Thursday, August 18, 2011

That thingy with that name.

Some jerks revel in making everyone else feel inadequate. They seem to have the answers for everything ranging from, ‘what’s the colour of Lady Gaga’s armpit hair?’ to ‘why do Giraffes stand while sleeping?’ I have often wondered if there will ever be a day, when people-like-us will get a chance to outsmart these smart-asses. Ladies and gentlemen, that day has arrived.

I am about to let you in on my private collection of thingamajigs (unfamiliar terms for familiar things). Digest it, memorise it, unleash it on the Walking Wikipedias in your circle and watch that look-of-awe in their faces for one superficial second. When that ‘Gotcha Moment’ happens, don’t forget to thank me.

Nuff said. No more foreplay. Let’s get straight to the meat. Did you know that the cleft above the middle of the lips and below the nose is called Philtrum? Or for that matter the English equivalent for Mann Vasanai or Saundhi Mitti is Petrichor? If that had you flummoxed, I’ve got tonnes of Whatchamacallits (the name of a Hershey candy bar derived from ‘what you may call it’).

Here’s more: Ferrule is the metal band on a pencil that holds the eraser in place. It’s also the name for the metal tip on top of an umbrella. Diastema is the word for gap between the front teeth on the upper jaw. Achenes (pronounced a-keens) are the little seeds on the outside of the strawberry. The technical appellation for Cat’s Whiskers is Vibrissae. Grawlix is the ‘@#$%&!’ typographical string used for representing foul language. Bobeche is the drip catcher in your candle holder. Plungers are the two buttons on which a telephone receiver rests. And Keeper is the belt loop that secures the tip.

If the nerds you wish to ambush have read Danny Danziger’s book on everyday objects, then leave them speechless by quizzing them on Dactylonomy (counting numbers with fingers), Onycophagy (the habit of biting one’s nails) and Steatopygia (fat accumulation in the rear). When you’re done stupefying them, walk away into the sunset by announcing that the inability to find the right word is called Lethologica!