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Is there a single word or a short phrase to better describe a consumable item (e.g. drink or food) that has already been nibbled or sipped at? The relevance of this word or phrase would be in a situation where someone has eaten or drank some food such that it cannot be given to someone else, due to, for example, saliva.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Chenmunka, tchrist, Robusto, Edwin Ashworth Sep 19 '14 at 20:02

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    This question should be moved to ELL. – Lewis Heslop Sep 18 '14 at 9:50
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    "defiled by contact with mouth/ spittle:" It's more a cultural thing. Some cultures do and many don't make a distinction between food or drink that has been "touched" (i.e., somewhat used) by someone or some animal. I don't think there's a word for that concept in the English language. – Kris Sep 18 '14 at 10:45
  • Some dictionaries translate the idea into English as 'leavings' for want of a better fitting word. – Kris Sep 18 '14 at 10:48
  • Why the down vote? – Kris Sep 18 '14 at 10:48
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    possible duplicate of Is there a term for something that is tainted with another's saliva?. Also Word for “food only partially eaten”, though I'm supposing OP is trying to translate jutha, a concept peculiar to Hinduism. – FumbleFingers Sep 18 '14 at 11:45

Americans don't usually put food back on a common plate after eating part of it, so this doesn't come up enough to warrant a special word for it. If I saw a sandwich with a bite taken out of it, I'd call it partially-eaten.


The term that I think is most relevant here is


The word on it's own doesn't necessarily denote food that is no longer fit for consumption, however, you could add in an adjective to do this;

Dirty leftovers

This could be used as follows in the situation you described:

Lewis wanted some cake, but Jiten only left him some grubby leftovers.

In a formal setting however, like on an incident report or food safety course, the correct word would be;


For example:

It is not advisable to eat any food that may have been contaminated by animal contact.

Hope this helps.


If I understand the question correctly, I would use the term "pregurgitated." However, ingurgitate may more closely fit the food/beverage distinction.

  • I think you mean 'regurgitated', as 'pregurgitated' is not a recognised word. However I don't think this word would be correct in the situation because to regurgitate something would be to par-digest it and vomit it back up and that's definitely not what the question is implying xD I guess pregurgitated and ingurgitate may mean to eat some food, but then the subject is the consumed good, and not what is left of the consumed good. – Lewis Heslop Sep 18 '14 at 10:26

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