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Chintzware, pottery decorated with a chintz pattern


Etymology 1[edit]

chintz +‎ -y.


chintzy (comparative chintzier, superlative chintziest)

  1. Of or decorated with chintz.
    • 1995, David Ambrose, chapter 66, in Mother of God, London: Macmillan Publishers, →ISBN:
      This time she showed him into her living room instead of the kitchen. It was a little chintzier than it would have been if she'd actually owned the place, but he seemed to like it and sank comfortably into a loose-covered, old-fashioned, square-cornered sofa.
    • 2003, Frank Corsaro, “Part Seven”, in Kunma, New York, N.Y.: Forge, →ISBN:
      Wanting to get out of the house, he descended toward the large living room with its chintzy curtains and stuffy lamps and pictures. His least favorite room.
    • 2014, Gerry House, Country Music Broke My Brain: A Behind-the-Microphone Peek at Nashville's Famous and Fabulous Stars, Dallas, Tx.: BenBella Books, →ISBN, page 11:
      My parents had a dormer and two impossibly small twin beds with the world's chintziest chest between them.
    • 2014, Nikolaus Pevsner, “Soft Furnishings—Carpets, Curtains and Upholstery”, in Stephen Games, editor, Pevsner: The Complete Broadcast Talks: Architecture and Art on Radio and Television, 1945–1977, Farnham, Surrey; Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate Publishing, →ISBN, page 36:
      Well—there always were for instance chintzy flower patterns [for curtains] and imitation Turkey or Persian rugs. They have none of that gate-crashing quality[.] They keep in their place as a quiet accompaniment to your lives. I don't think anybody has ever really got tired of them. Only of course they are not very [lively] either. And while you certainly don't want the jazzy sort of [liveliness] every day—I said that before—you may want something else which the chintzy curtains or the Oriental rug don't give you.
  2. (figuratively) Tastelessly showy; cheap, gaudy, or tacky.
    • 1931, John Betjeman; Earl of Birkenhead [Frederick Winston Furneaux Smith, 2nd Earl of Birkenhead], compiler, “Death in Leamington”, in John Betjeman's Collected Poems, London: John Murray, published 1958, OCLC 557353478:
      "Tea!" she said in a tiny voice. / "Wake up! It's nearly five." / Oh! Chintzy, chintzy cheeriness, / Half dead and half alive.
    • 1971 September 10, Thomas Thompson, “The Crapshoot for Half a Billion: Fred Silverman Rolls the Dice for CBS”, in Life, volume 71, number 11, Chicago, Ill.: Time Inc., OCLC 924494186, page 55:
      Now even [Fred] Silverman was grim. "It looks chintzy," he said, "even with all the money we're spending."
    • 2002, Tiffanie DeBartolo, chapter 47, in God Shaped Hole: A Novel, Naperville, Ill.: Sourcebooks Landmark, →ISBN, page 282:
      I don't know, maybe they loved each other at one time, but it was also quite possible that she only married him because she wanted to live in that chintzy house of hers, and wear her chintzy rings, and lunch with her chintzy friends at the chintzy fucking country club.
    • 2015, Steve Vineberg, “Critical Fervor”, in Wayne Stengel, editor, Talking about Pauline Kael: Critics, Filmmakers, and Scholars Remember an Icon (Film and History), Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, →ISBN, page 142:
      When the proliferation of turkeys in the theaters began to sap her energy [] , and there are only so many observations to be made about how easily the young audiences are tumbling for chintzier and chintzier pictures, she searches for a new style: brisker, more shorthand.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From earlier chinchy, from Middle English chynchy (miserly, stingy), from Middle English chinche (stingy, miserly; miser) +‎ -y.


chintzy (comparative chintzier or more chintzy, superlative chintziest or most chintzy)

  1. (figuratively) Excessively reluctant to spend; miserly, stingy.
    • 2000, Les Parrott; Leslie Parrott, “A Penny Saved is Sometimes Chintzy”, in Meditations on Proverbs for Couples, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, →ISBN, page 63:
      Is there a place for being prudent, frugal, and thrifty with the one we love in marriage? Sure. But only when careful ways are outweighed by generosity to overflowing. [] Think of a time when you were being a bit more chintzy with your partner than you needed to be. What was the result and was it worth it?
    • 2011, Mary McGarry Morris, chapter 4, in Light from a Distant Star: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Crown Publishers, →ISBN, page 34:
      They were sitting at the kitchen table. There was a fizzy pop as her father opened a can of ginger ale for Mr. Cooper. Store brand, of course. Lately everything was generic. Not that it mattered to any of them, only Ruth, who said it was just the chintziest way to live.
    • 2011 February 11, Raymond C. Archuleta; Manuel Vic Villalpando, chapter 7, in The Illicit American: A True Story about the Smuggling of Human Cargo, 2nd edition, Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, →ISBN, page 110:
      "But you don't charge a buddy a fee for finding him a job. That's chintzy, man! Chintzy!" / "You won't think it's so chintzy when five bucks multiply each day by the number of heads hauled. We'll split it fifty-fifty."

Further reading[edit]