Bath or bathe

Grammarist

Bath is a noun that can mean many things, including a cleansing of the body, a contained liquid used to wash the body, a bathroom, bathtub, or a financial setback. One can take a bath, have a bath, or soak in a bath. The plural is baths. However, never does this word mean to have a bath or to wash. All forms are pronounced with the short sound. A blood bath is a massacre where lots of blood is split, so much that people are soaked in it. This can be literal or figurative.

The verb to wash the body is bathe. Bathe can also be used to mean swimming leisurely. Its other forms include bathed, and bathing. One can be a bather. All of these forms are pronounced with the long sound, such as is found in bait and ate.

Examples

However, things were on the up when the plumber told them they’d be able to take a bath that night. [Plymouth Herald]

About 9.30pm on Friday police went to a Victoria St house where they found the 27-year-old hiding in a bath covered in clothes. [Newcastle Herald]

Red wine baths, although probably the most fun way, are not the only way to soak in the benefits of grapes, CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang reported. [CBS Local]

“They took a bath on it. They under-priced, they knew it, and they had to raise their prices.” [Businessweek]

For homeowner Marcell Strolz’s chalet in the Austrian resort town of Lech, architect Helmut Dietrich opted for expansive, pressure-resistant panes that would bathe the home with daylight and yet be able to withstand the weight of the area’s heavy snowfalls. [Wall Street Journal]

One drawback to using a walk-in bathtub is the bather must sit in the tub as it fills and drains, which can make for a chilly experience. [Press of Atlantic City]

2 thoughts on “Bath or bathe”

  1. I have recently moved to the mountains of North Carolina and have found the usage of the word bath as a verb to be a rather common colloquialism in this area. This includes using the term bathing with the short “a” sound. An example would be “I am going to bath my dog this afternoon”, or “the phone rang while I was bathing [short “a” sound] the baby”. I am curious as to how this usage came about and whether or not it may be educationally related. Also, are there any other geographical areas where similar usage is acceptable.

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