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10 Whatchamacallits And Their Real Names

by Beatrice Adams
fact checked by dickensgirl

You see these things around you all the time. Some of them, you even use. The least you could do is know their names!

10 Aglet

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The piece of plastic covering the ends of your shoelace, so you don’t have to moisten them with spit to thread them through your shoelace holes.

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9 Bollard

The posts in the parking lot let that lets wheelchairs and shopping carts go through, but not your car.

8 Dingbat

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Non-alphanumeric, non-punctuation characters, usually used when you want to write something that you don’t want your children to read.

7 Ferrule

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The metal band that connects the pencil eraser to the end of the pencil.

6 Keeper

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The leather loop in your belt or watch strap that keeps the end in place after it has been fastened through the buckle.

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5 Kerf


The groove made by a sawblade, ie, the width of a cut. In the image above we see a 2.5 micron kerf.

4 Punt, or Kick

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The small indentation at the bottom or a wine bottle, designed to give the bottle extra strength, and also, to make it look like it has more wine than it really does.

3 Philtrum

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The vertical groove between your lip and nose that separates your left and right mustache, unless you’re Hitler, then it’s the part that your mustache covers.

2 Phosphenes

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The points of light that you see behind your eyelids when you shut your eyes really hard.

1 Tragus

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The little piece of cartilage that sticks out at the front side of your ear.

Contributor: Beatrice Adams

fact checked by dickensgirl