Tawdry lace

Cheap goods sold at the annual St Audrey's fair, whose name time garbled into our 'tawdry'. St Audrey (d. 679) was Aethelthryth (Etheldreda), foundress of a double monastery at Ely. -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • tawdry lace — noun Etymology: alteration of earlier St. Audrey s lace, after St. Audrey (Etheldreda or Æthelthrȳth) died 679 queen of Northumbria who founded an abbey at Ely; from the tradition that she died of a throat tumor inflicted as a punishment for her …   Useful english dictionary

  • tawdry — cheap, showy, gaudy, 1670s, adjective use of noun tawdry silk necktie for women (1610s), shortened from tawdry lace (1540s), an alteration of St. Audrey s lace, a necktie or ribbon sold at the annual fair at Ely on Oct. 17 commemorating St.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • tawdry — ► ADJECTIVE (tawdrier, tawdriest) 1) showy but cheap and of poor quality. 2) sordid; sleazy. DERIVATIVES tawdriness noun. ORIGIN short for tawdry lace, a fine silk lace or ribbon, contraction of St Audrey s lace: Audrey was the patron saint of… …   English terms dictionary

  • Tawdry — Taw dry, a. [Compar. {Tawdrier}; superl. {Tawdriest}.] [Said to be corrupted from Saint Audrey, or Auldrey, meaning Saint Ethelreda, implying therefore, originally, bought at the fair of St. Audrey, where laces and gay toys of all sorts were sold …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tawdry — adjective (tawdrier, tawdriest) 1》 showy but cheap and of poor quality. 2》 sordid; sleazy. noun archaic cheap and gaudy finery. Derivatives tawdrily adverb tawdriness noun Word History Tawdry is short for tawdry lace, a …   English new terms dictionary

  • tawdry — taw|dry [ˈto:dri US ˈto: ] adj [Date: 1600 1700; Origin: tawdry lace necklace (16 18 centuries), from St. Audrey s lace, from St. Audrey 7th century queen of Northumbria, England; because it was originally sold at fairs in honor of St. Audrey]… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tawdry — I. adjective (tawdrier; est) Etymology: tawdry lace a tie of lace for the neck, from Saint Audrey (Saint Etheldreda) died 679 queen of Northumbria Date: 1655 cheap and gaudy in appearance or quality; also ignoble < a tawdry attempt to smear his… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tawdry — adj. & n. adj. (tawdrier, tawdriest) 1 showy but worthless. 2 over ornamented, gaudy, vulgar. n. cheap or gaudy finery. Derivatives: tawdrily adv. tawdriness n. Etymology: earlier as noun: short for tawdry lace, orig. St Audrey s lace f. Audrey …   Useful english dictionary

  • tawdry — [17] Anna, Anglo Saxon king of East Anglia, had a daughter called Etheldrida, who became queen of Northumbria (she died in 679). She had an inordinate fondness in her youth for fine lace neckerchiefs, and when she was later afflicted by a fatal… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • tawdry — [17] Anna, Anglo Saxon king of East Anglia, had a daughter called Etheldrida, who became queen of Northumbria (she died in 679). She had an inordinate fondness in her youth for fine lace neckerchiefs, and when she was later afflicted by a fatal… …   Word origins

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.