The British band Maccabees has a song called No kind words which has the following lines:

Dear friend of mine is testing his body
Tempting disaster
Testing water with another's daughter

The last line feels like an idiom. However, I could not find anything close on the internet. It would be very interesting to know what meaning can exist behind this line.

Sometimes it’s very difficult to catch the right metaphor meant by author.


1 Answer 1


Testing the water (or sometimes waters) is an idiom meaning "finding out what people's opinions of something are before you ask them to do something". Imagine someone, planning to take a swim, putting a toe in the water to find out its temperature, in order to decide whether to jump in. You can possibly imagine what idea the singer's 'dear friend' might be suggesting to somebody's daughter.

Test the water(s) (Cambridge Dictionary)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .