[ buhb-ler ]
/ ˈbʌb lər /
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a drinking fountain that spouts water.
Chemistry. any device for bubbling gas through a liquid.


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Have you ever heard a phrase said in a different part of the country, and it's said in just a slightly different way than how you say it back home? Those different phrases are called regionalisms. Do you use any in your state?




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Origin of bubbler

First recorded in 1710–20; bubble + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What is a bubbler?

Bubbler is a regional term for what’s more commonly called a drinking fountain or a water fountain—a device that ejects a fountainlike stream of water that can be drunk from without a cup.

The word bubbler is typically only used this way in a few areas of the U.S., including Wisconsin and parts of New England.

Bubbler is also used in other contexts to refer to a device that sends gas bubbles through a liquid. Such equipment may be used in chemistry experiments, for example. They’re sometimes called gas bubblers. 

An irrigation bubbler is a device used to water the soil around tree roots, typically as part of an irrigation system in an orchard.

Example: The line to get a drink from the bubbler at the Sox game was wicked long.

Where does bubbler come from?

The first records of the word bubbler come from the early 1700s, but it wasn’t used in reference to a water fountain until much later.

As is the case with many other regional terms, saying bubbler when referring to a water fountain is often a clue to where someone lives or grew up. However, the word bubbler is also used in other specific contexts that don’t vary by region.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for bubbler?

What are some words that share a root or word element with bubbler



What are some words that often get used in discussing bubbler?


How is bubbler used in real life?

When used in reference to a water fountain, the word bubbler is a highly regional term that’s typically associated with parts of New England and Wisconsin.



Try using bubbler!

True or False? 

People who use the word bubbler to refer to a water fountain are often from the Southern U.S.

British Dictionary definitions for bubbler

/ (ˈbʌblə) /


a drinking fountain in which the water is forced in a stream from a small vertical nozzle
chem any device for bubbling gas through a liquid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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