Wiktionary:Information desk/2016/March

discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← February 2016 · March 2016 · April 2016 → · (current)

language-specific headword templateEdit

i've found an old, unused headword template for polish verb forms ({{pl-verb-form}}), tried it in a bunch of entries and it seems to produce exactly the same effect as {{head}} with pl and verb form arguments. is there a reason why the template wasn't used? or are language-specific headword templates preferred to generic {{head}} ? profesjonalizmtalk 22:59, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

I think it's the opposite: generic {{head}} with two arguments is preferred to specific templates. —CodeCat 23:16, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
ok... so should i start changing the {{pl-noun}} or {{pl-verb}} templates to {{head}}s when editing random entries? and what's the rationale here? --profesjonalizmtalk 23:36, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
On the other hand, the fact that people are used to their being templates named according to a language-code + "-" + POS format makes the presence of such a template- even one that does nothing but plug parameters into {{head}}- worth it just for the reduction of cognitive load. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:15, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

Show hidden categoriesEdit

Hi. Is there a option to show the hidden categories? --Vivaelcelta (talk) 17:53, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

Yes, it’s under the Appearance tab of your preferences. — Ungoliant (falai) 17:55, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I thought that that was in Gadgets. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 16:05, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

Template:sense in synonymsEdit

Can I put in synonyms section this: "(demijohn, Mexico): damajuana" in damajuana? --Vivaelcelta (talk) 20:44, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

I don’t know if there’s an official protocol, but I’d put Mexico in a qualifier instead: (demijohn): dramajuana (Mexico). — Ungoliant (falai) 21:04, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Ungoliant. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:05, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
I also agree; qualifiers pertaining to the synonym (rather than the original word) should go after the synonym. If, on the other hand, the word foo meant "cat" in Spain and "dog" in Mexico, then it might be appropriate to add "(Mexico, dog) can" to the synonyms section of foo...but it'd probably be best to just say "(dog) can" in that case. Btw, where there's only one sense, I'm not sure a {{sense}} tag is needed at all. - -sche (discuss) 21:19, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks everybody. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 22:08, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Americas vs Hispanic America vs Latin AmericaEdit

Which term should be used to indicate the countries where a Spanish word is used when it’s used in all the countries of the Americas that speak Spanish? For example: video (English) in Spanish is video in Hispanic America and vídeo in Spain. I think that it should be Hispanic America or Americas. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 23:07, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

What's wrong with "Latin America"? --WikiTiki89 23:18, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
It doesn’t include US Spanish. — Ungoliant (falai) 23:19, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
But US Spanish isn't a real dialect. It's just a collective term for the dialects that immigrant communities speak. These immigrant communities can theoretically even be from Spain as well. So really Cuban Spanish, Mexican Spanish, etc. include the varieties of these dialects spoken in the US. Only words that arise specifically out of the US environment really need to be classified as "US Spanish". --WikiTiki89 23:27, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
In New Mexico, there are communities that never stopped speaking Spanish when their state became part of the US, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same were true here and there in other states. Likewise, Chicano Spanish may not be distinct enough to be a completely separate dialect, but it does have some of its own unique vocabulary and a few other traits that aren't completely imported from elsewhere. There have been a number of waves of immigration by Spanish-speakers over the centuries, with different levels of assimilation to English, so it's not a good idea to generalize. Going strictly by numbers, your description mostly applies- but it leaves out some very interesting exceptions. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:12, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Latin America includes Brasil, which speaks Portuguese. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 05:13, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
If it's being used as a context label in a ==Spanish== entry, that (Brazil) isn't a problem. After all, we have entries like all mouth and no trousers labelled "UK" (which displays as "Britain") and I doubt anyone thinks it means that all mouth and no trousers is also used in Welsh, even though "UK"/"Britain" includes Wales. - -sche (discuss) 06:02, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
Just to confirm what Chuck Entz said: not all native Spanish speakers in the U.S. are immigrants or recent descendants of immigrants. Some Spanish-speaking families have been there since before Texas independence and the Mexican-American war. Their variety of Spanish is similar but not identical to that of northern Mexico, and is characterized (among other things) by a large number of English loanwords and calques of English expressions. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:37, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
I would still consider those to be varieties of Mexican Spanish and included by the term "Latin American Spanish". And the term "US Spanish" is not primarily used to refer to those specific communities. --WikiTiki89 16:21, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't necessarily consider New Mexican Spanish a variant of Mexican Spanish, but I would consider it part of Latin American Spanish. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:57, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough, I wasn't aware of its history when I said that. --WikiTiki89 18:10, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
Okey. Thanks everybody. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 03:15, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Suits of Spanish playing cardsEdit

I have created this template Template:table:spanish suits for suits of Spanish playing cards. It is okey? --Vivaelcelta (talk) 03:17, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

@Vivaelcelta See Template:table:suits/es. DTLHS (talk) 03:20, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
@DTLHS: But Template:table:suits/es is about the Poker's suits. But I create a new template for Spanish playing cards. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 03:26, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Latin sans copulaEdit

Is there a tendency in Latin to omit the sum verbs? --Romanophile (contributions) 03:37, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

@Romanophile: Yep! All the time! —JohnC5 03:38, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Damn, that was quick! I was asking because Wikipedia doesn’t suggest that Latin is a zero‐copula language. [1] This does explain why so many Latin sentences look strange to me; you have to imagine the copula existing there because it’s implied. --Romanophile (contributions) 03:43, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
@Romanophile: As mentioned here, it's common to omit the sum in periphrastic verbs. I also recall omitting copulae all over the place (particularly in ablative absolutes), but I'm not finding references for it at the moment. Perhaps it is more common in poetry? —JohnC5 04:17, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
@JohnC5: Copula oblitus es? --Romanophile (contributions) 04:41, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
The copula is very often omitted in Latin when it would be present indicative, and not just in periphrastic verbs. I wouldn't say it's omitted in ablative absolute constructions, though, because absolute constructions by definition don't have a finite verb. In other words, it would be ungrammatical for a copula to be present in an ablative absolute. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:40, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Here's a source. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:42, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
@Angr: You are quite right about ablative absolutes. I guess I was harkening back to my (somewhat erroneous) high school Latin wherein they described ablative absolutes as either noun + participle (+ complement of participle) or noun + noun (with an understood present active copular participle). I realize now that this latter explanation was a false simplification. Thanks for the correction! —JohnC5 19:42, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Well, it's certainly true that the copula can be understood in abl.abs. constructions, and it may need to be supplied in English translations of them, but it is never explicitly present in them. Thus they're different from main clauses like "Tu coniunx", which could also grammatically be "Tu coniunx es". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:26, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

I wonder if we can say that omitting the present indicative copula was a PIE feature. --WikiTiki89 13:14, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

If it was, then it was not omitted in in enough cases that all its descendants preserved the verb. If the verb was not widely used, you wouldn't expect it to have survived. Latin isn't the only branch that omitted the copula, the East Slavic languages commonly do too. —CodeCat 14:36, 10 March 2016 (UTC)


Can basin refer to these things? The present definition #1 seems to apply to only sinks/sink-like bowls. —suzukaze (tc) 10:17, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

I'd say so. If you do a Google Images search for "plastic basin" you get almost exactly the same results. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:34, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that it applies to all of these things. It could be used for any of them that could reasonably be used for washing the hands. Pans that are used for baking/cooking would not be called basins, in my opinion. To me, sinks and sink-like bowls seems like a good definition. —Stephen (Talk) 06:59, 12 March 2016 (UTC)

un amuse-boucheEdit

The pronunciation for amuse-bouche is actually the pronunciation for un amuse-bouche. Someone should replace it.--Iskenderbalas (talk) 20:17, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Why is that a problem? --WikiTiki89 20:47, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
This is typical for French entries, as French nouns are rarely found without a determiner of some sort. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:09, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
I considered it would make it harder to learn the language for a French learner.--Iskenderbalas (talk) 11:13, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
Why would it be harder? Un is one of the first words you learn and you should be able to recognize it. --WikiTiki89 15:50, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
Almost all the French audio files include the article. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:19, 21 March 2016 (UTC)


Why Wiktionary isn't available in Wikidata? When will it be available? --Vivaelcelta (talk) 02:11, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&profile=advanced&search=Wikidata&fulltext=Search&ns4=1&profile=advanced Dixtosa (talk) 07:02, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Not yet implementable due to different POS, inflections, etc of languages. But at least, they should make interlanguage links repository first because it is the same function as for Wikipedia. --Octahedron80 (talk) 07:28, 31 March 2016 (UTC)


Hi all. If you have some time, please translate this urgent notice into your language. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/Server_switch_2016 --Octahedron80 (talk) 08:52, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

numeral vs numberEdit

Can I ask something? What is different between numeral vs number categories? For example, 'Xyz cardinal numbers' vs 'Xyz numerals'. If I have terms like '๕' and 'ห้า', where should I put them? --Octahedron80 (talk) 04:08, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

According to a discussion, Category:English numbers contains any number while Category:English numerals contain only numerals—well, it’s not clear to me. More confusingly, Category:en:Numbers contain words related to number (such as even number) — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 04:45, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
belongs in Category:Thai numeral symbols; ห้า belongs in Category:Thai numerals and Category:Thai cardinal numbers. —Stephen (Talk) 22:56, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
Still wondering why English terms go everywhere. Numerals in my meaning are the numeral symbols, so spelling words should be located only under numbers. That is also the same problem at my home Wiktionary. --Octahedron80 (talk) 07:07, 31 March 2016 (UTC)


Can somebody please alert me of a good site for conjugating Asturian verbs? In particular, I need the table for remendar… @Stephen G. Brown, Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV perhaps? --Romanophile (contributions) 20:32, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

I don’t know of a good site for Asturian verbs. There is Verbix, but it assumes that remendar is a regular verb and conjugates it as if regular. I do not know whether remendar is really regular or not. —Stephen (Talk) 22:40, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
No idea, sorry. — Ungoliant (falai) 22:44, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
@Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV, it’s not exactly a conjugator, but you can use https://www.languagetool.org/ before inserting a conjugation table, that way you can catch any irregularities. And yes, remendar is irregular in Asturian just like Spanish. --Romanophile (contributions) 11:41, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
@Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV, and here’s a real conjugator! --Romanophile (contributions) 11:52, 24 March 2016 (UTC)


Do I need to provide citations of Occitan terms to avoid getting into trouble? I have a dictionary with me, but I don’t know if that suffices. Can I just add what I find in the dictionary? --Romanophile (contributions) 03:55, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

As long as you're not violating the dictionary's copyright by copying its text wholesale. I don't think you need to provide citations unless someone RFV's them, but obviously it's a good idea to provide a reference so other people can check your work if they want to. And although WT:CFI allows terms in less-documented languages like Occitan that have but one single mention in a reliable source (e.g. a printed dictionary that everyone who knows Occitan agrees is a good source), I generally try to verify words even in small languages in at least two sources, just to avoid the possibility of ghost words and fictitious entries getting into Wiktionary. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:24, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
I'd add it to WT:About Occitan as a source sufficient for a single mention. Personally I'm not a big fan of terms that may only appear in dictionaries but under these circumstances they are completely legal. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:16, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Can't figure out how to add a word to a categoryEdit

Category:Esperanto words suffixed with -aŭ

I tried several different ways and none worked. I looked at edit page of a word already in the category and didn't see the code that linked it into the category. There are many (and I mean many) words in Wiktionary that should be added to this category and I haven't figured out how. Surely, it's not done directly on the category page, is it?

Sollupulo (talk) 15:27, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

Most of those kinds of categories are added via the headword template, in this case something like {{eo-adj}} or {{eo-noun}}. If the appropriate template is used on the "inflection line" (immediately below the part of speech header) then the categorization is automatic. - TheDaveRoss 15:33, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
But this is a suffix category, which is added by etymology templates like {{affix}} and {{suffix}}. —CodeCat 15:35, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks CodeCat, the suffix template works the magic —Sollupulo (talk) 14:30, 24 March 2016 (UTC)


In rocking chair I want the translations box appears after the photo. Is it possible with a code? --Vivaelcelta (talk) 03:22, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

You can, using {{-}}, but I think that it is a bad idea because then there will be a lot of blank space above the translation table. —suzukaze (tc) 04:36, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
{{-}} would work, but it would be better to put more material between the definitions and the translations. See if you can add some synonyms (such as rocker, glider) and related terms (such as Kennedy rocker). —Stephen (Talk) 10:48, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. --Vivaelcelta (talk) 12:42, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Should I get off of the Reconstruction pages?Edit

I'm a newbie in PIE and stuff, although I have passive interest in it.

TL; DR: Do you agree with CodeCat's suggestion for me to leave these pages?

I tried to aggregate cognates yet again. I only created PIE pages for forms that were already reconstructed in etymology sections, which one time or the other turn out to be poorly done. In today's case, I did not make this faulty reconstruction myself, it was a redlink from give which I hoped someone else could settle on a correction on (see *h₁eyH- for CodeCat him/herself doing this).

I think he/she is fed up with me touching these pages... I admit I don't have expertise.

I ask @Vahagn Petrosyan and @JohnC5 on this matter. Am I a nuisance on the Reconstruction pages by creating pages in this manner? Hillcrest98 (talk) 03:17, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

@Hillcrest98: I'll point out that Code initially told me early that I shouldn't edit PIE until I learned more and suggested that I read Fortson's Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction. It was quite good and a very helpful primer. The issue is that there is just so much information to keep in mind when writing these entries, and I need all the help I can get. I might advise doing a little more reading if you want to continue to help. I like having users help out with PIE though, especially since I at least am extremely slow at making entries. —JohnC5 04:03, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
Thank you John. Just keep reading... Hillcrest98 (talk) 15:34, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree with CodeCat. Etymology sections here are often outdated or wrong. You should not "aggregate cognates" from them. --Vahag (talk) 05:54, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
I wasn't fed up at all, it was just an honest suggestion since you recognised the limits of your knowledge yourself. As John said, getting into reading is a very good idea! —CodeCat 18:34, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever created a Proto-Indo-European entry, and I took a course in Indo-European linguistics as part of my linguistics degree. That's because the field has been changing constantly and extensively in the century or so it's been in existence (even in the three decades since I took that course), and it takes a great deal of knowledge and access to sources to sort through all of it. There's a great deal of obsolete information about Proto-Indo-European in a lot of otherwise-good references, and I'd have to spend time getting myself up to speed on the latest developments before I would feel comfortable creating entries based on what's in our etymology sections. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:02, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

I seem to be a total noob here, given what people are saying about me. Laryngeals we go... Hillcrest98 (talk) 15:34, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

Categorization of English words without rhymesEdit

If we have a whole namespace dedicated for rhyming, are non-rhyming words to be left alone, e.g. wolf, bulb, etc.? Because it isn't hard to come across trivia saying "purple, orange, silver, ... don't rhyme with anything" and such. Hillcrest98 (talk) 01:09, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

I wouldn't mind having a list or automatically generated category or something of English words with no rhymes, except that it will be difficult to separate its entries from a list or category of English words that have a rhyme but that no one has added to a Rhymes page yet. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:05, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
We already have that, unless you mean something else. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:46, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for telling me where it was. Hillcrest98 (talk) 02:04, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

"what" vs. "how" in this phraseEdit

About the phrase: "I have no idea what to title this" (as in, "I have no idea what title I should give to this")

Can someone say instead: "I have no idea how to title this"

(that is, replacing "what" by "how" and retaining the same meaning)

--Daniel Carrero (talk) 23:33, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Technically, only "how to title this" is correct, because "title" only takes one object ("this" in this case). If you use the verb "name" instead, which can take two objects, then you can say either "what to name this" or "how to name this". The "how" version can have other meanings as well, but it can also mean the same thing as the "what" version. --WikiTiki89 00:39, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't think that's accurate; Merriam-Webster includes "She titled the book The Story of My Life" (two objects) in its examples of how to use "title". "What to title the" is more common than "how to title the". (Bare "how to title", with no following word, is more common than bare "what to title", but includes irrelevant stuff like scannos of "how-to title".) "How to title this" also sounds OK, though (it doesn't sound prescriptively nonstandard or incorrect). Incidentally, I notice we have "conforming to the language as used by the majority of its speakers" as a definition in the negative at nonstandard, but not in the positive at standard. - -sche (discuss) 08:39, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
I should have clarified: "In my idiolect..." (as for nonstandard and standard, I think that reflects an actual difference in the usage of the words). --WikiTiki89 13:58, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

horizontal ruleEdit

Are the horizontal rules (----) between languages necessary? If so, why don't modify stylesheet of the headings instead? --Octahedron80 (talk) 07:18, 31 March 2016 (UTC)