Tchochke—originally from a Slavic word for "toys" (Ukrainian цяцька, tsiats'ka; Polish cacka, tsatska; Russian цацки, tsatski)—adapted to Yiddish טשאַטשקע tshatshke, "trinket", are small toys, gewgaws, knickknacks, baubles, lagniappes, trinkets or kitsch. The term has a connotation of worthlessness or disposability, as well as tackiness, and was long used in the Jewish-American community and in the regional speech of New York City.

The word may also refer to swag, in the sense of the logo pens, key fobs, and other promotional freebies dispensed at trade shows, conventions, and similar large events. Also, stores that sell cheap souvenirs in tourist areas like Times Square and Venice Beach are sometimes called "tchotchke shops."

Leo Rosten, author of The Joys of Yiddish, gives an alternate sense of tchotchke as meaning a desirable young girl, a "pretty young thing." Less flatteringly, the term could be construed as a more dismissive synonym for "bimbo." These usages are not common outside of Jewish circles. The term (in the form tzatzke, with a tsade instead of teth-shin) is sometimes used in modern Hebrew as a slang word equivalent to "slut."


A variety of spellings exist for the English usage of the term, e.g. tshotshke, tshatshke, tchachke, chachke, or chochke, because there is no standardized transliteration.

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Tchotchke. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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