Home » Schmutz


Gradoo or Gradu

A Dallas, Texas, listener wonders if his family made up the term gradoo, meaning “grime” or “schmutz.” It’s definitely more widespread than that and may derive from a French term. This is part of a complete episode.

A Gazelle in the Garden

“There’s a gazelle on the lawn,” meaning you have schmutz on your face, is a fun way to tip someone off to wipe their chin. The expression actually comes to us from Arabic, where the expression “there’s a gazelle in the...

Spit Baths

Spit baths are another common form of quickie baths, wherein a moist towel is used to wipe schmutz off a child’s face. One fraternity member emailed us to say that when he was in college, over-spraying with cologne in lieu of a shower was...

Messing and Gauming

Messing and gauming, meaning “dawdling and getting intro trouble,” comes from gaum, a term for something sticky and smeary like axle grease or mud. A baby with schmutz all over his face is all gaumed up. This is part of a complete...