[Ads-l] forewaters, hindwaters

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 4 18:06:16 UTC 2019

Merriam-Webster has “forewaters” as a medical term (https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/forewaters <https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/forewaters>) and doesn’t have “hindwaters”.

Wiktionary gives “forewater" and “hindwater" as the primary lemmas (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/forewater <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/forewater>, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hindwater <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hindwater>).

The English OLD has neither.

Looking at a few pages of Google Books, “forewaters" is used only in medical contexts, including resources for midwives, but a general search reveals that the term is in general use, at least among mothers and expecting women.

https://applesundermybed.com/home/2018/10/24/baby-walts-birth-story <https://applesundermybed.com/home/2018/10/24/baby-walts-birth-story>
Though this wasn’t a gush like when my waters broke with Joan (with her birth, it was my forewaters that broke), in fact, I barely noticed it.

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/childbirth/74646-waters-brokenhow-long-should-they-wait-before-i-am-induced <https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/childbirth/74646-waters-brokenhow-long-should-they-wait-before-i-am-induced>
Is it your forewaters or your hindwaters, Snips?

https://tinyurl.com/y56d4yg4 <https://tinyurl.com/y56d4yg4>
… known as the forewaters

https://www.madeformums.com/pregnancy/worried-about-your-waters-breaking/ <https://www.madeformums.com/pregnancy/worried-about-your-waters-breaking/>
(mixed usage of -waters with and without a space)
My sister says her hind waters broke before her forewaters. I’m confused – how many waters are there?
The water in front of your baby’s head is often referred to as the forewaters and the water behind it, the hind waters.

https://www.babygaga.com/10-things-pregnant-women-feel-before-their-water-breaks-and-3-things-that-happen-after/ <https://www.babygaga.com/10-things-pregnant-women-feel-before-their-water-breaks-and-3-things-that-happen-after/>
Soon, she felt the forewaters, then, shortly after she was in active labor.

https://www.health-foundations.com/cecelias-birth-story <https://www.health-foundations.com/cecelias-birth-story>
Within about 30 minutes I noticed I had lost what I thought was a part of my mucus plug, my forewaters had broken, and I had started mild contractions.

Surely these terms are used in non-technical contexts enough as to warrant entries without a medical label.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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