tchotch·​ke | \ˈchäch-kə, -kē, ˈtsäts- \

Definition of tchotchke 

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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

a bedroom with polka-dot curtains, flowery wallpaper, and shelves cluttered with tchotchkes from a lifetime of vacations

Recent Examples on the Web

Working at Etsy seems partly like a free pass to collect as many tchotchkes as seemingly possible, but that’s not Linda’s style. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "Inside the Vintage-Filled Chelsea Home of Etsy’s COO," 5 June 2018 There were as many disposable trinkets made in China commemorating the June LGBTQ celebration of Pride as there were red, white, and blue Fourth of July tchotchkes. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "At Target and Walmart, Pride is profitable. The Supreme Court ought to drop by.," 7 June 2018 Bell's doesn't just bring beer; representatives bring collectible tchotchkes, like last year's gold lamé caps. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Start making pretzel necklaces now: Beer festival season is in full pour," 9 July 2018 In the wrong context, too much tchotchke—but in the right hands, the sign of a certain haute-boho dash. Sadie Stein, ELLE Decor, "In Defense of Maximalism," 23 May 2018 But almost everything that businesses make—from phone cases to propellers to drills—lies between these bookends of tchotchkes and jet-engines, and is often made of metal or composites of metals and other materials. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "3D Printing Is the Future of Factories (for Real This Time)," 11 July 2018 Arizona Republic PUERTO PEÑASCO, Mexico — Tacky T-shirts, NFL blankets, tequila and tchotchkes galore are peddled to tourists on the seaside Malecon. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Beyond the beach in Rocky Point, Mexico: 6 things to do in Puerto Penasco," 25 June 2018 Per royal tchotchke tradition, Madame Tussauds debuted the couple’s official statues a few days ahead of their wedding last month. Melissa Locker, Time, "People Reacted Accordingly to This Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Stunt," 12 June 2018 This tchotchke-stuffed seating area is often overseen by a big black dog named Phoebe, who can usually be found lying on the floor. Emma Silvers, San Francisco Chronicle, "The story of the Albany pub where time stands still," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tchotchke.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tchotchke

1971, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tchotchke

Yiddish tshatshke trinket, from obsolete Polish czaczko

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Dictionary Entries near tchotchke






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Statistics for tchotchke

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for tchotchke

The first known use of tchotchke was in 1971

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playful or foolish behavior

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