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When I intend to buy a non-cold bottled water in a grocery, the seller often gives me a chilled one. I have to express myself again by saying something like "I need a non-cold normal temperature one", then they'll get it.

This is really a heavy sentence that I’d rather avoid, so what”s the word meaning “normal temperature” bottled water?

50

A good phrase for "non-cold normal temperature" is "room temperature". If you ask for "room temperature water" then people will know not to give you cold water.

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    Another good word is "tepid", although this word is more likely to be written on the water cooler, and is less common as a spoken word. – Matt Feb 13 '13 at 16:45
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    @Matt: In most contexts, tepid means close to blood temperature, rather than close to ambient temperature. – FumbleFingers Feb 13 '13 at 17:06
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    dictionary.reference.com/browse/tepid: moderately warm; lukewarm: tepid water. I've never heard of tepid being used to refer to blood-temperature :/ – Matt Feb 13 '13 at 17:47
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    'Tepid' sounds a bit formal (I've also never heard this 'blood' thing). If I were asking out loud, I'd be more inclined to ask for 'room-temperature' (or 'non-chilled' or 'regular') – Mitch Feb 13 '13 at 18:54
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    If you touch the water and you feel no heat, nor chill, by nature it's approximately blood temperature since we don't actually feel heat, but rather the transfer of heat into or out of our skin. The sensation of blood-temperature water is neutral and lacking any surprising response, which is roughly synonymous with a tepid sensation. This is the correlation between tepid and blood temperature. – RyanJMcGowan Feb 14 '13 at 8:18
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Words like lukewarm and tepid do an accurate job of describing the temperature of the water, but they don't necessarily sound all that natural in the context of buying bottled water. I think the same could be said for room temperature. You might just try unrefrigerated instead.

Could I get an unrefrigerated bottle, please?

7

The word that describes a temperature the same as that of the surrounding environment is ambient, but it may not be understood as such by the average grocer. To be sure of getting what you wanted, you’d probably have to something like ‘Can I have one that isn't chilled?’

4

Just ask for "Room Temperature water". Saying this would help in buying water at a grocers; and also people won't put an excessive amount of ice in your water at restaurants, too.

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    They probably wouldn't put any ice in your water at restaurants if you asked for room temperature water.... – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Feb 13 '13 at 18:52
  • In fact strictly speaking they might need to warm it up a bit to make it literally "room temperature", since tap water (or bottled water from a cellar) often comes out below ambient temperature of the room it's served in. – Steve Jessop Mar 7 '16 at 18:01
3

If you don't want a chilled one, ask for unchilled.

"noncold" doesn't occur because the prefix "non" of Latin origin does not usually combine with adjectives of Germanic origin: we do not have "nonfriendly", "nonhappy", but we do have "nonalcoholic" and "nontoxic". On the other hand, "non" is broadly compatible with gerund forms of verbs, regardless of their origin: e.g. "nonliving things", "nonsmoking area", as well as with "-er" forms related to "-ing": "nonsmoker".

Something that has not been made cold is also "uncooled"; it's just that the verb more commonly used for deliberately cooling a drink is to "chill": "Beer should be served {chilled | cooled ?}."

To address a question in the comments below: "nonchilled" is also awkward because "non" also doesn't combine with verbs at all, including verbs formed from nouns, and so it goes poorly with "-ed" adjectives which are derived from verb participles. "to nonchill" could never be a verb, and so "nonchilled" could never be a participle: "the weather had nonchilled" is nonsense which probably intends to say "the weather had not chilled". A counterexample is "nonplussed"; however "plus" is not used as a verb, "nonplus" is basically a unit and note that it's two pieces of Latin origin.

  • like, unchilled water bottle, please? – learner Nov 21 '13 at 8:03
  • What is more natural in colloquial English, non-chilled or unchilled? – learner Nov 21 '13 at 8:10
  • I think unchilled sounds right compared to non-chilled – AdamV Nov 7 '14 at 13:30
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I think the most common expression for the application you want is non-chilled or not chilled. Matt mentions "Room temperature" but that may be read as somewhat too specific - it's almost a scientific term.

There's a near term which doesn't strike quite at "normal temperature" but if you need something that's normally hot, you may ask for lukewarm, which is warmer than normal but not by much.

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    I've always equated lukewarm with room temperature. – Ken Bellows Feb 13 '13 at 16:06
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    @KenB: I think they're pretty much the same, although their might be some contexts (such as first aid for frostbite) where a basin of lukewarm water might be slightly warmer than water at "room temperature". In the context of the supermarket, the word unchilled might work, too. – J.R. Feb 13 '13 at 16:09
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"Lukewarm" (the "e" is silent) generally means "not noticeably hot or cold".

"Room temperature" works, though it's a bit long and unwieldy.

"Tepid" technically means the same thing but (1) it might be slightly unfamiliar to some speakers, and (2) it has a stronger negative connotation - if you say something's tepid, you're saying it's lukewarm, but you're also kind of saying that it's bad that it's lukewarm.

  • Lukewarm and tepid mean the same thing: slightly (but noticeably) warm. You wouldn't describe something at room temperature as either of these. – Beejamin Mar 9 '16 at 21:54

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