Assuming that "a water's edge" marginally connotes land, too: would it be correct English if "a water's edge" were joined by an adjective describing the nature of the land?

(examples: "a sandy water's edge"; "a muddy water's edge", etc.)

  • 2
    It sounds as though you mean that the water is muddy! I would recommend shore, shoreline, beach, coast or similar, depending on context.. Dec 14, 2021 at 14:27
  • Yes, you can talk about a sandy water's edge and a sharp or rocky water's edge. I'm not saying it's common but you can do that. Dec 15, 2021 at 2:45
  • This may be of interest english.stackexchange.com/questions/120041/…
    – shumble
    Dec 16, 2021 at 4:54

1 Answer 1


You suggest a word that you could combine with descriptive adjectives; the most versatile is shore. An ocean, a river, and a (large) pond can all have a shore, and it can be sandy, muddy, rocky, etc.

Other notes, in addition to the words suggested by Kate:

  • If the land meets the water with a steep drop-off, but less than a cliff (e.g. a meter), it's a bank. This can be occasionally used of oceans, but more often with rivers (riverbank is a valid compound).
  • Your suggestion of "water's edge" is a common phrase, though more often used with "the" than "a," and less inclined to take adjectives.
  • One note, since you tagged this "british-english": British usage in the past has often used strand for a sandy shore, where American and modern British usage would use "beach."
  • 2
    I'm not sure that many BrE speakers would immediately associate 'strand' with 'beach'. It is correct but perhaps a rather dated usage. Also unsure that a pond has a shore. A lake certainly does. Dec 14, 2021 at 15:15
  • @WeatherVane Thanks, thus my distancing language. Would I be right, though, in thinking that most Brits would not say "Let's go to the beach," but "to the seaside?" (And once arrived at the actual sandy bit and engaged in building sand castles, is it "the beach," or something else?) Dec 14, 2021 at 15:18
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    I think we would say "let's go to the beach" if we were already at or near the coast. Once on the sandy part, we are definitely 'on the beach'. (But not always sand: it can be pebbles/shingle). Dec 14, 2021 at 15:19
  • 1
    Seconding the comments about strand/beach/seaside: "strand" is very unusual on the whole; "beach" is the sandy bit by the water, whereas the "seaside" is "the area near the sea" more generally.
    – psmears
    Dec 14, 2021 at 15:27
  • 1
    @WeatherVane True; a garden koi pond shouldn't be entitled to a "shore." I was thinking of a "horse pond" common on a farm, something more on the lines of 30m or so. One important point, Swenglish: wherever one draws the line, for any body of water too small to have a "shore," your suggestion of "edge" is best (e.g. "the edge of the puddle," "the edge of the koi pond"). Dec 14, 2021 at 15:31

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