Etymology
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bath (n.)

Old English bæð "an immersing of the body in water, mud, etc.," also "a quantity of water, etc., for bathing," from Proto-Germanic *badan (source also of Old Frisian beth, Old Saxon bath, Old Norse bað, Middle Dutch bat, German Bad), from PIE root *bhē- "to warm" + *-thuz, Germanic suffix indicating "act, process, condition" (as in birth, death). The etymological sense is of heating, not immersing.

The city in Somerset, England (Old English Baðun) was so called from its hot springs. Bath salts is attested from 1875 (Dr. Julius Braun, "On the Curative Effects of Baths and Waters"). Bath-house is from 1705; bath-towel is from 1958.

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vapour (n.)

chiefly British English spelling of vapor; see -or.

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sitz-bath (n.)

"hip-bath," also a tub adapted for such a bath, 1849, a hybrid from German Sitzbad, literally "bath in a sitting position," from German sitzen (see sit (v.)) with English bath for cognate German Bad.

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bird-bath (n.)

also birdbath, "small basin filled with water, placed in a garden, etc. for wild birds to drink from and bathe in," 1862, from bird (n.1) + bath (n.).

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cat-bath (n.)

"hurried or partial cleaning," 1935, from cat (n.) + bath (n.). Cat-lick in this sense is from 1892; Middle English had cat-likked "licked clean." 

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mud-bath (n.)

"mud transfused with saline or other ingredients at mineral springs, into which patients suffering from rheumatism, etc., immerse themselves," 1798, from mud (n.) + bath (n.).

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bathrobe (n.)

also bath-robe, "robe worn before or after taking a bath," 1894, from bath (n.) + robe (n.).

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stew (n.)

c. 1300, "vessel for cooking," from stew (v.). Later "heated room," especially for bathing (late 14c.). The meaning "stewed meat with vegetables" is first recorded 1756. The obsolete slang meaning "brothel" (mid-14c., usually plural, stews) is from a parallel sense of "public bath house" (mid-14c.), carried over from Old French estuve "bath, bath house; bawdy house," reflecting the reputation of medieval bath houses.

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bathtub (n.)

also bath-tub, "a tub to bathe in," especially as a permanent fixture of a bathroom, 1837, from bath + tub. Prohibition-era bathtub gin is recorded by 1928.

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bathe (v.)

Middle English bathen, from Old English baþian "to wash, lave, place in a bath, take a bath" (transitive and intransitive), from the source of bath (q.v.), with different vowel sound due to i-mutation. Related: Bathed; bathing. Similar verbs in Old Norse baða, Old High German badon, German baden.

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