noun[in singular] North American
- By combining a hodgepodge of miscellaneous claims with no apparent context, the author has created a scary image of impending doom.
- After three years of political stalemate, the governing party and the opposition - a hodgepodge of small political parties, business leaders and student groups - are finally sitting down at the negotiating table.
- The locally based Cancer Research Society, one of a hodgepodge of Canadian anti-cancer groups, receives no government cash and raises $11-million a year to figure out how to beat the disease.
Late Middle English: alteration of hotchpotch by association with Hodge (a nickname for the given name Roger), an archaic British term used as a name for a typical agricultural worker.
hotchpotch from Late Middle English:
In the late Middle Ages English acquired the word hotchpot for ‘a confused mixture’. It came from French hochepot, which was formed from hocher ‘to shake’ and pot ‘pot’. Hotchpot is still used in English law in the context of joining together all of a dead person's property so that it can be divided equally. In its everyday sense, though, people quickly changed it to hotchpotch, so that the elements rhymed for emphasis. The same rhyming impulses then changed it to hodgepodge, now mainly used in North America.
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