Odds & Ends
The expression may have originated as “odd ends” (without the ‘and’) in the mid-1500s, meaning “short leftovers of some material,” such as lumber or cloth. It had acquired its present form and meaning by the mid-1700s. That being “a group of small objects of different types which are not very valuable or important,” or “different kinds of things that are usually small and unimportant.”
Well, in our context, they may be small but they’re certainly important. It’s just that they don’t fit very well into any of our major categories. Select from the menu at left.
Sometimes just a sentence or two can reveal a valuable, or at least surprising, fact.