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Perhaps this word doesn't exist. I'm looking for the word to describe the last final thing you want to put in a container but it won't fit. There is always one of those. You have ten items but always only nine will fit into the container you have. Often occurs with a toolbox which has one too many tools to go into it.

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  • 1
    It's not clear what you're asking for. You asking for a "word for one too many items" appears to be asking for a noun, while you then asking for a "word to describe the last thing you want to put in a container but won't fit" appears to be asking for an adjective. Then there's the fact that whether it's an adjective or a noun you seek, "one too many" and "one more than will fit" are two different definitions, so you have to clarify which of those you want. Apr 30 at 21:21
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    The straw that broke the camel’s back; a faggot above a load.
    – Xanne
    Apr 30 at 21:31
  • "Leftover" might work. It's usually used for uneaten prepared food like cold cuts off a joint of meat but it could describe items like the ones you mention. You might get a situation like "I took out the drill so that I could get all the spanners and screwdrivers into the box, now the drill is the only leftover item."
    – BoldBen
    May 1 at 5:54
  • Similar to Xanne's options: the last drop (that makes the cup run over)
    – Joachim
    May 1 at 9:21
  • If it's a toolbox, I'd say "the odd one out" — because not only is it surplus, but it also must not belong to that set. Still thinking about whether there's a more general term. May 2 at 4:17
1

How about excess? The OED gives as one example of its usage:

excess luggage: luggage over the weight for which a passenger is allowed free carriage.

The meanings are broader than what you are looking for but I think the meaning you want is one of the meanings of excess.

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  • Excess works for "too many items" but it's not specific enough for "one too many". Jun 8 at 16:04
0

In my family, although I'm not sure when it first originated, we've always used the term square peg. Such as:

Figures, get the suitcase basically done and last thing ended up being a square peg.

It just comes from the old thing of a square peg trying to fit into a round hole in the children's block game. Can't force it through the circle slot no matter how much you want it to fit in. I am aware this is a pretty silly way of using the old idiom loosely, but for some reason it always really just felt like the perfect thing to say ever since I first heard my Grandfather use it when I was a child.

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    Hello, Brandon. Nice idea, nice anecdote ... but not an established usage. May 22 at 16:44
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You could use a maths style phrase like ...

My toolbox holds N items, but I always seem to have “N + 1” items.

Pronounce like “n plus one”.

... the (N + 1)th item ends up in my back pocket.

Pronounce like “n plus oneth item”

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I believe superfluous would work quite well, as in:

After my toolbox is full, I never quite know what to do with the superfluous hammer.

EDIT: Perhaps poetically, such an item might be referred to as "vestigial" in the sense of "pertaining to a vestige or remnant."

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  • This implies that an object is unneeded or not useful rather than excessive or ample. May 31 at 4:41
  • In my example, the hammer is certainly not needed nor useful for filling the toolbox. ;-)
    – RobJarvis
    Jun 1 at 13:36
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Perhaps a little too formal, but supernumerary fits the bill:

Something which is beyond the prescribed or standard amount or number.

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Maybe remnant

a usually small part, member, or trace remaining

or remainder

a: a remaining group, part, or trace
b: (1) the number left after a subtraction (2): the final undivided part after division that is less or of lower degree than the divisor

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  • A remnant might be an off-cut due to aesthetics or function - it may well fit if stuffed into the container that holds the rest.
    – Lawrence
    May 1 at 5:01
-1

Postultimate! Post-ultimate?

The postultimate Cheeto bulged from the top of the Tupperware container.

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  • Hi, Dellevue. We're not in the business of suggesting neologisms. Please cite established uses. Please take time to complete the tour and learn more about our mission. :)
    – Davo
    May 6 at 17:17

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