• synonyms


[bruhm-uh-juh m]
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  1. showy but inferior and worthless.
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  1. a showy but inferior and worthless thing.
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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for brummagem

tinsel, cheap, chintzy, flashy, garish, glaring, loud, meretricious, showy, tacky, tawdry, glitzy

Examples from the Web for brummagem

Historical Examples of brummagem

  • 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

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

  • In spite of his "brummagem" courage the wrath of the violent god was tremendous to him.

    Marion Fay

    Anthony Trollope

  • I dare say they're some Brummagem people—some Fudge family or other—on their travels.

British Dictionary definitions for brummagem


  1. an informal name for Birmingham Often shortened to: Brum
  2. (sometimes not capital) something that is cheap and flashy, esp imitation jewellery
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  1. (sometimes not capital) cheap and gaudy; tawdry
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Word Origin for Brummagem

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper