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Testing the waters

Posted by R. Berg on November 14, 2005

In Reply to: Testing the waters posted by Bruce Kahl on November 13, 2005

: : Has anyone ever heard the phrase 'testing the waters?' - in the meaning of trying out a certain approach / sales policy / etc. to see how it is received before launching it full scale?

: Yes, it is a very popular phrase and you are correct in your understanding of what it means.

: It may have derived from the act of bathing a child--you mix in a quantity of hot and cold waters into a tub or whatever and you dip your hand in to test the water to make sure it is not too hot or too cold.

I test my bath before I sit
And am always moved to wonderment
That what chills the finger not a bit
Is so cold upon the fundament.

- Ogden Nash