American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A medieval entertainer who traveled from place to place, especially to sing and recite poetry.
- n. A lyric poet.
- n. A musician.
- n. A performer in a minstrel show.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A musician, especially one who sings or recites to the accompaniment of instruments. Specifically, in the middle ages, the minstrels were a class who devoted themselves to the amusement of the great in castle or camp by singing ballads or songs of love and war, sometimes of their own composition, with accompaniment on the harp, lute, or other instrument. together with suitable mimicry and action, and also by storytelling, etc. The intermediate class of professional musicians from which the later minstrels sprang appeared in France as early as the eighth century, and was by the Norman conquest introduced into England, where it was assimilated with the Anglo-Saxon gleemen. Everywhere the social importance of the minstrels slowly degenerated, until in the fifteenth century they had formed themselvel generally into gilds of itinerant popular musicians and mountebanks. In England theyfell so lowin esteem that in 1597 they were classed by a statute with rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars; but in France their gilds were maintained until the revolution. See gleeman, troubadour, trouvère, and jongleur.
- n. Hence Any poet or musician. [Poetical.]3, Originally, one of a class of singers of negro melodies and delineators of life on the Southern plantations which originated in the United States about 1830: called negro minstrels, although they are usually white men whose faces and hands are blackened with burnt cork. The characteristic feature of such a troupe or band is the middle-man or interlocutor, who leads the talk and gives the cues, and the two end-men, who usually perform on the tambourine and the bones, and between whom the indispensable conundrums and jokes are exchanged. As now constituted, a negro-minstrel troupe retains but little of its original character except the black faces and the old jokes.
- n. historical A medieval traveling entertainer who would sing and recite poetry, often to his own musical accompaniment.
- n. One of a troupe of entertainers who wore black makeup (blackface) to present a variety show of song, dance and banjo music; now considered racist.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. In the Middle Ages, one of an order of men who subsisted by the arts of poetry and music, and sang verses to the accompaniment of a harp or other instrument; in modern times, a poet; a bard; a singer and harper; a musician.
- n. a singer of folk songs
- v. celebrate by singing, in the style of minstrels
- n. a performer in a minstrel show
- Middle English menestrel, from Old French menestral ("entertainer, servant, official") from Latin ministerialis ("servant"), from ministerium ("service"), from minister ("servant"). More at minister. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English minstral, from Old French menestrel, servant, entertainer, from Late Latin ministeriālis, official in the imperial household, from Latin ministerium, ministry; see ministry. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Susan Stroman says "The Scottsboro Boys" makes use of the kind of broad stylized characters typical in minstrel shows.”
“Mixing roles "The Scottsboro Boys" makes use of the kind of broad stylized characters typical in minstrel shows and has many of the actors playing multiple roles - including white stereotypes.”
“True to form, this crowd included vendors selling political memorabilia, including 'don't tread on me,' flags and buttons with President Obama's image in minstrel white-face, or with the president smoking dope.”
“That is called a minstrel show, circa the 21st century.”
“Historical: blackface was used in minstrel shows and later in blackface sketches in more mainstream vaudeville to humorously denigrate African Americans.”
“In his poetic romance, The Lady of the Lake, for example, the culture of the highland clan, in which high and low are united by the art of the minstrel, is compared with that of the town of Stirling, where the sporting entertainments enjoyed by the burgers of the town, are disdained as "mean" by the nobles in the time of James V (Canto V).”
“Clark & McCullough had careers in minstrel shows, circuses, vaudeville and Broadway before hitting Hollywood, but Clark never truly adapted to the basic tenets of film acting.”
“The minstrel song became the first American-born music genre, when George Washington Dixon wrote comic black characters into his stage plays in Albany after 1827, performed by white actors in blackface, singing songs such as Zip Coon, in what became known as the minstrel show.”
“They heard of it only in minstrel tales, and it came to be for them a sort of fairy-land which had no existence save in a poet's dream.”
“Very soft and low, like a wandering minstrel is singing.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘minstrel’.
Since English is littered with loanwords, everything could conceivably end up here. But there is a distinct feeling associated with these.. maybe they're young additions to the English language; I ...
Key words of the Odyssey by Homer in English including all those famous repeating epitethons like
Words that I come across, and go blank, or want to clarify.
originally started as an attempt to collect words I found visually and auditorially beautiful, as well as psychically evocative, this has become nothing more than a grab bag of word curiosities, a ...
Some of these professions still exist today but the word for them has changed; some (mason or boatswain, for example), are still in use but are included for their rich historical associations. Som...
No rhyme or reason other than that I like the names. :-) For more flower fun, see these lists:
Rose words by mollusque
Rose varieties by mollusque
Tulip Names II: You Know ...
Looking for tweets for minstrel.