An excellent word: zhuzh

To make something more lively or interesting, stylish, or appealing, as by a small change or addition.  The word is usually used in a phrase like “zhuzh it up”. 

For most of us, I assume, this word crept into our consciousness from Carson Kressley in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, in about 2003.  My challenge was that I never managed to guess how to spell it.  But by now the word seems to have found its way into the mainstream, and with it, a more or less settled spelling as you see above.

Originally what would get zhuzhed was a person’s attire, or a room of a house being made over.  “A couple of nice throw pillows could really zhuzh up that sofa,” Carson might say.  Nowadays, somebody might offer to zhuzh up your slide deck for your presentation in tomorrow’s meeting.  

How long ago did you start using the word “zhuzh”?  Please post a comment below.

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