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[hwuhch-uh-muh-kawl-it, hwoch-, wuhch-, woch-] /ˈʰwʌtʃ ə məˌkɔl ɪt, ˈʰwɒtʃ-, ˈwʌtʃ-, ˈwɒtʃ-/


or whatchamacallit, what-you-may-call-it, what-do-you-call-it

[hwuhch-uh-muh-kawl-it, hwoch-, wuhch-, woch-] /ˈʰwʌtʃ ə məˌkɔl ɪt, ˈʰwɒtʃ-, ˈwʌtʃ-, ˈwɒtʃ-/
noun, Informal.
an object or person whose name one does not know or cannot recall.
Origin of whachamacallit
1940-45; spelling of what you may call it reflecting affrication of t before y and reduction of vowels; compare similar metric pattern and internal əmə in rigamarole, thingamagig Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for what-you-may-call-it
Historical Examples
  • What, to make a what-you-may-call-it—a mash for La Sylphide?

    Sir Hilton's Sin George Manville Fenn
  • Just where is Schloss (she pronounced it 'Slosh') what-you-may-call-it?

    My Friend the Chauffeur C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
  • In wanting you to let him take care of that necklace—the what-you-may-call-it thing—the Cadogan collar.

    The Bandbox Louis Joseph Vance
Slang definitions & phrases for what-you-may-call-it


Related Terms




An unspecified or unspecifiable object; something one does not know the name of or does not wish to name; gizmo, thingamajig: lady in a robe and a white whatchamacallit around her head appeared

[1920+; what-d'ye-call-it is attested from 1573, and what-ye-call-'em as London slang in 1710]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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