chintzy


not willing to spend money or give anything away

TRANSLATION

chintzy = geizig, knauserig, knickerig, kniepig chintzy = kitschig, geschmacklos, auffällig bunt und billig --- 552,000 Google hits

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

Leaving 15 percent for full service (the former standard tip at a sit-down restaurant), and less for quick transactions, is considered CHINTZY by some people. "We recommend 20 percent absolutely," said Peter Post, managing director of the Emily Post Institute, which offers guidelines in etiquette.

The Economist

Did you
know?

chintzy
adjective

- not showing good taste, not tasteful or stylish
- poorly or cheaply done or made, of low quality
- not willing to spend money or give anything away, stingy or cheap (U.S.)

(Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary)

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ORIGIN

Originally the word "chintzy" comes from Hindi word "chint" (1610s), which means "bold and bright". Chintz is a type of cloth, a closely woven cotton fabric with a shiny finish. It is actually treated with glaze and wax, so that it is smooth and it looks as if it's been polished.

Its typical patterns of flowers or ornate designs are woven into the fabric rather than printed on it. More commonly, we use the plural form of "chint", but no one knows why that is written with a -z instead of -s, perhaps because it was modelled after the spelling of "quartz".

The imported fabric became extremely popular in the 1800s, and thus manufacturers in France and Britain made so much of it that the word soon came to refer to something that was overly produced and cheap.

The word "cheap" also refers to a personal characteristic, "lacking compassion to share" and thus, chintzy took on this special meaning as well.

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SYNONYMS

cheap, cheapskate, miserly, stingy, skinflint, tight-fisted, penny-pinching

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SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation
Say something like:

"When it comes to buying his round of drinks, Bob can be a bit chintzy."

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