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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Wednesday 7th April 2021
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tawdry (adjective) TAW-dree

Cheap, gaudy, mean-spirited, lacking in human decency.

(The word comes from St Audrey (aka Æthelthryth), who believed a throat tumour she had was a punishment for having worn jewellery.)

There, my darlings, is not Miss Abbott a finer sight by far than that tawdry tinsel fairy you wanted for our tree?

Caroline Harvey, Legacy of Love. Amazon

Perhaps we should be able to regulate tawdry publications like Lolita, but we should not be able to regulate culture to protect Canadian jobs and Canadian culture within the confines of our country.

Scott Brison, Canadian Hansard, 10 June 1999. Canadian Hansard

For over a decade, the owners of Grand Central have been turning it into a tawdry indoor Times Square, ablaze with advertisements.

Brendan Gill, The New Yorker, 15 November 1958. The New Yorker

Mead is so outraged by the gilded picture presented by bridal magazines that she overcorrects and gives us a book full of tawdry, tacky affairs, where the dresses are ill-fitting, the officiant is a hired gun and the couple flushes away more than they can afford.

Jodi Kantor, The New York Times, 13 May 2007. New York Times
reviewing Rebecca Mead's One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding. Amazon

A freewheeling tour of the Rome party circuit, this lambasted the tawdry lifestyle of its modish characters while simultaneously luxuriating in it.

Xan Brooks, The Guardian, 11 May 2007. Guardian

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