"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Friday, 25 February 2011


Chintz is calico cloth printed with flowers and other devices in different colors; a brightly printed and glazed cotton fabric. The word Calico is derived from the name of the Indian city Calicut (Kozhikkode in native Malayalam) to which it had a manufacturing association.

In recent times the term chintzy has come to mean embarassingly stingy; tastelessly showy; cheap and tacky; or gaudy. I gather chintz has come down in the world since the days when to have your furniture covered in French chintz was the height of fashion!


  1. So, how did it come to be named Chintz? What language does that word originate from?

  2. Apparently it is of Hindi origin - chints, pl. of chint, calico cloth, from Hindi cīṇṭ, from Sanskrit citra-, shiny, variegated.

  3. Thank you for the explanation!