Reddit | ChiiboReddit

12+ Things With Obscure Names That We See Every Day

As we go through life, we can become familiar enough with the things in our lives that even a vague description can bring others up to speed on what we're talking about.

And sometimes, that vague description does the job a little better than the actual name we might have for something. For instance, some people might know what we mean if we say our aglets fell off but pretty much everyone will understand us if we say the same about "those things on the ends of our shoelaces."

Without that knowledge, that first word may make it sounds like we're having some kind of medical emergency rather than being mildly inconvenienced.

But as we're about to see, those aglets are far from the only things in life we can all identify but can't necessarily name.

1. Grommets

Reddit | dill0nfrancis

Whether we're talking about shoes, other clothes, or industrial cables, we're likely to notice the small rubber or metal circles reinforcing the holes in them.

These hole protectors that we can see under this shoe's misspelled label are called grommets.

Oddly enough, this is also surfing slang for a young surfer who's usually under the age of 18. So if someone carrying a surfboard starts talking to you about grommets, they probably don't mean the little holes in their swim trunks.

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2. Concupiscence

YouTube | Titanic Movie/Pelicula, Paramount Pictures

Although this can generally refer to a strong desire, it especially refers to the kind of intimate desire that Jack and Rose felt for each other when he drew her "like one of his French girls."

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3. Philtrum

Reddit | midnight9383

This is the little groove that exists above the upper lip and under the nose.

Mine is covered by my mustache but this person has helpfully indicated theirs with a piercing.

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4. Labret

Reddit | Bananafo

Speaking of piercings around the mouth region, it turns out those have a name as well.

As the Merriam-Webster dictionary puts it, a labret is an "ornament worn in a perforation of the lip."

The philtrum piercing we see above likely counts as it's hard to have one without piercing the upper lip.

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5. Tittle

Reddit | medium_mermaid

It looks like I just misspelled "title" but this actually refers to a small mark used in writing or printing.

The most well-known examples of tittles are the dots we see at the top of lower case I's and J's.

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6. Petrichor

Reddit | ChiiboReddit

You may not recognize its name but it's likely something that has a strong, positive association for you.

That's because this term refers to the smell we can sense in the air when it starts raining. And it's just one of the soothing aspects of rainfall.

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7. Borborygmus


This is the intestinal rumbling we can hear and feel around our stomach area when gas is moving within us.

Although this can be a sign that we should find a bathroom soon, we most commonly associate it with hunger.

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8. Bollard

Reddit | ShootEly

This term might be as common as the object itself depending on where you live. But if it doesn't ring a bell, it refers to the posts installed to stop cars from going into certain areas.

It can also refer to the posts you use to moor a boat when you're down by the docks.

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9. Susurrus

Reddit | Ezzaddin

Although you may not recognize the word, you probably remember feeling some fear when it made you wonder what was outside your bedroom window as a kid.

That's because susurrus is the name for a whispering or rustling sound like the kind we hear when the wind blows through trees.

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10. Imbroglio

Giphy | ABC Network

Although this can refer to a scandal or an embroilment, so do the respective words that I just used.

By contrast, you're not likely to find a better term than imbroglio to describe an embarrassing misunderstanding.

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11. Flammulated

Reddit | topsalesgun105

This refers to anything characterized by its flame-shaped markings.

While this term was likely coined for the plumage of birds like the flammulated owl, it's likely that we've seen it more often in car paint jobs and clothing designs.

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12. Hough

Reddit | onzo451

You may have heard of a few people who have this as a last name but it's also a term with Middle English origins used to describe a specific part of someone's leg.

Namely, the fold that exists on the opposite side to the kneecap.

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13. Ferrule

Reddit | [deleted]

This refers to a band — usually made of metal — that binds the shaft of a wooden object to keep it from splitting.

In all likelihood, the piece that keeps a pencil's eraser in place is the most common example of a ferrule you've encountered.

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14. Glabella

Reddit | grinchygrouch

This is the name for the area of skin that exists between your eyebrows and above the bridge of your nose.

It's apparently derived from the Latin word glabellus, which means "smooth" and "hairless."

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15. Lemniscate

Reddit | niculbolas

This can refer to some oddly-specific figure eight shaped curves but the most prominent example of a lemniscate is the infinity symbol.

Oddly enough, there aren't actually any lemniscates on Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet.

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