Say someone has a dirty kitchen, they fry food there with the windows shut and the oil from the food they fry stick to the windows. Now say you walk into this kitchen and you look at the windows.

How would you describe what you saw? The windows were greasy and dirty? Idioms are also welcomed.

(I have a hard time explaining things and describing situations sometimes, so whenever my mind blanks out and I feel difficulty explaining an issue I come on here and I try to figure out ways to say it better next time.)

1 Answer 1


There are many ways to describe this, but one of the more literal options is grimy, or covered in grime:

grime (n): Dirt ingrained on the surface of something. The windows were thick with grime

Grime is not just dirt -- it's dirt (or some other filth) that, over time, has literally or figuratively coated some surface. Something grimy will generally evoke disgust, or at least revulsion at the thought of touching that surface.

If the windows are covered with ash, as if from a smoke-producing stove or fireplace, then you could alternately call the windows sooty, or covered in soot:

soot (n): A deep black powdery or flaky substance consisting largely of amorphous carbon, produced by the incomplete burning of organic matter.

  • 1
    I once read a newspaper report of the prosecution of a restaurant owner by health inspectors who found the wall behind a cooking range to be coated with "flocculent filth". Mar 7, 2019 at 21:08
  • Flocculent filth? interesting. I already knew the words suggested in the post but I never thought of using them. This forum is really unlocking my brain.
    – Kaique
    Mar 7, 2019 at 21:26
  • @Kyle You can always get creative: The windows were nearly opaque with caked-on filth. Looking through them was like staring into the turgid depths of a polluted harbor.
    – Andrew
    Mar 7, 2019 at 21:31
  • @Andrew Hahaha, I try to deliver the message to the other person as simply as I can. Since I'm not a native speaker of the language I'm very careful with how I express myself. I aim to sound as natural as possible. I'm not very confident.
    – Kaique
    Mar 7, 2019 at 21:41
  • @Kyle Certainly. I was just offering one modest example.
    – Andrew
    Mar 7, 2019 at 22:08

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