callithumpian (adj.)

"pertaining to a noisy concert or serenade," also the name of the concert itself, 1836, U.S. colloquial, probably a fanciful construction (perhaps based on the calli- "beauty" words (see Callisto) + thump). But Wright's "English Dialect Dictionary" (1900) reports Gallithumpians as a Dorset and Devon word from 1790s for a society of radical social reformers, and also in reference to "noisy disturbers of elections and meetings" (1770s). The U.S. reference is most commonly "a band of discordant instruments" or a crowd banging on tin pots and pans, blowing horns, etc., especially on New Year's or to "serenade" a newlywed couple to show disapproval of one or the other or the match.

Share