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raree show

[rair-ee] /ˈrɛər i/
a carnival or street show; spectacle.
Origin of raree show
1695-1705; allegedly imitative of a foreign pronunciation of rare show Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for raree show
Historical Examples
  • Is it worse to sleep away our lives here than to be taken into England as a raree show for men to laugh at and women to pity?

  • “Nay, but my garb scarce befits the raree show,” said Ridley, looking at his russet gown.

    Grisly Grisell Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Well-dressed ladies walked about great part of the night staring as at a raree show.

British Dictionary definitions for raree show

raree show

a street show or carnival
another name for peepshow
Word Origin
C17: raree from rare1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for raree show

"peep show contained in a box," 1680s, so called "in imitation of the foreign way of pronouncing rare show" [Johnson]. "Johnson's statement is prob. correct; the early exhibitors of peep-shows appear to have been usually Savoyards, from whom the form was no doubt adopted" [OED]. Early "peep shows" were more innocent than what usually was meant later by that word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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