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


March 2016

cast (an accusation, an aspersion)[edit]

Even though there are dozens of definitions at cast, this definition seems missing. Can someone help add it or supply a good definition? Benwing2 (talk) 02:08, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

If sense 6 were better worded or had a more figurative paired definition, we would have such a definition. Instead we have an entry for cast aspersions, as if that were the only way that a user would try to find the meaning. I don't think that accusation is a common collocate with cast. DCDuring TALK 13:09, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, "cast an accusation" sounds normal to me, but I see there are only a few Google hits. Maybe it's more normal to "level" or "make" an accusation? Benwing2 (talk) 13:24, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
At COCA one can find cast blame with 21 hits and cast judgment with 4, compared to cast doubt(s)|suspicion(s) with 365. There was only one instance of cast her accusations and one each of cast doubt on the accusations and cast his net of accusations, and no occurrences of singular accusation within four words of forms of cast. DCDuring TALK 14:22, 1 March 2016 (UTC)


Is there any reason why the main definition (for the intensifier sense) is at honkin', while honking is relegated to an "alternative spelling"? I would have expected it to be the other way around at least, but I'm wondering whether honkin' even needs an entry at all, given that any of the millions of -ing words can be thus abbreviated. Does Wikitionary aim to include include all -in' variants individually? I looked up a few, and results were mixed. 21:29, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Sometimes this actually reflects usage, e.g. ballin' vs. balling. Equinox 22:54, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
See also Apologetic apostrophe. Equinox 22:54, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Interesting. Yiddish used to do that, too, writing אונ׳ ‎(un', and) (c.f. German und) since at least as far back as the 16th century. --WikiTiki89 23:37, 1 March 2016 (UTC)


Is this actually standard in any contexts, as claimed? (Claim introduced in diff.) - -sche (discuss) 22:04, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

The fact that there are only 392 real results in google books:"bleeded" (after actually paging through) makes this claim pretty dubious. --WikiTiki89 22:20, 1 March 2016 (UTC)


Random question: anyone know why Canton can refer to both Guangdong province and Guangzhou city? Wouldn't that be entirely confusing? How did this strange turn of events come about? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:41, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

Maybe this might shed some light on your question. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 14:08, 2 March 2016 (UTC)


This word has an old clean-up request from 2012 for the figurative sense that was added by a somewhat notorious user. The sense is decently attested on Google Books and it is also separately noted in the WNT (which may well have been the source for the user's edit). It seems a (minor) trope in older Protestant devotional texts. (1) (2) (3) (4) I'd like to get the clean-up tag out of the lemma, but I'd like to know whether you think there's any purpose to keeping this sense in the first place. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:13, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

Well, the English translation, earthworm, has two figurative definitions:
3. (figuratively) A contemptible person.
4. (figuratively) Death.
I'd say if aardworm is also used more generically, somewhat like #3, then make the figurative sense more generic but include a quote from the older Protestant texts.
Thanks, I've remodelled it after #3. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:12, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

This opens up an earthworm question[edit]

BTW, I have never heard of an earthworm being figuratively used for death, although I have often heard of worms eating folks after death. "Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love." — Rosalind, As You Like It, Act IV, scene 1. First comes death, then worms.
Should earthworm definition #4 A) be considered correct and therefore should stay as it is, B) be modified to "the grave" (as in "give my body to the worms"), or C) be considered completely wrong and therefore should be removed entirely or D) shifted to worm?
Sorry all I can do is point these things out, but my real-life limitations are getting in the way of doing this myself and might also prevent me from making it back here to review your responses. Thanks in advance if you can work on this! — Geekdiva (talk) 08:53, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
There is plenty of figurative use of the worms:
"but only cares to please posterity when he has done with me and left me to the worms"
"When this Queen is dead and worms have taken her, what of your work then? RALEIGH. To the worms also, I suppose."
Search for similar phrases using to the earthworms and the earthworms took|take is not very fruitful. DCDuring TALK 11:53, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I have RfVed the "death" sense. The other seems attestable. DCDuring TALK 13:07, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever seen anything to indicate what kind of worms are involved. On the one hand, various beetle and fly larvae do the work in the early stages of decomposition, and it's only after everything is reduced to generic organic matter that worms have anything they can eat. On the other, earthworms are the most visible and characteristic invertebrates of ordinary soil. As for earthworm vs. worm: you have to pay attention to register/tone. These are literary/poetic, while earthworm is a more prosaic, almost technical term. Similarly, you wouldn't insult someone by calling them a fly larva- only maggot would sound right. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:05, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Good idea. Next time I need to insult someone I will call them a fly larva. --WikiTiki89 14:12, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Why don't you sit over here and I sit over there.[edit]

This is commonly used to give suggestions or commands with a suggestion-like quality, often used by someone trying to organize a group of people, but not only. It seems that this can only take the form "why" + negative present tense contraction of "do" and can be used with any person/number, followed by any number of subject-phrase + infinitive-phrase clauses, and sometimes followed up with independent future-tense clauses (usually with "will", not "going to": Why don't you sit over here and I'll sit over there.). Does anyone disagree with this description? Where should this be handled? At why? At why don't? We don't seem to currently handle it anywhere, although we do have the entry why don't you pick on someone your own size. --WikiTiki89 16:07, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

Let it be treated under rhetorical question, why don't you? DCDuring TALK 16:57, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
I think it is a general use of why for all sorts of rhetorical questions. McGraw Hill Idioms Dictionary has any entry for the tag question above, but that doesn't cover the more general uses. "Why not think this through?" "Why haven't you left yet?"
The trouble is, other questions have the same force: some kind of polite order or suggestion. "Are we ready to start the meeting?" "Isn't it time to review our policies?" "Would this be a good time to take a break?" "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?" DCDuring TALK 17:12, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
But it's not like that. It could just be a rhetorical question, but in certain circumstances it basically becomes a command and even loses its question intonation pattern, so you can't really call it a question anymore. --WikiTiki89 17:44, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
But questions of many forms are often used that way, with varying degrees of force to the "recommendation". I suppose rhetorical question suggests a more specific use and might not be the right term for this. DCDuring TALK 18:18, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Can you give an example? --WikiTiki89 18:22, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
One might order someone "how about you shut up?". - -sche (discuss) 19:02, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
That's a good point, "how about" can be used in basically the exact same way as "why don't", but I still don't think this can be generalized. --WikiTiki89 19:06, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Each of the questions above, in the right circumstance, could be anything from an order through a suggestion to a straightforward question. No dictionary could possibly cover all the circumstances, probably no existing corpus (including any Google corpus) either. DCDuring TALK 19:09, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
I disagree. I think there is a very limited set of phrases that can begin a "question" like this. --WikiTiki89 19:11, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be fun to prove me wrong? DCDuring TALK 20:32, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Can't anything that can be a tag question be used in this way? DCDuring TALK 20:34, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately, here the proof works the other way. You need to show me counterexamples. And unfortunately, "can't anything ..." is not concrete enough for me to know what you are talking about. --WikiTiki89 20:36, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Wouldn't that be exactly backwards? You're the one making a claim for the special nature of one particular structure of question, aren't you? Haven't I already provided numerous examples of questions that can have the force of an order or request or invitation or suggestion, as well as a straightforward question? What do others have to say? DCDuring TALK 20:53, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
It's not about who's making the claim, it's about logic. To prove that something exists, you just need to give an example, while to prove that something doesn't exist, you have to refute every example given. So that's how it has to work, you give examples and I refute them. As to the examples you already gave, I would not interpret them as commands directly, but only as implications that someone should do something, the differentiating factor being that they still require question intonation. --WikiTiki89 21:08, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Why do you think you can say that your single question structure must be a kind of order, rather than a suggestion or recommendation, without having presented a single instance of its use in writing or in speech? Isn't it time to put up an entry and let it be RfVed? DCDuring TALK 21:27, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm not saying it must be an order, rather than a suggestion or recommendation. It could be any one of those. But your examples are none of those, except in implication. If you want quotations, I'll be happy to look for some. --WikiTiki89 21:40, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Here you go:
Note the omission of the question mark (it's not always omitted, but it's definitely an indication that sentence doesn't sound like a question). --WikiTiki89 21:56, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

pants on fire[edit]

This is a metaphor used in American English to signify that a person is lying egregiously. I am considering creating this entry, but I am not sure what part of speech it is. Purplebackpack89 19:37, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

Part of speech can only be decided in context, so we need quotations or examples. Note that we already have liar liar pants on fire (which is currently very poorly defined, in my opinion). --WikiTiki89 19:40, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Well, liar liar pants on fire is generally used as a childish pejorative statement. When pants on fire is not used following "liar liar", it is still used to indicate lying, usually seriously. But I'm still not sure what part of speech pants on fire is. Is it also a phrase? Purplebackpack89 19:50, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
It's either an idiom or a phrase, I wouldn't class it as a noun: liar liar pants on fire is classified as a phrase. I've never heard of it in British English. Donnanz (talk) 19:52, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Did you totally miss what I just said? We need quotations or examples in order to determine the part of speech. --WikiTiki89 20:02, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, yes, I heard you from here. Donnanz (talk) 20:09, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant PB89. --WikiTiki89 20:29, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
If you are looking for examples, Google "Donald Trump pants on fire". this refers to Trump's pants being on fire, while several fact-checking websites have a category called "pants on fire" for egregious lies. News articles that reference these fact-checking sites usually say something on the lines of, "X statements were rated as 'pants on fire'". Purplebackpack89 20:15, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
That last and the category titles seem mention-y to me. We need the actual citations, preferably with links back, to make an evaluation. DCDuring TALK 20:24, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
We particularly need citations as we can't imitate other dictionaries, as is indicated by pants on fire at OneLook Dictionary Search, which links only to WP articles about films, albums, or books, and a dab page and to UD. DCDuring TALK 20:31, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, there it's PolitiFact's name for a category of fact-check results and is not suitable for inclusion. --WikiTiki89 20:29, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
The headline in the CNN article linked to above is "Donald Trump's pants are on fire", which suggests that one derived term from liar liar pants on fire is one's pants are on fire ‎(to tell lies). Looking through Boogle Gooks, I think pants on fire stands without "liar liar" before it often enough that it deserves either an entry of its own or at least a redirect to the full version. It very rarely stands alone in any grammatical relationship to a fuller sentence, so I'd just call it a phrase. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:40, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

Is paranormal a noun?[edit]

I added the noun meaning for paranormal, but some user (SemperBlotto) moved my example into the adjective section and deleted the noun meaning. Cambridge dictionary says that it is a noun. In my example (We who study the paranormal always hope for strong readings with our equipment.) paranormal is obviously a noun. So why it was moved under the adjective section? 10:07, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

  • It is a general feature of English grammar that most adjectives may be used as a plural noun with the meaning of "<adjective> things" or "<adjective> people". We don't normally include the noun sense here. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:59, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
    I think paranormal ("a person with paranormal powers"), which behaves like a noun in many ways that paranormal ("realm of what cannot be explained by science") cannot, should be a separate noun PoS.
    Yes check.svg Done DCDuring TALK 00:51, 7 April 2016 (UTC)]
For example, it forms a plural, can be modified by many determiners, readily accepts adjectives, and can be subject or object. Though it might be possible to argue (against several dictionaries, including the OED) that paranormal (adj) includes the first adjective-like definition, I don't think one can dispute that paranormal in the second sense is very noun-like. If one has the second sense as a noun, one needs to also present the second in the same PoS to avoid misleading users. DCDuring TALK 16:55, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I think paranormal is different from the regular adjectives that can function as nouns, and ​in the Cambridge dictionary example investigations into the paranormal it is a noun. 18:30, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
    Would you therefore have a Noun section for ultraviolet
Not sure who asked this but, ultraviolet is a) a noun and b) I don't see any relevance. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:53, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Yeah exactly, a noun just an uncountable one. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:52, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't see how it's any different grammatically from "the esoteric", "the unreachable", "the unknowable", "the unseen", "the impossible", "the unexplored", "the inevitable", etc. For most of these, we include the countable noun sense, if it exists, but we omit the uncountable noun sense, which is regularly formed from the adjective. --WikiTiki89 19:46, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • [After e/c] Many adjectives can function as nouns without being enough like nouns to merit a Noun PoS section. For example honest/dishonest, tall/short and other adjectives used of people. At least some other adjectives with an evaluative element (eg, grammatical/ungrammatical) are also used as nouns in some ways, but don't behave enough like nouns to be classified as nouns by dictionaries. I don't think that personal intuition is at all reliable in making these determinations. Grammarians find it useful and necessary to make distinctions between word-class membership and grammatical function because in English many word classes have members that sometimes perform functions more typically performed by members of other word classes. DCDuring TALK 19:58, 3 March 2016 (UTC)


Can it really be from New Latin -cyta, feminine? Note link is blue because some Lower Sorbian conjugation of cytaś. Sobreira (talk) 14:15, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

That might be a neuter plural. Taxa above the level of genus use plural forms. If there were taxa or terms like taxa used in the mid 19th century ending in "cyta", they could be the basis for the English suffix. DCDuring TALK 15:25, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
There definitely are some genus names ending in "cyta", which would be feminine. Eocyta and Mocyta are higher taxa, which would be neuter plural. DCDuring TALK 15:43, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
I doubt it. The latinized form of κύτος ‎(kútos) would be cytos, as seen in the prefix cyto-. As for taxonomic names, most basic medical and biological terms come directly from Latin rather than by way of taxonomic names. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:56, 4 March 2016 (UTC)


The english word "estimate" as the spanish word estimado do not arise from a latin root, as it semms to be the reference, but directly arises (as the prementioned latin root, also)from the greek words "εις τιμήν" (eis timin)which can be roughly translated as "into value". I have to say that I am astonished with so many views of etymology on different occasions, passing by (not on purpose, I want to believe)greek language,the true motherlanguage of all european languages, which, though, today remains secluded and out of the official list of European Union. Best wishes —This unsigned comment was added by Insulamed (talkcontribs) at 08:26, 4 March 2016.

Greek is not the mother language of all European languages, although most have borrowed quite heavily from Greek as well as Latin. Anyway, what is your source for the claim concerning the Greek etymology of estimate? The OED certainly doesn't seem to be aware of said Greek etymology, but derives it plainly from Latin aestimo (through the participial stem aestimat-). --Pinnerup (talk) 14:20, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
In other words, you're just plain wrong I'm afraid. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:38, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

(The following comment has been moved from the now deleted duplicate section below)

Sorry, dictionaries are not the place for fanciful etymologies driven solely by wishful thinking. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:38, 4 March 2016 (UTC)


According to the etymology, this term is the dual of PIE *(H)oḱto-. Under this term would belong Avestan ašti- ‎(ašti-, breadth of four fingers) and presumably the descendants of Proto-Kartvelian *otxo- (Georgian otxi ‎(otxi, four)). Does anyone have any sources for any of this? KarikaSlayer (talk) 19:16, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

Kartvelian was connected to PIE by Georgy Klimov in his {{Template:R:ccs:Klimov}}. --Dixtosa (talk) 19:34, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Any idea on what to reconstruct for *(H)oḱto-? Klimov 1994 seems to imply *oḱt, without *H (or *h₁ as *oḱtṓw) says). KarikaSlayer (talk)
For future reference, etymology questions should be posted at the Etymology scriptorium. When the entries are reconstructions, as in this case, even most non-etymology questions should probably be posted there, too. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:36, 4 March 2016 (UTC)


I don’t know where this etymology came from. An anon added it in 2009. The transfer from from ‘consider’ to ‘hallucinate’ looks odd to me, and so far I haven’t found any outside sources that propose a Frankish origin. (CNRTL suggests a Latin origin.) @Widsith, do you have any comments? --Romanophile (contributions) 19:54, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

There seem to be many hypotheses. CNRTL takes it back to *reexvadare; the Larousse Dictionnaire étymologique takes it back to either rē- + aestuō or rē- + ex- + vagus. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:42, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
{{R:FEW}} links it back to *reexvagus. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:49, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
consider (= "mull over, think about") > imagine > dream/hallucinate really isn't that hard to trace... Leasnam (talk) 15:01, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
Is the sense of ‘imagine’ attested anywhere in Old French? Or probably used in Old Frankish? I haven’t read anything that suggested that. --Romanophile (contributions) 17:33, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
Neither {{R:ANOLH}} nor {{R:Godefroy}} have an entry for that. Renard Migrant (talk) 19:26, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
Off the topic of rêver, but on the subject of dramatic semantic changes to French words for "hallucinate", I learned the other day that some Pacific dialects of French and derivatives thereof use délirer ‎(to be delirious) to mean simply "to do". I can't find enough examples to merit adding the sense, though. - -sche (discuss) 21:14, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
I've added a referenced etymology. Leasnam is free to add his Germanic etymology back with a source. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:37, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Seems fairly clear from CNRTL that the earliest citations mean ‘rave, hallucinate’ (indeed English rave was borrowed from Anglo-Norman very early, maybe 12th c.). Already in Old French it meant all those different things – rave, wander, consider, imagine…. As for the ultimate source, I would just say ‘of uncertain origin’ since I don't see any consensus on it. Ƿidsiþ 12:41, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Looks good. Leasnam (talk) 12:49, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Concerning the noun (rêve), isn't this attested as Old French resve ? The Etymology has it as a more recent deverbal. Leasnam (talk) 15:54, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
We have a Middle French entry for the same (not sure if it goes back further). Although I use it a lot, I sometimes take CNRTL with a li'l bit a salt... Leasnam (talk) 15:58, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
I was about to delete the Middle French entry until I found this which is ambiguous but seems to be a noun. It might be worth deleting it anyway as that citation (sadly a snippet not a full review) doesn't seem to demonstrate a meaning. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:16, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

pleonastic accent in cumpàri[edit]

The Sicilian lemma for godfather is normally spelled ⟨cumpari⟩. The accent isn't written because the stress defaults to the penultimate syllable. Italian dictionary headwords may have the accent included to indicate pronunciation unambiguously, but not in ordinary orthography. Oughtn't the entry be moved to cumpari minus the accent? P.S. I just created the page cummari without the accent. --Johanna-Hypatia (talk) 01:33, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

Never mind, I've moved it. Johanna-Hypatia (talk) 15:12, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

cardinal point vs compass point vs cardinal[edit]

Hi. cardinal point, compass point and cardinal direction are synonyms completely? --Vivaelcelta (talk) 21:20, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

As our definitions and the definitions in other dictionaries indicate, cardinal point and cardinal direction are strictly synonymous. Compass point can be synonymous with these, but often refers to an extended set of points on a compass rose, especially 32 points, but also 8, 16, or even 128, where the others do not. DCDuring TALK 22:13, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Thanks. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 07:06, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Jew and Muslim derogatory synonyms[edit]

Both the Jew and Muslim entries contain Synonyms sections that include several derogatory terms (indicated as such); the Jew entry additionally includes the verb in the derogatory sense. In contrast, the Christian nouns include no synonyms, and the synonyms for the adjectives are all positive ones. (Note that a Wikipedia article includes plenty of derogatory Christian synonyms.)

I'm certainly not against including documented usages of derogatory terms—it's the role of a dictionary to describe usage as accurately as possible. That said, the comparison between these entries implies a bias for Christianity, or at least a heavy dose of ignorance of the non-Christian religions. To elaborate, consider that a Jew might use "Jewish" as a positive adjective, as in this blog post (note that "Jewish" in this usage implies more than just the religion or culture), yet the Jewish article includes no such reference. The aforementioned Christian adjectives, on the other hand, are: "kind, charitable, helpful, kind, neighbourly, sweet".

Should anything be done about this imbalanced treatment of Abrahamic religions? 22:03, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

You said "Jewish" in this usage implies more than just the religion or culture, but I can't see where you mean in the linked article. Which sentence couldn't simply mean the religion and culture? Equinox 22:07, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Do you know of any derogatory terms for Christians in English? I certainly don't (other than Yiddishims/Hebrewisms like shiksa and goy). This is probably because Christianity has always been the majority religion in English-speaking countries, so the majority of English speakers never had any use for derogating themselves. The word Jewish is certainly used in positive ways by Jews, but it is not used quite in the same way that Christian is used to mean "kind, charitable, helpful, kind, neighbourly, sweet." Jewish never strays far from the literal sense. For example, "nice Jewish boy/girl" certainly implies a lot of positive things (well, to some people these things may be negative), but it still means that the boy/girl is literally Jewish (i.e. ethnically, culturally, and/or religiously). However, "that's very Christian of him" does not necessarily even imply that "he" is Christian (religiously/ethnically). The funny thing is, I chose the example "nice Jewish boy/girl" without having first looked at your link, and "that's very Christian of him" without having first looked at the usage example on the page Christian. --WikiTiki89 22:21, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the reasoned reply. The Wikipedia article that I linked includes terms like Bible beater/thumper/basher, Fundie, and Holy roller, all of which I've heard used in the US. I also found a few (poor) sources mentioning choora as a Pakistani slur for Christian (admittedly not English). I've also seen terms like "Creationist" used in a derogatory fashion, and while "Sheeple" may initially seem like a more general term, it's almost always applied to Christians.
I'm afraid this comment implies that I just want a bunch of derogatory Christian terms to be added in order to "balance things out". That's not really my point, though. I was just surprised at the contrast, and it seemed a bit slanted (unintentionally, I assumed). I think that you and Renard (below) both make good points that this is simply an emergent result of English populations historically being majority Christian.
Thank you for considering my comment. I'm satisfied now; no real changes necessary. 00:19, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
Note that the terms you listed are derogatory terms for certain subcategories of Christians, and so are not synonymous with "Christian". They are often used by Christians themselves to derogate other types (usually more extreme types) of Christians. --WikiTiki89 16:20, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
Basically, we can only include stuff that actually exists. The problem here is comparing 'Jew' and 'Christian' in this way. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:01, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Giaour comes close but isn't a synonym of Christian. Similar to goy above. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:03, 8 March 2016 (UTC)


This is a common Italian infinitive ending, so the "Usage notes" and "Derived terms" sections seem like a bad idea. How much of it should we keep? Chuck Entz (talk) 14:01, 9 March 2016 (UTC)

I don't see much of a problem. If there are in effect two different Italian suffixes -ere then if they're not separated by category then maintaining two lists in the entry seems reasonable. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:25, 14 March 2016 (UTC)


What does "prestige" mean in "prestige accent", "prestige dialect", etc.? I don't think we currently include this sense at prestige. It is notable that one does not say prestigious accent, dialect. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:11, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Actually we do say prestigious dialect, but I think it sometimes has a slightly different meaning. "The prestige dialect" implies "the most prestigious dialect", but not as strongly. --WikiTiki89 14:15, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Our definition is poorly worded: prestige isn't the amount of high regard and positive reputation, but the high regard and positive reputation itself. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:21, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

oldtown vs. old town[edit]

I'm not sure whether usage of oldtown is common stateside, but old town is used in Br. Eng. (Oldtown may be used as a place name though, like Newtown). Anyway as there was no translations section under either entry, I have opened one under old town; does that put the cat amongst the pigeons? Donnanz (talk) 16:26, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Well the translations should be where the entry is. I don't care which page the entry is on, but it doesn't make sense to have the entry on one page and the translations on the other. --WikiTiki89 16:43, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree. Can you tell me which form is more common, bearing in mind US usage? Donnanz (talk) 17:05, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
I think old town is more common, but I don't encounter this word written very often. --WikiTiki89 18:09, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
At Ngrams, "old town" is massively more common than "oldtown" both on its own and with every collocation I tried ("the old town", "old town district", "historic old town", etc). In my experience, quite a few terms which are more commonly spaced were given unspaced entries early in Wiktionary's history and long before their spaced versions because the people who entered the terms were sure that single words were idiomatic, but less sure if the spaced versions were also idiomatic. In this case, the unspaced word was entered only three years ago and at the same time as spaced version, but the IP's reasoning may have been the same, i.e. I doubt the choice of lemma was intended to reflect which form was more common. - -sche (discuss) 18:27, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
I tried "the oldtown in" and "the old town in"; old town won hands down. I think the main entry can be moved from oldtown, leaving references to the place name behind. Donnanz (talk) 19:22, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Count me as agreeing with Wikitiki that "old town" is the more prominent. Generally, "old town" is used to describe the historic part of a city..."Old Town Sacramento", for example. Occasionally, it is used to describe a town that primarily consists of a single historic district. Purplebackpack89 20:19, 10 March 2016 (UTC)


I know that the Arabic origin is advocated by La Real Academia Española, but I don’t see anything that rules out the possibility that this is just another use from habeō. (As a side note, the Portuguese mention looks somewhat incongruous here.) Does anybody here favour the Latin proposal? --Romanophile (contributions) 18:51, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

I guess what you have to look at is where and in what contexts was this first used. --WikiTiki89 18:54, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

allied arts[edit]

I hear the term bandied about from time to time, but I can't find a nice, clear definition. I think it's something along the lines of a synonym for fine arts or visual arts. Little help, please? Purplebackpack89 18:07, 12 March 2016 (UTC)

GPS receiver vs GPS[edit]

GPS receiver in the #2 definition (A device using a global positioning system to navigate) and GPS are synonymous? --Vivaelcelta (talk) 08:26, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

Whether it's worth having GPS receiver in a dictionary I doubt, partially because the GPS in my tablet is just a GPS receiver. I haven't ever heard it called that however and its meaning seems completely transparent. DCDuring TALK 11:07, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Thanks. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 07:27, 14 March 2016 (UTC)


It seems to me that a jumble of letters that isn't a word (or a phrase) to be solved it also called an anagram. Not sure how citable this is. By that I mean, how much effort it would take to cite it; I don't doubt that it's possible to cite it. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:42, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

You mean just a mass of random letters? What would that be an anagram of? Equinox 17:02, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
As an example, "solve this anagram: eeiudnt" eeiudnt isn't a word so it falls outside of our definition of anagram#Noun. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:45, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Oh, right. IMO it is a word (though not a meaningful one) because of its structure, at least for the purpose of anagram games. Perhaps it is "word" that needs revising? Equinox 18:45, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Hm, possibly, because one can also say "unscramble this word: eeiudnt". - -sche (discuss) 19:53, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, just to be clear, you're saying eeiudnt is a word? Renard Migrant (talk) 20:04, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it's sense 2.1 of word, which has several citations including one which is almost exactly along the lines of my "unscramble this word" example. "A sequence of letters or characters, or sounds, which is considered as a discrete entity, though it does not necessarily belong to a language or have a meaning." - -sche (discuss) 20:15, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Then again, it could be interpreted as "unscramble this word that I have scrambled", where the "word" is the underlying original one that's now out of shape, rather than the result of scrambling. Equinox 20:22, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point; our definition of anagram says you have to start with a word and end with a word like listen/tinsel in the usage example. eeiudnt/detinue doesn't work per our definition unless eeiudnt is a word. Explain to me how eeiudnt meets your criteria for word? How is a discrete entity? Are all sequences of letters discrete entities, does aaaaaa count? Renard Migrant (talk) 23:46, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
'Unscramble this word' not analogous as it just refers to an actual word. My question was to Equinox, your point -sche while entirely accurate as far as I can tell, has no relevance whatsoever. Like 'fix this clock' refers to an actual clock even if it's in separate pieces. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:49, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Renard: yes, it's a word to me: a nonsense word. (We don't say "nonsense nonword".) Equinox 11:42, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Surely in that case eeiudnt and detinue are the same word, and a word can't be an anagram of itself. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:23, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
If context helps, someone on the French Wiktionary asked what the mixed up letters of a word are called when the idea is that they be rearranged into a word. I concluded that if it were English, we'd call it an anagram (thought it depends on the context, 'scramble' I've heard as a noun). But our definition of anagram doesn't cover it. I'm aware that it's minor to the point that it almost doesn't matter. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:23, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't see why it makes them the same word. Scrambling the real word dog yields the nonsense word ogd. Equinox 13:22, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
I think there should be a sense for anagram as a puzzle containing characters that can be rearranged into meaningful text. After all, there are over a thousand Google Books hits for "solve the anagram", a phrase that's incompatible with our current definition. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:11, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

heckuva, helluva, heckova, hellova: really adjectives?[edit]

I wonder if these should be contractions, instead. They don't seem to behave like adjectives (no comparative, no predicative, etc.), which makes sense given the origin. Equinox 18:52, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

Plus, in e.g. "helluva big problem", it would have to be an adverb! Equinox 20:25, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
It can be used attributively and there is no noun with the same spelling, so we call it an adjective. The problem is the absence of any suitable alternative, I think. DCDuring TALK 21:57, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
I was thinking "contraction", like didja. Equinox 21:59, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Hella (fuckuva) good idea. DCDuring TALK 22:35, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
I concur. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:44, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Oxford says contraction [1] Donnanz (talk) 13:19, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
As long as we understand that "contraction" isn't really a part of speech and that it's just a cop-out (since in many cases the contraction doesn't have a single part of speech, like I'm is just a noun and verb, but together there is no defined part of speech). If a similar phrase written as "hell of a" (if it were idiomatic) would just be called a "phrase". --WikiTiki89 15:14, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
The expanded forms aren't even phrases, strictly speaking, as they are not constituents. Grammatically, "a hell" is an NP; "of a" begins a prepositional phrase. It goes without saying that it isn't a phrase in the sense presented in Appendix:Glossary#P where one might hope to find a working definition for how we use the word phrase in the body of the dictionary, especially as it is used in PoS headings. DCDuring TALK 15:54, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
What I meant is that we would probably call it a phrase, for lack of any better POS header. --WikiTiki89 16:03, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
I'd call them all determiners. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:13, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
On what objective criteria should we rely to agree with this conclusion? DCDuring TALK 15:59, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
The fact that they behave like determiners: they modify nouns (heckuva deal) and adjective + noun phrases (heckuva good deal), but they don't occur in the predicative or comparative/superlative. They can occur everywhere uncontroversial determiners like every occur, and can't occur anywhere uncontroversial determiners don't occur. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:35, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
I think I'm gonna have to agree. At the very least, because the final part of the contraction is "a", which is a determiner, and the final product is still a noun phrase. --WikiTiki89 17:39, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe; there's a helluva lotta words in Wiktionary. Donnanz (talk) 18:13, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
I know they aren't adjectives.
What other determiners can occur after a/an? DCDuring TALK 19:37, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, good point. Maybe the determiner is actually a helluva, though on the other hand I've also heard "one helluva". Maybe they are just contractions. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:46, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
The words that are determiners that can be used after a, like certain and little, are also in other word classes like adjective. Note also that there are several determiners that have fused a/an as an integral part of the headword, like a few, a little, and the extreme case of fused an: another.
These suckers are challenging, having lots of behavior that is a property of only one or a very small number of them. DCDuring TALK 20:14, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Huddleston (1984) suggested that "a lot of (eggs, etc.)" might be a determiner. Seems a bit radical for us though. Equinox 16:41, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't know why that's radical. I agree with it. --WikiTiki89 16:51, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
Huddleston and Pullum (2002), CGEL, didn't include a lot of as a determiner and didn't even include Huddleston (1984) in their bibliography. I find it hard to justify including any of the partitive constructions beginning with a and ending with of among determiners without including them all, eg, a lakh of, a piece of, a dram of, a houseful of. Perhaps Huddleston (1984) was able to make some grammatical distinction or perhaps someone else can. DCDuring TALK 18:48, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
That makes no sense. Classifying them as determiners does not exempt them from the SOP criteria. "A household of" is both a determiner and SOP. --WikiTiki89 18:52, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
So you actually hold that all partitive constructions that begin with a are determiners, though they are also SoP. Grammatically, "a girl just like" has the same characteristics and must also be a determiner by the implicit grammatical criteria that justify that holding. What is a determiner in all of these cases is [[a] and nothing but a. That a lot of might have a meaning that is not based on a current definition of lot, and therefore might be considered as meeting CFI, does not put it beyond grammatical analysis into its components, by which analysis a is the determiner. DCDuring TALK 22:21, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
Let me clarify, constructions that end in a determiner are determiners. And "a lot of", in most of its uses, is followed by the null determiner (i.e. the plural/uncountable indefinite determiner), and if the null determiner can be interpreted as being part of "a lot of", then "a lot of" would be a determiner since it would end in a determiner. And the fact that the construction contains a determiner in it is irrelevant, just like "sneak" being a verb does not prevent analyzing "sneak out" as a verb. --WikiTiki89 15:33, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
You could have been a medieval Ptolemaic astronomer. DCDuring TALK 16:01, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
How do you know I wasn't one? --WikiTiki89 16:58, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, it would explain a lot. DCDuring TALK 21:00, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
It is radical because "lot" would traditionally be seen as the head of the phrase "a lot of eggs". Determiners aren't heads. Equinox 19:11, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
That sounds like a bit of a non-sequitur to me. Yes, "lot" is the head of the phrase "a lot of eggs", but "a lot of" as a whole is still determining "eggs" and that doesn't mean that suddenly all determiners need to be heads. But note that in order to consider "a lot of" a determiner, you must have it include the null plural/uncountable indefinite determiner as part of it, and the null determiner can be replaced with any other determiner ("a lot of the"). Once you do that, you realize that "a lot of" (including the null determiner) is really SOP of "a lot of" (without the null determiner) + the null determiner and "a lot of" (without the null determiner) should be analyzed as a preposition. Since we do not include SOP phrases, our entry for a lot of must be seen as not including the null determiner, and thus is a preposition. Sorry if that's too confusing. --WikiTiki89 19:41, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
It will certainly be far beyond what we could make intelligible to most students of language let alone normal contributors here, let alone normal Wiktionary users. There are very good reasons to stick to a surface analysis of grammar in a document intended to be useful to normal people. Or do you think we should shuck off the responsibility to be useful to normal people? DCDuring TALK 22:21, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
At the moment "a lot of" is redirected to a lot, but it is really a standalone term however it is classified, and a possible translation target; it translates to mye in Norwegian for example. "A lot of" is listed here (see Usage) [2]. Donnanz (talk) 15:48, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
Does Norwegian have determiners? Many (all?) Germanic languages do. DCDuring TALK 15:52, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
Is there any natural human language that doesn't have determiners? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:54, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
Czech, for one. --Droigheann (talk) 23:36, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't know. I read that Bloomfield asserted their existence only for Germanic languages and explicitly excluded Latin. DCDuring TALK 15:59, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
Linguistic theory, including the definition of determiner has changed a lot in the 67 years since Bloomfield's death. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:54, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
But has it attained truth? Or even stability? DCDuring TALK 23:15, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
I note that mye is not in Category:Norwegian Nynorsk determiners or Category:Norwegian Bokmål determiners. DCDuring TALK 15:52, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
No, it shouldn't be, it's an indeclinable adjective. Norwegian determiners don't always correspond to English ones. Donnanz (talk) 16:08, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
I will second Donnanz in that what is a determiner in one language does not have to correspond to a determiner in another language. --WikiTiki89 16:58, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

Gan Chinese translations[edit]

We don't have any support for Gan Chinese (language code - "gan"). I think because there are no reliable resources for written Gan. @Wyang will know better. Should the existing translations into Gan be kept? We don't have any standard for Gan transliterations and I can't find any. We have no Gan lemmas. @Justinrleung, Suzukaze-c, Tooironic, Eirikr, TAKASUGI Shinji, -sche You might be interested in this. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:33, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

I have just deleted empty Category:Gan lemmas. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:34, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
FWIW {{zh-pron}} does support Gan formatted as IPA (as well as Jin and Xiang). —suzukaze (tc) 07:37, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c Thanks. The only support I can see is for audio files (not IPA), which you can add to Chinese entries with "|ga=". So if we have audio recordings for Chinese words, they can be added to Chinese entries and this should also populate Category:Gan lemmas but it's empty. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:43, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
The docs don't mention it but |g= works: linksuzukaze (tc) 07:46, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
w:gan:分類:Help:贛語辭典 and w:gan:分類:Help:維基辭典/漢字音 seems to have some sort of romanization system going on. —suzukaze (tc) 07:51, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c If [kon ɲi] is a correct Gan pronunciation, I guess we could add some words, make Gan lemmas >0. I see no tone info, though. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:57, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Or dialect info. —suzukaze (tc) 07:58, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
There is the Pha̍k-oa-chhi romanization for Gan, although I don't think this is actually used much. Wyang (talk) 10:23, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Maybe we could reach out to the Gan Wikipedia. It looks like one of their active users amd administators is also the one who contributed the Gan Swadesh list to the English Wiktionary. —suzukaze (tc) 11:37, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
For characters, this resource might help. It has data for many varieties, including Gan. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 01:14, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
There's an entry in Category:Gan Chinese: . The fact that Category:Gan Chinese is a separate category from Category:Gan language and Category:Gan lemmas is confusing. Let's try to find references for the Gan translations we have. It should be possible to find reliable references for at least some words; Wikipedia notes that several surveys have been published, plus a dictionary of one dialect. - -sche (discuss) 21:33, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
(Category:Gan Chinese is generated by the context label template (=this word has a special Gan usage), as opposed to Category:Gan lemmas generated by zh-pron (=this entrry has a Gan pronunciation).)—suzukaze (tc) 22:11, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I'm aware of how the categories are generated; my point is that a term used in Gan is also a Gan lemma, but we're currently splitting the lemmas into two categories, which is confusing for users who might be trying to find them. - -sche (discuss) 23:34, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Written Gan is used in numerous dictionaries like Nanchang dialect Dictionary, etc., as well as all scholarly resources that register Gan vocabulary. Also, two romanization systems exist, the Phak-oa-chhi and pinyin. However, I am personally reluctant not to contribute to English Wiktionary any more since it put all sinitic languages under "Chinese", even though they have respectively separate ISO code.--Symane (talk) 12:13, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

sticks & stones[edit]

This deserves the {{lb|en|dated}} tag. Many of the modern citations that I found are from people who deny this adage, rather than people who still take it seriously. (Curiously, many of the critics of this phrase also happen to be religious people.) --Romanophile (contributions) 10:51, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

It's not actually dated, though it may be in your neighborhood. Further, people disagreeing with the adage demonstrate its continued currency, not its datedness. — LlywelynII 14:21, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
It is probably still current, I have used it myself, and remember it from my childhood days. Donnanz (talk) 14:03, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
I seem to remember an alternative form ending in "names will never hurt me", meaning when someone describes you as being something derogatory. Donnanz (talk) 15:07, 29 March 2016 (UTC)


I've just added two senses - can anybody have a look in case there exist simple English translations to use instead of my clumsy non-gloss definitions? (I suspect the "reflection" sense does have one, boys must have been playing with "sending" these to their classrooms' walls (and their schoolmates' eyes) the world over.) Thanks, --Droigheann (talk) 00:27, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

glint; gleam?—suzukaze (tc) 23:36, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't know, but these seem to me to refer to the direct reflection of light on a surface, e.g. sun -> "glints" on a lake. Prasátko always refers to a "secondary" reflection, e.g. sun -> mirror -> "prasátko" on a wall. It occurred to me people apparently also tease their pets with this, so I found on YT this video [3], maybe it will show better than my explanations what I mean. --Droigheann (talk) 23:14, 16 March 2016 (UTC)


Added the Latin use of Thomas and included the declension template. Standard 1st is obviously off and {{la-decl-1st-Greek-Ma}} seems the right fit... except for the bizarre Thoman showing up as the accusative form. Google is aware of about 200 appearances of "Thoman Aquinatem"... and 10000+ appearances of "Thomam Aquinatem". Google Scholar only has 270-odd appearances of "Thomam Aquinatem"... and exactly 1 of "Thoman Aquinatem".

First off, we need to fix this entry. Is there a way to override one or all of the fields of the template?

Second, and this may need to be crossposted somewhere else, but I don't think this is an exception: the idea that accusatives with terminal -n were ever a thing seems massively hypercorrect and the template busted. At the very least, it needs to display the standard -m form above the alternate and much less common hypergrecian one. — LlywelynII 14:18, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

FWIW, the British National Archive's page on the topic, though they have the Medieval forms with -e instead of -ae. — LlywelynII 15:02, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

-an is a valid accusative, e.g. "Aenēas ...; acc. Aenean often, after the Gr. Αινείν, Ov. F. 5, 568; id. H. 7, 36". Of course, instead of using templates one could search for each word which forms do really exist and not just hypothetically.
As for google books results, sometimes google has incorrect OCR. As for google scholar, that shouldn't proof anything. As for your search "Thoma* Aquinatem", there are other Thomas, so in case of this single person the -an might be rarer, but that doesn't say anything about other Thomas.
Also, it could be that -an is more common in Classical Latin, but -am more common in Church Latin. So maybe those languages should be separated somehow.
- 18:30, 22 March 2016 (UTC)


I discovered this guy by surfing around the suppletion page on Wikipedia. But there it said: "pōleō, apodōsomai, apedomēn, peprāka, peprāmai, eprāthēn". I checked the Wiktionary pages and the suppleted forms are nowhere to be seen.

I then tried to look up the parts. ἀποδίδωμι apparently has "apodōsomai, apedomēn". πιπράσκω 's got "peprāmai, eprāthēn". "pepraka" didn't turn up. What's wrong? Hillcrest98 (talk) 18:13, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, LSJ does not seem to imply that πωλέω or ἀποδίδωμι are suppletive. —JohnC5 18:38, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
Should the part I quoted be deleted of Wikipedia? Hillcrest98 (talk) 19:44, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
That's up to you, but I might wait for someone else to chime in, maybe? —JohnC5 19:49, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
I should wait. I did look in LSJ too. Hillcrest98 (talk) 19:53, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

I see πέπρᾱκα ‎(péprāka) in the entry on πέρνημι. Yes, the LSJ doesn't explicitly say that πέρνημι ‎(pérnēmi) and ἀποδιδομαι ‎(apodidomai) supply some of the tenses of πωλέω ‎(pōléō), but it's possible that the future πωλήσω ‎(pōlḗsō), aorist ἐπώλεσα ‎(epṓlesa), and so on are actually used much less frequently for the meaning "sell" than the same tenses of πέρνημι ‎(pérnēmi) and ἀποδίδομαι ‎(apodídomai), and that L & S & J simply failed to correctly analyze the situation and comment on it. They aren't infallible all the time. So maybe there's suppletion, but they didn't recognize it.

However, from looking at the number of citations that L & S & J give for some of the forms, you can kind of figure out which tense-forms of which verbs are more commonly used than others. For instance, lots of citations with aorist middle forms from ἀπεδόμην ‎(apedómēn), just one for ἐπώλεσα ‎(epṓlesa). That suggests suppletion. — Eru·tuon 02:13, 18 March 2016 (UTC)


We seem to be completely missing this kind of common academic term. What does it mean? Can anyone help? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:59, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

Many thanks SemperBlotto! ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:34, 17 March 2016 (UTC)


Can someone double check the IPA I added for the pronunciation? The audio file seems wrong. It should be pronounced thee-SEAS. ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:15, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

The IPA is right; it should be stressed on the first syllable, not the second. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:25, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
The audio file is wrong (it had /ˈθiːsəs/ instead of /ˈθiːsiːz/), so I've removed it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:05, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
You'll need to get it deleted at commons, or Derbethbot will put it back the next time it runs. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:55, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
I personally think that User:Derbeth needs to reprogram his bot not to re-add pronunciations that have been removed, and until then, User:DerbethBot should be blocked. I have discussed this with him before and he explicitly refused to do so. --WikiTiki89 14:34, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't seem economical for a bot to check all previous diffs of a page to determine if a file has been removed, and it seems downright impossible for the bot to distinguish correct removals (which may or may not have been reverted by a persistent vandal) from incorrect (e.g. vandalistic or just misguided) removals which may or may not have been reverted by another user. I would be loathe to block a bot which normally does good work (work it would be hard for a human to do: notice which droplets in the sea of audio files on Commons are new and not present here) just because it couldn't do such an undoable thing. If the audio is wrong, let's request deletion at Commons. Commons does sometimes decline to delete files that are incorrect by our standards, e.g. File:En-it-Christmas tree.oga; perhaps a blacklist (which it would be more feasible for the bot to check) could prevent re-addition of such files. - -sche (discuss) 22:00, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Checking the history is not the only solution (and it's actually not quite as difficult for a bot to do as it may seem). We could have a blacklist or something like that, like you suggest. The point is that Derbeth has seemed to be unwilling to work toward any improvements and his position has always been that the solution should be to delete things at commons. I think this is too extreme. Commons should be allowed to host audio files that we at Wiktionary decide do not fit our standards or needs. --WikiTiki89 22:20, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
I've added an audio. How about a vote on blocking Derbethbot? I'm betting he'll be much more willing to work towards a solution if the bot is indefinitely blocked. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:33, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
Those were my thoughts exactly. --WikiTiki89 17:01, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

I will repeat what I've written in User:DerbethBot#FAQ: I think it is unethical to use a blocklist for English Wiktionary. There are more bots than mine that automatically add pronunciation. There is no way to reach all of them, there are too many Wiktionary language versions. Those bots keep adding the wrong files. Audio files come also from other Wiktionaries and you already benefit from them. Don't you think it would be fair to give something in return and help them get rid of incorrect files?

The solution is to deal with the issue on Commons. Even if you cannot get the file deleted, you can always ask to rename it to a form that won't be parseable by the pronunciation bots. You gave File:En-it-Christmas tree.oga as an example of an unacceptable audio file. For me it's a good example of a correct approach to the problem: Commons admins refused to delete the file, but they changed its name to reflect it's not standard. You cannot say Commons is not willing to help with the problem. For me, they do their job correctly and reasonably fast. See the revision history of Christmas tree - this page was never edited by my bot.

Angr: why haven't you tried to delete the file on Commons if you have deleted it on Wiktionary? Renard Migrant: why are proposing blocking my bot because it adds an invalid file you admitted you have added? Have you thought of taking an action on Commons? You suggest blocking my bot as a way to force me to work harder. Do you really think using intimidation is a way to motivate people in a project run by volunteers? I help your project in my spare time, I'm not a wikiaddict, so nothing keeps me here.

My bot operates on about 400,000 audio files in 70 languages. You want to block it because it uses 2 wrong files 1 wrong file (theses) in 1 language. Is this beneficial for Wiktionary?

So, you were proposing a radical solution to fix a problem that actually was already solved in a better way. Can we get back to the facts? --Derbeth talk 09:03, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

I didn't try to get the file deleted at Commons because I know Commons deletion discussions well enough to know people there will say that being a mispronunciation isn't a good enough reason to delete a file. They'll say, "if it's wrong, just don't use it". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:24, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
@Aɴɢʀ: Any diff or link? --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:23, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
To what? My personal experience at Commons? No, of course not. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:30, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
@Aɴɢʀ: Your experience at Commons is experience with something online, isn't it? Do some keyword searches come to mind that would help verify that deletion from Commons is hard and see whether this is because of policies or admins? And is renaming also hard, to, say, "...-nonstandard.oga"? --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:41, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
Renaming wouldn't be hard. Deletion from Commons wouldn't be hard because of policies or admins, but because of the general attitude there of keeping anything that's freely licensed and isn't obscene. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:44, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
@Aɴɢʀ: Thank you. Is renaming problematic files on Commons a practical way of solving this problem, by your assessment? Or does it at least appear promising? --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:03, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I think it's promising and practical and probably the way that will cause the least drama. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:28, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
@Derbeth You say "See the revision history of Christmas tree - this page was never edited by my bot." I did look at the history and in fact it was edited by your bot here and after the file was removed it was added again by your bot here. So, "Can we get back to the facts?" --Droigheann (talk) 14:47, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
It was in 2008, centuries ago in Wiktonary time. The edit was before the file was renamed on Commons. Does this invalidate any of my claims? What is the purpose of your remark? --Derbeth talk 20:17, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Never mind, 'salright, I've got what I was looking for. --Droigheann (talk) 13:15, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Don't block the bot. The problem is solved now, isn't it? From looking at the history of Commons:File:En-uk-thesis.oga, it was previously named "File:Theses.ogg" and was renamed by Steinsplitter on 19 March 2016‎ to File:En-uk-thesis.oga. Is there any other problem that persists? I think Derbeth is generally right.

    If Commons refuses to delete a problematic file, we should be able to rename it to contain "-nonstandard" as a suffix, or the like, should not we? --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:23, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

  • @Derbeth: Can you please point me to 1 to 3 successful deletions of wrong pronunciations on Commons? --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:43, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
    • 364 files in Spanish, 1 file in Polish or Russian, Arabic one not done by me. It was hard for me to find requests by other people because most search results for "deletion request ogg" return cases where the file was clearly out of scope of Commons. --Derbeth talk 14:58, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
      • @Derbeth: Thank you. I made a very bold edit of User:DerbethBot and added the links there. Please revert me as you see fit--it's your user page--but I found the tone, the repetitiveness and the exclamation marks harm the PR of the bot, which otherwise is very useful. --Dan Polansky (talk) 15:30, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
        • I'm ok with it, thanks. --Derbeth talk 20:17, 29 March 2016 (UTC)


A Yiddish terms used to comment in a very negative way about a person 1.e. "he is a poskudnyak, overcharged me for my purchase."

Leo Rosten is cited as saying this term applies to both a man and a woman. I wouldn't dream of correcting him.

In Brooklyn however, where I grew up, the female word was "Poskudtzve."

Eh, I wouldn't necessarily trust Rosten. I can't find any cites for yours, assuming I'm spelling it right, and I can only find one cite (in the plural) for פּאַסקודניאַטשקע ‎(paskudnyatshke), another putative feminine form. Searching for unambiguously female referents of פּאַסקודניאַק ‎(paskudnyak) doesn't sound easy either, though. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:22, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

under the hood[edit]

Idiomatic? Do we need an entry? --WikiTiki89 18:16, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

  • I presume you're talking about vehicles. It would be "under the bonnet" in Br. Eng. Donnanz (talk) 18:19, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
    The vehicle sense is probably SOP. I'm talking about the figurative sense that is derived from the vehicle sense. It refers to the inner workings of something, usually software, I think. I don't know whether BrE transfers that meaning to "under the bonnet" or borrows it whole as "under the hood". --WikiTiki89 18:28, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm afraid I haven't heard of the figurative sense. Donnanz (talk) 09:04, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
It's "under the hood" in BrE too, and yes, refers to the internal workings, e.g. "Google is simple to use but there's a lot going on under the hood." Equinox 13:23, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
But I'm wondering whether it ever refers to things other than software? --WikiTiki89 14:37, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Looking on OneLook (now the entry has been created) it seems to apply to hardware as well. Donnanz (talk) 11:05, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
Looking at hundreds of hits on Google Books for "under the hood", I only found use for computer systems, though I expected and sought broader application of the metaphor. I suppose that other metaphors must be used for somewhat similar meaning in other realms: behind closed doors, behind the scenes, in a smoke-filled room, in the sausage factory, in the trenches, on the front lines etc. DCDuring TALK 12:35, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

in case[edit]

The preposition "in case of" is included in this entry. Shouldn't they have separate entries, in case users are looking for in case of? Donnanz (talk) 00:50, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

  • I was hoping there would be some comment, but there was enough evidence to support a new entry, so in case of has been created, and the relevant content transferred from in case. Donnanz (talk) 10:36, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
    I've added a bit and worked on the synonyms in the event (that) and in the event of. DCDuring TALK 12:36, 18 March 2016 (UTC)


rühren currently exists in the system. I have recently seen a German language instructor use the imperative "verrühr", suggesting that "verrühren" by extension is also valid. Google translates it as "stir" the same as base "rühren", but English Wiktionary does not seem to know about it, and German Wiktionary lists it as a Wortbildung (derived term) with a red link and not as a distinct word. I'd like to suggest further research into this. 21:33, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

Verrühren means to "stir up, mix, scramble". It's a real word. I'll make an entry for it Leasnam (talk) 02:46, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
Done. English Wiktionary is a work in progress. We don't yet have all words in all languages, but we are definitely working diligently toward that goal. You're welcome to join in :) Leasnam (talk) 02:58, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

copyfraud entry[edit]

While fraud requires intent, copyfraud does not. (Mazzone's article makes it clear that copyfraud does *not* require bad faith: "Falsely marking a public domain work undermines expression even if the false marking was not made with any intent to trick somebody into making payment. ... it makes sense to impose liability for copyfraud without requiring plaintiffs to establish all of the elements of the traditional tort of fraud." Without intent, there can be no fraud. Mazzone coined the term copyfraud; he does get to define it, IMO.) I'm not sure how to modify the entry to note this. Would appreciate it if someone more familiar with this project could make it so. It's sort of implied and consistent with the use examples, but I think it should be explicit, as I find folks often assume otherwise - they assume copyfraud is a kind of fraud. --Elvey (talk) 23:01, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

The entry doesn't actually claim that copyfraud is fraud. What do you want to change? Equinox 00:08, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
Make it explicitly clear that the term copyfraud does *not* imply bad faith or fraud. Done. Elvey (talk) 08:38, 28 March 2016 (UTC)


I know nothing about this, but Wikipedia says uodal is Old High German for heritage, so I started an entry. Is this right? bd2412 T 22:39, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

The entry has no templates and no categories, so it has no connection to the rest of Wiktionary. It's also ambiguous: the original sense for heritage of "inherited property" is well on it's way to being displaced by the sense referring to ancestral background, traditions, values, etc., so most dictionary users would get the wrong idea from your definition. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:14, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
It's not attested according to Koebler's OHG dictionary, though he does include the entry as a reconstruction. —CodeCat 02:17, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
There's uodil, and uodal is an element in names (see the etymology for Ulrich). The entry at *ōþalą claims that uodal is the OHG descendant. Does anyone know the OHG name for the O-rune? Chuck Entz (talk) 02:44, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
Well, whatever you need to do. bd2412 T 02:44, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, uodal is attested in compounds (both proper nouns/names and common nouns), including fateruodal ‎(patrimony), per Ernst Aufderhaar; fateruodil is also said by some references to be attested. (Gotische Lehnwörter im Althochdeutschen, 1933, page 16: Im Althochdeutschen ist uodal auch als erster Bestandteil in Eigennamen und im Kompositum fateruodal zu belegen.) - -sche (discuss) 03:03, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

choicier/choiciest - where do they belong?[edit]

choicier/choiciest are the forms of the adjective choice. Should they be added to choice as forms along with choicer/choicest, or should they be labeled as alternative forms, or as misspellings? Please note that there is also the adjective choicy but choicier/choiciest aren't its forms as one might think. 20:55, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the adjective forms are choicer and choicest... Purplebackpack89 21:15, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
I am sure too, but choicier has over 100 hits in google books. 21:18, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
90, if you go to the end, and a great amount of these not in English. --Droigheann (talk) 00:28, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
At choicy. They should belong there. Leasnam (talk) 23:21, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
Except they are often/mostly used as a form of choice (adj), not choicy (adj):
1947, Natalie Anderson Scott, The Story of Mrs. Murphy ...
  • Each looked at the neighbor's plate to see what part of the chicken the neighbor had and it seemed that that particular bit of meat was, indeed, better, choicier, than the meat on his own plate, but that didn't look so bad, either.
Meat isn't discriminating, it is especially good or preferred. Same in most other examples. 07:15, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
Nope, that's a second sense of choicy, which I've now added. Equinox 12:23, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
@, because, as you point out, choicier/choiciest can suppletively be used as comparative/superlative of choice ‎(adj), I've added a link on both pages there pointing to the other. Leasnam (talk) 16:41, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

inherited vs derived descendants of Latin mel and PIE *mélid[edit]

Maybe this fits better as a beer parlour question, but I just wanted some brief clarification on something. Why is it that for the Romance descendants of Latin mel ‎(honey), they are listed as inherited ({{|inh}}) up until Latin, but for the Proto-Indo-European stage, they shift to simply derived and use ({{|der}})? For example, with Spanish: ===Etymology=== From Old Spanish miel, myel, from Latin mel, from Proto-Indo-European *mélid. Is the PIE term in this case not considered a direct ancestor of the Latin word (and hence all its descendants)? Word dewd544 (talk) 04:53, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

The difficulties are in accounting for the geminate -ll- in Latin, as well as the loss of the stem-final dental. If the Latin term was indeed directly inherited from the PIE one, then those points would need to be explained. Otherwise it becomes "it came from this PIE word, but don't ask how", which is not very rigorous. —CodeCat 23:54, 24 March 2016 (UTC)


Does it actually mean "cuckold" in any of those senses? I was under the impression it was a slur for "emasculated" men, e.g. those who support feminism, or somehow "have no balls"... Equinox 00:20, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

C1 control characters[edit]

I see that some or all of the C1 control characters are presumed by the MW software to be CP1251 rather than Unicode and mapped to same-glyph Unicode character. For example, https://en.wiktionary.org/?title=%94 is not the cancel character U+0094 but U+201D, because CP1251 hex 94 is . The same is true (m.m.) for 85 and 93, at least; I haven't checked any others. Thus, we can't possibly have an entry on the cancel character. Can we get this feature turned off? Do we want to?​—msh210 (talk) 20:50, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

At least some control characters can be entered, and were redirected per RFD (Talk:︀) to Appendix:Control characters. Would anyone actually want, be able (on the input side, regardless of what MW does), and try to look these up? We could put links at the top of etc like: "CP1251 redirects here. For the cancel character, see Appendix:Control characters." - -sche (discuss) 17:03, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
I think we go overboard with characters. Don't forget that we are a dictionary, and not a Unicode reference manual. I don't think the cancel character constitutes a word in any language, nor is it used with any meaning in any non-computer language. --WikiTiki89 17:27, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
I think these redirects and appendixes should be deleted. —CodeCat 23:51, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Should NIMBY have Noun and Adjective sections?[edit]

I added them, but somebody reverted my change. If NIMBY occurs in texts as noun and adj shouldn't wiktionary have the sections? 21:49, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

You've made the point yourself. Is it used as an adjective? Bear in mind all nouns can be used attributively, like Wiktionary policy, computer screen (and so on) but Wiktionary is not an adjective, it's just a perfectly standard use of the noun Wiktionary. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:01, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
The question here is about both noun and adjective because both were deleted. So you think that there should be a noun section but not an adjective section? I have never been clear on what makes a word an adjective in addition to a noun in the situation like this. 22:11, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
I've just compared NIMBY and nimby. Ack. We have to go by usage. Nimbyer, nimbier, nimbyest and nimbiest would attest the adjective nimby without further ado. Also if we can attested the noun nimby then can't the 'phrase' nimby get moved to the etymology of the noun? Unless there's usage that 'noun' won't cover. I have no immediate answer here. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:19, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
See [[Wiktionary:English adjectives#Tests of whether an English word is an adjective]].​—msh210 (talk) 22:26, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
The best treatment of this, IMO, is by Webster's New World College Dictionary which has two noun definitions
1. opposition by nearby residents to a proposed building project, esp. a public one, as being hazardous, unsightly, etc.
2. a person who opposes such a project.
Most other dictionaries just have the second definition.
I don't see the point of the "phrase" section. DCDuring TALK 22:53, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
@DCDuring The point is that NIMBY is a contraction of the phrase "not in my backyard". Purplebackpack89 23:24, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
It is an acronym, not a contraction. I am not familiar with the acronym's attestable use other than in the noun definitions that WNW offers. There might be some such use, but I haven't found a dictionary that finds it worth including. DCDuring TALK 23:58, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
I'd also move everything that's attestable to NIMBY and have nimby as the alternative form. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:55, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
On COCA NIMBY is by far the most common form, with NIMBYs, not NIMBYS, the more common plural form. I found an instance of "be thoroughly NIMBY", which suggests there may be true adjective use. DCDuring TALK 00:22, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
I've cited a definition of NIMBY#Noun like the WNW definition above. DCDuring TALK 01:12, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
The problem is nouns are occasionally used that way, like "be thoroughly Manchester United" (surely there's no suggestion that Manchester United is an adjective). Renard Migrant (talk) 11:38, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

Incidentally, what does the label (chiefly US, Britain) (both at NIMBY and nimby) mean? That it's commonly used in the US and UK but not in Ireland, Canada or Australia? Seems sort of improbable to me. --Droigheann (talk) 01:17, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

It means that it originally said "mainly US", but an etymology was added showing that its origins were apparently in the UK, and "UK" was later added by an English editor (Renard Migrant). Describing distribution is rather tricky when you only have information about two places, but there's nothing inherently ruling out use elsewhere in the world. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:01, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
The earliest print use found so far (which refers to earlier spoken use) was in 1980 in the US. BNC reports use no earlier than 1985 (several uses are for a 10-year time interval 1985-1994). The more specifically dated uses commence in 1989. Use reported in COHA begins around the same time. Per Google News abundant use of the term in print on both sides of the Pond seems to begin after 2000. DCDuring TALK 11:00, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
By the way: the definition refers to structures, but it can really refer to just about anything newly-introduced where people are- for instance, a new business of an undesirable type moving from elsewhere into a local building could trigger opposition from nimbies. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:13, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

ʻVV, tàʻa BV kV, tVʻVV-sà kV, tVjà kV[edit]

Are these actual terms, or is this ǃXóõ linguistic notation? DTLHS (talk) 05:35, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

The uppercase V means "vowel" (the vowels change in various environments). For example, tàʻa BV kV can be tàʻa bé kè. As to whether words should be listed in that way, it depends. Somebody would have to study the language for a while to see how it works, and then make a decision on how citation forms should be entered. These terms with V might be the best way, but we don’t have enough information to decide. —Stephen (Talk) 11:23, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
This notation would only make sense if each "V" behaved exactly same way (i.e. becomes the same vowel in the same environments), which I highly doubt is the case. --WikiTiki89 14:50, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
That’s not the only way it would make sense. It could make sense as long as a user understands enough about the grammar to select the proper vowels for each case, regardless whether they become the same vowel in the same environment. There are seven nominal agreement classes in two tone groups, which combine for nine or more grammatical genders. In any case, there is no way to decide without studying the language to see how it works. —Stephen (Talk) 16:18, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
What I mean is that if you are an expert on the grammar and you are given a word that you didn't previously know, would you be able to figure out what each V should be for every environment? --WikiTiki89 16:38, 22 March 2016 (UTC)


African and Caucasian were changed by an anon, because - and I quote - "all black people aren't from Africa and it's just simple to say "black" and "white"". I'm not sure if this is in line with our guidelines. --Robbie SWE (talk) 09:56, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

Though this is not an RFV issue as you're not disputing the existence of the word. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:39, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
I've moved this discussion from RFV to the tea room. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 12:00, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
African and Caucasian are ethnicities as well as about place of birth. I wasn't born in the Caucasus region but I'm ethnically Caucasian. On the second point of the anon, I don't mind either way, except it's not like black and white don't have other meanings also. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:20, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Would someone who is part Australian Aborigine and part Caucasian, be called a mulatto? --WikiTiki89 14:54, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Probably not in the 19th century when "mulatto" had any kind of prevalence. They probably had a different word for it. Back then, they loved making up new words for various racial permutations. Example: octoroon. Purplebackpack89 15:10, 22 March 2016 (UTC)


The definition does not consider the Semitic languages, in which some words are created using roots and patterns (beside using "morphemes", etc.) For example, فَرَادِيس pl ‎(farādīs) > فِرْدَوْس ‎(firdaws) is a typical back-formation in a Semitic language. --Z 13:32, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

I think it's fine if you consider the CaCāCīC pattern to be a morpheme. And you could easily see it as a morpheme that forms the plural of a masculine nominal with four (or more) consonants, whose last syllable contains a long vowel or diphthong. But I think it might be clearer to say something like "the reversal a perceived process of word formation when a word is perceived to have been formed by that process." --WikiTiki89 14:27, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

Armoric "kars", "korsen"[edit]

In the etymology of carse, there is "Compare Armoric kars, korsen".

I suspect "Armoric" is a dialect of Breton, so I added the language code "br" to {{m}}. Please let me know if that's correct. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 08:21, 24 March 2016 (UTC)


I'm calling bullshit on this. Only contribution of an IP, been there since 2008 except for being rewritten to be clearer. On the page OOB. Since it's been there so long, I'll leave it here for input. Any thoughts? Thanks :) Goldenshimmer (talk) 21:50, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

I don't see any reason to keep it there. --WikiTiki89 21:54, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Cool, thanks :) Goldenshimmer (talk) 22:22, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Well OOB really is boo spelled backwards, just, it has nothing to do with a dictionary! Renard Migrant (talk) 16:12, 25 March 2016 (UTC)


The declension there (especially dative and ablative) obviously were made up by wiktioanrians ("reconstructed"). And compared with the declension of Dido and echo the made-up form aren't Latin. Thus they should be removed.
As additions:

  • Latin grammar books state that Argo is declined like Dido and echo, see e.g. books.google.de/books?id=BqMAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA33 and books.google.de/books?id=EPpKAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA64 . And that makes more sense than Wiktonary's constructions.
  • Dictionaries also mention the accusative "Argon" (e.g. "Argon, Prop. 1, 20, 17 M." or "Argon, Prop 1, 20, 17 Müll" or just "acc. Argo(n)"). So the declension of Argo should have been incomplete and thus in some way incorrect anyway.

- 23:27, 24 March 2016 (UTC) and 00:07, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

  • It says right above the declension table that Only the genitive and accusative are attested. The remaining forms have been reconstructed based on the Greek inflection. If by "obvious" you mean "written right there on the page", then I agree with you.
That aside, I note that the linked reference work states that Argo is third declension, while our entry currently lists it as fourth declension. The entry at the online Dizionario Latino similarly shows third declension. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:59, 25 March 2016 (UTC)


This entry does not give any pronunciation for the "English" word "ghibli" (fairly obscure: it's not in the SOED); and I don't know anything about Arabic, so cannot deduce anything from the transliteration qibliyy. Can anyone come up with some IPA? I am looking at the Wikipedia entry for Studio Ghibli, where there is a mention of the fact that the Japanese name is basically a mispronunciation, being (ja) ジブリ(jiburi) instead of (ja) ギブリ(giburi). Imaginatorium (talk) 09:56, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

It's probably /ˈɡɪbli/, but I've never heard the word pronounced, and trying to find a video online of someone pronouncing it is almost impossible due to interference from Studio Ghibli and the Maserati Ghibli. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:05, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

I notice that actually the WP article says this is from Italian ghibli, in which case the pronunciation is clear. (How is the Maserati name pronounced, "in English"?)

I had an unrelated question: the entry includes the plural ghiblis, which is linked to a separate entry saying it's the plural of ghibli. Shurely shomething wrong here? Imaginatorium (talk) 10:20, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

No, why should there be something wrong? ghibli says its plural is ghiblis; ghiblis says it's the plural of ghibli. Looks right to me. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:31, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but I do not see any point in ghiblis within the entry for ghibli being *linked* to a separate entry just for the plural. It doesn't give any more information at all. Imaginatorium (talk) 14:03, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
Someone might encounter the plural and not realise it's a plural, thus believe our dictionary has no entry. Equinox 14:13, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
Anyway, it's not just this entry. Look up pretty much any countable English noun and there will be a link to the entry for the plural form. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:17, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
The COED (ISBN 0199601100) confirms Angr's suspicion that the name of the wind (from Arabic) is /ˈɡɪbli/. Using a non-IPA system, The Facts on File Dictionary of Weather and Climate has /gib-lee/ (elsewhere they transcribe the ge- in geo- as /jee/). Several dictionaries mention the alternative spelling gibli, which we lack. - -sche (discuss) 21:16, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

When did we quit pronouncing terminal e’s?[edit]

Have, are, ease, use, tease, purple, table, goose, hope, fire, stone, Europe et cetera… when did we all quit saying the e’s? Somewhere in Middle English? (Also, does anybody know why?) --Romanophile (contributions) 12:52, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

See Silent_e#History. Equinox 12:56, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
Some of these words never had a final shwa to begin with. I know that includes at least goose, fire and stone. —CodeCat 20:11, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
Short answer: in the 15th century, probably also in the later 14th century except in formal/poetic speech. Benwing2 (talk) 21:05, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
Short answer for why: Because they had lost grammatical significance and their functional load was low because of changes like Middle English open-syllable lengthening. Benwing2 (talk) 21:06, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
Also, they were silent when the following word began with a vowel, and this clipped pronunciation was then extended to all pronunciations. Leasnam (talk) 00:04, 27 March 2016 (UTC)


Does it make sense to have attention#Interjection and not have parade rest#Interjection and all the others? DCDuring TALK 17:17, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

  • No. We should have left wheel, present arms and all the others (some of which have transpondian variations). SemperBlotto (talk) 06:10, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
    The inconsistency bothers me, but I would not have a separate interjection PoS for any command. I'd bet left wheel#Noun (as in They practiced/performed/did/executed a left wheel.) would be attestable. [It is. DCDuring TALK 12:57, 27 March 2016 (UTC)]
I have long thought that we overuse the PoS header 'Interjection'. DCDuring TALK 12:55, 27 March 2016 (UTC)


@Erutuon The inflected forms in the table have an extra e- in front. Is this an error? —CodeCat 20:10, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

Yes. There should only be an initial ἐ- ‎(e-) in the past tenses. — Eru·tuon 20:43, 26 March 2016 (UTC)


If "bank teller" is an Americanism (news to me, seems common enough in Australia), what is the British English equivalent, if any? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:17, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

  • A "counter clerk". (person who works at a counter, interfacing with the public) SemperBlotto (talk) 06:08, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
Could be a cashier. Equinox 06:25, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
teller is not used frequently in the UK, thought we do use the term ATM John Cross (talk) 10:30, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
@John Cross: I thought you call them cash machines. Which term is more common? --WikiTiki89 14:43, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
cash machines is the more common of the two, but the abbreviation 'ATM' is used reasonably frequently. John Cross (talk) 15:21, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
In the UK, the machines are also called cashpoints, from a trademark, or hole-in-the-wall. Equinox 15:30, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
A definition using the word clerk seems quaint or non-US to my ears. That we have such wording in a definition is in part a product of not having a style guide. DCDuring TALK 12:49, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I use the word teller myself, but then I'm a Kiwi. Donnanz (talk) 15:38, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
  • My bank has an automated system that says 'cashier number one please'. I'd definitely call that person a cashier. I call the machines cashpoints and I don't think ATM is widely understood in the UK, though I have heard it. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:44, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

to make go[edit]

Seen on menjalankan. What does it mean to "make go"? -- 10:48, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

  • It is poor English, probably added by a non-native speaker. Perhaps he means to make something go/work/operate. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:07, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
One could say She made the car go, but it suggests a very limited vocabulary and/or a simplistic view of the situation. Both make and, especially in this context, go are highly polysemic. As a result the sentence is highly ambiguous and context would not always resolve the ambiguity. Does it mean "She started the car." (engine); "She pressed the gas pedal."; "She drove the car."; "She repaired the car."; "She caused the car to leave."? If all of those are consistent with the meaning of menjalankan, then it might be an adequate translation. DCDuring TALK 12:44, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
    • I don't know any Indonesian, but I assume that menjalankan is the causative of jalan, and I can imagine that the causative of a verb meaning "to go on, go forward; to walk; to pass" could also cover such actions as compelling someone (by violence or threat) to go somewhere, and maybe even something as simple as successfully asking someone to go somewhere. (If I ask my mother to go to the market for me, and she does, maybe I have menjalankaned her to the market.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:13, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
    • All that said, however, at jalan itself the gloss of menjalankan under Derived terms is "to drive, to operate; to start, to put into operation; to carry out, to perform". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:15, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
I've made the entry a bit more detailed after checking how multiple dictionaries defined the word and then finding short usexes confirming each sense in Google Books. - -sche (discuss) 14:32, 27 March 2016 (UTC)


How are the interjection and its derived verb pronounced? —CodeCat 21:23, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

/ˈsæl.vi/, apparently. I would have expected /ˈsɑl.weɪ/ (which Dictionary.com does mention as a Latinate pronunciation) or /ˈsɑl.veɪ/, but Century, Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, third edition and Dictinary.com all say the English pronunciation is /ˈsæl.vi/. - -sche (discuss) 21:35, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
Probably a relic of the traditional English pronunciation of Latin, in which historical long e underwent the Great Vowel Shift and became /i(ː)/. — Eru·tuon 21:43, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

How was colour pronounced centuries ago?[edit]

How did people pronounce colour in Shakespeare’s time? --Romanophile (contributions) 06:04, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Probably pretty close to how modern North Americans pronounce it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:06, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Is "renomated" an english word?[edit]

I stumbled across the word "renomated" this morning and became interested in it. It has around 6,000 google hits. A quick review leads me to believe that it's a faulty translation from the German "renommiert" (and similar words in Dutch, etc.) which I'd translate to "renowned." About 1/4-1/2 of the 33 hits in Google books are typos for "renominated." Not quite sure how wikt deals with situations like this, but wanted to point it out. Haus (talk) 11:27, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Not standard English, and you seem to be correct about "renowned" (e.g. "Cassiano Dal Pozzo was renomated in whole Europe for his artistic sensibility"; note "in whole Europe" suggests a non-native speaker). Most of the Google hits don't seem to be using the word but merely listing or mentioning it, which can result from spambots and crawlers copying other pages. Equinox 11:41, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

ceremony as /ˈserɪmənɪ/[edit]

Can ceremony really be pronounced as /ˈserɪmənɪ/? It seems really weird to me, especially the final /ɪ/. —suzukaze (tc) 12:42, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Hmm, I'm sure that's a mistake for /i/. I have changed that final syllable. Equinox 14:13, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
It's not a mistake, it's just a feature of older RP. It's even in our Wiktionary logo. However, we follow the more modern approach and transcribe it as a short /-i/. The mistake was the US label. --WikiTiki89 14:46, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
I think the UK pronunciation is /ˈsɛɹəməni/, which becomes [ˈsɛɹəmənɪ] in the north of England. However /ˈsɛɹəməni/ is the correct broad (most inclusive) pronunciation. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:37, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

delete plural of landing gear[edit]

Hi, I'm a newcomer to wiktionary.

As far as I know, there is no plural of "landing gear", since "gear" in this context is a mass noun. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/gear

How can I delete the entry, which was created by MewBot:



Thank you for your help, and understanding.

I agree, but this has to be approved via Requests for Deletion (RFD), and unfortunately that doesn't always give the desired result. Donnanz (talk) 11:20, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Why would landing gear be a mass noun? http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/gear doesn't contain the word 'landing' by the way I use Ctrl + F. [4] has a nice countable singular use. The OED listing something as uncountable does not imply that it's never countable, just that unusual enough for it to be countable for them to not include it in their definition. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:34, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Erm ... Oxford Dictionaries do have an entry specifically for landing gear and it contains examples with a countable use ("you can get hit by a landing gear") and with a plural ("all three landing gears"). --Droigheann (talk) 13:04, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
OK, I guess that settles that. Donnanz (talk) 13:58, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
  • FWIW, as a native speaker of English who grew up near Washington DC, landing gears sounds exceedingly unnatural to me: the plural gears to my ear sounds like it must be the sprocketed wheel kind of gear, and not the equipment kind of gear. (I can't seem to view the Google Books link provided above, for some reason, and the Oxford Dictionaries link doesn't show me any examples of plural use for landing gear, only for gear. For that matter, sense 2 for gear explicitly says [MASS NOUN, USUALLY WITH MODIFIER]...)
Are we sure this exists in valid contexts? If it does, is there any chance that this is a regionally or historically limited use? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:53, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree that it sounds odd in the plural; nevertheless, searching b.g.c reveals that while the plural is rare, it isn't unattestable: [5], [6], [7]. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:16, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
  • (I find it oddly suggestive that two of those Google Books texts were apparently written by native German speakers. That said, the author in the first link seems to be very American.) I wonder if this is similar to the case for water or fish: a plural may be used when discussing different types of the noun? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:30, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
See Google Books hits for one of the landing gears. For example: "If only one of the landing gears is not fully extended and locked, the green light will not illuminate." A mass noun would not make for good usage in an operator's manual for an aircraft. DCDuring TALK 20:30, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Google books NGRAM viewer shows usage of the plural. Presumably when comparing the landing gear of different aircraft. SemperBlotto (talk) 20:41, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Aircraft must have at least three points of support when on the ground. On most aircraft each point of support is a landing gear. Usually there are two main landing gearS and one nose or tail landing gear. If one is operating, servicing, designing, manufacturing, or evaluating an aircraft, a mass-noun use of landing gear does not have practical value. I don't think one could actually find landing gear in use with a determiner unambiguously indicating its uncountable use. DCDuring TALK 21:26, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Seeing more of the hits, I no longer dispute that this is in use. I do dispute its naturalness :), but that's a separate matter.
If presented with this term as a translation target option, I would write something more like landing gear units or landing gear wheels, etc. Using gear in a countable context unavoidably sounds like Gears animation.gif. I also find it interesting that landing gear is apparently used as a mass noun when talking collectively about all of the wheels / struts / whatevers on an airplane: “the landing gear is down”, not “the landing gears are down”. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:40, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
I even found a use of "much landing gear": WHERE DO ALL THE WHEELS GO ON A B-52? * Boeing had a problem of too much landing gear. But such use is very rare. DCDuring TALK 22:16, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Is "nanoplanedo" really an alternative form of "preskaŭplanedo"?[edit]

As far as everything I've been able to find (and it's really not very clear) the use of the Alternative Forms heading is for spelling variation of the same word and not for synonyms.

On the page preskaŭplanedo, shouldn't nanoplanedo be moved to a similar terms or synonym heading?

The main entry literally means "almost planet", while nanoplanedo literally means "dwarf planet". I don't intend to discuss which may be better or more used Esperanto, simply whether they are alternative forms of the same word. —Sollupulo (talk) 14:25, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Changed to synonym. Equinox 22:54, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Equinox. So you seem to think like I do about what constitutes an alternative form? Since I didn't find it specifically stated in any guideline, I just wasn't sure that it was a misuse of the section. Sollupulo (talk) 15:33, 1 April 2016 (UTC)


At present the entry only covers the musical sense, but I'm sure the noun can also be used for the recording of information (putting it on record), and not just as the present participle. Oxford is no help here. Donnanz (talk) 20:03, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Our definition of the noun is "A reproduction of sound and/or video stored in a permanent medium."
  1. I don't think that "stored in a permanent medium" is essential when referring to the content. There is, I think, a separate sense for certain permanent media, eg, drums and discs with analog sound impressions, magnetic tapes (and discs?), laser-read discs. What about static RAM? What about a flip book?
  2. We don't say that a court stenographer makes a recording of the testimony. I don't think we say that one makes a recording of mere text or data concerning static phenomena, eg, a photograph. What about a high-frequency sample of temperature data or data on insensible interstellar radiation or terrestrial smells?
  3. Some good KWIC data from a large corpus would help with this be essential to do a good job with this. DCDuring TALK 20:57, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Incidentally the existing definition isn't great: "reproduction" might be misunderstood to mean "process of playback", which is the opposite of recording. Equinox 22:53, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Unsurprisingly this definition was not in Webster 1913. The wording in that work, however dated it may be, was professional. Our efforts to write definitions often lack that.
I suppose we should make sure that our definitions accurately reflect typical current usage while preferably not precluding too many older, newer, and atypical cases. BYU.corpus has been down so I couldn't pull any KWIC data from COCA, COHA, BNC, etc. DCDuring TALK 23:25, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Sadly there have only been two substantive edits of this definition, the creation and one by Bequw. DCDuring TALK 23:31, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
  • This cite is an example of a recording of data, albeit of the deemed-continuous type:
    • 2010, Theodore A. Stern, Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of General ..., page 289:
      Electrocardiogram (ECG): A recording of heart rhythm. • Electromyogram (EMG): A recording of the activity of the left and right tibialis anterior muscles and the submental (chin) muscles. • Respiratory efforts: A recording of nasal and oral airflow
      DCDuring TALK 23:55, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Some examples from Google - seismological recordings [8], meteorological recordings [9], weather recordings [10], recording of archaeological ... [11]. There's probably more lurking under the surface if I can think of them. Donnanz (talk) 16:31, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
    I think you have to search for "a recording of" and "recordings of" to make sure that you are getting hits for the noun, not the ing-form of the verb. DCDuring TALK 17:19, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
    It also depends what you mean by permanent. A CD or a cassette can't really be expected to last forever. You might think recording something on 'paper' is permanent but there are bits of paper with legible writing on them from thousands of years ago. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:09, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
    At the moment the definition only covers the recording of audio and video, whether it's permanent or not it is probably intended to be permanent. Recording of data can be made in computer systems, and they can go wrong too. Two more examples using "the" - I am trying to avoid audio recordings and the like: the recording of data (although this could be onto a CD, but not as audio) [12], the recording of archaeological [13]. Donnanz (talk) 18:29, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
"I am trying to avoid audio recordings and the like" But that's the point: there isn't very much of it. You could try '"a recording of"|"recordings of" * data' to get candidate citations.
By doing your search instead you have failed to exclude verb use. The semantics of the verb are not guaranteed to transfer entirely to the noun. DCDuring TALK 18:51, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
I think I have already proved it, it's someone else's turn. Donnanz (talk) 11:52, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
The undigested mass of links you have provided "prove" it only for the verb, AFAICT. DCDuring TALK 14:27, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
I beg to differ. Look again. Donnanz (talk) 16:20, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
There are samples of noun uses of 'recording' in every one of the links provided. In many of the instances there is an article modifying the word (you may have to omit intervening adjectives to see that the 'the' or 'a' is indeed for the word 'recording') which means it is being used in a noun sense. Further, the use of adjectives to modify 'recording' clearly indicates a noun. On the broader point, the definition does seem to be too narrow. A recording is meant to somehow capture a transient event into a more stable form for later review. 'Permanent' may be too strong of a description, perhaps 'durable' would be better. What I can't seem to get a grip on is why we use 'recording' sometimes and 'record' at other times. There doesn't seem to be a clear cut way that stands out to me for me to explain it to a second language speaker of English as to when to use one vs. the other. Sollupulo (talk) 15:21, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
I'd like to see three such citations that were of unambiguous noun usage. It would make for a good entry if we could actually support claims with evidence. Positive demonstration of existence settles the matter. It's not that hard to format the citations and put them in the entry or on the citations page. DCDuring TALK 15:58, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
How about one from each link above:
  • seismological recordings:
[quote]The first attempt at standardizing seismological recordings was made when the WWSSN network was installed in the early 1960's. [/quote]
Source: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kTUBCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=%22seismological+recordings%22&source=bl&ots=q_YfovpdZM&sig=GIg2qIw3QJMZvbJrToHE5HO8dlY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6hb-F_e3LAhVFQyYKHZhTA6QQ6AEIQjAI#v=onepage&q=%22seismological%20recordings%22&f=false
NOTE: Here 'recordings' is a plural gerund noun object of the verbal 'standardizing' and modified by the adjective 'seismological.' We know 'standardizing' is verbal because we can substitute the infinitive form and it still makes sense, if you do that with 'recordings' it looses all sense. Try it: The first attempt to standardize seismological to record was made...
  • meteorological recordings:
[quote]For example, in the Alias of Britain the meteorological maps show actual mean meteorological recordings, rather than interpolated isohyets, isotherms and so on, and will use color to allow the reader to distinguish geographical patterns without the distraction of the traditional firm lines by which meteorological information has been conveyed hitherto. [/quote]
Source: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=y04isqnVLZ8C&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=%22meteorological+recordings%22&source=bl&ots=5YcbRalb6-&sig=CDin0pF0U4E_v2D-izfX0FWAZUk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQmqCI_e3LAhVIRyYKHZ5qCEQQ6AEITjAJ#v=onepage&q=%22meteorological%20recordings%22&f=false
NOTE: The adjective 'meteorological' qualifies two other nouns 'maps' & 'information.' This time 'recordings' is an object of the verb 'show.'
  • weather recordings:
[quote]The weather recordings don't constitute a weather briefing, however; they're designed to give pilots a quick look at the weather conditions. [/quote]
Source: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=4TR0YdLhd0sC&pg=PA74&lpg=PA74&dq=%22weather+recordings%22&source=bl&ots=xaPFMt6o0y&sig=0Xl1dZrbZS6ZNZwZbuRfz1q5p5E&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjp3LyL_e3LAhUFbiYKHScADDYQ6AEISjAG#v=onepage&q=%22weather%20recordings%22&f=false
NOTE: Here we have the word 'recordings' as the subject of the sentence with both an article and adjective modifier. Try subbing the infinitive form and see if it changes the sense: The weather to record don't constitute a weather briefing… It shows the verb 'don't constitute' agrees with a plural noun which 'weather' isn't. To make it make sense you would have to change 'weather' to 'weathers' or 'don't' to 'doesn't.'
  • recording of archaeological:
[quote]This guidance covers the graphical and plane table survey  methods for the recording of archaeological earthworks. [/quote]
Source: https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/technical-advice/recording-heritage/
NOTE: Again, there's an article for the word 'recording.' Also, subbing the infinitive ruins the sense, unless you also remove both prepositions surrounding it. This instance of the word is a prepositional object and is also modified by a prepositional phrase.
Sollupulo (talk) 18:52, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
I had a consult with CGEL, which clarified my thinking and brought me into full agreement with your discussion of the grammar.
There is one lexicographical point which has to do with presentation more than anything else. I know of no good reason to have separate definitions for participles and the lemma verb they derive from. All ing-form participle are used as adjectives and nouns as well as elements of verbs. When they do not have semantics distinct from the base form of the verb, I don't see why we should duplicate the presentation of the definitions of the verb with reworded definitions at the -ing-form (and the past participle). So definitions of the noun recording should not be of the process or activity or recording, but of something else. Most dictionaries have such a definition, but their definitions only cover the products of recording performances or, more generally, of sound and video.
The citations partially fit the bill:
  1. The 'seismological' citation is ambiguous as to whether it is the end product or the process that is being standardized.
  2. The 'meteorological' and 'weather' citations seem unambiguously to be about the end product.
  3. The 'archaeological' citation seems to unambiguously refer to the process of recording.
Thus, by my strict standards, we have two good citations. Though I am reasonably sure that 'recording' is very rarely used of anything other than sound and video and I would not like to have to complicate the definition for what is exceptional usage, our standards for inclusion of a term and confirmation of any aspect of its definition require only three unambiguous citations.
Also, my hypothesis that only dynamic, nearly continuous data (ie, time series) would be on recordings seems not to be consistent with the citations about 'meteorological' and 'weather' data.
I will try to find more citations about the range of data on recordings. DCDuring TALK 01:05, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
See Citations:recording. DCDuring TALK 01:58, 3 April 2016 (UTC)


90% sure this is refractory outside of Mary-marry-merry. Hillcrest98 (talk) 16:53, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Is our entry for refractory missing a definition? DCDuring TALK 17:21, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
Possibly, though we do have an entry for refractory rhyme. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:49, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
How is arity pronounced by non-Mary-marry merged people? --WikiTiki89 17:53, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
Oh, good call, Wikitiki! When you encounter specific fields you learn the existence of a myriad of specific vocabulary... Hillcrest98 (talk) 20:59, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! But actually that wasn't a rhetorical question, I actually want to know. Are you implying that arity does rhyme with rarity (keeping in mind that arity is derived from -ary)? --WikiTiki89 21:21, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
Nah, I was having doubts if rarity had any potential rhymes before I was going to put it in the refractory rhymes category. Hillcrest98 (talk) 22:40, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
Let me rephrase: If you don't have the Mary-marry merger, does arity rhyme with rarity or with clarity? That's the question I want an answer to. --WikiTiki89 22:46, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
I have no idea. Hillcrest98 (talk) 23:57, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
Ok. So let's wait for someone who does. --WikiTiki89 00:17, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
I would rhyme it with "clarity", but this is based on no evidence, just my personal feeling. 03:43, 1 April 2016 (UTC)


It is marked as obsolete - is it really? OED only says " = disingenuousness (which is now more usual)" and I got quite a few hits in Google Books even when I restricted the search for 21st century. --Droigheann (talk) 20:19, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

I think you should go ahead and change it per your own comments. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:02, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
All right, I turned it into an alternative form of disingenuousness and put some Books quotes on the Citations page. --Droigheann (talk) 11:19, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

~ a spanner in the works[edit]

I just added put a spanner in the works as a variant of throw a spanner in the works, but then it occurred to me that several other verbs could go there too, e.g. chuck a spanner in the works, lob a spanner in the works, and so forth. What is the Wiktionary policy for dealing with such situations? Would it be better to have an entry for "(a) spanner in the works"? 20:04, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

spanner in the works would be good. The common verbs might be listed under a Usage notes header, or illustrated by book citations. Equinox 20:39, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, and of course the phrase can be used outside the pattern altogether, as in "That's a real spanner in the works", for example, and so "spanner in the works" seems to be the underlying unit of meaning. 22:00, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
BNC has only throw (6) and put (3) as main verbs preceding a spanner in the works. It is also used after be (1) and literally once. The US substitute is monkey wrench. In the US the term monkey wrench is often used figuratively without works following (per COCA), whereas spanner is less often so used (per BNC). DCDuring TALK 23:19, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
Nevertheless, my examples of "chuck a spanner in the works" and "lob a spanner in the works" are perfectly reasonable things to say, as is my further example "a real spanner in the works". 03:41, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

Bilirubin: yellow or red?[edit]

Bilirubin is one of the molecules produced by breaking down Heme. Heme (inside red blood cells) appears red while bilirubin (in bruises and in cases of jaundice) appears yellow.

However, -rubin stands for "red". Does anyone know what the history of this is (why choose red and not yellow for this molecule)? Myoglobin (talk) 22:07, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Are you sure it's always yellow? I found a book defining it as "red bile pigment". Equinox 23:18, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
I think you may be right; Sigma Aldrich describes their powdered bilirubin as "orange-brown", which is pretty close to red. I suppose bilirubin is only yellow when seen through the skin, similar to the perception that deoxygenated hemoglobin is blue when it is actually just darker than oxygenated hemoglobin. Thanks! Myoglobin (talk) 16:23, 1 April 2016 (UTC)


@Erutuon This form is given here as part of the paradigm of πίμπλημι ‎(pímplēmi), but it's not listed there. Where would it belong? —CodeCat 23:03, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

It looks like both the LSJ and Cunliffe consider ἐπλήμην, πλῆτο, πλῆντο, -πλησο, -πλῄμην, -πλῇτο, -πλήμενος ‎(eplḗmēn, plêto, plênto, -plēso, -plēímēn, -plēîto, -plḗmenos) all to be athematic second aorist (root aorist) forms. The form πλῆτο ‎(plêto) is just unaugmented. Added them to the tables. — Eru·tuon 23:17, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
@Erutuon Are you sure you did it right? Some of the forms in the table are missing accents, including πλῆτο ‎(plêto) in particular. —CodeCat 20:17, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that's the way. Perhaps there's a problem in the module; perhaps unaugmented root aorist middles weren't anticipated. — Eru·tuon 20:21, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
It looks like the module is incomplete; {{grc-conj|aor-hmi}} isn't adding stress marks the way the other components of {{grc-conj}} do. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:08, 2 April 2016 (UTC)


Are the divisions of the syllables in the second pronunciation correct? And are either of those pronunciations really limited to the UK, or are they more or less universal? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 15:16, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

Fixed. The [t] may be present phonetically sometimes, but it's not phonemic. The syllabification looks OK. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:31, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

April 2016

Category:English terms spelled with Ȝ[edit]

Should these be changed to Middle or Old English? DTLHS (talk) 05:31, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

I think so, but I’m not an expert on Gringonese. With the exceptions of the ligatures and perhaps thorn, I’d be surprised if any of the antiquated letters persisted all the way up to the early modern period. --Romanophile (contributions) 05:48, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

pronunciation of basically[edit]

Currently says:

(UK) IPA(key): /ˈbeɪsɪkli/
(US) IPA(key): /ˈbejsɨkliː/

The US pronunciation looks wrong. AFAIK there's no difference in the pronunciation of the first a between UK and US, and /ej/ is certainly wrong. Also not obvious to me what the purpose of the long vowel is. Benwing2 (talk) 06:31, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

They should basically be the same. I don't really see why /ɨ/ and the long vowel is used. While transcribing /eɪ/ as /ej/ is not the usual way it's done, it is not uncommon. (In fact, in my linguistics course right now, we use /aj/ and /ej/). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:40, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
Fixed. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:09, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
The /ɨ/ is just a different convention. Used by Wikipedia, but not by us. Same with /ej/, except that even Wikipedia doesn't use it. --WikiTiki89 10:23, 1 April 2016 (UTC)


龴 is listed under radical Chinese Radical/乙. But I put it under Index:Chinese Radical/卩. But then an admin reverted my edit. The reason I did this was because of 's bottom part. —This unsigned comment was added by Johnny Shiz (talkcontribs) at 08:38, 2 April 2016‎ (UTC).

@Johnny Shiz It was reverted because Unicode puts 龴 under 乙 and not 卩. AFAIK, the radical pages are supposed to follow Unicode radicals and not other systems. BTW, I'm not an admin. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 14:45, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

Sanskrit भाषा ‎(bhāṣā), भाषति ‎(bhāṣati), root भाष् ‎(bhāṣ)[edit]

Is the PIE root for this *bʰeh₂-? —Aryamanarora (मुझसे बात करो) 17:00, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

The formation *bʰeh₂-os is probably the correct one. This lists bhās as the predecessor, with a cognate in Latin fās. —Aryamanarora (मुझसे बात करो) 17:04, 2 April 2016 (UTC)
{{R:ine:EWAia}} suggests that this is possibly related to √bhaṣ- 'to yell', and bhāṣā would derive from *bʰolseh₂ (closely related to balsas). If from *bʰeh₂-, then might be due to homonymy avoidance with √bhās- 'to shine'. --Tropylium (talk) 07:46, 6 April 2016 (UTC)


My software lists this character under héng. —This unsigned comment was added by Johnny Shiz (talkcontribs) at 13:59, 2 April 2016 (UTC).

@Johnny Shiz Héng is the name of the stroke. It's actually (héng). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:13, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

Are onetime and one-time same or not?[edit]

The entries for onetime and one-time seem very similar, at least to me. Are they possibly spelling variations of the same word? Should they have links to each other? They don't so far. Thank you! :) Zeniff (talk) 07:18, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. Onetime is overwhelmingly the more common form in the US; one-time is almost as much preferred in the UK. Their meanings seem to be the same though I haven't tried to find out which of the two definitions is more common in either COCA or BNC. There definitely should be links between the two. DCDuring TALK 11:04, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

pass away[edit]

Is my usage note correct? I've never heard of pass away used directly linking to violent death. E.g. "My uncle died fighting in the war.", "My sister was killed in a plane crash." Trying to phrase this fact right... Hillcrest98 (talk) 17:18, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

I think that is right but there is no good substitute for looking at actual usage. I think that pass, pass on, and pass away all have about the same connotation. DCDuring TALK 18:45, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
"To die of natural causes"? Circeus (talk) 12:08, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Though in fact violence is natural, natural causes has an official (non-SoP?) meaning that might be a good definiens. DCDuring TALK 13:25, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Collins COBUILD has: "if someone dies of or from natural causes, they die because they are ill or old rather than because of an accident or violence" DCDuring TALK 13:27, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


I have seen a number of educated white people use it with she/he or it. Why is that? Do they try to mimic AAVE? if yes why? if not what's the reason? Should we add Usage notes to the entry? --Dixtosa (talk) 18:02, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

There are probably many reasons, of which imitating AAVE is only one. Other possible reasons would be to avoid sounding too "posh" or "fancy" in front of people who would use it themselves unselfconsciously, for humorous effect, and so on. And it wasn't that long ago that it wasn't considered uneducated in the U.S.: when I read Little Women, I was struck how the main characters (educated white women from Massachusetts in the 1860s and '70s) invariably said "he don't" and "she don't", although the narrative itself never did. (The text currently at Wikisource was taken from an edition where it was standardized to "(s)he doesn't", but the original edition uses the nonstandard form in direct quotation.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:28, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
It's not limited to AAVE: it's common to the more informal registers of quite a few varieties of US English, especially in the South. It may be proscribed by teachers everywhere as sounding ignorant and illiterate, but to some people it sounds more "real" or "folksy". Chuck Entz (talk) 21:07, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Also in some British English dialects. Equinox 23:46, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
I think it's correlated with people who say "ain't", but I may be wrong. I would actually say that it was common in informal registers in urban parts of the Northeast as well. Ever seen the Godfather or the Sopranos? --WikiTiki89 14:28, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
It's easier to say in speech than doesn't due the reduced syllable. I say it especially when trying to make a point, or to sound more point blank or "real", but I realise that it isn't "correct" English. Americans are rebels, hehe ;) Leasnam (talk) 14:45, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
This reminds me of my cousin, who is Serbian. One day, while I was there visiting him, we were watching an American movie made in the 90's (I don't remmeber which one) dubbed in Serbian, where the white people were made to look like fools by the African Americans (rather typical of many movies in America). He was around my age (around 25-30 at the time) and he simply couldn't understand why this movie was portraying whites this way...it seemed to go so hard against his paradigms...I just smiled...it's a different world over there :) Leasnam (talk) 14:55, 5 April 2016 (UTC)


RFV pronunciation: The tone diacritic (and the unnecessary secondary stress) in IPA(key): /ˌhiám/ is dubious. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 23:36, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

Have fixed problems with this pron. based on local speakers of Singlish. Have removed rfv request (I hope this is the correct procedure) - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 06:17, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

cassette drive[edit]

Can a computing term be reasonably labelled "archaic"? Dated, obsolete, perhaps? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:39, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

The device may be obsolete, but I don't think the term is. Keith the Koala (talk) 05:18, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
{{lb|en|historical}}, perhaps, or is it too soon for that? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:13, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
I would leave it unlabeled. It is still the standard and only term for such drives, despite the fact that these drives are not used anymore. --WikiTiki89 14:29, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
If we ask 20-30-year olds who use computers what the term means, how often do we get an answer that indicates the term is idiomatic to them? DCDuring TALK 14:37, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Which is a good point. Was it ever idiomatic? Or was it just that cassette idiomatically referred to a particular type of cassette in computer contexts during that period of time? --WikiTiki89 14:53, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Removed "archaic" (which suggests pre-20th-century to me anyhow); I don't think "dated" is correct because it's still the current English term for these. If anything, use "historical", since the technology is (barely) obsolete but the word is not. Equinox 16:10, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
It was in a set of things with heterogeneous names like drum memory, diskette, floppy disk, disk drive, hard drive, tape drive, now solid-state drive and solid-state disk. The heterogeneity of the names seems to me to make them all idiomatic. If a young person has to resort to an SoP analysis of the term to figure out what it means, then for herm the idiom no longer exists, which would make the term dated.
@Equinox If the term dated still bothers you when it is applied to terms you are accustomed to, you are not yet old, but certainly getting old. DCDuring TALK 17:38, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
The problem is that "drive" has two meanings related to this: "an interface for a storage medium, i.e. a place for it to be inserted or plugged in" and "a storage device". The former includes "disk drive", "cassette drive", "DVD drive", etc., the latter includes "hard drive", "solid-state drive", "flash drive", etc. The former set is SOP, while the latter set is usually idiomatic. --WikiTiki89 17:46, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Lovely logic, but aren't all the terms conventionalized without regard to logic? DCDuring TALK 21:02, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Not really. Like I said, in the first meaning, they are mostly SOP, while in the second meaning, not so much. But still, they should be decided on a case-by-case basis, and in the case of cassette drive, I think it is SOP. --WikiTiki89 21:09, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I probably wouldn't be able to figure out what "cassette drive" means, despite knowing what both a cassette and a drive are. I'm on the younger side, and not being familiar with this particular technology, I would have found this a useful entry if I ever had to look it up. I think it's worth keeping, for those reasons. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:15, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89 I have yet to find a dictionary that has a definition like "'an interface for a storage medium, i.e. a place for it to be inserted or plugged in'". To me that definition appears to be one custom-composed for the discussion. If your definition conformed to lexical (not "logical") reality, wouldn't a cassette deck (for music) be or have been called a cassette drive? DCDuring TALK 12:13, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry for trying to simplify the definition for this discussion. I should have said "an interface in a computer for a storage medium, i.e. a place for it to be inserted or plugged in". Anyway, this is the same sense as noun sense 4.2 at oxfordictionaries.com and noun sense 8 at Merriam-Webster. --WikiTiki89 14:12, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Good conventional definitions that reflect actual usage are usually simple and often imprecise.
No one defines a drive using the word "interface". That adds a spurious argument-specific feature to the definition that is not present in actual dictionary definitions, though it may be present
If you try to give precise interpretations to the definitions you offer:
MW drive noun 8: "a device for reading or writing on magnetic or optical media (as tapes or disks)"
They also have another drive section from 'DRIVE Defined for Kids' in which 9 is "a device in a computer that can read information off and copy information onto disks or tape <a disk drive>".
MW8 seems to imply inclusion of music- and video-only analog devices.
MWK9 fits your views, but excludes drums and flash drives and requires that disk be read as including diskettes.
Oxford's is: "[count noun] (Computing) short for disk drive. insert the disk into drive A", thus being "cassette disk drive" for the instant case after substitution.
Computer dictionaries/glossaries are a bit more precise:
Computer User: "A device that spins disks or tapes in order to read and write data; for example, a hard drive, floppy drive, CD-ROM drive, or tape drive." Definition excludes solid-state/flash drives
CSGNetwork.com: "The generic name for any physical hard disk drive, floppy disk drive, optical disk drive, DVD drive or tape drive. This is the device and not the removable media." Doesn't fit use in flash drive.
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia: (1) An electromechanical device that contains and reads and writes magnetic disks, optical discs or magnetic tapes. See magnetic disk, optical disc and magnetic tape.
(2) A solid state flash drive that contains no moving parts. See USB drive.
This last achieves coverage of flash drives by coming up with a "definition" that seems quite ad hoc. Is drive used this way without previous mention of flash drive, solid-state drive, or USB drive.
To me, this indicates that drive in the computer sense has a definition that is a simple enumeration of the devices that use drive in their name, which would make the claim that those terms were SoP spurious. DCDuring TALK 17:27, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
The word interface is irrelevant. I need not have used it. If you want me to clarify further, a "drive" that reads a removable storage medium, is gonna be SOP when used with the idiomatic name of the storage medium. A "drive" with a built-in storage medium is going to be idiomatic, because the storage medium will not have its own name. --WikiTiki89 17:39, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Tape drives are still in use today for w:magnetic tape data storage, although most people will never run into one, so any historicity-related label would be inappropriate anyway. Circeus (talk) 12:06, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


Should the hypernym and hyponym labels be used like that in 啟東? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:05, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

no use[edit]

Is it really a noun?

Also, I think the uses of "no use" in the first and 3rd example sentences are not idiomatic. --Giorgi Eufshi (talk) 13:45, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

The definition is worded as if it were an adjective, but "no advantage" would be a substitutable definition, indeed one that might make one wonder whether the expression is SoP. No use (and no advantage) are both noun phrases, which we put under the heading of Noun. The only thing that might make one think this is idiomatic is that, in an expression like No use complaining (arguably from There is no use in), one cannot deduce the meaning without understanding the ellipsis. Most dictionaries don't have an entry, but Collins COBUILD has two definitions under use that bear on this:
"11 You use expression such as It's no use, there's no use, and what's the use to indicate that an action is pointless and will not achieve anything ....
"12 If you say It's no use, it means that you have failed to do something and realize that it is useless to continue trying because it is impossible."
We might serve users better by replacing this entry with entries for each of the three expressions, which seem clearly idiomatic and of widespread colloquial use to me. DCDuring TALK 14:41, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
An entry for no use that just pointed to there's no use and it's no use would be useful also. DCDuring TALK 14:50, 6 April 2016 (UTC)


A question recently came up on Wikipedia over the meaning of the symbol "E" used on the markings of some resistor values. According to this forum discussion it is a notation used by the former electronics company w:Iskra (company) and may stand for enot, meaning units. The language isn't given, but I am presuming Serbo-Croatian. However, we don't have this meaning at either enot, or the singular eno, nor the Cyrillic енот. I am seeing some gbook results that might be this meaning and google translate translates the word to units in both Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian for both Latin and Cyrillic spellings. I am very reluctant to add the entries myself for languages I have absolutely zero knowledge of. SpinningSpark 18:23, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

See enota; enot is the genitive plural, which is the form that would be used after most numbers. It seems to be that this is only a Slovene word and not a Serbo-Croatian word. --WikiTiki89 18:33, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
The Serbo-Croatian cognate is jednota I believe. Dropping the -d- in the word for "one" is a Slovene feature, compare en and jedan. —CodeCat 01:50, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
While a theoretical cognate might indeed be *jednota, such a word is unattested except as an occasional nonce word meaning »oneness«. The standard SCr equivalent to enota has the suffix replaced, as jedinica. Vorziblix (talk) 08:48, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

Is unforgiven really a noun?[edit]

Currently unforgiven is an adjective, past participle of a verb and a plural only noun. But many similar entries aren't labeled as nouns, for example unforgotten, abandoned, unconvinced. One can use most of them as a noun: We care about the abandoned. This is effective in preaching to the unconvinced. Does this mean that all such words should be labeled nouns in general? Or maybe unforgiven is somehow special? 18:36, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

I agree, I would delete the noun sense. --WikiTiki89 18:38, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
This is the Old English adjectival noun (weak declension: > Middle English as -e), surviving in Modern English as -∅ (just for a little background on why we still say things like this). I too would delete it Leasnam (talk) 19:41, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
I'd delete it. Many adjectives, when used in a context in which those being characterized are people, function as if they were noun phrases of the form [ADJ + (PEOPLE)], PEOPLE being the context-relevant group. The phenomenon extends further, but I am at a loss about how to characterize the limits of it. It is not limited to people ("The shorn are returned to a heated shed, the unshorn to the fields."). I don't know what kind of adjectives are not used in this way.
But, for decoding there is no great benefit to having a Noun PoS. For encoding there is no great economy if a speaker omits an explicit noun.
Collins COBUILD English Grammar (20o5) explicitly addresses this: "When you want to talk about groups of people [sic] who share the same characteristic or quality, you often choose an adjective rather than a noun as a headword [sic].....
"Although some adjectives are commonly used this way, in fact it is possible to use almost any adjective in this way. This is a productive feature of English."
The examples which include: "...providing care for .... the poor."
Notwithstanding this, Collins COBUILD English Dictionary (1996) has a noun definition for poor. The editor-in-chief for both works was John Sinclair. DCDuring TALK 21:29, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
See Talk:Irish and Talk:deaf for some previous discussions of this phenomenon. - -sche (discuss) 04:33, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
The COBUILD situation is instructive. The person ultimately responsible for determining whether something is syntactic or lexical decides that it needs to be treated both ways. DCDuring TALK 13:26, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps commonness of use should be a factor? (I'm not personally convinced.) Something like "poor" comes up a lot, but e.g. Oscar Wilde's "the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable" (on fox-hunting) less so. Equinox 16:06, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
We could make occurrence in another dictionary a necessary condition for inclusion of these and possibly other similar classes of items, ie, those that are arguably grammatical features but for which lexical examples are helpful to users. I'd call it the necessary-lemming rule (If all lemmings exclude it we exclude it.), the previously discussed rule being the sufficient-lemming rule (If any lemming includes it we include it.). DCDuring TALK 16:52, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Is the Old Norse entry for því correct?[edit]

I've only been studying Old Icelandic for the past year, so please forgive me if my linguistic ignorance is showing. But when I came across the Old Norse entry for 'því' on Wiktionary, it seemed incorrect to me. The definitions given seem to be more appropriate for the plural form 'þeim.'

Currently, the entry for 'því' reads as follows: Pronoun 1.) they, them (third-person dative singular neuter personal pronoun) - 2.) those (dative singular neuter demonstrative pronoun).

But I think (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that it should be: Pronoun 1.) it (third-person dative singular neuter personal pronoun) - 2.) that (dative singular neuter demonstrative pronoun).

Am I just completely off-base here (which is entirely possible), or have the plural definitions for 'þeim' somehow found their way into the entry for the singular 'því'?

You're right; the declension table itself at því showed what's right. I've fixed the entry now. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:09, 7 April 2016 (UTC)


prompted by a question on Talk:nary

What part of speech is this? Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, and Oxford Dictionaries.com have it as an adjective (the former with a quotation of "have nary other copy"). OTOH, Collins, Cambridge and McMillan have it as an adverb ("with nary a penny"). - -sche (discuss) 03:30, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

The overwhelming majority of current use is in expressions of the form nary a NP. However, there is some use like "Nary missing a beat" and "Nary had he left the than the ceiling collapsed." These seem clearly adverbial. If a is interpreted as a quantifier "one", then all of the "nary a(n)" uses are supportive of adverb PoS. I'm heading out the door, so I can't check whether one can find nary before other quantifiers ("With nary a hundred men they held against a thousand."). DCDuring TALK 11:09, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
I found nary a use of nary [QUANTIFIER] with a quantifier other than a, though OED has a use of nary two. OTOH, I found a scant few, mostly recent uses of the form nary [ING FORM] ("nary glancing in my direction"). To my surprise nary is of recent (c 1850) recorded usage, derived from "ne'er a". That the a reemerged suggests that users of the word have reanalyzed it.
OED says it is both "adjective (determiner)" and adverb. DCDuring TALK 12:57, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

have an early night[edit]

I came across this one in Norwegian - ta en tidlig kveld (literally: "take an early evening") - but is it worth an entry? Is it obvious? I would interpret it as going to bed earlier than usual, and it appears here [14]. Donnanz (talk) 20:58, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

If includable, it should just be early night, since you can also get or take one. Equinox 20:59, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but which is the most common form? Something may be lost by trimming it. Donnanz (talk) 21:17, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
I've only heard "make it an early night". Chuck Entz (talk) 02:14, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
In the UK it's 'have an early night'. Sounds like an idiom to me as well as late night and early morning. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:35, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
  • On COCA early night is a subject and appears after forms of call it, have, get, plan, portend, resign oneself to, earn. To make an early night (of it) is also fairly common. "Make it an early" is the most common, but hardly dominant at 5/31 instances of early night.
Adjectives with a night that are like early in dealing with the end point or duration are long/short, late, slow/fast, extended, endless, interminable, only the first three being 'common'. The sense of night seems to be a period of time during which one is awake, but which is after evening (at latitudes between 50N and 50S anyway). I don't see a definition at [[night]] or at MWOnline that covers this. Is it a generally understood sense that we are missing? (I think so.) If it is, isn't early night SoP? DCDuring TALK 18:08, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
It looks to me that "make it an early night" is an American term, in the same way that "have an early night" seems to be British. But night generally means any time in the hours of darkness, but I'm not sure about north of the Arctic Circle in the land of the midnight sun, or the period of winter darkness in the same region. Donnanz (talk) 16:25, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
Right. The general definition of night can't be substituted into an early night with the NP retaining the meaning audiences ascribe to it. DCDuring TALK 20:14, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
what about the sense behind call it a night? Chuck Entz (talk) 20:53, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
The last refuge of lexicographic scoundrels is metonymy. DCDuring TALK 21:30, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
I think that in "call it a day/night/game/career/season" call introduces a speech act. In the first person present it is something like "I hereby declare my night ('time awake and engaged in some kind of activity during nighttime') to be terminated." IOW I think call is what bears the aspect of "termination" that the expression has. DCDuring TALK 21:44, 10 April 2016 (UTC)


This character has a similar meaning to 勉 and 勔. —This unsigned comment was added by Johnny Shiz (talkcontribs) at 21:05, 9 April 2016 (UTC).

勔 is a variant of 勉. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:09, 9 April 2016 (UTC)


Which people does /fɑː(ɹ)v/ apply to? Brett and family get /fɑː(ɹ)v/, but what about his ancestor Simon? Same deal?

What would be the pronunciation be for other people not related to Brett but share the same surname?

Hillcrest98 (talk) 22:57, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

I'd never actually noticed he spells his name Favre I had always used it was Farve but I don't follow football. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:11, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
I can find some (non-linguistic) books suggesting that /fɑvɹə/, the original pronunciation, is still used by some bearers of the name. Roy C. Major's Foreign Accent: The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Second Language Phonology (ISBN 1135649413) mentions the names of Brett Favre and Patrick Roy (pronounced /wɑ/) as examples of a nonstandard, "U" (by which he apparently means "universal" in contrast to "first-language" or "second-language") process of anglicization — metathesis, in Favre's case. In Roy's case, the *#/rw/ of the original French pronunciation /rwa/ is not permissible, but (as Major notes) the fact that Patrick responds by deleting the /r/ rather than inserting a schwa as in Rwanda is "a U process". - -sche (discuss) 01:05, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I see some speculation, such as from this author, that Favre's name may have initially been reduced to /fɑv/ (non-rhotic) in English, with an /r/ an erroneous later insertion. Incidentally, that author mentions knowing two Yvonnes in the Southern US who pronounced their names "why-vaughn". - -sche (discuss) 01:18, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

French nourrir[edit]

The conjugation table for nourrir shows that the present indicative and imperfect inflections use the first conjugation, however, the links in the table do not appear to exist. My Bescherelle tells me that this is incorrect and that nourrir is a regular second conjugation verb; the Wiktionary pages for regular 2nd conjugation forms of nourrir such as nourrissez exist and link back to nourrir, and the pages for the nourris and nourrit even say they are the present indicative forms of nourrir. The conjugation table is certainly wrong, but because it is generated by {{fr-conj-auto}}, I do not know how to change it. Help is appreciated. 01:36, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure this is second group/regular -ir. I have no idea how this was even able to be classed in the ouvrir group in the first place, as they seem to be all labiodental + -rir. Turns out it was changed to the wrong conjugation by Mglovesfunbot replacing a template that gave the correct conjugation with fr-conj-auto. I've temporarily restored the old template and going to report to Grease Pit ASAP. Hillcrest98 (talk) 02:24, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
It's patent nonsense and I have no idea why {{fr-conj-auto}} is treating it this way. Best to review pourrir as well. If it's because of the -rir ending like Hillcrest98 says, then that's just incredibly dumb to code it that way. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:02, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
All miscellaneous -rir verbs seem to be dumped into the ouvrir category. That's stupid. It should check for F/V and -rir before dumping them into the ouvrir group. All miscellaneous -rir should go to the second group by default! Reverting as many of these errors as I can. See here. Hillcrest98 (talk) 18:26, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
@Renard Migrant And see the module and Ctrl+F this: conj["rir"] = function(). Hillcrest98 (talk) 18:51, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Right, I was going to start on that but I'll leave you to it. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:19, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't know how to program anything, ironically. You can check my module modifying attempts and see me fail big time. Hillcrest98 (talk) 00:16, 12 April 2016 (UTC)


Who’s been claiming that these derive from the ablative case? --Romanophile (contributions) 22:25, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

The etymologies are not claiming that. It’s traditional to include another principal form (the ablative or genitive) in Romance etymologies where the Latin etymon has different radicals depending on inflection (i.e. mater vs matr-, ferrugo vs ferrugin-), so the reader knows how the declension goes.
I don’t think this practice is necessary for us, since readers can find that information by looking at the Latin entry itself. — Ungoliant (falai) 22:49, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
Except that the etymologies for some of the languages do claim it derives from the ablative. Personally I think it should say something like "Derived from {{inh|es|la|mater|mātrem}}" so that it shows the actual case it's derived from and links it to the lemma. (Although in this particular case it's unclear whether madre in various languages derives from the nominative or accusative, since -er -> -re in the Romance languages. This probably doesn't apply to Spanish, which seems to derive all or almost all its words from the accusative, but cf. Italian moglie, uomo, etc. from the nominative, along with all sorts of Old French examples.) Benwing2 (talk) 00:36, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
User:EncycloPetey added a bunch of these in the past, due to a misconception he had. See User talk:EncycloPetey/Archive 10#-tion. --WikiTiki89 14:34, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Ironically, the ablative was most likely the first case to fall out of use in Vulgar Latin. —CodeCat 14:42, 11 April 2016 (UTC)


According to various popular internet sources, this is an onomatopoeia of licking, usually of food. It seems to be a licking counterpart to nom. Is this attested well enough for our standards? —CodeCat 23:32, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

Not as far as I can tell; I can't even find it on Usenet. I also checked for any magazines or papers that might have used it on Issuu. Btw, is it a general onomatopoeia for licking, or is it specific to cats (and maybe sometimes other animals)? - -sche (discuss) 00:50, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
It seems to be animals mostly. —CodeCat 00:52, 12 April 2016 (UTC)


This mentions "Latin *deretrānus ‎(“to hinder”)", but deretrānus looks more like a participle or noun like "hindered" or "hindering" than a word meaning "to hinder". - -sche (discuss) 00:50, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

It can't be a participle (unless it's a typo for *deretrāns), but it could be a noun or regular adjective. Definitely not a verb, though, not in that form. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:45, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Italian pronunciation of "casa" and "cosa"[edit]

@Alexius Isclanus, Etimo, Gloria sah, GianWiki, IvanScrooge98, Johanna-Hypatia, Tn4196 and anyone else with good Italian: are these edits good: diff and diff? The first one seems to be replacing sourced info with unsourced, and the second seems to be replacing more specific info with more general info. But maybe the info we had before was wrong, and the replacements are correct. Can someone take a look? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:01, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Actually I'm a northern Italian speaker and I'm not able to give a definitive opinion about it, but the first edit seems to be correct as 'casa' should pronounced as /ka.za/; I just don't know if in south Italy people really say /ka.sa/, maybe it happens in really few zones but I actually don't know. ---Tn4196 (talk) 14:34, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Actually (I'm a Northern Italian too), in the usual pronunciation that is heard in dubbing, etc. it is either /s/ or /z/ according to the speakers; however, the traditional pronunciation of these words (and also the most common in Central and in particular Southern Italy) is with /s/ (voiceless). IvanScroogeNovantotto (parla con me) 16:05, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Mille grazie for your help! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:28, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
My understanding has always been that both are used, depending on region, as Tn4196 and IvanScrooge98 noted, generally /z/ in the north and /s/ in the center and south. I believe the article ought to contain both pronunciations, not one or the other. Johanna-Hypatia (talk) 18:43, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Idem as per all here above :-) , --Glo (talk) 18:51, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I have never heard them pronounced as "s" rather than "z". That would just sound like cassa wouldn't it? SemperBlotto (talk) 20:07, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
No, because cassa has a geminated /s/, which casa would have a regular short /s/. --WikiTiki89 20:11, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
SemperBlotto, please listen to this song of the Neapolitan Pino Daniele "Io e le cose"..,--Glo (talk) 17:42, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
As far as I know, casa and cosa are realized with a /z/ in Standard Italian (intervocalic S usually reads /z/, while there is some regional variation between /s/ and /z/, common in Central-Southern and Northern Italy, respectively) --- GianWiki (talk) 12:59, 15 April 2016 (UTC)


Is it really necessary to place three semantically diverse definitions on the same line, as in the following Japanese definition:

Among other things this discourages any sense-level labeling.

The above is within a single template. How can this kind of thing be efficiently repaired? DCDuring TALK 11:46, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Is it necessary to gloss it at all at this entry? Couldn't the entry just say something along the lines of "Hiragana reading of 茗荷", leaving all lexical info to the main entry? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:57, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
That is a gloss rather than a definition, à la the gloss parameter in various templates. The lemma is 茗荷. It's worth glossing because Japanese has multiple writing systems and many homophones. Nibiko (talk) 14:27, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Ditto Nibiko's comment. The practice for non-lemma JA entries under hiragana or katakana spellings has been to 1) use {{ja-def}} to point to the lemma spelling, and 2) add glosses to help users disambiguate.
As an extreme example, see かん ‎(kan). Without the glosses to help the user disambiguate, it would be extremely more tedious to find the desired entry. I've made it a general practice to add glosses even if disambguation isn't much of an issue, as at みょうが ‎(myōga), as this improves usability -- the user can get what they want (presumably, in most cases, the gloss) without having to click through. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:30, 12 April 2016 (UTC)


Needs a sense meaning something like "place where there are lots of something" ("Then all of a sudden it was dog city everywhere we looked," Joe added. "We jumped in the van to get away from them.") DTLHS (talk) 14:14, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

I always thought a city is a town with a cathedral, but maybe that's culturally outmoded?SageGreenRider (talk) 01:03, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
But towns also have churches (although I'm not sure exactly what differentiates a church from a cathedral). I always thought that cities have walls and towns don't, but that distinction is probably even more outmoded than yours. Where I live, the actual difference is that a city has a mayor, and a town has a board of selectmen. --WikiTiki89 01:41, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
A cathedral is the church of a bishop. But they are sometimes in rather small places due to some historic importance of that place. And many places that are now big cities don't have a bishop... I, as a German, have never understood the difference between city and town to begin with :) Kolmiel (talk) 00:53, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
@Kolmiel In that case you'd like the Scottish way of "city" being an official designation I guess ;-). --Droigheann (talk) 03:10, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
  • My understanding from growing up on the US East Coast was that, in order of size from smallest to largest, hamletvillagetowncity. There are legal distinctions as well, such that a town in legal terms might actually be larger than a nearby legal city, but in everyday speech, these are ignored (and often not particularly well-known or germane to the speakers anyway). When one is going somewhere, town seems to be used more frequently as an idiomatic construction: one would say “I'm going into town”, but generally not “I'm going to the city”. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:14, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
    • You must be from New York State then. That's the only place I know that has hamlets. --WikiTiki89 18:22, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Here in Alberta, hamlet designates a non-incorporated community. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:29, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

New word[edit]

How does one summit a new word —This comment was unsigned.

You right it down on a piece of paper and carry it to the top of a mountain. But if you meant "submit", then you just create a page for it. If you don't know how to do that, see Help:Starting a new page. --WikiTiki89 20:04, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Don't bite the newbies, Wikitiki89 SageGreenRider (talk) 01:00, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
@SageGreenRider: relax, he’s just being goofy. I doubt that the OP will be offended. --Romanophile (contributions) 03:00, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Why isn't archive.org considered durable?[edit]

My question is about WT:ATTEST. It says As Wiktionary is an online dictionary, this naturally favors media such as Usenet groups, which are durably archived by Google. but most of the internet is equally durably archived at archive.org and elsewhere, so why can't those sources be used too? SageGreenRider (talk) 00:52, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

There are two relatively easy ways to get content removed from archive.org:
  • requesting it, as the owner of the content.
  • editing robots.txt, as the owner of the domain.
Ungoliant (falai) 01:03, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
That's possible in principle but who is to say that Google is durable? Yahoo! was a leader in its time but now it is on the ropes. The heat death of the Universe ensures that nothing is really durable. SageGreenRider (talk) 01:07, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I think Usenet is actually archived by more than just Google. Google is just the easiest way to access it. But I may be wrong. --WikiTiki89 01:34, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
That may be the case, but policy explicitly says that one source alone is sufficient when it says durably archived by Google. It seems arbitrary to exclude other archives especially when it is unlikely that publishers would ever prevent archive.org's bot. SageGreenRider (talk) 01:42, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Why is it unlikely? Publishers prevent archive.org's bot all the time for various reasons; it's not merely a theoretical possibility. I agree that we shouldn't necessarily single out Google at WT:ATTEST. --WikiTiki89 01:48, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Case in point: http://web.archive.org/web/20040507031011/http://www.roflcopter.com. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:09, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
I think a separate page should be made that includes sources and why they are or are not considered valid for Wiktionary purposes. This question is likely to come up again, after all (I asked myself not long ago). —CodeCat 01:52, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Personally, I think durability is a fake standard. What wiktionary really wants is something like wikipedia's "substantial coverage in reliable sources" SageGreenRider (talk) 02:08, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
We explicitly don't want that. For starters, what's a reliable source? Dictionaries aren't 100% reliable. Languages are spoken by more than just reliable sources/people, we want to cover slang and nonstandard usage as well. "Substantial coverage" is vague; how much is substantial, and how do you cover a word? —CodeCat 02:11, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
re "sources and why they are or are not considered valid for Wiktionary purposes": WT:SEA (linked to from the header of WT:RFV, but in need of greater prominence) sort of does this. - -sche (discuss) 02:20, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
“it is unlikely that publishers would ever prevent archive.org's bot.” Sorry, but you are dead wrong on that. People block archiving all the damn time. And to add to the problem, a very common occurrence is a domain being lost and taken over by an advertisement site, whose administrators often decide to block bots, and with a couple of keystrokes the “durable” archive disappears forever.
archive.org not a durable archive at all, even by archive-website standards. WebCite had a much stronger claim to durability, but even that wasn’t accepted as durable (Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2012-08/Citations from WebCite).
Ungoliant (falai) 02:54, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Isn’t Wiktionary per se not durably archived? --Romanophile (contributions) 02:59, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

By the way, one of the "durable" sources listed at WT:SEA (Brigham Young University Corpus of Contemporary American English http://www.americancorpus.org/ ) has vanished and is now an ad farm. ;-) SageGreenRider (talk) 11:13, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
It hasn't vanished. It just moved: http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/. Anyway, I would consider a corpus to be a collection of sources rather than an actual source, and I'm not sure why we consider COCA to be durably archived. --WikiTiki89 11:46, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I updated the page. Maybe WT:SEA is saying that one can find durable source using the corpus as a tool, rather than referencing the corpus itself. Not sure. Interesting that the vote on WebCite was a 7-7 tie. SageGreenRider (talk) 13:20, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Right, Wiktionary:Searchable external archives is just a list of tools that make it easier to search through durable sources. Google Books, for example, is not in and of itself durable, but it allows for searching through books that are durably archived in libraries. - -sche (discuss) 05:26, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

The discussion should be moved to BP --Giorgi Eufshi (talk) 13:51, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Latin: analogia[edit]

The accusative singular can also end in -an, i.e. analogian. Examples:

In this case the declension should be like the Latin one, just with "analogian" (short a) instead of "analogiam". However, in case of other Latin words ending in -a and being derived from Greek, it might be -ā in the nominative and -ān in the accusative like it's sometimes a short and sometimes a long alpha in Greek.
PS: Some other words ending in -a and having accusative -an (or maybe -ā and -ān) are blapsigonia, Aea, Aegina, Acra, Camerina, Cilla, brya according to dictionaries. For example, in case of Cilla Lewis & Short have this: "acc. Cillan. Ov. M. 13, 174 (cf. Hom. Il. 1, 38)." -Ikiaika (talk) 04:11 + 04:17, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Latin: cometes[edit]

Dictionaries state that the accusative singular can also end in -em (besides -en), i.e. cometem (besides cometen), though this might be Late Latin. Lewis & Short have this: "acc. ... cometem, Serv. ad Verg. A. 10, 272; Schol. Juv. 6, 407". Ikiaika (talk) 04:42, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

@Ikiaika: Done. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 15:16, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Also thanks to JohnC5 for his updates. -Ikiaika (talk) 04:53, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

looking for a word[edit]

Is there a word in English to describe a place which, on of account its terrain, is difficult to attack yet easy to defend? (I'm trying to translate the word 險要.) ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:48, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

high ground. --WikiTiki89 15:07, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
"Difficult to attack" and "easy to defend" are usually two sides of the same coin, not usually linked by yet, which works for things whose association is paradoxical or surprising.
Adjectives like defensible and impregnable might suffice unless there is something in the Chinese that the gloss doesn't capture. DCDuring TALK 15:46, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

video clip[edit]

How did the word "clip" or "video clip" become associated with music videos in many languages other than English? --WikiTiki89 15:08, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

I'd guess through TV channels which air(ed) music videos like MTV and Viva. Music videos are rather short, Western music aired by MTV and Viva quite often is in English, and using (pseudo-)anglicisms seems to be "cool". So maybe moderators announced music videos and called them "(video) clip", and the non-English audience connected "(video) clip" with "music video". -Ikiaika (talk) 17:53, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, I think it's understood that the word is an anglicism and that anglicisms spread partly because English is considered by some to be a "cool" language. But the question is, I suppose, about the semantic development. Now, a "video clip" is a "short video" and a music video, too, is a relatively short video (as you said). Therefore the development is not far out. It's just that English-speakers know that a clip is a little piece cut from something bigger, while continental Europeans have no clue what the word originally means. (I didn't either until I looked it up just now.) So that's probably why "video clip" acquired a broader meaning in many languages, but not in English. Kolmiel (talk) 19:11, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
By the way, in German any video of not significantly more than 5 minutes can be called a Clip, not just a music video. Kolmiel (talk) 19:14, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I can see how it could have acquired a broader meaning of "short video", but I baffled as to how it acquired the specific meaning of "music video". I could even see how "short video" could have developed into "music video", but how could it have done so without leaving any trace behind of the meaning "short video"? --WikiTiki89 19:16, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
But I'm not sure if that's the case. I don't know if you skipped my "by the way" above, but it can mean short video, at least in German. Kolmiel (talk) 19:32, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah I missed that part. I wonder if it's only in German, then we can say that German was where the word was first borrowed from English. --WikiTiki89 19:57, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: Yes, in German "(Video)clip" has the broader meaning like "short video". In German there also "Clipshows" unrelated to music, like clip shows with "fails".
@Wikitiki89: If there is a native word with a meaning like "short video", then English "(video) clip" isn't needed and it should be more likely that it gets another meaning. French has the word "gens" meaning "people", so English "people" can be used in another sense, namely as "A celebrity, a famous person". But I don't know whether or not for example Spanish has a word for "short video". If it doesn't have such a word, then I can think of two other possibilities:
a) Maybe there were no other clip shows but just video clips related to music in Spanish-speaking countries. I guess, this should be unlikely.
b) Maybe the word "(video) clip" is used for both, "music video" and "short video". Pons (a commercial dictionary) translates spanish "videoclip, vídeo-clip" with German "(Video)clip". As Kolmiel pointed out and as Duden says, "Videoclip" means "short video". So Spanish "videoclip" could have both meanings.
-Ikiaika (talk) 19:57, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
@Wiktiki89. I really don't know, but I consider it possible that German spread the word to eastern European languages (if they have it). Maybe also Dutch and Scandinavian languages. German still has a certain if limited influence on all those languages, though it's now chiefly that of transmitting English words... Kolmiel (talk) 21:06, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I have a feeling that Germany is still prominent enough in European culture to have a big role in spreading internationalisms. But that is just a hunch and not based on any evidence. --WikiTiki89 21:16, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I think that's true. Note, however, that even Arabic now has the word كليب. Google كليب هيفا for examples (referring to the notorious w:Haifa Wahbe). It's definitely an internationalism. I'm even a bit surprised it hasn't been reborrowed into English. Kolmiel (talk) 21:44, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm not surprised at all that it exists in Arabic, in fact the first one I knew about was Hebrew קליפ. Also, note that notorious implies being famous for something bad, so you would probably want to say "the famous Haifa Wahbe". The most confusing thing is that people who haven't spent enough time in actual English-speaking countries are entirely unaware that the word has a different meaning in English, even if their English is otherwise really good. And so even Morphix, an otherwise a really good online Hebrew-English dictionary, translates וידאו קליפ ‎(víde'o k'líp) as "video clip", even though that is completely wrong and misleading. Another "false borrowing" I encountered while I was in Israel is the word צ׳ייסר ‎(chéyser) (from chaser), which in Israel refers to a "shot of liquor", rather than the original English meaning of "milder drink to wash down (i.e. chase) a shot of liquor". Do you know if chaser has this meaning in any other countries? --WikiTiki89 23:27, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, I used the word "notorious" on purpose because this singer deservedly is called the sex symbol of the Arab world. (You know, many Arab men post the word "whore" under her music videos on youtube, though they probably enjoyed watching...) Her first English video was banned from all Arabic music channels: [15]. (If you watch it, note that the first part of the video is commonplace even in the Arab world, but what comes after 2:30 was a bit too much for them.) ---- Anyway: No, I've never heard the word chaser in this sense. Kolmiel (talk) 00:27, 14 April 2016 (UTC)


Our most intuitive general definition of vertical (adjective) is:

"Along the direction of a plumb line or along a straight line that includes the center of the Earth."

Does this mean that vertical has no meaning on, for example, the Moon?

Can't we do better than this kind of amateurish "technical" definition? Doesn't this have something to do with up? DCDuring TALK 15:35, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

"Perpendicular to the horizon"? - -sche (discuss) 00:41, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Some dictionaries take that approach. I'm wondering if there is something even more intuitive. Upright (from Old English upriht) and erect are good for one of the definitions, arguably the most basic one. Apparently vertical picked up the "straight up and down" definition only around 1700. DCDuring TALK 13:05, 14 April 2016 (UTC)


The usage note says that among is considered better than between when meaning "in the interval that separates more than two things" (sense 1). But is this generally true? Is it better to say: There are timber pegs among the flower beds, provided they are say four in a square, rather than between? Or do they even mean the same? My English is non-native, of course, but to me "among" would mean that there are pegs scattered in the flower beds, while "between" would mean that they separate them (which is my intended meaning). Kolmiel (talk) 18:42, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

They do not mean the same things. There are timber pegs among the flower beds means that the pegs are strewn or scattered in and amongst the flower beds; not in the area between them. Leasnam (talk) 00:58, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. So would you say the usage note is wrong? Of course, it adds some more information, but it also says that among is considered better in sense 1 if there are more than two. Kolmiel (talk) 01:00, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
I was taught in my High School English that "between" is for two people/things, and "among" is for three or more. Back then I thought that that was just total bull, but now I realize that it does apply to some senses. I think when spacial considerations are irrelevant, then this rule applies, otherwise it does not. For example: "there was a consensus among the three professors" but "there was a consensus between the two professors". --WikiTiki89 12:15, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, but that's the less literal sense of, let me put it, "through negotiation or agreement by two or more sides", rather than the simple literal local sense. I don't doubt that the rule applies to the former, but it doesn't really seem to me to be useful for the latter. I think it would be very helpful to non-native-English users of wiktionary if that were incorporated into the usage note. But well... Kolmiel (talk) 13:01, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
I could only write a usage note from my own idiolectal point of view, which would come off as prescriptionist. I don't have enough data for a good descriptivist explanation. --WikiTiki89 14:28, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Cheapskate source words[edit]

The definition of cheapskate states the root are cheap + skate, where skate is slang for a old, worn out horse. But under the definitions of skate, I see no mention of anything equine. Why is this? -- 19:12, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Because either the person adding the etymology didn't look at the entry or because the sources they had access to didn't have the word, which I haven't found in any dictionary other than OED.
See skate#Etymology 3. DCDuring TALK 20:56, 13 April 2016 (UTC)


I think we're missing a sense at get: "to have (someone) covered/taken care of" as in "Boy, don't you worry about it, I got you !" or "It's cool, I got this." I'm pretty sure this is short for "I've got you covered", but I cannot find an entry for that either...Leasnam (talk) 14:42, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure how we should handle this. In the present tense, got or 3.sg. -'s got is used, in the past tense "had" is used, and in the future will have is (sometimes?) used. "I got it, I got it. Dang, I thought I had it." --WikiTiki89 14:54, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Second round[edit]

= ⿰虫名 = ⿱艹么 , = ⿱艹乜 = ⿱艹区 = ⿰目乔 = ⿺瓜上 = ⿰子入 = ⿱入寸 = ⿰扌三 = ⿱雨双 = ⿰长四 = ⿰𠔾丁 = ⿱雨下 = ⿰亻向 = ⿰忄以 = ⿰应鸟 = ⿸广用 = ⿶凵又 輿 = ⿰讠与 = ⿰米早 = ⿰氵早 = ⿰贝专 , , = ⿱千田 has only one dot per pair = ⿱一心 = ⿱刀牛 = ⿰亻彐 = ⿱犬一 = ⿻弓冫 = ⿱丸一 , = ⿱龹小 = ⿱⺈"日 tilted sideways" omits 丿 and 厶 = ⿵门舌 —This unsigned comment was added by Johnny Shiz (talkcontribs).

I think most of these are not encoded in Unicode yet, so I don't think we'll be adding them until they get encoded. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:31, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
It's still totally unclear why this data was left here though. —suzukaze (tc) 22:44, 14 April 2016 (UTC)


Ancient Greek ἔχω ‎(ékhō, to have) is sometimes used with adverbs with the sense "be": so εὖ ἔχω ‎(eû ékhō), literally "I have well", means "I am good" or "well". I'm wondering if this counts as copulative or not; does a copula always have to take an adjective or noun as argument, or can it take an adverb?

I can't think of any examples in other languages, so don't have a frame of reference. And the Wikipedia article (linked above) says copula can take adverbs or adverbial phrases (prepositional phrases?) expressing time or location as arguments, but nothing about a copula taking adverbs that express other concepts. — Eru·tuon 05:05, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Latin: facile, lene, suave, vulgare[edit]

These adverbs are derived from third declension adjectives.
Adverbs from third declension adjectives usually end in -iter, while adverbs from first&second declension adjectives usually end in -e (long). In case of comparatives of first&second declension adjectives which end in -ior, neuter -ius, the neuter is used as adverb.
Are facile etc. derived like adverbs from second declension adjectives with -e (long) or are they neuter forms of the adjectives ending in -e (short) used as adverbs?
From the entries here and from dictionaries, I'd guess these adverbs are the neuter forms ending in -e (short), and are not derived from -e (long). But IMHO it's better to ask here instead of to guess. -Ikiaika (talk) 05:25, 15 April 2016 (UTC)


I'm wondering about the adjective shown here - isn't it actually use of the present participle? Even the noun is probably from the verb rather than the noun. The derived terms can be moved to the present participle. Donnanz (talk) 15:18, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

I agree for both adjective and noun. DCDuring TALK 17:44, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I think the so-called adjective is actually a gerund (noun), not a participle (adjective). Thus watering can means "a can used for watering plants" and not "a can that waters/is watering plants". In the great majority of cases, x-ing y is a compound of a gerund and noun, not a noun phrase consisting of a participle modifying a noun. (Incidentally, I remember hearing somewhere that the Latin translation of Harry Potter gets this wrong and renders Sorting Hat with the present participle, -ens, "hat that is sorting", rather than the genitive case of the gerund, -ndum, "hat for sorting".)
Not sure how to prove this in English, because the gerund and present participle have the same ending, but in German the verbal noun and participles have different endings (-ung and -end respectively), and compounds are usually formed with the verbal noun. Unfortunately, I can't think of any examples. — Eru·tuon 18:06, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I agree that watering is a noun in the expressions "watering hole" and "watering can". And this noun is simply the gerund of to water. --WikiTiki89 18:10, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
So where are we going with this? Adjective or not? Donnanz (talk) 23:24, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Above I was trying to say that both the Noun and the Adjective PoS sections should be deleted, leaving us with just the Verb (participle) PoS. That means an RfD, since we don't have any criteria which we can apply to speedy those sections. DCDuring TALK 00:38, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
I have RFVed the adjective only [16], personally I don't have a problem with the noun. Donnanz (talk) 14:01, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Possible error in Icelandic entry for 'man.'[edit]

I've run across a discrepancy between two sources on Modern Icelandic. On Wiktionary, the Icelandic entry for 'man' lists the verb form (etymology 2) as being 1.) (Past, first person of the verb 'muna') I remember; and 2.) (Past, third person of the verb 'muna') he/she/it remembered.

However, over on Verbix, the conjugation of the Icelandic verb 'muna,' lists 'man' as being the (indic. pres. sing. 1st & 3rd pers.) of the verb 'muna.'

So Wiktionary says 'man' is the past tense of 'muna,' while Verbix says 'man' is the present tense of 'muna.' Verbix lists 'mundi' as the proper (past, sing. 1st & 3rd pers.) of 'muna.' Can anyone confirm which of these two is correct? Because if Verbix is correct, then we have an error in the Wiktionary entry for 'man.' —This unsigned comment was added by Novashard (talkcontribs) at 22:05, 15 April 2016 (UTC).

Icelandic Wiktionary also lists it as the present tense (nútíð). But, this Icelandic dictionary lists it as the past tense (þátíð). --WikiTiki89 22:37, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I expect the issue is that muna is a preterite-present verb, which has present meaning, but past tense–like forms (1st sg. and 3rd sg. identical, in contrast to most verbs, which I guess have 2nd sg. and 3rd sg. identical, though it's a long time since I studied Old Norse). From the examples given in the article, it sounds like man has present, not past, meaning: "remember", not "remembered". And it has a past tense mundi that presumably has past meaning: "remembered". — Eru·tuon 23:15, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, on the other hand, man says that hann man means "he remembered". — Eru·tuon 23:17, 15 April 2016 (UTC)


Listed in verb class 3 with the description Verbs where the ablaut vowel was followed by a sonorant (m, n, l, r) and another consonant in Proto-Indo-European. While the word does follow this conjugation, there is no hint about a liquid or nasal, so either the entry or the description seems wrong. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 08:08, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

That description is wrong. Other class 3 verbs where the first consonant of the cluster was an obstruent include *bregdaną, *brestaną, *flehtaną, *hrespaną, *wreskwaną, and *þreskaną. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:23, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
So should we change it to "...followed by a consonant cluster..."? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 08:32, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
I think so, yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:39, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
No. The the verbs you listed all have one thing in common: the initial cluster ends with a sonorant. The zero grade would have thus been, say, *burgd-, but this was metathesized to give the attested forms. *fehtaną is just a unique anomaly and has no bearing on the class as a whole. —CodeCat 13:57, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
The discritiption doesn't talk about initial clusters but about the consonant after the ablaut vowel. And my biology teacher used to say that one exception invalidates a rule. Either way, we can't leave it as it is now, as it is at worst incorrect and at best confusing for the reader. I am unknowing, you're the expert. I trust you to rephrase it reasonably. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 19:35, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
ps.: Can medial consonant clusters occur in other strong classes? (Counting *ww as /VC/.) Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:43, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

@CodeCat I was about to change the description but found it is a boiler. I don't even know how to find it in your dungeons, so I ask you to please take care of this matter. (Or provide further input to the discussion.) Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 15:20, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Use the "Edit category data" link. —CodeCat 15:58, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

rollock, rollocking[edit]

I added rollock and rollocking, initially as separate entries, but then changed them to alternative spellings of rollick and rollicking, and added a new meaning for "rollick". I'm not sure that these are all now in a perfect state as far as explanation of possible differing etymologies and also which meanings can be spelled in which ways are concerned. If anyone has an interest then please take a look. Thanks. 20:16, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

I've always spelled it rollock as it's a euphemistic form of bollock. I suspect rollick is a separate word though of course the two forms may overlap. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:53, 17 April 2016 (UTC)


The most common meaning of this seems to be just a general pejorative like pigfucker. I did find a mention of it meaning an Arab or Muslim saying that is was a calque of the Dutch (which is? @CodeCat?). I only looked at about 30 citations so I'm certainly not ruling any meanings out. but based on that small sample the general pejorative should come first. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:51, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

The Dutch word is geitenneuker. —CodeCat 13:38, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
I'd never heard it before its use in a Middle Eastern context. I've never heard it applied to, say, Indonesian or Nigerian Muslims. DCDuring TALK 17:32, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
I think I've heard German Ziegenficker used about Bavarian shepherds in the Alps. But its normal use (as far as normal goes), is also about people from the MENA region + the "stan"-countries, roughly. Kolmiel (talk) 19:12, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
German "Ziegenficker" is often used to refer to Turks, Arabs and Muslims. But it still literally means "person who fucks goats" and not "Turk", "Arab" or "Muslim". Maybe one could phrase it like "person who fucks goats, often used in reference to Turks, Arabs or Muslims". Examples which should refer to non-Arabs and non-Muslims:
  • "'Ich glaube wir haben zwei Möglichkeiten', sagte der Ork. 'Erstens: Wir durchsuchen diese Ruinen von oben bis unten, in der Hoffnung, dass wir irgendwo einen Hinweis darauf finden, wo dieser Ziegenficker Trelaine seinen verdammten Turm versteckt hat ...'" (Die Horde - Die Schlacht von Morthûl, translated from American English by Andreas Brandhorst, books.google)
  • "'Hast du nie die Sagen und Legenden über dieses Schwert gehört? Was bist du, irgendein rallorischer Ziegenficker?'" (translation of Duncan Lay's The Wounded Guardian, books.google)
  • "In seiner Kolumne titulierte er den Amsterdamer Bürgermeister Job Cohen als 'Ziegenficker' [...]" (books.google)
  • "Die Landser brüllten empört zurück, die Polente seien Ziegenficker." (books.google)
  • "Einer meiner engsten Vertrauten sagt gern in solchen Momenten, dass ein Mann, der 1000 Brücken baut und nur eine Ziege fickt, nicht länger der Brückenbauer, sondern der Ziegenficker ist." (books.google)
-Ikiaika (talk) 06:58, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Compare sheepshagger, which mentions Wales and New Zealand. Equinox 08:53, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, it doesn't really mean "someone who fucks goats". It's a term of abuse, which, per se, can be used about anyone, but which, in practice, is most often used about someone who has some relation to shepherding, or a perceived relation to that due to a North African or South-West Asian origin. (I don't think Islam plays an important role in this. I mean an Armenian could be a Ziegenficker just as well as someone from Azerbaijan. Or a Christian Egyptian just as well as a Muslim.) Kolmiel (talk) 14:50, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

German: -lei[edit]

  1. What's the part of speech of words like dreierlei, mancherlei, einerlei. Some entries here list these words as adjectives, some other entries list them as adverbs. Dictionaries have them as adjectives, adverbs, numerals, and maybe even as pronouns (German Wiktionary mentions this, but the dictionary used as a reference maybe isn't reliable).
  2. How are they declined or used? Entries which say that these words are adjectives have forms like "der vielerlei". But are these words used with articles or always without them?

-Ikiaika (talk) 16:45, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

The suffix is found in Dutch too, e.g. allerlei. It looks like it's an adjective. —CodeCat 17:01, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
They are uninflected, and that's probably the reason why there's confusion. I also think they could be defined as adjectives, one might alternatively consider them indefinite determiners. I don't think there's such a thing as "der vielerlei", etc. They can't have articles or other determiners before them. Kolmiel (talk) 19:16, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
They're the same class like alles, vieles, nichts. Usually counted as pronouns but usable as adjectives. (Alles/nichts/mancherlei Gutes.) Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 19:43, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
The use of the English word "pronoun" is generally different from that of the German "Pronomen". What we call adjektivische Pronomen is usually called a "determiner" or a "(pronominal) adjective" in English. For example, my is a "possessive determinre" or a "possessive adjective", while mine is a "possessive pronoun". Kolmiel (talk) 20:15, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
And "nichts" in "nichts Gutes" is not an adjective, if that's what you meant. Kolmiel (talk) 20:18, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
We do list them as pronouns. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 21:47, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
What? Kolmiel (talk) 22:05, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
I accidentally found some inflected forms. I don't know if they are attestable in general, but in case of "mancherley" they are (the spelling already indicates that these forms might be dated or obsolete). As an example: "Solches bezeugen auch die vielfaltigen unn mancherleyen in diesem Werck vorgebrachte Historien". This supports that the classification as adverb is incorrect. Well, the classification as adverbs should already be incorrect as these words are placed in front of substantives like adjectives or pronouns.
Words like "zweierlei" might be numerals (in German these words are known as Gattungszahl, Gattungszahlwort or Speziale) and one could argue that words like "vielerlei" are indefinite numerals (unbestimmte Zahlwörter or indefinite Numeralia). But there might be the words "bunterlei" and "Bunterlei", which shouldn't be numerals. Well, maybe one could argue that "bunt" here means "many" making "bunterlei" an indefinite numeral too. But then "deinerlei" and "seinerlei" should not be numerals.
-Ikiaika (talk) 00:21, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
alles, vieles, nichts. We list them all as pronouns. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:32, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Alles is a pronoun in "alles, was ich will", it's an adjective or determiner in "alles Brot", "alles Leben". The case of "alles Gute" may be doubtful, at first I thought it was a pronoun, but one could also read it the other way round. The same distinctions are true for vieles. And nichts is always a pronoun, so that's definitely correct. We should probably distinguish pronouns and determiners better. Both forms are often the same in German. But at least in cases like mein vs. meiner, in which the distinction is also a formal one, it should be followed correctly. Kolmiel (talk) 14:58, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


I noticed that the Internet sense (as in a "list of favorites") is missing, although it's explicitly mentioned in the verb section. However, I am struggling to write a good definition. I'm thinking there's something of an intermediate devolved meaning along the lines of "belonging to a group of preferred items" is involved (because the original meanings have the implication there can only be one). Any thoughts? Circeus (talk) 00:42, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

[ETA] Added an adjectival definition. Any thoughts? Circeus (talk) 11:54, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

Personally I only use the noun 'favourites' and the verb 'to favourite' not the singular noun or the adjective 'favourite'. I would tend to say '[the website] is in my favourites'. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:26, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

eye patch[edit]

Currently we have one definition: "A small cloth patch, usually black, that is worn in front of one eye, to protect or conceal a damaged eye." However, according to Wikipedia this is also used for a corrective patch used for treating amblyopia in children. Should there be a second definition or should the current definition be expanded? Personally I'm inclined towards the former, because (a) it's often worn over a spectacles lens and doesn't necessarily have to be made of cloth (if I remember correctly, mine was made of bakelite) and (b) there's a Czech word okluzor, which is only used for the corrective eyepatch; nevertheless, I'd prefer hearing native speakers' opinions to being bold. --Droigheann (talk) 02:38, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

The original definition could certainly stand to lose the last part, or at least gain an originally. I'm not clear what's the current position on creating definitions in English for the purpose of having separate definitions to refer the foreign words to. Circeus (talk) 03:48, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
I would change it to something like "An opaque patch worn so as to cover one eye". Let's not forget a very important reason for wearing an eye patch: as part of a pirate costume... ;-) Chuck Entz (talk) 04:18, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, if the corrective thing is perceived as just a specific use of eyepatch just like the one for a blind eye (real or fake), I think I can always treat Czech translations using qualifiers. I don't know whether there's any policy about separating definitions for the sake of translations either, but doing it for the sake of a single FL would probably be well over the top. --Droigheann (talk) 22:48, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
It's not wrong to quickly list the common uses of an item when it's relevant. Imagine describing a screwdriver based on purely its physical properties without mentioning it's used for inserting and removing screws. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:58, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
All right, I've dealt with it somehow, feel free to improve. --Droigheann (talk) 00:38, 22 April 2016 (UTC)


I've heard this used outside of astronomical fields, in relation to a situation in data procressing/computing, where one resource cannot be seen because a local resource with an identical name is taking priority. ( The best example I can give of this is the use of the term "de-eclipsing" used when re-naming image on Wikipedia so that the otherwise identically named Common image can be seen as well.) I'd appreciate other contributors here, providing any evidence of this being used outside of Wikimedia projects.Sfan00 IMG (talk) 10:32, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

"The Util.System namespace eclipses the top-level System namespace" (2005, Sean Campbell, Introducing Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 for developers, page 56). However, it seems rather like our existing sense 2. Equinox 10:36, 20 April 2016 (UTC)


Is it always pronounced /diːdʒɛsˈtiːf/ in English? I’m sure that the current pronunciation is perfectly valid, but I’d be surprised if nobody pronounced it as /diːʒɛsˈtiːf/ in English. --Romanophile (contributions) 11:55, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I've added the other one. Equinox 12:24, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
In fact, I don't think anyone pronounces it /diːdʒɛsˈtiːf/. People either use the anglicized vowels and consonants (/daɪˈdʒɛstɪf/), or the more French-like vowels and consonants (/ˌdiːʒɛsˈtiːf/). --WikiTiki89 21:13, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
I completely agree. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:52, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Lord Mayor - how to deal with "conventional translations"[edit]

The German title "Oberbürgermeister" is usually translated as "Lord Mayor". However, an Oberbürgermeister is not actually the same thing as a Lord Mayor - an OB is elected and exercises power, while a Lord Mayor is an appointed and purely ceremonial role. Is there a standard way of listing these sorts of terms? Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:12, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

The German word "Bürgermeister" means the same as mayor. "Oberbürgermeister" (superior mayor) is a specification that implies that there are several mayors in a given city, namely mayors of boroughs. -- I know I'm not answering the question. I just wanted to express that the German word has a pretty general meaning, and that being elected is not a property of the word (although all German mayors are indeed elected). This might matter. Or not. Kolmiel (talk) 20:18, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
It's more the definition of Lord Mayor which is important here. Lord Mayor is a ceremonial position, not an actively political one, and a British city can have both a powerless Lord Mayor and an executive directly-elected Mayor (for example, there is the Mayor of Bristol, who runs the council, and the Lord Mayor of Bristol, who just officiates ceremonies). Nevertheless, it's the term used by convention to translate the German word "Oberbürgermeister" (see for instance, the quote below which calls Oberbürgermeister Konrad Adenauer "Lord Mayor of Cologne") even though the OB's powers are those of a directly-elected Mayor, not a Lord Mayor. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:59, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
  • 1998, Arnold B. Cheyney, People of Purpose: 80 People Who Have Made a Difference, Good Year Books (ISBN 9780673363718), page 6
    Eleven years later, in 1917, Konrad, then forty-one, became lord mayor of Cologne and the youngest lord mayor of any city in all of Germany.
Well, in that case it's indeed somewhat misleading. "Mayor of Cologne" would be quite fine. Actually we usually say Bürgermeister, not Oberbürgermeister. The latter is chiefly an official term to distinguish the "city mayor" from the "borough mayors". Kolmiel (talk) 16:05, 21 April 2016 (UTC)


The only pronunciation we have listed for says is /sɛz/ (to rhyme with fez), which is the traditional pronunciation and, I believe, the only one used in the U.S. But increasingly I've been hearing /seɪz/ (to rhyme with gaze) from speakers from England. Do any English people here have a feeling for how common it is? Is it nonstandard/proscribed? More common among younger speakers? Regionally restricted? Anything like that? Is it encountered in other countries besides the UK, or indeed outside England? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:03, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

/seɪz/ is the 'standard' UK pronunciation, /sɛz/ is the common informal pronunciation. I think it's largely regional and perhaps a social class marker, but I don't think anyone considers /sɛz/ an error except in the most formal of circumstances (like the Prime Minister giving a speech). Renard Migrant (talk) 21:57, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
Er, I should probably just shut up, but... is that true? I'm pretty sure /sɛz/ is standard and /seɪ̯z/ isn't. (Apart from what ANGR said, which I can't judge.) Kolmiel (talk) 22:30, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
I think /seɪz/ is dialectal. Certainly abnormal in the south-east. Equinox 22:34, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
OED: "3rd singular says Brit. /sɛz/ , U.S. /sɛz/" DCDuring TALK 23:57, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
No /seɪz/ in Chambers either (though they include an alternate form with a schwa, i.e. unstressed). I did have one (local) schoolmate who said it, but maybe he was just weird! Equinox 00:05, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
/seɪz/ is also used in the US, by AAVE in the South-South East; but it is largely considered incorrect Leasnam (talk) 01:53, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I've added it and labeled it "nonstandard" without marking any region. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:45, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I'll try and find an audio file to illustrate my point. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:09, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
If by "my point" you mean "/seɪz/ is the 'standard' UK pronunciation, /sɛz/ is the common informal pronunciation", then that is incorrect. As others have mentioned, the standard pronunciation is /sɛz/. The pronunciation /seɪz/ is heard, but is regional and/or a personal idiosyncrasy. 01:29, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Request to unblock an user[edit]

Hi all! I've asked a (random) admin -who told me to look for a wider input- to unblock User:.mau., blocked in 2007 for "unacceptable username". It happened ages ago, even before SUL. Currently with SUL projects use to accept any username apart from offensive/truly abusive ones. --Vituzzu (talk) 20:45, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

I have unblocked him/her. I don't see what's wrong with the name. Equinox 20:47, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I don’t know if it was the same person, but there was an admin who used to block people for unacceptable username when their username had misspelt or unusually spelt words, or unusual typography. — Ungoliant (falai) 20:53, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Yep, same guy. One of his block comments was "Username is a promotion of illiteracy, in opposition to Wiktionary". --WikiTiki89 21:02, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Thank you all dictionaries!
--Vituzzu (talk) 12:12, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
"promotion of illiteracy" in a username is quite amusing... (BTW, my nickname comes from the end of 80s, I started using it in Fidonet. I understand that this is not standard, and sometimes it is not accepted, but for syntactical reason only!) --.mau. (talk) 19:41, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Don’t worry about it. No one will hold it against you. — Ungoliant (falai) 19:47, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

cock meaning vagina[edit]

On Talk:cock, one IP and one admin mention familiarity with an old Southern US usage of "cock" to mean "vagina", and another user provided (enough data that I tracked down) a citation of the usage from Lucille Bogan, where the meaning is confirmed by Peter Silverton, quoted here as saying "To [Bogan], what she had between her legs was a ‘cock’ – as it was for other southern [U.S.] women of her age, color and linguistic directness. [...] The female cock was a southern U.S. thing. It was the most common slang word for the vagina for a very long time. As late as the 1960s, in the southern states, ‘a piece of cock’ was a woman." Can anyone find more citations of this usage?
This site suggests it was in use at least as early as 1920, and "possibly derived from cockles; a cock-opener was a penis." It quotes the Dictionary of American Regional English (1985) as saying "At a point roughly the same as the Mason-Dixon Line, there is a division in meaning, to the North cock refers to the male genitals, but in the South its use is restricted to the female genitals. Missouri is a border state in which both meanings are used." Cassell's Dictionary of Slang also has it and derives it from French coquille.
- -sche (discuss) 03:57, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Etymology of sensus[edit]

"Perfect passive participle of sēntiō ‎(“feel, perceive”)." Shouldn't it be a short 'e'?

Certainly Gaffiot has all of these with a short 'e' (which is e rather than ē for those unfamiliar with the concept) L&S also. Done. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:47, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
The usual practice is to mark all vowels long before ns and short before nt, so sentiō would have a short e and sēnsus a long ē. Not sure if Wiktionary follows this or not. — Eru·tuon 6:20 pm, Yesterday (UTC−7)
We do indeed follow this practice. —JohnC5 8:20 pm, Yesterday (UTC−7)

harden a phoneme[edit]

Languages are sometimes noted to have "hardened" certain phonemes; for example, Wiyot hardened Proto-Algic /m/ to /b/ and /n/ to /d/, and this page on Bantu mentions that "glides and liquids harden to voiced stops"; another book mentions a language "harden[ing] the fricative to a stop or an affricate", and Wikipedia says that in Belarusian, "/rʲ/ has hardened and merged with /r/". How might we define harden in such uses? Is there more than one sense present in these examples? In some cases, it seems to functionally equal "convert to a stop (or a fricative)". PS presumably "soften" is used with opposite senses. - -sche (discuss) 17:28, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

At least the Belarusian sense is synonymous with depalatalize. —CodeCat 17:47, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
More technically, isn't this fortition? Hillcrest98 (talk) 18:21, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the change of a sonorant to an obstruent (Wiyot, Bantu) or a fricative to a stop or affricate is fortition. The change of a voiced obstruent to a voiceless one is also fortition and can also be called "hardening", which is why Germans call final devoicing Auslautverhärtung. The Belarusian sense comes from a sense of hard ‎(unpalatalized, velarized) that is unique (or nearly unique) to Slavic linguistics. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:38, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
It's quite vague, really. Fricative > stop; voiced > unvoiced; palatal > non-palatal; etc. It's also quite random. Why is /dʒ/ a "soft g"? I agree that /ʒ/ is soft, but the affricative sounds particularly hard in my own ears. Kolmiel (talk) 18:42, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
See Sonority hierarchy. If "soft" means "more sonorous" and "hard" means "less sonorous", then fricatives are softer than affricates, affricates are softer than stops, and voiced obstruents are softer than voiceless ones. The only one that isn't related to sonority is palatalized vs. nonpalatalized. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:33, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, yeah, I was aware of this hierarchy to some degree. I strike "random" and say "unintuitive" instead. I've heard about it in the context of the High German consonant shift, namely that the development of word-initial stops into affricates was also a kind of "softening". But in this case as well: I don't find /tsaːl/ softer than /teɪ̯l/, nor /pfaːl/ softer than /peɪ̯l/. Affricates are as hard as it gets in my understanding, but well. Kolmiel (talk) 12:06, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
"Hard" and "soft" are really laymen's terms anyway. They have no meaning in phonetics and phonology at all. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:21, 24 April 2016 (UTC)


problem with template: incorrect: «wiózłem, wiózłeś, wiózł»; correct: «wiozłem, wiozłeś, wiózł»; source: [17], [18] --Bethchen (talk / contributions)

@Kephir. According to pl.wiktionary some forms do have wióz-, so just changing the template parameter that currently says wióz wioz wouldn't work. - -sche (discuss) 15:12, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Chinese dialectal pronunciation[edit]

Don't know if it is the right place to discuss on this. The pronunciations in Chinese dialectal pronunciation section seem to be automatically generated by a script. So there are quite a few mistakes. For example, the character 厚 is pronounced only as /gau²⁴/ in Wenzhou dialect instead of the regular /ɦau³⁵/. Is it possible to make specific edits on pronunciations like this? There is no source code for this section. Thanks.--Mteechan (talk) 18:08, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

@Wyang would be the person to ask. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:09, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the query. The data is at Module:zh/data/dial-pron. I have added gau35 in the reading for Wenzhou and added an edit button in the displayed template. Wyang (talk) 23:34, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Swiss German[edit]

Re the plural Swiss Germans: is there a missing definition here, such as an ethnic group? I can't imagine the plural being used otherwise. Donnanz (talk) 14:10, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

I think the intent was that the plural can refer to multiple varieties of Swiss German. However, I think this needs to be RFV'd. --WikiTiki89 14:29, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
I think you're right about RFV, but I'll see if there are any more comments first. Donnanz (talk) 14:56, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
The plural is listed as applying to the common noun, whereas languages are considered proper nouns (although some disagree with this, or with any distinction of common and proper nouns). I think we can solve the problem by adding the missing ethnic definition, which is pluralizable (and possibly moving the language senses to a proper noun section). - -sche (discuss) 22:01, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Can any ethnic sense be confirmed though? And I'm one of those who disagree with treating languages as proper nouns.... Donnanz (talk) 22:20, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
google books:"Swiss Germans" turns up plenty of hits (both hyphenated and not) where "Swiss German" means "A Swiss person of German ethnicity or language." Whether it should be defined like that or rendered as an {{&lit}} I'm not sure. - -sche (discuss) 01:01, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
I found another word in German: Deutschschweizer; a Swiss person who speaks German. Donnanz (talk) 08:38, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

chidí naaʼnaʼí beeʼeldǫǫhtsoh bikááʼ dah naaznilígíí meaning "tank"[edit]

This is supposedly the Navajo word for "tank". Do speakers really say this whole phrase whenever they refer to a tank? I have a hard time believing this isn't shortened to something more manageable. Benwing2 (talk) 22:07, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

The first Navajo term for a tank (World War II code talkers) was chʼééh digháhii (tortoise). It was spelt CHAY-DA-GAHI in those days, since the modern Navajo writing system had not yet been developed. That might be considered poetic today, or a kind of slang, but chʼééh digháhii is not normally used for a tank and it would probably be misunderstood if used for that. chidí naaʼnaʼí beeʼeldǫǫhtsoh bikááʼ dah naaznilígíí is the usual term. Navajo does not easily import loanwords, but prefers to be descriptive using all native words. This is a very normal way to refer to something that comes from without their culture, and it’s not as though they talk about tanks a lot. —Stephen (Talk) 01:54, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
Stephen has entered many protologisms in Navajo, and I suspect this is just another one of the many examples. I'm sure that this wouldn't pass CFI. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:53, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
It's still a little hard for me to believe that a language would use such a long phrase to refer to a single concept. Plenty of languages are resistant to loanwords, e.g. Chinese, Icelandic, etc. but when they coin new terms they're rarely (if ever?) the length of this phrase. Benwing2 (talk) 05:28, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
I wonder if this term is mostly theoretical, something that someone coined but which isn't actually used; it wouldn't surprise me if Navajo speakers just say "tank" since most of them are fluent in English. Benwing2 (talk) 05:29, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
None of the Navajo entries that I made are protologisms. However, Navajo is a transparent language, and the terms they use are self-defining. When they say something, even a new concept, nobody needs a dictionary because the terms define themselves (similar to German Krankenhaus, or "sick-house" for hospital). And no, this term for tanks is not theoretical, it is standard, and it is not at all unusual for this language. It is true that Navajo speakers in certain parts of the reservation regularly mix a good many English words into their speech, but in other parts of the reservation, they avoid this (except for numbers, where young people tend to use English numbers). I have discussed it with my Navajo community and they said that in a conversation about tanks, once the term has been broached (so that everyone knows what is being discussed), most people will shorten thereafter it to naaʼnaʼí beeʼeldǫǫhtsoh (the one that crawls around with a big gun) or just beeʼeldǫǫhtsoh (big gun). In any case, delete it if you want to. That’s why I stopped making Navajo entries ... I assumed that they would be deleted, one by one, so there is no sense in adding any more, or even in trying to argue about it. —Stephen (Talk) 09:55, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

You can be sure all you want, so go ahead and file a CFI. Once I provide multiple impeccable sources to make it pass, you can apologize for your ethnocentric racialist assumptions. Seb az86556 (talk) 05:07, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Well that escalated quickly… —JohnC5 06:04, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Perhaps understandably. Other than Stephen and Seb, no one participating in this discussion is in any reasonable position to identify Navajo protologisms -- so anyone calling these terms protologisms, or insisting that there must be some other term, is writing from a biased perspective, recognized or not, and that can get up people's noses. I've found myself similarly annoyed and defensive when living in Japan and non-native speakers of English insisted, sometimes quite rudely, that X or Y or Z was definitely English or definitely not English. My sympathies here are with Stephen and Seb.
As a related issue, I think we do a potentially grave disservice to our users when it comes to languages like Navajo that are just now becoming literary and documented languages. Our WT:CFI requirements make it very difficult for limited-documentation languages to gain traction here. Terms or expressions that might have been in use for the entire lifetimes of a speaking community might just now be written down, and often not in forms that meet CFI. I hold that such terms are still worth recording here.
Query: Would it be possible to use an existing namespace, or establish a new namespace, for entering LDL terms for which currently available documentation might not meet CFI? A lot of written Navajo usage, for instance, appears in places like online chats and Facebook, which do not meet CFI (as far as I currently understand the situation). A separate namespace might allow for such terms, without bumping into the stricter mainspace concerns about attestation. Once such a term has citations sufficient to meet CFI, it could be "graduated" into mainspace. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:44, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
I think Appendix: namespace can be used for this. We used to have Appendix:List of unattested Irish words, so why not Appendix:List of unattested Navajo words? It would be for words we believe to exist but for which we cannot find even a single mention in a dictionary or grammar book, let alone a use in a permanently archived source. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:45, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown Thanks for your comments, they definitely help answer my questions concerning the length of the term. Benwing2 (talk) 21:02, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Concerning Native American languages, it is an all too common attitude that they are incapable of having modern terms such as aircraft carrier, cellphone, kangaroo, or giraffe, and should only have words for bow and arrow, teepee, squaw, and wampum. These people disbelieve American Indian words for these things, and insist that they must be protologisms, freakish inventions. These same people would not question that Cambodian has words for giraffe or cellphone; they see nothing strange about Icelandic having words for palm thief or confederate jasmine; no raised eyebrow over Mongolian having a word for hamburger or a Segway. But it is just unbelievable that Lakota might have a word for clock, or that Cherokee has a word for telephone. This attitude is narrow-minded and uninformed, and for those who are involved with or concerned about Native Americans, it is insulting. It’s what Seb means by "ethnocentric racialist assumptions".
As for written Navajo language found in places such as online chats and Facebook, only someone who knows the language and also knows how to write the language could use those sources. The majority of Native American adults today were taken (virtually kidnapped) from their families at a young age and sent away to distant boarding schools under the direction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and kept there until they came of age. The main objective of the boarding schools was to suppress their native languages and their culture and religion, and to force the use of English, American culture, and Christianity. The children were (and still are, to some extent, since there are still over 4000 Native children in these schools today) punished in a variety of ways when they used their native language or told cultural stories. They had their mouths washed out with soap, including lye soap; they were beaten with leather belts and wooden paddles; they were deprived of food, sleep, and warmth; they were kicked in the rear as well as in the genitals (some women were injured in such a way that they could not bear children); their knuckles were rapped with rulers; and they were slapped, threatened, and insulted. All this to kill the language within them.
And even though a suitable orthography was finally developed for Navajo about 70 or so years ago, no boarding school was ever permitted to teach the writing of Navajo. It is only since the end of the 20th century that Navajo language and orthography have begun to be taught in some schools in the Navajo area. The only Navajos who know how to write their own language are self-taught, and there are few of those. So almost everything you will find in online chats and Facebook is terribly misspelled and should not have entries here. Because of what the U.S. Government has done to our Native peoples over the past couple of centuries, the situation with these languages is different from that of minority languages anywhere else in the world. As President Andrew "Indian-Killer" Jackson wrote in 1833, “[Indians] have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear.” Manifest Destiny. And that is why this mean attitude is so disgusting to those who know better. —Stephen (Talk) 01:10, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
True enough for Navajo, which has quite the critical mass of native speakers, but there are so many dying and moribund languages out there that have been displaced by English for normal conversation, so they only live on in the minds of the older generation as a memory of what was used in the past. They desperately need to be used for talking about everyday things, but, sadly, they often simply aren't. Also, not to downplay the horrific policies and practices used against American Indian language and culture, but there have been some surprisingly nasty things done in the past to minority languages even in supposedly enlightened places such as Europe. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:47, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
On the musings by Erik and Angr: A separate namespace bears the risk of making the language invisible and inaccessible to passer-by users as long as the standard search only crawls Main and as long as the translation tables don't carry the entries. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 11:32, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Hmmm, I didn't realize all other namespaces weren't included in the basic search. That's ... less than ideal. Would it be possible to reconfigure to include specific namespaces in the basic search? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:27, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
    Maybe, but we shouldn't do that. The whole point of putting something in another namespace is so that it isn't mixed up with the main content, which comes up in a basic search. --WikiTiki89 21:29, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Stephen and Seb, I am truly sorry if I have caused offense. This was certainly not my intention. I don't believe that it is strange for Navajo or other Native American languages to have terms for modern concepts. In fact I'd be surprised e.g. to find that Lakota did not have a term for "clock", "cellphone", etc. To the extent I have any skepticism about this particular term, it is simply because it seems to me its length would make it awkward in conversation. That is why I asked whether there isn't a shorter term. Your response about the way it would be shortened answered my questions about this, however. Benwing2 (talk) 04:14, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
It was not what you wrote, it was the oft repeated allegation (not supported by evidence) of protologisms that have been leveled here over the past couple of years or so by someone who knows nothing about the language. As I mentioned above, it is a common but misguided attitude that Native American languages are simply incapable of having modern terms unless they import the words from English (borrowing being a common strategy among the world’s languages for keeping up with technology and other cultures, but a strategy that American Indian languages strenuously avoid). —Stephen (Talk) 21:49, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
I regret that I wasn't present to contribute to this discussion; it seems like it's been pretty much resolved. I would like to add, though, that in addition to the much larger issues addressed here, Navajo has a clear, well-documented pattern of using multi-word descriptive phrases for nouns, as Stephen said. It takes only a little experience with Navajo to show one how natural such constructions are in the language. Ewweisser (talk) 13:49, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Ashkun âbo[edit]

This is the only translation of water from a language that starts with 'A' which I haven't been able to verify: Ashkun (code ask) âbo. It's plausible, because related languages use similar terms, but I can't access any Ashkun references. Glottolog knows of four:

  • George A. Grierson's 1919 Indo-Aryan Family: North-Western Group: Specimens of Dardic or Piśācha Languages (Including Kāshmīrī)
  • Georg Morgenstierne's 1929 The language of the Ashkun Kafirs, 1934 Further notes on Ashkun (apparently usually called Additional notes on Ashkun), and 1952 Linguistic Gleanings from Nuristan.

@ZxxZxxZ, Vahagn Petrosyan, do either of you have access to references which might help? (And what script should this word be in?) - -sche (discuss) 04:26, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

I have nothing, sorry. --Vahag (talk) 06:00, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
Ashkun, a Nuristani language, is unwritten. If it were to be written, however, it would be in Perso-Arabic script. Âbo is cognate with Persian آب ‎(âb). A dialect of Ashkun (Saňu-vi:ri) has a glossary shown here. Under Lexicon, select saňu-vi:ri, then search hydrology. —Stephen (Talk) 01:39, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Bende mansi[edit]

Similar to what I wrote above, this is the only translation of water from a language that starts with 'B' which I haven't been able to verify: Bende (code bdp) mansi. I'm not sure who might be able to find a reference; @Metaknowledge, Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV? [19] has some related lects' words. Perhaps the word is spelled manzi instead? - -sche (discuss) 22:17, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

@-sche: Your ping didn't work. Anyhow, I can verify this for you, but I really don't have time this week. Send me an email if you're interested (partly to remind me, and partly so we can discuss how I can help verify the rest of the troublesome translations). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:09, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
@-sche. Unfortunately, it seems that all books on Bende that were formerly available online have been removed. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:39, 29 April 2016 (UTC)


The words in this category have a lot of form which are different to hindi wikipedia and website "Van Der Krogt" . So, Are there any sources for them? --飯江誰出茂 (talk) 07:31, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

@AryamanaroraΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:07, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
@飯江誰出茂 They are mostly uncited – I don't think any of them are used even in literature. —Aryamanarora (मुझसे बात करो) 18:32, 29 April 2016 (UTC)


Could someone who knows a bit about art add the art sense of classicism (e.g. as contrasted with Romanticism? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:50, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

hornswoggle is still alive[edit]

I'm new here. I'm not sure where else to go with this. This morning, April 27, 2016, I heard on NPR (FM) on the Diane Rehm Show a commentator say, in response to a question, "Trump has hornswoggled foreign affairs experts just like he has everyone else." As a person who enjoys the English language, I was delighted to hear the word "hornswoggled" still in use, and in spoken English. For it to pop up in a serious discussion among experts in a well respected setting such as the Diane Rehm Show was even better. There must be folks who record instances of the use of uncommon words rather like historians of the language. Any comments?

Thanks for your comments. I'm sure you're right about people who search out instances of uncommon words being used but I'm not sure who they are. Mostly I've heard of amateur sleuths of this sort looking for the earliest recorded instances of words; many such people have contributed to the OED, for example. In this case, this could potentially be added as a citation if there is a "durably archived" record of it (as we say) somewhere on the Internet. I can't find a published transcript, though. Benwing2 (talk) 19:00, 27 April 2016 (UTC)


In addition to the meanings assigned to "agonic" in Wiktionary (mathematical, cartographic), the term is also used in the social sciences to refer to an antagonistic form of social behavior (one based on "threat, power and anxiety"). The term was supposedly first used in this fashion by one Michael Chance. See "The Agonic and Hedonic Styles of Social Behaviour": seee http://www.amazon.com/Agonic-Hedonic-Styles-Social-Behaviour/dp/B004QBCQ6K or https://books.google.com/books?id=aL40CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=%22michael+chance%22+agonic&source=bl&ots=pQyDJ-9e_b&sig=0nCdyOfHuNRBn554pTB2fAiS2A0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjh4JzQ16_MAhVLxGMKHWftCQUQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=%22michael%20chance%22%20agonic&f=false


How can this be a noun? What is its referent? Equinox 17:18, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

  • Hmm, QWERTY has a meaning. Was the contributor in his right mind? Donnanz (talk) 17:25, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
    I suppose it could refer to the set of keys or the product of striking said keys. We call lorem ipsum a noun. It's hard to see what other PoS would fit. DCDuring TALK 18:47, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
  • However, "lorem ipsum" can actually refer to the pseudo-Latin text itself ("a test page full of lorem ipsum"). asdfghjkl seems to be just a key-splurge. Probably the same for abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. Equinox 18:52, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Maybe it should be "phrase". —suzukaze (tc) 19:37, 30 April 2016 (UTC)


dire#French shows disez (which I don't think is a real word) as the second person, plural, imperative form, however, it should be dites. This is generated by a template so I don't know the best way to fix it. Danielklein (talk) 01:55, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

I'll raise it in the Grease Pit where it should get dealt with more quickly. Module:fr-verb/documentation doesn't actually say how the module works and I don't fancy guessing, so I won't. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:50, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Despite the lack of documentation the code wasn't that difficult to work out because the abbreviations were pretty straightforward. I've fixed it now. Danielklein (talk) 08:34, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Disagreeing with Metaknowledge about uncountability[edit]

Please look at this: [20] To me, a scale is either countable ("one Bloggs scale; two Bloggs scales") or it is a proper noun ("a measurement on the Bloggs scale"); it cannot be uncountable ("*some Bloggs scale; *how much Bloggs scale?"). I think Metaknowledge has mixed this up with the mass-count noun distinction. If I am wrong can someone please explain why? Equinox 11:21, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

I agree with you on this. It seems like a proper noun to me, with a possible, but rarely occurring, plural.
BTW, what are the units of measurement on this "scale"? Or is it just another instance of those in a "soft" field of knowledge attempting to don the white coats of those in "harder" sciences? DCDuring TALK 12:30, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
I should have looked at the WP article. It's more an example of the imposition by a "hard" scientist of quantification (except much more arbitrary, really categorization) on a "soft" field: forecasting human technological development. DCDuring TALK 12:35, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
It's often difficult to distinguish uncountable nouns from proper nouns. In this case, I think agree that it's a proper noun, but I'm not sure. --WikiTiki89 20:07, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

tooth fairy and Tooth Fairy[edit]

We have two entries. Are both used? With or without capital letters? I would think that the words are always supposed to be capitalized similar to how Easter Bunny capitalizes the Bunny part. 2602:306:3653:8920:50EA:ADBE:CAF1:5C80 20:04, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

mene mene tekel upharsin[edit]

Previous discussion: Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2015/July#the writing on the wall

I just converted this to an English entry, because it certainly is not in any script ever used by speakers of Aramaic; and furthermore, the Aramaic equivalent is not idiomatic. However, I do think it is worth having this as an English entry, only I don't know how to define it. --WikiTiki89 20:44, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

How about defining it with {{n-g}}, and including a Wikipedia link? The Jewish Encyclopedia says this: "Words written by a mysterious hand on the wall of Belshazzar's palace, and interpreted by Daniel as predicting the doom of the king and his dynasty." Something like this would be a decent definition, IMO. Benwing2 (talk) 21:01, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
I copied that to the entry, having forgotten that it could be copyvio. Since I think it is worded very well, I'm not sure how to modify it without making it worse. --WikiTiki89 21:23, 29 April 2016 (UTC)


Plural of flagellum. That doesn't seem right, and we already have flagella as a plural. Is there perhaps some other, singular flagella that is the correct singular for flagellae? If not, should we mark flagellae as proscribed or something? Equinox 10:59, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

It is used in English. It marks one as no Classicist to those who care about such things, a small group. DCDuring TALK 13:01, 30 April 2016 (UTC)
If "flagellae" is a blunder, which it seems it is, then Wiktionary should note that. It is exactly the sort of information that a good dictionary should be providing, I think. 19:34, 30 April 2016 (UTC)


no-doubt is said to be an alternative spelling of no doubt, but is that generally true? For instance, looking at the example sentence at "no doubt", would anyone write "No-doubt you can provide a better definition"? It looks wrong to me. The only case I can think of when I might hyphenate is when the phrase comes before another word to modify it, e.g. "a no-doubt easier life". 19:31, 30 April 2016 (UTC)