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doodah

US and Canadian doodad (ˈduːdæd)

/ (ˈduːdɑː) /
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noun informal

an unnamed thing, esp an object the name of which is unknown or forgotten
all of a doodah excited; agitated

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Word Origin for doodah

C20: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

VOCAB BUILDER

What does doodah mean?

Doodah is a very informal word for an object whose name you don’t know, have forgotten, or can’t recall at the moment.

It’s often used to refer to gadgets or parts of things that might not even have a commonly known name, as in Before we attach the bracket, we have to insert this doodah here. It’s often used with a modifier describing the kind of thing, as in Where’s that plastic doodah?

There are several other similarly informal words that are used in the same way, including the very similar doodad as well as doohickey, dingus, thingy, thingamajig, thingamabob, whachamacallit, and whatsit.

Doodah also appears in the phrase all of a doodah, meaning excited or agitated.

Example: My kids got me one of those doodahs that track your steps. What’s it called? A stepometer?

Where does doodah come from?

The first records of the word doodah come from around 1900s. Its origin is uncertain.

Today, the word is especially used to refer to small, physical objects, but its ambiguous nature means it can be used for all kinds of things (which is really the point of a word like doodah). Sometimes, it’s used just to be a bit funny, even if you actually know the name of the object you’re referring to.

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What are some other forms related to doodah?

  • do-dad (alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for doodah?

What are some words that share a root or word element with doodah

What are some words that often get used in discussing doodah?

 

How is doodah used in real life?

Doodah is very informal. It’s especially used in speech as a way for the speaker to refer to something whose name they don’t know or can’t remember at that moment.

 

Try using doodah!

Is doodah used correctly in the following sentence?

This darn doodah doesn’t even work anymore—can you pick up another one at the store?

Example sentences from the Web for doodah

  • He won't have been invited to stay the night—a house guest would set poor Madam Jenks all of a doodah.

    Wilderness of Spring|Edgar Pangborn
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