When I was younger, my parents would often describe small pieces (~1-3 mm diameter) of lint-like detritus as something whose IPA spelling is approximately pɐ'n(j)uʒɐ, or puh-NEW-zhuh (I hope I have the IPA right). I have tried Googling various English spelling and have failed to come up with anything, and my best guesses are panusia or pinusia. I am beginning to think it is a made-up word, though I quite like it.
Edit for demographic/geographical information:
Both of my parents are approximately 70, both grew up in and around SF Bay Area, CA, as did I. All of my grandparents grew up and lived in the United States. All of my parents and grandparents speak/spoke English as a primary language, and have/had no proficiency in other languages beyond elementary grade school courses, that I am aware of. Our ancestors immigrated a very long time ago, more than three generations, and virtually all of my ancestry is British and central European (Germanic), as far as I am aware. Both of my grandfathers served in the Western theatre during World War II, in case it might be derived or corrupted from an Eastern Asian language. I don't know where either were stationed.
My father has/had several friends of Italian ancestry. He would also use interesting phrases and slang such as padiddle to describe a car with one headlight out. He also enjoyed saying a variant of this interesting chant/song.