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.


6 Answers 6


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.

  • All the answers were equally good, but this one was closest to anachronism IMO. Thanks! Jul 2, 2011 at 4:02
  • @spinning_plate, ...then not all the answers were equally good.
    – thomj1332
    Jul 29, 2017 at 18:35
  • @thomj1332 - I've been waiting 6 long years for someone to finally point this out. I can finally move on with my life - the relief is palpable. ;D Aug 5, 2017 at 5:18


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

  • 4
    Incongruity for the noun that was requested. Jul 1, 2011 at 21:34

A few options (mostly not nouns, however):

  • misfit
  • sticks out
  • out of sync
  • misplaced
  • misaligned
  • 1
    I like "misplaced", though Mitch's answer seems correct given the vocabulary level of "anacronistic".
    – KeithS
    Jul 1, 2011 at 21:02
  • 1
    Or, since we are going for nouns: misplacement.
    – John Y
    Jul 2, 2011 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.


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


how about a conundrum or a quirk?

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