Monday, September 14, 2015

Word of the day: charivari

The word of the day is charivari:

  1. a mock serenade with kettles, pans, horns, and other noisemakers given for a newly married couple.
  2. Informal. an elaborate, noisy celebration.
1843, alteration of charivari (1735), from Fr. charivari, from O.Fr. chalivali "discordant noise made by pots and pans," from L.L. caribaria "a severe headache," from Gk. karebaria "headache," from kare "head" + barys "heavy" (see grave (adj.)). (

"'There was some talk about a charivari,' Oliver said.  'I gave them money for a couple of barrels of beer.  So now I'm going to take Sue home and barricade the doors."

 - Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

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