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We all love to save things, collect items, items/things that remind us of departed souls or gone people. They're gone from life, but may or may not be dead. What are those things called?

They might not be expensive, but they are close to the heart. Whenever we see them they remind us of the people they belonged to.

What do we call these things? Do they have any particular name?

Examples:

  • A girl has saved her ex-boyfriend's written letters.
  • A daughter has saved her dead father's watch.
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    Look up, in dictionaries and thesauri, 'keepsake' and 'memento'. 'Memorial' tends to be something more massive, or metaphorical. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 8 '15 at 11:57
  • This isn't what you call them, but we say that those objects have "sentimental value". So, they're not expensive, but they have sentimental value. – DCShannon Nov 2 '15 at 22:55
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There are a number of words that have a more personal attachment to them, such as

keepsake: anything kept, or given to be kept, as a token of friendship or affection; remembrance.

memento: an object or item that serves to remind one of a person, past event, etc.; keepsake; souvenir.

remembrance: something that serves to bring to mind or keep in mind some place, person, event, etc.; memento.

Less personal is souvenir: a usually small and relatively inexpensive article given, kept, or purchased as a reminder of a place visited, an occasion, etc.; memento.

(Source: Dictionary.com)

  • I think you meant "memento"? – Kristina Lopez Jan 8 '15 at 15:21
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    I've heard "reminder" but never "remembrance" in this context, is the latter more common in British English than American? – talrnu Jan 8 '15 at 21:28
  • +1 for keepsake and memento, but I'm also completely unfamiliar with "remembrance" in this context – DCShannon Nov 2 '15 at 21:19
7

Memorabilia can be used to refer to personal items, though its usual meaning relates more to events, teams etc. From Merriam Webster:

objects or materials that are collected because they are related to a particular event, person, etc.

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When someone keeps some object to remind them of another person, they might say that object is a piece of that person, especially if the object once belonged to or was used by that person.

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