Word of the Day : December 19, 2018


noun CHAHCH-kuh


: knickknack, trinket

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.


"How someone organizes their desk can tell you a lot about how they get work done. That's why we're stepping into the offices of enviably creative (and productive) people to look at what's on their desks—pens and notebooks and gadgets, but also décor and tchotchkes." — Deva Pardue and Maxine Builder, The New York Magazine, 10 Sept. 2018

"… a review from WireCutter … called it the best 3D pen of the lot. While we're debating whether any home needs the flood of tchotchkes that will inevitably pour forth as a result of this gadget, the idea of drawing something into existence is pretty appealing." — Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Forbes, 1 Nov. 2018

Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of tchotchke: b _ _ el _ t.



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!