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Is there a noun for something that is "out of place" in space, like an anachronism is "out of place" in time? E.g., an old-timey barber shop in a chic neighborhood.

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possible duplicate of A word for two very different things juxtaposed? – Callithumpian Jul 1 '11 at 21:44
up vote 16 down vote accepted

I looked up the Greek root for place and thought, "hey, maybe I'll coin my own: anatopism." Except that it's already been done.

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All the answers were equally good, but this one was closest to anachronism IMO. Thanks! – spinning_plate Jul 2 '11 at 4:02


(which also works for replacing anachronistic as well as 'not in the right location')

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Incongruity for the noun that was requested. – Callithumpian Jul 1 '11 at 21:34

A few options (mostly not nouns, however):

  • misfit
  • sticks out
  • out of sync
  • misplaced
  • misaligned
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I like "misplaced", though Mitch's answer seems correct given the vocabulary level of "anacronistic". – KeithS Jul 1 '11 at 21:02
Or, since we are going for nouns: misplacement. – John Y Jul 2 '11 at 2:45

The answer is anachorism defined in dictionaries as:


the placing of a scene, character, event, etc., where it clearly does not belong, either for special effect or as an oversight. See also anachronism. — anachoristic, adj.

An action, event, character or scene which is out of time sequence.

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I like unlikely or displaced, or unsuitable if you prefer a negative connotation.

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how about a conundrum or a quirk?

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