Suddenly, Rachel is preoccupied with the “waxy yellow buildup” on her kitchen floor.
- – -
Not two minutes in the showroom, and a salesman (not named Frank!) is Johnny-on-the-spot to fill Skeezix’s every desire.
And now the Skeex from 30 years previous is gonna see how this selling game is done, 51 years ago today in the Alley:
Gimcrack (n) – A cheap and showy ornament; a knickknack.
Gimcrack (adj) – Flimsy or poorly made but deceptively attractive.
Gimcrack is only one of many peculiar-sounding words that have pervaded our language to refer to something ornamental and of little value. Others include bauble, trinket, knickknack, gewgaw, kickshaw and tchotchke. Bauble appears to be the oldest among the group, with usage dating back to the 14th century. Gewgaw and kickshaw first appeared in the 16th century, whereas gimcrack and knickknack established themselves in the 17th century. Tchotchke, borrowed from the Yiddish, is by far the most recent addition to our language, only first appearing as an English word in the 1970s.
(At least *I never remember hearing this word before…)