to ring someone's bath

rsb

Senior Member
Italy, Italian
Hy, I'm having problem with the meaning of "to ring" in this sentence:

"Two girls had offered me sleeping space on their floor and the opportunity to ring their bath with five months of accumulated muck"

Does it mean that he/she can call the bath service? It seems not very appropriate to the context, does it?

Or maybe it means "to use", "to rent"? (Or maybe, to clean, jajaja!!:)
 
  • panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Ring (verb) in this sentence is referring to the ring (noun) that remains after someone who is particularly dirty has had a bath.
    The girls had offered him/her sleeping space and the chance to have a bath.
    It seems that he/she had not had a bath for five months so the ring left on the bath would be quite substantial :)

    I've not heard ring used in this sense before, but the meaning is clear.
     

    rsb

    Senior Member
    Italy, Italian
    I'm curious to know how you came up with that meaning. I've never heard of it before.
    Hola Porteño! I'm attending a Proficiency course of English and my book it's full of rare sentences with strange meanings!! It confuses me a lot... and everything I am posting come from "Proficiency Masterclass Student's Book".

    Thank you all guys!!!
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    The meaning is clear to me, having often been told (as a child, obviously): You've left a dirty great ring round the bath again!
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    Thanks ewie, Panjandrum's comment now makes more sense to me. but spielenshcach confused me by suggesting 'to ring' meant 'to use', instead of 'leaving a ring'.
     

    spielenschach

    Senior Member
    Portugal . Portuguese
    I'm curious to know how you came up with that meaning. I've never heard of it before.
    One of the meanings of ‘ring’ can be to empty (I have a dictionary of synonymous). Then in order to empty the bath it was necessary to utilize it, isn’t it?
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I detect a difference here between AE and BE usage. I would refer to that large enameled vessel in which I disport myself in hot, soapy water as a bathtub, and not a bath, which word I would use only for the activity which takes place in the tub. Nevertheless, I agree completely with Panj regarding this sentence and its meaning.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    One of the meanings of ‘ring’ can be to empty (I have a dictionary of synonymous). Then in order to empty the bath it was necessary to utilize it, isn’t it?
    This is tangential to the main topic, already covered, but does your dictionary give any explanation for ring being a synonym of empty? It does not appear in my synonym dictionary (Chambers).
    It's worth keeping in mind that synonym dictionaries list many words from those that are almost exact synonyms to those that have only a very tenuous connection with the key word.
     

    spielenschach

    Senior Member
    Portugal . Portuguese
    It's worth keeping in mind that synonym dictionaries list many words from those that are almost exact synonyms to those that have only a very tenuous connection with the key word.
    I agre with you.
    - The synonymous - ring: buzz (to empty)
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    "Ring" is a synonym for "buzz" only when one is talking about the verb "ring" meaning "to make a sound such as that of a bell that has been struck". The past tense of that verb is "rang". The entirely different verb "ring", which has a past tense of "ringed", and which means "to encircle", is the one being discussed here. The verb "buzz" is in no way a synonym for that verb.

    As it is, I cannot imagine any meaning for either "buzz" or "ring" that has anything to do with emptying anything else.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    This is becoming ludicrous.
    In one very limited context, ring and buzz are synonymous - both are used to mean a telephone call.
    Give me a ring.
    Give me a buzz.

    Neither has anything to do with emptying. Assertions that an unspecified synonym dictionary says ring=empty will not wash :)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Hi! I'm using this book also :) And i strongly believe that meaning of this idiom is 'to use', so hope it helped :)
    Welcome to the forum, but I'm sorry to tell you that I am another native speaker who agrees with post #3 "to produce a ring of dirt around" as the meaning of "to ring the bath". The original question had a very large hint
    with five months of accumulated muck
    I also have never heard of "ring" meaning "use" in the context of a bath, let alone any other context :D
     
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