noun (1)
variants: or what-do-you-call-them or less commonly what-do-you-call-her or what-do-you-call-him \ ˈ(h)wä|tə⸗ˌ⸗⸗ , -​wə-​ , -​wȯ-​ , |tdə-​ \
plural -s

Definition of what-do-you-call-it

 (Entry 1 of 12)

: a thing or person that the speaker cannot (as from not knowing or from forgetting) or does not wish to name hand me one of those little what-do-you-call-thems


noun (2)
variants: or what-you-call-them or less commonly what-you-call-her or what-you-call-him \ ˈ(h)wächəˌ⸗⸗ , -​wəch-​ , -​wȯch-​ , -​chēˌ⸗⸗ \
plural -s

Definition of what-you-call-it (Entry 2 of 12)

: what-do-you-call-it supposed to go to church on what-you-call-it Sunday


noun (3)
variants: or what-you-may-call-them or less commonly what-you-may-call-her or what-you-may-call-him \ -​chəməˌ⸗⸗ , -​chēm-​ \
plural -s

Definition of what-you-may-call-it (Entry 3 of 12)

: what-do-you-call-it decided that the what-you-may-call-it was a boat rather than a car went to what-you-may-call-her's house

(be) careful what you wish for

idiom (1)

Definition of (be) careful what you wish for (Entry 4 of 12)

used to tell people to think before they say that they want something and to suggest that they may not actually want itYou think having twins would be fun? Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it.

I know what you mean

idiom (2)

Definition of I know what you mean (Entry 5 of 12)

used to express agreement"He can be a little difficult." "I know what you mean."

that's what you think

idiom (3)

Definition of that's what you think (Entry 6 of 12)

used to tell someone that in one's own opinion what that person thinks or believes is wrong"I can beat you." "That's what you think."

what are you trying to prove

idiom (4)

Definition of what are you trying to prove (Entry 7 of 12)

used to ask why someone is behaving in a way that seems unreasonableWhat are you trying to prove by behaving so recklessly?

what did I tell you

idiom (5)

Definition of what did I tell you (Entry 8 of 12)

used to say to someone that he or she should have listened and followed one's advice"The car turned out to be a lemon!" "What did I tell you?"

what do you know

idiom (6)

Definition of what do you know (Entry 9 of 12)

used to express surpriseShe's an astronaut? Well, what do you know!"He's going to law school in the fall." "Well what do you know about that?!"

what time do you have

idiom (7)

Definition of what time do you have (Entry 10 of 12)

used to ask someone what time it is

what time do you make it

idiom (8)

Definition of what time do you make it (Entry 11 of 12)

used to ask someone what time it is

you get what you pay for

idiom (9)

Definition of you get what you pay for (Entry 12 of 12)

used to say that a thing that can be bought for a very low price probably isn't very good"That cheap camera I bought is broken already." "Well, you get what you pay for."

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Cite this Entry

“What-do-you-call-it.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/what%20you. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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