Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Gubbins

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.

Gubbins

Postby Slava » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:54 pm

Most likely not a great candidate for a GWotD, but I thought it fun enough to add to our growing list of words for things we don't know the name of.

Courtesy of dictionary.com:
1. (functioning as singular) an object of little or no value
2. (functioning as singular) a small device or gadget
3. (functioning as plural) odds and ends; litter or rubbish
4. (functioning as singular) a silly person

[C16 (meaning: fragments): from obsolete gobbon, probably related to gobbet]
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4653
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Gubbins

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:48 am

Is there a name for every thing, material and immaterial? Do the little plastic cylinders that are placed on each end of a shoe lace have a name?
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Gubbins

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:39 am

Actually, they do, and its on the tip of my tongue. Anything humans study or manufacture has a name. In the shoelace factory, the foreman can't simply point to the machine that attaches them and say, "how are the doo-hickeys coming?" that's a suprisingly good question, Philip, for naming something actually gives a measure of control. Probably the word I employed, "doo-hickey," along with thing-a-ma-bob, gizmo, widget, and the like were coined because of the necessity of being able to communicate about something. Of course, in some societies, ancient and still primitive, people used aliases in public, because to know their real names would give you power over them. That seems to be reviving today as witness some of the monikers on this board, along with aliases on other web sites, especially twitter. Also many of us use our middle names or nicknames instead of our first names, which make us often in situations annoying if not confusing. Philip, you may have just raised the whole question of semantics!
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2353
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: Gubbins

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:30 pm

The tip of a shoelace is an aglet. My question was intended as a conversation starter, and Perry did quite well in continuing it. I actually already knew the word aglet. Someone else chime in on the necessity or philosophy of naming and not naming things.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Gubbins

Postby Slava » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:45 pm

agra ffe - The wire that holds the cork in a bottle of champagne.

I'm not all that qualified to speak on the philosophy behind naming things, but the necessity does seem quite real. How else could you talk about anything if things weren't named, and consistently?
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4653
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Gubbins

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:31 pm

An agraffe is indeed a wire holding a cork in a bottle of champagne. But its definition includes a lot of other things that hold things together from pianos to suits of armor. I can’t remember having known agraffe before today so thank you.

If everything had a name then what would the words thingamabob and doohickey be used for? They would be relegated to use by us old guys who can't remember what a thing is called.

I have no serious philosophical thoughts to add to this particular forum.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas


Return to Good Word Suggestions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests