enter image description here

I am not sure if people say "peanut shell" and "peanut skin" in everyday English?

People in some countries get raw peanut seeds and fry them until they are crunchy as shown in the below picture.

enter image description here

And when they eat, they remove peanut skin by rubbing the peanut with their fingers to make its skin fall off and eat the seeds inside (they don't eat the skin) as shown in the below picture

enter image description here

How to express to remove peanuts' skin with your fingers in English?

Maybe, "to rub the skin off the peanuts before eating"?

Also, while doing that the peanut may fly far away because the peanut is slippery and may slip out of the fingers.

Do we have a common term to express that action, for example, "the peanut slipped far away as I rubbed its skin off"?

  • 1
    Rub the skin off seems fine to me. Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 13:01
  • 1
    The one-word verb skin will do here: skin the peanuts before eating them. Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 13:23
  • 1
    Deshell: (transitive) To remove the shell from. You deshell the peanuts.
    – Void
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 13:24
  • @KateBunting, can we say "to rub the peanut / skin raw before eating". I found this "The horse's neck was rubbed raw (= until the skin came off) where the rope had been." from the dictionary (oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/rub_1?q=rub)
    – Tom
    Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 1:38
  • 1
    No, we can't. To rub something raw is to hurt a living person or animal by rubbing the outer layers of skin from a part of their body. The peanuts don't feel sore when their skins are rubbed off! Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 7:07

2 Answers 2


Borrowed from internet sites after googling: Parts of the peanut

Parts of the peanut include:

  • Shell - outer covering, in contact with dirt.
  • Cotyledons (two) - main edible part.
  • Seed coat - brown paper-like covering of the edible part.
  • Radicle - embryonic root at the bottom of the cotyledon, which can be snapped off.
  • Plumule - embryonic shoot emerging from the top of the radicle.

Most peanut butter is made from blanched peanuts. Blanching is the technical term for removing the testa, or seed coat, from the peanut kernel. What's the testa you ask? That's just science-speak for that dark reddish, papery coating on every peanut.

You shell peanuts to remove the outer shell
and you can peel off the skin (seedcoat/testa) to get at the seed/kernel itself.
We say that the peanut shot/slipped out of my fingers.

Google images for peanuts to see numerous illustrations.

  • So, do we say "peanut seedcoat" or just "peanut coat"?
    – Tom
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 9:04
  • I have only referred to the skin of the peanut. The definitions above are a bit technical. Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 9:05

"rub off the skin" seems fine to me. "Skin" is a reasonable word to use for that:

Don't you eat the skins?

No, I rub it off with my fingers

Whoops, it shot out my fingers; they're a bit slippery.

There are lots of ways to express this: you could use the verb "skin the peanuts (by rubbing)". If you are writing a thesis on the lifecycle of the peanut (it's surprisingly interesting) you would talk about the seed-coat.

What makes your expressions look "unnatural" is that in any language you don't tend to describe in detail events that happen. If you are rubbing the inside skins off peanuts you just do it, there is not need to say anything. If the peanut slips out you might say. "I'll get it", or "Could you pick that up and throw it away for me please" But you don't say "A peanut slipped far away"

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .