What's the word for that? English words for body parts and common items that you might not know

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  • Ever wanted to point something out, but didn’t know what it was called? Here’s some vocabulary that will help you out
  • What do you call the little dip above your top lip, or the paper sleeve on your Starbucks coffee cup?
Karly Cox |
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That thing is called ... errrrr ... I totally know this.

Do you ever find yourself talking about something very common, but not knowing what it’s called in English? Don’t worry - that happens even to people who only speak that one language!

There are some words that even native speakers never remember - or don’t even know. But if you can remember them, you’ll be pretty impressive.

Here are the official words for some things you might want to talk about - and now you know how.

- The bony bit on your ear in front of the ear hole: tragus [TRAY-gus]

- A drop of mucus hanging from someone’s nose: meldrop

- The little pocket on jeans: watch pocket or coin pocket

Use these old school English insults to subtly throw shade

- The little flat meta disc on jeans: rivet

- The small, round bit of paper that you remove with a hole punch: chad

- The paper sleeve that goes around a hot cup of takeaway coffee or tea: zarf

- The dip above your top lip: philtrum [FIL-trum]

- The area between your eyebrows: glabella [gluh-BEL-ah]

- The skin between your nostrils: septum [SEP-tum]

Doomscrolling, maskne, and other words that defined 2020

- The corners of your eyes where the upper and lower eyelids meet: canthus

- The gunk that gathers in your canthus when you wake up: rheum [room]

- The # symbol/hashtag : octothorpe

All GIFs via GIPHY

- The punctuation mark “?!”: interrobang

- The & symbol: ampersand

- The ÷ symbol : obelus [OB-uh-lus]

Take a look at our big list of idioms

- The * symbol: asterisk

- A period of two weeks: fortnight

- The item before the last one in a list: penultimate

- The strange feeling that you’ve already experienced what is happening now: déjà vu [day-ja voo]

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