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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.

March 2018


Hey all. Is there a word in English for an informal game of baseball? Something like a kickabout, but with baseball. --Otra cuenta105 (talk) 12:31, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Pick-up game, maybe? - -sche (discuss) 15:17, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
@Otra cuenta105@-sche In NW Spain we call the "amateur football" kickabout pachanga, which has coincidentally also a Cuban meaning. DRAE confirms. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 11:17, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I knew about pachanga. It was my favourite word for a while. I woudl put it as a synonym, but I haven't really done synonyms in my 10+ years here. --Otra cuenta105 (talk) 21:42, 7 March 2018 (UTC)


Could someone transcribe this (Wonderfool's) tongue twister:

  • (file)

and possibly upload a new audiofile for woodchuck? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 13:09, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if woodchuck could chuck wood. Just as much wood as a woodchuck would chuch if woodchuck could chuck wood." Crom daba (talk) 10:41, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Oh dear, I forgot about those audios. Now you know what Wonderfool sounds like and where he lives, I'm assuming it can be easy to find who he his. That's disturbing. --Otra cuenta105 (talk) 14:56, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

How did this happen?Edit

Why is there an "s" on the verb when single but not on plural? Examples:

  • Bob directs traffic.
  • Bob and Sue direct traffic.

I don't know what this is called, how it evolved, etc. Sorry I don't know how to better phrase the title question. Thanks in advance. ~ JasonCarswell (talk)

It's called agreement, and it's a characteristic of Indo-European languages like English (and in fact a whole lot of non-Indo-European languages too) that verbs take different endings depending on whether the subject is singular or plural. "Bob" is a singular subject, so it takes singular agreement on the verb, and in English -s marks the singular form of a verb (in the third person of the present tense). "Bob and Sue" is a plural subject, so it takes plural agreement on the verb, and in English the plural form of a verb in the present tense has the same shape as the infinitive (except for the verb be, for which the present-tense plural form is are. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:11, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
Which is why directs is described as the third-person singular present indicative form. DonnanZ (talk) 16:50, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. In my 47 year(s) I had never before questioned adding "S" to indicate singular(s) and removing "S" for multiple(s). It's standard, but upon my first inspection(s) seems bassackward(s). ~ JasonCarswell (talk)
It may seem backwards, but the -s of the verb is not the same -s as the plural of nouns. It's a coincidental similarity. Leasnam (talk) 20:22, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
It's a profoundly remarkable inverted "coincidence". How did it evolve to be here? Why "S" and not "Z"? Why not any of the vowel sounds or "ed" or "ing" or "tion" or "urp"? I'm so blown away I'd never noticed this before. ~ JasonCarswell (talk)
One letter is less of a coincidence than a whole chain like ing would be. For details, read the etymology in our -s entries. Equinox 10:37, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Joking around
I teach my people to get used to it with "the fly flies" and "the flies fly"... Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 11:01, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
I figure it's like E=mC2 in physics, where there's the rule about the conservation of energy and mass: energy can convert into mass or the other way around, but the total amount of both in the universe is (broadly speaking, and theoretically) constant.
In the above example of English, the fly flies can become the flies fly as we "conserve" the s. Similarly in the spoken language, we "pahk the cah" in New England -- which might look like a loss of r, until we expand our scope and realize that the missing r from New England simply migrated to Texas, where we "warsh the car" instead.
<> ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:44, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr: That first sentence is not unworthy of Rhymeinreason... --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:48, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
He's being silly... but I bet some people, maybe even the OP, will get confused. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:51, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Oh, dear -- I tried to make it clear that this was a joke by adding the <> tag. Was that still too ambiguous? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:07, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Guys, I'm not that thick! My use of "..." is apparently {{lb|nonstandard}}. Basically, I use it when I'm attempting a witty (ahem) retort --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:17, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr: LOL at the bit about the "r"! - -sche (discuss) 00:58, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

preferential treatment, traitement de faveurEdit

SOP? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 16:06, 1 March 2018 (UTC)


Posted in TR as Citations talk:Linkshänder-Fänger-Handschuh doesn't work.

- 16:37, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

It's spelled with a capital B in this online version (ctrl-f to find the sentence). And "Ruggen" isn't in Duden. I think it's safe to assume that they're both typos. – Gormflaith (talk) 19:28, 1 March 2018 (UTC)


In the quotations (which need reformatting, by the way) there is an unfamiliar character used (4 times). Is it a poor apology for an old-fashioned S? DonnanZ (talk) 16:44, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

It's ſ (long s), and the text seems to me to be cited correctly. - 16:55, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
It doesn't look even remotely like the real thing. DonnanZ (talk) 17:02, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
The font in the book gives it a subtle horizontal stroke, but other than that it renders the same to me.__Gamren (talk) 12:24, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Wikimedia is not sending pictures, it's sending character codes, and that's the proper character code for the long s. If your system is rendering it in a way that you're unhappy with, you need to change which fonts you're using or edit the fonts if you want to be happy with the way it is rendering it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:02, 20 April 2018 (UTC)


Something seems wrong here: how can a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit yield an orange? Furthermore, some Google Books results suggest it's actually Minneola (capital M, double n) and that it's a cross between a tangelo and an orange! Equinox 17:42, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, I think it is Minneola, and not considered an orange. This source from UF/IFAS says that it is a tangelo, being a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine. Also described as "quite handsome and a genuine pleasure to eat." This study describes Minneolas as Citrus reticulata × Citrus paradisi (mandarin orange/grapefruit), as does this one and this one. – Gormflaith (talk) 19:49, 1 March 2018 (UTC)


The Pronunciation clip at Luxembourgish sechs sounds as though it belongs to Luxembourgish sechst (sixth) (which it does). Can this please be corrected ? Leasnam (talk) 18:55, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

An anon has fixed it quite simply. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:57, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Great. I wasn't aware that a file for sechs already existed. I'll try that next time first. Leasnam (talk) 03:29, 3 March 2018 (UTC)


I translated the definition from German: sehnige Teile des Fleisches (the sinewy parts of meat). It seems pretty awkward; can someone give a better translation? Or, even better, is there a word for this in English? – Gormflaith (talk) 19:17, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

forbidden fruit is the sweetestEdit

Defined as "Forbidden things have more worthwhile short-term consequences." Is that really what this means? Other references seem to think it's more like "Forbidden things seem more appealing", where the consequences (e.g. of sleeping with a best friend's spouse) might well still be disastrous. - -sche (discuss) 08:49, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

Your def seems more accurate, yes. Equinox 10:32, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Me too. DCDuring (talk) 13:58, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
I've changed the definition. - -sche (discuss) 23:22, 2 March 2018 (UTC)


Are the pronunciations okay? Would have thought the /dz/ should be /dʒ/, but I'm not familiar with that slur notation. Equinox 13:44, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

Fixed. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:59, 2 March 2018 (UTC)


I was an exchange student in Bad Bergzabern last year. Among teenagers, chillen was used almost exclusively as it is in sense 7 of English chill (to smoke marijuana). It's mentioned in this article, but everything else I've found seems to be in the context of "to chill out by smoking marijuana". Is this sense ("to smoke marijuana") in widespread use in German-speaking countries? – Gormflaith (talk) 15:39, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

I've only ever heard it in the sense of "relax, chill out" without any reference to marijuana at all, but I have almost no contact with teenagers, and what little contact I have never involves talking about drugs. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:04, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
"Almost exclusively" is due to sociolect. The examples for "to chill" 6. ("hang out") and 7. are interchangeable, likewise "chillen" is an unspecific umbrella term, simply by association of activities. It might be used specifically as a cover-up because of taboo, I guess, and then invariably shift in meaning. There's also chillig and I don't know any adjective that would fit sense 7 literally. A funnier variant I heard is schimmeln. Rhyminreason (talk) 01:05, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
"Chill" means "smoke weed"? Dang, and I thought I was hep and with it for knowing what "Netflix and chill" meant. Equinox 21:57, 6 March 2018 (UTC)


Strategetic is marked as "archaic" in its entry. I dispute this specifically on the grounds that it seems to have emerged as a rare illiterism for "strategic" in the early mid-nineteenth century, and to have propagated for less than a century before dwindling to negligibility about the time of WWII.

Now, some of us seem to hold the opinion that lexicography has no business deciding what is "right" or "wrong" about language usages, and certainly many practically universal modern usages originated as what amounted to illiterisms or even misprints in their day, and were scorned and railed at accordingly. That I accept to a great extent, but add that the lexicographer wields great power and accordingly bears great responsibility; what appears in the dictionary commonly leads or misleads generations of people, and to dismiss that power either abjectly or airily is ethically dubious at best.

For example, when a word answers no need apart from temporary convenience to an author who does not know the existing (and especially superior) word and perpetrates a barbarism to fill the gap, it does not mean we should dignify it with automatic acceptance, nor with the compliment of calling it an archaism, when all it really amounts to is a usage derived from a blunder and that fell out of use in favour of a more generally acepted and superior word (compare "strategic" with "strategetic" for example).

Accordingly I think we should be more specific about qualifications such as "archaic" and "nonstandard". For example 'adventitious, apparently ignorant usage instead of "strategic", mainly 1850-1950'.

Of course, I may be overlooking some standard guidelines that cover this sort of thing adequately, in which case I apologise, but would be grateful for comments and explanations. (I at least, am no lexicographer.) JonRichfield (talk) 07:28, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

  • There seems no justification in calling a word used by Anthony Trollope and The Economist (among others) "ignorant". Are you really suggesting that these people did not know that the word "strategic" existed? That's obviously ridiculous. Adding the suffix -etic is a perfectly valid, er, strategy for creating words in English – as it is in other languages, like French, which has stratégétique – and if lots of people use it then it's our job to record it, not pass judgement on it. Ƿidsiþ 07:56, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
As for passing judgement, I already have covered that. Passing judgement is fully justifiable where it is justifiable, otherwise, how dare we judge a word as "archaic"? Recording a usage is one thing; calling it "archaic" as opposed to "ignorant", "whimsical", "redundant", "ephemeral" or whichever cap fits, is dubious at best. This usage goes back only about 1.5 centuries, and practically petered out about a century later, if as much as that. At all times in its history it was used so rarely in comparison to "strategic" that it barely shows on the chart.
As for Trollope as an authority on English, he does nothing to alter the case. I can only find one instance of his using either word, and there is nothing in his usage to suggest whether he knew "strategy" or not, so he is irrelevant. The OED would be a more persuasive authority,but it omits the word. Interestingly, under strategetics I found the status given as "dated", which is so much more appropriate than archaic (and in a sense more dismissive) that I'll change strategetic to dated and leave it at that. Its status certainly does not match the appendix glossary entry for "archaic".
As for the strategetics of the expedientics of redundential agglutinatics of suffixionary syllabilliary affixitivity, feel welcome to any validatetics that satisfy you, but forgive my reservetics in the matter. JonRichfield (talk) 12:10, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
I'm afraid you're wrong – it is in the OED (that was the first place I looked). They added it in December 2016. Ƿidsiþ 15:34, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
Oh no, I am totally right. I looked in older copies dating back to when folks still could spell. But please tell us, Ƿidsiþ, what did the new Barbie OED say strategetic was, obsolete? Dated? Jazzed-up? It is one of the books my family won't let me buy... (too grown-up! ) JonRichfield (talk) 19:48, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
Really? Ƿidsiþ 08:53, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Close enough for jazz — or the tearoom :D JonRichfield (talk) 10:03, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, reminds me of technicology, which I bumped into again yesterday... Equinox 14:16, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
Gosh, I wish you were joking Equinox, but various searches convinced me that you might not be... I had hoped that it might be a misspelling of technistologicity. <snnfff...> JonRichfield (talk) 19:38, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
It seems to have seen the most use between 1830 and 1930; in its heyday of 1830 to 1900, it was ~1/50th as common as "strategic". It's now very rare. However, it was used by too many educated writers to be dismissed by any descriptivists as "illiterate" or "ignorant", and it appears in period dictionaries, too (which were often prescriptivist). Century even claims it has an Ancient Greek etymon στρατηγητικός (stratēgētikós) (this copy of the works of Demosthenes mentions, in the footnotes of a certain line on page 86: "στρατηγικόν ] στρατηγητικόν S. στρατιωτικόν codex unus Morelli"). "Archaic" probably isn't the right label if it (probably) isn't used today to "sound old" (but perhaps it is used to sound stilted). "Now rare" or even just "rare" is an appropriate label. - -sche (discuss) 10:33, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Sounds accurate. Sooner "rare" than "archaic" anyway. The Greek connection is not very persuasive, given that it didn't very closely match the modern semantics. From that point of view I prefer Ƿidsiþ's stratégétique JonRichfield (talk) 10:40, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
You seem to be conflating the two strata (if you'll excuse the pun). Perhaps they simply have separate meaning, like "energic" and "energetic", where one is technical jargon. The french seems to conflate the two, too, so perhaps that is a hint that it is not in fact the sole source. (that was an uneducated guess, I don't actually know). Rhyminreason (talk) 21:24, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Adverbial use of Swedish förEdit

My Swedish friend told me that the adverb use of "för" is never by itself but used with other words, such as "för mycket (too much)". Could we confirm this? And add some examples of "för" as an adverb? Jclu (talk) 09:44, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

home delivery = homebirth?Edit

Assumed it's really used that way (it sounds funny to me), isn't it SOP? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 18:19, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

I have added one cite for each sense. You could argue that both senses are SoP. Maybe the fact that two SoP senses exist is some kind of (weak) argument for having an entry at all. Equinox 18:26, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

ecclesiast, ecclesiasticEdit

Look at the citations I just added to ecclesiast, which clearly aren't of sense 1 (member of the Athenian Ecclesia). We seem to be missing one or more senses. Some dictionaries think this means ecclesiastic#Noun, but we define that as "one who adheres to a church-based philosophy", which is too vague for me to make sense of, and also seems inadequate to cover all the citations that can be found. Some citations seem to mean "member of an ecclesia (church)", which I added, but others refer to Jewish people, so it seems like there's still some other sense missing. Other dictionaries suggest "theologian" and "one who addresses the church or assembly of the faithful; a preacher or sacred orator" as senses. - -sche (discuss) 18:23, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

I have added a new sense (with help from the OED) which seems to cover the remaining cites well, although 2016 is so poorly written that I can't be sure. I think sense 2 is actually an uncommon mistake, so I will RFV it if nothing more turns up. Note also Ecclesiast. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:35, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't know, the "ecclesiast like Torquemada" and "ecclesiast [like] the fiery and passionate Dupanloup, Bishop of Orleans" do seem like they might not mean "administrator of a church" but rather something more in line with ecclesiastic's weird definition, like "church ideologue" or something. And if the citations about Jewish people are to be subsumed under the "administrator" sense, presumably "church" should be expanded to "church or other religious gathering". - -sche (discuss) 18:42, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
That definition is terribly wrong, though; I have replaced it with "cleric". Dupanloup certainly works in context, but I share your misgivings about the Torquemada one. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:46, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
The parallel structure in 1918 is actually very odd, as it sets a "Hebrew" vs a "Christian" vs an "ecclesiast" vs a "Brigham Young". Perhaps from a Mormon perspective at that time, they really all were rather separate sorts of religious figures. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:52, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
The issues I raised have been mostly resolved. If either of these words can be "theologian" (as some dictionaries say) that sense is still missing, but in general "ecclesiastic" is more sensibly defined now and "ecclesiast" has a "clergy member" sense that covers most of the non-Athens-related uses. I also broadened the other sense of "member of any ecclesia". - -sche (discuss) 00:54, 8 March 2018 (UTC)


A user removed the adjective sense, making the frankly plausible argument that the ostensible uses of it just seem like uses of the noun. Indeed, I'm not sure it meets grammar/syntax-based tests of unambiguous adjectivity, though perhaps it might pass a "jiffy"-like "Talk:aliquot test". But other dictionaries do have an adjective section and sometimes an adverb section, too, for usage in cases where it could be an adjective/adverb (but it just could also be a noun). @DCDuring and others with an interest in grammar. - -sche (discuss) 18:59, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Hmmm. As we are, among other things, a historical dictionary intended to help users decode works that use terms that are dated, archaic, or obsolete, it could be argued that we should include the term as the PoS in which it first entered the language. Online Etymology Dictionary shows it as having entered English around 1560 as an abbreviation. Century 1911 (Supplement) showed it as per cent. or per ct., only as an abbreviation of Latin per centum ("by the hundred")". Webster is similar, but offering "in/by the hundred" as definitions. Even now per can be used in the applicable sense with ordinary English words ("per foot"). So, perhaps it was originally thought of as a prepositional phrase. If so, one would have forced into the procrustean bed of traditional parts of speech as an adverb or adjective. In any event, it didn't enter English as a noun, though it has became one.
As a noun, percent is often synonymous with percentage, clearly a noun and not an adjective by the usual tests, though bother are used attributively. Percent (and not percentage) occurs in the phrase of a percent ("3 tenths of a percent"), where it seems to be a noun. In an expression like "ten percent commission", formerly it might have been analyzed with ten being the head of an adjective phrase, modified by percent. Now we would have percent being the head, modified by ten.
A weasely resolution that I like would be putting all the old grammar into the etymology and the current attributive use into a usage label or a usage note, with only the noun PoS remaining. DCDuring (talk) 22:05, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

little oldEdit

Is definition two really restricted to the Southern United States? I agree that "little old me" and the like are largely Southern dialect, but I do hear people say little old man (meaning 'sweet, harmless, unjaded and endearing old man') plenty, and I'm from the Northeast.

Alternatively, if it is truly restricted to the South, is it possible that little old man is unrelated to the adjective little old?

I ask this because definition one looks at first glance to be what I am referring to, yet I can't find any definition of "little" in that sense that seems to fit what I am talking about. On the other hand, "[e]mphatically, affectionately, ... little; ordinary or harmless" seems to fit with what I am describing. Tharthan (talk) 23:14, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Not restricted to Southern United States. See also good old. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:02, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
(And big old.) Yeah, I guess we should drop that part of the label. If Southern US English uses these terms noticeably more often than other dialects, or in more constructions, that could go in a usage note. - -sche (discuss) 16:17, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
Alright, I'll make the change then. Tharthan (talk) 16:44, 5 March 2018 (UTC)


You can search Teochew Peng'im pronunciation to be put into zh-pron at . It is the best source I can find. --Octahedron80 (talk) 02:18, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

@Octahedron80: I think is a better one for single characters, since most entries have definitions corresponding to pronunciations. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:12, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
What Justin said. Also, there is this Japanese site that has correspondences between multiple dialects. —suzukaze (tc) 03:19, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
Mogher does also give definitions per pronunciation, more detail than czyzd. Try search . --Octahedron80 (talk) 03:37, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
It really depends on the entry. Try for example. I find czyzd is more reliable because Mogher sometimes just shows generic Chinese definitions for entries they haven't polished, like . — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:45, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

mortality rateEdit

Should mortality rate be considered "sum of parts" (the rate of mortality) or not? If not, related terms used in the insurance industry for transitions from one policy state to another include divorce rate, lapse rate, morbidity rate, PUP rate, recovery rate, remarriage rate, retirement rate, surrender rate; should all these be included as separate entries as well? -Stelio (talk) 16:45, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

I think that mortality rate is SOP and I will RFD it. I also think the others should not be created. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:45, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Thanks @Metaknowledge! -Stelio (talk) 20:38, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
See mortality rate at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring (talk) 02:42, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
What about the confusion between the atmospheric lapse rate and the insurance policy lapse rate? Why is one more definition-worthy than the other? DCDuring (talk) 02:56, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

Organization that provides 'useless' jobsEdit

Portuguese has a word cabide de empregos for "an organisation that exists primarily to provide useless jobs" (our definition) or "organization or entity with the main purpose of guaranteeing positions to political patrons, employing several people without need for administration" (pt.Wikt's definition). This seems like a candidate for Appendix:Terms considered difficult or impossible to translate into English, if there isn't an English word for it. Is there? Certainly the English-speaking world has companies that provide useless jobs. A company that featherbeds (see Featherbedding#Brazil)? - -sche (discuss) 21:02, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

The position is a sinecure; I don't know a word for the organisation. Equinox 21:05, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
"sinecure shop", "sinecure factory" and "sinecure mill" have a handful of google hits together, and "sinecure factory" has one hit on Google Books. Crom daba (talk) 21:54, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
"Sinecure business" might actually be attested in this sense (idiomaticity is a different matter), though so rarely that I am not sure I'd be comfortable considering "cabide de empregos" to be translatable just because of it. "Sincecure company" also gets a couple hits. - -sche (discuss) 21:55, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Also make-work, but again I don't know of a word for the organization. DTLHS (talk) 22:00, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Rube Goldberg machine, Heath Robinson machine, bureaucracy. That's not really what you're looking for, but sorta. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:04, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

diploma mill... Not really either. Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:07, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
gravy train? Or is it simply a synonym of sinecure? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:15, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
If featherbedding is the practice, then maybe featherbed is attested with the sense we want. — Ungoliant (falai) 01:58, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
  • If I were translating this, I would probably say "job mill", and when I search for that term I do see a little usage. "The county appears to be a patronage job mill for the criminal sons of some politicians" (The Trentonian, 2017); "the idea of a university as a place where students can explore and express ideas, rather than be run through a very expensive job mill" (Alphr, 2015). At the moment it doesn't seem to be a set phrase in English, though. The Portuguese term is rather great. Ƿidsiþ 08:11, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Nonsense colorEdit

In the way eleventeen is a nonsense number, does English have a nonsense color? Not a one-off like bank butt, but a word or phrase (I see a book titled "a sky the color of chaos", but that doesn't seem to be a set phrase) you use as a made-up color, and/or if a color you actually see is unnameable. Is grue or sky-blue pink used that broadly? Or are any of Wikipedia's List of fictional colors attestably used that way? I see we define "sky-blue pink" that way, but it actually seems to be a real color the sky turns; see Citations:sky-blue pink.
This is another question inspired by vetting "untranslatable" terms; several languages call such a color "the color of a donkey/dog that flees".
- -sche (discuss) 23:29, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Two standard impossible colours in English are reddish green and bluish yellow (possibly also dark white and pale black). Reddish green is the most commonly attested.
In my experience, sky-blue pink is indeed used as a real colour: the colour of pink clouds in a blue sky as the sun sets. -Stelio (talk) 08:02, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
There is a fictional magical colour called "octarine"; this is best known from the Discworld comic novels, but seems to appear in a few magickal/occult texts too, so perhaps it's an older word. Equinox 09:43, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't see any citations of "octarine" before 1983's The Colour of Magic, other than as a name or OCR error (Google Books). -Stelio (talk) 11:07, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
tiver (a pigment) is cognate to Zauber ("magic"), certainly related, but not a non-sense color as far as I can see. --Rhyminreason (talk) 14:42, 16 March 2018 (UTC)


reassurance has the sense "reinsurance" which is labelled as "legal, dated". While it may be dated in legal circles, it's still a current term in the insurance industry. How should that best be indicated in the labels? -Stelio (talk) 13:24, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

Perhaps {{lb|en|legal|dated|_|except in the insurance industry}}? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:27, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Removed dated. Maybe I was wrong about that. Equinox 19:33, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Resolved with that; thank you very much! -Stelio (talk) 10:41, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

How to reverse the entry of a word and it's alternate spelling? (pu'er & pu'erh)Edit

Hi, How appropriate this is called the Tea Room. Let's talk about tea!

There is a problem with the Wiktionary entry for the word "pu'er"

In this entry, "pu'er" is listed as an alternate for "pu'erh"

However, these should be the other way around. "Pu'er" is the correct, standard pinyin for the Chinese word 普洱 (pǔ'ěr). Pu'erh (with an added "h") is an "alternate" spelling. The character for "er", 洱, has its own entry here

As this requires more than a simple edit/correction, and I'm not a master-wiki-editor, thought to post this here for advice, or to see if someone else wants to make this change for me.

Thank you. —This unsigned comment was added by Mlondon (talkcontribs) at 19:09, 6 March 2018 (UTC).

While Pu'er is the correct pinyin for 普洱, Pu-erh (derived from the Wade-Giles romanization) seems to be the more common form of the word in English. See Google ngrams. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:21, 6 March 2018 (UTC)


In the entry repine, have I updated {{en-verb}} correctly to reflect the archaic forms repinest and repineth? — SGconlaw (talk) 20:16, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

I don't agree with showing them at all. DTLHS (talk) 20:23, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Ditto. It is incredibly cluttered. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:28, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I agree these shouldn't go in the headword line. (There have been a few discussions before about excluding obsolete forms from the headword line, like "low" as a form of "laugh".) I think we should make more use of conjugation tables (which should include these forms), as at abandon#Conjugation. - -sche (discuss) 20:46, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
OK, will look into using a conjugation table, though I'll need help with this as I'm not a linguist. — SGconlaw (talk) 12:25, 7 March 2018 (UTC)


Added a reference which only shows it as an adjective (which isn't included in the entry). DonnanZ (talk) 01:03, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

I don't think that's adjectival, but rather attributive usage. "Tractor" isn't an adjective just because you can have "tractor parts". Equinox 01:23, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Hmm-yeah, both Collins and Merriam Webster say it's a noun. One thing leads to another, I was working on a translation of elektrosjokkvåpen (electroshock weapon) in a quote I added, and elektrosjokk is regarded as a noun in Norwegian. DonnanZ (talk) 11:55, 7 March 2018 (UTC)


  1. Don't we have a category for verb participles couples like dreamt/-ed and learnt used (written and oral) differently in BrEN/AmEN? Aren't burnt, spelt and wept also a pair of this?
  2. Is the Usage note for dreamt also true for learn/learnt?
  3. Should spelt be in category:English irregular past participles as misspelt is?
  4. How comes that 4 out of 5 examples in -t (=-th, section 12) are not in the list? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 11:44, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Not forgetting spilt, and earnt which is highly irregular, but I use it. DonnanZ (talk) 12:04, 7 March 2018 (UTC)


I wonder if Greek script in the etymology can be entered here, and other cases added by User:Pseudomugil, Cheers. DonnanZ (talk) 14:13, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Also the ref-no-references tags need sorting out. DonnanZ (talk) 14:15, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Done. Could you leave a message on his talk page to explain the usual deal (no {{etyl}}, Greek terms shouldn't be entered in the first parameter/the Latin alphabet, etc.)? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 14:23, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I've done that, you can add to it if you want. DonnanZ (talk) 15:04, 7 March 2018 (UTC)


If this refers specifically to the wooden part of the match, there are several wrong translations. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 16:41, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Such as? In some languages both match and matchstick could be the same, vis tändsticka, fyrstikk, Streichholz and Zündholz. DonnanZ (talk) 17:43, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

I, l as "disguise letters"Edit

These two letters look extremely similar in many fonts, and are sometimes used to disguise themselves as one another. For instance, if a forum user had the username "generalluigiT", if someone ELSE wants to make an impersonating alt-account pretending to be this user, they might create an account called "generaIIuigiT". Or maybe a username on a site was taken and never used, and it happened to be called "TheInvincible", so another user who actually wanted the username and didn't want to waste it might angrily make the account "Thelnvincible" or "ThelnvincibIe". In many fonts, the two usernames in both instances would look exactly the same. Does this merit a sense in the Translingual definitions of these two characters? (IMO I've only seen this used informally on the Internet in situations like these, so as for its attestedness I'm not too sure...) PseudoSkull (talk) 20:07, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

The reason I say it should go to Translingual is because this phenomenon shouldn't really apply to one particular language AFAIK. It could be used in any Latin-based language or on any string of words that uses these Latin-script letters. PseudoSkull (talk) 20:11, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
  • My gut feeling is that "disguise letters" are not in our purview. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:37, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
    Yeah, it doesn't seem like lexical information that should go in a sense; it seems font-/display-dependent; if the forum used a font where the characters were obviously distinct, someone would probably only make such a username as a gag reference to the letters' usual indistinctness. I would just link them via either {{also}} or our cop-out catch-all section, "See also". Particularly egregious cases might merit mention in usage notes as something "not to be confused". - -sche (discuss) 08:06, 10 March 2018 (UTC)


Shouldn't that be a heptakishecatonpentakontakaipentagon rather than a circle? It does not have enough sides to be the latter I would think.

Aside from the word being a probable protologism in Russian? Jcwf (talk) 02:09, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Presumably, though I imagine one could use it humorously in reference to circles. Maybe WT:BJAODN material if it is a protologism (which it looks to be). — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 02:36, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

open the battingEdit

Apart from the cricketing sense, I think it can be used figuratively, e.g. for someone who makes the first move. Any thoughts? DonnanZ (talk) 13:12, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Yes, I agree: to commence proceedings. -Stelio (talk) 11:22, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
@Donnanz, I've added this as an idiomatic sense to the entry now. -Stelio (talk) 10:44, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
@Stelio: Thanks, that's a good def, I think. DonnanZ (talk) 10:56, 16 March 2018 (UTC)'


As per the modern spelling of the term in the Christmas carol "Away in a manger".

I recall receiving a transcript in primary school, during the late 1950's or very early 1960's of this Christmas carol in which the term was spelled Lewing. It sticks in mind as it caused many questions amongst the other students and some discussion which, among other things, confirmed that the spelling was correct at the time.

Does anybody have confirmation of this or any etymology for the word and the older, possibly original, spelling? It has had a renewed interest for me as I have recently moved into Lewers Street and having subsequently, quite by accident, met a person with the surname Lewers who, confirmed the pronunciation to be Lowers.

Does anyone have information regarding this apparent change? Is this yet another victim of the "spellchecker"?

  • The OED has citations of the verb low back as far as the 16th century with no alternative spelling. It has nothing related in the "lew" verb. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:59, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
    • I've also never seen lew for any sense of low, though of course shew for show was quite common until the early 20th century. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 08:33, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
I remember seeing shewn in the 1950s, in a map key if I remember correctly. DonnanZ (talk) 11:01, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Definition of pendlovkyEdit

The original definition of pendlovky was "pendulum clock in a long glassed case", but Metaknowledge pointed out that the word glassed is uncommon in English and does not sound natural in this context, and for this reason it was changed for a "glass case". However, the long case is not completely made of glass, there is just a glass at the bottom of the front wall of the case so that the pendulum is visible, as can be seen in the picture. The word "glazed" was rejected too. May I ask for some more suggestions to find a better description? Thanks. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 09:41, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

"pendulum clock in a long case and featuring a glass window through which the pendulum is visible"? —suzukaze (tc) 09:45, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking about something shorter, but if nothing like that is found, ... why not, thanks. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 09:50, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
"glassed case"→"windowed case"? —suzukaze (tc) 09:52, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
Hm, sounds good to me. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 09:59, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
Care to add a translation to grandfather clock? and match the descriptions? I'm asking because "-ky" is a diminuitive, so "wall mount, smaller version of ..." could work. "short longcase clock" is an oxymoron, but the current "long case" works. Rhyminreason (talk) 13:57, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
Not every use of the diminutive is literal. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:41, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

IPA containing symbols not in the pronunciation appendixEdit

This is a list of 228 English pages with IPA pronunciations that contain characters that are not in the wiktionary pronunciation appendix:

"work" /wɜɹk/ - there's no "ɜ" in the appendix. "cow" /kaʊ̯/ - there is a "ʊ" in the appendix, but no "ʊ̯".

I think these should all be changed, or have the symbols added to the appendix?

If there's a General American IPA, I'm checking that. If not, enPR. If not, whatever's left. And I'm only currently checking the first, if there are multiple.

Darxus (talk) 17:22, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

They should be changed to meet our standards. Your examples should be written as /wɝk/ and /kaʊ/ respectively. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:26, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
Also note Category:IPA pronunciations with invalid IPA characters. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:38, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
I changed all instances of /ʊ̯/ to /ʊ/ (cow hello co-op sauro- Latin@ go ham), and all instances of /ɜɹ/ to /ɝ/ (work turkey bird preservation furry durst myrtle Aaron's beard Cerberus frigatebird ursid above stairs). I believe these were appropriate? Anybody want to suggest other simple changes to make? How do I figure out what they should be? The most common first characters of unmatched IPA symbols are "ɜ" and "e".
Darxus (talk) 19:10, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
[aʊ̯] is proper IPA and useful (maybe cp. en:w:International Phonetic Alphabet#Diacritics and prosodic notation), [ɜ] is proper IPA too (maybe cp. en:w:Open-mid central unrounded vowel) though whether it's part of a correct English IPA transcription is another thing. - 00:50, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
We are not talking about what "proper" IPA usage is. We are talking about Wiktionary standards for representing IPA for English in broad transcription. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:05, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

I'm working on a table of symbol suggestions for these cases. I'd love feedback. —Darxus (talk) 22:56, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

The problem is that no one agrees on what the proper symbols for English should be, and despite repeated discussions here there still isn't much consensus on it. Ƿidsiþ 08:50, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

fuck as adverbEdit

I think this is wrong. "Fuck no" etc. is just the interjection, isn't it? Equinox 00:17, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

He was fuck running when the clock ran out. Meh. It works, but not with the provided sense. - Amgine/ t·e 00:22, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
I would hardly say that works. I would vote in favour of that use of being an interjection. Tradereddy (talk) 00:44, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
"What the fuck are you doing" is using it adverbially, isn't it? --Rhyminreason (talk) 02:37, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
No, you can never place "the" before an adverb like that. It's like "the house" or "the dog". Equinox 02:40, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
So it should be analyzed as "doing the fuck", like "leaving the house", not as "what are you the fuck / fucking doing", where "fucking" is clearly a adverb, but the fuck moves to the front to highlight the importance of it, as is "fucking who do you think you are?". Either way there recently was discussion concluding that nouns used adverbially are not to be added as adverbs, if I remember correctly now that I think about it, can't find it though. Also: the hell is marked adverb. --Rhyminreason (talk) 03:23, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Etymology inconsistency with floss and floccusEdit

I appologize if this approaches spamming, but I've added to the talk pages of both Talk:floss and Talk:floccus the following:

Currently, the etymology reads as follows:

1750, from French floche (“tuft of wool”), from floc, from Old French flosche (“down, velvet”), from Latin floccus (“piece of wool”), probably from Frankish *flokko (“down, wool, flock”), from Proto-Germanic *flukkōn-, *flukkan-, *fluksōn- (“down, flock”), from Proto-Indo-European *plAwək- (“hair, fibres, tuft”). Cognate with Old High German flocko (“down”), Middle Dutch vlocke (“flock”), Norwegian dialectal flugsa (“snowflake”), Dutch flos (“plush”) (tr=17c.). Related to fleece.

The issue, however, is that under the page 'Floccus' the Latin etymology points towards the following:

Possibly from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlok-, related to Old High German blaha, Old Swedish blan, bla, both from Proto-Germanic *blahwo (“tuft”), and Old Norse blæja, which is from Proto-Germanic *blahjon (“flock of wool”).

With a citation: Szemerenyi, Scripta minora: selected essays in Indo-European, Greek, and Latin, Volume 2, p. 714

The Online Etymological Dictionary has the following entry:

"rough silk," 1759, of uncertain origin, perhaps from French floche "tuft of wool" (16c.), from Old French floc "tuft, lock," from Latin floccus "tuft of wool," a word of unknown origin. Or from a dialectal survival of an unrecorded Old English or Old Norse word from the root of fleece (n.). Compare the surname Flossmonger, attested 1314, which might represent a direct borrowing from Scandinavian or Low German. In "The Mill on the Floss" the word is the proper name of a fictitious river in the English Midlands. Meaning "fine silk thread" is from 1871, short for floss silk (1759). Dental floss is from 1872; the verb floss in reference to use of it is from 1909. Related: Flossed; flossing.

This article allows adds this alternate explanation:

Walter Skeat, however, argues floss came directly from the Italian floscia seta, “sleave silk,” ultimately from the Latin flux, “flowing.” He considers soie floche the French borrowing of the same Italian phrase.

I was wondering if anyone had an expertise, interest, or ability to follow this issue further. Tradereddy (talk) 00:38, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

The abstemiousEdit

I'm seeing uses of abstemious in an apparent noun sense in the form "the abstemious". Should I add "Preceded by the: abstemious people as a group", or is this actually still an adjective sense? (For example, what is meant is "the abstemious [people]", but the word people is never added.) It occurs to me that this could apply to any number of adjectives: "the clever", "the thin", and so on. — SGconlaw (talk) 03:17, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

See Wt:Beer parlour/2015/October#Nominalized Adjectives for a prior discussion, with links to relevant RFDs. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:24, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Great, thanks. Hmmm, there doesn't seem to be a consensus on this. — SGconlaw (talk) 03:30, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
But as a practical matter, what language learner would fail to decode it and, having seen some of the more common nominalized adjectives ("the rich/poor/needy/indigent/good/sceptical/ignorant/intelligent"), wouldn't be able to encode reasonably well? DCDuring (talk) 04:23, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Indeed. Should w have a vote on this and make it a rule? — SGconlaw (talk) 13:04, 12 March 2018 (UTC)


Some person Geddess (talkcontribs) wants to add this word to the database. It's defined as follows: a main meal taken once in the day to replace breakfast, lunch and dinner. The term Brelundin is an abbreviation and stands for Bre (Breakfast), Lun (Lunch), Din (Dinner). It is used as a means of dieting for people who are busy throughout their day. The one meal tends to be had in the evening but it is up to the individuals preference. The term was created by Stephen Geddes due to an extremely busy schedule.

I'm not sure what to think of this lede, whom I have blocked for a week. Any suggestions? --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 04:41, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

I'm taking the silence on this as approval of adding the term to WT:BJAODN. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 05:37, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
It's just another made-up word ("protologism"). I don't see why it's particularly funny or clever. Equinox 05:42, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
The definition may not sound nonsensical, but at least the term sounds funny to me. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 05:52, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
I think I did add lupper at some point (and "linner" seems to be used once or twice; might not meet CFI). Equinox 15:44, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
I'm surprised about linner, which is part of my idiolect, at least. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:41, 16 March 2018 (UTC)


Demure has some gender binding as its used that needs to be noted. -Inowen (talk) 04:51, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

diff,   Done. (Is it "usually" or can we safely say "always"?) —suzukaze (tc) 04:53, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
google books:"demure man" (and a few relevant ones to be found at google books:"his demure", along with several irrelevant hits for "his demure [woman]", and misc other search phrases like "demure young lad|man") show that it's not always used of women; indeed, I can find some cases where it's used of animals; so "usually" or "chiefly" seems right. - -sche (discuss) 05:00, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
google books:"demure young man" gets even more hits, and google books:"demure boy" gets almost as many as "demure man". (And doing a Google Images search for "demure boy" definitely reveals the effeminacy associated with demureness.) —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:05, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

English cornualEdit

@Wyang: Did you mean to post this in the GP? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:43, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, moved. Wyang (talk) 04:45, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Current definition and example: (anatomy) Located near, or relating to, an animal's horns. the cornual branch of the zygomaticotemporal nerve.

This is ... related to an animal's horns, but only very distantly. Point to cornu (which has many senses) instead in the def? Wyang (talk) 04:41, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

... and all the anatomical senses of cornu are missing. Wyang (talk) 07:15, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

English handlangerEdit

In Dutch this word has (gained? today?) a very negative connotation: an accomplice in crime. Period. In Afrikaans it is far more positive: a helper, assistant. As the page is now the content is very confusing on that point, e.g. it says that in Dutch it can also be used in a positive sense. I'm tempted to scrap that. (nl.wikt does not have it), An article written in 1899 in WNT does mention more positive interpretations, but also mentions that the word is mostly used in the sense of accomplice ("een verachtelijke benaming": a contemptuous term).WNT. So perhaps the second meaning should simply be labeled obsolete. The etymology of the South-African English lemma should imho refer to Afrikaans rather than Dutch. Jcwf (talk) 14:32, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

I've given the Dutch sense a label and updated the English term's etymology, but the positive sense is still present in Surinam and Zeeland, so obsolete wouldn't really be accurate. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:57, 4 April 2018 (UTC)


The symbol ea is quite common in Korean as in 5ea입 (“5 items included”) and 10ea씩 (“10 items each”) which is clearly an equivalent of the general counter (gae), not “each”. I have a discussion in ko:사용자토론:Nuevo Paso#ea with two native Korean speakers and they say it is an English counter, not Korean. In fact ea seems to be used commonly in invoices ([1]) and in some game communities ([2], [3]). I would like to know:

  1. whether English speakers actually write ice burner 5ea instead of 5 ice burners in game communities
  2. how to pronounce ice burner 5ea if it is actually used
  3. whether we should have a Korean entry (personally I think we should because of the Korean pronunciation)

Thanks in advance. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 15:14, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

(The second discussion for "game communities" is about a Korean game :P —suzukaze (tc) 19:01, 13 March 2018 (UTC))
Yes, the use of ea in online games seems to me rather Korean-influenced English. You just can’t read ice burner 5ea in English. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 01:26, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
It seems common in cooking:
2012, Al Meyer, The Working Garde Manger, p. 31:
    1 ea. egg yolk
    ½ oz. whole milk
    1 ea. puff pastry sheet
    2 oz. Parmesan cheese
    tt Hungarian paprika
Seeing this, we need to add an English counter. If it meant “each”, the author would have written ½ oz. ea. but that’s not the case. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 10:07, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
I am certain that "ea." in those cookbooks is the English word "each" and not derived from Korean in any way. Compare google books:"1 pc. egg" and google books:"1 each egg". Ingredients lists in recipes sometimes have an odd "grammar". (This may or may not deserve an entry/sense-line, but it's not derived from Korean.) - -sche (discuss) 18:05, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
I would certainly agree that this usage of ea. is odd.
That said, it certainly derives from native English usage, and not from Korean. The oddness is simply that "each" is more commonly used when parceling things out. Reading ea. in the context of the linked recipe, at first glance, it sounds like the author means to use one whole egg yolk per serving -- but the fuller context and the long-form directions make it clear that this cannot be the case, and the author is instead simply intending that amount for the whole recipe. I'm more used to seeing the number with no unit afterwards, if the intention is to use that number of the ingredient (for discrete things like egg yolks). The author Al Meyer appears to be a native of California, judging from his biography on his website, and is likely a native speaker of Californian English. I wonder then if this usage of ea. is a term of art for high-end cooking? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:17, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it's even particular to high-end cooking. In my experience, the tendency to have something (like a unit of measure, or something indicating singularity) after numbers/measures of ingredients, leads for whatever reason to "1 each egg", "1 ea. egg", "1 pc. egg", "1 piece egg" etc. In some cases this seems to be caused by cooking-website-input-formats and/or authors dividing the ingredients list into three columns, "number", "unit", and "item being measured", where "unit" gets filled with "each" or "piece" for something like an egg that is just a single thing. For example, that seems to be why Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: 70 Top Mediterranean Diet Recipes calls for "1   piece   Egg (large, beaten lightly)". Looking at the Google Books hits for those phrases, I see cookbooks all across the spectrum, from pop-culture-y ones to ones that might be intended to be high-end. - -sche (discuss) 21:59, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
That's the kind of idiotically unthinking linguistic abuse that makes me want to flog cookbook editors with lasagna noodles whilst, and at the same time, bludgeoning them with a conveniently sized halibut.
Yech. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:28, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Heh. I can even find: Tony Bednarowski, Get Your Lean On: A Simple, Sensible yet Scientific Weight Loss Solution (2013, →ISBN):
 » 2 T. onion, chopped
 » 1 count egg
 » 1 T. canola oil
 » 4 slices Canadian bacon
 » 2 c. cabbage, thinly sliced
- -sche (discuss) 01:22, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Ugh. My wife informed me that a couple different recipe websites she's used suffer from badly implemented data validation, where ingredient entry lines require something in each field -- much as you suggested above, only enforced by naive-developer fiat.
I feel like there's a research paper in there somewhere -- the broader linguistic impacts of poor database design decisions. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:39, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
I know the Korean ea is from the English ea. I just thought that it only means “each” in English and the general counter sense was a Korean invention. Now it is clear that the latter is also from English. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 05:54, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Sense added: ea.TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 04:08, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

"X Time"Edit

There are a lot of cultures that have stereotypes of being late to everything. I'm curious how best to lemmatise and define these. Right now, we have African time with a rather poorly worded definition, and CP Time is claimed to be the equivalent (although in my experience, it's pejorative and somewhat dated, unlike African time). We also have Caribbean time given as a synonym, although it's different in that it refers to Caribbean people. How do we approach this? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:34, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Coordinate terms IMO. DTLHS (talk) 02:36, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Hard to coordinate when there are so many — we probably need a thesaurus, but I don't know what to call it. Some other attested times (sometimes with capitalised Time) include: Indian time, Jewish Standard Time, Hawaiian time, island time, Fiji time. The antonym, punctuality, is also attested, including: White People's Time, haole time, mzungu time. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:41, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
As long as it's linked from entries I don't think the name of a thesaurus page matters that much- call it "Thesaurus:X time" if you want. DTLHS (talk) 02:48, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Thesaurus:lateness or Thesaurus:tardiness? — SGconlaw (talk) 03:03, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Thesaurus:tardy time, perhaps? Or, if a thesaurus entry is not desired, just put all the coordinate terms in one entry (say, the most common, or the alphabetically first) and have all the other terms say "see list in X". - -sche (discuss) 04:38, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Not sure the Thesaurus page name needs to be that specific, IMHO. — SGconlaw (talk) 06:11, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
@-sche, since you tend to be better at this to me, think you could reword the def at African time, so I can use it as a template? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:40, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
OK, I've taken a stab at writing definitions for both CP Time (mentioning that it is sometimes treated like a notional time zone) and African time (mentioning the positive aspects WP says it has). If "African time" is not so derogatory, or has stronger positive connotations, please edit the definition further to reflect that. The definitions could be shortened by moving the "who uses it how" bits into usage notes. In my experience, some African Americans still use "CPT" / "Colored People Time" in a sort of self-deprecating humorous way among themselves (off the top of my head I recall writer Ijeoma Oluo mentioning her mother using it recently), but use by even well-meaning white people is rather fraught, as the Wikipedia article mentions. - -sche (discuss) 05:24, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
I think it's pretty good; it's hard to judge how derogatory something is, but my experience is that Africans, at least, use "African time" in a fairly neutral, descriptive way, so "sometimes derogatory" seems better for the label. Another issue is that it's difficult to expand this to an entry like island time, which references a place rather than people. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:48, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Using the definition of African time as a base, what about changing "...Africans..." to "...the [inhabitants|natives] of [certain] islands [line Hawai'i and Fiji]..."? - -sche (discuss) 21:49, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Lines lacunaEdit

Pick up a ruler. What are those lines on the ruler called? Well, that article says both graduations and then less pleasingly markings.

For this purpose, graduation's definition

3. (sciences) A marking (i.e. on a container) indicating a measurement.

rather misses the sense of lots and lots of equally-spaced lines dividing the length.

And marking's definition really misses

2. a mark

I'd been wondering about ruling, similar to the sense as used when describing the ruling lines that together inscribe a diffraction grating, but that article here has no idea what I'm talking about, although w:Diffraction_grating does know about 'rulings'. (w:Grating says they are 'grooves'. Groovy) "Century Dictionary" has "2. The act of making ruled lines; also, such lines collectively." And ruled has a hint of those ruler markings.

So, graduation clearly is deficient, as is ruling, and I still feel there is a better definition or better word that better fits "those lines on a ruler". Shenme (talk) 06:36, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

I've extended the definition a bit at graduation. As for marking, that's a hard one; I wouldn't say it misses, but it could use to be more exact. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:15, 14 March 2018 (UTC)


Can this also mean "certain/sure"? "but I am satisfied that it" @ Google Books. —suzukaze (tc) 07:31, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

It's not quite that strong: more like convinced or persuaded, or willing to accept because one's standard of proof has been met. The focus is on the subjective decision to believe rather than on objective certainty. Chuck Entz (talk) 09:06, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

i need words that start or end with gragh


I would like to propose a possible etymology of "saffron" from Median farnah-, Avestan xᵛarənah-, Sanskrit suvarṇa (सुवर्ण), all with the meaning of yellow, golden, yellow ochre, turmeric and, through a small semantic shift, glory, aura, fortune. 13:48, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

fo'c'sle, fo'c's'le, fo'c'stle: contractions?Edit

What do we mean by "contraction"? Is the criterion visual or auditive?

By the way, I'm not terribly fond of having things like antimonselite or astrogate listed as "contractions" alongside isn't or he'd've. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:30, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

In this case it's both, so it doesn't matter. I would call antimonselite and astrogate blends rather than contractions, since they are intentional coinages. --WikiTiki89 19:35, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Ok, let's take a more obvious example. fo'c'sle is said to be a double contraction, fo'c's'le a triple contraction. Shouldn't these be labeled as simple contractions? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:43, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Why "simple" contractions? In terms of pronunciation they are both "double" contractions. But what do we call spellings like ask'd? Are they contractions, even though they are pronounced the same as the full spelling? Perhaps historically they were spoken contractions before the standard pronunciation dropped the sound in question as well. Anyway, I think we should generally go by pronunciation, and call purely written contractions "written contractions". After all, gonna is a contraction even though there is no apostrophe. --WikiTiki89 20:52, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
I too would prefer we disambiguate and speak of "written contractions".
I'm confused by forecastle to be honest. What's the standard pronunciation? If it's /ˈfoʊkˌsəl/ or /ˈfəʊksəl/ or /ˈfɒksəl/, then how are the apostrophe versions (pronunciation) contractions at all? They're just written contractions. And if /ˌfɔːˈkɑː.səl/ exists, is it the historical pronunciation, or a spelling pronunciation, or both? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:18, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Well then the question is again, what came first, the contracted spellings, or the loss of the uncontracted pronunciation? If a few decades from now, the pronunciation /ˈaɪ ˈæm/ for "I am", completely falls out of use, does I'm suddenly cease to be a contraction? --WikiTiki89 21:44, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Regarding these being listed as "double" or "triple" contractions: we perennially have problems with unaware users adding things to those categorized based only on the number of apostrophes in the word, and I revert them. (fo'c'sle is not, AFAICT, said to be a double contraction, because I undid the last editor who listed it as such last year.) To be a double contraction, as I understand it, it needs to have two instances of contraction (like "y'all'd": contract "you all" to "y'all", and then contract "y'all would" to "y'all'd"). AFAICT, "fo'c'sle" is one word that was shortened (in one swoop). - -sche (discuss) 21:45, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
How do you know it was in one swoop, and not first forec'sle and then fo'c'sle? --WikiTiki89 21:49, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Shout it a few dozen times in a very windy place so people upwind and down can understand you. - Amgine/ t·e 23:11, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't mean this in a bad way, but I honestly don't get what point you're trying to make. I wasn't questioning the cause of the contraction. --WikiTiki89 14:40, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
It is very difficult to shout "forecastle" clearly and understandably. Stop and think about the context of the word: part of a vessel which requires (and desires) to operate in high wind/wave. More specifically, a vessel with an abnormally high number of crew - a military vessel. An order given near the helm is passed forward by many crew shouting it sequentially, and it is answered by repeating it back through the same chain of communication with an affirmative append. "Fo'c'sle Away!" "Fo'c'sle Away Aye!" And it has to be *perfect* going forward and aft again. I suspect it would be impossible for any game of 'telephone' in those circumstances to not result in fo'c'sle in a single pass. - Amgine/ t·e 02:15, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

contraction of I'm gonnaEdit

How do you spell the /ˈaimənə/ contraction? I'm'na? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:38, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

I've been wondering this for years. In real life, I usually spell it I'm gonna. Incidentally, in my idiolect it's pronounced /ˈʌmənə/, or rarely /ˈʌɪ̯mənə/. --WikiTiki89 20:55, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
I'mma is what you want. Sadly ATM it is a redirect to Imma. --Otra cuenta105 (talk) 21:25, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
@Otra cuenta105: I'mma is a more contracted contraction pronounced /ˈa(ɪ)mə/, not the one we're talking about pronounced /ˈa(ɪ)mənə/. --WikiTiki89 21:38, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
"I'm 'onna" is attested (Citations:I'm 'onna). Searching for that also revealed that some people "contract" on a to the longer spelling onna. - -sche (discuss) 21:36, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
on a roll > onna roll? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:40, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Well, what I ran into was more "I'm onna bus". - -sche (discuss) 21:46, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
That's beautiful. I'm 'onna try and use it onna regular basis. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:52, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
@-sche: Are you sure onna isn't on the (pronounced /ˈɒn̪n̪ə/)? --WikiTiki89 21:57, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Good point. That seems more plausible. We'll have to look for shortened set phrases that originally had "a" or "the", like the one Per utramque cavernam mentions. - -sche (discuss) 22:05, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Ima 'mindeda da erly Rolling Stones: "Ima gonna tell ya how its gonna be". DCDuring (talk) 03:32, 15 March 2018 (UTC)


I think we're missing a phonetic sense (synonym or hyponym of monophthongization?). --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:24, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

bulldog clipEdit

According to the entry it's a genericized trademark from 1944, however, there are some uses in the 19th and early 20th century (before 1944). Is this a separate sense or is the note in the etymology inaccurate? DTLHS (talk) 22:11, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

I can't see any part of the first source at all, but since it is the Dictionary of Practical Surgery, perhaps that is a completely different sense (some surgical instrument?). As for the second source, I can't see enough of the text to get a clear sense of what is meant. Perhaps try looking at or the Hathi Trust Digital Library to see if you can find full-text versions of these and other sources? — SGconlaw (talk) 03:46, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
I've added some actual cites to the entry. DTLHS (talk) 03:53, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, and I see that @Kiwima has kindly supplied an image and a definition. Any idea what the etymology might be? A reference to the surgical clip gripping strongly like a bulldog's bite, perhaps? — SGconlaw (talk) 10:51, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
That would be my guess, or perhaps the serration or even the shape, in addition to the grip, was vaguely/fancifully likened to a bulldog's jaw. But I haven't spotted actual evidence of that. A 1914 Colliery Engineer mentions yet another type of "bulldog clip"/"bulldog grip", with illustrations... - -sche (discuss) 16:57, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

yesterday nightEdit

The usage notes a missing something: "Based on a review of Google News (which allows specification of location):

  • Last night occurs about 1,000 times more often in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia,
  • Last night occurs about 100 times more often in Singapore, India, and South Africa."

More often ... than some other phrase? Than this phrase occurs in some other place? What? - -sche (discuss) 17:05, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

"last night" occurs more often than "yesterday night". --WikiTiki89 17:41, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Oh, duh... I need more sleep, apparently! - -sche (discuss) 21:54, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Dumb search for "last night" versus "yesterday night" may not be very meaningful as a comparison since "last night" would also pick up "final night" uses ("the last night of the holidays", "my last night as a single man" , etc.) Mihia (talk) 22:01, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
@Mihia: When it means "final", it is nearly always preceded by "the". Since "last night" still occurs about 200-300 times more often without the "the" than with the "the", the possibility of it meaning "final" does not skew the results very much. --WikiTiki89 15:57, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

republic (small-r)Edit

  • I don't think a "republic" should be defined in terms of sovereignty. There are multiple interpretations as to the nature of sovereignty and if applied to the word "republic" could lead to conflicting meanings. I recommend replacing number 1 with following:

republic = describes a form of government which is not a monarchy, is kingless, and has no hereditary nobility. -- Calif.DonTracy (talk) 22:58, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

Contribs of User:

A little suspicious about the hockey obsession: e.g. latest inline sledge hockey is barely in Google Books. Equinox 05:40, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

He's adding lots of French terms too; I don't want to look into it because it's probably going to piss me off. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 14:08, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
It's not specific to hockey. This is the same person who's been systematically going through a variety of subjects and strip-mining them for entry ideas. They're responsible for the flood of sports-team abbreviations, and with the start of the Winter Olympics they switched to winter sports.
The worrisome part is that they geolocate the same as Fête (talkcontribsglobal account infodeleted contribsnukeedit filter logpage movesblockblock logactive blocks)/Phung Wilson (talkcontribsglobal account infodeleted contribsnukeedit filter logpage movesblockblock logactive blocks)/À la 雞 (talkcontribsglobal account infodeleted contribsnukeedit filter logpage movesblockblock logactive blocks)/Fête Phung (talkcontribsglobal account infodeleted contribsnukeedit filter logpage movesblockblock logactive blocks) , a non-native English- and French-speaker in the Montreal area who added a lot of weirdness to entries in both those languages (especially pronunciation), as well as being a general nuisance at times. Montreal is a big city, though, so we can't be sure (the checkuser tool can't be used on old edits). Even if it is Fête, he was pretty young back then, so he might be growing out of the worst of his problems. Still, there's an an element of cluelessness about this editor that bears watching. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:36, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

Related termsEdit

Why bone head in boner#Related terms? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 13:44, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

@Sobreira: I've removed the whole section, it was useless there. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 14:08, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
OTOH, we are missing more than a half dozen derived terms that would be blue links. DCDuring (talk) 17:42, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

golden numberEdit

Is there a missing sense related to the golden ratio? Ultimateria (talk) 20:07, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

colsidium ??Edit

Is there any such word or is it made up? I want to translate a quote I added to gullbarre of kolsidiumnitratfosfat, which I suspect is itself a work of fiction, only one hit on Google from the book. DonnanZ (talk) 11:27, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

I have assumed that it's fictitious when doing the translation. DonnanZ (talk) 16:03, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

priority to the right, give way to the right, yield to the rightEdit

Are these entry-worthy? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 12:31, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

eye dialectEdit

Defined as:

  1. (uncountable) Nonstandard spellings that indicate a standard pronunciation, deliberately used by an author to indicate that the speaker uses a nonstandard or dialectal speech.

Indicates "standard pronunciation", yet the speaker uses "nonstandard or dialectal speech"? Isn't this a contradiction? Mihia (talk) 14:10, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

No; the point is that the speaker uses nonstandard or dialectal speech elsewhere. Consider for example this "Snuffy Smith" cartoon: in the last panel Lukey is shown as saying ennyway instead of anyway. Now /ˈɛniweɪ/ is the standard pronunciation of anyway (outside of Ireland at any rate), but the cartoonist used the eye dialect spelling ennyway to reinforce the character's nonstandard dialect shown by other words like fergit (representing /fɚˈɡɪt/ for standard /fɚˈɡɛt/). I suppose th’ for the is eye dialect too, since th’ can hardly represent anything (at least before a consonant) other than standard /ðə/. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:03, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
OK, thanks, but the "elsewhere" aspect is not made particularly clear in the present definition. It reads pretty much like a contradiction. The speaker uses standard pronunciation but nonstandard or dialect speech. Mihia (talk) 17:51, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
The speaker uses a standard pronunciation but the author is using a nonstandard spelling to indicate the speaker is speaking dialect. That's not a contradiction; that's just bad writing on the part of the author.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:04, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
My opinion remains very much that the present definition is confusing. It may be a definition that seems to make sense to those who already know what the term means, but confuses those who don't. Unfortunately I am not sure how to best fix it. Mihia (talk) 04:24, 24 March 2018 (UTC)


Said to be "eye dialect", which, in turn, is defined as "Nonstandard spellings that indicate a standard pronunciation". However, 'arf doesn't indicate a standard pronunciation. That's the whole point. I believe this may have been discussed before, but I just want to be sure that I am doing the right thing if I remove the "eye dialect" tag from this and all similar entries (where nonstandard spelling indicates nonstandard or dialect pronunciation). Mihia (talk) 14:15, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

I wouldn't simply remove the "eye dialect" tag; I'd change it to {{nonstandard form of}} or something. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:04, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
Indeed. Mihia (talk) 17:51, 17 March 2018 (UTC)


Hey all wrestling fans. Do we have a word for semiestelar in boxing, wrestling etc. It refers to, I'm pretty sure, the second most important fight on a fight night. sub-top-bill? under-top-bill? --Otra cuenta105 (talk) 16:43, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

A Google Books search suggests this may have a broader meaning, btw. But for the meaning you speak of, the phrase "second-billed [fight]" seems to be attested. - -sche (discuss) 16:54, 17 March 2018 (UTC)


Is this word archaic or obsolete? I can't tell, but the only dictionaries that I have found it in thus far are A Critical Pronouncing Dictionary and Expositor of the English Language by John Walker and Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). Tharthan (talk) 20:04, 17 March 2018 (UTC)


Does anyone know this word? I have heard it in the UK. I think it may be some northern England dialect. I thought it just meant "money", but from some of the few uses that I can find on Google search, I wonder if people use it more to mean "a small amount of money". Because of the small number of relevant search results, I'm wondering also if I have spelled it correctly. Mihia (talk) 20:29, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

It must be related to flumpence but other than that I know not
Citations:umpence. Only found 2 uses. DTLHS (talk) 20:40, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
The form reminds me of umpteen and umpty. Those words use it for an unspecified (probably large) amount. Curious that it can be tracked back to a dash in morse code. In accounting you would use a dash to represent nothing, so looking at e.g. a payroll / paycheque / whatever and seeing dashes, you could interpret that as "umpence" (ie no pence or thereabouts). Just speculation Moogsi (talk) 22:39, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
I mean that you would have 6 | 5 | — in your ledger or 6 pounds, 5 shillings (and umpence). Moogsi (talk) 22:47, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
Isn't it a bit weird that Citations:umpence exists but not umpence? Is that normal/allowed? It's like it's been orphaned or something. Mihia (talk) 00:06, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
No it's not weird. See Category:English citations of undefined terms. DTLHS (talk) 00:07, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

haram policeEdit

The citations are of poor quality (using different capitalizations or different terms, or having no clear meaning), but is this idiomatic, anyway? The definition in the entry now is not necessarily obvious, but the general construction is, since one can also find google books:"kosher police", google books:"morals police", google books:"sharia police". OTOH, "fashion police" exists. But I don't want to RFD it if other people think it just needs cleanup. - -sche (discuss) 23:06, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

This certainly fits Pass a Method's MO of taking common phrases and substituting allegedly equivalent items from a context they want to promote. If things really work the way PaM assumes they do in this case it would probably be SOP, since that would mean the part substituted is interchangeable and the rest could be defined to work in both phrases. Of course, any resemblance between PaM's understanding and reality is strictly coincidental, so it would help to know what actual usage says it means. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:11, 18 March 2018 (UTC)


The definition doesn't seem to match the citations. - -sche (discuss) 23:46, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

cuatro gatosEdit

What's the English equivalent of this, i.e. the opposite of everybody and their dog? Some references say "nobody [here] but [us] chickens", but it's not obvious that that's attested in a relevant sense. - -sche (discuss) 00:07, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

One man and his dog? Mihia (talk) 03:04, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes, is the opposite of everybody and their dog. Is not 'nobody', is 'a small quantity of people', 'very few people', as properly attested in the entry's definition and usage example, but I'll add a shorter and translated example anyway. 17:17, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
We're looking for an analog to smell of an oily rag, once in a blue moon, etc, I think. DCDuring (talk) 16:16, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
In BrE (at least), it does mean "very few people", but I see this has already been dealt with below. Mihia (talk) 23:01, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
If anyone comes up with a translation, remind me to add it to gato pingado. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:32, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't think I have an idiom for this, at least not in my idiolect. I'd just say it literally: "hardly anyone", "almost no one", that sort of thing. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:34, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Just/but us chickens seems close, but is situationally limited to cases where the speaker is present. DCDuring (talk) 17:11, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
My bad, I didn't realize at first you were asking for a translation, not an explanation. The closest unmentioned thing I can come up with is hardly a soul. Also, there were tumbleweeds may apply, albeit that expression can imply that there was no one, thus becoming not a synonym of cuatro gatos. 17:17, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Related, but by no means equivalent, is Kilkenny cats ("Two cats which, according to legend, fought until only their tails remained.").
I think we need a special summons of Australian and Irish contributors. DCDuring (talk) 18:44, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Well, I think @PalkiaX50 is from/in Ireland and @Tooironic knows Australian/NZ English... do either of you know of an idiomatic expression for when there's hardly any people present, that would be comparable to the Spanish saying there were only "four cats" present? - -sche (discuss) 20:48, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

trois pelés et un tondu (fr) in French, with various alternative forms (I myself use deux pelés trois tondus) --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:50, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

This French website gives bunch of nobodies as an English translation, which seems wrong to me (i.e. "bunch of nobodies" doesn't mean that), as well as two men and a dog? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:55, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Amid quite a few literal uses, "one man and his dog" seems to be attested in a sense like this; I've created an entry. Thanks, all! Quite a few of the quotes are specifically British, so it might be dialectally/ regionally restricted. Variants like "two men and a dog" and maybe "one man and a dog" are probably attested, but hard to search for because so many instances are literal. - -sche (discuss) 21:51, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

cordon bleuEdit

How is it that we don't have a French entry for this common term? ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:22, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

  • Added. It might also mean the food item (slices of breaded veal &c). SemperBlotto (talk) 09:22, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
    Thanks! ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:16, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
    Is the food item really only American? The dish certainly exists in Germany with the name Cordon bleu, but maybe it's called something else in the rest of the English-speaking world. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:38, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
    Yes, and searching for "cordon bleu recipe" turns up many instances of that phrase, and google books:"chicken cordon bleu" "flavour" gets hits, which suggests cordon bleu and chicken cordon bleu are at least sometimes used in the UK. Whether other names are also used, or the dish is seen as particularly American, I don't know. The →ISBN edition of the Oxford English Dictionary does have it as a postpositive adjective for a dish made up of the food we have as the noun sense. They also have a noun sense we lack, for a "cordon-bleu finch", an African waxbill (Uraeginthus). - -sche (discuss) 21:01, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
    We do have that sense, at cordon-bleu. If it's spelled without the hyphen sometimes, then an "alternate form of" definition coulld be added. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:17, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

top to tailEdit

Is this a legit entry? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 10:26, 19 March 2018 (UTC)


In summer sleepaway camps (at least in the US), bunk can mean one of two things: a cabin in which a group of campers sleep, a group of campers assigned to a particular cabin. In day camps, bunk can still refer to an assigned group of campers, even though there is no longer any connection to an actual sleeping space. We currently don't cover either of these definitions. But in order to make this as general as possible, does anyone know if these meanings are used outside of summer camps? --WikiTiki89 14:46, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

on the pretext, under the pretext, on the pretense, under the pretense (that)Edit

Are (some of) these entry-worthy? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 16:47, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

Why those specific nouns? Lots of other words do this ("condition", "assumption", "proviso", "understanding"...). Perhaps the correct preposition to use belongs in an appendix, or usage notes. Equinox 21:07, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Probably because I'm thinking of French sous prétexte que, which I feel is lexicalised/grammaticalised. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:21, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
MWOnline has an entry on one pretext or another. Using OneLook's wildcard search, I didn't find another MWE using pretext, except a single legal one.
MWOnline also has entries for abandon all pretense at/drop all pretense at and on the pretense of/under the pretense of.
OneLook's wildcard search can provide useful lemming information on MWEs. We should use it.
Nevertheless, I don't find the MWOnline entries very satisfying as they seem to imply that other verbs, determiners, nouns, and prepositions are somehow less idiomatic than the one or ones selected for inclusion. on this or that pretext/on this pretext or that/on some pretext/on some lame pretext would work for MW's definition for on one pretext or another. You wouldn't have to work too hard to find others. DCDuring (talk) 23:39, 19 March 2018 (UTC)


There's an adjective sense at tensor, but is it just an attributively used noun? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:48, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

@Lingo Bingo Dingo, yes it looks like attributive use of a noun to me. -Stelio (talk) 11:56, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

open-ended questionEdit

We have yes-no question; should we have this? Are they terms of art? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:59, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

And if it's not entry-worthy per se, should we have it anyway as a translation hub? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:06, 20 March 2018 (UTC)


Many languages have words for "blue-gray", see User:-sche/blue-gray. English also has several words, including clair de lune ("pale bluish-gray"), Copenhagen blue ("greyish blue"), slate / slate blue / slate gray ("[dark] bluish-grey/gray color of slate"; confusingly, "slate" defines the other two as synonyms but they have different color swatches and translations), and Wedgwood blue (defined, apparently correctly, as "pale grey-blue", but with a dark color swatch). However, none of those are as common as "blue-gray" and all seem a bit narrower. Should [[blue-gray]] be created as a translation hub or should one of those entries (maybe "slate"?) be picked to host the (more general) translations? - -sche (discuss) 02:15, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

I don’t find any problem in making blue-gray, which is only slightly less common than the existing yellow-green: [4]. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 11:36, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
  • It's in the OED. Dates and early citations are particularly interesting for terms like this. Ƿidsiþ 11:17, 23 March 2018 (UTC)


(Notifying Wyang, TAKASUGI Shinji, HappyMidnight): , also @Eirikr:

Is (dae) also a quoting particle, similar to the Japanese って (tte)? Can they be cognates? See example here with a question about 떴대 (tteotdae). 떴다 + 대? I'm more interested in a definition, the etymology may not be easy. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:09, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

It's from the well-known "Boys Over Flowers" @about 6:30. Korean and English simultaneous subtitles can be enabled in options. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:13, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: In functionality, yes, exactly, but etymologically it has nothing to do with the Japanese って. It is a contraction of -다 해. Its forms depend on a word class and tense it follows. It might be confusing with a euphemistic form (equivalent of Japanese and けど) for beginners.
Declarative Declarative Hearsay Euphemistic
Formal Informal Formal Informal Informal
Non polite Polite Non polite Polite Non polite Polite Non polite Polite Non polite Polite
한다 합니다 해요 한단다 한답니다 한대 한대요 하는데 하는데요
먹는다 먹습니다 먹어 먹어요 먹는단다 먹는답니다 먹는대 먹는대요 먹는데 먹는데요
있다 있습니다 있어 있어요 있단다 있답니다 있대 있대요 있는데 있는데요
했다 했습니다 했어 했어요 했단다 했답니다 했대 했대요 했는데 했는데요
좋다 좋습니다 좋아 좋아요 좋단다 좋답니다 좋대 좋대요 좋은데 좋은데요
책이다 책입니다 책이야 책이에요 책이란다 책이랍니다 책이래 책이래요 책인데 책인데요
할 거다 할 겁니다 할 거야 할 거예요/거에요 할 거란다 할 거랍니다 할 거래 할 거래요 할 건데 할 건데요
The pink cells are homophones (verbs whose radical ends with a consonant). — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 14:36, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
There are also the imperative hearsay -래 and the hortative hearsay -재. The interrogative hearsay -냬 exists but is not common. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 15:03, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
FWIW, I've fixed the etym at って (tte). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:51, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
@TAKASUGI Shinji: Great table, thank you! Is there anything worth adding in terms of a definition at (dae) as an example? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:30, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Dictionaries often has four separate entries for informal non-polite register: -ㄴ대 (vowel-ending verbs), -는대 (neundae) (consonant-ending verbs), - (dae) (adjectives, existentials, past forms), - (rae) (copula), four for formal non-polite register, and four for fomal polite registers, with or without four for informal polite register. Korean has a lot of verb endings and we shouldn’t hesitate to include all of them. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 04:17, 23 March 2018 (UTC)


I just created the page for the German verb radeln. Could someone check over it please? Also I'm not sure if the verb is colloquial or not. Cheers Zumley (talk) 16:21, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

I think so, and de-wikt says so. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:26, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
Yep. Looks good now. - -sche (discuss) 03:30, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
I think the "l" is forming a diminutive, so that the surface analysis should be Radel+n. But the noun (dialectical "Radel" perhaps, cf. Rädelchen, Radler). could be derived from the verb, so I am not sure. Not that it matters, just wondering because -eln is a red link, so while we are at it ... anyone have a clue? Doesn't it sound a bit yiddish, e.g. kabbeln, brabbeln, schmulen, schuseln ... Rhyminreason (talk) 02:57, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, there is רעדל‎ (redl‎) at ראָד (rod, wheel). Rhyminreason (talk) 00:16, 26 March 2018 (UTC)


According to knowledgable, it is a misspelling; according to knowledgeable, it is an alternative form. Which is it? To me, it looks like a misspelling, but some other dictionaries list it as legit. One source suggests that it is a US variant (I am British). Mihia (talk) 23:09, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

See -able#Usage notes. We should not judge correctness if the two are used, but data shows that the use of knowledgable is 50 times rarer and decreasing ([5]), which indicates it is considered a misspelling. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 23:54, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
Is that 50x thing a specific Wiktionary policy or just, you think, a reasonable conclusion to draw? Mihia (talk) 00:22, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Just my thought. When in doubt, define it as an alternate spelling rather than a misspelling. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 01:45, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
See knowledgable at OneLook Dictionary Search. Some have it as an alternative spelling; some have redirects; many don't include it. DCDuring (talk) 12:05, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
  • On the basis that at least two dictionaries (Oxford + M-W) list it as a legitimate variant, I have changed the label at knowledgable to "Alternative form of". On the basis that 'Ngrams' shows it to be 50 times less common, I have also added the label "rare". Mihia (talk) 18:50, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
I've had trouble with the use of rare in such cases. Hapax legomena are rare. Something that requires our best citation talent to get three cites for might be rare. This is just much less frequent. A usage note or some label after the form could indicate how much less frequent than the main form. The rare label seems unwarranted. DCDuring (talk) 01:07, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

The suffix on the suffix...Edit

How best to write etymologies for worserer, worsererer, worserererer, bestestestest, bestestestestest, and bestestestestestest? What sort of etys does the OED have for these, say? ("Empty not then the vials of scorn upon it. / Nor, since we're on the subject, should you scorn / The sonnet on the sonnet on the sonnet.") Equinox 05:52, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

What about, for example, "best + five repetitions of -est"? (Is that last word even verifiable?) — SGconlaw (talk) 07:01, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Erm, some of these should be redirects per WT:REPEATING. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:11, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
I'd put, "Alteration of best with reduplication of suffix." Ƿidsiþ 11:44, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

Body/Mind relationshipEdit

I have asked my doctor for a word that describes the relationship a person has with his body, as I have noticed that some people take great care of their body and its health while others abuse their bodies with drugs, both prescription and recreational. "Psychosomatic" does not fit. My doctor either did not understand what I was searching for, or did not know such a word. —This unsigned comment was added by LShecut2nd (talkcontribs).

Consciousness? Rhyminreason (talk) 02:19, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
There's body image. Can you give a sample sentence with a blank where the word should go? Equinox 12:17, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

squaw winterEdit

Some books I've stumbled onto in the process of citing blackberry winter and its synonyms think that this can refer, in parts of Canada and perhaps elsewhere, to a cold snap in spring (like blackberry winter / blackthorn winter). Is anyone familiar with this usage? - -sche (discuss) 20:52, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

"my goodness" as an idiomatic expressionEdit

Hello! According to this page, "my goodness" is idiomatic. Why? The Sackinator (talk) 22:53, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

Why not? When you say “oh my goodness” you are not talking about your goodness. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 23:34, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Because people overuse {{lb|en|idiomatic}}, but I see it's been removed now. - -sche (discuss) 23:37, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Is e.g. rhyming slang not idiomatic? Surely this was in the strict sense an idiom of those who do not dare use their lord's name in vain. It is still easily recognizable as such. Maybe people simply use a lot of idioms. Rhyminreason (talk) 02:46, 23 March 2018 (UTC)


There appears to be no trace of the phrase "to have (no, little, much) thild" (or even of the existence of the lexeme "thild" in modern English after 1500), even "fossilised", or even just in dictionaries, anywhere on the internet, including google books, i.e. covering the past 400 years of the history of print. You would expect there to be the possibility of at least one example of the lexeme in actual use (alternatively, the lexeme would have to be moved out of "English" into "Old English" entirely). --Dbachmann (talk) 08:10, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

  • Well, Middle English. But yeah, it doesn't seem to have made it past the 13th century. Ƿidsiþ 11:16, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
    I've RFVed it. - -sche (discuss) 21:12, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

be quick about it, quick about it; be quick about, quick aboutEdit

Is one of these entry worthy? There's “be quick slow about it” (US) / “be quick slow about it” (UK) in Macmillan Dictionary, but I dunno. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 11:12, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

Usage of whomEdit

I've just noticed that the usage notes of whom err too much on the side of making whom look too prevalent, speaking as a native English speaker who would never use whom, even in the most formal of situations, and has never heard it being used in my (admittedly imperfect) memory. Google Ngram Viewer shows that whom is pretty consistently only used one-tenth as much as who, which would be unexpected if it was consistently used in the objective case. Overall, I feel for me and for many native speakers of English like me, whom seems archaic and outmoded, or at least extremely/excessively formal, and the entry gives the mistaken impression that it plays a role in English that it doesn't. Additionally, the entry for who should display the objective case as "who or whom" (or maybe "whom or who") to better reflect the reality of some speakers.

Hazarasp (talk) 12:07, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

Overall usage of who vs. whom is irrelevant. What matters is usage of who vs. whom in an actual object position. See this Ngram, for example. --WikiTiki89 19:10, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
And even more strikingly, this one. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:46, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: I think that's more because of word order differences. If you use whom, you'd say "With whom did he go?" and "The people with whom he went.", while if you use who, you'd be more likely to say "Who did he go with?" and "The people he went with.", whereas "Whom did you see?" and "Who did you see?" have the same order. --WikiTiki89 20:15, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
That still shows that who is being used more than it the entries for who and whom imply; especially including whom as the only objective case in the entry for whom is misleading, especially for the spoken language. Hazarasp (talk) 01:49, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
  • I agree that the usage notes are poorly organised. Mihia (talk) 04:34, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

game adjective, sense 1Edit

The quotation doesn't seem particularly illustrative of usage to me, and the synonyms are confusing me ("courageous"? "valiant"?). I was expecting things like down, up for, etc. Am I missing something? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 13:22, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

The courageous/valiant synonyms presumably intend the idea of soldiering gamely on in the face of adversity, i.e. being willing to continue despite setbacks. Equinox 15:44, 23 March 2018 (UTC)


What does it mean to be of Greek type? DTLHS (talk) 20:29, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

I think it means the adjective is used of (regarding) Greek typography/print. Equinox 20:38, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that must be it thanks. DTLHS (talk) 20:55, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

feel, feelsEdit

Regarding "feels": Is the 1809 line by King George III of England really the same sense as the modern internet-slang-y "my feels were hurt"? To me, "Dr. Pope confirms my feels that the side is no better & the tenderness to the feel as great as when he was last here" seems like that could also be the plural of a sense "a (vague, mental) impression" or "an act of feeling (fondling)".
Regarding "feel": is "a vague mental impression: you should get a feel of the area before moving in" really a different sense from "a vague understanding: I'm getting a feel for what you mean"?
- -sche (discuss) 21:12, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

I see a difference, but not in verbiage. There would be a notable difference, if you would want to categorize every kind of feeling imaginable, but that does not seem to be in our scope. "Feeling" et al are underspecific, so there is no reason to be specific here. "feels" is a simple plural of n. feel, so it doesn't merit its own page at all, in my humble opinion. Rhyminreason (talk) 19:47, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

Radical of .Edit

Hi! Now the character (chapter/article/movement) is classified under the radical like "" as Kangxi Dictionary did. But Kangxi said, its etymology is "ten (十) pieces of music (音) become one movement". Morden dictronaries - includes Revised Dictrionary of Ministry of Education (Taiwan), Xinhua Zidian (Mainland China) (11th ed. index page 111), and the Chinese Wiktionary - followed its etymology and classified it under the radical "". So which one is preferred? --Muhebbet (talk) 14:45, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

Radicals are there to search characters rather than to explain etymology. There are some characters whose etymology and radical don’t match.
Character Etymology Kangxi
Don’t you think it is easier to search and with the radical than and with the counterintuitive radicals? — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 15:56, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
@TAKASUGI Shinji: I agreed. But said by Kangxi, radical of 章 is 立, and said by morden Chinese dictionaries, the correct radical of 章 is 音 (but 立 is error-toleranced) - they are both sourced. I mean do we just follow the the Kangxi dictionary? Or Japanese dictionaries never classify it under 音? --Muhebbet (talk) 16:56, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Muhebbet: I prefer multiple categorization if possible. Many Japanese kanji dictionaries have redirects. In this case they may have a redirect in 音 and a main entry in 立. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 05:18, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

Neuter nouns in HindiEdit

I'm a little baffled by this Category:Hindi neuter nouns. Afaik Hindi only has two genders, masculine and feminine and the emptiness of this category seems to confirm that. So, why the category? Jcwf (talk) 19:59, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

@Jcwf: Good catch, deleted. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 23:50, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

expressive (noun sense)Edit

I've added a noun section, but I've had trouble defining it because references vary in whether they consider it a synonym, a hypernym or a hyponym of ideophone. (For some examples of expressives, see here.) - -sche (discuss) 20:37, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

'Have' as a noun in NZ EnglishEdit

I put this on the discussion page for 'have' but per the suggestion decided to mention it here as well. 'Have' has a noun form in NZ English not mentioned on the page's definition. It means roughly something is a lie or a con or something illegitimate somehow, especially in the sense of justification. Mostly you hear it in the form of the understatement "is/it's a bit of a have". for example I might say "Steam deals can be a bit of a have. Some publishers will put their prices up before the sales start to inflate the discount percentages."

It's a spoken English thing so it mostly turns up on the net in transcribed quotes. An example from November 2017 on the article 'Go with the flow in Abel Tasman National Park': "Open your eyes" is the company's tagline and part of its mission is to wake us up to the area's history, to the fact that New Zealand's '100% pure' marketing is a bit of a have, as well as to share the encouraging conservation efforts under way."

Possibly from have on? If you're having someone on, you are trying to deceive them. Equinox 20:28, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
@Kiwima Maybe you've heard this? DTLHS (talk) 20:30, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
No, I haven't heard this specific one, but it seems very plausible to me - New Zealand English does this sort of thing a lot. Kiwima (talk) 20:33, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Yeah it's from have on. You get it in Oz as well. Ƿidsiþ 08:19, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
  Done Created a noun at have (etymology 2). Please expand and cite. Equinox 20:47, 27 March 2018 (UTC)

reading comprehension, listening comprehensionEdit

reading comprehension” in the Collins English Dictionary, Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers.. The definition ("a text that students use to help them improve their reading skills") makes me think this is somewhat idiomatic; or perhaps we should simply add a sense at comprehension. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:07, 26 March 2018 (UTC)

  • I don't think they are correct. As I understand it, reading comprehension is the act of reading and understanding such a text, not the text itself. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:26, 27 March 2018 (UTC)
I'm fairly sure in my English class in folkeskolen there were also set phrases for "the ability to express oneself verbally" and "the ability to express oneself in writing" in addition to the above, but I can't remember what they were.


Is the Celtic languages label here really appropriate? Lenition as a phonotactical phenomenon is not limited to this language family; indeed, lenition also occurs in Navajo and Japanese, among other places. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:41, 27 March 2018 (UTC)

@Eirikr: Seeing as lenition made no mention of Celtic languages specifically, I took the liberty of removing that from lenite. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:06, 28 March 2018 (UTC)


The word PASSIM appears in Microsoft Word, In the Table Of Authorities dialog box, as one of the options: The checkbox says "Use passim" without an explanation.

The MOS 2013 Study Guide - Microsoft Word Expert says, "Keep this check box selected if you want to use the term passim to indicate that information the citation refers to is scattered throughout the source. Clear this check box to list specific pages for each citation."

See passim. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 20:08, 27 March 2018 (UTC)

treason / high treasonEdit

Isn't there a difference between the two? I'm a bit surprised by our definition of treason, which seems overly specific.

Or maybe betrayal is the more general term? But its translation table is a redirect to that of treason too. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:57, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

See what other dictionaries do with treason and high treason and, for that matter, petit treason at OneLook Dictionary Search or petty treason at OneLook Dictionary Search. Our definition of high treason isn't too bad considering that absence of citations, labels, etc. Our entry for treason needs work, including the relationship to high and petit/petty treason. Legal definitions differ between US and UK. Probably most other English-speaking countries follow the UK's legal definition. DCDuring (talk) 21:12, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

take possession or take possession ofEdit

Does this merit an entry? --WikiTiki89 20:07, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

I don't know. Like the French prendre possession (de) (which does exist on fr.wikt), it sounds more like a common collocation than a real unit to me.
By the way, there's also come into possession. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:45, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
See take possession at OneLook Dictionary Search and take possession of at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring (talk) 20:49, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

Category:en:Alcoholic beveragesEdit

Should terms like fall off the wagon (verb) be in Category:en:Alcoholic beverages? I'd think not but there are quite a few in there. Equinox 03:15, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

I think it's OK if they are arranged at the beginning of the category using a space as the first character of the sorting key (e.g., "[[en:Alcoholic beverages| beer o'clock]]"). In that way, they are not listed in the alphabetical part of the category as a type of alcoholic beverage, which shows they are only allied terms. — SGconlaw (talk) 02:17, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
There are already a score of terms getting the treatment SGconlaw recommends and many more might be added: fifth, pint, shot, postprandial, etc. When there are so many, IMO we should use some other means to link the category to other terms, generally under a "See also" header. If [[fall off the wagon]] were in a relevant category we could link to that. In this case Thesaurus:drunk would work, whether or not fall off the wagon appeared in it, as it does not at present. If there is no suitable Thesaurus or Category page and a list of words merits ready availability from the category page, they could appear under a show-hide bar hidden by default. DCDuring (talk) 15:19, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
Happy to go along with whatever the consensus is. — SGconlaw (talk) 07:59, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

The octopus in Crimean TatarEdit

I do not know much about Crimean Tatar, except that Wikipedia can't really decide whether it is mutually intelligible with Tatar (about which I also know nothing). But meanwhile, I was looking at blekksprut, the Norwegian for octopus, puzzling over its origin, until I spotted that "blekk" must be "black" (ink), so "sprut" must be something like "squirt". Then of course I noticed the Etymology, confirming "ink", but taking me to sprut.

  • Mystery 1: Is it plausible that sprut is the Crimean Tatar for octopus? This is one of many entries added by a contributor with reference to a genuine-looking dictionary; but how likely is it that this classic Germanic vowel cluster would just happen to make the CT identical to the end of the Norwegian name? Norwegian fishing boats in the Black Sea? I tried searching a list of Tatar words for 'spr' (actually in Cyrillic, спр) and found only "ekspres" (or similar). Seems fishy, or at least marine invertebratorial, to me.
  • Mystery 2: A web search on "sprut" (or "spruter", the present tense verb form) throws up pages of 50% dictionaries, 50% "erotik...", but this should surely be the very sprute as at Det Norske Akademis ordbok. I really don't know enough about Norwegian to make a new entry, and am not even quite sure how/why the stem form is "sprute".

Imaginatorium (talk) 07:21, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

@Imaginatorium: The mutual intelligibility with Tatar has nothing to do with the topic in question, does it? Both Crimean Tatar and Tatar are Turkic languages and they are similar as much as other Turkic languages are similar to each other. Crimean Tatar is closer to Turkish and (Volga) Tatar is closer to Bashkir and Bashkir Kyrgyz and both are heavily influenced by Russian. sprut is apparently a borrowing from Russian спрут (sprut) but I don't have access to the Crimean Tatar dictionary at the moment, so I can't confirm and I'm not 100% sure where the Russian term came from but it's not a native Russian word, obviously. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:44, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it can be a native Turkic word either, since I'm pretty sure those don't allow s + consonant clusters at the beginning of a word. But contact between the Varangians and the speakers of Crimean Tatar is not improbable. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 07:56, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks - that solves mystery 1, since a loan from Russian is obviously plausible. But mystery 2: I will change the etymology to point to a redlink "sprute", then hope someone can take it from there, or maybe I will have a go. Imaginatorium (talk) 03:24, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
My sources say the Crimean Tatar term is sekizayaq. The Crimean Tatar-Ukrainian dictionary mentioned in the reference says sprut=спрут. "спрут" is a large octopus in Russian or Ukrainian. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:23, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
The link pointed to sprut#Norwegian_Bokmål before the recent edit, so the whole question about Crimean Tatar is negligence on your part, which is understandable considering the misguidance that are blue color links to an nonexistent section, paired with the surprisingly fitting sense given at the top of the page. There might not be a lot of difference between sprut and sprute, but I'm curious.
Pinging @Donnanz Rhyminreason (talk) 02:08, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
I wasn't responsible for the Crimean Tatar entry (entered before my time), however Einar Haugen (Norwegian English Dictionary) says sprut can be a squid, Ommastrephes sagittatus, which is an apparently outdated reference to Todarodes sagittatus, usually called akkar in Norwegian. Sprut is apparently an alternative name for the akkar. DonnanZ (talk) 09:08, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm almost certain that Crimean Tatar term was borrowed from Russian спрут (sprut) but I can't find anything about the etymology of the Russian term. Vladimir Dal defines the term in 1863-66 with alternative forms спруд (sprud), скрут (skrut), which make it sound native Slavic but I can't confirm it. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:39, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

April 2018

Syllables of whiteningEdit

The word whiten has a syllabic nasal at the end: /ˈwaɪt.n̩/ (“white-n”). shows the pronunciation of whitening as /ˈwaɪt.n̩.ɪŋ/ (“white-n-ing”) having three syllables with a syllabic nasal in the middle, but that seems to be different from the audio file there. Isn’t it rather /ˈwaɪt.nɪŋ/ (“white-ning”) having two syllables? Similarly, isn’t whitener pronounced /ˈwaɪt.nɚ/ (“white-ner”) rather than /ˈwaɪt.n̩.ɚ/ (“white-n-er”)? — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 15:31, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

The two-syllable pronunciation is much more common in normal (rather than careful) speech. In normal speech there is sometimes a need to distinguish between terms like lightening and lightning. But in the more general case, is that kind of syllable-dropping lexical information rather than a general phenomenon of speech? DCDuring (talk) 15:45, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
Well, it can vary from dialect to dialect. For example, I pronounce settler in three syllables with the /t/ realized as a flap: [ˈsɛɾl̩ɚ] and was quite astonished as a teenager when I heard someone from a different part of the States pronounce it in two syllables with the /t/ realized as a glottal stop: [ˈsɛʔlɚ]. This contrasts with butler, which both of us pronounced in two syllables with a glottal stop: [ˈbʌʔlɚ]. So it's not lexical in the sense that it's something specific to the word whitening, but it's still lexicographically relevant as it's not automatically predictable in all accents. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:04, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
As another datapoint, I have settler with two syllables but whitening and the like as invariably trisyllabic in my dialect (or at least idiolect (?)). It might be very difficult to pin down which pronunciations are normal in which dialects without finding academic research on the subject. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 21:17, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
Thank you guys. There seems no consensus among native speakers… — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 07:40, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
That is correct, and I can guarantee that in this matter you will find unconscious variability in pronunciation that most speakers and listeners will not notice, quite apart from regional and family-to-family variation. I strongly recommend specifying both pronunciations as valid alternatives. JonRichfield (talk) 03:49, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
I noticed that most American TV anchors pronounce [[meddling]] as three syllables. (I heard quite a few time when there's talk about 2016 election meddling). In Australia, I'm pretty sure, it's two syllables. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:18, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Italicising "especially" in sense linesEdit

Italicising "especially" in sense lines is a practice that I dislike and sometimes undo. Example: person might be "any living creature, especially a human being". If you remove the italics, the line still makes perfect sense, and looks less prissy. The apparent distinction is that the italicised text should be interpreted on a "meta" level, i.e. X is defined as Y but is especially defined as Z; however, there is almost never any real difference between saying this and saying that X is defined as "Y, especially Z". I can't imagine us italicising thus: "any small dog, but never a poodle"; it also looks sillier the shorter the entry is. (Would you want italics on the "especially" in alevin?) Policy issue? Equinox 02:16, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

Bonus argument: putting a word in italics isn't semantically useful either (it's not safe for automated tools to interpret those italics as a gloss etc., because italics inside a sense line could be a genus or anything), so if we are going to do this then we need some kind of template. Equinox 02:23, 3 April 2018 (UTC)
@Equinox so "if we are going ....", very funny. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:09, 3 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't particularly like the italics, but see the "meta" distinction. Surely it is very common in dictionaries to abbreviate this to "esp.", and this distinctive abbreviation needs no italics to be distinguished from the word "especially" if it occurs in a definition. Why not use "esp." here? Imaginatorium (talk) 09:30, 3 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the input; however, (i) "esp." and "especially" shouldn't be semantically different (even if they have historically been different in dictionaries); (ii) any actual difference is clearly based on the fact that paper dictionaries needed to save space for print purposes; for an Internet dictionary, saving the letters "-ecially" makes no difference (and would force a few users to look up "esp." to see what it means). Equinox 02:34, 5 April 2018 (UTC)


Can we give a direct translation or example, so we can understand something like "Questo utente ha imparato a programmare su uno ZX Spectrum 48k e a distanza di più di trent'anni si ritrova a programmare per lavoro dispositivi che non arrivano a 8kB di ram. Averceli 48kB!"? (Taken from here) Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:09, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

QAnon, The StormEdit

These proper nouns related to a conspiracy theory are citable under hot word criteria, but I'm not convinced that their inclusion is desirable and would appreciate some opinions on this. (For reference, "QAnon" or "Q" is an anonymous 4chan user and Trump supporter who purports to have Q-clearance and has originated "The Storm". "The Storm" or "Follow(ing) the White Rabbit" is a conspiracy theory among Trump supporters that postulates that the Mueller investigation is a "deep-state" effort to support Trump and round up a satanic paedophile ring supposedly operated by several prominent politicians.) ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:50, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

Eastern Armenian: Feminine Ending for NationalitiesEdit

I'm working through Pimsleur's ten only-audio lessons in Eastern Armenian. Pimsleur always teaches you how to say "I am an American." along with how to say the L2 country's nationality. The male form is ամերիկացի - amerikats’i. The female form sounds like "amerikoohee" 1. How is that spelled in the Armenian alphabet? 2. Could that be added to the entry for ամերիկացի? With the corresponding Armenian words հայ, հայուհի (hay, hayuhi) the feminine form is listed under "derived term"

My guess is ամերիկուհի. Google translates from Armenian to English as "American woman" without any "did you mean ..." corrections.

(It can be very difficult to get Google to reveal feminine and formal 2nd-person plural forms where English is ambivalent.)

@Vahagn PetrosyanΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:16, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
What you heard on the audio is ամերիկուհի (amerikuhi). But use ամերիկացի (amerikacʿi) for both genders. The forms in -ուհի (-uhi) are linguistically marked. Using them is similar to using authoress for a female author. --Vahag (talk) 19:43, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

interrogative lemma and IPAEdit

Are there interrogative lemmata? What is acceptable: to be, or not to be? or, to be, or not to be?
And please, could someone help: what IPA symbol would i use for an interrogative /ˈti ˈðeon ʝeˈnesθe?/ (for τι δέον γενέσθαι) Thank you sarri.greek (talk) 13:00, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

@Sarri.greek There are several here. The page title doesn’t get a ?, but you can add it to the head= (as in who's 'she', the cat's mother).
IPA has characters for intonation if Greek questions are marked with that, but I have never seen these characters used in Wiktionary. — Ungoliant (falai) 13:30, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
Thank you @Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV: sarri.greek (talk) 13:42, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

amoret, bandon, delightous, etc.Edit

I've been adding some quotes to words in Category:Requests for quotation/The Romaunt of the Rose. The text uses alternate spellings (e.g. baundon, delitous); I added them under alternative forms. Should these forms found in The Romaunt of the Rose be Middle English rather than English? Chaucer was certainly writing in Middle English. – Gormflaith (talk) 13:38, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Yes please. Webster 1913 did not clearly distinguish ME (or OE) from ModE; I should have entered them as ME in most cases. Equinox 13:39, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
Alright, will do. Thanks. – Gormflaith (talk) 13:51, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

social patternEdit

This may or may not be a legitimate entry but the definition seems barely meaningful: "The systems of control mechanisms to dominate these entities of the organization to achieve a defined goal." Equinox 17:00, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

cubalibre etymologyEdit

It mentions a battle cry (i.e. "free Cuba!") but Rum and Coke says that the libre is an adjective, not a verb. Who's right? Equinox 18:01, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

"free Cuba" = "a Cuba that is free", it is not an imperative. DTLHS (talk) 18:03, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
Spanish has a word order that's the reverse of English's for adjectival modifiers, but not for verbs. If libre were a verb, the only way to say this as two words would be "Libre Cuba!". There's nothing wrong with a battle cry being a bare noun phrase- it's actually quite rare for them to be complete sentences. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:33, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
In fact, libre is an imperative verb form, corresponding to the subject usted, so ¡Libre Cuba! does mean "Free Cuba!" as an imperative, speaking formally to one person. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 05:47, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
But it's not "libre Cuba", it's "Cuba libre". DTLHS (talk) 05:59, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I know; I was responding to Chuck's sentence "If libre were a verb, the only way to say this as two words would be 'Libre Cuba!'"; I was pointing out that that sentence needn't be a hypothetical. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 06:58, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

pirog, pierogiEdit

Should we merge these two pages into a singe main entry? DTLHS (talk) 05:43, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

My first answer is no. The etymologies are similar but not the same and they are different types of dishes, which is a confusion not only in the recipient languages but in the source languages as well, to some extent. Basically, these are mostly pies vs dumplings. Less confusion in Polish dumplings and Russian pies, more confusion in Ukrainian pies and dumplings. Care should be taken in English about which dish they are talking about and whose cuisine. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:52, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
If you think about it, the main difference between a Russian пиро́г (piróg) and a Polish pieróg is the type of dough. --WikiTiki89 17:16, 9 April 2018 (UTC)


There seems to be something called a 'tailgut cyst', so there must be another meaning of 'tailgut' which I didn't put when I started the entry, but I can't find its meaning on its own. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 18:01, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

(It seems to be mentioned in Daniel John Cunningham's Text-book of Anatomy. —Suzukaze-c 00:17, 9 April 2018 (UTC))
I see plenty of uses in a medical sense and also in a music sense. Alternative spellings tail gut and tail-gut seem attestable, possibly in both senses. DCDuring (talk) 02:40, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c: Thank you, for some reason that is not accessible in my location. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 00:05, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Thanks, the music sense is the only one I knew. I can't add the other sense of 'tailgut', though. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 00:05, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for adding that sense. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 19:45, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Definition of burn missing sense of nuclear fusionEdit

The definition of "burn" does mention the sense in which the term os used here, for example:

"The oxygen-burning process is a set of nuclear fusion reactions that take place in massive stars that have used up the lighter elements in their cores. Oxygen-burning is preceded by the neon-burning process and succeeded by the silicon-burning process.”

There are also hydrogen burning, helium burning and carbon burning processes.

罣礙/挂碍 (guà'ài/ke(i)ge/ga-ae)Edit

Term found in the Heart Sutra, appears to be translation of Sanskrit आवरण (āvaraṇa, covering, or other meanings in this link). Is there a modern term for this in any of the three major East Asian languages? You can check the usage examples at 菩提薩埵.

Also, can this be allowed to be added by CFI? Likely archaic/obsolete term in my view. ~ POKéTalker (ŦC) 04:24, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

@Poketalker: This term is still used in modern Chinese, but it's now more often written as 掛礙挂碍 (guà'ài). Even if it were archaic, I don't see why it would not be allowed by CFI, unless you're talking about a specific Buddhist sense different from the ones listed in the entry. From the translation at 菩提薩埵, it seems to translate to "obstruction", which is easily attestable in Chinese. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:23, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
@Justinrleung:, thanks. Thought was an obsolete variant for /. Still, in traditional and non-Chinese texts, the sutra uses 罣. Interesting... ~ POKéTalker (ŦC) 04:02, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
@Poketalker: No, 罣 is not obsolete, just rare in simplified Chinese and a bit uncommon in traditional Chinese. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:06, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

taruf, tarruf, teruf, terfEdit

See Citations:terf: taruf, tarruf, teruf and terf seem to be one or more lexemes for a unit of land in India. Are any of them citable in English? What is the etymon and specific meaning? (Pinging @AryamanA, Mahagaja as users who might know or know how to look it up in Sanskrit or Hindi dictionaries.) - -sche (discuss) 17:26, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Sanskrit doesn't have an /f/ sound; if this word exists in Hindi it's probably a borrowing from Persian and/or Arabic. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:00, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
@-sche: It's तरफ़ (taraf, side, face; direction) judging by the first quote, but I haven't heard of any relation to units of land for it. (I'm also not a farmer though) I'll check my dictionaries and see if anything can be cited. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 01:17, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
I found Bengali তরফ (tôrôph, revenue-collection area) (source). It is cognate to the Hindi word, and judging by this Hindi dictionary's "Mughal glossary" it meant the same thing in Hindi-Urdu during Mughal rule. I'll add the definitions to the Hindi entry. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 01:22, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I've created an entry for taraf. It's not common, but I think that's just because tarafs are not often mentioned (rather than that taraf is a rare word for a concept often referred to using another word), so I haven't labelled it "rare" or "uncommon". - -sche (discuss) 15:51, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Term shoefie / quotationsEdit

How to add / correct quotations? Just came across your definition of this term and noticed the earliest dated quotations are from 2015. However, I have invented this term back in 2014 for our Photoresk art expo in Brussels when I introduced the first automatic shoefie machine. Here is still the web-site of the expo How can I have this information amended? Thank you. Claus Siebeneicher

I expect that this dialog will appear on the entry's talk page. Generally we only show citations from "durably archived" sources, which excludes sites only archived on archival sites that may themselves not be durable. DCDuring (talk) 14:24, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Just curiosityEdit

Is it "As continue conveys the sense of progression, it is pleonastic to follow it with on" equals to the following?

  • ..., it is pleonastic following it with on
  • ..., following it with on is pleonastic

Is one of the ways more formal or diachronically/diatopically marked? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 13:09, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

"it is pleonastic to follow it with on" and "following it with on is pleonastic" are both fine (I'm not sure if there is a difference in formality). But "it is pleonastic following it with on" is wrong, although if you insert a comma "it is pleonastic, following it with on" then it sounds very colloquial or as though the clarification is an afterthought, meaning you meant to just say "it is pleonastic" and then realized you need to add "following it with on". --WikiTiki89 15:41, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
The former it is not fine because it contains "it" twice with different meaning in it. Rhyminreason (talk) 20:48, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
That's not the reason. --WikiTiki89 20:51, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

wazoo, up the wazoo, out the wazooEdit

Are these in fact vulgar, as currently labelled? I thought they were euphemistic/bowdlerized words, somewhat like hoo-ha. - -sche (discuss) 16:19, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

These are euphemistic and about as mild as hoo-ha, like you say. Also, it might be worth mentioning that "wazoo" doesn't really exist outside of these two phrases. Ultimateria (talk) 18:15, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
By vulgar we mean "Language considered distasteful or obscene." per Appendix:Glossary. I wouldn't call these obscene and don't think most others would either. If they were truly distasteful E*Trade wouldn't have used "out the wazoo" in their award-winning ad. I suppose they are just informal. DCDuring (talk) 18:23, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks; I relabelled them as "colloquial". - -sche (discuss) 16:40, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

heraldry term?Edit

I can't find a translation of the Catalan adjective caironat, but I can translate the definition as "In heraldry, that rests on one of its angles, applied to square coats of arms". What is the English term? Ultimateria (talk) 18:13, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

I don't know, but maybe you can find it if you browse —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 18:30, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Es diu cantoned. Bona nit! 猛犸象牙 (talk) 22:04, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
er no. — If I needed such a term I'd probably say lozengewise or bendwise. —Tamfang (talk) 05:55, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, a couple years ago I spent ages trying to find a translation for caironat too. Never got one. --Cien pies 6 (talk) 12:44, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Well, I've at least added the definition given above (confirmed by Wikimedia Common's category of "Caironat shields"). Probably "(of a square) lozengewise" or "...diamondwise" would cover it. - -sche (discuss) 16:39, 11 April 2018 (UTC)


I made a change in the page Pornocracy, translating Sæculum as Century. It was translated as age and someone undone my translation just because in the Wikipedia page is translated as age but in Latin, Sæculum means century, not age, epoch or whatever. Latin for age is aetate. Someone can help me?

That's a different sense of age. Here is the entry in the dictionary nearest to my hand (Smith & Lockwood):
saeculum (poet. saeclum), ī, n. I. the period of one generation (i.e. 33⅓ years), a generation. 1. Lit. a. Prop.: Cic., Verg., Liv., etc. b. More vaguely: aureum, Cic.; Pyrrhae, Hor. 2. Transf. a. the people living at a particular time, a generation : Pl., Lucr., Cic., Verg., etc. b. In pl.  : successive generations, races : Lucr. c. the spirit of the age, the times : nec corrumpere et corrumpi saeculum vocatur. Tac. II. the full period of a man's life, a period of a hundred years, a century. a. Prop.: Varr., Cic., Hor. b. More vaguely : an age : Cic. [It secolo ; Fr. siècle.]
Tamfang (talk) 06:08, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

righteous among the nationsEdit

Is this really plural only? And are there alternative capitalisations? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 12:37, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Really the English phrase is an adjective. The Hebrew phrase is plural (but perhaps it can be used in the singular as well). On a separate note, this is the name of an award, is it really dictionary-worthy? --WikiTiki89 16:32, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
There's some singular use: "[name] was honored as a Righteous Among the Nations in [year]" (with a it's singular and a noun). But is there enough for attestation? The adjectival use, e.g. "the Righteous among the Nations award", could also be a noun in an English spaced semi-compound, but in this case it's no title. As a title, if that exists, it could be a noun too like Lord is a title and a noun. - 10:12, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
The ordinary use is adjectival "he was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations". Without the "a", it's adjectival. I didn't say that a title can't be a noun. Not all titles are the same. --WikiTiki89 14:15, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Recently, there was an interesting discussion about (the) use of (the) articles at Wiktionary:Information_desk#that's_the_wrong_direction. Grammar is complicated and apparently arbitrary. Rhyminreason (talk) 21:06, 12 April 2018 (UTC)


These definitions are...pretty bad. Is this the page to find volunteers for rewriting definitions? I'm terrible at lexicography and I don't know where to ask. Ultimateria (talk) 00:45, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Can you point out what you are dinding badly written? The ety is complicated, the definitions seem straight forward.
No, this is not the page for a request like that. At least you need to be more specific. Rhyminreason (talk) 08:04, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
The definitions are incredibly vague. "Covered" how? How does "caused" apply to a prefix? At the very least, each sense needs an example. Ultimateria (talk) 22:31, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
@Ultimateria: Just ignore him. You're right, this entry needs work. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:34, 15 April 2018 (UTC)


Found at Category:English entries that don't exist

  1. pathological fear of hearing a specific word or name.
    A classic case of onomatophobia is the actors' superstition for the word “Macbeth”‎; they never utter it, but use euphemisms instead: “The Scottish Play”‎, “MacBee”‎.

sarri.greek (talk) 19:49, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

It had two citations already; I've managed to find at least one more. Ten years after Conrad's comment that it'd be nice if someone could find a third citation, it's finally citable! So I've resurrected the entry. :)
A miracle! Two...! How nice of you @-sche:. Your citations, always inspiring, especially for us, non-anglophones. Thanks sarri.greek (talk) 21:19, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Kakistocracy etymology appears to be wrong -- please helpEdit


I don't the time right now learn how to contribute (but I would like to do so).

Problem: The word "kakistocracy" is topical in the current political environment re Trump, but the entry in Wiktionary has an apparently wrong attribution in its Etymology.

Specifically, the current Etymology states that "The word was coined by the English author Thomas Love Peacock (1785–1866) in his 1829 novella The Misfortunes of Elphin as the opposite of aristocracy (see the quotation)."

However, there is a credible citation to a much earlier (1829-1644=185) use of the word:

1644, Paul Gosnold, "A SERMON preached at the PUBLIQUE FAST the ninth day of Aug. 1644 at St. Maries, OXFORD, BEFORE the honorable Members of the two Houses of PARLIAMENT, There assembled. By PAUL GOSNOLD Master of Arts. And published by authority.", OXFORD, Printed Henry Hall. Cover+30 pages. Early English Books Online-Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP Phase 1) Ann Arbor, MI (USA); Oxford (UK), 2008-09 URL:;size=125;vid=94937;view=text

"Therefore we need not make any scruple of praying against such: [...] against those tempests of the State, those restlesse spirits who can no longer live, then be stickling and medling; who are stung with a perpetuall itch of changing and innovating, transforming our old Hierarchy into a new Presbytery, and this againe into a newer Independency; and our well-temperd Monarchy into a mad kinde of Kakistocracy." (pages 17-18)

So, someone, please check this out and perhaps edit the entry accordingly.


  • Seems legit. I've amended the entry accordingly. Thanks. Ƿidsiþ 13:55, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

How'd Chell survive sleeping without waking up for anything, for 5 million years?Edit

Also, what's the word for the definition "1 million years"? Please answer both questions. - I is American English.

mega-annum or megayear. The Chell question isn't relevant to a dictionary; try asking at Wikipedia. Equinox 00:00, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

It's a Portal 2 question. It's about a game. Let someone from Game Theory answer that one. Also, I thought I was on Wikipedia. - I is American English.


Anyone have an idea where the name of the wolf-like dog in Lessing's fable has it's name from, what it means? These are closely modeled after Aesop's fables. "Hylax" looks foreign enough to be from Greek, as the less mysterious Lykodes from the same story, while the well known Meister Lampe seems to be a pun on french lapin (rabbit) and Lampe (lamp). Is it related to hyena (which has a surprising etymology)? Also a play on words? Here's the reference at Deutsches Textarchiv. --Rhyminreason (talk) 02:42, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

See LSJ for some Greek words that seem to have the same root. The stem seems to be a verb meaning "bark, howl". L&S has an entry for Hylax, the proper name of some dog, glossed as Barker. DCDuring (talk) 03:33, 15 April 2018 (UTC)



Is there any particular reason there are two sections « Letter » for this entry—perhaps could they be merged? — Automatik (talk) 10:53, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

  Done (formatting of the first letter section was obvy not correct: definition about head, missing definition in the definition section). - 23:56, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

Please advise how to add the word "citadel" as a reference to a Salvation Army place of worshipEdit

I would like add the word "citadel" (a Salvation Army place of worship but there doesn't seem to be a "wizard" tool to assist people in adding content to wiktionary. A google search for:

"citadel definition Salvation Army"

turned up the following results:

Please help. Adrian816 (talk) 14:14, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

spin alley, spin rowEdit

WP gives these as synonyms of spin room. Is that correct? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 15:19, 15 April 2018 (UTC)


As in "single-issue politics", "single-issue party". Is this lexicalised? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 15:24, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

treasure chestEdit

"The chest that held the royal treasury." What royal treasury does this refer to specifically? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:35, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

“Sugar beet” in PersianEdit

In “Lauferica” (1987, Orient), Eiichi Imoto writes:

On the streets of Iran boiled sugar beets sell well. The sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) is called labū or lapū in Persian. Pers. labū or lapū is derived from Pahl. *lapūy, *lapūg or *lapūk. Pahl. *lapūk is derived from O Pers. *lā̆pūka-.

Can these Persian words be confirmed, and what are their native-script forms? @ZxxZxxZ Could you help? Hayyim has:

لبو (laboo) Noun Boiled beet.

And Steingass:

لبلبو lablabū, Beet boiled and eaten with whey and garlic.

Asking because these words bear an interesting resemblance to Chinese 蘿蔔 (and variants, < Old Chinese *rabuk ?).

Also, could the Persian be borrowed from Akkadian 𒇻𒊬 (laptu, liptu, turnip) (~ Hebrew לֶפֶת (lefet, turnip), Classical Syriac ܠܰܦܬܳܐ (laftā, turnip), Arabic لِفْت (lift, turnip)), like proposed in TURNIP in Encyclopædia Iranica? Is the -ūka an explainable element?

Thanks in advance! Wyang (talk) 13:26, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

There are lots of interesting resemblances when it comes to words for turnips: there are cognates or borrowings to the Akkadian word in Arabic and Hebrew, Latin has rāpum and nāpus, and Greek has νᾶπῠ (nâpu) (said to be a possible borrowing from Egytian). My impression is that there's a very old word for turnip and related plants (see Ancient Greek σῐ́νᾱπῐ (sínāpi), for instance) that's been wandering around the Middle East and elsewhere for thousands of years, perhaps as long as there have been domesticated turnips. Sugar beets, on the other hand, are only a couple of centuries old. New things tend to receive variations of existing names for similar things, so this is what one would expect. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:06, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Don't forget Ancient Greek ῥάπυς (rhápus), which corresponds to the Iranic cognate most closely. Crom daba (talk) 00:33, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
The sense "boiled beet" is correct for لبو (labu) and لبلبو (lablabu), but regarding لبلبو (lablabu) in particular, it is less common in Iran, and I can't confirm that particular sense based on dictionaries other than Steingass. لبلبو (lablabu) also has other senses in some dialects of Iran, including "blackberry" in Persian of Gorgan. --Z 09:41, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
@ZxxZxxZ Thank you! Any luck with the Middle and Old Persian forms? They look like they were taken from somewhere, though it is not clear what the source for them was. Wyang (talk) 09:50, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
No problem. We can derive it from Middle Persian because the suffix ـو (-u) (from Middle Persian suffix [Term?] (/-ūg/)) which forms adjectives from nouns (if I'm not mistaken) is not a productive suffix in Persian, though I know it is a productive suffix in some other modern Iranian dialects, beside Middle Iranian languages. The first component could be لب (lab, lip). --Z 15:46, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

OED sex and genderEdit

The last OED update included a load of revisions and additions to terms related to sex and gender – there's a very interesting summary of it here which I think even non-subscribers can access. Since this is an area we've struggled with a bit, and which attracts a lot of attention, it might be a useful read. Ƿidsiþ 07:47, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Their update pages are visible to non-subscribers and can be an interesting source of information and ideas, or at least an interesting read.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:30, 17 April 2018 (UTC)


Can someone clean up underneath? The quotes for the adverb use the word below instead of underneath, and I'm not convinced that her underneath is an adverb. It should be a noun, fitting that definition well. Danielklein (talk) 09:05, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Good catch. Looks like someone had a thinko. — Ungoliant (falai) 12:36, 18 April 2018 (UTC)


seems to require a proper definition. Equinox 09:08, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Seems, shmeems. DCDuring (talk) 19:27, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
Memes. —Suzukaze-c 02:01, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
Note: This was deleted without RFD. Rhyminreason (talk) 03:35, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
By the entry's creator and sole contributor. DCDuring (talk) 03:41, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

RFV: sweep for English nativesEdit

Did I write this "# An expanse or a swath, a strip of land." taken from swath right?

In other words: are swath, expanse, sweep, spread, stretch all synonyms?

Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:39, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Yes. Swath might be dated; sweep might be 'literary'. There are probably other slight differences in usage, but not much in definition, IMO. DCDuring (talk) 19:16, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm English and "swath" doesn't work for me. But "swathe" does. A vast swathe of southern England.
I learned it as swath (noun), as in "a broad swath of the population", and swathe (verb), as in "the forest was swathed in fog". Similar to breath (noun) + breathe (verb), or loath (adjective) and loathe (verb), where the verb forms have voiced final consonants. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:01, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

Serbo-Croatian budemo/будемоEdit

@Crom daba, Demilux, Dijan, Maria Sieglinda von Nudeldorf, Vorziblix and anyone else who knows Serbo-Croatian: an anon just created budemo/будемо and called it a pronoun meaning "we". Is that right? I thought it was a verb form, but I don't know Serbo-Croatian. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:32, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Now cleaned up by Per utramque cavernam. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:50, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

Night of Broken GlassEdit

WP gives this as a translation of German Kristallnacht, but the evidence of GB looks pretty scarce. Is it actually used? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 09:50, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

Google Books makes it pretty clear it's a translation of Kristallnacht. HathiTrust offers at least this cite for a use; there seems to be a lot more if we accept versions in quotes.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:59, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
Well, it's not a proper translation of Kristallnacht; at best it's a semi-calque (Nacht = night; Kristall = crystal – broken glass) or explanation.
"quotes" as in usages with quotation marks (AKA quotes) around it, or as in citations? If it's the second, there could be a proper non-quote usage (only "could", as there are exceptions like the quote not being a proper quote but a translation). - 23:53, 19 April 2018 (UTC)


So, I'm creating entries in Bulgarian now apparently. I figure брегова means coastal, but is probably not the lemma. Then I get no further, as I suck at Bulgarian. Can someone check the entry? --Cien pies 6 (talk) 13:45, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

If you suck at Bulgarian, maybe you should leave the creation of Bulgarian entries to people who don't. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:55, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
I totally agree with you! --Cien pies 6 (talk) 17:09, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  Done --WikiTiki89 16:09, 19 April 2018 (UTC)


Sense 2 of the noun ("Taking up too much of something so others cannot use it"). Is that not just the present participle of hog? – Gormflaith (talk) 21:51, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

To be precise, it's a w:gerund.
The etymology of the corresponding verb under hog is peculiar, what's the relation to castrated animals? German hocken in the sense of besetzen might be related (literally to squat), could it be? 07:20, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

-cast suffix entry?Edit

Should we have one? It seems to have developed its own life and personality beyond the parent broadcast. Possible candidates might include blogcast, multicast, nowcast, peercast, podcast, unicast, videocast, vodcast. Equinox 07:16, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

That would be a normal development. The uses in peercast, singlecast, and unicast, in particular, seem to contrast with the meaning in broadcast. And it doesn't seem like a return to cast#Verb. DCDuring (talk) 23:32, 21 April 2018 (UTC)


I am doing a bit of editing and encountered Wikipedia's [6] in which they say, mostly believably (to me anyway, Latin always was Greek to me)
"The Latin word exuviae, meaning "things stripped from a body", is found only in the plural. Exuvia is a derived singular usage that is becoming more common, but in fact this is incorrect. Only a single work by Propertius uses the term Exuvium as a singular form"
In the Wiktionary entry OTOH, we have a whole table of Latin inflections, singular and plural, and ploughing through Ainsworth, I don't see where the author of that table got her/his authority from. I am tempted to edit the item in line with WP's entry, but could I first beg a bit of input at this end.

I must admit that exuvia/e always did set my teeth on edge, just as virus/i did (as I am sure it used to set true-blue Romans' on edge, who never failed to say "viruses" whenever they desired the plural), but let that wait till we have these exuviuses settled.

Cheers JonRichfield (talk) 11:51, 21 April 2018 (UTCT)

The Cassell's New Latin Dictionary gives only "exuviae, -arum". All the examples given are in the plural. Caeruleancentaur (talk) 19:07, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Georges' dict gives "exuvium, iī, n. (exuo), Nbf. v. exuviae (w. s.), Prop. 4, 10, 6." and "Sing. exuvia, ae, f., Augustin. serm. 59, 1 Mai (nova bibl. patr. 1. p. 118).". In later ML and (early) NL, exuvia could have become more common than in antique Latin and early ML. It's possible that the "is becoming more common" properly is "is becoming more common IN ENGLISH". - 22:16, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Both the replies so far are reasonable thank you. I cannot find any example of exuvia or FTM exuvium in Ainsworth, singular or plural, nominative or any other case. Given so few examples of the singular in past usage, I am not sure which of the ancient specimens to trust, either as scholarship or possible levity. It seems that apart from the inevitable but unpredictable pressures on languages, even Latin, we shall be compelled to accept the modern forms in English et alia including Late Latin. That leaves us with the question of what to put into our entry. How about something like:
"The Latin word exuviae, meaning among other things, "things such as clothing or spoils stripped from a body", was rarely found except as a plural. Exuvia is a derived singular usage that has gained de facto acceptance in modern biology, either as singular or plural by various writers, with exuviae as the plural, though in terms of the original Latin that singular form arguably is incorrect. In Classical Latin only a single extant work by Propertius uses any singular form, and understandably, he used the term exuvium, which also appears in some modern works."
Correction, discussion and proposals for how and where to include such a screed welcome. I am concerned because, although it is less likely to create international discord and rebellion than Swift's Big/Little-Endians, it certainly is a point that reflects long-standing and ubiquitous confusion in modern usage. JonRichfield (talk) 03:06, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

"[...] in English [...]" and "[...] in modern biology [...]" could mean that the text merges the usage of two different languages. Latin entry exuvia (usually in plural in classical times with very few exceptions) is different from an English entry exuvia (also or even often or solely singular). As for the Latin entry which might rather be exuviae something like this seems good enough: "The word exuviae is rarely found except as a plural [maybe to add because of Middle and New Latin: in ancient Latin]. A singular is used in [place/citation, giving Propertius' exuvium (n. sg.), Augustinus' exuvia (f. sg.)]." As for the English entry, it could be something like: "In [to add?: ancient] Latin it's rarely found as sg., see [Latin entry's usage notes] for more." - 03:43, 25 April 2018 (UTC)


hi why very words in wiktionary not reference in bodem of word

Maybe doesn't properly answer the question, but English Wiktionary has WT:CFI (rules for inclusion) and WT:RFV (for verification if a term really exists by Wiktionary's inclusion rules). Reference material, like dictionaries, can have invented terms which English wiktionary doesn't accept. - 22:09, 21 April 2018 (UTC)


So, I'm creating entries in Taíno now apparently. I figure Borinquen means Puerto Rico, but it is probably missing something. I get no further, as I suck at Taíno. Can someone check the entry? --Cien pies 6 (talk) 18:29, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

No way this is attested, right? @Victar, -scheΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:00, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
If you spend time in PR, you'll see this and related terms.  :)
FWIW, I'm used to seeing the forms Boriquén (Puerto Rico) and Boricua (a native Puertorriqueño). The ES WP has articles at w:es:Boriquén and w:es:Boricua. The ES WT entry at es:boricua gives an etymology source as Arqueología lingüística: estudios modernos dirigidos al rescate y reconstruccíon del arahuaco taíno by Manuel Álvarez.
HTH, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 01:03, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
I think you may be missing the point... attested as Taíno. (We have boricua, by the way, with the correct capitalisation.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:15, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Ah, yes, any attestations as Taíno in a Taíno context (not just word lists) would be very hard to find. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:23, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Yep, all Taíno words should be reconstructions as there isn't a single passage in Taíno. Also, all reconstructions need to have cited etymologies. If they can't be cited, it should in most cases end at a Spanish entry. --Victar (talk) 22:48, 24 April 2018 (UTC)


This is a preposition, not an adverb, right? Caeruleancentaur (talk) 19:03, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

No, I think it's an adverb indeed; it's always used (as far as I know) with σε (se), which is the real preposition. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:16, 21 April 2018 (UTC)


This seems like some kind of restaurant term:

2017 November 26, Natange Smith, “How To Cook Like A Bajan with Chef Rhea Gilkes”, in Nation News[7]:
It was at The Cliff restaurant where I did estage for six months, I was then hired by Sandy Lane Hotel.

Also [8], "I am definitely planning on returning to the Fat Duck for another estage, don’t get me wrong it’s no summer camp, it is very (very!) hard work from the early hours of the morning until late into the night."

What does it mean? DTLHS (talk) 23:34, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

  • I believe that it is an internship - where the person works for (next to) nothing but gets experience. With luck he gets offered a job at the end. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:31, 22 April 2018 (UTC)


So, I'm creating entries in Polish again apparently. I figure odegracie is a form of odegrać, going by what grać says. A couple of dictionaries say it's role-play, but what do I know? I suck at Polsih. Can someone check the entry? --Cien pies 6 (talk) 07:29, 23 April 2018 (UTC)


Is this Japanese term (in Wikipedia) common enough in English? DonnanZ (talk) 14:55, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Digging through those 14 hits, only 5 gave any preview, and all 5 treated ashiyu as non-English. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 01:10, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
So an English speaker would usually call it a footbath, they even look like a paddling pool. Thanks. DonnanZ (talk) 08:11, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr: I tried googling "an ashiyu" and found enough to make an entry worthwhile. I borrowed the Japanese from Wikipedia, which needs checking of course (if you or someone else would be so kind). Cheers. DonnanZ (talk) 11:15, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
@DonnanZ -- google books:"an ashiyu" generates 22 ostensible hits, collapsing to 18 when paging through. Of the four hits that offer preview and include this term, all treat the term as non-English.
What sources did you find that treat this term as English (i.e. without providing a gloss and without italicizing)? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:31, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
It's pretty obvious that it's not an English word, but the mere fact it is recorded in English script should be enough. But if you are not satisfied with that RFV it or something. But we have sayonara and probably quite a few other Japanese words in English, see Category:English terms derived from Japanese. DonnanZ (talk) 17:02, 24 April 2018 (UTC)


The article autarchy claims autarky as a synonym. It is not! It is a homophone with an entirely different meaning. I tried to correct it but was reverted and referred to this page to discuss. Is there a convincing reason to permit this error to persist? -- 15:01, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Following the advice at template:rfv, I had a look at Google books and found this, which reports the OED as saying that the terms have been used interchangeably. So I guess the article has to reflect reality, even if reality is wrong[!]. But it matters: North Korea is both an autarchy and an autarky whereas the Irish Free State was the latter but definitely not the former. So surely there ought to be indicator that caution is advised? -- 15:15, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
If there is a reliable source stating that the words are not equal, you could add a usage note with the source as reference. - 23:00, 23 April 2018 (UTC)


So, apparently I'm editing i Hindi now. I took a stab at तालियों. --Cien pies 6 (talk) 20:48, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

I'm so sorry, @AryamanA. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:59, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
@Cien pies 6, Metaknowledge: It's good. I'll try to add the WT:ACCEL entry creation shortcuts for the inflection tables at some point. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 21:44, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Chinese: Alternate Characters (异体字) Edit

Two weeks ago, I added an alternate character to a character's page (), no problem. (see [9]). The result was perfect (looks like this: alt. forms ). Right.

Today I added an alternate character to another page () by the exact same method as above (see [10]). But for some reason, the alternate character appears on the page next to the character itself (looks like this: alt. forms ). Wrong.

请问, how can I get the /旗 out of the alternate character box on the 旗 page???

Thanks for any help! --Geographyinitiative (talk) 09:27, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

挑剔 (Pinyin): tiāoti, tiāotī, tiāotìEdit

The tiāotì reading is labelled as a 'common misreading'.

(Standard Chinese, common misreading)+

Pinyin: tiāotì

Isn't it better to say 'common variant reading' or maybe 'common variant reading, considered as a misreading' or something else? idk

xiandai hanyu guifan cidian ed 3 pg 1287 specifically says that tì is a misreading: "不读tí或tì。"

--Geographyinitiative (talk) 08:25, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

@Geographyinitiative: I think "common variant" would be fine. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 17:38, 24 April 2018 (UTC)


Is sense 4 ("one of the non-Mandarin Chinese languages such as Cantonese, Hakka, etc") really specific to Chinese and distinct from senses 1 and 5? How? Yes, some of the Chinese languages are not intelligible with others in speech and are thus arguably languages and not dialects, but this is not unique to Chinese; many people speak of German "dialects" that are likewise separate languages, and German itself is likewise often treated as "not a dialect" vis-a-vis them (like Mandarin). - -sche (discuss) 16:54, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

German and Chinese languages reasonably fall under sense 5. Collin's refers to this more precisely as "any language as a member of a group or family of languages". Ultimateria (talk) 18:07, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
I understood this to mean that Mandarin is considered the "true" Chinese language, and the others are considered dialects. In many language groups, there is one dialect that is considered the most proper form, or the "high" form. (Like Castilian Spanish, as opposed to the dialects spoken in South and Central America). I thought that was what this was getting at. It is not quite the same as the "improper or wrong" definitions, but reflects an attitude that distinguishes "dialect" from the "high" form. Given that you can get this distinction in other language groups than the Chinese languages, it should probably be generalized, but I think it may be a distinct meaning. Kiwima (talk) 03:39, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

dialect meaning a single dialectal wordEdit

Superintendent Chalmers: You call hamburgers steamed hams. Principal Skinner: Yes, it's a regional dialect.

Should we have a sense for this? Or am I interpreting this quote wrong? DTLHS (talk) 17:00, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

I reckon "it" is refering to "the calling of hamburgers steamed hams in this region ". Seems perfecty cromulent to me. --Cien pies 6 (talk) 17:32, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, "it" here is one of those things grammar teachers call a "vague pronoun reference", and clearly does not refer to the expression "steamed hams". --WikiTiki89 20:13, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Or perhaps you could analyze "a regional dialect" as meaning "in a regional dialect", as is done with language names and such (compare "Yes, it's German"). You wouldn't say that "German" can mean "a single word in German". --WikiTiki89 20:19, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, I would have thought that was using German as an adjective, you wouldn't say "Yes, it's a German". I'm more inclined to agree with Wikitiki89, that the "it" refers to the act of calling hamburgers steamed hams. Kiwima (talk) 03:42, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
You wouldn't say "it's a German" because German in reference to the language is a proper noun. But if I was back in the States and said "Oh, I left my Handy at home" and someone said "You call a cellphone a Handy?", I could answer "Yes, it's German", and I would certainly be thinking of the proper noun, not the adjective. Likewise if someone questioned my use of y'all's or a might could, I might could answer "Yes, it's my dialect". —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 08:41, 25 April 2018 (UTC)


The Finnish term tilastotulos is currently defined like this:

  1. (sports) A sports result recorded in the official statistics kept by a a national sports association. In addition to statistical purposes these records may serve as qualification requirements to certain tournaments, championship games etc.

I have two questions:

  1. Is this clear to an English-speaker?
  2. Is there an English term for tilastotulos?

--Hekaheka (talk) 22:00, 24 April 2018 (UTC)


So, apparently I'm editting in Slovak now. check toiletný, etc. --Cien pies 6 (talk) 07:07, 25 April 2018 (UTC)