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90s Slang You Should Know


[bruhm-uh-juh m] /ˈbrʌm ə dʒəm/
showy but inferior and worthless.
a showy but inferior and worthless thing.
Origin of brummagem
1630-40; local variant of Birmingham, England (Compare Bromwichham, Bromecham (17th century), Middle English Burmingeham); orig. in allusion to counterfeit coins produced there in the 17th cent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for brummagem
Historical Examples
  • Here's a bit of a treeho, lads, as I bought in brummagem the day afore yesterday.

    Aunt Rachel David Christie Murray
  • Corruption of brummagem, for meaning of which see Introductory Chapter.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • I dare say they're some brummagem people—some Fudge family or other—on their travels.

  • It was Mrs. Flumgarten hooked on to the arm of brummagem Brutus.

  • Well, poor babby cried without stopping to take breath, fra' that time till we got to brummagem for the night.

    Mary Barton Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • He feels the summer in the air, and all brummagem rises upon his horizon.

    Lewis Rand Mary Johnston
  • When I say cheap, I mean low-priced; for brummagem articles, no matter of what description, are always the very reverse of cheap.

    Riding for Ladies Mrs. Power O'Donoghue
  • "Trashy" and "paltry" and "brummagem" was the very worst she could say of them.

  • A Kru boy welcomed them with beaming face and fetched them drinks upon a brummagem tray.

    A Millionaire of Yesterday E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • From brummagem, yus, and elsewheres; and I ast 'Where is this thing to stop?'

British Dictionary definitions for brummagem


an informal name for Birmingham Often shortened to Brum
(sometimes not capital) something that is cheap and flashy, esp imitation jewellery
(sometimes not capital) cheap and gaudy; tawdry
Word Origin
C17: from earlier Bromecham, local variant of Birmingham
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for brummagem

"cheap and showy," 19c., from a noun, from the vulgar pronunciation of Birmingham, England, in reference to articles mass-manufactured there. The word also recalls Birmingham's old reputation for counterfeiting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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