While speakers of the English language have come up with names for most of the objects, ideas, or actions they encounter in daily life, there are still countless, seemingly unnamed objects out there. Usually, we just give a blank look when referring to these anomalies, snapping our fingers and stuttering some form of “you know… that thing!” But believe it or not, most of these items do have names; the average person just doesn’t know it.
Until now, of course. Even things that seem insignificant or are rarely referred to carry some identification in the dictionary. That includes everything from random spots on your body to the most infinitesimal detail of your clothing to certain smells. So what’s the word you’re looking for? You might find it here…
1. Feat: A single curly bang sweeping ever-so-gently across the forehead is called a “feat.” While the hairstyle might evoke imagery of a propeller hat-wearing kid carrying an oversized lollipop, maintaining a feat can also ooze toughness. Just ask Superman.
2. Glabella: Anyone with an exceptional unibrow can boast to their friends about their fertile “glabella,” which is the soft spot of skin right between the eyebrows. With a name like that, that insignificant little piece of facial real estate can be the glabella the ball.
3. Purlicue: A paper cut to your purlicue may not sound like much, but it would actually be a nightmare-worthy experience. Why’s that? The “purlicue” is that tender area between your thumb and forefinger, and it hurts whenever you injure it!
4. Philtrum: There’s a little divot below your nose and above your upper lip that’s pretty much useless. It’s called a “philtrum”—or as scientists call it, an “infranasal depression”—and just about every mammal has one, even your pooch!
5. Weenis: Telling people you can see their “weenis” might land you on some raised eyebrows, but really, you’d just be telling them you can see their elbow skin! There’s no harm in a little weenis spotting! We all do it every day.
6. Lunule: Unless you bite your fingernails, you’re probably sporting 10 “lunules” right now. They’re the white, crescent-shaped tips on your fingernails, and it’s their resemblance to quarter-moons that earned them their name.
7. Kummerspeck: When you drown your grief in a pint of ice cream or the grease of a cheeseburger, you might be getting a visit from “kummerspeck” afterwards. That’s the weight you gain from emotional overeating. Literally translated, it means “grief bacon.”
8. Crapulence: Some people call it the “meats sweats.” Others might say they’re suffering the adverse effects of a food baby. But if you want to be scientific, the word for the horrid feeling that follows overeating is “crapulence.”
9. Parethesia: “Being on pins and needles” has a better ring to it than “coming down with some fierce parathesia,” but either way, you’re saying the same thing. In other words, “parethesia” refers to the tingly or numb feeling you get when a limb falls asleep.
10. Petrichor: After a long-awaited rainfall, when the air is still full of moisture, people all over the planet often revel in the damp, earthy smell that follows. That smell has a name: “petrichor.”
11. Griffonage: Do you know anyone with particularly heinous handwriting? A fourth-grader, maybe? A doctor? A fourth-grade doctor? Well, there’s a word for the illegible chicken scratch they scribble on the page: “griffonage.”
12. Tittle: Liable to make even the most mature minds, uh, titter, the funny-sounding “tittle” refers to the dot above the lower-case “i” and “j.” Apparently, “little dot” didn’t titillate Middle English linguists!
13. Dingbats: Besides being an insult people desperately need sometimes, “dingbats” refer to the symbols substituted for swear words: #@$%#! Strangely, there are other words for this, too, like “grawlix” and “profanitype.”
14. Ferrule: Bored children stuck in classrooms have probably done some serious damage to the world’s supply of “ferrules,” aka the little piece of metal connecting an eraser to the end of a pencil. What kid hasn’t chomped on a few of these in their heyday?
15. Nibbling: At first glance, the word “nibbling” looks like the name folks in a nursing home would give a stray cat that eats kitchen leftovers, but it’s actually a gender-neutral term for nieces and nephews. If you’ve got an aunt or uncle, you’re their nibbling!
16. Nurdle: Someone actually thought a little dollop of toothpaste spread across the bristles of a toothbrush deserved its own name, and thus “nurdle” was born. The word also describes a studious and socially awkward turtle. (Just kidding, it doesn’t. But it should.)
17. Punt: Wine drinkers likely spend a lot of time looking at the backside of a “punt” without even realizing it. That’s the word for the indentations at the base of the bottle, supposedly included for bottle integrity. It’s also a side effect of the glassblowing process.
18. Aglet: If you’re particularly boring company at a party, here’s how to redeem yourself: tell everyone about the name for the little piece of plastic or metal at the end of your shoelace. It’s called an “aglet,” and it’s a great conversation starter.
19. Zarf: Likely the sound an alien dog would make, a “zarf” is the cardboard cylinder you slip around a scalding hot coffee cup to take it to go. In this case, though, you should probably just keep calling it “that cardboard hand-protector thing.”
20. Defenestrate: As if throwing someone through a window isn’t brutal enough, this very specific act carries its own brutal-sounding name, too: “defenestrate.” Fun fact: a defenestration station would be a place where people are systematically tossed through windows.
Now those are some crazy words! Will you be adding any to your regular vocabulary?
Share these weird names for everyday objects with your friends below!