• synonyms


  1. a tidbit or delicacy, especially one served as an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre.
  2. something showy but without value; trinket; trifle.
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Origin of kickshaw

1590–1600; back formation from kickshaws < French quelque chose something (by folk etymology)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kickshaw

Historical Examples of kickshaw

  • Andover, knowing her, imagined that she had been refused some kickshaw, and thought no more about it.

    The Black Moth

    Georgette Heyer

  • Put about a cup of ale, is this not better than your foolish French kickshaw claret.

  • Absolutely everybody seemed to be lunching at Kickshaw's yesterday!

  • Notwithstanding the comforting assurances of Kickshaw, I felt considerably nervous.

British Dictionary definitions for kickshaw



  1. a valueless trinket
  2. archaic a small elaborate or exotic delicacy
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Word Origin for kickshaw

C16: back formation from kickshaws, by folk etymology from French quelque chose something
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

Word Origin and History for kickshaw


late 16c., "a fancy dish in cookery" (especially a non-native one), from English pronunciation of French quelque chose "a something, a little something."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper