Definition of kickshaw in English:


Line breaks: kick|shaw
Pronunciation: /ˈkɪkʃɔː


  • 1A fancy but insubstantial cooked dish, especially one of foreign origin.
    More example sentences
    • Puddings, ‘kickshaws’, or ‘made dishes’, and salads of cooked, pickled, or raw vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
    • Different tasty kickshaws baked in a puff pastry.
    • Tonolo's put it in little choux buns, puff-pastry kickshaws, tiny tartlets, and God knows what else.
  • 1.1chiefly North American An elegant but insubstantial trinket.
    More example sentences
    • He pursues the miching-malicho lyric and the possibilities it offers, but always with an acute sense of how to true the comic impulse that vitalizes his sublime as well as kickshaw modes.
    • But Musgrave, in his sturdy, common-sense way, only laughed at her seriousness over such kickshaws.


late 16th century: from French quelque chose 'something'. The French spelling was common in the 17th century; the present form results from interpretation of quelque chose as plural.

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a slit made by cutting with a saw