Some characteristic or habit that's odd or distinctive is a peculiarity. Your brother's peculiarities might include always wearing a red knit hat, even in summer.

A peculiarity is a quirk or strange feature. You might be self conscious about the fact that your ears are uneven, something you think of as an obvious peculiarity. Another kind of peculiarity is a quality that is specific to someone or something: "One peculiarity of people from the Midwest is that they call soda pop." This "special characteristic" meaning is the original one, which makes sense given the Latin root, peculiaris, "of one's own."

Definitions of peculiarity

n an odd or unusual characteristic

distinctive feature, distinguishing characteristic
calling card
a distinguishing characteristic or behavior
Type of:
characteristic, feature
a prominent attribute or aspect of something

n a distinguishing trait

distinctiveness, speciality, specialness, specialty
foible, idiosyncrasy, mannerism
a behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual
Type of:
individualism, individuality, individuation
the quality of being individual

n something unusual -- perhaps worthy of collecting

curio, curiosity, oddity, oddment, rarity
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bric-a-brac, knickknack, knickknackery, nicknack, whatnot
miscellaneous curios
collectable, collectible
things considered to be worth collecting (not necessarily valuable or antique)
collector's item, piece de resistance, showpiece
the outstanding item (the prize piece or main exhibit) in a collection
chachka, tchotchke, tsatske, tshatshke
(Yiddish) an inexpensive showy trinket
(plural) rare collector's items
Type of:
object, physical object
a tangible and visible entity; an entity that can cast a shadow

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