Feather of a birdEdit

What about a colored patch on a bird? Is that meaning of the word included in the "piece of cloth" definition, or should it be one on its own? David A se (talk) 18:38, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Now I see. It's included in the "small different or distinc part of something" definition. David A se (talk) 18:44, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Binary vs. TextEdit

Does the noun form really need to talk about binary vs text files? --kop 19:09, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Is patch a proper noun?Edit

The question of whether patch is a proper noun, IMO, comes down to the question of when are two computer programs the same program. This is complicated. Two otherwise identical programs my be on different computers, different versions of the same program may be on a single computer, two programs may be functionally identical but written by two different people in different programming languages and have entirely different source code, two programs may share a common fuctionality and their source code may share an ancestory but have slightly different functionality. In the case of the patch program there are, AFIK, many different implimentations but there is a single POSIX standard which defines the programs' functionality. Programs that meet (or come close to meeting) the POSIX standard are widely considered to be patch programs -- they are generally named "patch" and there is generally only one of them installed on a single computer system. Patch is a proper noun in the same way that Microsoft Word is; a Microsoft Word program installed on a computer is considered to be substantually the same program as any other Microsoft Word program installed on any other computer, an instance of the Platonic ideal Microsoft Word to which the proper noun refers. This makes sense because no matter what's happening inside the computer, the part that matters to people is the part they can interact with. If two programs behave the same way, they are the same program. All the "copying" that goes on in [cyberspace] is, in a sense, an implimentation detail.

Note that this is not really a new issue. How many "Hamlet", the play(s), are there?

Patch as a proper noun is slightly more complicated by the Unix practice of capitalization. Unix cares whether a word is capitalized, so a program named "patch" must be typed as "patch", not "Patch". For this reason, I believe, you always see patch-the-proper-noun written in lower case.

See these manual pages for various different operating systems:

--kop 22:03, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for that explanation. I guess "cat", "grep", "ls", etc. are also proper nouns. I'll remove the "rfc". Rod (A. Smith) 23:00, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
But isn't "patch" a verb in bash, not a proper noun at all? --Connel MacKenzie T C 23:17, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
It's a verb too (but in Unix not just bash and now has spread to the larger vernacular). But the thing that does the patching is named patch. Programmers tend to name the thing after the verb (or in the case of grep, verb-ify the proper noun.) --kop 00:06, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
"ls", OTOH, is a verb in bash. (It's built into bash, or more generally any POSIX sh.) --kop 00:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Oops. Wrong. No, "ls" is not a builtin. Oh well. --kop 02:02, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, thanks for the clarification, anyhow. I still was under the impression that all shell commands were "verbs" (in the shell sense) but now I'm unsure. Either way, it doesn't much change your point about the noun sense. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Patch is not a proper noun. It may be in some cases, just like "Grandma", "House Committee" on blah blah blah, or such and such "Expansion Pack", but in general it is just a noun. Davilla 18:29, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
You mean patch the Unix command? My goodness that's creepy. This thing is attested I hope? Huh. Davilla 18:33, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

The following information has failed Wiktionary's deletion process.

It should not be re-entered without careful consideration.


Proper noun: (computing) The program that updates old versions of files, based on a record of differences with the newer versions.

This isn't one of the types of proper nouns we cover AFAICT. Best covered by a WP dab link in [[patch]]. DCDuring TALK 22:00, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Delete, as has often been done with the names of software programs (even when habitually uncapitalised). Equinox 21:48, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
We do have some program names, like Hello World, and there was one I can't remember that we may have actually kept, lowercase like this, but many others we have not. I'm not sure this one merits inclusion. DAVilla 16:53, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

deleted -- Liliana 01:30, 21 October 2011 (UTC)


The verb could comme from old french pacher (accord, convene) < Latin pax ("peace"), as in French rabibocher the idea to "tie up bits and pieces" and "make peace" are closely linked. pacher in turn has a deverbal pache ("accord, convention"), dialectally patse different from pais directly from Latin pax.

RFC discussion: July 2011–September 2012Edit

The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.

Sense (noun): (figuratively) A fit.

-- Can someone make sense of this? I haven't found a definition at OneLook I can connect to this. DCDuring TALK 21:51, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Sense deleted, but not trans table. Ety 1, noun needs clean up pursuant to other RfC. DCDuring TALK 14:54, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Return to "patch" page.