June 22, 2016
macaroni (noun)
\mack-uh-ROH-nee\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a food made chiefly of wheat flour paste dried in the form of slender tubes
How do you use it?
One of my favorite meals is macaroni and cheese.
Are you a word wiz?

Most English speakers are familiar with the rhyme about Yankee Doodle: Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a pony; stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni. What does this use of "macaroni" come from?

The Macaroni Club was a group of young Englishmen who had traveled in continental Europe during the late 1700s and who, upon returning home, decided to act like continental Europeans. They called themselves "The Macaroni Club" after the Italian pasta, which was unknown in England, and took to wearing the fashions of the continent. Other people thought their behavior and dress was a little silly and began to call them "macaronis," after the name of their club. Soon "macaroni" was used of a vain man devoted his looks. In the rhyme, Yankee Doodle declares his feather-in-hat combo to be European and fashionable by invoking the name of the Macaroni Club. This use is now kept alive only through "Yankee Doodle".
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