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The entry for 民法 defines it as civil law. Does it mean the opposite of criminal law, or the opposite of common law? —This unsigned comment was added by Charlotte Aryanne (talkcontribs) at 16:45, 1 June 2015.

Well, 民法 is linked to Civil law (common law), while it's 欧陆法系 that's linked to Civil law (legal system), so I'm guessing the former. I don't speak Chinese, though. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:08, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Latin month names

About six years ago, EncycloPetey relemmatised the Latin month names at their minuscule-initial spellings. JohnC5 and I favour lemmatising them at their majuscule-initial spellings, which choice would be in accordance with these words' treatment by Lewis & Short, Gaffiot, and the Oxford Latin Dictionary (e.g., in the case of Aprīlis, that is the spelling used for the lemma by Lewis & Short, Gaffiot, and the OLD [1st ed., page 154/3]). EncycloPetey wrote that he "concluded that Classical and even medieval Latin seldom (if ever) capitalized the names of months when capitalization was used." Apart from the fact that the capital/lower-case distinction didn't really exist then, my experience of Latin texts (Renaissance and New Latin editions) is the opposite of his. Is there evidence that corroborates EncycloPetey's view? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:17, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Please show us the evidence that you have collected. Dictionaries are reference works, not evidence. If Latin months are often used with first letter capitalized, it should be pretty easy to find some attesting quotations showing them so capitalized, right? --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:29, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
As I just posted on my talk page, consider google books:"Aprilis", google books:"Aprili", google books:"Aprilem", google books:"Apriles", google books:"Aprilium", and google books:"Aprilibus"; only four of the Latin hits out of the first sixty hits (the first ten of each search query) are minuscule-initial. (You didn't really give me very long to respond…) — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:38, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
All the sources listed in the L&S have majuscule Aprilis:
I don't know about the medieval or classical practice, but this does indicate to me that modern scholarly practice prefers capitalization. —JohnC5 20:47, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I suspect modern scholarly practice has a lot to do with the native language of the editor preparing the text for publication. If your native language writes April, you'll probably standardize on Aprilis, while if your native language writes april or avril, you'll probably standardize on aprilis. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:13, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
@Angr: You’d think so, wouldn’t you? And yet Gaffiot (a Latin–French dictionary) has the lemma at the majuscule, even though the month's name in French is avril, with an initial minuscule. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:26, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
When I set the lemmata to miniscule, I was following the medieval Latin documents I had seen. These come from multiple countries (including Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain) and have not not been adjusted to modern editorial norms. For capitalization, I have tried to follow practices from the earliest Latin sources I could find that utilized both uppercase and lowercase letters.
The easiest of the document collections (that I used) for spotting examples is Josip Lučić Spisi Dubrovačke Kancelarije, a series of legal documents in Latin from Ragusa in the late 13th century. Each item is headed with a date in the Latin, in chronological order. All the month names begin with a miniscule, even though multiple scribes prepared the documents. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:36, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@EncycloPetey: Thanks for explaining. Re that document collection from Ragusa, I assume you're referring to these texts. If so, I don't think it can be said that they "have not not[sic] been adjusted to modern editorial norms". Besides the fact that they show a suspicious lack of sigla, being written entirely in extenso, they have at least two anachronistic typographical features: 1) Hindu–Arabic numerals, which were pretty poorly known in Europe in the 13th century; and, 2) the háček, which wasn't invented until the time of Jan Hus (1369–1415) a century later. We need to see manuscripts or facsimilia for reliable evidence of Mediaeval Latin capitalisation practices. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:22, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree that we ideally need original facsimiles to decide the issue. Unfortunately, we have none at hand. We have modern normalized editions of Classics, edited editions of documents, and dictionaries standardized to modern editorial norms of Classical-period texts. However, the Spisi Dubrovačke Kancelarije is only one of the sources I examined; I named it because it was readily at hand and was the easiest to use. The Słownik Staropolskich Nazw Osobowych (Dictionary of Old Polish Given Names) is a massive collection of citations documenting the earliest forms of Polish names, from records in Polish, Russian, and Latin. The typography there is meticulously documented (in extenso). It is simply harder to find useful information since the text is organized by headwords of given names. I've also got an early Dutch cijnregister, but am not sure whether it contained any dates. Most of the sources I used at the time were in the library at UC Berkeley, and I no longer live there nor have such easy access. I've looked around a bit in my personal library, and the facsimiles I own are mostly for texts in English or Hungarian, not Latin.
Re your comment on the Hindu-Arabic numerals: You may notice that these are parenthetical additions to the text. Most numerals in the text are writted in Roman style, as would be expected. The Hindu-Arabic forms of dates are added for ease of the reader, and are placed in parentheses to set them off from the transcribed text. Re the hačeks: Can you provide an example of where this daicritic appears in something other than a header, footnote, or author's introduction? I'm not seeing them in the transcribed text. --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:46, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Shall we provide both letter cases, then? I think that there is certainly sufficient evidence for majuscule usage. I will have to go through and fix some things unfortunately. If we decide to use both, it will still provide us with the debate of which is the lemma, which will be very exciting. @EncycloPetey: I hope you don't resent my doubt towards your original editing decision too much. —JohnC5 03:37, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@EncycloPetey: I appreciate that it's difficult to get a general overiew of conventions from a few primary sources. The distinction between original text and editorial addition in the Spisi Dubrovačke kancelarije isn't clear to me, but anyway: volume II, page 4 has “15. Zadužnica”; volume II, page 119 has “523. Zadužnica”; and volume III, page 242 has “640. Ročište zbog duga. Die veneris VI aprilis (1296). C. Blasius Baldella legitimus procurator Thomadi Amiço” (I don't know when ⟨ç⟩ developed from the Visigothic ⟨ꝣ⟩, so that cedilla in Amiço may or may not be an anachronism). The earliest Google Book Search result I could find for Aprilis was this one from 1434; it reads “Latinos auctores Eleutherium, cuius mentio eſt in Martyrologio decimo octauo Aprilis, conſtituiſſe in Apulia: verùm Græci eundem Eleutherium in Illyrico factum Epiſcopum dicunt, quod & Martyrologium Romanum confirmat.”; as a single late-Mediaeval early-New Latin source, however, that isn't very significant. All that being said, I'm not all that convinced that we should treat Mediaeval Latin conventions as particularly authoritative; their usages, where they depart from Classical usages, have often been decried as corruptions and solecisms (read w:Renaissance Latin#Ad fontes, for example). I think JohnC5 is right to suggest that we have entries for both letter-case variants, for the reason that other Wiktionaries will vary in which letter case they choose to lemmatise, and that we shall need both in order to catch all their entries via interwiki links; finally, however, I maintain that we ought to lemmatise the majuscule-initial spellings. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:29, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
What you're noticing in the Spisi Dubrovačke kancelarije are the document identifiers. These are assigned by scholars for purposes of labelling the documents for reference, and are not part of the original work. They're a bit like line numbers, but consist of both a document number (given in Hindo-Arabic numerals) and a document title (given in Croatian in this wrok because that is the language of the editor and publisher). You're also seeing those parenthetical dates that I mentioned in my previous post. Years given in parentheses are editorial notes for the reader, and the parentheses allow the reader to spot them as editorial inclusions. So, I see no evidence that numbers or text were modernized, as your criticisms apply to numbers and words that are not part of the transcription.
I agree that we could include both capitalizations (either as entries or redirects), but see no rationale presented for changing all the lemmata to majuscule. That Classicists have denounced later forms as "corrupt" is of no relevance to Wiktionary; we are a descriptive dictionary, not a prescriptive one.
The only capitalized forms presented thus far are from modern editions of Classical texts, and from those dictionaries normalized to match the modern English editorial conventions of those Classical texts, and that is a very weak argument. You yourself wanted evidence based on scans of primary source material, and that's what I'd like to see too. Your 1434 document is not a strong case either, as the work capitalizes more than a few words whose lemma we would not capitalize: Lector, Apologia, , , &c. This appears to be one of those works that capitalizes words for emphasis, which practice can be seen in the works of John Locke in English. --EncycloPetey (talk) 15:05, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@EncycloPetey: You clearly still feel strongly about your original editorial choice. I don't care enough about this to oppose relemmatisation at the minuscule-initial spellings, as long as we retain entries for the majuscule-initial spellings, so that we can catch the aforementioned entries in other Wiktionaries via interwiki links. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 15:31, 5 June 2015 (UTC)


I am really thoroughly unsure that I've captured all the meanings of mulotage or that the ones I've captured are defined correctly. Could somebody with better French than mine take a look at google books:"mulotage" and try to improve the entry? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:57, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

  • When cats do this, it is called mousing. Is it the same for foxes? SemperBlotto (talk) 06:00, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
    • It seems that foxes can mouse too. By the way, I added the verb muloter with the "mousing" sense, although Larousse gives another meaning for what pigs do around holes (I doubt they pounce like a fox). --Type56op9 (talk) 09:22, 6 June 2015 (UTC)


In Wiktionary:Wanted entries, there is an Aramaic word ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ. I wonder where this spelling comes from. It contains the diacritic ̈ (u0308, combining diaeresis). Although u0308 is not part of the Syriac Unicode block, there are over 5000 google hits for ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ, including some on Wikipedia. The word means Aramean, and the correct Aramaic spelling is ܐܪܡܝܐ (no diaeresis). ܐܪܡܝܐ has over 450,000 google hits, including some on Wikipedia. —Stephen (Talk) 09:02, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

It comes from CAL. I figured out at one point what it means, but I forget now. Either way, I would just add it to the Syriac and Aramaic diacritics in Module:languages/data3/a and Module:languages/data3/s so that it links to the right place. I wouldn't say the spelling is wrong. --WikiTiki89 12:00, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
w:Diaeresis (diacritic)#Other uses says Syriac uses it as a plural marker, i.e. to indicate the final aleph is rather than . --WikiTiki89 12:12, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
I tried adding the diacritics to the modules, so using a template like this: {{l|arc|ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ}} should produce the correct ܐܪܡܝܐ link: ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ‎. It currently does not, I don't know what is wrong, but I will fix it soon. --WikiTiki89 14:25, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
  fixed. --WikiTiki89 15:06, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Wikitiki89: How likely is it that the etymon of the Ancient Greek Ἀραμαῖοι (Aramaîoi) is the Aramaic Syriac-script ܐܪܡܝܐ‎ or the Aramaic Hebrew-script אָרָמָיָא‎ or אֲרַמָּיָא‎? And what is the relationship between those three forms? Are they all simply the same word (but written in different scripts, like Hindi and Urdu)? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:07, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

The etymon is Aramaic and the script is irrelevant. ܐܪܡܝܐ‎ and אָרָמָיָא‎ are the same word and אֲרַמָּיָא‎ is an alternate pronunciation (perhaps influenced by Hebrew אֲרַמִּי‎). Keep in mind that these words were written without vowels simply as ארמיא‎ or even ארמייא‎. --WikiTiki89 18:12, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Great, thanks. I note from the left-hand box in the preamble to Category:Aramaic language that Aramaic is written in five scripts; in which script should entries be lemmatised? Also, is it the case (as I assume from their transliterations) that all the vowels in אָרָמָיָא(ʾārāmāyā) are long, whereas in אֲרַמָּיָא(ʾărammāyā), the first two are short and the last two are long? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:23, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
We haven't really standardized Aramaic entries yet. I would prefer if they were lemmatized in Hebrew script, but I'm biased. You are right about the vowels in אָרָמָיָא(ʾārāmāyā) all being long, but in אֲרַמָּיָא(ʾărammāyā), the first one is actually "ultra-short" (but ultra-short vowels may actually have been pronounced exactly the same as their short counterparts, no one really knows). --WikiTiki89 20:30, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: I see. Well, I for one do not feel qualified to comment on the matter (except to say that some kind of lemmatisation would be better than none). Thanks for the clarification re vowel lengths; since Ancient Greek (AFAIK) only has two lengths of vowel, I expect that any Aramaic short–ultra-short distinction would have been collapsed into Ancient Greek's short length. Does everything I've done to Ἀραμαῖοι look OK to you? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:44, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
The etymology looks fine. I don't know enough about Greek to speak for the rest. Can vowel lengths be directly determined from Ancient Greek sources? --WikiTiki89 21:14, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Thank you. And re the vowel lengths, I don't know; the Diccionario Griego–Español makes no indication of their lengths. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:10, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about directly, but Ancient Greek prosody is based on the contrast between light/short and heavy/long syllables, and there are mora-based constraints on how far the accented mora can be from the final mora, so it's often possible to tell length of vowels in the last three syllables by looking at how the accent changes with inflection, and just about any syllable if you find the word in poetry. Of course, not all of the earlier texts show the accents, and many words have a fixed accent. Also, the circumflex accent can only go on a long syllable.
In this case, though, the length of the syllable in question is irrelevant to the position or type of the accent in the forms given in the Diccionario Griego–Español, and I don't know the details of the prosodic rules even if we had a text to work from. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:39, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: If it helps, the DGE cites Strabo (the text of which is present in the entry under Ἀραμαῖοι#Usage notes), T. Flavius Josephus, an AD-2nd-century historian called Abydenus (cf. w:Abydenus (apparently circa 200 BC, but perhaps the one meant, if either Wikipedia or the DGE is mistaken)), and someone named Posidonius who was either a 2nd-century-BC historian, a 2nd-/1st-century-BC philosopher (fully "Posidonius Apamensis"), or an AD-3rd-/-4th-century physician. Might any of that be poetry?
Anyway, the Latin Aramaeī, which is a descendant of the Ancient Greek Ἀραμαῖοι (Aramaîoi), is listed by Gaffiot as Arămæi; I don't know how Félix knew that the second a is short, but it's enough to make me question my assumption that Ancient Greek would have preserved the Aramaic long vowels. I'm going to remove the pronunciatory information from both those entries until I have some better evidence on which to base transcriptions. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:27, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
My 2c would be to lemmatize on either Hebrew or Syriac (de facto, most entries and translations I've encountered are in one of those scripts)... although it does seem odd that Aramaic has a titular script and yet I've not seen any entries use it. In any case, I would rule out Palmyrene as dialectal. What script do reference works on Aramaic use? - -sche (discuss) 21:53, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@-sche: I felt that, too. One would expect Aramaic to be written in… Aramaic. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:10, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Well the thing is that all of these scripts were originally used for Aramaic. What's more is that they are all actually the same script just with letterforms that evolved in different ways; the set of consonants is exactly the same and maps one-to-one between scripts. The so-called "Hebrew" script is really the Jewish version of the Aramaic alphabet that had been adopted for Hebrew as well, replacing the Paleo-Hebrew (a.k.a. Phoenician) alphabet. The Syriac script is a cursive that developed later among non-Jews, since Jews avoided connecting letters (the Syriac script was also adopted in Arabia and evolved into the Arabic alphabet). And Unicode's so-called "Imperial Aramaic" script is just another duplicate set of codepoints intending to replicate the letterforms used during the Babylonian empire. As far as I know, no one uses the Imperial Aramaic Unicode codepoints for serious purposes (although we do have a few entries using them). The Syriac script is really only used for Classical Syriac and its descendants, while the Hebrew script is the only one that seems to be used more generally for any dialect. Which reminds me that Aramaic is a macrolanguage and thus the distiction between languages and dialects is unclear. We have a separate language code for Syriac, but not for Biblical Aramaic or Talmudic Aramaic, whose differences are no less than with Syriac. In short, it's complicated and maybe you should also hear from someone not biased towards the Hebrew script. --WikiTiki89 03:46, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
<facetious>Wait, wait, wait. We are clearly forgetting the most important and lemmatization-worth Aramaic script: the Samaritan alphabet!</facetious> (I do wish we had at least one Samaritan Aramaic lemma, though) —JohnC5 04:02, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm annoyed that I still haven't found a font that supports the Samaritan Unicode block. --WikiTiki89 15:36, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Is any one of the scripts used to write Aramaic a true alphabet (as opposed to an abjad)? Also, if you find a font that supports the Samaritan Unicode block, please let me know, because I could do with one, too. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:38, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
No, they are all essentially abjads (though not exactly "true" abjads). And like I said, they all have the same core set of 22 graphemes. --WikiTiki89 17:19, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: What do you mean by "'true' abjads"? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:39, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, in a "true" abjad, the letters would only represent consonants. Instead, there is abundant use of matres lectionis. --WikiTiki89 17:45, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Gotcha. Which of the scripts can and cannot take niqqud? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:52, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Or harakat or analogous marks? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:54, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
The Hebrew script and the Syriac script each have their own systems for vowel markings. The Hebrew script actually has obsolete alternate systems, some of which are similar to the Syriac system. Syriac itself has a few variations. Imperial Aramaic never had any vowel markings. --WikiTiki89 17:59, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Wikitiki89, I'm so meta even this acronym: Re Samaritan Aramaic, I too have wished there were a font. Do we not know of anyone within the wide world of Wikimedia whom we could ask to make use some Wikimedia fonts? I feel like there must be someone... —JohnC5 20:02, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Font support for Unicode block Samaritan. —Stephen (Talk) 21:33, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. They all seem to display Samaritan left-to-right, rather than correctly right-to-left, but still they are better than nothing. --WikiTiki89 22:46, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Scratch that, they work fine. --WikiTiki89 22:52, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
At long last I can view the Samaritan in this etymology! —JohnC5 22:57, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I have a feeling that's spelled wrong anyway (as a reverse transliteration from the transliteration). --WikiTiki89 23:00, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Here's the source. I have no idea. —JohnC5 23:02, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Oh, so I was half right. The Samaritans themselves were the ones who spelled it wrong, not us. --WikiTiki89 23:05, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
FYI, I'm rather busy of late, but if there are any other scripts you cannot find a font for, I sometimes make fonts. I think Liliana also sometimes makes fonts. - -sche (discuss) 01:25, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

Why don't numerals link to their plurals?

No link from billion to billions, or from quindecillion to quindecillions, etc. Shouldn't the "Numeral" part of speech support a plural, like "Noun" does? Equinox 11:44, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Billion is a noun, not a numeral. It's always preceded by some other determiner. —CodeCat 13:30, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Yep. "Billions of dollars", but not "five billions dollars". "the decimal for 1/3 has lot's of threes in it", but not "threes feet". Chuck Entz (talk) 13:56, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
These entries clearly need revisiting, then, to change them to nouns. Equinox 14:02, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
(e/c) "Billion" is both a noun and a numeral and should have a separate POS header for each. Chuck gave examples of it being a noun. Examples of it being a numeral are "a billion apples" (not "a billion of apples"), "three billion apples" (not "three billions of apples"). --WikiTiki89 14:03, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that the principal use of billion is as a noun. One large class of such uses is as a component of cardinal numbers (subset of numerals). It is of a class of similar words like dozen, ten, score, trillion, googleplex and an open class of others. This class has a usage pattern that differs from terms like two, forty-three, two billion. Though all numerals could in principle be used as plural nouns (in forty-threes ("in groups of 43")), most have a very, very small ratio of plural to unmarked usage. It seems silly to include noun sections for most numerals. OTOH we are clearly missing something by not including the noun PoS for words like billion. Perhaps a reasonable solution would be to have both numeral and noun PoS sections for the simple numeral words and only numeral PoS sections for the compound numerals, like forty-three. DCDuring TALK 16:35, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
We went through a discussion on this issue some time ago, with no progress. I'd favor including a Noun section for terms like hundred, thousand, million, billion, trillion, but agree that it would be unproductive to do so for most numerals. We will, of course, also need a Noun section for those numeral terms with additional definitions when used as a noun, such as one referring to a one-dollar bill. --EncycloPetey (talk) 22:14, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Where does something like threes fit into this? Purplebackpack89 22:28, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89: Plural of three, Noun section. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:04, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
I suppose we would also need thirties, as in "Today's high temperature will be in the low thirties", etc., but not one-hundred-thirties. DCDuring TALK 00:23, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Most of the numbers below 200 are probably attested in the plural, either from things like "her heart rate was in the one hundred thirties" (a real example from google books:"one hundred thirties") or "she ordered two seventy-fives" (from the menu), or "he wrote three ninety-ones" (he wrote "91 91 91"), etc. - -sche (discuss) 00:38, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
How would one give one-hundred-thirty a definition that was substitutable in the plural? For that matter, how would one define thirty to do so?
It's all coming back to me now: this is why I never got much involved in the PoS header debates about Cardinal number, Ordinal Number, Number, and Numeral. DCDuring TALK 01:12, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@I'm so meta even this acronym:: Maybe I should rephrase: Doesn't threes (or thirties) have the same problem in its relationship to three (or thirty) that billions has to billion? Purplebackpack89 04:09, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89: They're analogous, yes, but what's the problem? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 11:22, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@I'm so meta even this acronym:: I guess the problem is the problem Equinox posited to begin this thread. Purplebackpack89 14:39, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89: Yeah, but I think that's been resolved now. IMO, we should add noun sections to all the entries for numerals which have nominal usage attested. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:42, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
All well and good, but who will do it? The more essential part of this is to get the non-compound number words corrected and to get appropriate definitions for the plural senses. It would be necessary to define thirties as something like "the numbers, usually the integers, from 30 to 39 or the associated quantity, such as temperature or year." I don't know whether a single definition is sufficient even with usage examples for the important instances. DCDuring TALK 15:17, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I think for things like "in the thirties" or "in the three-hundreds", we would need separate plurale tantum lemmas. --WikiTiki89 15:37, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: What are your thoughts on the definition I've added to thirties and the similar one I added to nineties? Purplebackpack89 17:10, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring, Wikitiki89: The OED (2nd ed., 1989) has:
  1. twenty, numeral a. and n. B.4. “pl. The numbers from 20 to 29; the years in a century or of one's life, or the degrees of any scale (e.g. of a thermometer) so numbered.”
  2. thirty, a. and n. B.2. “the thirties: the years of which the numbers begin with 30; the fourth decade of a century.”, B.2.b. “attrib. spec. Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the 1930s.”
  3. forty, a. and n. B.1.b. “the forties: the years between 40 and 50 of a century or of one's life.”
  4. fifty, a. and n. B.2.b. “the fifties: the years between fifty and sixty in a particular century or in one's life.”
  5. sixty, a. and n. B.2. “Sixty years of age. Also sixty-one, sixty-two, etc.”, B.3. “pl. The years from 60 to 69 in a century or in a person's life. Now spec. the period 1960–9.”
  6. seventy, a. and n. B.1. “A set of seventy persons or things; †a period of seventy years.”, B.2. “the seventies: the decade 70 to 79 in a particular century or in a person's life.”
  7. eighty, a. (n.) 2. “quasi-n.   a. The age of eighty years.   b. the eighties: the years between eighty and ninety in a particular century.”
  8. ninety, a. and n. 2. “the nineties.   a. The degrees of a thermometer between ninety and a hundred.   b. The years between ninety and a hundred in a particular century or in a person's life; (spec.) the years between 1890 and 1899. Also attrib.”
Notable also are two third-edition (September 2003) entries:
  1. ninety, adj. and n. B.2. “Ninety people or things identified contextually, as years of age, pounds, degrees (esp. Fahrenheit), etc.”, B.4. “In pl. Also 'Nineties. Freq. with the. The numbers from ninety to ninety-nine inclusive. [¶] a. Freq. with capital initial. The years from ninety to ninety-nine inclusive in a particular century (esp. the 19th or 20th). […¶] b. The years of a person's life between turning ninety and one hundred. [¶] c. The degrees of a thermometer from ninety to ninety-nine inclusive Fahrenheit (equivalent to approx. 32–8°C), esp. indicating very hot weather.”
  2. nineties, adj. a. “attrib. Of, relating to, or characteristic of the years from ninety to ninety-nine inclusive in a particular century (esp. the 19th or 20th).”
Perhaps all that can inspire a solution. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:36, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον

What is our policy on proper nouns with an article in the middle? Should the full form be τὸ Πνεῦμᾰ τὸ Ἅγῐον? —JohnC5 07:40, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

1. Why is this in RFV? Did you mean to post in the TR?
2. I'm pretty sure our informal policy is for pagetitles to be just as Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον (Pneûma tò Hágion) is currently formatted; cf. Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας (Aléxandros ho Mégas) (which really should created, but I don't feel like doing it right now). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 08:38, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
You are right, it should be in TR. I...well...oops. To be honest, we can just take this down, if you say that's how it is normally done―I was just curious. —JohnC5 08:46, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

About the word precedence

Hi everyone anyone can elaborate to me please the word precedence that we use in making a gantt chart? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 09:35, 5 June 2015.

Sentience vs. Sapience

The word Sentient has been used in science-fiction to denote self awareness, i.e. in alien lifeforms and artificial intelligence. -But is this perhaps a popular misnomer?

I was convinced sentience implied the ability to feel through senses, whereas the word sapience more accurately described an entity capable of wisdom and/or self awareness. (i.e. Homo Sapiens).

Is this the case and can we change the corresponding articles?

GH0S7M4N (talk) 16:36, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

No, that's not the case. Equinox 16:41, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I think you're reading too much into the etymology: sentiēns can refer to feeling through senses, but it can also refer to perceiving mentally- either way, the meaning of the English word is independent of the meaning of the Latin word it came from. My favorite illustration of the problem with your approach is the word nice, which comes from nescius (ignorant, not knowing). English means what speakers of English have used and have understood it to mean, not what its etymology might suggest it should mean. That's not to say that it can't also mean "feeling through senses"- but that would depend on whether English speakers actually use it that way, and it's not the primary meaning. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:18, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

driving school

I've added a few translations for driving school today. Then I thought "SOP?". How about language school? Both seem both SOP and non-SOP at the same time, which is kind of Schrödingerly. --Type56op9 (talk) 09:05, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

A few lemmings have this. driving school at OneLook Dictionary Search shows quite a few, but some are empty, others are just followers of WordNet. The principal departure from full transparency is that these are not stereotypical schools, but the use of the term school to include training in vocational or hobby skills (eg, cooking, secretarial skills, cosmetology) is common. DCDuring TALK 09:41, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Since Collins[1] and Macmillan[2] have it and there are multiple single-word non-compound translations (see edit summary of the creation), I went ahead and created the entry. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:24, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
    I may be wrong in stating that the translations are non-compounds. Nonetheless, the translations cannot be obtained by word-for-word translation of "driving school"; they seem to be like "car school". --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:31, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

A new taxlink template?

{{taxlink}} is used in many of the entries that include taxonomic names. I am interested in whether there is any interest in or objection to a new version.

Current version: Microcotylidae
Draft of new version: MicrocotylidaeWP WSp Commons
The draft version in an entry is at microcotylid, but there is no corresponding project page in any of the the three projects.

The differences in the new one are:

  1. missing Wiktionary entries are more apparent and "what links here" works on hovering over the redlink.
  2. it is more clear that clicking on the superscripted items leads on to another project
  3. links to Wikipedia and WikiCommons are added
  4. the links to other projects could remain even if a Wiktionary article existed

All of these differences count as advantages to me personally in working on the entries, but they are by no means essential.

This is a draft version. A more mature version would show a black superscripted link if a parameter were set, as when there is no corresponding article in a project. The link to Commons should be to a category, which almost always exists, not a page, which often doesn't exist. A further complexifying improvement would allow alternative names for each project link, most useful for WP, which often uses vernacular names for articles on taxa. DCDuring TALK 18:26, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

The redlink is good, since you can't create an entry via the current template's display. Eventually a preload would be nice. The WP link is probably a good idea, since WSp is almost useless to the average user if there isn't an exact match- which is quite frequent with older names. Commons linking is pretty pointless for non-editors more often than not. As for the links staying: I consider those a poor stopgap substitute, since they're normally just guesses at where further information might be. They're often better than nothing, but that's not saying much. By the way: could you make it so your examples here don't add categories to this page? Chuck Entz (talk) 21:02, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: Thanks for the assessment.
I wondered whether Commons was worth the space it takes up. I suppose it would help to display "Images" instead of "Commons", but is that enough to help users get value from the complication?
Wikispecies links are at least usually to the taxonomic name, whereas WP links would need to be to a vernacular name. Another approach is to always put the most common vernacular name (where there is a common vernacular name) or the one used by WP next to the taxonomic name. Then the vernacular name would bear the WP link and the taxon only the Wikispecies link, plus the Commons/Images link, should it be retained.
I wish I could avoid the inappropriate categorization. I can barely manage what little I do with templates. I will attempt to mimic what other templates do, unless it involves Module space. DCDuring TALK 22:44, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

different kettle of fish, kettle of fish

Can anyone confirm that the

is rather awkwardly linked to

as a synonym? My reading is that this synonym is listed for the "different situation" (the one with non-negative connotation) meaning while "can of worms" is generally a troublesome situation which carries a negative connotation, right? Sorry for barging in like this, but this is related to some other term I created recently so I'm kind of in a hurry because I'm feeling rather blank. Cheers! --biblbroksдискашн 19:27, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. I basically agree with your assessment. I had noticed the awkwardness of the claimed synonymy but did nothing about.
I agree that kettle of fish is neutral in its application whereas can of worms is used in situations that are negative, especially because they are complex, hard to define, or awkward to deal with. One dictionary defines can of worms as "an intertwined set of problems", which captures a much of the metaphor. I think can of worms is used of situations that can be ignored, ie, they are not worth solving. Another suggested synonym for can of worms is hornets' nest, but that metaphor suggests some danger and accident. Some dictionaries suggest Pandora's box, but that suggests overwhelming difficulties, beyond human ability to control. Each metaphor brings different connotations to a crude, WordNet-like definition which might have them as synonyms. DCDuring TALK 22:33, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. Glad to know my guess was not wrong. Anyway, I modified the entry which was bugging me because of this situation with the "kettle of fish" (if anyone's interested it is the drugi par opanaka#Serbo-Croatian entry). Don't know if kettle of fish should be adjusted, though. --biblbroksдискашн 12:37, 30 June 2015 (UTC)


See google books:"bo't of". What's it mean? "he or the Thomas Wright next above, bo't of John Wright" suggests it could mean "brother", but then there are things like "Daniel Cox; [...] bo't of Edward Billing" where that interpretation seems less likely. The plural seems to be "bo't", see google books:"two bo't of". - -sche (discuss) 23:32, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

I'd say bought. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:08, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Aha! That seems likely. Thank you. - -sche (discuss) 01:32, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Pronunciation of English words with -ag-

For dragon and others with -ag- I fail to hear /æ/ for some reason.

Either I forgot the pronunciation myself, or that dialect differences, or that the surrounding sounds just make it hard for my own ears to detect.

I live in Canada. Hillcrest98 (talk) 01:53, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

I hear /æ/ in my pronunciation, and also in standard UK & US pronunciations (I live in the US). I have heard variation regionally where the sound is slightly different, but not so much that I could consider it a different vowel sound. The case may be different in some part of Canada, and I'd not be surprised if it differed in Australia. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:08, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Depending on where you are in Canada, your accent may have æ-tensing before velar consonants, resulting in pronunciations like [ˈdreɡən] or [ˈdrɛɡən]. —JohnC5 03:19, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
There we go. I knew it was some sort of accent issue. Thanks for the answer. Hillcrest98 (talk) 17:05, 13 June 2015 (UTC)


This entry has no part of speech, it just says "word". Is nothing at all known about it, other than that it is used? What should its part of speech be? —CodeCat 18:13, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

As it is now, the entry should be deleted; it has absolutely no information and is completely useless. If we locate that requested quotation, then it would be worth keeping, and it might help us decide what header to use. --WikiTiki89 18:20, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
It is not completely useless. It indicates that authorities have found the search for the meaning to be fruitless. WT:CFI says: "A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means." There is nothing in CFI that says that a term has to actually have a definition or a PoS. If our entry structure and category have no room for such things, so much the worse for them. DCDuring TALK 18:30, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
It wouldn't be completely useless if there were at least a quotation. --WikiTiki89 18:36, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Added. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 10:30, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Is more context available for that? DCDuring TALK 13:25, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: The pertaining footnote (by the editor, Karl Otfried Müller, I assume) reads:
  • 6. Amosio annuo] glossa obscurissima. Scal. contulit: Annos, annua πολυετής, ut legitur in Glossario Labb. et corr. in Paulo: annos, annua. Annos autem vult deflecti in genitivum annotis, unde annotinus.
 — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:42, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry. I hadn't followed the links in the entry. The entry has as much context as any real Latinist could want. DCDuring TALK 14:06, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
My Latin is not so great. Could someone explain to me what this book is? If the surrounding lines are relevant, they should be added. If not, this quotation is pretty useless. --WikiTiki89 15:01, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
The quotation is of the only known use. Attestation in Latin requires but one use AFAIK. You have come to the same conclusion as the three authorities cited without having spent half a lifetime on classical language studies. DCDuring TALK 15:22, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but you haven't answered my question about what this book is and what the surrounding lines are about. --WikiTiki89 15:35, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
That's because I can't. DCDuring TALK 15:36, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Because you can't, or because no one can? --WikiTiki89 15:38, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring, Wikitiki89: The citation comes from a nineteenth-century edition of Paul the Deacon's epitome of Sextus Pompeius Festus's De significatione verborum (On the meaning of words), itself an epitome of the De verborum significatu of Verrius Flaccus (55 BC–AD 20); accordingly, it counts as a Classical Latin citation (which is why it is cited by the Oxford Latin Dictionary). — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:14, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
So why is this not counted as a mention in a dictionary? --WikiTiki89 16:23, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: According to WT:CFI#Number of citations, that is neither here nor there vis-à-vis Latin. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:56, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
So is this book in our "list of materials deemed appropriate as the only sources for entries based on a single mention"? --WikiTiki89 17:00, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: If that source is good enough for Lewis & Short, du Cange, Gaffiot, and the OLD, then it certainly should be for us. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:05, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
It is an impressive set of lemmings to follow. DCDuring TALK 17:08, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Other dictionaries have different criteria from us. If CFI says we have to have a list of appropriate sources for mentions, then we have to have such a list and follow it. --WikiTiki89 17:23, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: OK. Well, on its own strengths, Paulus Diaconus' epitome epitomes of Verrius Flaccus' De verborum significatu is one of three major dictionaries of the Latin language to have survived from antiquity; the other two are Nonius Marcellus' De compendiosa doctrina and Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae. A mention in any one of those sources should definitely be sufficient for any one of our entries. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 19:44, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
If that is the case, then we should have a list and this should be on it. I don't get why this is so difficult. --WikiTiki89 19:51, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Where does the list go? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:11, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
No idea. Maybe we even already have one. --WikiTiki89 20:13, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: I've put the list in Wiktionary:About Latin#Attestation, for want of a better place for it. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 22:34, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe that the added quotation is one. Doesn't the original text mean that the word just means annuo? SemperBlotto (talk) 15:41, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: Yes, but annuo the verb, adjective, noun, or adverb? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:35, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Hmm. I suppose we could look for inflected forms. SemperBlotto (talk) 13:39, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
@SemperBlotto: Of annuo or amosio? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:58, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
There’s {{uncertain}} for this type of situation. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:47, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
As the noun and the adjective are just inflected forms, it should refer to the verb annuo (well, is an inflected form too, but some dictionaries &c. use that form as the basic formm and not the infinitive). And if amosio is a synonym of the verb annuo, then it should be a verb too. ... 07:18, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
You would have to look at the rest of this particular dictionary and see if it follows that pattern. --WikiTiki89 15:07, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
@, Wikitiki89: It doesn't. Compare perfinēs. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:57, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Are dative or ablative nouns ever used as entries in it? --WikiTiki89 18:02, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about such forms of nouns, but consider this:
Ulteriōre is an ablative singular comparative adjective. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:38, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I actually meant to say nouns or adjectives. But yes, you've shown that it could be any one of the meanings of annuo. --WikiTiki89 19:00, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Aye, unfortunately. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 19:08, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Food Broker

food broker is marked for deletion, fine, Wikipedia didn't want it either. I'd like to know where my citations went though? Like to know why it didn't meet the criteria for a Wiktionary article? —This comment was unsigned.

In principle citations for food broker would be at Citations:food broker, but the "References" don't look like they would meet the requirement of valid citations. DCDuring TALK 21:49, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

possible new sense of take?

From rasselas, prince of abyssinia, by johnson: "Here Imlac entered, and interrupted them. “Imlac,” said Rasselas, “I have been taking from the Princess the dismal history of private life, and am almost discouraged from further search.”" (very beginning of chapter XXX) Take obviously has many senses, but I looked through the existing entry and this doesn't seem to fit any of them.

  • It is a short form of take down - meaning take notes. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:40, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
    • Based on context, I don't think so. They (rasselas and the princess) have a long conversation but there's no indication that he was writing anything and it seems out of place to use that here. If you disagree please read the preceeding chapter, the book is long out of copyright and on gutenberg if you'd like.Telmac (talk) 16:53, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
      • In this context, I think it means "learn", which is pretty common. --WikiTiki89 16:55, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
        • Not so sure, certainly "take a course", but that's intuitively for me not the same sense here, and if you look at the definition given on the current wiktionary page for the "take a course" sense it's definitely not the same. Telmac (talk) 16:57, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for pointing out the deficiency. I agree that we lack the appropriate definition. MWOnline, for example, has "to get in or as if in writing <take notes> <take an inventory>" (emphasis added) among its 80 or so transitive definitions of take. (There are also 11 intransitive definitions.) We don't seem to have a corresponding definition among the 30 or so that we have that are labelled as transitive, nor do we have one that can be imagined to include that definition and usage AFAICT. We also have many definitions that are not labelled as either transitive or intransitive.
Common verbs like take, get, set are among the hardest terms to get a comprehensive set of definitions for. You may want to check with other dictionaries at, eg take at OneLook Dictionary Search, especially the more complete ones available there, such as MWOnline, American Heritage, Random House, and Webster New World. DCDuring TALK 17:06, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Another possible definition from MWOnline is "to accept as true : believe <I'll take your word for it>". DCDuring TALK 17:15, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I have overhauled take quite extensively. I suppose the quotation above is using the sense "assume, suppose" (I take it from her comments...), "draw, derive or deduce" ("what moral to take from this story"), or "get in or as if in writing" ("took a mental inventory"). - -sche (discuss) 17:59, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

well, well and well, well, well

Previously "well, well" said "(dated, US, Canada)", but it is also used in the UK, where it is not dated. I'm not sure how to indicate in the "context" tag that it is current in the UK but dated in the US and Canada. I tried something but it may not be right. Please someone fix it if it's meant to be done in another way. Whatever is done to "well, well" also needs to be done to "well, well, well" which is also current usage in the UK. Thanks. 12:01, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

@ Done and done. :-)  — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:17, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! 17:29, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
well, well is dated in the US ? Leasnam (talk) 21:10, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, wellX2 was much more common than wellX3 fomerly, but they seem more or less equal according to a quick look at COHA. Both seem in decline. DCDuring TALK 22:03, 13 June 2015 (UTC)


Can we verify the pronunciation /ˈd(j)uːʃi/, which (depending on the yod-droppingness of one's accent) is either homophonous or rhymes with douchy? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:20, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

  • It's more like "dutchy" in the UK (ˈdʌ.tʃi/ probably, but I don't do IPA). SemperBlotto (talk) 14:33, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • In the US, too, which is why I'm skeptical that it's ever pronounced "d(y)ooshey". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:39, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
@Aɴɢʀ, SemperBlotto: The OED lists only the pronunciation /ˈdʌtʃɪ/, which is the only pronunciation I've ever heard (well, more like SB's /ˈdʌtʃi/, really). — I.S.M.E.T.A. 15:05, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
In the UK I only ever hear /ˈdʌtʃiː/. I'm not a pronunciation expert (far from it), but I have never understood the common dictionary practice of showing -y words pronounced as -ɪ, the same vowel as in "fit" or "hit", for example. For example, if you look at, the pronunciation is given as dʌtʃɪ, but for me the speaker in the sound clip clearly says "-ee" at the end. I don't know if my ears are wrong, or if I am misunderstanding how IPA works. 17:40, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
You should visit the north of England where the short "/ɪ/" ending is common ("city" being pronounced with two identical vowels), though I admit that the Third Edition of the OED is making concessions to your southern pronunciation. Dbfirs 20:34, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Dictionaries, especially older ones, often give /ɪ/ for the final vowel of words like pretty and honey, because that used to be a widespread sophisticated pronunciation in upper-class British English (RP), and was also found in other varieties such as Southern U.S. English. Nowadays dictionaries are moving towards using /i/ instead to reflect the most common vowel in current speech. (See Phonological history of English high front vowels#Happy-tensing for more.) However, what I'm interested in is the first syllable of this word, since our article currently claims there's an alternative pronunciation "d(y)ooshey", which I would like to remove if it can't be confirmed. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:27, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and remove it. It is not in MW or ODE. --WikiTiki89 18:31, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Months in Albanian

What is correct form and capitalisation of months in Albanian? ie. English Wiktionary has word qershor for June (copied across other languages), but Albanian Wiktionary and Wikipedia has article sq:Qershori. --Mikko Paananen (talk) 15:06, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

The results in google books:"qershor" and google books:"qershori" all seem to be lowercase when in the middle of a sentence. --WikiTiki89 15:13, 11 June 2015 (UTC)


Is there really a singular noun? Isn't it always used in the plural? 02:05, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Having written that, I thought of an example: "This surrounding protects the X from the Y", when describing a mechanism or the like. But that's not a sense given in the entry as it stands. 02:10, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

οὐδείς#Ancient Greek

Are the dual and the feminine/neuter plural attestable? In several dictionaries (Logeion ~> LSJ &c.; Pape) and grammar books (Smyth (& Messing); Goodwin) only singular and masculine plural are mentioned... - 06:58, 12 June 2015 (UTC)


Now this looks like a noun, but it does not seem to be used alone - only in combinations such as bluntnose sixgill shark and bluntnose minnow. How do we define such words? (may be as an adjective - a form of blunt-nosed?) SemperBlotto (talk) 15:15, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

It could be a noun that is frequently used "attributively". I can find a few standalone uses, even in the plural, such as
  • 1872, Oneida circular, volumes 9-10, page 235:
    These crested Bluntnoses we found upon all the islands. The slightly crested Bluntnose we found only on Albemarle and Indefatigable.
  • 1872, Our Dumb Animals, volumes 5-8, page 262:
    The Bluntnoses (lizards) were more shy than we had expected.
(curiously both from the same year) - -sche (discuss) 16:14, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll define it accordingly. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:17, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

pale shadow

Is it, or "pale shadow of", idiomatic? - -sche (discuss) 20:18, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

shadow ("An imperfect and faint representation" (Wiktionary sense 6); "an attenuated form or a vestigial remnant" (MWOnline)); pale (feeble, faint).
I think not. DCDuring TALK 21:56, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
But the collocation is common enough that it belongs somewhere in a usex. DCDuring TALK 01:04, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
See pale#Adjective sense 3. DCDuring TALK 18:39, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! - -sche (discuss) 17:29, 16 June 2015 (UTC)


Hi. Just made the page kaputski. It's a curious etymology. I'd appreciate it a lot if the page could look like decent. Also, I was rather sad to find that there is no Category:Faux-German faux-Russian English colloquialisms --Type56op9 (talk) 17:16, 13 June 2015 (UTC)


Relative newbie here. Doesn't this need citations? 22:44, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

No. You are confusing us with Wikipedia. Here a word must meet the criteria of WT:CFI, which in a nutshell is that the word be attested (through clearly widespread use, or use in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year). The attestation does not have to accompany the entry unless someone challenges it (WT:RFV). —Stephen (Talk) 23:17, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Ah, thank you. I will give those pages a decent read. It's just that I heard the tem in Peter Tosh's Steppin' Razor on YouTube here and lyrics here, and nowhere else. Chuck, yes, Chucky, no, save where someone sticks a "y" into any random name. 23:31, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
The entry explains that it is a diminutive of the male given name Chuck. Chucky is pretty common in the U.S. Have a look here. —Stephen (Talk) 23:37, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Ah, Google book search. Very good, and thanks again. 23:39, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

  • The definition says that "Chucky" is a diminutive of "Chuck". But Chuck itself is usually a diminutive of "Charles". Shouldn't Charles be linked at least somewhere? Purplebackpack89 00:26, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
    Good catch. Yes, IMO.
    Interesting (to me, being unschooled in phonetics) that so many male English nicknames are monosyllabic ending in k (also t and p). The ones that don't so end more closely resemble the name they are a substitute for. DCDuring TALK 01:01, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
  • How is Chuck a diminutive? DCDuring TALK 18:48, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
    • It's a nickname for Charles, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a diminutive. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:00, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
      Some of our Dutch contributors seem to toss the word diminutive around in a sense that doesn't seem right to me. In particular it is often inappropriate to use it to characterize many shortened forms of names. Jimmy I can accept as a diminutive of James, but not Jim. Further, both might be nicknames for James, but nowadays they are often used as given names themselves. DCDuring TALK 20:12, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
A number of entries, particularly those related to "Charles", appear to use the word "diminutive" where many English speakers would use "nickname". Chuck, Chucky, Chaz, Chas and Charlie are all nicknames whose entries refer to them as diminutives. Purplebackpack89 20:29, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
I could accept Charlie/Charley as diminutives, but not the others. DCDuring TALK 20:45, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
According to Wolfram|Alpha, even Chaz is used as a given name for births in the US more than a hundred times per year, Charlie 1551 times a year, Charly 103 times per year, and Charley 89 times per year. Perhaps our assumptions about using nickname as the sole definition is wrong. DCDuring TALK 21:09, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
That's not a lot, when you compare to Charles or Michael, or to the total universe of boy names in a given year. And while they may be given names now, they all were originally (and still can be) nicknames of Charles. Purplebackpack89 05:15, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
But birth records are durably archived. DCDuring TALK 10:12, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps hypocoristic of as it refers both to nicknames and diminutives? —JohnC5 07:26, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Another contribution toward making Wiktionary less likely to be used by normal folks, but more fun for us. And it doesn't actually solve the problem, just adding an obscure synonym for nickname, that has another definition that is completely inappropriate. DCDuring TALK 10:06, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree with DCDuring, go with "nickname". Are there any true diminutives that aren't analysable as nicknames? - -sche (discuss) 17:27, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't see why we don't have two definitions, by rebuttable presumption, for any name that is a nickname to recognize that it is also "A forename, a name chosen for a child, usually by the child's parents; a first name.", ie, a given name.
BTW, forename is a decidedly uncommon word in both COCA and BNC. Why is it used as a defining term with respect to English names? I can easily understand why we wouldn't want to use Christian name as a defining term. But why not use first name? DCDuring TALK 17:58, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Google Ngrams gives "first name" as about eight times as common as "forename" in British English, but the latter is a single word and tends to be used as a field heading in databases. The problem with "first name" is that it is (marginally) more likely to be misunderstood by those who put their "given name" last. By the way, "forename" is about half as common as "given name" in British English. Dbfirs 20:25, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

New word

I would like to suggest a new word in the following category. Chinglish = Chinese/English Tinglish = Thai/English New word: Taiwanglish = Taiwanese/English —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 07:25, 14 June 2015.

  • Feel free to use it. If enough other people use it and it gets into print we could probably eventually add it here. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:19, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
@ We already have entries for Chinglish and Tinglish. New words must meet the requirements of WT:CFI to be given entries. Fortunately enough, whilst Taiwanglish is rare, the results yielded by searching google books:"Taiwanglish" and google groups:"Taiwanglish" show that the word just about qualifies for inclusion. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:26, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
You could add your word here: Appendix:List of protologisms. - 06:30, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've created an entry for it. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:26, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

"tuck your stomach in"

What does tuck mean in "tuck your stomach in"? Does it mean to suck your stomach in? I read about it here. I'm not sure we cover this sense at tuck or suck. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:45, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like someone's confusing "suck your stomach in" with "tuck your shirt in". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:30, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Well it definitely means to look sharp while doing so. Simply sucking in your stomach can make your midsection look hollow and concave. Tucking implies making it look neat, like tucking in your shirt. Leasnam (talk) 23:49, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
"Simply sucking in your stomach can make your midsection look hollow and concave." Maybe for some people. I don't think that's how you can define it. DCDuring TALK 12:58, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't think they're confusing it with ‘suck’ at all – I often hear ‘tuck’. In yoga you hear it all the time – ‘tuck your stomach’. It means to tighten your abdominal muscles, rather than to suck your whole stomach in concavely. Ƿidsiþ 13:08, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

incorrigable - request

incorrigable: Can someone make a new page for this word, and add the necessary information? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:03, 15 June 2015.

I think you mean incorrigible; we have it. Equinox 22:08, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
But in the future, if we really don't have it, you can add it yourself rather than asking someone else to do it. --WikiTiki89 22:11, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Incorrigable occurs about 1,100 times (1/1,000th as often as incorrigible) in Google books (raw count), not at all in COCA. It may seem to DanP that we must have it as a common misspellling, but not to me. DCDuring TALK 00:15, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
FWIW: I can find references which proscribe the "-able" spelling since at least the 1850s. With the same searches, I can also find uses of it in Kindergarten Primary Magazine, the documents of the Michigan State legislature, and two dictionaries, viz. Cartwright's 1907 Siamese-English Dictionary and the 1879 Complete Concordance to the Old and New Testament: Or, A Dictionary and Alphabetical Indix to the Bible, but those works all also use the "-ible" spelling, suggesting that their uses of the "-able" spelling are unintentional errors rather than intentional uses of a not-standard spelling. - -sche (discuss) 08:16, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Do we still limit misspellings to "common" ones? Is this common enough? DCDuring TALK 12:56, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

That French pphhrrt noise

When French people are unsure about something or don't care about it, sometimes they do the "pphhrrt" noise. (Close your mouth and squirt air towards the front, so it comes out in a sort of plosive fart.) The usage is a bit like pfft in English, but less sarcastic, and the sound is different. Has this sound got a name, or even a spelling? Is there a writeable interjection? Equinox 00:12, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

The best candidates I found at Wiktionnaire are fr:peuh, fr:pfut, and fr:putt. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:45, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

must be something in the water/air

...which is causing people to behave a certain way. Worth an entry? - -sche (discuss) 09:11, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Also genes, blood, food. Variations on water include drinking water, coffee, and snow (about Minnesota). This often (more than half the time) occurs without must be.
OTOH there are the uses of must be/must have been with other nouns without something in the, mostly variations on water, air, genes, and blood, eg, coffee.
It seems like a snowclone or "construction", the noun representing a mysterious common cause, but it shades into the construction with any cause not known with certainty.
It is easy to understand why, on the one hand, no OneLook dictionary has it, but on the other hand there are titles of authored works that have the form something in the X.
By my lights this doesn't make a good entry. Our efforts to have snowclone-type entries don't seem to have much traction either. DCDuring TALK 10:24, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

rip, ripper (CD, DVD. etc)

Shouldn't the "copy"/"produce (a copy) from an original" senses of rip appear under a separate etymology header as back-formations from (or at least "influenced by") rip off? The usage seems much more common in the context of copying copyrighted material than simply converting from one format or medium to another. DCDuring TALK 12:54, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Are you sure that it has anything to do with rip off? I always thought of it as a metaphor for physically tearing the content off of the disk, not as scamming someone. --WikiTiki89 13:43, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
If I were sure, I would have just made the change. And I am interested in the early uses of the term. Now the terms are so common and much extended to many situations that your reaction may be typical.
One use of the term is with the object being the destination form of the copy. I think that is a development of the early use, which had the source as object.
But why does the use of rip (when the object noun is the source of the copying) even now have a higher relative frequency of use with copyrighted content than with other sources? For example, one might say "I ripped the CD of his wedding photos", but it doesn't seem to me as good a use of the expression as "I ripped all the movie DVDs in his collection". DCDuring TALK 14:35, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
In my experience, "rip" is only used when copying a disk formatted using CD/DVD specific formats onto a file system, regardless of the copyright status of the content. A CD with wedding photos is already a file system, no different from an external hard drive, and is therefore copied, not ripped. Copying a CD/DVD to another CD/DVD is also copying and not ripping, regardless of its copyright status. --WikiTiki89 14:57, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I had a look on usenet (which is where I'd expect the term to have development), and I can't find much evidence that would suggest an evolution from "rip off". If there was, you'd expect there to be use of "rip" with other media that carry copyrighted material - game floppies or cassette tapes, for instance. There's one use of "rip tapes" that clearly uses it to mean "copy copyrighted material", but otherwise, there's virtually no use of "rip" that I can find pre-2000 that doesn't refer to CDs - the earliest hit for "rip a tape" is someone pedantically explaining that you can't rip tapes because they're not digital! Similarly, one early post makes a pedantic distinction between copying a CD and ripping it (i.e. turning its contents into a computer file). I think the rip off definition may have helped the term stick in the mind, but I don't think it was the main influence on the term. Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:02, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for stilling the nagging suspicion. It is at most "influenced by" rip off, but not sufficiently or known with sufficient certainty to be worth documenting. DCDuring TALK 15:15, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
The OED cross-references the CD sense of the verb with "rip off" without actually saying this is the etymology. Its first citation for the verb "rip" in this sense is "1982 Business Week 31 May 28/3 The user who rips off (an applications) software program and makes a copy to give a friend is a different class of pirate." SemperBlotto (talk) 15:36, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
It is unclear whether in that quote "rip off" is meant as "to scam" or just "rip" + "off". --WikiTiki89 15:39, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
It is quite clear from history that by 1982 the "to steal" sense was what was intended, especially by the copyright owners who, then and now, attempt to establish that cpying copyrighted material is stealing. They would probably hav been able to influence the content of the Business Week article to that extent. DCDuring TALK 17:44, 16 June 2015 (UTC)


Where does the plural -s come from here (and in the related Mädels)? Surely these words are too deeply ingrained in the German language for this to be French or English influence - it seems as unlikely as childs becoming an acceptable plural for child. Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:26, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

It's a Low German suffix. It's been applied to a number of words, such as Jungs, Jungens, Mädels, Muttis, Lebehochs, Vergissmeinnichts, Stelldicheins and Eingesandts, and words ending in -er and -el that otherwise have plurals indistinguishable from their singulars, e.g. Lehrers, Lagers, Onkels, etc — but it's been the subject of some push and pull. The January 1908 Zeitschrift des Allgemeinen Deutschen Sprachvereins (23rd year, number 5, page 158) calls it "a desired and, as far as we can see, the only help for making [certain widerspenstige] words plural", and says "North German Sprachgefühl which hasn't been influenced by schoolmasters finds nothing objectionable about it"; the paper pooh-poohs those who pooh-pooh the suffix. But in 1927, Theodor Steche suggests in Die neuhochdeutsche Wortbiegung "that the efforts of the German language to again remove the plural suffix -s should be most emphatically supported and promoted by the linguistic community and schools." In the end, -s has remained the or an acceptable plural of some words, e.g. Jungs, Mädels, Muttis, while it is not accepted in the modern standard language on Vergissmeinnicht, Lehrer, etc. - -sche (discuss) 17:22, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Some more off the top of my head: Schals, Staus, Uhus; then there are things like Lunchs, Sandwichs, and Generals (attested but less common than Generäle) where the -s is clearly not borrowed from English and French since English has -es and French has généraux. Heide Wegener, a professor at Potsdam, has written extensively about the plural in German and has argued that -s is the most productive plural ending in German despite not being the most common plural ending. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:58, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
  • In case of General the -s can be and (at least sometimes) is borrowed from English (cf. general, plural generals). E.g. Command & Conquer: Generals (censored: Generäle) uses the English plural. Also, though I'm not sure if is uses a plural, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (CGI series) uses the English pronunciation of "general", not the German one of "General" and thus "generals" would be the English form in this case.
  • English lunchs - and most likely also sandwichs - should be attestable, though it might be rarer or non-standard, e.g. from an English book: "The psychologist drove the patient to various appointments, treated her to lunchs and dinners, and let the patient take care of her dog for a week." (Maybe one could argue that it's just a misspelling, but I'm not sure if it is.)
  • Uhu does or at least did also have the plural form Uhu (like (der) Lehrer has (die) Lehrer), similar with Känguruh (spelling reforms spelling: Känguru).
- 07:15, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Whatever the individual examples, Angr and -sche are totally right. The plural -s is native German. It's just not High German, but Low German in origin and therefore occurs only in a relatively small number of standard words. Additional examples: Wracks, Decks (both of Low German origin). Kolmiel (talk) 20:31, 28 June 2015 (UTC)


In the article "ahead" several of the examples use "ahead of" with substantives. Wouldn't these be examples of prepostions as in the article "ahead of". Caeruleancentaur (talk) 14:41, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Good catch. Thanks. Please take a look at both ahead#Adverb and ahead of#Preposition. I've added or split definitions in both. I've moved all the "ahead of" usage examples and citations to ahead of and created usage examples where there weren't any. Feel free to make corrections, additions, or subtractions, or to discuss the entries further here. DCDuring TALK 18:31, 16 June 2015 (UTC)


Can exoticism also refer to an interest in things exotic? ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:17, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

a line from Frim Fram Sauce

Can anyone help me decipher the meaning of this line from the song Frim Fram Sauce? I want the frim fram sauce with oss-en-fay with sha fafa on the side. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:40, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Well... according to one version, it's "Ausen fay", not "oee-en-fay", and "chafafa" or "cha fafa", not "sha fafa". But who knows? SemperBlotto (talk) 06:46, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
    • And according to [3] they are just made-up words. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:49, 18 June 2015 (UTC)


The usage note says "widely used" but the definition says "obsolete spelling", which seems contradictory to me. Which of these is correct? -- Liliana 11:33, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

I don't think there's any massive contradiction here. The spelling is obsolete in that it was removed from Duden in 1996, but the trademark was not affected and remains in use as another word for hairdryer. These dictionaries say more or less the same thing: PONS, Knapp, Wahrig. I've split the senses to avoid any doubt. Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:29, 24 June 2015 (UTC)


E.g. werden - "ihr wärt geworden" can also be "ihr wäret geworden" (e.g. it's present at ). - 01:55, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Isn't that an archaic/literary form? -- Liliana 19:53, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Relevant: WT:T:ADE#Obsolete_inflected_forms. - -sche (discuss) 20:53, 18 June 2015 (UTC)


Some ("weak") verbs have 2 passive forms and 2 past participles (e.g. lieben and loben). So there should be something like "pt2=" (past tense) and "pp2=" (past participle). - 10:56, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Template:color panel

Requesting the contents be modified to not involve tables (there is absolutely no need to use HTML tables for something so basic). See Template_talk:color_panelsuzukaze (tc) 22:39, 7 June 2015 (UTC)


The template needs to be extended. German nouns can have at least 5 diminutives, so just "dim2=" isn't enough.

  • Sack ~> Säckchen, Säcklein; regional also: Sackerl, Säckelchen
  • Boot ~> Bötchen, Böötchen, Bootchen, Bötlein
  • Mann ~> Männchen, Männlein; regional also: Männeken
  • Spaß ~> Späßchen, Späßlein; regional also: Spaßerl, Späßken, Späßle.

So "dim3=", "dim4=" and "dim5=" should be added or Template:de-noun#Diminutive should be extended with a note like "Regional diminutives shall be mentioned in a usage note, not inside the header". - 05:50, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

To be honest, I think we should scrap the diminutive line all together. The only time I can it being useful is in strange edge cases like Boot, and explaining the umlauting there is probably too much information to cram into a heading. Many diminutives have become lexicalized to the extent that they're effectively words of their own, and as you say, there are many regional prefixes that have made some inroads into Standard German (in menus, I've seen Brötchen, Brötlein, Brötsche and Brötl, and Google shows that Brötken, Bröterl, Bröti and Brötle are also in use). Put diminutives below the entries, as we currently do for derived terms. A semi-automated template might be helpful. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:16, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I've created a little demo template. You can see some test cases here. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:05, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Leave the template as it is. The headline should include the normal standard forms, of which there are (with very, very few exceptions) just one or two. The other forms, if they should be added at all (which depends on the individual form), can be added as derived terms. Kolmiel (talk) 20:36, 28 June 2015 (UTC)


In entries there are sections like Synonyms, Antonyms, Hyponyms, Hypernyms, Derived terms. It might be that something like "Derived hyponyms" (i.e. hyponyms which are derived terms) and "Derived synonyms" isn't "generally accepted". Thus I'm requesting that such headings become generally accepted.
Sometimes a term is a derived term of another and also a hyponym or a synonym of it, e.g. Ehemann is derived from and synonym to Mann (in the sense of "husband") and e.g. Ruderboot is derived from and a hyponym to Boot. Thus instead of listing terms like

  • Term: Boot
  • Hyponyms: ...
  • Derived terms: Bootsfahrt, Ruderboot, Schlauchboot, ...


  • Term: Boot
  • Hyponyms: Ruderboot, Schlauchboot, ...
  • Derived terms: Bootsfahrt, ...

one could list it like this:

  • Term: Boot
  • Hyponyms: Ruderboot, Schlauchboot, ...
  • Derived terms: Bootsfahrt, Ruderboot, Schlauchboot, ...

In variant II. it's kind of redundant (listing terms twice), in variant I.a and I.b it's incomplete. Thus this is (sometimes) better:

  • Term: Boot
  • Hyponyms: ...
  • Derived hyponyms: Ruderboot, Schlauchboot ...
  • Derived terms: Bootsfahrt ...

There's no redundancy (every word is just mentioned once) and there's no incompleteness. - 06:56, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

There is nothing that says redundancy is a terrible thing. DCDuring TALK 20:53, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

toward towards

Is the usage note about these words true of other -ward(s) terms? If so, it coul be expanded and used in more entries. - -sche (discuss) 02:42, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

I think toward and towards are the only ones that are prepositions, which is where the Usage note appears.
But the usage note would probably apply to most of the others, that are adverbs. I'll see if I can find something in CGEL, Biber, or Curme or maybe in BNC and COCA. DCDuring TALK 03:50, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Nothing of use in the grammars, but Garner's says that -wards forms are more common in British English and -ward forms in US, which suggests no semantic difference, but since England owns the language, I guess the -wards forms must be correct. DCDuring TALK 03:53, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
I would hesitate to generalize. I say "backwards" more often than "backward", but "forward" more often than "forwards". --WikiTiki89 15:24, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
That's why we rely on authorities and data.
At BNC: TOWARDS 27,017; TOWARD 1,153
At COCA: TOWARDS 20,767; TOWARD 119,788
It looks like Garner's did their homework. DCDuring TALK 16:26, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
What I meant is that you can't generalize it the same way to other words that end in -ward(s). Also, counting the number of usages does not tell you whether there is a difference in the way they are used. --WikiTiki89 16:50, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
COCA and BNC allow skeptics to do the required homework to satisfy themselves with any number of words. They are well worth the time for anyone interested in corpus-based discussion of words, as the allow searches that are impossible on Google. It even has (imperfect) PoS tags for greater selectivity. DCDuring TALK 17:25, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
For backward(s) tagged as adverb:
BNC: backward: 179; backwards: 5342
COCA: backward: 5342; backwards; 3382
Not as overwhelming, but still Garner's 1, armchair 0. DCDuring TALK 17:33, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
In other words, you just proved my point that there is a difference between different words. Now the question remains, is there a difference for the same American speaker who uses both backward and backwards in the way he/she uses backward vs. the way he/she uses backwards? Looking just at numbers tells you nothing. --WikiTiki89 17:52, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
It tells me something, which would be refutable had you any data or anything else to back up your position of no difference. DCDuring TALK 22:23, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
What position of no difference? --WikiTiki89 22:54, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
  • The same also holds true for the adjectival use, interestingly, although the difference isn't as severe - although "backwards" as an adjective is usually proscribed in UK use (even the Guardian Style guide, which is less conservative than most, warns against it), it seems to be what British speakers generally use.
BNC: backward: 616; backwards: 1720
COCA: backward: 6810; backwards; 3388
Returning to adverbial use, I'd say that UK -wards, US -ward rule is fairly universal for common words, but it's less clear for rare ones. skywards obeys the rule, but inward, homeward, landward and seaward appear to be outliers in British use - they are more common as adverbs than inwards, homewards, landwards and seawards - but I don't know whether that's simply a function of them being rare and therefore statistically less significant. Bizarrely, all cardinal directions obey the rule except westward (but with 185 "westward"s against 179 "westwards"s, it's probably not statistically significant). Smurrayinchester (talk) 13:32, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

water as an element

  • "(alchemy) One of the four basic elements of alchemy."
  • "(religion, philosophy) One of the five basic elements (see Wikipedia article on the Classical elements)."

Are these really distinct from each other and from sense 1 / 1.1, or is it just the case that water (that clear liquid, H2O) was once considered a basic element? (Compare: China is one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, but we don't need a separate sense line defining it as such.) - -sche (discuss) 02:49, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

In those senses it is part of a system of terms, ie, it has different coordinate terms. I think that makes the senses semantically distinct. Of course, I think iron is not just an element, but has folk definitions that are what the word means to most people in most contexts. DCDuring TALK 03:58, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Our entry for water omits the basic folk sense, something like: "the clear liquid that falls as rain, makes up oceans, lakes, rivers and ponds, and is used for things such as drinking and washing"
I think starting our main water definition with "a chemical" is pretty poor (and redundant, since we go on to give its chemical formula). It is more germane that it's a liquid. "Chemical" typically implies something used in a lab, or with corrosive or acidic etc. properties, not something that is all around in the environment. Equinox 12:14, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
That's what you get with nested definitions. My preferred sequence and structure is this:
1. Clear liquid that humans drink.
2. The substance of which liquid water and ice are various forms.
3. A serving of the clear liquid that humans drink.
4. ...
Those who feel pressed to nest senses turn the most natural leading sense 1 into a mere subsense of 2. A similar bad thing happened to cat entry, whose leading sense 1 "An animal of the family Felidae" is nearly non-nonexistent. We used to have sane water and cat entries, but some sort of people with a mindset very foreign to me prevailed, it seems. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:35, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
I have been bold, and rewritten sense one. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:50, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Great job. Here is your definition, for ease of reference: "A substance (of molecular formula H₂O) found at room temperature and pressure as a clear liquid; it is present naturally as rain, and found in rivers, lakes and seas; its solid form is ice and its gaseous form is steam". --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:58, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Re: "That's what you get with nested definitions."
Now there's a non sequitur. I could with at least as much justification say "Dispensing with folk/everyday definitions is what comes from the natural arrogant cryptoprescriptivism of educated amateur lexicographers who arrogantly assert the relevance of scientific-seeming definitions based on current knowledge over the everyday experience of every human."
In everyday experience, water, ice, vapor. and steam are distinct, though related. One set of definitions that focused on liquid water and its everyday use and another, perhaps the one that included chemistry, could focus on water as the underlying material that assumes these forms and exists in less than obvious forms in living things, clouds, and elsewhere. Other structuring could include water as a dilutant, unifying another group of definition.
BTW, the placement of the definition of water with respect to diamonds (or gems more generally?) in Etymology 1 is an endorsement of a speculative folk etymology over the etymology that would suggest it originating as a calque of Arabic for water, which is or was apparently used with this definition. The extended sense used in "of the first water" would naturally belong in the same group, if indeed the sense has any use in the gem trade or elsewhere in expressions like second water.
I suspect that such a structure of definitions would lead to translation targets that were better for some FLs, including dead languages. DCDuring TALK 13:28, 20 June 2015 (UTC)


Etymology strikes me as fanciful for such a modern-seeming word. Isn't it just a relatively recent un- + green? Did this word really have currency prior to modern English? Equinox 04:11, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it's in the Old English translation of Genesis (græs ungrene; sweart synnihte, wonne wægas), the Romance of the Rose and the Middle English Romance of the Rose (blossoms ungrene). It's not that surprising that people would recognize (or imagine) when a normally green plant was "ungreen", is it? - -sche (discuss) 04:41, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
un-'s popularity has fluctuated up-and-down over the years, and it was arguably more productive in Old English and Early Modern English than in Modern English - nowadays, ungood has a very artificial sound to it, but it turns up in Beowulf and a lot of other Old English writing. Online Etymology Dictionary has a brief history. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:25, 25 June 2015 (UTC)


I heard the term fifteen-minuter in the TV series Psych where it was used for the contestants of a reality show (derived from 15 minutes of fame). Is it attestable in any of its forms (fifteen-minuter, fifteen minuter, 15-minuter, 15 minuter)? Einstein2 (talk) 15:09, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

A single instance of use counts as attestation of the productivity of -er in this one of its many manifestations. DCDuring TALK 16:38, 21 June 2015 (UTC)


'Lähme' seems to be an inflected form of the Estonian verb minema, but it doesn't appear in the conjugation that Wiktionary offers. It does appear here: Could anyone expand the entry for lähme to cover the Estonian meaning of it as well? 17:14, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes, that verb is particularly irregular and the inflection module we have doesn't support all of its irregularities yet. There's a lot of stuff that needs to be fixed up with Estonian entries still. —CodeCat 14:46, 23 June 2015 (UTC)


This "word" may become some kind of Internet meme. See this article. If so, and if we have reason to believe that it is real, it would be nice to have an answer to the likely questions about its reality. The "discoverer" (inventor?) of the word says it means "Coming together through the binding of two ropes" and dates from the 17th century. She also states that does not appear on the internet (read web?) at all or didn't before she put the word on a billboard. She says the meaning (use?) was in a 1627 publication housed at the New York Public Library’s Rare Book Division (or the Library of Babel?).

Will anyone be in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in New York with the time and will to verify the claimed attestation?

If this is real, how might it have been derived? DCDuring TALK 14:40, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Apparently it is a noun, a plural, not an adjective. Parbunkell is one of many alternative forms of parbuckle, which the OED defines as "A rope, cable, etc., arranged like a sling, used to raise or lower heavy objects vertically; a similar contrivance used to move a heavy object up or down an inclined plane, the object acting as a movable pulley in a rope-and-pulley system."
A tip of the hat to Brooke Russell of the Astor Reading Room for Rare Books and Manuscripts of the New York Public Library Main Branch. DCDuring TALK 20:38, 23 June 2015 (UTC)


Ouch. I'll make this the next word I overhaul à la take. - -sche (discuss) 18:39, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

The pdf that dumps on us because of this entry (and others like it) is here, "User-generated content (UGC) in English online dictionaries", by Robert Lew, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, page 14, in Online Publizierte Arbeiten fur Linguistik, 4/2014. The article doesn't say what we shouldn't already be painfully aware of. DCDuring TALK 20:49, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
On the subject of handle, this is also still outstanding from 2013, at least inasmuch as the tag has never been removed from the article. I found the supposed Cornish etymology very surprising too. 02:24, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
I didn't come up with the Cornish etymology, just moved it from a definition line to its own etymology. DTLHS (talk) 02:57, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
The Online Etymological Dictionary explicitly addresses the nickname sense and doesn't find a Cornish connection. We sometimes neglect sense development in our etymologies in favor of PIE etc. Most normal users care more about how a word picked up a meaning over the decades and centuries than about its phonetic evolution over millennia. DCDuring TALK 10:59, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
The Cornish etymology was originally added here. That user seems to be no longer active. I am happy to retract my comments if I am proved wrong, but to me the Cornish thing seems like bollocks. Therefore I have been bold and removed it. 11:57, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
I have overhauled the entry; we now cover handle in more detail than old Century or modern Merriam-Webster or We were only missing a few senses relative to them, and only a few senses were worded archaically (one complaint made by Lew). Lew's next complaint, quoting Hanks, is that "the etymologies are taken from or based on those in older dictionaries, as are the definitions, which are extremely old-fashioned and derivative, taking no account of recent research in either cognitive linguistics or corpus linguistics". This is downright counter-factual with regard to etymologies: discussion is going on in the BP about how many of our etymologies are the product of cutting-edge Wiktionarian research — how many of our reconstructions of e.g. Proto-Germanic or Proto-Balto-Slavic fit the sound rules scholars have documented, but haven't been individually reconstructed by scholars before. We're facing a problem exactly the opposite of what Lew describes: our etymologies are so far from "extremely old-fashioned and derivative" that they are bleeding edge original research. In turn, among our definitions of the noun and verb handle we had (long before my edits to the entry) identified two alcoholic senses, a topological sense and a modern computing sense which modern Merriam-Webster and still today fail to mention. - -sche (discuss) 02:34, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The latest screenshots in the Lew article were from September 2012, before we started having so much protolanguage material in our etymologies. The article's tone and conclusion are obviously consistent with the prejudices of the readership and peer reviewers of the article.
There is more than a kernel of truth to the conclusions about Wiktionary. We have much (and ARE still ADDING some) content from Webster and Century, sometimes thereby improving our entries' coverage, but often not improving the dated wording. We do not follow best corpus-based practice in our English entries. We do not have any guidance to contributors on content, especially definitions. We do add collocations in abundance and have trivial variations of definitions while missing important 1910-1980 definitions. I don't think Wiktionary will be finished any time soon. I still prefer OneLook and, especially, MWOnline to our content. DCDuring TALK 03:56, 30 August 2015 (UTC)


Are we missing the verb sense, as evoked in rammed earth? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:35, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes, and others as well. DCDuring TALK 11:02, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

auger in, augur in

Someone has confused the expressions "auger in" (to crash a plane, referring to an auger or drill) and "augur in" (to introduce, e.g. a new era, referring to the "augurs" or soothsayers of ancient Rome). Please fix. -- 21:56, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. You are correct. Moved to auger in. DCDuring TALK 22:11, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

SCOTUScare, now or later?

Does Scalia's dissent today count as a prominent enough single usage, or do we wait the statutory year to see if the echo chamber is still at it?

On a related note, I have the impression that ObamaCare is not really pejorative anymore, except for those who use Obama by itself as a pejorative, Benghazi means "checkmate!", and so on. Perhaps this bit of information should be relegated to Etymology? Choor monster (talk) 15:34, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

@Choor monster: I seem to have missed this when you posted it. I'd say that it was sufficiently prominent and reported on to create an entry if you want to; you'd have to use {{hot word}}, and then it would be assessed a year after the earliest use. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:15, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

seks (Estonian)

According to see#Estonian, the word seks is also a translative singular form of see, along with selleks. However, since the page seks is protected so I cannot add that meaning by myself. 15:59, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

past partciple drunken

Does anyone know why this is marked as obsolete? "I have drunken water." is what I would say. —This unsigned comment was added by MarloweC (talkcontribs) at 17:05, 25 June 2015 (UTC).

That's unusual. The modern form is "have drunk". Where are you from? Do your friends and family also say "have drunken"? Equinox 17:07, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm from Southern California. My mom does as well. I think most people around here would say "drunk." I've always considered both to be valid, but I say "drunken" myself. —This unsigned comment was added by MarloweC (talkcontribs) at 17:11, 25 June 2015 (UTC).

I'm from Southern California myself (my grandparents moved here in 1918), and I've never heard "have drunken". If someone said that to me, I'd wonder if they were claiming to be in possession of an inebriated liquid... Chuck Entz (talk) 01:23, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
I happened to have been discussing this with a friend not two days ago (The friend is from Atlanta and I'm from Nashville). She was uncomfortable with the sentence the can of beer was drunk and seemed to prefer the can of beer was drunken. We both agreed that, while the second sentence sounded better, it was still humorously ambiguous between the meaning of the participle and the adjective. I feel that in my conversation drunk and drunken exist in free variation as a participle; though, I believe prefer drunk most of the time. —JohnC5 01:47, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
In the UK, as far as I know, the word "drunken" is only ever used as an adjective before the noun (e.g. "a drunken orgy"). Sentences like "I have drunken water" or "The can of beer was drunken" are not used. 11:44, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I sometimes catch myself using drunken participially in speech, though I use drunk more often, and would not use drunken participially in writing. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:02, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

I also wonder whether there are cases where even OP wouldn't use it, e.g. "what have you drunken since last night"? Equinox 16:06, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
@MarloweC: So, are there cases where you don't use drunken participially? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:21, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No, there are no cases that I wouldn't use drunken as the participle. Normally the adjective is "drunk" for me, but only if the thing it's describing is actually drunk -- I couldn't say "a drunk orgy" because orgies can't drink. MarloweC (talk) 16:55, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

@MarloweC: Would you say "a drunken orgy"? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:02, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I have added some generally accepted senses to drunken that reflect MarloweC's usage of the adjective, IMO. DCDuring TALK 17:16, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Nice job. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:44, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Appendix:Old Italic script

So, I know that we don't yet have that many Ital entries for this to affect and thus is not of huge importance, but I recently was editing an Oscan entry and noticed that there was no automatic transliteration. I promptly made Module:osc-translit, but in the process realized that I should have made Module:Ital-translit. For this, I needed a mapping of all the Old Italic script languages to an appropriate transliteration, which led to the creation of Appendix:Old Italic script. Before I begin making the transliteration module, however, I was hoping I could get some other editors to look over these tables and help me clear up some unanswered questions and check that I haven't gone stark raving mad. (I also was hoping to get someone to make me some {{t2i}} PNG's for all the different letterforms so I could list which language used which ones). Please look over this table and tell me if anything is omitted, is unclear, should be changed, etc. Thanks! —JohnC5 02:08, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

re: "stark raving mad": you're a Wiktionary admin, so you've already long since passed that point... Chuck Entz (talk) 03:20, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

body check

Can body check also mean physical examination? I always thought it was Chinglish, but I suppose it might be attestable. ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:34, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

It would be attestable, but it seems particularly SoP IMO. It might be common in Chinglish, but it would be recognizable from its components and understood as SoP except in some sports contexts, IMHO. DCDuring TALK 13:25, 26 June 2015 (UTC)


Are we missing a sense here? As in skull bossing, frontal bossing, parietal bossing, etc. Wyang (talk) 11:08, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

It might be a subsense of the first sense, or that sense could be expanded or given a couple of usage examples. DCDuring TALK 11:23, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
Should it be a verb sense? Wyang (talk) 11:52, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
I think bossing is more certainly a noun = boss (noun) + -ing (Used to form uncountable nouns from various parts of speech denoting materials or systems of objects considered collectively). boss#Verb does not seem to have a corresponding intransitive sense, so a deverbal derivation seems implausible. Attestation could show otherwise of course. DCDuring TALK 13:35, 26 June 2015 (UTC)


Etymology here says "bant + -er"; etymology at bant says "clipping of banter". Anyone know any better? Smurrayinchester (talk) 12:25, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Online Ety D says: "banter (verb) 1670s, origin uncertain; said by Swift to be a word from London street slang. Related: Bantered; bantering. The noun is from 1680s."
Century 1911 offers no origin other than saying the noun is from the verb. For bant it offers a completely unrelated definition and origin. DCDuring TALK 13:08, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
Collins has 2 unrelated Lancashire definitions for bant. DCDuring TALK 13:11, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
IOW, I didn't find an old (pre-1670s) sense of bant. Perhaps the OED or Middle English Dictionary or [] . DCDuring TALK 13:14, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
You could ask @Nbarth: for his source or the grounds for his belief. DCDuring TALK 13:21, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Point taken! Werdna Yrneh Yarg (talk) 17:45, 24 August 2015 (UTC)Andrew

^ This use-r is turn-ing out like Nemzag minus the hy-phens. - -sche (discuss) 17:52, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Sorry about the confusion and long delay in addressing this; I've clarified that *bant + -er is just an unattested surface etymology in Special:Diff/48150143. The -er is presumably used as a frequentive, but this could be by analogy, without a separate term *bant. As far as I can tell, bant is a recent British clipping, and wasn't attested when banter was first attested.
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 18:26, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

Requested entries

If the page for the language does not exist yet, you can either create it yourself or put up a request for it at Wiktionary:Tea room.CANUPL.CREATdutch1?
  Done Page already existed but wasn't linked. Equinox 17:55, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Sometimes the word lordosis is used to mean "hyperlordosis" but this is incorrect use of the word.

Sometimes the word lordosis is used to mean "hyperlordosis" but this is incorrect use of the word. SURELY, wicki dictionary IS using the word incorrectly, according to this quote here, from Wikipedia, which seems much more complete and authoratative. I think wiki dictionary is misleading. Thanks, P McL

Incorrect according to who? —CodeCat 21:17, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
"according to this quote here, from Wikipedia" —suzukaze (tc) 23:44, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
I somewhat agree with the OP here - there should be two medical senses of lordosis: "normal inward curvature" and "hyperlordosis". Wyang (talk) 23:37, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Links for "chill" in Walloon wiktionary

It leads to "Category:medicine", and not to "chill". What to do ?

--Lucyin (talk) 10:30, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Nothing to do with English Wiktionary, but I fixed it anyway. One of your templates at Walloon Wiktionary had </noinclude> before its interwikis, so they were all transcluded into the entries, and the system only uses the first interwiki for each language on a given page. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:31, 27 June 2015 (UTC)


  • 2015 June 26, Tammy La Gorce, “A Farmer Reclaims Liberian Roots in New Jersey”, in New York Times[4] ((Please specify the language of the quote)):
    Bitter ball, kittley, jute leaves and other vegetables; $1 per pound.

I can't find much apart from this one article. Does it have another spelling? DTLHS (talk) 03:53, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

kittely - OneLook - Google "kittely" (BooksGroupsScholar)
Solanum macrocarpon - solanum macrocarpon#English - solanum macrocarpon#Latin - Special:WhatLinksHere/Solanum macrocarpon - Solanum macrocarpon@WSp - Solanum macrocarpon@WP - Google Solanum macrocarpon (BooksGroupsScholar) - Fossilworks
  Solanum macrocarpon on Wikimedia Commons.Wikimedia Commons
Other Common Names: small bitterball, nganngan, kittely. DCDuring TALK 05:02, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Most of the few mentions I could find just lead back to Mr. Gbolo, but here are a couple of leads: this 2007 article (paywalled here), where another New Jersey farmer refers to kittley as one of his "Jamaican crops" (!), and this New Jersey Extension Service publication that contains these somewhat illuminating sentences: "West Africans also use a pea-sized, red eggplant for medicinal purposes. Known as the Ghanan pea in most countries, it is called Kiteley in Liberia while Kitley describes Bitter Ball in Ghana." If Liberians in places other than New Jersey use this term, they don't seem to do so online.
There are apparently a bewildering variety of "African eggplants" (cultivars of Solanum macrocarpon and Solanum aethiopicum) known by a bewildering variety of names. See here for some learned discussion that however does not mention "kittley" or anything similar.
On edit conflict: "kittely" does seem to be the overwhelming favorite as to spelling. -- Visviva (talk) 05:15, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure how seriously to take the physical description at first website given as apparently the appearance of the fruit of many of the species of Solanum including S. macrocarpon is highly variable, like Brassica oleracea or Cucurbita pepo. DCDuring TALK 05:18, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

changing tense with person

I'm curious if anyone can tell me more about this phenomenon. In certain senses, English speakers will change the verb tense based on the person of the sentence, even when there is not an apparently logical reason for it.

Consider She had been living here long enough that she had a right to make the room her own.

I was told in English, if you make this first person, it would be more right to say I have been living here long enough that I have the right to make the room my own. Even though I had been living here long enough is grammatically correct. Why is this?

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 15:41, 29 June 2015.

It's not to do with person. It's just tense/aspect. If you "had" done something, you suggest that other things have happened since, in between then and now. ("I had lived in London before moving to Athens.") If you "have" done something, you might have finished it right this second, or it might be ongoing. ("I have lived in London all my life.") Equinox 15:47, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
On the other land, suppose you lived in South Africa ten years ago but have lived in the UK since then. You could still say "I have lived in South Africa." - -sche (discuss) 08:02, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
That is because the reference time in that case is the present. If the reference time were in the past, then one has to use the "past perfect", past tense, perfect aspect:
"By the time of the South African World Cup I had already lived in the UK for eight years."
or better to my ears because of the durative nature of live:
"By the time of the South African World Cup I had been living in the UK for eight years." DCDuring TALK 09:05, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Mickey Mouse

Should we have a sense pertaining to things, such as pancakes that are shaped like his face? I believe that a definition pertaining to just the shape could be attested if need be. And if so, should it be a noun or an adjective? Purplebackpack89 22:51, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Why would this be different to objects in the shape of any other famous creature, thing or maybe even symbol for that matter? I could say "yes, I ate that Yeti with marmalade", or "the cogwheel with cheese on top was delicious"? Don't know if "would you like to try some Eurocrem swastika" could be appropriate for the symbol shaped example, though. Symbol-shape semantics, I'd say. Cheers, --biblbroksдискашн 09:01, 30 June 2015 (UTC)


Is this really Translingual? It looks like a word in English to me. ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:20, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Good catch. I've converted it to English and added the largely unrelated Translingual entry for Coccus. DCDuring TALK 14:23, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Lovely, thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:27, 1 July 2015 (UTC)


We have heavy-duty, but should we also have light-duty? Is it attestable? ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:34, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
(We are also missing the figurative sense of heavy-duty that OED includes. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:35, 30 June 2015 (UTC))


I'm trying to clean up the entry on India, which was previously badly formatted and possibly had a bit of a nationalist bias. One thing I'm not sure about is the claim that "Indies" is a plural of "India". The words are related, but is it really a plural? Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:38, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

  • My understanding is that the term Indies meant India together with those parts of the world, originally thought to be linked, that were discovered in the 15th & 16th centuries. The name lives on in West Indies and East Indies. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:46, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Searches like google books:"(various|several) Indies" India turn up a small number of hits which are from 100+ years ago or are discussing discussing documents from 100+ years ago. in other words, it seems Indies may have been rarely construed to be a plural of India in the past (or perhaps even the cites I find can be explained by Semper's comment), but that usage is now obsolete. Recalling the BP discussion which concluded that it was more appropriate to list obsolete alternative plurals in usage notes than on the headword line, and recognizing that a usage note explaining the other connection between India and Indies (that the Indies were thought to be Indian) is in order anyway, I would move mention of it from the headword line to the usage notes.
  • 1905, Journal of the American Oriental Society, page 22:
    Whether India was the real source of the story, I shall inquire presently. But first, [...]. Indies (plural) implies the various Indies of India itself. [...]
  • 2013, Kathryn L. Lynch, Chaucer's Cultural Geography →ISBN, page 57
    To document this assertion we should note, first, the classical tradition of various “Indies”; second, the existence of one India on the African continent in a region (Ethiopia) that in the fourteenth century was contested by the Egyptian Mamluks, [...]
- -sche (discuss) 18:11, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Whether "(the) Indies" ever meant "the Americas" is a separate question. - -sche (discuss) 18:15, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

What is the difference between "wast" and "wert"?

Is "wast" the general form and "wert" for hypothetical use?

For instance:

Thou wast once alive.


Thou art a good man. Now, if thou wert a bad man, I might not have helped thee.

Is that how they work? Tharthan (talk) 19:33, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

@Tharthan: Yup, you've got it. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 19:40, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
@I'm so meta even this acronym: Oh good. Thanks! Tharthan (talk) 19:53, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
AFAICT Jespersen agrees. DCDuring TALK 22:23, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
The technical terms are "indicative" for wast and "subjunctive" for wert. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:42, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
You can think of it as the equivalent of "he was" and "he were". —CodeCat 12:36, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Jespersen didn't think it split so neatly. DCDuring TALK 13:27, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I was under the impression there was no grammatical difference--that wert was the older form coming from Old English wǣre + -t under influence from art or inversion (were thou > wert thou); and wast was the same, just using was as the base... The subjunctive form for the old second person using thou was simply were (i.e. (if) thou were...) Leasnam (talk) 23:53, 1 July 2015 (UTC)