October 16, 2016
tchotchke (noun)
\CHAHCH-kuh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: knickknack, trinket
How do you use it?
She spent her entire allowance on little tchotchkes while we were visiting Niagara Falls.
Are you a word wiz?

Where in the world do we get the word "tchotchke" from?

The English word "tchotchke" is fairly new--it first appeared in writing in the 1970s. But its roots go back to the Old World, specifically to Poland. An obsolete Polish word "czackzo," meaning "trinket," was adopted by Yiddish speakers. (Yiddish is a language spoken by Jews and descendants of Jews of central and eastern European origin.) In Yiddish, the Polish word was transformed into "tshatshke." Yiddish speakers brought it to America, where it was altered further into "tchotchke."
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