Is there a word for "a word that you forgot"? In the situation before you found out or remembered the meaning of the word, how could this word be described? Not "the unknown" or "the forgotten".

"Lethologica" is the condition of being unable to remember, but not the word itself.

  • 1
    If you wanted to use the word you couldn't remember, take your pick from thingummyjig, whatsit, doodah, whatchamacallit, etc. But if you actually want to reference it you'd probably just have to say something like some word I can't recall right now. Aug 7, 2017 at 18:16
  • 4
    I'm sure there's a word for it, but I can't remember what it is… Aug 7, 2017 at 18:32
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - Darn! It was right on the tip of my tongue until I read your comment.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 7, 2017 at 18:43

3 Answers 3


I would go with dingus, for which the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fifth edition (2011) offers a very suitable definition:

dingus n. Informal 1. Something whose name is unknown or forgotten. ... {Dutch dinges, whatchamacallit < German Dings < Middle High German dinges, genitive of dinc, thing < Old High German ding, thing, assembly, case, thing.}

Sam Spade makes good, careless use of the term—to indicate his equivocal interest in the object of everyone else's desire—in John Huston's 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon:

SPADE: What's your idea of a fair bargain?

GUTMAN: I will give you twenty-five thousand dollars when you deliver the Falcon to me and another twenty-five thousand later on, or, I will give you one quarter of what I realize on the Falcon. That would amount to a vastly greater sum.

SPADE: How much greater?

GUTMAN: Who knows? Shall we say a hundred thousand? Will you believe me if I name a sum that seems the probable minimum?

SPADE: Why not?

GUTMAN (placing his hand on Spade's knee again): What would you say to a quarter of a million?

SPADE: Then you think the dingus is worth a million, huh?

GUTMAN: In your own words, "Why not?"

Spade calls the Falcon "the dingus" again somewhat later in the movie, just in case you (or Casper Gutman, to whom he is speaking) might think he was beginning to feel more attentive to and interested in the statuette as a possible possession.


From wiktionary

loganamnosis :(formal, rare) an obsession with recalling a specific word that has been forgotten

... and this in turn usually causes nagging feeling

and please check here

  • Leaving my clothes on the floor is usually produces a "nagging feeling" for me.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 7, 2017 at 21:32
  • ... or one may have "nagging feeling" of "whatsit" as @FumbleFingers suggested
    – Mustafa
    Aug 7, 2017 at 22:04


From MW:

transitive verb : forget

A forgotten word would be a disremembered word.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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