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"Bot vchon enle we wolde were fyf, þe mo þe myryer." [c.1300]The word had much wider senses in M.E., e.g. "pleasant-sounding" (of animal voices), "fine" (of weather), "handsome" (of dress), "pleasant-tasting" (of herbs). Merry-man "companion or follower of a knight, outlaw, etc." is attested from late 14c. The first record of merry-go-round is from 1729. Merry-bout "an incident of sexual intercourse" was low slang from 1780. Merry-begot "illegitimate" (adj.), "bastard" (n.) is from 1785. Merrie England (now frequently satirical or ironic) is 14c. meri ingland, originally in a broader sense of "bountiful, prosperous." Merry Monday was 16c. term for "the Monday before Shrove Tuesday" (Mardi Gras).