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Non-lemma rhymesEdit

Hi! I don't really know if this is the page to ask this, but should I add non-lemma forms to rhymes pages? For example, can I add the Spanish word cread to Rhymes:Spanish/að? Pablussky (talk) 08:38, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

gum arabic, arabic gumEdit

I noticed "paper with natural arabic gum" printed on a packet of Rizla cigarette papers. This must appear on zillions of packets, so it may be worth an entry. DonnanZ (talk) 11:07, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

as luck would have itEdit

Hi, I would improve the entry a great deal to add the type of modality "would" is showing. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:06, 1 June 2019 (UTC)


These are the current first three noun senses:

  1. (uncountable, formerly countable) Activity for amusement only, especially among the young.
    Children learn through play.
  2. (uncountable) Similar activity in young animals, as they explore their environment and learn new skills.
    This kind of play helps the young lion cubs develop their hunting skills.
  3. (uncountable, ethology) "Repeated, incompletely functional behavior differing from more serious versions ..., and initiated voluntarily when ... in a low-stress setting."

I'm not keen that definition 3 is in quotes, but putting that aside for the moment, is it actually distinct from 1 and 2, or is it just the same meaning explained in a more complicated and jargony way? Mihia (talk) 17:04, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

A different register counts. Also, consider an everyday definition or iron vs. a chemist's or metallurgist's definition. Def. 3 has the idea of repetition and other ideas that are not dependent on the human model. DCDuring (talk) 17:16, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
See the talk page for the reasoning behind its addition. I don't care for the third definition either. The main problem is that both 2 and 3 refer to exactly the same thing. Yes, the ethological definition is more precise and scientific, but I don't think there's ever any case where something is 2, but not 3. A sociologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a neurologist would define 1 differently, but that's not a reason to split it into 4 separate senses. In the same way, the average person would describe a strawberry as the fruit of a strawberry plant, while a botanist would describe it as an enlarged fleshy structure embedded with a number of fruits (the "seeds"), but the difference is in terminology, not in the actual thing described.
I don't think an ethologist would see 2 and 3 as separate, but a metallurgist or a chemist would see iron as a metal as separate from iron as a chemical compound- they're both made up of iron atoms, but they're completely different aspects. For that matter, an evolutionary biologist might argue that there's a lot of overlap between 1 and 2. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:09, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
I think an ethologist would not be happy with the anthropomorphizing in definition 2. Def. 2 is a naive view of the phenomenon; def. 3 is an attempt to come up with an operational definition for purposes of scientific observation. Further, I would expect some behavior to fit only in 2, only in 3, in both 2 and 3. But the questions for us are of attestation. It would be a good bet that one could not attest def. 3 anywhere other than in scholarly literature. DCDuring (talk) 21:45, 2 June 2019 (UTC)


Two senses: "to express the need or desire for"; "to ask somebody to do something". How are these supposed to differ? #1 seems too vague, as well: doesn't seem to capture the verbal nature of requesting. Equinox 19:41, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps the first sense should instead be "ask for (something)" e.g. "he requested a cigarette"? Mihia (talk) 21:03, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, that would make sense; in fact, the first def was originally written as "To ask for something". The arguments of the two definitions then differ (I requested it of him vs. I requested him to live). — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 15:43, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
OK, I have changed it. Mihia (talk) 10:43, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

attend (intransitive verb) result from something: to be the consequence of something (literary)Edit

attend intransitive verb result from something: to be the consequence of something (literary) Microsoft® Encarta® 2009

The same meaning can be found in Spanish atender --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:33, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Addition of {{rootsee}} to general entriesEdit

Discussion moved to Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2019/June.

Esperanto «poŝto»Edit

Is the spelling Ŝ in poŝto influenced by Russian почта or is it there to distinguish poŝto from post? Slayergames444 (talk) 00:25, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Lots of Central/Eastern European languages have a /ʃ/ here, cf. Czech, Slovak, Slovene, and Serbocroatian pošta, Romanian poștă, Bulgarian поща (pošta), Serbocroatian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Macedonian пошта (pošta), Lithuanian paštas. These are probably a more likely source than Russian почта (počta). — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 15:36, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
I can't find my copy of Etimologia vortaro de Esperanto, but Russian is a known source of words in Zamenhofian Esperanto, whereas I don't recall any of those languages being mentioned. The English Wikipedia has an uncited claim that he knew Belarussia, but the Esperanto Wikipedia doesn't mention it in his list of languages. A couple sources mention he had an interest in Lithuanian. It's hard to say why poŝto went with ŝ instead of s.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:10, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
If I had to guess, I'd guess that both the Russian word and the collision with post played a role. There are other cases where Esperanto has an etymologically puzzling diacritic in order to distinguish two otherwise homophonous roots—see akcento and akĉento. And of course there are many Esperanto words from Russian (kaĉo is the first example that popped into my head). —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:36, 9 June 2019 (UTC)


Shouldn't Old Frisian be mentioned somehow?? DonnanZ (talk) 20:20, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

I'm not sure I quite understand where do you feel it should be mentioned ? Leasnam (talk) 23:06, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
I wasn't sure how to include it. I have now entered it under "related terms". DonnanZ (talk) 08:49, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

any moreEdit

"to a greater extend" does not match with a sentence such as "If the number of people in the lift is any more than five" --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:21, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

That usage is not adverbial. It is also directly interpretable ry reference to [[any]] and [[more]]. I'd argue to delete it. DCDuring (talk) 14:20, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

good for someoneEdit

Is the following sentence an example of the interjection in comparative form? "Best for Michiganians to follow the law" --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:07, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

No. Just ellipsis for "it is best..." Equinox 15:12, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
I pay next to no attention to the Midwest (save maybe for Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Minnesota, due to their dialects), but isn't it "Michigander", not "Michiganian"? Tharthan (talk) 03:44, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
I have family there. They also say Michiganer. Leasnam (talk) 21:29, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Who knew they spoke Yiddish there? Chuck Entz (talk) 02:49, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
Haha Leasnam (talk) 03:27, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Latin perfect subjunctive endings: short or long i?Edit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak): @JohnC5, I'm so meta even this acronym Does the Latin perfect subjunctive have endings -īs -īmus -ītis or -ĭs -ĭmus -ĭtis (the latter endings homophonous with the future perfect)? References don't always agree. Wikipedia has the long endings (mostly) and the auto-generated Wiktionary forms do too (e.g. see vexerīmus), but the conjugation tables have short -ĭmus -ĭtis. Benwing2 (talk) 03:14, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

@Benwing2: This seems to be a matter of some debate, as seen in this article, which concludes that the future perfect and perfect subjunctive may both have either long or short -ī̆-. I'm not sure what the state of the art thinking is, but it seems like that both appear in the texts. —*i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 04:30, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
@JohnC5 Thanks! Hrmmph, though, this is complex. I can only read the first page but it seems to indicate that the long ī in the perfect subj and short ĭ in the future perf is etymologically correct, and this is the distinction that Wikipedia makes, so I'll probably go with that. I assume that earlier in the Classical period this distinction was indeed made, but later the two forms were conflated and confused. Benwing2 (talk) 05:06, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

in the DNAEdit

I hate to be suggesting this, because I don't personally ever desire for this to be in any respectable dictionary (because it sounds utterly daft, just like "ombudsperson" or "personkind"), but ought we to have an entry for this? I know that we don't have an entry for "in the blood" but since this seems hot-phrase-ish (or it was a year or two ago, anyway), perhaps it warrants inclusion? Tharthan (talk) 04:41, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

We should have the sense of DNA that fits this. The can be replaced by any of a large number of determinatives, including the open (not the topological sense!) set of proper noun possessives.
What we have at DNA are:
2. (informal) That part of a person's character that has a genetic origin.
3. (figuratively) The fundamental values or vision of an organization.
Among the defects of these definitions are the unnecessary exclusion of animals and other organisms in either of these figurative use.
Searching "the DNA of the" at Google Books and Google News, and excluding cases where the wordings of our 3 definitions apply, yields these following nouns or NPs that have figurative DNA: Bible, scriptures, star, brands, franchise, tradition; soul, psyche; Nazarenes, communities, genre, people, community membership, polity, generation, workforce, economy, American experiment, legal establishment; golfer; without the: relationships.
I don't think the word organization is normally understood to include the various aggregations of humans included above.
How would we add to or reword our definitions of DNA to include all this usage? DCDuring (talk) 12:38, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
I understood the OP to be referring to a phrase modelled on "in the flesh." @Tharthan, could you please clarify? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:27, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
"OP"? Is Wiktionary a Web forum now? Where is my avatar?
Actually, I was referring to a phrase modelled on "in the blood". At least where I live, "it is in [the/our/BrandX's/ProductY's] blood" is the general way that one would say (even figuratively) "it is an intrinsic element that is in the deepest root of ______". But in the past few years, I haven't heard "in the blood" much at all, and (instead) am hearing an almost neologistical "in the DNA" (which, like I said, sounds completely idiotic). My question, like I said when I started this Tea Room discussion, is the following: Ought we to create an entry for "in the DNA"? Tharthan (talk) 02:34, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
I would say no to in the DNA, yes to rewording the figurative senses of DNA. DCDuring (talk) 03:28, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Oh, pardon me, I misread your post somehow and thought you were giving "in the blood" as another example of this type of phrase, rather than the original expression. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:06, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

masterstroke (sometimes considered offensive)Edit

According to Microsoft® Encarta® 2009., "good idea: a brilliant idea or very clever tactic (sometimes considered offensive)" why is it so? --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:38, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Possibly for its perceived connection to master / slave (and whipping)? That sounds very forced to me though, I have never heard of it being called offensive. DTLHS (talk) 15:49, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
A stroke is a sweep of the arm, a swing of the blade. Not offensive in that it offends someones, but offensive as in to strike first, maybe? To be the one to violent action.
Or, the connotation might be historically a military application that involved "defeating" a large number of "enemies" in a masterstroke. (Read as "killing many people, quickly").
Just my two-pence. Elfabet (talk) 13:56, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
I have never heard of the idea that the word "masterstroke" could be considered offensive. Mihia (talk) 22:48, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Reading of multiplication sign ×#Translingual in EnglishEdit

It is said that can be read as times, timesed by or multiplied by. Can it be read as only by as seen written at the beginning (second screen) of this TEDx talk ("step x step")? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 11:53, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

4x4 "four by four"? —Suzukaze-c 05:01, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
US standard lumber sizes: in inches: 1x2, 2x2, 1x3, 2x4, [] , 2x12, [] .
US standard sheet building material sizes: in feet: 4x8, 2x4, [] . DCDuring (talk) 09:51, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't have time to at the moment, but someone could look through Countdown transcripts for evidence from British English. For another discussion of another way this can be pronounced, see Wiktionary:Tea_room/2014/October#Pronunciation_of_×.
Why is that pronunciation information given in the etymology? - -sche (discuss) 10:12, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, I was bold and I changed it. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 14:09, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

an gracious heartEdit

How can the use of an in "an gracious heart" be explained? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:44, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

In what context did you hear it? DTLHS (talk) 15:49, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
@DTLHS: the phrase is all over internet, one can easily google it --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:32, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
I get 20 Google hits for it, that's hardly "all over [the] internet". The few times it does occur it appears to be a typo or scanno for either "any gracious heart" or "and gracious heart". —Mahāgaja · talk 17:13, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (after edit conflict) Perusing google:"an gracious heart" shows only 20 putative hits, narrowing to 13 when paging through. FWIW, I'd hardly call that "all over internet". Looking at the specific hits, most instances of the phrase can be explained as typos for "and gracious heart". Narrowing the search to google books:"an gracious heart" gets one hit that might be an actual intended use, traced to an 1805 Christian work, A Saint indeed: or, the Great work of a Christian opened and pressed, etc. However, clicking through shows that this was a scanno for "any gracious heart" (if the link jumps to the top for you, the text is towards the bottom of page 70). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:17, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
It could be used in memes, in which case it wouldn't show up in a Google search. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:25, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

zilizopita, lililopita, iliyopita in swahiliEdit

hi, am i right in saying that "zilizopita" as seen in many swahili apps and news sites as in "saa 6 zilizopita" ~= "6 hours ago" is just another spelling of n-class plural inflicted relative past tense of pita (to pass) "ziliopita" (meaning literal translation would be "hours 6 having passed")?

looking at the firefox swahili translation here [1] i also see some other variations of that like "lisaa limoja lililopita" ~= "one hour ago" and "miaka 2 iliyopita" ~= "2 years ago", but i can't figure out where those two forms of "pita" come from as they're not listed in its conjugation table either.

i thought, maybe it's using some verbal derivation of -pita, but the only defined derivations i could find were pitia, pitika, pitana, pitisha, and pitwa. i'm still learning swahili grammar, so can anyone shed some light on this for me? thanks, --Habst (talk) 18:56, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

It's the relative form, as explained at Appendix:Swahili verbs, so you got it right. The forms are not in the conjugation table because the number of possible valid forms would be too high, and I couldn't find a way to fit them in neatly (perhaps an autocollapsed subtable within the table could make it look okay?). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:07, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
thanks for your answer as always. i learned more and added them to {{sw-conj}} which made it a lot easier for me to understand! --Habst (talk) 22:45, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Hidden quantity in Latin wordsEdit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak): @JohnC5, I'm so meta even this acronym I'm trying to fix up the treatment of hidden quantity (i.e. vowel length or shortness before two consonants), which is all messed up currently. I'm planning on following this website [2], which mostly goes by Bennett but contains annotations where more recent commentators disagree. Note that Bennett himself changed his mind in some cases, e.g. the free ebook on Bennett from Google Books [3] says that most vowels are long before gn, but Buck apparently argued the opposite later on, and Bennett accepted most of Buck's arguments, so the later version of Bennett quoted in the above website has short dĭgnus, lĭgnus, pĭgnus, tĭgnum, benĭgnus, malĭgnus, pŭgnus, etc. while the earlier version in Google Books has long dīgnus, līgnus, pīgnus, tīgnum, benīgnus, malīgnus, pūgnus, etc. The later Bennett still has long sīgnum, īgnis based on inscriptional evidence, while Buck would discount that evidence and maintain that these also were short. Other points of disagreement:

  • Bennett has ārdeō, ārsī, ārsurus etc. while Michelson, who annotated Bennett's work, notes that Lindsay, Sommer and Brugmann all have ărdeō ărsī ărsurus etc.
  • Bennett has fīrmus while Michelson prefers fĭrmus, or at least fĭrmus/fīrmus.
  • Bennett has ūlna, which Michelson says is definitely ŭlna.
  • Bennett has ūstus PPP of ūrō, which Michelson says is ŭstus despite some Romance attestations of long ū.
  • Bennett has ūsque nūsque quoūsque, which Buck says is ŭsque nŭsque quoŭsque.
  • Bennett has cŭnctor but Michelson says it's actually cūnctor. This is apparently based on a statement by Michelson, also accepted more recently by Allen, that vowels are invariably long before nct, which appears to be the modern consensus but wasn't accepted by Bennett in all cases.
  • Bennett has PPP's dēlīctus/relīctus (dēlinquō/relinquō), fīctus (fingō), pīctus (pingō), trāctus (trahō), while Allen has short vowels dēlĭctus/relĭctus, fĭctus, pĭctus, trăctus in these PPP's.

I am inclined to accept most of the cases where more recent authors disagree with Bennett; in any case, in the vast majority of cases, Bennett's views still hold. However, I'm inclined to go with sīgnum, īgnis rather than sĭgnum ĭgnis based on the epigraphic/inscriptional evidence (e.g. SꟾGNVM SEIGNVM SꟾGNIFICABO in three distinct inscriptions), on the theory that Romance attestations of short vowels (e.g. Spanish seña señal) reflect later shortenings, just as with French annoncer vs. Latin annūntiare, where the length of ū in Classical Latin is not disputed.

@JohnC5 Do you have anything to add? In particular, do you have any recent JSTOR refs that might shed light on some of these disputed cases other than what I've already cited? Benwing2 (talk) 03:04, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm not greatly knowledgeable on this; as I think I mentioned elsewhere, the way I was taught largely disregarded this topic as irrelevant. My only input is that we would do a great service (relative to other online Latin dictionaries) to cite our sources in pronunciation sections for these cases. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:22, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge I'll see if I can include the sources for the pronunciation on the lemma page in an automated fashion. (I have a list of about 2,000 lemmas now, and avg. 50+ non-lemma forms per lemma [fewer for nouns and adjectives, more for verbs] that need to have their macrons updated; too many to do by hand.)
BTW As I'm running my automated program to fix up macrons I'm finding all sorts of errors in the non-lemma forms, e.g.
  1. lots of participle forms ending in -nte listed as datives instead of ablatives;
  2. a stray tag "adjectival" before "abl";
  3. lots of places where an two inflections are combined under one heading but actually differ in macrons, e.g. arrigēris listed as both both present and future 2nd sing passive indicative, when in reality arrigēris is only the future passive, and the present passive is arrigeris with a short vowel;
  4. lots of places where the ===Adjective=== or similar header is missing;
  5. tons of weird macron errors, in both directions.
Most of these errors are due to User:SemperBlotto's bot, but some are due to User:FitBot from User:EncycloPetey, some due to User:Kennybot from User:kc_kennylau, and some are due to manually created forms. Somehow I don't imagine most of the bot owners will be willing to fix their bot's errors, although properly they should. Benwing2 (talk) 04:59, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
@Benwing2: Please excuse my tardiness. Several of these words (ārdeō, fīrmus, ūlna, and cūnctor) should fall under the auspices of Osthoff's Law and should a priori be assumed short. There has been a fairly competent recent survey of the Osthoff's Law forms in Latin which may help you in the adjudication of length. As for the other forms, de Vaan might discuss them or might not. *shrug**i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 07:04, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
@JohnC5 Thanks for your comments. I wonder though about the relevance of Osthoff's law to these forms, as Osthoff's law would have applied centuries earlier, and there were plenty of Latin-specific sound changes that lengthened vowels before two consonants (e.g. before ns, nf, nct). Benwing2 (talk) 07:09, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
@Benwing2: The use of a macron before ns, nf, and (marginally) nct does not represent a long vowel before a coda sonorant but phonetic lengthening from a nasal being vocalized before a voiceless fricative (a fairly common sound change; cf. Germanic, Greek, Sanskrit, Avestan). Those should not be considered synchronic violations of Osthoff's Law, though there a handful of known exceptions do exist. —*i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 08:39, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
@JohnC5 I see. This is a good point but the validity of Osthoff's law as a synchronic law in Latin is something I haven't seen mentioned in the sources (maybe it's a new thing?), and there are cases like fōrma that are pretty clear violations (cf. Spanish 'horma' not '*huerma', as well as evidence from Greek transcriptions and explicit statements of grammarians). Bennett also mentions e.g. nūntius, nūndinae, ōrdō, ōrnō, nārrō, Mārcus, nōlle, nūllus, mīlle, prōrsum, sūrsum, pūrgō etc. etc., which aren't contradicted by Michelson, Allen or Buck. Benwing2 (talk) 15:02, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
You may already be intending to do this, but FWIW I think it'd be useful to document all the rules we're following, and their sources (and what any conflicting sources say), in one place, either WT:ALA or an appendix on pronunciation linked to from there. Indeed, if you do that, you could direct users to "see appendix for sources" uniformly on all (automated-IPA) entries if that'd be more feasible than displaying specific refs in specific entries (though by all means do that too, if you want and can; it'd be useful). - -sche (discuss) 10:01, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
@-sche That's a great idea. Benwing2 (talk) 14:52, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
Actually we should ask @Brutal Russian on any vowel length topic, this and see #Latin perfect subjunctive endings: short or long i?. because he seems to have track of the state of the knowledge. I have never cared about Indo-European nor about poetry nor about inscriptions with possible apices. Fay Freak (talk) 02:40, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

3x more than usualEdit

Do our entries on x/× need another sense, or merely another usex, in order to cover uses like "2x the fun" and "3x more than usual"? - -sche (discuss) 10:20, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Tentatively added. - -sche (discuss) 01:53, 7 June 2019 (UTC)


"Carpenting" is supposed to be "carpentry", right? (The other possibility is "carpeting", where one could conceivably also set nails into wood.) - -sche (discuss) 10:35, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

I would go with carpentry Leasnam (talk) 15:15, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
Wow, it appears that carpenting is actually a thing, but I would still update it to the appropriate label term at sætning to avoid confusion. Leasnam (talk) 15:17, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

a daughter {your age - the same age as you} etc.Edit

Since it is not a freely recursive grammatic pattern, how can modifying phrases such as those that age allows, e.g. a daughter {your age - the same age as you}, be treated lexicograhically? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:09, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

prese [práy sày] : (plural of presa)Edit

According to Microsoft® Encarta® 2009,

prese [práy sày] : (plural of presa) Southwestern U.S. water diversion for irrigation --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:30, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Hmm, I'm not sure why prese would exist as the plural of that sense rather than the music sense, but I haven't yet found citations of it in either sense. The citations of presa I see didn't quite meet our "dam of dyke" definition, nor Encarta's. I've expanded the entry a bit and split it by ety, but it needs more work. - -sche (discuss) 17:07, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

how muchEdit

I don't know where to begin. Only two other OneLook references have an entry. Oxford just calls it a phrase and their definition is not directly substitutable in some of their own usage examples. Until recently we had three PoS sections, Determiner, Adverb, and Pronoun, but Pronoun has recently been deleted. Our entry for how many has a Determiner "translation hub" and a Pronoun PoS section. I suspect that this is SoP, as one could have how often/rare(ly)/frequent(ly)/seldom/recent(ly)/'long ago'/late/early/hot/cold/red/black/light/dark/smooth/rough/erratic(ally)/fast/slow(ly) and many other adjectives and adverbs. DCDuring (talk) 19:16, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Purely on one small aspect, currently under Adverb we have definition "(interrogative) what is the cost/price" with example How much is it? Not only is the definition not substitutable, I doubt that "how much" in that example is adverbial at all. I think "how much" means "how much money", so it is a pronoun, or a determiner if we are calling determiners that function as nouns determiners. (Incidentally, I think we should make a decision about this generally as it has come up a number of times. I think you advocated lumping them all together under determiner, didn't you?) Mihia (talk) 20:58, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
It's one thing to have a determiner PoS heading, it's quite another to follow CGEL (2002) in its treatment of certain determiner words that often modify nouns as not also having other PoSes, like adjective or pronoun. The "fused head" analysis is convincing to me, but seems to be beyond what many language professionals, including many lexicographers, are willing to use in works intended for a wide audience. DCDuring (talk) 03:52, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Combining noun/pronoun uses under "determiner" would certainly make our entries less cluttered, but it is quite hard for me to stomach. I wish we could do what does and have a heading "Determiner and Pronoun". Is that allowable? Mihia (talk) 10:58, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
I am thinking it might be a pronoun because I think 'how much' is showing or asking 'what amount' or 'what amount of things' or 'what much' or 'what is much' or something like that. I think it might be a question or an interrogative of 'much' and I think I have seen that 'cuanto' is a pronoun in Spanish. Osbri (talk) 21:02, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
When it means "to what extent", e.g. "How much do like me?", it is an adverb. When it qualifies another noun, e.g. "How much money does it cost?", it is a determiner. When it means "what amount", e.g. "How much does it cost?", it is a noun/pronoun. However, it can be argued that the last case is also a determiner, just that the modified noun is omitted but implied. Mihia (talk) 22:52, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I have made some changes to try to address the various problems with this entry. Some of the definitions are possibly a bit SoP-ish, but if we have any entry at all then I really think we need to mention all the uses. It would be possible to split off a noun or pronoun sense from the determiner sense, but it just seemed too laborious/repetitious, so I have combined them. Mihia (talk) 14:06, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Looks good, though were it not for the price/cost question, I wouldn't think it warranted an entry in an English dictionary. We do include SoP things as translation targets, so I suppose all the definitions in this entry would survive RfD. DCDuring (talk) 15:13, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
I think I understand that but I was thinking it is also a pronoun. Osbri (talk) 18:06, 27 June 2019 (UTC)


"1. To make an entry on the debit side of an account. 2. To record a receivable in the bookkeeping." What is the difference between these senses? Equinox 19:18, 6 June 2019 (UTC)


Feels a bit unprofessional to use a vulgar term as a thesaurus headword. Equinox 21:14, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Professionalism is bullshit!!! We don't need no stinkin' bullshit! (talk) 23:09, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
The day after I get paid, I'll change it to Thesaurus:trite --I learned some phrases (talk) 16:06, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
I wasn't sure about it at the time but I honestly couldn't think of a better term. It does at least get the point across. There doesn't seem to be a useful, formal synonym but perhaps Thesaurus:fiddlesticks will do? It seems to be one of the older terms while still being in some modern use. NB: As far as vulgar headwords go, Thesaurus:dammit, Thesaurus:damned and Thesaurus:screw this all exist too. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 16:53, 9 June 2019 (UTC)


Despite (or perhaps because of) the lousiness and lameness of the term, selfie seems to have potentially led to the creation of a new suffix -fie.

There seems to be inconsistency with regard to whether -ie is the general suffix for neologisms related to this subject, or if "-fie" is. But we have enough that seem to use a "-fie" suffix that we may wish to consider adding a "-fie" suffix to this good wordbook.

shoefie, carfie, and twofie are at the very least potential examples. I mean, how long can we say that these are just blends of [WORD] + selfie?

If there simply isn't enough there yet to form a -fie entry, then perhaps at the very least we ought to make some edits to the -ie entry, which is silent (as it ought to be, in my personal opinion) on the subject of the "selfie" at the present time, to have another section that gives -ie as a suffix, saying "used in the formation of nouns that relate to smart-device-taken pictures, often by the same individual that the contents or subject of the picture is related to" or something along those lines. Tharthan (talk) 22:57, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

We have a few RfVed entries ending in fie. For the ones I've looked at so far we don't have any attestation whatsoever. If there are "numerous" instances, in durable media, of terms ending in fie with meaning "relate[d] to smart-device-taken pictures", there would be a prima facie case IMO for an entry, even if the terms are only attested once. I don't know what number would be sufficient to be "numerous". It would have to be enough to sway voters in an RfD. DCDuring (talk) 23:54, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
See Talk:-fie. DCDuring (talk) 03:24, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I definitely prefer to see these formations as portmanteaux, not uses of a new suffix. Ƿidsiþ 12:51, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
    How do you feel about -gate? DCDuring (talk) 13:24, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

belly danceEdit

A lot of somewhat political material has just been added. Should we really include things like "dancers X, Y and Z have asked people to stop using this term" under the etymology section? Or, if people have not in fact changed their usage, include it at all? Equinox 00:29, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Hey, man... get with it! Wordstock stuffiness is all of the rage. Word choice is so five minutes ago. Tharthan (talk) 04:40, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
I've reverted it to the last good entry. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:53, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
I was reminded of Ban Bossy. Equinox 09:55, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
I had never heard of that, Equinox. I mean, "bossy"? That's the word that is going to offend people? You have to be kidding me. Tharthan (talk) 15:26, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm the person who made the changes. Your point about not including opinions about the term in the etymology section makes sense to me. I'm fine with nixing the commentary, as long as the earlier instances of the term that have recently been published are kept, which was my primary goal in updating the entry. WorldesBlysse
There has been a lot of good material. Some of it probably belongs to a section “usage notes”. Some might even be a gloss, like that “comical Persian dance where a man performed with a face painted on his abdomen” could be a quote. I think in general what you have added belongs into dictionary, or it is even as we wish it would be more often. And it was not yet messy like e.g. what the guy on insignis has done (or is still doing, *sigh*). Especially remarkably good for a beginner. Fay Freak (talk) 18:16, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

in the moodEdit

This entry is currently defined as an adjective. Shouldn't it be a prepositional phrase like in the books, in the pudding club, etc.? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:55, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Yes, IMO. The prepositional phrase PoS was never completely implemented. The vote permitted the heading, but did not make it mandatory. The wording of some of the definitions of prepositional phrases would need to be such that it could be either adjectival or adverbial. That is most readily accomplished by having the definition be either another prepositional phrase or a phrase involving a participle. In this case I can't come up with any adverbial usage. DCDuring (talk) 02:17, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
I see. Thank you. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:03, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

further pronounEdit

Isn't further being used as a pronoun in "little further needs to be added"? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:57, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

It seems like a straightforward adverbial use. DTLHS (talk) 17:06, 7 June 2019 (UTC)


This letter from ship captain John Howell printed by British papers in December 1726 and quoted by Wikipedia's article on Ball lightning suggests we may be missing an (archaic?) sense of element like "firmament, sky, heavens", or at least that the "plural only" atmospheric sense may not have always been plural only:

As we were coming thro’ the Gulf [some other sources have 'though the Gulph'] of Florida on 29th of August, a large ball of fire fell from the Element and split our mast in Ten Thousand Pieces, [...]

However, I cannot find other examples. Can you? - -sche (discuss) 17:11, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Any primary sources for this quotation? DTLHS (talk) 17:16, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

came prepositionEdit

Does the usage note in come mean that when used as a preposition it inflects for time? --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:46, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

If I'm understanding this note correctly, I certainly think it is not true to say that "came" is often used in this way. If this usage exists at all, which I'm not sure about, I think it is rare and/or archaic. One of the example sentences incorporates the phrase "come Christmas time"; I could not see any relevant Google hits for "came Christmas time", and a couple of other possibilities yielded nothing either. Trouble is, it's a slightly tricky pattern to search for owing to many false positives. If no one can provide any supporting examples I think we should delete the note. Mihia (talk) 19:46, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Is this really a preposition, or is it ellipsis of some construction using the verb? The phrase "come Christmas time" is easily paraphrased as "when Christmas time has come". Chuck Entz (talk) 20:09, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Oxford has come as a preposition. Came has parallel derivation. Why shouldn't it also be treated as a preposition? Viewed as a verb it depends on archaic word order. We use the archaic-grammar rationale to include many MWEs that would otherwise be transparent. The same rationale would seem to apply to this. It is a bit like all the ing-forms of verbs that have become prepositions. DCDuring (talk) 20:48, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Please give an example where you think "came" is a preposition. Mihia (talk) 21:00, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Came the weekend before his anniversary, he still hadn't even made a dinner reservation.
Come the weekend before his anniversary, he still will not have even made a dinner reservation. DCDuring (talk) 03:33, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, that would definitely be an example analogous to "come", but does anyone actually say that? Did that come from a source, or is it your own creation? To me it seems only barely possible, if at all. I couldn't find any real-life examples -- though, as I say, it is quite hard to search. Mihia (talk) 10:54, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
I made them up to show the parallel between come and came as putative prepositions.
I think one can also find comes in parallel use.
The contrary position can point to usage like "Something wicked this way comes" to show that forms of come#Verb follow their subject, at least in older and literary use. BTW, Collins and Macmillan join Oxford in having come as a preposition. DCDuring (talk) 15:33, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
  • 2009, Harry Arthur Gant, I Saw Them Ride Away[4], page 112:
    Came spring, these old cow men bankers were back in the cow business.
  • 2009, Toby Talbot, The New Yorker Theater and Other Scenes from a Life at the Movies[5]:
    Came spring, my mother's elderly Polish neighbor, a refugee who took in a well-bred boarder to make ends meet, would emerge with her basket
  • 1976, Joel Eliot Helander, Oxpasture to summer colony: the story of Sachem's Head in Guilford, Connecticut[6]:
    Came summer, when deserted Sachem's Head swelled with cottagers, he almost led the life of Reilly
I rest your case. DCDuring (talk) 15:33, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
OK, fair enough, thanks. I still feel inclined to remove the claim that this form is used "often", however. Mihia (talk) 17:34, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Agreed and done.
See Citations:comes.
There are quite some other odd, though dated, constructions involving come and events: "When it comes Thanksgiving" and "When comes Thanksgiving". And the not-so-dated "Then comes Thanksgiving" and "After Veterans Day comes Thanksgiving". It wonder whether the frequently occurring VS order makes it easier to treat come as a preposition. DCDuring (talk) 21:50, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
"Then comes Thanksgiving" and "After Veterans Day comes Thanksgiving" seem to me to be clearly verb-subject inversion and not prepositional. AFAICT with no more context, "When comes Thanksgiving" seems the same. I'm not certain how to analyse "When it comes Thanksgiving", but I can't see that "comes" could have a prepositional function there. Mihia (talk) 23:08, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
BTW, I still don't agree with the usage note, which now reads "Came is used when both the indicated event, period or change in state occurred in the past." Now it seems to imply even more strongly, not less, that "come" inflects to "came". My feeling is that for past events "come" normally remains as "come", and it is pretty unusual for it to be changed to "came". Mihia (talk) 23:13, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

@DCDuring: what does parallel use mean? any example? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:37, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

See above: 03:33, 8 June 2019 (UTC) DCDuring (talk) 16:02, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

Meaning of Romanophobia, Romanophobe/Romanophilia, RomanophileEdit

It has been brought to my attention by an anon that there seems to be some confusion in relation to these terms. Are they used in reference to Romanians, Romans or Roma? The quote at Romanophobe might be an example of a semantic misapplication of the term – it wouldn't be the first time. The subject is pretty touchy for most Romanians, so a bit of clarity is greatly appreciated. --Robbie SWE (talk) 18:54, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

AFAICT, all of them can refer to all three targets at least some of the time; the difficulty is in finding sufficient clear citations. - -sche (discuss) 20:48, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
The problem I'm having with that solution is that Roman or the prefix (?) Romano- (not Oxford either) are rarely used to refer to Romanians and not at all used to refer to Roma – not according to dictionary sources anyway. I've barely found quotes supporting any other usage than to Rome or the Roman Empire. --Robbie SWE (talk) 10:25, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
"Romani" is an established adjective form (see Romani language etc.)... AnonMoos (talk) 08:23, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, I've cited the "Romanian" sense (adjective) of Romanophobe. The noun, however, seems to be too little used to be attested in that sense, and possible even in any other single sense (already, I've combined the "Romans, Ancient Rome" and "Roman Catholic, Church in Rome" senses). - -sche (discuss) 16:16, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Should we add a label to the less common senses? Thinking of "rare" or something like that. --Robbie SWE (talk) 20:08, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
If the senses are in fact rarer, then yes. One should try to cite all the senses and see which are attested, and how easily, though; it may be that many or all senses are all roughly as rare. I will try to keep looking for citations when I have time. - -sche (discuss) 01:48, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

solid state and solid-stateEdit

Do these mean exactly the same thing? If so, a soft-redirect and trans-see should be used, right? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:04, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

  • To me, the unhyphenated form is a noun, but one that is most often used attributively. The hyphenated form is the adjective. Google ngram viewer shows steady use of the first form even before the 1940s (before invention of the transistor). SemperBlotto (talk) 05:49, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
    Solid-state has become slightly more common than solid state on Google NGrams. In attributive use both the unhyphenated and hyphenated forms appear in large numbers (Google Scholar). Uses of either form as a predicate are about 10% as common as other uses, but also split evenly between the two forms. It is not clear to me that the predicate use is adjectival. Before 1940, Google NGrams shows virtually no use of the hyphenated form. It is hard to find uses of the hyphenated form that are subject or object. The unhyphenated form can be either. DCDuring (talk) 13:41, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
    We must have a noun PoS for solid state which is AFAICT much, much more common than solid-state in subject and object use. There are probably enough AT:ATTEST-compliant cites for "more solid(-)state than" to warrant as adjective PoS. However, looking at use on the web at large, it does not seem that the hyphenated form is more common in such use that the unhyphenated form. I conclude that we would lose nothing by having both adjective and noun PoS at the unhyphenated form and making the hyphenated form an alternative form entry with two PoS sections. DCDuring (talk) 15:03, 8 June 2019 (UTC)


What differences between “pane” and “glass”? -- 16:11, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

Glass is a material, and pane is a piece of glass. Ultimateria (talk) 17:46, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Pane can only really mean glass now, but in the old days you could have a pane of fence, a pane of cloth and numerous other things. It's basically a variant of "panel". Ƿidsiþ 12:49, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Lame punchlines, guys --I learned some phrases (talk) 14:15, 9 June 2019 (UTC)


Particle sense 3:

(colloquial) Used together with an affirmative word or phrase to show intense agreement.
No, totally.
No, yeah, that's exactly right.
"Wow!" "Yeah, no, it was really awful!"
No, yeah

I get what this is getting at, but I disagree that it expresses intense agreement. Does anyone else perceive that it does? Mihia (talk) 17:43, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

I don't think so. I think it's a vague dismissal of what the other person said, as a prelude to one's own position. Almost something like "anyway, moving on". Equinox 17:50, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree with the above, it's just no either in disagreement with a preceding statement or with an unspoken argument in the speaker's own mind that's being contradicted or dismissed. Leasnam (talk) 20:08, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Rightio, I changed it. Mihia (talk) 20:55, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
What Equinox said is wrong. "No" has another, more common sense which expresses disagreement or dismissal, but this sense expresses strong agreement. Here are a few articles with examples of this usage: [7] [8] [9]. The idea that this use is "dismissing an imagined contrary argument" is not supported by evidence as far as I can tell. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:39, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Rereading the comment, maybe I misunderstood what Equinox meant by "dismissal". I still don't see the reason for the phrase "dismissing an imagined contrary argument", though. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:44, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
I was about to say that I don't think these articles contradict Equinox's impression, though I see you already noticed that. I think the idea of "dismissing an imagined contrary argument" is that when I say "No, totally…", I mean a short form of something like, "No I certainly wouldn't disagree, in fact I totally concur". Ƿidsiþ 12:47, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
If I understand correctly, the two wordings being debated between are "Used together with an affirmative word or phrase to show agreement, perhaps by dismissing an imagined contrary argument.", and "Used together with an affirmative word or phrase to show intense agreement."? So, both acknowledge the use of no to indicate agreement, which is the main thing I would've opposed removing / folding into the general "indicating negation" sense. I'd agree with removing "intense" because I'm sure I've heard laid-back Bill & Ted types say it calmly while just lounging around. Whether we should speculate on the origin with a "perhaps", I don't know. If we could source the possibility/speculation to some language site, I think it'd be fine to mention it; if it's just our own speculation, then *shrug*. - -sche (discuss) 16:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm happy with removing "intense". I don't think we should include the stuff after "perhaps" unless we have some basis for it. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:49, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • The usage examples seem to me to come up far short of adequacy. Shouldn't they have at least the immediately preceding statement to which a reaction was being expressed? DCDuring (talk) 17:54, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I make it unanimous (among those who expressed an opinion) that we are happy with removing "intense", so I have done that at least. If we can also agree on some words to explain why someone would use "no" to express agreement, then so much the better. Mihia (talk) 17:31, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

'd pronunciationsEdit

Recently I heard "as if Mike'd date somebody like you", Mike'd pronounced /.kəd/ --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:09, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

I would pronounce it that way too. To my ear, [maɪkt] in that sentence would sound very strange. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:39, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
That is normal. Mike'll (will) is also 2 syllables. Occasionally it's even spelled `ud, as in (1893) "I shouldn't mind if Mike 'ud just take his glass and have done with it". Equinox 12:21, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Question: I don't know what dialect of British English you speak, Equinox, but do you pronounce "my kill" and "Mike'll" very close? These don't sound the same to me at all: /maɪˌkɪl/ (my kill) vs. /mʌɪkəl/. Tharthan (talk) 13:38, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't pronounce them similarly. Equinox 14:43, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

I meant to say that currently there's no pronunciation added to the entry --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:19, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

fofucha - a rubber dollEdit

Is there a standard English term for a fofucha? foamy, foamy doll, rubber doll and fofucha doll all have some hits. --I learned some phrases (talk) 13:29, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

che vaqueiraEdit

I just defined che vaqueira, but I don't think I phrased the definition very well. Basically, it's when some speakers of Asturian pronounce the ll digraph like a /tʂ/ or similar sounds, unlike the standard Castilian /ʎ/. --I learned some phrases (talk) 14:13, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

just this/the onceEdit

What PoS is once in I met her just the once or just this once ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:57, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

I'd call it an adverb as it functions grammatically the same as once by itself. —Mahāgaja · talk 16:10, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

thissun, thattunEdit

Is there a counterpart of thissun with the article that? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:12, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

judge not, that you be not judgedEdit

It would enhance entries like this to add a brief note about its grammar and terminlogy --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:55, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that "Judge not, that ye be not judged" and "Judge not, lest ye be judged" are far more common forms of this than the stilted "judge not, that you be not judged". If you going to go that route, why bother? Why not just say "Don't judge, so that you aren't judged"? Tharthan (talk) 17:14, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Because the archaic grammar is a strong hint that the utterer is citing holy writ. -- RichardW57 (talk) 22:47, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Why would someone be afraid to being perceived as citing the Holy Writ if they are, indeed, citing the Holy Writ? I'm not sure that I understand that concern.Tharthan (talk) 01:07, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
The KJV has “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Its translators would have considered the given entry ungrammatical: the form you was used only in the oblique case (object case), but here we have a nominative.  --Lambiam 00:25, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
That's what I am saying, hence why I called the form that the entry is at "stilted". Tharthan (talk) 01:07, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

meet halfwayEdit

How on Earth is one supposed to distinguish usage examples for definitions 1 and 3 practically?! Tharthan (talk) 13:29, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

By checking whether the verb has an object or is used in the passive voice, in which case it is transitive, thereby ruling out sense 1.  --Lambiam 23:46, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
I wonder, though, if this is not a case of SOP. Consider the scenario where you have a claim against a company because of a damaged gadget. Unfortunately, the company refuses to meet the full cost of the repairs, unlike the more agreeable company in the usex at meet, sense 4. However, they are willing to pay half the cost, so then the company agrees to meet the cost of the repairs halfway. At the end of the day, the cost of the repairs were met halfway. Taking the usex of meet halfway, sense 3, and putting it in the active voice, does not yield *“Marcovaldi declared: ‘I suggest that we meet halfway the differences’”, but, rather, “Marcovaldi declared: ‘I suggest that we meet the differences halfway’”. However, we do have an entry for put asunder, which may be idiomatic but has a similar issue – although one would not guess it from the usexes.  --Lambiam 00:12, 11 June 2019 (UTC)


The Latin entry looks like shit now. Canonicalization (talk) 15:00, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

It's been looking like this for a while now – the anon has made it his/her life's work. I just have an urge to revert all the changes and protect the page, but I just ain't got the energy nor the Latin skills to decide what gets to stay and what has to go. --Robbie SWE (talk) 19:27, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Many things have been corrected, such as the Etymology and Translation notes sections.
I see four remaining types of format matters worth attention:
  1. The bold "senses" in the definitions
  2. The labels on the definition lines, which are not wrong, just not standard, probably not too helpful for normal users
  3. The English synonym lists on the definition lines, a few more than we generally have.
  4. The absence of dates on the citations (which may be normal for Latin citations)
I'd also rather that someone more familiar with Latin entries cleaned it up and reviewed the substance. A goodly amount of thought went into this, so simple reversion doesn't seem right. DCDuring (talk) 21:46, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
In general I think it is good to indicate a sense’s being a specialized subsense of a more general original sense, and conversely a sense’s being an extension of a more restricted original sense. For the former I have seen (on another language's Wiktionary?) compound numbering, like “2.3” for subsense 3 of main sense 2. This entry, though, is more than a bit OTT, what with its 22 (sub)senses+synonyms, mimicking a thesaurus. While a bit hard to count due to the unsystematic presentation, I count (next to the basic original meaning) 11 subsenses+synonyms in Lewis & Short, and 6 in Gaffiot. Both give a more basic original meaning: “distinguished by a mark” (L&S); “bearing a distinctive mark” (G).  --Lambiam 23:29, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Some older dictionaries used the list-of-synonyms approach to definitions. The biggest contributor to such definitions here is MW 1913. We have been slowly converting those to more ordinary definitions + lists of synonyms. I think that we once had some kind of rule that FL entries NOT have long lists as glosses. DCDuring (talk) 02:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

on the quarter hourEdit

Are there expressions for the quarters similar to on the half hour ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:29, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

You could find evidence online for on the quarter hour meaning "fifteen minutes past the hour", "every fifteen minutes (X:15, et seq.)" (eg, Big Ben), and "at X:15 and X:45". You could also find on the three-quarter hour. DCDuring (talk) 17:02, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

@DCDuring: thanks. Can they be added then? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:06, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

The ambiguity is what makes on the quarter hour potentially entryworthy. The entry should have citations that unambiguously illustrate each usage. I don't think there is any ambiguity about on the three-quarter hour. DCDuring (talk) 17:44, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
For on the half hour we currently list only the sense of “at HH:30”. It was apparently deemed entryworthy without ambiguity. But wouldn’t it suffer from a similar ambiguity?  --Lambiam 23:36, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Its frequency of use would benefit from being polysemous. I would expect to find it, but haven't looked. DCDuring (talk) 11:49, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
We have half-hourly, but notand now quarter-hourly. DCDuring (talk) 11:56, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
In European football, does on the half hour mean 30 minutes into each half or 30 minutes before the end of each half? DCDuring (talk) 15:44, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
30 minutes into each half. (each half (of 45 mins) starts on the hour, with a 15 minute break between halves) (p.s. It's called association football and is played all over the world) SemperBlotto (talk) 15:49, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I needed that. DCDuring (talk) 17:35, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
But typing "association football" into {{lb}} displays soccer. Is that what we want? WP has apparently decided on w:Association football as the title for their main article on the subject. DCDuring (talk) 17:38, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

considering conjunction?Edit

According to Microsoft® Encarta® 2009, "prep, conjunction: taking into account --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:04, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

Any examples? If an example is something like "Considering the insignis entry was a shambles, it's not too bad at the moment.", then I would dismiss the "conjunction" PoS. The clause following considering is a nominal that clause. In informal speech, that is often omitted. DCDuring (talk) 17:35, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
I don’t know what “prep” stands for above. “Preposition”, like when used as in “Considering the options, I see that no choice will satisfy everyone”? If this is a preposition, then so are contemplating, reviewing, examining, regarding, and so on. And recalling (as in “Recalling the purpose of holistic education is to develop the student’s ability to think independently, rote learning is detrimental to that purpose”) is then also a conjunction.  --Lambiam 21:54, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Obviously considering can behave like any ing-form of a verb. In particular, it can serve in absolute constructions, like Considering the effort put into the insignis entry, the recent changes should not be reverted. It's easy to analyze the word as a preposition in such a case. MWOnline would call that a use as a preposition and would also agree with Encarta about it being a conjunction: "considering he was new at the job, he did quite well". Many dictionaries have ing-form-derived prepositions. An AHD usage note at their entry for participle reads:
A number of expressions originally derived from participles have become prepositions, and these may be used to introduce phrases that are not associated with the immediately adjacent noun phrase. Such expressions include concerning, considering[!!!], failing, granting, judging by, and speaking of.
Not all the dictionaries that have considering as a preposition also have it as a conjunction. DCDuring (talk) 22:38, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
We give regarding a preposition PoS and also. It is an empirical matter whether a word that is an ing-form of a verb is also used as a preposition. If, in a given use, the word in question has no understood subject, it is just like the more conventional prepositions. The four ing-forms above can be used as prepositions in cases like "Examining the record, the defendant has no case." This is in contrast to "Examining the record, I find that the defendant has no case.", in which I is the subject of examining. Some might criticize the first sentence, but I believe it would be found acceptable by most. DCDuring (talk) 23:17, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

decide which, phone me.Edit

Unfortunately I cannot remember where I heard this sentence, which means "whatever you decide / is your decision, phone me". It's grammar remarkable, so I thought maybe somebody here knows more than me --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:37, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

If you heard it, then the punctuation is yours. I would punctuate it as: "Decide which; phone me." Which (one) points to something preceding. Then could be imagined inserted before phone. DCDuring (talk) 17:48, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

You get it ready; I'll take it from thereEdit

Could this example be replace by a clarifying one? You get it ready; I'll take it from there. --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:36, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

If there is a noun in that sentence, then so are here and there in the phrase “How to get from here to there”. To me, “I’ll take it from there” means as much as “I’ll take care of the rest”. Since ready already implies a state of completeness, this suggests to me that in this usex the referents of the two occurrences of “it” are not the same – which is not ideal. One possible scenario (of many) is that a package needs to be transferred, but is not yet ready for shipping. Then the sentence could mean: “You get the package ready; when that is done I’ll take care of the shipping.”  --Lambiam 22:16, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

yes'm, no'm pronunciationsEdit

Can sb please add the pronunciation of yes'm and no'm? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:51, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Added to yes'm; no'm already had it. Ultimateria (talk) 22:01, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

in something's wayEdit

In in (something's) way, what are the parentheses meant to represent? Secondly, why is in someone's way the one that redirects? --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:06, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

The parentheses are meant to indicate that this is a variable parameter for which many different noun phrases can be substituted. In most current variable entries this is not explicitly indicated; so we have for instance take something in one's stride, which can be instantiated as take the insult in his stride, but also as take failure in your stride. The drawback of leaving this implicit is that you get ambiguities. Take for example the entry something tells one. How is the ESL user of our Wiktionary supposed to know that this should not be instantiated as my gut tells me? But in this idiom something is fixed, while one is variable. For another example, take put one over. This time one is fixed; the phrase should not be instantiated as put a ploy over. If we systematically use parentheses for variable parameters, like something tells (one), such ambiguities are eliminated. However, round parenthesis are already sometimes used for other purposes, specifically indicating an optional part, as in put one over (on). My preference would be to use angle brackets: take ⟨something⟩ in ⟨one's⟩ stride. Another possibility would be to use smallcaps: take something in one's stride.
If both people and objects can be substituted in a parameter position, the usual way to indicate that in dictionaries is to use “someone or something”. So Macmillan has “bring someone/something to their knees”, and Cambridge has “bring sb/sth to their knees”. (Note the use of italics to indicate variable parts.) I don’t know why we don’t do that. We only have bring something to its knees. But Colin Kaepernick brought the NFL owners to their knees.  --Lambiam 11:55, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
We use the logic that a person is a kind of thing, but a thing is definitely not a kind of person. That fits one of the definitions of thing. But many people view "things" and "persons" as non-overlapping sets. Perhaps we should shift to what some other dictionaries do, using "(something/someone)" where both are possible, as in this case. ("Don't stand in the steamroller's way.") DCDuring (talk) 12:35, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

yowzah yessirEdit

What phonological process turns the vowel in yes into the diphthong /aʊ/ ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:58, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

crass 3. denseEdit

What meaning of dense is referred to in crass? Adding the number of the intended acceptation would clarify the entries --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:13, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

I am not certain but I imagine it's the sense meaning "stupid". Chambers has "coarse, boorish; grossly stupid, tactless or insensitive". I don't think "crass" means physically thick and solid. Equinox 19:00, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
None of the translations given for the sense “dense”, though, mean “stupid”. Catalan cras means “gross”. Dutch and German dicht, as well as Russian плотный (plotnyj), all mean “thick” or “packed tight” (in general, “hard to penetrate”). Remove all?  --Lambiam 16:19, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Synonyms of Finnish "nussia"Edit

The word laittaa 'to put' is listed as a synonym of "nussia" 'to fuck'. Is there any evidence for this? After all, people nowadays often avoid the verb panna in the meaning 'to put' as it also means 'to fuck' and replace it with the word "laittaa". If that's true, how can laittaa itself also mean 'to fuck'? I think I some long time ago even removed such a mention (that "laittaa" could mean "to fuck") from some page in this wiki, and back then I probably checked some sources and found no non-English-Wiktionary evidence for that. I didn't recheck though, maybe it has acquired such a meaning within one last year or so, and those two are the reasons why I'm hesitant of removing that synonym now. 18:13, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Can't say I've personally heard laittaa being used in that sense, and since there is no mention of a meaning like that on the entry, I've gone ahead and removed it from the synonyms. — surjection?〉 18:16, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
It's used all the time, at least in Helsinki. [10] --Hekaheka (talk) 00:08, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

ey (Citation issue)Edit

One of the cited references for ey (in the section for Modern English) reads as follows:

  • 1787, Liber quotidianus contrarotulatoris garderobae:
    Take brothe of capons withoute herbes, and breke eyren, and cast into the pot, and make a crudde therof, and colour hit with saffron, and then presse oute the brothe and kerve it on leches; and then take swete creme of almondes, or of cowe mylk, and boyle hit; []

I have no exact proof of this, but I'm pretty sure that the 1787 date is incorrect--that looks nothing like 18th-century English, and looks more like it dates to the 14th century (give or take) and reads like it actually came from w:The Forme of Cury (1390). (The other citation, dated to 1490, is at best arguably Early Modern English, so we can also debate whether ey should be listed under English or Middle English.) Can anyone find a correct original date for this citation? And if not, should we keep it or delete it? Lockesdonkey (talk) 20:33, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

We can always keep it, if it "helps" the entry (i.e. helps the reader gain a better understanding of the word and how it is used); but if it is indeed from an earlier time (Middle English) it should not count toward RFV. Leasnam (talk) 20:37, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
The quote is dated 1381, from Ancient Cookery. It's Middle English. Leasnam (talk) 20:42, 11 June 2019 (UTC)


If inclearing = "The total amount in cheques and bills of exchange chargeable to a bank by the clearing house", then does outclearing follow to be "The total amount in cheques and bills of exchange payable to a bank by the clearing house" ? Any finance majors here ? Leasnam (talk) 21:03, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Outclearing is the process of sending cheques to a clearing house. I think it can also mean the cheques so sent. SemperBlotto (talk) 05:45, 12 June 2019 (UTC)


Needs medical senses, as in "aggressive tumor" or "aggressive treatment". Ultimateria (talk) 22:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

I'm not sure they're specifically medical senses. "Aggressive tumor" is just the first sense; "characterized by" aggression, which is "Hostile or destructive behavior or actions." I don't know if the second needs another sense; compare "It's popular because it blends aggressive physicality (hit the ball as hard as you can!) with straightforward gameplay."[11] Aggressive cancer treatment is hitting the cancer as hard as they can. One could argue we're talking analogy here, that aggressive treatment is not physical, but also, say "The effect of aggressive marketing campaigns employed by Sony to promote the PlayStation platform,"[12]. If there's a new sense needed, which seems quite possible, it's broader than just medical.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:27, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
MWOnline, for example, has seven definitions, with usage examples, for aggressive. We now have three, including the computing def that they don't have. How would you argue that our definitions cover usage such as "aggressive adhesive"? DCDuring (talk) 12:10, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
As to our main definition ("Characterized by aggression; unjustly attacking; prone to behave in a way that involves attacking or arguing."), is "unjustly" really part of a good definition? DCDuring (talk) 12:14, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
I think we could remove "unjustly" from our definition and it would fit the meaning better.
I don't think the computing definition is distinct from the "aggressive treatment" meaning; in either case, it's doing something with a great deal of work and force, at the cost of other factors (in the computing case, usually time; in the medical case, it's safety and comfort.) We could use more definitions, but I'm not sure the piecemeal approach is getting us to the root of these various usages.
"aggressive adhesive" = "aggressively sticky adhesive"? Maybe that ellison deserves its own definition, as I certainly wouldn't have understood it without context.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:25, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

all along prepositionEdit

The preposition all along does not have a definition at all --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:00, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

That was the intent. It is all#Adverb + along#Preposition. DCDuring (talk) 16:59, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

would: Might wish ( + verb in past subjunctive)Edit

In one of the definitions of would, what are the PoS's of both words Might and wish? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:06, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

They are both verbs, might being a modal. DCDuring (talk) 17:01, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Do they form a verbal phrase? What meaning of might applies here? --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:47, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Would that I had simply directed you to @Widsith who authored the definition in question. (I couldn't substitute that definition in the previous sentence, though I think it is like the usage in the citations.) DCDuring (talk) 19:35, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, it's another way of adding this layer of irrealis softening to a statement. In the Walter Scott quote, "I would she had retained her original haughtiness of disposition", this is originally a less "direct" (hence less potentially abrasive) way of saying "I wish she had…", although in practice it has the same meaning. He could also have said, "I might wish she had…", with similar effect. The sense of might in the definition is basically our sense 1 of the verb, although there are quite a few nuances to how this is used in English that our entry doesn't really cover at present. Ƿidsiþ 07:20, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

custōd- length of first vowelEdit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, JohnC5): Regarding @Benwing2's latest edit: I too thought at first that perhaps the spelling κουστώδης was an indication of a long vowel, but ου was qualitatively the closest sound to the Latin short /u/ that Greek possessed at the time, and as such used to transcribe it in great many words, interchanging with ο, the latter preferred in endings. I've finally found a dictionary of Latinate words in African Greek, and it has a pretty solid indication that the vowel in that root was short - the spelling κοστωδείᾳ on page 65. It might have been shortened in African Latin specifically, of course, but I think Benwing2's remark on a spelling that is non-indicative in regards to length would be better replaced with a remark on κοστωδείᾳ indicating a short vowel. Also, if anyone's aware of more inscriptions (outside of Africa or more recent) that would indicate the length of the vowel in that root (more ο's or a circumflex οῦ), I'm interested. Brutal Russian (talk) 18:47, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Greek had lost contrastive vowel length by the first century AD anyway, so if κουστώδης (koustṓdēs) is that age or younger, then it really doesn't tell us anything at all about the length of the Latin vowel. —Mahāgaja · talk 19:04, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
And in the Christian Palestinian Aramaic Codex Sinaiticus Syriacus they wrote ܩܣܛܘܕܝܐ‎, aside from ܩܘܣܛܘܕܝܐ‎ and ܩܘܣܛܕܝܐ‎. According to Syriac script orthography, The wāw not always being written means the vowel is short, so there is only the reading /qusṭōḏiyā/. Though CAL says it is through κουστωδία (koustōdía), I would not be sure that it is not from Roman soldiers directly. They would not use the word for translating the New Testament if it was not known before, so the translation is not the cause of a loan from Greek. Okay, this slants the scales but little, but in general there are yet many vowel lengths to gain for Latinists and Hellenists from Aramaic. Fay Freak (talk) 22:33, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
According to which of the 496 sources all of whom disagree? ;-) Any way, even given this is so, κοστωδείᾳ (kostōdeíāi) 1) does tell us that the vowel of custōs was short, for the long Latin /ū/ was qualitatively incompatibale with ο, but can only correspond to ου; and 2) the presence or lack of phonemic vowel length in conteporary Greek didn't prevent Latin words in Greek, as well as acutal Latin speech written in Greek letters, from quite successfully distinguishing vowel length graphically where the Greek orthography made it possible. For instance it's very rare to find a long /ō/ transcribed with anything other than ω, and it's uncommon for an ει to represent something other than /ī/ or an antevocalic /i/ (which were both high front vowels), and I don't think I've ever seen a circumflex ᾶ representing anything other than a long Latin /ā/. As I've written before, the short /u/ was simply caught between the sound values of Greek o and ου. Brutal Russian (talk) 22:42, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

be lying if not say...Edit

I do not know the proper term, but in sentences like "I'd be lying if I didn't say I enjoy your company", the negative jumps "upwards" from the subordinate sentence syntactically, but semantically it still affects the meaning of the subordinate one. Should it be mentioned somewhere? --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:47, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

It doesn't seem lexical to me. I had a German friend once who would say things like "I don't hope that happens" instead of "I hope that doesn't happen", but that has nothing to do with the meaning of the individual words. —Mahāgaja · talk 19:59, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

lose touchEdit

"To fall out of contact with, to cease to communicate with": yes, but what about "to lose touch with reality"? It doesn't seem to be covered by that sense. Merriam-Webster has a second sense: "to stop knowing what is happening, how certain people feel, etc. —usually + with" Canonicalization (talk) 22:18, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

A similar question can be asked for the sense of in touch (“in contact, or in communication”) when applied to reality. The second sense of out of touch (“no longer conversant with something, especially facts, reality, world; not aware or realistic”) could be used to inform a sense of in touch. To me, “to lose touch” = “to transition from being in touch to being out of touch”. Perhaps the easiest fix for lose touch is to reformulate the first part as “To lose contact (with)”.  --Lambiam 13:12, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Should we keep forms like amaram = amaveram?Edit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): I just deleted over 1,000 Latin forms ending in -aram, on the assumption that they were incorrect (it didn't help that the headword wrongly said amāvaram etc.). But apparently such contracted forms did at least occasionally occur, where amāram = syncopated form of amāveram. Is it worth keeping such forms? User:SemperBlotto seems to have blindly generated them (and similarly at least amarat, amaratis, amarant, amasti, amastis, amarunt, amarim, amarit, amarimus, amaritis, amarint) for over 1,600 verbs in -āre; probably the whole lot of them. I somehow doubt all of them allow such syncopation. Benwing2 (talk) 07:26, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

It's a very good issue you raise, because as my comment on stackexchange mentions, "unsyncopated -ā(vi)s- forms are archaising in Classical Latin, to the point that for a word like amāre they might not even be attested (though one does for adamāre, in a philosophical work, in its elevated literary meaning). Quintilian, who lived in the 1st c. AD, lists mirror forms in -īvis- as examples of "most obnoxious pedantry"." It's the uncontracted forms that are often a fictitious concoction of the automatic templates. Forms in -āvera-, on the other hand, subjectively seem normal to me, with contractions belonging to a more relaxed style. -āveri- are 50/50. Notice that the only Romance language that shows reflexes of the uncontracted forms is Old Sardinian, and then only in those forms which were almost never contracted in Classical: -āvī and -āvimus (see Weiss 2009 p.528). -āvērunt is also represented as -arun in OSard., consistent with the short -erunt ending prevailing everywhere (which, by the way, also needs to be included in the templates as a more colloquial allomorph of -ērunt - though I have no data on their distribution at hand). The Romance 3SG varies between reflexes of the syncopated -āut and the analogical -āt like audīt < -īit, the latter classically attested in poetry a couple of times, the former in Pompeian graffiti.
Right now the website accompanies the syncopated perfect forms with some absurd remark about them being rare and poetic - I propose this should be corrected, and contracted forms be put as the normal allomorph with uncontracted ones being marked as elevated. I don't think it pays to approach this on a word-by-word basis - some words might be unattested in one or the other form, but this doesn't make this form analogically impossible - both forms are considered regular in CL. It will have to be left to the judgemenmt of the reader to decide based on the word's stylistic colouring, or to look the form up in the corpus. That said, there is the special case of those verbs whose stem ends in -v-, such as mōvisse, crēvisse, adjūvisse - these are few and do need to be approached individually, which mainly comes down to saying that contraction in them is rare and may indeed represent a poetic license. Perhaps I'm able to find a list of such forms. My quick reference for this post is Weiss 2009 p.411 - you can find it on libgen. Brutal Russian (talk) 13:52, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

in the wrongEdit

The definition of in error does not match "incorrect" or "at fault" in in the wrong --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:38, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

It seems that DCDuring has improved it now. Equinox 21:53, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Noun sense of pharmaceuticEdit

We list noun senses for pharmaceutical and pharmaceutics (the latter as a plurale tantum), but pharmaceutic is listed as an adjective only. A (singular) noun sense, however, although rare, can be attested: [13], [14], [15]. I can think of three possible etymologies: (1) as a nominalization of the adjective pharmaceutic; (2) as a back-formation (a construed singular) from pharmaceutics; (3) as a back-formation (a shortening) from the noun pharmaceutical. Are there reasons to prefer or discard any of these explanations? A related issue: not only is the plural pharmaceutics used in the uncountable sense of “pharmaceutical preparations in general”, but also as the plural of the countable noun pharmaceutic: [16] (the second use on that page), [17], [18]. Should this then be listed as a third sense?  --Lambiam 15:58, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

"would know" idiomEdit

What is the meaning of would that applies to these idiomatic uses "you would know" and "I wouldn't know" --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:51, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Sense 1.6, "could have been expected to". Equinox 17:57, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

ps: PSIEdit

According to the Microsoft® Encarta® 2009

PSI: the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet, represented in the English alphabet as "ps" . --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:20, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

"ps" isn't a word on its own. They're just saying that it's transliterated that way. Equinox 19:20, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Last (time) I checkedEdit

Is there a way of looking up in Wiktionary its meaning in a sentence such as: “We’re meeting up with boys tonight?” B: “Last I checked, yes.” --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:31, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

What is "it"? What word do you want to look up? DTLHS (talk) 20:51, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums, we're not your personal English-learning forum. Recently you've been spamming this page with basic questions that have to do with your confusion but not directly with building this dictionary, and it's not a worthwhile use of other editors' time. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:52, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
I think this is a reasonable question for the Information desk about how to use Wiktionary for looking up the meaning of a specific common usage. Such questions may be useful in identifying shortcomings in the usability or coverage of Wiktionary. I agree that the Tea room is not the right place for that.  --Lambiam 02:04, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

English apartheid a hybridism?Edit

The English word apartheid is a loanword copied as a whole, without any change, straight from Afrikaans. How, then, can it be categorized as an English hybridism?  --Lambiam 02:12, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

The categorization (added in diff) is presumably based on the apart- part being ultimately Latin while the -heid part is Germanic. Do we want to consider such words hybridisms? If not, we get into some situations where one word with a prefix may have been formed in English by combining it with a suffix, while another was formed in e.g. French or German and borrowed into English. - -sche (discuss) 02:34, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I wouldn't want to consider this a hybrid word. Otherwise we might have tens of thousands of such words (gentleness, gentleman, coachbag, off-colour, railroad, uncommon, etc.). To me, a hybrid word is one like spunk (if indeed it comes from spark + funk) or brûler, where two words joined together to form a brand-new word Leasnam (talk) 02:57, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Isn't spunk a portmanteau word rather than a hybridism? Canonicalization (talk) 11:05, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I like the word macaronic#Noun for the concept of hybridism in this sense, but I'd think we'd want to limit membership in the category. Specifically, apartheid#English seems better treated as a simple borrowing. Perhaps apartheid#Dutch should be categorized as a hybrid. DCDuring (talk) 12:16, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Both in Dutch and in Afrikaans the term apart is a normal and common adjective, and the suffix -heid is productive in forming nouns from adjectives with the basic meaning “state of being ...” – cognate with -hood, which however is suffixed to nouns. So it functions more like the suffix -ness. I see nothing hybrid here: Dutch word + Dutch suffix = another Dutch word; Afrikaans word + Afrikaans suffix = another Afrikaans word. (In the sense of the racial policy, the Dutch word is a semantic loan.) To be a hybridism, the newly formed word should satisfy a composition of the form “X component + Y component = new Z word”, in which X and Y are not the same language, and the word is then a Z hybridism. So (IMO) télévision may be a French hybridism, but television is simply a loan from French. However, even the statement that this is a French hybridism is dubious: télé- was already in use as a prefix in French (as in télégraphe) long before télévision was coined, and so was the noun vision. If it is the ultimate provenance that counts, then churchyard (from Ancient Greek κυριακόν (kuriakón) + Proto-Germanic *gardaz) is also a hybridism.  --Lambiam 22:36, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I suppose we could call any word with etymologies in 2 totally separate language families a hybridism, such as Indo-European and Finno-Ugric (any examples?), if we wanted to actually have a strict criteria for this category. Otherwise it seems pointless and extremely broad. DTLHS (talk) 22:40, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Goulashsoep.  --Lambiam 23:08, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I have rarely used the category because of the uncertainty. I categorized Proto-Slavic *odolěnъ but Rua (talkcontribs) removed it again; I added it because a pre-form could be a Latin word contaminated with a Slavic word, or Slavic verb plus Latin ending; thereafter only it got matched to look purely Slavic. (The wording in the etymology section is intentionally obscure, because it could have been, or the word could have nothing to do with Latin.) Now we have only English in Category:Hybridisms by language. Maybe one opines that we should not spread this category? There are a lot of boring things in Category:English hybridisms. If that should be used we should at least exclude the chemical terms. For chemistry forms words under different expectations.
Maybe the idea is that a word is formed anew from words that did not exist in the language that formed the word at the time it formed the word. midstage is a normal compound. “Sociology” is a hybridism because one cannot employ English socius in such a way? Fay Freak (talk) 23:06, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

what's sayEdit

Is what's say an alternative representation of the adverb whatsay? If so, where's 's come from? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:33, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

It is an error. "What say" is correct, for "what say you?", an archaic equivalent of "what do you say?" i.e. what is your reaction to the proposed idea. Equinox 15:37, 14 June 2019 (UTC)


According to the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, AmE /ˈɑrkiaɪz/. Is there a similar phonetic change as in this deadjectival verb? If it's indeed unexpected, I'd add it in the entry. --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:51, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

I think you can also hear /ˈhi.briˌaɪz/ for Hebraize and /ˈdʒu.diˌaɪz/ for Judaize. I’m not sure what the precise phonological process is here behind the raising of /eɪ/ to /i/ (which looks like a form of dissimilation), but it seems to be something systematic.  --Lambiam 23:02, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
It's pretty common to have /i/ for expected /ə/ before a vowel. Other examples from American English are /ˈdʒudi.ɪzəm/ Judaism and /ˈɪzri.əl/ Israel, not to mention /ði/ the before a vowel. —Mahāgaja · talk 06:56, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

go on a breakEdit

Is it synonymous with take a break, have a break? Does it deserve an entry too? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:16, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Take a break, have a break can mean simply pause from work (e.g. sit back and stop working for 5 minutes). But go on a break means travelling, e.g. taking a vacation. I do not think it should have an entry: you can "go on" all kinds of things: a march, an outing, a day trip... Equinox 18:21, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
In my limited experience go on break and go on a break can mean "(of an employee) take a break, especially one recognized by management". I don't think it refers to holidays in the US, except for what students do, eg, Spring break, Winter break, Easter break. DCDuring (talk) 23:54, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I would understand being "on break" (maybe not "on a break") as having a sanctioned period away from work, such as a thirty-minute break given to all employees for lunch. But even so "take a break" could refer to simply glancing away from the monitor to relax one's eyes for a moment, rather than being "on break" in a way that the employer has arranged. Equinox 00:16, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
There may be a pondian difference WRT "traveling/vacation". I don't think I've heard that in the US, though it's pretty readily understood. The difference may be in pondian meanings of break. MWOnline doesn't have vacation as a meaning of break. The student sense could come up as "During Winter break I worked as an intern.", ie, NOT a vacation. DCDuring (talk) 00:42, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Spanish «terrible»Edit

I just saw that the Spanish entry for terrible has two meanings: terrible (very bad) and terrific (very good). As a native Spanish speaker, I've never used it as of the second meaning. I didn't delete it because it may be used in that way in some other Spanish-speaking areas, but I think there should be citations to justify that meaning, and in case there aren't any, it should be erased. What do you think? Pablussky (talk) 09:15, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

@Pablussky: Sounds like a job for {{rfv-sense}}. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:02, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: I didn't know such template existed. Thanks! Pablussky (talk) 17:12, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Pablussky: Don't forget to create the RFV discussion for it. Click the little + symbol next to the word "verify" in the template message to create the discussion. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:29, 15 June 2019 (UTC) I see you already did. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:30, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

rase: another spelling of raze (literary)Edit

According to the Microsoft® Encarta® 2009:

Rase: (transitive verb) Another spelling of raze (literary). For comparison, its entry for realise is just U.K., Another spelling of realize. --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:37, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Interjection: pray tell usEdit

Can an interjection have a syntactic object, as in the example pray tell us?

Origin and meaning of "don't know that"Edit

What is the origin and meaning of the phrase "don't know that", as in "don't believe that"? An example of this is when George Bush Sr. supposedly said, "No, I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God." and I've also heard it used in other contexts. My guess is that "don't know that" is characteristic of Southern American English and AAVE. Can someone confirm this? Qzekrom (talk) 19:08, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Don't know; don't care. (I am neither Southern nor AfroAmerican.) DCDuring (talk) 22:21, 16 June 2019 (UTC)


All the dictionaries I consult provide the Mandarin reading of xǔ. Currently we have shǔ. Is this wrong? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:39, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

@Tooironic: Definitely. Thanks for pointing it out! It's fixed now :D — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:29, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
No, thank you for cleaning it up! Cheers. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:51, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Muhammad in relation to the QuranEdit

Recent edits by an anon and user CarlosJalisco (the IP belongs to the named user) have sparked a tug-of-war due to the phrasing of the first sense. In my opinion, these edits [19] [20] cast doubt on the validity of one of the most fundamental elements of Islam, that of the Quran being revealed to Muhammad. I personally see no problem with the current definition, whereas accepting the rephrasing only creates brewing grounds for future problems. It's not a question of Wiktionary's neutrality or secularity; it's much more a question of if we should relativise historic and religious figures. Some scholars doubt that Jesus ever existed – does that mean that we have to present that theory in the main definition? Maybe I'm overreacting – please give me a well-deserved slap if that is the case, but I would really appreciate the community's thoughts on the subject before any further revisions of the lemma entry. --Robbie SWE (talk) 09:48, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

One says about an artist that things have been “revealed”. The definition did not claim that it wasn’t phantasy or insanity or compilatory power that revealed it, so the definition is right. And doubts about Muḥammad’s existence – apart from probably being wrong, since the amount of detail transmitted about Muḥammad is ridiculous, unlike about Jesus who could have been a magic mushroom – are no part of the definition, since it only matters what the users imagine when they use the word, if no danger arises from not hedging against a wrong conception (for example against the application of certain chemicals which are wrongly believed to work against diseases). It might be different for Orpheus since this figure is less imagined to have been real. Fay Freak (talk) 10:12, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough. Then I rest my case. I thank Fay Freak for clearing this up for me. CarlosJalisco (talk) 10:50, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
I think that we're better off sticking to a neutral point of view. The entry at Jesus makes no commitment as to his actual physical existence, and we shouldn't make any commitment as to whether the Koran was revealed to or written by Mohammad. I think @CarlosJalisco's version is an improvement.Chuck Entz (talk) 13:04, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Fay Freak -- I kind of hope you're joking, since John M. Allegro's book has zero scholarly credibility (it "destroyed his career" according to his Wikipedia article), and the Christ myth theory has received little scholarly favor. Anyway, the further back you go, the less evidence there is for certain details -- the date of Muhammad's birth is known to within about a year, the date of Jesus' birth is known to within a few years, while people have been known to argue about which century Buddha was born in, and which millennium Zarathustra was born in... AnonMoos (talk) 05:52, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

way out: AdjectiveEdit

The current the third definition of way out does not match its example. Shouldn't the third be an adjective? --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:13, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

It's not an adjective. I have RfDed the entry. DCDuring (talk) 14:55, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
I kind of wonder what the status of "ways" is in the phrase "quite a ways out". It doesn't seem to be an ordinary plural noun, or it wouldn't be preceded by a indefinite article... AnonMoos (talk) 05:58, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

what'd /wʌdɨd, wʌdəd/Edit

Wouldn't it be /wʌtəd/, which would optionally be realized as a flap mainly in AmE? --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:52, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Yes (though flapping is obligatory here at least in my variety of American English). —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:58, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

pronunciaiton of you'ren'tEdit

Knowing the pronunciations of you're, how would the negative clitic be pronounced when added to you'ren't? (taking into account that it does not have a schwa in aren't)--Backinstadiums (talk) 11:18, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

I don't think I've ever heard this, but I assume it's pronounced as 1 syllable. DTLHS (talk) 15:02, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
/jɝnt/ in US English. --{{victar|talk}} 15:18, 17 June 2019 (UTC)


Other dictionaries (and sources) say that this is a plural, not a singular. The singular is said to be os. Tharthan (talk) 12:58, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

"dibs means I get the hammock"Edit

What meaning of mean is used in the sentence "dibs means I get the hammock"? It's added in the entry of dibs, but I think it needs some context --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:37, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Sense 4, I'd say. imply would be a good synonym: "[the fact that I called] dibs implies I get the hammock". Canonicalization (talk) 14:22, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
@Canonicalization: Thanks. Do you know whether that is the usual phrasing? That is, using Dibs means... when one wants to say "[since I have called it dibs (before anybody else)] I have the right to..." --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:20, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
I am utterly bewildered as to how this would be confusing to anyone. The meaning of "mean" is generally well understood. Whether a non-native speaker thinks of it as "to be saying" or "to imply" ought not to make much of a difference. "What they mean is that that is a bad option" = "What they are saying is that that is a bad option" or "What they are implying is that that is a bad option". The difference is but a light nuance: whether something is being directly said or merely implied.
How is this confusing? How is "dibs means I get the hammock" any more confusing than "Q. What do you mean? A. I mean that you ought to buy it." Tharthan (talk) 14:46, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
I think it could also be reworded as equates to, though I do not see anything similar in the senses we show. x means y is the same as x = y. Leasnam (talk) 17:29, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Sense 2.1 and 2.2 at [[mean#Verb]] work for me. If you view calling dibs as a speech act, sense 4 fits the bill, too. The usage example at [[dibs]] seems like a good colloquial example. I wouldn't change a thing, unless I could come up with a better sense at 2. DCDuring (talk) 21:02, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Is the definition of dibs correct? Is it (as stated) a claim to a right, or is it the right itself? Note that several people may claim to have the right of first use. So with the current definition, they would then all have dibs.  --Lambiam 02:39, 20 June 2019 (UTC)


The definition given for this is the opposite of what it actually means. Tharthan (talk) 14:53, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Now fixed by User:Mx. Granger. DCDuring (talk) 15:01, 17 June 2019 (UTC)


Is -st merely excrescent in whomst (whomst is not in the OED) --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:44, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

The -t is always excrescent in this -st suffix. The s is ultimately of genitive connotation. Tharthan (talk) 16:08, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Which -st is being used here? I always thought it was Etymology 1 (the verb ending of the thou form) used humorously for its archaic effect, but Tharthan's answer above suggests Etymology 3 instead. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:06, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
On one hand, the existence (at least online, which is the main place whomst itself exists, after all) of "whometh" ([21], [22]), as well as longer versions with more verbal suffixes like "whomsteth'd've", etc, suggests Mahagaja's interpretation may be right, at least in some cases / speakers' minds. On the other hand, this makes the case for it being formed by analogy to people perceiving "amongst" and "whilst" as more formal versions and "among" and "while" as more colloquial, which would be the etymology Tharthan suggested/implied. Incidentally, the string, with some meaning, is in this (older?) copy of Uncle Remus's tales. Maybe we could hedgingly say something like "whom + -st, by analogy with other pairs of words where an -st form is seen by speakers as more formal or archaic, like among/amongst or write/writest"? - -sche (discuss) 16:17, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

school dinner, Sunday dinner, Christmas dinnerEdit

According to the usage note in dinner, these are sociolinguistic collocations for meals that wouldn't otherwise be called a dinner; therefore, for sake of consistency, shouldn't they have their own entry? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:53, 17 June 2019 (UTC)


Is bad-looking the opposite of nice-looking? Is there a specific reason why it is not added? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:57, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

I think it's more an antonym of good-looking Leasnam (talk) 20:08, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
@Leasnam: Do you mean there's some subtle difference between them? --Backinstadiums (talk) 01:15, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
I think there is, I hope I can explain it adequately--it's very subtle. I suppose if someone is good-looking, they're better looking in an absolute way than someone who is just nice-looking. I'd rather be good-looking than nice-looking Leasnam (talk) 01:24, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree that there is a difference. If a friend of mine went on a blind date, I might ask afterwards, "Was he good-looking?" I don't think I would ask "Was he nice-looking?" —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:27, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
I think that good-looking refers to someone’s physical features, while nice-looking involves things like being well-groomed, neatly and stylishly dressed, and smiling or looking serious as appropriate.  --Lambiam 23:33, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Created. Canonicalization (talk) 20:17, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
"-looking" can be added to virtually any adjective that can be associated with appearance. Is there something sufficiently idiomatic or unpredictable about "bad-looking" to justify this entry? Mihia (talk) 01:23, 19 June 2019 (UTC) Hmmm ... perhaps, in the sense that is intended to be defined, "bad" in "bad-looking" is an adverb not an adjective? Would that justify it? Is there also an adjectival sense that is different? Mihia (talk) 01:29, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
@Mihia: You're right. I really have a hard time deciding what to do with compound adjectives. One day I'm thinking "let's add them all and be done with it", the other "not so fast buddy, it's more complicated than that". If we only go by attestation, we'll end up with a more or less random collection of words, and I don't like that.
I'm also thinking of something like fat-buttocked, which I've mindlessly created yesterday. While we should IMO definitely have a word such as limp-wristed, it's much less clear for fat-buttocked or six-sided or big-dicked (see Talk:big-dicked) or short-legged (see Talk:short-legged).
Where should we draw the line? Canonicalization (talk) 09:07, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, limp-wristed should definitely be included as it has additional meanings beyond the literal. Transparent sum-of-parts hyphenated compound adjectives or modifiers, e.g. well-written, should be excluded in my opinion, but in the "adj-nouned" cases, I suppose that true SoPness depends on there being an entry at the "-ed" word along the lines of that at buttocked. I'd be willing to bet that large numbers of these potential entries are missing. Or perhaps we could say that adding this "ed" is a general rule of English that you have to learn independently of expecting to be able to look up every case separately in the dictionary. Then of course there is this wretched "coalmine" thing that, even though I understand the arguments in favour of it, is nevertheless a perpetual nuisance. Anyway, given buttocked, I don't see that we need separate entries for fat-buttocked, big-buttocked, plump-buttocked, pert-buttocked, flabby-buttocked etc. etc., and the same goes for other similar "adj-nouned" cases. On the subject of attestation, my view is that in cases such as this where (reasonable) ad hoc creations are automatically correct, the usual rules of attestation are pretty irrelevant. As you say, the combinations that can be found in use might be just a fairly random subset, and then tomorrow someone can easily create a new one not in that subset. I guess attestation might be more relevant for establishing whether a noun is or can be used at all in the "adj-nouned" pattern. Mihia (talk) 14:05, 21 June 2019 (UTC)


The current definition of chewy does not cover meat, which is not pliable/springy, that is "tough to chew". --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:43, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Doesn't it? Isn't chewy meat meat that's springy when chewed and doesn't easily break apart into small pieces? Still, the definition could be broadened... other dictionaries go with a definition incorporating chewing, saying it refers to something that needs to be chewed a lot before it's ready for swallowing. - -sche (discuss) 16:24, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm having trouble deciding if I think "chewy candy" and "chewy steak" are using the same sense of "chewy". Either way, I agree with Backinstadiums that the current definition doesn't feel like it covers chewy meat. Something like "Requiring a lot of chewing to eat" is a good idea. —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:35, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

early modernEdit

Shouldn't "early modern Europe" be parsed as [early] + [modern Europe] rather than [early modern] + [Europe]? Canonicalization (talk) 12:13, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

As a parsing question, I'd say [early modern] is better, as both early and modern are temporal. But that definition in the very least needs a {{lit}} definition and I don't know about the definition itself. I suspect some people have had an "Early Modern Europe" clearly distinct from "Modern Europe", but that entry links to Modern history which starts "The early modern period of w:modern history" and w:modern history talks about w:early modern period and w:late modern period.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:00, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
There is a thing called "Early Modern Studies". DTLHS (talk) 16:02, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

if you pleaseEdit

Longman, Merriam-Webster, Collins, etc. all have a second sense: "used to show that you are surprised, angry, or annoyed about something", "used to express indignation at something perceived as unreasonable": she wants me to make fifty cakes in time for the festival, if you please!. Canonicalization (talk) 12:46, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

It would be useful to find out how dated these definitions are. DCDuring (talk) 14:52, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
The OED (Third Edition June 2006) has cites from 1951, 1973 and 1996 for this sense. Dbfirs 20:24, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

How long till...Edit

Is the structure in "how long till {you get here - your arrival" kinda lexialized? The verb is missing and other prepositions/conjunctions are not so common --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:17, 18 June 2019 (UTC)


Just like women's, should woman's also be added, as in "a woman's outfit"? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:57, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Observation: man's redirects to man. (And a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!)  --Lambiam 22:53, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Why do we even have an entry for women's? Mihia (talk) 01:15, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Where would it end ? men's, boys', carpenters', construction workers'... ? Leasnam (talk) 01:17, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I sent it to RFD. Mihia (talk) 01:34, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

prince of the blood, prince of the blood royalEdit

I'm trying to translate prince du sang, and I've found this, which looks like a calque. Is it actually used? Canonicalization (talk) 19:36, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Both versions appear to be used, often presented as the translation of prince du sang, but also just like that. The online Brittanica uses “prince of the blood royal“. I also see some occurrences of “prince of the blood-royal”, with a hyphen, like here. The longer form seems to be the counterpart of the longer French term prince du sang royal (occasionally extended even to prince du sang royal de France).  --Lambiam 23:17, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

all that much moreEdit

Isn't all that much more a variant/synonym of all the more? --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:05, 19 June 2019 (UTC)


better've is quite usual, unlike best've, does it deserve an entry?

Secondly, shouldn't best be a synonym of the verb had best, just as better is currently of had better? --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:25, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

've can be added to numerous words to represent a contracted pronunciation. E.g. "Most people've left" or "How many've arrived so far?". I'm not sure that we have a clear rule about which should be included and which should not. Mihia (talk) 17:48, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Best in your example is not a verb as I understand it. It doesn't conjugate. The verb has just been dropped from the sentence. Our verb entry at better is misleading because it suggests "had better" can be a normal conjugating verb. Equinox 17:50, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
If we have an entry "better = had better" then I suppose logically we should also have "best = had best", though I agree with Equinox that the current presentation at better is not right. By the way, the entry for had best currently implies that it is exactly synonymous with had better, which I'm not sure I entirely agree with. Mihia (talk) 22:16, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I moved the relevant entry at better from the verb to the adverb section, where it seems to belong. Mihia (talk) 22:50, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I've also added the entry for "had best" at "best". Mihia (talk) 22:09, 21 June 2019 (UTC)


The fourth etymology of frith and firth are circular, so I am no further along in my understanding of either than I was before. I also encountered the form "sea-frith" in the same context. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

I have added a DSL reference to firth, and referring to the Concise Scots Dictionary (my own copy) frith is a synonym of firth (arm of the sea), and firth (a wood, wooded country) has the alternative spelling of fyrth. No entry in there for "sea-frith" (but it looks like it means an arm of the sea). DonnanZ (talk) 10:16, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Ah, so the link to frith#Etymology 3 is correct. It shouldn't be confused with frith#Etymology 4 (arm of the sea). DonnanZ (talk) 10:43, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
That makes more sense now, thanks! Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:31, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

über allesEdit

How is über alles pronounced in English? --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:45, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

@Mahagaja Canonicalization (talk) 10:43, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
I haven't heard it used much in English, but probably something like /ˌuːbɚˈɔːləs/. —Mahāgaja · talk 10:45, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, or /ˌuːbə/ˈæləs/ or maybe /ˌuːbər/ˈaləs/ (UK). Dbfirs 10:59, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Keep in mind that German-style pronunciations of these kinds of words exist as well. But generally, the suggestions above are the most likely. Tharthan (talk) 16:15, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
@Backinstadiums In case you want an audio example, "California Über Alles" by the Dead Kennedys is one that uses the phrase. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:45, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Bible story or bible story?Edit

I'm not absolutely sure which form is considered correct, or whether it is considered entry-worthy. I have entered bibelfortelling however. DonnanZ (talk) 09:48, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

We do have folktale and fairy tale, but isn't a bible story just a story from the bible? Dbfirs 10:47, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, but a Bible story is usually a particular event taken from one book in the Holy Bible. DonnanZ (talk) 11:04, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

these underwearEdit

Isn't the second meaning of underware cuontable, just as underpants and bra are? --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:57, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

No, I've never heard it used as a countable noun. The plural "underwears" is very rare, but I wonder if it exists in Indian English? Dbfirs 10:43, 20 June 2019 (UTC)


Where does 'se of I'se come from? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:14, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

This being a nonstandard word, I would imagine it represents the pronunciation of "I's" (short for "I is" or "I has"). Equinox 18:45, 20 June 2019 (UTC)


According to Microsoft® Encarta® 2009,

[15th century. < heigh, natural exclamation]

1. disappointment: used to express boredom, disappointment, or weary resignation Heigh-ho. Here we go again. 2. expressing encouragement: used to express happiness or encouragement

What do you think? --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:21, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

I think we are missing the attestation for such a definition. DCDuring (talk) 09:41, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
We have our version of this, though our definition is rather different, at the spelling hey ho. Mihia (talk) 17:21, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
On the basis of Google Book Search hits for e.g. "Heigh-ho he sighed" I have added alt spelling of "hey ho" to "heigh-ho". Mihia (talk) 17:26, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
BTW I'm not sure I got the pronunciation right. Maybe the second syllable is the stressed one...? Equinox 17:59, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
The stressed syllable depends on the meaning. The first syllable is usually stressed for the sense boredom, disappointment, or weary resignation here in the UK. We keep the American stress from the song for the encouragement sense. Dbfirs 08:34, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Also, while we're here, the example "Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work we go, ..." is given under the noun sense. Isn't this an interjection? (I know some people don't approve of interjection PoS at all, but to me it seems odd to have an interjection heading and not put this under it.) Mihia (talk) 22:51, 22 June 2019 (UTC)


The hyphenation in cromulent seems phonetic rather than orthographic; where does it come from? What general guidelines does it follow? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:12, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

See the discussion at Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2019/June#Hyphenation.  --Lambiam 23:31, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

by any means necessaryEdit

Does it deserve an entry of its own? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:16, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

No, I don't think so. It is just a phrase that means what it says. The stuff in the Wiktipedia article is encyclopedic not lexicographic. Mihia (talk) 22:04, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Adding a quotationEdit

So I would like to add a quote to the article 'fitliest' from an edition of Paradise Lost by John Milton. The problem is that the book is an 1860 edition "with notes explanatory and critical", and the place where this word is used isn't written by Milton himself, but rather by the edition's editor, James R. Boyd. How would I represent that Boyd used this word and not Milton? A prototype citation for this is on my user page. TheTechnician27 (talk) 22:06, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

You may use the "mainauthor" parameter (see Template:quote-book). DTLHS (talk) 22:12, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks! Just making sure before I put it in the actual article: does the formatting for the quote on my user page look okay? The only reason I ask is because it doesn't seem like the template's formatting distinguishes between the author and main author. TheTechnician27 (talk) 22:39, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw can help more than I can. DTLHS (talk) 23:34, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
Alright. In retrospect, I don't think it's that big a deal, so I'll add it to the article as-is, but I'd be interested to hear what could be done to clarify the authorship in the formatting. Perhaps changing 'James R. Boyd' to 'James R. Boyd (explanatory and critical notes)' would help, but I'd definitely like to hear Sgconlaw's opinion on the matter. Thanks again for your help; I have some experience on Wikipedia, but I'm new to Wiktionary. TheTechnician27 (talk) 00:00, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
@TheTechnician27, DTLHS: I think that Tech's suggestion of adding something like "explanatory and critical notes" (or something shorter like "commentator") is probably the best solution in this case. My suggestion would be:
  • Wikitext: {{quote-book|en|author=James R. Boyd, commentator|chapter=Book I|mainauthor=[[w:John Milton|John Milton]]|editor=James R. Boyd|title=[[w:Paradise Lost|The Paradise Lost]]|series=National School Series|location=New York, N.Y.|publisher=[[w:Alfred Smith Barnes|A[lfred] S[mith] Barnes & Burr]]|year=1860|origyear=1667|pageurl=|page=11|oclc=5822438|text=[...] but in a place of utter darkness, '''fitliest''' called Chaos [...]}}
  • Result:
(Note that the page URL stated on your user page is incorrect.) — SGconlaw (talk) 06:14, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Alright, I went ahead and updated it. The URL isn't incorrect since it defaults to 2-page mode, hence /page/10 displays 10 and 11, but yours is probably better. Moreover, I didn't originally realize that this edition is entitled The Paradise Lost, so I'm glad that got fixed. Thanks to both of you for the help. TheTechnician27 (talk) 08:10, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
 SGconlaw (talk) 09:34, 22 June 2019 (UTC)


According to Webster's "especially : SENILE", with no mention to a "crone". What does the use of italics in especially mean? --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:45, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Merriam–Webster uses “especially :” to announce a subsense: a more specialized but common sense of the more general sense given earlier. For an example, see their entry joke (noun). The use at anile is confusing, since in all cases the adjective pertains to old women. I can only guess that in this case they are trying to say that the adjective is commonly used more specifically for describing something as being characteristic of old women where such labelling imputes this to senility.  --Lambiam 13:50, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

finish strongly to showEdit

What does the following sentence mean? In the third race, Renowned Blaze finished strongly to show, paying six dollars. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:07, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

I'm curious too. Canonicalization (talk) 15:18, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
[23]. @DCDuring?  --Lambiam 16:07, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
show, sense 8, to finish 3rd. DTLHS (talk) 16:08, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. Damn, I can't even use the dictionary I'm helping to build... Canonicalization (talk) 16:11, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Sorry. A usage example shouldn't be such a challenge. It might be a good one for that sense of show. DCDuring (talk) 20:08, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. It's a more straightforward usex now. DCDuring (talk) 20:12, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

A female bear is a sow, a male bear is a boar...Edit

according to this page. We already have the "female bear" sense at sow, but not the "male bear" sense at boar. Should we add it? Canonicalization (talk) 15:15, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

If its use in that sense can be attested.  --Lambiam 15:59, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Reminds me of the unexpected meaning of German Bär “boar”. Fay Freak (talk) 20:39, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

at this (moment in) timeEdit

Is at this time a synonym of at this moment in time? If so, it is still worth mentioning as such in the entry of the latter --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:38, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Taking literally, they are synonyms, but as they are used, they are not completely interchangeable – at least, as they come across to me. At this time suggests or implies the expectation that in future things will be different. At this moment in time can be used the same way but has a certain pomposity. And, in many cases where it is used, it does not actually signal an expectation of change; you may as well just leave it out and no one will feel something is missing. Another even more pompous synonym is at this juncture, with at this juncture of time at the pinnacle.  --Lambiam 09:15, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: Don't such subtleties make it worth of an entry and usage notes? --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:12, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
As far as I can see, at this time is totally SOP. Not being a native speaker, I don’t know if native speakers perceive the same connotations. There is also always the possibility that different varieties of English diverge on an issue.  --Lambiam 14:41, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
All of this group of prepositional phrases synonymous with now seem SoP to me. They strike me as being semi-polite, a bit formal, perhaps evasively vague, relative to now. I think that the subtle differences that Lambian detects may be too subtle for a dictionary. In addition, now can be used in context to have the same connotations as its prepositinal-phrase synonyms. Many basic English adverbs have a similar set of prepositional-phrase synonyms with a similar relationship to the themselves. Thus phenomenon doesn't seem very lexical to me.
I think we'd be making better use of our skills to work on the entry for now. MWOnline has 9 definitions, none marked obsolete. DCDuring (talk) 16:33, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

if onlyEdit

I added this "&lit" entry to if only:

Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning. If no more than.
It made me feel better, if only for a moment.

because it seemed to me that this sort of usage is just the sum of "if" (sense 5: used to introduce a concession) and "only". Now I feel unsure whether it is really any different from this pre-existing sense of if only, which is marked idiomatic:

(idiomatic) Even if for no other reason than; only just.
I was pretty sure I wanted a red shirt, but I still tried on one blue one if only to make sure that's definitely not what I wanted.

Perhaps someone else could look at this and see what they think. Mihia (talk) 22:46, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Most other dictionaries have a single definition combining our defs. 2 & 3, which cover past and future tenses, but not present and the various aspect-tense combinations, implying that they are somehow excluded. I don't see that def. 1, the non-gloss definition, needs a gloss. Def. 4 seems like it is SoP and should be deleted. More usage examples would help for the surviving definitions IMO. DCDuring (talk) 16:14, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
The reason I added the explanation "If no more than" was to attempt to distinguish cases such as "if only for a moment", where "if only" seemed to me worthy of an "&lit" mention, from cases such as "it won't be much fun if only guys turn up", which seemed to me not worthy of a mention. However, now I look again I'm not sure that this really works or makes sense. Mihia (talk) 17:11, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
That is a common problem with {{&lit}}. If one tried to add usage examples for the various attestable SoP collocations of senses of the component words, there might be quite a few. And only is particularly troublesome. Eg. "I'll be very upset if only we get in trouble, when everyone was doing it." DCDuring (talk) 17:22, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
That's right, but even so, I am a fan of "&lit" because I think it helps users, especially non-native speakers of English. Anyway, I got rid of "If no more than" and added one more "&lit" example. Mihia (talk) 17:27, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
I also hope it helps. Also, it may be that many of the collocations (eg, your example and mine) are not constituents, but I don't think that our normal users, especially English language learners, can distinguish constituents from non-constituent collocations. DCDuring (talk) 17:31, 23 June 2019 (UTC)


I'm not sure if I agree with definition 4 (the "nice and hot" sense). I modified it to better reflect the way I interpret (and employ) that usage, but I'm still not sure I agree with the previous definition. How do the rest of you use/interpret it? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:49, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

When someone says that something is nice and X, I take it to mean a twofold message: (1) that they deem it to be X, and (2) that this – to them – is a good (pleasant) thing.  --Lambiam 08:21, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Are we happy with the entry at nice and? DCDuring (talk) 16:06, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
I think the meaning of nice and is totally different from the meaning of nice. It's a bastard word anyway because nice has got a zillion sometimes opposing meanings. This is probably the one case where I support an entry for something ending in and. Equinox 20:25, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Is my understanding of "nice and" as an intensifier a regional thing, then? Or idiosyncratic? (I doubt it's the latter, though, unless the uses of it in reference to unpleasant things that I hear are meant to be ironic.) Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:50, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
I wonder whether we could get attestation that discrimination between the two possibilities for nice and: "intensifier" and Lambian's interpretation. I'm inclined to agree with Lambian. Nice and + evil, bad, stormy, drunk, dirty(?) don't seem right unless one is happy with the fit between the condition of what is evil, bad, stormy, drunk, dirty(?) and one's plans or intentions. "We got him nice and drunk at the brunch before the wedding." DCDuring (talk) 22:30, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Nice and dirty and nice and stormy sound completely natural to me. However, it doesn't sound natural with evil or bad. I think the usage I'm familiar with is more or less synonymous with good and, which is an intensifier. It certainly isn't synonymous with pleasantly, in my experience. Ugh, that one's nice and slimy seems a perfectly natural sentence to me, whereas Ugh, that one's pleasantly slimy is just weird. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:49, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

opine (up)on: now rareEdit

Is the use of a preposition that makes the second use in opine rare? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:14, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

The OED (Third Edition June 2004) says "now rare", though it has newspaper cites from 1993 and 2002. There is also a transitive sense with a "that" clause as object. Should we add this? It seems more common than the intransitive senses. Dbfirs 16:38, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
@Widsith would have the justification for the rare tag. DCDuring (talk) 16:45, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
The use with that-clause is presently included under the first intransitive sense. Mihia (talk) 16:50, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
The Google Ngram results for "to opine on/that" [24] do not in any way support the idea that "opine on" is "now rare". Mihia (talk) 16:49, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
I'd consider it rare, but am more than happy for it to be removed if there are plenty of modern cites. Ƿidsiþ 11:35, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
In 1813 and 1927 people opined upon, but now this choice of preposition is rarely seen.  --Lambiam 12:19, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
I see numerous recent examples of "opine on" at e.g. Google News. On the basis of this, plus the Ngrams result that shows "opine on" actually rapidly increasing in recent times, I will delete the "now rare" label. Mihia (talk) 23:05, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

Transitivity of get ahead ofEdit

Transitivity of get ahead of ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:46, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

We are going to start charging you a fee. Equinox 20:24, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Now at RFD. Mihia (talk) 20:53, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
One the one hand, these questions are a bit annoying. OTOH, Back is more-or-less proof-reading entries, which is a real service. I expect that this level of intensity won't last and that we'll miss it when it's gone. DCDuring (talk) 22:52, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't see that why this question should be seen as unhelpful or unwelcome. "get ahead of" apparently has a transitive form, yet the present definition is written as if for an intransitive verb, with no indication of what the object should be. Mihia (talk) 23:10, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
It was a (probably unfunny) joke. I have no problem with Back~ asking questions, although I do feel most of them would be better placed at WT:ID than here, since they are language-learner questions and not "how can we really improve the entry" questions. DON'T JUDGE OMG Equinox 23:15, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
OK ... I thought it was a question that was intended to identify a problem with the definition. Mihia (talk) 23:22, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
"This phrase ends with a preposition so is it transitive or not?" is definitely a red flag for SoPs. But I'm sure it would catch lots of innocent good entries too. Equinox 23:35, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

as suchEdit

Alleged adjective sense:

  1. As it should be, as described
    The budget was not allocated as such.

I don't understand this entry at all. Does it make sense to anyone else? Mihia (talk) 20:52, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

I think what whoever wrote the definition meant is "in accordance with the previously mentioned facts." But I could be mistaken. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:48, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Isn't that adverbial though? E.g. "He was considered to be divine, and was treated as such" ... is that the kind of thing you mean? (I would also say this is SOP BTW.) Or do you have a different kind of example in mind? Mihia (talk) 22:36, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
It might be adverbial, but there are no citations and other OneLook dictionaries don't have such a sense. OED and/or RfV seem in order. DCDuring (talk) 22:37, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

"drop by drop"Edit

Hello, is fr:drop by drop considered as a phrase in English? — Automatik (talk) 21:43, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

Yes. However, it might be considered sum-of-parts, unless there are any sufficiently idiomatic senses. "X by X" is a pattern that can be used for pretty much any X that makes sense within a context. Mihia (talk) 22:39, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, it is an adverbial phrase IMO. But it is like any number of expressions of the snowclone "X by X", where "X" could be bit, step, bite, inch, foot, yard, mile, second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, etc, possibly including any countable common noun. Really the snowclone is more general: "X PREP X" where PREP can by any of several prepositions. After, over, under, upon, on, to come to mind, but there are probably some others. DCDuring (talk) 22:47, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
I think we've got an appendix for this kind of thing. The "interesting" part is that something can bleed, or evolve, or move, etc. X by X but not X by Y, it has to be the same noun. Equinox 23:16, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Here is an eminent linguist explaining the phrase "star by star". [25] Equinox 23:18, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

The definiton of word "witcha"Edit

Hi everyone! Somewhere I heard the word witcha may have sense as "the right choose", which is probably comes from an American hip hop group "Migos", song "Get right witcha". Is it has any common sense, if we put this definition in "Wiktionary"? E.g sentences "You're require to meet her and it'll be your right witcha" or "Yonks ago, I did a lot of mistakes, but, the significant mistake I did - is I didn't think to get right witcha. And it's brought me here, to nursing home with sexable nurses".

I don't know about the middle quote, but the first and third I would interpret as "get right with you". —Mahāgaja · talk 10:52, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

toilet humourEdit

Is scatological the best word to use here? Sure, it refers to bodily functions, but? DonnanZ (talk) 18:12, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

hold hostage toEdit

To hold something/someone hostage to something is quite modern, with no occurrences in Google's NGrams until the 1940s, few occurrences until 1975, and rapid growth to the early 1990s, at which point usage plateaued.

I am having trouble understanding the relationship of the object of to (something2) in certain expressions of the form hold someone/something1 hostage to something2, in which the hostage is figurative. For example:

  1. There is something especially outrageous and callous about the willingness of the majority party leadership to allow the Defense Department bill in a time of war to be held hostage to totally unrelated legislative items.
  2. Our public lands wouldn't be held hostage to oil, gas, mining, and timber interests.
  3. Instead, it [educational policy] has been held hostage to social control policies that place order maintenance ahead of learning.
  4. Scholarly study should not be held hostage to the charge of deviation from anyone's religious orthodoxy.

Example 1 seems to be close to a metaphorical use of the original sense of hostage. The object of to is unrelated items, that are the desired objectives of the hostage-taking legislators.

Example 2 could be read similarly, though the "interests" would usually be personified in political discourse.

In example 3 the mechanism by which something is held hostage is quite vague and the entities are implicit. Are they governmental policy-makers or more hidden private interests?

In example 4 "charge" occupies the slot of unrelated items, interests, and policies.

In examples 3 and 4 the meaning of held hostage to seems to be "subordinated to" or "governed by", with the well-defined roles from the original metaphor being converted to mere subordination.

Previous somewhat related discussion: Wiktionary:Tea_room/2008/January#hostage. Apparently my ability to work on other, more important matters is held hostage to my inability to understand the evolution of this expression. DCDuring (talk) 23:16, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

A rough commonality is that the object of to is, or represents, the demands that stand between the hostage and their release.  --Lambiam 00:30, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
That's what it used to be and what I wish it were still, but how are "scholarly study" and "educational policy" released. I think the situation is more one of captivity, imprisonment or subjugation.
In traditional hostage situations, the hostage is rather remotely related to the situation, sometimes an innocent, like a king's son or daughter, held to guarantee some promise. That doesn't seem to be the situation in 3 or 4 and possibly not in 2. DCDuring (talk) 02:54, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
There have been cases of scholars not being able to conduct their studies freely, because religious zealots impose the demand that scholarly study remain within the confines of what they deem to be orthodoxy. Without such demands, scholarly study will be released from these narrow confines.
Educational policy is restrained by the demands imposed by social control policies. If these demands are lifted, educational policy will be released from these restraints.  --Lambiam 06:25, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
I could imagine such circumstances, but I don't think that the use of the expression is limited to those circumstances anymore. I'll see if I can find an unambiguous case of weakening of the metaphor. DCDuring (talk) 12:04, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
The metaphor is based on three participants, the hostage ("H"), the hostage-taker/-holder ("T"), the party being pressured ("P"). If there are not explicit participants, then presumably metonymy is called on to fill the slots. Presumably "T" is the object of to.
"You'd be living life held hostage to a standard that you can never meet"
"You" = P; "life" = H; "standard" = T
"The underlying question is whether liberty should be held hostage to responsibility"
"liberty" = H; "responsibility" = T; ? = P
I suspect that my problem is with determining who "P" is or with it being not an active participant. I think "P" and "H" may be the same or close to it. And "P" may be impersonal, eg, the market, physics, or evolution. All of this make it seem that the expression is used to introduce drama into circumstances that don't have much. As a cool, analytical type, the use of such heated rhetoric makes me feel unsafe. DCDuring (talk) 12:29, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

high roadEdit

I added a quote from an old Scottish song, but I'm uncertain whether we are missing a sense - a road that crosses higher ground, as seems to be suggested in the song? DonnanZ (talk) 13:35, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

But isn't that high + road? DCDuring (talk) 13:50, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, it would be (sigh). DonnanZ (talk) 13:55, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
I added a qualifier to get around that "problem". DonnanZ (talk) 14:07, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
I added {{&lit|en|high road}}. It is OK to have a cite or usex there. DCDuring (talk) 14:11, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
OK, moved it. I remember hearing that song on the radio when I was young. DonnanZ (talk) 14:21, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
The "high road" in that song is normally said to have a figurative meaning, not just "suggesting a road that crosses higher ground" as the entry presently states. I had always thought (I guess someone once told me this) that the "high road" was an imagined road in heaven, though others seem to say that the "high road" is an earthly road, contrasted with the "low road" of the underworld. Mihia (talk) 20:11, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
If you think it's wrong change it by all means. I always assumed it meant a road across higher ground, like the road over Carter Bar on the Scottish border. That must be 100 miles away from Loch Lomond though. DonnanZ (talk) 23:24, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
@Donnanz: by the way, a fuller, dated quotation of the song appears at brae. — SGconlaw (talk) 03:42, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: Ah, a forthcoming WOTD. The 1899 date may refer to Robert Ford's work. Wikipedia says it was first published in 1841, but under "Origins" states "The original composer is unknown, as is definitive information on any traditional lyrics.", which I can well believe. So undated or unknown is probably more prudent for the song itself. DonnanZ (talk) 10:40, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
@Donnanz: yes, the 1899 date refers to that specific work. It was the earliest version I could find. I think it is more accurate to provide the date of an actual published version, since we have no idea what the lyrics of the original version of the song were. The lyrics we know may well be a modern version; note that even the 1899 version is different from the popular version known today. — SGconlaw (talk) 10:55, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: OK, I "borrowed" the template, changing the text. I would like to add "first published elsewhere in 1841, composer unknown" but it doesn't allow me to include it. I have nominated high road for WOTD, maybe I shouldn't as brae is coming up, but being at the end of the queue it may be 2021 before it appears. DonnanZ (talk) 15:58, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
This may be moot now, but my suggestion would be to add the comment like this: |footer={{small|First published elsewhere in 1841, composer unknown.}}. — SGconlaw (talk) 05:18, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: Thanks. There are various theories, so it is difficult to categorise. I will review this "decision" later. DonnanZ (talk) 10:01, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
OK then, sorry but I have deleted the song lyric example. The song lyric is given as an example for "Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning", whereas most probably the whole point of this lyric is that it does have a figurative meaning. Mihia (talk) 17:33, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

rainbow tableEdit

The definition here ((mathematics, cryptography) A table of surjective functions used to decrypt a text that was coded using a hash table.) seems very technical. I never know for these very technical definitions which register we are aiming for, but I suppose my position is that it should be a simple as possible without sacrificing precision or succinctness. Anyone have any opinions on this? The term surjective is specialized enough that I wonder if it has any place in any definition here, since it can easily be replaced by a fairly succinct "many-to-one" or similar. Also, it isn't a table of functions in my experience, but a table of inputs and outputs for a given hash function, such that if you have a hash you can find an input value which will collide. - TheDaveRoss 15:59, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

not have longEdit

Does not have long deserve an entry of its own? --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:29, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

Like so many expressions involving polysemous terms, it's only hard to understand out of context, IMO. In context which of the meanings of the components are intended becomes pretty obvious. DCDuring (talk) 17:46, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
@DCDuring: MW's does have the noun long as "a long time" --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:50, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Note that long in the sense of “a long time” is only used in contexts with negative polarity. You can say, “We only have a minute, but this won’t take long”. But you cannot say, *“This job will take years, but fortunately we have long”. You can also ask, “how long do we really have to save the planet from catastrophe?” Note the similarity with much in sentences like “kind words do not cost much” and “how much do we have between the two of us?” The word much should not be classified as a noun here – you cannot put how in front of a noun – and I think the same holds for long. The question remains how these terms should be classified in these contexts. The category “Adverb” fits in some of these cases, but not in others. The category “Pronoun” is not a very good fit either; it seems to fit in the sentence “much will be needed”, but not in the question ”how much exactly will be needed?”  --Lambiam 11:02, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
I think that CGEL (2002) would call this kind of use of long a fused-head construction, ie, a use of long#Adjective. DCDuring (talk) 13:22, 26 June 2019 (UTC)



"blound" exists, but not "blinden"? Are we sure? Tharthan (talk) 21:40, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

What do you mean it doesn't exist? I don't understand your question. DTLHS (talk) 22:05, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Never mind. I thought that if blound exists as a jocular (or otherwise nonstandard) strong simple past form of "blind", that blinden /blɪndn̩/ would exist as a jocular strong past participle form of "blind" (particularly since the jocular term seems to have some history). But if "blound" was formed on the model of--or, one could say, is intended to be the same kind of strong verb formation as--"bound", then that would not be the case. Tharthan (talk) 22:12, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
The past pariticple wouldn't be blinden anyway, it would be blound (cf. find, found, found; not finden) Leasnam (talk) 00:22, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
I know that. I had assumed that "blound" was trying to be analogous to strong verbs of a different type, rather than the "bind" and "find" type. However, for some reason I can't think of such a "type" now that I am typing this, nor of any archetype for such a type at an earlier stage in the language off of the top of my head. I'm utterly drawing a blank. The reason that I looked it up in the first place is that I sometimes misconjugate "blind" (despite it being such a common verb) in thought or speech myself (before immediately correcting myself, naturally). I think that I looked up "blinden" first, before "blound". I then assumed that "blound" existed and "blinden" did not simply because people tend to remember the simple past more than the past participle, and thus only "blound" survived. I still assumed that "blinden" was likely to have existed at some point, hence why I created this discussion. But then when I looked at the etymology section, I noticed that it said that it was formed on the model of "bind". So even if there had been a jocular past participle, it would have been "blound" (or, if kindred spirits to those who came up with "yede" were around, "blounden"). Tharthan (talk) 01:04, 28 June 2019 (UTC)


How on Earth is this pronounced? Is it pronounced much like its Old English etymon? Tharthan (talk) 22:19, 25 June 2019 (UTC)


Is the English definition quite right and not overly broad? Other dictionaries at Onelook suggest that it is mainly in reference to benthic or at least aquatic organisms and that a hard substrate is involved. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:37, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia also restricts this to benthic fauna, even giving epibenthos as a synonym. (I think that is not quite correct, as the latter term also includes epibenthic flora.) GBS appears to confirm this. But the substrate can apparently also be sediment. Sessile fauna like sponges needs a hard substrate, but epifauna can also be vagrant, like roaming crabs. The current definition would include monitor lizards, dromedaries, fire ants and slugs.  --Lambiam 19:31, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

transitive use of emergeEdit

How do Wkt deals with a sentence such as "emerge a victor" --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:49, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

How does enwikt deal with such a sentence? I don't know.
IMO emerge could be deemed to be copulative in that type of use. Other examples"
The swimmers emerged oily (adj.) from the urban swim.
They emerged victorious (adj.)
They emerged victors (noun)
They emerged quietly (adv.)
It emerged in tatters (PP. functioning as adjective)
They emerged at a sluggish pace (PP. functioning as adverb)
Many verbs have what could be viewed as copulative uses.
I believe some grammarians don't stretch the use of copula, but define such nouns or adjectives as complements of the (intransitive) verb (not as objects of a transitive verb). DCDuring (talk) 17:52, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Isn't this an instance of a resultative rather than copulative? — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 21:00, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
I find the notion of “resultative construction” a murky concept. (Is “Scott Joplin wrote two operas” resultative? The operas resulted from him writing them.) In the question, the victorhood of the emergee is not the result of their emerging, so I’d argue that this is not an actual resultative construction. Also, the question is about the verb. Sense 2 has the label (copulative), and the verb functions as such in the first example given there (He emerged unscathed from the accident). I think it also fits here satisfactorily. Modern grammarians may have different analyses, but these analyses seem to be in a state of flux.  --Lambiam 22:04, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

θώμιγξ vs. θῶμιγξEdit

First, let me say that I know nothing about Greek. I encountered the word "θώμιγξ" in a book (an English book actually), which explained that it meant "cord". I tried to look it up here, but there was no entry for it. There was however an entry for it on the Greek Wiktionary. So I decided to create an entry for it here (θώμιγξ) with the hopes that someone would flesh it out more later. After creating it, I discovered that we do have an entry for the very similar θῶμιγξ. Notice the slightly different diacritic over the ω. Apparently the entry that already existed is spelled with "full diacritics" style, while the one I created is spelled with "low diacritics" style. I have no idea what that means, but I'm guessing it just means the diacritics are simplified. One other important difference is that the existing entry says that the work is Ancient Greek rather than Greek. I'm not sure what should be done with the new entry that I created (θώμιγξ): whether it should be deleted, redirect to θῶμιγξ, be listed as an alternate style of θῶμιγξ, or stand on its own as the Greek version of the Ancient Greek word. If anyone could help clean it up, it would be most appreciated. Thanks! Kaldari (talk) 19:35, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

θώμιγξ (thóminx), with a tonos accent, is Modern Greek. θῶμιγξ (thôminx), with a circumflex accent, is Ancient Greek. Both deserve (separate) entries, with {{also}} templates crosslinking them. And, of course, the Ancient Greek word is the etymon of the Modern one.  --Lambiam 21:24, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

stamp, stompEdit

Do we have any information about the areal usage differences between stamp and stomp (of the feet, I mean)? It would be useful information for usage notes (we have similar information in other entries).

All that I know is my own personal experience. When I grew up, "stomp" was nearly the only verb used, except in one particular circumstance. When we would enter a house, we were always told to stamp our feet (on the mat). This led me to think that to "stamp one's feet" meant "to rapidly move one's feet up and down on a mat at the entrance to a building, so as to not drag in dirt". It was only much later that I found out that "stamp" was the older form of "stomp", and did not have such a restricted sense. To this day, I have no clue as to why "stamp" remained in that restricted (or seemingly restricted) sense. Those who I grew up with also remember this quite distinctly, which honestly surprises me, because I was always the one who had the best long-term memory (although I suppose that since it was such an early thing to teach to children, it would have had a long time to be drilled into our minds).

For reference, "champ" I had never heard as a verb, only "chomp". When I was growing up, I was not aware at all of the existence of a verb "champ".

If nothing else, do we know if there is a difference in usage between North America and the United Kingdom? Tharthan (talk) 00:45, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

To me in England, "stomp" feels rather American. It's a word I would rarely, if ever, use. Mihia (talk) 19:56, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
Actually, that may not be quite true. I can imagine, for instance, saying that someone was "stomping around". However, I would not say that someone "stomped on my toe". That would always be "stamped". Mihia (talk) 20:49, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
@Mihia Would you usually say that someone "stamped/stomped on your toe(s)" anyway? Is it not more common to say that one stepped on another's toes? Or is this also an areal difference?
To me, stomping on someone's toes would imply someone forcibly pressing their feet on that person's toes, not merely stepping on them accidentally!
I also just remembered that mine and my sibling's mother would sometimes refer to "stamping" one's feet, but then only in the sense of an angry person doing so in a childish manner.
Perhaps in mine and my friends' upbringings, "stamp" still exists because it is a remnant of earlier usage. But that doesn't explain why I had never heard the verb "champ" growing up. Tharthan (talk) 03:45, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
@Tharthan: Well, yes, you're right. If done accidentally and/or relatively lightly it would "stepped on my toe" for me too. "stamped on my toe" sounds more forceful or deliberate. Another example would be "He stamped on the fire to put it out", where I would use "stamped" and not "stomped". Mihia (talk) 17:26, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
American here. I'm familiar with this meaning of "stamp", but I think I've only ever used "stomp". To me "stamp" sounds like a word I might encounter in a book or possibly a movie (which is how British English words often sound to me). —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:36, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Granger, you don't even use "stamp" in the senses that I've described above (the stamping one's feet on a doormat sense, and the "stamping around" of an angry person)? If not, this is probably further evidence of areal difference, this time of a regional variety. New England has tended, I have found, to retain a lot of things that other regions of the country have done away with. I guess that our name makes a lot of sense! Tharthan (talk) 02:21, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
In my usage (Southern California), "stamping" is mostly in figures of speech like "stamp out". I also say "stamp my feet", but if there's an object other than "foot" or "feet", it's always "step" or "stomp". In other words, I may "stamp my feet on a doormat", but I don't "stamp on a doormat". Chuck Entz (talk) 04:24, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
To me "stamp my feet" sounds better than "stamp on something" or "stamping around", but I would not say any of them. I mostly use the word "stamp" to talk about postage stamps, passport stamps, etc. I also use the expression "stamp out". I don't think I ever use the word to talk about what someone is doing with their feet. I'm from Northern California but I suspect I'm significantly younger than Chuck Entz, so it's possible age is a factor as well as region. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:29, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
To me stamp is the neutral term (an angry child stamps her foot) while stomp is more informal, perhaps a bit cartoonish (I heard the neighbours stomping around upstairs). I'd also suggest that a stomp might be heavier, or deeper in pitch, because of the vowel, in the same way that clicks are lighter than clacks, and jingles are higher-pitched than jangles. Equinox 16:34, 1 July 2019 (UTC)


Some recent uses of the term ridiculous: a ridiculous feat of engineering;[26] athletes or sportspeople possessing ridiculous strength;[27][28] artists, sportspeople and measurements with ridiculous precision.[29][30][31] In all cases this is no laughing matter but a peculiar way of saying “astonishing” or “unbelievable”. I think this abuse of language is called a catachresis. The same extended sense is found for the adverb. Is this worth recording as a separate sense?  --Lambiam 07:49, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

Yes, it is worth a separate definition, though it may not be easy to attest in durably archived media. has: "Slang. absurdly or unbelievably good, bad, crazy, etc.: The concert was ridiculous, their best performance ever!", which fits use I've heard. It strikes me as a modest extension of the meaning of the term. Many proposed theories, projects, tales of accomplishment are called ridiculous because a hearer finds them impossible, not to be taken seriously. It is a modest extension to apply ridiculous when the theory is confirmed, the project is realized, or the feat accomplished. DCDuring (talk) 08:59, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

handy convenient: located in a convenient place, especially nearby and easy to reachEdit

Is the meaning of handy (for?) "conveniently close" use with shops, stations, etc. BrE ? Currently, "easy to use" does not seem to apply to stores. --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:19, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

I agree that the wording is not the wording normally applied to convenience of location in general. In my American idiolect at least, one doesn't generally apply the word use to places one intends to visit, whether or not for a utilitarian purpose, such as shopping, recreation, education, work, worship, professional services, et. In parallel, if one goes on a planned shopping trip the destination is usually not termed handy no matter how conveniently close it might be. Once there, the eateries, toilet facilities, parking, pickup areas might be termed handy. These functions are incidental to the main purpose of the trip. DCDuring (talk) 09:21, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

Cigarettes and CushEdit

There's a song by Stormzy called Cigarettes and Cush. One lyric goes And there's no more weed, no more cush. And I'm deep in the south side, and I can't find love. Cush is cash, right? --I learned some phrases (talk) 03:57, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

Are you sure it's not kush? Chuck Entz (talk) 04:33, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, bound to be. Maybe cush is an alt-spell --I learned some phrases (talk) 11:30, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
We should start to use {{homophones}} more often. Fay Freak (talk) 11:38, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

pull-quote, azhiEdit

Does pull-quote#Translations imply the Navajo word azhí also means a brief excerpt used out of context? The azhí article does not confirm.

Should this question go in Translation Requests instead? 06:50, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

English adieux /z or as singular/Edit

According to the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary the English pronunciation of adieux is /z or as singular/. How should that be added to its entry? --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:16, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

Like this. —Mahāgaja · talk 09:37, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
On Google NGrams, the spelling adieus is almost as common as adieux which suggests that English authors think that an English plural marker should be seen and heard. I would argue that, in English running text, the English plural marker should be seen and heard and that the adieux spelling is a hypercorrection. DCDuring (talk) 13:06, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
Note that the plural forms milieux and purlieux are also common in English.  --Lambiam 19:57, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

a search like was done in this caseEdit

I have never witnessed a search like was done in this case. Making A Murderer (2015) s01e04

Is this use of like already added? --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:17, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

We have "such as" as a definition of like, but for like adverb, not like preposition. We have only a single definition for the pronoun whereas MWOnline has 7; AHD, Collins, and Oxford, 6. What makes the expression in the header seem like slang is the omission of something that made the clause seem appropriate as object of a preposition, eg, what. There are a few other ways, comparably short, of expressing the thought that would seem to me more acceptable grammatically. DCDuring (talk) 18:52, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
There isn't much difference between analyzing like as a conjunction and analyzing it as a preposition with a clause acting as a nominal. But we usually treat any use of such a word linking clauses as a conjunction.
So the relevant definitions could be one of the two at like#Conjunction. But, once more, MWOnline has 6 to our 2. "Such as" is one of their definitions. It works well in the header sentence. DCDuring (talk) 21:32, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
It sounds borderline ungrammatical to me. I would be okay with "a search as was done" or "a search like [the one] they did". Not really sure why. Equinox 12:33, 1 July 2019 (UTC)

injury timeEdit

I was intending to slightly modify the definition to make clear that "injury time", despite its name, also includes compensation for time lost to stoppages other than injuries. Presently this is kind of implied or suggested, but not made explicit. However, five other dictionaries that I have just checked all say that "injury time" means time that is added at the end of a game because of time lost when players are injured, or words to that effect, without mentioning any other reasons. Are we happy that those other dictionaries are all wrong (or at best incomplete)? Mihia (talk) 18:50, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

  • I'm pretty sure that "injury time" is only for time lost attending to injuries. It is lumped together with other time lost to give "stoppage time". SemperBlotto (talk) 18:56, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
Hmmm, OK. I don't think I have personally heard such a distinction made in practice. Here in the UK, e.g. in football (soccer), the term "injury time" is used, AFAIK, to refer to all the time added on, for whatever reason. At least, I don't think I have ever heard anyone break down time added on into "injury time" and other types of added time. May I ask which country you are from? (I've just noticed also that our stoppage time definition says "Time lost due to any form of stoppage of play, but normally synonymous with injury time.", which I find pretty confusing, given the present definition at injury time.) Mihia (talk) 19:26, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
I guess what I could do is just say that injury time is for time lost to dealing with injuries, but loosely (at least in the UK) used to refer to all stoppage time. Mihia (talk) 19:51, 29 June 2019 (UTC)


It seems that there is some deeper meaning besides "nature" in the word "physics" that is ancient, having to do something with the word "work" as in "nature is working" or "nature is like clockwork" or the "workings of nature."-Don't taze me bro 19:34, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

What part of what entry are you referring to? Etymology of physics? DCDuring (talk) 19:44, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

Gender of Latin lettersEdit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): What is the gender of Latin letters of the alphabet such as ā, dē, kā, el, etc.? I would guess neuter, but the example of ī graeca (the letter Y) suggests they are feminine, agreeing with littera. Benwing2 (talk) 00:56, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

The Latin Wiktionary gives them as neuter, but I don’t know what that is based on. The words for the sound-based classes of the litterae (vocales, mediae, mutae) are all feminine when used as nouns, even though it is, e.g., sonus medius when referring to the sound itself. For example, Priscian writes: “Praeterea tamen i et u vocales, quando mediae sunt, alternos inter se sonos videntur confundere, teste Donato, ut vir, optumus, quis. Et i quidem, quando post u consonantem loco digamma functam Aeolici ponitur brevis, sequente d vel m vel r vel t vel x, sonum y Graecae videtur habere, ut video, vim, virtus, vitium, vix.” This suggests rather persuasively that, at least in Late Latin, also the Latin letter names themselves are feminine. The Greek letter names ἄλφα, βῆτα, ..., are neuter.  --Lambiam 08:43, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
That's right, letters and any substantivised adjectives referring to them are always feminine. Greek mirrors this by having them neuter, corresponding to the gender of γράμμα. Brutal Russian (talk) 12:12, 30 June 2019 (UTC)


This etymology needs to be checked, as many other sources suggest that this has a more straightforward etymology than we claim here. Tharthan (talk) 03:30, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

The term was first used in the sense “mentally unbalanced person” in 1898, according to “crackpot” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019. Yet I find crackpate already in a book from 1864, and a book from 1861 refers to a fictitious “Crackpate Asylum”. That lends some credence to the theory that the use of crackpot in the familiar sense arose as a variant of earlier crackpate.  --Lambiam 09:13, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough, but since "pot" is alleged by some sources to have been a colloquial term for "head" in itself, and since "cracked-pot" is given as the original term by some sources, could this not be a conflation of two terms, or at the very least a replacement of pate ("head", in this sense) with pot (also "head", in this sense")?
Our statement that it is "originally from crack + pate makes it sound like "crackpot" is merely an alteration of "crackpate". Could it not, rather, be an alteration of "cracked-pot", on the model of "crackpate"?
My point is that our etymology seems to be leaning towards the notion that it is simply an alteration of crackpate, when the actual situation seems to be a bit more complicated than that. Tharthan (talk) 12:06, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
The “cracked pot” theory is beautiful and seductive. It might even be convincing if there were examples of 19th-century use of this collocation with the meaning of “a person who is not quite right in the head”.  --Lambiam 14:46, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

vs. FrenchEdit

vs#Alternative forms (sans period) calls vs.#French (with period) nonstandard or misspelling, but there is no French section on the vs. page? 04:50, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

The French Wiktionary lists it, though, as a frequent orthographic error for vs without a dot. The form with a dot is seen in headlines here, here and here, so this variant seems indeed not to be infrequent.  --Lambiam 08:57, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

Latin centipēs, cornipēs: i-stem or non-i-stem adjectives?Edit

(Notifying Metaknowledge, Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5): Are centipēs -edis, cornipēs -edis, sonipēs -edis, tripēs -edis i-stem or non-i-stem as adjectives? I would guess non-i-stem, but words like audāx and tricolor are apparently i-stem despite being imparisyllabic with a root ending in a single consonant. Cf. caeles -itis, which is non-i-stem. Currently the adjectives centipēs cornipēs are indicated as i-stem but the nominalized forms listed as non-i-stem, which seems a bit strange. Benwing2 (talk) 21:05, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

Also are palumbēs and satrapēs i-stem or not? I was taught that words in -ēs -is are i-stem (cf. vatēs), but not sure if that is general. Benwing2 (talk) 22:22, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Also presumably sūfes -itis is not i-stem despite what we claim? Benwing2 (talk) 22:28, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
According to some dogmatics a guy wanted to pursue in innocentum already, the adjectives might be on -ium and the nouns on -um. This looked all fine till I gave a quote of the 438 Codex Theodosianus. TBH I don’t believe Latin users were consistent across ages in any of the words, there might even by poetic arbitrium, plus I don’t trust the manuscripts either. It might be like Serbo-Croatian showing three different genitive plural forms in some nouns’ tables. Fay Freak (talk) 22:51, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Third-declension adjectives in Latin are usually i-stems: the only regular class of exceptions that I know of is comparatives. The parisyllabic vs. imparisyllabic rule is only applicable to non-neuter substantive nouns. If the adjectives centipes etc. are consonant stems (I don't know whether they are or can be) that would be I think an unpredictable fact about these particular words. It is possible for third-declension adjectives of one ending to be consonant stems; it also seems to be possible and somewhat common for them to be defective in the neuter nominative/accusative plural, although the defective adjectives seem to mostly be ones that are semantically associated with animate referents. (I made a post outlining my understanding of that situation on the Latin Stack Exchange site, with some links to relevant parts of Allen and Greenough.) --Urszag (talk) 19:27, 3 July 2019 (UTC)