Re: gismo/gizmo

Subject: Re: gismo/gizmo
From: Roy Jacobsen <Roy_Jacobsen -dot- GPS -at- GPS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 17:06:42 EDT

>A while back I asked for a fresh batch of words like gismo/gizmo.

>Thanks to all of you who sent in your favorites. Here's what I got:

>Gronostele, finnigan pins, gronstile, thingie, thingy, whosiwhacky,
thingamabob, >thingamajig, doodad, doohickey, doohickie, terractator,
hoosewhatsit, thingummy, >gizmotchie, whatsit, do-whicky, do-wacky, do-lolly,
do-lollyo, chingadares, >dohatchie, giswidget, gizwidget, dooflautchee,
doomaflachee doovalacky, contraption, >dispositif, whatchamathingie, whoozy, hoo
zie, loomaflachchee, grapplegrommet, >knobulator. kittlediget, noodlebob,
yahoodealie, dealie, robotdit, caladodo, >mobywixit, popadoodle, bovanack,
klobagupple, And finally dammit...

>arguing with spell checker
>Renee Cornelisen
>rcornel -at- SLC -dot- unisysGSG -dot- com

I've always liked franistan. I also took a look in _Family Words_ by Paul
Dickson, and came up with "hoojackapivvy" and "klappestanger" as synonyms for
whatchamacallit, "finector snout" as an all-purpose part name, and "mungodunno"
for a liquid of unknown origin and properties.

Then, of course, there is the infamous BunaB. Pop quiz: what is it, and what is
its origin?

The book itself is fascinating. It catalogs a number of words and phrases that
are understood only by a very small circle, such as a family, neighborhood, or
group of friends. The great thing about them is, any of them can become
widespread and eventually be accepted as standard English. Googol, for example,
came about when mathematician Edward Kasner asked his nine-year-old nephew to
come up with a word for 1 followed by 100 zeros. Other famous examples are
kludge, nerd, and humongous.

Roy Jacobsen
rjacobse -at- gps -dot- com

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