pronounciation actually what is heard? It sounds like that the stress(es) is applied on the first or the last sylllable. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 06:46, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

The stress is kind of ambiguous, but I'm hearing the stress on the second syllable. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 07:29, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

About Punktum definition

Punktum is a definition of when i close a conversation without any respond to recive,or when i say about a thing it is done and do not need further work. Thank you. Robert Dioszegi.

catalog, catalogue

Now that we have, I very much hope, abandoned the total nonsense of maintaining two entirely separate sets of definitions for mere spelling variants, can anyone see any special reason, before I merge them, for preserving these two separately? Mihia (talk) 01:03, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

You're sure this isn't a like the distinction between program and programme, where the former is an alternate spelling, but also has unique senses? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:16, 13 April 2017 (UTC)


  • What is the word to describe writing systems that are used for monuments? E.g. Egyptian hieroglyphs or Roman majuscule letters. It is not "monumental." Nicole Sharp (talk) 06:06, 13 April 2017 (UTC)


Is there evidence that the stress really should be on the antepenultimate syllable rather than on the penultimate? Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:18, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

@Aryamanarora added that, no idea why. Esperanto is perfectly regular, so I've replaced it with {{eo-IPA}}. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:29, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge I must have done it when I was learning a little Esperanto, and as a novice I though the stress would be where I kept it. I was not aware of {{eo-IPA}}, I'll be sure to use it if I ever make any Esperanto entries. —Aryamanarora (मुझसे बात करो) 20:32, 14 April 2017 (UTC)


An anon changed this from Translingual to English. Is that right? DCDuring (talk) 21:04, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

It's wrong of him to have changed it. It should have been RFV'd or something. Other than that, he might be right that it should be English. --WikiTiki89 21:38, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Different languages have different pronunciations and possibly even different spellings/scripts for this word, so it can hardly be translingual. Also, the etymology is wrong, it's named after Harald Bluetooth. —CodeCat 21:40, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
This last consideration hasn't prevented us from having Translingual entries for taxa. DCDuring (talk) 21:44, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
The scientific names are properly translingual, aren't they? Would a Russian writer write Vulpes zerda or would they transliterate it? What about Chinese? —CodeCat 21:45, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Not sure about Chinese, but in Russian you would either write Vulpes zerda (in Latin letters), or use a Russian scientific translation of the Latin name. Anyway, I've fixed the etymology of Bluetooth. --WikiTiki89 21:55, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
I thought the issue was about pronunciations. DCDuring (talk) 22:04, 13 April 2017 (UTC)


Not sure about the definition. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:48, 14 April 2017 (UTC)


Haplorhini was just recreated as a valid alternative spelling for Haplorrhini. A case might be made to reverse this to make "Haplorrhini" the alternative after reading why the en-Wiki article was renamed on its discussion page.  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  14:47, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

Ach, what a mess. Based on multiple measures of commonness, as well as the law of priority, Haplorhini should be the lemmatised spelling. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:41, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
Good. I shall raise the issue at Wikispecies.  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  22:47, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing it to our attention. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:55, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
Pleasure! and thank you for an almost instant response and fix!  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  02:19, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

be well shot of, get shot of

We already have the relevant sense of shot at 4), but couldn't we create this? --Barytonesis (talk) 21:06, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

universal value

Def might be a bit off: "Something that has the same value or worth for all, or almost all, people." Is the "something" really the value, or is the value a property that the something possesses? Equinox 00:28, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

The lead sentence of en-Wiki's article: "A value is a universal value if it has the same value or worth for all, or almost all, people." This appears to say that the "something" is the value. It might be improved; however, I'm not sure how. Perhaps "A value that has the same worth for all, or almost all, people." (?)  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  02:34, 15 April 2017 (UTC)


A very specific sense has been added, which is quite plausible but may need a context label, since many uses are hardly that specific (they use sense 2; compare Dictionary.com's similarly broad "sexual intercourse, especially between a man and a woman"). {{lb|en|formal}}? {{lb|en|medicine}}? {{lb|en|law}}? - -sche (discuss) 05:14, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Opposite of status quo?

Is there are word for a status which isn't a status quo? Seems like status-non-quo might pass the CFI. Siuenti (talk) 06:19, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

opposite of status quo: advancement, progress? d1g (talk) 16:30, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
change? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 16:31, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

-нулевой суффикс

I find this strange. I feel it would be like creating an entry -null morpheme, then say that "resurrect comes from resurrection +‎ -null morpheme". Take одурь (odurʹ): одуре́ть (odurétʹ) +‎ -нулевой суффикс (-nulevoj suffiks). And there are inappropriate redirects: , ...Ø. Pinging @D1gggg --Barytonesis (talk) 10:51, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Please cite a paragraph where о- is able to form nouns (from дурь) without an morpheme.
о- is covered by 511, 529, 540.
Russian morpology is Russian, not English. d1g (talk) 10:57, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not disputing the existence of a null morpheme, merely the way you're implementing it in entries. When you read "одуре́ть (odurétʹ) +‎ -нулевой суффикс (-nulevoj suffiks)", the expected result is literally "**одуре́тьнулевой суффикс (odurétʹnulevoj suffiks)", which makes no sense --Barytonesis (talk) 11:10, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
True, -нулевой суффикс is not represented by any characters or sounds.
I'm not able to create a page with 0 charaters or use 0 charters to retrieve this linguistic concept or send a link.
or ...Ø make no sense either, but academic reference using it regardless.
Anyone can use these charters to retrieve only relevant results.
"нулевой суффикс" and "нулевой аффикс" were used in literature.
"-..." is a notation for suffixes used in Template:affix d1g (talk) 11:25, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
This is English Wiktionary, so we don't use Russian terminology in Cyrillic script in etymologies. This is a term for a concept, so use an equivalent English term. As mentioned above, you're getting levels of representation confused: to paraphrase w:The Treachery of Images, Ceçi n'est pas un morphème à signifiant zéro... Chuck Entz (talk) 17:08, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
I could have sworn I saw an entry like here at one point. —suzukaze (tc) 17:12, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
If we create an entry for zero suffixes, it should be -∅ with the empty set symbol. —CodeCat 17:22, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
In this particular case though, I'm not sure if there's actually zero suffixation though. The verb has a suffix -e- on the stem which disappears in the noun, so part of the stem is actually removed. Wikipedia calls this a disfix. —CodeCat 17:30, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
We need to fix the entries which link here... - -sche (discuss) 21:11, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
If you write шить (šitʹ) +‎ , the resulting form would still be шить (šitʹ), but with a different meaning. шить (šitʹ) +‎ means there there exists a suffix that has neither form nor sound, but we know it exists because it changes the meaning in a regular way. That is not what is going on with шов (šov). If you're trying to say that stands for the removal of -ть (-tʹ), the morpheme that marks the infinitive, that's not correct. шить (šitʹ) +‎ does not result in шов (šov). If шов (šov) is made from шить (šitʹ), it is made in a different way. The final -в looks like a past-tense deeprichastiye, but that does not explain the vowel о. —Stephen (Talk) 09:20, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

@Stephen G. Brown please review 5457400832 as it provides more context on what's going on in РГ-80

  • шить - шов covered in following books:
    • РГ-80 § 1078 p 429
    • ISBN 5457400832 p 149 refers to РГ-80:
      • 1.1 affixial
        • 1.1.2 root word - 1. flexies () 2. null-suffixiation, 3. alternation of vovels

We don't have templates to show alternation of vovels. d1g (talk) 11:11, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

arabic hamza

Hi, I cannot find the rules the community follows regarding the seats for ء. Shouldn't they appear in Wiktionary:About_Arabic ? Furthermore, in that page, regarding 3. -iyy-, -uww- are used in place of -īy-, -ūw-., could sb. please add an example thereof? I think that is not an exception but the formal citation form. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:00, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

The spelling rules don't necessarily belong to language policy pages, such as Wiktionary:About_Arabic (this is how you should link Wiktionary pages, not the full URL). The seat of hamza is an important rule for writing correctly in Arabic but we would include terms if they didn't follow the rule but were attestable.
We transliterate nisba as in عَرَبِيّ (ʿarabiyy) with -iyy (plus any endings), etc., which is different from Hans Wehr dictionary. That's what the statement means. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:17, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Where can I find the rules the editors have agreed to follow then? Or at least the orthographic variation they regard as acceptable? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:33, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Any attested Arabic spelling is acceptable. An expert on the language can mark it as slang, irregular spelling, rare, dialectal, etc. As a guide we write out hamza over and under alif أ إ, dots under yaa ي and taa marbuta ة. The other, relaxed spellings are acceptable but treated as alternatives. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:22, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: I thought there'd be templates for the different seats of ء, therefore I'd suggest creating them for easy of edition. --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:35, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
Templates, for different seats of hamza? I really don't know what you're asking?!
Initial hamza over alif: أ (ʾ): أَجَلّ (ʾajall) (with "a"), أُسْتَاذ (ʾustāḏ) (with "u"); hamza under alif with "i" إ (ʾ): إِبْرَة (ʾibra)
Hamza over alif in the middle of a word إِمْرَأَة (ʾimraʾa)
Hamza over yāʾ ئ (ʾ): أَسْئِلَة (ʾasʾila)
Hamza over wāw ؤ (ʾ): لُؤْلُؤَة (luʾluʾa)
Stand-alone hamza ء (ʾ): شَيْء (šayʾ)
What templates are you talking about? Do you know how to enter Arabic letters? You don't need templates for entering Arabic. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:12, 16 April 2017 (UTC)


Should this be labeled as offensive and or obsolete? DTLHS (talk) 17:49, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

top of the morning

The usage notes and context label disagree on whether this is used in Ireland. - -sche (discuss) 21:32, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

schoolman and Schoolman

I believe these articles should be merged. It's not clear why there is a capitalized entry as the word is a common noun, not a proper noun. Aabull2016 (talk) 01:23, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Probably yes. There is (although I personally disagree with it) a consensus to keep capitalised variants like Pope and Colonel, but I doubt this word is used in that way. Equinox 01:28, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
So, how would that be done? The capitalized entry could be reworked as a variant if it could be shown to exist, but I'm not sure that's the case (the only capitalized example I've found is in a 16th-century text in which many common nouns are capitalized). So it seems best simply to delete it and move any relevant content into the lower-case entry. Aabull2016 (talk) 02:46, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

half-plane vs. halfplane vs. half plane: which is most used?

I just stumbled upon the halfplane entry, and was surprised to find halfplane, and not half-plane, which I always used, nor half plane. Even the alternate forms at halfplane don't list half-plane (or anything for that matter). A quick Google search for half-plane gives both half-plane and half plane, with the former more common (at least in the first 10 results), and no halfplane at all. In fact, the first 20 results of Googling halfplane only have one result with that form: the Wiktionary entry. So is it right to have the entry under what seems to be the least common form, and with no alternate forms section? If not, what should we do about this? I would go for half-plane as the entry with halfplane and half plane as alternate forms. Do you guys agree? MGorrone (talk) 14:13, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

halfplane, half plane, half-plane at Google Ngram Viewer suggests halfplane is the least often used of the three. I moved it to half-plane, which seems very slightly more common than half plane. --Dan Polansky (talk) 14:55, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

lot lizard etymology

It says: "The term was invented by Christopher Echard, the self-proclaimed 'Minister of Filth'." Who is that? I can find nothing on Google. Equinox 14:32, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Ask anon. —suzukaze (tc) 15:08, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Dubious. I've removed it. Equinox 15:09, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Strong case for RfD, IMO, despite our having lounge lizard. See definition 6 at [[lizard]], which I have just added. See w:Lot lizard and the Fairlex Dictionary of Idioms (2015) which have it, though with a somewhat different definition. DCDuring (talk) 18:22, 17 April 2017 (UTC)


أيها I'd like to know which feminine collective term is the following sentence from أيها referring to (ٱلْعِيرُ?)

"When addressing a female, a group of females, or (occasionally) a feminine collective noun (فَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُم بِجَهَازِهِمْ جَعَلَ السِّقَايَةَ فِي رَحْلِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ أَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ أَيَّتُهَا ٱلْعِيرُ إِنَّكُمْ لَسَارِقُونَ‎), the form أَيَّتُهَا (ʾayyatuhā) is used."  Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:30, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
This topic might be helpful. Plural inanimates are always grammatical feminines, so if you talk to objects (theoretically), use the form.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:09, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Thank you, yet I'd still like to know what the term the entry is referring to. --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:44, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
The example given refers to عِير (ʿīr) - "caravan"?.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 21:55, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

lick into shape

How do you use that? "My girlfriend was feeling a bit down in the dumps, so I licked her into shape?" --Barytonesis (talk) 18:54, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Licking into shape isn't simple cheering up, but more like discipline or punishment. Your example sentence wouldn't be used for that reason, and probably also because of connotations of oral sex! A book example: "We shall see, before long, how much trouble [the lazy soldiers] brought on Custer, and how he at last licked them into shape." Equinox 19:14, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
This expression uses a sense of lick that seems to derive from the noun sense "A stroke or blow", and is fairly close to the "defeat decisively, particularly in a fight" verb sense. It's basically the same idea as whip into shape, which we don't seem to have yet, either. Both use the metaphor of employing severe, painful punishment to make the object of the verb behave/improve. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:02, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Translations of teal: someone check please!

I just stumbled upon the teal entry, and looked at the translations to be checked. I know neither Serbo-Croatian nor Persian, so I had to come up with tricks. Now, for Persian, I loaded Wikipedia articles in English and saw what the links in the Other Languages sections pointed me to. This way, I obtained the already-present sense 1 خوتکا (xutkâ), and the sense (2) سبز دودی (sabz-e dudi), which I added because I saw it "somewhere" -- and now I just saw it's in the color table at قهوه‌ای. These are, however, not the translations to be checked. I fed those to Google Translate, and "mala divlja patka" yielded "small wild duck", which I confirmed word-by-word with Wiktionary:

  1. mala is the feminine singular of mal, small;
  2. dlvlja is the feminine singular of divlji, "wild, savage";
  3. patka is "duck".

مرغابی جره (morghabi-ye jarre) gave "teal" on Google Translate, and سبزآبی (sabzabi) gave "cyan", with a suggestion to change it to "سبز آبی", which translates instead to "green blue". And indeed, سبز (sabz) means "green", and آبی (âbi) means "blue", according to the Wiktionary.

So what should we do about these? Can someone check those (and confirm that those I added are correct)?

PS Why does Persian here on Wiktionary never appear on my computer, except in the article titles? I mean, Arabic works just fine, but Persian is invisible and zero-width, save for article titles, and I can copy-paste it from translation sections and the Search bar (after pasting it there), but the links are not clickable, and to load those Persian Wikipedia articles I had to use "Inspect Element" from Firefox and find the link in there. Any idea why this happens?

EDIT: Persian appears nicely in this discussion, but not at آبی, where Urdu appears just fine. MGorrone (talk) 12:05, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

schizophrenic - a note from some mental health professionals

OTRS ticket # 2017041110003446

We received a note from a mental health service provider from Australia concerning our definitions of schizophrenic. They asked us to consider adding a usage note which highlights the difference between the accepted mental health definition of the term and the more colloquial uses. The full text of their letter (sent to us and several other online dictionaries) is below (by permission).

Dear Wiktionary,

I am writing to you to seek your support in reducing stigma for those living with a mental illness. One
Door is a non-government organisation who advocate on behalf of people with mental illness.
One Door is concerned over the definition of “schizophrenic” in your dictionary. Currently your
dictionary defines “schizophrenic” as:

1. Of or pertaining to schizophrenia.
2. (of a person) Afflicted with schizophrenia; having difficulty with perception of reality.
3. (figuratively) Behaving as if one has more than one personality; wildly changeable.

Despite common practice, the correct usage of the term “schizophrenic” does not refer to multiple or
contrary points of view. In its correct clinical definition, schizophrenia refers to a serious psychiatric
illness characterized by disturbances in thought (such as delusions), perception (such as
hallucinations), and behaviour (such as disorganized speech or catatonic behaviour), by a loss of
emotional responsiveness and extreme apathy, and by noticeable deterioration in the level of
functioning in everyday life.

We believe that the connection of the term schizophrenic and schizophrenia to contradictory
elements further stigmatises an already misunderstood condition.

Although we appreciate that figurative use is not formed by the choice of the dictionary, rather by its
general use, we seek your support through the addition of a usage note along the lines that:
“The non-medical and figurative uses of this word cause some concern to those who are trying to
increase community knowledge of the medical condition of schizophrenia. The general use of the
word to mean ‘more than one personality’ or 'changeable’ is best avoided.”

An inclusion along these lines has been made by several other online dictionaries.

At One Door, we will continue to work to raise public awareness of the incorrect and stigmatising the
use of the word. We appreciate your time and effort.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Ellen Marks
General Manager, Advocacy and Inclusion

I think that there is some merit to including usage notes on technical terms which have been co-opted into similar but distinct meanings. I am sure there are plenty of other terms in the mental health lexicon which could bear similar scrutiny. - TheDaveRoss 12:50, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

As with the SI units: we have to go by actual usage, and not what people put in lists of words, or would prefer something to mean. But a usage note might not hurt. Equinox 22:22, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
The medical meaning is used, just not by the general public. I think we'd do well to include the meaning that medical professionals ascribe to the term. —CodeCat 00:07, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Note that the word under discussion is schizophrenic, not schizophrenia, and we do have the definition "Of or pertaining to schizophrenia" at the former (and what seems to be an accurate medical definition at the latter). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:31, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
A usage note clarifying that the popular definition has its problems is not unreasonable, I see no reason not to honor that request. — Kleio (t · c) 01:27, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Equinox and KIeio, but a usage note should have a more neutral tone than the one they propose.
Re “Although we appreciate that figurative use is not formed by the choice of the dictionary, rather by its general use, [...]”: it’s great to see an organisation that has a grasp on our inclusion criteria instead of the typical “remove it cuz its wrong”! — Ungoliant (falai) 12:10, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

курительный (verbs to adjectives in Russian)

base verb is кур-и-ть

My question is: do we keep suffixes or do we discard them?

  1. old: кур- new: -ительн-ый
  2. old: кур-и new: -тельн-ый

d1g (talk) 16:23, 18 April 2017 (UTC)


Forgive me if it's been discussed before, but earth in lower case as a proper noun? It's a sticky point, I think, but I would say no, it isn't. DonnanZ (talk) 20:16, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Looks wrong to me too. Equinox 22:21, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
We've established before that (for English at least) capitalization is to be ignored when determining whether something is a proper noun. So I'd like to hear the arguments why it should be considered a proper noun in "We saw the Earth from Mars", but not in "We saw the earth from the porthole". --WikiTiki89 23:59, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
My position is that the planet Earth (capital E) is a proper noun, but earth (small e) is soil, not a planet: like how Mars is a planet but mars is a verb form of mar. It's just a "misspelling" but with case rather than letters. I realise that's prescriptive but it's based on very intense and very wide reading. Equinox 00:02, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I think that's grossly inaccurate. The uncapitalized form "the earth" is very frequently used as the name of the planet. See these two Ngrams. --WikiTiki89 00:15, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
A Google Books search for "blow up the earth" returns results in nearly equal proprtions Leasnam (talk) 00:21, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Ngrams are more accurate, but you're basically right. They also show how it's changed over time. It seems historically (i.e. before the 1990s) the lower case form was by far more common, but now they are about even. --WikiTiki89 00:26, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Interesting! I'm very surprised. I must have read a rather anomalous set of books. It would be nice to see them broken down by science/astronomy, literature, penny dreadfuls, etc. Equinox 00:23, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I remember we previously found that scientific works tend to overcapitalize nouns. You'll find things like "The main types of Eukaryotes are Plants, Animals, and Fungi." --WikiTiki89 00:30, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
It has been my experience that the name of the planet is capitalized far more often in science fiction than in other genres, and least of all in fiction books that don't have a focus on space. Non-fiction books related to astronomy fall somewhere in between, I think (and like Wikitiki says, those kinds of books tend to capitalize a lot of words). But that's just my general impressions. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:36, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
You do see capped "the Sun" and "the Moon" quite a bit too, but of course there are other suns and moons; there aren't other earths (in the scientific sense of planet). Equinox 00:48, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
My Oxford hard copy gives Earth, Moon and Sun as alternatives for earth, moon and sun respectively, but avoids calling them proper nouns. Some Wiktionarian has obviously decided that they should be, probably based on the fact that other planets such as Jupiter are usually written with a capital letter. Oxford avoids calling these proper nouns also. DonnanZ (talk) 09:50, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Does Oxford call anything at all proper nouns? --WikiTiki89 14:44, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Apparently not. I checked London, Paris, Amsterdam, New York and some others which are unquestionably proper nouns. DonnanZ (talk) 15:47, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I would think they're proper nouns, not based on capitalization, but just on the fact that they're treated the same way as place names, and each refer to a single object... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 13:06, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm afraid I disagree, and consider any noun which can normally be written in lower case as a standard noun. Would you use the same argument for heaven / Heaven and hell / Hell? DonnanZ (talk) 15:47, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
So if I decide to call you donnanz with a lower case letter, that makes it a common noun? --WikiTiki89 16:00, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
No, as it's not intended to be a common noun. As some user names (which are a totally different ball game and should be left out of this argument) are written in lower case that is feasible, but you will have a problem with case sensitivity if trying to contact me. DonnanZ (talk) 16:23, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
What do you mean by "intended to be a common noun". If I write the earth and "intend" it to be proper noun, why isn't a proper noun? --WikiTiki89 17:10, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
  • "earth" (uncapitalized) is frequently (and arguably incorrectly) used as a proper noun. Technically, the usage as a proper noun should always be capitalized. E.g. "We arrived back on earth." is a common spelling, though it actually should be spelled as "We arrived back on Earth." "earth" (uncapitalized) can also be used to refer to any earthlike (Earthlike) planet, as in "there could be thousands or millions of earths (but not Earths) in the Galaxy," from the usage of "earth" as "soil," i.e. indicating planets with organic life and plant debris to form soils (so that the Planet Terra was actually not an earth before the evolution of plants). To avoid this conflation of usages, "Terra" is the preferred spelling used in much of science and science fiction to refer specifically to Earth as an astronomical object, especially in contexts where there could be more than one earth. "moon," "Moon", & "Luna" and "sun," "Sun," & "Sol" have the same complications, with only the Latin names not having ambiguity in English. Note also the usage of "galaxy" versus "Galaxy" (the Milky Way) and "universe" versus "Universe" (our universe within the multiverse [ Multiverse ]). Nicole Sharp (talk) 22:35, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Not sure what point you're trying to make. In a descriptive dictionary, "wrong" doesn't exist. Nor is it the role of a descriptive dictionary to suggest alternatives in order to avoid confusion. So the only question is whether it is still a proper noun when it is used as a proper noun but spelled lower case. --WikiTiki89 22:46, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
      • Yes, that's why I had to grit my teeth and add "arguably." Just because most people use a word a certain way, doesn't mean that I have to think that it is a correct or viable usage. That's my personal opinion though, and not Wiktionary policy of course. The descriptive versus prescriptive dictionary debate is an old one: wikipedia:The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language#History. Nicole Sharp (talk) 22:57, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
        • Which brings us back to my original point, which was that I don't know what point you're trying to make. --WikiTiki89 23:02, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
          • Just that these astronomical bodies are frequently named as lowercase proper nouns, even though they shouldn't be (since it is confusing and inconsistent). Usage notes for these entries are probably the best route for Wiktionary. Nicole Sharp (talk) 23:11, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
            • And put what, "Nicole Sharp doesn't like this usage"? Note that I even learned in school that the lower case form was correct when there is no other capitalized planet involved (i.e. "the sun and the earth", but "the Sun, the Earth, and Mars"). --WikiTiki89 23:32, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
              • Of course not. I would argue that the lowercase form is a colloquial or informal usage, particularly for geocentric writing. Versus the capitalized forms are more often for use as astronomical objects, particularly in contexts where there can be more than one earth, moon, sun, galaxy, or universe. E.g. "the Earth revolves around the Sun" versus "you should not stare at the sun" or "the earth was once devoid of life." The lowercase forms are linguistic inheritances from before Copernicanism. There is little consistent usage though, which is why I advocate for using the Latin names in English to avoid any possible confusion. Nicole Sharp (talk) 01:04, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
              • Just for a nonastronomical example, Wikipedia and Wiktionary follow a similar pattern to wikipedia and wiktionary, with the lowercase form being ambiguously able to refer to either a proper noun or a standard noun, depending on context. Though personally, I would still always use the capitalized forms, despite the usage otherwise. Nicole Sharp (talk) 01:16, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
                • How can you say it's colloquial or informal when they teach this in grammar class in schools? You can disagree with what they teach in schools, but you can hardly call it colloquial or informal. --WikiTiki89 11:15, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oxford does have a definition for proper noun though: "A name used for an individual person, place, or organization, spelled with an initial capital letter, e.g. Jane, London, and Oxfam. Often contrasted with common noun." A common noun: "A noun denoting a class of objects or a concept as opposed to a particular individual." I daresay someone will argue the toss about that, no mention of proper nouns in lower case. DonnanZ (talk) 22:56, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
    Those definitions are clearly incomplete. If you go strictly by those definitions, then "the earth" is neither a proper noun nor a common noun, and neither is "the Odyssey". --WikiTiki89 23:15, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
    In other words, it doesn't say what you want it to say. DonnanZ (talk) 16:04, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
    @Donnanz: No, they're objectively incomplete. If all nouns are either proper or common (which maybe isn't the case, but then we need to know what the other categories are), then it's a problem that the two nouns I just gave as an example don't fit either of those definitions. By those definitions, "the earth" is not spelled with a capital letter, so it's not a proper noun, and it's neither a class of objects (because there is only one) nor a concept (it's a physical thing, or place if you will), so it's not a common noun either, and "the Odyssey" is not person, place, or organization, so it's not a proper noun, and it's not a class of objects or a concept, so it's also not a common noun either. What part of that is just my personal bias speaking? --WikiTiki89 02:29, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I would rank "earth", when it refers to the very large, apparently flat, object on which we walk, that contains a whole lot of soil and whose end we cannot see, as a common noun, alongside with "world", "universe", "multiverse" but also "heaven". It seems to me one should not be confused by the original singularity of reference. If we define "earth" as "any very large apparently flat object on which the language users walk and whose end they cannot see", there happens to be only one such object, but that's an accident. The definite article before "earth" is of interest; we find it in "the world", as well. The argument is probably not fully conclusive, but rather hints at a certain direction of thought. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:26, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
    I would say that the earth as a thing is a common noun, but as a named specific location in the universe it's a proper noun. As a common noun I would liken it to "the ocean": all of the oceans on our planet are connected and can be referred to as a single entity, but are treated in English in a more generic way. Individual, named parts as geographical locations are proper nouns, though. Synonyms may be helpful, as well: if you can substitute "the world", it's probably a common noun, but if "Terra" is more appropriate, it's a proper noun. Chuck Entz (talk) 17:17, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

D1g's Russian changes

@Atitarev, Cinemantique, Wikitiki89, Wanjuscha, KoreanQuoter I am getting frustrated dealing with D1g's changes and I would like some input here. He is a native Russian speaker but lacks a linguistic background, has been making wholesale changes to Russian etymologies without seeking consensus, and makes lots of mistakes. When I try to correct them, he edit-wars. When I point out the need for consensus, he says he doesn't need consensus because he has a grammar book that supposedly backs him up. Much of what he adds has errors in it and he adds a lot of stuff, making it hard to go through and fix it rather than just revert it. Benwing2 (talk) 09:12, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

One example: -тельный vs. -тельн-. I already created -тельный awhile ago. D1g attempted to delete it, and in its place substitute -тельн-. The difference here is that -ый is the masculine nominative singular ending that is part of the lemma form. I believe it's more helpful to give suffixes in their lemma form rather than as pseudo-infixes. In D1g's page, he completely ignored the work I already did on this page (e.g. my usage notes section), substituted a totally different and IMO inferior page (e.g. with multiple definitions that are copies of each other), which has lots of errors (e.g. his usage examples are missing the English translation, missing stress marks, and have a spurious right arrow in them that gets copied into the transliterated form). Benwing2 (talk) 09:15, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Another example: красноречи́вый (krasnorečívyj, eloquent), literally "beautiful-speaking". His analysis of красноречивый is typical: He writes красн- + -о- + речь +-ив- + -ый, using the noun речь (i.e. confusing nouns and verbs) and segmenting out all the possible morphemes without respecting the linguistic structure. In my analysis, this is красно- (a combining form of кра́сный (krásnyj, beautiful)) + -речь (-rečʹ, to speak) (a verb that is no longer attested as such in modern Russian but still found in prefixed form; note that -ивый is always added to verbs, not nouns) + -и́вый (-ívyj), an adjective-forming suffix. You could further analyze e.g. -ивый into -ив- + -ый, but I don't think it's helpful to do so at the top level; if this is to be done at all, do it on the -ивый page. D1g doesn't seem aware that morphemes can be analyzed into smaller morphemes and wants to do it all at the top level, and confuses the noun речь (rečʹ, speech) with the verb -речь. Benwing2 (talk) 09:06, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
While my knowledge of Russian is not that great, I'm not impressed by his wholesale reformatting of etymologies. Even I can tell that it doesn't makes sense to do it that way. Hiding behind a book is no substitute for consensus, so I think you are justified in pointing out that consensus is needed. —CodeCat 17:17, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
@Benwing2 Wikitiki89, Atitarev could join at your talk page, don't repeat the same questions.
> e.g. with multiple definitions that are copies of each other
1. Read labels carefully. POS are different, all examples are different.
2. Rules covered at en.wiktionary.org are incomplete compared to the book. Book is always provides better definitions, therefore I placing references every time.
@Benwing2 never does that because he has no references.
> D1g doesn't seem aware that morphemes can be analyzed into smaller morpheme
Could please stop claiming what I assume when I don't do that? Quite sure I know what морф is.
@CodeCat we need better templates to clarify etymology vs word formation.
@CodeCat I used Template:affix because it was in Category:Morphology templates.
I lost a hour or so arguing with @Cinemantique that affix could be used for morphology, not just etymology (as Cinemantique so violently insist).
I'm sure there an easy way to disambiguate definitions. d1g (talk) 18:40, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
@CodeCat I don't want to hide behind the book, but I want to expose book to readers, please consider what option would be the best for everyone. A new template; not affix, then what? d1g (talk) 18:40, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I am also very concerned about D1gggg's mass edits without any previous agreement and some of his methods and styles were followed by Awesomemeeos (currently blocked). They also lack quality and looks, missing stresses or redundant transliterations of various symbols. I wasn't able to follow many edits as I am very busy now but what I've seen so far seems substandard or dubious but I can't say definitely "wrong". I don't have any suggestions for any actions at this stage, just asking D1gggg to be cooperative before any punitive action is required. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:46, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
> edits without any previous agreement
I asked 2 users about "prior agreements" I broke, but I got silence (@Benwing) or taunts (@Cinemantique) as the response.
Not terribly healthy atmosphere.
As I said above, English section absolutely missing at least single way to define morphology of the word.
@Atitarev And instead of technical solution you seem to seek solution in people and blocks, that's just disgusting. d1g (talk) 11:22, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
@D1gggg I don't seek blocking just for blocking. Did I ever block you? If you refer to Meeos, you should know why he gets blocked first. I mention blocking because cooperation is the key but you refuse to listen to concerns.
I can offer you semi-regular guidance in creating standard Russian entries, not sophisticated, no etymologies (or simple ones) but which will follow acceptable standards. Learn to walk before you can fly. You can choose a list of words you want to create - various parts of speech with various inflection types, including multipart words. I will make them or tell you what you need to get them right. It's no use fighting the community, if you can't beat them, join them. You were blocked in the Russian Wiktionary, you can get end up having the same here. We have to do it slowly - I am busy too and I can't catch with your mass edits. You could have spent the time understanding our complex templates, study existing entries. Believe me, they are not that hard for a native speaker and there's documentation and help is available. There are good reasons why they are complex - well, Russian inflection is very complex and Benwing2 did a great job making it all work. Note that Russian lemmas don't really require mass edits, they are in the good shape, if you want to join the efforts, it's to make them better quality, not worse! We can get by with less editors but editors who are here make a difference not a point. We are more forgiving with editors who work with languages, which have no other contributors but there's a limit to everything. Thanks for understanding. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:13, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

What to call “script form” loanwords?

When a word in language A is loaned into language B, only in its script form and not pronunciation, and becomes a new word which is phonetically quite dissimilar, how should the etymology of the word in language B be described? I feel this is similar to a calque, but it's calquing only with regard to how the word is written, and a template is missing for this type of loanwords. Some examples include:

Recipient language Recipient word Donor language Donor word
Chinese 取消 (qǔxiāo, “to cancel”) Japanese  () () (torikeshi, cancellation)
Korean 할인 (割引, harin, “discount”) Japanese  (わり) (びき) (waribiki, discount)
Korean 엽서 (葉書, yeopseo, “postcard”) Japanese  () (がき) (hagaki, postcard)
Vietnamese Nga La Tư (俄羅斯, "Russia") Chinese 俄羅斯俄罗斯 (Éluósī, “Russia”)

Wyang (talk) 10:23, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

I think they don't fit into the definition of loanword. I would simply write "Logogram from <language_name> <term>". That's how I often mention Aramaic logograms in Middle Persian (using {{arameogram}}), and have created a new category to distinguish it from loanwords in Middle Persian. I support creating a new template, similar to "der" and "borrowing". --Z 12:09, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
@ZxxZxxZ: If I understand Wyang correctly, it's not actually a logogram. It's more like (but not exactly like) the phenomenon of Iran being borrowed from Persian /iːˈrɒːn/, but pronounced in English (at least by some) as /aɪˈɹæn/. This phenomenon becomes more extreme with Chinese characters, and I see why Wyang is tempted to call it a calque. That said, I don't know what we should call it. --WikiTiki89 14:51, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I'd call it an orthographic loan. —CodeCat 15:04, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Are you saying you consider these a kind (an extreme kind) of spelling pronunciation? Because that's what I'd call /aɪˈɹæn/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:19, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
That's why I said it's not exactly the same phenomenon. Chinese takes a word that was coined in Japanese, and reads it as if it were coined in Chinese, but that's the normal way for these Japanese coinages to be borrowed into Chinese if they come through the written language, which is unlike spelling pronunciations, because spelling pronunciations have a connotation of being the "wrong" way to pronounce something. --WikiTiki89 11:19, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: A better parallel would be that it is like Germans pronouncing Hamburger (the food) the proper German way rather than as Hämbörgör. --WikiTiki89 11:50, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
It's somewhat related. It's how speakers of these languages read Han characters when they see them written, without any knowledge or use of the knowledge of the Chinese pronunciation, any variety, any period. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:43, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Borrowings from Japanese kanji with native Japanese readings (kun'yomi) are especially extreme. Any similarity in pronunciation in the target language may only be coincidental.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:47, 20 April 2017 (UTC)


Does the sense "joint, marihuana cigarette" belong to the bird? Or isn't it rather from the letter? Kolmiel (talk) 19:18, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

I always assumed it was from the letter. --WikiTiki89 20:51, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

subject area

Just dropping by. Do you think subject area is not SOP? I found it on http://www.mnemonicdictionary.com/word/subject%20area . It means "a branch of knowledge, field of study". PseudoSkull (talk) 22:48, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

  • I think it's SOP. You can also say "area of study", or "that's not my area". --WikiTiki89 23:04, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
    • But is it really the area of a subject? PseudoSkull (talk) 23:06, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
      • Yes, see definition #4: "The extent, scope, or range of an object or concept." --WikiTiki89 23:12, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
      • I would describe it as a reduplicated compound noun. "Subject" and "area" can be used synonymously, so you know the definition of "subject area" if you know the definition of either "subject" or "area." Nicole Sharp (talk) 23:17, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
        • I saw this at: "Last high school course grade in each subject area: English (a, b, c, d, f) Math (a, b, c, d, f) ..." etc. PseudoSkull (talk) 01:09, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

the sky and the ceiling

Common sarcastic responses to what's up. Should there be entries for these? Why or why not? PseudoSkull (talk) 13:03, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

No. This has more to do with the ambiguity of what's up (even though the ambiguity itself is sarcastic and not real ambiguity) than with the response itself. You can just as easily say "that lamp" or something. --WikiTiki89 13:45, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

category for arabic label ("modern")

Hi, I'd like to know whether it's feasible to automatically create a category for those terms with the lable ("modern"), as is in توقع#Etymology_1 the sense 3. ("modern") to request. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:20, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Dank meme = overused meme?

I am under the impression that the intended meaning of "dank meme", by people who take it serious, does not use the term ironically and for things that are overused, at least not usually. I'd argue that when people overuse memes, they are not dank, but "cringe" or "cringeworthy" as they would call it. Reference: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dank_meme#English --Luka1184 (talk) 23:55, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

I find this surprising. I’ve only ever dank memes used with the implication that the memes are excellent rather than trite (which our definition of dank would cover), but Know Your Meme supports the current definition. — Ungoliant (falai) 02:18, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
It seems to have two definitions. I suggest doing &lit as a second definition. PseudoSkull (talk) 02:45, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
I see "dank meme" as a really campy, over-the-top way to say "excellent meme". —suzukaze (tc) 05:13, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

the years pass by; through the years; over the years; remembering years past

Which definitions of year do the usages in the above phrases correspond to? I get the feeling that they're more metaphorical and emotional(?) than "365 days of the Gregorian calendar", but they are still used to describe a time period of multiple years. (see also the translation of Chinese 歲月) —suzukaze (tc) 05:12, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

What does the Gregorian calendar have to do with anything? A year is a full cycle of the earth around the sun, manifested visibly by a full cycle of seasons. Even if you don't count the days, a year is still a year. I don't know about Chinese 歲月, but the English word "year" probably should not be interpreted the same way. The easiest way to explain this I guess is that "years" in your examples establishes an order of magnitude of many literal years. You could replace the word "years" with "days" in some of these examples and get essentially the same meaning but with an order of magnitude of many days instead (in the other examples, this would be too short of an order of magnitude for it to make sense). Another point is that these phrases evoke a feeling of years passing by one at a time: one year goes by, then another—clearly literal years. --WikiTiki89 09:54, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Arabic dialectal synonyms template

Hi, chinese entries are really informative, even showing a "dialectal synonyms template". I wonder whether a similar template could be created for the Arabic language, which would enrich its entries a great deal. --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:21, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

We've had Chinese editors who worked very hard and did tons of research to create those lists of dialectal synonyms. If you want to volunteer to do that same work for Arabic, go ahead. --WikiTiki89 09:59, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
I could try working on the technical side of things, but I wouldn't be able to contribute content-wise with my close-to-zero knowledge of Arabic. Also, it might be a good idea to generalize the templates and modules for use in other (macro)languages. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 13:00, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
Don't worry about the technical side. Until we have someone who could contribute enough content (and we don't), we won't be able to do this. --WikiTiki89 13:22, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
@Justinrleung For experimenting, you can try making dialectal forms of what#Translations. It's true that there is very little comprehensive research but there are dictionaries of dialects, textbooks and phrasebooks. We have some contributors for Egyptian and Hijazi Arabic. Lexically, Arabic dialects don't differ that much from MSA, it's pronunciation, relaxed grammar, form of expression and those very frequently used words but low in number that differ from MSA. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:54, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Do such resources for dialectal equivalents, comprehensive or otherwise, exist for Arabic? There is a somewhat comprehensive reference for Chinese, and several references covering some of the dialectal groups, which provided inspiration for the creation for the Chinese dialectal template and modules. Wyang (talk) 07:10, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
Not as far as I know. --WikiTiki89 02:31, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
You can find resources for specific dialects, they may not be online - Egyptian, Syrian, Iraqi, Moroccan, Libyan, Saudi, Levantine, Gulf, etc. Not necessarily by country but by standard Arabic dialect classifications. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:54, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Don't speak Arabic, but just want to add that that dialectal synonyms system is incredible. If other editors could adapt it for other languages, it would make Wiktionary a truly exceptional, multilingual tool. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:08, 22 April 2017 (UTC)


Are 生得 (shēng de) and 長得长得 (zhǎng de) idiomatic to be included? Both are not so straightforward cases, IMO.

  1. (shēng) and (zhǎng) are normal verbals with meanings "to be born" and "to grow up"
  2. () is a verb complement particle, which links verbs to adverbs, e.g. /   ―  nǐ shuō dé hěn duì  ―  You are right
  3. User:Wyang says the above are SoP's. E.g. in the phrase 漂亮 / 漂亮  ―  tā zhǎng de hěn piàoliàng  ―  she is very beautiful, it just "she has grown (how) very beautifully". Or, 聰明 / 聪明  ―  tā shēng de hěn cōngmíng  ―  He is very smart (i.e. "he was born smart").

Any other opinions? @Tooironic, Justinrleung, Suzukaze-c? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:37, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Probably SoP. Chinese dictionaries don't include them. The simple reason is that an unlimited number of verbs can collocate with 得 - just because the resulting combination does not have a direct equivalent in English, doesn't make it idiomatic in Chinese. Example sentences and usage notes are useful of course, but they can be given in the respective 子 entries. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:06, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
  1. @Tooironic ABC English-Chinese/Chinese-English Dictionary includes both, which can be seen in Wenlin software.
  2. The other endless collocations with 得 don't change the meaning, they are just used to link verbs with adverbs. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:07, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
    Wenlin also includes SoPs though. And, like I said, the usage of 得 in these cases is typical Chinese syntax, and not idiomatic. ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:41, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't know.—suzukaze (tc) 17:28, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not too sure. Guoyu Cidian has a definition "生、顯" under 長. It might be useful to keep these, but it might be enough just to have an example under 生 and 長. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:24, 22 April 2017 (UTC)


Is it true that this word is stressed on the first syllable (and with the /u/ vowel) in Portugal, but on the second syllable in Brazil? Wouldn't /ˈfuβiɐ/ have to be spelled *fúbia? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:18, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

A native speaker of European Portuguese did add it, but it sounds wrong to me. I've modified it under the assumption that it was just a thinko. @Liuscomaes, Ungoliant MMDCCLXIVΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:09, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
That’s certainly the case. — Ungoliant (falai) 20:47, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Metaknowledge is wrongly reverting my edits

Reversions e.g. [9] and [10]. This has been discussed; see [11]. I disagree with the reversions. What is consensus? Equinox 01:31, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

I thought that alternative-form entries were not supposed to have Etymology sections. But I am not sure if this is official policy or not. — Eru·tuon 01:41, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
There may be cases where an alt-form entry needs its own Etymology section, but I don't believe the two instances linked above are such times. I agree with Meta that Etymology sections are unneeded in those two entries. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 04:35, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • As is standard practice here, and as CodeCat agreed in that discussion you linked to, we don't need to give trivially different etymologies for alternative forms. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:05, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
I have to agree with the others- it's best to keep entries for minor variants as minimal as possible (minor as in trivially different from the lemma, not minor as in unimportant). Chuck Entz (talk) 05:47, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Why have an entry as trivial as that then? Wouldn't a redirect be better if we were dead-set against having any actual information on the page? - TheDaveRoss 12:46, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Correlation (such as alternative, misspelling or whatever) to a linked term is a piece of information. --Dixtosa (talk) 13:16, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Forgot to mention my original reason for posting - if a good-faith editor makes an intentional edit like these, reverting is not the correct action. The first place to go is to Equinox's talk page to raise the issue, and if you are going to undo the change yourself you should do so with an edit comment. Reverts are for obvious and un-contentious changes only. - TheDaveRoss 12:51, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Except that we already discussed this on my talk-page. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:14, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
And what about the categories? {{suffix|en|Athabascan|ist}} adds the entry into a suffix cat and without it, the entry is not added into the cat. But of course the entry does belong into Category:English words suffixed with -ist and should be added to that cat. - 13:06, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
The categories are the strongest argument against. Wikimedia categories are navigational aids for finding entries that have something in common, not statements of classification. Having all the minor variants in the categories adds unnecessary clutter. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:02, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Mathematical angle brackets for the orthographic representation

Today, this entry was created: ⟨ ⟩. It uses the "MATHEMATICAL LEFT ANGLE BRACKET" and "MATHEMATICAL RIGHT ANGLE BRACKET" and is defined as "(linguistics) Encloses orthographic representation."

Is that correct? Do we use these specific characters for that purpose? It sounds off to me, but what do I know.

This definition was removed from 〈 〉, which uses "LEFT ANGLE BRACKET" and "RIGHT ANGLE BRACKET" and has a Chinese and a Japanese section too. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 11:50, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia cites (emphasis mine): “The angle brackets or chevrons at U+27E8 and U+27E9 are for mathematical use and Western languages, whereas U+3008 and U+3009 are for East Asian languages. The chevrons at U+2329 and U+232A are deprecated in favour of the U+3008 and U+3009 East Asian angle brackets. Unicode discourages their use for mathematics and in Western texts, because they are canonically equivalent to the CJK code points U+300x and thus likely to render as double-width symbols.”
These characters are indeed used for linguistic purposes; Wikipedia uses them for its angle bracket template, which is used in a wide variety of language-related articles. Please do not be misled by just reading the names Unicode gave to these characters. ―Born2bgratis (talk) 12:13, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. Maybe we could explain that in both entries, as usage notes. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 12:19, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Right now I’m not sure about what to put on Usage notes, but for now I’ve added an {{also}} template to both entries. And the new entry is missing the definition for the actual mathematical sense (LOL); I’m adding that as well. ―Born2bgratis (talk) 12:34, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm puzzled by the statement that U+2329 and U+232A (〈〉) are canonically equivalent to U+3008 and U+3009 (〈〉), because in my browser they look identical to U+27E8 and U+27E9 (⟨⟩). Perhaps it's a font thing or something. — Eru·tuon 19:49, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Latin prox

wiktionary's definition: "fart"
L&S: "by your leave"
Is wiktionary's definition a joke or do dictionaries like L&S contain an error? - 13:00, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Vandalism that has gone unnoticed for some time. Fixed. SemperBlotto (talk) 13:45, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of atony

Could someone review this? I'm not familiar with this word but my intuition says the second syllable should probably be a schwa. Benwing2 (talk) 18:41, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Is televise really ambitransitive?

We claim it is. I've never heard anything like "that show televised well!" or "the golf will televise this afternoon". Equinox 23:26, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Please do not edit section titles as this breaks links on talk pages and in other discussion fora.

Translations of the week
1 cow
3 weasel

Collaboration of the week

quote unquote
aggravated assault
score a brace
open sunshine
show a clean pair of heels
see mui
li hing mui
stand pat
vive la différence
toss around
of all
look who's talking
naked as the day one was born
western world
me, myself and I
in bed
spoken for
a lot
last night
seeing is believing
at a stand
Bos grunniens grunniens
Ahle Hadith
waltz Matilda
rotary dial
four foot
better place
far point
contrary to
how's that for
pecker mill
a rolling stone gathers no moss
with a vengeance
sumti tcita
enough to choke a horse
Dún Laoghaire
back to nature
higher than a kite
va banque
tomate de colgar
red book
punch list
to do with
shots fired
no use
generals' coup
colonels' coup
get one's act together
semester hours

November 2007

biphasic note

I extracted this from biphasic. Is it music or acoustics or ?. DCDuring 19:55, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

--I think biphasic always can't be treated as music.It can be taken as acoustics. This approach is also supported by physics. --Etymologist 14:18, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


Just searching for the heck of it, it looks like mooses was at one time used as plural of moose. [12] the 4th entry down shows usage in John/Abigail Adams' letter(s). Should this be listed as rare, dated, archaic? I am unsure. sewnmouthsecret 21:17, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

What language are you referring to?—msh210 21:37, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
English, apparently; see <http://books.google.com/books?id=wkgMY68hQ2oC&pg=PA272&dq=mooses>. —RuakhTALK 21:55, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I thought John Adams would have given it away. :) Anyway, English. sewnmouthsecret 23:44, 1 November 2007 (UTC)


The question I have here is what labels should be applied to the figurative definitions of the word "impact". Currently the noun is labelled "colloquial" and the verb "nonstandard"; in my opinion neither term is accurate. At best the usage should be described as "disputed".

I guess part of the problem is that I'm not sure what these terms mean other than that they're intended to be negative. According to the Merriam Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage (p 406), the figurative verb usgae first appeared in literary contexts such as Christopher Morley and the Times Literary Supplement. Although it later became associated with politics, the usage is very widespread. Google News returns 200,000+ hits for the term, and the majority of them are the figurative use. The label "colloquial" thus seems wrong to me, and I don't see how something that is used that widely in the copy-edited prose of newspapers can be considered "nonstandard". No print dictionary I looked at gave any special label to the figurative senses, although they attached usage notes discussing the controversy.

The usage notes are generally in favor of the usage; the Random House says "Although recent, the new uses are entirely standard and most likely to occur in formal speech and writing."

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:46, 1 November 2007 (UTC).

Agreed. —RuakhTALK 23:59, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I couldn't quite follow this. What has been proposed? What has been agreed?
  • Is the noun sense "A significant or strong influence. An effect. (Disputed)" to remain "Disputed" or to be considered standard?
  • Is the verb sense "(nonstandard) To influence; to affect; to have an impact on" to remain "nonstandard" or become "Disputed"?
  • What is the appropriate placement and capitalization for these indicators?
I interpret "nonstandard" to be more strongly negative about a usage, suggested some kind of consensus among relevant experts and "disputed" as meaning lack of such consensus. I had the general impression that the figurative usage of the verb "impact" was more negatively viewed than the figurative noun usage. Is that impression correct? If it is, I would have thought that the noun sense has become standard, but could be considered "disputed", but that the verb sense might remain in "dispute", but can no longer be viewed as nonstandard. DCDuring 01:35, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm agreeing that this word is neither colloquial nor nonstandard. (Some contributors — none of our regulars, I don't think, but mostly anons who drop in once and make a few tweaks — appear to think that "colloquial" means "this is technically wrong, but it's so common that I guess it's O.K. in colloquial speech". They are mistaken. Also, some contributors appear to think that "nonstandard" means "I don't like this usage" or perhaps "widely used and widely reviled"; this is an iffier point, but I'd say that they're mistaken as well.) {{proscribed}} might be O.K., though. —RuakhTALK 16:15, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I have inserted "proscribed" for the verb use of "impact" and removed "colloquial" from the "effect" sense of the noun, based on the above. DCDuring 18:37, 2 November 2007 (UTC)


Another hot button topic, but the labels and usage note on the "irregardless" page seem out of sync with the quotations. There are five quotations given, spanning 130 years. Three are academic publications from university presses, and one was written by a judge in a court opinion. Given those citations, labels like "nonstandard", "illiteracy", "usually inappropriate in formal contexts" and "jocular" seem odd. I think what probably needs to be done is to expand the quotations list to show more informal uses of the term, and perhaps expand the usage note as well, but I'm not completely sure how this should be done. —This comment was unsigned.

That's because the labels and usage note were written by "anti" editors, and the quotations were added by "pro" editors. Personally, I think the usage note is actually quite fine; it looks like an accurate description of the word's status. The labels should probably be replaced with {{proscribed}}, which is our catch-all "this exists, but not everyone's happy about it" label (c/o Rodasmith). —RuakhTALK 16:09, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Inserted proscribed, left in mainly US and jocular. DCDuring 18:54, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I think we've dealt with this one pretty well, on balance. Widsith 11:56, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

due course

I am not sure that due course is or was an idiom. It might have just been SoP until the last two or three centuries. "In due course" would seem to be an idiom, especially if "due course" alone is not. I have 4 usage examples, but am not happy with my third attempt to define it. DCDuring 23:27, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I would put the entry as in due course with label Category:English prepositional phrases Algrif 14:00, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

loyal to a fault

what does it mean?
loyal to a fault
—This comment was unsigned.

It means “so loyal that it could be considered a fault”; perhaps the person being described is loyal even when the object of his loyalty is shown not to deserve it. —RuakhTALK 22:06, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Clinton uses the word "speeded"

Clinton used the word "speeded" when talking about how the campaign "will be" in the next couple of months. Isn't "speeded" a pst tense form of the word "speed?" —This comment was unsigned.

Yes, past tense and past participle. American adults only use it for speed's transitive sense ("We speeded it up", "It was speeded up"), and even then it's only questionably standard; our entry suggests that the British might use it more freely. —RuakhTALK 21:56, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Definitely not in my experience. It’s sped that’s used in all cases (bar by the ridiculed ineducated).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:14, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, come to think of it, “he was speeded to his destination” is standard…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:16, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm.... Seems that sped is used when the subject is acting intransitively ("The car sped up", "He sped home"), but that speeded is often used when the subject is acting transitively on another object ("We speeded up the process"), and regularly used when the subject is passive ("He was speeded to his destination"). Not, of course, that use is universally divided for transitive/intransitive (as Dorem. points out). --EncycloPetey 14:15, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


60+ cites of "Halachas" as plural on b.g.c. Don't know how to do transliteration to compare the transliterated Hebrew plural, DCDuring 01:52, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I don’t know what you mean when you talk of transliteration. Note these other statistics:
  1. 654 Google Book Search hits for halachot;
  2. 642 GBS hits for halachoth; and,
  3. 407 GBS hits for halachos.
The plural forms already given are far more common than halachas.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:14, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Good guess!!! That's what I wanted to know. DCDuring 23:17, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Ruakh would be the one to ask really, but I’ve noticed that this class of Hebrew words have singular forms ending in -a and/or -ah and plural forms ending in -ot and/or -oth — whence your -os -terminal form came is unknown to me. BTW, are you sure that the ‘+s’ plural can be considered standard?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:25, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd say that -oth, -ot, -os, and -s are all acceptable. (-os reflects the Ashkenazim's traditional pronunciation, something like /ɔs/ or /əs/, which many still use, and which is also — no coincidence — the Yiddish pronunciation. Indeed, this word — like many en:Hebrew derivations — can equally be considered an en:Yiddish derivation.) —RuakhTALK 03:02, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Caps?—msh210 21:04, 6 November 2007 (UTC)


Shouldn't the entry be capitalized as Cheerios? That is how it seems to appear in the hundreds of fiction b.g.c. hits. DCDuring 21:23, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I moved it. A bot had moved it in 2005, presumably without checking usage frequency. Can it be protected from bot capitalization changes, if the capitalization is agreed as appropriate ? DCDuring 18:05, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. And, not to worry: that was a single-run bot. (Previously Wiktionary was like Wikipedia, in that article titles automatically started with capital letters. When this was changed to allow lowercase entry titles, that bot moved all existing entries to their lowercase forms.) —RuakhTALK 18:51, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Since it was all visible, I didn't think I'd attract too much hostility. Visible one-entry boldness shouldn't be bad for Wiktionary. DCDuring 20:51, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I've added the New Zealand definition (a cocktail sausage), with a reference. Just to confuse New Zealanders, the cereal was introduced there in 2006 03:26, 5 February 2008 (UTC)


1st sense is the town (proper noun); 2nd sense is the wine variety, now shown as a noun and uses "en-noun" The only visible difference in the entry is the display of the (red) plural. Of course, the putatively unique town called "Bardolino" might turn out not to be unique or a philosopher wishing to use Bardolino to illustrate the problems of the concept of uniqueness might wonder how to make its plural. But seriously, folks, isn't Bardolino in the wine sense a proper noun? Many proper names have plural forms. (Is that "Clancys" or "Clancies"?) Why mess up PoS to show plurals? DCDuring 23:12, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

The names of wines are a parennial problem. SemperBlotto could tell tyou about his many researches, and others here have done investigating as well. They do not function as proper nouns, so you can say "I tasted three different Chardonnays.". Oddly some wine names are occasionally capitalized, but this does not seem to be consistent. So, I would say the wine name is not a proper noun and a plural is possible.
As for the town name, it is a proper noun. Yes, it's true that many English proper nouns can be used in a plural form in unusual circumstances, those are usually statements where the referent is not to a specific entity, so it isn't really being used as a proper noun. If you talk about "All the Parises of the world." then you are not referring to a specific location, so you are not using Paris as a proper noun. This is possible for most proper nouns in English, but is a highly unusual construction, and not a normal part of the grammar of proper nouns as proper nouns. --EncycloPetey 00:12, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
When I taught, I needed to keep track of how many Johns and Sergeis I had in the class to make sure that I didn't call on one for something and get an answer from the other. In Wikipedia, DAB pages are often about multiple instances of things with the same proper names. It doesn't seem all that exceptional to me. It is an old exercise in US geography to name all the states that have Springfields. When doing Wiktionary work, I have to check both my Websters (Merriam-Websters (Collegiate and 3rd unabridged)) and both of my Fowlers. And let's not get started on my library, e.g., with a couple of Principles of Psychologys and Getting Things Dones. DCDuring 00:54, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Can I rely on Wiktionary's definition of "proper noun"? "The name of a particular person, place, organization or other individual entity; it is normally written with an initial capital letter". If so, the entry for "Smith" is wrong because it says "Smith" is a proper noun, but refers to not to a specific Smith, but to all members the class of all persons with the name Smith. In any event, "Smith" case has parallels to the case situation of "Bardolino", the wine. It doesn't seem like there is a clear bright line between a proper noun, defined as (possibly non-unique) identifiers of unique individuals, and "capitalized-nouns-which-are-not-proper-nouns". DCDuring 01:13, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Please wait for me to finish the Appendix on English Proper nouns. You can see the very crude draft here, but it needs lots of work before it's complete. I may work on it over Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday. I don't want to have to rewrite all of this each time the question arises, which it has been doing with some regularity of late.
Smith is a proper noun because it usually is used in a way that refers to a particular person named "Smith". When someone says "Have you seen Smith?" they are not referring to all members of the class of persons with the name Smith. The part of speech is dependent on usage, not on abstractions. Yes, the line between common and proper noun is fuzzy as times. Suffice it to say the best discussions of what makes a noun "proper" are by Locke and John Stuart Mill, and they were more concerned with the underlying concept the specifics and practicalities. --EncycloPetey 02:33, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I will certainly wait for you with bated breath, but unfortunately I'm like a dog with a bone with a subject like this.
It seems as if you are saying that the words we lable in Wiktionary as "proper nouns" are not, in fact, in and of themselves "proper nouns". E.g., "Milton" does not uniquely identify any unique person, but is used principally to identify persons, whom we specifically treat as unique. By this emerging definition of proper noun, the Properness of a noun is ultimately connected to instances of use. Is "Wiktionary properness" ("WikP") something with quantitative empirical criteria? Probably not. It is more likely that we will be identifying and formalizing the social conventions that say that require that every Tom, Dick and Harry, pets, human assemblages, and places of human importance be granted eligibility for proper nouns, whereas IP addresses; street addresses; non-pet animals, trees, and rocks (except very big ones) are not. Planets, stars, comets, galaxies yes? Certain periods of time. Trademarks. There would seem to be at least two kinds of proper names in Wiktionary:
  • Type 1: names that, practically speaking, uniquely identify in the speech of some group of humans unique objects deemed worthy of having a proper name: the "Foreign Minister", "Jimbo Wales", the Pentagon, Sol, Sadie Hawkins' Day, "Spot", Halley's Comet.
  • Type 2: words nearly exclusively used to constitute names of the first type. Sadie, Jimbo, Hawkins, Wales; but not day, spot, comet, pentagon, foreign, minister. This would boil down to given names and surnames (and corresponding entities in other naming systems).
Type 1 might not warrant including plurals. But Type 2 would. That they are used in multiple instances to make up names would certainly require the ability to make plural forms of "Henry", "Clancy", "Jimbo", "Hawkins". DCDuring 03:53, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language makes a big to do about this distinction, in a way that most sane people never bother with and which we don't worry about here on Wiktionary. They call individual proper elements "proper nouns" and the labels (either of one word or more) that name a specific item "proper names". But we don't make that distinction here. --EncycloPetey 05:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I have put up another version of the page that treats "Bardolino" as if it were a proper name like a trademark, many of which have plurals. This requires using "en-noun" under the "Proper noun" heading, manually inserting the "English proper nouns" category, and labelling the senses as countable and countable, as appropriate. It seems barbaric in appearance and likely to complicate bot design and operations. Another approach would have two "Proper noun" headers, one with "en-noun", the other with "en-proper". Also, we could deem all trademarks and trademark-like names to be nouns, not proper nouns. Or we could allow the proper name template to have plurals, defaulting to non-plural, of course, and not displaying "uncountable". DCDuring 04:16, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, {{en-proper noun}} will work for that as well; it accepts plural and uncountable markers. However, did you notice that the page we're discussing is marked Italian? It should have an Italian inflectional template, category, and should follow Italian plural forms. --EncycloPetey 05:41, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. I hadn't noticed, probably because it didn't have all the usual accoutrements of a non-English entry. And thank you for the info on the options of the proper noun template. DCDuring 15:40, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I have split this into English and Italian sections - the Italian plural is shown in the De Mauro dictionary. I am concerned that it uses lowercase though (may just be their typographical convention). I take the English plural to mean either different versions of the wine, or more than one glass of it. SemperBlotto 08:28, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I have read a little and realize more about the issues having to do with proper nouns. I would hazard a guess that many would-be contributors to Wiktionary are as uninformed as I was about the true def. of proper noun and with the same misplaced confidence in their ignorance. There are many Beer Parlor issues in this. DCDuring 15:52, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. The various proper noun discussions we had last summer were the impetus behind my researching and drafting the (forthcoming) Appendix on English proper nouns. --EncycloPetey 03:36, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

hoi palloi

Is this an alternative spelling of the far more common hoi polloi (GBS: hoi polloi–hoi palloi = 835:11), or is it just a fairly uncommon (but just about verifiable) misspelling? As what (if anything) is it listed in other dictionaries?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:18, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know, this is primarily a typo/misspelling and not a valid spelling. It certainly doesn't make sense as a transliteration from Greek. I've not seen it listed in any other dictionary. --EncycloPetey 03:33, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
OK. Shall we list it as a {{rare}} {{misspelling of|hoi polloi}} or just delete it?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 03:37, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
(If we do the former, we’ll have to do something clever with the template to omit the “common” part of it.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 03:39, 7 November 2007 (UTC))


Here's a neat word I recently ran into. countercounterpoint. It has three hits at bgc, all from the same document it looks like. And 22 hits at usenet. So it could scrape past requirements for inclusion. I dunno though, I don't think it's very common in practice. Who here has heard/used this interesting word in their everyday lives? It's a cool word and whether or not we include it today, I'll definitely keep an eye on it since it could be useful. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Language Lover (talkcontribs) 22:41, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I would try "counter-counterpoint". There are a few Google Books hits. DCDuring 00:33, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

If you don’t think it’ll satisfy the CFI, you can add all the citations you can find to Citations:countercounterpoint; if more are found in future, an entry with a definition can then be created.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
BTW, wiktionary has "counter-" (with the hyphen, as prefix) and "counterpoint". DCDuring 17:07, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

"Rebrebate" is it a word an if so, what does it mean?

"reprebate" is a word that i've heard a few times used to describe someones character. Was wondering what the true meaning of it is. Or is it just a slang word? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 23:35, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

rebrobate or reprobate ? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DCDuring (talkcontribs) 23:43, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

--The actual word used much for describing character is reprobate not reprebate. Usually people use this word for the person who is of no worth,generally.--Etymologist 13:52, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Rebrobate is another old term, used in Christian religious contexts, apparently with about the same meaning as reprobate, appeared in print while reprobate was also in use. "Rebrebate" could easily have been a scanno for rebrobate. DCDuring 15:39, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

cinematography question

What do you call the mark placed on a film near the end of a reel that flashes on the screen to tell the projectionist to switch reels? In Italian it is segnalatore di passaggio. SemperBlotto 14:31, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

A cue mark. —RuakhTALK 20:21, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. SemperBlotto 22:32, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
According to the movie "Fight Club it is know in the film industry as a "cigarette burn", which may have some currency if you wanted to look into it. - TheDaveRoss 22:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
And according to en:wp's article on cue marks, the term "cigarette burn" was invented for said movie. \Mike 22:32, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


It looks like a bit of bot gone astray on a template. I tried to fix it but was unsuccessful. Makearney 22:12, 7 November 2007 (UTC)


Would dinna be classed as Scots or English? --Keene 01:15, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

It's marked as "Geordie", which is regarded as a dialect of English. However, it might also exist in Scots. --EncycloPetey 03:30, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Sadly for lexicographers, the dialect boundary does not equate to the border between England and Scotland. Many (most?) Scots words are also found in Northern English dialects, especially Geordie which has held on to a lot of unqiue bits of vocab etc. Widsith 07:53, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


There are other past and past participles of "climb" in dialectical use, but it's hard to know which ones should be included and with what comments. A google search brings up hits for clim, clom, clum, clombed, clumbed, clambed, clomb, clumb, clamb, and climb. I don't know which of these are misspellings, or get enough hits to count as "real" uses. Any comments?

I don't know about the others, but I understand that the ordinary past tense used to be clomb. RSvK 14:16, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Are they all from modern w:English? Post c. 1500, I think. Middle English is also fine, but sep L2 header. I think that they all could be in Usage notes for "climb" until the research is done. The search engine would find them at least once they were indexed. Normal CFI applies, but the "well-known work" rule might help speed things up. DCDuring TALK 17:34, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


what does "boiloff" mean? (in "liquid oxygen" article)

quote from "liquid oxygen" article:

"LOX was also used in some early ICBMs, although more modern ICBMs do not use LOX because its cryogenic properties and need for regular replenishment to replace BOILOFF make it harder to maintain and launch quickly."

boiloff = boil off = evaporation DCDuring 10:10, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

found it it's in "vacuum flask" article quote:

"the leakage of heat into the extremely cold interior of the bottle results in a slow "boiling-off" of the liquid"

Thanks for asking. Missing word. DCDuring 10:18, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


"You-know-who" has singular the same as plural. The entry gives two senses, one for the singular, one for the plural, that formerly were almost exactly parallel and are now exactly parallel, with pari passu adjustments for number. I found that I felt compelled to read both carefully to understand why two senses were being given. Is it really necessary to have two senses, either to:

  • draw the reader's attention to the identical spelling of singular and plural or
  • simplify the wording of the definition? DCDuring 15:48, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
No. Widsith 15:49, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Shouldn't it be "You-know-whom"? Alan162 19:41, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
We're not prescriptive. I'm sure you could find grammarians who could make an argument for the appropriateness of this form. It is used in all kinds of writings (except perhaps the most formal ones). A search of Google books shows it is a common usage, much more than "you-know-whom".
If we were talking about the collocated words "you know who" and "you know whom", it would depend on how they were being used in a sentence. The "who"/"whom" might be taking its case from its role in a following clause.
  • "Do you know who that was?"
  • "Do you know whom you were talking to?"
Because English speakers have so little need for case distinctions, the "you-know-who" phrase seems to have simply taken the most common form and used the whole as a noun that has no case ending. DCDuring TALK 21:09, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


The two senses seem identical to me, and I was going to merge them but they appear to have different translations in Kurdish. Am I missing something? Widsith 09:31, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

No idea about Kurdish, but there are two definitions that need to be entered more clearly. 1) unbendable applied to a thing 2) inflexible applied to a person. Translators will just have to sort it out later. Algrif 13:36, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I took a stab at 3 senses for the adjective. I also noted that there are RfVs for two verb senses, which I began to verify, but noted no discussion heading. I'm not sure that all three senses don't come down to "cheated of money". There may also missing senses: one relating to "breaking an appointment or similar social obligation" and another like "stonewall", but of broader application than just with respect to answering a question. Another possible sense is something like punch or, more specificly, cold cock. DCDuring 15:28, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Nice. I added another adj sense. There is also "stiff drink" which seems to be an idiomatic collocation of its own. Widsith 15:31, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Doh! Forgot that sense. Not much of a drinker, myself. DCDuring 17:03, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
And I've added "stiff muscles". - Algrif 16:36, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

les dim up

French speakers! Came across this one in a book recently . . . was completely new to me. I think I worked out the meaning OK.. But is there any other word for these, or would you just use this proprietary name, which is what it seems to be? Widsith 19:17, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not a "French speaker" any more than you are — and I'm not even good with the English terms for such things — but searching Google for explicit explanations of what they are (trying things like "dim up ce" and so on), it seems that there's no other general name for these; rather, people use "les dim up" as a generic name, and when pressed to explain it use full sentences. Personally, I think autocollant (sticker) would have been cleverer (collant being “tights”), but what can you do? :-P   Incidentally, it might be worth linking to w:fr:Dim (lingerie), which is a fr.wiki article on the company that introduced them. —RuakhTALK 21:40, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, well I'm still pleased - I always wondered how to say this in French. Not that I get the chance very often, but it's nice to think one'll be prepared. Widsith 21:43, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

let freedom ring

As what PoS should a phrase like this be presented. It IS a phrase, but it is a verbal phrase, following the inflection of let. "Freedom" is not inflected. What is the role of the Phrasebook in this? My own preference would be to present it as a Verb, use the idiom template, categorize it as a verb, but NOT have all of the inflections appear. That means NOT using the en-verb template. I can't find a policy on this. Has it been discussed? DCDuring 23:31, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I think {{en-verb}} should have a nolinks=1 parameter or something; the inflections would then still appear, but they wouldn't be links. We can use it for idioms like this, where links wouldn't be helpful because the linked pages should just be redirects to the main entry. —RuakhTALK 00:28, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
You're saying they should appear without the inflected forms having links, but presumable with "inf=let freedom ring". Why couldn't those links be automatic? DCDuring 01:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. :-/ —RuakhTALK 01:53, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't know that inflected forms of this have any currency, though. Isn't this more of a fixed, set-phrase? --Connel MacKenzie 01:12, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
This phrase may become passe, apearing only in historical works by conservative writers harkening back to the old days when Reagan "let freedom ring" (past), if they can't talk about how some future Repubican president is "letting freedom ring" can (present participle). Whether it is worth displaying them is a separate question, but they can be readily exemplified and perhaps verified (at least if you don't make me find three for each form). DCDuring 01:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, good point … properly speaking, I guess it's actually a full clause, in the imperative mood but not intended as a true imperative; it has the same structure as "let's talk" or "let me ask around", where you're not really instructing the listener to "let" something. (I think this sort of meaning is properly called "jussive" or something like that, though I've also heard it described as a "third-person imperative".) I don't know what part of speech that would be under our system; an idiom or interjection, I guess. That said, google books:"(lets OR letting) freedom ring" gets 21 hits, and google books:"(have OR having) let freedom ring" gets seven, so the entry might warrant a genuine verb sense that formed by extension. Regardless, my suggestion about {{en-verb}} was not intended just for this entry, but for many other such. I mean, does "given up" really need its own entry just because we have give up? —RuakhTALK 01:53, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I would fully support that intiative. As you know, I add a lot of phrasal verbs and idiomatic verbal phrases. At the moment I am obliged to put the individual words in brackets and add category:English verbs at the end. Not very satisfactory. nolinks=1 would be a great solution. As for the original question; I would opt for Phrase: let freedom ring. Any future searcher checking for letting freedom ring would, as a normal course, search the infinitive phrase anyway. Algrif 14:16, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
The recommendation to make the PoS = "Phrase" leaves the user to wonder whether the phrase is inflected as well as how. I've changed my mind about NOT having the inflections appear. I still don't like all the red links and having to type all of the inflected forms in. DCDuring 19:25, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Besides having all those (long) red-links, there is another problem with that technique: you might end up inventing unused variations. --Connel MacKenzie 20:04, 13 November 2007 (UTC) you also would be giving undue weight to some very rare forms. --Connel MacKenzie 20:06, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Not at all. If each separate word is bracketted, it links directly to the base page showing all the inflections. A long phrase or idiom or proverb (whatever you prefer) would only bracket the important words. That's what I was taught when I started working here, anyway. And it still makes good sense to me IMHO ;-) Algrif 12:28, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure how you got that impression - that is the Wikipedia convention (AFAIK,) but on Wiktionary, all the component words are supposed to be wikified. --Connel MacKenzie 20:03, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No prob. I just checked damned if you do and damned if you don't and see that all the words are wikified even though repeated. I understood that words like conjunctions and prepositions didn't need to be wikified in long phrases. There are many entries that do not follow this convention. I'll change them whenever I see them. Algrif 13:53, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
There is a problem with highlighting each component and expecting the phrasal inflection to be inferrable from that. To wit, only one word in a phrase like "let freedom ring" can be inflected while retaining the meaning given. "Freedom" can't be plural and "ring" isn't inflected either (although for a more grammatical reason). I think we are trying to get more out of the wikilinks than they can unambiguously communicate. DCDuring 15:15, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
letting freedoms ring gets 8 google hits... all to the same source. But it can be found with both let and freedom inflected.
Connel's points above are over-riding "all those (long) red-links" and "inventing unused variations." It is why I asked for guidance on this when I started. Firstly, someone looking the phrase up might well need to know what a component word means. Secondly, they might need to know how to inflect it, even if it is only to "inventing unused variation" for creative purposes. Algrif 15:45, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I got 2 blog hits for "let freedoms ring", too. We will always have creative extension of the language, but a dictionary is not primarily a guide for poets and bloggers trying to attract hits. WT documents the standard language; they play around with it. What I would think we would want is to point users to the main inflection explcitly and allow the wikilinks to be a kind of first-cut etymology and analysis tool, which supports creative writing and other uses. DCDuring 16:05, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Right - the convention on en.wikt is to send people to the component word pages for inflections. That practice doesn't jive well with other conventions that advocate duplication. It also is not followed (probably 20% of the time - presumably with good reason, for individual exceptions) all of the time. While I agree it is better to not list out inflections of set-phrases, some idioms might require proper inflection. I think that was the original question about this term - which I still do not know how to answer. Comparative web-hits show the standard form to have an overwhelming lead - perhaps it should just be left alone? --Connel MacKenzie 07:24, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I knew I had it somewhere. From your good self on my talk page, I quote: Please don't use full inflection for verb phrases. For all multi-word entries, the component terms only are supposed to have inflection. Please take a look at how I split jack it in from jack in. Thanks for your neat contributions! --Connel MacKenzie 17:35, 17 July 2007 (UTC) -- ;-) -- Algrif 15:53, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
So, not too bad to keep specific inflection for this one because "freedom" is rarely inflected. If it were never inflected, it might be a more clear-cut case.
To summarize the more general case, to avoid unrewarding proliferation of phrasal entries, the idea would be to refer the user to the component words for inflection, by making sure that we were using the "inf=", "pos=", and "sg=" template options. Exceptions would be allowed where there was a good reason, such as not all possible inflections being legitimate (or to allow a link to a particularly common participle form ?). This is not a policy or a guideline, but might eventually become one. Is that a good summary? DCDuring 16:27, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


Hi. I joined Wiktionary about a month back with the intention of beefing up the Malay vocabulary here. At the time, colour was one of the Translations of the Week, so I thought that I would start there. I have finally managed to put together an article for User:Nestum82/warna at my User Page, and I was wondering if I could get some feedback before appending it to warna. Nestum82 10:21, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Looks great! One minor thing, the English word varna is not a cognate - it hasn't descended from Sanskrit in the same way but was borrowed wholesale into the language. You need to say something like compare English varna. Widsith 10:38, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the warning! Gawd. I was under the impression that any two words with a common ancestor could be considered cognates. D'oh! Am I right in assuming that the compare English varna goes under the Etymology header?
Another thing that I should probably draw attention to is the Pronounciations. AFAIK, the major dictionaries do not give IPA pronounciations. Kamus Dewan only goes as far as using an é to differentiate IPA(No language code specified.): /e/ from IPA(No language code specified.): /ɘ/. So the pronounciations that I have given are both based on what comes out of my own mouth. Does this fall under original research? (Actually, I should put this question in the Talk Page. I've already got one lengthy postscript in there.) Nestum82 19:19, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Please, feel free to give your own pronunciations. Heck, we have a guideline or policy page somewhere that tells people they can write things like "KON-takt" if they don't know any formal transcription system. So, home-rolled IPA is really A-OK. :-) —RuakhTALK 22:44, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for all the pointers. I've finally gotten round to tacking the entry on to warna.
Ruakh: Now that you mention it, it does say that more or less in the ELE. Can't believe I forgot about that. Nestum82 17:37, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

the hungarian christian name : Ibolya

I think this means Violet in english. Would anybody be able to confirm that ? thanks


Well yes and no. There is a Hungarian word ibolya that does mean violet (both the flower and the color), and there is a Hungarian masculine feminine name Ibolya that apparently derives from the name of the flower. However, it would be misleading to say that the feminine name means "violet", just as it would be misleading to say that the English girl's name Heather means "a low growing plant in the Ericaceae". They both share a spelling and an etymological origin, but not a current meaning. --EncycloPetey 04:00, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Ibolya is definitely a feminine given name. But Viola and Violetta are also Hungarian names, so you cannot talk about translations, rather about variants of a theme.--Makaokalani 11:01, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I have rechecked my book on Hungarian names; thanks for the correction. --EncycloPetey 17:14, 13 November 2007 (UTC)


I have a feeling the current definitions don’t accurately cover the usage found in this hilarious comic: http://xkcd.com/341/. Could a native speaker add a definition, and maybe the quote? H. (talk) 16:00, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that it is a usage of the "defeat" sense, "You just got defeated pretty thoroughly, maybe you should sit down" might be a rephrasing. - TheDaveRoss 21:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


Looking in Template:fr-conj-er, I've noticed the "surcomposed past" been put in. Do other publications call it the surcomposed past? In French it's known as the passé fr:surcomposé, and is rarely used. As a holder of a degree in French, I've been made aware of it, but the teachers generally told me never to use it, as it's a kind of dialectic thing. Is it worth it being included in Template:fr-conj-er? Or is it too obscure? I suppose there's no harm in having it. Still, an entry for surcomposed could be needed. --Haunted wigwam 12:33, 13 November 2007 (UTC) (Yes, is blatantly Wonderfool, am leaving this account after this comment)

(1) I don't think there is a standard English name for it; Google Books suggests that most English texts just stick to the French name, but I don't think we can consider surcomposé to be a real loanword into English. (2) I don't think the surcomposé is a "dialectic" thing; my impression is that it's just an odd blend of literary French (where a distinction is drawn between the passé antérieur and the plus-que-parfait) and non-literary French (where the passé simple is systematically replaced with the passé composé). In true literary French you'd say « dès qu'il eut fait […] », and in normal French you'd say « dès qu'il avait fait […] », but in surcomposé-accepting French you'd say « dès qu'il a eu fait […] » (all meaning "once he'd done […]"). —RuakhTALK 17:56, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
My Collins-Robert French Dictionary translates surcomposé as "double-compound", though I don't know whether anyone uses that in grammatical contexts. --EncycloPetey 18:42, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I hadn't heard that before, but searching b.g.c., it looks like that is indeed the most popular name (at least of those I knew to look for). —RuakhTALK 19:44, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I have to say, I've lived in France and in Morocco, and I don't think I've ever seen the surcomposé used in real life! Widsith 09:19, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Responsible to or responsible for?

I run into what I believe to be the misuse of the word responsible fairly frequently when reviewing Standard Operating Procedures. Each SOP has a section that specifies who is accountable for performing the procedure. I frequently see something like "The Manager of Customer Service is responsible to initiate customer complaint..." and it doesn't seem right. Is this correct? Should this not be "... is responsible for initiating customer..."? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by MTLer (talkcontribs) 15:04, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

You are correct. One is responsible for carrying out a duty. I often hear responsible to used in the same sense as accountable to and answerable to.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:13, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
While "is responsible to initiate" is stilted, I'd not say it's wrong. Parse it as "is responsible" + "to initiate" (not as ... + "responsible to" + ...), and it has in the end the same meaning as "is responsible for initiating". As I say, though, it is stilted.—msh210 15:38, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
As usual, there is no Academy of English. But normal usage is: Responsible for a duty / department / etc.; and responsible to the head of dept. or similar person or dept above you (although you can be responsible to your clients, etc, also). Algrif 15:44, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
If we talk about the standard English ,then "responsible for" is the correct use,if we look for the preposition usage.In various countries where English is taught as subject, usage of responsible with 'to' is usually considered as common error or gramatically wrong.However, I think this flexibility to use 'responsible to' instead of 'responsibility for' is making its place in nowadays English speakers.--Etymologist 17:45, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
'responsible to + gerund' seems to find frequent use in non-American newspapers, judging from Google News. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 00:23, 14 November 2007 (UTC).

comparative of polite

Is the comparative of polite politer or more polite, (or both)? RJFJR 21:27, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Google Books supports both, with some preference for the latter. I, however, am less tolerant: "politer" sounds incredibly wrong to me. :-P   —RuakhTALK 22:08, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Sums up my opinion rather well. Currently polite lists 'more polite' but I find politer in my paper dictionary. I'm going to change it, but it sounds like it needs a usage note on how it sounds wrong to some people. Any suggestions on wording? RJFJR 02:47, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
What my experience tells as i have gone through many English writings ,both forms are supported.In daily use i've seen people talking as ,"She should say this in politer way."So i think you need not to change it.Rather politer and superlative degree being politest sounds better than 'more polite' and 'most polite'.But what standard English suggests ,i am bit doubtful about it ,not really ,but to some extent.--Etymologist 13:08, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Politer and politest both both [sic] sound and look wrong to me (the comparative form more so than the superlative form); however, since they both exist, they ought to be listed, with a usage note added to the entry fo polite and links pointing thither added to the entries for politer and politest.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
As a native speaker of American English (midwest), I see nothing wrong with politer or politest; I use both myself. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:45, 14 November 2007 (UTC).
RJFJR, FYI: the {en-adj} template handles this case, see entry. I concur in thinking "more polite" and "most polite" look and sound much more familiar than "politer" and "politest", which both look odd ;-) Robert Ullmann 14:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanx. I've also updated bitter - Algrif 13:50, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I read in grammars for foreign students of English that the use of -er in comparative adjectives is only valid in monosyllabic words, with the exception of those ending in -y, which form with -ier.

You won't go wrong the positive part of the rule. You can always make a good comparative with a polysyllabic adjective with "more". The prohibititive part of the recommendation would keep you from saying "yellower", for example. DCDuring TALK 23:56, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

How much is it

I was thinking this should be moved to how much is it, due to caps. If anyone disagrees, please let me know; if I don't hear otherwise I will go ahead and move it. sewnmouthsecret 21:54, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

set versus put

Possibly stupid question (I blame my non-nativity), but: when you place something somewhere, is there any difference between "setting" it there, and "putting" it there? \Mike 11:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

None whatsoever. You can put, put it down, place, set, set it down, there. As you wish. Algrif 13:43, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Although. To my ear set seems of a slightly more formal register. There is also often a connotation of placing something more deliberately in a specific place, which is more obvious in phrases like "the diamond was set in precious stones" or something like that. I think put is slightly more neutral, slightly more casual. Widsith 13:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, i strongly agree with 'widsith' explanation.To put,just mean to just put something orderly or un-arranged but when we talk about ,'setting it',this reflects a sense of arrangement or order.And secondly,not think your questions stupid,just ask and remove your ambiguity related to any word.--Etymologist 14:48, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Definitely not stupid. Answering these questions forces native speakers to be explicit about rules they may well have no conscious awareness of. Sometimes when we try to state the rules that we actually follow flawlessly, we make mistakes in trying to articulate them. I certainly use "set" only in contexts where the "putting" is supposed to be more careful in relationship to other objects. In more abstract applications, compare "putting that behind you" to "setting that aside for the moment". Perhaps the second is more specific, setting something aside for use in a short time, rather than forgetting it entirely. DCDuring 15:31, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the help - most dictionaries I've seen (English that is) simply explain "set" (in this sense) with "put" (more or less) and vice versa. And then I compare to Swedish which uses three different verbs for that notion, and they are only rarely interchangeable... :P (Yes, I had hoped there were some minor difference I could benefit from when trying to define the words lägga, sätta and ställa, respectively, a bit more clearly - in how they differ). \Mike 19:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The word "lay" physically means placing or setting a longish object on a flat surface or in a containing space. Is that like lägga?
  • To "stand" something physically means to place or set an object in an upright or erect position. Is that like ställa?
Sometimes the physical meanings provide a good place to start. I don't know that I've gotten the English exactly right, but you can check me. DCDuring 20:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the physical orientation constitutes a very good first approximation :) But then there is sätta (literally, to put in a sitting position) which confuses things, sometimes synonymous with "lägga", sometimes with "ställa" and sometimes the only option. Hmm...., I think I was too concentrated on which nouns to use with which verb, there... I think it should be possible to get something decent out of it (at least I think I've managed to include most variations of lägga by now). But thanks for your help! :) \Mike 21:04, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, no, it is never(?) quite synonymous with lägga, at least.... just need to make a fine cut to separate them ;) \M

help yourself

Should this be listed under help#Verb, meaning 1? It seems to me to be slightly different- but I can't pinpoint why. Conrad.Irwin 22:12, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I also find that reflexives(?) like this give me pause, even though the definitions do seem to include them. It's even worse that it is easy to focus on the imperative form. Unfortunately the WT solution would probably be "help oneself", which would not be likely to be found by an ordinary user groping for help. DCDuring 22:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I think help oneself would be a correct entry. But also help yourself as a phrase book entry. Algrif 11:37, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

What I meant to ask was, is this a correct usage of the first meaning of help - or is it completely different? Conrad.Irwin 16:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

The first entry is really in the sense God helps those who help themselves. I think help yourself to some food is not the sense nº1. IMHO. Algrif 20:25, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


"Incomparable" is shown in our entry as having no comparative form.

  • Oscar Wilde, Collected Works of Oscar Wilde (1997), page 1096
    I know of nothing in all drama more incomparable from the point of view of art, nothing more suggestive in its subtlety of observation, than Shakespeare's […].

Was Oscar Wilde jesting or are we wrong? DCDuring 23:54, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

On the face of it I see no reason why there can't be gradations of comparability... Widsith 09:31, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Our editors seem to suffer from lapses of imagination with respect to countability for nouns and comparability for adjectives and adverbs. I understand how easy it is to succumb to it, but it leaves a lot of cleanup. DCDuring 10:13, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
The editors do not suffer from lapses of imagination; we are describing the norm in the inflection lines rather than the exceptions (which are many in English). Please apologize for this personal attack. --EncycloPetey 04:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
It is perhaps not so much lack of imagination, but a long-cherished superstition within prescriptive grammar of the "absolute adjectives" that cannot be compared. It is a long-settled issue in linguistics that a form like "more incomparable" means "being closer to incomparable" or "having more of the quality of incomparable", but the prescriptionists continue to claim this is somehow imprecise, unclear, or illiterate. —This comment was unsigned.
Not simply superstition, but an understanding of what the words mean. The word incomparable means "not comparable"; it can't be compared. The word not is a binary operator. It isn't logically feasible to say that something is "more not comparable" or "most not comparable", just as it isn't logically feasible to say that something is "more dead", "more frozen", or "more omnipotent". Each of the base terms is binary, without gradations. That doesn't mean that such forms aren't used by people, just that they do not make logical sense. --EncycloPetey 03:58, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
One could argue that that's a superstitious application of logical formalisms to an informal and illogical language. Two things can be roughly comparable — apples and oranges, say — or fairly incomparable — oranges and toothbrushes, say. But oranges and love are even more incomparable than these, because you can't even apply market prices to compare them. Technically, any two things can be compared, and when we say "incomparable", we do not in fact mean that comparison is simply impossible. Likewise, "more omnipotent" can be meaningful in discussing solutions to the Omnipotence paradox. That said, I agree with you that it's not a big deal to label an adjective absolute if its comparative and superlative forms are rare and nonce-y. —RuakhTALK 04:32, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I have taken to checking for the actual occurences of instances of use of comparable forms before changing indications of non-comparability. That's what lead me to the Oscar Wilde quote above. Given his notorious wit, I wanted to check whether I had not gotten a joke he was playing on his readers. I doubt if anyone will use a comparable form of something when it doesn't make sense because we say that an adjective is comparable in one of its senses. The trouble with the incomparability marker is that it applies to all senses (including those added after the non-comparability marker is added) and all contexts. It also seems much more proscriptive than Wiktionary philosophically seems to be. DCDuring 23:50, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Listing an exotic example is one thing, intentionally misleading readers is quite another. Anyhow, for the sense you added, how could something in a literal sense be "more not comparable" anyway? I've been bold, as this was apparently lost in the shuffle. The discussion edits had left it in a terrible state. --Connel MacKenzie 08:22, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

It is clear that Wilde's usage, as well as other instances of "more incomparable" and "most incomparable" are using the word simply in a sense of "great to an extent of having no equal". It is a word that grew beyond its roots, and in this sense is no longer a meaningful prefix+root word combination. Discussions of actual "comparisons" (oranges and toothbrushes) is quite erroneous to this sense. It's an adjective borne out of the notion of being matchless, peerless, unrivaled — but is an independent, self-sustaining description, like "magnificent". It connotates comparison, but does not refer directly to it. Casting off any active (verb) sense of comparison, the new, independent, etymologically created word is pronounced in-COMP-arable. For the senses you've been discussing, the better term is "not comparable".
That said, I think listing the comparative and superlative at incomparable is excessive. The truth is that the word lacks a comparative form, thus the necessary use of the word more. Listing such is wholly unnecessary and cluttered. -- Thisis0 21:57, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Would that not apply to all adjectives which form their comparatives with "more"? -- Visviva 12:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Not to those for which the "more, most" comparative is common. That bears mention. But to those where the potential comparative is rare, awkward, nonce-y, controversial, and confusing -- it should be left out of the headword space, at least. -- Thisis0 16:58, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Some quick-and-dirty comparisons on b.g.c. suggest that "incomparable" (238.3) is a great deal less comparable than ordinary adjectives like "outstanding" (75.0), but more comparable than really incomparable adjectives like "impossible" (326.76). The numbers are the number of hits for the headword per hit for "more headword than." Not sure where we intend to draw the line here, and of course we all know that Google's hit counts are fiendishly unreliable, so further research is needed. It would be interesting to learn if any real corpus linguists have developed a workable algorithm to evaluate comparability. (probably not... it doesn't strike me as the sort of question a real corpus linguist would be interested in, unfortunately.) -- Visviva 12:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

With the heat of the words exchanged and the lack of non-literary uses shown, it would seem "more incomparable" is somewhat of a nonce term that nonetheless is readily interpreted as "less comparable". "coldness" is not a strictly physical quantity like "heat", yet we find it just as tangible. I think most people would feel the Pyramids of Giza are "more priceless" than an early Picasso sketch and that cycling instructions for fish are more worthless than an 8-track casette player. In mathematics, even infinities/infinitesimals come in different degrees. "-less" is normally such a binary form, but "more priceless" is readily interpreted as "more valuable (worth more)" and "more worthless" is readily interpreted as "less valuable (worth less)". Technically, such terms aren't very logical but they still carry information with intrinsic value. I see no reason, however to list any of these terms , including "more incredible" (which we do have) in definitions because they have much more capacity to confuse than to help. Comparative and superlative forms are usually just there to guide users if or how "-er" & "-est" should be applied in normal use. That's a big reason why we don't include "believabler" or "incredibler".

BTW, if you cross the right pond/continent, I'm sure you'll find different pronunciations for "incomparable" and we should reflect that. --Thecurran 07:25, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

"What a bitter sweet irony of it"

What does it really mean?How many meanings it carries,both in negative and positive sense?Anyone??--Etymologist 18:00, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

comparative of negative terms

When forming the comparative of a negative term (a word formed from a prefix such as un- in- a- etc) it seems to me that while I could put more before the negative I'm more likely to put less before the positive form. e.g. for inappropriate it sounds better to use less appropriate than more inappropriate. Does this seem like a general rule? Should anything be noted in the entry for negative terms? RJFJR 02:44, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Seems to me to be a good example of a Usage notes entry. - Algrif 11:33, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
But less appropriate doesn't mean the same thing as more inappropriate. At a black-tie event, a shirt with button cuffs is less appropriate than cufflinks, but still appropriate, not inappropriate. Jeans would be more inappropriate than a business suit, both are inappropriate. Robert Ullmann 11:43, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Very good point, and good examples. Hmmmm... - Algrif 20:17, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


We have an entry for the trademark Fathometer and not for fathometer. I haven't counted, but there seem to be more uses of the uncapitalized generic form. How should this be presented? I would argue for both entries cross-referenced, but a redirect from one to the other with both trademark and generic uses could work. If the latter which one is the redirect? DCDuring 15:49, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

We do not use redirects. Use two entries, like Apple. DAVilla 06:41, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I propose that at Fathometer the gloss only reads "A trade mark". We do not know what else Fathometer produces or especially what it will produce, therefore it is not necessary to say anything about what is possibly being produced under the brand. A separate entry fathometer then explains what the gadget is about. I do not know whether fathometers are called fathometers because of Fathometer or vice versa. Without further research I would not write anything about the relationship in the etymology -section. In fact, I did these changes already. Hekaheka 21:12, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually we should just delete the trade mark just as at least for the time being is the solution with Bobcat, which is being discussed somewhat further below. Hekaheka 21:18, 30 December 2007 (UTC)


The adverb was listed as not having a comparative form. I found two quotes that seem to illustrate otherwise, but are otherwise interpretable. Any thoughts. DCDuring 19:26, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Try searching using further and furthest atop. You'll find stacks of quotes. Algrif 20:15, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Does "further" count as making a "real" comparative form. In my mind, only "more" could make a comparative. Are there other such words that make "real" comparatives. DCDuring 21:40, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
And younger is then not a "real" comparative? Better? \Mike 21:47, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I meant that I thought that "more" was the only full word that could make a comparative.
I was interested in whether there was a comparative form (and a superlative one as well) for the adverb "atop". I found two quotes for "more atop". The suggestion of "further atop" raised the question in my mind as to what the meaning of "comparative" form really was. Is "more" the only adverb that makes a "real" comparative form for those adjectives and adverbs that don't form the comparative "morphologically", like by adding "-er", as "young" does? "Further atop" (surprisingly, no real hits for "farther atop") and "more atop" seem to mean about the same thing.
"Farther" and "further" seem to work like "more" for many adverbs that have to do with spatial relationships, possibly figurative ones. "Farther" "up/down"; "in/out"; "over/under"; "ahead/behind"; "on", "across", "back", "east", etc.; "left/right"; "forward/backward"; "away/anear"; "above/below"; "overhead", "beneath", "alee", "abaft", "afore". DCDuring 22:26, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Further' does seem to be preferred to farther for comparative forms. No idea why, tho. A tangential aside... I've often thought it might be good to appendix all adj / adv that can take further as comparative. You missed a few. upstairs, downstairs, uphill, downhill, ahead, around, round, and I'm certain there are more. Algrif 16:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

There are other words besides more than can be used to form the comparative, especially less. Comparatives can either increase or decrease the relative degree in the comparison. However, I'm not convinced that further atop is an extension of the pattern. This looks to me like a case of the adverb further modifying the adverb atop, just as you could say further in, further on, or further out. I can't find this addressed in the books I have on English grammar. --EncycloPetey 03:49, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I remain very uncertain about this: "She rested more atop him."

"More" would seem to be modifying the prepositional phrase "atop him". Therefore "atop" is, in fact, not comparable. This leaves me needing some kind of good usage example or quote for the adverbial usage of "atop", which is actually what got me started on all this. DCDuring 04:06, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

In that example atop is a preposition, not an adverb. The adverb more is modifying the adverbial phrase atop him. The original question applies to adverbial situations like "Clicking on this option will place the window further atop." I can't imagine "more atop" being used this way. --EncycloPetey 04:38, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I think I see the error of my ways about the comparative form of the adverb. My question now is for a good example of the adverbial use.
  • "He placed it atop." doesn't seem right, except in very unusual circumstances. Perhaps: "She placed hers next to the pillow; he placed his atop {hers or the pillow]." DCDuring 16:36, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
No, I would call that a preposition still, with an understood implied object because of the parallelism. A better example might be "The scout went atop to look along the cliffs." The adverbial use will sound strange because it's not common in modern English. --EncycloPetey 18:46, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Adverbially it's almost archaic now. In older books, you will regularly see sentences along the lines of, "The castle was black and forbidding, with a tattered flag flying atop." It used to be written as two words which is making it hard for me to find good results on b.google. Widsith 13:33, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Does it merit an indicator of its not-current usage? What is the canonical format for such an indicator? "dated"? "archaic"? "obsolete"? DCDuring 14:41, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Maybe Lua error in Module:labels/templates at line 29: The parameter "lang" is required....? Widsith 16:10, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I've added a couple of cites and the context tags. Widsith 17:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I feel much better now. -- And the entry is vastly better. DCDuring 17:56, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

word of faith

The phrase "word of faith" is fairly common in Christian writings and is apparently SoP, non-idiomatic. There is a "Word of Faith" movement, not an organization, for which the phrase has a particular meaning, which most users of the phrase "word of faith" may not be aware of, would not accept, and might strongly disagree with. The entry, though uncapitalized, is about "Word of Faith" as a belief, presumably of those in the "Word of Faith" movement.

  • Should the entry be capitalized?
  • How should the meanings separate from those of the movement be handled?
  • Should the context be "religion" or "Word of Faith"?
  • Does it belong in Wiktionary?
Although there might well be a BP discussion in this, the concrete case might provide a more focussed discussion, if anyone is interested. DCDuring 00:04, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


does anybody know the correct spelling of a soup called(pilmanie) and its possible origin? 15:21 17 November 2007 (UTC)

  • This morning I walked down the street to see what I could see, and happened upon an Uzbekistani restaurant, where I had breakfast.
Couldn't read a single thing on the menu, because it was written in Russian. So I just told the guy to bring me something he thought I'd like.
It was terrific. Something called Pelmani, which included beef dumpling soup, some sort of egg and ham salad, plus bread and yogurt with an interesting tang. An excellent choice next time you stay at the Diplomat Hotel in Dubai.[13] DCDuring 22:33, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Best spelling for finding more would probably be pelmeni. DCDuring 22:46, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

What is a beehive fireplace?

What is a beehive fireplace?

See picture here.
A traditional beehive is kind of dome shaped (as in beehive hairdo, etc). A beehive fireplace is a masonry or stone dome enclosure over the fire forming a sort of oven. RJFJR 04:29, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


The entry claims to have a citation supporting "more unmade" as the comparative, but I think this is parsed incorrectly. I believe the quote is not "(more unmade) and remade" but rather "more (unmade and remade)". That is, I think more is being used in its adverbial sense to modify an adjective phrase rather than in its analytical sense to form the comparative. --EncycloPetey 04:08, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

By George, I think you're right. I added a couple of other quotes that seem to support the comparative/superlatives, but I may have misread them too. Please take a look. DCDuring 13:22, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
All but the 1984 quote, which is comparing aunmade versus made, and not forming a comparative of unmade. I'd argue that the original quote from the page and the 1984 one should be removed. --EncycloPetey 15:39, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I've implemented your suggestions. Formation of plurals and comparatives is way more complicated than I had realized. -- And I still have trouble slowing down enough to parse things correctly. DCDuring 16:20, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

New word or another language

I'm really struggling to find any meaning for the word "Absolom". Is this a new word created by the masters of Hollywood or A word in another minor language they've found and used. —This unsigned comment was added by Pagey (talkcontribs).

See Wikipedia: w:Absalom. Mike Dillon 03:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Random addendum: Robertson Davies used to use his own coinage absalonism to describe habitual rebellion against one's father. Widsith 12:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

get down with the kids

Should this instead be at get down with or possibly even get down?—msh210 21:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

"get down" doesn't cover it. There's another idiom (AAVE?) down with, I think, too, possibly related. DCDuring 22:53, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
We may need additional sense(s) of down to provide the building block(s) for these phrases. DCDuring 22:59, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Plenty of examples of get down with + other noun groups being used as a phrasal verb in Google and bgc. This seems to be quite new, as it is not a dictionary entry that I can find (yet), but there appears to be durability. So I vote for get down with as the entry. Algrif 12:57, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
If you want an entry for it, I'm down with it. DCDuring 12:45, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
If you're happy with my entry at get down with, which seems to have at least two citeable meanings, then that makes get down with the kids SoP. - Algrif 12:55, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm down[=OK] with the entry, but I wish I could think of a good search to capture some quotes using "get down" not in the senses given there, but more like the sense in get down with. Can it be used with any other prepositions? My homeys don't talk like that and the people who do wouldn't talk that way in front of me. DCDuring 14:57, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your Q, but perhaps you want get down among ? - Algrif 16:22, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
What I'm trying to say is that I'm not happy that the two senses in "get down" really capture one or more ways the phrase is used. To get it right I would need to look at a few examples. I can't think how to do a good search that doesn't yield thousands of hits I don't want. If "with" is not the only additional preposition the phrase is used with, then there is a good case for adding an additional sense to "get down". But "get down" without another preposition also may have another sense, for which the one-preposition-at-a-time strategy that you imply would be ineffective. DCDuring 16:44, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Ah! I thought so. I misunderstood your Q.
I don't do anything sophisticated. Just search and wade through the results. I often find that newspaper searches help to support and clarify gbc searches. Using this method, I came out with the 2 definitions given. There might be more, but I haven't come across any yet.
The definitions at get down with do not coincide with any definition of get down nor get down + with. So I believe get down with is a clear phrasal verb with clear definitions. If you find any more, please feel free to add (It's Wiki policy, after all ;-)) - Algrif 17:35, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


I was just wondering how best to enter Spanish suffix -illo -illa meaning little. As in mercado - mercadillo, mentira - mentirilla, etc. Is there a specific format for this? Algrif 15:57, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

You could use -ito as an example. It looks pretty solid. Mike Dillon 16:03, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm onto it now. Algrif 16:06, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

template:irregular plural of

Template:irregular plural of is a "form-of" template that puts "Irregular plural form of [foo]" on the definition line and adds the page to Category:English irregular plurals. While I think that the category is great, I think the definition line should just say "Plural form of", for the following reason. Someone who doesn't know what "irregular plural" means might well think that "Irregular plural form of" means "Uncommon plural form of" (i.e., that there is another, more common, plural). What think you all?—msh210 19:29, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Another option is to have "irregular" link to Appendix:Glossary, where it can be explained in detail. If that's not enough, maybe a tooltip could offer a brief explanation. Rod (A. Smith) 19:59, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Ideally, we'd have an Appendix:English nouns with a section on regular and irregular plurals, and the template would like to that. --EncycloPetey 20:34, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I like any presentation that is kind to an ordinary user, while remaining accurate. The word "irregular" at the beginning of a definition line has the potential to confuse (especially native speakers). If it would be valuable for some users to know that a given plural is irregular without having to look at the categories, perhaps the definition line could read "plural form (irr.) of". To prevent the ordinary user from wasting too much time "irr." could be wiki-linked to a helpful section of a page that explained what "irregular" meant in this context. Putting a wiki-linked "irregular" at the beginning of the line may lead to many users hitting a link that won't tell them anything they want to know. DCDuring 20:51, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
That sounds good.—msh210 17:41, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with msh210; that message just seems pointless. Anyone who knows English will know, given a plural noun and its corresponding lemma, whether they'd consider it irregular; I don't see the benefit in imposing our definition of "irregular" into our definitions of all irregular plurals. (Obviously we need our own definition of "irregular" for the sake of categorization, but I don't see that it's useful for much more than that.) —RuakhTALK 01:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I admit that the current entry for women seems unenlightening for readers who don't already know the plural of woman. Of course, this ties into the lack of consensus we have regarding whether to show such inflection details in the headword/inflection line or in definition lines. In any event, this conversation probably belongs at WT:BP, right? Rod (A. Smith) 01:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with both Msh210 and Ruakh: The category is useful, the preset definition is unhelpfully misleading.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:38, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I also agree. When you see women defined as "irregular plural of woman", the immediate reaction is to think "So what the hell is the regular plural?" Widsith 12:06, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Shall we change the definition to be identical with the one provided {{plural of}}, but retaining the auto-catting?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 12:32, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I see a few problems:
    1. Most dictionaries don't include entries for regular "form of"s but do for irregulars. So while they typically don't use the word "irregular" in their definitions they make these terms stand out by their mere inclusion. Wiktionary now has no way to make these stand out yet they are very much more important than regular "form of" entries.
    2. Categories are useful but they apply to an entire page and thus do not stand out on a page such as men which has nine entries and sixteen categories.
    3. The argument about confusing words in definitions is a bit of a red herring considering we have more confusing words such as infinitive, tense, participle, and uncountable in very many "form of" definitions.
  • Why not treat irregularity in a consistent manner as with other "attributes" of words such as countability, transitivity, archaic, obsolete, pejorative, etc:
    1. (irregular) Plural of man.

Hippietrail 00:58, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

That still (to me at least) implies that there exists a valid regular version. Widsith 14:38, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Me, too.—msh210 20:35, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
And what about when dictionaries list regular plural forms? –The COED, if my memory serves me correctly, explicitly lists prospectuses as the plural form of prospectus.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:21, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

To enfishen?

Do we have a word in English for the French empoissonner, meaning to populate or stock with fish? enfish, fishify, enfishen, or just "add fish to"? There should be a word for it, like when fisherman overfish and there's not much fish left in the sea so they need to wait a while until the sea become more enfished? --Rural Legend 14:22, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there's a word for it, or if there is most people ignore it in favour of saying "replenish fish stocks" or something. You could always coin an English word empoisson or impescate... Widsith 14:32, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, the next time I write a novel I shall talk about how fisherman need to reimpescate the oceans after the depescation. Hell, I'll name character after you too. --Rural Legend 15:10, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Great, I'll keep an eye out for The Sockpuppet Years. Widsith 15:14, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
No precise word, but restock is the word typically used and the context usually makes a modifier unnecessary. DCDuring 15:16, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


cup's English etymology section says it comes from Old English, earlier from Latin, earlier from Hebrew, earlier from PIE. Since when does Hebrew derive from PIE, or Latin from Hebrew (unless, for the latter, it's a loan, in which case it should say so)?—msh210 20:45, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I've commented out that bit for now. It appears to be random weirdness. Widsith 10:14, 22 November 2007 (UTC)


Meaning 3 appears to me to be a specific instance of meaning 2. Can I just delete meaning 3? What's the protocol? - dougher 23:20, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

To be cautious: insert rfd-sense template (which I just did). But that sense def. is so bad that probably no-one would have minded it you would have deleted it. DCDuring 00:16, 22 November 2007 (UTC)


Can someone add a correct {{en-verb}} inflection for zinc#Verb, it seems that it has a couple of possible inflections - zinckig/zincing/zincked/zinced...I'd coin a new past tenses for zinc at zanc and zunc if I could. --Rural Legend 11:05, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I thought the verb was galvanize - Algrif 17:12, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Less-used synonym. DCDuring 17:25, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Which is less used? The word we know how to inflect correctly: to galvanize, or the word which does not seem to have any clear inflection: to zinc (??) BTW, I do not have zinc as a verb in any of my dictionaries, but then I don't have that many, I'm afraid. - Algrif 17:43, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
My MW3 gives the "ck" inflections (not zanc amd zunc) as well as the "c" ones. I have never seen of read "zinc" as a verb, though I don't doubt that it is in usage. I don't like the look of the "ck" spellings, but they do avoid the pronunciation confusion of the "c" versions. Let me look up the en-verb template to see how to do it. DCDuring 18:50, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Thinking about how we treat this problem with other metals.. The most common procedure is to add -plate to the metal noun. Some few metals have special verbs, such as zinc - galvanise, and gold - guild. Some make verbs directly, such as to lead, and to tin. Silver and chrome seem to be used as verbs at times also, but -plate is preferred. I think it will be difficult (but not impossible tho) to find anything verifyable for zinc as a verb. Zinc-plate and galvanise are by far and away the most obvious solutions. Good luck in finding verificatons for the inflections. - Algrif 13:02, 23 November 2007 (UTC) I just noticed. That should read gild! .. Doh.. Algrif 17:15, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
The only one I wasn't able to find on Google Books was zincs. --Ptcamn 19:31, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Which makes me wonder whether the -ed forms are simply adjectival, and the -ing forms nouns or adjectives, in the examples you have found. Handle with care !! - Algrif 17:23, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

street market

I am considering adding this item, but is it a SoP? Reasons in favour of the entry would include the fact that souq, mercadillo, and mercatino all mean street market. Opinions? - Algrif 17:24, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't we want to make this a matter of policy? If it works under existing policy, then it's in. If it doesn't, then it might be an opportunity to review the policy for the newbies like me. I remember that in a recent discussion the translation-from-a-single-word rationale was said not to be policy.
This looks SoP and is not in MW3. But maybe there is more to it. Does a street market necessarily involve closing a street to some classes of traffic, for example? In NY area, we have "farmers' markets" (fresh produce and other food products, not necessarily farmers, sometimes held in parking areas or other public spaces), "street fairs" (more than a market, closes the street), "sidewalk sales" (store-owners allowed to partially obstruct the sidewalk in front of their store), "street vendors", (licensed or unlicensed merchant without premises, selling from sidewalk). We have a few special-purpose buildings for "markets", both wholesale, retail, and mixed, as well as arcades; in these, the mechants can have stores or stalls. We also have "flea markets", typically weekend-only markets for all sorts of goods. Not too many folks from here would think of the phrase "steet market" when looking for meaning. DCDuring 17:52, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

To me it's a set phrase. I totally think it deserves an entry. Widsith 07:58, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

It does seem to be more of a UK thing than US, judging from DCDuring's comment. But I'm leaning more towards a real entry, because both the above comments made me realise that in UK a street market can be found in a car park or other non-street location. The meaning is a temporary market not located in a fixed market building. (More or less!). If I can justify this meaning with cites, then I will enter it. Any help in finding quotes would be appreciated. - Algrif 12:51, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
If someone here said "street market" we would have some expectations about what it was, but I would argue that here it is fundamentally SoP.
There are abundant quotations in travel, geography, history, and sociology. I'm not sure how to find the ones that illustrate the 'setness' of the phrase. Here's an interesting cite from a history book:
  • 1956-2000, H. P. R. Finberg, Joan Thirsk, Edith H. Whetham, Stuart Piggott, H. E. Hallam, Edward Miller, G. E. Mingay, E. J. T. Collins, The agrarian history of England and Wales, page 992
    It was not the custom of London consumers to walk any distance for their food, or any other goods. As a result of this and the inability of the London County Council to establish a single authority to regulate existng markets and establish properly regulated new ones when the need arose, the irregular street market set up in densely populated districts was a feature of the capital. In 1891 there were 112, all unauthorised, and containing 5,292 stalls, of which 65 percent were set aside for the sale of perishable commodities.
There's lots more in this mammoth multi-volume source about markets elsewhere in England and Wales. DCDuring 14:25, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
OK Great. Thanks. I've put another couple of good quotes and entered it with a 'pedia link. - Algrif 16:49, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

how do i create my avatar?

Tea room i am at a loss i can't seem to do anything,how can i start to have fun, i need to make a avatar to chat

eye dialect

This definition bothers me a bit because of the put-down of the speakers of the dialects transliterated this way. I am not saying that the definition is not often accurate. I am saying that not all transliterations of dialect are done to mock the speaker. AAVE is arguably a species of eye dialect that has some effective PR agents and lobbyists. I had wanted to add entries for some New York area eye-dialect (dey, dem, dose, dese, dat for starters, but all of Damon Runyon and Finley Peter Dunne [and others] awaits) and was bothered by the implication of the definition that such entries were not appropriate. Are they? Is it only the usual CFI standards that apply? DCDuring 12:33, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the definition rewrite. I would guess that Wiktionary would want to have as many eye-dialect entries as possible, especially cited. It is a kind of documentation of popular English that is not readily available by other means and fits with the need of users reading dialog in dialect. DCDuring 00:37, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Whoever is rewriting this, you may wish also to rewrite Category:Eye dialect and Appendix:Glossary#E.—msh210 17:14, 26 November 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone tell me the meaning of this name. The tribe that it can from was around Preg Oklahoma. I was named after a girl that went to school there.

Thank you


in one's stockinged feet is listed as an adverb; I was hoping to place stockingfeet as a term of its own, but am unsure what part of speech it would be or how best to define it. It appears in L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, among many other books at b.g.c. Any ideas? sewnmouthsecret 15:48, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, it's a noun. Though I usually see it as two words, or hyphenated. Widsith 15:52, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I was thinking it was a noun, but in trying to define it, I keep thinking stockinged feet, which is an adjective. b.g.c. has many print cites with it as one word. sewnmouthsecret 16:08, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
No, "stockinged feet" is a compound noun too – a noun phrase if you like, but no one likes that term here. And the singular stocking-foot seems to exist also, by the way. Widsith 16:53, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
We do have stockinged, the past participle of the verb "stocking", which is used as an adjective in both phrases: "in one's stockinged feet" and "stockinged feet". The entire first phrase is adverbial. Both "one's stockinged feet" and "stockinged feet" are noun phrases. At least, I think that's all correct. DCDuring 17:01, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
"Stocking-foot" doesn't seem to usually refer to a foot with a stocking in it. A "stocking-foot wader" is a wader that has a stocking-like foot, which is worn inside socks (for abrasion protection) and an oversized shoe. It contrasts with a "boot-foot wader" which makes direct contact with the rocks and grit of a stream. A "stocking-foot" also seems to refer to the foot part of a stocking. It makes me think that one reason that the somewhat awkward "stockinged feet" has survived is to differentiate "stocking-feet" from "stockinged feet". We could try to preserve the distinction by marking stockingfeet in the sense of "stockinged feet" in some way as a common misspelling (or something) or just note distinct senses. DCDuring 17:17, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I think it's the other way round. stocking-foot is the part of a stocking that goes round the foot, ie the bottom bit. "In your stocking-feet" was just a way of saying that you had no shoes on over them (first attested 1802), but as the term got less common, people started hearing it as "stockinged feet" (first attested 1862). Widsith 16:38, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


I was wanting to add the well known quote from A Christmas Carol from Wikiquotes [14] to the Interjection. But I'm not sure how to do it. - Algrif 12:05, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

What I mean is, is there a special template or approved format to link to wikiquotes? - Algrif 16:19, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
What I need to know is nothing difficult. w: takes a link to wikipedia. s: takes a link to wikisource. What is the way to link to wikiquotes, please? Thanks. - Algrif 12:59, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Ah, gotcha. q:Charles_Dickens#A_Christmas_Carol. Widsith 13:49, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Many thanx. My fault for not being clear in the first place! ;-) - Algrif 17:19, 29 November 2007 (UTC)


I've been trying to find the meaning of Bobcat that i found in a leadership book, but it seems like it's nowhere to find. The book speaks about a landscaping company and how they run their business. As I quote here, it says, "Their equipment - including trucks, trailers, and 'Bobcat'". Can someone help me here, please? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Seems like they're a digging-machinery company. See w:Bobcat Company. Widsith 12:13, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
It's a good example of the trademaker's craft. Common word, play on bob- as in "bobbed" and "Cat", short for "Caterpillar", now being defended against genericization of the term bobcat, sense 2. DCDuring 14:32, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, yea. They make small-scale earth-moving equipment, often used by contractors who need to work in small spaces around existing structures. DCDuring 15:29, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I added cat as the commonly used abbreviation or both Bobcat and Caterpillar tractors. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:35, 3 February 2008 (UTC).

help me ...

There's this sentence that says: "The new President imposed much-needed organization and order on the fledgling company." Can somebody help me to re-phrase it, please?

Pice, is it a coin or a currency?

I notice the word pice has a definition of "A small copper coin of the East Indies, worth less than a cent". But is this correct, as I thought pice or more correctly paisa is a currency rather than an actual coin. Obviously it can be both like cent, but I'm also sure that pice is plural, which makes it unlikely that it means a particular coin. Help appreciated.--Dmol 23:09, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


How should the slang/dialect/illiterate(?) inflection of the verb "know" and the results of the inflection be presented? It certainly seems like a complete separate inflection of the same infinitive lemma: I/you/he/we/they knows, knowing (knowin'???), knowed, knowed. This kind of thing must have been discussed before. DCDuring 15:25, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Knowed seems to handled adequately. I willhave done something similar for knows. How is it to be handled on the page for know? DCDuring 15:34, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I did something ,if fine,it's good,otherwise it will be removed.--Etymologist 18:08, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

against time

Is this an idiom? It can be used adjectivally and adverbially. It is part of set phrases like a "race against time". DCDuring 16:57, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

It is a prepositional phrase. It just needs to have Category:English prepositional phrases added. - Algrif 17:47, 25 November 2007 (UTC) p.s. Not sure about it being an adjective though?? Algrif 17:49, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
It is used with nouns describing actions, usually vigorous actions. I often find the semantics renders the grammatical structure invisible to me. Somehow against didn't look like a preposition for a while. DCDuring 18:01, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

the world is your oyster

This doesn't conform with our other entry names. Standard would be world be one's oyster or the world be one's oyster, but those are terrible. Not sure what to do about this. Maybe just leave it where it is. In any event, there should be redirects from the world is his oyster, world is my oyster, the world was her oyster, etc., I suppose.—msh210 17:21, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Sadly enough, world be one's oyster is correct. DAVilla 08:20, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Fortunately we can salt the entry with examples that have all the most common phrases in actual use so that the search button will find it for the user. DCDuring 23:13, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

you hear it. you thuoght it, you have done it / see

does this make you reconize the simplcity of actions


If it was up to me, I would move this to Category:cinematography and update all the entries to use a proper context tag. Does anyone agree or disagree? SemperBlotto 10:07, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes. I agree. Widsith 10:22, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Capitalized.—msh210 23:22, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
No. SemperBlotto 10:57, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Aren't all the topic categories' names capitalized? (I'm referring to the first letter only, of course.)—msh210 05:38, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Disagree Yes, all categories on Wiktionary have their first letter capitalized, though I'm unsure whether the software requires it and some templates we use require this. However, "cinematography" is too narrow a term to cover the category. Filmology exists as a word because cinematography refers to the art of making motion pictures, specifically to aspects of lighting and camera choices. It does not cover other aspects of filmmaking. If another name must be used, I would choose Category:Filmmaking. --EncycloPetey 01:51, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


I think we're missing a sense:

    • 1981, P. L. Travers, Mary Poppins, revised edition, chapter 10,
      Jane and Michael watched the dance, the Hamarynd secret and still between them.

I'm not sure what secret means here. (Note that the Hamarynd was not hiding or, as far as I can tell, obscured from sight.)—msh210 21:43, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

What's a Hamarynd? Is it physical? MW3 has some 9 adj. senses for secret, all them involving hiding, stealth, mystery in one way or another. DCDuring 22:54, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
In the book the Hamarynd seemed to be some kind of snake-god. Physical, yes: having the form of a snake.—msh210 23:21, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
So, a smart snake, then. There's a sense of secret: secretive. By being/holding itself still, the snake seems to be playing an active role. A divine or magical snake may not be all that physical. I doubt if we can do much better than guess at a more precise meaning other than the emotional content of something esoteric and powerful shared by Jane and Michael. DCDuring 00:12, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Hm, okay. Thanks.—msh210 05:39, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

power processor

I want to ask what is the difference between power processors and micro processors.

One possibility is that "power processor" refers to w:IBM POWER, a particular architecture of microprocessors developed by IBM. Another possibility is that is slang of jargon for a microprocessor that is considered particularly powerful (as opposed to a small and simple processor that is intended more to be cheap than powerful). Can you put the question in conhtext? RJFJR 14:24, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

just as well

I'm struggling to make a good entry for this phrase. I think just as well or perhaps be just as well, as in It's just as well you came when you did! and similar expressions. In Spanish it would translate as menos mal (if that helps at all). But how to define it well? Any input, ideas, etc would be most appreciated. - Algrif 13:20, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I think I would drop the "be" because the SoP adverbial phrase "just as well" ("He did it just as well as she did.") serves as the virtual etymology of the more idiomatic-seeming other ways of using the phrase. "Just as well" can be used as an expression of agreement. "They took her driver's license away." "Just as well." for: "Just as well they did." for: "It is just as well that they did." DCDuring 15:28, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
The second sense in the entry for as well nearly captures the meaning for the "as well" part, I think. "might as well", "may as well" are other collocations that come to mind. We should consider adding a sense to "as well" in the course of the "just as well" effort. DCDuring 15:44, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
There are a number of nuances which I find hard to define and categorise in all these phrases. I agree that they probably should be melded in some way to avoid having a whole heap of minor entries which are hard to find. As usual, I tend to put myself in the position of a hypothetical English L2 speaker trying to understand a paragraph which includes one of the above phrases. How would he find it? What should be in the entry so that he can understand it. I'm finding this phrase surprisingly difficult to pin down. Sense 2 in as well is just about OK for the phrase might as well, but gets nowhere near the positive/negative idea of fortunate + or else contained in the exchange I did my homework - It's just as well! or I have a spanner in the car. - It's just as well! and so on. - Algrif 12:45, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Acca Dacca

Can anyone help verify and date this nickname? I can only find one example in Google Books, but there's a number of news hits, all of which are from the 21st century. Would anyone be able to find some attestations from the 70s or 80s? --Ptcamn 22:46, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

It just looks like the name of an Australian-based AC/DC tribute band, as you must have suspected. DCDuring 23:09, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
So does this rock band deserve a dictionary entry? --EncycloPetey 01:46, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
We don't have the band sense for AC/DC. Until we do, I can't see the point of having an entry for a mere w:tribute band. Nor would I care if w:AC/DC never made Wiktionary. I am aware of them, but not really familiar with them or their work. There are other proper name efforts I would much rather engage in. Sorry I couldn't be more help. DCDuring 02:02, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
RfD'd. bd2412 T 02:10, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
It was (and is) a nickname for the original band before the tribute band took it as its name. --Ptcamn 16:26, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Even so, not dictionary material. bd2412 T 16:50, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Why not? --Ptcamn 22:04, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
It could be if it is used to describe AC/DC electrical devices. I'd be surprised if it weren't in at least limited actual usage in Oz, though I couldn't find any cites. DCDuring 17:49, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Mobile Directory Number

What is it?

Contraction 'ns

Can anyone tell me what the contraction 'ns means (or could mean) in Southern American English? I came across this in utterance "That'ns cut!" but for the love of God I cannot figure out what it could mean, exactly. -- 14:10, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Being from London I'm just guessing, but I would interpret it as "that one is cut", whatever that may mean. Widsith 14:14, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Sounds right to me. I would have expected it to be written "that un's cut" with un's being a slurred pronounciation of one's, the contraction for one is. RJFJR 14:17, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
You'ns got that right or 'most right. I wonder how to write double contractions: "that'n's"? Or is that spelling the possessive singular? Wiktionary ought to have uns and either 'ns or -'ns or something to capture this. What should it be? DCDuring 16:10, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

epilogue 3rd sense

The current third sense of epilogue is 3 A brief oration or script at the end of a literary piece; an afterword. Is oration the correct term to describe something in a literary piece? I think of oration as something spoken while a piece of literature as soemthing read. RJFJR 14:27, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

It looks to me as if all the senses given in epilogue were intended to include both orally delivered pieces and those in writing. Maybe the phrase "literary piece" should be replaced with "oral or written work" or "work". "Literary" seems to exclude oral performances, even of written works. In any event, it can mislead people as it does in the def. under discussion, I think. DCDuring 16:24, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

December 2007

Double contractions

Just to keep this separate from that'un's above, although closely related.
It seems to be unconfirmed policy, or something like that, to avoid double contractions. I wonder if this can be clarified? What exactly is wrong with can't've, that'll've, and other doubles that an Eng L2 might come across in a text? - Algrif 10:40, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

If in print, I don't see any problem with double contractions. See 'tisn't, 'twasn't, 'tweren't, I'd've, it'sn't, shouldn't've, and wouldn't've. Why would they be avoided if in use, no matter how much people may dislike them? I'm sure there are many more. sewnmouthsecret 04:53, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Are there any more of these that could be added to Category:English double contractions?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:19, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Of course there are. You don't even have fo'c'sle yet! Robert Ullmann 14:33, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Now added. Feel free to add any others you can think of to the category.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:05, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
'Tisn't hard to find them. Make a game of it. The young'uns'll find plenty that we old'uns've already forgotten. The real question is whether they deserve the be entered here if they are eye-dialect. You for'em or 'gin'em? Gotta go now. Be back in an hour if my car'll get me there'n'back. If mine won't, maybe my neighbor's'll do the trick. DCDuring 17:13, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
If they’re attested, they should be listed. BTW, most of the examples you gave are not double contractions, being instead for ‛em (minus the space), ‛gin ‛em (ditto), there ‛n’ back (same again), and neighbo(u)r’s’ll (where the ’s is not a contraction, but rather the English possessive enclitic).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:05, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm just an impatient amateur. Thanks for the feedback. DCDuring 18:40, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm... why are you using the opening quotation mark instead of an apostrophe? DAVilla 11:38, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I’m not — «  » is the leading apostrophe, whereas «  » is the opening quotation mark — both are distinct from «  », the apostrophe-cum-closing quotation mark.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:00, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
What about triple contractions? fo'c's'le Cynewulf 00:56, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm… Thinking about it, I’m not sure that fo’c’sle and fo’c’s’le count as double contractions, being as they’re both single words, simply split in two/three places. All the others listed in Category:English double contractions contain contractions of two words as clitics (it‛t; notn’t; would or should’d; have’ve; is’s; and, will or shall’ll).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:16, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Depends how you define "contraction". If "contraction" means that the "'" indicates missing letter(s), then fo’c’sle is a double contraction of forecastle. Algrif 11:50, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I defined a double contraction in Category:English double contractions; whereatop is written “Double contractions are those words which contain two contractional clitics, such as n’t and ’ve. Both contractions are marked with apostrophes.” — under that definition, fo’c’sle is a contraction, but not a double contraction.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:52, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Where d'you get that definition from? fo'c'sle is contracted twice - it's a double contraction. The OED defines the relevant sense of contraction as shortening "by omitting or combining some elements". fo'c'le is shortened in this way twice. The amount of actual words involved is not relevant (or how do you view o'clock which cuts an entire word out of "of the clock"?). PS, I'm pretty sure whereatop isn't a word, but if it is I suspect you're the first person in 200 years to try and get away with it! Widsith 14:25, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I did some checking: both hereatop and whereatop are vanishingly rare (though I did find one person who’s used whereatop — not two centuries ago, but only last year), whereas, bizarrely enough, thereatop is rather common (in patents no less). BTW, I should be genuinely interested to hear on what grounds you state whether something is or is not a word…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:32, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that if fo'c'sle is neither a single nor a double contraction, then what is it? A multiple contraction? But that would be pointless hair-splitting IMHO. I've put bo's'n in catagory double contraction, and I think fo'c'sle and fo'c's'le should be there also. - Algrif 10:32, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
The OED’s pertinent definition of contraction doesn’t actually conflict with the one I gave — it says nowhere that the “omitt[ed] or combin[ed] … elements” must be adjacent. However, perhaps that really would be hair-splitting. I’m unsure what to call o’clock — perhaps it is indeed a double contraction. To twist the “rules” a bit — bo’s’n could be viewed as “boatbo’* ” + “swains’n* ”, whilst fo’c’sle and fo’c’s’le could be viewed as “forefo’* ” + “castlec’sle* or c’s’le* ”. Otherwise, we’d need Category:English triple contractions just for fo’c’s’le (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:58, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm trying to think of any more examples of o' = of the apart from o'clock and jack o'lantern. Also, are there any other examples where the apostrophe indicates the loss of an entire word? - Algrif 12:41, 9 December 2007 (UTC)


I am looking for information on the word tohubohu. I was told that it means chaos. If there is any info out there in the great wide web, please send it out. tohubohu sounds like something sad or crying;I know that it is more than what it sounds like, I find myself thinking about what it could mean.

boohoo sounds more like some one is crying or sad... and thus one is easily mislead into thinking that tohubohu could mean that aswell... but it is not, it comes from Hebrew tohu wa-bhohu, from tohu (formlessness) and bhohu (emptiness), so a formless emptiness. Reference: New York Times Letter to the Editor March 26, 1995 --BigBadBen 21:17, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, the Hebrew is תהו ובהו (tohu vavohu), from the second verse in Genesis. It means "תהו (tohu) and בהו (bohu)", but what those are beats me. If I recall correctly, major classical Bible commentators differ about them.—msh210 20:22, 6 December 2007 (UTC)


I have often wondered about how one should pronounce the word "Shinola", which was as though carved in stone when the famous slang/colloquial phrase appeared and spread.))) Not for use in my speech, personally, but just for knowing, because eventually I have to read it aloud from books. Is the shoe-polish named [ʃɪ`nəʊlə]? [`ʃɪnələ]? [ʃaɪ`nəʊlə]? Eate 15:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't know the notation, but first syllable rhymes with "shine", accent is on second syllable, as I've heard it. The commercial logic of the rhyme with "shine" would make me willing to bet a lot of money at long odds that that part of the pronunciation was encouraged by the manufacturer as well. I'm not as sure about the accent. DCDuring 15:24, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Aha...So it is probably "Shy-NO-la". The analogy with the slang word "payola", which I know to bear stress on the second syllable, encourages me to think that the stress falls indeed on the second one. The slang suffix "-ola" is generally stressed in words that include it. Thanks. Eate 16:20, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

яблочко от яблоньки недалеко падает

Is currently categorised as English idioms and English proverbs. Can s/o who knows change to the correct cats, please? - Algrif 16:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

It's now in Category:Russian idioms and Category:Russian proverbs. To change the {{idiom}} template, you had to add |lang=ru : {{idiom|lang=ru}}. — Beobach972 00:09, 1 December 2007 (UTC)


Anyone know where the conversation for this went? This should be listed as an alternative spelling, not a misspelling, right? --Connel MacKenzie 00:30, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I think of it as a Freudian misspelling. It reflects the deep-seated hostility of many of those forced to encumber themselves with such "monkey suits". MW3 doesn't include this spelling. DCDuring 00:54, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I do recall it being discussed previously, but I can't seem to find which spelling variant it was WT:TR listed under. --Connel MacKenzie 06:00, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Tea room/Archive 2006#cumberbund Robert Ullmann 07:37, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. Rats. I didn't realize that conversation died out before it began. (I wasn't asking what the OED says...I was asking for confirmation of the American pronunciation that I've always used. Do other Americans share that experience, or have I simply mispronounced (and misheard it) all my life?) --Connel MacKenzie 15:59, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Totally common mispronunciation and misspelling. I just answered someone last month in "real life" who was wondering which was which. But indeed, completely an outright mispronunciation and misspelling. An older actual spelling variant in use was kummerbund. The commonness of cumberbund, i believe, is influenced phonetically by Cumberland and cumbersome (by phonetics, not Freudian hostility, DC) :) -- Thisis0 19:23, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Not having seen the word in writing often (ever?), I didn't have strong expectatons about its spelling. "Cumberbund" didn't strike me as obviously wrong when I saw it. Because (1) I associate formal dress with England, (2) the English have the habit of not pronouncing certain consonants and syllables, and (3) I was not aware of the Asian etymology, I might have writen "cumberbund" if asked. DCDuring 20:04, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Serbian translation change

An anon recently changed the Serbian translation of thither from Lua error in Module:links/templates at line 56: The language code "sr" is not valid. to Lua error in Module:links/templates at line 56: The language code "sr" is not valid.. Though Serbian can be written in both the Cyrillic script and the Latin script, these two translations are not transliterations of each other. Is this correction, vandalism, POV-pushing, or what?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:33, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

The same user has made many similar edits to other pages, including blanking some pages. Ivan and Dijan ought to have a look at the contributions form this user. --EncycloPetey 01:43, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Basic word list ALMOST done

The basic word list of 18,000 words is all but done. There are less than 100 words left, all beginning with 'N' (in fact, they all begin 'non'.) If we all grab a couple of words we can have this DONE. The remaining few words are at Wiktionary:Requested_articles:English/DictList/N. RJFJR 02:25, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Precisely sixty-five remain.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:22, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
They have all now been added. The last word on the list to be added was nonstriking.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:31, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Done. I probably missed the point of nonredeemable and some other law-related words, and there's an atomic physics sense of nonsecular I can't figure out (which may just belong on secular), so I'd appreciate additional viewpoints here. Cynewulf 17:31, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Well done everyone. As for nonsecular, it seems to be used as non-secular more often, and I can't get a handle on the mathematical meaning (nothing in Mathworld). SemperBlotto 17:52, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Secular in econometrics always refers to longer-term, usually non-cyclical phenomena, contrary to the RfVd sense of secular as meaning short-term. I'd be amazed if any of the sciences used the word too differently, although what constitutes longer term is always relative to the context, which, in physics, could be femtoseconds. DCDuring 18:05, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
The OED has (in a long entry) the following - 7. In scientific use, of processes of change: Having a period of enormous length; continuing through long ages. a. Astr. Chiefly of changes in the orbits or the periods of revolution of the planets, as in secular acceleration, equation, inequality, variation. The terms secular acceleration, secular variation were formerly also used (with reference to the sense ‘century’ of L. sæculum) for the amount of change per 100 years; similarly secular precession (see quot. 1812). secular equation is also used more widely to designate any equation of the form |aij-bij| = 0 (i,j = 1,2, . . ., n), in which the left-hand side is a determinant and which arises in quantum mechanics. SemperBlotto 18:11, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Now that the basic list is complete - maybe it would be a good idea to rebuild Index:English. Kipmaster automated this well over a year ago, but is too busy in the real world to repeat the process. SemperBlotto 18:15, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, he resurfaced on IRC this week... --Connel MacKenzie 15:56, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

X of Xes

What's the proper place, if any, to note this pattern in English? as in "Lord of lords", "code of codes", "lie of lies", etc. DAVilla 11:28, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't know - but there is a similar (just as troublesome) pattern - as in "cricketer's cricketer", "editor's editor", "pianist's pianist" - i.e. a professional admired by his peers. SemperBlotto 11:31, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Are these a form of reduplication? (And should we have entries for food food, car car, and house house?) DAVilla 11:49, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Which of those have sufficient use (e.g. b.g.c.) to merit entries? --Connel MacKenzie 16:03, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Also man's man, and gentleman's gentleman, which don't quite fit that pattern. (of professional admired by peers) Robert Ullmann 12:11, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
What about reduplication across part of speech? I think of the forms "X y an X" or "X y no Xes". "[F]ind me a find, catch me a catch" from Fiddler on the Roof. "Joke us no jokes". "Riddle me a riddle, riddler." It doesn't seem to work at the WT entry level. WP? DCDuring 16:41, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I made a theme entry on this at Wikiquote:X me no X's quite a while ago. If a list of quotes containing such themes can be generated with proper citation, it can go there. Cheers! bd2412 T 16:58, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Cool. Well, name me a name. Construct me a construct. Are there names for these constructions? The "X me no Xes" construction is referred to in Pinker (2007), The Stuff of Thought. DCDuring 17:48, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
The word you are looking for is snowclone. bd2412 T 16:40, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I think having pattern entries is unwarranted. If you are trying to describe reduplication then link reduplication. If you'd like to make an entry for Lord of Lords then make that entry - the list is not infinite. --Connel MacKenzie 16:02, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
There could be a nice appendix, though. Perhaps only if there were good specific terms (Sorry, BD, not snowclone) for the constructs so that someone might actually find them. Maybe it is more for Wikipedia? DCDuring 19:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Not forgetting tautological phrases such as folks are folks, life is life, sure as eggs is eggs, and any other that might warrant an entry. - Algrif 10:38, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


S.v. working, adjective, we have the following definitions, inter alia:

  1. That suffices but requires additional work.
    a working copy of the script
  2. Enough to allow one to use something.
    a working knowledge of computers

The first of these is not how I understand the phrase "working copy of the script" (or "working script"). I have always understood that phrase to mean "a copy of the script that we will accept for the sake of [something: [[for the sake of argument|argument], peacemaking, whatever] (even though it's not ideal)". That is, the stress on "requires additional work", which seems to relate this definition to the headword, seems misplaced: working means, the way I understand it, "that works (suffices) well enough to be used". (Whether I'm right or the current entry is, the same sense of working is found in "working hypothesis" and "working definition".) What think you all?—msh210 17:22, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Also, if I'm right, then is the second sense I quoted to be merged with the first? They both seem to mean "sufficient to be used".—msh210 17:22, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't combine senses.
  • One sense (2) seems to mean that further efforts are not required, that the knowledge or the voting margin is enough for practical purposes, for some other project, or perhaps that the means are sufficient to accomplish ends.
  • The other sense (1) seems to suggest that the prototype or draft is sufficient in some aspect(s) to allow further work on other aspect(s) of the same project.
This vocabulary of work has never struck me as having been very well done in dictionaries. So I'm not so sure that you will find very precise help from other dictionaries. I looked at MW3. They have 2 senses.
  • Is there a third sense, that just means functional, or is that the same as sense 1 or is that the present participle of the verb (which needs no definition)? DCDuring 19:53, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
That (your reason not to combine) seems eminently reasonable to me. Since you asked, there are other senses, yes, including the one you mention; I didn't quote them all. My main question, incidentally, which you did not really address, was whether the first sense I quoted needs rewriting, though.—msh210 20:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I think it does. I think it refers to a thing which maintains its identity but itself needs successive and/or parallel work. The thing being worked in is an "end". That does not come across. The other sense implies that the thing does not itself need work, it functions well enough to be used as a tool, a "means". DCDuring 20:43, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Neither do I see any definition like working temperature, working speed etc. - Algrif 10:44, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


I was researcing a requested new entry "ablings" and came upon the following:

The New English - Page 15 by T[homas] L[aurence] Kington Oliphant - English language - 1886 There is the curious Scotch adverb ablings, aiblins (fortasse) ; compounded of able to be, and the adverbial ending ling.

I do not know my way around these parts and would offer this for others to complete. DCDuring 20:30, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I know that as a Scot - Google finds "aiblins" in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.-- 12:59, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

man up

Can you guys help me comprehend all the senses of man up. It has a verb sense, as in... "A lot of people are expecting me to provide for them, I'd better man up". And I have a vague notion it has an interjection sense in sports ("Man up!") or something. Looking at b.g.c. it's difficult to research. A little easier to research "manning up" but that confuses me more because it seems to have LOTS of distinct unrelated meanings. Language Lover 09:05, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Sounds more like an oblique figurative use, not a set phrase, to me. --Connel MacKenzie 19:13, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

It is a set phrase, attributive verb use of the word "man", as in "doing the things a good man is traditionally expected to do". In use since at least the 50's, often in military circles. Search BGC "have to man up" for some examples. Used with influence from "own up" and "buck up" (for the want of a stronger emphatic) in situations such as this: one who impregnates a girl out of wedlock will be told to "man up" and marry the girl or otherwise provide for her; one can "man up" and finally confront his abusive coach or employer; one can "man up" and quit crying about a particular tragedy. To "be a man about it". I'll try to find some good cites for the entry. -- Thisis0 00:38, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Also I should note the team-sports, macro-economics/staffing, and procedural-military uses:
    (Am. football, basketball, etc.; rare) Man up! -- "Get on your man!" (Each of you, guard the opponent to whom you were assigned and stay on him vigorously.)
    (of personnel - industrial, etc.) to man up -- to staff adequately; to staff up; to successfully fill all needed labor positions.
    -...it will become even more difficult to man up industrial occupations to which outmoded conceptions of status...[15]
    -To man up the last batch of capital goods produced, entrepreneurs are scraping up the remnants of the reserve of unemployed labour...[16]
    -...it will be impossible to find the labour to man up all the available capital equipment for productive use. [17]
    (of military personnel in a unit) to man up -- to assemble, each person manning (attending to) his station, prepared for departure of an aircraft, ship, etc. [18] [19]
  • It is now my opinion that other uses arose from the military-assembling use. The sports use is rare, and most players would more readily recognize "Get on your man!". If a player is told to Man up! on the field, in context it may be, for example, a hunched-over out-of-breath player being told to "buck up", "stay in the game", "be a man" -- precisely the first sense we discussed. Further, the staffing use has become outdated, while politically correct society no longer favors referring to "manpower", "manning" a position, etc. -- Thisis0 18:34, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


“A big row or argument.” –That is how I interpreted this word when it was used in the episode of Heroes I recently watched. I’m unfamiliar with this term, so I’d like some confirmation or correction. The quotation can be read in the entry, and the original programme can be watched here.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

While we’re discussing this, the verb throw down could also use a little attention. The definition seems incompatible with the use in the phrase throw down the gauntlet (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:13, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Does the verb throw down look a bit better now? - Algrif 17:48, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I've only said it/heard it as an invitation/threat to fight, e.g. "Yo, I'll throw down, right now!" but I assume that form is not hyphenated. The literal definition really doesn't help much. The idiomatic sense is of dropping whatever you are doing/holding, to engage violently (no holds barred.) I've never heard it said so mildly/sweetly, as in that TV show. So anyhow, yes, I can confirm that I've heard/used that meaning, but don't have any idea what other confirmation you're looking for. --Connel MacKenzie 19:08, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Defining it as "A big row or argument" has certain problems. First, Americans don't usually say "row", plus that's a awfully nice sideline commentary for what a "throw-down", "throw down", or "throwdown" implies. I believe the modern term did evolve from the idiom throw down the gauntlet, and implies that an unrestricted violent clash is possible, with one's honor at stake. Because of the fear in such a "you don't know how far I'm willing to take this" animalistic clash, the usage of the term doesn't always necessarily result in such actual violence, but is often an effective form of puffing the mane or fanning the tail feathers. The Heroes use was in hyperbole to this violent possibility -- not saying "Well, we'll discuss this when I get back," but rather, "Even though I'm forced to leave right now, when I can address this, you should know I view your transgression with ultimate seriousness, and you should sit here and be anxious for my return when I will visit my wrath upon you." -- Thisis0 20:30, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Can anyone identify this word?

The word is in some song lyrics which go like this: "Hold up, hold up, check my linguistics, let me break it down to you ______________" It sounds like "abalistic" but that doesn't seem to be a word.

You can hear the lyrics in question starting at 0:48 at this video: [20] Language Lover 02:30, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I would have guessed cannabalistic or catabolistic, but lyrics.com says it's "Afrolistic". [tumbleweed moment] --EncycloPetey 02:55, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

From the artist's own lyric page, it's "afrolistic". (You might have to click on "Give Me All Your Love"; their HTML is buggy). There is at least one other rap artist who goes by "Afrolistic", and Run-D.M.C. once used the word in their 1990 song Party Time. The Run-D.M.C. sense (adjective) seems to be something like "psychedelically funky and hip-hop infused", but the unrelated Afrolistic Barber Shop may be combining "Afro" with "holistic" -- (only a guess). I can't really get A.K.-S.W.I.F.T.'s adverb use (Let me break it down to you afrolistically?), though lyrics.com seems to think it's more of an interjection. If I were forced to analyze, I would say the most encompassing definition would be "in a black way" or "reflecting the self-celebrated aspects of black art, worldview, and lifestyle". -- Thisis0 21:01, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

That makes sense, it's an interesting word and I appreciate your analysis. I've found that some rappers are incredibly brilliant linguists, their command of practical English is sublime. Language Lover 21:47, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

it's on the tip of my toungue

what's the word for a period of time where you work. I really need to know. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:37, 7 December 2007.

In some types of occupations, shift (or the dialectical variant trick, as in I'm tired lately because I'm working third trick.) describes the period of time when someone works in a particular position. Is that the word you seek? Rod (A. Smith) 22:52, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Possibly tenure?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:47, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

catachresis + -phobia = ?

I need a word meaning “fear of the misuse of words”; I assume that the word and suffix linked in the title would do the trick. If so, how would they combine? The COED states that the adjectival form is catachrestic, and that the noun derives from Latin, from (Ancient?) Greek katakhrēsis, from Lua error in Module:parameters at line 110: The parameter "4" is not used by this template. — if any of that helps. I can’t figure it out — maybe catachresophobia, or catachrestophobia, or catachretophobia perhaps?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:16, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

further as comparative

Following from part of the discussion above in atop: the question was never resolved of whether further and furthest can be classified equally as more / most and less / least to form comparative and superlatives of certain adjectives and adverbs with a particularly spacial frame of reference. For instance there is quite a long list in the section above at atop.
My personal point of view is that an adverb such as upstairs is a better entry stating a comparative form as further upstairs than stating (not comparable), particularly as this is plainly not true. Comments invited. - Algrif 16:32, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

U-usage notes. Def'nally u-u-usage notes. -- Thisis0 17:22, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Can the en-adv template be forced to display "See Usage notes." without messing up anything else? DCDuring 18:00, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
If this is needed in only a scant few (read: one) entries, why mess with templates? Just write it in. -- Thisis0 19:40, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
One reason would be in order to allow it to show up inside the parentheses that are generated by the template. Mike Dillon 20:22, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
It's not just a single entry. This applies to dozens of adverbs derived from (or related to) prepositions of place, incuding afield, along, apart, away, down, in, left, out, right, up... So it would be very useful to be able to set the template to show further/furthest instead of more/most. --EncycloPetey 21:47, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I'm sold. I get it now. How do we do it? -- Thisis0 21:55, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I've modified the template entry at upstairs. If everyone agrees, perhaps we could draw up a list and I'll go through them modifying them as appropriate similarly. - Algrif 13:26, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I think it would be nice to have a parameter option akin to the "|er" that would do this. Is that an easy adjustment to the template, or a difficult adjustment to the template? In any case, that format doesn't match the norm, which would put further and furthest in bold as part of the form. --EncycloPetey 15:00, 12 December 2007 (UTC)


Please see Citations:katus. Anyone know what this word means? Or are the quotations simply of someone’s name and a scanno, respectively?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:43, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't know about the second, but the first appears to be a surname, since the same source has: "Mr. Katus was duly qualified, and entered on the discharge of his duties as a judge or inspector of election, and continued so to act until the poll closed." --EncycloPetey 21:52, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Noun or adjective

I stumbled upon a Wikipedia category, the name of which doesn't sound quite right in my ears. Category:Municipal owned companies of Norway. Shouldn't it be municipality here? __meco 21:53, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Either that, "municipal-owned", or municipally. --EncycloPetey 22:23, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

plural proper nouns

Names can be pluralised, right? It is clear they can because saying "there are three Davids in my class, two Samanthas, a couple of Simpsons and five Joneses." If that's the case all entries in Category:Given names should take the template {{en-proper noun|s|-}} or {{en-proper noun|s|-}}. Firstly; this is grammatically correct, right? Secondly; could a bot, like our Cheatbot, be adapted to auto-add entries such as {{plural of|Simpson}}, {{plural of|David}}? I'm beginning to appreciate 'bot work a lot more. --Keene 16:20, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

No, proper nouns cannot be made plural. A proper noun in its "plural" form is no longer a proper noun (in most cases, that is; Alps is an exception). So, a proper noun changes its part of speech to a common noun when it's pluralized. We're not at all equipped to handle or explain this phenomenon on Wiktionary, and we certainly should not go around adding plural forms to all the proper nouns. Please wait for me to finish Appendix:English proper nouns so that I don't have to give all this explanation over and over. (This is, I think, the fifth or sixth time this issue has come up this year.) I would rather we simply link all English proper nouns to the Appendix when it's completed. --EncycloPetey 16:43, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I was unaware of previous discussions on this subject. Could you point them out? As for plurals, I'm aware they become common nouns in the pluralised form, but it would make sense to link e.g. Simpsons from Simpson. As for this proper nouns appendix, what do you have in mind for it. Maybe I'll help out with the appendix. --Keene 16:56, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Having a proper noun linked to a common noun, and vice versa doesn't make sense in the usual ways that we handle it. Every user will think it's a mistake and try to "fix" it unless we come up with an alternative way to handle it. I'd point you to the discussions, but they've occurred over several months under several names in multiple locations. I haven't tried to keep track of all of them, though I do know that one concerned the word multiverse, so you might follow the "what links here" to find a very metaphysical (and lengthy) conversation on what constitutes a proper noun. As I say, I don't recall where the others are located. They involved the days of the week, names of games, wines, awards, and I forget what else.
While I would like help with the Appendix, it's not feasible yet to coordinate that. I have several pages of notes in tiny cramped handwriting which have not yet been entered. What I do have typed is in an incomplete draft of just the introductory material, not the evidence and patern description. My aim is to make a go at finishing the first draft over my Christmas holiday, so if you check back around the end of December, I might be ready to have the second mind and pair of eyes help with the missing information and necessary polishing. --EncycloPetey 17:12, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Just so you know; I've added Potteries as another real plural proper noun. - Algrif 14:23, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


I have entered hmph as an interjection, which seems OK. G.b.c. has revealed usage of "hmphs" as noun and as verb. I would expect "hmphing" and "hmphed". "ah" and "ahem", as well as other onomatopoietic [sp?] entries would have the same usage. Should these be accepted as entries if attestable? If these are all accepted, what should be done with variants with repetitions of the constituent letters: "hmmph", "aaaahhhh", etc. Keep the basic ones and put everything else in usage notes for the related entry? DCDuring 16:37, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

See ah and aah, which actually aren't synonymous. --EncycloPetey 17:12, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Guilty as charged

can anyone help me with the meaning of "Guilty as charged", please? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 02:48, 12 December 2007 (UTC).

See guilty and charge verb sense 3 (To formally accuse of a crime.) . as often means exactly equal. So the whole phrase means guilty of the exact crime one was accused of. Ciao - Algrif 13:13, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

דבר / לדבר / מדבר

At first glace דבר means "thing", לדבר means "to speak", and מדבר means "desert".

At a closer look מדבר can also be the masculine singular present of "to speak".

How about מדבר as "of/from the thing" and לדבר as "to/for the thing"? — Hippietrail 03:29, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

דבר is davar, "thing", and is one way of spelling diber, "he spoke", the third-person, masc., sing., past tense of "speak", which Ruakh will tell you is the lemma form.
לדבר is l'daber, "to speak", infinitive form of that same verb. Yes, it's also ladavar, "to the thing", which is davar plus prefixes. I suppose it can also be l'davar, "to a thing", again davar plus a prefix.
מדבר is m'daber, "he speaks/is speaking", the masc., sing., present tense of that same verb again. It's also (seemingly unrelatedly) midbar, "desert", noun, barren area. And I suppose it can also be midavar, "from a thing", again davar plus a prefix.
But "from the thing" would have to be mehadavar, מהדבר.
There's an old paal-construction verb davar, "speak", too, though, which would open uo possibilities for other meanings of all three words.
And in Talmudic Aramaic, at least, דבר is a way of writing di bar, "who/that the son of" (as in John, di bar William ihu,, "John, who is the son of William,"), or "that the son of" (as in kevan di bar William ihu, "because he is the son of William"). (The Hebrew counterpart incidentally is sheben, שבן.) But Aramaic, of course, is a whole other story.
I hope that this helps.—msh210 05:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I might just add that it's not at all unusual (though I have no stats) to find homographs in Hebrew when one ignores vowels.—msh210 06:01, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I think you're splitting hairs about מהדבר (meihaddavar, from the thing), since מדבר (middavár, from (a) thing) and מדבר (midd'vár, from (a/the) thing of) both exist. —RuakhTALK 05:36, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean. All I said was that מהדבר was a word, and that it's the way to say "from the thing".—msh210 03:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
He was making a point about identically spelled words/phrases; you're right that he slightly mistranslated one of said phrases, but that didn't really diminish his point at all. —RuakhTALK 06:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I might also add some forms I left out. Ruakh mentioned d'var, "thing of", which is also spelled דבר, but with yet different vowelization; it, too can take the prefixes that make it לדבר or מדבר. And in Aramaic, the same word di bar can also mean "that outside" or "that besides"; the Hebrew counterpart is שחוץ.msh210 03:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and another: dever, "plague" and "plague of", each of which also can become לדבר or מדבר.—msh210 19:57, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
This is a thorny issue. From a syntactic standpoint, לדבר (laddavár, to the thing) is really two words in traditional Hebrew, and perhaps two-and-a-half in ordinary modern Hebrew. The French Wiktionary does attempt to include such compounds (and does a bad job of it, but don't tell it I said so), but I don't know if we should. One of the most annoying things about looking up Hebrew words in a paper dictionary is trying to figure out what letter the lemma starts with; we aim to avoid this issue by including pages for non-lemmata (and as y'all know by now, I advocate having non-lemma pages link to lemmata so that our readers can actually learn something instead of being completely dependent on the crumbs we give them), but if we don't include these clitic compounds, we haven't completely solved the problem (though granted, it's a lot easier for a Wiktionary reader to try both the with- and without-clitic versions to see which is right than it would be for a paper-dictionary reader). On the other hand, are we really going to include a separate entry for each series of words where all but the last is a one-letter word? Would the phrase ושמהפה (v'shemmeihappéh, and that from the mouth) get an entry? I think that for now we should bar such entries (except in the case of idioms and fixed expressions, obviously, just as we'd do if the phrases were written with spaces as in English), but perhaps we should revisit this question once we have decent coverage of actual words. (That said, things like הפה (happéh, the mouth) are probably worth allowing even now, since while in one sense they're sum-of-parts, in another sense they're words in their own right, at least in traditional Hebrew.) —RuakhTALK 05:36, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean by being two (or 2.5) words syntactically?—msh210 03:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I mean just that: syntactically, it's the preposition ל- (l'-, to, for) plus the nominal הדבר (haddavár, the thing). (The .5 thing is because it's kind of debatable whether ה- (ha-, the) is syntactically a word or an affix in Modern Hebrew. In colloquial Hebrew it's very word-y, e.g. in always going at the beginning of the noun phrase or adjective phrase it's attached to, but formal Hebrew still obeys the traditional rule that mandates e.g. בית הספר (beit hasséfer, the school), so it seems to be a bit blurry, depending on register and whatnot.) —RuakhTALK 06:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I must disagree with barring entries such as ושמהפה for now. (As most people can't read that, let me explain that it consists of the two-letter word meaning mouth, preceded by four one-letter prefixes.) I think such entries, while clearly far from being a priority, are words, and, as we seek to include all words in all languages, should be included if someone has the (admittedly odd) urge to add them. Certainly we should not delete them. (But I know I differ with Ruakh on this. He, for example, has taken Tbot-created Hebrew infinitive verb entries, moved them to the lemma form, rewritten them, and deleted the redirect. I would never do that. I might or might not add the lemma form, but would not delete the infinitive. It is a word, after all.) What do you all think?—msh210 19:55, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with your explanation: in Modern Hebrew it's a two-letter word "mouth", preceded by four clitics — one-letter words, really — two conjunctions, a preposition, and the definite article. (In older forms of Hebrew, I guess it's a three-letter word "the mouth" and three clitics.) Hence, until we expand our mandate to "all strings of characters in all languages", I don't think it warrants inclusion. ;-)   (To see that it's not a word, consider Template:Hebr "and that out from his mouth came a lie", which is Template:Hebr): the five words, though written together without spaces, don't even form a constituent in the larger structure of the sentence.) I certainly agree with you that to-infinitives should have some sort of entry, but the redirects are bad, because they're essentially redlinks, but aren't instantly recognizable as such. —RuakhTALK 20:27, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Maybe a linguist would consider each of those one-letter prefixes "words", but your typical person looking up a Hebrew word in the English Wiktionary will consider a word to end with whitespace. (Or a hyphen, perhaps, but whatever.) That's why we need these entries. Here's an experiment you can try at home: open a fairly simple Hebrew book (say, a book for little kids), and ask your favorite seven-year-old who can read Hebrew — or, for that matter, your favorite thirty-year-old who can read Hebrew and has never read any linguistics — to count the number of words on a given page.—msh210 06:02, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Subjunctive after estimate (verb)?

Does estimate take a subjunctive in the subordinate clause? Would it be "I estimate that the target arrive ..." or "I estimate that the target arrives ..."? I know that the latter is allowed since subjunctives are optional in English, but would the former be valid usage? --MathiasRav 17:50, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Opinion verbs, such as think, reckon, guess, suppose, etc, including estimate, normally take a modal such as will, might, could, etc. No hard and fast rules (as usual in English) but the suggested subjunctive form above sounds odd to me. I don't remember using it or seeing it. (Which doesn't mean it can't be found, of course.) - Algrif 18:56, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Stroke count for


Reference page: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%BE%A1

By my understanding, the stroke count for this word (at least in Japanese) is 12, not 11 as listed on Wiktionary.

Does anyone else agree?

Character: 御

Kind regards, Kevin —This unsigned comment was added by Kevinarpe (talkcontribs).

Indeed, fixed. The different stroke count was not in the Unihan database 4 years ago, and still is not! Robert Ullmann 03:40, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

that is to say

I was about to add this phrase, but I'm not sure of the POS. Is it an adverb? - Algrif 15:19, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

By analogy: "namely" is deemed an adverb. The phrase functions almost identically, like for example, that is, to wit. We're better off to have it entered and get it corrected. Isn't this adverb month? DCDuring 16:18, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. That was my reasoning exactly for asking if adverb was a correct assessment. Perhaps you might be able to improve the basic entry I've made. - Algrif 17:05, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Looks good. A usage example is always nice, even when it seems trivial. Maybe I'll put in a basic usage note. DCDuring 18:04, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

A name used to sign documents?

What is the word to describe the special name that certain dignitaries use to sign documents instead of their actual name? e.g. The Bishop of Durham signs as Dunelm (or Dunelmensis). nom de plume or pen name don't seem right. SemperBlotto 23:13, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

"Latin signature" would seem to do fine, that's what these usually are. Robert Ullmann 10:43, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

phonoaudiologist or phonotherapist

As a matter of fact, I just want to know whether people have seen or heard one of the above written words or, if not, they have the proper word to define the matter.

Perhaps "speech language pathologist" is what you are looking for?

Similes and idioms

Could similes be categorised as idioms? I've just made the category Category:Similes and wondered if it should be asubcategory of Category:Idioms. I assume so, because e.g. blind as a bat doesn't mean blind as a bat. Also, lpease take a look at Template:simile, which should probably be tweaked. --Keene 13:56, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I've often thought about adding this cat. My personal thought is that it should be a sub of Category:Idioms. I'm all for using this database in as many constructive ways as possible. I think this is a useful addition. - Algrif 11:26, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


I would like to see how you spell erica in Greek

Έρικα —SaltmarshTalk 09:59, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Indonesian translations of hair

I was doing the Translations of the Week when I noticed that the Indonesian translations for hair looked a bit off. In Malay, rambut refers to hair from the human head; whereas bulu is from anywhere else on the human body, as well as animals, plants and anything else. The Indonesian translations seem to be in reverse.

I've learnt from experience that I'm not qualified to meddle in Indonesian affairs, so could somebody take a look at this? Nestum82 18:50, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

[21] & [22] say bulu = feather. [23] says rambut = hair (head/facial/body). Here are some others thrown in for good measure. [24] & [25] say botak = bald. [26] says tanduk = horn. [27] & [28] say kuku = claw (nail). [29] & [30] say kulit = hide (skin, leather). [31] says gigi = tooth. A Rambutan is a "hairy" fruit. I can't find my Indo dictionary & I'm not a native speaker so I can't explain why it's different from Malaysian. --Thecurran 06:32, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Security Clearance

The initials SAR stand for what in reference to a secret security clearance?

Special Access Required; e.g. the information is compartmented, and only available if someone is "read into" a SAP (Special Access Program), it is more specific than levels 5-6-7 etc. (this is all in reference to the U.S. DoD). Robert Ullmann 10:12, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


I defined it as "The reflexive pronoun for God." but this could be tweaked. Any suggestions? --Keene 10:49, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

just in case

See talk:just in case. --Connel MacKenzie 20:11, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Comments posted. --EncycloPetey 01:56, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

what is a free verse

help what is a free verse!?

See free verse and w:Free verse. --EncycloPetey 01:48, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


How is this a plural (plus Oaxacan says that it is not countable...)? Nadando 02:31, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

My template-substitution emulator had a bug. I've added code to skip {{en-adj|-}} (which replaced {{en-adj|-|-}} some time ago.) --Connel MacKenzie 04:01, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Note that the heading ===Noun===, (not the result of the template substitution,) seems to have caused the bot confusion. --Connel MacKenzie 04:06, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


I'd never heard of this, and would have put it down to slang or ignorance if I'd seen it somewhere. But there are plenty of reputable-looking b.google hits, so is this acceptable in the States or should we mark it as {{slang}} or what? It's not in any of my dictionaries either... Widsith 18:39, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Judging by the nature of the g.b.c. hits it can't be slang. It has too wide a range of usage to be jargon. It's not informal, looking at the kind of hits. I don't think it's very common in spoken English in the US. It's also not in MW3, a good source for US usage. If it means someting different from equate (and it might), it might just be a not-too-common word with increasing usage. Equate may imply a more exact correspondence of multiple attributes, where equivalate implies some kind of single all-encompassing dimension of value on which things are equal despite lack of equality on various attributes. Are there other single words that have this meaning. The first cite I found was art historian/critic Bernard Berenson in 1954, but I wasn't looking that hard. DCDuring 15:32, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It's in MW Online. We might want to think through the five senses we have and see whether they all would pass RfV. DCDuring 15:41, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


Kurundu is a sinhalese ( main language of the sri lankans)term for cinnamon

Synonym for bathroom attendant?

The guys who hang out in the restrooms at fancy restaurants and country clubs with hand towels and the like, is there another word or name for that profession? Even tho we don't yet have an entry for it, Wikipedia has it .- TheDaveRoss 00:04, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Standard name in the US is restroom attendant. "bathroom" (usually) isn't standard, unless it is an athletics club. Is amusing to watch tourists from the US ask in a restaurant "where is the bathroom"? (you want to take a bath?) They are afraid apparently of the word "toilet". (and "napkin" is even funnier! You want WHAT?!) Oh, and I really like "bog troll". Robert Ullmann 14:16, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Are you saying that "bathroom" isn't standard in the US? That's news to me. In my experience, the room is called a "bathroom" (and "restroom" is slightly more polite). The "toilet" is the thing you do your business on; I've never heard an American call the room a "toilet", unless it's a portable toilet (more commonly called a portapotty). Mike Dillon 21:16, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
From England: standard term would be cloakroom attendant, both bathroom~ and restroom~ would be rarities here. —SaltmarshTalk 10:05, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Not "loo lurker"? Pity! LeadSongDog 23:41, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


I would like to merge the two definitions. Although Collins (2005) seeks to differentiate quay as parallel to water's edge (cf pier), others (SOED, Webster, Chambers) do not. —SaltmarshTalk 10:10, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Go ahead, this is (yet another) case of user CORNELIUSSEON adding in a definition from a US military text, entirely ignoring the fact that the definition is already there. Look at the last version < CORNELIUSSEON's edits. Robert Ullmann 10:16, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
done —SaltmarshTalk 11:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


This entry seems to need at the very least a sense that does not require intent on an entity's part. As it is, it is guilty of POV: animism. The application of the a word derived from the idea of intent to futurity is possibly an indication of our animist past. In any event, I couldn't find simple futurity without actor and intent. Perhaps I'm missing something. The entry looks like it could stand a look in general. It is too basic a word for me to trust myself to do it properly. DCDuring 12:30, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

It's on my "to do" list. The modal verb form is in fact much more complex than the entry currently given. Also I'm dubious about the willing entry nº2. Is that really from the verb root? We are lacking such items as "moment of decision", "promise", "future event that is beyond one's control", and much more besides. I'll (promise) get a round tuit soon. - Algrif 21:41, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

posh git

I read the term Posh Git in a book. What does it mean? —This comment was unsigned.

Did you consider looking at the definitions for posh and git? SemperBlotto 15:05, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Tibeaten word

Dzogchen should be added.

meaning: the natural great perfection

Entitled. Most dictionaries, including this one, define "entitled" as the past tense of "entitle," which means "to own, demand or receive something," or, alternatively, "to give a title to."

Titled is defined as the past tense of the word "title," which has a definition of "the name of a book, movie, etc."

I do not think the word "entitled" is synonymous with the word "titled." Yet most speakers and writers seem to use them as if they are synonymous.

For example, I think the sentence, "Mark Twain is the author of a book entitled 'Tom Sawyer,'" is more correctly, "Mark Twain is the author of a book titled 'Tom Sawyer.'"

Which is correct?

entitle also means to give a title to a book, film, play, etc.. I shall add that definition now. Thanks for pointing out the omission. - Algrif 11:13, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


Marked {{US|UK}}. Is that correct? Not elsewhere?—msh210 22:50, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

  • I have never even heard it in the UK - bullshit (or just bull) is quite common. SemperBlotto 23:01, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I've heard it in the UK, but mainly from Americans. Maybe change to {{mostly|US}} --Keene 19:52, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

common misuse of the word "at"

Can someone describe the technical reason why use of the preposition at is incorrect and redundant in a sentence such as "where is he at?" I find that more and more Americans are using this syntax, which sounds so very wrong. Thank you. Diane

I thought that using a preposition at the end of a sentence was incorrect, but when I tried to find that rule in a book on English grammar, I just couldn't. My English teacher, however, did say that it's incorrect to say "Where is he at", but I don't remember if she gave the reason. — [ ric ] opiaterein — 16:39, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
There are no technical reasons why any particular usage is "wrong". Language is continually evolving and any syntactical structure is valid if it communicates what the user means to say. Specifically, Wiktionary is supposed to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, so this may not be the place to ask. SemperBlotto 16:44, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
This is the kind of error up with which I will not put. - To quote Churchill. There is no rule as such. In fact nearly all preposition containing quetions in English place the preposition at the end. E.g. Where are you going to? rather than To where are you going? The Churchill quote was really about breaking up phrasal verbs incorrectly. Personally, I see no problem at all with "where is he at?" - Algrif 16:49, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
IMHO, it depends on whom you are talking with or writing for. "Where is he at?" is not a part of high-class, "educated" English. It would often be disadvantageous to say in class at school, in many job interviews, in court, and in writing. One very useful thing to learn is how to communicate in the way appropriate to the situation you are in. Because there are many habitual elements of speech, it can be risky to establish a habit of using "Where is he at?" if you hope to operate in the world where people look down on such a trun of phrase. Some people are very good at switching in and out of such different styles of speech. DCDuring 17:09, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Diane's point is not that the preposition is stranded, but that it's redundant. Since He is where? is more proper than *He is at where?, the preposition in *Where is he at? is unnecessary, leaving Where is he? as the proper form of the question. We should probably add a usage note to at or where to explain that the commonly used collocation *where ... at is inappropriate in contexts requiring proper English. Rod (A. Smith) 18:04, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. I assumed this was a standard US usage. In UK it would be an informal question, not about physical position, rather something like What is he thinking about?. As DCDuring points out, certainly not to be used in a formal situation. - Algrif 18:21, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Interesting. The "what are you thinking" sense was common in the 60s and 70s in the US, has certianly declined, and may be "dated" here now. Knowing that makes me feel old: that's where I'm at. DCDuring 22:23, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
In the U.S. also, "where is he at?" can be metaphorical, like in "where is he at in the process?" or "where is he at in the book?". The "what is he thinking about?" sense is news to me, but I'm only 23, so given DCDuring's comment, I guess it just predates me. :-) —RuakhTALK 00:26, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's redundant, per se, since "where" doesn't always imply "at". In modern-day English, "where" can mean "[at] where" ("where is he?"), "[to] where" ("where is he going?"), or neither ("where is he from?"), and for speakers without the "where … at" and "where … to" constructions, it's entirely up to context to distinguish. I'll grant that context is usually sufficient, but there are plenty of constructions where it's so-called "proper English" that objects to context-based determination (e.g. mandating "Are you new here?" instead of "You new here?"); we can hardly pretend that the rules of "proper English" are determined by logic. I do think we should have a usage note, but I think it should be more neutral than what you describe, essentially saying that many speakers have one or both of these constructions, but that many others find them objectionable, considering the prepositions redundant or unnecessary. —RuakhTALK 00:26, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
In slang, "Where's he?" allows for a vague answer: "He gone.". "Where he at?" is more insistent on a specific location. DCDuring 01:19, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
In traditional Newfoundland English usage we find the delightful phrase "Stay where yer to, I'll where yer at" LeadSongDog 23:44, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


  1. Are the two senses really different?
  2. The last example contains "they" not "them". Does this example belong here?

Panda10 21:42, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I would say (1) yes (2) no. --EncycloPetey 23:52, 28 December 2007 (UTC)


Do we prefer Galápagos or Galapagos? Wikipedia likes Galápagos, others dicitonaire prefer the latter to the former.

I would prefer the accent for Spanish, but without for English. Wikipedia tends to preserve original language spelling of proper nouns, whenever possible. --EncycloPetey 20:23, 29 December 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone add any history of the word mought. A past tense of may perhaps, or just archaic might? --Keene 02:10, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

It seems to be an archaic or dialectical form of might:
  • 1883 - Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, part I chapter 1
    What you mought call me? You mought call me captain. Oh, I see what you're at--there"; and he threw down three or four gold pieces on the threshold.
  • 1917 - Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Oakdale Affair, chapter VI
    Then he scratched his head and looked admiringly at the youth. "What mought yer name be?" he asked.
--EncycloPetey 02:57, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I suspect this is eye-dialect rather than archaic. Then again, it could be both. You can still hear this in the north-west UK. - Algrif 13:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

It's a past-tense of may (which also makes it a form of might). Interestingly the OED tags it as "now only US dialect". Widsith 19:36, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

manoeuvre and maneuver

There is an instruction in manoeuvre that if you edit this page, add the same modifications to maneuver to keep the two in sync. Can we just point one to the other without duplicating the work? Panda10 03:08, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Not really, no. There is an ongoing debate about how best to handle this, but must editors here agree that we can't simply redirect one to the other, and there are many reasons for this, including the fact that usage of one spelling may be regional, the quotes will be different, etc. --EncycloPetey 03:32, 30 December 2007 (UTC)


Citations in this entry point to a different page. Is this a current standard? Panda10 13:59, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

It is, as I understand it, a possible placement of citations. It seems to be almost essential in some of the really long pages where citing multiple senses could really make the page hard to use. I suppose that in some cases the only available citations for RfV don't provide very good usage examples, too. In this particular case, I would argue for bringing the citations back to the main page because the above considerations don't apply. DCDuring 14:24, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
To add to what DCDuring has said: see Wiktionary:Quotations#Subpages. —RuakhTALK 15:45, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
We have recently voted for a new namespace Citations:, and the plan is to shift to a new system of citations placement. This changeover has stalled, but the general idea is that all citations should appear on the related citations subpage, with selected examples remaining on the main entry. However, there should always be a Quotations section header on the main entry, and not just a link as on the brusque page. See parrot for an example that is well-formatted under the old way of doing things. The only change that will need to happen is shifting the Citations page into the new namespace (which needs to happen to all such pages). --EncycloPetey 16:28, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I noticed you added the Quotations section. Another thing: it seems that the brusque/Citations page cannot be edited. If I compare it to parrot/Citations, there should be another edit button for the subsection. Panda10 17:00, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't have that problem. Could it be something in your preferences, or caching? DCDuring 17:43, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Not sure. I have not really changed the default preferences. When I click the edit link that is on the same level as the head word "Citations of brusque", I get this: "No such section. You tried to edit a section that doesn't exist. Since there is no section 1, there's no place to save your edit. Return to Template:Citation". Panda10 17:53, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, we need to fix that. (It's a consequence of putting the header in a template: the edit-link tries to edit the template, and finds the template doesn't actually have sections.) —RuakhTALK 17:59, 30 December 2007 (UTC)


I don't really see a difference between the first two senses at apparent; at least, I can't imagine a use of apparent in the first sense that's not also in the second sense.

Also, I just added a usage note; input/corrections/tweaks/whatnot would be nice, if anyone has any. :-)

RuakhTALK 17:57, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

The first sense is "physically or tangibly visible", the second sense is "figuratively apparent, perceivable by the mind". A motive can be "apparent" in the second sense without being physically seen by the eye. --EncycloPetey 19:18, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
O.K., I think I see what you're saying, thanks. But then, the Milton quote seems to be mis-sorted, as it's the mind that perceives the moon to be queen. (I don't think Milton is trying to say, "Oh yeah, and the moon? A queen. And not invisible. Imagine that!") I'm not sure it's actually worth separating the two senses. —RuakhTALK 19:41, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
The Milton quote is iffy. He could mean that the moon is currently visible (sense 1) or is obvious ruler (sense 2). It's always worthwhile to sort a literal sense from a figurative one, sense those will often have different synonyms or translations, and will mean different things to English learners. --EncycloPetey 19:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I should RFV sense 1? If we can find any quotes that clearly belong to sense 1 and not sense 2, perhaps those quotes will make the situation more clear. —RuakhTALK 20:37, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I've added a quote from the Encyclopaedia Brittanica for sense 1. - Algrif 13:40, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but that's actually a cite for sense 3. :-/ —RuakhTALK 14:54, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
How about something like It became more apparent to everyone that he was crying. ? - Algrif 12:46, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Reading Roman numerals

How does one read Roman numerals? As for example Henry VIII - is he Henry the Eighth or Henry Eight? Is the rule always the same or does it depend? It would be nice, if someone found the time to write a usage note about this e.g. in the article Roman numeral. Hekaheka 21:44, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

No, there isn't a standard way to read them, because sometimes they stand for a cardinal number like 2007 (A.D. MMVII) or 17 (page xvii), and other times they represent an ordinal number like eighth (Henry VIII) or second (John Paul II). --EncycloPetey 21:58, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Compare primus versus unum. LeadSongDog 23:48, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Lombard rate

There are 165 g.b.c. hits for Lombard rates in the plural. I have been instructed that this is a proper noun and that there are no plurals. How should I interpret that mass of evidence? "The Lombard rate" is the single rate that is quoted at any one point in time, but authors compare them. DCDuring 23:02, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Can you give examples of its use in the plural? The definition will need to be changed if this is not a proper noun, because the current definition is suitable only for a proper noun. --EncycloPetey 23:05, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I have changed the def. to reflect its being a generic term for the rate charged on loans to banks backed by approved collateral. The German rate might deserve special mention because of its influence. I find it hard to swallow that any such rates deserve to be deemed proper nouns. They may be capitalized by convention, but they are discussed in the plural regularly, esp. by economists and financial writers. The capital L in Lombard is only attributable to the historical importance of an Italian banking family in the Renaissance, just as the capital F in Fed funds rate is atributable the US Federal Reserve Bank. One thing I thought I had learned here is the weak connection between something being capitalized and being used as a proper noun. I will pursue what other references say about the term in current financial practice. DCDuring 23:39, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Did some research and edited the article accordingly adding specific reference to Bundesbank and noting that the rate has been discontinued after introduction of euro and Bundesbank becoming a branch of the European Central Bank. I did not (at least yet) have the energy to find out the names of corresponding central bank rates in UK and US. The existence of plural seems evident to me. Other languages do not capitalize Lombard as it seems to be derived from the Italian province of Lombardia and not from a single banking family. Hekaheka 06:15, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I haven't checked, but surely one can compare the Lombard rates between different months or years, etc. - Algrif 14:07, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah, but there you're comparing temporally, and all bets are off that a plural implies anything. You can talk about all the Vaticans through the ages, but that doesn't mean Vatican isn't a proper noun. The existence of a possible plural form doesn't tell you whether or not a noun is proper; though the lack or rarity can be a tantalizing hint. --EncycloPetey 17:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, of course. "Lombard rates" yields almost 4000 Google hits, relevant-looking stuff. Hekaheka 14:37, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
That's what some of the books on g.b.c. do. They also mention broad trends that involved multiple central banks all raising their Lombard rates. To me it seems obvious that such a thing would be countable, even if there were only one rate at a particular point in time.
I'm also not sure that the singular Bundesbank Lombard rate ever could have been characterized as a proper noun, even if it might have been entirely capitalized in a Bundesbank press release. But the question of plurals of proper names is only a matter of degree. I also think it would be useful if Wiktionary could inform people how to pluralize names {Cathys or Cathies?, Marys or Maries?). As with ordinary noun plurals, it is really only important where the plural can be irregular. DCDuring 14:51, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that is best handled through an Appendix (already in progress), since the "plural" of a proper noun (1) is relatively rare, and (2) isn't itself a proper noun. --EncycloPetey 17:05, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm stil not too clear about these assertions. If I make a Google map search for London, USA I get 9 Londons. Should this read "9 londons" then? - Algrif 14:10, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your question, but you could say that "I searched on Google and found nine Londons." This does not mean that "Londons" should be given as the "plural" on the London entry. Especially since London is a proper noun, but in the sentence above "Londons" is a plural common noun. Proper nouns typically do not have plurals that are proper nouns, and the plural form is typically rare as well. The reason for suggestion an Appendix, then, is to avoid having this kind of confusion on every single entry page for a proper noun, with constant questions from people who've found a "plural" proper noun and can't quite figure it out. Making proper nouns "plural" is a general phenomenon in English, but a relatively rare and grammatically odd phenomenon. --EncycloPetey 16:11, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, EP. You understood me correctly. OK, so this is a grammatical nomenclature problem. In that case, I'm all for the appendix if it will help to avoid confusion on main entry pages. - Algrif 13:26, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

FYI: Lombard rate is just another name for a "short-term lending rate applied by a central bank to other financial institutions". Some central banks have used it, and the best known of them was the Bundesbank. Other central banks have chosen to use other names. Currently at least the Swiss and Czech still use the term Lombard rate. IMHO, in this context Lombard is like "French" in "French kiss". French kiss is not a proper noun and there are French kisses, aren't there? Hekaheka 17:02, 9 January 2008 (UTC) PS. I just noticed that french kiss is not capitalized in Wiktionary although in many other dictionaries it is. Maybe we should decapitalize lombard? Hekaheka 17:07, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


Etymology 2 reads: "Intentionally incorrect". I was not aware of intention being part of etymology. Beneath are:

  1. Noun: "fault", as in "sorry, my bad." This seems to me to be a simple use of an adj as a noun within the same general sense as the basic adjective "bad".
  2. Adj: "slang; fantastic", i.e., very good. The conversion of the meaning of a word to its opposite in slang isn't all that unusual, is it? Is there a name for this phenomenon?

The noun seems to belong in Etymology 1. I would have thought that the slang adj does too. Is there anything marker used for that kind of reversal of sense? DCDuring 12:19, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

It's fun when you see an etymology and instantly know which editor wrote it. :-)   I think "Intentionally incorrect" could be part of an etymology — e.g. at O.K. — but I don't know if it applies here. (The editor did not supply any evidence or references for his claim.) Even if these are in fact "[originally] intentionally incorrect" usages, though, I think they warrant separate etymology sections, as they're clearly separate incorrections. —RuakhTALK 16:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Because our format for "Etymology 2" (and 3...) puts potentially common senses so far down the page, I wish we would avoid separating them unless absolutely necessary. These senses could clearly be worked in under the first Etymology, and if needed, an extra couple words added to accomodate any new information. Similar reconstituting needs to happen at cracker and font (etym. 3), among others. -- Thisis0 14:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
So the idea would be reflect the "branching" from the original ety of "bad" as a separate ety, presumably referring to the original unknown ety of "bad". Is there a name for the reversal of meaning from "bad" (std., bad) to "bad" (slang, very good)? It certainly isn't irony. It seems to reflect a deliberate attempt to create a way of communicating that doesn't allow members of the white and/or adult culture to understand. This can't be the only instance of it. Is there a name for the use of an adjective as a noun? That would seem also seem a fairly likely occurence. DCDuring 17:49, 31 December 2007 (UTC)


This entry contains a Hungarian section which is not correct. The word is written with small case in Hungarian (arab). I would like to start a new entry for that. I discovered this when I tried to add the new hu-adj and hu-noun templates to Arab, but that immediately displayed the words with a capital. --Panda10 16:42, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Try it again under arab (was an old redirect). SemperBlotto 16:45, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I have just created arab for the Hungarian entry. It did not exist before even after your change. How can I delete the Hungarian section from Arab? Also, maybe a redirect should be added to arab pointing to Arab. I've seen that in other entries. I don't think I can add redirects. --Panda10 16:54, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
We just add the {{see}} template to the top of the page, and list it in the translations. The Hungarian section of Arab should simply de deleted with an edit summary of "content moved to arab". --EncycloPetey 16:59, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Done it already. SemperBlotto 17:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)


Are these two senses really distinct?

  1. Having the power of seeing or understanding clearly; quick-sighted; sharp-sighted.
  2. (figuratively) Of acute discernment; keen; mentally perceptive.

I can't perceive any real difference betwen them. --EncycloPetey 21:12, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps "or understanding" was a late addition to the 1st sense. If so, it might have once been sense 1 relating to vision, sense to relating to figurative vision or understanding. That would be a nice way of expressing a possible drift in meaning from literal to figurative meaning, though that might have already happened in Old French or in Latin. DCDuring 22:38, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Yup, 2.3 years old edit made just that change. I will correct it. DCDuring 23:36, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. --EncycloPetey 17:02, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

January 2008

how do u use the word naive in a sentence?

do any of ya'll noe how to use the word naive in a sentence? -- unsigned

Here's where a combination of Google and Wikisource can help out. Click on this link for lots of non-copyrighted example sentences. -- A-cai 10:23, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

right as rain

This phrase functions as an adjective and an adverb. It did not show any comparative or superlative. The phrase "righter than rain" would appear to be functionally equivalent to the missing comparative and has 19 raw g.b.c. hits. Should it be presented as such in the inflection line? I do not think that there is a superlative. This phenomenon would, I think, characterize almost all adjectival phrases that are similes. A scan of the cat list for similes and quick g.b.c. check suggests that such forms occur in the wild. DCDuring 16:46, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

No superlative that I can find, and the comparative is so utterly rare, it might be better to refer it to a Usage notes section. Certainly a comment about the rarity of the comparative is worthwhile, at a minimum. I'd be curious to see this used as an adverb, since I can't think of an example sentence. Do you have a quotation? --EncycloPetey 17:02, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, I remember something like: "Next morning, he came right as rain."
I have found that many comparatives and superlatives and plurals are not common, but attestable. 19 g.b.c hits is a lot more than many of our entries get. If rarity were a criterion, then we should alter the en-adj template to facilitate the suppression of superlatives, which seem to be quite rate for many adjectives.
User:Keene suggested presentation under "Related terms" on the grounds that it is not a true comparative form. The rule for transforming the phrase into the phrase that functions as comparative is certainly more elaborate than adding merely -er or more, but broadly applicable. What makes a functional comparative form a "true" comparative form? DCDuring 17:35, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I hear it in things like:
You've been under the weather lately, but now you look right as rain.
I'm righter than rain! I just won the contest! I'm rich!
Or somesuch... Regards, —Celestianpower háblame 17:43, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think "righter than rain" is a comparative of "right as rain", since *"John and Mary were both right as rain, but John was righter than rain than Mary" does not strike me as even remotely plausible. And google:"righter than rain than" seems to agree with me. —RuakhTALK 00:42, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, if you put it that way, sure. I don't even need Google to see the error of my ways. I neglected the fairly obvious need to compare to something to have a valid comparative. I often get confused with phrases. Which is an instance of why the Phrase header is best replaced with something that clarifies! Thanks for the tea. DCDuring 00:52, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


What does the word pickle mean?

Did you look at the page for pickle? --EncycloPetey 20:09, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Relationship of Declunus/declunus to Delancey/DeLancey/Delancy/DeLancy

I in wonder and ofcourse some research of this topic words and or names are Declunus a God and a Goddess Decluna my wonder is the Language of it ,could it be in relation to DeLancey, as sometimes letters are silent in such would be perhaps the c in declunus in variant portions of time and literature and when as far back as the period of the fourth king or rular of roman peoples this is in the time of the 3rd or fourth hundred B.C. the sound of the u is manufactured as is today though sounding differently as the first u perhaps is different from the second u, i shall continue at another time Thank You,2:44 p.m. David George DeLancey 2:37 P.M. E.S.T. 1-2-2008 Happy New Year.

I don't think we have entries for the proper names or Celtic deities, though we probably should. Perhaps we have something at Declan. DCDuring 20:24, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


Several nonce words formed by analogy with trilogy have their own entries at Wiktionary (like duology and tetralogy). The problem with nonology is that an incorrect number-suffix has been used. Unlike these other entries, this suffix has a Latin rather than a Greek origin. If the word with the form and meaning desired by the author existed, it would be something like ennealogy. As far as I can tell "nonology" is a figment of someone's imagination - certainly I can find no precedent from Google or Google Books - but I'm not really sure what happens in such situations. -- 21:03, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Usually the procedure is to bring up at WT:RFV for discussion any entry you think has none of what you call precedent.—msh210 23:39, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Assembly language

Should this be moved to Assembly Language?—msh210 23:39, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I think it is assembly language except when it refers to the assembly language of a specific processor in which case it might be (e.g.) 8086 Assembly Language (however, since assembly langauges are NOT unique to each processor but rather to each assembler it might not even be capitalized in that case). RJFJR 13:40, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


Macbeth Act II, Scene I

Now o'er the one half-world Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd Murther, Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf, Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace, With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design Moves like a ghost.

Is that a use of alarum as a verb? RJFJR 01:09, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Yeah. Alarum is just an old spelling of alarm (as a noun or a verb), which has stayed around for some reason as a deliberate archaism. Widsith 22:46, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it certainly is. Robert Ullmann 22:50, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Should the noun be marked archaic or something and the verb added with templates for archaic and maybe also rare? RJFJR 19:08, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

That sounds perfectly reasonable. --Thecurran 02:00, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Tour de force

It is strange and interesting how foreign expressions may have different meanings in different languages by which they have been adopted. "Tour de force" is a French expression meaning "feat of strength", and in English it means more or less the same as in French. It is a positive connotation of something if it is a tour de force (it manifests strength, brilliancy etc.). However in Italian "tour de force" means something very different: a tour de force is an endeavour (a job, a travel, a visit, a walk for Christmas' shopping...) which proves or is expected to prove particularly stressful, because it involves doing many things or one difficult thing in a short amount of time. Something of the French meaning is preserved: it takes strength to accomplish such a thing. But the implication is that, were it possible, a tour de force is something to be avoided. Nor is there anything necessarily admirable in a tour de force, as when (e.g.) a tour de force is made necessary by our failure to schedule appropriately. Nor, again, is a tour de force necessarily coronated by success. It is to be wondered about how the Italian meaning came to be what it is. I also wonder whether my understanding is only partial, and other Italians actually give the expression a meaning similar to the French or the English one.


I ran across this word, I think it some type of disease because the references I found included disease vectors from Golden Hamsters (1986) and a news article about a 2 year old boy being treated for "jungle borne leishminiasis."

Thanks! —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

You probably mean leishmaniasis. Widsith 22:39, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


Is this the same as a kill file? Or is it a verb? SemperBlotto 22:54, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

It seems to be a noun, and yes, it seems to be the same as a kill file. —RuakhTALK 03:48, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Our definition for kill file reads "A file in which individual users of newsgroups can ignore postings by certain other users, or that match certain criteria". Huh? I can ignore postings in a file? So this obviously needs a touch-up. But I'm not sure what to change it to. I would have changed it to something like "A file containing data about e-mail senders and/or Usenet posters, used with a filtering program to prevent a user from seeing those senders' and posters' messages". But now I'm not sure, since you say it's the same as killfilter, which I would have guessed (not familiar with it) means "A filtering program used in conjunction with a kill file to prevent a user from seeing certain senders' e-mail messages and/or Usenet posts". But you say that the two nouns mean the same thing: which meaning do they have, then?—msh210 17:31, 8 January 2008 (UTC)


The first definition at convention is

  1. The gerund (verbal noun) of to convene; a meeting or a gathering.

Should this be split into two senses or otherwise clarified? RJFJR 14:54, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes. That first portion should be placed in the etymology, the definition could certainly be written more clearly. --EncycloPetey 15:51, 5 January 2008 (UTC)


The second sense of the Adjective section contains this example: “Tater” is short for “potato”. Is "short" in this sentence really an adjective? --Panda10 12:54, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

If you take the position of looking at the individual words as separate, then yes. The word short would be a predicable adjective (one that occurs in the predicate, after the verb, but modifies the subject). On the other hand, you could argue that be short for is a compound verb. --EncycloPetey 15:23, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


I am thinking of adding military police, mounted police, and riot police. Question is... would they be considered to be SoP's? I would be interested to hear opinions before adding them. - Algrif 15:03, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Mounted police is certainly O.K. I'd also say military police is probably O.K., since if you didn't know what it meant you might assume it referred to a group that doubled as both military and police in some respect (e.g., soldiers acting as peace-keepers or something). I'm really not sure about riot police; to me it seems quite straightforward, but perhaps not? —RuakhTALK 15:18, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
They seem idiomatic to me, both on simple introspection and because they are more than SoP, describing certain dedicated kinds of officers rather than attributes of a police officer at a particular moment.
  • Military police are not just police who happen to be in the military; the conscripts who handle traffic and crowd control in Korea, for instance, are definitely not military police.
  • If a riot breaks out unexpectedly, the police on the scene will not become riot police; instead they will probably call in the riot police.
  • A police officer who commandeers a horse in order to catch a criminal does not become a member of the mounted police by so doing, although he will soon wish that he had been trained as one.
Anyway that's how I see it... but I could also see each of these leading to yet another pitched battle on RfD. I'm afraid we haven't found the magic pill for that yet. -- Visviva 15:22, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Sound reasoning. Unlike traffic police, who would be just any old policeman assigned to traffic duty. I think I'll add them and put your comments into the talk pages. Thanks - Algrif 16:17, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
They would certainly belong. We already have Water Police and I'm sure there are others.--Dmol 16:35, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, and shore patrol which is clearly not SoP. Robert Ullmann 17:11, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Should these be capitalised, as Water Police is. I had listed it as a proper noun, being the name of that department, but others seem to be in lower case. --Dmol 18:57, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
No. Lower case. I've moved the capped page to water police. - Algrif 19:02, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


Is the Dutch pronunciation correct? IPA is given as /xyn/ --Keene 18:29, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

It's close, and possible correct. Dutch g is a guttural gargling sound. Dutch has gone through several spelling reforms designed to restructure spelling to match pronunciation, so each letter (or letter cluster) usually represents a particular sound. If the Dutch phonology page on Wikipedia is accurate, then the Dutch word gun should be pronounced IPA(No language code specified.): ɣʏn, which isn't far off what appears in the page now. The notes in the 'pedia article suggest that IPA(No language code specified.): xʏn would be correct for the dialect of Amsterdam, which is ever closer. --EncycloPetey 03:41, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Gerard recorded his pronunciation and uploaded it to commons:, (now linked) if that helps. --Connel MacKenzie 18:20, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it does. I've adjusted the page to IPA(No language code specified.): ɣʏn accordingly. --EncycloPetey 02:58, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


To beat a dead horse...

This form is pretty universally proscribed in deference to dissociate, right? But it clearly meets our CFI. What's the best way (in the current atmosphere) of indicating this?

--Connel MacKenzie 17:17, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

If this is used for all senses of dissociate, and proscribed for all of them, then I'd say to use # {{proscribed}} {{form of|Form|dissociate}} or # {{misspelling of|dissociate}}.—msh210 17:53, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
It's not proscribed at all, just less common. Widsith 09:54, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
The OED has disassociate as a synonym of dissociate, without even a frown! dbfirs 00:42, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
MW3 has a weak implied negative take on disassociate. At "disassociate" they offer "dissociate" as a synonym, but don't have the much longer entry for "dissociate" return the favor. They also offer fewer relatives for "disassociate" than for "dissociate". All this without any explicit proscription. DCDuring 01:12, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

You could have knocked me down with a feather

Yes. Another one of those entries. What is the general opinion:-

  1. Interjection, with the sentence as written?
  2. Phrase, with the sentence as written?
  3. Verb, with knock one down with a feather? (Yuk!!) - Algrif 12:25, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Sum of parts meaning exactly what it says (using exaggeration, of course, but so what?). Don't create. That said, if it is to be created, then: It can't be under knock one down with a feather, as only common use (that I know of) concerns the ability to knock, the act of knocking. Yet be able to knock someone down with a feather also seems (very) wrong. (I hate to criticize suggestions without offering one, but I haven't got one, assuming this deserves some entry.)—msh210 21:05, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
"... assuming this deserves some entry" - I know what you mean, however the problem is that you only find it as an idiomatic way of saying, I was overwhelmingly surprised. If someone who does not know that comes across it, it would be difficult to guess from the parts. Context might not always be very helpful. What happens in most examples is that it appears as a kind of interjection. So when he told me he was getting married, well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. - Algrif 13:11, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Very well.—msh210 17:09, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


From User talk:SemperBlotto:

You wrote: to bake eggs in their shells. Are you sure? A quick web search seems to disagree (although Web pages disagree with one another also). Perhaps there's more than one definition?—msh210 17:56, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Ah - The American Heritage Dictionary says "To cook (unshelled eggs) by baking until set.". Perhaps we disagree on what unshelled means: I take it to mean "not shelled", but perhaps they mean "with the shells removed"! The OED says "To poach (eggs) in cream instead of water". Feel free to modify/correct as you see fit (especially if you are American). SemperBlotto 18:03, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
    • I am American but have never seen shirred eggs, nor heard the word. I only know it from books and and from Googling it in connection with the instant discussion. Any objection if I copy-paste this discussion to the TR?—msh210 18:12, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

End of quotation from User talk:SemperBlotto.

        • By "unshelled eggs", the AHD means eggs removed from the shells. Synonyms include baked eggs and eggs en cocotte. They are similar to poached eggs. You pour the eggs into ramekins and bake at about 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes. —Stephen 00:15, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
          But you forget, then you put them on spinach, and cover with Mornay sauce. (The very first serious dish I was taught to cook. ;-) Can sometimes mean poached. Robert Ullmann 12:51, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Just an aside: the OED gives both of these meanings of "unshelled" (as the past tense and past participle of the verb "to unshell", meaning "to remove the shell(s) from", and as an adjective meaning "not shelled"). Such words are called "auto-antonyms" (or "Janus words", or "contronyms", among other names) and Wikipedia has an article on them and a list of such words. — Paul G 21:16, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I've added "unshelled" to Wikipedia's list. — Paul G 21:26, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

German prost, Swedish prosit

The etymologies in both articles are worded in a say that makes it look like two Latin words were borrowed individually into each language where a new word was then created. It seems much more likely that there was already a Latin phrase which was borrowed as a unit. — Hippietrail 02:14, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


Just about the only Latin I know is through reading etymologies in dictionaries, so I'm not up on when the various cases need to be used. I know that the nominative is used for the subject and the accusative for the object, but does this apply when the verb is "to be"? In Modern Greek it is not — the subject and object are both in the nominative when the verb is "to be", so I am wondering whether the same is true of Latin.

Specifically, I want to know how to translate the phrase "God is good" into Latin for a project I'm working on — is it "Deus est bonum" or "Deus est bonus"? Further, I believe that word order is not important in Latin because subject and object can be deduced from their declensions, but if the cases are the same, how can this be done, and does this mean that the word order must be restricted to subject, verb, object when the verb is "to be"? I ask because I would really like to be able to put "est" at the end of the sentence.

Incidentally, all of these phrases appear on the web, with "Deus est bonum" getting the most Google hits, so I would imagine that "Deus bonum est" is OK.

Thanks for any help. — Paul G 20:51, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

The sentence is grammatically correct for Latin, as you have guessed. The issue here is not whether you should use the nominative or accusative (nominative is correct), but whether you are using deus as a masculine or neuter noun. The sentence Deus bonum est. is using a neuter subject. If you are referring to the Christian deity, you want Deus bonus est. to have a masculine subject. --EncycloPetey 02:12, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that, EncycloPetey. I am referring to the Christian deity ("God") rather than any old deity ("god"), so masculine it is. — 18:15, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


As what PoS is "worth" being used in an expression like "more worth having"? DCDuring 01:31, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Probably adjective, but Ican't be certain from the incomplete example you've given. --EncycloPetey 02:08, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm guessing he means something like "Friendshipi is more worth having ___i than money [is]", i.e. roughly "If forced to choose, I'd rather have friendship than money." I agree that it's an adjective, but it's an interesting one in that it takes a directly construed nominal as an obligatory complement (as in "worth + nominal"); I can't think of any other English adjectives that do that. —RuakhTALK 02:58, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Didn't mean to be so ter. yes to above. Maybe I can think of another similar word. I was interested to correctly putting in PoS for its comparability. 15-20% of adjs. deemed comparable have proven not to be. end of. DCDuring 03:15, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
According to dictionary.com, it is a preposition, "having" being a verbal noun (or gerund, if you prefer). "Worth" is not comparable; that is, you can't put "more" in front of it, so "Friendship is more worth having than money" is not grammatically correct. You need to rephrase your sentence as either "Having friendship is worth more than having money" or "It is worth more to have friendship than to have money." — Paul G 18:30, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Hm, I hadn't read the usage notes at worth. If it is an adjective, then it should be comparable as described, but this gives the difficulties Ruakh has identified. Should we be saying it as a preposition after all? — Paul G 18:28, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I am aware that the bard is no authority on grammar, but:
  • The Winter's Tale, Page 157, 1887 ed.
    Fore your Queen died, she was more worth such gazes / Than what you look on now.
Other authors using the construction include Lord Chesterfield, Fielding, Walpole, Browning, Chesterton, Barrie, Emerson, Pound, Sherwood Anderson. I think we need to find the grammar that justifies this widespread use in many well-known works.
Fowler spends 2.5 columns on this, mostly on the need for exactly one "object", including: "The important fact is that the adjective worth requires what is most easily described as an object." He explicit mentions the non-incorrectness of using the construction with a gerund, but prefers the infinitive. DCDuring 19:11, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I can't see any reason to believe it is functioning as a preposition in any of the examples above, in part because there is no other preposition that I can find to replace it yet retain a grammatical sentence. My Webster's says that worth is a noun, adjective, and auxiliary verb. I'm not sure, but this could be an auxiliary verb usage (which actually has a separate etymology for the noun/adjective). --EncycloPetey 01:53, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Here is something old interesting in support of the notion of worth as a preposition. Also MW3 calls it a preposition and labels both of worth's adjectival senses as archaic. The Internet Grammar includes "worth" in its class of "marginal prepositions" with "minus", "granted", and a few other words derived from verbs. I have not net found any authority that deals with the awkward fact of fairly common usage of the comparative "more worth [present participle] than ....".
Judging from all this, I can see that I am unlikely to come up with any other word that is quite like "worth".
EP: I see what you mean about the auxilary verb, but it doesn't seem to have the "value" meaning and still doesn't explain the comparative. "More" doesn't seem to modify the participle, it seems to modify "worth". "worth [present participle]" seems to form an adjective without obvious restrictions on the nature of the participle. Any verb that reflects anything that consumes time or resources can be more or less "worthy". DCDuring 04:46, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
The OED is unequivocal: as well as being a noun and a verb, "worth" is an adjective, not a preposition. The OED's lexicographers know their stuff, so I think we are safe to go with their view. — Paul G 09:56, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I finally found the CGEL coverage of this issue. It's in a footnote on page 1407. Apparently, they too find no other words that function as worth does in this capacity. This is in the section on extraposition, and has the examples:
  • In discussing the future it is also worth considering the impact on Antarctica...
  • It was stupid telling my parents.
  • It was stupid to tell my parents.
The point they make is that worth is the only word in English that requires use of the gerund/participial in this construction, while other words may take an infinitive instead. The portion following worth (or stupid in the example above) is a clause/phrase functioning as the subject of the sentence. Extraposition places the subject in a somewhat unusual location, but it is still the subject of the sentence. --EncycloPetey 17:30, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
This unique construction is worth analysing without including complications like the use of "it", as in the cases CGEL provides. In the immediately preceding sentence, for example, the participle does not seem to be the subject. I'd love to find a comment on the comparative uses, too! I think someone has written an article about characterizing worthy as a preposition, but I couldn't suss out their conclusion from reading the one teaser page I had access to. DCDuring 18:16, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Not the subject? Depends on how you read it. In the sentence: "This unique construction is worth analysing", I see analysing as the subject participle, with an object of "this unique contruction", then a predicate linking verb and adjective. Extraposition puts the elements in a non-standard order. That's not the only way this could be interpreted (as you have noted another way yourself), but that's the way I would personally interpret the grammar. In any case, "worth" is uniquely weird. --EncycloPetey 02:04, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
How do you finish the analysis, then? "Analysing this unique construction is worth[X]" "Worth" still wants something. Possibilities include: "-y", "-while", " the effort", " the time", etc.. From the discussions here, I am under the impression that the old grammarian's ploy of saying that there is something "understood", but omitted, is no longer considered to be playing fair or modern or post-modern or .... Conceptually or metaphorically, the idea of worth implies a kind of balancing of labor and/or time against the value gained by the costly activity reflected in the verb. But the grammar shouldn't be so dependent on the semantic content, should it? DCDuring 02:24, 18 January 2008 (UTC)


This can have casted as a past. I figure that some meanings use cast as past, others use casted and I assume others can use either as past. How best to show this? --Keene 12:14, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I would tend to favor usage notes, although marking individual definitions is also an option. From a cursory look at b.g.c., disregarding a handful of transparent errors, casted seems to be used only where a physical cast is involved -- i.e. in medicine, metallurgy, and construction. These seem like they ought to be etymologically separate from the "throw" meanings, in which case there would be no problem, but apparently that is not the case.
BTW, note that casted is also an adjective from caste. -- Visviva 14:53, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you need:
  1. an indication on each sense line that can use the "casted" form for the past and past participle
  2. the variants in the inflection line and
  3. an explanation of anything else in the usage note.
I don't know that I have ever seen a really attractive example of how to do this and can't even remember any particular example of anything similar being done other than pluralization, which doesn't usually need (or, rather, get) the usage note. It would be a little easier if we had groupings and hierarchies of senses. DCDuring 15:25, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


Noun. "The fallen". There are two senses that I am not familiar with, but don't seem too much of a stretch semantically, but do grammatically:

  1. "the Devil". I could successfully imagine "the fallen one", but not "the fallen" for this.
  2. "an evil spirit". I can imagine this as referring to all of the evil spirits who have fallen, but not one at a time.
I think that the fallen is really "plurale tantum", but these senses have stopped me. I have added two senses for casualties, which might be combinable. DCDuring 21:01, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


I extended this a bit, but I am unsure of my wording, please someone have a look at it. H. (talk) 17:03, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Not bad, IMHO. I'm less happy with the pre-existing college athlete sense, because it happens in professional sports too and may generalize to settings beyond sports and entertainment. Using Google Books to find the range of uses can be fun. DCDuring 17:42, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Walk-on has an adjective sense too - he had a walk-on part in the movie.. --Keene 14:29, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
This reminds me of a recent part-of-speech discussion where editors were trying to determine whether these "borrowed" and "attributive use" words really became the part of speech they appeared to function as. "A walk-on part" may seem adjectival, but it really just creates a noun phrase. Try adding another adjective and you'll see what I mean. "A memorable walk-on part." You can't say "A walk-on memorable part," nor can you say "His part was both memorable and walk-on." This word is linked inseperably as part of a noun phrase. Take a lesson from German language. They would make one word out of it: "Hiz memorabl valkonpart." Final thought - my trusty old encyclopedia dictionary defines walk-on n. A performer having a very small part; also, the part. -- It seems they understand this is somehow a noun sense. (side note: See how "encyclopedia" in "trusty old encyclopedia dictionary" seems like an adjective? In this similar case, it may be easier to see how it is indeed not an adjective.) However, determining how to properly label this common type of language effectively is surely one of our current wikt-enigmas. -- Thisis0 19:05, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I think I agree with you. I am loath to create an adj PoS just to cover noun-as-adjective usage. My personal rule has been to enter the Adjective PoS if the adjectival use can be made comparative.
It doesn't have to be able to be made comparative - we have loads of uncomparable adjectives. Here walk-on behaves just like dairy. There are noun and adjectival meanings. --Keene 19:30, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, just like dairy. The phrases "dairy plant", "dairy products", and "dairy cow" have no real adjectives. "Large dairy plant", "tainted dairy products", and "black-and-white dairy cow", however, do. Just try flipping any of those words; they do not function the same. Dairy, like so many others, is listed here with adjective (and sometimes adverb) senses because that's currently the best way to make sense out of this usage. A better way is what is up for debate. -- Thisis0 20:42, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I just find that adjectival meanings for entries that also have related noun PoS very often seem to me to be derived from the noun senses. I can slice noun senses very finely, but have trouble seeing adjective senses DCDuring 19:55, 15 January 2008 (UTC).
As to the word-sequence argument, however, I am not sure that I would agree with you. We can say "pretty, red rose" much more easily than "red, pretty rose". [OK, you might say, red could be a noun.] We can say "tall, leafless tree" more easily than "leafless, tall tree" or "interesting, technical book" more easily than "technical, interesting book". That doesn't make "leafless" or "technical" nouns. DCDuring 19:23, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
You have to slow down a bit. You are arguing a preference for word order, while I am giving examples of words that seem to function as adjectives, but are not. Though a writer may have a clear preference, there is no impossibility with "leafless, tall tree" or "red, pretty rose". Red does not become part of a noun phrase in "pretty, red rose" like it does in "delicious red wine", "loud red alert", "tasty red beans and rice", and "several red blood cells". Those are examples where 'red' joins the noun phrase and is inseperably linked. Try flipping any of those; you'll see. As far as "technical", it could be either depending on context. Remains adjective: "It's an interesting, technical book." further example, adjective Becomes part of noun phrase: "That was the most interesting technical book I've ever read." further example, noun phrase -- Thisis0 20:42, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I was only addressing one clause in one sentence: your argument from word order about "memorable walk-on part" being preferred to "walk-on memorable part". You provided only two tests for the characterization of a noun-noun collocation as making a unit noun phrase. I don't buy this first as conclusive. As to the second, I have heard it used either humorously to good effect or clumsily to bad. Accordingly, the second would be the test I would run on my "ear". My analytical skills in this area aren't very good, so my "ear", research, and reference are what I need to rely on. It seems to me that you are also relying on a further analysis that seems to depend a great deal on the possible semantics of a subset of the meanings of walk-on. I am more interested in whether there are simple, reliable, arguement-stopping tests that do not depend as much on the semantics. If not, then we will have to have more tea-room discussions about specific words. DCDuring 22:40, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I understand your desire for a proper "test" or definition. When I demonstrated an inseparable word order, it wasn't meant as an "ear test" -- judging by it "sounding right" -- but rather, it's a simple demonstration of how these particular words cannot be separated from the noun like adjectives. What they truly are, instead of adjectives, are noun adjuncts, forming part of a compound noun. From Wikipedia: "While the notion of compound has been very important, clear definitions that work even within one language (much less across languages) have not been articulated. The study of compounds in English, for example, often includes expressions that are written as two words. This lack of precision and agreement has hampered the cross-linguistic study of compounds and even a good study within English." As you see, the issue needs some exposure, which I hoped to garner here by addressing it when it came up. Since it's obviously a confusing issue even for linguists, don't be frustrated as you try and grasp the subtleties.
What's funny is that walk-on is already attributive use of a verb to form a noun. And then, that precarious noun is being used as a noun adjunct in phrases like "walk-on part" or "walk-on role", dipping into what seems like adjective territory. Oh, English! All I wish to demonstrate right now is that in a case like "walk-on part", "dairy cow", "car park", or "chicken soup" these are noun adjuncts and don't work like other adjectives you could apply. -- Thisis0 23:33, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
At a practical level concerning WT entries, anything that could be done to reduce the number of pointless adjective PoS sections for nouns would be nice. Some kind of simple notation that simply mentioned that a noun could be and was used as an adjective and allowed a location for corresponding usage examples would be nice. For me the adj inflection line is warranted only if the comparative is possible. A separate adj. PoS section is certainly warranted if there is any new meaning for the adj. not present in the noun. OTOH, I have also noted that sometimes it is hard to quickly and clearly derive an adjectival sense corresponding to a noun sense. Anyway, thanks for the education. DCDuring 00:27, 16 January 2008 (UTC)


I am confused by this word. What PoS is it in all its various uses? I have entered it as an adverb. It apparently does not appear in many dictionaries despite its fairly frequent use (much in bodice-rippers, potboilers, and ripping yarns). It is very often used in questions where "Why ever" could be substituted. DCDuring 19:47, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, it's an adverb. I had always thought it should be two words; it's in the OED though, with the earliest quote being from 1891. Widsith 09:20, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. OED support always makes me feel more comfortable. Someone online had said they didn't have it. End of. DCDuring 12:58, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

hot wind



There's more that could be added to this entry - "Simple past of can" is the only definition we have - there are nuances of politeness here (i.e. "could you help me out" v. "can you help me out"), and there's no mention of its purpose as an auxiliary verb. An etymology too, maybe. s--Keene 14:20, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Moving to Talk:could. --Keene 14:33, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
(Note to self---must et my finger out and finish that appendix modal verbs that you started some while back.) OK I'll (will=promise) see what I can do in the short term. Yes. All the need to be pulled together into one big, but succinct usage appendix. My backburner project. -- Algrif 13:30, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

word usage

The butterflies loiter around the flower. Is loiter the right word? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Not wrong, but a bit peculiar. Loiter implies wasting time, being lazy....and because of the legal phrase loiter with intent, it has slightly antisocial overtones. Widsith 10:06, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
There is also the term "loiter time" used by the military, meaning the time that an aircraft can remain close to a ground target but allowing fuel for the return trip. This is closer to the quote above.--Dmol 17:11, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure it isn't the first sense that is meant in the quote. Unlike a bee that would be interpreted as busy (making honey, etc), people perceive butterflies as just lazing about. RJFJR 17:17, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

mixed countable/uncountable

Sense 2 of tolerance is countable (e.g. "tolerances stack"). How do we format this? RJFJR 16:43, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

  • See latest version - feel free to correct any other senses that are countable. SemperBlotto 16:52, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. I'll use that format when it comes up in the future now that I've seen it. RJFJR 17:15, 16 January 2008 (UTC)


craftsman is defined as "a male craftsperson". While that may be a modern use I believe that historically it could be used non-genderly (what ever the term is for applying to either gender). Even if craftsperson is now preferred by the politically correct, shouldn't we include a note that historically it could be used as a synonym for craftsperson? RJFJR 17:14, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

It certainly needs some kind of note. But can we make the note substantive? I wonder how long the use of the term craftsman to cover all practicioners of a craft was operative. Was that just a brief transition as women left the home and entered some of the crafts, but before they exercised their influence to change some language use? With the amount of attention devoted to women's studies these days, there ought to be some relevant reearch. DCDuring 18:02, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I just defined a toymaker as a "craftsman who makes toys". (Note term craftsmanship, meaning quality, is still used). I'm not sure where to get the information on historical trends. RJFJR 19:06, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
b.g.c. searches for "woman craftsman", "she was a craftsman", and so on, all pull up relevant hits, over quite a wide date range; so, I think our current definition is simply wrong. Further, "craftsman" gets many more hits than "craftsperson", so I think we should define the latter in terms of the former, not the other way 'round. —RuakhTALK 00:13, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
How have similar words borne out on WT:BP? My mum was among the first female professional firefighters in the US and there the word, "firefighter", came into common acceptance quite quickly & I saw it in children's books in the 80's. The same kind of books from the UK still showed fireman, postman, & policeman this century though. I don't think I've even heard policeman or fireman from an Australian. I'm not gonna harp on about how much PC is too much or too little but for words that are undergoing transition like Secretaries' Day -> Administrative Professionals' Day or Nigra -> Negro -> Colored -> Black -> African-American, there must be some way to show that both are accepted but one is more/less common and one is on the ascent/descent, right? B} --Thecurran 01:20, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


Hi, I would appreciate some serious wordsmiths taking a look at the entry screwed. Quite some time ago, I added a quotation that shows 1641 usage of the word by an English merchant, using the word in its sense of "in a lot of trouble" or "beset with unfortunate circumstances that seem difficult or impossible to overcome; in imminent danger." I'm not much of a wordsmith myself so I don't believe I added anything to the definitions, just the example of usage.

This sense has recently been labeled "vulgar/slang" and I am not sure that is correct. Clearly their is a common usage today that is vulgar, and I don't know if slang is also true but maybe so; not for me to say. But I don't really think that the use of the term in the 1641 quotation was either.

So my question is: is this sense of the word labelled properly? Should another sense (or two) be added? Thanks. N2e 04:05, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Is the quote still on the page? Which one is it? Can you direct me to a copy so we could get more context? DCDuring 04:37, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Assuming it was the uncited quote, I tried Google books to search for it and failed to find it. DCDuring 04:39, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for taking a look DCDuring. Yes, the quote is still on the screwed page, and it is most definitely fully cited on that page. Here it is, repeated, for your reference: "merchants are in no part of the world so screwed as in England. In Turkey, they have more encouragement." Richard Chambers (merchant), 1641. (Taylor, Hannis, The Origin and Growth of the English Constitution, part II, Houghton Mifflin:Boston, 1898, quoted in
Template:cite book)"
I have the Ekelund and Hébert book on my bookshelf for work I do in Economic History. A somewhat longer quotation, for context, would be: "The episode in question involves Charles I and his battle with Parliament over customs duties. King Charles claimed an "ancient right" to customs, but Parliament ultimately seized the exclusive power to set these duties in 1641. While Parliamenet was dissolved, the King reasserted his claim of absolute authority to levy taxes. However, merchant importers refused, in their own interests, to pay customs to the king, obeying instead Parliament's decree to refuse to pay any dutires not authorized by itself. The King retaliated by seizing the merchants' goods, whereupon several of them resisted and were brought befroe the Privy Council. Merchant Richard Chambers brazenly declared that 'merchants are in no part of the world so screwed as in England. In Turkey, they have more encouragement' (Taylor, Hannis, Origin and Growth of the English Constitution, p. 274)." (In other words, the Ekelund and Hébert book (1997) quotes secondary material from Taylor (1898) which quotes the record of the merchant Chambers' speech before the Privy Council (1641).
I do not know if I have correctly referenced all of this in the Wiktionary entry according to the proper Wiktionary style. I do believe that the 1641 very early usage of this word is, in fact, quite useful to Wiktionary entry, which is why I took the time to add it in two years ago. Cheers, N2e 17:13, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Let's not woory about the details of format too much. Your citation is a good one. It seems to reflect the sense of "putting pressure on somoeone", {"putting the (thumb-)screws to or on someone"), in this case with the Crown (screwer) doing the screwing of the merchants (screwees). I'll bet that the expression is put in the passive without the screwer being named because to accuse the Crown directly would have been an "impoliteness" that risked the further wrath of the King and his Privy Council. As a result we have an expression that reads just like our use of "screwed" as an adjective, which use requires no particular "screwer" be identified. I like the quote because it illustrates the transition of past participle and passive forms of verbs to adjectives, a fairly frequent occurence, it seems. I am a rank amateur at this, but perhaps one of the true mavens will take a look also.
I don't know when screw got the meaning of copulation. But I don't think it is derived metaphorically from this sense of screw. In any event screwed now carries the sense of "fucked", which makes it hard to use in formal settings and usually gets titters in an undergraduate class.
I'll have to see whether the Privy Council proceedings are now available on-line for the direct quote. If not yours will be fine. Wikitionarians like the sources available on-line because they can readily get more context and can verify. Thanks. DCDuring 18:16, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't know when "screw" came to mean "copulate", but I'm pretty sure swive (related to "swivel") had a copulation sense a long time ago. We currently only have that sense, but I think the original meaning was something like "turn" or "rotate", similar to "screw". Mike Dillon 03:17, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Screw=copulate goes back to at least the 18th century where it appears in some early slang dictionaries. swive has always meant copulate in Middle and modern English, though the OE source swīfan only seems to have meant "move quickly, progress". Widsith 17:30, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
As for the vulgarity - I personally would just tag this slang. It's not quite vulgar by my standards. --Keene 17:35, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the opinion on the 'vulgar' tag, Keene. That was my original question. It appears that several folks have edited the article now, and someone has removed the 'vulgar' tag from this one particular sense of the word. Furthermore, since several wordsmiths have looked it over, I will assume the 1641 quotation is now in appropriately handled as far as placemet, format, heading title, etc. N2e 19:18, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't believe that the quote supports the particular use of screwed in the modern sense, even though it reads as if it did. I would defer to the judgment of those with who have more familiarity with Early Modern English than I. DCDuring 19:28, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
On Australian public television in 2006/07, an ad not limited to late night asked if you were being screwed by your mortgage/real estate agent and was accompanied by an image of a screwdriver in action, with a human body replacing the screw. That kind of mainstream usage that I've also heard from politicians makes me believe that it is not universally vulgar. :) --Thecurran 01:04, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


Is there a word (which I'm possibly misspelling) exemplative, an adjective meaning that it makes a good example? RJFJR 21:09, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

600+ raw g.b.c. hits, but not in MW3. It looks like it means what you say. Seems often used in ref. to moral examples. DCDuring 22:37, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Try, "exemplary". It's definitely a word and it has the right connotation. :) --Thecurran 00:54, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Need help with Cherokee translation

Need some help we have a black stallion that we want to name black warrior in Cherokee hope you can help wado tee tee —This unsigned comment was added by Hawkstt (talkcontribs) at 23:31, 20 January 2008 (UTC).

gv-na-ge-i a-ya-wis-gi (the "v" is a vowel that is pronounced "uh", as in "but"). —Stephen 00:05, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Broken Skin

What is this a euphemism for; open wounds, healing wounds, freshly healed wounds, scratches, abrasions, grazes, rashes, hives, itches, eczema, bedsores, heat rashes, hives, inflamed skin, scar tissue, acne, pock marks, keloid scarring, swollen skin, puffy skin, boils, corns, warts, cold sore, leprosied skin, herpetic skin, splinters, or something else? I usually see it on bathroom products in the phrase, "Do not apply to broken skin." and I find it too ambiguous. :) --Thecurran 00:51, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I'll bet it applies to most of the things you say, but a dictionary is not a substitute for medical advice from a professional. A break in the protective membrane seems to be what they are referring to, which would exclude inflammed skin, scar tissue, swellings, rashes. But many conditions could lead to dry skin and cracking which might lead to a break in the skin or a crevice in which, say, an acidic compound could do damage, given enough time. DCDuring 01:02, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


Can somone, pls, put this in WT:GL#S or SoP? You guys aren't using the one I know and use in Australia, "Standard of Practice". I'm sure I'm not the only one confused here. I'm glad that, "PoS", made it on to PoS, because the Aussie, "POS", means, "point of sale", as in ePos like so many "e-"s or EFTPOS, which means, "electronic funds tranfer [at] POS", and is spoken in every store with any card payment facilities and even most that don't ("Sorry, no EftPOS/EFTPOS"). --Thecurran 01:45, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Sum of Parts - comes up in discussions of idiomaticity of phrases. DCDuring 02:06, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. --Thecurran 07:27, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


Is this a typo of b.g.c or a new term for WT:GL? --Thecurran 01:54, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I think I did it. It was supposed to be for Google books. mea culpa. my bad. DCDuring 02:05, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I think it's a blend of "GBS" ("Google Book Search") and "b.g.c" ("books dot google dot com"). —RuakhTALK 02:09, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


Is sense 2 really translingual? If so, is there a decent way to indicate that it's informal in English, but not necessarily in other languages? Also, is there a decent way to include English-specific derived terms (such as +ve)? —RuakhTALK 02:03, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


I am curious as to how to use word "hostage", only in singular or in plural too in such prases as "to hold smb (as a)hostage, to take smb hostage? in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary there are given examples: "Three children were taken hostage during the bank robbery"; "He was held hostage for almost a year". According to these examples, should i conclude that "hostage" can be used only in singular in this (I suppose, fixed expressions)? what does it depend on? Thank you.

I could say: "I took the hostages hostage". It is as if I were saying "I took the hostages into the state of being hostage." or "I took the hostages as hostage." The noun hostage is being used in two senses, one referring to the individual hostages, which can have a plural, another referring to the state of "hostage", which would very rarely be plural (only in some kind of rarified discussion of distinct types of being a hostage}. DCDuring 02:12, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with DCDuring, except that I think it's actually an adjective in those examples. (Compare Template:bgc, Template:bgc, etc.) I don't know why we don't list an adjective sense in our entry. —RuakhTALK 02:16, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
MW3 says that the "state of a person given or kept as pledge against performance of an agreement, demand or treaty" sense is "obsolete". But the obsolete sense is pretty close the word's meaning in the "keep/give/hold/take hostage" constructions. DCDuring 02:40, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I would interpret it as a compound verb take hostage, as separate from the noun hostage which is wholly countable. I don't recognise it as an adjective at all, in any of Ruakh's examples - though "hostage children" is attributive. Widsith 18:05, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I think take hostage merits an entry. It is a nice way to interpret it current usage, whereever it came from. DCDuring TALK 14:53, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

social work

can someone explain the difference between direct vs indirect social work prcatices ?

to me a direct approach means that you are physically managing a situation. The indirect approach, requires a more administrative or clerical effort. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).


could someone help find the meaning/translation of the word pantavila/pantavilo: a russian woman calls me this whenever we have friction in our relationship; and, she refuses to give me the real meaning/translation, instead, she tells me to look it up!



  • And it's not old English. It was written only a few decades ago.--Dmol 17:47, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Thank you soo much and please excuse the all caps. Yes it is , desiderata , and it was a gift that my father had given to my mother and she gave to me, many years ago. I never knew where it came from as far as the author, but the message is very profound. Thank you!!!


I've added Webster 1913's definition, but there seems to be another: Some academic journals' papers have the word "Oblatum" on them (in the headmatter), followed by a date. (Here's an example, but it's some 800 KB. The word appears just above the abstract on the first page.) Any idea what this is?—msh210 19:05, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Could it mean "submitted"? The publication date could be well after the date an article was completed. The springerlink protects the text of the article you suggested as an example so I can't tell whether my notion is consistent with the facts of even that article. I would expect that the date after "oblatum" would always be prior to the publication date, but rarely by more than two years, probably varying by discipline. DCDuring TALK 22:43, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't realize it wasn't accessible. The article reads:
Oblatum 20-III-2002 & 30-IX-2002
Published online: 18 December 2002
So you may well be right about its being "submitted", but I really don't know. I suspected it might mean "received", which is not the same thing. (Note that math articles, at least — though I suspect the same is true in other disciplines — get resubmitted after the referee's recommendations are taken care of. (The paper linked to above is a math paper.))—msh210 23:01, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I should have mentioned that oblatum is past participle of Latin offrere (to offer). An oblate is someone who has offered/dedicated their life to God. The only real possibilities for a publication were "dedicated" or "submitted". DCDuring TALK 23:42, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, well, then, you (or someone else who knows enough Latin) can add that L2 section, and we have a winner for the other English sense, I think. Thanks.—msh210 05:57, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
The etymologies for oblate and oblatum, referring to a flattened sphere can't be the same as for the sense having to do with offering, submission. Could they come from ob "in front" and the root verb ferro meaning carry in the sense of "pregnant"? DCDuring TALK 12:42, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I think there is some confusion here. Classical Latin oblatus is a form of the verb offero (offer) and is the source of the English oblation. But English oblate (in the sense of a flattened sphere) doesn't seem to come from this word. The OED gives it as a medieval or modern Latin coinage from ob- + lātus (broad, wide), an hence "spread(ing) out, widening out", which makes much more sense anyway. I see that this has already been corrected in the entry. --EncycloPetey 00:32, 28 January 2008 (UTC)


lap#Etymology_3: to slurp up (a liquid) as a dog. And slurp is defined as: to eat/drink (something) noisily. Is this what lap means? I thought it meant to lick something (and hence, usually, eat it). Consider

    • 2000, Robert B. Parker, Hugger Mugger, chapter 1,
      "I was at Claiborne Farms once and actually met Secretariat," I said. "He gave me a large lap."
      He smiled a painted smile. Horse people, I have noticed, are not inclined to think of horses in terms of how, or even if, they kiss.

msh210 22:15, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I would have defined it the way the entry reads, pretty much. Connected to liquids, ice cream, and, perhaps, pate and kibble. I wouldn't have gone for "lick" as a sense, although the meaning of contact from the animal's tongue in the quote is consistent with my understanding of the word. But, then, I have a dog. DCDuring TALK 22:31, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
My understanding agrees with the entry. I remember a Bible stories book I had as a kid describing a battle before which, among other things, H' instructed the men to drink water from a river, and only a small portion of the men did so by lapping up water like dogs instead of by cupping their hands and bringing water to their mouths. It definitely used the word lap. —RuakhTALK 02:42, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
But that can mean lick, no?—msh210 17:20, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I think maybe the reason it seems confusing is because it's always used with up, which could make you think that in itself it just means "lick" - because you could equally say "lick up water" or whatever. But the primary sense of lap, with or without "up", always had the sense of getting liquid into your mouth by use of your tongue. Widsith 09:50, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


I'm a little surprised that this one hasn't seen more controversy; perhaps the alternate pronunciation is regional?

I've never heard this pronounced the way the audio file currently on it, sounds. For some reason, when I saw this as a Word-of-the-day, I was shocked that we could have such a grotesque misspelling of laxsidaysical on our main page. (Then I looked it up. Ouch.) While lacksidaisical gets enough b.g.c. hits to probably merit an entry, that particular pronunciation-spelling lacks the lax prefix that I was convinced was etymologically related, somehow.

Anyone able to identify what regions the "lac" + sibilant + "idaisical" pronunciation is specific to? Furthermore, do we want the alternate spelling entered as an entry? If so, how should it be listed/described? Is the connotation with lax completely ephemeral, or is there a reference about it that I didn't find? Thanks in advance,

--Connel MacKenzie 06:03, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

It's just a mistake – a common one – based on assimilation with lax, and is not limited to any one region. This is what we call an eggcorn. Perhaps laxadaisical warrants a {{misspelling of}} entry, it's certainly common enough. Widsith 09:14, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. Yes, I did see "Common Errors in English Usage" come up on one of my searches. What I'm talking about here seems to be original research, so I hesitate to add anything about it to actual entries. Sorry if it seems like I'm suggesting new entries: I'm really not, I'd just like to satisfy my curiosity. My earlier point, is that that particular assimilation with lax has forced the proscribed pronunciation to be primary in some regions (at least where I grew up.) So my questions grow now: why is the variation proscribed? The assimilation itself is reasonable. Being descriptive do we assert only the prescribed variant, or should there be mention of the proscribed pronunciation (and if so, what description fits?) Also, is it only assimilation with lax, as I thought at first, or borne from the natural elision of the full-stopping "K-uh" transformed into a "zih" sound? About the eggcorn assertion: are you saying the "lacsidasical" pronunciation is common in the UK too? The more I look at the variants that are out there, the more my curiosity about this grows. --Connel MacKenzie 17:32, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
It's proscribed just because in prescriptive terms it's simply "wrong" and is not a real word found in any printed dictionaries. As a descriptive site though we should definitely have it - yes it's common in the UK as well. But I think a "common misspelling" entry is more appropriate than a "alternative spelling" only because if you use this in an essay or job application you wouldn't last long! Widsith 09:48, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I must admit I had never heard it any other way than "laxidaisical." It wasn't until Connel put it in the Tea Room that I noticed there was no x or ks, etc. How odd. Seems to me that it might be worthwhile to provide an alternative pronunciation within the current spelling. Atelaes 09:53, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I've always heard [ks] said but seen <ck> written. However, Template:bgc does get a number of uses on b.g.c., as do various other spellings that attempt to reflect the [ks]. —RuakhTALK 13:20, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I've heard both, but more often /k/ alone, which is what I say, too. I've only ever (as far as I recall) seen <ck>.—msh210 17:18, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


The state or quality of being being? What's that meant to mean?--Keene 15:41, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

As opposed for example to the state or quality of being doing, or doingness; also the state or quality of being nothing, or nothingness. Did this word exist in English before the first translations interpretations of Hegel, I wonder. -- Visviva 15:44, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
By all appearances, it did not. [32] It would seem that we have Stirling's Secret of Hegel to thank for this. (although it might have cropped up independently in translations of Rosmini's work.) This is basically a translation of Seiendheit, I believe (not to be confused with Seiendsein, or "being-a-being"). In the Hegelian system this has a particular significance related to the emergence of being-there from the interaction of being and not-being; not sure how best to express that in a definition though. -- Visviva 15:54, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


wingspan is listed as uncountable. Is it sometimes countable as wingspans? RJFJR 17:00, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I'd think so, e.g. "I was comparing the wingspans of the two planes" sounds right to me --Keene 17:02, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Adding {{context|usually in singular}} seems reasonable. --Connel MacKenzie 17:35, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Any Surfers out there who know surf jargon?

{{}}Hello I wish to add a word to the wiktionary: bitchen. It is a surf term meaning really neat, groovey, outtasite etc. It is the ultimate in desireable............

I think it's spelled bitchin', which we should have, agreed. We do have bitching, note.—msh210 21:06, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
We have a few surfing terms and wouldn't mind a few more. Put in any suggestions here (for now) and in Requested entries. DCDuring TALK 21:17, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Even better, put what you know into Appendix:Glossary_of_surfing_terms. There are some 200-300 terms in there. Most of them are already in the main dictionary and most (not all) of what we have is in there. Bitchin/bitchen/bitchin's/bitching isn't in there because it is not, strictly speaking, about surfing and is used by a larger subculture. DCDuring TALK 15:28, 26 January 2008 (UTC)


See the talk page.—msh210 21:21, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Now fixed.—msh210 17:23, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

In contrast to / By contrast

Can someone explain the difference in usage between 'by contrast' and 'in contrast'. In past I have used 'In contrast, we assumed ... ' or 'In contrast to our assumption...' (not necessarily to mean the same thing). A search of Wiktionary past archives only turns up the expression 'by contrast' once.

What is heat resistance certificate of copper busbar ?

what is heat resistance certificate of copper busbar ? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

You'd probably have better luck at Wikipedia with such a question, for example here. This is a dictionary. Atelaes 08:34, 26 January 2008 (UTC)


Is it possible to create an entry at "Ka" (without using the <sub>a</sub> formatting, that is)? This is a scientific symbol used to denote an acid dissociation constant, and should have an entry if that is technically possible. Cheers! bd2412 T 08:57, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

You could use the Unicode character for subscript-a, viz. . (does that display correctly in your browser? mine neither.) But an entry at Ka with an appropriate note might be more suitable (and searchable). -- Visviva 10:32, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm. Searchability is a good point. I'll do that. bd2412 T 10:34, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
We do have the entry Ka with that sense. It is typeable, searchable and simple;.however, it might deserve a usage note about often being Ka. RJFJR 14:55, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I just checked and it's at Ka but the headword beneath the part of speech is written as Ka. Might still warrant a note saying this since it can be overlooked (I did). RJFJR 14:57, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
That's because bd2412 just created it. :-)   I've now added the usage note. —RuakhTALK 16:48, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Of interest may be T2.—msh210 17:11, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, but I'm not a Schwarzenegger fan. DAVilla 01:22, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


I would very much like to discuss this word. On the page, I have written the various forms which have come up as translations in dictionaries on GoogleBooks. But they are still translations to be checked - I don't know if this word has died in any of those languages. To what extent is this exactly the same as block and tackle? I'm also confused because interwikis on wikipedia take you to all sorts of different pages, obviously a lot of languages express this machine in different ways. If anybody has any information or can check the translations, that would be appreciated. Harris Morgan 00:17, 28 January 2008 (UTC).


Todays' word is skedaddle. I didn't knot that one. However, I think I have heard an American-English word, or interjection rather, which has a similar sound. I tried to google skiddlydoo but got just a handful of hits. Google suggested I try skullydoo instead. Are there any Americans who can tell me what my word is? __meco 10:26, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Possibly w:23 skidoo? -- Visviva 14:26, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Or w:skidamarink?—msh210 17:09, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
I think we are in the general ballpark, but I hope we can get a bit closer still. __meco 19:29, 28 January 2008 (UTC)


The only definition given (English noun) is: "A belief in the importance of the power of the state over an individual, used to describe more extreme views." I'm okay with the first part of the definition, but am unsure about the correctness of the last part. As I see the word used in the social science literature (principally economics and sociology), I don't find it implying extreme views. In other words, I think it definitely has a use in vernacular English today of implying only "A belief in the importance of the power of the state over an individual." -- with no sense of the extreme-ness of the view. N2e 19:17, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Maybe put the "extreme views" bit under "Usage notes" with "sometimes used to ..." I would have trouble proving such usage, but I've heard it. Putting an "-ism" on something is a little like putting "scare quotes" around it. DCDuring TALK 19:40, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
On a side note, shouldn't Category:English nouns ending in -ism be at Category:English nouns ending in "-ism" for the sake of consistency? bd2412 T 19:49, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, I have always called this étatisme. Widsith 15:12, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I edited the page along the lines of the discussion above, and added a comment to the talk page. Feel free to look it over, modify, and/or remove the rft if appropriate. I don't know what the culture is for leaving the rft on a word for a certain amount of time, or not. N2e 14:39, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

information search

Looking for information and location of BUSCHOLT GERMANY

Try an atlas or maps website. Maybe a Gazetteer. You are currently on a dictionary website, which is not a good place to look for this information. --EncycloPetey 02:01, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

E. & O. E

E. & O. E? I'm looking for the terminology "E. & O. E." mention in International Commercial Invoices. I tried looking for it but could not find anything helpful. Can anyone help me get to the right source of information. —This unsigned comment was added by Shootingstar77 (talkcontribs).

If you could add a bit of context, it may help. Atelaes 05:54, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
  • It means "exceptions (or errors) and omissions excluded (or excepted)" and is normally written E&OE. SemperBlotto 12:03, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

be successful

I'm hesitating about making this entry. Reasons for: translation is difficult. In Spanish it would be a verb form tener exito or dar resultado. Other languages the same? OTOH it would be just SoP in English, wouldn't it? Comments please. -- Algrif 11:50, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Isn't "to be successful" just the same as "to succeed"? I would translate the Italian riuscire as either just as well. SemperBlotto 12:01, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't "be successful" refer more to a durable state than succeed does? It does seem very SoP to me in English, but many distinctions elude me. What are you trying to capture by entering it? DCDuring TALK 12:18, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
It's possibly more than SoP because by default it means more than having success in a particular area, it means having success in life. But then, succeed can mean that too, so I'm not really supporting its creation.
Looking at translations isn't going to tell you whether an expression is idiomatic though. Tener exito is also SoP, just like tener calor, which failed an RFD. There's the same problem with tener hambre = be hungry. Could this be handled with usage notes on both the English and the Spanish side? DAVilla 00:58, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
That's why I brought it here first. OK I think usage notes is probably the best way to go with this one. Thanks. -- Algrif 12:34, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Proper nouns following articles

Is there a word that describes proper nouns that follow articles, e.g. the United Kingdom (I live in the United Kingdom v. I live in United Kingdom); United Arab Emirates; Golden Gate Bridge; Soviet Union; White House. Forgive me if this discussion's arisen before. --Keene 17:35, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

United Kingdon and United Arab Emirates and Soviet Union take the because they are plural or collective. Every proper noun that's plural or collective does so; another is Netherlands. Certain other proper nouns do, too, such as Ukraine (dated), Congo (dated), Sudan (dated), all oceans, and many (all?) rivers. This topic comes up periodically on the Usenet newsgroup alt.usage.english, which you can search at Google Groups; here's one sample thread on this topic and here's another post (whose thread you might also wish to check out).—msh210 18:33, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I should note that as a general rule, AUE is a good resource for questions on English usage. It's populated by users of English, not (for the most part) linguists, though some have some training. Google Groups makes its archives accessible.—msh210 18:30, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Don't most nouns require an article? I play "a" cello or "the" cello, not so much "I play cello". I mean, you can say it, but it's less literate. bd2412 T 21:14, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Sure, but that's not true for proper nouns. While on my boat, Secretariat, on Lake Superior, I spoke to John about going to New York to see Gracie Mansion.msh210 22:33, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I believe the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language calls these “weak” proper nouns (as opposed to “strong” proper nouns, which can stand alone), but I don't know if that's widespread usage. If you want to be fancy, I suppose you could describe them as “arthrous”. :-) —RuakhTALK 00:31, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

walk into

I'm a teacher of English (but not native speaker) and I can't solve this question: Two people collide in the street and we say: "Tom walked into that teenager". Or we could say "That teenager walked into Tom", but is it possible for both to walk into one another? What verb should we use instead? : Bumped into? Ran into? Thanks —This comment was unsigned.

I would say "Tom and the teenager bumped into each other." However, this could mean "met" rather than "collided". SemperBlotto 22:50, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
"Walk into" = collide; "bumped into" and "ran into" imply accidental meeting. Ignore the impossible geometry. We could actually say "Jack and Jill walked into each other", implying that the collision was not Jack's fault more than Jill's. DCDuring TALK 22:56, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Is this a phrasal verb? DAVilla 00:47, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is. Added. -- Algrif 12:44, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Dutch courage pejorative

Following the comment at Talk:Dutch courage, can this be pejorative - I had always assumed not, but then again there are those who can find anything derogatory. Conrad.Irwin 00:45, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Almost any of the ethnic/racial/religious/gender/sex-pref/hair-color/nationalisty/disability-based labels of supposed behavior or attibutes could be viewed as insulting and are sometimes intended that way. Maybe we need boilerplate language for Usage notes that could be modified to suit individual entries. I think the term "pejorative" means that the sense labelled is insulting to the person addressed or described. If so, that tag doesn't do the job. DCDuring TALK 03:04, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Created {{offensive to}} and took it for a test drive in Dutch courage#Usage notes. Improvements welcome. -- Visviva 07:24, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
It's a good idea, but I wonder what proportion of "offensive-to" terms fall into the "may be considered" category instead of the "is sometimes considered" or "is often considered" or "is usually considered" or "used to be considered" categories? "May be considered" is probably a good default, but maybe it would be nice to support other values? —RuakhTALK 13:07, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
You're saying add another parameter that takes value of (-,sometimes (default), often, usually, formerly) and generates a smooth sentence. DCDuring TALK 14:56, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I had more elaborate thoughts in mind, but what you've done is better for entries. Perhaps it would be nice if we had a link to some WP article or WT entry or appendix on the subject of offensive language, that helps folks intellectualize the perceived insult, understand WT's descriptiveness, see that it might be jocularly intended, etc. Actually, I doubt that an ordinary WT entry is good enough. I think it needs a paragraph (or more). I'll search later. Does anyone know of such material? DCDuring TALK 13:18, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
If this is even necessary, which I'm hesitant to agree with, might I suggest a simpler form than the present? Anything more than the following could be written out afterwards:
{{offensive to}} {{offensive to|}} {{offensive to|-}}
This term may be considered offensive.
{{offensive to|...}}
This term is considered offensive to ....
An additional option of offendee= is not a parameter that would see use elsewhere, so is somewhat superfluous. DAVilla 16:08, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, the "offendee" parameter can certainly be dropped (I can't think of any reason this would need to take advantage of MediaWiki's differences in handling numbered vs. named params, I've just gotten in the habit of allowing for both). But I think the primary application of this is to words which may specifically be considered offensive to someone other than the person actually described or addressed; more ordinary cases are already handled by {{pejorative}}, {{vulgar}}, et al. Because of this I don't see much use for a version which does not specify the offendee in some way. -- Visviva 17:09, 31 January 2008 (UTC)



What is the possessive form of "Mother-in-Law?"

Is it "Mother's-in-Law" or "Mother-in-Law's?" —This unsigned comment was added by FolkExplorer (talkcontribs) at 19:42, 29 January 2008.

The latter: mother-in-law's. Atelaes 01:44, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
English nouns don't really have possessive forms; instead, we just tack -'s onto the end of the phrases they head. —RuakhTALK 01:55, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


On this page: http://linguistlist.org/issues/18/18-3770.html, the word ‘resolve’ is used as a noun. Could someone please add the noun sense, with the appropriate quote? H. (talk) 10:52, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Good catch. I added "# Determination, will power." RJFJR 12:06, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

February 2008

Roman a clef

How is this phrase pronounced? It appears to be a style employed by Hugo, among others. Are there well known examples of this style in English writings? —This unsigned comment was added by Kare (talkcontribs) at 03:17, 1 February 2008 (UTC).

In French, it's spelled roman à clef and pronounced /rɔmɑ̃ a kle/ (that's an IPA representation of the pronunciation); I've never heard it in English, but I'd assume it's pronounced roughly "roe-MAHN ah CLAY". As for your second question, you've come to the wrong place: this is a dictionary. You might fare better at our sister project Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. —RuakhTALK 11:55, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

right of way

Template:bgc disagrees with our current definition for sense #1, but I don't know quite how to phrase it properly. —RuakhTALK 12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

It should say something like "the right of one user of a road, path etc. to temporarily halt the passage of another during his own use of it". (It's used on golf courses as well as the public highway) SemperBlotto 12:39, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Do the air and marine worlds use this term this way also? Does the word "priority" help? DCDuring TALK 14:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
They do; I added an illustrative cite for this. Think the definition is a bit clearer now, but still not quite ideal. -- Visviva 16:02, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
If perhaps not ideal, certainly excellent. DCDuring TALK 16:21, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Since we're having tea here anyway, does anyone have thoughts on whether the sense "land on which a right of way exists" is meaningfully distinct from the sense "area cleared and modified for passage, such as for a railway or canal"? For example, when we read that two people "crept along the subway right-of-way with their weapons drawn," ([33], self-published but never mind that) does this really mean that they crept "along the area on which a subway right of way had been designated"? Or is the roadway/railway/canalway sense distinct? I keep disagreeing with myself on this one, need an outside opinion. :-) -- Visviva 17:05, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Your case involves action in the world outside conference rooms and courtrooms, which warrants a sense. The physical and legal senses overlap, but are distinct, even in the properties referred to. From my knowledge of railroad history, there are numerous cases of "rights-of-way" being obtained (legal sense) (including by outright purchase, option, easement, and all the other means of devise that lawyers have devised) without there being any physical modification or use of it for an actual railroad. In any event there is a transition period and the courts sometimes don't care about the physical modification bit. I wonder whether the two legal senses should be combined into one that includes implicitly all possible means of acquiring sufficient rights. Finally, "The [old] right of way was completely overgrown before the County built the bikepath." illustrates that there may be no remaining "clearance", no remaining legal right of way and still the word could be used, though I wouldn't think we need a sense for that. DCDuring TALK 17:36, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


What are these things called in English? Referrring to the strips of material hanging by the window. shutters?--Keene 13:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

In the U.S., blinds or window blinds, or more specifically, vertical blinds or track blinds. Dunno about usage elsewhere. —RuakhTALK 13:47, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


apheticism - what does it mean? I first ran across it in the article for twit: 'Originally twite, an apheticism of atwite.' When I googled it, there were a few other Wiki pages where it had been used, but I can't find a definition anywhere. I also tried my Oxford Dictionary, but no luck. I would guess it means something like 'a gradual corruption of a word', but does anyone know more? Thanks. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 13:51, 1 February 2008 (UTC).

Presumably it's an erroneous or rare variant of aphesis. —RuakhTALK 14:26, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


ecdysiast (today's WOTD) is currently defined as "An erotic dancer who removes their clothes as a form of entertainment; a stripper. " The problem is that "An...who" is singular but "their" is plural. Should "their" be changed to "his or her" (or is there a better way of recasting this sentence?) RJFJR 13:52, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

See their (pronoun, sense 2). Is used in singular for a person of unknown gender. Yes it sounds a bit odd, but is standard usage. Robert Ullmann 14:35, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. It's certainly acceptable at many levels of discourse to the extent of barely being noticed. WT's own English seems to me to migrate toward a style that is sometimes almost formal, sometimes academic, or more often comparable to the "better" newspapers and the newsweeklies like Time. What would they do? (hard to research on Google, though) The desire to be brief and avoid diverting people's attention from what they are looking for would argue (weakly) against "his or her". Perhaps we can think of an alternative working in our copious free time. DCDuring TALK 14:56, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I didn't really like "his or her" but felt we should aspire to ecellence in grammar as well as vocabulary. How about "An erotic dancer who undresses as a form of entertainment; a stripper." That avoids the whole problem (but undresses may introduce slight differences of meaning). RJFJR 17:52, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Agree that "their" is awful and should be shot on sight; not all usages that merit inclusion are suitable to be followed. I also agree that "his or her" is not ideal, but don't see any alternative... "undresses" by itself leaves the reader in doubt as to who is being undressed. -- Visviva 15:10, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps surpisingly, The Chicago Manual of Style appears to be silent on this issue. --EncycloPetey 05:23, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps we could put the definition under ecdysiasts and make ecdysiast "singular form of ecdysiasts". &;)) DCDuring TALK 16:52, 2 February 2008 (UTC)


Do we have a word for "to remove pips from a fruit"? depip/unpip maybe? --Keene 14:10, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

For a stone fruit: pit (verb). For others: seed (verb) remove seeds from; a sense we don't have but should. Robert Ullmann 14:29, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
The second sense is deseed according to the OED. SemperBlotto 17:10, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

go, get or come out of tune

Hello, I am a french contributor to the french Wiktionary. I rod in your page out of tune : the violin go out of tune .... I know one can say also to get ... or to come and I would like to know if there is a best practice. A first check on internet did not really help me making up my mind. Could anybody tell me if one form is better than the other ? Thanks in advance, Eric Rogliano

I would always say "it goes out of tune" - Though, possibly things can also "become out of tune". Hope that helps Conrad.Irwin 19:25, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
The actual quote he was citing was "Violins go out of tune" (They go out of tune). RJFJR 20:59, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

"The violin is getting/going out of tune" seem OK. "The violin is out of tune". "The violin is coming out of tune" doesn't sound right at all. "The violin is becoming out of tune" also seems OK, but somehow doesn't seem as good, though I can't say why. DCDuring TALK 04:49, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Nonstandard "i"?

Can anyone post a nonstandard "i"? See User Talk:Language Lover/nonstandard digits to see what I mean. Language Lover 04:31, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

There are some nonstandard "i" characters in the math-related Unicode blocks, but they all have very specific font-requirements and they're in the extended Unicode range (SMP) and have very limited font support. This search finds a lot of them, mostly in the "Mathematical Alphanumeric Symbols" block. Mike Dillon 03:37, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Here's another search for the same.msh210 17:45, 4 February 2008 (UTC)


Does the word aphetize exist, at the level necessary for Wiktionary inclusion? I came to the annoying conclusion that it does not, based on b.g.c. hits; however, aphetized certainly does. It appears that it may have an OED entry, however. What would be the optimal way for us to cover this sort of lexicographical singularity? Or are the necessary citations lurking out there somewhere? -- Visviva 08:05, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

No help yet with the cites, but MW3 also has an entry for "aphetize". DCDuring TALK 12:22, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
One cite is available on b.g.c. for "aphetise". DCDuring TALK 12:30, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
All I can see is a dictionary of anagrams and something in German. -- Visviva 01:28, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, thought I saw something more menaingful. My mind must have played a trick on me. wishful thinking DCDuring TALK 01:46, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
The OED does have an entry for aphetize, but its quotations both use the -ed form (one in an ordinary eventive passive construction, and one as a modifier for a following noun, either as a reduced resultative passive, or as a participial adjective). —RuakhTALK 00:26, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmm... well, this is annoying. I mean, this isn't a defective verb in the usual sense; someone could come along and use "aphetizing" in a sentence tomorrow and no one would think twice about it. But because it is so infrequently used, only one form is actually attested. On top of this, it seems that story of this term's entry into the OED might be interesting fodder for a "Dictionary notes" section. So are we better off compromising our principles by having an entry at aphetize (and aphetise), or compromising our comprehensiveness by having none? It's a pity Goedel wasn't a lexicographer... -- Visviva 14:50, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I had a related experience with spectacled. The problem also seems to come up more in the heavily inflected historical languages where there are plenty of unattested forms including the ones usually considered the lemma forms. To a lesser extent the problem even comes up in English for rare plurals, rare comparatives, and, especially, rare superlatives. I would argue for formalizing weaker attestation for inflected forms. Unattested lemma forms are a little tougher, but if past and present participles are attested in English, you would think that should make it much easier to buy off on the infinitive and 3rd p sing. Also, you would think that alternative spellings (UK and US; hyphenated, spaced, and unspaced; u.c. and l.c.) would provide evidence about inflected forms. Unfortunately, none of the generalized rule easings I have in mind would help "aphetize/ise" because there seems to be no use of the infinitive or 3rd p singular or present participle in the convenient media accepted for attestation. That makes it seem more like "spectacled". DCDuring TALK 15:23, 5 February 2008 (UTC)


give me a word which means a person is interested in a particular field —This unsigned comment was added by Sahaana (talkcontribs).

    • example: "He’s a history buff." (note, I'd take it to imply an ameteur in the field of interest) RJFJR 16:41, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

past of belay

Is the past of belay belaid or belayed? RJFJR 04:30, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

"belayed" "rope" gets 10 times the hits of "belaid" "rope" on b.g.c. DCDuring TALK 11:22, 5 February 2008 (UTC)