focusing on words and literature


wordsofcourse In the early 1970s, a derivation from the Slavish “racka” and the obsolete Polish term “czaczko” for “trinket” was adapted by the Yiddish to result in the noun “Tchotchke.” It’s meaning is best understood by the Jewish Americans of primarily New York City (and beyond) who use the word to identify a miscellaneous bauble or item, knick-knack, like that which is handed out as promotional material or sold as souvenirs in tourist shops. It’s underlying alternative meaning was best described by author Leo Rosten, who applied the phrase to explain a “desirable young girl.” To some, the word best means a useless, worthless, or disposable thing and, in reference to people, implies “bimbo.”