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Is there a word or short phrase that describes a person or animal that is the last survivor of a dying tribe/species?

I'm trying to use the word facetiously to describe something technical and dry. For example, "the XXXX of the widgets," or "XXXX widget," or "widget XXXX." So the more creative the allusion the better!

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The Lone Widget Rides Again! –  KitFox Jul 9 '11 at 0:35
    
Does XXXX have to be in English? It can be a lot of fun in other languages too. –  Job Jul 10 '11 at 14:31
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9 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Here're a few

The vestige of the widgets.

The vestigial widget - People might not know what this means

The last widget - This is pretty common: e.g. The Last Samurai

The surviving widget

The last surviving widget

The final widget

The widget, omega - Requires some thinking to get the idea

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+1 for the last surviving widget –  b.roth Jul 8 '11 at 22:56
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+1 for Omega And man! Vestige was the word I have frantically been trying to remember! –  Daniel Jul 8 '11 at 22:59
    
Vestige is great. I was also thinking of the Omega Widget. –  mark Jul 9 '11 at 0:51
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Perhaps you could wow them with your literary knowledge and call it the Chingachgook of the widgets.

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Not a terribly useful answer, but I had to upvote this anyway. :) –  Marthaª Jul 9 '11 at 4:33
    
I ended up going with 'The Last of the Widgets', à la 'The Last of the Mohicans.' So I guess in some way I used your answer! –  mark Jul 11 '11 at 19:11
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I reckon the best term is:

Sole Survivor.

As in:

The sole survivor of the widgets

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How about the widget Terminal or Terminus? There aren't really many single-word synonyms to that. Vestige is a perfect fit, by definition, but not many people know what it means.

I like Last Survivor, but that's two words. Or Fading Legacy. Maybe even the Lone Remnant. How about the widget History?

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Two words is ok too. "Last survivor of the widgets" is pretty good. I suppose I could also use "the terminal widget" or "the ultimate widget" (although the latter might have a confused meaning). –  mark Jul 8 '11 at 22:21
    
Yes; I wouldn't advise "ultimate". –  Daniel Jul 8 '11 at 22:22
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On this line, I believe "Terminal" is form you are looking for. It was the terminal widget. –  Cos Callis Jul 9 '11 at 3:03
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bastion [ˈbæstɪən] n 1. (Military / Fortifications) a projecting work in a fortification designed to permit fire to the flanks along the face of the wall 2. any fortified place 3. a thing or person regarded as upholding or defending an attitude, principle, etc.

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You want creative ... ? :-) A certain biblical bias evident here :-).

  • Methuselan M. widget The very very very oldest. Last one left. Ancient beyond belief.

  • Antediluvian A. widget From before the (Noah's) flood.

  • Noachian N. widget The man himself.

  • Metazoic / Mesozoic M. widget Choose any prior age, but Metazoic has a nice ring to it (may even be euphonic :-) ) and people tend to know what you mean without really knowing how old it really is relative to other classifications. (FWIW spans Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous - about 250 million to 70 million years ago.)

so

  • Cretaceous Cretacean / Cretaceous widget. Has a certain ring as it carries adumbration of being an, er, native of Crete.

  • " ... that Eden saw play". Widget that ... . Tip of hat to "Morning has broken". Most will get the general allusion and many (some?) will also link mentally to the song.

Added: Aim in most cases is to indicate that the widget was very old, so had been around from long ago, so was/is a throwback to another era.

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All of these imply old, but not last. I would have thought the youngest would be the last. –  Matt Эллен Jul 10 '11 at 12:41
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May I suggest the self-explanatory "I am Widget"?

okay, it seems it's not obvious to the downvoters that this is an allusion to "I am Legend" (click on the link, please) so I'll suggest "The Omega Widget" or "I am Omega Widget"

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I think Ultimate may also work for you:

Ultimate: last; furthest or farthest; ending a process or series: the ultimate point in a journey; or Being last in a series, process, or progression

And if you need, penultimate is "next to last"

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I'm afraid "the Ultimate Widget" would be misunderstood as "the best Widget possible" in this context. –  user1579 Jul 11 '11 at 10:34
    
@Rhodri, Context should clarify what meaning is intended. I still have to believe that this is the ultimate answer. ;) –  Cos Callis Jul 11 '11 at 19:03
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A simple biological reference is a population bottleneck (or genetic bottleneck); which a significant percentage of a population or species is killed or otherwise prevented from reproducing.

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