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Encyclopedia > Placeholder name

Placeholder names are words that can refer to objects or people whose names are either irrelevant or unknown in the context in which it is being discussed. "Whatchamacallit" (for objects) and "Whatshisname" or "Whatshername" (for men and women, respectively) are defining examples. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Whatshisname and Whatshername (both often, but not always, capitalized) are grammatical contractions of the phrases whats his name? and whats her name? and are placeholder names used place of a proper noun or a more specifically-descriptive phrase. ... Whatshisname and Whatshername (both often, but not always, capitalized) are grammatical contractions of the phrases whats his name? and whats her name? and are placeholder names used place of a proper noun or a more specifically-descriptive phrase. ...


Linguistic role

These placeholders typically function grammatically as nouns, and can be used for people (e.g. John Doe, Jane Doe), objects (e.g. Widget), or places (e.g. Timbuktu). They share a property with pronouns because their referents must be supplied by context. For the World of Warcraft ex-NPC, see Captain Placeholder. ... For the rules of English grammar, see English grammar and Disputes in English grammar. ... In linguistics, a noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... The name John Doe is generally used in the United States as a placeholder name for a male party in a legal action or legal discussion whose true identity is unknown. ... A widget is a placeholder name for an object or, more specifically, a mechanical or other manufactured device. ... Timbuktu (Archaic English: Timbuctoo; Koyra Chiini: Tumbutu; French: Tombouctou) is a city in Tombouctou Region, Mali. ... In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase with or without a determiner, such as you and they in English. ... In general, a reference is something that refers or points to something else, or acts as a connection or a link between two things. ...

Many placeholder names are synecdoches, that is, linguistic metaphors where a part of something is used for the whole or vice versa. "Average Joe" is an example of this as not all men are named Joe. Other placeholder names, such as "MacGuffin", "whatchamacallit",or "thingamajig" have no identity beyond their use as placeholder names and so are not synecdoches. Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which: a term denoting a part of something is used to refer to the whole thing, or a term denoting a thing (a whole) is used to refer to part of it, or a term denoting a specific class of thing (a species... Broadly conceived, linguistics is the study of human language, and a linguist is someone who engages in this study. ... This article is about metaphor in literature and rhetoric. ... This article is about the plot device. ...

Stuart Berg Flexner and Harold Wentworth’s Dictionary of American Slang (1960) uses the term kadigin to describe placeholder words. They define kadigan merely as a synonym for thingamajig; if so, then kadigan is itself a kadigan. The term may have originated with Willard Richardson Espy, though others such as David Annis also used it (or cadigans) in their writing. Its etymology is obscure—Flexner and Wentworth related it to the generic word gin for engine (as in the cotton gin). It may also relate to the Irish surname Cadigan. Stuart Berg Flexner is a lexicographer, editor and author, noted for his books on the origins of American words and expressions, including I Hear America Talking and Listening to America; as co-editor of the Dictionary of American Slang; and as chief editor of the Random House Dictionary, Second Edition. ... Willard Richardson Espy (11 December 1910–20 February 1999) was a U.S. editor, language author, philologist, writer, and poet. ... Etymologies redirects here. ... For other uses, see Engine (disambiguation). ... A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates the cotton fibres from the seedpods and the sometimes sticky seeds. ... A family name, or surname, is that part of a persons name that indicates to what family he or she belongs. ...

Words describing generic categories may also be used in this function of a placeholder (e.g., "flower" for tulips and roses), but they are not considered to be cadigans. [[Media:Example. ... For other uses, see Rose (disambiguation). ...


Especially when used to refer to people, some placeholder names can have a connotation, usually negative. See "Whatshisname" for an example. Connotation is a subjective cultural and/or emotional coloration in addition to the explicit or denotative meaning of any specific word or phrase in a language, i. ... Whatshisname and Whatshername (both often, but not always, capitalized) are grammatical contractions of the phrases whats his name? and whats her name? and are placeholder names used place of a proper noun or a more specifically-descriptive phrase. ...

Abbreviations used in this article

  • s. = sense; thus s.2 means "sense 2" of a dictionary entry

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD) is an American dictionary of the English language published by Boston publisher Houghton-Mifflin, the first edition of which appeared in 1969. ... Encarta is a digital multimedia encyclopedia published by Microsoft Corporation. ... An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline for Web content. ... Merriam-Webster, originally known as the G. & C. Merriam Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, is a United States company that publishes reference books, especially dictionaries that are descendants of Noah Websters An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). ... The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged was the original name of a large American dictionary, first published in 1966, and recently renamed the Random House Websters Unabridged Dictionary. ...

Placeholder names in English

Things (inanimate objects or concepts)

Common placeholders in the English language include:[citation needed] The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

  • blah
  • crap
  • dealie, dealy, or deelie (northwestern U.S) [3]
  • dingle-dongle[citation needed]
  • dingus [4]
  • diseere (southwestern P.A.)
  • doohickey [5]
  • do-dad, [6] doodad (North America)[7] and doodah (UK)[8]
  • doofer [9]
  • foo or foobar (Used primarily in the computer industry)
  • framistat
  • frammis[10]
  • frobnitz [11]
  • gadget
  • geemie
  • gewgaw or geegaw
  • gizmo
  • gubbins (British slang) [12]
  • hickey
  • hingmy (Scottish, derived from thingummy)
  • hodad
  • jobby or jobber
  • junk
  • kludge
  • MacGuffin
  • oojamaflip
  • stuff
  • thing
  • thingamabob (sometimes spelled thingumabob or thingumbob) [13]
  • thingamajig
  • thingy
  • ting
  • whatchamacallit (originated by the phrase “What you may call it”)
  • whatnot
  • whatsit (sometimes spelled wotsit)
  • whatsitsname (British form of whatchamacallit, sometimes spelled wossname)
  • widget (especially in economics, for a product whose identity is unimportant)
  • wing wong for a goose's bridle, Australian answer to naïve "What is that?"
  • x
  • yoke (Commonly used in Ireland)

Thingamajigs are typically specialized devices which have a limited number of uses or a single specific use. The term is typically employed by one whose experience with the use of the object is nonexistent or very limited. Regular users of such devices would never refer to them as thingamajigs or any of the related terms listed below. For other uses, see Foobar (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Gadget (disambiguation). ... Gizmo is a placeholder name for any small technological item. ... This article is about the country. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the plot device. ... A widget is a placeholder name for an object or, more specifically, a mechanical or other manufactured device. ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ...

A thingamajig is different from a widget, in that a widget is an actual, but not yet named or constructed, mechanical component. It is also different from a gadget, in that “gadget” is the generic term for a superfluously useful device, such as a remote garage door opener, whose name is easily remembered. For other uses, see Gadget (disambiguation). ...

Even among the world of otherwise nameless things referred to by placeholder names, there is a hierarchy of specificity. "Thing", as its name implies, is universally applicable. It is likely, however, that a "gizmo" involves some minor degree of technological sophistication, connoting as it does some mechanical or electronic aspect.

Most of these words exist in the less formal register of the English language. In more formal speech and writing, words like accessory, paraphernalia, artifact, instrument, or utensil are called into play; these words also refer to things made by human hands without getting specific about their form or function. These words also differ slightly in usage: artifacts are usually found objects of indeterminate age and purpose, while utensil suggests cutlery. In linguistics, a register is a subset of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. ... A cultural artifact is a human-made object which gives information about the culture of its creator and users. ... An Instrument is a tool, intended for a purpose other than mechanical work, in particular a refined one. ... ... Used cutlery: a plate, a fork and knife, and a drinking glass. ...

These words have been in regular use since at least the nineteenth century. Edgar Allan Poe wrote a short story entitled The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq., showing that particular form to be in familiar use in the United States in the 1840s. In Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, W. S. Gilbert makes the Lord High Executioner sing of a "little list" which includes: Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ... W. S. Gilbert Arthur Sullivan Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian era partnership of librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900). ... The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, their ninth of fourteen operatic collaborations. ... Sir William Schwenck Gilbert Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (November 18, 1836 – May 29, 1911) was an English dramatist, librettist and illustrator best known for the fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. ...

. . . apologetic statesmen of a compromising kind,
Such as--What d’ye call him--Thing’em-bob, and likewise--Never-mind,
and ’St--’st--’st-- and What’s-his-name, and also You-know-who--
The task of filling up the blanks I’d rather leave to you.

According to Trey Parker's audio commentary, "schpadoinkle" was composed as a placeholder, and was not initially intended to actually be used in Cannibal! The Musical. Randolph Severn Trey Parker III (born October 19, 1969) is an Academy Award nominated American animator, screenwriter, film director, voice actor, actor and musician. ... Cannibal! The Musical is a student film directed by the future creator of South Park, Trey Parker, while studying at the University of Colorado at Boulder. ...


Placeholder names are also used in computing. A metasyntactic variable is a placeholder name, or an alias term, commonly used to denote the subject matter under discussion, or an arbitrary member of a class of things under discussion. ... For the formal concept of computation, see computation. ...

  • Foo and bar are commonly used as placeholders for file, function, and variable names. Distinguish Fubar
  • Hacker slang includes a number of placeholders, such as frob, which may stand for any small piece of equipment. To frob, likewise, means to do something to something. In practice it means: to adjust (a device) in an aimless way.

Foo is a metasyntactic variable used heavily in computer science to represent concepts abstractly and can be used to represent any part of a complicated system or idea including the data, variables, functions, and commands just to name a few. ... Bar is a metasyntactic variable used heavily in computer science to represent concepts abstractly and can be used to represent any part of a complicated system or idea including the data, variables, functions, and commands just to name a few. ... File has several meanings: Computer file File (tool) file (Unix), a program used to determine file types. ... In computer science, a subroutine (function, procedure, or subprogram) is a sequence of code which performs a specific task, as part of a larger program, and is grouped as one, or more, statement blocks; such code is sometimes collected into software libraries. ... In computer science and mathematics, a variable (pronounced ) (sometimes called an object or identifier in computer science) is a symbolic representation used to denote a quantity or expression. ... For other uses, see FUBAR (disambiguation). ... The Jargon File is a glossary of hacker slang. ... The term Frob has typically been used to refer to any small device or object (usually hand-sized) which can be manipulated, or frobbed. ...

Other technical-sounding

Other words that may have specific technical meanings are occasionally used as placeholders as well. Some words that are so used in English include:

For the vacuum component, see Vacuum flange. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Some rubber grommets. ... M*A*S*H, see Sticky Wicket (M*A*S*H episode). ...


Kadigan-like expressions can refer to people as well. Among words or phrases used in English to refer to people of unknown or irrelevant name are:

  • Tom, Dick and Harry, for a series of three specific unnamed (usually male) people; or for any quantity of unknown people, usually with the term "every", for example: "Every Tom, Dick and Harry showed up to the party." Harriet may sometimes be substituted for Harry for a more gender-balanced version of the phrase.
  • Uncle Tom Cobley and all — another placeholder phrase, in this case used to indicate a long list of people.
  • So-and-so; also often used as a euphemism for a stronger, possibly vulgar epithet, for example, "that stupid...so-and-so!"
  • Buddy (Newfoundland English), any male of unknown identity, often used in conjunction with "Whasisname".
  • Joe Bloggs (British male, referring to anyone of unknown identity)
  • Fred Bloggs (British male, referring to a subsequent unknown person)
  • Fred Nerks or Fred Nerk or just Fred (as in "Fred, you can't turn right here" (Australian equivalent of Joe Bloggs)
  • Joe Public (British English, refers to an average person in the street)
  • A.N. Other (unspecified person on a list, often abbreviated to ANO)
  • Joe Blow (average male person - North America)
  • Joe Schmoe (average male person - North America)
  • John Doe/Jane Doe (often used to refer to an unidentified corpse, litigant, or suspect)
  • John Q. Public (average male person - North America)
  • The Joneses (used as a placeholder for the typical average family)
  • Mrs Kafoops (Australian, slightly derogatory)
  • Dat fella (Malaysian/Singaporean for "that fellow")
  • Yer man (Irish male)
  • Yer one (Irish female. Unlike the male form, sometimes used to connote contempt)
  • Joe Soap (Irish English, refers to any typical person)
  • Himself/Herself (Irish male/female)
  • Lord/Lady Muck (Male/Female who is acting as if others are their servants)
  • Frick and Frack (Indistinguishable Male pair)
  • Grandma/Grandpa (a usually older adult lacking technical knowledge)
  • PVT Snuffy or Joe Snuffy (US military, referring to any general soldier or low-ranking individual)
  • Kadoogan (One example of 'kadigan' being used as a kadigan is in the Ren and Stimpy Show where Stimpy's last name is given as Kadoogan, an obvious reference to the word kadigan.)
  • Emmet and Grockle are mildly abusive yet affectionate West Country terms for tourists. [1] "Emmet" is Cornish for "ants".[2]
  • Matey is a West Country term for a person with whom one has an anticipated, temporary or intermittent personalised interaction restricted to specific requirements or actions, eg. "We'd got as far as the Okehampton Bypass when we stopped to give Matey there a jump-start."
  • J. Random X (e.g., J. Random Hacker, J. Random User) is a term used in computer jargon for a randomly selected member of a set, such as the set of all users.[3]
  • Fnu Lnu is used by authorities to identify unknown suspects, the name being an acronym for First Name Unknown, Last Name Unknown. If a person's first name is known but not the last, they may be called "John Lnu" or "Fnu Doe", and an unidentified person may be "Fnu Lnu". For example, a former interpreter for the United States military was charged as "FNU LNU",[4] and a mute man whose identity could not be determined was arrested and charged with burglary in Harris County, Texas under the name "FNU-LNU" (charges were later dropped because authorities could not communicate with the man).[5] Fnu-Lnu conjunctions may also be used if the person has only a single name, as in Indonesian names. The name has been considered a source of humor when "Fnu Lnu" has been mistaken for the actual name of a person.[6]

Certain fixed expressions are used as placeholder names in a number of specialized contexts. In formal legal contexts, John Does are sometimes mentioned; in more informal English, people sometimes need to speak of Old So-and-so or What’s-’is-name or What’s-’is-face (cruder) or Miss Thing. Tommy Atkins is a mythical Briton who filled out all his forms correctly, and as such lent his name to British soldiers generally; his Canadian counterpart is "Corporal (or some other rank) Bloggins". John Smith, often from “Anytown, U.S.A.,” and John Q. Public are also used as placeholder names for unnamed citizens, and similarly in Britain one might refer to Joe or Fred Bloggs. "Joe Random" or "Joe Average" are also referred to, sometimes more specifically as "Joe Average Voter" or "Joe Random Customer". In Australia, the name John Citizen is used in a similar capacity on samples of forms or cards. In America, Joe or Jane Sixpack refers to the perceived average middle or lower class person. In theatre, television and motion pictures, the great actors Walter Plinge, David Agnew, and George Spelvin are pseudonyms used for cast members who prefer to go unnamed. The name Alan Smithee is similarly used by film directors who wish to remain anonymous (often because their film did not turn out well). Conversely, placeholders can be used to conceal identity, as seen in the above Gilbert and Sullivan lyrics. The Newfoundland entertainer "Buddy Whasisname" derives his stage name a common local usage (combining two terms) describing an unknown male. Look up Tom, Dick and Harry in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The phrase Uncle Tom Cobley and all is used in British English as a humorous or whimsical way of saying et cetera, often to express exasperation at the large number of items in the list. ... The surname Bloggs or the full name Joe Bloggs is a commonly used placeholder name in United Kingdom teaching, programming, and other thinking and writing. ... The name John Q. Public is used on a sample Social Security card John Q. Public is a generic name in the United States to denote a hypothetical member of society deemed a common man. ... The name John Doe is generally used in the United States as a placeholder name for a male party in a legal action or legal discussion whose true identity is unknown. ... Frick and Frack were two Swiss skaters who came to the U.S. and joined the original Ice Follies show as comedy ice skaters. ... Ren and Stimpy are the eponymous characters of two American animated television series created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi. ... For the Cornish-English dialect, see West Country dialects. ... Okehampton is a town in Devon, England, at the northern edge of Dartmoor, on the River Okement. ... A jump start is a colloquial term for a method of starting an automobile or other internal combustion engine-powered vehicle having a discharged battery. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Backronym and Apronym (Discuss) Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form. ... Look up mute in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Harris County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. ... Indonesia is an archipelago of 17,000 islands, only 6,000 of which are inhabited, that extends in an arc along the equator. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... The name John Doe is generally used in the United States as a placeholder name for a male party in a legal action or legal discussion whose true identity is unknown. ... Tommies from the Royal Irish Rifles in the trenches during the First World War. ... John Smith is often regarded as the most common personal name in the United Kingdom and in some other English-speaking countries, with John being the most common First Name in the U.K. and Smith being the most common Surname. ... Placeholder names are words that refer to objects or people whose names are either irrelevant or unknown in the context which it is being discussed. ... The name John Q. Public is used on a sample Social Security card John Q. Public is a generic name in the United States to denote a hypothetical member of society deemed a common man. ... The surname Bloggs or the full name Joe Bloggs or Jo Bloggs is a commonly used placeholder name in United Kingdom teaching, programming, and other thinking and writing. ... The name John Q. Public is used on a sample Social Security card John Q. Public is a generic name in the United States to denote a hypothetical member of society deemed a common man. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ... A social class is, at its most basic, a group of people that have similar social status. ... Serge Sudeikins poster for the Bat Theatre (1922). ... For other uses see film (disambiguation) Film refers to the celluliod media on which movies are printed Film — also called movies, the cinema, the silver screen, moving pictures, photoplays, picture shows, flicks, or motion pictures, — is a field that encompasses motion pictures as an art form or as part of... For other uses, see Actor (disambiguation). ... Walter Plinge is a pseudonym, traditionally used in London theatres. ... David Agnew is a pseudonym that was traditionally used on BBC television drama programmes in the 1970s where a writers name could not be used for contractual reasons, for example where a script editor had written an episode of his or her own programme, or when a writer had... George Spelvin and Georgina Spelvin are the traditional pseudonyms used in programs in American theatre by actors who dont want to be credited or whose names would otherwise appear twice because they are playing more than one role in a production. ... For other uses, see Alias. ... Alan Smithee, Allen Smithee, Alan Smythee, and Adam Smithee are pseudonyms used between 1968 and 1999 by Hollywood film directors who wanted to be dissociated from a film for which they no longer wanted credit. ...

Movies and theatre also give rise to another specific type of kadigan, the MacGuffin. This is any object or person used to drive a plot or as the goal of a quest, but which otherwise has no relevance to the action, and thus could be replaced in the script with another similar item with no loss of sense. A foozle is a generic enemy or group of enemies that must be defeated for the plot to move on in a game. This article is about the plot device. ... This article is about the word, for other meanings see Quest (disambiguation) A quest is a journey towards a goal with great meaning and is used in mythology and literature as a plot device. ...

Cryptographers conventionally use a fixed cast of characters when describing their systems in general terms. For example, the quintessential cryptographic system has Alice wanting to send a message to Bob without Eve being able to eavesdrop on them. These are even used in formal, peer-reviewed papers in the field. Pre-19th century Leone Battista Alberti, polymath/universal genius, inventor of polyalphabetic substitution (see frequency analysis for the significance of this -- missed by most for a long time and dumbed down in the Vigenère cipher), and what may have been the first mechanical encryption aid. ... The names Alice and Bob are commonly used placeholders for archetypal characters in fields such as cryptography and physics. ...

Forms of address

Some placeholders are used in second-person to address another, usually — but not always — because the second party's name is unknown. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ...

Sir or Madam/Ma'am. In English-speaking society, the most universally-accepted forms of address to another person, known or unknown, and regardless of station, are "Sir" (to men) and "Madam", sometimes shortened to "Ma'am", (to women). "Sir" and "Madam/Ma'am", for example, are considered acceptable forms of address for most of the world's heads of state, including royalty.

Friend. "Friend" or other synonyms of amity may be used in its literal sense, but is often used ironically to indicate displeasure or hostility. May also be used between strangers in a non-ironic manner.

Terms of endearment. Words such as "honey" or "sweetie" are generally perceived as affectionate between friends, family or intimates. Outside this group, or in more formal or professional settings, the use of these words becomes more problematic. Their use by a person to a member of the opposite sex may be seen as forward or presumptuous, or even patronizing and demeaning (especially when used by a man to a woman). When used by a woman to address another woman, the sense may be friendly or hostile (see Friend, above); when used by a man to another man, it is generally perceived to have homosexual overtones (i.e., suggesting that either the speaker or the addressee — or both — is homosexual).

Second-person kadigans include:

  • Amigo (Spanish for "friend");[14] occasionally used by non-Hispanics when calling out to an unknown Hispanic male (though might be considered rude or offensive)
  • Angel
  • Baby[15] or Babe[16]
  • Bird (UK, woman, usually young; cf. chick). Also My Bird : a traditional Cornish term of endearment from an older female to a younger one.
  • Bloke (Man, British English)[citation needed]
  • Boss[citation needed]
  • Boyo
  • Bro
  • Bra (Variant of 'bro')
  • Brother:
  • Buddy or Bud ("Buddy" is especially common in Newfoundland English)[17][18]
  • B'y: Newfoundland pronunciation of "Boy", used as a general form of address primarily to a male but now increasingly to females. It does not hold any of the derogatory meaning that the term "Boy" does in standard English, especially when directed at minorities[19]
  • Chick (woman, usually young). Sometimes perceived as disrespectful of women.
  • Chief (for a person in authority)
  • Chum or Chummie/Chummy - the latter being also an insider term often used by UK Police to refer to an as-yet unidentified suspect.
  • Cobber
  • Darling
  • Dear or Dearie
  • Doll or Dolly
  • Dude (man or woman; also a general exclamation)
  • Ducks or Ducky
  • Fella (UK + Australian, man, stranger or person)
  • Friend
  • G (abbreviation for "gangster," often used ironically)
  • Geezer (Man, British English; in American English, an irreverent term for an older man)
  • Grandma, Gram, or Granny, an address to an older woman. Can be disrespectful.
  • Grandpa, Grampa, or Gramps, an older man - may denote disrespect.
  • Guv or Guvnor (UK, man) - usually one's boss or senior.
  • Guy or Guys (to a man)
  • Homeboy or Homey or Homes' (may be used as a term or endearment between male friends, or aggressively by strangers or enemies)
  • Honey or Hon
  • Jack (man), generally in an unfriendly sense
  • Kid
  • Lad or Lass
  • Lady (woman)
  • Love (UK)
  • Ma'am, Madam, or Madame (woman)
  • Mac (man)[20]
  • Maid, (Newfoundland English and West Country) a woman, or a young unmarried girl or daughter[21]
  • Man (to a man).[22] It may also be used as an interjection, not addressed to anyone in particular, in which case it is not truly a kadigan ("Aw, man!").
  • Mate (UK, man)
  • My Lover (Southwestern UK)
  • Miss, generally addressed to a young woman or girl. In some dialects, it is a form of address for a female teacher, regardless of her marital status.
  • Missus, Newfoundland English term of respect or affection for a mature woman[23]. Also in British English, a term of affectionate reference to one's wife/female partner/steady girlfriend.
  • Neighbour
  • Oppo (uk), typically a term used to describe a colleague in the construction industry.
  • Pal or Pally
  • Padre, from the Spanish word for "father", a military kadigan for any man of the cloth, regardless of denomination
  • Pop or Pops, often a disrespectful term for an older man
  • Sister (woman)
  • Skipper, Newfoundland English term of respect or affection for a mature man[24]
  • Son: generally used by an older man to one at least a generation younger; or by a man who, by virtue of rank or position, has charge or authority over the other, such as a drill sergeant over a private soldier. In the latter instance, it may be in a hostile context: "Son, you'd best move your ass before you find my foot up it!"
  • Sonny or Sonny boy: also generally used by an older man to one at least a generation younger; there would be a degree of hostility: "Listen to me, Sonny boy ..."
  • Sunshine, derived from Son
  • Sweetheart or Sweetie

Joe Cornish, British TV presenter. ... Though most indigenous Africans possess relatively dark skin, they exhibit much variation in physical appearance. ... A Police Constable of West Yorkshire Police on patrol The United Kingdom (UK) does not have one single police force serving the general public; with the exception of various special police forces and of Northern Ireland (which has one unified force, the Police Service of Northern Ireland - PSNI ), police forces... The West Country is an informal term for the area of south-western England roughly corresponding to the modern South West England government region. ... British English (BrE, BE, en-GB) is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere in the Anglophone world. ...


In some forms of English, placeholder names exist to represent locations, particularly the stereotypical backward, insignificant or isolated town in the middle of nowhere. These include:

  • Anytown, USA and Dullsville in the USA
  • Auchterturra in Scotland, and Glenboggin, which has its own official website [25]
  • Bally-Go-Backwards in Ireland (unspecified remote small country town)
  • Black Stump in Australia and New Zealand (“beyond the black stump” indicates an extremely remote location).
  • The Boondocks (or the Boonies)
  • (East/West) Bum(ble)fuck (or Butt Fuck) in the USA (vulgar). Bumblefuck, Missouri was popularized by the 1988 movie Rain Man. Also heard as Bumfuck, Iowa or Bumfuck, Idaho.
  • BFE or Bumblefuck, Egypt (also Bumfuck, Egypt, Butt Fuck, Egypt or Beyond Fucking Egypt) (vulgar), refers to an unspecified remote location or destination, assumed to be arduous to travel to, unpleasant to visit and/or far away from anything of interest to the speaker (e.g. Man, you parked way the hell out in BFE). In the Chicago metropolitan area, the term was coined to refer to the region in downstate Illinois known as "Little Egypt", centered in Cairo, Illinois, for being the furthest from the urban center in both distance and way of life.
  • Buttcrack or Upper Buttcrack (usually a New England state)
  • Crackerland and Jerkwater (from the 1982 film First Blood, small hometowns of typical US Army recruits)
  • Hickville is used to describe a small farming town. (Hick comes from hillbilly)
  • Dog River, Armpit or Moose Fuck (vulgar) in Canada
  • Loamshire for a rural county in England (and the Loamshires for a regiment based in that county)
  • Podunk in the USA
  • Sainte-Clotilde-de-Rubber-Boot in Quebec, Canada
  • Timbucktoo is still commonly used to refer to an unspecified but remote place.
  • Upper Rubber Boot in Ontario, Canada
  • Woop Woop or Upper Woop Woop in Australia and New Zealand (often 'out Woop Woop' as in, 'they live out Woop Woop somewhere,' and used when referring to people who live in a country area unfamiliar to the speaker).
  • Waikikamukau (pronounced ‘Why kick a moo-cow’) in New Zealand

Other place names include: Anytown, USA is a generic term for a fictional setting that has no definite location. ... Auchterturra is a fictitious town created by the Scottish comedy team Scotland the What. ... For other uses for Boondocks, see Boondocks (disambiguation) Boondocks may refer to a remote, usually brushy rural area. ... Rain Man is a 1988 film which tells the story of a selfish yuppie who discovers that his father has left all of his estate to the autistic brother he never knew he had. ... Possible meanings: BFE (software) - graphical front-end for the Bochs debugger Bikers for Education Biofeedback Foundation of Europe British Forum for Ethnomusicology Buyer Furnished Equipment Boyfriend experience as the counterpart to girlfriend experience (prostitution) Bum Fuck, Egypt - a colloquial Placeholder name denoting a place that is remote and out of... Chicagoland redirects here. ... Little Egypt can mean: Little Egypt, a belly dancer. ... Cairo is a city in Alexander County, Illinois in the United States. ... This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... For the David Morrell novel, see First Blood (book). ... Fictional counties are created by an author for character placement and story background. ... Loamshire Regiment is a placeholder name used by the British Army to provide examples for its procedures. ... British regiment A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a variable number of battalions - commanded by a colonel. ... In American English, Podunk, or Podunk Hollow has come to denote something, usually a place, of small size and is often used as a placeholder name in a context of dismissing significance or importance. ... Timbuktu (Archaic English: Timbuctoo; Koyra Chiini: Tumbutu; French: Tombouctou) is a city in Tombouctou Region, Mali. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Waikikamukau, (pronounced as if saying Why kick a moo-cow?), is an imaginary small rural town or locality in New Zealand. ...

  • Blackacre, Whiteacre, and Greenacre are widely used in law courses to represent hypothetical estates in land.
  • Joe's Diner is used to refer to a typical restaurant run as a small business.
  • Oxbridge in the UK (a portmanteau of Oxford and Cambridge, locations of the two universities. It refers to the two universities collectively, not to the two towns).

Common components of placeholders for places are -town, -ville, -hampton (in the United Kingdom), -vale, Big-, Mid-, Middle-, Little-, Small-, Bally- (in Ireland), and Any-. The National Health Service of the UK, as well as the Department for Transport, use a large variety of placeholders as examples, including: Blackacre, Whiteacre, Greenacre, and variations thereof are the placeholder names of fictitious estates in land universally used by professors of law in common law jurisdictions, particularly in the area of real property, to discuss the rights of various parties to a piece of land. ... Oxbridge is a name used to refer to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the two oldest in the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world. ... A portmanteau (IPA: ) is a word or morpheme that fuses two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded meaning. ... This article is about the city of Oxford in England. ... This article is about the city in England. ... NHS redirects here. ... In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the transport network. ...

  • Axtley
  • Port Lever
  • Lampton
  • Middlehampton
  • Anyshire
  • Eastern Vale


English employs a number of kadigans to refer to unspecified quantity (see Indefinite and fictitious large numbers): Imaginary words ending in the sound -illion, such as zillion[1] and bazillion[2], are often used as fictitious names for an unspecified, large number, by analogy to names of large numbers such as billion and trillion. ...

  • squillion (hence squillionaire = multi-millionaire), bajillion, bazillion, brazillion (used in the punchline of jokes as a homonym for Brazilian), buhmillion, frillion, gazillion, jillion, kajillion, hojillion, schmillion, zillion and many others — these usually refer to large numbers that would be impractical to count;
  • eleventy-; e.g., eleventy-four. (Occasionally used in jocose literal sense "one hundred ten", as in The Lord of the Rings: Bilbo Bagginseleventy-first birthday was his one hundred and eleventh);
  • mumblety, used specifically to conceal one’s advanced age, as in "I shall be mumblety this year" or "mumblety-three";
  • umpteen;
  • oodles;
  • tons (although this can also refer to 2,000s);
  • scads;
  • buckets;
  • some-odd;
  • a couple (although this can also have the specific value 2);
  • a couple-few or coupla few (in some dialects);
  • bunch, as in "a whole bunch of..." - generally confined to American English use;
  • [expletive]-load e.g. shitload or shitloads;
  • metric fuck-ton, generally used by engineers or laborers;
  • -something (e.g., twenty something) as exemplified by the name of the television series thirtysomething

The following particles likewise refer to unspecified quantity, but are not placeholder names as defined in this article: The term zillions can seriously mean all the possible -illions, as in million, billion, trillion, etc. ... Big numbers redirects here. ... This article is about the novel. ... Bilbo Baggins (2890 Third Age - ? Fourth Age) is an important character in J. R. R. Tolkiens legendarium. ... 111 (One hundred (and) eleven) is the natural number following 110 and preceding 112. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Indefinite and fictitious large numbers. ... For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ... A twenty-something is a person in the age group 20 to 29. ... A television program is the content of television broadcasting. ... Thirtysomething (1987 – 1991) was a ground-breaking and award-winning American television drama created by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick for United Artists Television. ...

  • a few
  • several
  • lots
  • loads (may also be truckloads, busloads, etc.)
  • many

Dates and times

  • Composite names such as "Juvember" (combining June and November), "Septober" (September and October), and "Decemuary" (December and January) are sometimes used to refer to an indeterminate month.
  • Nonexistent days, such as February 31 or the 12th of Never (usually given as the intended date of occurrence for something that will never happen, as in the popular song The Twelfth of Never).
  • Nonexistent times, such as 13 o'clock, often used to describe when something is going to start or finish, but meaning its still a long way off.
  • "Tib's Eve", named for the nonexistent Saint Tib, is a date which does not exist.
  • Saint's days of saints with obscure or odd-sounding names, such as Saint Swithin's Day.
  • "Two hairs past a freckle", (or "a freckle past a hair") said when one is asked the time but despite making the habitual gesture, is not wearing a watch. Is sometimes extended to "A hair past a freckle, going on a mole."
    • Also "Skin o' clock"
  • "God-thirty in the morning," "holy mackerel o'clock," "silly o'clock", referring to a time very early in the morning
  • "Oh-dark thirty" or "Oh-dark hundred," also referring to some time early in the morning (before the sun rises); usage is derived from military parlance, where 4:00 a.m. is referred to as "oh-four-hundred"
  • "Dark plus thirty" meaning (loosely) just after sunset in Rainbow Gathering or Deadhead (or other festival) vernacular, meaning or thirty minutes after sundown, or more humorously, in at some indeterminate time after dark, Rainbow Gatherings tending not to happen according to any sort of schedule.
  • "Dark o' clock" may mean early or late.
  • "Late-thirty" may mean late at night.
  • "Beer thirty" means it's time for the first beer in a beer-drinking session. Alternatively, beer thirty means an unspecified time during a long bout of drinking or thirty minutes until beer is no longer sold in stores, meaning that it is time for a beer run. Can also be used by bartenders to denote the time when the last drunks from the bar are driving home after closing time.
  • "Pub O'Clock" also refers to drinking, but more specifically going to the pub to drink. Also "Pint O'Clock".
  • "Yonks" is used in English to mean a long but indefinite duration; it is conjectured to derive either from "donkey's years" or from "years, months and weeks". This has been going on for donkey's yonks.
  • "Half past a monkey's ass" or "Half past a monkey's ass and quarter till his balls" is used when one is asked the time but doesn't want to be bothered. Similarly: "Half past give-a-shit"
  • "Sparrow's fart" is an Australian expression meaning very early in the morning - eg. "I have to get up at sparrow's fart!"
  • "Tooth-Hurty" (two thirty) Time to go to the dentist.

This article is about February 30 and 31 as non-existent dates. ... The Twelfth of Never was a popular song recorded by Johnny Mathis and later by Donny Osmond. ... St. ... A composite image showing the terminator dividing night from day, running across Europe and Africa. ... Welcome home and We love you are common greetings at the Rainbow Gathering. ... A black-and-white photo of the above symbol was featured inside the album jacket of the self-titled Grateful Dead album along with the address below. ... An amusingly named pub (the Old New Inn) at Bourton-on-the-Water, in the Cotswold Hills of South West England A pub in the Haymarket area of Edinburgh, Scotland A public house, usually known as a pub, is a drinking establishment found mainly in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada...

Placeholder names in other languages

Most other languages have placeholders of some sort in their vocabulary.


Arabic uses Fulan / Fulana[h] فلان / فلانة and when a last name is needed it becomes Fulan AlFulani / Fulana[h] AlFulaniyya[h] فلان الفلاني / فلانة الفلانية. When a second person is needed, ʿillan / ʿillana[h] علان / علانة is used. The use of Fulan has been borrowed into Spanish, Portuguese, Persian and Turkish, as shown below. Arabic redirects here. ...


Bengali uses the universal placeholder ye (from the Hindi pronoun for he/she/it). Ye is used for everything-people, places, things, times, or numbers. ওমুক omuk can also be used as a placeholder for people. Bangla redirects here. ... Hindi (हिन्दी) is a language spoken mainly in North and Central India. ...


Bosnian uses the name Hepek to refer to any object or person. The word was often used by Top Lista Nadrealista. Sketch showing two European observers trying to make a Muslim and a Serb, lifelong friends, get into a fight Top lista nadrealista (trans. ...


Catalan uses the names daixonses / daixonsis and dallonses / dallonsis to refer to any object or person; d'aixo (in English: "of this") and d'allo (in English: "of that") are also used with the same purpose Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia, and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of Sardinia. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


In Chinese, question words are used as placeholders. An unspecified object is shénme or shénme shénme (Simplified Chinese: 什么什么; Traditional Chinese: 什麼什麼) (literally, "what what"), an unspecified location is nǎlǐ (哪里) , literally "where," an unspecified person mǒu (某), literally "someone," and so on. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Traditional Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 正體字/繁體字, Simplified Chinese: 正体字/繁体字) refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ...

Zhang San, Li Si and Wang Wu are Chinese placeholder names. Zhāng Sān (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; literally: Zhāng Three), Lǐ Sì (Chinese: ; literally: Lǐ Four), Wáng Wǔ (Chinese: ; literally: Wáng Five) and Zhào Liù (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; literally: Zhào Six) or Wáng Èr Mázi (王二麻子) are placeholder names (metasyntactic variables) in...


In Danish a common placeholder word is dims (derived from German Dings), used for small unspecified objects (gadgets).


In Dutch the primary placeholder is dinges (derived from ding, "thing"), used for both objects and persons. The diminutive of ding, dingetje (lit. "little thing" or "thingy") serves as a kadigan for objects when used with an article, and for persons without. The equivalent of John Doe for an unspecified (but not an unidentified) person is Jan Jansen ("Jansen" being one of the most common Dutch surnames) while Jan Modaal ("John Average") is the average consumer and Jan Publiek ("John Public") the man in the street. Obscure, faraway places are Timboektoe and Verweggistan (lit. "Farawayistan"); the archetypal small village is Nergenshuizen ("Nowhereville"), or more informally Boerenkoolstronkeradeel ("Kalestumperadeel", -eradeel being an archetypal suffix for municipalities in Friesland), or in vulgar speech Schubbekutterveen (literally "Scales-cunt-moor"). Lutjebroek is also used in this sense, but is actually a real village. The nonsense word hutsefluts is used as a placeholder for just about any proper name. Sint-Juttemis is used as a nonsensical date, meaning "never", even though it may be derived from a real saint's day. Stront met streepjes ("Poo with lines on it") is a placeholder name for food. Generally used after some-one asks what food is going to be eaten. Capital Leeuwarden Queens Commissioner drs. ... Lutjebroek is a village in the Netherlands in the community Stede Broec. ...


Esperanto has an all-purpose placeholder suffix um, which has no fixed meaning and simply tells that an object or action has something to do with some purpose or object, for instance butonumi (“to button up” or “to press a button”). It has acquired a specific meaning in some compounds, like brakumi, "to embrace", from brako, "arm".

The placeholder suffix was originally devised as a catch-all derivation affix. Once affixes became routinely used as roots and inflected, um became a placeholder lexeme, which would take affixes of its own: umi "to thingummy", umilo "a thingummy tool", umado "thingummying" etc. The affix-turned-lexeme aĵo "thing" is also arguably a place holder, since it is less specific than the older lexeme objekto. afero "business" is a lexeme used as an astract placeholder.

The particle "ajn" (= "any") can also be used as a placeholder. A generic object may be referred as «io ajn» (anything, some thing), or «ajno» (informal); the forms "ajna" and "ajne" ("any kind of" and "in any way") are acceptable colloquial synthetic variants of the longer and more formal "ia ajn" and "iel ajn".



Sampo can be considered the oldest placeholder word in the Finnish language. In folk mythology and in the Kalevala, it refers to a mystical object which was a source of immeasurable wealth and whose exact nature remains a mystery. The word is still in use – in particular, it can be found in expressions such as rahasampo ("a cornucopia of money"). In Finnish mythology, the Sampo was a magical artifact constructed by Ilmarinen that brought good fortune to its holder; nobody knows exactly what it was supposed to be. ... Template:Languaklkkkhytgf Finnish ( , or suomen kieli) is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland (91. ... The Kalevala is an epic poem which the Finn Elias Lönnrot compiled from Finnish and Karelian folklore in the 19th century. ... Cornucopia held by the Roman goddess Aequitas on the reverse of this antoninianus struck under Roman Emperor Claudius II. The cornucopia (Latin Cornu Copiae), literally Horn of Plenty and also known as the Harvest Cone, is a symbol of food and abundance dating back to the 5th century BC. In...

Hilavitkutin is one of the most common Finnish placeholder words for technical objects and machinery. It refers to "a device for vitkuttaa-ing a lattice". The ordinary meaning of the verb vitkuttaa is nonsensical in this context, as it means "to do something slowly in order to delay it". Arguably, vitkuttaa can also evoke associations of oscillation, "shaking back and forth", in native speakers of Finnish. This is a word derivation of interrogative pronoun mikä (what) and suffix -tin, referring to a tool or device. It basically denotes the same as English whatsit. Look up lattice in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Oscillation is the variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value (often a point of equilibrium) or between two or more different states. ... Whatsit may refer to: Waterman Whatsit, an aeroplane designed by Waldo Waterman Mrs. ...

An idiosyncratically Finnish placeholder word is mikälie or mikä lie, literally "whatever (it) may be". It utilizes the Finnish verb form lie or lienee, meaning "(it) probably is" – i.e., "to be" in the potential mood. This inflected word form is quite rare in everyday speech, which has resulted in its grammatical function being (mis)interpreted by native speakers as a grammatical particle instead of a verb. This, in turn, has given rise to constructions such as mikälie. In linguistics, many grammars have the concept of grammatical mood, which describes the relationship of a verb with reality and intent. ... In linguistics, the term particle is often employed as a useful catch-all lacking a strict definition. ... It has been suggested that Verbal agreement be merged into this article or section. ...

Other generic placeholder words in colloquial use include systeemi or sydeemi ("system"), and juttu (also jutska or judanssi, both from juttu), homma and hommeli ("thing", "thingy"). Stiiknafuulia was introduced by the author Teuvo Pakkala in 1895 and has more or less fallen out of use. Tilpehööri derives phonetically from the Swedish language "tillbehör" (that which is included), and can refer especially to very small items, often found in small plastic bags, needed to put together furniture (say from IKEA) or other kits (model planes for example). Tilpehööri is always clearly useful and needed to something; unnecessary, unneeded or obscure small items are called höhä or sälä. Swedish ( ) is a North Germanic language, spoken predominantly in Sweden, parts of Finland, especially along the coast, on the Ã…land islands, by more than nine million people. ... IKEA is a privately-held, international home products retailer that sells low-price products, including furniture, accessories, bathrooms and kitchens at retail stores around the world. ...


Placeholders for people include the ubiquitous Matti Meikäläinen (male) and Maija Meikäläinen (female), and the relatively less common Anna Malli (literally Anna the Model, but can also be understood as "Give me an example"), Tauno Tavallinen ("Tauno the Ordinary") or Veijo Luuseri ("Veijo the Luser"). In official contexts, the initials N.N. (from Nimi Nimi meaning Name Name) are used. SVenssons ITS on KLH-10      Welcome to SV! SV ITS.1648. ...


Placeholders for large numbers include ziljoona and biljardi. The latter is a portmanteau of miljardi (109) and biljoona (1012, see Billion (disambiguation)). It has an intentional double meaning, as the word also means "billiards", and can also mean 1015. A portmanteau (IPA: ) is a word or morpheme that fuses two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded meaning. ... Look up billion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the various cue sports. ...


The most common placeholder name for a remote location or a "backwater town" is Takahikiä. Actual locations in Finland that have acquired a similar status include Peräseinäjoki and, to some extent, Pihtipudas, though the latter is mostly associated with the proverbial Pihtiputaan mummo ("the grandmother from Pihtipudas"). They are usually spelled with a small initial letter when they are used as placeholder names. A faraway place can be found in Pippurlandia, which translates as "pepper-land"; "as far as the pepper grows". Other places, whose actual coordinates are unknown and obscure, but which clearly are far away, are Hornantuutti (chute of Hell), Huitsin-Nevada and Vinku-Intia (Whine-India). Peräseinäjoki is a municipality of Finland. ... Pihtipudas is a municipality of Finland. ... Binomial name L. Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. ... This article is about the theological or philosophical afterlife. ... This article is about the U.S. State of Nevada. ...

Dates and times

Obscurity in time can be expressed as viidestoista päivä (fifteenth day). Tuohikuussa pukinpäivän aikaan refers to an obscure future date (literally at Buck's day on Barkember). "Nappisodan aikaan" refers to something that happened a long time ago. (literal meaning is "at the time of the button wars") Another commonly used term is "Vuonna keppi ja kivi" which litelary means "at the year stick-and-stone", but the word keppi (stick) and kivi (stone) may be replaced with other word like nakki (a kind of sausage), miekka (sword), kilpi (shield) or other word that relates to old times.

Military usage

In Finnish military slang, tsydeemi has traditionally been used to refer to a special type of socks worn during wintertime. However, it has become a common generic placeholder word outside the military, possibly due to its phonetic similarity to the aforementioned systeemi.

In the Finnish Defence Forces, placeholder names for soldiers include Nönnönnöö (no meaning, derived from N.N.), Senjanen (rendered from genitive Senjasen expanding into sen-ja-sen (this-and-that), Omanimi ("Private His-name") and Te ("Private You"). Any weapon, device or piece of equipment is called vekotin. This has actually pointed to the abbreviation VKT, Valtion Kivääritehdas (State Rifle Factory), and referred to pikakivääri (rapid fire rifle) VKT23, which originally was called vekotin. The Finnish Defence Forces (Finnish Puolustusvoimat; Swedish Försvarsmakten) is a cadre army of 16500, of which 8700 professional soldiers (officers), with a standard readiness strength of 34,700 people in uniform (27,300 army, 3,000 navy, and 4,400 air force). ...

ICT usage

In information technology, a small program which is supposed to do one thing well, is called kilke. This word has a connotation of "makeshift". Software consisting of several kilke may be called tsydeemi (system). Another word for systems like this is judanssi. ICT may refer to: Institute of Chemical Technology, a premier institute located in the city of Mumbai, India International Campaign for Tibet, a political interest group In information technology: Information and Communications Technology, a broad subject concerned with technology and other aspects of managing and processing information Intelligent Collaboration Transparency...

A program that takes something as input and turns it into something other useful, but always human-readable information, is called pulautin. This is perhaps most often applied to web services that do this.



In French, an unspecified artifact can be:

  • bidule (n.m.); this is from military slang for something in disarray;
  • machin (n.m.), derived from machine
  • truc (n.m.), whose primary meaning is trick
  • chose (n.f.), thing

Quebec French also has patente, gogosse, cossin and such (most of which have verb forms meaning “to fiddle with”). Acadian French has amanchure. For other uses, see Slang (disambiguation). ... This article is about devices that perform tasks. ... Look up trick in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Thing in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... There are various lexical differences between Quebec French and Metropolitan French in France. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


Common placeholder names for people are

  • In slang: Tartampion, Machin, Machin-chose, Mec, Trucmuche, Chose-binne, Patante.
  • In proceedings and other more formal settings: "X" (Monsieur X), "Y" etc. (see XYZ Affair)
  • Pierre-Paul-Jacques or Pierre-Jean-Jacques is used to designate anyone and everyone at the same time, in the third person, in an informal context.

This article is about the diplomatic situation between the United States and France in 1798. ...


In France:

  • Trifouillis-les-Oies (small village)
  • Perpète, Perpète-les-Oies, Pétaouchnock or Diable vauvert (for a place that is far away)

In French-speaking Belgium, Outsiplou or even Outsiplou-les-Bains-de-Pieds (Outsiplou-the-footbath) is used for a generic village of Wallonia (there is an actual but little known village named Hout-si-Plout, whose name means "Listen whether it rains" in Walloon). Wallonia (French: Wallonie, German: Wallonien, Walloon: Walonreye, Dutch: Wallonië) or the Walloon Region (French: Région Wallonne, Dutch: Waals Gewest) is the predominantly French-speaking region that constitutes one of the three federal regions of Belgium, with its capital at Namur. ... Walloon (Walon) is a regional Romance language spoken as a second language by some in Wallonia (Belgium). ...

Among French people of North African origin (“pieds-noirs”), Foun-Tataouine is the generic village, although a small village by that name actually does exist in Tunisia, lending its name.

In Québec: During the 1960s, a terrorist group known as the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) launched a decade of bombings, robberies and attacks on government offices. ...

Far away rural places:

  • St-Clinclin, St-Meumeu, or Saint-Glinglin-de-Meumeu (far away rural region)
  • Îles Moukmouk (Moukmouk Islands, some far away islands)

Dates and times

To refer to an event that will never occur, it can be set "à la Saint-Glinglin" or "La semaine des quatre jeudis" (the week with four Thursdays, because in the past children didn't have school on Thursday). One can also refer to an event which will never occur saying "tous les trente six du mois", meaning "Every thirty-sixth of the month"


Chichiko Bendeliani may be used for the indefinite person, e.g. when one is telling a story about someone which identification is not necessary or does not affect the sense. It is important to use the full name of Chichiko Bendeliani when used singly, as anything else would make the name too specific and lose the placeholder sense. The second metasyntactic variable would be Bichiko. When used together with Chichiko, last names are not necessary. For example:

"Chichiko Bendeliani was crossing the road", or "Chichiko and Bichiko walk into a bar" to begin a joke.


Jandaba is an indefinite placename for an unspecified (and assumed to be remote) location in Georgia.


German also sports a variety of placeholders; some, as in English, contain the element Dings, Dingens (also Dingenskirchen), Dingsda, Dingsbums (sometimes even Dingsdabumsda), cognate with English thing. Also, Kram, Krimskrams, Krempel suggests a random heap of small items, e.g. an unsorted drawerful of memorabilia or souvenirs. In a slightly higher register, Gerät represents a miscellaneous artifact or utensil, or, in casual German, may also refer to an item of remarkable size. The use of the word Teil (part) is a relatively recent placeholder in German that has gained great popularity since the late 1980s. Initially a very generic term, it has obtained specific meaning in certain contexts. For example, to buy ecstasy customers usually simply ask for parts (Teile) without danger of ambiguation. Zeug or Zeugs (compare Dings, can be loosely translated as stuff) usually refers to either a heap of random items that is a nuisance to the speaker, or an uncountable substance or material, often a drug. Finally, Sache, as a placeholder, loosely corresponding to Latin res, describes an event or a condition. Recently, the placeholder Nupsi for something small protruding from something larger has become somewhat popular (via TV comedy, it is believed). Look up cognate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Thing in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The 1980s refers to the years from 1980 to 1989. ... MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), most commonly known by the street names ecstasy or XTC (for more names see the full list), is a synthetic entactogen of the phenethylamine family, whose primary effect is believed to be the stimulation of secretion as well as inhibition of re-uptake of large amounts... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

The German equivalent to the English John Doe for males and Jane Doe for females would be Max Mustermann and Erika Mustermann, respectively. For many years, Erika Mustermann was used on the sample picture of German id-cards (“Personalausweis”).[7] In Austria, Max Mustermann is used instead. In Cologne, Otto (which can also refer to a gadget) and Gerdi are popular used names for men/boys and women/girls with unknown firstname. Bert also had some popularity as a placeholder for names in the past. For remote or exotic locations, the Germans also use Timbuktu or Buxtehude, as is common in the English language; for towns or villages in the German-speaking world, Kuhdorf or Kuhkaff (lit. cow village, somewhat derogatory) and Kleinkleckersdorf (lit. Little Make-a-mess village), Kleinsiehstenich (lit. Small-can't-see) or Hintertupfing/Hintertupfingen (usually implies that some small, rural and old-fashioned village is meant), in Austria Hinterdupfing are in usage. Herr X. aus Y. an der Z., which derives from usage in newspapers, is used occasionally. Other kadigans such as Bad Sonstwo an der Irgend have been suggested. Otto Normalverbraucher ("Otto Average-Consumer"; this is taken from bureaucratic jargon of post-WW2 food rationing via the name of a 1948 film character played by Gert Fröbe) corresponds to the American "The Joneses", or John Sixpack. The subject of this article may not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ... For other uses, see Cologne (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Gadget (disambiguation). ... Gert Fröbe playing Auric Goldfinger The title of this article contains the character ö. Where it is unavailable or not desired, the name may be represented as Gert Froebe. ...


In Greek mostly two "official" placeholders for people are used, tade (original meaning was 'these here') and deina (which has been a placeholder since antiquity). Eg. 'If Tade comes and asks me, I know what to say'. There is also the name Foufoutos used more jokingly. Unofficially, most cadigans are improvised, derived from pronouns, such as tetoios "such", apotetoios "the from-such", apaftos, o aftos "the that" or o etsi "the like-that". For locations, stou diaolou ti mana "at the devil's mother" serves as a placeholder for a distant place.


In Hebrew, the word זה (zeh, meaning 'this') is a placeholder used in place of any noun. The most popular personal name placeholders are מה-שמו (mahshmo) or 'whatsisname' (thus: 'Tell mahshmo to put the zeh on the zeh'), מֹשֶׁה (Moshe = Moses) and יוֹסִי (Yossi, diminutive form of Joseph) for first name, and כֹהֵן (Cohen, the most popular last name in Israel) for last name. However, in ID and credit card samples, the usual name is Israel Israeli for a man and Israela Israeli for a woman (these are actual first and last names). Hebrew redirects here. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... A diminutive is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment. ... Yosef is a given name originating from Hebrew, recorded in the Hebrew Bible, as יוֹסֵף, Standard Hebrew Yosef, Tiberian Hebrew and Aramaic YôsÄ“pÌ„. In Arabic, including in the Quran, the name is spelt يوسف or YÅ«suf. ... // Cohen (‎ kōhÄ“n, means: A Priest) is a Jewish surname of biblical origins (see: Kohen). ...

The traditional terms are Ploni פלוני and his party Almoni אלמוני (originally mentioned in Ruth 4:1). Ploni Almoni also is used in official, contemporary situations. For example, addressing guidelines by Israel postal authorities utilize Ploni Almoni as the addressee.[8] Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab by William Blake, 1795 Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boazs Field, 1828 The Book of Ruth (Hebrew: מגילת רות, Megilat Rut, the Scroll of Ruth) is one of the books of the Ketuvim (Writings) of the Tanakh (the...

A vulgar term for an unspecified place mostly popular in the Israel army is פִיזְדֶלוֹך (pizdelokh, formed from the Russian pizda, pussy, and the German and Yiddish Loch = hole). Also quite common is תיז (א)נביא (Tiz (e) Nabi “the prophet’s ass”, from Arabic), and again Timbuktu. A kadigan for a time in the far past is תרפפ"ו (pronounced Tarapapu, which somewhat resembles a year in the Hebrew calendar but is not quite one). Emblem of the IDF The Israel Defense Forces are part of the Israeli Security Forces. ... pussy. ... Yiddish (ייִדיש, Jiddisch) is a Germanic language spoken by about four million Jews throughout the world. ... The Hebrew calendar (‎) or Jewish calendar is the calendar used by Jews for religious purposes. ...

Especially older Ashkenazi speakers often employ the Yiddish placeholders "Chaim Yankel" and "Moishe Zugmir". Buzaglo (a typical Moroccan-Jewish last name) is a placeholder for a simple lower-class citizen. The term Buzaglo test was coined by then-Attorney General Aharon Barak in the 1970s for the proposition that the law should apply with equal leniency (or severity) to a senior public official and to the simplest ordinary citizen. Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim (אַשְׁכֲּנָזִי אַשְׁכֲּנָזִים Standard Hebrew, Aškanazi,Aškanazim, Tiberian Hebrew, ʾAškănāzî, ʾAškănāzîm, pronounced sing. ... Aharon Barak (Hebrew: אהרן ברק) (born September 16, 1936) is a professor of law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and President of the Supreme Court of Israel since 1995. ...

The suffix -shehu can be added to any question word to indicate something unknown. Thus, ma ('what') > mashehu ('something'); mi ('who') > mishehu ('someone'); eyfo ('where') -> eyfoshehu ('somewhere').


In Hungarian the word izé (a stem of ancient Finno-Ugric heritage) is used, referring primarily to inanimate objects but sometimes also to people, places, concepts, or even adjectives. Hungarian is very hospitable to derivational processes and the izé- stem can be further extended to fit virtually any grammatical category, naturally forming a rich family of derivatives: e.g. izé whatchamacallit (noun), izés whatchamacallit-ish (adjective), izébb or izésebb more whatchamacallit(ish) (comparative adjective), izésen in a whatchamacallitish manner (adverb), izél to whatchamacallit (often meaning: screw up) something (transitive verb), izéltet to cause someone to whatchamacallit (transitive verb), izélget to whatchamacallit continually (often meaning: pester, bother -- frequentative verb), izélődik to whatchamacallit (fool, mess) around (durative verb). (In slang izé and its verbal and nominal derivatives often take on sexual meanings). In addition to its placeholder function, izé is an all-purpose hesitation word, like ah, er, um in English. A word with a similar meaning and use is the word "cucc", usually translated as "stuff", and "bigyó", translated as either "thing"/"thingie" or "gadget". Geographical distribution of Finno-Ugric (Finno-Permic in blue, Ugric in green). ... In linguistics, derivation is the process of creating new lexemes from other lexemes, for example, by adding a derivational affix. ... For other uses, see Slang (disambiguation). ... Speech disfluencies are parts of speech which are not generally recognized as purposeful or containing formal meaning, usually expressed as pauses such as uh or er, but also extending to repairs (He was wearing bla—uh, blue pants), and articulation problems such as stuttering. ...

To name things, Hungarians also use micsoda (whatisit), hogyhívják or hogyishívják (whatitscalled), miafene (whatdaheck), bigyó (thingie), miafasz (whatdafuck, literally "whatthedick" or "whatthepenis").

John Smith (US: John Doe) is the same in Hungarian; Kovács János or Gipsz Jakab (John Smith or Jake Gypsum, or Jakob Gipsch).

Place names: Mucsaröcsöge (ending sounds similar to röfög - to grunt), Bivalybasznád (literally: buffaloyouwouldfuck), Tiszaszétszaród or Jászbivalyhónalja: little village or boonies far out in the countryside, Kukutyin or Piripócs: νillage or small town somewhere in the countryside


There is no single name that is widely accepted, but the name of Indonesian first president, Sukarno can be found in many articles. Sukarno being a Javanese name that's representing about 45% of the Indonesian population, and the fact that his name is one-worded (see Indonesian name), make it popular as example because he's a well know political figure. Sukarno (June 6, 1901 – June 21, 1970) was the first President of Indonesia. ... Indonesia is an archipelago of over 17,000 islands, only 6,000 of which are inhabited, that extends in an arc along the equator. ...

Other male names: Joni (Indonesian for Johnny), and Budi (widely used in elementary textbook).

Popular female placeholder names: Sinta, Sri, Dewi


Interlingua placeholders include cosa, meaning 'thing', and typo, meaning 'guy' or 'type'. Cosalia – a collection of things, especially useless things – is a less common placeholder. Like other Interlingua words, placeholders have been selected for internationality. This article is about the auxiliary language created by the International Auxiliary Language Association. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Interlingua vocabulary. ...


In Irish, the common male name "Tadhg" is part of the very old phrase "Tadhg an mhargaidh" (Tadhg of the market-place) which combines features of the English-languages phrases "average Joe" and "man on the street". Tadhg is an Irish name that was very common in the past, especially in the 17th century, but had become extremely rare by the 20th century. ...

This same placeholder name, transferred to English-language usage and now usually rendered as Taig, became and remains a vitriolic derogatory term for an Irish Catholic and has been used by Unionists in Northern Ireland in such bloodthirsty slogans as "If guns are made for shooting, then skulls are made to crack. You’ve never seen a better Taig than with a bullet in his back"[9] and "Don’t be vague, kill a Taig".[10] Taig (also Teague) is a slang term used by some in Scotland and Northern Ireland to refer to Irish Roman Catholics. ... Irish Catholics are persons of predominantly Irish descent who adhere to the Roman Catholic faith. ... Unionism, in Ireland, is a belief in the desirability of a full constitutional and institutional relationship between Ireland and Great Britain based on the terms and order of government of the Act of Union 1800 which had merged both countries in 1801 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain... Northern Ireland (Irish: , Ulster Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a constituent country of the United Kingdom lying in the northeast of the island of Ireland, covering 5,459 square miles (14,139 km², about a sixth of the islands total area). ...

Paddy, another derogatory placeholder name for an Irish person, lacks the sharpness of Taig and is often used in a jocular context or incorporated into mournful pro-Irish sentiment (i.e. the songs Poor Paddy On The Railway and Paddy's Lament). By contrast, the term Taig remains a slur in almost every context. "Biddy" (from the name "Bridget") is a female equivalent placeholder name for Irish females. The Irish people (Irish: Muintir na hÉireann, na hÉireannaigh, na Gaeil) are a European ethnic group who originated in Ireland, in north western Europe. ... Bridget can mean: Another spelling of Brigid from Irish mythology. ...

Also note that the Hiberno-English placeholder names noted above (Yer man, Yer one and Himself/Herself) are long-established idioms derived from the syntax of the Irish language. Yer man and "yer one" are a half-translation of a parallel Irish-language phrase, mo dhuine, literally "my person". Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Irish syntax is rather different from that of most Indo-European languages, notably because of its VSO word order. ...


In Italian the standard placeholders for inanimate objects are roba (literally "stuff"), coso (related to cosa, thing), affare (literally "business"), and aggeggio (literally "device", "gadget").

A very often used term is also "vattelapesca" ( = "go to catch it" ) , especially for strange objects.

For people, common words are tizio, tipo (literally, "type", in slang), and uno (literally, "one"). The latter is not accompanied by an article, and disappears in presence of a demonstrative (e.g. a guy is un tipo or uno, that guy is quel tipo or just quello). The feminine versions are, respectively, tizia, tipa (in slang), una. In the zone around Venice one can say Piero Pers (Peter the Lost) referring to somebody unknown. // Demonstratives are deictic words (they depend on an external frame of reference) that indicate which entities a speaker refers to, and distinguishes those entities from others. ...

Also there are specific terms (from ancient Roman typical male names) for six unnamed people, coming from the bureaucratic and jurisprudential texts: Tizio, Caio, Sempronio, Mevio, Filano and Calpurnio; but only the first three are used in current speech. They are always used in that order and with that priority (i.e., one person is always Tizio, two people are always Tizio and Caio).

One typical expression for a time very late in the night is alle mille di notte (at one thousand o'clock); fare le ore piccole (to do the little hours) is used when you stay up very late in the night. Alla buon'ora (at the good time) means very early in the morning or, in a laughing tone, finally.

Alle calende greche (on Greek kalendae), un domani (a tomorrow) or similar expressions mean "never". Ad ogni morte di papa (on every death of a pope) means 'rarely. Il giorno di San Mai (the day of St. Never) means that an event is never going to take place.

For numbers are used cinquantaquattro (54), cinquantaquattromila (54000), diecimila (10000)... For age is used anta (from the final of quaranta (40), cinquanta (50), sessanta (60), settanta (70), ottanta (80), novanta (90)) to mean this band of age: essere sugli anta (to be about ...ty years old) is used.

A place far away and difficult to reach is a casa del diavolo (literally in the devil's house) or, more vulgar, in culo ai lupi (in the ass of wolves); the name of the Sicilian town of Canicattì is also used. Mainly in Sicily, one can say: dove ha perso le scarpe il Signore (where Our Lord lost his shoes) or dove ha perso la camicia Cristo (where Christ lost his shirt). Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ...


In Japanese, naninani (なになに, a doubled form of the word nani, meaning what) is often used as a placeholder. It does not necessarily mean a physical object; for example, it is often used to stand in for an omitted word when discussing grammar. Similarly, daredare (だれだれ, doubled form of who) can be used for people, and nantoka nantoka (なんとかなんとか, doubled form of something) as a variant for things. Hoge (ほげ, no literal meaning) has been gaining popularity in the computing world, where it is used much like foo and bar.

nyoro nyoro (literally "tilde tilde") is also a popular placeholder name.


In Korean, mwomwomwo (뭐뭐뭐, a tripled form of 뭐, which is a short form of 무엇, the word for what) is used in casual speech. Nugunugu and eodieodi (reduplication of who and where, respectively) can be heard as well.

Hong Gildong, a male name, is commonly used as a placeholder name in instructions for filling out forms. Hong Gildong is a fictitious character in an old Korean novel, The story of Hong Gildong (홍길동전; 洪吉童傳; Hong Gil-dong-jeon), written in the Joseon Dynasty. ...


In Kurdish the placeholder name for people is Yaro, derived from the word Yar meaning companion, friend, lover or person. The Kurdish language (Kurdish: Kurdî or کوردی) is the language spoken by Kurds. ...


In Latin the word res (thing) is used. Some Latin legal writers used the name Numerius Negidius as a John Doe placeholder name; this name was chosen in part because it shares its initials with the Latin phrases (often abbreviated in manuscripts to NN) nomen nescio, “I don’t know the name”; nomen nominandum, “name to be named” (used when the name of an appointee was as yet unknown); and non nominatus/nominata, “not named”. For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Name used in jurisprudence in ancient Rome based on a play on words: Numerius Negidius means one who denies (negat) that he should pay (numerare), and was used specifically to refer to the defendant in a hypothetical lawsuit. ... Nomen nescio, abbreviated to N.N., is used to signify an anonymous or non-specific person. ...

Formal writing in (especially older) Dutch uses almost as much Latin as the lawyer's English, and, for instance, "N.N." was and is commonly used as a "John Doe" placeholder in class schedules, grant proposals, etc.

Emperor Justinian's codification of Roman law follows the custom of using "Titius" and "Seius" as names for Roman citizens, and "Stichus" and "Pamphilus" as names for slaves.[11] Justinian may refer to: Justinian I, a Roman Emperor; Justinian II, a Byzantine Emperor; Justinian, a storeship sent to the convict settlement at New South Wales in 1790. ... Using the term Roman law in a broader sense, one may say that Roman law is not only the legal system of ancient Rome but the law that was applied throughout most of Europe until the end of the 18th century. ...


A universal placeholder for a person in Lithuanian are the variations of names Jonas (John), Petras (Peter) and more rarely Antanas (Anthony), like Jonas Petraitis for a full male name and Janina Jonienė for a full female name. The names are often used in the examples of form filling.

Probably the best known derogatory placeholder name for a village or a rural town is Bezdonys (an actually existing village). The name literally means "Farting village" in Lithuanian, although the actual origin of the name is Slavonic name of the nearby lake Бездонный (Bezdonniy), meaning "Bottomless". Another also well known derogatory placeholder name for a village or city is Kalabybiškis ("Chiseled Pennis village").


In Macedonian џиџе [jeeje] - for one, or џиџи-миџи [jeejee-meejee] for more than one (usually small) object is used. Other words used are: ваквото, таквото, онаквото (in English: "the like this", "the like that"), речи-го (in English: "say-it"), ова-она (in English: "this and that"), and ваму-таму (in English: "here and there") The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


In Malay the word anu which may be prefixed with si can be used to refer to a person whose name has eluded the speaker. It can also be used for a generic person as in Mr/Ms So-and-so. Not to be confused with the Malayalam language, spoken in India. ...


In Maori the word taru, literally meaning “long grass” or “weeds” is used. Māori (or Maori) is a language spoken by the native peoples of New Zealand and the Cook Islands. ...


In Marathi the complete generic name (First Middle Surname) for a male is 'Aamajee Gomaajee Kaapse' (आमाजी गोमाजी कापसे) like 'John Doe' in English. The other generic first names for men include 'Somya-Gomya' (सोम्या-गोम्या) like 'Tom-Dick-Harry' in English. Marathi (मराठी ) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western India. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


In Norwegian the placeholder names for people are Ola and Kari Nordmann (male and female, respectively). Ola Nordmann is a national personification of Norway, much like Uncle Sam in the US, Britannia of UK. Ola Nordmann is often used by people and media to personify a typical norwegian citizen. ...

In formal legal contexts, Peder Ås (occasionally spelled Aas) and Kari Holm are the generic male and female examples. These are often joined by their adversaries Hans Tastad (male) and Marte Kirkerud (female), together with various members of the extended Ås and Holm families. The first names Marte, Lars, and Kari seem to be very common in both of these families. All these people reside and work in the Lillevik ("Small bay") area and most have accounts in Lillevik Sparebank ("Small Bay Savings Bank"). This probably has nothing to do with the Washington law firm of Carey & Lillevik, PLLC.[26]

When referring to unspecified objects, the words "dings" and "greie" is commonly used. Translated to English, they would mean "thingy" or "gadget".


In Persian, for Places the word فلان جا, for people the word فلانی (in slang: يارو) is used mostly. generic word that's used for calling anything, regardless of which type, is چيز. Farsi redirects here. ...


In Polish, the most popular placeholders are to coś (meaning this something), cudo (miracle), dynks (from the German Ding), wihajster (from the German wie heißt er? - what's its name?) and a general placeholder "ten teges" which can also be used as a filled pause. There are also other terms, such as elemelek, pipsztok or psztymulec, but they are much less common. Also used are dzyndzel (equivalent to dynks) and knefel (similar to frob, unknown object that can be adjusted or manipulated). Speech disfluencies are any breaks in otherwise fluent speech: for example, words/sentences/phrases that are cut off, restarts/repetitions/repairs (The best part of my job is. ...

The generic name for a village or a remote small town is Pipidówka, or its more derogatory version Pipidówa. A vulgar, but frequently used term to describe a small and dull place is Zadupie which is an equivalent of English shithole. Sometimes, although rarely, Pacanów can also be used, which has the same meaning that US Dullsville but is actually a little town in central Poland.

A universal placeholder name for a person is Jan Kowalski (for a man) and Janina Kowalska (for a woman; used less often, sometimes with a different first name). A second unspecified person would be called Nowak, choice of first name being left to the author’s imagination, often also Jan for a man; this surname is unisex. Jan is the most popular male first name in Polish, Kowalski and Nowak are the most popular Polish surnames. In logical puzzles fictitious surnames frequently follow a uniform pattern: they start with consecutive letters of Latin alphabet and are followed by identical root: Abacki, Babacki, Cabacki etc. for men, Abacka, Babacka, Cabacka etc. for women. In official documents however, an unidentified person’s name is entered as NN (abbreviation of Nazwisko Nieznane – name unknown, or Nomen Nescio). Nomen nescio, abbreviated to N.N., is used to signify an anonymous or non-specific person. ...

A rare placeholder name for a time and date w grudniu po południu (in a December afternoon) is also used.


Common placeholders for objects in Brazilian Portuguese are treco, troço, bagulho, lance, coisa and negócio, among others. In European Portuguese coiso or cena are often used. Placeholder names for people are usually Fulano (optionally surnamed de Tal), Sicrano and Beltrano, and the corresponding feminines (Fulana, Sicrana, Beltrana). Gajo is used in Portugal. João das Couves, Zé das Couves, José dos Anzóis or Zé da Silva are also used, the feminine being Maria (instead of José, which is also often abbreviated to ). João Ninguém or Zé Ninguém are used for someone who is unimportant. Cascos-de-rolha (cork hooves) is used to designate a remote and uninteresting location. Onde o vento faz a curva (where the wind turns around) or Onde Judas perdeu as botas (where Judas lost his boots) is a very far away place. "Cu-do-conde" (Count's ass) is used for the same as "Cascos-de-Rolha", but is considered more un-polite. Also, like English fuck described above, both Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese have the offensive general-purpose porra (a curse word that means "sperm"), being a placeholder for objects, actions, adjectives and other. Brazilian Portuguese (português do Brasil in Portuguese) is a group of dialects of Portuguese written and spoken by virtually all the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a couple of million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan, and Paraguay. ... Portuguese (  or língua portuguesa) is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain) and northern Portugal from the Latin spoken by romanized Celtiberians about 1000 years ago. ...


In Quechua, there is a noun radical na (whatever) to which verbal (nay = to do whatever), agentive (naq = the doer of whatever), or affective (nacha = cute little thing) suffixes may be added. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Quechuan languages. ...


In Romanian, chestie is used for objects and concepts, cutare for both persons and things. Cutărică, tip (masculine) or tipă (feminine) are sometimes used for persons. Drăcie ("devilish thing") is a derogative placeholder name for objects (but the derogative nuance is not diabolical, it may simply suggest unfamiliarity or surprise, rather like the adjective "newfangled" in English). More emphatic form used as a question, "ce drăcia dracului?" (lit. "what the devil's devilish [thing]?", similar to "what the hell").

Other expressions used include cum-îi-zice / cum-se-cheamă ("what's-it-called"), nu-știu-cum/ce/care/cine/când ("I-don't-know-how/what/which/who/when"), cine știe ce/cum/care/cine/când" ("who-knows-what/how/which/who/when), and un din-ăla (masculine) or o-din-aia (feminine) ("one of those things").

Placeholders for numbers include zeci de mii ("tens of thousands"), often contracted to j'de mii (or even țâșpe mii; from -șpe, an informal numeral suffix equivalent to "-teen" in "sixteen", attached to ț, a Romanian letter sometimes seen as "extra", analogue to the English "a zillion") and also mii şi mii ("thousands and thousands"). Diverse colloquial formulas for "a lot" exist, including o căruță (lit. "a cart-full"), o grămadă (lit. "a pile"), "căcălău" (vulgar; it doesn't mean anything other than "(really) lots of (smth.)"; it sounds both scatological and augumentative in Romanian; comparable with "shit-load") or the poetic "câtă frunză, câtă iarbă" (lit. "as many leaves and blades of grass", referring to a large number of people).

Cucuieţii-din-Deal is a name for obscure and remote places. La mama dracului or la mama naibii ("where the devil's mother dwells", lit. "at the devil's mother") also means a very remote place.



In Russian, among the common placeholder names are это самое (this particular [object]), штука (thing; diminutive forms also exist), ботва (leafy tops of root vegetables), фигня (crud) and хуйня (in mat slang; roughly translatable as something dickish), хреновина (). A term for something awkward, bulky and useless is бандура (bandura, an old Ukrainian musical instrument, big and inconvenient to carry). When speaking about something ideal, non-realistic, an idiom "сферический конь в вакууме" (literally, "a spherical steed in vacuum") is (jokingly) used. A kadigan for a monetary unit is тугрик (Tögrög, the monetary unit of Mongolia). Mat (Russian: мат, or ма́терный язы́к) is (Russian sexual slang, based on the use of) specific generally unprintable obscene words. ... The penis (plural penises, penes) is an external male sexual organ. ... A Bandura and a Torban, at the Royal College of Music Julian Kytasty, plays a prima Chernihiv bandura The Experimental Bandura Тrio: Jurij Fedynsky, Julian Kytasty,and Michael Andrec Ken Bloom, plays a Kharkiv bandura Yuri Singalevych(Lviv) playing a diatonic bandura c. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... ISO 4217 Code MNT User(s) Mongolia Inflation 9. ... For exchange rates, see here. ...


Placeholders for personal names include variations on names Иван (Ivan), Пётр (Pyotr/Peter), and Сидор (Sidor), such as Иван Петрович Сидоров (Ivan Petrovich Sidorov) for a full name, or Иванов (Ivanov) for a last name. Василий Пупкин (Vasiliy Pupkin) is also (jokingly) used as a generic name.

Words like парень, товарищ, бродяга, трудяга, чувак, друг, подруга, молодой человек, девушка, гражданин, уважаемый, дорогой all have their own meaning but may be and are used as second-person kadigans as well.


  • One of the most commonly used phrases is у чёрта на куличках (lit. "eating Easter cake at devil's place"), which is roughly equal to English "at the world's end" and "in the back of beyond".
  • Various city names are often employed as placeholders. For instance, to denote a remote, obscure place either Тьмутаракань (Tmutarakan, an ancient Crimean city) or Тимбукту (Timbuktu, a city in Mali, which actual existence most speakers are unaware of) are used.
  • The capital of the Russian backwoods is Урюпинск (Uryupinsk, a town in central Russia), although recently Бобруйск (Babruysk, a Belarussian city), has gained its popularity in the Russian Internet community.
  • Куда Макар телят не гонял ("There, where Makar didn't take calfs"), meaning "far-far away" or "somewhere, you won't like".
  • In some occasions in literature (a novel by famous Russian and Ukrainian writer Nikolai Gogol) unknown places are referred to as ...ское место (featuring a widespread adjective ending ской).
  • In music (Zoopark discography) Latin N is sometimes used as a placeholder for the actual name of the site, e.g. город N ("city N").

Hermonassa and other Greek colonies along the north coast of the Black Sea in the 5th century BCE. Tmutarakan (Russian: Тмутаракань) is an ancient city that controlled the Cimmerian Bosporus, the passage from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. ... Motto Процветание в единстве(Russian) Protsvetanie v edinstve(transliteration) Prosperity in unity Anthem Нивы и горы твои волшебны, Родина(Russian) Nivy i gory tvoi volshebny, Rodina(transliteration) Your fields and mounts are wonderful, Motherland Location of Crimea (red) with respect to Ukraine (light blue). ... Timbuktu (Archaic English: Timbuctoo; Koyra Chiini: Tumbutu; French: Tombouctou) is a city in Tombouctou Region, Mali. ... , Uryupinsk (Russian: ) is a town in Volgograd Oblast, Russia, the administrative center of Uryupinsky District, situated some 340 kilometers (211 mi) northwest of Volgograd on the Khopyor River. ... The city of Babruysk (Belarusian: Бабру́йск; Russian: Бобру́йск, Bobruisk) is located in Mahilyow voblast of Belarus on the Berezina river. ... Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Russian: ; IPA: ; Ukrainian: ) (April 1, 1809 — March 4, 1852) was a Russian-language writer of Ukrainian origin. ...

  • На хуй, meaning to hell or anywhere out of here
  • В жопу and в пизду meaning deep to hell
  • A derogatory kadigan for a remote and uninteresting town is Мухосранск (Mukhosransk, "Fly's Shit Town").

Mat (Russian: мат, or ма́терный язы́к) is (Russian sexual slang, based on the use of) specific generally unprintable obscene words. ...

Dates and times

  • После дождичка в четверг ("right after rain on Thursday"), referring to indefinite time in future, or to something that will never happen.
  • Когда рак на горе свистнет ("as soon as a crayfish on the next hill whistles"), meaning the same as после дождичка в четверг, and being sometimes combined with it.
  • Ни свет ни заря ("no lights, no dawn"), засветло, спозаранку and so on, speaking of the very early time in the morning.


In Slovak, the most common placeholders are oné (originally an indefinite pronoun) or tento (originally a definite pronoun, close deixis) which can be used for both things and names. The most common placeholder for a full personal name is Janko Mrkvička or Jožko Mrkvička (lit. "Johnny/Joe Little Carrot"). The standard placeholder for a place name is Horná Dolná (lit. "Upper Lower", a reference to a common type of village name which takes the form of a feminine adjective ending in , e.g. Terchová). It is often used in derogatory fashion to indicate a tiny and remote village (compare US English Hicksville). Dzindzík is used as a placeholder for (control) elements of various devices. It is often used interchangeably with bazmek (derived from Hungarian "bazd meg" meaning "go fuck yourself") which can also be used to refer to entire devices or machines. Terchová is a large village and municipality (population 4,073) in the Lesser Fatra mountains in Žilina District in the Žilina Region of northern Slovakia. ... Hicksville is the name of some places in the United States of America: Hicksville, New York Hicksville, Ohio Hicksville is also used as an epithet, implying that a community is rustic and unsophisticated (in other words, a place where hicks live). ...

Spanish (Europe)


Cacharro is generally used for objects and/or devices around the kitchen. "Bicho" , a pejorative term, (from the Latin bestius-bestia) is used when the specific animal species is unknown. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pejoration. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ...


Placeholder names in the Spanish language have a pejorative or derogatory feeling to them. Fulano/a, (from the Arabic fulán meaning whomever), (the female version Fulana should be used carefully as it also means "prostitute"). Mengano (from the Arabic man kán –quien sea-whomever). Perengano (from the combination of the very common last name of Perez and Mengano). Zutano (from the Castilian word citano from the Latin scitanus "known"). All placeholder words are also used frequently in diminutive form, Fulanito/a, Menganito/a, Perenganito/a or Zutanito/a. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pejoration. ...


tropecientos ("trope hundred"), chorrocientos or chorromil are used for big numbers. "pico" or "algo" can be added for approximations, for time ("las cuatro y pico" or "las cuatro y algo" for an undefined time between 4:00 and 5:00) or quantity ("treinta y pico" for thirtysomething);

Spanish (Latin America)

Ciclano and Esperancejo are used in Cuban Spanish.

"Feria", thus turning "thirty-something" into "treinta y feria" is used in Mexican Spanish" "Pico" is not used in Chilean Spanish because it is a euphemism for the male apparatus.

Carajo is conversationally and commonly used only among Central and South American Spanish speakers when referring to unknown and/or unpleasant place to be, hence vete pa'l carajo(go to el carajo) may translate as "go to hell" or "get lost" in English.

Mexican Spanish speakers use the word chingadera ("fuckery"), not to be used in polite circumstances, also using the word mierda which in most of the contexts has the same function as the word 'shit' in English, the word huey (from buey) used between young people to refer each other.

In Chilean Spanish the word hue'ón (from huevón, from hueva, a euphemism for testicle) is often used when referring to unspecified individuals or friends in a casual context. Also, huevón is considered an insult when used unproperly. The word hue'á (from huevada) is used to refer to unspecified actions. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Look up testes in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Colombian Spanish

The Caro y Cuervo Institute in Bogotá promotes the good use of spanish in Colombia The Colombian spanish language is the variation of Spanish language spoken in Colombia, which have some distinctive features in comparison to the Spanish spoken in Spain and in other countries of Latin America. ...


For a generic thing vaina is used for things not well known, but it indicates anger or lost of temper.


For small children or young people Colombians normally use to call children, chino/a (as in Chinese), pelao/á (a more vague form of the also used pelado), sardino/a (Spanish for sardines (to imply little fish). Juanito, is an hypocoristic of the name Juan, Juanito is used to refer to a small school age boy, and its usually used in jokes to refer to the smart mouth kid who is the center of the joke. Pepito/a (little dot) is also used in the context of jokes often. Sardines can refer to: The plural of sardine, a species of fish. ... A hypocoristic (or hypocorism) is a lesser form of the given name used in more intimate situations, as a term of endearment, a pet name. ... Juan (IPA: []) is a Spanish form of the given name John. ...

Marica, (faggot), is a placeholder name popular in the Caribbean Region, although its derogatory, marica is often used in the north and not as an insult, but more in the context dude would be used, and people do not respond angrily at this, as is believed that if you do get mad, is because you are in fact gay. Faggot or fagot may refer to: Faggot (epithet), a derogatory term for a homosexual or effeminate male Faggot (wood), a bundle of sticks or branches Faggots (novel), a novel by Larry Kramer Faggot (unit of measurement), an archaic unit of measurement Fagot (pronounced with a silent T), the NATO reporting... Caribbean Region The Caribbean Region or Caribbean Coast Region, is a regional sub-division of Colombia, composed of eight Departments located inside or around the Caribbean sea area pertaining to the country. ...

For older people for whom one has respect, Don or Doña can be used without a name to refer to someone important, also sumercé is used in this manner. Don (usually preceded in English by the), derived from Latin Dominus, is a Spanish (pron. ... D. (usually preceded in English by the) is the abbreviation for the Spanish honorific Don and the Portuguese honorific Dom, a mark of high esteem for a distinguished Christian hidalgo or nobleman. ... The Spanish language has a range of pronouns that in some ways work quite differently from English ones. ...


Cochinchina, an actual term used to refer to various southern regions in Vietnam, is used commonly to refer to a remote and extremely far place, and most likely non-existential, it is also commonly place after China and at the end in a list of remote places or to mean "here and everywhere" (aquí, en la China, y en la Conchinchina). Cochinchina, from Cochin-China (see note below) (known locally as Nam Kỳ, meaning southern region), in French: Cochinchine) is a name used for various southern regions of Vietnam. ...


Swedish has a large vocabulary of placeholders: Sak, grej, pryl, mojäng/moj (from French moyen) and grunka are the neutral words for thing. Some plural nouns are grejsimojs, grunkimojs, grejs and tjofräs, which correspond to thingamabob, and the youth loan word stuff, which is pronounced with the Swedish u. Apparat (or, more slangy, mackapär) more specifically refers to a complex appliance of some kind, much like the German Gerät. More familiarly or when openly expressing low interest, people use tjafs or trams (drivel) and skräp or krams (rubbish). Like in English, various words for feces can be used: skit (shit) and bajs (poop - often anglified by youth into bice) are standard, well known local variations are mög, bös and dret. Vadhannuhette and vaddetnuhette correspond to whatshisname and whatchamacallit respectively, except that they use the past tense. Det där du vet means "that thing you know". Den och den (that and that) corresponds to so and so. Gunk may refer to any fairly large quantity of unwanted substance or objects of varied or indeterminate identity, much like the English "junk".

Place names in Swedish are colorful: Someplace far away can be called Tjotaheiti (which is derived from "to Tahiti") or Långtbortistan, Farawaystan, a play on -stan created in the Swedish edition of Donald Duck. Häcklefjäll is a commonly used as a name for a generic remote village, which is actually a synonym for the Icelandic volcano Hekla. Common names used as placeholders are Kalle for boys and Lisa for girls, Anna and Maria for women, Johan and Anders for men and Svensson (Svensson is a common Swedish surname, which is often used to express genericness or mundaneness). The suffix -stan (spelled ـستان in the Perso-Arabic script) is Persian for place of, and -sthan (स्थान in the DevanāgarÄ« script) is a cognate Sanskrit suffix with the same meaning. ... Donald Duck is an animated cartoon and comic-book character from Walt Disney Productions. ... Hekla is a stratovolcano located in the south of Iceland at , with a height of 1,488 m (4,882 ft). ...


Turkish has many colorful kadigans. "Falan" seems to be borrowed from Arabic, and comes in variations like "filanca" (what’s his name) and "falan filan" (stuff, etc.). "Ivır zıvır" is a common kadigan for "various stuff". Kadigans for persons exist in abundance, one example being "Sarı Çizmeli Mehmet Ağa" ("Mehmet Ağa with yellow boots") which generally is used to mean pejoratively "unknown person". In addition, otherwise meaningless words such as "zımbırtı" and "zamazingo" are used similarly to the English words "gadget" and "gizmo", but not necessarly related to technology.


In Vietnamese, Nguyễn Văn A and Trần Thị B are usually used as placeholder names for a male and female, respectively, due to the ubiquity of the family names Nguyễn and Trần and middle names Văn and Thị in Vietnamese.   (IPA:// in Vietnamese; English approximation: win) is the most common Vietnamese family name. ... For other uses, see Chen. ... Vietnamese names generally consist of three parts: a family name, a middle name, and a given name, used in that order. ...


In Welsh, the word bechingalw has been used, meaning whatdyoucallit and beth'na, meaning that thing. Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ...


One of the kadigans in Ubykh, zamsjada, may be related to another word meaning useless. This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


In Yiddish, der zach is often used, similar to the German die Sache above. Stand-up comic David Steinberg did a routine about his attempt to identify an object, based only on his father’s description of it as "In Yiddish, we used to call it der zach". Yiddish ( yidish or idish, literally: Jewish) is a non-territorial Germanic language, spoken throughout the world and written with the Hebrew alphabet. ... Richard Pryor hits the money line A stand-up comedian or stand-up comic is someone that performs in comedy clubs, usually reciting a fast paced succession of amusing stories, short jokes and one-liners, typically called a monologue. ... David Steinberg, born into a Jewish family August 9, 1940, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is a Canadian comedian, actor, director, writer and author. ... Richard Pryor hits the money line A stand-up comedian or stand-up comic is someone that performs in comedy clubs, usually reciting a fast paced succession of amusing stories, short jokes and one-liners, typically called a monologue. ...

The Talmudic placeholder names Ploni and Almoni (see under Hebrew) are also used; more specifically Yiddish placeholder names are Chaim Yankel (Yankel is the Yiddish diminutive of Jacob/Yaaqov) and Moishe Zugmir (literally: Moses Tell-Me).


In Yoruba, Lagbaja and Temedu are the most common placeholder names. Yoruba (native name èdè Yorùbá, the Yoruba language) is a dialect continuum of West Africa with over 22 million speakers. ...

Moore (Burkina Faso)

Raogo (male) and Poko (female) are common place holder names used in proverbs as well as stories.

See also

A metasyntactic variable is a placeholder name, or an alias term, commonly used to denote the subject matter under discussion, or an arbitrary member of a class of things under discussion. ... In Finnish mythology, the Sampo was a magical artifact constructed by Ilmarinen that brought good fortune to its holder; nobody knows exactly what it was supposed to be. ... The name John Doe is generally used in the United States as a placeholder name for a male party in a legal action or legal discussion whose true identity is unknown. ... In English grammar, generic you or indefinite you is the use of the pronoun you to refer to an unspecified person. ... The word expletive is currently used in three senses: syntactic expletives, expletive attributives, and bad language. The word expletive comes from the Latin verb explere, meaning to fill, via expletivus, filling out. It was introduced into English in the seventeenth century to refer to various kinds of padding — the padding...


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Bryson, Bill Mother Tongue London:Penguin 1990 p36 "It [Cornish] survives only in two or three dialect words, most notably emmets ('ants'), the word locals use to describe the tourists who come crawling over their gorgeous landscape each summer. ISBN 014014305X
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Waterman, Shaun. "Military interpreter 'used false identity'", UPI Security & Terrorism, 2005-10-24. Retrieved on 2008-01-19. 
  5. ^ Makeig, John. "Mute suspect nabbed, but identity still at large", Houston Chronicle, 1991-12-28, p. 29. 
  6. ^ Nash, Bruce M.; et al. (2001). The New Lawyer's Wit and Wisdom. Running Press, 199. ISBN 0762410639. Retrieved on 2008-01-19. 
  7. ^ "In 1987/88, Bundesdruckerei launched the central personalisation of identity cards and passports. This innovation gave us the first Ms Mustermann: Erika Mustermann, née Gabler, advertised the new ID and passport card from 1987 to 1997. The lady with the blond fringe, photographed in plain black-and-white, was Germany's first fictitious model citizen. A large fan club grew during this Ms Mustermann's long term of office, and they still sing her praises today on a special homepage created in her honour." The changing ms Mustermann over the years
  8. ^ Israeli postal documentation with the Universal Postal Union.
  9. ^ "In Belfast, Joblessness And a Poisonous Mood" by Bernard Wienraub
    New York Times, 2 June 1971
  10. ^ "On Belfast’s Walls, Hatred Rules" by Paul Majendie
    Sydney Morning Herald, 29 November 1986
  11. ^ Justinian, The Digest of Roman Law ISBN p.188
  • Espy, W., An Almanac of Words at Play (Clarkson Potter, 1979) ISBN 0-517-52090-7
  • Flexner, S. B. and Wentworth, H., A Dictionary of American Slang; (Macmillan, 1960) ASIN B000LV7HQS
  • Watson, Ian, "Meet John Doe: stand-ins", section 3.7 in Cognitive Design (Ph.D. dissertation, Rutgers University, 2005).
Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) will be a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (common) era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 362nd day of the year (363rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) will be a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (common) era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Universal Postal Union (UPU, French: Union postale universelle) is an international organization that coordinates postal policies between member nations, and hence the world-wide postal system. ... Justinian may refer to: Justinian I, a Roman Emperor; Justinian II, a Byzantine Emperor; Justinian, a storeship sent to the convict settlement at New South Wales in 1790. ... The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a product identification number used by Amazon. ...

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