Monday, December 12, 2016

Where did the deubré come from: Je ne sais quois




If you are a certain age, Thingummyjig (1976–83) was a Scottish Television program showcasing the best in haggis, heather and tartan talent. The program was hosted by the acerbic, Jack McLaughlin (aka “The Laird o’ Coocaddens”). The origins of the term ‘thingamajig’ (n), in its many spellings, remain unclear but may stem from Middle English ‘thing’, derived from Old English þing, from Proto-Germanic *þingą. The word originally meant "assembly", then came to mean a specific issue discussed at such an assembly, and ultimately came to mean most broadly "an object". Thingamajig appears in the English language around 1824, but is predated by thingumbob (1751), and thingummy (1796). Synonyms include: dohickey, doohickey, doodad, doover (Australia), doomaflatchy, gizwiz, kadigan, thingamabob, thingumabob, thingummybob, thingo (Australia), thingummy, whatchamahoozie, whatnot, whatsit, and whatchamacallit. Something whose name has been forgotten or is not known.. The earliest recorded variant of ‘whatchamacallit’ is what-calle-ye-hym, attested from late 15c. A modern equivalent, origin unknown, is the Scottish term ‘doobrie,’ meaning something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not known; a thingy or whatsit. < br>


The collective name for given to these words is placeholders which typically function grammatically as nouns and can be used for people, objects, locations, or places. Most are documented in at least 19th century literature.



In 1994, Damon Clegg, a Nike footwear designer, when presenting features of his design for a Nike ACG boot, and when he came to describe the ornamental shoelace tag, (which lacked a name). he instinctively used the term ‘doobrie.’ Clegg had heard his college roommate use the placename when he was unable to remember a specific name. His college friend was from Glasgow. The audience took the term ‘doobrie’ for a technical term, and the word caught on. Over time, the pronunciation evolved to doo-bray with various spellings. Eventually with the publication of a catalogue for the Nike Air Force 1 in 2006, Nike introduced the "deubré".



The deubré has two holes through which the shoelace is threaded, like a bead on string. When the shoe is laced, the deubré is centered between the first two eyelets (closest to the toe), with the shoelace passing through and behind the deubré. A deubré is typically made of metal, plastic, or leather, and may be decorated with a logo or text. Sometimes the deubré acts as a lace lock, eliminating the need for tying. A deubré may be used on a dress shoe or an athletic shoe.



No comments: