tawdriness

tawdry

[taw-dree]
adjective, tawdrier, tawdriest.
1.
(of finery, trappings, etc.) gaudy; showy and cheap.
2.
low or mean; base: tawdry motives.
noun
3.
cheap, gaudy apparel.

Origin:
1605–15; short for (Sain)t Audrey lace, i.e., neck lace bought at St. Audrey's Fair in Ely, England; so called after St. Audrey (Old English Aethelthrȳth, died 679), Northumbrian queen and patron saint of Ely, who, according to tradition, died of a throat tumor which she considered just punishment of her youthful liking for neck laces

tawdrily, adverb
tawdriness, noun
untawdry, adjective


1. flashy, meretricious.


1. elegant.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tawdry (ˈtɔːdrɪ)
 
adj , -drier, -driest
cheap, showy, and of poor quality: tawdry jewellery
 
[C16 tawdry lace, shortened and altered from Seynt Audries lace, finery sold at the fair of St Audrey (Etheldrida), 7th-century queen of Northumbria and patron saint of Ely, Cambridgeshire]
 
'tawdrily
 
adv
 
'tawdriness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

tawdry
"cheap, showy, gaudy," 1676, adjective use of noun tawdry "silk necktie for women" (1612), shortened from tawdry lace (1548), an alteration of St. Audrey's lace, a necktie or ribbon sold at the annual fair at Ely on Oct. 17 commemorating St. Audrey (queen of Northumbria, died 679), whose name was worn
down from O.E. Æðelðryð "noble might," from æðele "noble" (from P.Gmc. *athala-, from PIE *at-al- "race, family," from *at(i)- "over, beyond, super" + *al- "to nourish") + ðryð "might." Her association with cheap lace necklaces is that she supposedly died of a throat tumor, which she considered God's punishment for her youthful fondness for showy necklaces [Bede].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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