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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.


August 2018

bourgie, bougieEdit

Do these mean two different things in AAVE, or are they alt forms of the same word? If the latter, one should be labelled a synonym or alt form of the other. If the former, usage notes advising "not to be confused with..." would be useful. - -sche (discuss) 01:52, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Also: bougie, at least, does not seem limited to AAVE (and if the citation from Sarah Nicole Prickett is anything to go by, neither is bourgie). - -sche (discuss) 01:53, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
They can't realistically, can they, given the etymology? Let's merge. (I don't think I've ever seen it outside Black Twitter, but I don't get out much. Cites are king.) Equinox 01:56, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I've merged them. I had mostly encountered the spelling bougie and checking twitter confirms that it's more common, so I made it the lemma. - -sche (discuss) 04:14, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

by use and wontEdit

Is this a set expression?

It would appear so. In this context both use and wont are archaic (meaning, respectively, the usual way of doing things and the habitual way of doing things), so this has to be a set phrase, and apparently an instance of a legal doublet.  --Lambiam 16:28, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

custom and practiceEdit

Same question. “custom and practice” in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.

habits and customsEdit

Same question.

mores and customsEdit

Same question.

The reason I'm asking is that I'm looking for a translation of French us et coutumes, and I'd like to render the binary structure of that idiom. Per utramque cavernam 08:53, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

standard procedure? --New WT User Girl (talk) 09:23, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
They all seem to mean basically the same, but are used in different contexts. By use and wont and custom and practice are both legal terminology, used to convey the presumption that longstanding practice confers legal value; of these, custom and practice is specific to labour contract law. The last two belong more to the domains of anthropology and sociology; rather than normative they are descriptive. So the question is how the French phrase is most commonly used. For what it’s worth, the English original of the quotation « Oui, répondit le prieur Aymer ; mais chaque pays a ses us et coutumes ; [...]  » from Ivanhoé found at the French Wikipedia is ‘“Ay, but,” answered Prior Aymer, “every land has its own manners and fashions; [...]”’.  --Lambiam 16:28, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
In my idiolect customs isn't fashions, but Webster 1828 has it so. In my idiolect there is an element of frivolity to fashion, but not to mores, custom(s), practice, habit(s), use, and wont. DCDuring (talk) 19:35, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

bell-bottoms, bell-bottomed trousersEdit

Are these the same thing? Also, the adjective bell-bottomed is glossed as "a style of pants [...]"; I don't think that's proper. Per utramque cavernam 15:09, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

A Google image search for “bell-bottoms” shows bell-bottomed trousers only. The term pants should be avoided as meaning different things in different parts of the Anglophone world.  --Lambiam 16:45, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Bell-bottoms are understood to be pants/trousers. Out of curiosity and amusement, I searched Google Images for bell bottom shorts/dresses/skirts and found nothing but pants. At least in the US, "bell-bottoms" is the main(/only) form, so I'd change the "trousers" variants to alternative forms labeled as UK. Ultimateria (talk) 12:45, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Chiasmus and chiasmusEdit

Do we need both of these pages? Is the initial uppercase letter strictly required for the German word? --Proginoskes (talk) 20:16, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

@Proginoskes: Yes. All German nouns are capitalised. Per utramque cavernam 20:18, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
@Per utramque cavernam: Alright, thanks. Proginoskes (talk) 20:28, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
@Proginoskes: Yes. Almost all "Translingual" taxonomic names are capitalized, too. See Chiasmus#Translingual. DCDuring (talk) 00:13, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Pedigree of German MagenEdit

Why is Magen not listed at Proto-Germanic *magô as a descendant? Also, why is an archaic German Mage listed, a form that does not even have a (High) German entry, neither here nor on the German Wiktionary?  --Lambiam 08:32, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Because the correctly inherited form is
Apparently the addition of an n in the and the strong plural are sufficient for some people to deny the inheritedness and see the word as “derived” only. No, I don’t know, it looks pedantic for me. Imma create an entry for “Mage” in a bit. Should I give an archaic quote and a declension table on the main entry Magen or in the alternative form? I am not sure but I will do the former. Have I offended the layout of this discussion page? I am not sure either. Fay Freak (talk) 09:40, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I can’t even add the self-same declension table code in the entry because I get the message: “Lua error in Module:de-noun at line 360: The parameter "head" is not used by this template.” Is this a dirty trick of the module creator to enforce putting declensions with different nominative singular under a different page? Fay Freak (talk) 09:54, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
The parameter for changing the nominative singular for that module is |ns=. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 16:37, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Pit of cessEdit

Our cesspool entry states that the origin is uncertain and gives two possible alternative etymologies. The Online Etymology Dictionary presents two more guesses. None of these suggest a relation with the noun cess. Yet our cesspit entry analyzes the word with great confidence as the compound cess + pit.  --Lambiam 08:57, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

cess in the sense of to spill water[1] seems pretty close, or also in the sense a layer or stratum, which would mean that a cesspool or cesspit is a pool in a certain layer or which stratifies water. Fay Freak (talk) 10:59, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
  1. ^ Wright, Thomas (1880), “cess”, in Dictionary of obsolete and provincial English, containing words from the English writers previous to the nineteenth century which are no longer in use, or are not used in the same sense. And words which are now used only in the provincial dialects, volume 1, London: George Bell and Sons, page 295
“Cesspit” does not mean “pit for spilling water”, “pit in a certain layer” or “pit that stratifies water”; these all seem implausible etyma to me. Is there an authoritative source for the etymology of cesspit?  --Lambiam 19:45, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
An earlier revision of our cesspit entry said cesspool + pit instead. Equinox 19:51, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
etymonline (which is plagiarized from the OED), derives it from "cesspool", for which it gives, "the first element perhaps an alteration of cistern, or perhaps a shortened form of recess [Klein]; or the whole may be an alteration of suspiral (c. 1400), "drainpipe," from Old French sospiral". I think we should say the etymology is unknown. DTLHS (talk) 19:52, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Question regarding Norwegian languagesEdit

On Wiktionary There's Norwegian, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk.

As far as I know entries that are the same in both Bokmål and Nynorsk are still entered in both NB and NN, so my question is - what is Norwegian for? I see some words like jo only have an entry for Norwegian, are those yet to be processed by someone and turned into Bokmål + Nynorsk?

Should I treat Nynorsk entries as both Bokmål+Nynorsk for purposes of creating an offline dictionary? C0rn3j (talk) 19:24, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2014-03/Unified Norwegian: see the conclusion. Per utramque cavernam 19:32, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Oh so it's kind of a free-for-all and people can create entries willy nilly either under NO or NB+NN. Guess I'll be inserting NO into both NB and NN dictionaries on my side then. Thanks. C0rn3j (talk) 21:58, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
For many years, this was a topic of theoretical interest. Some Norwegians thought separation was the right thing to do, but not many entries were created anyway. In 2013, this changed, as user:Njardarlogar started to contribute lots of entries in separate languages, and also remove the united Norwegian entries. At the height, Norwegian had 6751 lemmas in January 2013 and now has only 1926 lemmas. In that poll in 2014, you see some non-Norwegians supporting the idea to keep Norwegian united as one language (the old status quo), and some very serious Norwegian contributors (including Njardarlogar) opposing that idea. Inside Norway, the idea to unify the two died in the 1960s (w:no:Samnorsk). LA2 (talk) 23:01, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Among the people who participated in the 2014 poll and who seriously contribute to Norwegian entries on this wiktionary and/or are native speakers of Norwegian, there were 5 that voted for treating Bokmål and Nynorsk separately and 1 who was neutral. So in this group, there is more or less consensus to treat them separately, even if that wasn't enough to take the poll to that conclusion. With the introduction of Lexicographical data on Wikidata, this debate is likely to surface there as well, with a slightly different set of participating users (I did start a section on the Norwegian project chat there, but not much of a debate there yet).

Printed and online dictionaries tend to treat Nynorsk and Bokmål separately as far as I am aware (so a printed dictionary may be either only for Nynorsk or only for Bokmål).

The major downside to treating Nynorsk and Bokmål separately on Wiktionary, are the dialects. Some dialectal entries might fit naturally under a Nynorsk or Bokmål header, but most will probably not - hence a third header "Norwegian" is then be necessary to enter these (unless you want to duplicate their entries).

As for your offline dictionary, how to best treat Norwegian depends on the purpose of the dictionary. --Njardarlogar (talk) 09:21, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

Regarding dictionaries, Det Norsk Akademis Ordbok {{R:NAOB}} doesn't cover Nynorsk at all, and leans towards Riksmål. DonnanZ (talk) 13:40, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
My use for the offline dictionary is mainly Kindle and Kindle for PC. For the Bokmål dictionary on the screenshots I simply scrape entries in a bunch of main Bokmål categories, which ends up excluding words like jo since they are not noted down under Bokmål. Hence my current idea is to also scrape the Norwegian entries into it. C0rn3j (talk) 17:59, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
"I see some words like jo only have an entry for Norwegian, are those yet to be processed by someone and turned into Bokmål + Nynorsk?" The answer to that is, for words like jo, yes. But as far as I can tell, a large proportion of the entries that are left under the heading "Norwegian" are names, of places and people. And names are the same in Bokmål and Nynorsk (with a very few notable examples, like Noreg and Norge) so I doubt anyone will bother making duplicate entries for Bokmål and Nynorsk for all of these.

Some bad surname entriesEdit

I stumbled on Stgermaine, a surname entry that seems to be missing a space (St. Germaine?): I think TheDaveRoss mass-imported surnames at one point and made some mistakes of this kind. Category:English_surnames has further culprits like Stgeorge, Sthilaire, Stpeter, Stpierre... I think we need to do an audit! Equinox 20:20, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Fortunately, most of them can probably just be moved to the proper page, as it looks like we're missing entries for the actual spellings. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:30, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I had thought that @TheDaveRoss was doing this semi-manually, but evidently that is not the case. It makes me concerned that there are other mistakes of this type. @Makaokalani may also be interested. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:47, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
TDR was possibly trolling us. --New WT User Girl (talk) 22:06, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Stcyr too --New WT User Girl (talk) 22:08, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Let's delete everything with weird consonant sequences that isn't Welsh. Ah hell let's delete Welsh too. Equinox 22:09, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
And Dvořák can get the fuck out of Category:English surnames too. And anything double-barelled - Dufour-Lapointe, for example - it should be easy enough to find anything with a hyphen in Category:English surnames --New WT User Girl (talk) 22:24, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Anything beginning with De- (Dela-), Di-, Van- should be checked too. It's hard to know the most common spelling in the US because computers won't accept gaps, periods or upper case letters inside a name. Some names have been genuinely anglicized. Missing diacritical marks in names of Spanish origin might not be the choice of the name bearers. --Makaokalani (talk) 12:27, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

I was doing these semi-manually, but I missed "St" as a prefix to be flagged for double-checking. Mea culpa. I'll delete the problematic ones. - TheDaveRoss 13:44, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
@TheDaveRoss: You also need to delete all the plurals you made, like Stgermaines, and remove the links to both the singular and plural forms that were automatically added to Anagrams sections. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:36, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
That is not necessary, anagrams will be updated by bot eventually. DTLHS (talk) 19:29, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Or just move them? - -sche (discuss) 17:35, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

Belarusian participlesEdit

Прывет! I'm Swedish, learning Russian, and currently creating entries and templates in Swedish Wiktionary for Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian words.

English Wiktionary has а template {{be-conj-table}} for verbs in Belarusian, created in 2013 by @Atitarev. It is similar in appearance to the templates for Russian verbs, but among the participles, the Belarusian template only shows the adverbial ones. Do the other types (active, passive) of participles not exist in Belarusian? For the perfective verb прачытаць (to read through, Russian прочитать), there is a word прачытаны. Isn't this a past participle passive in the same way as Russian прочитанный?

Упершыню курс антрапалогіі быў прачытаны ў 1871 г. ва ўніверсітэце Рачэстара.
For the first time a course in anthropology was read (given, held) in 1871 at the university of Rochester. --LA2 (talk) 22:42, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
@LA2: Yes, passive past participles exist in Belarusian and could potentially be added to the templates but they were not added because they always have to be added manually, which adds an extra overhead, which is also error-prone. And like Russian, far from each verb type has passive past participles. The active present tense participles are normally not used in Belarusian. Compare Russian чита́ющий (čitájuščij, reading) and Belarusian які́ чыта́е (jakí čytáje, reading (lit.: which is reading))
Basically, you need to add each form manually until all the rules and exceptions about the Belarusian verb inflections are described and modules are developed. Such comprehensive work (like the Russian grammar book described by late Andrey Zaliznyak) doesn't exist for Belarusian, which also has two major standards. Serbo-Croatian editors, such as User:Ivan Štambuk and others didn't mind adding inflections manually for many years for Serbo-Croatian but they are native speakers. Russian inflections were also entered manually for years before the inflections were modularised and we have active native speakers who are able to check and fix any errors. Sorry, I don't see a quick solution for missing inflections for Belarusian or Ukrainian languages. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:01, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
For Ukrainian and Belarusian verbs on English Wiktionary, the only templates that exist do enumreate all forms. This is different from the many templates for Russian verbs, which automatically present all forms from a minimum of parameters. With the current approach, I suggest adding a named parameter ppp= for specifying the passive past participle (the default being to leave it out). This is what I intend to do for the Belarusian templates in Swedish Wiktionary anyway. LA2 (talk) 20:30, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
The ppp= parameter is now implemented and works fine on Swedish Wiktionary's sv:прачытаць. LA2 (talk) 08:51, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

durian and English descendantsEdit

There's a large list of words in other languages that were borrowed from the English durian, it's a bit unsightly and doesn't look right. I was looking around for other English entries that have a descendants section but I couldn't really find any (words like computer and cheese don't have them and I feel like they should). So I don't really have anything to go on for how to reformat it better from any English entry. However, I see lot's for Latin words (like the one in pullus) and they're arranged quite nicely so I was thinking, should I just used that formatting for any English entries? I think it would look a lot better and not take up as much space and mess up the flow of the page. Any suggestions would be appreciated. 2WR1 (talk) 23:57, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

It would be desirable to do it like cheese#Derived_terms (i.e. 1. collapsible list, 2. multi-columns to save space). Dunno how. Equinox 00:02, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
@Equinox Ya, definitely! I was sort of thinking that, but I also don't know how to make a collapsible list for a descendants section. The only language that I'm familiar with having lot's of long lists of descendants in its entries is Latin, and that sort of spaces them out into two columns and has a light blue background. There's not really too many examples of descendants formatting to go off of I guess. 2WR1 (talk) 00:44, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I've been using {{des-top}}, des-mid, and des-bottom for lists of descendants longer than 6. I like it over {{desc-top}} (somehow different??) because of the text at the top: "descendants of [pagename] in other languages". Ultimateria (talk) 15:30, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
How certain is it that the routes from Malay to all these languages went through English? I’d expect, in view of existing trade routes, that there are more plausible ways on how the name entered Arabic, Bengali, and Persian.  --Lambiam 20:13, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

tooth mark, toothmarkEdit

Shouldn't the plural be teeth marks? DonnanZ (talk) 10:31, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

If it's attested, go ahead and add it as an alternative, but I'd expect the usual form to be toothmarks. I don't think any native speaker would say *feetprints or *fingersprints, don't see why this is any different. Jonathan Hall (talk) 15:40, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Google ngram viewer shows toothmarks to be more popular than teethmarks, but not excessively so. The singular teethmark is unknown. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:47, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
These might be two separate terms...the mark left by a single tooth is a toothmark and its plural is toothmarks. I've created teethmark (a mark left by multiple teeth) as well. Leasnam (talk) 15:49, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I found plenty of evidence of teeth marks in use, so I added it. It seems more natural to me. DonnanZ (talk) 16:30, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Why isn't teeth marks the plural of teeth mark ? Leasnam (talk) 18:05, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
That one is your idea. You can always add it. DonnanZ (talk) 18:13, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
English doesn't tend to show grammatical number on nouns in attributive position or in compounds- we say armpits, not armspits. Also, to be logically consistent, you would need to say "tooth marks" for multiple marks made by a single tooth and "teeth mark" for a single mark made by multiple teeth, reserving "tooth mark" for a single mark made by a single tooth and "teeth marks" for multiple marks made by multiple teeth. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:29, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. Leasnam (talk) 20:08, 3 August 2018 (UTC)


We have a category called Category:krdict of Korean but we don't have an entry for krdict. What does it mean? Is the category name a good one? SemperBlotto (talk) 15:05, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

At least some of the entries give as Reference [..][...], which should explain the name. But as Korean is a WT:WDL, this isn't sufficent for attestation... -17:53, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) This is added by the {{R:krdict}} template that @HappyMidnight just created, and is obviously short for Korean Dictionary as well as being the domain name of the dictionary site referred to. The template is a cleaner equivalent of {{NIKL}} (if definitions are copied from the site, we should have a reference stating that for licensing purposes, so I'm not objecting to the template itself).
I do think we should change the category- the name makes no sense and doesn't match the format of any category name we have. I also question whether it's a good idea to even have a category for this reference, since you can get the same information from Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:krdict. Although Hangul entries don't have the level of category clutter that entries with lots of language sections do, I don't see the point. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:11, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Hello, I am sorry for my poor English. I made a Wiktionary article here and a documentation for the template. I agree it doesn't need to make the category, Category:krdict of Korean since we can refer at Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:krdict. Thank you for your kind advice. HappyMidnight (talk) 00:27, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Wiktionary:National Institute of Korean Language's Korean-English Learners' Dictionary belongs at Template:R:krdict/documentation, I guess (nobody will find it else …). And the documentation should be put into Template:R:krdict via {{documentation}} in <noinclude></noinclude>. Fay Freak (talk) 01:40, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

get one's dick wetEdit

SOP? Per utramque cavernam 15:17, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

It depends. Have you got a definition? DonnanZ (talk) 15:26, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes: dip one's pen in someone's inkwell. Per utramque cavernam 15:43, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
IMO the common use is clearly idiomatic, since it only refers to sex, not, say, falling into a river; and could probably include non-genital-wettening forms of sex. Jonathan Hall (talk) 16:01, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Jonathan's analysis. I'd say create it. Ultimateria (talk) 21:12, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

looking for a termEdit

In English, we call someone who cares more about material things "materialistic". What do you call someone who cares about their own interests more than anything else? Who is very much focused on achieving their own goals? Is there an -ism for that? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:25, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

I think just egoism/egotism. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:21, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, or self-centered(ness) (or self-absorbed). I think egotism and egotistical connote that the person thinks they are superior to / more important than others, whereas egoism is a more philosophical term for being motivated by self-interest. (Oddly, autism, despite having almost synonymous components, means something else!) You might also consider selfish. - -sche (discuss) 05:22, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Thanks. The problem is I'm trying to translate an extended meaning of Chinese 現實, literally, "realistic", but we use it in the situation of, for example, a young woman who won't marry unless she finds a man who has a good job, car and house. The concept of "realistic" in modern Chinese culture is valuing one's own interests in a very practical and pragmatic way. I've yet to find an exact term in English. "Egoism" is close but too derogatory. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:30, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I like pragmatism, but it could be mistaken for Pragmatism. IMO most of the ism words above convey something with a different flavor than their related adjectives. Pragmatic seems best, perhaps even practical (practicality). Selfish would be good except that it is pejorative and may not fit the writer's view. Its use in the context above could imply that concern for providing a good environment for having and raising one's children is bad. DCDuring (talk) 14:39, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • It appears that no single English word adequately covers the meaning, so a phrasal definition seems in order. Something like, “looking primarily after one’s own interests”?  --Lambiam 19:59, 4 August 2018 (UTC)


I think two words, birch wood, is more likely, both for a wood full of birch trees and the wood from birch trees. I tried Googling and came up with Birchwood as a place name. DonnanZ (talk) 09:52, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

How does ngram handle "a birchwood" and "a birch wood", and "birchwoods" and "birch woods"? At the moment I am dealing with a translation for "birch wood", wood from the tree (which should be uncountable). DonnanZ (talk) 10:04, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
You can experiment yourself at [1]. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:08, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
p.s. Does one of these also mean the wood of the birch tree?
I'm working from Norwegian bjerkeved and bjørkeved, which indeed is wood from birch trees. Anyway, "a birch wood" has the edge over "a birchwood", but "birch woods" is about three times as common as "birchwoods". DonnanZ (talk) 10:22, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Apparently it is popular as firewood. I tried googling "birch wood" and "firewood" and "birchwood" / "firewood"; the latter results were confused by the place name, but there were some. DonnanZ (talk) 10:49, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Bare, uncountable birch means the wood. The addition of wood seems to me warranted only if there is a reason why in the context there is a need to contrast with birch trees, birch bark, birch beer(?) etc. DCDuring (talk) 14:44, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
I have done entries for birch wood (as an alternative form), and Birchwood, as a proper noun. DonnanZ (talk) 19:48, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
See [[woods]]. Woods ("small forested area") is countable and the same form is used for both singular and plural. I think this is inherited by all the SoP terms that use woods in this sense, including birch woods. DCDuring (talk) 21:33, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, woods (sense 2), "I went for a walk in the woods" when you're referring to one wooded area or woodland. But one birch wood, two birch woods. Wood is also used in the names of wooded areas, Highgate Wood in Highgate for example. DonnanZ (talk) 22:06, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm afraid it's also one birch woods. DCDuring (talk) 23:09, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Someone would have to be different... DonnanZ (talk) 23:20, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Both in theory (from wood) and in practice (judging by google books:"a birch wood"), a birch wood is a valid singular for a birch forest. Indeed, it seems to be the only valid singular: birch woods, unlike woods, can AFAICS only take plural determiners, verbs, etc. - -sche (discuss) 01:38, 5 August 2018 (UTC)


Is it the best idea to have separate English, Japanese and Translingual entries for the same thing? Equinox 21:19, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

In the past the rationale for separate L2 sections has been principally divergence of pronunciations, though other content could differ as well. DCDuring (talk) 21:37, 4 August 2018 (UTC)


Mh, does this belong in CAT:English lemmas? Per utramque cavernam 09:42, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

The L2-Header is "English" because the denotated morpheme -ation is English, so it seems to belong in English, because e.g. ⠰⠇ for example has an English header, but also Thai for a different reading. 08:03, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

Why does this constitute an own lemma different from -ation at all? Maybe you should have taken this to the creator, Kwami. 08:03, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

Not sure I follow, but braille English doesn't always correspond one-to-one with linear English orthography, if that's relevant. kwami (talk) 08:12, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, that was a brain fart. Per utramque cavernam 21:14, 9 August 2018 (UTC)


I have added this as a misspelling, however it is especially commonly used in India. It seems as if it has been established as acceptable there. (possible meaning until, up till or up until) How should this be handled in the entry? Graeme Bartlett (talk) 23:36, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

You could use {{cx|India}} with a usage note. "Standard in Indian English" or something. DTLHS (talk) 23:40, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
From the linked to template: "Note: DO NOT USE THIS. Use {{lb}}". label could be: {{lb|en|India}}. - 23:25, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

cattywampus, catawampusEdit

Each entry gives the other as an alternative form, but their definitions are different. Excluding the "fierce" sense (catawampus probably needs to be split by etymology), what do these mean and do they mean the same thing or not? - -sche (discuss) 04:36, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

DARE devotes a page to catawampus, which it has as the main entry. There's a lot to digest. DCDuring (talk) 17:49, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
I took a run at catawampus. I split the etymologies so the adjective "fierce" and the noun "imaginary animal" share the second. There are Scots verbs, such as wampish, that may account for the wampus. DCDuring (talk) 18:22, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't see why the speculative derivation of cater should appear in this entry. DCDuring (talk) 18:23, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I've moved all the speculation about where cater-corner comes from to that entry (and merely left the note that the first part of catawampus may be related to the first part of cater-corner). The question about definitions remains. - -sche (discuss) 18:38, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Are these terms limited to US (and perhaps Canadian) dialects, by the way? - -sche (discuss) 19:18, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

Hyphenation of manyEdit

According to the entry, many is hyphenated "many", i.e. has one syllable. Is that a thing? Isn't this two syllables? And if so, ma-ny or man-y? MGorrone (talk) 16:01, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

I think (and the template documentation suggests) hyphenation shows where the word can be hyphenated across a line break (according to some rules), not how many syllables it has. - -sche (discuss) 16:49, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Both hyphenations suggested by MGorrone appear in references, ma-ny being more common, especially in books of song lyrics. Some style books explicitly recommend no hyphenation for many; more recommend no hyphenation for short words. DCDuring (talk) 18:36, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
I'd say that song lyrics use different rules for hyphenation from running text, and thus isn't a good example for hyphenation rules.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:16, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

The Polish phrase za rządówEdit

There are two separate declensions given by Wiktionary for the Polish noun rząd according to meaning. The first of these declensions applies if the meaning is “row”, “order”, “rank” and “horse’s tack” and the second if the meaning is “government”, “cabinet” and “executive branch”. In the case of the phrase za rządów, the second declension pattern applies. Although this noun is grammatically inanimate in all senses it may be that in the sense of “government”, “cabinet” and “executive branch” it is treated as though it were animate and therefore the accusative can be identical to the genitive rather than to the nominative as is more usual with inanimate nouns. Thus, za rządów could mean “for governments”. Please ascertain whether this is the case. Johnling60 (talk) 22:22, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

Rules for forming Veps illatives, terminatives and additivesEdit

The Wikipedia article on the Veps language gives the following rules for retaining the final vowel of the genitive singular stem in forming the illative singular in Veps (see under Grammar/Nouns/Principal parts):

   1. The genitive singular must end in a diphthong.
   2. The nominative singular must have two syllables each consisting of one consonant followed by one vowel.
   3. The genitive singular must consist of a single syllable or of three syllables.
   4. The genitive singular must be a contracted form of the nominative singular.
   5. The final vowel of the genitive singular stem must be preceded by either ll or ľľ.
   6. The final vowel of the genitive stem is always retained if it is preceded by h.

However, although the article says that the illative singular is predictably formed from the genitive singular, exceptions can occur. For instance, by rule 2 above the illative singular of meri (sea) should be merehe but apparently it is merhe. It may be that the illative singular of veri (blood) shows the same irregularity, being verhe instead of the expected verehe. This serves to underline the value of the inflection table templates in Wiktionary, provided, of course, that the tables are complete and all the forms given are correct and not replaced by question marks due to sheer laziness rather than not knowing the forms for the illative singular, first terminative singular and first additive singular in Veps. Regrettably, the Wikipedia article does not give the rules for forming the third person singular and plural imperatives but it may be that they are similar to those for forming the illative singular. Wiktionary gives the third person singular and plural imperatives for the verb olda (to be) but it may be that similar verbs such as tulda (to come) and panda (to put) form their third person singular and plural imperatives in the same way, thus tulgha and pangha respectively. Will someone please ascertain whether this is the case and endeavour to ascertain the rules for forming the third person singular and plural imperatives of all other Veps verbs? Once the illative singular of every Veps noun, adjective, cardinal and ordinal numeral is found, the formation of the first terminative singular and first additive singular should be simple and straightforward, namely by adding the endings sai and päi respectively. The first illative singular, first terminative singular and first additive singular of the pronoun eraz (certain,some) are presumably erasehe, erasehesai and erasehepäi respectively. In an ideal world complete and correct inflection table templates would be given in Wiktionary for every inflected word in all inflected languages; also, all languages would be supported by language websites such as Google Translate, Geonames and Omniglot, and a comprehensive grammar would be available online for every language. Regrettably we do not live in an ideal world. Johnling60 (talk) 23:44, 6 August 2018 (UTC)


This (and 4 other English words) have a PoS section "Postposition".

  1. This is not a generally accepted word class in English lexicography, largely because it isn't part of non-specialist education of users.
  2. It is not recognized in English in this Wiktionary.
  3. It is not at all clear to me that it differs grammatically in any way from ago#Adverb.

Am I missing something?

The other terms in Category:English postpositions and having Postposition headers are agoe, apart, notwithstanding, aside. DCDuring (talk) 03:27, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

  • I am surprised ===Postposition=== is not a deprecated heading, I recommend merging it with the adverb. DonnanZ (talk) 11:30, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
    I think it's not deprecated because it is a recognized word class in other languages, eg, Finnish, Hindi, Navajo. I'd bet that the English PoS sections were added by someone skilled in such a language. DCDuring (talk) 12:05, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
Some children believe prepositions are called so because they describe positions. Was prepostition refering to sentence position, originally, if Latin has a rather free word order? The etymology coverage here ends at Latin with a hint at Old Greek. prae has a sense "because of" ... 12:36, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
It's certainly possible to find references which call ago a postposition; google books:"postposition ago". Whether we should accept this analysis, I'm not sure. You're one of our most adept users at grammar, and the dictionaries I looked at do seem to consider the "postpositional" usexes we have to be adverbial, so I don't mind folding it into the adverb. But we could at least mention, in a usage note a la percent’s, that some authorities analyse it as a postposition. (Obviously, other languages in which "postposition" is a recognized POS can continue to use the POS / header.) - -sche (discuss) 21:18, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
I certainly don't object to any such usage note, nor to a category should there be a well-defined criterion for membership.
CGEL (2002) specifically mentions apart, aside, notwithstanding, ago, and on ("later") as [p]repositions [sic] following their complement in PP structure. They also consider and reject postposition as a word class in English and express regret that adposition phrase is not a term in use to encompass both prepositional and postpositional phrases. [This would make obvious the full/near-equivalence of English prepositional phrases and Japanese postpositional phrases.]
CGEL (2002) treats many words we call adverbs as "intransitive prepositions", nomenclature we are not alone in rejecting. That leaves us with each of these and their alternative forms (eg, agoe) as adverbs. DCDuring (talk) 00:02, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

I think it is a nominative absolute and therefore not to be treated distinctly from the adjective header. A diachronic analysis confirms this anyway. The same for anything in Category:English postpositions. And when searching it it looks like it has been seen like this more often. Fay Freak (talk) 22:22, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

CGEL (2002) specifically addresses the similarity and makes an argument for distinguishing the two which, IMHO, does fit notwithstanding, but does not comfortably fit the postpositive uses of on, ago, apart, aside. But the uses in which the phrase is not set apart by punctuation don't comfortably fit the "absolute" analysis either IMHO. I hope we can just get away with calling them adverbs. When we have cases that can be shown not to fit the adverb treatment, we can address them. DCDuring (talk) 00:17, 8 August 2018 (UTC)


Two senses: "1. A person who has committed a felony. 2. (law) A person who has been tried and convicted of a felony." This seems unnecessary: I mean, we don't distinguish words like thief or murderer in this way. Merge? Equinox 15:29, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Yes - should be just a person who has committed a felony. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:31, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes. I mean, I see a few dictionaries which instead use the "...who has been convicted of a felony" wording for their single sense, but they still have only one sense. (I suppose we could say "...who have committed, or been convicted of, a felony", but that seems unnecessarily wordy.) has a semi-interesting usage note about how people distinguish convicts and ex-convicts, but felon seems to be a lifelong status with ex-felon little-used (Ngrams). - -sche (discuss) 20:51, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I dunno. People generally use the term both ways. I can probably find evidence of dialogue in which the term is used both ways, leading to disagreement or attempted correction. Convicted felons lose the vote in many US states, sometimes for life. I wonder whether felony is a class of crime that applies before someone is convicted of it. DCDuring (talk) 21:47, 7 August 2018 (UTC)\
    We make that kind of distinction for guilty. Perhaps if we use that word we can rely on the ambiguity of guilty to make two definitions from one. DCDuring (talk) 21:57, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
I'll be interested to see whether or not the senses are distinguished by anything other than the question of whether or not the person committed the act in the eyes of whoever is responsible for the designation. Otherwise, it seems like thief or murderer, as Equinox says, (or rapist, robber, etc, etc) where it refers to someone who committed the act, and a court simply won't use it until they're satisfied that the person did commit the act (at which point they convict them). - -sche (discuss) 22:00, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
There are a good number of cites for alleged/accused/purported/indicted/charged felon. From this I conclude that a single definition limited to convicted would be wrongly narrow. But in law the term felon seems to be reserved for one who has been found guilty, whether or not the person is actually guilty, eg, has been found wrongly accused by post-trial DNA evidence, witness recantation, etc.
That is, the justice system uses the term both in a loose sense, closely related to the popular sense, and more formally in the "convicted" sense.
That said, I certainly see the merits of an "in the eyes of the speaker" definition. DCDuring (talk) 01:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)


Can someone explain the sense "Describing a workload as to its idle, working and de-energized periods". It needs rewriting at the least. Equinox 16:48, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

I think it relates to the expected work a component of a deterministic system fulfills.
2017 June 21, Josh Ray, “Cryorig H7 Quad Lumi Build - Modern Mini RGB Powerhouse”, in Unlocked[2]:
Inside, the i7-7700 takes CPU duty in an MSI Z270 Carbon ITX board.
2017 February 14, “Best free software updater for Windows PC (2018)”, in Techwayz[3]:
Even if you configure [the programs] to run on Windows start-up, you won’t experience system slowdown because the software updater tools I’ve shared above utilize a small amount of CPU duty cycles and RAM.
But this is hard to distinguish from the meaning “The efficiency of an engine etc.”, and from the figurative usage of the first sense. Fay Freak (talk) 18:57, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

mico and other entries with ambiguous definitionsEdit

The ambiguous definition for the Portuguese term in question is: "A monkey with a prehensile tail."

I use this as an illustration of a larger problem, certainly not limited to FL entries, let alone Portuguese entries, though the tendency toward terseness in FL glosses may make things worse.

Does this mean:

  1. Any monkey with a prehensile tail?
  2. Any of a certain species of monkey with a prehensile tail?
  3. A certain individual monkey with a prehensile tail?
  4. Any monkey owning a prehensile tail (not necessarily its own)?

The third we can exclude, I hope, because it appears in the context of a dictionary that normally doesn't have that kind of entry. The fourth is offered purely in jest, but suggests how easy it is to misconstrue a definition.

IMO, the other two are equally plausible. Is there any reason why we should not insert {{rfdef}}, {{rfgloss}}, or similar template to disambiguate such definitions? DCDuring (talk) 20:30, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

You would probably be better off asking the person who wrote it directly, or another Portuguese contributor. DTLHS (talk) 20:35, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the definition could be improved. It has a definition, though, so {{rfdef}} doesn't seem quite right. {{rfgloss}} would work. I typically tag such things {{attention}} or (and this is the way to be sure of getting an answer) ask users who speak the language, or post here. Other poor definitions include "stilt (not the bird)" (which I think Ungoliant first pointed out to me, and which has since been cleaned up, though memorialized in the Anteroom of Silliness). - -sche (discuss) 20:44, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
To which end, pinging @Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV. - -sche (discuss) 20:45, 7 August 2018 (UTC) (not because he wrote the def, but because he presumably knows what the word means) - -sche (discuss) 23:47, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring, -sche. Mico is not a vernacular name of anything (although many compounds containing it are), so it is not obvious which of the first two interpretations is correct. The way it functions semantically is similar to worm, in that it describes a general outward appearance and has at best a secondary connection to specific families, species or what have you.
Priberam and Aulete, which are the two dictionaries that I most trust, define it as something to the effect of “any of several small and long-tailed monkeys” and “any of the Callitrichidae” respectively. A quick Google Books search reveals that the term is also used in reference to at least Cebidae and Saimirinae, so the latter can be excluded. If you think it is important, we can rewrite the definition on the model of waterfowl (i.e. ending in “especially those of the families X, Y and Z”), and there should probably be an emphasis on the smallness, since howler monkeys can be described as small and long-tailed but are too big to be called micos. — Ungoliant (falai) 22:15, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
@Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV: I can't speak to the importance of mico for users of Portuguese entries. [[waterfowl]] is a pretty good example of a well-specified definition of a vernacular term for a group of organisms. I've been wondering how to make sense out of English vernacular terms like beetle, bug, fly, gnat, viper, asp, serpent etc. both with and, especially, without reference to taxonomic names. DCDuring (talk) 23:06, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
I hate to delay the completion of Wiktionary, but this ambiguity makes a difference for taxonomy etc. If a term does not correspond to any particular taxon (current or obsolete) or if the correspondence is hard to determine, that's fine with me. Similarly, if a term does not correspond to any particular narrow vernacular name. But IMO, English determiners and adjectives can help suggest the scope of the definition. I use certain#Determiner to indicate that there is a specific group of referents, which are not currently specified or are specified outside the definition line. Any has clear definitional implications, usually implying that the definition is reasonably well specified.
Further, I think the ambiguity will sometimes affect users, both "ordinary" and other.
Where the scope of the issue is limited to one term, I have usually either resolved it myself (for English or Translingual terms) or gone to the author (where that can be readily determined and if the author is still active). Unfortunately, it is easy to be a little vague in writing definitions. Many other dictionaries seem to have style guides that reduce the risk of such ambiguities. We need to either adopt one or use other means. Is this a BP matter? DCDuring (talk) 22:41, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
  • The Portuguese entry, not just the definition in question, looks much improved. DCDuring (talk) 01:21, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
    The ambiguity remains though for the Spanish entry. I think I have occasionally seen this kind of definitional ambiguity in other (non-zoological) lemmas as well describing something that had no obvious English translation. I don’t remember any specific examples right now, but imagine the definition given for the (imaginary) noun bibiker is “a mug with two handles”. Does that mean that all mugs with two handles are bibikers, or merely that bibikers are a type of mug for which having two handles is the most striking characteristic, one that is needed but not per se sufficient to make a mug qualify for bibiker-hood?  --Lambiam 21:33, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
    Exactly. Determiners and adjectives can reduce the ambiguity.
BTW, which sense of mug (eg, "bloke, fellow") and handle (eg, "name, nickname") did you intend for the definition of bibiker? Using polysemous words in definitions can lead to misunderstanding or require unnecessary decoding effort on the part of the reader. The terser the definition and the fewer the citations or usage examples, the more likely the misunderstanding. Usage context labels can help. DCDuring (talk) 04:47, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Obviously, I meant “bloke with two nicknames” :). Something that should also occasionally help is starting a definition with “A type of” in cases where this is appropriate. Maybe it is time to start a guideline on formulating definitions, more extensive than Wiktionary:Style guide#Definitions, or else expanding Help:Writing definitions into something more like a tutorial with lots of examples (like Help:Table on Wikipedia).  --Lambiam 21:02, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
I'll need to muster the courage for such an effort. I'l have to wait at least until the heat wave breaks. DCDuring (talk) 02:01, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

virgin non-comparable? I think not.Edit

Definition: "Not yet cultivated, explored, or exploited by humans or humans of certain civilizations."

This is readily found in comparative and superlative "forms". And yet virgin was shown as not comparable (now not so shown). What should the inflection line say for virgin? What should the various definition lines say? For nouns we have a fairly elaborate, but apparently workable, system for showing countability on both the inflection line and on definition lines.

In this case, I don't think that the senses of virgin that are comparable are minor, so there should be recognition of comparability on the inflection line. Does there need to be a qualifier on the inflection line? Should we show comparative and superlative forms without inflection-line qualification and show non-comparability only as a label? DCDuring (talk) 03:17, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

I hypothesized that all the senses would probably be found "graded" relatively often, although when I searched for citations, I found that this was not the case, and "more virgin" is not that common in any sense. Still, I agree it's common enough to merit being on the inflection/headword line, and that the senses which are not usually comparable then need to be marked somehow. I see that many entries use {{lb|en|not comparable}}, and a few use "usually not comparable", so I've added that label to the two senses which seemed to be "graded" least often, the "chaste" and "non-alcoholic" senses. - -sche (discuss) 05:32, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
In many ways we are wasting our users' time and attention by presenting the normal more and most formations on the inflection line. Similarly, are we really providing useful information about an adjective when we assert it is not comparable? The claims never have systematic empirical backing and often are based on nothing more than a contributor's impression based on the semantics. Many of the adjectives that have that inflection-line claim are simply so rare that comparatives and superlatives would be unlikely to be attested, let alone be part of a contributor's experience. There is nothing that makes most adjectives necessarily non-comparable. To the extent that they are not comparable, it seems to me that the unlabeled definition alone would (or should) convey the unlikelihood of comparative and superlative forms. To me the noncomparable claims smack of excessive prescriptivism. If someone wants to say more one-of-a-kind or more abated there is nothing inherent in English that prevents it. Do any other dictionaries make such assertions? DCDuring (talk) 11:40, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
To quote myself from my user page: "Virtually any adjective can take [comparative/superlatives with more and most] if the author wishes it, and it encourages editors to find weird fringe examples to substantiate their existence." Equinox 17:45, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
Why bother with assertions about standard comparability at all? Do they help users construct sentences? Do they help users understand sentences? DCDuring (talk) 03:42, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
It seems to me that the design of the "adj" template is based on the presumption that comparatives are formed with "more"/"most", or with "-er"/"-est", or (rarely) irregularly, or not at all, and that all adjectives fall into exactly one category. In reality things can be a bit more blurry, I would say. In the past I have several times found myself using the syntax "{{en-adj|?}}" because the auto-generated "more ~" and "most ~" forms seemed to be making too much of a big deal of unusual comparatives, and yet I did not want to conclusively say that the adjective was not comparable. Mihia (talk) 23:36, 15 August 2018 (UTC)


Worth an entry? I think it's military jargon. Per utramque cavernam 16:58, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

  • 2018 May 4, “We are defining what fashion is for consumers: Myntra, Jabong CEO”, in Livemint:
    We are doing faster deliveries, not by air shipping but by forward deploying the inventory.
  1. Context is not military.
  2. There seems to be a verb forward deploy with all forms attestable.
  3. The use omits the hyphen.
This example probably isn't durably archived, but there are a number of other usages that support each of these features. A great amount of the usage of the term is in blogs and similar non-durably archived media. OTOH, the vast majority of usage is military, but usage in IT rollouts, emergency preparedness, patent wars(!) can be found. DCDuring (talk) 04:25, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

carrousel and carouselEdit

Am I right in think that only one of these pages should exist with the other one linked purely as an alternative spelling? They both have overlapping definitions (but not completely, there are more definitions for carousel). Are some definitions spelling-specific? And if they are simply alternative spellings, which spelling should be the default with the other simply linked as the 'alternative'? 2WR1 (talk) 23:43, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

If there are truly differences in meaning, pronunciation, etc between the terms there would have to be two lemma pages. One could still be an alt form of the other for some definitions. You might look at carrousel at OneLook Dictionary Search and carousel at OneLook Dictionary Search (or the OED, if you have access) for clues about differences. DCDuring (talk) 04:32, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Also see carousal in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 (second set of defs.). DCDuring (talk) 04:35, 9 August 2018 (UTC)


I am unfamiliar with German conjugation tables, but shouldn't "klammeren" read "klammern"? Is there a bug in the template? DonnanZ (talk) 09:55, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Fixed. —Stephen (Talk) 13:31, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Ah, the template has to be tweaked. Cheers. DonnanZ (talk) 14:40, 9 August 2018 (UTC)


Transiently amusing though it is, I'm concerned about this entry. Isn't there some threshold level of uptake required for something like this? (Please ping me.) EEng (talk) 11:39, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

@EEng Yes, three independent durably archived cites spanning at least a year, the same as every other word. See WT:CFI. DTLHS (talk) 00:18, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Seems like a low bar, but OK, thanks.. EEng (talk) 13:34, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

object triggerEdit

Many new Tagalog entries state that they are "object triggers". Does anyone have any idea what that might be? SemperBlotto (talk) 15:07, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

I can't find the phrase in any books. There's a paper, "Malagasy backward object control", by Potsdam, 2009. DTLHS (talk) 04:02, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
@Mar vin kaiser, do you know anything? DTLHS (talk) 04:04, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
@DTLHS: Perhaps, what is meant here is "object focus". Yeah, there's a guy making lots of Tagalog entries recently. He's a bit careless with the entries and making some mistakes, and it's too much for me to fix. So I left a note in his page, explaining to him that he needs to clean up his entries. --Mar vin kaiser (talk) 04:12, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Meaningless definition at jellyEdit

The current third definition at jelly makes no sense because its context is not clear:


jelly (countable and uncountable, plural jellies)

  1. (New Zealand, Australia, Britain) A dessert made by boiling gelatine, sugar and some flavouring (often derived from fruit) and allowing it to set, known as "jello" in North America.
  2. (Canada, US) A clear or translucent fruit preserve, made from fruit juice and set using either naturally occurring, or added, pectin. Known as "jam" in Commonwealth English.
    • Quotations removed to reduce clutter
  3. A similar dish made with meat.

Emphasis mine. Entry 3 needs its definition clarified or removed. Similar to what? A meat dessert? A meat preserve? Does it have sugar or pectin in it, etc.? It shouldn't refer to something else, especially when that something else is not obvious. Danielklein (talk) 23:32, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Would you be willing to take a run at fixing it yourself? We appreciate the help and can clean up any mistakes. You could compare definitions given at jelly at OneLook Dictionary Search for ideas. DCDuring (talk) 02:05, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
jelly in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 has, as two of its three definitions:
"n. A viscous or glutinous substance obtained by solution of gelatinous matter, animal or vegetable; hence, any substance of semisolid consistence.
"n. The thickened juice of fruit, or any gelatinous substance, prepared for food: as, currant or guava jelly; calf's-foot jelly; meat jelly."
Note the potential for circularity in using gelatinous in the definition. DCDuring (talk) 02:11, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Probably hijacking the discussion or whatever, but we shouldn't say "known as Y" in some sort of incidental sentence within a definition. That is what synonyms are for. I understand that jam/jelly is one of the "biggies" as far as Brit/US confusion goes but it at least needs to be wrapped in some kind of gloss template. We shouldn't just have a random chatty sentence about usage thrown in there. Equinox 03:54, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
So secondly and trying to be relevant: Johnnie Mountain's book Pig: Cooking with a Passion for Pork, which I just borrowed off my sister, who is a rabid vegan, says: "Skim and discard the fat that has settled on top of the cooking liquid, which should by now have set into a jelly". Is that the sense in question, OR is it covered by the following sense "Any substance or object having the consistency of jelly"? While we often have too many senses for the same thing, I am also sometimes concerned that we might merge senses that used to be more distinctive (e.g. types of car or carriage): so any jelly historians around? Equinox 03:57, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Can't you buy tinned ham in jelly? DonnanZ (talk) 10:57, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I've reworded it. Any better? SemperBlotto (talk) 11:04, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I think that def was meaning it as a synonym (or near-synonym) for aspic, which was a usage back when people ate aspics. GaylordFancypants (talk) 20:34, 10 August 2018 (UTC)


Are we possibly missing an adverbial sense at yeah meaning "really", as in Oh, yeah? (= Oh, really?) Leasnam (talk) 02:59, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Hardly a sense, just a context. You could equally use "yes" or (in northern England or Scotland) "aye", couldn't you? It's not a separate sense of the word as far as I can see. Equinox 03:58, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Okay, thanks ! Leasnam (talk) 20:02, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's really entryworthy, especialy not in all definitions, but someone did: oh yeah. DCDuring (talk) 03:00, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
cf "fuck yeah", "hell yeah", "shit yeah". DTLHS (talk) 03:06, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

bible societyEdit

Should I have entered this as Bible society? DonnanZ (talk) 10:54, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Both forms exist according to Google ngram viewer. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:57, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm having second thoughts about this as anything to do with the Holy Bible usually has a Bible compound. DonnanZ (talk) 11:05, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Or even Bible Society (google books search shows it's attestable - also: w:Bible Society & w:Bible society [article title: Bible society; redirect & intro text: Bible Society])? - 20:16, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I think it's a case of a happy medium. At present if you search for [[Bible society]] or [[Bible Society]] you will end up at bible society. DonnanZ (talk) 20:26, 10 August 2018 (UTC)


I've come across cases (Citations:bally) where subbing in the intensifier "bloody" doesn't make sense to me. Is this a different sense, or is it still the intensifier? (On the talk page, a user opines that this should also be attested in a ball-related sense, btw, but it's hard to tell instances of e.g. "bally balloon" apart from "bloody/damned balloon".) - -sche (discuss) 06:07, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

Hmm, unless there was another sense that is now lost, a couple of those are rather old. The more usual sense does mean "bloody", and it's the sort of word Bertie Wooster would use (see P G Wodehouse quote). Added a reference anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 08:09, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
On a different point, the usage note could do with some attention too. It says "Bally is used by the British upper classes, as well as lower classes on the East End". The phrasing "on the East End" surely isn't right. In a British context I would understand "in the East End" to mean "in East London", but I think mentioning London would be a good idea for international readers. However, since I am not at all familiar with the use of this word in that locality I am not going to tinker with it myself. I associate "bally" very much with Bertie Wooster-type characters, as mentioned above, and not at all with folks in the east end of London. Mihia (talk) 22:12, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
You probably wouldn't hear it in today's multi-ethnic East End. I don't know how true that statement is, but I revised it a little anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 08:42, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
It is incredibly old-fashioned. I haven't heard it in decades - not even in jest. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:45, 17 August 2018 (UTC)


Isn't the simple past pronounced "bet"? DonnanZ (talk) 11:24, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

Nope, "beat" and "beat", past and present are homophones. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 12:33, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, /bit/ (like the present tense and like beet) is the only pronunciation I'm familiar with or can find in dictionaries, old or modern. google books:"bet 'em up" and similar searches suggests that "bet" may exist as a dialectal synonym of "beat" (in the present tense, in all the citations I saw, although possibly also in the past tense), although the fact that "bet" (as in "make a bet", like a bettor) can also be used this way means there's a lot of chaff. - -sche (discuss) 21:17, 11 August 2018 (UTC)


I am having trouble finding sources for this noun, which I understand to mean a temporary access path, usually straight or as part of a grid pattern, cut through forest or scrub in the course of activities such as mineral exploration, surveying, forestry, or providing a corridor for powerline or pipeline construction. Maias (talk) 02:40, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Feel free to add it anyway - you will only need to provide citations if it is challenged (and it seems real). SemperBlotto (talk) 05:37, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the tip. Maias (talk) 02:42, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
It seems to be a word mostly or exclusively used in Brunei. Equinox 10:52, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Used in Malaysia too, but it does seem to be more popular in that part of the world. I thought the etymology might be from Malay, but can't trace that.Maias (talk) 13:27, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Though it could come from Malay 'rentas' meaning something like 'cut across' or 'short cut'. Maias (talk) 13:47, 13 August 2018 (UTC)


The proper name regards to German Heinz qua Heinrich means holding the power over his property I m not common with editing Regards 10:32, 13 August 2018 (UTC)


I am surprised to see that we give downtrod as a verb infinitive and state that downtrodden derives from that verb. I would have imagined it came from a past tense from tread. Can we confirm? Equinox 10:43, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

  • The OED only has it as an adjective (synonym of downtrodden) - no obvious verb form of the term there. SemperBlotto (talk)
The entry has citations.
The verb definition is given as: "oppress, suppress, exploit, persecute, step down on; put down; denigrate, subjugate"
This actually seems to be inclusion of three or more definitions. I would never use these terms interchangeably.
  1. step down on (ie, physical)
  2. put down, denigrate (ie, verbal)
  3. oppress, suppress, persecute
  4. exploit (ie, take advantage of)
If these "definitions" are distinct, this entry needs 12 citations not 3. DCDuring (talk) 12:18, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
I think I have found attestation for forms of a verb downtread, downtreads, downtreading, downtrodden (as past participle, not adjective). I'm not sure about downtrod as past. See Citations:downtread in an hour or so. DCDuring (talk) 16:44, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
The attestable meaning for both the verbs downtrod and downtread seems to be "oppress, suppress, persecute". DCDuring (talk) 10:30, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Norwegian Bokmål formatting of some wordsEdit

grue - "grue (present tense gruer, past tense grua or gruet, past participle grua or gruet) grue (present tense gruer; past tense grudde; past participle grudd) "

There's no linebreak between them and the second one uses ";" instead of "," which 99.99% of entries do. I'd fix the ";" myself but I've no clue where to in this case, as it links to "nb-verb-4|gru", which seems to be a template. C0rn3j (talk) 14:11, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Another word is meg, which has "me (direct object of a verb); objective case of eg". I'd expect this to be split across two lines.

  • grue: Replaced those two templates. Should read better now.
  • meg: I don't think the first part was completely necessary, so I removed it. Even if it is restored I wouldn't want to create two lines. Added some other info.
DonnanZ (talk) 21:08, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Wow. I have a whole different (and odder) picture now of the oft-quoted line, “You have been eaten by a grue... ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:49, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
A fictional man-eating predator? DonnanZ (talk) 23:31, 17 August 2018 (UTC)


A word of German extraction, found only in rural Scotland? That sounds... odd.


The German section now has red links to variants of Mennonitenbrüdergemeinde. That's surprising because the Moravians don't have a lot in common with Mennonites. Is this really a semantic quirk of German or just a random linkfest? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:14, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

I think it is just plainly wrong.  --Lambiam 12:50, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it's wrong, but maybe not needed. Brüdergemeine might be better as a synonym, and Brüdergemeinde as well. As for the Mennonites, those links are probably under See also because the editor thought that someone looking up Moravian might also be interested in Mennonites. The terms listed for the Mennonites seem okay, but more common is Mennonitische Brüdergemeinden. —Stephen (Talk) 21:13, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

consul generalEdit

Wiktionary incorrectly states that consul generals is the correct plural for consul general. This is wrong. Merriam Webster, American Heritage, and Random House dictionaries all agree that it is "consuls general" just like "attorneys general. Please fix.


No. Thank you. The most common plural shown in Google Ngrams is actually consuls-general, with consuls general a little less popular, and consul generals and consul-generals farther behind. consul-generals is about 20% as popular as consuls-general. DCDuring (talk) 15:29, 15 August 2018 (UTC)


What's the label for this alternative form of LOL? Rare? Internet slang? And is it a back-formation of lulz? Ultimateria (talk) 02:28, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Could be considered eye dialect I think. That's how I'd see it. GaylordFancypants (talk)

m as an abbreviation for thousand or millionEdit

Recently I came across a letter written in 1798 in which the term "9. m. dollars" is used (of money owed to w:William Short (American ambassador)). I assume this meant 9000 dollars. But nowadays one often sees the letter m used as an abbreviation for million. Can someone give us some information on when it meant thousand and when it started to be used to mean million? At present neither meaning is mentioned in m. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 11:27, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

  • "M" (usually, but not always, capital) has been used for "1000" since the 14th century. The OED comments that "In the 15th and 16th centuries it could be substituted for the numeral word in any context; it is now rare except in dates represented in roman numerals". So basically, in the period of your letter it was still sometimes used that way but getting less common. "M" meaning "million" is not found until the mid-twentieth century. Ƿidsiþ 15:48, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, Ƿidsiþ! Eric Kvaalen (talk) 08:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)


Is the sense of "sleep" as in "3 sleeps until Christmas" sufficiently different from the meaning "An act or instance of sleeping" to warrant its own sense (or a subsense)?

This is used as a unit of time, so "3 sleeps until Christmas" means 3 nights until Christmas, whether or not any sleeping is involved, and does not factor in daytime naps either. — Paul G (talk) 11:45, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

I would say it's distinct enough to merit at least a separate subsense. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 13:20, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
In that usage it seems to me to mean "An act or instance of sleeping assuming normal sleeping habits". I'm not sure whether "assuming normal sleeping habits" is enough to make it truly a separate sense.. Mihia (talk) 17:59, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
I disagree. I think that's how the sense developed, but Paul G is referring to "sleep" being used as a unit of measure. It's not the sleep that is important in this case, but the length of time (and "normal sleeping habits" varies with culture, age, etc.). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:03, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
I have been bold and added a subsense. (feel free to improve) SemperBlotto (talk) 08:29, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Noting new parts of speech for wordsEdit

I have been trying to add different parts of speech for past and present participles that can serve as adjectives and/or nouns in specific contexts. Apparently my attempts to add such words have resulted in erasing the original meanings, so have been rejected/redacted. Does anyone know how to add a new part of speech application without damage? Scott MacStravic (Scottmacstra)

I don't quite understand what you mean by "resulted in erasing the original meanings". Could you give an example of where this has happened? Mihia (talk) 17:18, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Do you mean edits like this one? It looks like you overtyped part of an existing entry with your new definition. So I guess, don't... do that? 20:18, 16 August 2018 (UTC)


I don't know whether anyone has any ideas about how to improve the layout of the entry starting:

  1. (figuratively, depreciatory) A woman, particularly

I think that "particularly" is supposed to refer to "A bride-to-be ...", which appears just below, but because of intervening verbiage the connection has become unclear, and it looks instead as if some words have been accidentally deleted. I tried putting a colon after "particularly", but that just made it seem even more as if the meaning was "particularly these quotations". Anyway, if anyone can see how to lay this out clearly, please go ahead.

By the way, is that a correct use of "depreciatory", or was "deprecatory" actually meant? Mihia (talk) 17:51, 15 August 2018 (UTC)


I just added a comparable sense for the adjective here, i.e. "He has a very binary understanding of gender." The definition needs tweaking though. Could someone take a look? Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:12, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

are you sure 1 and 7 are different? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk). in diff

Yeah, I don't know if it's a different sense or not... it seems like it may be, though. More citations of this kind of use are at google books:"binary view of". Maybe "Focusing on, or conceptualizing something as consisting of, two mutually exclusive conditions."? "Conceptualizing" could be replaced with some simpler verb. - -sche (discuss) 20:34, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Hyponyms of "marketing"Edit

May I request a list of hyponyms of marketing? I am engaged in a debate on this point, and would really appreciate an independent view. HLHJ (talk) 03:47, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Some are: advertising, branding, pricing, sales, promotion.
Things like packaging, distribution, service are sometimes included, but I wouldn't. branding can include all kinds of things, such as product design, package design, service personnel uniforms, etc. DCDuring (talk) 18:11, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, DCDuring. That sounds reasonable. Branding on a package would clearly be marketing, unlike, say, making the package cheap to ship, which mixes non-marketing and marketing concerns. Would it be suitable to add your list as a hyponyms section in the marketing article? It would also help inductively define the term. HLHJ (talk) 02:25, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
The first five only. IMO, hyponyms, hypernyms, and coordinate terms are very helpful for understanding nouns, much more than short usage examples or even full citations with context. DCDuring (talk) 11:53, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Of course. Would you like me to do it, crediting you, or would you prefer to do it yourself? I do find them very useful, especially when learning new languages; it gets you more abstract concepts without inevitably inaccurate translations, and gives a sense of the word's context within the language (is there a hypernym for hyponyms, hypernyms, and coordinate terms)? HLHJ (talk) 20:46, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm not worried about credit; my salary is uneffected. I am glad you find these semantic relations useful. Me too. DCDuring (talk) 03:51, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Added to marketing, with credit to you for my sake. I also added semantic relation as a hypernym to all of the things the semantic relation article listed as hyponyms. As these terms are reciprocal, it seems as if it would be possible to have at least semi-automated that, but probably this is an old idea and there are good reasons not to. HLHJ (talk) 21:08, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

mother shipEdit


Is sense 2 correct in some part of the world?   Noé 09:47, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Wonderfool added the sense and says he uses it with his mother; maybe he can find some citations. It might be used on Gilmore Girls or Easy A or something (with cool parents who also go by "parental unit"), but I've never heard it in real life. Ultimateria (talk) 14:33, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
I have heard it used IRL but maybe with tongue in cheek. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:47, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Ukrainian participlesEdit

For the Ukrainian verb носити, the form но́сячи is given as a present-tense active participle (активний дієприкметник), but for the verb нести#Ukrainian, the form несучи́ is given as a present-tense adverbial participle (дієприслівник). Is this correct? In my experience (not being very familiar with Ukrainian grammar), similar endings (-чи) play similar roles and for many other Ukrainian verbs (писати, пити, читати) the -чи ending appears in the role of adverbial participle. This website has a different opinion about носити and но́сячи. --LA2 (talk) 11:48, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

@LA2: You're right, they are adverbial participles (дієприслівники), not active participles (активні дієприкметники), so the inflection table at носи́ти (nosýty) needs to be corrected. Also notifying @Vedac13. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:05, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Birth of an AppellationEdit

On August 5 Boris Johnson declared that "it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes".[4] By August 10, four women had complained of being called letterboxes.[5] So... how quickly can this become an official meaning for the term? Wnt (talk) 14:52, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

When other people start using it, with independent citations spanning a year. See WT:CFI. In the mean time you could collect evidence at Citations:letterbox. DTLHS (talk) 16:07, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
But if enough people use it, it could be included as a "hot word" before then. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:35, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Muslim and Islam in groups and regions.Edit

I heard and read a few discussions about the pronunciation of Muslim and Islam. Typically, Muslims speaking English would never pronounce /ˈmʊzlɪm/, let alone /ˈmʌzləm/, always /s/, not /z/ in both "Muslim" and "Islam". Also, people more familiar with Islam or someone trying to show political correctness or respect also follows the same pronunciation. Besides, I think outside North America "Muslim" is always pronounced with an /ʊ/, never /ʌ/. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:52, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Oxford and Collins both seem to give /-ʌz-/ among the British pronunciations they list, so I don't know that there's a regional divide. But there does seem to be a split based on group, as you say. Perhaps it could be summed up as some pronunciations being more anglicized and others being closer to Arabic? Incidentally, I think I've heard Aasif Mandvi pronounce this with /-us-/, which matches the pronunciation we give for the Arabic word, so I suppose we could add that one if we find some more examples/references of/to it. - -sche (discuss) 05:42, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. In my first year in Australia someone corrected me when I said /ˈmʌzləm/ (the pronunciation I got from the American media) to use /ˈmʊzlɪm/ and I don't think I ever heard someone pronouncing /ˈmʌzləm/ in Australia since. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:16, 17 August 2018 (UTC)


Sense 2 was marked as uncountable and sense 3 countable.

2. The Internet, the largest global internet. 3. An internet connection, internet connectivity, access to the internet. Do you have internet at your place? My internet is down and I want to check my email.

I have changed 2 to countable and 3 to uncountable.

Although sense 2 refers the sui generis internet, that does not make the word uncountable. Imagine, for example, if several planets each had their own Internet: those would be Internets plural.

Although the definition of sense 3 begins "An", indicating it is countable, the example usage is an uncountable sense (it would be "Bob's and Alice's internet is down", not "Bob's and Alice's internets are down").

Does this seem reasonable? Perhaps some further changes are needed. — Paul G (talk) 08:26, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

The Internet (capital I) entry calls it a proper noun (that's your "largest global internet" sense). Equinox 22:02, 17 August 2018 (UTC)


I know that Wiktionary does not seek to be the place where words are born. But maybe for its internal relevance, an exception could be made for this one.

I have been calling myself a wikist and defining it as an editor of wikis. A plain term without allegiance to any particular wiki, unlike "Wikipedian" "Wiktionarist" or "Wikian". Without connotation of excessive editing, as "wikiholic". Indeed is "wikiholic" the only term listed as a derivative of wiki on that page that remotely fits the bill, and it is too connotative to suit. I find none of the substantial list beginning with "wik" on Appendix:List_of_protologisms/Q–Z#W suitable for my needs: probably the closest is "wikiphilia" which is still connotative.

Do you think the term might have a place? Henstepl (talk) 17:38, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

No, and it seems from your first sentence that you already know why. See WT:CFI for what kinds of words we do accept, and WT:LOP for a place where you can add your protologism. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:02, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
That is indeed a place, though. I did not put a link in the section title because I did not expect it to jump straight to an article. I invite you to consider use of the word in your conversations, in light of its intuitivity and the role of the wikists in deciding the wikists' terminology. Thanks for your links. Henstepl (talk) 18:16, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Not that intuitive, because that looks like it should be "an editor of wiks". Chuck Entz (talk) 21:57, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, you could disparage it on that ground, if you were really concerned for the wik users. The linguistic term is haplology. You might check out the article on Wikiped. Henstepl (talk) 23:54, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Nope, we don't add newly made-up terms even if you really like them! The general term seems to be "wiki editor", thus far in history. Equinox 03:55, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
As an act of solidarity, I'm gonna use the term in my next Quarlek Prime novel though. --XY3999 (talk) 09:06, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
No sympathetic gesture is needed; the only explicit criticism of the word seeming to have been an ignorance of haplology, I am not bothered by that nonargument from nonauthority that defers to its protologistic status. Clearly my word should be in use, even if it is not. Thanks, though! Have a good night. Henstepl (talk) 09:53, 21 August 2018 (UTC)


Is wikian justified as a page, then? There are no citations provided; it is not listed as a derivative of wiki. Were it demanded, to find citations for the uppercase Wikian would be trivially easy, but I doubt this one. Stephen Lafleur (talk) 04:41, 25 August 2018 (UTC) I'm Henstepl, sorry to accidentally sockpuppet

That's precisely why we have the "request for verification" process. —Suzukaze-c 04:50, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

hollow railEdit

Can anyone make sense of this definition? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:02, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

It sounds like a hollow curtain rail, but I can't help any further. DonnanZ (talk) 08:53, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
I’ve attempted to write a clearer def. It’s a case of one piktionary is worth a thousand wiktionaries. This pic shows one lying belly-up. The terminology is not standardized; this type of curtain rod goes by many names.  --Lambiam 09:10, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
I should add that the sense of curtain rail is not the only one and probably not even the most common one. All senses appear to have a high degree of SOP-hood.  --Lambiam 09:33, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
It looks like more an RfD candidate than an RfC candidate. The collocation comes up in images for model railroads, bicycle seats, fencing, and miscellaneous industrial components. DCDuring (talk) 15:54, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Or it might have different meanings in various industries/contexts. I notice that there is a lot of overlap between the Google image results for "hollow rail" (with quotation marks) and "rail creux", which I wouldn't expect if the terms were both simply SOP. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:06, 18 August 2018 (UTC)


Sense 3 = person enrolled at university; sense 4 = schoolchild. I find this a strange distinction from sense 1 (someone who learns about a subject), since that is the purpose for which people are enrolled in universities and schools. Can't we merge them? (If not, we would seem obliged to add further senses for other places of study, like colleges, polytechnics, and maktabs.) Equinox 15:44, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Even without enrolment in an institution one can be a student of something (He was a student of human nature.). One can be enrolled at an educational institution without learning. As most wouldn't know whether any given student was actually learning, enrolment is a common readily ascertained proxy.
Simply generalizing definition 3 from "university" to "educational institution" would suffice (at least in my idiolect). Schoolchild seems to me a hyponym of the 'enrolment' sense. DCDuring (talk) 16:01, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Sense 3 and 4 are definitely distinct. It's common (at least where I live) to see cheaper pricing for "students," separate from children and youth pricing, and referring only to students in post-secondary. Being a "student of philosophy" feels very different to me than being a "student of the University of Toronto." I can't quite put my finger on why, but there seems to be a difference to me. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:21, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Checking other lemmings, I see that Merriam-Webster, Cambridge, Macmillan and all distinguish two senses, one for a person who attends a school/college/university/etc, and one for anyone who is interested in and observes a particular subject. I do sometimes see people distinguish "students" (at university) from "pupils" (of younger age, in lower-level schools), though. Our distinction between senses 1 and 2 seems even more dubious than our distinction of 1, 3 and 4. - -sche (discuss) 19:32, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
What if we merged the former senses 1 and 2, added a general sense along the lines of what other dictionaries have and what DCDuring proposed, but leave the "university" and "pre-uni" senses as subsenses, like [6]? (But are there indeed places where student refers exclusively to a schoolchild, or only places where it refers exclusively to a uni/college-attender, and other places where it refers to any school-attender including a schoolchild?) - -sche (discuss) 19:52, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
@-sche I'm not sure I entirely agree with your merger of senses 1 and 2. "A student of philosophy" can be quite different from "a student of philosophy" (i.e. someone studying philosophy at university who may or may not particularly care for it vs. someone who is not officially studying philosophy but is devoted to learning about it). There's also a possible distinction to be made between "a student of Plato" (someone Plato taught) and "a student of Plato" (someone who learns from and follows Plato's thought and writings (this would probably be the same as the figurative sense you merged into the other one)). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:59, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
And for the benefit of late entrants to the conversation, this is the page as it was before the discussion began: -- Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:59, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't follow your first sentence, since a university/school student of philosophy and a person who studies philosophy informally are still distinct senses in the entry. You make a good point that "student" sometimes means someone who studies under a specific person; I can also think of examples where a painter is a "student" of another painter in a way that is formal but not institutionalized into anything that would normally be termed an "educational institution", but I wonder if that is adequately covered by sense 1. I do think that distinguishing informal study of an academic subject from informal study of a non-academic subject was an unreasonable distinction, and probably an unmaintainable one since any subject can be academic. - -sche (discuss) 22:48, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Hmmm, maybe you're right. Something "feels" different between student in the academic vs. non-academic sense, but that's not really enough to justify distinguishing them. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 16:34, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

Is there a difference between the audio and IPA transcription of these 'ul' words?Edit



Neither of the pronunciations provided seem to match each transcript's /ʌ/.

They sound like the same vowel to me. However, Hulk does sound different because the speaker's tongue is raised in anticipation of the velarized L that commonly follows in American English. It's not something we would add to the IPA though. Ultimateria (talk) 13:24, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
In England, most people don't use /ʌ/ before l. Hulk is read as holk in the audio you refer to. Bulb, sulk and similar are all pronounced with o.I don't want to give IPA, as it is often diphthongised too (/ou/), which partly relates to the tendency to vocalise the l. Vulnerable can be volnerable or vunnerable.


I am a bit confused about the use of "true tarantula" for family Theraphosidae, when it is quite clear that the original true tarantula is the Italian species, Lycosa tarantula. Wouldn't the other species be extensions of the name? DonnanZ (talk) 09:01, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

The use of the qualification true is truly unhelpful in this context. The section Tarantula#Etymology at our encyclopedic sister project provides a clear exposition of the current situation. A usage note may be the easiest way to enlighten the reader.  --Lambiam 10:53, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
I would say that it's misleading as it is now. DonnanZ (talk) 11:44, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
Though true is often part of a well-defined and accepted unambiguous vernacular name of a natural kind of organism, material, etc, this doesn't seem to be the case here. As w:Lycosa states, Lycosa spp. are often "incorrectly" called true tarantulas. The Theraphosidae are more commonly called true tarantulas. I think we need to remove true tarantula as part of any definition. We may benefit from having [[true tarantula]] as an entry and certainly should have some usage note at [[tarantula]] if we do not add [[true tarantula]]. DCDuring (talk) 16:41, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
It reads much better now, more or less what I would have done, thankyou. I think the problem may be that the American species are much better known than the single European species which got its name centuries before the others, and the name is of Italian origin. DonnanZ (talk) 17:29, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
Maybe later I'll investigate the English usage of the term to see when it came to be used for the New World spiders. {{defdate}} might help a bit. DCDuring (talk) 18:30, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
Also, the semantics-free etymology we have offers no help. Why do we have such a bias against including semantics in our etymologies? Sometimes a gloss is unnecessary because there is not change in the semantics as a word in borrowed into another language. At other time a simple gloss is helpful, perhaps because meaning broadens or narrows. In this case the connection between a spider and a location makes no sense without an explanation. DCDuring (talk) 18:35, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
I've started looking for older uses, but I feel like it's not going to be possible to adequately distinguish the various modern senses in centuries old quotations, other than "spider from Europe" vs "spider not from Europe". Perhaps they should just go on the citations page. DTLHS (talk) 18:53, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
I still think the name given to the New World species may be an extension of the Medieval Latin and Old Italian names, but the problem is proving that. According to Oxford, tarantula came into English in the mid 16th century. DonnanZ (talk) 20:50, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
Who can read Spanish? There may be something here. DonnanZ (talk) 21:24, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
"Spider from Europe" vs. not from Europe would be good enough IMO for something to put in {{defdate}}, perhaps with a qualifier. DCDuring (talk) 01:22, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm guessing that the European spider (Lycosa tarantula, originally Aranea tarantula L.) was determined to be very like the spiders called wolf spiders (Lycosidae), but that the genus names Tarantula and/or Tarentula (now obsolete) were already being applied to the New World spiders (which are now called Theraphosidae). Whether the connection to Taranto and frenzied dancing causing by spider bites is fanciful or real is secondary to our question, interesting though it may be. DCDuring (talk) 01:36, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
The OED probably has good info on the use of the term. Perhaps they have enough to tell which spiders were being referenced. DCDuring (talk) 01:47, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
The tarantulas of the English-speaking New World are mostly in the southwest, so the NW definition may have been borrowed from Spanish in the 19th century. I have included a long citation at Citations:tarantula that is informative. DCDuring (talk) 02:18, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
The latter theory (in the New World borrowed from Spanish) is quite feasible. DonnanZ (talk) 09:07, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
I have added a postscript to the etymology, if you disagree you can change it. DonnanZ (talk) 13:00, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
I think what we have here is the rather oxymoronic "scientific common name". Scientists know that for the average person all taxonomic names sound alike, so they try to use common names. The problem is that scientists like to be precise and common names tend to be vague- so they change the definition to fit the taxonomy. For instance, a bug used to be just any small, multi-legged critter, but entomologists decided it should refer only to a certain group of insects with incomplete metamorphosis and sucking mouthparts in the order Hemiptera. They couldn't stop people from referring to other critters as "bugs", so they started referring to the insects that met their definition as "true" bugs.
As for tarantulas, people have been using that name for some of the theraphosids (the original tarantula is a wolf spider in the family Lycosidae), so scientists have decided that tarantula=theraphosid, and showed their disapproval of those who would use the name for any old hairy mygalomorph by calling their tarantulas the "true" tarantulas. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:47, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
But, sadly, in much of the 19th C. and earlier, true tarantula seems to have referred to what is now Lycosa tarantula. That is why {{defdate}} can help clarify matters, despite the fact that we haven't formalized criteria for its use (not that we seem ready for that anyway). DCDuring (talk) 18:01, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

á in IPA renderingEdit

Several IPA renderings of Turkish pronunciations sport the symbol ‘á’, although this is not an official IPA symbol. My first guess was that this was supposed to indicate stress. But then I spotted dujmámák, in which the actual stress falls on the first syllable. What could the intention be? Any guesses?  --Lambiam 10:45, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

The form tɛdʒɾyːbέ, created by the same (no longer active) editor – later corrected by another editor to /tɛdʒɾyˈbɛ/ – makes me believe that the intention was to indicate stress. Presumably, the strange dujmámák is to be explained by a sloppy sequence of copy-and-pastes applied to the original dujmák.  --Lambiam 11:15, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
I see now that this is in fact IPA notation for indicating high tone.Since it is controversial whether word stress in Turkish is tonal, I feel this is ill-advised.  --Lambiam 01:35, 26 August 2018 (UTC)


OED defines alitrunk as: The mesosoma of a hymenopterous insect, especially an ant, consisting of the thorax and the propodeum fused together. This is certainly the sense in which the entomologists that I know use it.

Is our definition wrong? This, that and the other (talk) 01:46, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Estonian noun declensions by User:Johnling60Edit

Moved to User:Johnling60/Estonian declensions. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:59, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

Arabic alaniEdit

I am looking for an Arabic word like alani = open, public (needed for αλάνι (aláni). I tried from google (Is there a way to search transliterations rather than the real lemmata?) Thanks sarri.greek (talk) 00:53, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

@Sarri.greek: عَلَنِيّ (ʿalaniyy, public, adjective), nisba of عَلَن (ʿalan, public, noun), from the root ع ل ن (ʿ-l-n), indeed a common word and root. Tip: Arabic words can’t ever start with a vowel, and ع (ʿ) isn’t even well searched with transcriptions because it hasn’t got a good character in Latin alphabets and is thus often omitted or transcribed differently. You might want to learn the Arabic writing already because an alphabet takes only two days to learn (one half a day and maybe on top the vocalization marks). Like I always add Aramaic etymologies without knowing the language. Fay Freak (talk) 01:04, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
Oh @Fay Freak shukran. I know my alif baa ta θa, my taa marbutas and my shaddas etc, Ana afhamu al-Arabiya, qalilan. I just wasn't able to find it, without your help! sarri.greek (talk) 01:09, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Croatian Word Kipar / kiparEdit

After consulting Dictionaries (not only the Croatian Wikipedija) the Entry Kipar is wrong.

  • kipar means sculptor. I have found the translations kipar, vajar, kiparica f
  • The word for Cyprus is Cipar.

If somebody is more native than me please improve it. Rasmusklump (talk) 20:24, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Croatian Word AutoEdit

The word auto, as far as I see it, may be both male and neuter. I think this should be mentioned. Maybe in Serbia it is neuter and in Croatia male or so.

Rasmusklump (talk) 20:24, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Auto as neuter can occur in Serbian, but it is substandard. Crom daba (talk) 23:30, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

like, such asEdit

"like" in the sense of "For example, such as" is said to be an adverb, yet "such as" in the same sense is said to be a preposition. Which is it? Mihia (talk) 20:51, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

There is also like#Preposition. For like#Adverb the usage example and cites each show like followed by an NP, ie, in a PP. What distinguishes the purported adverbial like from the prepositional like, seems to be that the PP is set off by commas in the 'adverb' examples. I really don't see how the punctuation setting off the phrases has any implication for the POS of any of the words in the phrases.
Consider: their faces were fine and mild, yet really strong, like the rector's face
One could change the order as follows: their faces were like the rector's face, fine and mild, yet really strong. Does fine and mild, yet really strong become an adverb and like the rector's face become a PP?
The 'like' PPs are just adjectivals in a sequence of adjectivals. Therefore like is just a preposition in these instances. DCDuring (talk) 22:11, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
The preposition sense of "like" gives the example "These hamburgers taste like leather", whereas the supposed adverb sense is defined as "For example, such as". You can't say "These hamburgers taste such as leather" or "These hamburgers taste for example leather", whatever the punctuation. So it seems the two are different somehow, even if not by virtue of PoS. Mihia (talk) 23:14, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

gape-mouthed, gapemouthedEdit

I'm hesitant just to delete the citations but I think the "adverb" is really just the adjective: "I stood, gape-mouthed" is like "I waited, hungry" or "I looked around, ever cautious". What to do? Equinox 22:54, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

I think you're right, just transfer the quotes and remove the adverb. But why on earth use gape-mouthed when you can use open-mouthed? DonnanZ (talk) 23:13, 21 August 2018 (UTC)


The indefinite forms of the Latin 'quis' (someone, something, anyone, anything) vary slightly from those of the interrogative forms (who? what?), in that 'qua' is commonly used instead of 'quae' for the nominative feminine singular and the nominative and accusative neuter plurals (see Allen, Joseph Henry; Greenough, James B. (1903) Allen and Greenough's New Latin grammar for schools and colleges: founded on comparative grammar, Boston: Ginn and Company, § 149). I've added appropriate entries to the page for 'qua', but I think this should also be noted in declension section of 'quis'. I suggest adding parenthetical entries in the appropriate cells of the declension table, such as 'quae (qua*)', where '*' links to a footnote with a short discussion and a link to the entry in Allen and Greenough cited above. Is this a suitable solution? If so, I'm happy to do it myself, or let someone more experienced do it if they prefer. ---- Wewebber 19:22, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

quote at traulismEdit

Hey, need your help again. I can't really read Greek, despite claiming I could about 10 years ago so I could run an Ancient Greek bot here (boy, thank goodness that proposal got beaten down, huh?). Anyway, there are a couple of Greek words on this page that I want to put into the boring quote at [[traulism]]. The quote is at the bottom of page 176, onto page 177 - And for %&%& and %^&^%&, I know not what other..... What are the words %&%& and %^&^%& here? --XY3999 (talk) 09:12, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

For the last word on p. 176, I see œœœ, which is definitely not Greek; the ligature œ firmly belongs to the Latin alphabet. The author states on the next page that this word is “manifeſtly of a Greek origin”.
I think I see βοῷο (boōio) on p.177, which is the second-person optative of the passive or middle voice of βοάω.
The verse line near the bottom of p. 176 at which the author directs his lamentation is from Homer‘s Iliad 1.49, which is, with the usual diacritics added: δεινὴ δὲ κλαγγὴ γένετ᾽ ἀργυρέοιο βιοῖο (deinē de klaggē genet’ argureoio bioio); in the 1924 translation by A.T. Murray used at the Perseus Project: “terrible was the twang of the silver bow”. The word βοῷο (boōio) has no relation to the word βιοῖο (bioio) in Homer’s verse.  --Lambiam 16:52, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Need an English native to complete my stubsEdit

I create English stubs from time to time, but I need a native speaker to add the definitions, as I don't feel competent to do that myself. Is there someone I could ping anytime I do that? Per utramque cavernam 16:56, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

The first request is heavy mob. Per utramque cavernam 16:57, 23 August 2018 (UTC)


Does it really mean both "Finland" and "Sweden"? Per utramque cavernam 20:10, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

@StrombonesΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:12, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
Apparently ruočči can refer to both a Swede as well as a (Lutheran) Finn. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:33, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
Not that I can find evidence of Ruočči meaning Finland which instead seems to be Suomi or Šuomi. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:34, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
Here - ETY. In Karelian proper, "Ruottši" only means "Finland", according to the Karjalan Kielen Sanakirja. In Karelian proper the demonym is a slur.Strombones (talk) 20:39, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
EES glosses are not necessarily 100% correct from my experience, but I can confirm the Karjalan Kielen Sanakirja part; there indeed "ruottši" is a pejorative used to refer to Finns and Finland. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:48, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree, they're quite inaccurate and often misleading for non-Finnic languages, but from what I've seen, they're pretty accurate for Finnic cognates. Strombones (talk) 20:51, 23 August 2018 (UTC)


Is the second sense, "a worldview that frames one group of people as saviors and other groups as needing to be saved by them", used outside the phrase "white saviorism" (which is arguably derived from "white savior [narrative]" + "-ism", not from "white" + "saviorism")? I see a single academic paper mentioning "black saviorism", and nothing for "Hispanic saviorism", "Latino saviorism", "male saviorism" or "straight saviorism", or even "your saviorism". If it's only in that phrase, it seems like we should create [[white saviorism]] and move it there (changing it to "...frames white people as..."). - -sche (discuss) 21:52, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Moved. - -sche (discuss) 08:01, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Sense of canEdit

I've put a cite with "teenagers can be so cruel" under sense 3, "to be possible, usually with be". Does the definition need to be expanded (or the cite moved) to fit with the example? Ultimateria (talk) 00:03, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Japanese: kun'yomi listed for kanji in reference works, but not confirmable in general useEdit

Various kanji dictionaries will list kun'yomi (and, less often, on'yomi) that are difficult to confirm in actual usage.

As one example, 貴#Japanese includes an ostensible kun'yomi of taka -- but I cannot find anything other than proper names that uses this reading.

This leads me to a couple questions.

  • Shall we move this to the nanori ("names") line of the ====Readings==== section?
  • If we move the reading, do we include any note acknowledging how other resources might categorize this?
  • What is our policy on categories for nanori? We currently have an anon who appears to be steadily working through ENAMDICT, and they are creating categories like [[Category:Japanese_terms_spelled_with_愛_read_as_ちか]]. This ちか (chika) reading is only ever found in names.

Curious about other JA editors' views. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:14, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Does the form 貴い for たかい not suffice to confirm the たか reading?  --Lambiam 19:05, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

English equivalent of 空焚き#Japanese, 煲乾水#ChineseEdit

Is there a concise English equivalent for the above terms? —Suzukaze-c 04:47, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

I don't think there is. DTLHS (talk) 04:48, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Nor do I. But if you add a cite to either of them, I'll set it as a FWOTD. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:34, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
I can't find evidence of any concise phrase being in use, not even the cromulent- and obvious-seeming phrases our entries use as glosses(!); English speakers seem to only use longer phrases like "heating pots without anything in them", e.g. here and in the threads Cascabel links to at the top. I would've guessed "to dry heat (the pan)", on the model of "dry fire a bow" (releasing the string without an arrow on it) and some references to "dry frying". (Incidentally, we are missing a sense of [[dry]] that would cover dry firing, dry loosing, dry humping, dry run, etc. Dry run even refers in its etymology to the sense, it's just not there AFAICT.) - -sche (discuss) 07:54, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
What about just heat empty? I seem to recall seeing this emblazoned on restaurant glass coffee pots.
Sure enough: google:"coffee pot" "heat empty" seems to throw up the phrasing I recall. Does this suffice? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:28, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
You can say "to boil dry" as explained here: (talk) 22:13, 17 September 2018 (UTC)


Currently says that "either" is a determiner in "You'll either be early, late, or on time". First, the example sentence is incorrectly constructed. It should be either "You'll be either early, late, or on time" or "You'll either be early, be late, or be on time". But the question now is which PoS these two uses of "either" respectively belong to. Conjunction? Adverb? What do people think? Mihia (talk) 10:44, 24 August 2018 (UTC) Please see also the quotation attached to this sense: "[...] no one, either clerks, or friends, or compositors, would have understood anything but a word here and a word there". Aside from the fact that I think it should be "neither" anyway, is this the same sense of "either" as in "You'll either be early, late, or on time"? Where should it be placed? Mihia (talk) 13:28, 24 August 2018 (UTC) ...

Sorry about the slightly chaotic posting but the more I look at this the more confused I get. Currently "either" in "You're either a Jew or a gentile" is also said to be a determiner. Is this actually correct? To me, the determiner sense would be something like "You can have either colour", which seems to be missing altogether. What with all this and a misplaced and confusing usage note too ... I think the whole entry is kind of a mess. Unfortunately I am not clear about PoS, otherwise I would try to fix it myself. Mihia (talk) 13:39, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

I think the present determiners 1 and 3 are conjunctions, only 2 is a determiner. In "You can have either colour", "either" is a determiner (now added as a usex). DonnanZ (talk) 08:48, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Moving determiners 1 & 3 (including translations) to conjunctions is not a simple chore though. DonnanZ (talk) 09:20, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
  Done the move, though the additions to the conjunction section may now need tidying up. DonnanZ (talk) 13:07, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for looking at this. I made one or two further changes. There are a couple of points remaining that I am not sure about.

The adverb sense, which has example "I don't like him, and I don't like her either", gives "neither" and "too" as synonyms. However, you cannot, in the English that I speak, substitute either "neither" or "too" into that example sentence. Is there some other case where these actually are synonyms?

I find the presentation of the conjunction senses a bit confusing. This is what this section currently looks like:

  1. Introduces the first of two options, the second of which is introduced by "or".
    Either you eat your dinner or you go to your room.
  2. One or the other of two. [from 14th c.]
    You can have either potatoes or rice with that, but not both.
  3. (coordinating) Used before two or more not necessarily exclusive possibilities separated by "or" or sometimes by a comma.
    You'll either be early, late, or on time.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, “Prologue”, in The Ivory Gate:
      Thus, when he drew up instructions in lawyer language [] his clerks [] understood him very well. If he had written a love letter, or a farce, or a ballade, or a story, no one, either clerks, or friends, or compositors, would have understood anything but a word here and a word there.

Definition #1 seems to apply equally to the example sentence for definition #2, and vice versa. What is the distinction supposed to be? That #1 applies to clauses and #2 applies to nouns?

Why is #3 labelled "coordinating" but not the other two? The difference between #3 and #1/#2 seems to be that #3 is not mutually exclusive, and can also apply to more than two. If so, the usage example "You'll either be early, late, or on time" does not fully illustrate this as these options are clearly mutually exclusive. Can someone come up with a good usage example of non-mutually-exclusive cases? I can't seem to think of one. (As I mentioned earlier, negative cases such as the quoted, "no one, either clerks, or friends, or compositors", would in my view be better written with "neither".) Mihia (talk) 19:34, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

I think either + or can coordinate just about anything that or can coordinate: from pronouns and adverbs to phrases and clauses, maybe even prefixes. I would never use either unless the choices were mutually exclusive, or intended or thought to be, as in an ultimatum.
It might be worthwhile to distinguish between cases involving two mutually exclusive choices and others. Some would insist on using any of for more than two choices, but that does not work for coordinating verbs, clauses, adverbs, PPs.
You will not be amused to know that Collins calls either a coordinating determiner. Collins COBUILD devotes nearly a full print column to either, offering 5 non-gloss definitions.
I don't think other dictionaries devote any ink to possible synonyms of either as a conjunction. Most dictionary definitions I've seen are not glosses. DCDuring (talk) 20:51, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
OK, I have combined all three conjunction senses. If you want to restore the "two mutually exclusive choices vs others" distinction, please feel free. I have also removed the adverb synonyms. Mihia (talk) 11:28, 2 September 2018 (UTC)


Do we need so many senses? Per utramque cavernam 21:35, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Probably not. I'd delete two, but am not feeling bold enough. --XY3999 (talk) 20:18, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
IMO, there are three kinds of nouns that can be modified by fortunate: an outcome, a prospect, a beneficiary. I think each requires a different definition. The "unforeseen positives", "auspicious", and "presaging" definitions seem to apply to prospects (or omens or auguries). "Favored by fortune" seems to apply to beneficiaries. "Happening by good luck" would seem to apply to outcomes, results, what happens after the die is cast. I think the usage examples, at least, should be unambiguous. So a fortunate event and a fortunate occurrence, synonymous, are not good for illustrating either "outcome" or "prospect" definitions. DCDuring (talk) 23:55, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
I took a run at this, but did not radically reword the definitions. Please make any changes you deem appropriate or ask for clarification. DCDuring (talk) 00:21, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

Finnish noun declension - uudempiEdit

uudempi (newer) Accusative singular: uudempi, uudemman Genitive singular: uudemman Partitive singular: uudempaa Inessive singular: uudemmassa Elative singular: uudemmasta Illative singular: uudempaan Adessive singular: uudemmalla Ablative singular: uudemmalta Allative singular: uudemmalle Essive singular: uudempana Translative singular: uudemmaksi Instructive singular: N/A Abessive singular: uudemmatta Comitative singular: N/A Nominative plural: uudemmat Accusative plural: uudemmat Genitive plural: uudempien, uudempain Partitive plural: uudempia Inessive plural: uudemmissa Elative plural: uudemmist Illative plural: uudempiin Adessive plural: uudemmilla Ablative plural: uudemmilta Allative plural: uudemmille Essive plural: uudempina Translative plural: uudemmiksi Instructive plural: uudemmin Abessive plural: uudemmitta Comitative plural: uudempine Johnling60 (talk) 22:21, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Inflection table templates needed in WiktionaryEdit

I am giving the complete inflection patterns for words for which inflection table templates are needed but find to my disappointment that these are being ignored and are not being added to Wiktionary. What is the point of requesting something and then ignoring it when it is provided? Will someone please add the inflection patterns I have provided to Wiktionary? Johnling60 (talk) 22:40, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

This is the equivalent of dumping hundreds of pounds of supplies in someone's driveway unannounced and demanding to know why there isn't a finished piece of furniture the next time you drive by. This is a discussion forum, not a place to leave large amounts of raw data. Also, remember that we're all volunteers, so no one is going to take on a project like this unless you ask nicely, and only if they aren't busy with something else they'd rather be doing. Scolding us like disobedient servants is just making things worse. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:46, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
User:Strombones added an inflection table to kastekann for you. You can add one to veinipudel for example by looking at Category:Estonian declension-table templates and picking the right one and putting the stems in as the parameters. You can model your edits off this: diff. Ultimateria (talk) 13:41, 25 August 2018 (UTC)


I think the translation table needs some cleaning up: several translations belong to the preposition instead of rather than to the adverb. Per utramque cavernam 09:47, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

no use crying over spilt milkEdit

This entry redirects to cry over spilt milk, but there's also there's no point crying over spilt milk. Should the two even be separate entries? SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 12:07, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

No. It should also be a redirect IMO. RfD it with redirect as recommendation, though SPEEDY replacement with a redirect might be even better. DCDuring (talk) 17:01, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Why compare mattress and divan?Edit

The etymology section at mattress invites us to compare divan; conversely, at divan we are encouraged to compare mattress. Why? I don’t see the point. Any ideas why that is there?  --Lambiam 01:41, 26 August 2018 (UTC)

As it's etymology, I think we are being asked to compare etymologies, not as a piece of furniture. DonnanZ (talk) 08:04, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
Comparison reveals that both have a non-Germanic origin. So what? Is there any aspect of their etymologies for which a comparison is more interesting than that? As far as I can see, it’s like saying at albatross, “Compare zebra”, and vice versa.  --Lambiam 21:18, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
The pointers were added by @Nbarth in diff and diff, perhaps he can explain the rationale for having them. Otherwise I'd be fine with removing them since they don't seem to be related or to show any e.g. parallel semantic development. - -sche (discuss) 17:30, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Hiyas, thanks for asking!
I've clarified in diff and diff.
Both words were borrowed into European languages from Middle Eastern languages due to Europeans traveling to the Middle East (crusaders for mattress, visitors of the Ottoman empire for divan), seeing the foreign custom of lying on padding on floor, and borrowing the word.
That is, they are words of the same general custom, borrowed by the same mechanism, hence of interest in etymology.
Does this help?
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 03:48, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
According to the entry for mattress at the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word was borrowed as Medieval Latin matracium in Sicily from medieval Arabic. Not really a matter of Europeans traveling to the Middle East. If true, the borrowing would presumably have taken place during the Emirate of Sicily, which preceded the first Crusade.  --Lambiam 12:13, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Quranize, KoranizeEdit

I cleaned up the formatting of these old crappy PaM entries, but is the definition right? See also google books:"Quranized", google books:"Koranized", etc. Maybe "To bring into accordance with the Quran" might be a better definition? - -sche (discuss) 08:13, 26 August 2018 (UTC)


I have found what I believe to be a false Wiktionary entry for "owo" and wish to have it changed. I can't do this myself because it was set to "Autoconfirmed" accounts only, but I only have one edit on a different wiki. I believe the definition should be, "owo is an emoticon used in chat rooms that means a blank stare but the 'w' is supposed to make it cute." or something similar to this, as the current definition is no where similar and does not mean that at all I believe, and it isn't even typed right. -- TheShadowEevee (talk) 13:25, 26 August 2018 (UTC)

Current definitions seem fine; yours would therefore be an additional sense, not a total delete and replacement. (Many words have several meanings.) But can you prove the existence of your emoticon to our required WT:CFI standards? Equinox 13:30, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
I think that he means OwO rather than OWO or owo (two round eyes and a little w for the nose). SemperBlotto (talk) 13:38, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it's the Asian/Japanese horizontal emoticon style (try googling "uwu culture"). But if we're sticking to CFI then it's very unlikely that these will be found in the acceptable places. Equinox 23:53, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
The w is the mouth, not a nose. I'm certainly not the first person to Google OwO expecting an emoticon reference only to find a niche Wiktionary entry on "oral without" for prostitution. 13:07, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

“shockable” definition #3Edit

The 3rd definition of “shockable” seems to me to be suboptimally worded, although not outright incorrect:

(medicine) Capable of being treated by defibrillator.

I think it should be either

(medicine) Capable of being treated using a defibrillator.

or, better yet,

(medicine) Capable of being treated by electrical defibrillation or cardioversion.

But I want to make sure someone else agrees with me before I go changing anything.

Does the word electrical add something? My layperson’s understanding of defibrillation is that it is administered by a dose of electric current. Apart from that, the last version looks best to me.  --Lambiam 10:07, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
Treatable is more snappy than Capable of being treated.  --Lambiam 17:38, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

Senses of demandEdit

Market prices usually go up when the amount of a good or service that consumers are willing to buy at the current price exceeds supply. Economics101, right? Now explain in 200 words or less how the first two senses defined for demand are different.  --Lambiam 09:54, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

Demand is sometimes used without consideration of price in popular speech, often just meaning quantity bought or sold ("As expected, lower prices led to more demand"). In economics, it usually understood to mean 'at a given price' or in reference to a demand curve. DCDuring (talk) 17:31, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

enlightened despotism, enlightened absolutismEdit

Worth entries? Per utramque cavernam 12:04, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

I think so; these are clearly fixed and well-entrenched combinations and not mere SoP’s. And enlightened despot may also be fit for inclusion.  --Lambiam 17:35, 27 August 2018 (UTC)


Aren't senses 1, 2 and 4 somewhat redundant? Per utramque cavernam 17:55, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

I think 1 and 2 can be merged, but 4 might merit at least a separate subsense, judging by the usage example. Sense 4 doesn't seem to have the same implication of apathy that the other two do. It seems more like "I'm happy either way" rather than "Whatever, I don't give a crap anyway." But I might just be reading an interpretation into it that isn't really there. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:40, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
I think I agree with this. On a fairly quick reading of citations, I see no significant difference between #1 and #2. However, #4 ("indiff’rent in his Choice to sleep or die") seems to speak of pure neutrality (as perhaps the unthinking Earth is indifferent to the fate of the organisms that live on it), which is somehow not the same as the "indifferent shrug" (explicit, possibly hurtful, disavowal of any opinion) seen above. And, as ever, fear the made-up usex: I'm not sure that "I am indifferent between the two plans" is a sentence anyone would actually say. Equinox 23:46, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

have a ready tongueEdit

Is this a thing? I only find it in translation dictionaries, not in usual English dictionaries. Per utramque cavernam 18:25, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

It's real but archaic. DTLHS (talk) 18:46, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
Be cautious about "have __" and "be __" lemmas. Usually the lemma should just be the noun phrase; you might say e.g. "her nagging gave him a ready tongue". Equinox 23:00, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

cheap at half the priceEdit

I think our etymology is BS. It is unsourced (oops, maybe I missed the reference on the page: anyone got the book to check it? even so, I am super-sceptical) — and just doesn't read well. Certainly "cheap" once used to mean something like "purchase, hire" but that isn't enough to support this. Can we shuttle it off to the talk page as speculative, or does anyone know anything I don't? Equinox 00:30, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

The Chaucer quote is for real. It is line 523 of The Wife of Bath's Prologue (except that Wikisource has “prys” instead of “pris”). I’m not so sure about the interpretation given, especially the notion of abundance of supply. My impression is that the line means so much as that something acquired at a bargain rate (to greet cheep) is not appreciated as much as it should be (is holde at litel prys).
Quinion writes that he is sure the phrase cheap at half the price is “a deliberate and humorous inversion“ of the old London street trader’s cry cheap at twice the price, adding that this was also the view of Kingsley Amis, given in the Observer in 1977 (which I haven’t attempted to locate). So the only reference given completely contradicts the presently provided etymology, which turned an earlier etymology upside-down in this edit by a single-edit editor. My recommendation is to revert that change and be done with it.  --Lambiam 09:02, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Here is what Kingsley Amis wrote in the Observer of 4 September 1977: ‘I think it’s an ironical inversion of the salesman’s claim, “cheap at double the price”, and means what it says, it would be cheap at half the price, i.e. it’s bloody expensive.’  --Lambiam 09:35, 28 August 2018 (UTC)


Can anyone explain what the characters for gëünɡ1 gëünɡ1 (everyday) is in the Fuzhou dialect? gëünɡ1 gëünɡ1 in my Fuzhou dialect means exactly the same as 天天 in Mandarin, which means everyday. I was just wondering if the characters for so are actually 天天, although 天 is pronounced as tieng1 in MinDong?Since in Old Chinese (ZhengZhnag), "天" was pronounced as /*qʰl'iːn/. Qhwans (talk) 09:27, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

It's gĕ̤ng: "work" > "a day's work" > "a day; daytime". Wyang (talk) 09:37, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
@Wyang: Ahhh, thank you so much

Please, delete отчаяноEdit

The page отчаяно should be deleted. The word does not exist in Russian. It's a corruption of another word, отчаянно. Google search shows the two as 0.39 mil. to 6.55 mil.--Adûnâi (talk) 18:40, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

@Adûnâi, Metaknowledge: Done. Pls see details in Wiktionary:Requests_for_verification/Non-English#отчаяно. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:26, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

short-term memory, long-term memoryEdit

Worth entries? Per utramque cavernam 18:47, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

I think so. It's the psychological equivalent of frontal lobe or middle finger, which are seemingly SOP but have sufficiently specific meanings (where there would be ambiguity if the terms were truly SOP) that they merit a definition. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:48, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
There's an awkwardness in that short term and long term are idiomatic (but vague), and then have questionably idiomatic (but specific) meanings in particular fields like neuroscience and economics. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:10, 29 August 2018 (UTC)


I noticed that there is an entry communismus, supposedly a Latin word. It gives the "classical pronunciation"! Aside from the question of whether this word was ever used in Latin (let alone classical Latin), the entry says that it's fourth declension. Is that correct? I checked paganismus and it says that is second declension. But Baptismus gives the genitive as "Baptismus" (without actually saying what declension it is). Eric Kvaalen (talk) 08:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

@Eric Kvaalen: It's easily attested on GB, but in recent (i.e. 20th century) publications of course. I think we should replace "classical" by "classicistic" in these cases; I've already suggested this but I don't remember where exactly.
And it's definitely second declension, not fourth. Per utramque cavernam 08:30, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Per, but what's GB? And what do you think about Baptismus? Is it fourth declension? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 10:54, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
In German, the genitive is definitely Baptismus. It is not a Latin word. Classical Latin words ending on -ismus, like aphorismus, follow the second declension. For what it is worth, the Vicipædia article on Communismus also uses the second declension. More authoritatively, so does the official Latin text of the papal encyclical Divini Redemptoris. I have no clue what the assignment of the fourth declension to the communismus entry is based on.  --Lambiam 13:00, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't notice that Baptismus was said to be German not Latin!
All right, thanks Lambiam. I will fix it. (And I figured out that GB is Google Books.) Eric Kvaalen (talk) 14:55, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
By the way Lambiam, I see that we have entries for communismuum and communismibus, based on the idea that it's fourth declension. These should be deleted, right? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 15:07, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, these are auto-generated Latin noun forms added by a bot based on the fourth-declension table. While these two have been deleted, I still see entries for the forms communismui and communismu, quae etiam delendae sunt. Μετάknowledge?  --Lambiam 18:33, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping. Now gone as well. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:43, 29 August 2018 (UTC)


Recently I edited mithe to prevent it from saying that the past tense and past participle are "mithed", because it was a strong verb in Old English. User:Surjection reverted my edit. I have checked both the OED and Century, but neither gives the past tense or participle. Apparently the word was used in Middle English but not in Modern English (see Wiktionary:Requests for verification/English#mithe). What were the past tense and past participle in Middle English? And should we really say that they were "mithed" if we don't know?? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 08:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

It looks like the form mithed would be attestable in EME, but I'm not so sure that all four definitions in the entry would be attestable in any form. DCDuring (talk) 09:36, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Why do you say that "mithed" would be attestable in EME? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 10:54, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Worth noting that my revert was primarily because it was not formatted well at all, not because I disagreed on how to inflect "mithe". SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 09:48, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Google Books had some volumes dated before 1600 that had mithed. DCDuring (talk) 13:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)


@DCDuring: You're right, if I do a Google search for "mithed" it finds a Middle English Dictionary with lots of quotations, including ones using "mithed". Unfortunately Google Books doesn't allow me to see the beginning of the entry. I will change our article to say Middle English. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 14:55, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

@DCDuring: On second thought, I won't change it because the Middle English entry should be "mithen". Can you give a link to something in Early Modern English? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 15:26, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

One I thought to be EME was a scanno. Here are one [OK by me, Northumbrian, ME]. two [Scottish Engish], three [Scottish Engish], four [lisp], five [Northumbrian, ME]. I didn't have the patience to make sure there are no duplicates. I suspect there are. DCDuring (talk) 17:05, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Link number one shows no text. Number two is the one whose meaning we don't understand -- it's obviously not the word we're talking about. Number three gives a page view supposedly containing "mithed" but it doesn't. Number four is a transcription of someone's way of mispronouncing "missed" I think. Number five is the same book as number one, this time with a page, but as with number three, what I can see of the page doesn't have the word. So none of these gives us an example of the word being used in the desired meaning in Early or non-early Modern English. I think you looked for "mithed" rather than "mithe", but I'd like to know whether "mithe" is used in any tense or form in Modern English. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 20:33, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry. When looking for a rare word it's a good idea to try all forms "mithe"|"mithes"|"mithing"|"mithed" and probably other spellings. It's certainly tedious to sift through them. Anyway, maybe someone with more specific knowledge can help you. DCDuring (talk) 22:27, 29 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. What does "corrosion" mean as a context? I suspect it belongs in the definition, not as a label.
  2. Is the Australian shopping cart sense etymology 2, or etymology 1?

- -sche (discuss) 17:26, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

I think the label is just intended to indicate that the definition is relevant to the topic of corrosion. Mihia (talk) 20:35, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

razor bladeEdit

My 21st Century English-Chinese Dictionary claims this term can also mean "black person". Is that correct? ---> Tooironic (talk) 21:58, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

It's in a bunch of dictionaries: [7] for one. Finding actual usage might be difficult. That link references "Sir, You Bastard" by Gordon F. Newman. DTLHS (talk) 22:11, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "sang" and its rhymesEdit

In my estimation, there are two different pronunciations of the word sang (and "rang", "hang", etc.) and they aren't just a matter of vowel coloration. One is the British /sæŋ/ which you can most definitely recognize as containing the /æ/ sound when you hear it here. You could say the word "sat" with the same vowel. If you compare that to the pronunciation soundbyte (clearly American) currently used on the Wiktionary page for sang, though, they sound quite different, and I would even argue that the vowel in the Wiktionary sound clip could NOT be used to make the word "sat". I propose that these words be attributed an alternative pronunciation of /-eŋ/, such as /seŋ/ for "sang". What do the rest of you think?

As a west coast American, when I say "sat" back-to-back with "sang", and then "say" back-to-back with "sang", the vowel in "sang" sounds identical to that in "say", or at least much closer than to the one in "sat". It could just be because the /ŋ/ sound at the end of "sang" is higher up in the mouth than the British version and sounds a bit /i/-colored. But that, to me, would also be evidence that the preceding vowel is also pronounced higher in the mouth. I also just asked a fellow west-coast American (from a different but bordering state, for what it's worth) in person, which vowel the one in "sang" sounds more similar to, between the long and short A sounds; he said the long A. Again, I'm curious to see what take others have on this.

It also occurred to me that maybe the intermediate vowel /ɛ/ resulting in /sɛŋ/ could be a more accurate notation, but when I compared my own careful pronunciations of /sæŋ/, /sɛŋ/, and /seŋ/, /seŋ/ still sounds the most accurate to my everyday pronunciation of "sang". (And, again, to the sound clip in the existing Wiktionary article.) —This unsigned comment was added by Andy81990 (talkcontribs).

This is a well-known feature of California English, commonly given in notation as [eə] or similar. Because it's a regularly predictable allophone, it's irrelevant to the rhyme entries or really anything other than dialectal Californian IPA given in entries. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:49, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
In my Canadian English, I think I pronounce it either /seŋ/ or /seɪ̯ŋ/. I think it would be helpful to note these pronunciations in the entries. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:41, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
For me (a midwesterner) "hang" and "sang" don't rhyme. I say "hang" with a long a. Maybe it's just an idiosyncrasy. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 07:02, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Reordering the senses of stay (verb)Edit

Can we reorder the numerous senses of this verb so as to put the most current senses at the top of the entry? I'd suggest continuing to group transitive and intransitive senses together, but starting with intransitive, and putting "Remain in a particular place" on top, followed by other current senses. Would there be any disadvantages to this change? Aabull2016 (talk) 04:58, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

This sounds to me like a logical change to make. Andy81990 (talk) 06:11, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree with putting intransitive senses first.
We often try to have definitions in historical order, which is useful for understanding sense evolution and for finding definitions used in older works. In this case, historical order might keep all the obsolete and archaic senses at the top of the list, which definitely makes the entry hard to use for learners and for reading current works. But before we do moving within the transitive and intransitive groups of definitions, it might be useful to label the various not-so-current definitions as "dated", "archaic", or "obsolete" as appropriate using the definitions in Appendix:Glossary. A first cut for such labeling might be based on whether a given definition appears in modern dictionaries and whether it appears without such a label. The OED might give information to support providing {{defdate}} for each definition. More modern citations would help, too. DCDuring (talk) 13:42, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Most of the 'definitions' in the entry are just lists of synonyms, which suggests that much of the entry is copied from MW 1913. Actual definitions might help. DCDuring (talk) 13:45, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
We seem to lack definitions for the usage (intransitive) in poker and for usage like They stayed even in the polls until the second debate. DCDuring (talk) 14:04, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
These seem to me to be good suggestions. The closest definition to the usage in your example They stayed even... is "To continue to have a particular quality," but I think that definition is too restrictive to cover all cases of "stay + adjective". The second sense given under remain ("To continue unchanged in place, form, or condition, or undiminished in quantity") would be perfectly usable here, I think. Aabull2016 (talk) 16:01, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

dragante dragonEdit

Hey. Is there a special term in heraldry for a dragante? Dragons heads in opposite corners with a line between them, I guess they're supposed to be breathing fire into each other's mouth, which is obviously pretty cool. There's one in the Royal Bend of Castile. Apparently dragon head is used, but it seems too simple for heraldry. Also, broadly speaking, we are pretty poor at heraldry terms on WT - if anyone fancies taking on an exciting project, adding heraldry terms would be amazing. --XY3999 (talk) 09:40, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

I think you would fancy it. DCDuring (talk) 14:06, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
I've seen the phrases "serpents swallowing a bend" and "dragons swallowing a bend" used (depending on whether the dragon is technically considered to be a dragon/dragante or a serpent/sierpe), but not anywhere durable. Looking at Spanish blazons, I see coats of arms with dragon heads on them blazoned as e.g. banda de oro, engolada en dragantes de oro, which suggests that a dragante is just a "dragon", and the bit about it being a head and connected with a line is not intrinsic to the word. - -sche (discuss) 22:23, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
A diagonal stripe being swallowed at the ends can be called a "bend engouled" in English heraldese. (talk) 07:25, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

block and tackleEdit

I think the article on block and tackle could use modification regarding its countability or usage forms. (Maybe the attention of a real linguist would help clarify things.)

Right now the article reads (under "Noun"): "block and tackle (plural 'block and tackles' or 'blocks and tackles')".

It could be simply modified to: "block and tackle (uncountable and countable, plural 'block and tackles' or 'blocks and tackles')".

With more complexity, it could instead read something like this: "block and tackle, or block-and-tackle (uncountable and sometimes countable, singular 'a block and tackle' being more common than potential plural forms 'block and tackles' or 'blocks and tackles')"

The current main definition could be split up to distinguish the uncountable form and the countable forms. The first one is potentially more dominant in usage.

1. (uncountable, adjectival modifying compound-noun, where modified noun may be omitted) Referring to a system containing blocks and tackle, usually in which a rope, cable, or chain (the tackle) is passed over pulleys enclosed in two (or rarely more) blocks, one fixed and one attached to a load, which is used to gain mechanical advantage to move (lift, lower, or pull) heavy loads.


  • "A rope block-and-tackle system pulled the stone monument erect." -- Popular Mechanics Mar 1985, page 101
  • "Block and tackle is comprised of the crown block, the travelling block, and the drilling line." -- Petroleum Engineering Handbook for the Practicing Engineer, Volume 2, By M. A. Mian, Mohammed A. Mian
  • "The major components of the hoisting system are (1) the derrick, (2) the block and tackle system, (3) the drawworks, and (4) miscellaneous hoisting equipment such as hooks, elevators, and weight indicator." -- Petroleum Engineering Handbook for the Practicing Engineer, Volume 2, By M. A. Mian, Mohammed A. Mian
  • "Additionally, we discuss the makeup of block and tackle, reeving procedures, and common types of tackle arrangements." -- Steelworker, Volume 2, Training Manual (TRAMAN), November 1996, Chapter 6 Rigging
  • "A better understanding of the changing tension in a block and tackle arrangement can avoid the major problems stated earlier." -- Proceedings [of The] Drilling Conference, Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, 1992 - Gas well drilling, page 166

2. (countable) A system containing blocks and tackle, usually in which a rope, cable or chain (the tackle) is passed over pulleys enclosed in two (or rarely more) blocks, one fixed and one attached to a load, which is used to gain mechanical advantage to move (lift, lower, or pull) heavy loads. (Sometimes simply referred to as "tackle", meaning gear or mechanical appliances, behaving as an uncountable noun or a countable noun.)


  • "BLOCK AND TACKLE, a mechanical appliance consisting of a combination of pulleys and ropes. [...] 'Block' refers to the casing for the pulleys, 'tackle', to the ropes." -- The World Book: Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture, Volume 2, January 1, 1918, Hanson-Roach-Fowler, page 773
  • "The Block and Tackle: A block and tackle is a combination of fixed and movable pulleys." -- Machines & Work (ENHANCED eBook), By Edward P. Ortleb, Richard Cadice
  • "In the requirement for making and demonstrating a block and tackle, be sure to explain its purpose -- to lift weights easily." -- Scouting Mar-Apr 1972, page 12
  • "Systems of ropes, pulleys, blocks and tackles, inclined planes and playout wheels or capstans were used to build what amounted to a giant lever powered by men and horses." -- Popular Mechanics Mar 1985, page 100
  • "Blocks and Tackles: The use of blocks and tackle (pronounced tay-kle) or, to use a higher sounding name, mechanical appliances, on board a small cruising type boat is very limited." -- Chapman Piloting: Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, 54th Edition, By Elbert S. Maloney, page 225


  • "Block and Tackle: The tackle ordinarily used for hoisting, lowering or moving heavy objects consists of two blocks and a rope." -- Popular Mechanics Aug 1956, page 184
  • "A tackle is an assembly of blocks and lines used to gain a mechanical advantage in lifting and pulling." -- Steelworker, Volume 2, Training Manual (TRAMAN), November 1996
  • "Tackle: A combination of blocks, ropes and hooks for raising, lowering or moving heavy objects. A 'tackle' increases lifting power but reduces lifting speed." -- Chapman Piloting: Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, 54th Edition, By Elbert S. Maloney, page 225
  • "Tackles: When a rope is rove through a single block the combined block and rope is named a single whip, but if the rope is rove through two or more blocks the combination is named a tackle." -- Wooden Ship-Building, By Charles Desmond, page 139

Zeroparallax (talk) 01:29, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

Uncountability is principally established by use with certain quantifier determiners (eg, much) or without a determiner and with a singular verb.
The uses of block and tackle modifying a noun are not evidence of uncountability IMO. Is grandfather clock evidence that grandfather is uncountable?
OTOH the Steelworker cite and the first of the two Petroleum Engineering Handbook cites are such evidence. I have also placed three other examples at Citations:block and tackle. I am still not sure that these cases are sufficient. Does the following show that grandfather, et al are uncountable?
  • 2008, David Dary, Frontier Medicine[8], page 178:
    It is too much papa, too much grandfather, too much grandma, too much mama, too much uncle, and too much auntie.
i have run out of time for this right now, but will take it up again in a day or two. DCDuring (talk) 03:34, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

者, difference between derived terms under Kanji vs. under suffix?Edit

The Japanese section for 者 has a list of derived terms under the kanji section as well as one under the suffix section. For the life of me I can't tell how it is decided which word goes in either section, especially since 者 is used as a suffix for every entry in both. I also wanted to add the fairly common words 患者, 学者, 記者, 作者, but don't know where I should put them? JustOneMore (talk) 20:36, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

What you're running into is a bit of a legacy problem for single-kanji entries. The compounds section was pretty much all we had initially. As the entries have been built out, with etymologies for each individual reading, the derivations (often including compounds) specific to a reading have been going into ====Derived terms==== sections under the relevant readings, and then often removed from the ====Compounds==== section under the ===Kanji=== heading, to avoid duplicates.
The Japanese entry is currently something of a mess, as the mono and sha readings haven't been fully formatted to use ===Etymology=== and ====Pronunciation==== sections. I or another JA editor will get to that eventually.
For now, I'd recommend putting your additional terms under the ====Compounds==== header and emulate the formatting there. The content in the ====Derived terms==== section on that page is auto-generated anyway. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:22, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, please add those terms into the compounds section under the main kanji header. The derived terms under the suffix section are automatically generated by {{suffixsee|ja}} and may contain some errors. In future, compounds below the kanji header will be moved to their respective etymology sections and placed under "derived terms". Only compounds with irregular readings such as  () () () / 如何 (いかが) (ikaga) will be placed under the kanji section. See for example. KevinUp (talk) 09:43, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr would you mind checking my edit here? [9] I'm using {{der2|lang=ja|title=Terms derived from {{ja-r|如|にょ}}:}} instead of {{der-top}} to make things clearer. KevinUp (talk) 14:42, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
@JustOneMore: I've added those terms to the relevant sections of in this edit. KevinUp (talk) 07:14, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks you two! In the future I'll just copy what you did here :) JustOneMore (talk) 18:10, 2 September 2018 (UTC)


Moved over to the September 2018 Tea room.  --Lambiam 09:58, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

September 2018

tohu-bohu, tohubohuEdit

These are two almost identical in spelling English derivatives of the same Hebrew phrase (the well-known תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ‎ from the Book of Genesis). The first is said here to refer specifically to a "formless chaos" or "void". The second is said here to refer generally to "chaos" or "confusion".

As a side note, as one can see, French also has this term, spelt like the former, but meaning the same as the latter. German also has Tohuwabohu, closer to the original phrase.

My question is in regard to whether or not we ought to have these two entries have an interreference within the definitions (a "see also" kind of thing), if they ought to be combined, or if they ought to be left as is. Tharthan (talk) 02:19, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

Poking around, I don't see any consistent difference in meaning based on punctuation, so one of them should be an {{altform}} of the other. Ngrams suggests it's more often hyphenated (even though other modern dictionaries seem to prefer to lemmatize the unhyphenated form), so I've made that the lemma. - -sche (discuss) 05:29, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! Tharthan (talk) 07:35, 4 September 2018 (UTC)


Moved over here from the August 2018 Tea room.  --Lambiam 09:55, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

I don't think it is borrowed from Afrikaans sambal. The word is of Javanese origin and refers to a condiment commonly found in the Malay archipelago. It is likely to have been introduced into Afrikaans by the Cape Malays. The South Africa label is also incorrect. KevinUp (talk) 09:43, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

@Sgconlaw I think you might be familiar with this. It's a common ingredient used in Peranakan cuisine. KevinUp (talk) 11:51, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
The British colonization of the Cape preceded that of Malacca by several decades, so the route through the Cape to Britain is not implausible. It seems quite likely to me that the British learned the word directly from the Malay spoken there as well as through its use in “kitchen Dutch” (i.e., early Afrikaans), and it may not be possible to assign a definitive single linguistic transmission route. I have removed the label South Africa, which stands for South African English.  --Lambiam 10:21, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Well, that does sound plausible. Are there any Afrikaans editors here on Wiktionary? Please add an entry for Afrikaans sambal. I'm interested to know whether sambal was introduced to Britain from South Africa or from the Malay archipelago. KevinUp (talk) 11:56, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
I can't find the word in Cambridge or Macmillan, but Oxford and Merriam-Webster indicates the word to be of Malay origin. Could we perhaps reword the etymology as follows? KevinUp (talk) 11:56, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
"Borrowed from Indonesian sambal, from Malay sambal, from Javanese ꦱꦩ꧀ꦧꦼꦭ꧀ (sambel). Also borrowed from Afrikaans sambal."
If anyone borrowed it from Indonesian it should be the Dutch, but that lemma just states, “from Malay”, which, I think, is plausible enough. Indonesian is merely a standardized version of Malay that attained its status when Indonesia gained its independence from the Dutch colonizers after World War II. I suggest leaving the reference to Indonesian out. A further slight modification gives, “Borrowed, either directly or via Afrikaans sambal, from Malay sambal, from Javanese ꦱꦩ꧀ꦧꦼꦭ꧀ (sambel).”  --Lambiam 16:58, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Good idea. Indonesian sambal is listed as one of the descendants of Malay sambal, along with Dutch, English, Afrikaans and etc. Curiously, I noticed that the Dutch etymology says that it is borrowed from Malay, rather than Indonesian. I think there was some discussion previously as to whether Malay refers to the Malay language used in the Malay archipelago or the national language of Malaysia. I'm not sure whether this has been sorted out or not, but statements such as "Borrowed from Malay, from Indonesian" or "Borrowed from Indonesian, from Malay" should be avoided. KevinUp (talk) 18:15, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
It would also be best to remove Indonesian sambal as one of the descendants of Malay sambal. Words in both national languages can often be traced back to a common ancestor, eg. Proto-Malayic, as found in the etymology Etymology sections of both languages in Wiktionary often use the same etymology, such as that of makan ("to eat"). For sambal, an Indonesian section with the same etymology as Malay ("borrowed from Javanese") is probably needed with Dutch listed as one of its descendants. KevinUp (talk) 18:15, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Please note that Malay was always a dialect continuum, and that the distinction between Malaysian Malay (Bahasa Melayu Malaysia) and Indonesian Malay (Bahasa Indonesia) came about by virtue of these becoming standardized norms in the respective countries. Words in American English and British English can also often be traced back to a common ancestor, but that ancestor is not Proto-Anglic.  --Lambiam 23:07, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
That makes sense. I'd like to know whether the Malay section on Wiktionary refers to the dialect continuum used in the Malay archipelago (including Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia)? Currently it seems to lean towards the standard national language used in Malaysia. A technical discussion has been created at Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2018/September#Malay as an ISO 639 macrolanguage for further discussion. KevinUp (talk) 11:12, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
How about "Borrowed from either Afrikaans sambal or Malay sambal, from Javanese ꦱꦩ꧀ꦧꦼꦭ꧀ (sambel)." Any Afrikaans editor here who is familiar with sambal? KevinUp (talk) 18:15, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
This leaves the possibility open of an interpretation that the transmission route was Javanese → Afrikaans → Engels, bypassing Malay. I hope the version chosen will make clear that Afrikaans sambal comes from Malay, or in any case that – whatever the route – English sambal comes from Malay.  --Lambiam 22:52, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
The earlier suggestion of "either directly or via Afrikaans, from Malay" seemed to get that across well, and such constructions are fairly common in our etymologies (e.g. quite a few say "possibly via", so I've implemented that. Please edit it further if necessary. But where is the Malay word from? Merriam-Webster and Oxford indeed just say it's from "Malay", but I notice that the American Heritage Dictionary and say the Malay term is from not Javanese but a Tamil term (AHD says sambhar, says campāl but mentions Telugu sambhāram as a relative) ultimately from Sanskrit saṃbhārayati i.e. संभारयति (compare संभालना). Are they confusing it with sambhar? - -sche (discuss) 05:51, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam, -sche: Thank you for fixing the etymology. It looks much better now. As to whether sambal is related to sambar or sambhar, the Javanese origin of the word needs to be further investigated. Note that the Malay language also contains Sanskrit loanwords due to the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism from 5th century BC up to 14th century AD. KevinUp (talk) 11:12, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── A book in Dutch by N. Mansvelt entitled Proeve van een Kaapsch-Hollandsch idioticon (“Attempt (?) of a Cape Dutch Idioticon“) [Link], published in Cape Town in 1884, has this to say (my translation):

Sambál, finely cut onions, quinces, cucumbers, etc., prepared with vinegar, used as a side dish with meat. Sambal is Malay for salad, or fragrant, seasoned food.

The 1989 edition of J. van Donselaar‘s Woordenboek van het Surinaams-Nederlands (“Dictionary of Surinamese Dutch”) also puts the stress on the second syllable, and gives the variant spelling sambel, stating that the word stems from Javanese. (Large numbers of Javanese were brought to Suriname after the abolition of the slave trade, recruited with false promises and effectively becoming indentured labourers.) The Wikipedia article Sambal also states that the word is from Javanese, citing the Indonesian Kamus bahasa Jawa-bahasa Indonesia (“Javanese–Indonesian Dictionary”) as one of its sources. On the talk page there is a small discussion of the relationship between sambal and sambar, at Talk:Sambal#Etymology, where it is argued that sambar may actually derive from sambal.  --Lambiam 11:59, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

That's a bit strange. Sambal in Malay does not mean "salad, or fragrant, seasoned food". It is in fact a chili paste pounded along with various secondary ingredients (finely cut onions are one of those ingredients). Also, its used as a dip or accompaniment for meat (occasionally) and salads (usually raw vegetables). KevinUp (talk) 13:14, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Anyway, it seems unlikely for sambal to be related to sambar. Sambar (dish) has its own origins dating back to the 17th century. (See the references section of its Wikipedia page). More importantly, chili, the main ingredient of sambal is not used in sambar. As mentioned above, the Javanese origin of sambal needs to be further investigated. KevinUp (talk) 13:14, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
It is possible that the meaning shifted since the 1884 book was published. In an 1886 Dutch handbook for people leaving for the Dutch Indies explaining many unfamiliar concepts to the hopeful colonist, the various sambals are said to be “consisting of pork or dried buffalo meat and shrimps fried in fresh coconut oil with onions, chilis and terasi”. Interestingly enough, in common Surinamese (Sranan Tongo) the hot sauce we know as sambal is called pepre, which may be a shortening of pepre sowsu (pepper sauce). The term sambal is reserved for a spicy spread, usually eaten on a bread roll, prepared with finely chopped chicken organs such as chicken liver.  --Lambiam 15:43, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
@Wirjadisastra speaks Javanese and Indonesian, and @Amir Hamzah 2008 speaks Malay, so they may have access to and ability to read materials in those languages that could clarify the origin of the Malay word (and the Javanese word, while we're at it).
The possibility that the meaning has shifted leads me to wonder if one of the possible etyma influenced a word derived from the other, e.g. if the original sense was from Tamil/Sanskrit and shifted under the influence of Javanese, or vice versa.
- -sche (discuss) 18:42, 3 September 2018 (UTC)


Is this English? Is it a prefix? Should it be at tiru-? I doubt that this has been used to form words in English; if it is something we are trying to reanalyse after transliteration then it's not an English prefix. Equinox 13:03, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

Doesn't seem like an English term at all. Ultimateria (talk) 18:59, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I would delete it, it doesn't seem to be used in English except as part of other names that have been transliterated/borrowed wholesale. It's like taking the sentence "I visited Bad Kreuznach and Bad Kissingen" and deciding "Bad" is an English prefix(!). - -sche (discuss) 05:56, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
"Bad Kissingen" sounds like a fine place for a first fumbled teenage date. Okay, I will just delete this "English" entry. Equinox 23:58, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
That might have been such an occasion for my late father, who grew up near Bad Kissingen at Saal an der Saale. DCDuring (talk) 17:10, 4 September 2018 (UTC)


Is this word also used in the sense of commuter or commuting? I added a quote at troop train which includes the term commutation service. DonnanZ (talk) 13:33, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

I found another reference here. DonnanZ (talk) 13:45, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

I found this from a Google News search on a University of Melbourne web page: "The origin of the word commute itself heralds from the late nineteenth-century United States’ commutation ticket, a reduced price railway season ticket by which the price of multiple daily tickets was “commuted” into a single payment." It's a twofer: both etymology and definition. DCDuring (talk) 21:10, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
We don't seem to have a definition for this, should it be added? This sense for commutation isn't used in British English. DonnanZ (talk) 21:27, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
The same etymology for the verb commute in the sense “to travel regularly between home an one‘s daily business” is given by the Online Etymology Dictionary.  --Lambiam 10:59, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
It is obvious that all of commute, commuter, and commutation relating to "daily trips between home and work" derive from commutation ticket (which is probably SoP). I have changed commute to show derivation from commutation ticket. Are commuter and commutation#Etymology 2 derived from commutation, commutation ticket, or commute#Etymology 2? In some sense it doesn't matter, but what does the OED address (or finesse) this? DCDuring (talk) 18:13, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Looking at the reference I dug up, "commutation" in this sense is also used on its own, not only as a qualifier: e.g. "commutation from the Upper Harlem segment" and "commutation between the Upper Harlem and Mid-Harlem segments". I'm not worried about SoP terms. DonnanZ (talk) 18:26, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
That's not what I was trying to ask about. I was asking about what the derivation graph should look like:
  1. a linear chain, eg commutation (etymology 1) → commutation ticketcommutation (etymology 2) → commute (etymology 2) → commuter
  2. a chain + branch commutation (etymology 1) → commutation ticketcommute (etymology 2) → commutation (etymology 2) and commuter.
Or some other scheme.
DCDuring (talk) 18:58, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
I guess that will do, thanks. I also found those OneLook refs while you were beavering away. I guess I can add some quotes now... DonnanZ (talk) 19:21, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
I also added [[commutation ticket]] because it seems to have slid from being SoP from the first etymology of commutation to now being perceived as SoP from the second. DCDuring (talk) 20:24, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
My hunch is graph #2, in which commute (etymology 2) comes directly from commutation ticket and commutation (etymology 2) is a back formation. However, I have nothing to back this up, except the observation that commutation (etymology 2) seems to be much rarer than you would expect if it was the preceding link in the chain.  --Lambiam 22:43, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

incunable, incunabulumEdit

Should we centralise the translations? If yes, where? Per utramque cavernam 10:51, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

Following the lead of several dictionaries, I've merged incunable into incunabulum. Ultimateria (talk) 14:27, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. Per utramque cavernam 15:45, 4 September 2018 (UTC)


I believe it's a brand of paint, but I hesitate in providing an entry. Is it idiomatic? I came across a reference in an American book to "plus a few gallons of bright Duco". DonnanZ (talk) 12:53, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

I failed to notice it is included at duco, where the Wikipedia article describes it as a former brand; the book was published in 1959 so it probably existed then. DonnanZ (talk) 13:03, 2 September 2018 (UTC)


I can hardly find any hits for the infinitive, but I can for "destreamlined" and "destreamlining", including a quote from the same book mentioned above: "The process of destreamlining a GS-4 amounted to little more than ripping off her running board skirts and painting her black." What to do? DonnanZ (talk) 15:04, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

Among the uses of destreamlined are plenty that attest to it being a form of a verb and not an adjective. I'd just add the infinitive/bare form as if it were attested. It isn't too unusual among less common verbs for the bare/infinitive form to be hard to attest. DCDuring (talk) 20:41, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
OK, but I'm in "do-nothing mode" on this at the moment. DonnanZ (talk) 21:08, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
OK, I've created the entry, can you check the definition and change/improve it if necessary? - -sche (discuss) 06:05, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Done that. That's a nice quote from "Trains", I used to buy that magazine years ago. DonnanZ (talk) 08:36, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

Are "undoing" and "removing" streamlining the same thing? Ultimateria (talk) 16:26, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

Semantically, undoing refers to the process of streamlining; removing refers to the result. We often finesse such distinctions in our definitions of less common words. DCDuring (talk) 18:39, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

Turkish help needed at yokEdit

See this edit: [10]. If the IP is correct that this should be an adjective (I have no idea about Turkish) then the PoS header needs fixing too. Equinox 20:59, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

I pinged some Turkish contributors to weigh in on Talk:yok. For now it looks like we're going with 'adjective'...? - -sche (discuss) 21:05, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
I hope so. Determiner doesn‘t make sense.  --Lambiam 22:06, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

IPA for alcoholismEdit

So this evening I wanted to check the stress on alcoholism, but the entry had no IPA. I was thinking /'æl.kǝ.hǝ.ˌlɪ.z(ǝ)m/, but Google Translate sounds like /ˌæl.kǝ'hɑ.lɪ.z(ǝ)m/. Is either of these correct? MGorrone (talk) 21:23, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

For me (BrE) the third vowel is /ɒ/, the same as in alcohol. Equinox 21:30, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
I hear primary stress on the first syllable (æl) and weak secondary stress on the penult (lɪ). The third vowel is definitely not a schwa, but from listening to some YouTube videos it is speaker (dialect) dependent.  --Lambiam 22:22, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
For me (California,US), the word alcohol retains its original vowels, which implies a secondary stress on the third syllable, but the final syllable doesn't seem to be any less stressed than the third syllable. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:49, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
I've added the pronunciations which I've heard that I could also find references for. Note that, aside from the disunity regarding the vowels and stress, there is also disunity over whether it syllabifies as /-hVl.ɪz.əm/, /-hVl.ɪ.zəm/, /-hV.lɪ.zəm/, or /-hV.lɪz.əm/, which I didn't reproduce as I felt it was not significant and would clutter the entry too much. - -sche (discuss) 05:05, 3 September 2018 (UTC)


Is this a phrase worth including or a SoP of 好處 + 費? Dokurrat (talk) 02:21, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

Abbreviation with or without .Edit

Should abbreviations that are normally terminated with "." also have an entry without the "."? For example I added ppor., but should ppor also be listed, perhaps as a redirect? —This unsigned comment was added by Graeme Bartlett (talkcontribs).

If it's attested, it should be an {{altform}} (or similar). Many abbreviations that normally end in dots are attested without them and vice versa, so it's just a matter of trawling through enough results on Google Books/Scholar / Issuu / etc (or maybe some better search engine that doesn't disregard punctuation?) to find out. Hard redirects aren't used for short strings like that because of the danger that ppor could be a valid entry in another language. Thanks for adding so many Moss entries, btw! - -sche (discuss) 04:27, 3 September 2018 (UTC)


This is also used as a noun. I have added a quote which can be moved if it is decided to create a noun entry. DonnanZ (talk) 11:37, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

Did an entry anyway. It appears to be mainly used as a plural. DonnanZ (talk) 11:54, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

bowel movementEdit

I find the usage notes weirdly worded:

  • "often incomprehensible, even to native speakers and especially to non-native speakers." > says who?
  • "An equally polite but usually understood form of this very important medical question is, for example, "When did you last do number two?"" > What is the "very important medical question"? "bowel movement" is not a question.

Per utramque cavernam 14:21, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

It's a medical term, I think, but I think "do number two" would be equally incomprehensible to non-natives. One term that seems to have been missed is pass a motion, meaning "perform an evacuation of the bowels" (British apparently), but even that has two meanings. DonnanZ (talk) 15:33, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
From M*A*S*H (TV series):
Major Burns: "My God! We're being bombed. We've got to evacuate immediately."
Captain Pierce: "I think I just did." DCDuring (talk) 19:06, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
lol :p Per utramque cavernam 19:13, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm a native, and as an adult I had to infer the meaning of "number two" from jokes (in Silent Movie and, if memory serves, Murder by Death). —Tamfang (talk) 06:32, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
It's not my impression that bowel movement is incomprehensible to native speakers, and the second part of that sentence seems meaninglessly true of any word a non-native speaker isn't familiar with. I also don't think "when did you last do number two" would be acceptable in a medical context; it's too informal; I would expect defecate or have a bowel movement. And, as pointed out, "bowel movement" isn't a question. I would delete those notes entirely (I see DCDuring has) and move the synonyms into the Synonyms sections or thesaurus. - -sche (discuss) 19:47, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

well, that's me toldEdit

Is that a thing? I've found this, but I can't find it in other dictionaries.

It's specifically British, according to this convo. @Equinox? Per utramque cavernam 18:24, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

Well, shut my mouth (Southern US) seems almost equivalent. I think shut my mouth is used to express surprise (at a statement or something observed) as well as acknowledgement of a correction (I don't know about its use with a rebuke.
There's a closer parallel, I think, but it escapes me now. DCDuring (talk) 18:48, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
"You sure told me!" Equinox 18:50, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
That's not what has been eluding me, but it fits. Each of those mentioned seems appropriate for somewhat different sets of situations and the meaning shifts a bit in different situations. They are relatively easy to decode when used in the most appropriate situations and also not too hard to remember and apply in similar situations. I'm not surprised that dictionaries and even idiom references rarely have these. DCDuring (talk) 19:01, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: I stand corrected? Per utramque cavernam 15:46, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
This construct isn't unique to the phrase, by the way (though I agree it might be peculiarly British): you might also hear "that's me sorted" (when given the thing that I need) or "that's me done for the day" (end of work hours), etc. Equinox 23:53, 3 September 2018 (UTC)


I'm querying "rare or erroneous" added to the "move quickly" sense. I added a quote here, which implies that the train is moving quickly, which is obvious from the illustration in the book, where it is leaving a trail of smoke behind it. This would appear to be derived from the noun sense "an all-clear or full speed ahead signal". DonnanZ (talk) 12:59, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

It may be dated, but not rare or erroneous. People are increasingly unfamiliar with the railroad use and its figurative extended use. They may think the person meant hightail. DCDuring (talk) 16:41, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
I don’t see how it could be erroneous. Fay Freak (talk) 17:23, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
OK, I have replaced that with "possibly dated". If anyone disagrees they can revise it. Cheers. DonnanZ (talk) 17:40, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

the businessEdit

"to think one is the business" = "to think one is hot shit". I think it's sense 15 of business, but would it be worth it to duplicate the info and add that sense to the business? Per utramque cavernam 17:55, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

at the readyEdit

Can you say of a person that she is "at the ready", or is it always used for objects? Per utramque cavernam 20:11, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

Google "sniper at the ready" (BooksGroupsScholar). DCDuring (talk) 20:37, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
And e.g. google books:"men at the ready". - -sche (discuss) 07:28, 5 September 2018 (UTC)


I'm trying to work out what roster means in American railroad terminology. I'm not sure that the current senses cover it. For example:

"the largest roster of Berkshires in the land"
"30 of which found their way onto the Union Pacific roster in 1945"

Both cases are referring to locomotives, but I'm not sure that these two examples even mean exactly the same. DonnanZ (talk) 22:59, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

I found more here. I get the impression it's either a fleet, or a list of a fleet. DonnanZ (talk) 23:12, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

  • Doesn't "list of names" cover it? SemperBlotto (talk) 05:26, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, it seems like that sense (or possibly a general "any itemized list or roll" sense extended from it, like some dictionaries have); one also hears about a google books:"roster of ships", google books:"roster of planes", "United States Navy roster [of ships], etc. - -sche (discuss) 07:16, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Btw, I removed the note that claimed roster differed from foster in that it couldn't pronounced with /ɔ/; that's not true in my experience and MW explicitly contradicts it. - -sche (discuss) 07:22, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Well, I think that in the sense of a list of locomotives (or whatever) it is only used in American English (I have never come across it in the UK in this sense), but I have limited myself to adding a reference and category for the time being. DonnanZ (talk) 09:30, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

In addition to that, I found a quote for the past participle (referring to locos again, not people). I have added the quote, but done nothing about the definition of the verb. I wouldn't know what to put anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 18:46, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

I have just come across "re-rostered", in British English this time; from Trains Illustrated, March 1961: "some expresses diverted via the former route had to be re-rostered for light Pacifics, as the "Merchant Navy" class is barred from the Netley line." DonnanZ (talk) 12:46, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

final salaryEdit

For final salary, should I add a {{&lit}} entry for the NISOP noun sense or just not include a noun entry at all? -Stelio (talk) 09:42, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

I'm very sceptical that the sense currently in the entry would meet any tests of adjectivity (*"his pension was very final salary, more final salary than hers"?). It sounds like a noun that can be used attributively. Ditto for defined benefits, defined contributions and the other recent additions. - -sche (discuss) 21:21, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
(For completeness, money purchase is the other related addition.) Oh, okay. These terms are certainly not used comparatively, as you point out (which is why I marked them as not comparable). But they are also not used as standalone nouns. When talking of a pension scheme, you would say, "It's final salary." You would not say, "It's a final salary," or, "It's the final salary." In that context, would you really prefer noun to adjective? The noun {{&lit}} sense that I referred to was simply a salary that is final, entirely separately from the (as I see it) adjective that described UK pension schemes. -Stelio (talk) 07:47, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Some examples of common collocations, for context: final salary basis, final salary benefits, final salary pension, final salary plan, final salary scheme. Separately there are also plenty of citations for final salary as a noun, but that is its NISOP use as an employee's level of wages at the point of retirement. -Stelio (talk) 08:01, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Collins calls it an adjective. DCDuring (talk) 18:40, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
In a sentence such as “Perhaps the best-known active attack is man-in-the-middle”, you cannot put a definite or indefinite article in front of “man-in-the-middle” either. If I understand the argument, it implies that currently man-in-the-middle is misclassified as a noun.  --Lambiam 19:04, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
I have never heard such a sentence ("Perhaps the best-known active attack is man-in-the-middle") and would think it incorrect. DTLHS (talk) 19:07, 6 September 2018 (UTC)“Perhaps+the+best-known+active+attack+is+man-in-the-middle”.  --Lambiam 22:00, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree it's misclassified! The hyphens in "man-in-the-middle" are there to indicate that a normal spaced noun phrase ("man in the middle", i.e. the attacker) is being used as a single adjectival modifier. To try to pluralise this to "men-in-the-middle", hyphenated, as we do, seems very misguided. Equinox 22:10, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
I’ve put that alleged plural up for verification.  --Lambiam 07:23, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
I am equally sceptical that this is an adjective. Mihia (talk) 20:55, 6 September 2018 (UTC)

in the matter of a few daysEdit

Is this entry worthy? Per utramque cavernam 17:31, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

Mh, I see sense 3 of matter already covers this. Per utramque cavernam 17:32, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

The Bengali word বিনাEdit

Since this word seems to be used prepositionally (see বিনা), is it worth creating the category of "Bengali prepositions"? বনাম is another such word which acts as a preposition, per a quick Google search. Is it worth creating the category for words such as these 2, which are admittedly few in Bengali as far as I know?

To clarify - I am not a native speaker of Bengali, but have been trying to add to the Bengali entries on Wiktionary based on my knowledge.


  1. To give a part or share.
    to impart food to the poor
    The sun imparts warmth.

While I suppose the idea of "part" may be involved etymologically, it seems to me that "a part or share" has little relevance to the ordinary modern meaning of this word. I propose to remove it from the definition, but I want to raise the issue here first just in case I am missing something. This "part or share" thing propagates through the "Synonyms" and "Translations" sections, so obviously people in the past have thought it correct. If anyone objects to its being removed, please say. Mihia (talk) 20:52, 6 September 2018 (UTC)

Several dictionaries list this meaning, for example as “1. To give, grant or communicate; to bestow on another a share or portion of something; as, to impart a portion of provisions to the poor.” Maybe that is not the common modern meaning, but we aim to also give historically attested senses. If a sense is obsolete, archaic or dated, it can be labelled as such. Additionally, the Tea room is not the appropriate venue for proposals to remove definitions; for that we have Requests for deletion. Better yet, first seek verification of a doubtful sense at Requests for verification.  --Lambiam 22:20, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
It is not a proposal to remove a definition, it is a proposal to change a definition. It is a proposal to change the definition so as to actually fit the examples given, to neither of which the idea of "part or share" is important or even relevant. Mihia (talk) 23:49, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
It’s the classical philologist’s sense of it. If someone who understands Latin uses that word he is most likely to understand it in such an abstract way and it is most likely the only definition for him; “to communicate the knowledge of” and “hold a conference or consultation” are of course submeanings, about the imparting of information. Fay Freak (talk) 23:28, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Would you be able to come up with an example where the "part or share" idea is clearly present? Perhaps it would be better to split out this specialised (it seems to me) meaning as a separate sense, but contrasting examples would be good. Mihia (talk)
  • OK, since I do not know how to make an example specifically illustrating the "part or share" idea, I have combined this meaning and the "ordinary" meaning into one sense. Mihia (talk) 20:50, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
    One way is to look at comprehensive dictionaries that attempt to cover the history of a word, eg, OED, Century 1911, Webster 1913. Impart can thus be shown to have had many meanings, not all of which make sense to our individual idiolects. I think it is unreasonable to obscure the sense evolution by combining definitions. It is fairly clear to me that the sharing sense is applied to wisdom, information, etc. which is not any the less available to the sharer after having been imparted. Various intangible things can similarly be imparted ("shared"). After all, "Did not Mazzini impart his spirit to divided Italy"? DCDuring (talk) 01:36, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Czech and Slovak descendants of Proto-Slavic *strastьEdit

Czech strast and Slovak strаsť seem to have preserved the original (?) meaning of the Proto-Slavic *strastь related to "suffering" or "pain". South and East Slavic descendants, except for Old Church Slavonic страсть (strastĭ, suffering, pain) (if the definition is correct) now only have the "passion", sense, e.g. Russian страсть (strastʹ, passion), Bulgarian страст (strast, passion) but there are other words Russian страда́ть (stradátʹ, to suffer), which are definitely related. We don't have the Czech and Slovak entries and I'm having trouble finding these words in dictionaries.

What meanings did *strastь have?

If Czech strast and Slovak strаsť are valid words, what are their modern and old meanings? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:31, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

BTW, Polish straść seems to be used (not 100% sure) as an adverbial amplifier, which can be used in Russian as well, e.g. "Он страсть как лю́бит конфе́ты!" = "He loves candies SO much!". Can't find other uses related to the above senses. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:46, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

willfulness wilfulnessEdit

willfulness wilfulness willful wilful : any need to merge ? 02:30, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Moving to Requests for moves, mergers and splits Leasnam (talk) 02:59, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
There is no need to change willful. In any case, I have added or amended labels, showing which are British or American spellings. DonnanZ (talk) 12:14, 7 September 2018 (UTC)


What is the character appearing in the Ancient Greek in the etymology? Should it be there? —Rua (mew) 12:55, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

It was a symbol from a Southeast-Asian script that was developed in the 1950s – too late for it to have found its way into Ancient Greek orthography. Fay Freak has fixed it for us.  --Lambiam 16:21, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

dustpan and brushEdit

This is a set phrase to me, but I'm not sure whether it's just British English? I see from the internet that some people call the set a dustpan and duster, or "halfbrush and shovel" (what?). Anyway I think we should have an entry for it, since in many languages they say it the other way round. Ƿidsiþ 13:55, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

  • I've been bold and created it. Feel free to improve and expand (and yes, I think it might be UK English). SemperBlotto (talk) 14:00, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Wouldn't the plural be "dustpans and brushes"? DonnanZ (talk) 15:05, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Google Ngram Viewer shows both form in use, but your form is more popular. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:11, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Ngram is no an arbiter of the language, as much printed English is subedited in a way to remove the idiom. Dustpan and brushes is the only plural here. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:10, 7 September 2018‎ (UTC).
  • I can report this is used in Australia too. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:25, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
  • It's also used in America; I can find e.g. American shops selling sets under that title. It seems SOP. I also question whether "dustpan and brushes" is a plural: looking at Google Books results, of which there seem to be almost too few to meet CFI, it seems to refer instead, quite predictably, to what someone has when they have a dustpan and several brushes, rather than being the plural of dustpan and brush and denoting multiple sets thereof. - -sche (discuss) 05:37, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

hate with a passionEdit

Is it entry worthy? Per utramque cavernam 14:32, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

No. DTLHS (talk) 16:22, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
That was short and sweet, but I agree - NO. DonnanZ (talk) 16:44, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
There may be policy against including such phrases here, but it is an established phrase. You find an example and enter it as a usage example under "hate". —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:08, 7 September 2018‎ (UTC).

Ok, thanks. No entry. Per utramque cavernam 12:41, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

  • with a passion seems to me worth consideration. It occurs about 200 times more frequently than hate with a passion. It must have been SoP once, but seems to me like a set phrase now. After excluding those uses of with a passion followed by qualifying phrases and clauses, one can find it following verbs like embrace, live, work, do, love, dislike, play, reinvest, approach, fire ("My father fired ground balls in my direction with a passion."), pursue, move, represent, bear down, etc. DCDuring (talk) 14:01, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

quotation for pandar#NounEdit

The quotation for the noun is for "pander" with an e instead. --Azertus (talk) 16:49, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

moved to correct entry pander. - 22:26, 8 September 2018 (UTC)


The final two quotations seem to be for dimpsey as an adjective or is that just an attributive noun? Thanks. --Azertus (talk) 16:52, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Note that the alt form dimpsy is adj, not noun: this is inconsistent. Equinox 12:43, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

Swedish "med i"Edit

I struggled to find a translation of this. I read: Hon är med i en reklamfilm. I came to the conclusion that "med i" means "taking part in", but there is no hint of any such phrase in Wiktionary. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:35, 7 September 2018‎ (UTC).

The same phrase occurs in Norwegian, and it be translated many ways. DonnanZ (talk) 16:27, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
Based on perusing a variety of examples, it appears to me that the combination can often be neutrally translated as just “in”; however, there is specifically a sense of “included in” – but not necessarily as active as suggested by “taking part in”. There will often be a more idiomatic translation if the verb is taken into account; for example gå med i = “to join”. Disclaimer: I don’t speak Swedish and my understanding (or lack thereof) of the examples I looked at is that of Google translate.  --Lambiam 17:23, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
The Swedish translation offered for the verb join in the sense of “to become a member of” is gå med (i). For take part in the sense of “to participate or join” we have the translation delta; the very first definition we find at the Swedish Wikipedia for the verb delta is vara med. Somehow I am reminded of Dutch and German separable verbs like meedoen and mitgehen (Swedish: följa med).  --Lambiam 22:18, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, "vara med" is a synonym of deltaga (to take part) see here: - Lexikon för svenska synonymer --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:59, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Thank you Anatoli.

the Moon is made of green cheeseEdit

Worth an entry? Per utramque cavernam 12:41, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

get one's tit caught in the wringer, get one's dick caught in a wringerEdit

Is this a thing? Per utramque cavernam 13:24, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

Maybe once upon a time, but you would be hard put to find a wringer nowadays. IMO, not entry-worthy. DonnanZ (talk) 16:29, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
Maybe just caught in the wringer. —Stephen (Talk) 04:58, 14 September 2018 (UTC)


I'm looking to add the word wið, våmhusmål for we. However, Wiktionary doesn't have Våmhusmål as far as I know, so should the word be placed as a dialectal Swedish word or as an elfdalian word? —This unsigned comment was added by Norégveldi (talkcontribs).

wet cough, loose cough, chesty coughEdit

Per this thread, these are all antonyms of dry cough. Correct? Per utramque cavernam 20:13, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

I am not familiar with "wet cough" or "loose cough" (but I can imagine that maybe it's loose because coughing moves some material around, i.e. phlegm/catarrh). Chesty cough is definitely an opposite of a dry cough. Dry cough is the "superficial" cough that is just pushing air around; the chesty one goes down deep to the chest and may produce a lot of nasty phlegm. Equinox 22:52, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm familiar with "wet cough" as one that produces sputum, and thus yes an antonym of "dry cough". I'm not familiar with "loose cough", but it seems to exist with the same sense (google books:"loose cough with" expectoration). - -sche (discuss) 05:26, 15 September 2018 (UTC)


This mainland internet slang is widely used and I've seen quora topics on it. Should it be given it's own entry? Or should it be disregarded as sum of parts and only added as an example in 節奏, under a new sense?

FYI for Taiwanese friends here, the term means "to stir up a conflict", explanations can be found here. --Tsumikiria (talk) 02:32, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

@Dine2016: @Suzukaze-c:


Some commentators in the past considered the sense "personal, animal or inanimate trait (...), such as sex, gender, (...) profession," etc., an Americanism. The sense can also be found in some British and Australian text, but is it still chiefly North American? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:00, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

FWIW, I am a BrE speaker and I do not recognise this use as being noticeably North American. On a separate point, I find the part "... that is not (very) liable to be changed by persuasion" in that definition a bit odd. To me it seems to be implying that the fact that a trait is not liable to be changed by persuasion is the reason why it is called a "persuasion". This isn't how I see it working. Mihia (talk) 17:47, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
That's exactly how I have perceived it. It is intended to be humorous, though I mostly know it from the the phrase of the darker persuasion, where it would also be offensive. I have inserted an 1890 citation that discusses the (mild?) offensiveness of the word then. DCDuring (talk) 22:34, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
When you say that's exactly how you have perceived it, which part are you referring to? Are you referring to the idea that something is called a "persuasion" owing to the fact that it is not liable to be changed by persuasion? Mihia (talk) 22:53, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes. Look at the citations (and ignore the possibility of non-surgical gender reassignment). DCDuring (talk) 23:31, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, OK. I must admit that I cannot grasp at all the idea that someone of a certain persuasion is called that because they cannot be changed by persuasion (even though that may be true). Mihia (talk) 23:41, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
I assume you have just temporarily lost your sense of humor. DCDuring (talk) 23:45, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't understand your point. Mihia (talk) 00:43, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm surprised that you can't see the humor, lame though it may be. DCDuring (talk) 01:21, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
I believe that I recognised the mildly non-serious nature of your comment about "non-surgical gender reassignment". Beyond that, I'm afraid I am totally in the dark. I have no idea now what actual view you are taking about the original question. Mihia (talk) 01:40, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
A "joke" that needs explanation isn't a successful joke. But: Def 5 gives the use of persuasion in the sense of a set of religious beliefs (especially after the Reformation), perhaps also an ideology. The essence of this word is the notion that in principle one could become persuaded of another set of religious beliefs, as by the now-quaint notion of rational argumentation. In the past rational argumentation did not seem relevant to one's identity as a male or female or as a human of dark or yellow complexion, or as a dog of yellow fur. The humor, such as it is, is precisely in the inappropriateness of the word as traditionally defined and applied. Perhaps the humor works even less well in our post-post-post-Modern age. DCDuring (talk) 02:14, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
ARREST THIS MAN Equinox 04:41, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
I just don't get it. I have no idea how any of that supports the wording "... that is not (very) liable to be changed by persuasion" that I queried. If anything, it seems to be supporting the view that a "persuasion" could be changed by persuasion. Never mind. Mihia (talk) 20:44, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm puzzled what's so puzzling. Sometimes persuasion is used to describe things that are not liable to persuasion, like skin color, because it is nonsensical (Wodehousian) and therefore funny. Other times it is non-ironically used for things that are liable to persuasion like religion. — Eru·tuon 21:11, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, but the fact that something may be "not (very) liable to be changed by persuasion" has nothing whatsoever to do with the reason why it is called a "persuasion". It is a total red herring in the definition, just a muddling-up of ideas. With this I rest my case. Mihia (talk) 22:05, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Doesn't sound American to me. Conversely it's the kind of twee circumlocution I'd expect to see in P G Wodehouse. Equinox 23:37, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
One citation (1890) (See page link.) specifically alleges that the term in this sense is more common in the UK than the US. DCDuring (talk) 23:45, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Reminds me of the term obedience. Per utramque cavernam 08:23, 14 September 2018 (UTC)


(see also Wabash) A red link at cornfield meet, does this by any chance relate to the former Wabash Railroad? DonnanZ (talk) 16:33, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

It must, though I've never heard of it, ie, the word in that use. Wasn't there a song Wabash Cannonball? DCDuring (talk) 17:57, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
I don't see evidence of any famous crash. There was some kind of supposed hobo legend that the Wabash Cannonball would take a hobo from where he died to meet his maker. DCDuring (talk) 18:59, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
I can't find anything either, but it be something like a sideswipe or side-on collision, trains on parallel tracks that merge into one. An accident like that could be be due to faulty signalling systems, or the drivers ignoring signals. It may have occurred on the Wabash originally, and the name got used elsewhere in similar situations. But not to worry, it intrigues me though and I may find it eventually. DonnanZ (talk) 19:46, 11 September 2018 (UTC)


I've created a draft entry for autoplagiarism on a userpage. Does it look suitable to publish? Cheers Zumley (talk) 22:08, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

You don't need to list related terms since "plagiarism" is in the etymology. {{affix|en|auto|plagiarism}} should be {{affix|en|auto-|plagiarism}}. Don't add {{lb|en|uncountable}} to the definition line since there is only 1 sense. Other than that it looks fine. DTLHS (talk) 22:10, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks very much for your help! Zumley (talk) 22:20, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
I have a problem with the definition. Plagiarism is, by definition, copying and presenting another person’s work pretending it is one‘s own, so copying and presenting one‘s own creative work does technically not qualify as plagiarism. Perhaps something like, “Extensive reuse of material from one’s earlier published work without acknowledging this reuse.“  --Lambiam 01:24, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
One of the very common norm violations that leads to retraction of scholarly papers is republication of one's own work in a new article. The offense might lie in there being a different group of authors or it might be in violation the copyright of the publisher. Is it autoplagiarism when an author publishes two works with exactly the same multisentence paragraph in them? What exactly does autoplagiarism cover? DCDuring (talk) 09:46, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
"Unethical reuse of one's own work [by oneself]"? Equinox 11:31, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
Is it plagiarism if an author publishes a work with exactly the same two-sentence passage in it as found in another author‘s published work? Surely, it depends on the context and the content, and there will always be boundary cases where in the judgement of some it is while to others it isn’t. Even if it is not outright plagiarism, is it perhaps nevertheless unethical? Again, it depends on the facts of the case and one‘s necessarily always somewhat subjective judgement. Surely, for autoplagiarism it is the same. If an author uses a term of art – one whose meaning is highly specific to their particular field of study – in several popular articles in which they report their findings, they will need to give a definition that explains the term to their audience. Once one has found a good definition, using simple language that is widely understood, why should one have to come up with a different definition in the next article? That is to no-one’s advantage.  --Lambiam 15:48, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
As useful as this discussion is, we still need to see how the term is actually used, ie, cites.
I found one OneLook reference that has it, with the definition "the act or process of plagiarizing one’s own work." 2008, -Ologies & -Isms, Gale. DCDuring (talk) 19:06, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
What I was trying to say above is that the concept is fuzzy. Distilling definitions from cites is non-trivial; doing it for fuzzy concepts is challenging. But in all uses I have seen (examples of actual use are not hard to find) the meaning is not plagiarism of one’s own work for the simple reason that that is logically impossible, just like you cannot have an adulterous affair with your legal spouse.  --Lambiam 09:33, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
I have rewritten the definition without using the word plagiarism. Is that any better? SemperBlotto (talk) 09:40, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
I think it is an improvement. A friend once explained to me that fondue bourguignonne was just like cheese fondue, except for the cheese being replaced by beef. As I could not quite imagine the beef melting in the pot, that was confusing and I was not enlightened. Likewise, the reason for a reader looking up a definition is very likely that they do not know the meaning of a term; supplying a definition that is a contradiction in terms is then bound to be needlessly unhelpful.  --Lambiam 10:20, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
Hm, reminds me of recently seeing sense 2 at tapas and feeling sceptical: if you say "___ is like Japanese tapas" that isn't a separate sense; rather it's an alienans or something. But I didn't bother challenging it. Equinox 22:37, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Is this very different from self-murder or self-assassination? DCDuring (talk) 23:41, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
  • On Google NGrams self-plagiarism is about ten times more common than selfplagiarism and twenty times more common than autoplagiarism, auto-plagiarism not appearing there at all. Raw results from GBooks searches yield the same order of frequencies, but less difference among the terms. Academic discussions have no trouble with the "self-contradiction". Copyright infringement is an important element in most articles on the subject. DCDuring (talk) 18:35, 12 September 2018 (UTC)


Most of the usexes appear to be past tenses, and not adjectival. I'm not even sure how common it is as an adjective, but I don't mind being refuted on that. DonnanZ (talk) 12:00, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Here are some adjectival uses: [11]; [12].  --Lambiam 16:16, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
Well, we should have usexes for those, and move the others upstairs to the verb form. DonnanZ (talk) 17:09, 11 September 2018 (UTC)


The usage note at swath (noun) reads "To be distinguished from main meanings of swathe, but that is also an alternative spelling for this word." However, as a BrE speaker, to my mind the "main" meaning of "swathe" (noun) is as an alternative spelling of "swath". According to the definitions at swathe, the only other possibility for the "main" meaning would be "A bandage; a band", which to my mind is pretty rare. Does anyone think the "main" meaning is that? Possibly in AmE? Mihia (talk) 19:23, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Growing up in the eastern US, I'd learned somewhere that swath is to swathe as breath is to breathe -- i.e., the former with the unvoiced final is the noun and the latter with the voiced final is the verb. Looking at the purported etymologies we have here, I now wonder if I was taught correctly. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:56, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
So, as an AmE speaker, what do you understand the noun "swathe" to mean, if anything? Mihia (talk) 20:09, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
To me, it sounds like a mistake for swath, much like if you heard someone use breathe as a noun. Understandable, but it feels ... off. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:31, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
OK, thanks. So if the main meaning of "swathe" (noun) in BrE is as a spelling of "swath", and if in AmE it sounds like a mistake for "swath", then I see no basis for that usage note. I have therefore deleted it. If anyone disagrees please make any changes you see fit. Mihia (talk) 23:24, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

needs mustEdit

A recent RFD of must needs has reminded me of this phrase (which we don't have an entry for yet), and of the fact that it's supposedly short for "needs must when the devil drives". But that doesn't seem like a full (grammatical) sentence, either, so what is it short for? "Needs must take precedent when the devil drives"? "One needs do as one must when the devil drives"? Or else, what is its grammar? - -sche (discuss) 20:05, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

It's definitely a very old expression: [13]. DTLHS (talk) 20:08, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
Some people seem to say that "needs" in "needs must" is a noun meaning "necessity" (e.g. [14]), while others say it is an adverb (e.g. [15]), as in "must needs", I suppose. My initial thought on reading this thread was that it was an adverb, so I think at some point in the past I must have been taught that. Mihia (talk) 20:16, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
FWIW, I always parsed the needs here as a plural noun, as in the example -sche listed, needs must take precedence.... I struggle to see how this could be an adverb, even after reading the linked site; can't say as I agree with their reasoning. If needs were an adverb equivalent to necessarily or unavoidably, as that site contends, then ostensibly we should be able to replace needs with the equivalents in the longer expression, needs must when the devil drives -- except we can't because we wind up with gibberish. They also reference an OED explanation that the proverb unpacks to “he must whom fate compels”, further suggesting that the word before the verb must would be the noun subject of the verb. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:38, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
In the "adverb" interpretation, I take the saying as short for e.g. "One needs must when the devil drives", i.e. "One necessarily must (do difficult or unpleasant things) when the devil drives". I'm not saying this interpretation is necessarily correct though. Mihia (talk) 21:01, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
The Phrase Finder cites a proverb from Assembly of Gods (c. 1500): “He must nedys go that the deuell dryues.” In modern language: If the devil drives you, you have to go – resistance is futile. I bet this is the source of the elliptic saying. The Phrase Finder also remarks that Shakespeare uses the phrase several times. More in general, Shakespeare uses must needs and needs must quite often, apparently interchangeably except for metrical reasons. There are also a few occurrences of must not needs, which in my opinion proves that needs is not a noun here. Shakespeare also has many uses of will needs, which appears to mean, “will unavoidably”. A few examples:
  • Wilt thou needs be a beggar? (All's Well That Ends Well I, 3)
  • Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. (Hamlet III, 1)
  • Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you will needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard. (Measure for Measure III, 2)
 --Lambiam 23:00, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
I'd like to think that they are both verbs and both give the sense of "compel"; needs implies (because English does not have one) a middle voice, while must† is active. “He must nedys go that the deuell dryues” is merely an example of a rhetorical device in Middle it adjunction, anastrophe, take your pick. Also, in all three of the Shakespeare examples above, "will/t needs" can simply be replaced with "must" (bringing them a giant step closer to Modern English), from which we can infer that in this instance they have the same meaning, and we could then call the aforementioned Middle English rhetorical device tautologia.
†[From Middle English moste (“must”, literally “had to”), from Old English mōste (“had to”), 1st & 3rd person singular past tense of mōtan (“to be allowed, be able to, have the opportunity to, be compelled to, must, may”).]Mousebelt (talk) 04:16, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Well, the OED says needs was an adverb, and needs must is a set phrase in which must was originally used in the impersonal sense. It might originally have meant it must by necessity be. It's ungrammatical nowadays because must needs a dummy subject it and a bare infinitive as complement.
In response to @Mousebelt, it was an adverb rather than a verb because it ended in s even in Old and Middle English (looking at quotations in the Oxford English Dictionary), whereas if were a third-person singular verb form, it would have ended in : needeth. It has the adverbial ending derived from the strong masculine and neuter genitive singular ending.
I think the plural noun interpretation is just a reanalysis because of the ungrammaticality of needs must. Since needs could occur with must (or mote) and other words in various other orders where it couldn't be interpreted as a plural noun (for instance, from the OED, Stooping down as needs he must Who cannot sit upright), it would be very capricious for it to suddenly transform into a plural noun just because it got fossilized into a phrase where it precedes a verb. — Eru·tuon 05:14, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Thesaurus:lunatic asylumEdit

Why is the headword here a dated, offensive term? We lunatics have feelings and wouldn't feel safe in a lunatic asylum.

What should a substitute be: psychiatric hospital? mental hospital? mental home??? mental institution? Other?

Or should we split the Thesaurus page into pejorative and non-pejorative synonyms? I've never understood why Thesaurus pages don't have labels and usage notes for the various registers and nuances. DCDuring (talk) 11:59, 12 September 2018 (UTC)

Definitely move. I'd say mental hospital because it's more common (to me), but psychiatric hospital may be better because it's the least pejorative(?). See Thesaurus:money for a good example of qualifiers in thesaurus pages. Ultimateria (talk) 17:44, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
I'll wait for more opinions.
Thesaurus:money is also a good example of poor maintenance and even conceptual/semantic confusion. DCDuring (talk) 22:26, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, "lunatic asylum" is offensive if you're talking about an actual modern psych facility but probably not if you're just saying "that person belongs in a ____", as an exaggerated way to say that they have crazy ideas. The list seems splittable into two on that sort of basis. Equinox 22:30, 13 September 2018 (UTC)


The etymology for εἶδος has the following: From Proto-Indo-European *wéydos (“seeing, image”), from *weyd- (“to see”). So, would it be appropriate to add that this word is cognate to Sanskrit विद्या • (vidyā) and Latin videō and that it (apparently) used to begin with a digamma ϝ? Mousebelt (talk) 03:11, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

The initial consonant may have disappeared long before the language was written in the Greek alphabet, so mentioning the digamma would be wrong. The entry for Proto-Indo-European *weyd- does have a redlink to a Proto-Hellenic form, so (assuming that isn't mistaken) you could link to the same form in the etymology. As for cognates, there are just too many to do them justice. In English alone you have wit, witness, wise, wizard, guide, guise, idol, idea, -oid, history, story, Hades, view, visit, druid, and others. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:10, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
It would be inappropriate to state the earlier presence of a digamma if the form ϝεῖδος was unattested; but see for example the Partheneion by Alcman, quoted in the Wikipedia article on Greek prosody in the section “Mixed meter”.  --Lambiam 10:59, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
As to mentioning cognates, we could keep it at Latvian veĩds and Lithuanian véidas, which are more closely related than most other cognates, all being descendants of Proto-Indo-European *wéyd-os (see Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/weyd-).  --Lambiam 11:09, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
I just found this in the Ancient Greek verbs article on Wikipedia:
ὁράω (horáō) "I see" is another verb made from stems from three different roots, namely ὁρά (horá), ὀπ (op) and ἰδ (id) (the last of these, which was originally pronounced ϝιδ- (wid-), is related to the root of the Latin verb video):
ὁράω, ὄψομαι, εἶδον, ἑόρᾱκα/ἑώρᾱκα, ἑώρᾱμαι/ὦμμαι, ὤφθην
horáō, ópsomai, eîdon, heórāka/heṓrāka, heṓrāmai/ômmai, ṓphthēn
I see, I will see, I saw, I have seen, I have been seen, I was seen Mousebelt (talk) 11:42, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
It's true that in some dialects of Ancient Greek and in earlier forms of Greek the words εἶδος (eîdos) and εἶδον (eîdon) would have contained a w sound (weidos, ewidon), and that sound is sometimes spelled with a digamma in inscriptions at least, but here on Wiktionary we try not to state that a word began with digamma unless that spelling is actually found somewhere in the Ancient Greek corpus. So unless *ϝεῖδος (*weîdos) is unattested, we can't say the word began in a digamma. In old grammars or lexicons I think they might sometimes use a digamma to indicate the w sound, even when the word isn't attested with a digamma, but that isn't our way. — Eru·tuon 20:12, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

tarjeta & target are not false friendsEdit

In the Usage Notes for tarjeta: "tarjeta is a false friend of target; Spanish terms for it are blanco, objetivo, destino". It took me a moment to figure this out. "it" refers to "target" in the figurative sense of "goal" (see below). But the primary meaning of target is "shield" (1.1 A light round shield or buckler; a small targe) and tarjeta means "little shield". They're not false friends (in the sense of: two words in two different languages that are derived from the same word in a third, but end up having different, perhaps even conflicting meanings, to the consternation of language learners) at all, and the Spanish synonyms (blanco, objetivo, destino) represent just one peripheral meaning: f.3.f colloq. An amount set as a (minimum) objective, esp. in fund-raising; a result (i.e. a figure, sum of money, etc.) aimed at. Phr. on target, on the right track, as forecast. Hence loosely, any goal which one strives to achieve. This Usage Note could just be deleted rather than modified, unless someone has strong feelings about the primary meaning of "tarjeta" being "card"....what is a card but a little shield? (especially a business card, or a calling card from Victorian Britain) Mousebelt (talk) 06:09, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

The "shield" sense is by no means the primary sense. "Goal" or "something one aims at when shooting" are the primary senses. So it is a false friend in a sense. The word actual (current) in Spanish is a false friend of actual (real) in English, but they have the same origin historically. They don't have to have no commonality in order to be false friends. One just has to be a bad translation of the other in most contexts. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:21, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
See false cognate, second sense, quotation: "all false cognates are false friends, but not all false friends are false cognates." —Tamfang (talk) 05:15, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

Adverbial senses of Italian micaEdit

The entry at mica reports 5 adverbial senses. Senses 3 and 4 seem identical to me, sense 3 being "bit" (or rather "one bit"), example "Non è mica cambiato | It hasn't changed one bit", and sense 4 being "at all", example "Non costa mica molto | It's not at all expensive". What is the difference supposed to be? Should they be merged? MGorrone (talk) 06:40, 13 September 2018 (UTC)


russian for bagel? Polish is listed ? Thebigicedgrapes (talk) 13:43, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Russian is written in Cyrillic, not Latin. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 13:52, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
rogalik is Polish, рога́лик (rogálik) is Russian. I don't know enough of either language to verify if either word is a correct translation for bagel. @Atitarev Chuck Entz (talk) 13:57, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Bagels orginated in Poland, and the Polish term for it, bajgiel, comes from the same Yiddish word as the name in English. The Russian Wikipedia gives two terms for bagel, бейгл (bejgl) and бейгель (bejgelʹ). The first looks like a direct transliteration of Yiddish בייגל (beygl). All of these are listed in the Translations section of bagel, so it is not quite clear what the question is.  --Lambiam 14:26, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Рога́лик is apparently a form of crescent-shaped pastry – neither circular in form like a bagel, nor made of puff pastry like a croissant – known in Germany as Hörnchen, in Austria as Kipferl, and in Hungary as kifli.  --Lambiam 23:42, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Are there still questions? I got late pings here just now. Yes, Russian рога́лик (rogálik) is crescent-shaped and "rogalik" can't be the Russian spelling, since it's in Roman letters. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:24, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

live roughEdit

Entry-worthy? It looks like it passes the lemming test.  --Lambiam 14:05, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

"Sleep rough" is also common (and "rough sleepers" may be distinguished from the "homeless" in that the latter may have a temporary roof over their heads but no permanent right to live there). Equinox 15:49, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
I think so, since the meaning would not necessarily be obvious from "live" + "rough". Mihia (talk) 19:30, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
It probably is entry-worthy, it's worth pointing out that those people are homeless, but probably not registered or recorded as such. DonnanZ (talk) 23:39, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

sporting means wearingEdit

As I know, word "sporting" means "wearing" sometime. Could someone prove it, please? And, maybe, add to the wiki-articles. --Важнов Алексей Геннадьевич (talk) 12:04, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

In that sense it is the present participle of the verb sport – see the third, transitive sense. The meaning of “sporting” is thus “(ostentatiously) displaying”. A rather common combination is “sporting a moustache”. When the thing being sported happens to be clothing (“Victoria Beckham was spotted sporting a sleek, simple yet classic all black Victoria Beckham ensemble”), the person displaying it is probably wearing it, but that is then merely an implied meaning.  --Lambiam 12:32, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
So, do you mind if I will add sense from sport: "To display; to have as a notable feature"? --Важнов Алексей Геннадьевич (talk) 09:09, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
We don't need it at sporting because it's already at sport. (Note it's a verb, not an adjective.) Equinox 13:06, 16 September 2018 (UTC)

Request for accountable accountabilityEdit

The first sense given for accountable is “Having accountability”. The first sense given for accountability is “The state of being accountable”. Help, I’m trapped in a dictionary.  --Lambiam 12:16, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Too many definitions of accountable, ie, too much overlap. Historically, accountable was more common than accountability, but now (since 1970) the relative frequencies are reversed. I think that means that neither should be defined in terms of the other. DCDuring (talk) 14:33, 14 September 2018 (UTC)


Is this really a suffix, or is it a (proper) noun form that happens to come last in compounds? You can see the same element at the beginning of names, too. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:59, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

In names in which these consonants, as related to the Tetragrammaton (in the proper noun יהודה they have a different etymology), appear at the beginning of a name, they are usually vocalized as יְהוֹ־‬ (yeho-) rather than ־יָּהוּ (-yahu). So in an etymological sense they are the same, but phonologically they can be distinguished. This is not a shibboleth, though, for determining whether it is a proper suffix or merely a form of a proper noun masquerading as a suffix. As a suffix it is not productive, but neither are many other forms generally recognized as suffixes (for example, we have manship but not *boyship).  --Lambiam 08:55, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

wet (sense 5)Edit

Does this really deserve to be a separate sense? Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 07:29, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

I think we can do without it. DonnanZ (talk) 19:26, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
To me it seems fully included in sense 1. DCDuring (talk) 22:02, 15 September 2018 (UTC)


I know nothing about baseball, but should it be regarded as an adverb? I believe it means cleanup hitter. DonnanZ (talk) 09:31, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

I likewise know nothing about baseball, but I think you must be right about the meaning. I think it is very doubtful that it is truly an adverb in the example usage. Most likely it is a noun, short for cleanup hitter (to which the definition should in any case link). I see it as similar to usages such as "In the relay, he ran anchor" or even "He played goalkeeper for Mudchester Rovers". Mihia (talk) 17:31, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Or Plonkers United? Oxford, in its entry for clean-up, says that in this sense it is usually a modifier. Anyway I revised it, if anyone disagrees they know what to do. DonnanZ (talk) 10:05, 23 September 2018 (UTC)

suffect -- needs an article?Edit

A few times now, in Wikipedia articles about officials in the Roman Empire, I've come across the word suffect. For instance, in this excerpt from the article on the emperor Antoninus Pius:

"Arria Fadilla, Antoninus' mother, married afterwards Publius Julius Lupus, suffect consul in 98;"

I tried to look it up here, but we don't have an article. Merriam Webster on their site gives it as "a Roman consul elected to complete the term of one who vacated office before the end of the year." Could we write a definition for Wiktionary, or at least use one from an old dictionary aged out of copyright like so many other words here?

  • Added. I believe that it can also be used as an adjective. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:06, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
There is also a verb: "Pope Gregory 13 died and was suffected." DTLHS (talk) 16:14, 17 September 2018 (UTC)


The definition says "to fraudulently justify and defend someone" but I question the notion that fraud is necessarily involved. Here are a couple of examples of usage: (1) 为什么有些人喜欢给朝鲜洗地? 朝鲜是一个信奉主体思想而非马列主义思想的国家,为什么有些自称左派的人喜欢给朝鲜洗地,他们是不是纳粹分子。 (2) 为何现在有这么多人给文革洗地? Richwarm88 (talk) 12:04, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

In these examples the meaning seems to be that of the verb whitewash, sense 2: To cover over errors or bad actions.  --Lambiam 17:47, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
That's what I figured. I suppose the existing gloss "to cover up evidence of wrongdoing" comes close to being adequate for these two examples. But my question is about the 2nd gloss of sense 3 ( "to fraudulently justify and defend someone"). Is 洗地 ever used to imply fraud, thus justifying the use of "fraudulently". Or is it like "whitewash", where no fraud is implied by use of the term. (Simply glossing over unsavoury facts can be called "whitewashing".) — Richwarm88 (talk) 21:23, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
@Dokurrat. Wyang (talk) 03:44, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
😱I think I misunderstood the meaning of "fraudulently". Dokurrat (talk) 04:27, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
@Richwarm88, Wyang: I modified it. How does it look now? Dokurrat (talk) 06:20, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Sense 3 now reads "to cover up evidence of wrongdoing; to justify and defend someone against blame, charges or accusations as a veneering". The first of those two glosses is similar to the one I wrote for cc-cedict in January: to cover up evidence of sb's wrongdoing. [16] I think mine is a little better because my impression is that when you xi-di, you are not covering up evidence of your own wrongdoing. (One definition on the Web is 替别人(尤指做坏事的)处理后续收尾工作.) As for the 2nd gloss, I think there must be a simpler way to put it. Perhaps "to be an apologist for sb" would work. I understand what you mean to convey with "as a veneering" but it's not the sort of usage of "veneer" that I'm familiar with. — Richwarm88 (talk) 10:49, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
This webpage [17] sounds about right: The term means to whitewash, to cover up or gloss over scandals, vices or crimes. I think you added "as a veneering" on the end of your definition because otherwise it would include defending a completely innocent person, which is not the case with 洗地. I'd suggest something like this: to cover up evidence of somebody's wrongdoing; to whitewash; to gloss over serious misdeedsRichwarm88 (talk) 21:27, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

not the bestEdit

An IP created this entry and I added the necessary formatting into it. Should it exist or perhaps be at not the best at? SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 13:30, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

It's not the most idiomatic phrase I've seen. There are several other ways of saying the same thing: "not the greatest", "less than world class", etc. It's a simple figure of speech- litotes. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:56, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Delete IMO. Compare ongoing RFD for less-than-stellar. Equinox 14:00, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Delete per above. DCDuring (talk) 15:52, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Note that this is also listed at Requests for Deletion. Mihia (talk) 22:08, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Polymorphic Turkish morphemesEdit

Due to regular phonological processes such as assimilation and vowel harmony, some Turkish morphemes may assume a variety of forms without change in meaning or function. An example is the suffix -dir/-dır/-dur/-dür/-tir/-tır/-tur/-tür. (This particularity is shared with other Turkic languages, such as Azerbaijani.) If you look at the treatment of the suffix -im, you will see extensive usage notes for Etymology 1, which I just copy-edited. However, these are largely repeated at -ım, -um, and -üm, and so these should likewise be copy-edited. And then there are two more etymologies (one of which is not yet represented here). Clearly, repetitively scattering such notes is awkward and wasteful. There must be a better way of handling this. Advice is welcomed.  --Lambiam 18:55, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

There should be one lemma, and the others should just say "alternative form of" with a qualifier saying which environments the specific variant is in. I should mention that one of the main Turkish editors is rather compulsive about adding redundant information, templates, etc., so you'll no doubt find lots of useless repetition all over the place. That, and they're absolutely unable to tell when something is SOP. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:28, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. An issue is then still which of these variants is the urform and which are alternative forms. Is -de an alternative form of -da, or is it the other way around?  --Lambiam 06:01, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam It’s because “alternative form” is inappropriate wording, used for forms that are not regularly required alternatives. We could use a template {{positional variant of}} instead of {{alternative form of}}. Not only useful for Turkic. Fay Freak (talk) 16:36, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
That does not resolve the issue which one should be the “main” lemma, that is, the one with the extensive usage notes, to which the others refer. An alternative might be to move such usage notes (which are not really about usage in the usual sense) to Appendix:Turkish suffixes and refer to there, treating all variants equally.  --Lambiam 16:54, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam It does somewhat because then it does not sound like some are subordinate to another, so a reader would acknowledge that one had to choose one arbitrarily. And there is an arbitrium already, so as we read {{affix|tr|küçük|-lik|alt2=-lük}} (in küçüklük), i. e. it got decided that -lik is the category and not -lük, -lık, -luk, it is just less visible, but even more arbitrary to editors. The Appendix solution though is something that would anyway happen for transfixes – e.g. were the idea of Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2017/January § Arabic consonant patterns to be implemented, as the Arabic appendices describe the forms already (though not all the plural forms). But for Turkish one would put things like etymologies and quotes to it and it therefore seems like mainspace matter.
Since now it has caught on to put even quotation text into templates (Wiktionary:Grease pit/2018/September § Using quotations multiple times) one can put the article content of contextually variable headwords into templates, but … if you suggest that, I will just be bowled over and say no more in that direction … Fay Freak (talk) 21:00, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

attend to the false friendsEdit

false cognate#Usage notes. In the example about attend, would it be a good idea to add that the French cognate attendre has yet another meaning (‘wait’)? I'm new here. —Tamfang (talk) 05:37, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

Since the third sense is already an abuse of the term, and the point of the example is merely to illustrate the sense, not to lecture on it, I feel it is better to keep it simple and not add further fun facts.  --Lambiam 06:58, 19 September 2018 (UTC)


The definition says that a casement or casement window is one that "is hinged on the side and opens outward". Is this specification correct? And if so, what's the word for such a window that opens inward? Thank you. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 09:11, 2018 September 19.

PS: I see that wikipedia's casement window has a photo of a window (the kind that I as a German would call "a normal window") captioned "casement window swinging in". So it's apparently incorrect. I'll change it. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 09:33, 2018 September 19.
I made it "usually opening outward", not because I took a window census, but because some lemmings had it only "outward". DCDuring (talk) 00:56, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Google Books search has about the same number of raw hits for "casement window opening in" as for "casement window opening out". So I'll return it to in-out neutral. DCDuring (talk) 01:06, 20 September 2018 (UTC)


Senses 4 seems to be merely a more specific example of sense 2. Any objections to me removing it? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 16:16, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

I object. Definition 4 confounds two distinct applications of question, one to the idea of a specifically worded proposal, eg, a resolution, a bill, a budget, the other to something more like sense 2, a topic or matter for discussion.
I think we need to try to preserve distinct meanings, especially since we have fewer definitions than the more complete online and print dictionaries, both in this case and in the cases of many common words, at least those that apparently are boring to would-be contributors. DCDuring (talk) 04:08, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
I find sense 4 a bit confusing. I don't fully understand the use of the word "as" in the definition, and I'm puzzled as to why something should be put to a vote at the stage that it is proposed for deliberation. Mihia (talk) 11:31, 21 September 2018 (UTC)


Shouldn't that be diœcesis? That's how it's spelled in several of the references (and the link to doesn't work due to the spelling being different). --Espoo (talk) 07:56, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

As you can read in Wikipedia at œ#Latin, Classical Latin wrote the o and e separately, as do modern Latin dictionaries. We follow that convention here.  --Lambiam 22:51, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

in non-Fuzhou Min DongEdit

I have been informed by a native (female) Fuqing speaker (born in the early 80s) that 刣 tài (Fuqing IPA: /tʰai⁵⁵/) is not used for "to kill" with humans, and that 殺 sák (Fuqing IPA: /θɑʔ¹²/) would be better in reference to this verb. Can anyone confirm this? Or perhaps deny this? Michael Ly (talk) 09:56, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

Yes, 刣 only means "slaughter (an animal)" in the Fuqing dialect, not "kill (a person)". Wyang (talk) 10:09, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! So that means that there might be some areas of the Min Dong area where there's an isogloss (or several?). I'll edit the pages. Michael Ly (talk) 10:44, 21 September 2018 (UTC)


The usage note at as#Preposition reads:

The object in older English may appear, and it may be prescribed as appearing, in the nominative case, similar to than, eg. You are not as tall as I, which is presumably resultant from a shortening of the adverbial use.

I don't get this. Is it referring to a shortening of "You are not as tall as I am"? If so, why is that any more "adverbial" than "You are not as tall as I"? Mihia (talk) 11:24, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

It's comparing "as tall as I" with "as tall as me", I guess. 16:18, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
I do not see how "as tall as I" could be described as a "shortening" of "as tall as me". Even if it is, I do not understand why "as tall as me" is said to be "adverbial" use any more than I understand why "as tall as I am" is said to be "adverbial" use. Actually, now I'm looking at it again, I wonder whether "adverbial" is just a mix-up, and actually it should say "conjunctival" (if that's a real word), i.e. use of (the second) "as" as a conjunction, not adverb. That would seem to make sense. Mihia (talk) 17:21, 21 September 2018 (UTC)


Adjective sense:

3. remarkable of its kind.
a spanking good time

Is "spanking" in "a spanking good time" an adjective, or is it actually an adverbial intensifier modifying "good"? Mihia (talk) 19:32, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

In “a good spanking time” it is adjectival use of a present participle, but in the combination “a spanking good time” it is almost certainly adverbial. For an example of use as a true adjective, Dickens‘s Martin Chuzzlewit (1842–1844) contains the following piece of dialogue:
“A good passage, cap’en?” inquired the colonel, taking him aside.
“Well now! It was a pretty spanking run, sir,” said, or rather sung, the captain, who was a genuine New Englander: “con-siderin the weather.”
This use may be dated (I don’t think I’ve ever heard it), but here the word appears to be a genuine adjective. A few lines further down we learn that the run was a “first-rate spanker“ – in fact, even a “most e—tarnal spanker“.  --Lambiam 08:26, 22 September 2018 (UTC)


Anyone know how to pronounce tutoyer as an "English" word? 20:47, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

The OED gives the French pronunciation (/tytwaye/): they list it under the etymology, but they give no other pronunciation and I can't see why they would include it all if it weren't relevant to the English entry. Equinox 20:58, 21 September 2018 (UTC) gives IPA(key): /tu.twaˈjeɪ/. (If the OED uses the ⟨y⟩ twice, it is in error.)  --Lambiam 23:02, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

toran and toranaEdit

Are these the same thing? Wiktionary currently claims this, but Wikipedia has two different entries for them. Can anyone help? ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:38, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

My guess is that (a) they are essentially synonyms, with the different spellings reflecting language differences among the many languages spoken on the Indian subcontinent, but that (b) the word toran(a) has acquired several related yet distinguishable meanings, in this case represented by different Wikipedia articles. It is possible, though, that these distinguishable meanings have come to be attached in English to accidentally different spellings of originally the same word, as has happened to sorbet vs. sherbet and many other doublets.  --Lambiam 19:59, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

melpomene and silvaniformEdit

In "The Ecology and Evolution of Heliconius Butterflies" the author Chris D. Jiggins writes:- "In Panama, we also found that the melpomene and silvaniform clade species collected more white Psiguria pollen than the erato clade". I can't figure out what either of those words mean. (Though Heliconius melpomene is a species name) SemperBlotto (talk) 13:45, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

Silvaniformes is or was a clade. Equinox 15:49, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
-iformes is an ending for names of taxonomic orders, which this clade definitely isn't. For one thing, insect orders use the -optera ending, and for another, this is a clade within a genus, so calling it an order would be wildly inappropriate (the order Lepidoptera includes all the butterflies and moths).
The problem here is that there are so many kinds of insects that taxonomists are very specialized and have their own specialized terminologies. In this case, "melpomene" refers to the species, and to the clade that includes it. I'm not sure what "silvaniform" means, but refers to another clade within the genus. This page refers to the clade including both of them and to the place on a cladogram in figure 10.1. I would guess that "silvaniform" refers to the group at the bottom that includes about 9 species, but I have no clue what makes that group "sylvaniform".
Trying to come up with a definition for these terms seems to me to be a fool's errand for anyone who A) Hasn't read the taxonomic literature on the genus and B) discussed the taxonomy of the genus with specialists in it. Given that the people who use these terms could probably fit in a very small room and the terminology is probably only a decade or two old, I doubt whether we even want to have these even if they're attested to CFI standards. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:05, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
One of the better studied clades in the Heliconius evolutionary tree is known as the “MCS clade”, which consists of three subclades: the melpomene clade, the cydno clade, and the sylvaniform clade. From the literature I see that Heliconius hecale is considered to belong to the sylvaniform clade, which fits with the hypothesis about the bottom group of 9 species. While I have not seen an explanation of the name sylvaniform, it may have something to do with a mimicry pattern seen on the wings of some members of this clade, as e.g. for Heliconius ismenius.  --Lambiam 19:45, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
Apparently: "In captivity, the "silvaniforms" Heliconius ethilla, hecale, ismenius, atthis and numata can be mated with [other Heliconius]". See Rapid speciation, Hybridization and adaptive radiation in the Heliconius melpomene group James Mallet. The bibliography of that pdf seems to include most of the people who would be in the small room Chuck refers to. Clade names seem to be coined much more freely than traditional taxonomic names.
Some such names just have an extremely limited population of people who will ever come across the terms. I don't see why we should pursue such names or try to harvest from the publications in which they appear. The names that percolate into general publications, popular scientific books and magazines, and top scientific journals, plus those already in dictionaries should keep us going for a while. DCDuring (talk) 20:07, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
After doing some further digging in other sources, it would seem that "sylvaniform" goes back more than a century. Heliconius numata silvana used to be known as Heliconius silvana, so "sylvaniform" probably means "similar in form to Heliconius numata silvana". I'm not sure if this changes the size of the room you could fit users of this term into, though- just more of them would be dead... ;-) Chuck Entz (talk) 04:28, 23 September 2018 (UTC)