Noun: doohickey ‘doo’hi-kee
Something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not known
“She eased the ball-shaped doohickey back into its socket”
See: – doodad [N. Amer], doohickey [N. Amer], dojigger [N. Amer], gimmick, gizmo, gismo, gubbins [Brit], thingumabob, thingmabob, thingamajig, thingumajig, thingmajig, thingummy, whatchamacallit, whatchamacallum, whatsis, widget, doodah [Brit], doobry [Brit], doobrie [Brit], thingy, thingo [Austral], dingus [N. Amer], doover [Austral], doofer [Brit], whatsit
Noun: gizmo giz-mow
- 1. Something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not known
“There may be some great new gizmo around the corner that you will want to use”
- 2. A device or control that is very useful for a particular job
See: contraption, contrivance gadget, gismo, and widget
Since I am a control freak, and am in my own way technically competent, I rarely use these types of terms for describing equipment or appliances. However, my customers and co-workers are sometimes saddled with bouts of technical nomenclature vapor lock. I tried to look up the meaning of each of these words only to find that they simply refer to each other rather than a true definition. To me this seems shoddy and half asses.
I guess it would be impossible to try to asign indivisual technologies to these descriptive words. This would be like trying to assign values to words like some, few, loads, a bunch, and a crap load. These only seem to have meaning in relationship to each other. It is generally assumed that ‘loads’ is more than a ‘few’. However, how many ‘fews’ would fit into a ‘load’ is left to our imagination.
So this got me to thinking, what is the technological difference between a doohickey, and a thingamajig? Does a gizmo represent a technology that is more difficult to master than a widget? How does one fit these into any meaningful category? Why would one consider this to be of any importance?
Because I am a control freak, that’s why.
So I figured this would be a good time for some data.
Let’s see what is more popular then I will try to figure out exactly what level of technical dificulty can be asigned to which descriptive word. Maybe I can discover the answer to the question: is a Dohickey really more difficult to master than a thingamijig?