Many a time, there are bountiful usage to a word. Today, we explore the word: Bath.
When used as a verb, it is common to hear “I bath before I go to bed” or “I have a habit of bathing in hot water”. According to Oxford Dictionary, (to) bath, when used as a verb means to wash oneself while immersing in a container with water. That brings us to the next definition of bath, as a noun. When used as a noun, a bath is a large container for water, used for immersing and washing the body. Bath as a noun could be used as such “Each bedroom in the house have their own bath and shower” or “He lay in the bath listening to music while enjoying a glass of champagne”.
While it is not uncommon for British people to refer to a building with public swimming pool or washing facilities as a bath, it is a term pretty much unheard of in America. Moreover, what might confuse english learners further, is the difference in pronunciation of the noun and verb form of Bath. In British English, both noun and verb form of bath is pronounced as /bæθ/. However in North American English, the verb form of bath is recognized as bathe and the pronunciation goes by the phonics of /beɪð/.
Noun and verbs aside, Bath is also the name to a well known World Heritage Attraction in England. The city of Bath in South West England was founded in the 1st century AD by the Romans who used the natural hot springs as a thermal spa. It became an important centre for the wool industry in the Middle Ages but in the 18th century under the reigns of George l, ll and III it developed into an elegant spa city, famed in literature and art.
The City of Bath is of Outstanding Universal Value for the following cultural attributes: The Roman remains, especially the Temple of Sulis Minerva and the baths complex (based around the hot springs at the heart of the Roman town of Aquae Sulis, which have remained at the heart of the City’s development ever since) are amongst the most famous and important Roman remains north of the Alps, and marked the beginning of Bath’s history as a spa town. (description adapted from UNESCO World Heritage List)
As opposed to Medieval Europe, where bathing is uncommon (Aristocrats replaced bathing with scented rags to rub the body and heavy use of perfumes to mask their stench), washing and keeping clean was an important part of a daily routine for the Romans. In ancient Roman Empire, bathing was not regarded as a private activity but a public socializing event, which explains the flourish of bath houses back then!
Bathing is a part of cultivating good personal hygiene and I personally, would so love to take a bath at the bath house in Bath! (Yes, that’s how you use em’ all in a line)