No, we’re not talking Nessie or ichthyosaurs. A water monster in Dutch also has a second, more common and prosaic meaning: a water sample.
The film Amsterdamned makes this joke in the original Dutch: a researcher is taking canal water samples when the diving-suited perp drags her under. The cop’s throwaway line is that the water sample/monster took her instead. Tough for the subtitler*.
- So: in English, a water monster is a terrifying horror-movie beastie.
- And a water sample is what’s put into a test tube
- The same root as ‘demonstrate’.
- *Something along the lines of “The water sampled her”, I suppose.
It wasn’t scheduled to be my next post, but this particular classic turned up today in an otherwise pretty good text I was correcting. And I couldn’t resist it.
Prevalence: low. Only seen it a couple of times, actually. Serendipitous.
Frequency: low. But a favourite.
Native: no. Unintentionally hilarious, indeed.