James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Thu Jul 12 14:11:15 UTC 2001

In a message dated 7/12/01 6:21:32 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
editor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG writes:

> Several American subscribers have since written to say that
>  "doolally" is well known to them as a term for something whose
>  name one can't for the moment remember, so matching other US
>  words with the same meaning such as 'doofus', 'dohickey',
>  'doodad', and 'doojigger'.

"Doofus" is NOT a synonym for "doodad" etc.  Instead it has the meaning of
"an annoyingly incompetent person" and less commonly as an adjective meaning
"annoyingly incompetent".  The closest synonym I can think of offhand would
be the Yiddish word _schlemieil_..  It is even possible to have the phrase "a
doofus doodad" to refer to an object which is not only nameless but also
stupidly designed.

I can't recall ever hearing the word "doolally".

      - Jim Landau

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