kick·​shaw ˈkik-ˌshȯ How to pronounce kickshaw (audio)
: a fancy dish : delicacy

Did you know?

Kickshaw began its career in the late 16th century as a borrowing from the French quelque chose - literally, "something." In line with the French pronunciation of the day, the "l" was dropped and the word was anglicized as "kickshaws" or "kickshoes." English speakers soon lost all consciousness of the word’s French origin and, by taking "kickshaws" as plural, created the new singular noun "kickshaw."

Examples of kickshaw in a Sentence

a display case in the antiques shop filled with costume jewelry and various kickshaws from the 1920s the company's holiday party always features an array of artfully confected kickshaws

Word History


by folk etymology from French quelque chose something

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of kickshaw was in 1597


Dictionary Entries Near kickshaw

Cite this Entry

“Kickshaw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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