I admit, until Thursday last week, I didn’t have the slightest clue that this word existed at all. Since I’m German you might give me the credit of a severe language barrier but so far none of my American friends has been able to come up with the right answer either.
But first things first: As a co-sponsor of the “9th Annual Spelling Bee for Literacy” organized by the Moore County Literacy Council Tangram Media got tickets for this wonderful and very entertaining event. We joined the audience and welcomed 19 teams consisting of three brave contestants each, all ready to face the spelling battle. The first round was more like a “warm up” with relatively easy words and all teams made it safely to the next level. And I guess that was where I lost i! While “persiflage” was among the words I could spell, the term “furfur” didn’t ring a bell. Actually, I first thought of “hairy” animals like bears but later learned that this expression means “the formation of flakelike particles on the surface of the skin, as of dandruff”. So far so good and just when I thought my English wans’t too bad after all, the word “gimcrack” came up and showed me that I was about to learn another foreign language, on top of the English I already knew …
Since you have so patiently been waiting, here is the right spelling and the meaning of “gimcrack”. According to dictionary.com a “gimcrack” is: “a showy, useless trifle; gewgaw”. And just in case you want to know what a “gewgaw” is … “something gaudy and useless; trinket; bauble..”
If you actually knew what a “gimcrack”, a “furfur” or a “gewgaw” is, please make sure you get a team together and register for next year’s “10th Annual Spelling Bee for Literacy”. Count on me in the audience but please, never ask me to join your spelling adventure – unless you decide on a GERMAN Spelling Bee.