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My friend gave me a chocolate. It was melted and, as a result, my hand was sticky with chocolate in an unpleasant way.

Which word can I use to describe the unpleasant stickiness of this viscous liquid?

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  • What's wrong with "stickiness"? Incidentally, "viscous" is more commonly used of liquids which are thick/difficult to stir (but which might not actually be particularly "sticky"). Jan 6, 2014 at 23:13
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    Maybe "gummy" is what you want?
    – Scott
    Jan 6, 2014 at 23:22
  • Is there a word for this in your native language? If so, what does the dictionary say?
    – Kaz
    Jan 6, 2014 at 23:53
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    I'd be likely to say, "My hand's a mess with chocolate." If I wanted to emphasize the "stickiness," I might say, "My hands are gooey with chocolate."
    – J.R.
    Jan 7, 2014 at 0:19
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    @Kaz: It's hard to say with some things. K-Y Jelly, for example, feels pretty "greasy" - but it's obviously not, if you define "greasy" as "oily", since it's water-soluble. Also, chocolate with a very high cocoa solids content isn't really "sticky". I think it's mostly the sugar that makes it so. Weirdly, superglue isn't at all sticky (until it's glued your fingers together! :) Jan 7, 2014 at 1:40

2 Answers 2

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Tackiness can be used to describe the glue-like quality of a liquid. Note that it also is commonly used to describe kitchy, poor taste actions and objects, so if you use this word, make sure you make the context clear.

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    Tacky is an excellent word for substances like paint, tar, or glue, but I'm not sure I've every heard it used for candy or chocolate. I couldn't recommend "tacky" over "sticky" in the O.P.'s context. This is still a good answer, though.
    – J.R.
    Jan 7, 2014 at 0:24
  • I have seen and heard 'tacky' being used to describe the stickiness resultant of a sugary residue, so this seems apropos.
    – DopeGhoti
    Jan 7, 2014 at 0:35
  • Tacky is stickiness - look at the cloth that can be bought in hardware stores, 'tack cloth', which picks up the finest sawdust. ;) Jan 7, 2014 at 1:06
  • @DopeGhoti - I agree with you, if there was juice spilled on the countertop, it might leave a "tacky" residue. So let me clarify: If the chocolate is gone but my fingers stick when I press them together, then tacky is a suitable word. But if my fingers are still smeared with chocolate, I'm not sure the word tacky would apply – at least not yet. I'm not sure which situation the O.P. is describing. Had the O.P. said "The chocolate had melted; I cleaned it off, but my hand was still sticky in an unpleasant way," then perhaps tacky would work.
    – J.R.
    Jan 7, 2014 at 1:35
  • If one's hands were slathered in molten chocolatey goodness, one word that comes to mind is gooey.
    – DopeGhoti
    Jan 7, 2014 at 13:08
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In my American dialect, I have no better word than 'sticky'.

'Tacky' is okay too, I'm just not sure I'd use it to describe myself, I'd only use it for things, like a lint roller, or a surface covered in drying paint.

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