Giving the dog some water = __ing the dog?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Jacob, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. Jacob

    Jacob Senior Member

    New Jersey, United States
    English (United States)
    When you give a dog food, you're feeding the dog. What would be the verb that you use when you're giving it water? If I were telling someone to give the dog water I'd just say "Give the dog some water." Sometimes my mom says "Water the dog" but that sounds strange to me.

  2. papa majada Senior Member

    There is no one verb to express "give the dog water." The only way I know of to say this is "give the dog water!"
  3. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    It sounds strange to me too. I think if I heard that I'd assume that they really meant they were going to take the dog outside so it could do its business.
  4. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    It sounds as if she expects the dog to grow taller and bear fruits thanks to the water. :D
  5. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    English - England
    You water plants, and horses, but not so much dogs and cats!
  6. cookiez New Member

    quenching the dog's thirst maybe? too formal?
  7. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    You're right. Language is strange! Maybe this unequal watering came about because dogs are usually at liberty to find their own water. Horses and plants are taken to water or have water brought to them.
  8. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    "Feed and water the dog" makes perfect idiomatic sense to me. Around my household we have been watering chickens, goats, hogs-- you name it.

    "Water the chickens" means go fill their waterers, a word that might sound counterintuitive too. Not so surprisingly there are dog waterers on the market too-- a whole array of devices you have to train your dog to use. Here's one graphic that shows the packaging, clearly identifying it as a dog waterer.

    Finally those of you (and you know who you are) who are squeamish about letting your dog drink out of the toilet have blessed relief! But you might want to stay away from this one which, I dunno-- might be a little too reminiscent of the setup you're trying to avoid. Yikes, here's one that's even worse-- now that was designed that way on purpose.

  9. haywire Senior Member

    New Orleans, LA
    US - English
    I'm with foxfirebrand, my folks always used to (and probably still do) say "the dogs/ducks/geese need to be watered." or "go water the dog."

    Seems colloquial to me.
  10. jimreilly Senior Member

    American English
    Is it rural? regional? or just fallen out of favor in some places? I've never heard it before, a nice addition to my vocabulary. Now if only I were allowed to have a dog in my apartment!
  11. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    Watering the dog seems a perfectly acceptable thing to do.
    Only the most pedantic would see it as being like watering plants.
    The meaning and intent are as clear as ... water.

  12. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    UK English
    I can't say I would say it. If we go away for the weekend we make sure that whoever is left in the house makes sure the dog is walked and fed and has water in her bowl. However I wouldn't hesitate to use water as a verb with cattle or poultry.

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