from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A jumble; a hodgepodge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A hash; a medley; a hodgepodge, made up of the remnants and scraps of the larder.
  • noun Hence Any inconsistent or ridiculous medley.
  • noun A medley of persons.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A hash of various kinds of meats, a ragout.
  • noun Any absurd medley; a hotchpotch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun dated A hash of various kinds of meats, a ragout.
  • noun figuratively Any absurd medley.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a motley assortment of things


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French galimafrée, from Old French galimafree, sauce, ragout : probably galer, to make merry; see gallant + mafrer, to gorge oneself (from Middle Dutch moffelen, to open one's mouth wide, of imitative origin).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French galimafree, a stew.


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  • I used this for a title of a Bluegrass music mix CD. The root "to gorge onself" describes the spirit of a genuine Bluegrass jam. The players play until the people are satisfied.

    January 3, 2007

  • Until the bar closes?

    November 21, 2007

  • Nice word. Never heard it before. I will attempt to use it nonchalantly with a Kentucky-born coworker and let you know how it turns out (cus direct askin ain't no fun no how, shoot). Merriam-Webster says it comes from the French 'galimafree' meaning a type of stew; hence the hodgepodgey notion. Could it be Arcadian in origin?

    February 27, 2009

  • It would seem not, sadly. OED lists its earliest usages as 1591 (in the sense of a dish) and 1551 (in the sense of a heterogeneous mixture), thus:

    1591 PERCIVALL Sp. Dict., Nogada salsa, a gallimaulfry of nuts. 1607 DEKKER Westw. Hoe II. Wks. 1873 II. 294 Lattin whole-meats are nowe minc'd, and serude in for English Gallimafries.

    1551-6 ROBINSON tr. More's Utopia (Arb.) 64 Suche a tragy-call comedye or gallymalfreye. 1579 E. K. Ded. to Spenser's Sheph. Cal., So now they haue made our English tongue a gallimaufray, or hodgepodge of all other speches.

    Though it does also say, under "Etymology," "ad. F. galimafrée, of unknown origin," I think Acadia was probably not settled by French-speakers before 1551... (This assumes you meant to type "Acadia" and not "Arcadia," and I could be wrong about that.)

    Edit: I went looking out of curiosity. Wikipedia says: "The first French settlement in Arcadia was established by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts, Governor of Acadia, under the authority of King Henry IV, on Saint Croix Island in 1604."

    P.S. who, besides me, loves the phrase "a gallimaufry of nuts"?

    February 28, 2009

  • Me! Me! A gallimaufry of nuts!

    February 28, 2009

  • Is there a difference between a gallimaufry and a salmagundi? Granted, a salmagundi of nuts doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

    February 28, 2009

  • No indeed. In fact it sounds painful.

    February 28, 2009

  • Hey! I have a gallimaufry of nuts in a bowl on my kitchen table, even as we speak!

    February 28, 2009

  • In shells or shelled?

    February 28, 2009

  • --bilby --Thanks for bringing my attention to this conversation, as it touches on the origin of my name.

    --CB --Funny you should point out the frequent "Arcadia vs. Acadia" mix up that I have been struggling to rise above for a lifetime of being called the French version of my Greek name.

    --Bilby, Dhæro is well! He's a true toddler now, not talking verbally much yet but he knows 30+ ASL signs!

    February 28, 2009

  • In shells, dc.

    March 1, 2009

  • Thanks for the research Chained_Bear! Oh, and thanks for the warm welcome, too. I actually rated on the "most comments" list, at a mere 152 comments less than bilby (is he gainfully employed?) By the by, I did in fact mean Acadian. And my Kentuckian co-worker had no idea what I was talking about, even when I threw in the 'nuts' reference.

    March 1, 2009

  • Usage/historical note in comment on umble pie.

    January 8, 2017