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merengue (n.)

popular dance, 1936, from Haitian or Dominican Creole méringue, from French méringue (see meringue), perhaps on the notion of "a mixture."

The Spanish word for this style of dance and music, merengue, literally means "meringue (the sweet dessert)" -- although it is unclear exactly how the dance might have come to be called "The Meringue." ["Spanish Word Histories and Mysteries," American Heritage Dictionaries, 2007]

Méringuer vient du mot créole "méringue". Méringue désigne une danse lascive, introduite depuis quelque temps en Haïti, et qui remplace, avec avantage pour quelques-uns, le respectable carabinier de nos pères. [footnote in Alcibiade Fleury-Battier, "Sous les Bambous," Paris, 1881]

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