Word of the Day

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

gallimaufry

\gal-uh-MAW-free\ , noun;
1.
A hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.
Quotes:
Today bilingual programs are conducted in a gallimaufry of around 80 tongues, ranging from Spanish to Lithuanian to Micronesian Yapese.
-- Ezra Bowen, "For Learning or Ethnic Pride?", Time, July 8, 1985
We have the same eyes dark and chestnut hair. But I am a lame gallimaufry and she remains perfect.
-- Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
Maran reports the daily jostlings and thrivings in a public school with 3,200 students, 185 teachers, 45 languages, a principal and five vice principals, five safety monitors, 62 sports teams and a gallimaufry of alternative programs, clubs and cliques.
-- Colman McCarthy, "A Writer Goes Back to School", Washington Post, August 20, 2001
Origin:
Gallimaufry, originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," comes from French galimafrée, from Old French, from galer, "to rejoice, to make merry" (source of English gala) + mafrer, "to eat much," from Medieval Dutch maffelen, "to open one's mouth wide."
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