Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In 18th century England, a macaroni was a fashionable man who dressed and even spoke in an outlandishly affected manner. The term pejoratively referred to a person who exceeded the ordinary bounds of fashion in terms of clothes, eating and gambling. Young men who had been to Italy on the Grand Tour adopted the Italian word and said that anything that was fashionable or à la mode was 'very macaroni'. The expression was particularly used to characterize those people who dressed in high fashion with stripes and tall, powdered wigs with a little hat on top which was so high that it could only be removed on the point of a sword. Macaronies combined the enjoyment of wine, sex and song with effeminacy of dress. They are a precursor to the dandy.
There was a song from the time of the American Revolutionary War, talking of Yankee Doodle who stuck a feather in his hat and called it Macaroni. This shows that "Macaroni" at the time was a slang term for the most up-to-date of fashions.
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