The clear plastic thing on the ends of shoelaces is called an aglet. The term originates from the French term "aiguillette," which means a small needle. Aiguillettes actually still exist today as the decorative ends of the cords found on military uniforms.
Other names of commonly used "thingamabobs":
- The little piece of metal that holds an eraser to a pencil is called a ferrule, a term that can also be broadly used to describe any kind of ring used for fastening or joining something. Under this broad definition, aglets are actually considered a type of ferrule.
- There are several different words used to describe the symbols used in comic strips and cartoons to replace cursing, such as "jarns," "nittles," "grawlix" and "quimp."
- A number sign (#) is technically called an octothorpe, which was what it was originally patented as in the 1960s.
More Info: www.merriamwebster.com
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