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Sense Vocabulary: "Good Touch" Words

Hi, and welcome to Word Wednesday! Tonight we’ll be looking at words related to the sense of touch (also often described using the word feel; see Monday’s post for a closer explanation).
Over the next few posts we’ll look at 10 words that can describe different ways to touch. I’ll divide them into three categories:
Today -“Good” (types of touch that are generally considered good)
Friday -“Neutral” (can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances)
Monday -“Bad” (types of touch that are generally considered bad)

Today’s three “Good Touch” words all used for humans, but coincidentally they’re also commonly used to talk about animals. They are:

Pat, Pet, and Rub: “Good” Touching

A sign advertising a “back rub” for men and women surrounded by red lights? Sounds a bit suspicious! I guess this could be good or bad! (Picture by CTLiota, used through Creative Commons license).
Here we go…
This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. The pages had different textures that you could touch and feel.
“Pat” usually means to move your open hand up and down on top of something. In some cultures, people often pat children on the head. You can also pat an animal, especially on its head.
In a semi-literal sense, you can use the phrase “pat on the back” when you want to congratulate a person for something. For example, you can say: 
“John deserves a pat on the back because he finally graduated!”
Of course, “Pat” can also be an abbreviation for Patricia or Patrick, so pay attention to the context.
Many guide dogs and other “working” dogs (like drug- or bomb-sniffing dogs at the airport) have signs that say something like “Please don’t pet me, I’m working.” (Picture by Hurricane Omega, used through Creative Commons license).
“Pet” usually means to move your open hand in a line while continually touching a surface. There is more hand contact with petting than there is with patting. 
“Pet” is often used to talk about touching animals. Of course, animals that live in our houses are called “pets,” but I’m not sure if that’s a coincidence.
Also, when people have a close romantic relationship, they often use different or “cute” names when talking to each other. Those names can be called “pet names.”
Our cat Chubby always enjoys a good belly rub! (Picture by author)
“Rub” is very similar to “pet,” but it’s more continuous. Sometimes it’s used to describe touching in a circular motion. It’s also used for therapeutic touching or massage. For example, when a cartoon character is hungry, he often rubs his stomach. You can also give a back rub to someone who has back pains.
So, that’s it for now. If you understood all these words, you deserve a pat on the back! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to join the conversation!
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Sense Vocabulary: "Neutral Touch" Words
Senses: Touch and Feel

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