Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. Miscellaneous items, remnants, or pieces.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Miscellaneous things.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. that which is left; remnants; fragments; refuse; scraps; miscellaneous articles.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a motley assortment of things

Etymologies

From an dialectal corruption of ords and ends ("points and endings" or "beginnings and ends"). More at ord, end. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I had a poshteen in my valise, and had gathered a few odds and ends since coming to Lahore — Persian boots, pyjamys and sash for lounging on the hotter days, and the like.

    Flashman and the Mountain of Light

  • Choking upon it, Penrod slid down from the fence, and with slow and thoughtful steps entered a one-storied wing of the stable, consisting of a single apartment, floored with cement and used as a storeroom for broken bric-a-brac, old paint-buckets, decayed garden-hose, worn-out carpets, dead furniture, and other condemned odds and ends not yet considered hopeless enough to be given away.

    Penrod

  • Then I traveled to High Point, North Carolina, to the furniture store of Edgar Broyhill, the son of the former senator and our friend Jim Broyhill, and I picked out materials and ordered couches, chairs, tables, and some odds and ends for the first floor.

    Barbara Bush

  • There were a few odds and ends in the last drawer: a platinum wristwatch, some gold-embossed cuff-links, rubber bands, stamps.

    Maigret and Monsieur Charles

  • All sorts of odds and ends were lying around: old reins, pieces of harness, a candle-end, a broken pipe …

    Maigret meets a Milord

  • Like hairdressing and hotel-keeping, publishing is forced to be class-conscious, and just as front-rank restaurateurs are sometimes known to have smaller, cheaper establishments tucked away in the back streets, where, under less dignified names, money is made and odds and ends used up without waste, so sometimes distinguished publishing houses have humbler sisters where less rare but equally filling mental dishes are prepared and distributed.

    Flowers for the Judge

  • He had some odds and ends of Twiddletoy in his pockets, and as soon as the front door slammed he got to work.

    Overture to Death

  • She was prolific of codicils and was always adding bits about what Douglas was to do with odds and ends of silver and jewelry.

    Died in the Wool

  • They worked their way quickly down through the desk drawers, Thanet on one side, Lineham on the other, finding only the usual odds and ends which seem to accumulate in any desk, together with stationery, bank statements (healthy without being remarkable), old cheque-book stubs and household bills and receipts.

    No Laughing Matter

  • The Gottschalks had a drawer in the kitchen with pliers and screwdrivers and the usual odds and ends of household hardware.

    A Dance at the Slaughterhouse.html

Comments

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  • Eggcorn.

    July 12, 2011

  • Someone in my department created a common drive folder titled "Odds and Ins." I chuckled. What word is used to describe those misinterpretations? I find them so very entertaining.

    July 11, 2011