General English


  • noun glamour, (pseudo)sophisticated showiness. The word is a blend of glamour, ritzy and glitter and is probably a back-formation from glitzy. The term is usually used with a degree of implied criticism; it evokes superficiality and ‘brittleness’. The word seems to have been an invention of journalists and writers in about 1984. In 1985 it was used as the title of a crime thriller by the American author Elmore Leonard.

Origin & History of “glitz”

Glitz, a sort of ‘shallow but exciting and fashionable sparkle and showiness’, is a back-formation from glitzy, an American slang term fashionable in the early 1980s. this in turn was derived from Yiddish glitz ‘glitter’, which came from German glitzern ‘sparkle’ (a relative of English glitter). Its fortuitous resemblance to a blend of glamour and Ritz contributes to its expressiveness.