Plastic, metal, maybe just some Scotch tape that you found in your coworker's desk -- the little tips at the ends of your shoelaces that helps you thread them through the eyelets in your shoe's upper sole? You probably never think about them until they break off and become a huge pain.
Well, those little tips have a name.
They're called aglets, otherwise known as one of the most useful inventions that you've probably never thought about.
This history of the aglet's evolution is a little knotty -- many sources credit it as being popularized by an English inventor named Harvey Kennedy who is said to have earned $2.5 million off the modern shoelace in the 1790s.
Regardless, the use of the word aglet can be found through its etymology, which traces back to aguillet, the French word for needle.
Now you know, in case it pops up on a quiz somewhere.