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

  • n. A group dance, probably of West African origin, characterized by complex rhythmic clapping and body movements and practiced on plantations in the southern United States during the 18th and 19th centuries.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The mane of an animal.
  • n. A loose panicle whose axis falls to pieces, as in certain grasses.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A dance developed by slaves in the U. S., having a lively tune and accompanied by a complex rhythmic clapping, and by slapping the thighs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In zoology, the long, thick-set hair on the neck, chest, or back of certain quadrupeds; a mane.
  • n. In botany, a loose panicle with the axis deliquescent; also, a dense cluster of awns, as in the spikes of some grasses.
  • n. A characteristic dance of the plantation negroes in the southern United States.


Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin, a mane. (Wiktionary)



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