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gimmick (n.)

1910, American English, perhaps an alteration of gimcrack, or an anagram of magic.

In a hotel at Muscatine, Iowa, the other day I twisted the gimmick attached to the radiator, with the intention of having some heat in my Nova Zemblan booth. ["Domestic Engineering," January 8, 1910]

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Definitions of gimmick from WordNet

gimmick (n.)
a drawback or difficulty that is not readily evident;
Synonyms: catch
gimmick (n.)
something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not known;
Synonyms: doodad / doohickey / doojigger / gizmo / gismo / gubbins / thingamabob / thingumabob / thingmabob / thingamajig / thingumajig / thingmajig / thingummy / whatchamacallit / whatchamacallum / whatsis / widget
gimmick (n.)
any clever maneuver;
it was a great sales gimmick
a cheap promotions gimmick for greedy businessmen
Synonyms: device / twist
From wordnet.princeton.edu