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Posted by Janes_kid on May 26, 2004

In Reply to: Thingum posted by ESC on May 26, 2004

: : : even 'thingummy', all four seem to mean practically the same; the first one 'thingamerry sounds more Irish to me; its a word used, especially in spoken English, when the name of an object has been forgotten; any suggestions about the origin of the term?
: : :
: : : does anybody know the origin and maybe meaning in other languages?

: : : I only know its equivalent in Finnish (tökötti); any other languages?

: : : thanks

: : In German it's 'ding', 'dingsbum' or 'dingsda'. 'Ding'is 'thing' in German.

: THINGUM, THINGUMAJIG, THINGUMBOB, THINGUMMY - "All of these are meaningless extensions of the word 'thing' in its special use as a term to denote an object or person which the speaker cannot or will not name specifically. Thingum was first recorded in the late seventeenth century, the other forms followed (not in order) in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries." From "2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings & Expressions from White Elephants to a Song and Dance" by Charles Earle Funk (Galahad Book, New York, 1993). Page 776.

Old timers in the rural Midwest and southeast (US)
said THINGUMBOB or THINGUMJIG. I seem to recall the language referred in inanimate stuff that had been made or manufactured when the name was unknown or during a momentary lapse of memory. Women and men both used the words about equally (Slang back there and back then was occasionally different for men and women, as I recall.)