What Are Gadgets and Gizmos?

What are Gadgets and Gizmos? Or for that matter what is a contraption - a thingamabob - a wachamacallit - jigger - widget - gimmick - device - or doodad?

Webster's unabridged defines a gadget as: n. 1. Any small mechanical contrivance or device- 2. Any small object, especially something relatively useless or superfluous- 3. In glassmaking, a spring clip.

Where it came from is unclear but according to Webster's, and A Dictionary of the Scots Language: Gage, Gadge, n.2  [e.m.E. and ME. gage, gauge, gawge (c 1450), ONF. gauge. Cf. Jadge n.] A standard of measure or quantity. (a)

Gadge and then gadget seems to have come to America through early sailors using the term for their tools.

Gizmo appears to have started in WWII, with sailors and other servicemen using the term.

An interesting sidebar - the term Gremlin also started in WWII, with the British RAF flyers - when their planes would develop problems with no known reason. the Yank flyers picked it up, and it became part of our language.Which leads to Gizmo Gremlin - a mean little movie star and cuddly plush doll. How’s that for a roundabout to talk about a doll?

If you really want get off subject - a gadge to a gypsy is anyone who is NOT a gypsy - and modernly, a gadge in Britain is a bloke, or man, or woman. How things change - and isn’t it fun?

To get a bit scholarly - some in academia have given the name kadigans (or cadigans) to this whole class of words. Enough trivia?

First thought for this site was to follow an interest in mechanical gadgets and gizmos, but with the drive for technology in the world, one has to follow modern civilization - so we’ll discuss the new world of "G & G" - meaning electrical and electronic items. Some gizmos apply to computers and their attachments. We’ll talk about them too.

I’ll tell you now that I am a MAC user, so there is a built-in bias against MS. But there are a lot of gadgets and gizmos in the MAC community. Not much software, but lots of gimmick stuff.

Look for pages as we develop to cover different categories as we grow, such as gadgets for:

• Gifts

•  Cool new gadgets

• Electronics

• Digital

• Computers

• Kitchens

• Spys

• Infomercials

• And more

Another great source with a long history is at Hammacher-Schlemmer.com - Unique Gifts - Guaranteed for Life at Hammacher Schlemmer for 157 years.

And - if you are one who likes the weird, the wacky, the off-beat, if you have a strong stomach, and a sense of humor, You have to go to: Gadgets at Stupid.com


Check out our new page - WHAT IS IT? It is a contest of sorts - you against your historical knowledge - and there is a freebie available if you want it. GO TO:


Please check our other pages and recommended sites. And bookmark us please. More is coming.