Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Love Words: Gimcrack

Word: gimcrack

Pronunciation: \JIM-krak\

Function: noun

Etymology: origin unknown

Date: 1676

Definition: a showy object of little use or value: gewgaw.

I love that “gewgaw” is part of the definition. Strike that. I love that gewgaw is even a word. And thinking of this word makes me think of a Gaelic word my Irish friend uses from time to time - craic, which is pronounced crack and means "fun, enjoyment, abandonment, or lighthearted mischief, often in the context of drinking or music." I love the story she tells about when she first came over from Ireland and was telling one of her new co-workers about the great craic she had the night before and was met with gape-mouthed astonishment.

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