I have a doubt in this question:

Which is the odd one?
A) spill
B) soap
C) hand sanitizer
D) mouthwash

I guess it's all related to hygiene so is it "spill" because it's a verb, but I discovered it can also be a noun and mean like a drop that was spilled, as in "a spill of coffee".

In terms of liquids, only soap can be excluded.

  • You mixed the reasons: is spill the odd one because it is not about hygiene; or because spill is a "verb"? Note that you can get liquid soap too. Mar 30, 2020 at 16:16
  • Thanks so spill is an odd because it's verb?
    – user105254
    Mar 30, 2020 at 16:19
  • As you wrote, spill is a noun too. Voting to close because this is opinion-based. Mar 30, 2020 at 16:20
  • "Spill" doesn't fit with the others. Seen as a verb, it doesn't fit because the others are nouns. Seen as a noun, it doesn't fit either, because it means the result of an accident, while the other three are simply personal care products. So it doesn't matter whether it's a noun or a verb. Mar 30, 2020 at 16:22
  • 1
    A spill (noun) is also a small roll or twist of paper or slip of wood for lighting a fire. Still the odd one out, since nothing to do with hygiene. A poor test or quiz question. Mar 30, 2020 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


Yes, the word spill is often used as a noun, especially when there is a major oil spill in the ocean. See Google Search for "oil spill." There are too many websites and articles to list here.

Let's look at the title of one academic paper: Estimating the mortality of seabirds following oil spills: Effects of spill volume. The unspoken admonishment to the people who let these spills happen is: Don't spill the oil!

Thus, the word "spill" can be used as a noun, adjective (adjectival noun or attributive noun ), and verb:

Noun: oil spill

Adjective/adjectival noun: spill volume

Verb: spill the oil

I agree that "spill" is the odd one in your list of four words because it does not fit in with hygiene.

  • 1
    Please don't answer bad questions. Your phrases "oil spill" and "spill volume" are noun phrases, not an adjective spill. Mar 30, 2020 at 18:07
  • In spill volume, spill is a noun modifying volume. Just because it modifies, doesn't mean it's an adjective. An easy enough mistake to make, however.
    – user3395
    Mar 30, 2020 at 23:15
  • Someone rewrote the grammar rules since I was in school in the 1960s. I edited my answer according to the info I found online. Mar 31, 2020 at 5:11

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