Saying “It’s a Thing” Is Now a Thing

Thingaddams6According to one source, “thing” is among the ten most commonly used nouns in English. It’s so common that if you are able to read this blog post, you probably already know what it means. Or do you?

Certainly you know that “thing” can refer to just about any inanimate (not living) object, such as a cup, a car, or a coin.

You can also use “thing” when you’re not sure if the object you’re referring to is living or not. For example, you might say to a waiter in a restaurant, “What’s that thing in my soup?” (Hint: If you have to ask this question, you might not want to eat at that restaurant again.)

“Thing” can also refer to a topic of conversation, as in “I have three things I want to talk to you about today.” Notice that “thing” can be singular or plural when used in these ways.

More recently in U.S. English, “a thing” (always singular) has taken on a new meaning, referring to a newly popular topic, trend, or activity.

For example, eating toast with avocado on top is now “a thing” in many U.S. cities. It’s a relatively recent phenomenon that is especially popular among hipsters.

Saying that you will move to Canada if _________ wins the presidency in November is also a thing among celebrities (fill in the blank with the candidate you hate the most here (Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Attila the Hun, etc.)).

Sometimes the trend is so crazy, you may ask someone, “Is that really a thing?” For example, I might ask my friend, “Are adult coloring books really a thing now?”

The answer to that last question is yes, they are: people are actually spending time coloring paper books like children. Sadly, it is a thing.


Image credit: from Addams Family Wiki

P.S. Oh, here’s one more meaning of “thing” – it was the name of a character on The Addams Family TV show from the 1960s, which is shown in the photo.

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20 Responses to Saying “It’s a Thing” Is Now a Thing

  1. Marcos says:

    Hi everyone

    ” Saying that you will move to Canada if ___a cat ___ wins the presidency was so funny ”

    Thanks Jeff, as always.


  2. Dan says:

    What’s going on everybody?

    Dan here.

    From a learner’s point of view “thing” and similar words are very useful.
    That because when your memory doesn’t work properly, you can always
    use thing instead of the right term you could not remember or do not know.

    For example I can say “could you please pass me that thing?”
    I am aware that sounds like a caveman is talking, but you know..that’s helpful.

    Hey sometimes we make coloring books. With Dysney characters.
    Wow, I was ignorant on the fact that that is a thing.
    It’s probably a way for distracting one’s mind, I guess.
    I would probably find myself bored after 2.3 seconds of that activity.

    Right now I am super hyped because of a video game coming out in one month. Its called No Man’s Sky.
    Basically they have created an entire universe to explore.
    They say that in the game there are 18 quintillion planets and that number is so yuge that probably 99% of those will never get a visit from a single player.

    I hope the game is not a flop. We’ll see.


  3. Dan says:

    Me again.

    I remember watching the TV show the Addams family.

    Hey, now that I think about it, Jeff has the same head of uncle Fester. Lol.

    I remember that I was sexually attracted by the wife. Now I cannot remember her name.
    Yeah, she was kind of sexy. I love black straight hair like she had.
    You know like Asian women. I find that very attractive.


  4. Peter says:

    Seems like u r totally psyched about the upcoming video game:))
    I never played a single game in my entire life not even a minute!!
    The game thingy you just mentioned must be awsome
    I pass
    Well it is a matter of preferences

    Hope the game not a bomb but the bomb and u enjoy it.

    A learning guid member


  5. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    Hello, Jeff. The thing is really excellent. I have a lot of things here in my house. My things that I love, like trashes, old things, rags, souvenirs.
    From Brazil

  6. Thiago Messias says:

    Following ESLPOD everywhere is my thing!

  7. emiliano says:

    Do you have any thing whatever; something, no matter what you may have
    but please, give me or tell me something and I´ll be happy.

    That could be a phrase a boy tells his girl who seems to be not so interesting
    about him or whatever thing he could do or tell her.

    Usually I have a lot of things to do every single day so the result could be
    that never have a moment to be boring.

    Good things for everyone of you and specially for you dear Jeff.


  8. Mari Carmen says:


    I’ve been told that there is an idiom meaning to be infatuated or to have a crush on someone, which is “to have a thing for someone”. Is that right?

    Mari Carmen

  9. Dan says:

    Hey everyone.

    Dan here.

    Do you guys remember I wanted to share with you my personal experience with our health care system here in my country? (Italy)

    Now, getting x-rayed was fast, I had to wait for a week.

    Next step is to get a visit by a orthopedic.

    I took an appointment the 23th of May, guess when I got to see the doctor?

    The 22th of September. And I paid for it €22.00.


  10. Dan says:

    Hey Carmen.

    It could be but it could be misunderstood.

    If I hear someone saying that I would understand that that person has something, an object, for that person.

    It probably depends from the content of the conversation.


  11. Mari Carmen says:

    Hello Dan

    Thank you for your remark, I take it down.



  12. Dan says:

    Hi everybody.

    I forgot to tell you guys that on the Italian TV serie of the Addam family
    the thing was just called hand. ^Mano^ in Italian.

    That’s it…thanks!

  13. emiliano says:

    Be understood that I don´t like football at all, but it is a honor that two Madrid´s
    teams are playing the most important football play of the world now in Milan.
    It´s the second time that such a match happens in the last three years, and of
    course never before it has happened in the European Champions League that
    two football teams of the same city, Madrid, plays the final cup.

    I am and want the cup to Atletico de Madrid as it will be the first time in its
    history, and playing against its eternal rival Real Madrid who has won the
    champions league ten times being the most winer club in Europe.
    By second time it is the chance to Atletico de Madrid, playing with the same
    club Real Madrid, so go ahead Atletico and take it in Milan. Italy.

    Atletico has defeated to Barcelona, and Bayern Munich so I think it has to
    be its reward tomorrow.

    I think Italy is going good luck to Atletico.


  14. Peter says:

    Hey my good friend Dan
    I remember just recently u hit us with this question that if we know any hit talk show or sth thst u can tune into
    I staring to listed to this YouTube link called
    “TED Ed ”
    I must say I love it
    It is very educational and helps greatly with my English.
    I don’t know if u Should find it interesting!!
    U know ,no harm coming of checking the link.

    It is right up my alley

    U may wanna have a look-see


  15. Peter says:

    Hey Jeff,
    Every time ur posts are up there
    I make sure I revisit the post several times before u guys move to the next post!!
    Ur way with words is awsome!!!
    And for some reason ur words have this ability to stick in my head
    Ur words stick with me chief
    U know what I always say to my friends about u
    Always say :
    Jeff keeps it simple but keeps it strong !!!
    It is my line about you chief
    Abd guess what
    It catch on
    U know u are a house hold name among my friends and my family both close and distant !!

    Thanks boss for the wonder you named ESLPOD

    A learning guide member

  16. Dan says:

    Hey Pete.

    Thanks, I love that kind of videos too.
    And I know Ted-ed because watching ed. videos and scientific ones you get
    similar suggestions by YT.
    I mostly follow Atheists youtubers.
    And one of my favorites is a guy from LA by the name of Devon Tracey.
    He moved to Europe. At the moment he’s living in Germany because his girlfriend is from there.
    He’s channel is called Atheism is Unstoppable. Check him out. He’s videos are great.

    Thanks and have a nice weekend everyone.

  17. Peter says:

    Thanks Dan

    I will

  18. Mari Carmen says:

    Good morning here

    Revisiting (again) (sorry, I couldn’t help the repetition!!!) the list of the most common words used in English that Jeff provided us throug the link “source”, I find that they are mainly articles, conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns and verbs.

    The first noun there is time in the 55th position, and people in the 61th. Therefore, surprinsingly enough to me, time is more frecuently said than people, though i would have bet for the second one, since I feel I hear the word people in English so often and I use it myself a lot.

    Thanks, bye

  19. Tania says:

    New to me this problem with “thing”. Interesting to know any new trends.
    For instance and “avocado” is a new trend in our menu, in my country.
    In fact, we have seen an avocado in supermarket for the first time, and not many of us use to eat it.
    But there is a trend to eat avocado. I’ll try avocado toast.

    Thank you.

    All the best for you,


  20. Tania says:


    Indeed a crazy trend “coloring books” for adults. Maybe like a pshycho treatment.
    I do not know if we use this treatment.

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