One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Attractive articles of little value or use.
trinkets, baubles, cheap finery, knick-knacks, ornaments, bibelots, gewgaws, gimcracksView synonyms
- ‘All along the extent of the corridor, in little alcoves, there are stalls of shops, kept principally by women, who, as you approach, are seen through the dusk offering for sale… multifarious trumpery.’
- ‘The 2000 or so mercers included great merchants engaged in international trade and small traders selling trumpery objects from their shops.’
- 1.1 Practices or beliefs that are superficially or visually appealing but have little real value or worth.
- ‘The weight and rhythms of Spanish expression transport me; its physicality, drama, and lack of trumpery I find breathtaking.’
- ‘You mean to tell me I gave the book up for nothing but trumpery?’
- ‘In fact, it's even more important to bring a critical eye to bear on issues of such import, if only to avoid the kind of moral trumpery that goes on in these sorts of letters.’
- ‘An assertion of absolute moral superiority in the form of black-shirted nuclear families - spiritual trumpery via breeding.’
- ‘Long ago ‘elegant’ was turned from a word denoting the essence of refinement and beauty, into gaudy trumpery.’
1Showy but worthless.‘trumpery jewelry’
- ‘Descriptions of the artist in his painting room ‘up to his ears in the trumpery he had been collecting for many a year’ include these panels, which he hoped ‘to use… in some way that may add to their value.’’
- ‘A gipsy boy, with whom I was on friendly terms, used to travel about this part of the country selling trumpery brooches and ornaments.’
- 1.1 Delusive or shallow.‘that trumpery hope which lets us dupe ourselves’
- ‘Deploring the damage done by gulfs between creeds and cultures, he opens up a crevasse between the seemingly serious intent of his novel and the trumpery nature of its techniques.’
- ‘We need not neglect all our work for a trumpery incident of this nature; though I am quite aware that little things please little minds.’
Late Middle English (denoting trickery): from Old French tromperie, from tromper ‘deceive’.
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