In my capacity as a writer of tedious home-improvement articles, I find myself using Word’s handy thesaurus function. A lot. While looking for synonyms for “tacky”, I was reminded of this delightful word: tawdry.

Dictionary. com offers this definition: Showy but cheap and of poor quality”, with possible connotations of being “shameful and indecent”. I think that sums it up pretty well.

In the end, I stuck with “tacky” – I was referring to popular perceptions of wallpaper, and tawdry seemed a little too strong. Still, I was reminded of how much I like this word.

Here are some things that are tawdry:

Western purses. I love them. I want one.

Child beauty pageants. Also see Dance Moms, a reality show I’ve never seen, but which features girls as young as eight in full makeup, semi-nude, doing burlesque routines. Tawdry.

For that matter… pretty much every reality show, ever. 

Televangelism. ‘Nuff said.

Quinceanera cakes. These celebratory treats often look like the aspirational palaces of up-and-coming drug lords. Which brings me to…

The aspirational palaces of up-and-coming drug lords. Nothing says “new money” like tiers, cupolas and cascading staircases.

“Sexy”-anything Halloween costumes. Ugh. Unless it’s something creative like “sexy mailbox”, “sexy Soviet dissident”, “sexy giant salamander”. Then I guess it would be clever and winsome.

Dogs wearing clothing. As if the poor thing wasn’t unfortunate looking enough already…

Mohawks on children. When did this become ok?
There’s your word for the week… Try to use it in a sentence!


About ea

Reluctant technophile, immoderate lover of words, food, cogitation, the sensory world. We are not done evolving and there is no free will.
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2 Responses to Tawdry

  1. Belinda says:

    I have nothing but smiles for this post. The purse is a must:)

  2. annie says:

    I’m going for the cake, myself. All the better for being pink and tiered like nothing I’ve ever seen.

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