In English, people often say "stuff" when they refer to things generally, you don't need to say specifically what they are.

For example, "please move your stuff (you don't need to say specifically the books, mobilephones, etc) off the table".

In Vietnamese, we often say "the gut of a pen, a mobile phone, or a machine" (translated literally from Vietnamese to English) when we want to refer to the inner part of something generally?

Do we have a similar word to generally refer to the inner part of a thing (such as a pen or a machine)?

3 Answers 3


The US expression you generally hear is "the insides" to refer to interior parts. It seems most dictionaries only list the singular, inside, but that generally refers to the interior as a whole. Insides seems to be listed exclusively as an informal substitute for the guts, but that is not how I would characterize its usage.


guts [plural] informal the parts inside a machine or piece of equipment


The word that springs to mind is innards. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/innards I believe it is derived from the phrase inward parts.

  • DO you think talking "where are the innards of the pen" to a kid sounds strange.? Is there any down-to-earth expressions? Maybe "where is the stuff inside the pen?"
    – Tom
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 13:36
  • I suggested 'innards' because it can also mean 'guts', but, no, you probably wouldn't use it when speaking to a child. As pboss3020 suggests , 'inside(s)' would do. Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 14:33

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