- Cheap, showy, or counterfeit.
“I thought I found an authentic Mickey Mantle rookie card at the flea market, but it turned out to be a brummagem card.”
“If you’re shopping for bargain-basement prices, you’re bound to find some brummagem products.”
“My birthday party had such brummagem decor, I thought I would never clean up all the glitter and streamers.”
British English, mid-17th century
Why this word?
Just as Cockney has its rhyming slang (“bees and honey” means “money,” for example), other British dialects have their own forms of slang. In Brummie, the Birmingham accent, the adjective “brummagem” (sometimes capitalized) refers to cheap, showy, but mostly counterfeit objects. “Brummagem” came about in the mid-17th century to refer to the counterfeit coins and cheap goods being produced in Birmingham.
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