Etymology
Advertisement
medley (n.)

c. 1300, "hand-to-hand combat, war, battle," a sense now obsolete, from Old French medlee, variant of meslee, from mesler "to mix, mingle, meddle" (see meddle). From mid-14c. as "cloth made of wools dyed and mingled before being spun," whether of one color or many, but especially pied cloth. The general meaning "a combination, a mixture" is from c. 1400; that of "musical composition or entertainment consisting of diverse parts from different sources" is from 1620s.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
melee (n.)

"confused conflict among many persons," 1640s, from French mêlée, from Old French meslee "brawl, confused fight; mixture, blend" (12c.), noun use of fem. past participle of mesler "to mix, mingle" (see meddle). See also medley. Borrowed in Middle English as melle but it was lost and then reborrowed 17c.

Related entries & more 
olio (n.)

savory medley dish of Iberian origin, 1640s, from Spanish olla, Portuguese olha, both from Vulgar Latin *olla "pot, jar." With the common mistake of -o for -a in English words from Spanish. The sense was transferred from the pot to what went into it. Extended sense of "any mixture or medley, a collection of various pieces" is from 1640s in English.

Related entries & more 
pastiche (n.)
"a medley made up of fragments from different works," 1878, from French pastiche (18c.), from Italian pasticcio "medley, pastry cake," from Vulgar Latin *pasticium "composed of paste," from Late Latin pasta "paste, pastry cake" (see pasta). Borrowed earlier (1752) in the Italian form.
Related entries & more 
satirical (adj.)

"of, pertaining to, or containing satire," 1520s, from satiric or from Late Latin satiricus, from Latin satira "satire, poetic medley" (see satire (n.)). With -al (1). Related: Satirically.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
melange (n.)

"a mixture, a medley," usually "an uncombined mingling on elements, objects, or individuals," 1650s, from French mélange (15c.), from mêler "to mix, mingle," from Old French mesler "to mix, meddle, mingle" (see meddle).

Related entries & more 
farrago (n.)

"hodgepodge, a confused mix," 1630s, from Latin farrago "medley, mixed fodder, mix of grains for animal feed," from far "grain" (see farina).

Related entries & more 
gallimaufry (n.)
"a medley, hash, hodge-podge," 1550s, from French galimafrée "hash, ragout, dish made of odds and ends," from Old French galimafree, calimafree "sauce made of mustard, ginger, and vinegar; a stew of carp" (14c.), which is of unknown origin. Perhaps from Old French galer "to make merry, live well" (see gallant) + Old North French mafrer "to eat much," from Middle Dutch maffelen [Klein]. Weekley sees in the second element the proper name Maufré. Hence, figuratively, "any inconsistent or absurd medley."
Related entries & more 
pie (n.3)

printers' slang for "a mass of type jumbled together" (also pi, pye), 1650s, perhaps from pie (n.1) on notion of a "medley," or pie (n.2); but compare pica (n.1). As a verb from 1870. Related: Pied.

Related entries & more 
miscellany (n.)

"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).

Related entries & more