On the plastic lid of a cardboard drinking beaker manufactured by Huhtamäki are the abbreviations L, NG, OT and Z, each with a little spherical knob next to it. What do the abbreviations mean, and what are the knobs used for?

  • 2
    Are you sure this should be on English.stackexchange and not Finnish.stackexchange? What country did you find this cup in? Apr 21, 2019 at 19:46
  • By beaker do you mean drinking cup, like you would get at a cary-out (takeaway in BrE) restaurant? And by knobs little circles that can be pressed in? If so, I can say in general they are used to identify the drink. I do not know what those particular letters mean. In the US, we might have cola, diet cola, root beer, and lemon-lime. The first three are approximately the same color, so the server can press down the little circle if she is serving a group with a mix of sodas. Maybe in whatever country you are in, those letters stand for some common soft drinks?
    – Damila
    Apr 21, 2019 at 19:53
  • Do you really need to axe? Apr 21, 2019 at 20:15
  • Huhtamaki lids for use in English-speaking countries have a different selection of letters: a representative image shows C, S and B for cream, sugar and black. Without evidence that this question is actually about English, I'm going to put it on hold. [Asking about what the knobs are for is definitely off-topic.]
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 21, 2019 at 20:17
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because there is no evidence that it's about the English language.
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 21, 2019 at 20:17

2 Answers 2


The knobs are so that the servers can depress them, and keep track of what is in the cup.

For example, on the web, I can find a picture of a lid which has knobs labeled diet, tea, cola, other. When a server fills a cup with tea, they depress the knob labeled "tea" on the lid so as to make sure the customer gets the correct cup.

I have no idea what L, NG, OT, and Z are, though. They don't really sound like English abbreviations for various drinks.


Huhtamäki is based in Finland. Maybe L, NG, OT, and Z are initials in Finnish for the drinks sold there? But in fact Huhtamäki produces drinking cups for many countries, so maybe L, NG, OT, and Z are initials in some other language.

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