Wiktionary:Tea room/2019/July

discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← June 2019 · July 2019 · August 2019 → · (current)

mimosa Spanish wordEdit

How about the Spanish word "mimoso"/"mimosa"? which means a person who likes to cuddle it does not seem to be listed under the mimosa wiktionary page

It is, but you have to click on the link to mimoso to see the definition. Chuck Entz (talk) 12:21, 1 July 2019 (UTC)


I'd pronounce the two verbs differently, with the stress on retire meaning "put new tires on" on the first syllable to differentiate it. However, I don't think I've heard anyone say the word before. --I learned some phrases (talk) 21:55, 1 July 2019 (UTC)

I would pronounce it with stress on both syllables. Stress only on the first syllable makes it sound like you're tiring a re... Chuck Entz (talk) 02:38, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Wouldn’t you pronounce it differently, though, in a sentence like “I am going to retire my old Chevy”, depending on whether your faithful vehicle has outlived its usefulness and is going to be dispatched to a farm upstate, or is going to be outfitted with a brand-new set of tyres and will be good for some more years?  --Lambiam 11:08, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I think these are pronounced differently. I moved the existing pronunciation under the first etymology. I added a second pronunciation, with /i/ as the first vowel, but didn't indicate stress. - -sche (discuss) 03:41, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Chase - Building/Construction usage - extra meaning to be detailed?Edit

Is my memory serving me correctly? I believe that the verb "chase" is used in building to mean cutting/chiselling a shallow channel/"trench" in say brickwork or concrete to allow some element such as a pipe or conduit to be set into the channel, not protruding above the surrounding surface.
Used to be common for putting electrical conduits in walls just below the plaster, but possibly frowned upon now as not safe practice. My experience was as a DIY builder 50 years ago!
Richardb43 (talk) 04:21, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Ah. Seems my memory was right

Does this usage justify adding this meaning to wiktionary? Or is it too much a specialist term?
Richardb43 (talk) 04:29, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

"To place piping or wiring in a groove encased within a wall or floor, or in a hidden space encased by a wall." (etymology 3). DTLHS (talk) 04:30, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

New cat?Edit

Does it make any sense for you'll guys a category of Pharmaceutical effects with this content (might have false positives) extracted from category:en:Pharmaceutical drugs? BTW, what's the difference with category:en:Drugs? (do I say well? difference with?-to?-respect to?) Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 08:36, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

"From" is my favorite. At Google NGrams difference to is the winner, with difference from about 50-60% as popular, and difference with about 25-30% as popular. Differing from is much more popular than the other possibilities, but differing with is used in cases of disagreements with people, statements, ideas, etc. Different from is much more common than the corresponding other possibilities. For a different definition of difference difference in is nearly three times as common as difference of, despite the very common collocation difference of opinion. DCDuring (talk) 13:03, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
For a bit more see Talk:difference. DCDuring (talk) 13:10, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

fuckwad: almost synonymous with fuckwitEdit

Could somebody please elaborate a bit on the sentence "fuckwad: almost synonymous with fuckwit" --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:06, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

It means that these two words are almost identical in meaning. Equinox 18:05, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

@Equinox: fuckwad: "more used for measuring than counting" Can somebody explain the differences with a couple of sentences please? --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:34, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Entry was bad, improved. Equinox 19:47, 2 July 2019 (UTC)


What, exactly, makes this any different from *dogman, *frogman (in a literal sense), *turkeyman, and so on? Why on Earth does sense one deserve to be given here? Tharthan (talk) 03:34, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

I dunno, it's no worse than spokesdog! Equinox 13:12, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
Because all words in all senses deserve to be given here?--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:14, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes This is essentially a sum of its parts. Otherwise, we need dogman, frogman, turkeyman, etc. ad infinitum. Tharthan (talk) 01:19, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
Any word spelled without a space cannot be sum of parts, is the rule. DTLHS (talk) 01:27, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
Alright, but if we put aside this example: if a word is, to all intents and purposes, a sum of its parts, and yet is spelt as one word, then how do we define it? Tharthan (talk) 05:28, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
It turns out that pademelonman is uncitable, so, far from ad infinitum. The rule that DLTHS quotes is simple and precise, and anyone who wants to chase down those words and add them is fine.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:22, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough, then. Seems silly to me, but so long as all of that ilk that are attestable are included, there isn't really a problem. Tharthan (talk) 05:28, 4 July 2019 (UTC)


I have always taken sense two and sense three to be the same in practice. I'm not sure how one could adequately distinguish them.

Perhaps usage notes are warranted here to explain the commonly found link between senses two and three?

In my experience, if someone calls some person with unpleasant tastes, views or habits a sicko, there is often the implication that there is something off about the person being called that. Tharthan (talk) 03:46, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

BUMP Tharthan (talk) 04:59, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

@Tharthan Perhaps we should RFV it to see what kinds of use are attestable. I can at least conceive that it could be used in some slang or other in a sort of "literal" way to refer to anyone who is mentally "sick" i.e. mentally ill, even with e.g. just depression that makes a person seem "lazy" and not "crazy" (perhaps in contrast to a *"well-o"?). That would seem different from sense 2, which is about calling someone "sick" a in gross, disgusting, etc. OTOH, if the implication is merely that "sickos" in sense 2 are mentally ill, that doesn't seem to merit two senses. - -sche (discuss) 03:51, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Righto, friendo. Tharthan (talk) 04:27, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
I also edited the original message to fix a big error. Tharthan (talk) 05:18, 23 July 2019 (UTC)


Adverb sense 3:

At an earlier and less prosperous time.
He's mister high and mighty now, but I remember him when.

Is this really a separate sense of "when", or is it just the omission of information after "when" that is supplied by the context? Could you not just as well say "Lord Snooty has fallen on hard times, but I remember him when", meaning remember him when he was prosperous? Mihia (talk) 11:47, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

Hmm ... I see that M-W dictionary has a definition nearly the same as ours: "at a former and usually less prosperous time". Mihia (talk) 12:00, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
Our wording is clearly inferior. DCDuring (talk) 13:55, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
Is it better now? DCDuring (talk) 14:06, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
The thing that concerns me slightly is that changing it to "different, usually less favourable circumstances", i.e. allowing for possible other circumstances too, if anything makes it seem even less like a separate sense of "when" and more just like, as I say, omission of implied information, like defining "if" as meaning "in the case that something bad happens" on the basis that someone could say "What would we do if?" to imply "What would we do if something bad happens?". However, I'm wondering if this is primarily an AmE thing, especially as M-W is the only dictionary I have found to list it. Possibly for that reason I'm not grasping it as it is intended. Mihia (talk) 14:41, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
First of all, it is not followed by anything, unlike all the other uses of when for which we have usage examples, exceptions being: when as "interjection", in say when, and when in deixis in several definitions. It may well be AmE. It is certainly familiar to me. DCDuring (talk) 14:54, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
To me, the fact that it is not followed by anything is not persuasive that it is a special sense of "when" rather than just an ordinary sense of "when" with omission of information that is implied by the context. However, this may well be a special usage that I am not familiar with, so I think I'll just leave it alone. Mihia (talk) 17:49, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
A typical usage situation is a party of special event in which two people are talking about a third person. The one who knows the person from long ago might say "I knew him when. We grew up playing stickball in the Bronx." This establishes that the third-party was not always as they is [sic] today. I don't see any simple omitted clause that could be recovered from context. DCDuring (talk) 18:27, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
One idea for addressing the indistinctness of the sense is making it a subsense of whichever sense it's a specific example of. But... which sense is that? (Sense 5? Are we listing the specific sense before the general usual sense? Bah...) - -sche (discuss) 03:54, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
I am revising the entry a bit. I added a second interjection sense, and some citations for the noun and pronoun. I'll take a look at the adverb and conjunction next. - -sche (discuss) 07:36, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
I've overhauled the adverb section, bringing it mostly into line with other dictionaries, except for one sense which I HTML-commented on which may be a different POS. Btw, Webster has an opaque sense "and then", but I can't see how this would be used: *"he got sick when he died"? - -sche (discuss) 08:15, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
I think this is as example of MWOnline's opaque definition"
"I was walking down the street minding my own business when ("and then") this guy came running out of the store."
It is used in narratives. The instances I can think of have it following a clause with a verb in progressive aspect. DCDuring (talk) 13:09, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Aha. I suppose another way of defining that would be "at which time", but it seems difficult to distinguish that from the senses we label conjunctions, except by the preceding comma, but compare: "I was walking down the street, and he popped out", which is identical in form and clearly a conjunction. We do have an adverbial definition to the effect of "at which", but I'm not sure it or its usex are under the right sense/POS. - -sche (discuss) 16:35, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
I think you are right that it is more like a conjunction. I wonder whether we should have a similar conjunction sense for then, which we now don't. But when implies near simultaneity (though it doesn't need preceding progressive aspect), whereas then implies sequence and separation. DCDuring (talk) 21:08, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
I was initially confused by the distinction between "I’m happiest when I’m working" and "That was the day when the Twin Towers fell" as different parts of speech, but I see that only the latter can omit the 'when' or replace it with 'that' (without changing the meaning of the sentence), so I ended up instead moving one quotation to the 'adverbial' "at which" sense. - -sche (discuss) 16:51, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

when (2)Edit

  1. (interrogative) Used to introduce questions about time.
    When will they arrive?
  2. Used to introduce indirect questions about time.
    Do you know when they arrived?
    Do you know when they will arrive?
    Do you know when they arrive?
  3. At an earlier and less prosperous time.
    He's mister high and mighty now, but I remember him when.
  4. (indirect question) Used to refer to doubts about time.
  5. (relative) At which, on which, during which. Often omitted or replaced with that.
    That was the day when the Twin Towers fell.

What is the difference between sense 4 and senses 1/2? Can anyone give a usage example to illustrate how it differs? Mihia (talk) 11:49, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

Don't the usage examples for 2 and 5 show when as a subordinating conjunction? And don't our definitions under Conjunction cover such use? DCDuring (talk) 13:50, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
In my view these examples are correctly classified. I see "the day when the Twin Towers fell" as a noun phrase, analogous to e.g. "the cat that knocked over the paint", except the relative word is adverbial rather than nounal. In the case of #2, compare "Do you know when they arrived?" ("when" is referencing an adverbial answer such as "at two o'clock") with "I was out when they arrived" (conjunction, joining two statements). Mihia (talk) 14:30, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
The role of a subordinate clause relative to its parent clause (ie, as nominal, adjectival, or adverbial) has little to do with the word class of the word that introduces it and expresses its relationship to its parent.
In That was the day when the Twin Towers fell. the (finite) subordinate clause is the Twin Towers fell and That was the day its parent, when expressing the subordinate relationship and temporal semantics. In that example the subordinate clause is modifying the noun day. For an example of the subordinate clause being adverbial: He cried when the Twin Towers fell.
Generally, I would rather avoid dependence on semantics to determine word class membership. I don't think it's reliable and my preferred tool of syntactic analysis isn't all that difficult, though not all syntactic analysis schemes yield word class. DCDuring (talk) 15:13, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
In this case I think it is essential to look at what the sentence means in order to understand the role of "when". "He cried when the Twin Towers fell" means that "He cried" happened when "the Twin Towers fell". "That was the day when the Twin Towers fell" doesn't mean that "That was the day" happened when "the Twin Towers fell", it is telling us what day that was. If we were to just blindly look at the word pattern "clause + when + clause" we would miss this crucial difference. It is only really a convention that the "when" of the "Twin Towers" sentence is called a "relative adverb", based on parallel with relative pronoun. Some people don't like these terms, and prefer to use other terms, but if we accept "relative adverb" as a classification, then this is an example of one. If we were to call "when" a conjunction in the "Twin Towers" sentence, then logically we would have to call "that" a conjunction in the phrase "the book that I bought yesterday", for example, which currently we say is a relative pronoun. Mihia (talk) 17:39, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
We are only talking about word class, not semantic role.
That is called a pronoun in that case because it serves as a nominal, as the grammatical object of bought. If when is functioning as a conjunction, it does not have a grammatical role within either the parent or subordinate clause, just connecting them and indicating that the referent of the subordinate clause is temporal. It does not always function to indicate that the subordinate clause in adverbial. Consider "When she arrives depends on the trsde winds." "When she arrives" is a nominal serving as the subject of depends. DCDuring (talk) 18:41, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
I may not have explained my point clearly enough. In a case such as "I cried when the Twin Towers fell", the word "when" is a conjunction joining the two clauses, i.e. the structure is "[I cried] when [the Twin Towers fell]". "That was the day when the Twin Towers fell" is different in structure. It is not "[That was the day] when [the Twin Towers fell]", it is "That was [the day when the Twin Towers fell]". It is almost just a coincidence that the same word, "when", is used in both. You can see that these "when"s are completely different by changing "when" to "on which". "That was the day on which the Twin Towers fell" means the same thing as the original, whereas "I cried on which the Twin Towers fell" makes no sense. "the day when [= on which] the Twin Towers fell" is analogous in structure to e.g. "the book which I bought yesterday", where "which" is termed a relative pronoun. In both cases a noun is modified by a relative clause, which tells us, respectively, which day is meant and which book is meant. The difference stems from that "on" in "on which", for which reason "when" in the first case is termed a relative adverb, not relative pronoun. It is debatable whether a so-called "relative adverb" is actually an adverb, just as it is debatable whether a "relative pronoun" is actually a pronoun. Some people use other terms, I think, but I'm not sure whether "conjunction" is one of them. But anyway, what we can't do is say that "when" is a conjunction in "That was the day when the Twin Towers fell" just on the basis that it is a conjunction in cases where "when" joins clauses. The two uses are completely different. Mihia (talk) 17:33, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

when (3)Edit

Adverb sense 2:

Used to introduce indirect questions about time.
Do you know when they arrived?
Do you know when they will arrive?
Do you know when they arrive?

Conjunction sense 1:

At what time.
They were told when to sleep.
He doesn't know when to stop talking.

At what point in the following sequence does "when" change its PoS?

He doesn't know when to stop talking.
He doesn't know when he stopped talking.
Does he know when he stopped talking?
Do you know when they arrived?

Mihia (talk) 13:14, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

I think a distinction can be made if what follows when is a clause with a finite verb (examples 2-4). Ie, when is clearly a conjunction in those examples IMO. But I don't know whether the finite/infinite distinction counts for anything in word classification and won't have time to consult my grammars until Saturday. DCDuring (talk) 13:53, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
Also, the distinction I made, if valid, would flip the adverb and the conjunction usage examples. DCDuring (talk) 15:16, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

when (4)Edit

Both Century and Merriam-Webster mention a sense (Century as a "run-in"), which they label a conjunction but define almost as if it were (pro)nominal, roughly as "the time [at which]", with Century's example being "I knew when seven justices could not take up a quarrel" and Webster's being of the form "X is when Y happens". What part of speech is this? It seems to function like "X is the day Y happens", like a noun or pronoun. - -sche (discuss) 17:01, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

I have tentatively added this as a pronoun. I will try to look for how more reference works treat it later. - -sche (discuss) 21:57, 24 July 2019 (UTC)


Shouldn't durnedest be mentioned in durned ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:08, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

The term darnedest is also not mentioned at darned, but it is said to be a euphemism for damnedest, which is given as the superlative of damned. Since there are no comparatives *darneder and *durneder, these forms are apparently absolute, not relative. Still, I think they should be mentioned in a “See also” section.  --Lambiam
Also, shouldn't durned, durnedest, durndest be glossed US? Equinox 16:31, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
I think so, yes. DonnanZ (talk) 06:45, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

What phonological process produces this? I cannot find any such merger in wikipedia. --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:01, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Now linked. - -sche (discuss) 04:06, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Early ChinaEdit

Is this a good one? "from earliest times through the Han dynasty period (CE 220)" --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:28, 4 July 2019 (UTC)

Before we include the term Early China, we have to be sure that it is commonly used as such with this specific scholarly sense. We need three durably archived attestations, for which (in my opinion) the journal title does not qualify. The term is used in precisely this sense in this book, and the term returns in almost all titles by this author. But that is just one author, and it may be his personally preferred definition. The term “early China” is also used as a synonym of “ancient China” without a very precise sense of the period meant to be covered by the term, and then it is merely a somewhat transparent sum-of-parts.  --Lambiam 19:00, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
Is it though? In the academic circles I frequent, it is only used to refer to China 先秦 to 兩漢, anything after that is usually termed Medieval China. I'm not sure though if either term is non-SoP. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:47, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Negative polarity categoryEdit

Just an observation, and it might not matter, but Category:English negative polarity items includes both headwords that contain the actual negation and those that do not (make head or tail of). Equinox 12:46, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

IMO, I'd prefer a version without the negative. Not all instances of negative polarity items require not or even another negative word, eg, never. Interrogatives and conditionals can 'license' negative polarity items top, eg, Can you make head or tail out of it?, I asked if they could make head or tail out of it. There are other licensing structures as well.
I think it is easy for a contributor in a wiki environment to get carried away and add items that are not really negative polarity items, but are sometimes notably used with negatives. Eg, in no small measure is frequent, but so is in (some/a) small measure. It reminds me of the overuse of the concept of phrasal verbs. DCDuring (talk) 16:28, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

in wine, there is truthEdit

Can someone explain/confirm this usage note? "Secondarily, used to suggest that one's perceptions and emotions when drunk are more real than when sober." Equinox 12:52, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

To the extent that it is true, it seems like a consequence of the loss of inhibition, which may be deemed to prevent or limit verbal politeness. DCDuring (talk) 16:35, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
I believe the suggestion is definitely false when it comes one’s perceptions, and I doubt the emotions experienced by a drunk person are “more real” than those experienced in a sober state. I don’t even know what that statement is supposed to mean. There may be something to it when it comes to showing one’s emotions, which someone may choose to hide when sober for all kinds of reasons, but that is already covered by the primary sense. All considered, we are better off without the second usage note. The first one does not seem to add anything worth keeping, so the whole section is useless and can go, as far as I’m concerned.  --Lambiam 15:01, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

New category Category:en:WomenEdit

We probably need to establish how this is supposed to differ from Category:en:Female. Equinox 19:54, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Obviously Female is more general (female animals, female kids) and Women is a sub-category of it, in fact it's even just a sub-sub-category as there's Category:en:Female people. --Pawogain (talk) 15:50, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
I brought up the oddness of the separate "Female people" category before and seem to recall that one justification offered was that it could contain e.g. girl. Mehhh. - -sche (discuss) 04:08, 23 July 2019 (UTC)


"A possible, usually negative, outcome, e.g., a danger." When is risk ever not negative? Can you really run a risk of something good? Equinox 05:36, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Well, people say things like "Careful ... there's a risk you might enjoy yourself!", or, after a long spell of rain, "The forecasters say there's a risk of some sunshine tomorrow", but I think these probably can be explained as ironic usage of the normal negative meaning. At the moment I can't think of a "straight" use in reference to something desired. Mihia (talk) 10:01, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
I too can’t think of a non-ironic positive use. The polarity of the outcome aside, I think sense 1 does not have a good definition. The meaning is not the (possible) outcome, but the possibility (of the outcome). For example, “the risk exists” means that the possibility exists, not that the outcome exists. The quotation at sense 2 fits better under sense 1 (with sense 14 of the verb take).  --Lambiam 14:18, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
I agree some citations are misplaced but I do think there are two senses: "a risk of rain" (possibility) vs. "fraud is always a risk" (the thing that is possible). Compare senses 1 and 2 at possibility. Equinox 14:53, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
If a definition like ”the possibility of a negative outcome; a danger” would not suffice to entail these two senses of possibility, then we need to add a sense.  --Lambiam 15:10, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
We miss the neutral-valiance definition, as used in some quantitative analysis, which is close to the definition of variance. Risk can just mean uncertainty. As we are a descriptive dictionary, we should take the trouble to have cites for our definitions. We might be guided in our citation-search efforts by the definitions and usage examples in other dictionaries. I have many and have read some books on probability, statistics, decision theory (psychological and other), operations research, uncertain reasoning in AI, etc. with titles like Anatomy of Risk. These books generally feel the need to avoid using the word risk itself once they are getting down to make positive statements.
The 3rd edition (2014) of the Oxford Dictionary of Statistics has "The estimated probability of a negative outcome." This is not an everyday definition; it defines risk as a number between 0 and 1 (or a percentage). It's not entirely satisfactory in decision analysis and most people who work with risk wouldn't answer "90%" if asked what the risk is that is associated with a 99% chance of losing the price paid for a lottery ticket and a 1% chance of winning some prize (less the cost of a lottery ticke). The Oxford definition doesn't substitute into very many uses of the word in the conversation of ordinary people, in newspapers, or writings in most fields of knowledge, even in statistics IMO. DCDuring (talk) 20:47, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
The ODS definition agrees with our sense 2, assuming that likelihood is to be interpreted as its sense 1. But this seems strange to me. If you buy a lottery ticket, you have a very high probability that you will not win anything but lose the money you paid. Does that imply that playing the lottery has a very high risk? I don’t think so. You can say that a risk is “high”, which could indicate a high probability of a moderate but nevertheless painful loss, but also a high loss at a moderate probability. In statistical jargon, it is the expected value of the loss that is high.  --Lambiam 23:19, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
Sense 1 of likelihood is yet another definition cloud, in this case, four (or five) definitions on one definition line, including at least one ("probability") that is itself polysemous. (We have 4 definitions, MW Online has 6.) I don't think we should defend and, worse, use our definitions when they are indefensible.
In any event, you can see why risk is not used as a defining word in works addressing the questions that surround its use. A great deal of the useful work of applied statisticians is in getting past such words and helping clients use better probabilistic concepts. DCDuring (talk) 01:19, 7 July 2019 (UTC)


Upper-case antisigma, resembling a reversed Roman numeral for one hundred. Used to replace BS and PS, much like X stood in for CS and GS.

What does BS, PS, X, CS, GS stand for in this sentence? --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:11, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

“BS” stands for a sequence of two letters, consisting of the letter “B” (of the Latin alphabet) followed by the letter “S”, as occurring, for example, in the Latin word “ABSOLVO”. The inventor of the new letter, emperor Claudius, would (reportedly) have wanted to see this rendered as “AOLVO”. Similarly for the other digraphs. “X” stands for the single letter “X”, adopted by the Romans from the Etruscan alphabet; the ”standing in“ for CS and GS is a pre-Roman invention.  --Lambiam 14:01, 6 July 2019 (UTC)


second cousin-nephew? great-cousin-aunt? The recent additions to this category made by 2804:431:D725:C6BC:95AD:4533:8CAC:EB4B (talk) seem totally worthless to me, and I'm not even sure they're attested. Canonicalization (talk) 15:16, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

I burned that shit with hot lava. Equinox 00:26, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

Boundaries of noun vs. proper noun in Latin, and use of capital vs. lowercase initial lettersEdit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): A whole lot of Latin proper nouns are mislisted as common nouns. There are > 700 entries in Category:Latin nouns beginning with a capital letter. However, what's not clear to me is the following:

  1. Should things like Fennus (a Finn) be considered proper nouns? (Probably not?)
  2. What about Volscī (Volscians)? This is a name of a tribe, hence possibly a proper name.
  3. Should adjectives that are demonyms be capitalized? We have both the adjective Etruscus (Etruscan) and francēnsis (French) (vs. Francēnsis (French) as a noun).
  4. How should we list the declension of nouns that are demonyms? Etruscus (noun) lists it as a masculine 2nd-declension noun, but Francēnsis and Cantabrus (both nouns) are listed with an adjectival declension, complete with neuter. Maybe we should have a special adjectival variant that lists only masculine and feminine?
Benwing2 (talk) 16:45, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
  1. No.
  2. They are proper nouns because there is only one; it is like a country name. Compare Polish Włochy (Italy, literally Italians), Niemcy (Germany, literally Germans) etc., which are proper nouns like English Germany. One also makes Children of Israel, بَنُو إِسْرَائِيل(banū ʾisrāʾīl) and the like proper nouns. Differently if it is a collective of a corresponding singulative like أَمْهَرَة(ʾamhara, Amhara)أَمهَرِيّ(an Amhar), عَرَب(ʿarab, Arabs)عَرَبِيّ(ʿarabiyy, an Arab), مَغَرْبَة(maḡarba)مَغْرَبِيّ(maḡrabiyy). There is a fluid border between tribe names and country names too, اَلْهِنْد(al-hind, India, Indians), الصِين(aṣ-ṣīn, China, Chinese), الْحَبَش(al-ḥabaš, Ethiopia, Ethiopians), حَبَشِيّ(ḥabašiyy, an Ethiopian). الْحَبَشَة(al-ḥabaša, Ethiopia, originally a South Arabian tribe which entered Ethiopia before 500 B.C.). It depends on whether we can singulate the term, if the expression be allowed. Włochy is a proper noun because it is detached in meaning from Włoch. اَلْهِنْد(al-hind, India, Indians) and الصِين(aṣ-ṣīn, China, Chinese) and الْحَبَشَة(al-ḥabaša, Ethiopia, originally a South Arabian tribe which entered Ethiopia before 500 B.C.) must be moved to the pages without article and made non-proper nouns, we had such a discussion already, and done it with فَرْس(fars) and قُبْط(qubṭ) since it is not impossible to use the terms in the construct state, e.g. one find صِين اليَوْم (ṣīn al-yawm, the China of today), and there is singulative-paucal-collective relation between صِينِيّ(ṣīniyy, a Chinese), صِينِيُّون(ṣīniyyūn, some Chinamen) and صِين(ṣīn, Chinese) like with تُفَّاحَة(tuffāḥa, a single apple or apple tree), تُفَّاحَات(tuffāḥāt, some apples or some apple trees), تُفَّاح(tuffāḥ, apples).
  3. The writing tradition differs according to the country New Latin is written, as in Rome they had only capital letters. We should capitalize the nouns but not the adjectives, consistently, which is the rule of German, French, Polish, Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Czech. English is irregular in capitalizing both nouns and adjectives. Ibero-Romance and Italian writes all lowercased (is there a proper antonym of capitalize?), but apparently even in Iberia and Italy when one writes Latin one writes the nouns of demonyms capitalized.
  4. probably like with {{ar-decl-gendered-noun}} Fay Freak (talk) 18:09, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
Since (as Fay Freak observed) the capitalization rules of modern Western languages only crystallized when Latin had become a dead language, any decision we make is somewhat arbitrary, like the decision to spell volvo and utrius rather than uoluo or vtrivs (or VTRIVS for that matter), as well as cuius and iacio instead of cujus and jacio (although the latter are given as “alternative forms”). We can set our own rules here. If there was an established tradition among Latinists we should follow that, but look how, for example, in this 19th-century German edition of the Vulgate the forms “Romanus” and “romanus” alternate indiscriminately without discernible rhyme or reason – while in the parallel original Greek text the word Ῥωμαῖος (Rhōmaîos) is consistently capitalized. Let us follow the prevailing use in the Romance languages (which agrees with FF’s point 3 – I do not understand the statement about Italian writing being all lowercased; un cittadino romano è un cittadino di Roma”). For Ancient Greek we can follow Modern Greek conventions.  --Lambiam 19:20, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam I think User:Fay Freak is referring to the fact that Italian writes francese (a Frenchman), not *Francese, while French writes chinois (Chinese) (adjective) but Chinois (a Chinese person) (noun). Benwing2 (talk) 21:36, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes. And this is the “rhyme or reason” employed in the linked Vulgate edition. Römer – Romanus. römischer - romanus. Fay Freak (talk) 21:44, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
A sentence like Dic mihi, tu Romanus es? may be translated Sage mir, bist du Römer?, but it may equally well be translated Sage mir, bist du römisch?, so the distinction is not clear-cut. I wonder how Ancient Roman grammarians would have classified the demonym in this question. The position seems defensible to me that this is the nominal use of an adjective.  --Lambiam 22:11, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
Except that the adjective use is not idiomatic here in German. One can ask in English Are you Italian?, are you Scottish?, but it is bad German to ask Bist du italienisch?, bist du schottisch? (the same with Sie). The same in every Slavic language I can think of, but apparently the usage is not so clearcut in Romance. In French spelling apparently the usage varies, one finds Vous êtes anglais and Vous êtes Anglais but any norm would not say anything. Fay Freak (talk) 23:43, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
Then the German translation of Acts 22:27 in the trilingual 19th-century German edition is not idiomatic.  --Lambiam 12:55, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
There are all sorts of things in Bible translations that aren't idiomatic. The modern German Bible translation I have says "Bist du römischer Bürger?", which is idiomatic. —Mahāgaja · talk 15:05, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
(Notifying Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5, Lambiam): @Lambiam Planning to move all capitalized Latin adjectives to the lowercase equivalent. Existing capitalized variants will consist of entries containing {{alternative case form of}}, pointing to the lowercase equivalent. Vice-versa in the cases of lowercase demonym nouns, e.g. rōmānus (although these aren't so frequent). Just want to make sure this is OK. Benwing2 (talk) 00:11, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (Notifying Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5, Lambiam): @Urszag I'd like to revisit this. It appears that all dictionaries that I can find (see https://logeion.uchicago.edu/Romanus) list words such as Rōmānus, both adjective and noun, with a capital letter, and the majority usage in Google Books that I can find is with a capital letter, even in languages where the native equivalents would be lowercased. Latin Wikipedia likewise capitalizes them, e.g. from https://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denali:

Mons in sermonibus Alascensibus nomine Denali vel similibus (Diinaalii, Diinaadhiit, etc.) appellatur.

This suggests to me that we should lemmatize such terms under a capital letter, which appears to be the prevailing practice in Wiktionary with the exception of specific epithets (which are always lowercased). Lowercase variants can be created to point to the capitalized lemmas. Thoughts? Benwing2 (talk) 18:11, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

I've mainly seen such adjectives capitalized, although the texts that I am used to reading may just be influenced by the practice in English. I think it would be OK to use capitals in the Wiktionary entries. Capitalization is of course not a feature of the classical Roman writing system. I don't think it's necessary to leave out neuter forms for demonym adjectives when the formation of the neuter is certain (as it is with Francēnsis, which as an -is adjective would clearly have a neuter in -e); it is possible to use such adjectives to refer to things as well as people, as in the phrase "frumentum Siciliense" in Cicero's In Verrem (talk) 08:17, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Do all Latin nouns in -polis follow the Template:la-decl-3rd-polis declension?Edit

There's a special template Template:la-decl-3rd-polis for cities in -polis, but most such entries in Wiktionary don't use the template. Is it safe to assume all cities in -polis are declined as per the template? E.g. Template:la-decl-3rd-polis Benwing2 (talk) 17:08, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): Benwing2 (talk) 17:08, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
No, it's not safe to apply the template automatically without checking. Some of them have weird genitives and whatnot (e.g. Constantinopolis) — they should all be done by hand. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:49, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge What I mean is, are we better off switching cities in -polis that are using the raw I-stem template with no overrides to use Template:la-decl-3rd-polis instead? What this template does is change the ablative singular to -ī, the accusative singular to -im/-in, and the vocative singular to -is/-ī. In fact Constantinopolis has all of these forms, *plus* a few weird genitives that can be handled by overrides. The various cities in -polis that don't use the Template:la-decl-3rd-polis were all created as far as I can tell by User:Samubert96, who I doubt even knew about this template. I spot-checked 4 or 5 of them, and every one consistently has accusatives in -im, never in -em. As a result I think it will be a distinct improvement to switch them to use Template:la-decl-3rd-polis. Benwing2 (talk) 03:08, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
I find Hierāpoleos copiously, too. I guess -eos needs to be put into the template. Then it is safe, for why should not all -polis nouns have the same endings? Fay Freak (talk) 11:58, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Ben: The short answer is yes, the specific template is always an improvement. Fay: Some of the cities seem more prone to be Greekified than others, presumably having to do with when in history they were most discussed. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:37, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

have one's head read vs. need one's head examinedEdit

Is one better lemmatised than the other? Canonicalization (talk) 22:53, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Latin ĀdryasEdit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): @Fay Freak Does this mean "a hamadryad" (as claimed) or specifically Hamadryas? If the former, why is it capitalized? Also, is the genitive in -ados (as we claim) or -adis (as Gaffiot claims), or both? Benwing2 (talk) 23:46, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Probably it's both *-ados (Greek) and *-adis (Latin), at least for ancient Latin not including Middle and New Latin.
As for capitalisation: (Some) dictionaries also cap Centaurus, Romanus although they aren't proper nouns. --Pawogain (talk) 15:42, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

Carthāginēnsis or Carthāginiēnsis (or both)?Edit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): We have both Carthāginēnsis (noun) and Carthāginiēnsis (adjective). I suspect this distinction isn't real, and one or both forms can work as both noun and adjective. Which one(s) is/are correct? Benwing2 (talk) 23:59, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Georges: "Carthāginiēnsis (Karthāginiēnsis), e, karthagisch, aus-, von Karthago ... subst., der Karthager, die Karthagerin ... (auch Sing. kollektiv ...): Plur. Carthāginiēnsēs, ium, m., die Karthager ... Die Form Carthāginēnsis ist spätlat. ... Carthaginenses negotiatores, Vulg. Ezech. 27, 12: Carthaginensis civitas, Cod. Iust. 7, 62, 24." I.e. Carthāginēnsis is a Late Latin form of Carthāginiēnsis. And compared with the defs from Georges, the entries are incomplete. --Pawogain (talk) 15:59, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
@Benwing2 The distinction is certainly false, but both are correct, although the -iēnsis form seems to be the classical and predominant one for this particular adjective. I think -ēnsis can rightfully be labelled as Late Latin. The TLL Onomasticon vol. II entry: adi. Carthāginēnsis,-e. Corp. XIV 99 (Ostiae, periit) domini navium -ium. II 1262 (in Baetica) provinciae Africae dioecesis -ium. VIII 14364 (in prov. procos.) C. Annioleno C. f. Arn. Karthaginensi Galliano. dubitari potest de Corp. XIII 8269. in libris mss. haud raro traditum, unde etiam ab editoribus scriptorum recentioris aetatis subinde praefertur ex. gr. Sol. Optat. Schol. Hor. Vvlg. Ezech. 27, 12 Avg. epist. al. locos memoratu dignos v. sub Carthaginiensis. nota Corp. V †6209 (Mediolanii) cibis Cartaginensis. XIII 2000 (Luguduni) natione Afri civi Carthaginesi. Brutal Russian (talk) 17:46, 8 July 2019 (UTC)

Vocative of nouns in -ēius and -iusEdit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): Do all nouns in -ius and -ēius have vocative singular in -ī (rather than -ie)? Most such nouns have -ie listed as the vocative, but I suspect that's wrong. Also, am I safe in assuming that the suffix -eius is always actually -ēius? Most nouns in -eius are listed as -ēius, but not Briareius, Carteius, Nanneius. Benwing2 (talk) 00:30, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

In fact in pre-classical language the vocative of nouns in -ius, too, is on -e. So Terence always writes fīlie, not fīlī. This detail is also retained by the stress in classical language, so Vergilī is accented on the penultimate syllable as though one counts the -e (Mahagaja (talkcontribs) visibly knew). One can have all with a note, as one uses to have in some declension tables. Fay Freak (talk) 00:37, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
@Fay Freak OK. What is your exact suggestion for the note? Should these nouns list just the vocative in -ī (with penultimate stress), with a footnote explaining that forms in -ie are found pre-Classically? Or should we list both forms (with the appropriate footnote)? Benwing2 (talk) 01:01, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
According to the texts at TLL Terentius doesn't have filie (but "fili", "filii" as whatever forms). Also: Terentius is Old Latin, which wiktionary (stupiditly?, and obiously inconsistently) treats as a separate lingo. --Pawogain (talk) 15:35, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
In those texts, I do not find any vocative at all, don’t know what happened there. Wiktionary currently abuses the label “Old Latin”. It was supposed to contain inscriptional Latin, Latin before Livius Andronicus. So you see in Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2014/February § A proposal to treat Old Latin as a separate language from the other chronolects of Latin the confused talk of a user with a confused name claiming Latin before 75 BC was unintelligible to Cicero. Nobody did realize that to split up that language, they need to make up a name, like Primitive Latin, the “Old Latin” on Wikipedia has nothing to do with what is named “Old Latin” here. Better ignore that “Old Latin”. Fay Freak (talk) 16:32, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Here's a couple of notes I have:
  • GEN: Leumann: Cocejjus > GEN Cocejjī, but VOC Cocej (below). GEN stress originally first-syllable Válerī, shifted only after analogical resitution of the stem -i- in GEN (in adjectives first in Lucretius, in nouns in Vergil) - this situation testified to by Figulus in Gell., only later did VOC stress level after GEN.
  • VOC: Leumann: -ejjus: -EI monosyllabic Pompej, Voltej. Not a phonetic change, probably through analogy ejje (e -> ī) ejī >> eī >> ej. One -ēī in Ovid. puer "boy servant" => puere (so always). -ie only in graecisms and greek imitations. Stress: see GEN.
Thus the classical accentuation was by all indications always on the first syllable in VOC, but there likely was variation in GEN. I'm not clear on whether there was a perceptible difference between ējus and ejjus and which occurred in which words; there are some etymological pointers stuch as plēbēs (orig. ē-stem) > plēbējus?, while Osc. pompe "five" > pompejjus?. I read that in either Leumann or Meiser but can't find it again - it claimed that it was transliterated as ηιος because ειος would have been read as /e.jus/ and ειι would have been outright confusing.
Priscian lists Pompeius and Vulteius together with Gāius, suggesting a long vowel in the former two (but see further). But he does so in order to illustrate the double -ii- spelling, citing them alongside ejjus, with a certain short vowel, suggesting short rather vowels in Pompejjus and Vultejjus (I wouldn't expect a /j/ after a long vowel to be doubled). He also confirms the disyllabic Pompej. Ironically, neither the doubled spelling nor the vocative should concern the classically trisyllabic Gāius, whose VOC is Gāī and whose I was a vowel in vetustissimīs scrīptūrīs. Neither Gaffiot 2016 nor LaNe spell a long vowel in these words, but Gaffiot has plēbĕius (-jus) - however, there are no instances of /e.i.us/ at Pedecerto. Brutal Russian (talk) 13:19, edited 17:44, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): Thanks. What about adjectives in -ius like aerārius, presumably they also have vocatives in -ī? The template Template:la-decl-1&2 doesn't even support this currently. Benwing2 (talk) 15:18, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
OK, I looked up in some grammars. Hiley says that the vocative in -ī is formed to nouns in -ius *ONLY* when the noun is either a proper name, or the specific common nouns fīlius, genius. Hiley gives the examples of gladie, fluvie. Bennett also says the vocative in -ī is formed only to proper names and fīlius (not mentioning genius). Hiley meanwhile says the genitive in -ī (not -iī) was potentially formed to all nouns in -ius and -ium, and gives the examples Tullī, mancipī, ingenī. As for adjectives, Hiley doesn't say anything about genitives or vocatives in -ī, and Bennett specifically says that adjectives in -ius do *NOT* form genitives in -ī or vocatives in -ī and gives the example eximiī, eximie. This means I'll have to add another noun subtype, because the current ius type won't cover both genitive and vocative singulars. Benwing2 (talk) 20:56, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Georges states: "Vocat. fluvie nach Phoc. 429, 16 u. Serv. Verg. Aen. 8, 77, doch ohne Beleg." I.e. it's unattested. So could be somewhat similar to Gellius' Noctes atticae, lib. XIV (e.g. here) where grammarians argue whether it's "vir egregi" or "vir egregie". Phoc.: "Appellativa quae in ius desinunt, vocativum in e mittunt, est fluvius, o fluvie; socius, o socie". Serv.: "Si autem appellativum sit, in e mittit vocativum, ut pius, pie; fluvius, fluvie; excepto filius, nam fili facit." So more correct should be: Voc. *fluvie (cp. Phoc. & Serv.) or *fluvi (cp. filius, genius where voc. in -i is actually attested - and if one talks to a river, it probably gets personified which justifies -i too). --Benamu (talk) 07:31, 8 July 2019 (UTC)


I have never seen an entry crying out harder for context. Is there a specific disliked Mr or Mrs Cunningham (no doubt part of the American right wing) who is called by this name as a slur? Can we cite it generally? Basically wtf. Equinox 01:38, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

If you don't know anything about the term, what's your basis for "(no doubt part of the American right wing)"? -AlanUS (talk) 03:12, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
My basis is that it was created by a left-wing anarchist user who has a habit of creating such terms. If I recall correctly he once defined "cuck" as "someone who thinks women are people". I say "anarchist" but I mean that in the Redditor sense. I am sure my night spent sleeping at a bus stop when I missed the train home is more of a working-class struggle than anything he has endured, lol. Equinox 03:21, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Anyway I have since checked on Wikipedia and found Bill Cunningham (talk show host) so I guess I was right. Equinox 03:23, 7 July 2019 (UTC)


The third sense for this word is "(impersonal) to sound as an answer, to like an echo". This doesn't make much sense. Maybe "to sound like an answer, to be like an echo"? Or maybe the third sense should be removed altogether? -AlanUS (talk) 03:19, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

I think it should be “To sound in response, to echo.” The Russian Wiktionary has a citation from a story titled “По имени Лев” by Yury Buida included in the Russian National Corpus: “― Виновен! ― откликнулось эхо.” The full story can be found e.g. here; the cited fragment is on the last page.  --Lambiam 12:35, 7 July 2019 (UTC)


What is the pronunciation of y' in y'hear --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:50, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

What would you do with it if you had it...? Americans don't usually drop initial /h/ like some Brits. So presumably unless it's a vowel like y'all then we are just saying /jə/. Southerners feel free to step in and correct me. Equinox 10:53, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
y'hear in Texas (where I grew up) is /jəˈhɪɹ/. —Mahāgaja · talk 15:02, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

Then, should the definition of ' be revised? I think it messes up letters with sounds --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:35, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

Erm, how do you want to change it? Equinox 16:31, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
@Equinox: sorry the entry I meant is ', and it seems right --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:41, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

a-plenty Alternative form of aplentyEdit

"Alternative form " is not informative enough; I feel like this form is dated, archaic, obsolete... --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:26, 8 July 2019 (UTC)

Here are just a few of many recent uses: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8]. You could easily have found these yourself.  --Lambiam 11:50, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: How can it be represented in a-? Maybe a--? I had checked the etymology of aplenty which reads " From earlier a-plenty", but I guess earlier does not equate to the label "dated" --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:17, 10 July 2019 (UTC)


There's an additional sense of wargasm associated with the Weather Underground which might merit addition. That Wikipedia article, citing sources I can't access, describes it as involving "practicing karate, engaging in physical exercise, singing songs, and listening to speeches", but in other sources it refers to group sex (e.g. Nicholas Thoburn, "Weatherman, the Militant Diagram, and the Problem of Political Passion", p. 130; Cyrana B. Wyker, "Women in Wargasm", p. 71). (Is this the right place to make suggestions like this? I've added requests at WT:REE before but I get the sense that page isn't really meant for additional senses of existing entries.) Arms & Hearts (talk) 17:56, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

going onEdit

We have this as a preposition and as a form of go on. Synonyms would be nearing and approaching. Neither of those terms have a Preposition PoS header (though approaching has suspect noun and adjective PoS headers).

I think it is better interpreted as an adverb, as approaching is. It would be a curious preposition that only had numbers as its objects. I can't find non-numerical objects that occur as objects. Even phrases that are proxies for numbers like top speed, maximum depth, Mach 2. DCDuring (talk) 22:54, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

commonsense should be two words?Edit

commonsense exists, but I don't think the single-word form of common sense is valid, and Oxford seems to agree. The common sense page makes no mention of it either.

The term occurs in the titles of (at least) these books: [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18]. One may be tempted to deem this a misspelling of common-sense, but then it is, apparently, a quite commonmisspelling.  --Lambiam 11:38, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
To my surprise, commonsense is about one-fifth as common as common sense and more common than common-sense at Google Ngrams. As its occurrences are sometimes quite prominent, it's hard to say that its use is inadvertent. It's not too unusual for common two-word expressions to come to be spelled solid, like coalmine. DCDuring (talk) 14:22, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
I've been bold and made commonsense an alternative form of common-sense. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:27, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
It appears it might be written as one word most often when used attributively, e.g. a commonsense approach, commonsense guide to... Leasnam (talk) 14:06, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

hold your fireEdit

Any reason why the entry title is not hold one's fire? Also, there's an alternative form hold fire. Also, is it a synonym of hang fire? Canonicalization (talk) 15:33, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

The word “hold” in this phrase is a second-person imperative, so you expect a second-person possessive pronoun.  --Lambiam 20:59, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes, but why do we lemmatise it like that? It's not used exclusively in the imperative. "I told him to hold his fire", etc. Canonicalization (talk) 21:12, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
I would expect the lemma at hold one's fire. It would be nice to have a hard redirect from [[hold your fire]] to [[hold one's fire]]. DCDuring (talk) 21:48, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't think hang fire is a synonym, but citations could convince me otherwise. DCDuring (talk) 21:48, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
Yeah. Tempted to use one's (as in "they held their fire, allowing the enemy to advance closer"). It's not too uncommon and we can always redirect the your form. Equinox 10:10, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
Moved. - -sche (discuss) 04:17, 23 July 2019 (UTC)


Does the email usage of "subject" (as in "subject line") deserve its own sense? This seems to be me to be discrete from the other senses, and may be expressed differently in different languages. ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:49, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

The email header Subject: as prescribed in RFC 5322] is interlingual (invariant across languages). For the use of subject as in “subject line”, I think the sense “topic” with its translations is sufficient.  --Lambiam 11:15, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Err, surely not. Many languages in the world don't use the Latin alphabet, and so would obviously provide their own translation of the term in email web applications and the like. Chinese is one example - I'm sure there are many others. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:52, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Surely not what? Is 主題 (translation given for subject in the sense “topic”) not good enough for use in Chinese-language email web applications (assuming they use Mandarin)?  --Lambiam 19:21, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
Surely not all languages use their word for "subject" in its common sense to refer to a "subject line". Different languages might have different ways of denoting it. In Chinese for example both 主題 and 標題 are used, and there is no "one word" for subject anyway. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:11, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

Use of the heading "Synonyms" on the pages of unbound morphemes.Edit

Discussion moved to WT:Beer parlour/2019/July#Use of the heading "Synonyms" on the pages of unbound morphemes..

Couples therapyEdit

The Wikipedia article w:Couples therapy presents three different ways to spell the first word of this term: couples, couple's and couples'. Which is more correct? I understand how English uses the apostrophe in general, but what is the right way to name this branch of counsel[l]ing? In German it is the compound de:Paartherapie. --LA2 (talk) 08:28, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

I think “couple’s therapy” used like that is simply wrong. It could be right in some context, like “this couple's therapy” meaning “the therapy of this couple”. Same story for “couples’ therapy”; it could be right (or at least not very wrong) when used like “these couples’ therapy” meaning “the therapy of these couples”. Personally I prefer “couple therapy” to “couples therapy”, but for some reason the latter is more common.  --Lambiam 11:08, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
It is odd that "family therapy" (first word in singular) is so much more common than "families therapy", and yet singular is not the obvious choice for "couples". Perhaps there is a rule for that? --LA2 (talk) 12:31, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
"Men's clothing", "Women's magazine", "Children's book", etc. All clearly plural. "Pet food", "Car alarm", "House key", etc. All clearly singular. It looks like it's idiomatic whether singular or plural is used. Danielklein (talk) 05:42, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
Men, women, children and couples are all people, while the others are things. But families are also people and is still used in singular. LA2 (talk) 16:36, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

who's : misspelling of whoseEdit

Is it just a misspelling? maybe grammar is influencing here --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:11, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

You mean that it's an understandable mistake because -'s is used for possessives? Sure. I don't see a way to present that interesting tidbit without confusing those we seek to help. DCDuring (talk) 20:08, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

Pronunciation of quayEdit

The pronunciation section at quay seems to indicate multiple times that the pronunciation is "kee". However, in the Rhymes section, -eı is also listed. Is this actually true? What pronunciation of "quay" rhymes with "way"?

MGorrone (talk) 19:37, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

Other dictionaries have as many as three different pronunciations. MWOnline has three and give audio for each. I think that the pronunciation that rhymes with -eı is almost exclusively US. DCDuring (talk) 20:02, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
In the UK, it definitely rhymes with "key". SemperBlotto (talk) 21:24, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Not always; Tennyson, who’s certainly British, rhymes it with “to-day” in In Memoriam A.H.H., canto XIV. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 01:50, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

Another issue: what is the relationship between quay, cay, and key? quay lists cay as an alternative form; cay lists key and vice versa. Ultimateria (talk) 05:04, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

I had assumed that "quay" comes from the French "kaye, cai, quai or caye". SemperBlotto (talk) 05:07, 15 July 2019 (UTC)


I find the following definition for civil to be unworthy of wiktionary: "Naturally good, as opposed to good through regeneration." since it is biased in favor. Does this room agree that we cannot maintain definition showing opinion? I deleted it twice and my changes were reverted. NinjaAccountant (talk) 21:40, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

I am completely unaware of this meaning, but in any case, you should read this as: When, in theological usage, someone or someone is called “civil”, it is intended to mean “naturally good, as opposed to good through regeneration”. Any judgemental aspects are in the mind of those employing the term, and not that of the lexicographers, who just record what people using the term mean. Otherwise we could also not give the meanings of adjectives like disgusting and abhorrent.  --Lambiam 11:03, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
@NinjaAccountant Could you give some examples of this term in use in this or a similar definition? Could you suggest an alternative, more neutral definition? DCDuring (talk) 12:28, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
First of all, I am against the inclusion of this specific definition in Wiktionary. Yet, I am not a large reader of theology. It could be that when thinking specifically of it, this definition is useful. My objection come from the fact that it is not possible to find the word 'civil' defined as "naturally good" in other dictionary. Certainly, I find it to be an uncommon usage. NinjaAccountant (talk) 20:23, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
As I told you, this same definition has been in the Chambers Dictionary since 1908 (or earlier) until still today. I'm afraid your "I don't like it" is not going to get it removed. Equinox 20:27, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
@Equinox If you were to actually look at the Chambers Dictionary online like I did, you would find this definition is not there: [19] NinjaAccountant (talk) 12:34, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
I kind of get what the objection is about. The three current quotes are civil Righteousness, civil goodness or virtue, and civil sanctity. In all cases, the words modified by civil are already "good". If "civil badness" is possible, then the definition should be modified. If "civil" can only be used in a positive sense, the current definition is good. Danielklein (talk) 05:32, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
I think the objection was raised before we had any examples: they have been added since then, in response. Equinox 05:37, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
As noted at RFV, this exact definition appears in the current Chambers Dictionary too (but has been in there for more than a century, so no copyright problems). Equinox 16:18, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

Category:English phrasal verbs with particle (even)Edit

Is this right? How is even a particle in "get even"? Seems an everyday adjective: "now we're even", etc. Equinox 16:17, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

My knee-jerk reaction: adjective in the old sense (qualifier of noun etc). Am I missing something obvious? Like regarding it as a preposition as in "get under"? Neither would be wrong, depending on the intention ( not necessarily conscious) of the speaker or writer. JonRichfield (talk) 12:41, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

I've long believed that we have overused the phrasal verb concept. This looks like a particularly egregious case, but also see Category:English phrasal verbs with particle (adrift) and Category:English phrasal verbs with particle (low). DCDuring (talk) 19:09, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
OTOH most, perhaps all, of the entries in the categories seem entryworthy. DCDuring (talk) 19:15, 14 July 2019 (UTC)


An Italian acronym of English words. Did I format the entry correctly? --Pious Eterino (talk) 17:22, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

It is not really Finnish. I also deleted “The” as not contributing to the acronym.  --Lambiam 19:55, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

safe-haven law, safe havenEdit

Per WP, "Safe-haven laws (also known in some states as "Baby Moses laws", in reference to the religious scripture) are statutes in the United States that decriminalize the leaving of unharmed infants with statutorily designated private persons so that the child becomes a ward of the state." Are we missing a sense at safe haven, or should we create an entry at safe-haven law? Canonicalization (talk) 19:38, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

The meaning of safe haven in this term is basically the first one; the application is so specialized that I think it is not a good idea to add such a specific sense to the attribute. (There is also a notion of “safe haven currency”, according to WP a synonym of “hard currency”.) Easily attestable and opaque, and thus inclusion-worthy; in actual use the term “safe haven law” without hyphen seems to be more common. As far as I can see, this term is mainly current in the US; here are two petitions for introducing such a law to the UK, garnering only a pitiful number of signatures: [20], [21].  --Lambiam 20:36, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
(I've just created Baby Moses law.) Equinox 05:44, 14 July 2019 (UTC)


Does 豆腐 (literally, rice tofu, tofu-like lumps made from rice instead of bean), deserve an entry as a single word? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 23:35, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

New definition for languageEdit

7-14 July 2019 is NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week. Triple J has been playing songs by artists in language. "Language" means the traditional language of an individual, not any specific language as there are hundreds of native Australian languages. The word is used as a proxy for the name of the language itself. Usage of the word can be seen here: https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/program-unearthed/songs-in-indigenous-languages/11300750

We enlisted Gamilaroi woman and the host of triple j’s Weekend Lunch Karla Ranby to share with us some of her favourite songs in language on triple j Unearthed.

The audio at the top of the page has the title "Gayarra-Gi Winanga-Li: Songs in Language", and you can hear the announcer say "Gayarra-Gi Winanga-Li: Songs in Language on triple j Unearthed" in the first few seconds.

I would add a definition myself, but I'm not sure what to put. Danielklein (talk) 05:17, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

I've occasionally encountered this usage in relation to Native American languages, but I don't know if it meets CFI. - -sche (discuss) 21:54, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Full thickness. Advice on creation pleaseEdit

I want to enter the equivalent of several articles with titles starting with "full thickness", but I suspect that it would be better to write just one, in which the likes of "full thickness wound", "full thickness tear", "full thickness burn" etc (not all medical) are entered as separate items below a "full thickness" entry. Not yet sure whether to hyphenate, but that is a minor point.

I could well understand scepticism concerning the need for such an obvious entry, but I assure objectors that the concepts are non-trivial and just looking them up, or attempting to, has cost me a few hours. I still am looking up some items. I also am wondering how best to make them easy to look up for the uninitiated.

Could someone please offer comments and recommendations? Thanks accordingly. JonRichfield (talk) 12:33, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

I find it hard to comment without something concrete to react to, especially since the putative term full context seems fairly transparent even with the minimal context you have provided (the three terms that include it). The ramifications of the term may be complex, but the basic meaning seems simple. Ramifications tend to be encyclopedic. DCDuring (talk) 13:06, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
A WP search for "full thickness" would seem to confirm that the term is in fairly frequent medical use in reference to identifiable tissues such as skin and muscle, but also in other contexts, such as geology. DCDuring (talk) 13:19, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
@DCDuring Thank you; your findings are consistent with mine. My question then remains whether say, to have one headword article full thickness with its own definition as the first entry, and then as the rest of the entries each with "full thickness" plus a third word and its definition, or with a "See also" section with some half-dozen entries pointing at separate headword articles such as full thickness shearing and full thickness graft, the latter containing entries such as "full thickness skin graft" and "full thickness bone graft" with "See also" links to split thickness graft. I suspect the multiple article option is the least controversial. It might be more tedious and harder to maintain, but it probably would prove to be the most flexible in use. JonRichfield (talk) 14:51, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
Jon, can you clarify what it actually does mean, if it doesn't mean "full [entire, maximum] thickness [degree of being thick or wide] in the given context"? Equinox 14:53, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
Generally yes, but the devil is in the details, and some of the implications are far from clear; consider the bone graft and the tendon tearing, as compared to the shearing. Is a full thickness wound the thickness of the epidermis, the skin, the limb, or the trunk? And in any case, so what in each case? Is it good or bad? Why is it regarded as justifying a professional jargon term? And is the reader expected to know these things? We have articles on all sorts of items that the initiated would regard as obvious and redundant, but the majority have never heard of. We need not give a full discussion of any of the terms, but even if we merely define the terms and direct the reader to one or more WP articles for the details, that would justify our entries. JonRichfield (talk) 17:21, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
It's hard to talk abstractly about entries, I would say just create a few and someone can RFD them if they like. DTLHS (talk) 17:27, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
As a general rule, a dictionary definition is no more than a phrase, possibly including a modifying clause or three. I don't see how all the possible ramifications of these various things would fit in a dictionary definition. Maybe propose some definitions here for starters. DCDuring (talk) 18:27, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

OK thanks to respondents. I'll collect the samples I can make sense of (I am still struggling with full thickness shearing; there are at least two possible, but radically different interpretations, and I am making enquiries. Guessing does not become the lexicographer 😁 ) Then I'll start rattling cages once more. Ciao for niao JonRichfield (talk) 18:56, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

Start with something you know already. DCDuring (talk) 19:44, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
OK! JonRichfield (talk) 02:19, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

come homeEdit

Worthy of an entry? Football's coming home. Cricket's coming home --Gibraltar Rocks (talk) 21:01, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

  • Added - but wording doesn't seem quite correct. Feel free to improve. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:49, 15 July 2019 (UTC)


Defined as "Any situation in which there are violent changes." Seems a bit extreme. --Gibraltar Rocks (talk) 21:10, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

I suppose “violent” here is a strong way of saying “strong” rather than suggesting physical violence as in a conflict situation. The definition is improved in that it now also mentions ups and downs, but I am not sure about the disjunctive “or”. I think for a situation to be called a “rollercoaster”, both aspects are required: there have to be ups and downs, and the changes have to be strong.  --Lambiam 21:00, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
I propose in this case something like: "continual dramatic changes and frequent reversals of fortune" ("drastic" or "abrupt" might do). I don't think the current version conveys the roller-coaster sense of ups and downs. JonRichfield (talk) 07:08, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Since the nomination I have changed it to "Any situation in which there are ups and downs, or violent changes". Yes obviously it means strong and not bloody-fighting-violent, I think WF was trolling by nominating this, or hasn't read enough books. I quite like Jon's "reversals of fortune" though. Equinox 07:39, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
In a sentence like our relationship was quite a rollercoaster, “fortune” may not be an apt term for the something that goes up and down.  --Lambiam 09:01, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Horses for courses; in other sentences it would fit. or you might say something like "fortune or prosperity" (or happiness or the like, as you prefer). Literally and etymologically, happiness really means the same as fortune, though we seem to have narrowed its usage.) JonRichfield (talk) 11:15, 17 July 2019 (UTC)


Defined as "A form of fascism that uses modern technologies, such as chemotherapy and electronic surveillance, to attain its ends."

Since when was "chemotherapy" used to attain the ends of fascism? Sounds like some kind of anti-vaxxer conspiracy theory.

You misunderstand. Look at chemotherapy entry: it can be any kind of chemical treatment, not just the well-known cancer kind. Equinox 21:44, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
2017, T. R. Young, The Drama of Social Life: Essays in Post-modern Social Psychology: "Technofascism involves behavior modification, various forms of “chemotherapy,” psychoelectronics, psychotherapy, guidance and “counseling,” secret policing systems, wiretapping, electronic surveillance..." Equinox 21:44, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
Spotted this one in passing and I can't say I like it. the fact that ""chemotherapy"" was in quotes suggests that it was an ironical reference to lying claim: calling something chemotherapy that was nothing of the kind — like calling "waterboarding" "hydrotherapy". As for chemotherapy being associated with cancer, that is rather artificial, since any therapeutic chemical application could be called chemotherapy, and that includes the vast majority of modern medical treatments, which is unsurprising because we, the patients, are largely chemical systems. JonRichfield (talk) 05:37, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
Improvements welcome. Equinox 14:57, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
1: I started by looking up Technofascism, not having noticed it before, to my memory. The first version I found on google was a dead ringer for "Technocracy", and had precious little to do with the quote from T. R. Young.
2: How widely is the term used or accepted, let alone useful? The list of items ...behavior modification, various forms of “chemotherapy,” psychoelectronics, psychotherapy, guidance and “counseling,” secret policing systems, wiretapping, electronic surveillance... seems vague, in fact downright incoherent. I for one would mutter "Citation needed" before even considering it, and even if there were a sheaf of citations, I would like to see those terms justified. "chemotherapy" has already been challenged, but "psychoelectronics, psychotherapy, guidance and “counseling,”" really are no better supported. "Does it matter", you might ask. I say yes; if someone challenged any of us to defend a definition based on such material, what could we say in defence?
3: If the word is not widely and consistently understood in terms of reasonably articulate and specific definitions, then we need to be careful of how we propagate its use. Our family of Wikis has tremendous influence and accordingly tremendous responsibility. For example, the only hit I got in WP was our entry here, and that was just one example.
4: I had a look on ngram, and the earliest usage I could find was by one Victor Marchetti in a 1978 book: "Dirty Work The CIA in Europe by Philip Agee.pdf" "...to watch over the population of their country with the means offered by technology. This is what I call technofascism and it is already operative in the United States. . . . This type of activity is a far cry from the legitimate work of a secret service, namely the gathering of political, economic, and military information on one or another foreign nation." Now, just because he claims to have coined it doesn't mean that we have to adhere to his definition, but it should suggest some attention in establishing a cogent context for our definition. And I say that without strong feelings one way or the other about the authors' views or merits (I haven't read the book and anyway the word only occurs once in it). Elsewhere, not just in ngram, the hits I found were thin on definition, even thinner on logic, and worst of all from the point of lexicography, thin on consistency or meaning:
Surveillance of private calls and emails. Cameras documenting every move. No habeas corpus.
What does techno-fascism look like? Feb 8, 2017 - The emerging ideology of the tech-lords: A subculture within the industry that brought you Angry Birds is forming: the techlord.
The first strand of fascism emerging already in America is technofascism. I read today that Alex Jones called Bob Mueller a pedophile and then issued a death threat against him... ... You might not call that full blown fascism yet —or you might — still, it’s something like proto-technofascism, at the very least.Techno-fascism is characterized by the ways more aspects of daily life are becoming dependent upon digital technologies that lead to many benefits while at the same time reducing the diversity of cultural ways of knowing and by increasingly subordinating human thought and behaviors to the dictates of machines. Unlike the racist mythologies of German fascism, the mythic dimensions of techno-fascism are rooted in ancient religious narratives about humans naming and taking control of the environment, and in the abstract thinking of philosophers who laid the conceptual and moral foundations for the modern myth of progress, including the idea that human life is mechanistic in nature and is driven by nature’s law governing natural selection. While the moral foundations of techno-fascism align with the values of market capitalism and the progress-oriented ideology of science that easily slips into scientism, its level of efficiency and totalitarian potential can easily lead to repressive systems that will not tolerate dissent, especially on the part of those challenging how the colonizing nature of techno-fascism promotes consumerism that is destroying the environment and alternative cultural lifestyles such as the cultural commons.
Techno-fascism is imposing a one-size-fits-all centralized bureaucracy on a diverse population of multiple-sized businesses comprised of people just trying to do their jobs.
President Trump must SEIZE and shut down the techno-fascists
Just samples of course; trust me, there are plenty more where they came from, and the come from all the corners of political prejudices and delusions. Note that not all of that stuff is nonsensical; some might validly claim to be anti-fascistic (though much of it is more fascistic than what it criticises) but it still is not very helpful to lexicography.
5: Urban dictionary, for example, says "TechnoFascism was a word officially forged by Daryl Basarab of Free Media Productions..." This is untrue and certainly unsupported. A self-indulgent gem of a 2010 article The Age of Technofascism at http://www.culturechange.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=616&Itemid=1 is a classic piece of technowhine that confuses technological realities with the sociological imperatives of class bullying: every time the publicity machines or the law tell or influence anyone to do something, that is Technofascism; it seems the the Romans practised it in classical times. "Technofascism isn’t new. The Romans practiced it when they enslaved people to build their roads and aqueducts." etc.
6: To cut it less over-long, the more I read, the less there seems to be any justification for such a word in the light of its often mindless and generally conflicting usage. It has little to do with fascism, less to do with technology, nothing to do with consistency or even coherency of semantics; it amounts to sociobabble miscegenating with technowail to generate rabble-rousing invectobabble. (cf Bierce's definition of "rabble".) Such usage is commoner than any of the idiosyncratic and mutually inconsistent definitions I have encountered. Intrinsically the word does not yet merit any lexicographical attention, but if we were to cede it any definition at all, it would have to reflect these facts, which probably demand a few entries under the headword. It is all very well to insist on the dictionary's value-free recording role, but as a point of social responsibility we need to explain as well, especially when the alternative is to foster the idiosyncratic meaninglessness (invectobabble) that currently is propagating. Already it partly reflects our current entry, I am embarrassed to note, though not astonished.
I suppose I could create a WP entry on the subject, but hesitate, partly out of distaste, and partly for lack of authority in the field. I believe that no one entry could suffice to cover a useful slab of it. But I challenge anyone to do it justice without a lot of synthesis and own research. I am unregenerately cynical about OR and synthesis, which personally I regard as part of our moral and intellectual duty, but... Any takers?
I apologise for the unstructured text foregoing, but I wrote it piecemeal while checking online material. JonRichfield (talk) 08:18, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
I can only repeat "Improvements welcome"! It's clearly a word so we should have an entry. If you don't like the definition, make it better. Perhaps we could just say "fascism aided by the use of modern technology". Remember that we can define a word without agreeing with it (hence "loli" can mean "a sexy little girl" without us admitting the sexiness and being paedophiles by saying it: perhaps there are none; cf. "unicorn", a word for a thing that doesn't exist). Equinox 04:03, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
OK, I'll have a look and think ASAP -- a bit snowed under for a day or few. JonRichfield (talk) 07:04, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
What would one call the imposition of Axel F on a person? Tharthan (talk) 08:24, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
F.Ax by machine Equinox 08:26, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Oud en NieuwEdit

Hello, I came across this page: Oud en Nieuw. This page doesn't exist on the Dutch Wiktionary, as it is not actually a correct word. On the page oud en nieuw, which is the correct spelling, it says "Alternative letter-case form of Oud en Nieuw". But 'oud en nieuw' is actually the only correct spelling, as far as I could find on the internet. 607 wikipedia (talk) 13:01, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

In Dutch news sources you find both versions. A few using capital letters: [22], [23], [24], [25], [26]. And here are some uses in books: [27], [28], [29]. I cannot immediately think of a reason to prefer one version over the other, but obviously both should be included.  --Lambiam 20:46, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
Well, a reason to prefer one over the other is that one is considered correct and one isn't. ;) I do agree that both lemmata should exist though, if they are used. However, it is strange that it is worded as if 'oud en nieuw' is an alternative to 'Oud en Nieuw', while 'oud en nieuw' seems to be the only official spelling (Onze Taal however does recommend 'Oud en Nieuw' I see now, so I suppose it's not as incorrect as I thought!). It seems like the pages should simply be swapped, then: oud en nieuw containing the definition and other links, and Oud en Nieuw saying "Alternative letter-case form of oud en nieuw". 607 wikipedia (talk) 19:17, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

(run) like the windEdit

"run like the wind" redirects to like the wind. However, "like the wind" is listed as archaic.

That seems like particularly strong wording. Can someone look into this? Tharthan (talk) 19:39, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

I agree. I added definitions, quotes and dates, and removed the archaic tag JonRichfield (talk) 11:50, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

ROFL and friendsEdit

We have so many ROFL entries - here and here. Would it be preferable to put them all as alternative forms of ROFL or whatever the most common form is, leaving the etymologies? --Pious Eterino (talk) 22:07, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

They might be synonyms (they basically mean the same thing) but I don't know that they are "alternative forms": they're distinct phrases. In the same way I don't consider flammable and inflammable to be alt forms even though they have the same meaning and related etymology. Equinox 22:10, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

ROFL and friends? That's cool and the gang! ;D Tharthan (talk)


Translingual, English and Japanese all have pretty much the same entry. Can we merge? --Pious Eterino (talk) 22:12, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

The entry was created by an IP geolocating to Canada. I must say that the current JA etymology is a purely-English phrase, and thus it seems ... unlikely as a purely Japanese coinage, given usual Japanese word formation patterns. It seems much more likely that this was coined in English (albeit perhaps by a Japanese national), and borrowed as the initialism.
I also note that google books:"RGSS" "は" (adding the は to filter for Japanese texts) yields 324 ostensible hits, collapsing to around 201 when paging through; of those with any sort of preview or excerpt that even includes this string, all the ones I checked appear to be scannos. Even looking at the wider web with google:"RGSS" "は", we get 102,000 ostensible hits, collapsing to just 100 when paging through. Some of these are Wikipedia or mirrors, some are dedicated Ruby sites. I can't tell if think the Japanese entry should exist at all, considering WT:CFI. At a bare minimum, the etym could probably use reworking. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:05, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

French h-aspiré without hEdit

It is well documented that some French words such as oui and onze are treated as having h-aspiré despite not being spelt with an h. That is, one would say 'le onze' and 'le oui' and not *'l'onze' or *'l'oui'. There is also the word ouate which can be treated both ways, either 'le ouate' or 'l'ouate'. However, there are some other words that I know do this, specifically loanwords written with w, but I can't find the right French-language dictionary information to support it. Many dictionaries don't even explicitly state the above.

Words like week-end and water are pronounced /wi.kɛnd/ and /wa.tɛʁ/, and do not elide, so 'le week-end' and 'le water'. If we look at words purely phonetically, these two are displaying h-aspiré, however, most dictionaries will simply list their pronunciations as is with no indication of this (where for other h-aspiré entries it is marked with a ' or a *). But how else can this be explained if words that begin the same way are treated differently, like oiseau /wa.zo/ (starting with the same sound as water), yet it is 'l'oiseau'; or ouïs /wi/ (same as week-end), yet 'j'ouïs'. So this must be h-aspiré.

The same goes for words like yaourt, the word yeux in 'les yeux' /le‿zjø/ is treated simply as a vowel, yet 'les yaourts' is /le ja.urt/. So here again is h-aspiré without an h.

So should I just go and mark these pages' pronunciations as h-aspiré or do I need to find a French dictionary that explicitly states this in order to mention it on Wiktionary. Please ping me with any replies, thanks! 2WR1 (talk) 01:48, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

No, they're not h-aspiré. They're blocking of liaison in specific words that's analogous to that seen in words with h-aspiré. H-aspiré itself is a very specific phenomenon caused by words with different histories that happened to be all written with initial "h" and that all ended up with the "h" becoming silent- but at different stages in the phonological development of the language. It's reminiscent of the loss of everything after the accent except for syllables with "a", with the "a" becoming reduced to something spelled as "e" before it, too became silent- but not before it had blocked the loss of sounds between it and the accent. You wouldn't call every instance of a non-silent final consonant the result of "silent e without e", so why would you call every instance of blocked liaison "h-aspiré without h"?. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:28, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
That being said, the blocked elision is useful information that should be included in some form in the relevant entries. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:14, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy thanks for weighing in, I agree, if more people still disagree with what I'm saying, then at the very least that's what should be done. But read my response below and see if what I was trying to say is more clear. 2WR1 (talk) 01:52, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz Hi, thanks for your response, sorry for my late response but I didn't see that anyone had commented. I have to respectfully disagree though, your point about 'silent e without e' I think is exactly what I'm trying to get across, maybe I wasn't clear. I'm very familiar with the origins of h-aspiré. I'm saying if we do as good linguists are meant to and entirely ignore orthography, what we are left with in French are two sets of words that start with vowels (which, importantly, includes semivowels): one set which allows for elision and liaison, and one set that blocks these two. The phenomenon of the blocking is called h-aspiré, which is a reference to orthography, but on a phonetic level there is no difference and these just have to be learned (unless of course you get into absolute neutralization, but in tht case you'd have to represent each h-aspiré word phonemically as actually containing a /h/, which is much too complicated). H-aspiré simply describes the set which blocks, whether or not they happen to be orthographically represented with an h.
In the same way that French phonetically has words that end in consonants, sometimes this is orthographically represented with a Ce, but sometimes this is irregularly orthographically represented with simply a C. However, in both cases it's important to know, whatever the spelling, that phonetically the word ends with a consonant, so we make this clear by including the IPA.
So in this same way we have the blocking and non-blocking vowel initial word sets, it doesn't matter how their spelt, but we need to make it clear that there's an important extra feature which needs to be taken into account and isn't represented in the IPA transcription.
So in this way, /wa.zo/ does not block so nothing extra needs to it, though the initially phonetically identical word /wa.tɛʁ/ does block, so we need to mention that it has h-aspiré.
I also recently learned that the word ukulélé is treated as h-aspiré despite clearly not being written with an h or the letters y or w. There's nothing graphically telling you this, it's not spelt *hukulélé, and yet it is consider to exhibit h-aspiré. (you can see many examples of 'le ukulélé' if you search for it, if you go for instance to the French Wikipedia entry you'll see it all over the place).
I hope this makes things clearer about what I was trying to say initially. 2WR1 (talk) 01:49, 1 August 2019 (UTC)


Can anyone provide more context? DTLHS (talk) 02:15, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

There is some discussion at https://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/47762/akum-nochri-and-goy that seems to me explanatory, but I leave it to someone else to decide on the editing of the entry. The part I found most enlightening was:
I see a lot of Halachic and Aggadic texts where the words גוי, נכרי, עכו"ם are all used interchangeably....
The substitutions come from censorship of printing over the years. Christian censors were generally more comfortable with עכו"ם - meaning worshiper of stars and constellations, as those Christian censors felt it did not include them
Possibly something along the lines of
"from the Hebrew akum, literally worshiper of stars and constellations; in the past as a prudent euphemism for goy, to avoid offending Christian authorities." -- 08:43, 16 July 2019 JonRichfield
The " in עכו"ם means it's an acronym, possibly for עובד כוכבים ומזלות (which definitely gets some Google hits: [30])... AnonMoos (talk) 08:44, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
P.S. I just noticed that we actually have an entry for עכו״ם -- AnonMoos (talk) 01:15, 20 July 2019 (UTC)


Our entry begins (before any etymology, definition, pronunciation, or anything likely to be useful to real human beings using our dictionary) with two egregrious "alternative forms" wahter and wahtuh. I quietly removed these the other day but somebody undid my edit. Can I just get a consensus here that we believe, as a whole, we are serving our users well as a dictionary by starting our entry, before even defining the word, with these bizarre oddities that mostly won't be encountered by a casual reader? What are we trying to tell them? #1 high priority: make sure you know you can also spell it wahtuh?! Equinox 02:27, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Aesthetics does not need to excuse itself. It’s the main task to present the dictionary comelily. Fay Freak (talk) 02:52, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Obviously we believe, correctly of course, that alternative forms, pronunciations, etymologies, and all headings (in larger and bolder type than definitions and other content) are more important than definitions. If some users don't agree, we don't need their kind around here: they can go to those money-grubbing commercial dictionaries. DCDuring (talk) 03:14, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
I seriously wonder whether these people consider users at all. Most people use a dictionary to find out what a word means. Or maybe to find out how it's pronounced, or maybe even translations (although we won't be the first port of call there, thanks to Google Translate etc.). Does anyone come to a dictionary to find out "what weird non-standard spellings exist that will fail an exam for you"? Hazarasp thinks so...? Equinox 03:32, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
I would like to note that we document old/obsolete verb forms like falleth and droppeth but we don't feel the need to link them from the main verb lemma pages, since they are clearly obsolete. Why then must we link to forms of a word that were never standard at any time in history, and why must we do it first thing, before any other section of the entry? INSANE. INSANE. INSANE. Equinox 03:34, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
I've moved the "Alternative forms" section of water to below the definitions; it can be positioned either there or at the top like it was before. This keeps the content that was present (which I believe some people might find useful; e.g. if they are a non-native speaker reading a book that uses eye dialect) while letting the definition take centre stage. However, I don't think your insulting attitude towards me is helpful; I was just trying to prevent content from being needlessly removed. --Hazarasp (talk · contributions) 07:42, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Needlessly? What about usefully? Eye dialect spellings, like pronunciation spellings, 3rd person singular -th spellings shouldn’t even be included because they are predictable. One gets it if there is ever “book that uses eye dialect” or still uses 3rd person singular -th spellings. Can you look at yourself in the mirror saying “some people might find that useful?” You might become a salesman if you can. I am a non-native speaker and do not find it useful even if I read an “eye-dialect” book. In the cases when one does not recognize the words one gets the word anyway since the entries for the eye-dialect spellings are already created. Or do you want to encourage people to use eye-dialect forms? They don’t need a dictionary either to write how their pusses have grown. From it follows to remove the content to get the appropriate ranking of the other content. In any case a use of the cognates section must step down behind the consideration that the cognates are one click away in the ancestors. The “perfectly good content” (which isn’t that perfect either because it is a jumble) is to be removed because it is already perfectly well situated in the already created ancestor pages, see Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2019/July § Further etymologies of borrowed terms. The claim that I have removed the content because “I don’t like it” is insolent. I have assessed all conflicting interests and the result of an assessment speaks against the inclusion of the cognates obviously, since cognates information can be found at the ancestors and people should get used to it, and the eye-dialect forms too at any place because one can always spell words in a pronunciation spelling, attested or not, the informational content of the section is at zero. Only because one has unlimited hosting space here does not mean anything remotely related needs to be put onto every page. Classifying the content in just unrelated content, necessary content, and “optional” content that cannot be removed is a wrong yardstick and a sophism. Again: who cares about these eye-dialect spellings? Nobody cares, I literally meant “nobody cares” when I said “nobody cares”, it has no hidden idiomatic sense “I don’t like it”. Hazarasp has evaluated the facts wrongly. We pretty sure know what the users want and finding “optionality” of content is no criterion to attain the dictionary goals. Everything is optional. Some things are so optional that they should be left out. Fay Freak (talk) 13:13, 17 July 2019 (UTC)


Some kind of sport... I am hesitant to RFV this but has anyone heard of it? Has anyone done it? Do any of us do sport? I'm not seeing much in Google Books. Equinox 03:08, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

See also   Radiosport on Wikipedia.Wikipedia  --Lambiam 22:05, 17 July 2019 (UTC)


This seems like the same word as fealty. Should we link them in some way? Could it even be called an alt form? Is it obsolete? (This is not a spelling I have ever seen before.) Equinox 03:56, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

discredit (noun)Edit

discredit#Noun, sense 1, reads:

  1. The act of discrediting or disbelieving, or the state of being discredited or disbelieved.
    Later accounts have brought the story into discredit.

Could someone add an example of the sense "The act of discrediting or disbelieving", please? 10:29, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

These two senses are so different that they ought not to be combined in a single definition. I have split it into two and requested verification for the first part.  --Lambiam 21:57, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. 21:16, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

Pali pisa 'goblin'Edit

I'm not sure whether this Pali word qualifies for inclusion. It appears to be a corruption of 'pisāca'. So found I've found the shorter form in print in one benediction (given in two scripts, Tai Tham and Thai), but on the Internet it also turns up in the Roman script. Some of the Roman script sources have Thai connections, possibly they all do.

So, the word exists, even if it is vulnerable to an RFV. Can I, and should I, express my suspicion that is essentially a Thai form. If so, what mechanism should I use? -- 13:09, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

FWIW, the quotations I have are currently being used for ยกฺข (yakkha) and ᨿᨠ᩠ᨡ (yakkha, yaksha). -- RichardW57 (talk) 18:38, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Pronunciation of brave and braviEdit

Both forms appear in the usage note of the interjection bravo --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:08, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Naturally. They're different forms with different pronunciations in Italian. Note that they are described as non-naturalised. -- RichardW57 (talk) 18:43, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
What is described where as non-naturalised?  --Lambiam 21:47, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
@RichardW57: But how are they pronounced? --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:20, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Why to ask that question for bravi and brave, but not for bravo and brava? Italian pronunciation is rather regular; that would be /ˈbra.vo/, /ˈbra.va/, /ˈbra.vi/ and /ˈbra.ve/. The vowels and stress are similar to Spanish, but the /r/ and /v/ are different.  --Lambiam 21:47, 17 July 2019 (UTC)


The two paragraphs added by User:CecilWard on Jan 14 are, in my opinion, too long-winded, full of weasel words making it not really assert anything, and most importantly, completely unreferenced, so that they reflect nothing but the personal opinion of the user who added them.

On July 7, I reverted this addition. My revert was immediatelly rolled back by User:SemperBlotto, using the default comment inviting me to leave a message on his talk page, so I did.

By July 9, User:SemperBlotto hadn't responded to my message, so I reverted the addition again, and he rolled it back again, still refusing to communicate. After one more revert the next day, he blocked me for a week. User:Surjection then commented: if he is unwilling to communicate, so be it. The best place for entry-specific mediation or discussion is the Tea Room, so here I am, now that my IP is unblocked.

Noting that WT:EL#Usage notes states: "Be prepared to document these notes with references", may I ask somebody to look at these usage notes and evaluate whether they're appropriate for WT, and if they are, to document them with references. -- 05:56, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

I agree with you. I would support the deletion of this rambling verbiage. Mihia (talk) 02:24, 29 July 2019 (UTC)


if the plural of πατέρ is πατέρας - Wiktionary; why is πατέρων of [the] fathers at https://biblehub.com/interlinear/luke/1.htm translates father as plural?--Marcelbel (talk) 17:37, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

@Marcelbel I moved your post from the talk page- in spite of the name, the Tea Room talk page isn't where discussion topics should be posted.
As for your question: as you will see from the header I gave this discussion, Ancient Greek πατέρας (patéras) is the (accusative) plural of πατήρ (patḗr), not *πατέρ. There are actually 5 plurals in Ancient Greek:
  1. Nominative- subject: "The balls bounced"
    John 4:20:
    οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν ἐν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ προσεκύνησαν
    hoi patéres hēmôn en tôi órei toútōi prosekúnēsan
    our ancestors [literally "fathers"] worshipped on this mountain
  2. Genitive- possessive: "The color of the balls"
    Luke 1:17
    ἐπιστρέψαι καρδίας πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα
    epistrépsai kardías patérōn epì tékna
    to turn [back] hearts of fathers toward children
  3. Dative- indirect object: "He threw him the balls, one at a time"
    Hebrews 8:9:
    τὴν διαθήκην, ἣν ἐποίησα τοῖς πατράσιν αὐτῶν
    tḕn diathḗkēn, hḕn epoíēsa toîs patrásin autôn
    the covenant which he made with their fathers
  4. Accusative- direct object: "He threw him the balls, one at a time"
    Acts 7:12:
    ἐξαπέστειλεν τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν
    exapésteilen toùs patéras hēmôn
    he sent our ancestors [literally "fathers"]
  5. Vocative- direct address: "Balls, stop bouncing"
    Collossians 3:21:
    Οἱ πατέρες, μὴ ἐρεθίζετε τὰ τέκνα ὑμῶν
    Hoi patéres, mḕ erethízete tà tékna humôn
    Fathers, do not provoke your children
In (the 17th verse of) the passage you linked to, πατέρων (patérōn) is the genitive plural. The other plurals: πατέρες (patéres) (nominative), πατράσι (patrási)/πατράσιν (patrásin) (dative), πατέρας (patéras) (accusative), and πατέρες (patéres)(vocative)
As you can see, our entry is perfectly correct- you were just missing some of the information you needed to interpret it correctly. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:57, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

What consonant is this, and in which languages is it used?Edit

It is formed by pushing air through only the left half of your mouth (for me, the left side is easier than the right side). It seems to have voiced and unvoiced versions, and it can be held the same way that English th, v, and z can. The sound isn't used in any languages that I know of, although I'm not familiar with that many languages. HotdogPi (talk) 20:44, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

When I try that, it sounds more or less like /f/. I haven't heard of any consonants that are formally distinguished by being in the left or right side of the mouth. Equinox 20:52, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
I might not have been clear enough. First, I didn't actually mean half. The air goes entirely to the left of the teeth. Also, when I do it, my tongue touches my teeth. HotdogPi (talk) 21:06, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
It's some kind of Lateral consonant, probably a fricative and/or affricate. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:13, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
A buccal fricative (apparently used in modern Tagalog)? I could not find a good description of how it is realized, and also no examples of how it sounds.  --Lambiam 18:22, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
Agreed for Welsh (don't know the others). Also the "hl" in Nguni languages as in umHlanga in Zulu. A sort of unvoiced "L" JonRichfield (talk) 12:20, 21 July 2019 (UTC)


1. worthy of blessing or of being blessed.

I suppose that some pedant could draw a distinction, but if one blesses something, one is intending to cause/lead to a blessing being given to/put on something or someone.

So this definition seems to use redundant wording.

Thoughts? Tharthan (talk) 07:15, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

The wording “worthy of blessing” is ambiguous. If someone is deemed worthy of receiving respect, then the person deemed worthy is the subject of the receiving: they should receive the respect they deserve. But if a sinner is deemed worthy of saving, then the sinner is the object of the saving: they shall be saved. So someone being worthy of blessing might mean: worthy of performing the task of administering a blessing. If that is indeed the intention, then the two choices separated by “or” have very different meanings. Whether the first sense can be attested is unclear. Using GBS I see several uses where I can’t figure out what the author is attempting to convey. OneLook comes out empty-handed.  --Lambiam 18:10, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
I wrote that. I meant: worthy of having/receiving blessing (i.e. blessedness, good-fortune, favour). Not worthy of the right to bless (bestow blessing). So blessworthy means "worthy to be blessed" "worthy of receiving blessing" Leasnam (talk) 22:27, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
I've made the entry a little clearer. Leasnam (talk) 22:50, 19 July 2019 (UTC)


Defn. of sense 1: “A particular herb, similar in flavor to thyme or oregano, used in Arab and Israeli cuisine, made from various Middle Eastern herbs.” What does that mean? Can a particular herb be “made” from various herbs? Does this particular flavourful herb have a binomial name, such as Particularis variegata?  --Lambiam 19:51, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

Ugh, that's a confusing entry. See w:Za'atar for what looks like better-presented information. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:23, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure how I ended up wording it that way- it doesn't really make sense. My definition was an attempt to represent what I read in a journal many years ago: if you were to buy zaatar in various places in the Middle East, the actual botanical identity of the dried leaves you bought could be Origanum syriacum, Satureja thymbra, Thymus capitatus/Thymbra capitata, or Thymbra spicata- it could be any one of those, as long as it was a variety that had the correct balance of essential oils, and thus the correct flavor. It's not really a spice mixture, because there generally is only one species in any given batch, and it's not thyme or oregano- though different varieties of some of the species are sold under those names. Zaatar in the second sense is basically a mixture of zaatar in the first sense, sumac (Rhus coriaria) or citric acid for tartness, and sesame seeds. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:15, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
Or it could be just thyme, because there is no other word for it in Arabic, barring the seemingly extinct (not in Persian or Urdu) حَاشَا(ḥāšā). Who balances essential oils? One sells what got reaped. Fay Freak (talk) 03:03, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
But this is an English entry, so the question is not what Arabic writers mean when they use the term زعتر, but what English writers mean when they use the term “zaatar”.  --Lambiam 19:41, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
The posited situation was “if you were to buy zaatar in various places in the Middle East”, which would be in Arabic and then rendered in English. In exotisms, English writers mean “exactly what the foreign term means”. If you were to buy zaatar in various places in America then it can of course be different. But then it probably means nothing specific, it is just intentionally used or abused for marketing. Sellers have a need to invent terms that appear to mean something special but actually don’t. Fay Freak (talk) 20:41, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
I think that English writers using exotisms mean what they think the foreign term means. Quite a few borrowed words mean something else in the receiving language (like e.g. French people).  --Lambiam 21:20, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm not even sure that Lambiam is correct all of the time. Is anime an accidental narrowing of meaning of the Japanese word, or was it simply a convenient borrowing made with apathy to the fact that it was broader in Japanese? I certainly agree that borrowed words often don't mean exactly what the foreign term means.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:45, 23 July 2019 (UTC)


Can these be used in a positive or neutral way? I thought that there was another sense to this word: "something useful for passing the time". Tharthan (talk) 21:12, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

Absolutely. Add it --Gibraltar Rocks (talk) 21:29, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
Just to be safe, I'll wait for one more user to chime in. Tharthan (talk) 02:55, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
@Tharthan: FWIW, in my opinion there is a sense that is non-negative from the subject's point of view in the circumstances, though still negative in the sense that it is not objectively a profitable use of time, e.g. "This video game is a great time-waster when you don't want to start on your homework", or "This puzzle book is a useful time-waster when my train is late". I don't know whether this comment helps at all. Mihia (talk) 22:37, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I've given a go at adding the definition that I was thinking of. Thank you both. Tharthan (talk) 03:59, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Latin interfix -o- or -ō-?Edit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): The Latin interfix -o- becomes common in New Latin terms. Should this be marked long -ō-? The analogy of e.g. prīmōgenitus (and other words in primō-, some of which alternate with words in prīmi-) and Mediōlānum suggests maybe yes, but these may be special cases. Benwing2 (talk) 00:10, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

This is the Greek connecting vowel, which is short. prīmōgenitus is a fossilised adverb-adjective phrase. Mediolānum should have a short /o/ - it's not marked as long in the TLL entry "Mediolānō Autercōrum", and it's scanned as short by Venatius Fortunatus, Ausonius and Paulinus Petricordiae over at pedecerto even as some take liberties with the first syllable to fit the metre - I suspect /med.zi.o/~/med.zo/. I'll correct it. There are only a handful of what looks like long connecting vowels, eg. tībīcen. Brutal Russian (talk) 09:26, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

Defining relational adjectives in LatinEdit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): Relational adjectives are common in Latin, as in Russian and Greek. These are adjectives that would translated in English as nouns that modify other nouns. They are typically defined as either "bed (attributive)" or "of or pertaining to beds". The convention we use in Russian is to define them as "{{lb|la|relational}} bed". "Relational" is a better and more standard term than "attributive", and {{lb|la|relational}} is better than {{lb|la|attributive}} for various reasons: (1) {{lb|la|attributive}} links to a glossary entry that is unhelpful (it gives two definitions of "attributive", neither of which is applicable), while {{lb|la|relational}} links to a glossary entry with the correct definition; (2) {{lb|la|relational}} places the adjective in Category:Latin relational adjectives, which can't be done for {{lb|la|attributive}} because it has several different meanings. So far I have been changing occurrences of "bed (attributive)" to "{{lb|la|relational}} bed", but leaving alone the entries defined as "of or pertaining to beds" or similar. However, there's no real difference between the two, and I'd like to switch the "of or pertaining to X" definitions to "{{lb|la|relational}} X" both because this will then result in them being categorized into Category:Latin relational adjectives and more fundamentally because the translation as simply "X" is more accurate than the translation "of or pertaining to X"; e.g. nemus acerīnum would normally be translated maple grove, not grove pertaining to maples or similar. Thoughts? Benwing2 (talk) 00:25, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

Why categorize through the label? If you want the terms in the category, you can use {{cln}}. “Pertaining to” is easier to understand. Often the spelled-out variant is better. It is better to say “in buildings”, “on roofs” and the like instead of prepending {{lb|en|architecture}} everywhere, which I often had to remove because I categorized more specifically into sets through {{topics}}. Fay Freak (talk) 02:54, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

Teggisivation (sp?)Edit

I don't know how to spell this, what it means, and I tried to look it up anywhere and failed.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Le43WJxNWU, twice, at 12:30+

Example used:

"Do you like to socialize?"
"No, not really. I don't enjoy all that teggisivation."

I hope you can correct my spelling and add a definition, or point me to the word. Thanks. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 01:50, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

tergiversation? DTLHS (talk) 01:54, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Maybe! Good word too. Looks like he inversed part of it - twice, as tergiservation. Thanks! ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 16:08, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Self proves himself a bit of a sespiquedalian.  --Lambiam 19:26, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

Nonce pronunciation of "California"Edit

It is possible to find a number of sources in film and music where California is pronounced like "Cal-i-for-nigh-yay". Since we provide pronunciation for the name, should we also provide this nonce pronunciation (and if we do provide such pronunciations, how would we present it)? bd2412 T 01:54, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

It wouldn't surprise me if, in a few decades, that will be the quote-unquote "learnèd" pronunciation. Maybe /keɪ.lɪ.fɑɹ.nɑ.jeɪ/ will be the pronunciation of the most learnèd. Can't have people pronouncing words properly in the United States. That's far too much to ask.
But, yes, I have heard this pronunciation in things like what you describe. But it was always a jocular pronunciation. Tharthan (talk) 02:48, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
The most culturally prominent use of it that I've heard is in the lyrics to the Beach Boys' song "Surfin' USA", but there it's obviously just to fit into the song's form and rhyme with "USA"... AnonMoos (talk) 10:14, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I think I have primarily heard it in rap music, although I can't put my finger on an example due to the difficulty in searching for words by pronunciation. Here, however, is a song from the 1985 musical LOLA using that pronunciation and spelling the word, "Californi-ay". bd2412 T 19:40, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
My initial inclination is that nonce-y jocular pronunciations probably shouldn't be listed, but meh, with appropriate tags, why not? We do list an odd pronunciation at Nazi (currently with poor, all-on-one-line tagging). - -sche (discuss) 18:51, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

A general meaning for 萬字旗?Edit

Could the term 萬字旗 ever have a more generic sense of "a flag depicting a swastika"? --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 05:11, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

I’d prefer the definition “Swastika flag”, although I don’t think it will make much difference in practice.  --Lambiam 10:33, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
It would make the entry a perfect SOP, though.  --Lambiam 20:17, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Nope, three-character words are a normal part of the Chinese lexicon. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:05, 26 July 2019 (UTC)


Sense 1: "A kind of medieval torture device, later associated with a cucking stool." What do we mean by "associated with"? I would guess that this means "identified with", i.e. later sources (who?! when?!) said that the tumbril probably was the cucking stool. It's not clear from our definition what the thing actually was, and "later identified" feels more like an etymological note. Equinox 17:51, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

gay rights: which groups are covered?Edit

Something that came to mind when a user just added the translation práva LGBTI...

I would have imagined that gay rights are specifically rights for people who are homosexual, but our definition talks about "minority sexual orientations, such as homosexuality". So does gay rights cover minority sexual rights for non-homosexuals, such as straight people with obscure kinks? Wikipedia redirects gay rights to an article about LGBT rights, which is obviously potentially a broader concept. Equinox 20:40, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

Historically, the definition may have been more limited than it is now. It might be interesting to trace the extension of meaning. DCDuring (talk) 22:47, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
I think the shift may go in the other direction, or at least, the meaning seems to have started broad and become narrower, even if it's now broad(ening) again. In the 1960s and 1970s, "gay" often encompassed other queer sexualities and even what would now be termed trans people; I talk about this a bit at Talk:gay, but finding citations where one sense or another is unambiguous is, as you might expect, difficult because in most cases either sense would work. Two places I would look to for citations would be 1960s-1980s queer publications, and modern linguistically-lax straight journalists. (On a related note, Sappho seems to have [been thought to have] had both men and women as lovers, and I've seen suggestions that in older (1800s) use "lesbian" accordingly meant something more like what we would now term "bisexual"; I mention this at Talk:lesbianism, but finding clear citations is, again, tricky.) In any case, "straight people with obscure kinks" are not AFAIK an orientation (separate from "straight"), so I don't think the current def includes them, no. - -sche (discuss) 18:26, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
The variable meaning clearly resides in "gay", though, and occurs in many collocations ("...liberation", "community", "pride", etc); "gay rights" seems borderline SOP to me, though I see that in the RFD discussion people brought up a large number of similar entries we do have, so *shrug*. - -sche (discuss) 18:33, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
It seems worth noting, though, that the attributive use of gay applied to abstract concepts may have acquired the wider sense of LGBTQ.  --Lambiam 20:16, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes, absolutely. It's had that sense since at least the 70s, and not only attributively (trans people like Sylvia Rivera used 'gay' to encompass even trans people back then, and e.g. bisexuals not uncommonly refer to themselves as gay, "I'm so gay", etc, on twitter today). I added a usage note about it to gay a while ago, but I couldn't find enough unambiguous, durable uses to feel confident adding an actual sense line. - -sche (discuss) 18:02, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
I am fairly sure that straights who used the word were - and even now are - not always following the evolving usage in the evolving LGBTQ+ communities. I'd bet all comers a dime (FOB my house) that there has been some divergence of usage for most of the history of the English language. Probably other languages, too. Unfortunately, it will be extremely difficult to get many citations for, say, the mid-19th century and earlier. DCDuring (talk) 20:29, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
I tweaked the definition. I find it a bit odd that it begins "The concept..." instead of e.g. "Those rights which..." like civil rights does, but I'm not sure how to improve/reword it.
What about trans rights; should it have an entry? It seems SOP-y, but no more so than this. (Indeed, it's maybe just a smidgen less SOP-y because the phrase "trans rights", and "___ [says|said] 'trans rights'" has become something of a meme.)
- -sche (discuss) 19:35, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Declension of adjectives like acanthoīdēs, āerogenēsEdit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): How are adjectives like acanthoīdēs and āerogenēs declined? The first one at least lists a genitive acanthoīdis in the headword, but neither give a declension table. There are a few adjectives in -ēs that give a declension table, such as monoīdēs, mēnoīdēs and īsoscelēs. Should I follow the example of those adjectives? They list a somewhat complex declension with both Greek and Latin forms as possibilities. If the other adjectives are similar, I'll create a subtype for them so they can be declined without so many overrides. Benwing2 (talk) 23:38, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

These adjectives were invented for use as specific epithets, which, I believe, are not to be declined as such (except for gender agreement). The Latin genitive, dative, accusative and ablative of Diogenes are Diogenis, Diogeni, Diogenem and Diogene, so the name is apparently declined according to the third declension. It seems a reasonable assumption that a putative declension of āerogenēs would be analogous.  --Lambiam 09:32, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
If we classify such specific epithets that are not attested in Latin texts as Translingual, we avoid any declension issues.  --Lambiam 20:08, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Although some of these specific epithets may have appeared in the running Latin text of biological diagnoses of species in cases other than the nominative, we generally have not looked for such evidence. Until we do, I suppose we could show all of these that are not recorded in dictionaries and glossaries of proper Latin as Translingual, dispense with declension tables, and show all the nominative forms on the inflection line. Over time we can move these "translingual" adjectives under Latin headers as we attest to their use in the various dialects of scientific Latin. DCDuring (talk) 21:13, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
There is some declension: specific epithets can be nouns in the genitive, and it's very common to see epithets of host-specific parasites formed from the genitive of the name of the host. I believe that includes the genitives of specific epithets that are adjectives. Also, genitives in specific epithets agree in gender and number with the referent(s), not with the generic names that they modify, so plurals are possible. Of course, that leaves out accusative, dative, ablative, locative and vocative. I would also note that the botanical code (now the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants) only eased the requirement for publications of new taxa to have a diagnosis in Latin in the last decade or so. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:05, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Should we have it in running text though? There are words that are always epithets. If some Roman, like before the Dark Ages, had written down such an epithet in any way and it has passed upon us then one unanimously agrees that it should be included. And later? I always thought of these species epithets like suffixes: they need to be employed in multiple lexemes, then they can have an entry: they don’t need to be employed outside. It isn’t wrong towards our readers either to say “this is Latin”, is it? It is Latin by form and intention, Latin-in-Translingual, and we use Latin to use the declension tables, since indeed in the Early Modern times one just declined taxonomic names if one used them in Latin texts. If any such epithet is used only as a species epithet but in Latin texts so, why wouldn’t it be Latin? Maybe it was Latin before it was Translingual. Inversely, if a species epithet is used only after Latin botanical writing has gone out of fashion, wasn’t it still Latin for a logical second? Code-switched to Latin and only existing in code-switching? There might be terms in a language that only exist in code-switching but do not pass into the other language either.
What would be straightforward would be to have Translingual entries + with the Latin inflection templates switched by a parameter to link as Translingual forms, since it makes sense to mark words as only encountered in taxonomical Latin. We give gender in Translingual then we can also give inflection. Or have I even missed something and some Translingual entries have inflection tables? An entry like translingual nootkatensis gives also a neuter form, why not an ablative form and the like in a table? Latin declensions are not exclusive to Latin: they have also been widely employed in German. So if a German declines a taxonomical binomen that has never been used in Latin text or speech, what happens then? Fay Freak (talk) 00:00, 22 July 2019 (UTC) Fay Freak (talk) 00:00, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
Chuck was pointing out that some non-classical specific epithets are also terms used in running scientific Latin text, to wit, diagnoses of plants, fungi, and algae (chromists). Such diagnoses were required to be in Latin until recently. Botanical Latin includes terms that are probably unattested in any non-scientific Latin, like fabiformis.
Thus we might well need a declension table for acanthoides, which is used for at least 11 species of plants with description dates from 1753 to 1938. I don't think we need one for aerogenes, which is only used for prokarotes AFAICT. BTW, macrons wouldn't seem appropriate for words used only in scientific Latin. DCDuring (talk) 01:17, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
On a side note, I finally got around to looking at the actual definition, which was nonsense. This is the second old entry I've seen (tremuloides was the other one) where SemperBlotto seems to have been completely oblivious to the suffix -oides and its function of deriving an adjective meaning "like, resembling" from a noun. Thus, acanthoides means "like a thorn" (Ancient Greek ἄκανθα (ákantha)) or "like Acanthus (from Ancient Greek ἄκανθος (ákanthos))- not Acanthus itself.
It's not like -oides is rare or obscure- it's a basic building block of taxonomic names. The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature even has a specific rule ( covering this and a few similar suffixes. The least he can do to make amends for this unspeakable error is to get in his time machine and go tell his 2012 self not to do that... ;p Chuck Entz (talk) 23:38, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
  • @Fay Freak: See WT:CFI. For a Latin term to be attested, you need a Latin usage (with exceptions as of WT:About_Latin#Attestation). If a taxonomic term is only found in English, it ain't Latin as not used in Latin. It's the same as with e.g. pseudo-Anglicisms like Handy which aren't classified as English as not used in English. --Trangomaron (talk) 00:11, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

Is matroos a Dutch twice-borrowed term?Edit

The {{poscatboiler}} for Category:Dutch twice-borrowed terms tells us that this category is for “Dutch terms that were borrowed from another language that originally borrowed the term from Dutch”. But Dutch matroos came, via French matelot, from Middle Dutch mattenoot. Maybe the description for "twice-borrowed terms" should be weakened to "... from {{{langname}}} or a predecessor."  --Lambiam 06:52, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

Nowadays that category is added by the etymology templates, but it was added manually by an IP from Vancouver back in 2011. I'm not sure what the criteria for inclusion in the category were back then. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:39, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
See also Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2017/December § Reborrowings. Fay Freak (talk) 10:15, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
See also Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2019/March#paletot_-_twice_borrowed?, about a similar phenomenon with (Middle) English. I would (and will) remove the category, pending some kind of consensus that such words should be categorized in general, at which point probably the templates/modules should effect it automagically. - -sche (discuss) 18:05, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
I must say that I find it entirely reasonable to consider this a twice-borrowed term. The segmentation into language periods is unavoidably somewhat arbitrary. It is not as if the inhabitants of the Low Countries were speaking one language on 31 March 1492 and woke up on 1 April 1492 speaking another one.  --Lambiam 21:07, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
If we want to take such an approach across the board consistently (and preferably automatically, though it might be tricky to update the templates to do it), and not only on a few entries via piecemeal manual addition of categories, I'm not inherently opposed, though it brings up obvious issues of: at what point do we cut off terms as no longer twice-borrowed? Is a French word borrowed from another language that ultimately borrowed it from Latin "twice-borrowed"? One borrowed from Proto-Italic? PIE? - -sche (discuss) 18:08, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
Probably when the language is no longer considered to be a form of that language. A word borrowed into French from Frankish is not a word borrowed into French from Dutch. Tharthan (talk) 04:41, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
The general situation is that A borrowed a term from B, which either equals C or inherited it from ancestor C, which borrowed it from D, where the latter either equals A or is an ancestor of A. In a little diagram, in which a single-stranded arrow means borrowing, while a double arrow means equality or ancestorship:
    A <======== D
    ^           |
    |           |
    |           v
    B <======== C
The ancestorship relation can be the same as given in Module:languages/data2, also used by template {{inh}}.  --Lambiam 13:07, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
@-sche, Tharthan, Lambiam The current practice regarding {{bor}} is to only use it for borrowings into the language in question, not earlier forms of the language. In other words, it can be borrowed into at most one language. This means that sabotage was borrowed into English, but cattle was not, because it was already borrowed into Middle English. Twice-borrowing should perhaps follow this definition of borrowing as well, to avoid confusion. If not, then we should probably motivate the discrepancy, in particular why the reasoning applies to twice-borrowing and not to regular borrowing. —Rua (mew) 14:02, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
@Rua, -sche, Tharthan. The term is not felicitous anyway; it is commonly used for the source of what we call doublets). The words we call “twice-borrowed” are more commonly called “borrowed back”, without much regard as to whether the languages involved are the same or merely ancestrally related. The rationale for a more relaxed definition is that the interest in such terms is mainly as curiosities; the curiosity value is not any less when the trajectory is Middle Dutch → Middle French → French → Dutch.  --Lambiam 14:50, 7 August 2019 (UTC)


In the film w:The Count of Monte Cristo (2002 film), the protagonist is named "Zatarra" by the pirates, which is said to mean "driftwood". According to IMDb, this is a Burmese word (no idea why a band of Mediterranean pirates would know a Burmese word, but that's Hollywood for you). Is this a real word? Do we have it listed? Presumably it would be the Burmese alphabet equivalent of "zatarra". If so, can we please have a translation at driftwood so that it can be found by anyone else trying to look this up. SpinningSpark 15:03, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

There is a word သစ်သား (/thiˈthaː/) in Burmese, meaning “wood”. That is about the closest you can get, which is still very far off both in meaning and in pronunciation. It seems more likely that this (a priori already unlikely) snippet of trivia is all made up.  --Lambiam 19:59, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

'Zattera' is Italian for raft, semantically close to driftwood, in a language of the pirates territory. Is that good enough for a case solved?

look upEdit

Sense 2 is too narrow, or at least poorly worded. "look up" is also used of the Internet, unless that is magically somehow limited to my area (which I am pretty sure that it isn't). I'm not sure that it is always only for "text" either. I could very easily picture someone saying "He looked up the video, and he was quite impressed". Tharthan (talk) 20:19, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

I’d use this only with respect to a source that has some degree of authority and can serve as a reference for the issue to be looked up, such as Wiktionary – which I consider a textual source. If someone suggests to look something up “on the Internet”, it sounds to me as if they believe everything found online is true. Can you cite uses where our sense 2 is too narrow?  --Lambiam 20:54, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
This Google News search finds a few uses of look up being applied to photos, etc. There are not very many and most not durably archived, but usage seems to be changing. DCDuring (talk) 04:13, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
I modified the definition slightly, as the discussion sort of went quiet without any clear conclusion. Tharthan (talk) 04:03, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

thorough- ?Edit

Is thorough as in thoroughfare, thoroughbrace, thoroughbred, thoroughway, etc a prefix ? I do not see corresponding senses at thorough that sufficiently explain its use or meaning. Leasnam (talk) 02:46, 22 July 2019 (UTC)

thoroughbred uses the sense of thorough "complete, etc" and has a meaning that has evolved away from its historical meaning to the point where I don't think any normal speaker thinks of thorough as a morpheme, just as they don't think of cran as a morpheme in cranberry.
The others would seem to use the archaic alt. form of through (preposition). DCDuring (talk) 03:56, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
I know thoroughwax and thoroughwort get their names because the leaves on either side of the stem grow together or single leaves encircle the stem, giving the appearance of the stem growing through the leaves. As you say, it doesn't seem to be a productive prefix in present-day English. Wax referring to plant growth seems to be obsolete, so thoroughwax is probably a very old compound.Thoroughwort is native to North America, so the compound probably doesn't date to before the seventeenth century, unless it was used for something else in Europe. There's a book which addresses this, but I can only see a snippet. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:23, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
Is the /ə/ in thoroughbred and thoroughbrace still maintained, even in North American English dialects? My dialect has /ˈθʌɹəfeɚ/ for thoroughfare, but /ˈθʌɹoʊ/ for thorough. I feel like thoroughbred would too, but I rarely hear the term used figuratively anymore, and most of the farms in my area (which was quite farm-filled when it was first settled hundreds of years ago) are long gone. I think that there is one lone one not too far away (that even has horses), but I don't know who owns it. Anyway, I'm curious. Tharthan (talk) 05:09, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Does no one know the answer to this? Tharthan (talk) 04:05, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
I think "throughway" is more common than "thoroughway" nowadays (often spelled THRUWAY on U.S. traffic signs)... AnonMoos (talk) 04:54, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • rolls eyes*
Is the "thruway" the means of getting to McDonald's? Tharthan (talk) 05:29, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
It's how I'd get to Albany, Buffalo, etc. See New York State Thruway "(officially the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway)" DCDuring (talk) 16:37, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

GMO as an adjectiveEdit

  • 2016, Jayson Lusk, Unnaturally Delicious, →ISBN, page 143:
    Although no GMO wheat is being produced commercially, scientists are studying it.

I want to add this quote to GMO, but I'm not sure if it's truly an (informal) adjective meaning "genetically modified", or an attributive noun. I commonly see it as a modifier for crops. How would you classify it? Ultimateria (talk) 03:11, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

The example is easily interpreted as attributive use of the noun.
But there is probably some use as predicate. "This bread is GMO."
  • 2014, MR Alain Braux, GMO 101: A Practical Guide[31], page 184:
    Since 85 to 95% of these crops are GMO, it is safe to assume – unless provided proper certification – that “normal” dairy products contain GMO ingredients in one form or another.
  • 2012, Dee McCaffrey, The Science of Skinny: Start Understanding Your Body's ...[32]:
    About 93 percent of the soybeans grown in the United States are GMO.
  • 2015, Cheryl J. Baldwin, The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability[33], page 27:
    Contains at least 70% organic ingredients and the rest of the product cannot be GMO, irradiated, or grown with sewage sludge
I think these are uses of the adjective as a predicate. DCDuring (talk) 04:18, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Also, it seems to me that in many uses GMO means "genetically modified (by unnatural means)", not "genetically modified organism". DCDuring (talk) 04:24, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
A phrase like “these crops are GMO” could mean “these crops are genetically modified organisms”.  --Lambiam 11:04, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Possibly, but one can find 'GMOs as predicate, too. And there is abundant attestation of "[be] a GMO". So, it is clear that it can behave as an ordinary English noun. I thought that use without "s" and with a plural verb would not be common, but it is. I also couldn't find any attestable use of "very|too GMO". So maybe the evidence for it being a true adjective is not strong enough. I wonder whether usage will soon make it behave as a true adjective by these tests for some speakers/authors. DCDuring (talk) 16:56, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
A few examples of GMO as a plural noun: [34], [35] (next to GMOs), [36], [37].  --Lambiam 21:59, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Our usual answer to this is to find some terribly awful strained examples of "more/most <word>". Look at Sunni for example, which has an embarrassing number of crappy citations saying "more Sunni". I think this is bullshit because almost any adjective can be used this way; I've had a remark to that effect on my user page for some time. Equinox 01:08, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
This case shows that it is not guaranteed that a word used attributively is used with adjective-modifying very, too, and more. Taken together with its failure to appear unambiguously as a predicate after forms of be (or other copulas), or to take on another sense when used as a modifier, it would seem to me that GMO does not warrant an adjective heading.
The tests are capable of some degree of discrimination, but are probably somewhat biased toward including adjective PoS sections since only one of these tests is deemed sufficient and we do not always demand that citations are unambiguous in meeting the criteria. That seems to be how those who opine on such things like it. DCDuring (talk) 02:37, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
“Years of wild, lonesome life had made him more beast than man.” “... and some mothers are more mother than other people’s mothers.” “This anonymous, de-subjectivized body is more corpse than man, more waste matter (...) than person.”  --Lambiam 12:43, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
How does that show adjectivality? It's the same as "more a beast than a man", or "more a mother than a father". Sometimes we just don't use an article/determiner. Equinox 13:23, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
My point is that more is not usable as a test. It deserves no place in the list “very, too, and more”.  --Lambiam 22:10, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
I agree. Not without excluding cases such as ones like those you mention can more be used as a criterion. But I think it is not hard to distinguish your cases from legitimate ones. DCDuring (talk) 02:40, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

Can a word be comprised solely of affixes?Edit

Many dictionaries indicate that a word cannot be comprised of only affixes; that there must be a base or combining form in addition to the affix. But that does not seem to be the case for many words in Wiktionary. Can a word be comprised solely of affixes?

Take, for example, the word cardiomegaly. Many dictionaries consider the word part "cardi" as a combining form meaning heart, and "megaly" as a noun combining form meaning "abnormal enlargement". But Wiktionary seems to indicate that cardiomegaly comes from the prefix "cardio" meaning "relating to the heart", and the suffix "megaly" meaning "enlargement". As such, Wiktionary seems to imply that a word can be comprised of only prefixes and suffixes. Am I inferring correctly?

The following Wiktionary definitions are for reference. Affix is defined as "a bound morpheme added to the word's stem." Stem is defined as "The main part of an uninflected word to which affixes may be added to form inflections of the word." Combining form is defined as "A type of word part; a bound morpheme; used in combination with a word, a different combining form, or an affix to form a new word."

Thank you for your help. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by SLax6of7 (talkcontribs).

Yes, a word can be composed of just a prefix + a suffix (or prefix + interfix + suffix...), and thousands are. Many can be found by looking at what pages use Template:confix, though others use Template:affix and are not listed anywhere AFAIK, and some of the pages that use Template:confix have words as middle elements (e.g. multifaceted). - -sche (discuss) 01:47, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
We need criteria that we can agree on. One of those relevant for this question is that if a word component is never used as a stand-alone word, then it is an affix. Megaly meets that test. Cardio meets the test because the stand-alone uses are backformations as in "I should fit more cardio into my daily schedule." where cardio is a backformation from cardiovascular (exercise). The prototypical English affixes are formed mostly from short prepositions, adverbs, and adjectives and their Greek and Latin equivalents. Those derived from nouns and verbs are more likely to test the limits of the definition of affix, but are also more likely to allow us examples of words formed only from affixes. DCDuring (talk) 02:58, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
I’m trying to understand affixes as they pertain to words cardiomyopathy and myocardiopathy. It appears Wikitionary’s stance is that “cardio-“ and “myo-“ are prefixes, and “-pathy” is a suffix. The etymology section for the word cardiomyopathy indicates the word can be deconstructed into: “cardio- + myopathy”. The etymology section for the word myopathy indicates the word can be deconstructed into: “myo- + -pathy”. Therefore, the deconstruction of cardiomyopathy can be seen as “cardio- + (myo- + -pathy)”. In this context, “-pathy” would mean “disease of”, “myo-“ would mean “muscle”, and “cardio-“ would mean “heart”. Therefore, meaning something like: “disease of the muscle of the heart”. The Wiktionary definition is: “The deterioration of the myocardium.” There is also the word “myocardiopathy”. The Wiktionary definition is: “(pathology) Any disease of the myocardium”. In the etymology section, myocardiopathy is broken down into: “myo- + cardiopathy”. And in the etymology entry for cardiopathy, the word is deconstructed into: “cardio- + -pathy”. This implies that the deconstruction of myocardiopathy is: “myo- + (cardio- + pathy)”. But this seems misleading. The middle muscular layer of the heart is known as the myocardium. Why is the deconstruction not: “(myo- + cardio-) + -pathy” or “(myo- + cardium) + -pathy”? --SLax6of7 (talk) 01:43, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
If you count Esperanto, then the adjective ina is composed of the feminine suffix -in plus the adjective suffix -a... AnonMoos (talk) 05:54, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

compedĭtum or compedītum?Edit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): The 4th-conjugation verb compediō would normally have a supine compedītum, but L+S specifically says compedĭtum, while Gaffiot says compedītum. Which is correct? Benwing2 (talk) 03:17, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

compedītum - TLL Brutal Russian (talk) 09:47, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Calepinus and other dictionaries also all have compedītus or compedītum ([38], [39], [40], [41]), so it appears most likely that the L&S entry has a typo.  --Lambiam 12:29, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Depending on the used L&S it could also be an OCR error/typo not present in the real book. --Trangomaron (talk) 23:54, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

How is mōrem gerō conjugated?Edit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): The headword has mōrem gerō, mōrem gerere, mōrem gessī but mōs gestum. Is this difference real? You can find the well-known quote "adulescenti morem gestum oportuit", so maybe it's not real. If so, when is mōrem used and when is mōs used? Benwing2 (talk) 01:08, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): OK, I think the answer is that mōs is used with passive forms of the verb and mōrem with active forms. In the quote above, gestum is a supine, hence active, hence mōrem is correct, but mōs gestus est would be correct not *mōrem gestus est. I implemented this in certiōrem faciō and dūcō uxōrem; please verify that these are correct. Thanks! Benwing2 (talk) 06:09, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for working on the template, it looks nice, but there are some corrections to be made:
  • as an inanimate noun, it only has 3P passives, and w/ plural verb the noun should be PL too (mōrēs geruntur, also applies to the other templates: certiōrēs fīunt);
  • passive participles should go with NOM (mōs gestus, also certior factus, uxor ducta);
  • now that I look at the normal templates for faciō, they have the same problem: passive inifinitives are given as factūrus esse, which is ungrammatical - the INF goes with the ACC in Latin unless it mōrem gerit to some special verbs, so to speak,: ¶233. Thus the FPINF should be mōrem gestūrum esse and the PPINF mōrem gestum esse. Brutal Russian (talk) 21:57, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
@Brutal Russian Thanks very much for your comments. So far I've tried to implement everything except making the passive infinitives take the accusative -- it seems like this is an artifact of normal usage and not something inherent. (Can't you have an infinitive, including a passive infinitive, used in subject position in the nominative, e.g. amātus esse est bonum "to be loved is good"? If the passive infinitive used with a nominative is totally ungrammatical, I'll go ahead and change it to the accusative.) I've fixed up mōrem gerō, dūcō uxor and poenās dō appropriately (where it seems to me that the latter can only take 3p passives, so I have implemented support for this). If they look good, I'll fix up the remainder of the phrasal verbs. I tried to fix up certiōrem faciō but I'm not quite sure what happens in the passive because certior is an adjective -- do you get certior fit/factus est or certius fit/factum est or neither? Benwing2 (talk) 00:32, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
@Benwing2 *amātus esse est bonum is just what I was referring to as ungrammatical - it must be amātum because it's governed by the infinitive in the AcI construction, and the only time where it can be NOM is with the kind of verbs in the link. Frankly I'd like to see a syntactic tree of these constructions and understand what's going on in there - some kind of change of government or case attraction from the matrix clause due to the copular esse, whose two arguments must always be in the same case. Poena is only 3p, yes, but an uxor can talk and can be addressed, so has all the persons. Since the lemma form of certiōrem faciō is non-neuter, it should remain so throught, so certior fit/factus est, and although it can refer to neuter, feminine and plural things too, I think we just give the masculine form in such cases.
One other thing - the more common usage of gerundive involves agreeing with the noun in everything, so uxōris dūcendae, certiōrum faciendōrum, dē mōre gerendō. Usage like uxōrem dūcendī is less frequent, and properly it's the Gerund and not Gerundive - the difference is that sometimes one just sounds better. I think we should list both options, but I'm not sure if we need the plural too for each case of the Gerundive. Here's A&G's article on the topic, although I have no idea on what basis they distinguish the "impersonal Gerundive" from the Gerund.
Oh, and since we're talking about the Gerundive, to quote Lane's grammar (wait for it to load fully), "Verbs in -ere and -īre often have -undus, when not preceded by u or v, especially in formal style: as, capiundus; , go, always has eundum, and orior, rise, oriundus. I think these forms have full rights to be implemented in the template as well. Brutal Russian (talk) 18:04, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
@Brutal Russian Please check out mōrem gerō, dūcō uxōrem, poenās dō, and duābus sellīs sedeō. So far I think I have implemented all your suggestions except for having orior take only oriundus and not also oriendus. (BTW what about lābor, collābor, illābor, relābor? The code used to special-case these verbs and give them only a future passive participle in lābundus etc. not lābendus etc.) Also I continue to be a bit skeptical about listing the compound infinitives in the accusative, although I implemented it; note for example that Allen and Greenough give the infinitives as monitus esse and monitūrus esse on p. 115. (Or did you mean that only verbs with transitive complements should have the participles listed in the accusative in the compound infinitives?) Benwing2 (talk) 00:42, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Also is Lane's statement about "not preceded by u or v" intended to apply to verbs like serviō and saeviō (to the extent they have gerundives) or only verbs like constituō? Benwing2 (talk) 00:57, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
@Benwing2 -undus is illicit only when the grapheme V directly precedes (*constituundus, *loquundus), -viund- is fine does occur. On lābor etc: PHI has 1 form in -u- and two in -e-, and no mention of it in Kühner-Stegmann - someone seems to have misinterpreted L&S, as usual. On the accusative - here, hopefully this stackexchange thread will put your mind at peace about it ;-) Kühner-Stegmann II-1 p. 702 have some more cases where the Nom-Inf occurs, but to cut a long story short, syntactic shenanigans (subject raising) and the Greeks are to blame. Transitivity doesn't matter here. A subject (standalone or not) AcI phrase has its subject in the Accusative: -Tata, quid significat "monitum esse"? -"Monitum esse" significat aliquem tē monuisse. Tēne id esse oblītum? -Tata, mē esse oblītum solitum est!. The phrase monitus esse (just because it occurs in eg. "videor monitus esse") has about the same claim to grammaticality as a human to become (because "for a human to become god means...") - Latin grammars are as good a place as any to look for things like that.
On duābus sellīs sedeō - this one has to lack at least the same passive forms as sedeō. And a general remark: I think methodologically as well as esthetically, the uxōris dūcendae type should be given a separate table space "Gerundive". But then methodologically it should probably contain the Nominative - although it's already listed as a Future Passive Participle, this is wrong - the form can express a range of modalities and is only used as a simple FPP in Late Latin. Pinkster 2015: In later Latin the gerundive develops into a passive participle. Early instances are found in Tertullian. I'd personally recommend removing this cell or starring it and giving rephrasing alternatives from some grammar under the table (Spanish has plenty of those IIRC). For the Nominative Gerund, the reader should be referred to or given the Infinitive. And the Gerund itself should have the same -und- forms in addition to -end-. Oh, and again, thank you for implementing my suggestions. Brutal Russian (talk) 13:22, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

New more Chinese charactersEdit

In CJK main block soon: Twitter (PDF included). --Octahedron80 (talk) 02:35, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

And also CJK Block G started at U+30000: Twitter --Octahedron80 (talk) 00:10, 26 July 2019 (UTC)


"(Commonwealth of Nations, dated) Archaic spelling of jailer."

Come again? What is a "dated archaic" spelling? Is that supposed to mean that it used to be archaic, but now isn't? Is henchman a "dated archaic" word, then? Tharthan (talk) 07:17, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

An archaic spelling is one that's used to evoke a different era. If it ceases to have that association, it becomes just an old spelling. I suppose this could be a spelling that used to be used that way, but no one does that any more. I don't know if it will ever be truly obsolete, because we see it all the time in Dickens and other well known literature from centuries past, but it may cease to be used in anything new- even when someone is trying to sound nineteenth-century-ish. Or this could be just a difference of opinion resolved by including both. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:55, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
Hang on, though. What does one call someone who enforces confinement in a gaol? Tharthan (talk) 04:32, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Also, @Chuck Entz I was criticising the fact that "gaoler" is labelled as dated, but then has in its "definition" "archaic spelling of...", which seems to be a mistake. I know quite well what an archaic spelling is. Tharthan (talk) 04:34, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Gaol is archaic jail; gaoler is archaic jailer. Equinox 04:40, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I buy that gaol is archaic, because the Collins English Dictionary doesn't list it as archaic, and Lexico (powered by Oxford) gives "gaol" as the "British spelling". Futhermore, the Cambridge English Dictionary merely marks it as old-fashioned (which could be interpreted as an oh-so-slightly stronger "dated").
So, again, the question of gaoler is still present. Tharthan (talk) 05:32, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
The spelling “gaol” is still occasionally used with no ostensible aim of evoking an earlier era: [42], [43], [44], [45].  --Lambiam 06:28, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
But surely gaol and gaoler are equally archaic, or equally modern (whichever you prefer). Why would just one be preserved? Equinox 06:30, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
These are some recent uses of “gaoler“: [46], [47], [48]. I think they serve to show that the spellings gaol and gaoler, although falling out of fashion also in the UK, are not archaic. The pair should be labelled the same way. Our definition of “dated” fits this just fine.  --Lambiam 06:43, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
So perhaps we ought to consider replacing "archaic spelling of" with "alternate spelling of" (or similar), whilst leaving the "dated" tag that is already present. That way, the concern that I brought up initially regarding having this labelled oddly as "dated archaic" (rather than "dated" or "archaic") would be resolved. Tharthan (talk) 18:45, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
As far as British usage is concerned, "archaic" is not appropriate in my opinion. "Dated" would be fine for both "gaol" and "gaoler". Mihia (talk) 19:39, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

Vss and VSSEdit

These are interesting cases - VSS and Vss. According to the article, the proper abbreviation is with a subscript. Is it technically possible to have an entry with a subscript? Should the entries be put together as alternative forms? --Pious Eterino (talk) 15:53, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

This is the kind of symbol you see in equations and as a label in diagrams, like here. The number of combinations of letters standing for some physical quantity with subscripts used as an ad-hoc abbreviation is endless. The little problem linked to shows, next to VSS, also VDD, Ka, VT, IREF, RD, VD1, VD2, VCM, VGS, ID1, and ID2. Even though there are some conventions, like using V for physical quantities representing voltage, and R for quantities representing resistance, I don’t think such symbols have an inherent lexical meaning.  --Lambiam 17:33, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
In the case of H₂O we (rather nastily IMO) managed to use the specific subscripted version of the symbol from Unicode. Not all symbols have such versions. Equinox 18:00, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
You could use "|head=VSS". This is also necessary for many German dialects with superscript letters, e.g. in case of Wein. --Trangomaron (talk) 13:58, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
I think these senses are not inclusion-worthy, which makes the representation issue moot.  --Lambiam 14:35, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

stand - countable noun sense we might be missing?Edit

In James Legge's translation of the 禮記, he writes: "All who take part with the ruler in a sacrifice must themselves remove the stands (of their offerings)." (Read the text here.) What do you think "stands" means here? And does our entry for stand currently include this sense? Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:17, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

It is very difficult to make out the intention, but I suppose this is stand in the sense of riser: something to put the offering on, somewhat elevated from the ground. Presumably these were temporary structures meant to be discarded after the ceremony, so this is an exhortation to clean up your own mess. At least, that is my best guess. The Chinese text is not much help.  --Lambiam 11:57, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Does "stand" correspond to the character ? We don't have any specifically Chinese definition for this, but a Ja definition is given as "a sacrificial altar". Mihia (talk) 02:30, 29 July 2019 (UTC)


Senses 1 and 2 appear to overlap. The first one covers "that which is asserted; positive declaration or averment"; the second one is "A statement or declaration which lacks support or evidence. That's just a bare assertion." Here it seems to be bare that gives the shade of meaning. Merge? Equinox 17:52, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

I would. We seem to have quite a few problems of this kind in the selection of citations as well as in the wording of definitions. DCDuring (talk) 17:58, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Merge and trim some redundant phrasings off definition 1. Ultimateria (talk) 16:48, 30 July 2019 (UTC)


If i understand this page correctly, the pronunciation of "pleasure" with /j/ is common in UK English despite this unexplained edit, but apparently /ˈplɛʒjʊə/ is more common than /ˈplezjʊə/, though they sound equally rare and weird to my New England ears. --Espoo (talk) 20:37, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

The page would be easier to understand if it gave an example of the process in action, but what I think it is saying is that the two phonemes /z/ of /plɛz/ (from “pleas-”; cf. ”pleasant”) and /j/ of /-jə/ (from “-ure”; cf. “tenure”) fuse into a single new phoneme – which I guess would be the process /z/ + /j/ → /ʒ/, thus resulting in /plɛʒə/.  --Lambiam 21:45, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

How to interpret terms which contain the string "cardi"?Edit

I am not well versed in linguistics, but am doing my best to learn. My purpose is to better understand medical terminology. Wiktionary has been a good resource. This question concerns trying to figure out how to interpret words that contain the string “cardi”. Based on the word, there seems to be different etymological derivations.

I looked up myocardium in Wiktionary. The etymology section does not deconstruct myocardium into “myo- + cardium” or “myo- + cardio- + -um”. Similarly, the following words are not broken down: endocardium, epicardium, pericardium, and anacardium. Nor is there an entry for “-cardium”. I’m assuming Wiktionary would consider “-cardium” a suffix. That being said, there is an entry for the word cardium, but the definition is limited to: “A taxonomic genus within the family Cardiidae.”

Then there is the word myocardial. Wiktionary defines the word as: “(cardiology) Relating to the myocardium, the thick muscular wall of the heart.” This word does not have an etymology section. But, if it did, would the word be deconstructed into: “(myo- + cardium) + -al”, “myo- + -cardial”, or “myo- + cardio- + -al”?

Then there is an entry for “-cardia”. The Wiktionary definition is: “(medicine) heart condition”. There is also the word cardia with the definition: “(anatomy) The area of the stomach which directly receives contents from the esophagus” or “(anatomy) The heart”. In one case, “cardia” indicates a condition of the heart, and in the other, it is a part of the stomach. What would be a word for “a condition of” that part of the stomach? Perhaps there is no such term.

This is all hard to figure out. The plural of pericardium is pericardia. The plural of tachycardia is tachycardias or tachycardiae. The plural of cardia is cardias or cardiae. Then there is cardiac, cardial, and cardially. It seems that the Latin “cardium” is a cognate of the Greek “kardia”. Wiktionary’s etymology for cardium states: “A New Latin form of Ancient Greek … (kardiā, “heart”)”. What’s strange is that cardia is the plural of cardium. Is the Greek word “kardia” singular or plural? Why would “-cardia” indicate a condition in the word tachycardia, but a plural of “-cardium” in the word pericardia? Also, why is the word cardia (as in the entry to the stomach) singular? Is the word cardia derived from the Greek, and the suffix “-cardia” derived from the Latin?

Thanks for your help. --SLax6of7 (talk) 21:30, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

I think it rather depends on which language the word came from. For example the first element of preposition is clearly the same pre- (before) as in pregame, but the latter word was formed in English while the former seems to have been borrowed in its entirety. gastro- is a common prefix for the stomach, probably more so than cardio-. Equinox 21:32, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. The cardia is a region of the stomach; as are the fundus, body, antrum, and pylorus. I believe that gastro- is a word part used to refer to the stomach as a whole. I did some more research. I believe references to cardia could be more descriptively referred to as the “gastric cardia”. For some reason, many references do not include a reference to the stomach. It could be because most definitions define cardia as part of the stomach. The fundus region, on the other hand, requires an additional word or context to indicate what organ the region applies to. For example, there is also a fundus of the uterus, the gallbladder, the eye, etc. Consequently, I often see the terms gastric fundus, and sometimes fundus gastricus. But, I have yet to find the term cardiac gastricus. --SLax6of7 (talk) 01:00, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
That's because cardiac is an adjective, and so is gastricus. The noun from which gastricus is formed is gaster. The correct form would probably be cardia gastrica, assuming that cardia is feminine in Latin like καρδία (kardía) is in Ancient Greek (not that I can find much usage). Chuck Entz (talk) 02:33, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for your insight. You are correct. I do see ‘cardia gastrica’. Like you, I don’t see much usage. The phrases ‘gastric cardia’ and ‘cardia of the stomach’ are much more common. Interestingly enough, I do see ‘fundus gastricus’ used more commonly than ‘cardia gastrica’. Thanks for keying me into the masculine/feminine nature of Latin words and phrases. I was able to determine that fundus is masculine, and therefore is paired with gastricus rather than gastrica. During my investigation, I found the phrases ‘fundus uteri’ and ‘fundus oculi’. I inferred from the phrases ‘cardia gastrica’ and ‘fundus gastricus’ that ‘uteri’ and ‘oculi’ must be adjectives. But I can find no record of their use as adjectives. Any thoughts? Thanks. --SLax6of7 (talk) 02:51, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
The etymology section of myocardium decomposes it into μῦς (mûs, muscle) + καρδίᾱ (kardíā, heart). The medical scholars who invented this word did this in two steps. First they imagined how the Ancient Greeks would have formed a compound noun from these two nouns to form a word meaning “heart muscle”. That word would probably have been μυοκάρδιον (muokárdion). In Greek compounds, the order of the components is often the opposite of what you see in English. Example: μισογύνης (misogúnēs) is formed like hate-woman-er, not woman-hate-er. In Ancient Greek, woman is γυνή (gunḗ), which is a feminine word, but the ending of the compound changes into -ης because a mysogynist is usually not a woman. The first -ο- in μυοκάρδιον is the standard morpheme for gluing compounds together. Again, the ending changes because the heart muscle is not a heart but a muscle. The ending -ιον makes this a neuter noun. Then these medical scholars would have applied the usual rules by which the Ancient Romans Latinized the Greek words they borrowed. And, presto, myocardium. As a neuter noun on -um, it follows the second declension, and therefore its Latin plural is myocardia. We have a final a back, but it is a very different one than the one of καρδίᾱ. It is not practically possible to dissect all etymologies in such detail.  --Lambiam 22:45, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
O, and the ending -ia of tachycardia comes from Ancient Greek -εια (-eia), which means something like "something that concerns ...“ – in this case a rapid heart – often used for medical conditions. We also find this in Latin apathia from Ancient Greek ἀπάθεια (apátheia). The medical term tachycardia is the Latinization of a putative New Ancient Greek ταχυκάρδεια.  --Lambiam 23:02, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. I can imagine explaining the complexities of linguistics to a neophyte is challenging, but it is greatly appreciated. Sometimes I feel I’m being too pedantic, but my research into linguistics and etymology has greatly increased my understanding and appreciation of medical terminology. As my knowledge grows, I become more skilled at deciphering medical terms through decomposition. Being able to understand the etymology of a word helps me greatly. For the most part, the etymology is my only insight into how the word was formed. And knowing how words are formed gives me insight into how to deconstruct them. If I can get a little more of your time, can you give me any insight regarding the origin of cardia as it pertains to the part of the stomach. Do you think it was derived directly from Greek as opposed to Latin? For as you stated in the formation of myocardium, “the medical scholars would have applied the usual rules by which the Ancient Romans Latinized the Greek words they borrowed.” In this case, it does not appear the same rules where applied. Thank you. --SLax6of7 (talk) 00:18, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
The English word cardia almost certainly arrived via medical Latin as seen, e.g., here. Already in Ancient Greek, καρδία (kardía) had the dual meanings of “heart” and “esophageal entrance to the stomach”. As far as I know the word cardia is not attested directly in Classical Latin, but the related adjective cardiacus is, which is a straight loan of Ancient Greek καρδιακός (kardiakós); see cardiacus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press. It too has the dual meaning of “pertaining to the heart” and “pertaining to the stomach”. The confusion persists in the common term heartburn.  --Lambiam 14:14, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for your help. Also, the links have been very helpful. I keep looking up other words to see if I can find a similar etymological pattern (if that makes any sense). For instance, the word ‘media’ is very similar to ‘cardia’. The word media can be a noun from the Latin adjective ‘media’, which is the feminine form of medius. It can also be the plural of medium, from the Latin noun medium, from the Latin adjective medius. The ‘Etymology 1’ section of the English Wiktionary for the word ‘media’ has a usage note that states: “Not to be confused with medium”. To tell you the truth. I am confused. Perhaps it is my unfamiliarity with Greek and Latin grammar that is hindering my understanding. Perhaps to fully understand the origin of terms like cardia, pericardia, and tachycardia, I need to learn Greek and Latin grammar. --SLax6of7 (talk) 03:42, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Why are suffixes isolated in the etymology section of some words but not in others?Edit

Why in some cases does Wiktionary isolate the derivational suffix when deconstructing a word, but not in other cases? For example, the etymology section for the word cardially is “cardial + -ly”, but the etymology for the word cardial is not “cardium + -al” or “cardio- + -al”? That is despite there being a Wiktionary entry for “-al”. The definition of which is: “Of or pertaining to”. And one of the examples of its application is “cranium + -al → cranial”.

Thanks for your help. --SLax6of7 (talk) 21:44, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

Wiktionary is the collective result of many volunteer editors who do not always all apply a single uniform approach. You can also ask: why do some words have a pronunciation section and others not? The reason can be that the editor was not sure about the pronunciation, but also that they did not have the time to figure out how to express it using the International Phonetic Alphabet. For derivational suffixes in loanwords there is often the problem that it is not clear in which language the suffix was added. Is effacement the English compound efface +‎ -ment, or is it a borrowing of French effacement so that the suffix -ment is French? Researching this can take more time than an editor has available.  --Lambiam 23:23, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. I definitely understand the time aspect. I was trying to shed some light on what I perceived as similar content in other dictionaries like Merriam-Webster. In some cases, Merriam-Webster refers to (what I interpret as) derivations of a single combining form as different individual combining forms, rather than a single combining form plus a derivational suffix. For example, “-graph” is categorized as a “noun combining form”, “-graphic” as an “adjective combining form”, and “-graphy” as a “noun combining form”; rather than “-graph”, “-graph + -ic”, and “-graph + -y”. But there is not a “-graphia” combining form, despite the existence of the word dysgraphia. For dysgraphia, the etymology section refers to “graphein + -ia”. The “-ia” suffix is identified as a separate part. Could this have to do with the etymology of the different forms? --SLax6of7 (talk) 01:39, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Maybe you should ask Merriam-Webster... they might not answer for free though. Equinox 02:45, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
I will ask Merriam-Webster. I recently asked a different question of Merriam-Webster and I did receive an answer. I will update this post if I receive any helpful information.--SLax6of7 (talk) 22:06, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
We have only volunteer contributors. We don't have a style guide for content. Etymology is content. QED. We do have WT:ELE which limits the structural possibilities for entries (Chinese apparently excepted).
For Etymology specifically, we have two approaches to etymology, diachronic (historical) and synchronic (morphological). If we view a term as borrowed from another language (or descended from an ancestor language) and the ancestral term also had the ancestral affix, then the modern suffix may be deemed irrelevant. We also don't spend much, if any, time on how the meaning of a term evolves to yield the large number of definitions a word can have. We often do spend a lot of time on the hypothesized evolution of words from reconstructed languages, often with no in-entry reference to meaning.
To appreciate Wiktionary as it is now, it is instructive to look at the page history for some of our larger English entries. I am amazed that we have achieved the degree of standardization that we have. DCDuring (talk) 13:21, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for your insight. I think Wiktionary is an exceptional example of human collaboration for the free benefit of humanity. It is inspiring how so many, so generously, share their knowledge with others.
I believe I understand diachronic, and synchronic, etymology as you have presented them. To put them in my own words. I would describe diachronic etymology as tracing the path of a word’s evolution back to its language of origin. I would describe synchronic etymology (morphology) as deconstructing a word into its most basic morphemes; where each morpheme is of the same language, and pertaining to the same time period, as the word. Once a word is deconstructed into morphemes, the meaning of each morpheme can be synthesized to infer the meaning of the word. It is duly noted that the order in which morpheme definitions are synthesized can greatly affect the correct inferred definition of a word.
Now that you have enlightened me, My current thought is that the two etymology types presented are unique in their own right, and may warrant their own section within each word’s content. Take, for example, the word ‘apathetic’.
The synchronic etymology section for ‘apathetic’ could be ‘apathy + -etic’. The synchronic etymology section for ‘apathy’ could be ‘a- + -pathy’. And lastly, ‘-pathy’ could be ‘pathos + -y’. Or, the synchronic etymology section for ‘apathetic’ could indicate the entire decomposition as ‘(a- + -(pathos + -y)) + -etic’.
The diachronic etymology section could indicate that ‘apathetic’ comes from the English ‘apathy + -etic’, where English ‘apathy’ comes from French apathie, from Latin apathia, from Ancient Greek apátheia, from Greek ‘a- + pathos’.
The purpose of the synchronic etymology section would be to help users identify morphemes within the words of their language. So they can more easily recognize, and infer, the meaning of a word. For example, being able to recognize and infer meaning from ‘path’ and ‘etic’ in ‘apathetic’ and ‘antipathetic’. The section would be language specific. That is, an English word would be deconstructed into English morphemes only. Users would see what morphemes comprise, and influence, the meaning of a word. The aforementioned example was purposely chosen to highlight that morpheme analysis is not precise. But, it does greatly assist word recognition and semantic inference.
The purpose of the diachronic etymology section would be to provide users with information regarding the language of origin. To help users ascertain the orthographic and phonetic characteristics of a word. Such characteristics are typically determined by, and inherited from, the language of origin. The section will also give the user a sense of a word’s historical evolution. But the purpose is not to explain how each individual meaning originated (though it would be very interesting). Such a practice would greatly impact the amount and complexity of the dictionary’s content. The goal is to know which language a word is based from.
Please let me know your thoughts.--SLax6of7 (talk) 22:06, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

So is there any guidance on how to combine synchronic and diachronic analyses? Often a derivative will be rederived yielding the same form, so one cannot say that is inherited rather than freshly generated. For example, many regular English past tense forms go back to Old English. It gets even worse when the common ancestor is not documented. With Sanskrit and Pali, one has the problem that not only is the common ancestor not documented, but they were part of a dialect continuum, so a more recent formation can spread across the prakrits and into Sanskrit. (That's on top of the modern view that Pali is an eastern dialect converted to a more conservative western phonology.)
My best stab is "<diachronic etymology> or re-formed as <synchronic etymology>". I feel "probably" should be added, and perhaps "or" should be weakened to "and". It's mostly speculation that is very close to the mark. --RichardW57 (talk) 14:01, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Contributors often use the language "equivalent to" to append synchronic derivation to diachronic derivation, which has much more potential to take up time and space. There is a significant tendency for long-winded etymologies to take up a great deal of precious screen space. Long cognate lists and speculative etymologies are the worst offenders. DCDuring (talk) 14:26, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

joined upEdit

It says (for the adjective): "(often sarcastic) coherent. The government do not have a joined-up policy on education. Usage notes: The term is most often used to children regarding their ability to write cursively, hence the sarcastic use to adults in other settings." Is anyone familiar with this? Firstly I am suspicious of "often sarcastic"; secondly I wonder really how often is this used sarcastically to adults in general. I wonder if someone just saw "joined-up policy" in a newspaper once and ran with their idea of what it meant. Equinox 09:33, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

  • The OED (after defining the use in cursive writing) says "frequently used allusively and humorously to suggest a (usually basic) level of intelligence or standard of educational attainment (or depreciatively a lack of these)" SemperBlotto (talk) 09:36, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, interesting. Equinox 09:42, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Is joined-up handwriting still taught in schools? It seems increasingly irrelevant. The figurative use may be completely lost on younger generations.  --Lambiam 14:31, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
The "coherent/coordinated" meaning is very familiar to me, and I have always thought it derived from the handwriting sense, as the usage note says. I am not sure I totally agree that this use is sarcastic though. On a different point, an offputting aspect of this entry is that the political example, "The government do not have a joined-up policy on education", is not attached to the definition labelled "political". I am tempted to merge senses 2 and 3. Mihia (talk) 21:00, 28 July 2019 (UTC)


I think the attempted distinction from thoroughbred here is, cough, over-optimistic. Equinox 09:46, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

Possibly the idea behind this is that "thoroughbred" applies exclusively (or almost exclusively) to horses, while "thoroughbreed" can apply to any animal? Mihia (talk) 23:55, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

Declension of CharmidēsEdit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): @Lambiam L+S say the genitive is -ai or -i. Gaffiot similarly says -āi or -i. I assume the first one is actually -āī, archaic for -ae of the first declension. What about -i? Is that long or short, and what declension? Benwing2 (talk) 05:11, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

Georges: "Charmidēs, Genet. āī u. ī". But: WT:CFI#Fictional universes? --Trangomaron (talk) 05:58, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
There is a discussion of the form Charmidai here that may be of interest. Next to the various forms listed there, some editions have Charmidæ.  --Lambiam 07:49, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam Can you help summarize what that says? My German is pretty rusty and there are a lot of abbreviations used. Benwing2 (talk) 17:15, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): User:Trangomaron brings up an interesting point. There are a ton of Latin entries for fictional characters in the works of Plautus, mostly added by a single user. The entries were all wrong in a ton of ways (e.g. random use of macrons, names in -ēs specified as being fifth-declension instead of first or third declension, etc.), which I tried to correct. The declensions of these names are of interest esp. since most of them are in -ēs, which is declined in various ways. But per WT:CFI#Fictional universes maybe they belong in an appendix? They are in fact found in Gaffiot and L+S. Benwing2 (talk) 17:18, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam Also, it appears that lots of names in -ēs have alternative genitives in -ī, e.g. Aristotelēs, Ulixēs, Herculēs, etc. There's a comment either in the discussion page of Ulixēs or Herculēs that says that genitives in -eī are not fifth-declension genitives but second-declension genitives constructed as if the nominative ended in -eus. Could there be something similar with genitives in -ī, constructed as if the nominative ended in -us? Benwing2 (talk) 17:22, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
I don’t see much in that theory, which would need an imaginary nominative *Charmidāus.  --Lambiam 19:13, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam I think the idea is that of the two endings, -āī is clearly an old feminine genitive, but looks like a second declension form and would presuppose an imaginary nominative Charmidus. I'm not sure how to explain these genitives in though. Benwing2 (talk) 19:19, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
I find it hard to follow what Neue writes, what with the abundance of abbreviations. The relevant passage starts already on page 9, section 6: “Much more common is the genitive on āī, which form is found in Oscan only in masculine marai, and is reminiscent of the ending of the genitive of the masculine of the first declension in Greek, ᾱο.” Then grammarians are cited commenting on the substitution of ai for ae and the forms pictai vestis and acquai found in the Aeneid (9, 26 & 7, 464). Marius Victorinus is cited as calling this more Graecorum. This goes on also for the next page, with remarks by grammarians that ai, unlike ae, has a diaeresis and thus constitutes two syllables. Then we read: “Already Scaliger proposed for Trinummus 2, 2, 78 “Charmidai filio” because of the metre.” Apparently, if I understand this correctly, this form was not found as such in the surviving manuscripts.
Then Neue states, “Also in the feminine the genitive on ai has often been obscured.” Many examples are given. The contention is apparently that copiers have “corrected” endings on -ai, replacing them by -ae.  --Lambiam 18:48, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
The GEN in -āī is the original inherited -ās remodelled with the /ī/ of the o-stems. The 5th-delc -ēī is of the exact same origin. They're indeed originally long, otherwise they would have been apocopated. You can find occurrences of these in hexa/pentameter verse by searching for "ends in ai" at Pedecerto. Brutal Russian (talk) 21:49, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

Latin Larōnia/Lārōnia: long or short a?Edit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): @Lambiam L+S says Lărōnia but Gaffiot says Lārōnia. As this occurs in Martial, the scansion should tell what's up. It appears to be this:

contra libertum Caesaris ire times,
abnegat et retinet nostrum Laronia servum

If this is dactylic hexameter then it must scan as Lārōnia (right)?

ābnĕgă|t ēt rĕtĭ|nēt nōs|trūm Lā|rōnĭă |sērvum

Benwing2 (talk) 18:08, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

Martial employed elegiac couplets in the Epigrammata, so it could be a so-called dactylic pentameter, but this line is indeed a hexameter.  --Lambiam 19:38, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
It also occurs twice in Juvenal and once in the masculine in Silius Italicus, all with a long A. Brutal Russian (talk) 21:40, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

Iacobus: long or short o?Edit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): @Lambiam I know it's a bit dicey to add macrons onto Medieval Latin terms, but in this case it affects the stress. The Greek form Ἰάκωβος (Iákōbos) has long o, but descendant forms like French Jacques and English James must descend from a form with antepenultimate stress. Benwing2 (talk) 19:16, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

In Classical Latin this would almost certainly have been Latinized as Iacōbus; cf. Aesōpus, Aetōlus, and so on. I have no idea if this still had any meaning when the Vulgate came out; by that time vowel length had already been lost for centuries in Greek pronunciation; ω and ο were realized the same, both as short vowels. (They made a long story short, something I’ve never learned to do.) Wikipedia writes that a key feature of Vulgar Latin was conversion of the distinction of vowel length into a distinction of height – the classical long /oː/ became short /o/ and the classical short /o/ become the also short but lower /ɔ/, so the question might be more, high or low o? But if the o was never long, since the proper noun Iacobus only made its appearance after the loss of length, then this seems moot. In Koine Greek, the polytonic system evolved in a system with simple tonal stress; so in Ἰάκωβος the first syllable was stressed. It seems somewhat plausible to me that this was simply copied to the Latin pronunciation, which would mean a short o when audaciously extrapolating backwards to classical times while retaining stress.  --Lambiam 20:29, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
Sometimes it did happen that Greek words were adapted to preserve the original place of accent - and other times the accent was preserved with what in native words would have been a violation of prosody - Lindsay 1894 (p. 155) offers Philĭppus "a type of gold coin", áby̆ssus, sometimes even with vowel reduction: Tárentum, though greekified again in It. Táranto. He says it's doubtful wheter in the Classical period long vowels had ever been shortened, but that it was done in later stages: βούτῡρον > būtĭrum > burro. This difference is because in Later Latin vowel length stopped being phonemic and the relationship between stress and vowel length was reversed. Conversely, this is inadmissible in Classical Latin, and anyone literate in Greek would have read Ἰάκωβος (Iákōbos) with the ω properly as a long vowel; and had they heard the word spoken with the long penultimate vowel, they would have no doubt adopted it with that vowel stressed, just like French speakers adapt the place of accent in borrowings to the only one admitted by the prosody of French, unless they're trying to sound foreign on purpose. Since we're simulating a Classical-age borrowing, and not anachronistically reversing time, I think preserving the original length and moving the accent is the only way to do it. Gaffiot 2016 seem to think so too, but they also give the first vowel as long - which seems justified considering the Hebrew forms. We can always give an alternative Late Latin + Ecclesiastical pronunciation. Brutal Russian (talk) 21:28, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
@Brutal Russian Thanks! You're pointing out all sorts of Internet sources I didn't know existed; maybe you can make a list of all your sources, with Internet links as appropriate? Benwing2 (talk) 00:36, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
@Benwing2 As a matter of fact I do have such a list, and it's pretty large :D It comes with one reservation though - you must join our Latin Discord server (discord.gg/Latin) in order to find the link in the resources channel :P Don't worry, it's not just for time-travelling Romans to chat in - there's also a decent general linguistics channel Brutal Russian (talk) 15:00, 29 July 2019 (UTC)


I've been looking to translate destalonado, which is used to described a type of shoe. A slingback shoe looks to me like a "zapato destalonado", but I'm uncertain. Are these shoes and these shoes the same? They look very similar to me. --Gibraltar Rocks (talk) 19:43, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

The destalonado shown here and the slingback shown here do not only look similar – they are the same image.  --Lambiam 20:48, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

Hyphens in English wordsEdit

English dictionaries printed in Sweden in 1940-1980 are full of words like "card-trick" with a hyphen, while Wiktionary only has card trick without hyphen. Was this a misconception among Swedish lexicographers/language teachers at the time? Or is it correct British English, while Wiktionary is dominated by American English? Or did English pass some spelling reform that removed the hyphens that were used earlier? My guess is that Swedish-English dictionaries were based on older German-English or French-English dictionaries. So any misconceptions or biases found there would have spread to Sweden.

(Background information: The first foreign language taught in Swedish schools was German, until 1946 when this changed to English. Naturally, there was initially a shortage of English-speaking teachers. Swedish singers who used English in the 1950s and 1960s really didn't master the language. It was only with ABBA in the 1970s that Swedish music in English could be exported. Meanwhile, many Swedish singers successfully used German in the 1950s and 1960s.) --LA2 (talk) 21:00, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

Generally speaking, the use of hyphens in English is declining. See e.g. [49]. The Google 'Ngrams' graph [50] shows that the hyphenated form of "card trick" peaked in about 1940 and has been declining since, while the open form has increased in frequency. Mihia (talk) 21:05, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
I notice the same phenomenon among vernacular names of taxa. Older works, especially UK, use hyphens where newer and US works do not. DCDuring (talk) 00:49, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
The introduction to the 2010 Esperanto-English dictionary by J. C. Wells (a Brit), a revision of a 1960s dictionary, mentions that one of the changes is that a lot of hyphens in the English spellings have been removed due to the changing of fashion. So such dictionaries were correct for the day, but such forms are no longer as popular.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:40, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
If you find that Wiktionary misses a hyphenated spelling, add it as {{altform}}. There is yet much to add. Fay Freak (talk) 21:02, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
And conversely hyphenated forms should be supplemented by forms spelled both solid and open. In many cases an unhyphenated form should be the main entry. DCDuring (talk) 21:26, 3 August 2019 (UTC)


According to the usage notes at -'s:

  • When referring to possessions of multiple people who don't share the same name, the standard, formal way to form the possessive is Jack’s and Jill’s pails. However, it is common to treat the pair of names as a noun phrase and to form the possessive of this instead, using only one ’s: Jack and Jill’s pails.

I don't recognise this as correct. The rule I know is that if there is joint ownership then properly we should say "Jack and Jill's", while if there is separate ownership then properly we say "Jack's and Jill's". For example, if Jack and Jill share a passport we say "Jack and Jill's" passport, but if they have separate passports then we say "Jack's and Jill's passports". Before I change it, what are other people's views on this? Mihia (talk) 17:43, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

I lean towards "Jack and Jill's" regardless of the situation, but I have heard and used the distinction you are familiar with. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:48, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

World Health OrganisationEdit

There is an entry for WHO, where the translations only cover abbreviations. I think the full name is worth an entry if just for translations of the full name. There is at least one lemma for it. DonnanZ (talk) 19:26, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

Are you recommending the lemming criterion for all proper names, all organization names, all not-for-profit organization names, or just this one? DCDuring (talk) 21:21, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
It would be a good yardstick, I think, perhaps not hard and fast, we may have some proper noun entries for which there are no lemmings, but I wouldn't necessarily delete them because of that. I did check a few others: European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, United Nations, European Court of Human Rights and some other European organisations appear in Oxford. DonnanZ (talk) 22:40, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
There are some translations lurking in the database: Weltgesundheitsorganisation, Organización Mundial de la Salud and Verdens helseorganisasjon. DonnanZ (talk) 22:56, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
So make it already! --Gibraltar Rocks (talk) 23:22, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

boterham etymologyEdit

The etymology for boterham says "Not from boter +‎ ham." Is this a joke? I don't want to know what the etymology isn't, I want to know what it is! There is a fairly detailed etymology at http://www.etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/boterham but my Dutch is nowhere near good enough to understand it. From what I can tell, the first part is indeed from "boter" but I can't understand the Dutch to work out where the second part comes from, only that it's complicated. Danielklein (talk) 06:21, 30 July 2019 (UTC)

Maybe sometimes it is useful to know that a very common folk etymology is not, in fact, correct. The problem with the above is that the com|nl template is treated by the software as being the correct etymology and so it gets auto-categorised as a compound word. Equinox 11:12, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
I've updated it. Hope it's a little more informative and clear. Leasnam (talk) 22:14, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
I have updated it again. Two reputable sources do give the etymology as (perhaps) boter + ham, but with a different meaning of ham. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:00, 5 August 2019 (UTC)


The Article to "vasistas[51]" says this for Etymology: "The French adopted the expression as a name for the small windows over the doors to German homes, because the inhabitants often asked the French was ist das? through the windows before letting them in." There's however no Citation for that and I highly doubt the Correctness of it. Not only is this the only Place where I found that specific Explanation, but the proposed german Root is also completely grammatically wrong, which doesn't really give it more Credence. —⁠This comment was unsigned.

Germans would not have asked their visitors to identify themselves by asking, was ist das?, meaning “what is that?" They might instead have asked, wer ist da? – “who is there?”, or, shorter, wer da? It is conceivable that they themselves, amongst themselves, called such a window a "Was-ist-das”. If so, one would expect to find some evidence of such usage.  --Lambiam 00:13, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
FWIW, {{R:TLFi}} (and fr:vasistas) both say the French word is derived from German was ist das?, and Grammarphobia (reviewing various French dictionaries and sources) says that's the generally accepted etymology today; they say the earliest use dates to 1760, with the early spelling wass-ist-dass (first attested in either 1770 or 1776) supporting the connection to German. However, I share the suspicion that the notion that it was applied to the windows due to being a question Germans asked to mean "who is there?" is a later and wrong conjecture; Grammarphobia speculates that was ist das? might be a phrase the French mockingly imagined Germans saying upon seeing the windows, or a phrase the French said through the windows, in a broken attempt to say "who's there?" in German; someone elsewhere on the internet suggested it might've been something the French heard Germans say regarding e.g. noises (of battle, approaching French soldiers, etc) that they heard through the window, or else a German name along the lines of English's whatsit. - -sche (discuss) 02:01, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

秀才 (Japanese)Edit

Surely this term in Japanese can also refer to the Chinese historical senses? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:30, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

@Tooironic: Expanded. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:06, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
Recently they often contrast 天才(てんさい) (tensai) and 秀才(しゅうさい) (shūsai), but the current entries don’t explain the difference. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 10:12, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks everyone for your help with this entry. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:33, 6 September 2019 (UTC)


My instincts tell me that this word is pretty much always used transitively. Is that right? Can someone please add the relevant tags? Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:12, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

I've added an intransitive sense, with two citations. But I think that there are many, many more of the form "X Yed Z", she explained. One cannot interpret the reported speech as the object of explained, IMO. The reported speech is the explanation. DCDuring (talk) 05:49, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
I think an object can be implied, like in the phrase "please explain". DonnanZ (talk) 08:14, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
I think one can imagine an implied object for just about any intransitive verb.
"When faced with imminent exposure, he ran (a course that would lead him way from the consequences of exposure)". DCDuring (talk) 00:19, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

is Stalin a surname? (what about Icelandic patronymics?)Edit

(Brief prior discussion: User talk:Atitarev#Stalin,_Lenin.) Stalin and Ста́лин (Stálin)) define that term as a surname, but is it? I thought it was a pseudonym Joseph made by combining сталь + -ин. Does anyone besides him bear it as a last name? Is it a surname even if only he bears it? I'm not saying it isn't, I'm really unsure: I can see how in Iceland someone with a unique first name could have a child who would thus have a unique "surname", and I guess it would be considered to still be a surname on Wiktionary(?) - or would it? I notice that CAT:Icelandic surnames doesn't contain any patronymic/matronymic surnames, with only a few exceptions (Sigurðsson), and CAT:Icelandic patronymics has a paltry three entries. Did we decide to not include those, since they're the result of a productive process for producing SOP-like strings? I'm not proposing to exclude Stalin, I'm only wondering if it should stay labelled a surname: compare how Biebs is not labelled a surname or even a name. Relatedly: is Lenin a surname? Our entry suggests that even if Vladimir picked it based on the Lena river, it might have existed as a last name before him - did it? - -sche (discuss) 18:08, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Originally a nom de guerre, “Stalin” became I. V. Stalin’s official surname. The birthname of his youngest daughter was Светлана Иосифовна Сталина (Svetlana Iosifovna Stalina), even though she destalinized her name later. I think we should not include Icelandic patronymic surnames as being 100% predictable: a sun of Ahab will be an Ahabsson, and a daughter of Ahab will be an Ahabsdóttir.  --Lambiam 23:52, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

loss, nounEdit

There currently isn't a sense meaning misplacement. Can't sense 2 be expanded greatly from just anatomy? There's already an example sentence about "glacier loss". Ultimateria (talk) 21:54, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

I completely rewrote the entry. I welcome any corrections, so please take a look. Ultimateria (talk) 19:19, 3 August 2019 (UTC)