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Razzle-dazzle and razzmatazz

Razzle-dazzle and razzmatazz are two words that are closely related, though one precedes the other in origin by a few years. We will look at the meaning of the terms razzle-dazzle and razzmatazz, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Razzle-dazzle describes a noisy and flashy show designed to amaze or confuse an audience but without any substance, depth or talent. The term razzle-dazzle to mean a flashy show was first used in print in 1886. This primarily show business term has migrated into sports and into business. The term is considered a bit old-fashioned, though it has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance due to the stage play and movie Chicago, with the lyric, “Give em’ the ol’ razzle dazzle.” Razzle-dazzle is a hyphenated compound word, which is a term made up of two or more words that when used together have a different meaning than the literal interpretation of the separate words. Razzle-dazzle is also a reduplication word, which is a word that is formed through the repetition of sounds.


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Razzmatazz also describes a noisy and flashy show designed to amaze or confuse an audience but without any substance, depth or talent. The term razzmatazz to mean a flashy show was first used in print in 1894, it is assumed that it is a derivation of the term razzle-dazzle. Razzmatazz is also a reduplication word, a variation of razzmatazz is razzamatazz. Both razzle-dazzle and razzmatazz have their origins in American English.

Examples

Indeed, Intel’s razzle-dazzle show was so successful that The Wall Street Journal headlined its write-up by noting that “Intel Basks in Afterglow” of the extravaganza. (Fortune Magazine)

Former tennis world number one Rafael Nadal said Friday that US President-elect Donald Trump was not quite to his taste while lamenting Spanish politics has also, in his view, become too razzmatazz. (The Daily Times)

 

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