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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.


June 2018

Abu (ISO:ado) lemmasEdit

The words in category Abu lemmas seem to be wrong. According to another database 'bird' is ʌlimil (not ungaraka) and 'ear' is ɛligʌ (not kur). What is the source for these words? --Metsavend (talk) 08:49, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

They were created by User talk:Mulgadweller, who was still active earlier this year: do you remember where you got these? I would have hypothesized that perhaps that user had a text on a different Abu and simply used the wrong Abu's code, but Blench's work on the other major Abu, jid, has cɛncɛ as the word for "bird" and etɔ̃ for "ear" (and wuru for "fire" and mma for "water"). Trying to see what (if any) other language might have been intended, I see that even a Google search for "ungaraka"+"bird" turns up nothing but mirrors of our entry. - -sche (discuss) 09:27, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
I've RFVed both entries. According to the database you link to, water is "ʌbʌl", woman is "numʌto" and man is "ʌʔlemʌn" (those being entries Wiktionary translates into a great many languages). - -sche (discuss) 04:04, 6 June 2018 (UTC)


Hey. This page is missing Greek script. How can I tag pages like this in the future which need Greek script? --Genecioso (talk) 15:01, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

The simplest method is probably to add a {{rfscript|grc}} tag. You could also do something more complicated like this, where you reformat the etymology to use all the right fancy templates, and set any transliteration and gloss that are provided, and just leave the parameter where the actual Greek script should go completely blank, which causes the template to call for native script on its own. - -sche (discuss) 15:27, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
Got it. {{rfscript|grc}} --Genecioso (talk) 15:33, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
Actually you don't even need that. Just typing {{m|grc|tr=leucos}} (i.e. leaving |2= blank or omitting, but including a transliteration) while automatically make a request for Greek script. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:23, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

le sienEdit

le sien#French has "his" and "hers", but not "its". Shouldn't "its" be there too? Same question for la sienne#French. 18:15, 2 June 2018 (UTC)


Is this a misspelling, or just an alternative spelling? It seems very common on Google Books. DTLHS (talk) 17:46, 3 June 2018 (UTC)

It is a nonstandard spelling, just like manoeuver is a nonstandard spelling of maneuver. Depending on where you are coming from, you could also say that they are nonstandard spellings of manoeuvre and manoeuvrability, hybrids formed from the standard US and British spellings.  --Lambiam 13:20, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
It is indeed quite common, certainly common enough to have an entry. I suppose the etymology can explain that it's a blend or mix-up of the two standards. In fact, given that it's about 1/20th as common as either standard spelling, perhaps it should be labelled a "(nonstandard Alternative spelling of" rather than a "Misspelling of". I see it used both in works that also use British spellings and those that also use American spellings (of other words). - -sche (discuss) 14:27, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

Mathematical meaning of periodEdit

I don't understand the meaning given at period. Please discuss at Talk:period#Mathematical meaning.  --Lambiam 13:11, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

birthday suitEdit

In searching for the first usage of the idiomatic meaning, I found several uses for "a nice suit worn on your birthday/at your birthday party". I think it's archaic/dated tho. Should {{&lit}} be added? – Julia (talk) • formerly Gormflaith • 02:40, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

IMO, almost all entries for multi-word expressions warrant use of {{&lit}}. I could imagine usage contexts for birthday suit for which most of the senses of suit might apply, as uncommon as many of them might be. DCDuring (talk) 18:50, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
I was enjoying my cake when a lawyer knocked on the door with a birthday suit. Ruined my whole day. Equinox 18:52, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Well, I added {{&lit}}. And a bunch of citations to support it. BUT! In my searching I found a couple sources ([[1][2]) that said the original meaning was "a suit worn for the king's birthday" which does make sense in context (except in the 1990 one). New sense or is this covered by {{&lit}}? – Julia • formerly Gormflaith • 02:41, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
Context determines what birthday is involved (as well as which suit), so I'd argue that only the current sense, which involves something other than any ordinary definition of a suit, is likely to be an includable idiom. DCDuring (talk) 11:07, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

block and tackleEdit

The current (main) definition: "A system of two or more pulleys (the tackles) each enclosed by a housing (the block) with a rope or cable threaded between them, usually used to lift or pull heavy loads."

I think this is probably inaccurate. According to the Wiktionary article on "tackle" (when paired with "block"), it seems to refer to gear/apparatus associated with the block(s) and not necessarily just to the pulleys or to the pulleys at all. This definition is also misleading or unclear about the number of blocks; are the two or more pulleys in one (or more) blocks? Observing diagrams associated with "block and tackle", the phrase seems to refer to two (and possibly more) blocks, each containing one or more pulleys -- not simply two or more pulleys (possibly in a single block). It could be that the "block" in "block and tackle" historically refers specifically to one of the blocks -- the free one or the stationary one; in that case, tackle could refer to the line/rope/cable/chain and other block. I think "tackle" is unlikely to be referring to the pulleys (which are hidden in the blocks). I think "tackle" might be referring just to the line/chain. (Personally, I'd like to see some translations and excerpts from early texts on "block and tackle" to be confident of its original meaning.)

I prefer this definition from "a hoisting device in which a rope or chain is passed around a pair of blocks containing one or more pulleys. The upper block is secured overhead and the lower block supports the load, the effort being applied to the free end of the rope or chain"

Zeroparallax (talk) 08:36, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

You might find w:Block and tackle informative. From my experience, I cannot imagine how one could possibly incorporate more than two blocks in any useful fashion, while one block alone cannot be used to apply any leverage. Also, a block is basically a chunk of wood with an axle mounted within it (in very primitive versions, just a block of wood with a hole, where the body of the block itself serves as the "axle"; in more performant versions, the axle has a wheel on it). The pulley is essentially the rope passing over this axle. As visible in the diagrams in the Wikipedia article, the rope may pass over the axle multiple times (each time, after going over the axle in the other block). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 15:41, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
  block and tackle on Wikimedia Commons.Wikimedia Commons contains interesting images including one of a four-pulley system which could be implemented with multi-pulley blocks. The same nesting approach could be extended indefinitely, though practicality would intrude in the form of friction and space limitations. DCDuring (talk) 19:09, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm guessing you're talking about configurations like in this image? Multiple-pulley setups, sure. But it's still got just the two blocks. I can't think of a practical setup for any configuration with more than two blocks -- unless, for some reason, you're trying to apply pulling force in multiple directions? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:59, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Things w:American football players do? Chuck Entz (talk) 08:25, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
The phrase "three-block tackle" is rare but attested, suggesting that it's possible to have more than two blocks. This supply company's page on how to set up tackles has "exploded" diagrams with ropes passing over more than two pulleys that would normally be parallel to each other within the usual two blocks, but which (if anchored to a bar or something) seem like they could theoretically be fixed in separate blocks in their shown/"exploded" placement. Probably the definition should be changed to put "or more" in parentheses, like "two (or rarely more)", if it's only very rarely than there are more than two. - -sche (discuss) 16:00, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
Confusingly, an image search for "three-block tackle" shows almost exclusively two-block tackle configurations. However, there were a couple images that suggest use-cases for more than two blocks -- where the direction of force must be redirected, or where the load on any one block must be reduced.
Thank you for the leads (and Chuck for the puns).  :) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:22, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
This old guy on youtube says that some would consider his four single-pulley "block" system to be a "block and tackle" (and he also says that the "tackle" is the rope): (User: Tanglerwr; Title: Rope and Pulley Systems: Segment 6 - The Block and Tackle - 4:1 and 5:1.pds.m2ts)
I think that DCDuring was referring to this image when mentioning a four-pulley system which could be implemented with multi-pulley blocks.
I myself was considering the situation where one may only have blocks with, say, two pulleys in each, but to create more mechanical advantage, multiple blocks could be placed side-by-side at the anchor and/or at the load.
My concern is that the current definition is very unclear and misleading about the setup, making it sound like there is one block ("the block"), when there are at least two and possibly (maybe rarely or disputably) more, generally with one (set) being anchored and stationary and the other (set) being attached to the load to be moved. And the claim that the pulleys are the "tackles" seems to be incorrect/uncommon and maybe not even grammatically correct (since "tackle" might be uncountable in this usage). "Tackle" seems to often be used to refer to the whole setup (as hoisting gear), and it may be used sometimes to refer to some subset of the gear, maybe even just the line/rope/cable/chain.
Zeroparallax (talk) 07:28, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
From a Google Books Ngram Viewer search of "block and tackle", I found some quotations from old sources:
The World Book: Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture, Volume 2
January 1, 1918
(page 773)
"BLOCK AND TACKLE, a mechanical appliance consisting of a combination of pulleys and ropes. It is a 'machine', for it is designed to perform work. 'Block' refers to the casing for the pulleys, 'tackle', to the ropes. A single block contains one pulley, a double block, two pulleys, and so on. Each block usually has a hook with which to fasten it to its support or to the object to be moved."
In Fig. 1 a, there really are "ropes" (two ropes). When referring to a setup with a single rope wrapped around four times, the author writes " Fig. 1 c, there are four ropes..." So "ropes" really seems to be referring to "ropes or rope segments", which can *appear* to be more than one rope but are usually just one.
So "tackle" = "rope" according to this source.
Applied Mechanics (an Elementary Manual On)
Andrew Jamieson
January 1, 1898
C. Griffin & Company, Limited
(pages 65-66)
"[A block and tackle] consists of a number of pulleys (or sheaves as they are technically termed)..."
"[The lower block] is called the movable block, whereas the upper or home one is termed the fixed block."
So maybe a better definition of "block and tackle" would be:
an apparatus usually consisting of a rope (or cable or chain) and two blocks, each block being a device that contains one or more pulleys (called sheaves), where one block is anchored (called the fixed block) and one block is attached to the load (called the movable block), and the rope is generally attached to one of the blocks and run (reeved) through the blocks around the pulleys, the other end of the rope being free to be pulled to move or lift the load; this apparatus is used for lifting (hoisting) or moving a load, usually with mechanical advantage; the term "tackle" may refer to the whole device or possibly just the rope (which may naively appear to be more than one rope when wrapped around the pulleys)
Zeroparallax (talk) 09:30, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
As to the definition above: TLDR. And, in any event, that could not possibly be attested in all of its detail. See block and tackle at OneLook Dictionary Search for definitions typical of and appropriate for a dictionary. The names for specialist (eg, maritime) names for components, specifics of configurations, etc. don't really belong. For many readers, an image (photograph or drawing) is more useful than a long-winded "complete", "precise" definition. DCDuring (talk) 15:57, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, DCDuring! I'm satisfied with your edit to the definition. It's now concise and clear and seems to be accurate. Zeroparallax (talk) 18:18, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

Another issue with the current definition that I just thought of: I've seen no evidence that the plural of "block and tackle" is given by "(plural 'block and tackles' or 'blocks and tackles')". I think the phrase "block and tackle" is an uncountable construction (even in its "singular" usage). However, when the word "tackle" is used to refer to the whole setup, many people who are unfamiliar with the uncountable usage of "tackle" (like "gear") may use "tackles" as the plural to refer to multiple block-and-tackle setups. (They may also use "tackles" to refer to the multiple "ropes", that is, the multiple rope segments visible in a block and tackle device.)

Zeroparallax (talk) 17:36, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

despite that (again), in thatEdit

I've just created an entry for despite that, but I'm not sure it's entirely entry worthy; maybe we should just add a "conjunction" header to despite?

Anyway, I was looking for uses, and I found this in the process: "The problem lies in that Mary is arriving tomorrow". How would you parse that? Would a in that entry be warranted? Per utramque cavernam 11:30, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

Edit: well... Per utramque cavernam 11:30, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
AIUI, "that Mary is arriving tomorrow" is a subordinate clause with "that" as complementizer. Compare "the problem is that Mary is arriving tomorrow": this does not justify an entry for "is that". (Or maybe "the problem lies in the fact that Mary..." makes it clearer.) Equinox 13:15, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Clearly some native speakers of English (in the US?) say "despite that". In the UK, it would be "despite the fact that". —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:53, 3 July 2018.
That-clauses are used as subjects of sentences and objects of verbs, ie, as nominals. But the instances that I can think of in which that-clauses appear after a preposition seem relatively few and fossilized or obsolete. I suppose that would means that if such a use of a preposition followed by that followed by a clause is attestable, it might warrant an entry, possibly with some label like slang or dialectal or even nonstandard. DCDuring (talk) 03:36, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

deaf as a nounEdit

I requested verification, User:BigDom has verified it. Please could someone help update the context labels and possibly add a usage note. I have put 'very rare' but perhaps it needs something else, e.g.'deaf community' etc. Also, should 'deaf person' now be deleted and the translations be moved to 'deaf'? Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 16:16, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

As much as I dislike translation hubs, they serve a purpose: they may preventing use of a term like deaf#Noun as if it were the common term for deaf person. DCDuring (talk) 18:37, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
It's already marked "very rare" and we could probably add "nonstandard". Of the citations given: the first two have foreign-sounding author names (NNES?). The third one (Chelsea Handler) is a piece of informal conversation in fiction; I did wonder whether the tone-deaf "deafs" was used to convey the fact that the speaker was a tactless or uninformed person (but I looked up the context and it's not clear); the fourth citation I can't see due to Google's copyright blocking. The noun disabled is a similar case (but compare marrieds, insureds). And the euphemism treadmill will always make it difficult to refer to people by their disability (or diffability); the acceptable words change with some rapidity. (Compare the current explosion of gender terms, and the fact that terms like coloured person and blacks are explicitly unacceptable among some groups of speakers and okay among others.) Equinox 18:43, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
I've added a "nonstandard" tag. Also, I gave each headword-line its own POS header, since that seems like the usua thing we do, and moved the derived terms like "deaf and dumb" under the adjective. - -sche (discuss) 18:52, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
As to the latter part of your comment, it's somewhat amusing how far across-the-board/spectrum the phenomenon goes, like right-wing white people who identify as white nationalists pushing back if called white supremacists (or getting offended if called Nazis when they prefer alt-right, etc). - -sche (discuss) 19:21, 5 June 2018 (UTC)


Rapprochement is borrowed into English from French. In such a case, is it correct to say that the English word is suffixed with -ment? — SGconlaw (talk) 16:16, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

I don't think so, as there's no corresponding base verb. Maybe you could write "See re-, approach and -ment."? --Per utramque cavernam 16:26, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Hmmm, that seems a bit odd because the lemma is a French word in form while approach is an English word. If -ment is not really a suffix in this case, I'll just not add the entry to "Category:English words suffixed with -ment". — SGconlaw (talk) 16:35, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
The word isn't 'reapproachment', though. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 17:02, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
This looks like one of those difficult edge cases where an ending corresponds to a suffix, but wasn't added within the language. Pinging @DCDuring, Mahagaja for their thoughts on this based on their participating in discussing Marxism at Category talk:English nouns ending in "-ism". That entry is in Category:English words suffixed with -ism. (Arguably Marxism involved adapting French marxisme to -ism, and so has more claim, and this entry has less claim, to belonging in an "English words suffixed with" cat, though.) - -sche (discuss) 16:54, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. As regards Marxism, I'd say that has a stronger claim for being suffixed with -ism as we can always say the word, though adapted from French, can be analysed in English as Marx + -ism. However, I think it's quite awkward to say rapprochement can be analysed as re- + approach + -ment. — SGconlaw (talk) 17:01, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
I accept that many, many words like Marxism, whatever their diachronic etymology, can be analyzed morphologically to give a synchronic derivation. I don't think this is a quite fits the bill.
Viewing rapprochement as a written word, the core morphological element of a synchonic derivation, ie, rapproche doesn't exist in English.
Viewing rapprochement as a spoken word, at least as I have heard it, mostly on talking-heads shows on television, it is not pronounced as anything close to re- + approach + "-ment". I usually hear it pronounced more or less as a French word.
Finally, there is an attestable English word reapproachment. It is probably is a calque used principally by non-native speakers and authors.
I think this case is well on the side of not having a credible synchronic derivation. DCDuring (talk) 17:52, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

devil's beating his wife, old woman's plucking her gooseEdit

Are there more "weather expressions" like this, which explain weather phenomena as being (caused by) something? I see some suggestions that thunder is sometimes explained as Henry Hudson's crew playing ninepins or Thor driving his chariot, but I haven't found a phrasing that seems citeable the way the two above are. - -sche (discuss) 19:49, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

I've heard the phrase "When it rains, it means Gods' crying" before (at least here in the states - I imagine it's highly regional!) --UltravioletAlien (talk) 04:06, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

turning circleEdit

Can this be called a turning circle (which I do), or something else? There's nothing in the entry covering this. There's more info attached to the image. DonnanZ (talk) 21:10, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

In some places the term cul-de-sac is used to refer specifically to the circle at the end (see [3]). I have also uncovered the term court bowl, the use of which seems to be restricted to government authorities in the state of Victoria. I personally would have used the word "turning circle" to refer to these things, but there seems to be little evidence of that online as far as I can see. This, that and the other (talk) 11:16, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
In British English a cul-de-sac normally refers to a dead-end street or road, in fact I live in one. It has a small turning circle at the end, too small to turn without reversing, and large vehicles have to back in or out of the street. I was beginning to think this is an odd case until I found more images on Commons labelled "turning circle". It appears to be a favourite term used by DonnanZ (talk) 13:22, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

make a mistakeEdit

I don't think it's idiomatic. Convert to translation hub? – Julia • formerly Gormflaith • 04:42, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

Let's err on the side of caution and use a single-word synonym... Chuck Entz (talk) 08:08, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
Very punny. DonnanZ (talk) 09:14, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm not super invested in what happens to it, but I'm gonna RFD it just to get some opinions. – Julia • formerly Gormflaith • 12:49, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
Did it. – Julia • formerly Gormflaith • 13:05, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

ugly cry, ugly crying, ugly crierEdit

Is that a thing? Per utramque cavernam 09:44, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

Yep, I've heard it used a lot. Not idiomatic but the construction is such that it's kind of treated as one word. Which might warrant an entry, idk. – Julia • formerly Gormflaith • 13:14, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

English emergency departmentEdit

What regional label should this have? "chiefly Australia, New Zealand"? This is pretty much the only common name for this concept in Australia and New Zealand, and it seems this is not used as frequently elsewhere. Wyang (talk) 10:40, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

Are you asking if you need to add a new term under the "synonyms" listing and with a regional notation? If the general term 'Emergency Department' is what is commonly used than I don't think the page warrants any additions or edits. --UltravioletAlien (talk) 04:04, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
It seems to at least sometimes be used in the US, especially in reference for the department of the hospital's administration/staff, though "emergency room" seems to be more common for the physical space in conversation. Perhaps usage notes are the best way to approach this; note that this is the only common term in Australia and NZ, and is also used elsewhere especially in more formal contexts where it would be inaccurate/awkward to talk about a multi-room "emergency room". - -sche (discuss) 19:44, 7 June 2018 (UTC)


From the example, and the ones in le Trésor (under II.), it seems like an interjection rather than an adverb.__Gamren (talk) 14:30, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

Agreed. I went ahead and changed it. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:15, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks.__Gamren (talk) 08:15, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

feel the needEdit

SOP or not? I think not. --WikiTiki89 18:10, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

Well, Merriam-Webster has it, but it seems transparent to me; one can also feel or have a, some, much or little need to do something. I don't know, I don't see the/a/much need for it. - -sche (discuss) 19:41, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
I dunno. I can't think of anything to put in I feel the _____ to ... or I didn't feel the _____. that would fit quite as well as need. Everything I'm trying out sounds better with an indefinite article. – Julia • formerly Gormflaith • 22:11, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
Felt a need to is about one fifth as common as felt the need to on Google Ngram. MWOnline includes as first usex: "I felt a need to take control of the situation." That suggests that the sole OneLook dictionary that has the term doesn't view the as essential.
It certainly isn't a set phrase, strictly speaking:
Some synonyms, antonyms, and coordinate terms substitute for components:
urge, impulse, yen, yearning, lust, temptation, responsibility, pressure for need.
this or that substitute for the.
Have, see, understand, etc for feel.
Adjectives can be inserted before need.
Semantically, to me, using the (or that or this) implies that the following noun refers to something universal or recurring.
It seems like a transparent common collocation to me. DCDuring (talk) 23:39, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
I took a look at the Ngram and it's only eight times more common than "feel the pressure" and twice as common as "see the need". And "the need for..." is very common. So yeah probably SOP; I didn't think about it enough before. As long as there's a sense at feel. Which to be honest I've been looking at them for a while and I still somehow don't know – Julia • formerly Gormflaith • 12:58, 8 June 2018 (UTC)


I cannot imagine how one would find out that the word refers to a monotheistic god explicitly without being used as a title for any god just being used in a monotheistic context. I also heard this used several times in Shinto contexts, which is far from monotheistic. Can anyone confirm that there is a specific monotheistic meaning to this word? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 17:10, 8 June 2018 (UTC)

It appears that some version of this sense has been in the entry since it was created in 2003. That's a long time to be mistaken.
JA-JA sources don't mention monotheism; those all describe this as an honorific of (kami, god, deity). JA-JA sources for (kami) alone, without the suffix, include a "Judeo-Christian-Islamic God" sense, but generally further down the list -- the KDJ has it as sense 5, Daijirin and Daijisen have it as an example of the initial god, deity sense after describing Shinto and folk beliefs in Japan.
I'll have a go at the 神様 entry later. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:07, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr, a reminder. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 12:02, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
Done, striking. (Thanks for the ping, Μετάknowledge!  :) ) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:53, 12 June 2018 (UTC)


I've had a go at defining this, but the definitions could probably still use some work. - -sche (discuss) 19:08, 8 June 2018 (UTC)

Italian - stormoEdit

On page for stormo - it said verification was needed for military sense of word.

Today I read in Corrierre a sentence with military sense:

"Conte ha viaggiato con un aereo da tempo in dotazione al 31° Stormo dell’Aeronautica Militare."

Pronunciation of armadilloEdit

The entry for armadillo currently has English pronunciations that match more or less what I'm familiar with. However, the Disney short "Pluto and the Armadillo" offers pronunciations ending in -ɪjoʊ and -ɪʒoʊ; listen to a copy on Youtube (37 seconds in). Are these still in current use, and were they ever? And do we include obsolete pronunciations?--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:07, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

We have included obsolete pronunciations before, both of still-current words (I recall having seen some early-1900s New York pronunciations in entries, although I can't find any now)* and of obsolete words (e.g. accoil, prodition), and I think that is useful. Especially for English, we should probably find more than one (independent) example of an old pronunciation, or find it in an old reference work, to be sure it's not just a one-off pronunciation in one work. - -sche (discuss) 02:31, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
*Update: still can't find the New York pronuns, but a search for insource:"a obsolete" turns up (various misuses of {{a}}, and) an obsolete US pronunciation of salmon and weird old pronunciations of sure. - -sche (discuss) 02:42, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
We could also try to find it used in rhyming poetry. DTLHS (talk) 02:34, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Armadillo rhymes with "pillow", 1877. DTLHS (talk) 03:21, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Here's dialogue from another movie from around the same time period pronouncing "armadillo" in the usual way. DTLHS (talk) 03:39, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Beeton's 1861 Dictionary and the 1897 Century Dictionary also have it pronounced as it is today. - -sche (discuss) 04:17, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
It seems obvious to me that this is being treated as a Spanish word, and the variation between -ɪjoʊ and -ɪʒoʊ is an attempt to represent the most common variants in Latin American Spanish. I'm guessing that either the script writer or the narrator had never heard of this as an English word, so they checked sources for Spanish. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:22, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I concur, seems consciously Spanish by the context. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 14:10, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
    Except that since it's Brazil, it should be consciously Portuguese by context. I'm not sure if the narrators cared about the distinction, though.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:48, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

reniform in definition???Edit

Chromadorida has as definition: "reniform aquatic nematodes"

Why in the name of all that is politically correct would we use reniform instead of kidney-shaped in a definition?

Do we need to have a defining-vocabulary list and do dump runs that find instances of words in definitions that are not in that list? The problem is not limited to Translingual terms. I notice it in vernacular names, FL entries, etc. I am not saying that such terms should never be used in definitions (though reniform doesn't seem at all necessary), but that there should be a prejudice against using them. I don't think that a definition of reniform that is a wikilink away is an adequate substitute for a more straightforward definition. DCDuring (talk) 01:39, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

I don't like obfuscation either but I think I prefer "reniform" here. The taxonomical terms are somewhat technical by nature (nobody ever says in everyday conversation "a Canis bit me") and I gather there are more or less standard technical terms for the types of shape that one tends to encounter in botany and zoology. Objecting to "reniform" in a zoological definition feels to me rather like objecting to "deciduous" in a botanical definition. Equinox 01:52, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
That sounds like sprinkling French in one's conversation to give it a certain j'e ne sais quoi je ne sais quoi and show off one's vocabulary. Technical descriptive terms are fine when they have precise definitions which allow a more accurate description, but in this case, reniform just means "kidney-shaped" (one book described it as "bean-shaped").
I can't find any references to Chromadorida being reniform, only to their having structures called amphids which are reniform. As for there being a larger taxon called "reniform nematodes", I can't find that either. There's a common agricultural pest called the reniform nematode, Rotylenchulus reniformis, but it's a single species and it's only very distantly related to the Chromadorida. Of course, I could be wrong: I've never studied nematology. I suspect, though, that @SemperBlotto knows even less about nematodes than I do. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:23, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
And what's more annoying than snob-French with an inappropriate apostrophe? —Tamfang (talk) 05:16, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Don't all real dictionaries simplify? Longman's, for example, has IIRC a 10,000-word defining vocabulary for a 50,000 word dictionary.
I take it that you think that we have or will have or should have a scholarly readership here. I seriously doubt that we do or will and don't think we should aim for them. I believe technical words in a dictionary are for people who may be reading scholarly or technical material who are not yet experts in the field and probably will never become experts. DCDuring (talk) 04:41, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Reniform seems to be a reasonable word to use here. Technical words need technical definitions. There is always the "Simple English Wiktionary" for people who struggle with the language. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:16, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Or, if the word is the correct technical term but seems a bit obscure, add an explanation in parentheses: "reniform (kidney-shaped)". — SGconlaw (talk) 05:23, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
We already wikify words in definitions - the definition of that word is just one click away. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:43, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
That is dismissive of the problem of the limited cognitive capabilities of many of us near-normal humans. One click is often one click too many. If your main concern is figuring out just what a Chromadorida might be so you can get about the business of understanding more of the basics of nematode taxonomy, any diversion to yet another page reduces the likelihood or your reaching your object. Many will simply not proceed farther down the rabbit hole and hope that not knowing what makes a nematode reniform doesn't have significant consequences. DCDuring (talk) 15:40, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
I like Sgconlaw's idea of "reniform (kidney-shaped)". - -sche (discuss) 15:51, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Doesn't that open a rabbit hole of editors being forced to make random guesses at what's too fancy a word for readers? I would personally prefer that my dictionary of choice not clutter the explanation of what I want to look up with additional text detailing information already in the page in the form of words I may or may not understand. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 17:21, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
I think it's a decent compromise with people who think "sure, this word is too fancy for ordinary readers to understand, but I don't care". (Sorry, that was brusque.) - -sche (discuss) 17:32, 9 June 2018 (UTC)


Are the senses "happy, joyful, and lively" and "festive, bright, or colourful" dated, or archaic? Please chime in on Talk:gay#Archaic?. - -sche (discuss) 21:00, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

I'd say they were just dated. Watching old movies from the 50's and 60's you'll usually hear all the meanings above used for gay Leasnam (talk) 05:26, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
Not archaic. Not dated either. A gaily-coloured dress.


We have a sense "the works of an author or authors", as in "Have you read any Corinthian authors?". This seems to be some kind of metonymy or synecdoche: you could also say "have you read Dickens?" (meaning the books, not the man), or "did you buy Nike?" (the stocks/shares, not the entire company). So does it deserve its separate sense? Equinox 14:46, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

I don't think it's a separate sense, for the reason you note, that one can substitute "Dickens" (or "him", or "writers", "poets", etc) into the sentence. At read it's currently handled as a usage note: it doesn't seem like a separate of that word, either, since (as you also note) other verbs function this way, too. "I couldn't find any Martina Schradi at the book shop, all they had was Stiefvater; I asked if they'd bought any Franck, which they hadn't... they hadn't bought any other female authors (/writers/poets) at all." or "In a fit of rage, I threw out all my Artistotle (/Joyce/Le Guin)." - -sche (discuss) 15:29, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
I think it's a separate sense. It's metonymy (using the author's name to refer to his work) or, less likely, ellipsis (omitting 's work(s) or ' work(s) as in any Corinthian authors' work). That there are also other metonymies, would only mean that names like Dickens have another sense too. Berlin gives its metonymic sense.
Though in case of proper nouns, the metonomic sense might better only be mentioned once somewhere else (like in author or proper noun, Hauptstadt or Eigenname)
BTW: Is the second sense of Dickens ("Charles Dickens, English novelist.") CFI-compliant? The best I found at WT:CFI was "No individual person should be listed as a sense" which is restricted by "whose page title includes both a given name or diminutive and a family name or patronymic" (applies only to two-parts names, thus not to Dickens, Obama, Trump). - 01:50, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

Add new Russian word to WiktionaryEdit

In this article Tashkent City: is 'progress' worth the price being paid in Uzbekistan? the word kelinka [Russian > "young bride"] is mentioned. It is not in Wiktionary. I would like to do it myself, but perhaps there is somebody with more knowledge of the term and its etymology (like a native Russsian-language-speaker) who could do it better. Hotspur23 (talk) 14:47, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

келинка (kelinka) is not a regular Russian word. I think it might be used in Uzbekistan, where it was probably borrowed from Uzbek kelin (bride). —Stephen (Talk) 08:04, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
This (not authoritative) source (in Russian) sheds some light on the issue: Кто такая келинка?. Translated quote:
Who is this Kelinka? — The word "kilen" [sic] in Turkic languages means a bride. Kelinka, in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, is the name given to brides who are married to the youngest son in the family. It means, roughly speaking, the younger daughter-in-law. However, these days the word applies to all wives in general. This word today carries a negative connotation. It is believed that the kelins have no rights, but are totally subordinate to their husbands and their family. However, many girls do not agree with this definition, and they want to revive this tradition.
The need to explain the word to the Russian readers confirms that it is not a regular Russian word.  --Lambiam 04:53, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
@Hotspur23, Stephen G. Brown, Lambiam: I have created the entry кели́нка (kelínka) but it may not pass our CFI and survive an RFV process. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:49, 16 June 2018 (UTC)


In the entry bounden I moved the c. 1596, 1626 and 1963 quotations under the verb sense, but I'd like some feedback on whether this is correct. Thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 17:44, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

  Input needed
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@Sgconlaw, IMO since it's either an adjective or a past-tense verb form, but not an infinitive/lemma form, I don't think it should be under its own verb subsense: it should either be under "past participle of bind" and bind should have a relevant sense (and apparently does: "to put under definite legal obligations, especially, under the obligation of a bond or covenant", so "I am bounden unto you" = "I am much put under obligations to you"), or it should be under the adjective. - -sche (discuss) 21:02, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
As for which one of the adjective or verb those quotations should be under: they look verbal, although if there were any dispute we could check if there are any clearly adjectival examples ("he became more bounden than her" or something) or clearly verbal examples (i.e. other tenses of bind used with this sense). If there were verbal examples (I suspect there are...) but no adjectival ones, it must be verbal; if there are adjectival examples but no clearly verbal examples, it would suggest it would have to be adjectival. If there are both adjectival and verbal examples of the sense, then those particular quotations look more verbal to me but YMMV. - -sche (discuss) 21:09, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

An NamEdit

A lot of weird stuff going on here. How are these really two separate etymologies? And why is one seemingly innocuous geographical sense labelled as both "offensive" and "pejorative"? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 12:00, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Obviously it'd be most ideal to find Vietnamese sources attesting to the offensiveness, but poking around Google Books does turn up some English-language references to it, at least: Thomas Hodgkin, Vietnam: the revolutionary path (1981), page 100: "the Chinese clung to the offensive T'ang word 'An nam' although communications they addressed to the Vietnamese bearing this name were promptly returned on the direct orders of the emperor"; Bruce M. Lockhart, William J. Duiker, The A to Z of Vietnam (2010, →ISBN), page 24: "The term [An Nam], meaning “pacified South” in Chinese, was offensive to patriotic Vietnamese and was dropped after independence". The split etymology is also present in Annam, btw. It's apparently an effort to convey that the Chinese used the term for one area, and the Vietnamese dropped it, but the French picked it back up for a somewhat different area. - -sche (discuss) 02:07, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
@Mxn, do you think there should be two etymology sections for the two different senses/regions or should they be combined into one etymology section (that might say, for example, that the term was originally used by the Chinese to name one area, and then applied by the French to a somewhat different area)? I have no opinion on the matter. - -sche (discuss) 21:14, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
@-sche I can see how the latter senses may've been influenced by usage in French, but given that the literal meaning "pacified South" is evident to any Vietnamese speaker, it's hard to see how it would be a borrowing from French any more than a borrowing from an earlier time period of Vietnamese. Combining the two etymology sections seems perfectly reasonable to me, and a note or quotation explaining the offensiveness would be great too. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 09:50, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

@Fumiko Take. —Suzukaze-c 02:16, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

gundeck, gun deckEdit

I laughed for a minute or two. We should probably pick one of the two and actually add a proper definition there instead of this. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 14:08, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

to trailblazeEdit

I think it has other senses, and I don't think the quote is illustrative of the current meaning. Plus it's used transitively. Could a native speaker clean it up? Per utramque cavernam 20:09, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Pronunciation of بلجيكا in ArabicEdit

Moved from User_talk:عربي-٣١#بلجيكا and Talk:بلجيكا


I saw your two reverts with explanations and I was planning but never got around to address this issue.

I have a few questions, if you don't mind regarding your view:

  1. Do you support our language policy in WT:AAR, especially regarding transliteration of foreign words? I know you didn't take part in making the policy but this is what we've got.
  2. Do you support references, such as Hans Wehr. If you search for "بلجيكا" in [4] or open your copy of the printed Hans Wehr dictionary, you will find "beljīkā". So, it means, at least by some Arabic standard it should be pronounced that way.
  3. Yes, I know there is no phoneme /e/ in Classical Arabic but this is a loanword, it wasn't in the Qur'an. So, do you pronounce جُون لِينُون (jon lenon, John Lennon) as "jon lenon" or "jūn līnūn"? Are you saying that the phoneme /e/ is absolutely absent in MSA?

Please feel free to raise it with Arabic language editors. Pls note, I'm not seeking any conflict. I welcome your contributions and help! I just need to find out why my referenced entry was reverted.

BTW, if you wish to add another regular reading/transliteration, you don't need to use "tr=", you can simply use Arabic diacritics in the header or the pronunciation sections - بِلْجِيكَا (biljīkā), بَلْجِيكَا (baljīkā) (we do you harakat on loanwords as well!).

Notifiying (Notifying Benwing2, Mahmudmasri, Metaknowledge, Wikitiki89, Erutuon, Kolmiel, ZxxZxxZ, Stephen G. Brown, عربي-٣١): : pls let me know if you disagree. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:15, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

Should such a discussion be on the word's page? --Mahmudmasri (talk) 10:32, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

It is [belˈʒiːkæ] in Egyptian Arabic and in Literary Arabic as pronounced by Egyptians. The claims about [e] as not more than an allophone is wrong.

Speaking about Egyptian Arabic, there is an initial/medial high front short vowel that varies between [e] and [ɪ] in native words. In loanwords, [e] would be the preferred one if the loanword had it.

The pronunciation that has the first vowel open [bælˈʒiːkæ] is unknown to me, but I imagine it might be in the Arabian Peninsula.

Also speaking of loanwords and actual pronunciations, no one really elongates vowels that are at the end of final syllables. So, [bɪl.d͡ʒiː.kaː ~ bel.d͡ʒiː.kaː] is wrong.

Now, why [ʒ] and not [d͡ʒ]? It's because the name entered through the French name, "Belgique" [bɛlʒik], but Arabic speakers don't distinguish both, they either pronounce [ʒ] or [d͡ʒ].

Speakers who have no [æ] (and no [e]), usually hear [ɛ] as [æ], therefore approximating it to [a], not to [e].

--Mahmudmasri (talk) 10:51, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

Repeating the ping for people in the Arabic notification group:

Notifiying (Notifying Benwing2, Mahmudmasri, Metaknowledge, Wikitiki89, Erutuon, Kolmiel, ZxxZxxZ, Stephen G. Brown, عربي-٣١): . --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:39, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

@Mahmudmasri: We can incorporate all possible pronunciations by region, just by adding an {{i|Egypt}} or similar.
[ʒ] vs [d͡ʒ] is very typical variant. So, if we default it to the phonemic [d͡ʒ], [ʒ] can be assumed as a more colloquial realisation. Shortening of the final alif would be important for the phonetic transcription.
  1. IPA(key): /bel.d͡ʒiː.kaː/: The transliteration "beljīkā" is according to Hans Wehr. Phonetically, the final /aː/ can be shortened and realised as [æ] or [a], same story for /d͡ʒ/ as [ʒ]. Otherwise we can use a simple "a" (with no macrons) in the transliteration (tr=) or a fatḥa in the Arabic script.
  2. IPA(key): /bil.d͡ʒiː.kaː/, IPA(key): /bil.d͡ʒiː.ka/: This is what user عربي-٣١ has suggested (one variant), no "tr=" is necessary here, using native means
  3. IPA(key): /bel.ʒiː.ka/ (Egypt, Levante): This may work as a compromise for some regional or more colloquial pronunciations. Note that "ž" will produce /ʒ/.
  4. I encourage you to start using {{ar-IPA}} either with "tr=" or with native Arabic means. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:01, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
Why multiply our time and effort because one user misunderstands the phonemic vs phonetic notations?
I've said over and over in Wiktionary discussions that it is impractical to state each and every regional realization, because some might not be known to (all of) us and it's a lot of work, when we could simply write the phonemic transcription and leave the actual realization for the readers. This would also save us questioning the pronunciations, since there is a scarce of pronunciation documentation and the ones that are there poorly represent true pronunciation and nearly always generalize ungeneralizable pronunciations, that includes Hans Wehr and Janet C. E. Watson. They basically treat Arabic phonology (and often the literary language) as completely uniform, from the Atlantic coast all the way to the Persian Gulf. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 12:19, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
@Mahmudmasri: I only suggested to add regionalisms because you insisted on [ʒ]. That's not the most standard realisation of "ج", anyway, regardless of etymology.
I actually don't want to waste time and efforts, if you imply that I do and suggest to use one source for transliterations - Hans Wehr dictionary, which has transliterated a vast majority of Arabic words. Everybody knows how "ج" is realised regionally and a phonemic final "ā" is shortened to "a". In short a transliteration "beljīkā" and /bel.d͡ʒiː.kaː/ gives sufficient information for an Arabic learner about how to pronounce it exactly, based on the knowledge of specific Arabic phonology and rules.
If there was enough interest, we could fine-tune the module to allow for a more phonetic pronunciation, with [æ], [ɑ] and [æ], a more accurate presentation of the length of vowels but we have to make a group decision. I think when coming up with Wiktionary:About Arabic you finally agreed that we transliterated the final shortened alif as "ā". We could use a short "a" if you insist and get /bel.d͡ʒiː.ka/. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:45, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
If it's a phonemic transliteration, then it is unnecessary to specify whether the final open vowel is long or short, as long as it aims to transliterate alef, then it is OK to leave it with the length mark. In the Persian Gulf, the final vowel would be short [ɐ]. This has to do with the phonology there. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 13:00, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
That's my point too. Adding phonetic transliteration to each Arabic term would be a huge task and we don't have enough active interested and knowledgeable editors for that. The transliteration is available and the phonemic IPA is still very helpful. What can be slightly automated is distinguishing vowels around emphatic vs normal consonants and the length of vowels. The module is basic but it does the job for now. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:14, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

@Mahmudmasri, @Atitarev: Yes I can guarantee for the vast majority of Arabic speakers there is no difference between /i/ and /e/ in Arabic, there is not a single minimal pair in most Arabic dialects or MSA between /e/ and /i/, it's just one phoneme with vast array of different pronunciations, you can see it in the way Arabs write names and words mixing up E with I and O with U, for example Ettihad vs. Ittihad or Umar vs. Omar, which I guess gives the impression to foreigners that those are two totally different phonemes.

I guess Hans Wehr was listening to the words based on his own native language or he was listening to Arabs who were pronouncing the words with a foreign tongue (the way Lebanese people pronounce French words in a with French phonetics in the middle of speaking Lebanese), there is no difference if you mix up the allophones [e] and [i] which is never an issue, except if you were trying to tell the difference between foreign words like "six" and "sex" when speaking English.

Modern Standard Arabic should have one phonemic representation, since each Arabic dialect have their own phonetic way when speaking MSA and we just can't put all of those representations in every MSA word.

and for; جُون لِينُون (jon lenon, John Lennon) I pronounce it phonemically (in my head) and in writing as جُون لِنِن (jōn linin, John Lennon) /d͡ʒoːn linin/ and phonetically (with my mouth) as [d͡ʒo̞ːn lɪnɪn] or [d͡ʒo̞ːn le̞nɪn], since long /eː/ and /oː/ are phonemic in most/many Arabic dialects and they sound so different from long /iː/ and /uː/ and many minimal pairs occur in most dialects.--عربي-٣١ (talk) 15:17, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

There are lots of nativized words in Egyptian Arabic that distinguish short [i] from short [e], similarly [u] and [o]. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 17:11, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

vantage pointEdit

The entry for vantage point currently has this example:

It may be difficult for us to understand the motivations of these people from our 21st century vantage point.

The example is found under the second sense:

2. A point in time.

The problem is that the word 'vantage point' does not mean 'point in time'. Not in this sentence nor in any other. It means 'point of view' or 'perspective'.

If you had that sentence and nothing more as a reference, you could concoct a theory that the phrase could mean 'a point in time', and I would surmise that that is exactly what the original submitter did. But the reasoning that lead to that definition is faulty.

This sense should be removed, since it is incorrect, and the example moved to the correct sense.

Thank you for your time. I would fix this entry myself but some kind of higher power seems to be preventing me. -- 13:25, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

  Done ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:19, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

za rządówEdit

This apparently existing phrase uses za + genitive. We do not list a usage of za with a genitive. Are we missing something or is this some special case phrase? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 21:37, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

Estonian inflection table templatesEdit

In many of the Wiktionary entries for Estonian I find “(genitive [please provide], partitive [please provide]) and “This adjective, noun, numeral etc needs an inflection-table template”. These are obviously requests that people have made for the stated forms but for some strange reason nobody ever provides them. I have provided the requested forms but my contributions have been ignored. What is the point of requesting something and ignoring it when it is provided? Here are the forms for teine (second, other, another) and a few other Estonian nouns. Will someone please enter them in Wiktionary instead of ignoring them? Genitive singular: teise Partitive singular: teist Remaining forms:- Illative singular: teisesse, teise Inessive singular: teises Elative singular: teisest Allative singular: teisele Adessive singular: teisel Ablative singular: teiselt Translative singular: teiseks Terminative singular: teiseni Essive singular: teisena Abessive singular: teiseta Comitative singular: teisega Nominative plural: teised Genitive plural: teiste Partitive plural: teisi Illative plural: teistesse Inessive plural: teistes Elative plural: teistest Allative plural: teistele Adessive plural: teistel Ablative plural: teistelt Translative plural: teisteks Terminative plural: teisteni Essive plural: teistena Abessive plural: teisteta Comitative plural: teistega

kapp (cupboard, wardrobe) Genitive singular: kapi Partitive singular: kappi Remaining forms:- Illative singular: kapisse, kappi Inessive singular: kapis Elative singular: kapist Allative singular: kapile Adessive singular: kapil Ablative singular: kapilt Translative singular: kapiks Terminative singular: kapini Essive singular: kapina Abessive singular: kapita Comitative singular: kapiga Nominative plural: kapid Genitive plural: kappide Partitive plural: kappe, kappisid Illative plural: kappidesse Inessive plural: kappides Elative plural: kappidest Allative plural: kappidele Adessive plural: kappidel Ablative plural: kappidelt Translative plural: kappideks Terminative plural: kappideni Essive plural: kappidena Abessive plural: kappideta Comitative plural: kappidega

kael (neck) Genitive singular: kaela Partitive singular: kaela Remaining forms:- Illative singular: kaelasse, kaela Inessive singular: kaelas Elative singular: kaelast Allative singular: kaelale Adessive singular: kaelal Ablative singular: kaelalt Translative singular: kaelaks Terminative singular: kaelani Essive singular: kaelana Abessive singular: kaelata Comitative singular: kaelaga Nominative plural: kaelad Genitive plural: kaelade, kaelte Partitive plural: kaelu Illative plural: kaeladesse Inessive plural: kaelades Elative plural: kaeladest Allative plural: kaeladele Adessive plural: kaeladel Ablative plural: kaeladelt Translative plural: kaeladeks Terminative plural: kaeladeni Essive plural: kaeladena Abessive plural: kaeladeta Comitative plural: kaeladega

Does nael (nail, pound) follow the same pattern as kael? Please check whether naelte occurs as one of the forms of the genitive plural or whether there is only the one form, naelade. nael (nail, pound) Genitive singular: naela Partitive singular: naela Remaining forms:- Illative singular: naelasse, naela Inessive singular: naelas Elative singular: naelast Allative singular: naelale Adessive singular: naelal Ablative singular: naelalt Translative singular: naelaks Terminative singular: naelani Essive singular: naelana Abessive singular: naelata Comitative singular: naelaga Nominative plural: naelad Genitive plural: naelade, naelte Partitive plural: naelu Illative plural: naeladesse Inessive plural: naelades Elative plural: naeladest Allative plural: naeladele Adessive plural: naeladel Ablative plural: naeladelt Translative plural: naeladeks Terminative plural: naeladeni Essive plural: naeladena Abessive plural: naeladeta Comitative plural: naeladega

kuld (gold) Genitive singular: kulla Partitive singular: kulda Remaining forms:- Illative singular: kullasse, kulda Inessive singular: kullas Elative singular: kullast Allative singular: kullale Adessive singular: kullal Ablative singular: kullalt Translative singular: kullaks Terminative singular: kullani Essive singular: kullana Abessive singular: kullata Comitative singular: kullaga

One would have thought that this is a mass noun and as such has only singular forms. However, apparently plural forms occur. If desired, they are as follows: Nominative plural: kullad Genitive plural: kuldade Partitive plural: kuldasid, kuldi Illative plural: kuldadesse Inessive plural: kuldades Elative plural: kuldadest Allative plural: kuldadele Adessive plural: kuldadel Ablative plural: kuldadelt Translative plural: kuldadeks Terminative plural: kuldadeni Essive plural: kuldadena Abessive plural: kuldadeta Comitative plural: kuldadega

—This unsigned comment was added by Johnling60 (talkcontribs).

American EmpireEdit

Meaning the USA. Can we gloss this appropriately? It's not an everyday synonym you would encounter in airports, maps, etc. Is it poetic, derogatory, historical? Equinox 19:59, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

Seems sum of parts, could be replaced with {{&lit}}. DTLHS (talk) 20:08, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

Translation of quotations with 栽Edit

The quotations of the Chinese character 栽 didn't have English translations so I tried to come up with some.

I'm posting this because I'd like other people to verify this first, plus I'm having trouble figuring out how to edit it into the page.


"He raised a mound at the distance of a li, 10 cubits thick, and twice as many in height" (from James Legge's translation of Zuozhuan)

Also on the page this phrase is marked as Modern Standard Chinese, but this is actually Classical Chinese.


"In the mountains there are a lot of planted trees, it is equal to managing the water reservoirs. If there's much rain it can take in, if there's little rain it can dispense." (own translation, couldn't find an official translation online)

Riki115 (talk) 21:26, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

@Wyang, Justinrleung. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:11, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
@Riki115 Thank you. The first part of the second sentence would be better translated as "Planting more trees on mountains is akin to building reservoirs". I've added these to the entry. Wyang (talk) 07:07, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

Estonian verb conjugationEdit

keetma (to boil, to cook) - transitive

Presumably the conjugation of this verb will follow that of saatma (to accompany, to escort, to send), therefore the forms are as follows:

Present indicative active:
		1st person: keedan
		2nd person: keedad
		3rd person: keedab
		1st person: keedame
		2nd person: keedate
		3rd person: keedavad
	Negative: ei keeda
	Passive positive: keedetakse
	Passive negative: ei keedeta
Past indicative active:
		1st person: keetsin
		2nd person: keetsid
		3rd person: keetis
		1st person: keetsime
		2nd person: keetsite
		3rd person: keetsid
	Negative: ei keetnud
	Passive positive: keedeti
	Passive negative: ei keedetud
Perfect indicative active:
		1st person: olen keetnud
		2nd person: oled keetnud
		3rd person: on keetnud
		1st person: oleme keetnud
		2nd person: olete keetnud
		3rd person: on keetnud
	Negative: ei ole keetnud, pole keetnud
	Passive positive: on keedetud
	Passive negative: ei ole keedetud, pole keedetud
Pluperfect indicative:
		1st person: olin keetnud
		2nd person: olid keetnud
		3rd person: oli keetnud
		1st person: olime keetnud
		2nd person: olite keetnud
		3rd person: olid keetnud
	Negative: ei olnud keetnud, polnud keetnud
	Passive positive: oli keedetud 
	Passive negative: ei olnud keedetud, polnud keedetud
Conditional present active:
		1st person: keedaksin
		2nd person: keedaksid
		3rd person: keedaks
		1st person: keedaksime
		2nd person: keedaksite
		3rd person: keedaksid
	Negative: ei keedaks
	Passive positive: keedetaks
	Passive negative: ei keedetaks
Conditional perfect active:
		1st person: oleksin keetnud
		2nd person: oleksid keetnud
		3rd person: oleks keetnud
		1st person: oleksime keetnud
		2nd person: oleksite keetnud
		3rd person: oleksid keetnud
	Negative: ei oleks saatnud, poleks keetnud
	Passive positive: oleks keedetud
	Passive negative: ei oleks keedetud, poleks keedetud
Imperative present positive:
		2nd person: keeda
		3rd person: keetku
		1st person: keetkem
		2nd person: keetke
		3rd person: keetku
	Passive: keedetagu
Imperative present negative:
		2nd person: ära keeda
		3rd person: ärgu keetku
		1st person: ärgem keetkem
		2nd person: ärge keetke
		3rd person: ärgu keetku
	Passive: ärgu keedetagu
Imperative perfect positive:
		3rd person: olgu keetnud
		3rd person: olgu keetnud
	Passive: olgu keedetud
Imperative perfect negative:
		3rd person: ärgu olgu keetnud
		3rd person: ärgu olgu keetnud
	Passive: ärgu olgu keedetud
Quotative present:
	Active positive: keetvat
	Passive positive: keedetavat
	Active negative: ei keetvat
	Passive negative: ei keedetavat
Quotative perfect:
	Active positive: olevat keetnud
	Passive positive: olevat keedetud
	Active negative: ei olevat keetnud, polevat keetnud
	Passive negative: ei olevat keedetud, polevat keedetud
Nominal forms:
	ma-infinitive active:
		Nominative: keetma
		Inessive: keetmas
		Elative: keetmast
		Translative: keetmaks
		Abessive: keetmata
	ma-infinitive passive: keedetama
		da-form: keeta
		des-form: keetes
	Present active: keetev
	Present passive: keedetav
	Past active: keetnud
	Past passive: keedetud

Please check that all the above forms are correct then create an inflection table template with the complete conjugation of this verb. Johnling60 (talk) 00:07, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

@Rua. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:11, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

Estonian noun declensionEdit

külmkapp (refrigerator) Genitive singular: külmkapi Partitive singular: külmkappi Remaining forms:- Illative singular: külmkapisse, külmkappi Inessive singular: külmkapis Elative singular: külmkapist Allative singular: külmkapile Adessive singular: külmkapil Ablative singular: külmkapilt Translative singular: külmkapiks Terminative singular: külmkapini Essive singular: külmkapina Abessive singular: külmkapita Comitative singular: külmkapiga Nominative plural: külmkapid Genitive plural: külmkappide Partitive plural: külmkappe, külmkappisid Illative plural: külmkappidesse Inessive plural: külmkappides Elative plural: külmkappidest Allative plural: külmkappidele Adessive plural: külmkappidel Ablative plural: külmkappidelt Translative plural: külmkappideks Terminative plural: külmkappideni Essive plural: külmkappidena Abessive plural: külmkappideta Comitative plural: külmkappidega Johnling60 (talk) 00:22, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

Estonian noun declension - kaelEdit

Please create an inflection table template for kael (neck) and complete with the declension already given. Johnling60 (talk) 00:29, 14 June 2018 (UTC)


Does the definition "of or pertaining to homosexuality" really make sense? Also, most of the translations are simply "homoerotic". Ultimateria (talk) 16:18, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, the definition should probably be changed to something more like "Homoerotic; homosexual, gay." And the translations that are just of homoerotic should be moved there. I'll deploy {{trans-top-also}}. - -sche (discuss) 01:08, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

fill in the blankEdit

The page fill in the blank has experienced recent, persistent vandalism. I am somewhat new to editing Wiktionary, but on Wikipedia there are methods for protecting pages that are getting excessive vandalism. What is the protocol for doing that here? Thanks Nemoanon (talk) 06:56, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

If a page is considered by admin to need protection it can be protected, but this is usually limited to edits by anons, and doesn't normally affect registered users. DonnanZ (talk) 14:16, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
There have been 4 reverted edits since May 2017. This doesn't seem too bad, though I can't speak for the patrolers. DCDuring (talk) 14:40, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I've watchlisted the page. If there is further vandalism I'd be willing to protect it for, say, three months against new/unregistered users (since the only edits to the page by such users in recent years have been vandalism, or in one case reversion of vandalism). - -sche (discuss) 00:57, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

bioboy, biogirl and mention of chromosomesEdit

Defined as "somebody who was born with a penis and testicles and assumed to have one Y chromosome"; "somebody who was born with a vulva and assumed to have two X chromosomes". The grammar puts the whole thing in the past, suggesting that the assumption re chromosomes was made at birth. Is that correct, or is it trying to say that they were born with such-and-such parts but are now assumed by general observers to have such-and-such chromosomes? If the latter, def needs revising. Equinox 19:05, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

One should not expect these informal neologisms to have sharply delineated meanings. My understanding is that, as used, it is meant to identify the sex that the speaker supposes or assumes was the one assigned at birth. There ought to be no presumption that the utterer of these terms is even cognizant of the relationship between sex-determining chromosomes and the outward appearance of human genitalia.  --Lambiam 08:07, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Our "job" is to explain the meaning of words, though, so if a word has no fixed meaning (which is really something of a first for the language!) then we need to indicate that fact clearly. Of course having no fixed meaning is different from having a fixed meaning that a negligible minority of speakers aren't getting right. Equinox 08:15, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
If one accepts that the meaning of a word is the meaning intended by speakers as they use the word, then the meaning of all words is somewhat fuzzy. Like when someone says, "Trump is a fascist" – what do they mean, precisely? The degree of fuzziness changes, of course, but it's hardly a first for the meaning of a word to vary somewhat according to the speaker (or even their mood); one would expect that to be true in general for informally introduced neologisms.  --Lambiam 09:19, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
If one accepts that the meaning of a word is the meaning intended by speakers as they use the word then there is absolutely no need for a dictionary, and no way that people can understand each other. Lewis Carroll famously satirised that attitude in his book about Alice in Wonderland: [5]. Equinox 09:45, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
It is conceivable (evidently, because I can conceive of the possibility) that someone, being told, Oh please! Stop behaving in such a pusillanimous manner!, would be quite unsure of what the speaker meant with the term pusillanimous, one they are not familiar with – perhaps this is their very first encounter. In such a case, a dictionary may come handy. Still, did the speaker imply "ignoble cowardice", and are they indignant? Or did it express a mere slight annoyance, expressed in a mildly exaggerated way?
That just seems like a division between Grice's "sentence meaning" and "speaker meaning". The exact same question arises if you don't use any fancy words, and just say something like "stop behaving like a jerk!". I think you are mixing up pragmatics (which will never be part of a dictionary definition) with semantics. Equinox 02:44, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
The oldest occurrence of bioboy I could find is in a Savage Love column from June 12, 1997. It contains a definition (which I think may be considered somewhat offensive now): "Bioboys: Boys born boys, as opposed to girls made boys."  --Lambiam 09:28, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
What is and isn't offensive changes over time, and we should endeavour not to colour our definitions based on current popular fads. We must define things in terms of what a word means and that alone, whether it is offensive or not. (Otherwise we would have to delete words like nigger, which are in fact words and which a reader might well require a definition for.) If for example the meaning of "woman" is changing from "a person with such-and-such genetic code" to "any person who says 'I am a woman'", fine, we need to reflect usage and we will do so, but we also need to keep previous/historical definitions in order to explain texts from earlier periods (they may be marked dated, archaic etc.). Certainly if you think that we shouldn't define bioboy the way it was used in 1997 because that is offending someone, you are missing the point of a dictionary: someone might be reading a 1997 text and want to know what the word meant then. Equinox 09:49, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
The assumed offensiveness is in the words "girl made boy", in which I take "made" to refer to sexual reassignment surgery. As used here, this would seem to identify gender identity with gender appearance and deny the possibility of a pre-existing gender identity different from the sex assigned at birth. If definitions found elsewhere use needlessly offensive language, it is not part of our mission to copy that.  --Lambiam 10:32, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Our concern is not to copy definitions, but to record understood meaning. We have lots of historical meanings that have been, are now, or will be considered offensive. We try to use {{label}} to document the offensiveness, but the nature and temporal and demographic extent of the offensiveness is very hard to track, especially in the current cultural climate. DCDuring (talk) 13:05, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Now suppose that you find a definition of the term homie in this (made-up) quotation: "He said he thought I was his "homie", a word that these stupid niggers use to mean a friend." I assume that you will agree this is offensive. But note that the offensiveness is not in the meaning of the word homie, but in the gratuitously odious way in which it is expressed. The example is somewhat extreme in order to illustrate my point clearly. Above, Savage's particular choice of words in the flippant phrase "girls made boys" is needlessly offensive. Again, it is not the meaning that is offensive, but the description. Maybe this is not just coincidental, or the result of increased sensitivity surrounding trans issues. In the Wikipedia article on Dan Savage you can read: "Savage has repeatedly been the focus of controversy for his use of slurs regarding the transgender community".  --Lambiam 14:56, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
As I see it used, the meaning is a boy who's not trans (as written it excludes intersex boys, but most speakers probably aren't thinking of intersex people to the extent they even realize they exist); defined "positively", it's a boy who's a boy according to speakers' simplistic view of "biology". And the reference is to some notional "original" condition (past tense); if someone has surgery to have a penis now, he doesn't "count". If doctors performed such surgery on someone in the womb (like how they perform genital surgeries on intersex babies right after birth), that probably wouldn't "count", either. Chromosomes might not need to be mentioned, as it's only relatively recently that (some) people took up the (not entirely right) idea that they determine sex, let alone that they determine gender... and if in the future someone undergoes a treatment that changes all their chromosomes, that too is unlikely to "count", but anyway the thought experiment suggests the term is indeed defined by by a past tense state, not by the present tense. - -sche (discuss) 15:48, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Christina Richards, Meg Barker, Sexuality and Gender for Mental Health Professionals: A Practical Guide, 2013, →ISBN, explain it (as I did) as basically meaning 'not trans': "Biogirl or Bioboy: A term used to differentiate cisgender people from trans people. Derogatory of trans people and incorrectly suggestive that trans does not have a biological base. Should never be used. 'Biological man/woman' is similarly problematic." (I found that just by Google-Books-searching "bioboy". Incidentally, the book right below it from the same year may show a trans writer using it, but in my experience it's more often non-trans people who use it, especially as time has gone on and the biological bases of the gender identities trans and cis people have have become better known.)
  • tl;dr? The basic/primary meaning is "a boy who's not trans", genitals and chromosomes are secondary.
- -sche (discuss) 15:56, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I am a bit hesitant to trust any source that says something is "problematic" and "should never be used" because that is politics. Once again, we are supposed to say what things mean, and our remit strictly stops there. In any case the question isn't "is this offensive or derogatory, or derogatory to some self-defined offendable group" but rather "what does it actually mean". I am personally happy for you to basically rewrite the entry because in my experience here you are someone who seems to know a lot about gender identity. I do however feel that the "be, feel, and do what you want" gender trend is going to cause us some never-before-seen lexicographical problems. Will we be the first dictionary to define a word as "(non-gloss) whatever the identifier wants it to mean". Is this a triumph of postmodernism? Maybe. Let us keep our eyes on it. Equinox 16:56, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
In fairness, I think the book is only suggesting mental health professionals should never use the term when providing healthcare to trans (or queer) patients.
Searching to see how other people define it is complicated by the fact that it's the name of at least two commercial products (with no discernible relationship to boys, ha) and it also seems to occur as a compound with a more "literal" meaning, e.g. in Ian McDonald, The Broken Land (2013, →ISBN): "The bioboy's forehead was studded with terminals. Biocircuitry coiled back over each ear and clung with small curved claws to the nape of his neck."
My suggestion would be to define it like "{slang) A cisgender boy or man." Perhaps some people would want to add "; one who is anatomically male." ("Biologically male", while more in line with the etymology, would be a can of worms and not really accurate, for reasons I can get into if need be.)
Incidentally, I notice this has made it into Lesser's 2018 English / Spanish Dictionary, and it seems like a weird enough word to include that I half wonder if they just lifted it from us because we provided a Spanish translation of it (which may not meet CFI!). - -sche (discuss) 00:41, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Update: I think Lesser's dictionary did lift it from us, because they also include our translation of "Wiktionarian" and our former logo's very unusual pronunciation of "Wiktionary". Hahaha. - -sche (discuss) 00:53, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

I've had a go at it: bioboy, biogirl.  --Lambiam 11:46, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

I've tweaked it further. I found three citations of "bioboy" in fiction, but can't work out the sense enough to add one yet. I see we have entries for bioman and biowoman, too, currently only with cisgender-related senses (which need updating; I'll take a stab at it), though they too may be attested also with fiction-related senses. - -sche (discuss) 19:09, 18 June 2018 (UTC)


This entry looks wrong. At least one citation, very possibly all three, are dialect forms of lonesome, and nothing to do with lunacy. Equinox 21:49, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

What's the connection (if any) between loon and lunacy ? Leasnam (talk) 05:29, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't know, maybe it's related to the connections in 50 of your Anglo-Saxonisms I have had to bring to RFV in the past twelve months? Equinox 05:35, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
This statement makes no sense. You're being emotional. Leasnam (talk) 13:45, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Even the Anglish subreddit isn't sure about you (and I've never been a participant there; I found it by looking for discussions of Wiktionary the other month): [6]. Equinox 05:36, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I have no affiliation with them. I don't care what they say. Why are you using that? That's your argument ? Pathetic. Leasnam (talk) 13:49, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I think that @Leasnam is overzealous rather than attempting to advance an Anglish agenda. But it is indeed worrying if these Redditors have come to notice a problematic pattern, and it's on us to RFV them, as well as Leasnam to be much more careful. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 11:18, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Who's to say they're not phoney Anglish-whatever-they are's ? Sockpuppetting to make Anglish look ridiculous (which they're succeeding at) and to substantiate stupid claims now against me. That's nothing new or creative. Leasnam (talk) 13:52, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I warn of the early makings of a witchhunt. Assume good faith. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 12:27, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Assuming good faith is what you do when you encounter a newbie. I have no personal problem with Leasnam but I have, over the past years, encountered huge numbers of his "Anglish" entries that do not make sense in terms of actual use of the language. Indeed at one point I called out this pattern and he said something like "I used to create those entries and I don't any more" (sorry: can't source it, but I'm sure someone remembers). You can find a lot of dubious Leasnam entries by searching under "Germanic" prefixes like be-, for- and to-. These represent a huge mass of (usually unglossed, not marked as archaic or rare) mess that will mislead any learner who comes here and that are basically a liability. Furthermore they often have blatantly wrong cites that consist of scannos, errors, or nonce-word poetry. It is not appropriate to call "assume good faith!" when I have been struggling against this stuff for at least three or four years, and when I am not in any way fighting him but trying to produce a dictionary that represents real-world English. Equinox 14:53, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Since these were created years ago, maybe they were the work of a newbie. The problem here is that the Leasnam you're complaining to isn't the Leasnam who was creating all those old schlock entries- are you asking Leasnam to go back in time and not make those entries? Chuck Entz (talk) 19:42, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
  • There seem to be two basically unrelated definitions on one definition line, which is a common ploy to attempt to use a small number of possibly valid citations cover a putative word that is uncommon and with at best ambiguous meaning.
Also, don't we normally exclude attestation that does not unambiguously support a definition, as is typical in much poetic usage (quotation 3). It is these tactics that makes one suspect a real witch. DCDuring (talk) 13:19, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Fee-fi-fo-fum I smell the blood of an Anglishmun. DCDuring (talk) 13:23, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
You should be a lawyer :). Not agreeing with your judgement, but tell me, why is Anglish so bad ? Just curious...You two seem to have a hater-stance on it... Leasnam (talk) 13:55, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
To everyone: I have never made up a word here (maybe elsewhere a long time ago, sure, but not at Wiktionary. I know the rules and I respect them)...every entry I've ever created has been someone else's creation--it came from somewhere. I may come across an interesting new word--I like new words...I even actively seek them out...that's part of language evolution. Now, granted, I may not be as gifted as Equinox at interpreting new words when I find them...I'm just skilled at finding them. Of late, I have been using rfdef to have someone with more focus assist me. But I find it amusing, and honestly a little annoying, that this is as big an issue as you're making it. I should feel flattered (?), but I'm not. Makes me wonder if there isn't another agenda at work here. I seem to sense a lot of hostility (from fear ? I dunno)...but can it please be resolved. I've done what you've asked of me. Leasnam (talk) 14:06, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
So, onto the word itself...I created loonsome along with about 200 new words I found that were being used which contained the suffix -some. (Yes, this is a suffix native to English. Nothing wrong with that. What I feel is wrong is that it was grossly overlooked (Kudos !). I think it may at one time have been labelled "obsolete" or "no longer productive".). So, I start searching actively for words flying below the radar that use this suffix...and lo and behold, I found MANY of them...many never even cataloged anywhere before. They are first defined at Wiktionary (you're welcome ! :). So yes, I trust and rely on my fellow Wiktionarians to assist me in making my entries better...that's what it's about. It's not about a one man show. Multiple editors with multiple inputs characterise us. So why is this happening? If an entry is scrutinised, that's the process we go through. You're mad at me because I am forcing the process to be used. That makes no sense to me. Leasnam (talk) 14:20, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
The problem with that is that we have millions of entries, and bad ones may go undetected for a very long time. Yes, Equinox is being unfair- he's done similar things with his mineral and "-id" entries- but you're overreacting, and throwing in some completely irrelevant and rather emotional arguments in response. FWIW, I have similar concerns about your old practices, but I realize you grown beyond that stage. It should be enough to point out that you don't do that anymore, and tune it out as someone blowing off steam. I would rather not have two very prolific and mostly very good contributors succeed in driving each other off the project. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:42, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I harbour no ill will. Equinox is talented and hard-working. He is a tremendous asset to this project. I do not only appreciate his dedication, but I trust and value his insights. Leasnam (talk) 00:02, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
It's not fear; it's annoyance. It seems like PoV-pushing, especially when the definitions and attestation are so poor coming from someone who should know better.
If someone would like to spend time finding good citations and splitting the definition appropriately, more power to them. The result of their efforts will speak for itself. Based on the current attestation and definition, loonsome should fail RfV IMO. DCDuring (talk) 14:36, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
"It's not fear; it's annoyance. It seems like PoV-pushing"--Okay, I'm telling you for the last time, it's NOT PoV-pushing. Stop seeing it as such. If the word fails, then so be it. My job is to present the word to the group for evaluation. If it's not legit, then we have a process to care for that. That process works. It's working now. Feel good about it. Leasnam (talk) 14:41, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm just as annoyed, but this isn't something Leasnam can do anything about- it's water under the bridge. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:42, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Estonian noun declension - rahaEdit

raha (money, currency) Genitive singular: raha Partitive singular: raha Remaining forms:- Illative singular: rahasse, rahha Inessive singular: rahas Elative singular: rahast Allative singular: rahale Adessive singular: rahal Ablative singular: rahalt Translative singular: rahaks Terminative singular: rahani Essive singular: rahana Abessive singular: rahata Comitative singular: rahaga Nominative plural: rahad Genitive plural: rahade Partitive plural: rahasid Illative plural: rahadesse Inessive plural: rahades Elative plural: rahadest Allative plural: rahadele Adessive plural: rahadel Ablative plural: rahadelt Translative plural: rahadeks Terminative plural: rahadeni Essive plural: rahadena Abessive plural: rahadeta Comitative plural: rahadega Johnling60 (talk) 17:17, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Estonian noun declension - kaelEdit

Why has nobody created an inflection table template for this word despite the fact that the full declension is available on the tea room? Johnling60 (talk) 17:23, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

This is a wiki. We're all volunteers. You've been dumping huge amounts of language-specific detail in a general forum. This is like buying a kit, dumping all the parts on someone's table, then demanding to know why they haven't built anything with it yet.
I would suggest adding {{rfinfl|et|noun}} where you want the inflection to go in the entry and putting your data on the talk page for that entry. To be technical, this is the kind of thing to discuss at Wiktionary talk:About Estonian, but if you need to bring it up here, link to the entry and say the data is on the talk page. Thanks! Chuck Entz (talk) 19:15, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

sign of springEdit

I'm not too optimistic (it's one of those days) but I'd like to see an entry for it. DonnanZ (talk) 20:45, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

What's your definition? DTLHS (talk) 20:52, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Um, something like: An indication that winter is coming to an end, and that spring is on its way (or just around the corner). DonnanZ (talk) 20:57, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
It seems like just a sign of spring, like there are also signs of summer (in Japanese poetry, the call of the lesser cuckoo is a major sign of summer), signs of winter, and so on. Searching OneLook and google books:intitle:Dictionary "sign of spring", I don't spot any other dictionary that includes it. :/ - -sche (discuss) 00:46, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking it could also serve as a translation hub, but never mind. DonnanZ (talk) 07:17, 17 June 2018 (UTC)


I'm surprised about this one. DonnanZ (talk) 08:26, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Surprised how – that it's generally not used literally but mostly figuratively? (That's my sense anyway.) — SGconlaw (talk) 08:52, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree, and added figurative. Done by SemperBlotto, thanks. DonnanZ (talk) 08:55, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Maybe you didn't realise it's a new entry (I was surprised it didn't exist before). DonnanZ (talk) 08:57, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

people are peopleEdit

people are people is probably not appropriate for WT, but I made it anyway and probably totally screwed up the definition too. Perhaps it means nobody's perfect too. --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 11:12, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

I seem to remember using the term people are human recently. DonnanZ (talk) 11:25, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Speak for yourself. Corporations are people, my friend. :)  --Lambiam 12:53, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm not convinced this meets WT:CFI. As far as the meaning is concerned, it seems to be used more often to convey the message that people, everywhere and in all walks of life, are basically the same, with the same range of virtues as well as foibles; judging from some samples of use it does not refer exclusively or even usually to, specifically, human imperfection. A small anthology of uses found with Google book search:
  • Though people are people no matter where they live, their reactions to certain stimuli are largely influenced by their environment.
  • Your delight in the goings on between men and women will not be limited to those of us restricted by gravity. People are people and sometimes angels, like doctors and nurses, are people too.
  • There are many viewpoints regarding the practice of intercultural communication but a familiar one is that "people are people," basically pretty much alike; ...
  • I didn't care much about that. People are people, right — black or white, yellow or brown, whatever.
  • It was a trip of a lifetime and I learned that if given the chance people are people, loving and caring.
  • They're probably gonna do it anyway, because people are people. But we shouldn't encourage them to do so.
  • Most people in Iran behave like that woman. Most would extend the same kind of courtesy as she did. People are people no matter where in the world they live.
  • I try to tell Shlomo, and he says people are people, the same everywhere.
  • As long as people are people, democracy, in the full sense of the word, will always be no more than an ideal.
 --Lambiam 13:32, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
I work with a certain genius (he's about 75 and will retire any day now) who will never attend a meeting without reminding us that "it is what it is" (sounds better as che sera sera, perhaps). I don't think "people are people" is a popular English idiom; it is basically just a Depeche Mode song. Equinox 23:21, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Is someone going to list this at RFD or RFV? It has been nominated for WOTD. — SGconlaw (talk) 07:35, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
  Done. I have nominated it for deletion.  --Lambiam 10:54, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

He was abnormally agitated, she only normally soEdit

Is the following sentence grammatical? if so, could sb. offer a paraphrase? He was abnormally agitated, she only normally so. --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:35, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

I wouldn't straight-out proclaim it ungrammatical, but it looks to me as something you would not normally say. It is either an unnatural made-up example, or a jocular use of the adverb. Here is an attempt at a paraphrase: "He was abnormally agitated, she only to an extent that could be considered normal under the circumstances." A cursory search for examples of "normally" being used in a non-mathematical sense turned up only cases where it meant something like "usually", "under normal circumstances". Other senses may be rare or non-existent because the sentence would almost always be ambiguous and most likely interpreted in the more usual sense. For example, "She was normally agitated" will normally be understood to mean that being agitated was her normal condition, and not that she happened to be agitated, but not abnormally so. It may be best to remove this 3rd sense (which is very close to sense #2 anyway) unless or until someone comes up with an attested use.  --Lambiam 12:45, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

@Lambiam: Regarding the phrase "she only normally so", isn't a verb missing? Otherwise I cannot find a meaning for it, and even the pronoun should be "her". --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:05, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

It looks perfectly OK to me - the second phrase is just a shortening of "she was only normally agitated" (the "so" being the adverb usage that we have defined). SemperBlotto (talk) 15:10, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It looks to me like an ellipsis of "he was abnormally agitated, but she was only normally agitated". As Lambiam noted, this kind of ellipsis wouldn't be used in normal speech- it seems like something that might be used in formal writing or literature. A writer might use such a construction to play with the different implications possible for normally, or they might just be trying to be concise. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:23, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
The sentence is grammatical, to the extent that grammar accepts elision. And while "normally" would, er, normally be interpreted as having a different sense, in this context — directly contrasted with "abnormally" — it would probably be understood. I see it is a usex in the entry [[normally]]... it seems tolerable, but finding actual citations would be better. Perhaps we should even combine the 'manner' and 'degree' senses. As for a paraphrase, plug in the definitions: "he was agitated to an abnormal degree, she was agitated only to a normal/customary/usual degree/extent." - -sche (discuss) 16:17, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
I'd rather we kept the manner, degree, and temporal senses distinguished:
He made a point of behaving normally. (manner)
He was normally quite sensible, except when it came to hyphens. (temporal: "usually", "under normal circumstances")
He was drunk, but normally so for a teenager on a Friday night. (degree)
The degree sense does seem a bit odd in many uses because the other interpretations create ambiguity, sometimes humorous ambiguity. DCDuring (talk) 00:36, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
You'd do better asking a question on Danielklein (talk) 23:38, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Seems completely acceptable to me: "the grass was green, the sky blue". "So" serves as a placeholder like "thus" or "latter". Equinox 02:19, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
Semi-unrelatedly, as someone who was brought up to spit poison at sentence fragments: "he was abnormally agitated, she only normally so" feels like a single sentence (and it would very definitely be wrong to replace the comma with a semicolon, since that would turn the second portion into a stand-alone clause without a verb); however there's something ugly about it :D The French are more chilled about throwing sentences together with commas, but it's hard to unlearn this stuff. (I still think we should have APPENDIX:GRAMMAR. Okay, grammar should be an entire separate project, but Wikt is already the unloved ginger stepchild of WP, so we can't be too ambitious; also, it's almost unthinkable to create a grammar project without being prescriptive, and we have enough people who come here complaining "UNIQUE IS NOT COMPARABLE OMG" etc.) Equinox 02:28, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

kapu (Finnish)Edit

I'm a native Finn, and do not recognise any of the definitions listed on the page. They would be passable translations for the word kapula (but that's it). Perhaps they are dialectal, but I have my doubts about that.

The word, as defined on fi:kapu, is a colloquial form of kapteeni (captain). -- 18:05, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

I think you have managed to catch what I have started to call a Liedesism - I will try to fix the entry up. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 18:33, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Sicilian DefenceEdit

I'm not sure whether Defence has to be capitalised. DonnanZ (talk) 17:01, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

Google ngram for both. An alternative form or simply a redirect could be created. DTLHS (talk) 17:38, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, that's for Sicilian Defense (no entry). I guess we can leave it as it pops up anyway if "Sicilian defence" is searched for. DonnanZ (talk) 17:53, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
There are quite a few such terms (often dog/cat breeds). I would like to say "don't capitalise unless necessary" but I suppose we should base it on the majority. Sometimes there are relatively few texts and the phrase tends to be capped for other reasons (e.g. chapter headings in a dog breeding book). Hills to die on. Equinox 02:30, 21 June 2018 (UTC)


Please check 1. whether this term is on’yomi; 2. why this word have two completely different spelling.--Zcreator alt (talk) 17:31, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

According to the entry the reading is irregular. The article 左義長 at the Japanese Wikipedia gives some kind of explanation of the alternative spelling 三毬杖 (in the section headed 起源). This somewhat complicated explanation is unreferenced; I'd feel more comfortable with a solid reference. The other spelling (left unexplained) would then presumably serve to have a spelling with a reading that conforms to the actual pronunciation.  --Lambiam 23:33, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Re: multiple completely different spellings, this is not unusual for Japanese terms. See also prosaic terms like kawa (“leather”, spelled variously or ), kutsu (“shoes”, ), miyako (“city, capital”, ), etc. etc. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:32, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

ergens and nergensEdit

Would someone expand the definitions of ergens and nergens (Dutch) to include their other meanings? Danielklein (talk) 23:25, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

  Done – Any native Dutch speakers? Please check if the examples given are truly idiomatic.  --Lambiam 23:50, 19 June 2018 (UTC)


How official is this word? How formal is it? If it is not very formal yet, then maybe someone should tell people it's informal, and shouldn't be used in formal speech and writing (like on college essays).

The term Islamicate has been in use since at least 1967, and presumably earlier, since the author freely uses the term, apparently not feeling a need to explain the term to his readers. The term is found in the titles of many scholarly publications. Is that "official" enough? The use is, in any case, generally quite formal.  --Lambiam 11:03, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

Islamify is more generally found.,

That is a verb, and Islamicate is an adjective. They mean different things. The verb Islamify is mainly used by Islamophobes. A more common form is Islamize.  --Lambiam 02:47, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

ز ه رEdit

What does "related to flower magic" mean? (I'm trying to find out why زهر means both "flowers" and "dice".) Ultimateria (talk) 23:48, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

In Lane's Lexicon (volume 3, pp. 427–428) I see nothing related to magic or dice. The basic meanings are give light / shine / blossom, with many words with obviously related meanings. There is also want (the noun) and "a certain musical instrument". One way of saying "dice" in Arabic is نرد, which is not related  --Lambiam 03:29, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
I have changed it to match the known definitions per H. Wehr. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:34, 21 June 2018 (UTC)


Can this also mean "to make overpowered (excessively powered/powerful)", e.g. in the context of video game studios making an unbalanced game? - -sche (discuss) 19:06, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

I scoured a few gaming sites and a handful of game dev books and only came up with one example that definitely fell under this def. I added it (and might even tag it as rare...) Ultimateria (talk) 14:32, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

chocks away!Edit

Supposed to have been used during the Second World War but other sources say that 'chocks away' is indicated with a hand signal, in which case sense one would be wrong. Possibly dated? Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 22:24, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

Whatever was actually done or said during WWII, there are a goodly number of cites at Google Books of uses of the expression as a command or as a report that the command had been executed. DCDuring (talk) 00:18, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
It may predate WWII. I wonder if it was restricted to single-engine aircraft, removing the chocks from the wheels of a twin-engine aircraft with the propellers revolving could be a risky task. DonnanZ (talk) 05:39, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
The term occurs in a 1926 RAF flying training manual as the name for a command transmitted in the form of a hand signal: "Chocks Away. Open Hand at arm's length waved slowly from side to side in line with the Shoulders." The combination of words "chocks away", while basically a SOP, is much older: “ Well, Jack, what can you make on it now ?—we shall have to knock the chocks away from the bo’sprit presently, and run it in fore and aft, like a cutter—— ”. ("The Old Sailor" [James H. Graff?], "Nights at Sea", in Bentley's Miscellany volume 3, 1838).  --Lambiam 07:53, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Dutch interjection ey?Edit

The lemma for Dutch jo gives this as an example of use: "Ey! - Jo! - Hey! - Hi!". This would imply there is a Dutch interjection ey with the same sense as hey. I cannot find any example of this. By the way, the Dutch Wiktionary does not list a Dutch lemma at jo either. The Dutch Wikipedia, though, has an article Yo (groet) in which jo is given as an alternative spelling to yo, mentioning the phrase ey yo as derived from Hey you, unrelated to the standalone interjection yo.  --Lambiam 08:22, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

chaty and vizierEdit

It's weird that Spanish chaty and English vizier both seem to come from the same word in Egyptian. tjati or something like that - I'm not gonna attempt to use hieroglyphics. According to WP, "vizier is the generally accepted rendering of ancient Egyptian tjati, tjaty". How can that produce two words that sound nothing like each other? Oh, and if anyone wants to make an entry for the Egyptian word, go ahead. --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 14:44, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Spanish chaty and English vizier have very different roots -- the English term derives ultimately from Arabic وَزِير (wazīr, helper, aide, minister). See [[vizier#Etymology]].
Note that rendering can sometimes mean “translation”, not “etymological derivative”. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:29, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
The author of the source cited in Wikipedia, Alan Henderson Gardiner, also wrote the book Egypt of the Pharaohs: An Introduction. On page 104 of that book you can read, "The bearer of the title [hieroglyphics] t̼ɜty, appropriately translated ‘vizier’, ..." So it is indeed merely a translation.  --Lambiam 22:59, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
Incidentally, was this removal right, or was the information valid? - -sche (discuss) 22:08, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
The anon's edit was good. Better to leave that hypothetical origin on the Arabic page where it belongs. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:11, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

Languages and people : proper noun or nounEdit


Most words for language of area are also use for the people of the same area. But are these word proper noun or noun? I've looked at some entries and most of them are consistent: French (language is proper noun, people is noun), Spanish (idem), German (idem, except that the section Noun is before Proper Noun), etc. but not English (both are proper noun). It's it correct? or is it something specific to the word "English"?

Cdlt, VIGNERON (talk) 15:59, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Collective nouns for people are a bit of a grey area (proper nouns in general are hard to pin down, we've had several discussions about whether certain things are proper nouns); I suspect the difference in headers between English and French and Abenaki and Spanish is just inconsistency because of that, not a difference in grammar. (Count nouns for people are clearly common nouns, e.g. "Norwegian" for a person is a common noun.) IMO the "collectives" seem to be as much proper nouns (having one distinct referent) as country names are. (Like country names, they can sometimes be considered to have more than one referent, "two Frances", "the real English/French/etc vs the ones you see in the media", etc.) - -sche (discuss) 17:24, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
Names for people, e.g. Spaniard, New Zealander, Londoner, are common nouns, no question about that. I have always been at odds with Wiktionary treatment of languages as proper nouns, which I consider rather bizarre. This certainly doesn't happen in languages such as Norwegian, norsk has no capital letter. I think proper nouns should be reserved for place names (including planets and constellations), names given to buildings, roads and streets, surnames and given names, names of companies, organisations and brand names / trademarks. So Coke would be a proper noun, but coke a common noun. Languages on that basis are not proper nouns, even if they are uncountable. DonnanZ (talk) 14:59, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
I think that a proper noun is the name of an individual thing. They are usually capitalised in English, but capitalisation doesn't make something a proper noun. I'm pretty sure that, in English, the names of languages are simple, uncountable nouns (but still capitalised). SemperBlotto (talk) 15:08, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
I think that the confusion comes from the fact that language names normally derive from (or are the same as) a common adjective. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:13, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't know whether a vote on the language issue would help resolve it, or has one been held before (before my time)? DonnanZ (talk) 15:58, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
Languages names are each a name of an individual thing, if an abstract one, and are thus proper nouns. I'm not sure what we're trying to do here, though; if we have difficulty distinguishing between proper nouns and common nouns, what's so important about them that we should be labeling them? Labeling them as "usually/always capitalized" and "usually/always uncountable", as appropriate, should be good enough. Making up some arbitrary rule here isn't helpful to our users.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:06, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
Someone (God knows who) decided ages ago that languages are proper nouns. I guess that is an "arbitrary rule" that should be debated, as not everyone agrees with that. DonnanZ (talk) 23:24, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
If you want lexicographical evidence, refer to Oxford as I have done, both online and my hard copy. English and French (languages) are both described quite specifically as being mass nouns. My understanding of a mass noun is that it is uncountable, not a proper noun. Oxford describes a mass noun as "A noun denoting something that cannot be counted (e.g a subject or quality), in English usually a noun which lacks a plural in ordinary usage and is not used with the indefinite article." DonnanZ (talk) 23:57, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
Languages and people should be common nouns, also month names and days of the week. The English usage has infected some editors even for languages where there is no capitalisation used and the difference between proper and common nouns is very vague. The transliteration e.g. for Chinese and Japanese romanisations should be in lower case and common nouns. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:33, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
I should have provided some references, here we are: mass noun, proper noun, English,
French, Norwegian. DonnanZ (talk) 12:32, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
I can't find any evidence at all that languages are proper nouns, so I'm not sure where that notion came from. I feel editors should be free to revise language entries from proper nouns to uncountable mass nouns without being challenged (no reversion of edits, edit warring, that sort of thing). If that can happen peacefully there would be no need for a vote, otherwise there would.
For a start, the entry for English is a bit of a mess, with bits shown as a proper noun and other bits as a common noun. It can still be a proper noun however, as it is also a surname and the name of at least one place. DonnanZ (talk) 16:08, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
I've done Italian - it's fiddly and error-prone, so take care. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:17, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: Having done Norwegian I can agree it can be tricky, especially moving translations. But it can be done. DonnanZ (talk) 07:35, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
Language names and demonyms would easily fit our definition of [[proper noun]], as they are understood to refer to specific things. English (language name) and "the English" (demonym) fit. But many demonyms take the form of plurals of nouns that refer to any member of the group, eg, an Italian pluralizes to the Italians. And Italian is also the name of the language.
I don't think most dictionaries bother with the distinction because it makes so little difference. Even as to orthography, the capitalization of the headword itself conveys the idea that it should be capitalized. In English we capitalize Italian when we use it in "[DET] Italian(s)" even though only "the Italians" might be considered a proper noun. DCDuring (talk) 18:01, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
Languages being proper nouns was discussed already at Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2015/February#Languages_-_are_they_proper_nouns_or_not?. Pinging @DCDuring, who in that discussion found support for clasifying them as proper nouns in The Oxford Guide to Practical Lexicography, and the fact that they refer to unique things. I am also inclined to view them as proper nouns, and don't think piecemeal reclassification of them is wise. (As for abolishing the distinction: as DCDuring has also said, "I have yet to find any English grammar reference, of any vintage, that doesn't discuss proper nouns." And yet many low-level e.g. high-school reference works don't make the distinction, or wrongly say that it's just "capitalized nouns are all proper nouns", so we do readers a service by offering more accurate classifications.)
By the way, most of this discussion seems to have missed what I considered the more interesting part of Vigneron's question: is "English" in "the English live in England" a proper noun or a common noun? - -sche (discuss) 17:48, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I missed that - "the English" is a plural noun (as the entry says), not a proper noun. I have been looking at translations of English (language) and generally where a translation is in lower case, it is treated as a common noun. Where it begins with a capital letter it is almost invariably treated as a proper noun, which is probably due to editors being confused and following the example set in English. One odd one is Maori te reo Pākehā (the language of the white man) which you definitely can't call a proper noun. DonnanZ (talk) 19:56, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
In the case of the English live in England, it is not hard to find support that English is a proper noun demonym. I think that English is more commonly a demonym, as many Englishmen would agree. The availablity of Englishman to indicate an individual member of the English makes it possible to show that the English tends to be used as a demonym. English is almost never used as a noun with singular determiners (a, this, that) and seems restricted in its use with plural determiners. Further many English are is about half as common as many Englishmen are, even though the use of EnglishMAN goes against the trend toward gender-neutrality.
It is a bit harder in the case of the Italians live in Italy. The demonym use of the Italians has to be teased out of the total usage of the Italians which includes much use of the simple plural. I am not sure what collocations would reliably indicate demonym usage. Perhaps the Italians voted or some expressions referring to supposed traits or behavioral differences (the Italians use their hands for emphasis).
But I would argue that any instances in which there are distinct terms available for the demonym and for the plural of the members of the demonym should follow the pattern of the English and Englishman/Englishmen. DCDuring (talk) 21:11, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
I think Englishman/men is usually reserved for men, and Englishwoman/women for women - "a couple of Englishwomen", an English girl is using the adjective. But talking about Englishmen and Englishwomen collectively we call them "the English", not "the Englishes" (where's the problem?). DonnanZ (talk) 21:29, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
The same would apply for "the Irish", "the Welsh" and "the Scottish", but not "the Scots" (plural of a Scot). DonnanZ (talk) 21:46, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
And "the French" and "the Dutch". It may be noted they all end in "h", is that accidental or not? DonnanZ (talk) 22:09, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
The recent (2002-2008) surge (from c. 30% to c. 50%) in the frequency of many English are relative to many English men are seems to coincide with a period of much-increased concern with gender neutrality. Many Englishwomen are is not to be found in Google N-grams for 2002-2008. DCDuring (talk) 23:14, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Latin inflected/conjugated formsEdit

Since there is some confusion and even wrong indication elsewhere of Latin inflected/conjugated forms' pronunciation, our templates indicating the accented syllable would be most useful. Bold? Acute accent? -GuitarDudeness (talk) 17:39, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

I'm deeply confused as to what you're talking about. What confusion? And we already have a template that marks the stressed syllable (as well as giving actual pronunciation information): {{la-IPA}}. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:57, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: that template gives nominative cases only. I said all inflected/conjugated (nouns, adjectives, verbs) forms. -GuitarDudeness (talk) 21:22, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
Maybe you don't understand how pronunciation templates work. They show the pronunciation of any word you feed them with. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:24, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
I think the request is that the big tables that list inflected forms of words should indicate which syllable of each inflected form is inflected(?); GuitarDudeness seems to be suggesting bolding or adding an acute accent to those syllables, but adding IPA to the tables would also accomplish the goal. Not a bad idea, although I don't know if it's practical. A less overseeable alternative, but one more in line with existing practices, would be to (by bot?) put the IPA in each inflected form's entry, as is done in some (e.g. duella) but not all (duellorum) entries currently. - -sche (discuss) 06:25, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Adding IPA to inflection tables would make them really messy (and is completely unnecessary, because Latin pronunciation is always predictable given the pronunciation of the lemma form). Adding IPA to all entries is something that should definitely be done. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:43, 27 June 2018 (UTC)


Our senses seem to describe the same thing. I think that we should combine these into a single sense (perhaps giving a separate sense or subsense for the meaning in Catholic theology), and then add a colloquial sense "unusual, extraordinary". —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:41, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

I agree that the two senses are basically identical. The Catholic thing is just a clarifying example of use (clarifying, provided that you have an idea of the theological meaning of sanctifying grace); in no way is it a specific subsense. It should not be part of the definition; instead, the quote from the catechism ("Sanctifying grace is an habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love.") could be used as a quotation in the regular way.
And how common is this colloquial sense? Most things that can be considered unusual or extraordinary, in reality and fiction alike, are perfectly natural, in the sense of being firmly based in the natural, physical universe (what Madame Blavatsky would call "the plane of the manifested Universe"). Is this colloquial sense simply hyperbole? Do we have good and attested examples? Something like, "The chocolate cake was absolutely supernatural, like it literally made my head explode!"  --Lambiam 21:41, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree that the senses should be merged, but I disagree with Lambiam that the Catholic theological sense is not distinct. Angels are not considered supernatural in any way, for instance, because "supernatural" means "above what is proper to the nature of...." "In other words, sanctifying grace is supernatural because it comes from God and is not innate to human nature, while angels and demons are no more supernatural than humans despite not belonging to the observable, physical universe. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:48, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Then you must feel that the first sense given for angel – "A divine and supernatural messenger from a deity, or other divine entity" – is in error.  --Lambiam 13:23, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't the "supernatural" part is wrong, just unclear. A Catholic theologian might look at that and call it a bad definition, however. I don't think any of the Abrahamic religions consider angels divine, however, so I might modify the definition. The spiritual element is key from a Catholic perspective. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:45, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
I modified the definition, leaving "divine" to allow for those religious traditions where angels are believed to be divine. Hopefully it's generic enough to apply to all relevant religious traditions. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:54, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
This is a relic of a time when people often added their own wording of the definition as a separate sense line. Paranormal also had two redundant senses for a long time. (Btw, the Roman Catholic bit seems like a usex at best, if not just unnecessary.) It's possible to speak of a real person's demonstrable (and natural) "supernatural swiftness", etc, and other dictionaries seem to handle that with a separate sense, but it seems like routine enough semantic extension (like one shouts "that's impossible! unbelievable!" about something which one accepts did happen), so I might suggest a definition like:
  • Being (ostensibly) above or beyond what is natural or explainable by the laws of nature, especially if characteristic of or attributed to a deity or spirit or paranormal force.
Or drop "or paranormal force", with not much loss, to avoid the defs for this word and that one referencing each other. - -sche (discuss) 06:16, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
The way I understand the term is as meaning "not explainable by natural law or natural phenomena". As far as I see, other senses ("So what happens to the rest of the pitchers out there, the ones who aren't given that supernatural ability?") are metaphoric or hyperbolic extensions of that basic meaning.  --Lambiam 13:25, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

blowhard is American English?Edit

WF claims that blowhard is not American English. It's used in the Guardian and The Telegraph. Changing the tag to include {{lb|en|USA|Canada|UK}} would be simple, as would removing the {{lb}} tag altogether. But it would also be lazy. So, I could open a general question: When does a term stop being region-specific? --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 18:00, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

I should just add that Oxford Dictionaries Online labels the word as "North American". — SGconlaw (talk) 19:40, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever heard this word spoken (lifetime UK resident); I've read it a lot but those might not have been British texts. Equinox 21:46, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
It definitely sounds North American to me. Ƿidsiþ 08:00, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
Among OneLook references, only Oxford labels it US. Some dictionaries give it an American origin. w:Blowhard (a dab page) has three toponyms, 2 in Oz, 1 in US, though this may well be in reference to literal wind. DCDuring (talk) 10:14, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

blowhard has another meaning?Edit

So, the new quote for blowhard doesn't at all fit with the definition. I could put {{rfdef}} on there, but... --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 18:03, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

Arabic enclitic pronouns with genitive constructs, e.g. جواز سفرEdit

(Notifying Benwing2, Mahmudmasri, Metaknowledge, Wikitiki89, Erutuon, Kolmiel, ZxxZxxZ, Stephen G. Brown, عربي-٣١): : How should the enclitic pronouns work with iḍāfa constructs? I can only think of جَواز سَفَر (jawāz safar, passport) (literally "licence of travel"), which could take the enclitic pronouns by its sense. So, if I want to say "my passport", it's جَواز سَفَرِي (jawāz safarī) - confirmed by native speakers - the ending ـِي (, my, mine) is attached to the end, as if it's a single word. It's attached to the "al-muḍāf ilaihi", not "al-muḍāf", which I would expect. Please let me know what I'm missing. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:47, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

@Atitarev, Wikitiki89 I am not super versed in fine points of Arabic grammar but I think that traditionally, in Koranic Arabic, these should always be treated as phrases, hence جَوَاز اَلسَْفَر (jawāz as-safar), maybe جَوَازِي اَلسَْفَر (jawāzī s-safar)? However, the modern tendency is to treat them as single entities, hence اَلْجَوَاز سَفَر (al-jawāz safar), جَوَاز سَفَرِي (jawāz safarī). Something similar exists in Hebrew, where e.g. I was taught to say בית ספר (bet sefer, school, literally house of a book), בית הספר (bet ha-sefer, the school, literally house of the book), but many people nowadays say הבית ספר (ha-bet sefer) instead. In Arabic at least, it might depend on how lexicalized the expression is. Benwing2 (talk) 16:01, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
@Benwing2: Thanks. If the term is perceived as a single word, shouldn't the definite state be الجواز سفر, as in the Hebrew example, rather than جواز السفر, as in the declension table (confirmed elsewhere). Do definite forms and forms with enclitic pronouns conflict each other? Pinging the creator too: @Wyang. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 21:58, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev I think I used the Arabic Wikipedia page when creating the entry, which uses جواز السفر throughout. Please correct if it is incorrect. Wyang (talk) 22:03, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
@Wyang: Thanks, Frank. The definite form you used can be attested. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:10, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
@Benwing2, Wyang: Please note that the image of the Algerian passport on the right
جواز السفر
says جَواز السَّفَرُ (jawāz as-safaru), ending in a ḍamma and the first part is unmarked. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:07, 26 June 2018 (UTC)


Why does this apply only to birds? Why not to insects, bats, etc.? --Jonathan Webley (talk) 13:46, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

An oversight. I have corrected it.  --Lambiam 12:40, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

SMV - sexual market valueEdit

Should we parse this as [sexual market] + [value] or [sexual] + [market value]? --Per utramque cavernam 15:17, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

I think it means "value on the sexual market". Although we have no entry yet for "sexual market" (which could be considered SOP but perhaps has a more specialized meaning, considering this is a somewhat dehumanizing metaphor and not your standard commodities market), it is easy enough to find examples of its use ("Commercialization of the sexual market would provide a more efficient way of matching partners." – "Masculinity is the (sexual) ideal in the commercial and noncommercial sexual market." – "At first blush, it seems that the passion of sexual market theorists cannot be restrained.") The last example is not about market theorists that happen to be sexual. Likewise, SMV is not about market value that is perhaps low, or maybe high, but in any case sexual.  --Lambiam

Repetition to contrast qualified with unqualified wordsEdit

Today I asked the question whether something was "rubbish rubbish or recycling rubbish" and when I was at university it was common to talk about "home home" and "university home" or "Swansea home" (I was at university in Swansea). In both cases the former repeats the word to clarify that it's the basic property of the word not a qualified subset of the meaning. Is there a term for this? Thryduulf (talk) 23:06, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

Contrastive focus reduplicationΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:27, 25 June 2018 (UTC)


Hey all. Any idea of the English equivalent to espolique? It's defined as "Mozo que camina junto a la caballería en que va su amo." - someone who walks beside their master's horse. I was thinking squire or rider's assistant or stable boy, but these don't quite fit. Surely there's a specific wod for that guy --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 16:22, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

Citing SquirtleEdit

The word Squirtle was deleted not long ago as an entry, after being a redirect to a Pokémon appendix for years. We have the citations page Citations:Squirtle, which had one that definitely doesn't mention the Pokémon context (. . . Squirtle sippy cup . . .), but today I heard a rap song that uses the word "Squirtle", and have added it to the cites page. Can anyone find a third durably archived source that uses the word "Squirtle", in its Pokémon sense, without mentioning Pokémon? (I'm not sure the other two cites are from sources that go without use of the words "Pokémon" or "Nintendo".) Khemehekis (talk) 01:44, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

Searching lyrics cites, and then checking which songs were released by big labels on CDs (which would typically be archived into the collections of some libraries), it would probably be possible to find more citations. I see several songs using phrases like "wet like Squirtle", "wet 'em up like Squirtle" and "she like Squirtle", but I don't know if they're the sort that would be durably archived. - -sche (discuss) 02:42, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice, -sche! Lyrics are a good well of allusions that meet WT:FICTION. Khemehekis (talk) 02:48, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Gangsta rap is full of brand names (guns, whisky, trainers/sport shoes, etc.) and they are generally mentioned without context. What are the implications for our policy? Equinox 23:09, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

veritas vincitEdit

Is it really Translingual, or just good old Latin? DonnanZ (talk) 09:55, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

Our treatment of Latin sayings is somewhat uneven. Ars longa, vita brevis is only listed as a Latin term, but you'll find it used in many languages. The phrase De gustibus non est disputandum has a Danish and a Latin entry. It is not attested in Classical Latin, but definitely used in many more languages than just Danish. Likewise for Suum cuique, which is attested in Latin, and in widespread use as a motto. And the rather common saying Sic transit gloria mundi, not attested classically, is only listed under Latin. Perhaps the best is to list all Latin phrases under Latin, and also under Translingual, the latter provided they are used as a motto or saying in several other languages.  --Lambiam 11:57, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

Language code for Medieval LatinEdit

We have code la for Latin, and itc-ola for Old Latin, but none for Medieval Latin. At least, none is listed at WT:LANGLIST. Exceptionally, {{derived}}) and {{inherited}}) appear to accept the code ML. or la-med as such (defined in Module:etymology languages/data), but only for their second parameter. So {{inh|it|ML.|duellum}} is fine, but {{inh|ML.|itc-ola|duellum}} gives a Lua error ("Please enter a language code in the first parameter"). Does this serve a purpose? It makes it impossible to record, using the designated templates, that Medieval Latin duellum is inherited, although with a change of meaning, from Old Latin duellum.  --Lambiam 15:02, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

I think that after {{inh|it|ML.|duellum}}, you would have to enter "from {{inh|it|itc-ola|duellum}}" separately. DonnanZ (talk) 16:09, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
It's intentional. In the entry for duellum#Latin, when specifying what language duellum#Latin is (e.g., when specifying that it is the descendant of an itc-ola word), you should use the language code for that language which is in the entry's header — Latin (la). - -sche (discuss) 16:14, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Medieval Latin can be added and recorded within a Latin entry where relevant using {{lb|la|Medieval Latin}}. DonnanZ (talk) 16:53, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, I've applied this at duellum. Ideally, some or most of the now purely verbal information under Etymology should eventually be templated, though, or even become codified as part of the wikidata web.  --Lambiam 01:45, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

cage verbEdit

We have two senses: "to put into a cage" and "to keep in a cage". How do these differ? If I say "I caged a guinea-pig yesterday" then clearly I put it in a cage (sense 1). If I say "I cage gerbils" I am presumably saying that I catch them in cages when I can (again sense 1). Keeping is a continuous process, not a single action: how would the sense of "keep in a cage" work? Is it legitimate? Equinox 23:08, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

I only know cage as a dynamic verb. "Keep in a cage" is stative. Any quotations, anyone, that unambiguously establish a stative sense (e.g., something like "The couple caged their children for weeks at a time.")?  --Lambiam 01:52, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Oh yeah! To my shame I have forgotten most of my modern grammar and "aspect" and what not. It is damnably complicated. Searching Google Books for the quoted phrase "was caged for a" might help. Equinox 01:56, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
That does indeed produce more than a few hits (Meet "Danger Cat" he was caged for a long time until we rescued him.This lion was caged for a long time until he was finally led out into the wild into liberty.) In most cases, caged could very well be replaced by put away in the slammer (Leeanne McHugh was caged for a year at Paisley Sheriff Court today.Thompson was caged for a year at Chester Crown Court, sitting at Warrington, on August 16.), so these are dynamic uses. The remaining ones appear simply instances of the adjective caged used predicatively.  --Lambiam 04:04, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
There are at least a few common verbs that are more commonly stative that also have dynamic senses. Examples are sit, stand, lie, float, occupy?, stop. I think there are many, many more stative verbs that do not have a corresponding dynamic sense. DCDuring (talk) 09:14, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Occupy can clearly have both a dynamic sense (Early this morning, student protesters occupied the main administration building) and a static one (Coffee occupies a big place in Turkish culture).  --Lambiam 04:04, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
Or "Last year the protesters occupied the building, and continued to occupy it after that for several months". Chuck Entz (talk) 04:11, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

event#English missing definition?Edit

Is the sense for an arranged/social event ("went to an event") part of #1 or does it need to be added? —Suzukaze-c 03:32, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

Seems to me this is just sense 1 ("an occurrence; something that happens"). — SGconlaw (talk) 03:54, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
I disagree. An event in sense 1 can refer to something like a car accident or a battle. When I say I went to an event, I mean that I went to an organized activity/function/party of some kind. You can't go to an occurrence. The senses are clearly related and probably overlap somewhat, but I think they're distinct. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:41, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Andrew Sheedy. The definitions seem distinct enough. DCDuring (talk) 09:17, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Event in the sense mentioned by Suzukaze-c is simply a specific, planned form of occurrence. But I'm not going to object vehemently if it is thought desirable to record this usage in a subsense. — SGconlaw (talk) 11:32, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Many of the definitions in polysemic words are clearly derived from more basic or older meanings. But at some point the usage evolves so that the word is being used in a way inconsistent (usually semantically, sometimes grammatically as well) with the old definition. One criterion for determining whether the meaning has changed enough to warrant a 'new' definition is whether the old definition can substitute for the word in the 'new' usage. As Andrew Sheedy pointed out above, the substitution doesn't work. Another example: Where will they hold the event? (*Where will they hold the occurrence?). Sometimes the 'new' definition can usefully be shown as a subsense, but in this case it doesn't seem to me to merely be a specialization of the old definition. I don't think rewording def. 1 would work, but, without a corpus that supports searches for and useful displays of collocations, it is hard to be at all sure. DCDuring (talk) 12:04, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
The usage is obviously derived, but it does seem distinct enough for a separate sense. FWIW, I looked at Cambridge,, Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries Online, of which two have a separate subsense for this, one does not, and one has two definitions that are both worded broadly like our sense 1 without clear mention of 'social' aspects (🤷). That some languages seem to have separate words for the two senses is also suggestive of distinction. - -sche (discuss) 17:39, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Also, there's such a thing as an event planner a.k.a an event manager (see w:Event management), who organizes the kind of events in this sense, but not in any other. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:58, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Blær (Icelandic)Edit

The Icelandic word blær also exists as a feminine proper name (N = Blær; A = Blæ; D = Blævi; G = Blævar). See Icelandic Naming Committee#Blær Bjarkardóttir Rúnarsdóttir in the English Wikipedia. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 06:28, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

Lawful husband and wifeEdit

Should there be entries for lawful husband and lawful wife?

On the one hand, it may be considered SoP. On the other hand, an "unlawful wife" is (usually) not an illegal wife. An unlawful wife can be a "common-law wife" as in common-law marriage. I found as I searched for this, it's all not as obvious as it seems I think. Alexis Jazz (talk) 03:40, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

ask me if I give a shitEdit

and other variants. Is it entry worthy? Per utramque cavernam 14:49, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

No, I would think give a shit is probably enough. DonnanZ (talk) 09:16, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
"Ask me if I care" is a simpler/less impolite version. I suppose "ask me if X" could go in the snowclones appendix, possibly? Equinox 10:36, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
I obviously misunderstood that question...DonnanZ (talk) 10:49, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
@Equinox: what about "see if I"? (see if I care, see if I give a shit/fuck) Alexis Jazz (talk) 00:47, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

angel momEdit

While I keep reverting this change due to its wording and how it replaces the original term (instead of adding a subentry), a lot of the usage seems to actually follow an usage like that. What would be the best way to word it? SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 15:05, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

If both meanings exist: two meanings and label like "# {{lb|en|specifically}}", "# {{lb|en|by extension}}". - 01:16, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
@Surjection: I made some changes, hope this helps. Alexis Jazz (talk) 01:59, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

July 2018


I wish to change the English Language Entry for silver taking out the Indo-European source word and adding the words: "The replacement of Indo-European *H¹erĝṇtom in Germanic has been thought to be linked to increasing metalurgical sophistication." To add "but has been considered phonologically and geographically improbable" to the discussion of an Akkadian source also inserting the Akkadian script. I also wish to cite references for this - any problem if I add this to the Etymology bit or should I put it under further reading? Is there any problem with me doing this?

No response so I've gone ahead and done it.

For future reference, posts about etymologies should go in the WT:Etymology scriptorium. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:04, 6 July 2018 (UTC)


@Mocha2007 pointed out on the talk page that the "humorous misspelling of girl" definition would seem to be a separate etymology.

I'm not really sure how we should handle it: on the one hand, it's definitely derived from girl, but on the other, it's also definitely derived from grill. This is a pun, which takes its humor from simultaneously being (sort of) both of two different terms or senses.

Is this really a lexical form of either girl or grill, or is it merely the substitution of one lexically-unchanged word for another in order to make a joke?

I see that we have ladies and germs from "Good evening, ladies and germs", but we don't have a sense at germ for "(humorous) gentleman", and we don't have "I resemble that remark" or a sense at resemble for "(humorous) resent". Chuck Entz (talk) 04:37, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Is there anything prohibiting an etymology along the lines of: "Humorous misspelling of girl influenced by the spelling of grill"? Mocha2007 (talk) 17:04, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Examples of where this is used would help. "I resemble that remark" seems not to be using "resemble" to mean "resent", but rather to be using it to mean "resemble" and humorously replacing disagreement with a remark with agreement. It seems no more entry-worthy than "I resent that remark". "Ladies and germs" seems like it probably is as idiomatic as "ladies and gents". To the extent it exists, a separate etymology section for this (grill) seems fine, especially as the page already has several, so it's possibly unclear which of them girl is being respelled to resemble (but again, examples might help clarify). - -sche (discuss) 17:20, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
"I resemble that remark" = "I am like or similar to that remark"? It doesn't make sense to simply insert the one current sense we have for resemble in there, and it certainly sounds like a new, unfamiliar sense to my ear.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:24, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

grill 2: obsolescenceEdit

Are the "provoke", "terrify", "shiver" and "snarl" senses obsolete? Century marks the first as obsolete even in its (1910s) day, so I've added a tag, but I suspect the others may also be no longer used. Other dictionaries I checked don't even have them. - -sche (discuss) 17:17, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

I think they should be labeled as obsolete until someone produces contrary evidence, eg, attestation of entry from OED, DARE or other high-quality authority.
But the only real problem is that someone might come across the term, eg, in Wikisaurus, and decide to use it in an entry, ie, as part of a gloss. I don't think an obsolete definition should ever be used in a list of synonyms without the appropriate qualifier. I hope it isn't a common problem, as it would be hard to clean up. DCDuring (talk) 17:59, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
With the search "Wikisaurus: grill" I found four pages that used grill, none with the offending definition. OTOH, looking at Wikisaurus:frighten (for the "terrify" gloss), I found affright and harrow without any qualifier label, though fray is labelled "archaic". DCDuring (talk) 18:14, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

"what all you can do"Edit

Seen today: "here's what all you can do with (such-and-such a tool)", i.e. the totality of what can be done with it. Seems to be US usage; reminds me of y'all. Should we cover this at all somehow, or even at what all? Equinox 18:21, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Good catch. what all at OneLook Dictionary Search shows only MWOnline (and Urban Dictionary) as having a real entry. MWOnline defines it as "whatnot". For many usages "whatever" seems good too, possibly covered in whatever#Pronoun.
It is probably a use of all. It derives from, extends from all in "We all wanted to come visit." It is not limited to use with pronouns. Proper nouns (plural) and common nouns (plural) also accept all in the right sense, I think. "The Smiths all wanted to visit." "The drivers all wanted to visit." "The cars all ran out of gas." DCDuring (talk) 20:09, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
What all seems to allow for a large number of things, whereas whatever seems to allow for any one thing. Whatnot does seem closer. DCDuring (talk) 20:12, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
"Whatnot" doesn't seem like a substitutable definition, though, since it doesn't seem possible to say "here's whatnot you can do with it". And in order to substitute "what all" into the usexes at "whatnot", it seems it might be necessary to add "else" (examples from Google Books: "cigarette stubs and chewing gum wrappers and Babe Ruth wrappers and what all else", "knowing the love that flows within this family, our history, and what all else, I'll admit I was hurt").
I'm not sure whether it should be at what all and who all or at all. The similarity to we all that you mention, and the fact that I would expect although I can't find evidence(!) that one could also less frequently express "why all they did it and how all they did it", would suggest it could be at all. But the lemming principle suggests we should at least have redirects at what all, etc, if we don't lemmatize there.
Inconsistently, Merriam-Webster does not have an entry for who all and instead covers it with a definition and usex at all which seem just as applicable to what all.
- -sche (discuss) 15:23, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Not in the OED, but they do have who-all, which is similar. Ƿidsiþ 09:35, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Yale's Grammatical Diversity Project has an example of "where all did he go" from Kanye. They quote McCloskey (2000), Murray and Simon (2006) and DARE as saying that "what all"-type constructions are found in many dialects, including the South, South Midland, and Midland in America, and Scots and Northern Irish in the UK. - -sche (discuss) 15:34, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
I grew up in Texas thinking this was standard. I would add this to "all" because it extends to "what all", "who all", and "where all" (but only these three) to the same effect. But I've never come across an example like the one Equinox gives. I thought it was exclusively interrogative, or interrogative-adjacent (my mind is blanking on the term) as in Yale's example of "tell me what all happened". Ultimateria (talk) 15:53, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Robert Cirillo, "What all happens when a universal quantifier combines with an interrogative DP", in The Noun Phrase in Romance and Germanic (→ISBN), explores examples of constructions like this in various languages, writing that "British English"—(but compare the claim about Scottish, above!)—"and the Romance languages do not have it, Swedish seems to be evolving away from it, and American English applies it arbitrarily and inconsistently, allowing all to occur only with singular interrogative DPs." He opines that, because not all phrases are actually valid ("*why all", *"how all"; a LinguistList poster adds *"when-all"), those which do occur (he cites "whom all"(!), "what all" and "where all") are "indivisible phrases in the lexcon", "lexical rather than syntactic [...] comparable to lexicalized, 'frozen' expressions". But I think decent arguments have been made above for nonetheless putting this at "all" with senseid-specific redirects. And I can find an example of "how-all": in Football's Best Short Stories (Paul D. Staudohar, 1998), on page 107: "I mean, you could have called us—collect, o'course—jes' to let us know how-all it's a-goin'." This StackExchange thread mentions "which all", and says Indian English also uses these but with plural verbs ("who all were at the party"). - -sche (discuss) 16:23, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Wouldn't our usual practice be to have both a definition at [[all]] and entries at [[who all]], [[what all]], and [[where all]]? DCDuring (talk) 18:21, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
...would it? It seems to me we'd usually either redirect "what all" et al to a senseid-specific sense of "all" that would cover all these, or have a line at "all" saying "Only in what all, who all, and where all." If this is a general sense of all, then who all etc would be SOP, no? (The fact that different dialects differ on which ones they allow, and on whether they take a singular or a plural verb, could argue for or against or be orthogonal to idiomaticity, I guess.) - -sche (discuss) 19:41, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Dutch/Low German hardEdit

Not actually an invitation to 'Dutch hard'. The word 'hard' seems to resist the shift /Vrd/ > /Vːrd/ that exists in these languages, cf. Dutch aard, baard etc. Does anyone have any idea why that is? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 20:50, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

I don't know the answer, but we also have Dutch flard. Since final d is devoiced, if this is a systematic shift, you would also expect /ɑrt/ > /art/. Examples where such a shift did not happen abound.  --Lambiam 11:54, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

"legal representant"Edit

Hello, is legal representant considered as a set phrase in English? French Wiktionary has an entry legal representant, but I suspect it is only to translate the French phrase représentant légal (used in law). — Automatik (talk) 10:44, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Apparemment, on dit plutôt legal representative en anglais : [7], [8]. Per utramque cavernam 11:01, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Normally "legal representative" DonnanZ (talk) 13:23, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
English representant is considered obsolete. DonnanZ (talk) 13:30, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Reorganizing the entry for Basque verb izanEdit

This verb izan can be used as an intransitive copula ("be"), as transitive verb meaning "have", as an auxiliary for intransitive verbs (with finite forms the same as the copula), and as an auxiliary for transitive verbs. It's also used as an auxiliary for intransitive verbs with a dative argument, with a whole different set of finite forms. The dative argument is usually translated by a possessive in English. (These are called nor-nori verbs in Basque.) It's used as an auxiliary with transitive verbs with dative arguments (nor-nork-nori verbs) as well, with yet another set of finite forms. The nori (dative) argument of these verbs sometimes corresponds to an indirect object in English, in other cases to a possessive.

Linguists usually give a separate etymology for the transitive forms even the citation form and participles are the same in standard Basque. Some regional dialects have separate participles for the transitive forms.

The verb has about 1500 inflected forms (not counting hika and subordinate forms) and multiple meanings and usages, so the entry needs to be broken down into subsections somehow to make it easier to follow. I guess, following standard Wiktionary formatting, I can use the etymology to split the entry into two parts. In outline, the result will look like this:

Etymology 1Edit


izan (intransitive)

  1. to be
    (usage examples)
  2. (auxiliary for intransitive verbs)
    (usage examples)
  3. (auxiliary for intransitive verbs with dative arguments)
    (usage examples)


(Conjugation table for nor verbs)

(Conjugation table for nor-nori verbs)

Etymology 2Edit

From an unattested earlier form *edun, reconstructed on the basis of the finite forms and the dialectal participle eduki.


izan (transitive)

  1. to have
    (usage examples)
  2. (auxiliary for transitive verbs)
    (usage examples)
  3. (auxiliary for transitive verbs dative arguments)
    (usage examples)


(Conjugation table for nor-nork verbs)

(Conjugation table for nor-nork-nori verbs)


I'd like to split the entry up into four parts, though, with separate sections for the transitive and intransitive forms with nori (datve) agreement, so that the conjugation tables will show up under the relevant definition.

I've only been active on Wiktionary for about two weeks, so I wanted to run this by people here and get some feedback before jumping in and doing a major reorganization of an entry. If anybody has some good ideas about handling the subsections for nori agreement forms, I'd appreciate it. Namnagar (talk) 13:53, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

I would agree with this separation only if there are in fact two separate etymologies. If not, the following structure is fine:
  1. to be
    1. aux.
    2. aux.
  2. to have
    1. aux.
    2. aux.
As for the conjugation tables, there's no problem in putting usage notes between them, explaining in one or two lines which sense each one applies to and any other info that's necessary. I can't really find an example since I don't know of any other languages that have different conjugations for different senses...
Since I'm totally ignorant of Basque, I have to ask: are these four conjugations are completely different or do the last three just have elements that the "nor" table does not? Ultimateria (talk) 16:19, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
The agreement prefixes and suffixes are pretty regular and predictable once once you get the hang how they work. For this verb, the in-between stuff, the variant forms the stem takes, isn't predictable.
Thanks, @Ultimateria:. You reply has been very helpful. And thanks to you and others for cleaning up behind me. I'll go edit the entry shortly and try to make less mistakes! Namnagar (talk) 01:33, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Part of the reason the conjugations are different is because Basque synthetic verbs agree with the subject, the object, and the indirect object (if present or required by the verb), so eman nion means "I gave it to her", and "I gave them to her" is eman nizkion. Nintzen, "I was", on the other hand, just has nor (intransitive subject) agreement. This all the more confusing because Basque has ergative alignment and there are lots of idiomatic usages. I picked past-tense examples because they're easier to follow and the first-person singular prefix n(i)- is the same in all three.
There are suppletive stems throughout the transitive and intransitive izan paradigms, but there seems to be enough evidence for the transitive and intransitive forms having separate origins to list them under separate etymologies. If this is disputed, we can go with your suggested alternative, breaking the entry down by the the glosses of independent forms. The entry for izan is going to get really complicated once it's fleshed out. Basically, what I care about is making sure we still have a readable entry once we get there. Namnagar (talk) 04:12, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Wow, I see how that would add up to a lot of verb forms. I would say go ahead and make any changes you see fit to the page, since I can tell you know your stuff (although I definitely appreciate your seeking help before making big changes!). I've added izan to my watchlist so I can check up on it every few days to see if there are any errors. If you need any help with conjugation tables, I'm useless on that front, so you should make a post in the Grease Pit, or you can probably do a lot just by copying and tweaking the existing ones. One last formatting gripe: synonyms should be connected to their respective senses; the trend lately is to use {{synonyms}} for that. Ultimateria (talk) 13:07, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, @Ultimateria:! I'll feel a lot better knowing that somebody who knows what they're doing is keeping eye on the entry, because I'll probably make a lot of mistakes. Also, if some of my examples and explanations don't make sense feel free to let me know, and I'll try to make them clearer. Thanks for the heads up about {{synonyms}}. I'm still pretty fuzzy about anything that isn't "Derived" or "Related". I really need to learn how to format "See also" sections, and when they're appropriate.
Anyway, once again, thanks for all your help! Namnagar (talk) 14:30, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  Done, sort of. I reorganized the entry, with each usage of izan that has different conjugation listed as a separate verb. I hope this will make these entries easier to follow when they're fleshed out more.
Glaring things I know I need to fix: The nor nori table has some layout issues and needs to be replaced. I need to make nor nork and nor nori nork tables. (I'm still learning templates, so this will take me a while.)
The usage notes for izan/egon aren't entirely accurate for northern Basque. Northern varieties do make the same distinction between inherent and temporary qualities, but don't use different verbs. I need to check to make sure I've got the northern usages right before editing that part. I'm not sure how to format the usage examples for this section.
Any feed-back would be welcome! Namnagar (talk) 23:45, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Another sense of bebop?Edit

There is currently a verb sense referring to dancing to bebop jazz, but it is commonly used to refer to a type of walking, in an easygoing or maybe even jaunty manner. Would this merit another sense or could it fall under the existing one? I have some cites if that helps:

  • As soon as I'd gulped down my breakfast, I'd bebop over to the sink ...
  • Just about this time Mary Helen came bebopping into the room and plopped down in the other chair.
  • He has a small radio and he plays it full blast as he bebops down the dirt road ... [walking]

-Ultimateria (talk) 16:58, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

are you and we determiners real?Edit

At you, we have a Determiner section to cover "have you gentlemen come to see the lady?" and "you idiot!" Other dictionaries I checked don't have such a section (though one has a noun section for things like "another you" and "that outfit is so you", which seems equally hard to justify). But are these really determiners, or just uses of the pronoun? Because other pronouns can be used this way, too, e.g. e.g. "y'all fools" and "sing y'all folks a song" are both attested, as is "we Canadians" (which I notice we also have a determiner section for), and not just in English: "wir Deutschen sind eine Nation von Kaffeetrinkern" and "ihr Deutschen seid" and "Du Idiot!", "nous ne consentirons jamais, nous Françaises, à nous transformer en mères gigognes" and "Parisiens, et vous Français de tous rangs et de toutes les classes", etc. - -sche (discuss) 17:18, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

They serve a determinative function, I think, parallel to these, those, as does us. Not all of the English personal pronouns seem to function as determinatives in mainstream English AFAICT, eg, not I/me, he/him, she/her (her possessive is a semantically different determiner.), they/them, so there may be reason to note that we/us and you can. DCDuring (talk) 21:23, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Good point. I suppose only some of the second-person pronouns function this way, too; e.g. "y'all / all y'all / youse / ye Americans use a lot of fireworks" work(s) this way (in speech and on the web, "you-uns" sometimes does too, but apparently not in CFI-compliant media), but *"you guys / you lot Americans use a lot of fireworks" do(es) not. - -sche (discuss) 03:33, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
CGEL favors the determiner treatment too. DCDuring (talk) 03:02, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

take a shit, give a shit...Edit

Etymology-wise, why is it that you take a shit when you leave one behind, but when you give a shit (which no one but plants might actually want), it's a good thing?

How did these uses develop?

Similar for take a piss (i.e., "why take?", although I don't think there's an analogous give a piss expression...).


‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:32, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

For "take" (American English) read "have" in British English. There is also the crude "(don't) give a fuck". DonnanZ (talk) 18:57, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Even for have, the semantics are odd: once one does the deed, one doesn't have a shit any longer because it has been left behind. The meaning of the verb (either take or have) has been almost reversed. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:48, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
To have a shit is to "have (an episode of) shitting" Leasnam (talk) 22:11, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, like "having" a dinner party or a psychotic episode. It doesn't particularly imply possession. Equinox 22:18, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
For "take a shit", compare take a leak, take a walk, take a nap, take a break. I think this is take sense #14 ("To experience, undergo, or endure."), maybe subsense #4 (compare the example sentence "I had to take a pee."). As for "give a shit", compare give a damn, give a fuck, give a rat's ass. I'm not exactly sure how this sense of "give" developed, but here's some speculation: if you care a lot about something, you might say you would give anything to have it happen (or not happen). If you don't care at all about something, maybe you could say you wouldn't give a rat's ass; in other words, you wouldn't give anything, because you care so little. Maybe something like that developed into the expressions like "give a shit" that are common now. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:04, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Could also include sense #33 "perform, do", which I have expanded just a bit by the addition of "practice", "carry out", "execute" (e.g. an action or task), so take a shit can be thought of as "performing/carrying out/executing a shit (i.e. a defecation)" . Leasnam (talk) 05:51, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Granger, I don't think it's sense 14.4, to participate in, and I don't think that sample sentence is appropriate there. The expression take a pee (or take a shit) is nearly always used in a single-person context, whereas participate implies some sort of cooperative endeavor.
@Leasnam, sense 33 seems more likely, but I note that other "activity" expressions using take are more clearly actions, like walk or vacation or voyage, whereas shit when preceded by an article parses more as a physical thing.
Hmm...I'm not so sure. What do you make of take a poop ? It wouldn't quite be the same if I said take a turd (which is a physical thing), so clearly shit and poop here are actions (cf. "that was a good shit this morning" or "I took a loooong shit" --the piece of shit wasn't long, but the duration of the activity of shitting was), see, not physical things, right ? Leasnam (talk) 08:57, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Both, all, I am curious about the historical development of this particular phrasing. Aside from specific excretory functions, I cannot think of other cases where one takes something in order to get rid of it. I don't think one takes a puke, for instance. At a bare minimum, this is a semantic oddity. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 06:37, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
I can't help but think that reasoning take to somehow mean "get rid of, give" is a step in the wrong doesn't mean "give" that at all. I think we may be incorrectly re-analysing it and getting ourselves lost... take a shit is exactly like take a nap, take a break, take a rest, take vengeance and take a bath where bath here refers to "a bathing" (action). Leasnam (talk) 09:15, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Compare also take the waters, which does not mean "take possession of the waters", but "practice bathing as a therapeutic activity".  --Lambiam 22:13, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
I've switched out the "take a pee" usex for "take a meeting". Regarding "taking" something to get rid of it, sense 54 is "give" ("lett me se the tribute money. And they toke hym a peny"). And in baseball, to take a pitch is to decline to swing at it, letting it pass untouched. Erutuon seems right that this is a light verb with little semantic content, but it wouldn't surprise me if the original notion was from one of the many senses, like 45 "deal with" (as in "take matters as they arise"), or a notion of "taking a shit [out of one's body]", related to "I need to take a minute [out of the day / my time]". - -sche (discuss) 07:28, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@-sche, I've added "bring" to sense 54. I think the the example of the tribute money can also be explained as they brought him a penny Leasnam (talk) 09:48, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
to shit means to defecate, related to de- (remove) and faeces. Words do not have an inherent positive meaning: the meaning is determined by context. To take can loosely mean to do an action, e.g. to take breakfast (to do breakfast), which is broader in meaning than to eat breakfast, but often used interchangeably. So, to take a shit can be analysed as to do a shit without any special etymology. I don't give a shit is basically I care so little I couldn't even be bothered to defecate in support. Considering that defecation is a necessary bodily function, and not defecating when needed can be unpleasant or painful, this is an extreme and offensive way of expressing your disinterest. to give a shit is equally offensive, even though it is a positive statement. It is usually defensive in nature. Do you even give a shit? Of course I give a shit! It would be odd in the extreme to say out of the blue I give a shit about you! Danielklein (talk) 05:38, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Danielklein, the term defecate is not at issue here. Regarding shit, see above: it is odd to take something to get rid of it. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 06:37, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
This might not really be an answer as to how the sense developed, but I think take in take a shit is just a light verb. So maybe take is just forming an idiomatic verb phrase with shit and it doesn't really have a meaning on its own. Light verb constructions are puzzling. — Eru·tuon 06:48, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
The origin might (and I stress might) be slightly reflexive. Consider take a ride (e.g. a horse ride) back in the Middle Ages. If I say "I'm going to take a ride" that means that "I am going to take (for me / for myself) (a / some) riding" OR "I am going to help myself to (some / a little bit of) riding" (--as if riding were somehow like cake or something). From here it is easy to see how take can enter into these types of constructs, where it has distanced itself utterly from its original meaning of "apprehend/appropriate" Leasnam (talk) 09:31, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Again, take a bath = "take (for myself) a little bit of bathing" ⇒ "help myself to some bathing" = take a bath . Of course this is only speculation at this point, but it does demonstrate well how English uses of simple verbs have become obscured over time Leasnam (talk) 09:35, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr This seems obvious to me, but shit is usually a mass noun (occasional exceptions notwithstanding) so "to take a shit" obviously implies an action/activity rather than actual (metaphorical) feces, compare "to take shit" which means something else entirely.

Thus you couldn't say (excuse the graphics) "took a piece of shit" or "took a bucketload of shit" to mean defecating as it would force the mass noun interpretation.

I would also consider "someone left a shit in my toilet" borderline ungrammatical, although googling it shows that some people do use it like that, although maybe they aren't native speakers (I'm not a native speaker either) or maybe they are just joking. Crom daba (talk) 15:03, 12 July 2018 (UTC)


I can't think of the English term for this - personal possessions buried with the deceased owner, as in “gravgods” in Det Norske Akademis ordbok (NAOB). and “gravgods” in Den Danske Ordbog, literally "grave goods". DonnanZ (talk) 20:09, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

I think the term is grave goods, or sometimes "burial goods". - -sche (discuss) 21:02, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Well I never, and it's in Oxford too. There is a main entry for grave good, which isn't quite right, I think. Thanks. DonnanZ (talk) 21:30, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
It's in Merriam-Webster, too; I reckon that lemming argument and the subtle restrictions of it (one wouldn't normally call the clothes a person today is buried in "grave goods", though our current definition is very basic and doesn't reflect that) make a case for having an entry. Looking at Ngrams, the plural is much more common than the singular, so this seems like a case where the plural could be made the lemma and the singular entry could use {{singular of|grave goods}}; what do you think? - -sche (discuss) 23:53, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I would agree with making the plural the main entry. In Danish and Norwegian gravgods appears to be uncountable. DonnanZ (talk) 08:45, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  Done. - -sche (discuss) 01:35, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Are these calques in some direction? DTLHS (talk) 01:30, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
It's hard to tell, as grav and gods are Norwegian / Danish words anyway. DonnanZ (talk) 07:32, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
There are also terms for a single item of grave goods, German Grabbeigabe (Oxford Duden calls it a burial object) and “gravgave” in Den Danske Ordbog. DonnanZ (talk) 08:17, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

nonce etymologyEdit

The etymology for "nonce" (cryptographical sense) claims its etymology is a contraction of "number used once". The cited definition for the edit that originally added the etymology is from Ross Anderson, Security Engineering. Luckily, the full text of the book is freely available online. The relevant quote from chapter 3, page 66, is:

"The in-car token sends its name T followed by the encrypted value of T concatenated with N, where N stands for ‘number used once’, or nonce."

I don't believe this qualifies as an etymology, however, it is quite widely believed. The author is giving two definitions of N, not defining the word nonce. "number used once" is simply a convenient way for programmers to remember what a nonce is used for, and is inaccurate in that it's not actually a number. I think it is only worth mentioning in order to debunk it. I would like to see this entry merged back into nonce#Etymology 1, with a note about the dubious folk etymology. Danielklein (talk) 04:49, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Done. DTLHS (talk) 04:51, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
How does our definition fit nonce bit (17 Google Books hits) and nonce bits (55). DCDuring (talk) 18:14, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
What's not actually a number? It's digital; everything is a number, and there's no reason to think about N as a string or other object instead of a random number. It's possible that "number used once" came first, and then it was contracted to "nonce", which already had a convenient meaning.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:14, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

nonce (British slang?)Edit

1985, Hunter Davies, The Beatles:
Paul did things much quieter. He had much more nonce.

Any other examples? DTLHS (talk) 05:02, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Is this is a mistake / misprint for nous (common sense). SemperBlotto (talk) 05:06, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Nuance? — SGconlaw (talk) 17:43, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Looking a Google Books search for "more nonce" finds mostly typos and scannos for notice and more'n once, and linguistics. I'd go with nuance in the citation, looking at the context. DCDuring (talk) 18:10, 4 July 2018 (UTC)


Would a linguist kindly confirm the pronunciation of mirative? Is it /mɪˈɹeɪtɪv/, /ˈmɪɹətɪv/, or both? — SGconlaw (talk) 17:42, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

I would think /ˈmɪɹətɪv/, but I've never heard it pronounced. For comparison, its possible immediate English etymon admirative apparently used to be pronounced /ˈædmɪɹətɪv/, as that is the only pronunciation in Century (although modern dictionaries give only pronunciations with /-maɪ.rə-/ or /-mə.reɪ-/). And when I search for other French words ending in -ratif (like this word's possible French etymon), they seem to correspond to English words in /-ɹətɪv/, although admiratif is the only one in -iratif I can find. - -sche (discuss) 20:34, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I was unsure as the word doesn't appear in online dictionaries like Merriam-Webster Online and Oxford Dictionaries Online, and the first edition of the OED indicates that one pronunciation of admirative is /ædmɪˈɹeɪtɪv/ (unless I read it wrongly). I even tried searching on YouTube for a video to no avail. — SGconlaw (talk) 22:14, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@-sche: thanks for this edit. Actually, what is the difference between /ɪ/ and /i/? You said in your edit summary that /mi/ sounds like me, but I thought that would be /miː/? "Wiktionary:English pronunciation" claims that General American would use /i/ where Received Pronunciation would use /ɪ/. — SGconlaw (talk) 02:48, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Me is /miː/ in dialects where length is contrastive, like many British dialects, and /mi/ in dialects where length is not contrastive, like GenAm. When the only difference between RP and GenAm is the length marker, many editors don't consider it worthwhile to separate the pronunciations, so many entries only give /miː/, etc. /i(ː)/ and /ɪ/ are different sounds; the former is used in beat and meet, the latter in bit and mitt. Note that the appendix only says (certain) Brits have /ɪ/ and Americans have /i/ in words like ready, where (conservatively-speaking) Brits do end the word with the bit vowel; our logo famously formerly prescribed that pronunciation for the y at the end of our name, which made us seem very stodgy. The appendix correctly reflects that in see, both Brits and Americans use /i/, and in bit, both use /ɪ/. - -sche (discuss) 03:57, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
OK, thanks! — SGconlaw (talk) 04:09, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
This mood occurs in Albanian (where it is also called admirative) and is sometimes said to occur in Tibeto-Burman languages and Navajo, so perhaps User:Stephen G. Brown, User:Wyang or User:Etimo has heard the word pronounced...? - -sche (discuss) 00:57, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I've only seen the word mirative, and have never heard anyone pronounce it. When I read it, I pronounce it /ˈmɪɹətɪv/ to myself. —Stephen (Talk) 04:20, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I had a look at a print copy of OED2 (sadly I no longer have access to OED Online). Mirative does not appear in it, but the pronunciation of admirative is given as either /ædmɪˈreɪtɪv/ or /ædˈmaɪrətɪv/. I don't know if this is a good guide to the pronunciation of mirative, which could thus be either /mɪˈreɪtɪv/ or /ˈmaɪrətɪv/. — SGconlaw (talk) 06:18, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I would certainly say /ˈmɪɹətɪv/. It's not an easy pronunciation to verify, since it's so rarely used – I can't find anything obvious on YouTube. If someone pronounced it differently I would be surprised, but it would be hard to justify calling it wrong. Ƿidsiþ 11:09, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Norse ᚱᚨᛇᚺᚨᚾ (raïhan)Edit

Is this evidence for the preserving of nasal vowels in Proto-Norse? Wikipedia's article on Proto-Norse mentions uncertainty of nasal vowels in PN.

It's not even certain that ᚱᚨᛇᚺᚨᚾ's Proto-Norse; it could be the predecessor to Old English rāha, rāa, (each representing successive forms of this word's development, though it's usually considered to be North Germanic due to the form of the ᚺ) --Hazarasp (talk) 09:13, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

bad loserEdit

NISOP? --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 14:49, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Yes, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 16:54, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
How would this entry be considered SoP? What sense of 'bad' is being evoked in the definition, "Someone who gets upset when they lose a competition"? ---> Tooironic (talk) 16:13, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
bad#Adjective sense 3: "Seemingly non-appropriate [sic], in manners, etc" DCDuring (talk) 19:29, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
MWOnline's definitions aren't worded to make applicability to this collocation clear, but Oxford has "Failing to conform to standards of [moral virtue or] acceptable conduct." We have sore loser, which I thought might be a synonym, as does MWOnline. MWO also has sore: "Angry, irked", with usage example a sore loser. DCDuring (talk) 19:39, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

salsa sauceEdit

Hey all. I want to put salsa sauce in a category like Category:English reduplications. Are there any more expressions like this - made up of an English word and its translation in another language? Things like madera wood, poissonfish, tympano drum would work. Also, PIN number and other RAS syndrome stuff should probably be categorized somewhere. --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 15:21, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Like pizza pie? DCDuring (talk) 16:55, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Or Sahara desert. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:25, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't wish to spoil this nice party, but isn't salsa sauce SOP ? Leasnam (talk) 22:05, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I think so, as are some of the others. It might make a better Appendix than a category, with no link shown for the SoP terms. DCDuring (talk) 03:57, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes. But your example of "pizza pie" does suggest a category idiomatic entries could go in: Category:English pleonastic compound nouns. - -sche (discuss) 04:37, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Lake Chad? —Suzukaze-c 04:39, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
See also w:List of redundant place names. - -sche (discuss) 04:48, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Category:English pleonasms? As for it being SOP: for the people who use the term, it isn't. They have no idea what salsa means, so it's no more SOP for them than hollandaise sauce. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:00, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Point taken. DCDuring (talk) 19:42, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Does this seems like an interesting linguistic phenomenon, @Per utramque cavernam?. DCDuring (talk) 19:45, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: I didn't get your ping. I've added that to my user page. Per utramque cavernam 09:56, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I got yours. Apparently I found yet another way of making {{reply}} not function. DCDuring (talk) 12:50, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
One of my favorite such examples was on a bilingual placename sign in Tokyo.
English: "Shinsen-gawa River"
Literally, "New-River River River". Oofda. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:16, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Beautiful. —Suzukaze-c 02:28, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

have had the RichardEdit

Australian slang, apparently along the lines of "be screwed", "be FUBAR". Anyone familiar with it? It's in a couple dictionaries, some of which even have citations (from local Australian papers, etc), but I can't find any citations on Google Books or Issuu. - -sche (discuss) 02:53, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Apparently we are missing a bit of Cockney rhyming slang: Richard <= Richard the Third "bird '(slang} A loud sound expressing disapproval; a raspberry.'" I wonder whether 'the Richard' occurs in other expressions. DCDuring (talk) 04:15, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
The Australian National Dictionary's entry on "richard" seems (from a screenshot I saw of it) to only have examples of this one phrase. Beside the bird theory some other sources mention, they mention that it could also be a play on dick. (I can see how "have have the dick" could be a circumlocution for "be / have been fucked", like "extract the urine" for "take the piss".) - -sche (discuss) 04:36, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
One problem with rhyming slang is that there are usually multiple possibilities for the rhyme, eg, turd and word, not to mention less likely possibilities among nouns like herd, curd, and nerd. And, as you say, Richard could be intended to evoke dick, which adds sick, kick, and mick. This adds a huge amount of polysemy to possible entries and ambiguity to instances of possible attestation of meaning. No wonder that we have relatively little of such slang. DCDuring (talk) 11:18, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Disputed entry: walllessEdit

Hi. I believe this wiktionary entry should be verified again. The English language generally doesn't allow words with 3 letters the same, concurrently; they are usually hyphenated, and Merriam-Webster hyphenates Wall-less (here. Could we get this checked please? See other examples such as cross-section, bell-like and so on. DaneGeld (talk) 21:30, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

We actually have crosssection! I agree we haven't done enough to indicate how rare these forms are. Equinox 21:34, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Wallless doesn't seem excessively rare; it was historically like 1/10th as common as wall-less, and even now it's like 1/17th. (For comparison, that's about the difference in commonness between "United States" and "United Kingdom".) Then again, our criteria for labelling something "rare" or "uncommon" are not partcularly clear. - -sche (discuss) 22:09, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Can we be certain that Google's Ngram Viewer doesn't ever run together word-wrapped words that have a hyphen ("wall- / less")? Note this person's comment: [9]. Equinox 22:17, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Good point. - -sche (discuss) 22:20, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't trust those numbers; a Google Books search for "wallless" turns up so many hits that show wallless in the sample text and wall-less (or wall- (line break) less) in the scans. The rule of "no 3 letters the same" seems like a rule that pedants and careful editors might use, but English users seem quite likely to write "wallless" and not worry about such pedantic rules.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:22, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes. To cite words like this you absolutely need to see an image of the text and not what Google's OCR thinks is the text. DTLHS (talk) 22:23, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Oxford also has wall-less which is definitely preferable, but there's no entry for that. DonnanZ (talk) 22:59, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
  • David Foster Wallace uses these a lot. I remember "tallly" occurring in Infinite Jest. Ƿidsiþ 11:19, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Missing entry for dørslå in Norwegian BokmålEdit

In Norwegian Bokmål, there is no entry for dørslå/slåen, which seems to be a door lock/type of a door lock. So far I can't even say I know the basics of NB so adding a whole new page myself is out of the question, as it'd end up being sub-par at best.

Would someone with more knowledge than me be so kind and add it? C0rn3j (talk) 23:02, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

It's a bolt for a door, I'll do an entry in the morning. DonnanZ (talk) 23:11, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
dørslå   Done, I also added this sense to slå. DonnanZ (talk) 10:46, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

Missing entry for drogene in Norwegian BokmålEdit

I think I'll run into quite a few in the next few days, is it okay to keep posting like I've been doing? Or perhaps keep posting under a single thread instead of creating a new one like this?

By the way, thanks DonnanZ! C0rn3j (talk) 22:10, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

@C0rn3j: There is Wiktionary:Requested entries (Norwegian). —Suzukaze-c 21:58, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c: Thanks! I'll post my further requests in there then. C0rn3j (talk) 22:10, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
I will have to make a point of looking in requested entries, I usually forget. DonnanZ (talk) 22:54, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
@C0rn3j: Do you have any context for drogene? It is a definite plural of both drog and droge. DonnanZ (talk) 09:25, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz: Third paragraph, might be drugs. C0rn3j (talk) 09:53, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
@C0rn3j: Yes, drugs. Drogene han solgte (The drugs he sold). Entries   Done for droge, drogene etc. DonnanZ (talk) 11:08, 8 July 2018 (UTC)


So, WF is using signposts in cartoons as quotes now. It's probably OK, as all Simpsons episodes are 100% archived. The question is, how's the formatting? --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 09:59, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

Maybe not the best cite in the world. Formatting looks okay to me. Find something else to do, like adding crappy sports journalism to everyday verbs. (TWO NIL. OI! OI!) Equinox 10:52, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments, Eq --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 14:25, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

drug (translations)Edit

Should we shunt off translations for pharmacological drugs to medicine? DonnanZ (talk) 12:38, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

It's already redirecting to medicine with {{{{trans-see|substance used as a medical treatment|medicine}}}} --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:44, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I know, that's stating the obvious. I don't think it should. DonnanZ (talk) 13:50, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
That's stating the obvious to you. It wasn't obvious to the rest of us that you knew that, or that that was true. This is not a vote; don't tell us that you think it should, discuss why it should or shouldn't.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:46, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
I want to know why this has happened, I won't be entering any translations until I find out. If the answer is unsatisfactory, no translations. DonnanZ (talk) 23:07, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz: It wasn't obvious to me why you were asking. In many languages, pharmacological drug = medicine but not all languages. You can either add to medicine with a {{qualifier}} or create a new translation section like this:
Put it below the redirect {{trans-see}} and add new translations to it. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:14, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I realise now that my question was ambiguous. Let me look into this, I have seen another way (maybe it's the same way). DonnanZ (talk) 08:21, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz: While you're deciding what to do with the Norwegian translations, I've added a Norwegian/Bokmål translation droge m (drug) to medicine#Translations. Ambiguity/multiple senses of terms makes translation work harder but it's not that the problems can't be solved. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:29, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: I knew I would find it in the end: {{trans-top-also}}, which seems to be quite useful. DonnanZ (talk) 13:07, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz:: Good job. I've added a German and Swedish equivalent translations, even though our Swedish drog entry is incomplete. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:14, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Apparently French drogue can be both a narcotic and médicament, it was already shown as a narcotic translation. DonnanZ (talk) 13:27, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Third-person plural perfect and pluperfect passive indicative of mute and liquid Ancient Greek verbsEdit

In mute and liquid verbs, the third person plural of the perfect and pluperfect passive is formed by means of the perfect passive participle and εἰσί(ν), ἦσαν, from εἰμί. [10] The monolectic forms τετάχαται, γεγράφαται, ἐφθάραται, ἐτετάχατο are very rare and the forms τεταγμένοι εἰσί(ν), γεγραμμένοι εἰσί(ν) etc. should also be included in the respective templates. -- 17:59, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

pay tributeEdit

Hi friends.

Is there any reason why this article doesn't exist here on en:? I just created fr:pay tribute, and was wondering if I was making a mistake, due to my limited understanding of English language.

Waiting for your lights, --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 18:51, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

The reason may be that pay may mean "to give (something else than money)", as in pay attention, while that which can be paid can not only be attention or tribute, but also homage, respects, and reverence. So it can be argued that the term pay tribute is sum-of-parts. On the other hand, the list of things that can be paid is rather limited; you may give someone a minute, but you wouldn't say that you pay someone a minute of your time. The sense of "give (something else than money)" is, apparently, not idiomatically productive. So a lot can be said for having separate entries for the combinations that are idiomatic, as we already have for pay a visit, pay heed, and pay attention. On the other hand, not only can you pay attention, we hope you will then also pay proper attention; likewise, not only can you pay respects, you can also pay your respects or even last respects, and instead of plain homage you can pay someone a well-earned homage, and so on. So I'm not sure where this would end. An interesting aspect of pay tribute is that the original, literal sense, actually was about the transfer of substantial amounts of money or monetarily valuable goods. So the something-else-than-money" sense was, I think, not inherited from the verb pay, but induced by the transition to a figurative sense.  --Lambiam 20:36, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
The argument that I usually make about this kind of thing is that it is transparent to decode it. Others make the argument that it is not transparent to encode it. My counter is that the place where it belongs for encoding is in the glosses in the FL entries for the words for which it is the most natural translation. But FL contributors seem to find it much easier to add a red-linked translation that to add an entry with, eg, pay tribute as a gloss. So entries for such SoP terms serve as a kind of scaffolding for the eventual construction of the future Wiktionary that has no redlinks on translation tables. DCDuring (talk) 02:11, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
To pay is to render or give something that is due, so it's narrower than simply "give" Leasnam (talk) 02:16, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
It may be easy to decode, but it is not easy to know whether or not it exists. "Give tribute", "pay tribute", "render tribute" – not to mention phrases using words like "tax" or "security" or "impost" – are all equally easy to decode. Is one of them orders of magnitude more common than the others? If so, it may be a set idiomatic phrase. Extra points if it's unexpectedly difficult to translate. These factors add up and make me more inclined to give something its own entry. Ƿidsiþ 11:07, 10 July 2018 (UTC)


The English definition of this word says it's slang, used as an intensifier, but I have never seen "hecken" used anywhere. Shouldn't the correct form be heckin', a shortened term of hecking in a similar pattern to freaking/freakin'? Tymewalk (talk) 22:40, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

@BelandSuzukaze-c 02:16, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
You are not alone in your skepticism. Such doubts are resolved by finding "attestation", instances of use in durable media with a given definition (WT:RFV). hecken has come up in an RfV discussion of another word. DCDuring (talk) 02:22, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I misspelled heckin, which I found without an apostrophe but we also have heckin'. 8( [11] -- Beland (talk) 04:50, 10 July 2018 (UTC)


This is the first time I have seen a dictionary define a word by noting that it is a proper noun, and giving some usage notes (italicized in brackets), without telling you what it is the name of --- the most important function of a dictionary was omitted. Unforgivable! -- Solo Owl 11:57, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean, as the entry clearly states that the word means “Facebook”. — SGconlaw (talk) 12:49, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

take it out on? should the "it" be thereEdit

I'm just wondering, since it seems you can replace "it" with a bunch of things, like "take your stress out on your friends", "take their marital problems out on the kids". Should a separate entry be made at take out on? Mofvanes (talk) 22:10, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

You're right. I believe the main entry should be take out on, and take it out on should redirect to it. Ultimateria (talk) 15:00, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Seconded. DCDuring (talk) 15:17, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Or should the lemma include "something", like "give something a try" and several other "give something..." entries do? "take something out on" should be a redirect, at least. - -sche (discuss) 04:50, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I support a soft redirect from "take it out on" to "take out on." Soft, because the "it" is not a self-explanatory component of the phrase as "one's frustration" would be in "take one's frustration out on." Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:27, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Some Bokmål words that are also Nynorsk are not defined in NynorskEdit

Here's a list(not complete) of words that are defined in Bokmål but not Nynorsk

lots of those seem valid but there are also some that are not (hellig for example, it seems to exist in Nynorsk too as a noun).

Am not sure if you guys have such a list (you probably do), but on the off-chance there's none and someone wants to spend time going through it, hope I helped.

C0rn3j (talk)

It's a wiki! If you are comfortable with Nynorsk, feel free to add the missing entries! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:12, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
Absolutely uncomfortable with Bokmål, much less Nynorsk! Just thought it'd be useful for someone who is ^^ C0rn3j (talk) 08:01, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
As far as I can see hellig doesn't occur in Nynorsk, but helling does, is there any confusion there? Apart from that there are spelling differences between the two, as well as some verbs entered in Bokmål but not Nynorsk, due to a period I went through. Also some words have been entered in Nynorsk but not Bokmål, for example I sorted slagmark out today. A dictionary never seems to be complete. DonnanZ (talk) 23:32, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
You know what, looking at the dictionary site I used for a quick check again(, the H for the Nynorsk entry is capital, so I guess it is a name. Or a wrong entry there. If it'd be any help I could also create a list of entries only defined in Nynorsk and not Bokmål. As I said, am not sure if this functionality is not provided by the wiki itself and my whole post pointless ^^ C0rn3j (talk) 08:01, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Your interest is appreciated. As you feel uncomfortable with making entries yourself it is perhaps better to add requests for missing words as you have been doing. When creating entries I look for words that are missing in what I read, and don't work from a vocab list. However I don't enter every word I come across, especially compounds, if there is no dictionary back-up. DonnanZ (talk) 10:40, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
I should add that Norwegians make spelling mistakes just like English speakers, even on Wikipedia, which doesn't make the task any easier. DonnanZ (talk) 11:04, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

defeat (noun)Edit

I think the translation table should be split; a défaite in French is always an instance of being defeated, not of defeating someone. Per utramque cavernam 10:47, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

I agree. Most other major dictionaries I checked, and some of the minor ones, also have separate senses here. I've split the senses and added two more. - -sche (discuss) 04:44, 12 July 2018 (UTC)


Objective pronouns work also as emphatic by nature not "understanding"

"if the me is understood as an emphatic form". (from the entry for 'i') but... it is. should say, "but that prescription is only sociolinguistically meaningful." Yoandri Dominguez Garcia (talk) 15:56, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

I've just dropped that part; it didn't make sense. - -sche (discuss) 04:25, 12 July 2018 (UTC)


Why is 電 described as a phono-semantic compound of 雨 and 申, instead of just a semantic compound? 雨 being rain or cloud, and 申 being lighting. The resulting pronunciation could have been inherited from 申, which was 電's original character. Perhaps, at some point, 申 was re purposed (as we can see due to the plethora of uses and meanings this character was given), and a new semantic compound character was created referring to the original word, the same as, for example, 無 and 舞. QAureal (talk) 06:38, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

"that day month", "that day year"Edit

Just came across the phrase "that day month" in Charles Dickens' excellent short story Captain Murderer (see the citation at paste); you can also find "that day year". What is the syntactical explanation for these curious phrases? Are there others? ("That month year" doesn't seem to be used this way, nor "that hour day", etc.) Is it something we can/should document? Equinox 04:55, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Yes it's a special sense something like, "Used with another measure of time to indicate the same day that distance into the past or future". Usually it crops up with "this" rather than "that", and as far as I know it only affects day. Ƿidsiþ 09:17, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I was almost tempted to make the "closed" set of six entries [this|that] day [week|month|year], but then I saw this day three weeks. Something for the hypothetical future WikiGrammar, then. Equinox 21:16, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
    In Scotland they had a special one: "This day eight days", meaning a week today (or a week ago). Ƿidsiþ 06:04, 14 July 2018 (UTC)


Would someone be willing to clean this up? All these definitions look very redundant. @-sche? Per utramque cavernam 14:01, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

I've had a go at it (the adjective only, for now). I removed a few redundant senses, and some with defdates saying they weren't attested in English, which also weren't in other dictionaries. Incidentally, Century has a sense I wasn't sure if we lacked or simply covered in a different sense: "10. Immeasurable; not definable by measurement; not led up to by insensible gradations: as, the distinction between right and wrong is absolute. The opposition is no longer of the rigid or absolute nature which it was before, A. Seth." Other dictionaries have a sense, similar to the sense "positive (form of an adjective)", for the "lemma" or "isolated" form of a word as opposed to the form that appears in contractions, but I haven't spotted citations that show usage of that yet. - -sche (discuss) 05:43, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

defence forceEdit

It seems to be a euphemism for a military force, as in Israel, so it may be entry-worthy. DonnanZ (talk) 17:56, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

Etymology of IstanbulEdit

The conventional etymology of the name of Istanbul is as a bastardization of the Greek phrase εἰς τὴν Πόλιν. In a process known as iotacism, the pronunciation of the letter η had already been raised and changed to /i/ by the time Turks presented themselves adjacent to the Byzantine Empire. The sound shift /i/ > /a/ is hard to explain. It is even harder to explain in the Turkish name for the island of Kos, İstanköy, which has a similar etymology, because there it also goes, on either side, against Turkish vowel harmony.

Several sources explain the etymology as stemming from the dialectal variant εἰς τὰν Πόλιν; for example, here in a commentary in a 2015 edition of Pliny's Natural History, or, in a Greek-language source, in a contribution by Misaïl D. Engonopoulos – an expert on the many names of Byzantion/Constantinople/Istanbul – to the 2000 book Κωνσταντινούπολη: λογοτεχνική ανθολογία – 60 κείμενα για την πόλη (ISBN 9607771354, page 60, unfortunately no Google preview).

Should we mention this as an alternative etymology, or perhaps even replace the current one?  --Lambiam 12:14, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Sounds good, go ahead. Crom daba (talk) 22:53, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
It's favorable to this explanation that according to the Ancient Greek dialects map on Wikipedia, Doric, one of the dialects that had τὰν (tàn), was spoken around the area of what's now Istanbul – rather than Ionic, which, like Attic, had τὴν (tḕn). — Eru·tuon 00:41, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I was aware of that, but that map is derived from Woodward, and in the source its caption is, “The Greek dialects in the first millenium BC and neighboring languages.” So we are looking at a time gap here of 10 to 20 centuries, and it is doubtful whether the dialectal variations with their geographical distributions survived all this time. A Google search reveals many later instances of τὰν and even the phrase εἰς τὰν πόλιν, but I don’t know the locations of origin of their authors.  --Lambiam 09:59, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

at playEdit

Would the sense "at play" as in "there may be other factors at play" be considered SoP here? ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:50, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

We would first need a sense of "play" like "operation, activity" for it to be SoP. I think that sense might only be used in "at play" and "in play", but I've also looked for translations of that sense many times... Ultimateria (talk) 13:02, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Terms of abuse ending with "fucker"Edit

Hello. There are many vulgar terms of abuse that end with fucker — e.g. camelfucker, catfucker, dogfucker, donkeyfucker, duckfucker, goatfucker, horsefucker, mousefucker, pigfucker, ratfucker — but I haven't found any category or list that link them to each other (e.g. fucker#Derived terms or Thesaurus:git, where I guess they could be added). Moreover, should animal-related terms be grouped in any list? For example, a category, a thesaurus, etc.? — Automatik (talk) 13:04, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

They almost certainly belong only at fucker#Derived terms. This search finds 80+ terms most of which would belong there, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 15:46, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
Note that not all terms that end in fucker have the same semantic relationship with the preceding morpheme. DCDuring (talk) 15:49, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
What criteria could we use to determine if this is suffixation or compounding? DTLHS (talk) 16:14, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

freeer and freeestEdit

I noticed that freeer is in the dictionary as a common misspelling, and created freeest as a natural companion (and one that is also attested). I am wondering, however, are these really misspellings, and not valid alternative spellings, or perhaps previously valid spellings? They seem to have been used by literate people in the past. bd2412 T 21:07, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

These don't appear in any OneLook reference, nor in MWDEU or Garner's. Take whatever action you deem appropriate. DCDuring (talk) 15:08, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I am more interested in whether there is some rule of construction in the English language that would make these wrong. Since one who boos is a booer (granted, a different part of speech), is an adjective ending in "-ee" (I can't think of any others besides, "free") prohibited from having an "-er" appended to that? bd2412 T 00:17, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Maybe the rule is that for adjectives ending in e, you add -r and -st instead of -er and -est. Compare nimble/nimbler/nimblest, true/truer/truest. Similar to what we do with -ed on verbs (sample/sampled, free/freed - not "freeed"). —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:22, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
The word seer (see + -er) might also be a useful comparison. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:28, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
I suppose we could infer a (descriptive) 'rule' if we find some number of relevant cases in which the offending vowel triplet could have been used by authors. If the number of cases for which the triplet occurs more than rarely or more than some percentage of the time, we could say that such a proscriptive rule is empirically followed by authors. The cases are few and far between. So a 'rule' may not really be inferrable. Thus we are left with only prescriptive rules, which we eschew.
One can also find attestably common use of the base words with -er (eg free-er, wee-er; pee-er, flee-er, see-er). DCDuring (talk) 16:30, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Following on from seer, there is overseer. DonnanZ (talk) 09:59, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

percent, per centEdit

Both are given as nouns. It doesn't feel right to me. Then "ten percent" sounds like Det+N (like "ten apples"), whereas really it's "ten per [for each] cent [hundred]", more like "ten out of twenty" or "two outside the door". Should we change the PoS; if so, to what? Equinox 01:11, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

Phrases like "half a percent" and "a tenth of a percent" are attested, which makes it look like a noun to me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:38, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Hmm. Those suggest "twenty percents" (if "a percent" is the unit). We do offer "percent" as an alternative plural but that feels like syntactic rationalisation after the fact. Equinox 01:41, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I see what you mean – the analysis that it's an irregular plural (singular percent, plural percent) is a little unsatisfying. But it explains the data as far as I can tell, and I'm having trouble thinking of another analysis that makes sense. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:54, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I see a big problem with claiming an irregular plural being the same as the singular: in many cases where nouns are used as (counting) units, it is extremely common for the singular to be used with a number >1. "He weighs more than 14 stone." "How long? Ten foot six." and so on and so on. It is much more plausible (to me at least) that these are simply uses of the singular. Imaginatorium (talk) 04:35, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
It seems to me like a prepositional phrase that was later reanylized as a unit of measure, thereby nominalizing it. (So the "of a percent" sense should go under a different POS heading rather than analyzing the original sense based on the newer one). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:17, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
That sounds good to me; don't know if others see it as overly pedantic...? BTW this should also affect permille, per mille, per mil, per mill, maybe others I've never heard of. Equinox 02:29, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Is there any evidence that this was ever a prepositional phrase in English? In Latin it was (per centum), but maybe it was borrowed into English as an irregular noun. Can we find any quotations that don't fit under the "Noun" heading? (Maybe something like "There were a lot percent"? A usage like that wouldn't be explainable as a noun, but a Google Books search for "a lot percent" doesn't find anything. Or "How many answers were correct percent?"?) —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:49, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
What about (from Google Books) "How many per cent of the class are girls and how many per cent are boys?" Equinox 03:08, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
That still looks like it could be a noun. Compare "How many members of the class...". —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:11, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I read it like "how many per household pay tax?". The space in "per cent" feels like a clue. Equinox 03:19, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I think the space in "per cent" is there because there's a space in the Latin phrase it was borrowed from (compare per se). To me, the lack of a space in the now more common spelling "percent" feels like a clue that it isn't a prepositional phrase. :P
Either analysis (noun or prepositional phrase) would explain the "How many per cent of the class" sentence. But we already need the "Noun" heading to explain uses like "half a percent", and if that heading can also explain all other uses, then I don't see any reason to create another heading. This is similar to how we don't create an adjective heading in an entry based solely on attributive use that can already be explained by an existing "Noun" heading. —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:35, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
It seems your argument would also work for "fused" English PPs like instore and onboard (which we don't count as nouns, correctly IMO). Ah well. Going in circles by now. Equinox 03:44, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Maybe I'm not making myself understood. I'm saying that the word "percent" needs to have a noun sense like the current sense 1 ("A part or other object per hundred") because that's the only way I can see to explain phrases like "a tenth of a percent". Given that, we should only create a new "prepositional phrase" sense if we can find usages that can't be explained with the existing senses.
In contrast, the words "instore" and "onboard" shouldn't be labeled nouns. Unlike with percent, there are no uses like "*a tenth of an instore" or "*a tenth of an onboard" (at least not without a noun following them). If there were uses like that, then I would say those entries should have a "Noun" heading. —Granger (talk · contribs) 04:04, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Taking "per cent" to be a noun in "How many per cent", with or without the space, makes it sound very awkward, almost like Doge/Doggo-speak, like "how many grammar". So it does seem more like a phrase of some sort there, to me. - -sche (discuss) 03:57, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
The way the entry is currently written, I think "per cent" in that sentence is analyzed as a plural noun (like "members" in my comparison above), not a singular or uncountable noun like "grammar". —Granger (talk · contribs) 04:04, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
That's one way of reading it, but to me it seems at least as likely to be using [how many] [per] [cent] (rather than [how many] [per cent]) in the same way as ... [per] [mille] or indeed [per] [hundred]. - -sche (discuss) 04:31, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Or "how many per day/week/month/year dropped out of the course", yes... Equinox 05:30, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I wonder if o'clock is analogous ("of the clock"): we call that an adverb!! Equinox 02:30, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Hmm. I wouldn't say "*half an o'clock", "*a tenth of an o'clock", "*thirty o'clock(s)", or "*0.5 o'clock(s)", whereas percent can be used with any of these and with any other number. Phrases like "What o'clock is it?" are attestable, though I think they're archaic. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:49, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Lemming report: Merriam-Webster, the American Heritage Dictionary and Collins have it as an adverb, an adjective and a noun. Cambridge and call it an adverb and a noun. has it as a noun and an adjective. Macmillan and call it a noun only. (We had an adjective section until this IP edit which seemed correct to me at the time.) Century directs readers to separate entries for per and cent, as if considering it SOP. One of the condensed OEDs I looked at has per annum, per capita and per cent all as adverbs (only).
IMO, it can be a noun at least some of the time, so it needs a noun section, but it seems like it can also be an adverb or phrase some of the time, and so may need a section for that, too. - -sche (discuss) 04:05, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster, Cambridge, Collins, and all have per mill(e) exclusively as an adverb. This lends support to the idea that, when used in the same way as that word, per cent is (at least sometimes) an adverb or non-noun. - -sche (discuss) 04:10, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
A large number of older reference works call it a phrase (google books:"the phrase per cent"), and at least two discuss it being an adverb and not a noun: The American Schoolmaster volume 12 (1919), page 445: "A well known book on English composition cautions students against the use of per cent for percentage, as when some persons erroneously say a large per cent. The explanation furnished for correction of the error is that per cent is an adverb [...]", and Charles Harvey Raymond's Essentials of English composition (1923), page 461: "Per cent is an adverb meaning in the hundred. [...] Percentage is a noun meaning rate per cent." OTOH, one from the same time period does call it a noun: The Literary Digest volume 42 (1911), page 496, responding to a reader's question about whether to say "ten per cent of the books is" or "...are", says "the modifying phrase 'of the books' must not be considered in the decision as to the correct form of the verb, as the noun 'per cent.' is here the subject of the sentence." (That so many other dictionaries and works analyse it as an adverb should be mentioned in usage notes if we don't decide to have that POS.) - -sche (discuss) 04:31, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
That information from other reference works is interesting, and it could be that The Literary Digest and I are wrong. But I still don't see any examples that aren't explained by the existing noun senses. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:27, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I definitely consider "per cent" to be an adverb. I was always taught that saying "half a per cent" is wrong (which is why on the news you say that interest rates are being raised by "half of one per cent"), though I see that this noun use is in the OED without any qualifiers. Ƿidsiþ 06:01, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  • A small number of dictionaries have cent as an abbreviation of "(one) hundred". This is consistent with viewing per cent as a prepositional phrase, even an SoP one (per#Preposition + cent). (We don't have cent#Noun defined as "one hundred".) As a prepositional phrase it could function adverbially and, in principle, adjectivally.
Otherwise, it just seems like a noun to me, accepting modification by some determiners, pluralizing with s in some senses, serving as subject of verbs and object of prepositions and verbs.
I don't believe that it can pass our tests as a "true" adjective. DCDuring (talk) 16:47, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

as an alternative form of ?Edit

Our entry for Chinese (zhā) says that it can be used as an alternative form of (zhá). Is the reverse true as well? I ask because I encountered the following sentence in Sanmao's book 撒哈拉的故事 (Stories of the Sahara): "这个啊,是春天下的第一场雨,下在高山上,被一根一根冻住了,山胞好了背到山下来一束一束卖了米酒喝。" I can't make sense of it with either of the senses listed at , but it makes sense if it means "to tie; to fasten; to bundle" (sense 3 at ). Is this just a typo, or can 札 be used as an alternative form of 扎? —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:36, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

@Mx. Granger: Seems to be a typo in your version. Compare 扎 in: [12][13][14][15][16][17], and 紮 in: [18][19][20]. Wyang (talk) 01:44, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Looks like you're right. Thanks! —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:48, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

be a dead manEdit

Worthy of an entry? Per utramque cavernam 17:49, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

I think so. "I'm a dead man" is clearly not SOP. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:37, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Doesn't dead have a sense "doomed"? AFAICT, we don't have it in our entry and MWOnline doesn't have it, but still [] .
  • 2009, Noel Hynd, Midnight in Madrid[21]:
    You're dead. A million and one thoughts pounded her at once. But one overpowered all the others. This time you're dead.
It could be that 're ("are") is used in a sense meaning "are about to be" or dead could mean "about to be dead", ie, "doomed".
DCDuring (talk) 19:25, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Right, this seems like a sense of dead. There's also google books:"you're a dead woman", google books:"you're a dead dog", etc, and as DCDuring points out, "you're dead". We actually have two senses in this vein in our entry, 18. "(informal) (Certain to be) in big trouble. You come back here this instant! Oh, when I get my hands on you, you're dead, mister!" and 3. "(of another person) So hated that they are absolutely ignored. He is dead to me." - -sche (discuss) 19:38, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
AHD has "Marked for certain death; doomed": was marked as a dead man by the assassin. DCDuring (talk) 06:00, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
I've edited our "certain to be in big trouble" sense so that it now covers that (and moved it to a place where it seemed to fit better in the flow of the senses). - -sche (discuss) 06:31, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Redundant entry for 'eder' in Norwegian BokmålEdit

eder (Bokmål)

   indefinite plural of ed

I think this "(Bokmål)" is a leftover from when Nynorsk and Bokmål wasn't separated? It seems redundant but am unsure, so am asking here instead of deleting it outright.

C0rn3j (talk) 20:53, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

  • It is correct, but both this entry and the parent entry ed needed revision. It should be OK now. DonnanZ (talk) 07:24, 16 July 2018 (UTC)


Is this really a conjunction? Per utramque cavernam 13:53, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Isn't it "A word used to join other words or phrases together into sentences."? DCDuring (talk) 22:07, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
In some cases you can replace it by where: You can sit wherever you likeYou can sit where you like; Add quotations wherever they are neededAdd quotations where they are needed. In such cases, it is just as much a conjunction as where is.  --Lambiam 22:14, 16 July 2018 (UTC)


Hello, the entry resting place was deleted 10 years ago and not recreated since then, however it seems that is the most common way to spell the word—without hyphen? — Automatik (talk) 00:56, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

"resting place" was deleted as vandalism, there was nothing worth keeping. Create it if you want. DTLHS (talk) 01:18, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
  Done resting place — I added a sense that the first definition didn't clearly include imo. Please feel free to double check :) — Automatik (talk) 11:42, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

emoji definition dateEdit

Requesting citations from the 1990s as the definition claims. DTLHS (talk) 22:50, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Can't we wait till after 17 July, when the word has ceased to be Word of the Day?  . — SGconlaw (talk) 22:53, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
That depends, can we not add {{defdate}} when there is no evidence to support it? DTLHS (talk) 22:55, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
The information was from ODO, so it wasn’t plucked from the air.   Also, I think RFV is the wrong forum for this issue, as the word is clearly verifiable. I suggest moving the discussion over to the Tea Room, and removing the tag. — SGconlaw (talk) 01:22, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I do agree that it seems odd how difficult it is to find quotations before the 2000s. — SGconlaw (talk) 02:47, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

Presumably it would have been talked about online first. Usenet? DTLHS (talk) 02:48, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Good point. Is there a way to search by date? I only seem to be able to arrange the results chronologically, and so am getting nothing but recent posts. — SGconlaw (talk) 02:54, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't know either. DTLHS (talk) 03:05, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
My attention was drawn to this website, but I can't find anything before 2010. — SGconlaw (talk) 06:22, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Figured it out, you can use "before:2000/01/01" to restrict the date. DTLHS (talk) 06:28, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. No useful results, I'm afraid. I'm only getting the name of a Usenet group, "alt.friends.emoji" (or something like that). — SGconlaw (talk) 06:42, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
From an article on the website of MOMA on the 2017 exhibition titled “Inbox: The Original Emoji, by Shigetaka Kurita”: “In 1999 the Japanese telecom NTT DOCOMO released the original 176 emoji (e meaning “picture” and moji “character”) for mobile phones and pagers.” That does not directly answer the question when the rōmaji form emoji entered the English language, but it sets a lower bound.  --Lambiam 13:51, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

eating habitEdit

Can this be considered a set phrase? The reason I ask is that Norwegian Bokmål matvane and Swedish matvana are literally "food habit", German Ernährungsgewohnheit "nutrition habit", Dutch eetgewoonte follows the English pattern. DonnanZ (talk) 14:25, 17 July 2018 (UTC)