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This has "Sense 1 is from Old French (see ciclatoun)." Fair enough, but I'd like to know what the Old French derivation actually is, and I can't see how ciclatoun is at all linked (we have it as coming direct from Persian, not Old French). This, that and the other (talk) 08:25, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

  • The semantics certainly don't fit very well. User:Dbfirs added the mention of Old French in this edit. @Dbfirs can you shed any light on this? How does an Old French term for expensive cloth wind up meaning “the only card of its suit in a hand”? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 20:39, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I have to apologise for messing this up. I was thinking of adding the obsolete sense of a coverlet of cloth, but that would have been a separate etymology, and very rare anyway. Something must have distracted me and I never got back to tidy up the entry. The word has indeed been used for a person on their own since 1937, but the usage for a person without a romantic partner is more recent (since Bridget Jones?). We probably can't separate out the gradual change of meaning. Sorry for leaving my error in the entry. Dbfirs 19:40, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

get the message

When was the expression "gets the message" first used?--Christie the puppy lover (talk) 12:37, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

To get the message (meaning "understand") is from 1960. —Stephen (Talk) 13:46, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Is this an equivalent etymology?

Is this public domain etymology (found here):

[= F. théosophe = Sp. teósofo, < ML. theosophus, a theologian, < LGr. (eccl.) θεόσοφος, wise in things concerning God, < θεός, god, + σοφός, wise. Cf. theosophy.]

correctly written by me as:

From Medieval Latin theosophus (a theologian, noun),
from Byzantine Greek θεόσοφος (theósophos, wise in things concerning god),
from Ancient Greek θεός (theós, god) +‎ σοφός (sophós, wise).

particularly, is "< LGr. (eccl.)" the same as "from Byzantine Greek" and how do I, or should I, integrate "[= F. théosophe = Sp. teósofo, < " into an etymology? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 23:19, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I would say you have got it right. And yes Byzantine Greek=Mediaeval Greek=Late Greek=Ecclesiastical Greek. You could add that the French and Spanish forms are comparative forms (e.g. "Compare French théosophe, Spanish teósofo), or cite them alternatively as cognate terms...Leasnam (talk) 04:35, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Koine Greek, {{etyl|grc-koi|en}}, is more appropriate for Ecclesiastical Greek. θεόσοφος (theósophos) is attested in Porphyry, 3rd century AD, not yet Byzantine Greek. --Vahag (talk) 08:37, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:18, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Folk etymology

Anyone not yet excessively jaded by the topic might like to check on Talk:tinker's_damn JonRichfield (talk) 16:12, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

I've rewritten the etymology based on the references I could find. - -sche (discuss) 19:22, 6 March 2015 (UTC)


This paper can be used to improve the etymology. In particular, the Proto-Eskimo reconstruction *qyaq is wrong. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:01, 6 March 2015 (UTC)


Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup/archive/2010/Unresolved requests.

I find the given etymology rather suspect, as the earliest publications on the topic were in Latin. see e.g.. Please don't tell me that the Dutch republic did not have enough scientists able to read Latin in the later 17th century.... Jcwf 23:05, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Those publication use "phosphorus". According to (subscription site; probably also in →ISBN Dutch "phosphor-" is only attested in 1814, "fosfor" in 1846, to quote "De vernederlandste vorm zonder -us is pas jong, en wellicht ontstaan onder invloed van Duits Phosphor.". 19th century Dutch scientists could read German. --Erik Warmelink 00:09, 10 March 2011 (UTC)


Am I right in my suspicion that the expression attaboy/attagirl is (proto-/stereo-)typically used to praise and encourage young children, and only secondary older people? In that case, an origin in baby talk suggests itself. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:26, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

I can see that. It does have a patronising tone to it, for instance I would not use it with one of my parents; certainly not with a grandparent; only in an encouraging way to a ..."subordinate", if you will, for lack of a better term Leasnam (talk) 06:22, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
That's interesting. Apparently it is also used by bosses to their employees, which agrees with your assessment. Isn't it also said to dogs by their owners? This would fit very well with a baby-talk origin.
Curiously, attagirl seems to have acquired a "girl power!" connotation. I recently saw it used in an interview with Canadian opera singer Barbara Hannigan. The interviewer, hornist Sarah Willis, born in America but sounding very British, certainly did not intend to come across as anything but respectful, nor did she want to sound patronising, I am sure. She treated Hannigan as an equal, not as superior, but certainly never as inferior. Both have Wikipedia articles so are clearly notable in their own right, which probably explains why she was comfortable enough around her for such an informal approach. A less known musician, or a musician outside the classical scene, might have felt it to be inappropriate in the same situation. So adult women using it among themselves must have a different "feel" compared to adult men (although among equals it may well sound humorous, playful but not patronising); still slang but not too impolite to say even to a celebrated opera singer in a relaxed but public situation. I was already familiar with the expression Attagirl! before (probably more than Attaboy!) but this example piqued my interest. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:46, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, when/if not patronising, it is very informal, like sister to sister, or brother to brother Leasnam (talk) 21:12, 12 March 2015 (UTC)


The page, and respective entries, says that the Scandinavian forms of /tɛnk-/ come from Middle Low German /dɛnkən/. As initial obstruent devoicing isn't a feature of Old Norse and the Low German word had a fully voiced consonant from the 13th century onward, this seems off. Has anyone enough knowledge in that field to confirm this etymology? It seems more like an Old East Norse relic to me, cf. sjunka/synke. Korn (talk) 13:45, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

According to Alf Torp, Nynorsk Etymologisk Ordbok (1919), Norwegian tenkja and late Old Norwegian þenkja are in form and meaning influenced by Low German.
So one could place them under Norse and add a note like "under influence of Low German denken". --MaEr (talk) 15:23, 21 March 2015 (UTC)


Where does this come from? Tharthan (talk) 22:04, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Slavic če/czy/чи

Anyone happen to know more about the etymology of če, czy and чи (čy)? Urotnik (talk) 20:03, 23 March 2015 (UTC)


Anyone know what the etymology of this word is? - -sche (discuss) 18:55, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Coined by Prof. A. R. Forsyth, F.R.S.: seems to be im- + mānō + -ant (as in determinant). Wyang (talk) 02:20, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Nice work finding that information! Thank you! - -sche (discuss) 05:08, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
But how does it connect to the meaning? DCDuring TALK 12:02, 28 March 2015 (UTC)


Some questionable material in the etymology there. Should we just remove it? This, that and the other (talk) 00:38, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

The early use as a nickname is interesting, though a link to the New Zealand paper is possible and desirable. It is a little hard to believe that the US usage (c. 1932) was influenced by the NZ usage (c. 1901), but it is conceivable. If removed from the ety section, it should go on the talk page. DCDuring TALK 11:51, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
This search shows that there was a person known in NZ as "Snazzy", but that there is a long hiatus (30 years) between the last use of Snazzy and the first use of snazzy in New Zealand in its modern sense. DCDuring TALK 12:01, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

rada (Polish and Czech)

Our entry rada suggests that Polish rada is from Germanic. It seems cognate to Czech rada. George Thomas' Linguistic purism says "Jan Hus, saddened by the Germanised Czech of his parishioners, attempted to coin easily decipherable native words [such as] radnice ‘town-hall’ from rada ‘council, counsel’ — [itself] ironically considered by some a German loanword" (as if to suggest it actually isn't a Germanic loanword). So, what is the origin of these words? - -sche (discuss) 01:14, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Somebody already asked about this word a few months ago. My own speculation was the only answer we got. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:45, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
And here I was eying the thread hoping someone with Slavic knowledge would answer. Here's my two cents instead then: Loans from Germanic into Slavic appear very early and are not too rare. (chleb, ratusz) If this is a Germanic loan, it's post PGM as it has /aː/. My partially educated guess, lacking any knowledge of Proto-Slavic roots, is that if this is a Germanic word, it was borrowed into Polish from this form and then spread south. According to Wenker, Bohemia and the greater part of Poland were settled with High Germans who probably pronounced the word something like /rɒːt-/. Mainly the coastal Polish areas were settled by Low Germans, with a High German enclave in eastern Poland. So Low German isn't as spread. There are records of this word having a final vowel in nominative singular in Low German: /rɒːdə/. This form was also the one preferred in compounds and the dative case and hence probably the ones Poles encountered more than the standard LG form /rɒːt/. The Czechs, who knew the Germanic word as /rɒːt(ə)/, and had not even a border on Low German settlement, would not have interpreted it as a Germanic borrowing but rather as a West Slavic word since "it also exists in Polish". Korn (talk) 17:41, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Many towns in the Kingdom of Poland were granted charters based on the Magdeburg law within the Holy Roman Empire, which was based on Flemish law. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 02:03, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

RFV of the etymology.