Kitsch

October 3, 2021

Kitsch

Definition: Kitsch is a word for objects that are considered to be ugly, vulgar, or distasteful by many, but enjoyed in an ironic, conscious way by others for the very same reasons.

Kitsch is a noun (she loves to collect retro kitsch), but it can also be an adjective (this teapot is so kitschy).

Etymology: The word kitsch has German origins, emerging from the dialectical kitschen which meant ‘to coat’ or ‘to smear.’ It entered the English language in the 1920s (the first known use of the word can be traced to 1925) and was popularised by art critics as a way to present a stark contrast between the elegance of the avant-garde movement and other art genres.

In a Sentence

I like to go to antique shops to find all sorts of vintage kitsch to add to my collection.

She thinks that she is tasteful, but her home is filled with the most garish kitsch.

I would like to buy this painting, the dogs playing poker make it look so kitschy!

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