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Dealybobber Field Guide

So you can know what those dealybobbers really are.
  (+14, -1)(+14, -1)
(+14, -1)
  [vote for,

There are so many artifacts surrounding us that it would be good to know something about the more obscure but omnipresent ones. Is that a gargoyle or an antenna on that building? What kinds of gargoyles are there? What are those things mounted on the utility poles at highway intersections? And so on. Could include natural dealybobbers and fashion dealybobbers. Car dealybobbers, such as hood ornaments and the mysterious letters and numbers that follow a car model name. The equipment attached temporarily to many things by crews of people who are there one day and gone the next. What are those dealybobbers they are using and what for?
entremanure, Feb 23 2002

perhaps Monsieur Entremaneur would like to suggest his idea to these people http://www.walklon.ndirect.co.uk/
these guides are purported to be really good. I have only heard one of the guides speaking on the radio and oh boy she could talk for England. Fascinating stuff [po, Feb 25 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

CNN news story about Greg Morris. http://www.cnn.com/...608/28/morris.obit/
Yes, entremanure, sadly he did die. [DrBob, Feb 26 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Baked http://www.amazon.c...103-8892015-5585403
pottestu: looky [mrthingy, Mar 05 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

and another http://www.amazon.c...09?v=glance&s=books
[mrthingy, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

draw it yourself http://shape.cs.princeton.edu/search.html
[mrthingy, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       This is important stuff, entremanure. After all, how many of us get to walk around daily with Peter Sealy, UnaBubba or other unimpeachable sources to clue us in about all the interesting minutiae surrounding us? I think a Field Guide would be brilliant, but do wonder how you plan to organize it...Will it be Peter's or UB's observations first? It will be interactive, won't it, with a GPS link? I want a half dozen of these for my family and friend. [You had my yea vote just for remembering that all those things are called dealybobbers, but I'd still like to get the authoritative version from the guide writers.]
jurist, Feb 23 2002

       priceless comments, jurist. Some of these things are called thingummyjigs. We need to be able to differentiate. croissant Monsieur Entremaneur.
po, Feb 23 2002

       do you walk backwards? Peter. Or do we have to walk three steps behind? (only kidding)
po, Feb 23 2002

       There must be some kind of market for this. "The Observer's Guide to British Street Furniture". "Things that Dangle off Buildings for Dummies". "Idiot's Guide to Roadside Boxes and Poles". It's bringing together all the information from architects, town planners, security companies, council roads departments, civil engineers, telecoms companies, historians, and all the thousands of other people involved, that would be the difficult part.   

       Perhaps an alternative would be to require labels on them all, explaining what they are and who they belong to, but that wouldn't work for things on the top of buildings.
pottedstu, Feb 24 2002

       They could be really big labels:P
kaz, Feb 24 2002

       Dealybobbers of the world guide. Aren't they called whatchamacallits in North America?
bluerowan, Feb 25 2002

       Oh, you mean a field guide to whosits. Dealybobbers are the antanna things people wear on their heads. They were a bit of a fad in the 80's.   

       What advantages would it have over, say, Jane's All the World's Doodads, or the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Stuff?
cpt kangarooski, Feb 25 2002

       I couldn't say, Cap'n. I just know that Peter and UnaBubba have been pretty interesting guides thus far. And as for Jane, that girl is just trying to make trouble. Don't believe a thing she says. She doesn't know the difference between a Doodad and a gewgaw or a dingus and a widget.
jurist, Feb 25 2002

       Actually, I should have made it a triumvirate...The guide would not be complete without Rods Tiger around to explain the way all the little bits and pieces harmonize with the greater whole.
jurist, Feb 25 2002

       see link
po, Feb 25 2002

       Jane's All the World's Doodads lacks any reference to Eastern Canadian "whuddycallits".
waugsqueke, Feb 25 2002

       Thanks, po, for the link. I imagine a lot of tourists ask the guide, "Say, what's that dealybobber over there...yeah, that thing over there by the whatchyamacallit...and what are those dealybobbers those guys over there are wearing?". I'd have to look in a dictionary of American slang, but 'dealybobbers' goes back a ways here. I first heard it when I was a kid in the 1960's, from some other kid. Sometimes it is shortened to just 'deals'. Related to the 'framustat', and 'doohickey', although electricians bending metal conduit might have appropriated 'doohickey' first and then others picked it up.
entremanure, Feb 25 2002

       why do they call one of the lone gunmen (xfiles) doohickey??? bon soir monsieur, BTW
po, Feb 25 2002

       Will it work for whatzits? And how about flipper-ti-jibbets?
QuadAlpha, Feb 25 2002

       Some T.V. lore, huh? I did watch the X-files before heaving the tube out the door. But that was before it was a big hit. Electricians use a jig, essentially, some posts mounted on a board, and a funny-looking tube-grabber thing on a longish handle, to bend the metal conduit tubing. So there must be some sort of pseudo -insider intent by the writer to paint the guy as a sort of a techie? Maybe? Remember "Mission: Impossible", and the gearhead Cinchloe character (played by Greg Morris--think he died)? Or what about other such techie characters--is this Doohickey guy a techie?   

       Did not know that they still made flipper-t-jibbets. Might be they are about as useful as a whip socket on an automobile, Ha-Hee-Hee, gosh all...Well sir, I don't know as how they might also make whimmy-diddles, if'n you look fer 'em hard enough, ah-hee-hee...Plenty o' gimcracks, gizmos, gee-gaws, schchottskies, and I don't know what-all else--except this one question--are inny o' thum things an adornment? Could that be the whuther or not the thing is a dealybobber? Ah-hee-hee-hee...(sorry--borrowed a little patter from a Uncle Josh and Aunt Nancy phonograph record from about 1915, plus a little Andy Griffith throwed in thar).
entremanure, Feb 26 2002

       yes all three are techies. merci Monsieur.
po, Feb 26 2002

       Good one entremanure. Flaky whatsitsname for you...
goff, Feb 26 2002

       Baked. They're called visual dictionaries or picture dictionaries. Check Amazon.
mrthingy, Feb 26 2002

       mrthingy. Not convinced. Post a link to a dictionary of doohickies.
pottedstu, Feb 26 2002

mrthingy, Mar 05 2002

       Ah! Many thanks, mrthingy. Such a book would cover a lot of dealybobbers and would be the starting point for a dealybobber field guide. Certainly would not want to duplicate the intent of the visual glossary. Maybe the dealybobber field guide would only cover those things that most people do not or would not know much about, and so would not be an attempt to be exhaustive. Might also be more inclined to be amusing rather than encyclopedic. Also I'd be more inclined to first try to define 'dealybobber', if possible, and I think that the meaning of this slang word has more to do with an adorning artifact, rather than all possible artifacts. I'm reminded of the deep-water ratfish, males of which have a dangling dealybobber on a stalk on their forhead. It is some sort of copulation aid for this species. They also have very rat-like teeth that grow constantly and will malocclude just like a rat's if not worn down evenly.
entremanure, Mar 06 2002

       The book that mrthingy posted a link to, "What's What," is an excellent book. My kids love our well-tattered copy.
bristolz, Mar 06 2002

       No, Mephista. The link I've posted for the book WHAT'S WHAT does NOT require one to know the name of the thing in order to look it up. Also, there are reverse dictionaries.
mrthingy, Mar 06 2002

       Thank you, mrthingy: What's What looks an excellent read (if you can read a picture book), just what's called for; but drat, it's out of print (like all the best books).
pottedstu, Mar 06 2002


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