thingamajig-thursday
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Thingamajig Thursday: ferrules
It's been a while since our last Thingamajig Thursday. Today I'm naming that slim metal band, or clamp, that wraps around a pencil, holding the eraser in place. You'll also find them stretched around a paintbrush, keeping the bristles tight, or the part of a violin bow that holds the hair to the "frog," or base. Also a verb, the word ferrule comes from the Latin viriola, or "small bracelet." So next time you're at Pearl Paint, or even Tiffany's, whip... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: rowels
Time for another Thingamajig Thursday. Today I'm naming those small revolving disks with the sharp points that you find on the end of a cowboy's spurs. They're called rowels, a word which can be traced back to the Latin root, rotae, which was the name of the wheel on a horse-drawn chariot. As a verb, we derive roto, or, to turn, from the same root. Though no one knows exactly when people first started putting rowels on spurs, the spur itself is believed to date back to the Roman... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: the Brannock Device
It's time for another Thingamajig Thursday. Today I'm naming that silvery metal thing you stick your foot in when you go to the shoe store. It's called the Brannock Device because it was--surprise, surprise--invented by one Mr. Brannock... Charles F., to be precise. Some interesting facts via The Lemelson-MIT Program: As a Syracuse University student, young Brannock wanted to find the best way to measure the foot. He played around with the idea for a couple of years and finally... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: Aglets
Today I'm reviving a long-lost feature few of you might remember: Thingamajig Thursday. The basic concept used to be that every thursday (give or take), I'd take a close look at some interesting thingamajig - or thingamabob, if you prefer "“ and let you know the real name of it so you could appear a tad smarter than the next guy, who's still foolishly calling the thingamajig a thingamajig. I'll spend some time reviving a few of my favorites from the blog's incipient summer days of 2006, and then... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: grommets and fungo bats
Recently my wife and I were chatting about the _floss, which she claims she reads religiously (not). We were discussing possible new features I could introduce when she suddenly exclaimed, "Wait! Whatever happened to Thursday Thingamabob?! That was a fun one." Nevermind that she got the name wrong. She had a point. What DID ever happen to Thingamajig Thursday? Did the author just run out of thingamajigs to post about or, with his 40th birthday creeping around the corner, did he merely wake... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: tub trip levers and such
Welcome to yet another Thingamajig Thursday. Today's entry was inspired by my wife, who got out of the bath the other day and said, "You know that thingamabob that you pull up to plug the drain"¦" and went on to tell me that ours broke and asked if I wouldn't mind calling Schneider over to put a new one in. Of course our handyman isn't really named Schneider, but my wife and I both had a thing for One Day at a Time when we were kids, so that's what we call all... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: fobs
Another Thursday, another thingamajig! Today I'm naming those medallion-like thingamajigs you see looping/hanging/dangling from men's pocket in those old photos where they're all nattyed up in formal wear. You know what I'm talking about: the chain-like thing that gives the plain-black tails a little color around the waist area. I've always known it was connected to the pocket watch, but I never knew what that thing was called. Whelp, it's called a fob folks. No, not as in "friends... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: cartouche
Ho hum, another Thursday, another thingamajig. I bet you guys wonder sometimes: "How many thingamajigs can there be already?" You know what? I wonder the same sometimes. Yet, every Thursday here I am with another. It doesn't take long to think of something to write about. I guess when it does, we'll have to phase out the thingamajig. Unless, of course, you all have thingamajigs you'd like me to research and name. If so, just drop a suggestion down in the comments.... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: the harp
It's a New Year, and our first Thursday! So you know what that means"¦ Today I'm naming that odd thingamajig you find supporting a lampshade. It's called, rather simply, a harp. I couldn't find any special reason why it would be called a harp, other than the obvious, so I figured I'd drop a little knowledge about the origins of the other harp. Called a kinnor, in Hebrew, the harp, or lyre as it was then referred to, is first mentioned in Genesis 4:21. And his... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: dragées
It's Thursday folks, and you know what that means! Before I name a new thingamajig, I must make good on my promise to pick a winner from last week's open call to rename the banal ski pole "basket." Most creative has to go to Anthony for his "desinkificator." While bragging rights for Wittiest goes to Dawn for "No-Snow-Low-Go." Priceless guys, thanks! Now today I'm naming those small, ball bearing-like balls, usually silver-colored and used for decorating... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: ski pole baskets
You know, not every thingamajig I name has to be a fodder for party conversation. Sometimes, just the knowledge of the correct name, pedestrian as it might be, should suffice. So with that in mind, I'd like to out those round, plastic discs you see at the base of ski poles. They're called baskets, and are intended to prevent the pole from sinking too far into deep snow. Admittedly, basket is a pretty lame name for the thingamajig, and, as we've done before, I'd like to invite you... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: the peel
It's Thursday folks, and you know what that means... Today I'm naming those long wooden thingamajigs bakers use to slide loaves of bread in and out of the oven. It's called a peel, and these days, they're more often spotted in pizza joints than anywhere else. In fact, that's exactly where I was standing when I finally stopped and thought to myself, I wonder what that thingamajig is really called, "˜cause until today, I always referred to it as a pizza paddle. So... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: liripipes
It's Thursday, folks, and you know what that means! Today I'm naming those long, funny-looking thingamajigs that run down or off the back of a medieval or academic hood, which are called "liripipes." These days, some old-school Universities even call a mortarboard tassel or ceremonial sash by the name liripipe.Though its origin isn't 100% clear, the word seems to have descended from the medieval Latin, liripipium, or "the tip of a hood" (or even the tip of a shoe). According to this... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: the strigil
In keeping with yesterday's Found Object theme, today I'm naming an archaic thingamajig—something often seen on Greek vases, sculptures and bronze artifacts. Check out the photo below"¦ ever wonder what that funny looking curved thing is the Olympic athletes are often seen holding in their... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: peen
I wanted to begin today's Thursday Thingamajig by naming the winner of last week's post, where, if you recall, we asked you to come up with a better name for the uninspired "rubber finger pad." First off: thanks to everyone for all your HIGHLY inspired suggestions. I'll single out two before naming the winner: Beth, you cracked us up with your "page grabber" and "page aid," noting, and I quote, "These have nothing to do with Mark... READ ON
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Thingamajig Thursday: ????
It's Thursday folks, and you know what that means! Today I'm naming that rubber-thimble-looking doohickey meant to go on your index finger to help you page through a stack of papers. Believe it or not, it's simply called a "rubber finger pad" or, for those companies with the creativity of a cement mixer, a "rubber finger tip." Of course, we know our readers, and we know you guys can come up with a better name for the invention. So that's my... READ ON

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