Dictionary.com

thingamabob

[ thing-uh-muh-bob ]
/ 藞胃瑟艐 蓹 m蓹藢b蓲b /
Save This Word!

noun Informal.
QUIZ
QUIZ YOURSELF ON OPPOSITES OF RED BEFORE YOU TURN SCARLET
We have a challenge that will make you blush: do you know the many words and ways to describe the opposite of red?
Question 1 of 7
Which of the following colors is used to symbolize AIR?
Also thing路u路ma路bob, thing路um路bob [thing-uhm-bob] /藞胃瑟艐 蓹m藢b蓲b/

Origin of thingamabob

First recorded in 1835鈥45; see origin at thingamajig, bob2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022

MORE ABOUT THINGAMABOB

What does聽thingamabob mean?

Thingamabob is a very informal word for an object whose name you don鈥檛 know, have forgotten, or can鈥檛 recall at the moment.

It鈥檚 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 thingamabob here.聽

Thingamabob is sometimes used even if you know the name of the thing you鈥檙e referring to. It can be used to be dismissive or to downplay the importance or value of an object, such as when someone is admiring it, as in What, these old thingamabobs? I鈥檝e got a whole boxful of 鈥檈m. Take as many as you want.聽

Less commonly, it can be spelled as thingumabob or thingumbob. There are several other similarly informal words that are used in the same way, including thingamajig, thingy, whachamacallit, whatsit, doohickey, and doodad.

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

Where does聽thingamabob come from?

The first records of the word thingamabob spelled in that way come from the 1800s, but other spellings have been used since at least the 1700s. The first part of the words thingamajig and thingamabob comes from the word thingum, an informal variant of the word thing similar to thingy. The word bob is used in the sense of a kind of object that鈥檚 attached to the end of something.

Have you got a junk drawer full of thingamabobs? 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 thingamabob). Sometimes, it鈥檚 used just to be a bit funny, even if you actually know the name of the object you鈥檙e referring to.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to thingamabob?

  • thingumabob (alternate spelling)
  • thingumbob (alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for thingamabob?

What are some words that share a root or word element with thingamabob?聽

 

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

 

How is聽thingamabob used in real life?

Thingamabob is very informal. It鈥檚 especially used in speech as a way for the speaker to refer to something whose name they don鈥檛 know or can鈥檛 remember at that moment.

 

Try using聽thingamabob!

Is thingamabob used correctly in the following sentence?

This darn thingamabob doesn鈥檛 even work anymore鈥攃an you pick up another one at the store?

How to use thingamabob in a sentence

  • All I know is, I dont want to have the thingamabob鈥攑uck鈥攚hen hes bearing down on me.

    On Your Mark!|Ralph Henry Barbour
FEEDBACK