Definition of Mirliton

1. n. A kind of musical toy into which one sings, hums, or speaks, producing a coarse, reedy sound.

Definition of Mirliton

1. Noun. A buzzword created to refer to and advertise a new women's bonnet style (AKA "coiffure de gaze" as seen in the early 19th century French painting ''Portrait De Jeune Femme (En Coiffure De Gaze)'' by Henri Pierre-Louis Grevedon [ see here]) of 1723 involving a gauzy cloth or net for which the word was invented. Within months, comedies of the time created songs and verses using the new word to make light of political and social leaders. The word gained the meaning sense as a catch-all phrase such that it might refer to any silly trifle or thing of little value or merit as in the English word folderol.[o/article_p.php?ID_ARTICLE=RHLF_014_1255 Le Mirliton enchanteur: Historique d’un mot à la mode en 1723] by Hans Mattauch From there, it acquired more serious, specific usages. ¹

2. Noun. A pear-shaped vegetable or its vine, also known as the chayote (Spanish) or w:christophene (French). This usage is cajun or Creole and thus regional to Louisiana. ¹

3. Noun. A class of w:musical instruments with a membrane that vibrates in the manner of that of a kazoo or the w:eunuch flute. Can also refer to the membrane itself (see w:List of musical instruments by Hornbostel-Sachs number). Can refer to other crude musical instruments such as a penny trumpet. It can refer to other toy pipes and noisemakers which produce harsh musical sounds. The French term "mirliton", which appeared in 1745 (possibly originating in a popular song refrain), was a kind of simple children's flute adorned with a spiral of paper.''Nouveau Petit Robert'' dictionary of the French language (1993). ¹

4. Noun. An 18th century hussar hat similar to a peak-less (American English: visor-less) and slightly conical shako or tall fez. It usually featured a long cloth trail or wing (Flügel) attached to one side, often wrapped about the hat when the wing was not on display. This kind of hat was used until in the middle of the w:Napoleonic Wars. In German, the precise word for this concept is [ Flügelmütze]. See also w:Totenkopf. ¹

5. Noun. A company that makes metal w:miniature figures near Florence, Italy, or the miniatures themselves.(cite web url= title=Mirliton SG accessdate=2007-07-27) ¹

6. Noun. A small town in central Haiti (Trou Mirliton)(cite web url= title=Trou Mirliton, Haiti accessdate=2007-07-27) ¹

7. Noun. The title of a movement in w:The Nutcracker Ballet, ''Danse Des Mirlitons'', referring either to the flute trio in the music or to the reed-pipes (or perhaps eunuch flute) that the depicted shepherdesses might have played to their flocks. The term is often used to refer to the role of the shepherdess dancer. A further pun might refer to the marzipan that the dance represents and the almonds used in Mirliton pastries. ¹

8. Noun. A tube-shaped pastry imitative of the shape of a short toy flute (This shape is now more closely associated with a toy siren whistle).(cite web url= title=American Heritage Dictionary via Bartleby accessdate=2007-07-27) ¹

9. Noun. A tartlet or biscuit garnished with almond, first produced in Rouen around 1800.[ Mirlitons de Rouen] 2006[ Mirlitons de Rouen] ¹

10. Noun. The popular refrain to a song. Used in this sense, a cabaret opened in 1885 by w:Aristide Bruant in Paris. The intended pun is that mirliton literally in German slang means doggerel. ¹

11. Noun. The French expression "Vers de mirliton" referring to any bad poetry where its artistic merit has been sacrificed for the sake of getting the verse to rhyme.The ''Nouveau Petit Robert'' dictionary of the French language (1993) suggests that the origin of this expression is from the poems printed on the spiral pieces of paper that adorned the "mirliton", or children's flute. ¹

12. Noun. A comic book cat character created by the French cartoonists w:Raymond Macherot (drawing) and Raoul Cauvin (story). A character in older French literature named Mirliton would be a clownish charlatan, much as a mirliton might be dismissed as a pseudomusical instrument. ¹

13. Noun. The common name for a version of the gold "Louis d’or" coin made during Louis XV's reign. Why mirliton? Perhaps: on the back of coin are two letter "L"'s facing and overlapping with each other; the stylized L's are cursive and their line tapers, as if made of ribbon.(cite web url= title=Louis mirliton du Béarn, palmes courtes - 1723 accessdate=2007-07-27)(cite web url= title=Louis d'or accessdate=2007-07-27)[ Louis XV: Louis Mirliton aux palmes courtes 1723 Montpellier] ¹

14. Noun. A railroad sign used on the french w:SNCF network. It typical is a long rectangle with broad diagonal black stripes.[ SNCF - Mirliton de type normal - set de 3][ SNCF - Mirliton de type normal] ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Mirliton

1. a chayote [n -S] - See also: chayote

Mirliton Pictures

Click the following link to bring up a new window with an automated collection of images related to the term: Mirliton Images

Lexicographical Neighbors of Mirliton

mirliton (current term)
mirnov oscillations
mirror-image cell
mirror-image relation
mirror ball
mirror carp
mirror effect
mirror image

Literary usage of Mirliton

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Trilby by George Du Maurier (1894)
"Trilby singing "Ben Bolt" into a mirliton was a thing to be remembered, whether one would or no! Trilby on this occasion came out in a new character, ..."

2. Paris and the Social Revolution: A Study of the Revolutionary Elements in by Alvan Francis Sanborn (1905)
"... mirliton, Alexandre's Cabaret Bruyant, and "Buffalo's" I'Alou- ette are the most conspicuous examples. They have had their day so far as spontaneity is ..."

3. Dwight's Journal of Music: A Paper of Art and Literature by John Sullivan Dwight (1877)
"... Perrin, mirliton, ton ton. Prenons-le an Heu de Flon-plon, pion I " A chorus of Parisians set out to find the Government. We will just quote the verse, ..."

4. The Works of Charles Paul de Kock, with a General Introduction by Jules Claretie by Paul de Kock (1902)
""This It what I wish From the bottom of my heart. This is my wedding-vow, Which assures you all your joy. mirliton ton ton, ton ton ton, ton taine ; Midi, ..."

Other Resources Relating to: Mirliton

Search for Mirliton on!Search for Mirliton on!Search for Mirliton on Google!Search for Mirliton on Wikipedia!