noun Chiefly British.

the wishbone or furcula of a fowl.

Origin of merrythought

First recorded in 1600–10; so called from the custom of pulling the bone apart until it breaks, the person holding the longer (sometimes shorter) piece supposedly marrying first or being granted a wish at the time Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for merrythought

Historical Examples of merrythought

  • Oh dear me, there is but a drumstick and a merrythought left.

    Adrift in a Boat

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • I see I am wrong again, the drumstick is in the dish, and the merrythought is in my head, with numerous companions.

    Adrift in a Boat

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Take off the merrythought, the neck-bones, and separate the leg-bones from the legs, and the pinions from the wings.

  • Again, all birds that can fly possess a “merrythought,” or furculum; and such is not found in the Pterodactyl.

    Extinct Monsters

    H. N. Hutchinson

  • Bless my drumsticks and merrythought, I shant be so cold and hungry, please God, this time to–morrow night.

    Cradock Nowell, Vol. 2 (of 3)

    Richard Doddridge Blackmore

British Dictionary definitions for merrythought



British a less common word for wishbone
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 merrythought

"wishbone," c.1600, from merry (adj.) + thought. Also cf. wishbone.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper