Word of the Day : April 4, 2017


noun JIM-krak


: a showy object of little use or value : gewgaw

Did You Know?

Gimcrack is 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 known evidence of usage dating back to the 14th century. The earliest available evidence of gewgaw and kickshaw is from the 16th century, whereas gimcrack and knickknack established themselves in the 17th century. Tchotchke, borrowed from Yiddish, is by far the most recent addition to our language, first appearing as an English word in the 20th century.


The harmonica that Carrie kept in her desk drawer was a gimcrack that she had won as a carnival prize many years ago.

"He painted his office a deep crimson …, and then added period sconces, arrangements of pheasant feathers and various other gimcracks all meant to resemble, get this, the Red Room of the PBS show 'Downton Abbey.'" — Margaret Carlson, The Morning Call, 19 Mar. 2015

Name That Synonym

Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of gimcrack: LRETFI.



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