Wikipedia:Reference desk archive/Language/2006 August 11

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Meaning of a mantra[edit]

11 August 2006

Sir/Madam:

Somebody sent me a text saying it is a mantra - "Laxmi Devigeni Namo" Do you know what this means?

Thanks. ---- luz dg. galang email: %deleted%

See these answers. --LambiamTalk 01:50, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
The whole point of a mantra is that it's not supposed to mean anything at all. Whilever you focus on something that has a meaning to you, you're defeating the purpose of meditation, which is about clearing the conscious mind as far as possible. JackofOz 04:12, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Despite what you say, om mani padme hum does have lexical meaning(s). If he/she's curious, let him/her be curious. ;) --Kjoonlee 05:59, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

palatal fricative[edit]

Okay, this is kind of a weird question. If you try to make the [ʒ] or [ʃ] sound without actually touching the roof of the mouth, is the resluting sound a palatal fricative? KeeganB

They're certainly similar sounds though. - THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 07:12, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Nope, that would be a postalveolar approximant. Mo-Al 07:17, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, When I make that sound, it has a fricative quality. Any tips on how to make a genuine palatal fricative? I'm trying to make some adjustments to my Spanish pronounciaton.KeeganB

Many English speakers have a voiceless palatal fricative as the first consonant in words like huge and human. --Ptcamn 09:07, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah. If you make a Y sound(as in yellow) and constrict it more until there's some friction, that's a palatal fricative. But if that's too difficult you could always just pronounce <y> and <ll> as [ʒ], that way you'll be speaking Spanish of Río de la Plata. AEuSoes1 21:58, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

What's the name of this container?[edit]

What is the name of the large (approx. 50 cm), round, plastic container used for washing? For example, you can fill it with water and wash your feet in it, or you can dip a towel in and wash your face thoroughly. Here is a photo of it:

http://72.136.70.187/IMG_3963.JPG

--Bowlhover 07:06, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Hoverbowl? --LambiamTalk 07:22, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
In Korean, they're colloquially known as 다라 dara, but the "proper" word for it is 대야 daeya. I think "plastic basin" would be the closest term in English. --Kjoonlee 07:29, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
This one looks more like a ranarium.--Shantavira 07:31, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I'd have just called it a bowl. Isn't a ranarium like an aquarium for frogs? - THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 07:34, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
the first question is: do the people in the West use this thing? If they do, there should be a name for it. It is widely used in Asia (I use it everyday), but do the peopel in the West use it?--K.C. Tang 09:29, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I call it a wash tub. I use it for soaking my feet, washing stockings and dishes, and holding wash water when I hand-wash my floor. Anchoress 09:35, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
In Serbia its called "lavor". My dictionary suggests washbowl, laver or basin. --dcabrilo 12:19, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
We had a plastic basin like that when I was a kid, but we only ever used it when we were sick and had to thrown up (and so we called it a "barf bucket"). I saw it being used for soaking feet once, and I thought that was really weird, haha. Adam Bishop 17:27, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
"Barf bucket" it is! ;-) - THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 17:28, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Vomiting is bad enough, but projectile vomiting is "just beyond the pail". StuRat 19:23, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

I would say a wash basin in general, but, as shown in the pic, it appears to be used as a bird bath, or perhaps a toad bath. :-) StuRat 19:23, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the quick responses, everyone! I think I'll call it a "plastic basin" or "water basin". About whether this basin is used in the West: I'd be glad to know. I'm Chinese, and although I don't use the basin very much, I have many at my house. (By the way, the container is called "xi lian pen" in Chinese, literally translated as "face-washing container").
No, it's not common in the West (although it probably was before indoor plumbing). Sinks in the West have stoppers that allow them to retain water long enough to wash one's face, etc. Also, many people don't wash using a bowl of water, but rather take a shower or bath and then wash everything, including their face. StuRat 21:03, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Also, the plastic basin is not very commonly used to keep toads. :) I needed a temproary place to keep the toads I caught, so I used a water basin. --Bowlhover 07:47, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Since there isn't a top on it and toads can jump, I would think it would be an EXTREMELY temporary container for toads, LOL. StuRat 20:59, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
That's interesting, because in Korean, a daeya is called a sesutdaeya when you use it for washing your face. Sesu is literally 洗手, "wash hands," but it actually means "wash face." --Kjoonlee 10:30, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
The family Slumgum would call it a washing-up bowl.  Slumgum T. C.   23:45, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
On seeing this my first instinct is to call it a washpan. Basins are deeper. Something that particular size is likely to used in the West on a camping trip if at all.--Birgitte§β ʈ Talk 14:40, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
  • in Britain,a washing-up bowl,they were all this shape until plastic moulding got better and oblonge bowls to fit the sink began to be produced-hotclaws**==(82.138.214.1 15:17, 15 August 2006 (UTC))

quiz type question[edit]

it is an 13 letter word as -h-t---i--me- clues Doctors hate fishermen like children love to eat what it is—Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.227.133.67 (talkcontribs)

The closest single word I can find is "what's-his-name's", which isn't a perfect fit. Are you sure you have the letters right?--Shantavira 15:29, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Children love to eat it, so it's obviously some type of not too exotic food. Fishermen like it, so maybe it's a really big or rare fish...and doctors hate it so it must be unhealthy. I'm not sure. White-something, maybe whitebait-something? Could it be whitebait smelt? - THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 17:16, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
White Irishmen? White triremes? —Bkell (talk) 17:32, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Do children eat them? I've never heard of them. - THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 17:39, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
No, those are just words that fit __i__me_. Fishermen might like triremes, if they are warlike fishermen. Neither of my guesses is likely to be correct. —Bkell (talk) 19:21, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Ach, you never know: you might be right. Maybe it's a metaphor or something. - THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 19:53, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
It could be the something. Or what something, as in "what lies beneath". "That policemen" fits, but it's ungrammatical. —Bkell (talk) 19:58, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I've found quite an extensive list of 13-letter words in English. If anyone feels like going through the list, it's available at [1]. Daniel Šebesta (talkcontribs) 20:03, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
What's in it? Amen. —Bkell (talk) 20:04, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I found an answer with my mad Google skills, but it's a pretty strange answer. --LarryMac 20:06, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
As far as I can tell chathuringmes is not an existing word. --LambiamTalk 07:13, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
According to Yahoo Answers, the answer is Chaetognathas, i.e. "worms". However, this appears to be a pretty specific type of worm, and I'm not sure about the "children love to eat" part. --LarryMac 14:50, 12 August 2006 (UTC)


Could there be a combination of three different words? Like Doctors hate -h-t-, fishermen like --i-, children love -me-? Strange, indeed... 惑乱 分からん 11:31, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
  • bet it's the name of a fly-fishing lure,you know those tied from feathers and stuff-hotclaws**==(82.138.214.1 15:20, 15 August 2006 (UTC))


ITS ANSWER IS Chathuringmes ITS A NAME OF GUMMY WORMS ITS A PARASITE SO DOCTORS HATE IT AND FISHERMEN LOVES IT FOR CATCHING FISHES AND KIDS ALWAYS LOVES GUMS ;)

meaning of a word[edit]

hi i wonder if you could give me the meaning of the word 'e'rets

thank you greatly

sandy brown

In which language? In Hebrew, it would mean "land" or shorthand for "the land of Israel". --Dweller 14:54, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Though without the second apostrophe... Hebrew-alphabet spelling is ארץ . AnonMoos 00:53, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

IPA for Bomis[edit]

Could someone add an IPA to the article Bomis? It rhymes with "Thomas". Add this ref... <ref>[http://www.bomis.com/about/bomis_faq.html Bomis FAQ]</ref>, please. -- Zanimum 17:14, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Think I've got it... - THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 17:25, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
This is the problem with using IPA: it's too specific. Pace the Bomis FAQ, I don't think it rhymes with Thomas in all accents. This transcription is only accurate for those with the weak vowel merger. --Ptcamn 01:35, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't really know what the IPA for Thomas is anyway. Can't we just write "rhymes with Thomas" instead? -- THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 07:09, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
"rhymes with promise" would probably be better. --Ptcamn 07:38, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
But the ref says "rhymes with Thomas". Is there any point having the ref in there then? -- THE GREAT GAVINI {T|C|#} 15:34, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, all! -- Zanimum 17:16, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Specific and general[edit]

How would you describe the relationship between the concepts of "poem" and "poetry"? They both refer to the same basic concept, but in different scope. (Clearly, a poem is an example of poetry, but not vice versa.)

I'm specifically asking, because I'm wondering about the proper way to express this relationship in Esperanto. Is this the same as the "-ado" suffix? --π! 20:43, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

A poem is a specific piece of verse. Poetry is the general group of poems. It is similar to the distinction between a story and literature. I would guess that it is grammatically the difference between a concrete and an abstract noun. —Daniel (‽) 20:46, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Concrete and abstract - that's exactly what I was looking for. Does anyone know if there's a rule for abstracting nouns in Esperanto? --π! 21:17, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Though there may be a rule, I'm not sure if it applies for "poem" and "poetry". Poem is simply "poemo", and poetry is "poezio" (poetic is "poezia"), so the words have different roots!  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  17:22, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I think you could describe it as th formation of an abstract noun as described above. Most languages have a clear way of doing this (English has a confusing array of different ways to do it). In Syriac, for example, the word malkā means 'king', and malkutā means 'kingdom', and this '-utā' ending is common in the formation of abstract nouns. — Gareth Hughes 17:50, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Small nitpick. A poem is an item of poerty. Neither is neccesarily "verse" (ie prose poem) and there also can be items of verse which are not poems (ie dramatic verse)--Birgitte§β ʈ Talk 15:14, 14 August 2006 (UTC)