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Wiktionary:Information desk/Archive 2012/July-December

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July 2012Edit


I've tried to edit this template to link the word 'grammar' to the entry grammar in Wiktionary, but the source code is locked. Perhaps one of you guys could do this (unless you have some reason to think this template should remain unlinked)? --Pereru (talk) 21:27, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

I don’t think it’s necessary. Grammar is a well-known word. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:46, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
It may be well known, but most linguists believe that it is commonly misunderstood.
I don't really see that grammar is a valid usage context. Linguistics is. Some of the more basic terms with the grammar usage context are not at all restricted to use by linguists or grammarians, eg passive, tense, verb. It would seem that almost all of the words so marked are within the subject of grammar, which should lead to the item being put into Category:en:Grammar. I suppose that all items that now have the grammar usage context belong in the category, but none of them should have "grammar" display. Some of the items with the grammar usage context should have the linguistics context label because they are not generally understood by someone not a linguist, eg adessive case.
Perhaps {{grammar}} should be reworked to display "linguistics", while continuing to categorize into Grammar, and the less technical terms be hard-categorized into Grammar and the context label removed. DCDuring TALK 23:10, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Y'know, Oxford Dictionaries Online, le Trésor de la langue française informatisé, el Diccionario de la lengua española, and הַמִּלּוֹן הֶחָדָשׁ tag this sense of verb, verbe, verbo, and פֹּֽעַל, פועל(pó'al) as Grammar, GRAMM., Gram., and [בדקדוק] (respectively).[1][2][3] Your comment reflects what's come to be the received wisdom at en.wikt, and it has the virtue of internal coherence, but I wonder if it's really the best approach to sense labels. —RuakhTALK 01:25, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I have tried on a few entries to make a distinction between a popular definition of a term and, say, a chemist's of physicist's definition. Many of our words like iron or graphite which are commonly used by non-technical people do not mean to them what they mean to chemists or physicists. We often did not recognize that difference. I am reasonably sure that the same thing applies to these terms. A truly comprehensive and descriptive dictionary should have both kinds of definition. Clearly the linguist context would only apply to a technical one (if indeed one could be found). If we want to have "topic" tags, we certainly can, but some kind of distinction still exists between usage context and topic. If the community of aerospace engineers were to have its own slang term for an attractive woman, the usage context would be aerospace, but the topic would not be. I don't think this is very far-fetched. DCDuring TALK 01:51, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Not farfetched at all — as I said, it has the virtue of internal coherence — but honestly, I cannot imagine the reader who sees the definition "(aeronautics, space) An attractive woman" and instantly understands what the "(aeronautics, space)" part means. —RuakhTALK 02:40, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Well that's what we ask them to do with military slang. And, of course, the more common problem goes the other way. DCDuring TALK 03:16, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
If don't mind my intruding and throwing in a comment (and a couple of questions)... If other dictionaries do use context labels as topic labels sufficiently often (say, where the intended use is obvious, as in the dictionaries he mentioned with the label "grammar" -- probably relying on the reader's common sense to get the right interpretation), then this would seem to be accepted practice for dictionary making. Is Wiktionary trying to start a new practice or tradition? Should it? Isn't it better to follow existing models? (Is there any published dictionary, by the way, that consistently and thoroughly distinguishes context from topic?)-Pereru (talk) 12:24, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
You would not be intruding, even if you had not initiated the topic.
One could take a look at verb at OneLook Dictionary Search to conveniently see how a few of the fuller dictionaries handle the verb case. Collins has a context-like long explanation, which seems a promising approach to me. MWOnline has no context, but a somewhat verbose (and technical?) definition with no context label.
There is relatively little reason for a print dictionary to note topic areas. For us, we have categories, which can help a user locate terms. The sole point of having topical labels at the sense level is that, in long entries (eg, [[head]]), a user coming to the entry from a category, might have trouble locating the sense(s) sought. DCDuring TALK 13:03, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I like the Collins solution. Now, speaking for myself as a consumer of dictionaries, I actually like it when there are topic labels -- even if they may be redundant (I knew the topic from the category search). I like it in print dictionaries when a certain mammal name is provided with a label (mammal) right at the beginning -- it confirms my expectations and makes it less likely that I may have gotten to the wrong word by mistake. True, this is more often done in dictionaries of foreign languages for learners (where redundancy is more important), but I don't think this disturbs the casual reader; quite the contrary, it may make him/her feel safer about having understood the word in the right way. In other words, why avoid topic labels? In what way do they cause disturbances or confusion? If space were costly here, as in many printed dictionaries, I could understand that -- but Wiktionary has the advantage of having all the space we need at no cost. --Pereru (talk) 06:44, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
The issue is how to indicate whether a sense of term is likely to be understood outside of a restricted group or usage context. In the case of verb as defined at Collins, I would mark the second sense with a linguistics tag and leave the other unmarked, though I don't object to their verbose equivalent. If the same label is used for both purposes then the user could not tell which we were trying to indicate. Formerly, some entries were marked with jargon, but there was some agreement that the word is too pejorative. It certainly wouldn't be accurate for the difference between senses of verb. We could insert {{context|among|_|linguists|lang=und}} and make sure that {{linguists}} categorized into Category:en:Linguistics. Full implementation of such an approach would take a long time to complete, were it to get acceptance. DCDuring TALK 11:33, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

old words templates?Edit

Is there a principled difference here between {{obsolete}} and {{archaic}} (e.g., {{archaic}} might be 'older, no longer in use even for special "old-fashioned" effect, whereas {{obsolete}} though in principle no longer in use, could still be used for a special effect), or are these being used pretty much as synonyms? --Pereru (talk) 22:38, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

If you click the links and read the descriptions, you'll see that we're pretty explicit about the distinction we make; Appendix:Glossary#archaic says:
No longer in general use, but still found in some contemporary texts (such as Bible translations) and generally understood (but rarely used) by educated people. For example, thee and thou are archaic pronouns, having been completely superseded by you. Archaic is a stronger term than dated, but not as strong as obsolete.
whereas Appendix:Glossary#obsolete says:
No longer in use, and no longer likely to be understood. Obsolete is a stronger term than archaic, and a much stronger term than dated.
RuakhTALK 23:35, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
That indeed makes things clear. Thanks. --Pereru (talk) 03:25, 3 July 2012 (UTC)


This is not strictly speaking a Wiktionary question, but under what circumstances is the "anger mark" (intended to be) used? Manga? After ︻╦̵̵͇̿̿̿̿╤── when firing in anger? Never? - -sche (discuss) 10:53, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Looks like it's part of the ever-controversial emoji set added to Unicode not too long ago. Apparently these characters are available on Japanese cellphones in plain text, but I do not know much more. -- Liliana 11:50, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Ah, thanks! - -sche (discuss) 23:54, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Equivalent to {{t}} for SOP translation phrasesEdit

Is there a way to put an SOP translation phrase in a translation table without either creating a redlink to an unwanted SOP phrase or individually wikilinking each part? Doing a separate {{t}} template for each part might imply that each part is a separate synonym. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:15, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

I use {{l}} + {{t}} ({{l}} for the support words, {{t}} for the main word or phrase). —Stephen (Talk) 03:44, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
{{l}} or [[WORD#LANGUAGE|WORD]] for each word can be used followed by transliteration in brackets (if required for non-Roman based languages). I think SoP's are OK for translations but you can split words using {{l}} if you wish to make it more obvious and to avoid someone deleting it. Adding each word using {{l}} is more cumbersome, no doubt. --Anatoli (обсудить) 04:15, 5 July 2012 (UTC) IFYPFY.​—msh210 (talk)
Sorry, I didn't get it, Msh210. Was it to do with my post or with my translations? --Anatoli (обсудить) 05:23, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Some SOP-translations use {{onym}}, which has the advantage, that the language iso-code and transliterations can be specified inside the template. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 10:16, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
  • {{l}} can do that too. Comparison:
{{l|ja|複製|tr=[[ふくせい]], ''[[fukusei]]''|gloss=reproduction, copy; to reproduce, to copy}}複製 (ふくせい, fukusei, reproduction, copy; to reproduce, to copy)
{{l|ja|複製|tr=[[ふくせい]], ''[[fukusei]]''|gloss=reproduction, copy; to reproduce, to copy}}複製 (ふくせい, fukusei, reproduction, copy; to reproduce, to copy)
Halfway fixing the {{onym}} example, we get:
{{l|ja|複製|tr=[[ふくせい]], [[fukusei]]|gloss=reproduction, copy; to reproduce, to copy}}複製 (ふくせい, fukusei, reproduction, copy; to reproduce, to copy)
At first glance, the only functional differences I can see between the two is that {{onym}} italicizes transliterations by default, which is undesirable for some languages like JA, where transliterations are by policy given in multiple scripts; and that {{l}} puts the gloss in a separate set of parentheses, which is just plain ugly in most cases. (FWIW, I almost never use the gloss param for {{l}}.) -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 23:07, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks but with the translation of the verb to copy I don't think it's OK to just show {{l|ja|複製|tr=ふくせい, fukusei}} - 複製 (ふくせい, fukusei), that would be very misleading, {{l|ja|複製|複製する|tr=ふくせいする, fukusei suru}} - 複製する (ふくせいする, fukusei suru) is the correct translation, even if some people consider verb+suru as two words! Note that the translation links to the lemma form. I normally just do {{t|ja|複製|tr=ふくせいする, fukusei suru|alt=複製する}} - 複製する (ふくせいする, fukusei suru) with the alt showing the form matching the part of speech. I strongly disagree with translating English verb with the Japanese stem without "する". --Anatoli (обсудить) 00:14, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Anatoli. Leaving out する is like an expert mode...most non-Japanese users would benefit by seeing 複製する. —Stephen (Talk) 02:18, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
  • No arguments here; I use alt=kanji_termする when entering any translations, and should have done so in the example above for clarity. FWIW, bare kanji terms without the する can be used in verb senses, albeit in restricted contexts, leading to the decision to keep verb senses on the same page as the bare term and dispense with separate [[kanji_termする]] entry pages. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 21:56, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
The difference between {{onym}} and temp {{l}} is that third argument of {{onym}} can be wikilinked as e.g. in the Greek translation of vomit: {{l|el||[[κάνω#Greek|κάνω]] [[εμετό#Greek|εμετό]]}} gives:
κάνω εμετό (káno emetó).
I think that is not possible with {{l}}. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 09:41, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Maybe it would make sense to introduce a {{t-SOP}} template, which would behave the same as {{t}} with the difference of accepting a wiki-linked 3rd argument and not displaying the interwiki-links. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 09:49, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I have just created {{t-SOP}}. Please try it out. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 13:17, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Is there any way to have the capability of multiple parameters like {{also}} accepts, with each parameter ending up separately wikilinked to the appropriate language section? That way you could have the lang parameter as the first, non-optional one, and the rest being each of the non-SOP components of the SOP phrase, separated by pipes. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:08, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
What about the gender? In that case it has to be specified with named g=, g2== ... parameters instead. On the other hand there should be a possibility to link an inflected form to the lemma. That means the template would need an even number of parameters, each 2nd (the link) being optional. This look a bit to complicated and error prone to me. On the other hand, the template in its current form is 100% compatible with {{t}}. It could even easily be added by User:Conrad.Irwins Assisted translations adding engine, if double square brackets are detected in the translation. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 14:40, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Pronunciation of secondmentEdit

Hi there. I have always known people to pronounce "secondment" with a "v" - a bit like "seconvent". The emphasis was on the "con". But no-one seems to that any more and the pronunciation is always as you'd expect, with "cond" rhyming with "bond". So was the "seconvent" variant a family idiosyncrasy, as it were, or am I mis-remembering? Or am I just associating with the wrong people? (UK English question.) —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 10:24, 6 July 2012 (UTC).

Did you used to always hear it in a particular part of the country? maybe it's a regional thing. I've lived in south west, north west and north east of England and never heard it said with the 'v', but that doesn't mean it's not used elsewhere (btw I'm new here, so apologies if I've done any of this wrong!) Sharon2001 (talk) 18:00, 10 July 2012 (UTC)


Are we permitted to create entries for inflexions in appendices ? Can I start one for Vulgar Latin with # {{conjugation of|excappo|excappō|pres|act|inf|lang=la}} ? --Æ&Œ (talk) 04:12, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes you can. There are some Proto-Germanic inflections as well. —CodeCat 13:37, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Winkler bottleEdit

Hallo, please excuse, my English is not so good, but I hope, you understand, what I mean. I created above article, but erroneously in Wiktionary and there a user suggests that this entry be cleaned up. I would like to beg anyone, to take over my article in the "free encyclopedia side" (but the side History July, 10 th, 18:51 h, because there is one line more). Many thanks for support. Greetings -- 07:14, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Historical English phonologyEdit

Can anybody recommend a good book on the history/evolution of English phonology, say from the Norman Conquest to American independence? I only require that it be interesting and available (either common enough that I can find it at a library in my metropolitan region or old enough to be free on bgc). Thanks all in advance! --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 10:26, 13 July 2012 (UTC)


I recently have been studying buddhism in my own time and come to find many conundrums in social structuring.. I then decided that I want to help make our lives less of a conundrum and more of an opposit of a conundrum.. Then I realized that there was no opposite word for conundrum. I realize that yin and yang is a representation of positive and negative and therefore decided to make the word conomdrum... Con OM drum - wic is the oppposite of a conundrum. I made the website- (removed) check it out!Ryans.lewis3365 (talk) 13:34, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

I removed the address as Wiktionary is not an advertising platform. —CodeCat 13:36, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Ryans.lewis3365, you want WT:LOP. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:10, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) I'm not so sure this will catch on, because it's too easy to confuse with the original word. The natural tendency is for "md" to become "nd" (that's why the spelling of the prefix derived from Latin cum is con- before "d"). At any rate, we don't include newly-coined words as entries in Wiktionary. Our Criteria for Inclusion require a word to be in use for more than a year as shown by examples in durably-archived sources (a web page doesn't count as durably archived). You can always add it to our List of Protologisms (WT:LOP) and wait to see if it catches on Chuck Entz (talk) 16:12, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Category:Hittite nounsEdit

Which font family is being used for Hittite words? When I click on the above category, I can't see any words on my browser, only small squares. When this happened with Glagolitic, Stephen pointed out that the font family used was mentioned at MediaWiki:Common.css, but this doesn't seem to be the case for Hittite. --Pereru (talk) 19:31, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

{{hit/script}} points to {{Xsux}}, which has the following code in it: font-family: Akkadian, 'Free Idg Serif'. —CodeCat 19:35, 13 July 2012 (UTC)


There was a request for documentation in this template. I wrote a little documentation page, but when I saved it it didn't show up. I edited and saved it again, but nothing changed. Is this because the MediaWiki software is still processing it, or have I done something wrong? --Pereru (talk) 11:15, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes it may take a while. Making a null edit (editing the page and then clicking ok without making changes) will update the page. —CodeCat 11:19, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
It's been a whole day already, and I still don't see the documentation page for that template -- I can edit it, and I see the documentation text I wrote, but when I click on 'Read' to see the page, there is no documentation. What gives? --Pereru (talk) 22:22, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
I know nothing about templates, but I checked another template that had a documentation subpage, and it didn't have the actual text within the noinclude tags. Is there a reason you do? Chuck Entz (talk) 00:40, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
I don’t know that much about HTML encoding, but I think your command <includeonly> makes your edit invisible. What is that command supposed to do? —Stephen (Talk) 08:23, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Stephen is basically correct; we do not use includeonlys on doc subpages. includeonly and noinclude are meant to solve transclusion problems within templates themselves (if you want to learn more, I can point you to some MW pages that more than adequately explain it). Also, the doc page should not have been categorized within Category:Latvian templates. Thanks for writing the doc page, though. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 10:32, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Chat roomEdit

is any one on the computer I need help I am a new be

What do you need help with? — Ungoliant (Falai) 17:00, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Casual discussions on talk pagesEdit

Is it unacceptable or at least inappropriate to utilize user talk pages for casual conversations? --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:45, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

I think it's fine to have a casual conversation on your own talk-page, or with someone on theirs; but it's best to avoid having a casual conversation with user X on user Y's talk-page, because that can be annoying for user Y. —RuakhTALK 03:30, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't see the problem, as long as you don't do so on the talk page of someone outside the conversation as mentioned by Ruakh. JamesjiaoTC 03:01, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Writing ‘an h[…]’Edit

Is it acceptable to use an, mine, or thine before any terms beginning with h, specifically in entries for Wiktionary? --Æ&Œ (talk) 09:24, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Certainly not mine or thine, regardless of the "h". (This is the 21st century, after all.) An is used before words beginning with silent <h> (such as "honor", "honorable", "herb", "herbal", etc. — N.B. some of these depend on dialect), but not before words beginning with /h/ (with a few exceptions: "an historic", for example, is well attested in present-day English, though "a historic" is also fine).
Reading a bit into your question — no, it's not O.K. to use archaisms in entries.
RuakhTALK 14:25, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
We should always use standard English in entries (excluding page names and citations, clearly) which means standard 21st century English, so for example thine would be out. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:09, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
H-dropping still exists in a few dialects (notably Cockney & Estuary English), and surely ‘mine’ or ‘thine’ are allowed in fictional examples. Is that still not oll korrect? --Æ&Œ (talk) 22:44, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
Re: h-dropping: It's not considered standard. It may be acceptable in example sentences for terms that are specific to Cockney or Estuary English, but not elsewhere. (And you should avoid writing dialect-heavy sentences except for dialects you're very knowledgeable about, unless you enjoy making a fool of yourself.)   Re: "surely ‘mine’ or ‘thine’ are allowed in fictional examples": Absolutely not. Unless by "fictional examples" you mean "quotations", in which case I don't see those as relevant: you asked about what terms are acceptable to use, and I don't think that we really "use" individual terms in the quotations we use. (I mean, that's not to say that all's fair in quotations. For example, if someone started adding a bunch of vulgar and swear-word–laden quotations to entries for common words, they'd hopefully get blocked and reverted pretty quickly. But quotations aren't held to the same standard as text that we can write freely.) —RuakhTALK 01:08, 17 July 2012 (UTC)


Please write three example sentences of thereby. --Daniel 18:28, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

The flotilla destroyed the coastal cities, thereby ending the resistance.
I took the new road to work, thereby avoiding the traffic jam.
I turn the air conditioning off when I leave home, thereby saving money on my electric bill. —Stephen (Talk) 03:33, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
What about examples that use it to mean 'by that' in the more literal spacial sense? —CodeCat 13:07, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
I've added one to Citations:thereby. The current definition of [[thereby]] needs to be split and made clearer (at the moment it is vague enough that it encompasses both the "next to it" and "thus" senses). - -sche (discuss) 14:07, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

delete a non-wordEdit

i don't edit wikipedia but i ran across this and it should be deleted or merged with the actual word.

can someone take care of that?

thanks, jason

Why do you think it's a non-word? It's clearly quoted. Just because YOU've never heard of it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. JamesjiaoTC 03:00, 18 July 2012 (UTC)



Why are you asking here? —CodeCat 15:26, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
See w:Soest. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:27, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Definition of the name " KOOVALLOOR"Edit

My family name is " KOOVALLOOR". I was investgating how the name name formed and I was able to find it. In front of my Grand Father's house there was a medicinal tree known as "KUVAL" (the tree is intended for treating snake bite), also pronounced as " KOOVAL" in Malayalam, an Indian Language. OOR in our language means "place". That means , combining both words together in our language Malayalam, it was formed as KOOVAL+ OOR =" KOOVALLOOR" , "place where Kuval tree is planted", in Malayalam. There are similar words in Malayalam ending in "OOR", for example AND+ OOR = ANDOOR, ADD+ OOR = ADOOR, MED+ OOR= METTOOR, KIDANG+ OOR = KIDANGOOR.

My name is Thomas Koovalloor, and you can contact me via my e-mail: <email redacted>

We only accept Malayalam entries in their native script. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:15, 21 July 2012 (UTC)


Currently this template (to click the link and see how it works in real life, see bosim) produces links to a non-durable website that shows the complete text, broken up by chapter. There is a durable version on bgc (link here), but it doesn't let you view it in its entirety. Should the template link to the durabel version? If so, how would it look? Maybe after the link something like durable ed. or another wording? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:24, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't consider b.g.c. "durable", personally; and I don't think it matters. If the web-site you're currently using is superior, then I say stick with it. If it should ever go offline, we can update the template. —RuakhTALK 18:59, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
It might take a while for someone to notice the linkrot, though. I suppose there's no helping that. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:03, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Y'know, the Bible Society of Papua New Guinea might actually be willing to release their translation under CC-BY-SA (or a license compatible therewith), in which case WMF could host a copy. (There's no Tok Pisin Wikisource yet, but I'm sure we can figure something out.) —RuakhTALK 21:14, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
That would be really awesome, especially if we could link directly to verses, not just to chapters. I'll ask them. Thanks for the idea. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:19, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Most unfortunately, they are uncontactable. In lieu of that, I have emailed 'Media Relations' at the sister organization the American Bible Society (best I could get), asking them for contact info. It might be a long haul, but prosyletizers are always into this kind of thing, so I think we stand a chance. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:34, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

How to "move" an entry on here from an incorrect spelling?Edit

Hi. I was just browsing around doing a random word search in Tok Pisin, and I've come across one of the words which is spelled incorrectly. I'm just wondering how to move them, since I've made very few contributions to Wiktionary and am sort of new at it, despite being a Wikipedian for almost 8 years. The word is katon, which is listed as meaning "carton" or "box" in Tok Pisin. The term is correctly spelled at katen, and I'm just wondering if someone could guide me in the right direction. Thanks :) BarkingFish (talk) 02:21, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Do it manually - copy and paste it to katen. Then delete the old version (leave all the other languages at katon intact). --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:30, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Moving Wiktionary entries is a completely different matter than moving Wikipedia entries: there are often hundreds of languages that might have a term spelled the same way, so simply moving the whole page won't work when there are terms in other languages on the same page. I don't know of any more elegant way than Metaknowledge's method for those. For cases where there aren't other languages under the same spelling, look for the unlabeled drop-down menu in the upper-right-hand corner, which will show its options if you hover your mouse over it. Move is probably the only option you'll see there. You would select that and follow the instructions. Just remember that we only use redirect pages when we're pretty certain that no other language will ever have a term to be added with the same spelling- in other words, not often (see WT:REDIR for a discussion). Chuck Entz (talk) 05:04, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Though there is an "elegant" way of preserving the edit history, a back-reference on the talk page of [[katen]] to [[katon]] and in the edit summary is much less difficult of execution. The "elegant" way is to, 1., delete [[katon]], 2., restore all and only the edits that made up the Tok Pisin L2 section, 3., move that page to [[katen]], 4., restore [[katon]], 5., delete the Tok Pisin L2 section from [[katon]], mentioning katen in the edit summary. DCDuring TALK 04:41, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
That's an awkward maneuver that gains little reward and is impossible for a non-admin to do on their own. Elegant? Hardly. Appropriate to the situation? Not in the least. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:45, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I expanded on what you said for BarkingFish's benefit, and DCDuring expanded on what I said for my benefit- why'd you have to go and burst the bubble? ;-) Chuck Entz (talk) 05:04, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Has there ever been any talk of organizing things differently, where each language has its own subpage and the main page under the lemma spelling just consists of transclusions of those subpages? Eg., for [[same]], you'd have a tree structure like:


Each subpage would be the entire entry for that language, L2 language headings on down.
And then the [[same]] page itself would consist of wikicode like the following:






This way, edit histories stay with the entry for a specific language, and that subpage can be moved as needed to a different lemma page, while keeping its edit history.
Implementing such a structure at this point might entail quite a bit of server time, but (in my no-doubt profound ignorance) I don't think it would be that difficult to implement if starting from an XML dump. -- Curious, Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 07:18, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Eirikr, that's theoretically a good idea, but it would make way more work for me. I commonly work with multiple languages that are closely related and have high cognate counts, and having them on the same page allows me to edit much more easily. For example, see all the Polynesian languages on vaka that use this word to mean "canoe". I am able to (and did) add etymologies from the proto-form to each entry in a single edit, where otherwise it would have taken me many more edits, and waiting for loading pages, etc. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:31, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, yes, thank you for that perspective. I am a bit spoiled in my access to broadband, and page loading times are not something I think much about anymore. That said, would it not be useful to have such multiple-edit user actions tracked by language? -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 16:26, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
If anyone cares enough, they can check the diff. As it is, I only know one other user active in Malayo-Polynesian proto-forms, so it's a small world and we both notice most of each other's actions. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:44, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I meant more in general terms, rather than just for Malayo-Polynesian entries -- tracking changes by language could be more useful in one's watchlist, by way of example. The [[one]] entry gets a fair amount of edit traffic, but almost none of it affects the JA entry on that page. I would find it quite useful if my watchlist only informed me of changes to the Japanese entry, rather than any changes anywhere else on the page. Likewise for [[kau]] or [[toko]] or [[]]. But I'm happy to concede that this trades one set of challenges for another, and that mine might be an edge case. :) -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 17:37, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I feel similarly about one - it means "dust" or "sand" in many (most?) Polynesian languages. I just can't imagine an on-site way that could work (it's already operative off-site, but not quite the way you'd wish, and I don't remember where the link is). I find I can cope well enough as it is, but if you know a way to do it or someone who does, I would be glad to see a tracking-by-L2 system come into place that didn't cause too much more work for me :) --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:05, 23 July 2012 (UTC)


How is it determined if a term like duology or dilogy is nonstandard? Duologist (talk) 12:56, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

A question on redirectsEdit

I recently edited samos, which is an inflection (locative plural) of Latvian sams. But then I saw it was a redirect, to an Indo-European root in the appendix. I went ahead and replaced it with an inflection-of page referring back to the Latvian word, but I wonder if I should have added a link to the Indo-European root in question. Are there different rules for reconstructed proto-words in the Appendix? --Pereru (talk) 23:20, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Generally, they aren't linked to from the main namespace except in etymologies. However, as a courtesy to the original redirector, I would put {{also}} at the top pointing to that page. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:38, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea. I'll go do it. --Pereru (talk) 23:41, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
{after e/c} Never mind. After checking, I noticed that Connel was just moving an entry to the correct namespace, and didn't mark the redirect for deletion. So there's no need to use {{also}}. As a minor side note, eo.wikt and it.wikt have this as some (inflected?) term in Esperanto, if any Esperantists around feel like adding it. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:43, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, I did add an {{also}} (actualy, a {{xsee}) -- after all, samos and *samos are homographs (except for the asterisk). --Pereru (talk) 05:41, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

A question on neologismsEdit

In Latvian, a number of words that didn't exist before were introduced into the language in the mid-to-late 19th century by certain authors (among which the most important was A. Kronvalds; for instance, ķermenis (body) and ziedonis (springtime). I placed them in a new Category:Latvian neologisms, but now it occurred to me that they aren't neologisms by the definition in the Appendix -- these words have existed for over a century, and are no longer felt as 'new'. I suppose this makes 'neologism' the wrong word for them; but how should I name their category? Are there other such cases here at Wiktionary? (I know Estonian also had 19th-century word-creators that modernized the language.) --Pereru (talk) 05:41, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

I think massive amounts of Hebrew would fall in that category, and some languages (for example, Tok Pisin) are even more recent. I don't know of any special practices used in those languages, but I think something like Category:Latvian nineteenth-century coinages might be of use, even though it would be a very nonstandard category. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:47, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
How about simply Category:Latvian coinages, without indicating the century? Maybe such a category would make more (Wiktionarian) sense: words that were coined by actual people, i.e., words with an author (e.g., the names of most chemical elements). --Pereru (talk) 06:46, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Every word was coined at some point though. Even Proto-Indo-European didn't come out of thin air. :) —CodeCat 12:17, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. But isn't there in English a term for words that were coined at a specific date, by a specific author? Again, I'm thinking about chemical element names: einsteinium, fermium or californium are clearly recent coinages with a date and an author. Don't they deserve to be categorized by that? --Pereru (talk) 14:26, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Maybe something like Category:Known coinages Chuck Entz (talk) 14:51, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Interesting idea. We could begin by placing Category:mul:Taxonomic names in Category:mul:Known coinages. Even where we don't have the specifics we know they were coined deliberately as translingual terms. I suppose we might have to exclude genus-level taxons from automatic inclusion, as they are sometimes Latin words. DCDuring TALK 22:08, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
What would be the criteria for declaring something 'known' for this purpose? DCDuring TALK 22:10, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I suppose the obvious criterion would be an attested date of birth, and a specific author. Chemical elements certainly have both. In the case of Latvian (and also Estonian), there are a number of words that were clearly invented by specific authors in the 19th century to fill gaps in the vocabulary, as compared to other European languages. (For Latvian, A. Kronvalds is a well-known 'word coiner'; for Estonian, there is J. Aavik, who is claimed to have even coined words ex nihilo, without deriving them from any Estonian or foreign sources). Sometimes different authors came up with different versions, until one of the coinages became established. If we provide a source where the author and date of coinage are given, this should be sufficient for placing the word in this category. --Pereru (talk) 00:45, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Template or flag for unknown part of speechEdit

If I want to create a definition for a word but cannot determine its part of speech, is there a template I can use for that or is there any specific way I am supposed to mark it so that someone will find it and determine the part of speech for me? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 14:16, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

You could ask about it in the Tea Room. — Ungoliant (Falai) 14:24, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
And what do I put temporarily as the part of speech? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 14:31, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
The generic thing to do is put {{attention}} with the language code and a brief explanation: {{attention|xxx|Needs POS}}. Leaving out the POS header might get it flagged by a bot or the anti-vandalism filter, but if there's another header above, it might just be misinterpreted as belonging under that header. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:49, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I would recommend also making a guess about the PoS. After all, if you can come up with a valid definition, you have some knowledge about the word. If your definition is a synonym, what PoS does the synonym have? For a longer definition what PoS is the head of the definition? If you have a non-gloss or functional definition ("Used to ...."), it is usually harder. In English, many of the hard-to-classify words end up being called adverbs. DCDuring TALK 18:40, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
The particular example I was thinking of was not so easy to figure out. It is a hebrew word that translates to a phrase in English but it is a single word in Hebrew. You can look at the discussion about it here: Wiktionary:Tea room#זהו. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 21:32, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I can only handle simple things. Function words can stump me, even in English. You seem to have good help at WT:TR. DCDuring TALK 21:56, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

A question on the (Latvian) transliteration of namesEdit

I've recently created Category:lv:Transliteration of German surnames (in Latvian, in order to be adapted to the Latvian declensional system, all non-Latvian given names and surnames must be transliterated and slightly changed; so Edward Brown becomes Edvards Brauns, etc.). I created it with {{topic cat}}. I noticed, however, that it was subcategorized under Category:lv:Miscellaneous, and under a hidden Category:Topical categories without topic cat parent (language specific); also, its parent Category:Transliteration of German surnames didn't exist, and when I created it, it got categorized under Category:Miscellaneous, and under the hidden Category:Topical categories without topic cat parent. None of this happened with the (already extant) Category:lv:Transliteration of English surnames. Why the difference? Should I do something about that? Or should it stay like that? (For Latvian, there should in theory be as many 'Transliteration of LANG surnames' and 'Transliteration of LANG given names' as there are languages, although for some minor languages I'll bet there still is no official transcription policy. Is that a problem for the category tree?) --Pereru (talk) 14:43, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

I see I just had to add a parents subpage to the template. Done. --Pereru (talk) 00:28, 30 July 2012 (UTC)


Are the usenet citations here correct?Lucifer (talk) 03:06, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

You need to add the hierarchy (like, the name of the post, the date, and add (username) next to the username. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:35, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Is Baltic a family?Edit

I thought that the linguistic consensus nowadays was that the Baltic languages are a paraphyletic group. That is, they are those Balto-Slavic languages that are not Slavic. Is this true, or are the Baltic languages a separate branch with a common ancestor later than Proto-Balto-Slavic? —CodeCat 20:02, 29 July 2012 (UTC) .

Greetings HeliosX (talk) 22:00, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Way to give a no-answer... :/ —CodeCat 22:27, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
That was my impression, too. Wikipedia cites a study of comparative Balto-Slavic accentology as being sort of the clincher for the modern consensus. There will always be those who say that the similarities are due to contact at an early stage, or to both Baltic and Slavic being very conservative, and thus sharing many inherited features lost in other branches. There are also those who say that Western Baltic/Old Prussian, Eastern Baltic, and Slavic are all independent branches of Indo-European. I'm sure there are diehard Slavic partisans who, for political reasons, can't stand the idea that Slavic came from from within the Baltic languages. Of course, my only contact with actual experts in the field dates back to the days when Balto-Slavic unity was a minority view that was just starting to gain acceptance, so my opinion doesn't count for much. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:54, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
From a little personal investigation (and a conversation with Kortlandt at Leiden), I also got the understanding that Baltic is indeed now considered paraphyletic. I have, however, been making references to Proto-Baltic, since the source I cite for Latvian etymologies, K. Karulis' Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnica, does make use of Proto-Baltic as an intermediate step between PIE and the Baltic languages, and since I'm not a specialist I cannot disagree with the source. I suppose someone someday will endeavor a Balto-Slavic (or simply Baltic?) etymological dictionary with reconstructed PBS forms that can be quoted; at that moment, I suppose the Latvian etymologies here will have to be updated. --Pereru (talk) 00:33, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Would you happen to know if there any significant differences between Proto-Baltic as it is given in existing material, and reconstructed Proto-Balto-Slavic? If the differences aren't too great, and are reasonably predictable, we could probably just convert them. —CodeCat 01:04, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm... All I have on Proto Slavic is Comrie's "The Slavonic Languages", which, despite the extensive chapter on PS historical phonology, is clearly far from sufficient. No, I can't tell. I expect PBS to look more like PB than like PS, but then again I don't think PB = PBS (look at what happens with PIE when one simply adds Hittite). (Even the Wikipedia article on PBS only mentions an online article by Kortland, on historical PBS phonology, and a work in Croatian about historical Croatian grammar... I think we'll have to wait for more detailed work on, hopefully an etymological dictionary of, PB. --Pereru (talk) 13:00, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

стькло (stĭklo)Edit

When I click on Category:Old East Slavic nouns, I see words listed in the old Cyrillic spelling, as in the above heading; but when I click on Category:Old East Slavic terms derived from Gothic (which I've just created), I see them listed in the modern version of Cyrillic. Does anyone know what causes this difference? (In principle, I'd prefer OES words to be always listed in the old version of Cyrillic). --Pereru (talk) 00:37, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

This is a feature that was added recently to {{poscatboiler}}, the template used to head the noun category. But it hasn't yet been added to the templates for other categories. Maybe it should be. —CodeCat 01:01, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I think so. Why limit it only to PoS categories? The differentiated treatment doesn't strike me as harmonious; either do it to all categories, or then to none of them. (I tried just adding |sc={{{sc|}}} to {{derivcatboiler}} (and then adding |sc=Cyrs to the Category:Old East Slavic terms derived from Gothic page), but this didn't work. Clearly I don't know enough to edit it... Do you happen to know what I'd have to do to change that?) --Pereru (talk) 01:14, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
There is a template called {{catfix}} which has been added to {{poscatboiler}}. It should probably be added to {{catboiler}} directly, but that may break some things (it's a very intricate template) so I will see if I can make it work. —CodeCat 01:20, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks in advance! --Pereru (talk) 12:52, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

August 2012Edit

Translation of an inscription on an old walking caneEdit

I am requesting a translation of a small engraved inscription on an old walking cane. I believe it is in German. The cane was found in the basement of my sisters house, origin unknown. I am new to this site and to computer usage. (gasp!). The inscription is as follows-(as best as I can read it, tarnished). A. Schieman. Zum 76. gebertstag von seinen Freunden and Waffenbruedern Fort Worth, Texas. Feb 27,1915

Thank you for your help. If this is not the right site, I am open to suggestions:). —This comment was unsigned.

My translation: On (your) 76th birthday from your friends and brothers-in-arms. DCDuring TALK 19:11, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

A Schieman would have been about 35 at the time of the w:Franco-Prussian War and 25 or so at the time of the US Civil War. DCDuring TALK 19:13, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

I think it should be "For your 76th birthday..." not "On...". Also "gebertstag" should probably be "geburtstag". And yes, it is German.

"Familiar" translationEdit

Is it useful to indicate that a particular translation is "familiar", as I did here? And, if so, am I using the correct format? Thanks. --Edcolins (talk) 19:53, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I think the usual term we use on Wiktionary is 'informal' or 'colloquial'. I'm not quite sure what the difference between those is, though. —CodeCat 20:55, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I use informal for words such as tu, versus formal vous. Colloquial refers to conversational language as opposed to literary. It’s confusing because conversational language is also informal, and literary language is also formal. Colloquialisms include words such as y'all, ain't, and pop (soft drink), and everyday phrases such as dead as a doornail. —Stephen (Talk) 23:17, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! 'Informal' is indeed much better... But regarding the format, should it be:
Is there any policy on this? --Edcolins (talk) 19:03, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I think we usually do it like this (with preceding template {{qualifier|informal}}):
—This unsigned comment was added by Stephen G. Brown (talkcontribs).
Great, thanks! I didn't know there was a template for that. --Edcolins (talk) 10:20, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Why is written French not with null‐subjects?Edit

Can somebody please explain to me why written French almost never uses null‐subjects? It makes sense for speaking since many verbs have inflected forms which are homophones, but in orthography it is considerably obvious, isn’t it? --Æ&Œ (talk) 11:09, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Orthography usually follows speech. It would probably be very strange for a language to differ syntactically in such a fundamental way between the spoken and the written form. Another reason may be influence from Frankish, as the Germanic languages are/were not usually null subject languages, even though the older languages had enough inflection to infer the subject from the verb. But that of course just moves the problem... why weren't the Germanic languages null subject languages? That I don't know. —CodeCat 14:37, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
But everybody knows that French orthography is not written the way it is spoken.
Spoken and written Finnish tend to differ, so the potential exists. --Æ&Œ (talk) 21:37, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
True, writing is usually more conservative, but the split between (more progressive) speech and (more conservative) writing only really starts to appear when enough people start writing that there starts to be a need for a standard. And even then, the standard is usually rather 'up to date' when it is formed, and only once it has been in place long enough to be able to 'set in stone' older, now-perceived-as-conservative forms of the language, does a split become apparent. It's obvious that the written standard for French has existed for quite a while, but even in the older forms of the language, before writing became standardised, subjects were not dropped (that I am aware of), so that can't be the source. The standard seems to have been formed with French already having lost its null subject-ness. So we would have to look to something that happened before that, and it seems Frankish is a likely explanation. —CodeCat 21:59, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually it was pretty common to drop subjects in the Old French period. Example from the French Wikisource s:fr:Tristan (Thomas d’Angleterre) "Sa nef ai veüe en la mer." (no personal pronoun je/jeo/jou etc.). The only thing I would add is French has a lot of homophones with respect to conjugated verbs; joue/joues/jouent for example. So in speech je joue, tu joues, ils jouent all sound different, joue, joues and jouent all sound the same. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:57, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but they argued that written French ought to be a null-subject language because those forms are distinguished in writing even if not in speech. —CodeCat 11:03, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Software for reading dumps in OS X?Edit

Hello, does anybody know any software for reading Wiktionary dumps in OS X? —This unsigned comment was added by Nigoshh (talkcontribs) at 20:10, 5 August 2012 (UTC).

I recommend Perl. The dumps, once you decompress them, are in fairly simple XML and SQL formats, so all you need is a little programming ability. —RuakhTALK 20:41, 5 August 2012 (UTC)


Does anyone know why the spacing of the Categories line at the bottom of this page looks funny? It is like this for every word in Category:Latvian archaic terms. --Pereru (talk) 16:12, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

It all looks normal to me. —Stephen (Talk) 08:46, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
For me it says "Latvian archaic" on one line and "terms" on the next line. (but that seems to be normal for this category) I am using the default skin etc. Duologist (talk) 10:32, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, that’s just your zoom size. If you use Firefox for Windows, press Ctrl+ to go larger, Ctrl- to go smaller, and Ctrl-0 to reset. Different browsers may have different commands for this. —Stephen (Talk) 10:48, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, it changes if I go larger or smaller. But I note this didn't use to happen -- everything looked OK till yesterday. Maybe they've changed something in the MediaWiki software? (I noticed the Wiktionary site was down yesterday for quite a while.) --Pereru (talk) 13:36, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
For me, the category name doesn't wrap, it goes to the next line as a unit. I use Firefox on a Mac, though I tried it on Safari with the same results. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:49, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Some questions regarding GaulishEdit

I have obtained a dictionary of Gaulish which seems to be very well written, but I have some questions before I begin to use it to improve the Gaulish section of Wictionary:

  1. The Gaulish was written in both Latin and Greek scripts, but the dictionary provides Latin transcription for all. Should I include only the Latin version in the entry, or it would be recommendable to trace back to the inscription it was taken from to find, whether it was originally written in Greek or Latin and then list one of the variants as a spelling variant of X?
  2. Some of Gaulish lexems are hard to "deinflectionise". What I mean, even the author of my dictionary has given bare roots instead of full nominative forms for many words, as they are either obscure or hard to reconstruct. As a result, the Gaulish word for plain is given as acito-, not as aciton, acitos, acitona or whatever else expected. Should I put these words in the main namescpace or in the Appendix namespace?
  3. When it comes to Proto-Celtic etymology, how should I link the reconstructed roots? Should they be in the main namespace or in the Appendix namespace?

I'd be grateful for any answers. Bli med (talk) 14:32, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

    1. Some languages are written in multiple scripts, sometimes concurrently, sometimes at different periods. You can make entries for the Roman spelling and you don’t have to try to find the Greek spelling. You could use a part-of-speech template like we do for Serbo-Croatian or Hindi-Urdu entries that lets you enter a term in one script, and if and when someone gets the other script, it can be added subsequently.
    2. acito-, etc. in the main namespace.
    3. Proto-Celtic reconstructions should be in the Appendix namespace, as we do for Proto-Germanic (see Category:Proto-Germanic language). —Stephen (Talk) 19:03, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
abalo- - is that correct, then? Bli med (talk) 20:34, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I am not quite easy with listing words as bare stems when the nominative is known or inferrable. That is an o-stem noun isn't it? Wouldn't it end in -os or -on then (which I believe are the masculine and neuter o-stem endings)? —CodeCat 21:40, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it would, however, it would be original research if we put either of them, as they're not attested anywhere in nominative/accusative, and trying to guess is beyond the scope of a dictionary, I think. Bli med (talk) 22:22, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
But this isn't Wikipedia. We don't have any rules about original research, in fact without original research we could not do most of the necessary work of WT:RFV, WT:RFD or WT:TR. And we don't consider a word stem in another dictionary to be an attestation either. The only reason I could think of for citing words in bare stem form is if that is the established practice in the field, and is to be expected by students of Gaulish who want to use Wiktionary for their work. —CodeCat 00:49, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Then, that's the practice and guideline of most dictionaries and (relatively rare) academic works on Gaulish that when the nominative is unknown, the word is left as bare stem. Bli med (talk) 01:17, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
That seems reasonable... it's what is done for other languages as well. But usually, the nominative can be inferred from attested forms, and if there are several possibilities, they are often all listed. I believe we do that for Gothic already. —CodeCat 01:24, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
No one cites such forms, though, and they might give a false impression of being attested. Gaulish studies do not require full reconstruction - the language is dead, has left no direct descendants and - contrary to Gothic - is scarcely used in comparative studies and etymological research. Simply, it's easier and more accurate for me to follow already stabilised scientific conventions and leave the bare stem as a headword, possibly create redirects from all possible nominative forms (in case of abalo- that might be either O-stem *abalos or, more likely, *abalon, or even nasal-stem *abalo, which is suggested by further development of "abalo-based" toponymy in Latin and Romance), and stating in "Notes" section that the word was left in the stem form because there are more alternatives to the basic form. I would say that's clearer solution which seems to be fair to potential users. Last but not least, in case of Gaulish, the problem of lack of base forms refers not only to nouns, which are somewhat easy to reconstruct, but also to verbs, where no infinitive was preserved and there is no verb with complete preserved inflection. Bli med (talk) 02:17, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Since you're already talking about GaulishEdit

I've wondered about entering some words mentioned in my copy of K.K.'s Latvian Etymological Dictionary for some extinct languages (Old East Slavic, for instance; perhaps Gothic). But since this is not a primary source for them (they are cited from other dictionaries, usually etymological dictionaries), I thought this would be unwise -- I don't have the original sources. I did go ahead and create a few Old East Slavic entries from the material in LEV (e.g., стькло (stĭklo), весь (vesĭ), краса (krasa)), plus one Gothic word (𐍅𐌴𐌹𐌷𐍃 (weihs)), but I'm not sure if it's a good idea. (To mention one detail, I can't tell which declension class a given word belongs to, and the LEV, which is oriented towards Latvian, doesn't mention that, so I couldn't add any inflection templates.) What do y'all think? --Pereru (talk) 22:34, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

I trust your judgment, but I would generally vote against. Being conversant in English and Latin, I know too well how even the best English dictionaries (cough cough, OED) cite etymologies that link back to nonexistant, hypothetical Latin terms or terms that were extremely rare without marking them as such or terms that were only used in medieval times or terms that were actually belonging to a whole different inflection pattern (and thus the wrong lemma)... the list goes on.
So feel free - but only if you know about the language enough and you can find a citation or a reference in a scholarly work specifically about that language. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:23, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I can help with Gothic. Some time ago, I created romanisation entries for all Gothic words in [4]. So you can check Category:Gothic romanizations if you need to know if a term is attested. That doesn't mean a term that is not in there doesn't meet CFI; sometimes the lemma isn't attested but inflected forms are. It is still a good start though. As for inflection tables, you can add {{rfinfl|lang=got}} to the entry, and maybe also {{attention|got|(reason)}} if you are unsure about something. —CodeCat 09:42, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Metaknowledge above, in priciple. But I note that the Old East Slavic pages seem not to come from any source; they're apparently also occasional creations (there are only eight pages at Category:Old East Slavic nouns, and three or four of them were created by me; the others, apparently by Ivan Štambuk in 2008). I'm not going to add massively to that category, only an occasional OES word when I see one mentioned in the LEV; the need for someone to look at those entries and revamp them remains clear. As for Gothic -- thanks for the help, CDC. Now, the attested mentions of Gothic in the LEV are in romanized transcription; I added a page in the Gothic script only because I thought that, since the romanized version exists, then the Gothic script one also should. Is this a correct assumption? Can I go ahead and create a new Gothic page in the Gothic script every time I see a Gothic cognate cited in my LEV that corresponds to a romanized form already present here at Wiktionary? (I don't want to do this systematically, only every now and then when I find a Gothic cognate in the LEV; my main concern right now is with Latvian words.) --Pereru (talk) 16:08, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Looking for information PLEASEEdit

Hi, I am trying to understand info about using images:

In the Permission Granted copy below, what does this part mean??? no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

See Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License. --BB12 (talk) 05:18, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
There isn’t a page at that link. However, a cover text is a short piece of text that is required to be printed on the cover (Front or Back) of a publication when it is published, even if someone else is publishing it. An Invariant section is something like a preface or foreword that expresses nontechnical opinions about the topic. It is simplest to have no invariant sections, and no front-cover or back-cover tests. —Stephen (Talk) 05:36, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I think the link is w:Wikipedia:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License. It's a tricky thing, linking to WP's WP pages. - -sche (discuss) 05:38, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Latvian viensEdit

I've just added a plethora of new senses to that word, and I'm in doubt with respect to certain English translations (I'm not a native speaker). Especially sense #4: do you call the last digit of a number unit (as in Portuguese), or one (as in Latvian)? Or is it something else? Do you also say to add ones with ones, tens with tens in English, when learning basic arithmetics? (I couldn't find this particular usage case at one in Wiktionary, and a few Google searches didn't provide enlightening results.) Also, I'm not sure if the best context label for that sense is {{arithmetics}} or {{mathematics}}... You're welcome to peruse and critique the English translations for the other senses of that word, or the general structure of the entry -- help is always good. --Pereru (talk) 16:13, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

In the US, we learned it as "the number in the one's place". I think your definition is definitely adequate, and probably the most clear way to explain it. I would recommend taking a look at the senses of a#English, because that's what I think a lot of these senses mirror. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:15, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! --Pereru (talk) 21:22, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Latvian diacritics: cedilla or comma?Edit

Wikipedia lists Latvian under cedilla for the some palatalized letters: Ķķ, Ļļ, Ņņ, Ģģ . But as far as I can see, the diacritic never actually touches the body of the letter; and in the case of lowercase ģ, it is actually written above the letter rather than under it. In case there are any diactric specialists here: should I call it a cedilla, or a comma? And, in either case, is it really the same diacritic when it is placed above the g, or does it become some sort of spiritus asper? (I'm creating the pages for Latvian diacritics, and I've called this one cedilla, but now I'm in doubt.) --Pereru (talk) 21:22, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Unicode calls them cedillas ([5]). — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:20, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
But note that Unicode got this wrong for Romanian in previous versions. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:26, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and I can't seem to find a Latvian source that deals with the matter. So I'm calling them cedillas for the time being. Should someone stumble across authoratitive sources/info, I'd love to know. --Pereru (talk) 22:54, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
On a related topic, I noticed the difference in presentation style for the various languages for the háček symbol (at ˇ) and for the cedilla and macron symbols (at ¸ and ¯). Isn't there a standard way for presenting diacritics at Wiktionary? --Pereru (talk) 22:54, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

long Estonian consonantsEdit

The pronunciation of homme#Estonian is given as /homːˑme/. What does that mean? One 1.5x long /m/ is followed by a regular-length /m/? - -sche (discuss) 23:42, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

I have no idea... Estonian has three phonemic consonant and vowel lengths, denoted as short, half-long (ˑ) and overlong (ː). —CodeCat 02:05, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Probably whoever wrote it intended it to mean the overlong consonant. Maybe they were thinking half-long was marked with ː and overlong with ːˑ. But it would be bad if different people were creating Estonian pronunciation entries with different ideas of what "ː" stands for. —Angr 13:48, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Pronunciation format ?Edit

What's the en conventions about that ? Cause I tried that (see: Abkhazie, à propos, à gauche) but Rualk told me that's look unusual. I tried to find out what was the coutum here but I failed cause there are too much heterogeneity between your entries. I took a look at Wiktionary:Pronunciation but it's only theoric should be cool if someone can put a standard complete example, then beginner as me will be able to add it without mistake by just copy-paste. Thanks you by advance. V!v£ l@ Rosière /Whisper…/ 15:57, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

It depends on what information you want to put into it. Most of our entries just have a single line listing the only pronunciation of the word. The more information you add, the less standards we have for that kind of format. —CodeCat 17:24, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Ok, the most important inormations are the area (France), then I precise the city where it's come from but it's facultative. Then concerning the IPA on the audio it's from Template:audio-IPA, I use this one caus lot of FR audio.ogg have an article before the word, example "un aigle" instead of "aigle". So I put the phonetic IPA from the audio to follow the less surprise rule concerning this media. V!v£ l@ Rosière /Whisper…/ 23:32, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
One thing to keep in mind is that the more specific you make your pronunciations to one particular place, the less people will be able to use your pronunciation. Generally accepted and standard pronunciations are very much preferred whenever possible (although of course both is even better). —CodeCat 23:36, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. I use standard one, but like your language which have differences between UK / US / AU, french have also the same problem. The standard pronounce from France is really different to the Quebec's one or Senegal's one. They are also a big differecne of accent between a French from Paris (North) and a French from Toulouse (South). When I add the city it doesn't mean "it's THE pronunciation use ONLY in Paris" but "it's A pronunciation FROM Paris". So usually it didn't change anything with other areas but sometimes it can explain some subtleties of accent, it's just a precision. V!v£ l@ Rosière /Whisper…/ 12:38, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
The French wiktionary seems to give only the "standard" (northern?) pronunciation, so I think the English entry should follow the same convention. We normally include only one "Standard American" and only one (southern) UK pronunciation for English entries. There are too many regional variations to include them all. Dbfirs 21:55, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Rapa Nui IPA wantedEdit

fr:Rapa Nui gives an IPA that doesn't feel right to me, it has the first syllable as /ɹɑː/ while /ɹæ/ looks instinctively more likely to me. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:58, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, the former represents my pronunciation, as well as the pronunciation of everyone I've heard say it in English (admittedly not too many). When I saw this, I got really excited because I thought someone wanted the IPA for a word in Rapa Nui. I have to get used to the fact that literally no-one else around here cares much about Easter Island :( --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:25, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I've never heard it out loud; I don't know what the credentials of the person who added the IPA on the French Wiktionary are, which is why I've asked here. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:28, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever heard or said this word, but to myself, I say "rahpah." As to the French page, I don't see any pronunciation at all!
FWIW, Archaeology Today recently ran an article about the moai. --BB12 (talk) 21:30, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
That's when Rapa Nui IPA really comes in handy. It ought to be pronounced how it's natively spelt, mo'ai (with a glottal stop in the middle). But in any case, I'm waiting for a Champollion to solve rongorongo before I get immersed in Easter archaeology. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:41, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
(At frwikt, they have a different header system - it's under Locution adjectival.) --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:43, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
No worries about that, consider it like adjective. Locution acjectival it's just adjective phrases. We use use locution for all entries with a space inside like Rapa Nui. V!v£ l@ Rosière /Whisper…/ 23:52, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
It's probably my northernness then, as in the North of England bath is pronounced /bæθ/ not /bɑːθ/. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:51, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
We use that on the West Coast of the US as well :) --BB12 (talk) 22:51, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
In french we use /ʁ or else /ʁɥi/ (this last one you can hear it here at 1:00) V!v£ l@ Rosière /Whisper…/ 00:25, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
FWIW, has /ˈrɑpə ˈnui/ in their house dictionary, and /ˈrɑːpɑː ˈnuːɪ/ in their copy of Collins. The film Rapa Nui pronounces it something like /ɹɑpɑn wi/. - -sche (discuss) 00:42, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Rapa Nui (the language) is no doubt like most other Polynesian languages in having a very pure 5-point continental vowel system, with the accent on the second-to-last syllable except when the last vowel is long. That means that pronouncing it as if it were Spanish would give you the correct vowels most of the time.
Because the term Rapa Nui hasn't really penetrated very far into the English language, it hasn't been truly anglicized: if you've encountered it outside of a dictionary or encyclopedia, chances are that you've heard it from an academically-influenced source like a documentary, or you're well-enough-versed in Polynesian cultures to be able to figure out the authentic pronunciation. If it ever makes its way into mainstream popular culture, I'm sure you'll start to hear it pronounced like "rap a new-y". Chuck Entz (talk) 06:13, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
You're mostly correct. Rapa Nui actually doesn't have long vowels, and there are some words with ultimate stress. Here, imitating Spanish would be quite accurate, especially because that r is an alveolar flap, not the alveolar approximant that you might be saying in your head. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:49, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Logo at the left top of pageEdit


The logo at the top of the page appears cut off at the top and the bottom. Could you please fix it?

Thank you, Em Gee —This comment was unsigned.

  • It's supposed to represent an entry in a paper dictionary. Including the rest of the dictionary would make for an incredible big image! SemperBlotto (talk) 15:51, 14 August 2012 (UTC)


When I was a kid in a Catholic school...we had a "jitney" lunch once a month. I believe it cost a quarter. The lunch consisted of a hot dog, chips, carrot sticks and an 8 oz. carton of milk (chocolate or white).

This was in the late 50's and early 60's. —This comment was unsigned.

My question: How did this term get assigned to this type of lunch offering....was it because, when originated, the school lunch only cost a nickle?

By our current interpretation or WT:CFI, jitney lunch would seem to be includable because its meaning is not transparent what it means to a person with a passing familiarity with English. OTOH, if we can find evidence of a good jitney cigar or a jitney beer that would suggest that jitney probably meant five cents in this context. There are some hits at Google Books for jitney lunch, probably enough to convey meaning. DCDuring TALK 21:59, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
jitney cigar (8 hits, some just mentions) and jitney beer (2 hits) confirm the nickel sense of jitney. It seems to have come to mean "inexpensive" with debasement of the currency. DCDuring TALK 22:04, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Etymology sources & general consistencyEdit

Just out of curiosity, what is the main source for the Proto-Indo-European reconstructed protoforms in the Appendix? Is it Pokorny? Are Gamkrelidze & Ivanov taken into account? (Shouldn't the sources be listed in the PIE pages in the Appendix, by the way?) Also, on a more specific matter: what do people here usually do when sources differ on the exact reconstructed protoform? My trusty Latvian Etymological Dictionary, for instance, gives me PIE *wel-, *ul̥- as the source stem for Latvian vilna (wool), with an extra suffix *-nā-, and then mentions the proposal of comparing it to the stem for "water", yielding *l̥-nā, *Hl̥-nā. Here at Wiktionary, however, I see the "wool" family being traced down to the laryngeal-happy form *h₂wĺ̥h₁neh₂, apparently **h₂wĺ̥ + *-h₁neh₂. How should I deal with the difference between these forms and the ones in the LEV in the ==Etymology== section of vilna? --Pereru (talk) 01:45, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

There are various sources. I haven't always been consistent in adding references but I've been trying to improve that now. Something in particular that has bothered me about the way others have added references in the past is that they just list the references at the bottom but don't say which part of the entry came from which one. So I've been adding <ref> tags at particular points within the entry to show that that bit, in particular, comes from that reference. Look at *bʰer- for example. —CodeCat 10:16, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
That's quite impressive. I hope all PIE Appendix entries will evolve into something like that... If I had a more recent source (all I have now is Buck's Dictionary of Synonyms, which is old as a source), I would help you. Meanwhile, I wonder what to do with differences between reconstructed forms in etymology sections. I've run into a number of cases in which different ===Etymology=== sections in cognate word entries gave different PIE reconstructions for the same item. Perhaps we should keep the original source spelling (if the entry cites a source) but still link it to whatever form Wiktionary has in its PIE appendix? Or is it better to change it to match said form? Or to leave it unlinked? --Pereru (talk) 22:53, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

coffee tablesEdit

how did coffee tables get their name?

Around 1780 in England, the popular low-back sofas were sometimes used in conjunction with sofa tables. The sofa tables were designed to stand to the back of the sofa. A candle could be placed upon them and they could be used to support a book or a cup of tea or coffee between sips. These sofa tables were the predecessors of the modern coffee table. In 1868, a table designed by E. W. Godwin and produced in quantity by William Watt and Collinson and Lock was listed as a coffee table in ‘Victorian Furniture’ by R. W. Symonds & B. B. Whineray, and also in ‘The Country Life book of English Furniture’ by Edward T. Joy. That’s how they got their name. —Stephen (Talk) 06:19, 16 August 2012 (UTC)


This is a pretty common joke in Cantonese Chinglish; it literally means "flowery bridge" but it's pronounced fa1 kiu4, so it's used as a near-homophone of fuck you. Can someone who reads Chinese see if there are any cites buried in google books:花桥? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:23, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Undetermined as an L2 header?Edit

According to Special:Statistics, there are around 42 entries around here with the L2 header 'Undetermined'. Is it supposed to be that way? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:45, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

At least until the apotheosis of Wiktionary when we actually have "all words in all languages", I would expect that we would need such placeholder categories. We are more a sausage factory than a purveyor of packaged sausage. DCDuring TALK 21:04, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I think the Undetermined header was used by User:Visviva. See 𐇑 for example. —Stephen (Talk) 21:15, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I see. That's acceptable, although I would prefer 'Phaistos Disc' as an L2 header. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:24, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that 'Phaistos Disc' would be a more descriptive L2 header... sometime, there might be symbols in other 'undetermined' languages (but ones so far removed from Crete as to be unrelated). - -sche (discuss) 20:06, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Good point. Support. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:37, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
If it gets a header, it should probably have a code too shouldn't it? —CodeCat 21:17, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
If it is changed, the name should be “Phaistos Disc’s language” (or similar), not “Phaistos Disc”. Phaistos disc is an object not a language lol. That said, I prefer not changing it; the language code und exists for this kind of stuff:

The identifier [und] (undetermined) is provided for those situations in which a language or languages must be indicated but the language cannot be identified.

[6]. A context tag (Phaistos Disc) is good enough IMO. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:19, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Good point, context tags could provide sufficient distinction between languages/sources while preventing the proliferation of L2 headers for unknown languages. - -sche (discuss) 22:56, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't realize we had {{und}}. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:14, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Old Church Slavonic: what is it?Edit

I noticed that some OCS entries list all Slavic languages as descendants of that term. Others list OCS among the South Slavic languages. But I also found a book that says it isn't really a member of any of the three Slavic groups because it is an artificial literary language that was used across the Slavic language continuum. So what is it? Is it the ancestor of all Slavic languages, is it the ancestor of South Slavic? Is it South Slavic or just 'general' Slavic? —CodeCat 13:01, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

It's definitely not the ancestor of all the Slavic languages and shouldn't be treated as such. It is a South Slavic language, and some authors refer to it as "Old Bulgarian", which is about as accurate as calling Old Norse "Old Icelandic". Although it shouldn't be treated as the ancestor language of all Slavic languages, a lot of Slavic languages (especially those spoken by traditionally Orthodox rather than Catholic ethnicities) have a large number of loanwords from OCS. So if, for example, a Russian word is said to come from an OCS word, it might be true (because it's a Russian loanword from OCS) or it might not be true (because someone has confused OCS with Proto-Slavic). It all depends on the word. —Angr 13:36, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
To give an example, Russian млеко (mleko) is borrowed from OCS млѣко (mlěko); Russian молоко (moloko) is derived from Proto-Slavic and is cognate with млѣко (mlěko). --Vahag (talk) 18:50, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
In case it's not possible to determine whether a word is an OCS loan or a Proto-Slavic descendant, is it ok to assume it is Proto-Slavic? —CodeCat 19:37, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
That's what I would do, yes. --Vahag (talk) 21:49, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
As I understand it, OCS was the first standardized written Slavic language, and the standard was set in the 9th century based on all the dialects of Common Slavonic at the time. And Slavonic was then just a single language with a range of mutually intelligible dialects. So it is sometimes convenient to say that a Russian word has descended from OCS when it actually descended from an unwritten Russian dialect of Slavonic that was almost the same as OCS. After OCS was made a standard literary language for the Slavic peoples, it began to diverge into dialects, so that there came to be a Bulgarian dialecct of OCS, a Russian dialect of OCS, etc. —Stephen (Talk) 21:54, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
But even the Russian dialect of OCS has typically South Slavic features, such as the change of TelT to TlěT rather than ToloT, as Vahag mentioned above. And I don't think OCS was ever the standard literary language for the Western Christian Poles, Czechs, and Sorbians. — Angr 22:26, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Russians and Bulgarians followed the writings in OCS more closely, there was a lot of communication when the Orthodox church was introduced in Russia. This may also explain that some more similarity in vocabulary, word forms between Russian and Bulgarian in words, which may be different between Russian on one hand and Ukrainian/Belarusian on the other, which experienced Polish influences. --Anatoli (обсудить) 01:50, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Vahag above. After all, even if a word came into Russian from OCS, it almost certainly also has a proto-Slavic etymology (unless it was a later borrowing into OCS), which means it's almost always true that such a word is from proto-Slavic -- the only question being whether or not OCS also had something to do with its history. If you have the information that it does (i.e., if you know it's a borrowing from OCS), then this should be mentioned; otherwise, the PS mention will be sufficient. (In a sense, OCS within Slavic is like Gothic within Germanic, except there's a lot more OCS and it was much more influential within (Eastern/Southern) Slavic than Gothic was within Germanic.) --Pereru (talk) 22:40, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
The languages of the Western Christian Poles, Czechs, and Sorbians did not exist in the ninth century, they all spoke a dialect of the Common Slavonic of the time, and if they learned to read and write, they used OCS. Polish, Czech, Sorbian, etc., did not appear until much later. —Stephen (Talk) 22:47, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Bully, bullyingEdit

I have been useing the term bullier to refer to the person who is bullying someone else. "This student was being bullied and this student was the bullier". There seems to be no word "bullier" —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 15:51, 24 August 2012 (UTC).

  • The usual word is "bully", but "bullier" is attested, too. I've now created an entry for it: bullier. Please take a look, and see if it can be improved. (The usage notes, in particular, could probably use some work.) —RuakhTALK 17:15, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
The English agent suffix -er is fully productive. If there is a verb "to bully", then there is a noun bullier, even if it does not appear in any dictionaries. —Stephen (Talk) 00:16, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, then the next time someone asks you for a beer, you can give him anything that exists. —Angr 08:07, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I have no idea what that means. —Stephen (Talk) 08:13, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
If -er were fully productive, "beer" could mean "be-er", i.e. someone or something that bes, i.e. is or exists. —Angr 09:30, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
People get a little confused about the spelling, but yes, that’s a in the short story Beers and Doers by Budge Wilson (highly acclaimed Canadian author):
Beers and Doers stand alone. In the “Beers and Doers” there are some examples for us to understand where the contrast between the mother and narrator...and so on. —Stephen (Talk) 11:49, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Accidental moveEdit

I accidentally moved [[ווײַן]] to [[ווײן]]. I meant to move it to [[וויין]] (which I now realize actually exists). How can I undo this (to keep the history). And also is there any way to swap existing pages and keep their histories? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 07:37, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

I now realize my original intended move was based on incorrect facts. So all I need is for the move to be undone. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 13:00, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  Done. You actually could have done this yourself: [[ווײַן]] had been moved to [[ווײן]], with no other history after the move, so if you're moving [[ווײן]] back to [[ווײַן]], MediaWiki waives the usual "only admins can delete [[ווײַן]]" requirement. —RuakhTALK 13:42, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Except that for some reason, for any page I move or create, the move button disappears. So I don't know how I could have moved it back. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 13:58, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Nevermind, just realized that the reason I couldn't see the move button was because it was on my watchlist. That's kind of annoying though. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 14:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Wait, what? When a page is on your watchlist, the 'move' button disappears?! :-/   —RuakhTALK 14:13, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Doesn't it for you? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 14:50, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
No... I wonder if this is related to User talk:DCDuring#Deletion. What site-"skin" are you using? (To find out, click "My Preferences", which is next to "My Watchlist", and then click "Appearances".) - -sche (discuss) 14:54, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm using the default skin (Vector). And I thought it might have something to do with that. Is there any way to fix it? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 15:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I use Vector too. For me, the "Move" button is in the dropdown menu to the right of the little watchlist star that's to the right of the History tab, regardless of whether the page is on my watchlist or not. I'm an admin, so I may have different buttons from you, but your Move button shouldn't oughta be disappearing! —Angr 18:35, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Well the dropdown arrow disappears too. Also, the alt-shift-m shortcut doesn't work when the button isn't there (the others do work). --WikiTiki89 (talk) 19:38, 27 August 2012 (UTC)


There are about 40 words with ===Trivia=== as subsection, e.g. dermatoglyphics and weird. Should they be converted to ====Usage notes====? The trivial facts aren't strictly "notes about the usage of the words", but "Usage notes" does seem to be our catch-all header for comments about words. - -sche (discuss) 20:48, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Change all to either 'Usage notes' or 'Statistics' (for dermatoglyphics, this would be more appropriate). --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:58, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Wiktionary languagesEdit

In looking at the list of languages on the Main page included in and versions of Wiktionary, I am wondering if someone can inform me which, if any, may be considered languages of the verge of extinction, and are there any extinct languages. Marshallsumter (talk) 02:25, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Extinct: Old English, Sanscrit, Latin. Endangered: Aragonese, Aromanian. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:36, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Cornish was revived about 100 years ago and remains endangered along with Scottish Gaelic and Irish. Manx went extinct in 1974 but people continue to learn it. Basque and Māori are probably safe as is the case with Cherokee. Aragonese, Inuktitut and Faroese have limited populations. Yiddish is probably fighting an uphill battle, but people continue to study and use it, at least in the US. Old English and Latin are certainly dead, but there are people who use it and "introduce" modern words. Aramaic and Occitan are endangered. That's more or less my take.
You can check the Ethnologue for language status and the UNESCO language atlas in particular for endangered language status. --BB12 (talk) 02:48, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I quibble with that. My analyses of available data suggest that Basque and Yiddish are both dying very quickly, because their populations are skewed towards older speakers. Latin is considerably more alive than, say, Aramaic, if one simply counts total speakership and production of lasting neologisms. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:04, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that Yiddish is probably doomed, but people do continue to take lessons and use it. You can find Yiddish lessons in US cities. For Basque, the Ethnologue has a 1991 citation of 580K speakers. The Basques have an autonomous region in Spain and a written tradition, so there is a reasonable chance that it will survive, particularly given the current language revitalization movement. --BB12 (talk) 03:21, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, when I look at the maps on sites like this one, I see fragmenting areas of high speakership, and this is perhaps the best clue to the declining state of Basque. Basque is an extraordinarily difficult L2, so only native speakers can truly revive it. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:35, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't agree that Yiddish is doomed. Of course it doesn't have anything like the number of speakers it had 100 or 150 years ago, and probably never will, but it is still actively used in a fair number of Haredi/Hasidic communities, and the people in those communities tend to have large families, to remain isolated from the larger society around them, and to be highly endogamous. Yiddish will shift, and indeed already has shifted, from being a language of mainstream Ashkenazi Jewish culture to being a language of a small number of religious extremists, but I don't think the communities in which it's spoken are in any danger of dying out anytime soon, and as long as they survive, the language will. —Angr 16:30, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Ah, but you're leaving out one integral piece in the story: the aliyá. Typically, Hasidim who move to Israel lose their Yiddish very quickly, and they consider Hebrew to be a "better" (i.e., holier) language. So you're essentially betting on small, inbred communities of conservative Hasidic Jews who will not move to the Promised Land but instead stay in places like Upstate New York. Simply put, that's not a language I would place my money on. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:28, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
My point is just that I don't think such communities are dying out, and as long as they're alive, Yiddish is alive. —Angr 23:50, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

I add the Breton (the last continental celtic language). V!v£ l@ Rosière /Whisper…/ 18:50, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Someone from Barcelona told me that Occitan is only really spoken among older people so it could die out pretty soon, within say 100 years. w:Occitan language backs this up. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:10, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah I confirme all regional languages on french metropolitan's territory are endangered because young people aren't interested to learn it. Even at home most of them speak french. Why learn a language spoken only by olds and often considered like the language spoke by the stupid peasants (from the mainstream point of view). Learn English, Spanish, Italian, German can help you to get a job, to travel and meet peoples. Learn Breton have no interest, it's hard and difficult and it is unused, the only thing you'll earn is the risk to be blacklisted as separatist activist by the State. When young generation stop to learn a language as main language so is the beginning of its death. However I know Basque still quite strong cause of the almost autonomous part in Spain, boost the french area. And also the Corse because their insular identity. V!v£ l@ Rosière /Whisper…/ 01:55, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

racial slur vs ethnic slurEdit

Some of our entries use {{context|racial slur}}, others use {{context|ethnic slur}}. I suppose it could be argued that this distinction is useful when a group is considered an ethnicity but not a race (e.g. Hispanic?), but it doesn't make sense that e.g. [[white trash]] is declared an {{ethnic slur}} whereas [[cracker]] and [[honky]] are {{racial slur}}s, as those terms slur the same group. Obviously they should be standardised... should we also standardise in general, e.g. by having {{racial slur}} redirect to {{ethnic slur}}? - -sche (discuss) 19:25, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Yeah something like that. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:11, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
[[white trash]]/[[poor white trash]] are more class-based than racial or ethnic. Shouldn't we just let the definition carry the water for these. DCDuring TALK 21:22, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good.​—msh210 (talk) 20:02, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
We should still have {{offensive}} for all of them. I hope that we don't use {{pejorative}} for terms relating to people. DCDuring TALK 20:20, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Why wouldn't we? If a term relating to a person is pejorative, we would mark it as such, right? Mglovesfun (talk) 20:52, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Are there any pejorative terms about people that are not offensive? Any that are offensive and not pejorative? Any pairs of context tags that are repetitive and not redundant?
Pejoratives aimed at non-[ and apparently less-]sentients are not quite the same. No literal dog I've known has taken offense at being called a "mutt", for example. DCDuring TALK 21:09, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with DCDuring. In fact, I changed the tag several entries from 'sometimes pejorative' to 'sometimes offensive' earlier today. - -sche (discuss) 21:19, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I just redirected Template:racial slur to Template:ethnic slur, so that they both now display the same text. - -sche (discuss) 20:34, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

I was wondering about Caucasian would it be classed as a racial or ethnic slur?

Caucasian is not a slur. It’s just a race. —Stephen (Talk) 21:19, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

rejected entry (nagative)Edit

hi, i'm new to this and have added the word "nagative". but it seems to have been rejected but i don't know why? —This unsigned comment was added by Mattypashley (talkcontribs) at 09:31, 30 August 2012‎.

It's not a word. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:38, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
That's not really a good argument. A better argument is that there are no verifiable attestations of the word, so we have no evidence that it is being used. —CodeCat 10:18, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Those aren't really different arguments. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:25, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Not as such, no, but it does help to define what we consider a word. Most new users here will not know that. —CodeCat 10:47, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Also you gave it a crap definition - saying it was an adjective, but defining it as if it were a noun. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:29, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Hey Mattypashley! Thank you for your contribution and for following up. The word "nagative" is certainly used in English. There are citations at [7], [8], [9] and [10], for example. It appears to be a spelling error for "negative" and certainly qualifies for inclusion on Wiktionary. --BB12 (talk) 18:21, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

We do not include rare misspellings. That's been common law for as long as I've been here. (That said, it's entirely possible this isn't rare. I haven't checked.)​—msh210 (talk) 19:54, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I must be out of the loop then :) I found four durable, archived hits and wasn't being thorough. Does this common law trump the three citation requirement of the WT:CFI? --BB12 (talk) 20:37, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
It's probably a typo rather than a misspelling. All words in all languages does not mean all mistakes in all languages. It doesn't 'trump' the attestation criterion, simply the attestation criterion is not the only criterion in CFI. That's why we don't have an entry for my name is John even though it's attested. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:49, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
What Mg said. :) As I've said in various places: "we never have, to my knowledge, had a good way of telling misspellings (which we generally exclude, even if they are one-fifth as common as the usual spelling), especially hapax legomenon misspellings, from alternative spellings (which we include, even if they are only one-five-thousandth as common as the usual spelling)". But especially when a misspelling occurs in a work that also uses the correct spelling, it's clear that it is a misspelling, not an intentional alternative spelling, and we do (as msh says) exclude uncommon misspellings as mistakes. - -sche (discuss) 21:03, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. This seems to be a prescriptivist area of Wiktionary, then :) --BB12 (talk) 21:05, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
No, not prescriptivist. If a work uses "negative" twelve times and "nagative" once, we reason that the solitary "nagative" is a mistake, that is, something the author didn't intend to do. If an author uses "nagative" with some footnote to make clear that the spelling is intentional, we accept it (if two other authors do similarly, independent of each other and meeting the other parts of CFI). - -sche (discuss) 21:18, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
BB12, if I write 'ahve' instead of 'have' and then correct myself, am I being prescriptivist against myself? Mglovesfun (talk) 21:20, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I found four independent citations, but am told it's not worthy because it's probably a typo, and -sche says there is no criterion to determine whether something is an alternative spelling and worthy of inclusion or an error and not worthy. That sounds prescriptivist to me, though I would love that to not be true. --BB12 (talk) 21:26, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Then simply why does this sound prescriptivist to you? Mglovesfun (talk) 21:40, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Because Wiktionary editors are making their own interpretations of the citations, rather than allowing the citations to speak for themselves. --BB12 (talk) 21:44, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Descriptivism is the belief that we should interpret citations. Prescriptivism is the belief that we shouldn't. —RuakhTALK 21:54, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
By claiming that citation X uses a typo and citation Y uses a correct form, you are prescribing. --BB12 (talk) 22:12, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
"Because Wiktionary editors are making their own interpretations of the citations, rather than allowing the citations to speak for themselves." No sorry, that really doesn't make sense. On two levels in fact; firstly I think we're actually doing the opposite, letting the citations speak for themselves instead of interpreting them (as you put it). Secondly, how can you read something without interpreting it? Language is all about interpretation, there is no neutral source that we can fall back on. I'm actually speechless. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:16, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I am not talking about interpreting the meaning of the sentence. I am talking about interpreting the validity of the spelling. If you are willing to let the citations speak for themselves, then every word with three citations (misspelled in your mind or not) should be allowed. --BB12 (talk) 22:22, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Even if it is misspelled three times, which seems to be the case here? —CodeCat 22:27, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
It looks like a misspelling to me, but where's the proof? Are you prescribing that it's wrong, or describing the data? --BB12 (talk) 23:07, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
If the data is that a certain spelling makes up 10% of the attestations of the word, and another spelling makes up the other 90%, then is it reasonable to conclude that the writer intended to use the more common spelling also in the few times they used the less common one? I think so. I don't think looking at it that way is prescriptive at all, the work itself points out what is correct and what is not just by the ratio between them. In a way, we are describing the prescriptiveness of the writer. —CodeCat 23:30, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
That sounds like a reasonable process. Is the 10% the number that is used on Wiktionary to make those determinations? And how would that apply to the case of four different writers using "nagative" on Usenet? --BB12 (talk) 23:41, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
It was just the example that -sche used, there is no specific rule yet. —CodeCat 23:45, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
User:-sche picked a case where we don't really have to do much interpreting. In a single work, it is easy to interpret the most common spelling as the one intended and thought to be correct by the author. If we can identify a specific community in which the spelling seems very common, we can infer that it is not a misspelling. But when we depart from such situations, we do not have a good way of discriminating between alternative spellings and misspellings. Quantitative criteria may be the best we can do. And we haven't determined what relative and absolute levels would practically discriminate. Unfortunately, too, there are many cases where quantitative criteria are very hard to apply (homonymy, for example). DCDuring TALK 23:59, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

It actually seems to me that the requirement of more than one author and at least one year covers this situation of one author/document. In any case, is it fair to say that "nagative" is in? --BB12 (talk) 00:47, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

I may be misunderstanding you, but if you're saying "nagative" isn't a misspelling because it's used by more than one author over more than one year, your conclusion doesn't follow from your premises. The typo hopefulyl has almost certainly been made by more than one author over more than one year, but (especially if those authors also used hopefully in the same works), it could still be a misspelling. "≥3 citations" and "over more than a year" are necessary but not sufficient conditions for inclusion. (Mg's example of my name is John is of a different phenomenon — it is SOP rather than misspelling — but it shows a phrase that meets the necessary criteria but is excluded.) - -sche (discuss) 01:06, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
What I'm saying is there don't seem to be any criteria disallowing "nagative." The "my name" items is disallowed because of SOP and is not relevant. --BB12 (talk) 01:24, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Here's my analysis of the first three Usenet posts:
[11] is from 12 September 1999. The title contains "im" (for "I'm") and the obvious typo "apsychic" (missing a space); the message features a lack of spaces and capitalisation, and in addition to the titular misspelling, also the misspellings "enegies" and "your" (for "you're").
[12] is from 28 November 1997. The title contains the typo "pragnancy" and some questionable grammar; the body contains the same misspellings.
[13] is from 16 December 2003. It is ridden with missing dots, missing 's'/plurals, typos/misspellings like "allways" and "protray", and almost unintelligible grammar such as "they fail to integrate them fully into their socially and politically."
Thus, it isn't even as if "nagative" occurs as the only non-standard spelling in otherwise perfectly-English works, where it would be more debatable whether it was an mistake or not : it occurs in the context of other misspellings, typos (i.e. multiple-word terms missing spaces) and ungrammatical phrases. (At one time, I added himand from such dubious Usenet posts. To be fair, it was deleted at RFD rather than RFV.) - -sche (discuss) 01:30, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for that. So as I understand it, then, as long as three citations can be found without other grammar and spelling errors, a word that seems like a typo is nevertheless valid for entry on Wiktionary. Obviously, I don't want "nagative" to be on Wiktionary, but it's good to know the processes that are used to include and exclude words. --BB12 (talk) 02:53, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
While that may be correct — that cites without other errors suffice — it certainly doesn't follow from what -sche just wrote, which is only that cites with other errors don't suffice.​—msh210 (talk) 04:01, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, is it the case or not? The policy for word inclusion is an important issue. This seems like a great time to make it clear! --BB12 (talk) 05:27, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I may have misread your comment, Msh210. I think now that you are saying that there are additional requirements in the CFI, not that three citations without other errors can still somehow be shunted to the side for some other undisclosed reason. --BB12 (talk) 05:50, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
BB12 I disagree, the citation when they speak for themselves are typos, you're the one putting an unusual interpretation on them saying they are alternative spellings. You seem to making a good argument as to why nagative would be invalid, and then saying you'd support it. Re "where's the proof", again you're talking about some theoretical neutral being who's an arbiter of English. Where's your proof that it's not a typo? You seem to be perfectly good at prescribing rules to others whilst ignoring them entirely yourself. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:03, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
As -sche has kindly said that an examination of the text for errors is the way that typos are weeded out, I think the issue is clear now. What I was doing was trying to understand how excluding typos wasn't prescriptivism, and I suspect that you mistook my attempt to get at that issue for my viewpoint. Until -sche made that point, it seemed there were no criteria and that everyone was in effect saying, "It's a typo in case X with four citations because I say so, and it's not a typo in case Y with four citations because I say so."
This is an issue that has bothered for me for a long time. I'm not convinced that this solves the issue 100% (-sche admits as much), but I feel more secure with the ground rules that -sche has laid down. Until that point, the requirements of eligibility had seemed very amorphous, which is a frustrating situation. Now I feel better equipped for judging whether a word should be included. --BB12 (talk) 10:01, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Are video games valid sources?Edit

Video games often contain quite a bit of text in the form of dialogue or narration, and may in some cases provide citations of terms that are harder to cite elsewhere. Are they durably archived and considered valid sources? —CodeCat 22:33, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

IMO they probably should be citable, at least "published" and non-ephemeral ones (as with certain fanzines, album lyric sheets, etc.), though it does raise interesting questions, like "who, if anyone, durably archives these?" and "how can we prove that the text is in the game, without requiring a knowledgeable play-through?". It's quite hard for me to imagine that a term, other than a real neologism or anything failing WT:FICTION, would only appear in games: there are vast amounts of writing about games because they are pop culture. Equinox 23:50, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
In this old discussion, Daniel considered video games durably archived; Ruakh considered them not durable. - -sche (discuss) 00:44, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I say durable, also text on the screen of a movie should be considered durably if the film is durably archived. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:09, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Durable hmmm.. It would be easier to burn all the copies of Orthello than to erase all copies of starcraft. what constitutes durable today.
And yet give it thirty years and it will be nigh impossible to find a machine that can still play Starcraft outside of specialty museums. Anyway, how much of an issue is this? Surely there are other sources for most non-neologisms and even phrases like zerg rush could be documented online without citing code lines.LlywelynII (talk) 12:38, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

September 2012Edit

File:It-una stella.oggEdit

Listening to this, doesn't she actually say sella, also it sounds more like /sɛla/ than /sela/ to me. Came across the idea listening to Pavarotti sing Nessun Dorma, where he says stelle as /stɛle/. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:30, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

It sounds sort of like sella, but it isn't. The "t" isn't aspirated, as we would expect, being English speakers, and it isn't voiced. In other words, it's audible more as an absence than as a presence. The main difference is that the sibilance of the "s" stops before the "e" starts. It's a very subtle difference that's hard to hear unless your ear is trained for it as a speaker of the language. If you don't listen closely, your brain fills in the blank interval with the perception of continued sibilance. As for the "e", it definitely sounds like ɛ to me, but I don't know how much of that is my English-speaker expectation that a short vowel is always going to be lax, like ɛ, as opposed to tense, like e. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:56, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
English speakers wouldn't expect an aspirated t in this position though. The t in the English girl's name Stella isn't aspirated. That said, I can definitely hear the /t/ and the geminate /ll/ in this recording. I can't tell whether she's using /e/ or /ɛ/ without hearing other words from the same speaker. —Angr 22:04, 2 September 2012 (UTC)


What is the point of <span class="plainlinks">? Doremítzwr made extensive use of such spans. Are they extraneous? - -sche (discuss) 22:37, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

I have wondered in the past myself. I thought I might find the answer in User:Doremítzwr/vector.css, but no. MediaWiki:Common.css doesn't have it either, so I fear it may do literally nothing. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:02, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I won't speak to the point, but the effect is to disable the little arrow-leaving-a-box symbol after an external link. For example, <span class="plainlinks"></span> produces (This is a built-in MediaWiki feature — it's how it gets something like [[w:foo]] or [[google:foo]] to show up in external-link color without having that symbol — which is why Mglovesfun didn't see it in any custom CSS.) —RuakhTALK 00:22, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Demand for Vulgar LatinEdit

Is there any demand for Vulgar Latin entries to be made? I have the impression that people are less interested in reconstructed terms since they are hypothetic and thus (considerably) ‘superficial’, and less important than certainly used terms. I suppose that I just need motivation to continue; I have not been editing here as much. --Æ&Œ (talk) 16:58, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I find them useful. I've been meaning to make a few myself, but it seems that you've taken the obvious ones I was thinking of. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:00, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
There has been quite a lot of interest in Proto-Germanic and Proto-Indo-European, from users and new editors alike. I have all PG entries on my watchlist and they are edited quite regular by new users or IPs, and there has also been some feedback about them. So I think there may well be some interest in Vulgar Latin too. —CodeCat 17:23, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I also find Vulgar Latin interesting. — Ungoliant (Falai) 17:32, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
We could certainly use the insight into the developement of Romance language terms that such entries would afford. Sometimes Classical Latin seems a bridge to far to see the continuity. DCDuring TALK 19:29, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
There are already some Vulgar Latin entries at Appendix:Vulgar Latin. Reconstructed VL words have to go in Appendix: space, but any VL words that are actually attested can go into main space. Since Vulgar Latin doesn't have an ISO code of its own, such words have to be listed under a ==Latin== header, presumably with some sort of tag identifying them as Vulgar Latin. —Angr 20:50, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

ėsti in LithuanianEdit

Good night (sorry for the mistakes),

I would like to know which grammatical mood Lithuanian term ėsti belongs to. I could not find it in the conjugation table. Is it an infinitive ?

Regards, --Fsojic (talk) 00:15, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

ėsti is the infinitive. —Stephen (Talk) 00:54, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Request for clarification: How strict is WT:CFI regarding attestation of spellings which vary slightly?Edit

At Wiktionary talk:Requested entries (German)#To be removed from the list, Longtrend and I are discussing Judenlaim, an obsolete spelling of Judenleim. Citations:Judenlaim exhibits the extent to which it is attested (i.e., there is one citation each of the spellings Judenlaim, Juden-Laim, and Juden laim); there may be other citations, but they would not be of the ideal type (they would be, e.g., citations of the word in non-German contexts, or in use in a bilingual dictionary). A strict reading of WT:CFI suggests that Judenlaim is not sufficiently attested (in any one of its forms) to warrant an entry for it. However, taking all the forms together, and allowing the less-than-ideal citations, it has six citations to support it. How should WT:CFI be applied in this case? Does it permit or prohibit an entry for Judenlaim? I'm so meta even this acronym (talk) 19:02, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Intuitively I would say these count towards the same thing. I suppose what counts here is that the "leim" part is written "laim" so that variety of that part of the spelling is sufficiently attested, even though there are different other varieties using that variant spelling of "leim". It seems like we would have to consider as attested the fact that "Judenleim" may be written with "laim" instead of "leim", that but any combination of "laim" with some form of "Juden" that is actually found as not attested. So we have an attested fact, yet no attestable words reflecting that fact. That seems kind of crazy... —CodeCat 19:06, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
You share my sense of the situation's absurdity, then. :-) Hyphenation and spacing seem like such minor issues, in contrast with a more significant spelling difference like a vs e. How have cases like this been handled in the past? Is there any precedent that we can follow? In the absence of it, I should be inclined to argue the case for the inclusion of Judenlaim, or whatever form it is felt best to choose. I'm so meta even this acronym (talk) 20:49, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
We could reason for allowing this without bending the rules too far. If a word is attested in a spelling that is obsolete, it technically is not part of the current modern language. Instead it would be part of a now-extinct older variety of the language, and so it would require only one attestation. I can understand if people are not terribly keen on allowing even misspellings that occur only once, but this is already the status quo for other extinct languages like Gothic and Old English. We should also consider systematic changes in spelling (either due to changes in spelling norms, or actual sound changes), such as ai > ei. Since it was (AFAIK) common to see a word now spelled with -ei- being spelled with -ai- in the history of German, the -ai- spelling is sufficiently common in general, therefore it is also implicitly common for a given word even if for that word in particular there are fewer attestations. I would support, on this reasoning, an change to CFI that goes something like 'obsolete alternative spellings need only one citation if the proper/modern form is attestable, and if that particular change in spelling is common and well attested in other words'. This would imply that if there are enough words showing -ai- instead of -ei-, each one individually would need only one cite if the modern form with -ei- is attestable (via the regular 3-cite rule). —CodeCat 21:30, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
IMO, CFI prohibits an entry for Judenlaim if it is not attested in that exact spelling, especially if it is attested (three times) in some other spelling. After all, if a word is only attested in variant spellings, how are we to decide, descriptively (not prescriptively), what spelling should be the lemma?
The kind of change to CFI CodeCat proposes might prove be difficult to implement, IMO, opening up debates about whether a term was changed in a particular way, and whether that way of change was common. (Should we have entries for -our endings of every word that ends in -or, because British and older English often spells -our what newer and American English spells -or? Is that different? Probably, but it's debatable...)
If Judenleim is attested, why not just create an entry for it, and either:
  1. give the citations of Juden-Laim, etc in the etymology: "attested in early documents in various spellings such as Juden-Laim, [] "
  2. supply the citations of Juden-Laim, etc in that entry, like Widsith et al supply Middle English citations of modern English words in the modern English words' entries
? - -sche (discuss) 21:44, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Under my proposed change, if -our was (hypothetically) a common obsolete spelling variant of modern -or, and color had 3+ citations, then we would consider colour to be attested with only one cite. In the case of Judenleim, which presumably has 3+ citations, then under my proposed change, Judenlaim (only) would be considered attested with the one cite given, because -ai- is a common obsolete variant spelling of -ei- in German. —CodeCat 21:52, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Regarding CodeCat's proposal in his post above (21:30, 5 September): How old does a variety of a language have to be for it to be deemed obsolete and for the more lenient standards to apply to it? Whilst there's a clear cut-off when you talk about "Gothic" or "Old English", the boundary keeps shifting in the case of your proposal. Does that mean that some turn-of-the-(nineteenth)-century terms that currently fail to satisfy WT:CFI's attestation criteria will be admitted in perhaps five or ten years' time? That being said, I think there's definitely something to be said for being guided in our considerations by general patterns of language development. For example, on the topic of -or/-our word pairs, the attestation of one should prompt us to search expectantly for the other, and to present any attestation of it as run of the mill for the English language. However, colo(u)r is, I think, a bad example: Color could be attested millions of times over; if colour had only one or two citations to support it, then it would be too rare for inclusion (in relative terms). A better example (I can't think of a good real one — perhaps artillo(u)r?) would be one where the entire lexeme (lemma, inflections, spellings variants, etc. altogether) is supported by no more than, say, a dozen citations in total; in that case, a regular spelling variant with only one or two citations would be common enough (in relative terms) to warrant its inclusion. Also, concerning which form to lemmatise, it is worth taking note of those same general patterns of language development. Take a word which became obsolete in the sixteenth or seventeenth century. It is quite likely that in its case the majority of the citations available for it will be of spellings that no one would use nowadays; it is therefore more accurate a description of a word in the context of its language to lemmatise a rarer but more regular form.
All that, however, is somewhat beside the point when it comes to Judenlaim etc. Spacing and hyphenation in compound words merit very little importance to be attached to them. Juden-Leim and Juden leim are attestable, too, showing complete paralellism between the forms of Judenleim and Judenlaim. Surely, all this means that Judenlaim ought to be included. I'm so meta even this acronym (talk) 01:57, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I've just thought of an analogous case: Take a rare word in a highly inflected language like Finnish, for example kanoottikaksikko. Should we expect each of its thirty-three declined forms to be supported by at least three citations? To require at least ninety-nine supporting citations for it would be a very onerous standard. Regular forms should be given some kind of pass or, at least, leeway. Consider, would we refuse to list a rare English verb's present participle because of lack of attestation, even though the -ing rule for its formation knows no exception? I'm so meta even this acronym (talk) 20:17, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I disagree that inflection is analogous to spelling variation; I also note that some verbs are only ever used in the infinitive (would) or in another word, and their nonexistent participles should not be included. Some (now often archaic) words are used in the imperative or some other form; checking if other forms are attested is a useful way of seeing which words fall into that category.
If Judenleim is attested — and it is — no content is lost, no word fails to be covered, when we bar Judenlaim on the grounds that it is not attested. If you'd like to list Judenlaim with an appropriate {{qualifier}} as an unlinked ("blacklinked") ===Alternative form===, go ahead; that is also the most I would suggest when obscure verbs are only attested with the ending -ize, or -ise, but not both.
Per WT:CFI, "A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means." If someone finds "Juden-Laim" in an old text and doesn't know enough German to know that the modern spelling is "Judenleim", I doubt they will know enough to search for "Judenlaim". If the only citations of "that spelling" vary so much in form that no one spelling is attested, then — no one spelling is attested, the "that spelling" I referred to in quotation marks earlier in this sentence doesn't exist (it's "those spellings", multiple, no one of which is common enough to meet CFI). - -sche (discuss) 20:41, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Hmm. I understand your rationale. Is the current state of Judenleim acceptable? Presumably the presence of "Judenlaim, Juden-Laim, Juden laim" in the entry will make Judenleim the first search hit returned by searching for any one of the -laim forms, so this solution makes the situation clear enough. I'm so meta even this acronym (talk) 12:12, 10 September 2012 (UTC)


Do we allow romanizations like this? I don't remember. If so, strike this section. If not, delete that entry. - -sche (discuss) 02:14, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

No, we don't. Fixed. thanks. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:52, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Declension in RomanceEdit

How many Romance languages have or had a case system on common nouns or adjectives? The only modern specimens I can think of are Romanian and some varieties of Rhaetian, but some historic examples include Anglo‐Norman, Old French, and Old Provençal. Are there any others that I am missing? --Æ&Œ (talk) 09:50, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Does Latin count as a Romance language? ;-) —Angr 11:26, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Man, that was stupid. There goes my topic. Good job. --Æ&Œ (talk) 11:58, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Not if you define your topic as "Case systems in vernacular Romance languages after 800 AD" or something. I assume by "Rhaetian" you mean Rhaeto-Romance; I didn't know any Rhaeto-Romance language had explicit case marking. Romansh doesn't; which ones do? Otherwise, the only thing I can think of is the fact that some French and Spanish proper names (Charles, Jacques; Carlos, Marcos, Díos) continue the old nominative case instead of the old accusative like most nouns, but that isn't really case marking since they don't lose their -s in oblique cases. —Angr 12:36, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Admittedly, I may have misinterpreted the article on Wikipedia as referring to modern Rhaetian. I cannot explicitly say which varieties used declensions, because Wikipedia does not specify. I have never seen Latin classified as a Romance language; it is thought of as an Italic language. --Æ&Œ (talk) 13:36, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
The article does say "algunas lenguas retorrománicas en sus estadios antiguos" (emphasis added), so maybe in Old Romansh, Old Ladin, or Old Friulian (I have no idea how long those languages have been attested, though). —Angr 14:09, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I vaguely remember something about Sardinian having traces of the old case system, but I can't find any reference to it on Wikipedia Chuck Entz (talk) 13:25, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Do augmentative and diminutive count as case? I guess not, but if so many Romance languages have it. — Ungoliant (Falai) 13:49, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I was assuming he meant "case" as in remnants of the cases that Latin has. Latin has a very productive diminutive, for example, but it's an infix that must precede a suffix that gets case markings. Esperanto (which has the accusative) is the closest I can think of, although it's not pure Romance (being a conlang and all). --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 13:54, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
@ Meta, no, it's not an infix, though the most common dininutive suffix often appears to be an infix because the suffix ends in -us or -a or -um, and most first- or second-declension nouns end in -us or -a or -um to begin with, but these diminutibve forming suffixes are clearly not an infix when added to third-declension nouns that end in -o (e.g. homo "man" -> homunculus "dwarf"), or in -is (e.g. auris "ear" -> auricula "little ear"), or some other ending (e.g. liber "book" -> libellus "little book"). --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:15, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
You get more remnants of the case system in Romance pronouns. See for example Appendix:Spanish pronouns. Western Romance languages gradually reduced the noun cases down to just nominative and ablative, then did away with the old nominative forms in favor of the ablative. The Eastern Romance langauges (Romanian, Aromanian, Istro-Romanian, etc.) have retained a case system for nouns. Sardinian does not belong to either branch, and I do not know whether it retains the Latin case system. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:05, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Is there an equivalent to "octogenarian" for 65-year old?Edit

How about the sixty-fifth birthday? Any additional ways to express that?

In a word, no. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:08, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Someone who is 65 is a sexagenarian (60–69). In the same way, octogenarian does not mean precisely 80, it means from 80–89 years of age. —Stephen (Talk) 17:47, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, in Polish is sześćdziesięciopięciolatek or in German Fünfundsechzigjähriger :-P. Maro 19:52, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Would *sexageniquinarian and *sexagintaquinquennium / *sexagintaquinquennial be legitimate formations on Latin roots? I'm so meta even this acronym (talk) 00:40, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

sled, sledge, sleighEdit

large thing which can be drawn by an animal
small thing which is not drawn by an animal
very similar to the second thing, perhaps the same

What word would you use to refer to the thing in the first picture? What about the thing in the second picture? The third picture? Can all three words refer to all three things? - -sche (discuss) 05:49, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

  • First picture: sleigh. Second & third pictures: sleds. I do not use the word sledge. The first one, however, is not in general use independent of a certain fictional older white male in an unfashionable red suit and his ubiquitous impersonators. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:55, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
  • 1st - sleigh, 2nd & 3rd = sledge in UK. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:56, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
    1st- sleigh, 2nd sledge (on second thought, that looks like it might be a toboggan, 3rd sled. As for limitations in use for the first, w:Jingle Bells is a much better fit than what Μετάknowledge is thinking of. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:00, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
  • The first is sleigh or sled (with sleigh used only due to the influence of the previously mentioned old man) the other two can only be sled. (My English is that of New England.) --WikiTiki89 (talk) 09:03, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
  1. Sleigh (only in the loosest sense a sled)
  2. Sled (sledge, perhaps if used to move rocks or something else heavy, needing to be pulled)
  3. One of those plastic thingies, like a sled. (ie, not really a sled)
NYC, where we rarely see 1s in real life and fewer and fewer 2s relative to 3s. DCDuring TALK 12:11, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Gee, I would have thought Central Park would be full of 1s in the winter. Me, I call 1 a sleigh, 3 a sled, and 2 either a sled or a toboggan depending on how big it is (it's hard to judge the scale of the photo). —Angr 14:44, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Fascinating, that some of you distinguish 2 from 3. I've attempted to clarify [[sleigh]] and [[sled]], could you check that the definitions are correct, and improve them (and [[sledge]] and [[toboggan]]) as necessary? Why is this a sleigh but this, both in its title and in literature on "dog sledding", a sled? - -sche (discuss) 19:26, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Czech has dedicated words for the objects in image 2 and in image 3: the former is "sáňky" while the latter "boby". The former touches the ground at two thin bands (typically from metal), while the latter can touch the ground almost anywhere at its bottom. Although prototypical "sáňky" would look like the object in image 4. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:50, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm from the southern US, where snow and ice are rare. When the roads ice up a little, schools close because it's unsafe for people to drive where there's an inch of snow. I would say (1) sleigh, (2) sled, (3) piece of plastic that might be used as a sled. A toboggan is something you wear. As for the question of dog sled, it's a set phrase in English, and sleighs are only pulled by equines or reindeer. When it's pulled by something else it's a sled (provided it has no wheels), although modern sleds are usually ridden downhill without being pulled by anything but gravity. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:26, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

NZ English background Image 1 I concur this is called a sleigh as is any animal drawn conveyance with an undercarriage. Primarily for the transport of passengers Image 2 this is called a sled and can be animal or man drawn for transporting passengers or cargo but runs directly on the snow or ground. If it was animal drawn and for cargo only it could also be called a sledge but that is rather archaic. Image 3 This is a sled at present although US English usage of toboggan is creeping into use through TV. Image 4 This is a sleigh as it has a raised undercarriage. But it is often unknowingly incorrectly called a sled or toboggan

Two-word termsEdit

May I ask your help on a searching matter? I have noticed that Wiktionary often contains two-word scientific or technical terms such as optical astronomy. Is there some relatively easy to use search format such as "* *" which would call up each of these two-word terms? Thank you in advance for any help you can provide. Marshallsumter (talk) 19:46, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Combinations like "* dominant" and "dominant *" yield 338 words each (same set), whereas "* group" or "* group" yield 9,087 two-word terms (same set). Marshallsumter (talk) 21:53, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, spaces and asterisks don’t do anything. We used to have a category for multiple-word terms, but someone has removed it. I don’t know of any simple way to search for them. I believe that the entire vocabulary can be downloaded somehow (I’ve never done it and had no reason to, so I don’t know how, but I recall seeing it mentioned before). Once downloaded, you could copy it into an editing program such as Word, then you can search for spaces, use wildcards, and all the other search functions that Word provides. Probably also could be done in Excel, but I don’t use Excel myself. —Stephen (Talk) 04:09, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I would be interested in exploring this idea, but I have no knowledge of wiki bots or software that would be compatible with it. I'm going to download the English (at least) WT to see if I can pull up a list using TSE (The Semware Editor), which can handle extremely large files and has a macro language for specific searches. But it would be much nicer if we could find a program/bot/script that would do this online, so that more people could access it. --Jacecar (talk) 15:02, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

Category:Hebrew terms derived from Jewish AramaicEdit

I created this category because it was "wanted", but the template {{etyl:sem-jar}} says it's etymology-only and doesn't use {{langt}}, so dervcatboiler fails ungracefully and the category isn't assigned to any family. Should a family be added to sem-jar, or should the category be deleted and the terms which are currently in it be fixed? - -sche (discuss) 22:54, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Also Category:English terms derived from Jewish Aramaic (current redlink). - -sche (discuss) 02:42, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

new word - suppleton - requested definitionEdit

I'm watching a movie, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Season 1, episode 5, entitled The Crooked Man [1984 Granada UK]. At approximately 11 minutes 25 seconds into the film, Major Murphy says "He could be most vindictive toward young suppletons."

I'd like to know the definition. I think it may be a British variation of supplicant, but I'm not sure; and would this be exclusively a British usage. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Are you sure that he wasn't talking about young Suppletons - with a capital S - that is, young people from the Suppleton family? — Saltmarshαπάντηση 07:50, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Almost certainly subalterns (junior officers). SemperBlotto (talk) 07:59, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Probably correct, given that they're discussing a Colonel who is murdered. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:30, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Another possibility: simpletons. Chuck Entz (talk) 12:26, 18 September 2012 (UTC) is full of interesting contentEdit

Hi, what blogging platform do you use on ? I like it and want to start my own blog like yours Regards

I don’t think it is a blogging platform. See w:Wiki software and w:Blog software. —Stephen (Talk) 09:16, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
You can get it here. — Ungoliant (Falai) 12:44, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Bodge versus botchEdit

Your entry on bodgers and bodge conflict. Under Bodger there is a clear explanation of the difference between bodge and botch, yet the entry on Bodge has this clearly confused. If you look at the two entries you will see what I mean. comment by User:

Yes, I do see what you mean (Wikipedia has an explanation of dialectal usage). The OED seems to think that the words are synonyms, but I think we can do better. Can you find any clear usages of bodge where botch is not a possible meaning? We will need to find some cites to convince sceptics. "font-family:verdana">Dbfirs 09:47, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

never thought about editing - but saw an errorEdit

Dear Wikipedia

I love Wikipedia - use it all the time to facilitate my learning.

I was at:

Under TRANSLATIONS it says cerefree or light hearted experience. From my understanding of the word - the correct phrase would read: "cArefree or light hearted experience.

I think this is type

Sincerely, Dayna Eaton/Nipkow, Dip DH, RDH, CDAO, BDSc(candidate)

Thanks. It's been fixed. Equinox 22:50, 26 September 2012 (UTC)


Why is this labelled as uncountable when there is clearly an indefinite article for the noun in the example? --Æ&Œ (talk) 21:51, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Maybe it's not so much uncountable as a singulare tantum. You can do something for a while, but not for two whiles, or a few whiles. —Angr 22:25, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
I’ve heard “many whiles” several times. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:43, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
I have changed the entry to allow a plural whiles. If that doesn't in fact exist, we should use {{en-noun|!}}, since AE is correct that "a while" is countable. Equinox 22:45, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
If it has no plural, then that implies that the plural was lost at some point, because it was countable in Old English. —CodeCat 22:46, 26 September 2012 (UTC)


How do I quickly clean up all this spammy moving? (Hint: Nuke doesn't work.) --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:09, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, here's the pertinent link: [14] --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:14, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

October 2012Edit

Latvian blīvsEdit

I'm not entirely sure the translations I've provided for the examples are entirely correct, especially for sense 2 (a 'tight curtain'? a 'solid curtain'? a 'tight'/'solid' roof?). Would any native speakers of English care to give an opinion? Thanks in advance! --Pereru (talk) 03:26, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

I think either a "thick curtain" or a "heavy curtain"; and a "roof of dense, compact leaves". —Stephen (Talk) 00:42, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Requests to translate citationsEdit

Where is the usual place to request translations of citations? I added a quotation to [[tabarnak]] but I could only sloppily translate the Quebec slang and want someone to check it and correct it. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 18:30, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

WT:Translation requests, I suppose. There's no reason that has to be only for tattoos. —Angr 18:47, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
Do you think WT:Translation requests also works for definitions? For example, a few minutes ago I wrote כבר#Hebrew, but I couldn't (and can't) think of a good way to express the uses that I gave as senses #2 and #3. They all mean "already" . . . except that they don't, because we don't use the word "already" that way in English. Would WT:Translation requests be a good place to get other people to weigh in on a more natural English translation? —RuakhTALK 19:42, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, it's as good a place to ask as any; either there or the tea room. Anyway, it's all the same people there as in the other discussions rooms: Stephen, me, Anatoli/Atitarev, Metaknowledge, etc. —Angr 20:37, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
Would this also be a good place for my question concerning blīvs above? --Pereru (talk) 21:26, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

'bumping' discussionsEdit

Just a short question... If a discussion, like for deletion, hasn't reached a conclusion and has just been abandoned, is it ok to 'bump' the discussion by cutting it from the page and pasting it down at the bottom so that it will be noticed again? This seems preferable to starting a new discussion altogether, especially for RFD. —CodeCat 20:48, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Doing less violence to the expectation of temporal order is the use of {{look}}, which puts the item back on watchlists, and sometimes reinvigorates the discussion enough for a conclusion. DCDuring TALK 02:49, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
I think it’s OK, as long as it is not abused (used for minor discussions, used too often, etc.). — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:06, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Logy of food.Edit

What is a good term for ‘(the) scientific study of food’? --Æ&Œ (talk) 04:58, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

gastronomy? — Ungoliant (Falai) 05:03, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
food science. If you have to have an ology, how about trophology or bromatology? —Stephen (Talk) 05:42, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Food science is fairly common in textbook, journal, and conference titles, often with nutrition, so it is probably the best current term. DCDuring TALK 06:13, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

US vs GenAm, UK vs RPEdit

... and [tʰi] vs /ti/. Anyone have anything enlightening to add to User talk:Speednat#US_vs_GA_-_GenAm? - -sche (discuss) 02:39, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

oblique versus accusativeEdit

(I didn’t feel like editing here again just yet, but since I am having some difficulty obtaining a response elsewhere…)

In the context of ancient Romance, is it safe to say that the oblique case is synonymous with the ablative accusative case ? --Æ&Œ (talk) 14:14, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it is. I'm not sure why they use another word. Maybe it's so they can be nitpicky from a Latin point of view because the Romance oblique is also used as a dative/prepositional case. —CodeCat 14:17, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
No, it isn't. The "oblique" case means "non-nominative", and was the result of syncretion of the various non-nominative cases in earlier forms of Latin. In Old French, for example, it served in place of all cases except that of the subject. See The Blackwell History of the Latin Langauge, pages 276-277. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:24, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
That still doesn't explain why they don't call it the accusative, though. —CodeCat 17:45, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Because it isn't the accusative. The oblique is the genitive-dative-accusative-ablative-altogether. Hence "oblique" is a much easier thing to say. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:11, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

ham radio vs HAM radioEdit

I am not certain of the process we should use to correct capitalization for proper and common usage of this term and other terms related to it.

HAM radio operators use the term capitalized to distinguish HAM (Ham Radio Operator) from ham (a piece of cured pork). I am not certain how most people refer to amateur radio operators, but at least in the context of ARRL and other organizations, the letters are always capitalized.

In addition, several places I have seen {radio slang} used as a qualifier/template, and I'm not sure how to go about formalizing the differences between what ANY radio operator (including CB) might say and what a licensed HAM would say.

NOTE: HAM radio is international, and while it may have fallen out of common use amongst techies (because of cell phones and the internet), it is still popular in some circles.

As an licensed operator myself, I'm certainly qualified to make the distinction, but not sure how to go about the process within Wiktionary. --Jacecar (talk) 08:49, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

  • Hmm. Looking through Google book search, I can't find any spelling with all capitals (for HAM). "Ham radio magazine" has everything in capitals on its title page, but that's just stylistic orthography, not a proper spelling. SemperBlotto (talk) 18:56, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Interesting. I did several searches and noticed the same thing. I guess my understanding of the term was flawed. I should have done my homework before asking.
It's etymology/origin is from the 1850-1870's G. M. Dodge's The Telegraph Instructor where it was defined as "Ham: a poor operator. A 'plug. '". I'd have to look up the exact issue to make sure, but apparently the definition preceeded the existance of radio itself.
I will make sure we have the correct information in our definitions and cites, and then go forward with my other question, which relates to "slang". I guess I think of slang as a derogative and term as a positive, so I'd like to differentiate between radio slang you might hear on a CB, like "Breaker one nine, this is the Rubber Duck, puttin' the hammer down. Just passed me a bubble-gum machine flyin' northbound at the 40 yardstick." and formal/official radio language, like "CQ CQ, This is KB8SHZ, moble, listening on frequency." The former has no rules (or none that are followed) and the latter has entire pages of rules and regulations from the FCC and their sister organizations internationally. --Jacecar (talk) 20:40, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Ethnonyms which are both singular and collectiveEdit

What's the best way of dealing with the huge number of ethnonyms (including almost every Native American ethnonym, like Huaorani, Abenaki and Navajo) that are both singular (with a different plural, like Huaoranis, Abenakis, Navajos) and collective (the Huaorani speak a language unrelated to its neighbors, the Abenaki are trying to revitalize their language, the Navajo have distinctive customs)? I would think "have separate senses", but I have yet to find an entry that does... - -sche (discuss) 18:39, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

[[Chinese]] distinguishes the singular from the collective, but then doesn't give the plural a line (like [[Japanese]] does). - -sche (discuss) 18:42, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
This is a general feature of many English nouns that are used to refer both to an individual object and to a collective class of those objects: oak, grass, fish, cat. The only reason this doesn't show up more generally for ethnonyms is that most modern European nationalities have separate terms in English for individuals (Englishman, Welshman, Frenchman, Spaniard, etc.), or else the collective and plural are identical (Albanians, Greeks, Italians). --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:56, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
This is pretty much the English equivalent of indeclinable borrowings. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 09:24, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Not to mention that many usages are indeterminately a plural or an ethnonym, while our structure requires us to separate noun and proper noun senses. Michael Z. 2013-02-21 21:33 z

When adding a new term, how thoroughly should one make links?Edit

I added "non-exclusive list" to the wiktionary because I thought it was a term that needed defining. I'm wondering how much I should link to words like "exclusive" and "exhaustive" and how much I should link from such words.

Normally when an entry consists of two or more words, each word is linked directly in the bolded headword under the POS heading. In this case, this could be done by typing {{en-noun|head=[[non-exclusive]] [[list]]}}. As it happens, however, a non-exclusive list is just a list that is non-exclusive, making this phrase nonidiomatic and therefore not worthy of a Wiktionary entry. —Angr 21:02, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Lesbian Greek or Aeolic GreekEdit


how do we work with entries in that dialect of Ancient Greek?

Greetings HeliosX (talk) 06:12, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

The language should be Ancient Greek (grc). You can use {{grc-aio}} as a context label I guess, though it doesn't put the word in a category. Maybe someone could edit it and the other entries at Category:Ancient Greek dialect templates so they behave like other dialectal context templates. —Angr 21:30, 9 October 2012 (UTC)


Why is the watchlist incapable of displaying anything over a month old? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 14:49, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Southern TujiaEdit

What orthography does Southern Tujia use? The translation [[moon]] currently uses one that includes even special spaces (not the usual space you get when you press your space bar): {{|tjs|lo³⁵ ɕi⁵⁵ du̵³⁵ }}. Should it be changed to use run-of-the-mill spaces, and not to end with a space? - -sche (discuss) 08:21, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Also, in [[eye]], there is/was: {{t+|ne|आँखा|sc=Deva|tr=ā̃ṅkhā }}, with a space. - -sche (discuss) 08:50, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Trailing spaces are pretty much always wrong. Remove them. -- Liliana 10:22, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
User talk:Mulgadweller entered the Southern Tujia, you probably should ask him why he used thin spaces. In any case, I doubt that they should be changed to regular’s probably a single word. —Stephen (Talk) 03:55, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Images for all entriesEdit

as it is an open dictionary, should we not promote giving images for all entries?

What images would you suggest for common words such as for, as, purpose, attrition, presume, have, like? —Stephen (Talk) 07:10, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
There are some entries it would probably be illegal for us to illustrate. —Angr 07:06, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
And some that would be controversial. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 07:26, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Maybe the project should be restricted to "promote giving images for all entries that it's reasonable to have images". --Daniel 19:34, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
It's not even easy to get appropriate pictures from Commons for every entry for species of living things - and that should be simple: "natural kinds". But it is possible to get a good percentage, perhaps above 50%, based on what is available at Commons now for the entries we have now. I fear that as we add more entries we will get to species less likely to have photos available. This is an area that would be a very reasonable pilot for some aspects of such a megaproject. Some simple things save time, like adding the "pagename" to the Commons link in {{rfimage}}. DCDuring TALK 19:56, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
One modest challenge is getting the images to each language's word for the species, especially in the absence of a Translation section for more than 90% of species entries (~3300 in total). DCDuring TALK 20:00, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
One thing to think about when talking about adding images to non-English words: Should entries such as [[jaguar]] have the same image 9 times? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 09:28, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
With tabbed languages that would seem essential. DCDuring TALK 13:17, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
We can never count on the possibility that the word jaguar means "jaguar" in all languages, though. Just look at water, a term you'd expect to be limited to Germanic languages, and thus always mean "water". Yet in Romance languages it has a different meaning! —CodeCat 13:57, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but having a picture of water at the top of the page does not negate the other definitions of water. While having the same picture of water on the page for each language where it does mean water would look very strange (unless you're using tabbed languages). --WikiTiki89 (talk) 15:59, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
For polysemic words we are supposed to have some kind of gloss in the caption so users can connect the image with the appropriate sense.
The desiderata of visual interest and ostensive definition seem to conflict with some of the other desiderata we have for our entries. I don't recall seeing any images in competing on-line dictionaries apart from those connected with advertising. I wonder why. DCDuring TALK 16:57, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
The choice of using just one or multiple images for multiple languages on the same page will vary by user and by situation. Consider biceps, which has essentially the same primary definition in all languages except Latin. When setting up that page for multiple sections, I set one for the English, another for the very different LAtin section, and a third for an entry following Latin but using a different image than the one for the English section. I deliberately did not attempt to add images to all the sections for some of the reasons already mentioned. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:53, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
It makes perfect sense to have pictures for animals, plants, materials. It doesn't mean that a picture may not mislead, so a picture of a face may mean a person, a man/a woman, etc, whatever but it does help to understand the meaning quicker. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:42, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

This piece of clothingEdit

What do you call this piece of clothing, in English?

--Daniel 12:26, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

  • hoodie? --MaEr (talk) 12:37, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I could either of three words: sweater, sweatshirt, and hoodie. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 13:46, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
    Same here, although it could also be a jumper for me. I'd be most likely to say hoodie. Ƿidsiþ 13:58, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
    I guess it depends who I'm talking too. Hoodie is more slangy and also more specific. If I were wearing one under a ski jacket, I wouldn't bother calling it a hoodie, I'd just say that I'm wearing a sweatshirt under my ski jacket. The only time I'd call it a sweater is, for example, if it were really cold out I could say "Good thing I'm wearing a sweater." --WikiTiki89 (talk) 14:17, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
  • hoodie. DCDuring TALK 14:38, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
  • When I was a kid, we'd call it a windbreaker, but where I live now it's a hoodie. --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:46, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I would call it a jumper. —Stephen (Talk) 21:35, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
  • It looks like a sweatshirt to me. A hoodie is just a sweatshirt with a hood. I wouldn't call it a windbreaker, because I reserve that for something of a more slick, air-tight material- one might even wear a windbreaker over a sweatshirt on a windy day. I've never used the term jumper, so I have no clue if that fits. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:52, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I'd call it a hoodie or a sweatshirt (or even a hooded sweatshirt). I definitely would not call it a sweater, which for me is something that's similar but definitely distinct, nor a jumper, which for me is something very different. —RuakhTALK 00:03, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I'd call it a jumper, but for me it's a very general term that encompasses most relatively thick things with full length sleeves that you wear over a t-shirt and such. In my view of things, a hoodie or a sweater is a kind of jumper. —CodeCat 01:41, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Most definitely a hoodie and nothing else. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:21, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I too would call it a hoodie for about the last ten years. Before that, I'm not sure what I would have called it. "A zip-up sweatshirt with a hood on it", maybe. To my mind, it's the wrong material to be a windbreaker or sweater, and since I'm American, I consider a jumper to be a kind of woman's dress. —Angr 20:43, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Hoodie in today’s en-CA, or sometimes informally a schnoodie or schnood. Or sweat jacket or perhaps sweatshirt. Never a windbreaker or sweater (those are something else), nor a jumper (that’s a sweater, right?). If it didn’t unzip all the way and the pockets were one, then it would be a proper kangaroo jacket, or just kangarooMichael Z. 2013-02-21 21:48 z

Specialist in RomanceEdit

Is there a counterpart to the term ‘Slavicist’ for Romance (or at least Italic) languages? --Æ&Œ (talk) 15:24, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Romanicist. — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:26, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Another piece of clothingEdit

What do you call this other piece of clothing, in English?

--Daniel 21:01, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

The difference between Wiktionary:Gothic transliteration and Appendix:Gothic script?Edit

What is the difference, in terms of what they should contain, between these two pages? And similar for other scripts, like Appendix:Russian alphabet, Appendix:Cyrillic script and Wiktionary:Russian transliteration? I would imagine that the Appendix page should give information about the script; this is kind of encyclopedic, so it might be better to defer to Wikipedia. The Wiktionary page should probably describe our policies with respect to the script, including transliteration. Are the Appendix pages really redundant? —CodeCat 12:43, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

My understanding is that Wiktionary pages are for editors, while Appendix pages are for users. I honestly don't see the purpose in the Appendix:Cyrillic script page but the other two I think are necessary. Similarly, I don't see the purpose in Appendix:Gothic script, but Wiktionary:Gothic transliteration is necessary to describe transliteration conventions to editors and I think there should be an Appendix:Gothic alphabet (currently a redirect) to describe the alphabet and the transliteration we use for users. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 12:53, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
But that would mean that we write the transliteration information on two pages, instead of one. I don't think that is a good idea. In any case, Wiktionary pages are not just for editors as far as I know, or at least not useful only to editors. —CodeCat 13:03, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
10 billion years from now, when Wiktionary is finally finished (assuming no one will ever add anything ever again), the Wiktionary namespace should be able to be deleted, while the Appendix namespace should be entirely kept. That's what I mean when I say Wiktionary is for editors but Appendix is for users. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 13:38, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
As for the difference between Wiktionary:Gothic transliteration and Appendix:Gothic alphabet, I guess the Wiktionary page should describe the transliteration system we use, how to determine the transliteration, and maybe Unicode codepoints for specific transliteration characters, while the Appendix page should show the transliteration system that we use as well as other systems that others use and possibly other information that users would like to know (like IPA). There would be some overlap but not too much. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 13:53, 16 October 2012 (UTC)


Shouldn’t the descendants of Latin -issimus be listed here for the Romance languages? --Æ&Œ (talk) 15:10, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

I don't think so, no. For example, French rarissime means “very rare”, not “rarest”. —RuakhTALK 15:24, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
O.K., so shouldn’t the definitions of these suffixes be changed? Or is there some (slightly) different definition of ‘superlative’ that I am not aware of? --Æ&Œ (talk) 15:37, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I've never quite grasped this. In traditional grammar, the terms comparative and superlative are often applied to forms that mean "rather" and "very", even in the same breath as forms that mean "more" and "most", and without any sort of acknowledgement that they're fundamentally quite different. I just chalk it up to "traditional grammar has Latin on the brain". —RuakhTALK 15:42, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
I can’t speak surely for languages other than Portuguese but words formed with -íssimo, even though they are also called superlatives, don’t have the same meaning as English words with -est (instead, they mean “extremely FOO”, “very very very FOO”). For the equivalent of English -est we use definite article + mais + FOO. — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:38, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
The situation is the same in Italian and Latin - the meaning of a superlative can be either "most" or just "very" <adjective>. Perhaps we should adjust our definition of superlative. SemperBlotto (talk) 21:17, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

A third piece of clothingEdit

Thank you for your help with words for clothes, so far. I really appreciate it.

What do you call this third piece of clothing, in English?

--Daniel 21:00, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

  • sweater or, more informally a wooly. SemperBlotto (talk) 21:04, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
  • For me, sweater. Never heard wooly used as a noun. —Angr 23:20, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
    Used this way, wooly is a UK term, and not used in the US. I've heard it used, but then I've watched a lot of BBC programmes. --EncycloPetey (talk) 05:16, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Men would call it a sweater. I expect that women and those who sell to them have something more precise. For example, it's a pullover, but not a turtleneck. DCDuring TALK 23:28, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
  • sweater. I would understand wooly but I would never use it. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 07:45, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
  • sweater is what I would call it. I have never heard of wooly and might not immediately understand it. (I live in the western U.S.) 08:07, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

This garment is precisley called a Skivvy (Australia, New Zealand) A close-fitting, long-sleeved t-shirt with a rolled collar.  [quotations ▲]

   1998, Tom Byron, The History of Spearfishing and Scuba Diving in Australia, page 191,
       I put my wetsuit and skivvy on a tree to dry, and laid out my other gear on some grass.

If you call it a sweater it would be usual to define it as a roll neck sweater. Sweater being a more generic name for a varied group of garments, skivvy being a more definitive description of your example.

  • sweater, pullover, pull, jersey, gansey are all terms which are used for the generic article of clothing: a garment knit in high denier yarns as a top layer. Several more-specific or regional terms or modifiers exist - e.g. turtle neck or mock-turtle neck, ribbed, pieced, weltless, and Dorothy Parker's memorable "secretary sweater" might all be applied to this specific garment. - Amgine/ t·e 18:30, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Sweater in en-CA. Might say (mock) turtleneck sweater, but a turtleneck usually means a sweatshirt. Michael Z. 2013-02-21 21:52 z

How to rollback vandalism like this -> win <- in one go?Edit

Undoing each individual ones is just too laborious. Is there a way to revert everything to a specific edit? JamesjiaoTC 03:23, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

There is a gadget in preferences described as “FastRevert, easily restore a previous version of a page.” but I haven’t ever used it. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:26, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Just tested it. Worked pretty nice. Alternatively you can edit an old revision and press save. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:30, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
You can also just click on the old version of the page, then click "edit", and then click "save". --WikiTiki89 (talk) 07:47, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
I think that's what Ungoliant meant in his (or her?) second comment. Thanks all the same guys. I knew there was an easy way to do it! JamesjiaoTC 20:24, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

How to add plurals for non-English language?Edit

How to add plurals for non-English languages? For example, I am using the {{mr-noun}}. Does it support plurals? —This comment was unsigned.

  • Normally, you just need to look at the template's documentation page. Unfortunately, this template does not have one. Looking at the template itself shows no support for plurals.
    • However, if you know the plural, and just want to create an entry for it - just go ahead and create it, using # {{plural of|whatever|lang=mr}} as the definition. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:49, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Just add |p= and then the plural form. —Stephen (Talk) 11:06, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I will try the both! Shivashree (talk) 11:12, 19 October 2012 (UTC)


Huh? Aren’t words with a genitive ‐’s unwanted here? --Æ&Œ (talk) 15:18, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

They are, but in this case it is a pronoun parallel to his, her etc. And those do have entries. It's also useful for translations. —CodeCat 15:21, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
One's was quasi-exempted from the vote to exclude the possessive case, for the reasons CodeCat gives. - -sche (discuss) 19:19, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
According to that vote, if the one's exception were not to be made part of the proposal, then its supporters would vote keep if one's were to ever show up on RFD. Here it is five years later on RFD. I vote keep. --WikiTiki89 19:28, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Ooops, this isn't quite RFD. But if it were, I'd simply vote keep. --WikiTiki89 19:30, 19 October 2012 (UTC)


An IP has changed the IPA for this entry on the grounds that the last vowel is really a schwa. I realize that the rhymes are based on UK/RP, but I was unaware that any native speakers pronounced a final vowel that has neither primary or secondary stress as anything but some variant of schwa. Of course, I don't hear a lot of RP here in southern California, so I thought I would check before moving the entry to make sure I have the facts straight. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:32, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

The IPA is right, it should be -ænɪməs. —Angr 22:38, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
I meant "The IP is right" above. Or the IP's IPA is right. —Angr 21:19, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Ditransitive and reflexive verbsEdit

What do you call it when a verb is ditransitive (takes two objects), but one of the two 'slots' for an object is always taken up by a reflexive pronoun? {{ditransitive|reflexive}} or {{transitive|reflexive}}? —CodeCat 15:07, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Example please? --WikiTiki89 15:50, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
In Dutch, hij herinnerde het zich "he remembered it". het (it) is the direct object, zich (himself) is the indirect object. The infinitive, "to remember" is zich herinneren. —CodeCat 16:10, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Then I misunderstood your first post. I thought you meant two direct objects. Anyway, is this common or is it just herinneren that works that way? If it's not very common then you can just have a usage note. --WikiTiki89 16:30, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
I have a basic problem with the proposed terminology. 'Two-object' verbs have given us trouble (!!!) for some time. IMO, ditransitive, ambitransitive, and bitransitive are much too uncommon in English outside of a linguistic context to be offered for normal users.
Usage notes and usage examples help users and (hard) categorization can help us maintain some consistency of treatment across entries. DCDuring TALK 16:34, 23 October 2012 (UTC)


Is kurec the common spelling in Slovenia or is it kurac? 07:09, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

kurec is more common but because the close sounding kurac is Serbo-Croatian and is widely known across the whole former Yugoslavia, then one can assume kurac is also used, especially taking into account that it's a vulgar word and is seldom used in formal writing. This can be likened to the Russian swearword жопа (žópa) "arse" used by Ukrainians and Belarusians, although they have дупа (dúpa) or perhaps Israeli Jews using Arabic swearwords, which have become Hebrew words (not sure if this analogy is 100% right). To be precise in Slovene, use kurec. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 06:12, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Gender as a contextEdit

What is the best way to indicate that different (but related) senses of a word have different genders? For example at Dutch chinchilla and dadel an editor inserted gender templates in the senses. Is this a good way or is there another preferred way to do it? —CodeCat 12:22, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

I don't like either of those. The way I've done this before, which I hate having to do, is to have a second ==Noun== heading. But it would be nice to figure out a better format for it. --WikiTiki89 12:26, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Having a second noun section is the way I would do it. For many languages, having a different gender entails having a different declension as well. - -sche (discuss) 20:17, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Not for Dutch, though. —CodeCat 20:24, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
I haven't seen any really compellingly good approach. I think the least-bad approach I've seen is just to write a usage note. —RuakhTALK 22:02, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
This is a very common problem in Sanskrit. Many Sanskrit nouns have different genders for different senses. —Stephen (Talk) 03:47, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Vandals that undo their own vandalism?Edit

I've come across a few people lately that make a disruptive/vandal edit and then immediately undo it again. Is this a bad thing and should those users be blocked regardless? I'm mostly thinking that they might be using the page history to show off their 'trophy edit' to others. —CodeCat 20:57, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Per Wiktionary:Assume good faith, I tend to assume that those are simply "test edits", of the "Can I really edit this?" variety — or maybe of the "If I vandalize this, will anyone notice?" variety, but still without real malicious intent. Unless the same editor does a bunch of these, I wouldn't worry about it.   Re: page history: I highly doubt anyone is using the page history that way, but if you're concerned, you can always hide those bad revisions. —RuakhTALK 21:59, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
I also run across this. If it’s just a joke edit (liked adding “akshlkjdqdwef” or “lol” or removing very little content) I usually let it slide. If it’s something like removing a lot of content, adding someone’s name (sadly common), adding extremely offensive stuff, etc. I block them even if they undid it. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:08, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Even if the article ends up as it started, I always give a short block ("disruptive edits") and roll back the edits (to mark them as patrolled). SemperBlotto (talk) 07:18, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
@CodeCat: FWIW, I also think people use the page history to show off their edits. - -sche (discuss) 01:12, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Flemish and/or Template:vlsEdit

I read Category talk:Flemish language. Did we ever come to a decision about what to do with Flemish? Category:Flemish language is tagged "movecat", but it still has subcategories and we still also have Flemish entries... - -sche (discuss) 01:05, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I don't know. The only remaining Flemish entry is woater, but that is not the normal Dutch spelling. It's possible that it's actually meant to be West Flemish, which is a distinct dialect that is not fully mutually intelligible with Dutch. —CodeCat 01:39, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Are the quotations in that entry in West Flemish or in Dutch? - -sche (discuss) 01:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what West Flemish would be like, but the word 'vier' for "fire" in the second quotation seems distinctly West Flemish. The other two seem to be archaic/regular Dutch, except with stoan and woater instead of staan and water. —CodeCat 02:03, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I know we don't normally delete information, but I think we do make an exception if we simply can't determine what language something is attested in. I think it would be less trouble to delete woater outright than leave it for eternity until we know what to do with it. We could always fail it for lack of 3 citations, couldn't we? —CodeCat 22:14, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, we delete things if we can't be sure they're attested in the language they claim to be attested in. (Or could we just call it {{dialectal}} ==Dutch==?) It should perhaps also be removed from water's translation table, if it's deleted. - -sche (discuss) 00:16, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
I like the dialectal Dutch solution (honestly, the citations seem pretty much within the usual extent of Dutch to me, and CodeCat seems to largely agree above). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:34, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I've now changed {{vls}} to "West Flemish" and renamed all the categories accordingly. I've also gone through all the transclusions to make sure that they do indeed refer to West Flemish specifically, and I've added {{ttbc}} where I wasn't sure. —CodeCat 21:54, 11 November 2012 (UTC)


This Bakung word is currently spelt with a backtick, here and in Appendix:Proto-North Sarawak/asu and dog. Should it be an apostrophe or something else? - -sche (discuss) 01:21, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I think it is an attempt to make a curly apostrophe: or ʼ. See here for some sample texts (pdf format). —Stephen (Talk) 02:19, 30 October 2012 (UTC)


On s'est amusé[.]

Wouldn’t this be more accurately translated as ‘We have amused ourselves’ and not ‘We had fun’? --Æ&Œ (talk) 19:03, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

That would be more literal, but not more idiomatic. —Angr 20:42, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
In fact I would even say that that would be too literal to the point that it is no longer accurate. --WikiTiki89 07:36, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
You could give the literal translation after the idiomatic translation; I'm a fan of that. We had fun {{qualifier|literally "we amused ourselves"}}. - -sche (discuss) 01:57, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for the inclusion of the Tocharian scribe in Unicode increasingEdit

I worked on a proposal for the inclusion of the Tocharian script in an Unicode block, but I'm too lazy to work on that anymore, anyways I propose it.
I used graphics from this site, I don't know if it is permitted hence I didn't get an answer to my email, but on the other hand the site's version is from 2000.
So maybe somebody can invent a font with Tocharian symbols to suggest and exchange the graphics used from the site and redo the compound graphic.
Greetings HeliosX

November 2012Edit

Middle ItalianEdit

Is there such a thing? --Æ&Œ (talk) 01:44, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

O.K., apparently not. --Æ&Œ (talk) 03:49, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

American English to British EnglishEdit

If I have a word in American English that I know to be correct how do I translate it to British English? —This comment was unsigned.

  • Stage one would probably be to tell us what it is. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:14, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Translations for taxonomic namesEdit

Does wiktionary forbid, denounce, allow, or encourage translation sections for translingual taxonomic names? -- 20:06, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

They are okay for languages that actually use something different, such as Navajo does. —Stephen (Talk) 08:23, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
As far as I know, most languages also use "something different" from the "translingual taxonomic names" for local flora and fauna. Despite that, translation sections are often absent for translingual taxonomic names. -- 01:55, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Be specific. What languages use "something different"? I think you mean that they, like English, also have native terms. Nevertheless, they use the translingual taxonomic names, at least in scholarly or technical texts. When I said "languages that use something different," I did not mean something different in some situations, such as informally or colloquially, but that they ONLY use something different, and do not use the the translingual name. I think, in order to avoid this confusion and miscommunication, you should specify the language that you have in mind. Then we can probably tell you whether that language recognizes and uses the translingual names. —Stephen (Talk) 08:40, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I think you're thinking of the common names languages use for various flora and fauna. Those should be in the translations tables of the English common names. For example, Panthera leo is the taxonomic name of the animal known in English by the common name lion. In Dutch, this animal is known by the common name leeuw, but Dutch does not use a different taxonomic name (it still uses Panthera leo), so leeuw belongs in the translation table of [[lion]] but not of [[Panthera leo]]. In contrast, Navajo sometimes prefers its own taxonomic names for things, e.g. nv.WP uses w:nv:Naaldeehii, not Animalia, for the kingdom to which Panthera leo belongs. (But w:nv:Náshdóítsoh bitsiijįʼ daditłʼooígíí still admits to "Panthera leo", saying it's the name "scientists" use.) - -sche (discuss) 03:37, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
You misunderstand why we include some English terms on many of the Navajo pages. That Navajo page does not "admit to" "Panthera leo", it simply gives the Bilagáana term "Panthera leo" because Dinetah is situated within the United States and the Navajos have been pressed to adopt and utilize the English language. Many of the Navajo pages give the Bilagáana name for the page (we even have a special template for the purpose), all for the same reason...because, due to economic, legal, and cultural pressures, few Navajo can read or write their own language (even though they can read and write English), and many no longer even speak Navajo. We try to make the pages useful to those Navajo who do not speak Navajo well, if at all, but who are interested in trying to learn it. On the Navajo pages, we give the terms such as "Panthera leo" because it is important foreign information, and it does not mean that it is a Navajo term or a term that Navajos use when speaking Navajo. It is not. —Stephen (Talk) 08:31, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Compare also w:nl:Dierenrijk. —CodeCat 13:56, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
@CodeCat: even en.WP calls the page w:Animal, with the bold header "Animals". nl.WP still uses the taxonomic terminology. - -sche (discuss) 22:13, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
This discussion makes me wonder: is something like דוביים a translation of ursids#English, or Ursidae#Translingual? And is naaldeehii really a translation of Animalia#English and a taxonomic name, rather than a translation of a specific, taxonomic sense of animals#English? To what extent can a language claim to have its own taxonomic terms? Are Hebrew/Navajo/etc non-Latinate terms ever recognised as taxonomic (not as common) names by the ICZN? - -sche (discuss) 22:16, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Re: דוביים‎ being “ursids” rather than “Ursidae”: I considered that possibility, but despite its masculine plural form, it has feminine singular agreement (like the word for family), and the corresponding singular form is not (SFAICT) used to mean “ursid”. That said, it might make most sense to analyze דוביים as a feminine proper noun found chiefly in scientific contexts and meaning “the ursid taxonomic family”, even though English doesn't have any word like that. (I mean, Hebrew, like most languages, has lots of words without direct English counterparts. There's no reason this can't be one of them.) Given that analysis, the translation-table question becomes a bit simpler, because it's automatically prefaced by the understanding that we're looking for the "least bad" solution rather than the "right" one. —RuakhTALK 00:20, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
There seems to be some authorities that produce or record the English equivalents of taxonomic species and genus names. There is certainly one for mammals.
To me the more telling point is that someone might really want to know what the rural natives of a place call the local flora and fauna. If there is no precise, attestable English-language term we would not have any place to locate the term conveniently. We would be forcing users to use the 'search' button or 'what links here' to hunt for the vernacular names in each local language. DCDuring TALK 18:39, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree, but it should not duplicate information. If English happens to have a sufficient equivalent, then the English page should host the translation table (possibly with a trans-see link from the translingual entry. --WikiTiki89 18:49, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
{{trans-see}} is useful to discourage duplication. Conceptually, the English language entries don't raise as many issues of presentation, so they might by preferred. But I wouldn't enjoy trying to find sufficient use (not mention) of some of the precise English species names. DCDuring TALK 19:39, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
If an English entry wouldn't pass RFV, then as far as we are concerned, it does not exist. So the translation table would have to be in the translingual entry. --WikiTiki89 20:01, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
To answer the original question as explicitly as possible, I would say that we tolerate translation tables in Translingual sections inasmuch as the ones that have been created have not been deleted. Generally we seem to discourage the creation of such tables.
There is a thought that somehow English will have attestable English names that exactly correspond to each taxonomic name and that the translations ought to be there. Even if this were true, it would force someone who wanted to enter a non-English name for something with a taxonomic name entry to first add the English-language name, usually as a new page. And it is reasonable to expect that there will be instances for which there is no English-language name, eg, for a species for which no English-language research has appeared or one for which the research papers did not bother with a vernacular English name or did not agree on one.
I think we should encourage the creation of translation tables for Translingual taxonomic names and populate the table with requests for translations from the languages spoken in the range of the species and genera, particularly where such range is limited. DCDuring TALK 19:17, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I notice that for Homo sapiens we have both a Translingual and an English entry, and the English entry (not the Translingual) has a translation section. SemperBlotto (talk) 19:21, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
p.s. I have added Greek and Russian to a translations table for Homo. They are both red-linked, so somebody needs to check them (and add them?) SemperBlotto (talk) 19:27, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
  • We may need to make clear that both academic-style "vernacular names" and truly vernacular names, where one or both exist, are desired for translations of taxonomic names. So that gray squirrel ("truly vernacular") and eastern gray squirrel ("academic vernacular") might be warranted for Sciurus griseus. DCDuring TALK 19:48, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
    I would say that gray squirrel is also not truly vernacular. The truly vernacular would just be squirrel. --WikiTiki89 08:11, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
    Around here (Westchester, NY) where we also have black, tufted-ear squirrels that have escaped from the Bronx Zoo, sometimes people say gray squirrel.
    A case could be made that the English-language vernacular and other names are not "translations" in any event. Should English vernacular names appear under Translations or under Synonyms?
    Squirrel is a hypernym of any of the terms referring to the species in question and many others and possibly includes some genera beside Sciurus. DCDuring TALK 18:26, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
    Most non-biologists don't differentiate between specific species of squirrel. Unless you see two different colored squirrels at the same time, you're gonna refer to them just as "squirrels" and if you do happen to see two different colored squirrels at the same time, then the color you choose to refer to them by has nothing to do with the species. In other words if a Sciurus carolinensis were painted red you would call it a red squirrel even though it is really a gray squirrel and even though it may still look nothing like a real red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris). --WikiTiki89 18:36, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks to Stephen, -sche, and DCDuring, your answers are clearer than my question. Thanks to Chuck Entz for showing a better place to ask such questions (Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup#lime#Etymology 3 (Translations)).


Not sure where to ask this. I would like to add nom, nomp, gen, genp, etc. as aliases to the respective positional parameters into {{pl-decl-noun}}, just like I added to {{pl-decl-noun-sing}} and {{pl-decl-noun-pl}}. The reason is that it will make it easier to show only one column from a specialised declension template, like {{pl-decl-noun-n}}; all it takes is to convert the specialised template to use the new aliases and put {{pl-decl-noun{{#if:{{{num|}}}|-{{{num}}}|}} in the first line. Keφr (talk) 06:54, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Surname Kraft - I believe it is German but could also possibly be Ashkenic Jewish. I am new to Wiktionary and just opened an account.Edit

Some years ago when you could search the internet for free websites on surnames, I looked up my mother's maiden name Kraft and the information said there were some Ashkenic Jews from Russia that had come to Germany with the surname Kraft. It also mentioned the family in the U.S. that own the food Corporation Kraft. The most common being Kraft cheese.

Many changed the spelling from Kraft to Craft (although Craft was also described as being English from the British Isles). I am not very technical and when I now search on your dictionary all it says is there are no discussion pages on this name. This is very frustrating to me. I would appreciate any assistance.

I appreciate your help.

Anne —This unsigned comment was added by Ann0123B (talkcontribs).

  • According to - German (also Kräft), Danish, Swedish, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for a strong man, from Old High German kraft, German Kraft ‘strength’, ‘power’. The Swedish name probably originated as a soldier’s name. In part the German and Danish names possibly also derive from a late survival of the same word used as a byname, Old High German Chraft(o), Old Norse Kraptr.

SemperBlotto (talk) 18:17, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Merged phonemes and allophonesEdit

There are many languages where, in certain positions in the word, certain phonemes merge allophonically into a new sound that is not a separate phoneme but only occurs as an allophone of the original phonemes. This can be stress-conditioned, for example in Catalan where /a/ and /e/ merge into [ə] in unstressed syllables. In (earlier) Old English, medial /b/ and /f/ merge into [v]. What should be done with the phonemic transcription in this case? Should it reflect the historically original sound (even if it is no longer apparent or even reconstructable), or should the merged sound be treated as a new phoneme distinct from either of the original phonemes, despite being an allophone? —CodeCat 16:07, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

There has been a huge problem with this in Russian, mostly about whether a transcription with reduced vowels and assimilated consonants should use slashes or brackets. There is currently no consensus on this. Personally, I think the easiest way to solve this is to have a separate phoneme set in stressed and unstressed positions (and possibly other cases depending on the language). Another language where this really bugs me is Aramaic, where stops /b/, /ɡ/, /d/, /k/, /p/, and /t/ have fricative allophones [v], [ɣ], [ð], [x], [f], and [θ] in complementary distribution. The user who added the Aramaic entries insists on not using the fricatives in the phonemic transcriptions, but /sipˈrɑː/ is very misleading when the pronunciation is really [sifˈrɑː]. --WikiTiki89 16:26, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Dictionaries in general use phonetic transcriptions that are neither very broad nor very narrow. A good rule of thumb is that if an allophone has a separate IPA character (without using diacritics, superscripts, etc.) it's probably distinct enough to warrant transcription. Allophones that can be written only by means of diacritics, superscripts, etc., are probably close enough to the underlying sound that anyone familiar with the language will get the pronunciation right. This is only a rule of thumb, though; there are almost certainly exceptions in various languages. For languages like German where there's already a tradition of IPA transcriptions in dictionaries, we should probably follow those dictionaries' lead unless there are good reasons not to. (Thus Duden transcribes both Rad and Rat as [ʁaːt], and we should too.) In addition, Wiktionary has the luxury most dictionaries don't of having room to give both phonemic and phonetic transcriptions. —Angr 21:43, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
We probably don't want to use [c] as a phoneme in English tricky though, so I don't think the separate character-rule is very useful. —CodeCat 21:55, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
It's not clear that it is in fact [c] though. I would sooner describe it as [kʲ]. The concept of phonemes vs. allophones seemed very clear when I first heard about it, but the deeper I dig, the more confusing it gets and I'm starting to think there is no clear way to distinguish phonemes from allophones. --WikiTiki89 08:34, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
And even if it were [c], as I said, "there are almost certainly exceptions in various languages". This one counterexample does not render the entire rule of thumb useless. —Angr 17:53, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
That is true I guess, but rules of thumb can be easily abused if you don't know when to use them and when not. And it would be useful, I think, to have a more formalised guideline on this. In the end it would have to be language-specific, but to form a language-specific guideline there also has to be a general guideline first. For [c] in English it doesn't matter though, because that is an allophone of only /k/ and of nothing else. My point was specifically about cases where distinct phonemes merge into one under certain allophonic conditions, and that is the only condition under which that phone appears. In other words, an allophone that is not injective, so that one can say "this phone is an allophone" but not which phoneme it is an allophone of. Personally I think it would be good to treat such a merged allophone as a separate phoneme. So that would mean treating [ə] as a separate phoneme in the Catalan dialects that merge unstressed /a/ and /e/. If the fricative allophones in Aramaic are injective I see no reason to treat them as separate phonemes, but if the fricatives appear in circumstances other than as allophones of the corresponding plosives, they should be treated as phonemes. —CodeCat 18:16, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree that that's one case where nonphonemic allophones should be transcribed separately, but I think that on a language-by-language basis there may be other cases where it's advantageous to transcribe separate allophones separately. Aramaic may well be such a case. If it's like Biblical Hebrew, then it's not that the allophonic relations themselves are noninjective ([f t x v ð ɣ] are allophones only of /p t k b d ɡ/ respectively), but the environments in which they occur that are not 100% predictable (generally after vowels unless geminated, but occasionally after consonants too under certain nonintuitive circumstances). 23:28, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Ok, so are there any environments where a plosive or fricative could both occur? If so, then they are not truly allophones after all, just merely in near-complementary distribution. —CodeCat 23:31, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, there are cases of free (possibly dialectal or diachronic) variation: "flames of" is [riʃfe] at Psalm 76:4 but [riʃpe] at Song of Solomon 8:6. Otherwise you have to be aware of a word's morphological derivation in order to predict the distribution of stops and fricatives after consonants. (Kind of like in German, where you have to know where the morpheme boundaries in order to correctly predict [ç] in Frauchen but [x] in Rauchen.) Some of the Persian names given in Esther 1:10 also have fricatives after consonants, but they probably don't really count as Biblical Hebrew words. —Angr 23:46, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Biblical Hebrew most likely developed this fricativization under influence of Aramaic which had it first. In Aramaic they are, or at least were at some point of the language, truly allophonic occurring in complete complementary distribution. As far as I know, in the cases where in Aramaic and Biblical Hebrew one of these fricatives occurs after a consonant, it is due to the loss of a vowel that had once been there at an earlier point of the languages, when they were truly allophonic. --WikiTiki89 19:15, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
So they were allophones but because the allophonic distribution was disturbed through sound change, they became phonemes. Like how Verner's law and umlaut became phonemic after the conditions that caused it were erased. —CodeCat 20:23, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Except that there are very few cases where they contrast. My point is that at some point they were allophones but a transcription even from that time should still differentiate them. Also, I think they were still allophonic in Syriac but Judeo-Aramaic has a small number of near-minimal pairs. --WikiTiki89 15:30, 9 November 2012 (UTC)


Why do not the Latin declension templates carry the locative case? --Æ&Œ (talk) 06:26, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Because the functions of the old Proto-Indo-European locative case were mostly absorbed by the Latin ablative case. —Stephen (Talk) 08:23, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Chicken skin?Edit

I couldn't find a good way translate the (dated) Latvian term raups into English: do you native speakers of English also call "chicken skin" (as speakers of Portuguese do) the reaction of a person's skin to cold temperature -- becoming a little harsher, less smooth, with the hairs standing up, etc.? If you don't, is there some other expression in English to describe this? Thanks in advance! --Pereru (talk) 16:49, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

goose pimples, goose bumps. —Stephen (Talk) 16:57, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Undone stiches?Edit

Thanks for the information given above! Now, again asking for the endless wisdom of native speakers of English... when something sewn (stitches, hems, seams, etc.) naturally undoes itself, because of, say, the passage of time, can one say that "it comes undone", "is coming undone", "has come undone"? Or maybe "open"? Say, "the hems of this pair of pants are coming undone" / "are coming open" / "are opening"? I'm not sure about what is idiomatically correct. (This is for the second basic meaning of Latvian vīle -- not "file", but "seam", "hem"). --Pereru (talk) 13:47, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

It unravels. —Stephen (Talk) 14:05, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
unravel is a single-word option. "is coming undone", "is coming apart", and "is falling apart" also work. "The hem/seam is wearing out" is also an option but has a slightly different meaning. --WikiTiki89 14:13, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, guys! Sometimes I think you all are the best lexical resource in the whole Wiktionary. :) --Pereru (talk) 14:54, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Also, "seams split". DCDuring TALK 17:58, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
And related - when stitches are taken out deliberately, or when knitting is undone in order to use the wool again it is said to be unpicked. SemperBlotto (talk) 18:03, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Turkish invented wordsEdit

There's a group of people who believe that Turkish should be purified from foreign origin words. They hate widely used normal Turkish words like televizyon (television) or radyo (radio), because it's not "real" Turkish, and they invent new words for them (e.g. sınalgı and ünalgı respectively). Nobody really uses those words, it does not in any way represent Turkish, it's just invented. Associated websites are e.g. and They are using the wiktionaries to spread their invented words, too. tr:Kullanıcı:Burudet88 is such a user, who – after many warnings – got blocked at tr.wikt, but there are others too, as far as I know, mainly IP users, both at tr.wikt and here at en.wikt.

I guess I could RfV those words, but I feel like that's a total waste of everybody's time, because at best, maybe, possibly, one of those words could have a minimum of perhaps three cites, being the result of the active propaganda of this group of language purists. I feel like simply putting a {delete} template at such invented words. Comments? -- Curious (talk) 19:12, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

If they can be attested, then they should be kept. On the other hand, it is annoying having to RFV dozens of entries. Maybe if we notify them of the RFVs, they will want to defend 'their' entry and do the RFV work for us? :) —CodeCat 20:25, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Or, alternatively, we can make a specific exception and notify them that, due to the workload they create, any entry they create that does not already have 3 citations will be speedied. —CodeCat 20:27, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
IP user Special:Contributions/ has reverted User:Stephen_G._Brown's edit (diff) on helicopter and restored "dikuçar" as a Turkish translation. A quick Google check suggests that "dikuçar" is not a very common Turkish word (2,940 results), absent in Google books. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 22:08, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually, there are not that many Google hits: when I select Turkish as language and click next until the last page, I see only 214 results. Looking through every single one of these results I see:
  • (about 75%) non-Turkish (probably Turkmen, judging from the website names)
  • (about 25) word cannot be found at the website, just generates traffic to the site
  • (few) mentions that in Turkmen / Uyghur / Kazakh language the word for helicopter is "dikuçar" / "dik uçar"
  • (few) mentions in the form of "let's use dikuçar instead of helikopter", or forumposts: "dikuçar = helikopter" (with some duplicates, leading to the same websites)
    • (1) forumpost: "dikuçar = helikopter" [15], interestingly added at November 4, 2012, the same day that it was added at en.wiktionary; his other forumposts, [16] (-in the left menu, click "Tüm konuları bul"-), show strange/suspect words that were added to en.wikt / tr.wikt also, by an IP in the same IP range
  • (1 person) in forums, 1 person, Murat Caner, uses this word (3x): 1x spelled "dikuçar", 2x spelled "dik uçar": [17], [18], [19]
In short: in Google, I see only a few mentions, and just 1 person who uses this word. Google books: no results. Turkish dictionaries (TDK, Dil Derneği): no such word. -- Curious (talk) 17:44, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

"metal dikuçarın parçalarına vefat edenlerin yüzleri kazınmıştır." (Turkish Studies Academic Journal) This is a crop from a text, which translated into Turkish from Azerbaijani but dikuçar remained as same.-- 20:33, 14 November 2012 (UTC) contains both Turkish and non-Turkish origin words. For example there are both televizyon (french origin) and sınalgı (turkish origin). So how can anyone call this dictionary as 'purist'? Another dictionary TurEng (more famous than contains the word 'sınalgı'. This word has Kirghiz origin (you can google: "сыналгы" and see the results) and it was a suggested word for television by Turkish Language Association (see the article "televizyon" on Turkish wikipedia). I don't know why Curious mess with this word and waste his time for the deletion of it. -- 22:22, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

  • "it was a suggested word for television by Turkish Language Association" >> Maybe (I don't know), but even the Turkish Language Association (TDK) does not list that word in its dictionary. (Let's give an honest, complete picture of the TDK, ok?)
  • About dictionary "" being purist... Let me explain:
    • While the words you have entered at en.wikt en tr.wikt are not in any respected Turkish dictionary,
    • while Google Books shows not a single result,
    • while Google shows only a few mentions and rarely a real use,
    • while those few Google results are (almost) exclusively in language purism context;
      miraculously, those words show up in dictionary "". So yes, I believe "" is made by language purists.
    One of the words you entered at en.wikt is yötelmek, supposedly meaning cough in English. Searching in Google gives only 5 Turkish results for yötelmek, and all 5 results lead to you: [20], [21], (+duplicates). Except you, no-one knows, mentions, or uses this "word" yötelmek, and miraculously, that word shows up in dictionary "": . -- Curious (talk) 18:43, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
    I think that is enough evidence that is not a reliable source. Not that it matters, as dictionaries are not usages anyway; you'll need to find usage examples per WT:CFI to include these words on Wiktionary. —CodeCat 19:32, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

While öksürmek, itself is Turkish. how can you say "this dictionary contains yötelmek, then it is made by language purists" ? -- 20:11, 15 November 2012 (UTC) Instead of messing with Turkic origin words, try to find words like zırtgel -- 20:28, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Pamidor is a Russian origin word: tomato, this means isn't made by language purists. -- 13:30, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually, Russian помидор is from Italian pomodoro (pomo d'oro), so maybe did not know what it was. —Stephen (Talk) 13:47, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps, it has italian / latin origin, but it is a borrowed word from Russian in Turkish. -- 14:46, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
By the way, pamidor doesn't obey Vowel Harmony rule and has /o/ in 3rd syllable. There is not such any suffix like -dor in Turkish, so any person who graduated elementary school can understand that this word has not Turkish origin. -- 03:00, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
  • While öksürmek, itself is Turkish. how can you say "this dictionary contains yötelmek, then it is made by language purists" ?
    • Normal words like öksürmek are there to make that dictionary look like a normal, reliable dictionary. Weird, extremely rare, mentioned only, language-purist-only "words" like yötelmek are there to spread them. I'll repeat that no-one else, except you, has ever mentioned that "word" yötelmek. And this time, let me say it explicitly: you are making that dictionary yourself. There are other "words" in that dictionary, that lead directly to you. At the wiktionaries, the purpose of that dictionary is to serve as "evidence" for your edits: [22] .
  • Pamidor is a Russian origin word: tomato, this means isn't made by language purists.
    • Wow. You will use any method to mislead, won't you? As you know perfectly well, language purists like you create new words not only based on old Turkish, they also create them based on other Turkic languages. This is you: [23] . There, you claim that "pamidor" means tomato, derived from Russian. And you say that it's also in other Turkic languages (Azeri, Turkmen, Uzbek, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, other), written as "pomidor". Further, on my talkpage (tr.wikt), you write that it would be good to have more new words based on other Turkic languages, because that way, maybe about 200 million Turkic people could understand each other better. You like those Turkic languages, that's why "pamidor" is there in that dictionary.
  • As CodeCat has said, that dictionary doesn't count as evidence anyway, not here at en.wikt, and also not at tr.wikt. But any "evidence" that is presented by you, will have to be closely examined, to check if it is true and/or if it is in fact produced by yourself. The RfV process is gonna be umm... "interesting". :/ Curious (talk) 19:14, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
While öksürmek itself is Turkish, using yötelmek is not purism. It is not an alternative word to another non-Turkish origin word. Pamidor is a Russian origin word, and using it in Turkish is not purism, too. I ask you again, why are you messing with Turkic origin words instead of words like zırtgel? It is true that these new words can help understand other Turkic dialects, and this is irrelevant to purism. Many of these words (such as "dikuçar" and "pamidor") are used in translated texts and you can find some of them on academic journals or perhaps on internet. I can see that some Turkish citizens who live in abroad can use this kind of words (e.g. Sonra mis kokulu hormonsuz çilekler, hormonsuz hıyarlar, hormonsuz pamidorlar from 15.07.2003 dated forum post) and if you search these words by using different suffixes you can find more examples. -- 21:35, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I'll take the words to RfV. -- Curious (talk) 18:16, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

adding comparatives to -er rhymes pagesEdit

I was adding rhymes at Rhymes:English:-æŋkə(ɹ) when I came across a comment that said "<!--Do not add comparatives to this section-->", and it made me wonder: Why not? --WikiTiki89 12:48, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree, why not? Do people not use comparatives when they are making rhymes? —CodeCat 13:50, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Sure, but there's already a note saying "For more rhymes, add er to some nouns and adjectives at -æŋk" so there's no need to list those words again. It should actually say "some nouns, verbs, and adjectives". But I would list irregular comparatives like better and worse on rhymes pages. —Angr 22:26, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
There's no need to be conservative on these pages though. I think it would be preferable to remove the note and just add all the words to the page itself. --WikiTiki89 07:02, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Because we have the rhymes adder, we can't expect users to even see that comment anyway, because it's only visible if you edit the page manually. —CodeCat 23:10, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Is it acceptable to add my company's name in the definition page for that word?Edit

Dear all,

I have noticed that Wikitionary contains nouns such as "Microsoft" or "Google", which are company names. I am the founder of the company Iridize, and I wondered whether it is considered good behavior to add a definition for "Iridize" as a noun which refers to the company. I assume that since the policy seems to be to accept company names as words this should not be considered unacceptable. Never the less, I prefer to ask before editing to make sure.

Thank you for your kind attention, Oded

Hi Oded, Thanks for asking! We actually have specific rules for whether to allow a given company name. These rules can be found at WT:COMPANY. It also has to meet our general criteria for inclusion described at WT:CFI. --WikiTiki89 20:22, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Hi Wikitiki89, thanks for the quick reply. I apologize if I belabor the point, but am I correct in understanding that since my company's name already exists as a word in common use, and as a word in the Wikitionary, it adheres to the rule for company names "To be included, the use of the company name other than its use as a trademark ... has to be attested"? I deeply appreciate the effort put into Wikitionary by the community and really want to make sure I don't accidentally act as a Troll :)
You would have to add at least three durably archived citations of the "use of the company name other than its use as a trademark" either to citations page or under the definition itself. A durably archived citation needs to be either from a published book, magazine, etc. or the only online source we currently except is from Usenet, because it is very well archived. The three sources also have to span at least a year and be completely independent of each other (not written by the same author, etc.). To be honest with you, it is unlikely that you will be able to find these citations for your company, but you are welcome to try. --WikiTiki89 07:13, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
... and your task will be made more difficult by the fact that your company took its name from an ordinary English word that has been in Webster's dictionary since 1864, and used in it's iridescence sense since 1874. What possible meaning would there be for the capitalised form "Iridize" other than referring to your company (and are we allowed to spell it "Iridise" in the UK?) "font-family:verdana">Dbfirs 14:33, 21 December 2012 (UTC)


In the translation of the one example in that page, the wording seems bad to me, though I can't seem to find a better solution that would both translate the sentence and preserve the word order... Maybe "in the first company there serves a girl (female?) rifleman"? Thanks in advance! --Pereru (talk) 17:02, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

I changed it to "In the first company serves a female rifleman." --WikiTiki89 19:39, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
But doesn't it feel funny in English to have a post-verbal subject like that? --Pereru (talk) 19:57, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
No, it's perfectly normal literary English (no one would ever say it like that). --WikiTiki89 20:03, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
FWIW, I would say "a female rifleman serves in the first company" or "in the first company [there] is a female rifleman". - -sche (discuss) 20:59, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

a word what does it mean?Edit

I had watch the flim named lord of the ring.there at first one women voice utter a word gollum.what does it mean ?tell me please.

Have you checked Gollum? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:50, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
“gollum” is the onomatopoeia of Sméagol’s cough, and eventually became his nickname. — Ungoliant (Falai) 16:11, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Concatenation and hyphenation in American EnglishEdit

Hi where can I find a good guide to how words are conjoined and hyphenated in US English ? I recently started reading a lot of Science Fiction in US Eng and the when and how of joining words together or where and how to use hyphens is driving me barmy. I am accepting of the use of strange seeming compound words in quotations eg. colour eg. "How does what would be a six month cram-course for a human with top of the line hypnocubes turn out to be three days for a, a Trek?" However it is hard to accept in the body (narrative)text eg. What he saw in the wall caused him to pump the gun live and to kick the latch-plate with the toe of his boot.

I didn’t understand a thing you wrote after "I am accepting of". However, a good guide for hyphenation of U.S. English is The Word Book, by Kaethe Ellis. →ISBN. —Stephen (Talk) 20:40, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the book recommendtion. the bit after 'I am accepting of' is just me trying to explain that I have no problem with characters speaking in a dialect or being portrayed as speaking poorly by using nonstandard contractions and spellings etc. but are having trouble when the narrative text is also in that dialect.

Now, that book is just a long list of words with stress marks, hyphenation points, and concatenation hyphens. It doesn’t explain the logic or rules for it. American hyphenation is pronunciation-based, so the word present, meaning gift, is hyphenated pres-ent (because "pres" comes closest to the actual pronunciation of the first syllable); the verb to present is hyphenated pre-sent (because "pre" comes closest to the actual pronunciation of the first syllable). The word knowledge is hyphenated knowl-edge (because "knowl" suggests a short vowel, while "know" would be a long vowel). As for concatenation, I have never encountered the rules for that, if there are any. —Stephen (Talk) 21:43, 14 November 2012 (UTC)


For that (poetic) word, one of the examples I found was in a little poem (or song), which I translated into English; I am, however, again unsure (and would profusely thank native speaker input) about the first line, kalni dun un ielejas. With kalni = "mountains, hills", un = "and" and ielejas = "valleys", we're left with the verb dun, infinitive dunēt, a noise verb, which my trusty Latvian-English dictionary translates as "to drone, to boom; (of thunder) to roll". But the sentence is about mountains and valleys; do they "drone", "boom", or "roll" in any meaningful sense? The Latvian-Latvian dictionary I use (the LLVV, available online) describes dunēt as (translation mine) "to produce a low, hollow noise, usually with an echo (e.g., a hard, heavy object hitting something); also, e.g., about the earth: to make a low, hollow sound, especially after a shock or crash". Maybe rumble? What do you guys think? --Pereru (talk) 13:46, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

If the writer is thinking of landslides, avalanches, etc., then rumble would be good. That’s the only sound I can think of with mountains and valleys. —Stephen (Talk) 17:50, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Yagi antennaEdit

So I just created this, but for the life of me I could not get {{cite book}} (Template:cite book) to do what I need. I wanted it to cite a book, not quote one. Is there some other template I should be using instead? Ks0stm (TC) 21:11, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

On Wiktionary, citations and quotations are more or less the same thing. Quotations are put in entries, citations are put on the citations page (see WT:CITE and WT:QUOTE). I think what you are looking for is a reference: a link to an external source that confirms a certain fact, like what is used on Wikipedia. For that, see WT:REF. However, as that page shows, references are not the primary means of verifying the meanings of words, for that we use citations of sources that show the word being used with that meaning, following our requirements at WT:CFI. A reference that supports a definition of a word is considered only a kind of courtesy or convenience on Wiktionary, and helps to give credence to a word but doesn't establish it as fact all by itself, like it might on Wikipedia; that is what citations are for. So you don't actually need to add a reference; although helpful and useful, it's not required for a basic entry. —CodeCat 22:29, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I was basically looking for references. Thanks for pointing out the citations page...that wasn't around last time I created an entry! Ks0stm (TC) 22:47, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
I've moved the page to Yagi-Uda antenna and made Yagi antenna an alternative form of that. I've tried to clean up the reference a bit. I'm not really happy with how it looks now but there are barely any examples on Wiktionary to work from, so it's kind of ad-hoc. Ks0stm, if you are knowledgeable in this area (I think you are, if your name is your callsign!), do you think you could create entries for driven element and parasitic element too? That would be very helpful! —CodeCat 22:39, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not exactly fully knowledgeable...I don't have my license yet; Ks0stm is the callsign I want when I do get it. However, the book I mentioned has the definitions in the glossary, so I can create those entries. Ks0stm (TC) 22:47, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

breast stimulationEdit

Is there a term, preferably a formal one, for the (erotic) stimulation of breasts with the mouth? The closest I can find is mammalingus, but that is extremely rare. --Æ&Œ (talk) 00:48, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

A titjob? ---> Tooironic (talk) 20:54, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
There's also mammilingus, with -i- like cunnilingus, but it's even rarer than mammalingus. - -sche (discuss) 21:01, 17 November 2012 (UTC)


Why is this in Category:Japanese terms lacking transliteration and Category:Japanese terms needing attention? It has transliteration, and there is no direct call of {{attention}}, so I assume this is due to a mistakenly entered argument somewhere. Can somebody familiar with the Japanese templates please explain this? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:28, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

No, I think it’s due to the {{rfr}} and {{rfex}} by the quote near the bottom. —Stephen (Talk) 23:00, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Ah, fail. Thank you. (I'll remove the inappropriate rfr, in any case.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:27, 18 November 2012 (UTC)


I was about to undo both of these edits, when I noticed that has already contained one emoticon for some time. We have some emoticons, like :-), whereas we've deleted others, like (.)(.). In practice, we seem to keep simple emoticons and delete complicated emoticons. Where does this one fall? And should we develop or do we have a policy on emoticons? - -sche (discuss) 03:42, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

This is definitely the first time I see it. I suppose RFV would be the right thing here? (I mean, if we can't verify a term, that presumably includes references to it in other entries?) —CodeCat 04:02, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
I think it would fail rfv right now, but it seems very popular all over the non-durably-citable parts of the web at the moment. It's very expressive, so it wouldn't surprise me if it stayed around long enough to meet CFI. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:24, 18 November 2012 (UTC)


Whoever this is seems to have a fixation with adding words like truly, deeply, and romanticly, in peculiar places. Although this is usually to the detriment of the articles, it doesn't seem bad enough in any one place to warrant reverting or blocking. They also had a period of fixation on words like corporeal and substance and embodiment. I'm a bit uneasy about their edit patterns, but I'm at a loss to figure out what- if anything- to do about it. Anyone thoughts? Chuck Entz (talk) 06:02, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Search by sourceEdit

Is there a way to search by quotation source? For instance, if I wanted to find all quotations of Shakespeare used to support definitions, can I? Thmazing (talk) 18:35, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

By typing "Shakespeare" using the "Search" button, not the "Go" button, in our search box you can find every entry that contains the word. More than 90% will be citing Shakespeare as a source for a quote using the word. I think most of them will contain the quotation itself. If you find some that do not, could you please insert "#*{{rfquotek|Shakespeare}}" under the definition where Shakespeare is cited? It would help us make sure that all such instances contained the quotation itself. DCDuring TALK 19:10, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
This procedure should yield more than 2,200 hits. You could try "Shak" for a few more. DCDuring TALK 19:17, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Whenever I see "Shak.", it makes me want to cite Shaq somehow... - -sche (discuss) 20:27, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
If Shaq attack were to meet CFI, then Shak attack would be an attestable alternative form. DCDuring TALK 21:12, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Requirements for audio file recordersEdit

Do we have any requirements that audio files be recorded by native or near-native speakers? If not, shouldn't we? The reason I bring this up is because I noticed that Fête (talkcontribs) added a Japanese pronunciation to さようなら (sayōnara). --WikiTiki89 20:55, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree that we should have such a policy. - -sche (discuss) 01:50, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Quebec Japanese? —CodeCat 01:53, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Agree for languages with many native speakers (perhaps those in WT:WDL). Otherwise we will have to remove every Latin pronunciation. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:08, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Right. I almost mentioned that we'd need an exception specifically for Latin! But I'm not sure non-natives should be recording audio for other languages with few native speakers: the potential for errors seems too high. - -sche (discuss) 02:14, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah. Maybe the exception should be only for dead languages. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:25, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Maybe sayonara is also used in French, just as it is also used in English, and that's what Fête was recording? - -sche (discuss) 02:15, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
If it is, it is not pronounced like that. --WikiTiki89 07:28, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
[24] - -sche (discuss) 21:10, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
@-sche I'd like to point out that Fête (talkcontribs) does claim to be a native speaker of Cantonese. Maybe it's just the text that should be changed rather than removeing the audio? --WikiTiki89 21:15, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Huh, interesting that they would tag it as a Quebec pronunciation, then. I dunno what to do with it, then. - -sche (discuss) 22:00, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
My take on it is that he must have come up with some quickie copy-and-paste boilerplate for posting audio files, and just forgets to edit out the Quebec part. I've seen at least one edit where he went back and changed that part. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:15, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

definition origin for "evitative"Edit

The article for evitative seems to lack references or similar entries in other dictionaries. Can the source of this definition be confirmed?

  • Did you consider doing a Google book search? Lots of hits with our meaning. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:24, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Why can’t foreigners be used for citations?Edit

When it comes to citations, works by authors who do not speak English on a native level are undesired. I was told that that is because they make [more] mistakes, which doesn’t seem like an adequate reason. Natives can make many mistakes, and foreigners can be correct about a lot of things, no?

Shouldn’t we delete entries like ze and herro, since they are from non‐Natives? --Æ&Œ (talk) 03:56, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

My understanding is that works by non-native speakers are not necessarily excluded—several famous English-language authors are non-native speakers—but works which contain errors or nonstandard spellings or senses are viewed sceptically and sometimes excluded. [[vacuüm]] and several entries like it were cited using mostly English texts written by Dutch speakers. The works otherwise spell things normally and use words with their regular meanings (the writing is professional quality), and vacuüm is unlikely to be a typo, but it is a pedantic spelling that Dutch speakers — whose cognate is spelled exactly the same way — could reasonably be expected to have employed intentionally. Thus, the word is tagged "chiefly Netherlands" and kept. In contrast, a work containing a line like "these is the reasonig I can go not today" is likely to be rejected if offered as a citation of "reasonig", regardless (or should I say regardress) of whether it was written by a native or a non-native speaker. As you say, native speakers can make mistakes, too.
"Ze" and "herro" are different from "vacuüm": native writers of English are often the ones who use those spellings, putting them into the mouths of foreign characters. In contrast, actual foreigners (e.g. people raised speaking French who now write in English) are unlikely to write "ze" unless using it the way English writers use it, i.e. knowing it's a nonstandard spelling and intending it to convey an accented pronunciation of the word. - -sche (discuss) 05:01, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Good response, but according to Wiktionnaire, ‘ze’ is used in French. How reliable that is, I cannot say now. --Æ&Œ (talk) 05:22, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) I wouldn't say "on a native level", except for pronunciation. I would say "fluent", though. I would have no problem using quotes from w:Joseph Conrad, for instance, since his novels show an excellent mastery of English. Remember that usage is our main standard for inclusion, so we need to be sure we're accurate about what's actually used in a given language. Saying that become means receive just because German speakers tend to say things like "I want to become a hamburger" would be a very bad idea. We should, of course, make an exception for recognized lects that are the result of large concentrations of bilingual speakers in an area.
As for your two examples: those are eye-dialect, which is how native English speakers characterize (or too often, caricature) the speech of those who speak differently. Some eye-dialect even goes so far as to be inaccurate, racist, and offensive to those whose speech is represented. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:26, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree with -sche's statement. I would summarize that we tend to view skeptically attestation from apparently non-native speakers for what seem to us to be errors, obsolete words, or expressions, seemingly produced as calques, that are not used by native speakers. DCDuring TALK 05:28, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Was dente nominative?Edit

*dente was a nominative noun in Vulgar Latin, correct? --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:38, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Probably not. Vulgar Latin still had a distinct nominative, which was retained into Old French. Old French has denz, which was re-formed from the stem dent- + -s (z spells ts in Old French). —CodeCat 02:41, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
O.K., so if *dente is not nominative, what is it? Accusative? What would its nominative form look like? --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:44, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Probably accusative. The final -m wasn't pronounced in Latin, but instead it turned the previous vowel into a nasal vowel. The nominative was probably still dens, or it could have been turned into dents already, or even dentus?. I'm not sure what evidence there is to reconstruct it with, beside Old French. —CodeCat 02:49, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
I think your regional bias will determine it; VL was horribly pluricentric. Personally, in my favorite dialect subcontinuum, Gallo-Italian, I see nom. sing. *dents and obl. sing. *dente. I think Classical dens is not out of the picture, but I think *dentus is pretty unlikely, considering that the 2nd Declension is extremely well established and I know of no forms like *dentu or *dento off the top of my head for the re-interpreted oblique that one would expect to logically follow. One thing that does puzzle me is why the n did not drop out (id est Italian *dete) if in fact it was a nasalized vowel as I would otherwise expect. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:34, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Nasals only dropped out at the ends of words and before fricatives (e.g. mensa > mesa, insula > is(o)la), never before stops. —Angr 11:31, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
If this is for an etymology, though, should we really be reconstructing it? I mean, we are in the habit of adding reconstructed terms, but should we be creating reconstructed alternative forms of attested terms as well? —CodeCat 13:41, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Probably not. It occurs to me though, in light of my comment above, that the Vulgar Latin nominative should have been dēs (with an originally nasalized vowel), which would have given Old French *deis, later *dois, so attested denz really must be analogical from the oblique stem dent- with an -s readded in the nominative. The Vulgar Latin nominative has survived in French, Spanish and Portuguese in some personal names, such as Carlos/Charles, Jacques, and Marcos, as well as Díos/Deus. —Angr 14:16, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Wait, why would the nom. in VL be *dēs exactly? Old Provençal and Old French adapt this sub-paradigm of 3rd declensional nom. sing.s by adding -s to the obl. stem regularly, and 2nd declensional examples like Marcos < Marcus (vs. Marco) and Díos < Deus (vs. Dio/Deo) don't really have much to do with it AFAICT. Why would we assume that (at least for Gallo-Italian) the VL was substantially different? (But thank you for the fricative bit, I clearly need to learn more phonology.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:29, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Because of the loss of -n- before fricatives in Latin. Just as mensa became mẽsa at first, so too dens must have become dẽs rather early on. —CodeCat 03:12, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Related terms for compounds sharing one part?Edit

I noticed that some entries that are compounds have related terms that include words which share one of the parts of the compound. For example, zonnevlek (sunspot) might list zonnebloem (sunflower) because both are compounds of zon (sun) and therefore etymologically related. Somehow, this doesn't really seem useful, especially if you realise that under this kind of practice, whatever terms are listed under the derived terms of zon can be repeated as related terms of each of those. That would lead to a horrible duplication of information. So is this a good practice? —CodeCat 17:19, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

I think it would be more useful for [[zonnevlek#Related terms]] to include a note to see [[zon#Derived terms]]. One complication, though, is that some of our editors believe that ===Etymology=== and ===Derived terms=== should be strictly about diachronic etymology. The term zonnebloem may be compound of zon and bloem, but does that necessarily mean that it's derived from zon? I say yes, others say "move to RFV". —RuakhTALK 18:47, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not really sure what else it would be derived from, though. —CodeCat 19:26, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
It could be from a Middle Dutch word for "sunflower", which in turn was from the Middle Dutch etymons for zon and bloem. (In this specific case that can't be, because historical considerations allow us to know that Middle Dutch can't have had a word for "sunflower", but this was just an example.) —RuakhTALK 22:04, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
You're right, the first attestation was in the 16th century. But even if it were older, I'd favour both kinds of approach, simultaneously. We can treat it as a synchronically transparent derivation, while acknowledging in its etymology that it was first derived in Middle Dutch. I mean, if you think about it, it's not as if it suddenly stops being synchronically derived/derivable from its parts as soon as an attestation before 1500 is found! —CodeCat 22:29, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
You're preaching to the choir. :-)   —RuakhTALK 22:34, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
The simultaneous approach is what we are doing now in Etymology sections. It is only in the affix derivation categories that we conflate the synchronic and diachronic derivations. After all, it's not as if maidenhead can be considered morphologically derived at present just because it may have still felt that way to EME speakers before, say, 1700. DCDuring TALK 22:47, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Do you have an example of an entry that suffers from the problem you mention?
For some terms that have very few relatives there is good reason to include in Related terms the few relatives that they have. It makes otherwise small, bare entries more interesting and informative and can elucidate the meaning and etymology of the headword. If we have a reasonable number of contributors sensitive to the esthetics and utility of entries, this could work. Of course when one looks at some of our longer entries, this seems like an idle hope at best, but I remain hopeful.
For larger entries, those that have the worst performance and navigation problems, which would mostly include English headwords, especially for compounds, we might want to apply stricter rules. When I look at a few English terms that might potential suffer from the potential problem posited (inset, onset, setback, backtalk), I don't find the problem at all.
When I was experimenting with using categories as a repository for derivations (an effort that foundered in part because it required squarely addressing both diachronic and synchronic etymology), I was thinking that it would afford a way of including comprehensive lists of derived terms and offer a ready path to cognates for users who were interested, without actually requiring effort to enter each related term under each related headword and without the burden of downloading such a list until a user demanded it and hit the category link. DCDuring TALK 20:29, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I believe one example is northwind, which IIRC is a reflex of forms attested since much older forms of English; so your approach to etymology and derivation would claim that it's not derived from Modern English north. So it could conceivably be a "related term" at [[northerly]], but not a "derived term" at [[north]]. —RuakhTALK 22:04, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I object only to the current state of conflation of diachronic and morphological derivations. Both have a place.
I don't see any actual problem at northwind. I was asking for specific entries for compound words, actually MWEs, I suppose, that have large numbers of frivolous related terms and also any entries that instantiate the cascading-related-terms problem. It seems to me more a problem-in-principle than a problem-in-fact. DCDuring TALK 22:41, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I have encountered it in Dutch entries from time to time, but I normally fix it right away so I have no examples to show. I was just wondering what would be the better practice. —CodeCat 13:21, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
I'd be inclined to leave them in Related terms, but add only those that were in some way interesting or unexpected. One could have exhaustive lists for those that formed few compounds. I view the deciding criteria as usability: interest, rapid loading, easy navigation rather than some kind of consistency across entries driven by the mere facts of derivation. It would be slightly easier to justify if the items were in a category so that the list were not too long. For English words like time we have ridiculously long lists of derived terms which would be better off the page, but at least they don't need {{l}} or indeed any template, plainlinks being sufficient. The performance problem could be worse for lists in non-English languages where each term may need {{l}} with its multiple template lookups. Even with a minimum functionality template like {{k}} (only for languages using our default Latin script, there are two template lookups. DCDuring TALK 16:10, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

December 2012Edit

Thank youEdit

You are the only online dictionary that has a definition for "consensually". Even the spell checker in this note marks it as misspelled. Thank you.

Michael Milligan West Layton, Utah

Child languages as dialectsEdit

Probably a ridiculous enquiry, but what the hell. Could Romance languages (ultimately) be considered as dialects of Latin? --Æ&Œ (talk) 12:05, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes. Just as all Indo-European languages can be considered dialects of PIE. --WikiTiki89 12:47, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
Usually we consider that a dialect of one language becomes a separate language when it is significantly incomprehensible to those who only speak the first language, and after it has been standardized (has definite rules of grammar, pronunciation, spelling, etc.) and politicized (begun to be used as the language of education and commerce). So no, the Romance languages are not dialects of Latin. —Stephen (Talk) 18:47, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
But he didn't ask if we do consider them to be dialects, only if they could be considered dialects. And they very well could be. --WikiTiki89 19:22, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
A dog's tail could be considered a fifth leg... - -sche (discuss) 22:44, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
The planet Earth could be considered flat (as opposed to spherical). It could be, but it’s not. I don’t think that sense of "could be" is meaningful and that’s why I do not think he meant it that way. Virtually everything could be considered virtually anything. Whiskey could be considered water, Australia could be considered a possession of China, horses could be considered cows. What matters is that it is not. —Stephen (Talk) 22:56, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
For us to consider modern Romance languages to be dialects of Latin, we would have to redefine Latin, dialect, and/or the terms for all the modern Romance languages. The point is that Latin refers to the language as it was written and spoken a couple of thousand years ago. The modern languages have massively changed from that in many directions, so you would have to redefine Latin to mean what we now refer to as the Romance languages. And even if one considered this redefined Latin to be a macrolanguage like Chinese or Arabic, there's still the issue of all the child languages having their own identities as separate languages, each with their own standards and even governing academies. Also, unlike Chinese and Arabic, there's no common written standard, either. There's nothing really that unifies them but resemblances and the knowledge that they descended from a common ancestor. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:16, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
The definitions at dialect and Latin do not support your point. Also, many of them are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. There's just no cutoff point. Having written standards is also not a perfect way to distinguish them, since that would imply that every time a language changes its orthography, it becomes a different language. --WikiTiki89 06:54, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
The predecessors of the modern Romance languages were dialects of Latin, but I would say the modern Romance languages are not dialects of Latin, firstly because they're not mutually intelligible with each other or with Latin, and secondly because they're descendants of Latin and descent is (usually?) a separate relationship from dialectality. That's part of the definition of a "dialect" in relation to a "language" vs a "language" in relation to another "language". - -sche (discuss) 22:44, 1 December 2012 (UTC)


The description of "peen" calls it "the (generally spherical)end of a hammer opposite the main hammering end, used to flatten the ends of rivets."

1) The end of a ball peen hammer best described as "generally spherical" is not the peen end; it is the ball end. The peen end is mostly cylindrical. I am not certain why they called it the "generally spherical" end.

2) Most people who use a ball peen hammer use the peen end; very few use the ball end. Saying that it is opposite the main hammering end is misleading. —This comment was unsigned.

FWIW, Merriam-Webster defines it as "a usually hemispherical or wedge-shaped end of the head of a hammer that is opposite the face and is used especially for bending, shaping, or cutting the material struck" and as "a wedgelike, spherical, or other striking end of a hammer head opposite the face". I've added the labelled picture WP had to our entry. - -sche (discuss) 18:27, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Also, surprisingly, we don't have the "penis" sense yet. - -sche (discuss) 18:28, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
The peen end of certain hammer heads is the end opposite the flattish face most commonly used for striking. Hammers can have, at least, a ball peen, cross peen, point peen, or chisel peen. I don't know for sure whether all hammerheads can be said to have peens, so that, for example, the claw of a claw hammer could be called a peen. Nor do I know whether a chisel peen is the same as a cross peen or whether a cross peen is oriented perpendicular to a chisel peen. Peen seems to have been a term restricted to hammers used for shaping metal, so that all the specialized hammers used in other trades are apparently not usually said to have peens. DCDuring TALK 18:37, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Is there a template when adding a quote from wikiquoteEdit

I just added several quotes to endowment that I found from a wikiquote search. It would have been convenient to have had a template that simplifed that process. For example, if such a template were called {{excerpt from wikiquote}}, it would turn this:

{{excerpt from wikiquote|1985|Jonas Salk|Interview on ''The Open Mind''|[N]umber one: Learn to live with each other. Number two: try to bring out the best in each other. The best from the best, and the best from those who, perhaps, might not have the same '''endowment'''.}}

into this:

#* '''1985''', [[q:Jonas Salk|Jonas Salk]], Interview on ''The Open Mind'':
#*:[N]umber one: Learn to live with each other. Number two: try to bring out the best in each other. The best from the best, and the best from those who, perhaps, might not have the same '''endowment'''.

I'm not picky about the template name or other specifics from this example, but am interested in learning what if any templates exist that make it easier to leverage wikiquote when fleshing out a wikt definition. 18:02, 2 December 2012 (UTC) P.S. Bonus points, I suppose, if the template incorporated the corresponding permanent link of the version of the article that was excerpted, e.g.

I don't know of any, but it should be easy to write, except: Some q: pages are titled after the speaker (e.g. q:Jonas Salk), some after the publication from which the quotation was taken (e.g., q:The 'Burbs), some after the publication with an appended clarification (e.g., q:Rocky Balboa (film)), some after the series (e.g., q:The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), some after the subject matter (e.g., q:Military). I don't know how one template can cover all those bases and link to the right q: page in a way that makes it worthwhile using a template instead of simply linking (after all, the template you have in mind wouldn't do much that can't be don simply by hand).​—msh210 (talk) 03:14, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

English noun character length ie NUMBER OF CHARACTERSEdit

I need to know the minimum, average and maximum character length of the english noun. A table of this would be useful. Does anyone know where I can find this information?

Length in what? Millimetres? —CodeCat 00:29, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Minimum is 1 character (such as the name of vowels, like a, e, ... u), maximum is 189,819 characters. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:32, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

so what is the average number of characters a noun would have. If you know what is the percent distribution of the number of characters a noun would have in the english language

The problem is, nobody knows. Different references have different boundaries between the different parts of speech- are verb forms that act as nouns counted? Which ones? What about adjectives that function like nouns? What about brand names? What about technical names for chemical compounds? Even with a precise definition, the language is always changing, and is in use by a significant portion of the world's population, with only a fraction of it accessible to any method of study. No two dictionaries will list the same number of anything.
The English language is a huge, amorphous, unquantifiable, glorious mess. There have no doubt been plenty of statistical studies of English, and they're all no doubt no more than crude guesses. If you want to run statistical queries on Wiktionary's database (incomplete though it is- we only have 193,103 entries for English nouns at the moment), there are XML dumps free for the downloading, though I don't know the details. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:50, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
The average length of English words is six characters. This is the rule that U.S. companies have long used when they need to estimate the number of words in a document: the number of letters and spaces in a line, divided by 6, times the number of lines. This number is different for some other languages. —Stephen (Talk) 08:08, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your replies. It sounds like english isn't that well understood and you can only really learn by using it with others What I thought was a simple question doesn't have a clear answer.

I am happy though to view any statistical summary of single word nouns. ie for a single word noun what is the percent distribution of the length of the noun in number of characters with a limit to the noun size of 60 characters. I realise there are some nouns which will exceed 60 characters but they are rare enough to ignore for my purposes. Can anyone offer me these more limited statistical summaries. I will take anything

All I can tell you is the average for English words which was used by the U.S. Government and most agencies that needed to count words or bill for words prior to the advent of software programs such as Word in the 1990s that count words automatically. That number is 6 characters per words for the English language, as I described above. There is no breakdown for different parts of speech.
You could go to Category:English nouns and copy all of the nouns into a program such as Word. Word could then tell you how many words were copied, and how many letters are in those words, and that would give you the average number that you are looking for. —Stephen (Talk) 10:12, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
But that would only give you the average length of every noun that exists - i.e. it would give a weighting of 1 to both house and completability even though the first is very common and the second very rare. You really need to find a large, "typical" text and analyse it yourself. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:19, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
That would overemphasize rarer words. --WikiTiki89 10:16, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
He said he wants the average number of letters for English nouns. That statement includes all English nouns, including common ones and uncommon ones, and it excludes running texts, which will be of mixed parts of speech.
Anyway, I think we have a greater percentage of the common words listed here than we do of rare words. I don’t think there would be an overemphasis on rare words, long words, or short words. It would be the average for all English nouns, each counted one time only (regardless of how common).
If you only want the average for words that have a certain frequency of use, then you can copy words from the Wiktionary:Frequency lists, but those are not broken down by part of speech. —Stephen (Talk) 10:31, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Like Semper said above, the only real way to get an average is to weight each noun with its frequency of use, your way would give each noun an equal weight and I would hypothesize that it would significantly increase the average length. --WikiTiki89 11:46, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
It would be easier to provide a useful answer, beyond what Stephen has provided, or to make a suggestion about means of proceeding if we had some idea of what motivated the request. If it is idle curiosity, we have already provided more than enough. To help further one would need to have an idea of such basic questions as whether it was spoken or written English, what levels of precision and accuracy were sought, etc. If the motive is not idle curiosity, knowing the purpose of the estimate would help much more. DCDuring TALK 13:12, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Spoken English has no letters. And Semper already provided a means of obtaining the answer (above): "You really need to find a large, 'typical' text and analyse it". Beyond that, the six character rule seems to be the only thing anyone can come up with. --WikiTiki89 14:52, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks again for your comments. My questions are not to answer idle curiosity. I need to determine the size (number of characters) for a word in a software program. I can reduce the scope of the requirement to proper and collective nouns in the english language. Six characters won't be enough but thousands of characters is far too much. I don't have the luxury of a variable length. So what is the optimum number of characters? —This comment was unsigned.

I’d say 35 if you want to be extra safe, but between 20 and 30 should do it. Remember that people might write some really long speech disfluencies or interjections like “ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh” or “hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm”. Avoid gets() like the plague. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:23, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
From what population is the sample of words going to be taken? Does it include terms that consist of more than one word, eg, Richard "Night Train" Lane or Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks? Will the same word be in the sample twice? How big might the sample be? What is the cost of failing to handle a given noun because of its length? What is the cost of having an extra character of space reserved? DCDuring TALK 22:25, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. It sounds like 35 characters to be safe.

To answer the questions From what population is the sample of words going to be taken? The word sample will be usually a proper noun Will the same word be in the sample twice? usually not but can be How big might the sample be? who knows What is the cost of failing to handle a given noun because of its length? the noun is truncated and useability impacted What is the cost of having an extra character of space reserved? allowed

Scots balooEdit

I sing in the choir at my church, and we've been learning an arrangement of the old Scottish lullaby Baloo Lammy with Christmasy words. Some of the other choir members were curious about the title. So far, I've been able to figure out that "lammy" is just a diminutive for lamb, and we have baloo as a Scots word for lullaby. I'm curious, though, about where baloo comes from. I ran into one article somewhere that said it meant "hush", which would seem to mean it's somehow related to Scottish Gaelic balbh, which means mute/dumb, but can also mean silent/still. Am I even close? Chuck Entz (talk) 05:39, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Quotes from magazinesEdit

I have spent a lot of time struggling to put a quote from The Economist into by modelling it on what I have discovered from quote-book.

What I ended up with was much less showing than I was trying to put in. The code I used there is filed but needs more work on it ASAP.

I suspect there's a quote-magazine macro but I don't know where to find it. What would help (in this matter and elsewhere) is advice on how to put in a simple URL link like <a href=>The Economist</a> but the Wiktionary code doesn't accept such.

Someone's help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Neville Holmes

There is {{quote-magazine}}, but I’ve never used it so I don’t know if it’s any good. — Ungoliant (Falai) 05:40, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Looks good, thanks very much. I'll try it out. (NH)

It worked fairly well, but I felt I needed a subtitle and tried to add it to the definition of

(Can we date this quote?) (Please provide the book title or journal name) ((Please specify the language of the quote)):

but it didn't take. Why not ???? (NH)

Usually I add the subtitle together with title, separated by a colon (Title: subtitle). PS: you can sign your post here by typing ~~~~. — Ungoliant (Falai) 14:39, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

How to count in GermanEdit

How to count in German, preferably to 999, or more?

I would like to see comprehensive and accurate rules for writing them. (i.e., not merely a list of translated numbers, for example, as it would only be partially helpful)

That is because I have to develop a script (in Unix shell) to automatically write numbers in German, for college. It should convert 26 into sechsundzwanzig, for example. I know how to write scripts, but I don't count in German.

Thanks. --Daniel 19:26, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

  • The units: eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf, sechs, sieben, acht, neun.
  • The decades are generally formed by unit+zig but 10, 20, 30 and 70 are irregular: zehn, zwanzig, dreißig, vierzig, fünfzig, sechzig, siebzig (not *siebenzig), achtzig, neunzig.
  • The units 1-9 of every decade are formed as (number)+und+decade, but ein is used rather than eins: einundzwanzig, zweiundzwanzig, dreiundzwanzig etc.
    • The numbers 11 and 12 are irregular: elf, zwölf. 13-19 are formed as (number)+zehn (dreizehn, vierzehn etc), but sechzehn loses an -s-.
  • 100 is hundert. Multiples of 100 are expressed by number+hundert. Decades and their units are formed as number+hundert+(unit+und)+decade. For example 340 = drei|hundert|vierzig, 345 = drei|hundert|fünf|und|vierzig.
  • 1000 is tausend. The rules for thousands are the same as those for hundreds. For example 3456 = drei|tausend|vier|hundert|sechs|und|fünfzig.
    • Optionally, multiples of 100 that are not a whole thousand are expressed as number+hundert+(rest), as 1997 = neunzehn|hundert|sieben|und|neunzig (like English ninteen-hundred seventy-nine).
I hope this helps? —CodeCat 19:56, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
My suggestion:
  • First set the code up to recognise the German terms for 1 (eins) through 20 (zwanzig) and for every 'round ten' (30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90). Then, whenever a two-digit number is given that is not one of those numbers, convert its ones digit to the appropriate term (e.g. 6 becomes sechs) and follow that name with 'und' with no spaces before or after it (unless it is 0 or 1: those are special cases) and convert the tens digit to the appropriate round ten (e.g. 2_ becomes zwanzig).
  • If the one-digit number 0 is put in, recognise it as 'null'. If a more-than-one digit number is put in and the digit in the ones place is 0, ignore it and do not use 'und', either. Thus 42 becomes 'zweiundvierzig' but 40 becomes 'vierzig' (not 'nullundvierzig' nor 'undvierzig').
  • If a more-than-one digit number is put in and the digit in the ones place is 1, recognise the 1 as 'ein'. Thus 21 becomes 'einundzwanzig' not 'einsundzwanzig'.
  • Next, set the code up to recognise hundreds by doing something like this:
    Either: if there is any number other than zero in the hundreds digit (e.g. if the input is 120, 346, 982, etc), add 'hundert' to the front of whatever the result of your parsing of the tens and ones digits is, and add something in front of 'hundert' based on which digit is in the hundreds place: 'ein' (or nothing) for 1 (a special case either way), and 'zwei' for 2, 'drei' for 3, etc (identical to the terms used for those digits when they appear as the ones digit).
    Or: hard-code all ten possible digits: if there is a 1 in the hundreds place, pre-pend 'einhundert', if there is a 2 pre-pend 'zweihundert', etc. If the number in the hundreds place is 0, ignore it. (You may also add 'und' after '...hundert'; see below.)
This should work for all numbers up to 999. - -sche (discuss) 20:16, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
Oh, regarding cases where the tens digit of a three digit number of blank: to me, 'einhundertundeins' is the most proper term for '101', but 'einhunderteins' is also OK; 'hunderteins' and 'hundertundeins' are also encountered. Pick one and be consistent, i.e. always go with 'einhundert' or always 'hundert' for the numbers 100-199, always omit 'und' or never omit it from three-digit numbers. Another _0_ example: 206 is 'zweihundert[und]sechs'. Compare 122, which can be 'einhundertundzweiundzwanzig', 'einhundertzweiundzwanzig', 'hundertundzweiundzwanzig', 'hundertzweiundzwanzig'. - -sche (discuss) 04:28, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
@-sche Don't do his homework for him. He needed to know how to count in German but the rest should be up to him. --WikiTiki89 20:20, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Removal of quotesEdit

I have been spending a lot of time over the last several months adding quotes to definitions. They all seem to have suddenly disappeared (and just after I have made a donation to Wikipedia) !!! Why ?????

Neville Holmes —This unsigned comment was added by Hlmswn (talkcontribs).

I don't see any that have disappeared. Can you link to a few pages where this has happened? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:39, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
Might be related to the recent change at MediaWiki:Common.css. Did you wait for the page to fully load? Do you have Javascript enabled? — Ungoliant (Falai) 06:43, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
Does the little "quotations" link appear next to the definition for which you added the quotations? If so, did you click on it? You would not be the first person to be confused by our attempts to improve our user interface. DCDuring TALK 12:48, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
Another user having the same problem. See Talk:cromulent. DCDuring TALK 14:22, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Middle KingdomEdit

Why do we refer to China as the Middle Kingdom? Middle of what? Earth? Sky?

Because the Ancient Chinese considered China to be the center of it all. Every other place was to the north, or south, east, or west, etc. China was in the middle. The periphery (in all directions) was the land of the barbarians. —Stephen (Talk) 12:53, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
The name is also reflected in the Chinese name for China - 中國 (traditional) 中国 (simplified) (Zhōngguó), which literally means "Middle Country". So the Chinese name reminds of this nickname all the time. See also Names of China on the Wikipedia. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 22:20, 5 December 2012 (UTC)


What motivates you guys to edit here? Pass a Method (talk) 18:15, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Sheer altruism, generosity, and love of mankind. DCDuring TALK 18:17, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
It’s fun and I love learning. Helping other people is a nice bonus. — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:19, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
I'd quite like to be able to just read the site and ignore any errors that I find, but I hate leaving errors unfixed. Honestly if I could do that (leave them unfix) I'd probably only make a few edits a day. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:20, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
Thnks for the replies. For me its (a) learning things, and (b) improving my English and (c) checking to see if something really means what i think it means. Pass a Method (talk) 18:24, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm most impressed by DCDuring's answer. He strikes me as having a halo above his head. lol. Pass a Method (talk) 18:26, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
For me, it's my love of languages and of language an sich (there's an entry we need), and the fact that some languages I'm interested in don't already have bilingual dictionaries with English (e.g. Lower Sorbian) or the existing bilingual dictionaries are deficient in some way (e.g. Irish, whose dictionaries never include real-life pronunciation). —Angr 18:49, 15 December 2012 (UTC)


Doesn’t Category:English words suffixed with -philia make this redundant?
It is also surprising to me that this is categorized with Category:en:Diseases. I never thought of philiae as being diseases before. --Æ&Œ (talk) 19:41, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

These days everything's a disease, such as being a kid. --WikiTiki89 20:11, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
Philiae are not necessarily diseases, but some diseases end in -philia: hemophilia. —Stephen (Talk) 13:42, 15 December 2012 (UTC)


Apparently there isn't a category for the w:Messapian language here; even the word Messapian isn't present. I wanted to create the category, but I couldn't find out what the language code for Messapian is. Does anybody know? --Pereru (talk) 22:31, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

cms --Fsojic (talk) 22:33, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
You can find the language code of a language in the subpages of the template {{langrev}}. For example, you can search for {{langrev/Messapic}} and it will give you the code cms. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:36, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
OK. Now Template:cms/family needs to be created (and set to "Indo-European"), but apparently I am not allowed to do that. --Pereru (talk) 23:06, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
What about the script? —CodeCat 13:52, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
A variety of Greek Ionic script, the Tarentine-Ionic alphabet (Ionic alphabet). —Stephen (Talk) 15:15, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Reverting privilegesEdit

How can I apply for reverting privileges? --WikiTiki89 15:02, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Done. —Stephen (Talk) 15:06, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you! --WikiTiki89 15:08, 15 December 2012 (UTC)


Their only contributions have been entries on subpages of the user page for numerals in an unattested Whtevi language alleged to be distantly related to Basque. Although the damage from having such made-up nonsense is reduced by not being in mainspace, it's an obvious violation of consensus re: user pages. My question is: how do we deal with such cases? And is there a way to delete all the subpages along with the user page all in one step? Chuck Entz (talk) 22:14, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

I strongly oppose deleting these. Here's somebody with harmless conlang affinities who's taken the trouble to learn Wiktionary formatting and who has nicely thought out (although at times a bit clumsly, IMO) reconstructions. If there were a massive amount (30+, perhaps) of such pages and no constructive edits by the user, I would issue a warning so that they could save it and then delete them all. As it is, I don't mind. By the way, there is a way to delete all the pages with a single click. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:43, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
He has a valid mainspace edit now. I also oppose deleting these. — Ungoliant (Falai) 00:21, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Probably after reading this, as a fig leaf. Still, If I had been certain about deletion being the right thing, they would all be gone by now. They have a more thorough explanation of the concepts at their Wikipedia user page. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:05, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

the word frindleEdit

Frindle is another name for a ballpoint pen.

Yes, see frindle. It's used in one book and not suitable for a dictionary. Equinox 22:49, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Even in the book it's a made-up word. --WikiTiki89 22:51, 15 December 2012 (UTC)



is here anyone having knowledge of Punic, who could help me translating a text?

Greetings HeliosX (talk) 19:42, 16 December 2012 (UTC)


I know that this is over‐simplifying things, but does it sound understandable to describe Occitano-Romance languages as hybrids between French and Spanish? That’s what they look like, from what I have seen. --Æ&Œ (talk) 19:29, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

They do appear to be that way but it is really a dialect continuum, so in origin they are not hybrids. They are to Romance what, say, the dialect of Cologne is to the continental West Germanic languages. —CodeCat 19:53, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
It's almost like saying Dutch is a hybrid of German and English. --WikiTiki89 19:57, 17 December 2012 (UTC)


Does the word "conservative" still have racial connotations today? Pass a Method (talk) 17:16, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

When did it? DCDuring TALK 19:04, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
The capitalised form "Conservative (Party)" was used very briefly in 1830 as a contrast to the older reactionary Tories (thus having a minor racial connotation), but it very soon became a synonym for Tory, thus reverting to the original sense used since 1398. "font-family:verdana">Dbf<span style="color:#irs 22:34, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Category:Georgian terms exposing syncope propertyEdit

Created by a template. It contains about 260 terms but is red. What to do?--Pierpao (talk) 06:47, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

First, I think we need to change the templates that generate this category. The name is not in good English. We probably should change it to Category:Georgian syncopic forms. Then we just have to create the category page by adding the line {{etymcatboiler|ka|syncopic forms}} to it. —Stephen (Talk) 11:59, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:03, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Partnersh*t has been deleted twice.Edit


I have a question regarding my submission of the word "partnersh*t."

This is a word I have written a book about and have identified as a syndrome in business partnerships. Many partnerships have failed due to partnersh*t. I teach workshops on this and have captured much attention because of it. This word will soon be in the lexicon.

What is the reason for the second deletion? Was it because I inadvertently capitalized it?

Please let me know. Many thanks.

Patty Soffer [spam links removed]

Regarding "This word will soon be in the lexicon." Wiktionary is not a crystal ball. You freely admit this is not a word. That's pretty much it really. No need for anything more in this thread. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:35, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
If the word is truly widespread, someone else will add it. Adding your own word, presumably to promote your own book, is totally unacceptable. Equinox 22:49, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Relation b/w (hardly) & (once in a blue moon)Edit

Respected sir,

Please let me know, Could the follwing word and idiom be used instead of the other in any condition??

1-hardly 2-once in a blue moon

"Once in a blue moon" means very rarely, almost never, on almost no occasions (in time). But "hardly" doesn't just refer to time: it's broader, e.g. "he's hardly likely to arrive before midday" (it's improbable). Equinox 00:07, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
once in a blue moon could be replaced by hardly ever and vice versa. And I suppose there is little real difference in the two sentences "he hardly visits his children" and "he visits his children once in a blue moon". —Stephen (Talk) 01:18, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Do musical instruments have to be physical?Edit

I just created the supersaw entry and added it to Category:en:Musical instruments. But I'm not sure if it can be considered an instrument. It's certainly used as an instrument, but since it's a synthesized sound it's not a "physical" thing. So what is it? —CodeCat 01:30, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

It is an instrument in some sense (you see things like "instrument changes" in the MIDI format, even when no physical instruments are present, and I've seen the same term used in trackers, e.g. FastTracker 2, as distinguished from samples). I'd say it's fine. If not, reduce the gloss to just "music". Equinox 01:35, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we need a subcategory Category:en:Virtual musical instruments? --WikiTiki89 07:10, 20 December 2012 (UTC)


Would English speakers call a plow with two plowshares a "two-share plow"? Or a "two-plowshare plow"? There probably is a more natural term for that -- I need it for the translation of the example of the above word, Thanks in advance! --Pereru (talk) 19:54, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

two-furrow plough, according to WP. — Ungoliant (Falai) 20:44, 20 December 2012 (UTC)


Would like the Arabic script and meaning (if there is one) for this name. It's the first name of a woman from Iran I'm currently working with. Latin script spelling is approximate. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:09, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

If she pronounces it Marzieh, with an English z, it is probably مرضیه‎. It comes from Arabic مرض‎, مرضية‎ meaning satisfactory. —Stephen (Talk) 04:04, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

A paper or digtal publishing dictionary on the basis of Wiktionary?Edit

I personally created a software to extract and organize information from wiktionary (only for English). The result are saved into customized database schema right now.

The source code are written in java and is public accessible from

Based on the above work, I selected about 19000 frequent seen words and managed to pack them in a book. It is being sold on Amazon Kindle under the name of "Wiktionary More Images Mini Dictionary". I ackowledged the contents of it in CC rights and actually it is. About more than 2000 pictures are incorporated into it. Hope that could be helpful to certain people's interests. I will contribute certain percentage revenue to here if it is applicable.

I am wondering if anyone is interesting in this or similar work. I would be glad to hear.

be’ without subjectsEdit

Are there instances where the subject is missing when the conjugation of ‘be’ is used? --Æ&Œ (talk) 00:45, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, for example in the imperative (be!). I don't think that's what you are looking for, though. Can you be a little clearer in your request? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:05, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
The imperative is obvious. I was referring to indicative or subjunctives senses. Have you seen, for example, am without I? Like, ‘am tired’ and not ‘I’m tired’ or ‘I am tired?’ --Æ&Œ (talk) 02:40, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
It's never grammatically correct in normal English. There are what could be called telegraphic registers where one dispenses with full syntax due to limitations of space or time. Examples of usage might be short notes, log entries, abbreviated summaries, or (formerly) telegrams. Then, of course, there are defective utterances where words are omitted in informal conversation: "Am not!" "Are too!" Chuck Entz (talk) 03:19, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it is ever grammatically correct to use any verb in English without a subject (except for the infinitive). --WikiTiki89 17:58, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
In speech, the subject is omitted frequently in the first person, though I don't think that applies to the verb to be. (There are dialects, though, where the verb to be can be deleted in certain contexts.) --BB12 (talk) 18:18, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

What are these kinds of suffixes called?Edit

What are suffixes and other word formations like -er (soccer), -s (Becks), frequentatives like -le (cuddle), -er (chatter) and diminutives and augmentatives called, which do not form a new part of speech but rather somehow change the subjective experience of the word? All I can think of is affective but I'm not sure that is correct or whether it covers the extent of such formations. —CodeCat 18:19, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

I don't think I've ever heard a term that would group all such suffixes; they're usually treated more narrowly by either form or function as "diminutive suffixes", "suffixes of agency", "frequentative suffixes". . . at least in my experience. --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:34, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
Are you thinking of derivational morphemes? Leasnam (talk) 06:30, 11 January 2013 (UTC)


What would happen if most of the major volunteers on this site suddenly retire? Is there a back-up plan to maintain the site? Pass a Method (talk) 15:29, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

It has been happening and there is no plan, AFIAK, except possibly in some individuals' heads. It should definitely be a design consideration, favoring simple, transparent, robust, well-documented solutions to problems rather than complex, opaque, delicate, undocumented ones. DCDuring TALK 17:36, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Here’s a plan: make it so a warning appears whenever there are unpatrolled edits in an entry (since their amount would grow faster than the remaining editors would be able to patrol). Wikibooks does this. — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:05, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
de.Wikt does that, too. I think it would be a good idea. - -sche (discuss) 20:17, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Don't you think the maintenance problem here has much more to do with the interlocking template, CSS, and JS infrastructure and maintenance bots, which relatively few folks have a handle on, rather than basic content? That's certainly what came to my mind when PaM asked the question. Ullmann, Hippietrail, Daniel., and Conrad, for example, made significant technical contributions and, for the most part, no longer do. DCDuring TALK 20:35, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

synonym of hesitantEdit

This is starting to piss me off. I am trying to remember what I am pretty sure is a synonym of hesitant, but I can’t spell it. It starts with an r. I thought that it was spelt reculant or reculent, but those aren’t English. Can somebody help me, if it pleases you? --Æ&Œ (talk) 00:25, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

reluctant? --WikiTiki89 00:26, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I swear to God, I feel like I have ADD sometimes; I constantly misread words. This particular word was really agitating me, strangely. --Æ&Œ (talk) 00:41, 27 December 2012 (UTC)


Some people say the term liberal has pejorative connotations. Should we add such a definition to this entry? Pass a Method (talk) 12:46, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

It's not really that the word has pejorative connotations; it's more how it's used. If a conservative uses the word, it probably has a pejorative connotation, but if a liberal uses the word, it probably has a positive connotation. --WikiTiki89 13:40, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I think any term can be pejorative if used by or for someone who disagrees with it. American can be pejorative to a Canadian, woman to a man, capitalist to a communist, etc. —CodeCat 14:20, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Suffixes in languages like RussianEdit

I've read Appendix:Russian suffixes and am confused. Most suffixes there are compounds consisting of what is called "suffix" (суффикс) in Russian schools - a morphema belonging to a word in any case, number or person, and an ending which it requires in Nominative. Also, many "stable" parts are also compounds: e.g. -увший consists of (noun2verb suffix, in which -ну turns after root -н), past participle suffix -вш and single male Nominative participle and adjective ending -ий. Is it a normal practice and where can I read about it? Ignatus (talk) 20:29, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

The appendix contains a lot of inflection endings, not really suffixes. As for the reading, there is a lot of material about the Russian grammar. All depends on your needs, level of details. w:Andrey Zaliznyak's works are well-known for classifying the Russian grammar. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 22:56, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I meant, where to read about how to record suffixes into Wiktionary. Ignatus (talk)

Das ReichEdit

Regarding the English section: should the second sense be [[das Reich]], or do people capitalise the article in the middle of sentences? Regarding the German section: do we include the names of newspapers? If not, the whole section can go. - -sche (discuss) 18:19, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Slang for brands?Edit

WT:BRAND isn't really very clear to me. It states that terms can be included if they have "entered the lexicon" but I don't really understand what that means. In the Netherlands there is a well known supermarket chain called Albert Heijn. As far as I know, that name isn't used to refer to anything other than that chain so it hasn't entered the lexicon anymore than any other brand name has done. However, there are also slang names to refer to the same chain such as Appie Heijn or just Appie. I presume that those slang names are includable, but would the proper name be too? —CodeCat 13:09, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

AFAIK, brand names are not included on Wiktionary unless they can be attested as generic nouns. Then again, AOL, Starbucks and Rice Krispies haven't been removed, while QQ, the instant messaging program used by 784 million people around the world was deleted on more than one occasion due to lack of citations. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:06, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
But surely a slang name is part of the lexicon all the same? In a sense, Appie is not a brand because the owners of the supermarket chain didn't think of it, regular people did. But it is a name derived from a brand and refers to the same thing that the brand name refers to. So are things brands because of how they were coined, or because of what they refer to (i.e. is it the word or the meaning)? —CodeCat 01:13, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Traditionally, we've considered slang names that are derivatives of brand names to be exempt from BRAND. For example, we've used Appie logic to keep Grauniad, Mickey D's, Hesari, Hese, and probably many more. There was also an attempt to use it to save the entry QQ, although that got nowhere. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:31, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
The same goes for Big Blue. I worked on a trademark case once where the owner of the product for which a certain nickname was used decided, after ignoring the nickname for a long time, to go after other parties who were using the nickname to market competing products. We prevailed there for exactly the same reasons why a nickname would be kept here: because we were able to find published uses of the nickname referring to the product. IBM had a similar issue with Big Blue, first ignoring the nickname use, and then reversing course and seeking to register it on the basis that the use of the term by consumers showed that it was associated with IBM's products. Again, IBM had to find published references using the nickname in this way. bd2412 T 15:08, 30 December 2012 (UTC)