What do you call the hair or body hair you trim off your body? When you get your hair cut, remainders are left on the floor until it is swept off. What do you call them?

For example:

The boy swept off the ___ that was left below the man whose hair was getting cut.

  • If you use "hair clippings" or similar, you'll also want to change the phrase from that was left to that were left because "clippings" are plural.
    – CodeGnome
    May 15, 2019 at 13:14

4 Answers 4


"clippings" or "trimmings" is good.

(plural, so change "was" to "were" in your example sentence, of course)

These are general terms, but their meaning is clear in the context of someone's hair being cut. Their full description would include the word "hair" (i.e. "hair clippings") so we know they aren't grass, or newspaper articles. Viewing the answers here, I would say "clippings" is considered the best, but "trimmings" and "cuttings" would be clear, and even "shavings" if generated by an electric razor. As pointed out below, they are still "hair", so instead of the clippings, you might sweep up the hair or the pile of hair, or just the mess.

  • 4
    The only term I've ever heard is "clippings". I googled "sweep hair clippings" and "sweep hair trimmings" and "clippings" appears to be the winner in a landslide. I don't know if there is any science to that, but there is a variety of stock photos of that activity.
    – Karen927
    May 14, 2019 at 21:07
  • In American English, I never hear this unmodified by "hair" unless one is a barber pointing to the floor. There are also grass clippings, toenail clippings, and so forth. I'd certainly stick with hair clippings unless the context were extremely unambiguous, and even then it may sound odd not to provide an adjective.
    – CodeGnome
    May 15, 2019 at 13:12
  • @CodeGnome in the OP's example sentence, "the man whose hair was getting cut" makes it as unambiguous as it could possibly be. May 15, 2019 at 16:52

It is still hair, only now it is on the floor.

The boy swept up the hair that was left below the man who was getting a haircut.

The plug-hole in the bath was blocked with hair.

  • Good point; borrowing for my answer. May 15, 2019 at 9:19

My local barber refers to them as "cuttings".

  • 2
    Allegedly, barbers know they make very good garden compost. May 14, 2019 at 17:58

"Shavings" may be apt for those with a bit more hair or depending on where the hair was from

  • 6
    In English, at least in American English, I haven't heard shavings used in this way, even if the hair has literally been shaved. "Shavings" tends to refer to flatter, more ribbon-like forms of trimmings (see: chocolate shavings).
    – briantist
    May 14, 2019 at 23:56
  • I would expect "shavings" to be cut off by a "razor" or a "shaver". Scissors generate "clippings" instead of "shavings".
    – Jasper
    May 14, 2019 at 23:56
  • 1
    @Jasper In common usage, shavings tend to refer to items that were formed by planing, e.g. wood shavings or chocolate shavings. However, bits of beard in the sink would still generally be "hair clippings" or "hair trimmings." YMMV.
    – CodeGnome
    May 15, 2019 at 13:18
  • @Kaiwen Chen - Welcome to English Language Learners and thanks for answering the question. Just so you're aware, the system flags short answers like this for review. I would suggest adding detail to support your answer, such as how the questioner can understand your thinking. I disagree that 'shavings' is the right term, however your answer is supported by at least one other comment so I've decided to let it be. When there's commentary disputing your answer it's especially important to support it well. It means your answer is at risk of being voted down or potentially deleted.
    – dwilli
    May 16, 2019 at 2:49

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