cotton ball

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SunnyNight

Senior Member
Czech
Hello.

What would you call the thing on the image in singular?

Suggestions:
1) cotton ball
2) wad of cotton
3) cotton-wool swab
4) plug of cotton wool
5) piece of cotton wool
6) cotton-wool ball

Context: I am translating a word from German, but rules do not allow me to write it in German in the English forum...

I am also interested to know what is the thing on the image called in USA and what in UK.

Thank you.
 

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  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In American English, those are cotton balls. A wad would be an amorphous amount probably randomly torn off a larger piece. A swab is a stick. Those aren't on sticks. We don't call it wool - wool comes from sheep.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    We don't call it wool - wool comes from sheep.

    We British may be more fond of metaphor than our American cousins:p.

    For me, those are cotton wool balls. If I run out of them, I tear off a piece of cotton wool from a bag of the stuff. It comes folded up, in a long strip.
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Query: does the BE term cotton wool balls mean: 1- the item is made of cotton and wool? or 2 - the item is made of wool to resemble cotton? or 3- None of the above.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The item is made of "cotton wool". We also have "wire wool", but it isn't part of my beauty routine - yet:(.
     
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