Wiktionary:Tea room

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

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

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

Tea room archives edit

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

Oldest tagged RFTs

April 2016

Category:English terms spelled with ȜEdit

Should these be changed to Middle or Old English? DTLHS (talk) 05:31, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

I think so, but I’m not an expert on Gringonese. With the exceptions of the ligatures and perhaps thorn, I’d be surprised if any of the antiquated letters persisted all the way up to the early modern period. --Romanophile (contributions) 05:48, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

pronunciation of basicallyEdit

Currently says:

(UK) IPA(key): /ˈbeɪsɪkli/
(US) IPA(key): /ˈbejsɨkliː/

The US pronunciation looks wrong. AFAIK there's no difference in the pronunciation of the first a between UK and US, and /ej/ is certainly wrong. Also not obvious to me what the purpose of the long vowel is. Benwing2 (talk) 06:31, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

They should basically be the same. I don't really see why /ɨ/ and the long vowel is used. While transcribing /eɪ/ as /ej/ is not the usual way it's done, it is not uncommon. (In fact, in my linguistics course right now, we use /aj/ and /ej/). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:40, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
Fixed. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:09, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
The /ɨ/ is just a different convention. Used by Wikipedia, but not by us. Same with /ej/, except that even Wikipedia doesn't use it. --WikiTiki89 10:23, 1 April 2016 (UTC)


龴 is listed under radical Chinese Radical/乙. But I put it under Index:Chinese Radical/卩. But then an admin reverted my edit. The reason I did this was because of 's bottom part. —This unsigned comment was added by Johnny Shiz (talkcontribs) at 08:38, 2 April 2016‎ (UTC).

@Johnny Shiz It was reverted because Unicode puts 龴 under 乙 and not 卩. AFAIK, the radical pages are supposed to follow Unicode radicals and not other systems. BTW, I'm not an admin. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 14:45, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

Sanskrit भाषा ‎(bhāṣā), भाषति ‎(bhāṣati), root भाष् ‎(bhāṣ)Edit

Is the PIE root for this *bʰeh₂-? —Aryamanarora (मुझसे बात करो) 17:00, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

The formation *bʰeh₂-os is probably the correct one. This lists bhās as the predecessor, with a cognate in Latin fās. —Aryamanarora (मुझसे बात करो) 17:04, 2 April 2016 (UTC)
{{R:ine:EWAia}} suggests that this is possibly related to √bhaṣ- 'to yell', and bhāṣā would derive from *bʰolseh₂ (closely related to balsas). If from *bʰeh₂-, then might be due to homonymy avoidance with √bhās- 'to shine'. --Tropylium (talk) 07:46, 6 April 2016 (UTC)


My software lists this character under héng. —This unsigned comment was added by Johnny Shiz (talkcontribs) at 13:59, 2 April 2016 (UTC).

@Johnny Shiz Héng is the name of the stroke. It's actually (héng). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:13, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

Are onetime and one-time same or not?Edit

The entries for onetime and one-time seem very similar, at least to me. Are they possibly spelling variations of the same word? Should they have links to each other? They don't so far. Thank you! :) Zeniff (talk) 07:18, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. Onetime is overwhelmingly the more common form in the US; one-time is almost as much preferred in the UK. Their meanings seem to be the same though I haven't tried to find out which of the two definitions is more common in either COCA or BNC. There definitely should be links between the two. DCDuring TALK 11:04, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

pass awayEdit

Is my usage note correct? I've never heard of pass away used directly linking to violent death. E.g. "My uncle died fighting in the war.", "My sister was killed in a plane crash." Trying to phrase this fact right... Hillcrest98 (talk) 17:18, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

I think that is right but there is no good substitute for looking at actual usage. I think that pass, pass on, and pass away all have about the same connotation. DCDuring TALK 18:45, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
"To die of natural causes"? Circeus (talk) 12:08, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Though in fact violence is natural, natural causes has an official (non-SoP?) meaning that might be a good definiens. DCDuring TALK 13:25, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Collins COBUILD has: "if someone dies of or from natural causes, they die because they are ill or old rather than because of an accident or violence" DCDuring TALK 13:27, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


I have seen a number of educated white people use it with she/he or it. Why is that? Do they try to mimic AAVE? if yes why? if not what's the reason? Should we add Usage notes to the entry? --Dixtosa (talk) 18:02, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

There are probably many reasons, of which imitating AAVE is only one. Other possible reasons would be to avoid sounding too "posh" or "fancy" in front of people who would use it themselves unselfconsciously, for humorous effect, and so on. And it wasn't that long ago that it wasn't considered uneducated in the U.S.: when I read Little Women, I was struck how the main characters (educated white women from Massachusetts in the 1860s and '70s) invariably said "he don't" and "she don't", although the narrative itself never did. (The text currently at Wikisource was taken from an edition where it was standardized to "(s)he doesn't", but the original edition uses the nonstandard form in direct quotation.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:28, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
It's not limited to AAVE: it's common to the more informal registers of quite a few varieties of US English, especially in the South. It may be proscribed by teachers everywhere as sounding ignorant and illiterate, but to some people it sounds more "real" or "folksy". Chuck Entz (talk) 21:07, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Also in some British English dialects. Equinox 23:46, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
I think it's correlated with people who say "ain't", but I may be wrong. I would actually say that it was common in informal registers in urban parts of the Northeast as well. Ever seen the Godfather or the Sopranos? --WikiTiki89 14:28, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
It's easier to say in speech than doesn't due the reduced syllable. I say it especially when trying to make a point, or to sound more point blank or "real", but I realise that it isn't "correct" English. Americans are rebels, hehe ;) Leasnam (talk) 14:45, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
This reminds me of my cousin, who is Serbian. One day, while I was there visiting him, we were watching an American movie made in the 90's (I don't remmeber which one) dubbed in Serbian, where the white people were made to look like fools by the African Americans (rather typical of many movies in America). He was around my age (around 25-30 at the time) and he simply couldn't understand why this movie was portraying whites this way...it seemed to go so hard against his paradigms...I just smiled...it's a different world over there :) Leasnam (talk) 14:55, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
As a U.S. English speaker, I agree with these comments about contemporary usage of "it don't." Still I'm curious about its origins. In the phrase Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I can't help hearing an echo of Elizabethan English ("If she be not so to me, what care I how fair she be?"—George Wither). My hunch is that speakers at some point overgeneralized from a counterfactual subjunctive. Mrevan (talk) 06:58, 2 May 2016 (UTC)


RFV pronunciation: The tone diacritic (and the unnecessary secondary stress) in IPA(key): /ˌhiám/ is dubious. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 23:36, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

Have fixed problems with this pron. based on local speakers of Singlish. Have removed rfv request (I hope this is the correct procedure) - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 06:17, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

cassette driveEdit

Can a computing term be reasonably labelled "archaic"? Dated, obsolete, perhaps? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:39, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

The device may be obsolete, but I don't think the term is. Keith the Koala (talk) 05:18, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
{{lb|en|historical}}, perhaps, or is it too soon for that? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:13, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
I would leave it unlabeled. It is still the standard and only term for such drives, despite the fact that these drives are not used anymore. --WikiTiki89 14:29, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
If we ask 20-30-year olds who use computers what the term means, how often do we get an answer that indicates the term is idiomatic to them? DCDuring TALK 14:37, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Which is a good point. Was it ever idiomatic? Or was it just that cassette idiomatically referred to a particular type of cassette in computer contexts during that period of time? --WikiTiki89 14:53, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Removed "archaic" (which suggests pre-20th-century to me anyhow); I don't think "dated" is correct because it's still the current English term for these. If anything, use "historical", since the technology is (barely) obsolete but the word is not. Equinox 16:10, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
It was in a set of things with heterogeneous names like drum memory, diskette, floppy disk, disk drive, hard drive, tape drive, now solid-state drive and solid-state disk. The heterogeneity of the names seems to me to make them all idiomatic. If a young person has to resort to an SoP analysis of the term to figure out what it means, then for herm the idiom no longer exists, which would make the term dated.
@Equinox If the term dated still bothers you when it is applied to terms you are accustomed to, you are not yet old, but certainly getting old. DCDuring TALK 17:38, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
The problem is that "drive" has two meanings related to this: "an interface for a storage medium, i.e. a place for it to be inserted or plugged in" and "a storage device". The former includes "disk drive", "cassette drive", "DVD drive", etc., the latter includes "hard drive", "solid-state drive", "flash drive", etc. The former set is SOP, while the latter set is usually idiomatic. --WikiTiki89 17:46, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Lovely logic, but aren't all the terms conventionalized without regard to logic? DCDuring TALK 21:02, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Not really. Like I said, in the first meaning, they are mostly SOP, while in the second meaning, not so much. But still, they should be decided on a case-by-case basis, and in the case of cassette drive, I think it is SOP. --WikiTiki89 21:09, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I probably wouldn't be able to figure out what "cassette drive" means, despite knowing what both a cassette and a drive are. I'm on the younger side, and not being familiar with this particular technology, I would have found this a useful entry if I ever had to look it up. I think it's worth keeping, for those reasons. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:15, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89 I have yet to find a dictionary that has a definition like "'an interface for a storage medium, i.e. a place for it to be inserted or plugged in'". To me that definition appears to be one custom-composed for the discussion. If your definition conformed to lexical (not "logical") reality, wouldn't a cassette deck (for music) be or have been called a cassette drive? DCDuring TALK 12:13, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry for trying to simplify the definition for this discussion. I should have said "an interface in a computer for a storage medium, i.e. a place for it to be inserted or plugged in". Anyway, this is the same sense as noun sense 4.2 at oxfordictionaries.com and noun sense 8 at Merriam-Webster. --WikiTiki89 14:12, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Good conventional definitions that reflect actual usage are usually simple and often imprecise.
No one defines a drive using the word "interface". That adds a spurious argument-specific feature to the definition that is not present in actual dictionary definitions, though it may be present
If you try to give precise interpretations to the definitions you offer:
MW drive noun 8: "a device for reading or writing on magnetic or optical media (as tapes or disks)"
They also have another drive section from 'DRIVE Defined for Kids' in which 9 is "a device in a computer that can read information off and copy information onto disks or tape <a disk drive>".
MW8 seems to imply inclusion of music- and video-only analog devices.
MWK9 fits your views, but excludes drums and flash drives and requires that disk be read as including diskettes.
Oxford's is: "[count noun] (Computing) short for disk drive. insert the disk into drive A", thus being "cassette disk drive" for the instant case after substitution.
Computer dictionaries/glossaries are a bit more precise:
Computer User: "A device that spins disks or tapes in order to read and write data; for example, a hard drive, floppy drive, CD-ROM drive, or tape drive." Definition excludes solid-state/flash drives
CSGNetwork.com: "The generic name for any physical hard disk drive, floppy disk drive, optical disk drive, DVD drive or tape drive. This is the device and not the removable media." Doesn't fit use in flash drive.
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia: (1) An electromechanical device that contains and reads and writes magnetic disks, optical discs or magnetic tapes. See magnetic disk, optical disc and magnetic tape.
(2) A solid state flash drive that contains no moving parts. See USB drive.
This last achieves coverage of flash drives by coming up with a "definition" that seems quite ad hoc. Is drive used this way without previous mention of flash drive, solid-state drive, or USB drive.
To me, this indicates that drive in the computer sense has a definition that is a simple enumeration of the devices that use drive in their name, which would make the claim that those terms were SoP spurious. DCDuring TALK 17:27, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
The word interface is irrelevant. I need not have used it. If you want me to clarify further, a "drive" that reads a removable storage medium, is gonna be SOP when used with the idiomatic name of the storage medium. A "drive" with a built-in storage medium is going to be idiomatic, because the storage medium will not have its own name. --WikiTiki89 17:39, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Tape drives are still in use today for w:magnetic tape data storage, although most people will never run into one, so any historicity-related label would be inappropriate anyway. Circeus (talk) 12:06, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


Should the hypernym and hyponym labels be used like that in 啟東? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:05, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

no useEdit

Is it really a noun?

Also, I think the uses of "no use" in the first and 3rd example sentences are not idiomatic. --Giorgi Eufshi (talk) 13:45, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

The definition is worded as if it were an adjective, but "no advantage" would be a substitutable definition, indeed one that might make one wonder whether the expression is SoP. No use (and no advantage) are both noun phrases, which we put under the heading of Noun. The only thing that might make one think this is idiomatic is that, in an expression like No use complaining (arguably from There is no use in), one cannot deduce the meaning without understanding the ellipsis. Most dictionaries don't have an entry, but Collins COBUILD has two definitions under use that bear on this:
"11 You use expression such as It's no use, there's no use, and what's the use to indicate that an action is pointless and will not achieve anything ....
"12 If you say It's no use, it means that you have failed to do something and realize that it is useless to continue trying because it is impossible."
We might serve users better by replacing this entry with entries for each of the three expressions, which seem clearly idiomatic and of widespread colloquial use to me. DCDuring TALK 14:41, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
An entry for no use that just pointed to there's no use and it's no use would be useful also. DCDuring TALK 14:50, 6 April 2016 (UTC)


A question recently came up on Wikipedia over the meaning of the symbol "E" used on the markings of some resistor values. According to this forum discussion it is a notation used by the former electronics company w:Iskra (company) and may stand for enot, meaning units. The language isn't given, but I am presuming Serbo-Croatian. However, we don't have this meaning at either enot, or the singular eno, nor the Cyrillic енот. I am seeing some gbook results that might be this meaning and google translate translates the word to units in both Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian for both Latin and Cyrillic spellings. I am very reluctant to add the entries myself for languages I have absolutely zero knowledge of. SpinningSpark 18:23, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

See enota; enot is the genitive plural, which is the form that would be used after most numbers. It seems to be that this is only a Slovene word and not a Serbo-Croatian word. --WikiTiki89 18:33, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
The Serbo-Croatian cognate is jednota I believe. Dropping the -d- in the word for "one" is a Slovene feature, compare en and jedan. —CodeCat 01:50, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
While a theoretical cognate might indeed be *jednota, such a word is unattested except as an occasional nonce word meaning »oneness«. The standard SCr equivalent to enota has the suffix replaced, as jedinica. Vorziblix (talk) 08:48, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

Is unforgiven really a noun?Edit

Currently unforgiven is an adjective, past participle of a verb and a plural only noun. But many similar entries aren't labeled as nouns, for example unforgotten, abandoned, unconvinced. One can use most of them as a noun: We care about the abandoned. This is effective in preaching to the unconvinced. Does this mean that all such words should be labeled nouns in general? Or maybe unforgiven is somehow special? 18:36, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

I agree, I would delete the noun sense. --WikiTiki89 18:38, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
This is the Old English adjectival noun (weak declension: > Middle English as -e), surviving in Modern English as -∅ (just for a little background on why we still say things like this). I too would delete it Leasnam (talk) 19:41, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
I'd delete it. Many adjectives, when used in a context in which those being characterized are people, function as if they were noun phrases of the form [ADJ + (PEOPLE)], PEOPLE being the context-relevant group. The phenomenon extends further, but I am at a loss about how to characterize the limits of it. It is not limited to people ("The shorn are returned to a heated shed, the unshorn to the fields."). I don't know what kind of adjectives are not used in this way.
But, for decoding there is no great benefit to having a Noun PoS. For encoding there is no great economy if a speaker omits an explicit noun.
Collins COBUILD English Grammar (20o5) explicitly addresses this: "When you want to talk about groups of people [sic] who share the same characteristic or quality, you often choose an adjective rather than a noun as a headword [sic].....
"Although some adjectives are commonly used this way, in fact it is possible to use almost any adjective in this way. This is a productive feature of English."
The examples which include: "...providing care for .... the poor."
Notwithstanding this, Collins COBUILD English Dictionary (1996) has a noun definition for poor. The editor-in-chief for both works was John Sinclair. DCDuring TALK 21:29, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
See Talk:Irish and Talk:deaf for some previous discussions of this phenomenon. - -sche (discuss) 04:33, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
The COBUILD situation is instructive. The person ultimately responsible for determining whether something is syntactic or lexical decides that it needs to be treated both ways. DCDuring TALK 13:26, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps commonness of use should be a factor? (I'm not personally convinced.) Something like "poor" comes up a lot, but e.g. Oscar Wilde's "the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable" (on fox-hunting) less so. Equinox 16:06, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
We could make occurrence in another dictionary a necessary condition for inclusion of these and possibly other similar classes of items, ie, those that are arguably grammatical features but for which lexical examples are helpful to users. I'd call it the necessary-lemming rule (If all lemmings exclude it we exclude it.), the previously discussed rule being the sufficient-lemming rule (If any lemming includes it we include it.). DCDuring TALK 16:52, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Is the Old Norse entry for því correct?Edit

I've only been studying Old Icelandic for the past year, so please forgive me if my linguistic ignorance is showing. But when I came across the Old Norse entry for 'því' on Wiktionary, it seemed incorrect to me. The definitions given seem to be more appropriate for the plural form 'þeim.'

Currently, the entry for 'því' reads as follows: Pronoun 1.) they, them (third-person dative singular neuter personal pronoun) - 2.) those (dative singular neuter demonstrative pronoun).

But I think (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that it should be: Pronoun 1.) it (third-person dative singular neuter personal pronoun) - 2.) that (dative singular neuter demonstrative pronoun).

Am I just completely off-base here (which is entirely possible), or have the plural definitions for 'þeim' somehow found their way into the entry for the singular 'því'?

You're right; the declension table itself at því showed what's right. I've fixed the entry now. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:09, 7 April 2016 (UTC)


prompted by a question on Talk:nary

What part of speech is this? Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, and Oxford Dictionaries.com have it as an adjective (the former with a quotation of "have nary other copy"). OTOH, Collins, Cambridge and McMillan have it as an adverb ("with nary a penny"). - -sche (discuss) 03:30, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

The overwhelming majority of current use is in expressions of the form nary a NP. However, there is some use like "Nary missing a beat" and "Nary had he left the than the ceiling collapsed." These seem clearly adverbial. If a is interpreted as a quantifier "one", then all of the "nary a(n)" uses are supportive of adverb PoS. I'm heading out the door, so I can't check whether one can find nary before other quantifiers ("With nary a hundred men they held against a thousand."). DCDuring TALK 11:09, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
I found nary a use of nary [QUANTIFIER] with a quantifier other than a, though OED has a use of nary two. OTOH, I found a scant few, mostly recent uses of the form nary [ING FORM] ("nary glancing in my direction"). To my surprise nary is of recent (c 1850) recorded usage, derived from "ne'er a". That the a reemerged suggests that users of the word have reanalyzed it.
OED says it is both "adjective (determiner)" and adverb. DCDuring TALK 12:57, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

have an early nightEdit

I came across this one in Norwegian - ta en tidlig kveld (literally: "take an early evening") - but is it worth an entry? Is it obvious? I would interpret it as going to bed earlier than usual, and it appears here [1]. Donnanz (talk) 20:58, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

If includable, it should just be early night, since you can also get or take one. Equinox 20:59, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but which is the most common form? Something may be lost by trimming it. Donnanz (talk) 21:17, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
I've only heard "make it an early night". Chuck Entz (talk) 02:14, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
In the UK it's 'have an early night'. Sounds like an idiom to me as well as late night and early morning. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:35, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
  • On COCA early night is a subject and appears after forms of call it, have, get, plan, portend, resign oneself to, earn. To make an early night (of it) is also fairly common. "Make it an early" is the most common, but hardly dominant at 5/31 instances of early night.
Adjectives with a night that are like early in dealing with the end point or duration are long/short, late, slow/fast, extended, endless, interminable, only the first three being 'common'. The sense of night seems to be a period of time during which one is awake, but which is after evening (at latitudes between 50N and 50S anyway). I don't see a definition at [[night]] or at MWOnline that covers this. Is it a generally understood sense that we are missing? (I think so.) If it is, isn't early night SoP? DCDuring TALK 18:08, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
It looks to me that "make it an early night" is an American term, in the same way that "have an early night" seems to be British. But night generally means any time in the hours of darkness, but I'm not sure about north of the Arctic Circle in the land of the midnight sun, or the period of winter darkness in the same region. Donnanz (talk) 16:25, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
Right. The general definition of night can't be substituted into an early night with the NP retaining the meaning audiences ascribe to it. DCDuring TALK 20:14, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
what about the sense behind call it a night? Chuck Entz (talk) 20:53, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
The last refuge of lexicographic scoundrels is metonymy. DCDuring TALK 21:30, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
I think that in "call it a day/night/game/career/season" call introduces a speech act. In the first person present it is something like "I hereby declare my night ('time awake and engaged in some kind of activity during nighttime') to be terminated." IOW I think call is what bears the aspect of "termination" that the expression has. DCDuring TALK 21:44, 10 April 2016 (UTC)


This character has a similar meaning to 勉 and 勔. —This unsigned comment was added by Johnny Shiz (talkcontribs) at 21:05, 9 April 2016 (UTC).

勔 is a variant of 勉. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:09, 9 April 2016 (UTC)


Which people does /fɑː(ɹ)v/ apply to? Brett and family get /fɑː(ɹ)v/, but what about his ancestor Simon? Same deal?

What would be the pronunciation be for other people not related to Brett but share the same surname?

Hillcrest98 (talk) 22:57, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

I'd never actually noticed he spells his name Favre I had always used it was Farve but I don't follow football. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:11, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
I can find some (non-linguistic) books suggesting that /fɑvɹə/, the original pronunciation, is still used by some bearers of the name. Roy C. Major's Foreign Accent: The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Second Language Phonology (ISBN 1135649413) mentions the names of Brett Favre and Patrick Roy (pronounced /wɑ/) as examples of a nonstandard, "U" (by which he apparently means "universal" in contrast to "first-language" or "second-language") process of anglicization — metathesis, in Favre's case. In Roy's case, the *#/rw/ of the original French pronunciation /rwa/ is not permissible, but (as Major notes) the fact that Patrick responds by deleting the /r/ rather than inserting a schwa as in Rwanda is "a U process". - -sche (discuss) 01:05, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I see some speculation, such as from this author, that Favre's name may have initially been reduced to /fɑv/ (non-rhotic) in English, with an /r/ an erroneous later insertion. Incidentally, that author mentions knowing two Yvonnes in the Southern US who pronounced their names "why-vaughn". - -sche (discuss) 01:18, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

French nourrirEdit

The conjugation table for nourrir shows that the present indicative and imperfect inflections use the first conjugation, however, the links in the table do not appear to exist. My Bescherelle tells me that this is incorrect and that nourrir is a regular second conjugation verb; the Wiktionary pages for regular 2nd conjugation forms of nourrir such as nourrissez exist and link back to nourrir, and the pages for the nourris and nourrit even say they are the present indicative forms of nourrir. The conjugation table is certainly wrong, but because it is generated by {{fr-conj-auto}}, I do not know how to change it. Help is appreciated. 01:36, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure this is second group/regular -ir. I have no idea how this was even able to be classed in the ouvrir group in the first place, as they seem to be all labiodental + -rir. Turns out it was changed to the wrong conjugation by Mglovesfunbot replacing a template that gave the correct conjugation with fr-conj-auto. I've temporarily restored the old template and going to report to Grease Pit ASAP. Hillcrest98 (talk) 02:24, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
It's patent nonsense and I have no idea why {{fr-conj-auto}} is treating it this way. Best to review pourrir as well. If it's because of the -rir ending like Hillcrest98 says, then that's just incredibly dumb to code it that way. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:02, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
All miscellaneous -rir verbs seem to be dumped into the ouvrir category. That's stupid. It should check for F/V and -rir before dumping them into the ouvrir group. All miscellaneous -rir should go to the second group by default! Reverting as many of these errors as I can. See here. Hillcrest98 (talk) 18:26, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
@Renard Migrant And see the module and Ctrl+F this: conj["rir"] = function(). Hillcrest98 (talk) 18:51, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Right, I was going to start on that but I'll leave you to it. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:19, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't know how to program anything, ironically. You can check my module modifying attempts and see me fail big time. Hillcrest98 (talk) 00:16, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Fixed. KarikaSlayer (talk) 03:45, 2 May 2016 (UTC)


Who’s been claiming that these derive from the ablative case? --Romanophile (contributions) 22:25, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

The etymologies are not claiming that. It’s traditional to include another principal form (the ablative or genitive) in Romance etymologies where the Latin etymon has different radicals depending on inflection (i.e. mater vs matr-, ferrugo vs ferrugin-), so the reader knows how the declension goes.
I don’t think this practice is necessary for us, since readers can find that information by looking at the Latin entry itself. — Ungoliant (falai) 22:49, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
Except that the etymologies for some of the languages do claim it derives from the ablative. Personally I think it should say something like "Derived from {{inh|es|la|mater|mātrem}}" so that it shows the actual case it's derived from and links it to the lemma. (Although in this particular case it's unclear whether madre in various languages derives from the nominative or accusative, since -er -> -re in the Romance languages. This probably doesn't apply to Spanish, which seems to derive all or almost all its words from the accusative, but cf. Italian moglie, uomo, etc. from the nominative, along with all sorts of Old French examples.) Benwing2 (talk) 00:36, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
User:EncycloPetey added a bunch of these in the past, due to a misconception he had. See User talk:EncycloPetey/Archive 10#-tion. --WikiTiki89 14:34, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Ironically, the ablative was most likely the first case to fall out of use in Vulgar Latin. —CodeCat 14:42, 11 April 2016 (UTC)


According to various popular internet sources, this is an onomatopoeia of licking, usually of food. It seems to be a licking counterpart to nom. Is this attested well enough for our standards? —CodeCat 23:32, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

Not as far as I can tell; I can't even find it on Usenet. I also checked for any magazines or papers that might have used it on Issuu. Btw, is it a general onomatopoeia for licking, or is it specific to cats (and maybe sometimes other animals)? - -sche (discuss) 00:50, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
It seems to be animals mostly. —CodeCat 00:52, 12 April 2016 (UTC)


This mentions "Latin *deretrānus ‎(“to hinder”)", but deretrānus looks more like a participle or noun like "hindered" or "hindering" than a word meaning "to hinder". - -sche (discuss) 00:50, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

It can't be a participle (unless it's a typo for *deretrāns), but it could be a noun or regular adjective. Definitely not a verb, though, not in that form. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:45, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Italian pronunciation of "casa" and "cosa"Edit

@Alexius Isclanus, Etimo, Gloria sah, GianWiki, IvanScrooge98, Johanna-Hypatia, Tn4196 and anyone else with good Italian: are these edits good: diff and diff? The first one seems to be replacing sourced info with unsourced, and the second seems to be replacing more specific info with more general info. But maybe the info we had before was wrong, and the replacements are correct. Can someone take a look? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:01, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Actually I'm a northern Italian speaker and I'm not able to give a definitive opinion about it, but the first edit seems to be correct as 'casa' should pronounced as /ka.za/; I just don't know if in south Italy people really say /ka.sa/, maybe it happens in really few zones but I actually don't know. ---Tn4196 (talk) 14:34, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Actually (I'm a Northern Italian too), in the usual pronunciation that is heard in dubbing, etc. it is either /s/ or /z/ according to the speakers; however, the traditional pronunciation of these words (and also the most common in Central and in particular Southern Italy) is with /s/ (voiceless). IvanScroogeNovantotto (parla con me) 16:05, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Mille grazie for your help! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:28, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
My understanding has always been that both are used, depending on region, as Tn4196 and IvanScrooge98 noted, generally /z/ in the north and /s/ in the center and south. I believe the article ought to contain both pronunciations, not one or the other. Johanna-Hypatia (talk) 18:43, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Idem as per all here above :-) , --Glo (talk) 18:51, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I have never heard them pronounced as "s" rather than "z". That would just sound like cassa wouldn't it? SemperBlotto (talk) 20:07, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
No, because cassa has a geminated /s/, which casa would have a regular short /s/. --WikiTiki89 20:11, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
SemperBlotto, please listen to this song of the Neapolitan Pino Daniele "Io e le cose"..,--Glo (talk) 17:42, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
As far as I know, casa and cosa are realized with a /z/ in Standard Italian (intervocalic S usually reads /z/, while there is some regional variation between /s/ and /z/, common in Central-Southern and Northern Italy, respectively) --- GianWiki (talk) 12:59, 15 April 2016 (UTC)


Is it really necessary to place three semantically diverse definitions on the same line, as in the following Japanese definition:

Among other things this discourages any sense-level labeling.

The above is within a single template. How can this kind of thing be efficiently repaired? DCDuring TALK 11:46, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Is it necessary to gloss it at all at this entry? Couldn't the entry just say something along the lines of "Hiragana reading of 茗荷", leaving all lexical info to the main entry? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:57, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
That is a gloss rather than a definition, à la the gloss parameter in various templates. The lemma is 茗荷. It's worth glossing because Japanese has multiple writing systems and many homophones. Nibiko (talk) 14:27, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Ditto Nibiko's comment. The practice for non-lemma JA entries under hiragana or katakana spellings has been to 1) use {{ja-def}} to point to the lemma spelling, and 2) add glosses to help users disambiguate.
As an extreme example, see かん ‎(kan). Without the glosses to help the user disambiguate, it would be extremely more tedious to find the desired entry. I've made it a general practice to add glosses even if disambguation isn't much of an issue, as at みょうが ‎(myōga), as this improves usability -- the user can get what they want (presumably, in most cases, the gloss) without having to click through. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:30, 12 April 2016 (UTC)


Needs a sense meaning something like "place where there are lots of something" ("Then all of a sudden it was dog city everywhere we looked," Joe added. "We jumped in the van to get away from them.") DTLHS (talk) 14:14, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

I always thought a city is a town with a cathedral, but maybe that's culturally outmoded?SageGreenRider (talk) 01:03, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
But towns also have churches (although I'm not sure exactly what differentiates a church from a cathedral). I always thought that cities have walls and towns don't, but that distinction is probably even more outmoded than yours. Where I live, the actual difference is that a city has a mayor, and a town has a board of selectmen. --WikiTiki89 01:41, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
A cathedral is the church of a bishop. But they are sometimes in rather small places due to some historic importance of that place. And many places that are now big cities don't have a bishop... I, as a German, have never understood the difference between city and town to begin with :) Kolmiel (talk) 00:53, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
@Kolmiel In that case you'd like the Scottish way of "city" being an official designation I guess ;-). --Droigheann (talk) 03:10, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
  • My understanding from growing up on the US East Coast was that, in order of size from smallest to largest, hamletvillagetowncity. There are legal distinctions as well, such that a town in legal terms might actually be larger than a nearby legal city, but in everyday speech, these are ignored (and often not particularly well-known or germane to the speakers anyway). When one is going somewhere, town seems to be used more frequently as an idiomatic construction: one would say “I'm going into town”, but generally not “I'm going to the city”. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:14, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
    • You must be from New York State then. That's the only place I know that has hamlets. --WikiTiki89 18:22, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Here in Alberta, hamlet designates a non-incorporated community. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:29, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

New wordEdit

How does one summit a new word —This comment was unsigned.

You right it down on a piece of paper and carry it to the top of a mountain. But if you meant "submit", then you just create a page for it. If you don't know how to do that, see Help:Starting a new page. --WikiTiki89 20:04, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Don't bite the newbies, Wikitiki89 SageGreenRider (talk) 01:00, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
@SageGreenRider: relax, he’s just being goofy. I doubt that the OP will be offended. --Romanophile (contributions) 03:00, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Why isn't archive.org considered durable?Edit

My question is about WT:ATTEST. It says As Wiktionary is an online dictionary, this naturally favors media such as Usenet groups, which are durably archived by Google. but most of the internet is equally durably archived at archive.org and elsewhere, so why can't those sources be used too? SageGreenRider (talk) 00:52, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

There are two relatively easy ways to get content removed from archive.org:
  • requesting it, as the owner of the content.
  • editing robots.txt, as the owner of the domain.
Ungoliant (falai) 01:03, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
That's possible in principle but who is to say that Google is durable? Yahoo! was a leader in its time but now it is on the ropes. The heat death of the Universe ensures that nothing is really durable. SageGreenRider (talk) 01:07, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I think Usenet is actually archived by more than just Google. Google is just the easiest way to access it. But I may be wrong. --WikiTiki89 01:34, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
That may be the case, but policy explicitly says that one source alone is sufficient when it says durably archived by Google. It seems arbitrary to exclude other archives especially when it is unlikely that publishers would ever prevent archive.org's bot. SageGreenRider (talk) 01:42, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Why is it unlikely? Publishers prevent archive.org's bot all the time for various reasons; it's not merely a theoretical possibility. I agree that we shouldn't necessarily single out Google at WT:ATTEST. --WikiTiki89 01:48, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Case in point: http://web.archive.org/web/20040507031011/http://www.roflcopter.com. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:09, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
I think a separate page should be made that includes sources and why they are or are not considered valid for Wiktionary purposes. This question is likely to come up again, after all (I asked myself not long ago). —CodeCat 01:52, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Personally, I think durability is a fake standard. What wiktionary really wants is something like wikipedia's "substantial coverage in reliable sources" SageGreenRider (talk) 02:08, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
We explicitly don't want that. For starters, what's a reliable source? Dictionaries aren't 100% reliable. Languages are spoken by more than just reliable sources/people, we want to cover slang and nonstandard usage as well. "Substantial coverage" is vague; how much is substantial, and how do you cover a word? —CodeCat 02:11, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
re "sources and why they are or are not considered valid for Wiktionary purposes": WT:SEA (linked to from the header of WT:RFV, but in need of greater prominence) sort of does this. - -sche (discuss) 02:20, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
“it is unlikely that publishers would ever prevent archive.org's bot.” Sorry, but you are dead wrong on that. People block archiving all the damn time. And to add to the problem, a very common occurrence is a domain being lost and taken over by an advertisement site, whose administrators often decide to block bots, and with a couple of keystrokes the “durable” archive disappears forever.
archive.org not a durable archive at all, even by archive-website standards. WebCite had a much stronger claim to durability, but even that wasn’t accepted as durable (Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2012-08/Citations from WebCite).
Ungoliant (falai) 02:54, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Isn’t Wiktionary per se not durably archived? --Romanophile (contributions) 02:59, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

By the way, one of the "durable" sources listed at WT:SEA (Brigham Young University Corpus of Contemporary American English http://www.americancorpus.org/ ) has vanished and is now an ad farm. ;-) SageGreenRider (talk) 11:13, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
It hasn't vanished. It just moved: http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/. Anyway, I would consider a corpus to be a collection of sources rather than an actual source, and I'm not sure why we consider COCA to be durably archived. --WikiTiki89 11:46, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I updated the page. Maybe WT:SEA is saying that one can find durable source using the corpus as a tool, rather than referencing the corpus itself. Not sure. Interesting that the vote on WebCite was a 7-7 tie. SageGreenRider (talk) 13:20, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Right, Wiktionary:Searchable external archives is just a list of tools that make it easier to search through durable sources. Google Books, for example, is not in and of itself durable, but it allows for searching through books that are durably archived in libraries. - -sche (discuss) 05:26, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

The discussion should be moved to BP --Giorgi Eufshi (talk) 13:51, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Latin: analogiaEdit

The accusative singular can also end in -an, i.e. analogian. Examples:

In this case the declension should be like the Latin one, just with "analogian" (short a) instead of "analogiam". However, in case of other Latin words ending in -a and being derived from Greek, it might be -ā in the nominative and -ān in the accusative like it's sometimes a short and sometimes a long alpha in Greek.
PS: Some other words ending in -a and having accusative -an (or maybe -ā and -ān) are blapsigonia, Aea, Aegina, Acra, Camerina, Cilla, brya according to dictionaries. For example, in case of Cilla Lewis & Short have this: "acc. Cillan. Ov. M. 13, 174 (cf. Hom. Il. 1, 38)." -Ikiaika (talk) 04:11 + 04:17, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Latin: cometesEdit

Dictionaries state that the accusative singular can also end in -em (besides -en), i.e. cometem (besides cometen), though this might be Late Latin. Lewis & Short have this: "acc. ... cometem, Serv. ad Verg. A. 10, 272; Schol. Juv. 6, 407". Ikiaika (talk) 04:42, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

@Ikiaika: Done. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 15:16, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Also thanks to JohnC5 for his updates. -Ikiaika (talk) 04:53, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

looking for a wordEdit

Is there a word in English to describe a place which, on of account its terrain, is difficult to attack yet easy to defend? (I'm trying to translate the word 險要.) ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:48, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

high ground. --WikiTiki89 15:07, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
"Difficult to attack" and "easy to defend" are usually two sides of the same coin, not usually linked by yet, which works for things whose association is paradoxical or surprising.
Adjectives like defensible and impregnable might suffice unless there is something in the Chinese that the gloss doesn't capture. DCDuring TALK 15:46, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

video clipEdit

How did the word "clip" or "video clip" become associated with music videos in many languages other than English? --WikiTiki89 15:08, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

I'd guess through TV channels which air(ed) music videos like MTV and Viva. Music videos are rather short, Western music aired by MTV and Viva quite often is in English, and using (pseudo-)anglicisms seems to be "cool". So maybe moderators announced music videos and called them "(video) clip", and the non-English audience connected "(video) clip" with "music video". -Ikiaika (talk) 17:53, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, I think it's understood that the word is an anglicism and that anglicisms spread partly because English is considered by some to be a "cool" language. But the question is, I suppose, about the semantic development. Now, a "video clip" is a "short video" and a music video, too, is a relatively short video (as you said). Therefore the development is not far out. It's just that English-speakers know that a clip is a little piece cut from something bigger, while continental Europeans have no clue what the word originally means. (I didn't either until I looked it up just now.) So that's probably why "video clip" acquired a broader meaning in many languages, but not in English. Kolmiel (talk) 19:11, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
By the way, in German any video of not significantly more than 5 minutes can be called a Clip, not just a music video. Kolmiel (talk) 19:14, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I can see how it could have acquired a broader meaning of "short video", but I baffled as to how it acquired the specific meaning of "music video". I could even see how "short video" could have developed into "music video", but how could it have done so without leaving any trace behind of the meaning "short video"? --WikiTiki89 19:16, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
But I'm not sure if that's the case. I don't know if you skipped my "by the way" above, but it can mean short video, at least in German. Kolmiel (talk) 19:32, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah I missed that part. I wonder if it's only in German, then we can say that German was where the word was first borrowed from English. --WikiTiki89 19:57, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: Yes, in German "(Video)clip" has the broader meaning like "short video". In German there also "Clipshows" unrelated to music, like clip shows with "fails".
@Wikitiki89: If there is a native word with a meaning like "short video", then English "(video) clip" isn't needed and it should be more likely that it gets another meaning. French has the word "gens" meaning "people", so English "people" can be used in another sense, namely as "A celebrity, a famous person". But I don't know whether or not for example Spanish has a word for "short video". If it doesn't have such a word, then I can think of two other possibilities:
a) Maybe there were no other clip shows but just video clips related to music in Spanish-speaking countries. I guess, this should be unlikely.
b) Maybe the word "(video) clip" is used for both, "music video" and "short video". Pons (a commercial dictionary) translates spanish "videoclip, vídeo-clip" with German "(Video)clip". As Kolmiel pointed out and as Duden says, "Videoclip" means "short video". So Spanish "videoclip" could have both meanings.
-Ikiaika (talk) 19:57, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
@Wiktiki89. I really don't know, but I consider it possible that German spread the word to eastern European languages (if they have it). Maybe also Dutch and Scandinavian languages. German still has a certain if limited influence on all those languages, though it's now chiefly that of transmitting English words... Kolmiel (talk) 21:06, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I have a feeling that Germany is still prominent enough in European culture to have a big role in spreading internationalisms. But that is just a hunch and not based on any evidence. --WikiTiki89 21:16, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I think that's true. Note, however, that even Arabic now has the word كليب. Google كليب هيفا for examples (referring to the notorious w:Haifa Wahbe). It's definitely an internationalism. I'm even a bit surprised it hasn't been reborrowed into English. Kolmiel (talk) 21:44, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm not surprised at all that it exists in Arabic, in fact the first one I knew about was Hebrew קליפ. Also, note that notorious implies being famous for something bad, so you would probably want to say "the famous Haifa Wahbe". The most confusing thing is that people who haven't spent enough time in actual English-speaking countries are entirely unaware that the word has a different meaning in English, even if their English is otherwise really good. And so even Morphix, an otherwise a really good online Hebrew-English dictionary, translates וידאו קליפ ‎(víde'o k'líp) as "video clip", even though that is completely wrong and misleading. Another "false borrowing" I encountered while I was in Israel is the word צ׳ייסר ‎(chéyser) (from chaser), which in Israel refers to a "shot of liquor", rather than the original English meaning of "milder drink to wash down (i.e. chase) a shot of liquor". Do you know if chaser has this meaning in any other countries? --WikiTiki89 23:27, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, I used the word "notorious" on purpose because this singer deservedly is called the sex symbol of the Arab world. (You know, many Arab men post the word "whore" under her music videos on youtube, though they probably enjoyed watching...) Her first English video was banned from all Arabic music channels: [2]. (If you watch it, note that the first part of the video is commonplace even in the Arab world, but what comes after 2:30 was a bit too much for them.) ---- Anyway: No, I've never heard the word chaser in this sense. Kolmiel (talk) 00:27, 14 April 2016 (UTC)


Our most intuitive general definition of vertical (adjective) is:

"Along the direction of a plumb line or along a straight line that includes the center of the Earth."

Does this mean that vertical has no meaning on, for example, the Moon?

Can't we do better than this kind of amateurish "technical" definition? Doesn't this have something to do with up? DCDuring TALK 15:35, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

"Perpendicular to the horizon"? - -sche (discuss) 00:41, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Some dictionaries take that approach. I'm wondering if there is something even more intuitive. Upright (from Old English upriht) and erect are good for one of the definitions, arguably the most basic one. Apparently vertical picked up the "straight up and down" definition only around 1700. DCDuring TALK 13:05, 14 April 2016 (UTC)


The usage note says that among is considered better than between when meaning "in the interval that separates more than two things" (sense 1). But is this generally true? Is it better to say: There are timber pegs among the flower beds, provided they are say four in a square, rather than between? Or do they even mean the same? My English is non-native, of course, but to me "among" would mean that there are pegs scattered in the flower beds, while "between" would mean that they separate them (which is my intended meaning). Kolmiel (talk) 18:42, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

They do not mean the same things. There are timber pegs among the flower beds means that the pegs are strewn or scattered in and amongst the flower beds; not in the area between them. Leasnam (talk) 00:58, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. So would you say the usage note is wrong? Of course, it adds some more information, but it also says that among is considered better in sense 1 if there are more than two. Kolmiel (talk) 01:00, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
I was taught in my High School English that "between" is for two people/things, and "among" is for three or more. Back then I thought that that was just total bull, but now I realize that it does apply to some senses. I think when spacial considerations are irrelevant, then this rule applies, otherwise it does not. For example: "there was a consensus among the three professors" but "there was a consensus between the two professors". --WikiTiki89 12:15, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, but that's the less literal sense of, let me put it, "through negotiation or agreement by two or more sides", rather than the simple literal local sense. I don't doubt that the rule applies to the former, but it doesn't really seem to me to be useful for the latter. I think it would be very helpful to non-native-English users of wiktionary if that were incorporated into the usage note. But well... Kolmiel (talk) 13:01, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
I could only write a usage note from my own idiolectal point of view, which would come off as prescriptionist. I don't have enough data for a good descriptivist explanation. --WikiTiki89 14:28, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Cheapskate source wordsEdit

The definition of cheapskate states the root are cheap + skate, where skate is slang for a old, worn out horse. But under the definitions of skate, I see no mention of anything equine. Why is this? -- 19:12, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Because either the person adding the etymology didn't look at the entry or because the sources they had access to didn't have the word, which I haven't found in any dictionary other than OED.
See skate#Etymology 3. DCDuring TALK 20:56, 13 April 2016 (UTC)


I think we're missing a sense at get: "to have (someone) covered/taken care of" as in "Boy, don't you worry about it, I got you !" or "It's cool, I got this." I'm pretty sure this is short for "I've got you covered", but I cannot find an entry for that either...Leasnam (talk) 14:42, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure how we should handle this. In the present tense, got or 3.sg. -'s got is used, in the past tense "had" is used, and in the future will have is (sometimes?) used. "I got it, I got it. Dang, I thought I had it." --WikiTiki89 14:54, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Second roundEdit

= ⿰虫名 = ⿱艹么 , = ⿱艹乜 = ⿱艹区 = ⿰目乔 = ⿺瓜上 = ⿰子入 = ⿱入寸 = ⿰扌三 = ⿱雨双 = ⿰长四 = ⿰𠔾丁 = ⿱雨下 = ⿰亻向 = ⿰忄以 = ⿰应鸟 = ⿸广用 = ⿶凵又 輿 = ⿰讠与 = ⿰米早 = ⿰氵早 = ⿰贝专 , , = ⿱千田 has only one dot per pair = ⿱一心 = ⿱刀牛 = ⿰亻彐 = ⿱犬一 = ⿻弓冫 = ⿱丸一 , = ⿱龹小 = ⿱⺈"日 tilted sideways" omits 丿 and 厶 = ⿵门舌 —This unsigned comment was added by Johnny Shiz (talkcontribs).

I think most of these are not encoded in Unicode yet, so I don't think we'll be adding them until they get encoded. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:31, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
It's still totally unclear why this data was left here though. —suzukaze (tc) 22:44, 14 April 2016 (UTC)


Ancient Greek ἔχω ‎(ékhō, to have) is sometimes used with adverbs with the sense "be": so εὖ ἔχω ‎(eû ékhō), literally "I have well", means "I am good" or "well". I'm wondering if this counts as copulative or not; does a copula always have to take an adjective or noun as argument, or can it take an adverb?

I can't think of any examples in other languages, so don't have a frame of reference. And the Wikipedia article (linked above) says copula can take adverbs or adverbial phrases (prepositional phrases?) expressing time or location as arguments, but nothing about a copula taking adverbs that express other concepts. — Eru·tuon 05:05, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Latin: facile, lene, suave, vulgareEdit

These adverbs are derived from third declension adjectives.
Adverbs from third declension adjectives usually end in -iter, while adverbs from first&second declension adjectives usually end in -e (long). In case of comparatives of first&second declension adjectives which end in -ior, neuter -ius, the neuter is used as adverb.
Are facile etc. derived like adverbs from second declension adjectives with -e (long) or are they neuter forms of the adjectives ending in -e (short) used as adverbs?
From the entries here and from dictionaries, I'd guess these adverbs are the neuter forms ending in -e (short), and are not derived from -e (long). But IMHO it's better to ask here instead of to guess. -Ikiaika (talk) 05:25, 15 April 2016 (UTC)


I'm wondering about the adjective shown here - isn't it actually use of the present participle? Even the noun is probably from the verb rather than the noun. The derived terms can be moved to the present participle. Donnanz (talk) 15:18, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

I agree for both adjective and noun. DCDuring TALK 17:44, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I think the so-called adjective is actually a gerund (noun), not a participle (adjective). Thus watering can means "a can used for watering plants" and not "a can that waters/is watering plants". In the great majority of cases, x-ing y is a compound of a gerund and noun, not a noun phrase consisting of a participle modifying a noun. (Incidentally, I remember hearing somewhere that the Latin translation of Harry Potter gets this wrong and renders Sorting Hat with the present participle, -ens, "hat that is sorting", rather than the genitive case of the gerund, -ndum, "hat for sorting".)
Not sure how to prove this in English, because the gerund and present participle have the same ending, but in German the verbal noun and participles have different endings (-ung and -end respectively), and compounds are usually formed with the verbal noun. Unfortunately, I can't think of any examples. — Eru·tuon 18:06, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I agree that watering is a noun in the expressions "watering hole" and "watering can". And this noun is simply the gerund of to water. --WikiTiki89 18:10, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
So where are we going with this? Adjective or not? Donnanz (talk) 23:24, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Above I was trying to say that both the Noun and the Adjective PoS sections should be deleted, leaving us with just the Verb (participle) PoS. That means an RfD, since we don't have any criteria which we can apply to speedy those sections. DCDuring TALK 00:38, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
I have RFVed the adjective only [3], personally I don't have a problem with the noun. Donnanz (talk) 14:01, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Possible error in Icelandic entry for 'man.'Edit

I've run across a discrepancy between two sources on Modern Icelandic. On Wiktionary, the Icelandic entry for 'man' lists the verb form (etymology 2) as being 1.) (Past, first person of the verb 'muna') I remember; and 2.) (Past, third person of the verb 'muna') he/she/it remembered.

However, over on Verbix, the conjugation of the Icelandic verb 'muna,' lists 'man' as being the (indic. pres. sing. 1st & 3rd pers.) of the verb 'muna.'

So Wiktionary says 'man' is the past tense of 'muna,' while Verbix says 'man' is the present tense of 'muna.' Verbix lists 'mundi' as the proper (past, sing. 1st & 3rd pers.) of 'muna.' Can anyone confirm which of these two is correct? Because if Verbix is correct, then we have an error in the Wiktionary entry for 'man.' —This unsigned comment was added by Novashard (talkcontribs) at 22:05, 15 April 2016 (UTC).

Icelandic Wiktionary also lists it as the present tense (nútíð). But, this Icelandic dictionary lists it as the past tense (þátíð). --WikiTiki89 22:37, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I expect the issue is that muna is a preterite-present verb, which has present meaning, but past tense–like forms (1st sg. and 3rd sg. identical, in contrast to most verbs, which I guess have 2nd sg. and 3rd sg. identical, though it's a long time since I studied Old Norse). From the examples given in the article, it sounds like man has present, not past, meaning: "remember", not "remembered". And it has a past tense mundi that presumably has past meaning: "remembered". — Eru·tuon 23:15, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, on the other hand, man says that hann man means "he remembered". — Eru·tuon 23:17, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I am no expert on Icelandic, but I'm fairly certain that hann man equates to "he remembers" Leasnam (talk) 19:37, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
@Krun, BiT: Could you help us out? --WikiTiki89 20:03, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
man is the present form, both first and third person. mundi is the corresponding past form. Ordabok.is is in error, and the reason for it is that dictionaries traditionally cite four forms for both strong verbs and preterite-present verbs, just not the same forms. For strong verbs, it is infinitive, 1.p.(or 3.p.) singular past, 1.p.(3.p.) plural past, supine. For preterite-present verbs, however, the order is infinitive, 1.p.(or 3.p.) singular present, 1.p.(3.p.) singular past, supine. At ordabok.is, the template used expects a strong verb, so that the forms of preterite-present verbs are labeled incorrectly. – Krun (talk) 12:53, 3 May 2016 (UTC)


Listed in verb class 3 with the description Verbs where the ablaut vowel was followed by a sonorant (m, n, l, r) and another consonant in Proto-Indo-European. While the word does follow this conjugation, there is no hint about a liquid or nasal, so either the entry or the description seems wrong. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 08:08, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

That description is wrong. Other class 3 verbs where the first consonant of the cluster was an obstruent include *bregdaną, *brestaną, *flehtaną, *hrespaną, *wreskwaną, and *þreskaną. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:23, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
So should we change it to "...followed by a consonant cluster..."? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 08:32, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
I think so, yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:39, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
No. The the verbs you listed all have one thing in common: the initial cluster ends with a sonorant. The zero grade would have thus been, say, *burgd-, but this was metathesized to give the attested forms. *fehtaną is just a unique anomaly and has no bearing on the class as a whole. —CodeCat 13:57, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
The discritiption doesn't talk about initial clusters but about the consonant after the ablaut vowel. And my biology teacher used to say that one exception invalidates a rule. Either way, we can't leave it as it is now, as it is at worst incorrect and at best confusing for the reader. I am unknowing, you're the expert. I trust you to rephrase it reasonably. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 19:35, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
ps.: Can medial consonant clusters occur in other strong classes? (Counting *ww as /VC/.) Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:43, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

@CodeCat I was about to change the description but found it is a boiler. I don't even know how to find it in your dungeons, so I ask you to please take care of this matter. (Or provide further input to the discussion.) Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 15:20, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Use the "Edit category data" link. —CodeCat 15:58, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

rollock, rollockingEdit

I added rollock and rollocking, initially as separate entries, but then changed them to alternative spellings of rollick and rollicking, and added a new meaning for "rollick". I'm not sure that these are all now in a perfect state as far as explanation of possible differing etymologies and also which meanings can be spelled in which ways are concerned. If anyone has an interest then please take a look. Thanks. 20:16, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

I've always spelled it rollock as it's a euphemistic form of bollock. I suspect rollick is a separate word though of course the two forms may overlap. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:53, 17 April 2016 (UTC)


The most common meaning of this seems to be just a general pejorative like pigfucker. I did find a mention of it meaning an Arab or Muslim saying that is was a calque of the Dutch (which is? @CodeCat?). I only looked at about 30 citations so I'm certainly not ruling any meanings out. but based on that small sample the general pejorative should come first. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:51, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

The Dutch word is geitenneuker. —CodeCat 13:38, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
I'd never heard it before its use in a Middle Eastern context. I've never heard it applied to, say, Indonesian or Nigerian Muslims. DCDuring TALK 17:32, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
I think I've heard German Ziegenficker used about Bavarian shepherds in the Alps. But its normal use (as far as normal goes), is also about people from the MENA region + the "stan"-countries, roughly. Kolmiel (talk) 19:12, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
German "Ziegenficker" is often used to refer to Turks, Arabs and Muslims. But it still literally means "person who fucks goats" and not "Turk", "Arab" or "Muslim". Maybe one could phrase it like "person who fucks goats, often used in reference to Turks, Arabs or Muslims". Examples which should refer to non-Arabs and non-Muslims:
  • "'Ich glaube wir haben zwei Möglichkeiten', sagte der Ork. 'Erstens: Wir durchsuchen diese Ruinen von oben bis unten, in der Hoffnung, dass wir irgendwo einen Hinweis darauf finden, wo dieser Ziegenficker Trelaine seinen verdammten Turm versteckt hat ...'" (Die Horde - Die Schlacht von Morthûl, translated from American English by Andreas Brandhorst, books.google)
  • "'Hast du nie die Sagen und Legenden über dieses Schwert gehört? Was bist du, irgendein rallorischer Ziegenficker?'" (translation of Duncan Lay's The Wounded Guardian, books.google)
  • "In seiner Kolumne titulierte er den Amsterdamer Bürgermeister Job Cohen als 'Ziegenficker' [...]" (books.google)
  • "Die Landser brüllten empört zurück, die Polente seien Ziegenficker." (books.google)
  • "Einer meiner engsten Vertrauten sagt gern in solchen Momenten, dass ein Mann, der 1000 Brücken baut und nur eine Ziege fickt, nicht länger der Brückenbauer, sondern der Ziegenficker ist." (books.google)
-Ikiaika (talk) 06:58, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Compare sheepshagger, which mentions Wales and New Zealand. Equinox 08:53, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, it doesn't really mean "someone who fucks goats". It's a term of abuse, which, per se, can be used about anyone, but which, in practice, is most often used about someone who has some relation to shepherding, or a perceived relation to that due to a North African or South-West Asian origin. (I don't think Islam plays an important role in this. I mean an Armenian could be a Ziegenficker just as well as someone from Azerbaijan. Or a Christian Egyptian just as well as a Muslim.) Kolmiel (talk) 14:50, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

German: -leiEdit

  1. What's the part of speech of words like dreierlei, mancherlei, einerlei. Some entries here list these words as adjectives, some other entries list them as adverbs. Dictionaries have them as adjectives, adverbs, numerals, and maybe even as pronouns (German Wiktionary mentions this, but the dictionary used as a reference maybe isn't reliable).
  2. How are they declined or used? Entries which say that these words are adjectives have forms like "der vielerlei". But are these words used with articles or always without them?

-Ikiaika (talk) 16:45, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

The suffix is found in Dutch too, e.g. allerlei. It looks like it's an adjective. —CodeCat 17:01, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
They are uninflected, and that's probably the reason why there's confusion. I also think they could be defined as adjectives, one might alternatively consider them indefinite determiners. I don't think there's such a thing as "der vielerlei", etc. They can't have articles or other determiners before them. Kolmiel (talk) 19:16, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
They're the same class like alles, vieles, nichts. Usually counted as pronouns but usable as adjectives. (Alles/nichts/mancherlei Gutes.) Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 19:43, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
The use of the English word "pronoun" is generally different from that of the German "Pronomen". What we call adjektivische Pronomen is usually called a "determiner" or a "(pronominal) adjective" in English. For example, my is a "possessive determinre" or a "possessive adjective", while mine is a "possessive pronoun". Kolmiel (talk) 20:15, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
And "nichts" in "nichts Gutes" is not an adjective, if that's what you meant. Kolmiel (talk) 20:18, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
We do list them as pronouns. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 21:47, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
What? Kolmiel (talk) 22:05, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
I accidentally found some inflected forms. I don't know if they are attestable in general, but in case of "mancherley" they are (the spelling already indicates that these forms might be dated or obsolete). As an example: "Solches bezeugen auch die vielfaltigen unn mancherleyen in diesem Werck vorgebrachte Historien". This supports that the classification as adverb is incorrect. Well, the classification as adverbs should already be incorrect as these words are placed in front of substantives like adjectives or pronouns.
Words like "zweierlei" might be numerals (in German these words are known as Gattungszahl, Gattungszahlwort or Speziale) and one could argue that words like "vielerlei" are indefinite numerals (unbestimmte Zahlwörter or indefinite Numeralia). But there might be the words "bunterlei" and "Bunterlei", which shouldn't be numerals. Well, maybe one could argue that "bunt" here means "many" making "bunterlei" an indefinite numeral too. But then "deinerlei" and "seinerlei" should not be numerals.
-Ikiaika (talk) 00:21, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
alles, vieles, nichts. We list them all as pronouns. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:32, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Alles is a pronoun in "alles, was ich will", it's an adjective or determiner in "alles Brot", "alles Leben". The case of "alles Gute" may be doubtful, at first I thought it was a pronoun, but one could also read it the other way round. The same distinctions are true for vieles. And nichts is always a pronoun, so that's definitely correct. We should probably distinguish pronouns and determiners better. Both forms are often the same in German. But at least in cases like mein vs. meiner, in which the distinction is also a formal one, it should be followed correctly. Kolmiel (talk) 14:58, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


I noticed that the Internet sense (as in a "list of favorites") is missing, although it's explicitly mentioned in the verb section. However, I am struggling to write a good definition. I'm thinking there's something of an intermediate devolved meaning along the lines of "belonging to a group of preferred items" is involved (because the original meanings have the implication there can only be one). Any thoughts? Circeus (talk) 00:42, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

[ETA] Added an adjectival definition. Any thoughts? Circeus (talk) 11:54, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

Personally I only use the noun 'favourites' and the verb 'to favourite' not the singular noun or the adjective 'favourite'. I would tend to say '[the website] is in my favourites'. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:26, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

eye patchEdit

Currently we have one definition: "A small cloth patch, usually black, that is worn in front of one eye, to protect or conceal a damaged eye." However, according to Wikipedia this is also used for a corrective patch used for treating amblyopia in children. Should there be a second definition or should the current definition be expanded? Personally I'm inclined towards the former, because (a) it's often worn over a spectacles lens and doesn't necessarily have to be made of cloth (if I remember correctly, mine was made of bakelite) and (b) there's a Czech word okluzor, which is only used for the corrective eyepatch; nevertheless, I'd prefer hearing native speakers' opinions to being bold. --Droigheann (talk) 02:38, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

The original definition could certainly stand to lose the last part, or at least gain an originally. I'm not clear what's the current position on creating definitions in English for the purpose of having separate definitions to refer the foreign words to. Circeus (talk) 03:48, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
I would change it to something like "An opaque patch worn so as to cover one eye". Let's not forget a very important reason for wearing an eye patch: as part of a pirate costume... ;-) Chuck Entz (talk) 04:18, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, if the corrective thing is perceived as just a specific use of eyepatch just like the one for a blind eye (real or fake), I think I can always treat Czech translations using qualifiers. I don't know whether there's any policy about separating definitions for the sake of translations either, but doing it for the sake of a single FL would probably be well over the top. --Droigheann (talk) 22:48, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
It's not wrong to quickly list the common uses of an item when it's relevant. Imagine describing a screwdriver based on purely its physical properties without mentioning it's used for inserting and removing screws. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:58, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
All right, I've dealt with it somehow, feel free to improve. --Droigheann (talk) 00:38, 22 April 2016 (UTC)


I've heard this used outside of astronomical fields, in relation to a situation in data procressing/computing, where one resource cannot be seen because a local resource with an identical name is taking priority. ( The best example I can give of this is the use of the term "de-eclipsing" used when re-naming image on Wikipedia so that the otherwise identically named Common image can be seen as well.) I'd appreciate other contributors here, providing any evidence of this being used outside of Wikimedia projects.Sfan00 IMG (talk) 10:32, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

"The Util.System namespace eclipses the top-level System namespace" (2005, Sean Campbell, Introducing Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 for developers, page 56). However, it seems rather like our existing sense 2. Equinox 10:36, 20 April 2016 (UTC)


Is it always pronounced /diːdʒɛsˈtiːf/ in English? I’m sure that the current pronunciation is perfectly valid, but I’d be surprised if nobody pronounced it as /diːʒɛsˈtiːf/ in English. --Romanophile (contributions) 11:55, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I've added the other one. Equinox 12:24, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
In fact, I don't think anyone pronounces it /diːdʒɛsˈtiːf/. People either use the anglicized vowels and consonants (/daɪˈdʒɛstɪf/), or the more French-like vowels and consonants (/ˌdiːʒɛsˈtiːf/). --WikiTiki89 21:13, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
I completely agree. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:52, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Lord Mayor - how to deal with "conventional translations"Edit

The German title "Oberbürgermeister" is usually translated as "Lord Mayor". However, an Oberbürgermeister is not actually the same thing as a Lord Mayor - an OB is elected and exercises power, while a Lord Mayor is an appointed and purely ceremonial role. Is there a standard way of listing these sorts of terms? Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:12, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

The German word "Bürgermeister" means the same as mayor. "Oberbürgermeister" (superior mayor) is a specification that implies that there are several mayors in a given city, namely mayors of boroughs. -- I know I'm not answering the question. I just wanted to express that the German word has a pretty general meaning, and that being elected is not a property of the word (although all German mayors are indeed elected). This might matter. Or not. Kolmiel (talk) 20:18, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
It's more the definition of Lord Mayor which is important here. Lord Mayor is a ceremonial position, not an actively political one, and a British city can have both a powerless Lord Mayor and an executive directly-elected Mayor (for example, there is the Mayor of Bristol, who runs the council, and the Lord Mayor of Bristol, who just officiates ceremonies). Nevertheless, it's the term used by convention to translate the German word "Oberbürgermeister" (see for instance, the quote below which calls Oberbürgermeister Konrad Adenauer "Lord Mayor of Cologne") even though the OB's powers are those of a directly-elected Mayor, not a Lord Mayor. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:59, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
  • 1998, Arnold B. Cheyney, People of Purpose: 80 People Who Have Made a Difference, Good Year Books (ISBN 9780673363718), page 6
    Eleven years later, in 1917, Konrad, then forty-one, became lord mayor of Cologne and the youngest lord mayor of any city in all of Germany.
Well, in that case it's indeed somewhat misleading. "Mayor of Cologne" would be quite fine. Actually we usually say Bürgermeister, not Oberbürgermeister. The latter is chiefly an official term to distinguish the "city mayor" from the "borough mayors". Kolmiel (talk) 16:05, 21 April 2016 (UTC)


The only pronunciation we have listed for says is /sɛz/ (to rhyme with fez), which is the traditional pronunciation and, I believe, the only one used in the U.S. But increasingly I've been hearing /seɪz/ (to rhyme with gaze) from speakers from England. Do any English people here have a feeling for how common it is? Is it nonstandard/proscribed? More common among younger speakers? Regionally restricted? Anything like that? Is it encountered in other countries besides the UK, or indeed outside England? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:03, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

/seɪz/ is the 'standard' UK pronunciation, /sɛz/ is the common informal pronunciation. I think it's largely regional and perhaps a social class marker, but I don't think anyone considers /sɛz/ an error except in the most formal of circumstances (like the Prime Minister giving a speech). Renard Migrant (talk) 21:57, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
Er, I should probably just shut up, but... is that true? I'm pretty sure /sɛz/ is standard and /seɪ̯z/ isn't. (Apart from what ANGR said, which I can't judge.) Kolmiel (talk) 22:30, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
I think /seɪz/ is dialectal. Certainly abnormal in the south-east. Equinox 22:34, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
OED: "3rd singular says Brit. /sɛz/ , U.S. /sɛz/" DCDuring TALK 23:57, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
No /seɪz/ in Chambers either (though they include an alternate form with a schwa, i.e. unstressed). I did have one (local) schoolmate who said it, but maybe he was just weird! Equinox 00:05, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
/seɪz/ is also used in the US, by AAVE in the South-South East; but it is largely considered incorrect Leasnam (talk) 01:53, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I've added it and labeled it "nonstandard" without marking any region. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:45, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I'll try and find an audio file to illustrate my point. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:09, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
If by "my point" you mean "/seɪz/ is the 'standard' UK pronunciation, /sɛz/ is the common informal pronunciation", then that is incorrect. As others have mentioned, the standard pronunciation is /sɛz/. The pronunciation /seɪz/ is heard, but is regional and/or a personal idiosyncrasy. 01:29, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Request to unblock an userEdit

Hi all! I've asked a (random) admin -who told me to look for a wider input- to unblock User:.mau., blocked in 2007 for "unacceptable username". It happened ages ago, even before SUL. Currently with SUL projects use to accept any username apart from offensive/truly abusive ones. --Vituzzu (talk) 20:45, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

I have unblocked him/her. I don't see what's wrong with the name. Equinox 20:47, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I don’t know if it was the same person, but there was an admin who used to block people for unacceptable username when their username had misspelt or unusually spelt words, or unusual typography. — Ungoliant (falai) 20:53, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Yep, same guy. One of his block comments was "Username is a promotion of illiteracy, in opposition to Wiktionary". --WikiTiki89 21:02, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Thank you all dictionaries!
--Vituzzu (talk) 12:12, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
"promotion of illiteracy" in a username is quite amusing... (BTW, my nickname comes from the end of 80s, I started using it in Fidonet. I understand that this is not standard, and sometimes it is not accepted, but for syntactical reason only!) --.mau. (talk) 19:41, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Don’t worry about it. No one will hold it against you. — Ungoliant (falai) 19:47, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

cock meaning vaginaEdit

On Talk:cock, one IP and one admin mention familiarity with an old Southern US usage of "cock" to mean "vagina", and another user provided (enough data that I tracked down) a citation of the usage from Lucille Bogan, where the meaning is confirmed by Peter Silverton, quoted here as saying "To [Bogan], what she had between her legs was a ‘cock’ – as it was for other southern [U.S.] women of her age, color and linguistic directness. [...] The female cock was a southern U.S. thing. It was the most common slang word for the vagina for a very long time. As late as the 1960s, in the southern states, ‘a piece of cock’ was a woman." Can anyone find more citations of this usage?
This site suggests it was in use at least as early as 1920, and "possibly derived from cockles; a cock-opener was a penis." It quotes the Dictionary of American Regional English (1985) as saying "At a point roughly the same as the Mason-Dixon Line, there is a division in meaning, to the North cock refers to the male genitals, but in the South its use is restricted to the female genitals. Missouri is a border state in which both meanings are used." Cassell's Dictionary of Slang also has it and derives it from French coquille.
- -sche (discuss) 03:57, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Etymology of sensusEdit

"Perfect passive participle of sēntiō ‎(“feel, perceive”)." Shouldn't it be a short 'e'?

Certainly Gaffiot has all of these with a short 'e' (which is e rather than ē for those unfamiliar with the concept) L&S also. Done. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:47, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
The usual practice is to mark all vowels long before ns and short before nt, so sentiō would have a short e and sēnsus a long ē. Not sure if Wiktionary follows this or not. — Eru·tuon 6:20 pm, Yesterday (UTC−7)
We do indeed follow this practice. —JohnC5 8:20 pm, Yesterday (UTC−7)

harden a phonemeEdit

Languages are sometimes noted to have "hardened" certain phonemes; for example, Wiyot hardened Proto-Algic /m/ to /b/ and /n/ to /d/, and this page on Bantu mentions that "glides and liquids harden to voiced stops"; another book mentions a language "harden[ing] the fricative to a stop or an affricate", and Wikipedia says that in Belarusian, "/rʲ/ has hardened and merged with /r/". How might we define harden in such uses? Is there more than one sense present in these examples? In some cases, it seems to functionally equal "convert to a stop (or a fricative)". PS presumably "soften" is used with opposite senses. - -sche (discuss) 17:28, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

At least the Belarusian sense is synonymous with depalatalize. —CodeCat 17:47, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
More technically, isn't this fortition? Hillcrest98 (talk) 18:21, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the change of a sonorant to an obstruent (Wiyot, Bantu) or a fricative to a stop or affricate is fortition. The change of a voiced obstruent to a voiceless one is also fortition and can also be called "hardening", which is why Germans call final devoicing Auslautverhärtung. The Belarusian sense comes from a sense of hard ‎(unpalatalized, velarized) that is unique (or nearly unique) to Slavic linguistics. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:38, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
It's quite vague, really. Fricative > stop; voiced > unvoiced; palatal > non-palatal; etc. It's also quite random. Why is /dʒ/ a "soft g"? I agree that /ʒ/ is soft, but the affricative sounds particularly hard in my own ears. Kolmiel (talk) 18:42, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
See Sonority hierarchy. If "soft" means "more sonorous" and "hard" means "less sonorous", then fricatives are softer than affricates, affricates are softer than stops, and voiced obstruents are softer than voiceless ones. The only one that isn't related to sonority is palatalized vs. nonpalatalized. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:33, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, yeah, I was aware of this hierarchy to some degree. I strike "random" and say "unintuitive" instead. I've heard about it in the context of the High German consonant shift, namely that the development of word-initial stops into affricates was also a kind of "softening". But in this case as well: I don't find /tsaːl/ softer than /teɪ̯l/, nor /pfaːl/ softer than /peɪ̯l/. Affricates are as hard as it gets in my understanding, but well. Kolmiel (talk) 12:06, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
"Hard" and "soft" are really laymen's terms anyway. They have no meaning in phonetics and phonology at all. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:21, 24 April 2016 (UTC)


problem with template: incorrect: «wiózłem, wiózłeś, wiózł»; correct: «wiozłem, wiozłeś, wiózł»; source: [4], [5] --Bethchen (talk / contributions)

@Kephir. According to pl.wiktionary some forms do have wióz-, so just changing the template parameter that currently says wióz wioz wouldn't work. - -sche (discuss) 15:12, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Chinese dialectal pronunciationEdit

Don't know if it is the right place to discuss on this. The pronunciations in Chinese dialectal pronunciation section seem to be automatically generated by a script. So there are quite a few mistakes. For example, the character 厚 is pronounced only as /gau²⁴/ in Wenzhou dialect instead of the regular /ɦau³⁵/. Is it possible to make specific edits on pronunciations like this? There is no source code for this section. Thanks.--Mteechan (talk) 18:08, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

@Wyang would be the person to ask. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:09, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the query. The data is at Module:zh/data/dial-pron. I have added gau35 in the reading for Wenzhou and added an edit button in the displayed template. Wyang (talk) 23:34, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Swiss GermanEdit

Re the plural Swiss Germans: is there a missing definition here, such as an ethnic group? I can't imagine the plural being used otherwise. Donnanz (talk) 14:10, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

I think the intent was that the plural can refer to multiple varieties of Swiss German. However, I think this needs to be RFV'd. --WikiTiki89 14:29, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
I think you're right about RFV, but I'll see if there are any more comments first. Donnanz (talk) 14:56, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
The plural is listed as applying to the common noun, whereas languages are considered proper nouns (although some disagree with this, or with any distinction of common and proper nouns). I think we can solve the problem by adding the missing ethnic definition, which is pluralizable (and possibly moving the language senses to a proper noun section). - -sche (discuss) 22:01, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Can any ethnic sense be confirmed though? And I'm one of those who disagree with treating languages as proper nouns.... Donnanz (talk) 22:20, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
google books:"Swiss Germans" turns up plenty of hits (both hyphenated and not) where "Swiss German" means "A Swiss person of German ethnicity or language." Whether it should be defined like that or rendered as an {{&lit}} I'm not sure. - -sche (discuss) 01:01, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
I found another word in German: Deutschschweizer; a Swiss person who speaks German. Donnanz (talk) 08:38, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

chidí naaʼnaʼí beeʼeldǫǫhtsoh bikááʼ dah naaznilígíí meaning "tank"Edit

This is supposedly the Navajo word for "tank". Do speakers really say this whole phrase whenever they refer to a tank? I have a hard time believing this isn't shortened to something more manageable. Benwing2 (talk) 22:07, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

The first Navajo term for a tank (World War II code talkers) was chʼééh digháhii (tortoise). It was spelt CHAY-DA-GAHI in those days, since the modern Navajo writing system had not yet been developed. That might be considered poetic today, or a kind of slang, but chʼééh digháhii is not normally used for a tank and it would probably be misunderstood if used for that. chidí naaʼnaʼí beeʼeldǫǫhtsoh bikááʼ dah naaznilígíí is the usual term. Navajo does not easily import loanwords, but prefers to be descriptive using all native words. This is a very normal way to refer to something that comes from without their culture, and it’s not as though they talk about tanks a lot. —Stephen (Talk) 01:54, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
Stephen has entered many protologisms in Navajo, and I suspect this is just another one of the many examples. I'm sure that this wouldn't pass CFI. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:53, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
It's still a little hard for me to believe that a language would use such a long phrase to refer to a single concept. Plenty of languages are resistant to loanwords, e.g. Chinese, Icelandic, etc. but when they coin new terms they're rarely (if ever?) the length of this phrase. Benwing2 (talk) 05:28, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
I wonder if this term is mostly theoretical, something that someone coined but which isn't actually used; it wouldn't surprise me if Navajo speakers just say "tank" since most of them are fluent in English. Benwing2 (talk) 05:29, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
None of the Navajo entries that I made are protologisms. However, Navajo is a transparent language, and the terms they use are self-defining. When they say something, even a new concept, nobody needs a dictionary because the terms define themselves (similar to German Krankenhaus, or "sick-house" for hospital). And no, this term for tanks is not theoretical, it is standard, and it is not at all unusual for this language. It is true that Navajo speakers in certain parts of the reservation regularly mix a good many English words into their speech, but in other parts of the reservation, they avoid this (except for numbers, where young people tend to use English numbers). I have discussed it with my Navajo community and they said that in a conversation about tanks, once the term has been broached (so that everyone knows what is being discussed), most people will shorten thereafter it to naaʼnaʼí beeʼeldǫǫhtsoh (the one that crawls around with a big gun) or just beeʼeldǫǫhtsoh (big gun). In any case, delete it if you want to. That’s why I stopped making Navajo entries ... I assumed that they would be deleted, one by one, so there is no sense in adding any more, or even in trying to argue about it. —Stephen (Talk) 09:55, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

You can be sure all you want, so go ahead and file a CFI. Once I provide multiple impeccable sources to make it pass, you can apologize for your ethnocentric racialist assumptions. Seb az86556 (talk) 05:07, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Well that escalated quickly… —JohnC5 06:04, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Perhaps understandably. Other than Stephen and Seb, no one participating in this discussion is in any reasonable position to identify Navajo protologisms -- so anyone calling these terms protologisms, or insisting that there must be some other term, is writing from a biased perspective, recognized or not, and that can get up people's noses. I've found myself similarly annoyed and defensive when living in Japan and non-native speakers of English insisted, sometimes quite rudely, that X or Y or Z was definitely English or definitely not English. My sympathies here are with Stephen and Seb.
As a related issue, I think we do a potentially grave disservice to our users when it comes to languages like Navajo that are just now becoming literary and documented languages. Our WT:CFI requirements make it very difficult for limited-documentation languages to gain traction here. Terms or expressions that might have been in use for the entire lifetimes of a speaking community might just now be written down, and often not in forms that meet CFI. I hold that such terms are still worth recording here.
Query: Would it be possible to use an existing namespace, or establish a new namespace, for entering LDL terms for which currently available documentation might not meet CFI? A lot of written Navajo usage, for instance, appears in places like online chats and Facebook, which do not meet CFI (as far as I currently understand the situation). A separate namespace might allow for such terms, without bumping into the stricter mainspace concerns about attestation. Once such a term has citations sufficient to meet CFI, it could be "graduated" into mainspace. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:44, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
I think Appendix: namespace can be used for this. We used to have Appendix:List of unattested Irish words, so why not Appendix:List of unattested Navajo words? It would be for words we believe to exist but for which we cannot find even a single mention in a dictionary or grammar book, let alone a use in a permanently archived source. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:45, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown Thanks for your comments, they definitely help answer my questions concerning the length of the term. Benwing2 (talk) 21:02, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Concerning Native American languages, it is an all too common attitude that they are incapable of having modern terms such as aircraft carrier, cellphone, kangaroo, or giraffe, and should only have words for bow and arrow, teepee, squaw, and wampum. These people disbelieve American Indian words for these things, and insist that they must be protologisms, freakish inventions. These same people would not question that Cambodian has words for giraffe or cellphone; they see nothing strange about Icelandic having words for palm thief or confederate jasmine; no raised eyebrow over Mongolian having a word for hamburger or a Segway. But it is just unbelievable that Lakota might have a word for clock, or that Cherokee has a word for telephone. This attitude is narrow-minded and uninformed, and for those who are involved with or concerned about Native Americans, it is insulting. It’s what Seb means by "ethnocentric racialist assumptions".
As for written Navajo language found in places such as online chats and Facebook, only someone who knows the language and also knows how to write the language could use those sources. The majority of Native American adults today were taken (virtually kidnapped) from their families at a young age and sent away to distant boarding schools under the direction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and kept there until they came of age. The main objective of the boarding schools was to suppress their native languages and their culture and religion, and to force the use of English, American culture, and Christianity. The children were (and still are, to some extent, since there are still over 4000 Native children in these schools today) punished in a variety of ways when they used their native language or told cultural stories. They had their mouths washed out with soap, including lye soap; they were beaten with leather belts and wooden paddles; they were deprived of food, sleep, and warmth; they were kicked in the rear as well as in the genitals (some women were injured in such a way that they could not bear children); their knuckles were rapped with rulers; and they were slapped, threatened, and insulted. All this to kill the language within them.
And even though a suitable orthography was finally developed for Navajo about 70 or so years ago, no boarding school was ever permitted to teach the writing of Navajo. It is only since the end of the 20th century that Navajo language and orthography have begun to be taught in some schools in the Navajo area. The only Navajos who know how to write their own language are self-taught, and there are few of those. So almost everything you will find in online chats and Facebook is terribly misspelled and should not have entries here. Because of what the U.S. Government has done to our Native peoples over the past couple of centuries, the situation with these languages is different from that of minority languages anywhere else in the world. As President Andrew "Indian-Killer" Jackson wrote in 1833, “[Indians] have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear.” Manifest Destiny. And that is why this mean attitude is so disgusting to those who know better. —Stephen (Talk) 01:10, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
True enough for Navajo, which has quite the critical mass of native speakers, but there are so many dying and moribund languages out there that have been displaced by English for normal conversation, so they only live on in the minds of the older generation as a memory of what was used in the past. They desperately need to be used for talking about everyday things, but, sadly, they often simply aren't. Also, not to downplay the horrific policies and practices used against American Indian language and culture, but there have been some surprisingly nasty things done in the past to minority languages even in supposedly enlightened places such as Europe. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:47, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
On the musings by Erik and Angr: A separate namespace bears the risk of making the language invisible and inaccessible to passer-by users as long as the standard search only crawls Main and as long as the translation tables don't carry the entries. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 11:32, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Hmmm, I didn't realize all other namespaces weren't included in the basic search. That's ... less than ideal. Would it be possible to reconfigure to include specific namespaces in the basic search? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:27, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
    Maybe, but we shouldn't do that. The whole point of putting something in another namespace is so that it isn't mixed up with the main content, which comes up in a basic search. --WikiTiki89 21:29, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Stephen and Seb, I am truly sorry if I have caused offense. This was certainly not my intention. I don't believe that it is strange for Navajo or other Native American languages to have terms for modern concepts. In fact I'd be surprised e.g. to find that Lakota did not have a term for "clock", "cellphone", etc. To the extent I have any skepticism about this particular term, it is simply because it seems to me its length would make it awkward in conversation. That is why I asked whether there isn't a shorter term. Your response about the way it would be shortened answered my questions about this, however. Benwing2 (talk) 04:14, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
It was not what you wrote, it was the oft repeated allegation (not supported by evidence) of protologisms that have been leveled here over the past couple of years or so by someone who knows nothing about the language. As I mentioned above, it is a common but misguided attitude that Native American languages are simply incapable of having modern terms unless they import the words from English (borrowing being a common strategy among the world’s languages for keeping up with technology and other cultures, but a strategy that American Indian languages strenuously avoid). —Stephen (Talk) 21:49, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
I regret that I wasn't present to contribute to this discussion; it seems like it's been pretty much resolved. I would like to add, though, that in addition to the much larger issues addressed here, Navajo has a clear, well-documented pattern of using multi-word descriptive phrases for nouns, as Stephen said. It takes only a little experience with Navajo to show one how natural such constructions are in the language. Ewweisser (talk) 13:49, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Ashkun âboEdit

This is the only translation of water from a language that starts with 'A' which I haven't been able to verify: Ashkun (code ask) âbo. It's plausible, because related languages use similar terms, but I can't access any Ashkun references. Glottolog knows of four:

  • George A. Grierson's 1919 Indo-Aryan Family: North-Western Group: Specimens of Dardic or Piśācha Languages (Including Kāshmīrī)
  • Georg Morgenstierne's 1929 The language of the Ashkun Kafirs, 1934 Further notes on Ashkun (apparently usually called Additional notes on Ashkun), and 1952 Linguistic Gleanings from Nuristan.

@ZxxZxxZ, Vahagn Petrosyan, do either of you have access to references which might help? (And what script should this word be in?) - -sche (discuss) 04:26, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

I have nothing, sorry. --Vahag (talk) 06:00, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
Ashkun, a Nuristani language, is unwritten. If it were to be written, however, it would be in Perso-Arabic script. Âbo is cognate with Persian آب ‎(âb). A dialect of Ashkun (Saňu-vi:ri) has a glossary shown here. Under Lexicon, select saňu-vi:ri, then search hydrology. —Stephen (Talk) 01:39, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Bende mansiEdit

Similar to what I wrote above, this is the only translation of water from a language that starts with 'B' which I haven't been able to verify: Bende (code bdp) mansi. I'm not sure who might be able to find a reference; @Metaknowledge, Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV? [6] has some related lects' words. Perhaps the word is spelled manzi instead? - -sche (discuss) 22:17, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

@-sche: Your ping didn't work. Anyhow, I can verify this for you, but I really don't have time this week. Send me an email if you're interested (partly to remind me, and partly so we can discuss how I can help verify the rest of the troublesome translations). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:09, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
@-sche. Unfortunately, it seems that all books on Bende that were formerly available online have been removed. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:39, 29 April 2016 (UTC)


The words in this category have a lot of form which are different to hindi wikipedia and website "Van Der Krogt" . So, Are there any sources for them? --飯江誰出茂 (talk) 07:31, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

@AryamanaroraΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:07, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
@飯江誰出茂 They are mostly uncited – I don't think any of them are used even in literature. —Aryamanarora (मुझसे बात करो) 18:32, 29 April 2016 (UTC)


Could someone who knows a bit about art add the art sense of classicism (e.g. as contrasted with Romanticism? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:50, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

hornswoggle is still aliveEdit

I'm new here. I'm not sure where else to go with this. This morning, April 27, 2016, I heard on NPR (FM) on the Diane Rehm Show a commentator say, in response to a question, "Trump has hornswoggled foreign affairs experts just like he has everyone else." As a person who enjoys the English language, I was delighted to hear the word "hornswoggled" still in use, and in spoken English. For it to pop up in a serious discussion among experts in a well respected setting such as the Diane Rehm Show was even better. There must be folks who record instances of the use of uncommon words rather like historians of the language. Any comments?

Thanks for your comments. I'm sure you're right about people who search out instances of uncommon words being used but I'm not sure who they are. Mostly I've heard of amateur sleuths of this sort looking for the earliest recorded instances of words; many such people have contributed to the OED, for example. In this case, this could potentially be added as a citation if there is a "durably archived" record of it (as we say) somewhere on the Internet. I can't find a published transcript, though. Benwing2 (talk) 19:00, 27 April 2016 (UTC)


In addition to the meanings assigned to "agonic" in Wiktionary (mathematical, cartographic), the term is also used in the social sciences to refer to an antagonistic form of social behavior (one based on "threat, power and anxiety"). The term was supposedly first used in this fashion by one Michael Chance. See "The Agonic and Hedonic Styles of Social Behaviour": seee http://www.amazon.com/Agonic-Hedonic-Styles-Social-Behaviour/dp/B004QBCQ6K or https://books.google.com/books?id=aL40CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=%22michael+chance%22+agonic&source=bl&ots=pQyDJ-9e_b&sig=0nCdyOfHuNRBn554pTB2fAiS2A0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjh4JzQ16_MAhVLxGMKHWftCQUQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=%22michael%20chance%22%20agonic&f=false


How can this be a noun? What is its referent? Equinox 17:18, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

  • Hmm, QWERTY has a meaning. Was the contributor in his right mind? Donnanz (talk) 17:25, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
    I suppose it could refer to the set of keys or the product of striking said keys. We call lorem ipsum a noun. It's hard to see what other PoS would fit. DCDuring TALK 18:47, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
  • However, "lorem ipsum" can actually refer to the pseudo-Latin text itself ("a test page full of lorem ipsum"). asdfghjkl seems to be just a key-splurge. Probably the same for abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. Equinox 18:52, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Maybe it should be "phrase". —suzukaze (tc) 19:37, 30 April 2016 (UTC)


dire#French shows disez (which I don't think is a real word) as the second person, plural, imperative form, however, it should be dites. This is generated by a template so I don't know the best way to fix it. Danielklein (talk) 01:55, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

I'll raise it in the Grease Pit where it should get dealt with more quickly. Module:fr-verb/documentation doesn't actually say how the module works and I don't fancy guessing, so I won't. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:50, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Despite the lack of documentation the code wasn't that difficult to work out because the abbreviations were pretty straightforward. I've fixed it now. Danielklein (talk) 08:34, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Disagreeing with Metaknowledge about uncountabilityEdit

Please look at this: [7] To me, a scale is either countable ("one Bloggs scale; two Bloggs scales") or it is a proper noun ("a measurement on the Bloggs scale"); it cannot be uncountable ("*some Bloggs scale; *how much Bloggs scale?"). I think Metaknowledge has mixed this up with the mass-count noun distinction. If I am wrong can someone please explain why? Equinox 11:21, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

I agree with you on this. It seems like a proper noun to me, with a possible, but rarely occurring, plural.
BTW, what are the units of measurement on this "scale"? Or is it just another instance of those in a "soft" field of knowledge attempting to don the white coats of those in "harder" sciences? DCDuring TALK 12:30, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
I should have looked at the WP article. It's more an example of the imposition by a "hard" scientist of quantification (except much more arbitrary, really categorization) on a "soft" field: forecasting human technological development. DCDuring TALK 12:35, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
It's often difficult to distinguish uncountable nouns from proper nouns. In this case, I think agree that it's a proper noun, but I'm not sure. --WikiTiki89 20:07, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

tooth fairy and Tooth FairyEdit

We have two entries. Are both used? With or without capital letters? I would think that the words are always supposed to be capitalized similar to how Easter Bunny capitalizes the Bunny part. 2602:306:3653:8920:50EA:ADBE:CAF1:5C80 20:04, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

mene mene tekel upharsinEdit

Previous discussion: Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2015/July#the writing on the wall

I just converted this to an English entry, because it certainly is not in any script ever used by speakers of Aramaic; and furthermore, the Aramaic equivalent is not idiomatic. However, I do think it is worth having this as an English entry, only I don't know how to define it. --WikiTiki89 20:44, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

How about defining it with {{n-g}}, and including a Wikipedia link? The Jewish Encyclopedia says this: "Words written by a mysterious hand on the wall of Belshazzar's palace, and interpreted by Daniel as predicting the doom of the king and his dynasty." Something like this would be a decent definition, IMO. Benwing2 (talk) 21:01, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
I copied that to the entry, having forgotten that it could be copyvio. Since I think it is worded very well, I'm not sure how to modify it without making it worse. --WikiTiki89 21:23, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
It's from 1904 from a work first published in the US. It's in the public domain, at least for the US and for the purposes of Commons.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:45, 5 May 2016 (UTC)


Plural of flagellum. That doesn't seem right, and we already have flagella as a plural. Is there perhaps some other, singular flagella that is the correct singular for flagellae? If not, should we mark flagellae as proscribed or something? Equinox 10:59, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

It is used in English. It marks one as no Classicist to those who care about such things, a small group. DCDuring TALK 13:01, 30 April 2016 (UTC)
If "flagellae" is a blunder, which it seems it is, then Wiktionary should note that. It is exactly the sort of information that a good dictionary should be providing, I think. 19:34, 30 April 2016 (UTC)


no-doubt is said to be an alternative spelling of no doubt, but is that generally true? For instance, looking at the example sentence at "no doubt", would anyone write "No-doubt you can provide a better definition"? It looks wrong to me. The only case I can think of when I might hyphenate is when the phrase comes before another word to modify it, e.g. "a no-doubt easier life". 19:31, 30 April 2016 (UTC)


I would like to offer the observation that a further meaning for the word 'when' occurs in a sentence such as: I don't see the point of Christmas decorations when I am the only person who is going to see them. Here it means something like: 'if one considers the fact that'.

Yes check.svg Done Equinox 06:50, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

May 2016


I came across this word and was surprised to find it has two oddly different meanings. Can anyone elucidate the etymology in particular? This, that and the other (talk) 12:02, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

The two "-opic"s of each definition are definitely unrelated. The "partially blind" meaning is from μέρος ‎(méros) + ὤψ ‎(ṓps). I believe the "able to speak" meaning is derived from ὄψ ‎(óps) (voice) or some relative. Hillcrest98 (talk) 16:20, 1 May 2016 (UTC)


Is there any classical usage of either the noun or the adjective? DTLHS (talk) 01:18, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Lewis and Short lists some uses, though I wouldn’t use the terms Spanish and Spaniard. — Ungoliant (falai) 01:25, 2 May 2016 (UTC)


I can't figure out what the entry is trying to convey here. The headword line says the noun is masculine, but the definitions are split between masculine and feminine senses. Is the noun really both genders? And what does the female equivalent parella mean? A "pair" is not something that is naturally gendered, so this seems like a misuse of the parameter. —CodeCat 23:06, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

door prizes redirect?Edit

i'm new here. Is there a reason door prizes has its own page instead of redirecting to door prize? Thanks. 23:32, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

We don't do redirects like Wikipedia does. Separate terms, even inflected terms, get their own entry. See WT:REDIRECTS for more. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:35, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
Inflected forms, such as English plurals, have a minimal entry that amounts to a soft redirect. As the headword of an entry page may be a word in more than one language, a single hard redirect is not a general solution. See Category:English plurals for examples like [[abaisses]] (English and French inflected forms) and [[convives]] (English, Latin, Spanish). DCDuring TALK 23:42, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

Should sensu lato et al. be Translingual?Edit

Are Latin-derived phrases like sensu lato or sensu stricto really Translingual? I realize that they can be used in more or less any language, but they almost certainly have different pronunciations in different languages (unlike, for example, IPA symbols), could conceivably have synonyms/antonyms in various languages, and might have language-specific usage notes (e.g. their use could be broader in one language than another, or a phrase/word native to that language might be preferred, etc.).

It may seem obvious to some that it belongs under Translingual, but one of the most common reasons I use dictionaries is for finding pronunciation (though not in this specific case). A Translingual entry doesn't really have room for that information. If, for example, I wanted to know if the pronunciation of sensu stricto remained similar to the Latin one in Portuguese contexts, or if it was pronounced like a Portuguese phrase, our entry would not help me as it stands. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:18, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

(For what it's worth, Homo sapiens#Pronunciation does have foreign pronunciations. —suzukaze (tc) 06:23, 4 May 2016 (UTC))
These pronunciations are ridiculous. No one is going to claim that "Homo sapiens" is Korean or Japanese. What's next? Pronunciation of "Homo sapiens" in Chinese? There is too much Eurocentrism and Latin Script-centrism here. Wyang (talk) 06:52, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
@Wyang We use Translingual for any entry that spans multiple languages. Hence the large number of entries for CJKV characters. Accommodating the description of pronunciations of pronounceable Translingual terms would lead us to large pronunciation sections comparable to translation sections, presumably reflecting the most common pronunciation of the terms within groups of native speakers of each language. We don't seem to have a consensus for - or against - such sections.
English Wiktionary is, by intention, Anglophone and therefore "biased" toward Latin script. DCDuring TALK 11:03, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
This is why "Translingual" is so problematic, as it is in CJKV characters. On CJKV character pages, "Translingual" also includes Etymology's, which are more properly "Glyph origin"s that mostly belong in the Chinese sections. The pronunciations are not Korean and Japanese pronunciations of "Homo sapiens"; they are pronunciations of the Korean and Japanese borrowings of the Latin term (호모 사피엔스 and ホモ・サピエンス). Wyang (talk) 11:17, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
We have decided that taxonomic names are NOT Latin. They are used in running text in many languages, including some not in Latin script. Whether some or most linguists would deem them "borrowings" is not determinative of how we present them, which is or ought be a matter of attempting to help users, within the limits of our technology, skills, and numbers. DCDuring TALK 13:33, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
Taxonomic names are only valid when written in the Latin script, according to the taxonomic codes agreed to by taxonomists worldwide, including in Japan. It's a simple matter to find plenty of occurrences of Latin-script taxonomic names in texts of just about any modern non-Latin-script language. Homo sapiens isn't a good example, because it's so basic that it's been borrowed into and naturalized into a number of languages, including English. Let's look at a more obscure name that I picked at random, Callianthemum miyabeanum. I sincerely doubt it's been borrowed into Japanese due to Japanese phonotactic constraints, and the fact that the plant already has a Japanese name. And yet, Japanese scientists, if nobody else, must have a pronunciation for it. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:38, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy What pronunciation(s) should appear in a Translingual entry's pronunciation section? As we are in principle descriptive, it would seem that we would have the pronunciation actually used by native speakers of different languages. That seems a bit silly, not to mention overambitious.
I would favor, say, Latin or Latinate pronunciations for taxonomic names. We could possibly justify "English" pronunciations as we are English Wiktionary. DCDuring TALK 11:03, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
For taxonomic names I would support having proscribed Latinate pronunciations. There's too much variation in the way people pronounce scientific names for us to try to include all the different ways or even to try to find a standard pronunciation. For entries like the one under discussion, I think a pronunciation section like that at Homo sapiens would be best. I didn't realize that there was precedent for this, but it's good to know there is.
I can't think of other types of entries that would need pronunciation, besides IPA symbols, which is pretty uncontroversial. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:49, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
At some point, I actually have asked for people to add multiple pronunciations in Homo sapiens, and they kindly did it. I support having multiple pronunciation sections for taxonomic names. (In other words, oppose removing the pronunciations if it ever has been proposed.) In fact, if one wants us to have Translingual sections for Latin phrases with multiple language pronunciations, then we are already working with the notion that it's possible for different languages to speak something in Latin using different pronunciations. Being a descriptive dictionary, it makes sense to me helping to pronounce each word as a speaker of each language would. Example: the "sap-" part in English is /seɪp/, which does not exactly seem to make sense in all languages.
It should make sense for us to have some form of attestation, though. Any TV shows or documentaries that mention taxonomic names and are durably archived? I'm pretty sure Callianthemum miyabeanum in Portuguese would be said by many people in my São Paulo, Brazil accent approximately as /kaliãj̃'temũ miabe'anũ/ (mind you, I'm not 100% good in IPA yet) though that transcription is prescriptive by definition unless it can be attested somehow, but the same would be said for multilanguage pronunciations of Latin phrases.
On a separate topic, I support using Translingual sections for the Latin phrases, regardless of what we actually do with taxonomic names. I think the notion that "we need separate language sections to keep the pronunciations!" has already been pretty much disproved. If fact, a single Translingual Pronunciation section would take much less space than having whole separate language sections just for the sake of their pronunciations. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 05:12, 5 May 2016 (UTC)


Defined and categorised as a noun, but the definition is a verb. Which is it? —CodeCat 21:13, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

  • Nuked on sight as SOP for 実る ‎(minoru, to bear fruit) in the conjunctive 実って ‎(minotte) conjugation + present-progressive auxiliary いる ‎(iru).


As above. —CodeCat 21:14, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

  • This is an idiom, literally meaning "it has flowers and fruit", but basically meaning that something is positive in both name and deed. I'll rework it at some point. (I was in the middle of doing so, and was nearly finished, when I ran into the keyboard shortcut issue mentioned here.) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:44, 4 May 2016 (UTC)


Can this also be used as a noun? —suzukaze (tc) 04:36, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

  • Yes. We already had the plural, but I've added a singular as well. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:29, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
    Oh, I didn't think of checking the plural page. It says "‎(plural only)" though, which now seems contradictory. —suzukaze (tc) 06:37, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
    It may be that we need an inflection-line label usually plural in addition to plural only. The modules supporting {{en-noun}} should be able to handle it. DCDuring TALK 15:49, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
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