Trash vs garbage
Trash vs garbage – is there a difference?
My grandmother taught me that trash means plastic, leaves, metal, tires, wood, etc, and garbage means food waste – I guess what we might now call compost.
This linguistic distinction wasn't something i'd ever learned in school.
I mean, to me, this is a trash can and this is a garbage can.
But the Oxford English dictionary records "trash" as originally meaning broken or torn pieces of wood, twigs, splinters, cuttings from a hedge, straw, etc. While "garbage" originally meant giblets of a fowl or entrails and waste parts of an animal.
In fact, the earliest record of the word "garbage" in English is in a fifteenth-century cookbook:
Recipe for giblets.
"Take fayre garbagys of chykonys as pe hed, pe fete, pe lyuerys, an pe gysowrys; washe hem clene, an caste hem in a fayre potte" And so forth.
So, grandma was right!
This days, however, many of us in the US use the words "garbage" and "trash" interchangeably.
And if you live in the British Isles... well, Rubbish.