feel it in one's water

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feel it in one's water

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:54 pm

<1999 “He had a feeling in his water that George Bennett was going to be great copy, and he was determined that he’d be the one to squeeze the best stories out of the handsome young detective.”—A Place of Execution by Val McDermid, page 63>
It sounds obscene, but alas, it’s not. Although this expression is nowhere to be found in any slang/idiom dictionaries that I checked, it’s meaning is clear:

FEEL IN ONE’S WATER(S): Have an intuition or hunch about something; feel it in one’s bones. <I’m sure he’ll be successful – I feel it in my water.>

Since the human body is 60-70% water by weight, it is obvious that there is a greater chance of feeling it in one's water than feeling it in one's bones.(<;)

Since the author of the above quote is British, and the setting of the story is in Britain, and all the quotes I found were from British publications, I’ll make the astonishing assumption that the expression is British.

The following quotes are from archived sources:
<1996 “England will need another goal, I feel it in my water.”—Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), 10 June>

<1999 “I can feel it in my waters. We're due for another tranche of bio-plays.”—The Independent (London), 16 October>

<2001 “So yeah, I've got a good feeling in my waters - although I shouldn't talk about waters just now. You're eight months pregnant . . .”—Sunday Herald (Glasgow, Scotland), 28 January>

<2005 “It could be in the stars. It could be a feeling in my water (but we don't really want to go there). It could be a gut feeling (we definitely don't want to go there) or it could be vibrations in the atmosphere.”— Liverpool Echo (England), 25 May>

<2008 “Whelan felt his 10-year-old mare had a fighting chance . . . I could feel it in my water, [but] maybe that was a kidney infection, though, as Ive been running to the toilet all morning . . .”—Daily Mail (London), 25 April>

<2012 “I can't wait for kick-off against Croatia tonight and have that feeling in my waters that something special is going to happen (or maybe it's indigestion).”—Belfast Telegraph (Northern Ireland), 11 June>

Ken G – November 28, 2012

Re: feel it in one's water

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:34 pm

It echoes this passage from The Lord of the Rings (farewells, after the Ring has been destroyed):

'Said Fangorn the Ent to Galadriel and Celebor: 'Long, long ago when we met by stock and by stone, A vanimar, vanimálion nostari! It is sad that we should meet only thus at the ending. For the world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air. I do not think that we shall meet again.'

(Galadriel is - perhaps incongruously - given the relevant line in the prologue to the Jackson films.)

The books were written 1937 - 49 and published 54-5.

I've been aware of the phrase as Ken gives it for at least 45 years.

Re: feel it in one's water

Post by trolley » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:46 pm

John Taylor, a character in Simon Green's "Nightside" series of books gets feelings in his water and his bones. That's a very strong hunch.

""Whatever might have been worshipped here in the past, it hadn’t been a good or a wholesome thing. I could feel it, in my bones and in my water. Bad things had happened here."

(from "The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny")

Re: feel it in one's water

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:26 pm

The average person has between 15 and 25 percent body fat. For those with discriminating intuition, they may feel it in their fat. This has a nice ring to it. And the more fat, the better. I feel it in my liver that this could be the start of something big!

Ken – November 28, 2012

Re: feel it in one's water

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:12 pm

I was even svelter 45 years ago.

Re: feel it in one's water

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:59 am

Well, bang goes my mental image of Edwin as a spotty teenager! :-)

Re: feel it in one's water

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:59 pm

That's an acned collocation.

Re: feel it in one's water

Post by El Guapizimo » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:39 pm

Somehow this phrase seems to have more of a fundamental sense to our human experience.

The idea of "one's waters" may have an ancient connection to a fundamental aspect of what makes us human--i.e. being created in God's image. Having been made in God's image. Not unlike offspring expressing themselves in ways similar to their parents, it is reasonable that we would express ourselves in a similar manner as He has. And water seems to be one of His favorite expressions. The Bible is replete with water imagery.

I am reminded of Psalm 42, where the psalmist identifies his soul as suffering thirst for God, to the point of panting. The psalmist also speaks of the "pouring out" of his soul. He additionally makes reference of his soul being in communication or communion with God when he writes, "Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me."

It is as if the psalmist is trying to convey that his parched soul yearns for the waters of God, and so the deep waters within him beckon the far deeper waters within God. His thirst is finally, overwhelmingly, and continuously slaked by God as if by the torrent of a waterfall or the ceaseless breakers and waves of the ocean. Indicating the perpetual satisfaction that comes only from communion with God.

Thus the psalmist foreshadows the words of Jesus to the woman at the well; "Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”" John 4:7-14.

Thus it appears to me that when one "feels something in their waters" it is a sense from an aspect of our being that is more foundational than from either our guts, or in our hearts, or even in our bones, (which are part of or bodies), but rather it is a sense from that essential part of us that tethers our bodies to our spirits--our souls.

If one considers man's creation, God took dry dirt (dust of the ground) and formed it, then he breathed into it the breath (spirit) of life, and man became a living being, ( that is, a living, breathing, animate, fully conscious, and moist, soul). There's no mention of water being added during the creation of man.

"Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." Gen. 2:7

Therefore, I deduce that somehow in the very process of fusing the spirit and the dust (i.e. the body) water(s) became a fundamental part of our essence. It follows that when the soul was made, so too were our waters, that's why we're moist creatures. And so I surmise that the water(s) is an intrinsic part of our souls -- that indefinable substance that is the fusion of body and spirit and that makes us alive and conscious.

Thus, perhaps to "feel something in one's waters," may be a modern way of communicating an ancient idea that there's been a stirring or rippling in our soul, and that it has just subconsciously weighed in on a matter, which in turn registers consciously with an inexplicable sense of certainty -- either favorably or unfavorably, regarding the matter.

Perhaps our souls are not unlike a sponge either being soaked (hencesatisfied) or being dehydrated (hence) unsatisfied. In both instances the result is based on the movement of water(s) in one direction or another. So perhaps certain situations we face or matters we're dealing with either fill our souls or deplete their water reserved.

Just a thought to consider. For what it's worth. My point in these observations is that the phrase may have its roots far deeper in our human history and experience than may be supposed.

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