Monday 22 November 2010

Thingumabob or whatever it is

thingumabob-spellings A word used when you cannot or will not recall the name of something, "thingumabob" has many spelling variants.

Chambers lists:
thingamy, thingummy, thingamybob, thingamyjig, thingumabob,
thingumajig, thingumbob, thingummybob, thingummyjig

It's all too easy to make a wrong grid entry for this word if you go by the definition or a few crossings alone. Be sure to fully work out the wordplay first – the setter might be expecting a different spelling.

Some examples of ways in which the word has been spelt in crosswords:

Times 20112: Unspecified object producing rare high bounce (11) THINGAMYBOB
THIN (rare) HIGH (gamy) BOB (bounce)

Guardian 25156 (Rufus): Skinny, toothless what's-his-name (9) THINGUMMY
THIN (skinny) GUMMY (toothless)

Times 24696: What's-his-name's light adhesive — a shilling  (11) THINGUMABOB
THIN (light) GUM (adhesive) A BOB (shilling)

THC 10001 (Gridman): G-man and hobbyist tossed gadgets for which you can't recall the name (12) THINGAMYBOBS

Other clues for thingumabob that you can recall?

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Anonymous said...

Whatchamacallit is another similar one.

Shuchi said...

Thanks Kishore. Haven't seen this word in crosswords...guess it isn't as setter-friendly as thingumbob.

Anonymous said...

Agree, I haven't seen it too. But isn't 15 letter length rather tempting as it just fits in a grid with no surplus or slact. Let's try cluing it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that should have been slack, not slact.

Shuchi said...

Let's try cluing it.

I'm game!

Am wearing wide brimmed headdress, price (50% off) about £50. It's stuff for which the label isn't important (15) WHATCHAMACALLIT

AM, in W (wide) HAT (brimmed headdress) CHA[-rge] CA (about) L (£) L (50) IT

Phew, my longest clue ever.

Deepak Gopinath said...

The security guard was detailed to eat his hat and a flower, got confused and couldn't remember names(15)

Security guard detailed = WATCHMAN(-n), HAT, flower = LILAC

couldn't remember names = WHATCHAMACALLIT

Shuchi said...

The poor watchman! After such a feast, who would remember names?

Anonymous said...

Timer, a mother rang it, whatsit ?


Bhavan said...

Thingy to appropriately catch a llama with(15)

Blech. Sounds gross, but does the job : )

Shuchi said...

Great clue, Bhavan.

Shyam said...

Confused tall chacha with mother, "Wit, Whatsit?"

Shyam said...

This would have been better:

Confused tall chacha: "Mother wit? Whatsit?"

Bhavan said...

Who ate cheese (Amul) ? Actually all licked double tops. Time to stuff (15)

Albatross said...

Cap a Cambodian adult with shout, splitting levity that one cannot recall (15)

Prasanna S said...

What is the name of this South American desert spread over most of chile and initially having least tolerable weather?

( ATACAMA + CHIL(-e) + H L T W)*

(could even qualify to be a sixth class geography 1-mark question :-P)

Shuchi said...

Albatross and Prasanna S: Thanks for your geography-special clues :)

One from me -

Something to plot in case of calamity and law breaking, when leader of Yemen's gone missing (15)

HATCH (plot) in (CALAMITY + LAW)* - Y

VMA Nair said...

Wide Opening, a graduate call for it to get a candy bar(15)

a graduate a ma, call it
Whatchamacallit - a candy bar in US(

SandhyaP said...

Two more spelling variants of thingumabob (source - Word web):


anax said...

Outlook’s hard to open, a computer – all computers – identifying unspecified device (15)

Shuchi said...

@Sandhya: A word specially coined for absent-minded people it seems. If they can forget the name they can't be trusted to remember the spelling of its placeholder :)

@anax: What a clue! The play on "Outlook" is pure brilliance!

Sumit said...

A calm chat with a loggerhead? Totally effed up! This freaking idea is forgettable (15)

Shuchi said...

Thanks Eric. Your clue reads like an actual piece of conversation! Really nice how "with a" is part of the fodder and not a connector as we might first think.

Sumit said...


The fact that you got something nice to say about each and every clue is really admirable. You are so kind. It deserve a lot of credit.

anax said...

A very late addition to this (because it's something I've just this minute remembered). Times setter Richard Rogan used - a couple of years ago - another unusual synonym of 'thingumabob', namely the glorious OOJAMAFLIP.