to lap (liquid)

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by kwak22, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. kwak22 Member

    русский (россия)
    Hello, I have a weird question.

    I am interested to know how do you say "to lap" ("to take a liquid with the tongue") in as many languages as possible.

    For example, in Russian: лакать (lakat'): котёнок вылакал молоко (kot'onok vylakal moloko) -- the kitten lapped up the milk.

    Thank you very much!

    (Thanks to @merquiades for the correction.)
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  2. Sardokan1.0

    Sardokan1.0 Senior Member

    Sardu / Italianu
    In Sardinian : lìnghere (to lick) - from Latin "lingere"

    In Italian : leccare (to lick)
  3. TheCrociato91 Senior Member

    Brescia, Italy
    Italian - Northern Italy
    There's also lappare, which is nowhere near as common as leccare but it's specific to animals licking their food.

    lappare /lap·pà·re/ NON COM.
    verbo intransitivo
    1. Di animali, bere leccando con la lingua.
  4. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)

    chlemtati (perf. vychlemtati) or lemtati (omitting the initial consonant [x]) = to lap up (hastily and noisily), used mainly for animals, esp. dogs;

    pes vychlemtal misku vody = the dog has lapped up a saucer of water;

    However this expressive verb is not used for small and quiet animals like cats, kittens, mice, etc. In such case we use to lick (licking is rather soundless):

    lízati impf. = to lick, Russ. лизать /lizať/;
    vylízati perf. = to lick sth out/clean, Russ. вылизать /vylizať/;

    kotě vylízalo misku mléka = the kitten lapped up (= licked clean) a saucer of milk;

    BTW, Italian lappare (lappatura) and Czech lapovati (lapování) is a kind of grinding/polishing, probably from English to lap (lapping).
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  5. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    You need the preposition in English for it to have this meaning: Lap up.
  6. Perseas Senior Member

    In Greek you can use the verb "γλείφω" /γlifo/, which basically means "lick", but it can also render the meaning of the verb "lap up". The cat lapped up all the milk - Η γάτα έγλειψε όλο το γάλα.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  7. kwak22 Member

    русский (россия)
    Thanks a lot to all so far!
    Yes, it is interesting. What drove the question was a weird idea, actually (not mine, or I hope so). The position of the tongue that is used in lapping and in licking (when a human does it) resembles that which is used to pronounce the sound [l]. So, I was interested to see how prominent [l] is in common words for lapping and licking across the languages of the world... And it seems that so far, even if not always used at the very beginning of the root of the verb, it is still prominent indeed, in all languages covered, which is quite puzzling.

    More answers for more languages would be very welcome. Thank you!
  8. AndrasBP

    AndrasBP Senior Member

    Budapest, Hungary
    Yes, the words in different languages seem to be onomatopoeic (imitating a sound).

    The Hungarian verb also starts with an [l] sound: lefetyel /'lɛfɛcɛl/
  9. Armas Senior Member


    latkia / litkiä
  10. AndrasBP

    AndrasBP Senior Member

    Budapest, Hungary
    Latvian: lakt
    Lithuanian: lakti

    The verbs sound the same as Russian lakat'.
  11. Yendred Senior Member

    Français - France
    In French:
    laper (also accepted form: lapper, but the academic one is laper)
  12. Dymn

    Dymn Senior Member

    To be honest I don't know about any word for this in Catalan. I guess we'd simply use llepar "to lick", beure llepant "to drink by licking", beure a llenguades "to drink with tongue strokes", etc. The ll in llepar is /ʎ/, but it must have been /l/ in an earlier stage of the language. I'm not sure it's etymoligically related to "lap", "lappare", "laper", etc.
  13. Ghabi

    Ghabi AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese: lem2
    "Lap" can be used transitively. As in Dickinson's poem:

    I like to see it lap the Miles —
    And lick the Valleys up —
  14. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    Yes. Lap the miles is the meaning "to cover distance" used today mostly with swimming and jogging.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
  15. kwak22 Member

    русский (россия)
    I am thankful for all the interventions!

    I wonder whether there is any language that does not put a prominent [l] into the verb for "lap up" (provided that some variation of this sound is employed in the language...). And, naturally, I am interested in any more examples of languages that do use this consonant in the place.
  16. Ghabi

    Ghabi AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod

    Hong Kong
    You can add Arabic as an example, لحس la7isa.

    For a counter-example, you may cite classical Chinese: 舐 saai2.
  17. Perseas Senior Member

  18. swintok Senior Member

    English - Canada
    хлистати (khlystaty) - for animals it means to lap up, but can also be used for humans to mean to drink very quickly or in great quantity or to eat something with a spoon.
    хлебтати (khlebtaty) - similar to хлистати

    Both these terms are rather literary and I have not noticed them much in everyday speech or writing. You are more likely to hear or read simply the verb to drink (пити - pyty) or, if it is the sound being emphasised, to slurp (сьорбати - s'orbaty).
  19. AndrasBP

    AndrasBP Senior Member

    Budapest, Hungary
    How do you pronounce "7"?
  20. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch: likken (leading to lekker, delicious)
  21. Ghabi

    Ghabi AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod

    Hong Kong
    That's interesting. In Arabic the word for spoon (mil3aqa ملعقة) is also derived from a verb meaning "to lick" (la3iqa لعق).
    It's a bit like blowing on your hands when you feel cold.
  22. bearded

    bearded Senior Member

    7 is a conventional symbol for an 'emphatic' or strong h (a sound that does not exist in European languages, sort of h pronounced with open jaws from the bottom of your throat), so the verb mentioned by Ghabi could be written like ''làHisa'' (literally: he licked/he lapped. In Arabic you use the 3rd person masculine of the past in order to quote a verb).
  23. AndrasBP

    AndrasBP Senior Member

    Budapest, Hungary
    Thank you.
    Is it the sound /ħ/ in IPA?
  24. bearded

    bearded Senior Member


Share This Page