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It's not difficult to work out the meaning and origin of 'whatchamacallit', but where on earth does 'dohickey' come from?

Christopher
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It's not difficult to work out the meaning and origin of 'whatchamacallit', but where on earth does 'dohickey' come from?

Obviously, you can't afford a dictionary. So then you certainly can't afford a computer.
So, where are you posting from? The public library?

But... the public library HAS a dictionary!
\\P. Schultz  ...
It's not difficult to work out the meaning and origin of 'whatchamacallit', but where on earth does 'dohickey' come from?

(SOED5)
doohickey, noun.
/"du;hIki/
colloq. (chiefly N. Amer.). Also dohickey, doohicky. E20. (from DOO(DAD + HICKEY.)
An unspecified object or device, esp. a mechanical one.

Martin Ambuhl  ...
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It's not difficult to work out the meaning and origin of 'whatchamacallit', but where on earth does 'dohickey' come from?

I don't know but you need a doohickey to get the dingus to framulate.

And then again, there's that thingamabob that doesn't work -a don'thickey.
S&  ...
It's not difficult to work out the meaning and origin of 'whatchamacallit', but where on earth does 'dohickey' come from?

(SOED5) doohickey, noun. /"du;hIki/ colloq. (chiefly N. Amer.). Also dohickey, doohicky. E20. (from DOO(DAD + HICKEY.) An unspecified object or device, esp. a mechanical one.

That would really be illuminating if one had any idea what a doo-dad was, and what kind of a hickey a doo-dad would combine with. The question wasn't what it is. The question was where does it come from.

The Web Bloodhound: http://home.earthlink.net/~tony cooper213/icanbeglitzy.html  ...
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It's not difficult to work out the meaning and origin of 'whatchamacallit', but where on earth does 'dohickey' come from?

Obviously, you can't afford a dictionary. So then you certainly can't afford a computer. So, where are you posting from? The public library? But... the public library HAS a dictionary! \\P. Schultz

Martin has kindly shown us that the dictionary doesn't provide the answer. The dictionary Martin used tells us what a doohickey is, but not where it comes from other than the combining of two words in a way that doesn't seem to explain anything, Thorndike Barnhart says it's a coined word. M-W says origin unknown.
Obviously, your dictionary is superior since you know the origin is there for the looking. It's as legitimate a question as most here. Do you have an answer or are you just posting to stifle curiosity?

The Web Bloodhound: http://home.earthlink.net/~tony cooper213/icanbeglitzy.html  ...
That would really be illuminating if one had any idea what a doo-dad was, and what kind of a hickey a doo-dad would combine with.

I knew what a doo-dad is, but I only knew the other definition of hickey.

Dena Jo
You can email me at denajo2 at the usual Yahoo domain  ...
Martin has kindly shown us that the dictionary doesn't provide the answer. The dictionary Martin used tells us what a ... as legitimate a question as most here. Do you have an answer or are you just posting to stifle curiosity?

Since I did not provide the SOED5 entries for doo-dad or hickey, one might think that Tony (and CJ) might be wrong. But, in fact, they are right. SOED5 doesn't know where doo-dad comes from ...
doodad, noun.
/"du;dad/
Chiefly N. Amer. E20.
(Origin unkn.)
Something not readily nameable; a thingummy; esp. a fancy ornament of an unnecessary kind.
R. Davies Full of marquetry woodwork..and filigree doodads around the ceiling.
... or hickey.
hickey, noun.
/"hIki/
Chiefly N. Amer. E20.
(Origin unkn.)

1. A small gadget or device. E20.b. Something of little consequence. E20.

2. A pimple; a mark left by a love-bite. colloq. M20.
3. Printing. A spot of foreign matter appearing on a negative, a proof, ora final printed sheet. M20.

Martin Ambuhl  ...
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