I don't need to eat that Pringles. I need the name of the bottle that contains them, i.e. which is long, doesn't need to be round, empty inside and light-weight.

What do you call such a thing in English? What should I Google if I want to find such a container?

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[Source of the picture]

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    And I guess "bottle" is not correct way to call this thing. But I couldn't think of any other word so I used it.
    – user42459
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 6:32
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    Are you trying to think of the word tube? Or perhaps canister? Or cylinder?
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 6:41
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    I have edited your question. (Please see if it is OK) Why not use Pringles container? It is unique and is close to a proper noun.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 7:42
  • I think most answers misunderstand this question. In my read, it is not, "What is the thing Pringles come in called?", but rather "What is the generic name for the type of container used for Pringles?" Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 21:57
  • But if it's ajar, does that mean the lid is off? :)
    – user151969
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 23:17

8 Answers 8


As Sven Yargs suggests, you eat a can of Pringles, or a tube of Pringles.

Bottle is definitely not a suitable word here. A bottle is something that has a narrow opening, and would typically be used to contain fluid.

A glass or plastic container with a narrow neck, used for storing drinks or other liquids: he opened the bottle of beer

Oxford dictionaries

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    Pringles refers to them as "cans", not "tubes" (UK too).
    – Jason C
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 12:44
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    @JasonC I originally just put 'can', but I realised I wouldn't consider 'tube' to be out of place, whereas if I said 'tin' I would probably correct myself.
    – Jessica B
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 13:05
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    @JessicaB TBH it doesn't even matter what they're in, they're usually gone before I know what happened. :(
    – Jason C
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 13:52
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    @JasonC you're right. What are the Pringles in? No, not in a can - they're in me! Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 18:10
  • Tiny nitpick: do a Google Image Search for "Nalgene bottle." Not all bottles have narrow openings. If somebody made a plastic container in the exact shape of a Pringles can, but for carrying water, I'd call it a bottle. In this case it is the contents/purpose/material of the container that govern the name, not the shape. Less tiny notpick: It's also interesting that the same Oxford dictionary you quoted specifies that a "can" is made out of metal. Which makes the cardboard Pringles container I previously also called a can... more accurately, a tube.
    – The111
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 5:21

Although that particular object is most often described as a can of Pringles, I'm going to go out on a limb and argue that this shape is more often called a cylinder.

A can is generally short, may be squat, and is usually made of metal. A cylinder is long and narrow with no default construction material assumed.

If you wanted Pringles, can is the right word. If you want a generic container like the one shown, cylinder will work better. As choster mentions below, a canister is often used for a cylinder that is used for food storage.

And also, this is sometimes called a sleeve of Pringles. You can google it; here's an example from QuickMeme.

  • For what it's worth the bottom of a Pringles can is metal, and the inside is a metalicized paper. Can is definitely the right word for Pringles.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 14:46
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    +1 for sleeve, but I would suggest canister for cylinders used for food storage, as I think for most people, can is is very strongly associated with the steel "tin" can.
    – choster
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 17:18
  • @choster I agree with your assessment. I can edit mine, unless you want to post that as an answer too?
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 17:28
  • @KitZ.Fox I won't be posting an answer of my own.
    – choster
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 17:29
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    Note that cylinder can just as accurately be used to refer to a shape with a radius exceeding its height. Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 18:17

The answer to your question is "can." (Thanks Mary-Lou.)

Here are two of many answers I got when I Googled, "other uses for Pringles cans":

22 Outstanding Ways to Re-use Pringles Cans:


Pringles-Can Mods:


There are dozens of others. The use of a Pringles can as an antenna is my favorite. Have fun!

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    Well I shan't be calling them cans. Cans are made of metal. As far as I'm concerned they are tubes.
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 12:55
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    If you enter a so-called "convenience store" in the U. S. and ask for a "Tube of Pringles," be prepared for a few giggles from those around you, unless you happen to have a gorgeous British accent, in which case you'll receive admiring smiles instead. :-) Of course they are tubes! But they are called "cans of Pringles." Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 13:13
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    Do they still 'ask for things' in American shops? The only time I 'ask' is if I can't find what I want. Otherwise I just grab it off the shelf. We have come a long way since my uncle in his grocery shop would pour some rice onto a flat sheet of paper and wrap it for the customer - circa 1951.And he didn't have sticky tape either. I would think he tied it with string! I may have got that wrong. With things like rice and tea I think he first made the sheet of paper into a cone and poured the rice/tea in. All skills he would have learned as a grocer's apprentice circa 1925.
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 15:01
  • Hahahaha! I fear I am showing my age. But yes, I do still ask for things in shops rather than wandering the aisles hoping to find what I need. My gray hair usually earns me a little respect, so no one ever says to me, "The Pringles are on the 'Chips aisle,' you idiot!" Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 15:08
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    @WS2 Start typing "how many Pringles" into Google and very likely the first suggested completion will be "in a can" (emphasis added). It's possible that it's localized and different in British English places, but in American English, the only word is "can". The Pringles website itself calls them "cans". Connotations of metal notwithstanding, "can" is both the de facto and official word for the container. Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 18:49

There are several options, but this is best called a canister.

A usually cylindrical storage container, especially: a. A box or can of thin metal or plastic used for holding dry foodstuffs or cooking ingredients, such as flour or sugar. -http://www.thefreedictionary.com/canister

It's a bit more descriptive than can, which is arguably correct, but which more often describes a can such as canned soup or other wet materials comes in, made of heavier material. Consider also that it's perfectly possible to ask for a "cardboard canister," while a "cardboard can" sounds like a contradiction in terms.

This is not to say you would typically ask for a "canister of Pringles," but rather if you wanted to identify the container independent of the contents, you'd be more likely to get what you wanted with "canister" than "can."


In the Uk the trade name for this packaging product is ''Little John Drum'' They come in a vast variety of sizes. I do not know the actual manufacturer's name, but that title would be a start for a web search.

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    I'm in the UK, and I've never heard of that. I would guess it's something you'd only know if you were in the packaging industry.
    – Simba
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 12:02

In the England the following applies for container names:

  • If it has a narrow neck, it is a bottle.

  • If glass or ceramic, with an opening the full width of the bottle (or almost), use jar.

  • If it is made of metal, and cannot be reclosed, it is a tin or can.

  • If it metal and can be reclosed, it is a tin.

  • If it is made of paper or cardboard, use box or carton - unless it is round, and sturdy - then you may use drum or tube if it qualifies.

  • If it is short, say less than one and a half times as high as it is wide, and round, use drum or tub.

  • If it is round, and longer than it is wide, you may use tube. If it is not round, and is much longer, you may also use tube.

  • If it is not round, use tub.

  • If all else fails, container will usually do.

In England we don't use can unless the material is metallic. So the pringles container would usually be called a tube, but could be a tub, carton, container or packet. They short ones could also be called drums.

The reason for all these variants is unimportant historical accidents. The distinction between tins and cans for example is because the English word was tin, and can is an Americanism, but canned drinks brought the word can to England, hence cans are primarily drinks tins, which brings the connotation that they usually cannot be reclosed.

  • A wonderfully comprehensive list! AsvPringles containers are made of card, I would call it a 'drum', as you say. Or a tube, which feels like a more modern word.
    – Jelila
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 12:26

In the northeastern USA we would refer to a can or stack of Pringles or, if it's a plastic container, a tub of Pringles. Other food containers which bear the same shape are canisters (cylindrical boxes with a cardboard or plastic lid like for oatmeal), jars (glass or clear palstic with a twist on lid like for jam and peanut butter),cartons (generally cardboard or waxed cardboard, rectangular with a flat or pointed top as for milk or eggs) or tubs (colored plastic with a snap on lid like for margarine or whipped cream). Cans are almost exclusively one use metal containers which, once opened, cannot be resealed. Perhaps Pringles refer to their packaging as a can because of the aluminum lining of the vacuum packed canister much like a coffee can which, once the pull top is opened can't be actually resealed but has a plastic lid for after opening.


Since a bottle is made out of glass (or plastic) a glass container or plastic canister with the shape of a can of Pringles would be called a "jar".

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