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I heard two expressions are employed to refer to the cup or mug that we use when brushing our teeth, tooth mug and tooth glass. My question is if tooth glass can be used to refer to the kind of cup made by something non-glass, for example plastics, or if tooth glass has to be made by glass?

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    Related: Is “plastic glass” as a container a valid expression?
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 15:46
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    I’ve (AmE) never heard of a “tooth glass” before. And I don’t use sny kind of a glass or cup when I brush my teeth.
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 2:02
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    @Jim I agree entirely. A "tooth glass" would suggest something in which someone put their false teeth.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 7:20
  • "Toothbrush tumbler" or "bathroom tumbler" seem to be the common names for this item on online stores. Tumblers can be made of anything. As to the question, if you asked for a glass of water would you be upset to get a plastic or paper cup?
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 13:46

2 Answers 2

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Yes, it can. The material of the "tooth glass" will generally be transparent. "Glass" is still used in the names of lots of items in whose construction glass has been replaced with, most usually, plastics.

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    Speaking personally, as a British person, I would not call anything a "glass" unless it was actually made of glass. Some people do qualify this by referring e.g. to "a plastic glass". But being of a certain age I still use the term "beaker" to refer to a plastic drinking vessel, also "mug", though that is usually of ceramic or earthenware, sometimes "a plastic mug". On the other hand I do still refer to my spectacles as "glasses" even though they nowadays contain no glass as such.
    – WS2
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 8:43
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    Well, for this British person I disagree... the plastic "beakers" (not a word I've heard outside the lab in many years) in my house and my family's houses are "tooth glasses". Maybe there's a regional/traditional variant at play?
    – Mike C
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 9:03
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    More likely a generational variant. I was a war baby.
    – WS2
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 11:20
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    @ChrisH Thanks for pointing that out. I'd forgotten it. But I'm glad I haven't contradicted myself too much!
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 7:06
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    Just to amplify what I said earlier, I was in a Tesco cafeteria the other day with a bottle of drink and found myself asking for a "plastic mug". They were transparent and shaped like a drinking glass. I don't think I would describe one of the throwaway kind as a "beaker".
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 7:16
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A 'beaker' normally has a 'beak' or protrusion on its lip, used for pouring its contents. If the lip is uniformly round, I would stick to 'tooth glass'.

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    You're mixing up a few things there. Beak != spout. Lab beakers may have lips but drinking beakers tend not to.
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 15:45
  • In the United States it is common to have a tooth-brush holder that is an item separate from a drinking glass. The tooth-brush holder is likely to match the soap dish, other items, and possibly a drinking glass.
    – Xanne
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 0:53
  • See bedbathandbeyond.com for what’s on offer.
    – Xanne
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 1:03

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