Wiktionary:Tea room

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Archived revision by DCDuring (Talk | contribs) as of 15:23, 5 February 2008.

Jump to: navigation, search

Wiktionary > Discussion rooms > Tea room

WT:TR redirects here. For Translation requests, see Wiktionary:Translation requests. For guidelines on translations, see Wiktionary:Translations
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

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

Oldest tagged RFTs


May 2015

Pronunciation of Latin words using "SC" such as "scisco"

SC = [ʃ] pronounced “sh” before ae, oe, e, i or y, and [sk] elsewhere

Many of the "SC" words mistakingly show "SK" in the pronunciation.

Interestingly, a word such as "scisco" uses both pronunciations because "SC" occurs at the beginning before an [i] and then "SC" occurs before an [o]

So, when you say "scisco" it is pronounced "SHE-SKO" —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 08:34, 1 May 2015‎ (UTC).

This is an Ecclesiastical pronunciation. Classically <sc> was always pronounced /sk/. ObsequiousNewt (εἴρηκα|πεποίηκα) 13:58, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
The problem with Latin pronunciation is that pronunciation changes over time, and Latin has been spoken for at least a couple thousand years. As ObsequiousNewt says, during the Classical period, when Latin was a major living language with lots of native first-language speakers, the c in sc was always a k sound. I'm sure there was variation even then, but that seems to have been the standard. Since then, the pronunciation has changed differently in different regions. Wikipedia has several entire articles on this issue, but see w:Latin regional pronunciation for a nice table showing many of the differences. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:45, 1 May 2015 (UTC)


Is there anyone here who's good at Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform and who can add the missing Akkadian terms to Γελλώ#Etymology? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:25, 1 May 2015 (UTC)


"the nationalist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries recruited cadres of hacks to write potted histories of their nations' timeless values and glorious pasts". p. 641 "The Better Angels of Our Nature" by Steven Pinker —This unsigned comment was added by Paulcbry (talkcontribs) at 10:58, 2 May 2015‎.

@Paulcbry: The Oxford English Dictionary entry “potted, adj.¹” (third edition, December 2006), under sense 3.a., has “Of a piece of information, work of literature, historical or descriptive account, etc.: put into a short and easily assimilable form; condensed, summarized, abridged.”, which seems to fit Pinker’s use here. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 12:21, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Some dictionaries have a similar, but pejorative sense: "superficial"
AHD has seven senses vs our one:
  1. a. Placed in a pot: potted candles.
    b. Grown in a pot: potted plants.
  2. Preserved in a pot, can, or jar: potted meat.
  3. (informal) Presenting information in a simplified or abridged form: a potted history of Britain.
  4. Recorded or taped for repeated use: potted music.
  5. Unoriginal or hackneyed: potted prose.
  6. {slang) Drunk or intoxicated.
I suppose senses 1a, 1b, and 2 are really in out verb PoS, defined at pot#Verb. DCDuring TALK 19:01, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Yes, I suppose the AHD's sense 5 is the most likely, on re-examination, especially given the "cadres of hacks" bit. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:34, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

"tjod" in Norwegian, Is it dated, archaic or obsolete or is the current entry correct?

I looked for the word "tjod" on major Norweigan websites but I did not find anything, the Norwegian Wikipedia has no article on it (could redirect to folkeslag or something).

I might be wrong but does the word belong to any of the qualifiers above (dated, archaic or obsolete)? —This unsigned comment was added by Dreysman (talkcontribs) at 14:13, 2 May 2015.

I don't speak Norwegian, but I notice that this dictionary seems to mark it as Nynorsk. If so, it could be current in Nynorsk but obsolete (or something else) in Bokmål. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:20, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

שַׁבָּת Talmudic Hebrew

Can we find an example of שַׁבָּת meaning "week" in the Talmud? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 14:21, 2 May 2015.


The pronunciation given is the one provided by Duden and hence official for Germany. But for the reality of the language, my gut feeling is that every German would consider it wrong. I just wanted to ask if anyone has ever heard it said like that at all (by native speakers). _Korn (talk) 16:17, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

I wouldn't say it's wrong because there is no unique German pronounciation, although the second z is commonly pronounced like a voiced s in colloquial speech. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 22:49, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Don't know. I don't often say this word. But yeah [litsɛnˈziːʁən] is more common. (I might even have written it out as lizensieren, maybe.) We should add that as an alternative pronunciation. Kolmiel (talk) 23:11, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd be willing to go as far as inserting it as the sole pronunciation and putting the official one into a usage note. I was absolutely baffled to find out that it's not spelled 'lizensieren'. _Korn (talk) 12:36, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

computer programme

This is described as a British alternative spelling. Can I say (as a British (ex-) computer programmer) that I think it is a misspelling. Is there any evidence one way or another? SemperBlotto (talk) 06:39, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

It's got about the frequency ratio of 10 in Google Ngram Viewer, British corpus, (computer programme*10),computer program. That does not suggest misspelling but rather rare alternative spelling to me. I think {{rare form of}} could be used. The current markup is positively misleading since it suggests that the form is the British mainstream form. I encourage you to place {{rare form of}} to the entry; I would do it myself, but I actually hate revert wars. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:23, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
My instincts are in accord with SemperBlotto's here. I think I read somewhere that, in British English, standard usage is "computer program", but "television programme", "academic programme", etc. (basically, the computing sense is spelt program and every other sense is spelt programme). The most recent ratio of computer program:computer programme is 0.0000823434%:0.0000042311% or about 19½:1; however, Dan Polansky's Ngram shows use of computer programme peaking in 1971 and then declining sharply after 1978, whereas use of computer program peaked in 1986 and thereafter similarly declined. My thinking is that use of program in the computing sense continued to predominate over such use of programme thereafter, too, but that it became less and less necessary over time to include the computer qualifier, owing to increasing public familiarity with computers in general. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:31, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Don't forget my search multipled "programme" by factor 10. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:24, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
@Dan Polansky: No confusion on my part. You had the overall ratio at 10:1; I just had the most recent ratio a ~19½:1. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:29, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps we should use the context label "dated" here. I certainly agree with the above statements that we Brits use programme in non-computing contexts, and that the two-word form is dying out. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:51, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Here is a search in which I removed the 10 multiplier and narrowed it down to 1950-2000, still in British corpus. In this report, we can see the only period through which "computer programme" outperformed "computer program": shortly around 1960. To me, "rare" seems to be the best qualifier, better than "dated". I might have confused you by using the 10 multiplier in the previous GNV report. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:24, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
The Computer Programme was actually the punning title of a 1980s British TV show about home computing. AFAIK, it is a perfectly acceptable, though less common and dated, form. Chambers Dictionary agrees. Equinox 19:23, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
But as you said, it was a pun; spelling "programme" was probably used to ambiguously mean the show itself, hence TV programme, right? --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:32, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Then why does Chambers say it's valid? Anyway, puns can use the same spelling: "Mary Rose sat on a pin; Mary rose". Equinox 19:33, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
The spelling is valid, for sure, and plentifully attested, but rather rare per the above corpus evidence. It's not a misspelling by my lights. The current markup is "(British) Alternative form of computer program", and that looks like it is the British variant of a U.S. spelling, which is positively misleading, IMHO, since the overwhelmingly used British variant is identical to the U.S. variant. I have now placed "rare form of" to the entry; how does that look? --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:48, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
The OED (3rd ed., June 2007) entry “programme | program, n.” has, directly underneath the etymology section, “The more common earlier (and predominantly Scottish) form program was retained by Scott, Carlyle, Hamilton, and others, even after the borrowing of senses directly from French in the late 18th cent. and early 19th cent.; it conforms to the usual English representation of Greek -γραμμα, in e.g. [anagram, cryptogram, diagram, telegram,] etc. The influence of French programme led to the predominance of this spelling in the 19th cent. The forms programme and program have since become established as the standard British and U.S. spellings respectively, with the exception that program is usual everywhere in senses relating to computing.” — I.S.M.E.T.A. 19:48, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
{{form of|rare form or misspelling|computer program|lang=en}}. There's simply no line you can draw in this case (any many other cases) between a common misspelling and a less common alternative form. I quite like misspelling for this one though. Renard Migrant (talk) 09:49, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
@Renard Migrant: I agree with your solution. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:51, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Thai readings of พิพิธภัณฑ์ and พิพิธภัณฑสถาน

How are Thai words for "museum" -พิพิธภัณฑ์ and พิพิธภัณฑสถาน pronounced? Various dictionaries either transliterate the "ภั" portion or skip it. Using Thai2English transliteration scheme, is it "pí-pít-pan" or "pí-pít--pan" or both readings are possible? Will the rule be also applicable to พิพิธภัณฑสถาน as well "pí-pít-(tá-)pan-tót-sà-tăan"? Calling @Stephen G. Brown for assistance, please. There seems to be no consistency in dictionaries and textbooks about this word (and others) and textbooks don't mention this irregularity - possibly silent ภั (tá). (I am getting much more comfortable with the Thai script but there are some cases that baffle me and I have no fluency as for the tones but it's available in dictionaries and textbooks, so I rely on them). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:13, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

พิพิธภัณฑ์ is pronounced pí’píttápan. ภั is not the problem...it is pronounced pa. The problem is whether has a vowel. In fact, it does. Apparently some dictionaries use a transliteration program such as Lua to guess at transliterations, and the guesses are often incorrect. If you write the word in phonetic Thai, it is พิ-พิด-ทะ-พัน (pí’-pít-tá-pan).
พิพิธภัณฑสถาน is พิ-พิด-ทะ-พัน-ทะ-สะ-ถาน (pí’-pít-tá-pan-tá-sà-tăan, or pípíttápantásàtăan). Note: the vowel ◌ั is an a. If the ◌ั were not written over the , it would be pronounced po. You don’t need the hyphens. The hyphens only show the end/beginning of individual letters. The hyphens do not mean anything in regard to pronunciation or meaning. —Stephen (Talk) 09:07, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Stephen! Oops, sorry for the confusion, I have incorrectly broken up the syllables and consonants. So, this is a case when an unwritten vowel is in the middle of a word - I've seen cases when two such syllables occur in a row but it's kind of predictable because there is a limited set of syllable onsets. There is also a word พิพิธ (pí-pít) "various" where is the final and is pronounced as clipped "t" and พิพิธภัณฑ์ can be misread as พิพิธ + ภัณฑ์ (pí-pít pan) - "various products/items". It seems, one just need to know how to read this word, because ธ can be a final, not a syllable with an unwritten vowel. Here it's unpredictable, isn't it?
I prefer hyphens because they help breaking up (usually meaningful) syllables and is quite common - thai2english.com uses hyphens, thai-language.com uses spaces. Thai script being so complicated, any simplification just makes it easier to read and understand. Don't you think? BTW, our Burmese transliteration uses solid forms, Lao - uses spaces between syllables. I find the latter easier, besides, Lao is close to Thai.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:02, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it is unpredictable. It’s probable that some transliteration programs use a Thai spellchecker to determine the words, and since พิพิธ (pípít) can be a separate word, it makes this mistake.
And yes, it is common to see hyphens used, because of the Thai tradition of using hyphens to mark syllables in phonemic/phonetic Thai. It’s like the English habit of using the period for the same purpose: pro.nun.ci.a.tion. English uses the period instead of the hyphen because there are a lot of words that are spelled with a hyphen (quick-thinking). But the separation of Thai syllables with hyphens is not meaningful, it is merely a Thai habit that indicates phonetic spelling. Breaking Thai up with a lot of hyphens is the same as breaking up Japanese, Arabic, or Russian transliterations with hyphens. Arabic: mu-nā-ẓa-rat al-ḥu-rūf al-ʻa-ra-bī-yah. Japanese: ju-n-i-chi-ro-u. Russian: So-yuz So-vet-skikh So-tsi-a-li-sti-che-skikh Res-pu-blik. It is actually much easier to read transliterated Arabic, Japanese, Russian, and Thai without the hyphens. Arabic: munāẓarat al-ḥurūf al-ʻarabīyah. Japanese: Jun’ichirō. Russian: Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik. Thai: pípíttápan.
The problem with using spaces between syllables, as Lao transliteration does, is that you cannot know which syllables go together to make a word. It is not helpful. Spaces should be used in transliteration to delimit words, and hyphens should be used to show a connection between tightly bound words, as in Arabic al-ḥurūf, or English ping-pong. But regular words should not be broken up by hyphens (I’m only talking about Romanizations for English speakers. Using hyphens for phonetic Thai (พิ-พิด-ทะ-พัน) is helpful to Thai speakers because it marks the text as a phonetic spelling...without the hyphens, Thai speakers would be confused by พิพิดทะพัน, which appears to be a regular word). —Stephen (Talk) 10:48, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
It's a pity you don't like hyphens in Thai. Now I got used to them. While I see your point I consider Thai a mostly monosyllabic language (while Chinese lects are more so but standard pinyin doesn't use hyphens extensively). Perhaps, it's just because I'm less confident with Thai and there are so many romanisations, I chose the one I feel more comfortable with. My pocket dictionary - Benjawan Poomsan Becker uses hyphens too. Only one book I have uses solid spellings as you suggested - "Colloquial Thai" but it's mostly in romanised Thai - good for learning pronunciation but not enough exposure to the script. I might switch to your recommended method of romanisation (no hyphens), we have a mess with the romanisation of Thai, anyway and I am not sure how much Thai content I'm going to add yet. :) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:30, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I can see how the use of hyphens might make someone feel that Thai is monosyllabic. To me, Thai is polysyllabic. —Stephen (Talk) 12:18, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
I meant the core native Thai vocabulary with distinct meanings. Of course modern Thai has lots of compound words and layers of borrowings from Sanskrit, English, etc. Even Chinese and Vietnamese are no longer monosyllabic but it still makes sense to break up the majority of native words into meaningful syllables. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:36, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown I forgot to mention that there could be problems with the transliteration of words like มะพร้าว (má-práao) without the hyphen. "mápráao" would make it unclear if "p" (also is the final or a part of the consonant cluster - two different pronunciations. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:21, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, yes, of course. In words such as that, a hyphen is useful. —Stephen (Talk) 14:30, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

@Stephen G. Brown Another question, please. Is it just a traditional spelling letter in อยู่ (yòo) or a rule I have missed? Letter is always silent at the beginning of a syllable but there should be a vowel after it but here, it makes no difference. Just "ยู่" would have the same pronunciation and would be a correct spelling(?). The phonetic respelling, however, uses "หฺยู่" (on www.thai2english.com). So, low class letter is turned into a high class letter by adding in front of it and with a live syllable we get a low tone as a result. Is used in the same way as in some cases - to turn low class consonants into a high class? Also, what's the purpose of the small diacritic phinthu (like a small cross under ห (หฺ)? It seems rare. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:59, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

I think it’s considered a rule, but it only affects four words. The four words where silent mid-class leads low-class into mid-class tone rules are: อย่า (yàa, don’t), อยาก (yàak, desire), อย่าง (yàang, sort, type), and อยู่ (yòo, stay).
Since is mid-class, it cannot be used to make high-class, as far as I know. You can force the high-class consonant function with a silent leading , as in the following words: หมา (măa, dog), หนู (nŏo, rat, mouse).
พินทุ (phinthu, ◌ฺ) is used like virama in Pali words. It can also be used to mark syllables. Phinthu means dot, from Sanskrit बिन्दु (bindu). —Stephen (Talk) 04:48, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation, Stephen. So, ย in อยู่ is turned into a mid-class, not high class consonant? Both mid- and high consonants have a low tone with the low tone marker ◌่ in the live syllable, so it's not obvious to me, which class it belongs to. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:22, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, mid-class. The rules for tones and the way they are written makes them seem complicated. —Stephen (Talk) 06:30, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

etymology yiddish רביצין

the current page רביצין claims that it's a normal feminized (-in) form of reb, but the explanation for the affrication is dubious. I don't know the policy on wiktionary wrt giving citations for etymologies but one should be found here, I will contact the original editor of this page toward that end. —This unsigned comment was added by Telmac (talkcontribs) at 16:23, 3 May 2015.


I really wanted to RFV this, but as it currently only exists as a derived term in karma I thought it best to raise it here first. If there is a way to RFV this could someone please move it there for me? All the citations I looked at either had it in italics, or are otherwise mentiony so I would challenge whether this exists in English. Also, the proper spelling seems to have a diacritic on the s. SpinningSpark 18:49, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm finding a small amount of use of the alternative spelling dushkarma. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:17, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

C cedilla, Phi

Two questions here;

1. The c-cedilla is said by Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia to derive from Z itself. Everyone else says that it came from C itself being subscripted with Z and then evolving from there. Which origin is correct?

2. Wikipedia and one published source says that Phi probably came from obsolete Greek letter Qoppa, and thus related to our letter Q. This can be explained by observing PIE -> Greek sound changes (i.e. /kw/ -> /p/). Every other source I've seen ignores such a claim and says that the Greeks pulled it out of their own minds. Is Wikipedia's statement an overextrapolation of the Proto-Indo-European sound shifts or is it valid?

Hillcrest98 (talk) 02:31, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Ç derives from a ligature between C and Z (). — Ungoliant (falai) 02:56, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
I had guessed so. What may have caused the error on WP? Hillcrest98 (talk) 03:01, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps WP is edited by human beings. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:44, 4 May 2015 (UTC)


I was looking in Category:English articles* and found 𐑞. Do we have a rule on Shavian in mainspace? Should this be changed from article to just letter--there's more of an argument for keeping Shavian letters in mainspace then words spelled in Shavian, given as there's about two publications in Shavian.

  • Certainly shows the limitations of a category, given that it lumps standard English articles in with Anglicized foreign words, foreignized English words and dialectal variants.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:22, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Circular definition of marines

We define the noun marine as "a member of a marine corps"; we define marine corps as "a military organization of marines who are trained and equipped to fight on or from ships". A user who didn't already know what a marine was still wouldn't know after reading these definitions, and would probably get the impression that there are some marines who are not "trained and equipped to fight on or from ships", but that those marines do not form a marine corps. I know virtually nothing about the military, but I suspect that isn't the case. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:36, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

  • I have expanded the definition of marine to the best of my understanding. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:43, 4 May 2015 (UTC)


'seems to me that many of the defs should be moved to the uncap'd corinthian. 'was about to do it meself, but then i get confused about the capitalisation of an adjective and such, English not being my native language. Is anyone up to it ? --Jerome Potts (talk) 21:53, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Tag for idiomatic sarcasm

I want to add a sarcastic usage for dürfen (may), but I don't want it tagged RFD instantly. The word is used with a meaning 'to have to do something because of things oneself is not responsible for' (in all the possible ways this phrase can be read). This usage is highly idiomatic and not subject to the usual rules of sarcasm. It is acceptable in higher levels of formality than normal sarcasm and does not simply imply that the opposite of the word is meant but the opposite because of a specific reason. It is also used with a plainer tone of voice than average sarcasm, which can be applied to dürfen as well, giving a meaning of 'being ordered to', expressing anger. Furthermore it contrasts with müssen (must), which does not specify why one must do something, but is more often used for responsibilities one chose or is given justly. Any proposals how to implement that? Korn (talk) 23:03, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

"Jetzt darf ich das hier alles wieder einsortieren!" Of course, that's a normal sense and you should just add it. There's no reason to question a thing like this that is so normal. Why not simply:
(said with a sarcastic undertone) to have to, must, implying that the obligation is due to a fault by someone else
Or if you think the tone is not really sarcastic (of which I'm not so sure) then just (said with a certain tone). We won't be able to sufficiently define that tone anyway. Kolmiel (talk) 23:20, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
P.S.: I now see why you're asking this question. You need to make sure that this "idiomatic" sarcasm, because not every word can be added with a sarcastic sense that it may have. But I agree that this is a thing worth adding: first, because it's so common; and second, because as you say it conveys a very special meaning that is not just sarcastic but defined... So definitely add it, whether you find a really good tag or not. Kolmiel (talk) 23:29, 7 May 2015 (UTC)


This entry is defined as an SI unit of 100g. Strictly speaking that is incorrect. A 'metric unit of 100g' would be correct. The SI system did away with all the decimal subdivisions other than factors of 1000. So kg, g and mg are SI, but hg, dg are not. The definition uses an SI template and I do not know how to change that other than avoiding using the template

Gunmhoine (talk) 00:12, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Did the SI system include hectograms before it did away with the subdivisions? If so, it might be considered historical or obsolete, but still be valid- we're not limited to the present meanings. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:55, 5 May 2015 (UTC)


I just expanded the etymology of capital#English using information from the Macquarie Dictionary. According to the dictionary it entered Middle English directly from Latin. Is this enough to remove the stub category? Danielklein (talk) 05:31, 5 May 2015 (UTC)


Found a 10-year-old copyvio here which i undid here. Random House 1987 has it such: "The ropes, chains, etc., employed to support and work the masts, yards, sails, etc., on a ship." --Jerome Potts (talk) 06:40, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

"odour of Cronus"

I'm watching Roman Polanski's Carnage and I just heard Jodie Foster's character say "the odour of Cronus is killing me", what does this mean, and how can we include this sense on Wiktionary (if it is attestable)? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:04, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't know, but, according to a screenplay online, it's "That smell of Kronos is killing me!" Equinox 11:42, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Just off the top of my head, the Greek god/titan w:Cronus is sometimes associated with time, and then there's the whole thing about devouring his children. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:26, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be a brand of cologne. This blog post discusses it: [1]. Equinox 14:39, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

iron(II) sulfate

How is the (II) to be pronounced in this English term? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:51, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Like two. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:59, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't II merit a link in such entries and a definition at II? DCDuring TALK 14:11, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Added. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:48, 5 May 2015 (UTC) (p.s. It is vanishingly rare to hear such terms pronounced.)
I suppose I, III, IV, V, and VI at least need similar definitions. I don't know how high this pattern goes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:51, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
VIII is the highest generally accepted, but higher states are theoretically possible, and there are scientific papers suggesting the discovery of IX states. Smurrayinchester (talk) 17:29, 5 May 2015 (UTC)


Why do we use the pronunciation beɪˈdʒɪŋ in the IP and audio file? Shouldn't it be pronounced piːˈkɪŋ? ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:33, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, of course. I fixed it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:29, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I think it was due to an editor assuming that Peking is exactly a different spelling of what we now say Beijing instead of a spelling based on some other basis (that is, in this case, a different "dialect" of Chinese), and thus inserted the "Beijing" pronunciation. Hillcrest98 (talk) 20:03, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

ყოფნა - content problem

First of all, how do you translate "be" into Georgian? Translate.ge and Wikipedia say that this word is the answer. So does ka-WT.

This page has been troublesome to comprehend. There was a conjugation table at the beginning, but Mglovesfun removed it to use a template instead. But then Dixtosa removed every reference to this word ever being a verb and changed it into a plain noun.

And look at ka-WT's version.

I am very confused. Hillcrest98 (talk) 20:29, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

What makes you think you can just translate be into Georgian? It's a small function word; those frequently don't have a trivial translation. You need to pick up a grammar of Georgian instead of a dictionary if you need to know something like that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:39, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
@Hillcrest98 If you haven't checked, User:Dixtosa is a native Georgian speaker, so he must know what is right with this term, in any case, he knows better than us and there is very little info available on the Georgian grammar on the web. The lemma for Georgian verbs seems a verbal noun, anyway. You might also want to look at არის (aris, to be) and "is" (third person singular) - ეს რა არის? (es ra aris?, what is that?), usually replaced with final particle (copula?) " (a)". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:21, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I would be very surprised if this is never intransitive. Does anybody have a resource to confirm its pure transitivity? --Romanophile (talk) 12:49, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

As far as I know, it is only intransitive. —Stephen (Talk) 13:05, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
The entry was originally created with an "intransitive" label. It was changed with this edit, which may have been a simple mistake. @Lo Ximiendo, did you accidentally change the label from intransitive to transitive, or do you know something about Friulian that we don't? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:40, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Changed it back to intransitive. —Stephen (Talk) 09:00, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

chacun à son goût

Since 2004 this has been displayed as English, but italicized.

If it is English, why is it italicized? Why isn't it, for example, non-standard French? DCDuring TALK 15:29, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

It’s French, although somewhat mangled. Compare qué será, será. —Stephen (Talk) 08:58, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

chacun à son goût may be used in a French sentence (ils ont décoré leur chambre, chacun à son goût), but is not a set phrase. The set phrase is chacun son goût (à chacun son goût is less common). Lmaltier (talk) 18:39, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Simplified characters in usage example for 呢

Just today, I loaded the page for , and its usage notes section had a couple mistakes. I fixed that 著 was said to be the same in simplified and traditional when in the usage of the sentence the simplified character is 着, then I tried to fix the pinyin for it, which is zhe and not zhù. The bold parts in the pinyin are no loger bold, and the simplified characters I gave in the code were simply ignored. How do I get that bold in place and how do I put that 着 in place of that 著 in the simplified characters? For now, the code is:

{ {zh-usex|我們 ' ' '正在' ' ' 上 ' ' '著' ' ' 漢語 課 ' ' '呢' ' '。|simpl=我们 ' ' '正在' ' ' 上 ' ' '着' ' ' 汉语 课 ' ' '呢' ' '。|tr=Wǒmen ' ' 'zhèngzài' ' ' shàng' ' 'zhe' ' ' Hànyǔ kè ' ' 'ne' ' '.|We ' ' 'are' ' ' attend' ' 'ing' ' ' a Chinese lesson}}

and renders as follows:

我們正在漢語 [MSC, trad.]
我们正在汉语 [MSC, simp.]
Wǒmen zhèngzài shàngzhe Hànyǔ kè ne. [Pinyin]
We are attending a Chinese lesson

As you can see, lots of quote marks (') are being ignored, and the "simpl=" part too. Now, I only guessed "simpl", so that part being ignored is probably my error, because I am a complete newbie in Wiki templates, but why are the 's ignored? And how do I fix these problems and get the parts in triple 's to be bold and the simplified characters to be correct? MGorrone (talk) 11:34, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

@MGorrone The problem is fixed. To address this, you need to see the documentation for {{zh-usex}}. In a complex case like this one, when both the simplified form and the pinyin need to be supplied (hard-coded) [着]{zhe} notation is used, which fixes the conversion of to have as its simplified form and "zhe" as its pinyin reading in this particular case. |simpl= is ignored because this parameter simply doesn't exist. :)
This kind of errors happen but are not frequent, thanks for spotting! :)--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:20, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
At we are missing data for character - pinyin "zhú" and its simplified form . I have fixed it temporarily with this - [烛]{zhú}:
閃爍燭光讀書 [MSC, trad.]
闪烁烛光读书 [MSC, simp.]
Tā jiè zhe shǎnshuò de zhúguāng dúshū. [Pinyin]
She was reading by the flickering light of the candle.
I will fix the module later (for character 燭), when I have time (I'm not very skilled with Lua but I know this far, I think). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:29, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I suspected the simpl= parameter didn't exist in fact: chances of guessing a parameter right are epsilon :). Is there a parameter for giving simplified characters explicitly in that module, besides the […]{…} notation? MGorrone (talk) 13:16, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

No. Just use the documentation. That notation is for fixing two things in one -trad./simp conversion and hanzi/pinyin conversion. If you need just one, use CHAR{PINYIN} for pinyin and TCHAR[SCHAR] for trad. to simp. It has to follow immediately the character in question. Template {{zh-l}} converts trad. to simp. automatically but you need to use / + simp. character to hard code simplified characters. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:28, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I see. As I was on the Wiktionary to see the above messages and see the code edits, I stumbled upon the page for , which was lacking definitions. I went on to the MDBG dictionary ([www.mdbg.com]) and added definitions to the page taking from there. Could someone verify those definitions and maybe add usage examples? Thanks. MGorrone (talk) 13:31, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

first-degree murder

Is this term US-specific? Here in New Zealand, the legal definition of murder is slightly different - premeditation does not play as big a role. —This unsigned comment was added by Kiwima (talkcontribs) at 20:45, 9 May 2015.

  • Yes. I'm pretty sure this is a US term. In the UK we have murder and manslaughter. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:43, 10 May 2015 (UTC)


Is the pronunciation given correct? Is the j of this word really pronounced /l/? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:19, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

No, Danish J is uniformly [j]. I was checking whether it's a copy error from lag, but it doesn't seem so. It's not Sampa either, it's unlikely a slip on the keyboard. Very odd. _Korn (talk) 10:05, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
It was added (February 28, 2009) by Leolarsen, a native speaker, and his next edit was a tweak to the pronunciation of jage- no l there. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:48, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Is the Persian قاپیدن (qapidan) a cognate of the Latin capiō?

Discussion moved to Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium#Is the Persian قاپیدن (qapidan) a cognate of the Latin capiō?.

molt and moult

A user has added the pronunciation /mɒlt/ to these, tagging it "UK". Quite apart from the fact that "UK" is meaningless in a pronunciation section (there being dozens of different accents spoken across the UK), I can't find /mɒlt/ listed in any British dictionary. The closest I can find is [mɒʊlt] in the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, where it indicates a realization of /əʊ/ as [ɒʊ] before [l] in a syllable coda. But I can't find any evidence for /mɒlt/ with the short monophthong of doll anywhere. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:50, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

It's how I pronounce it (Melbourne, Australia), if that helps. (At least, doll and molt have a vowel in common for me.) --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 11:46, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, is that what the Macquarie Dictionary says for Australian English? Over the years I've grown to be very skeptical of people's own intuitions about how they say things (including my own). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:57, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Yay for university subscriptions. Macquarie says:
  • doll /dɒl/
  • molt /moʊlt/.
And yet the proscribed spelling doesn't match mine. My pronunciation is a monophthong as near as I can make it. I haven't run my own pronunciation past a phonological analysis, though, to be fair. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 12:19, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah I think in Northern England [mɒlt]] is the usual pronunciation. It rhymes with fault. The UK audio file on fault is fine but Southern. From the accent I'd say Bristol. But it's not how we pronounce it in the North. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:47, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
If it rhymes with fault, then it's [mɔːlt], not [mɒlt], right? Homophonous with malt? Same vowel as thought, different vowel from lot? Is it a complete merger, or just for this word? In other words, do bolt, colt, dolt, jolt also rhyme with fault? And is it verifiable? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:58, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
For me, bolt, colt, dolt, jolt and fault are all rhymes. Thought has a different vowel. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 21:04, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't pronounce it [fɔːlt], no. Moult and lot for me have different vowel sounds, but I don't know what to call them. Catsidhe where are you from? Renard Migrant (talk) 15:34, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
As I said above, Melbourne, Australia. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 20:42, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
This is how I pronounce it, correctly or otherwise. Chambers does not have this pronounciation, but only the diphthong. Equinox 16:51, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
How does it differ from malt for you, if at all? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:21, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
They're about the same: /mɒlt/. "Malt" might be slightly closer to "mɔlt"... hard to say. Equinox 17:27, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
The fact that you're not even sure whether or not they're homophones illustrates beautifully why I prefer to rely on published dictionaries for pronunciation information rather than users' introspection. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:42, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
For me they are exact homophones. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 20:42, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Angr by your own admission there are lots of accents in the UK. Dictionaries generally cover upperclass southern accents. [mɒlt] definitely exists if that helps. And I do pronounce it with the same vowel as lot, it just took me ages to work out what the vowel of moult is because it sort of runs into the l. So I tried just saying mo (the bit before the l) and found that it has the same vowel as lot. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:10, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
There are other sources than dictionaries, though. Linguistic descriptions of middle- and working-class accents and of Northern England accents that explain what phonemic mergers have taken place compared to the upper-class Southern accents would be fine too. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:01, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I think that [əʊl] + unvoiced stop is very rare in English – the long vowel makes you expect a voiced consonant. Compare bowled / bolt, cold / colt, fold / fault, hold / holt, old / alt-, sold / salt. I can't think of any other examples of [-əʊlt]. Although I'd say [məʊlt] if I was speaking slowly and carefully, it feels much more natural to shorten it to [ɒ]. Ƿidsiþ 09:33, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

integrating resource

Do we have a context label for terms (such as this) that are used by librarians and the like? SemperBlotto (talk) 08:03, 12 May 2015 (UTC)


According to the Aviva multicar insurance TV ad: "Apparently, there are better things to spend your money on than chest waders. Not when you are up to your nicky-nacky-noos trout fishing there ain't." Where exactly are one's nicky-nacky-noos, anatomically speaking? The word appears repeatedly in the well known school playground Nicky-nacky-noo song of course, along with many other body parts. But the meaning, if any, is never explained in the song. SpinningSpark 16:48, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

In the song it seems to be deliberately vague, so it probably was in the ad as well. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:46, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I've created it at nicky nacky noo (both hyphenated and unhyphenated seem to occur) with the best citations I can find on the citations page. SpinningSpark 18:46, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I recall a similar usage in a song by Ken Dodd, most of 50 years old. JzG (talk) 10:01, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
That would be Dodd's Nikky Nokky Noo song]. A rich source of new words if someone would care to list them :-) SpinningSpark 21:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Surely in the ad it is a humorous euphemism for "testicles", isn't it?? 21:03, 28 May 2015 (UTC)


We are inconsistent on vulgar/impolite verbs meaning go away. Some have interjection sections, some don't.

  1. go away
  2. piss off
  3. bugger off

All have interjection sections

  1. sod off
  2. clear off
  3. naff off

All just have verb sections. There are of course a lot I haven't checked yet. For me fuck off and get lost definitely have interjection senses, expressing disbelief ("he won an Oscar? Get lost!") Renard Migrant (talk) 22:37, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Category:Deverbatives by language, Category:Denominatives by language

How come we don't have that? --Fsojic (talk) 14:03, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

We use deverbal and denominal more than deverbative and denominative. I think the best thing would be to create {{deverbal of}} and {{denominal of}} for etymologies. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:05, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Is it really all that significant what part of speech a term is derived from? —CodeCat 22:09, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, overcategorization is a thing. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:17, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I want these categories, and I want them now. Proceed. --Fsojic (talk) 17:27, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
In most languages, the work is done by addition of morphemes, for which we do have categories. In many others, it's done by particles or even by context, so such a category would just confuse things. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:42, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

About hypothesizing about coincidences

Hi, guys. Please let me make a little proposition.

In the article about Korean and Japanese postpositional particles, I think it'd be a good idea to change a few things. It is stated, in the article about the postposition e (へ), that "Japanese and Korean e may be cognates". In my humble opinion, that part should be removed. First, because there is no conclusive evidence. And second, because coincidences like that offen occur:

- Russian and Turkish dative cases are also e. Despite this, this fact doesn't mean that the four languages share cognates.

- Another variant of the Turkish dative case is a, which is exactly the dative in languages as Spanish and French. Again, nothing more than simple coincidences.

I think it is necessary to be as objective as possible, and not hypothesize too much. That is the scientific point of view, and therefore, the only to be trusted. I hope you understand. Thank you for reading up to the end.

--Hatobureika (talk)

I suspect the reason it was mentioned is because there are quite a few similar particles between Japanese and Korean and there's quite a bit of debate about Japanese etymology and possible links to Korean. To people looking it up, that information can be quite useful, even though it is speculative (as long as it's clear that it's only speculative). With the other languages you mentioned, it's fairly certain that the similarities are coincidences, and including that information would not be useful to anyone. Eishiya (talk)
  • Yes, ditto what Eishiya said. In some cases for KO and JA particles, there is even historical evidence to suggest particle borrowing, such as JA nominative / subject particle (ga) possibly being adopted as KO nominative / subject particle (ga).
Aside from borrowing, there is a lot of potential overlap between the two languages, much more so than in the other pairs that Hatobureika mentions. Take, for instance, the now-obsolete Old Japanese nominative emphatic particle (i) and the modern Korean nominative / subject particle (i), counterpart to (ga). I see no harm in mentioning the similarities and possible cognates between KO and JA, so long as such mentions are clear about what is linguistic consensus and what is speculation. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 18:32, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

To have/throw a paddy

This is a phrase that is used in the UK, meaning "to throw a tantrum for a minor reason". It's usually used to refer to children, and when used for adults, it implies they're being childish. I don't know how regional it is, or whether it's related to paddy or Paddy, though I suspect it's the latter. There are quite a few results on Google for both versions, but nothing on the ngram viewer, as it's so colloquial. Is this something we could add? What kind of reference would be appropriate? Eishiya (talk)

Yes, we should add it. You can "have", "throw", or "get into" a paddy (any other verbs?), so it almost seems worth including as an extra sense at paddy. Equinox 18:23, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Etymology 2 of paddy says from English paddy. That's good to know. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:03, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Hmm. I've added a noun section for the temper sense. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:14, 14 May 2015 (UTC)


Rfv of the pronunciation. Tagged but not listed. (RP) [rəʊmɑːns]

The tagger's spot on, it's [æns] even in RP. [ɑːns] doesn't exist in any dialect I can think of. Not for the suffix -ance, but for words ending in -ance like chance it's totally fine. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:02, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

I'll do this tomorrow if there are no reasonable objections. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:07, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

casual sex (or casual + sex?)

Do we currently include the relevant sense of "casual" as in "casual sex"? ---> Tooironic (talk) 16:15, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

I think senses 2 (without regularity, occasional) and 6 (informal, relaxed) cover it. If anything, perhaps sense 6 could be expanded/clarified to "informal, relaxed, without obligations or commitments" since casual is used in this sense for many things other than sex (a casual lunch with one's boss, for example). Eishiya (talk)
Really? You can have casual sex regularly; you can also have casual sex in a non-relaxed manner. I think it deserves a whole new sense. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:57, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Eishiya's "without obligations or commitments" seems to capture the meaning (whether that's a new sense or not). Equinox 07:00, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
  • casual sex at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that a few other dictionaries find this worth including. DCDuring TALK 12:40, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Strange Loop of patata/batata etymology (Spanish)

The etymology of patata in Spanish states "Blend of papa and batata." I take a look at batata and see "From patata." What?? It simply can't be that they evolved from each other. Scimonster (talk) 19:28, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

So I looked them up in DRAE and... it says exactly the same thing! I've found an alternative source saying that Spanish patata is from Taíno batata and the same site says that Spanish batata is also from Taíno batata. Which also sounds right. Why batata would come from patata rather than Taíno batata is beyond me. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:03, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I forgot the link, it's http://etimologias.dechile.net/?patata. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:07, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the DRAE is wrong in both instances. The TLFi says that French patate is from Spanish patata, itself from Taíno batata via Spanish batata. Batata is attested in Spanish before patata so the older form can't be derived from a more recent form. Also no mention of a blend between papa and batata. I'm gonna check the SOED entry for potato now. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:47, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
SOED says from Spanish patata, variant of batata. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:03, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

"bound up with"

Sth is bound up with sth else (=sth is relevant to sth else). Do we currently have this sense, e.g. at bind? Or should it go at bound up with? ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:55, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

I think including the preposition at the lemma is a mistake, i.e. if anything it should be at bind up or bound up. After all, we don't have entries for annoyed with or aspire to. Equinox 07:01, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Makes sense. I've included the sense (plus another one) at bound up because I don't think bind up can be used that way. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:43, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
  • bound up with at OneLook Dictionary Search and bound up in at OneLook Dictionary Search show that a few dictionaries have these. Also, I don't think the wording at bound up captures this yet. DCDuring TALK 12:34, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

hang out or fall in with the wrong crowd

He starting hanging out with the wrong crowd. / He's fallen in with the wrong crowd. How would we include this common idiom on Wiktionary? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:27, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

We have hang out and fall in in the right senses. Wrong crowd seems to me to be a common collocation, albeit an SoP one. Why not just add usage examples at the phrasal verbs at least? DCDuring TALK 12:38, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Is Wrong crowdreally SoP? A naive reading would imply a crowd that is the wrong one, not necessarily a socially undesirable subculture. Kiwima (talk) 03:24, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
In this usage I've always thought of it as "unsuitable", or "not in accordance with a behavioral standard" of the speaker or possibly speaker and audience, possibly as "leading a person in a direction (on life's journey) unsuitable etc.". Frankly I think there are several sense of wrong that could be used in interpreting the collocation. "Socially undesirable" seems like a restrictive meaning that, because it selects one definition, wrongly narrows the meaning. DCDuring TALK 04:26, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm inclined to say create wrong crowd, but not create anything longer. Purplebackpack89 04:55, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes. And bad company could be added as a synonym. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:00, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I've added entries at wrong crowd and bad company. It's a start, I guess. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

μὴ γένοιτο

Is this a genuine Ancient Greek idiom? It literally translates as "may it not happen", so it seems SoP. I did a Perseus collections search and came up with 120 references (eleven from Demosthenes, and then sixteen in the New Testament and thirty-two in Epictetus, who really liked the phrase.) ObsequiousNewt (εἴρηκα|πεποίηκα) 16:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)


The collective noun for bankers is, colloquially, wunch (a Spoonerism). This word has been nuked a few times but there's some evidence of mainstream coinage now. [2] mentions it, so does [3], it appears in a Mike Harding song from 1979 [4]. I think this is actually not a transient neologism. Obviously it hasn't made the OED yet but neither is it restricted to Urban Dictionary. JzG (talk) 09:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

This is probably citeable!
Apparently, I also removed my shirt as if performing a malcoordinated strip routine and then introduced bemused spectators to a dance move that was out of place when first revealed at university and was certainly not appropriate at a reasonably formal party surrounded by a wunch of bankers.
That particular wunch of bankers may be mortified to know that Hamm had no connection with [...]
Today, we learn that Douglas Hurd, in a couple of months' time, is set to join those providers of financial services, collectively known as a "wunch of bankers", NatWest, from a bunch of MPs.
I'd have no objection to a page being created. Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:05, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Does it ever appear on its own, without the "of bankers"? Keith the Koala (talk) 15:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that "wunch" is not a word in its own right, but just an element of wordplay in one specfic phrase. I can't find any evidence of its use outside that phrase. 00:56, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
A couple of hits/
Meanwhile in the more conventional 'Men Seeking Women' column [of the Financial Times], the guys go to great lengths to make themselves sound utterly loathsome. They're tall and muscular, exceptionally handsome and attractive, loyal, sincere, genuine, sensitive, educated, rich and modest. What a wunch! [Since it's talking about the FT, the newspaper of bankers, the reference is probably intentional.]
Well fuck me sideways with a wooden stake, I realize dismally, I've fallen in a wunch of vampires. [The vampires work in finance. The same author has (in a different book series), a gestalt banking intelligence called "the Wunch", so it's clear he knows the word and its not likely to be a typo.]
Smurrayinchester (talk) 07:30, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Genghis Khan

@Atitarev I think someone used the wrong language code here. It sounds extremely peculiar that the title of a Mongolian emperor derives from an Austroasiatic language. ばかFumikotalk 12:24, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Good catch. User:Chuck Entz fixed it. DCDuring TALK 14:21, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

residential treatment center

I've currently run into a problem while creating the term residential treatment center: it keeps getting deleted. I believe this being deleted was incorrect because this is a specific type of treatment center, just like race car is a specific type of car, but no one has deleted race car, so why can residential treatment center not be created? Residential treatment center is a common licensing term: http://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/cwmanual/section4/ch18/sec4ch18sub6.htm Regargia (talk) 15:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Is it not true that a residential treatment center is a treatment center that is residential? DCDuring TALK 16:03, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Is it not true that a race car is a car that races? Cheryl.kristine.johnson (talk) 16:08, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it is. Perhaps you should challenge the entry for race car. See WT:RFD. But we include race car because it is the more common form of racecar. Can you find attestation for residentialtreatmentcenter?
But we are now talking about the subject User:Regargia proposed: residential treatment center, not race car. So how is a residential treatment center different from a center ("A place where some function or activity occurs.") for treatment ("Medical care for an illness or injury") that is residential ("Used as a residence or by residents.")? DCDuring TALK 16:13, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
And please don't use sockpuppets to support your case. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:21, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Devil's advocate (since I don't feel this entry is necessary): without a hyphen, I suppose one can't technically be sure whether it's a centre for residential treatment, or a treatment centre that is residential. Seems pretty obvious though. Equinox 21:39, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Is a race car not any car that races? Well, no. Cheryl.kristine.johnson will you answer the question asked to you or simply continue to mock other users. Perhaps mocking us is not the best way to convince us you're right, as opposed to say provide evidence. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
@Equinox: If either residential treatment or treatment center were idiomatic (not SoP), there might be something to talk about. There is a lemming case for residential treatment at OneLook Dictionary Search as a medical/psychiatric term. But I don't think it us our obligation to disambiguate every collocation with more than two members because there might be ambiguity. Users can be expected to do something to construct meaning. In this case I suppose that we would need to have residential treatment as a derived term at both residential and treatment. DCDuring TALK 22:42, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

pig in a blanket

The definition pretty much contradicts the related picture because of its incompleteness. GeneralFailer (talk) 13:03, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

It seems that Brits and Americans wrap their pigs a bit differently. I've added the American definition which the picture illustrates, and an illustration of the British definition. - -sche (discuss) 13:23, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I think leaving "right top" instead of just "top" will be less confusing.GeneralFailer (talk) 13:33, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Looking for a word

Is there a word in English to describe the tracing of original sources of historical data and materials? For example, a Qing dynasty historian writes an account, but later on we discover that he was merely copying what an historian from a different dynasty wrote. We would then try to find out when the original account was written. This is known as 史源学 in Chinese. I came across the translation historigenesis but it doesn't appear to be a real word. Any help is appreciated. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:36, 23 May 2015 (UTC)


I don’t think that anybody would recommend this form over etc. I think that this should be classified as a misspelling, or at least an informalism, not an ‘alternative spelling.’ @Chuck Entz do you have any opinion on this? --Romanophile (talk) 07:24, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Interesting. Would be nice to see what other dictionaries say on the matter, Oxford, Chambers, MW, Collins (etc.). Renard Migrant (talk) 14:04, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Much to my surprise, Chambers has etc as headword with no sign of a dot. Equinox 14:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
@Renard Migrant: Oxford Dictionaries has etc., but the OED’s entry (headword: “et cetera | etcetera, n.”) hasn't been fully updated since the publication of the 1891 NED entry. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:15, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

' and -' etc.

moved from Wiktionary:Tea room/2015/April#' and -' etc.
  1. Why is it English ' (as in e.g. "Jesus'"), but German -' (as in e.g. "Jesus'")?
  2. Why is it English -'s (as in e.g. "Andrea's"), but German 's (as in e.g. "Andrea's")?

There's no difference between "Jesus'" and "Jesus'" and between "Andrea's" and "Andrea's", so it should either be just ' and 's or just -' and -'s. As this possessive/genitive marker can't stand alone, the better choice should be -' and -'s (with "-" as it's also used for suffixes which can't stand alone). -Iftjbda (talk) 10:47, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

I agree with you, the spelling of the word endings -' and -'s should be just that, and not ' or 's. As for 's, that is the separate and independent word 's (as in 's Gravenhage). When the apostrophe or apostrophe-ess is suffixed to a word, its entry should be spelled with the hyphen, -' and -'s (regardless of language; compare -ed, -ly, -er). —Stephen (Talk) 11:39, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I've moved -', -s, -'s and -s' to those places (from the variants without the hyphens). - -sche (discuss) 04:07, 12 June 2015 (UTC)


Can someone put together a better definition for noun one?

I cannot tell if this word is supposed to mean "a high seat that smacks of distinction and authority" or if it is supposed to mean "a tribunal or court". Tharthan (talk) 16:17, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

stink, noun (New Zealand slang)

"A failure or unfortunate event. The concert was stink." This looks like an adjective. Should it be, or should the sentence be changed to say "the concert was a stink"? Equinox 12:09, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Social Media Networking

The definition for the term 'social media networking' was deleted and I wanted to know how why and what other information needs to be added?

Definition social media networking: the act of building, creating and leveraging personal or business relationships through social media applications with a goal of providing or receiving support, feedback, insight, resources and information in the future.

Please provide feedback.

SemperBlotto has replied on his talk page, where you also posted this query. Equinox 14:45, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
All words in all languages, not all strings of words in all languages. We have social media and networking. No other information needs adding, that's the whole point. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:15, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

of this parish

There's a set phrase "of this parish", usually meaning "working for this institution". See, for instance:

Tiff Needell, formerly of this parish, went everywhere with both the rev counter and the fuel gauge in the red zone. (Tiff Needell, like Jeremy Clarkson, used to present Top Gear)
Other commentators (eg Allister Heath of this parish) have taken the view that the first round of QE was necessary but later rounds a bad idea. Yet others (eg Liam Halligan, again of this parish) have been suspicious of QE from the start. (These are all Daily Telegraph writers)
How long will it be before formidable talents like Nicola Jeal (once of this parish, now of the Times) are allowed to run all of a newspaper, not just its juicy mags and Saturday specials?

Is this a separate definition for parish, or does it deserve an entirely new entry? Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:31, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

It is not something I hear in the US. I hypothesize it to be an extension of the sense of "neighborhood" (which we also do not have) to include figurative neighborhoods, specifically "figurative place of employment". Is that hypothesis supportable (or easily disproved)? DCDuring TALK 14:44, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
This is a set phrase that, in the UK, we only hear in the Banns of marriage so, as an example, for three weeks before I got married the vicar at my church would tell people that "Jeffery Albert" of this parish was to marry Maureen Ann of the parish of St Mary in Stevenage. The above usages seem to be an informal extension to mean "of this locality or institution". SemperBlotto (talk) 15:08, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
That sounds like a very literal usage of the component terms to me. DCDuring TALK 22:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
The original meaning of the phrase is literal. The examples at the top of this thread are not literal. 20:57, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Pronunciation for Japanese マッハ (mahha)?

@Electric goat, TAKASUGI Shinji, Whym, Aaronsama~enwiktionary, Bendono Can anyone provide the pronunciation of マッハ (mahha)? I wonder if /h/ and [ɸ] are truly geminated in Japanese. I apologize for calling on all of you, since I'm not sure to whom I can refer this topic to. ばかFumikotalk 14:10, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

@Fumiko Take Yes, Fumiko-san. It's geminated. I've listened to it on my NHK pronunciation dictionary. I've added the IPA pronunciation with a reference to マッハ. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:17, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
@Atitarev I've listened to the NHK pronunciation too, but I'm not so convinced. It sounds like a glottal stop plus the /h/ sound, rather than a true geminated /hh/. A geminated /hh/ would be extremely difficult to articulate. ばかFumikotalk 11:29, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
@Fumiko Take To me it sounds like geminated "h" but I won't insist any more. You can also try User:Eirikr. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:30, 31 May 2015 (UTC)


Does this word exist? Is it attestable? ---> Tooironic (talk) 16:45, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

google books:professionality says yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:38, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

think of a word to describe the spelling Möeller

When it's not possible to type a German umlaut ö, the correct thing is to decompose it into oe. I'm looking at an old record where someone whose name should be spelt Möller or Moeller has instead been spelt Möeller. I'm trying to think of the best word for this. I don't think it's just "redundant" — it's redundant to describe a woman who acts in films as both "female" and "an actress", but although the phrase "female actress" is redundant, it's not wrong/inaccurate the way "Möeller" is. - -sche (discuss) 23:14, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

superfluous? excessive? duplicative? inordinate? Leasnam (talk) 00:32, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Hypercorrection? Chuck Entz (talk) 02:32, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Typo? (a) It might be a trema over e, i.e. "Mo-eller" and not "Möller"). (b) Maybe the printer was used to use "oe" (e.g. cause he didn't have on "ö"), and then when he got umlauts, he made the typo "öe" (fusing ö and oe). - 07:06, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, all. I like "excessive". "Hypercorrect" is probably also the case, given the context — the record was typed up by someone who didn't speak German and probably thought he was doing the right thing by putting the dots back in, though he didn't know enough to remove the "e" at that point. Side note, it seems there's at least one person whose name is supposed to be spelt this way: Charles Möeller. (I wonder if his name is pronounced with the "Mo-ell-" part as one syllable or two.) - -sche (discuss) 15:58, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Charles Möeller, being Brazilian, presumably pronounced his name in some Portuguized way anyway, but I assume his German ancestors were named either Möller or Moeller but not Möeller. German doesn't use tremas very often, but when it does (e.g. Bernhard Hoëcker) the trema goes over the second vowel. On the other hand, there are cases like Müesli where the üe is correct because the pronunciation is /yːɛ/. I suppose it's remotely possible (though not terribly likely) that in the old record you have, Möeller represents a dialectal pronunciation with /øːɛ/ or the like. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:17, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

portmanteau word

The article portmanteau word gives an incorrect definition, namely the definition for blend (compare w:Blend word). The colloquial meaning of "portmanteau word" should be noted, of course, but not under the description "linguistics". The linguistic definition encompasses morphemes such as English won't (from will "(future)" + not "(negation)") or French au /o/ (from à "to" + le "(masculine definite article)"), but not blends, see w:Portmanteau#Word/morph (linguistics). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 03:56, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't know about English, but in German these terms are synonyms: German "Wortkreuzung, Wortmischung, [Wort]verschmelzung, Wortverschränkung = Kofferwort, Schachtelwort" and Foreign-German "Kontamination = Port[e]manteau-Wort". Both terms are said to mean "blend" in English, e.g.: "Ein Port(e)manteau-Wort, auch Kofferwort, Wortkreuzung [= Kontamination - at least by others], mot-valise, blend ,Mischung' genannt, ist ein Kunstwort, das aus zwei Wörtern gebildet ist, die inhaltlich zu einem neuen Begriff verschmelzen, wobei einzelne Wortsegmente getilgt sein können. Der Vorgang heißt Amalgamierung, Kontamination oder Blending." (e.g. Blog, jein) and from a google snippet-preview of something called "Beiträge zur slawischen Philologie" "Portmanteau-Wort, Kofferwort, Amalgam, Wortverschmelzung [= Kontamination - at least by others], engl. blending 'Mischung', telescoped word.".
This could imply that English portmonteau word and blend mean the same. Of course, others might somehow differ between blend and portmanteau word, but I doubt that all do and I even doubt that all linguists do.
"Linguistics for Everyone", "Glossary": "blend (portmanteau) word made from putting parts of two words together"
"A Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics": "blend /blend/ n. 1. (also portmanteau word) A word formed by blending. 2. See syntactic blend." & "blending /'blend[IPA-i without dot][IPA-ng]/ n. The process of word formation by the combination of arbitrary parts of existing words: smog (smoge plus fog) [...]."
- 06:59, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Dear fellow Besserwisser, the German translation for "blend" may be Kontamination/Wortkreuzung/Kofferwort, but a "portmanteau" in the technical linguistic sense is simply a w:de:Portmanteau or w:de:Portemanteaumorphem respectively w:de:Schachtelmorphem. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 08:56, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
The example sind given in de-WP is very helpful. One could compare similarly irregular English word forms such as are, went, less, mice or pence, which cannot be segmented, either. (Strong past tense forms are effectively portmanteau morphemes/words too now, given that they cannot be predicted anymore after regular patterns the way they could in Old English, where noncatenative morphological analysis might still have been a feasible approach.) As for did, has or could, these forms are highly irregular and unpredictable, but not quite as divergent as the others; but I think they are still prototypical examples of this kind of fusional morpheme. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 09:07, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Besserwisser: "pejorative" - is it a personal attack, or even a personal attack in lack of arguments?
WP: "Mit Portmanteau (auch: Portemanteau) werden in der Linguistik zwei zu unterscheidende Sachverhalte bezeichnet: [...] 1. Als Portmanteau-Wort (Kofferwort) [...] 2. Als Portmanteau-Morphem (Schachtelmorphem)" (i.e. there are 2 things called Port[e]manteau). So even at WP it's (partly) something different than you said. At w:de:Portmanteauwort "Portmanteauwort" and "Kontamination" are also mentioned together.
If the English terms mean the same as the German ones (and they should mean the same), then the entry portmanteau word does not give an "incorrect definition", but it - or maybe just the entry portmanteau - lacks the second meaning.
- 09:13, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
No, it's only a facetious remark since you seem to be German-speaking just like me, and similarly nitpicky. ;-)
Exactly, my point: There are two definitions, 1) blend (the lay definition) and 2) portmanteau (fusional) morpheme/word (the technical linguistic definition).
Wiktionary gives definition 1) under "linguistics", therefore it is incorrect. It should be given as "colloquial" and 2) as "linguistics". --Florian Blaschke (talk) 09:25, 29 May 2015 (UTC)


Which gender does paragraphus have?

  • παράγραφος (parágraphos) is feminine and [zeno.org/Georges-1913/A/paragraphus] has it as feminine. AFAIR there was also a Latin or German grammar book which mentioned that paragraphus is feminine (even thoug it's ending in -us and even though Paragraph is masculine).
    E.g. from a book from 1828 ("1828"): "PARAGRAPHUS SECUNDA."
  • Many translations of paragraph are masculine and -graphus usually is masculine (at least when refering to persons, who wrote something).
    E.g. from a book from 1589 ("M. D. LXXXIX."): "Paragraphus Secundus."

There are even enough results for "paragraphus secundus/secunda" to attest both genders. But:

  • Shouldn't there be a note like "Dictionaries [e.g. Georges and Pons] only mention the feminine" gender, which does imply that masculine gender is most liekely New Latin, rare or considered wrong.
  • Can it be specified, when each gender was used? It might be like: "The masculine gender is New Latin", but maybe it already occurred in Late Latin or Antique Latin, at least in text of not-so-famous athours or in text of foreigners.

- 07:24, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Infer and imply: opposites?

Are infer and imply (and their related nouns: inference and implication, I believe) considered opposites? If so, should they be included in each other's entries under an Antonym header or some such section name? I always found these two sets of paired words easier to envision as opposites.

Sorry all I can do is point this out, but my real-life limitations are getting in the way of working on these sets of paired words myself. Thanks in advance if you can finish this up for me! — Geekdiva (talk) 05:18, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

One person infers what another implies, in the same way that one person reads (or hears) what another writes (or speaks). They have a sort of mutual-ness but are not antonyms. Equinox 10:11, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed and a lot of our antonyms either aren't antonyms or need clarification using {{qualifier}}. Postwoman is not an antonym of postman, for example. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:38, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Pani (Polish)


I am trying to edit a declension table for the Polish word "pani." The accusative case should be panią, not "panię." Unfortunately, when I click "edit," I don't see the table- just ====Declension==== pl-decl-noun-ni|pa

Can some help me?

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

@Bjoleniacz I have restored the manual declension in pani until someone fixes the template or the template usage. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:26, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

What are the forms of a lexeme that aren’t the lemma called?

Exactly that: What are the forms of a lexeme that aren’t the lemma called? For example, for the English lexeme go, the lemma is go, and then there are its conjugated forms, viz. goes, going, went, gone, etc. What is the name for such a "non-lemma"? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:22, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

I think you answered your own question to be honest. —CodeCat 23:55, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I think all actual forms of a lexeme are inflected forms or word forms (word form at OneLook Dictionary Search). The lemma is just the word form used in the lexicon to represent the lexeme. AFAICT there is not a commonly accepted single-word term for the inflected/word forms that are not the lemma form. DCDuring TALK 02:01, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
A lemma is simply the one form out of many chosen to represent all of them- usually for more or less arbitrary (or at most, practical) reasons. Since there's no real systematic difference between the lemma and the other forms, there isn't really a natural concept to base a term on, except for the fact that they're not lemmas. As far as I know, "non-lemma" is the only term for it. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:11, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
@CodeCat, DCDuring, Chuck Entz: You’d think so, wouldn’t you? However, that sense appears not to be attestable. Thanks, anyway, for your responses in assistance. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:21, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with your claim on the RfV that the hyphen makes the citations inapplicable. The hyphen in this case is not linking words, but is part of non-. DCDuring TALK 23:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I've responded to you in the RFV discussion. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:52, 1 June 2015 (UTC)


Please fix this template by changing "|plural|mīlia}}" to "|plural|mīlia|plural 2|mīllia}}", as there is the entry millia and as millia can be found (e.g. in grammar books from the 19th century). - 16:23, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

June 2015


The entry for 民法 defines it as civil law. Does it mean the opposite of criminal law, or the opposite of common law? —This unsigned comment was added by Charlotte Aryanne (talkcontribs) at 16:45, 1 June 2015.

Well, 民法 is linked to Civil law (common law), while it's 欧陆法系 that's linked to Civil law (legal system), so I'm guessing the former. I don't speak Chinese, though. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:08, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Latin month names

About six years ago, EncycloPetey relemmatised the Latin month names at their minuscule-initial spellings. JohnC5 and I favour lemmatising them at their majuscule-initial spellings, which choice would be in accordance with these words' treatment by Lewis & Short, Gaffiot, and the Oxford Latin Dictionary (e.g., in the case of Aprīlis, that is the spelling used for the lemma by Lewis & Short, Gaffiot, and the OLD [1st ed., page 154/3]). EncycloPetey wrote that he "concluded that Classical and even medieval Latin seldom (if ever) capitalized the names of months when capitalization was used." Apart from the fact that the capital/lower-case distinction didn't really exist then, my experience of Latin texts (Renaissance and New Latin editions) is the opposite of his. Is there evidence that corroborates EncycloPetey's view? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:17, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Please show us the evidence that you have collected. Dictionaries are reference works, not evidence. If Latin months are often used with first letter capitalized, it should be pretty easy to find some attesting quotations showing them so capitalized, right? --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:29, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
As I just posted on my talk page, consider google books:"Aprilis", google books:"Aprili", google books:"Aprilem", google books:"Apriles", google books:"Aprilium", and google books:"Aprilibus"; only four of the Latin hits out of the first sixty hits (the first ten of each search query) are minuscule-initial. (You didn't really give me very long to respond…) — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:38, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
All the sources listed in the L&S have majuscule Aprilis:
I don't know about the medieval or classical practice, but this does indicate to me that modern scholarly practice prefers capitalization. —JohnC5 20:47, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I suspect modern scholarly practice has a lot to do with the native language of the editor preparing the text for publication. If your native language writes April, you'll probably standardize on Aprilis, while if your native language writes april or avril, you'll probably standardize on aprilis. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:13, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
@Angr: You’d think so, wouldn’t you? And yet Gaffiot (a Latin–French dictionary) has the lemma at the majuscule, even though the month's name in French is avril, with an initial minuscule. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:26, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
When I set the lemmata to miniscule, I was following the medieval Latin documents I had seen. These come from multiple countries (including Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain) and have not not been adjusted to modern editorial norms. For capitalization, I have tried to follow practices from the earliest Latin sources I could find that utilized both uppercase and lowercase letters.
The easiest of the document collections (that I used) for spotting examples is Josip Lučić Spisi Dubrovačke Kancelarije, a series of legal documents in Latin from Ragusa in the late 13th century. Each item is headed with a date in the Latin, in chronological order. All the month names begin with a miniscule, even though multiple scribes prepared the documents. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:36, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@EncycloPetey: Thanks for explaining. Re that document collection from Ragusa, I assume you're referring to these texts. If so, I don't think it can be said that they "have not not[sic] been adjusted to modern editorial norms". Besides the fact that they show a suspicious lack of sigla, being written entirely in extenso, they have at least two anachronistic typographical features: 1) Hindu–Arabic numerals, which were pretty poorly known in Europe in the 13th century; and, 2) the háček, which wasn't invented until the time of Jan Hus (1369–1415) a century later. We need to see manuscripts or facsimilia for reliable evidence of Mediaeval Latin capitalisation practices. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:22, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree that we ideally need original facsimiles to decide the issue. Unfortunately, we have none at hand. We have modern normalized editions of Classics, edited editions of documents, and dictionaries standardized to modern editorial norms of Classical-period texts. However, the Spisi Dubrovačke Kancelarije is only one of the sources I examined; I named it because it was readily at hand and was the easiest to use. The Słownik Staropolskich Nazw Osobowych (Dictionary of Old Polish Given Names) is a massive collection of citations documenting the earliest forms of Polish names, from records in Polish, Russian, and Latin. The typography there is meticulously documented (in extenso). It is simply harder to find useful information since the text is organized by headwords of given names. I've also got an early Dutch cijnregister, but am not sure whether it contained any dates. Most of the sources I used at the time were in the library at UC Berkeley, and I no longer live there nor have such easy access. I've looked around a bit in my personal library, and the facsimiles I own are mostly for texts in English or Hungarian, not Latin.
Re your comment on the Hindu-Arabic numerals: You may notice that these are parenthetical additions to the text. Most numerals in the text are writted in Roman style, as would be expected. The Hindu-Arabic forms of dates are added for ease of the reader, and are placed in parentheses to set them off from the transcribed text. Re the hačeks: Can you provide an example of where this daicritic appears in something other than a header, footnote, or author's introduction? I'm not seeing them in the transcribed text. --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:46, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Shall we provide both letter cases, then? I think that there is certainly sufficient evidence for majuscule usage. I will have to go through and fix some things unfortunately. If we decide to use both, it will still provide us with the debate of which is the lemma, which will be very exciting. @EncycloPetey: I hope you don't resent my doubt towards your original editing decision too much. —JohnC5 03:37, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@EncycloPetey: I appreciate that it's difficult to get a general overiew of conventions from a few primary sources. The distinction between original text and editorial addition in the Spisi Dubrovačke kancelarije isn't clear to me, but anyway: volume II, page 4 has “15. Zadužnica”; volume II, page 119 has “523. Zadužnica”; and volume III, page 242 has “640. Ročište zbog duga. Die veneris VI aprilis (1296). C. Blasius Baldella legitimus procurator Thomadi Amiço” (I don't know when ⟨ç⟩ developed from the Visigothic ⟨ꝣ⟩, so that cedilla in Amiço may or may not be an anachronism). The earliest Google Book Search result I could find for Aprilis was this one from 1434; it reads “Latinos auctores Eleutherium, cuius mentio eſt in Martyrologio decimo octauo Aprilis, conſtituiſſe in Apulia: verùm Græci eundem Eleutherium in Illyrico factum Epiſcopum dicunt, quod & Martyrologium Romanum confirmat.”; as a single late-Mediaeval early-New Latin source, however, that isn't very significant. All that being said, I'm not all that convinced that we should treat Mediaeval Latin conventions as particularly authoritative; their usages, where they depart from Classical usages, have often been decried as corruptions and solecisms (read w:Renaissance Latin#Ad fontes, for example). I think JohnC5 is right to suggest that we have entries for both letter-case variants, for the reason that other Wiktionaries will vary in which letter case they choose to lemmatise, and that we shall need both in order to catch all their entries via interwiki links; finally, however, I maintain that we ought to lemmatise the majuscule-initial spellings. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:29, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
What you're noticing in the Spisi Dubrovačke kancelarije are the document identifiers. These are assigned by scholars for purposes of labelling the documents for reference, and are not part of the original work. They're a bit like line numbers, but consist of both a document number (given in Hindo-Arabic numerals) and a document title (given in Croatian in this wrok because that is the language of the editor and publisher). You're also seeing those parenthetical dates that I mentioned in my previous post. Years given in parentheses are editorial notes for the reader, and the parentheses allow the reader to spot them as editorial inclusions. So, I see no evidence that numbers or text were modernized, as your criticisms apply to numbers and words that are not part of the transcription.
I agree that we could include both capitalizations (either as entries or redirects), but see no rationale presented for changing all the lemmata to majuscule. That Classicists have denounced later forms as "corrupt" is of no relevance to Wiktionary; we are a descriptive dictionary, not a prescriptive one.
The only capitalized forms presented thus far are from modern editions of Classical texts, and from those dictionaries normalized to match the modern English editorial conventions of those Classical texts, and that is a very weak argument. You yourself wanted evidence based on scans of primary source material, and that's what I'd like to see too. Your 1434 document is not a strong case either, as the work capitalizes more than a few words whose lemma we would not capitalize: Lector, Apologia, Epistolae, Veritas, &c. This appears to be one of those works that capitalizes words for emphasis, which practice can be seen in the works of John Locke in English. --EncycloPetey (talk) 15:05, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@EncycloPetey: You clearly still feel strongly about your original editorial choice. I don't care enough about this to oppose relemmatisation at the minuscule-initial spellings, as long as we retain entries for the majuscule-initial spellings, so that we can catch the aforementioned entries in other Wiktionaries via interwiki links. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 15:31, 5 June 2015 (UTC)


I am really thoroughly unsure that I've captured all the meanings of mulotage or that the ones I've captured are defined correctly. Could somebody with better French than mine take a look at google books:"mulotage" and try to improve the entry? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:57, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

  • When cats do this, it is called mousing. Is it the same for foxes? SemperBlotto (talk) 06:00, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
    • It seems that foxes can mouse too. By the way, I added the verb muloter with the "mousing" sense, although Larousse gives another meaning for what pigs do around holes (I doubt they pounce like a fox). --Type56op9 (talk) 09:22, 6 June 2015 (UTC)


In Wiktionary:Wanted entries, there is an Aramaic word ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ. I wonder where this spelling comes from. It contains the diacritic ̈ (u0308, combining diaeresis). Although u0308 is not part of the Syriac Unicode block, there are over 5000 google hits for ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ, including some on Wikipedia. The word means Aramean, and the correct Aramaic spelling is ܐܪܡܝܐ (no diaeresis). ܐܪܡܝܐ has over 450,000 google hits, including some on Wikipedia. —Stephen (Talk) 09:02, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

It comes from CAL. I figured out at one point what it means, but I forget now. Either way, I would just add it to the Syriac and Aramaic diacritics in Module:languages/data3/a and Module:languages/data3/s so that it links to the right place. I wouldn't say the spelling is wrong. --WikiTiki89 12:00, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
w:Diaeresis (diacritic)#Other uses says Syriac uses it as a plural marker, i.e. to indicate the final aleph is rather than . --WikiTiki89 12:12, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
I tried adding the diacritics to the modules, so using a template like this: {{l|arc|ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ}} should produce the correct ܐܪܡܝܐ link: ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ. It currently does not, I don't know what is wrong, but I will fix it soon. --WikiTiki89 14:25, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes check.svg fixed. --WikiTiki89 15:06, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Wikitiki89: How likely is it that the etymon of the Ancient Greek Ἀραμαῖοι (Aramaîoi) is the Aramaic Syriac-script ܐܪܡܝܐ or the Aramaic Hebrew-script אָרָמָיָא or אֲרַמָּיָא? And what is the relationship between those three forms? Are they all simply the same word (but written in different scripts, like Hindi and Urdu)? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:07, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

The etymon is Aramaic and the script is irrelevant. ܐܪܡܝܐ and אָרָמָיָא are the same word and אֲרַמָּיָא is an alternate pronunciation (perhaps influenced by Hebrew אֲרַמִּי). Keep in mind that these words were written without vowels simply as ארמיא or even ארמייא. --WikiTiki89 18:12, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Great, thanks. I note from the left-hand box in the preamble to Category:Aramaic language that Aramaic is written in five scripts; in which script should entries be lemmatised? Also, is it the case (as I assume from their transliterations) that all the vowels in אָרָמָיָא (ʾārāmāyā) are long, whereas in אֲרַמָּיָא (ʾărammāyā), the first two are short and the last two are long? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:23, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
We haven't really standardized Aramaic entries yet. I would prefer if they were lemmatized in Hebrew script, but I'm biased. You are right about the vowels in אָרָמָיָא (ʾārāmāyā) all being long, but in אֲרַמָּיָא (ʾărammāyā), the first one is actually "ultra-short" (but ultra-short vowels may actually have been pronounced exactly the same as their short counterparts, no one really knows). --WikiTiki89 20:30, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: I see. Well, I for one do not feel qualified to comment on the matter (except to say that some kind of lemmatisation would be better than none). Thanks for the clarification re vowel lengths; since Ancient Greek (AFAIK) only has two lengths of vowel, I expect that any Aramaic short–ultra-short distinction would have been collapsed into Ancient Greek's short length. Does everything I've done to Ἀραμαῖοι look OK to you? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:44, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
The etymology looks fine. I don't know enough about Greek to speak for the rest. Can vowel lengths be directly determined from Ancient Greek sources? --WikiTiki89 21:14, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Thank you. And re the vowel lengths, I don't know; the Diccionario Griego–Español makes no indication of their lengths. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:10, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about directly, but Ancient Greek prosody is based on the contrast between light/short and heavy/long syllables, and there are mora-based constraints on how far the accented mora can be from the final mora, so it's often possible to tell length of vowels in the last three syllables by looking at how the accent changes with inflection, and just about any syllable if you find the word in poetry. Of course, not all of the earlier texts show the accents, and many words have a fixed accent. Also, the circumflex accent can only go on a long syllable.
In this case, though, the length of the syllable in question is irrelevant to the position or type of the accent in the forms given in the Diccionario Griego–Español, and I don't know the details of the prosodic rules even if we had a text to work from. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:39, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: If it helps, the DGE cites Strabo (the text of which is present in the entry under Ἀραμαῖοι#Usage notes), T. Flavius Josephus, an AD-2nd-century historian called Abydenus (cf. w:Abydenus (apparently circa 200 BC, but perhaps the one meant, if either Wikipedia or the DGE is mistaken)), and someone named Posidonius who was either a 2nd-century-BC historian, a 2nd-/1st-century-BC philosopher (fully "Posidonius Apamensis"), or an AD-3rd-/-4th-century physician. Might any of that be poetry?
Anyway, the Latin Aramaeī, which is a descendant of the Ancient Greek Ἀραμαῖοι (Aramaîoi), is listed by Gaffiot as Arămæi; I don't know how Félix knew that the second a is short, but it's enough to make me question my assumption that Ancient Greek would have preserved the Aramaic long vowels. I'm going to remove the pronunciatory information from both those entries until I have some better evidence on which to base transcriptions. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:27, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
My 2c would be to lemmatize on either Hebrew or Syriac (de facto, most entries and translations I've encountered are in one of those scripts)... although it does seem odd that Aramaic has a titular script and yet I've not seen any entries use it. In any case, I would rule out Palmyrene as dialectal. What script do reference works on Aramaic use? - -sche (discuss) 21:53, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@-sche: I felt that, too. One would expect Aramaic to be written in… Aramaic. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:10, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Well the thing is that all of these scripts were originally used for Aramaic. What's more is that they are all actually the same script just with letterforms that evolved in different ways; the set of consonants is exactly the same and maps one-to-one between scripts. The so-called "Hebrew" script is really the Jewish version of the Aramaic alphabet that had been adopted for Hebrew as well, replacing the Paleo-Hebrew (a.k.a. Phoenician) alphabet. The Syriac script is a cursive that developed later among non-Jews, since Jews avoided connecting letters (the Syriac script was also adopted in Arabia and evolved into the Arabic alphabet). And Unicode's so-called "Imperial Aramaic" script is just another duplicate set of codepoints intending to replicate the letterforms used during the Babylonian empire. As far as I know, no one uses the Imperial Aramaic Unicode codepoints for serious purposes (although we do have a few entries using them). The Syriac script is really only used for Classical Syriac and its descendants, while the Hebrew script is the only one that seems to be used more generally for any dialect. Which reminds me that Aramaic is a macrolanguage and thus the distiction between languages and dialects is unclear. We have a separate language code for Syriac, but not for Biblical Aramaic or Talmudic Aramaic, whose differences are no less than with Syriac. In short, it's complicated and maybe you should also hear from someone not biased towards the Hebrew script. --WikiTiki89 03:46, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
<facetious>Wait, wait, wait. We are clearly forgetting the most important and lemmatization-worth Aramaic script: the Samaritan alphabet!</facetious> (I do wish we had at least one Samaritan Aramaic lemma, though) —JohnC5 04:02, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm annoyed that I still haven't found a font that supports the Samaritan Unicode block. --WikiTiki89 15:36, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Is any one of the scripts used to write Aramaic a true alphabet (as opposed to an abjad)? Also, if you find a font that supports the Samaritan Unicode block, please let me know, because I could do with one, too. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:38, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
No, they are all essentially abjads (though not exactly "true" abjads). And like I said, they all have the same core set of 22 graphemes. --WikiTiki89 17:19, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: What do you mean by "'true' abjads"? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:39, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, in a "true" abjad, the letters would only represent consonants. Instead, there is abundant use of matres lectionis. --WikiTiki89 17:45, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Gotcha. Which of the scripts can and cannot take niqqud? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:52, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Or harakat or analogous marks? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:54, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
The Hebrew script and the Syriac script each have their own systems for vowel markings. The Hebrew script actually has obsolete alternate systems, some of which are similar to the Syriac system. Syriac itself has a few variations. Imperial Aramaic never had any vowel markings. --WikiTiki89 17:59, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Wikitiki89, I'm so meta even this acronym: Re Samaritan Aramaic, I too have wished there were a font. Do we not know of anyone within the wide world of Wikimedia whom we could ask to make use some Wikimedia fonts? I feel like there must be someone... —JohnC5 20:02, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Font support for Unicode block Samaritan. —Stephen (Talk) 21:33, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. They all seem to display Samaritan left-to-right, rather than correctly right-to-left, but still they are better than nothing. --WikiTiki89 22:46, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Scratch that, they work fine. --WikiTiki89 22:52, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
At long last I can view the Samaritan in this etymology! —JohnC5 22:57, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I have a feeling that's spelled wrong anyway (as a reverse transliteration from the transliteration). --WikiTiki89 23:00, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Here's the source. I have no idea. —JohnC5 23:02, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Oh, so I was half right. The Samaritans themselves were the ones who spelled it wrong, not us. --WikiTiki89 23:05, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
FYI, I'm rather busy of late, but if there are any other scripts you cannot find a font for, I sometimes make fonts. I think Liliana also sometimes makes fonts. - -sche (discuss) 01:25, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

Why don't numerals link to their plurals?

No link from billion to billions, or from quindecillion to quindecillions, etc. Shouldn't the "Numeral" part of speech support a plural, like "Noun" does? Equinox 11:44, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Billion is a noun, not a numeral. It's always preceded by some other determiner. —CodeCat 13:30, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Yep. "Billions of dollars", but not "five billions dollars". "the decimal for 1/3 has lot's of threes in it", but not "threes feet". Chuck Entz (talk) 13:56, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
These entries clearly need revisiting, then, to change them to nouns. Equinox 14:02, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
(e/c) "Billion" is both a noun and a numeral and should have a separate POS header for each. Chuck gave examples of it being a noun. Examples of it being a numeral are "a billion apples" (not "a billion of apples"), "three billion apples" (not "three billions of apples"). --WikiTiki89 14:03, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that the principal use of billion is as a noun. One large class of such uses is as a component of cardinal numbers (subset of numerals). It is of a class of similar words like dozen, ten, score, trillion, googleplex and an open class of others. This class has a usage pattern that differs from terms like two, forty-three, two billion. Though all numerals could in principle be used as plural nouns (in forty-threes ("in groups of 43")), most have a very, very small ratio of plural to unmarked usage. It seems silly to include noun sections for most numerals. OTOH we are clearly missing something by not including the noun PoS for words like billion. Perhaps a reasonable solution would be to have both numeral and noun PoS sections for the simple numeral words and only numeral PoS sections for the compound numerals, like forty-three. DCDuring TALK 16:35, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
We went through a discussion on this issue some time ago, with no progress. I'd favor including a Noun section for terms like hundred, thousand, million, billion, trillion, but agree that it would be unproductive to do so for most numerals. We will, of course, also need a Noun section for those numeral terms with additional definitions when used as a noun, such as one referring to a one-dollar bill. --EncycloPetey (talk) 22:14, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Where does something like threes fit into this? Purplebackpack89 22:28, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89: Plural of three, Noun section. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:04, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
I suppose we would also need thirties, as in "Today's high temperature will be in the low thirties", etc., but not one-hundred-thirties. DCDuring TALK 00:23, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Most of the numbers below 200 are probably attested in the plural, either from things like "her heart rate was in the one hundred thirties" (a real example from google books:"one hundred thirties") or "she ordered two seventy-fives" (from the menu), or "he wrote three ninety-ones" (he wrote "91 91 91"), etc. - -sche (discuss) 00:38, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
How would one give one-hundred-thirty a definition that was substitutable in the plural? For that matter, how would one define thirty to do so?
It's all coming back to me now: this is why I never got much involved in the PoS header debates about Cardinal number, Ordinal Number, Number, and Numeral. DCDuring TALK 01:12, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@I'm so meta even this acronym:: Maybe I should rephrase: Doesn't threes (or thirties) have the same problem in its relationship to three (or thirty) that billions has to billion? Purplebackpack89 04:09, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89: They're analogous, yes, but what's the problem? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 11:22, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@I'm so meta even this acronym:: I guess the problem is the problem Equinox posited to begin this thread. Purplebackpack89 14:39, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89: Yeah, but I think that's been resolved now. IMO, we should add noun sections to all the entries for numerals which have nominal usage attested. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:42, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
All well and good, but who will do it? The more essential part of this is to get the non-compound number words corrected and to get appropriate definitions for the plural senses. It would be necessary to define thirties as something like "the numbers, usually the integers, from 30 to 39 or the associated quantity, such as temperature or year." I don't know whether a single definition is sufficient even with usage examples for the important instances. DCDuring TALK 15:17, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I think for things like "in the thirties" or "in the three-hundreds", we would need separate plurale tantum lemmas. --WikiTiki89 15:37, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: What are your thoughts on the definition I've added to thirties and the similar one I added to nineties? Purplebackpack89 17:10, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring, Wikitiki89: The OED (2nd ed., 1989) has:
  1. twenty, numeral a. and n. B.4. “pl. The numbers from 20 to 29; the years in a century or of one's life, or the degrees of any scale (e.g. of a thermometer) so numbered.”
  2. thirty, a. and n. B.2. “the thirties: the years of which the numbers begin with 30; the fourth decade of a century.”, B.2.b. “attrib. spec. Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the 1930s.”
  3. forty, a. and n. B.1.b. “the forties: the years between 40 and 50 of a century or of one's life.”
  4. fifty, a. and n. B.2.b. “the fifties: the years between fifty and sixty in a particular century or in one's life.”
  5. sixty, a. and n. B.2. “Sixty years of age. Also sixty-one, sixty-two, etc.”, B.3. “pl. The years from 60 to 69 in a century or in a person's life. Now spec. the period 1960–9.”
  6. seventy, a. and n. B.1. “A set of seventy persons or things; †a period of seventy years.”, B.2. “the seventies: the decade 70 to 79 in a particular century or in a person's life.”
  7. eighty, a. (n.) 2. “quasi-n.   a. The age of eighty years.   b. the eighties: the years between eighty and ninety in a particular century.”
  8. ninety, a. and n. 2. “the nineties.   a. The degrees of a thermometer between ninety and a hundred.   b. The years between ninety and a hundred in a particular century or in a person's life; (spec.) the years between 1890 and 1899. Also attrib.”
Notable also are two third-edition (September 2003) entries:
  1. ninety, adj. and n. B.2. “Ninety people or things identified contextually, as years of age, pounds, degrees (esp. Fahrenheit), etc.”, B.4. “In pl. Also 'Nineties. Freq. with the. The numbers from ninety to ninety-nine inclusive. [¶] a. Freq. with capital initial. The years from ninety to ninety-nine inclusive in a particular century (esp. the 19th or 20th). […¶] b. The years of a person's life between turning ninety and one hundred. [¶] c. The degrees of a thermometer from ninety to ninety-nine inclusive Fahrenheit (equivalent to approx. 32–8°C), esp. indicating very hot weather.”
  2. nineties, adj. a. “attrib. Of, relating to, or characteristic of the years from ninety to ninety-nine inclusive in a particular century (esp. the 19th or 20th).”
Perhaps all that can inspire a solution. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:36, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον

What is our policy on proper nouns with an article in the middle? Should the full form be τὸ Πνεῦμᾰ τὸ Ἅγῐον? —JohnC5 07:40, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

1. Why is this in RFV? Did you mean to post in the TR?
2. I'm pretty sure our informal policy is for pagetitles to be just as Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον (Pneûma tò Hágion) is currently formatted; cf. Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας (Aléksandros ho Mégas) (which really should created, but I don't feel like doing it right now). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 08:38, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
You are right, it should be in TR. I...well...oops. To be honest, we can just take this down, if you say that's how it is normally done―I was just curious. —JohnC5 08:46, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

About the word precedence

Hi everyone anyone can elaborate to me please the word precedence that we use in making a gantt chart? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 09:35, 5 June 2015.

  • In a Gantt chart, precedence is used to describe the fact that one task needs to finish before another can begin. The first task has precedence over the second. The form of a Gantt chart showing these precedences is called a precedence network. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:21, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Sentience vs. Sapience

The word Sentient has been used in science-fiction to denote self awareness, i.e. in alien lifeforms and artificial intelligence. -But is this perhaps a popular misnomer?

I was convinced sentience implied the ability to feel through senses, whereas the word sapience more accurately described an entity capable of wisdom and/or self awareness. (i.e. Homo Sapiens).

Is this the case and can we change the corresponding articles?

GH0S7M4N (talk) 16:36, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

No, that's not the case. Equinox 16:41, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I think you're reading too much into the etymology: sentiēns can refer to feeling through senses, but it can also refer to perceiving mentally- either way, the meaning of the English word is independent of the meaning of the Latin word it came from. My favorite illustration of the problem with your approach is the word nice, which comes from nescius (ignorant, not knowing). English means what speakers of English have used and have understood it to mean, not what its etymology might suggest it should mean. That's not to say that it can't also mean "feeling through senses"- but that would depend on whether English speakers actually use it that way, and it's not the primary meaning. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:18, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

driving school

I've added a few translations for driving school today. Then I thought "SOP?". How about language school? Both seem both SOP and non-SOP at the same time, which is kind of Schrödingerly. --Type56op9 (talk) 09:05, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

A few lemmings have this. driving school at OneLook Dictionary Search shows quite a few, but some are empty, others are just followers of WordNet. The principal departure from full transparency is that these are not stereotypical schools, but the use of the term school to include training in vocational or hobby skills (eg, cooking, secretarial skills, cosmetology) is common. DCDuring TALK 09:41, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Since Collins[5] and Macmillan[6] have it and there are multiple single-word non-compound translations (see edit summary of the creation), I went ahead and created the entry. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:24, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
    I may be wrong in stating that the translations are non-compounds. Nonetheless, the translations cannot be obtained by word-for-word translation of "driving school"; they seem to be like "car school". --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:31, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

A new taxlink template?

{{taxlink}} is used in many of the entries that include taxonomic names. I am interested in whether there is any interest in or objection to a new version.

Current version: Microcotylidae
Draft of new version: MicrocotylidaeWP WSp Commons
The draft version in an entry is at microcotylid, but there is no corresponding project page in any of the the three projects.

The differences in the new one are:

  1. missing Wiktionary entries are more apparent and "what links here" works on hovering over the redlink.
  2. it is more clear that clicking on the superscripted items leads on to another project
  3. links to Wikipedia and WikiCommons are added
  4. the links to other projects could remain even if a Wiktionary article existed

All of these differences count as advantages to me personally in working on the entries, but they are by no means essential.

This is a draft version. A more mature version would show a black superscripted link if a parameter were set, as when there is no corresponding article in a project. The link to Commons should be to a category, which almost always exists, not a page, which often doesn't exist. A further complexifying improvement would allow alternative names for each project link, most useful for WP, which often uses vernacular names for articles on taxa. DCDuring TALK 18:26, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

The redlink is good, since you can't create an entry via the current template's display. Eventually a preload would be nice. The WP link is probably a good idea, since WSp is almost useless to the average user if there isn't an exact match- which is quite frequent with older names. Commons linking is pretty pointless for non-editors more often than not. As for the links staying: I consider those a poor stopgap substitute, since they're normally just guesses at where further information might be. They're often better than nothing, but that's not saying much. By the way: could you make it so your examples here don't add categories to this page? Chuck Entz (talk) 21:02, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: Thanks for the assessment.
I wondered whether Commons was worth the space it takes up. I suppose it would help to display "Images" instead of "Commons", but is that enough to help users get value from the complication?
Wikispecies links are at least usually to the taxonomic name, whereas WP links would need to be to a vernacular name. Another approach is to always put the most common vernacular name (where there is a common vernacular name) or the one used by WP next to the taxonomic name. Then the vernacular name would bear the WP link and the taxon only the Wikispecies link, plus the Commons/Images link, should it be retained.
I wish I could avoid the inappropriate categorization. I can barely manage what little I do with templates. I will attempt to mimic what other templates do, unless it involves Module space. DCDuring TALK 22:44, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

different kettle of fish, kettle of fish

Can anyone confirm that the kettle of fish is rather awkwardly linked to can of worms as a synonym? My reading is that this synonym is listed for the "different situation" (the one with non-negative connotation) meaning while "can of worms" is generally a troublesome situation which carries a negative connotation, right? Sorry for barging in like this, but this is related to some other term I created recently so I'm kind of in a hurry because I'm feeling rather blank. Cheers! --biblbroksдискашн 19:27, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. I basically agree with your assessment. I had noticed the awkwardness of the claimed synonymy but did nothing about.
I agree that kettle of fish is neutral in its application whereas can of worms is used in situations that are negative, especially because they are complex, hard to define, or awkward to deal with. One dictionary defines can of worms as "an intertwined set of problems", which captures a much of the metaphor. I think can of worms is used of situations that can be ignored, ie, they are not worth solving. Another suggested synonym for can of worms is hornets' nest, but that metaphor suggests some danger and accident. Some dictionaries suggest Pandora's box, but that suggests overwhelming difficulties, beyond human ability to control. Each metaphor brings different connotations to a crude, WordNet-like definition which might have them as synonyms. DCDuring TALK 22:33, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. Glad to know my guess was not wrong. Anyway, I modified the entry which was bugging me because of this situation with the "kettle of fish" (if anyone's interested it is the drugi par opanaka#Serbo-Croatian entry). Don't know if kettle of fish should be adjusted, though. --biblbroksдискашн 12:37, 30 June 2015 (UTC)


See google books:"bo't of". What's it mean? "he or the Thomas Wright next above, bo't of John Wright" suggests it could mean "brother", but then there are things like "Daniel Cox; [...] bo't of Edward Billing" where that interpretation seems less likely. The plural seems to be "bo't", see google books:"two bo't of". - -sche (discuss) 23:32, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

I'd say bought. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:08, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Aha! That seems likely. Thank you. - -sche (discuss) 01:32, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Pronunciation of English words with -ag-

For dragon and others with -ag- I fail to hear /æ/ for some reason.

Either I forgot the pronunciation myself, or that dialect differences, or that the surrounding sounds just make it hard for my own ears to detect.

I live in Canada. Hillcrest98 (talk) 01:53, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

I hear /æ/ in my pronunciation, and also in standard UK & US pronunciations (I live in the US). I have heard variation regionally where the sound is slightly different, but not so much that I could consider it a different vowel sound. The case may be different in some part of Canada, and I'd not be surprised if it differed in Australia. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:08, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Depending on where you are in Canada, your accent may have æ-tensing before velar consonants, resulting in pronunciations like [ˈdreɡən] or [ˈdrɛɡən]. —JohnC5 03:19, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
There we go. I knew it was some sort of accent issue. Thanks for the answer. Hillcrest98 (talk) 17:05, 13 June 2015 (UTC)


This entry has no part of speech, it just says "word". Is nothing at all known about it, other than that it is used? What should its part of speech be? —CodeCat 18:13, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

As it is now, the entry should be deleted; it has absolutely no information and is completely useless. If we locate that requested quotation, then it would be worth keeping, and it might help us decide what header to use. --WikiTiki89 18:20, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
It is not completely useless. It indicates that authorities have found the search for the meaning to be fruitless. WT:CFI says: "A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means." There is nothing in CFI that says that a term has to actually have a definition or a PoS. If our entry structure and category have no room for such things, so much the worse for them. DCDuring TALK 18:30, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
It wouldn't be completely useless if there were at least a quotation. --WikiTiki89 18:36, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Added. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 10:30, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Is more context available for that? DCDuring TALK 13:25, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: The pertaining footnote (by the editor, Karl Otfried Müller, I assume) reads:
  • 6. Amosio annuo] glossa obscurissima. Scal. contulit: Annos, annua πολυετής, ut legitur in Glossario Labb. et corr. in Paulo: annos, annua. Annos autem vult deflecti in genitivum annotis, unde annotinus.
 — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:42, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry. I hadn't followed the links in the entry. The entry has as much context as any real Latinist could want. DCDuring TALK 14:06, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
My Latin is not so great. Could someone explain to me what this book is? If the surrounding lines are relevant, they should be added. If not, this quotation is pretty useless. --WikiTiki89 15:01, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
The quotation is of the only known use. Attestation in Latin requires but one use AFAIK. You have come to the same conclusion as the three authorities cited without having spent half a lifetime on classical language studies. DCDuring TALK 15:22, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but you haven't answered my question about what this book is and what the surrounding lines are about. --WikiTiki89 15:35, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
That's because I can't. DCDuring TALK 15:36, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Because you can't, or because no one can? --WikiTiki89 15:38, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring, Wikitiki89: The citation comes from a nineteenth-century edition of Paul the Deacon's epitome of Sextus Pompeius Festus's De significatione verborum (On the meaning of words), itself an epitome of the De verborum significatu of Verrius Flaccus (55 BC–AD 20); accordingly, it counts as a Classical Latin citation (which is why it is cited by the Oxford Latin Dictionary). — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:14, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
So why is this not counted as a mention in a dictionary? --WikiTiki89 16:23, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: According to WT:CFI#Number of citations, that is neither here nor there vis-à-vis Latin. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:56, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
So is this book in our "list of materials deemed appropriate as the only sources for entries based on a single mention"? --WikiTiki89 17:00, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: If that source is good enough for Lewis & Short, du Cange, Gaffiot, and the OLD, then it certainly should be for us. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:05, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
It is an impressive set of lemmings to follow. DCDuring TALK 17:08, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Other dictionaries have different criteria from us. If CFI says we have to have a list of appropriate sources for mentions, then we have to have such a list and follow it. --WikiTiki89 17:23, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: OK. Well, on its own strengths, Paulus Diaconus' epitome epitomes of Verrius Flaccus' De verborum significatu is one of three major dictionaries of the Latin language to have survived from antiquity; the other two are Nonius Marcellus' De compendiosa doctrina and Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae. A mention in any one of those sources should definitely be sufficient for any one of our entries. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 19:44, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
If that is the case, then we should have a list and this should be on it. I don't get why this is so difficult. --WikiTiki89 19:51, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Where does the list go? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:11, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
No idea. Maybe we even already have one. --WikiTiki89 20:13, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: I've put the list in Wiktionary:About Latin#Attestation, for want of a better place for it. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 22:34, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe that the added quotation is one. Doesn't the original text mean that the word just means annuo? SemperBlotto (talk) 15:41, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: Yes, but annuo the verb, adjective, noun, or adverb? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:35, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Hmm. I suppose we could look for inflected forms. SemperBlotto (talk) 13:39, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: Of annuo or amosio? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:58, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
There’s {{uncertain}} for this type of situation. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:47, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
As the noun and the adjective are just inflected forms, it should refer to the verb annuo (well, 1.ps.sg.act. is an inflected form too, but some dictionaries &c. use that form as the basic formm and not the infinitive). And if amosio is a synonym of the verb annuo, then it should be a verb too. ... 07:18, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
You would have to look at the rest of this particular dictionary and see if it follows that pattern. --WikiTiki89 15:07, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
@, Wikitiki89: It doesn't. Compare perfinēs. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:57, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Are dative or ablative nouns ever used as entries in it? --WikiTiki89 18:02, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about such forms of nouns, but consider this:
Ulteriōre is an ablative singular comparative adjective. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:38, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I actually meant to say nouns or adjectives. But yes, you've shown that it could be any one of the meanings of annuo. --WikiTiki89 19:00, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Aye, unfortunately. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 19:08, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Food Broker

food broker is marked for deletion, fine, Wikipedia didn't want it either. I'd like to know where my citations went though? Like to know why it didn't meet the criteria for a Wiktionary article? —This comment was unsigned.

In principle citations for food broker would be at Citations:food broker, but the "References" don't look like they would meet the requirement of valid citations. DCDuring TALK 21:49, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

possible new sense of take?

From rasselas, prince of abyssinia, by johnson: "Here Imlac entered, and interrupted them. “Imlac,” said Rasselas, “I have been taking from the Princess the dismal history of private life, and am almost discouraged from further search.”" (very beginning of chapter XXX) Take obviously has many senses, but I looked through the existing entry and this doesn't seem to fit any of them.

  • It is a short form of take down - meaning take notes. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:40, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
    • Based on context, I don't think so. They (rasselas and the princess) have a long conversation but there's no indication that he was writing anything and it seems out of place to use that here. If you disagree please read the preceeding chapter, the book is long out of copyright and on gutenberg if you'd like.Telmac (talk) 16:53, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
      • In this context, I think it means "learn", which is pretty common. --WikiTiki89 16:55, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
        • Not so sure, certainly "take a course", but that's intuitively for me not the same sense here, and if you look at the definition given on the current wiktionary page for the "take a course" sense it's definitely not the same. Telmac (talk) 16:57, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for pointing out the deficiency. I agree that we lack the appropriate definition. MWOnline, for example, has "to get in or as if in writing <take notes> <take an inventory>" (emphasis added) among its 80 or so transitive definitions of take. (There are also 11 intransitive definitions.) We don't seem to have a corresponding definition among the 30 or so that we have that are labelled as transitive, nor do we have one that can be imagined to include that definition and usage AFAICT. We also have many definitions that are not labelled as either transitive or intransitive.
Common verbs like take, get, set are among the hardest terms to get a comprehensive set of definitions for. You may want to check with other dictionaries at OneLook.com, eg take at OneLook Dictionary Search, especially the more complete ones available there, such as MWOnline, American Heritage, Random House, and Webster New World. DCDuring TALK 17:06, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Another possible definition from MWOnline is "to accept as true : believe <I'll take your word for it>". DCDuring TALK 17:15, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I have overhauled take quite extensively. I suppose the quotation above is using the sense "assume, suppose" (I take it from her comments...), "draw, derive or deduce" ("what moral to take from this story"), or "get in or as if in writing" ("took a mental inventory"). - -sche (discuss) 17:59, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

well, well and well, well, well

Previously "well, well" said "(dated, US, Canada)", but it is also used in the UK, where it is not dated. I'm not sure how to indicate in the "context" tag that it is current in the UK but dated in the US and Canada. I tried something but it may not be right. Please someone fix it if it's meant to be done in another way. Whatever is done to "well, well" also needs to be done to "well, well, well" which is also current usage in the UK. Thanks. 12:01, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

@ Done and done. :-)  — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:17, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! 17:29, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
well, well is dated in the US ? Leasnam (talk) 21:10, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, wellX2 was much more common than wellX3 fomerly, but they seem more or less equal according to a quick look at COHA. Both seem in decline. DCDuring TALK 22:03, 13 June 2015 (UTC)


Can we verify the pronunciation /ˈd(j)uːʃi/, which (depending on the yod-droppingness of one's accent) is either homophonous or rhymes with douchy? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:20, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

  • It's more like "dutchy" in the UK (ˈdʌ.tʃi/ probably, but I don't do IPA). SemperBlotto (talk) 14:33, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • In the US, too, which is why I'm skeptical that it's ever pronounced "d(y)ooshey". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:39, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
@Aɴɢʀ, SemperBlotto: The OED lists only the pronunciation /ˈdʌtʃɪ/, which is the only pronunciation I've ever heard (well, more like SB's /ˈdʌtʃi/, really). — I.S.M.E.T.A. 15:05, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
In the UK I only ever hear /ˈdʌtʃiː/. I'm not a pronunciation expert (far from it), but I have never understood the common dictionary practice of showing -y words pronounced as -ɪ, the same vowel as in "fit" or "hit", for example. For example, if you look at http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/duchy, the pronunciation is given as dʌtʃɪ, but for me the speaker in the sound clip clearly says "-ee" at the end. I don't know if my ears are wrong, or if I am misunderstanding how IPA works. 17:40, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
You should visit the north of England where the short "/ɪ/" ending is common ("city" being pronounced with two identical vowels), though I admit that the Third Edition of the OED is making concessions to your southern pronunciation. Dbfirs 20:34, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Dictionaries, especially older ones, often give /ɪ/ for the final vowel of words like pretty and honey, because that used to be a widespread sophisticated pronunciation in upper-class British English (RP), and was also found in other varieties such as Southern U.S. English. Nowadays dictionaries are moving towards using /i/ instead to reflect the most common vowel in current speech. (See Phonological history of English high front vowels#Happy-tensing for more.) However, what I'm interested in is the first syllable of this word, since our article currently claims there's an alternative pronunciation "d(y)ooshey", which I would like to remove if it can't be confirmed. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:27, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and remove it. It is not in MW or ODE. --WikiTiki89 18:31, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Months in Albanian

What is correct form and capitalisation of months in Albanian? ie. English Wiktionary has word qershor for June (copied across other languages), but Albanian Wiktionary and Wikipedia has article sq:Qershori. --Mikko Paananen (talk) 15:06, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

The results in google books:"qershor" and google books:"qershori" all seem to be lowercase when in the middle of a sentence. --WikiTiki89 15:13, 11 June 2015 (UTC)


Is there really a singular noun? Isn't it always used in the plural? 02:05, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Having written that, I thought of an example: "This surrounding protects the X from the Y", when describing a mechanism or the like. But that's not a sense given in the entry as it stands. 02:10, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

οὐδείς#Ancient Greek

Are the dual and the feminine/neuter plural attestable? In several dictionaries (Logeion ~> LSJ &c.; Pape) and grammar books (Smyth (& Messing); Goodwin) only singular and masculine plural are mentioned... - 06:58, 12 June 2015 (UTC)


Now this looks like a noun, but it does not seem to be used alone - only in combinations such as bluntnose sixgill shark and bluntnose minnow. How do we define such words? (may be as an adjective - a form of blunt-nosed?) SemperBlotto (talk) 15:15, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

It could be a noun that is frequently used "attributively". I can find a few standalone uses, even in the plural, such as
  • 1872, Oneida circular, volumes 9-10, page 235:
    These crested Bluntnoses we found upon all the islands. The slightly crested Bluntnose we found only on Albemarle and Indefatigable.
  • 1872, Our Dumb Animals, volumes 5-8, page 262:
    The Bluntnoses (lizards) were more shy than we had expected.
(curiously both from the same year) - -sche (discuss) 16:14, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll define it accordingly. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:17, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

pale shadow

Is it, or "pale shadow of", idiomatic? - -sche (discuss) 20:18, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

shadow ("An imperfect and faint representation" (Wiktionary sense 6); "an attenuated form or a vestigial remnant" (MWOnline)); pale (feeble, faint).
I think not. DCDuring TALK 21:56, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
But the collocation is common enough that it belongs somewhere in a usex. DCDuring TALK 01:04, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
See pale#Adjective sense 3. DCDuring TALK 18:39, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! - -sche (discuss) 17:29, 16 June 2015 (UTC)


Hi. Just made the page kaputski. It's a curious etymology. I'd appreciate it a lot if the page could look like decent. Also, I was rather sad to find that there is no Category:Faux-German faux-Russian English colloquialisms --Type56op9 (talk) 17:16, 13 June 2015 (UTC)


Relative newbie here. Doesn't this need citations? 22:44, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

No. You are confusing us with Wikipedia. Here a word must meet the criteria of WT:CFI, which in a nutshell is that the word be attested (through clearly widespread use, or use in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year). The attestation does not have to accompany the entry unless someone challenges it (WT:RFV). —Stephen (Talk) 23:17, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Ah, thank you. I will give those pages a decent read. It's just that I heard the tem in Peter Tosh's Steppin' Razor on YouTube here and lyrics here, and nowhere else. Chuck, yes, Chucky, no, save where someone sticks a "y" into any random name. 23:31, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
The entry explains that it is a diminutive of the male given name Chuck. Chucky is pretty common in the U.S. Have a look here. —Stephen (Talk) 23:37, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Ah, Google book search. Very good, and thanks again. 23:39, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

  • The definition says that "Chucky" is a diminutive of "Chuck". But Chuck itself is usually a diminutive of "Charles". Shouldn't Charles be linked at least somewhere? Purplebackpack89 00:26, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
    Good catch. Yes, IMO.
    Interesting (to me, being unschooled in phonetics) that so many male English nicknames are monosyllabic ending in k (also t and p). The ones that don't so end more closely resemble the name they are a substitute for. DCDuring TALK 01:01, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
  • How is Chuck a diminutive? DCDuring TALK 18:48, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
    • It's a nickname for Charles, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a diminutive. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:00, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
      Some of our Dutch contributors seem to toss the word diminutive around in a sense that doesn't seem right to me. In particular it is often inappropriate to use it to characterize many shortened forms of names. Jimmy I can accept as a diminutive of James, but not Jim. Further, both might be nicknames for James, but nowadays they are often used as given names themselves. DCDuring TALK 20:12, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
A number of entries, particularly those related to "Charles", appear to use the word "diminutive" where many English speakers would use "nickname". Chuck, Chucky, Chaz, Chas and Charlie are all nicknames whose entries refer to them as diminutives. Purplebackpack89 20:29, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
I could accept Charlie/Charley as diminutives, but not the others. DCDuring TALK 20:45, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
According to Wolfram|Alpha, even Chaz is used as a given name for births in the US more than a hundred times per year, Charlie 1551 times a year, Charly 103 times per year, and Charley 89 times per year. Perhaps our assumptions about using nickname as the sole definition is wrong. DCDuring TALK 21:09, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
That's not a lot, when you compare to Charles or Michael, or to the total universe of boy names in a given year. And while they may be given names now, they all were originally (and still can be) nicknames of Charles. Purplebackpack89 05:15, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
But birth records are durably archived. DCDuring TALK 10:12, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps hypocoristic of as it refers both to nicknames and diminutives? —JohnC5 07:26, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Another contribution toward making Wiktionary less likely to be used by normal folks, but more fun for us. And it doesn't actually solve the problem, just adding an obscure synonym for nickname, that has another definition that is completely inappropriate. DCDuring TALK 10:06, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree with DCDuring, go with "nickname". Are there any true diminutives that aren't analysable as nicknames? - -sche (discuss) 17:27, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't see why we don't have two definitions, by rebuttable presumption, for any name that is a nickname to recognize that it is also "A forename, a name chosen for a child, usually by the child's parents; a first name.", ie, a given name.
BTW, forename is a decidedly uncommon word in both COCA and BNC. Why is it used as a defining term with respect to English names? I can easily understand why we wouldn't want to use Christian name as a defining term. But why not use first name? DCDuring TALK 17:58, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Google Ngrams gives "first name" as about eight times as common as "forename" in British English, but the latter is a single word and tends to be used as a field heading in databases. The problem with "first name" is that it is (marginally) more likely to be misunderstood by those who put their "given name" last. By the way, "forename" is about half as common as "given name" in British English. Dbfirs 20:25, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

New word

I would like to suggest a new word in the following category. Chinglish = Chinese/English Tinglish = Thai/English New word: Taiwanglish = Taiwanese/English —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 07:25, 14 June 2015.

  • Feel free to use it. If enough other people use it and it gets into print we could probably eventually add it here. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:19, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
@ We already have entries for Chinglish and Tinglish. New words must meet the requirements of WT:CFI to be given entries. Fortunately enough, whilst Taiwanglish is rare, the results yielded by searching google books:"Taiwanglish" and google groups:"Taiwanglish" show that the word just about qualifies for inclusion. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:26, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
You could add your word here: Appendix:List of protologisms. - 06:30, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've created an entry for it. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:26, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

"tuck your stomach in"

What does tuck mean in "tuck your stomach in"? Does it mean to suck your stomach in? I read about it here. I'm not sure we cover this sense at tuck or suck. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:45, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like someone's confusing "suck your stomach in" with "tuck your shirt in". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:30, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Well it definitely means to look sharp while doing so. Simply sucking in your stomach can make your midsection look hollow and concave. Tucking implies making it look neat, like tucking in your shirt. Leasnam (talk) 23:49, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
"Simply sucking in your stomach can make your midsection look hollow and concave." Maybe for some people. I don't think that's how you can define it. DCDuring TALK 12:58, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't think they're confusing it with ‘suck’ at all – I often hear ‘tuck’. In yoga you hear it all the time – ‘tuck your stomach’. It means to tighten your abdominal muscles, rather than to suck your whole stomach in concavely. Ƿidsiþ 13:08, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

incorrigable - request

incorrigable: Can someone make a new page for this word, and add the necessary information? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:03, 15 June 2015.

I think you mean incorrigible; we have it. Equinox 22:08, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
But in the future, if we really don't have it, you can add it yourself rather than asking someone else to do it. --WikiTiki89 22:11, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Incorrigable occurs about 1,100 times (1/1,000th as often as incorrigible) in Google books (raw count), not at all in COCA. It may seem to DanP that we must have it as a common misspellling, but not to me. DCDuring TALK 00:15, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
FWIW: I can find references which proscribe the "-able" spelling since at least the 1850s. With the same searches, I can also find uses of it in Kindergarten Primary Magazine, the documents of the Michigan State legislature, and two dictionaries, viz. Cartwright's 1907 Siamese-English Dictionary and the 1879 Complete Concordance to the Old and New Testament: Or, A Dictionary and Alphabetical Indix to the Bible, but those works all also use the "-ible" spelling, suggesting that their uses of the "-able" spelling are unintentional errors rather than intentional uses of a not-standard spelling. - -sche (discuss) 08:16, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Do we still limit misspellings to "common" ones? Is this common enough? DCDuring TALK 12:56, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

That French pphhrrt noise

When French people are unsure about something or don't care about it, sometimes they do the "pphhrrt" noise. (Close your mouth and squirt air towards the front, so it comes out in a sort of plosive fart.) The usage is a bit like pfft in English, but less sarcastic, and the sound is different. Has this sound got a name, or even a spelling? Is there a writeable interjection? Equinox 00:12, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

The best candidates I found at Wiktionnaire are fr:peuh, fr:pfut, and fr:putt. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:45, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

must be something in the water/air

...which is causing people to behave a certain way. Worth an entry? - -sche (discuss) 09:11, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Also genes, blood, food. Variations on water include drinking water, coffee, and snow (about Minnesota). This often (more than half the time) occurs without must be.
OTOH there are the uses of must be/must have been with other nouns without something in the, mostly variations on water, air, genes, and blood, eg, coffee.
It seems like a snowclone or "construction", the noun representing a mysterious common cause, but it shades into the construction with any cause not known with certainty.
It is easy to understand why, on the one hand, no OneLook dictionary has it, but on the other hand there are titles of authored works that have the form something in the X.
By my lights this doesn't make a good entry. Our efforts to have snowclone-type entries don't seem to have much traction either. DCDuring TALK 10:24, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

rip, ripper (CD, DVD. etc)

Shouldn't the "copy"/"produce (a copy) from an original" senses of rip appear under a separate etymology header as back-formations from (or at least "influenced by") rip off? The usage seems much more common in the context of copying copyrighted material than simply converting from one format or medium to another. DCDuring TALK 12:54, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Are you sure that it has anything to do with rip off? I always thought of it as a metaphor for physically tearing the content off of the disk, not as scamming someone. --WikiTiki89 13:43, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
If I were sure, I would have just made the change. And I am interested in the early uses of the term. Now the terms are so common and much extended to many situations that your reaction may be typical.
One use of the term is with the object being the destination form of the copy. I think that is a development of the early use, which had the source as object.
But why does the use of rip (when the object noun is the source of the copying) even now have a higher relative frequency of use with copyrighted content than with other sources? For example, one might say "I ripped the CD of his wedding photos", but it doesn't seem to me as good a use of the expression as "I ripped all the movie DVDs in his collection". DCDuring TALK 14:35, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
In my experience, "rip" is only used when copying a disk formatted using CD/DVD specific formats onto a file system, regardless of the copyright status of the content. A CD with wedding photos is already a file system, no different from an external hard drive, and is therefore copied, not ripped. Copying a CD/DVD to another CD/DVD is also copying and not ripping, regardless of its copyright status. --WikiTiki89 14:57, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I had a look on usenet (which is where I'd expect the term to have development), and I can't find much evidence that would suggest an evolution from "rip off". If there was, you'd expect there to be use of "rip" with other media that carry copyrighted material - game floppies or cassette tapes, for instance. There's one use of "rip tapes" that clearly uses it to mean "copy copyrighted material", but otherwise, there's virtually no use of "rip" that I can find pre-2000 that doesn't refer to CDs - the earliest hit for "rip a tape" is someone pedantically explaining that you can't rip tapes because they're not digital! Similarly, one early post makes a pedantic distinction between copying a CD and ripping it (i.e. turning its contents into a computer file). I think the rip off definition may have helped the term stick in the mind, but I don't think it was the main influence on the term. Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:02, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for stilling the nagging suspicion. It is at most "influenced by" rip off, but not sufficiently or known with sufficient certainty to be worth documenting. DCDuring TALK 15:15, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
The OED cross-references the CD sense of the verb with "rip off" without actually saying this is the etymology. Its first citation for the verb "rip" in this sense is "1982 Business Week 31 May 28/3 The user who rips off (an applications) software program and makes a copy to give a friend is a different class of pirate." SemperBlotto (talk) 15:36, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
It is unclear whether in that quote "rip off" is meant as "to scam" or just "rip" + "off". --WikiTiki89 15:39, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
It is quite clear from history that by 1982 the "to steal" sense was what was intended, especially by the copyright owners who, then and now, attempt to establish that cpying copyrighted material is stealing. They would probably hav been able to influence the content of the Business Week article to that extent. DCDuring TALK 17:44, 16 June 2015 (UTC)


Where does the plural -s come from here (and in the related Mädels)? Surely these words are too deeply ingrained in the German language for this to be French or English influence - it seems as unlikely as childs becoming an acceptable plural for child. Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:26, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

It's a Low German suffix. It's been applied to a number of words, such as Jungs, Jungens, Mädels, Muttis, Lebehochs, Vergissmeinnichts, Stelldicheins and Eingesandts, and words ending in -er and -el that otherwise have plurals indistinguishable from their singulars, e.g. Lehrers, Lagers, Onkels, etc — but it's been the subject of some push and pull. The January 1908 Zeitschrift des Allgemeinen Deutschen Sprachvereins (23rd year, number 5, page 158) calls it "a desired and, as far as we can see, the only help for making [certain widerspenstige] words plural", and says "North German Sprachgefühl which hasn't been influenced by schoolmasters finds nothing objectionable about it"; the paper pooh-poohs those who pooh-pooh the suffix. But in 1927, Theodor Steche suggests in Die neuhochdeutsche Wortbiegung "that the efforts of the German language to again remove the plural suffix -s should be most emphatically supported and promoted by the linguistic community and schools." In the end, -s has remained the or an acceptable plural of some words, e.g. Jungs, Mädels, Muttis, while it is not accepted in the modern standard language on Vergissmeinnicht, Lehrer, etc. - -sche (discuss) 17:22, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Some more off the top of my head: Schals, Staus, Uhus; then there are things like Lunchs, Sandwichs, and Generals (attested but less common than Generäle) where the -s is clearly not borrowed from English and French since English has -es and French has généraux. Heide Wegener, a professor at Potsdam, has written extensively about the plural in German and has argued that -s is the most productive plural ending in German despite not being the most common plural ending. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:58, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
  • In case of General the -s can be and (at least sometimes) is borrowed from English (cf. general, plural generals). E.g. Command & Conquer: Generals (censored: Generäle) uses the English plural. Also, though I'm not sure if is uses a plural, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (CGI series) uses the English pronunciation of "general", not the German one of "General" and thus "generals" would be the English form in this case.
  • English lunchs - and most likely also sandwichs - should be attestable, though it might be rarer or non-standard, e.g. from an English book: "The psychologist drove the patient to various appointments, treated her to lunchs and dinners, and let the patient take care of her dog for a week." (Maybe one could argue that it's just a misspelling, but I'm not sure if it is.)
  • Uhu does or at least did also have the plural form Uhu (like (der) Lehrer has (die) Lehrer), similar with Känguruh (spelling reforms spelling: Känguru).
- 07:15, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Whatever the individual examples, Angr and -sche are totally right. The plural -s is native German. It's just not High German, but Low German in origin and therefore occurs only in a relatively small number of standard words. Additional examples: Wracks, Decks (both of Low German origin). Kolmiel (talk) 20:31, 28 June 2015 (UTC)


In the article "ahead" several of the examples use "ahead of" with substantives. Wouldn't these be examples of prepostions as in the article "ahead of". Caeruleancentaur (talk) 14:41, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Good catch. Thanks. Please take a look at both ahead#Adverb and ahead of#Preposition. I've added or split definitions in both. I've moved all the "ahead of" usage examples and citations to ahead of and created usage examples where there weren't any. Feel free to make corrections, additions, or subtractions, or to discuss the entries further here. DCDuring TALK 18:31, 16 June 2015 (UTC)


Can exoticism also refer to an interest in things exotic? ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:17, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

a line from Frim Fram Sauce

Can anyone help me decipher the meaning of this line from the song Frim Fram Sauce? I want the frim fram sauce with oss-en-fay with sha fafa on the side. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:40, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Well... according to one version, it's "Ausen fay", not "oee-en-fay", and "chafafa" or "cha fafa", not "sha fafa". But who knows? SemperBlotto (talk) 06:46, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
    • And according to [7] they are just made-up words. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:49, 18 June 2015 (UTC)


The usage note says "widely used" but the definition says "obsolete spelling", which seems contradictory to me. Which of these is correct? -- Liliana 11:33, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

I don't think there's any massive contradiction here. The spelling is obsolete in that it was removed from Duden in 1996, but the trademark was not affected and remains in use as another word for hairdryer. These dictionaries say more or less the same thing: PONS, Knapp, Wahrig. I've split the senses to avoid any doubt. Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:29, 24 June 2015 (UTC)


E.g. werden - "ihr wärt geworden" can also be "ihr wäret geworden" (e.g. it's present at www.canoo.net/inflection/werden:V:sein?lookup=caseSensitive ). - 01:55, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Isn't that an archaic/literary form? -- Liliana 19:53, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Relevant: WT:T:ADE#Obsolete_inflected_forms. - -sche (discuss) 20:53, 18 June 2015 (UTC)


Some ("weak") verbs have 2 passive forms and 2 past participles (e.g. lieben and loben). So there should be something like "pt2=" (past tense) and "pp2=" (past participle). - 10:56, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Template:color panel

Requesting the contents be modified to not involve tables (there is absolutely no need to use HTML tables for something so basic). See Template_talk:color_panelsuzukaze (tc) 22:39, 7 June 2015 (UTC)


The template needs to be extended. German nouns can have at least 5 diminutives, so just "dim2=" isn't enough.

  • Sack ~> Säckchen, Säcklein; regional also: Sackerl, Säckelchen
  • Boot ~> Bötchen, Böötchen, Bootchen, Bötlein
  • Mann ~> Männchen, Männlein; regional also: Männeken
  • Spaß ~> Späßchen, Späßlein; regional also: Spaßerl, Späßken, Späßle.

So "dim3=", "dim4=" and "dim5=" should be added or Template:de-noun#Diminutive should be extended with a note like "Regional diminutives shall be mentioned in a usage note, not inside the header". - 05:50, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

To be honest, I think we should scrap the diminutive line all together. The only time I can it being useful is in strange edge cases like Boot, and explaining the umlauting there is probably too much information to cram into a heading. Many diminutives have become lexicalized to the extent that they're effectively words of their own, and as you say, there are many regional prefixes that have made some inroads into Standard German (in menus, I've seen Brötchen, Brötlein, Brötsche and Brötl, and Google shows that Brötken, Bröterl, Bröti and Brötle are also in use). Put diminutives below the entries, as we currently do for derived terms. A semi-automated template might be helpful. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:16, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I've created a little demo template. You can see some test cases here. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:05, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Leave the template as it is. The headline should include the normal standard forms, of which there are (with very, very few exceptions) just one or two. The other forms, if they should be added at all (which depends on the individual form), can be added as derived terms. Kolmiel (talk) 20:36, 28 June 2015 (UTC)


In entries there are sections like Synonyms, Antonyms, Hyponyms, Hypernyms, Derived terms. It might be that something like "Derived hyponyms" (i.e. hyponyms which are derived terms) and "Derived synonyms" isn't "generally accepted". Thus I'm requesting that such headings become generally accepted.
Sometimes a term is a derived term of another and also a hyponym or a synonym of it, e.g. Ehemann is derived from and synonym to Mann (in the sense of "husband") and e.g. Ruderboot is derived from and a hyponym to Boot. Thus instead of listing terms like

  • Term: Boot
  • Hyponyms: ...
  • Derived terms: Bootsfahrt, Ruderboot, Schlauchboot, ...


  • Term: Boot
  • Hyponyms: Ruderboot, Schlauchboot, ...
  • Derived terms: Bootsfahrt, ...

one could list it like this:

  • Term: Boot
  • Hyponyms: Ruderboot, Schlauchboot, ...
  • Derived terms: Bootsfahrt, Ruderboot, Schlauchboot, ...

In variant II. it's kind of redundant (listing terms twice), in variant I.a and I.b it's incomplete. Thus this is (sometimes) better:

  • Term: Boot
  • Hyponyms: ...
  • Derived hyponyms: Ruderboot, Schlauchboot ...
  • Derived terms: Bootsfahrt ...

There's no redundancy (every word is just mentioned once) and there's no incompleteness. - 06:56, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

There is nothing that says redundancy is a terrible thing. DCDuring TALK 20:53, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

toward towards

Is the usage note about these words true of other -ward(s) terms? If so, it coul be expanded and used in more entries. - -sche (discuss) 02:42, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

I think toward and towards are the only ones that are prepositions, which is where the Usage note appears.
But the usage note would probably apply to most of the others, that are adverbs. I'll see if I can find something in CGEL, Biber, or Curme or maybe in BNC and COCA. DCDuring TALK 03:50, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Nothing of use in the grammars, but Garner's says that -wards forms are more common in British English and -ward forms in US, which suggests no semantic difference, but since England owns the language, I guess the -wards forms must be correct. DCDuring TALK 03:53, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
I would hesitate to generalize. I say "backwards" more often than "backward", but "forward" more often than "forwards". --WikiTiki89 15:24, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
That's why we rely on authorities and data.
At BNC: TOWARDS 27,017; TOWARD 1,153
At COCA: TOWARDS 20,767; TOWARD 119,788
It looks like Garner's did their homework. DCDuring TALK 16:26, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
What I meant is that you can't generalize it the same way to other words that end in -ward(s). Also, counting the number of usages does not tell you whether there is a difference in the way they are used. --WikiTiki89 16:50, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
COCA and BNC allow skeptics to do the required homework to satisfy themselves with any number of words. They are well worth the time for anyone interested in corpus-based discussion of words, as the allow searches that are impossible on Google. It even has (imperfect) PoS tags for greater selectivity. DCDuring TALK 17:25, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
For backward(s) tagged as adverb:
BNC: backward: 179; backwards: 5342
COCA: backward: 5342; backwards; 3382
Not as overwhelming, but still Garner's 1, armchair 0. DCDuring TALK 17:33, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
In other words, you just proved my point that there is a difference between different words. Now the question remains, is there a difference for the same American speaker who uses both backward and backwards in the way he/she uses backward vs. the way he/she uses backwards? Looking just at numbers tells you nothing. --WikiTiki89 17:52, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
It tells me something, which would be refutable had you any data or anything else to back up your position of no difference. DCDuring TALK 22:23, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
What position of no difference? --WikiTiki89 22:54, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
  • The same also holds true for the adjectival use, interestingly, although the difference isn't as severe - although "backwards" as an adjective is usually proscribed in UK use (even the Guardian Style guide, which is less conservative than most, warns against it), it seems to be what British speakers generally use.
BNC: backward: 616; backwards: 1720
COCA: backward: 6810; backwards; 3388
Returning to adverbial use, I'd say that UK -wards, US -ward rule is fairly universal for common words, but it's less clear for rare ones. skywards obeys the rule, but inward, homeward, landward and seaward appear to be outliers in British use - they are more common as adverbs than inwards, homewards, landwards and seawards - but I don't know whether that's simply a function of them being rare and therefore statistically less significant. Bizarrely, all cardinal directions obey the rule except westward (but with 185 "westward"s against 179 "westwards"s, it's probably not statistically significant). Smurrayinchester (talk) 13:32, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

water as an element

  • "(alchemy) One of the four basic elements of alchemy."
  • "(religion, philosophy) One of the five basic elements (see Wikipedia article on the Classical elements)."

Are these really distinct from each other and from sense 1 / 1.1, or is it just the case that water (that clear liquid, H2O) was once considered a basic element? (Compare: China is one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, but we don't need a separate sense line defining it as such.) - -sche (discuss) 02:49, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

In those senses it is part of a system of terms, ie, it has different coordinate terms. I think that makes the senses semantically distinct. Of course, I think iron is not just an element, but has folk definitions that are what the word means to most people in most contexts. DCDuring TALK 03:58, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Our entry for water omits the basic folk sense, something like: "the clear liquid that falls as rain, makes up oceans, lakes, rivers and ponds, and is used for things such as drinking and washing"
I think starting our main water definition with "a chemical" is pretty poor (and redundant, since we go on to give its chemical formula). It is more germane that it's a liquid. "Chemical" typically implies something used in a lab, or with corrosive or acidic etc. properties, not something that is all around in the environment. Equinox 12:14, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
That's what you get with nested definitions. My preferred sequence and structure is this:
1. Clear liquid that humans drink.
2. The substance of which liquid water and ice are various forms.
3. A serving of the clear liquid that humans drink.
4. ...
Those who feel pressed to nest senses turn the most natural leading sense 1 into a mere subsense of 2. A similar bad thing happened to cat entry, whose leading sense 1 "An animal of the family Felidae" is nearly non-nonexistent. We used to have sane water and cat entries, but some sort of people with a mindset very foreign to me prevailed, it seems. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:35, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
I have been bold, and rewritten sense one. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:50, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Great job. Here is your definition, for ease of reference: "A substance (of molecular formula H₂O) found at room temperature and pressure as a clear liquid; it is present naturally as rain, and found in rivers, lakes and seas; its solid form is ice and its gaseous form is steam". --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:58, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Re: "That's what you get with nested definitions."
Now there's a non sequitur. I could with at least as much justification say "Dispensing with folk/everyday definitions is what comes from the natural arrogant cryptoprescriptivism of educated amateur lexicographers who arrogantly assert the relevance of scientific-seeming definitions based on current knowledge over the everyday experience of every human."
In everyday experience, water, ice, vapor. and steam are distinct, though related. One set of definitions that focused on liquid water and its everyday use and another, perhaps the one that included chemistry, could focus on water as the underlying material that assumes these forms and exists in less than obvious forms in living things, clouds, and elsewhere. Other structuring could include water as a dilutant, unifying another group of definition.
BTW, the placement of the definition of water with respect to diamonds (or gems more generally?) in Etymology 1 is an endorsement of a speculative folk etymology over the etymology that would suggest it originating as a calque of Arabic for water, which is or was apparently used with this definition. The extended sense used in "of the first water" would naturally belong in the same group, if indeed the sense has any use in the gem trade or elsewhere in expressions like second water.
I suspect that such a structure of definitions would lead to translation targets that were better for some FLs, including dead languages. DCDuring TALK 13:28, 20 June 2015 (UTC)


Etymology strikes me as fanciful for such a modern-seeming word. Isn't it just a relatively recent un- + green? Did this word really have currency prior to modern English? Equinox 04:11, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it's in the Old English translation of Genesis (græs ungrene; sweart synnihte, wonne wægas), the Romance of the Rose and the Middle English Romance of the Rose (blossoms ungrene). It's not that surprising that people would recognize (or imagine) when a normally green plant was "ungreen", is it? - -sche (discuss) 04:41, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
un-'s popularity has fluctuated up-and-down over the years, and it was arguably more productive in Old English and Early Modern English than in Modern English - nowadays, ungood has a very artificial sound to it, but it turns up in Beowulf and a lot of other Old English writing. Online Etymology Dictionary has a brief history. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:25, 25 June 2015 (UTC)


I heard the term fifteen-minuter in the TV series Psych where it was used for the contestants of a reality show (derived from 15 minutes of fame). Is it attestable in any of its forms (fifteen-minuter, fifteen minuter, 15-minuter, 15 minuter)? Einstein2 (talk) 15:09, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

A single instance of use counts as attestation of the productivity of -er in this one of its many manifestations. DCDuring TALK 16:38, 21 June 2015 (UTC)


'Lähme' seems to be an inflected form of the Estonian verb minema, but it doesn't appear in the conjugation that Wiktionary offers. It does appear here: http://www.eki.ee/dict/qs/index.cgi?Q=minema&F=M. Could anyone expand the entry for lähme to cover the Estonian meaning of it as well? 17:14, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes, that verb is particularly irregular and the inflection module we have doesn't support all of its irregularities yet. There's a lot of stuff that needs to be fixed up with Estonian entries still. —CodeCat 14:46, 23 June 2015 (UTC)


This "word" may become some kind of Internet meme. See this article. If so, and if we have reason to believe that it is real, it would be nice to have an answer to the likely questions about its reality. The "discoverer" (inventor?) of the word says it means "Coming together through the binding of two ropes" and dates from the 17th century. She also states that does not appear on the internet (read web?) at all or didn't before she put the word on a billboard. She says the meaning (use?) was in a 1627 publication housed at the New York Public Library’s Rare Book Division (or the Library of Babel?).

Will anyone be in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in New York with the time and will to verify the claimed attestation?

If this is real, how might it have been derived? DCDuring TALK 14:40, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Apparently it is a noun, a plural, not an adjective. Parbunkell is one of many alternative forms of parbuckle, which the OED defines as "A rope, cable, etc., arranged like a sling, used to raise or lower heavy objects vertically; a similar contrivance used to move a heavy object up or down an inclined plane, the object acting as a movable pulley in a rope-and-pulley system."
A tip of the hat to Brooke Russell of the Astor Reading Room for Rare Books and Manuscripts of the New York Public Library Main Branch. DCDuring TALK 20:38, 23 June 2015 (UTC)


Ouch. I'll make this the next word I overhaul à la take. - -sche (discuss) 18:39, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

The pdf that dumps on us because of this entry (and others like it) is here, "User-generated content (UGC) in English online dictionaries", by Robert Lew, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, page 14, in Online Publizierte Arbeiten fur Linguistik, 4/2014. The article doesn't say what we shouldn't already be painfully aware of. DCDuring TALK 20:49, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
On the subject of handle, this is also still outstanding from 2013, at least inasmuch as the tag has never been removed from the article. I found the supposed Cornish etymology very surprising too. 02:24, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
I didn't come up with the Cornish etymology, just moved it from a definition line to its own etymology. DTLHS (talk) 02:57, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
The Online Etymological Dictionary explicitly addresses the nickname sense and doesn't find a Cornish connection. We sometimes neglect sense development in our etymologies in favor of PIE etc. Most normal users care more about how a word picked up a meaning over the decades and centuries than about its phonetic evolution over millennia. DCDuring TALK 10:59, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
The Cornish etymology was originally added here. That user seems to be no longer active. I am happy to retract my comments if I am proved wrong, but to me the Cornish thing seems like bollocks. Therefore I have been bold and removed it. 11:57, 24 June 2015 (UTC)


Are we missing the verb sense, as evoked in rammed earth? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:35, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes, and others as well. DCDuring TALK 11:02, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

auger in, augur in

Someone has confused the expressions "auger in" (to crash a plane, referring to an auger or drill) and "augur in" (to introduce, e.g. a new era, referring to the "augurs" or soothsayers of ancient Rome). Please fix. -- 21:56, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. You are correct. Moved to auger in. DCDuring TALK 22:11, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

SCOTUScare, now or later?

Does Scalia's dissent today count as a prominent enough single usage, or do we wait the statutory year to see if the echo chamber is still at it?

On a related note, I have the impression that ObamaCare is not really pejorative anymore, except for those who use Obama by itself as a pejorative, Benghazi means "checkmate!", and so on. Perhaps this bit of information should be relegated to Etymology? Choor monster (talk) 15:34, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

seks (Estonian)

According to see#Estonian, the word seks is also a translative singular form of see, along with selleks. However, since the page seks is protected so I cannot add that meaning by myself. 15:59, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

past partciple drunken

Does anyone know why this is marked as obsolete? "I have drunken water." is what I would say. —This unsigned comment was added by MarloweC (talkcontribs) at 17:05, 25 June 2015 (UTC).

That's unusual. The modern form is "have drunk". Where are you from? Do your friends and family also say "have drunken"? Equinox 17:07, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm from Southern California. My mom does as well. I think most people around here would say "drunk." I've always considered both to be valid, but I say "drunken" myself. —This unsigned comment was added by MarloweC (talkcontribs) at 17:11, 25 June 2015 (UTC).

I'm from Southern California myself (my grandparents moved here in 1918), and I've never heard "have drunken". If someone said that to me, I'd wonder if they were claiming to be in possession of an inebriated liquid... Chuck Entz (talk) 01:23, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
I happened to have been discussing this with a friend not two days ago (The friend is from Atlanta and I'm from Nashville). She was uncomfortable with the sentence the can of beer was drunk and seemed to prefer the can of beer was drunken. We both agreed that, while the second sentence sounded better, it was still humorously ambiguous between the meaning of the participle and the adjective. I feel that in my conversation drunk and drunken exist in free variation as a participle; though, I believe prefer drunk most of the time. —JohnC5 01:47, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
In the UK, as far as I know, the word "drunken" is only ever used as an adjective before the noun (e.g. "a drunken orgy"). Sentences like "I have drunken water" or "The can of beer was drunken" are not used. 11:44, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I sometimes catch myself using drunken participially in speech, though I use drunk more often, and would not use drunken participially in writing. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:02, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

I also wonder whether there are cases where even OP wouldn't use it, e.g. "what have you drunken since last night"? Equinox 16:06, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
@MarloweC: So, are there cases where you don't use drunken participially? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:21, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No, there are no cases that I wouldn't use drunken as the participle. Normally the adjective is "drunk" for me, but only if the thing it's describing is actually drunk -- I couldn't say "a drunk orgy" because orgies can't drink. MarloweC (talk) 16:55, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

@MarloweC: Would you say "a drunken orgy"? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:02, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I have added some generally accepted senses to drunken that reflect MarloweC's usage of the adjective, IMO. DCDuring TALK 17:16, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Nice job. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:44, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Appendix:Old Italic script

So, I know that we don't yet have that many Ital entries for this to affect and thus is not of huge importance, but I recently was editing an Oscan entry and noticed that there was no automatic transliteration. I promptly made Module:osc-translit, but in the process realized that I should have made Module:Ital-translit. For this, I needed a mapping of all the Old Italic script languages to an appropriate transliteration, which led to the creation of Appendix:Old Italic script. Before I begin making the transliteration module, however, I was hoping I could get some other editors to look over these tables and help me clear up some unanswered questions and check that I haven't gone stark raving mad. (I also was hoping to get someone to make me some {{t2i}} PNG's for all the different letterforms so I could list which language used which ones). Please look over this table and tell me if anything is omitted, is unclear, should be changed, etc. Thanks! —JohnC5 02:08, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

re: "stark raving mad": you're a Wiktionary admin, so you've already long since passed that point... Chuck Entz (talk) 03:20, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

body check

Can body check also mean physical examination? I always thought it was Chinglish, but I suppose it might be attestable. ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:34, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

It would be attestable, but it seems particularly SoP IMO. It might be common in Chinglish, but it would be recognizable from its components and understood as SoP except in some sports contexts, IMHO. DCDuring TALK 13:25, 26 June 2015 (UTC)


Are we missing a sense here? As in skull bossing, frontal bossing, parietal bossing, etc. Wyang (talk) 11:08, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

It might be a subsense of the first sense, or that sense could be expanded or given a couple of usage examples. DCDuring TALK 11:23, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
Should it be a verb sense? Wyang (talk) 11:52, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
I think bossing is more certainly a noun = boss (noun) + -ing (Used to form uncountable nouns from various parts of speech denoting materials or systems of objects considered collectively). boss#Verb does not seem to have a corresponding intransitive sense, so a deverbal derivation seems implausible. Attestation could show otherwise of course. DCDuring TALK 13:35, 26 June 2015 (UTC)


Etymology here says "bant + -er"; etymology at bant says "clipping of banter". Anyone know any better? Smurrayinchester (talk) 12:25, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Online Ety D says: "banter (verb) 1670s, origin uncertain; said by Swift to be a word from London street slang. Related: Bantered; bantering. The noun is from 1680s."
Century 1911 offers no origin other than saying the noun is from the verb. For bant it offers a completely unrelated definition and origin. DCDuring TALK 13:08, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
Collins has 2 unrelated Lancashire definitions for bant. DCDuring TALK 13:11, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
IOW, I didn't find an old (pre-1670s) sense of bant. Perhaps the OED or Middle English Dictionary or [] . DCDuring TALK 13:14, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
You could ask @Nbarth: for his source or the grounds for his belief. DCDuring TALK 13:21, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Requested entries

If the page for the language does not exist yet, you can either create it yourself or put up a request for it at Wiktionary:Tea room.CANUPL.CREATdutch1?
gratenkut http://www.seniorennet.be/forum/viewtopic.php?t=167187
Yes check.svg Done Page already existed but wasn't linked. Equinox 17:55, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Sometimes the word lordosis is used to mean "hyperlordosis" but this is incorrect use of the word.

Sometimes the word lordosis is used to mean "hyperlordosis" but this is incorrect use of the word. SURELY, wicki dictionary IS using the word incorrectly, according to this quote here, from Wikipedia, which seems much more complete and authoratative. I think wiki dictionary is misleading. Thanks, P McL

Incorrect according to who? —CodeCat 21:17, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
"according to this quote here, from Wikipedia" —suzukaze (tc) 23:44, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
I somewhat agree with the OP here - there should be two medical senses of lordosis: "normal inward curvature" and "hyperlordosis". Wyang (talk) 23:37, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Links for "chill" in Walloon wiktionary

It leads to "Category:medicine", and not to "chill". What to do ?

--Lucyin (talk) 10:30, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Nothing to do with English Wiktionary, but I fixed it anyway. One of your templates at Walloon Wiktionary had </noinclude> before its interwikis, so they were all transcluded into the entries, and the system only uses the first interwiki for each language on a given page. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:31, 27 June 2015 (UTC)


I can't find much apart from this one article. Does it have another spelling? DTLHS (talk) 03:53, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

kittely - kittely at OneLook Dictionary Search - Google "kittely" (BooksGroupsScholarNews Archive)
Solanum macrocarpon - solanum macrocarpon#English - solanum macrocarpon#Latin - Special:WhatLinksHere/Solanum macrocarpon - Solanum macrocarpon@WSp - Solanum macrocarpon@WP - Google Solanum macrocarpon (BooksGroupsScholarNews Archive)
 Solanum macrocarpon on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons: Solanum macrocarpon
Other Common Names: small bitterball, nganngan, kittely. DCDuring TALK 05:02, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Most of the few mentions I could find just lead back to Mr. Gbolo, but here are a couple of leads: this 2007 article (paywalled here), where another New Jersey farmer refers to kittley as one of his "Jamaican crops" (!), and this New Jersey Extension Service publication that contains these somewhat illuminating sentences: "West Africans also use a pea-sized, red eggplant for medicinal purposes. Known as the Ghanan pea in most countries, it is called Kiteley in Liberia while Kitley describes Bitter Ball in Ghana." If Liberians in places other than New Jersey use this term, they don't seem to do so online.
There are apparently a bewildering variety of "African eggplants" (cultivars of Solanum macrocarpon and Solanum aethiopicum) known by a bewildering variety of names. See here for some learned discussion that however does not mention "kittley" or anything similar.
On edit conflict: "kittely" does seem to be the overwhelming favorite as to spelling. -- Visviva (talk) 05:15, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure how seriously to take the physical description at first website given as apparently the appearance of the fruit of many of the species of Solanum including S. macrocarpon is highly variable, like Brassica oleracea or Cucurbita pepo. DCDuring TALK 05:18, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

changing tense with person

I'm curious if anyone can tell me more about this phenomenon. In certain senses, English speakers will change the verb tense based on the person of the sentence, even when there is not an apparently logical reason for it.

Consider She had been living here long enough that she had a right to make the room her own.

I was told in English, if you make this first person, it would be more right to say I have been living here long enough that I have the right to make the room my own. Even though I had been living here long enough is grammatically correct. Why is this?

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 15:41, 29 June 2015.

It's not to do with person. It's just tense/aspect. If you "had" done something, you suggest that other things have happened since, in between then and now. ("I had lived in London before moving to Athens.") If you "have" done something, you might have finished it right this second, or it might be ongoing. ("I have lived in London all my life.") Equinox 15:47, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
On the other land, suppose you lived in South Africa ten years ago but have lived in the UK since then. You could still say "I have lived in South Africa." - -sche (discuss) 08:02, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
That is because the reference time in that case is the present. If the reference time were in the past, then one has to use the "past perfect", past tense, perfect aspect:
"By the time of the South African World Cup I had already lived in the UK for eight years."
or better to my ears because of the durative nature of live:
"By the time of the South African World Cup I had been living in the UK for eight years." DCDuring TALK 09:05, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Mickey Mouse

Should we have a sense pertaining to things, such as pancakes that are shaped like his face? I believe that a definition pertaining to just the shape could be attested if need be. And if so, should it be a noun or an adjective? Purplebackpack89 22:51, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Why would this be different to objects in the shape of any other famous creature, thing or maybe even symbol for that matter? I could say "yes, I ate that Yeti with marmalade", or "the cogwheel with cheese on top was delicious"? Don't know if "would you like to try some Eurocrem swastika" could be appropriate for the symbol shaped example, though. Symbol-shape semantics, I'd say. Cheers, --biblbroksдискашн 09:01, 30 June 2015 (UTC)


Is this really Translingual? It looks like a word in English to me. ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:20, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Good catch. I've converted it to English and added the largely unrelated Translingual entry for Coccus. DCDuring TALK 14:23, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Lovely, thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:27, 1 July 2015 (UTC)


We have heavy-duty, but should we also have light-duty? Is it attestable? ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:34, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
(We are also missing the figurative sense of heavy-duty that OED includes. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:35, 30 June 2015 (UTC))


I'm trying to clean up the entry on India, which was previously badly formatted and possibly had a bit of a nationalist bias. One thing I'm not sure about is the claim that "Indies" is a plural of "India". The words are related, but is it really a plural? Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:38, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

  • My understanding is that the term Indies meant India together with those parts of the world, originally thought to be linked, that were discovered in the 15th & 16th centuries. The name lives on in West Indies and East Indies. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:46, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Searches like google books:"(various|several) Indies" India turn up a small number of hits which are from 100+ years ago or are discussing discussing documents from 100+ years ago. in other words, it seems Indies may have been rarely construed to be a plural of India in the past (or perhaps even the cites I find can be explained by Semper's comment), but that usage is now obsolete. Recalling the BP discussion which concluded that it was more appropriate to list obsolete alternative plurals in usage notes than on the headword line, and recognizing that a usage note explaining the other connection between India and Indies (that the Indies were thought to be Indian) is in order anyway, I would move mention of it from the headword line to the usage notes.
  • 1905, Journal of the American Oriental Society, page 22:
    Whether India was the real source of the story, I shall inquire presently. But first, [...]. Indies (plural) implies the various Indies of India itself. [...]
  • 2013, Kathryn L. Lynch, Chaucer's Cultural Geography (ISBN 1135309523), page 57
    To document this assertion we should note, first, the classical tradition of various “Indies”; second, the existence of one India on the African continent in a region (Ethiopia) that in the fourteenth century was contested by the Egyptian Mamluks, [...]
- -sche (discuss) 18:11, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Whether "(the) Indies" ever meant "the Americas" is a separate question. - -sche (discuss) 18:15, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

What is the difference between "wast" and "wert"?

Is "wast" the general form and "wert" for hypothetical use?

For instance:

Thou wast once alive.


Thou art a good man. Now, if thou wert a bad man, I might not have helped thee.

Is that how they work? Tharthan (talk) 19:33, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

@Tharthan: Yup, you've got it. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 19:40, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
@I'm so meta even this acronym: Oh good. Thanks! Tharthan (talk) 19:53, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
AFAICT Jespersen agrees. DCDuring TALK 22:23, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
The technical terms are "indicative" for wast and "subjunctive" for wert. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:42, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
You can think of it as the equivalent of "he was" and "he were". —CodeCat 12:36, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Jespersen didn't think it split so neatly. DCDuring TALK 13:27, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I was under the impression there was no grammatical difference--that wert was the older form coming from Old English wǣre + -t under influence from art or inversion (were thou > wert thou); and wast was the same, just using was as the base... The subjunctive form for the old second person using thou was simply were (i.e. (if) thou were...) Leasnam (talk) 23:53, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

July 2015


My Chinese-English dictionary thinks this is a word in English as well. Any ideas? ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:35, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

There seems to be a nestor that means something close to "nester", used as a coordinate of squatter, farmer, and miner, as opposing the open-range cattlemen in the American West of the late 19th century. A Nestor (sometimes nestor) is an old, and possibly wise, man, like w:Nestor (mythology) in Homer, whose advice may or may not be good.
Other dictionaries sometimes define it as "patriarch" or "leader", but perhaps "elder" is better. DCDuring TALK 04:01, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
We have Nestor. The OED says it is not always capitalised. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:56, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
What does it give as the Chinese translation? That should help us figure it out. --WikiTiki89 13:53, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
My Chinese dictionary translates nestor as 鼻祖... ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:16, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

to let

I tried my best here, but I'm sure I stuffed something up. Anyone care to take a look? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:19, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Looks OK to me (added Italian translation, don't know any other). SemperBlotto (talk) 15:18, 1 July 2015 (UTC)


What is that musical-note stuff in the pronunciation section? If it has some kind of meaning, it ought to be better explained, and it probably ought not to be on the IPA line (unless it really is some kind of new IPA-recommended notation). This, that and the other (talk) 15:00, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Not that I know of. I removed it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:17, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd guess it was supposed to indicate a gradually falling pitch. Equinox 19:19, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
See User talk:Strabismus#ouch. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:29, 2 July 2015 (UTC)


For anyone interested in words derived from fictional languages, I've created an English entry for silflay, with four citations from sources independent of Watership Down and which don't even mention the book. I believe it thus meets WT:CFI. If anyone knows of more cites, feel free to add them. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:59, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

to do with

We call this a preposition. Some of the fuller expressions that use it redirect to it and appear in usage examples.

The two problems I have with it are:

  1. it fails in the subsense definitions to fully cover use with forms of be.
  2. the sense definition is not substitutable in uses with forms of have, thus confusing translators and language learners, IMO.

AFAICT, it is not possible to have a single substitutable definition that covers both uses with have and uses with be.

I am having trouble finding references that cover this in a way that corresponds to our preposition treatment (which I don't object to, but am not committed to), so I'd like the thoughts of others. DCDuring TALK 15:06, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Hmm. Doesn't "this is to do with learning English" and "this has to do with learning English" mean the same thing? SemperBlotto (talk) 15:17, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
    Yes, but although in "This is '(relevant|related) to' learning English" "relevant|related to" is substitutable, in "This has '(relevant|related) to' learning English" it is not. "Relevance to" or "association with" would be substitutable with have. Although neither reads like a definition of a preposition, they seem otherwise satisfactory to me. DCDuring TALK 16:06, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
We could:
  1. have two definitions, one for use with have, another for use with be
  2. have two entries, one for have to do with, another for be to do with
  3. decide substitutability is not necessary in this case.
I favor option 1 and would be happy to explain why if asked. DCDuring TALK 16:01, 2 July 2015 (UTC)


Probably shouldn't have "niggerize" as the definition, but I'm not sure what else I would place there. Also, needs real citations. —ObsequiousNewt (εἴρηκα|πεποίηκα) 03:59, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Changed def to "To convert to the black race or culture." This is, of course, long-time abuser PaM. I say nothing about the attestability but I agree that we don't want "nigger" in definitions if we can reasonably avoid it. Equinox 05:18, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

one-year-old, 1-year-old

These, and many other terms starting with a different number, seem to be well attested in English. They have unhyphenated, single-word translations in Italian (see Category:Italian words suffixed with -enne) and possibly other languages. We have a definition of the suffix (-year-old), but not (unlike with other suffixes) the actual words. Is their any objection to their inclusion? SemperBlotto (talk) 07:00, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

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

Translations of the week

Collaboration of the week
1 jam
2 paint
3 party

quote unquote
real McCoy
aggravated assault
score a brace
open sunshine
put one's trousers on one leg at a time
show a clean pair of heels
include me out
see mui
li hing mui
stand pat
sit on the fence
it's all Greek to me
vive la différence
make love, not war
toss around
of all
look who's talking
naked as the day one was born
of a
serve someone right
western world
me, myself and I
in bed
bad girl
bad boy
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
give over
snow leopard
far point
молодым везде у нас дорога, старикам везде у нас почёт
petitio principii
as good as
tomayto, tomahto
contrary to
how's that for
pecker mill
a rolling stone gathers no moss
with a vengeance
same old same old
sumti tcita

olla podrida

enough to choke a horse
nothing to it
TV land
full speed ahead
how much
Dún Laoghaire

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. [8] 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 Lua error in Module:parameters at line 127: The parameter "lang" is required. from Lua error in Module:parameters at line 127: The parameter "lang" is required.. 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 (literary or archaic)...? 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.[9] 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 [10] 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 61: The language code "sr" is not valid. to Lua error in Module:links/templates at line 61: 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...[11]
    -To man up the last batch of capital goods produced, entrepreneurs are scraping up the remnants of the reserve of unemployed labour...[12]
    -...it will be impossible to find the labour to man up all the available capital equipment for productive use. [13]
    (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. [14] [15]
  • 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: [16] 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 85: 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)

[17] & [18] say bulu = feather. [19] says rambut = hair (head/facial/body). Here are some others thrown in for good measure. [20] & [21] say botak = bald. [22] says tanduk = horn. [23] & [24] say kuku = claw (nail). [25] & [26] say kulit = hide (skin, leather). [27] 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 Lua error in Module:parameters at line 127: The parameter "lang" is required., which isn't far off what appears in the page now. The notes in the 'pedia article suggest that Lua error in Module:parameters at line 127: The parameter "lang" is required. 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 Lua error in Module:parameters at line 127: The parameter "lang" is required. 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
1997, Ekelund, Robert B., Jr. and Hébert, Robert F., A history of economic theory and method, page 58:
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. [28] 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," ([29], 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)