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 ?
It wouldn't matter if I got to a hundred picnics in after years; they wouldn't make up for missing this one.
Oh, Marilla," she exclaimed breathlessly, "there's going to be a Sunday-school picnic next week--in Mr.
And then, of course, I had to tell Matthew about the picnic.
Every paradise has its serpent, however, and this one is so infested by mosquitoes during the season when picnics seem most natural, that those of my visitors who have been taken there for a treat have invariably lost their tempers, and made the quiet shores ring with their wailing and lamentations.
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.
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.
The thought of Tom's treatment of her when she was talking about her picnic came scorching back and filled her with shame.
The picnic was to take place in ten days: and though Arthur readily accepted the invitation I brought him, nothing that I could say would induce him to call--either with me or without me on the Earl and his daughter in the meanwhile.
But they were dressed for a photographic studio, not for a river picnic.
He told them that that sort of thing was half the fun of a picnic.
I was satisfied with the picnic then and with all its belongings.
These were laughing and talking together as gaily as if they had gathered for a picnic instead of a war of conquest.