So there you are trying to explain something to someone else – or describe something that you saw. You don’t quite know what to call it? No worries. That means you get to use some fun nonsense words.
Is that blob on the floor a doohickey, a gubbins or a hickeymadoodle? If it’s something old, maybe it is a jigamaree, which word was thought up by some funny people in the 1820s. If it’s really old, call it a thingumbob – that word was used from about 1750 on, though nowadays we say thingamajig or thingamabob.
Anything else is just a whatchamacallit or a whozis. I have quite a lot of these on my desk and in the night table drawers. An extra bonus is that they sound like characters out of Dr. Seuss.
Where did all these words originate? Hard to tell. A doohickey used to mean a pimple (and by association other small things). Gubbins was an WWI British Army term for a bit of leftover food or a gadget. Otherwise, my slang reference books really didn’t say. I guess one person makes up a word it catches on. Well, they are fun to say.
Another question is just how many of these thingies have you got? Maybe too many to count: a jillion, skaty-eight, scads or just a smidge. If it’s our kitchen floor and the cats are busy playing with stuff, there probably are a skadillion hair-elastic dinguses down there. And for the umpty-umpth time, too.
Image from Wikimedia. I don’t know what it is, either. Just some doo-dads in a box.