Macaronic

M.G. Mudrey, Jr.

Message 35547 · 11 Jun 2003 22:56:31 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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At 11:08 AM 6/11/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Technically, of verse: containing Latin (or other foreign) words and
>vernacular words with Latin or other terminations.

MACARONIC
Of verse consisting of a mixture of languages.
If this sounds as though it is connected with Italian pasta, you’re right.
It was coined in the sixteenth century by the Italian poet Teofilo Folengo,
in reference to a sort of burlesque verse he invented in which Italian
words were mixed in with Latin ones for comic effect. He said that he
linked the crude hotch-potch of language in the verse with the homely
foodstuff called macaroni, a dish which he described (in Latin, of course)
as “pulmentum farina, caseo, botiro compaginatum, grossum, rude, et
rusticanum” (“a savoury dish bound together with flour, cheese [and]
butter, [a dish] which is fat, coarse, and rustic”).
The word first appeared in English a century later and expanded its scope
to refer to any form of verse in which two or more languages were mixed
together. A once-famous American example was the mixed German-English
verses of Hans Breitmann’s Ballads by Charles Leland, in which a German
immigrant is overwhelmed by mid-nineteenth-century America and speaks in a
mixture of German and heavily accented English.
Macaronic verse has a link to the eighteenth-century London dandies who
were called macaronis because they liked foreign food, Italian in
particular, as a result of experiencing it on the Grand Tour. A certain
famous old song also contains the word: “Yankee Doodle went to town, /
Riding on a pony, / Stuck a feather in his hat, / And called it macaroni”,
but that is linked to the dandy sense, not the verse one.
World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2003.
All rights reserved. Contact the author for reproduction requests.
Comments and feedback are always welcome.

Encyclopedia macaroni

[ mak-uh-ROH-nee ] Legend has it that upon being served a dish of this
food, an early Italian sovereign exclaimed "Ma caroni!" meaning "how very
dear." This semolina-and-water PASTA does not traditionally contain eggs.
Most macaronis are tube-shape, but there are other forms including shells,
twists and ribbons. Among the best-known tube shapes are: elbow (a short,
curved tube); ditalini (tiny, very short tubes); mostaccioli (large,
2-inch-long tubes cut on the diagonal, with a ridged or plain surface);
penne (large, straight tubes cut on the diagonal); rigatoni (short, grooved
tubes); and ziti (long, thin tubes). Most macaronis almost double in size
during cooking. The Italian spelling of the word is maccheroni.

http://www.quinion.com/words/weirdwords/ww-wei1.htm

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