What is the proper way to say I’m applying talcum powder on my child’s body? I always wonder whether 'applying powder' is correct in this sense.

  • 2
    'Powder' can be used as a verb. Apr 8, 2021 at 13:22
  • The prepositions are 'put powder on [the baby's bottom, baby ...]' but 'apply powder to [the baby's bottom / skin / thighs etc: formal, and needs to be more specific than 'baby', probably because of incongruous registers]. Apr 8, 2021 at 14:39
  • Looking at the photos of products online, I'm seeing the verbs shake, apply, and dust in the directions on the labels. I don't know if it's OK to link to products on ELU.
    – DjinTonic
    Sep 5, 2021 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


I'd say put powder on. It is true that powder is a transitive verb, but it sounds odd to me except in specific phrases, like powder my nose.

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