If I understand the differences in regional dialects correctly, some of y’all don’t call this a hosepipe.


You call it a “garden hose” or just a “hose” or some other type of gibberish.

In Alabama, we call it summer entertainment.


That is, unless you’re not the one holding the hosepipe. Then it’s called a source of great anxiety.


Or, more likely, a sure thing.


But once you get past that initial moistening and it melts the southern summer heat off of your overclothed legs, you realize it’s not such a bad fate after all.


The hosepipe holder, however, must take occasional moments of solace to ponder the gravity of his position,


As well as study the Geometry of the task at hand.


Like a Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace, he must also perfect his posture and carriage of weaponry.


But don’t worry. He’ll remember you exist.


And he’ll take care of all of your cooling needs.


ALL of them.


Until you start to wish that you didn’t exist.



At which time you can simply move along, and let him get back to his training,


His marching of the perimeter,


And his technique testing.


Because it’s serious work.


Grueling even.


But if the hosepipe is taken away, great heartache will commence.


Grieving will become necessary for all involved.


Well – almost all.


Because turnabout…is fair play.


37 thoughts on “Hosepipe.

  1. Love it! I let AJ play in the hosepipe the other day, and even though we had other “fun activities” planned, her favorite thing that happened all day was just playing in the hosepipe. God bless our Southern (and specifically, Birminghamian) vocabulary.

      1. Yes, I realize this is a 10 year old post, but…

        I was actually trying to figure out why people from cities other than mine (several non-Southern, including northern but also cities/regions I just don’t consider Southern regardless of their geography, and Atlanta) looked at me crazy for using hosepipe to refer to a “garden hose” or “hose”. Some even assumed I meant the faucet/spicket/spigot, and not the hosepipe itself.

        Anyway, it’s the only term I’ve ever known for it, and even Google knows what I’m talking about, though that might be dependent on where I’m searching from. I’m from New Orleans, and I assure you that hosepipe is the preferred term when speaking of hosepipes.

  2. I (and my family) are definitely guilty of using the term “hose pipe”. My husband is always sure to give me a crazy look anytime I use the term. I get the same look when I use the word “house shoes” instead of slippers.

  3. My neighbors and I have this conversation all the time! My husband and I lived in South AL until moving here 9 yrs ago. We had never heard the word hose pipe…we call it a water hose. We also call the garbage container that is picked up by the garbage truck a hobo. The only place I’ve ever heard that is my hometown, and everyone there calls it a hobo.

  4. Hose pipe? That’s … strange. Kind of redundant – no? We just call it a hose (“a flexible tube conveying water, used especially for watering plants and in firefighting.”)

  5. Actually I suppose it doesn’t have to carry water, or even a liquid. We call the tube that does our natural case a hose as well. A pipe up here is a rigid tube (or used to smoke with lol)

  6. We were the only ones in our Over the Mt neighborhood growing up that didn’t say hose pipe, so we converted under peer pressure so everyone would know what we were talking about. It’s as southern as sweet tea in a mason jar.

  7. Of course it is a hosepipe. If you just said hose someone might get it mixed up with “hoise”, the shortened form of pantyhoise. And garden pipe-That’s just adding an extra unneeded syllable.

  8. I grew up in the Birmingham area,about 20 miles north of the city, and my family always used hose and hosepipe interchangeably. I thought it was a Southern thing, but had no idea is was more specifically regional that that!

  9. Love it. I still love playing in the hose on hot summer day. And yes I grew up here in Florida to a very Southern family with Georgia and Alabama roots and to my knowledge it was always just a hose.

  10. Um it’s a hose. A simple hose. I am from PA and we pronounce everything correctly. Except some people around here call a lollipop a taffy and they are just dumb.

  11. Memories of Daddy saying, “Where’s that piece of hose pipe I use to siphon gas for the lawn mower?” Lol yeah he taught me how to do that, too.

  12. Ok I guess I’m the weird one. I was born & raised in AL and I never referred to it as that. It’s always been a water hose. I have heard it referred to as a hosepipe a couple times in TN though. Either way it has provided loads of fun and cooling for this household as well- especially when hooked up to a fan sprinkler :)

  13. I grew up in South Alabama and we called it a hose. Didn’t hear the term hosepipe until we moved here nearly 20 years ago. I say hose or water hose. No matter, it was always fun on hot days. We also sat in wash tubs filled with water on really hot days too.

  14. Never before had I heard it called that. I’m in Arkansas, and I thought that was Southern enough. Guess not! Ha!

  15. I’ve lived in the nashville area my whole life and it’s always a hosepipe. Years ago, my dad was somewhere not in the south and someone asked him what he called the thing you use to water plants outside and he said hosepipe. The man immediately asked if he was from middle TN. According to this man, only middle TN people called it a hosepipe. I guess I can add Birmingham people to that list, too!

  16. Never heard the term hosepipe, here in Eastern NC we just say water hose but no matter what you call it kids love it lol!

  17. I laugh now when my husband uses all the terms he used to make fun of me for saying (We met when we were both living in CA – he an Okie and I, up to that point a lifelong Alabamian), including hosepipe (water hose to him) and buggy (shopping cart). My favorite, however, was when he pulled me aside at a family function – a VERY SOUTHERN family function – and asked me to explain the meaning of “It’s comin’ up a cloud!” He hasn’t adopted that one for his own use yet. ;)

  18. Noah needs a little brother, or younger friend around. It’s tough being the youngest… But there has to be youngest, there no way to get around it. I’ve been pondering this as I’m pregnant with my 4th and most likely last child. I had the great benefit of being 2nd out of 7 so I got learn all sorts of things about babies and how to be a properly dominant sibling but my youngest sisters didn’t get that. They are teens now and get to play with my kids but it’s not the same even tho there is less time between then and my kids than them and me.

    I’m not sure where I was going with that… except maybe to say that I’m glad I’m not the youngest?

  19. i came here just to say i also grew up in NC calling these hosepipes and didn’t learn until I got older that not everyone does lol

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