Whatchamacallit

When I was a kid in the ’60s growing up in Floydada, Texas, we called the refrigerator an icebox, a fridge, or a Frigidaire, regardless of the brand.

When we went to get a soft drink, it was always a “coke” even though that might mean a Pepsi or a Sprite or a root beer. It wasn’t until we moved to North Dakota that I learned not everyone did that. Up there, it’s a “pop” and in Kansas, a “soda.”

In our living room, we sat on a couch, but my Grandmother Hall called hers a divan and my Nannie Grace called hers a sofa. I’ve heard it called a davenport, but I can’t remember by whom.

Our noon meal was dinner and our evening meal was supper. We learned differently when we moved up north. There the noon meal is lunch and the evening meal dinner. That difference caused a bit of confusion when interacting with the natives. We’d invite folks to supper and they’d look puzzled until we gave them a time. Then they’d say, “Oh, you mean dinner.”

And we’d say, “No, that’s at noon.”

“Oh, you want us for lunch?” ”

“Well, we’d prefer fried chicken.”

Who’s on first? That’s right.

In Texas, if one was planning to do something in the near future she might say, “I’m fixin’ to…” as in “I’m fixin’ to defrost the icebox.” Truly it sounded more like “fixinta”–“I’m fixinta cook supper.”

And we were always “carrying” someone somewhere. Grandma Hall didn’t drive, so she would ask us to carry her to the store. She was an able bodied woman at that time, so carrying meant giving her a ride in our car–no heavy lifting involved.

Objects for which we didn’t have a name were called “doohickeys,” or “thingamajigs,” or “thingamabobs.” People whose names we couldn’t recall were “Old Whatshername,” or “Whatchamacallit.” It was possible to have a conversation that went like this:

Mom: Do you have that thingamabob that came off the icebox?

Dad: No, I took it over to old Whatshername to see if she had one of those doohickeys.

Mom: Well, Grandma Hall asked us to carry her to the store to pick up some fixings for a big dinner she’s fixinta have after church tomorrow. I can run by and pick up the doohickey while I’m out.

Dad: Be sure and get some Coke.

Mom: Okay. What kind?

Dad: Dr. Pepper.

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

8 thoughts on “Whatchamacallit”

  1. Oop North, over ‘ere, our evening meal is ‘oos tea’, so, in homage to the northern part of my ancestry, I finish my posts with ‘what we ‘ad for oos tea’; sometimes we ‘ave our mid-day meal, ‘oos dinner, on oos knees in front of oos telly’. School dinners, wherever you are, are mid-day meals.

    Liked by 1 person

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