Replies: 29 - Last Post: Jun 5, 2013 12:34 AM Last Post By: Myanmarbound
Jun 3, 2013 2:31 AM
Jun 3, 2013 5:46 AM
16There is a word in English that fits this application perfectly: Whatchamacallit. From Wikipedia: "A placeholder name used for something whose name is unknown."
It's perfectly acceptable to say "He stores his cheese in a whatchamacallit; Cheese board? Cheese dish? You know, one of those things with a cover."
(Whatchamacallit, says Wikipedia, comes from "what you might call it." I think it should be "what you may call it" instead.)
Jun 3, 2013 5:53 AM
Jun 3, 2013 5:55 AM
18You could also call it a doohickey.
Which I just looked up and found a whole bunch of synonyms.
. doohickey - something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not knowndoohickey - something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not known; "she eased the ball-shaped doodad back into its socket"; "there may be some great new gizmo around the corner that you will want to use"
gismo, gizmo, gubbins, thingamabob, thingamajig, thingmabob, thingmajig, thingumabob, thingumajig, thingummy, whatchamacallit, whatchamacallum, whatsis, widget, doodad, doojigger, gimmick
stuff - miscellaneous unspecified objects; "the trunk was full of stuff"
Jun 3, 2013 8:10 AM
19I looked to see what that apparatus is called by vendors thereof. In support of NA's theory that American's don't store cheese like that, many call it a cheese "server." One says "This glass set allows cheese to reach the ideal temperature without drying out." So the idea is that you keep the cheese in the fridge until you serve it.
I also wonder if the contraption is more commonly used where people might eat cheese (alone not in a sandwich) on most days, say, having fruit & cheese after most dinners. That's not common in the US.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Jun 3, 2013 8:29 AM
20If it's a cheese cloche for Amway and a cheese cloche for Amazon, it's a cheese cloche for me.
Jun 3, 2013 9:16 AM
Jun 3, 2013 9:28 AM
22And that let's me chime in with yet another name for this whatsit:
Jun 3, 2013 4:02 PM
Jun 4, 2013 6:42 AM
24Thanks for the new replies and the new options.
There is a word in English that fits this application perfectly: Whatchamacallit. From Wikipedia: "A placeholder name used for something whose name is unknown."
Yes, but you would need a context...
I learned (or should I say learnt?) a new English word today and I liked it.
Jun 4, 2013 7:48 AM
25Contraption usually is used for something mechanical, especially one that might be silly, strange, or complicated. It really wouldn't apply to the cheese thingie, but I was looking for words that had not previously been used.
The epitome of a contraption is a Rube Goldberg. Wikipedia defines it as "A Rube Goldberg machine, contraption, invention, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered or overdone machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction."
A Rube Goldberg cheese slicer
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Jun 4, 2013 7:49 AM
26You always have a context for using whatchamacallit, anillos.
You might say something like "They brought out the cheese on a whatchamacallit. You know -- that thing with the glass cover."
I don't know about other English speakers here, but I think of contraption as a mechanical device of some sort -- a mousetrap, a clockwork, etc.; the whatchamacallit used for cheese would not (in my opinion) be a contraption.
Jun 4, 2013 8:05 AM
27Contraption usually is used for something mechanical, especially one that might be silly, strange, or complicated.
So this link is about a contraption's race, isn't it? If you don't read Spanish, take a look at the picture in the upper right corner.
You always have a context for using whatchamacallit, anillos.
I did understand it. What I was trying to point out is you can't go to a shop and say: Good morning! Can you give me a whatchamacallit, please? Well, maybe if the shop only sells one type of product but you get the idea.
Jun 4, 2013 8:40 AM
28Your example of a visit to a shop to buy a whatchamacallit made me laugh. You're right, whatchamacallit is not a descriptive term, just a word that tells the listener you don't know the name of the thing you are attempting to describe.
Your link made me think of the Soapbox Derby, in which young children race cars that are powered only by gravity. I would not call a soapbox car a contraption, nor would I apply it to the things at your link. If you read the paragraph titled "Scandals" in the soapbox link, though, I would say that the boy's car was fitted with a contraption that increased its speed; the contraption would consist of the electromagnet and the means for turning it on.
Jun 5, 2013 12:34 AM
29I'll swap you your Rube Goldberg for a Heath Robinson.
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