junk drawer

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See also: junkdrawer

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

junk + drawer

Noun[edit]

junk drawer (plural junk drawers)

  1. (US) A drawer designated for the storage of various miscellaneous, small, occasionally useful items of little value.
    • 1912, William D. Tracy, "Notes on Practice", The Journal of the Allied Societies, volume 7, page 376:
      With a 5/8-inch sandpaper disk cutter, if you happen to have one in the junk drawer, or with a brass or steel tube of the same size sharpened to an edge at one end, four wheels suitable for the engine mandrel may be cut from each eraser.
    • 1997, Allegra Bennett, Renovating Woman, page 239:
      We all know that the junk drawer doesn't really contain junk. We know junk when we see it, and that gets tossed pretty fast. It's the odds and ends that had a limited purpose once, are still functional, and one day may come in handy, but for now . . .
    • 2002, Donna Smallin, Organizing plain & simple, page 54:
      There's nothing wrong with having a junk drawer. Where else can you store those odds and ends you need from time to time. But some of what ends up in the junk drawer really is junk, such as unfixable items, pens that don't work, expired coupons, and a piece to a game you sold at a garage sale five years ago.
    • 2005, M. Diane McCormick, "A Place for Everything",Old-House Journal (Jun 2005), v. 33, no. 3, page 33:
      Crammed with twist ties and stray screws, the standard junk drawer is a sanctuary for items we hoard out of practicality or affection or the nagging fear that "this may come in handy someday".
    • 2013, Margaret Macintyre Latta, Curricular Conversations: Play is the (Missing) Thing, page 24:
      I think of the junk drawer in my kitchen and the collection of artifacts it holds that tell many tales of family, friends, and events that form the “stuff” of my life.

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