One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A showy thing, especially one that is useless or worthless.
ornament, novelty, piece of bric-a-brac, bibelot, trinket, trifle, bauble, gimcrack, bagatelle, curio, curiosity, plaything, toyView synonyms
- ‘The ‘better stuff’ was usually inside - that is, if you could find it among the dust, gewgaws, and other clutter.’
- ‘It was successful, too, and we came away with the car boot stuffed with pictures, frames, pots and gewgaws all carefully chosen to lift a corner here, add a bit of interest there.’
- ‘You want something that shows thought, not some gewgaw that ends up on a closet shelf.’
- ‘With check-in times now prolonged because of security issues, traders are lapping up even more business as they tempt us with their trinkets and gewgaws.’
- ‘The bookshelves are pine, and contain six levels of books each, with knickknacks and gewgaws on each level.’
Middle English: of unknown origin.
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