Do you have a big test at school today? If so, you might not be very excited about school today. Or is today the day that your class is having a party? If that’s the case, then you’re probably very excited about school today.
But what if it’s a regular school day? You know the kind. You go to school, learn, have lunch, learn some more, have recess, learn some more and then head home. No tests to worry about, but no fun surprises either. If you’re not particularly excited about or dreading something, you might hear people say you have a lukewarm feeling about it.
If you’re an aspiring chef, you may also see recipes from time to time that call for lukewarm water as an ingredient. Have you ever wondered exactly how hot is lukewarm?
Lukewarm actually comes from the Middle English word lukewarme. It was a combination of “luke” and “warm,” and the “luke” part was an alteration of the Middle English word lew, which meant tepid.
Tepid means neither hot nor cold…or about room temperature. In fact, tepid is a synonym for lukewarm, because lukewarm is used to mean neither hot nor cold.
Lukewarm can refer to actual temperature. Lukewarm water is neither hot nor cold. In the kitchen, lukewarm refers to liquid — usually water or milk — that’s only mildly warm.
As for an exact temperature for lukewarm, there’s no set standard. Some believe lukewarm to be between 98° F and 105° F. Others believe lukewarm might be in the range of 80° F to 90° F.
You can also find recipes that will tell you to mix one part room-temperature water with two parts boiling water to make lukewarm water. If you run warm water on your wrist and it feels slightly warmer than your body temperature (but not hot), then that’s probably close to lukewarm.
Lukewarm can also be used to describe a person’s attitude toward something. If you’re not particularly for or against something, your feelings toward it may be described as lukewarm.
Do you think it’s OK to feel lukewarm from time to time? People who like a particular idea will often want others to be as passionate about it as they are. Certain issues, such as political issues, may have very passionate people on both sides of the issue.
People from both sides may let their enthusiasm lead them to try to convert the lukewarm supporters to their side. At the end of the day, though, not every issue speaks in the same way to every person. If you’re indifferent and have a lukewarm response, that’s OK! Just be honest!