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August 20, 2022

doohickey / noun / doo·​hick·​ey

Have you ever forgotten the proper name for something and called it a "contraption" or "that thing" instead? Have you ever said, "Hand me that thingamajig on the table?" If yes, then today’s word is a good one for you! These are examples of the English slang noun “doohickey” in action.

We use the word doohickey in English slang to represent things we don't yet know or can’t quite remember the proper name for.  Any unnamed object in our world can actually be a doohickey to somebody. Objects, things, and contraptions are all synonyms of the word doohickey. Words like nothing and zilch function as antonyms for doohickey.

In a Sentence

She called most everything a doohickey when she couldn't remember the proper name.

Pass me that yellow doohickey off the table over there — I forgot the name of it!

They filled the junk drawer in the kitchen with random doohickeys they found lying around the house in case they needed to use them later.


Doohickey entered our language as English slang to describe unnamed things and objects around 1914. We started using doohickey in early 20th century English to describe objects for which we have forgotten the names. There is no record of the word doohickey in our language before 1914. Its original definition hasn't changed since its introduction into our language.


Contraption, Thing


Nothing, Zilch

1 Comment

  1. Gary Schelvan

    Loved this word you shared. My Grandpa Kelly, a contractor, was fond of using words like this. “Hand me that thingamajing or whichamacallit.” I’m 71 yrs old now, and will never forget being around him when he used those expressions.
    Miss you Papa 🥰


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