Geegaws, dingbats, doodads, moist and melty.

Credit: Magpie’s Nest / Car with lots of geegaws and doodads

I really don’t know why, but the words geegaws, doodads, and dingbats all crack me up. They are real words that can be found in the dictionary (and they all mean almost the same thing, although dingbats refers more to digital doodads and geegaws–or a scatterbrained or stupid person) but they still sound like jokes to me.

Dingbat can also refer to a type of cheaply built, flat-roofed apartment house common in southern California. Most dingbat houses come in pastel colors, have stucco fronts, and are adorned with a monogram or logo (such as the owner’s initials or a romantic sounding name like “Tropical Breeze,” “Sinking Ship,” or “Halfway House”).  The boxy structure overhangs a parking stall.  Some dingbats actually have a dingbat-like doodad stuck on the front like this one (but I don’t think that’s the reason they’re called dingbat houses).


One word I think sounds really nasty and gross is “moist.”  Whenever I hear the word moist I feel like puking. Apparently I’m not alone though:  moist seems to stimulate gag reflexes everywhere because the way it sounds reminds moist most people of bodily functions.  Don’t tell me a cake is “moist”–I’ll probably spit it out at you.


Some words are just plain annoying.  One “word” that comes to mind is “melty.”  I don’t even think it’s a real word, just a dumb adjective made up by advertisers for equally dumb consumers.   I will not eat “melty” cheese, bite into a “melty” sandwich, or be separated from my money for anything “melty.”   I hate that word.   So don’t use it in front of me.  Ever.  Please.

What are some words you have a visceral reaction to (disgust, laughter, annoyance, terror, etc.)?


4 thoughts on “Geegaws, dingbats, doodads, moist and melty.

  1. I’m sure there are some words that provoke that type of reaction in me. I just can’t think of any of them right now. Before reading this, when I heard the word dingbat I always pictured Edith and Archie Bunker, but now I might add an image of these apartment buildings as well. I recall many of these dingbats in the areas where I spent a lot of my youth and young adulthood, especially in the West L.A. area where I lived while attending UCLA. I doubt many of them are still standing but will try to remember to check when I’m next out there. Do you know when they were first built and the period of their popularity and development?


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