coffee grounds/grinds

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 14 18:46:35 UTC 2011

I'm with Wilson--it's "coffee grounds" only, for me. But I see another
reason for this.

There is a "coffee grind", but it has an entirely different meaning--it's
the coarsness of the ground coffee prior to brewing. And "coffee grounds"
refers to to the dregs /after/ the coffee is brewed, either the ones
remaining behind in the filter, the coffee pot (if boiled or percolated) or
in the coffee cup, if the liquid was not fully filtered. So, if someone
refers to "coffee grinds", I would not cringe, but would rather inspect the
settings on the dial for commercial coffee grinders.

And, while we are on the subject, is anyone up for an informal survey?

[coffee grinder] or [coffee mill] or [both, indifferently] or [both, but

I'm in the fourth category but know people in each of the other three.


On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 2:01 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 1:24 PM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at> wrote:
> > "coffee grinds"
> That one is new to me. I'd "prescribe" - to coin a term - "coffee
> grounds" without hesitation.
> By coincidence, on The Judges, a tree-surgeon spoke of not getting
> paid, even though he had "_grinded_ the two stumps" as requested. He
> used _grinded_ several times in the pursuit of his money. So, it
> probably wasn't a slip.
> OTOH, doesn't "_ground_ the two stumps" sound kinda wrong, in any
> case? IMO, "ground _up_ the two stumps" has the superior "mind-feel" -
> so to speak - seem like to me. I'd also go with "ground _down_," in
> this case, given that the surgeon mentioned the the stumps were now
> "level with the ground." That is, he didn't pull the stumps out of the
> ground and grind them _up_. Rather, he left them in the ground and
> ground them _down_. Which is almost enough to make anyone go with
> _grinded_!
> Youneverknow.
> --
> -Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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