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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Sweating vs perspiring    

Sweating vs perspiring


Sweating vs perspiring
Last week, one of my students told me that sweating is used on animals only. Humans should use the word perspiring. Is this true? If it �s true, any reason why we can �t use sweating on humans?

7 Sep 2010      


Of course people sweat!
Perspire is more refined or polite.
At one time it was considered good etiquette to use:-
 �Horses sweat, men perspire, women glow.�  -But that is not a rule, just people trying to be extra polite in years gone by.
If you play vigorous sport you sweat - man or woman.
Saying �ladies glow � is considered a bit of a joke.
In fact many animals do not sweat eg: dogs do not sweat as they have no sweat glands and pigs do not sweat to adjust their temperature as their sweat glands aren�t very functional.

7 Sep 2010     


Thanks for the reply.
I asked my colleague about it. She agreed with my student and said there was a saying.
So I thought I �ve been teaching the wrong thing.

7 Sep 2010     

United Kingdom

Yes Mr Apoda is quite correct, (except that dogs do sweat but through pads on their paws.)

In fact people who play sport often wear a sweat band on their wrist! If humans didn �t sweat why would we call it a sweatband?
As a native speaker from England I am sure that you are correct !!!!!
Good luck with your teaching :)

7 Sep 2010     


Calling it �perspiring � does not make it less smelly!
Good luck!

7 Sep 2010     


@crisholm: LOL

7 Sep 2010     

Lina Ladybird

Fresh sweat doesn �t smell at all... It only starts to smell when you forget to take a shower after an attack of sweating. LOL
BTW, Antony is right; I thought the same or something similar: why do sweatshirts exist when I - as a female - am not allowed to sweat in them?? And do I have to call them perspiration shirts from now on? Wink

7 Sep 2010