Here’s one of my favourite words – I love things that are ‘kitschy’, if only because they are different, a bit weird, or slightly out of place. I think a healthy mix of colours and textures adds to life, don’t you? Unfortunately, this word has a bit of a negative ‘vibe’ associated with it. It really means “something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste.” Kitsch is a German noun meaning “trash, rubbish; slapdash, pretentious, sentimental, or tacky work of art.” It is a derivative of the verb kitschen “to throw together (a work of art),” from German kitschen “to sweep up or scrape up mud from the street,” or from German dialect kitschen “to sell cheaply.” Kitsch entered English in the first half of the 20th century. As an editor I have to use the word with its proper meaning, but personally I like things that don’t quite fit – and so I generally like ‘kitschy’ things!
What about you? Is this a positive or negative word?