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I've added definitions. I don't know whether the existing translations have been assigned to the proper definitions, so if you know Finnish or French, could you please check and make sure they're right, or fix them if they're wrong? I've put HTML comments in the page, which can be removed when the translations have been verified. -- Ortonmc 00:58, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Finnish fixed. - Nikke

I'm not sure we currently have enough senses or that they're properly defined. My Filipino phrasebook gives to words for "stay". One for "stay" (remain) mátirá, and one for "stay" (somewhere) tumirá. This seemed fair to me. But when I look at our article we use "remain" in the opposite sense this phrasebook does and it doesn't sound quite right to me. One sense is obviously like "dwell" or "live" but suggests a temporary arrangement. Another sense I'm not sure might be two or not. to stay in place / to stay behind: The example in our def suggests the former but what about these: Stay here!, Everybody else went to Florida for summer but I stayed here. - are those both the same sense or not? They could have different translations in some languages, not that that should affect our number of senses. Any comments? — Hippietrail 01:12, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the senses you distinguish are worth distinguishing. I disagree with the bit about translations. To my mind, multiple translations are a good indication that there could be separate senses. If several dissimilar languages give multiple translations, there are almost certainly separate senses.
My theory, of which I am becoming more and more certain, is that there is a close correspondence between senses of words within and across languages. Here's an example with made-up words:
  • English blork has three senses, call them blork1, blork2 and blork3.
  • English blarg has two senses, blarg1 and blarg2
  • Foospeak wubba has three senses, wubba1, wubba2 and wubba3
  • Foospeak doodle has three senses, doodle1, doodle2 and doodle3
Then it's quite plausible that, say blork1, blarg2, wubba1 and doodle2 all mean the same thing, in which case
  • blork1 and blarg2 are synonymous, but blork is not a true synonym of blarg (this is why I very seldom add synonyms to a definition).
  • blork and blarg could have either wubba or doodle as translations, and vice versa.
  • But with slightly different conditions, blork might be translatable by wubba or doodle, but blarg might only be translatable by one of the two.
In short, multiple translations indicate either true synonyms in the destination language (rare), or multiple senses on one or both sides (common).

stay lowEdit

1) Could you explain "staying low" in this song of ABBA "the winner takes it all"

The judges will decide The likes of me abide Spectators of the show Always staying low

2) Should it be a new entry in the wiktionnary or to be incorporated in another meaning of to stay

3) I am a newby here and can't understand where I should have gone to ask these questions (it's far too complicated to find the appropriate section that you ask me to find Sneaky 013 17:21, 14 December 2009 (UTC)


This seems more likely to come from the same Germanic root that stehen in German came from, and the archaic English meanings of stay seem to support this. The words stay and stand seem to have gotten mixed up at some time in English with the tenses. If it came from estayer, why did the "e" totally dissappear? Also, the word bestay seems to correspond to German bestehen, Dutch bestaan, 08:45, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Overlap between etymologies and sensesEdit

There seems to be some overlap between the etymologies and their respective senses. Equinox 18:34, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

Return to "stay" page.