Monday, April 12, 2010

A tall drink of water

As we started to pull away, still arranging our fresh Starbucks purchase, my wife says,
"She is a tall drink of water."

I knew who she was referring to but didn't recall ever hearing that phrase. A short distance from us walked a slender tall young lady who had just finished giving her little dog a nature break. I responded,
"What did you say?"

She went on to explain the phrase and was somewhat surprised I was ignorant of this idiom. I told her that my former co-worker and fellow biz traveler had a much more direct blunt phrase to describe any eye candy in the area. He would turn to me and remark:
"I bet she looks great naked."

Later that afternoon, we were together with the kids and their spouses. I took a little survey. A few of them had heard it before.

I looked around the net and found that the phrase is used for both men and women. I suspect not directly. I don't think it would work for a pick-up line.

tall drink o' water by *whitedog1 on deviantART

I might have been a tall drink at one time but today the phrase "barrel of water" would be accurate.

Apparently the Rascal Flatts song writer knows the phrase.  The first line of their song "Dry County Girl" is:
A tall drink of water in a cotton dress

I discovered that song when I was doing some searching on this idiom.  To be honest I had never heard the song and at first glance thought it read "Country" not "County".  I don't think we have any dry counties in Illinois but I have been in a few in the south.  I like beer too much to live in a county with liquor laws like that.

So answer my survey in the comments.
Have you heard and/or used this idiom?

Here's the song:


secretagentwoman said...

I have also heard "long drink of water" and "cool drink of water."

lisleman said...

hey PK from the past, thanks for stopping over here and sharing your comment.
Yeah I guess it's an older expression certainly not the younger set. I just thought of an updated version - a tall can of redbull.
Oh I think it is a compliment. That one along with being told I look like George Cooney would be great.

unknownmami said...

Not only have I heard it, I've used it. People do not mind hearing it about themselves. I speak from experience.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

I come from a family of tall skinny people. My sister and I were often called "tall drinks of water." My son is currently, at 22, still a "tall drink of water." I love that expression.

PKfromVZAF said...

So, shouldn't it be a two part question? Seems to me that the older your commentor, the more likely they would have heard of it. Yes, I've heard of it, heard it in context and even used it. Actually, I always felt it was quite the compliment of the person it was pertaining to.

lisleman said...

I enjoy learning this. Does your son use the expression?

lisleman said...

how did I miss that all these years? I've known some tall people too. What would a tall drink of beer be? - good!!

dave hambidge said...

Not a phrase that I recall hearing in britland, but we do have some similar. A tall thin person is called, behind their backs "like a yard of pump water" (as in water gushing from pump). I have also found "like a streak of tap water dressed up" in the book by Nigel Rees, 'All gong and no dinner; 1001 homely phrases and curious domestic sayings'.

dwmatty said...

Yes, I've heard of the saying as a compliment. And being a country music fan, I know the song too.

KristinaP said...

I do read all my comments! And the Bumpit is magical.

I have heard this term, but I didn't really know what it mean, other than to describe someone who is good looking.

Willoughby said...

I've heard it, but don't recall ever using it.

peelinganorange said...

Personally, I'd rather be referred to as a large bowl of ice cream, or a huge plate of chocolate chip cookies. Water is so boring. But yep. I've heard the expression!

lisleman said...

comments are great and I learn so much from them.

lisleman said...

all gong and no dinner - just like the Texan one - all hat and no cattle (Texans love their cowboy hats)

lisleman said...

as mentioned below maybe "water" will be replace by "redbull" by this generation.

lisleman said...

how about a combo of ice cream with warm chocolate chip cookies on top?

Charlie Callahan said...

I've heard that expression ever since Moses had his sandals re-soled in the desert, but I've never used it. And the few times I've heard it used it was referring to a female—never to a male.

lisleman said...

wow charlie you might be older than dirt.
thanks for the comment

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