People can’t agree on the ‘correct’ name for a TV remote – from doofer to zapper

Televisions have been a valuable source of escapism and even a close companion as we binge-watched our way through the pandemic.

And although many of our favourite series and movies can bring us all closer together, there’s one issue that continues to tear Brits apart.

Many people will be old enough to remember the days of having to get up to change channel or increase the volume on their TVs by using the buttons on the set.

Thankfully, remotes are now a standard feature but the small device has sparked massive debate among social media users, with many unable to agree on its ‘correct’ name.

Although there is a collective agreement that a ‘television remote’ is never referred by its entire formal name, no one seems to be able to agree on the best alternative.

One viral Reddit thread ranks ‘the remote’ as the most popular term but the subsequent options are much more creative.

One user calls it an ‘Ian’ and another ‘the doofer’.

‘Clicker’ and ‘the buttons’ are also other popular options and other colourful variants include ‘the dibbler’, ‘the fiddle stick’, and ‘megatron’ – while one even named theirs after an adult toy.

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One Twitter user said: “I’m dating a girl who calls the remote control ‘the doofer’, which is my way of saying, ‘I’m newly single’.”

A survey in 2016 revealed that Brits have over 100 different names for their remotes.

Ranking the most popular in a definitive top 20, first place went to ‘remote’, while ‘doofer’ or ‘doofah’ came in second place.

Just falling short of the top two was ‘Zapper’ which ranked third.

The top 20 names for the remote control:

  1. Remote (or The Remote)
  2. Doofah (Doofer)
  3. Zapper
  4. Clicker
  5. Flicker
  6. Thing-a-ma-jig
  7. Switcher
  8. Watcha-ma-call-it
  9. The Controller (or The Controls)
  10. Gizmo
  11. Button (or Buttons)
  12. Gadget
  13. The Box (or TV Box)
  14. The Changer
  15. Dibber
  16. Bleeper
  17. Blipper (or Bleeper)
  18. Doodah
  19. Flipper
  20. Plonker

Other alternatives which missed out on the top 20 were ‘bat’, ‘dib dob’, ‘diba dabba’, ‘dicker docker’, ‘doo-ve-whacker’ and ‘gun’.