Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • interj. An invocation to draw fools into a circle.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A nonsense word from a song in William Shakespeare's As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 5. It is defined by the singer, after the song, as "a Greek invocation, to draw fools into a circle" (even as his curious companions have formed a circle around him). As is noted in the Arden edition of the play, "Much ingenuity has been bestowed to find the origin and significance of what may be sheer nonsense...my personal favourite interpretation is that it comes from the Welsh dewch da mi = Come to me..."

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