This is actually a revisit of one of my very first word features, from way back in 2011. Figured we could use a refresher on some of those fun ones!
So today…macaroni!
Yes, you read that right. 😉
Now, in my house “macaroni” is synonymous with “the most common food to
be found, because it’s the only thing my kids are 100% guaranteed to
eat.” But as with all things we take for granted, there was once a day when it was new. Rare. Fashionable, even.
Back in the 18th century, Italian foods were just beginning to make
their way into British society, and they were all the rage. One of the
most loved was macaroni–and it was so stylish a dish that an entire
club was formed around the it. The Macaroni Club was quickly known for
their dedication to fashion and style . . . a dedication which soon went
into dandy-ism (which is to say, over the top).
At that point, “macaroni” became an adjective meaning something like “a style befitting a dandy.”
And so Yankee Doodle finally, FINALLY makes sense! Ever wonder
why the dude in the song “stuck a feather in his cap and called it
macaroni”? Well, there you go. He wasn’t calling the feather pasta,
which was what I thought at age 6 when I learned the song (yes, I
thought we were singing about some delusional guy, LOL), he was calling
the hat stylish. Even dandy.
So enjoy your macaroni, folks. And know that back in the day, it was not just kids’ food.
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