According to Merriam-Webster, an arsonist is a person that engages in "the willful or malicious burning of property (as a building) especially with criminal or fraudulent intent".

Flooding can also cause serious damage to buildings or other property. Although it is probably significantly less common, I could imagine that a person might maliciously flood property with criminal or fraudulent intent.

For example, if the residents are vacationing away from home, it would be easy enough for a person to cause serious water damage to a house by turning on all water spouts and plugging all drains. This occurs in the movie Home Alone:

Harry: [Marv brings a load of stolen goods from the Murphy household to the van and Harry sees him laughing] What's so funny? What are you laughing at? You did it again didn't you? You left the water running. What's wrong with you? Why do you do that? I told you not to do it.
Marv: Harry, it's our calling card!
Harry: Calling card.
Marv: All the great ones leave their mark. We're the wet bandits!

Is there a word for such a person? In other words, arsonist is to fire as what is to water / flood?

  • 1
    How about a couple of neologisms: "redundantist" and "eluviest," from Latin redundo and eluvies, flood. Mar 23, 2013 at 23:05
  • 2
    This particular action is not common enough to have been given a name. This will result in most answers being neologisms.
    – Mitch
    Mar 24, 2013 at 3:14
  • 1
    "I understand fire insurance, but how do you start a flood?"
    – user867
    Mar 25, 2013 at 5:43
  • @user867 I don't understand the reference that you seem to be making. Mar 25, 2013 at 19:20
  • Waterbender.
    – Ben
    Mar 25, 2013 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


The word arson derives from the Latin word for burning; the Latin word for flooding is inundo. So your closest match is something like inundationist, though I don't think this word is attested, and inundate isn't considered criminal.

  • 3
    Of course it is criminal, if you broke the village dam and destroyed the ripening harvests. Mar 24, 2013 at 4:28
  • I also like @rhetorician's suggestion of eluviest, similar to your inundationist. Thanks! Mar 25, 2013 at 19:19
  • One can't just make up candidates and call them 'words'. Feb 10, 2021 at 16:03

Swamper is a possibility, in its sense 3, “Someone or something that swamps or overwhelms”. Also consider flooder, a word of more recent origin meaning “A person who floods message boards with unwanted or repetitive comments”. Drencher means “One who, or that which, drenches”. Deluger would have similar meaning but isn't in most dictionaries. Related: dambusters, those who bust dams, causing floods.

  • 7
    Yeah, I think they're all just dam criminals.
    – Jim
    Mar 23, 2013 at 22:37
  • 1
    I prefer the suggestions of rhetorician and personak, but +1 just for the reference to the Dambusters of 617 squadron. The book by Paul Brickhill is excellent, if you haven't read it! (Incidentally, the motto of 617 squadron is "Après moi, le déluge".) Mar 25, 2013 at 19:31
  • The U in ELU stands for 'usage'. Feb 10, 2021 at 16:05
  • @EdwinAshworth, true; so? Feb 16, 2021 at 7:41
  • 'Arsonist' is widely used (sadly) to mean '[a person who] engages in "the willful or malicious burning of property (as a building) especially with criminal or fraudulent intent" '. Are you seriously suggesting that any of your suggestions is widely used (the 'usage', 'standard usage' requirement) to mean '[a person who] engages in "the wilful or malicious flooding of property (as a building) especially with criminal or fraudulent intent" '? The answers above are mere ballpark (or perhaps better, carpark). Anyone imagining that criminal B would be termed a 'swamper' while criminal A was ... Feb 16, 2021 at 11:06

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