Definition of hotchpotch in English:
- This ‘social software’ business seems to be one of those ill-understood hodgepodges that mean anything that the speakers variously want it to mean.
- There is much literal and figurative heavy breathing - not least on the part of language sweatily straining to be poetic - but the play's world, instead of floating, collapses into hodgepodge.
- Houston's sprawling hodgepodge of neighborhoods and commercial strips, its lack of a zoning code and its intermittent forays into planning are at once repulsive and fascinating to students of urban design.
Late Middle English: variant of hotchpot.
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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