Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Day” e-mail is always a welcome distraction. Today’s entry is particularly interesting (for me):
donnybrook DAH-nee-brook noun
*1 : free-for-all, brawl
2 : a usually public quarrel or dispute
Did you know?
The Donnybrook Fair was an annual event held in Donnybrook – then a suburb of Dublin, Ireland — from the 13th to the 19th centuries. The fair was legendary for the vast quantities of liquor consumed there, for the number of hasty marriages performed during the week following it, and, most of all, for the frequent brawls that erupted throughout it. Eventually, the fair’s reputation for tumult was its undoing. From the 1790s on there were campaigns against the drunken brawl the fair had become. The event was abolished in 1855, but not before its name had become a generic term for a free-for-all.
Why is this interesting? Well Donnybrook is where I work and spend a lot of time. Unfortunately it isn’t anywhere as interesting as it was in the past….