Word Origin & History
1739, "light, popular song," especially one sung on the stage, from Fr. vaudeville, alteration (by influence of ville "town") of M.Fr. vaudevire, said to be from (chanson du) Vau de Vire "(song of the) valley of Vire," in the Calvados region of Normandy, first applied to the popular satirical songs of
Olivier Basselin, a 15c. poet who lived in Vire. The other alternative is that vaudevire derives from M.Fr. dialectal vauder "to go" + virer "to turn." The meaning "theatrical entertainment interspersed with songs" first recorded 1827. Vaudevillian (n.) is attested from 1913.