tchotchke

noun

tchotch·​ke ˈchäch-kə How to pronounce tchotchke (audio)
-kē,
ˈtsäts- How to pronounce tchotchke (audio)
plural tchotchkes
: knickknack, trinket
Carlene's furniture was garish and awful and every shelf or corner held tchotchkes and gewgaws and other tacky trinkets.Ingrid Law
… collecting every sort of art, from Old Masters to precious textiles, from rare books and manuscripts to antique tchotchkes.Diane Wood Middlebrook
Still crowding his apartment and warehouses is an assemblage that includes pre-Columbian and African statuary, Charles Eames chairs, bent-wood furniture, postage stamps, patent models, busts of Roman emperors and, Wilder readily admits, tchotchkes.Susan Reed and Doris Bacon

Did you know?

Just as trinkets can dress up your shelves or coffee table, many words for "miscellaneous objects" or "nondescript junk" decorate our language. Knickknack, doodad, gewgaw, and whatnot are some of the more common ones. While many such words are of unknown origin, we know that tchotchke comes from the Yiddish tshatshke of the same meaning, and ultimately from a now-obsolete Polish word, czaczko. Tchotchke is a pretty popular word these days, but it wasn't commonly used in English until the 1970s.

Examples of tchotchke in a Sentence

shelves cluttered with tchotchkes from a lifetime of vacations
Recent Examples on the Web TikTok Shop offers a seemingly endless stream of ultra-cheap tchotchkes—sneakers for $6.59, a PlayStation 5 controller charger for $8, a 12-pack of makeup sponges for $1.79—but prices are likely to rise after a new increase in seller fees. Emily Dreibelbis, PCMAG, 1 Apr. 2024 Some keep tchotchkes — small statues, faux flowers — outside their tents to make the place feel more homey. Hailey Branson-Potts, Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2024 Nearly all of the 2024 candidates have online stores and most have tchotchkes that riff on the year’s politics. Meg Kinnard, Fortune, 23 Dec. 2023 Still feel strange to have put away the cheery, colorful and perhaps even glitzy baubles and pillows, and tchotchkes? Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Feb. 2024 Apex Location: 153 miles from Charlotte What to do: Shop local for tchotchkes and home decor at Antiques on Salem Street. Melissa Oyler, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Against one wall is a walnut cabinet accented with tchotchkes and a copy of Patti Smith’s M Train. Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone, 16 Jan. 2024 The piece looked old amongst the clutter of measuring cups, candles and other tchotchkes. Ben Finley, Fortune, 19 Dec. 2023 Photograph: Brass Monkey Brass Monkey Undated Standard Planner $15 at Amazon (Mini Hidden Agenda) $20 at Brass Monkey (Late Show) Brass Monkey makes fun tchotchkes like games and office goods, and its planners are as snarky as the rest of its lineup. Medea Giordano, WIRED, 3 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tchotchke.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Yiddish tshatshke trinket, from obsolete Polish czaczko

First Known Use

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tchotchke was in 1971

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near tchotchke

Cite this Entry

“Tchotchke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tchotchke. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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