Definition of pickle–herring

  1. 1 :  a pickled herring

  2. 2 [Dutch pekelharing, from German pickelhering, from Pickelhering, droll comic character of the 17th century German stage] :  buffoon

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of pickle–herring

obsolete Dutch pekel-haerinck (now pekelharing), from Dutch pekel pickle + obsolete Dutch haerinck herring (from Middle Dutch harinc, herinc) — more at herring

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pickle–herring? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


feeling or affected by lethargy

Get Word of the Day daily email!