I do not think it means what you think it means...

Thanks, Dave Pasquesi!


    1.  I have seen this in Mexico, especially at the airports.

      “If you are a native, you can drink this water safely.
      If you are a tourist, you will survive the ordeal but expect a rough ride.”

      OK to use to wash hands and face, but not to drink or even to brush your teeth.

  1. This “drinkable” water is not for drinking (?: by you! | today | for free | because it’s for bathing | because it’s too hot and our lawyers say so | by anyone who is literate)

    (1570s, from Old French potable (14c.), from Late Latin potabilis “drinkable,” from Latin potare “to drink”)

    1.  Maybe it’s for cooking.  Or showering. Or watering the plants.

      ‘Potable’ is still in common use in French.  And it means suitable for drinking.

        1.  Very true and it used to drive me absolutely nuts when I was in the Army and was repeatedly told that it was only for showering and NOT safe for drinking. Sigh.

  2. “Just look at it, dammit!”

    Perhaps they meant to say “Potty water not for drinking,” although I feel sorry for anyone who needs to be told that.

  3. The potable water is NOT for drinking; instead, we insist you purchase this non-potable option over here….

  4. It does sound kind of ominous, if you don’t know any better.

    “Stay away from that water, Jimmy, it might be potable!”

      1. The height of hilarity for a couple of my 8th grade classmates involved accusations of heterosexuality and masticating in the cafeteria.


  5. Reminds me of a few years back, working in an electronics company. We were designing a controller for a water fountain type gizmo. My boss contacted a valve company to ask about water valves. Everything went fine and normal, until he asked if the valves were okay for potable water.
    I forget the exact response, but it went along the lines of:
    “Oh, my. Potable water. Well, that’s dangerous stuff. Not sure we sell anything for that. Would be expensive, if we do…”

    1.  There was an article on another blog where the person had received a credit card with the cardhold name as ‘John Doe 3′.  He called the CC company and explained that his name was ‘John Doe The Third’ – and that they should write that ‘3’ on the CC using roman numerals.

      “We don’t have roman numerals on our keyboards….”, came the reply.

  6. My guess is that water is set aside for cooking or washing dishes or something where you technically need the water to be potable, but you don’t want people drinking your supply.  

  7. From the Department of Redundancy Department: I remember working in a kitchen once that dealt with LOTS of eggs finding a case of eggs that had printed on it (I am not making this up), “Eggs. Fragile. Handle like eggs.”

  8. But is it pronounced “pot-able” (front-rhymes with pot) or “pote-able” (front-rhymes with coat)?

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