In English you can use the word thing if you don't know the word you're looking for, or if you want to be inexact.
For example, if I forgot the word for key in German (Schlüssel), I might want to say something like "You know that thing you used to open doors, what's it called?".
Or I might say:
- I need something to help me get better.
- something has to happen
- That thing over there.
- It's one of his things.
- One of my favourite things about German is...
We even have a slang word called "thingamajiggy" to replace a complicated or unknown word or phrase.
If there is a German equivalent is it used commonly?