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poo etymologyEdit

What are you seeing in the OED? I looked up "poo" and it only has P.O.O. (Post Office Order), combining form "-poo" (for cutesy nicknames), and a more recent form of "pooh". I don't see any link to poop. Please cite your OED entry. Equinox 02:04, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Oops, wrong dictionary. Not Oxford or whatever. I meant one of the sources cited by the Online Etymology Dictionary, I was using an unnecessary acronym. [1] May as well check the sources the website cites. [2] Hillcrest98 (talk) 02:08, 6 April 2015 (UTC)


Could add {{Babel}} to your user page? I'd appreciate it. --Dan Polansky (talk) 15:17, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Done. Hillcrest98 (talk) 21:09, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Closing RFV discussionsEdit

Please read the introduction to WT:RFV. There are rules about closing and archiving RFV discussions, and you should be aware of them before closing or removing any discussions there in the future. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 16:31, 6 April 2015 (UTC)


An entry may only take you 30 seconds to create, but it takes other editors much more time to try to cite it if and eventually delete it if it does not meet our Criteria for Inclusion. Bottom line: as a matter of courtesy, please make sure your new entries meet the policy linked to in the title. Thanks! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:16, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Having seen hackusation: this is obviously a real word folks are using on the Internet, but it might not meet our criteria yet. You might want to consider using the Citations page to add citations before you create a full page. Anyway, thanks for your work here. Equinox 06:18, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
I said that to mean that I didn't care if it was deleted, after realizing an RFV-fail ahead. Well, it isn't widespread (only saw it on Counter-Strike, TF2 and 90% of the time Minecraft.) I would honestly RFV-fail it myself after second thoughts. Hillcrest98 (talk) 22:26, 2 September 2015 (UTC)


Your additions were fine, but every root should have a {{PIE root see}} template at the start of the Derived terms section. There is some difficulty though, because this is now a root with two meanings, so the two derivation categories need to be distinguished. This is done by using {{PIE root see|id=die}} for example. The existing category Category:Terms derived from the PIE root *dʰew- and all its subcategories will need to be renamed to include the id (Category:Terms derived from the PIE root *dʰew- (die) versus Category:Terms derived from the PIE root *dʰew- (run)), which is a bit of work. Can you do this? —CodeCat 14:49, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Done. See Appendix:Proto-Indo-European/dʰew- for the work done. Hillcrest98 (talk) 16:34, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
Thank you! —CodeCat 18:17, 2 January 2016 (UTC)


This was already discussed.

What you alleged is not actually standard practice. Using unmerged pronunciations first is actually what is practiced within Wiktionary. The first pronunciation listed for "caught" is the "caught' pronunciation of "caught", not the "cot" pronunciation of "caught", even though the population of California would make the latter pronunciation "the most common pronunciation".

By the way, this is also done with other languages too, not just English. For instance, with German words where a sound might be silent by the majority of the populace, the word is still transcribed with it first because that is the traditional pronunciation.

Re: "also non-Mary=merry=marry pronunciations don't even seem to be GenAm"

General American is a spectrum of socialectic accents. Whether someone has the merry, Mary, marry merger or not is not impacted by that. Hence, both kinds of pronunciations can be seen in "General American speakers". Tharthan (talk) 17:20, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

I see what you're doing, and that could work, however. Hold on one second. There's another way to do that. Tharthan (talk) 17:32, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

I decided to follow the example of the various words that gain flap T's in AmE. Hillcrest98 (talk) 17:34, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I see that, and it would work fine except for the fact that having a / / pronunciation followed by a [ ] pronunciation could be misconstrued as implying that the previous pronunciation is actually realised as the latter, which was not the intent. If you want two separate pronunciations, and include a bracketed pronunciation, they would have to be on separate lines. The only other real alternative is to list as many alternative forms as possible, which I have just done. It doesn't look very tidy, but I can't think of any better way. Perhaps there is some way to make it clear the intention without listing all alternative pronunciations? Give me some time to think it over. I might be able to come up with something.Tharthan (talk) 17:36, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
It might be even neater to have separate lines pertaining to the merger (as it's a major merger in North American English, but not every speaker participates). Hillcrest98 (talk) 17:40, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
That is actually what is done already with words impacted by the merger, but because "carrot" doesn't end in -y, it is questioned whether the word is only merely impacted by the merry, Mary, marry merger, or if it is just influenced by its presence in a speaker's idiolect. This is actually a fair question, as I have actually met people who pronounce "carrot" and similar words with /æ/ yet pronounce words with -y in a merged fashion. It's a very troublesome issue! Ha ha. Tharthan (talk) 17:46, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I thought the merger had nothing to do with -y, and instead is about /ɛəɹ/ vs /æɹ/ vs /ɛɹ/. Hillcrest98 (talk) 18:07, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
You're right, it does. But some here have argued that it doesn't apply if the word doesn't end in -y, and I don't want to go rustling their feathers if I can avoid it. Tharthan (talk) 18:10, 4 February 2016 (UTC)


Understandable, however

  • The place to dispute housen is on housen
  • Should not be unilaterally removed but tagged with {{rfv}}.

Thank you. Renard Migrant (talk) 00:50, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

falcinellus from falxEdit

Just a doubt, I you don't mind. Is this correct?: from falx derives an adjective falcinus, -a, -um, and then the diminutive falcinellus. Shouldn't the adjective be formed after the diminutive, based on it? Thanks. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 10:08, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

-ellus might have been used as a sort of funny dump suffix, since the latter half of the 1700s: [3] Hillcrest98 (talk) 21:12, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

diff for etym at 忍者#JapaneseEdit

"Makes no sense" -- how so? Is the English phrasing difficult to understand? The JA sources I've read generally state that ninja is a more recent term, and that it was popularized by manga and other fiction in the post-WWII period. C.f. ja:w:忍者#呼称. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:48, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

Sloppy knee-jerk on my end. Reverting. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 21:55, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
No worries. :) Is the wording clear? I know that what sounds straightforward to one person might sound obtuse to another. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:11, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
It was actually was kind of clear - it was more about the lack of citations for claiming that manga popularized the on'yomi. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 22:18, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Cheers, thank you! ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:19, 12 January 2018 (UTC)


It's interesting that you would choose lie as example. I would choose right as counterexample. The senses righthand and correct are related by a root that means strong (the strong hand, the strength of truth). So I would suspect, without looking it up, that you are wrong, I suppose lie and lie are cognate in the same sense, because I lie down when I feel weak, while lying is a weakness and also, German links and link (left, deceptive) exhibit the same connotation joined in a homophone root. Looking it up though, the case presents itself as more complicated. It might rather be later folk etymology that lead to convergence of the terms. I am in no place to doubt the reconstructed ancient roots. I just think they are phonetically close enough, to reinforce the idea of a semantic link. You are right though, insofar a lie told is not horizontal, and a lie to sleep on is not deceptive. I hope you don't think I'm telling a bedtime story.

Drake on the other hand is a rather obscure, if not archaic word, IMHO. I didn't know it, the link to *h₃reǵ- is interesting, again. Nevertheless, the etymon to Ancient Greek δράκων (drákōn, serpent, giant seafish) is uncertain. Even though, both etymologies at Drake say it's cognate to Drache (Ger. "dragon").

-most and most are a) grammatical particles or whatchamcallit, and b) all the same as far as the suffix *istaz is concerned, and who is to say that the m in the highly contrived looking reconstruction under *-umô is not related to the m in mega? So the conflation is probably not mere coincidence, if that's what you are suggesting. I mean, mega was probably a mega cool word back then, already.

Disclaimer: I'm trying to understand etymologies with my limited information, some common wisdom and a lot of Imagination. I know this is frowned upon here and unscientific, so I should be thankful for backlash when I step out of line.Rhyminreason (talk) 17:44, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

First, I didn't say that homonymous disparate meanings of a word were never cognate, making your desperate provision of counterexamples moot. Second, even Beekes follows the claim that δράκων (drákōn) comes from *derḱ-. Third, notice that Drache is missing the duck sense entirely, also making your mention of it meaning "dragon" moot. All in all, like @Metaknowledge said, more and more of us are getting sick and tired of your nonsense, like this one you just posted while I was typing this. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 19:43, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
I missed the dialectical meaning of Drache (Drake) entirely. It appears as a metaphor from dragon, indeed.
I thought you picked your examples on purpose. If examples are moot, you shouldn't have mentioned examples to begin with? Rhyminreason (talk) 17:20, 16 February 2018 (UTC)


I notice you have a fondness for collapsing boxes. --Anus Dei (talk) 01:19, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Actually I don't use them very often. I've only used them twice, ever. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 04:23, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

富士山#Japanese, etymology in article with suffixEdit

Shouldn't the etymology be in 富士 only? You edited the one that has the suffix (-san). ~ POKéTalker (ŦC) 18:02, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Yes, 富士山 (Fuji-san) is 富士 (Fuji) suffixed with (-san). The etymology of 富士 should go on the 富士 page. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:43, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Also, FWIW, Vovin's theory of (hi, fire) + (nushi, master, lord) doesn't wash at all phonologically. I've run into a separate derivation of 富士 a couple times, pointing to an origin in Ainu フヂ (fuji), referring both to “female ancestors” and “fire; goddess of fire”. C.f. the Huji entry on page 157 of Batchelor's Ainu dictionary, right-most column, about 1/3rd of the way down. This is a near-perfect match phonologically, and makes a lot more sense semantically.
It's been a long time since I read about the Ainu derivation; let me see if I can track down a source (might have been Shibatani's The Languages of Japan). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:51, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr: You can add the Ainu theory to the etymology if you want, as long as it's sourced. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 21:05, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
I have now moved it and added the Ainu etymology, with a cite to Batchelor (a short work on place names, not the dictionary). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:47, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Speaking of Fuji, how about the name readings Toshi, Tomio, Tomishi, and Tomiji? ~ POKéTalker (ŦC) 03:27, 12 April 2018 (UTC)


Can you please cite this insead, "Kroonen does not believe that this is related however"? --Victar (talk) 15:00, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

@Victar: "Consonant and vowel gradation in the Proto-Germanic n-stems", page 93. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 15:25, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
Great, could I ask that you please cite it on the page than? --Victar (talk) 15:31, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

Suppletive verbsEdit

You have created Category:Greek suppletive verbs, was "Ancient Greek suppletive verbs" intended? Does Modern Greek have such verbs - dictionaries don't seem to recognise the term. Thank you — Saltmarsh. 04:37, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

@Saltmarsh: Nope, I meant Modern Greek. Suppletion is when, say, a conjugation uses multiple roots unrelated to each other to conjugate the verb. For example, English go vs. past tense went. In the case of Modern Greek, you have λέω (léo), with simple past είπα (eípa), the latter of which clearly derives from a root unrelated to the root of λέω (léo). mellohi! (僕の乖離) 15:51, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks so much for your clear short explanation, I should perhaps have concentrated more on the first sentence on Wikipedia's article. — Saltmarsh. 04:44, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Thank you @Mellohi!, Saltmarsh: I was just wondering, and asked my mentor, Saltmarsh, if he has ever seen the term used in a Modern Greek grammar, (not of its real sense, which is of course correct as Mellohi explains). Greek grammars call them ιδιόκλιτα= self/idiosyncratically inflected. I searched and found the equivalent of suppletion in some greek PhDs: ρηματική υποκατάσταση = verb(al) substitution. I should have searched first, before asking the question. Thanks. sarri.greek (talk) 04:58, 28 July 2018 (UTC)


You moved this to *mōhô citing Kroonen. He's not God for one thing, and could this be merely a typo? Because all the languages have a reflex of *ē, not *ō. And De Vries [4] gives *ē as well. Am I missing something? If not, please put move it back. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 02:41, 23 November 2018 (UTC).


I guess that "*kaku" is not correct Proto-Japonic reconstruction. Okinawan 書ちゅん (kachun) is composed from the cognate parts of Mainland Japanese 書き (kaki, conunctive form of 書く kaku) and 居る (woru). Word stem form "*kak-" is more suitable for. Also there is a homonym 欠く (kaku) which has different accent from another root, needs another page; Accent notations might be needed in the page names to distinguish them. My recommanding page names are "kàk-" for 書く・描く・掻く / "kák-" for 欠く (according to the ancient Kyoto accent which assumed to be the origin of the accents of modern dialects).--荒巻モロゾフ (talk) 05:43, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

I've read elsewhere that the Kyoto pitch accent pattern (notable for often manifesting the opposite high↔low distinction compared to the so-called Tokyo type of "standard" Japanese) is actually not a carryover from ancient times, but actually an innovation. See for instance Shibatani's The Languages of Japan, p. 211, where he references an earlier 1972 publication by Tokugawa explicitly bringing up the possibility that the central Kyoto dialect was actually innovative, not conservative. The geographic distribution illustrated on the Japanese pitch accent Wikipedia page also points towards Kyoto being more innovative.
I am loath for us to impose an accented system on headwords when the scholarly research itself may be unsettled. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:02, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
I said ancient, not modern. The oldest Japanese accent record were made in the late Heian period, named Ruiju Myōgishō (類聚名義抄); Accent patterns published in that were not same as modern Kyoto's and it can make all accent types of the modern dialects (For example, 2-mora nouns distinguised 4 patterns in Modern Kyoto, but 5 patterns in the ancient time). Also Starostin reconstructed the words utterly same as my recommanded, *kàk- and *kák-. Since there were something had genarated this distinction of accent types in the common ancestor (some varieties of Ryukyuan languages share almost same accent distinction types as the mainland's), at least some way which marking the differences is not futile.--荒巻モロゾフ (talk) 19:48, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
When I first read your earlier comment, I'd misunderstood you to mean that the modern Kyoto accent itself is "ancient" (various earlier works seem to describe the modern Kyoto accent this way). Thank you for clarifying.
Regarding Starostin, I've found his Japonic research to be demonstrably spotty when it comes to etymologies. However, reading through his StarLing pages, my impression is that his Proto-Japanese reconstructions are from Martin's 1987 title The Japanese Language Through Time, and are not Starostin's own work. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:15, 18 January 2019 (UTC)


I'm flattered that you pinged me, but I currently have read literally none of the literature. There are other folks editing Japanese who certainly know more than I do. (;´∀`) —Suzukaze-c 18:59, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

@Suzukaze-c: That was my mistake. Won't do that again, as requested. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 19:16, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

Proto-Japonic verbsEdit

Should we change them to their infinitive forms instead of the Japanese dictionary form? (ie. *siru > *siri) like we did for *ari? Kwékwlos (talk) 15:28, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

@Kwékwlos: The thing is with *ari is that its (Old) Japanese dictionary form and its infinitive form are identical. They are both *ari. (It's a characteristic of the "r-irregular verbs".) mellohi! (僕の乖離) 22:46, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
@Mellohi!: What about cases like *seu and *wu? Can they be *si and *wəri instead? Kwékwlos (talk) 22:47, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
(chiming in...) I'm not familiar with *seu as a reconstruction. I've had others suggest that the 未然形 form might be a contraction, with suggestions that the negative -nu may have evolved from an earlier -(a)nu. If so, this might explain why the negative forms senu and sezu in the Man'yōshū, where spelled phonetically, were consistently spelled with 世. (See, for examples, poems 198, 4124, 4245.) This has a Middle Chinese reading of (MC ɕiᴇiH), which might represent a Japanese phonetic spelling of a possible contraction of earlier si + a. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:40, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

Old Irish unstressed vowelsEdit

Hi, the reduction of unstressed vowels to /ə/ probably didn't happen until Middle Irish; at least, that's when the spellings of unstressed vowels really start to get mixed up. For Old Irish, we should leave the unreduced vowels in phonemic transcription. —Mahāgaja · talk 22:19, 26 December 2019 (UTC)

@Mahagaja I'd like to see some citations. Not because I'm claiming you're wrong, but because I feel like I need to read more into the debate but can't find the sources myself yet. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 22:25, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
I'll see if I can find some, but other than word-final -o and -a (which seem to have merged relatively early) there was very little confusion in the spelling of unstressed vowels until the Middle Irish period, which strongly suggests that they were pronounced differently until then. —Mahāgaja · talk 22:28, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: I decided to take a gander at searching for sources about the subject, and I found that the hypothesis that "the reduction of unstressed vowels to /ə/ probably didn't happen until Middle Irish" is nowadays a fringe theory, to put it most succinctly. The scholarly consensus is that reduction of these unstressed vowels to schwa was already complete by Old Irish.[1][2][3][4][5] Many of these sources even give Old Irish phonetic and phonemic transcriptions explicitly with schwas. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 02:43, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
The only ones of those sources I have access to are McCone and Stifter; they both state that it's only nonfinal unstressed a, e, i, o that merge as schwa. Word-final unstressed vowels (i.e. those not followed by a consonant) as well as u (whether followed by a consonant or not) were still distinct. And at the phonetic level, if not the phonemic level, the coloring of the surrounding consonants affected the coloring of the unstressed vowel, so it surfaced as [a], [e], [i], etc., even though their distribution was predictable. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:11, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
@Mahagaja We both agree that the sources said that non-word-final unstressed a, e, i, o merge as schwa. We're on the same page here. So why did you revert me on places like áesmar, ad·eirrig, ad·géntar, ad·fíadam, ad·fíadat and ad·ellat where the unstressed final-syllable vowels that I changed to schwas were succeeded by a consonant before the word ended? Putting the schwas in slash brackets also would make the entire coloring issue moot. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 09:27, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
At the moment of reverting I had forgotten the more abstract analysis that assigns /ə/ to all nonfinal unstressed vowels (other than u). And it is a matter of interpretation; a more learnability-based view would say that if, for example, [a] and [i] contrast in any context, then they are separate phonemes even in contexts where their distribution is predictable. And dictionaries do tend to use transcriptions that are relatively broad (not showing details that are always subphonemic, like aspiration and nasalization in English) while remaining close to the surface (e.g. showing German Rat and Rad as homophonous /ʁaːt/ rather than a more abstract /ʁaːt/ vs. /ʁaːd/). —Mahāgaja · talk 11:49, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: So can I restore my schwas on those pages you reverted, since I was following scholarly established rules in placing them? mellohi! (僕の乖離) 18:09, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
You can restore the schwas because it's one legitimate interpretation of Old Irish phonology (but not the only one). —Mahāgaja · talk 19:12, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
@Mahagaja Maybe writing the existence of this debate in WT:ASGA would be helpful in the future. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 19:39, 27 December 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Kim McCone (1996) Towards a Relative Chronology of Ancient and Medieval Celtic Sound Change, Maynooth: National University of Ireland, →ISBN, pages 134-136
  2. ^ Krzysztof Jaskula (2006) Ancient Sound Changes and Old Irish Phonology, Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, →ISBN, pages 218-229
  3. ^ Jacopo Bisagni; Immo Warntjes (2008) , “The early Old Irish material in the newly discovered Computus Einsidlensis (c. AD 700)”, in Ériu, volume 58, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, pages 77-105
  4. ^ Lian Blasse (2015), Method in the Madness: Vowel length, schwa and the quality of consonants in the orthography of Early Old Irish
  5. ^ David Stifter (2006) Sengoidelc: Old Irish for Beginners, Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, →ISBN, pages 21-22

Kluge's lawEdit

I know you like this hypothesis but you can't just be putting it all over Wiktionary without some kind of counterbalance. Wiktionary isn't for fringe theories, it has to present a neutral POV like Wikipedia. —Rua (mew) 16:48, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

@Rua: I'll start explicitly noting that "Kroonen said X" whenever I channel his use of the law in etymologies. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 16:57, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

No consensusEdit

Failed votes are 2/3 oppose. --{{victar|talk}} 05:49, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

@Victar: The voting policy says that failed votes are votes with over 1/2 opposes, not 2/3. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 06:56, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
My mistake, as Meta changed that last year. --{{victar|talk}} 07:12, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
I merely codified pre-existing practice. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:47, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
I can give you several dozens of examples of less than 2/3 oppose votes labeled as no consensus up until the vote was still going on, but sure, that may have been one practice. --{{victar|talk}} 07:51, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Pinging someone on their own talk pageEdit

This is totally unnecessary, since the recipient will already receive a notification because you edited their talk page. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:47, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

Thought it didn't work that way. My bad. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 03:19, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

You deleted the only two words in Iarnnbērlæ languageEdit

After deleting my entries on 'ond' and 'fern', you wrote: Sanas Cormaic is not a reliable source of etymologies. Please do not base any etymologies off of its own etymological explanations.

I understand that etymologies from that pre-scientific era must necessarily be 'folk etymologies', and that it's beyond the scope of Wiktionary (presently!) to document folk etymologies (though this would contribute to understanding how speakers actually viewed their own language, as a meta-conceptual stratum). But in the case of 'ond' and 'fern', it's not just any boring 'folk etymology' -- as you know, the author ascribes the words to another, unattested language. Those two words are the only 'record' of that purported language. JRR Tolkien and John Rhys thought the source to be reliable. See:

Should all pre-scientific attributions to other languages be dismissed out of hand? The indigenous language of my home valley in West Virginia is attested in only two words (mony 'water' + etan 'big'), attributed to it by a barely literate English explorer. Should the Moneton language be banned from Wiktionary just because it only has two known words, and the recorder wasn't a trained linguist? Except for the few centuries of time difference, how is that different than Sanas Cormaic?

Also relevant: I was aiming to link back to the Iarnnbērlæ 'ond' entry (along with the Amharic placename Gondar) for an English language 'Gondor' fictive place-name entry, since JRR Tolkien explicitly gives those two as the sources of the Sindarin root word for 'stone.' But you blithely deleted it. What qualifications do you have in Celtic and Tolkienian lingustics? Why shouldn't I just revert your revert?

—⁠This unsigned comment was added by Traversetravis (talkcontribs) at 03:51, 9 July 2020 (UTC). (Belated signature): Traversetravis (talk) 16:08, 11 July 2020 (UTC)

@Mahagaja Does this "Iarnn-belrae" language actually exist, or is it just an invention of Sanas Cormaic to explain away a few words they can't figure out? Note that Sanas Cormaic also has false hypotheses of borrowings like a claim that bran came from βρόγχος (brónkhos, throat). EDPC states that ond is a native word that is a transparent cognate of Latin pondus (weight) (heck, they're both neuter s-stems)[1], taking out one of the supposed words. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 04:53, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
I've never even heard of "Iarnn-bélrae". Is it the same thing as "Ivernic"? If so, the big difference between Ivernic and Moneton is that there is no doubt that the Moneton people existed and had a language that wasn't English. Ivernic (if that's the same thing as what you're talking about) probably never existed at all, since there is no credible evidence of any Celtic language other than Goidelic in Ireland. If it seems likely that a particular word was borrowed from a substrate language, it's best not to try to name that language at all but merely write {{der|sga|qfa-sub}} to indicate derivation from a substrate language. —Mahāgaja · talk 07:08, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mellohi: I don't dispute the Proto-Celtic etymology. The thing is, I and some reputable sources (I don't have time at the moment to gather references here) do not even claim that Iarnn-belrae is anything other than a variety of Old Irish. At face value, as the Iron Language, it could very well have been a sociolect of Irish blacksmiths, which within the context and time of Cormac, was considered to be a distinct 'language.' That is enough for inclusion in Wiktionary. We have many lects with entries in Wiktionary: e.g. within the Scandinavian continuum: Westrobothnian, Elfdalian, and Jamtish, or within the German continuum: Cimbrian, Luxembourish, and Yiddish (which within the context of German society, was basically a sociolect). Or Shelta, a sociolect of Irish tinsmiths. These all have entries.
The fact that the pre-scientific folk etymologies of Cormac's Glossary are necessarily dubious in their details doesn't negate the entire contents and context of the book! The Greek language doesn't cease to exist because Cormac was mistaken in attributing Greek origins to Old Irish words. (But as an aside: what is of interest is that a 900-era Irishman *perceived* these wordshapes to be aesthetically evocative of Greek. Folk etymologies are still of interest in regard to understanding and imagining how the people of that time experienced their language at a meta-conceptual level.)
Anyway, you seem to be quick and sure to suggest that Cormac "just invented the name of a language" to explain away unknown etymologies. This seems to be a breathless lack of imagination. As the first lexicographer of a non-classical European language, Cormac serves as one of the few primary sources for Dark Age Ireland. The fact that Cormac's references to Iarnn-belrae have intrigued philologists of the caliber of Tolkien and Rhys, merits serious consideration. Obviously the author was couched within a living tradition, and knew and expected that other Irishmen would be reading his work, and went to the trouble of writing it down. Let's use a little imagination: whatever Cormac said about Greeks would tend toward the fantastical, since his readers would know little about Greece...but what he writes about the peoples and languages of his own time and land, had better make some sense to his intended readers. His reference to a Iarnn-belrae language didn't seem to require further explication for his Irish readership.
A similar situation is found in ancient Greek authors' references to Pelasgian words. I assure you that any and all references to 'Pelasgian' words by ancient Greek authors must necessarily be unscientific 'folk etymology.' Yet even if any given 'Pelasgian' word is proven by modern linguists to actually be of Proto-Hellenic (rather than substratal) origin, that doesn't mean that some social entity called 'Pelasgians' didn't exist. We can and do speculate and argue about what language Pelasgians spoke--there's a huge range of hypotheses. But that doesn't affect the fact that primary sources referred to a Pelasgian language, and attributed words to it. Though Iarnn-belrae has less primary references than Pelasgian, and other than the fact that we don't even know for sure whether it is a substrate language or a sociolect, its situation is otherwise nearly identical. There is probably space for Pelasgian words in Witkionary, though they would require much etymological notes, explaining not only the primary attribution, but also the many wildy-varying secondary hypotheses.
@Mahagaja: I'm talking about Iarnn-belrae. I don't mean to speak harshly, yet the fact that you're more familiar with so-called "Ivernic" than Iarnn-belrae, shows the bass-ackwardness of the prevailing academicized mindset. The very word "Ivernic" is an academic hypothesis which was invented by one linguist to explain Cormac's primary reference to Iarnn-belrae. Basically the linguist was like "The word 'iarnn' sounds sorta like the 'Iverni' tribe of southwestern Ireland. Let's spin a whole theory and story out of this." If anything is 'invented' it's the very word and concept of "Ivernic." Now, I'm not opposed to mentioning the "Ivernic" hypothesis in the Iarnn-belrae entries (though "Ivernic" or "Ivernian" means very different things to different linguists; e.g. a Pre-Indo-European language or a Brittonic language or the Old Irish tribolect of the Iverni tribe or a blacksmith sociolect of Old Irish), but let's remain grounded in the primary sources. Whether its a sociolect or a substrate language, it has a name, in a primary source. It's called Iarnn-belrae.
@Mellohi and @Mahagaja: What I agree with is that any Iarnn-belrae wiktionary entries (of which there are only going to be two!) had better have an extensive meta-etymological section which explains the gist of what y'all and myself are discussing, and which references and sources the various divergent theories, such as Ivernic/Ivernian. I'll consider how to best do this. I'm maxed out right now, but if/when I get around to it, I'd be grateful for your constructive feedback. Traversetravis (talk) 16:08, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
@Traversetravis: Please don't think I'm advocating in favor of including "Ivernic" words either as entries or in etymology sections. I'm not. I don't think we should include either "Ivernic" or "Iarnbélrae" words in either place, because both of them are basically imaginary languages. —Mahāgaja · talk 16:15, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
Even if the Iarnbélrae language did exist, it still fails WT:ATTEST (and thus is unlikely to have entries) since the mentions within Sanas Cormaic are mentions, and not uses within any Iarnbélrae context. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 16:34, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mahagaja Well that's what it comes down to. You're somehow magically sure that the first author of a dictionary in Europe (outside of Latin and Greek) just made up a local language for the fun of it, hoping his local readership wouldn't notice. Your assertion is unfalsifiable. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Traversetravis (talkcontribs) at 16:34, 11 July 2020 (UTC).
@MellohiAnd one more thing: Looking at the reference you Mellohi cited, the author himself says: "If this etymology is correct [...]." I'm not disputing that that is the very most straightforward Proto-Celtic etymology. What I am saying is that this does not necessarily contradict the existence of an Iarnn-belrae language or sociolect.
@Mahagaja Lastly, not to veer off topic, but you say "there is no credible evidence of any Celtic language other than Goidelic in Ireland." Well certainly there is very much legendary evidence for other peoples in Ireland besides the Gaels! It's called the entire pre-modernist historiography of Ireland! And even in the post-modern worldview, it's called the pre-Bronze Age / pre-Celtic DNA sources perceivable in Irish genetics! But maybe you're just disputing the "Brittonic Ireland" hypothesis. I'm not speaking of that, as, like I explain above, the linguistic existence of Iarnn-belrae not necessarily tied to that slender hypothesis. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Traversetravis (talkcontribs) at 16:29, 11 July 2020 (UTC).
The assertion that etymologies within Sanas Cormaic are untrustworthy is completely falsifiable - all that is needed to falsify it is that all of Sanas Cormaic's etymologies being supported by modern scholarship. Obviously, Sanas Cormaic does not meet that bar at all. As I've told you earlier, Sanas Cormaic already contains several systematically false and imaginary etymologies, often involving imaginary univerbations of other Old Irish terms (e.g. claiming that ollam ((a poet rank)) came from a phrase oll a dam when modern scholarship believes it is simply a nominalization of the superlative of oll (great)), but also imaginary borrowings from Latin and Greek (e.g. bran (raven)) among them. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 17:07, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
Here's the breathless part. Obviously all of the etymologies in Cormac's Glossary are folk etymologies, and that most of them have proven to be, in the sense of historic reconstruction, 'false.' Yet my question for you is: are *all* of his etymologies false? Is everything and every word in the book false? Is the entire book a fictive non-entity? Is a text either all true ('scientific/objective/credible') or 'all false/fiction'? Because you seem to be saying that because much of the book involves speculative, trans-empirical etymological hypothesizing, that every word and aspect of the book is just sheer phantasy. If that's the case, then every modern scientific etymological dictionary is a false, uncredible, non-entity, because I assure you that at least one etymology in every substantial proto-reconstruction will be superseded by a more sound etymology in the future.
Do we not have a capacity to sift and discern? Can we not perceive two different activities in Cormac's cognitive process?: 1) the cognitive activity of choosing which language or stem a particular word came from (which is a process that is of course fraught with speculation and imaginal limitations), and 2) the incidental mentioning of the languages themselves (e.g. Greek, Iarnn-Bélrae) and other aspects of Irish life of his day and time. Just because the first activity is necessarily limited by Cormac's pre-scientific process (resulting in 'false' etymologies) doesn't mean the entire work is a phantastical work of fiction! Traversetravis (talk) 18:04, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
(e/c) @Traversetravis: There's no point in pinging people if you don't sign your name with four tildes in the same paragraph. That's the only way to get pings to work. I'm not "somehow magically sure" that Cormac made Iarnn-Bélrae up, but since one can't prove a negative, the burden of proof is on the person making the positive assertion. And neither Cormac nor Tolkien nor Rhys nor O'Rahilly for that matter provides any credible evidence for the existence of Iarnn-Bélrae/Ivernic; it's pure speculation. And in the absence of evidence, the responsible position is not to believe. To your last point: I don't deny for an instant that there were pre-Indo-European people in Ireland before the Gaels, but there's no evidence of Celts other than the Gaels in Ireland. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:17, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
Re: "I'm not disputing that that is the very most straightforward Proto-Celtic etymology. What I am saying is that this does not necessarily contradict the existence of an Iarnn-belrae language or sociolect." That wasn't even why I brought up EDPC's etymology of ond in the first place. I brought it up to point out the flimsiness in assuming one of the two only supposed recorded terms in Iarnbélrae actually was borrowed from it, instead of coming from elsewhere. Furthermore, this entire debate relies on the assumption that it was even a different language from Old Irish in the first place, and you even admitted the possibility that it might have not been such. If Iarnbélrae was an Old Irish dialect, your entries will have to stay gone regardless. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 17:27, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mahagaja(Thanks for the ping explanation.)Traversetravis (talk) 18:04, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
I can easily prove that the leading Irish lexicographer from c.900 mentioned that there is, or was, a language or lect local to Ireland called Iarnn-belrae. And that he associated two specific words with that language or sociolect. This is falsifiable. Let's look at Cormac's Glossary, and see whether Iarnn-belrae was named as a language or not. There ya go. That is a positive. It's on you to prove the negative: that there is no attribution to a language called Iarnn-belrae in this primary source. It's on you prove that this attribution are 'imaginary.'
I can similarly easily prove that various ancient Greek authors mentioned that there is, or was, a language or lect in Greece called Pelasgian. And that these authors associated certain words with that language. It's on you to prove there is no attribution to a language called Pelasgian in these primary sources. It's on you prove that these attributions are 'imaginary.'
How these slender mentions equate to reconstructed proto-languages, substrate cultures, and such is highly debatable and speculative. The credibility of any concepts attached to Iarnn-belrae (such as the 'Ivernic' concept which you keep throwing out) or Pelasgian is very ephemeral. But that doesn't negate the attributed existence to a Iarnn-belrae and Pelasgian language by primary sources who were deeply embedded in Dark Age Ireland and ancient Greece. You and I are talking about different levels of discourse.
I assert that both Pelasgian and Iarnn-Bélrae (with no imaginary concepts attached to it)--and similar ancient and medieval languages which have very few attributions--have a place in Wiktionary, especially if couched with a comprehensive, balanced, and clear meta-etymological explanation. Since neither of you are the King of Wiktionary, we may simply engage in an edit war. (Though I may not have time for it.) Yet (if/when I get to it), I will take both of your concerns into account in regard to how Iarnn-Bélrae (and Pelasgian, etc) are clearly presented, in regard to whatever concepts are attached to it (e.g. the various competing hypotheses, including your hypothesis that Iarnn-Bélrae (and Pelasgian?) are completely imaginary, invented by ancient and medieval authors in order to fill in the gaps in their folk etymological skillz). Traversetravis (talk) 18:04, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
Now you're just making strawmen. I never said you can't prove that Cormac made the claim, I said Cormac doesn't provide evidence for his claim. He's the one shouldering the burden of proof, not you or me. As for threatening an edit war, that's an excellent way to get yourself banned from Wiktionary. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:42, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
It's easy to throw out words such as 'strawman.' I was drawing it out into (almost comical, but real) clarity to make a point. Do you not see your own strawman when you argued that Iarnn-Bélrae is imaginary by instead arguing against the 'Brittonic Ivernic' hypothesis? You came across as like: "There's no evidence for a Brittonic language in Ireland, so the Iarnnbélrae language Cormac refers to must be imaginary." When Cormac of course says nothing at all about Brittonic or Iverni. That is a strawman. Do you not admit and see that?
You at first admitted you'd never even heard of Iarnnbélrae, even though it's been touched on by many respected Celtic scholars. You have a pretty quick, sharp, hard, and final opinion on something you'd never even heard of before!
The burden of proof is that Cormac is a Dark Age Irishman, writing about his own country! He's a primary source on that topic! It's like saying that Thucydides needs to provide a modern linguistics-quality evidence for his claim that Pelasgian was a language, or least conceived by Hellenes of his day to be a language.
As for the w-word, I went too far in using that. I apologize. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Traversetravis (talkcontribs) at 21:04, 11 July 2020 (UTC).

Let's lay off the philogical debating and focus on wiki policy. Per WT:ATTEST, we can only create Iarnbélrae entries if either: they are attested to convey meaning within Iarnbélrae (the mentions in Sanas Cormaic do not count as use within Iarnbélrae), or the use of single mentions in certain sources is okayed by consensus. Clearly it fails CFI since there is no consensus to accept Sanas Cormaic's mention as appropriate. And if Iarnbélrae was an Old Irish dialect, Iarnbélrae cannot have separate-language sections on the wiki because it simply would be Old Irish, period. Are we all on the same page, @Mahagaja: and @Traversetravis:? Especially for Travis, since you have not addressed my concern over Iarnbélrae failing CFI despite me bringing it up earlier. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 18:26, 11 July 2020 (UTC)

I agree: if Iarnnbélrae existed, it would be an WT:LDL, so a single mention from an agreed-upon source would be sufficient. But since there's no evidence that any such language ever existed outside of Cormac's imagination, the point is moot. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:45, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing to the policies. That's a reasonable and helpful gesture. I simply acknowledge the existing Wiktionary policies you link to above. (Though of course, as a democratic community, Witkionary policies can be changed; yet I acknowledge them as they exist.)
I agree that, between the three of us, there's no consensus.
I don't necessarily agree that the three of us constitute "the community of editors" for Iarnbélrae or Old Irish. Yet assuming we are 'it', I'm willing to discuss a bit further.
I agree with you both that if Iarnbélrae were to be added to the Wiktionary, it would qualify as a Limited Documentation Language. And so the source(s) would have to be provided, along with a statement cautioning the reader of the small number of citations, usually by using the template available for that statement.
In regard to the "number of citations" policy you shared, I agree that Iarnbélrae (of whatever conception) is extinct.
And I assume we agree that Cormac is a contemporaneous source for Old Irish, and is also a contemporaneous source for Iarnbélrae (for whatever that may be, even if it be a conlang). And yet I agree that the two words are not couched within meaningful Iarnbélrae syntax.
And so, in the absence of use in an actual, connected Iarnbélrae text, I agree with the policy that one mention in a contemporaneous non-Iarnbélrae source is the minimum, subject to three requirements.
As for the three requirements for the one mention, the community of editors (whether it be us three, or more than us) has not yet maintained a list of materials deemed appropriate as the only sources. Yes, we know there is Cormac's Glossary constitutes the "list of materials." What we're still disagreeing on is its 'deeming its appropriateness.' The snag is: One editor says "the list of materials is imaginary/inappropriate." (What I referred to as a "magical surety".) The other says "The list of materials is appropriate." This is a hopeless binary. But there are ways forward. Until the community of editors has informed themselves of most or all of the known peer-reviewed (or otherwise scientifically credible) studies of this topic, we cannot make an informed decision as to its "appropriateness." What I'm saying is, that all three of the editors are as-yet uninformed (one of them, who is most adamant, hadn't even heard of the topic until now). I admit though, that I haven't combed through all the secondary references to Iarnbélrae. Until we have gathered the credible secondary sources which have weighed in on the significance, authenticity, and context of Cormac's attribution of an Iarnbélrae language, it is not feasible to "deem the appropriateness" of Cormac's attribution for the existence of an Iarnbélrae language.
I agree that should the two Iarnbélrae entries be added, each entry should have its source listed on the entry or citation page.
I agree that should the two Iarnbélrae entries be added, a box explaining that a low number of citations were used should be included on the entry page.
So we have about nine agreements, and one disagreement.
I will refrain from reverting the Iarnbélrae entries. Here's what I'd ask: Give me some time and space to more fully research the secondary literature on Iarnbélrae, and to write a sample entry, with the proper LDL template, along with succinct but comprehensive documentation of its appropriateness or inappropriateness of Cormac's Iarnbélrae attribution, as viewed by scholars up through the present day. I'm super maxed out with other work, but if/when I get to it, may I post it here (or some other Wiktionary forum), and have you both (and any others 'community of editors') weigh in on it. Is that acceptable to you both?
Lastly, as I mentioned above--as a related side note. There is a practical reason: I was going to write an English language entry for "Gondor", with an etymological link to the Iarnbélrae word 'ond', since Tolkien explicitly mentions it as the inspiration for his Sindarin word for 'stone.' So your deleting it messes with that nice addition. If Iarnbélrae were certainly a 'fictional conlang' I could still mention it in the etymology section of "Gondor", it just couldn't have its own Wiktionary entry (since only the main conlangs Esperanto, Volapuk, etc are allowed on Wiktionary). But given that Iarnbélrae does have a life of its own in real-life Celtic scholarship (rather than in a novel or television show), and wasn't presented by Cormac as a fictive language (any more than Thucidides presented Pelasgian as a fictive language) it would nice to link to an actual entry. People would be interested. Traversetravis (talk) 21:04, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: ond seems to pass CFI for Old Irish itself, since it also appears in the phrase adba[e] huath-uinde "abode of clay and stone" elsewhere in Sanas Cormaic and later post-Old stages of the language have DIL handily list a few usages. Any leads on what to do? I was thinking of creating an Old/Middle Irish entry and leaving the Iarnbélrae allegations to the etymology section. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 00:45, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
Sure, we can include an entry for ond, but I see no need to mention Iarnnbélrae in the etymology section at all. Matasović takes it back to *ɸondos; that's good enough. —Mahāgaja · talk 05:41, 12 July 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Matasović, Ranko (2009) , “*fondos-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, page 137

dorchacht et alEdit

Suspect == Delete on sight?

If you trace through the sources, DIL cites it to Cath Mhuighe Léana, which is a section of the Ulster cycle transcribed c.1400, and from the Leabhar breac of a similar date, but both noted as in Middle Irish. At worst, would not a discussion on whether it was appropriate to them moved to MIr have been better than just going "nah, dodgy, delete."? --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 02:12, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

@Catsidhe: I said "otherwise handled" for that very reason; in order to keep other possibilities open (in fact, my usual way of handling blatant Middle Irish anachronisms is to move the words under Middle Irish). That RFD thread was meant as a blanket for the general mission of cleaning up anachronisms falsely labelled "Old Irish". mellohi! (僕の乖離) 02:14, 9 August 2020 (UTC)
Shall I just go ahead and "otherwise handle" it, then? Catsidhe (verba, facta) 02:21, 9 August 2020 (UTC)
@Catsidhe: Go ahead. I welcome help. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 02:26, 9 August 2020 (UTC)


Being helpful and industrious has its drawbacks. This Proto-Celtic entry was created a year ago by @Holodwig21, and for some reason they included {{desctree|sga|bráth}}. Apparently the module has no problem with redlinks dangling off into the abyss- but now that there's an entry at bráth, it simply won't be happy until someone either replaces {{desctree}} with {{desc}} in the Proto-Celtic entry, or adds a Descendants section at bráth. Given that said editor hasn't been seen in Wikidom for a month and I have no clue about either entry, it looks like "someone" is you... Chuck Entz (talk) 03:33, 11 August 2020 (UTC)

@Chuck Entz: Fixed it. Since I normally copy paste and then modify, the use of {{desctree}} might have been because of that. Although I not sure. 𐌷𐌻𐌿𐌳𐌰𐍅𐌹𐌲𐍃 𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐌹𐌲𐌲𐍃 (talk) 03:49, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
@Holodwig21, Chuck Entz: I managed to add descendants on the Old Irish page. Thus, I have since restored the {{desctree}}. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 04:25, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
@Mellohi!: No modern Irish? 𐌷𐌻𐌿𐌳𐌰𐍅𐌹𐌲𐍃 𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐌹𐌲𐌲𐍃 (talk) 04:26, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
@Holodwig21: It seems to be confined chiefly in a prepositional idiom meaning "forever" or "never" in Modern Irish, and a few other fossilized uses. does give me Lá an Bhrátha but once again it could just be a fossil. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 04:30, 11 August 2020 (UTC)