Brummagem is an adjective that means cheap or counterfeit.

In the 17th century, Birmingham, England was notorious for a proliferation of counterfeit coins. Soon the phrase ‘Birmingham coin’ came to refer to such imitation currency. Our word of the day came about when the city’s name was filtered through a dialect and altered. It now refers to anything counterfeit — whether related to coins or not.

In the days before MP3s, we often got fooled by purchasing brummagem albums. You could tell they weren’t authentic because they lacked the sound quality of the originals.

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