When I drink water, there are two ways to drink. Either I can touch my mouth to the bottle or keep the bottle away from my mouth.

Suppose my friend comes and asks me for water. As I am suffering from fever, I want to say to him: "Don't take my water, it is …". What should I fill there?

I was thinking to use "used" there. But "used" can be used in the case when I didn't touch water with my mouth. So, what should I use? I am not getting the proper word for it.

  • 2
    Although it doesn't answer your question, you could rephrase: "Oh, you don't want to drink that. I'm sick and I was drinking from it."
    – user230
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 18:19
  • Forget about illness. If I am not ill and want to tell him that I had drunk water using my mouth. Then how should I say this to him in simple and short manner?
    – hellodear
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 18:22
  • In that case I'd just say "I've drunk from that". Most people touch bottles with their mouths when drinking from them so it would be assumed that's the method you used unless you specifically said that you poured it into your mouth from above. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 13:09
  • 2
    Extremely similar question on ELU: english.stackexchange.com/questions/192371/… Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 17:54
  • @oerkelens - You're right; mea culpa. I had erroneously thought your link pointed back to the earlier questionf from today. My apologies.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 11:14

3 Answers 3


"Contaminated" is a common term used to describe something that has been in contact with dangerous organisms or substances and would pass them on. It is most likely what you are after.

"Tainted" is also used in this case, but is less formal and slightly less precise (it could be tainted with something distasteful, but not harmful).

"Adulterated" is the term used in technical and legal communication (FDA reports).

To answer your second question (comment), I do not think there is a single specific word in English to describe "risky-because-of-having-been-drunk-out-of". You would have to say, as snailplane suggests, "I drank out of that". The fact that you touched the water would be implied, because you wouldn't warn them if you had not.

  • Okay! now imagine that I am not ill, then? I just want to say him that I had drunk water using my mouth touched to it. So, how should I say this? Forget about illness and all.
    – hellodear
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 18:20
  • 2
    You can say, "You don't want that bottle, it's got my germs[cooties] on it." or jokingly, "No, we're not quite to that point in our relationship."
    – Jim
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 19:33
  • 1
    I don't know of a specific word in my dialect of American English. "Contaminated" is an awfully clinical term, and rather strong to apply to a bottle with a bit of saliva on it.
    – swbarnes2
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 7:29
  • @swbarnes2 In my British English dialect, you could say "contaminated" but it would be a bit jokey, because, as you pointed out, it's a bit strong to use just for a bottle you've drunk from when ill. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 13:07

As a native speaker, I wonder: is the problem with the water, or with the bottle?

That said, a few expressions come to mind. The first one is the most direct:

You might not want to drink from that bottle; Ann already had her mouth on it.

The second is more of a euphemism than a scientific fact:

Don't drink from that bottle – it has germs.

(We don't know for a fact that the water has any contaminants, but the word germs is often used to refer to unseen microorganisms that could spread disease, particularly in informal speech.)

Because the concern is mainly with someone else drinking from the bottle, you could also say:

Be careful! That may have someone's backwash in it.

TFD labels this definition of backwash as "informal", while the Urban Dictionary says:

Backwash is often created inadvertently or unintentionally when liquid escapes the mouth during the process of drinking .. When multiple people drink from the same container, there will usually be some amount of backwash put back into the container.

As a footnote, the adjective for drinkable water is potable, though anyone who would deem bottled water as non-potable simply because someone else drank from the bottle is probably using extreme hyperbole, or else is an overly sensative germaphobe.

  • 1
    Yes, the problem is with the bottle. The person who used bottle is not sick. This is a great answer.
    – Rucheer M
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 10:19
  • 1
    My question has no connection with illness. The person who drinks is perfectly okay. It's more about manners than contamination or germs. I don't agree with this merge as a moderator you can delete my original question, because this misguides me.
    – Rucheer M
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 11:47
  • 1
    you are taking it medically again. I know this being a doctor and Indian. Do you know just like bottle, we have a noun for 'food' as well which is eaten by someone else? Ruchir, being an Indian (I guess), is asking for that word. Suppose I am eating khichdi with hand in a plate and ate a very little portion of it. If Ruchir comes (he's my best friend and thus does not need permission to ask for food) and takes my plate, you may stop him.... Hey, don't take that plate, it's [we have a word here]. The same goes with bottle etc.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 5:16
  • 1
    @MaulikV Exactly. I am looking for a word "Jhootha".
    – Rucheer M
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 5:18
  • 1
    @RuchirM Yes...I had a hint of that. J.R's answer 'someone already had their mouth on it' is the answer for bottle/water. However, for food, jootha khana (Hindi), I'm afraid, there's no word in English! Maybe, the safest way is... that's Ruchir's plate... works.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 5:24

To the best of my knowledge, there is no single English word that means "my lips have touched this drinking container". You would have to use a descriptive sentence or phrase, like "I drank from this" or "I had my lips on this" or, particularly if you had been sick, "This has my germs on it", etc.

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