poultice - pad - pad


Senior Member
Arabic- Egyptian

In my country, when someone has a temperature, people dip a piece of cloth in a bowl of cold water and place the cloth on their skin.

I did some research , but I found three words: compress, poultice and pad.

Which one of them is closer the description above?

Thank you
  • apricots

    Senior Member
    English - US
    We don't have a specific word for this I don't think. You can say a damp rag, a damp washcloth, a wet cloth, a damp cloth. All would be understood.


    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I think a compress would probably be closest to a towel or cloth that is soaked only in water, be it hot or cold.
    To me a poultice is not the rag itself but a medicinal paste or ointment that is applied to the rag before the rag is applied to the skin.
    I think of a pad as dry. It could be a sanitary pad, or perhaps an iPad that makes you look like Moshe Dayan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia or a jolly pirate.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    I've never used "poultice" and wasn't even sure of the meaning until I looked it up. :oops:
    (Off the top of my head, I might think it had something to do with poultry.:D)

    I don't even recall my grandparents using the word.

    I'd go for compress

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    n /ˈkɒmprɛs/
    1. a wet or dry cloth or gauze pad with or without medication, applied firmly to some part of the body to relieve discomfort, reduce fever, drain a wound, etc


    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    I agree on "cold compress". A poultice would contain something other than plain water, as Edinburgher says.
    < Previous | Next >