Stuff – just happens to be, my favorite word.


As a noun, the Oxford Dictionary of English[1] defines ‘stuff’ as:


1) ‘Matter, material, articles, or activities of a specified or indeterminate kind that are being referred to, indicated, or implied.

  • a person’s belongings, equipment, or baggage:
  • (informal) worthless or foolish idea’s, speech, or writing: rubbish
  • (informal) drink or drugs.
  • (one’s stuff) things in which one is knowledgeable and experienced; one’s area of expertise


2) The basic constituents or characteristics of something or someone. Healey was made of sterner stuff/ such a trip was the stuff of his dreams.


3) Woolen fabric, especially as distinct from silk, cotton and linen.


4) (in sport) spin given to a ball to make it vary its course.

– a players ability to produce spin or control the speed or delivery of a ball.


As a verb, ‘stuff’ is defined as:

  • Fill (a receptacle or space) tightly with something
  • force or cram (something) tightly into a receptacle or space
  • (be stuffed up) informal have one’s nose blocked up with catarrh as a result of a cold
  • informal fill (oneself) with large amounts of food.


The Oxford Dictionary of English, further informs us on the verbal iterations of the word ‘stuff’:


get stuffed: informal, said in anger to tell someone to go away or as an expression of contempt.

not give a stuff: informal, not care at all.

stuff it: informal, said to express indifference.

that’s the stuff: informal, said in approval of what has just been done or said.

Stuff, is our world. It’s the contents, the objects, thoughts and things that fill the spaces in-between. What’s my stuff, isn’t always your stuff – yet, stuff, is always something that remains present, gets shifted into various places – morphing forms, for an array of uses.

Tangled, contorted and precariously placed – materials, matter – stuff – forebodes, shadows and blocks. It is the material presence of our world that dominates. Stuffs, fills, forces, extrudes and bulges. ‘This is their world not ours’[2] – proposes cultural critic, Joshua Simon. ‘That’s the stuff!’ we originally proclaimed.





……the hard stuff. Soft stuff. Small stuff.

It is us that will continue to live around and with – it. Stuff. Destined to be forever burdened with the ruins of what remains from our raging thirst.

[1] The Oxford Dictionary of English. Oxford University Press, 2005.

[2] See chapter: Their world, not ours in: Joshua Simon. Neomaterialism. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013. pp 24 -36.