from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A trinket or piece of bric-a-brac; a knick-knack, often used in regifting.
From Old English māþum ("treasure, object of value, jewel, ornament, gift"), from Proto-Germanic *maiþmaz (“present, gift”), from Proto-Indo-European *moyt-, *meyt- (“to exchange”), from Proto-Indo-European *mey- (“to exchange, swap”). Cognate with Gothic 𐌼𐌰𐌹𐌸𐌼𐍃 (maithms, "gift, present"), Latin mūtō ("change, exchange, barter"). The word survived into Middle English as mathem, madme ("treasure"), but became obsolete thereafter. It was revived by J. R. R. Tolkien in Lord of the Rings. (Wiktionary)