If when I am hungry I can command someone to "feed me", what is the equivalent command when I am thirsty? For years I have joked with friends that it must be "quench me", however, I doubt that this is right.

  • The active version of drink is drench. There's a question or two on that.
    – tchrist
    Jul 22, 2013 at 14:44
  • @Mitch Yes, see Fumble-Fingers' answer which was swamped. :english.stackexchange.com/a/36498/44619 However, Janus's answer is clearer and well argued.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 22, 2013 at 16:46

6 Answers 6


Firstly, of course, the object of ‘quench’ must be a thirst or desire of some kind—not the person who is thirsty or desirous. But I take it you know that, and that is why you say you’ve joked with your friends.

‘Quench’ is not a real equivalent for ‘feed’. The latter simply means to give someone food (whether it fills them up or not), while the former means to extinguish a thirst. In other words, ‘quench’ is the liquid counterpart to ‘sate’

I don’t know of a word that specifically corresponds to ‘feed’, but for liquid items; I would guess there isn’t one. But since you can say of babies that they feed on breast milk, and breast milk is liquid, I guess you might at a stretch be able to expand ‘feed’ to include liquids, too. I wouldn’t count on others to understand it out of context, though.

On a more historical note, ‘feed’ is in origin simply an i-umlaut causative¹ of ‘food’. If we apply this same strategy to ‘drink’, we arrive at a verb that does exist, but has developed a slightly different meaning over the centuries: drench.

So if you are just looking to joke with your mates, you might say, “I am hungry—feed me! I am thirsty—drench me!”

¹ In the older stages of the Germanic languages, i-umlaut, from the Proto-Germanic suffix -j(a), in its turn from the Proto-Indo-European causative suffix -ei̯e/o-, is the most common way of denoting causative verbs meaning ‘make someone do X’.

  • 3
    I always thought drench was synonymous with soak as in, "He was drenched from head to foot."
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 22, 2013 at 16:30
  • 1
    I'm with @Mari-LouA on this - to me, drench would imply externally applied water. Jul 22, 2013 at 18:01
  • Yes, that is the slightly different meaning the verb has acquired over the centuries—it's original, literal meaning is ‘cause (someone) to drink’. This is why I caveated it with “if you are just looking to joke with your mates”. Jul 22, 2013 at 23:02
  • DYAC! That was naturally supposed to say, “its original, literal meaning”. No stray apostrophes here, please! Jul 23, 2013 at 14:35

You could say 'water me!', as if you were a plant.

  • Or, "feed and water me!" as if you were a horse.
    – Dane
    Jul 22, 2013 at 19:36

I'm surprised this isn't here . . . hydrate me!

From Merriam-Webster:

hydrate - transitive verb

1: to cause to take up or combine with water or the elements of water

2: to supply with ample fluid or moisture

Hydrate - intransitive verb

Examples of HYDRATE:

"lotions and creams that hydrate the skin"

"Drink fluids to hydrate the body."

  • Not sure about that. While, "feed me!" indicates providing food of any kind, "feed" also works as "feed me some grapes!" "Hydrate me some wine!" just doesn't work.
    – Dane
    Jul 22, 2013 at 19:35
  • Yeah, @Dane, you're right. It's kinda ok as a stand-alone command but falls apart when you add something like "...some wine". hmmm. Jul 22, 2013 at 19:37
  • 1
    But it would work if you used a preposition. Hydrate me with wine!
    – ghoppe
    Jul 22, 2013 at 21:16
  • 1
    Feed me with grapes! Actually, on second thought, isn't it pretty much always rude to command someone, "feed me?" It's probably more polite to give the command to an assistant in reference to a third party, such as "Feed them the best steak." In which case, "Give them the best wine" really isn't bad at all.
    – Dane
    Jul 22, 2013 at 21:42

In the circles I move in, which are not always the most sophisticated, it is not uncommon to hear people say "Beer me!", but always in a jocular tone.

  • When reading the question, "Beer me!" immediately came to mind. I've heard, "Beer me some soda," so it is a general term for liquid refreshment. Just wait, in a few years it might be in the dictionary. :-) That said, I think the real answer is already over here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/36489/…
    – Dane
    Jul 22, 2013 at 19:34

Here is another one, which may sound unusual but which I think any native speaker will immediately understand:

"Slake me."

The Free Dictionary gives as the first sense:
To satisfy (a craving); quench: slaked her thirst.
and as the third sense:
To cool or refresh by wetting or moistening.

Link: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/slake

  • 2
    If you said "Slake my thirst." rather than "Slake me." I'd agree.
    – Pitarou
    Jul 22, 2013 at 23:19

How about this:

If you are the maitre d' commanding a waiter, you say, "Serve them the 2007 Merlot."

If you are the medic at a race, you say, "Hydrate the runners."

If you are a cowboy you say, "Water the horses."

If you are a nursing coach, you say, "Feed the baby."

If you are dying of thirst, you say, "Water, please."

If you are joking with buddies, you say, "Beer me."

If you are a petulant tyrant, you say, "Drown me," and hopefully someone does.

  • I've never told a waiter to feed a customer. "Serve them the filet mignon", surely? Jul 23, 2013 at 8:47
  • @PhilMJones, I'm happy to remove that example. It just strikes me that saying, "Feed me," is rarely, if ever, good form. Can you think of when else "feed" is used as a command?
    – Dane
    Jul 23, 2013 at 17:47
  • "Feed me, Seymour, feed me now!" (Little Shop of Horrors) is a rather extreme example :) Jul 24, 2013 at 13:30

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