I was recently at a get together where there were guests of all ages in attendance. We were engaged in a lively discussion about the latest techniques for sewing a baby quilt and I was trying to remember the name of a particular tool I’ve used. Needless to say, I was stumbling around for the correct word.
I said, ‘You know what it’s called. Help me out. It’s um a …thingamajig…you know..’
And so it began…
“Oh, I know what you’re talking about. You mean a whatchamacallit?”
“No, she wants a thingamajiggery”
“Or do you mean a thingamabob?”
“We call those a thingerdoodle.”
“You’re all making it too difficult. Just call it a whatsit.”
“A thingermabobble is what my mom always called it.”
“Maybe a doodad?”
“You mean a oojamaflip?”
Wait – hold on a minute.
Now not only couldn’t I remember the original word I’d been searching for, now I had a second one to worry about. What the heck was a oojamaflip?
I was just trying to remember the name for an Interchangeable Dual Feed sewing machine foot. How did we get so far off track? And who knew there were so many substitute words for thingamajig. By the time I remembered the name I was originally searching for, it no longer seemed important. I was plagued with a new need-to-know word. What did oojamaflip mean and was it the same as thingamajig?
I never did get to talk about this incredible sewing tool as everyone was caught up in their stories of why they use the term they used. In the meantime, I grabbed my phone and typed in oojamaflip. Apparently it’s slang for a thing whose name is temporarily forgotten and used more in Britain than the U.S. It can also be spelled whojamaflip or hoojamaflip.
Next time I forget the name of something I’m going to need to remember to say oojamaflip…that is if I can remember it.
Author: Meriam Wilhelm
The one thing I know, after all my years as an elementary school principal, is that there is magic everywhere and in everyone. While I miss those enchanting moments with kids, I have always wanted to let my imagination run wild as I seek out my own magic and write about it. When I retired, I started to write my first books, a series called The Witches of New Moon Beach and inspiration wasn’t hard to find.
I have lived in Redondo Beach all my life and New Moon might have more than a passing resemblance to my hometown. Every day I walk on the path that runs along the beach, sometimes with my sisters, but most often with my thoughts as I plot my next book.
I am long married and mom to three great grown kids. When I’m not writing or walking on the beach, you’ll find me sewing, reading or traveling and taking pictures.
I loved that! Thanks for the lesson and if I had been there, I wouldn’t have remembered the name of that foot either. My fall back is just to say oh-oh-oh until someone comes to my rescue. Great blog post.