[ shin-dig ]
/ ˈʃɪnˌdɪg /
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noun Informal.
an elaborate or large dance, party, or other celebration.
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Origin of shindig

1855–60, Americanism;shin1 + dig1; compare slang shinscraper dance
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does shindig mean?

Shindig is a fun word for a party or gathering, especially a noisy and lively one.

Shindig is very informal, and it often refers to informal gatherings, especially big, rowdy ones with dancing, but it can be used to refer to any type of party or big celebration. The word has an old-timey or rustic, country feel to it (though not as rustic as hootenanny or hoedown), so it is often used to be a bit silly or just as a more fun way to say party.

Example: Big Earl’s having one of his usual shindigs this weekend, with his buddy’s band playing in the field out back.

Where does shindig come from?

The first records of shindig come from around the 1850s. It originated in and is primarily used in the United States, but its etymological origin is uncertain. It sounds like it might be a reference to rowdy dancing—the kind in which people kick wildly and end up digging their feet into each other’s shins—but it may be based on the word shindy, meaning “quarrel” or “commotion” (or “party”). Shindy comes from shinty, meaning “a noisy dispute” but originally referring to a game kind of like field hockey that was also called shinny. Shinny may derive from the way people shouted “Shin ye!” during the game. But enough about word origins, let’s get back to the party.

When someone uses the word shindig today, they’re always talking about some kind of party or event, but they’re usually trying to be a little silly or corny or ironic. That’s because shindig sounds like a word from olden times. If you use it to refer to a small get-together with a few friends, you’re probably trying to be ironic. Still, shindig is fun to say, and it sounds a bit funny, so people use it as a slang term for just about any kind of party or event, but especially a big, festive celebration with a lot of people.

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What are some synonyms for shindig?

What are some words that may share a root or word element with shindig


What are some words that often get used in discussing shindig?


How is shindig used in real life?

Shindig is very informal and is primarily used in the U.S. It can be applied to any party or event, but it’s most often used in a silly or ironic way as a more fun way to say party.



Try using shindig!

Which of the following words would be LEAST likely to describe a shindig?

A. noisy
B. festive
C. boring
D. lively

How to use shindig in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shindig

/ (ˈʃɪnˌdɪɡ) /

noun informal
a noisy party, dance, etc
another word for shindy

Word Origin for shindig

C19: variant of shindy
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