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What do you call a small medical dressing used for injuries not serious enough to require a full-size bandage? Well, it does depend where you are. 

"My BrE tells me a plaster means exactly what you would call a Band-Aid." 

A BAND AID or BAND-AID [ˈbændeɪd] is a genericized trademark registered in 1924 by Johnson & Johnson (from bandage + aid). This is by far the most common term in AmE now. It is also used in Australia.

"She had a Band-Aid on her ankle."

It is understood in the UK, where it's sold nowadays, and used occasionally – probably increasingly – but it's still an Americanism. 

"I would say that 'plaster' and 'band-aid' are entirely synonymous in the UK and US."

AN ADHESIVE BANDAGE [ədˈhiːsɪv/ədˈhiːzɪvˈbandɪdʒ] is the second common name for such products in the US.

"The nurse opened a medicated adhesive bandage and applied it over my eye."

A STICKING PLASTER, MEDICAL PLASTER, or simply PLASTER is what it's called in the UK, New Zealand and Canada. The use of plaster for this type of bandage is allusion to the traditional use of sticky pastes to ensure the bandage stayed in place. 

"Sticking-plaster [sic] doesn't sound old-fashioned to me (BrE)." 

AN ELASTOPLAST [ɪ'læs.tə.plɑːst/ɪˈlæs.tə.plæst] is a common genericized trademark in the UK and some Commonwealth countries. 

"Years ago people in Britain used to use the word Elastoplast and no doubt many still do."

Nowadays, it has given way to some extent to sticking plaster, or just plaster as an everyday term though - perhaps because Elastoplast is a bit of a mouthful. 

"I grew up saying elastoplast, but swapped to plaster when I moved to Yorkshire."


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  1. It is an incomplete book, it contains only 15 pages out of 81!
    How can I get the whole book freely?

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