Word of the Day : October 12, 2010

gimcrack

play
noun JIM-krak

Definition

: a showy object of little use or value : gewgaw

Did You Know?

"Gimcrack" is only one of many peculiar-sounding words that have pervaded our language to refer to something ornamental and of little value. Others include "bauble," "trinket," "knickknack," "gewgaw," "kickshaw" and "tchotchke." "Bauble" appears to be the oldest among the group, with usage dating back to the 14th century. "Gewgaw" and "kickshaw" first appeared in the 16th century, whereas "gimcrack" and "knickknack" established themselves in the 17th century. "Tchotchke," borrowed from the Yiddish, is by far the most recent addition to our language, only first appearing as an English word in the 1970s.

Test Your Memory: What former Word of the Day means "a hotel or inn"? The answer is ...


Examples

The silver yo-yo that Jerry kept on his office desk was a gimcrack he had won as a carnival prize many years ago.

"Know how many times you're willing to stop and how much money you're willing to spend on treats and souvenirs on the drive. If one hat, T-shirt or gimcrack is the limit, make sure they know to choose wisely." -- From an article on traveling with children, by Christy Strawser, Detroit Free Press, August 28, 2010




Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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