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Word of the Day
Thursday, October 20, 2011

Definitions for tawdry

  1. Gaudy, showy and cheap.
  2. Low or mean; base: tawdry motives.
  3. Cheap, gaudy apparel.

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Citations for tawdry
It was all worn off now: cheap as Coney Island, tawdry, tarnished as the last year's trappings of a circus, bedraggled, shabby as a harlot's painted face at noon. Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and The River
She knew it was a tawdry, a squalid freedom, tawdry as the pink geraniums and squalid as the awful and inevitable bridge and poker parties. D.H. Lawrence, The First Lady Chatterly
Origin of tawdry
Tawdry was originally short for (Sain)t Audrey lace, which was a kind of neck lace bought at St. Audrey's Fair in Ely, England named after St. Audrey, Northumbrian queen and patron saint of Ely, who, according to tradition, died of a throat tumor which she considered just punishment of her youthful liking for neck laces.