Everything has to have a name, and the toothpaste blob you see on toothpaste packages and in advertisements is no exception. That blob of toothpaste with its perfect curves is technically called a “nurdle.”
There isn’t a good reason why a blob of toothpaste is called a “nurdle,” but the word has other meanings in other areas. The word is a cricket term that means, “To score runs by gently nudging the ball in vacant areas of the field,” and it’s also used to describe a cylindrical shaped plastic object used in the plastics or manufacturing industry. But the world of the “nurdle” pertaining to toothpaste is actually quite heated.
Colgate-Palmolive, the toothpaste maker, filed suit to prohibit the use of the “nurdle” in other companies’ toothpaste packaging. It seemed to be a pre-emptive strike against GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Aquafresh, and their application for a trademark for the “nurdle” on their packaging. Glaxo filed their own suit after Colgate had filed theirs.
It seems toothpaste makers want the “nurdle” all to themselves, and it’s all rather confusing. Why can’t everyone just use the “nurdle” and get along? It appears the war over the “nurdle” is only beginning. If you find it all too hard to fathom, just look it up if you don’t believe me.
Sources: Wiktionary, Wall Street Journal