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WordWealth: gallimaufry

gal·li·mau·fry , n., pl. -fries. Chiefly Literary.

1. a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley. 2. a ragout or hash.

[1545–55; < MF galimafree kind of sauce or stew, prob. a conflation of galer to amuse oneself (see GALLANT) and Picard dial. mafrer to gorge oneself (< MD moffelen to eat, nosh)] (Random House Webster's Unabridged). Look at Thesaurus

Angela's garden is a tangled gallimaufry of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and more than a few weeds—a jumble of horticultural variety that defies every dictum of gardening columnists. —— Merriam-Webster

Herb-crusted rack of lamb was tender and cooked medium-rare to our guest's taste. The lamb was accompanied by a beet and spinach salad, which had a light chili dressing that bled into the meat, adding a delightful piquancy.--While we would have preferred a deep-down spicier seafood jambalaya, Momo's dish evoked New Orleans reasonably well, with a generous gallimaufry of rice, andouille slices, mussels, shrimp, bay scallops and chicken. It was not dry or soupy.--Lunch, as delightful as dinner, began with a sweet potato soup subtly blended with chorizo into a smooth purée and an avocado and spinach salad with wisps of flavorful crisp Serrano ham in a piquant olive oil infused with lime. —— Patricia Brooks; Asian-Caribbean Dishes Mingle and Mesh; The New York Times; May 6, 2001

Since drummers are, if anything, even noisier than pipers, it is just as well the drummers were only there for one day.--And yet, were they? What happened to this gallimaufry of people and birds once the 12 days of Christmas were over is something of which Dame Joan neither sang nor spoke. Were they all paid off and sent home on January 7? Or do they continue to cluster around her home? And if so, are they now being joined by a further Christmas collection marshalled at the behest of Dame Joan's loving spouse? —— Smallweed; What Christmas Presents; Guardian; Dec 30, 2000

Few enough writers have been brilliantly successful at both modes, and though Welty's novels have much to recommend them, the truth is that she never quite divested herself of the ways of seeing and saying most appropriate to the writing of short fiction. The novel can be and has been many things, but one doubts it has ever been quite what we get in ''The Robber Bridegroom'' (1942): a gallimaufry thrown together out of frontier brags, Yeatsian folk fantasy and shape-changers, fairy-tale love and adventure, the mock heroic and heroic mockery and high spirits, blended with comic undercutting at every turn. There are a thousand events in the book, but of plot hardly a hint. —— James Olney; Where the Voice Came From; The New York Times; Nov 22, 1998


Did you know? (Merriam-Webster)
If the word "gallimaufry" doesn't make your mouth water, it may be because you don't know its history. In the 16th century, Middle-French speaking cooks made a meat stew called "galimafree." It must have been a varied dish, because English speakers chose its name for any mix or jumble of things. If "gallimaufry" isn't to your taste, season your speech with one of its synonyms: "hash" (which can be a muddle or chopped meat and potatoes), "hotchpotch," (a stew or a hodgepodge) or "potpourri" (another stew turned medley).


Word related: farrago

far·ra·go , n., pl. -goes.

a confused mixture; hodgepodge; medley: a farrago of doubts, fears, hopes, and wishes.

[1625–35; < L: lit., mixed crop of feed grains, equiv. to farr- (s. of far) emmer + -āgō suffix noting kind or nature]

As in: 'The book masquerades as a biography," stated the book review, "but it is actually an irresponsible farrago of fact, fiction, and even fantasy.'


See also:

mélange n. a mixture; medley..

salmagundi n. a mixed dish consisting usually of cubed poultry or fish, chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, onions, oil, etc., often served as a salad; any mixture or miscellany..


Read an impression from a British viewpoint on "gallimaufry".


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