Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sat Feb 26 14:39:19 UTC 2000

Careful! Lots of us South Midlands persons have traditionally decorated our
homes with tchotchkes (although we didn't know what to call them). My
mawmaw would have called them "pretties' (pronounced "purdies," of course,
and distinct from "play pretties"=children's toys).

dInIs (who is very fond of his house-full of tchotchkes)


>I'm afraid I don't have an English context/date pre-1964 for
>"tchotchkes", but I'm wondering why anyone would want to have an
>exhibit of them. Tchotchkes are junky ugly little knicknacks, like
>you'd get on vacation, or junk out of people's attics. It's a
>perjorative term.
>Also, I'm 21 and mostly from SE Ohio (my folks are from Chicago and
>Long Island) -- never heard "picayune" except in Bloom County and never
>knew what it meant.
>Diana Fingar
>PS: If you've ever been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, that place
>is FULL of tchotchkes. Not worth the price of admission. But the actual
>architechture of the building's nice.

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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