Sorry, Pedro, I was being a bit ironic there, we do use it ~ see belowYou don't use the word litter in England ?
rubbish is a noun used for litter in the UK. As in I have to buy a new rubbish bin.
However, UK kids nowadays WILL understand what litter is, as they are constantly being educated about recycling and the like, and litter is used in this more formal context a lot. A litterbug is quite common (somebody who litters, drops litter), there was a whole Balamory (pre-schooler TV show from BBC) episode devoted to a hunt for one!
Yep, you're right, Magda, I was being ironic and inaccurate. Small children these days do know what litter is, since education became green(er). It's older kids and young adults [bloody hell, ewie, can you not generalize a bit more?] who seem largely unaware of the concept of littering. [and maybe just a bit more middle-aged?!]
Me too, Porteño, me too ~ I'm 43 and so (I believe) at the tail end of the 'generation' brought up to believe that littering was (erm) anti-social (perhaps that's the word.) Sadly ~ see previous post on subject of generalizing ~ there grew up between my generation and the current 'green' generation several generations of folk for whom, it seems, the concept of littering has no meaning. At the risk of going way off topic and getting deleted (always a possibility) I've seen with my own eyes people aged, say, 15-35, dropping litter within inches of a litter bin. And it's not that they're missing the bin ~ they just don't seem to know what the bin is for.I suppose I'm what is considered a little past middle-aged, but I was always very much aware what litter was when I lived in the UK. Litter baskets were found in public places and signs admonished you not to drop litter. 'Litterbug' came along later as I recall.