Like thingamabob or whatchamacallit, oojamaflip (also spelled whojamaflip, hoojamaflip, etc.) is a word used to refer to something a person doesn’t know the name of, or doesn’t wish to specify precisely. The earliest evidence OED‘s researchers have found for the word so far is from 1969, in a pair of advertisements for a product whose precise nature is (appropriately) unclear:
The oojamaflips are coming.
1969 Times 7 Apr., p. 14
and, a few days later—
The oojamaflips are here—orange, blue, curry, grey—97/6 plus 7/6 p. & p.
1969 Times 12 Apr., p. 18
Can you find earlier evidence of oojamaflip? It probably arose as an elaboration of oojah, which is attested in a similar use from 1917.
Posted by OED_Editor on 29 August 2013 11.34