Have you got any 'gizmos' at home?

Today I heard the word ‘gizmo’ twice (in two different BBC programmes) meaning ‘gadgets’. The context was something like “How many gadgets and gizmos have you got at home that use non-rechargeable batteries?”
What about the word ‘gizmo’, how popular is it and how often do you use it?


TOEIC listening, photographs: A smiling girl[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten

In my book, gadget and gizmo have essentially the same meaning, but I tend to use the word gizmo when a gadget is a little more unusual or hard-to-describe – OR if don’t know what the name of a particular device is. :lol:

Here’s something for anyone interested in guessing what gizmos are and/or are used for: The Gizmo Game

And, yes, I own a few gizmos. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to tell you the “official” name for many of them. :lol:


Hi Amy, many thanks for pointing us to the Gizmo Game which I find an amazing resource. How many of the gizmos in that test have identified correctly?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A person in the water[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

To me there’s something a bit more attractive (almost exotic) about the word ‘gizmo’ rather than ‘gadget’. Gadgets to me are things like tin/can openers. Whereas gizmos are things like robotic grass/lawnmowers or voice recognition programs. Give me gizmos any time, I just love them!


Hi Alan, so where does the word device come into play here? Let’s assume you own a coffee maker, would that be a gadget, a gizmo or a device? How about your tea kettle, which I’m sure you have. It wouldn’t qualify as a gizmo, would it?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A rocket[YSaerTTEW443543]

No, a gizmo has to have something extra special and novel about it. In the passage of time it will probably end up being regarded as a device and looked upon as a standard piece of equipment. Let me elucidate. Back in the 1970s which is roughly when I bought my very first new car, British cars were a bit ploddy and I suppose they still are but Japanese cars were beginning to be imported to the UK. These were the cars that had the gizmos like being able to open the boot by means of an internal lever, electric windows and sunroof, even air con, heated car seats and so on. Nowadays of course these are all fitted as ‘standard’.