cork/tip/cap

antobbo

Senior Member
UK
italian, Italy
HI all, quick question on the usage of cork/tips when referring to bottles. With "cork" we refer exclusively to what we use in wine bottles, that's at least what I seem to understand from the dictionary definition. How about tip and cap? are they used interchangeably? Take a bottle of beer: would you say it has a cap or a tip? And same for plastic bottles of water: cap or tip?
thanks
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree with HeyPresto and Teddy. In AmE, as well, "tip" is not used to mean something that closes or seals a bottle. (Where did you see it so used?) Beer bottles and water bottles have caps.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    What about the little metal lid that seals or closes a soda can? I found that it is called "tab", "top" or "cap".
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    What about the little metal lid that seals or closes a soda can? I found that it is called "tab", "top" or "cap".
    I call it a pull-tab. I see in this Wikipedia article that the removable tabs are called pull-tabs and the ones that remain with the cans are called stay-on-tabs. I call both of them pull-tabs, probably because you pull both of them and pull-tabs were the first to be developed and the first term I learned (in AE).

    That same article suggests that the BE term is ring pull, but I'll let someone else confirm or deny that.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thanks for the information. I don't recall seeing the old style pull-tabs on soda cans for a long time. I guess most beverage cans use "stay-on-tabs" these days.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    From what little I know and have gleaned, the new stay-on-tabs, or statabs, were designed in about 1974 and most cans had them by the early 1980s. I was living in Washington state at the time (think salmon-fishing) and I heard that one of the reasons the pull-tabs (that come off) were replaced is that if they were thrown into the water (off a bank or pier or boat) fish would eat them with lethal effect.

    I know that in California in the years before this, we would pop the top and drop it into the can, so that your waste was at least consolidated, but obviously not everyone was a fan of this approach. If you didn't do this, you ended up with a can and a sharp little knife you were discarding -- a bit of a mess.
     
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