What Does the Word “Gimmick” Mean and Where Did the Word Gimmick Come From?

Gimmick or gimac, either way it’s spelled, a gimmick is a gadget or idea that gives you an advantage.

The second spelling is an anagram of magic.

The word comes from the language of professional magicians and means a small, secret device, like a mirror or sliding panel, that makes an illusion possible.

what does the word gimmick mean and where did the word gimmick come from

Carnival barkers picked up gimac in the 1920s as a reference to a hidden control over their wheels of chance that ensured the wheel would stop when the barkers wanted it to stop.

Today, a gimmick is most often used in advertising or selling, but it’s still part of an illusion.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.