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Tea house party in Japan (not tea ceremony)-J. M. W. Silver.jpg

A place to ask for help on finding quotations, etymologies, or other information about particular words. The Tea room is named to accompany the Beer parlour.

For questions about the technical operation of Wiktionary use the Beer parlour. For questions about specific content, you're in the right place.

Tea room archives edit

Please do not edit section titles as this breaks links on talk pages and in other discussion fora.


November 2019


Is it fair to say that "moreso" is "frequent in informal writing" as the usage notes presently do? I'm not particularly aware that I have seen this particular abomination, or, if I have, I'm sure I would have thought it was just a typo. Could "moreso" be a US thing? Mihia (talk) 23:01, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

I would never write this as one word, and would be faintly surprised to see it that way in print. Not as terrible as lessso, however :) Equinox 23:51, 1 November 2019 (UTC)
So lessso is terribly terrible, but moreso is lessso.  --Lambiam 07:11, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
In US English it's hugely common. On reddit you barely see it spelled any other way. US English treats it like a single unit, so you can say "It's X moreso than Y", which is wrong to me but very common now. Ƿidsiþ 08:52, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Just spitballing, but is moreso used only where pure quantity is not what is being compared, eg. The sweater is purple moreso than blue, but not there is one moreso in a baker's dozen. DCDuring (talk) 13:17, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
I can't see how the baker's-dozen sentence would make sense regardless of spacing. Equinox 01:11, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
Right. Maybe no one else can, either, so there is no such usage. That is, "more" (with a restriction to comparisons of degree, not quantity) is the definition of moreso. Or we could just say that it is nonstandard, used only by Occidental colonials. DCDuring (talk) 13:55, 10 November 2019 (UTC)


"An evil or wrongdoing." I've just marked this as formal, as it seems like one of the Latin words that occur in English mainly as part of fixed legal phrases etc. I'm wondering whether it is even used on its own. And does the given plural malums exist? I couldn't find it with a quick GBooks trawl. Equinox 23:50, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

No such s plural found. Almost all occurrences in English texts are in italics and carry a Latin attribute (malum actionis, malum afflictionis, malum arduum, malum carmen, malum consilium, malum culpae, malum in re, malum in se, malum incommodi, malum ingenium, malum inhonestum, malum injustitiae, malum innocentis, malum inter se, malum metaphysicum, malum morale, malum mortuum, malum nocentis, malum passionis, malum peccati, malum per se, malum poenae, malum principium, malum prohibitum, malum propositum). Some (e.g. malum peccati) are theological phrases. The preferred plural is mala (e.g. mala prohibita). The rare isolated occurrences are invariably also in italics and look like code-switching to me, as when discussing a text written in Latin.  --Lambiam 07:50, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
Shall we RFD this bad boy? Equinox 10:25, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
We don't call medical and legal Latin terms Latin. It is not from neglect, but rather because some of our classicists have looked down their noses at anything Latin-like more recent than Late Latin. My suggestion that they be deemed Translingual fell on deaf ears. Unless we declare them non-words, they then must be English.
Century has 4 definitions, all nouns, for malum, according to Wordnik:
  1. In pathology, a disease.
  2. Inflammation of the sclera in the aged.
  3. A chronic destructive disease of one of the larger joints, usually the hip, which occurs in advanced life.
  4. In law, an evil.
I can only find "a disease" and "an evil" in Century 1911.
This might be a matter for BP. I hope it doesn't need a vote. DCDuring (talk) 18:44, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
It seems that the law senses are all multi-word Latin phrases that start with malum; as far as I can tell just malum does not have a legal sense by itself. I suspect the same holds for the medical senses. It is fine to have separate entries for malum prohibitum, malum perforans, and so on, but this does not justify English malum.  --Lambiam 21:26, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
Maybe so. DCDuring (talk) 02:41, 4 November 2019 (UTC)


Here's an entry I created the other day after seeing the word in a book (H. E. Bates). I created it as a sort of vague "verb form" because I'm not convinced that the other forms exist: "let's watercress tomorrow"?! "we watercressed often"?! It might only exist as "go watercressing". But clearly that's a verb and not a noun. It makes me wonder about other similar terms like blueberrying, cranberrying, mushrooming. I'm talking to myself really, but what are your thoughts? Should we create a lemma because it is a verb even if nobody uses the lemma? Equinox 03:10, 2 November 2019 (UTC)

I have observed that pattern of verb formation. Start with a noun. Add -ing to refer to activity involving the noun. Strip off the -ing to make a true verb. RV#NounRVing#VerbRV#Verb. I think the last step often comes fairly rapidly after the second, but not in every case. So perhaps we should allow for the lemma being the -ing-form for a while. Maybe we need some kind of annual or biennial review of -ing-forms that don't have attested other forms. DCDuring (talk) 03:50, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
It can happen with -ed too. Readers with long memories will recall a certain blogger who was fired from her job for blogging about people (dooced): you are not likely to find many texts that say "I want to dooce him". Equinox 03:55, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
I've been bold and converted it into a noun. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:02, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
That's wrong and I undid it. "Watercressing is fun!" could be a noun but "we went watercressing" cannot be. Basic syntax. Equinox 08:35, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
In fact the whole problem/query I have got is about this noun/verb issue. I created cranberrying and I called it a noun out of pure convenience ("cranberrying has increased since we opened up the forest!") but in reality it's mostly a verb. To "go cranberrying" or "I miss the times we went cranberrying" - that word is a verb, not a noun. But would anyone use the lemma? "Let's cranberry tomorrow", "I love to cranberry". Do you see, Blotto. Equinox 08:38, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
Cranberried is used in recipes with the meaning you'd expect and occasionally in fiction to mean something like "as if decorated with cranberries". The collocation get cranberried is comparable to go cranberrying, but indicates that the putative subject is the recipient (patient?), not the actor. But, not much further indication of cranberried as a verb, just a couple of web hits for cranberried by and [be] cranberried. I wonder whether cranberry (verb) needs a secondary. possibly figurative, meaning for further evolution toward verbitude. DCDuring (talk) 10:55, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
I believe constructions like go fishing and go sailing are verbs on the whole, but the "fishing" and "sailing" parts are nouns. They represent earlier constructions like go a-fishing, go a-sailing (= go on fishing, go on sailing). To most modern speakers of English though, it might seem as though the x+ing is the participle, but I don't believe it is, it's the gerund. Leasnam (talk) 17:57, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
I looked at the entry, I believe the first example is a noun, the second is a participle Leasnam (talk) 17:59, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
@Leasnam: Can go be used with any noun in the sense that it has when used with an -ing-form of a verb? DCDuring (talk) 22:53, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
Also: In "What are you watercressing for?", isn't a full response "I am watercressing for food|fun."? How is watercressing a noun in that usage? DCDuring (talk) 23:03, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
It seems it only works with constructions using "to + verb" ("I go/went to look", where "to" infinitives are nouns) and verb+-ing.
In "What are you watercressing for?" that is a participle. Leasnam (talk) 23:17, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
The idea of someone saying "what are you watercressing for?" (a baffled, slightly retarded guard of protected anti-poaching lands) made me laugh. Thanks. Equinox 01:33, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
This is a bad cite. Looking at the snippet here shows that this is a nonce word made up to translate this idiomatic Ancient Greek phrase in Aristophanes. It's completely unrelated to anything in the entry. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:50, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
I am not sure whether this helps or is superfluous, but I think, while rare, it is possible to find uses that are more completely verb-forms. For example, with "berrying" I found:
  • 1988, Early American Life, page 35:
    Partly because I always itched and prickled in a berry patch I may have been disinclined to nibble as I worked; but largely I think it was because I berried under a master strategist and I wanted to see how well we could coordinate our efforts...
Such forms are rarer, but with more common verbs like berrying they are out there. I suspect the reason we don't find them for "watercress" has more to do with the fact that watercressing is pretty rare than with the fact that it is not a verb. I could easily imagine saying "we watercressed by the old millstream." Kiwima (talk) 01:25, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
more to do with the fact that watercressing is pretty rare than with the fact that it is not a verb. I think Kiwima has nailed it. It's like sometimes I know a noun is countable but I can't find the plural in actual use. Do we have policy about that? Like: it's grammatically obvious that a form exists, but it may not be found in a book. (Perhaps we should ask a Finn.) Equinox 07:10, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
I think the entry at blackberrying is the way to go - both noun and present participle. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:52, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
Attestation is king. You can't say "let's do it this way because it is convenient, or looks good". The whole reason I took this to WT:TR is that I had doubts about existence of certain forms. Equinox 10:28, 3 November 2019 (UTC)

Gender of Proto-Slavic *pętaEdit

The entry of *pęta, which appears to have a hard a-stem, is given as neuter, but all its descendants are feminine. If the reconstruction indeed has a neuter gender, it would also have a different declension to other neuter words, and so a declension table would be useful. OosakaNoOusama (talk) 00:44, 3 November 2019 (UTC)


The Estonian word ette is translated here as before. As far as I know, the word ette means more like "in front of" of movement and has some other meanings as well, but the word before is only sometimes an appropriate translation and it does not have the most usual meaning of 'before' (before in time). I'm not even sure if it's a preposition. I only know that the current translation is misleading, but I don't know how to fix it. Mölli-Möllerö (talk) 07:54, 3 November 2019 (UTC)

The Finnish Wikipedia classifies it as an adverb meaning “in advance”, “ahead”, as well as as a postposition meaning “in front of”, the latter corresponding to Finnish eteen.  --Lambiam 21:44, 3 November 2019 (UTC)

round and roundEdit

In connection with my recent creation of the 溜溜轉 page, I did a search for the "term" 'round and round' and got some results- [1] [2][3] don't know if this should be included in Wiktionary or not. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 01:11, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

It seems idiomatic to me. A few book cites: [4], [5], [6].  --Lambiam 08:37, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
Also around and around. It's an adverb. DCDuring (talk) 16:32, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
@DCDuring, Lambiam I tried to make the page. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 04:47, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
I think repetition is an essential element, but I'm not fully satisfied with the wording. DCDuring (talk) 05:39, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

zich (Dutch)Edit

@Rua, DrJos, Mnemosientje, Lambiam Senses 1 & 2 of zich were split by an IP in late 2018, but I have a hard time figuring out what sense 1 is describing and I am quite positive that all the examples are really sense 2. Does it refer to impersonal use such as corresponding to men (men prosterneerde zich) or in absence of an antecedent (het is ten strengste verboden zich te prosterneren)? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:25, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

I don't see any distinction between these senses. As far as I can tell, they are the same thing. —Rua (mew) 17:05, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
I’m stumped; I have no idea what the IP may have meant with “the speakers”; no speaker will refer to themselves as zich, except when jocularly referring to themselves in the third person (“Deze jongen gaat zich echt niet omkleden voor een kip die naar vis smaakt”). The repeated “by extension” is also strange. The pronoun u may be formal, but that does not make the use of a corresponding zich formal. I looked at the other edits of Dutch entries by the IP ( and while some are fine, several others require revision. For example, I do not believe that waarderen = waard (worth) +‎ eren (to honor), and also not that meestal can mean “most of all”. Obviously, their understanding of Dutch is limited. I think they are the same as IP  --Lambiam 18:00, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
You get a better idea of their contributions if you use a CIDR that covers the whole ISP ( There may be some edits in there that aren't theirs, but the choice of languages is similar throughout. Both are in northern Croatia, and belongs to a university. I would guess that this is the same person accessing Wiktionary from school and from home or work. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:00, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
The bulk of the edits seem fine, but there are occasionally some questionable ones, especially when it comes to translating different tenses in the passive voice. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:30, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I'll merge senses 1 and 2 then. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:30, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

deserving poor, undeserving poorEdit

Worth entries?

Canonicalization (talk) 13:43, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

No lack of GBS hits, the earliest from 1816, the latest ones from 2018. There are also uses in news sources, e.g. here.  --Lambiam 20:49, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
Go for it. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:22, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
These terms seem curious to me. They would seem to be SoP, but they are subject to two more-or-less opposite interpretations, eg, for the deserving poor:
  1. the poor who deserve the poverty they suffer; they brought it on themselves.
  2. the poor who deserve our assistance because their poverty was undeserved.
I believe that the term is never (well, hardly ever) used to mean that the deserving poor deserve their poverty. Similarly for the undeserving poor. I guess that means both terms deserve to survive an RfD challenge. DCDuring (talk) 15:46, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
  • 1912, George Bernard Shaw, “Act I”, in Pygmalion:
    If there's anything going, and I put in for a bit of it, it's always the same story: "You're undeserving; so you can't have it."
    DCDuring (talk) 22:52, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I'd say they are worth creating. The crucial context is that from the perspective of workhouses/poorhouses, some poor were considered to be deserving of support while others were not. You cannot infer that context from the constituent elements of these terms. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 07:53, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

sohan halvaEdit

Pronunciation for English is given as /ˈsoːɦən ˈɦəlʋaː/. Likely? Equinox 19:19, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

This is also given in Wikipedia as the narrow Urdu pronunciation. It is not what I hear on youtube videos, also not by native Urdu speakers speaking English. The first word is fine, although I also hear [ˈsʊːɦɐn]. For the second word I hear [ɦɐl(ə)ˈʋaː]. I think all speakers I heard are either using the Urdu pronunciation or are doing their best to imitate it. English speakers not immersed in an Urdu environment will most likely just guess and come up with something like /ˈsoʊ.hɑːn ˈhɑːl.vɑː/. Disclaimer: my ears are not what they used to be.  --Lambiam 21:26, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

About послушникEdit

I have two doubts about this word: stress, and meaning. For the former, the entry at послушник says it's послу́шник, as a native speaker I know read it, but I have a song where the tune definitely points to по́слушник, and ru:послушник gives IPA for both ([ˈposɫʊʂnʲɪk] and [pɐˈsɫuʂnʲɪk]) and puts two stress marks in the inflection table. So what's up here? Are both pronunciations possible? As for the meaning, my native friend commented my translation "novice" by saying something like "it's more like «believer»", that is someone who believes in a religion ("credente" is the word he used - we were speaking Italian). I looked at the Russian entry too, and it gives «религ. тот, кто живёт в монастыре и готовится стать монахом» and «религ. прислужник в монастыре», which Google renders as «religion one who lives in a monastery and prepares to become a monk» and «religion servant in the monastery», that is, I suppose, «novice» and «monk». Was my native friend misguided, or are both entries missing a meaning? MGorrone (talk) 17:58, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

It seems obvious to me that the Russian Wiktionary means to say that both pronunciations are possible. Wikipedia (at Degrees of Eastern Orthodox monasticism#Novice) explains the term as the lowest degree in Orthodox monasticism, meaning “one under obedience”. The suffix -ник (-nik) here means “a person who does, or is related to”, while the first part is cognate with the verbs послушать (poslušatʹ) and послушаться (poslušatʹsja) and the noun послушание (poslušanije). In the context of a monastery, such a lowly position could fit both novices and servants, but I have not seen examples where the term specifically means a (non-novice) servant.  --Lambiam 23:41, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

IPA vandalEdit

This user added a lot of made-up IPA's about a year ago. They have enough knowledge to make them look plausible, but the Maltese ones were entirely fake. I've corrected them, but there is also Latvian and some other stuff. You may want to look into it. 18:07, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Pinging Neitrāls vārds.  --Lambiam 20:22, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Should English wiktionary pages use only IPA symbols in the English pronunciation index?Edit

It seems like any pronunciation symbols in an English wiktionary page should be included in the Appendix:English pronunciation. The only evidence I know of for that is here: I just made an edit based on that. It was reverted with "phonetic transcriptions aren't restricted by AP:English pronunciation": So... should there be a relationship between symbols used, and the reference for those symbols? Is that authoritatively stated anywhere? —Darxus (talk) 21:58, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Another take on this is that this reflects an omission in Appendix:English pronunciation, although it is rather a fine point. BTW, the Wikipedia article English phonology also makes no mention of nasal releases, something I think need only be noted in narrow transcriptions. And neither mentions unreleased stops, see e.g. in the pronunciation of nope.  --Lambiam 09:05, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Sure, I don't care if this is achieved by only using symbols in the reference, or by adding symbols in the reference. It's the same thing. I just think symbols used should be in the reference. And I think that's worth officially saying somewhere, if it hasn't been. —Darxus (talk) 21:37, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

Metaknowledge, any thoughts? —Darxus (talk) 17:52, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

It's probably good if Appendix:English pronunciation is expanded with a section that discusses other characters used in some narrow transcriptions, so I encourage you to add it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:20, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
Can we get something like a policy that says, if you use a symbol that's not in the appendix, you should add it to the appendix? —Darxus (talk) 15:27, 11 November 2019 (UTC)


I don't know quite how we would ever "anti-confirm" a word that has passed RFV, but I am concerned that we have ten separate unglossed senses for this word, which does not appear at all in other major dictionaries. Some senses are pretty evidently sloppy errors for things like incessant and inessive. Equinox 06:19, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps we should have a template {{erroneous for}}, a semantic counterpart of {{misspelling of}}.  --Lambiam 09:13, 8 November 2019 (UTC)x
I take it you are thinking of the apparent errors for incessant. I think the "synonym of inessive" definition should be "misspelling of inessive".
Some of the cites simply don't seem to match the definition under which they appear or, at best, are ambiguous. DCDuring (talk) 12:01, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
If we start with the hypotheses that citations of incessive are probably errors for inessive, incessant, or incisive, how many citations remain that have an unambiguous meaning? We could also allow for derivation from the Latin verbs incedo ("to advance, march, proceed, stride, move, stalk, strut") and incesso ("to fall upon, assault, assail, attack"), especially for older citations. (Century 1911 reports a noun incession.) DCDuring (talk) 12:25, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

unreal missing sense?Edit

I've also often seen it used meaning something like "unbelievable", not always in a positive sense. Like if a family member dies, it may be termed "unreal" to think that they are really gone. Is this a different sense, or a generalisation of the existing second sense? —Rua (mew) 11:19, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

I'll add a tentative definition "unbelievable, incredible, fantastic", try to find some similar usage, and adjust the definition as needed. DCDuring (talk) 12:36, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Although unreal was popular in my crowd in the late 60s and early 70s, on reflection and on consultation with others of my generation I think we used it in much the same way as awesome has been used over the last decade(s?), ie, with the meaning of the current second definition. We could remove the word fake from the the basic not real definition because that biases the definition too much to the negative IMO. The cites that I found belong under the second definiton. DCDuring (talk) 14:21, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Is this truly a different sense than sense 2, “very impressive; amazing; larger or more fantastic than typical of real life”? Applying the definition of sense 3 to the examples of sense 2 gives us “The video includes incredible footage of an eight-metre wave” and “I just had an incredible hamburger”. Conversely, we get things like “She is amazing, man! I am in seventh heaven!” I see nothing that clearly discriminates between these two senses.  --Lambiam 21:18, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes. If there is any difference other than fashionability between awesome and unreal, it is probably attributable to the evocation of the original meaning, especially in the early stages of use with the bleached meaning. There's no longer much terror in terrific or awe in awesome, but there is still unreality in unreal. DCDuring (talk) 12:34, 9 November 2019 (UTC)


Is it ateji or jukujikun? (Or both?) ᾨδή (talk) 15:39, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Part of the terminological confusion arises from differences in usage. Broadly speaking, ateji is any character (ji) that is applied (aterareta) to a given reading in ways that don't align with regular on or kun patterns. In certain contexts, authors may limit this to mean the use of characters for their phonetic values. However, Japanese authors appear to use ateji in both senses.
For 秋刀魚 (sanma) specifically, the spelling has no relation to the reading at all, so this cannot be an instance of phonetic ateji, but is instead an instance of semantic ateji, or jukujikun. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:59, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
@Eirikr: Appendix:Japanese_glossary says ateji is "use of kanji for phonetic value (sound) rather than semantic value (meaning)... Opposite of jukujikun". Is this to be changed? ᾨδή (talk) 03:21, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

never mind thatEdit

Cambridge has an entry for "never mind that", which it glosses as "despite the fact that".

Do we want that? Canonicalization (talk) 16:22, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Isn’t this a sense of never mind, also seen in a phrase like “never mind the objections”? I think the basic, original meaning is “ignore”, “don’t pay attention to”. Used idiomatically, it becomes “don’t even think about”, or conjunctively “ignoring”, and hence “despite”.  --Lambiam 18:40, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
I hope we have a usage example (not just a cite, which are hidden by default) at never mind. Also, should this fail RfD (as I think it should), it might still make sense that it redirect to never mind. DCDuring (talk) 21:02, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

default application, default programEdit

Were these entries mistakes? Should they be deleted as sum-of-parts? I was thinking that "default program [/ application / etc]" could be a set phrase ("default" for what?), but perhaps default is a rather flexible word.

  • Firefox is [the default [application for opening HTML files]].
  • Firefox is [the default [web browser]].
  • Firefox is [the default].
  • [The default [application]] is good enough.

Suzukaze-c 04:56, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

I think it is the same default as in default answer, default argument, default effect, default email account, default feature, default look, default mode, default option, default parameter, default printer, default result, default setting, default value, default wallpaper, ...  --Lambiam 12:19, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
Definitely should be deleted as SOP, per above. — surjection?〉 15:59, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
OK, I've added {{d}}. —Suzukaze-c 20:06, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

analysis of words like 米字旁 (Category:zh:Chinese character components)Edit

[ [字旁]] "[rice [character side]]" or [[米字] ] "[[rice-character] [side]]"?

cf. 金字塔 "[[gold-character] tower]" (Category:Chinese terms making reference to character shapes).

(@Lo Ximiendo, Justinrleung, Geographyinitiative, Dine2016, Tooironic?) —Suzukaze-c 05:05, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Why not simply 米 + 字 + 旁? 字 can go after any hanzi to emphasize the writing of that hanzi, and 字旁 is not a word AFAIK. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:10, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
I think it's [米 + 字] + 旁, but 米字 is SoP, so leaving it as 米 + 字 + 旁 would be fine. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:13, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
I agree that 米 + 字 + 旁 would be better. The idea to have 米字 + 旁 with |delink=1 and |1=the character {{zh-l|*米}} occurred to me, but probably not worth the trouble. {{zh-forms}} has the label "phonetic" for characters used for sound. I wonder if there can be a label for characters used for shape (字旗, 字塔), though probably not worth it either. --Dine2016 (talk) 06:01, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
现代汉语词典7 has the Hanyu Pinyin p1796 "mǐzìpáng"- so they aren't explicitly favoring a '21' or '12' formation as far as I can tell. Lo Ximiendo is doing this because the user has seen the automatically generated page 字旁 which includes Russian translations. I remember people using this like it was word in informal discussions with a Mandarin learner (me). However, 字旁 does not appear in 现代汉语词典7, Guoyu Chongbian Cidian or Baidu Baike. I would say keep it as a '111' formation for now, but I think I could be convinced otherwise if I was given more information about the origin and the usage '字旁' that indicated a word-like status. How long has 字旁 been around? How word-like was it originally? How word-like is it today? --Geographyinitiative (talk) 09:24, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

"to switch teams" = "to change one's sexual orientation"Edit

Does this usage warrant a new sense at team? Canonicalization (talk) 19:53, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Probably, especially since you also hear "plays for our team" = "has the same sexual orientation as us" and "plays for the other team" = "has the opposite sexual orientation as me/us". —Mahāgaja · talk 20:15, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
Does this sense transfer out of a few specific expressions into general use? If not, I would say it probably doesn't warrant a mention at "team", but the specific expressions can be listed under "derived terms". (BTW, there is also e.g. "batting for the other side" and probably other variants.) Mihia (talk) 22:05, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
bat for the other team / bat for the other side. Isn't our definition heterocentric? Canonicalization (talk) 22:09, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
Yes. That's how most usage of the terms is. DCDuring (talk) 22:37, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
Of course, but I think our definition should nevertheless accommodate the small percentage of cases where the term is used reversely. Canonicalization (talk) 22:46, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

talk shitEdit

  1. (slang, vulgar) To speak ill of something or somebody.
  2. (slang, vulgar) To talk nonsense or to lie.

Do BrE speakers recognise sense #1? I have never heard of it. I'm wondering if it is AmE only. Mihia (talk) 22:00, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Not a native speaker, but I've heard it before (probably in American movies/series). "talking shit about me" Canonicalization (talk) 22:07, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

language immersionEdit

Worth an entry? Canonicalization (talk) 22:04, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

No. I usually see it as just immersion. The "language" part is just there to make up for the lack of context that would be there in running speech. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:49, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

cooking with gasEdit

According to the usage note:

  • In the United Kingdom, the phrase "cooking on gas" is more usually used.

I don't recognise this as particularly being true. Before I delete it, could other BrE speakers comment? Mihia (talk) 21:17, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Do they mean in literal usage? DCDuring (talk) 23:03, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
One example, not literal. DTLHS (talk) 23:10, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
That's a point, in fact. I assumed that the usage note referred to the idiomatic expression, but it does not specifically say so. As far as the example is concerned, yes, for sure the idiomatic expression exists with "on" as well as with "with", but my doubt is whether the "on" form is "more usually used" in the UK, at least enough to mention. I don't perceive it so, but I'm not 100% sure. Mihia (talk) 23:30, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Most use is literal, for both the on and with versions. I can't tell for sure about regional differences from Google Books, but the on version seems older (by date of publication, age of author) for works that seem to be US-published or -authored. DCDuring (talk)
On Google News, the with version is mostly US, both in literal and figurative use. The on version is rarely US and is overwhelmingly in the literal sense. But increasingly there are local bans on the use of natural gas, so far mostly California, so soon the positive meaning of the expression will be gone and 'woke' folks will chide us for using the expression in the traditional way. I wonder what the approved cooking fuel is. DCDuring (talk) 23:39, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
Speaking entirely from personal experience as a BrE speaker, I'd only ever have used 'cooking on gas' and would probably have questioned someone else if they used the with variant. It sounds unusual. --Kilopylae (talk) 22:23, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
I've only ever heard "cooking with gas" (Australian English speaker). ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:29, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

Millions of Lua errorsEdit

The entry at currently gives me «Lua error: not enough memory» for literally everything past Etymology 5 of the Japanese subsection. What is going on? Is it my computer? MGorrone (talk) 16:11, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

No, I get this too. I think it's a known issue on pages which are template-heavy, but I'm not sure who's working on it. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 16:30, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
See also Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2019/November#Community Wishlist 2020: I submitted a proposal requesting for more Lua memory.  --Lambiam 19:54, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
This is particularly bad on the page for i, where all languages after Rapa Nui are unusable. Stevvers (talk) 08:49, 15 November 2019 (UTC)
I propose we ban Lua. --Vealhurl (talk) 21:25, 15 November 2019 (UTC)
I wonder if it might make sense to consider splitting languages out by separate pages, so that we'd have [[我/Chinese]], [[我/Japanese]], [[我/Korean]], etc., and the "main" page at [[]] would be an aggregator page. Similar to how we have [[Wiktionary:Tea room]], but then also [[Wiktionary:Tea room/2019/September]], [[Wiktionary:Tea room/2019/October]], etc. Comparing parser profiling data for [[Wiktionary:Tea room]], [[Wiktionary:Tea room/2019/October]], and [[Wiktionary:Tea room/2019/November]] suggests that this should reduce the memory load at least somewhat. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:36, 15 November 2019 (UTC)
The transcluded content is expanded in the page that transcludes it, so it wouldn't fix anything. The only thing that would work is having a main page that only links rather than transcludes, which would be rather poor presentation. If, on the other hand, you sent the planetary-scale "Derived terms" sections of some of the Han character entries to sub-pages, a single link replacing a collapsed section wouldn't make much difference in layout. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:06, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

Specialized cutleryEdit

Is there a reason we don't have entries for specialized cutlery, like grapefruit spoon, pickle fork, cocktail fork, egg spoon, etc. or have they just been overlooked? Kaldari (talk) 21:40, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

We're mostly too poor to have such things. Even if we might be invited where they are in use, we'd be too embarrassed to ask their names.
They'd be good entries, especially with pictures. DCDuring (talk) 01:58, 14 November 2019 (UTC)
LOL Leasnam (talk) 04:13, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

kid stuffEdit

I was somewhat discombobulated to find that our main entry is at kid stuff, which seems to me to be merely a hearing error, and not at kids' stuff. I was going to move it, but having seen the 'Ngrams' results for AmE, where kid stuff is way out ahead (assuming that the OCR can reliably pick out the apostrophe), I thought I should check with AmE speakers. What do you think? Mihia (talk) 23:36, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

I'd hypothesize, before looking at any data that, in general, American English prefers attributive use of a noun over a use of the noun's possessive form.
Lemmings confirm this for this case. Oxford Lexico's entry for kids' stuff shows kid stuff as North American. Cambridge agrees. MWOnline, AHD, RHU have only kid stuff. Among idiom dictionaries, Fairlex has only kids' stuff; AHD and McGraw-Hill have only kid stuff. Collins has both, without any regional-use indication. DCDuring (talk) 01:55, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

quality paper(s), quality newspaper(s), quality pressEdit

These look awfully SOP, but I see entries in other dictionaries:

See also quality press on Wikipedia. Does it refer to something specific in the UK? @Equinox, Mihia, SemperBlotto? Canonicalization (talk) 21:08, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

Yes, "quality press" exists as a set phrase in the UK, meaning the "serious" newspapers as opposed to the trashy tabloids. I would say this merits inclusion in Wiktionary. "quality papers" is similar. "quality paper/newspaper" (singular) seem to me to be more marginal in terms of whether these are set phrases or not. I have never heard of the phrase "quality newspaper press". Mihia (talk) 22:58, 15 November 2019 (UTC)
I made a typo. Read "quality newspapers/press". Canonicalization (talk) 23:19, 15 November 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, these would be the broadsheets rather than the tabloids (smaller text, larger pages, more intellectual). We are also missing a sense at quality (noun): "In terms of circulation, the largest group is that of the qualities, which gained 55 percent of the market in 1996." Equinox 04:38, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

ship prefixEdit

Does HMS Whatever belong to the monarch? No. Is a ship prefix a ship? No. Is a ship prefix a prefix? Yes and no. All very interesting questions in my latest book Decoding Naval Acronyms. Pious Eterino (talkcontribs) should be birched for having made this edit and everything in Category:en:Ship prefixes should be defined as a noun. --Vealhurl (talk) 21:19, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

I agree that they are not morphological prefixes. Equinox 14:06, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

the fur flies and the feathers flyEdit

These two entries don't seem right to me. We don't usually start entries with "the", and I don't think this is where someone would look for this material. They are clipped from longer phrases ("make the fur fly, watch the fur fly", "see the fur fly", "let the fur fly" .. and similarly with feathers). I can see why someone did this, because there are so many variants, and I am honestly not sure how this should be handled. We have make the dust fly, which has a slightly different meaning, and fewer variants, but which seems more like where someone would look. Kiwima (talk) 22:35, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

I used to think that the right way handle such expressions was to have the common core of all the expressions be the main entry fur fly, feathers fly) with redirects from all the major variants (make the fur fly, watch the feathers fly, etc). In this and many other cases the result is not very satisfying. Maybe the best we can to is have entries for the most common variant (make the fur fly and make the feathers fly) and have some common variants laid out under usage notes. DCDuring (talk) 04:43, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
In any case, I agree that having hard redirects is the way to go. Canonicalization (talk) 14:08, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
In this case the is not required anyway. e.g. "I'm ready to see some feathers fly as long as they are not our friends". Equinox 14:13, 16 November 2019 (UTC)


I saw this in a recent e-mail:

  • we have developed capacities in other departments who will be good partners to those serving our community mission.

Is it department or capacities that is referenced by who? Has anyone observed similar usage? Is it just a mistake? I didn't find a personal definition of capacity here or in other dictionaries. Many dictionaries have a definition that includes the word role, designed to capture usage like I am not here in any official capacity. DCDuring (talk) 04:02, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

If this was a quiz and I had to guess, my guess would be that this is a sloppy formulation – possibly occasioned by sloppy text editing – in which “capacities” means “capabilities”, and “who” refers to an implicit antecedent, viz. the individuals embodying these capabilities. But it may be corporate newspeak, along with such terminology as “serving our community mission”. —This comment was unsigned.
I'd hate to tell you which corporation it is. DCDuring (talk) 12:19, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

painting by numbersEdit

Is this expression also used in a figurative sense, with the meaning something like "completing the task perfunctorily"? ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:24, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary gives this definition of a figurative sense: “done according to a plan that has been decided previously, without using your own imagination and ideas”. The uses I see confirm that the sense is about the absence of (a need for) originality rather than perfunctory task performance. However, in the fast majority, the expression used is along the lines of “it is like painting by numbers”, for which it can be argued that this is actually the literal sense. This is less clear in attributive uses, as in the ‘painting by numbers’ approach.  --Lambiam 09:52, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
We have paint-by-numbers. Equinox 14:07, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

additional strokes and total strokesEdit

Page indicates 8 total strokes and 3 additional strokes, which implies a radical stroke count of 5. This stroke count appears to use an alternative form of the radical with the top dot removed (i.e. ⿱一𧘇). Should this virtual alternative form be mentioned on the page for 衣? Some Japanese sites indicate an additional strokes count of 2, not 3, for 表; can someone confirm this? 22:02, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

copypasta sense 2Edit

"(Internet slang) An error in a software application caused by the copying and pasting of erroneous code."

Anyone familiar with this sense? I assume it refers to something a programmer does while editing source code, right? In that case "an error in a software application" does not seem quite right, since that suggests a run-time error from a finished, built product. Equinox 22:32, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

I understand the definition to refer to a bug in the built application that arises from the incorrect copying/pasting of source code. I'm not personally familiar with the usage, however. See also copy-pasto. Mihia (talk) 18:16, 21 November 2019 (UTC)


Here is one of the citations:

  • 1577, Socrates Scholasticus [i.e., Socrates of Constantinople], “Constantinus the Emperour Summoneth the Nicene Councell, it was Held at Nicæa a Citie of Bythnia for the Debatinge of the Controuersie about the Feast of Easter, and the Rootinge out of the Heresie of Arius”, in Eusebius Pamphilus; Socrates Scholasticus; Evagrius Scholasticus; Dorotheus; Meredith Hanmer, transl., The Avncient Ecclesiasticall Histories of the First Six Hundred Yeares after Christ, Wrytten in the Greeke Tongue by Three Learned Historiographers, Eusebius, Socrates, and Euagrius. [...], book I (The First Booke of the Ecclesiasticall Historye of Socrates Scholasticvs), imprinted at London: By Thomas Vautroullier dwelling in the Blackefriers by Ludgate, OCLC 55193813, page 225:
    [VV]e are able with playne demonſtration to proue, and vvith reaſon to perſvvade that in tymes paſt our fayth vvas alike, that then vve preached thinges correſpondent vnto the forme of faith already published of vs, ſo that none in this behalfe can repyne or gaynesay vs.

Note that the actual passage is about one-third the length of the bibliographic particulars. Can one tell when the translation into English took place (which is supposed to be the bolded date of the citation)? Who chose the English words? Can one tell when the original work was written? What actually took place in 1577? Do we really need the subtitle? the location of the publication? The OCLC#? Are all the wikilinks important, eg, w:Blackfriars, w:Ludgate?

At the very least one could cut the particulars in half, as follows:

1577, Meredith Hanmer, transl., “Constantinus the Emperour Summoneth the Nicene Councell”, in Eusebius Pamphilus; Socrates Scholasticus; Evagrius Scholasticus; Dorotheus; Socrates Scholasticus [i.e., Socrates of Constantinople], The Avncient Ecclesiasticall Histories of the First Six Hundred Yeares after Christ, Wrytten in the Greeke Tongue by Three Learned Historiographers, Eusebius, Socrates, and Euagrius. [...], book I (The First Booke of the Ecclesiasticall Historye of Socrates Scholasticvs), page 225:
[VV]e are able with playne demonſtration to proue, and vvith reaſon to perſvvade that in tymes paſt our fayth vvas alike, that then vve preached thinges correſpondent vnto the forme of faith already published of vs, ſo that none in this behalfe can repyne or gaynesay vs.

Furthermore the portion of text covering the w:Nicene Council was probably authored by Socrates Scholasticus alone in the early middle of the 4th century.

I wish this kind of bibliographic excess and misunderstanding of our citation format was one of a kind. I'm afraid it isn't.

Does anyone think any of our users need our entries to have this kind of biblographic detail? DCDuring (talk) 02:32, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

It's been discussed before (Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2018/May#Some_principles_for_citations), but nothing has been done. Canonicalization (talk) 15:17, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I had forgotten about the discussion and didn't realize that we had consensus on the need to make these things less verbose. I've been going through a lot of too-briefly-referenced citations, but often find in the same entry these excessively long-referenced citations. I guess I should just start editing these things down. DCDuring (talk) 17:11, 20 November 2019 (UTC)


That circumlocutory usage note should be either shortened to a third of its length or deleted. I'd do the latter, but if you think there's any use to it please go ahead. 03:11, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

It looks like what Wikipedia calls “original research”.  --Lambiam 09:21, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
I say delete the whole note. Ultimateria (talk) 05:23, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
I agree. With all due apologies to User:Espoo, who added it, this isn't a usage note, it's a Pondering Deeper Questions note. There's absolutely nothing in it that would help a reader understand what the word means or how to use it. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:00, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Due to my edit, the usage note hopefully now does what it was supposed to do, namely help the reader understand the word's confusing plethora of meanings and feel more confident in using the word. --Espoo (talk) 21:41, 19 November 2019 (UTC)


I just added a quote from a British magazine, where the term "farebox money" appears to have been borrowed from America, since, as far as I know, fareboxes were never used in the UK. I do remember them in buses in my home town (Invercargill, NZ), and they were taken from the trams they replaced. Looking at images of fareboxes, it looks as though they have moved on from simple "money in the slot", and can now be contactless. You can't pay cash for a London bus fare any more, all payments are now contactless; passes can also be scanned. DonnanZ (talk) 13:27, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

tongue-wagging, tongues wag, set tongues wagging, wag one's tongueEdit

Which should be the lemma?

Canonicalization (talk) 21:07, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

We can rule out wag one’s tongue, since “tongue” is the subject of the verb “wag”, not its object (unlike the poor dog being wagged by its tail). While most instances of use have plural “tongue”, singular is also common (“A woman’s tongue wags like a lamb’s tail”, “watching the white man's tongue wag at us with lies”, “your grandfather never let his tongue wag carelessly”, “one fellow let his tongue wag too much for wisdom”, “wine sets my tongue wagging”, ...). Then there is also wagging tongue (“the wagging tongue is the oldest and greatest advertising medium in the whole world”, “the wagging tongue that burns and destroys”, “man, that plausible creature whose wagging tongue so often hides the despair and darkness in his heart”, “they spread their calumnies with their wagging tongues in all regions of the world”, ...). I’d use someone's tongue wags (Phrase? Verb?) and wagging tongue (Noun) as lemmas and make redirects for the attestable other forms.  --Lambiam 09:42, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
An unnatural lemma can be made to work only if it is the target of redirects (I'd opt for hard redirects). All of the terms that are headwords at other dictionaries should be redirects. I don't know how many others are worth the typing to add. DCDuring (talk) 14:25, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

y- -tEdit

Any example of y- -t, which is referred to in en- -en --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:43, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

yclept = y- + clepe + -t. DCDuring (talk) 14:28, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

gateway drugEdit

Is this also used figuratively? ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:36, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Yes, at least in musical contexts. [7] [8] ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:49, 20 November 2019 (UTC)


The third sense is "to shuffle or move a member back to the group they belong to". I'm not really sure what this means (is "member" a person, element of a class, something else?) and I somewhat doubt that something with this type of seemingly causative activity would be intransitive. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:43, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

not bear thinking aboutEdit

Adverb? It's not even defined as one. Canonicalization (talk) 15:14, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

It's a complete predicate. "Phrase" seems like the right L3 to me. DCDuring (talk) 16:25, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
What does bear thinking about is an entry for bear thinking about and whether not bear thinking about should be a redirect thereto. DCDuring (talk) 16:29, 20 November 2019 (UTC)


This is a word that's been floating around in my family. I've only ever heard it, never seen it in print, so my spelling is a guess. The word basically means "nothing", and is used in collocations like, "He has schmotz in his hand of cards," or "They don't know schmotz about XYZ," or "I did all that work, and I got schmotz for my trouble." That branch of my family traces back (in part) to German-speaking Elsaß, modern-day Alsace, and I suspect this is a dialectal variation from standard German Schmutz (dirt, soiling).

Has anyone else heard of this word? Curious, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:46, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

green privilegeEdit

"Green" refers to both money and the environment. Kiwima has a very strong track record of passing RFVs by adding citations that use a word but not in the challenged sense (which hurts us as a dictionary). Can we please get some third-party input on her reversion of my edit here? Thanks. [9] Equinox 04:08, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

The 2017 citation seems to be about something different than the other 2. I don't know whether the definition is right. DCDuring (talk) 04:47, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
I think that on its own the 2017 citation could plausibly be about wealth privilege, but it could indeed relate to the environment instead. Looking at the context, which is about possible gentrification by ecological urban design, I'd be inclined to accept it as a valid cite. There have been some famous examples where greening city districts has been said in the media to amplify or lead to gentrification (though as always, the evidence is less clear-cut). There is a possible double entendre in the use of this term but the link to wealth is clearly in the text. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 07:53, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
For another rabble-rousing pun see “(If You Ain't Got the) Dough-Re-Mi”, a lyric by Woody Guthrie. DCDuring (talk) 16:01, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
From the context, couldn't a poor, but well-connected Swedish politician enjoy green privilege? Green ("money") is mostly an informal/slang US usage (where currency has actually been green in color). I don't see that the environmental-policy-wonk citation would support that meaning.
It seems to me that green can be about the source of privilege (principally in rabble-rousing, class-division works) or about one class of the fruit of privilege (principally in environmental writings). There may be a play on the dual meanings in the US, especially in rabble-rousing works, but it doesn't seem inevitable and would not be likely to apply outside the US. DCDuring (talk) 15:11, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
In some other usages, green privilege (eg, [10]) seems to refer to the fact that certain green things (eg, cars, solar energy, wind energy) are privileged with subsidies and incentives and other things (eg. GMO-based cheap food) are stigmatized or penalized. DCDuring (talk) 15:40, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough, I think you're right that the link to gentrification isn't enough reason to rule out "privilege by enjoying a more pleasant/healthy environment", so the citation is at least too ambiguous to support this sense. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:48, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

My head is somewhere elseEdit

What's the correct title for one's head being somewhere else, and what PoS would it be? Alexis Jazz (talk) 06:32, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

See somewhere else. Canonicalization (talk) 09:05, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to have any meaning not derived from the constituent terms. DCDuring (talk) 15:13, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
@Canonicalization thanks, I didn't think of that.
@DCDuring well.. sort of, but not quite I think. If you say "Sorry, I was somewhere else", it means "Sorry, I was distracted". But if you say "Sorry, my head was somewhere else", it doesn't mean "Sorry, my head was distracted" or "Sorry, my head was in a daydream". It means that your head (or mind) was busy with matters unrelated to the situation at hand. In other words, you were distracted/in a daydream and not occupied, but your head/mind actually was occupied, somewhere else, so not in the current place, but it was occupied. Alexis Jazz (talk) 06:56, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
There's a difference in use as well I think. I can say "Sorry, I can't help you with your problem right now, my head is somewhere else" because something else occupies my thoughts at the moment which I am unable to suppress. But if I say "Sorry, I can't help you with your problem right now, I'm somewhere else", the figurative sense can't apply here. It's literal in that case, I'm at another location. Alexis Jazz (talk) 07:05, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
After some pondering I added a sense to somewhere else. Alexis Jazz (talk) 08:05, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
You might be right about the relative frequency of the "distracted place" and "daydream place" connotations of somewhere else, but does a dictionary user need it all laid out with such specificity? There are lots of grammatical, semantic, phonological, and fashion-based rules that make some expressions more common than others, but we haven't even covered the grammatical ones well, so I'm not eager to have us take on a combinatorial explosion of multiword expressions, unless they are indeed non-transparent. Can't the various interpretations of somewhere else be addressed with usage examples, which BTW are usually more useful than our often-amateurish definitions. DCDuring (talk) 14:17, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
@DCDuring: is there a problem with the sense I added? Alexis Jazz (talk) 21:46, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
Is it sufficiently different and common enough that it should be separate from def. 3? Somewhere else, by its etymology is a very ill-defined place, whether in literal of figurative usage. Does anesthesia put one somewhere else? LSD? Marijuana? Opium? Smartphone use? Virtual reality? DCDuring (talk) 21:57, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
Delete this sense, it's not separate IMO. Canonicalization (talk) 22:15, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
I think we need to generalize definition 3 somehow and include a few good usage examples, preferably not of our own devise. DCDuring (talk) 01:31, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
Hmmm. Two of the cites for the adverb have it occurring after is, which would make it an adjective or noun in our categories.
Also, I note that en.wikt and UD are the only OneLook dictionaries that have an entry for this. I don't think we want UD to be the only lemming accompanying us. DCDuring (talk) 01:41, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

Adding translationsEdit

I thought to add a translation of the quotation at парусник. The entry asks for one. I looked up the template "quote-book" being used and understood the two possible fields were "trans-entry" or "trans-chapter". Neither seemed to work. Very annoyingly there was no error message. Neither could the existing edit be scanned for clues as how to override the "please add an English translation..." entry.

Needless to say this is extremely frustrating. I really don't have time to offer more. Something needs to be done to make adding translations more user-friendly. We don't all have advanced degrees in Wikipedia editing. And don't ask me to use the Visual Editor, which I find even more time-consuming!

Соловей поет (talk) 12:29, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

Among the many parameters that {{quote-book}} supports are "translation" (or "t"), which would precede the translation. Another way would be to insert the translation outside the template, but immediately following it on a separate line, preceded by "#*:::". DCDuring (talk) 15:54, 21 November 2019 (UTC)


The definition states that the use as a symbol for the cross was a later development, which suggests pre-Christian use of the ligature. That a somewhat remarkable claim, so is there any evidence for that? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:11, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

There is a reference given. DCDuring (talk) 15:57, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
Which is specifically for the etymology and which I couldn't access, but I found another reliable source supporting the claim. In Ancient Greek it was apparently used in pre-Christian texts to abbreviate words beginning with τρ-; that probably wasn't the case in pre-Christian Coptic texts. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:09, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

Latin fucusEdit

Latin fucus Etymology 1, sense 5 says "bee glue, propolis"--should this be at Etymology 2 ? Also, there is a citation at Etym 1 sense 5...should this be at Etym 1 sense 2 instead ? Leasnam (talk) 18:07, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

to name but a few, to mention but a fewEdit

Worth entries?

Canonicalization (talk) 20:25, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

I normally respect lemmings, but I find it hard to agree with them. They must have decided that it makes sense for them to become more like a phrasebook. DCDuring (talk) 21:26, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

have something going for oneEdit

Worth an entry? What should be the entry title?

Canonicalization (talk) 20:25, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

Old English geaEdit

On the Bosworth-Toller Anglo Saxon Dictionary gea is spelled geá instead of gēa.

I think that it should be geā written instead of gēa due to this and I think the IPA should be /jɑː/, at least as an alternate pronunciation. I think pronouncing it like this reflects the modern yea pronunciation as the a underwent the vowel shift not ea, and the dialectal ya stayed the same.

It could actually be either way ġēa or ġeā, and Middle English ye and ȝa/yo seem to support this. However, B&T always appears to favour the stress and length of diphthongs on the second phoneme. It does this for almost all words, not just geá (e.g. leód for lēod, etc.). Leasnam (talk) 23:32, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Right I hadn't really noticed that that was how that dictionary writes all the accents. I'll add a second pronunciation. - Writend

Pronunciation of decadeEdit

(Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈdɛkeɪd/, /dəˈkeɪd/, /deˈkəd/”.
/deˈkəd/? Really?  --Lambiam 14:01, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

@Lambiam: Accoding to the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary
ˈdekeɪd diˈkeɪd, de-; ˈdekəd 
— Preference polls: British English ˈdek eɪd 86%, -ˈkeɪd 14%; American English ˈ••  93%, •ˈ• 7%.
 ˈdekəd is associated mainly with the religious sense, ‘part of the rosary, set of ten Hail Marys’.

--Backinstadiums (talk) 17:01, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

The stress is not the same. /ˈdekəd/ makes sense, /deˈkəd/ doesn't. Canonicalization (talk) 17:05, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
Note that in RP transcriptions Longman uses /e/ where we have /ɛ/. So this should correspond to /ˈdɛkeɪd/, /diˈkeɪd/, /dɛˈkeɪd/, /ˈdɛkəd/. I am not sure of the significance of the punctuation and other typography in Longman (bold/non-bold; separation of alternatives by white space versus comma or semicolon).  --Lambiam 08:39, 23 November 2019 (UTC)


Should we add 那啥? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:30, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

like a woman, take something like a womanEdit

Is it antonymous to like a man? Or has it taken on a new meaning with the rise of feminism? Or both? Some quotes: [11], [12]. Canonicalization (talk) 15:54, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

She makes love just like a woman. But she breaks just like a little girl. --Vealhurl (talk) 23:44, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
Attestation, attestation, attestation. DCDuring (talk) 01:30, 25 November 2019 (UTC)

Obsolete form of an obsolete formEdit

insearch says it's an obsolete form of the obsolete form ensearch, but I am not sure whether such statement makes sense --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:29, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

It doesn't. I've updated insearch. Leasnam (talk) 23:44, 22 November 2019 (UTC)


I have created an entry for mind-your-own-business (it's a kind of plant); however, mind your own business (the admonition not to interfere) is a redirect to mind one's own business, so I can't add the usual {{also|mind-your-own-business}} at that entry. How best to resolve, so that people searching for mind your own business also get a chance to discover mind-your-own-business? Equinox 18:46, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

You can put it in the Derived terms section. Alternatively, you could use a See also section – usually placed just before where the Reference section is (or would go).  --Lambiam 08:45, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
You could convert "mind your own business" to a "form-of" entry, since it's the second-person singular/plural indicative/imperative form of "mind one's own business". You'd need to create a representative selection of the other forms to be consistent: "{will/have/will have/had/to/[nothing]} {mind/minds/minded/minding} {my/our/your/thine/one's/his/her/their} own business". Chuck Entz (talk) 03:00, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
I’d deem creating these (by themselves somewhat pointless) additional forms-of a quest for a foolish consistency. O, that thou wouldst have minded thine owne businesse!  --Lambiam 10:14, 24 November 2019 (UTC)

Template error?Edit

The entry at می‌کند has a wrong link: instead of sending me to کردن‎ as it should, it sends me to s#Persian, a section which doesn't exist. The code is wholly a template, so the template must be misprogrammed, right? I mean, { {inflection of|fa|s|کردن|3|pres|ind} } yields «third-person present indicative of کردن», and you can see the wrong link. I tried switching the parameters around, e.g. { {inflection of|fa|کردن|s|3|pres|ind} }, and got «third-person present indicative of s», which has the right link under that S, I'm sure I managed to put the Persian between s and 3 but now the bidirectionality is messing with that and autoshoves the 3 before the Persian for some reason. What is going on? It seems to be taking the wrong parameter for the link. MGorrone (talk) 22:12, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

It looks fine now, so you must have figured it out: you have to have the language code in the first unnamed parameter, the term in the second and the display form or nothing in the third. This is exactly the same as with {{l}}, {{m}}, etc. You can't start the grammatical abbreviations until the fourth unnamed parameter. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:48, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
What I eventually did was { {inflection of|fa|کردن|tr=kardan||3|s|pres|ind} } giving «third-person singular present indicative of کردن(kardan)». This means:
  • Language;
  • Term;
  • Transliteration (named "tr=");
  • Empty;
  • Grammatical stuff, where 3 and s were swapped.

Just swapping 3 and s gives «کردن present indicative of s», and doing it with the two after the Persian gives… bidirectionality problems. Maybe I just needed to add an empty parameter, besides putting 3 and s after the Persian? { {inflection of|fa|کردن||s|3|pres|ind} } gives «singular third-person present indicative of کردن», so yeah, that works. Whoever started the entry didn't know their templates apparently. So that empty slot would appear instead of the Persian. { {inflection of|fa|کردن|oqeihgoiqeh|s|3|pres|ind} } => «singular third-person present indicative of oqeihgoiqeh», yups. @Chuck Entz: What is that empty slot for? MGorrone (talk) 23:12, 26 November 2019 (UTC)

Oh and one last experiment: { {inflection of|fa|کردن|tr=kardan|3|s|pres|ind} } gives «singular present indicative of 3(kardan)», OK, so again the empty slot is necessary. MGorrone (talk) 23:13, 26 November 2019 (UTC)

Transitive dawnEdit

Spotted on the news website Business Insider: “The gates of Buckingham Palace will then dawn a black-edged notice of the news.”[13] (Both in the written and the spoken text.) We only give meanings for intransitive dawn. Is there a transitive sense we are missing, or is this a misuse of the word?  --Lambiam 08:02, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

I watched the video. Could it be a misspelling of don ? The image shown as he's saying this shows a notice, edged in black, placed upon the front gate of the palace. Leasnam (talk) 08:10, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
I guess that may be it, although I think I do hear /dɔːn/ rather than /dɒn/ and this would be a somewhat unusual use of the verb. For others who want to listen, it is at 1:32.  --Lambiam 08:55, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
I wouldn't add it until we found three durably archived cites. I haven't found it in dictionaries. OED? DCDuring (talk) 01:03, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
A song title: "Dawn a New Day".
From the Sun: "American beauty Held has since posted several snaps of herself and her man in Scotland, dawning a royal blue bikini on a recent trip to California."
Mashup title: "Dawn The Scientist Belong."
Sports blog: "The quarterback that was all but selected for the Miami Dolphins is now dawning a white hospital garment"
Media blog: "if you want to dawn a cardigan sweater just like the one Mr. Rogers wore"
None of these suggest anything except error, don being the word for which dawn is most often substituted as Leasnam intuited.
It occurs to me that there is reasonably common 'literary' use, like "Never dawns the day when she’d walk away with nothing from the estate of a lothario who reneged on his vow to leave her everything."
Could this have led the author of the portentous video to misapply the word order? DCDuring (talk) 01:36, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
But wait, there's more:
Sports blog: "Every new team he joins dawns a new iteration of his game"
Sports blog: "Smiles and staches dawned the pitches at Oriam yesterday"
None of this is durably archived, though it would be durably archivable. News is way more productive of candidates than Books. Search string: "dawn|dawns|dawning|dawned a|the". DCDuring (talk) 01:49, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
The literary use looks like changed word order without changed grammar: "the day" is the subject, not "never". Chuck Entz (talk) 02:40, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
I still took it to be an error.
It's hard to filter out all the errors that occur with low relative frequency since we have only an absolute frequency standard (three, durably attested, etc.). It will be especially hard when we will be forced to accept blog and other on-line, barely edited usage to keep up with contemporary usage. DCDuring (talk) 03:52, 24 November 2019 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Old English f/s/þ in compound wordsEdit

@Urszag, Lambiam, Fay Freak I've implemented Module:ang-pron and Template:ang-IPA but I have some questions about the handling of compound words. In particular, there's a rule that f/s/þ are voiced between voiced sounds, but this doesn't always seem to apply. For example, the suffixes -sum, -full, -fæst, etc seem to have [s], [f] even after a voiced consonant. What about final voiced consonants before a suffix or in a compound? Cases like modern Wednesday, husband suggest at least /s/ was [z] before a voiced consonant even across a compound boundary, but was this general? Modern hussy from hūswīf has [s] not [z], and modern compounds like "worthless" < Old English weorþlēas and "deathbed" < Old English dēaþbedd where the components are still analyzable consistently show no voicing assimilation. Did forþlǣdan have [θ] or [ð]? Etc. Thoughts? Benwing2 (talk) 18:05, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

I don’t know anything about the pronunciation of Old English except for what I have read on Wikipedia, but if this worked like in Modern English, such voicing is not active across component boundaries. So a component-final unvoiced consonant does not become voiced when preceding a component starting with a vowel or voiced consonant, and likewise for the mirrored situation: a component-initial unvoiced consonant does not become voiced when following a component ending on a vowel or voiced consonant. So /mɪs/ + /diːd/ = /mɪsˈdiːd/, not */mɪzˈdiːd/. And /njuːz/ + /fiːd/ = /ˈnjuːzfiːd/, not */ˈnjuːzviːd/. An interesting case in point is the pronunciation /ˈbəʊ.sn̩/ for boatswain, in which the original /s/ remained unvoiced. A counterexample, though, is the /z/ in /ˈwɪzdəm/, so all this may not hold similarly for Old English.  --Lambiam 20:54, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
The first part of wisdom is spelled separately as wise and its second consonant seems to be universally pronounced as [z] in modern English regardless of what comes after it- so it may be phonemically different. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:57, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
All of the sources that I've seen so far agree with your statement that in compounds or "quasi-compounds" like the words ending in -sum or -full, a f/s/þ at the start of the second element is voiceless regardless of what precedes it. If suffixes like -sum, -full are viewed as occupying a separate foot from the rest of the word, this could be explained with a rule like "a foot-initial f/s/þ is voiceless regardless of the surrounding sounds". There is also agreement that other cases of intervocalic f/s/þ were voiced when the preceding syllable was stressed, or in other words, that a foot-medial intervocalic fricative was voiced. It seems to be a widespread idea that when the preceding syllable was unstressed, an intervocalic f/s/þ was voiceless, even if in the middle or at the end of a morpheme (The Development of Old English, by Don Ringe and Ann Taylor, 2014, page 262-263). There aren't that many words where a non-morpheme-initial f/s/þ occurs between vowels and after an unstressed syllable--I think syncope got rid of the unstressed vowel in many cases--but examples of words that would have voiceless fricatives according to the stress criterion mentioned by Ringe and Taylor are ġifeþe, adesa, and ċiefese. These seem like a rare edge case (I want to learn more about this class of words). There seems to be some disagreement about whether or when foot-final fricatives (including I think the fricatives in the examples you mentioned) were voiced, but I think it is most likely that they were voiced inside of compound/suffixed words when not adjacent to a voiceless segment. The arguments for the presence of voicing of the fricative at the end of the first element of compounds like hūswīf are presented in Fulk 2002. I've only read the abstract of that article, but Fulk's conclusion is endorsed by Ringe and Taylor (see section 6.7.2, page 264). The sources I have seen that seems to disagree about the regularity of voiced fricatives in this position are as follows. Donka Minkova 2010 ("Phonemically Contrastive Fricatives in Old English?") seems a bit skeptical of the regularity of voicing in compounds in the conditions where Fulk says it applied, saying that "the evidence (wisdom, lively, gosling) is hard to date" (p. 34). A footnote on the same page implies that "hláfæ̀ta [-f] ‘loaf-eater’ and tóðæ̀ce [–θ–] ‘toothache' (Minkova 2008: 29)" are counterexamples, while bringing up the possibility that voicing could be a feature of "obscured compounds". My viewpoint is that the voicelessness of the fricatives in present-day English forms like "loaf-eater", "toothache", "worthless", "deathbed" is not relevant: because these are transparently formed, it is easy to imagine that they do not directly correspond to Old English forms. (Compare the voicelessness in various transparent -y adjectives like "glassy", "grassy", "brassy", "leafy", even though we know that in Old English an intervocalic singleton fricative would have been voiced in an adjective ending in -ig.) Minkova suggests that wisdom in Old English might have had voiced [z] because of "paradigm uniformity" effects (influence from forms like adverb wise and inflected forms with vowel-initial suffixes) rather than a phonologically conditioned rule. "Deep allophones in the Old English laryngeal system", by Keir Moulton (2003), says that Old English had a "Fricative Voicing Rule" that only applied when the fricative was surrounded by vowels or sonorants, not by voiced obstruents (page 162). Because he formulates the rule this way, Moulton explains the voiced [v] in the form heofdes as resulting from voicing of intervocalic f before syncope (page 166). I find it simpler to go with Fulk or Ringe and Taylor's account. Regarding hussy, in fact this word has or has had a pronunciation with [z] (attested by an alternative spelling huzzy) although I forget its exact history or what sources discuss it. I'm not sure about prefixed words like forþlǣdan; I still am researching how prefixed words were stressed and how they behaved in general phonologically (actually, Minkova 2008 seems like a good source for info on that).--Urszag (talk) 04:31, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
@Urszag Thanks so much for your detailed response! I will probably implement Ringe and Taylor's approach. Benwing2 (talk) 06:20, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

Old English ġe- in participlesEdit

@Lambiam, Fay Freak, Urszag Maybe someone who has access to Campbell's Old English grammar can answer this. I know that the ġe- prefix was optional in past participles, but what about participles that are already prefixed? Does it work like modern German, where ġe- cannot occur with an unstressed prefix? What about with a stressed prefix, such as in andwyrdan? Benwing2 (talk) 01:25, 24 November 2019 (UTC)

Yes, very similar (if not exactly the same) as Modern German for unstressed prefixes. Yes, it can be added to words with stressed prefixes, like and- (e.g. Him wæs ġeandwyrd þus "He/To him (it) was answered thus"). Leasnam (talk) 01:41, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
Correction: that is the past participle of ġeandwyrdan, which already has the prefix attached to it. After some quick research, I don't believe it is attested to be used with a stressed prefix. Leasnam (talk) 01:56, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
It does not seem like ġe- is strictly forbidden before a prefix, at least not before a stressed prefix. I'm currently reading Minkova 2008 "Prefixation and stress in Old English". Section 7 "Stacked prefixes" identifies ge- and be- as the only two unstressed prefixes for nouns or adjectives. I'd assume that ge- doesn't stack with itself. Adjectival past participles with ge- before another prefix exist: "geédnìwad ‘restored’ (Chr 1039, P 103.28.2), geédbỳrded ‘regenerated’ (SB2. 94)" (p. 39). I'm not sure whether there is a distinction between the behavior of verbal and adjectival participles for this.--Urszag (talk) 06:23, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
Similar to ġeandwyrd above, geédnìwad and geédbỳrded are past participles of ġeedniwian and ġeedbyrdan respectively; both verbs having the prefix ġe- already attached to the verb lemma. Leasnam (talk) 07:48, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
We give (ġe)edcwicod as the past participle of edcwician and (ġe)edstaþelod as the past participle of edstaþelian.  --Lambiam 22:19, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
Likewise, I checked on those as well, same scenario as above: ġeedcwicod is the past participle of ġeedcwician, ġeedcucian (there is no OE verb edcwician), and ġeedstaþelod is the ppt of ġeedstaþelian (there is no edstaþelian). Leasnam (talk) 23:20, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
To the contrary, however, there is also edlēanian beside ġeedlēanian Leasnam (talk) 23:24, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
I don’t know where this was checked, but many sources list a verb edcwician (e.g. here), sometimes as an alternative form of ġeedcwician (e.g. here).  --Lambiam 23:12, 25 November 2019 (UTC)
It's listed, but it's not attested (sfaict). See here the citations [[14]], all have ġeed- instead of ed-; even when it's not a participle. Could the single gloss Geedcuced represent ġe- + edcwicod instead of ġeedcwic- + -od? It's possible, but I think it's highly unlikely given that there are so many examples to the contrary, and no other good examples of ġe- + ppt of a verb using a stressed prefix Leasnam (talk) 03:16, 26 November 2019 (UTC)


fec. abbreviation < Latin fecit
he or she made it 
Microsoft® Encarta® 2009

--Backinstadiums (talk) 12:18, 25 November 2019 (UTC)

take a shining toEdit

This form, which looks like a cross between take a liking to and take a shine to, is readily attested on Google Books. Is it a mistake or an alternative form? Canonicalization (talk) 18:58, 25 November 2019 (UTC)

I see uses of take a shine to dating back to 1841, whereas the first spotted use of take a shining to is in a 1987 speech by Reagan. I bet this originated from contamination with the form liking but seems common enough now to be considered an alternative form.  --Lambiam 14:17, 26 November 2019 (UTC)

suck buttEdit

A synonym of suck ass/suck arse, perhaps a little milder. Worth an entry? google books:"sucks butt" google books:"sucked butt" ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:34, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

Absolutely, go for it. And enjoy the googling...--Vealhurl (talk) 11:37, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

Prepositional pronounsEdit

Apparently Breton has prepositional pronouns. Irish too. WT doesn't allow it as a headword, so I'd recommend changing them all to preposition forms, like in this edit. Obviously, I know nothing about Breton, or Celtic languages in general for that matter. I'll change all the others Breton prepositional pronouns if nobody objects, or nobody gets to the job before me. --Vealhurl (talk) 11:40, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

So, I changed all of them to pronoun forms. Feel free to revert --Vealhurl (talk) 18:01, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

the other way round/the other way aroundEdit

Is there a (slight) regional preference for one form over the other? Several comments online suggest a distinction between British and American usage, and Google News results for the other way round seem to mostly come from the UK and Oceania, and results for the other way around are mainly from the US. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:32, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

In my idiolect, I would expect the other way around in the context of navigation; the other way round in more figurative contexts, but also in, say, telling a child how to tie their shoes. DCDuring (talk) 17:05, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

take its tollEdit

  1. Is this the right lemma form?
  2. If not, what should be the main form?
  3. Is this actually NISoP, just using toll often in its more figurative senses (which are not well covered at [[toll]]).

In literal use, this can be found in all persons, numbers, genders, and tenses, which would make the lemma take one's toll.

In figurative use, the common collocations take a toll, take its toll, take a heavy toll account for a large share of use, but most person/number/gender/tense forms can be found, especially in works of fiction. Real usage includes

various interposed determiners:
Aging would take some toll on our bodies
the Fates did take some toll
be content ... to take little toll from these cedar slopes
the smoking and drinking and late nights do not seem to take much toll
time seems to take no toll on them
some interposed adjectives:
Every incident a first responder is involved in takes a personal toll
Other adjectives at Google NGrams include: terrible, high, great, small, tremendous, certain, greater, large, and heavier.

The varied structures argues for this being NISoP. If we decide it is not NISoP, to me there is justification for main entries at take one's toll and take a toll, with all other forms being redirects to one of these. DCDuring (talk) 23:50, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

Variance is also found in the verb. Here the bedevilment of the Indian by the world he did not make is said to “exact its toll” in illness and in mental health. And here the Arctic cold “demanded its toll” of the combatants. IMO all this is covered by the figurative sense 1 of the noun toll – which should be somewhat generalized since the subject of the taking/exacting/demanding need not be an outright calamity; it can also be the corroding tooth of time, or an enchantment’s dissolution. While I’m at it, I think we ought to present the original literal sense of a monetary charge levied to allow passage and such first, before its figurative use.  --Lambiam 14:39, 28 November 2019 (UTC)

original as sin, ugly as sin, guilty as sin, miserable as sinEdit

Could these be SOP? Is as sin used with other adjectives?

Which one is the source of the others? Canonicalization (talk) 14:21, 28 November 2019 (UTC)

Lexico and Cambridge Dictionary have miserable as sin. Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary as seen at The Free Dictionary Idioms has a book quotation using deep as sin. Some other random attested combinations are hot as sin, cold as sin, sweet as sin, hard as sin, and old as sin. So it looks like this intensifier can be applied rather generically. I think “ugly as sin” is the original, because ſin is ugly (in our sense 3). The oldest use I saw is from 1818; for “guilty as sin” we have to wait till a sermon published in 1883. I suspect that particular collocation may be due to contamination with “guilty as hell”, which is attested as early as 1851.  --Lambiam 15:14, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
I think there are (in the main?) two distinct senses in which as sin is used. The original one is a negative intensifier that originated from literal similes comparing things to sin. Subsequently it came to be used positively of things that are viewed as appealing, tempting or enticing, often with sexual overtones, but perhaps also in relation to food. The results for "hot as sin" are in my view chiefly in this basket. It seems that this sense is occasionally extended further for more generic use, but this seems quite marginal so far, although probably citable for our purposes.
So as sin is not used as generically as as hell or as fuck. Compare Google results for "(in)competent as fuck" and "(in)competent as sin" for instance (though overall I'd guess as fuck is more common than as sin). On the matter of SOP:
  1. The original term(s), let's suppose ugly as sin, could be analysed as SOP or kept as a fixed phrase or for etymological purposes.
  2. original as sin, which as a fixed phrase also seems to date to the nineteenth century and may have been coined by Walter Savage Landor, may well be a punny derivation from original sin. One much older use is clearly literal, there are also later comparisons of grace's originality to that of sin. I think this can only be regarded SOP if analysed as using the negative sense of as sin, but the question is whether that sense can be considered already productive in the early nineteenth century.
←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:43, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

's Old Chinese pronunciation doesn't display in 'Characters in the same phonetic series (利) (Zhengzhang, 2003)' chart in Template:Han etylEdit

--Geographyinitiative (talk) 23:00, 28 November 2019 (UTC)

I'm a bit confused -- the Chinese entry includes no invocation of {{Han etym}}, nor of non-redirected spelling {{Han etym}}. The wikicode there consists solely of:
is listed as a variant form of , which has a full entry, but that entry is missing any mention of phonetic series. Clicking through to Wiktionary:About_Chinese/phonetic_series, I can see that is on the list, but is not, which seems like an error. Viewing the source of that page reveals that it makes use of Module:zh-glyph/display-phonetic. Walking through the list of subpages for parent Module:zh-glyph leads me to Module:zh-glyph/phonetic/list, which appears to be the source list for {{Han etym}}. Sure enough, is on the list, but is not.
I'd add it myself, but I'm almost wholly unfamiliar with the module and template infrastructure for ZH entries.
Pinging ZH editors whom I think may be technically adept enough to help fix this: @Tooironic, KevinUp, Atitarev, Justinrleung, Suzukaze-c, Dokurrat, kc kennylau. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:49, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
  Fixed. I did the following:
  1. Replaced the variant with orthodox () at Module:zh-glyph/phonetic
  2. Replaced the variant with orthodox () at Module:zh-glyph/phonetic/list
  3. Checked for the existence of Module:zh/data/och-pron-ZS/犁 (this module was created when it was moved from Module:zh/data/och-pron-ZS/犂 in Jan 2018)
All three steps need to be done for things to work correctly. KevinUp (talk) 06:58, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

Dockless bicyclesEdit

Does the definition "without a dock" cover dockless bicycles? Is that metal bar thing you attach them to called a dock? The Language Learner (talk) 08:59, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

From the WP article, most shared-bike systems have docking stations, normally of metal-bar construction, which are also called docks. Dockless systems rely on some other means to locate and secure the bicycles. Docks are usually not very convenient at one or both ends of a bicycle trip, so most systems have some way of managing bicycles not located in docks. I think dockless bicycles refers to the bicycles of systems that don't require that bicycles be teturned to docks. Docklessness is not a characteristic of the bicycle but of the system that owns it. DCDuring (talk) 14:43, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

Pronunciation of thissunEdit

Is it pronounced exactly as this 'un? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:22, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

My instinct is to pronounce it /ˈðɪsən/, but maybe it's /ˈðɪsʌn/ somewhere (or originally). Ultimateria (talk) 20:12, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I'd rhyme it with listen too. Equinox 01:25, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

in all one's gloryEdit

Current definition is: (informal, idiomatic, euphemistic) Completely naked

Several dictionaries ( ; ) give a different definition: looking very beautiful or impressive; and that coincides with what my understanding. --One half 3544 (talk) 13:24, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

I think you are right about the missing sense. But, in my lifetime, I've mostly heard it as meaning "completely naked". There is often a connotation of being "on display", I think. Or maybe that's just the situation in which it is commonly used. DCDuring (talk) 14:18, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
If the glorious entity is inanimate, as in “the magnificence of Rome in all its glory”, the sense will naturally be the original one, which equally applied to people. So when we read that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of the lilies of the field, it was not because he had forgotten to don his robes, and the statement that the Lord shall appear in all His glory to judge the world, is not meant as a pronouncement about an expected lack of vestments during the second coming. The sense of being skyclad is a derivative one, meant to be humorous. When did it first appear?  --Lambiam 01:10, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
Also, what is the relative frequency of in all his glory and in all her glory in the 'naked' sense? DCDuring (talk) 03:53, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
It might be sufficient to cover the range of uses with usage examples, eg, one for religious contexts, one for royalty, one for nakedness, one for being fancily dressed, one for being physically attractive.
The "naked" use seems fairly recent in print and hardly ever covers(!!!) females. DCDuring (talk) 19:00, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
The latter probably because full frontal feminine nudity is less prominent (sense 1).  --Lambiam 22:23, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

hourslong: Alternative spelling of hours-longEdit

it doesn't make sense to have an entry for the alternative spelling but not for the standard one --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:56, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

Wait until vote on hyphenated compounds is ended of bring this up in the vote discussion. DCDuring (talk) 03:49, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
Can the form hourslong be attested? If it exists out there, it is a nonstandard spelling (aka spelling error), not just an alternative one.  --Lambiam 09:13, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: Look at the citations in the entry. What is the rationale for calling it an error? Would you call hourlong an error? DCDuring (talk) 18:38, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
One can have a seconds-long or minutes-long silence, and a days-long, weeks-long or even years-long journey, and there can be a miles-wide or generations-wide gap and a metres-high termite mound. None of these hyphenated compounds can be spelled without hyphen. “Hours-long” is just another NiSOP following this pattern, and there is no reason for its hyphen to be dropped.  --Lambiam 11:14, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: What's "NiSOP" stand for? --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:37, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Nonidiomatic SoP. DCDuring (talk) 14:26, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
See also Wiktionary:Glossary#NiSOP.  --Lambiam 14:33, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
And yet there are credible citations. By the application of WT:COALMINE, the attestation of hourslong licenses the inclusion of hours-long and hours long, if attested with the same PoS and meaning as hourslong. But WT:ATTEST does not require that the spelled-solid version be the main entry. The normal practice of making the more or most common form the main entry applies. DCDuring (talk) 14:26, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
It’s a coalminefield.  --Lambiam 14:33, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
We've voted recently to not repeal WT:COALMINE, because the positives were deemed to outweigh they negatives. If someone could make a concrete proposal for an alternative RfD-debate-reducing rule, they would get a hearing. DCDuring (talk) 20:14, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

hate with a passion, with a passionEdit

Worth an entry?

Canonicalization (talk) 11:06, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

have a horror ofEdit

Worth an entry? Compare French avoir horreur, which sounds lexicalised to my ear.

Canonicalization (talk) 11:07, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

French lexicalization is a canard. DCDuring (talk) 18:41, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

in terror of one's lifeEdit

Worth an entry? The use of the preposition of is curious to me.

Canonicalization (talk) 11:18, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

all-night vs all nightEdit

Is it to be inferred that all-night is only used attributively then? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:05, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

It can be used with some copulas: "The late-night party turned/became/ended up/proved all-night.". DCDuring (talk) 18:52, 30 November 2019 (UTC)


Why is the POS header "Combining form" and not simply "Letter"? --Vealhurl (talk) 17:57, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

It is definitely not simply a letter, because the Japanese script from which this comes is a syllabary (the hiragana syllabary), not an alphabet. But is also not simply one of the syllables of that syllabary. It is a combining form, used only in combination with a “normal” syllable character to modify its phonemic value. What is confusing is that it looks just like , which is a normal syllable. But this one is smaller: . For more, see Yōon on Wikipedia.  --Lambiam 22:15, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
So we should probably allow "Combining form" as a valid POS header on WT:EL --Vealhurl (talk) 12:34, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
I guess so. There are 21 pages in Category:Japanese combining forms. It is the de facto situation as long as no one starts policing this. The name may not be the best choice, though – although I don’t have a better candidate – because the term combining form is generally understood to mean something else.  --Lambiam 15:01, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
By the way, Category:Japanese combining forms is titled "Forms of Japanese words that do not occur independently, but are used when joined with other words", which is wrong since the contents are characters and not words. The text comes from a template: "poscatboiler". It is beyond my pay grade to edit templates. Perhaps someone with the necessary knowledge can fix this. I suppose we would also need to check whether this same text is used anywhere else, since I suppose in another place "words" may be correct. Mihia (talk) 20:23, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

December 2019


Anyone game for this? In Rail, November 20 2019:

Lauren Sager Weinstein, chief data officer at Transport for London, said: "Our lives are now more data-rich than they have ever been, and therefore we are working to use this data to allow our customers to better plan their journeys and find the best routes across our network." DonnanZ (talk) 17:56, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

There are also “a protein-rich diet”, “a stimulus-rich environment”, “an experience-rich activity”, “a flavour-rich dish”, and so on. If we may apply the idiomaticity rules to hyphenated compounds, these will not be fit for inclusion. —This unsigned comment was added by Lambiam (talkcontribs) at 00:56 2 December 2019.
I am opposing that vote. DonnanZ (talk) 11:01, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Upon this confession, a suspense-laden silence fell. Then dish-bearing waiters appeared as out of nowhere, and news-hungry journalists sampled the insect-filled delicacies, prepared by award-winning chefs. But our Wiktionary editor had no time for such stomach-stuffing deliciousness. Too many attention-demanding hyphenated compounds needed inclusion, an energy-consuming business.  --Lambiam 21:43, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Don't tempt him... Canonicalization (talk) 22:04, 2 December 2019 (UTC) more ways than one. Too late. DonnanZ (talk) 22:21, 2 December 2019 (UTC)


I'm a bit confused about the sense "at night" given to the German adverb, abends. Shouldn't it be something akin to "at evening"? If not, can we make the example more clear and, in particular, make more self-evident the difference of it and nachts, which is listed as an antonym? - Sarilho1 (talk) 20:54, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

It is confusing. In English the term night can include the evening period, as in “last night we went to see a movie” while this was actually in the evening. In German the terms are more mutually exclusive; you‘d say something like “Gestern Abend sind wir ins Kino gegangen”. So when an English speaker uses at night they may mean abends or they may mean nachts – without more context you can’t tell; the term is ambiguous. It is better to use an unambiguous definition. At evening sounds strange to me, but I think in the evening should work fine (also for people who are not Led Zeppelin fans).  --Lambiam 00:36, 2 December 2019 (UTC)


(Notifying Leasnam, Lambiam, Urszag, Hundwine): I've taken the liberty of adding User:Leasnam, User:Lambiam, User:Urszag and User:Hundwine to the Old English interest list at Module:workgroup ping/data. This means that it's easy to ping everyone in an Old-English-related topic using {{subst:wgping|ang}}. Please feel free to remove your name if you don't want it there. I have questions about the form crinċġan (to fall, perish, die), (possible) source of Modern English "cringe". First, how did it get the soft [dʒ] pronunciation? Other parallel verbs such as swingan, clingan, springan, stingan, wringan, etc. have hard [g] as expected, and no spellings with -cgan AFAIK. Spellings such as crinċġan indicate that the soft [dʒ] was present in Old English as well. Could this be a unique case of early contamination from weak verb *crenġan (not attested in Old English but reconstructed based on Middle English forms like crengen, crenchen)? Secondly, how do we think Old English cringan/crincan (when not written crincgan) was pronounced? Soft, hard, both ways? Bosworth-Toller lists present tense forms ic crin(c)ge, hī crin(c)gaþ but past forms only crang/crong, crungon, crungen so presumably the past always had a hard sound. Thanks! Benwing2 (talk) 00:11, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

The palatised g ("soft g") usually develops from g + i/j in PGmc, so interference from *cren(ċ)ġan (PGmc *krangijaną) is a distinct possibility. As far as the soft g sound, I'm not sure if the palatisation was carried over to other tenses, but I imagine that if it were, then past forms like crungon would be spelt cruncgon. On a side, but related note: I don't seem to be able to find a source for the OSX krengon anywhere. Leasnam (talk) 00:33, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
I would guess that the spelling cringan/crincan represented a form pronounced with a velar consonant at least sometimes. The Oxford English Dictionary traces present-day "cringe" to *crenġan, and doesn't mention the form crinċġan (either as a strong or weak verb). I agree that crinċġan looks like a hybrid form.--Urszag (talk) 01:57, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

outside and inside childrenEdit

"Outside" and "inside" mean something with regard to children and wedlock, judging by google books:"his outside children", google books:"my outside children", "an outside son", etc. It seems to sometimes refer to a child that someone has with a person who is not their current spouse (but who could have been their spouse at the time!), and to sometimes refer to a child who does not reside with the parent who is being spoken of, but these concepts may not be distinct. I took a stab at adding definitions but would appreciate other eyes on this as I'm not sure whether there should be one sense or two. - -sche (discuss) 00:35, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

It’s not only children. A man can also have an outside wife.[15][16][17]  --Lambiam 01:10, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Ah, and that prompts me to look and notice that one can have an outside parent, too (which in at least one of the cites is defined as a nonresidential one). - -sche (discuss) 04:19, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
I've tried combining the senses like this / this. - -sche (discuss) 17:36, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
It is a valiant effort, but can one call someone’s mistress, who lives somewhere else, a “family member”? Given some person P, it seems that for one to call another person Q their “outside” whatever, P either has to have (had) a (sexual) relationship with Q, or they have to be close blood relatives (not like a second cousin twice removed).  --Lambiam 21:20, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

"endearing" vs. "affectionate" glossEdit

desu is glossed "endearing" but it renders as "affectionate". I don't think that's right. They aren't the same thing. desu is endearing (supposed to make the writer sound cute); it is not expressing affection to anyone. Equinox 01:06, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

I think the problem is, rather, that the label endearing should be used when the speaker connotes their endearment with the referent, not when they are seeking endearment from their audience. In this case “cutesy” may be a better label. Or, perhaps, it should be labeled “affectation”.  --Lambiam 10:46, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

rack as a baby rabbitEdit


I'm working on the French Wiktionary on the English word « rack ». I saw here that rack can be a baby rabbit. Do you have any examples of sentences using it, and a clue for the etymology ?

Bye, Lepticed7 (talk) 14:21, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

The term occurs in Ure’s Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines (1878) with a more precise definition: racks, or young rabbits about two months old, which have not lost their first coat”. Given the context, I have the impression that the term may be found only in application to rabbits collected for their fur. The 1913 Century Dictionary says: “Origin obscure”.  --Lambiam 22:28, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
The uses I've found seem somewhat confused about whether it refers to the size of the rabbit or to its color:
  1. 1869 February 13, “Rabbit Skin”, in All the Year Round, page 247:
    Now, sir, you would say a skin is a skin, we say it is a ' whole,' or a 'half,' or a 'quarter,' or a 'rack,' or a 'sucker. Suckers are skins of infant rabbits, and of little value. Eight racks are equal to one whole.
  2. 1879, Ure's Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines, page 380:
    The skin of a sucker is white, of a quarter, black and white striped, of a rack all black, and of a best all white.
  3. 1882, Bees, rabbits, and pigeons; how to breed and how to rear them:
    Those would be of different shades of colour according to the time of year at which they were produced, those bred about May-day undergoing no change from their white colour, but from a white rack become a whole skin; []
  4. 1892, Henry Poland, Fur-bearing Animals in Nature and in Commerce, page 289:
    Rabbit skins are sorted into wholes, halves, quarters, racks, and suckers, or very small skins.

DTLHS (talk) 22:44, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

I guess the meaning is as given by Century; the age of the rabbit determines (with some statistical variance) the size and (to a certain extent) the colour of its fur.  --Lambiam 12:40, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for the answers. If I can ask, how did you search for examples? I have some troubles on my side to find the correct meaning of rack. It has so many meanings… Thank you again. Lepticed7 (talk) 07:26, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Searching Google Books for things like ""rack" rabbit skin" restricted to the 19th century. DTLHS (talk) 16:44, 4 December 2019 (UTC)


Alt-right lingo, right? Some editors seem to disagree. — surjection?〉 16:12, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

My impression is that the concept is associated with (relatively far-)right-wing and often white supremacist folks/ideals, so having something in the definition about that is probably appropriate. OTOTH, I've seen left-wing folks use the word when talking about [far-right/white supremacist] people who they presume identify with it, so I'm unsure whether the {{label}} should restrict it to white supremacists or not. (Btw, I notice that "master race" and "herrenvolk" don't have such a {{label}}. Should they? I'll have to think on this some more.) - -sche (discuss) 16:22, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
Anecdotedata”, and all that, but FWIW, I've only ever encountered the term in contexts discussing white supremacism. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:01, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
If it's used by such-and-such a group, that might be more appropriate for a usage note than within the definition. (Then again, would this hypothetical white supremacist talk about "African tradwives" meaning ones who follow African tribal traditions? Probably not.) Equinox 01:20, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
I based the association with white supremacy on the majority of durable sources I could find at the time; it seems exclusively used of white women living like 1950s American Dream housewives. Perhaps the association is beginning to weaken in the minds of some (more recent cites do not really indicate this though), but I would venture that it is still strong and obvious enough to merit a phrasing like often according to white supremacist ideals if usually is considered too strong. I don't really know whether the label is appropriate. It clearly originated as a self-designation among white supremacists but most cites are by opponents—although these often indicate a self-designation as well. In any event I think it useful to communicate to users that this is less 'neutral' than garden-variety slang. (Parenthetically, lol at "it is clearly a racist opinion of User:Lingo_Bingo_Dingo".) ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:59, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

girl and boy plants, etcEdit

These can also be used to mean "female" and "male" in reference to AFAICT anything that can have a sex or gender, i.e. not just animals and not just with reference to age, in a way that is sometimes quasi-adjectival, but probably still best viewed as use of a noun. For example, one can speak of "girl genes", "boy genes", "a girl plant", and "girl trees" vs "boy trees" (and for that matter, an adult man's or lion's "boy parts", etc). I have tentatively added this as a separate sense, "(somewhat childish) (A) female (tree, gene, etc)." (And mutatis mutandis on boy.) But this probably needs improvement. Another idea would be to incorporate it into the "female animal" sense. - -sche (discuss) 16:13, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

use a sledgehammer to crack a nutEdit

Is there an antonymous idiom ("To use significantly insufficient force to carry out an action")? Canonicalization (talk) 16:40, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

I see enough uses of people shooting (or hunting, trying to bring down, etc) an google books:"elephant with a BB gun" (or sometimes "with a pellet gun") that we could probably add an entry for that. "Send a boy to do a man's job" has a related meaning, but probably a different (more patriarchal) tone. And it might be possible to attest underkill as a noun for doing that (and hence, to say that something someone is doing "is underkill"). - -sche (discuss) 17:15, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
I’ve heard “(it is like) digging a hole with a spoon”. However, there the emphasis is more on the inefficiency (it takes too long) than on the inefficacy per se.  --Lambiam 22:01, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

cash - EnglishEdit

I have heard people use this word to mean readily available money as opposed to installment or credit. Am I correct? Should we edit the definitions? Dixtosa (talk) 19:14, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

One of the senses we list is “liquid assets”. How is that different from readily available money?  --Lambiam 21:52, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
That sense is marked with a finance label. Liquid assets also sounds like a finance slang. The sense I am talking about is used in everyday speech. Dixtosa (talk) 06:57, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Although the term finance often refers to the monetary resources of an institution, it can also be applied to a household (e.g. here) or (natural) person (e.g. here). The term liquid assets may sound like slang, but what counts here is the meaning.  --Lambiam 12:27, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
I'd like to see examples of use. Cash used to mean currency: coins and bills. It still means that when banks aren't open, except that people have debit cards which give them limited access to funds in a checking account. Economists include checking accounts in the basic money supply, but robbers don't view a check as cash. "Hands up! Your money or your life!" "Can I write you a check?"
"Readily available" is a very elastic term. DCDuring (talk) 21:40, 4 December 2019 (UTC)


What part of speech is "bags" in "Bags I have the top bunk!" (meaning that you claim the top bunk for yourself)? Mihia (talk) 14:51, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

For dibs we have interjection; I think this is the same.  --Lambiam 21:56, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Rightio, I'll add it as that. Mihia (talk) 18:52, 6 December 2019 (UTC)


  1. A false or hypocritical profession
    under pretense of friendliness
  2. Intention or purpose not real but professed.
    with only a pretense of accuracy
  3. An unsupported claim made or implied.
  4. An insincere attempt to reach a specific condition or quality.

I have difficulty distinguishing four separate senses here. Do they all really exist distinctly? Mihia (talk) 18:55, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

MW Online has 7 senses/subsenses and does a better job of wording them.
Century has 5 including "(obsolete) intension".
Some terms need a lot of overlapping definitions to cover the range of usage. Things relating to mental states may be the worst. DCDuring (talk) 22:33, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
pretence has only one modern sense! The definitions for pretence and pretense need to be merged (but there is also the problem of what to do with the quotations). Mihia (talk) 22:02, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

Use of spellings cg and ncg in Old English for velar and palatal consonantsEdit

(Notifying Benwing2, Leasnam, Lambiam, Hundwine): Does anyone have detailed knowledge of the use of the digraph "cg" in Old English? My impression was that although "cg" could be used intervocalically for velar as well as palatal geminates (e.g. frocga/frogga), the spelling "ncg" is thought to be associated specifically with palatal [nd͡ʒ] (although there is definitely not an exclusive relationship in the opposite direction: [nd͡ʒ] was more commonly spelled as just "ng"). I don't know though if the pattern I describe in the previous sentence was an actual convention, let alone one that was consistently followed, as there seems to be a fair amount of variation with some sources even using spellings like "gc", "cgg" and "gcg" ("Coins as Evidence", Philip A. Shaw, Oxford Handbook of the History of English). This is on my mind because I created an entry for senġan and its alternative spelling senċġan. I've gathered that Old English verbs with stems ending in a nasal followed by a palatal plosive/fricative showed depalatalization of the stem-final consonant to a velar plosive before the dental plosive of the past-tense suffix or before the dental fricative of the third-person present suffix: e.g. our entry for blenċan shows the forms "blencte" = [ˈbleŋkte] and "blencþ" = [bleŋkθ]. The conjugation table in the senġan entry shows this phenomenon by dotting the ġ before a vowel but not in the forms "sengþ" [seŋgθ] (or [seŋkθ] if assimilated in voicelessness), "sengde" [ˈseŋgde] and "sengdon" [ˈseŋgdon]. The conjugation table in the senċġan entry currently shows these same forms as "sencgþ", "sencgde", "sencgdon", representing [g] with the undotted digraph "cg". I felt a bit funny about showing <ncgd> as a spelling of [ŋgd], so when I first made the "senċġan" entry I just gave up and omitted conjugated forms, figuring that people could look at the entry for the primary spelling to see the conjugation. However, if forms like "sencgþ", "sencgde", "sencgdon" are attested or clearly consistent with the norms of Old English spelling, it is better to include that information. Is this known one way or another?--Urszag (talk) 21:31, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

I have now read sources that indicate that "ncg", "ngc", and even "nc" could be used to represent velar [ŋg] as well as palatal [nd͡ʒ]. Aelfric's "The Forty Soldiers" An Edition, by John Thomas Algeo, says spelling variants with "ncg/ngc/nc" were sometimes used to represent velars, giving the examples befencg and cynincge (p 17). This web page (I'm not sure what the source is) says that "‘c’ may combine with ‘n’, and usually also with ‘g’, to form the complex litterae ‘ncg’, ‘ngc’ or simply ‘nc’ to indicate [ŋg] in nasal clusters, e.g. hrincg, hringc, hrincgan inf. RING, fincgr-, fincger, fincer FINGER, æncgel, ængcel, encgel, engcel ANGEL, -incg-, -ingc- in inflected forms of the verbal noun".--Urszag (talk) 19:00, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
That web page contains items from a database used for the CoNE project, a more complete title of which would be A Corpus of Narrative Etymologies from primitive Old English to early Middle English (: CoNEfpOEteME :). If you go to its main page, enter ncg in the search box labelled FOR STRING and tick both boxes labelled Change Text, Search Text will serve up the page about these complex litterae.  --Lambiam 22:32, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

lah-di-dah, la-de-daEdit

The adjective senses at lah-di-dah are marked "British", and a usage note says "The adjective usage is not common in the US". However, at la-de-da there is a quotation from a US author in a US context: "Newberry was one of the most la-de-da colleges in the United States". Is this la-de-da merely a spelling variant of lah-di-dah, and hence the quotation is an example of "uncommon" US adjectival use, or is la-de-da somehow considered different in the US? The former seems likely to me, but I would like a US speaker to cast an opinion on this too. Mihia (talk) 23:39, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

There is no difference, just different ways of spelling the same thing. Benwing2 (talk) 01:36, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Mihia (talk) 18:42, 6 December 2019 (UTC)


Can someone familiar with Irish English look at etymology 3: if it is (as the part of speech header says) a verb, is it a lemma (what are the other forms?) or an inflected form (in which case the definition should mention this)? And is the usex "we were not left go to the beach" grammatical? The definition cannot be substituted into the usex (*"we were not permitted go to the beach"), so if the usex is right, the definition should be "permitted to", and then is that a verb?... - -sche (discuss) 01:58, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

Not familiar with this usage but I would think it is a verb, like the "let" in "the captives were let go". Equinox 02:16, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
My theory is that it is the past participle from a strong conjugation of the verb leave, etymology 4. Have the conjugations of etymologies 4 and 5 been swapped? I’d expect leave in the sense “to produce leaves” to be a weak verb.  --Lambiam 09:58, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
An anon changed the original leaved for the latter sense to left without explanation; I’ve undone it.  --Lambiam 10:09, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
And according to the Century Dictionary the verb in the sense “to give leave to” has preterite and past participle left. Should this be changed too? And if so, is left etymology 3 general English – although somewhat archaic, but so is the whole sense of the verb – rather than specifically Irish English – although possibly not archaic there?  --Lambiam 10:30, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
Yes, it seems likely that this could be reduced to "simple past tense and past participle of leave", with notes on regional non/archaicness there. - -sche (discuss) 03:08, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

Anyone for booties?Edit

When I was growing up in 1970s Gloucester (UK), "bootee" (indeterminate spelling, because nobody never wrote it down as far as I know) was the word used to describe the experience of inadvertently stepping in a deep puddle, such that the water went over the top of your shoe and drenched your sock, and you were icky and squelchy from then until you arrived home for your telling-off. Does this chime with anyone else's recollection of childhood days? —This comment was unsigned.

Haven't heard of this one (1980s Berkshire kid). Equinox 22:09, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

(I meant "nobody ever", of course.) Um, presumably you had the experience of a "bootee" even if you didn't call it that. So what did you call it in 1980s Berkshire? 00:07, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

I don't remember any special name for water in the shoes. But I do remember having school shoes that somehow picked up and held a little bit of rainwater at the front, so you could kick the air and spray little blasts of water at people. Good times. — Unfortunately it can be quite hard to find evidence for regional playground terms, like local names for types of marble etc. Equinox 04:38, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
Hey look, here's someone talking about a trip to the Beverley Folk Festival in Yorkshire [18]: "As I made my move disaster struck, side stepping mud, and I went right into a puddle, not a little puddle it was more like a mini lake, and I got a booty." Equinox 04:48, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
Speaking of which, there's this, set in Shropshire. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:26, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
Quoting Chuck's linked text in case Google takes it down: "[Walter] would be sinking into the black mud at the tree's base, ice-cold water easily entering Frank's clodhopper, hand-me-down boots to end his reverie. / "Watty's got a bootie, Watty's got a bootie...wetty, wetty Watty" and similar astute observations made by his fellows soon brought Walter fully returned to the real world." The book is Robert Teme, The Life and Times of Walter Mann, and probably self-published, given the godawful cover picture. Equinox 08:45, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

take it from here, take it from there, handle it from here, handle it from thereEdit

Worth entries? Canonicalization (talk) 16:20, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

Take it from me, it's not a good use of anyone's time. DCDuring (talk) 21:36, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
See also Wiktionary:Tea room/2019/June#You get it ready; I'll take it from there. The usex (at there, noun, sense 2), has since been changed to You rinse and de-string the green beans; I'll take it from there.  --Lambiam 12:53, 6 December 2019 (UTC)


According to the entry on reindeer, the plural is primarily reindeers and secondarily reindeer. However, in OED, the plural is given as "reindeer" and "(rare) reindeers", and on our page reindeers it also says "nonstandard" despite being the primary plural form. We also have a category called Category:Reindeers. Which form should we use? --Lundgren8 (t · c) 21:23, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

The category is fine. In principle each of the language-specific subcategories should contain names of reindeer of different species, subspecies, etc. That's usually considered a legitimate use of the 's'-plural and is not rare in that kind of usage. If we had a category of categories for individually named reindeer, eg. Rudolph, Donner, Blitzen, etc, that would be Category:Reindeer.
Otherwise, reindeer is much more common and is standard. We usually include definition-specific plurals in a label at the beginning of the specific definition line. DCDuring (talk) 21:45, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
FWIW, I've never heard "reindeers". Central East Coast US upbringing. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:39, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
Only in the context of talking about different species of reindeer, ie, taxonomists, mammalogists, not normal folk. DCDuring (talk) 23:02, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

prima facie versus res ipsa loquiturEdit

The usage notes at prima facie contrast its sense with that of res ipsa loquitur. However, the meaning assigned to the latter in these usage notes (viz. as referring to “an obvious conclusion”) does not jibe with that found as definition in the entry for res ipsa loquitur (the same as the meaning in the Wikipedia entry). The easiest fix is to simply remove the references to res ipsa loquitur, and I think that is a satisfactory solution. But let me ask first, are there any objections or ideas for a better solution?  --Lambiam 12:40, 6 December 2019 (UTC)


Is anyone able to verify how this is attributed to Dorothy Parker? I don't have the time right now to investigate the validity of this

It seems that it is in "The Waltz" an oft-anthologized short story. Probably because it is still in copyright I couldn't get more than a snippet from Google Books. DCDuring (talk) 09:47, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
My gut feeling is that fraidy-cat is the older form, and that scaredy-cat came later. That was always the feeling that I had growing up, and from a cursory glance with regard to looking into it, there seems to be evidence for that. Any thought about whether this ought to be mentioned on one or the other entry? Tharthan (talk)
Looking just at the 20th century data that appears to be so [[19]], but there is that curious blip circa 1870 Leasnam (talk) 03:46, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
For the scaredy-cat that blip comes from the misdating by Google Books of a piece of Soviet literature published in translation around 1970 as being from 1870.  --Lambiam 16:06, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
If there are no objections, I will add "Perhaps an alteration of fraidy-cat, which is attested earlier." to the etymology section. That wording is not ideal, though. Tharthan (talk) 19:36, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, I missed the point. It seems quite unlikely that she was the first to put it in print, let alone that she coined the expression. DCDuring (talk) 04:20, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
I inserted a citation from 1918 and eliminated Dorothy Parker from the etymology. DCDuring (talk) 04:34, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
Well, afraid is an older word than scared, isn't it? Personally I've never heard anyone say fraidy-cat (but can vaguely remember scaredy-cat from early school days). Equinox 04:41, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
If we take DARE's interviews as evidence, many related terms and variants are also attestable, eg, scaredy, scareded cat, fraidy, fraidycat. Possibly fraidypants. DCDuring (talk) 17:11, 8 December 2019 (UTC)


What does "Jōyō + uncommon" mean? -- Huhu9001 (talk) 08:32, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
I suppose that it means that the reading じょう for the character , although listed in the Jōyō kanji, is actually rarely used. Note that じょう does not even list an adjectival sense. The same phenomenon of “Jōyō, uncommon” is found for some readings of , , , , , , , , , , and many, many more kanji.  --Lambiam 15:51, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
@Huhu9001: See Module:ja/data/jouyou-yomi. Maybe "uncommon" is the wrong word. —Suzukaze-c 23:34, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
I guess that (see 「括弧でくくられた音訓」 sentence @ ja.wp) refers to the Japanese Wikipedia article 常用漢字一覧.  --Lambiam 00:56, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: This may need some explanation. How about:
-- Huhu9001 (talk) 04:53, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
I can only parrot what I see at the Japanese Wikipedia article. 静 is found at line 1133 of the table. In the 音訓 column we find: セイ、(ジョウ)、しず、しず-か、しず-まる、しず-める. Note that じょう is placed between parentheses. In the lead of the article, at the third bullet point, we find the explanation of this notation in the third sentence: it indicates 「特別なものか、又は用法のごく狭いもの」. This means that, apparently, the reading ジョウ = じょう for the character 静 is restricted to specialized or very narrow uses. We find it in 静脈 (じょうみゃく), which is the only use of the じょう reading I’m aware of. Rather than using the label “(specialized or very narrow)”, the author of Module:ja/data/jouyou-yomi has chosen for the shorter label “(uncommon)”. It could easily be changed if someone can think of a better label; personally I do not think that “(specialized or very narrow) is any clearer. It would also be possible to let the label link to a section in Wiktionary:About Japanese that offers an explanation.  --Lambiam 09:18, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: The point is, we have 2 different kinds of "uncommon" here.
The former means "listed in the Joyo table but labelled as 'uncommon' in that table". The latter means "not even listed in the Joyo table". By only saying "uncommon", the current label fails to clarify the reason why it distinguishes these two "uncommon".
Also literally, "Jōyō, uncommon" means "common, uncommon". This is confusing. -- Huhu9001 (talk) 11:51, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
I agree it could be explained better. As to deciding on the specific way, I’m happy to leave that to editors who actually edit Japanese pages. All I’ve tried to do is explain the meaning of “(Jōyō, uncommon)” as I understood it.  --Lambiam 22:40, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
I'm in favor of updating the way this template outputs.
  • As @Huhu9001 has pointed out, the current labeling is potentially confusing to readers. We should clarify on two points:
  1. What do we mean by "Jōyō"? I think we intend to point out that this kanji reading is included in the official list of "everyday use" kanji and readings, as promulgated by the Japanese government and educational system. The "Jōyō" text in the entry is at least a link through to w:Jōyō kanji, but that link is hard to see. I wonder if we couldn't at least use something like <abbr title="Included in the list of 'jōyō' (常用, "regular use") kanji and readings maintained by the Japanese government.">Jōyō</abbr>Jōyō, to make things stand out a little bit better, and improve discoverability.
  2. What do we mean by "uncommon"? Presumably that this particular reading is not commonly used? Turning the question around to a different angle, do we even need to specify this? Users can see at a glance that the list of compounds / derived terms only rarely uses this reading. If we are to use a label, that label should have some explanation attached, perhaps using <abbr>, or a link through to a glossary, or some other means.
  • It has long bothered me that romaji in most cases are in italics, such as in the tr= param in {{m}} seen in {{m|ja|静か|tr=shizuka}} producing 静か (shizuka), but for some reason the romaji transliterations are not italicized in the output from {{ja-readings}}. This is visually even more confusing when mixing non-italicized romaji tranliterations with non-italicized labels and other wording, within the same pair of parentheses.
‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:31, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
@Eirikr: I think "Jōyō" here does not mean the kanji is Jōyō, but the reading is "Jōyō" (listed in the Jōyō table). -- Huhu9001 (talk) 04:31, 11 December 2019 (UTC)
@Huhu9001: thank you for the clarification! Amending my brain fart above. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 07:33, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As to the last bullet point, transliterations in entry headlines are also not italicized for other languages: ᾰ̔́πᾰξ (hápax); уаха́ (uāxā́); अक्तु (aktú); ཏིང (ting); ... It would be good to have a typographic convention distinguishing the transliterations from extras like “Jōyō”. Perhaps use superscripts, as in “ら (ra Jōyō )”?  --Lambiam 01:09, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

I agree that a convention would be good. I confess that the superscript is visually confusing to me. I note that {{m}} produces output like 静か (transliteration using tr, gloss, some descriptive note using pos). My preference would be for something similar (albeit without any “quoted gloss”) -- visual standardization would reduce cognitive overhead and make things easier to understand at a glance. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:17, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

Aegis cruiser, Aegis class cruiserEdit

These US military classifications seem a bit brand-namey to me (and maybe have some US editor bias; I note for example we don't have Trident for the UK's nuclear capability, even though that's hopefully a bigger deal than individual tanks or whatever). Could we at least handle it at Aegis and not have this multi-word terms? Thoughts? Equinox 08:41, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

We should probably get rid of all government brands, eg, White House, NHS, Obamacare, IRS, Inland Revenue, SPQR, HMSO, USS, HMS, etc. DCDuring (talk) 17:05, 8 December 2019 (UTC)


The second definition has an extensive bracketed quote that seems potentially a COPYVIO. Is it? DCDuring (talk) 21:11, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

Regardless of the copyright issue, I don’t think we need such a TL;DR quotation to establish this horticultural-annex-culinary sense. It may be useful as a simple ref, without the long text.  --Lambiam 00:41, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
I think the main problem with the quotation is that it's used as an excuse to slip in a discussion of issues that are better addressed in a usage note. It's definitely not a usage example.
By the way, "a sweet, edible part of a plant" in the definition would exclude crabapples and probably some poisonous things we would call fruits as well, though I can't think of any at the moment. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:00, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
Also, lemons. And we call unripe fruit fruit. DCDuring (talk) 06:12, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
A sweet potato isn't a fruit by most reckonings, nor is the sweet pith of many grasses. We are forced to define typical fruits and then acknowledge that there are numerous exceptions. A similar problem occurs with the definition of flower. DCDuring (talk) 06:19, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
pokeweed has poisonous fruit, as do many "berry" bushes. Sometimes they are eaten after some preparation. DCDuring (talk) 06:23, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

dick moveEdit

Does "dick move" warrant an entry on its own, or is it implied by dick etymology 1 sense 3? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 21:54, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

I'm on the fence. I think it's SOP, but it's a set phrase, with interesting translations, and other dictionaries have it:
Canonicalization (talk) 22:01, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
Instead of ”typical dick move” you can say ”typical asshole move” without change of meaning; the fact that the first version is more common does not make it idiomatic; the second one is still fairly common. And ”typical douchebag move” also gets a respectable number of hits.  --Lambiam 00:19, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I would say it deserves an entry as it is potentially hard to understand from the parts. Mihia (talk) 18:26, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Totally deserves an entry --Vealhurl (talk) 11:59, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
I'm with Canonicalization here. It's not hard to understand from the parts; it's a dick move or a move that is dickish.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:19, 11 December 2019 (UTC)
Well, let me put it this way, if I were to ask my mother what "dick move" meant, furnished with our entries for "dick" and "move", I doubt she would figure it out, even in a reasonable context. Mihia (talk) 18:08, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

question mark used alone to indicate confusion or lack of understandingEdit

The ? entry currently includes the following definition in the translingual section:

"(comics) Used by itself to convey that a character is confused."

Something very similar is used in online chats and similar to indicate the speaker is confused or otherwise doesn't understand what the previous speaker said, eg.

Person 1: How are you today?
Person 2: find
Person 1: ?
Person 2: *fine

Should this be added to the entry, and if so how? And is it translingual or only English?

Also, should it be noted that "??" and "???" are also used, sometimes as a pure synonym and sometimes to indicate greater confusion? If so, how? I don't know if they are also used in comics or if its just online chats and similar? Thryduulf (talk) 15:32, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

About repetitions, see WT:CFI#Repetitions and Wiktionary:Votes/2014-01/Treatment of repeating letters and syllables.
It's probably translingual, but probably only for some Roman scripts.
It's certainly used in places other than comics with more or less the same meaning, that the speaker/writer has a question. It is clearly not general confusion, but only "confusion" caused by the speech/writing or actions of another. DCDuring (talk) 17:05, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
It is a general symbol of uncertainty, not restricted to comics or to the Internet. You could scrawl it in the margin of a textbook. Equinox 18:52, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

Chinese characters formed by duplicationEdit

Some Chinese characters can be duplicated to give a more complicated character with a related meaning, as in the sequence (fire, flame), or (tree, forest). The glyph origin section for duplicated characters refers back to the singular form. It seems to me there should also be an indication on pages for 火, 木, etc. that they can be replicated two or more times. Possibly in the "Derived terms" box. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 01:57, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

For 火 we also have and . A somewhat extreme case, considering the stroke count, is . “Derived terms” seems wrong to me; they are “derived characters”. I’m not sure why their du-/tri-/quadruplicacy should warrant a special treatment other than as a fun fact.  --Lambiam 09:37, 10 December 2019 (UTC)


Aren't most of the translations rendering the historical sense (which should probably be the primary sense instead, compare Onelook)? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:37, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

I think almost all do. Most also carry a contemporary sense; they are then related to the terms in these languages for crusade in the sense of a struggle for some “noble cause” other than Christian dominion of the Holy Land. A few of these translations do not have a specific historical sense, e.g. Irish agóideoir and Turkish mücahit and alperen. On the other hand, I think some exclusively have a historical sense, like Chinese and Japanese 十字軍.  --Lambiam 11:45, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
I went ahead with the proposed changes. Such a mixed translation table is a big disservice to users. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:12, 10 December 2019 (UTC)


Shouldn't adverb definition 3 be moved to according to? Shouldn't definition 2 be moved to according as? - -sche (discuss) 08:37, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

I think that the quotations can be moved and that the senses should be deleted; where the labels have “usually with ...”, the reality is that it is always with; these are fixed combinations that cannot be pried apart.  --Lambiam 11:56, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Is "according" in "according to" an adverb anyway? Mihia (talk) 15:03, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Historically, yes, but that adverb is now obsolete, having been replaced by accordingly. It would have disappeared from the English language except for the word surviving in these two petrified combinations, which function grammatically as prepositions.  --Lambiam 20:15, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

string of fartsEdit

There is a nice word in Spanish pedorrera, meaning a string of farts. Is there a slang word or phrase that is better than "string of farts"? --Vealhurl (talk) 12:01, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

I'm not aware of a one-to-one match for this in English. More generally, I've heard tootle as a mild euphemism, but that could refer to just one flatulation as easily as several. Somewhat more crudely, machine-gunning could refer to a string of rapid outgassings. And I've heard the term cropdusting used to describe the act of letting off a series of farts, often silently, while walking ahead of someone. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:26, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Verbal descriptions go only so far. It would be most helpful if someone could upload an Ogg Vorbis file with the sound of an authentic pedorrera.  --Lambiam 22:09, 11 December 2019 (UTC)


Is the French audio file accurate? ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:43, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

Technically, yes, but you have to listen really closely to hear it. The style that I've heard used by French speakers when demonstrating pronunciation tends to sound unnatural to English speakers: for instance, an article is added to nouns, so this is really "un attribut". Also, the intonation is different than in running speech. English relies more on pitch and length to indicate stress, so the accent can sound to English speakers like it's on a different syllable from what a French speaker would hear. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:47, 10 December 2019 (UTC)


(linguistics) Marks the following word or phrase as questionable for a grammatical or semantic-pragmatic reason.

There are two sections: "Punctuation mark" and "Symbol". The above definition is under "Punctuation mark", but should it be under "Symbol" instead? Mihia (talk) 15:27, 10 December 2019 (UTC)


Noticed at Wikipedia w:Sheesh Mahal (Lahore Fort). Related? Hyperbolick (talk) 16:53, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

Is what related to what? Are you asking whether our definition of sheesh, " An expression of exasperation", is related to the "sheesh" of w:Sheesh Mahal (Lahore Fort)? I wouldn't have thought so. Maybe you mean something else. Mihia (talk) 18:29, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
In Urdu sheesh(a) means “glass” and mahal means “palace”; together “Glass Palace”. The term sheesha was borrowed from Persian shishe. The English exclamation sheesh, on the other hand, is a devoiced version of jeez!, itself a shortened version of Jesus!, ultimately from the Aramaic male given name Yeshu.  --Lambiam 19:31, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

noun-verb homographsEdit

Do some or many of the pairs on in fact consist of nouns and verbed nouns, not verbs and nouns derived from verbs as the title of the article claims? Do we have categories for these kinds of verbed nouns and nouned verbs? --Espoo (talk) 19:08, 10 December 2019 (UTC)

Much of that list is incorrect. To start, the English noun absent is a nominalization of the adjective, which comes from a Middle French adjective, while the English verb absent comes from a Middle French verb. The English noun accent comes from a Middle French noun, and the English verb accent from an Old French verb. The noun and the verb advocate both have initial stress, so they have no business being in this list. The English noun affect comes from a Latin noun, and the English verb affect (in the related sense) from a Latin verb. The English noun alloy comes from an Old French noun, and the English verb alloy from an Old French verb. The English noun annex comes from a French noun, and the English verb annex from an Old French verb. And so on and on and on.  --Lambiam 20:02, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
I love it when you talk diachronic. DCDuring (talk) 03:24, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

Surprising change in an attestation of risible.Edit

Referencing these edits. A quote (It has been made the definition of man that he is risible.) was missing sourcing, attributed to an H More, so I did my best to look it up. It looks like it's actually from a contemporary, Richard Allestree, maybe? The book says it's by "the author of w:The Whole Duty of Man", which was published anonymously, and while Google Books attributes it to Allestree, apparently there's no consensus on that, though this dictionary attributes it to More explicitly. That, and other sources like this 1845 encyclopedia pointed me to "Government of the Tongue", which has a number of meanings, but which eventually led me to the source linked to on the page. So starting with a quote and the name of someone who almost certainly didn't write it, I found the original source, or something close to it.

Quite a rabbit hole--this stuff is hard! --grendel|khan 19:48, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

The wikipedia article says that The Whole Duty of Man has been attributed to at least 27 people. As you imply, Samuel Johnson's dictionary has the quote we have and attributes The Government of the Tongue to Henry More (1614–1687). The WP article on H. More does not mention either of these works. So probably at least 26 scholars have broken their lances advocating their candidates. Save yours for more winnable battles, especially those important for Wiktionary. DCDuring (talk) 03:19, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
Lances are very useful for poking rabbit holes.  --Lambiam 10:31, 12 December 2019 (UTC)

Duplicate definitions of ethereal?Edit

The second (Consisting of ether; hence, exceedingly light or airy; tenuous; spiritlike; characterized by extreme delicacy, as form, manner, thought, etc.) and third (Delicate, light and airy.) definitions seem to have considerable overlap; the translations are all identical. Are these actually two different senses? grendel|khan 22:11, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

If definitions take from MW 1913 don't seem good, you can sometimes find better starting points for definitions in Century 1911 (See ethereal in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.) Modern citations would let you take it from there. DCDuring (talk) 03:24, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
It may make sense to distinguish the figurative sense of lightness (as of a thought or a melody) and the literal sense (as of a fabric or a foam), even though they may have identical translations. In actual uses, the figurative sense of lightness may not always be distinguishable from the heavenly sense, as with the æthereal muſick of the ſphæres.  --Lambiam 10:10, 12 December 2019 (UTC)