kitsch

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See also: Kitsch

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From German Kitsch, from dialectal kitschen (to coat, to smear), the word and concept were popularized in the 1930's by several critics who opposed it to avant garde art.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

kitsch (uncountable)

  1. Art, decorative objects and other forms of representation of questionable artistic or aesthetic value; a representation that is excessively sentimental, overdone, or vulgar.
    • 1939, Clement Greenberg, "Avant Garde and Kitsch", The Partisan Review,
      Because it can be turned out mechanically, kitsch has become an integral part of our productive system in a way in which true culture could never be, except accidentally.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

kitsch (comparative kitscher or more kitsch, superlative kitschest or most kitsch)

  1. Said especially of art and decor that is considered to be of questionable aesthetic value; excessively sentimental, overdone or vulgar.
    • 1989, Graham Greene, Yours etc: Letters to the Press 1945-1989, ISBN 1871061229, p. 243,
      [] a picture of lemur-eyed children of the sort one sees in the kitscher sort of Italian restaurant []
    • 1996, Robert Silberman, "The stuff of art: Judy Onofrio", American Craft, Jun/Jul 1996, pp. 40-45,
      Abe Lincoln, Paul Bunyan and kitsch souvenir coconut heads come across as icons of masculinity.
    • 2005, Ronald Frame, "Critical Paranoia", Michigan Quarterly Review, Spring 2005, p. 285,
      I recognized her at once even though she wasn't wearing the tweed hunting outfit and the kitsch headwear.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Although the forms kitscher and kitschest are attested, those formed on kitschy are more common, particularly for the comparative.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

German

Adjective[edit]

kitsch (invariable)

  1. kitsch

Noun[edit]

kitsch m (invariable)

  1. kitsch

Portuguese[edit]

Adjective[edit]

kitsch m, f (plural kitsch; comparable)

  1. kitsch; kitschy (of questionable aesthetic value)

Noun[edit]

kitsch m (uncountable)

  1. kitsch (art of questionable aesthetic value)

Spanish[edit]

Adjective[edit]

kitsch m, f singular & plural

  1. kitschy

Synonyms[edit]


Swedish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

kitsch c (uncountable)

  1. kitsch
    Min mosters handmålade madonnastaty i elfenben är ren kitsch.
    “My aunt’s hand-painted ivory Madonna statue is pure kitsch.”

Derived terms[edit]