In china, there are many pools/ponds for finishing, I am wondering is there any specific word for the owner of a pond/pool?

  • 1
    I'm not sure that there are any words in English which indicate ownership of a specific thing. England is famously "a nation of shopkeepers" and even that word doesn't necessarily define someone who owns a shop. We would normally use the property as an attributive noun, pond owner, car owner and the like.
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 8, 2014 at 7:56
  • Jichao, does your native language have such a word? Does it in general have words for 'owner of something'?
    – Mitch
    Aug 8, 2014 at 13:40
  • @Mitch: Actually Chinese does not have words for 'owner of everything'. There are some general words. For example, '主' means owner, '塘' means pond, '塘主' means owner of pond. In Chinese, it's a single word at least in pronunciation, but "the owner of pond" is not. I'd prefer the "pondowner" or "pond owner" :)
    – Jichao
    Aug 8, 2014 at 15:28
  • Jichao, every language determines 'word' in different ways, and within any language it is not always clear what constitutes a single word. 'Pondowner' is not what I would call a legitimate single word in english (but if reused enough might come to be). But that is really not an important matter. If you're looking for the most succinct way of expressing the idea, it is probably 'pond owner'.
    – Mitch
    Aug 8, 2014 at 20:08

2 Answers 2


The most direct way to express the idea in English is "pondowner" or "pond owner".

In fact, there's a magazine called "Pond Owner Magazine"¹. It's also fairly conclusive that there's a well-known video game character in the popular Zelda series, who exactly meets your description (a person who owns a pond and leases rights to fish in it), who, in English, is known as "The Pond Owner".

I say "fairly conclusive" because this character is almost certainly modeled after the same class of person you're asking about (which occupies a specific niche in Asian society), and Nintendo chose "pond owner" as the clearest translation.

Sidenote: Predictably, within the community of pond owners, these people call themselves "pondies". So if you want refer to them as a class of people, you might say something like "Boy, those pondies sure are a fishy bunch".

¹ There's also a competing magazine known as "Pond Boss", which markets itself to those "own or manage private waters", but it would be a stretch to say "pond boss" is idiomatic English for pond owners; rather, I imagine "Pond Owner Magazine" beat "Pond Boss" to the punch, and the latter needed to come up with an alternative, but short, descriptive, and compelling title for their own publication.

² Interesting side note: the specific right these "pondlords" are leasing out (the right to take benefit from his property while having no claim on the property itself) is termed, in legalese, "profit-à-prendre".


I'm tempted to make a joke revolving wealth, lifestyle and attitude, but I'm not going to do it.

There is no such thing. Generally speaking, owners of an object do not have any word associated to them, because owning something is not a job, so there is no real need to describe them. Jobs describe the involvement of items, but never imply ownership, such as a farmer and barn animals, or blacksmith and furnace.

For those, you simply use noun-owner, such as gun owner or horse owner

The only jobs I can think that implies ownership would be various political jobs such as King/Emperor (which implies ownership of a kingdom/empire) and Sinterklaas, which implies ownership of gifts and exotic deers

Even something like author, which strongly implies ownership of literatures or painter which implies ownership of paintings, may not be true (they could be employed by others and their work owned by their employees)

  • One job that not only implies but deeply entails ownership is landlord. That is, a person who owns land and makes a living by lessing the rights to occupy it or make use of it. By analogy, what OP is seeking is something like "waterlord" "pondlord" (or "pond boss"; see footnote in my answer).
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 8, 2014 at 12:49
  • I definitely missed landlord, yeah that one indeed implies ownership. Either way, it looks like that landlord is a combination of land and lord, so if someone wants to invent a new job regarding ownership of a pond, it should be totally fine. However, since landlord carries the implication of leasing the land, perhaps pondlord would imply leasing the pond too...?
    – Raestloz
    Aug 9, 2014 at 14:17

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