I'm looking for a term to characterise things which should be repaired. I am also looking for an antonym to go with it.

Imagine I have two boxes, one with phones which should be repaired and the second with others. I have to label each box with a single short word because the boxes are very small.

Repairable does not work because it describes things which can be repaired. So what are your recommendations?

  • 1
    I'm stuck on trying to imagine a box which can hold a number of phones to be repaired but which is too small to be labelled 'The contents of this box should be repaired' Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 7:09
  • Heh you have to picture BIG WRITING
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 8:21
  • 2
    Salvage and Spares ?
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 10:05
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    @Frank I'd have to refer to a dictionary first if I was given those labeled boxes. :D but 1+.
    – Neeku
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 13:04
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    Take a cue from Wonderland and write FIXME. For the other one, how about just OK? Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 16:11

10 Answers 10



For the other box, working.

If you are in the USA, you'll want something more complicated sounding. So: inoperative. Operative.

  • 2
    The potential problem with "broken" is that they could have another box containing broken stuff that can't or shouldn't be repaired (maybe being kept for spare parts). An alternative would be the less terminal-sounding "faulty".
    – Rupe
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 9:21
  • Right. I think her's looking for "To Be Repaired" or "Repair-shop inbox". Note comment number four under the question - the whole question is a waste of time
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 9:57
  • "Operative" sounds great, but the wide variety of the meanings can lead to the misunderstanding. An imaginary repairmen operates with the broken phones, and the imaginary user operates with the good ones. So I take the "faulty", thank you.
    – yakov
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 10:12
  • I'm in the USA and I don't want anything more complicated-sounding. (Maybe if you are in the US government...) "Broken" is what I'd use.
    – David Z
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 5:42
  • "wide variety of the meanings" .... what? "operative" does not have a wide variety of meanings. (Do you mean "some people may not know what it means..." ..?)
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 13:55

You could label the box with any of the verbs fix, mend, fix up, repair, service, etc.

Edit: For a box with items in good working order, consider OK and good. For a box with items beyond hope, consider shot (“(colloquial) Worn out or broken”) and parts. You could have a box labeled OK, a box labeled Fix, and a box labeled Shot.

Source for quotes and links: Wiktionary


"To be" would make the form of the adjective that you want; in this case "To be repaired" or for a shorter one, "To be fixed", but as far as I know, English doesn't have that kind of structure to provide the adjective you want with a suffix or so.

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    You could also say "to fix". It means "to be fixed" and is shorter. Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 9:20

For the box of things that should be repaired you could use Salvage

salvage transitive verb : to save (something valuable or important) : to prevent the loss of (something)

"salvage." 2014. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved July 8, 2014 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/salvage

But this definition of salvage might be better


— n 2. a. the act of saving any goods or property in danger of damage or destruction

Dictionary.com, "salvage," in Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Source location: HarperCollins Publishers. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/salvage. Available: http://dictionary.reference.com. Accessed: July 08, 2014.

For the box of things that should not be repaired you could uses Spares

Spare noun 20. a spare thing, part, etc., as an extra tire for emergency use.

Dictionary.com, "Spares," in Dictionary.com Unabridged.Source location: Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Spares.Available: http://dictionary.reference.com.Accessed: July 08, 2014.

  • Weird, "salvage" to me has the opposite meaning - "don't try to repair these, but you might be able to salvage some parts from them". Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 9:34
  • @SteveBennet Same meaning really, it's just a matter of whether you salvage the whole thing or salvage parts from it.
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 10:08

I think the clearest, shortest way to say it is For Repair


If you want to create a word (borrow from Latin): emendanda - literally "things which are needed/intended to be fixed".


I would suggest "reparanda", based on words such as "agenda" meaning "things requiring to be discussed", "Referenda" meaning "things requiring to be referred" and "memoranda" meaning "things requiring to be remembered" from the Latin gerund or gerundive.


I would go with save and strip
Phones that can be saved go in the save bin,
others go in the strip bin to be stripped down into component pieces.


Repair - for those that should be fixed.

NFG - for those that are No F*ing Good any more, but could be salvaged from.


I will go for "For repair" as a label on the box.

  • How is "for repair" a single-word adjective, as the question requests? Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 9:39

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