I'm looking for a word to describe a thing that is small but very useful.

It is not important about the nature of the word, also it may be an animal name.

I found the word 'peppy' and 'streamline' but I would like better words for the purpose.

For example:

I love my swiss army knife, it's so {small but very useful}

closed as off-topic by BladorthinTheGrey, jimm101, user140086, Rory Alsop, Richard Kayser Dec 22 '16 at 14:00

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – BladorthinTheGrey, jimm101, Community, Rory Alsop
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Some synonyms of doohickey that I've found include the smallness constraint, but none the useful one. You can now do some further research. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 22 '16 at 10:33
  • 3
    Are you looking for a noun, an adjective, a verb? How would the word be used? For single-word-requests 'You must include a sample sentence demonstrating how the word would be used'. Why would another word be better? Can you explain how your sample words are lacking? Please edit your question to improve it. – Spagirl Dec 22 '16 at 10:51
  • What is the purpose you refer to in the question? Also, why do you identify animal names in particular as suitable? It is only fair to the people who contribute answers that the question completely disclose which answers will and will not be accepted. – MetaEd Dec 22 '16 at 15:31
  • Your mention of animal names made me think of the Babel Fish from Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy. You put it in your ear, and it enables you to understand any language. It is described as a being so useful, and unlikely, as to both prove and disprove the existence of God. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – JonLarby Dec 22 '16 at 15:52

How about gadget, widget, or gizmo?


gadget: A small mechanical or electronic device or tool, especially an ingenious or novel one

widget: A small gadget or mechanical device.

gizmo: A gadget, especially one whose name the speaker does not know or cannot recall


The words "Compact" (or) "Niche", in some way, also convey the single word alternative you are looking for.

  • This answer would be improved by including dictionary definitions (and links to their source) for the suggested words. – AndyT Dec 22 '16 at 12:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.