1. sersacal New Member


    Can anyone specify the use of these two verbs, please?

    - The kids were splashing in the pool.
    - He was spatter/splashed with blood.
    - Please take care with the saucepan you splashed/spattered me.

    I am not sure whether splash and spatter are exchangable.

    Thank you.
  2. Chispa123

    Chispa123 Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    USA English
    It would seem that these two words are very similar. Blood is usually used with the word splatter. Water is normally used with splash. There are exceptions, and the third example could be either.
  3. securehope Senior Member

    Tennessee, USA
    English - USA
    Here's the way I see the difference:

    With "splash," a person or object is acting on the liquid to cause it to splash. Kids splashing in the pool are using their hands to make the water fly around in tiny droplets.
    It would sound right to say...
    A rock splashes into a lake.
    I dropped my spoon and it splashed into my soup.
    Don't splash me.

    Spatter (noun) is the collection of tiny droplets that land on a person or object after a splash. To spatter (verb) is to coat something with tiny droplets. In the example you gave,
    If you say "He was spattered with blood," it gives the impression that the blood landed on him in many tiny droplets, without specifying how, or implying any agent who did the action.
    If you say "He was splashed with blood," it gives the impression that someone acted to squirt blood at him and it landed on his clothes, without specifying how the stain looked (It's ambiguous--it could have spattered, or it could have made a large stain, for instance.)

    Then you have splatter, which is also like splash and spatter, but it implies that the liquid substance flew into the air on its own.
    Oil splatters from a hot pan--all by itself. (And a spatter pattern is made on the nearby stovetop, or your shirt, if you're standing too close.)
    Blood splatters from a wound. (It is not being pushed out with someone's hand, it just goes out.)
    A pumpkin or a melon splatters on the ground when dropped from a great height. (The juicy insides just fly out in all directions on their own.)

    In your example with the saucepan, all three would work, but with different implications.
    - Please take care with the saucepan; you splashed me. (Implies a certain amount of intentionality, or at least carelessness, because the person had to be acting on the liquid in the pan, dumping it out or tilting it or something.)
    - Please take care with the saucepan; oil is splattering out. (Implies that you shouldn't stand too close or you might get spattered.)
    - Please take care with the saucepan; someone might get spattered if you are careless. (Implies that there is a danger of the contents of the saucepan staining someone's clothes.)

    So I would say that the three words are similar, but not interchangeable.
    Hope this helps!

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