Wiktionary:Tea room/2012/November

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← October 2012 · November 2012 · December 2012 → · (current)


光軍 <-- Is there a single character that is composed from these two characters? --Ans (talk) 11:29, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes: . —Stephen (Talk) 18:11, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks a lot --Ans (talk) 16:49, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Its pronunciation in Mandarin is "hui" or "fei"? --Ans (talk) 02:28, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
huī. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 12:56, 9 November 2012 (UTC)


I think this uses vowel marks. Should it be moved? —CodeCat 17:59, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

I don’t see any vowel marks. —Stephen (Talk) 18:09, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Nope, no vowel marks. Those dots are part of the letters. With vowel marks it would look like this: شَيْطَانِيَّة. --WikiTiki89 18:15, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Ok, thank you for checking. I can't read Arabic at all... —CodeCat 18:41, 1 November 2012 (UTC)


Is {{context|loanword}} a context? (Note who added this: LW) --WikiTiki89 18:20, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

I say no, that it's a "loanword" is etymological information. - -sche (discuss) 18:38, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Fixed. —Angr 19:12, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Can be. Recent loanwords are italicised. A better solution would be {{context|usually italicised}} and |head=''esmelter'' IMO. — Ungoliant (Falai) 20:03, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Is it, in fact, usually italicized? —Angr 07:56, 3 November 2012 (UTC)


I am having trouble finding an additional sense (that being ‘breasts’) for this term. I know that the sense is definitely used in the movie Talladega Nights, but Google Books and Google Groups are not rich with results for this sense. Anybody want this one? --Æ&Œ (talk) 22:20, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

I' wondering whether, "pearls" meaning breasts is a metaphor, rather than a separate sense? Furius (talk) 04:45, 3 November 2012 (UTC)


I think there are really two separate senses here; it doesn't mean quite the same thing in phrases like "historical research" and "historical fiction" (denoting things that are "historical" from the get-go, because they have to do with one time-period's relationship to another) as in phrases like "historical figures" and "historical writing systems" (denoting things that become "historical" over time, as they cease to be current). Right?

Actually, maybe even three senses:

  • in the past
  • of the past
  • of the study of the past


RuakhTALK 16:33, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Streisand effect

Many of the quotations placed in Streisand effect and Citations:Streisand effect are mentions rather than uses of the term. Should I feel free to remove the mentions from the pages? If not, why? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:02, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

In the main namespace, sure. Leave them in the Citations page, though, since that is for both quotations and references. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 10:15, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed mentiony quotes from the main page. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 14:53, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks very much to Robin Lionheart (talkcontribs) for the quality improvements to the page. I agree the best quotes should go on the main entry page and others should remain as both quotations and references on the citations page. :) Looks like this is successfully addressed. -- Cirt (talk) 17:29, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Dan has reopened this conversation in Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Mention quotations in the mainspace and Citations namespace. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 22:27, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

I'd say that the earliest mention would be be worth keeping, as such mentions later become coinages. --EncycloPetey (talk) 05:07, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Agreed, and we are keeping it, at Citations:Streisand effect. :) -- Cirt (talk) 05:11, 13 November 2012 (UTC)


Isn’t this also used to mean ‘citizen of or from the U.S.S.R.’? --Æ&Œ (talk) 03:53, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

butter#Verb (translations)

Do we really need SOP translations that mean to "spread" "butter", like "намазывать маслом"? I feel like that's what the translation tables on [[spread]] and [[butter#Noun]] are for. This table should contain non-SOP translations like "намаслить". Maybe we should have some sort of translations see-also link like "See also translations on spread and butter". --WikiTiki89 09:02, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

That's an interesting idea: the translation table equivalent of {{&lit}}. DCDuring TALK 18:51, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with having SOP translations if that's the most idiomatic way of saying it in the language under discussion. They just shouldn't be linked as single words: it should say [[намазывать]] [[масло]]м or words to that effect, not [[намазывать маслом]]. —Angr 22:41, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree (w/Angr). —RuakhTALK 22:59, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
It might still be useful to link to the parts though. I just created {{trans-top-also}} and added it to butter. What do you guys think? --WikiTiki89 08:53, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Since no one seems to be objecting, I'm going to start using {{trans-top-also}} on other pages. --WikiTiki89 09:56, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I use SoP translations very often just because it's quick and easy. нама́зывать ма́слом (namázyvatʹ máslom) (butter#Verb) is much easier and faster to add than намазывать (namazyvatʹ) маслом (maslom) (namázyvat’ máslom). I strongly object to any removal of valid translatons. The SoP translations can be converted to the above or to use {{t-SOP}} but not removed. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 10:54, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
So the reason I brought this up was because I think we are misusing translation sections. Translation sections are not a place for an English word to be defined in a foreign language (that's what the foreign language Wiktionaries are for). They are for aiding English speakers in translating to a foreign language. When an English speaker looks up translations for the word butter#Verb, he is not looking for translations that mean "to spread butter" because if he was, he would have looked up spread and butter#Noun. He is looking for something that is either one word or at least idiomatic, since usually he knows that he can also look up spread and butter#Noun for more options. What appalls me is that we fill up translation sections with things like "намазывать маслом" in every possible language that can already be found on spread and butter#Noun, and then miss the important ones like "намаслить" that more accurately represent the word "to butter". Filling up these sections with SOP translations just distracts us from providing useful and good translations. --WikiTiki89 11:44, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Let's agree to disagree. In English we "butter bread", in Russian мы "намазываем маслом", not мы "маслим". A dictionary's purpose is not to search only words that match one to one in the number of words for translations and discarding translations, which are correct in a given language but require a different number of words. So, theis verb's translation into Russian is "намазывать маслом", into German "mit Butter bestreichen". It's the most common and correct way. The hard work of deciding how to translate has been long decided in commercial dictionaries (see "butter" on Yandex (scroll down to 2. гл.) and I don't think we should restart this discussion. Not providing a correct translation is doing a disservice to use who will use dictionaries not obsessed with SoP problems but are concerned with accuracy. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 12:10, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Yandex is a Russian dictionary, this is an English dictionary. Of course the ru.wikt would probably want to define "to butter" as "намазывать маслом" because it is more specific. en.wikt is supposed to contain translations that would help English speakers who are learning Russian rather than the other way around (when such a learner wants to know how to say "to spread butter", he is not going to look up "to butter"). In this specific case, I don't think there is any difference between the English and Russian connotations. I'm just as unlikely to say "I buttered the bread." as I am to say "Я намаслил хлеб." because I would usually say "I spread butter on the bread." On the occasion that I would use "butter" as a verb, I would also use "намаслить" if I were speaking Russian. Also, let's forget about the word SOP because that is not really the issue here. The real issue is that we seem to be providing the same exact translations on near-synonyms. Another example is the translations such as French mandarin on [[Chinese]]. Just because one of the definitions of Chinese is the Mandarin language, does not mean that we need to fill that translation table up with words like French mandarin, when a better translation would be chinois, which has largely the same denotations and connotations as English Chinese. In this specific case, it was easy to replace the translation table with a {{trans-see|Mandarin}} because words like chinois are already given for the primary, less specific definition of Chinese. But in the case of "to butter", there is no reason to duplicate the translations that are already located at spread and butter#Noun. It would have made some sense to use a trans-see there and omit the whole table, but there still is a reason to keep the table there and that reason is solely for the inclusion of words such as "намаслить". I don't know if you see my point here or not: I don't want to remove translations, just to avoid duplicating the same translations on every page. --WikiTiki89 12:49, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't see your point or maybe our views are fundamentally different. You seem to know English well, maybe better than me but I don't think "to butter" and "(на)маслить" are equivalent. Yes, we are an English dictionary and teaching English speakers that a correct and idiomatic translation is "(на)маслить" is wrong. To me "намаслить" is more like or also "soak in butter/oil" and much less common and much less natural than "намазывать маслом". As I said, нама́зывать ма́слом (namázyvatʹ máslom) could (or should) be split as an obvious SoP (no need to have it as a separate entry) but it's the most equivalent and thus the correct translation of "to butter", whether this dictionary is intended for English speakers or foreign language speakers. "(на)маслить" is a less common and an ambiguous synonym. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 21:28, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I will take up your offer to agree to disagree. --WikiTiki89 07:54, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I can see why Anatoli wants to keep the multi-word translations of "spread butter" at butter; since the sense is there, and we're giving translations of it, it makes sense to give the most common translations of it, even if they're multi-word and decomposable. (Personally, I would be unlikely to "spread butter on the bread" rather than "butter the bread", so, there's no accounting for linguistic taste.) I think a template like {{trans-top-also}} would still be very useful, however — for directing users to synonyms. Look at the translation table of [[whore]]'s "prostitute" sense, for example: it probably should contain only words that are vulgar or slang, while semi-technical words like "prostitute" should be in [[prostitute]]. {{trans-top-also}} could help keep users from adding prostytutka, etc, to [[whore]]. I've already effected a similar split at [[Gypsy]] vs [[Rom]].


I was hoping to find a conjugation template for early modern English forms of "to be", to include wast, beeth, etc. Is there something like that already or can someone more knowledgeable than me make one? Happerslaffer (talk) 02:56, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't require any special knowledge — you could just copy the relevant part of be#Inflection and paste it into a template — but to be honest, I really don't see the point. —RuakhTALK 03:01, 6 November 2012 (UTC)


Two questions:

  • Senses #1 and #2: Aren't they the same thing?
  • Sense #3: Does any have any idea what this even means?

--WikiTiki89 19:03, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Probably - why not try to merge them.
  • Nothing - just delete it (Wiktionary is full of such meaningless stuff).

SemperBlotto (talk) 08:03, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Done. Don't even think the merger was worth nominating, but if you object you can restore it and nominate it. --WikiTiki89 08:39, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
The definitions that you objected to were from Webster 1913. The characteristic defects I find with their definitions is that they included list of synonyms as definitions. You simply deleted the synonyms. They often have older senses, which they sometimes mark and which sometimes have become less current. We seek to include dated, archaic, and obsolete sense, appropriately marked as well as the latest sense.
With respect to your criticism of sense 3, we cannot delete everything we do not understand. The cite from Shakespeare in Webster 1913 (which, being from a well-known work, is sufficient cite the sense) supports the meaning. The difference between senses 1 and 2 is that sense one omits the ideas of "careful" and "obedient". I think examining a sufficient number of citations would make it clear that those ideas have been intended by authors to be conveyed by heed. DCDuring TALK 20:16, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Definition two seems to be a sub-type of definition one, then, at best. On definition three, was it supposed to be "a look or expression of heeding" rather than "heading"? (In which case, a heed would be... a look which signifies that you are paying attention?) Furius (talk) 21:34, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh yes, I'd noticed the typo but didn't think of it as a possible source of the intelligibility problem. And here is the quote from Webster 1913 for sense 3: "He did it with a serious mind; a heed / Was in his countenance. Shak." One could call that metonymy and delete it, but many included definitions have a similar relationship to other definitions. DCDuring TALK 22:16, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Also the sense of "obey" is clearly present in some Judaeo-Christian writings about the commandments: See these searches at bgc: for the verb and for the noun. DCDuring TALK 22:39, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Bar, not quite FUBAR

Though correctly re-identified as a noun, the definition for the word bar "the metasyntactic variable" or placeholder name "representing an unspecified entity, often the second in a series, following foo", should be placed under a different/new etymological section for the word "bar". From what I have read, both "foo" and "bar" may be clippings of "foobar", or "foobar" may be the concatenation of the two syllables. In either case, the meaning of "bar" may very well be unrelated to the etymology of the other given definitions of "bar". Instead, it may originally be a nonce word adopted by the MIT hackers who were among the first to use it.


If you look at the text of this template, I didn't think we allow partial rhymes (sic) on our rhymes pages? The whole point of rhymes pages is all the words rhyme, isn't it? Mglovesfun (talk) 17:34, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Different languages have different rules for rhymes. I'm not sure if there are any languages that have both full and partial rhymes though. —CodeCat 17:40, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
This is User:Paul G's baby. He has added it to several rhyme pages, and added a few partial rhymes. Paul doesn't edit much these days (should probably be de-sysopped) so you might want to drop him an email. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:43, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Chipping in after two years :) Yes, the idea is that all the words rhyme, but the point of "Partial rhymes" section is to list words that would be rhymes but for the fact that they are stressed on an earlier syllable. While these are not true rhymes, they are nevertheless often used as if they were; for example, a writer might rhyme "wait" with "celebrate". This sort of rhyming is commonly found in song lyrics, for example. — Paul G (talk) 18:24, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

remember, forget

Can "remember" and "forget" be used as imperatives with the "-ing" form of verbs? Please comment here: Appendix talk:English catenative verbs#forget.2C_remember. My gut said Algrif's addition of the note saying that cannot be was right, but I undid it because I didn't (and don't) understand why my counterexamples don't prove it wrong. - -sche (discuss) 05:27, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

As far as I'm can see "Remember swimming to Venice!" & "Don't forget swimming to Venice!" are imperatives in form and meaning. They have a different meaning from "Remember to swim to Venice!" & "don't forget to swim to Venice", but that exactly parallels the difference in meaning between the two structures in the indicative mood. It seems that Algrif's objection is semantic, that the idea of ordering someone to remember a thing which the ought to already remember bothers him. But, while it's rarer to order somebody to remember past events, it is hardly unheard of. Furius (talk) 05:46, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually, does he think you are objecting to the idea that "I remember swimming" and "I remember to swim" have different meanings? Furius (talk) 07:21, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Spend time and spend money

We have an entry for spend time, but not spend money. Should spend money be added or should spend time be deleted? Both seem like some of parts. Boxieman (talk) 21:20, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

As much as I favor economy of entries, the second sense of spend time is often used as a kind of elision of spend time together. Thus it is a sum of three parts one of which is not present. Ergo, it seems idiomatic. The usage examples fail to convey the elision. The first sense seems non-idiomatic to me and, if so, should be replaced with {{&lit}}. DCDuring TALK 21:29, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
To illustrate the elided usage of spend time meaning "spend time together":
  • 2011, M. Gary Neuman, Connect to Love: The Keys to Transforming Your Relationship, page 54:
    Sadly, when couples don't spend time, they don't even think about what to tell each other from their day,
You can "spend" anything that is a resource. Spending it is using it up. I don't see much justification for either of the entries spend time and spend money. Equinox 23:30, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Spend money is 100% SOP. Spend time is a little more justified but I still think it is worth nominating it for deletion. --WikiTiki89 09:42, 11 November 2012 (UTC)


>1. (vulgar, slang) Having contracted a venereal disease.

Damn, that’s racist. I do not think that this term is vulgar so much as it is racist. Should the tag be modified? --Æ&Œ (talk) 13:12, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

We have a category Category:English ethnic slurs that should provide analogous cases. DCDuring TALK 15:53, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I suppose that I shall go ahead and replace the vulgar tag with the ethnic slur tag, since ‘French’ is hardly a curse to begin with. Compare: ‘niggerlike.’ --Æ&Œ (talk) 23:46, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
The French aren't really a race, are they? Xenophobic rather than racist then. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:57, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Race is subjective. Italians are sometimes considered to be of a separate race from ‘white people,’ and my friend told me that modern Frenchpeople have traces of Italian blood in addition to the Frankish blood and Gaulish blood. --Æ&Œ (talk) 13:44, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Race vs. ethnicity is a useless and arbitrary distinction. I don't think anyone would dispute the existence of the French ethnicity, but I don't know if there is an ethnic equivalent of racist (ethnicist doesn't seem to exist). --WikiTiki89 14:06, 11 November 2012 (UTC)


background: User talk:Mglovesfun#pound

We both agree that pound is a plural of pound (they money, pound sterling). I call it the most common and therefore standard plural, Algrif calls it nonstandard. We need more British English speakers to form a consensus (speaker of other English dialects are welcome too). Mglovesfun (talk) 12:56, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

  • I consider both as standard British English, just "three pound fifty" is perhaps more common in the north. I teach my students that both forms are acceptable ways to say the price. --Adding quotes (talk) 13:03, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • The think the "three pound fifty" form is irrelevant because even in the US, you say you are "six foot four" not "six feet four" (even though without the four, it is "six feet") and that does not mean that "foot" is a plural form. One important question is: Without a number preceding it, is pound ever found as a plural? There is an analogous situation in Israel, where it is common to say חמש שקל (khamésh shékel, five(f) shekel(Template:m-s)) even though it is strongly considered that this is nonstandard and that the only proper form is חמישה שקלים (khamishá sh'kalím, five(m) shekels(m pl)). But I do not speak British so I can only ask the questions not give the answers. --WikiTiki89 13:22, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
From the OED: "Formerly used without change in the plural (reflecting both the Old English unchanged neuter nominative and accusative plural and the genitive plural in -a ). The unchanged plural was long retained following a cardinal number, a common feature of words denoting units of measurement (compare foot n. 7a, mark n.2, etc.), and still common in colloquial and regional English." My feeling is that, though common in informal English, the use of the singular is now considered dialectal and thus "nonstandard". Dbfirs 22:11, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the increasing use of the plural form started with decimalisation - people who used to say "five pound ten" started to say "five pounds fifty pee". Where I live (in the South East) you hear the plural form used more by the young and by non-native English. Us old fogeys still use the singular. SemperBlotto (talk) 22:18, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Other old fogeys consider that the correct plural of "new penny" is pence not pee but I agree that the expression is common amongst the younger generation. I would say "five foot ten" informally, but in formal writing I would write "five feet ten inches". I think the plurals (pounds and feet) pre-date decimalisation. Dbfirs 22:52, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't consider five foot ten or even six foot to be colloquial. I consider them standard, at least my part of the UK. Six feet tall to me is US English. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:29, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Putting the plural as a standard alternative is misleading. Sure, in the Nth of England, one can hear a lot of similar (what I consider mis-)usages with ounce, pound, stone, ton, gram, kilo, inch, foot, yard, mile, metre, kilometre, etc. etc., being used singular for plural. It possibly also has its root in the adjectival forms "a ten-foot pole", for instance, leading to some communities starting to say things like "That pole is nine or ten foot long" instead of the hugely more common "That pole is nine or ten feet long". In there is a usage note about this. But to state that pound is its own plural is going too far, IMO. Surely a usage note would be the best answer here. -- ALGRIF talk 11:44, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
There seem to be differing opinions on usage. Perhaps my viewpoint is coloured by dialectal usage of the singular (e.g. to walk five mile), quite separate from the hyphenated usage that is standard (a five-mile walk). I think we have just retained the Old English for longer and with more units than in "standard English" (if that exists). Perhaps Algrif's suggestion of a usage note would be appropriate. I wonder why "pound" has retained the Old English genitive for longer than other units. Dbfirs 21:44, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
... (later, after thought and research) The general plural of "pound" has always been "pounds" (at least since Chaucer), but the continuing use of the Old English genitive or neuter after numerals is so common in some regions that it can be considered still correct despite the OED opinion that it is "colloquial and regional". I think we need a usage note. I'll add one. Please adjust as you think necessary. Dbfirs 16:29, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Example sentences for regular plural:
There are tons and tons of examples. (No-one would say There are ton of examples, even colloquially.)
He has lost pounds and pounds since he went on a diet. Dbfirs 08:39, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

see you in hell

I was going to nominate this for deletion as it is useless for a phrasebook, but then I thought "Could this be idiomatic?" Anyone have any thoughts? --WikiTiki89 14:57, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Oh come on, surely it doesn't mean "I will meet you in Hell (the place of eternal torture)". Mglovesfun (talk) 18:28, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
"Interlocutor"???? Is this some kind of joke? Who uses such words in phrasebook definitions? DCDuring TALK 20:18, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I literally just checked to make sure we don't have "my hovercraft is full of eels". People seem to have fun coming up with really inappropriate phrases to add to the phrasebook, so life is starting to imitate comedy. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:51, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

heat in the sense of "heater"

I added this sense. However I don't think it's that simple. It can't be used for heater in all cases. One can say:

  • "Could you turn on the heat ("heater")?"

But not:

  • "That building has a heat ("heater")." 16:52, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Does "heat" really mean "heater" in that first sentence, or is it actually being used as though "heat" were something abstract that you can turn on or off? —CodeCat 16:55, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
You can say "That building has heat." So I guess in this sense "heat" means something more like "heating" or "heating system". --WikiTiki89 17:03, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
It seems to work something like "the weather": it's either by itself or with "the", and both singular and plural constructions seem wrong. Just as you can talk about turning on the heat, you can talk about changing the weather (you can "turn on the weather", but that's really short for turning on the TV/Radio to view/listen to a weather report). Chuck Entz (talk) 17:13, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
@Wikitiki: "Since the power failed, they've had no heat" (very topical around the New York area recently) does not mean that they have no heating system. "I don't know why my building has no heat." (only said when there might be a need for it) suggests that this sense of heat is the result of the system, not the system itself.
@ChuckEntz: You are saying the word is uncountable, aren't you? It can certainly be used with much and not with many, which suggests uncountability. DCDuring TALK 18:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I think when it seems to refer to the heating system it is a metonymy. That it only seems to mean "heating system" in very restricted circumstances makes it misleading to give it a distinct sense as "heating system", IMO. DCDuring TALK 18:25, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
What about "I just had heat installed yesterday."? --WikiTiki89 09:23, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
We have the difficulty of using a countable definiens to define a term that seems to resist behaving countably in most senses. This problem has occurred before, without resolution. It would seem to be singular only in this sense. It certainly resists most determiners when referring to a system. Does it accept any determiners at all? If it doesn't, what does that say about it as a lexical item? To me it seems like clear evidence of metonomy. DCDuring TALK 13:06, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
It definitely accepts the and possessive determiners (my, etc.). It might accept uncountable quantifiers (much, some, etc.) in some cases. It definitely does not accept a and is never plural. --WikiTiki89 13:22, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
In the "heater/heating system" sense, I don't think it accepts the quantifiers, but yes I wasn't thinking of the possessives and articles, which it clearly does. Don't other terms have senses that behave this way: gas (heating and cooking fuel), cable, internet, water, perhaps backup and access. I think that it comes up in cases where folks are very aware of the (uncountable) result and the means by which the individual person, organization, or location gains that result is of less salience or is beyond the speaker's ken. —This unsigned comment was added by DCDuring (talkcontribs) at 14:33, 12 November 2012.
TV is definitely one, as is any kind of service (room service, etc.). And there is another import determiner that they definitely do accept: no. --WikiTiki89 14:46, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
"Can we have some heat in here? I'm cold!" "We need more heat- I'm still freezing!" Chuck Entz (talk) 15:56, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I am hypothesizing for all similar terms that there are two senses, one (uncountable) for the result (or the ability to achieve the result), the other (singular only) for the durable equipment (including connection and/or authorization) that enables the result. I guess that it is quantifiers that the singular-only sense does not accept in many cases. DCDuring TALK 16:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) There's also "music", as in "I'll put on some music", or "Can you turn up the music? I can barely hear it!". Not to mention various kinds of programming in the media: "Could you turn on the news? I want to hear the weather." It seems like a special type of mass noun that includes both the amorphous something, and the means by which it's produced or obtained. I suppose it might be explainable by metonymy, but it doesn't feel like either is derived from the other. It reminds me of particle physics: an electron can behave as either a wave or as a particle, depending on what test you use. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:25, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Note that "air" for "air conditioner" is similar. And we have that sense at air. You can say "could you turn on the air?", but you can speak of *"an air (air conditioner)" and it can't be pluralized. Shoof (talk) 22:06, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
If it were always "air (conditioner)" it would be different, I think: mere elision. But I think people use it mean "ventilation system": "The air goes off in my building at 8PM." But it raises an interesting point, how much of this is due to using a mass noun attributively in a noun phrase with a countable head and then eliding the countable head? It still seems limited to a subset of such instances, however. DCDuring TALK 23:16, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I've readded the "heating" sense of "heat". Since it does exist, it should be mentioned on the heat page. Have the "air conditioning" sense at air, but not having the "heating" sense at heat is inconsistent. "Could you turn on the air?" and "Could you turn on the heat?" refer to the air conditioner and heater. If it is misleading it should be modified, not removed. Shoof (talk) 20:22, 13 November 2012 (UTC)


fr.wikt lists it as invariable, but all of its usage examples are inflected. I am assuming that it is traditionally invariable but many people still inflect it, can anyone confirm this? And do we have a French adjective template for "usually invariable"? --WikiTiki89 09:28, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Everything is explained in fr:casher: you're right, it's traditionally invariable, but an official recommendation is that it should be variable. Lmaltier (talk) 19:39, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Admitedly, it doesn't work very well when half the examples on the page are variable (or look like they are: "cashère" is one of the innumerable invariable spellings too!) Circeus (talk) 17:22, 6 December 2012 (UTC)


Can someone check what (talk) has been doing? At the very least, the definition "written spells" needs to be changed to something less ambiguous. --WikiTiki89 13:26, 12 November 2012 (UTC)


An IP removed the Serbo-Croatian definitions and substituted a new one, loess. I reverted the change, but it seems that judging from the interwiki links at w:Loess, their definition may be correct too. Can a SC expert shed some light on this? —CodeCat 20:00, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes, Serbo-Croatian les/лес can also mean loess. —Stephen (Talk) 20:38, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Added loess as a new definition to the Ekavian form. The Ijekavian lijes/лијес doesn't have this meaning. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 21:59, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I think it probably belongs under a separate etymology, though. It seems like it is a German loanword. Or is the loess-sense also from Proto-Slavic, and German borrowed it from there? Or a coincidence? —CodeCat 23:44, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh yes you're right. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:52, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Could someone reformat please? I'm not too comfortable with entries with multiple etymologies. Not sure about levels. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:53, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I have changed it now. I don't know if the genders, declension or pronunciation are the same for both, so someone will have to check that. —CodeCat 00:12, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Gender and pronunciation are the same but I removed the declension. Not sure about SH but in Russian native words and loanwords often differ in forming plurals, declension and stress patterns for the inflected forms. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:35, 13 November 2012 (UTC)


I am almost positive this is spelled wrong and even more so that it shouldn't use ligatures. The problem is, I don't know what the right way to spell it is. I'm fairly sure it is like this: ג(׳)(א)ודי(א)ו־איספאניי(א)ול. But I don't know which א's to keep and which to not and I don't know how necessary the chupchik is. Do we have anyone that knows anything about Ladino orthography beyond what is written on Wikipedia? --WikiTiki89 14:02, 13 November 2012 (UTC)


Does vaginal really rhyme with "final" in any accent? If so, why do the pronunciations given in the entry not reflect this? - -sche (discuss) 22:02, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Does the first UK IPA have a typo in it? It says /vəˈdʒʌɪnəl/ but it should be /vəˈdʒaɪnəl/. I don't even know what /ʌɪ/ represents. It still sounds weird to me, I only say /ˈvædʒɪnəl/. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:12, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Some UK dictionaries use /ʌɪ/ for what we call /aɪ/. It's not a typo, it's just not our practice. And yes, /vəˈdʒaɪnəl/ is a common pronunciation (maybe the most common one) in Britain. —Angr 23:18, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Notably the OED now uses /ʌɪ/, because in fact [ʌɪ] is what most people in Britain actually say. [aɪ] is the old-fashioned RP pronunciation. I tend to use /ʌɪ/ for ‘UK’ pronunciations. Ƿidsiþ 15:57, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes it does, in my accent and most UK accents I would have said. For instance, famously: [1]. Ƿidsiþ 16:00, 16 November 2012 (UTC)


This entry is not extreme example of a problem with many taxonomic names entries: they don't convey very much useful information on the page itself. The page is something of an exercise in taxon morphology. In this case the stem portun- is repeated four times, six if you include the project links. The sole useful word for defining is the word "crab", which is a word almost all English speakers have been exposed to. In some cases the word corresponding to "crab" isn't even in the definition: it might say "the portunids". The etymology is often uninstructive as it links to a genus page, which may itself not have, the next level up on the taxonomic tree may be a quite uninstructive, unfamiliar taxonomic name.

Possible remedies include, of course, fuller definition. Unfortunately the defining elements of many taxonomic terms is not at all obvious or instructive to a casual observer. Mentioning specific members of the taxonomic genus or higher as the definition can convey a misleading impression of the overall meaning of the term. The same is true for pictures. An alternative, more in the spirit of taxonomy, is to have large lists of hyponyms (one level) and hypernyms (all the way to some relatively familiar term like Mammalia). Finally, one can simply value the entry as a link to more substantively satisfying sources on information, both within Wiktionary and in other projects (WP, Wikipecies, and Commons).

Inevitably there will be some principle of good lexicographic entry design violated by any general approach to this. At the level of species it is relatively easy to make a good entry. Definition and photography are very helpful. A full set of hypernyms put the species in context. At the genus level sometimes it is easy, but the general problems start to appear. It is at higher levels that the problem is bad and gets steadily worse.

Any opinions, preferences, ideas, or miscellaneous comments welcome. DCDuring TALK 17:12, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

This is one reason why I don't think Wiktionary should bother with taxonomic terms. They are really more encyclopedic than dictionary material. Perhaps adding images would help though? --WikiTiki89 18:42, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
There have been times when I shared that opinion and I may yet again.
I haven't added very many, lately mostly those for species whose genomes are being sequenced. We already had thousands of taxonomic names, mostly at the genus and species level. I am mostly interested in seeing whether they can be improved. The highest priority IMO for new taxonomic entries is for those that are in the definiens of normal-language terms, where they can often help to disambiguate definitions. There are some items of interest in the etymology of genus names, where the ingenuity and creativity of biologists provides some interesting puzzles: How did they come up with that name?
We also have amazingly lame entries for "English" terms like portunid.
Pictures provide ostensive definitions for species and subspecies and sometimes genera. They really only provide visual interest for most entries at higher levels such as Portunidae.
Yet another approach is to use some kind of template that provides some kind of topical categorization and a visual clue about what broad type of living thing the entry refers to. WP has plenty of those. DCDuring TALK 20:05, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
@Wikitiki: I have added an image and hyponyms (some of which I have improved) and replaced portunid with swimming crabs (SoP?) and some differentia. The hyponyms shown often contain some information that serves as differentia from the taxon at the next higher level and thus supplement the explicit definition in the entry. Do the additions help or does the entry remain useless? DCDuring TALK 20:01, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
@DCDuring Yes, that's much better. Now I know it's some family of crabs, while before it was all just meaningless words. --WikiTiki89 09:05, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

All terms, including taxonomic terms, have an etymology, a sense, etc. Here, the etymology is the genus Portunus. I don't understand how a term may be more encyclopedic than dictionary material (of course, page contents must be encyclopedic in Wikipedia, and must be linguistic here). Lmaltier (talk) 22:24, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

@Lmaltier It would take a long debate for me to explain and I'm not up for it since I know I'd lose. --WikiTiki89 09:05, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

-s, 's and s': Biassed or lacking?

H3llo! I have three lines of inquiry about this site's handling of s suffixes:

  • I've noticed that the -s definition has no information regarding that suffix's use on years, such as 1960s, nor acronyms. It seems to me that Wiktionary is lacking a counter to the 's use in this regard. Is there a reason for this?
  • Is it just me and my personal preferences, or is the 's definition biassed towards using it as a pluralization? For example, in the following quote I question the use of "some":

“The use of ’s to form plurals of initialisms or numerals is not recommended by some authorities...”

  • My concern with s' is much the same my concern with -s.

I ask to hopefully make certain possible future edits productive. :) Starfleet Academy (talk) 08:47, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

I can answer this in a general sense: Wiktionary's primary job is to record how people do, in fact, use the language, and not to make stylistic usage recommendations (which necessarily vary by district and time period). So we try to keep Usage Notes sections brief and for essential information only. That said, there's no reason why you couldn't add something to the page if you wanted to specify that S is often used to pluralise numbers and initialisms but that some usage guides don't recommend it. As for bias, I don't understand what your problem is with the quote exactly – do you think it should be ‘all�’, or ‘none’? Because I have books which recommend both, so..... Ƿidsiþ 09:08, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I know the generalized bit, hence my query still stands: Why aren't the alternatives noted? However, you have answered this... With the bias thing, I suppose that I'm saying that it could be worded better, and less ambiguously. For example, "There are authorities that recommend against the use of 's to form plurals." To me it it currently sounds like those in favour of apostrophe s are in the majority. Which, from some light research, I've found to be largely untrue — even in North America. ;) Starfleet Academy (talk) 09:29, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
What sources are you using to form your conclusions? I personally have great respect for the systematic efforts of the Garner usage-information factory:
  • 2009, Bryan A. Garner, Garner's Modern American Usage, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press:
    When referring to decades, most professional writers today omit the apostrophe: hence, 2010s instead of 2010's. That's the dominant style (although The New York Times uses the apostrophe).
DCDuring TALK 13:48, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
... so would it be in order to say "most authorities" rather than "some authorities" [omit the apostrophe]? Dbfirs 14:27, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
It would be fine with me, perhaps "most authorities currently seem..." to emphasize the non-definitive nature of our pronouncements. Perhaps we could do a little research among more recent editions of the "authoritative" style guides (AP, Chicago, APA, MLA, NYT, etc). My selection probably has a US bias. A couple of UK guides, perhaps something from Canada, ANZ, India to supplement them? DCDuring TALK 16:25, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
@DC: I use university hand-outs to form my judgements. I didn't know that this site was so based on what ordinary people use over what is formal. Personally, I don't care. People can get it wrong, and isn't this the EN Wiktionary not the US Wiktionary? I'm completely biassed of course, mainly since I cannot understand the use of apostrophe s in these situations. Btw, I'm Australian and anything printed here would be the same as the UK, thus I'd guesstimate that Aussies don't use the apostrophe s on acronyms or numerical decades. :)
@Dbfirs: I wasn't game to go that far, but thanks for agreeing with me. ;) Starfleet Academy (talk) 04:21, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
University handouts do not tell you what is correct, they tell you what style your institution prefers. This is not a matter of anyone "getting it wrong". Ƿidsiþ 08:30, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I've adjusted the usage note along the lines of DC's suggestion. If someone comes up with current style guides that recommend "2010's" etc, then I'd be happy to change it back, but the usage makes me ask "what do they own?" whenever I see it! Dbfirs 13:43, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

redox and redox reaction

Right now we have both of these defined as synonyms. If a redox reaction is a reaction involving redox, yet redox and redox reaction have synonymous definitions, then I imagine our definition of redox is really wrong. I'm not sure if it even is a noun, it seems more like a bound morpheme similar to auto-. —CodeCat 22:49, 16 November 2012 (UTC)


Hi, all could you please delete this page which is a wrong translitteration of angiqqaqtuq. For the moment I made a redirection to ᐊᖏᖅᑲᖅᑐᖅ the correct one. Thanks a lot. Unsui (talk) 12:08, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

extended meaning of "itch"

When someone talks of a "seven year itch" what is the meaning of "itch" in this context? I think we should add this metaphorical sense to our current entry. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:38, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

I would think that sense 2 includes it. DCDuring TALK 04:36, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Desire/want? Sounds pretty ambiguous to me. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:45, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
MWOnline has "a restless usually constant often compulsive desire".


The sense "A beautiful woman" is currently marked as Jamaican slang, but it's also used outside Jamaica, isn't it? I've heard "she's a ten" on US and IIRC UK TV shows. For that matter, it's also used of men... all the numbers are used, without regard to sex. So would it be better to remove the "Jamaica" tag and expand the sense to include men, and add similar senses to the other numbers 1-9, or to regard the elision/metaphor as something a dictionary shouldn't handle? (Alternatively, if you subscribe to the philosophy some expressed in a recent RFDO discussion, it's not misleading that a sense used elsewhere is tagged only "Jamaica", and things are OK as-is.) - -sche (discuss) 05:07, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

I would say that this is something a dictionary shouldn't handle. But no one's going to agree with me. --WikiTiki89 08:16, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Isn't it a subset of sense four "A superb specimen" anyway - with both being short for "ten out of ten" Furius (talk) 11:58, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that we can really say that this is an ellipsis for any specific expression, rather than that it depends on the hearer/reader understanding the 10-point rating scale. I've never been happy with calling this kind of thing an ellipsis, though I have done so in several entries.
I think that this is used sufficiently often that it warrants inclusion as a subsense of sense four or at least as an "especially" there. I hope rewording to make it sexual-preference-free doesn't make it too cumbersome for a dictionary. Some artfulness of wording is definitely needed. DCDuring TALK 13:37, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
I've taken a stab at rewording an recontextualising it. - -sche (discuss) 16:28, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
That looks good. But doesn't the rating-scale context belong at the sense level, not at the subsense? DCDuring TALK 22:04, 28 November 2012 (UTC)


Was discussing the plural of jack-in-the-box with a friend, I said it was jack-in-the-boxes and she said jacks-in-the-box. Seems that both are attestable, is one more common or considered more standard than the other? Basically, I can't be arse to do the research myself. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:36, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

I've never seen multiple jacks in one box, but, like you, I'll wait for others to do the research. Dbfirs 09:28, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
There are also "jacks-in-boxes" and "jacks-in-the-boxes". - -sche (discuss) 16:36, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
They all look silly to me, so I would avoid the controversy by writing of multiple "jack-in-the-box" toys. Dbfirs 22:42, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

promiscuous and libertine ?

Good evening,

I am wondering if these two terms are synonyms. Thank you, --Fsojic (talk) 19:44, 21 November 2012 (UTC)


Do we have a word in English equivalent to desgüeyar "to remove the eyes of"? uneye, disoculate and deeyeify unfortunately aren't words. --Adding quotes (talk) 22:11, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

To "gouge someone's eye(s) out". Nothing I can think of that's a single word. --WikiTiki89 22:19, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
One might derive something from the surgical term oculectomy, but that probably doesn't meet CFI itself. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:40, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
enucleate. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:41, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I use exoculate. Jeremy Jigglypuff Jones (talk) 15:56, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Ocular enucleation is the removal of the eyeball, leaving the adjacent structures of the eye socket and eyelids intact. Ocular exenteration is the removal of everything in the eye socket, including muscles and eyelids. —Stephen (Talk) 16:33, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Is there a Spanish cognate for this word? DTLHS (talk) 16:46, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Normally to "put out" someone's eyes. Ƿidsiþ 16:51, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

brownfield as two words?

Is brownfield sometimes spelled brown field? RJFJR (talk) 17:05, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

I tried to google for "brown field" but I got too many hits on things that I wasn't looking for, like it seemed to be finding brownfield even though I used quotes and a space. Thank you for checking for me. RJFJR (talk) 23:51, 22 November 2012 (UTC)


Is it more common/correct to say "paparazzi" or "the paparazzi"? E.g. in the sentence, "The paparazzi are prone to sensationalise the stories of celebrities." ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:14, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

The latter seems far more natural to me. Furius (talk) 10:54, 24 November 2012 (UTC)


Is this plural form accommodations "correct"? It sounds wrong to my ears, but I may be mistaken. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:24, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Too many doubled letters? It's fine. DCDuring TALK 23:35, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
I've changed the tag on the first definition to "mass noun" since it is (almost?) never used in the plural with this sense. For the countable senses, it's fine, as DC says. Dbfirs 13:08, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

I can't even

I came across this phrase in several sites and I wonder if this would be acceptable here as an article. This seems to be an ellipsis for « I can't even breathe » (hence the missing last word), usually in cases of fangirling (don't ask me where I found this, ok ?). Dakdada (talk) 16:36, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Well, I have never come across it. It is, of course, virtually impossible to search for on Google. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:41, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Not as far as I know, unless you can say where you found it I don't think we can help. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:43, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
There seems to be quite a lot a it among the « I can't even [breathe/think/another-verb] » on Twitter like this, this or this. These can only be found manually I guess. Dakdada (talk) 16:52, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh yeah, and there is this entry in Urban dictionary. Dakdada (talk) 16:54, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
It's definitely Internet slang (I'm personally more used to seeing "I can't" alone), of the type that you're more likely to see in reaction pics (e.g.) or (hash)tags than prose. See also asdfghjkl. Circeus (talk) 17:16, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
The Greeks had two words for two rhetorical devices that I think this exemplifies: adynaton and aposiopesis. I think it is a matter for stylistics, not semantics. DCDuring TALK 19:54, 6 December 2012 (UTC)


Supposedly "one who is pompous", but it seems to be a meaningless noise word in the first citation (the original song) and has no clear meaning in the third. Equinox 21:56, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Los Angeles Magazine had an article that finds an earlier coinage than the Steve Miller song. It makes it seem even more of a fanciful, poetic invention. I find a lot more mention than use of this. I wonder if this isn't a citations-only term. Can {{only in}} be made to serve this? DCDuring TALK 23:39, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

"call time" or "call time on"

Good day. I've started call time but the phrase is chiefly used with "on" (smth/smn.) so maybe it should've been instead started as call time on. I'm unsure. Cheers, --CopperKettle (talk) 08:45, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

  • I've added what I believe to be the normal use of the term (i.e. the landlord of a pub typically calling out "Time, gentlemen, please" to anounce that you have to drink up and leave the pub.). I believe that derives from that. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:53, 27 November 2012 (UTC)


Noun: "someone who is wealthy." It seems to me misleading to call this a noun, but "the [optional modifiers] affluent" is a common nominal and the plural exists. There is no change in sense from the adjective sense.

It does not behave much like a noun for most speakers, resisting almost all determiners (at least, to my ear). Is this just an adjective in an advanced state of transition to being a widely accepted noun? Does anyone else share my view of most use of this (except with the) as being somehow wrong and worth a usage note? DCDuring TALK 23:15, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

It seems to be used mainly to indicate subgroups in studies, like insureds and marrieds. Equinox 16:42, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
It makes me think it is a grammatical feature of adjectives that, given the right context, members of some large semantic class of them (the "nominalizables") can be used as nouns. DCDuring TALK 22:11, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
I tentatively believe that attestably common modification by a or one (singular), many (plural) [or much (uncountable) ?] is a sufficient test for putting an English term that is commonly an adjective into the noun class as well. (Other determiners may work as well.) I'd love to see other tests, especially ones that more of less coincide with the treatment of such words in other dictionaries and, to a lesser extent, with our intuitions.
In this case, I don't find an affluent or many affluents. I do very rarely find many affluent. That it does not inflect as a normal noun would seem telling to me.
I think use with the is possible for almost all adjectives. Unless there is a change in sense I don't think that it adds anything to a dictionary to essentially duplicate the adjective senses in a noun section to cover this fused-head use. DCDuring TALK 01:36, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
(sociology) or (demographics)? Circeus (talk) 17:12, 6 December 2012 (UTC)


A word that apparently describes how forested a region is; I had thought "forestedness" would be a good translation, but this word is a red link and apparently doesn't exist in English -- or does it? If it doesn't, how would you translate this nice Latvian word into English for the eponymous entry and examples? Thanks in advance! --Pereru (talk) 12:27, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

woodedness exists in reasonable number, at least in the world of books. Forestedness might be attestable, but is much, much less common and seems awkward to my ear. DCDuring TALK 12:45, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I think in these cases it is better to just define the word rather than finding a perfect translation. --WikiTiki89 12:56, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
In the example sentence given in the entry, I'd translate it with "forest cover". —Angr 13:07, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that "state" of being wooded covers the usage example. It is not substitutable into that example. Although the word wooded includes "state" in its definition it also includes "degree" which is clearly required in a large fraction of the Google books hits for woodedness. DCDuring TALK 15:29, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Funny, my (non-native) ears felt "forestedness" sounded better than anything based on "wood" (words like "woodedness" made me think of wood the substance, not wood the set of trees). This clearly shows that it's better to go to native speakers for this kind of information. Thanks a lot for the improvement. (I'll bet that a number of my translations / definitinos, as well as example translations, would need similar improvements; if any of you guys feels the need to explore Latvian, I hope you'll find the words and translation doesn't sound more like engrish than English and correct them! Thanks! --Pereru (talk) 18:19, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Quite understandable. Woodenness seems to usually play that other role.
Feel free to ask. But the first thing to do is make sure that you don't use English terms that are marked rare, obsolete, or archaic. I think we should have a bot look for such words being used in the definiens in all definitions, but especially those for non-English terms. DCDuring TALK 22:19, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
"Forest coverage" seems to be the term used. e.g. in The Guardian. SemperBlotto (talk) 22:32, 28 November 2012 (UTC)


I'm sure I've missed some information from this entry. Etymology, certainly, and as it's a thorny subject, I'd appreciate someone who expert to check it over. --Repasando (talk) 23:08, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm not an expert, but I found some problems, though not just with your entry:
Arabic writing only corresponds very roughly to English, so the spelling is all over the map. We already have an entry under fedayee, and fedayi looks citable as well. A good argument could be made for the most accurate transliteration being feda'i, but that seems to be much more rare. Complicating things further is the fact that the term has been borrowed into Armenian, Farsi and Hebrew, and the forms from each of those languages have made at least limited inroads into English.
Usage is also all over the map about what the singular and plural forms are. The form you see most in the news is fedayeen, which is a plural used for the militants collectively, and for their organizations. I've seen the singular used as if it were a plural and the plural used as if it were a singular, in various spellings. I guess it sounds more exotic to use the same form for both, but Arabic does have both the singular and plural.
I'm not great at Arabic, but the Arabic cited in the etymology for fedayee doesn't match the Arabic in the Wikipedia article, so one of them may be wrong.
More relevant to your entry, I think the definition at fedayee is closer to the mark: the part about being willing to die for the cause is more the etymology of the term than its current definition- it mostly just refers to irregular militant/guerilla forces in Arabic-speaking countries and/or the Middle East (see w:Fedayeen).
I personally would have made fidayee an alt-form entry of fedayee, and possibly (depending on how we treat such cases) made fedayeen the lemma, since that's what most people will encounter, but at the very least they should cross-reference to each other. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:41, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

tricking herself forth

A quote from "Moby Dick": "She was a thing of trophies. A cannibal of a craft, tricking herself forth in the chased bones of her enemies. "

Does "tricking" here means "creating the image" (as in heraldry)? --CopperKettle (talk) 17:24, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't think so. One (old) meaning of the verb "to trick" is "to adorn" (the OED says of this sense "Often strengthened with up, off, out" - but "forth" seems to fit.) SemperBlotto (talk) 17:45, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you! The heraldic term is possibly a relic of the old sense. --CopperKettle (talk) 04:18, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Malay dos

Can someone who knows Malay confirm that this edit is correct? I suspect that at best, the new definition should be added to the old definition rather than the old definition being deleted, but I can't know for sure since I don't know the language and don't have a dictionary. —Angr 06:33, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Northern Sami

Hello all, just to say that I think it's a very bad idea to indicate the 3rd degree of the consonantal alternation in the word itself like for eal'li instead of ealli. In fact, it is a conventional gimmick used only in dictionnaries to indicate at what type of alternation belongs the word. You never meet the word written like that in litterature for exemple. It's like the little * found sometimes in french dictionnaries to indicate that the word is a feminine one. In the french wkt, we don't mention that in the word but only in the description. See ealli for exemple (moreover, it's more obvious if you put down the declension of the word). Anyway, few words are concerned. What do you think about that ? Kind regards. Unsui (talk) 10:25, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Numerous exemples anywhere : Guovža lea issoras ealli : the bear is an awful animal. Unsui (talk) 21:22, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

,::The best thing to do would be to ask other users listed at Category:User se, and see what they have to say. If they don't respond, then you can make whatever decision you think is best. Whatever decision you make, please record it at WT:About Northern Sami (you can model that page off WT:About French). If you are going to move articles, use the 'Move' feature on the dropdown tab just to the left of the search bar and then put {{delete}} on the redirects left behind at the old spellings so that an administrator knows to delete them. Thanks! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:39, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your answer. I am going to follow what you recommend to do. kr. Unsui (talk) 22:04, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
I've pointed Jyril (who created the entry in question) towards this discussion. - -sche (discuss) 22:03, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I admit I am not familiar with the standard written form of the word. If you know this form is not correct, please don't hesitate to move it. --Jyril (talk) 08:28, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Selvä on, paljon kiitoksia. I am going to rename these few words. Unsui (talk) 11:10, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
May someone correct the english and the format of these entries ealli and WT:About Northern Sami before I process with the few remaining to be done ? Unsui (talk) 13:03, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
I've taken a stab at it. As for redirects, might it be better to keep them so that people searching for the apostophised spellings will find the entries? - -sche (discuss) 16:53, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, may be. I see no disadvantage since that is clearly written down now in WT:About Northern Sami that the main entry is without '. That'll allow the link with the dictionnaries' entries. And also, thanks for your corrections. Unsui (talk) 20:49, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Would it make sense to use eal'li as the displayed form, like we do with macrons in many languages or accent marks in Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Lithuanian? —CodeCat 20:59, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't know well : ' is used here only for grammatical purpose not to indicate a stress or a phonological mark. (' doesn't belong to the alphabet defined by the committee for the standardization of sami languages). In the dictionnaries and especially in word lists, it was thought that it was a convenient way to indicate a 3rd alternation which is, without that, virtually alike the second one. That served to guess the related declension : For example le pluriel de ealli (3rd al.) is eallit whereas the plural of guolli (2nd al.) is guolit. On the other hand, in this wikt, we have the chance to be able to indicate the declension of the word so it would be clear to see at which alternation the word belongs (sorry for my english...) From that, I think you are more adept than I to know what to do. For my part, I just wish the entry without ' created to agree with what is seen in texts and allow interwiki links. I hope that helps you. -:) Unsui (talk) 21:49, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
How is this? ealli The entry is named ealli but it shows the word as eal'li. —CodeCat 22:21, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Hum... It was better before. What I'd proposed : an article named ealli with a note inside and another one eal'li with just a redirection to the former where the note will explain the pupose of the redirection. So one could find the word from any sami text as well as from another dictionnary. If we keep eal'li, it is important to explain somewhere why this form exist simultaneously with ealli. In the french wikt, for the moment, we opted for keeping only ealli with a note and the related declension. But it's not mandatory to do the same thing here. Unsui (talk) 10:10, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
Presumably once wiktionary has a declension chart template for Northern Sami, it won't be necessary to indicate alternation in the headword? Furius (talk) 11:00, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. Unsui (talk) 12:21, 4 December 2012 (UTC)