or what路cha路ma路call路it

[ hwuhch-uh-muh-kawl-it, hwoch-, wuhch-, woch- ]
/ 藞拾w蕦t蕛 蓹 m蓹藢k蓴l 瑟t, 藞拾w蓲t蕛-, 藞w蕦t蕛-, 藞w蓲t蕛- /
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noun Informal.
an object or person whose name one does not know or cannot recall.
Test how much you really know about regular and irregular plural nouns with this quiz.
Question 1 of 9
Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?
Also what-do-you-call-it, whad路dya路call路it [hwuhd-uh-yuh-kawl-it, hwod-, wuhd-, wod-] /藞拾w蕦d 蓹 y蓹藢k蓴l 瑟t, 藞拾w蓲d-, 藞w蕦d-, 藞w蓲d-/ .

Origin of whachamacallit

First recorded in 1940鈥45; spelling of what you may call it or what do you call it, the first reflecting affrication of t before y and reduction of vowels; compare similar metric pattern and internal 蓹m蓹 in rigamarole, thingamajig

Words nearby whachamacallit

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022


What does聽whachamacallit mean?

Whachamacallit 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 also commonly spelled whatchamacallit. Similar terms are what-do-you-call-it and whaddyacallit.

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 whachamacallit here.聽

The word is also sometimes used to refer to things that are not physical objects, such as events, types of media, or abstract concepts. Whachamacallit can be used to refer to a person whose name you can鈥檛 remember, but this is rare (terms more commonly used for this purpose are what鈥檚-her-name, what鈥檚-his-name, and what鈥檚-their-name).

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

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

Where does聽whachamacallit come from?

The first records of the word whachamacallit come from the 1900s. It鈥檚 based on the question What you may call it? or What do you call it?

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 whachamacallit). 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.

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What are some other forms related to whachamacallit?

  • whatchamacallit (alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for whachamacallit?

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


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


How is聽whachamacallit used in real life?

Whachamacallit 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. It鈥檚 commonly spelled whatchamacallit.


Try using聽whachamacallit!

Is whachamacallit used correctly in the following sentence?

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