Splash Up: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
July 16, 2023

"Splash up” is a phrasal verb that means to make something wet by sloshing or splattering along its length. It can also mean to make a liquid slosh or splatter along the length of something by using a noun or pronoun between “splash” and “up.”

In short:

  • "Splash up" primarily conveys the notion of wetting something by splashing liquid on it or causing liquid to splash or slosh along something.

What Does "Splash Up" Mean?

The idiom "splash up" denotes the action of making something wet by sloshing or splattering along its length. This phrase can be applied when liquid is sloshed or splattered along the length of an object, often in a messy, uncontrolled manner. There's also a second usage where a noun or pronoun can be placed between "splash" and "up."

Let's explore its core meanings and usage:

  • "Splash up" is often used to describe the result of an accidental or intentional action that causes the liquid to splash onto something.
  • It can imply a messy, careless, or enthusiastic application of liquid to an object or a person.
  • The idiom can be used in various contexts, from cooking and painting to car washing and kids playing in puddles.
  • Try its synonyms, like "splash over," "splatter up," and "spurt up," to add some spice to your conversations.

Where Does "Splash Up" Come From?

The verb "splash" has been used in English since the 14th century and is derived from the Middle Low German word "plashen," meaning "to splash or splatter." The addition of "up" to the phrase could have been influenced by the concept of liquid moving upward when splashed.

Historical Example

"The chief stretched forth his hand , and seizing one of the egg cups, drew it towards him, gave the egg a great blow with the butt of a knife, which caused it to splash up in his face."

- The Chief; or, the Gael of Sassenach, 1833

10 Examples of "Splash Up" in Sentences

Here are some examples of the idiom in use:

  • The waves crashed against the rocks, splashing up seawater.
  • The water was as cold as ice, but he splashed it up into his face to stay awake.
  • The toddler splashed muddy water up his trousers which riled him up.
  • He splashed some paint up the wall, thinking it was art.
  • During the boat ride, the oars splashed up river water.
  • She drank a bit too much at the party and splashed some wine up her friend’s dress.
  • They splashed up water and mud as they sprinted through the waterlogged park.
  • John became the butt of a joke when he tripped and splashed coffee up his new shirt.
  • She splashed some mud up Lindsey's car out of spite.
  • Walking too close to the curb, a passing bus splashed up water on him.

Examples of "Splash Up" in Pop Culture

The phrase "splash up" might not be the most prevalent idiom in pop culture, but it does occasionally appear in descriptive scenes, primarily in literature or scriptwriting.

Let's explore some instances:

  • "As you walk, the puddles splash up, getting your pants wet," is a quote from the book Rambling of the Mind by Nancy Ann.
  • "Riding the horses in the edge of the water caused the water to splash up, getting themselves and their riders wet," is a quote from the 2017 book True Love Always Finds a Way by Stacy Hendrix.
  • In the comedy movie Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999), Detective Fowler tells Deuce Bigalow, "I was doing my business, and something sort of splashed up on me, all over."

Other/Different Ways to Say "Splash Up"

There are several other expressions that convey a similar meaning to "splash up."

Here are some of them:

  • Splash out
  • Spatter up
  • Splash over
  • Spurt up
  • Spatter on
  • Splosh up
  • Splatter up

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Splash Up":

  • What does "splash up" mean?

"Splash up" refers to the action of making something wet by splashing or sloshing a liquid along its length.

  • How can I use "splash up" in a sentence?

For instance, you can say, "Stuck in traffic, the sudden rain started to splash up against my car windows."

  • Where does the idiom "splash up" come from?

The phrase "splash up" comes from the physical action and sound of liquid splashing in an uncontrolled or vigorous manner.

  • Is "splash up" used in formal writing?

While not common in formal writing, "splash up" can be used when vivid, descriptive language is appropriate or needed.

  • Can "splash up" refer to non-liquid substances?

Usually, "splash up" is used with liquids, but it can metaphorically be applied to other materials like paint or mud that behave like liquids.

  • Is "splash up" used in specific contexts?

Yes, "splash up" is often used in contexts involving water or other liquids, such as cooking, cleaning, painting, or outdoor activities.

  • Can "splash up" refer to a controlled action?

"Splash up" usually connotes a more uncontrolled or messy action, but it can be used to describe a purposeful action, depending on context.

  • Is "splash up" an international phrase?

While the exact phrase "splash up" is English, the concept it represents—liquid splashing or splattering—is universal and likely to exist in other languages.

  • Does "splash up" imply a large quantity of liquid?

Not necessarily. "Splash up" implies more about the action of the liquid than the quantity. It could be a large wave or just a few droplets.

  • Can "splash up" have a negative connotation?

It depends on the context. In some situations, "splash up" might suggest messiness or carelessness, but it's not inherently negative.

Final Thoughts About "Splash Up"

The idiom "splash up" brings to mind vivid imagery of liquids in motion, making it a dynamic phrase to use in conversation or descriptive writing. This idiom adds color and action to your language, whether it's water splashing up from a puddle, paint splattering onto a canvas, or soup sloshing in a pot.

Here's a quick recap:

  • "Splash up" usually refers to liquids splashing or sloshing, wetting something along their length.
  • The idiom is versatile and applicable to various contexts involving liquids, such as cooking, cleaning, or playing in the rain.
  • It's not confined to a specific amount of liquid—it could be a wave or just a droplet.

"Splash up" underscores the lively, sometimes messy reality of life and actions involving liquids. It's a useful phrase to remember for those instances when you want to capture the vibrant, fluid motion of the world around us.

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