Learn A New Word
something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste.
One person’s art is another person’s kitsch. Kitsch is a German noun meaning “trash, rubbish; slapdash, pretentious, sentimental, or tacky work of art.” Kitsch is a derivative of the verb kitschen “to throw together (a work of art),” from German kitschen “to sweep up or scrape up mud from the street,” or from German dialect kitschen “to sell cheaply.” Kitsch entered English in the first half of the 20th century.
When the art critics call me “cornball” and my work “kitsch,” which I’m told is a derogatory term for popular art, I begin to worry. But I always pick up my brushes and go back to work. For better or for worse, I’ll never be a fine arts painter or a modern artist. I’m an illustrator, which is very different.
Allee Willis … lives in a light-pink house north of Hollywood with a bowling-ball garden and a heaving collection of kitsch.
extremely full; crowded; jammed: a room chockablock with furniture and plants.
Chockablock is a nautical term describing the position of tackle when the blocks are drawn close together. From the sense of the blocks being pressed tightly together, chockablock develops the sense “extremely full, crowded.” Chock and block are clear enough: they are synonyms for a wedge or other solid, heavy mass for holding something steady. The only problem with chockablock is the –a-: it is likely a reduced form of and. Chockablock entered English at the end of the 18th century.
I have a steel engraving of the Old Harbor chockablock with ships ….
The lyrics and the video are chockablock with suburban Americana signifiers: lawns, pools, divorce.
speaking or expressed in a concise or terse style; using brevity of speech.
Breviloquent means “speaking in a concise style.” Breviloquent comes from the Latin adjective breviloquēns (inflectional stem breviloquent-), a compound of brevis “short” (inflectional stem brevi-) and loquēns, present participle of loquī “to speak.” Breviloquentia, “brevity of speech,” the noun derivative of breviloquēns, occurs only once—one time!—in all of Latin literature, in a private letter that Cicero wrote to his close childhood friend, Titus Pomponius Atticus. Breviloquent entered English in the 19th century.
On the contrary, nothing is more remarkable in the Paston correspondence than the extreme and business-like shortness of most of them. They seem to anticipate the breviloquent era of Sir Rowland Hill.
Soft-spoken and breviloquent, Nokie Edwards’ gentle manner is contradicted by the quick, clean guitar licks that make him famous as a former member of surf-instro band The Ventures.