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Wiktionary:Tea room

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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.

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August 2014Edit

Latvian mezglsEdit

I've just created this term, and I am not satisfied with definitions 4 and 5, for which I don't think I know good English equivalents (judging by what I understand of the Latvian examples I have found...). May I perhaps ask the local native speakers of English for some help in getting a better definition? I'll be very thankful for any ideas you guys may have! --Pereru (talk) 02:54, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

with a vengeanceEdit

This isn't an adjective, is it? It's just a prepositional phrase being used to describe an oun isn't it? Furius (talk) 14:48, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes. We introduced the L3 header prepositional phrase relatively recently, so many entries for such phrases have the somewhat confusing adjective and adverb headers. Usually the best definition is another prepositional phrase. If adverbs or adverbs are shown in the entry, I'd prefer to show them as synonyms, qualified as to their use. DCDuring TALK 15:04, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
I've reworked the entry along the lines I had in mind. The question arises whether translators should be directed (by {{trans-see}} to other entries, either adjective or adverb, to add translations. DCDuring TALK 15:13, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it's really adjectival: I would say that, in those cases where it follows the noun, it's really modifying the verb be. In other words, it's not "they are intense xs" but "they are intensely xs". Chuck Entz (talk) 15:38, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
its a prep phrase used adverbially (as an adverb). Ex. He did it with a vengeance, how did he do it? --with a vengeance Leasnam (talk) 17:13, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
Just to remind everyone: the entry before 15:00 today had two PoS sections each with citations. It now has one. Looking at usage at COCA it is clear that the phrase modifies verbs and adjectives much more often than it modifies nouns.
@Chuck Entz: Consider the following title "Modernism with a Vengeance" (or some from this search of Google books titles), "That's double-digit inflation with a vengeance", and "We like to say that in Greenbelt we have democracy with a vengeance." I don't see how any of these can be construed adverbially. DCDuring TALK 17:49, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
the first example no. The second, if intended as "we have (democracy-with-a-vengeance)", then no. Second could also be interpreted adverbially if it is used that way "we have democracy (with-a...). I did not intend to mean that all prep phrases function inherently as adverbial modifiers. In many cases they do (and in ONLY those cases would I include it in a page if not SoP--cant make every single prep phrase in existense into a page can we? Are we to have of this world? of my world, etc and so on??), but i would not have included a header for adjectival use in with a vengeance. It is a prep phrase that can function adjectivally to modify a noun (as pretty much all prep phrases do) but its not an adjective. So instead of creating a new label it should have been removed for adj. It prob started out as adverbial phrase headered as 'adverb' (closest header available) then someone else saw a possible adj usage and added it, and now that has driven the creation of a new label header. Nice, but backwards. I might have stopped only at adv if it were opaque in meaning. So now do we make entries for all prep phrases? bc all are either adv or adj in function, but not PoS.Leasnam (talk) 13:07, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
A justification for including this is that the applicable sense of vengeance is at least archaic or not used in current English apart from this expression. I couldn't even find such a sense in MW 1913, Century 1911, or MW 1828, all of which give the expression run-in treatment under vengeance, as a colloquialism. I don't have convenient access to the OED. with a vengeance at OneLook Dictionary Search shows that some current lexicographers find it worth including. DCDuring TALK 14:46, 3 August 2014 (UTC)


I don't see the definition for "hit" or "punch" here, usually in the face. "I got jacked in the face by some dude", for instance. Would this as a subentry under the one that has the baseball hitting definition?

not disputing you, but I was always under the impression that was short for jack up meaning to "mess up" (I.e mess up ones face) but perhaps now by extension means "to hit" (?) Leasnam (talk) 14:14, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not 100% but I wonder if the baseball use might not be derived from crackerjack...If you can find 3 reliable cites for "hit/punch" you can certainly add it Leasnam (talk) 14:19, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

where are we going?Edit

quo vadis means where are you going? could someone tell me how where are we going is translated into Latin?

quo vadimus
--Catsidhe (verba, facta) 11:06, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

boarding gateEdit

I kind of feel we should have this, but I'm not sure if it would be considered idiomatic? The translations at least would be very useful. Note we do have boarding pass. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:55, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Note the absence of lemmings at boarding gate at OneLook Dictionary Search.
Note board#Verb (To step or climb onto or otherwise enter a ship, aircraft, train or other conveyance. ) + gate (passageway (as in an air terminal) where passengers can embark or disembark.). DCDuring TALK 14:31, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

origin of name/McGillEdit

Is the true origin of this name Danish?

Looks Gaelic to me. BigDom 16:55, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Me too. It means "son of the servant". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:02, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, it's clearly a Gaelic name. The folks at Ellis Island were creative enough at re-interpreting names that it's possible a few US instances of it are actually re-interpretations of non-Gaelic names — I've read of a German "Kämpfe" who became a "Campbell", and just now have also found a mention of a Greek "Kyriacopoulos" / "Kiriacopoulis" becoming a "Campbell" — but it's difficult to track things like that down. - -sche (discuss) 18:01, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
You might want to check the etymology in the entry, then, because it has "son of the stranger". Chuck Entz (talk) 01:29, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Then again, you always get strange cases like Katz, which has several different origins, none of which are related to the German word Katze (cat), which is what most people naively assume. --WikiTiki89 18:38, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
The "Mc" is usually a pretty good indication that a name has spent at least part of its history in Gaelic. There are enough Old Norse names in Gaelic to make an ultimate geographic origin from Denmark at least superficially plausible, though- but Modern Danish seems a bit of a stretch. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:29, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
The "Mc" only indicates that people see it as Gaelic, that does not mean it is. Hypothetically speaking, an Englishman could have met a Dane whose name was (purely hypothetically) Miggil and spelled it as McGill. I'm not saying that's very likely, but it certainly cannot be ruled out without at least a little investigation. --WikiTiki89 14:34, 7 August 2014 (UTC)


I just created an entry for T-bird, but I have no idea if I've done it correctly. I listed the word as Tagalog, although it is more specifically Swardspeak, which is an argot slang derived from Englog (Tagalog-English code-switching). To make matters more complicated, the only references for the term are in English (as Swardspeak is only spoken, not written). The references do not represent usages, however, as they all describe the term in English as Tagalog/Filipino/Swardspeak. The word is well-attested in English sources about Tagalog (see the Citations tab), but it will probably never have verifiable usages in Tagalog. Two questions:

  1. Is this good enough to pass WT:CFI?
  2. On the Citations tab, should I use {{citation|T-bird|lang=en}} or {{citation|T-bird|lang=tl}}?

Kaldari (talk) 01:53, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

T-bird is American slang or abbreviation for the Thunderbird automobile manufactured by Ford and going back to the 50s. Mathglot (talk) 00:08, 14 October 2014 (UTC)


None of the translations seem to work for me. When I edited (to add a second French translation) there had been quite a few other translations previously entered, but nothing happened when I tried to operate the regular access; clicking anywhere had no effect.
Dick Kimball (talk) 16:01, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't understand what problem you were having. Did you click "Edit", or were you using the "Add translation" field beneath the translations? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:36, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

on the roadEdit

I was just irritated by the use of "on the road" in w:Aztlán and considered it a non-native mistake for "on the way", when I suddenly thought of the etymology of road being a verbal act noun, i. e., "a ride". Sure enough, the meanings "ride" and "journey" still occur in Modern English, even if they are now considered archaic. Amazing. I had always connected "on the road" (as in "on tour", as in a musician/artist, trucker, biker etc.) with the physical road. But it appears that the idiom still preserves a trace, a subtle shade of the older meaning, even if most native speakers are probably not aware of this, either. (Not to mention the fact that raid is a doublet of road). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:53, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Moreover, roadie also appears to preserve the "ride, journey" sense in each of its meanings. In fact, "on the road" might have been a key collocation in the semantic change from action noun to the concrete sense. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 08:05, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
In fact, certain idioms such as "the end of the road", which on the surface appear to employ "road" in a metaphorical way, could equally preserve the old "journey" sense. Ultimately, of course, it is exactly this kind of contextual ambiguity that drives semantic change. In contrast, "way" seems to have taken the opposite route: from concrete to mostly metaphorical. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 09:12, 8 August 2014 (UTC)


Philandry has been nominated for deletion on Wikipedia as a hoax word. I am at Wikimania, and don't have the time or tools to investigate this, but I thought it was worth mentioning here. Cheers! bd2412 T 22:47, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Why do they even have dictionary-type entries in WP? DCDuring TALK 02:22, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
We are not supposed to have dictionary entries, but occasionally they do pop up, and are usually deleted as such. My concern in this case was that the term was not tagged merely as a dicdef, but asserted to be a hoax. bd2412 T 22:07, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
It's rare, but it does meet Wiktionary CFI. At least one of the uses I see in Google Books has distinct connotations of philandering, more than mere innocuous (philanthropic) "love of men": "Neither has good reasons to suspect their partners of philandry or loss of affection. Alice sees her husband talking to the models and it is a while until she sees him again. She has little clue as to his whereabouts. It is certainly possible that Bill [went off to have sex...]" - -sche (discuss) 09:34, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for checking. Cheers! bd2412 T 22:07, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

no pressureEdit

Shouldn't no pressure include a non-sarcastic meaning? i.e. a command not to feel social pressure despite a request that seems to the contrary. ("We could use one more player if you've finished studying. No pressure, man."). I don't know how to phrase it for a definition. Pengo (talk) 23:35, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

I gave it a try. OneLook has this entry indexed. Bringing something up here usually causes everyone to run to the entry to look. No pressure, though. DCDuring TALK 02:07, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

fag marriageEdit

Why is there even an entry? "Fag" in this case is an adjective. Just because 3 quotes from insignificant individuals have been cited, doesn't really make it a word, or a phrase.Two kinds of pork (talk) 08:17, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

It's an SoP phrase, IMO. You could {{rfd}} it, if you'd like. DCDuring TALK 15:27, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
If gay marriage and same-sex marriage aren't SOP, I don't see how this is. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:58, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Exactly and conversely. DCDuring TALK 16:03, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Both terms have already survived RFDs; see Talk:gay marriage and Talk:same-sex marriage. I think this is just as keepable. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:47, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)What does SoP stand for? If it is what I think it is, then it probably should be deleted. gay marriage and same-sex marriage OTOH have significant usage, whereas fag marriage has virtually none.Two kinds of pork (talk) 16:04, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
SOP stands for "sum of parts". At Wiktionary, entries considered to be sum of parts are usually deleted because their meaning can be inferred from their parts. If the meaning goes beyond what the individual parts mean, the entry is considered to be idiomatic and is generally kept (if it also meets the other requirements for inclusion, such as being attested). The three entries cited are sufficient to establish that the term is used, even if it's less common, so the only remaining question is whether the meanings of "fag" and "marriage" are sufficient for readers to deduce what "fag marriage" is. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:45, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I dunno. I'm new here to be sure, but I can't see "rump ranger" having any merit as an entry, and that is used far more than FM.Two kinds of pork (talk) 18:27, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I certainly can. Rump ranger is definitely idiomatic, and a nonnative English speaker (or even a native English who isn't very worldly, or a speaker of a dialect where that phrase isn't used) might have no idea what it meant. First time I head shirt lifter I didn't have the slightest idea what it meant. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:03, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I've never heard rump ranger in my life but it is definitely widely-used and idiomatic enough to merit an entry. Same goes for uphill gardener. BigDom 20:07, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
The 13 yo in me now asks about fart knocker Two kinds of pork (talk) 23:02, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
fartknocker (no space) is in the The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang. It was coined on Beavis and Butthead apparently. Equinox 23:19, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
It also gets over 200 hits on b.g.c, so if anyone wants to create it, it's attestable. Seems to be a generic term of abuse, though, with no reference to the addressee's sexual orientation, unlike the other terms discussed in this thread. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 00:37, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

This place... Bart Simpson friendly.Two kinds of pork (talk) 05:43, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

fanny bandit, butt pirate. As for fartknocker, I remember it from the 1950s and ’60s. —Stephen (Talk) 06:19, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
I found fartknocker in this 1974 copy of Texas Monthly, so it definitely pre-dates Beavis and Butt-head. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:52, 9 August 2014 (UTC)


In the Usage note I have just added to rare#Verb it says: "Principal current, non-literary use is of the present participle raring with a verb in "raring to". The principal verb in that construction is go. Thus, raring to go ("eager (to start something)") is the expression in which rare is most often encountered as a verb."

So, should we have raring to and raring to go as entries.

Also, should this and similar expressions have parallel treatment to going to? DCDuring TALK 11:29, 8 August 2014 (UTC)


I've overhauled go, adding missing senses and deploying subsenses per this RFC. There are still some senses we are missing:

  1. The sense of "go" that's used in "go to Google and type in 'foo'". The absence of this sense was noted on the talk page as early as 2006 and as recently as last year. It seems like a figurative derivative of sense 1.2 (the entry's main workhorse sense), but I'm not sure how to word it. (added)
  2. The sense used in "he went (over my head and) straight to the CEO", "they were prepared to go to the President with the plan". It seems similar to the sense that's used in "I'll go to court if I have to", which we define as "resort to".
  3. The sense used in "going through the usual channels would take too long". (Compare go through.) Or does one of our existing senses cover this? It seems similar to the sense used in "Word went to Friends in Maryland, that we were drowned" (from the Journal of William Edmundson), which in turn seems similar to the sense used in "Telegrams [...] went by wire to Halifax", which is sense 1.2.
  4. Random House and Merriam-Webster have a sense which they word as "endure or tolerate" and "put up with : tolerate", respectively. Their usage examples are "I can't go his preaching" and "couldn't go the noise", but I can't find anything like that on Google Books.
  5. Merriam-Webster has a sense "come to be determined", with the usex "dreams go by contraries". That seems to be an idiom and hence not a reliable indication that "go" has this sense by itself, but I can find several uses like this — but I can't tell if "come to be determined" is what they mean.

- -sche (discuss) 04:10, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

  • As many a parent have asked their toddler, "Do you have to go?" Two kinds of pork (talk) 07:04, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
    We have that sense as the last one: "To urinate or defecate." Although I think that definition is too explicit. --WikiTiki89 12:22, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
    Hmm, I can see how a lot of uses would be covered by a less explicit definition like "use the toilet" (or perhaps I misunderstand what you mean by 'the definition too explicit'), but then I have also seen usage like this, where it does just mean "urinate", not "use the toilet". - -sche (discuss) 19:32, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
    I think more often than not, it means urinate, but it can mean anything at all that "go to the bathroom" can mean (although our current definition does not include all the possibilities: you can "go to the bathroom" in the middle of the woods with no toilet around, and you can "go to the bathroom" when you're already in the bathroom, etc., and this may also apply to go to the toilet). --WikiTiki89 12:17, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
    Some time ago I added a citation at go to the bathroom where it says a dog started to "go to the bathroom" on the carpet, showing that the expression does not necessarily imply walking to a room with a toilet in it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:17, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
    That's exactly what I was just trying to say. The only question is what is the best way to define it? --WikiTiki89 14:13, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I've added a sense to cover "go to Google"-type usage. - -sche (discuss) 23:25, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Another missing sense is an informal/colloquial/non-standard one meaning "visit", like in the phrase "I want to go London". Also possibly one to fit "once you go black you never go back" --ElisaVan (talk) 00:49, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
    I've found one citation for "go London", Citations:go#transitive:_.27visit.27.3F. I also see at least one citation for "go Paris", and there is a series of travel books titled "let's go [place]". Can anyone confirm that "visit" is the sense these are using?
    "Once you go black" might be sense 33 or 40. We do have an entry once you go black, you never go back, but it's worth noting that the phrase is not limited to the second person or to the present tense: see e.g. google books:"went black" "never went back".
    - -sche (discuss) 18:07, 17 August 2014 (UTC)


For some reason I cannot edit the section at [1], but I still dispute some of these supposedly transitive examples.
We've only gone twenty miles today. -- "twenty miles" is adverbial
Let's go this way for a while. -- "this way" is adverbial
She was going that way anyway. -- "that way" is adverbial
Cats go "meow". -- doubtful that this is transitive
Let's go halves on this. -- "halves" is probably adverbial
That's as high as I can go. -- definitely not transitive

Agreed. All these uses are pseudo-transitive. There similar descriptions of pseudo-transitivity in a known work of Andrey Zaliznyak for Russian verbs. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:45, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Right next to the "twenty miles" usex is the usex "this car can go circles around that one"; is it also intransitive / adverbial? (I'm asking; I'm not sure of the answer.)
The sense that has the "let's go this way", "she was going that way" usexes also has a citation saying "go this path up to its end", so the sense itself does seem to be transitive — but perhaps the "this way"/"that way" usexes belong under a different sense?
"Cats go meow" is transitive just like sense 1 of "say".
The same sense used in "that's as high as I can go" is also used in "I can go two fifty", so it seems to be both transitive and intransitive (like bid); I'll emend the context label accordingly.
- -sche (discuss) 19:29, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with your conclusions.
I think the sense you are uncertain about is also transitive by a normal analysis. Consider:
The car went a short distance, only three blocks, before stalling again. and relatedly:
The car went the entire first week of May without a problem.
One can substitute many nominal expressions into the slot that an object of go in this sense would fill. It seems a bit of a strain to call them adverbials grammatically, whatever their semantics. What undisputed adverbs could be inserted into that slot?
One might say that both sentences "really" have a missing preposition for preceding the nominal, but I've never been satisfied with such approached. The preposition/particle can be inserted for clarification, but does not seem essential to convey meaning. DCDuring TALK 01:39, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Good point about "went a short distance"; I've inserted a citation showing that usage. "The car went the entire first week of May without a problem" looks like sense 25 — and that highlights the fact that that sense, too, is ambitransitive. - -sche (discuss) 03:10, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Personally I am not convinced that "go circles", "go a short distance", "go twenty miles" etc. are properly transitive. It is not feasible, for example, to ask "What did the car go?" and expect an answer "circles" or "a short distance", or "twenty miles". Neither is it possible to substitute a pronoun such as "it" and say, for example, "The car went it". Neither are passive forms such as "a short distance was gone by the car" possible in natural English. While not individually conclusive, all these points provide evidence against transitivity and in favour of the argument that these so-called objects are actually adverbial. 03:18, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Similar diagnostics may also indicate that there is a difference between "go" in "Cats go 'meow'" and "say" in, for example, "She said 'hello'", which are equated above.
What did she say? / She said 'hello'. -- OK
What do cats go? / Cats go 'meow'. -- Feels faulty
She said it. -- OK
Cats go it. -- Not possible
'hello' was said by her. -- Not common but feasible
'meow' is gone by cats. -- Not possible 04:11, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Bowls as a categoryEdit

There are a few items in Special:WantedCategories having to do with the sport known as bowls. At first I had no clue what was meant, but now that I do, I'm reluctant to create the categories: the name is too easily confused with the better-known name for the type of dish. Is there a synonym such as lawn bowling that would be acceptable to those familiar with the sport? If not, what's the alternative? Chuck Entz (talk) 15:45, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

I find w:bowling easier to understand, but that might be a US/UK difference. --BB12 (talk) 20:44, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Category:Bowling already exists, but what we think of as bowling in the US is w:ten-pin bowling, which is a quite different game: in ten-pin, you knock over pins with the ball, while in bowls, there are no pins. Aside from other variations of w:skittles (sport) such as w:nine-pin bowling, w:five-pin bowling, w:candlepin bowling, w:duckpin bowling and w:Turkey bowling, there are also w:borella (game), w:bocce, w:boccia, w:boules, w:Kegel (bowling), w:bowls, w:feather bowling, w:bolas criollas, w:pétanque and w:Irish road bowling. Right now, the category is dominated by ten-pin, but maybe just throwing everything into Category:Bowling will be the solution. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:29, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Another possibility, in the event that Category:Bowling winds up with enough entries in it to justify splitting the various sports, is Category:Bowls (sport). - -sche (discuss) 06:03, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Plural of cingulumEdit

We show the plural of cingulum to be cinguli, which doesn't seem correct. Shouldn't it be cingula? Equinox 02:27, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

It should be, but both are attested. Using phrases in Google Books searches like "of cingula" and "these cingula" seems to show that cingula is more common as an English plural in books. My quick searches aren't exactly conclusive, but it looks to me like we should have cinguli as an alternative plural, and maybe marked as proscribed, since all the dictionaries and glossaries I've looked at so far give cingula as the plural. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:22, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Equinox 05:29, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

a big fat yesEdit

On [Britain's Got Talent], 2013 about 8:19 into the video, Simon Cowell says, "It's a big fat yes." I think this is merely an intensifier. It can also be used for "It's a big fat no." None of the meanings under fat seem to capture this exactly, but I don't know exactly how to define it. Any takers? --BB12 (talk) 20:41, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

We already have big fat.
We seem to lack the sense of big#Adjective in He's a big liar/idiot/jerk., in which it could mean "frequent" or the expression could mean "He tells big lies." In any event, sticking with the surface meaning, it seems to be used to intensify nouns of negative valence, as at least Collins would have it.
I don't think fat can be used alone as an intensifier. For example, at COCA "fat liar" is preceded by "big" in all 14 cases. DCDuring TALK 22:08, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you! And a link to "big fat" is provided on the fat page. --BB12 (talk) 22:36, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

AAVE 'finna' as eye dialectEdit

The definition for finna gives it as an eye dialect spelling of fixing to, I don't know of any research tracking the prevalence of 'finna' but I've heard it used often in speech by AAVE speakers, pronounced [ˈfɪ.nə]. I did not want to change the page myself, does anyone know more about the subject?

Also finny to. I use it sometimes. Leasnam (talk) 00:04, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
As noted in Appendix:Glossary, many (probably still most) instances of the term "eye dialect" in this dictionary refer to "nonstandard spelling used to show a speaker's pronunciation". It has been noted on Talk:eye dialect that this is different from the most common definition of "eye dialect". Ideally, we should find an accurate substitute descriptor for things like finna=[ˈfɪnə]. - -sche (discuss) 02:49, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
I would simply call it a {{nonstandard spelling of}}; the pronunciation info shows that it reflects a nonstandard pronunciation. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:33, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
But the fact that it is not just spelled but also pronounced differently makes me feel like calling it a mere (nonstandard / alternative / whatever) spelling variant is insufficient. Perhaps a label like {{nonstandard pronunciation spelling of|fixing to|lang=en}}? Wait, wouldn't just {{dialectal form of}} (i.e. dropping the word "eye") work? Especially if "dialectal" could be substituted via a from= parameter, as in {{alternative form of}}, with the specific dialect — in this case AAVE. - -sche (discuss) 17:50, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Or simply {{label|en|AAVE}} {{alternative form of|fixing to|lang=en}}. That's how I handle dialectal Irish forms that differ in both spelling and pronunciation from the standard. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:49, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I like that. Or even just {{alternative form of|fixing to|from=AAVE|lang=en}}, since it occurs to me {{alternative form of}} does everything I described above and a "{{dialectal form of}}" template would be redundant. I suppose that the choice of {{label|en|AAVE}} {{alternative form of|fixing to|lang=en}} vs {{alternative form of|fixing to|from=AAVE|lang=en}} in any specific case would depend upon whether the standard form (in this case, fixing to) was also used in AAVE (making finna just an alternative form valid in AAVE), or finna was the (only) AAVE form. (Or would making such a distinction be splitting too fine a hair?) - -sche (discuss) 22:03, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't see that {{alternative form of}} accepts a from= parameter. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:23, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Huh, that's odd. {{alternative spelling of}}, {{standard spelling of}} and {{standard form of}} all accept such a parameter. I'll see what I can do. - -sche (discuss) 02:36, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
I have modified it to accept a from= parameter. Examples of usage/behaviour here. - -sche (discuss) 02:41, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Just one side note, that finna is not "from AAVE", since AAVE itself just inherited it from Southern American English, which uses the term as well. --WikiTiki89 14:12, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, Southern American English uses fixing to or fixin' to, but growing up in Texas I never noticed it being reduced to finna or finny. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:32, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Well maybe I'm wrong, but we should make sure of that. --WikiTiki89 14:40, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
In far northeast Texas and Ark-La-Tex I have often heard "I’m finnin" to do something. —Stephen (Talk) 14:58, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
It wouldn't surprise me if— in fact, I expect— the speech of the "South Atlantic" and "East South Central" states has some differences from the the "West South Central" states (Ark-LA-Tex-OK). But I have yet to find evidence finna is used even in the eastern South; all the hits for google books:"I'm finna" are AAVE. Can anyone check what DARE has to say? By the way, note that fitting has a relevant sense which is currently labelled just "US". Is that right? (If anyone checks DARE, please see what it has to say about fitting, also.) And should that sense be moved to fitting to? Compare going to and note that I just moved fixing to.
Anyway, even if finna is also from=Southern US, it's still from2=AAVE. The "from" parameter in these templates is not etymological — and the way it displays (as "AAVE form of x" not *"form of x derived from AAVE") makes this clear, I think. - -sche (discuss) 19:44, 14 August 2014 (UTC)


Is there a reason we're missing the arguably most important definition of this on the Internet? As in, someone who has a kink in preferring certain kinds of people as romantic partners. We do have chubby chaser but that term is also used on its own. -- Liliana 11:36, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

tomato tomato reduxEdit

This discussion seemed to peter off without a firm conclusion, but the entry remains as it was. I support moving this to tomayto, tomahto, which is attestable, because that makes the distinction at issue immediately apparent. This is one case where the less common usage makes a better headword because the phrase hinges on pronunciation. bd2412 T 15:51, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Support. But what makes you think it is less common? --WikiTiki89 16:05, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Google Books seems to get a lot more returns for "tomato tomato". However, there are probably uses other than the pronunciation split. bd2412 T 17:30, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
It's hard for me to imagine anyone writing "tomato tomato" in a book and expecting people to realize it's pronounced "tomayto tomahto". Looking at google books:"tomato tomato", I don't see any relevant results. --WikiTiki89 17:36, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Support per nom and per WikiTiki. - -sche (discuss) 17:58, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Done, absent any objection or counter-argument. bd2412 T 12:43, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

I object to keeping tomato tomato and tomato, tomato, even as redirects. --WikiTiki89 12:59, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
If the tomato tomato and tomato, tomato spellings are attestable in this sense, how could on justify excluding them? DCDuring TALK 16:17, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Are they attestable? I have yet to see proof. --WikiTiki89 17:28, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
There is a procedure for that. DCDuring TALK 19:48, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

"caption" definitionEdit

In computer science, caption has and is often used to refer to the text in a label, button, or other user interface element. This isn't included in the Wiktionary definition.

Not too different from existing senses. I've extended sense 2 to include this. Equinox 04:49, 13 August 2014 (UTC)


I found this citation for Rockwellish: can anyone suggest what is meant by the word "scaping" here? Equinox 10:10, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

  • 1995, Scott Elly Sprecher, Alms for Jude (page 320)
    Visually, there seemed nothing wrong with this Rockwellish slice of Americana in scaping portrait. Casual things and people were where they should be for this date and place in Midwestern history.
landscape -> landscaping (not a sense we have) -> scaping, maybe?--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:05, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

viajes (noun)Edit

The spanish entry for viajes only mentions the verb, not the plural of viaje. Could someone who knows about formatting add the noun? Thanks.

Yes check.svg DoneAɴɢʀ (talk) 09:32, 16 August 2014 (UTC)


I added an entry for goalframe last night, as in the frame of the goal in soccer, hockey, etc. But there also seems to be another sense that I don't understand (see here and here), maybe something to do with computing or information processing. Anyone shed any light on this other sense? BigDom 09:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Also "goal frame". This paper defines it [2] but unfortunately we'd need to pay to see it. What I can tell is that it's a kind of stack frame: see Stack frame. Equinox 13:27, 16 August 2014 (UTC)


The French entry volleyer uses the noyer-style template, where -y- becomes -i- when there's no syllable after the /ɛj/ sound. fr:volleyer however has it as a regular -er suffixed verb, like jouer, parler, etc. I think they're right and we're wrong, both because of the -eyer not -ayer or -oyer ending, and because it's borrowed from English, the -y in the English spelling remains in tact. Though, can we get enough evidence to prove it? Renard Migrant (talk) 13:22, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

I tried Google Books searching with the pronouns je, il, and ils, followed by the corresponding conjugation both with -y- and -i-. The -y- forms get one or two hits each, while the -i- forms get nothing. --WikiTiki89 13:42, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The official Scrabble dictionary ODS 5 gives volleye, volleyera (etc.) but not volleie, volleiera. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't know about you but I think we have enough evidence. --WikiTiki89 14:33, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
As a rule, verbs in -eyer always keep the <y>. BigDom 16:31, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

same old same oldEdit

This doesn't seem like a noun to me. --ElisaVan (talk) 00:41, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

The only other candidate seems to be adjective, but it's not really used like one. Equinox 01:06, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Gotta be a phrase, mate. --ElisaVan (talk) 01:15, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
It's used as a noun phrase, as well as an adjective. It would seem to be a "fused-head" construction or an ellipsis for "same old, same old thing". I think you would find it can be used as a subject or object of a verb or object of a preposition. Hence, a nominsl. For example:
  • 2001, Joy Jones, Private Lessons: A Book of Meditations for Teachers:
    The same-old same-old is what gives comfort and familiarity to our day.
  • 2008, Joel Krieger, ‎Christopher S. Allen, ‎Stephen Hellman, European Politics in Transition, page 115:
    Will the Sarkozy presidency constitute a critical juncture or the “same old, same old”?
  • 2007, David B. Audretsch, The Entrepreneurial Society, page 136:
    Sticking to the same old same old may be known and comfortable, but, thanks to globalization, it is also increasingly known and comfortable in other, less expensive, parts of the world.
We don't seem to expect our users to get that almost all adjectives can be used as nominals, so we make it easy for them by having a separate noun PoS for many terms that are basically adjectives. DCDuring TALK 02:26, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

word as an interjectionEdit

(For discussion of word as a noun, see the BP.) I notice our entry on the interjection word gives two AAVE senses with different etymologies, namely "truth, to tell or speak the truth; the shortened form of the statement 'my word is my bond'" and "a statement of the acknowledgement of fact with a hint of nonchalant approval; abbreviated form of 'word up'". I am only familiar with one sense, "I agree; truth, that is the truth" (sort of a combination of the two). Are the current AAVE senses accurate, or should they be combined? (I guess this could be turned into a RFV of sense 1, but I'm reluctant to RFV such a hard-to-search-for sense, especially since I think it's semi-valid and merely not separable from sense 2.) - -sche (discuss) 17:54, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

There is a fairly large body of AAVE fiction online, some of the popularity of which is probably attributable to its relatively authentic AAVE dialogue. I'd be surprised if we couldn't get cites for any reasonably widespread or interesting usage from that body of work. DCDuring TALK 00:53, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Declension and pronunciation of Finnish ruokaEdit

(Notifying Hekaheka):

According to the Finnish Wiktionary, the weak-grade forms of this word are pronounced as if spelled ruua- and sometimes spelled that way as well. The entries jälkiruoka, pääruoka and alkuruoka show both alternative declensions, but not aamuruoka, gourmetruoka/gurmeeruoka, kalanruoka, kalaruoka, kaninruoka, kissanruoka, koiranruoka, meriruoka, perinneruoka, pikaruoka, roskaruoka, sieniruoka, texmexruoka, tykinruoka, uuniruoka, vauvanruoka and vokkiruoka/wokkiruoka. I wonder, is it a regular change for weak grade -uoa- change to -uua? And is this standard Finnish? Other words ending in -uoka are vuoka and annosvuoka; does it apply to those words too? And if this is a regular change, then what about the similar sequences -yöä- (from -yökä-), -ieä- (from -iekä-) and -iea- (from -ieka-)? —CodeCat 21:43, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I belong to a generation which has been taught that ruoan is the only correct way. This was the opinion of Kotus until 1980's, but now they say that both are acceptable but ruoan is still better language. The major newspapers seem to obey but people seem to have made up their mind in favor of ruuan, as it beats ruoan 3:1 in the internet. According to Kotus, vuoka should still be declined as vuoan but the public thinks differently: vuuan beats vuoan 3:2 in a simple Google search. Those who understand Finnish may be interested in this article [3]. Other words ending with -uoka, -yökä or -iekä do not come into my mind right now. --Hekaheka (talk) 00:33, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I forgot -ieka. I think there's only one word in this category: lieka. The inflected forms with weak stem are pronounced as liean, lieassa etc. and there's therefore no doubt about spelling. --Hekaheka (talk) 00:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Do you think there should be a special template, {{fi-decl-ruoka}}, for handling these special cases? —CodeCat 02:04, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it's necessary. It can be handled with usage notes. --Hekaheka (talk) 20:27, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Latin iecur should have genitive iocineris, Latin iocur may be post-ClassicalEdit

Wiktionary lists iecinoris as the genitive of iecur "liver", whereas iocineris is claimed to be the genitive of iocur with the same meaning. However, modern books on PIE say that the actual paradigm was iecur, gen. iocineris, with iecineris a late form. Google iecur iocineris and you'll find a whole bunch of corroborating references. As for iocur, it was apparently a very late, post-Classical word back-formed from iocineris. Evidence of this is that the Appendix Probi condemns iocur, saying iecur non iocur, and that a recent Latin dictionary has an entry for iocineris (listed as genitive of iecur) but not one for iocur; see below. Additional complications are that both genitives can be attested with -oris instead of -eris. I suggest we fix the entry for iecur to have iocineris in place of iecineris, with an additional paradigm with iecineris given as genitive and marked as late, sourced appropriately. iocur iocineris should perhaps be deleted or listed as post-Classical, and the entry for iocineris by itself indicates that it's the genitive both of iecur and (if kept) iocur.

BTW basic Latin dictionaries often get this wrong, probably because they try to "explain away" the anomaly between iec- and ioc-, not realizing that it apparently is inherited and reflects a trace of the old PIE e/o ablaut. My older Oxford Latin Dictionary from 1891 says "iecur iecoris or iocur iocineris", and my newer New College Latin/English Dictionary (originally published 1966, revised 1995) says ''jecur -oris or -ineris or -inoris" but has a separate entry for jocineris which is described as the genitive of iecur. iocur isn't found at all probably because it's spurious in Classical times, cf. the Appendix Probi quote. Note also that my Oxford dictionary has three quotes specifically mentioning iecur and one mentioning iocineris and a number with the headword omitted, but none specifically illustrating iocur.

Benwing (talk) 09:02, 18 August 2014 (UTC)


When used as a verb, is the past shortcutted or shortcut? Kinda interesting. Probably both. --Type56op9 (talk) 13:14, 18 August 2014 (UTC)


Can someone check the entry skazka? Especially the Russian etymology part - I probably screwed up a template or missed a mark. Also, it may be more than just a Russian fairy tale, but a type of fairy tale. Also, there is major doubt whether this is just a transliterated word, but the existence of "skazkas" suggests it may not be. Whatever the case, this is not the greatest entry I've ever made (workplace is my magnum opus, BTW). --Type56op9 (talk) 13:37, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

The etymological part is correct. I've fixed it a bit. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:11, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

پلگان (pellegân)Edit

I think this must be obsolete or at least literary, but I am not 100% certain. If anyone knows for sure then please add the context label. Kaixinguo (talk) 14:31, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

@ZxxZxxZ: Perhaps you can help? --WikiTiki89 14:56, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
It's an obsolete alternative form of پلکان for both of its senses, see also the Dehkhoda entry for پلگان --Z 12:01, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I've updated the entry. --WikiTiki89 12:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)


"Nobody - but nobody - tricks John Smith and gets away with it." Is this an emphatic sense of "but" that we are lacking? Is it used with other entities than "nobody"? Equinox 16:31, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

It reminds me of something that exists in Dutch: Niemand - maar dan ook niemand - ... with maar being a direct translation for but. There may be some common origin here. —CodeCat 16:34, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
This is the ordinary usage of the "except for" sense, in my opinion. --WikiTiki89 16:35, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, "nobody but [excluding] nobody" works that way, but how about (from Google Books) "a modest mambo step that anyone, but anyone, could master"? Under that sense, "anyone but anyone" is anyone except for anyone i.e. nobody can master the step, which is not the intended meaning. Equinox 17:09, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I've never heard such usage, but it seems it could be taking "nobody but nobody" as a template and replacing nobody with anyone. --WikiTiki89 17:28, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I've felt nobody but nobody as a hijacking of nobody but X to make a more emphatic statement. Thinking about it, it seems also to gain force from reduplication of nobody. It is about equivalent to "nobody, (and) I mean nobody,". This might be a case where we can actually capture the force of a snowclone with a simple dictionary entry. The force of "X but X" could be ascribed to a sense of but along the lines of Equinox's suggestion. I think X can be nobody, nothing, no one, nowhere, never. The any versions must be much rarer, but may also be attestable. Also every versions. DCDuring TALK 04:09, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it's parallel to "nobody but X", but I don't think it has anything to do with reduplication. "Nobody but X" means only X; thus "nobody with the exception of X" means "nobody with no exception". --WikiTiki89 11:22, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Ƿidsiþ 11:53, 27 August 2014 (UTC)


Is it me or it seems there are too many senses? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:15, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Senses 1 and 3 could possibly be combined; then again, I'm not sure. Sense 2 is distinct, because pathos arguments are not limited to pity; they might try to arouse a reader's anger or outrage. I'm not sure how sense 4 would be used. - -sche (discuss) 06:56, 19 August 2014 (UTC)


How should the reading ろっ be transcripted? --kc_kennylau (talk) 15:25, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I suggest transcribing sentence-final sokuon as roQ. Wyang (talk) 23:28, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, seems complicated. Usually final / has no sound and it's used to convey some emotions or render a final consonant without a vowel, which is impossible in Japanese (except for "n"). E.g. Korean hanbok can also be written ハンボッ (hanbo) to mark the final "k" in this case. I would just transliterate っ/ッ as nothing, so ろっ should be "ro", IMHO. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:30, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
(Notifying TAKASUGI Shinji, Eirikr, Whym, Haplology): Anyone still active? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:17, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
There is no official Romanization for っ at the end. I would use t like rot if necessary. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 07:17, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, what about numerous interjections, where っ only shows more emotion that words without it, like あっ or えっ? It think it would be wrong to transliterate them as "at" or "et". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:13, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
So, for example if there was name "Kojiro" with the Kanji written as "五二六", similar as to how "Musashi" is sometimes written as "六三四", "五二六" in this case must be written as "Kojirot". (And, yes I know "五二六" could also be written differently as in "Gonimu", which sounds ridiculous but I'm letting you know that I am aware of on'yomi and kun'yomi readings.) 08:45, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think 五二六 would be written as こじろっ in hiragana. --kc_kennylau (talk) 10:57, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
But if in any situation, someone decided to write 五二六 as "Kojiro" (seeing as how 五 can be read as "ko", 二 for "ji", and 六 as "ro"), would it still be rendered as "Kojirot" in romaji? 14:39, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
No, the reading ろっ (roQ) is special: it should only be followed by k-, p- or t-, where it duplicates the next consonant. Therefore, 五二六 cannot be "kojiro". --kc_kennylau (talk) 15:18, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I suppose that the reading ろっ must have a consonant sound at the end of it. Well that's too bad, I thought it would be cool to see Japanese numeral wordplay of the kanji of Kojiro as "526", because some people associate the kanji of Musashi with the numbers "634" as in the height of the Tokyo Skytree. 16:19, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I saw a wordplay with 37564 where it is rendered mina-goroshi which means killing everybody. --kc_kennylau (talk) 16:29, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Does this solve the problem? --kc_kennylau (talk) 01:22, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I suppose, but is ろ a official reading of 六? Because I don't want to get yourself in trouble for adding in that edit because of that rule with unverified sources. 01:33, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I have reverted myself's edit. --kc_kennylau (talk) 01:54, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Unfulfilled っ is also transcribed using an apostrophe, e.g. in this case ro'. As far as I am aware, ro' is not considered a reading of 六, although gemination such as ろく + ひゃく = ろっぴゃく can occur. 03:00, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
But we usually do not include sokuon-ized readings, because it is part of the Japanese grammar. See (いっ), (きっ), ... --kc_kennylau (talk) 05:02, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Um, that is what I am saying. That is what I meant when I said it is not considered a reading of 六. 11:17, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I have removed that reading. My guess is that somebody sees the sokuon-ized reading in a name and added it into nanori readings. --kc_kennylau (talk) 11:32, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

By the way, Wiktionary does not seem very consistent in the way it handles this. For example:

法: はっ (hat), ほっ (hot)
合: かっ (kaQ), がっ (gaQ)
十: じゅっ (ju[p/t/k/s]) (before /p, t, k, s/)
早: さつ (satsu) [in other sources this is given as さっ; I don't know whether さつ can actually occur, or indeed whether さつ is just an error or a mistaken attempt at さっ]

Ideally this should be harmonised. Personally I prefer the apostrophe. This is also the way that Wikipedia does it at

Also, is there a reason why Wiktionary does not use katakana for "on" readings? 13:12, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

In a phonetic/phonemic transcription IPA(key): /∅ː/ would be the best (I think), as the small tsu kana is an anticipatory gemination mark, thus, let's say a ku follows this ろっ from IPA(key): /ro∅ː/ you could predict that it is going to be IPA(key): /rokːu/ (on the other hand there is no way of differentiating between vowels and consonants with the IPA(key): /∅ː/ while it should only apply to consonants), well, anyway just a suggestion. Neitrāls vārds (talk) 14:47, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I wonder whether it is wise to use IPA for kanji readings. I think people tend to expect these in romaji format. 17:27, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
We have Wiktionary:About Japanese/Transliteration which says "if there is no following letter, then it is simply dropped in the transliteration." I could see something like "roQ[sokuon]" or "roQ[?]" might be useful, provided that we update the linked page to clarify the interpretation of "Q". I won't oppose using the style of "rot[?]" if such a guide is provided anyway. I think the point discussed here is how to transcribe it relatively plainly, in a readable and consistent manner. Using IPA sounds like a bit overkill to me. Whym (talk) 03:44, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I do not agree that individual transliteration components should be burdened with a superscript link. Perhaps the link to Wiktionary:About Japanese/Transliteration should be made generally clearer in contexts where romaji is used. I do not agree either that trailing sokuon should be simply dropped in transliteration, and in the one or two cases that I have checked (see above) it does not seem to be anyway. 13:06, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
All right, just to give some more variations:
Do you disagree with having any links in a transcription, or just disagree with superscript links? The reasoning behind my suggestions is that it would be quite hard to tell the correct pronunciation in any plain and intuitive transcription without an additional guide. I don't have a strong opinion on where to put the link. --Whym (talk) 11:39, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
On the Wikipedia page for Sokuon, they suggest using an em-dash. 05:44, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I am not so keen on having special in-situ explanations for specific romaji elements. I think there should be a general link to the page that explains the romaji system used by Wiktionary, which people can consult whatever questions they have, whether about sokuons or anything else. I added mention of the "t" and apostrophe renditions to the Wikipedia article; I don't recall ever seeing an em-dash used. However, now I look again, I find myself a little confused about what the Wikipedia article actually means. It says "In English writing, this is often rendered as an em dash". Does "English writing" mean romaji? Or is talking about capturing the "feel" of trailing sokuon in a translation? 03:22, 29 August 2014 (UTC)


The etym for the Latin says: Late Latin. Perhaps the shortened form of capitulare (“headdress”), from Latin caput. Another theory derives it from Ancient Greek.

I'd like to see a little more on the Ancient Greek. What word? I'm hoping that whoever wrote this at least has a source for that which could shed more light on it. I did a fast search but came up empty. Anyone know anymore? AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! (talk) 17:24, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

alternate Japanese readings for 月 / moonEdit

I keep seeing people say that alternate readings for 月 (moon) is raito, arute, aporo, and mun. If they are real readings for 月 (moon), then are they on'yomi, kun'yomi, or nanori? —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

They are neither on'yomi or kun'yomi, more likely nanori (readings used only for names). These readings, such "raito" (I like Death Note too), "mun" (mūn) are prescribed readings by creators of novels, manga, anime, other authors, people who choose names for their children or themselves. An author may choose 一角獣 (いっかくじゅう, ​ikkakujū) "unicorn" to be pronounced as ユニコーン (​yunikōn) and use furigana (ruby) in the text to tell readers how they want a word to be pronounced. It's an example (unicorn) I've seen myself. Here's how the prescribed pronunciation of a name would be shown, using Light Yagami, the main character of "Death Note" whose first name 月 "moon", normally pronounced "tsuki" is pronounced as "Raito", from English "light":

夜神月 (やがみらいと)

Yagami Raito
Light Yagami

--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:40, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

I understand what you're saying but are these "rare" readings for moon (aporo, arute, mun, and raito), actually have been officially used by the Japanese public and with the case of raito, has that been used as a reading for moon before Death Note was first released 10-11 years ago? Because it seems like these reading for moon were created by Japanese authors of various media mediums solely for the purpose of naming their characters. 08:33, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Not sure. I'm not aware of dictionaries that store all possible readings used in names, probably only very common ones and not sure if 月 had the reading "raito" before Death Note. There is certain unpredictability and randomness in this, as I said, it's not just authors who make up new readings but parents who name their children and give kanji fancy readings. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:20, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I found this which is the only online source I could find that has "raito", "aporo", "arute", and "mun"; be officially nanori readings of moon. It even lists "hikaru" typically Japanese for light as a reading for moon. Although the list is only a year old, I should ask the Japanese Stack Exchange for further help. Also, let me get this straight, if someone named their kid "六九六" and had it be read as Rokuro (ろくろ), it's possible for that to happen even though the closest reading of 六 is ろっ. 01:09, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not going to argue with your last point, I already said, there's a lot of flexibility in pronouncing kanji when it comes to names. There must be a database of all possible pronunciations of names but I don't have interest in it, for these variations Japanese people usually have to supply kana anyway, so that people knew how to pronounce them. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:21, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Hey, thanks for the insight on how Japanese names can be written and pronounced, I really appreciate the help. 01:38, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

clomp etymologyEdit

Our entry on clomp gives it an etymology of "onomatopoeia", but I have heard an alternate possibility. The Dutch word for clog is klomp, and this ended up in English for the stomping sound of boots. Is this true, or do both words have the same origin.--Dmol (talk) 21:55, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

I've updated the etymology Leasnam (talk) 16:32, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I would be nice if we had an etymology for klomp. DCDuring TALK 16:47, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
one's there now Leasnam (talk) 06:14, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Male madam?Edit

The meanings of matron and patron being direct opposites doesn't help. I saw a Latvian papa that I'd never heard but tēzaurs supports both of those senses, alternative for one is papus (now that I had heard) with "male madam" being the sense its used in, so:

  • Krogus papa (paps, papus) – Pub (historical/rustic drinking establishment) padrone

could be it? Neitrāls vārds (talk) 04:50, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

חרס, adjective or noun?Edit


I noticed that this word is categorized as an adjective, but it's defined (by ceramic but also) by clay, which is a noun and not an adjective. Could someone take a look at it? Thanks by advance, — Automatik (talk) 17:40, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Theoretically that could be a valid definition if it were an adjective meaning "made of clay". But in this case, you are right. It is a noun. --WikiTiki89 17:45, 21 August 2014 (UTC)


I suspect that I’m in the minority here, but I’m admittedly hesitant to accept this etymology. Consonant clusters can be vulnerable to extinction, so I’m not sure why a derivation from ambulare would be impossible. This etymology is also obscurer and much less common than the traditional explanation; CNRTL doesn’t mention the Gaulish verb.

Am I the only editor here who’s sceptical? --Æ&Œ (talk) 10:15, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Consonant clusters can be simplified over time, but there's no other evidence that "-mb(u)l-" reduced to "-l(l)-" in French; in fact French does have a descendant of ambulare, namely ambler. I find the Celtic etymology more plausible. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:34, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
ambler is attested later than aller. There aren’t many cases of ‐mbl‐ in Old French. Often times, it was an extension not inherited from Latin. There is at least one instance of a nasal consonant being lost (covent), and the plosive from computare (conter) was also lost. I can’t find any cases of ‐mbul‐ in Old French. --Æ&Œ (talk) 17:29, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Considering parler < parabolare, I don't find aller < ambulare to be so unlikely. --WikiTiki89 17:33, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
The crucial difference is that intervocalic -b- was much more likely to disappear than after a nasal. This change happened very early in Latin as all the Romance languages lost it. For French aller on the other hand, there is no evidence that it is such an early change. I agree with Angr that -mbul- would contract to -mbl-. In fact, even -mul- contracts to -mbl-, where the plosive is epenthetic: trembler. —CodeCat 17:28, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
But isn't it very common for very common words to go through more unusual sound changes? --WikiTiki89 18:23, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but that's just a cop-out linguistically speaking, as it doesn't really explain more. If you just say that anything goes under the right circumstances, then the sky really is the limit. —CodeCat 19:10, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
It's not a cop-out unless you use it as a substitute for an explanation, which I'm not doing. You're saying "I don't understand how it could have happened, therefore it couldn't have happened" and I'm saying "I don't understand how it could have happened, but I'm still willing to believe it could have happened", thereby leaving room for an explanation to be found later. --WikiTiki89 19:20, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah this is bullshit. What's the source?? Latin seems infinitely more likely. Ƿidsiþ 11:49, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree, almost certainly from ambulare IMO. BigDom 17:16, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
I've had a go at reorganizing the etymology to mention and reference (a) the traditional explanation and its problems, and the fact that people have attempted since at least the 17th century to account for them, and (b) the alternative explanation advanced since at least the 18th century that the word is of Celtic origin. - -sche (discuss) 18:50, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

gun controlEdit

Noun sense 2 was previously listed as an adjective (!!): it all looks very dubious anyhow. Can someone revise it to be sane please? I can't face it. Equinox 15:58, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Relationship between pollen and pollinateEdit

I've had some trouble remembering to spell the second vowel differently between these two words, and my confusion was temporarily complicated by the fact that the English pollinate isn't linked from the pollen article. I assume pollen is the root, and it makes sense that pollinate is defined in terms of pollen. That said, I have two points to make: should pollinate be listed at pollen#See also? Secondly, I would have found it helpful if the pollinate entry had an etymology (and so I suspect other readers may feel the same), however, writing one is beyond my ability. 21:17, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

pollinate is already listed under pollen> 'Related terms'. I have added an etymology to pollinate. Leasnam (talk) 06:56, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
If you look at the edit history, it was just added. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:52, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. Good. Leasnam (talk) 20:33, 29 August 2014 (UTC)


I think we are missing the sense of "the coast is clear", no? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:26, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

That phrase is idiomatic (originating in SoP). Offhand I cannot think of where else coast is used this way (except maybe in the associated question: "Check the coasts...are they clear?). Why not the coast is clear ? Leasnam (talk) 20:39, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't know how far back we would have to go to find another use of "coast" in the same sense. Webster's 1828 referred to the "proverbial" coast is clear. I believe it might be a line from something by Dryden or Sidney. DCDuring TALK 00:29, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
The 17th century Sidney and Dryden cites are at Citations:the coast is clear. I think the sense of coast was originally exactly one of ours. The metaphor was of the behavior of smaller sailing vessels that remained close to the coast so that they were close to relatively safe waters in the event of storms or perhaps hostile vessels. In any event the expression now seems to have its own meaning in the absence of any knowledge or the speaker or hearer of the nature of such sailing. DCDuring TALK 01:01, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd say the coast is clear is a better entry name, as the 'the' is not optional. We do tend to remove articles from the start of entry names even when they can't be omitted. Drop in the ocean comes to mind (unless I suppose, drops in the ocean is attested with this sense). Renard Migrant (talk) 14:02, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. And also the variant: the coasts are clear. Leasnam (talk) 14:40, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
There is no usage of the plural at COCA or BNC. More than 95% of use is with the. Was is almost as common as is. DCDuring TALK 17:04, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Note that it can be used in any tense. google books:"if the coast were clear", google books:"the coast being clear", google books:"the coast will be clear", google books:"the coast would have been clear", etc. --WikiTiki89 21:45, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

ঢাকা a verb?Edit

Is the Bengali word ঢাকা also a verb meaning "to cover"? Or is it a common noun for a cover in general? --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 20:29, 29 August 2014 (UTC)


We have an adjectival sense. Cubed has no such sense. Is it really adjectival? I feel like it's more like a passive voice. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:32, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

In the math sense, I agree. But there is the colloquial intensifier, which still behaves like the passive voice, but doesn't really relate to the verb "to square", so I'm not sure whether to call it an adjective. --WikiTiki89 20:35, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
(Tangential to the original topic:) I've seen informal use of "squared" to mean "doubled" when the referent is not a number: e.g. "Smith squared" = "two people named Smith". Some headlines which use the phrase "disaster squared" use this sense. Also "between the two of them they were trouble squared" (Robert H. Abel, Ghost Traps: Stories (ISBN 0820345741), page 139). (It's possible this is what you mean by "the colloquial intensifier", but I interpreted that as a reference to use of "squared" to mean something like "multiplied", which I have also seen, though I'm not sure if it needs to be distinct from "doubled" or not.) - -sche (discuss) 21:48, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I mean. I don't think it means the same thing as doubled, but just like the mathematical sense, it means there are two contributing factors. --WikiTiki89 22:05, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

burned vs.burntEdit

Tharthan (talkcontribs) removed a reference to burnt being "chiefly British" with the edit comment:

Reverted blatant lies. Even the entry for "burn" recognises that "burnt" is used in the United States as well.

The New Oxford American Dictionary app on my computer, on the other hand, has:

verb ( past and past part. burned |bərnd| or chiefly Brit. burnt |bərnt|)

It seems to me that the reality is a more complex combination of the two. For me (California native), burned sounds right for the past tense and the past participle, but burnt sounds better for the adjective, as in:

As the tires burned, the smell of burnt rubber became overpowering


Over a thousand acres have been burned, so far.

Still, I can hear myself using both forms in some cases, and regional variation wouldn't surprise me at all, either. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:57, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

For me (south-east England, but perhaps atypically Americanised through time spent on the Internet), it's nearly always "burnt" for the adjective (e.g. "a slice of burned toast" sounds quite silly) and variable for the verb. All I can think of is that generally food gets burnt while other things get burned. I would probably say "he burnt the toast" but "I burned the evidence"; "has someone burnt those cakes?" but "I thought you burned those papers". For the particularly modern sense of laser-writing a CD or DVD, I would never use "burnt", not even adjectivally. Equinox 03:03, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Postscript, after discussing this briefly with someone else: "burned" seems to suggest more of the process than the result, almost analogously to "it was burning" vs. "it (had) burned". Equinox 03:13, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Ooh. Even more. Perhaps if you "burnt" something, you just charred part of it, whereas if you "burned" it, you destroyed/consumed it entirely. This also explains my choices above regarding the toast versus the papers. Because: "he burnt the edge of that paper", not "burned". Equinox 03:21, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I was just sitting down to express something similar to the process-result distinction.
This may account for my sense that some of the more figurative senses of burn, which may also be more process-focused than result-focused. Specifically: "To betray." The informant burned him.; "(computing) To write data to a permanent storage medium like a compact disc or a ROM chip." We’ll burn this program onto an EEPROM one hour before the demo begins.; "To waste (time)." We have an hour to burn.; "To insult or defeat." I just burned you again.
For me, the past participle is the only form that would be burnt and only for the more literal senses. I don't know about the card game and photography senses. DCDuring TALK 03:27, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Equinox, except I think the situation is the same for both the verb and the adjective. I burned the log, but I burnt my finger and my food. --WikiTiki89 13:34, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
If there is an aspectual difference in the use of burned vs burnt it should be seen in higher relative frequency of the use of burnt in pluperfect tense with had. I have found some support for this at COCA:
(have been) burnt: 2, burned: 118, ratio: 59:1
(has been) burnt: 2, burned: 52, ratio: 26:1
{had been) burnt: 14, burned: 173, ratio: 12:1
Unfortunately for the hypothesis, BNC evidence does not follow this pattern. It does show much higher use of burnt, nearly as frequent as of burned.
That means that one would have to examine closely the semantics of use to possibly find support for the hypothesis. Perhaps examining examples of the use of burnt and burned with aspect markers such as up, down, and out would generate support. But it shows only modest increase in the relative frequency of burnt over burned (8:1) at COCA, so only some users seem to follow this pattern. BNC results show a similar modest increase. DCDuring TALK 16:57, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Looking at ngram data, I see that in American English (AmE), "burned the house" has predominated over "burnt the house" since the 1870s, whereas in British English (BrE), "burnt the house" held on until the 1970s. Likewise, in AmE, "house burned down" overtook "house burnt down" in the 1870s, while only in the 1970s did the same thing happen in BrE. And in AmE, "burned up" has outpaced "burnt up" since 1865, while in BrE, "burnt up" held on until 1975 and is even now only slightly less common. Similarly, in AmE, "burned my hand" has been more common than "burnt my hand" since circa 1870‒1900 (ditto "finger"), while in BrE, "burned my hand" only (barely) beat out "burnt my hand" in the 1970s (ditto "finger").
In AmE, "vandals burned the" is more common than "vandals burnt the"; in BrE, neither phrase is common enough to be plotted.
In AmE, "burned the toast" is ~2‒3 times more common than "burnt the toast"; in BrE, "burnt the toast" is slightly more common.
tl;dr summary: "burned", previously less common, became more common than "burnt" in AmE (in the whole range of phrases cited above) circa 1860, while in BrE that change only happened circa 1975.
- -sche (discuss) 17:18, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Longman's DCE (1987) says that burned is "usually only" used in BrE when the verb is intransitive. DCDuring TALK 18:41, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
"Burned" in the sense of "destroyed" (i.e. "The objects were photographed for archival purposes, but then immediately burned") I could see myself using, as well as in the modern "burn to a CD" sense mentioned by Equinox, and (mayhap) in the colloquial sense "to humiliate" (i.e. "He got burned.") Otherwise, I pretty much always use "burnt". Then again, my regional dialect tends to lean closer to that of English in the United Kingdom anyways, so I suppose that this should come as no surprise. Tharthan (talk) 16:32, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

September 2014Edit

milk sibling and wet nurseEdit

The old definition of milk sibling was:

A person who is not one's biological sibling but was nursed by the same woman as oneself.

I wanted to generalize it and changed it to:

A person who was nursed by the same wet nurse.

User:Cloudcuckoolander reverted this with the message:

The qualifications in the def are necessary. A pair of biological brothers nursed by the same wet nurse probably wouldn't be considered "milk brothers." The term "wet nurse" excludes women who volunteer to nurse, as it means a woman hired to nurse.

I think that two biological brothers nursed by the same wet nurse are milk brothers, but they would never be called that unless other milk brothers are involved. I also think that our definition of wet nurse is wrong in that the woman does not necessarily need to be "hired". Any woman who suckles a child is a wet nurse, although the child's mother would never be called that unless other people's children she is suckling are also involved. --WikiTiki89 20:40, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Turkish alphabetEdit

It's a noun, not a proper noun, right? --Type56op9 (talk) 10:01, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Umm... It's a proper noun. There is only one Turkish alphabet. --WikiTiki89 15:16, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Arabic alphabetEdit

At the moment, Arabic alphabet is a redirect to Arabic script. I don't reckon it should be, but I don't touch Arabic so perhaps someone wants to make a new entry to Arabic alphabet? Also, Arabic script probably isn't a proper noun. --Type56op9 (talk) 10:04, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

OK, they're now separate entries, and Arabic script is called a common noun rather than a proper noun. I've defined Arabic alphabet as a perfect synonym of Arabic script, though, which might not be the case. Arabic script and Arabic alphabet are separate WP articles, with the former discussing the script as applied to any language written in it, while the latter discusses the script as applied to the Arabic language. Also, b.g.c results suggest that while the plural Arabic scripts is fairly easily attestable, the plural Arabic alphabets appears not to be, so maybe WP is right there are many Arabic scripts but only one Arabic alphabet. More editors welcome! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:31, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

to be bornEdit

I think we should have a full entry for this, rather than a redirect, but I am unsure how to define it non-circularly. --WikiTiki89 15:31, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

"To escape from one's mother's uterus, either via the vagina or by caesarean section", perhaps? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:07, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Even if you change "escape" to "exit", it still sounds weird. --WikiTiki89 17:15, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
"To emerge from the mother following pregnancy"? —CodeCat 17:22, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
"To emerge from the mother's womb." would problem be better. And even still, there is the problem that this definition is very odd in a context such as "Where were you born?" --WikiTiki89 17:44, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, "Where were you born?" does mean "Where did you emerge from your mother's womb?" even if the former is rather less explicit than the latter. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:20, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
It occurs to me we're being a bit viviparocentric here. A baby bird is born when it hatches from the egg, right? Which is some time after the egg has emerged from the mother's womb. (Do birds even have wombs?) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:43, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking something along the lines of "to come into existence" or "to come into this world". --WikiTiki89 20:00, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I would want the literal meaning (said of animals) to be separate from the figurative meaning (said of other things, like ideas). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:10, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
To be clear, I was only referring to the "literal meaning (said of animals)" in my previous post. When someone asks "Where were you born?" they don't really mean "Where did you come out of the womb?", but something more like "Where did you come into existence?" --WikiTiki89 21:46, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
No, they do mean where did you come out of the womb. "Existence" is much harder to define. —CodeCat 22:01, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Specifically, "Where did you come into existence?" could mean "Where were you conceived?" which is not what "Where were you born?" means. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:03, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I didn't mean literally that, but something along those lines. I just meant that that's what is in their mind when they say it. They are not picturing a womb when they ask you that question. --WikiTiki89 22:09, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
If you look at it in light of 'giving birth' (literally, figuratively, or what have you), then "Where is the place of your birth?"/"Where were you given birth?" Birth here refers to the 'unveiling' or 'presentation' of a person, thing, etc. This event occurs later than conception, so it doesnt begin with existence...rather 'birth' occurs at ones 'inception/establishment/debut' to the world, be it the natural, human, world of ideas, etc. Leasnam (talk) 04:31, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
It depends on your definition of existence, but I guess we should avoid the word existence in the definition since it is causing too much misunderstanding here. --WikiTiki89 12:03, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. What i meant above is that 'birth' doesn't necessarily bring to bear ones existence, so it's neutral in that respect. Some would even argue that existence begins prior to conception, so there is a wide swathe of opinions regarding that specific concept. Leasnam (talk) 13:06, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

How about "to come into existence through birth" (not my invention, it's a web definition)? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:14, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

  • If this is not SoP, we should have at least one definition to cover all the non-literal use as well, at least if we want to be a real dictionary. DCDuring TALK 17:44, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Work of a diaconessEdit

Is there a word for the charity work the deaconesses do? Like in French there is diaconie and in German there's Diakonie. --Hekaheka (talk) 16:31, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Hekaheka, this looked really interesting & you provided good links, so I poked around WP in a few languages & also the web for a bit. The short answer is: I don't think so, at least not for Roman Catholics.
Very long answer: The closest word I found was Diaconia (English WP) via Diakonie, then Diakonie_(Rom) (which had a link to an English-language page at the bottom), and finally copying the parenthetical word "diaconia" from that last German page and searching both the web and then that linked English page ( for it, the latter of which includes the quote, " edifice (diaconia) for the reception of the poor, and close by a church." That matches the English WP description.
Since these words are derived from Greek, you might want to ask at or search there, since the Orthodox Church's terminology relies more on Greek than Latin. But even if they have one, it might very obscure word.
As for Wiktionary, someone might want to add the translations from WP & the Languages section of the sidebar to deaconess, which only has translations in a couple languages. Hope this helps! --Geekdiva (talk) 15:06, 17 September 2014 (UTC)


Is the verb burgeon ever really used as such in contemporary English? I can only recall seeing the adjective (not participle) burgeoning, which is a separate, independent lexeme (just like in grip and gripping, fascinate and fascinating or fuck and fucking, where the senses are not identical and therefore the participle has become autonomous). I would like to suggest that the verb should be marked as dated as well.

Update: By all appearances, it is not. The verb forms burgeons and burgeoned at least do occur, so at best the verb belongs to a formal register, and specific contexts, which could help explain why I hadn't encountered it yet.

The same relationship appears to hold between the verb bud and the adjective budding, although this verb is apparently still be used in a concrete, literal sense. I note that the only example for the sense "to be young, show promise, begin to develop" (as in humans) is the adjective, so at least this sense might be dated. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:14, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

I wonder whether a word of some uncertainty of meaning, such as the verbs bud and burgeon, will not be used in a focal position in an utterance, ie, as a verb in this case, but also as a subject or object in the case of a noun. But it could be used as an adjunct, where it could be ignored without significantly impairing communication.

un in CatalanEdit


un is considered as an article in Catalan for the sense 2 (« some »), but some is not considered as an article. Maybe someone could fix this. Notif. CodeCat ([4]). — Automatik (talk) 23:53, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

The difference between determiner and article may not be clear, especially not in the minds of Catalan speakers. Articles are a subset of determiners, to begin with. —CodeCat 23:55, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Why would this be unclear especially for Catalan speakers? --Hekaheka (talk) 03:06, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
The English word some is not identical in usage to Catalan un. I think it is correct that they are different parts of speech. --WikiTiki89 17:48, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
The usage of the plural uns is not unlike the French des, except that it's not mandatory. It merely emphasises the indefiniteness somewhat, but its meaning is vague and hard to define. Section 3.2.4 of "Catalan: A Comprehensive Grammar" gives more details. —CodeCat 18:14, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Wengerocracy and CivilocityEdit

A form of government where the people watch and listen to the leader of the country the entire time that person is leading the country. As a definition has changed so has a word in this case. From civilocity wengerocracy emerged to glamorize the authorship of the person who coined and copyrighted civilocity. Wengerocracy is a form of government where the people watch the ruler entirely amongst their reign. Now there simply is a government that exists in which the people can watch and listen to the leader of their country the entire time that person is leading their country. A politically satire work was written in 2007 called 'Trunks and Asses - the world of elephants and donkeys, republicans and democrats' which has become a solution for all those who perished because of a leader of a country covering up unlawful behavior.

We're a descriptive dictionary, so we limit ourselves to terms that people have actually used (please see WT:CFI). Wiktionary is not for terms people make up, unless they catch on and are used independently of the person who made them up. Please don't create entries for these, as they'll only be deleted. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:11, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

とし for 紀Edit

Is とし a nanori reading of ? I just came across it at the entry 一紀 (Kazutoshi), in case anyone wants to know where I found it. @TAKASUGI Shinji, Tsukuyone: --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 10:14, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

とし is listed as a nanori reading in Daijisen ([5]). Tsukuyone (talk) 10:53, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Tsukuyone; that website looks like a gold mine for nanori readings. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 14:53, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Plural form of "Stradivarius"Edit

The entry depicts "Stradivariuses", but Merriam-Webster goes with the (Latin-influenced?) "Stradivarii" - any opinions? --Chester br (talk) 19:40, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Both are attested. I added it to the entry. — Ungoliant (falai) 19:51, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
There are apparently about 25% more google books pages that have stradivarii than have stradivariuses. It might be possible to show that one is currently more popular than another, but it seems likely to be close. Whichever you use, few will misunderstand you. DCDuring TALK 19:57, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
One usage example adds an additional complication:
  • 2009, Yehudi Menuhin, The Violin: An Illustrated History, page 96:
    Although I had spent my life thus far with two very great Stradivarii violins I had always wanted to own and play a Guarnerius as well.
At first I thought this was an error for "two very great Stradivarius violins". But it turns out that in addition to Antonio Stradivari(us), his son, Omobono Stradivari(us) was in the business and there were other workers in the business, which operated under the family name. Thus the great violinist also has good English diction, selecting the plural form of the noun for attributive use, which selection implies that the author believes that a "Stradivarius" is not necessarily produced solely by Antonio. DCDuring TALK 20:20, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Klondike - English dialect use?Edit

I recently heard someone described as a 'klondike'. When I queried this use of the word I was told it was another word for a 'clot', itself a shortening of 'clod-hopper' or someone who works the soil. Has anyone else heard this dialect use of 'klondike'?

<-ele> as a suffix also appears to be currently the suffix <-éle> in the French <clientéle>.Edit

I am doing some work to locate memes in English and the languages from which they are derived. <-ele> as a suffix appears also to be the suffix <-éle> in the French <clientéle>. It appears to be absent as a suffix in Wiktionary.

That brings up the obvious question: is it really a suffix on its own, or is it only borrowed as part of whole words that were borrowed from other languages? clientele is a good example: we already had client via Old French from centuries before, but we didn't borrow the suffix and add it to client- instead we borrowed the whole word directly from modern French clientèle as a unit.
To show that it's an English word, you would have to show that it has some kind of meaning or function that it adds to English words. After all, most English speakers would have no clue how a word would be changed by adding -ele to it. If you made up a word like "blergele", you'd have a hard time getting people to figure out what it meant, but if you talked about someone being "blergish" they might figure it meant something like "resembling a blerg". Chuck Entz (talk) 21:55, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Note that it's -èle in French, not -éle. Lmaltier (talk) 21:08, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Also note that clientèle derives from the Latin word clientela. The -èle suffix derives from clientèle. Lmaltier (talk) 21:13, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Need to learn greek languageEdit

I need to start off with the correct way of the alphabet

Check out Wikibooks. Their section on the alphabet is pretty good. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:22, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
It would also help to know which kind of Greek you're trying to learn: Modern Greek (which we call Greek) isn't the same as Ancient Greek. Even though they share the same alphabet (give or take some diacritics), the pronunciation is quite different, and the grammar has differences as well.
Ancient Greek is what you would want if you're interested in the history, language and/or literature of Europe and parts of Asia before the fall of the Roman Empire, while Modern Greek would be best for communication with Greek people or if you're going to travel to Greece. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:26, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

back#Etymology 1Edit

<back> etymology <The adverb represents an aphetic form of aback.> This is extremely difficult for a normal English user to interpret. Even if you follow the <aphetic> link. What is the <adverb> that it refers to in any case? —This unsigned comment was added by GHibbs (talkcontribs) at 8:10, 8 September 2014 (UTC).

The Adverb section follows the Adjective section of Etymology 1 and precedes the Noun section. The entry table of contents is supposed to help.
I have given up trying to prevent Wiktionary from becoming a linguists-only indulgence. DCDuring TALK 08:38, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
I inserted that link in aphetic, which refers to aphesis but also gives an example ("pon from upon"). It's true that explanations could be sometimes cryptic, but remember that this is etymology, not common language: technical matters use technical words (as if you want to explain the difference between hacksaw and chainsaw). When you read the Proto-Germanic and Proto-Indo-European words and etyms there is the same problem. Fortunately you can learn so much about this things even within the boundaries of Wiktionary. Sobreira (talk) 09:08, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Old Church Slavonic and Old Russian "г"Edit

We romanise "г" as "g" for these languages and it matches Wikipedia but was "h" an alternative? Standard Russian "г" is "g" but not Ukrainian and Belarusian (/ɦ/). Russian European South uses "h" /ɣ/ or /ɦ/, also common among Russian speakers in Ukraine and Belarus and Russian ecclesiastical workers often also tend to use it quite often (the reason is unknown to me). Was /g/ borrowed from South Slavic languages or was it the original phonology? Educated Russians often frown upon /ɣ/ but it's still common and quite spread. Notably, Mikhail Gorbachov pronounced /ɣ/ (he is from the South Russian Stavropol krai). I found it also interesting that Russian and Polish (also Kashubian and Lower Sorbian) stand out from the rest of East and West Slavic languages, both use /g/ in Slavic cognates and the rest of East and West Slavic languages use a cognate of a voiced /h/. Only South Slavic languages all have "g". Appendix:Proto-Slavic/gora is one of good examples to show the split between "g" and "h". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:55, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

I suspect that Proto-Slavic itself had both [g] and [ɣ] as dialectal variations. As time went on, different groups of speakers stabilized around one or the other as a standard. Regardless, the actual pronunciation of OCS should not affect our Romanization of it. --WikiTiki89 01:05, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. i wasn't suggesting to change it. It would matter if the common or standard pronunciation was [ɣ] in Old Church Slavonic. Is it possible that it was more common or standard? Pronunciation of бог (box) makes me think so. What about Old Russian? I haven't found much on Old Russian (Old East Slavic) pronunciation. It seems /g/ appeared in 12-16 centuries only. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:28, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I think that both versions existed in Old Russian, with the [g] becoming more common in the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the [ɣ] in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Russian recension of Church Slavonic had and still has [ɣ], which influenced words like Бог (Bog) and Господь (Gospodʹ). There is no way to know which one was actually more common OCS, but the closest modern relatives of OCS all have [g]. --WikiTiki89 01:35, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Re: Muscovy and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Yes, perhaps. How did Polish /g/ come about? Lithuanian cognates also seem to have /g/, e.g. nagas (from *noga). Re: the closest modern relatives of OCS all have [g]. That's what I mentioned before, /g/ may have been borrowed from South Slavic via OCS. It's not my theory, just a thought. BTW, the original, common and standard spelling for "God" in Russian is lower case. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:16, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
In case you missed my point, I think that West Slavic also had both, with [g] becoming more common in parts of Poland and [ɣ] elsewhere. Sorbian is a good example of why I think both pronunciations were maintained in parallel in each Slavic sub-group. I don't think that the either the Russian or Polish [g] were "borrowed" from South Slavic. Re: Capitalization. Why is Господь (Gospodʹ) capitalized then? --WikiTiki89 12:35, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Re capitalization: the usage note at бог (bog) implies the capitalization in Russian is similar to that in English: capitalized when referring to the monotheistic God, lowercase when referring to a polytheistic god. My Russian Bible always capitalizes Бог (Bog) in reference to the God of Judaism and Christianity, e.g. Genesis 3:5: "Но знает Бог, что в день, в который вы вкусите их, откроются глаза ваши, и вы будете, как боги, знающие добро и зло." —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:51, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, this must have changed rather recently and it seems to match English now. I don't read the Bible, so I haven't paid attention to the spellings but in literature and casual writing бог/боже господь/господи are usually in lower case. Capitalised Господь/Господи are not new but there was no rule to capitalisation before, as far as I know. Anyway, the capitalisation has now been standardised when referring to the monotheistic God but various sources have different views about other usages, e.g. "По усмотрению пишущего выбирается строчная или прописная буква в слове Б/бог в устойчивых выражениях Б/бог даст, не приведи Б/бог, слава Б/богу и т. п." (in set expressions it's up to the author). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:01, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

" --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:01, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

From my experience, capitalization in the Bible does not always match capitalization elsewhere. For example, I would never capitalize "he" in my own writing even if it refers to a capitalized G-d. --WikiTiki89 13:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I've never seen "he" capitalized in reference to God in an English-language Bible (or the Book of Common Prayer) either. I've only seen it in nonliturgical and nonscriptural texts such as tracts. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:47, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
After Googling around, it seems that you are right. Maybe it's just Jewish translations then. For example, see Deuteronomy 14:23 in the JPS: "And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which He shall choose to cause His name to dwell there, [] ". While the KJV, which the JPS is almost entirely based on, has "And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, [] ". The Chabad translation even capitalizes "His Name" in the same passage. I'm not really sure why they do all that though, since Hebrew does not have any notion of capital letters at all. Maybe it's just to clarify who the pronouns are referring to. --WikiTiki89 02:24, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't seem to have an article specifically about the /ɡ/ > /ɣ/ > /ɦ/ change in Slavic, but /ɡ/ is definitely the oldest pronunciation, so the answer to a question like "How did Polish /ɡ/ come about?" is simply "It never changed." The change looks to me like a typical wave model kind of sound change that started somewhere in the middle of its current territory and then spread outward, regardless of the genetic affiliation of the languages it touched: it affects Eastern Slavic (uk, be, rue, dialects of ru), Southern Slavic (dialects of sl), and Western Slavic (sk, cs, hsb) languages but isn't complete in any Slavic branch. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:29, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
That might be a better explanation. Although, it seems to be inconsistent with the fact that Russian Church Slavonic has [ɣ], even in [g] territory. --WikiTiki89 15:06, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Maybe at one point the /ɣ/ pronunciations were more prestigious than the /ɡ/ and so were used in liturgical language even though they weren't used in everyday speech. Or maybe Christianity spread from a ɣ-region to a ɡ-region, taking the ɣ-pronunciation with it for liturgical use but not everyday use. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:35, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Since the Kievan Rus' was centered around, well, Kiev, it would have had the fricative pronunciation as a prestige dialect originally. So that likely laid the foundation for the Eastern Church Slavonic pronunciation. —CodeCat 13:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

stammer vs stutterEdit

Any evidence that stammer is more British and stutter more American, other than the naming of the w:Category:Stuttering associations? Sobreira (talk) 10:08, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Google Books Ngrams suggests that in American English stammer was more common than stutter until about 1940, then they were about equal for 40 years, and since 1980 stutter has been more common, while in British English stammer has always been more common, though in recent years stutter has started catching up. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:39, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Possibly complicating this analysis is the fact that (certainly in BrE) "stutter" has a much wider range of possible uses than "stammer", which is used almost exclusively for speech. For example, an engine can stutter, a running person can stutter, etc. The Wiktionary definition does not seem to cover those extended meanings. 23:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I included this other meaning with the very same examples. Sobreira (talk) 09:26, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanx so much. Sobreira (talk) 13:03, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

change transitive for clothes?Edit

Can be used for babies, e.g., I changed the baby (the nappie)? Or also my son told me to change him, as his shoes were wet from the rain puddles. But not in the meaning of the changeling (I changed/swapped/exchanged my son for another). Sobreira (talk) 10:08, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

You can definitely say "I changed the baby" to means you changed its nappy, but "My son told me to change him" sounds to me like he was talking about his nappy, not his shoes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:41, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Changing a baby usually implies the "nappy", but can refer to the baby's clothes in general. It would be odd if it referred only to the shoes, in which case it would have said "change his shoes". --WikiTiki89 15:05, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Violence as involving physical forceEdit

I'm a bit surprised by the definitions provided for violence; I've typically heard the word used to imply *physical* force or action. Would that be an appropriate change to add to definition 2? The current "Action intended to cause destruction, pain, or suffering." doesn't capture that, and the usage quotes don't make the distinction clear. -- Creidieki (talk) 15:24, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation of German ⟨or⟩Edit

I note that in entries for German words containing ⟨or⟩ within a syllable (e.g., morgen, Morgen, sorgen), this sequence is often rendered as /ɔʁ/ in our IPA transcription (or at least one of the IPA transcriptions presented). Is this really correct? I don't believe I've ever heard that particular realization—in my experience it's always /ɔɐ̯/ (or /ɔr/ for many southern varieties). I think that most native speakers would find /ɔʁ/ awkward to articulate, particularly when followed by a velar stop as in my examples. Is this a case where we're using the symbol "ʁ" to stand in for some underspecified realization, the way "r" is used for IPA transcriptions of English ⟨r⟩ on the English Wikipedia? If so, it wasn't clear to me from our pronunciation key (though maybe I'm overlooking something). —Psychonaut (talk) 16:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

You'll hear a truly consonantal [ʁ] in careful pronunciation, not so much in colloquial speech. I think it makes sense to include it in a broad phonemic transcription, but a narrow transcription should probably list both [ɔʁ] and [ɔɐ̯]. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)


One definition at sluice is "To elide the C` in a coordinated wh-question". Any ideas what that means ? It's something linguistic, so maybe the definition should have a tag or be made easier to understand? --Type56op9 (talk) 12:42, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

There is a better explanation at sluicing. Might still be improvable. Equinox 12:55, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

czysta and trzysta in polishEdit

In Wikipedia czysta and trzysta are given as examples in the article on affricatives and as an example in the IPA guide for Polish in Wiktionary. However, when I listen to the audio samples czysta sounds to me like the English word tryst. And, the trz in the word trzysta sounds like the tch in the English word witch. —This unsigned comment was added by Dogshed (talkcontribs) at 17:59, 11 September 2014‎.

So what's your question? --WikiTiki89 14:14, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

fanny = sex?Edit

The entry for fanny includes a vulgar UK usage defined as: "Sex; similar to North American pussy". But the example sentence is, "This club is full of fanny" where "fanny" doesn't seem to mean sex. I can imagine that perhaps people say, "I got me some fanny" like "pussy" in the US, but I don't think the example sentence is correct. --BB12 (talk) 09:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

(UK native) I agree. The use in "This club is full of fanny" is an extension of sense 1, "the female genitalia", to mean (vulgarly) women, especially attractive young women. I am not convinced about the separate sense 3 at all. Perhaps a "by extension ..." entry could be inserted after sense 1, or perhaps all UK vulgar senses should be merged in one definition. 19:31, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
As fanny ~ ass, it would not be much of a stretch to substitute it for ass in the various senses and collocations in which ass in the relevant set of senses fits. DCDuring TALK 21:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's true only in the US (as far as I know- I don't know about Canada). Besides, in US usage it's so innocuous and innocent that the example sentence would be pretty silly if it were meant that way. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
See here for a few Google Books examples of "[get] some fanny" in the relevant sense AFAICT. DCDuring TALK 23:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I think it's almost exactly like pussy. Doesn't mean sex per se because it can't mean sex with a man. "This club is full of fanny" would mean 'full of female potential sexual partners, especially for one-night stand style sex'. What does pussy say, that would be a good starting point? Renard Migrant (talk) 23:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
It says "Sexual intercourse with a woman." Renard Migrant (talk) 23:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The meaning of sexual intercourse under pussy has the example sentence: "I’m gonna get me some pussy tonight." A sentence like that seems more appropriate for the fanny meaning. For both terms, perhaps a definition along the lines of "a potential female sexual object" (as per RM above) should be added for things like "there is a lot of pussy/fanny in this club tonight." In a related issue, it seems odd that "fanny" cannot be used for men since the meaning is ass. Searching GB for "some fanny" "gay" yields no relevant hits, though, so perhaps this usage does not exist even in gay contexts. --BB12 (talk) 20:49, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
In the U.S., the "ass" meaning of fanny is far too innocuous and even childish for gay men to want to use it to refer to sex. I'm an American gay man myself and I cannot imagine myself or any other gay man I know ever saying "I'm gonna get some fanny tonight". It would be as ridiculous as using tush, tushie or toches in the same context. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:27, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but we are talking about the vulgar British meaning of fanny :) --BB12 (talk) 05:29, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
That's what I thought at first too, and then you wrote "it seems odd that 'fanny' cannot be used for men since the meaning is ass" so I thought we had widened the scope of the discussion. Anyway, gay men do sometimes use "pussy" and "cunt" (often compounded with boy-) to refer to other men and their anuses, so if British gay men never use fanny that way, maybe it is an anomaly. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 05:58, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • It has been changed, but it still isn't right. The definition is "Sexual intercourse with a woman". The example sentence is "This club is full of fanny". "This club is full of fanny" definitely does not mean "This club is full of sexual intercourse with a woman". 20:49, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

jabłko, PolishEdit

The two pronunciations in IPA don't seem to be like the audio at all. Also, compare the recording on Forvo, To me it sounds like ['ja.bu.kɔ], three syllables. Here's another recording. Maybe it's ['ja.bu.ko̞]

All of them are correct: jabłko may be pronounced [ˈjap.w̥kɔ] or [ˈjap.kɔ]. NB—if it were pronounced as you suggest, the word stress would be on bu, not ja. In Polish, the penultimate syllable is stressed. —Stephen (Talk) 09:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I listened to all of them a few times, I don't see any reason to believe that the [w] is devoiced. I hope no one would mind if I change [ˈjabw̥.kɔ] to [ˈjabw.kɔ]. --WikiTiki89 20:05, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

lowe quotationEdit

Could someone check if this is okay? (Would it be better to add it to Lowe?) Thanks ~ DanielTom (talk) 07:38, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

I added links to translator and author. It should not be at [[Lowe#English]]. I also note that the Burton translation is not one of those listed in the WP article on Luís de Camões. DCDuring TALK 15:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Error in Russian word article Edit

Hi. Excuse me if I'm in the wrong forum for this type of topic. I happened to notice that the nominative/accusative singular of the Russian noun "словарь" in the English wiktionary are erroneous. Please note that I am not an expert in the Russian language. I have merely been learning the language as a hobby for the last two and a half years, which is why I am reluctant to try to edit the article myself. Also I don't know how to edit, so if someone would be so kind as to correct it I'd be grateful. Thanks.

This has been fixed now, thank you for pointing out. --Vahag (talk) 11:07, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Fixed, thanks. Vahagn beat me to it. Thanks! --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:08, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
(I didn't notice you have already replied, anyway, thanks both again) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:11, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


Could someone please add the pronunciation (IPA, audio would be nice too of course). I mainly asked because a player called Falcão signed for Manchester United and I'd like to be able pronounce it right (not [fʌlkaʊ] which is what English speakers tend to say). I think it might be /fal.kã/ but I'm not sure. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:32, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Ungoliant has added the Brazilian pronunciation (which can also be found in WP's article on Brazilian Paulo Roberto Falcão). This bizarre video for "fascist superhero Capitão Falcão" pronounces the word at the 11 second mark. - -sche (discuss) 19:04, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Dankeschön, danke schön, danke and thanks. TIA! [grin!]Edit

Due to real-life limitations, I can only post this here, so thank you in advance to anyone who can decide which of my points could be made into valid edits. I might make it back here to read any answers, but my health usually won't let me follow up anywhere, so I got to data-dump while I can.

On English WP, I wanted to say "thanks!" to a native German speaker, so I came here to verify spelling and copy the umlaut O. :) Poking around a bit, I found the four above entries here.

  1. I think all these entries should be cross-linked and linked from their English translations.
  2. The difference or lack thereof between dankeschön and danke schön should be mentioned in those two entries.
  3. In the danke entry, does the Related terms section fall under just the Verb section or also the rest of the German danke section? In other words, I couldn't add the two schön entries to that Related terms section because I didn't know if it was also a sub-section of the Interjection subheading. (Oh, I hope that makes sense!)
  4. Should a note be made about the song "Danke Schoen" and the reason why it's spelled that way, maybe with a link to WP?
  5. Should a link be made from the schön entry to these entries and vice versa?
  6. In the thanks entry, there's an image of that word with a caption that simply says, "Thanks" The image's info page says, "New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; added by those for whom prayer or miracles were granted." If this were WP, I'd base a new caption on that description, maybe starting with, "The word 'Thanks' on a votive plaque..." It occurred to me that maybe Wiktionary has a rule that captions must that simple, so I didn't make the change.

Well, there you are, and I hope this helps somehow, so, thanks! And danke! --Geekdiva (talk) 08:21, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

"avian ingestion" heteronym ?Edit

As I am not a native speaker of English, I'm posting here for clarification/editing of the "avian ingestion" entry.

In the entry, "bird strike" is mentioned as heteronym. This is clearly wrong as an heteronym is "A word having the same spelling as another, but a different pronunciation and meaning.".

However, I was wondering if "bird strike" should be considered as synonym or merely a related term not to "avian ingestion" ? The entry should be corrected anyway. -- Dodecaplex (talk)

Perhaps the contributor is trying to get at the apparent use of bird strike outside of aviation. That would possibly make avian ingestion (and bird ingestion) a hyponym of its hypernym bird strike. We should get citations for the use outside of aviation as bird strike at OneLook Dictionary Search only shows aviation definitions, except for the WP article. In the meantime, with the definitions given they are all synonyms. DCDuring TALK 10:10, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

testbed: definition is not general enoughEdit


Any platform (hardware or software) used as a basis for experimentation


a vehicle (as an airplane) used for testing new equipment (as engines or weapons systems); broadly : any device, facility, or means for testing something in development


I checked the TILF given as reference and none is said about Greek coming from Sanskrit. I guess they could be cognates, but not GR derived from HIN. Any further notice? Sobreira (talk) 12:58, 18 September 2014 (UTC)


Some Scottish football fans have suggested they may refrain from singing Flower of Scotland at Scotland's next football match as a way of reacting to the Scottish vote to remain in the UK. One fan, quoted in several papers, said google:"The anthem is completely redundant now." Is this a common use of redundant? Is it one that [[redundant]] covers? It doesn't seem to mean "superfluous", "repetitive, needlessly wordy", or "providing back up in the event another component fails". I guess it could mean "dismissed from employment", though I thought that sense applied only to employees (i.e. people, and in fictional settings possibly animals, aliens, robots, etc). It seems to me to mean something like "meaningless" or "impossible to take seriously", given that the comment quoted immediately before it is "How can we possibly sing Flower of Scotland when it contains the ridiculous line of 'But we can still rise now and be the nation again'?" - -sche (discuss) 15:51, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

I think it does mean "superfluous". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:38, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

German monthsEdit

Months in German have a few synonyms, I recently noticed. Have a look at some of the entries for them, which are bundled together:

Some are tagged archaic, others obsolete, some nouns with others proper nouns, others poetic, others don't exist. Perhaps someone with more German knowledge than me could check them over, as I guess there should be some kind of uniformity to this set. Danke. --Type56op9 (talk) 16:32, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

These are basically never used anymore, except in historical or pagan contexts. I doubt many people in Germany even know what they are. —CodeCat 16:43, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Good catch! There are actually many more month names than even that list suggests, e.g. August is not just Ernting but Erntemonat and Erntemond, as well as Ährenmonat, and rarely also Sichelmonat. Some names have multiple senses: in some books, Wolfsmonat means December, in others it means January, and supposedly in some it means November. I'll see about making a table in the appendix namespace to list all the names, sorted by which modern month they correspond to. It's actually probably not the case that they all deserve the same {{label}}; some are probably purely (obsolete), others (like Ährenmonat, it seems) are (obsolete except historical), others may be (obsolete outside paganism), and Wolfsmond seems to not only be obsolete, but have only been used to refer to historical peoples' calendars, i.e. it seems to be (historical, obsolete) or more verbosely (formerly historical, now obsolete).
As for what part of speech these are ... well, the standard month names (Januar, Februar, usw) are treated as nouns by en.Wikt and by de.Wikt; OTOH, en.Wikt calls the English month names proper nouns. Many have attested plurals, e.g. Julmonate, Februaries. - -sche (discuss) 19:30, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it would be fully correct to define these as coinciding with modern months, as many of them were not defined strictly in the past and basically expressed a more abstract idea of a time period or part of a season, and not really a month as we know it today. To define Wolfsmonat as just "December, January, November" doesn't do justice to the more general meaning of a name for a certain period of winter. —CodeCat 21:25, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
We should bring out the auld Germanic month names, IMHO. They go well with the Germanic weekdays. Tharthan (talk) 12:41, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

about timeEdit

This is shown as an adverb, but is it really? It doesn't seem to behave like other adverbs. It doesn't modify a verb for example. Can it be used anywhere except with be? —CodeCat 23:30, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Change to prepositional phrase, perhaps? Equinox 23:34, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
It's not a prepositional phrase because "about" here is an adverb. It a just noun phrase with the same function as just "time", as in "It is time for..." vs. "It is about time for...". Side note: not all adverbs modify verbs (e.g. "very"). --WikiTiki89 23:38, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
But "time" can be used on its own like a real noun. This phrase can't. So what do we call it? —CodeCat 21:20, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
When "time" is "used on its own like a real noun", it is not the same sense of "time" as in the phrase "it is time". --WikiTiki89 21:29, 24 September 2014 (UTC)


How can this relatively recent word have an "obsolete" sense? How do the two senses differ, anyhow? Equinox 00:07, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

It's also interesting that a neologism (allistic) is used to define an obsolete term. The tag "obsolete" was added by an anon who seems to have an agenda of checking everything related to autism. The same person also added the second definition. I would assume that he wants to point out that being not autistic is not a sufficient condition for being neurotypical. I would be inclined towards deleting the first sense as redundant. And once we get going, why keep the noun section at all? Isn't it describing a rather normal way of using an adjective as a noun? --Hekaheka (talk) 05:51, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

"Shrilly" pronunciationEdit

The entry for shrilly says it rhymes with ɪli. I geminate the L in pronunciation (which I think would be written -ɪ Am I alone? "ʃɹɪli" sounds silly.

No, you're not alone. I say /ˈʃɹɪ too, at least in careful speech. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:14, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
It appears it may have both pronunciations. Forvo has two recordings, one from the UK with /l.l/ and one from the US with /l/, but I doubt /l.l/ vs /l/ is a UK-US difference; I think it's just chance that their US informant uses the one variant and their UK informant uses the other. - -sche (discuss) 15:47, 20 September 2014 (UTC)


Is there a word in other languages for this too? Wyang (talk) 01:01, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Appletard, Mactard (derogatory). Equinox 01:45, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, are there any non-derogatory terms? Wyang (talk) 01:58, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Applehead (see -head) might be attestable. Equinox 01:59, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Page Creation RequestEdit

Hi! I would like to request for a "Tom Gates" page to be made, he is a author that writes books! Many kids love him and his amazing funny books!

This is something you should do at Wikipedia rather than Wiktionary, provided he is notable enough for Wikipedia's notability requirements. --WikiTiki89 17:12, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

In our use, is a gender-neutral pronoun. Is it a wrong?Edit

Further comments here: User_talk:Atitarev#.E4.BB.96_is_a_gender-neutral_pronoun.

I'm a Chinese native speaker. OK, I'm a Trad. Chinese speaker. In our common use, is a gender-neutral pronoun for all gender. Not only in talk, but also in dictionary. It is defined for a pronoun other than you and me, not defined gender.

I have discussed it with someone, someone make me discuss it at here with others. Zero00072 (talk) 04:15, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

I have added usage notes from dictionaries you have provided. The standard modern usage in standard Chinese for 他 is "he", though. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:17, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if this is considered traditional Chinese or Taiwanese usage only? Pleco, Wenlin and several other mainland dictionaries don't show it as gender-neutral. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:21, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
is coined by 劉半農 since 1930s. In traditional, we do not use . Zero00072 (talk) 04:34, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Also see this [[6]]. Zero00072 (talk) 04:39, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Your last link is not right. I've linked my talk page since there were a lot of comments there. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:00, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
The second link is broken because of the web site design. I have appended new links. Zero00072 (talk) 15:31, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
You can not find any in wikipedia:Dream_of_the_Red_Chamber which book is well known for most of Chinese native speakers, can you? In originally and traditionary, is for all gender. Chinese native speaker do not identify a third person's gender in general use. Zero00072 (talk) 15:31, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
  • It's also worth noting the distinction between speakers and readers and writers. The difference between traditional and simplified Chinese is a difference in spelling -- this has nothing to do with speech (so far as I know). The characters and are both pronounced the same in Mandarin, as with a high tone. So in speech, there is no difference -- there is only the one third-person singular pronoun . ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 20:58, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

@Eirikr, yes, it's all about the written form. The characters are pronounced identically. @Zero00072: Thanks for making your user page, now I can guess that you're from Taiwan. Is that right? Character doesn't seem as popular on Taiwanese sites as it is in mainland China. I found another confirmation of your claim - gender-neutrality (Wenlin - ABC dictionary, correcting my previous post). Of course, 她 won't appear in old texts or in classical Chinese. Perhaps, we should change the usage notes? I can add she/her to the definition line but I'd like to get some confirmation from mainlanders, if 他 is really used for both sexes in modern standard Chinese (Mandarin) (all dialects/topolects and classical Chinese seem gender-neutral) and if it (modern) gender-neutrality is specific to Taiwan and some overseas Chinese communities. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:24, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, you are right, I'm from Taiwan. I am happily that you can listen to our recommends. My idea is also adding she/her to the definition line, and explain some why or usage. I just want all Chinese learner who references to this dictionary not to ignore this definition and limit for only he. I also should to ask some of our friends from China to confirm it is a different between our educations. Zero00072 (talk) 01:53, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

baptism by fire vs. baptism of fireEdit

Is there really this suggested difference that "baptism of fire" is used in the military context and "baptism by fire" is reserved for non-military ordeals, or are we just confusing? According to Google Ngram "of" is more popular. Is there some reason for not combining the content of the two entries under "baptism of fire" and making "baptism by fire" an alternative-form-of entry? --Hekaheka (talk) 05:31, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

The "of" form sounds a bit strange to me. Checking Google News for the last month for both shows that ALL of the "by" usage was North American and almost all of the "of" usage was not, but there is more than half again as much usage of the "of" version. For both the News usage was mostly sports. It would seem the concept is more used outside of North America and that the "of" form dominates there.
In the Authorized KJV Matthew 3:11 has "he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire", with clearly conveying agency. But other NT references seem to use fire in the genitive in Greek.
Many books on baptism refer both to "baptism by fire" and "baptism of fire" as if they were interchangeable. DCDuring TALK 11:47, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

"clue-by-four" originEdit

I am curious where the term "clue-by-four" originally came from. The Wiktionary entry for it shows it in use as far back as 1993 (under citations), but I can't quite figure out what that means. Someone used the term on a message board in 1993?

I'm trying to find the first known use of this phrase - in a movie, or a TV show, etc. -- -- 12:58, 24 September 2014 User:KannD86

It's an allusion to desiring to hit an annoying person with a 2-by-4 piece of wood. Conceptually, one hits a clueless person with a "clue-by-four" to give them a clue. I would guess that it originated in the BBS or Usenet world, and is not a media reference... AnonMoos (talk) 16:20, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

been toEdit

Lately I've noticed that this construction cannot be used with any other form of the verb "to be". When it needs to be used in the present or future tense, it is replaced with "go to" ("I've never been to an island, but I am going to one this weekend."). I'm curious about the origin of this construction, whether anyone else finds it odd, and whether/how we can/should lemmatize it (perhaps simply been to?). Maybe it would even be appropriate to say that "been to" is an alternative past participle of "go to" used only for certain senses. --WikiTiki89 21:36, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

In my opinion, "been" can substitute for the past participle of "go" in certain contexts, but there is no way you can say it actually is a past participle of "go". By the way there is an article on the subject here, which you may have already seen. He gives other examples, such as "gone/been into", "gone/been over", etc., which show that this substitution is not confined to "gone/been to". 03:45, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
So, to complete that thought, my suggestion would be to put an entry under "been" reading "substitutes for 'gone' in certain phrases such as [examples]". 03:54, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't see any reason why we can't say it is a past participle of "go". After all, we do say that "went" is the past tense of "go" even though it's really just a substitute. But thanks for the article, I had not already seen it. --WikiTiki89 11:14, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
The article's argument clearly suggests that been can be used in the same sense with other locative expressions such as home, away, on the road, so an entry for been to would not come close to doing justice to the usage. Perhaps it could host a redirect to a usage note at [[go#Verb]].
A usage note at [[go]] could refer to the specific senses for which been is a permissible or preferred substitute for gone. Failing to specify the senses seems inadequate. DCDuring TALK 13:31, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
I can't find an applicable sense of go. DCDuring TALK 13:36, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Although I spoke earlier about "substituting", actually, in the case of "been to", it is more than that since the meaning is of course different. "I've been to Paris" =/= "I've gone to Paris". In some other cases, though, the meaning seems the same, e.g. "I've gone/been over the figures". So it seems that these can't all be lumped together. 20:21, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
The absence of forms other than past participle together with a significant difference in meaning between the expression with gone and been seems to me to be limited among prepositional phrase modifiers to those with for and to (including compounds like into, over to). All of the other locational prepositions, like at, in, and on can be used with be in the present (and other) tenses. In these cases, the been version seems to indicate that the state described no longer obtains, whereas the gone form implies that the state still obtains.
He had gone for a run. | He had been for a run. - clear difference
She has gone to Sheffield. | She has been to Sheffield. - clear difference
They will have gone around to the house. | They will have been around to the house. - difference
The dog has gone onto the bed. | The dog has been onto the bed. - some difference?
In each case except possibly the last the present tense of be is not possible, IMO.
It think both for and to have elements of some kind of accomplishment that may or may not be complete, but apparently some kind of change to an "away" location is needed. This kind of distinction doesn't happen with come.
It seems to me that it is not that go has two past participle but rather that be can't be used except in the perfect tenses with prepositional phrases headed by to and for. DCDuring TALK 05:10, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
But "be" can be used with other prepositions too, as noted above, e.g. "been over/through the figures". 12:00, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I was having trouble finding other prepositions where there was both:
  1. a difference in meaning between the expression "been + PREP + OBJ" and "gone + PREP + OBJ" and
  2. no use of "other forms of be + PREP + OBJ.
I concentrated on prepositions because there are relatively few of them and they seem to me to span the range of locative and metaphorically locative possibilities. I'd be happy to find that I'd missed something. DCDuring TALK 21:33, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Re "I've been to Paris" =/= "I've gone to Paris": My point was that the word "go" in other tenses has both meanings, but in the past participle there is a distinction between "gone" and "been". Thus the choice of "been" or "gone" depends on the intended sense of "go". --WikiTiki89 22:44, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
In case it's of any relevance, the Dutch copula zijn (cognate with be in part) also has this sense. But it's not limited to only the past participle; the present and past finite forms can also be used this way. So it may be a more universal thing and not limited to English alone. What about other Germanic languages? —CodeCat 18:12, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
It's probably of relevance, but I'd need some historical grammarian to help me with the interpretation. I have only Curme and a short Jespersen grammar to help with that. I don't know where I could get convenient library access to the complete long Jespersen. DCDuring TALK 21:38, 26 September 2014 (UTC)


Does compendial merit an article? The word is used in relation to pharmacopoeia. --CopperKettle (talk) 15:47, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

We didn't, but now do, have the specific pharmaceutical industry subsense of compendium, from which compendial seems to be derived. I haven't yet found any use of the term outside of the pharmaceutical industry. It is certainly attestable.
I think pharmacopeial (from pharmacopeia) is nearly synonymous, though it may be a hyponym referring principally to the US Pharmacopeia and the US Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc., its publisher. Also, pharmacopoeia and its derived term pharmacopoeial seem to be used with respect to all other comparable national and international standards. DCDuring TALK 16:35, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, DCDuring! Ours seems to be the first dicitionary to include "compendial". --CopperKettle (talk) 08:10, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

kuff, kuffsEdit

Some treat this a singular, even though the Arabic root of the English borrowing 'kuffar' is plural (so they write 'a kuff', 'these kuffs', 'the kuffs'). Others (I supppose with a better knowledge of Arabic) treat it as plural ('the kuff', 'those kuff'). I don't know how to treat this using 'en-noun'. At the moment I have left it with the plural 'kuffs' displayed for want of a better option, especially as I don't usually make English entries. Thanks for any help. Kaixinguo (talk) 21:09, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Also, I have been on all kinds of dodgy websites looking for citations. In the end I gave up as I don't want to be put on some kind of list. Kaixinguo (talk) 21:12, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Is Twitter considered durably archived? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:18, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
It won't be on 'Usenet' as the people using the word were probably not yet born when that was fashionable. Kaixinguo (talk) 21:24, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

dúr Irish, in the entry for dour.Edit

dúr Irish, in the entry for dour.

If you click dúr the only entry is Icelandic.

If you search dur you find neither the Irish nor the Icelandic. GHibbs (talk) 08:52, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

If you look at dur, you will see a "see also dúr" at the very top. The dúr page just needs to have the Irish added. Irish dúr means stupid. Also, dour needs the Scottish Gaelic added. —Stephen (Talk) 09:08, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm adding it now. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 09:10, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Also, the Scottish Gaelic is dùr, dour would be Scots. I'm not exactly au fait with Scots, so someone might want to check that bit. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 12:30, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Scots is not a separate language, just a dialect or variety of English. Some words from regional dialects remain confined to their regions, while others make their way into the "universal" language. "dour" is in the latter category, so there is no meaningful distinction between the ordinary English-language word and a supposed "Scots" word. 13:23, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Here at Wiktionary, Scots is definitely a separate language. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:30, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
If Wiktionary truly considered Scots a separate language then about 20,000 ordinary English words in common use by "Scots" speakers would have to be given separate "Scots" entries. In fact, Wiktionary simply lists special dialect words and spellings. 14:04, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
It's true that the majority of our Scots entries are for words or spellings that are different from standard English, but we do have some exceptions, such as Aristotle, electrical, electromagnetic, mine and technological. At any rate we certainly have no rules excluding Scots words whose spellings and meanings are identical to their English equivalents. If people want to add them, they're more than welcome. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:03, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Alternative pronunciations of /-ʌl, -oʊl, -ʊl/ in EnglishEdit

As suggested by -sche (talkcontribs), I am opening this topic here. I've never used the Tea Room before, so I don't necessarily know what to expect, or how this is all supposed to work. This topic extends existing discussing already started User talk:Angr#bold in North American English here. The topic is the gradual and pervasive merger of /-l̩, -ʌl, -oʊl, -ʊl/ in General American and North American English in general, especially among the Millennial Generation. And through -sche's edits, this topic seems to have been expanded to cover the treatment of /-əʊl/ in U.K. English and how it becomes more like [-ɔʊɫ] (the wholly-holy split). The latter situation seems to be better studied and documented than the former situation, and yet anyone who watches American television knows it's commonplace for Millennials to merge /-l̩, -ʌl, -oʊl, -ʊl/ into a common /-l̩/ sound. Many of us who speak so-affected forms of North American English know there is more often than not no difference in the pronunciation of pairs like bold-bulled, bowl-bull, coal-cull, cold-culled, colt-cult, dole-dull, foal-full, goal-gull, hold-hulled, hole-hull, knoll-null, mold-mulled, mole-mull, pole-pull, scold-skulled, seminal-Seminole, and such. Differences that do exist in speech either sound very dated, elderly-accented, or only distinct sometimes when enunciated, and even in enunciation the exact pronunciation often requires consulting a dictionary to see which vowel a word used to have. Since dictionaries are descriptive as well as prescriptive, there seems no harm in providing additional alternative pronunciations with a broad transcription of /-l̩/ where these mergers occur.

"Mono-" means "one", and "-cle" is a kind of slaw. - Steve Smith, American Dad

- Gilgamesh (talk) 14:16, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

As a native speaker of GAE, I do not pronounce any of those pairs alike, although I do suppose they could possibly sound similar, especially in mumbled speech. And I do not doubt there may be individuals out there who may pronounce them the same, but it's not so widespread that it has even caught my attention enough. Also I think we'd be jumping the gun to describe differentiation in the above pairs as "dated"'s not. Leasnam (talk) 16:57, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I will have to ask all of my over-34 elderly acquaintances whether they have noticed this. I am too old to have any non-elderly acquaintances. DCDuring TALK 17:18, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Lol, then I am glad I do not qualify as either. Ask Avril Lavigne, she might know :p —This unsigned comment was added by Leasnam (talkcontribs).
The Atlas of North American English by William Labov and his coworkers reports on the results of a telephone survey of 762 native English speakers from the U.S. and Canada. Of all these people, they found exactly one (a male from Pittsburgh born in the 1930s) for whom full, fool, and cold all have the same vowel (culture had a different vowel, though). A few other people may merge two of these three sequences (especially full/fool) but not all three. Before we add pronunciations like "/kl̩d/" to cold I would like to see some scholarly recognition that (1) such a merger exists more than sporadically and (2) that the merged vowel is really /l̩/, which seems highly implausible (/kʊld/ I could believe, but /kl̩d/ with no vowel at all beggars belief). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:21, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Like Angr, I'd like to see scholarly recognition / evidence of this supposed phenomenon. Anecdotally, since it came up on Angr's talk page that he's 46 and Gilgamesh is 34, I should point out that when I say I've never heard this supposed millennial pronunciation, I'm 26, and most of my American friends (from such varied places as Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, and Illinois) are in their 20s, too, and I don't recall hearing them merge "bull" and "bowl", "(mono)cle" and "cole", etc. One of my American friends teaches at a ?high? school now (or middle school? I'm not sure); I'll ask her if her pupils merge these sounds. - -sche (discuss) 22:16, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia's article on vowel changes before /l/ does mention, with frustratingly little detail, that "Labov, Ash, and Boberg (2006: 73) mention four mergers before /l/ that may be under way in some accents of North American English, and which require more study: /ʊl/ and /ol/ (bull vs bowl), /ʌl/ and /ɔl/ (hull vs hall), /ʊl/ and /ʌl/ (bull vs hull), [and] /ʌl/ and /ol/ (hull vs hole)". The work in question seems to be the same one Angr refers to, but perhaps a different edition. - -sche (discuss) 22:16, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
OK, this article has some info on people in late-1990s Waldorf, Maryland, who merge some or all of pole/pull/pool; this paper by the same author provides more information. This paper by John Riebold (given in 2014) lists "the 'bull'-'bowl' merger (/ʊ, o, ʌ/ before /l/) (Squizzero, 2009)" as one of the features of Northwestern American English.
This is the 2006 Atlas of North American English by Labov et al. which WP cites; at the very end of chapter 9, it says "In the course of the study, Telsur found evidence for a number of other mergers of back vowels before /l/ codas. Figure 9.4 shows a merger of /owl/ with /uwl/ and /ul/. Minimal pairs for these contrasts were introduced in the course of the study but not consistently over the whole Telsur sample. In order of frequency of ʻsameʼ responses, these items were:
– the merger of /ul/ and /owl/ as in bull and bowl;
– the merger of /ʌl/ and /ohl/ as in hull and hall;
– the merger of /ul/ and /ʌl/ as in the rhyming pair bull and hull;
– the merger of /ʌl/ and /owl/ as in hull and hole.
The first three of these at least deserve further study."
These resources are all sadly silent on what vowel it is, exactly, which results from the merger. (I found these by googling "bull-bowl merger" and "pull-pole merger".) - -sche (discuss) 23:34, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I belong to this so-called "Millennial Generation" and I make all of these distinctions, as does everyone whose speech I've every paid attention to. The only merger before /l/ that I have is bowl-poll. --WikiTiki89 22:50, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Its funny Waldorf MD is mentioned above bc earlier this discussion reminded me of Good Charlotte's music and they are from Waldorf i believe. What we're hearing in these mergers, i think, is a fad pronunciation (?, that kids will grow out of?). My nephew went thru this about 2 years ago and it lasted about a week. Leasnam (talk) 01:09, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Huh, I did not at all expect all this.
Speaking strictly of my own experiences, I hear this merger constantly, both in media and among my siblings (of whom I am the youngest). And our family has lived in California, Nevada, New Jersey, Utah, Washington state, and in an overseas American expatriate community where I spent most of my childhood. The people there came from all over the United States, and some from Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries. It's been suggested the merger we're discussing is common in the Pacific Northwest, but I've never lived there (I wasn't born yet when my family lived there). Knowing what I know about phonetics, I'd estimate the merged vowel is [ɤˡ] (L-colored unrounded mid back vowel). All my vowels unround before /ɫ/, and front vowels diphthong into back vowels or L-break before /ɫ/. Trying to round the consonant as [ɫʷ] makes it sound too much like /w/. So this is how my vowels contour before /ɫ/:
/ɫ̩, ʌɫ, oʊɫ, ʊɫ/ → [ɤˡ]
/æɫ, aʊɫ/ → [æɤˡ]
/ɑɫ, ɔɫ/ → [ɑˡ]
/aɪɫ/ → [ɑi.ɤˡ ~ aɛɤˡ]
/ɛɫ/ → [ɛɤˡ]
/eɪɫ/ → [ɛi.ɤˡ ~ eɤˡ]
/ɪɫ/ → [ɪɤˡ]
/iɫ/ → [i.ɤˡ ~ iɯˡ]
/ɔɪɫ/ → [ɔi.ɤˡ ~ ɔɛɤˡ]
/uɫ/ → [ɯˡ]
So let's say this merger is indeed some kind of regional or marginal feature. But I still hear it all over the place. I don't know how to explain it when other people of my similar age group with a similar-sounding accent do perceive the difference where I don't. - Gilgamesh (talk) 04:22, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Part of the reason why it's important to find scholarly information about this is that people often hear what they expect to hear and don't notice when other people make phonemic contrasts or phonemic mergers that the listeners don't make. I bet most Americans who have the Mary/merry/marry merger or the cot/caught merger do not notice that other people have distinctions there, unless they're interested in language and have a good ear. That's why I've been avoiding the "I've never heard this merger" argument the whole time: I don't think I've ever heard this merger (and I do notice some mergers not my own, like when Michael Jackson sings "fill" for feel in "Speechless"), but maybe I have heard it and just didn't notice. Likewise I strongly suspect Gilgamesh has heard people his age and younger make the distinction, but just didn't notice. So rather than relying on our own intuitions and anecdotal evidence, we need to see what published sociolinguists and phoneticians have to say. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:56, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
That's a very good point. I suppose I'll have to yield on this topic for now as far as article pronunciation guides are concerned, barring better evidence. Still though, it's a bit irritating to be told that the lifelong deeply-ingrained speech patterns I have, seem to be so poorly researched. I mean, I do perceive it (or at least I taught myself to perceive it) when someone enunciates o as /oʊ/ in words like bold, but it certainly sounds old-fashioned, stilted or foreign—it sounds "accented". - Gilgamesh (talk) 15:59, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you may have set up a false dilemma. I certainly (and clearly) distinguish bold from bulled and hold from hulled, but I don't think the vowel I have in bold/hold is really [oʊ]; or at least, to me it sounds quite different from the vowel I have in bone. So I think you might well notice and perceive those few speakers who pronounce bold with a full [oʊ], and yet be completely unaware of the vast majority of speakers who distinguish all of these vowels. —RuakhTALK 02:37, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Very strange indeed. Still, I speak and perceive the ways I do. If these characteristics are indeed less pervasive than I perceived, I wonder where mine came from. I've lived all over. - Gilgamesh (talk) 08:35, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Gilgamesh -- In my particular variety of American English, there is a partial merger of [ɨ] and [ʊ], so that a word like "bull" can end up being pronounced with a stressed syllabic [l]. However, this causes the merger in pronunciation of rather few words, if any at all (it could theoretically cause the merger of historical [ɜːr] words with historical [uːr]/[ʊər] words, but I can't find any actual case)... AnonMoos (talk) 16:47, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

I shall copy here what I have already said on this subject:

First of all, the Millennial Generation did not unanimously begin around 1980. There are differing views on that. Personally, I consider myself born around the end of Generation Y. Twoth, I merge pole and poll (except in perhaps über-sounding out speech) but not pull, I do not pronounce -cle to rhyme with "cole", nor do I pronounce "howl" as /hæl/ (I pronounce "howl" as /haʊl/), I pronounce "twenty' as /twɛnti/, not /ˈtwʊni/ or /ˈtʍɤɾ̃i/, my /æŋ/s and /eɪŋ/s fluctuate based on the swiftness of my speech (as do, to a far lesser extent, my /æn/s and /ɛən/s). Finally, Gilgamesh, I was born in the '90s. So... I doubt the mergers that you describe are as widespread as you believe them to be.


Ruakh, you say that bold has a different vowel than bone for you. What vowel does it have for you, then? For me, bold and bone have the same vowel. Tharthan (talk) 18:24, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't know about Ruakh, but for me they have the same vowel phoneme, but different allophones: the vowel in bone is a real diphthong [boʊn], while the vowel in bold is monophthongal [boːɫd], or if it is diphthongal, then diphthongal in a different direction [boəɫd]. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:01, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
I know a girl, early 20's, from around west of Denver, and she pronounces the 'o' in bold very short, like in for. To me, her pronunciation is the one that sounds affected and fremd like a foreign accent, as though she were from Germany or the Upper Midwest, yet further "west". Perhaps that is what you are hearing. That is a very non-standard American pronunciation. She is originally from Utah, I believe. Leasnam (talk) 06:12, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
If it is of any help, I pronounce bold as [bo̞ːɫd] and bone as something more like [bəʊn] (I'm not sure about the exact nature of the [ə], but it is certainly more central and less rounded than the [o̞]). In case it makes a difference, I was born in the early 1990s. --WikiTiki89 12:31, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Huh. I was born in the late '90s, and pronounce bold with the same vowel as bone. I will yield that I may pronounce bold with /o/ or /o̞/, and bone with /oʊ/, however. Tharthan (talk) 12:38, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

This discussion has gotten complicated enough that I think we can generally agree that these topics need a lot more study than they've been getting. Until then, it appears that accent drift makes us hear only our own distinctions and perceive them as being perhaps more common than they actually are. I will admit that there are other members of my immediate family who have speech patterns I don't share. My older sister (a Generation X-er) says both as /ˈbl̩θ/ and coma as /ˈkl̩mə/, though I settled into using normal /oʊ/ with them, and she uses normal /oʊ/ for most other words in that lexical set as well. As a child, learning new words and how to read and write, I thought coma had an L in it because of my sister. My mom was from Texas and my dad is from Michigan and they also have certain pronunciation patterns I never shared. - Gilgamesh (talk) 09:09, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Well of course that's how it is. If it wasn't, the merry-Mary-marry merger likely wouldn't be so prevalent. People would have stopped the offender and said "Um, no. You're doing it wrong. Please stop doing that, for it is making my ears bleed." and that would have been that (of course, this also applies to mergers that have happened centuries upon centuries ago as well, but I'm just noting this one for sake of example). People wouldn't think that words rhymed that didn't if they were learnt enough (or simply never grew up mispronouncing them) to know that they didn't rhyme, but wellawoe, that is not the case. We are, as has has happened since pre-history, doomed to become simpler and simpler as time goes on, until we are so pathetically simple and base that we are destroyed by some other creature. Such is life; "If you're too smart to go along with shenanigans, you get the boot", or (in less biased terms) "Those that choose not to adapt will most likely not survive". Tharthan (talk) 19:26, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
A purely prescriptivist approach is unsustainable because the standard it prescribes soon becomes obsolete even to the well-spoken. And apparently a purely descriptivist approach seems to have problems of its own if Urban Dictionary cannot be cited as a source. I was well-educated and I've been reading dictionaries for years. But even someone like that, can look at a dictionary entry, and intuit, "wait...that's not how it's pronounced," and make good faith edits adding additional pronunciations to supplement what is already there. I lean towards descriptivism over prescriptivism—language has rules and structure, but it's also a creature that evolves in everyday life, and a dictionary needs to frequently revise its content to maintain its relevance to everyday life, which is part of why we're all here as editors. For now, I think we're in general agreement that we could use some better documentary evidence for some of these pronunciations if we cannot seem to reach a consensus of how common or rare they actually are. Still, it's rather unpleasant when another editor reverts my good faith pronunciation edit and flat-out tells me I'm wrong, leaving me to wonder what opposite corner of the planet they must be from to have never heard it before. Aggressive prescriptivism can be antagonizing that way, as it superficially appears to create an up-front assumption of either stupidity or bad faith. While I understand that the nature of divergent personal phonotactics can help explain such disagreements, it's still often a blindside to experience them in the first place. - Gilgamesh (talk) 10:57, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Actually a purely prescriptivist approach is sustainable for quite long periods of time (many centuries). What you eventually end up with is a diglossia. The whole descriptivism vs. prescriptivism "debate" is quite meaningless anyway. It is fairly obvious that a more prescriptive approach is better for communication purposes, while a descriptive approach is better for scientific purposes. Since Wiktionary tries to be everything, the only viable solution is to be descriptive of the prescription. But describing everything is an attainable goal, thus there must be things that we choose not to describe and you should not immediately conclude when we choose not to describe something that we are being prescriptive. --WikiTiki89 11:24, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
I think there's a happy medium that we can strive for. By no means do I want to include only pronunciations that are sanctioned as prescriptively correct, but I do want to include only pronunciations that can be independently verified. There are plenty of scholarly sources that discuss nonstandard pronunciations of American English, so those can be listed (I'd have no objection at all to including /fɪl/ as a pronunciation of feel, since that's discussed in the literature). But I do have to draw the line at pronunciations that are based solely on a single user's intuition. I have nonstandard pronunciations in my own speech (/ˈtwʌn(t)i/ for twenty, /sɛns/ for since, /kɛtʃ/ for catch, etc.), but I wouldn't think of adding those to the entries unless I could confirm their existence in a published source. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:57, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Gilgamesh, if we do not "prescribe" and "proscribe" things, and have those prescriptions and proscriptions enforced and taken seriously, language will just change for the worst (read: change towards further extreme simplification). That said, some prescriptions and proscriptions are erroneous, but I'd rather have people have a few erroneous forms in their speech than be merging things left and right until they sound like a dufus (like that one guy I ran into when I was in Virginia one time who pronounced the word "scythe" as if the unetymological "c" was actually pronounced, because he clearly seems to think that each and every spelling pronunciation is accurate). Nevertheless, we are wont to be lazy, so we will probably just be saying /ɑ.i.o.ɑ/ for "What is your name?" in one thousand years (if not earlier). "English" (if it still exists as "English") will probably be called simply /i:/. My point is, I will not stand for the flouting of people who speak correctly (read: having relatively minimal mergers in comparison to other dialects and retaining more conservative aspects of a language [though, of course, not all historical forms of something are accurate forms]) by way of argumenta ad numerum, as oft happens (and is happening) to many who are actually doing things correctly. I'd rather be (hyperbolically) bemartyred than concede to stark falsehoods in this particular situation. Yet, you are correct, full on prescriptivist ideology wouldn't work either, because it would introduce numerous fallacies. There needs to be a balance, and (today) unfortunately, there is not. Things are particularly descriptivist (or erroneously prescriptivist) nowadays anent this, and that needs to change because it is evident that it is messing with the language far too much. In the olden days, this is where languages would often break apart, so each side somewhat got what they wished for. But today, people aren't allowed to speak differently. Whomever has the guns and weapons and population controls everybody else. It's nonsensical, and I won't stand for it (and will actively try to combat it). Tharthan (talk) 19:49, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
  • @Tharthan, by your apparent argument, Cervantes was merely a "dufus" who couldn't speak proper Latin. But then, Cicero was merely a "dufus" who couldn't speak proper PIE.
You come across as very concerned about "correct" speech. Who is the arbiter of "correct"? One person's minimal mergers in comparison to other dialects might be another's excessive divergences in comparison to other dialects, or another's ridiculously pedantic, or yet another's not entirely intelligible.
Languages change. This is inevitable, and natural, and the cumulative result of these changes does not produce anything better or worse than the ancestor tongues -- simply different. My own understanding of the Wiktionary mission is that Wiktionary is in the business of describing the current state of all languages. Describing includes noting, where appropriate, when certain terms or pronunciations or spellings might be regarded as "preferred" or "proscribed", and noting in what contexts they might be so. But describing does not go so far as to lay any absolute value judgment: Wiktionary (ideally) describes what is, not what should be by someone's arbitrary metric.
In a related, and hopefully more mirthful, mien, I ran across a list years ago that purported to predict how each language would change over the next few centuries. English would go on to absorb the vocabulary of all languages. Japanese would absorb the writing systems of all languages. And French would become one long string of vowels.
So I suppose your suggested /ɑ.i.o.ɑ/ for "What is your name?" implies that English will give way to French?  :) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 20:53, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
I never said that languages shouldn't change. I simply said that, oftentimes, in the past, languages would break apart in this sort of situation and develop their own ways. In today's world, that's not being allowed. People are being forced to essentially accept any and every change into their language till, indeed, we will simply be speaking the /i:/ language instead of the English language. This is demented. Now imagine if this happened in the past like it is now (in terms of a language not being allowed to break apart and instead forced to accept every terrible mutation to the language).
Latin's (or, more accurately, late Proto-Italic's) stupid th-fronting (the most despicable sound change, in my humble opinion, and the only one I actually would do everything in my power to completely prevent spreading at all costs) probably would have spread to every single other Indo-European language that had developed /θ/ and /ð/.
Furthermore, one instance in which I strongly approve of sound change is if it does away with historical th-fronting. Spanish, for the most part, has done a splendid job in this aspect, replacing those "false f"s with a written h that is not pronounced. Beautiful. I'd rather have anything else happen to /θ/ and /ð/ than them be fronted. Hence why the Germanic language that I like the least is Faroese, even though it is relatively conservative. It fronts "th"s in many instances, which is a shame, as it is otherwise a fairly alright language. Tharthan (talk) 23:40, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

I pronounce "twenty" (when not attempting to emphasize the word) as [twʌ̃ɾiː] with heavily nasalized (and possibly somewhat glottalized or semi-creaky) [ʌ] vowel followed by a flap. It does not at all rhyme with "funny", which is ordinary plain [fʌniː]... AnonMoos (talk) 12:04, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

I've been reading that John Riebold paper linked above, and it indeed documents a lexical merger that matches the merger I originally discussed. Since it is documented, we can discuss it as a Northwestern pronunciation norm. It's bizarre considering I've never lived there, but since speech influences are ultimately more complex than where we were born and who our parents were, I'm willing to accept it for now.
But Tharthan, I cannot really agree that we can make value judgments about whether language change is "better" or "worse", and we cannot necessarily presume that all changes are toward the simpler. While it is true that many languages seem to gradually simplify towards analytic languages, actual analytic languages tend to gradually develop agglutinative features. Isolated words become clitics and then affixes, and some even lose their independent syllables, as seen in languages like French. And then languages can lose the resulting consonant clusters altogether, compensating through the phonemicization of tones and/or word compounding, as seen in languages like Mandarin. Similar features we see in English are not necessarily simpler, nor are they "better" or "worse", such as pen-pin merger accents that coin compound words like "ink-pen" and "stick-pin" to disambiguate merged homophones. The only objective thing we can generally say about language change, is that they make the language different from what it used to be. United languages are communicative, and standards are helpful, but standards that cannot adapt to change and diversity will calcify and lose their living social relevance. - Gilgamesh (talk) 08:31, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
One slightly-tongue-in-cheek hypothesis made by a linguist (I believe at the Language Log) was that languages have a constant amount of complexity; that when one area gets simplified, another gets more complex. (The problem for testability as he pointed out was quantifying complexity.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:11, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
A few comments (more later, maybe):
The point that there's a difference between production and perception of sounds is important. The papers I linked to about Waldorf discuss how the merger there has been one of perception more than of production.
I strongly suggest that if we do include merged pronunciations of bull, bowl, etc, we label them with an accent template that is named something like Template:accent:bull-bowl or Template:accent:pull-pool-pole (à la Template:accent:father-bother), even if we make the template's display text something different. That way, we can always refine the display text later without having to update all the entries. As for what the display text should be: "Northwestern" has been suggested as an ersatz label, but simply "bull-bowl merger" or "pull-pool-pole merger", linked the way Template:accent:father-bother is to information about the merger (either on Wikt or on WP), would probably be more sensible/accurate.
To what extent do the full-fool, hull-hole and doll-dole mergers WP mentions cover (account for the pieces of) the pull-pool-pole merger? Is the pull-pool-pole merger a combination of those mergers, diachronically speaking? Should we list the pronunciations that result from those mergers, too?
General question: Should we create a master-template (vaguely like the one Chinese uses, but hopefully less tabular) which would accept all these pronunciations as input, and by default only show some of them (e.g. GenAm, RP, Aus), with the others (New York, Southern US, Estuary English, full-fool merger, etc) collapsed to avoid taking up too much space? - -sche (discuss) 16:54, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

What a transcription of English here should beEdit

The practical necessity for English transcription conventions here is that a speaker of quasi-standard English can identify what each set of symbols corresponds to in his or her own dialect. We don't transcribe "tort" and "taught" identically (even though some pronounce the two words the same) because a significant number of speakers of quasi-standard English make a distinction between the two. If our transcriptions reflect all the distinctions made in all the major varieties of quasi-standard English, then the result could turn out to be slightly more conservative than any one of them -- but this does not mean that it is "prescriptive", only that it contains enough information so that speakers of all major varieties of quasi-standard English can easily figure out what the symbols used mean in their own pronunciations, without being distracted by issues such as would face speakers of rhotic dialects if we were to transcribe "tort" and "taught" identically.
These principles would indicate that mergers occurring in relatively few dialects should not generally affect Wiktionary transcriptions... AnonMoos (talk) 11:49, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

I might pronounce "tort" and "taught" identically very often because I speak a non-rhotic dialect, but that doesn't make non-rhotic dialects "quasi-standard". Keep in mind that the loss of rhoticity was a shift in English dialects. Before that shift, all English dialects were rhotic. Furthermore, modern rhotic dialects today are no less "standard" than any other (at least in terms of their rhoticity/non-rhoticity). Tharthan (talk) 13:36, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't want to get into any extended discussion of the definition of standard English. A generation ago, it was pretty much defined as Daniel Jones' Received Pronunciation in the U.K. and so-called "General American" in its broadcast network standard form in the U.S. Today things are a little bit more complex and diverse, but the principles of my message of "11:49, 3 October 2014" above still apply... AnonMoos (talk) 15:25, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
What you're advocating is essentially an IPA transcription of enPR, or what linguists call a diaphonemic transcription. I'm not opposed to that; I've mostly done the same for Dutch as well (although User:Morgengave seems to disagree). —CodeCat 15:33, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia uses a diaphonemic transcription. I was at first opposed to it there, but finally relented because the alternative was having several lines of text taken up with alternative pronunciations, which is annoying in an encyclopedia article. But in a dictionary entry, there's room to list RP and GenAm (and multiple other accents) separately and a whole ===Pronunciation=== section to do it in. And for English, we already have enPR to be diaphonemic, so we don't need to do it all over again in IPA. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:30, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I still don't see why we can't have something like I suggested in a previous BP discussion that includes both diaphonemic and phonemic transcriptions. --WikiTiki89 18:02, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
CodeCat, Angr, Wikitiki89 -- it seems to me that any practical pronunciation transcription convention (which is not closely tied to one single prestige dialect only) must contain some kind of diaphonemic component, or else alternative transcriptions for many words would be multiplied beyond reasonable limits... AnonMoos (talk) 19:33, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
AnonMoos, you do realise that General American did not create the dialects of English spoken in North America. My dialect, for instance, is not at all derived from it, and is quite significantly different from it. Furthermore, your claims would be like saying that Scots-influenced Scottish English is derived from Received Pronunciation. Clearly not!
Furthermore, "General American" (allegedly a form of American English, though its birth certificate lists its name as "durpspeek", and that it is the less bright relative of the more well-known [and many scores better] "leetspeek". At its christening, it had its name given as "Gibberish", a name it retained until relatively recently, when it filed a court order to be renamed "General American") is a loathful abomination based on the fallacious idea that the "true" "American" dialects were those spoken in the centre of the country, as if all other dialects spun out from the Midwestern dialects. The fact that we even include it here is an honest-to-goodness rue-bargain. But whatever, I'm not here to discuss the inclusion of gibberish on Wiktionary. In fact, your argument that was essentially "Last time I checked, it was just RP and General American" is nonsense. It is quite easy for a nearly mandated method of speaking in the media to convince people that everybody actually speaks in such a way. FOR INSTANCE, as I brought up earlier, Mid-Atlantic English, the predecessor to durpsp-err, I mean "General American", was SO common from the 1930s to the early 1960s that, some who lack familiarity with what Mid-Atlantic English actually was that live nowadays actually believe that EVERYONE spoke like that back in those times.
In any case, whether or not any modern Benedict Arnolds of sorts wish to sound like fools and speak this pseudo-dialectal levelling durpspeek language, it doesn't change the fact that the real English dialects of North America do not derive from it. Tharthan (talk) 18:58, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Tharthan -- unfortunately, you do not seem to have a solid grasp on the main issues involved. It has nothing to do with which dialects are "derived" from each other, but with which dialects are most prestigious currently, and Wikipedia/Wiktionary does not decree this, but rather merely recognizes the external realities. In any case, a dictionary transcription system which contains enough information to include the contrasts of both traditional RP and traditional network standard GenAm would appear to contain enough information to also represent the contrasts of 1930s "Mid-Atlantic" (also known as Margaret Dumont speak, and which was widely prestigious at least two generations ago, not one, anyway)... -- AnonMoos (talk) 19:33, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
It's pretty clear Tharthan has very strong subjective opinions about accents he likes and those he doesn't like, and that he isn't going to allow anything like facts to get in the way of those opinions. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:05, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
GenAm is so designated because it's perceived by a lot of Americans as "neutral" or "unaccented", not because it's better or because it's the source of all the others (though some might erroneously believe that). Someone who uses GenAm pronunciation won't be perceived as a regional speaker in the same way as someone using a Northeastern or Southern pronunciation. It may all be a matter of perception, but it's accepted by a lot of US speakers. You're welcome to feel otherwise, but your comments elsewhere about the evils of Proto-Italic th-fronting demonstrate that you're so far from the mainstream as to border on goofiness. While it's nice to be passionate about language, too much passion over minor things tends to make you look silly. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:07, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
@AnonMoos How so? (Regarding your claim that a transcription system that contains enough information to include both traditional RP & GA contrasts would also appear to do the same for Mid-Atlantic English)
@Angr It really depends on which facts are being brought up in the discussion, honestly.
@Chuck Entz Yeah, you'd be surprised at how many people one can run into that seem to think that GA is the source of all other dialects. This is especially true in the mid to lower part of the east coast, I've found, in comparison to more northern parts. But that's just gathered from my own personal experience.
Well, much of the population tends to believe that they don't possess an accent (even though that is quite impossible). So I don't think that a common perception of GA being unaccented is that extraordinary (especially when a lot of those people live in areas where their local dialects are/are related to the dialects from which General American was derived). In fact, most people I've run into from where I live call GA "TV Speech" or the like (and I know that I'm not the only one who has run into people who describe it as such), which seems to be a counter-view to what you described.
Indeed, I'll admit that there is no particular reason based in common logic for me to hate th-fronting any more than any other sound change. It's but a very stark pet peeve, in reality. Tharthan (talk) 22:11, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Chosing for one transcription can easily be interpreted as a choice for a certain pronounciation over others, and can even been seen as prescribing a certain pronounciation, which compromises our perception of neutrality. Chosing for multiple transcriptions on the other hand clutters the pronounciation section, at least it would do so in the current lay-out. In my view, the choice is then easily made: let us adapt the lay-out of the pronounciation section. This worked well for amongst others the translations section, and enables us to remain neutral. In addition, it also helps people who are interested in studying, comparing or learning more about different accents, adding another layer of useful information to this dictionary. Morgengave (talk) 19:08, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

I honestly think that the pronunciation section works fine as it is (minus the fact that we constantly draw attention to "RP" and "GA). Nevertheless, if we were to add more dialects to the pronunciation key, I would have no objections. However, I think attempting a grand change to the system right now might not be the best idea. It most likely would be better to simply deal with problematic words as they come. But that's just my tuppence worth. Tharthan (talk) 20:12, 4 October 2014 (UTC)


I'm thinking about creating this entry, with the definition "from the start of a trial to the finish", but I can't decide if it's a noun or an adjective. Thoughts? Purplebackpack89 04:05, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

In this instance it would be an adjective Leasnam (talk) 06:03, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
In citations like the following one, it's an adjective:
  • 2010, David Brian Robertson, Loss of Confidence: Politics and Policy in The 1970s (ISBN 0271044861), page 32:
    After the experiment was widely deemed a success, the House voted 342-44 to make gavel-to-gavel broadcast permanent.
It's also slightly broader than just "from the start of a trial to the finish"; it seems more like "from the start of an official proceeding to the finish".
Is usage like "the steroid hearing ran gavel-to-gavel" adverbial? - -sche (discuss) 15:15, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Probably not, because there really should be a "from" in there. I'm gonna create it as an adjective with the citation you found. Purplebackpack89 15:20, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
The "from" is irrelevant: if you were to add "from", the "from" would modify the first "gavel" in the same way that "to" modifies the second one, not "gavel-to-gavel" as a whole. If I say "We traveled from shore to shore", "from shore to shore" is clearly modifying "traveled", which means it's functioning adverbially. In a way, you could also analyze "gavel-to-gavel" as "lasting from gavel to gavel", with the verb and "from" omitted due to the constraints of English syntax (in some languages, such as Chinese, having a complete clause or even a sentence as a modifier is quite normal). Chuck Entz (talk) 21:41, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

U And Non-U CoverageEdit

I am not sure if this belongs here or at the Beer Parlour, but since I don't believe in alcohol I will just go with my gut and put this here.

Should we increase our coverage of U and Non-U English? Even if such things are relatively dated at best, is it not agreeable that covering such things might be a boon to Wiktionary?

See here if unaware of what I am referring to:

This is one of the biggest primary sources for this subject:

Tharthan (talk) 15:12, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

I doubt such an effort would be sufficiently sustainable to avoid ultimate removal, but whatever floats your boat. The article has the look of one group of people, possibly academics aspiring to backdoor or junior membership in the upper classes, sneering at another. It doesn't seem that same as register and might be quite hard to support with either authority or citations. DCDuring TALK 15:54, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, however some of the points raised make sense logically, do they not? An aspiring middle-class wished to appear more elegant, so they borrowed foreign terms and/or verbally noted particular things that the upper class did (e.g. "excuse my glove" being Non-U, in reference to the removal of one's gloves by a U-speaker [the U-speaker actually said nothing when this was done]) to try and appear to be of the same class as those people, when (in reality) they didn't fool the actual people of that class.
The only issue is that, if we were to include information on this, we would need to apply a metaphorical sile to it to weed out that which is just hogswallop opinion (i.e. Words marked with "this is surely Non-U?" and the like). Tharthan (talk) 16:18, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Tharthan (talk) 16:09, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

I found myself very skeptical of many members of the WP list of such terms. So I :::wonder how agreement can be won, except possibly by taking this out of the realm of the currently relevant and making any labels strictly historical. That also takes it out of the realm of our supposed advantage as a wiki. DCDuring TALK 17:10, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
I too am sceptical of some of the terms. I have some doubt that "ice" was U, that "spectacles" was U, that "pudding" was used to refer to sweets in general in U speech, and I also have issues with several other terms that are listed in Ross' original article.
How would adding labels such as (historically U) and (historically non-U) take this subject out of the realm of our "supposed advantage as a wiki"? Tharthan (talk) 19:14, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
I doubt this means much for us, but the U/non-U thing has quite often been used in British (newspaper) cryptic crosswords: this may well have served to perpetuate awareness of it. I probably wouldn't know about it otherwise! Equinox 00:32, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
So perhaps, then, this isn't something purely historical. Mayhap it still has some lasting influence to this day. Tharthan (talk) 23:27, 28 September 2014 (UTC)


Could someone check if it's correct to add this quotation under #Adjective ("Unrefined, crude")? Thanks ~ DanielTom (talk) 14:42, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

I see no issues with it. Most people, especially today, use uncouth in the sense of "unfamiliar with good morals, good manners, good taste, asf." Leasnam (talk) 17:02, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I guess you could say that that was uncouth to DanielTom, Leasnam. Tharthan (talk) 23:26, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

buffer, and whether "data" is pluralEdit

Not going to get into some dumb edit war over this, so can people please take a look at [7] and decide who is right? Ta very much, old chap. Equinox 21:49, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Per COCA and BNC: In speech data is usually singular. Based on a quick look at Google Books: in IT writing data is also usually singular; in academic articles and newspapers, usually plural. For the definition at hand I would make it singular. We should investigate this a bit further and say something about it at [[data]]. DCDuring TALK 22:15, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Searching for "data in the buffer is|are" confirms the singular being more common. DCDuring TALK 22:22, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Isn't data the plural of datum? o_O Like "one bit of datum, multiple bits of data"? Tharthan (talk) 23:24, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
See Data (word). Equinox 23:25, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
In computing, data is more often used as a collective noun that is grammatically singular. --WikiTiki89 08:17, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
If you are going to use it as the plural of datum, then it's "one datum, multiple data", not "one bit of datum" and "multiple bits of data", which would be treating both "datum" and "data" as mass nouns. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:57, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough. I wasn't trying to imply that it was uncountable, though. Tharthan (talk) 11:34, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
In the usages where data has singular agreement, it is a mass noun. Or is that too much data for this discussion? DCDuring TALK 12:48, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
*rimshot* Tharthan (talk) 21:48, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

photo albumEdit

Just realised we don't have an entry for this. Do you think it is worth creating one? In Chinese it is one word (相册), not that it matters much. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:36, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Photoalbum is just barely citable, so this one is includible per COALMINE. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:37, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
And a lemming rule would also lead us to the same conclusion: photo album at OneLook Dictionary Search DCDuring TALK 17:50, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

body corporateEdit

I have added two additional meanings in accordance to what I've heard in Australia in my translation work. Anyone have anything to add? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:41, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, a translation table with glosses would be good :) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:09, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
The plural "body corporates" seems dubious to me: I would expect "bodies corporate" (noun + adj, like Secretary General), which appears in the titles of old laws in Ireland, the UK, and has higher frequency on Google ngrams (and as you mention Australia, it seems to be used there too) -- Jimregan (talk) 09:28, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
In Australian use, "body corporates" is an unremarkable plural for the real estate corporation sense. viz:
  • 8 Oct 2006 The Age (Melbourne)
    "All body corporates require owners to contribute to an administration fund to cover day-to-day expenses such as electricity bills and a sinking fund to pay for regular maintenance such as the painting of common areas."
  • 8 August 2011 The Age
    "Body corporates are not eligible for federal renewable energy certificates, and then they have to deal with the fact the Tax Office regards any income to the body corporate from solar schemes as mutual income that is taxable in the hands of individual owners," Mr Lever said."
  • 2012 ABC Radio National, PM
    "The Queensland Association of Body Corporates wants to take it a step further."
    "But he admits there's a limit to what body corporates can achieve."
  • 2014 ABC Radio National, Breakfast
    "Many homeowners in the disaster-prone north are paying roughly 2.5 times more for cover than those in southern Queensland, while body corporates are struggling with increases of up to 800 per cent in recent years."
  • 2014 ABC News
    "A James Cook University report released yesterday says independent assessments showing a building's resilience would help body corporates bargain for lower insurance premiums."
"bodies corporate" is also found. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 10:46, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Body corporates does not appear in any of the BYU corpora except Global Web-based English where bodies corporate outnumbers body corporates 308 to 40. I don't know of an Australian corpus to check, as I don't know how to use Google News for that purpose since they changed the UI. DCDuring TALK 12:43, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Are flowers animate in Polish?Edit

Are masculine flower names (e.g. bratek, hiacynt, tulipan) masculine animate or masculine inanimate?

Obviously kwiat is masculine inaminate (accusative "kwiat" and not "kwiata"), but in the case of the above I really have no idea. For example, both "bratek" and "bratka" sound natural to me as an accusative of "bratek". I am fairly sure tulipan is animate though. --Tweenk (talk) 04:53, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Let me guess. Is it because "bratek" means "little brother", "bro" (animate) and it may get animated colloquially, even if it's referring to a flower? Compare to Russian мураве́й (muravéj) "ant". It's animate but refers to a type of a motor scooter, technically, it's inanimate but Russian may use it as animate still, like "я купи́л муравья́" (animate usage) instead of "я купи́л мураве́й" (inanimate usage) (kupiłem "mrówkę" - I bought an "ant"). Slavic animacy is tricky :) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:07, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
"Bratek" doesn't actually mean "little brother" - I've never heard it used in that sense, though maybe it's archaic. The diminutive of "brother" is "braciszek" or colloquially / in slang "braciak". "Bratek" refers only to the flower.
It's true that animacy is really strange, e.g. in Polish currencies are animate :) --Tweenk (talk) 13:46, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Dobra dobra, bratku. Keφr 14:45, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
pl.wiktionary's entry lists two declensions, one inanimate (the flower), the other animate (archaic diminutive of 'brat'). NKJP has:
"Dziś prezentujemy bratka, drugie (po dziurawcu) z 12 ziół..." (Dziennik Bałtycki, "Na kłopoty ze skórą - bratek", 1999-12-11)
"Za bratka zapłacić trzeba było 1,50 zł " (Dziennik Powiatu Bytowskiego, "Nasiona drzewka i krzewy", 2000-04-28)
"dziewczyna w ostatniej chwili rzuciła mu bratka przez parkan." (Dziennik Polski, "Dwa światy", Andrzej Kozioł, 2008-02-16)
which are all accusative contexts which show an animate usage, and:
"Na przeszło 50 hektarach uprawiają bratek, melisę, miętę, arcydzięgiel i kozłek." (Życie Podkarpackie, "Bratkowe żniwa", 2008-11-06)
"Dobre wyniki otrzymuje się przy leczeniu dolegliwości skórnych, mieszając bratek z innymi roślinami rutynowymi, np. bzem i rutą." (Trybuna Śląska, "Najpiękniejsze są kobiety naturalne", Mirosław Łukaszuk, 2003-06-27)
which are accusative contexts which show an inanimate usage, so... both.
(FWIW, I think the best example that animacy is strange is that trup is animate :) -- Jimregan (talk) 23:21, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

October 2014Edit

Afghan houndEdit

Is there a reason for keeping both Afghan Hound and Afghan hound? I would keep only Afghan hound, just like we keep only red fox, not Red Fox. Lmaltier (talk) 05:56, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Outside of the fields of dog breeding, training, etc, in fiction, for example, Afghan hound seems overwhelmingly preferred. Newspaper usage looks split, with reports on dog shows tending toward capitalization. I expect that those motivated to add entries for dog breeds prefer the capitalized form. If it were easy to get counts of a large sample of usage we could rely on such counts to indicate which should be the main form. I'd say that we need a generic usage note on the spelling for entries with both capitalizations. My preference is that we default to having the lowercase form as the main one (with the usual capitalization of proper noun/adjective components like Afghan). DCDuring TALK 11:53, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Definitely redirect Afghan Hound to Afghan hound. The "H" is found mostly in those (primarily specialist, non-general) sources that capitalize Important Words in their Jargons. This is the same basic issue that was discussed in WT:BP#Birds (see also my comment there), and Lmaltier's comparison to "Red Fox" is also apt. Ngram. - -sche (discuss) 17:19, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
I assume you mean a soft redirect for the capitalized form as alternative form to the one used in non-specialist writings. DCDuring TALK 19:08, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
I detect creeping prescriptivism. If the specialist dog and cat people and horticulturalists capitalize terms not capitalized in general literature, that's something to be described not proscribed. I suppose we could incorporate a usage note into the entry and have hard redirects where possible, but that usage note does not now exist at Afghan hound. I don't see why we should discourage specialists from adding content at the capitalization of their choice. Whatever the situation with birds, where there was disagreement among nearly equal-sized groups of specialists, w:Afghan Hound is the location of corresponding WP entry. DCDuring TALK 19:20, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Some points are clear: 1. capitalized or not, it's the same word, with the same spelling. 2. Capitalization can be used for all animal or plant names; it's not a "specialist spelling", not at all, capitalization is used to make more explicit the fact that the name is used in a generic way (it's true in English, and in other languages too). This is what happens in Wikipedia: the Wikipedia page uses Hound when it's a generic use, when referring to the species (but it's not mandatory), and hound when referring to individuals (two Afghan hounds), because it's not a generic use. Capitalization in sentences also makes something more explicit: this is the beginning of a sentence. There are other meanings of capitalization as well. 3. It would be absurd to duplicate all words because all words can be capitalized in some cases. It would be equally absurd to duplicate millions of animal or plant names for this reason. It's not prescriptivism to choose we rather than We as the page title: everybody knows that the word can be capitalized when needed or preferred. Lmaltier (talk) 19:43, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand why such abstract considerations should trump considerations of possible effect on user behavior, in particular our opportunity to get more content. Our search box does not automatically lead to the entry the deletionists here are proposing as the correct one, unlike its handling of initial caps. So users are taken to the search list page, which I take as a sign of lack of content when I find it at other sites, often causing me to go to the next site rather than persist.
The only entries we are likely to see are for dog, cat, and bird breeds, possibly tropical fish or other pet animals as well. I personally would not add them, but would welcome any entries so capitalized with substantial content, eg, pictures, derived terms, etymology, translations, etc. DCDuring TALK 20:57, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
A redirect could be the solution. Lmaltier (talk) 21:29, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Postvocalic -r in English phonemic IPAEdit

In rhotic varieties of English, the phoneme /ɹ/ triggers different pronunciations of the preceding vowel. For example, /eɪ̯/ + /ɹ/ triggers [ɛəɹ]. But this is completely allophonic as far as I know, as the combination [eɪ̯ɹ] cannot exist in English, nor can [ɛə] at least in rhotic varieties. I think that, at least for phonemic pronunciations, we should not indicate this allophony but note the underlying phonemes that these are allophones of. Otherwise we end up with a half-phonemic transcription, which is not what / / means. —CodeCat 15:45, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

I oppose. The situation is much more complicated than that and anyway, in our current system /ɛəɹ/ is defined as a single phoneme, making it completely consistent with a phonemic transcription. --WikiTiki89 17:13, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
But it's not really a phoneme. Otherwise you could just say that every possible word is its own phoneme, which misses the whole point of splitting words into phonemes in the first place. So what is so complicated about this, that would preclude saying that "stare" is simply "stale" with one consonant phoneme replaced with another? Remember that phonemes are concerned the bare minimal distinguishing pieces that make up words, so any redundancy and allophony is removed. —CodeCat 19:21, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Phonemes are just abstractions. You choose them in any way that is consistent and convenient. Having whole words be phonemes is not convenient. --WikiTiki89 19:36, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
But is "stare" simply "stale" with one consonant phoneme replaced with another? None of the phonetic descriptions of RP or American English that I've read seem to think it is, synchronically. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:58, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
If it's not, then it implies there are cases where both vowels can appear before the same consonant, and therefore contrast with each other. But I don't know any cases of that. They seem to be in complementary distribution. —CodeCat 20:12, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
w:English phonology seems to agree with me, and doesn't mention any special phonemes before /ɹ/. But it shows things somewhat differently from how I would analyse it. Where I would say that stare has the phoneme /eɪ/, Wikipedia says it has /ɛ/. My analysis is more diachronic I suppose, and partly based on spelling. If you consider the Great Vowel Shift, then it makes perfect sense to see stare as simply stale with one consonant replaced, they were both simply /staːl/ and /staːr/ in late Middle English, which the Great Vowel Shift then changed to /stɛːl/ and /stɛːr/. The vowel of the former then was raised further and diphthongized, while the latter kept its original value till today. In any case, there is no justification in the well-sourced Wikipedia article for considering /ɛə/ or /eə/ distinct phonemes in rhotic accents. —CodeCat 20:22, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
All that's true historically, but synchronically it's less obvious, and it's not made any easier by the fact that most discussions of English phonology consider only RP (which is nonrhotic) and/or General American (which has the Mary/merry/marry merger). There's very little discussion of rhotic accents in which stare has the same vowel as Mary but a different vowel than merry. Scottish English is described as having the situation you describe, but in ScEng the vowel isn't actually different before r than before l; stare and stale are just /steːr/ and /steːl/. American accents without the MMM merger usually also have æ-tensing, with the result that /ɛə ~ eə/ appears not only in Mary but also in pass and pan. And then there's yeah /jɛə ~ jeə/, which forms a minimal pair with yea /jeɪ/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:11, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

CodeCat -- In the historical dialect which was kind of the last common ancestor of modern standard American and modern standard British, there were several vowel sounds which could only occur before an [r] consonant: [ɛː], [ɜː], [oː]. (In almost all modern dialects, old [oːr] and [ɔːr] have now merged, but [ɛːr] and [ɜːr] are often still relevant.) At least [ɛːr] and [oːr] were originally allophones in the historical dialect, but I strongly doubt that that's the case for the descendant of [ɛːr] in many dialects today... AnonMoos (talk) 22:36, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

P.S. Strictly speaking, "phonemic IPA" is kind of a contradiction. AnonMoos (talk) 22:39, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
"Phonemic IPA" is not a contradiction. The IPA is intended to be used for phonemic transcription just as much as for narrow phonetic transcription. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:11, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Angr -- Traditionally "broad transcriptions" have been used to cover over a multitude of minor variants and alternations, but a broad transcription is not usually the same as a phonemic analysis. If a single symbol is used for allophones with strongly divergent articulations -- such as Japanese [h] and [ɸ] etc. -- then it would be hard to say that IPA is being used at all, in the way in which the International Phonetic Association intended it to be used... AnonMoos (talk) 21:50, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
I know, I specifically said rhotic dialects. Concerning the [ɜ] vowel, I would treat it as a phoneme as Wikipedia's sources do, because it resulted from merging former /ɪɹ/, /ɛɹ/ and often also /ʌɹ/ (although in the variety of English I speak, /ɜɹ/ and /ʊɹ/ are still distinct). —CodeCat 22:42, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Codecat -- in my particular dialect of American English, there is a strong tendency for tense/long vowels and diphthongs to not occur directly before /r/ (except an intervocalic /r/ surround by stressed vowels on both sides, as in "Ahab the Ayrab"), so I doubt whether analyzing [ɛr] as /eɪr/ would make too much sense for my speech... AnonMoos (talk) 21:50, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Who can help with the question: Where is the idiom of "it's still up in the air" from?Edit

Who can help with the question: Where is the idiom of "it's still up in the air" come from? (Bible or some book) We have the homework of it, anyway, not so many peopole know of it. Thanks to the one who can help with this! :) -- 6:17, 3 October 2014

up in the air meaning "uncertain, doubtful" is from 1752. —Stephen (Talk) 16:32, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

↑Thank's Stephen!:) But what do you mean by "1752"? Is it a book's name or the time from when people start to use this idiom? -- 17:17, 3 October 2014

He means the year, AD or CE.
I conjecture that it is simply from a metaphor: a ball [apple?] (decision, question) is thrown into the air (raised) and, while it is up in the air (still undecided) one doesn't know exactly where it will fall (how it will be decided). One could imagine a bird-based metaphor as well, which might be a better fit, as Newton could have made a good prediction of cwhere the ball would fall, given just a couple of facts. DCDuring TALK 17:47, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I can't find any use of throw one's hands up in the air until 1850 in David Copperfield, so that seems an unlikely source. DCDuring TALK 18:00, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you very much DCDuring!^^ Such a vivid explanation! I agree with that idea of metaphor theory, especially the bird-based one.

  • I am curious of Stephen's source, as the OED has up in the air not attested before 1873, and then only in the now-rare sense of ‘with heightened emotions’ (e.g. "Labor Department officials went up in the air when they discovered DPA's line of authority included that department"); the current sense of ‘uncertain’ is not attested before 1933. Ƿidsiþ 10:08, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
    Another possibility for the underlying metaphor is a coin toss. This might be where Stephen's source draws from. For example, I found:
    • 1837, John Bellenden Ker, An Essay on the Archaeology of Our Popular Phrases:
      And does not one of those who are to try the event cast up the coin by an effort made where he stands ? and does not another call that which is to be the issue of the trial while the coin is up in the air?
    I didn't find anything with "up in the air" and coin earlier. DCDuring TALK 13:33, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Judging by come of the same author's other bizarrely clueless pronouncements on the origins of phrases (see Talk:a little bird told me), I would rate his credibility somewhere below a random internet post by an idiot. It does attest the presence of the sense, though. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:53, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I was just happy to find a specimen of up in the air in a related sense. I was happier yet that it was not a mention. And, after all, we accept random internet posts, often apparently by idiots, as evidence for many expressions. DCDuring TALK 02:29, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

verbal idioms (french)Edit

I'd like to add the French idiom "rouler les r" (that's very common, it means pronouncing "R" in an Italian / Spanish / Dutch fashion, as opposed to our French guttural "R"s), but I don't know how to include conjugation in a verbal idiom… BTW if a knowledgeable French speaker is around, the WK-fr page is here: fr:rouler les r Geogi (talk)

I'm assuming this is a translation of the English "rolling the r" (something that we would see as French!); not sure whether we have a sense line for it yet. Equinox 03:58, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
The usual way to express this in English would be "rolling one's R's" or "to roll one's R's" (with "one's" replaced by the possessive pronoun corresponding to the subject of the verb in most usage)... AnonMoos (talk) 21:56, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
MWOnline has a sense of roll (to sound with a full reverberating tone) that might make the expression non-idomatic. Is rolling one's r's something distinct from this in general speech or among speech professionals? DCDuring TALK 22:36, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
That sounds more like something along the same lines as the rolling of thunder. This seems to be much more specialized to the mechanics of speech- you can't roll your m's, for instance. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:50, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
MWOnline also has "to utter with a trill <rolled his r's>". Which of the two MW senses applies in this case?
I don't think we have either definition in [[roll#Verb]], not that it is easy to tell in our single list of 34 verb definitions, inconsistent as it is in presenting transitivity/intransitivity, subordinating specialist terms, grouping relating senses. You'd think we didn't have or follow a style manual. DCDuring TALK 22:45, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Wrong Commons link in 'wideawake' entryEdit has a link to which arrives at a page with the message "This page does not currently exist." Perhaps some link in Category:Headgear is relevant. I don't know how to fix the problem. Is there a concise summary someplace of how to edit wiktionary pages?

Yes check.svg Done I've removed that apparently pointless link! Equinox 17:02, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
1860 cartoon

By the way, organized supporters of Abraham Lincoln in the election of 1860 were known as "Wideawakes" or "Wide Awakes". They marched in parades wearing short capes and carrying metal torches. Lincoln himself is shown as a kind of "Wide awake" in the image... AnonMoos (talk) 05:22, 6 October 2014 (UTC)


I was curious about the meaning of the word 'mundabor' when referred to a weblog called by the same name, 'Mundabor's Blog'. The author claims the name is used in Psalm 51 as follows:

   Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor,
   Lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
   Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
 English translation:  
   You will sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop and I shall be cleansed
   You will wash me, and I shall be whitewashed more than snow is.
   Pity me, O God, according to Your great mercy.

Not being particularly knowledgeable in either Latin onor the Psalms, I invite corrections, comments, and suggestions. Traddie (talk) 19:06, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Presumably it means "I shall be cleansed". Compare English (from Latin) mundatory, and e.g. placebo (lit. "I shall please"). Someone with proper knowledge of Latin can probably elaborate. Equinox 19:11, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
We do have an entry for mundabor, which says that it's the first-person singular future passive indicative of mundō (I clean, I cleanse). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:26, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
Also, obsolete English mundation Leasnam (talk) 19:57, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Thousands and thousandsEdit

There are hundreds of wiki-markup formats and rules. At some point it gets difficult to keep track of them all. How do you guys remember them all so easily as if its second nature? Is it an impressive memory or some other tactic? Zeggazo (talk) 09:00, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

There are nearly universal ones, for example in WT:ELE, which almost everyone quickly learns, selectively ignoring some of it, such as some heading orders. There are family similarities and cross-family similarity of structure in templates. The most common templates actually have documentation. And usually each person works with only some of the templates. Also, each individual makes mistakes. Many of them are corrected by others, sometimes by bots. DCDuring TALK 10:51, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Please help fix plural of OS and remove OSes or refine.Edit

Hi. I am not good at making the changes using wiktionary and wikipedia, so could others, who are fluent in usage of these places, please make the following additional change to and

It is absolutely incorrect to state OSes is plural of OS when OS represents Operating System and Ordnance Survey. The correct plural of the OS initialism is OSs. I have found discussions on this that are old and new. Others have already covered this, but throughout Wiktionary it is sated wrong because an incorrect usage of the automated plural listing is being done. You can reference a detailed examination here:

If and when OS represents Outsize, and Old Style, which are very uncommon, and rarely used, then one may argue it is OSes. So, if someone wants to state two plural variations for OS in Wiktionary (, depending what the Initialism represents, then that seems fine. But, again, OSes is completely incorrect to represent Operating Systems and Ordnance Surveys. You can reference the plural form of the word Survey here to get a understanding why it would be OSs when the phrase ends with the word Surveys. Wikiposter1 (talk) 21:16, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Wikiposter1

"an incorrect usage of the automated plural listing is being done" - incorrect; your -s plural would be the default; the -es has been specifically stated by a user. And you can prove that it's widely used by simply googling "OSes". Your rule does not apply; we are a descriptive dictionary, not a prescriptive one, so we go by actual usage; "OSes" is common. Equinox 21:17, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
I've now added two examples of "OSes" from published books. There are many more to be found. (Note also, if you want to make up arbitrary rules, you could argue for "OSes" because of the confusion between "OSs" and "OSS", or "open-source software"!) Equinox 21:20, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, "OSs" is also attested and even looks to be a bit more common. DTLHS (talk) 21:26, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

change transitive for clothes?Edit

Can be used for babies, e.g., I changed the baby (the nappie)? Or also my son told me to change him, as his shoes were wet from the rain puddles. I'm not referring to the meaning of the changeling (I changed/swapped/exchanged my son for another). Sobreira (talk) 09:28, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes indeed, it can. Ƿidsiþ 10:03, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

concern in w:passive voiceEdit

I found this in WP:w:agrammatism:

There is little written about agrammatism. The beginnings of the field should be encountered in the work of Peña-Casanova & Bagunyà-Durich (1998), and Junque et al. (1989). These papers do not describe case reports, they are rather concerned in more general topics such as lesion localization or rehabilitation of agrammatic patients.

I obviously changed it to dealing with more general topics, but my doubt is:

  • I guess concern can be used in passive voice: I was concerned, but I wanted to confirm that the preposition used is by. Or I was concerned with/about/in this problem are also valid?

Thx, Sobreira (talk) 09:36, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

with sounds better. You could also use focused upon. Use of by with concerned smacks at alarm, which is not what you might intend to convey. Leasnam (talk) 14:34, 7 October 2014 (UTC)


Hello, in this recording, there is a "boom" at the end, can you remove it please ? Thank you. 22:29, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Audacity is your friend here. You can edit audio files with it. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:18, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Unfornately, Audacity doesn't work in my computer, who can do it for me ? 22:17, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Since sound files are actually at Wikimedia Commons, you could ask at the help desk there about how to request an edit to a sound file. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:04, 9 October 2014 (UTC)


The door opened softly and Mrs. West entered just in time to catch the impatient exclamation - a very lady-like person indeed, in noiseless black silk, and a neat lace cap that surrounded a face only half as old as that of the lady of Lancaster Park.

What does "noiseless" mean in this context? DTLHS (talk) 19:49, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

I think it means that the silk (clothing) isn't making any rustling sounds; she moves silently in it. Presumably this is ladylike! Equinox 19:55, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

dietitian or dietician?Edit

Both entries need more information, including etymological development. This might be a useful start... —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) at 04:26, October 9, 2014‎.

Thanks. See dietitian. DCDuring TALK 10:17, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Tesco's financial black holeEdit

I have noticed that the British press keeps using the term "black hole" to discuss £250m of bogus profits in Tesco's accounts like in and . However, our page named black hole does not cover this case. Could someone familiar with British accounting terms please add that definition to the black hole page? I am not a British English person, so I am rather unqualified for this. Being an American who is interested in accounting fraud, I would have used the terms "accounting error", "accounting mistake", "accounting fraud", "accounting scandal", "bogus profits", or "cooked books" depending on the whether there was fraud involved or if this was just a genuine mistake. Thanks. Jesse Viviano (talk) 19:35, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

The second, figurative sense covers it perfectly. This not a technical sense at all. It is a term to sell newspapers or get an article read. DCDuring TALK 22:24, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, I just added that in response to this. I agree about it not being a technical term, though. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:31, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
No wonder it seemed so apt. It almost doesn't need the subsenses. DCDuring TALK 03:26, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Earthian nounEdit



A single or multi-celled organism that works to heal itself physically, emotionally and/or spiritually.

the idea that an earthian is only a human shaped organism because it considers itself capable of dominating all other life forms, and considers itself only of communicating with other species when found in this universe is egotistical in the extreme.

Life depends on single celled organisms that convert chemicals into organic matter. Thus the first earthians to exist on this planet were single celled. The single celled organism are staff and the multi-celled organisms are dependent organisms that over time resulted in a symbiotic relationship with and assisted single cells to survive.

We're a descriptive dictionary: we describe the way terms are used or have been used in actual language. We don't include stuff that people just made up, regardless of its merit. On the other hand, if people use a term and it becomes a part of the language, we include it- regardless of what we might personally think about the word. The only way we can include your definition is if we have evidence that it's been used as part of the language (see WT:CFI). Chuck Entz (talk) 04:33, 13 October 2014 (UTC)


I was trying to look up grumblu, and another dictionary led me to English grumble and French grommeler. However, grumble has multiple distinct meanings, and grommeler is merely translated as grumble. Does grommeler have both the noise and the complaint meanings of grumble?--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:18, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Use {{rfgloss}} to see if anyone pays attention. DCDuring TALK 19:11, 18 October 2014 (UTC)


The 'etymology' of Thunderbird is most certainly not From the 1960s TV series Thunderbirds as the article currently states. For one thing, the 1950s Ford automobile Thunderbird pre-dates it, and it's also in the Webster's 1913 Revised designating a type of Australian bird, and Etymonline gives an 1848 origin as deriving from translations from several Native American languages. See also T-bird above. Mathglot (talk) 00:29, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

But our definition is only (currently) for the locomotive, and it may well be correct for that. Equinox 00:31, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

How to indicate verb-subject case combinations?Edit

For some verbs, e.g. many Polish vulgarities, the meaning depends on the case of the object. For instance, zajebać + subject in dative means "to hit, to punch someone" or "to steal from someone", zajebać + personal or animate subject in accusative means "to kill", and zajebać + inanimate subject in accusative means "to steal something". Is there a standard way to denote the case of the subject for such context-dependent senses? --Tweenk (talk) 17:51, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

You can use context labels, like {{lb|pl|with inanimate subject in accusative}}. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:00, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
User:Kephir created a special purpose template for these kinds of cases. —CodeCat 18:14, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, {{+obj|pl|inanimate subject|in|acc|means=object}} and {{+preo|pl|od|gen|means=from someone}}. The names are rather provisional, but I would like them to start with a +; the formatting also has room for improvement. I wish someone picked these up and brought them to production quality. Keφr 19:50, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I never heard zajebać used with dative in the sense of "to hit". I think the verb should be wjebać in that case. Keφr 19:50, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
It's not very common, but it is used in this sense, e.g. [8] [9] [10]. --Tweenk (talk) 00:00, 21 October 2014 (UTC)


This is also a retail acronym and the listing needs a 4th definition. I do not know the meaning of "IRC" as a retail term. —This unsigned comment was added by Edward27821 (talkcontribs).

Any citations of usage? Would be helpful. Keφr 19:51, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Instant rebate coupon or instantly redeemable coupon perhaps? They are the kinds of rebate coupons which are applied at the point of sale rather than through a rebate process. - TheDaveRoss 13:01, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

all things consideredEdit

My understanding was that this is an informal version of "in conclusion" - i.e. "having taken everything into account..." But the definition given is "despite possible indications to the contrary" which seems different. Anyone have any views on this? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:52, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I would side with the latter, though on the surface it probably ~should~ mean the former but it doesnt. However i can certainly see it emerging from '(despite/in spite of) all things considered' Leasnam (talk) 04:22, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I've always read it the same way that Tooironic has. Sometimes it carries the implication given in the entry - specifically, that while the text appears to push one viewpoint, it acknowledges its own bias and hasn't "considered all things" - but it seems to have quite a few other nuances depending on context. For example, the quote from Robinson Crusoe, "We had a good stock of tea, with which we treated our friends, as above, and we lived very cheerfully and well, all things considered." doesn't mean "We lived well, despite possible indications to the contrary" but that "We lived well, given the constraints of the situation". Smurrayinchester (talk) 12:54, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
    (In terms of other dictionaries, Cambridge Advanced Learners says "generally good although the situation was not perfect", Cambridge American Idioms says "after carefully thinking about all the facts or opinions" and the Oxford British and World English Dictionary says simply "Taking everything into account".) Smurrayinchester (talk) 13:13, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Our entry seems to be trying to hold the user's hand for some discourse analysis. It seems to me to go far beyond what is usefully lexical. That the expression could be used in a variety of situations where its implications are significantly different is true, but the same could be said about about yes and no. The three verbose definitions risk impeding users trying to understand the expression. To understand what a person intends by saying something like this requires knowledge of psychology or game/negotiation theory, which is not provided by this dictionary entry and which my limited imagination cannot see being provided by a dictionary. DCDuring TALK 14:30, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
    • I'd disagree - I think we have the minimal number of distinct senses right now (although I have moved the most general definition to first place). In terms of more-or-less synonyms, it's 1) by and large, 2) as a matter of fact, 3) as far as it goes. They could be made less verbose ("generally speaking", "actually", "relatively speaking", maybe) but I think each one conveys useful lexical information - much more than a quasi-SOP definition like "taking everything into account" would. Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:07, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Nasal + f sequences in LatinEdit

As far as I know, many sources agree that Latin turned sequences of vowel + nasal consonant into nasal vowels before fricatives. These then became long non-nasal vowels in the development to Vulgar Latin. But while there are plenty of cases with -s-, what about -f-? Most sources seem to write īnfāns with the length marks suggesting nasalisation, but the development to Old French enfes suggests that this sequence was not affected the same way. Instead of becoming a long vowel, the development is as a short vowel with the usual lowering, and the nasal consonant is preserved. So I wonder, were these sequences nasalised in the same way in earlier Latin? It seems unlikely [ˈĩːfãːs] could become enfes, so was it really [ˈɪɱfãːs]? —CodeCat 19:41, 21 October 2014 (UTC)


The Library of Congress (US) utilizes in their call number system a "CPB" initialism which I assume stands for PaperBack or Paperback Book; however the "C" is unclear and of course it would be better to know for sure which of the two options is accurate. Speednat (talk) 06:01, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Copyright Paperback apparently. It doesn't look like this initialism is ever used on its own outside book serial numbers though, so it's probably not dictionary material. Smurrayinchester (talk) 07:50, 22 October 2014 (UTC)


According to sense 1, pretender means "to pretend", with the given example "Juan pretended to be dead". But according to the usage note, "Pretender is a false friend, and does not mean pretend in the sense of to claim that or act as if something is different from what it actually is." So... which is correct? Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:04, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

  • It does mean pretend, but with the meaning "pretend to the throne". --Type56op9 (talk) 08:09, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I know it’s confusing, but both are correct. Spanish pretender does not mean pretend exactly, but its meanings are varied and broad enough that it can sometimes be used to mean that. Spanish pretender means (1) to try to do, intend to do; (2) to aspire to do, want to do, mean to do, hope to do; (3) to claim to do; (4) to hope to achieve; (5) to expect one to do; (6) to apply for; (7) to court. The sentence...
Juan pretendió estar muerto para evitar que el oso lo atacara.
Juan pretended to be dead so the bear wouldn't attack him.
...seems reasonable to me, although I would prefer to use the verb fingir for this. —Stephen (Talk) 08:57, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation of ×Edit

I am no good at pinning down accents, but is there somewhere west of the North Atlantic where "×", in the phrase "10 x the capacity", is regularly pronounced "eks" rather than "times", or is it just Ned Desmond's idiolect -- see 01.41 in the attached video (or from 01.36 in context) [11]? I don't recall ever hearing it before. --Enginear 09:04, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

You could just characterize it as a w:spelling pronunciation, though abbreviations are not always included. In the US I have never heard anyone pronounce et al. as et alia. DCDuring TALK 12:35, 24 October 2014 (UTC)