Dammit, what's that word?

Anachronism refers to something that is out of place chronologically, such as a wristwatch in a gladiator movie. But what is the word for something that is out of place spatially or geographically, such as an elephant in the dining room?

I guess just plain anomalous wouldn’t cut it, eh?




Out of its element?

[sub]Gotta love those online thesauruses.[/sub]


Thanks, SmackFu and jeyen, but I don’t think they’re quite specific enough. Anomaly pretty much refers to anything that deviates from the norm. Incongruity somehow seems closer, but still not quite on the money. I could have sworn there’s a word that describes this specific situation, like a spatial equivalent of anachronism. I’ve been wracking my brain over it all day.

Dislocated? Displaced? Astray?

I’ll add “alien” to the almost-theres. None of the words so far make me go “THAT’S IT.”

Well, Pismonque this does seem to be a good question! Lately people ask questions that get answered as fast as it takes to do a google search! This is now driving me nuts!

The best I could come up with is the Latin phrase:
ex locus ictus, or out of proper place

Not sure it’s actually a word, but….

As “chronos” is the Greek for time
“topos” is the Greek for place


I would definitely go with displaced. I mean, if an object is displaced, it’s not where it’s supposed to be…

Correct, I guess…

from http://web.nwe.ufl.edu/~jbess/sp00/sp001131/reference/vocab1.htm

anatopism- misplacement, faulty or inharmonious arrangement

The aforementioned web site also has the following:

anachorism- foreign to a certain locality, geographically impossible

ANACHORISM! That’s the one! It seemed vaguely familiar when I saw it (probably fooling myself there) so I threw it into Google and there are definitions, usages, etc., that cemented it for me. Great sleuthing, pulykamell, dylan_73 and all! Thanks for the help!