garbage vs. trash

Natalie Maynor maynor at CS.MSSTATE.EDU
Mon Jan 22 19:25:57 UTC 2001

Lynne Murphy wrote:

> > We might mention 'rubbish'. This suggests the stuff left over from a
> > construction site. It's outdoor trash, and much of it would seem to be
> > incombustible.
> Now, here our intuitions vary.  To me, rubbish would be paper waste or
> rags, not construction waste.  And it would definitely be burnable.  But
> maybe I've lived outside the US too long to have American 'rubbish'
> intuitions.

I can't remember ever having heard anybody in the USA use the word
"rubbish" except figuratively.  Calling trash or garbage rubbish
strikes me as very British.
   --Natalie Maynor (maynor at

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