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

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 when brummagem is used (which isn't often) it's usually 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

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

Dictionary Entries Near brummagem

brume

brummagem

Brummell

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for brummagem

Cite this Entry

“Brummagem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brummagem. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!