Words: faucet, n.

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The Independent Culture
INSIST ON unbottled water in Cafe Rouge and the waiter calls it the Magritte-like "glass of tap"; on the bill, this is "tap, pounds 0.00", which belies the chain's casual air and is logged in head office as a missed opportunity.

Just as Billie Holiday lamented in her own, perfect song "Fine and Mellow": "love is like a faucet, / It turns off and on. / Sometimes when you think it's on, baby, / It has turned off and gone." Faucet, the American for tap, survives in Midlands dialect, and, akin to the French fausset, goes back to the 15th century (tap is far older), when a tube and peg - faucet and spigot - formed part of a barrel.

As the jovial philosopher in Thomas Randolph's Aristippus (1630) said, "thi Nose like a Fausset with the Spicket out".

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