- a lively high kicking dance that came into vogue about 1830 in Paris and after 1844 was used as an exhibition dance.
Origin of cancan
Examples from the Web for cancan
They might go and find the minister away, and then—voila, what a chance for cancan!The Pomp of the Lavilettes, Complete
When he invites his friends to breakfast, the mice will dance the cancan!San-Cravate; or, The Messengers; Little Streams
Charles Paul de Kock
Only this morning I open the ice box and they were all dancing the cancan.Marse Henry (Vol. 2)
It's bad that that chap in the grey trousers should dare to dance the cancan so openly.The Possessed
The cancan, a pitiably tame cancan, is danced—in public—only to satisfy 193 the curiosity of sensation-seeking tourists.Paris and the Social Revolution
Alvan Francis Sanborn
- a high-kicking dance performed by a female chorus, originating in the music halls of 19th-century Paris
Word Origin and History for cancan
also can-can, 1848, from French, possibly from can, a French children's word for "duck" (cf. canard), via some notion of "waddling" too obscure or obscene to attempt to disentangle here. Or perhaps from French cancan (16c.) "noise, disturbance," echoic of quacking.