megilloth

megillah

[muh-gil-uh; for 2 also Sephardic Hebrew muh-gee-lah]
noun, plural megillahs Sephardic Hebrew, megilloth, megillot [muh-gee-lawt] .
1.
Slang.
a.
a lengthy, detailed explanation or account: Just give me the facts, not the whole megillah.
b.
a lengthy and tediously complicated situation or matter.
2.
(italics) Hebrew. a scroll, especially one containing the Book of Esther. Others are the Book of Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, the Book of Ruth, and the Book of Lamentations.
Also, megilla.


Origin:
1950–55; < Yiddish megile literally, scroll < Hebrew məgillāh

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World English Dictionary
megillah (məˈɡɪlə, Hebrew miɡiˈla)
 
n , pl -lahs, -loth
1.  a scroll of the Book of Esther, read on the festival of Purim
2.  a scroll of the Book of Ruth, Song of Songs, Lamentations, or Ecclesiastes
3.  slang anything, such as a story or letter, that is too long or unduly drawn out
 
[Hebrew: scroll, from galal to roll]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

megillah
"long, tedious, complicated story," 1957, from Yiddish (e.g. a gantse Megillah "a whole megillah"), lit. "roll, scroll," name of the five O.T. books appointed to be read on certain feast days. The slang use is in ref. to the length of the text.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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