Posted by Smokey Stover on January 01, 2007
In Reply to: "Hold your water!" posted by siliq on January 01, 2007
: "Hold your water!"
: Normally, "hold water" means that a theory can stand up under criticism or analysis.
: But I found that this phrase sometimes may also means "to wait". Then, you might say "hold your water!" to somebody if you want he/she to wait for a minite. Is that true?
This phrase started out as a humorous variant of "Hold your horses." It does indeed mean "hold it" for the moment, that is, wait. The users of it believe it to mean, literally taken, either "Don't piss your pants," or try to keep your sphincter tight for the next few minutes. But figuratively it just means "Wait a darn sec!"
Authors of environmental tracts use it as a catch phrase with a double meaning, the environmental meaning being, don't waste water.