"a mixture of various kinds; a medley; a combination of diverse objects, parts, or elements," 1590s, from Latin miscellanea "a writing on miscellaneous subjects," originally "meat hash, hodge-podge" (food for gladiators), neuter plural of miscellaneus "mixed," from miscere "to mix" (from PIE root *meik- "to mix"). From 1610s as "a diversified literary collection;" 1630s as "a book containing compositions on various subjects" (miscellanea in this sense is from 1570s).
"food," originally especially "Chinese food," 1856, American English (originally in California), from Chinese pidgin English chow-chow (1795) "food; mixed pickle or preserve; mix or medley of any sort," perhaps a reduplication of Chinese cha or tsa "mixed," or Cantonese chaau "to fry, cook." Hence also chow-chow (adj.) "mixed" (1845), since used as a noun in reference to various preserves or relish.
The dog breed of the same name is from 1886, of unknown origin, but some suggest a link to the Chinese tendency to see dogs as edible.
also pot-pourri, 1610s, "mixed meats and vegetables cooked together and served in a stew," from French pot pourri "stew," literally "rotten pot" (loan-translation of Spanish olla podrida), from pourri, past participle of pourrir "to rot," from Vulgar Latin *putrire, from Latin putrescere "grow rotten" (see putrescent). The notion of "medley" led to the meaning "mixture of dried flowers and spices," attested in English by 1749. Figurative sense (originally in music) of "miscellaneous collection" is recorded from 1855.
1893, from Swedish smörgåsbord, literally "butter-goose table," from smörgås, "slice of bread and butter," compounded from smör "butter" (see smear (n.)) and gås, literally "goose" (and from the same Germanic root that yielded English goose (n.)).
[Smörgås] properly signifies "a slice of bread-and-butter"; and has come by custom—in much the same way as when we familiarly speak of "taking a sandwich" for partaking of some light refreshment—to be applied synecdochically to the preliminary relish or appetizer partaken of before meals. [Notes and Queries, Nov. 15, 1884]
The final element is bord "table," from Proto-Germanic *burdam "plank, board, table" (see board (n.1)). Figurative sense of "medley, miscellany" is recorded from 1948.
"fantastic series or medley of illusive or terrifying figures or images," 1802, the name of a magic lantern exhibition brought to London in 1802 by Parisian showman Paul de Philipstal. The name is an alteration of French phantasmagorie, which is said to have been coined 1801 by French dramatist Louis-Sébastien Mercier as though to mean "crowd of phantoms," from Greek phantasma "image, phantom, apparition" (from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine").
The second element appears to be a French form of Greek agora "assembly. "But the inventor of the word prob. only wanted a mouth-filling and startling term, and may have fixed on -agoria without any reference to the Greek lexicon" [OED]. The transferred meaning "shifting scene of many elements" is attested from 1822. Related: Phantasmagorical.
In Philipstal's 'phantasmagoria' the figures were made rapidly to increase and decrease in size, to advance and retreat, dissolve, vanish, and pass into each other, in a manner then considered marvellous. [OED]
"tube-shaped food made of dried wheaten paste" [Klein], 1590s, from southern Italian dialectal maccaroni (Italian maccheroni), plural of maccarone, name for a kind of pasty food made of flour, cheese, and butter, possibly from maccare "bruise, batter, crush," which is of unknown origin, or from late Greek makaria "food made from barley."
Originally known as a leading food of Italy (especially Naples and Genoa), it was used in English by 1769 to mean "a fop, a dandy" ("typical of elegant young men" would be the sense in "Yankee Doodle") because it was an exotic dish in England at a time when certain young men who had traveled the continent were affecting French and Italian fashions and accents (and were much mocked for it).
There is said to have been a Macaroni Club in Britain by 1764, composed of young men who sought to introduce elegancies of dress and bearing from the continent, which was the immediate source of this usage in English. Hence the extended use of macaroni as "a medley; something extravagant to please idle fancy" (by 1884).
c. 1500, "a literary work (originally in verse) intended to ridicule prevailing vice or folly by scornful or contemptuous expression," from French satire (14c.) and directly from Latin satira "satire; poetic medley," earlier satura, in lanx satura "mixed dish, dish filled with various kinds of fruit," literally "full dish," from fem. of satur "sated" (from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy").
The word acquired its literary sense, in Latin, in reference to a collection of poems in various meters on a variety of subjects by the late republican poet Ennius. The little that survives of his verse does not now seem particularly satiric, but in classical Latin the word was used especially of a poem which assailed various vices one after another.
In modern general use, "a denouncing or deriding speech or writing full of sarcasm, ridicule, irony, etc." (all of which can express satire). The broader meaning "fact or circumstance that makes someone or something look ridiculous" is by 1690s.
Satire, n. An obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author's enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness. In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic. Moreover, although Americans are 'endowed by their Creator' with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a sour-spirited knave, and his every victim's outcry for codefendants evokes a national assent. [Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," 1911]
Proper satire is distinguished, by the generality of the reflections, from a lampoon which is aimed against a particular person, but they are too frequently confounded. [Johnson]
[I]n whatever department of human expression, wherever there is objective truth there is satire [Wyndham Lewis, "Rude Assignment," 1950]