Friday, January 18, 2008

Weekly Topic #1 for Defeat the Winter Doldrums Dishcloth Swap

Weekly Topic: Dishrag. Dishcloth. Face cloth. I've seen folks get all fired up in forums when someone refers to their knit or crochet creation as a dishrag, as that's somehow offensive to them! When you're working on yours, what do you call them? Also, is there a difference between a dishrag and a dishcloth? How bout a facecloth? Are they all really the same thing?

LOL. I think this is a hilarious topic. Well I've heard several names for this little, 8"-square, knitted goodie: dishcloth, dishrag, washcloth, washrag, facecloth. You get the picture. I must admit, I usually call them washcloths.

Here's why: Growing up, we used washcloths to bathe; albeit not cute, hand-knitted ones. Just the plain, 'ol terry-cloth ones that you find where you buy towels and other bathroom items. This was the standard in my house. In the kitchen, I don't think we ever used anything closely resembling a dishcloth. Always sponges. Except my dad's mother---my paternal grandmother---used them. And she called them dishrags. Or sometimes the Italian dialect/slang word, moppine (pronounced mah-PEEN). I'm guessing this is a derivative of "mop," somehow. Although the two hardly seem related to me. Anyway, I digress!

I am making a promise to myself to actually use one of these in the kitchen. I've heard that once you use them, you'll use nothing else.

I don't think I like the sound of RAG on the end of anything that I (or anyone else for that matter) spent time to create by hand. It sort of diminishes the personal value of making things by hand.

So for me, the standard name is "washcloth," with "dishcloth" following a close second. And hey, maybe I'll even resurrect moppine and use that!


Katie J said...

I support any of the terms, but I agree on the rag thing. They are all washcloths to me though.

Criquette said...

I vote for moppine!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, finally someone else whose family called these moppines! I tried to tell my mom she was making this word up because I couldn't find it in any Italian dictionaries! I would love it if someone could email me with any kind of source or etymology on it!