or cal·la·thump

[ kal-uh-thuhmp ]
/ ˈkæl əˌθʌmp /

noun Chiefly Northeastern U.S.

a shivaree.
Midwestern U.S. Also called callithump parade. a children's mummer's parade, as on the Fourth of July, with prizes for the best costumes.

Nearby words

  1. callisto,
  2. callistus,
  3. callistus i,
  4. callistus ii,
  5. callistus iii,
  6. callithumpian,
  7. callop,
  8. callosal,
  9. callosal gyrus,
  10. callose

Origin of callithump

1855–60, Americanism; compare earlier callithumpian band assembly of noisemakers on New Year's Eve, British dialect gallithumpians disturbers of order at Parliamentary elections, probably equivalent to dial. gally to frighten (as in gallicrow scarecrow; akin to Old English agælwan to scare) + thump + -ian

Related formscal·li·thump·i·an, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Word Origin and History for callithumpian



1836, U.S. colloquial, probably a fanciful construction. The "English Dialect Dictionary" reports Gallithumpians as a Dorset and Devon word from 1790s for a society of radical social reformers, and also in reference to "noisy disturbers of elections and meetings" (1770s). The U.S. reference is most commonly "a band of discordant instruments" or bangers on pots and pans, especially to "serenade" a newlywed couple to show disapproval of one or the other or the match.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper