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See also: knickknack


Alternative forms[edit]


From reduplication of knack.



knick-knack (plural knick-knacks)

  1. A small ornament or other object of minor value.
    • 1720, [Daniel Defoe], The Life, Adventures, and Pyracies, of the Famous Captain Singleton, London: [] J. Brotherton, [], J. Graves [], A. Dodd, [], and T. Warner, [], OCLC 19425974, page 89:
      Our Cutler, who had now a great Stock of things of his Handy-work, gave them some little Knick Knacks, as Plates of Silver and of Iron, cut Diamond Fashion, and cut into Hearts and into Rings, and they were mightily pleased.
    • 1842 December – 1844 July, Charles Dickens, chapter 9, in The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1844, OCLC 977517776, page 110:
      But there was no hitch in the conversation, nevertheless; for one gentleman, who travelled in the perfumery line, exhibited an interesting nick-nack, in the way of a remarkable cake of shaving soap, which he had lately met with in Germany []
    • 1881, Henry James, chapter 17, in The Portrait of a Lady[1], volume 2, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, pages 198–199:
      The room was small, and densely filled with furniture; it gave an impression of faded silk and little statuettes which might totter if one moved. Rosier got up and wandered about with his careful tread, bending over the tables charged with knick-knacks and the cushions embossed with princely arms.
    • 1929, Frederick Philip Grove, “The Aim of Art” in It Needs to Be Said,[2]
      Is art anything that we have reason to value? Or is it a mere adornment of life which we can do without—a mere knick-knack for Dame Civilization to hang about her wrinkled neck in order to dazzle her neighbours?
    • 1985, Herbert Kretzmer, "Master of the House" (song) in Les Misérables
      Picking up their knick-knacks when they can't see straight


See also: Thesaurus:trinket.