Is it obsolete to use the term garburator to refer to a garbage disposal unit in a kitchen? If it is, do we have a better term to replace it with?

Also, what is the etymology of this word?

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    I never heard the word, but I love it!
    – Khaur
    Jan 16, 2013 at 11:12
  • Yeaaaaaaah , me too , it's lovely Jan 16, 2013 at 11:24
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    There's a brand of garbage disposals named In-sink-erator, which is another terrible pun.
    – Marcus_33
    Jan 16, 2013 at 13:32
  • Well-known word in Canada since at least 1965, when my grandfather installed one. I don't know if it referred to a specific brand at that time. Aug 17, 2013 at 20:09
  • Interesting word. I cannot recall having consciously heard it before, but I instantly and instinctively knew what it was when I read the title of this thread. As for the etymology, it is obviously a mix of ‘carburator’ (also spelled ‘carburetor/carburettor/carburetter’), as in the thing you have in your car engine, and ‘garbage’. Aug 17, 2013 at 22:35

5 Answers 5


As an American, I've never heard this word before today. I refer to it simply as a garbage disposal, without the word unit.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/garburator claims that this word is specific to Canada, so I assume it might have been a Canadian brand.

  • You are correct , but i've heard it lots of times in Tv .but thanks anyway Jan 16, 2013 at 7:25
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    @BenyaminHamidekhoo, what country have you heard it in? I too have never heard it and this is the first time I've ever seen it. Jan 16, 2013 at 7:32
  • I heard it on a TV Series called " How i met your mother " , America . There was a gal named Robin . She used this word one or twice i guess. Jan 16, 2013 at 7:36
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    That could make it a "proprietary eponym" where a trademark is used for the general type of product.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 16, 2013 at 9:59
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    @BenyaminHamidekhoo the character Robin in that show is Canadian, and some of the humour in it comes from views Americans and Canadians have of each other, so it might well have been used precisely because Americans wouldn't use it. Incidentally, some other humour in that show comes from the group having pet coinages that nobody uses, so there'd be more than a few cases where they'd say something that isn't really found anywhere at all.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 16, 2013 at 10:20

I heard the term years ago on the Red Green Show — again Canadian. I was able to figure out what it was by the images of the unit and the discussion. I had initially thought it was a brand but I have found nothing about such a brand anywhere.


My whole family uses the word, but we're the only people I've heard use it in Florida. My mom's family is from Canada, so that might be the reason.


I use the word. I'm Canadian and living in the USA. I was surprised to find no results when searching the big box stores online for a new garburator. Hence, I ended up here. I assumed it was a universal name until now.

  • I've heard of it, but that's about as far as it goes. Would not expect Home Despot sales droids to recognize the term.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 15, 2015 at 20:24

Garberator is a contraction of the words garbage & macerator


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