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Word of the week: spackle

As noted in this piece from last month, we continue to watch repeats of the US sitcom “Friends” most weekdays. We record the two episodes that are broadcast from 4pm on Channel 5 and my wife, daughter and I watch them at some point in the evening. Occasionally my son joins us for the odd episode. The end of Series 10 was shown sometime in February and since then we have begun all over again from Series 1. We have now reached Series 6 (out of 10), just after Ross and Rachel’s drunken wedding in Vegas.

At some point in Series 5 Chandler referred to “spackle”. I would have heard the word when watching the show 20 years ago but it was unfamiliar to me. I had been meaning to look it up, and have finally got around to it. Spackle, or “spackling paste”, is a putty used to fill holes and small cracks in plaster and other surfaces. The equivalent here in the UK is Polyfilla. Spackle and Polyfilla are both brand names.

The context for Chandler mentioning spackle is when he and Joey are playing a game called “Fireball”. They refer to a previous game, “Hammer darts” and the damage it caused, and Chandler asks something like, “Can you even remember which parts of the wall aren’t spackle?” Joey says, “Yeah”, and punches a hole through what appears to be plasterboard, near the fridge.

It’s a while since I used Polyfilla, Tetrion or any similar repair products. Last time I did I was grateful to find that you can buy pre-mixed tubes or pots of it. When I first used filler it came as a powder, and you had to mix it yourself with water. The powder form is cheaper, but it’s always worth spending a little more to get it pre-mixed. I assume it’s the same with spackle.



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