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Wiktionary:Tea room

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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.

Oldest tagged RFTs

June 2017


In spite of the name, this is increasingly used in the UK to refer to home-delivered food as well as food taken off the premises. Is this worth a usage note? Davidtmoore (talk) 11:31, 28 June 2017 (UTC)


Can't this also mean just a general preference of something in some idiolects or dialects? For example "I have a fetish for tea." meaning "I have a preference/favoring for tea." PseudoSkull (talk) 03:27, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

Only through hyperbole, AFAIK. If someone were to tell me they had a fetish for tea, my immediate mental image would be of them pouring tealeaves down their pants or something. Similarly, "I have a fetish for Dr Who" doesn't mean they're a fan, or even simply a very strong fan; it means they get their sexual partner(s) to dress up as a Dalek or something. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 04:09, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
I think you could probably find cites that support some bleached definition as PSkull suggests, but I'd like to see the cites rather than jsut assume they exist. DCDuring (talk) 16:40, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Some speakers use it for non-sexual "obsession" in a derogatory/hyperbolic way, like attacking a "fetish for deficit reduction" (used in The Guardian on May 7, 2015). I don't know if it can be used as neutrally as "fetish [mere preference] for tea". - -sche (discuss) 16:00, 10 June 2017 (UTC)


So "covfefe" does not have an entry yet, and that is quite incredible considering it's widespread usage. It has an article on our sister project Wikipedia. —This unsigned comment was added by Covfefe user (talkcontribs) at 05:17, 1 June 2017 (UTC).

See WT:CFI and come back in a year. DTLHS (talk) 05:20, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Maybe by then there will be a definition, and we will know whether it is a noun, a verb, or an expletive. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 05:21, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
It might meet the criteria for hot words. — Ungoliant (falai) 14:54, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
I doubt you could come up with a definition or part of speech. DTLHS (talk) 16:23, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
It's like some of the other famous typos like pwn that inherit the PoS of the word for which they are a typo. We could add it as a hotword, so that it gets reviewed and deleted if it has completely died out in a year. DCDuring (talk) 16:37, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
OK, I'll bite. What is "covfefe" a typo for? Unless we want to have a definition like "why you don't tweet at midnight if you're jetlagged". I'm with Merriam-Webster on this one --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 22:34, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
I assumed from context that it was a typo for coverage. — Eru·tuon 23:36, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Me too. I thought it was kinda obvious. It is the kind of typo that I sometimes make in my dotage late at night. I usually correct it in preview or after "publishing", as the Donald did. There are somewhat fewer observers noting my typos than note his. DCDuring (talk) 23:55, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Trump misspelling a word doesn't automatically mean that it's a common misspelling. We should still wait a year to see if any additional meanings develop. DTLHS (talk) 00:03, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
You're right. The word would need legs (usage), like [pwn]]. There isn't much (any?) use, despite the tsunami of mentions. It might turn out to be like santorum or nucular. DCDuring (talk) 01:10, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
I disagree. If Wikimedia is the center of all knowledge, then it is during this hot words cool off period that people will want to know what comics are joking about (and they have used it extensively, even after the novelty. It deprives a user of current relevant information during the time of peak pertinence to not acknowledge it. Spawn777 (talk) 10:37, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Hungarian "indul" glossEdit

What does "start (in the passive sense)" mean? I found it in a meaning of Hungarian "indul".


Hi, in the definition of 'steep' the adjective near-vertical shows up hyphenated. Yet, such a form doesn't appear in Wiktionary itself, nor does a productive form 'near-', at least with the meaning 'almost', which is to be expected as it doesn't either on google, so the inconsistency is to be fixed. Incidentally, I think there should be an automatic checker to flag terms appearing in entries that are not acceptable, and so they can be checked manually. --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:21, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

I think it's like "partly-melted ice" or "nine-year-old child". Hyphens just work that way. It doesn't mean we need hyphenated entries, any more than we need one for "Dog" just because "dog" gets capitalised at start of sentence. Equinox 14:44, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
The internal logic of a lexicographic resource must be taken into account, so any superfluous complexity should be avoided --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:54, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Meaning [] ? DCDuring (talk) 16:42, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree. This kind of hyphenation is a standard feature of English. We do not need separate entries like "near-" for all of the huge number of possibilities. Mihia (talk) 00:49, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
In the example "partly-melted ice", the hyphen is superfluous; adverbs automatically modify the word following them, be they adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs. "Well-known" is another example of this superfluous, but common usage. 08:38, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Unilateral removal of sense "you" at cha#EnglishEdit

I think it still it is a useful entry even if it may not be "stand-alone"—prefixes and suffixes are not stand-alone either, but we include those. and in Korean, a language in which spaces are used, particles are attached to the words. —suzukaze (tc) 14:41, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

The entry for the written-together form (e.g. you betcha) is at -cha; however, the usage note there says it is sometimes written as a separate word (e.g. you bet cha). If that's attestable, then it definitely needs to be listed at cha. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:02, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

deeper understanding of approvablenessEdit

the word "approvableness" means - The state or quality of being approvable

When is approvableness used as a state of being approvable? And when is it used as a quality of being appprovable?

Pronunciation of Polish "nam"Edit

For the Polish word nam, it says that the pronunciation is [n̪ãm]. But why is this? If I follow the rules in the Polish orthography Wikipedia page, the pronunciation seems to be /nam/ ... it mentions nothing about /ã/, so is there another rule not mentioned in the article, or what? Kinos0634 (talk) 22:57, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

It seems to be a narrow phonetic transcription, not a phonemic one. If you add in /nam/ and change the other one to [n̪ãm] it should be ok. —CodeCat 23:14, 1 June 2017 (UTC)


  1. (crosswords) Horizontally.
    I got stuck on 4 across.

This is listed under "adverb". Do you agree that "across" is an adverb here? Mihia (talk) 19:38, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Hmm... Isn't it adjectival? "I got stuck on 4 horizontally" sounds as though the getting stuck was done horizontally. Equinox 20:01, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
I think it's short for "going across". --WikiTiki89 20:14, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
It's modifying 4, so I would say it's either an adjective, or a contracted adjectival phrase as Wikitiki suggests. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:11, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
It's interesting that the definition in question is defined using another adverb, rather than a prepositional phrase, as the other three definitions are. Across is itself etymologically a prepositional phrase. Definition 1 seems to be pretty close to the crossword usage.
Some other dictionaries have an adjective definition like "being in a crossed or transverse position" with crosswise a synonym.
I don't think this would meet our tests for an adjective, unless we view it as being different semantically. DCDuring (talk) 23:12, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
We have the crossword meaning of down as a noun. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:16, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
I think noun is a worthy candidate. Consider: "I don't know the answer to 4 across" Leasnam (talk) 13:32, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
We also have a plural at acrosses Leasnam (talk) 13:33, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
And, more tellingly, we could cite the plural, though the many scannos involving cross make it a bit tedious. There are instances in Google Books of puzzle clues referring to the solutions of other clues: Bygone hangout for 64-acrosses. DCDuring (talk) 14:08, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
"4 across" is an NP, but what is the head noun? It could be the 4. ("Done the quiz? I haven't solved 6 and 7 yet.") Equinox 11:36, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Latin clinoEdit

Only found in compound verbs and as the past participle clinatus. I don't want to see the entry deleted but it cannot stand as is. --Barytonesis (talk) 23:26, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Best solution I can see would be to move it to Reconstruction:, like *nuo, another Classical verb that must have existed and has a good etymology but isn't attested. KarikaSlayer (talk) 00:56, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't know if we can say for sure that it must have existed in Latin. All we know is that it existed at some time in Latin's history. —CodeCat 14:21, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
If you take the past participle clinatus to be an inflected form, then this is attested via an inflected form. That's an if, of course. Furthermore, one attesting sentence is at Talk:clino#Latin, attestation, posted by me; but I do not know Latin. If this should be removed from the mainspace, you would need RFV for that, IMHO. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:21, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
@Dan Polansky: as I mentioned on the talk page, I unfortunately wouldn't rely on the attesting sentence you added: it comes from an old edition of Lucretius, and modern editions replace it with inclinare. As for your other remark, I don't know yet, but other dictionaries definitely insist on the fact that it is found in the past participle only; L&S even makes "clinatus" the lemma. --Barytonesis (talk) 22:55, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

bracketing of sentences to show syntactic governing relationsEdit

An example sentence bracketed into separate chunks is a good visual way of showing the extend to which syntactic relations spread. English examples abound, but for example to show why in the phrase عن عدمِ قبولِ الشركةِ رفْعَ أُجُورِهِمْ the noun رفْعَ is in the accusative, and not affected neither by the preposition عن or by عدم, I'm hesitating about how to proceed in a right-to-left language. Could you add your proposals? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:19, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

What's the source of that sentence? It doesn't seem right to me. I think any sentence needs to have either a verb or a nominative or both (except when it starts with إنَّ (ʾinna) or أَنَّ (ʾanna)). Kolmiel (talk) 21:44, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: It's translated as 'about the company’s refusal to raise their wages', taken from Arabic: An Essential Grammar by Faruk Abu-Chacra, pag. 179. I am really interested in dividing it using brackets, as some English grammars do --Backinstadiums (talk) 21:59, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums Adding brackets to Arabic or other right-to-left languages is tricky but the physical order of symbols is the same.
هو ماش في الشارع.‏‎ ― He's walking in the street.
هُوَ مَاشٍ فِي الشَارِعِ.‏‎ ― huwa māšin fī š-šāriʿi.He's walking in the street.
هُوَ مَاشٍ فِي الشَارِعِ.‏‎ ― huwa māšin fī š-šāriʿi.He's walking in the street.
Please note how the last word is linked. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:57, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums Okay. So it's not a sentence. Kolmiel (talk) 00:26, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
@kolmiel fixed, in linguistic technical terms it's a phrase. Yet what I mean by bracketing is dividing it up according to the different syntactic governing spreading of case. --Backinstadiums (talk) 06:28, 4 June 2017 (UTC)


Please remove (This entry is here for translation purposes only.) from the page. A single word is nowhere non-idiomatic.--2001:DA8:201:3512:BCE6:D095:55F1:36DE 20:38, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

  Done. No idea why that was there. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:18, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of SaudiEdit

I heard this pronounced something like /səˈuːdɪ/ or /sɑːˈuːdɪ/ just now. Is that common at all? (It was a British political analyst who may have had some knowledge of Arabic. The Arabic is /sʊˈʕuːdi/.) Kolmiel (talk) 01:01, 4 June 2017 (UTC)


This can be plural or uncountable, but not singular ("*an electronics"). How to express this with en-noun? Equinox 16:48, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

What about {{head|en|noun|plural or uncountable}}? DTLHS (talk) 02:47, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Or you could split the senses into two Noun sections with their own headword templates. DTLHS (talk) 02:47, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Is it uncountable but used {{lb|en|with either a singular or a plural verb}}? Or it could be split, as DTLHS says; compare what statistics does. - -sche (discuss) 16:48, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

trompe l'oeilEdit

There is a disagreement over the inclusion, in the etymology of trompe l'oeil, of the "translation" of l’ into English t’. I think that the mention of t’ is odd and out of place. I believe that it is not useful or relevant to the etymology note and should be removed. Another editor, @I'm so meta even this acronym, wants to retain it. Please give your opinion in order that this dispute may be resolved. Thank you. Mihia (talk) 02:19, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, it isn't really comparable because t' is dialectal, so I agree it should be removed. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:03, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Not only that. but it means nothing in isolation like that- I'm sure it would require wikilinking to explain to most people why there's an intrusive "t" there. Besides, definite articles in French only partly overlap in usage with their English counterparts, and elision of vowels has a completely different connotation: in modern French, it's boringly standard and ubiquitous, but in modern English it's a rare pseudo-poetic affectation. On the other hand, it might be fun to watch @I'm so meta even this acronym try the same thing with "qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?". Chuck Entz (talk) 04:54, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
What about th- (as in th'apple, etc.), which we coincidentally do not show a Modern English entry for ? Leasnam (talk) 16:28, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Chuck (and the rest of you) that it is inappropriate to have "t'"/"th'" in the etymology section of French (or English-borrowed-from-French) entries that use "l'". "L'" corresponds to "the" (or sometimes nothing at all), not normally the poetic "t'"/"th'". - -sche (discuss) 16:53, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the replies. I see that another editor has now deleted it. Mihia (talk) 01:37, 13 June 2017 (UTC)


A monosyllabic word for "rat meat which has not been air-dried", I'm impressed! (Is that definition correct?) But then what's the word for "rat meat which has been air-dried"? - -sche (discuss) 16:57, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

I think we need to know ... I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly prefer my rat meat air-dried. Mihia (talk) 00:10, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
@Justinrleung, Wyang, do either of you know — firstly whether the definition "rat meat which has not been air-dried" is correct, and whether it's archaic, historical, or still current, and secondly what the word for rat meat which has been air-dried is? - -sche (discuss) 18:26, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
@-sche: It's pretty much obsolete AFAICT. Hanyu Da Zidian cites Zhanguoce, which says it's used by the Zhou (周) people. It was used in the book to show a confusion caused by different vocabulary between the Zhou people and the Zheng (鄭) people. I've got no idea what the word for rat meat that has been air-dried would be. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 20:32, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
@-sche: Yes, it's obsolete at least. (OC *pʰroːɡ, “rat meat which has not been air-dried”) was homophonic with (OC *pʰroːɡ, “uncut jade; unpolished jade”) in Old Chinese, and I think the former may have been derived from the latter etymologically. Zhanguoce has the following tale on this:
:「:『?』:『。』平原顯名天下沙丘天下天下不如不知。」 [Classical Chinese, trad.][▼ expand/hide]
:“怀:‘?’:‘。’平原显名天下沙丘天下天下不如不知。” [Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: Zhan Guo Ce, circa 5th – 3rd centuries BCE
Yìng hóu yuē: “Zhèng rén wèi yù wèi lǐ zhě pú, Zhōu rén wèi shǔ wèi là zhě . Zhōu huái guò Zhèng gǔ yuē: ‘Yù mǎi hū?’ Zhèng gǔ yuē: ‘Yù zhī.’ Chū qí , shì zhī, nǎi shǔ yě. Yīn xiè bù qǔ. Jīn Píngyuán jūn zì yǐ xián, xiǎnmíng yú tiānxià, rán jiàng qí zhǔ fù Shāqiū ér chén zhī. Tiānxià zhī wáng shàng yóu zūn zhī, shì tiānxià zhī wáng bùrú zhèng gǔ zhī zhì yě, xuàn yú míng, bùzhī qí shí yě.” [Pinyin]
The Marquis of Ying said: “The men of Zheng call a piece of jade which has not been cut and polished pʰroːɡ. The men of Zhou call a rat which has not been dried up pʰroːɡ. A man of Zhou with an undried rat in his bosom passed a merchant of Zheng and said: ‘Do you want to buy a pʰroːɡ?’ The merchant of Zheng said: ‘I do.’ He took out his and showed it to him. It was a rat. And so he declined to take it.
Now the Prince of Pingyuan has a distinguished reputation throughout the world as a man of worth and ability. But he degraded his ruler's father at Shaqiu and treated him as a subject. And yet and kings throughout the world have less understanding than the merchant of Zheng. They are dazzled by a name and do not know what he really is.”
I don't know the name for dried rat meat is either. Wyang (talk) 00:37, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang, I suspect 朴, 璞 and 樸 (unprocessed wood) are essentially the same word that have a core meaning of "something unprocessed". — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:22, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
@Justinrleung I definitely agree. Wyang (talk) 07:18, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
I highly doubt that that definition is correct. Can you maybe find a citation? If that definition is correct, it's probably archaic. Even if that definition is correct, I have absolutely no idea about the word for "rat meat that has been air-dried". Sorry. Johnny Shiz (talk) 05:28, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
@Johnny Shiz: There is a quotation right up there. It's pretty clear if you understand classical Chinese (周人謂鼠未臘者朴). It's also in Kangxi Dictionary, Hanyu Da Zidian, Hanyu Da Cidian and Wang Li's Gu Hanyu Zidian. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:52, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Gloss of "fél" in etymology of Hungarian "felel"Edit

The gloss of "fél" in the etymology of Hungarian "felel" is given as “fellow human being”, but in the entry for "fél" itself, only meanings for 'fear', 'half', and 'post' appear. Is the gloss at "felel" accurate, and if so, how can this be reflected at "fél"?

Discussion of reverted editEdit



1a16 (talk) 20:20, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

1a16 (talk) 20:23, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

made an addition post-revert >بسم_الله_الرحمن_الرحيم&action=history

1a16 (talk) 20:29, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

1a16 (talk) 20:31, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

ἔχω#Etymology 2Edit

The entry says:

The only attested forms of the verb are ϝεχέτω (wekhétō, third-person singular present active imperative) and ἔϝεξε (éwexe, third-person singular aorist active indicative).

So then shouldn't the lemma be at ϝέχω (wékhō)? --WikiTiki89 19:33, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

I suppose it should. (Or perhaps there should only be entries for the attested forms, or the unattested lemma form should be in the Reconstruction namespace?) Our having it on the digamma-less version of the word follows the LSJ's custom of placing entries at the Koine Greek spelling of the word, which in this case is not attested, but created by removing the digamma (as the digamma had disappeared long before the Koine period). — Eru·tuon 19:39, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it should be in the reconstruction namespace, since it is attested. If we put it at the lemma ϝέχω (wékhō), we can explicitly say that the lemma form is not attested. We should probably create individual entries for the attested forms regardless. --WikiTiki89 19:47, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Okay, so attested means that having forms that are attested, not that the lemma itself is necessarily attested. — Eru·tuon 20:36, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't think we have concrete rules about it, but that's what I personally feel makes more sense. --WikiTiki89 20:41, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
I moved the entry to ϝέχω (wékhō). Also, the LSJ entry seems to be saying it is attested in Pamphylia and Cyprus, and so I labeled it as Arcadocypriot. --WikiTiki89 21:04, 7 June 2017 (UTC)


RFV pronunciation: /tɛksɪd/. I think this would more likely be pronounced as /tɛkst/. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 01:32, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

If it weren't for the fact that it is an alternative form of texted I'd agree with you. But to ensure that it is understood as a past tense, I can fully see how it's pronounced as indicated Leasnam (talk) 12:32, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
I think you may have it backwards. It's non-standard and presumably derived from text, since t sounds like -ed. So why would it not sound like text? Equinox 14:43, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Oh I see now. texed would be pronounced like "text" as if it were tex (= "text") + -ed. Then the second e would not be what ? Leasnam (talk) 18:31, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
If this is from a dialect where consonant clusters are phonetically simplified, the word is still phonologically the same and so the ending is still pronounced with a vowel. In other words: text is /tɛkst/ > [tɛks] and texted is /tɛkstɪd/ > [tɛksɪd]. --WikiTiki89 15:34, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
But isn't it equally possible for the -ed to attach after text "lost" its /t/, i.e. text /tɛks/ + /-d/[tɛkst]? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 15:57, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
It's also possible, but it's an entirely different scenario. --WikiTiki89 16:49, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Interesting discussion here. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:06, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
I guess that is evidence of the vowel-less pronunciation. But other than that, I don't think this blogger really knows what he's talking about. --WikiTiki89 16:49, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Heh, "this blogger" is David Crystal. Equinox 18:19, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Oh... Well what I really meant to say is that I disagree with him about the reason he gives in this case, not that he doesn't know anything about linguistics. --WikiTiki89 19:12, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

ding, ding, we have a winnerEdit

Sometimes with three dings. Indicates that the person you are talking to has hit on the correct answer or explanation. Usually sarcastic, suggesting that the person took a while to get there. What is the origin of this phrase (and should we have an entry)? Equinox 19:42, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Presumably TV game shows or quiz shows... AnonMoos (talk) 07:22, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

styca -- from Latin, from Old EnglishEdit

In styca, does it seem correct that it came from Latin, which came from Old English? I edited the etymology templates but didn't change that information. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 21:07, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Websters says "LL., fr. AS. stic, styc, stycge," which are Northumbrian variants (attested as stycas (plural)) for stycc (piece; bit). Apparently it was borrowed into Mediaeval Anglo-Latin from OE, then made its way from there into Modern English as a historical term Leasnam (talk) 21:23, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

idols in JapanEdit

In Japan's entertainment industry, "idol groups" form with the express intent of becoming popular (w:Japanese idol). This seems to be based on but rather different from sense 2, which seems to describe organic popularity. ja.wp notes that their image is also supposed to be "personal and close to you". —suzukaze (tc) 11:28, 9 June 2017 (UTC)


Is this a word? I can find "a nause" on Google Groups (a hundred or so hits), fairly consistently used to mean "a pain, a nuisance". [1] Could be slang from nauseating? Equinox 13:13, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Finnish and Indonesian words sukuEdit

The Finnish wiktionary claims that the Indonesian word is a possible translation of one of the meanings of the Finnish one (relatives, kin) and also of the Finnish word heimo (tribe). Can this be true? If true, this is so surprising that it would need a note. --Espoo (talk) 14:28, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Do any of the other language wikis say that? Johnny Shiz (talk) 07:32, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

ask for permission later, get permission later, ask permission later, etc.Edit

What does this even mean? Here's the context: Teenager 1: "Nice car! Should we borrow it?" Teenager 2: "Nah, that's stealing." Teenager 1: "Come on, I'll ask for permission later." How do you even ask for permission later anyway? Was he just being a smartass, or? PseudoSkull (talk) 17:40, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

It's the idea that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission (and justifying yourself by calling it asking for permission instead of asking for forgiveness). I don't think we need entries for these phrases you linked though. --WikiTiki89 17:51, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't either, but perhaps "retroactively" should be added as a sense of later? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:04, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't really think that's necessary either. --WikiTiki89 18:07, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Nothing special here. You can get retroactive permission after doing something, e.g. using someone's music in your video. Permission doesn't have to come first. Equinox 18:36, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
But in that case, the permission is to release the video, not to make it, so it's not really retroactive. --WikiTiki89 18:41, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
User:Equinox But how can you even ask for permission after you do the thing you were going to ask permission for, especially in the car stealing case. Break into the car and drive it. Later meet up with the person and say "Hey, can I borrow your car? Oh, wait, I just did!" PseudoSkull (talk) 03:31, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
You're not asking "can I [am I physically able to] borrow your car?". You're asking "do you grant me the right to borrow it?". Doing the borrowing is an act; it doesn't involve permission; you may or may not have permission, when you do it. The permission can be acquired later. It's separate from the act of doing what you want permission for. As I said above: it has often happened, in the real world that someone has used a music track without permission, and even sold the resulting product, and only acquired permission to do so afterwards. Equinox 07:00, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
P.S. You might conceivably be interested in deontic logic, which sometimes overlaps certain bits of grammar. Equinox 07:08, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
@User:Equinox User:Wikitiki89 Oh, so you're saying one could borrow the car, and then say "Is it okay that I borrowed your car?" Also, the point I was trying to make was that taking a car without permission first almost always constitutes theft to my knowledge, especially if you use a crowbar to break in, like in the cringey video where I got the quotes. PseudoSkull (talk) 15:05, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
For one thing one could be performing the common pragmatic language function of deception. One could be speaking in such a way as to lead the hearer to believe that the action for which one was seeking permission had not already occurred. DCDuring (talk) 07:02, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

IPA sense at ( )?Edit

Maybe it's a good idea to add an IPA sense at ( ) explaining, say, why the pronunciation of terminator (/ˈtɜː(ɹ)m.ɪn.eɪ.tə(ɹ)/) currently has a few parentheses. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 20:58, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

I think it's just sense 3. However, in this particular case, the first "(ɹ)" shouldn't be there at all if the pronunciation is labeled RP. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 05:57, 10 June 2017 (UTC)


A (Can we verify(+) this pronunciation?) request has been made by user:Fumiko Take to provide a citation for the listed 慣用音 (kan'yōon) reading, はい. I don't know about 唐音 (tōon), but it perfectly fits the definition of kan'yōon (common but possibly corrupted Chinese readings), also it is basically a transliteraton of the modern Mandarin, so I'm not sure why this was in question. My understanding may be a bit off here, but often Chinese names of people and places are read in Japanese with a more standard Chinese sounding pronunciation of the characters, and can't all of those non-standard pronunciations be considered kan'yōon, if they are common? Here are a few citation for admins to review for attestation: (found these on a google books search searching "慣用音 上海(シャンハイ)"):

  • NHKことばのハンドブック NHK放送文化研究所 日本放送出版協会, 2005, Page 131.
  • 中国近世財政史の研究 京都大学学術出版会, 2004, Page 572.
  • 漢文解釋要法 硏究社, 1934. Page 20.

馬太阿房 (talk) 21:34, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

@馬太阿房 I asked because I couldn't find definitive sources for the claim about that toon or kanyoon. The reason it was included was apparently "the Japanese Wiktionary said so". Working on wikis, one should know better than to cite another wiki. ばかFumikotalk 02:14, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
@Fumiko Take It was me who gave you that reason when you had originally removed the reading and I guess I should have known better as you say. Without a rfv, I guess I felt I didn't have to do much research, so thanks for posting the rfv to ask for help researching this which is better than assuming a reading is not valid as listed and removing it. 馬太阿房 (talk) 06:12, 10 June 2017 (UTC)


  1. (transitive) To look at.
    He viewed the painting and praised the artist for his masterpiece.
  2. (transitive) To show.
    To view the desktop, click the small desktop icon on the bottom of your screen.

I question whether these senses are distinct, or at least whether they are distinct in the way claimed. Fundamentally the second one seems to mean "look at" too, though there may be a small nuance of difference. Anyway, any thoughts? Mihia (talk)

Perhaps the second usex is intended to mean "show" or "display" rather than to look at the desktop ? Perhaps the example needs work. Leasnam (talk) 01:58, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, clearly it is intended to mean that, in the mind of whoever wrote the example, but the question is whether it actually does. My contention is that "view" does not mean "show" at all, either in this example or any other. Mihia (talk)
I would agree with you. I'm trying to think of ways that view can ever mean "to present for viewing"/"show" but I cannot think of any... Leasnam (talk) 03:14, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
Looking around at various dictionaries as well I couldn't find anyone else defining view this way. I think it should be removed. Leasnam (talk) 03:21, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, I've deleted it. Mihia (talk) 19:27, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Castro adjective?Edit

Is there an adjective (along the lines of Trumpian, Thatcherian, etc.) for Fidel Castro? I couldn't find much evidence for "Castroan" or "Castronian" in Google Books. Equinox 21:00, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Castroist DTLHS (talk) 21:01, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
I found a small number (43) of b.g.c hits for Castrovian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:07, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

المار ذكرهEdit

This sounds like a noun phrase rather than an adjective. I could be wrong, though. There are no usage examples, unfortunately. I tried switching part of speech in this edit, but was not sure how to program the declension table, since the phrase isn't an idafa or a noun–adjective phrase, which are the only types recognized by {{ar-decl-noun}}. Not sure what type of phrase it actually is. — Eru·tuon 07:57, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

It's a somewhat peculiar Arabic construction in which the adjective takes its agreement with the follwing noun (ذكر) while the agreement with the antecendent is in the personal suffix. For example, الرجل المار ذكره and المرأة المار ذكرها. (Maybe you already know that?!) I don't what it really is either, but adjective seems closer than noun phrase to me. Syntactically at least it's adjectival. Kolmiel (talk) 00:12, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Hmm. I am aware that adjectives take the definite article. Based on your description and the example you give, I wonder if it is a relative clause instead: الرَّجُلُ ٱلْمَارُّ ذِكْرُهُ (ar-rajulu l-mārru ḏikruhu) then having the meaning "the man [that there is] a previous mention of him". However, if so, a relative pronoun اَلَّذِي (allaḏī) would be expected since الرَّجُلُ (ar-rajulu) is definite. And the word order does not make sense in that analysis either. — Eru·tuon 00:43, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, the construction does replace a relative clause; you're right about that. الرجل المار ذكره is literally "the-man the-passing his-mentioning", which could also be expressed as الرجل الذي مر ذكره, i.e. "the-man who it-passed his-mentioning". It's a peculiar use of the participle which cannot be mirrored in English. Kolmiel (talk) 16:38, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

French "attendre" and English "attend"Edit

It said that French attendre is a false friend of English "attend", but I believe it is a false cognate, since they are not etymologically related. Am I right? --Kinos0634 (talk) 16:49, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Seemingly not because they are both said to be from Latin attendere. Kolmiel (talk) 00:04, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Actually, they are related, so they are in fact false friends and not false cognates. — Eru·tuon 00:13, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Oh, but I see what you are referring to. The first meaning of attend is derived from Old English and is not cognate to the French word, but the second meaning is derived from Latin and is cognate. (This should be reversed: the word derived from Old English is very rare and should be placed last.) — Eru·tuon 00:15, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Okay, thank you. I have changed it back to "false friend". --Kinos0634 (talk) 19:53, 13 June 2017 (UTC)


Can anyone familiar with the use of this term comment on what it means? Based on the etymology, I would expect it to mean something like "a drag queen or trans woman", but the current definition implies it refers to transsexual men instead, and a Google Image search turns up not only pictures that appear to depict drag queens and trans women, but also manly men, and Mark Zuckerberg... so does the definition include drag queens, trans women, and trans men? - -sche (discuss) 19:03, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

It's a pretty broad queerphobic slur for any man or MAAB trans* person who is perceived to be effeminate somehow, especially cross-dressers, MTF trans women etc., but it's also used against gay or bi guys for example (even super masc ones). — Kleio (t · c) 02:36, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of oh yeahEdit

The tone notation at oh yeah doesn't seem right. I don't think the individual parts of the diphthong should be split like that. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 00:44, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

I don't know much about IPA tone notation, but for me the vowel pronunciation is a lot closer to [æə̯] than [ɛə]. As conventionalized (broad) "IPA for English", /ɛə/ is supposed to mean the vowels in the British pronunciation of "there" etc., which doesn't much resemble the vowels of the word "yeah"... AnonMoos (talk) 07:49, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
For me it's just /jæ/, often elongated to [jæː]. --WikiTiki89 17:25, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
For me (BrE), the vowel sound in "yeah" is indeed the same as that in "there", i.e. /ɛə/. Mihia (talk)
Same for me. Equinox 11:02, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

modality of one should be so luckyEdit

What modality would you attach to one should be so lucky of the ones in should? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:16, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Maybe "Will be likely to", sarcastically? The same sequence of words can also be non-sarcastic, like when the Irish Times wrote of the drink called an "Irish Car Bomb" that "It is appropriate that a concoction so unfortunately named should be so likely to induce immediate vomiting." But is that "will be likely to"? Hmm...
And our senses 1 and 2 are not clearly distinct, and "What do I think? What should I do?" is arguably more sense 2 than sense 1. I may see if I can improve the entry later. - -sche (discuss) 19:02, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

surseance -- Old French, from Old French and French surseiorEdit

Please check the etymology of surseance, it looks weird to me. I changed the templates but didn't change the information. The etymology is basically:

"Old French, from Old French and French surseior"

--Daniel Carrero (talk) 16:52, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Fixed. Leasnam (talk) 17:29, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

DEA dictionary of drug slangEdit

Thought this was interesting. Some of the terms may even meet CFI. DTLHS (talk) 18:47, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Universe and universeEdit

On the universe page, it says that Universe is an alternative form. However, nothing on the latter page suggests that it's an alternative form of the former. Instead, it says that universe is a hyponym. —CodeCat 19:51, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Life as a collective nounEdit

life has a meaning of "lifeforms" in a collective sense, like the well known phrase "it's life, but not as we know it". The first sense in our entry seems to only refer to the abstract idea of life, not concrete lifeforms. Is this a missing sense? —CodeCat 20:04, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Yes; maybe the collective could be inserted as sense 2. And it seems odd to have "Many lives were lost" as a subsense of sense 1; maybe it would be better placed as a subsense of the sense you describe, or as sense 3. I'll make these edits. There also seems to be a bit of overlap between the "personal existence" senses and sense 1, especially in their quotations. - -sche (discuss) 20:49, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

human beingEdit

There's more translations than senses in the entry. Is the "person" translation table superfluous? —CodeCat 20:14, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Arabic 'generic' definite article ال with uncountable/mass nouns after preposition من 'of' indicating material خشبEdit

I am puzzled by the contradictory explanation of the 'generic' subclass of the definite article treated in the pag. 112, section of the Modern Written Arabic: A Comprehensive Grammar

"it denotes a generic meaning مائدة من النحاس المحفور a table of engraved brass’, which could as well be rendered ‘an engraved brass table’, contrasting with other possible materials. Indefinite phrases also occur in a similar sense, عوارض غليظة من خشب ‘rough joists of wood’, but here the intention is not generic but rather ‘made of some kind of wood’ with no particular contrast with any other possible material."​

Therefore, I'd really appreciated it if somebody could make sense of it, highlight the relevant elements to the issue (mass noun, preposition من, indication of material sth. is made of, plurality, etc.), offer clearer examples and if possible a good grammar article on the subject. --Backinstadiums (talk) 23:00, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Backinstadiums -- This doesn't seem to be confined to only after من -- "A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language" by Haywood and Nahmad gives الذهب والفضة معدنان "Gold and silver are two metals". Also, wiktionary may not be the place for "grammar articles" (as opposed to usage notes)... AnonMoos (talk) 01:22, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Could always make an appendix: Appendix:Arabic definite article. — Eru·tuon 05:24, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

ذهب 'gold' seems to tend to appear prefixed with الـ --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:54, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

Backinstadiums -- what do you mean by suffixed? AnonMoos (talk) 01:22, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
fixed, I meant prefixed --Backinstadiums (talk) 07:36, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Like many other languages, including Romance, Arabic commonly uses a "generic" definite article with metals and other material names. I don't think there's anything special in this regard about the word ذهب. It is true that the article may sometimes be missing, but I don't know whether there is a strong semantical difference between them. (Maybe there is.) If someone were to compare a number of standard grammars and find out, that would be appreciated, of course. Personally this has never seemed a major problem to me. Kolmiel (talk) 16:56, 15 June 2017 (UTC)


In Japanese, is Japan considered part of the "the West" (西方) as it is in Chinese? ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:50, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

In Japanese, for the political sense of "the West" is 西洋 (せいよう) (seiyō) is normally used, not 西方 (せいほう) (seihō) / 西方 (さいほう) (saihō). Like in Chinese, the cultural sense of the West is limited to Europe, America, Australia but the political may include Japan (and South Korea). The concepts are blurring. The Japanese Wikipedia article on "西洋" only mentions the cultural senses and talks about the West excluding Japan. The inclusion of Japan is individual, in European languages and in Japanese. The speaker/writer often says "the West, including Japan", simply because Japan is not in the West and doesn't belong to the Western culture. They may not mention Japan specifically but can still mean it. Even if Japan has been westernised, "the West" (西洋) is used to contrast Japan and the West. BTW, although the Japanese society is considered very westernised, it's still very different from the West. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:22, 13 June 2017 (UTC)


In Chinese, the word 肥肉 - "fatty meat" - can be used as a metaphor to refer something coveted by many. Is there a similar word in English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:53, 13 June 2017 (UTC)


Can "water" be considered a "beverage"? I've looked up a range of references and they all seem to contradict each other. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:45, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

  • I'm pretty sure that all beverages contain water but that water itself isn't a beverage. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:59, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, water is often considered a beverage: google books:"beverages such as water", google books:"beverages like water". The current definition, which says "usually excluding water", is as strong a claim in that direction as seems tenable, and IMO could be softened to "sometimes excluding water". - -sche (discuss) 05:25, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

in the first placeEdit

Can in the first place also mean first/firstly? E.g. when listing points in a body paragraph? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:28, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

Saxon language?Edit

What is the meaning of "Saxon" language in the etymology of talian#Old English? The entry says it's a cognate of "Saxon talen". I used the code "und" (Undetermined) for it in the absence of a better code. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 08:25, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

I'm guessing Upper Saxon, as the descendent of Old Saxon in Saxony. talen --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 08:44, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
I doubt that, because Upper Saxon is a Central German dialect that should have undergone the High German consonant shift of /t/ to /ts/. It's more likely to be the Low Saxon dialect of Low German (WP's West Low German), which we can label nds since it's spoken in both Germany and the Netherlands. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:59, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

Upper VoltaEdit

This actually refers to several different things, as demonstrated by the Wikipedia disambiguation page. —CodeCat 12:49, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

growing up, this was the best meal possibleEdit

Hi, apparently growing up maybe used as an adverbial, one step further deleting while (while in Paris, while washing the car, etc.). What d'you think? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:21, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

This can be used for other phrases, like Working the night shift, I was paid $1 more per hour. Leasnam (talk) 16:02, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
A standard English grammatical construction. See absolute (grammar), first subsense. The example given there is now often called a sentence adverb. DCDuring (talk) 23:01, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

In this sense it's an inchoative verb, so the semantics of this sense would be different; there's a lot of academic publications about it. --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:10, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

I don't see that. Could you explain? DCDuring (talk) 12:19, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Kingdom of DenmarkEdit

Does this actually refer to Denmark the European country, or to the entire Danish Realm? The current sense seems to contradict itself a bit, in that it says it's the official name of Denmark (i.e. the country in Europe) but then says that it includes Greenland, which isn't part of Denmark. Apparently there has been some discussion about this on w:Talk:Denmark too. —CodeCat 16:02, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

I strongly suspect that one will be able to find both senses in use in English, i.e. sometimes it will refer only to the country of Denmark (Jutland and the adjacent islands), and sometimes it will refer to the entire realm (continental-ish Denmark + Faroe Islands + Greenland). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:38, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

wrench in the worksEdit

Maybe this should be a discussion in another forum. (Feel free to move it if so.) I have the following quotation, and I'm trying to figure out the proper entry to put it under. Should it go on a page for wrench in the works? We already have a page for throw a spanner in the works, and in my prior experience, the idiom usually had throw as part of it, but in this example it doesn't. Thanks.

Germyb (talk) 01:31, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Arabic غَرَبَ (ḡaraba, to set (of the sun, etc.))Edit

Verbal noun غُرُوب (ḡurūb) instead of the current غُرَاب (ḡurāb)? Wyang (talk) 11:35, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

You're right, fixed. --WikiTiki89 12:05, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Should the section at غُرَاب (ḡurāb) be removed too? Wyang (talk) 12:10, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Yeah it should be moved to غُرُوب (ḡurūb). --WikiTiki89 12:20, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Moved. Please check. Wyang (talk) 12:24, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

forensic derived termsEdit

I know that forensic biology is an entry here, but what about forensic linguistics or forensic meteorology? I'm sure there are many other similar terms of substudies of forensics. PseudoSkull (talk) 05:06, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Translations at ChinaEdit

These badly match the senses that are in the entry. It's not clear whether "country in east Asia" refers to the PRC or something else. The second translation table has no corresponding sense. And does the third translation table go with the first sense? —CodeCat 21:33, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Republic of ChinaEdit

As far as I can tell, the third sense the same as the first sense. As a state/government, the current Republic of China is the same as the one that existed in the 1940s and before, the difference is only that it now governs less territory than before. I'm not sure in what way the second sense is distinct either, since when do we distinguish states from their governments? We don't have a separate government sense at United Kingdom for example. Personally, I would just redefine it all as "The official name of Taiwan.". —CodeCat 21:40, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Redefining it all to "the official name of Taiwan" would spark a lot of controversy. It could be misleading since Taiwan may or may not refer to the other parts governed by the ROC, i.e. Penghu, Kinmen and Magong. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:45, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Also see Republic of China (1912–49). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:47, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
At Taiwan we define it as a state, and say that its official name is Republic of China. Wikipedia's w:Taiwan does the same. So it doesn't seem controversial to do this. "Taiwan" is the common name, "Republic of China" the official name. We also speak of the Taiwanese government in normal use, even if it refers to more than just that one island. We just need to make clear that Republic of China refers to the state that is commonly called Taiwan. —CodeCat 22:11, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Alright, but Taiwan doesn't seem to be used for the historical sense. It's only used for ROC after the government moved to Taipei. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 23:13, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
I suppose that just means that Taiwan and ROC didn't become synonyms until later; "Taiwan" gained a new meaning in the last half century or so. That's not so unusual, "mouse" didn't originally refer to a computer device either. But in principle we document current English, the language as it is today. And in today's English, "Taiwan" does have that meaning. We could use {{defdate}} to indicate the point in time when the new sense emerged. We should probably also indicate that formerly, "Republic of China" was a synonym of "China" instead. —CodeCat 23:18, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Taiwan, being the name of the island of the coast of China, only became an informal name for the ROC after 1949 when the Kuomintang lost the Civil War and fled off the mainland. And, if I'm not mistaken, for at least a while after losing the war much of the non-communist world still recognized the Kuomintang as the official government of mainland China and it controlled China's UN Security Council veto. So, perhaps until 1971 (when the UN recognized the PRC as the sole China) China could refer to the ROC as well. Please do correct me @Justinrleung if I'm wrong, since you know more about this than me. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 23:28, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't think the UN recognition changed the actual meaning of the word "China". It could still refer to both of those, probably depending on the viewpoints of the user. Presumably, even today, "China" is still rarely used to refer to the ROC. —CodeCat 23:46, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
It probably didn't change the meaning, but it's probably an indicator of a shift in meaning as more countries recognized the PRC as China. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:04, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
There seems to be a lot of overlap here. The "government" sense in particular does not seem merited AFAICT; as CodeCat says, we don't have separate "government" senses for the UK, etc. it seems better to say it is a state, which claims territory XYZ, but controls only territory X. And if senses 1 and 3 are meant to be distinct, the distinction (in when the referent states existed) should be clarified... but if it is merely that the territory controlled by one state has changed, that does not seem to merit separate senses, or else do we need a lot of different senses of United States of America, one for each time a new state was added? - -sche (discuss) 22:26, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree that there shouldn't be a separate sense for the government. The situation here is slightly different from the US; as pointed out before, the ROC used to be known simply as "China" when it actually governed mainland China, but now, it mainly refers to what is commonly known as "Taiwan". — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:00, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Missing meanings of articulatusEdit

I hope I will be able to describe the issue appropriately, as I am not a native speaker: The definition (adj.) says

  1. distinct
  2. articulated, jointed.

But the problem here is, that distinct has again both meanings:

  1. clear
  2. separated

"Separated" seems to have the opposite meaning of of "jointed", but "jointed" is also the opposite of "being one single piece". And this is actually where the meaning of "articulatus" as clear is coming from, being clear by separating its parts (especially in speaking, see articulate and the pair of articulative and articulated).

Therefore I would suggest to change the definition of "articulatus" to:

  1. distinct, clear, understandable
  2. articulated, jointed.

--Michael Scheffenacker (talk) 22:07, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Clicking on the link to the French dictionary referenced in the entry and looking at the entry for articulo, I don't see "clear, understandable" as valid definitions. How's your French? DCDuring (talk) 22:47, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
My Langenscheidt Dictionary "Schulwörterbuch Latein" (german) says:
articulatus <a, um> Adj., Adv. <articulate> deutlich, verständlich
"deutlich", "verständlich" means pretty much "clear" and "understandable". Unfortunately I do not have my "Stowasser" at hand, otherwise I could provide some additional etymological information. --Michael Scheffenacker (talk) 14:57, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  • L&S: articulatus and articulo ({{R:L&S|articulatus}} and {{R:L&S|articulo}}). It has "and in gram. [citation]" without a translation.
  • Georges: articulatus
  • Pons: articulo
  • Gaffiot: articulatus and articulo (p. 166, 3rd column) ({{R:Gaffiot|articulatus|articulatus|p=166}} and {{R:Gaffiot|articulo|articulo|p=166}}).
There should be one meaning like articulated, jointed, having joints and one like articulated, uttered distinctly, distinct, clear.
New Latin could have a 3rd meaning: in grammar: used with the definite article (cp. German artikuliert, Romanian articulat). - 15:56, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
Is anyone opposing this proposal? --Michael Scheffenacker (talk) 10:38, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't think so. In any event, it would at the very least be a good-faith edit, by a now-registered user. I doubt that any patroller would roll it back (unless you caught them in a particularly bad mood). DCDuring (talk) 13:27, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

"the Variety -er"Edit

What's the meaning of "the Variety -er" in the etymology of terper? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 01:47, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

It's one of the senses of -er; Ctrl+F the phrase "the Variety -er" on -er. This looks like a place we could add a senseid so terper could link straight to the relevant sense (though the gloss may still be useful). - -sche (discuss) 01:52, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
AFAICT that would enable a specific {{suffixsee}} too. DCDuring (talk) 03:40, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Should the id be "Variety" (doesn't match label)? Then it's "entertainment". DCDuring (talk) 03:42, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Who do I have to, um, apply to in order to get Category:English words suffixed with -er (Variety) not to have an error? I didn't see anything in any documentation. Is there a need to ask permission? DCDuring (talk) 03:52, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Some parameter is needed, but I don't know and don't care; you can just use {{auto cat}} for most of the common category names and it'll handle the parameters for you. — Eru·tuon 04:10, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I found that out by imitation. From what page would a user like me find that out? Given my experience (not just this one) we could have much simplified documentation: "Imitate", "Look for documentation", "Guess", "If all else fails,"Ask at Info Desk", "Ask at Grease Pit". That would make a pretty good template to answer queries like mine. DCDuring (talk) 04:19, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
The documentation page Template:suffixcat/documentation should have this information. It didn't, so I updated it.
It occurs to me a number of things should be done. Information about category boilerplate templates (of which {{suffixcat}} is an example) should be at Help:Category. It would also be helpful to have little blurbs, created by a template, on (some of) the category boilerplate template documentation pages instructing people to use {{auto cat}} instead of wasting time figuring out the parameters. Perhaps also a blurb on the category pages, telling people what template to use to create similar categories. What would be useful, but hard, would be to explain on the suffix category page how to add terms to the category. (You have to add a correctly numbered |idN= parameter to the {{affix}} or {{suffix}} template.) — Eru·tuon 05:39, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Imitation is still the best simple technique and one which requires virtually no Wiktionary-specific knowledge. I wonder whether encouraging (reminding in my case) users to use the simple sequence above wouldn't handle many inquiries from newer users or older users faced with changed rules, template names and parameters, etc. Directing users to some kind of short master list of documentation categories and pages might be a part of the template suggested above. I will take a run at it, perhaps on the morrow. DCDuring (talk) 08:35, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  •   Done Category created and populated with 17 entries (1 new), etymologies split where necessary, other minor changes in some of the entries. DCDuring (talk) 05:30, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
All templates should have basic documentation... Equinox 09:46, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
But they don't, being variously superseded, nonexistent, incomplete, and/or wrong. It is apparently fun to have consolidated uniformitarian modules which are "self-documenting" (imperfectly at that) only to technocrat users. It is apparently not fun to have templates that can be understood and modified by more normal users, possibly because empowered users are harder to control. DCDuring (talk) 21:40, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Maybe we should create some page like WT:Requests for documentation (WT:RFDOC) to deal with separate requests? We have Category:Templates and modules needing documentation but it contains 3,432 pages and I'm not sure where to start -- and apparently it contains only templates and modules with nonexistent documentation, not those with superseded, incomplete and/or wrong documentations. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 22:29, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Not very many people could fulfil those requests: non-programmers can't, and programmers other than one who wrote the template might have to waste a lot of time. And, judging by current situation, people don't usually want to document their stuff, so they would just ignore such a category. I don't suppose we can reasonably enforce documentation as a required part of coding (though I certainly see that a lot in my job) but perhaps we could try to encourage a less selfish attitude, bearing in mind that anything one person writes will probably be used and maintained by others. (There's also the issue of docs becoming inaccurate over time, unless everyone who makes a change takes the care to update them.) Equinox 22:36, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
If WT:Requests for documentation (WT:RFDOC) existed, I could try and fulfill a few requests. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 00:02, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Humph, I don't mind adding information to documentation pages. I've done a fair amount of it already. — Eru·tuon 02:05, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
I was embarrassed to find that the simple template {{taxlink}} was dramatically underdocumented. That must be why hardly anyone else is using it! DCDuring (talk) 04:30, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Adverb or PP?Edit

e.g. "for example" is entered as an adverb (and categorised in "English conjunctive adverbs"), but grammatically is clearly a PP because of its head (and is also categorised in "English prepositional phrases"). How can this kind of contradiction be resolved? Having both adverb and PP sections won't help because (I think) any possible use of the phrase could fit equally well in either. Equinox 09:57, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

It is a prepositional phrase, but I can't think of a potentially idiomatic usage that is adjectival. DCDuring (talk) 18:12, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
One solution (which I don't particularly like) would be to introduce a new part of speech: "Adverbial prepositional phrase". Heh. — Eru·tuon 18:38, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
There is a word adprep; not sure if it applies here. Equinox 18:42, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
All prepositional phrases are adverbial. I think of adverbs as "pro-prepositions": just as pronouns stand in for noun phrases, and pro-verbs stand in for verb phrases, adverbs stand in for prepositional phrases. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:19, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
What about "man in the Moon"? That's an adjectival prepositional phrase. — Eru·tuon 20:38, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
What's adjectival about it? It's giving the location of the man: the man there. —CodeCat 20:53, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
@CodeCat: In the east coast, is east an adverb? DCDuring (talk) 21:49, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
It's a modifier in a compound. Compare Dutch oostkust. —CodeCat 22:44, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
@CodeCat: What does Dutch have to do with it? DCDuring (talk) 01:34, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
That it's modifying a noun. But perhaps you're right and adverbs can modify nouns, despite what we are taught as children. — Eru·tuon 21:05, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Adjectives precede nouns, this doesn't. This is more like a subordinate clause, who is in the Moon. Adverbs can act as complements to a copula, but that doesn't make them adjectives. —CodeCat 21:31, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
You have heard of postpositive adjectives, haven't you? And in a usage like "The train was on time" clearly on time is adjectival.
The point of having "Prepositional phrase" is to eliminate the need for duplication of much of the material in an entry in adjective and adverb sections. DCDuring (talk) 21:49, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree. Prepositional phrases can be adjectival or adverbial. One option is to spell this out in the section headings. Another option is to combine both under the heading "Prepositonal phrase". Mihia (talk)

Is programed a misspelling of programmed?Edit

According to this page, programed is an acceptable alternative for programmed.
According to this page, programing is not an acceptable alternative for programming.
The pages program and programme only mention the spellings with two m's for these forms of the verbs.

Is this relative inconsistency justified? --Anareth (talk) 16:09, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

The American Heritage Dictionary, which is known for its prescriptivism and is not inclined to list misspellings, lists programed and programing as acceptable alternative spellings. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:09, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

D. = Dutch?Edit

Please check what's the meaning of "D." (perhaps "Dutch"?) in tiff#Etymology 2. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 02:26, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

It is Dutch. Webster 1913 relic. I see Leasnam has cleaned up. Equinox 03:01, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Germanic = Proto-Germanic? (time and tide wait for no man)Edit

In time and tide wait for no man#Etymology, is the "Germanic" meant to be "Proto-Germanic"? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 05:19, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:15, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, fixed. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 08:18, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, I failed to fix the second of the two links. Thanks for fixing it. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 17:11, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

looking for a termEdit

What do you call words in English that refer to big concepts which also have real-world manifestations, like "society", "economy", "government", "industry", "law", etc.? Is there a term that compasses all of these? They're not concrete nouns, but they seem to have functions that go beyond the many abstract nouns we have in English like "truth", "danger", etc. I reckon there must be a term for these types of nouns but I can't find it. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:53, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Conjugation of raten, braten, warten, baden etc.Edit

The stems of these verbs end in d or t.
Is the imperative singular "-e (du)" correct and complete? Is it only "-e (du)" and never "- (du)"? E.g., is it only "rate (du)" and never "rat (du)"?

  • de.Wikt has both forms for the strong verbs braten, laden, raten and only -e for the weak verbs baden, warten - but is not reliable
  • has both forms for braten, laden, raten, baden, warten - but is not reliable
  • The strong or irregular verb laden also has "lad (du)" in the entry.

Going by attestation:

  • "wart (du)" does exist (e.g. from google books: "wart[,] du Kerl", "Na, wart du Schlingel", "Wart du nur, bis du in die Fabrik kommst").
  • "brat (du)" is mentioned in several 18th and 19th century grammars and dictionaries, and does occur in texts (e.g. "Brat du mir ein Wurst" (17th century, with "ein" instead of "eine" or an old or regional "der Wurst" instead of "die Wurst"), "Brat du nur fort und nasch['] mir nicht vom Rumpfstück!", "Brat du nur fort und halt dich fern vom Hüftstück!", "Nimm es, brat du ihn, [...]").
  • "lad (du)" should exist too (e.g. "Also lad du sie doch einfach ein", "Ach, Krischan, lad du den Trödel da auf 'n Wagen")
  • Dunno about "bad (du)" (there is also "das Bad") and "rat (du)" (there is also "der Rat"), but very likely both should exist too.

Additional note:

  • It could be that for strong verbs the imperative form "- (du)" without e is more correct or at least once was more correct, while for weak verbs the form "-e (du)" with e is more correct or at least once was more correct. In MHG according to Wright's MHG primer it's only strong "-" (e.g. "nim") and weak "-e" (e.g. "nenne"), and a 18th or 19th century dictionary even had "brat du (nicht brate)" (for the strong verb). In some ways this could fit to the 2nd person singular imperfect indicative ending -st or -est added to the imperfect stem. In the 19th century it's already imperative -e for strong verbs in dictionaries, and the dictionary with "brat du (nicht brate)" could be from the 18 century, so maybe there was some kind of change around 1800 (the time of Adelung).
    Nowadays both forms should exist and be "correct" as seen in canoo and sometimes at duden (e.g. and
  • Some verbs should have only "-e (du)" and not "- (du)", e.g. "atme (du)" and "rechne (du)" and no *"atm (du)" and "rechn (du)".

- 12:27, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Verbs in -d/-t should have both imperatives (with and without -e) just like normal verbs. There may be a stronger tendency to keep the -e in these stems than there is otherwise; a few forms may even be rare (like arbeit!). But that doesn't mean that any of these e-less forms are unused, nor that they are incorrect. The distinction between strong and weak verbs, which the DWB defends, is obsolete in my opinion (apart from those with e/i-Wechsel, of course). The only verbs that always take -e are those whose stems end in a consonant + -m/-n. Kolmiel (talk) 00:24, 20 June 2017 (UTC)


/ˈklɑːʃ/. Not 'British' in general, which is /ˈklæʃ/, it might be a regional British thing but I've never heard of it. In fact I can't think of any word ending in -ash that's prononced /ɑːʃ/. 16:25, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

I agree. Never heard of /ˈklɑːʃ/ in BrE. Mihia (talk) 20:48, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
It's been added by an en-3 contributor [2][3]. Fixed. --Droigheann (talk) 23:20, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
They were probably confusing it with 'class' /ˈklɑːs/. 18:04, 20 June 2017 (UTC)


There it says "2. (philosophy) Exhibiting characteristics of both feminine and masculine. Both denotational synonym and connotational antonym of androgynous."

I cannot find anything about the connotation of androgynous or gynandrous in any of the articles. Can someone explain and add to it? Steelpanspieler (talk) 19:05, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

At [[androgynous#English]] we correctly list both "Possessing qualities of both sexes" and "Pertaining to a feature or characteristic that is not definitively of either sex". Apparently the editor of [[gynandrous#English]] considers the former to be its 'denotation' and the latter to be its 'connotation': gynandrous apparently only means "Possessing qualities of both sexes", and does not mean "Gender-neutral". (Well, we're missing something at [[androgynous#English]], because an "androgynous sweater" isn't a "feature or characteristic", but is still using it in the "gender-neutral" sense.) —RuakhTALK 00:13, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

'conspiratophiles' and 'corporatofascists'Edit

I know these aren't real words - yet. Perhaps one day they'll reach a common usage. Before I start using them I wanted to see if they were well formed or if there were ways to improve on them for reasons I hadn't considered.

  • conspiratophiles
  • corporatofacists

Thanks for your feedback. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 23:40, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

If the first one means "people who buy into conspiracy theories", then I think it's reasonably transparent.
If the second one means "corporate fascists", then the compound is actually one syllable longer than the phrase. :-P   (Also, you're missing an <s> in the 'fascist' part.)
RuakhTALK 00:04, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
They sound like snarl words. Do we need more of those? Equinox 12:39, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
There's already a word conspirophile that gets some use on the internet since the early 90s and it's shorter than your conspiratophile that is hardly in use. It looks like it's (barely) citable. This looks like the funniest cite:
  • 1993 September 25, Chris Burian, "crime with computers?", alt.conspiracy/alt.society.civil-liberty [4].
    Being a conspirophile, I do see a connection between recent BBS porn busts, encryption busts, and even "anarchy" text-file busts. I also see them connected with Waco, S-8, and suggestions that the National Guard be used for border patrol.
Also, fascist is normally spelt with an s before the c, so corporatofascists. This is also used on the internet (since 2006), but mainly on blogs and Reddit and it doesn't get close to satisfying CFI yet. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 09:19, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Hey gang, THANKS! These were the perfect answers. I am ashamed I misspelled fascists. It was underlined because it was a word mashup and I didn't re-check, especially because I thought it was neato that they were both "c"-words the same length (with one misspelled). I know it adds a syllable, but it kinda matches. The reason I came here was because I learned that the non-word "pedophilocracy" would technically be a more correct term than the rare "pedophocracy". That's why I wonder if "conspirophile" is actually better than "conspiratophile", or just extant earlier? Also, perhaps instead of using "corporatofascists", what do you think of "corporatotalitarians"? ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 05:31, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
FYI, I consider myself a conspirophile. I was banned from Wikipedia for 1 year for being "another polite truther". I like looking at all sides of things, good, bad, corporate, independent, crazy, and sane - then making my own mind up. And not just about geopolitical matters. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 05:37, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
Can we add conspirophile? By "we" I mean someone else. I like words but I don't feel comfortable adding words. As a conspirophile, I'd really appreciate it. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 03:04, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! From a conspirophile. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 12:20, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
Sorry to bother again. Since there are categories for people and hobbies (ie, for conspirophile), it seems there should also be at least a category for employment, career, job, gig, etc. Whether conspirophile belongs there is another thing, but certainly investigative journalism, newshound, reporter, etc do. I just thought I'd bring that to your collective attention as I tried to add it but was overwhelmed with confusion. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 20:00, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

User:JasonCarswell -- "corporatofascist" contains the ancient Greek compound linking vowel -o-, yet the elements which are joined on each side are Latin, not Greek, so the coinage could be considered inelegant for that reason. "Conspir(at)ophile" combines a Greek root with a Latin root, and so would be disapproved of by some purists, but the battle against such hybrid coinages in English was pretty much lost about 75 years ago... AnonMoos (talk) 03:23, 30 June 2017 (UTC)


Usage note: "Non-specific sense is often used to cast doubt on the legitimacy or stated goals of the subject." Does anyone have any idea what this means? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:12, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

It refers to sense 2, noting that it has derogatory, discrediting connotations when it is used for an organisation or internal body. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:59, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Hamas is often said to have a "politburo" in news stories. I've wondered what the corresponding Arabic word is... AnonMoos (talk) 03:10, 30 June 2017 (UTC)


(Applies to Mandarin) Sense #6 and usage notes are quite naive. It makes sense for people who have no idea about the grammar and don't want to know but it's not a professional description of the usage in this case. I think sense #6 should be deleted altogether and usage notes should describe in what cases it's appropriate to "很" before an adjective in predicate clauses. @Wyang, Tooironic, Suzukaze-c, Justinrleung Anyone wishes to rewrite? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:28, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

It definitely does not mean "to be". I agree with you. —suzukaze (tc) 02:33, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it makes sense at all- isn't a verb, and it's not linking anything. It's strictly modifying the adjective, and whether you consider the adjective to be a stative verb or an adjective like we have in English, the language simply doesn't need a linking verb in such constructions. Given that isn't always present, it's worse than useless- it's misleading and confusing. There's nothing usable in sense 6 or the usage note, so I've removed them- it's better to start from scratch than to try rewriting complete nonsense. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:31, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree with all of the above. Wyang (talk) 08:34, 21 June 2017 (UTC)


I'm not sure this meets CFI, though you can find it in a few user-submitted listings on sites like Etsy that sell clothing. Could it be a misspelling of some other word? Equinox 14:58, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

Ah! Got it. It's paillette. Equinox 15:03, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

"alot" is NOT correct English.Edit

The entry for "alot" is a perfect example of why "wiki" is not a credible source (wikipedia et al.). "alot" is not a word. There is NO disagreement about that. NONE. Now, you can say it is used commonly in informal communication, sure. But to imply that there is any disagreement among credible sources as to whether "alot" is correct English is complete and utter nonsense. The Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has never and will never say "alot" in any official communication of Her Majesty's Government. But yes, this is exactly why no decent University allows their students to use Wikipedia et al. as a source. The crowd is wrong, here. 03:02, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

First of all, alot is very definitely a word, and nothing you said has anything to do with that fact. It's also, of course, not correct English, and no one should use it anywhere that correctness is important- that's what nonstandard means. On top of that, it's condemned by quite a few authoritative sources- in other words it's proscribed. Not only have we given it those labels, we've also provided quotes stating that it's not proper English. Some have speculated that it may someday be considered correct, given the normal way that language changes, but that's just theoretical musing by experts. The mere existence of an entry doesn't mean we're recommending the term- it just means that we're providing information on something that people are likely to run into and want to know about. To be blunt, your failure to understand does not constitute error on our part. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:32, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
I broadly agree, but I believe, as I may have mentioned before, that "nonstandard" and "proscribed" are unnecessary technical euphemisms that may be overlooked or not understood by some users of the dictionary. I would prefer the labels to say in plainer language that a word is incorrect (according to people whose opinions matter), so that readers who do not go on to read the usage blurb are not left in any doubt. Mihia (talk) 00:52, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
Maybe "considered incorrect" would be better as a compromise label. I think "nonstandard" is fairly transparent though. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:15, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I would support "considered incorrect". Mihia (talk) 01:17, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
We have a way to say a spelling is incorrect; that's a "misspelling". It's on the edge here; Google Books only brings up self-published works, but it's clear it's being intentionally used in cases. I'd also say that it's impossible to be all things to all people, and we are an unabridged dictionary and are going to be a more serious dictionary then the simplified versions that are going to blur the distinction between "incorrect", and "nonstandard" or "proscribed".--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:13, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
(I couldn't understand your post at first, but I believe it is just a typo and "then" should read "than".) There is no distinction. To maintain the pretence that dictionaries are not prescriptive, technical euphemisms are used in place of plain language that ordinary readers can understand. Mihia (talk) 00:09, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
Are you claiming that a dictionary must be prescriptive? That's just silly; it's easy to make a small dictionary ("cat: kato, hat: ĉapelo, in: interne de, the: la") out of a small corpus (in this example, the title of The Cat in the Hat) explaining how words are used in that corpus, with absolutely no judgment of correctness. That the English corpus is a trillion words of text written over centuries doesn't change the fundamental idea. A descriptive dictionary covering e.g. Huckleberry Finn must explain how "ain't" differs from "isn't", and why an author would use the first. A fully prescriptive dictionary would not include both pretence and pretense without clearly labeling the first as incorrect (or the second, if it were incorrect in its prescriptions.) Ordinary readers can understand "nonstandard" and "proscribed", and if they have any trouble with the latter, I believe Wikimedia offers a dictionary they can look it up in. While we're talking about ordinary readers, we do them no favors by condemning their speech and pretending that correct language is defined by the posh instead of by how a language is used and understood in real life.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:06, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
Non-prescriptive dictionaries are useless to users. Every error and bad usage would be represented equally with no distinction. Dictionaries all pretend not to be prescriptive, but in reality they all are, and a very good thing too. Mihia (talk) 01:42, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
i.e. "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." Of course, if you want to discuss what it means to be a prescriptive dictionary with other people, it helps to use the words with the meaning that other people do, and lexicographers who claim to be making descriptive dictionaries don't claim that every error and bad usage are represented equally with no distinction.
If Wiktionary is prescriptive, then why shouldn't we have alot with no distinction? If you have a reason, then a descriptive dictionary can surely describe that reason.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:56, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
  • @ Please read our Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion. Slang, non-standard and rare words all are permissable...if at least three citations spanning a year or more in books or reliably archived websites exist. I believe, as Chuck does, that three citations for the word exist. Purplebackpack89 04:37, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
See w:Webster's Third New International Dictionary. You're fifty years behind the times in lexicography and blaming it on "wiki".--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:13, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
I have a new definition for "alot": 1) literally a lot 2) a lot of a lots 3) lots of lots. :) ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 20:14, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

homericumEdit says only that "homericum" the nominative neuter singular of homericus. That's correct, but it is also the masculine and neuter singular accusative and the neuter singular vocative. -- 18:30, 22 June 2017

Not too sure why that's even a separate entry... AnonMoos (talk) 03:16, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
diff. - 15:30, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

The Latin forms all have separate entries. Otherwise they are hard to find. Having them separate is very very useful for learners.

For lagniappe, label "uncommon" seems inapplicable to Louisiana usageEdit

At lagniappe, as I write this, the label says "(Louisiana, Mississippi, Trinidad and Tobago, uncommon)", but Wikipedia at "lagniappe" says, "Although this is an old custom, it is still widely practiced in Louisiana." Thus the label should be fixed to show that "uncommon" applies only, perhaps, to Trinidad and Tobago usage (is that what was meant?). Quercus solaris (talk) 22:16, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

No one else cared, apparently, but I updated the label from "uncommon" to "uncommon in some locales". Quercus solaris (talk) 00:45, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

IPA, language code templateEdit

Hy, What this problem is to me here? It says "no language code specified"? What is wrong? Some time says replace g with g.... Ilyas Marwat (talk) 00:07, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

You made a typing mistake. I fixed up the entry for you. —CodeCat 00:07, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

inadequate examples? (soon and overnight as adjectives, not as adverbs)Edit


Soon after the arrival of Mrs. Campbell, dinner was announced

In the previous sentence, is not soon an adverb?

overnight#Adjective, sense 2:

Don't expect results overnight.

In the previous sentence, I can imagine that overnight is a postpositive adjective, but that interpretation seems funny to me. Would it not be more natural to see overnight as an adverb here? --Anareth (talk) 17:32, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

Good catch. In the first one, the edit summary for the addition of the additive mentioned "soonest date" as an example, but the current quote was added by someone who was adding quotes to anything that couldn't get out of the way fast enough. In the second one, everything was originally under Adjective, and the usage example was moved to the wrong POS when that was fixed by @DCDuring, with a definition that didn't really match. I simply removed the quote on the first one, but the second needs more thought as to restructuring the definitions. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:34, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't see my name in the history of [[soon]] before today. What did I do?
I'd like to see at least usage examples, preferably citations, for soon#Adjective. DCDuring (talk) 19:44, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
OED says "soon, adj. Taking place, coming about, happening, etc., soon or quickly; early, speedy. Frequently U.S. dial. in phr. a soon start (in the morning)." I added a sense for early and three quotes to go with it it. --Droigheann (talk) 13:40, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
I switched the usage example for the second definition of overnight#Adjective to "Don't expect overnight delivery". The prior usex was for the adverb. DCDuring (talk) 19:49, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

through toEdit

Years ago I was told that "all the way from one point to another" was conveyed by "(from) A to B" in BrE and by "(from) A through B" in AmE, but now I've come across two unrelated occurrences (in BrE) of "A through to B", which expression I don't recollect having noticed before - "[the best season for harvesting seeweeds] is March through to July" (a BBC TV programme) and "[hatred] covers mild irritation through to burning anger and resentment" (a book about Buddhism). Would through to merit an entry as a preposition or would you native speakers perceive it as an SoP? --Droigheann (talk) 17:06, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

free reignEdit

What's the source for the usage note? Is more recent information available? Ngram Viewer suggests about 25% of uses of "free (rein|reign)" were of "free reign" as of 2008. (Restricting the search to American English leaves things virtually unchanged.) - -sche (discuss) 03:40, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

The figures come from here (also see here), but the corpus described therein isn't specified to be exclusively American. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 09:38, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
Yeah it says it's the "Oxford English Corpus". I'm not sure what kinds of things this corpus contains. Neither the Oxford English Corpus nor the Google Books corpus are probably accurate representations of English as a whole anyway. --WikiTiki89 20:56, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
w:Oxford English Corpus --Droigheann (talk) 23:52, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Blatant error, and should be flagged as such lest we do our readers a disservice. Mihia (talk) 01:19, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

letter of referenceEdit

I thought our entry might disclose to me whether this expression is only used in connexion with employment, or whether it can also be used when a GP refers a person to a specialist. Sadly, it didn't. --Droigheann (talk) 14:20, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

In Australia the latter is usually known as a "referral". ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:08, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
Same in Canada. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:04, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
And apparently in Britain too [5]. Thanks! --Droigheann (talk) 17:34, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
For anyone interested, it is known as a 轉診信 in Chinese. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:32, 29 June 2017 (UTC)


How was "aveir veḍüṭ" pronounced? 17:55, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

My guess is /aˈvei̯r veˈðyθ/. Given that ei eventually became oi, the diphthong may also be something more centralised like /ɵi̯/. —CodeCat 18:15, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
The first e is like /ə/ ... /vəˈðeir/ —Stephen (Talk) 00:55, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Can we be sure of that, even for this archaic kind of Old French? —CodeCat 20:50, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

sounds goodEdit

Worth an entry? --Barytonesis (talk) 14:45, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

I think so. It's used as an interjection nowadays rather than always being part of a sentence. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:48, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
It also occurs frequently as sound good?. —Stephen (Talk) 00:52, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
I feel like it's just [[sounds]] + [[good]]. It's common to delete subject pronouns in colloquial phrases like this. People say "Looks good" and "Looking good!" as quasi-interjections too (and didn't a character in the first Matrix movie say, "Smell good, don't they?"), but that doesn't mean we need entries for them. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:33, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Also often "sounds good to me" or "sound good to you?". Equinox 11:39, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Treating it as SoP is sounding good to me. "Looks good", "feels good" are used the same way. DCDuring (talk) 16:30, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds like an excellent idea. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:01, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
If it's SOP, we're missing a corresponding sense at sound. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:58, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
It's the same everyday sense as "he sounds like an unpleasant man, from your anecdotes" or "going up the mountain sounds risky". Equinox 22:42, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree; it's sense 2 of the verb. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:21, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
Sense 2 says "To convey an impression by one's sound", which is not the definition that I'm using when I text or email someone "sounds good". There's a broader meaning that we're not capturing with that definition. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:22, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
You may have found a gap. (Please fix if you can see how!) It isn't an argument for this entry, though. Equinox 10:37, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I think all of the main intransitive sense verbs (look, sound, feel, taste, smell) have figurative use, abundant for most (not taste?). In w:Neuro-linguistic programming each of the senses forms part of a representational system. For our purposes there are figurative uses for many sense terms, notably along evaluative lines. I think our coverage of these is very incomplete. DCDuring (talk) 14:48, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

RFmeaning French âmeEdit

Can FR âme mean "core, kernel"? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 08:15, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

@Sobreira: I guess it could. Is there a sentence in particular that's prompting you to ask that? --Barytonesis (talk) 14:41, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Russian verb клясть classificationEdit

Hi, Клясть is classified as irregular, but I think it might be class 14b since it fits the -ять -> -ну, -нёшь, -нут endings. Does anyone know if there's something irregular about the verb that would keep it from being class 14b? клясть Russian verb classification

What are these two symbols ?Edit

Vie de Saint Alexis, line 143, f. 27v. ms. 19525 of the BNF. Useful to show the two symbols, over the 'n' of 'grant' (gnt) and the symbol for 'est' (is) second to last word of the page.

"Sa grant honor a grant dolor est tornee" (her great honor has turned into great sadness). What are the two symbols, firstly over the n of 'gnt' (we could simply say this is gn̈t which is merely a Unicode approximation) and the word for 'est'. Some sort of Tironian note? (Renard Migrant not logged in. Why has my request for permanent block been turned down?)

Click for much larger image. 11:19, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
My friend (a manuscript expert) says they're "typical abbreviation marks – symbol above grant showing loss of <ra>" and the est symbol "you can transcribe either as 'est' in italics to show it's an expansion, or as the divide symbol". On the est thing, see more here: Ƿidsiþ 11:37, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Category:nv:Basic NounsEdit

Something is very wrong with this. —Pengo (talk) 14:13, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

I deleted the category. If anyone wants to recreate it, I guess the right name would be Category:Navajo basic nouns (or Category:Navajo basic terms).
The category contained 4 members: dláád, shash, sóól, sǫʼ. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 14:17, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Latin SandrocottusEdit

Could those more knowledgeable about Latin check over this entry? I'm not sure about the declension class specifically. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 14:56, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

With the nominative ending in -us it could be second (like e.g. Antonius) or fourth declension (like e.g. senatus). By the citation and by the translation at or the mentioned source in the entry, "The author of this liberation was Sandrocottus, ....", the citation should have a nominative in it. Without another citation proving the declension, I think second declension is more likely. A suggestion: diff. - 15:21, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! That was fast. I am not very knowledgeable about Latin, so I won't change anything just yet. I think Plutarch uses the name Androcottus, perhaps that will shed some light? A variant Sandracottus exists as well, see [6]. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 15:59, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
Plutarch and Strabo wrote in Greek. Their texts could show that Σανδρόκοττος (Sandrókottos) belongs to the Greek second declension (e.g. Smyth with ἄνθρωπος), and not to the Greek third declension (e.g. Smyth with δέος). That wouldn't attest or properly proof the Latin declension, but it would make clear that the genitive should indeed be Sandrocotti (i.e. -ī), the dative and ablative Sandrocotto (i.e. -ō) and the accusative Sandrocottum.
Arrian (IA 1, IA 2) has Greek Σανδρακόττῳ (Sandrakóttōi) with translation "... he met Sandracottus ..." and Σανδράκοττον (Sandrákotton) with "... to Sandracottus the Indians ...". I'm not sure about the accent, but I guess the Greek nominative for this is Σανδράκοττος (Sandrákottos). Similary Greek Σανδρόκοττος (Sandrókottos) should belong to the Greek second declension, and Latin Sandrocottus to the Latin second declension.
Google Books has some results for Sandrocotto, including (New) Latin texts (e.g. "cum Sandrocotto Indiae Rege") and German texts with Latin inflection (e.g. "Sandrocottus ... des Sandrocotti ... diesem Sandrocotto ... zum Sandrocotto"). So there should be no doubt that the Latin Sandrocottus indeed belongs to the second declension.
New diff: diff. - 16:44, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

ehe in GermanEdit

Just saw a political ad with "Ehe fur alle". The "ehe" page makes no mention of it, but "die Ehe" is "marriage", apparently -- see . Thanks -- Jo3sampl (talk) 20:25, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Ignore -- my error -- failed to see also Ehe

It's Ehe für alle (marriage for all, for everyone) (and yet, children are probably excluded from this). - 21:07, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
As are people who don't want to get married, and people who are already married. Of course it means marriage for everyone who wants to get married and is old enough to legally do so, and isn't currently already married to someone else. But that's too wordy for a hashtaggable slogan. I suspect the slogan started out as an allusion to einer für alle, alle für einen. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 23:29, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
Don't know about that. I suspect it started to as an allusion to the idea that some people are legally barred from being married. (Those poor victims.) Also, it's strange how this whole thing is international news. It was also the first thing I heard on Dutch radio news this morning. But nevermind. Kolmiel (talk) 00:15, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
People who don't want to get married aren't really excluded as they can marry if they would want to. Indeed, people who are married probably are excluded too.
"... für alle" is a common phrase, e.g. "Bildung für alle", "Nahrung für alle", "Teilhabe für alle", "Freibier für alle" gets google hits too. - 01:03, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
"Bildung für alle", e.g., means that everybody should get fair access to education, which isn't yet the case. Access to marriage has been fair. What they did is to change the definition of what marriage is. It's their right to do so; but the slogan is misleading. Kolmiel (talk) 13:06, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
"access to marriage has been fair" 🙄 LOL, that's like the old line jocularly attributed to the Russians, especially in the Soviet era: "in America, they make a big deal of the fact that you have freedom of speech, you can even stand in the capital and criticize the President of the United States! Well, in Russia, the situation is equal, you have the same freedom of speech: you can stand in the capital and criticize the President of the United States!" - -sche (discuss) 16:20, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
It's not that strange? Legalisation of marriage for same-sex couples usually becomes international news, also for much smaller (less populous) countries like Ireland and Uruguay. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:48, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

for want ofEdit

And for lack of. Worth entries? --Barytonesis (talk) 22:26, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

I think so, most dictionaries have them both --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:02, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

July 2017

tentorium plurlizationEdit

I found some use of the plural form tentorii. Would this be considered nonstandard? DTLHS (talk) 00:01, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

I think so. It is easy enough to see how the mistake might occur: misconstruction and imitation of incisurae tentorii. DCDuring (talk) 23:47, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

hot glue gunEdit

This needs more of a definition than just "a form of glue gun". What kind? How is it distinguished? Equinox 23:09, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

I don't know of cold glue guns, though they may exist. DCDuring (talk) 23:29, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
I could find images of various glue guns that are not hot glue guns and have so modified [[glue gun]] and [[hot glue gun]]. DCDuring (talk) 23:39, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't think either is SoP. DCDuring (talk) 23:40, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

evolutionary stable strategyEdit

I wouldn't call that a "misspelling", but I don't know how I would call it. --Barytonesis (talk) 13:16, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

Just as "SoP/Encyclopedic" as the other spelling? Or: "Poor grammar"? "Use of unattested/proscribed adverb evolutionary"? DCDuring (talk) 13:32, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Basically a typo, similar to how you can sometimes miss out an entire word if you're distracted. I see virtually no value in such entries. Equinox 13:34, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Usually I'd agree with you, but I suspect many people really don't think of it as a mistake at all. [7] --Barytonesis (talk) 13:39, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
When I page through, I see 66 Google Books results for "evolutionary stable strategy". Nearly half (30) also use "evolutionarily stable strategy", which is strong evidence the nonstandard spelling is a typo in those works. Some of the works that don't also use "-il-" may only use the term once, making it hard to judge if it's intentional or not. But Ngram data suggest this ratio is true over all the texts Google has seen: "evolutionary stable strategy" is used once for every two times "evolutionarily stable strategy" is used, and numbers in a Google Scholar search of journal articles are similar, meaning it's a very common (mis)spelling, certainly inclusion-worthy.
I'd guess it's caused by the ease of the typo in the long word, and the fact that it can be parsed as grammatical, as "evolutionaryadj, stableadj strategy" or with a misunderstanding of the meaning as "(evolutionaryadj stablenoun)"attributive" phrase strategy". Maybe some spell-checker programs even recognize "evolutionary" but not the far less common word "evolutionarily", and prompt people to change "evolutionarily" to "evolutionary". Compare how "evolutionary successful" is used about 1/4 as often as "evolutionarily successful"! - -sche (discuss) 15:49, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
As for what to call it: I think it's OK to call it a "misspelling", but another possibility is to use Template:misconstruction of. - -sche (discuss) 15:54, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

Arabic ڭ‎ (ng) differing in medial position in historical texts.Edit

So I am basically looking at Kashgari's transciriptions in the original Arabic script and I noticed that his ng is perfectly what you expect at the end of a word (ڭْ) but the expected shape in medial position is not similar and there are no three dots or anything like that as in ـڭـ‎. Rather I see there is a middle dot at the right hand side of medial Kaph (ـکـ). Is there a way so that I can create this original form using some Unicode letters? It is like there is no ج and I must create it from ح but I can not find this dot. --Anylai (talk) 18:15, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

Side note: I noticed he sometimes has it as نْكْ in the final position, unification of نْ and كْ --Anylai (talk) 18:29, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
I came to realise that it is no different than realization of نْكْ at medial position, it is just his hand writing that confused me. the middle dot I saw apparantly belongs to ن. So medial -ng- in Kashgari is ـنــ‍ك‍ـْـ --Anylai (talk) 19:45, 2 July 2017 (UTC)


"he defines something which he calls inclusive fitness, which is an absolute swine to calculate". We're missing a sense. Could I say "a bitch to calculate"? --Barytonesis (talk) 20:27, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

Yes. Added. Equinox 00:04, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Finger mix-upEdit

See leech-finger and its large list of synonyms (and related back-linking synonyms on further pages), and the change I just made to medical finger. I think the creator of these entries had the fourth and third finger mixed up, and thus got the medical/physician/etc. finger synonyms and definitions wrong in most places, but it's actually making my head spin now so I've stopped trying to fix them all... Equinox 00:04, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Looks like "fourth" here refers to fingers, exclusive of the thumb, which isn't a true finger (?). So the index finger would be the first finger, right ? Fourth finger is the pinkie. Leasnam (talk) 02:00, 3 July 2017 (UTC)


At homogenous, it says that in General American it is "often pronounced as homogeneous, with some dictionaries listing only this pronunciation". Now, I understand that there is a confusion between "homogenous" and "homogeneous", but putting that aside, given that the word "homogenous" is used, do Americans really often pronounce it as "homogeneous"? That seems unlikely to me, and I can't find the supposed dictionary evidence. Mihia (talk) 11:31, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

As no one has recognised this as being correct, I have deleted it. Mihia (talk) 22:32, 6 July 2017 (UTC)


I don't really understand this, so I'm seeking other opinions rather than making changes unilaterally.

At homogeneous, under the heading "Alternative forms", it says:

Is this the "wrong way round"? Shouldn't the "Alternative forms" section be presented as alternative forms of the headword, not words that the headword is an alternative form of?

Beyond that, this note, and also the sense "(proscribed) Alternative form of homogenous", appear to be saying that the biological sense of homogenous (the only sense that is said to be correct at homogenous) is commonly (or reasonably commonly) incorrectly written as "homogeneous". Is that actually true? Or is this all a big muddle, and what is actually meant is that the word "homogeneous" is often incorrectly written as "homogenous"? Mihia (talk) 20:07, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

  • I have simplified the section. I don't believe that either of the two forms are proscribed - it's just a transpondian thing. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:59, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
    • @SemperBlotto: in U.S. English at least, homogenous is proscribed when it means homogeneous. The opposite situation almost never applies, since it's so rare for someone to actually use homogenous correctly; though I can imagine that a correct usage of homogenous may occasionally be altered to homogeneous by hypercorrection. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:06, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
      • Yes, it's not hard to find opinions that "homogenous" for "homogeneous" is incorrect, or traditionally considered incorrect, but I have not yet seen any other suggestions that it is an AmE/BrE issue. My feeling also is that the opposite situation almost never applies, so I suggest that the sense "(proscribed) Alternative form of homogenous" probably is a mix-up, as I suggested it might be, and should be deleted. Also, I think there ideally should be a way of showing in the "Alternative forms" section that "homogenous" as an alternative form is considered incorrect by some. Mihia (talk) 20:28, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Why not just put something under Usage notes or See also? DCDuring (talk) 03:49, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
  • As no one has recognised it as being correct, and it seems wrong, I have deleted the sense "(proscribed) Alternative form of homogenous". I have also cross-referenced the usage note at homogenous. Mihia (talk) 22:21, 6 July 2017 (UTC).

select for - select againstEdit

"With this mode of natural selection, intermediate forms are selected against". Should we have an entry for that? --Barytonesis (talk) 12:51, 4 July 2017 (UTC)


I wonder if there's an English equivalent for Finnish aikamiespoika (unmarried man who lives with his parents). --Hekaheka (talk) 21:41, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

The closest I can think of is basement-dweller, although it is decidedly pejorative; not sure about the Finnish term (its literal translation appears to be "man-boy"): if it is pejorative too (which I strongly suspect), you should add a qualifier. In Japan, there's also the term Parasite single. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:04, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
There's man child in English, which may share some of the negative connotations of basement-dweller, but that also doesn't say anything about living with parents. I don't think there's an English word with the requested meaning. Equinox 15:55, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
In medicine especially, you can call such a person a “failure to launch” (unisex), colloquially. Wyang (talk) 12:24, 8 July 2017 (UTC)


This nonstandard past and past participle appears to be found mainly in specific technical contexts – literal and metaphorical binders (as in folders or ring binders), and coding. Maybe this should be mentioned at both bind and binded. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:52, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

I think binded is mostly used in contexts where the author is not a native speaker. That would include many technical fields. But it is not limited to non-native speakers, nor to technical contexts. Garner's Modern American Usage (both 2009 and 2016) proscribe it. DCDuring (talk) 04:34, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Latin: luoEdit

The entry for Latin "luo" <> says the word is active only. It appears, however, in passive voice ("luitur") in classical Latin. E.g. in Seneca's Epistulae Morales XLVII. This is also verifiable from Perseus or Logeion.


  1. (Britain, education) A class or year of students (often preceded by an ordinal number to specify the year, as in sixth form).
  2. (Britain) Grade (level of pre-collegiate education).

What is the difference between these two senses? Mihia (talk) 22:46, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

  • As no one has proposed any difference, I have merged them. Mihia (talk) 20:48, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Serbo-Croatian krst and krstjaninEdit

Sorry in advance for meddling with Slavic: Shouldn't the accusative of krst be unchanged because it's inanimate? And is krstjanin really a derivation from the former or isn't it another borrowing from Greek? (Maybe adapted to -janin, if this suffix is native?) Kolmiel (talk) 19:20, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

I've searched "krst" and "krsta" with a couple of transitive verbs and seemingly I was right. My knowledge of Serbo-Croatian is limited, but I was bold and changed the declension. Kolmiel (talk) 16:28, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel Yes, you are indeed right. As for krstjanin, Serbocroatian regularly borrows Greek χ as h, not k, unless the word goes through Latin first, hence e.g. Krist from Latin vs. Hrist from Greek. However, it’s almost certainly neither from Latin nor Greek but from Old Church Slavonic крьстиꙗнинъ (krĭstijaninŭ). — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 14:49, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
But don't forget that Proto-Slavic *krьstъ itself is ultimately derived from Greek. --WikiTiki89 15:01, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Interesting that SC borrowed /x/ as h, but Proto-Slavic used k. —CodeCat 15:56, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps the spirantization of chi wasn’t yet complete when PSl borrowed the word? AFAIK Armenian transcriptions of Greek continued to render chi as aspirated k until almost the end of the first millennium, so maybe some speakers still pronounced it that way. But things would have to have changed by the time of OCS, since OCS borrowed the same word as христъ (xristŭ). My bet would be instead that *krьstъ came from Greek indirectly, through some other language, given that most PSl borrowings from Greek seem to be mediated by either Romance or Germanic. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 17:02, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, Vasmer says *krьstъ came through Old High German. I'm not sure what the evidence for that is, but it seems more or less reasonable. --WikiTiki89 17:24, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
And OHG got it from Latin, I assume? It too had /x/ after all... —CodeCat 17:39, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Of course; I didn’t mean to imply anything beyond the immediate borrowing. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 17:02, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
I wasn't necessarily addressing that to you, just pointing it out. --WikiTiki89 17:24, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
My question concerning krstjanin was not so much the path of borrowing, but whether the -janin part is really a native Slavic formation independent of Ancient Greek Χριστιανός (Khristianós) and Latin Christianus. Kolmiel (talk) 23:38, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

chocolate bar vs. bar of chocolateEdit

Our entries insist that these are two different things. New to me. Is the distinction real? Is it universal? Equinox 16:24, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

A chocolate bar is usually some form of bar of chocolate, but they're not mutually inclusive. bar of chocolate is more generic and literal, as in a "an hunk of chocolate shaped into a bar" (compare brick of chocolate). The other is synonymous with chocolate candy bar. Leasnam (talk) 17:59, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Chocolate bar is similarly "literal". Consider: chocolate drop, chocolate kiss, chocolate bark, chocolate brownie, chocolate soda. Coconut bar, nougat bar, etc are similar for the other part of the collocation. DCDuring (talk) 20:44, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I wonder too if chocolate bar is a blend of "chocolate" and "candy bar" in the way a cheeseburger is a blend of "cheese" and "hamburger" Leasnam (talk) 01:57, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Britain doesn't use the word "candy" so I doubt it. Equinox 01:58, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I created bar of chocolate. I think I'm right with the def, but is there a difference between UK and US defs? I don't know. DonnanZ (talk) 18:08, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I'd have assumed they are the same thing. I wonder in what context a difference is maintained. It would be nice if there were is essential that there be citations to support this kind of distinction. DCDuring (talk) 20:00, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Any ideas for search strategies? I suppose we could pick popular brands of e.g. creme-filled bar and see if people call them "bar of chocolate" in books etc... Equinox 20:06, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I guess starting with the two in Google N-Grams would enable us to see some collocations. We could use some of those collocations and anything suggested by them in the more complete Google corpora to find specific support for the distinction. DCDuring (talk) 20:24, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
BTW, at OneLook only Collins, WordNet, and find chocolate bar inclusion-worthy (other apparent entries are copies, redirects, or failed-search pages). No OneLook reference finds bar of chocolate inclusion-worthy. DCDuring (talk) 20:31, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
  • (UK) To me there is no difference between "chocolate bar" and "bar of chocolate" (except that the latter feels faintly more idiomatic). The "candy bar" sense does not exist here: a chocolate bar is always made from chocolate. Mihia (talk) 20:57, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
    I absolutely want citations proving that in Canada, something can be called a "chocolate bar" without containing any chocolate. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:12, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
    I wonder whether white chocolate bars qualify and can be found in Canada. DCDuring (talk) 23:31, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
    As a Canadian, I would call a bar of white chocolate either a chocolate bar or a white chocolate bar. But I also think of white chocolate as a form of chocolate...just not "real" chocolate, so I don't think it's evidence that "chocolate bar" can mean a candy bar of some other sort. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:00, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
    I think you are right. I remember it as tasting somewhat chocolaty, not all that much different from milk chocolate. I expect that others would agree, so it doesn't qualify. DCDuring (talk) 01:35, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
My conclusion from the above is that nobody is aware of the chocbar/bar-of-choc distinction and we should remove it from the entries. Will anyone be upset if I do? Equinox 01:15, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Not I. DCDuring (talk) 11:51, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

some or -some?Edit

"I've been working here for 30-some years."

What does this sentence mean? Does it mean "I've been working here for about 30 years." or "I've been working here for 30-something years."?

And does this sense belong at some or -some? PseudoSkull (talk) 19:06, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

it means 30-something. I think it's a shortening of 30-some(thing) Leasnam (talk) 19:59, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
30-some years is almost the same as and, I think, lexicographically analogous to 30-odd years. Semantically a possible difference is that 30-odd might be "30 +/- [1-5]" whereas 30-some might be "30 + [0-9]". Lexicographically some in these expressions seems to me to be just a postpositioning of some#Determiner ("A considerable quantity or number of"), as in "I've been working here for some 30 years." DCDuring (talk) 20:19, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Doesn't "I've been working here for some 30 years" mean "I've been working here for about 30 years" though ? It could be anywhere from 29-31 years, but 30-some could not be used if it had actually been 29. Leasnam (talk) 22:48, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't think so, but it would take {many) citations to determine the answer.
I think someone might be able to say "I worked there for some 35 years.", it doesn't seem to work postpositively. But that seems to me to be determined by euphony. I doubt that "some" and "odd" are used much with numbers that are not round (unless they small (single digit)?). DCDuring (talk) 02:54, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
But that would seem to confirm Leasnam's interpretation: "some 35 years" works because it means "circa 35 years", whereas "35-some years" doesn't work because the postpositioned "some" replaces the last digit. Kolmiel (talk) 16:18, 11 July 2017 (UTC)


Most such words seem to be an existing -ize verb plus agentive -er. We don't have e.g. -izable or -izing. Equinox 22:44, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

Should we have them? I mean that's just an addition to the current suffix by another suffix. PseudoSkull (talk) 23:24, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
de.Wikt had a similar discussion some time about about the verbal suffix -ieren, which (it was ultimately decided) is coverable by entries for -ier(-) and -en. Somewhat related in Talk:-icity, where however there is a change in pronunciation ("-icity" is not pronounced the way "-ic /ɪk/ + ity" would be). I suppose we could try to find examples of "-izers" than lack corresponding "-ize" verbs. If we decide not to have an entry for this, it should at least be a {{no entry}} that directs people to "-ize" and "-er", IMO. Among "lemmings", has an entry for "-izer". - -sche (discuss) 00:13, 13 July 2017 (UTC)


At fishing, we have an adjective which looks to me like an attributive noun. Not saying that there may or may not be a true adjective for fishing (e.g. a fishing man), but that would be derived from the present participle. Leasnam (talk) 23:42, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

The only usage example for the supposed adjectival sense, namely "Ivor had acquired more than a mile of fishing rights with the house", is certainly an example of an attributive noun, not an adjective. I personally feel that routine adjectival use of present participles as in "fishing man = a man who is fishing" is a regular feature of English that does not merit a separate PoS entry. In other cases, where the participle is a "strong" adjective, a separate entry may be desirable. Mihia (talk) 01:06, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
We do have e.g. fishing cat, which is a cat that fishes, not a cat used in fishing. I don't feel such adj entries add much either, but the OED does include them. Equinox 01:53, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
As far as I understand it, fishing cat is a species of cat, not merely a cat that fishes. Mihia (talk) 02:44, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, but you can see how it was formed. It's more a living creature than a living standard IYSWIM. Equinox 02:46, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I thought we had the same discussion about garden but I can't find it. Anyway I agree with you. Equinox 01:15, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I can at least imagine that someone might say "[it is a] very garden [thing, plant, etc]", whether or not they actually do (a matter for RFV?), but it doesn't seem at all possible to use fishing adjectivally. "The rights were very fishing"? "That pole is more fishing than this one"? It seems like an error; many people mistakenly assume that anything that modifies a noun (the way "fishing" modifies "rights" in "fishing rights") must be an adjective. - -sche (discuss) 01:41, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
One can even view fishing rights as a compound noun, as if it were fishing-rights or fishingrights (cf. driving school, driving permit, fishing pole, etc.). Leasnam (talk) 01:48, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

metroprolol vs metoprololEdit

There are pages for both metroprolol and metoprolol. However, I am quite sure both are the same medication and that metroprolol is a misspelling of metoprolol. In my job, I often see this medication, and it is always spelled without the initial r. The page for metroprolol cites this NIH article, which shows the word spelled metroprolol throughout, but a quick Google search shows that metroprolol is a common misspelling of metoprolol, which is a generic form of a medication known as Lopressor. For example, see [8].

Should these pages be merged into one, or should we just have a note on the metroprolol page that it is a common misspelling of metoprolol? I did an IPA transcription on metroprolol not noticing that initial r and was trying to add audio, which didn't work because I used the usual spelling in my audio filename (en-us-metoprolol.ogg). Given the existence of a scholarly article using the misspelled version, I would lean toward just adding a note vs merging the pages. If I do this, where should I put the note? Thanks! BirdHopper (talk) 16:08, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Converted to misspelling. DTLHS (talk) 16:11, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for that quick response. I see now that I could have just gone to Help:Misspellings. Noted for future edits. BirdHopper (talk) 16:24, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Sorry; my screw-up. This is one of the rare cases where I think a misspelling entry might be justified; it is very common. Equinox 01:13, 23 July 2017 (UTC)


platyfish Definition says any member of the genus Xiphophorus, but this would also include swordtails. Are swordtails therefore platyfish? (I'm in doubt about this...) Leasnam (talk) 01:34, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

w:Xiphophorus makes it look as if platyfish and swordtail constitute two disjoint sets of species of the genus. I'll check Fishbase and WoRMS for the vernacular names they have to confirm WP. DCDuring (talk) 04:01, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
There are two main types of platies (among a few other rare varieties): regular/common platies (Xiphophorus maculatus) and variatus platies (Xiphophorus variatus), neither of which has a sword-like projection on the lower tailfin. I believe the definition would be correct if it mentioned this detail Leasnam (talk) 04:16, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

s'en êtreEdit

This verb is a very special case where it's only conjugated in the past historic and used in place of the past historic for s'en aller. I don't quite know the best way to represent this in the article. Should this be in the usage notes? And how do I create a conjugation chart for a defective verb? 2WR1 (talk) 01:45, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

It's not used in place of the past historic of s'en aller ("il s'en alla" is correct); it's a literary variant of it. But otherwise you're right, we should add this somewhere. --Barytonesis (talk) 21:41, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

puppy dog eyesEdit

The definition is along the lines of naiveté, credulity, and lack of sophistication. That may be perfectly correct. I just want to allude to my interpretation of the analogous German Hundeblick. If this notion existed in the English term as well, it should probably be added. Kolmiel (talk) 01:15, 11 July 2017 (UTC)


Could the examples of usage of a rather rare and pretty word not reference a boil? I am imagining the sensitive individual who first learns of this word forever associating it with that.


At least in Finnish and German there's a word for a "person with profound knowledge of their field, but relatively ignorant and unappreciative of other fields of knowledge and art" (fakki-idiootti and Fachidiot respectively). Is there a corresponding English word? A geek seems to come close, but is it associated with computers only? Can one be a law geek? --Hekaheka (talk) 06:58, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps monomath, monomaniac, one-trick pony. In Japanese, there is 専門バカ. Wyang (talk) 07:01, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
As Google Books attests, you can certainly be a law geek (or a geek of any specialised subject; anyone remember the old Internet "geek codes"?), but I don't think that necessarily implies you are ignorant of other things, merely that you have a somewhat obsessive focus on law. Equinox 01:12, 23 July 2017 (UTC)


Where is the usual stress for this word? I've heard it pronounced in Australia as in-TERN-ship. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:09, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

In the US it's on the first syllable (IN-tern-ship) Leasnam (talk) 16:38, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
Ditto in UK. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:22, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
Which pronunciation are you dittoing? DTLHS (talk) 05:28, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

preferably and preferentiallyEdit

What's the difference in usage? --Barytonesis (talk) 18:04, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

If our entry doesn't explain it, it seems like a question for Google or Garner's Modern American Usage or a functional equivalent for other flavors of English. DCDuring (talk) 21:41, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Abstract senses of guardEdit

We have an entry for being on one's guard, though there is no corresponding sense in guard to fit this use. I don't think on one's guard is strictly idiomatic, because similar uses of guard occur in phrases like "dropping one's guard", "keeping your guard up", and more distantly, "standing guard". (This last case is different as guard acts as an adverb and seems a bit less flexible; "posting guard" is also possible, though that may instead be an uncountable reference to members of a squadron.) The desired sense seems to be "a defensive or vigilant state" (or "defensively; vigilantly" in the adverb use). Do we have cause for the addition of this sense? Also, what do you think about the addition of entries for phrases such as keep one's guard up, let one's guard down, raise one's guard, and drop one's guard? Rriegs (talk) 23:09, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Also, I just noticed on guard and on one's guard are near identical, and in fact on guard essentially serves the adverb sense in standing guard (though of course with different wording; "standing on guard" should also be acceptable). Regardless, I think we still need to add a sense to guard. Rriegs (talk) 23:14, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. As to definitions of guard, MWOnline has:
2 a : a defensive state or attitude "asked him out when his guard was down"
b : a defensive position (as in boxing)
3 a : the act or duty of protecting or defending
b : the state of being protected : protection
We don't have our own versions of those senses, three being abstract states of general applicability. DCDuring (talk) 21:34, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

live free or dieEdit

"New Hampshire's state motto" is not a definition. Equinox 01:06, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Well, being denotatively SoP, it could be formatted as a non-gloss definition. Connotatively, it is evocative of revolutions or wars of liberation. DCDuring (talk) 21:25, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
Are mottos really within our scope? There are so many thousands of them, and to me, they seem more like encyclopedic content than worthy of a dictionary entry. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 15:53, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia does seem to have such content, just as they often have etymologies, pronunciations, translations, synonyms, etc. In this case they have a fairly credible article. The translation-target rationale would seem to apply. I think some such mottos are indistinguishable from proverbs. DCDuring (talk) 17:33, 15 July 2017 (UTC)


I note that sense 7 ("used before a body part as an alternative to the possessive pronoun") can indeed apply to any (physical?) part of something, rather than just body parts. For example, "a stone hit her car on the windshield", or "my teacher corrected our papers in the margins". I note, however, that this entire sense may in fact be a special case of sense 6 ("used to indicate a certain example of which is most usually of concern"): "a stone hit him in the head" has "his head" as the reference that is "most usually of concern". That being said, I'm not sure I completely understand sense 6, given it's awkward wording.

Also, which sense applies to uses such as "she's in the hospital", "we went to the park", or "I'll take the train"? These of course could refer to a specific hospital, park, or train, though I don't feel the sentences would typically be interpreted that way. In particular, in UK English, the first is equivalent to "she's in hospital", elevating hospital (and by extension, US English's the hospital) to signify something more like the concept of being at a hospital, rather than any specific hospital. Other words in this category (in either US or UK English) are work, school, and home (the later being even further optimized into an adverb in uses like "he went home"), though none of these involve the (anymore?). I don't think this is sense 6, as no certain example can be identified, nor do I think it's sense 4 ("introducing a singular term to be taken generically") because that would imply reference to, e.g., all hospitals. Is there need for an additional sense, to the effect of "used to indicate a generic example, especially of a kind of location or establishment"? Rriegs (talk) 20:00, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

I made minimal changes to sense 6, which IMO, address the awkwardness complaint. Does it help?
The US "in the hospital" example does seem synonymous with UK "in hospital". I think that hospital in the UK case means "the state of being hospitalized" rather than a corresponding concept. I wonder whether US "in the hospital" is derived from most speakers in the US only having had practical access to a single community hospital. I can't think at the moment of another comparable example of such use of "the". DCDuring (talk) 21:07, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
There are a number of cases of "the [noun]" and "[noun]" being mutually substitutable. Words like Fall, Spring, earth (fall to earth, fall to the earth) come to mind. DCDuring (talk) 21:23, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
A couple other comparable uses that come to mind are "go to the doctor", "at the library", "to the police station", etc. In my experience, all of those can be used regardless of how many of those things there are nearby. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 15:51, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Good examples. Thanks. They remind of still more: "the bank", "the post office", "the park", "the beach", "the store", etc. In all of these cases there is or was some local uniqueness that has pretty much disappeared in many urban and suburban contexts. But is this really a new sense of the or a bleaching or generalization of sense 6? It seems to me that "the library" means "THE library appropriate for the context". Similarly for the others. That is, it seems to be a more general kind of deixis than supports the wording of our definitions. If the context makes the specific referent unclear, one could ask "Which one?", which question itself supports some kind of uniqueness in the intended referent. This is really just like the deixis of pronouns, which can be ambiguous in specific instances. DCDuring (talk) 17:24, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

English mentalEdit

Should this be split into two etymologies? Wyang (talk) 08:01, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

One for the mind and one for the chin? Yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:20, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, one for the mind and one for the chin. Wyang (talk) 11:14, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Before this post sinks into the depths of Wiktionary... I've gone ahead and split the etymology. Wyang (talk) 01:11, 16 July 2017 (UTC)


At soup, is there any difference between Etymology 1 and Etymology 4 ? If not, I suggest we remove Etym 4 Leasnam (talk) 16:14, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

thrift for thrift shop?Edit

[9] Is this common usage in some dialect? DTLHS (talk) 17:48, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

I think it's just short for thrift shop/store/sale/etc., left off due to either laziness or for the sake of being concise (?) Leasnam (talk) 19:49, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Does this support that sense? Equinox 20:00, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
  • 2004, Los Angeles Magazine (volume 49, number 2, page 88)
    I love the American Cancer Society Discovery shops because they are good matches between thrifts and resales.


I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but an IP user,, has been adding a bunch of translations of Muslim and removing other translations, for instance those that are derived from Muhammad: diff. For example, he or she removed German Mohammedaner and Russian магомета́нский (magometánskij). I don't know what the motivation for this is: maybe this person is a Muslim and is censoring Muhammad's name because it's too holy to be used in a word referring to a member of the religion. Or maybe it's because these would be better as translations of Mohammedan. In any case, what should be done here? — Eru·tuon 22:41, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

I can't speak for the Russian, but the German word is certainly better as a translation of Mohammedan than of Muslim. Just like Mohammedan, German Mohammedaner is very old-fashioned and might even be vaguely offensive if used nowadays. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:43, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
It's old-fashioned in German, but not very old-fashioned. It was in normal use until, I guess, ~1980. So as as other dated terms are found in translation sections, this one should as well, probably with a note (dated). Kolmiel (talk) 22:01, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
In some other languages, it may still today be in normal use. I don't know; but if so, these terms must definitely be put back on. (Descriptivism!) Kolmiel (talk) 22:05, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
As to the censoring, it's not because the name is too holy. It's because Muslims believe that the teaching of all prophets was the same and contained all the main tenets of faith from the beginning on (differences existing only in the specifics of law and ritual). Therefore they tend to disapprove of the word "Muhammedan", which implies the idea, unacceptable to them, that Islam is a form of monotheism specific to Muhammad. Kolmiel (talk) 22:01, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Done. The person who deleted it doesn't seem to have had much knowledge of German. They deleted the dated "Mohammedaner" but left the much more archaic "Muselmane" and even the now clearly derogatory "Muselmann". I've deleted the latter, provided "Muselmane" with the label "archaic" and "Mohammedaner" with "dated". Kolmiel (talk) 20:17, 19 July 2017 (UTC)


Why just surgically remove? I've heard people talk about amputation from some sick serial killers for instance, with the general meaning of cutting parts off of people's bodies. "The serial killer had a pattern of amputating the bodies of his victims postmortem." PseudoSkull (talk) 19:53, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Generally a serial killer will cut the parts of the body off, in a surgical fashion. Getting blown off with explosives generally seems to be different from amputation, though there are some Google books hits that use "amputate" to include parts blown off by explosions.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:42, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

scream blue murderEdit

I had never heard this phrase before. (I thought it was a mistake for "bloody murder".) Is it mainly a UK thing? — Eru·tuon 20:04, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Could be. I am from the UK and it is a familiar expression to me. Mihia (talk) 20:44, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
It probably is British, I've heard it used, and probably used it myself. It was WOTD actually. I'm not sure the def is complete though - from Oxford: "to make cries of terror or alarm; to make a noisy and extravagant protest or outcry; to raise a commotion". DonnanZ (talk) 21:29, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
Why isn't this just a redirect to [[blue murder]]? One can yell/cry/holler/shout/kick up/swear/threaten/squall/squeal/roar blue/bloody murder as well. (all from first 6 pages of bgc results) DCDuring (talk) 21:47, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
In my experience the most common verb used here is scream. So why is there an entry for scream bloody murder and not for the variants? DonnanZ (talk) 22:42, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
Because it is more common, obviously, and therefore more likely to have been heard by someone who is unaware of blue murder as the core of the expression, never having happened to have heard it with another verb. And because it is less work or more fun to add an entry for a term that is not part of one's idiolect than to work on entries for common words that need it. There are lots of instances of a [Verb1] + [NP] collocation being more common than [Verb2] + [NP] where [Verb1] and [Verb2] are somewhat similar. DCDuring (talk) 23:25, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
It is most definitely British - but now very dated. I haven't heard it in years. (but always with "scream" rather than any other cry) SemperBlotto (talk) 04:56, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
I by no means hear it every day, but it doesn't strike me as dated. Mihia (talk) 01:37, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

English roseola meaning “German measles” (definition #3)?Edit

I don't think it's modern usage at least. Should it be reworded as an obsolete sense of "any disease with a red rash, such as scarlet fever, measles and rubella."? Wyang (talk) 11:45, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

translations for translingual entriesEdit

Do we add translations for translingual entries e.g. at Prunus spinulosa? I couldn't remember. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:53, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

I think there is acceptance, though a common practice is to use {{trans-see}}, to a translation table at an English vernacular name. As commonly used vernacular names are very often ambiguous, this practice seems somewhat undesirable. DCDuring (talk) 04:40, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, there was overwhelming acceptance shown in the 9-1 vote favoring them (Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2016-01/Translations of taxonomic names}. DCDuring (talk) 04:46, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

half gyp, whole gypEdit

What's the difference? Anyone know? Equinox 01:05, 18 July 2017 (UTC)


What is the difference in usage between definition 1 and 2? And which definition should I have put my usage example under (it's currently the second one under definition 2)? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:39, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

The usage example for sense 1 should be under 2, I think. It may be better to merge both senses. Female Jehovah's Witnesses are known as sisters, e.g. Sister Smith, but I'm not sure whether it's a formal title.
What is missing is the nursing sense, a sister in charge of other nurses. My mother was known as Sister Raymond (her maiden name) before she married. DonnanZ (talk) 08:02, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Actually, I think the usage examples may be transposed, a sister in a religious order, like a nun, is more likely to use a Christian name than a surname. DonnanZ (talk) 08:20, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
This entry is in a poor state, as is Brother. IMO senses 1 and 2 should be merged in both entries. Sense 3 does a terrible job of covering the word as used in its usex, while a general sense used among comrades in many types of movement is missing ("Sister Huerta led us on the path to unionization", etc). Use of nurses, like Donnanz mentions, also needs to be covered somewhere... maybe "religious" and "fraternal" (sororal!) use should be split? I have boldly edited the entries along the lines I suggested, but use of nurses still needs to be added. - -sche (discuss) 18:04, 18 July 2017 (UTC)


Because of this revision.

That doesn't fit together. "unterschreiben" indeed has the participle "unterschrieben". But as for a possible WT:RFVN/WT:RFD for "untergeschrieben": A German word "untergeschrieben" does exist as in "untergeschriebenes Iota" (= iota subscript). "untergeschrieben" could be an adjective (unter + participle or participial adjective geschrieben), another verb (with participle "untergeschrieben"), or it could be an old participle form of "unterschrieben". - 02:49, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

The underlying verb is a rare and possibly defective únterschreiben ("to write below", first syllable stress). The infinitive, particularly the extended infinitive unterzuschreiben, doesn't sound all that strange to me. For example: "Wenn man das Iota in einer Handschrift hinzufügen wollte, war man gezwungen, es unterzuschreiben." This use is attestable on google books. I don't know if conjugated forms are attestable; they are difficult to search for at any rate. But in my opinion, the two existing forms would be enough to create the verb with a note that conjugated forms are very rare. Kolmiel (talk) 04:10, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Done. Kolmiel (talk) 17:49, 19 July 2017 (UTC)


𪜈 is the only katakana digraph registered in CJK Unified Ideographs Extension. I’m not sure how to change it to a proper entry. The other digraphs and are correctly registered in respective blocks in Unicode, and categorized as symbols here in Wiktionary. Isn’t it better to treat them in the same manner? — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 13:21, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

@TAKASUGI Shinji: Maybe we could treat it as a katakana digraph and have a usage note that says that it was mistakenly included in Unicode as a kanji. —suzukaze (tc) 09:01, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

Bastard capitalizationEdit

i don't use Wiktionary very often, so please forgive this question: Is capitalization the only reason (and/or sufficient reason) for bastard and Bastard to have separate pages?

i wasn't sure if i should ask the question here, or at Talk:bastard (Talk:Bastard was previously deleted).

As a curiosity, when i use the "Search in the archives of Tea room" box to search for "bastard", would it find any occurrences of "Bastard"? Here is my first page of search results copied and pasted; should i have added this question to an existing thread, or is this new discussion better?

   Wiktionary:Tea room/2007/October (section pommy bastard)
   no parallel terms I can think of such as British bastard, yanky bastard, kiwi bastard, aussie bastard, etc. It's pretty subtle though and I wouldn't want
   62 KB (9,237 words) - 11:25, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2012/December (section bastard#Noun)
   for "she is a real bastard", "she is a complete bastard" and "she is such a bastard". There are plenty of hits for "she is a bastard" but they seem only
   80 KB (10,503 words) - 11:01, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2008/September (section bastard)
   somewhere. RJFJR 13:58, 2 September 2008 (UTC) The definition for the word "bastard" says "born to unmarried parents". Does this mean that birth rather than
   133 KB (17,512 words) - 11:27, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2017/January
   the entry itself here says literally 'son of a prostitute'. However, a bastard is not necessarily a son of a prostitute, but rather a female who had sex
   108 KB (15,050 words) - 04:27, 28 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2010/March
   something where something can be from some set of terms like "freak", "bastard", "monster", "ass", "shrew", etc? It all might be somewhat useful for,
   59 KB (8,335 words) - 11:08, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2009/December
   to merit an entry. DCDuring TALK 23:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC) Re: bastard#Interjection. Isn't this just the noun used as a vocative? Like cunt, bitch
   138 KB (19,656 words) - 11:09, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2010/December
   of Wiktionary - or any dictionary. But no one seems to object to pommy bastard as an entry, which I "advocated" as a joke. Is the use of the term "poor"
   52 KB (7,286 words) - 11:06, 2 June 2017
   Wiktionary:Tea room/2011/October
   can also be inverted: "If ever there was/were a person to be called a bastard, it would be him." This may make one consider it more a literal, though
   88 KB (12,968 words) - 11:04, 2 June 2017

Thank you for your patience.

-- 17:14, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

I believe the search form is case-insensitive. Yes, they're separate entries because German nouns (as far as I know) are always capitalized. The capitalization policies were fleshed out I think pre-2006. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 22:32, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
In this particular case the meanings are the same. A better example is polish and Polish. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:04, 19 July 2017 (UTC)


Could a Japanese-speaking editor check the Japanese definition? It seems wildly different to the Chinese meaning. ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:30, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

@Tooironic: It seems to be right. See [10], which says that it is Myrica rubra. —suzukaze (tc) 11:45, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
OK. Thank you. ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:46, 19 July 2017 (UTC)


Plural of "kanji". I have seen it used, but I always thought it was bad English. Any opinions? Mihia (talk) 22:01, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

It's a rare plural form; that means that someone is going to object to it as bad English. IMO, English words that don't come from Middle English should pluralize regularly, with -s or the appropriate variant of that. But it is more popular to carry over the pluralization of the original, at least for the null plurals of Japanese.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:43, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
How do you feel about "a kanji" meaning "a kanji character"? (I know that the "ji" means "character", so by that token it should be OK, yet in English I feel that "a kanji" is somehow substandard.) Mihia (talk) 00:23, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
It seems well-attested.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:45, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
Well, "alot" is also well-attested ... but, joking apart, some of the attestations for "a kanji" do seem somewhat reputable, so perhaps it's only me who feels that it is substandard. Mihia (talk) 00:00, 25 July 2017 (UTC)


yearling: an anom added an adjective header citing [[11]] it really an adjective ? I thought such uses were attributive cases. Leasnam (talk) 03:20, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

Several dictionaries give it as an adjective, Century in particular cites: A yearling heifer and As yearling brides provide lace caps, and work rich clothes for the expected darling. I'm having trouble finding solid usage examples as an adjective though... Leasnam (talk) 03:31, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
I find lots of yearling males, yearling females, yearling ewes, yearling rainbow trout, etc. and an odd This very yearling ram of mine goes back three generations on his dam's side to sheep bred here on this farm, ...--this last one looks to me like (This)+(very =adj)+(yearling+ram =noun) Leasnam (talk) 03:39, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
The OED has it as an adjective, but says it is attributive use of the noun. The problem with the anon's input was that it wasn't formatted and was added in the wrong place. I'll add it in the correct format. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:37, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
To me, "adjective" and "attributive use of the noun" seem mutually exclusive. Mihia (talk) 00:24, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
  1. The adjective definition ("adj. def.") is not substitutable.
  2. As shown the adj. def. is obviously semantically identical to a noun definition.
  3. AFAIK, it won't be possible to attest instances of any use of yearling that are comparable, gradable, used as a predicate adjective, or used attributively in a sense not used by the noun.
  4. We have a practice (polcy???) of eliminating the adjective PoS section for a word that is a noun and doesn't have those kinds of use, even though it is attestably used attributively. In principle, ANY English noun can be used attributively, which is why we don't bother to duplicate the noun definitions with definitions that differ from the noun only by rewording as if it were a true adjective, or by rewording that makes it superficially appear that the adjective use is a novel sense.
  5. Other dictionaries have different practices. It would be nice to know whether they had explicit policies about the matter. For example, do they included an adjective PoS because users want/need it, on relative frequency grounds, or on some other basis. WordNet might use translation target arguments.
In the end, the general question is a policy matter (BP), but whether a particular term should have an adjective PoS is and RfV matter. Whether the wording of an adjective definition is sufficiently distinct from the noun definitions is an RfD matter. DCDuring (talk) 02:24, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
Unless anyone can present any convincing true-adjective usage examples, I vote that the adjective sense should be deleted. Mihia (talk) 23:32, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, as far as I've seen we don't provide separate adjectives for attributively-used nouns; compare shade as in "a shade plant". I also note that when I check the Middle English Dictionary, they only have it as a noun... if it had formerly been clearly adjectival, and survived in modern English in places like "yearling lamb" where either an adjective or a noun fits, then one could've made an argument based on that that it was still an adjective. I haven't found any use of the form "the lamb is yearling", either... only cases where it seems to be a noun modifying another noun. - -sche (discuss) 16:21, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Homer's noddingEdit

Could someone help me clean up Homer nods, even Homer nods and even Jove nods? We should not be duplicating all of this considering they are all alternative forms of the same expression. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:05, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

I'll try what I can--Sigehelmus (talk) 23:47, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

kanji (different meaning)Edit

What does this use of kanji refer to? Alternative spelling of an entry we already have? DTLHS (talk) 00:30, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

  • If it's not found in other contexts, I would argue that this is a Mongolian term used in English text. It is first introduced in italics, and loosely defined, and only then used without italics, clearly indicating that the author did not expect his English-speaking readers to be familiar with the term. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:52, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
PS: Reading further through that text, it appears that -jis may be a suffix indicating an office or job title. It is also unclear if the final -s is inherent to the terms, or if this is the author appending the normal English plural suffix. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:55, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

The meaning of the word ལྟམ (ltam) in TibetanEdit

In the dictionary this word is defined as the honorific version of the verb to be born (intransitive) or to give birth to a child (causative). I've searched through various other Tibetan dictionaries on the internet and even in the STEDT, and apparently the word ལྟམ (ltam) has another meaning apart from the ones suggested in the translation. It seems to related with the words ཐམ་པ (tham pa) and གཏམ་པ (gtam pa) (Benedict, 1972). The former is an adjective which means full or complete, while the latter is verb with a similar causative meaning to fill up. It ultimately derives from the PST root *l-(t/d)jam.

Do you think that this other meaning should be added in the page for the word ལྟམ (ltam)? Is this a case of homophony? Does some of you have additional information about this word? — Sorjam (talk) 20:26, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

Pinging @Wyang as our only active editor whose Babel box lists knowledge of Tibetan. In general, if the senses you mention are attested i.e. actually used, they should be added, but I don't know if they have the same etymology or not. - -sche (discuss) 16:10, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
@Sorjam Yes, absolutely. I will add it. Wyang (talk) 23:56, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Reformatting, cleanup, and expansion of trasgoEdit

I don't know where to start on this one, but all I'll say is that trasgo has both a Spanish and Portuguese definition that to my research are extremely similar if not the same, but I'm still not 100% certain and it's missing a lot of info concerning all definitions and synonyms and the like, as well as formatting. Can someone help please? I never really fleshed out an article here before but I tried a fair amount.--Sigehelmus (talk) 23:46, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

Should foreign PPs be treated as PPs in English?Edit

Stuff like à trois or in extremis. Prepositional phrase, or not? Equinox 00:05, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

It's complicated. I think there may be some cases such as in extremis where the foreign words are close enough to English ones that English speakers may see the parts as words that mean something. They may not know the exact meanings, nor would they know what case extremis is in, nor how that would affect the meaning of in, but they probably can guess that in is a preposition and extremis is a noun. In other cases, they wouldn't know the difference between the parts of voilà and à la- just how they're used as a whole in context. I think that alternate/nonstandard forms such as wallah for voilà and pronunciations such as /ˈboʊnəˌfaɪd/ for bona fide may show that the whole has lost all connection to the parts, but it's not always that easy to figure out. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:47, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

general educationEdit

The current def ("Education in a number of important subjects, taught in schools") seems somewhat SoP and is also possibly wrong. Other sources say that general education is non-academic, character-forming stuff like culture and citizenship. (When I was at school, this is probably what they called PSE: personal/social education.) Equinox 11:49, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Divisions to clean upEdit

Anyone who's bored or feels like some botting might like to clean up these Divisions [12]. The capitalisation within the link needs fixing, i.e. division, not (German noun) Division. I was going to recommend the same for Districts [13], but we seem to have an English generic District (of questionable value: see Talk:New). Equinox 12:18, 22 July 2017 (UTC)


There are currently two subsenses, for "the Eurozone" and "the European Union", but the usexes for each contain context that makes clear what block of countries is meant by "[the] bloc", and one can speak similarly of many (all?) other blocs, e.g. "The Secretary General of NATO announced the bloc's position", "ASEAN states agree bloc should take hard line". So should the subsenses be folded into the general sense i.e. removed? - -sche (discuss) 16:06, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

I think so. Bloc is either explicitly qualified (eg, Eastern bloc) or contextually determined. DCDuring (talk) 18:17, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Βλάχος in GreekEdit

Just wanted to note that the first entry on this page for Ancient Greek should technically be Byzantine Greek (by the time interaction with Slavs and the Old Church Slavonic language happened, it was well past the ancient/classical Greek era. Or I guess it would have been a transition between Koine and Medieval Greek). I'd change it myself but I don't know how that would affect the rest of the entry, with the inflection template still modeled on the ancient/classical forms; I'd imagine there'd be some inconsistencies. Word dewd544 (talk) 18:30, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

I tagged it as Byzantine Greek and removed the dual (which AFAIK was no longer in use by Koine, let alone Byzantine). Are there any other differences in the inflection? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:10, 22 July 2017 (UTC)


The Japanese section gives a definition plus readings, but then the usage note says "This character is not used in Japanese", which is a bit bizarre. Category:Japanese terms spelled with 你 includes only one entry: 你好, which is said to be "rare" and "usually in the Chinese context", so I'm not sure whether it is fully considered a Japanese word. Anyway, the current presentation is peculiar, but I'm not sure how it should be fixed. Mihia (talk) 21:02, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

The usage note was in need of some expansion, which I've since added. I also updated the Japanese 你好 entry to clarify. An argument could be made that this is not a Japanese term, but rather a Chinese term that is sometimes used by Japanese speakers to sound deliberately Chinese-ish, much like English speakers might say guten Tag to fellow English speakers to deliberately impart a certain German-ness to the conversation.
There are various kanji characters that are included in Japanese character dictionaries for sake of completeness, even though the characters themselves are never -- or hardly ever -- used in modern Japanese, and might only appear either in historical works, or in renderings of non-Japanese text. The in 你好 is one such instance. Japanese readers may encounter this character often enough, given its use in the ubiquitous Chinese greeting 你好. In fact, 你好 is included in both the Daijirin and Daijisen monolingual Japanese dictionaries (such as here at dictionary aggregator Kotobank) -- and these entries basically state that this is Chinese for こんにちは (konnichi wa, hello, good day).
On a separate note, one important distinction to make is "character" and "word". is certainly a character, but it is not a word in Japanese. Likewise, is a character, but not a word on its own.
Have a look at the Japanese entry and see if that answers your concerns. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:43, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for looking at this. Mihia (talk) 20:03, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

zincirleme ad tamlamasıEdit

Anyone competent to change the "penis size" fun to something less ridiculous? Equinox 01:08, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

get one up on someoneEdit

I have just made get one up on someone. My first impression was "surely this phrase already would have an entry in WT", followed by "I must've made a calamitous spelling mistake or something". Looking at one up and one-up and onupmanship, still I was shocked not to see any note of this entry. Anyway, I put some spoilers for last week's Game of Thrones in a few entries. And hopefully I can annoy some people by tricking them into reading entries featuring spoilers for the next episodes of GOT. I assume that at least half of us watch the show. -WF

I am not sure whether the lemma should be "get one up on someone" in full. We can use "get one up" without the "on someone" part, and also "be one up (on someone)" without the "get" part. I wonder if the relevant meaning should be added to one up instead. Mihia (talk) 19:36, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm not actually sure that I've heard "get one up" without the "on X". Is it common? Equinox 22:12, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
It seems somewhat familiar to me, though I doubt it would qualify as "common". A search like this throws up some, but you have to page through a lot of irrelevant stuff. Some examples:
  • WePay wants to get one-up in the mobile payments race with its new iOS app for small businesses [14]
  • He tends to view dealing with others through a kind of "win-lose" lens, seeking to get "one up" whenever possible. [15]
  • “It’s exciting, you’d love to get one up and say you coached against one of the greats of all time,” he said. [16]
Also, some people seem to say "get one up over someone" rather than "on". I wonder whether this might be just confusion with "get one over" though. Mihia (talk) 19:37, 24 July 2017 (UTC)


I find the etymology to be inadequate. How exactly did the verbal suffix emerge in Old English? Was it a dialectal variant of -aþ? — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 07:07, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

It was not a dialectal variant of . It is actually the same verbal ending as the second person singular indicative (i.e. -s, -st), as in thou singst, which was originally lacking the final t. It was due to levelling of the verb inflections due to Scandinavian settlers taking up English (rather, Old English), with the pattern of levelling being carried over from Old Norse. Leasnam (talk) 18:17, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

rather used at the end of a clauseEdit

An example. Does this fit with any existing sense? How should it be defined? DTLHS (talk) 01:04, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

I think it fits with sense 5, although that definition might need to be expanded slightly to fit that usage perfectly. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:12, 25 July 2017 (UTC)


Is the nominative singular really with short -es? I thought such nouns normally had identical singular and plural forms. Also, the genitive seems wrong, and the second reference doesn't actually contain "martes". —CodeCat 12:30, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Fixed the genitive and removed the second reference. Lewis & Short doesn't mark the -es as long, but then it doesn't for nūbēs either, so it could be wrong. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:06, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Checked the OLD, but the word isn't even listed there! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:38, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Is this word Mediaeval Latin ? Maybe a label is needed. Leasnam (talk) 19:44, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Used in De re metallica (1556). DTLHS (talk) 19:48, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Is this the earliest record of it ? Leasnam (talk) 00:24, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Lewis & Short have it because of a possible use in Martial, but they mark it "dubious" and list some alternative readings. Its absence in the OLD suggests to me that modern scholars have probably accepted one of the alternative readings as the accurate one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 05:51, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

business before pleasure, head over heels, time after timeEdit

Is there a classification by which to categorize idioms phrased as a "thing preposition thing" like business before pleasure, head over heels, and time after time? I am thinking of something like Category:English coordinated pairs, containing phrases like bait and switch, law and order, and wheel and deal. bd2412 T 20:35, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Why is Category:English coordinated pairs not appropriate for these? Equinox 20:37, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, I don't know that it is inappropriate, but virtually all of the terms presently in that category are "foo and bar", not "foo preposition bar". The former suggests things that merely go together, while the latter suggests a specific relationship between the things. bd2412 T 21:20, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Prepositions aren't coordinators like and, or, and/or (and ,?).
The examples aren't quite the same. The first is an elliptical form of a proverbial-type expression, like age before beauty.
The latter two seem to be adverbial, following a common pattern like the phrases using other prepositions: cheek by jowl/cheek to jowl, head-to-head, north by northwest, hat in hand, side by side. All of them seem like ellipses of absolutes, eg, heading north by northwest, walking side by side. Category:English elliptical absolutes doesn't seem to me to be a category that would be recognized, let alone used, by anyone, but it's the closest I can think of. DCDuring (talk) 02:55, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
My interest is in putting all the things that share a common grammatical feature together, however it is titled. bd2412 T 22:16, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
You could always do it with a user page. DCDuring (talk) 22:45, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

بيت لحمEdit

Hi, could sb. please add the declension of بيت لحم, a compound term. Thanks in advance. --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:06, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums I'm not sure why the 2nd part looks indefinite as in a phrase "the book of a man" كِتَابُ رَجُلٍ (kitābu rajulin). In the definite, the fully vocalised form with ʾiʿrāb should then be بَيْتُ اللَّحْمِ (baytu l-laḥmi). But this must be a borrowing, the full term is then declinable as بَيْتَ لَحْمُ (bayta laḥmu) where "bayta" is indeclinable but "laḥmu" is declined as a diptote. I left it in the indefinite state for now - it's too late here. @Wikitiki89, Benwing2, Erutuon, Kolmiel, feel free fix as appropriate, if you know how. I'll get back to it, if nobody does. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:00, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: The Wikipedia article (as well as the Online Etymology Dictionary) indicate the word comes from the name of a god, Lahamu or Lahmu. Given that this name is spelled with in the article, I guess the Arabic is folk-etymologized: it should be something like *بيت لخم, with the other consonant that corresponds to Hebrew ח. (Maybe the Hebrew was affected the same way, but the consonant isn't evidence, as historical *ḥ and *ḫ merged in Hebrew anyway.) So, there's no definite article because it was a name. Not sure how to add this information to the etymology. — Eru·tuon 02:58, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

Oddly enough, In ‘Arabic: An Essential Grammar by Faruk Abu-Chacra’ pag. 153 both terms appear with فتحة, unlike the terms before/after it (Por Said, New York, etc.). --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:06, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

The final "-a" must be a typo in that book. I "vote: for this declension, since I don't have a source ready (diptote, the first part "bayta" indeclinable):
The audio in the entry matches this in the pausal form, Hans Wehr also suggests a romanisation "baytalaḥm" for the alternative term written without a space - بيتلحم. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:13, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
So what's the verdict? Is it بَيْتَ لَحْمُ (bayta laḥmu) or بَيْتَ لَحْمَ (bayta laḥma) in the nominative? --WikiTiki89 14:27, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
I now lean towards بَيْتَ لَحْمُ (bayta laḥmu) but I'll wait and see if there are other opinions or sources. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:29, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
If it wasn't clear, I have already voted for this declension above with a table. I think Backinstadium's book has a typo. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:31, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, when I asked that I had misread your table above as having a nominative بَيْتَ لَحْمَ (bayta laḥma), which confused me. --WikiTiki89 14:38, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
It would appear to be either a diptote bayta laḥmu or an invariable bayta laḥma. The information in the grammar is inconsistent, but there's no way to decide whether they mistakenly put the final -a, or whether they mistakenly called it diptote. I'd not put a declension table at all until we find additional information that confirms the one or the other. Kolmiel (talk) 14:32, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
I think we can keep the diptote declension for now until we find evidence against it, as it makes more sense and goes along with the fact that it can be spelled as one word بيتلحم. --WikiTiki89 14:38, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
Yeah... I think many an Arabic philologist would be hard-pressed to decline this word, and it might not just be because they don't know but because no one really knows. But if we must decide, then I agree that bayta laḥmu is more likely. Kolmiel (talk) 14:41, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

I've also found بيت لحمٍ --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:51, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

Yes, that's what I had suspected. The readings bayta laḥmu, baytu laḥmin, baytu laḥma, etc., probably all occur. Maybe the first is the most accepted. The source for it seems more reliable.... provided that we've interpreted it correctly. Kolmiel (talk) 15:48, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
I've made some small changes. Feel free to improve. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:03, 27 July 2017 (UTC)