Word of the Day : April 5, 2019


adjective BRUM-ih-jum

What It Means

: not genuine : spurious; also : cheaply showy : tawdry


The members of the bachelorette party stumbled out of the limousine with the bride wearing a brummagem tiara and sash.

"Just as critics … conceived high culture in some antithetical relationship to 'middlebrow' or 'kitsch,' which imitated the intelligentsia's culture and blurred the distinction between commodity and art, so too, they warned, the spirit of Christianity now had to be preserved from its brummagem versions…." — Jason W. Stevens, God-Fearing and Free, 2010

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.

Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of brummagem: ti _ s _ _.



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