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I am an English language learner in need help from especially native English speakers. Please, I am looking for a noun-word or any expression used for "bits of food spilt unto the ground out of the plate, by children while eating especially when they are eating carelessly". In my native Hausa language we say "birbidin-abinci''. I wanted to say in English to some children to clean up the mess after they finished eating (the mess = birbidin-abinci).

I looked for it using the expression in quotes on "www.onelook.com/reverse-dictionary", but the tool did not give me what I needed. Thank you in anticipation of your assistance.

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    I don't think there is a word for this. An irritated parent might say: "Stop making a mess!", but that can cover a lot of things that children do. Another thing parents might say is "Mind your manners!", which again isn't specific to eating. The closest I can think of is the reminder: "Table manners!" – ab2 Oct 6 '17 at 20:13
  • What is the word or phrase in your native language? Also, can you give a sentence (with blank) that uses the word you want? – Mitch Oct 6 '17 at 20:27
  • In my native Hausa language we say "birbidin-abinci''. I wanted to say in English to some children to clean up the mess after they finished eating (the mess = birbidin-abinci). Thanks to Sumelic above for suggesting the word "mess". – iandu76 Oct 6 '17 at 20:47
  • "Scraps" is a good word for bits of food. "Crumbs" can also be used, but it typically refers to bits of baked foods that can crumble, like cookies, crackers, cakes, or breads. "Stop making a mess!", as @ab2 suggested, is probably what a parent is most likely to say to a child who is spilling bits of food. – Shosht Oct 7 '17 at 1:34
  • @Sumelic and shosht. Thanks for the useful information it is really helpful. – iandu76 Oct 7 '17 at 14:12
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  1. Crumbs

'Even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their Master's table.' Matthew 15:27 (Authorised Version 1611)

  1. Scraps

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/scrap

  • Although crumbs can fall off tables, they're not the only kind of food remains that can do so. – Lawrence Oct 7 '17 at 2:10
  • @Lawrence the word crumb has a wider meaning than just breadcrumb - see edit – Nigel J Oct 7 '17 at 2:20
  • Let me know once you've posted the edit, and I'll take a look. – Lawrence Oct 7 '17 at 2:23
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    @Lawrence Edited again 'scraps' – Nigel J Oct 7 '17 at 2:43
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    @Lawrence and others. Thanks for the useful information it is really helpful. – iandu76 Oct 7 '17 at 14:16
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I think "crumbs" serves the purpose you want. Most specifically "crumbs" come from bread or crackers or other baked things, but "clean up the crumbs" could certainly be used more broadly.

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    It wouldn't work with non-crumbly foods such as spaghetti, tomato sauce, soup, or even peas and the like. – Lawrence Oct 7 '17 at 2:09
  • @Jackie Hoffman. Please can you suggest another word for other food types (non-crumbly) like the Spaghetti, ......., or even rice. I am interested in your consideration. – iandu76 Oct 7 '17 at 12:45
  • I agree that "scraps" is good. You could say "clean up the scraps." That could apply to little spilled bits of anything -- food, wood shavings, cloth, etc. Not liquids, though. For liquid you might say "spill" or "spots" or "drips." – Jackie Hoffman Oct 8 '17 at 3:18

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