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Odds and Ends
13 9, 10:06pm
There are lots of funny little words used as placeholders for when you've temporarily forgotten the name of something: whatchamacallit (what you may call it), whatzit (what is it), thingie, thingamajig, thingumbob (all extensions of the word "thing"), doohickey. "Hand me that doohickey over there so I can finish this job." Among Scandinavian-Americans, I've heard "dingist" (probably from "ding", thing) and "dipadoot". My German neighbor used to use "Dingda", which seems to be
das Ding da
, "that thing there".
"Gizmo" is usually some kind of machine or device that one does not know the name for. "This camera is great! It's got a gizmo on it that lets you put text on your photo!"
For people whose name can't be immediately recalled, it's usually whats-his-name or what's-his-face. "Oh, I loved that movie with Whats-his-name and What's-her-face! They're two of my favorite actors."
I used to watch the old soap opera
when it played on the Sci-Fi Channel, and one charming scene was when Joan Bennett, who played Elizabeth Collins, forgot her line when she was supposed to talking to someone on the phone to get info on a plane crash involving a relative. "He was flying to, to, to. . . OH, THAT CITY IN BRAZIL!
Belém!" The director was famous for doing scenes in as few takes as possible, and all the actors had stage experience and were used to playing through the mistakes, but that one was really memorable.