Saturday, September 13, 2003
Word for the Day: Frammis
I was trying to help another librarian find out the origin/meaning of this word yesterday. It appears to be a nonsensical placeholder along the lines of 'whatchmacallit', 'so-and-so', and 'thingy'. It's usually used in examples such as engineering and computer science. There was a classic mystery story 'The Frightening Frammis' by Jim Thompson, author of The Grifters. (A television segment based on 'The Frightening Frammis' is also listed as Tom Cruise's directorial debut.) In each of these works, a frammis was an elusive thing that grifters and other con artists tried to reach. I don't know if that's the origin, if Thompson coined it, or if he based it on something older. If anyone knows the actual origin, I'd be interested; please let me know.