Gosia Fort writes:
Can coins influence the language? Yes, they can. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, counterfeit coins lie at the heart of the word-of-the-day for
April 5th, which is "brummagem" meaning not genuine, spurious; also cheaply showy, tawdry. It first appeared as an alteration of Birmingham, the name of the
English city notorious for the counterfeit coins and quickly became associated with things forged and not authentic.
Never heard of that word! Interesting. I'll start working it into conversation just for grins. Here's the full definition. Thanks! -Editor
: not genuine : spurious; also : cheaply showy : tawdry
Did You Know?
Brummagem first appeared in the 17th century as an alteration of Birmingham, the name of a city in England. At that time Birmingham was notorious
for the counterfeit coins made there, and the word brummagem quickly became associated with things forged or inauthentic. By the 19th century,
Birmingham had become a chief manufacturer of cheap trinkets and gilt jewelry, and again the word brummagem followed suit-it came to describe that which
is showy on the outside but essentially of low quality. Perhaps the term was something of an annoyance to the people of Birmingham way back when, but nowadays
when brummagem is used (which isn't often) it's usually without any conscious reference to the British city.
The members of the bachelorette party stumbled out of the limousine with the bride wearing a brummagem tiara and sash.
To read the complete article, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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