EAU NON POTABLE
oh naw po-TAH-bluh. Click below to hear this.
it’s summer! Time for a phrase or two that might keep your camping trip in a French-speaking country safe and enjoyable.
When you see this sign, don’t drink the water! Potable means safe to drink without danger to health, and non means not. So don’t.
Eau means water, as in eau de cologne, which is not water at all and is also non potable. L’eau-de-vie literally means water of life, but that’s just wishful thinking. It is, however, potable, since it is brandy, unless you have bought the really cheap stuff. That kind is barely potable.
If you remember your Latin, you’ll recognize the source of this word: potere means to drink in Latin. Otherwise, just remember: if it’s non potable, it’s also “not pottable”. Why would you want to put contaminated water in your soup pot?
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