TUESDAY TRIVIA: What Is the Dab of Toothpaste That Sits on Top of a Toothbrush Called?

It seems there’s a name for everything.

If you look up the meaning of the word “nurdle,” you’ll find that it is a small pellet of plastic used to make plastic products.

Apparently, it is also what toothpaste manufacturers call the dab of toothpaste that sits on top of toothbrushes in their ads.

In 2010, Colgate and GlaxoSMithKline, which makes Aquafresh toothpaste, were involved in a legal battle over the use of nurdles in their advertising. According to Reuters, Colgate sought a court order allowing it to use toothpaste packaging that superimposes the words “Triple Action” on a blue, white and green nurdle—which the article says is “a wave-shaped toothpaste blob that sits atop a toothbrush head.”

Glaxo, which used the “Triple Protection” phrase for its Aquafresh toothpaste, countersued, accusing Colgate of trying to “trade off the commercial magnetism” of its own packaging, which included a red, white and blue nurdle.

The two companies reached a settlement in 2011.

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