brummagem

adjective
brum·​ma·​gem | \ ˈbrə-mi-jəm How to pronounce brummagem (audio) \

Definition of brummagem

: spurious also : cheaply showy : tawdry a bilious combination of brummagem melodrama and synthetic seascapes — John McCarten

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from brummagem

brummagem noun

Did You Know?

Brummagem first appeared in the 17th century as an alteration of "Birmingham," the name of a city in England. At that time Birmingham was notorious for the counterfeit coins made there, and the word brummagem quickly became associated with things forged or inauthentic. By the 19th century, Birmingham had become a chief manufacturer of cheap trinkets and gilt jewelry, and again the word brummagem followed suit - it came to describe that which is showy on the outside but essentially of low quality. Perhaps the term was something of an annoyance to the people of Birmingham way back when, but nowadays "brummagem" is usually used without any conscious reference to the British city.

First Known Use of brummagem

1679, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for brummagem

alteration of Birmingham, England, the source in the 17th century of counterfeit groats

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brummagem

Time Traveler for brummagem

Time Traveler

The first known use of brummagem was in 1679

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about brummagem

Statistics for brummagem

Cite this Entry

“Brummagem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brummagem. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on brummagem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brummagem

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!