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Nurdle, Nerdle, Nodule

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The word nurdle, sometimes spelled nerdle, can be used to denote various “small bits of things,” such as styrofoam packing material or detritus in one’s pockets. It may be related to the word nodule. Like thingamabob and whatsit, the word nurdle, can also serve as a general-purpose placeholder for a word you can’t think of. In industry, nurdles are tiny pellets used in the production of plastic, now becoming a major source of pollution. At least as early as the 1960s, the word nurdle was also used for the wavy dab of toothpaste on a toothbrush, a definition of which was cited in a 2010 legal battle between rival toothpaste companies. This is part of a complete episode.

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