sprinkling can love


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  • I used to marvel at the way she kept her balance, hobbling about in her garden after sundown, with a trowel in one hand and a sprinkling can in the other, her mouth tightening and her eyes closing every now and then when the misery seized her knee.

    —James Thurber, 1952, 'Daguerreotype of a Lady', in The Thurber Album

    Not in OED (which has numerous other compounds such as 'sprinkling-pitcher'). Google shows 26 kGh for "sprinkling can" against 1.4 MGh for "watering can", so it's unusual but not unheard-of.

    July 10, 2008