Learn English – What’s the right term for “expensive things that have no real use”


The rich people buy many luxury things like expensive cell phones, gadgets with brilliants, bags made of snake skin and other such things. They buy it in order to separate themselves from the “crowd” and to show others their social status and wealth. There are other people that want to look rich (or VIP) so they spend their lifetime scraping and saving in order to buy these expensive things. However, these things have no real use, these things are just expensive “trifles”. But many people are still sure that these things will make them happy!

The question is:
What’s the right American English term for “things that have no use which people buy, spending their lifetime, to show others their importance”.

Maybe trifles or trinkets are the right words?

Best Answer

So you are looking for the pricey version of a tchotchke. There are a couple in common use. Bling is an excellent fit to your criteria of expensive and highly visible. Trophy seems to be used especially when it refers to the toys (and girl/boytoys) of successful businesspeople.