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.
What is a tchotchke definition?
: knickknack, trinket Carlene’s furniture was garish and awful and every shelf or corner held tchotchkes and gewgaws and other tacky trinkets.—
What is the plural of tchotchke?
tchotchke (plural tchotchkes)
How do you say cute in Yiddish?
Pempik ‒ something small, unimportant and possibly cute. Yiddish uses this word for brat. One gets a feeling the Yiddish word almost speaks what it means – one could almost gather it from the way it sounds. Etymology: the word goes back to Polish pępek – ‘belly button’.
Is tchotchke an English word?
Although tchotchke is borrowed from the Yiddish term tshatshke, it comes from the obsolete Polish word czaczko, which had the same meaning. Similar terms were found in several European languages. But today tchotchke is primarily an American word. It is first recorded in English in the 1960s.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.