• synonyms


or what·cha·ma·call·it, what-you-may-call-it, what-do-you-call-it

[hwuhch-uh-muh-kawl-it, hwoch-, wuhch-, woch-]
noun Informal.
  1. an object or person whose name one does not know or cannot recall.
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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


[hwuhch-uh-muh-kawl-it, hwoch-, wuhch-, woch-]
  1. whachamacallit.
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Also what-do-you-call-it [hwuhd-uh-yuh-kawl-it, hwod-, wuhd-, wod-] /ˈʰwʌd ə yəˌkɔl ɪt, ˈʰwɒd-, ˈwʌd-, ˈwɒd-/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for what-do-you-call-it

Historical Examples of what-do-you-call-it

  • The what-do-you-call-it is so well done, and I like that broad effect.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 148, February 3, 1915


  • Claudia shall do the Venus business, and I'll be a what-do-you-call-it?

  • I suppose the what-do-you-call-it massacre was in one of your little wars on the frontier.

    The Letters of her Mother to Elizabeth

    W. R. H. (William Rutherford Hayes) Trowbridge

  • If I hadn't known him since he was so high, I'd wish he had the what-do-you-call-it seizures instead of the other man.


    Anthony Hope

  • College is out of the question for him, poor boy, unless he entered himself as a what-do-you-call-it?

    A Charming Fellow, Volume I (of 3)

    Frances Eleanor Trollope

Word Origin and History for what-do-you-call-it



1928, compressed form of phrase "what you may call it." Earliest recorded variant is what-calle-ye-hym, attested from late 15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper