Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2008 August 21

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August 21[edit]

Indonesian names[edit]

moved from the misc desk Julia Rossi (talk) 03:48, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

In Indonesia, is the name "Fery" typically the name for a male or a female? ike9898 (talk) 21:12, 20 August 2008 (UTC) By my knowledge of Indonesian culture I would assume male, but it could easily be either. Avnas Ishtaroth drop me a line 01:12, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

According to this website, "it is 1.929 times more common for Fery to be a girl's name." I have no idea where this site gets its statistics, though.--El aprendelenguas (talk) 22:41, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
But not in Indonesian, where it is decidedly a man's name. (I asked my Indonesian partner.) Bessel Dekker (talk) 12:29, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

English word that evokes a medieval doctor?[edit]

What English word can I use to mean a medieval-style physician or doctor? I'm looking for an English word that evokes things like leeches, black death, blood letting, digging up and dissecting cadavers to learn about anatomy, etc.

I was able to find these middle english terms:

  • leche [1]
  • leech (modern spelling) [2]
  • medicin [3]
  • mediciner [4]
  • doctour [5]
  • phisicien [6]
  • practisoure [7]

but i'm not sure if one of these really evokes the whole plague, bloodletting and morbid medieval image of a doctor...? When I hear leech, as a modern English speaker, i think of the animal and not of a medieval doctor.--Sonjaaa (talk) 05:39, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Apothecary, perhaps. Or barber surgeon? -- JackofOz (talk) 06:13, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Those are cool suggestions but not exactly what i'm looking for. Apothecary is more like a pharmacist/chemist, and barber surgeon more like a field surgeon or combat medic.
Have you checked on what Shakespeare calls them? That would likely be the most evocative term, he pretty much nailed all the other good turns of phrase. Franamax (talk) 07:28, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
"Chirurgeon" is a pretty classic word. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 11:22, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Humours appeals to a pre-modern conception of the body while it isn't specifically medieval.--droptone (talk) 11:57, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
How about a physick, as in "If the humours disrupt, you must sell the calf, and send word to bring the physick." The word refers more to what the practitioner does, rather than the practitioner himself. Chirurgeon refers usually to a surgeon (slicing and dicing), apothecary to pharmacy, barber again to minor surgery. Physician I'm not sure about, but I think it's a more 'scientific' version (i.e. hippocratic) of a 'doctor', who I think might have had more of a reputation as a quack and something of a cross between a herbalist and an alchemist. These are to be taken with a grain of salt - they're observances I've made from reading non-reliable sources (i.e. historical fiction, popular non-fiction). If you're writing in a medieval fantasy world, rather than ours, you have a bit more leeway. Oh, and on a picky note, Shakespearian references aren't quite medieval. The renaissance had begun to bring about better methods by then. 130.56.65.25 (talk) 00:23, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
a coock :) herbalist, medicine man/woman, witch, surgeon, midwife, chemist,Omahapubliclibrary (talk) 03:40, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I would have said "leech" -- assuming the context is sufficient, it wouldn't be at all confusing, IMO. Apothecary carries, for me, the connotations of medicine-making and dispensing, not diagnosis or surgery. 71.231.197.110 (talk) 07:29, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Chaucer certainly had a phisicien for one of his Tale Tellers, and according to SOED, an alternative ME spelling was fisicien. Bessel Dekker (talk) 01:47, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Hospitallers (for those associated with a Hospital obviously) or Sawbones? TheMathemagician (talk) 22:45, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

A phrase in the The Da Vinci Code[edit]

There was this French phrase in The Da Vinci Code which was used by Shophie when recalling how her grandfather Jacques Sauniere used to design elaborate tests for her to pass before she got any gifts. I remember that in that context the two word (I think) phrase meant getting information or prizes by proving one's worthiness for it. I can't seem to find my copy of the book nor can I come up with a good enough search string to get the answer. Can someone help me out here? --59.96.200.243 (talk) 07:51, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Let's see if I am worthy. We know that Christ had twelve apostles. There are five paintings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Louvre. But there is only one Holy Grail. 5-1=4 and 4x12=48, so it follows that the answer must be in Chapter 48. And indeed: ""That's where the keystone comes in," Langdon explained. "When one of the top four members died, the remaining three would choose from the lower echelons the next candidate to ascend as sénéchal. Rather than telling the new sénéchal where the Grail was hidden, they gave him a test through which he could prove he was worthy. Sophie looked unsettled by this, and Langdon suddenly recalled her mentioning how her grandfather used to make treasure hunts for her—preuves de mérite." DAVID ŠENEK 19:01, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, O wise David. For your labour, I confer upon you your androgynous star ;) --59.96.205.173 (talk) 08:08, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Libbie, Fudim[edit]

I finished doing q crytoquote of Libby Fudim in yesterday's newspaper. I wanted to find out more about her, who she is, and all I get is a quote after quote from all pages of the internet and nothing about her as a person.

Would you please provide a brief biography about her, since she appears to be a well-quoted person?

Jim Hirtle

<Email address redacted> —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.252.2.215 (talk) 13:48, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Google suggestion Libbie Fudim rather than "Libby, Fudim". We don't have an artilce, but if your research turns up anything interesting feel free to start one. Plasticup T/C 15:50, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Translation of "damnificadas"[edit]

I am researching an article on Hurricane Dean, and many of the best sources on its Mexican landfalls are in Spanish. Generally I can struggle my way through spanish-language newspapers, but this phrase is tripping me up: "Dean dejó a 61,408 personas damnificadas". Dean left 61,408 people injured or 61,408 people affected? It only killed 12, so 61,408 injuries seems excessive. Could it mean "affected" in the sense of those who evacuated, people with minor flood damage, and even people who had to rake their lawn afterwards? I (and my dictionary) thought that "damnificadas", when applied to people, meant "injured". Plasticup T/C 15:19, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Wiktionary, at least, suggests both injured and affected, and adds "victims" as a noun. [10] Fribbler (talk) 15:25, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, they are both definitions, but I was hoping that a native speaker could tell me what meaning the word takes in this particular sentence. Plasticup T/C 15:47, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
According to the DRAE[11], the authority on the Spanish language, damnificado means "(someone) who has suffered great pain of a collective character." I know that definition doesn't really satisfy your question, but for what it's worth, I think the word is somewhat like the word casualties in that, to many people like myself, it doesn't really have a concrete definition, meaning to me things like kidnapping, injured, missing in action, etc. I'm not suggesting casualties as a good translation; I'm just saying they're both interestingly vague to some readers.--El aprendelenguas (talk) 19:38, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
WordReference gives the translation "affected" in nearly the same context: [12]. Someoneinmyheadbutit'snotme (talk) 00:11, 22 August 2008 (UTC)