Words related to water

watering (n.)

Old English wæterunge "a carrying water," verbal noun from water (v.). From late 14c. as "a soaking with water;" mid-15c. as "a giving water to (an animal);" c. 1600 as "salivation." Watering-can is from 1690s (earlier water-can, late 14c.); watering-hole is from 1882 (earlier water-hole, 1670s, watering-place, mid-15c.); by 1965 in the figurative sense "place where people meet and socialize over drinks."

*wed- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "water; wet."

It forms all or part of: abound; anhydrous; carbohydrate; clepsydra; dropsy; hydra; hydrangea; hydrant; hydrargyrum; hydrate; hydraulic; hydro-; hydrogen; hydrophobia; hydrous; Hydrus; inundate; inundation; kirsch-wasser; nutria; otter; redound; redundant; surround; undine; undulant; undulate; undulation; vodka; wash; water (n.1); wet; whiskey; winter.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Hittite watar, Sanskrit udrah, Greek hydor, Old Church Slavonic and Russian voda, Lithuanian vanduo, Old Prussian wundan, Gaelic uisge "water;" Latin unda "wave;" Old English wæter, Old High German wazzar, Gothic wato "water."


region on the Indian subcontinent, from Hindi Panjab, etymologically "the country of five waters," from Persian panj "five" (from PIE root *penkwe- "five") + ab "water," from Iranian *ap- (from PIE *ap- (2) "water;" see water (n.1)). So called for its five rivers. Related: Punjabi.

julep (n.)

late 14c., "syrupy drink in which medicine is given," from Old French julep (14c.), from Medieval Latin julapium, from Arabic julab, from Persian gulab "a sweet drink," also "rose water," from gul "rose" (related to Greek rhodon, Latin rosa; see rose (n.1)) + ab "water," from PIE root *ap- (2) "water" (for which see water (n.1)). As the name of an iced, sugared alcoholic drink flavored with mint, 1787, American English.

fire (n.)

Old English fyr "fire, a fire," from Proto-Germanic *fūr- (source also of Old Saxon fiur, Old Frisian fiur, Old Norse fürr, Middle Dutch and Dutch vuur, Old High German fiur, German Feuer "fire"), from PIE *perjos, from root *paewr- "fire." Current spelling is attested as early as 1200, but did not fully displace Middle English fier (preserved in fiery) until c. 1600.

PIE apparently had two roots for fire: *paewr- and *egni- (source of Latin ignis). The former was "inanimate," referring to fire as a substance, and the latter was "animate," referring to it as a living force (compare water (n.1)).

Brend child fuir fordredeþ ["The Proverbs of Hendyng," c. 1250]

English fire was applied to "ardent, burning" passions or feelings from mid-14c. Meaning "discharge of firearms, action of guns, etc." is from 1580s. To be on fire is from c. 1500 (in fire attested from c. 1400, as is on a flame "on fire"). To play with fire in the figurative sense "risk disaster, meddle carelessly or ignorantly with a dangerous matter" is by 1861, from the common warning to children. Phrase where's the fire?, said to one in an obvious hurry, is by 1917, American English.

Fire-bell is from 1620s; fire-alarm as a self-acting, mechanical device is from 1808 as a theoretical creation; practical versions began to appear in the early 1830s. Fire-escape (n.) is from 1788 (the original so-called was a sort of rope-ladder disguised as a small settee); fire-extinguisher is from 1826. A fire-bucket (1580s) carries water to a fire. Fire-house is from 1899; fire-hall from 1867, fire-station from 1828. Fire company "men for managing a fire-engine" is from 1744, American English. Fire brigade "firefighters organized in a body in a particular place" is from 1838. Fire department, usually a branch of local government, is from 1805. Fire-chief is from 1877; fire-ranger from 1887.

Symbolic fire and the sword is by c. 1600 (translating Latin flamma ferroque absumi); earlier yron and fyre (1560s), with suerd & flawme (mid-15c.), mid fure & mid here ("with fire and armed force"), c. 1200. Fire-breathing is from 1590s. To set the river on fire, "accomplish something surprising or remarkable" (usually with a negative and said of one considered foolish or incompetent) is by 1830, often with the name of a river, varying according to locality, but the original is set the Thames on fire (1796). The hypothetical feat was mentioned as the type of something impossibly difficult by 1720; it circulated as a theoretical possibility under some current models of chemistry c. 1792-95, which may have contributed to the rise of the expression.

[A]mong other fanciful modes of demonstrating the practicability of conducting the gas wherever it might be required, he anchored a small boat in the stream about 50 yards from the shore, to which he conveyed a pipe, having the end turned up so as to rise above the water, and forcing the gas through the pipe, lighted it just above the surface, observing to his friends "that he had now set the river on fire." ["On the Origins and Progress of Gas-lighting," in "Repertory of Patent Inventions," vol. III, London, 1827]
afanc (n.)

cattle-devouring aquatic monster in Celtic countries, from Celtic *abankos "water-creature," from *ab- "water" (source also of Welsh afon, Breton aven "river," Latin amnis "stream, river," which is believed to be of Italo-Celtic origin), from PIE root *ap- (2) "water" (see water (n.1)).

backwater (n.)

also back-water, late 14c., "water behind a dam," from back (adj.) + water (n.1). Hence flat water without a current near a flowing river, as in a mill race (1820); the figurative use of this for any flat, dull place is from 1879.

breakwater (n.)

"any structure serving to break the force of waves and protect a harbor or shore," 1721; see break (v.) + water (n.1).

dish-water (n.)

also dishwater, "water in which dishes have been washed," late 15c., from dish (n.) + water (n.1). Used figuratively of weak broth, coffee, etc. from 1719. Earlier in Middle English was dischwaschyngs (c. 1300).

firewater (n.)

also fire-water, "alcoholic liquor," 1826, American English, supposedly from speech of American Indians, from fire (n.) + water (n.1).