T Nation

Help a Non-Native English Speaker Find a Word


Thanks for the link. It helps me feel not so alone that I have these thoughts.

I am not, however, happy with their conclusion. It does not pass the “dog test”. Specifically:

Q: What happened to your dog?

A: He starved.
A: He asphyxiated/suffocated.
A: He exsanguinated*
A: He thirsted?

Thirsted for what? Knowledge? A higher purpose? A Frisbee?

  • The existence of this word (death by bleeding out) proves how stupid it is not to have a specific word for “dying from lack of water”. Which is more common? Bleeding out? Or dying of thirst?


I have no idea who was in charge of making words so…
I did think it was interesting that there was a whole discussion about it though :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Q: What happened to your dog?

A: He reached terminal dehydration.


Parched is the word we use here


I do not think dehydration can be it because diarrhea can also lead to death.


Diarrhea only leads to death because of the dehydration it causes.


Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Excerpt from Part III

With throats unslaked,
With black lips baked,
We could not laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm,
I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! A sail!

I offer up unslaked.

He unslaked himself to death. He died of unslakedness.


And I had done a hellish thing
And it would work 'em woe
For all averred I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow

Thank you so much for this being stuck in my head now :rofl::rofl::rofl:


I think the distinction is that none of these words (dehydrate, thirst, parch) imply death. Starve doesn’t always mean death if it is used as exaggeration, but the literal meaning is death.

In order for thirst, parch, or dehydrate to mean death, you would have to use the word death, or to death.


Well said. That’s precisely the issue.


Dunno about you lot, but we have a saying down under that follows along to someone being thirsty

“Fucking hell mate, Im drier then a nuns nasty”
And I think that’s beautiful


But I gave you a term, “terminal dehydration”, that means dying of dehydration…did you skip over that? It’s not just two words thrown together, it has a definition that matches up with what you requested.

Now let’s get back to @bigjez and his nuns. Maybe nuns are so horny from being sex deprived, they’re positively drenched down there.


Turns out the whole conjuring film series is actually about a sexually frustrated nun who has had to travel through through centuries and many different continents in search of a good ol rub



Thank you for the effort. I appreciated the try; it’s not like I’ve come up with anything.

But, for one, it’s not a verb (starved, asphyxiated, exsanquinated) and, for two, it’s two words.

“Exsiccated” appears to be a legit word and is as close as we can get in English, although it implies an outside actor. (e.g., “We exsiccated the dog,” not “the dog exsiccated.”)




That’s all good, I wasn’t being 100% serious, was just enjoying the direction the thread was heading.


Being that Italian is my native language, I would like to add that even the concept of a word like “starve” tends to be foreign to us.

In Italian, we have neither a word for that, nor a word for “death by thirst” like is being discussed here.

We do have several words for “death by lack of oxygen.” We have two pretty close equivalents to *asphyxiate" and “suffocate,” which are asfissiare e soffocare, and we have a third word that is translated to “choke,” although it doesn’t sound similar to it, which is strangolare.

We also have a similar word to “exsiccate,” which is essiccare, but the meaning is a bit different. I wouldn’t use it to imply death by lack of water because something essiccato (exsiccated) is just something that has had its water removed, in Italian. So it almost means dried. And when you die by lack of water, you aren’t actually dry. You just have complications that usually lead to a heart attack, but it’s not like all of the water in your body vanishes, so we can’t really use that word either.

Frutta essiccata means dried fruit. And no one would ever translate that to exsiccated fruit.

So yeah, English isn’t the only weird language.


Exsiccate doesn’t appear to imply death nor does it appear to particularly apply to people. Additionally, it’s not in common usage by any stretch. I suspect not 1 in 100 English speakers knows what it means without using a dictionary.