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Cheap and showy; meretricious.

[Alteration of BirminghamEngland (from the counterfeit coins made there in the 17th century).]

brum′ma·gem n.


1. (Placename) an informal name for Birmingham Often shortened to: Brum
2. (sometimes not capital) something that is cheap and flashy, esp imitation jewellery
(sometimes not capital) cheap and gaudy; tawdry
[C17: from earlier Bromecham, local variant of Birmingham]


(ˈbrʌm ə dʒəm)

1. showy but inferior and worthless.
2. a showy but inferior and worthless thing.
[1630–40; local variant of Birmingham, England; orig. in allusion to counterfeit coins produced there in the 17th century]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Brummagem - a city in central England; 2nd largest English city and an important industrial and transportation center
England - a division of the United Kingdom
Adj.1.Brummagem - cheap and showy; "a cheap Brummagem imitation"
Britain, Great Britain, U.K., UK, United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland; `Great Britain' is often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom
tasteless - lacking aesthetic or social taste


Tastelessly showy:
Informal: tacky.
References in classic literature ?
A Kru boy welcomed them with beaming face and fetched them drinks upon a Brummagem tray.
Members of the Glorishears of Brummagem group gathered just after 5am yesterday to perform traditional Cotswold Morris Dances and sing a hymn to celebrate the date.
Meanwhile, earlybird dancers with The Glorishears of Brummagem took to Barr Beacon in Birmingham for a sunrise performance yesterday.
Brummie derives from Brummagem or Bromwichham, historical variants of the name Birmingham.
By the 18th century, the city had become the main European producer of buckles, buttons and a range of small boxes, jewellery and accessories often called 'Brummagem toys'.
Jeff, a man of few words who has always felt more comfortable in a recording studio than on stage, said: ''Hello Brummagem! It's so good to be back...
As always UB40 are a great night out, and a big, brassy bang for your Brummagem buck.
Other Coventry phrases included are "as true as Coventry blue" - meaning the real thing - and "Brummagem screwdriver" - apparently a local term for hammer which doubles up as a handy insult to our West Midlands neighbours.
That is because barring divine intervention - not a frequent occurrence just west of Brummagem however hard you pray when stuck on the M6 - the jockeys are going on strike.
But it is his method, more than his message, that mesmerizes us today: the playful rhetorical taunting and toying, the verbal showboating that strews his copy with words like lucubrations, miscible, brummagem and latitudinarianism.
But demanding that publishers replace their brummagem wares with books which embody Kunin's "high standards of excellence" would be a promising-and cost-free-way to begin.