picnic


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picnic,

social gathering at which each participant generally brings food to be shared. The Picnic Society was formed in London early in the 19th cent. by a group of fashionable people for purposes of entertainment. Each member was expected to provide a share of the entertainment and of the refreshments, and this idea of mutual sharing or cooperation was fundamental to the original significance of the picnic. Later the word took on the additional meaning of an outdoor pleasure party. The word as now used includes almost every type of informal, outdoor meal or festivity, such as clambake, barbecuebarbecue
[West Indian or South American], in the United States, traditionally an open-air gathering, political or social, in which meats are roasted whole over a pit of embers and food and drink are liberally enjoyed.
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, or fish fry. The custom of cooperative dining is ancient; Greek men held symposia where the guests ate and discussed important matters.
References in classic literature ?
He told them that that sort of thing was half the fun of a picnic.
The fellows were not bricklayers, but, as in the old days, they attended all Sunday picnics for the dancing, and the fighting, and the fun.
Two o'clock--but isn't it splendid about the picnic, Marilla?
And then, of course, I had to tell Matthew about the picnic.
It has, however, the advantage of being a suitable place to which to take refractory visitors when they have stayed too long, or left my books out in the garden all night, or otherwise made their presence a burden too grievous to be borne; then one fine hot morning when they are all looking limp, I suddenly propose a picnic on the Baltic.
I warmed soup in a little apparatus I have for such occasions, which helped to take the chilliness off the sandwiches,--this is the only unpleasant part of a winter picnic, the clammy quality of the provisions just when you most long for something very hot.
It did not matter whether the festival were Irish, German, or Slavonian; whether the picnic was the Bricklayers', the Brewers', or the Butchers'.
A liking for picnics had lingered in him from boyhood, and existence at Flack's was one prolonged picnic.
Young farmers who were in town for Saturday came tramping through the yard to the back door to engage dances, or to invite Tony to parties and picnics.
These meeting-places furnished ample ground for the discussion of current events as viewed by the mas- culine eye, while choir rehearsals, sewing societies, reading circles, church picnics, and the like, gave opportunity for the expression of feminine opinion.
The establishment of our paper in the village where there had been none before, and its enlargement from four to eight pages, were events so filling that they left little room for any other excitement but that of getting acquainted with the young people of the village, and going to parties, and sleigh rides, and walks, and drives, and picnics, and dances, and all the other pleasures in which that community seemed to indulge beyond any other we had known.
Don't these remind you of home and our old schoolday picnics, Anne?