10 Unique Words for Common Things

May 25, 2014
10 Unique Words for Common Things

Language is a wonderful thing and as a community of freelance translators, proofreaders and other linguists here at Tomedes we perhaps appreciate that fact more than most.

In celebration of the fascinating quirks and twists that language can take as it develops, here we look at ten unique words for common things. 

1. Aglet

the small plastic (or sometimes metal) tip that is used to finish off the end of a shoelace or drawstring to prevent it from fraying and to enable it to pass swiftly and easily through an eyelet. 

2. Dactylion

the tip of the middle finger.

3. Agraffe

the twisted wire top that fits above the top of the cork on a bottle of champagne, just below the layer of foil. 

4. Ferrule

the metal part of a pencil that joins the main body of the pencil to the eraser on the top. 

5. Muntin

the wooden (or sometimes metal) strip that runs between the panes of glass in a window frame, separating the panes while helping to hold each in place. 

6. Kakorrhaphiophobia

a fear of failure. 

7. Peen

the part of a hammer head that you don’t use for hammering, which is usually curved or spherical in shape. 

8. Tittle

the dot that appears above the letters ‘i’ and ‘j’ when they are written in lowercase. 

9. Dottle

the little pile of unburned tobacco and ash that is left in the bowl of a pipe, which is used to help light it the next time it is used. 

10. Psithurism

the sound of leaves rustling on trees or bushes as they are disturbed by the wind. 

So those are our ten favourite words for everyday objects that most people will be unfamiliar with. How many did you already know? Of course, for those everyday items for which the correct words are known by only a few, ‘thingamabob’ and ‘thingummy’ will have to suffice! 

What other unique words do you enjoy using for common things? Let us know via the comment box. 

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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