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Gradu or Gradoo, an Unusual Word Meaning Gunk or Schmutz

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Kelly from Cincinnati, Ohio, says her father uses the word gradooto mean “clutter” or “a bit of litter.” Also spelled gradu or gradeau, our listeners report using this word in a variety of ways, to mean “gunk,” “grime” and even “bits of meat left in a skillet used to make gravy.” It might be related to French gadoue, which once meant “manure.” It might also be somehow connected with the French Canadian expression gras dur literally means “really fatty,” or figuratively “happy” or “lucky” or “fulfilled,” as in Il est gras dur, “He is happy,” although how that sense might connect with gradoo’s negative sense is unclear. What is clear is that it’s not just Kelly’s family who uses the word. This is part of a complete episode.

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