Magazine article Insight on the News

Yankee Doodle: Lover of Pasta or Fashion Icon? (for the People)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Yankee Doodle: Lover of Pasta or Fashion Icon? (for the People)

Article excerpt

Remember this refrain from that familiar old song "Yankee Doodle"? "He stuck a feather in his cap/And called it macaroni." No doubt many people wonder what the heck Yankee Doodle was doing when he stuck a piece of curved and hollow pasta into his chapeau. After all, folks hear that song for the first time when they're very young, and macaroni is macaroni, isn't it?

Well, no, at least not in this instance. In this usage macaroni dates from 1599 when it first was used in England to refer to a dandy or a fop, after overly fashion-conscious young men began sporting the latest styles to arrive from Italy. "In the mid-1700s, the Macaroni Club of London took its name from the members' affected penchant for continental fashion and taste, including a preference for foreign foods, macaroni being a novelty in England at the time," writes Craig M. Carver in his marvelous A History of English in Its Own Words. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.