CLOSE
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

20 Obscure Words to Describe Collectors

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

You probably know that numismatists study and collect coins and currency, and you may even know that philatelists study and collect stamps. But other groups of collectors have their own less-heralded nouns, too. Here are just a few other words you can break out the next time you meet a collector.

1. Sucrologists

Sucrologists collect those little sugar packets that you see in restaurants.

2. Deltiologists

Deltiologists study and collect postcards. The word comes from the Greek word deltion, the diminutive of deltos, or “writing tablet.”

3. Phillumenists

Phillumenists collect matchbooks and other match-related items. In 2011, phillumenist Steven Smith earned a place in The Guinness Book of World Records for his collection of 1,054,221 matchbox labels from more than 130 countries.

4. Pannapictagraphists

Pannapictagraphists could probably stand to come up with an easier name for their hobby: collecting comic books.

5. Vexillophiles

Vexillophiles collect and display flags.

6. Plangonologist

Remember George Costanza’s doomed fiancée Susan on Seinfeld? She was a plangonologist, or collector of dolls.

7. Velologists

Velologists collect and study expired specimens of the tax discs that British vehicles have been required to display since the beginning of 1921.

8. Arenophiles

Arenophiles collect sand samples from around the world. They particularly prize rare samples of black or green sand from certain beaches.

9 & 10. Tegestologists & Labeorphilists

Tegestologists have a great excuse to spend time in bars since they collect coasters or beermats. They should probably team up with labeorphilists, or collectors of beer bottles.

11. Falerists

Falerists study and collect medals, badges, pins, and other military and civilian awards and decorations.

12. Scutelliphiles

Scutelliphiles are similar to falerists, but they collect souvenir patches and badges.

13. Lotologists

Lotologists collect lottery tickets, both used and unused. In 2006 reports claimed that retired U.S. Navy diver Dennis Morse had one of the world’s largest lotology collections. It included over 250,000 losing scratch-off tickets.

14. Arctophiles

Arctophiles have the cuddliest collections; they stockpile teddy bears.

15. Galanthophiles

Galanthophiles are avid collectors of the various cultivars of the small white-flower-bearing plant known as the snowdrop.

16. Tyrosemiophiles

Tyrosemiophiles collect cheese labels.

17. Fusilatelists

Fusilatelists collect phone cards issued by telecom companies. The word is apparently largely used in the U.K. On this side of the pond, calling card collectors are known as telegerists.

18. Helixophiles

Helixophiles probably throw the best parties; they study and collect corkscrews.

19. Brandophilists

Brandophilists collect cigar bands.

20. Entredentolignumologists

Entredentolignumologists may or may not exist, but some books and several websites use this mouthful to describe collectors of toothpick boxes.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
video
A Simple Trick For Figuring Out the Day of the Week For Any Given Date
iStock
iStock

People typically remember anniversaries in terms of dates and years, not days of the week. If you can’t remember whether you got married on a Saturday or Sunday, or don't know which day of the week you were born on, there’s a simple arithmetic-based math trick to help you figure out sans calendar, according to It's Okay To Be Smart host Joe Hanson.

Mathematician John Conway invented the so-called Doomsday Algorithm to calculate the day of the week for any date in history. It hinges on several sets of rules, including that a handful of certain dates always share the same day of the week, no matter what year it is. (Example: April 4, June 6, August 8, October 10, December 12, and the last day of February all fall on a Wednesday in 2018.) Using this day—called an “anchor day”—among other instructions, you can figure out, step by step, the very day of the week you’re searching for.

Learn more about the Doomsday Algorithm in the video below (and if it’s still stumping you, check out It’s OK to Be Smart’s handy cheat sheet here).

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
travel
Pig Island: Sun, Sand, and Swine Await You in the Bahamas
iStock
iStock

When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios