Wiktionary:Tea room

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

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

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

Tea room archives edit

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

Oldest tagged RFTs


September 2015


out-and-out is missing a definition relating to breeding. This was a new find for me this evening, as I was wondering about how it got its "thorough" meaning. In a Google books search I could find farmers using "out-and-out horse" and "out-and-out work". In poultry books, "out-and-out breeding" means to rotate in genetically different roosters each year (cf poultry "in-breeding", inbreed). I'm guessing that such thorough mongrelizing is the basis for the "thorough" meaning of "out-and-out" which, confusingly, seems to have an opposite meaning in thoroughbred. - 09:32, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

on the daily

What is "on the daily", when used as a (chiefly AAVE) synonym for just "daily"? For instance:

  • 1996, The Fugees, "How Many Mics?"
  • How many mics do we rip on the daily?
  • 2005, Black Eyed Peas, "My Humps"
  • I drive these brothers crazy, I do it on the daily
  • 2012, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, "Same Love"
  • "Man, that's gay" gets dropped on the daily

Is this a special construction of on, a special definition of daily or an idiomatic phrase? As an argument against the last suggestion, I can also cite "on the weekly" and "on the monthly":

and "on the yearly", "on the hourly" get occasional hits:

Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:39, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

I'd call them all idiomatic, since it's only in this phrase that "the daily" (etc.) is used to mean "a daily basis" (etc.). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:27, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
To me they seem like syntactic constructions with the following formula to transform the expressions into mainstream English: "on the Xly" ⇒ "(on) every X", where every is probably often hyperbolic. I don't know how to add a definition to on that would help. This seems meant for Collocation space, but we could also have an entry for on the that had two "definitions": {{&lit|on|the}} and a non-gloss AAVE entry. That would need redirects from and usage examples of all of the collocations in the usage instances above and possibly more. DCDuring TALK 14:01, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
There's also on the regular ‎(on a regular basis). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:05, 4 September 2015 (UTC)


I had a little shock when I read that attached to someone meant “in a romantic or sexual relationship”. Because I thought I might have used it terribly wrong on many an occasion. But now Google has given me 7 million quotes for “attached to his mother”, which don’t seem to speak of incest. So I suppose the word can indeed mean “fond of, devoted to” as I thought it did.Kolmiel (talk) 04:33, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Added. Equinox 04:35, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
I think that's the more common sense. DCDuring TALK 11:20, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

myself, yourself and similar - pronouns?

These forms are currently denoted as pronouns. And most uses are indeed pronoun-like, such as I wash myself. But some of the uses seem more adverbial, like I myself have seen it or I'll do it myself. You can replace "myself" with "alone" and you can see how they are syntactically very similar. So is this an omission on our part? —CodeCat 18:30, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Although they're not known for piercing up-to-date analysis of things like part-of-speech, FWIW the "lemmings" cover the "adverb-ish" uses as pronouns, e.g. Merriam-Webster: "pronoun 1: that identical one that is I — used [...] for emphasis 'I myself will go'", MacMillan: "pronoun 3a. used for emphasizing that you do something without help from anyone else : I arranged everything myself." In German, where selbst is both a pronoun and an adverb, uses like "ich selbst habe das Essen gekocht" (I myself cooked the meal) and "es waren die Tunesier selbst, die [das taten]" (it was the Tunisians themselves who did that) are typically considered to the using the pronoun (while the adverb covers uses like "selbst wenn du mir nicht glaubst, ..." = "even if you don't believe me, ..."), although the Duden labels both uses "particle"s. I've yet to find any in-depth analysis of the (English) matter, besides the hint that the specific term for this is "intensive pronoun". Does CGEL have anything to say? - -sche (discuss) 02:59, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Surely in "I myself will go" the two pronouns are merely appositional - for emphasis. I don't think myself is modifying the verb (will go), so not an adverb. With "I'll do it myself" again myself is not modifying "do" - rather it is equivalent to (and perhaps a variant of) "I'll do it by myself", where myself is clearly a pronoun as it is preceded by a preposition.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 08:20, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
Who said adverbs have to modify verbs? --WikiTiki89 13:06, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves are collectively referred to as reflexive pronouns Purplebackpack89 13:35, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

neger, néger

  1. Neger says "now chiefly Caribbean", but the only citation is from 1700. The modern hits at google books:"a neger" suggests that, in addition to referring to a type of WWII submarine, this is just a variant / synonym / eye-dialect form of nigger and it does not seem to be specific to the Caribbean.
  2. Can anyone vouch for or against this?

- -sche (discuss) 02:24, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the Hungarian word: Maybe both is "correct"? Like, leftists and pc-ists saying it's a bad word and only treating it as a bad word, and traditionalists and rightists saying it's neutral. So for some people it'd be a bad word, while for others it isn't.
Comparing it with German Neger - which here rather has a presriptive point of view and unjustifiedly got 'closed' from editing -: Neger was a neutral word,1 for some it still is (older ones, traditionalists, rightists), while for some it's bad (leftists, pc-ists). That is, instead of that POV-wording2 "(now dated and an ethnic slur) negro, black: nigger" it's rather "1. (now rare, politically incorrect) negro, black; 2. (now an ethnic slur) nigger".
1 By context the word "Neger" might seem bad, but many negroes were slaves and less educated, so it was the situation which was bad and not the word.
2 negro and nigger are different terms, and the entry mixes them up: negro has a more neutral meaning (e.g. King used it in his "I have a dream" speech), as does have Neger, while nigger is more derogatory (more commonly used by rightists), for which nowadays sometimes Neger is used, but Nigger (from English) is more common. E.g. in German children's books like "Jim Knopf" or "Pippi Langstrumpf" it is Neger in a neutral way (now it's pc and sometimes got removed), while in German RAC it is for example "Gestern durften Nigger auf Plantagen schuften [...]" or even "Hurra, hurra, ein Nigger brennt", which is derogatory. It's like nigger/Nigger has a harder tone (maybe because of that gg and the short i) or is shorter (two short vowels), and thus is prefered in rightists contexts.
-Rdm571 (talk) 12:43, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

away (in a restaurant)

In the UK (not sure of elsewhere) a waiter in a restaurant will shout to the chef "table <n> away" when the people at that table have finished their starters and are ready for their main course (In Italy the word used is via). What is the part of speech? What do waiters in other countries say? The OED doesn't seem to have a definition for this meaning. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:58, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like an adjective. Possibly (guessing) in the sense "at a specified distance in space, time, or figuratively", a bit like when horses in a race are said to be "away" (at the point of starting). Equinox 20:25, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
I think it's a procedure word, and not an English sentence. Pengo (talk) 02:28, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
Well the pos is somewhat obscured by the elliptical syntax, i.e. short for "table X is away" - so seem adjectival to me.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 04:59, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Category English language contains items that don't belong there

Items like Maroon Spirit Language‎, Kriol language‎, Tok Pisin language shouldn't be included. I think they are included because English is listed as on of the ancestors for them, but they themselved aren't English. I think only pages that have English section should be included in Category:English language. Yurivict (talk) 18:44, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

Can you give some examples of words in Maroon Spirit Language, Kriol, or Tok Pisin that are miscategorized as English? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:11, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
For languages that have their ancestor set in the modules, the language category is automatically categorised into the ancestor's language category by {{poscatboiler}}. —CodeCat 20:15, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
But this doesn't make much sense, because in English language category people would expect to see "English language", not some other languages, even though English is within the set of their ancestors. There should be the separate category "Languages having English as ancestor". Yurivict (talk) 21:30, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
Most of such categories would only ever have one language in them. —CodeCat 22:10, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
I never noticed this before; is it new? At any rate it seems to me to be a very bad thing that Category:English language is a daughter of Category:Middle English language, which is a daughter of Category:Old English language, which is a daughter of Category:Proto-Germanic language, which is a daughter of Category:Proto-Indo-European language. That's not what membership in a category is supposed to mean. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:03, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
{{langcatboiler}} should probably have a Descendants field in addition to Ancestors. (But it might have to be truncated to immediate daughters, at least in the case of things like Proto-Austronesian or Proto-Indo-European.) --Tropylium (talk) 20:50, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

Could a native speaker of English check this definition?

Hi everyone,

I defined 'рунетчик' as "A user of the Russian segment of the Internet", but shortly after that the definition was changed to "user of the Russian segment of Internet". The removal of the indefinite article before the word 'user' isn't particularly important; the absence of 'the' before 'Internet', however, looks grammatically incorrect to me.

Could a native speaker of English provide an opinion on the matter?

Thanks! Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 06:50, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

"of Internet" doesn't sound right to me. —suzukaze (tc) 10:05, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
My experience is that "the Internet" has been in dominant use since the early 1990s. Some 1980s american TV news reports used "Internet" without the article (see youtube). Also, "segment" does not seem like the right word to me; "part" might be better. 13:50, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Is (national) subnet common or transparent enough to replace segment in the definition? DCDuring TALK 15:01, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
The thing is, this 'segment' of the Internet is not a technical 'segment'. People who use the word 'Рунет' use it to describe all the Russian-language sites on the Internet as sort of a separate cultural space. The problem is – such a space obviously doesn't exist. And secondly – it's hard to decide which sites should be considered part of 'Рунет' and which shouldn't. For example, Russian Wikipedia and Russian Wiktionary – are they part of 'Рунет' or not? So, I'm pretty sure that 'рунетчик' could be defined as a user of 'Рунет'. How to define 'Рунет' – I know not.
And also, does it even belong in an English definition if it's a Russian word that isn't really used in English? Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 15:23, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, suzukaze and, for your contributions.
Yes, a Google search of phrases like “French segment of the Internet” and “Chinese segment of the Internet” exposes the use of the word ‘segment’ in this context as a Russianism. If any word should leave the definition, it’s this one.
The word ‘Internet’ should obviously be preceded by a definite article. The native speakers in this thread, as well as Google and the Oxford Dictionary of English all agree.
As for the ‘a’ at the beginning of the definition, it’s not that I feel strongly that it should stay – rather, I don’t understand why it had to go. The aforementioned ODE routinely uses it in its definitions, and it’s commonplace to start definitions of countable nouns with ‘a’ on Wiktionary as well.
But all of this still leaves me with the question of how the word should be defined. Technically, the Internet is not divided into segments or parts based on language.
I guess the easiest way would be to define ‘рунетчик’ as a user of ‘Рунет’ – and let those who understand what the latter is define ‘Рунет’. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 15:09, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
I did my best to reword the definition. I can't think of any reason to remove the, though whether to use a seems more like a personal preference. As for defining Рунет, look at Anglosphere for an analogous term. I would suggest "the collection of all Russian-language sites on the Internet", or "the Russian-language sites on the Internet, taken as a whole", or something like that. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:29, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz Thank you for your work on defining 'рунетчик'! I also think that your two definitions of 'Рунет' are about as precise as one can be with this markedly imprecise term. Come to think of it, I might borrow one of them verbatim for the definition. :) Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 10:42, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Currently it's: "A user of Russian-language sites on the Internet", which I think is much better than the "segment" expression, yet not really quite right; for example I am a Russian learner, and would come under this definition, but I am not a рунетчик (least, I think not, not yet). I think "(the) Francophone Internet" is probably widely understood; would "the Russophone Internet" be clear (and neater)? Imaginatorium (talk) 06:58, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I think it goes a little beyond being a "user". It's about actively participating in the Russian-language community online, by interacting with others in that community. Even if a person uses exclusively Russian-language sites, but only reads them, they are not a Runetchik. Receiving and sharing information of some sort is a requirement, read-only users are not Runetchiks. Eishiya (talk) 22:12, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

woodpigeon vs. wood pigeon

Shouldn't wood pigeon be the main entry? Woodpigeon seems to be an Americanish spelling, but I don't think they live in America (or do they?). We always spelt it "wood pigeon" in NZ (referring to the native species there). Donnanz (talk) 14:07, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

The data in Google n-gram indicates that indeed wood pigeon should be the main form, with woodpigeon and wood-pigeon being alternatives. Why do you say woodpigeon is a US spelling? DCDuring TALK 14:52, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't think "woodpigeon" is used in British English, so I assume it's an American form (I don't know for sure), and "wood pigeon" is the customary spelling here [1]. They come into my garden, by the way. Donnanz (talk) 15:21, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
The RSPB uses woodpigeon, as does the BOU British List. Authorities generally seem to be split between the three forms. Keith the Koala (talk) 15:36, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Very surprising, so where do we go from here? Absolutely nowhere, I suppose. Donnanz (talk) 07:42, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Au contraire, we correct the 2009 change that switched the main entry from [[wood pigeon]] to [[woodpigeon]]. The 2009 edit summary rationale for the change by User:Top Cat 14 (apparently not using "Move", let alone WT:RFM) was "Moved the page here becuase woodpigeon is the preferred spelling and used more". Which rationale is contrary to what Google N-grams and COCA show. BNC shows all three forms roughly equal. It would have been nice to see some hint of the source of evidence. DCDuring TALK 10:21, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely brilliant! Thanks a lot! Donnanz (talk) 11:09, 8 September 2015 (UTC)


I've heard this used (by Brits) as an insult, like "idiot" or "knob", but I'm having trouble finding citations. Has anyone else heard of it? What's the etymology? - -sche (discuss) 06:04, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Could it have actually been nit? It can be pretty easy to mistake one unreleased final stop for another. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:47, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
I can find it written on a few websites, like here, just nowhere durable. - -sche (discuss) 17:02, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
No, doesn't ring any bells I'm afraid. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:37, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
For nitwit one can't get ANY semantics from what passes for our etymology (which goes back to PIE). In contrast Online Etymology Dictionary more helpfully gives "nitwit (n.) "stupid person," 1922, probably from nit "nothing," from dialectal German or Yiddish, from Middle Low German (see nix) + wit (n.). DCDuring TALK 10:52, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Interestingly, American dictionaries seem to like the German/Yiddish root idea, while British ones prefer a more literal "having the brains of a nit" (although Chambers goes with US). The earliest (non-scanno) hits in Google Books are from the US Northeast (which surprises me, since now it's quite a British-sounding insult), so I'd go with the German root. Added both to the entry, with preference to German. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:46, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
I haven't heard of this either. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:49, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
Nor have I! Equinox 13:43, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I've lived in Northeast US almost all of my life. I've never heard this. Looks like a job for DARE. DCDuring TALK 16:58, 20 November 2015 (UTC)


Perhaps I'm re-listing this (it's already tagged but I see nothing on its talk page) but it summon used as a noun as opposed to summons? Or to put it another way, is it currently used as a noun, that is, is it archaic, dated, current, what? Renard Migrant (talk) 15:27, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

It's rare and possibly archaic. I can find a 1817 citation of "which took place the night preceding his summon of his uncle" and a 1979 citation (by a non-native speaker?) of "His summon of all the Northern emirs", a few citations of google books:"his summon to", in all of which cases I think it could be defined as "(rare) singular of summons". - -sche (discuss) 16:47, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

"white hope"

The phrase "white hope" deserves explanation and an entry. I think it is to be distinguished from the common or vulgar understanding of the phrase "great white hope", which as far as I can tell is basically that of a white boxer or other athlete.

The phrase "white hope" apparently has a true, much older significance. Thus, one finds in "The Decline of Bismarck's European Order", by George . Kennan, Princeton University Press (1979), p. 93, at the asterisk at the bottom of the page, the following: "*Skobelev's death, it might be further noted, occurred within a few weeks of that of her other great hero and white hope, Gambetta ...."

It's clear that the use by Kennan is free from any racial reference, and that "white hope" has an independent meaning. In this older, non-vulgar sense, the phrase "white hope" is deserving of an entry in Wiktionary.

Does anyone know what this phrase really means, and its derivation, with other examples of its usage?

The Oxford Dictionary of English does: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/white-hope Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 19:37, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
See white hope at OneLook Dictionary Search, especially MW's definitions. DCDuring TALK 03:29, 10 September 2015 (UTC)


Hi there. We currently have: "A silly, foolish or unintelligent person". I thought that it was more like a forgetful, distracted, or unaware person. But since English is a second language to me, i consult y'all instead of making a change. Of course a second sense/def could be added, but i think it overkill, as i believe the word to have but one meaning. Opinions? Thanks in advance.--Jerome Potts (talk) 16:30, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

See airhead at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 16:34, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Ah, so there is another sense. Thanks. Note that i don't copy from other dictionaries, i want us to make our own. But the "consensus" is always interesting. --Jerome Potts (talk) 18:42, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
The idea is that their head is filled with air rather than with a brain. --WikiTiki89 16:49, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Europeanize or europeanize?

? --2A02:908:C30:EBE0:69A9:8A6F:CD91:312C 00:15, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

Euro- words are more often written with a capital. Equinox 00:18, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
BGC Ngrams confirms that the capitalized form is way more common. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:14, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
Oxford agrees with the capitalised form [2]. Donnanz (talk) 09:32, 13 September 2015 (UTC)


Is there a way to change the title of the article अझ़दहा? The title should be अज़दहा. There is no such word as अझ़दहा in Hindi. This word exists in Urdu, but that doesn't mean it also exists in Hindi. In Hindi, the modified form अज़दहा is used instead. Here is a dictionary entry with अज़दहा, and as you can see there is no अझ़दहा present.--Foreverknowledge (talk) 07:48, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

This seems to be correct, so I have moved it. @Dijan, Stephen G. BrownΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:57, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
Actually, the former is an alternative spelling used to indicate the Persian/Urdu pronunciation with the voice palato-alveolar sibilant, a sound which isn't native to Hindi, just like the word itself. That doesn't make the word non-existent as the claim above suggests. --Dijan (talk) 05:04, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
If the word were existent in Hindi, one would expect to find at least some references to it in literature. However, you can see for yourself, there are 0 results for अझ़दहा/अझदहा in Google books. In a general Google web search, all results for अझ़दहा/अझदहा are either derived from, influenced by, or based on Wikipedia/Wiktionary. In other words, अझ़दहा/अझदहा is not a real Hindi word, but a word Wikipedia/Wiktionary created for Hindi. It is, however, an appropriate transliteration for the Urdu/Persian word. --Foreverknowledge (talk) 03:45, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

"Pot Noodle" or "pot noodle"?

Pot Noodle is a registered trademark of Unilever, but it seems to have entered general usage and used for other manufacturers' identical products, and it is also written completely in lower case. Other manufacturers have to use a different name, the ASDA product is called a "noodle snack". The question is whether it's worth an entry. Donnanz (talk) 09:25, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Interesting. I've eaten those damn things a few times (I prefer "Super Noodles") but I've never seen it written in lower case or used generically. Want to make a Citations page? Equinox 09:31, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
The generic, lowercase, term is instant noodle I think. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:37, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
p.s. Apparently you can only eat them after you have been soaked in boiling water. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:39, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
Citations pages aren't my speciality, in other words I've never done one. A little bit of info here :: Citations pages aren't my speciality, in other words I've never done one. A little bit of info here [3] may help.
Maybe Semper Blotto should rephrase that last comment. Donnanz (talk) 09:44, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
That's what our definition seems to say to me. Perhaps it needs a comma or something. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:47, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
"It is eaten after being soaked in boiling water." Cf. "it is thrown away after being used". No grammar problem. Equinox 09:48, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
The way I read it, you yourself have been soaked in boiling water. Ouch! Donnanz (talk) 09:52, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
The first reading is supported by the weight of the grammatical evidence and of the context, but the other reading isn't completely ruled out, especially with the looong distance between the two clauses. It's also more fun to talk about... Chuck Entz (talk) 10:05, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
I've swapped the words around a bit - any better? Keith the Koala (talk) 20:05, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
I think "pot noodle" is more specific than "instant noodle", in that it implies the boiling water can be poured directly into the styrofoam cup packaging. Not sure how to judge how generic the trademark has become. Can't say I knew it was a trademark. Pengo (talk) 13:06, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
  • It seems to be pluralised as well [4], and has a Wikipedia page. Donnanz (talk) 13:38, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

RMOS Consultancy new word addition in your dictionary

hi i want to add a new word RMOS Consultancy in your dictionary so plz help and describe me by and by process to do so

That is definitely not going to happen. It's commercial spam, or advertising. If you add it, you will be blocked. Equinox 09:46, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Jewes and jewes

The current state of these two entries is rather problematic, but I don't actually know what to do with them (besides the obsolete spelling listed in Jewes, of course). Would {{only used in}} be appropriate, perhaps? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:54, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Hm, I wasn't aware of that template when I made those pages or I would have used it. I'll wait and see if someone's got a better plan though. FTR, there's a lot more than just those two pages, there's about a billion variations on it, all of them are in Category:English particles (all of the Js in that category). WurdSnatcher (talk)
All I know for sure is that they oughtn't to be particles! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:45, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
I originally named some nouns but thought they didn't really act like nouns, maybe nouns that are only used attributively? WurdSnatcher (talk) 21:07, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

proprioception, nociception, etc.

Where does the ception bit come from? I don't think it's a suffix, I don't think it's directly from Latin (would be capiō or captiō not ceptiō) so where's it from? Reception, inception, what? Note we have -ception but with a completely different meaning. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:47, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

perception presumably. Equinox 20:50, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Latin noun inflection table templates

I've recently migrated a great number of Latin noun inflection table templates to Module:la-noun and so rendered many of them obsolete; all of the locative templates have been superseded by the |loc= parameter, which simply has to be set to ‘yes’ to add the locative row as well as the appropriate forms of the word to the table, and the one plural template has long since been superseded by the |num= parameter, which can be set to ‘sg’ or ‘pl’ to eliminate the singular or plural column, respectively. In addition, most of the templates for irregular nouns have also been rendered obsolete; named parameters such as |nom_sg= and |dat_pl= can be used to specify irregular forms of the word, and an {{la-decl-noun-irreg}} template can be created and declensions added to the module for highly irregular words such as domus. JohnC5, I'm so meta even this acronym, and Metaknowledge all think getting rid of the obsolete templates is a good idea; I haven't discussed with them the possibility of creating an {{la-decl-noun-irreg}} template, but I don't think that will be a major bone of contention. Anyone have any objections? Esszet (talk) 22:39, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Suggestion: the parameters should be |noms= and |datp= to match the syntax used in {{inflection of}} (and Module:gender and number in general). --Tweenk (talk) 23:23, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
@Esszet: No objections from me. I'd like to recommend {{la-decl-irr}} in place of the overlong {{la-decl-noun-irreg}} (irregular adjectives could be handled by {{la-adecl-irr}}, per {{grc-adecl}}).
@Tweenk: Parameter names like |nom_sg= and |dat_pl= are a legacy of the templates' wikicode parameter names pre-Lua. I think I prefer the _sg and _pl forms, rather than the the _s and _p forms, but that's probably just because that's what I'm used to; however, I see the merit of having uniform abbreviations, so I can support the _s and _p forms. That being said, I certainly believe that we should keep the underscores — they improve readability (just like {{inflection of}}'s pipes) — imagine conjugational parameter names sans underscores: |3spresactvindc= rather than |3_s_pres_actv_indc=, for example…
 — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:35, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

up shit creek without a paddle

I always assumed that this referred to the situation of being stuck in a bathroom after having taking a shit without toilet paper, given both the human tendency to wrap such situations in metaphor, and the closeness of the imagery.

The existing entry for this phrase is, by its own admission, dubious, and contains no citations, so I'm interested to see more evidence. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

If you believe the article needs better citations, you may want to start a Request for verification. Purplebackpack89 14:07, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

'dâm' (Vietnamese)

The Vietnamese word 'dâm' has 'being a pervert' listed as one of its meanings. This definition sounds very strange to me. What does it mean exactly? 'Pervert'? 'To commit perverse acts?' 'Perverted'? It's listed as an adjective, but 'being' is a state, and therefore indicates a noun... In short, I'm confused. Maybe somebody who is familiar with this particular sense of the word could come up with a better definition? Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 16:19, 15 September 2015 (UTC)


Do we have a place for this word? The citation is "He was illiterate, and he has made frequent boast that he never saw the inside of a schoolhouse. His habit of mind was singularly illogical, and his public addresses the greatest farrago of nonsense that ever was put in print. He prided himself on being a great financier, and yet all of his commercial speculations have been conspicuous failures. He was blarophant and pretended to be in daily intercourse with the Almighty, and yet he was groveling in his ideas and the system of religion he formulated was well nigh Satanic." Salt Lake Tribute on Brigham Young's death. There does not seem to be another use, but Wikipedia quotes this, and there are many places on the Internet asking what it means. Is there some appendix page where this notable nonce word can live?--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:53, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

@Prosfilaes: It belongs in Appendix:English nonces. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:39, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

tengah hari (afternoon) in Malaysian Sign Language

I know how to the sign. Left hand crosses infront of chest, left palm facing below, right hand elbow besides ribs contacted above left hand, stand still and right palm towards left. I want to contribute it to here but not sure how… --Malaysiaboy (talk) 14:10, 16 September 2015 (UTC)



Although I'm a registered user, I don't know the ins and outs of how to create an entry here. Perhaps someone could set up this using the following as info: http://www.ctvnews.ca/lifestyle/a-startling-hidden-treasure-exploring-the-holloways-of-dorset-england-1.2564028.

Good work being done here. Humbug26 (talk) 19:22, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Excellent catch. We didn't have holloway, sunken lane, or hollow way. I'm not at all sure that sunken lane is necessarily dictionary material (See sunken + lane. DCDuring TALK 23:18, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for adding. I would never be able to provide that level of detail. I'm now starting to use this site more, especially now that I'm processing material at Wikisource. Every once in a while, there are some words that I really need to get the meaning of to have the context make sense. Really quite a good resource. Humbug26 (talk) 01:16, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Accelerated inflection creation gadget doesn't work any more

Missing links don't show as green any more for no apparent reason. It still worked yesterday. Yurivict (talk) 05:01, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

@Yurivict, CodeCat: It seems to be due to an edit made by CodeCat, which I have reverted. I hope she can identify the error so that Latvian & Co. can be added successfully. (For future reference, WT:GP is a better forum for technical concerns.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:36, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Yurivict (talk) 05:43, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge I copied and pasted the code that User:Neitrāls vārds had provided in User_talk:Conrad.Irwin/creationrules.js, assuming it was correct. Should I have checked for errors beforehand? —CodeCat 12:30, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Could you do that? That'd be great, if it helps it is practically a verbatim copy of the Turkish rules (as Turkish doesn't appear to have any complex modules, and is pretty heavily inflected, I thought that'd be a good reference point...)
And I suspect that Latvian in particular is what could've been the culprit (mdf and myv had it set to stick the rules in {{inflection of}} but Latvian has a custom inflection-of template.) Adding the three of them one by one could give clues, I assume. Neitrāls vārds (talk) 12:52, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that's the problem. The problem was actually in the script itself, something was throwing an error and that brought everything else down. It might be an undefined variable or something. —CodeCat 13:01, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

CodeCat, there is a semicolon missing after every the last curly brace in all three of those blocks. Could this be it? Neitrāls vārds (talk) 13:20, 17 September 2015 (UTC)


Just created onct - Google suggests strongly that it's an eye dialect of once, but I can't even guess what dialect it might be. SHould it be pronounced "wunst"? --Zo3rWer (talk) 18:19, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

I'm tempted to drop an RFV on it right off the bat. If you're going to create it, especially with it being unclear as to dialect, you should put cites on it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:32, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
"Onest" also exists (google books:"onest upon"), as does "onst". - -sche (discuss) 21:13, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
I think this is just a spelling variation of oncet, or possibly a guess by someone not familiar with the more usual spelling, which can happen with rare and dialectical forms. Your pronunciation is correct, and much easier to understand than the existing IPA guideline. P Aculeius (talk) 23:46, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Fabulous = Gay?

I've started a discussion on the talk page for fabulous with respect to a new sense that was added today. I'm not convinced that the examples cited demonstrate a meaning that can be clearly distinguished from the existing senses of the word, and that the meaning asserted is derived from the context in which the word is used, rather than the word itself. Apologies if I've posted this in the wrong area; please feel free to move it to the right place if I have! P Aculeius (talk) 23:43, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

I'm a new kid here, and I'm afraid I don't quite understand the procedure. We had a brief discussion on the talk page, where 2 users were kind of in favor of removing this new definition, one user sort of wanted it amended, and yet another user seemed to be quite happy with the way the entry is now. Then everybody went silent... What happens next? Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 19:54, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
@Pfftallofthemaretaken: Talkpages are an uncommon place for discussions, as it may be difficult for them to show up on others' radar. In a case like this, I would encourage you to put {{rfd-sense}} on the definition line and create a discussion at WT:RFD. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:18, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge Thanks! I think it would be more logical for @P Aculeius to do this, as he was the one who started the whole discussion. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 20:24, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
@Pfftallofthemaretaken: It's not at all illogical for you to do it. Anyone can, after all. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:26, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
  • FWIW, I like how definition 6 is worded. It's kinda of a low-level/underhanded way of saying you're gay without actually SAYING it. Purplebackpack89 20:25, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Well, that's the problem. It doesn't say it. Just because a word or phrase has a sort of loose association with something else doesn't mean that the said something is a definition of the word. In every example offered, the reason for using "fabulous" is supplied by other words creating a general context, while the word "fabulous" just sort of sits there ambiguously meaning "extremely amazingly wonderful" or something even less specific. Never done an RFD before, but I guess I'd better look into that. P Aculeius (talk) 02:07, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
@P Aculeius: Feel free to ask me if you need any help. Cheers! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:12, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Just tagged it, about to add an entry on the RFD page per instructions. If I've placed it in the wrong spot, please fix it! P Aculeius (talk) 02:17, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Fabulous! But really, does anybody know what happens next? Or, perhaps, I should ask—is there a procedure for such cases? Do we get to vote or smth? Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 07:03, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
First a discussion of the presence of absence of any aspect of usage that should make it easier to make a decision. After that and also while the discussion is progressing: voting. DCDuring TALK


This is also a variant spelling of Ciara, of Irish origin. I'm not really sure how to put it in the entry though. —CodeCat 00:54, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

If the same string has origins in two languages, one could try to distinguish an Etymology 1 and 2, like at Amber... though I can see how it could be hard in many cases to tell which uses of a name have which etymology, since they're synonymous and context (like someone being born to Irish vs Persian parents) could be missing or unreliable. Pragmatically, one might need to have one etymology saying "In some cases, from X. In other cases, from Y."
In cases where a name has its origin in one language and then came to be applied to another thing, however, we seem to use just one etymology and note the sense evolution: toad covers "amphibian" and "man" under one etymology. It's debatable which of the two situations the use of an English name to anglicize / respell / re-form an Irish name is more similar to, but in practice we mostly handle them under one etymology, as in Humphrey and most other entries (where the info is in the etymology), Cornelius (where it's in usage notes), or Jeremy (where it's in the definition). I think Angr's edit to Kira was the way to go.
Straying off-topic, perhaps a dedicated template for that would be useful; it would take the Irish name as a parameter and produce something along the lines of the existing wording, "Used to anglicize Irish Amhlaoibh" (add nodot=1 and add "from Olaf" manually).
- -sche (discuss) 17:39, 19 September 2015 (UTC)


I can't figure out what knaue means in Middle/obsolete English. I guessed at new, know, knave, but the quotes don't make sense. --Zo3rWer (talk) 10:51, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure those are all knave, many of them in the meaning "boy" (compare German Knabe). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:53, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks. So a knave child is a babie boye. --Zo3rWer (talk) 10:55, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
The distinction is typographical. Written English at this period didn't distinguish between 'u' and 'v', even though spoken English did. In other words, they were treated as the same letter with two pronunciations (like many letters today). I've been transcribing church records from the 16th Century this week, and I can confirm that 'u' and 'v' are written the same way, as are 'i' and 'j' (except that both shapes are used; the j shape is usually found at the end of a word or numeral). P Aculeius (talk) 16:35, 19 September 2015 (UTC)


Deus says "Only the vocative retained the -v-", but none of the five vocative forms contain a v. (One contains a u, but the nominative and accusative also have u.) Are we missing a form, or was the v retained only in Old Latin and lost in Latin, in which case we could spell that out in the interest of clarity? This article suggests that v-forms of divus (dívum or dívom) were sometimes used as forms of deus, which seems like something to include in a usage note. - -sche (discuss) 18:08, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

deus and inflections don't have a v. (Nowadays u and v - as well as i and j - are different letters, so DEVS or devs is rather a deprecated spelling.)
Somewhere also other forms of divus where mentioned as inflected forms of deus, like dive for the vocative singular - which could explain why some say there's no classical vocative of deus. (Maybe "Template:la-decl-deus" had deus with vocative dive (maybe instead of deus and dee) and the quote maybe refered to that?)
Also: In Georges' dictionary it is "Vokat. Sing. deus, erst spätlat. dee" (voc. sg. deus, in Late Latin dee), which seems to contradict "The vocative singular of deus does not occur in classic Latin, but is said to have been dee; deus (like the nominative) occurs in the Vulgate." from your source.
-Rdm571 (talk) 11:48, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Pinging Latin-speakers @Metaknowledge, I'm so meta even this acronym for their input. (The issue is: the entry says "Only the vocative retained the -v-", but none of the vocative forms contain a v.) - -sche (discuss) 23:06, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Looking at the deleted history of {{la-decl-deus}}, it did indeed have the vocative dive. --WikiTiki89 23:31, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It's confusing, and probably deserves a usage note; I'd view forms with -v- to be suppletion that doesn't belong in the declension table, though. This paper is a good place to start, if anyone wants to get on that. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:14, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
    If it is not attested, maybe we should simply not include it and provide a usage note listing some reconstructions and/or later forms (if they exist). --WikiTiki89 01:14, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

@-sche, Rdm571, Wikitiki89, Metaknowledge: I read the paper to which Μετάknowledge linked. In nuce, there is insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion. The end of the paper's final paragraph sums it up nicely:

  • 1997 April, John Rauk, “The Vocative of Deus and Its Problems” in Classical Philology, volume XCII, № 2, page 146:
    [I]f we are to ask…, “What was the classical vocative of deus?”, how are we to respond? The examples are few and uncertain, but this is no basis for claiming that the vocative was not occasionally used in classical times. Nor is there any way to determine whether deus was preferred over dee, or whether both were used. The form dee does appear, though infrequently, in early Christian writers. Deus was overwhelmingly favored in the Latin Bible and later Latin, but neither can be used to reach conclusions about usage in classical times. In the end it is necessary to recognize the for all the armament of scholarship that can be brought to bear upon it, the vocative of deus is a question that must be left open. All that we can do is say what the vocative of deus might have been. We cannot say what it was.

 — I.S.M.E.T.A. 02:58, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm glad you seem to have enjoyed the paper. I was thinking we ought to write a usage note, but perhaps the quotation above would suffice. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:01, 20 November 2015 (UTC)


I added a second definition to the French word ("from the Lord (i.e. Jesus Christ)"), but I couldn't think of any English adjective meaning "from the Lord." Can anyone think of one that isn't obsolete or archaic? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:28, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

In Christian contexts, divine is often taken to refer specifically to the Christian god, but I think "of the Lord" may be the best translation (and quite common). "...brought (the wrath of the lord | divine wrath) down upon them" (either phrase works). - -sche (discuss) 23:57, 20 September 2015 (UTC)


Wiktionary describes as Węgiereka: Hungarian woman. Not sure exactly how to add 80 grams of a Hungarian woman to a plum cake recipe. Any suggestions? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Wiktionary entries are case-sensitive, so the entry is correct. The problem is that that nobody has created an entry for the lower-case counterpart, węgierka (yet). Do you know anyone who speaks Polish that could do that?. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:19, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
It's not even on the Polish wiktionary yet. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:57, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

Old English mægþ, noun sense 2

The etym explains where sense 1 comes from -- girl, presumably cognate with German Magd. Sense 2, however (power, i.e. might, presumably cognate with German Macht), must surely have a different derivation. Could someone split these senses up by appropriate etymology? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:23, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

done Leasnam (talk) 20:15, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome ! Leasnam (talk) 21:28, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm curious, does the power sense really derive from Proto-Germanic *maigiþō ‎(shamelessness, wantonness, wickedness), rather than from *maganą ‎(to be able)? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:03, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
There is already a derivative miht. —CodeCat 21:07, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
I wonder that too. I am not sure, it could have evolved out of the "ambition" sense, or have been influened by sound-alike meaht. I wasnt able to trace it adequately to any derivative of *maganą. Leasnam (talk) 21:28, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

What do we do with ngọn đuốc now?

I created an entry on the Vietnamese word ngọn đuốc yesterday, then started doubting myself. I know, ideally it should work the other way around. The problem with the entry is that ngọn actually looks like a classifier, and we already have an entry on đuốc. Two of the dictionaries that I use list ngọn đuốc as an independent word. Another dictionary lists this word only as part of the entry on ngọn, but doesn't specifically call ngọn a classifier. I asked a native speaker, and to said native speaker ngọn looks like a classifier. Still, words can function like classifier but actually not be classifiers... Does anybody have any idea what should be done with this entry? Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 06:28, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Delete or redirect to the main entry. We don't make Vietnamese noun entries with classifiers. Classifiers belong in the |cls parameter in {{vi-noun}}. Similar entries have been converted to redirects or deleted. Pls. don't add {{attention}} if you have questions about words, use {{rft}} and discuss senses here.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:47, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
But we haven't established yet if it is a classifier... But as you will. Also, I wasn't the one who added {{attention}} to đuốc, and the person who did did so because they weren't sure whether the word can also mean flashlight. Maybe you could put {{attention}} back in? Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 06:59, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Fine, I'll do it myself. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 19:37, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Tuttle Concise Vietnamese Dictionary, page 214, states that ngọn can be a noun as well as a classifier: ngọn n. peak, top (of mountain, tree, flame): ngọn lửa flame; ngọn nến candles (CL for flags cờ, trees cây, lamp đèn, etc.) —Stephen (Talk) 12:10, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. It would seem that in this case it is indeed a classifier. One of the dictionaries that I have lists "ngọn đuốc" alongside "ngọn cờ", and Tuttle says that "ngọn cờ" is classifier + noun. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 19:37, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Geomythical places experience

I would like to know if someone could help me to understand what geomythical places experience means in the women health and nursing care context. Thank you

Cecília Marques - Brazilian Journalist

Pronunciation of bon appétit in English

Stephen left a note on the page:

do some speakers really pronounce this "bone a pay tee"? In Australia it's always "bon app a teat" with the final "t" pronounced as it's slightly anglicized and we're not familiar with French. ANSWER: I have usually heard it pronounced app-a-teat in the U.S. Whenever I hear someone say app-uh-tee in English, I consider it pedantic. —Stephen

And I completely agree. I can safely say that I have never heard the pronunciation /ˌboʊn æpeɪˈtiː/ given on the page. I did some research in dictionaries and found this (converted to our IPA scheme from whatever system was used):

Those are all the dictionaries I found that include this term and it seems the lexicographers at every one of these dictionaries is suffering from a serious case of francophilia and lives in a quarantined environment. I would say that each of the variations of bon listed above probably does occur, but I have never an /eɪ/ sound for the -é- and have never heard this pronounced without the final /t/. The American version of the ODE comes the closest to how I would usually pronounce it: /ˈboʊnˌæpəˈtiːt/ (and incidentally, through the glottalization of the final /t/, it does come close to being dropped). --WikiTiki89 20:22, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Yes, that is what I found as well. Surprising. And I agree, ODE (Ame) comes closest. What I say and hear is: /ˌboʊnˌæpəˈtit/, /ˌbonˌæpəˈtit/, /ˌbɒnˌæpəˈtit/ —Stephen (Talk) 23:48, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
  • WordReference's R. H. Learner's Dict. of American English: /ˈbɔn ˌæpəˈti/ - bô nᴀ pā tē′
  • dead-tree Wordsworths Concise English Dict. (ISBN 1840224975): "bo-na-pə-tē" = /bo(ʊ).næ.pə.ti/
  • dead-tree Oxford Dict. of English (2012, ISBN 0199571120) and the COED (2011, ISBN 0199601119): /ˌbɒn apɛˈtiː/, French: /bɔn apeti/
But I usually hear /ˌbɔn ˌæpəˈtit/ from English-speakers. Like Wikitiki, I have never heard this with /eɪ/, and almost never without /t/. - -sche (discuss) 00:18, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Having looked at dictionaries, let's look at actual uses via one corpus it's easy to search the text of and then find the audio of: songs.
  • Detroit Michigan rapper Angel Haze, in 22 Jump Street ~2m37s rhymes it with "sweet" as /boʊn.æ.pə.tit/
  • Detroit Michigan hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse, in Dead Pumpkins ~38s, rhyme it with "dick or treat" as /boʊn.æp.ə.tit/
  • Lexington North Carolina horror punk/metal singer Wednesday 13, in All American Massacre ~1m49s, says /boʊn.æp.ə.tit/
  • Detroit Michigan rapper Eminem, in Don't Front ~2m13s, rhymes it with "eat"+"beat" as /boʊn.(æ|ə).pə.tit/ (I'm not sure of the 'a' vowel)
  • Harlem New York rapper Azealia Banks, in Fierce ~1m17s, says /boʊ.n(æ|ə).pə.ti/ without /-t/ (but I'm not sure of the middle vowel)
I think that's enough evidence to give /boʊn æpətit/ (without syllable breaks because those seem to be variable) as an American pronunciation. - -sche (discuss) 01:37, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps it needs a usage note explaining that those familiar with the French term may insist that the English term be pronounced the same, but in actual usage it isn't. As for the final t: final stops are often unreleased when there's nothing with an initial vowel after them, especially in rapid speech. I'm not sure if I would call it glottalization, but it's very common. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:55, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
You'll notice it has become a glottal stop if you pronounce a vowel right after it. In the US, this is common before vocalic [n̩] (bitten = [bɪʔn̩]) and in Britain this can happen before any unstressed syllable. If there is a pause after the /t/, then it is pretty much the same (bit = [bɪʔ]), but usually the tongue is ends in a position as if it were about to articulate a /t/, so you could call it an unreleased stop if you want, but the glottalization is still there. --WikiTiki89 02:16, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Another data point: Michelle Obama, from Chicago, says /boʊn.æ.pə.ti/ at the 2015 Kids State Dinner, ~14m24s. - -sche (discuss) 02:00, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
One more data point because it's a favourite film, the French-accented waiter (played by English actor Bryan Pringle) in Terry Gilliam's Brazil, does not pronounce the final -t (which I can't say I ever picked up on before now). —Pengo (talk) 04:07, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. I'm used to hearing this with and without the final [t], not that I hear it every often. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:16, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
More data points: Craig Benzine (born in Wisconsin, lives in Chicago) says /ˌboʊn ˌæpəˈtit/ at the 45s mark of this Mental Floss video. Hank Green (born in Alabama, lives in Montana) says /ˌbVˌnæ.pəˈti/ (not sure if the first vowel is /o(ʊ)/ or /ɔ/) 15 seconds in to this Sci Show episode and /ˌboʊn ˌæpəˈtit/ at the 11m20s mark of this CrashCourse episode. Ian Somerhalder, who was born in southern Louisiana and who might therefore be expected to have heard the phrase in French, says /ˌboʊnˌæpəˈti/ in the Vampire Diaries episode I'll Remember (playing a character from Virginia). - -sche (discuss) 21:25, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

marriage equality usage notes

The Usage notes section of the entry on marriage equality says, "Mainly used by supporters of such equality"—just as KKK members don't have much use for the term "racial equality". Nor do male chauvinists refer to the concept of "gender equality" by its proper term. Quite frankly, whatever equality you take, it will only be called that by those who support it. Therefore, this usage note doesn't make much sense, and I propose that it be removed from the entry. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 14:11, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Yes, usage notes like this are more commonly used on the less preferred term. It might make more sense to add a usage note to "gay marriage" instead, noting that many prefer to simply refer to it as "marriage", or as "marriage equality" when framing the politics. —Pengo (talk) 03:36, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Words that are loaded with political meaning should have usage notes. "marriage equality" is now moribund as a word, at least in the gay sense in the US, UK, Ireland and Canada. I don't know about Australian and Indian English, but I'm quite sure it's a political term there, used preferentially and non-neutrally by one side.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:50, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Following this logic, we should include a usage note on the word 'black', in the sense 'a person of African descent', saying that only one side of the debate uses the word, and white supremacists prefer the word 'nigger'. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 20:05, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Hello, slippery slope fallacy. - -sche (discuss) 20:26, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

gay—Vietnamese translations

Could somebody correct the Vietnamese translations for the word gay? (The entry is locked for editing.) The Vietnamese translations for the adjective should be đồng tính—without người, which in this context means 'person' and makes the whole word a noun. This applies to both the sense "homosexual" and the sense "typical of homosexual appearance".

It would also be nice to add {{qualifier|male}} before both Vietnamese translations for the noun 'gay', as the English definition of the word says "A homosexual, especially a male homosexual". (Although, maybe it would be better to just define the noun as "male homosexual", because, quite frankly, who would say, "She is a gay"?) Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 19:36, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Thank you, Μετάknowledge, for making the edits! We still need {{qualifier|male}} in front of "người đồng tính nam" (noun). Or, seriously, let's just get rid of that especially part? 'Gay' the noun means 'male homosexual', period. Who uses it to describe lesbians? Is Ellen DeGeneres a gay? Should we start a new discussion about this somewhere? Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 23:18, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
There are lots of female homosexuals who dislike the word "lesbian" and refer to themselves as gay. Ellen DeGeneres is, in fact, one of them: if you watch the episode of Ellen where the Ellen Morgan character comes out of the closet, you'll notice the word "lesbian" is never used. Ellen herself, and the other female homosexual characters, are consistently referred to as gay. Using "gay" as a noun is more complicated; I'd never say "Ellen DeGeneres is a gay", but then I'd never say "Tom Daley is a gay", either. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:55, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
The noun form is probably more often used in the plural: "Are there any gays in the audience?" would be assumed to include lesbians. Keith the Koala (talk) 08:16, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
I also know homosexual women who have no aversion to "lesbian" but who vary between describing themselves as "gay" and "lesbian" since both the broad and the narrow labels apply. Ingrid Nilsen is an example. And to be clear, it's not just self-reference; after Ellen Page came out by saying "I am gay" at a Human Rights Campaign event, the HRC congratulated her "for taking the steps to live openly and come out as lesbian", and people have used both words to describe her ever since. (She went on to do an interview with Ellen Degeneres where they both only used the word "gay".) See also google books:"gay woman". - -sche (discuss) 08:48, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
@Angr "There are lots of female homosexuals who dislike the word "lesbian" and refer to themselves as gay."—ah, but that's a case of the word being used as an adjective, which is covered elsewhere in the entry and is totally uncontroversial. The definition of the noun though...
@Keith the Koala "The noun form is probably more often used in the plural: "Are there any gays in the audience?" would be assumed to include lesbians."—I'm not sure about that. If I were in that audience I would assume the speaker was asking whether there are any gay men in the audience.
To be fair, though, I doubt too many people would say that, and not "Are there any gay people/men/women in the audience?" Just feels more natural. Which the use of the word 'gay' as a noun doesn't. Should we add a qualifier 'unnatural', or something like that?.. 'Archaic', perhaps? The use of the word as a noun is definitely going away—a Google search of "are there any gays" turns up exactly 3000 results... Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 18:09, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Using "gay" as a noun sounds odd in the singular and in the plural when it's specific, but sounds find in the plural when it's general: compare ?"I met a gay at a party last night" and ?"I met two gays at a party last night" vs. "Gays were outraged by the verdict." The first two sound very odd (and even somewhat offensive) to me; the third sounds fine. The first two also probably refer only to males, but the second easily includes both males and females. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:36, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Is that true of other words, too? "Obama is a black" sounds a bit odd (possibly offensive?) but "blacks were excited by the nomination" sounds OK. If there are several words like that, we could make a usage note template. Transgender and a number of 'related' words (e.g. genderqueer) are similar: they are usually adjectives, and sound awkward and offensive as nouns (in my experience and per style guides) — notably even in the generic plural. Btw, I cited gays in the sense "homosexual people (including women)". Citing the singular may be harder. - -sche (discuss) 20:15, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. It does sound odd, and possibly offensive, with a hint of 'objectifying' the person mentioned. "I met that thing at a party", "Our president is that thing"—gives you that kind of feeling. Or maybe I'm just imagining things. But then, all three of us are imagining the same thing. Curiously, if you google "as a gay I", "as a black I", you find lots of people talking about themselves in this way. In most cases we, of course, have no way of telling whether the person saying that is a native speaker. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 20:42, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Using gay as a noun is rare and awkward except in the case of "gays and lesbians", which seems more accepted (probably because "gay men and lesbains" sounds overly verbose). Perhaps a usage note could be added to this effect. Kaldari (talk) 20:12, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
For many people, Jew also works this way, even though it can only be a noun: "I met a Jew at a party last night" and "I met two Jews at a party last night" sound vaguely offensive to many people, whereas "Jews were outraged by the verdict" doesn't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:29, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I think Jew is much, much more commonly used as an inoffensive noun than gay is. --WikiTiki89 21:07, 30 September 2015 (UTC)


This is labelled "(sarcastic)", but doesn't seem sarcastic to me, it just seems like the word you use when the phenomenon (in your subjective judgement) has happened. Likwise mansplainer, mansplaining, mansplanation. In contrast, "surprise surprise" deserves its "(sarcastic)" label, since you say it when something unsurprising has happened. - -sche (discuss) 03:47, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

It is used with a sarcastic (sardonic?) tone, but it is not literally sarcastic. Shouldn't be in the context label. —Pengo (talk) 04:16, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
While we're at it, I really doubt that it's "chiefly Internet". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:02, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
  • As another 2p in the same mien, I've only ever heard this term verbally -- this thread is the first time I think I've personally ever seen the term in print. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 07:22, 26 September 2015 (UTC)


Hi again. I've been playing with a wordlist from 2008 - User:Connel MacKenzie/Gutenberg, and I created all the required entries except for one! It is ahaua, which certainly means something. But I can't figure it out. Googling suggests it has a meaning in Maori, possibly one in Latin, and there's lots of crap to wade through. Can someone give me a clue, and we can delete the Gutenberg page. --Zo3rWer (talk) 07:58, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

I think in Latin it may be a spelling of the Ahaura River. There's a river of the same name in New Zealand too, though the Maori word looks more like a personal name to me? Or maybe it's both. WurdSnatcher (talk) 12:28, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
It certainly means something in the Cakchiquel language, but I don't see cites for the lowercase in any other language. It's not present in my (fairly exhaustive) Maori dictionary. And the Latin should be at Ahaua (as an alternative spelling of Ahava), but as an obscure placename in the Vulgate I'm not thinking it's especially important to add. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:41, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
In the Vulgate, it's spelled Ahavva anyway. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:48, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Ah, thank you. Oddly, that comes up much less on Google Books. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:52, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
In Latin, it is Ahava in Historia Scholastica. In English, the Bishops' Bible spells it Ahaua, but only because it always uses u for v ("And euen there at the water beside Ahaua I proclaymed a fast, that we might humble our selues before our God"). The usual spelling in modern English Bibles is Ahava. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:56, 26 September 2015 (UTC)


Sarsenet and sarcenet have different (albeit not radically different) etymologies. I can't find any of the supposed Old French etyma in the Godefroy or http://www.anglo-norman.net/. If you use the Anglo-Norman On-Line Hub you can search using regex which is extremely useful (example: sa(r|rr)a(z|s|ss)ine(t|tz|ts|z)) and the definitions are in English, so if anyone fancies it, feel free. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:13, 26 September 2015 (UTC)


The page for -tion says that it is not productive, yet words seem to still get make by it. For example, "fertilization" was invented in 1857 according to the online etymology dictionary. Tideflat (talk) 16:29, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

That was formed from -ation, not -tion. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:30, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

crying game

I've often heard this term used but I've never understood it. Any ideas? And should we include it here? ---> Tooironic (talk) 17:04, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

I've gathered some citations here and here. The capitalized form is a reference to a 1992 film (the definition is a spoiler of the movie's "twist" – which probably isn't as shocking as it was 23 years ago). -Cloudcuckoolander (talk) 21:17, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

How many strokes in 謎?

Some fonts show an extra dot above the center radical (motion radical) in this character. Other fonts do not. Even on the Wictionary page for this character (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E8%AC%8E), on my computer at least, I find it listed both ways.

This is a very interesting inconsistency that ought to be at least mentioned on the page, don't you think? 21:11, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

It's a font thing. It's like the difference between g and ɡ:
suzukaze (tc) 21:19, 26 September 2015 (UTC)


I'm interested in a word that I can't completely recall. It was in my reading of the work of Carl Jung. It referred to a phenomenon when something was read, casually in passing, a long time ago, then recurs spontaneously, seeming to be an original thought. The word was something like "cryptesthesia" That's the best that I can reconstruct it. I'd really like the accurate spelling.

Cryptomnesia DTLHS (talk) 02:32, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

independista - in English?

Hi. I'm looking for a good one word translation for Spanish independista. Springs to mind separatist. but is there anything closer? -- ALGRIF talk 10:00, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

independentist? Equinox 10:19, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • That's odd. I didn't find that! (Maybe I mispelt ?¿?). Thanks. -- ALGRIF talk 10:26, 27 September 2015 (UTC)


Wanted to add another sense to the entry on Glaswegian—wasn't sure whether to call it an accent or a dialect of English (Oxford was no help, as it literally says "dialect or accent", but the way that I see it, it's either one or the other), so looked it up on Wikipedia, and it claims that it's a dialect of Scots. Who knew...

So, does anybody know what it actually is? Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 20:07, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

"Accent" refers only to pronunciation/phonology, so if Glaswegian is distinct from other varieties of Scots in morphology, syntax, or lexicon, then it's a dialect and not just an accent. I suspect it's a dialect of Scots rather than of English (under our definition of Scots as a separate language from English), but I don't know enough about it to be sure. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:46, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
There's no reason it couldn't be both: most of Scots coexists with Scottish varieties of English, so someone might switch between Glaswegian Scots and English with a Glaswegian accent, depending on the situation and the audience. It does make more sense, though, for Scots to have the stronger geographical variation of the two. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:13, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

без (Macedonian)

The example "Не могу жить без тебя." is Russian. I'm pretty sure it's not Macedonian, as жить is an infinitive, which Macedonian wouldn't use. PierreAbbat (talk) 05:32, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Good catch, someone must have misplaced it. --WikiTiki89 17:50, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Macedonian doesn't use ь or я either. —CodeCat 17:56, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Wikitiki89, when you moved the not-Macedonian example into the Russian entry, you moved it into the wrong sense. I was going to move it to the correct sense, but it doesn't fit stylistically. I think the example is worth keeping, but I'm not sure how to make it look good. Since it's a full sentence, bullet-points seem inappropriate. Eishiya (talk) 23:50, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I didn't realize there was another sense (in fact I don't think that sense should really be separate). The entry needs to be reformatted anyway, and I'm too lazy to do that. --WikiTiki89 14:27, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

quotation in Weedjie

We have a quote from Trainspotting on the page for Weedjie: " Ah've never met one Weedjie whae didnae think that they are the only genuinely suffering proletarians in Scotland, Western Europe, the World." Nice one, but the word is listed as English, and the sentence isn't written in English, as words in bold indicate. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 06:32, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Well whae and didnae aren't English, but ah can be (see ah#Pronoun). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:37, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
To me, it looks like pretty standard literary English with a few Scottish pronunciation spellings (didnae is a familiar part of Scottish English). Irvine Welsh would generally be described as writing in English (the Scots Wikipedia calls Trainspotting an "Inglis-leid film") – to be honest, I think very little modern published writing could genuinely be called Scots, even when it has a slight Scottish flavour – there's a big difference between throwing in a few naes and actually using Scots idiom and vocabulary. For contrast, here's a couple of sentences from the Scots Language Centre's website: "Dr O’Donovan hauds a puckle degrees sib tae langage fae the Versity College, Cork, the Versity o Limerick an the Versity o Dublin City. Afore takkin up this post she wis the Heid o Langage Inpit at Harper Collins in Glesca an haes skeel in biggin up baith the body o wark on the leid an wirkin wi langage material deegital-wise." Translate it word-for-word and it certainly doesn't sound like idiomatic English (she "has skill in building up both the body of work on the language and working with language material digital-wise"?) Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:41, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
When I read Trainspotting, my impression of the dialogue was that it was chiefly Scots/English code-switching. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:44, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
I think often it's not even as simple as code-switching. The problem is that, realistically, Scots and Scottish English exist on a continuum, and most writers are somewhere in the middle, moving towards one or other pole in different sentences for different effects. Ƿidsiþ 15:15, 30 September 2015 (UTC)


The entry am in the English verb section has "sg" put in the middle there. Is that an error or does it mean something? WurdSnatcher (talk) 01:52, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

The template didn't recognize "sg" as an abbreviation for "singular", so it just output it unchanged. I changed the parameter to "s", which the template does recognize. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:08, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

past continuous

Have a stepped beyond my competence? I have added "imperfect" and "imperfective past" as synonyms.   — Saltmarshσυζήτηση-talk 16:19, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Seems reasonable to me. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:30, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Past continuous describes a grammatical tense of the English language. Imperfective aspect and imperfect are generic grammatical terms that are used to describe their respective phenomena in any language that employs them. What's more, imperfect and imperfective aspect aren't synonymous. that guy 13:00, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • It's a bit tricky: different languages can have tenses called by the same name that differ in significant ways from each other. For English, imperfect and past progressive seem to be synonyms, but there's no guarantee that's true for all languages. Also, as pointed out above, aspects and tenses are two quite different things: not just past, but present and future tenses can be imperfective. It has more to do with whether an event or state is viewed as continuous or as a point in time rather than when it occurs (and even that is probably only accurate for some languages). Chuck Entz (talk) 13:45, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Would anyone care to venture what traditional English "tenses" (conflating tense and aspect) the following underlined verbs are?
    1. I was wondering why she said that.
    2. I have been wondering why she said that.
    3. I had been wondering why she said that.
I'd expect there to be more than one name for at least some of these. I think it would be a modest service to English language learners if we could make sense out of the last two or three centuries of English grammar terminology. DCDuring TALK 17:54, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
1. Past continuous.
2. Present perfect continuous.
3. Past perfect continuous.
'Continuous' can be replaced with 'progressive' in all three.
It is true that what English grammarians usually call 'tense' is actually tense+aspect, but in practice that makes learning easier, not harder. What makes English tenses difficult is the fact that their practical application is even more messed up than the famously convoluted and inconsistent English spelling/pronunciation. A big headache for those trying to learn English as a foreign language. that guy 18:11, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
At least we have all six of those.
In the case of present perfect continuous/present perfect progressive (I have been wondering), I have a little difficulty in the use of the term perfect "(grammar, of a tense or verb form) Representing a completed action." Is that a defect of our definition of perfect, a missing definition thereof, or a misnomer that is a justification for the idiomaticity/non-transparency of present perfect continuous/progressive? DCDuring TALK 22:58, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
When I hear "completed action", I think pluperfect/"had SOMETHINGed". The perfect tense is usually rendered in English as "has SOMETHINGed". The perfect can be a continued tense, the pluperfect can't be. Purplebackpack89 23:07, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Oh, and in answer to your hypotheticals, I'd say 1) past progressive, 2) perfect progressive and 3) pluperfect progressive. Purplebackpack89 23:10, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89 Actually, 'perfect' means 'completed' in the grammatical sense, and 'pluperfect' means 'completed by a certain point in the past'. Only, learners of English wouldn't know the term 'pluperfect', as to them it's known as 'past perfect'. And why can't it be continuous? Construction number 3—'had been wondering'—is continuous pluperfect.
@DCDuring Well, present perfect continuous might or might not be completed. Consider this example: you have been working on something for hours, and now somebody has just ruined your work. You say, "I have been working on this for hours..." Are you still working on it? But of course, as you said, it could also be the case of the action still continuing into the present moment (and that's how this tense is used in the majority of cases)—as your example number 2 above shows. But even in that case, the speaker arguably directs our attention to the past, i.e. the fact that he/she has been wondering about it for some time. If the speaker wanted to emphasize that they haven't stopped wondering even now, they would use present continuous: "I'm still wondering why she said that." that guy 07:08, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Pfftallofthemaretaken Are you saying something can be both continuous and completed? That seems counterintuitive. Purplebackpack89 13:45, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89 Actions cannot be both continuous and completed, but English tenses can. To form any past perfect sentence (including the continuous) you need 2 types of past: a distant past, and a more recent past. The latter might be either specifically stated or implied, but let's take a sentence in the full form: "I had been vacillating for months before I made the decision." Here, 'vacillating' is a continuous action in the distant past, which had ended the moment something happened in the more recent past—in this case, the moment 'I made the decision'. Here's an example timeline for this tense (but a different example sentence): [[5]]. that guy 15:05, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
I wonder why "I will have been wondering ..." makes sense, but "I will had been wondering ..." doesn't. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:11, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
I guess because past perfect requires 2 types of past—distant and more recent—and that's just too much to drag into the future. Have some shame, English grammar! You're confusing enough as you are already! that guy 07:25, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, that's because in "I will have been wondering", "have" is in the infinitive, not in the present tense. In short, only the first auxiliary verb can change number and tense, so the past tense would technically be "I would have been wondering." --WikiTiki89 17:40, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Bah, only dem grammarians be intrested in dis stuff! :) that guy 18:12, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Declension of народ-богоносец

Can somebody help me get the Declensions table in the entry on народ-богоносец to work? It requires some sophisticated wiki-magic that I haven't mastered yet. that guy 17:29, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

The template does not yet support compound nouns (but maybe it will soon). This diff is what we have generally been doing. You can create богоно́сец ‎(bogonósec), using the declension template {{ru-noun-table|a|богоно́сец|*}}. --WikiTiki89 17:49, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks! Maybe I will some day, although not sure. Researching and writing that entry isn't going to be as much fun as it was for народ-богоносец. :) that guy 18:52, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
I created it. You don't have to do detailed research for every entry you create. --WikiTiki89 19:04, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Great, thanks! that guy 19:39, 29 September 2015 (UTC)


It looks like we are missing the sense as in "The population boomed". —suzukaze (tc) 21:10, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

That sense seems to be covered by Etymology 3. Will change the Etymology 3 definition to fit. Hillcrest98 (talk) 22:15, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

October 2015


Do we currently include the sense as in "shave on/against the grain"? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:58, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

I think "a linear texture of a material or surface" ought to cover it, though the given example is for wood. Equinox 15:02, 1 October 2015 (UTC)


Could somebody amend the translation in the 2nd ux for the Russian word хуйло? It should be "Who's that dipshit smoking outside of [that building's] entrance?" instead of "What kind of dipshit is smoking outside of [that building's] entrance?"

(We also need to create Хуйло for Vlad—the nickname has really caught on.) that guy 18:35, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Since the page was protected, I fixed it. As for the second thing, you know you can do things instead of asking for them to be done. Also, keep in mind that for attestability, there need to exist citations spanning at least one year. --WikiTiki89 18:50, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, it's been more than a year, so I think it's fine. I guess I'll do it, only it requires research and all that. that guy 18:54, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, actually, as a quick web search of "хуйло сказало" revealed, the word хуйло is never capitalized when referring to Putin. So I guess we'll have to add it to the existing entry on хуйло, and I can't do that as I'm still not autopatrolled. that guy 18:59, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
You will be soon. --WikiTiki89 19:07, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Hope so. :) that guy 19:10, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Russian: слышимый, обитающий

Aren't they both participles (and not adjectives)? that guy 19:38, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

A participle is an adjective. I guess we consider them to be adjectives when the meaning is different than it would be as the participle of the verb. --WikiTiki89 19:40, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
"A participle is an adjective."—that's not what they taught us in school...
"A participle is a form of a verb that is used in a sentence to modify a noun, noun phrase, verb, or verb phrase, and thus plays a role similar to that of an adjective or adverb."
"Как формы глагола, причастия обладают некоторыми его грамматическими признаками. Они бывают совершенного вида и несовершенного; настоящего времени и прошедшего; возвратными и невозвратными."
Слышимый — слышанный — услышанный, etc.—is that an adjective? that guy 19:54, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes. --WikiTiki89 14:31, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
By the way, I don't mean that all participles are adjectives, only adjectival participles. --WikiTiki89 14:32, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

the female equivalent of men definitions

The current def of "bushman" is "The female equivalent of a bushman."

Is it Wiktionary policy to define women in terms of men? I thought this sort of sexism was not pc any longer in dictionaries. Also, it makes for a poor definition as what type of "equivalence" is intended? Do bushwomen do the same type of work as bushmen? (Actually, the definition of bushman needs some work as well, a bit overspecified at the moment). Also, it raises the question of why we don't first define bushwoman and then define bushman as "the male equivalent of a bushwoman". The current def style was common in print dictionaries that used alphabetical order and were attempting to save page space - not a factor in an electronic dictionary.

I think it would be better to define bush woman with something like "a woman who lives in the bush; a woman accustomed to the harsh life of the bush" ...

This makes wonder how many entries there are with "The female equivalent of xxx" definitions...and whether a policy is needed (or already in place) about this issue.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 00:16, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

See my response at Talk:bushwoman. I think you are right, and I don't define entries this way any more, but I created a few. Equinox 01:25, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Many words like that were formed by taking the -man form and appending -woman, and the -woman form will pretty much never be used as a generic, whereas the -man form at some point in most cases has been used with women. We don't need to save page space, but we do need to make sure that male/female versions of the same base word don't drift apart in definitions, implying a difference that doesn't exist. I certainly oppose taking e.g. aviatrix and changing it from "a female aviator", because that what it is, an aviator limited to one gender.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:11, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Glad you agree. I will edit bushwoman ... however, is there some way to get a list of them all? A bot perhaps?Sonofcawdrey (talk) 05:40, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

To continue with this ... I agree that "a female aviator" is well-worded and accurate since the term "aviator" is generic. However, there are times when xxx-man and xxx-woman are not the same thing as well, i.e. there is a difference that does exist. I don't think bushman/bushwoman are the same as aviatrix/aviator. There are also cases where the -man version really does refer to men, rather than generically referring to people (men or women). Haven't really thought much about other cases, but it might be a good pet project for someone.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 08:06, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Do we define parts of speech in other languages in terms of English grammar?

This is a continuation of a previous thread, but now the question that I have is more general.

Russian words слышимый and обитающий are participles. In Russian grammar the participle is seen as its own part of speech, separate from the verb and the adjective. In English grammar a participle is a form of a verb that can act as an adjective. In the above entries Russian participles are listed as adjectives—and their English translations might very well be adjectives. But the Russian words themselves aren't.

My question is: do we define parts of speech of other languages in terms of English grammar? Is there a policy to this effect? that guy 14:53, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

To answer your literal question, no we don't define other languages' parts of speech of terms of English grammar. As for particples and adjectives, the way I see it is that adjectives are part of speech, while participles are forms of verbs, so as long as the participle is nothing more than a form of the verb, then we put it under a ===Verb=== heading, but when the participle has its own meaning separate from that of the verb, it becomes indistinguishable from an adjective. слы́шимый ‎(slýšimyj) has two meanings, one is the present passive participle with the translation to English "being heard", while the other is an adjective with the translation to English "able to be heard", i.e. "audible". As for обита́ющий ‎(obitájuščij), I agree that we can delete the adjective sense and leave just the participle sense. --WikiTiki89 15:33, 2 October 2015 (UTC)


Does classical only refer to ancient Greek or Latin culture/society? Or can it also be used to refer to, say, ancient China, for example? ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:57, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

I think used on its own, it's only Greek/Latin. In the context of a discussion about China, "classical" might mean a particular era of China. But without context, I think it's always Greco-Roman culture. WurdSnatcher (talk) 16:01, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, it is a bit ambiguous at times. If we talk about "Indian classical dance" then clearly is it referring to India, not Greek/Roman culture. But the context does not have to be specifically stated verbally: in an Indian newspaper, "classical dance" would refer of course Indian classical dance, not Greek/Roman dance, and if the article was about say Greek dance, then that would have to be specified. In any case, it is better to be specific about what culture you are referring to when you can and not just assume classical=Gk/Rm.Sonofcawdrey (talk) 08:12, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
And yet I note that both Wiktionary and the OED specifically define classical as pertaining to Greek/Latin cultures only. According to the information provided above (and my own gut feeling), this is incorrect. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:34, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

No, "Classical" or "classical" can refer to a classical period in any civilization, often defined by notable production of literature, drama, and/or music. Some civilizations may even have more than one classical period, e.g. Europe before and after its dark ages. In Western (Euro-American) society, "classical" usually refers to European classical periods, but that is only due to ethnocentrism. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:21, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

the meaning of the word Eclectic

what is the meaning of the word Eclectic and were did it derive from,and from which language/

Please see our entry for eclectic. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:19, 3 October 2015 (UTC)


For definition two, how would it be conjugated?

Is it:

yede, yeded, yeding

yede, yode, yoden, yeding

yede, yode, yode, yeding

yede, yede, yede, yeding

yeed, yede, yeding


Are other forms unattested?

I know that the verb "yede" only exists as an obsolete pseudo-poetic verb which arose from a misunderstand of the original past tense of go ("yode"), but surely it must have some method of conjugation.

Someone more familiar with the verb might wish to add the correct conjugation to the page. Tharthan (talk) 14:56, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

BUMP Tharthan (talk) 21:00, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
BUMP Tharthan (talk) 14:24, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Bumping is somewhat obnoxious. Anyway, it doesn't seem to conjugated much (although the term is rare in general); the only conjugated form the OED has in a citation is yeding, and I can't find any more in the wild. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:00, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


The last definition in whip is very weird: Any of various pieces that operate with a quick vibratory motion, such as a spring in certain electrical devices for making a circuit, or a rocking certain piano actions. Can someone clarify this? I'm not familiar with it, but it doesn't seem very sensical to me. Don't all electrical devices make a circuit? (at least the functioning ones) And "a rocking certain piano actions" looks like a random grouping of words. WurdSnatcher (talk) 15:47, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Old def from Webster 1913. Perhaps the spring closes the circuit. Agree, the piano bit looks like a scanno that's propagated around the Web. Equinox 18:18, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
The 1917 Webster is easily findable on Google Books; it does not include the rocking certain piano actions part.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:16, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
In any case I think some words were lost. An "action" can be a moving mechanical component, so it might be intended for e.g. "a rocking part in certain piano actions". Equinox 19:00, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
NB: "The action is the mechanical part of the piano that transfers the motion of the fingers on the keys to the hammers that strike the strings."Piano technicians guild The lower arm in the grand piano action is the whippen or whip, and includes such structures as the whippen heel, whippen body, whippen flange, and whippen flange rail. - Amgine/ t·e 03:15, 7 October 2015 (UTC)


Can someone with access to the OED or some knowledge of geology find a meaning of tan related to sedimentary rock? Dinneen's Irish–English Dictionary ({{R:ga:Dinneen}}) says the following in its definition of leac: "any sedimentary rock, a tan; [] l. liath, lime-tan; l. ruadh, iron-tan." I've found nothing in Wikipedia or Webster's Third New International (or the 1828 or 1913 Webster's) or in Google Books (even restricted to the 19th century in case it's an old-fashioned term no longer in use). All I can find is references to various tan-colored rocks, but I don't think that's what Dinneen is talking about. Any ideas? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:32, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

The OED has nothing. The only connection to Irish in its entry on tan is a reference to the w:Black and Tans. Probably not relevant: "In the manufacture of artificial marble, to steep (the composition) in a hardening and preservative preparation: cf. tannage n. 1." DTLHS (talk) 17:45, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm guessing it is a reference to the colour of the rock. SemperBlotto (talk) 18:25, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
Century doesn't have anything relevant, either. It has "tan" as "the bark of the oak, willow, chestnut, larch, hemlock, spruce, and other trees abounding in tannin, bruised and broken by a mill, and used for tanning hides", and (from a different etymology) "a twig, or small switch". - -sche (discuss) 08:21, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • This is certainly not in current use in geology, and I am also largely failing to find anything that matches it in older texts. I could imagine that it refer to a weathering surface, but I've no evidence for that. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:05, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Thanks for trying to figure this one out, everyone! Patrick S. Dinneen was from County Kerry; I wonder if it's a word only used in Hiberno-English, or even his local Kerry variety of Hiberno-English, and maybe he didn't realize that people from outside his area wouldn't know this word. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:12, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

James Taylor "doggies retire".

James Taylor "thinking about women and glasses of beer he closes his eyes as the doggies retire". I know doggies or dawggies or dowggies means cattle. Does this term have history? Is it cattlemen slang? Are there other instances were this term is used?

It's usually spelled dogies, but the origin is unknown. I know it from Git Along, Little Dogies. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:29, 3 October 2015 (UTC)


I'm not sure how to go about adding it to the posh article, but posh is also dialectal for "slush", e.g. Walt Whitman, "To Think of Time", 'Cold dash of waves at the ferry-wharf, posh and ice in the river, half-frozen mud in the streets...'

student syndrome

Does this term only refer to students? The entry claims it doesn't. But wouldn't that make it the same procrastination in general? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:43, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

It is procrastination by anybody: e.g. "This initial research investigates three behavioral issues which may affect team member productivity in both a traditional waterfall project and in a Scrum project: the management of stress, the use of slack and the student syndrome." Equinox 12:19, 4 October 2015 (UTC)


This "fictional" form of transport has now been invented, albeit not exactly the same as it was in Back to the Future Part II. As a dictionary, I think we should mention this. --Zo3rWer (talk) 12:14, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

They aren't common. Change it to "mostly sci-fi". Equinox 12:18, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Zo3rWer is somewhat valid; what those guys are calling "hoverboards" are actually known as wikipedia:self-balancing two-wheeled boards. Perhaps people call them that because those who have ridden it have probably mastered it quickly. I propose entering that definition as an "informal." Railer-man (talk) 20:08, 24 November 2015 (UTC)


"Incorrect, useless, or broken." Those are three quite different things. Should we just get rid of this sense? This, that and the other (talk) 06:33, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like the computing slang sense (not perfectly covered by any of the other senses), as detailed in e.g. Eric Raymond's "Jargon File". Equinox 19:01, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Ah, yes. Broken may also be a CS term meaning incorrect or useless. -- 09:57, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Yukon or Yukon Territory

Should Yukon or Yukon Territory be the primary term, i.e. which one should have the definition of "Territory in northern Canada which has Whitehorse as its capital"? The status quo is that Yukon Territory has the definition, and Yukon links to Yukon Territory in its definition. According the Wikipedia article, Yukon Territory is the former name of the territory, but still more popular than Yukon, the official name. Justinrleung (talk) 04:23, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

More common where, I wonder? I've always heard it as "(the) Yukon" here in Alberta. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:24, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Agreed with Yukon. Yukon is the place, Yukon Territory is the political entity. Yukon will always be Yukon, even if it becomes a province instead. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:13, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
I think you've misunderstood my question. AFAIK, Yukon is the official name of the territory, while Yukon Territory is its former name. Justinrleung (talk) 06:40, 11 October 2015 (UTC)


What does Matamoros mean? --Romanophile (contributions) 09:03, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Kills Moors. It originated with the legend of Saint James Matamoros, also called Saint James the Moor-slayer. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:10, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
What kind of scumbag would use that as a placename? --Romanophile (contributions) 09:13, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Matajudios and Matajudíos also exist. They have some hits on Books. --Romanophile (contributions) 09:34, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
The city in Tamaulipas is named for Mariano Matamoros. I have no idea whether Spanish speakers even think of the etymological meaning of the name. No worse than Killarney, Kilkenny, and Killowen in Ireland (though the kill- element of those names is etymologically unrelated to the verb kill). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:06, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
La Mort aux Juifs, Castrillo Matajudíos, commons:File:EVR.png. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:31, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Haha, what the fuck? They were so proud of killing Muslims that they had to put it on their coat of arms for everybody to see? Holy hell. --Romanophile (contributions) 16:49, 7 October 2015 (UTC)


Erudite can be a noun right? "He was a erudite..."? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:15, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Well, "He was an erudite". I found some noun uses on b.g.c: [6], [7], [8]. The first two mean "an erudite person", the third means "being erudite". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:10, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Chinese word for woman, slightly unclear explanation


When referring to an adult female in a neutral sense, 婦女/妇女 (fùnǚ) and 女的 (nǚde) are often preferred to the synonym 女人 (nǚrén), as it can carry potentially offensive connotations of a female of low social standing or worth (similar to woman and lady in English).

I've flagged the word "it" in brackets. Does "it" refer to "the latter" i.e. 女人 (nǚrén) ? If so, perhaps "it" should be replaced by "the latter" to make it completely clear what can carry offensive connotations? 12:08, 8 October 2015 (UTC) Twitter.Com/CalRobert (Robert Maas)

Done. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:40, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Short sound

Which words there are in English for a sound caused by a short release of air or other gas, like e.g. the sound of opening a bottle of soda? Are there different words for strong and weak sounds? --Hekaheka (talk) 15:55, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

I don't think there's a word for that specifically, but you could call it a hissing sound. I think I've seen that used onomatopoetically for opening a bottle of soda. swoosh or woosh might work too for similar but weaker sounds. WurdSnatcher (talk) 18:50, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I completely forgot what the word is, but yes there is a word for that sound. I remember I took a class on cartooning and the instructor was discussing how to write that sound in a cartoon. I would suggest trying to perhaps google for cartoon strips picturing sodas being opened and see what words are written to depict the sound. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:05, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
cloop, but it's not common. Equinox 19:20, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Based on our definition of cloop, that's not the same sound as a for a bottle of soda. --WikiTiki89 19:49, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Here's an article by Ross Eckler analysing the onomatopoeia in a certain comic. It includes some onomatopoeia I haven't seen before, but ones I've seen are: fizz and variants fzzz and fsss for a soda bottle or can, psst for a spray can or a mouth (it's the usual "whisper" onomatopoeia), sss for air escaping from a balloon or tire, w(h)oosh and fwoosh for breezes caused by one thing moving quickly past another thing. - -sche (discuss) 08:12, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

category talk:en:Place names

See category talk:en:Place names for reorganization suggestion of toponyms. Both the currently-existing categories of "Demonyms" and "Place names" can be subcategorized under a new category "Toponyms," since toponyms include both the individual placenames as well as derived adjectival demonyms. The recategorization is necessary since some adjectival forms of toponyms are not used as demonyms (i.e. they describe the place, but not the inhabitants of the place). Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:00, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

German "ärgerlich" is still confusing me

According to ärgerlich, the word means "annoying". Examples I find elsewhere make me think it rather means "annoyed".

"Über seine Verspätung war ich wirklich ärgerlich" -> I was really annoyed about him being late. "Ich war ärgerlich" doesn't mean I was annoying, it means I was annoyed?

If there's a use where "annoying" is an appropriate translation for an adjectival use of this word, can someone add it? I'm guessing perhaps inanimate objects, because they can't be annoyed, might result in an "annoying" interpretation of the word?

If something unpleasant happens, you can say, "Das ist ja ärgerlich", so in that context it means "annoying" and not "annoyed". I'm not a native speaker, but I would say "Über seine Verspätung war ich wirklich verärgert", but maybe other people would say "ärgerlich" there. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:11, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I added "annoyed" to the entry. If you check Duden, which we link, you'll find both senses: 1. verärgert, 2. Ärger erregend. de.wikt has "Ärger empfindend" as sense 2. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:22, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, it can mean both depending on whether it refers to a thing or a person. Like AnGR, the use in the sense of "annoyed" sounds a bit odd to me, but it's rather current. I'm going to have a quick look at the lemma. Kolmiel (talk) 09:20, 12 October 2015 (UTC)


practice can be used in sentences like "I've got practice", where the type of practice (practice for sports activities) is passively known by the speaker and listener. Does this deserve a definition line? —suzukaze (tc) 22:36, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

That would seem to me to be the usual state of actual spoken language: the context provides some of the meaning of the utterance. DCDuring TALK 02:10, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
No, but I just added a sense for "practice" as something one attends (it could probably use some tweaking). The same should be done for rehearsal, as well as some more specific things that are somewhat analogous, such as lab for a chemistry class. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:14, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

don't know whether to shit or go blind

Sometimes "spit or go blind" instead. What's it mean? What form should we lemmatize? - -sche (discuss) 07:59, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Never heard it before, but it must mean "in a quandary", but more emphatically. DCDuring TALK 12:53, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Capitalisation of Lunarian & Earthling?

Is there a reason why Lunarian, Earthling and other sci-fi words like this are capitalised? Is it an acceptable alternative to use lower case? Any reply will be appreciated. 16:24, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

I think they are seen as being a proper noun, like Asian or North American. But yes, I've seen earthling in lower case definitely. Don't recall seeing lunarian before, but that's a lot less common even capitalized. WurdSnatcher (talk) 16:29, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • An earth is any Earth-like (Terra-like) planet, similar to how a sun is any Sun-like (Sol-like) star, and a moon is any natural satellite, whereas the Moon is Terra's satellite, Luna (Terra I). Likewise, an earthling is technically a being from any earthlike planet, whereas an Earthling (a Terran) is a being from Terra (Sol III). It is recommended to use the capitalized Latinisms Terran and Lunarian (or Selenite) over the Germanistic synonyms (Earthling, Mooninite) to avoid confusion. A human born in a colony in another solar system might be an earthling, but would not be an Earthling (from the Solar System). So yes, it is acceptable to use lower-case, but the lower-case form does not provide precise information on where the entity is from. A lunarian would technically be an entity from any moon (anywhere), whereas a Lunarian would be an entity specifically from Luna. Nicole Sharp (talk) 00:57, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Meh. That is how some people may use the words, but I wouldn't say it's universal. I don't think earth has got genercized planet-wise for most people, and sun as generic is not universal. It is recommended to use the Latinisms because Germanic roots in English sound base or common, and by extension sometimes silly. Terran is what award-winning science fiction writers used, where as Earthling is what cheap sci-fi movie writers used. Nothing about confusion.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:56, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd go with WurdSnatcher here. To expand, earthling, Vulcan and Klingon seems weird capitalization-wise, as does decapitalizing alien names. Names derived from places tend to be capitalized; if an Earthling is one born on Earth/belonging to Earth (cf. the use of Asian to apply to people who have several generations of ancestors born in North America), it should be capitalized. Lower-case earthling might better be a generic name of the (intelligent) species originating on Earth. I would use it capitalized.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:56, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • A klingon is a member of the klingon species, whereas a Klingon is a member of the Klingon Empire. A human can be Klingon, but not klingon. The capitalization is important when talking about large interplanetary regions with multiple species from multiple planets (including both homeworlds and colonized worlds). In a local context (e.g. one intelligent species on one planet, such as most Earthlings [earthlings] today, which only live on or around Earth [the earth]), it becomes less important since there is less risk of conflation. Nicole Sharp (talk) 17:08, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Except that's not what the pages you link to say; klingon has no English entry, and Klingon only refers to the race. Descriptively, that's not how Klingon works in English. My proscriptive streak likes it that way; making distinctions based on capitalizations gets you in trouble at the start of sentences or when a text is spoken.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:43, 16 October 2015 (UTC)


The definition of the word says that it's a payment (in money or goods) given to the groom, or at least given by one family to the other. In German, the translations Aussteuer and synonymous Mitgift most often refer to household items, sometimes also money, given to the bride by her own family. These things obviously become the property of the married couple after the wedding, so the difference may be more symbolic than financial. But it's a difference after all. So does "dowry" necessarily mean something given from one family to the other, or can it be understood as something given to the bride by her own family? Kolmiel (talk) 18:57, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Well, German Wikipedia's article w:de:Mitgift says, "[die Mitgift] wird vom Vater der Braut (oder ihrer Verwandtschaftsgruppe) an den Vater des Bräutigams (oder seine Verwandtschaftsgruppe) oder direkt an das Ehepaar übergeben" (the dowry is given by the father of the bride (or her kin group) to the father of the groom (or his kin group) or directly to the married couple), so the Mitgift isn't necessarily given to the bride either. At any rate, I don't think there's any substantial difference in meaning between Mitgift and dowry: whatever fine semantic details are found to pertain to the English word will doubtless be found to pertain to the German word as well, and vice versa. Any differences in dictionary definitions are probably more the result of differing cultural attitudes on the part of the various lexicographers. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:24, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Okay, all right. Yeah, it's of cause a cultural thing. The sense I mentioned is definitely the normal one in Germany. All that Duden Online says about "Mitgift" is: "Vermögen, Aussteuer in Form von Geld und Gut, das einer Frau bei der Heirat von den Eltern mitgegeben wird." But especially when referring to other cultures it can mean that which you mentioned. The question was just whether "dowry" could have both senses, and that seems to be the case then. Thanks. Kolmiel (talk) 09:54, 12 October 2015 (UTC)


Not sure if there's anything relevant to this project in this question, but I don't know where else to ask. In the UK tv show Twenty Twelve, there's a subplot about the lady in charge of "sustainability" for the 2012 Olympics having a rivalry with the lady in charge of "legacy". I feel like there's some connotation there I didn't get. Is it assumed that "sustainability" is a part of "legacy" in the UK? People keep mistaking one for the other, and I'm not sure why. I don't think these concepts are particularly linked in the US, and I guess I could see their dept heads as being rivals in the US, but the show assumes that the viewer will expect them to be opposed to each other. Was that a noted issue wrt to the 2012 games in particular? WurdSnatcher (talk) 16:52, 12 October 2015 (UTC)


Where does the Latin verbo *gannō come from? --Romanophile (contributions) 01:13, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

I’ve never seen that in Latin before. Are you sure you don’t mean ganniō? —Stephen (Talk) 14:33, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Of course, you've never seen it. It is unattested, which is why we have an asterisk. I assume what Romanophile is referring to is the stem of ingannō. --WikiTiki89 15:45, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Set to

I have definitely seen this phrase (She set to the task at hand). This is clearly different from set to music. I also could not find a corresponding definition in the admittedly long and messy article for set. Is this the meaning of the phase set to work? -- 09:52, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

It does not set right with me. I would say "she set about the task at hand". —Stephen (Talk) 14:44, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
"set" can mean "to begin work" (used with to and a noun, often a gerund -- e.g. "she set to performing the task at hand"), you can see it in other uses if you google phrases like "set to the task", "set to the job" or "set to the work". I think this is the same meaning we have in set as "To devise and assign (work) to", which I don't think is a great wording of the definition as it doesn't make clear that one can set oneself or someone else and that it strongly implies that the worker actually began work (e.g. if you say "I set to the task at hand" and it turns out you only prepared but never actually started the task, you'll be accused of lying). WurdSnatcher (talk) 15:12, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Note also set-to (which is lacking the corollary sense "a party, esp. wild/debauched - We had quite a set to the other night." GB: 1841 Naval Journal - Volumes 13-14 - Page 51) - Amgine/ t·e 18:19, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I would say set to implies preparation and resolve whereas set about implies action. Nonetheless, if 'to devise and assign (work) to' is a match, my question is resolved. I feel, however, that "She set herself to the preparations" might be a closer match, as by substitution in "She assigned to herself the preparations." Unless herself here is implicit in the phrase "She set to making the preparations." 18:31, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I think the SOED rather supports the OP's point. This is generic "set to"+Ving something; to me (BrE) it sounds rather old-fashioned, and I'm quite old already, so this is probably a dying expression. It really means getting on with doing something, whereas "set about" sounds more like starting to make preparations. (Rather the opposite of what 174 said.) Imaginatorium (talk) 09:50, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


I'm struggling to think of an English translation of the rare French adjective heraldicomane / héraldicomane - having an excessive interest in heraldry. Any ideas? SemperBlotto (talk) 10:08, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

armorially-focused? or armoriaphilic would make sense but was made up by me about two seconds ago. I would just write "heraldry-loving" or something along those lines if I needed to use it in a book. WurdSnatcher (talk) 14:53, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
  • vexillomania would be an obsession with flags. I am not certain if that would include heraldry as well. Nicole Sharp (talk) 02:27, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia seems to indicate that vexillology is a subfield of heraldry, not vice versa, so it would not fit. I do not know of any prefix in English, so the English translation would simply be "heraldry mania" / "heraldic mania" / "heraldric mania" or an Anglicization of the French to "heraldicomania" / "heraldimania" / "heraldomania" / "heraldrimania" / "heraldromania." The most natural translation to English though would arguably be "mania for heraldry" rather than a compound though. "John suffered from a terrible mania for heraldry that destroyed his marriage." Nicole Sharp (talk) 02:45, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


When I created this entry a while back, I added the following sense: "(probably an error for hexad) A group, series or set of six things." However, since I only found one source which used the word in this way, I wonder if the erroneous sense should just be deleted. Thoughts? Smuconlaw (talk) 18:37, 13 October 2015 (UTC)


Err... doesn't this mean young fish? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:36, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


# {{context|baseball|softball|lang=en}} A [[player]] who is [[on base]].
# {{context|baseball|softball|lang=en}} By extension, a player who is trying to advance from [[base]] to base.

What's the difference here? I don't follow softball but in baseball, a player who is on base is also trying to advance to the next base whenever possible. Can anyone think of a distinction and better than that, actually back it up with citations? Because I can't. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:31, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

I suspect what someone's trying to say is that the baserunner need not have his foot on the base; he's still a baserunner when he's standing a third of the way between his current base and the one he's aiming for (which happens all the time). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:32, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Definition 1 applies to being on 1st, 2nd or 3rd base; Definition 2 applies to being between the two. Purplebackpack89 16:43, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's "by extension", but a natural part of the definition. I would say it's "a player who is on base or running from base to base", although that technically doesn't exclude fielders who happen to be running from a base to another base. --WikiTiki89 18:19, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
One reason our definition of on base is idiomatic and includable is that it is not any normal sense of on + base. What a baserunner does or intends to do when on base doesn't seem like an essential part of the definition.
The second definition looks a great deal like an effort to include the logic and rules of baseball, an encyclopedic topic if ever there was one, in our humble lexicon. DCDuring TALK 23:50, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Let me ask you this, then, User:DCDuring: does the term "running the bases" illicit definition 1 or definition 2? IMO, it's 2. Purplebackpack89 15:34, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Running the bases is obviously an activity, not merely standing around. But a baserunner stands around while waiting for the opportunity to run the bases. A pinch-runner (like a pinch-hitter) also does a lot of standing around. Much of baseball consists of standing around. A fielder mostly stands around while waiting for the ball to be hit.
Baseball terms are often baseball-specific constructions using baseball-specific extensions of normal terms. Terms associated with other sports are similar. One should be too simplistic in constructing definitions.
To make clear that a runner is not always running, one need only listen to a sportscaster saying "Runners on first and third, tying run at the plate." They are never actually running at the time this is said. DCDuring TALK 16:39, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
But this is true of anything. A "writer" is a "writer" even when he/she is not writing. --WikiTiki89 17:34, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't have insight into "anything". DCDuring TALK 18:20, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Someone who was a runner in the first inning, when he was on base for some reason, is not a runner again until he gets on base again. It is not one's long-term condition as being a professional or avocational writer presumably is. DCDuring TALK 18:24, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
If a writer stops writing and becomes a musician, in some sense, he/she is no longer a writer, but in some sense, he/she still is a writer. Likewise, in some sense Dave Roberts is a runner whether or not he is currently on base and whether or not he is currently even playing a game, but in some sense, he is only a runner when he is on base. I guess the details are complicated and more suited to a doctoral thesis than a dictionary. --WikiTiki89 20:14, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

wereporcupine as humorous?

@Equinox tagged wereporcupine as "humorous". It strikes me like the "sarcastic" tag, in that it's not really tagging something semantic. There are two cites on there, with a third in Google Books that I ... decline to add to the page. The first is part of a joke, unsurprising as it's part of a humorous webcomic. The second isn't; glancing at the surrounding text, I see no reason to disbelieve in wereporcupines as part of the universe. A websearch reveals many non-humorous uses; [9] describes Fringe episode w:The Transformation as having a wereporcupine, a phrasing used elsewhere. Deviant Art has several wereporcupines. A Japanese card game has a うぇあぽーきぱんぬ (Wea Pōkipainnu or wereporcupine) which doesn't cite the word, but indicates the idea has non-humorous uses.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:44, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Edit made and copy of this discussion (such as it is) taken to Talk:wereporcupine.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:16, 1 November 2015 (UTC)


I just noticed in The Economist, it says: if Vice-President Joe Biden is minded to jump into the race, he needs to hurry -- is that a normal use of "mind" in Britain? mind gives a similar obsolete use (To have in mind; to intend), but that doesn't account for the weird passive voice. I thought it might be a British writer who doesn't entirely understand the American idiom have a mind to. Anyone know what's up? Is that not really an obsolete usage? Is it always passive? Just a mistake? WurdSnatcher (talk) 22:41, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

I think it is the adjectival suffix -ed, which forms adjectives from nouns (left-handed, red-haired, big-nosed, wide-eyed). It usually has the sense of "having" or "with". —Stephen (Talk) 03:13, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense, feels like a weird use of it to me, but maybe that's how they say it over there. WurdSnatcher (talk) 04:43, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
We do have an entry for the adjective minded. It sounds fine to me, and I'm American. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:30, 15 October 2015 (UTC)


For all FL entries on the page, "nortes" is given as a plural of "norte" (meaning "north" in all cases), and a couple of them have actual entries for the plural. Are there any contexts in which the word could indeed be plural in those languages, or did someone just use the wrong template? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:55, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

For Spanish there is the sense of "goal, objective" that can definitely be plural. And even in English you can talk about "Norths" if for some reason you need to distinguish various kinds of North. DTLHS (talk) 23:10, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
The definitions don’t help, but there are senses that are more clearly countable: “a region in the north of a place” (Os nortes dos países europeus), “either of the north poles” (Os nortes geográfico e magnético) and “(figurative) guide; guiding light” (Meus nortes são a bíblia e os meus pais). — Ungoliant (falai) 23:13, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
That clears it up (and I see now that one of the senses for Galician is countable). The second definition you mention should be added to the Portuguese entry. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:22, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


Doesn't "wisp" also mean a flock of snipe?


Civilocity is a neologism which describes a form of government where the people can watch and listen to the leader of their country for the entire time that person is leading their country. In 2007 Nathaniel Wenger took it upon himself to coin, classify, and copyright this pragmatic philosophy. Nathaniel began talking about civilocity, which he often calls wengerocracy as it remains in its neologism phase, to emphasize the importance for countries to watch the leader of their country no matter where they live. Civilocity can be defined as a form of government where the people can watch the leader of their country 24/7, 365 days a year, including the extra day once every leap year broadcasted live on public television to the entire world. Civilocity allows you to know every single thing the leader of your country did and having it all online.

state police

Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.
  • Should "state police" have its own entry to contrast with "national police?" The distinction is only present in US American English, where the adjective "state" refers to subnational government instead of national government. Nicole Sharp (talk) 19:50, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Just to be a pedant, the distinction is also present in Australia. More seriously, shouldn't this be under requests for deletion rather than requests for verification? It is common enough not to require verification, but a SOP argument is valid for getting rid of it. Kiwima (talk) 00:02, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
      • I did not know that! I had always assumed that Australia had provinces like Canada; thank you for that information. Do you also have state troopers? I put "state trooper" as USA English since I did not know that other countries also had "state" subnational polices. In that case, I would say it should be an entry, since outside the USA and Australia then, "state police" is synonymous with "national police," and the term needs the country-specific disambiguation of definition. Nicole Sharp (talk) 01:42, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I have moved this discussion to the Tea room – RFV is not the right place for it. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 00:35, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Depending on the country and the jurisdiction, you have federal police, state police, military police, reservation police, harbor police, airport police (Los Angeles even has police for at least one city department- and I'm not talking about the police department). In the US we don't have county/parish police, because those are known as sheriffs and sheriff deputies, but I'm sure they exist in other countries. Of course, there's also the w:Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In short, there are lots of kinds of police, so the distinction between state and federal police doesn't seem like something to create an entry over. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:48, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
More to the point, the confusion over what state police are has more to do with confusion over what is meant by "state". Just about anything that's shared by both state and national governments will have the same problem. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:54, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I went ahead and created the entry since the use of the word "state" is technically a misnomer in the USA and Australia to refer to subnational instead of national government, so that "state police" is an exception to other types of police in that it is not a sum of parts. "National police," "park police," etc. are all sums of parts with the same meaning in English regardless of location, unlike the term "state police," which has different definitions depending on location. Nicole Sharp (talk) 01:59, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
    • By that reasoning we should have entries for state budget, state election, state jurisdiction, state boundary, etc. The meaning of all of those depends on whether you're talking about a federal system of government. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:05, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
      • w:State (polity) makes it pretty clear that it's hard to call any such use of the word "state" a misnomer, and state is pretty clear that that's one of the meanings, and as Chuck Entz pointed out, it's a meaning frequently used in compounds.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:20, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
      • @Chuck Entz, I see your point, e.g. state university. In that case I would say to feel free to delete the entry if you feel it is necessary as a sum of parts. Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:55, 15 October 2015 (UTC)


Is there an English word for the definition I gave of the French word? Can the English word "synopsis" have that meaning (in which case it needs a definition on Wiktionary)? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:38, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

The OED has, under "synposis", "A book of prayers for the use of the laity", with a single attesting quotation. DTLHS (talk) 02:44, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, that wouldn't quite be it. The French word is more about comparison between the three most similar gospels in the Christian Bible. I guess I defined it well enough, then. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:26, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, synopsis is used that way in English. This Google Books search turns up definitions such as this this and this, as well as other clear, but less direct statements such as this and this- not to mention a lot of works that call themselves synopses. It may be that its restriction to biblical scholars and publishers might explain its absence from regular dictionaries, but, whatever the reason, it definitely meets our CFI. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:36, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I'll add that definition to synopsis if I have time today, unless someone beats me to it. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:20, 18 October 2015 (UTC)


Again, is there an English word for this? I've been adding new French words I learn to Wiktionary as I come across them, and sometimes it's difficult to find a translation to English (or in some cases, there isn't such a translation), but if one exists, I'd like to know what it is. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:34, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

I think it's stich, as in telestich. Equinox 15:30, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
I was going to add stich to the entry, but I realized that not only is the definition distinct, it is obsolete in English (the French isn't — I came across it in a recently printed book). I imagine they both come from the same word, but they don't seem to have close enough meanings for one to translate the other. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:27, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
At my request, someone created the entry over at Wiktionnaire (see stique) with more detail, and I clarified the English entry. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:14, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

illapse of the Holy Spirit

This redlink is currently at the top of the Wanted entries list. The synonym illapse of the Holy Ghost gets almost as many hits at b.g.c, so if we have one, we should have the other. (And illapse of the Spirit gets even more.) But should we have it? Looking through the uses of both variants at b.g.c, I think it's SOP: it's just an illapse of the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost. It refers to the Holy Spirit descending upon Mary to get her pregnant with Jesus, but it also refers to the Holy Spirit descending upon other people at baptism and entering the host at Eucharist. I don't think it's a specific enough term to warrant a separate entry. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:15, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. Just add some quotations showing its use in relation to the Holy Spirit. Smuconlaw (talk) 10:12, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
It's been created now, so I've RFD'd it. New thread is at WT:Requests for deletion#illapse of the Holy Spirit. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:09, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

pronunciation of August and august

Are these two words always pronounced differently? (I feel like an idiot - I thought they had the same pronunciation until I just heard, for the first time, someone use the latter word out loud.) ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:26, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

I've always pronounced them the same way, though I can't honestly say if I've heard "august" spoken aloud. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:37, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
I know that they're pronounced differently (different stress/→vowels), but I can't imagine where I learned this. —suzukaze (tc) 04:30, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
I think I've only ever heard [[august] in the context of fancy titles, e.g. in movies. In the TV show Rome, I think they introduce someone as "His August Majesty" or something along those lines. Maybe wasn't Rome, I don't remember. But I don't think I've ever heard it in normal speech. WurdSnatcher (talk) 04:34, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • The stress difference is standard in English. It's rather handy as a disambiguator, too. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:42, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, in the uncapitalised adjective, the stress is always on the second vowel. You don't hear it much because we just don't use the word much. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:06, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
    Our pronunciation recordings agree with how I have heard them and would pronounce them. DCDuring TALK 11:46, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Is 'bioremediation' really 'usually about microorganisms?'

The reason I ask this question is a) because it is dangerously easy to slip in such assertions as fact, without (citing) evidence, and b) I was personally drawn to the subject following a piece on public media regarding the value of certain houseplants - notably ivy and dracaena - in absorbing atmospheric contaminants.--Londheart (talk) 15:19, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Question: "Chinese" as attributive

Is it grammatically incorrect to say "Chinese young people" and "Chinese ancient history"? Must we say "young Chinese people" and "ancient Chinese history"? I've never quite understood what the rule is regarding the position of "Chinese" when used as an attributive. ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:09, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

'Do as you would be done by' occurred as a reasonable response.--Londheart (talk) 15:20, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
To me, "Chinese ancient history" could be the ancient history of China, or it could be ancient history described in a Chinese language, or the ancient history of Greece interpreted by Chinese historians. "ancient Chinese history" is only the history of ancient China. WurdSnatcher (talk) 15:23, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
"Chinese young people" sounds fine to me, and gets lots of Google hits, including in edited writing. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:56, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
I think the difference is a matter of grouping: we tend to interpret items to the left as modifying things to their right. Thus "young Chinese people" would be ((people) who are young) who are Chinese, and "Chinese young people" would be ((people) who are Chinese) who are young. With a list of modifiers like this that represents the simple intersection of sets, it doesn't make much real difference in the meaning, though there might be a slight emphasis on the relationships in the inner groupings over the outer ones: "young Chinese people" would treat the fact that these are "Chinese people" as more basic than the fact that that they're also young, while "Chinese young people" would say these are primarily "young people" who are also Chinese. In most cases, the distinction is too subtle to bother with, but sometimes it matters. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:52, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
An example of a place where there would be a clear preference would be a discussion that mentioned both young Chinese people and young Indian people. Notwithstanding the order just given, I would generally use "Chinese young people" to contrast with "Indian young people". DCDuring TALK 17:42, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
Notwithstanding (and having read) all the intervening responses, I feel that my original response (if anyone read it?) still holds water, on the basis that 'English young people/Chinese young people' sounds more distant and more likely to be stated by someone of a different nationality, and therefore more questionable from the perspective of universal usage. As a tolerant English person, I feel viscerally reluctant to actually condemn usage which makes semantic and grammatical sense - and I trust the sentiment is reciprocated?; but I wouldn't necessarily therefore recommend it to a learner.--Londheart (talk) 10:00, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

mistake in entry for "rhetor" in Latin

Hi: There is a mistake in the entry for "rhētor" in the Latin section. The "o" before the final "r" is listed as long in forms other than the nominative singular. That is wrong. It's an understandable mistake. Many Latin nouns follow the pattern "-or, -ōris m." However, rhētor is a Greek word, and the original Greek word has "-ōr, -oros, m." The Latin noun preserves that short "o" before the r while shortening the "o" in the first form (following a typical Latin pattern of shortening vowels before final "r") So the word should be "rhētor, rhētoris, m." I was able to change the first listing of the word. However, there is a chart in which it is declined. I could not figure out how to edit the chart (I'm new at wiktionary), so the chart remains wrong. Every "ō" should be "o". To verify this info, check out this entry in Lewis and Short, the classic Latin/English dictionary. —This unsigned comment was added by Jrundin (talkcontribs) at 15:39, October 17, 2015.

Thanks for the effort. Perhaps someone will eventually initiate you into the mystical order of the declension table module. (BTW, please sign to improve your chances at initiation. DCDuring TALK 21:09, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • @Jrundin I'll fix it straightaway. It seems that you're new to wikis, in which case our system may indeed be too complex to learn easily; if you find any more problems of this kind that you cannot fix, please leave a message on my talkpage. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:36, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Word of the Day for October 17, 2015: Volute

There is a typo on today's landing page in the definition of volute. Spirals was spelled "spirls". Oops.

Now fixed; thanks for catching it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:50, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
The typo originated from the entry volute; I've corrected that too. Smuconlaw (talk) 20:35, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

"goose party"

Any one know what a goose party is? "The company may be as numerous or as exclusive as one likes. Even a tiny goose party would be delightful." (link) Thmazing (talk) 04:13, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Apparently a party that makes little boys and girls wildly happy. Possibly a shortening of Mother Goose party, which looks to have been an older term maybe? WurdSnatcher (talk) 17:35, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
This slang lexicon defines it as a wedding dinner. Also, these pictures suggest a Mother Goose party is a themed fancy dress affair, not necessarily for children. — Pingkudimmi 06:20, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

'(ɹ)' in BrE IPA transcriptions

User @Peter238 has made quite a lot of edits to words like discordant lately, removing '(ɹ)' from the IPA transcriptions of BrE pronunciations and putting 'not an RP pronunciation' in the edit summaries. The thing is, not everyone in Britain speaks with received pronunciation, and putting 'ɹ' in brackets is the standard practice employed by some dictionaries. Should we kindly ask this contributor to stop making such edits? that guy 13:06, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Pronunciations tagged with {{a|UK}} should be RP, as per Wiktionary:About English#Pronunciation. Pronunciation in other British dialects need to be tagged with their respective names. — Ungoliant (falai) 13:09, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I didn't know.
Alright, let us be the BBC of the 1960s. that guy 13:15, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Some of the transcriptions I've altered may still be wrong in RP as far as other vowels are concerned (for instance, I changed wrong /ɜː/ to /ə/ at least once, and /ɛː/ (i.e. /ɛə/) to /ɜː/ a couple of times). If someone could check these in Longman Pronunciation Dictionary it'd be great. Peter238 (talk) 13:35, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Basically, nothing should be labeled {{a|UK}} or {{a|US}} (though a lot of things are). When tidying up pronunciations, please use more specific labels like {{a|RP}} and {{a|GA}}. RP should always be one of the British pronunciations we show, but it needn't be the only one. If you want to add pronunciations for Estuary English or Devonshire or the North of England or Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland or what have you, that's fine too, but RP should be there as a minimum, and should not show /ɹ/ before a consonant, even in round brackets. At the end of a word, on the other hand, there may be an argument for including /(ɹ)/ to show the r-sound that appears when the next word starts with a vowel. Thus I can live with transcribing star as /stɑː(ɹ)/ since star is is /stɑːɹ ɪz/. But start should only be /stɑːt/ since there's never an /ɹ/ in that word in RP. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:56, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm all for this approach, yet somehow I never see {{a|RP}} or {{a|GA}} used anywhere. Maybe we should use some kind of a bot to change all {{a|UK}} to {{a|RP}}, and all {{a|US}} to {{a|GA}}? Because that's basically what people mean when they mark pronunciations as 'UK' or 'US' . that guy 14:31, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
I change {{a|UK}} and {{a|US}} wherever I see them, but I'd rather do it manually than by bot so that any errors in transcription can be fixed at the same time. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:37, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

do or take some exercise

Would it be correct to say "take some exercise" is old-fashioned English? In China, students are taught this expression, but it's always sounded strange to me. In Australia, at least, we usually say "do some exercise". ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:36, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

In Canada, I think we'd say "do some exercise" too. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 02:53, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, "take some exercise" is old-fashioned, but it looks like it does have some current use. "Do exercise" is more normal, or just use "exercise" as a verb. WurdSnatcher (talk) 03:09, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
It sounds moderately old-fashioned to me (south-east England), as does "take the air" for getting fresh air (by walking etc.). Equinox 23:23, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

the play's the thing

Heard this as a one-liner in the American TV show Madam Secretary, with no explanation given (the person being spoken to seemed to understand it immediately). I know the origin in Shakespeare but what does it actually mean in modern English? I'm surprised we don't include it. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:39, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Have a look at this. A fuller quote would be "... the play's the thing / Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King" – Hamlet includes a few lines alluding to his father's murder by the King into a play that the King will be watching, to see if the King flinches. Does the play's the thing have any additional, non-SOP meaning in English? Smuconlaw (talk) 12:37, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
I think people say it to mean "murder will out". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:40, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
In that case, time to look for citations to bear that out. Smuconlaw (talk) 13:01, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
@Tooironic: Which episode? Or when did it air? DCDuring TALK 16:43, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
It was about half way through season one. (spoiler warning) It's the episode when Madam Secretary and her CIA friend hunt down the guy responsible for interfering with the plane that ended up crashing. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:55, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Does it make sense to mean "I/we will engineer circumstances so that the guilty person incriminates himself"? Because that's what Macbeth is planning when he speaks that line. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 04:33, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Wrong tragedy, Catsidhe. Plus, no engineering was required in Macbeth, just a bit of mental instability on the part of the murderers... —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:30, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Here is the quote. DTLHS (talk) 04:43, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

.htaccess file, hosts file

Just a note: I created .htaccess file and hosts file.

As far as file names go, I think these two are acceptable, as common configuration files. Often I've seen in running text "edit your hosts file" without any explanation of what it is, so I guess this falls under the scope of "it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means".

I'm not sure where to draw the line, though. These look too similar in format and attestability as, say, httpd.conf, Autorun.inf and maybe AUTOEXEC.BAT. Probably others. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 09:47, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

[Comment of DCDuring 18:27, 19 October 2015 (UTC) moved to intended location, next topic]
I don't follow. Did you mean to ask this as a response to my message, or were you intending to open a new TR post about invoices? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 19:22, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
See the topic below, which is what DCD apparently meant to reply to. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:47, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

final bill, final invoice

Oxford has an entry for final invoice [10], but "final bill" sounds more idiomatic. I was thinking of the final bill for a major contract (where progress payments have been made) after it is completed. Donnanz (talk) 17:09, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

What is the last bill/invoice sent by a vendor called before the vendor turns the account over to a collection agency? DCDuring TALK 18:27, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
It wouldn't be a bill or invoice as the debtor would have already received that, probably a final reminder or warning letter. Donnanz (talk) 21:10, 26 October 2015 (UTC)


Is there an in‐depth etymology out there?

  1. Why does it mean ‘clever?’ Is it from being multilingual? Is it from knowing Latin?
  2. Does it mean multilingual because Spaniards frequently learnt Latin?
  3. Why does it mean Judeo‐Spanish? --Romanophile (contributions) 05:55, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
To your third question, there's some interesting discussion at w:Mozarabic language#Native name. Basically, in early Medieval Spain, Spanish speakers called their language "Latin" (it was, after all, descended from the local variety of Vulgar Latin) primarily to distinguish it from Arabic. For whatever reason, over time it was only the Spanish Jews who continued to call their language that, while the Christians called their language Spanish or Castilian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:09, 20 October 2015 (UTC)


Doesn't 'fink' mean 'someone who informs on people'—as opposed to the current definition that reads, 'someone who betrays a trust'?

"Thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business. Thanks for a nation of finks."William Burroughs [[11]]

ShitiBot left you a message on ଉଇକିପିଡ଼ିଆ

Hi. I recevied an email from an assumed indian wiki (wiki@wikimedia.org), using these words:

Is it pure joke, or do these words exist in any language ? --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 19:54, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

The script is Oriya. The first word means "Wikipedia". I don't know about the rest. Oriya isn't available at Google Translate. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:36, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
    • ଉଇକିପିଡ଼ିଆ = Wikipedia
    • ନିମନ୍ତ୍ରଣ = invitation, invite
    • ସମସ୍ତ = all
    • ବଦଳ = change
    • ଦେଖନ୍ତୁ = style —Stephen (Talk) 21:24, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

use of "in" indicating a time frame

According to my research - and backed up by the definitions we give at "in", this preposition can mean both AFTER a period of time and WITHIN a period of time. So saying you'll hand in your report "in two weeks" must be a pretty vague deadline to give yourself, right? English is a bizarre language at times. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:59, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Hmm... To me, "in two weeks" means (more or less) at the end of two weeks. The other meaning would have to be "within the next two weeks". Equinox 04:34, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't say those two senses of "in" are interchangeable, though. If I say "I'll help you in two days" I mean that at the end of two days I will help, and I would always understand it that way.The examples given for the "within a certain elapsed time" definition seem to use two different senses of the word... "In" still means "at the end of" in "Are you able to finish this in three hours?" The "finishing" is expected to happen at the end of the three hours.
In "The massacre resulted in over 1000 deaths in three hours," the second "in" does mean "within," but I can't think of any examples of that sense used outside of describing past events. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:58, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Context matters:
  1. IMO: "We will finish in three hours." can mean either "Whenever we start, we will take three hours to finish." or "We will be finished three hours from now."
  2. IMO: whether the interpretation is an expected average time-to-completion, an earliest time-to-completion, or a latest time-to-completion is dependent on context.
  3. IMO: the nature of the action specified by the verb affects the interpretation. DCDuring TALK 09:08, 21 October 2015 (UTC)


I don't think the current definition is accurate. I think なんて (in the sense of "How [adjective]" is used almost as frequently to emphasize good qualities and is not necessarily an expression of disgust or the like.

The following: About.com article uses positive examples: http://japanese.about.com/library/blqow17.htm

Japanese kokugo dictionaries similarly don't state in their definitions that it's necessarily used in a negative sense, and Googling phrases like なんて美しい or なんて楽しい yields plenty of actual usage examples that clearly aren't expressing contempt.

なんて silly Wiktionary page that requires editing!

2400:2410:A220:C500:C12C:8021:ED0A:E5F3 05:39, 21 October 2015 (UTC)


As the concept of "multi-verse" becomes more engrained, we need a word to describe the fine-tuning for other universes. We cannot rely on the Anthropic principle for this description, hence happenstantiality "The physical laws of a universe as discovered by consciousness". I'm not sure whether the laws are invented or discovered.

Sorry, we don't do newly-coined words. See WT:CFI. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:37, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


Calling Japanese editors: is it possible the Japanese entry is missing the "monk training" sense? I would be surprised to find it didn't carry over from Chinese. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:07, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


There is an English sense defined as "(China) beauty girls". What does that mean? Why is it "MM": does it stand for something? Equinox 12:09, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Googling brought up this – "w:Chinese Internet Slang": "MM: mèimèi (妹妹 or 美美 or 美妹 or 美眉), Little sister, young girl, pretty girl. Often written as “MM,” which usually refers to a young girl or pretty girls." Smuconlaw (talk) 13:32, 22 October 2015 (UTC)


In minutiae, it’s said it’s pronounced /maɪˈnjuː.ʃiː.aɪ/ , on Wikipedia, it’s /mɨˈnjuːʃɪ.iː/, the singular minutia is /maɪˈnjuː.ʃə/ , eSpeak (en-rp, en-us…) gives me /mɪnjˈuːʃɪˌiː/ , merriam-webster says \mə-ˈnü-sh(ē-)ə, mī-, -ˈnyü-\ for minutia and \-shē-ˌē, -ˌī\ for minutiae. Who’s right? 22:48, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

All of them. --WikiTiki89 23:02, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
1. If they are all correct (“alternates”) then why give only one? And why not give the same in WP and WT?
2. I don’t know where all the dictionaries get their content but it seems WT is the only one giving /maɪ/…. 00:59, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

generic (grammar)

We have a grammar sense for generic, namely “specifying neither masculine nor feminine”. I'm aware of this sense. It also exists for German generisch. But this latter has another meaning. I wonder whether it exists for English generic too, or else what is the equivalent? — The sense is “specifiying no particular individual”, “referring to a category, a genus”. Take for example French: Le chien est un animal, German: Der Hund ist ein Tier. In these sentences the words chien, Hund are used generisch, that means they don't refer to a particular dog, but to “the dog” as such. Kolmiel (talk) 00:02, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Anyone?! I just used the French/German examples because they're particularly clear. The word milk in: Milk is white, is also "generisch". There must be some term for it, I'm sure. Kolmiel (talk) 23:16, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
I think generic would work. I've been reading about Biblical Greek grammar lately, and discussions of the w:Gnomic aspect as it relates to various syntactic categories are stiff with the term generic. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:02, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
The grammatical term for “specifying no particular individual” is indefinite, but I’m not sure if it applies to your examples. — Ungoliant (falai) 23:18, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
In case of "determination" (that's how the German wikipedia calls it), generic and indefinite are different terms: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determination_%28Linguistik%29 . google book search has results like this:
  • "between definite and indefinite generic reference"
  • "Dahl (1975:99) defines 'generic' in the following way: 'The common semantic property of all generic expressions is that they are used to express law-like, or gnomic, statements." and "Allan (1986:136) points out that there are three different of types of generic NPs in English: the definite generic, which occurs only in countable NPs; the a(n)-generic; and the unmarked indefinite generic, which occurs both with plurals and with uncountables."
That seems to mean the same as German generisch, doesn't it?
"The man is a mammal" could be an example for definite generic, as it uses the definite article, but refers to humans in general. "An elephant has a trunk" could be an example for indefinite generic.
-Rdm571 (talk) 11:04, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's what it is. It's not the same as indefinite. So is there nothing in English? Hm, okay.. Kolmiel (talk) 20:14, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
"The man is a mammal" sounds awkward because the usual generic is just "man" without an article, thus: "Man is a mammal." A better example of definite generics is "The lion preys on the antelope." In colloquial language, the indefinite plural is usually used for the generic "Lions prey on antelope.". I wouldn't consider "An elephant has a trunk." to be an indefinite generic, although it has similar properties; I would consider it a use of an example instance with an implied extrapolation. --WikiTiki89 20:25, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I think "generic" is a good translation of generisch as a descriptor of things like "a dog has four legs". I'm not sure if it needs a separate sense or if sense 1 covers it already. Wikipedia's article on Gnomic aspect mentions "generic" as a synonym, but we seem to lack a linguistics sense at gnomic. - -sche (discuss) 21:03, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
google books:"generic" "is a mammal" turns up plenty of books describing sentences of the form "[some kind of mammal] is a mammal" as "generic", but they do seem like they could be analysed as using the general sense of the word; e.g.:
  • 2007, James R. Hurford, ‎Brendan Heasley, ‎Michael B. Smith, Semantics: A Coursebook (ISBN 1139463322), page 59:
    The whale is a mammal (understood in the most usual way) is a generic sentence. That whale over there is a mammal is not a generic sentence.
- -sche (discuss) 21:06, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Okay. But it does need its own definition, because only the "male-female" sense is labeled grammar, and that implies that only this sense is grammatical. Kolmiel (talk) 21:02, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

ride in Irish English

Google "an absolute ride" and you'll find various hits of people and places being described as such in Irish English. What does it mean? - -sche (discuss) 01:29, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

This example is pretty clear about what it means. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:00, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Aha. Now added. - -sche (discuss) 02:31, 23 October 2015 (UTC)


Can crib also mean cheat sheet? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:36, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Not as far as I know. It can be a verb meaning "to cheat", so it wouldn't surprise me if there was some time and place when it was a noun too. But I haven't heard of that. WurdSnatcher (talk) 11:48, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
People say crib note (probably more common in the plural) as a synonym of cheat sheet, though. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:23, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Ah, good point, I forgot about that. WurdSnatcher (talk) 14:43, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
We have def 14 of crib#Noun: "(usually in the plural) A collection of quotes or references for use in speaking, for assembling a written document, or as an aid to a project of some sort; a crib sheet." DCDuring TALK 04:29, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
This is a modification of an earlier definition explicitly about "cheating". DCDuring TALK 04:31, 24 October 2015 (UTC)


I think this French word is that of the tool that a piano tuner uses to adjust the tension in the strings. What is it called in English? The word might also mean tuning fork but I'm not sure of that. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:38, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

This mentions both pianos and organs, which means it has to be a generic term for tools used to make adjustments in tuning- the mechanisms for pianos and organs are completely different. The term clef d'accordeur mentioned there seems to refer to a w:Tuning wrench, so I would guess that's what the term means when you're talking about pianos, and this page seems to confirm it. Of course, this page and its French translation seem to indicate that the term for that is clé d'accord, but they can certainly both be correct. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:30, 24 October 2015 (UTC)


Is there any actually proof that this comes from Old High German mulināri? Couldn't this just be Mühle + -er?

I'm no expert in German, but since there are parallel formations in English ("miller") and Danish ("møller"), who is to say that this wasn't coined as a compound in German?

Even if it wasn't, is there any reason to assume that it wasn't later analysed that way? 03:11, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

A German etymological dictionary would say (which is why WT:ES would be a better place to post this). Perhaps someone could check such a dictionary? Regardless, we could always add the fact that from surface analysis, the term may be analysed as Mühle + -er. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:26, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Kluge's Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache says it comes from OHG mulināri but that it's unclear whether that's an internal OHG formation from mulīn or whether the word as a whole was borrowed from Medieval Latin molīnārius. If it were a modern German formation from Mühle we'd expect a long vowel (*Mühler) rather than a short vowel (Müller). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:29, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
re: parallel formations in English ("miller") and Danish ("møller"): this and this would seem to indicate that the "parallels" aren't quite as parallel as they might seem at first. Miller may indeed involve an agentive suffix, but that would have had to have happened in Middle English, though this mentions an Old French form molnier that could have at least influenced the formation of the Middle English word (the Old English term was mylen-weard). As for Danish, the second reference above seems to say (if I understand the abbreviations correctly) that it's inherited from Old Norse, which borrowed it from Middle Low German, which ultimately came from Medieval Latin molīnārius (it also mentions OHG mulināri, but apparently for comparison). This is the kind of pattern one would expect for a relatively new technology that seems to have been introduced to Germanic Europe via the Romans. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:40, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Müller wasn't formed in German with -er (or its Old High German descendant -ari) — mulināri, borrowed whole from molīnārius, is actually one of the words from which German generalized that suffix. From the handbook of Sociolinguistics / Soziolinguistik, edition 2, volume 2 (2005, ISBN 978-3-11-017148-8): "Aus Lehnwörtern wie althochdeutsch mulinari vom mittellateinischen molinarius „Müller“ wurde das Suffix -arius für Personenbezeichnungen abstrahiert und ins Deutsche entlehnt, wo es seit althochdeutscher Zeit äußerst produktiv ist." Peter Eisenberg, in Das Fremdwort im Deutschen, says the same. The loss of the -in- was gradual; in Middle High German it evolved from mülnære to mülner to just Müller. - -sche (discuss) 17:40, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
One cannot base an etymology on superficial analysis. It must be based on how the word actually (that is, historically) came to be. Since we have an abundance of historic sources, and since the analysis of these sources leads all relevant dictionaries to the conclusion that Müller is a contraction of mulinari, there's absolutely no reason to say otherwise. Moreover, Müller cannot even be re-analyzed as Mühle + -er because it isn't Mühler. Kolmiel (talk) 21:13, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


Is kiasi a noun or an adjective? The examples in the entry make it seem like an adjective. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 20:42, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

Definitely an adjective. I don't think I've ever seen a noun usage. Smuconlaw (talk) 11:24, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I did find some noun uses, so I've added those. Smuconlaw (talk) 21:20, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

proceso Argentino

-- Why this word chosen for the Dirty War (la Guerra Sucia) —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Probably because people who are doing extreme things like to make them sound very routine and harmless. I'm sure it was also important to be vague, as well, so no one would think about what the term really referred to. I believe the full term was "Proceso de Reorganización Nacional", which would mean "National Reorganization Process" in English. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:16, 26 October 2015 (UTC)


There's a hymn called "Sing to the Lord of Harvest" which is, rather incongruously, set to a tune named "Wie lieblich ist der Maien" (at one time it was used as the tune for a spring-themed hymn of that name). We don't have an entry for this form, yet- is it simply an old alternative form for Mai, or is there more to it than that? Chuck Entz (talk) 13:49, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

According to w:de:Maien (Zweig), a Maien is a sapling or fresh twig or branch. It gets its name from the month of May, but it doesn't mean 'May'. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:53, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Oh wait, according to w:de:Maien it's also a poetic word for May, which makes more sense in the song you linked to. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:59, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
In early modern German Mai inflected like a weak noun. So Maien (or meien) was the non-nominative form. Later on the noun became strong, making Maien just a poetic variant of Mai. Kolmiel (talk) 21:06, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

There is a variant of 産 that looks like 瘟 but rather than 囚 on the inside there is something that looks (something) like 云 (but with 十 in place of 一). Maybe it is not yet in unicode? I ran across it in the Taisho Tripitaka. Tibetologist (talk) 01:48, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Is it 𤸱 (U+24E31)? It doesn't seem like a variant of 產, though. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 02:15, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
BTW, 云 (but with 十 in place of 一) would be 去. — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 02:16, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

-meter vs. -metre

A lot of entries for words with -meter have an alternative forms section with the -metre form labelled nonstandard (e.g. acidimeter, ammeter). Is this accurate? Aren’t those forms obsolete, regional, archaic or something of the sort? — Ungoliant (falai) 01:35, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

It's just American English vs. British English. Purplebackpack89 01:41, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
No, it's not. When speaking of a device, the spelling is normally -meter even in the UK. -metre is only for units of measurement. —CodeCat 01:44, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
As worded, -metre only applies to the unit. Purplebackpack89 02:12, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Not true. The definitions "Used to form the names of measuring devices" (-meter) and "Alternative form of -meter (suffix used to form the names of measuring devices)" (-metre) say nothing about the units measured by the measuring devices. I'm not so sure we should be treating either as a suffix, though, since both the unit and the device are nouns in their own right that take prefixes. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:33, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Can confirm that the measuring devices are ammeter, voltmeter, etc. in Britain, whereas the units are centimetre, etc. Equinox 13:27, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


Why do we call lovers ‘babies?’ It sounds kind of creepy when you think about it. --Romanophile (contributions) 08:14, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

If you're thinking babies = infants then yeah, I suppose it is. But baby can also mean someone you care for/take care of, someone totally dependent on you for all their needs... In that sense it's kinda hot ;) Leasnam (talk) 14:44, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
But why do you think that it means someone you care for/take care of, someone totally dependent on you for all their needs? I’m sure that you can figure out the answer. --Romanophile (contributions) 14:48, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, just speculating, it probably started as a male to female pet name, corresponding to how a girl might call her male lover "daddy" or "daddyo". Baby girl probably then got clipped to just baby? I dunno... Leasnam (talk) 14:52, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Taking it one step further, baby was affected as bae-bae ("my bae-baeyyy"), and we now have the much disdained bae (which I don't personally seem to have any problem with :) Leasnam (talk) 14:54, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Except that it looks like and sounds somewhat like Danish . --Romanophile (contributions) 14:57, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
You know, that is all over the internet ! Haters will hate, I guess. :D Leasnam (talk) 14:58, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Plausible; that does make sense. It still sounds creepy, though. --Romanophile (contributions) 14:53, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
From w:Neoteny: "human evolution's trend toward neoteny may have been caused by sexual selection in human evolution for neotenous facial traits in women by men with the resulting neoteny in male faces being a "by-product" of sexual selection for neotenous female faces. Jones said that this type of sexual selection "likely" had a major role in human evolution once a larger proportion of women lived past the age of menopause. This increasing proportion of women who were too old to reproduce resulted in a greater variance in fecundity in the population of women, and it resulted in a greater sexual selection for indicators of youthful fecundity in women by men." —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:56, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Did a well‐educated anthropologist actually say that? --Romanophile (contributions) 16:15, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
You just need an evolutionary perspective (faith?) to make such a hypothesis. I have no idea how to make it specifically testable for humans. But perhaps an analogy to a similar process in shorter-lived animals would be convincing, unless one were of a contradictory faith. DCDuring TALK 17:49, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
The sources are in the article. This particular study was published in 1995, in Current Anthropology 36 (5): 723–748. The article has a whole section on Attractive women's faces (I don't know if that's [attractive] [women's faces] or [attractive women's] [faces]) with other sources by other authors coming to basically the same conclusion: babyish faces are felt to be more attractive than non-babyish faces. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:05, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
How could you possible distinguish [attractive] [women's faces] from [attractive women's] [faces]? Presumably "attractive women", as determined by interview subjects based on physical features, have "attractive faces", and vice verse. bd2412 T 00:07, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
See butterface. DCDuring TALK 00:42, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Also, someone could be butt-ugly and still be an attractive candidate for a job, or something like that. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:29, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

French Translation of Nut (hard edible)

My CollinsRobert translating dictionary confirms that this should be "fruit à coque" and that the present entry of "fruit sec" actually means dried fruit.

Dick Kimball (talk) 17:53, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

The French Wiktionnaire sort of agrees and sort of disagrees...most confusing. Apparently "fruit à coque" is the preferred translation, but "fruit sec" is not entirely incorrect. https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/fruit_%C3%A0_coque https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/fruit_sec

Dick Kimball (talk) 18:11, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Seems to be fruit à coque, fruit sec is dried fruit, and I don't know why Wiktionnaire classes it as a 'quasi-synonym' (not even a full synonym) of dried fruit. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:18, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
I have heard from various people who have nut allergies and travel to Quebec a lot that there is no single French word encompassing the meaning of English nut, and this causes lots of problems for them. --WikiTiki89 19:02, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Not surprising, considering the wide variety of unrelated foods called "nut" in English. Most people are aware that peanuts are not true nuts; many fewer people are aware that almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts are not true nuts either, though people with nut allergies have to avoid them all in addition to true nuts like chestnuts and hazelnuts. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:54, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Why are botanists allowed to redefine English words? Clearly our immune systems are not OK with that. --WikiTiki89 21:11, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Our current definition is only the culinary one; we should probably add the botanical one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:12, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
In general, I think you can get away with using noix or noisette for the edible things. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:18, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

"inhibited" as an adjective

Currently, inhibited is only a verb. Is it not also an adjective? Thoughts? :-) -- Tomz0rs (talk) 00:41, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

It is also an adjective Leasnam (talk) 03:16, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
I've added an adjective sense. WurdSnatcher (talk)


Should the list of ingredients in 少林風濕跌打膏 be removed? — Justinrleung (t...)c=› 12:41, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

I think so. A list of ingredients might be appropriate for an encyclopedia, but not a dictionary. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 15:23, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Abbreviation "Bohem." in an etymology

What does the abreviation "Bohem." mean in the etymology of fimbul-? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 15:49, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Czech. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:08, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
Really? In what appears to be a list of Germanic cognates? Needs more explanation if that is indeed the case. This, that and the other (talk) 06:50, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
This dictionary confirms that there is a word fimol ‎(sharp metal wedge) in Czech, borrowed from German. --WikiTiki89 07:18, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes. However, I do think that we should generally make a clearer distinction between actual cognates and borrowings. For example, in this case: German Fimmel (whence also Czech ...). It's sometimes misleading to just mention any word in any language that is somehow related. Even if there's nothing technically wrong about it. Kolmiel (talk) 16:05, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

November 2015


Currently there is only one translation: sheesh, but in this video, eg at 46:14, they subtitled by Jøss! the spoken "Oh, wow!" Any Norwegian speaker here to confirm or contradict that translation? --Droigheann (talk) 02:42, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Pinging User:Njardarlogar as our most-recently-active (and hence most likely to respond) Norwegian speaker. - -sche (discuss) 23:46, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
I suppose it can be translated to different English words depending on context. 'wow' is probably often an appropriate translation. --Njardarlogar (talk) 10:49, 3 November 2015 (UTC)


It seems that there is a typography sense missing. —suzukaze (tc) 06:31, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Typographer, typographical & typo

The etymology for typo says: Shortening of typographer (sense 1) and of typographical error (sense 2).

If this was the case the pronunciation of typo would be either /taɪˈpɒ/ or /ˈtaɪpə/ (both of which sound very unnatural in English). Instead, it is pronounced /ˈtaɪpoʊ/. This suggests to me that the correct etymology is typographical + -o, the same way mo is moustache + -o and not simply a shortening of moustache. Would someone please check this and either reply or correct the entry?

Also, typographer and typographical could both do with pronunciation.

Danielklein (talk) 02:11, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't quite work that way: just as the o in typography is different than the o in typographical due to the accent, the o in typo would be different again by virtue of being in a final, unaccented syllable. I'm not commenting on whether the etymology is correct, just pointing out that the pronunciation of the o isn't evidence against it. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:50, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
The existence of thinko, speako, etc suggests -o is at work. (How old is typo? Speako claims to derive from typo, but speako is attested since at least the 1780s Early Diary of Frances Burney, apparently in this sense.) - -sche (discuss) 05:26, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Exactly why I'm asking for someone else to check it! I'm not an expert, it just looks inconsistent. I would have thought that mo is simply short for moustache but since reading the etymology it makes sense that it is using the diminutive -o. Since typo also seems to me to be a diminutive I'd expect it to also use -o. But I'm happy to learn otherwise if there is compelling evidence for the current etymology. Danielklein (talk) 06:44, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

Smoke (v.)

I can't have been the first to notice Sonny Bill Williams' use of smoke following New Zealand's World Cup win: "Just before he came to give me a hug he got smoked by one of the security guards and I felt pretty sorry for him you know.": see, for example, [12]. The security guard in question tackled to the ground a teenager who had invaded the pitch to meet SBW. Was Williams using the word in one of the senses already captured in our entry, using it in a sense not already captured (NZ slang?), or simply misusing the word? Smuconlaw (talk) 06:31, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I would guess #7: "(New Zealand, slang) To beat someone at something."
I suspect it has a broader meaning than our definition: "to clobber, pound or obliterate; to beat someone brutally and decisively at something". In a way, it might even be sort of a variation on the previous sense, "to kill". Chuck Entz (talk) 07:56, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Hopefully someone familiar with New Zealand slang can weigh in so we can decide if the entry needs revision. Smuconlaw (talk) 11:24, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, "beat someone at something" isn't restricted to New Zealand. Joan Steidinger (who as best I can tell lives in California) wrote in Sisterhood in Sports "They not only won—they smoked the other team. In doing so, they displayed their strength as a team and ended their season on a high note." Michelle M. McCorkle (from New Hampshire) wrote in Life in the Fast Lane "Overall, we smoked the other team. It was great! We did our little team chant, and I ran over to my parents before showering." - -sche (discuss) 17:04, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
The usage in "The Packers got smoked by the Broncos in the second half last Sunday." is pretty common in US sports. It is informally used in other competition. It implies smoke ("beat decisively in a competition") DCDuring TALK 20:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Should we revise the definition of sense 7 along the lines suggested by Chuck, and change the label to "(New Zealand, US slang)"? Smuconlaw (talk) 06:16, 6 November 2015 (UTC)


I added a sense meaning ‘to be,’ but now I think that it’s really just a less restrictive use of sense 4. Not sure, though. What do you think? --Romanophile (contributions) 08:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I would think so, yes. It replaces the verb. There's no difference except that standard English doesn't allow this kind of replacement for certain verbs. -- I don't know how many verbs there are that cannot be replaced with do. Is it just to be and the preterite-presents can, will, etc., or are there more? If not, I would make a usage note mentioning these verbs. And then you can add that AAVE (and maybe other dialects) do allow "to be" to be replaced. I guess... Kolmiel (talk) 14:49, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
I suspect it's that same set of verbs that don't take do-support in questions and negatives: "Are you" not "*Do you be", "You will not" not "*You do not will", etc. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:39, 3 November 2015 (UTC)


I just received an e-mail from Scientific American that included:

John A. Flynn, M.D., M.B.A., M.Ed., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.R., is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is the Director of Clinical Practice Improvement with the Clinical Practice Association and the Medical Director of the Spondyloarthritis Program. In addition, Dr. Flynn is the Co-Director of the Osler Center for Clinical Excellence and founding member of the Johns Hopkins Consortium for Advancement in Primary Care.

I know what all the degrees and the FACP stand for, but when I looked in Wiktionary for FACR the search failed. What does it mean? I expect that Dr. Flynn is a Fellow of the American College of something, but what?

Dick Kimball (talk) 14:18, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Since Flynn is Medical Director of the Spondyloarthritis Program, I'm guessing he's a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. Smuconlaw (talk) 14:31, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Russian пасть, the verb

I think you get it wrong with the figurative meanings. The meaning "to fall" is not at all figurative, it is the direct meaning of the word. The meaning "to die", on the other hand, is an extension. True that the extension is used more often than the direct meaning; still, that does not turn a figurative meaning into a direct one and vice versa. The verb is just a perfective counterpart of "падать", which means "to fall". - 22:25, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I think that was just a mistake. I fixed it. You know, you can fix these things yourself when you see them. --WikiTiki89 22:44, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
I prefer not to. Thanks. - 23:26, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Isn't it easier to fix it than to start a discussion? --WikiTiki89 15:59, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Oh, guys. I just saw this discussion accidentally.
Yes, the meaning "to fall (figuratively)" IS a very fitting definition for this verb. In modern normal-style Russian, it CANNOT be used to name the literal action of falling - this meaning is reserved to the 2 other verbs падать(impf.) and упасть(pf.). However this one, "пасть", has tons of other shades of meaning for which it is typically used.
I'll try to edit this page tommorow, as I see it appripriate. Will be happy to continue this discussion. Borovi4ok (talk) 20:55, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
It still literally means "to fall". I think it would be better to define it as "to fall (usually used figuratively)". --WikiTiki89 21:21, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, Wikitiki89. It is my last intention to have a dispute with you.
If you feel like, you can present examples supporting your claim here - naturally, real-world ones, from verifiable sources. I will be happy to discuss.Borovi4ok (talk) 21:31, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I feel like we are having more of a misunderstanding than a disagreement. I am not disagreeing about how пасть is used, but about how to describe how it is used. --WikiTiki89 22:47, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Wikitiki89, can you please check my today's contribution to this article. I would appreciate if you could further improve it. Borovi4ok (talk) 08:58, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Antonyms and the like

I just encountered the term "coordinate term" in the entries for anode and cathode; I didn't know what it meant, but I could deduce (roughly) from already knowing the relation between "anode" and "cathode". Someone changed this from "Antonym", saying "these are certainly not anyonyms". Well, I suppose it depends what you think "antonym" means, but I am sure that 'antonym' is a much more helpful term than 'coordinate expression'. Is there a policy here? How would I find all the pages with "Coordinate expression" entries on them? Imaginatorium (talk) 05:29, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

English translation of Swedish example sentence for "göra ont"

I'm not a native Swedish speaker, but the translation of the example sentence for göra ont (tån gör ont; translated as the toe hurts) seems unusual to me. From what I know, it isn't incorrect, but since Swedish prefers the definite form for body parts instead of a possessive pronoun (like several other languages), I'd tend to translate this as something like my toe hurts. Yeah, I don't really like to edit things immediately, so I thought I'd post it here. 06:29, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't really speak Swedish, but your point seems correct: I changed it to "(My) toe hurts". Parenthesised, so it can also obviously mean "My child's toe hurts". Imaginatorium (talk) 07:02, 4 November 2015 (UTC)


Can someone find more examples of arrow in the obsolete sense of ever a? The example on the page (‘…I don't believe there is arrow a servant…’) makes it sound as though it was just an alternate form of ever. Esszet (talk) 13:10, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Very similar to the Appalachian dialect. In Appalachia they say ary (e’er a) and the negative nary (n’er a). The adjective arrow (ever a) is Somerset dialect (County Somerset). Just as with ary, some people in modern times will say something like "ary an angel", but more properly it is "ary angel" ("you’re gooder’n ary angel"). It’s just that some people reinterpret it as "ever" instead of "ever a". —Stephen (Talk) 01:44, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

shots fired

In the past few years, the slang term "shots fired" has entered the vernacular as a response to somebody hurling an insult. Should we create it as an entry? Purplebackpack89 21:29, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

So you're saying that shots fired is used sort of like touché? That definitely sounds like an idiom; if it can be cited to the standards of Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion#Attestation, then yes, it should have an entry. —RuakhTALK 05:46, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
More like "it's kicking off" (sense 7; ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84aWlfQRkfY), or "it's on". --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 06:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I've taken a stab at creating an entry. FWIW, Ruakh (and BTW, welcome back), I think shots fired goes in a slightly different direction than touche does. Touche denotes a fair point, a concession. Shots fired suggests much more umbrage. Purplebackpack89 13:28, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
From the way I've seen this phrase used, it seems to be used by 3rd parties rather than the insulter/insultee, so the current definition seems off to me. I've only seen it used to mean that something person A said could be taken as an effective insult towards person B, regardless of the intention, or even of whether B ever heard what A said. Of course, it's quite possible that I've simply missed out on other uses of the phrase. Eishiya (talk) 02:14, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree. There's no indication of "offense" in the expression, merely that a pointed remark has been made, possibly warranting a response. —Pengo (talk) 20:08, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I have reworded it. Purplebackpack89 22:11, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Persian ورقه (varaqe)

To my knowledge this means "sheet of paper", not "bedsheet". The etymology (Arabic ورقة) hints at that too. We already have ملافه for "bedsheet". -- I would normally edit, but it seems to have been worked on several times, at least once by a native speaker. So, I'm clueless. Kolmiel (talk) 02:20, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

I agree, Tajik варақа ‎(varaqa) doesn't have the sense "bedsheet" either. Let's call @ZxxZxxZ. That's a "sheet of paper", isn't it? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:36, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, fixed. --Z 13:04, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Write "kalyptra" in Greek

In the Etymology of calotte, the Greek word "kalyptra" is mentioned but it's romanized, shouldn't it be written in Greek script? Please someone edit it, thanks. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 02:52, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Confusingly, both καλύπτρα ‎(kalúptra) and κάλυπτρα ‎(káluptra) appear to mean "veil" and fit the etymology; I'm not sure which to lemmatise and/or put in the etymology. @JohnC5? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:50, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: I would (and have) lemmatize(d) καλύπτρα ‎(kalúptra). —JohnC5 06:05, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not there anymore anyway. http://www.cnrtl.fr/etymologie/calotte doesn't link back to Greek, nor does it support our current etymology. It's in horrendous shorthand but it links back either to Old French cale with the suffix -otte or a borrowing from Arabic. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:23, 16 November 2015 (UTC)


I did this to the entry, but I'm not comfortable with deleting so much text without checking. I think this long set of rules gives off a false impression that you slavishly have to follow them to sound correct when just using the dative consequently will be perfectly fine. What do you think? Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 12:04, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

I originally wrote the usage note. It has been edited, however, and I don't know exactly what was done to it. I think there are some IP-users who tend to "prescriptivize" everything. I wrote it in a very descriptive way. You're of course right that the dative is not only what you will commonly hear, but is also perfectly correct in all registers and all situations. Therefore, the rules were actually given so that users see in what circumstances the dative must be used. That is actually the essential that, I think, should be added again. Because it's both correct to say: trotz des schlechten Wetters and trotz dem schlechten Wetter. Language users can decide freely. But in trotz Stürmen or trotz etwas Wichtigem only the dative is possible, and users should be "saved" from writing or saying *trotz Stürme or *trotz etwas Wichtigen. Kolmiel (talk) 15:04, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, and it is also mentionable that the genitive is more frequent, though not more correct, in literary style than the dative. Again: this is not my own wish or desire (I always use the dative!), but it's a simple quantifiable fact. Kolmiel (talk) 15:13, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
I was the one who recently added to it and I find that having deleted all of that was counterproductive. Isn't it ideal if a Wiktionary article is clear? Usage notes are necessary here to clarify how to use a word: if there's something wrong with writing down rules and tendencies then why not remove all the rules from other preposition's pages like https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/statt and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/w%C3%A4hrend? It was written in an unbiased fashion that does not favour the Genitive (I am not prescriptivist). I even mentioned that the dative is an acceptable alternative in the standard language (especially in the southern Sprachraum) and that in the vernacular, it is common to use the dative at all times (as Kolmiel does). Does this really seem like I'm obsessing over Genitive usage? Also deleted was a lot of useful information as to where only the dative can be used (which Kolmiel writes of). I definitely think the vital information should by all means be put back, unless being honest and unbiased gives the wrong impression... (Edit: I, who wrote this paragraph and the expansion on the trotz page, have just created this account, TrioLinguist. I apologize if I have breached any rules by leaving an anonymous message previously.) TrioLinguist (talk) 19:02, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
What you did was perfectly fine, I just think the realisation wasn't perfect, since it gave off a completely wrong idea of the usage. I would say it would be more correct to say that in German, trotz is used with the dative, and in formal language, one can alternatively use the genitive in some cases. The way you wrote it, it gave off the vibe that the dative was some colloquial or regional occurrence, when in reality it's simply proper German and used on all levels in all regions.(Disregarding the frequency of either variant.) Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:06, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
ps.: That vibe came from the opposition of 'standard language' and 'vernacular'. The vernacular of most places in the German-speaking realm is some form of the standard language. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:08, 9 November 2015 (UTC)


sleek (adj.) is missing its historic meaning of "well-fed" and "filled-out". This usage was quoted:

Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

And some biblical tools appear to relate "sleek" with "healthy-looking", "attractive", "well-favored", "well-built", "fine-looking", in translations of:

And lo, from the Nile there came up seven cows, sleek and fat; and they grazed in the marsh grass.

- 15:41, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Is that really what it means? It seems like it's just being used to describe the state of their coats: "Having an even, smooth surface". DTLHS (talk) 17:43, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Sleekness may well be considered an aspect of healthiness, but it hardly seems to be synonymous with it.
I see no evidence from other dictionaries that it ever meant "well-fed", "attractive", etc, but I don't have access to the OED. DCDuring TALK 18:02, 6 November 2015 (UTC)


Is it just me or does the audio sound like l'orgueil ? Leasnam (talk) 01:51, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

In some languages, it’s typical to include the definite article when mentioning a word. — Ungoliant (falai) 02:04, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the majority of our audio files for French nouns include the definite article. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:59, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Ok. Thank you ! Leasnam (talk) 13:19, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
I've made this specifically clear in a few cases, less than 100 I think, but of course there are just so many and they all need to be checked, not blanket adding of le, la or l'! A couple even use the plural article les on a singular. Don't ask me which but I've come across it. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:59, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Bundesrath and Kwalm

I'm trying to clear out the non-created Category:German superseded forms. These two words are left, and use Template:superseded spelling of. There is a more specific template Template:de-superseded spelling of that should be used instead but it requires a |used= parameter indicating when the form was superseded and I'm not sure what to fill in here. Can someone who knows German better help? Benwing2 (talk) 07:33, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

I've fixed Bundesrath, but Kwalm is difficult. I can't find any spelling conference that deprecated Kw- spellings (only a failed Nazi conference that would have reinstated them). I've marked it as pre-18th century, per German Wikipedia, but there is one (poetic) citation from 1818. Smurrayinchester (talk) 06:46, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
@Smurrayinchester: Thanks. Benwing2 (talk) 07:05, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
@Smurrayinchester: Some work on Rath and creating Spath along those lines would also be appreciated. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:38, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, we have lots of German th spellings that aren't correctly marked. Just fixed Rath, Thal, Thür, Thier, Thon, Thor and thun, but the ones where the th isn't at the beginning are very hard to find. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:45, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Here's a list of 2223 entries where the title contains "th" and the content contained "==German==" as of the 2015-07-02 dump, including entries where the "th" is correct and modern: User:-sche/de-th. Feel free to edit the list or move it into your own space if you prefer. - -sche (discuss) 20:50, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Something to do on those long winter nights... Smurrayinchester (talk) 21:16, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
For "Kwalm" et al I would use "used=1600s" (Philipp von Zesen tried and failed to popularize them then), unless they also had later periods of use. - -sche (discuss) 06:31, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Regarding "th": There should be exceptions - words which where written with "th" after 1902: 1. It's said (by WP) that the German Emperor (may God bless him) required all texts to be written in the more traditional spelling up until 1908 or 1911 or something. 2. Some words were still written with "th" after 1902 and some are still spelled that way, e.g. "Thron".
Regarding "Kwalm": Yeah, kw (instead of qu) should also have been used past 1610. In some way they should be deprecated in 1902: If the official rules (which should also have a word list) say it's just "Qualm", then "Kwalm" is deprecated. Though, they maybe fell out of use earlier.
BTW: There most likely should be an un-deprecated template at eislaufen (also cf. Eis laufen) ...
- 18:37, 10 November 2015 (UTC), 18:45, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Obviously "Th" words which weren't deprecated (e.g. "Thron") won't be listed as deprecated. (They and words like Gotthelf where "th" isn't even a digraph need to be weeded out of the list I made.) "Kw" words, on further consideration, never seem to have seen regular / widespread use in any time period, so it seems misleading to say they were superseded at any time, especially only in e.g. 1901/1902 — that implies they were either standard/acceptable or at least common before then. Perhaps they shouldn't use {{de-superseded spelling of}} at all, but instead {{lb|de|archaic}} {{rare spelling of|foo|lang=de}}? @Korn, Kolmiel how would you describe spellings like "Kwalm" and "Kwark"? They've probably seen use as eye-dialect, in which case the format I propose would be good, because it could easily be expanded to {{lb|de|archaic|or|eye dialect}} {{rare spelling of|foo|lang=de}}.
We have Template:U:de:1902-1996 spelling; we could copy that format and make e.g. Template:U:de:1996-2006 spelling, or (probably better, if there are a lot of variables) set up one template that accepted parameters indicating when something was deprecated and when it was reinstated. - -sche (discuss) 22:54, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
One could add an adjective like "implicitly deprecated in 1902" or "technically deprecated in 1902", as that should be correct and less misleading. One could also add a longer explanation like "implicitly deprecated in 1902, even though it wasn't in use anymore".
With variables it should be better. The reform in 2004 and the one 2011 could also have added or removed some forms. Also it is said, that during 1902-1996 Duden added and removed words/spellings (also see "Duden-Privleg"), like in one edition one can find a new spelling, and in some later edition it was removed. This should especially be the case for foreign words and spellings like Couch and Kautsch.
Furthermore, in the 19th century there were many German states, like Prussia, Bavaria, Austria, and some of these states had own spelling rules. So, instead of "deprecated in 1902", there could be something like "deprecated in Prussia in 1877, in Bavaria in 1879". In some way this could also be true for the spellings of 1902, as it could be 1902 in main Germany, but 1903 etc. in Austria, Swiss etc.
Regarding the first orthographic conference: Maybe one could add a note like "This spelling was also suggested by (some persons at) the first orthographic conference". And maybe a similiar note could be added for the planned reform of 1944.
- 16:39, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It's simple: The moment when these spellings where no longer official in any German state, they were deprecated. Since neither Duden nor ÖWB cover these spellings, the latest moment that happened can be the moment these two became official. So if there's no reform that specifically addresses them, that's the year to put down. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:27, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
ps.: I don't get the eye dialect-bit. I'd pronounce KW and QU exactly the same in all positions. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:31, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
First of all, I don't think that the spelling kw- was ever common. It may have occurred, but it was always rare. Even in Dutch, in which today they write kw-, the traditional spelling was always qu-. Therefore, the most important thing for me would be to give the necessary attestations for inclusion, and not just put them down because they "may have existed". Otherwise I don't really care. They are as obsolete as anything. If there's eye-dialect use: prove it, and that's okay. Kolmiel (talk) 00:46, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

quahaug, quahog

These are supposed to be alt forms of each other, but look at sense 2 on each page. One talks about large clams, and the other about very small clams. Equinox 19:07, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

They started out the same, but one was changed. From what I've been able to find, the "large clam" sense looks to be correct: the smaller clams are more tender and taste better, so they're eaten by themselves. The biggest ones are old and tough, so they're the ones used in chowder. I think the confusion comes from quahogs having different names, depending on the size: littlenecks, topnecks, cherrystones, and quahogs (some sources have countnecks on the small end and chowder and pumpkinonly one book clams instead of quahogs on the big end). If you're differentiating by species, even the tiniest can be called quahogs, but if you're differentiating by size, only the biggest are called quahogs. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:03, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Following other dictionaries, I combined the two existing senses in quahog and quahaug and added an etymology at quahaug, apparently the older spelling, the only one in Webster 1828. I have no familiarity with what Chuck has uncovered. DCDuring TALK 02:21, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I reworked it again, but you can probably improve on it some more. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:12, 9 November 2015 (UTC)


Does somebody here know what this Russian word means? --Hekaheka (talk) 10:37, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

I think that’s a misspelling of принципом. —Stephen (Talk) 12:26, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it fits. Thanks. --Hekaheka (talk) 16:10, 9 November 2015 (UTC)


In Spanish the plural of sosias is sosias, because the plural of words ending in s when the stress does not fall on the last syllable is the same as the singular. Therefore, the Wiktionary entry sósiases is wrong.

Thanks a lot. We've corrected it. The guy who made the page was neither a native Spanish-speaker nor an native English-speaker. Nevertheless, he has made thousands of top-quality entries, and is a respected user here. --SimonP45 (talk) 11:56, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

put it down

What does "put it down for someone" mean in American English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:53, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

@Tooironic Could you give a bit more context? —JohnC5 06:10, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
I've just heard it a few times in American pop and hip hop songs. You can probably find examples on Google easily enough. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:08, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
I found what you're talking about, but can't find an explanation anywhere. My only idea is that it might mean to "put down a beat" (i.e. "play music with a strong beat") perhaps implying celebration (hence, "for someone/something"). I also hope you understand that this is not "American English", but "American hip-hop slang", which not all Americans are intimately familiar with. --WikiTiki89 15:56, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
put down has a bunch of meanings, most of which can be used in hip hop. I think what you're looking at though is a special idiom that means something like "to show respect for (something) by behaving in a worthy way; to acknowledge the value of". So J. Lo's love song "puts it down for her papi" (acknowledges how she feels about him) and lots of people rap about how they "put it down for (their) niggas"; Twiztid "put it down for" his hood (pledging to show due respect). Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be used in any citable formats. WurdSnatcher (talk)

"Altiora peto"

I've edited both altiora and peto to include this popular school motto as an example. Can someone check that I've got this right, both from a formatting and Latin grammar viewpoint? -- The Anome (talk) 13:59, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

‘eō’ derivatives

Are derivatives of the Latin word ‘eō’ (e.g. adeo, obeo, pereo) stressed normally (i.e. on the antepenultimate syllable) or on the penultimate syllable? I used to simply assume they were stressed normally and edited several entries accordingly, but I've found two more (obeo and pereo) that indicate they're stressed on the penultimate syllable, so I thought I should check here to find out definitively. Does anyone have any definitive sources on the pronunciation of such verbs? Esszet (talk) 18:12, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

The only verb forms that Allen & Greenough mention as exceptions to the stress rule are things like beneˈfacit and caleˈfacit, so the argument from silence (which is a red link here!) is that these compounds take normal stress, as otherwise they would have mentioned them as exceptions too. Not terribly strong evidence, I know, but it's all I got. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:42, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Alright, then I'll edit those two entries accordingly. Esszet (talk) 22:24, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

my sweet bacon

What's the distribution of "bacon" as a term of endearment? Is it dated or regional? - -sche (discuss) 22:37, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

This looks like a job for {{DARE needed}}. I could get to all of them on Saturday. DCDuring TALK 23:04, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

sesquiennial and sesquiannual

There's a bit of an edit war happening over these two, very rare, words. Which one means twice in every three years and which one means three times in every two years? Neither word is in the OED or in any of my dictionaries. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:31, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps it has the same distinction as biannual and biennial? Aryamanarora (talk) 17:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I think I got it. sesqui- means 3:2, so sesquiannual is three times every two years. sesquiennial takes the reciprocal, so thrice every two years. Aryamanarora (talk) 17:08, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Be careful about inferring meaning from etymology. DTLHS (talk) 19:06, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I've found some citations of sesquiannual and sesquiennial where the meaning is clear (they both mean "once every 1.5 years"), and added them to the entries. - -sche (discuss) 21:46, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
FYI, the interest in these words is from a recent XKCD comic. Pengo (talk) 23:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
As mentioned on Talk:sesquiannual, biannual's usage notes seem prescriptivist; on what basis is one usage described as "proper"? - -sche (discuss) 23:41, 11 November 2015 (UTC)


What's the pronunciation of this? Dictionaries only give /dɪˈwɑːli/ (Collins, Macmillan, Cambridge), but the form I hear most is /dɪˈvɑːli/, even from educated/professional sources – see, for instance, this National Geographic documentary, BBC News, BBC Asian Network. Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:02, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

(I've also heard it with a longer first i as /diːˈwɑːli/ / /diːˈvɑːli/) Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:07, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
The Hindi pronunciation is [d̪ɪvɑːliː], at least in the region of Delhi. The v-w allophone of Hindi could make the [v] into a [w], however. Both are acceptable pronunciations. Aryamanarora (talk) 17:01, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd say the Hindi pronunciation is [d̪ɪʋɑːliː] with the labiodental approximant [ʋ] that doesn't occur in English. English speakers perceive it as a cross between [v] (because it's labiodental) and [w] (because it's an approximant, not a fricative). Partially for that reason, and partially because of the alternative spelling Divali, you're probably as likely to hear English speakers pronounce it with [v] as with [w]. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:53, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Yep, exactly. That v-w allophone always affects Hindustani loanwords. Aryamanarora (talk) 18:58, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I wonder if an awareness of languages like German that use w for the /v/ sound helped cement that form. (Trying to think of other terms where I've heard both the /w/ and /v/ forms, I can only think of shalwar ‑ we give the pronunciation /ˈʃʌlvɒː/, but I think we're being over-conservative and most English speakers would say something like /ˈʃælwɑː(r)/). Funnily enough, I've only ever heard wallah with a /w/, possibly because it entered common English use during the Raj.) Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:44, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

tredecillionth, quattuordecillionth, quindecillionth, ..., centillionth: Should they be in wiktionary?

I noticed that many of these words were added before, and later deleted. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_large_numbers#Standard_dictionary_numbers has the complete list.) The numbers like tredecillion and larger are naturally rare, but according to the English language rules, one should be able to form -th (adjective and noun) forms, even though they aren't used much, and maybe there are no uses for some of them at all. Also people might use any of them any time. Should we add them? Yurivict (talk) 00:25, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

If they can be attested I don't see why not. Purplebackpack89 00:55, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, if they're attested, they can have entries. Some have been RFVed (years ago) and failed, but new cites may have become available since then. - -sche (discuss) 01:32, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
I meant that they shouldn't be attested individually, because they are formed based on the rule. Therefore, people are free to use them any time because of the existence of the base form. Yurivict (talk) 00:47, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
No, we shouldn't include theoretical forms. When people do use them, yes, but not just because they could hypothetically be words. (So could "megadogness", for the state of being a huge dog!) We've gone through this before with the SI units (zeppometre, yottabyte, etc.) and opted not to include those that have no real usage. Equinox 02:09, 13 November 2015 (UTC)


I just created this entry, and while searching for citations of the word, I found that the spellings of the inflections given in the header do not seem to be citable. In addition, the inflected forms of the words as found in the quotations are "clattawa’s" for the third person singular and "klatawaw-ed" for the simple past, neither of which agree with the header.

So my question is, should those forms given in the header be included in the entry at all? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:21, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

repeater, held-back student?

Hi. I can't think of the word in English for a pupil who repeats a year/grade in school. repeater would be the obvious, or grade repeater perhaps, but Google doesn't like them. retenter or held-backer don't work either, although they sound good. What the hell is the term for those guys? --SimonP45 (talk) 11:55, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Research suggests "dropout-to-be" would be accurate. Perhaps "lost causes", too.
I see mostly X(es) who repeat and, formerly, X(es) who [(has|have|had been)|was|were] left back, but repeater might be more used in context, informally. DCDuring TALK 14:47, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Possibly retaker? Equinox 14:50, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
I've never heard any nouns used for this. The most common phrases I've heard over my years in the US education system are "he stayed back last year" = "he was held back last year" = "he is repeating a/the grade (i.e. now)", "he stayed back in sixth grade" = "he was held back in sixth grade" = "he repeated sixth grade". "Retaking" is only used of a class or course, not of a whole grade (year). --WikiTiki89 15:55, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
BTW, in German it's Sitzenbleiber, which we are missing; see sitzenbleiben. Equinox 15:59, 12 November 2015 (UTC)


The entry needs to be improved, see Wiktionary:Grease_pit/2015/October#Neger. -Rdm571 (talk) 18:04, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

What a hill to die on. The only change that I can see that needs to be made is that it's not clear whether calling a cue card Neger is now out of fashion (given that Negerkuss chocolates have been renamed Schokokuss, I wouldn't be surprised if other uses of the word have also fallen out of use). That the word Neger is unacceptable in modern German society is uncontroversial: Die Zeit (a centrist publication) said that the Bavarian Interior Minister "äußert sich rassistisch" by calling someone "ein wunderbarer Neger" (and he meant it as a compliment!), and he apologised. The vast majority of definitions of Neger that I find online use the phrase "eine abwertende und rassistische Bezeichnung". You can still find English-speakers who bemoan the fact that they're "not allowed" to say nigger, but that doesn't make anything in that entry incorrect. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:01, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
moved from User talk:-sche (let's try to keep the discussion in one or two places rather than three):
The recent fuzz made me think about the clipping of the usage notes again. I was the one who added the part about older folk not catching on about its change of meaning, because I encountered it with left wing multikulti folk ages 50-60 in Berlin, i.e. as far from racists as you get. Not sure that people not noticing something is citable, so I'm wondering if we can just agree to add an information of the term being the normal word until somewhat recently. I'm not comfortable with the idea that people think the words is as universally and strongly damned in German as 'nigger' is in the US, and then draw wrong conclusions about folks who use it because they didn't catch on to the times. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 16:22, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Let's look for evidence that the term was previously less offensive, and ideally when and among whom.
Kontroverse Begriffe: Geschichte des öffentlichen Sprachgebrauchs, reviewing press usage over time, says that in the 1950s Neger was used "almost exclusively, and without concious denigration", while Farbiger was only sometimes used; by 1962 both terms were equally common, with Neger more common in explicitly negative contexts; now, the book says, it "als explizite Diffamierungsvokabel fungiert und im öffentlichen Sprachgebrauch außer bei den Rechtsextremen vermeiden wird", with avoidance by the press already complete (save for a few exceptions) by 1974.
Erwin Ebermann's Afrikaner in Wien: zwischen Mystifizierung und Verteufelung notes a set of surveys done in Vienna in 1992 and 2000; in 2000, 8% of people used Neger to denote Africans, largely matching (Ebermann says) the results from 1992, when Neger was used chiefly by people over 40 (who would now in 2015 be over 60). When the interview as an authority figure used the word Neger, another 5% of respondents went on to use the term, whereas 10% protested in 1992 and 15% protested in 2000.
- -sche (discuss) 18:49, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Old Church Slavonic romanized word "myjati"

In the etymology of mew, please rewrite the Old Church Slavonic word "myjati" using the correct script (Old Cyrillic or Glagolitic).

If I try using {{m|cu|myjati||to mew}}, it generates a module error because it's a romanized word. Thank you. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 07:38, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Done. Next time you can change it to {{m|cu|||to mew|tr=myjati}} and that will put it in Category:Old Church Slavonic terms needing native script. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:39, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

messeto - Italian or Venetian?

In the etymology of mešetar, there is "Venice messeto".

Does that mean the word messeto is Venetian? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 07:49, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

  • It's Venetian (or a regional dialect form of Italian) and means something like "merchant" (not just an ordinary trader). But I'm not confident enough in its definition to add it. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:01, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

bitter chalice

Would you consider "bitter chalice" idiomatic? It gets more than 3.000 GoogleBooks hits. I'm asking, because its verbatim translation to Finnish, katkera kalkki is a reference to Christ's sufferings and means roughly "something unpleasant that one must endure, often as consequence of one's own selfish action". --Hekaheka (talk) 11:01, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

I think bitter cup (with almost 90,000 Google Books hits) is the more common equivalent. English Bibles usually use "cup" rather than "chalice" in their translations of Matthew 26:39–42, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:46, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

membra (Portuguese)

@Daniel Carrero, @Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV, and anyone else who speaks Portuguese: is membra real? A new user just added it, and I'm skeptical. I don't want to RFV it if a reliable Wiktionarian says it's a real word. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:58, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

It’s real, but nonstandard. I’ve amended the entry. — Ungoliant (falai) 14:02, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
OK, obrigado. He also added a link to it from membro which I deleted. You can put that back if you like. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:06, 15 November 2015 (UTC)


"2. Of limited time; not perpetual." and "4. Lasting a short time only.". Isn't that (more or less) the same? - 14:32, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Definition 2 places "temporal" in opposition to "eternal," while definition 4 emphasizes the shortness of it more. They could be worded more clearly, but they are slightly different. Perhaps they could be combined into one def, but I don't think either should be deleted in favour of the other. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:09, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
"Not eternal" does not mean "short in duration". Something that lasts 100 years is not short in duration but isn't eternal either. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Plip, plipper

The etymologies disagree. Is it a plipper because it goes plip or because of the name of the inventor? Equinox 22:41, 15 November 2015 (UTC)


The only citation under the "membership in these categories: the state of being male, female..." sense is Middle English and wholly unclear; substituting the definition into the citation results in gibberish. Can better citations be found? Also, which sense of "sex" is being used in a sentence like "the effectiveness of the medication is dependent upon age, sex, and other factors"? Sense 1? Sense 4? Prior to the entry being rewritten, that usex was under an awkward, kludgy "sum of the biological characteristics by which male and female and other organisms are distinguished" sense. See Talk:sex#.22Membership_in_these_categories:_the_state_of_being_male.2C_female....22 and the section immediately after it. - -sche (discuss) 22:52, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

boy as sportsman

This sense was just added: "a sportsman: "I still remember the year my boys won the state championship", recalled Coach." I don't know much about sports. Can someone confirm (or deny) that this is a sporting sense of its own, distinct from the existing "(affectionate, diminutive) A male of any age, particularly one rather younger than the speaker"? Equinox 22:57, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

No, it's not sports-specific. A commander could just as easily say "I still remember the day my boys got the order to get Yamamoto — of course, they didn't know it was him at the time." A teacher could say "I still remember the year my boys won the state science project competition", speaking about teenagers. - -sche (discuss) 23:31, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Also only used in the plural, in the singular it would sound demeaning. Brokeback Mountain has "you boys sure found a way to make the time pass up there". Definitely not sports. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:27, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Finnish hupi, huvi and hupa

@Hekaheka, Tropylium There seems to be a clear sense of "fun" shared among all these, but I'm not sure what the relationship is. In any case, hupi and huvi share most of their inflected forms, to the point of wondering if they're not secretly just one lemma. Can someone shed further light on this? —CodeCat 02:18, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Don't know really, but "hupa" may have two etymologies. The sense "quickly diminishing" may be connected with huveta ‎(dwindle, shrink, vanish). From that, "diminishing" is hupeneva which could have been shortened to "hupa". "Hupi" and "huvi" may originally be dialectal variations of one word, as the verb connected with both of them is huvittaa. The "funny" sense of "hupa" is quite rare but there is a whole family of related words: hupaisa, hupainen, hupailu, hupaelma, hupakko, hupattaa. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:29, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm only familiar with hupaisa in the sense of funny'. hupa in this sense looks like some kind of a backformation to me (though I've seen it as a noun meaning 'amusement', 'pastime').
huvi is usually considered to have been analogically generalized from the oblique cases and derived terms of hupi; there are a couple of other similar cases too. --Tropylium (talk) 02:15, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Swedish pil: Two etymologies, one group of definitions

This entry looks wrong to me. Two separate etymologies are given, but all the definitions are grouped under Etymology 2, while Etymology 1 has no definitions. I am not familiar enough with Old Norse to group them correctly, but I'm guessing all the arrow/dart definitions should be under Etymology 1, and etymology 2 should contain only the willow definition. Eishiya (talk) 02:29, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

An IP added the etymologies (apparently copying them from another language section and changing the language codes), but apparently didn't know about the splitting part. I split the definitions by etymology, but someone who knows Swedish will have to finish the job- I have no idea if the gender or declension are the same for both. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:38, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

vernacular for Glires

  • What is the English vernacular name for a member of Glires (or Euarchontoglires)? A "glirian" (or "gliran" perhaps)? Nicole Sharp (talk) 10:46, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I don't believe there is any such vernacular term. gliriform and glirine are adjectives that describe such animals. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:03, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • I would describe a "gliriform" (noun) as a member of the larger taxon Gliriformes, not its subtaxon Glires, but a noun for members of Glires (and/or Euarchontoglires) would be very helpful. If I was to guess, I would say something like "glir(e)" ("euarchontoglir[e]") or "glir(i)an" ("euarchontoglir[i]an"). wikipedia:Euarchontoglires#Organization Nicole Sharp (talk) 11:19, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Thank you for the vernacular adjectives of Glires and Gliriformes though, I wasn't aware of those. Nicole Sharp (talk) 11:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Think I got something. I checked Google for results on different possible plural noun forms. From "euarchontoglirs," "euarchontoglirans," and "euarchontoglirians," only "euarchontoglirans" produced significant English results: [13] [14]. By analogy then, "glirans" should also be the vernacular nominal form for Glires: [15] [16]. Unlike "euarchontoglirians" though, "glirians" does produce results on Google, but predominantly from blog posts as opposed to published books, so "gliran" seems to be the most-accepted form in academia, not "glirian." I also saw "gliran" being used as an adjective as well as a noun. Nicole Sharp (talk) 11:53, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    • So from above, answered as "gliran" and "euarchontogliran." Title striked. [17] Nicole Sharp (talk) 13:10, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • From a descriptive PoV it depends on what has been or will be accepted, though the analogical reasoning may be a good predictor of acceptance. Also, glirine referred to the Linnaean order Glires, not the modern clade, but could be recycled. DCDuring TALK 14:58, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
        • According to "wikipedia:Rabbits#Evolution," the original Linnaean definition of Glires and the modern phylogenetic definition of Glires are the same. There was a long period of time however after the time of Linnaeus until the time of modern genetic studies where biologists did not believe that lagomorphs and rodents were related, and thus equated the Linnaean taxon Glires with just Rodentia, instead of Lagomorpha plus Rodentia. See my comments at "talk:Glires#Linnaean definition" and "user talk:DCDuring#Linnaean definition of Glires." Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:07, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
          • I have attempted to make a three-definition entry. Please correct anything that you can. BTW, what were Lagomorpha and Rodentia called around the time Linnaeus' work was gaining acceptance in the English-speaking scientific community? DCDuring TALK 15:26, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
            • Latin WikiSource has all of Linnaeus' original definitions, from 1735-1793: "wikisource:la:Systema Naturae." According to English Wikipedia, Linnaeus' original definition of Glires should (either by his brilliant insight, or perhaps just mere coincidence) correspond to the modern phylogenetic definition, so that the 1700s definition is the same as the contemporary 2000s definition, but different from the 1800s-1900s definition (which placed Glires as synonymous with Rodentia, instead of Glires being hypernymic to Rodentia). Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:58, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
            • @DCDuring, yes, you are correct! There are three separate definitions of Glires. The original Linnaean definition does not correspond to the modern definition, nor the 1911 definition. Linnaeus grouped rhinoceroses and hyraxes with rodents and rabbits under his original grouping of Glires. See PDF page 25 of: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Sistema_Naturae_%281758%29.pdf . Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Glires usage

Copied from "talk:Glires." Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:28, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

  • @DCDuring, according to "wikipedia:Rabbits#Evolution," the original Linnaean definition of Glires matched that of the modern definition (i.e. a grouping of both Rodentia and Lagomorpha), then the original definition was modified to not include Lagomorpha until it was recently obsoleted by the current phylogenetic definition that corresponds again to the original Linnaean grouping. I don't know of any other sources other than Wikipedia for the changing definition of Glires over the centuries since Linnaeus though. Gliriformes is a slightly larger (and hypernymic) grouping than Glires but only adds extinct genera to Glires. Nicole Sharp (talk) 14:45, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Take a look at Glires in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911. The Century Dictionary is a reasonable source for widely accepted older definitions, though certainly inferior for scholarly purposes to determining how the word was used by scientists. Unfortunately I don't have access to anything behind a paywall and not all taxonomic literature is freely available. (How much is available online whether or not behind a paywall?)
    • Also glirine was used in English before Linnaeus coined Glires, probably with much less precision and consistency than taxonomic hierarchies imply. It might be wrong to attribute to Linnaeus the derivation from Latin when the term was probably already "in the air". DCDuring TALK 15:10, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • That would then make Glires a Germanic-to-Latin backformation coinage from glirine (or some equivalent) perhaps, but that shouldn't change the etymology of the Latin root as currently stated on the entry. The original definition of "glirine" was probably "of or like a dormouse." Linnaeus was fluent in Latin though from an early age. Most likely he chose his taxonomic grouping based on the Latin for "dormouse" simply due to that the other Latin roots for more-common lagomorphs and rodents were already being used elsewhere. Most scientists of the time used Latin to separate scientific usage from common usage, so he would have probably been less likely to have been influenced by Latinate common usages perhaps, as compared to a pure-Latin derivation. But of course that is all speculation on my part, though I am sure someone somewhere has written a detailed commentary on Linnaeus' choices for various Latin words. I know there was a big kerfluff with naming Primates in relation to Homo. Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:44, 16 November 2015 (UTC)


What happens in Purgatory, does it mean you wait to see if you Sins are forgiven. There is know time content where you are, just a series of pictures running at speed in front of your eyes —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Phrasal verbs

What makes one idiomatic phrase a phrasal verb and the other not? e.g. stand tall, scare straight, keep abreast, run aground, come ashore, go ahead, run afoul of, come again, run amok, come alongside, run past, come correct, go wide and go narrow Just curious, we don't have any phrasal verbs with "tall", "past", "wide", etc, is there a reason for that? WurdSnatcher (talk)

Does this help, from Wikipedia? "The aspect of these types of phrasal verbs that unifies them under the single banner phrasal verb is the fact that their meaning cannot be understood based upon the meaning of their parts taken in isolation. When one picks on someone, one is not selecting that person for something, but rather one is harassing them. When one hangs out, one is in no way actually hanging from anything." e.g. run past the house wouldn't be parsed as a phrasal verb run past but as simply run with an adverbial: past the house. Equinox 23:22, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I meant run past in the definition given on our page, "to bring a subject to someone's attention". WurdSnatcher (talk)
IMO run past in that definition should certainly be a phrasal verb. Benwing2 (talk) 23:31, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
That'd be our first phrasal verb using "past". Trying to brainstorm if there are any more? Maybe slip past (to sneak something through an inspection), drive past (to drive past without stopping, or is that just a missing sense at past#adverb?). WurdSnatcher (talk)
That Wikipedia definition sounds like it should apply to any multi-word verb phrase. Is add fuel to the fire a phrasal verb? It's both a phrase and a verb whose meaning can't be deduced from its parts. WurdSnatcher (talk) 23:38, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I think some of these might be better in Collocation space should the vote for such space succeed. Traditionally phrasal verbs are of the form [verb + preposition] or [verb + adverb], more recently [verb + particle]. Conspicuously missing is [verb + adjective], the form of some of the above.
IMO run afoul of is run + afoul ( + of ), the of being optional and run simply the most common of the verbs used with afoul, fall being the next most common, but go, come, and be also occurring. Similarly, for stand tall one can also find walk tall, ride tall, sit tall, stay tall, etc., and strong, still, ready, etc. For run amok we can have not only run + amok but also various combinations of go and run (also be, grow) with crazy, rampant, nuts, wild, etc.
In other words, I would resolve the categorization problem by RfDing most of these. DCDuring TALK 05:04, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, the OED definition of a phrasal verb is "a multi-word verb consisting of a verb and another element (typically an adverb or preposition) which together function as a single syntactical unit, as break down, make up, take out, see to, etc.", while Oxford Dictionaries Online have "An idiomatic phrase consisting of a verb and another element, typically either an adverb, as in break down, or a preposition, for example see to, or a combination of both, such as look down on. --Droigheann (talk) 07:28, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Is there a reason it's limited to adverbs and prepositions? That seems like an arbitrary distinction. WurdSnatcher (talk) 11:54, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Those are more likely to function as part of the verb. Subjects, objects and complements aren't part of the verb as a syntactical unit. There's a difference between a verbal phrase and a phrasal verb. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:50, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
[After e/c] @WurdSnatcher: Generally speaking, the tightness of the link between the adverb/preposition and the verb elements is high in phrasal verbs, much higher than for verb-adjective combinations, many of which are SoP collocations, as I suggested above. Some expressions of the verb-adjective form are IMO legitimate entries because one element, usually not the verb, is obsolete, archaic or rare at least in the sense used. But most are just relatively uncommon formations, which can sometimes be viewed as an adjective either standing in less than usual grammatical relation to a verb or functioning adverbially. DCDuring TALK 13:57, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with DCDuring that expressions like run amok are SoP; amok nearly always occurs in run amok and often there's no running involved. Furthermore, amok is an adverb, so this technically fits even the narrower definition of phrasal verb. OTOH, when these definitions say "adverb" they normally mean "adverb that can also be a preposition", which amok can't be. That's why run past of all the examples seems most clearly a phrasal verb, because past is a preposition as well. Benwing2 (talk) 15:09, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
What is your threshold for "nearly always"? What corpus evidence do you have? Hint: Use the BYU corpora. DCDuring TALK 17:29, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Interesting all, thanks, I guess that makes sense. I think I will make run past and slip past tonight (sneak past?). It still looks to me like these are valid: keep abreast, keep abreast of (both idiomatic keep), come alongside (in the nautical sense, and I think there's also a psychological use), come again (idiomatic come) and maybe come ashore/run aground. WurdSnatcher (talk) 01:43, 18 November 2015 (UTC)


I translated the second sense of compaignie as company (sexual liaison). Company has no such sense. I was going to change it to companionship but that also has no such sense. Am I wrong, or do we lack it for one or both of those? Renard Migrant (talk) 23:55, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

It's one of those edge-case euphemisms. Does lonely need a new sense to cover "If you get lonely, there's a brothel down the street."? --WikiTiki89 00:18, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I think sexual liaison, even though I'm basically quoting the Anglo-Norman On-Line Hub which has "sexual relationship", isn't quite right. "I would like to have her company" doesn't mean "I would like to have her sexual liaison". Somewhat relevant, my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993) isn't really bothered about being all that accurate as long as you can basically understand the meaning. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:44, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

annehmen IPA

The current entry for German 'annehmen' is given as /?anne:m@n/, to my knowledge german does not allow for consonant gemination, so I think the entry is in error. More importantly, what is the policy regarding ipa transcriptions for german, or on wiktionary in general? I've also noticed inconsistent transcriptions of <rC> across german entries.

German does allow consonant gemination across the two elements of a compound (and verbs with separable prefixes act like compounds), e.g. Brennnessel also has /n.n/. Our German entries don't have a lot of consistency. Ideally they should all conform to Appendix:German pronunciation but in practice a lot of them don't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:19, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
You can hear /n.n/ gemination clearly by comparing einnorden (orientate) vs de:einordnen (classify). I wonder if there are any minimal pairs where the only difference is gemination, but I couldn't find any seriously used (I did consider Zeittakt and the whimsical Zeitakt, but I don't think "Zeitakt" would be recognised as a real word) Smurrayinchester (talk) 22:17, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Those aren't the best examples of minimal pairs, though, because of the glottal stop before the vowel-initial morpheme: einordnen isn't [ˈaɪ.nɔʁd.nən], it's [ˈʔaɪn.ʔɔʁd.nən]. Likewise a word "Zeitakt" would be [ˈt͡saɪt.ʔakt]. However, Zweitakt [ˈt͡svaɪ.takt] (as in Zweitaktmotor ‎(two-stroke engine)) is a good near-minimal pair with Zeittakt [ˈt͡saɪt.takt]. Another minimal pair using a nonce word is Beiname ‎(byname) vs. theoretical Beinname "leg name" (y'know, if you want to name your leg); these would be [ˈbaɪ.naːmə] vs. [ˈbaɪn.naːmə] —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:14, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
All true. Although these geminates may also be simplified, and the minimal pairs are not necessarily distinct in common speech. I personally pronounce all of those words the way that they are not pronounced according to your statement. Unless I enunciate. Kolmiel (talk) 22:29, 23 November 2015 (UTC)


Just looked through the list of Asian countries in English, and was rather shocked to find that ISIS is amongst the list. I know that ISIS, in the news as of late, might be an organization, but is it really a country per se? I don't think so. --JB82 (talk) 01:03, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Well, it has territory, a capital, national subdivisions, a planned currency, a government, a body of law and it provides public services. — Ungoliant (falai) 01:11, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
ISIS itself claims to be a country. Wiktionary is not in the business of politics and so we neither "recognize" countries nor do we "not recognize" countries. We decide whether it is lexically a country. --WikiTiki89 02:17, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
What does "lexically" a country mean? In any case, by adding the entry for ISIS to the category for countries in Asia, Wiktionary is certainly recognizing it as a country, de-facto, and definitely making a sort of political statement. By not adding it, however, no such statement is made, not least because the category is far from complete. I think in cases like this, the best thing is to leave things out of categories if inclusion is controversial; as you said, Wiktionary is not in the business of politics. Benwing2 (talk) 10:06, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
"Lexically" means that the meaning of the word "ISIS" is a country in Asia, whether or not such a country exists. --WikiTiki89 15:52, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I have two more things to say about this:
Ungoliant (falai) 17:54, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I disagree. Whether or not a country is recognized is not the business of a dictionary. But you maybe right about the difference between "ISIS" and "Islamic State". --WikiTiki89 18:07, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Never mind that. It turns out ISIS is indeed used like that. I support recategorising it as a country. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:11, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd disagree about that. As a descriptive dictionary, we don't care how something defines itself – we care about how the world at large defines it. There's a fundamental lexical difference between, say, San Marino – a small Apennine town internationally recognized as a country – and Seborga – a small Apennine town that no-one recognizes as a country except itself. Even if a non-country entity behaves in some ways like a country (for example, Berwick-upon-Tweed claimed that England didn't represent it in foreign affairs and signed a separate Crimean War peace treaty), if people don't call it a country, it's not lexically a country. Sealand calls itself a country, most of the world does not. Transnistria calls itself a country, most of the world does not. ISIS calls itself a country (indeed, a global caliphate), most of the world does not. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:34, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
    As a descriptive dictionary, if there are differences in usage, we include all of them. What "most of the world" thinks does not matter. --WikiTiki89 16:06, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Smurray. Calling ISIS a country is prescribing a (rather extreme) POV; we shouldn't do it. We particularly shouldn't do it as long as the only definition in the entry is "a group which..." (for citations like "he joined ISIS"); we'd need to have a separate definition "an unrecognized state in..." (if there are any citations like "he moved from Saudi Arabia to live in ISIS") as a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite. - -sche (discuss) 20:09, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
What about "he moved from Saudia Arabia to live in the Islamic State"? It does seem like there are differences in usage between the acronyms and the full name. --WikiTiki89 20:27, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be a big decision for us to just declare that ISIS is a country with apparently, no prior discussion or presentation of evidence. A territory isn't the same as a country anyway. Do we have Quebec, the Basque regions and Catalonia as countries as well? Wouldn't California meet Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV's conditions as well? Renard Migrant (talk) 20:32, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
What is a country? Under some of our definitions, Catalonia and Quebec are certainly countries. California, I'm not so sure about. --WikiTiki89 20:43, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
One thing that seems to have been overlooked: this is in reference to a category, which isn't part of any entry. Its real purpose is to help people find entries, not to describe their meaning. As such, the issues of descriptiveness vs. prescriptiveness and of lexicality are irrelevant. When it comes to categories, we certainly do make judgments. I say we shouldn't have any disputed polities categorized as countries unless people are going to need their categories to be in the country categories in order to find them. There are no doubt a number of people who think that ISIS should be treated as a country, but I doubt that most of them will go to a country category to find it in a dictionary. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:30, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Re "to live in the Islamic State": in that use, it does sound like a place (but I still wouldn't categorize it as a country). In fact, I've noticed that when people speak of "Islamic State" as a group, they often drop the article, hence: "...is the capital of the Islamic State", intermediate "...and (the) Islamic State plans its own currency", but "...after Islamic State beheaded another hostage". Re "what is a country?": that reminds me of this discussion of nations. - -sche (discuss) 04:58, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

life eternal

This was deleted. I think it should be restored though. It's a noun occurring before an adjective, something that doesn't typically occur in English. 2602:306:3653:8920:B493:B6E5:59E1:E317 03:13, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

This is a grammatical issue, not a lexical one. Postnominal adjective used to be doable (Chaucer: "a manly man, to be an abbot able) and still occurs in a few oddities (knight-errant). Equinox 04:21, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
But we have eternal life! Should be restored as an alternative form, if nothing else. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:20, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Murray. Restore Purplebackpack89 16:49, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Restore and go through the usual channels, where I expect it will be kept. Renard Migrant (talk) 10:31, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Restored Purplebackpack89 14:06, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

"Lent Gascon" (Occitan? -> Basque)

Discussion moved to Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2015/November#"Lent Gascon" (Occitan? -> Basque).

"in Cataluña" means Calatan?

In the etymology of bachelier, there's "in Cataluña". I suppose this means the language is Catalan? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 23:48, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Or Old Catalan (roa-oca), or Old Provençal. But the word looks more like Mediaeval Latin. — Ungoliant (falai) 23:53, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
The sentence is referring to places, not languages: "in Cataluña [one thing happened], in Provence [something else happened]". But we do say Catalonia, not Cataluña, in English. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:54, 19 November 2015 (UTC)


  1. A unified federal Islamic government for the Muslim world, ruled by an elected head of state or caliph.

The current definition is de jure correct, but de facto incorrect – there have been periods of history where multiple competing caliphates have coexisted (in the year 1000, I think there were four major political entities calling themselves caliphates), and I don't think any caliphate has ever managed to unite the entire Muslim world. Can anyone think of a better way to define it? Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:47, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

@Smurrayinchester In the definition, does the world "unified" mean "combining church and state" or "combining all peoples in the Muslim world"? If it's the latter, I think you could solve your problems by removing the word "unified" and adding "all or part of" before "the Muslim world" Purplebackpack89 14:09, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89 Well, the theory of a caliphate is that the ruler is a successor to Mohammed, and therefore all Muslims should automatically owe the caliph their loyalty. Of course, in reality Muslims don't have to accept the legitimacy of the caliph (most reject the ISIS caliphate, for example). Actually, now that I read the definition again, the "elected" part is incorrect – I'll change that. Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:51, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
  • If I understand things correctly, no current or aspiring member of the Islamic State is allowed to vote on anything at all, on pain of excommunication and possible execution. There was a lengthy article about ISIS and its policies recently in the Atlantic Monthly: “What ISIS Really Wants”. Relevant quotes (bolding mine):

Denying the holiness of the Koran or the prophecies of Muhammad is straightforward apostasy. But Zarqawi and the state he spawned take the position that many other acts can remove a Muslim from Islam. These include, in certain cases, selling alcohol or drugs, wearing Western clothes or shaving one’s beard, voting in an election—even for a Muslim candidate—and being lax about calling other people apostates. []

[] “This is not permitted,” Abu Baraa said. “To send an ambassador to the UN is to recognize an authority other than God’s.” This form of diplomacy is shirk, polytheism, he argued, and would be immediate cause to hereticize and replace Baghdadi. Even to hasten the arrival of a caliphate by democratic means—for example by voting for political candidates who favor a caliphate—is shirk.

As such, the ruled by an elected head of state might need revising. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 01:15, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

can't even

I'm seeing a lot of this on Facebook, is there any way for it to have an entry? Not sure how to define it. Renard Migrant (talk) 10:26, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I've had a go. Feel free to improve, and to add actual citations instead of an example sentence. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:32, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I've expanded on SemperBlotto's go, as his example sentence struck me as a nonidiomatic usage as opposed to the modern youth-slang version I assume Renard Migrant was talking about. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:42, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Thanks. That modern usage has passed me by. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:45, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
        • You haven't missed much. I suspect in three years no one will be saying it anymore, but I am amused by its intensified version "I have lost the ability to even". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:50, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
          • That's nothing. How about: "I can't even with this. Nevermore shall I even. My evens have vanished, as dust in the wind. All of my evens have been lost at sea, and will soon begin to themselves be unable to even, after which they will anthropomorphize a volleyball. Once the volleyball is unable to even, we will have reached evenception and then the universe will implode." Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:49, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
            • The appropriate response to this is "I can't even". Aryamanarora (talk) 04:57, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Is it ever used in anything but the first person? And should this be indicated some how? Pengo (talk) 08:15, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I think it's rare outside the first person singular present tense, but I can easily imagine "She said she couldn't even". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:28, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
  • FWIW, the Greeks had words for it:
adynaton The expression of the inability of expression —almost always emotional in its nature.
aposiopesis Breaking off suddenly in the middle of speaking, usually to portray being overcome with emotion.
DCDuring TALK 10:10, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
This has become popular meme, but it existed well before that and its lexical significance has not changed. All this is is an elliptical sentence "I can't even ...". In the spoken language, the ellipsis is apparent from intonation. Due to the popularity of the meme, recent internet slang has been leaving off the "...". Thus, I don't think this is dictionary-worthy. --WikiTiki89 15:25, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree. I think it should appear as a collocation, as a usage example at [[even#Adverb]], and as a modern example of adynaton and aposiopesis, the latter two whether or not it is deleted. DCDuring TALK 15:36, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Having read through the examples listed at adynaton, I don't think this is an example of it at all. And while it started out as aposiopesis (which could be mentioned in its etymology), it is no longer that, as the quote Smurrayinchester gave shows. It's similar to the slang "It'll be very!" in Heathers, which is etymologically but not syncronically aposiopesis. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:47, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Except that the Smurrayinchester's quote is an ad that is intentionally abusing the phrase. --WikiTiki89 16:09, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty of other examples where "I can't even" falls in the middle of a sentence (rather than at the end of a half-finished one):
Girl, I can't even with this mermaid business.
I can't even with this video…It's about maternal health in Africa, with Apple Watch product placement
I can't even with the headlights on this Lexus
Like Angr says, it's become a phrase all of its own. Smurrayinchester (talk) 20:31, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Did I forget to mention it's a popular meme? Any phrase that goes viral online automatically becomes every part of speech for a short period of time until people forget about it. --WikiTiki89 21:55, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
@Angr The WP article omits a secondary sense of adynaton to be found at Silva Rhetoricae, which the WP article neglects. (Maybe we should RfV the secondary sense.) DCDuring TALK 16:23, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

"Aquileian": scuttia

In the etymologies of cuteza (Romanian) and cutedz (Aromanian), they mention "Aquileian scuttia". What does "Aquileian" mean? It is a redlink at the moment. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 14:44, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

It’s a dialect of Friulian. — Ungoliant (falai) 14:57, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

féinphic - Irish for 'selfie'

Hello, I've been using Wiktionary for a while as a reference, but only recently I've started to contribute to pages. I am unsure of how to add a word: I would like to add "féinphic", which is the Irish word for 'selfie'. I have references I can cite, and it seems that the translation has already been added on the 'selfie' page in English. I am also unsure of how the Tea Rooms works - I am using it in the wrong way by making this post? If I am, I'm very sorry and please let me know immediately. Thank you! ~Zumley

See Help:Starting a new page for information on how to do it. If have more questions, feel free to ask me on my talk page. I also know some Irish, so I may be able to help you with content as well as formatting. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:50, 19 November 2015 (UTC)


How does one get from "Matilda" to "Mahaut", unless we assume "ma'i'd'" -> "ma-d" -> "ma-uh-d" -> (strengthened) "Mahaut" ("Maud").

Could this have more likelily been influenced by Old High German "Mahthilda"?

Or is it as I aforedescribed? Or... what?

I am quite confused by this matter. Tharthan (talk) 19:12, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Mahaut (silent h, written only to break up the vowel hiatus) would be the normal result of French sound changes applied to *Matald, something like *Matald -> *Madalt (t between vowels voices, final d unvoices) -> *Maðalt (very early Old French) (d between vowels becomes a fricative) -> *Maðaut (l before a consonant becomes u) -> Maaut (ð drops out). It's unclear how *Matald got there from Mahthild; the h's dropping out is not so surprising but the i->a change is a bit odd. The form Mathilde would be a late borrowing of the same word, with feminine -e added. Benwing2 (talk) 00:18, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

upstroke, downstroke in music

These have something to do with music (perhaps specifically percussion?). Should there be additional senses? Equinox 14:58, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

In conducting, a downstroke or upstroke refers to the direct of movement of the conductor’s baton. The initial beat of a measure will be a downstroke, and downstrokes are heavier, stressed. The next stroke is an upstroke, and upstrokes have a lighter sound, unstressed.
In stringed instruments such as guitars, upstroke and downstroke refer to how the strings are attacked, from beneath or from above. Upstrokes, from beneath the string, have a lighter sound, with higher harmonics, while downstrokes have a heavier sound with lower harmonics (sometimes described as a meaner sound).
With stringed instruments such as violins and cellos, which are played with a bow, upstroke is synonymous with upbow/up bow (𝅘𝅥𝆫), and it is a movement of the bow that is upwards, or to the left. A downstroke, or downbow/down bow (𝅘𝅥𝆪) is a bow movement that is downwards, to the right. —Stephen (Talk) 18:26, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I played cello for 20 years and never once heard "upstroke/downstroke" as synonyms for "upbow/downbow". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:30, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I concur - violinist for about 5 years. Aryamanarora (talk) 04:54, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I believe in percussion they refer to being on or off the beat. "start singing on the downstroke" means to start when the drummer is between beats. There is also a Parliament song called "Up for the Downstroke", but like a lot of P-funk's terminology, that's basically a nonce. People do sometimes use it nowadays to mean "ready to get funky" or something along those lines (DJs sometimes say are you up for the downstroke?!); if that's citable, it's a phrase. WurdSnatcher (talk) 18:15, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I am happy to be able to post the question and get this kind of clueful feedback. Please expand the entries :) Equinox 03:11, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Gerund forms for the Latin verb odī

The gerund forms for the Latin verb odi are listed with the stem "whatever". That is, "whateverīre," "whateveriendi," "whateveriendō," and "whateveriendum". It's not written on the page itself, so I don't know where the issue could lie. Calucido (talk) 03:51, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

It comes from Module:la-verb, and was added a year ago by @Kc kennylau, presumably for debugging purposes (it's definitely not good error handling in finished code), and @Esszet has been editing the module the most, recently. Someone who knows what they're doing needs to fix it so so the module doesn't insert nonsense like this without any maintenance category or module error to indicate something's wrong. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:16, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd say that this verb does not have a gerundive (unless someone has a source). They might have a supine, I guess, but someone needs to set the perf-as-pres verbs so that they omit the gerundive material. —JohnC5 06:26, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
My apologies. When I added the "whatever", there was not yet the gerund forms. --kc_kennylau (talk) 07:21, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
But then, of course, the function of the "whatever" is so that someone would discover these "bugs" and report them (to me). --kc_kennylau (talk) 07:32, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I think raising an error would be a better solution than hoping someone comes across the whatever forms. DTLHS (talk) 16:03, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
By the way, JohnC5, can you switch Module:la-adj over to whatever you said you would switch it over to two months ago? The hyphens in plus are still linked. Esszet (talk) 23:18, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
@Esszet: Oh yeah... Could we get Code to do it? I'm trying to write a declension module for Sanskrit at the moment and really don't want to refactor la-adj right now. Can you forgive me? —JohnC5 04:12, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not that big a deal, it's alright. Esszet (talk) 22:31, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

go so far as

Could someone well-versed in English grammar check the usage notes I've added to this page? I wasn't sure if this and that in this context are determiners or pronouns. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:36, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

I think they're pronouns; they're not used with an accompanying noun. I've edited the page accordingly. Esszet (talk) 22:29, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

scared senseless

What is the part of speech of senseless in scared senseless? And do we currently include this sense on Wiktionary? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:47, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

  • It's a sort of quasi-adverb. The OED includes shitless as an adverb, but has senseless and witless (used in the same way) only as adjectives. Perhaps we should add adverb senses. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:53, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It's an adjective in an adjectival resultative construction. It's not modifying the verb so much as serving as the result of the change of state caused by the verb. If it were an adverb, one could use the -ly form: *scared senselessly doesn't mean the same thing, because it specifies the manner of the change, not its result. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:55, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Whether or not one analyzes senseless as an adverb in this or similar constructions, I don't see no value in including an additional PoS section for understanding the meaning of the construction. A usage note or something on the inflection line like (also used adverbially) would seem to better cover the matter without requiring, in principle, duplication of senses and verification for each sense in the adverb PoS. For what portion of languages does the adverb PoS require a different translation that our contributors will provide? Couldn't that need be met either with separate translation tables or additional translations in the translation table for each adjective sense? DCDuring TALK 13:52, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Adjectival, like dress smart, look good, and wake up happy. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:46, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

altar - pronunciation

Our entry currently gives the impression that the first vowel is short in the UK and long in the US (/ˈɒltə/ vs /ˈɔːltəɹ/ respectively). However, the OED suggests almost the opposite ("Brit. /ˈɔːltə/ , /ˈɒltə/ , U.S. /ˈɔltər/ , /ˈɑltər/" [18]). Forvo has files, all with a long vowel, from the US, Canada and the UK [19]. Can the word be actually pronounced either way on either side of the pond? --Droigheann (talk) 15:34, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

I consider the standard UK pronunciation to be /ˈɒltə/ (to rhyme with falter). /ˈɔːltə/, to rhyme with drawl (the first vowel sound, I mean) looks odd to me. The UK Forvo file sounds to me like /ˈɒltə/ more than it sounds like /ˈɔːltə/. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:45, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary agrees with the OED: either /ˈɔːltə/ or /ˈɒltə/ in RP, with preference for the first. In American English it appears to be /ˈɔltɚ/ (GenAm not having distinctive vowel length) in all varieties without the cot-caught merger and /ˈɑltɚ/ in varieties that merge cot/caught to /ɑ/. It appears that alter is always a homophone. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:15, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I speak American English without cot-caught and I say /ˈɑltɚ/, FWIW. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:47, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Well what do you gotta do that for? Messing up my tidy generalizations. Geez, there's one in every crowd.Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:08, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I do not merge cot/caught and my American English has [ɒ] for au (including in altar and alter) and [ɑ] (maybe a bit fronted) for o. My [ɒ] reminds me of the [ɒ] used in RP to pronounce the o vowel except that the RP vowel is rather more clipped. A true [ɔ] for au would be rather strange, way too high, and I think I'm not alone here; I wonder if the Longman dictionary is using /ɔ/ in a sloppy, phonemic kind of way (the same way that /ɔ/ is used in French to represent the vowel of botte and sotte even though it's actually quite different from cardinal [ɔ] as it's mostly unrounded). Benwing2 (talk) 02:42, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the Longman dictionary, like Wiktionary and virtually every dictionary and textbook that uses IPA for American English, uses /ɔ/ (actually, /ɔː/) to symbolize the unmerged thought vowel, regardless of whether the actual realization of that phoneme is open enough to justify a transliteration [ɒ]. In fact, the first edition of the Longman dictionary did use /ɒː/ in its transliteration of American English, but then switched to /ɔː/ in later editions. (One of my biggest pet peeves with Longman is its use of length marks for American English, even for the "short o" of the lot vowel: it transcribes American hot as homophonous with RP heart, i.e. /hɑːt/, which really rubs me the wrong way.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:36, 23 November 2015 (UTC)


I can't seem to find the word neuro in conjuntion with the brain. Maybe I had some totally wrong assumptions about the conections with the brain?? neuroplasticity? —This unsigned comment was added by ‎ (talkcontribs).

We include hyphens in the page titles of affixes. The page you are looking for is neuro-. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:35, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

aim to

This seems dubious to me. The "to" is the infinitive of the verb that follows. "aim to" isn't the unit. Equinox 16:43, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

It can be used without a following verb though. Why did you hurt me? I didn't aim to. WurdSnatcher (talk)
On the other hand, "Why didn't you call an ambulance? I didn't think to." "I didn't mean to." "I didn't try to." "I didn't want to." "I didn't say to." There are a lot of verbs which can use to this way - perhaps all verbs that can take infinitive verbs as objects. Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:59, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
That example just shows that to can stand in for an infinitive in final position. I say delete, since that meaning is already noted at aim. —JohnC5 17:02, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree; ellipsis is a regular part of English grammar and doesn't make this string of words idiomatic. If this were RFD I'd say delete. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:36, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
You only have to compare "want to" or "need to". Equinox 03:23, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Delete per all above. DCDuring TALK 05:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)


This entry currently splits pluralizable proper noun sense 1 "a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus" (usex: Do you celebrate Christmas) from pluralizable common noun sense 1 "the day of this festival" (usex: This Christmas we'll open presents). Is that split appropriate? As noted in the earlier discussion about Christianity et al and in discussions of names, many proper nouns can also be used in "common noun-esque" ways; e.g. do you believe in Christianity? vs his Christianity calls for killing non-believers; Richard will arrive shortly vs there are two Richards in my class: this Richard, and that one. We don't split other holidays, e.g. Halloween, Thanksgiving, although they can be used exactly the same ways. - -sche (discuss) 03:08, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Nope it's dumb. Please fix. Equinox 03:12, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
done. Incidentally, this leads me to notice that Thanksgiving is labelled a proper noun while Halloween is currently listed as a common noun. I think they're all proper nouns and will update the header accordingly. - -sche (discuss) 03:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

WurdSnatcher and "prepositional phrases" that possibly aren't

See [20]. Equinox 03:22, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Some plurals for East Asian languages - should we allow them?

I know some people wouldn't want to include plural forms for languages such as Chinese, Japanese or Korean and some other languages lacking inflections but maybe we should have exceptions? Some words for people are used in plural more than others. A simple redirect is not the best solution, IMO, even if, strictly speaking, there are no plural forms in CJKV (including Vietnamese) and others. There are so-called "plural markers" (not suffixes or endings) attached to the end of words (beginning of words with Vietnamese). There is more than one plural marker, especially with Japanese and the duplication is also a common way to mark plurality. Some markers are part of plural pronouns.


Korean: 사람들 (saramdeul) = 사람 (saram, “person”) + (deul, “"plural marker"”)
Japanese: 人達 (ひとたち) ‎(hitotachi) =  (ひと) ‎(hito) "person" +  (たち) ‎(tachi) "plural marker"
(Mandarin) Chinese: 人們人们 (rénmen) = (rén, “person”) + (men, "plural marker")

The Korean word is now a redirect, the Japanese doesn't exist and there is a Chinese term. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:45, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

My opinion: Redirect unless it has fossilised and is included by most native dictionaries. Wyang (talk) 07:20, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I see that we do not have entries for 새들 (saedeul) "birds" nor 아이들 (aideul) "children". Leasnam (talk) 17:51, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
wow, we don't even have entries for 우리들 (urideul) "we" and 너희들 (neohuideul) "you (pl)"...what gives? Leasnam (talk) 18:06, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Part of the problem is that plurals in Japanese are often not regular. Taking the example above, possible plural forms include:
There is no single plural form in Japanese, so adding a "plural" item on the headword line strikes me as untenable.
That said, I am a fan of the idea of including plural forms somewhere for those Japanese terms that have them.
‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:54, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks all. I've added 人達 (ひとたち) ‎(hitotachi). Used in at least three dictionaries. I've added a reference to NHK pronunciation dictionary. @Eirikr Are you happy with its format?
@Wyang What about 사람들 (saramdeul)? I see it's used in some dictionaries. Shall I change it back a proper entry? What format should it have?
@Leasnam 우리 (uri) and 너희 (neohui) are already plurals. Do you mean that 우리들 (urideul) and 너희들 (neohuideul) are valid terms?
What other nouns should be included with plural markers? "Students, teachers, children" are common words I often see/hear used in plural in a class environment or textbooks. I guess we can also include 새들 (saedeul) "birds". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:45, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Grammatical number is a construct of the Indo-European language family; I have never seen carefully argued evidence to suggest that it is a construct in any other language family, though I have (obviously) seen plenty of assumptions that "grammar" means what Indo-European does. In particular, I speak Japanese, and I know that there is simply no notion, *anywhere*, of grammatical number. Of course there are ways of referring to an explicit plurality of people, but none of these are grammatically productive. In particular, the oft-mentioned 達 (-tachi) is a group marker; so 山田さん達 (Yamada-san-tachi) means "a group of people include Miss Yamada", and not necessarily "the Misses Yamada". So I do not believe it is ever helping the cause of understanding (as opposed to IE missionary zeal) to flag anything in East Asia as "plural". Imaginatorium (talk) 04:49, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
This is not the normal view of linguists. Semitic languages, for example, straightforwardly have grammatical number. For that matter, AFAIK all languages have grammatical number in their pronouns. Benwing2 (talk) 05:38, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I think it's safe to say that East Asia, as a region, doesn't have much in the way of true grammatical gender, but I think you're vastly overreaching to say that IE is the only language family with true grammatical number- w:Afroasiatic languages such as Hebrew and Arabic are pretty obvious counterexamples, and most of the languages I've studied outside of East Asia and Oceania have some kind of agreement in number (Bantu languages have matched sets of singular and plural noun classes, but one could quibble over whether that's actual grammatical number, I suppose). Chuck Entz (talk) 05:59, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Plural personal pronouns are fixed and must have dedicated entries such as 私たち and 我們. Japanese reduplications are also words in their own right such as 人々. However, I’m rather reluctant to add common nouns with a plural suffix such as 人達 and 사람들. They don’t seem to be valid entries. That said, I myself have created 다들 thinking it is useful to explain it somewhere. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 08:28, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Development of the crime sense of Italian giallo

I dimly remember a friend, who is big into pulp fiction, describing that Italian giallo ‎(literally yellow) came to refer to crime and mysteries by association with the yellowing of the cheap paper used to make trade paperbacks.

Whatever the case, can anyone expand the etymology at giallo to explain where the crime sense came from? The association between yellow and crime isn't exactly clear. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:59, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I've expanded the etymology a bit. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:53, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

No Chinese hanzi section for Shuowen Jiezi radical

Atitarev removed the "Chinese" section from the page on 11 July, which is one of the Shuowen Jiezi radicals (before I was increasing in activity in the project). Only a "Japanese" section remains and no "Chinese" section. It makes no sense for a Shuowen Jiezi radical to have no "Chinese" section. Earlier, Bumm13 merged the Cantonese, Mandarin, and Min Nan sections into one Chinese section and the user left the other sections untouched. Eyesnore (talk) 04:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

I have restored the Chinese and Korean sections with some changes after some confirmations. Most dictionaries mark it shinjitai, though and it doesn't seem to be used in Chinese today. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:46, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
It’s a different character from the Japanese which is the simplified form of . They happen to have the same form (just like ). The original 豊 is found in . — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 06:28, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
  • For the record, there are many characters in the Shuowen that probably can't be attested anymore, since many books have been lost to history, but there's nothing to gain from not including them on Wiktionary. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:18, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

I need phrasebook?

I see there has been some talk in the past as to whether this or that should go into the phrasebook, but I'd like to point out a pattern to some silly entries which I doubt are actually said in real life; they are too direct (and poorly constructed). The "Phrasebook entries are very common expressions that are considered useful to non-native speakers", okay, but entries like "I need food" or "I need drink" are not something we would want to lead non-native speakers to think are the normal/very common way to say things. At a pinch we might include "I need a drink!" but it is not the usual way of ordering a drink somewhere... it is more a way of confiding to a friend that you have had a hard day, or something like that.

At the very least, these overly-direct phrases should have a list of preferred alternatives (like "We would like to order some food" or "I'd like a drink" or even "I say. Waiter chappy. Would you mind awfully showing us your fruit juice list?". Well, perhaps not the last one).

Ideally, there should be a table with varying degrees of formality (at a posh restaurant or amongst fiends), and some pointers to variations (like I/We), whether it is a question ("What drinks do you have?") and what loaded meanings some words might have (e.g. some people think "drink" automatically means an alcoholic drink; in some situations asking for water might mean expensive bottled water while in others it is a free drink of water from the kitchen tap!)

Has there ever been good research into how people got on trying to use this phrasebook?? —This unsigned comment was added by Maitchy (talkcontribs).

I believe those phrases were not created with the food ordering in mind, rather to help a lost Wiktionarian in a foreign country xD.
So they are here because of "usefulness" not "commonness".
To support this, look, we also have I've been raped. --DixtosaBOT (talk) 08:22, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, "I've been raped" probably is what one would say in that situation (to the police), but "I need food" doesn't seem ideal unless you are starving: it's too blunt for most food situations, as Maitchy says. Equinox 08:24, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
We really need to rethink how we do the phrasebook. I feel that fitting its entries into the same layout style as non-phrasebook entries was not a good idea. It leaves little room for flexibility and leads to silly, useless definitions (I lost my backpack ‎(indicates that the speaker has lost his or her backpack). — Ungoliant (falai) 12:08, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Maybe we could make it work with yet another namespace, provided it was included in default search. The category structure might end up as the principal means of finding an expression to cover a situation. DCDuring TALK 16:09, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
We could also consider leaving this to Wikivoyage, which includes phrasebooks for travellers. —CodeCat 16:12, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I doubt Wikivoyage users have enough lexicographical interest or knowledge to find all the translations and sort out the scripts, templates, translation tables, etc. I wouldn't mind us having a separate namespace. Equinox 16:32, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

sink - adjective or attributative-only noun?

In (British English) phrases like sink estate, sink school (1, 2), sink hospital (1, 2), meaning "deprived and low quality", what is sink doing? (Presumably, all other uses are back formations from sink estate). Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

To me it looks like attributive use of sink "a body or process that acts as a storage device or disposal mechanism" (MWOnline definition, which we lack but is superordinate to some specialized definitions we have. DCDuring TALK 16:14, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The OED says (of the noun) "Used attrib. of a (school, estate, etc., in a) socially deprived area.". SemperBlotto (talk) 16:23, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

öis - Swiss German dative

We list öis as dative/accusative, but I came across the following line from a Lucerne folk band: [...]niemer donde dänkt a üüs [...] bes au är met öis muess choo [...] This seems to me that this is a properly maintained distinction between OHG uns > /yːs/ and OHG unsih > /øɪs/. Maybe the declension template should be changed? Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 21:20, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Why don't Russian conjugations have their own pages?

If you head over to the entry for the Russian verb пить and open the conjugation table, you can see virtually none of the conjugations have their own pages. But if you look at the entry for the Bulgarian verb пия, every conjugation has a page.

Is it because no one's gotten around to doing it/writing a bot to do it, or is it something else? It'd be really easy for me to write a bot to do this. If I did, is there some type of bot acceptance process like Wikipedia?

Thanks in advance. Bruto (talk) 04:52, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

It’s because no one has gotten around to doing it or writing a bot to do it. See Wiktionary:Bots. —Stephen (Talk) 05:21, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
@Bruto How much Russian and Russian grammar do you know? I've created some selected inflected forms of пить:
пью ‎(pʹju), note that there's no accent on mobosyllabic words
пе́йте ‎(péjte), the pronunciation differs from the default, perhaps inflected forms created by a bot shouldn't have pronunciation sections? There's no "imperative" category, perhaps a different template or template call should be used.
пью́щий ‎(pʹjúščij) Participles (present and past) have their own inflections. Active participles happen to belong to the same inflection but --
пи́тый ‎(pítyj) a passive participle - may be missing, even for transitive verbs (not all verb types have them), may belong to different inflection type, which affects their short forms.
Inflected forms, IMO, are for a bot, not for humans. Editors can spend time more efficiently making lemmas and creating bots. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:51, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

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

Translations of the week
1 open
2 earth

Collaboration of the week
1 well
2 hello

quote unquote
real McCoy
aggravated assault
score a brace
open sunshine
show a clean pair of heels
see mui
li hing mui
stand pat
sit on the fence
vive la différence
make love, not war
toss around
of all
look who's talking
naked as the day one was born
serve someone right
western world
me, myself and I
in bed
spoken for
a lot
last night
seeing is believing
at a stand
Bos grunniens grunniens
Ahle Hadith
waltz Matilda
rotary dial
four foot
better place
far point
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
full speed ahead
how much
Dún Laoghaire
back to nature
higher than a kite
positive sense
lexical warfare
va banque
tomate de colgar
red book
punch list

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. [21] 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 134: The parameter "lang" is required. from Lua error in Module:parameters at line 134: 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.[22] 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 [23] 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...[24]
    -To man up the last batch of capital goods produced, entrepreneurs are scraping up the remnants of the reserve of unemployed labour...[25]
    -...it will be impossible to find the labour to man up all the available capital equipment for productive use. [26]
    (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. [27] [28]
  • 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: [29] 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 91: 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)

[30] & [31] say bulu = feather. [32] says rambut = hair (head/facial/body). Here are some others thrown in for good measure. [33] & [34] say botak = bald. [35] says tanduk = horn. [36] & [37] say kuku = claw (nail). [38] & [39] say kulit = hide (skin, leather). [40] 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 134: 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 134: 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 134: 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 ente