One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Showy but cheap or badly made.‘plastic gimcrack cookware’
shoddy, jerry-built, badly built, flimsy, insubstantial, rickety, ramshackle, thrown together, makeshift, inferior, poor-quality, second-rate, third-rate, low-grade, cheap, cheapjack, tawdry, rubbishy, kitschy, trashy, crude, tinnyView synonyms
- ‘Most traditional buildings have vanished, to be replaced by gimcrack shoddiness in white tile and blue glass.’
- ‘At a time when most automakers are shoehorning every new gimcrack gadget they can into their concept cars, leave it to the stolid Swedes at Volvo to get back to basics.’
- ‘Gimmicks and panacea - like glittery gimcrack lures for fishermen - are widely available and equally useless.’
- ‘And both, more sadly, suffered from slightly gimcrack build quality.’
A cheap and showy ornament; a knick-knack.
ornament, novelty, gewgaw, piece of bric-a-brac, bibelot, trinket, trifle, bauble, gimcrack, bagatelle, curio, curiosity, plaything, toyView synonyms
- ‘He was driving some sissy little Japanese car with odd little tires and wheels and a bunch of ugly gewgaws and gimcracks bolted on.’
- ‘As soon as they arrive, Amelia excitedly shows Rebecca ‘over every room of the house, and everything in every one of her drawers; and her books, and her piano, and her dresses, and all her necklaces, brooches, laces, and gimcracks '.’
- ‘The walls were hung with utensils for field and kitchen, and the shelves were stocked with old-fashioned hand tools and cooking gimcracks.’
- ‘A ‘Whatsit,’ as you probably know, is defined as a gadget, tool, gimcrack, or gimmick whose purpose is not immediately apparent (to the uninitiated).’
- ‘There's nothing you can do to change the little ones' minds about the gewgaws and gimcracks they expect to find beneath the tree - or to stop your in-laws' annual onslaught, for that matter.’
Middle English gibecrake, of unknown origin. Originally a noun, the term denoted some kind of inlaid work in wood, later a fanciful notion or mechanical contrivance, hence a knick-knack.
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