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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Kickshaws \Kick"shaws`\, n.; pl. Kickshawses[Corrupt. fr. F. quelque chose something, fr. L. qualis of what kind (akin to E. which) + suffix -guam + causa cause, in LL., a thing. See Which, and Cause.]

  1. Something fantastical; any trifling, trumpery thing; a toy.

    Art thou good at these kickshawses!

  2. A fancy dish; a tidbit; a delicacy.

    Some pigeons, . . . a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws.

    Cressy was lost by kickshaws and soup-maigre.


n. (plural of kickshaw English)


Kickshaws (sometimes Association Kickshaws, a non-profit Association under French law) is a private press run by John Crombie and Sheila Bourne.

Based in Paris, the press was founded in 1979 by Crombie as a vehicle for his literary and design aspirations; since then, he and Bourne (who often creates artwork for the books), have printed by hand and published more than 150 small books. The design and typography of Kickshaws publications is unusual, involving a wide range of (often French) type designs, letterpress printing in multiple colours, and the use of unusual formats and binding styles, notably a simple form of comb-binding which allows the leaves of a book to be folded and refolded in different sequences. Textually, many of the books are either Crombie's own poetry or fiction, or his interpretations or translations of French or Francophile humorists and absurdist writers, including Samuel Beckett, Alphonse Allais and Pierre Henri Cami (the latter being a particular favourite of Crombie's, and a writer he considers greatly undervalued). The artwork incorporated into Kickshaws books includes drawings, linocuts and images printed from vinyl cut-outs in a variety of colours, designed to harmonize with the typography of the books and to illustrate, or decorate, the text. Kickshaws publishes books in both French and English (sometimes both), and its publications are in some ways closer to French livres d'artiste than to private press books in the Anglo-American tradition.

Usage examples of "kickshaws".

It was chockablock with salons and saloons, hippodromes and nickel pitches, emporia, divertissements, hijinks, kickshaws, bagatelles, burlesque, and buffoonery.

To roast beef and Turkey towels, and after kickshaws and table napkins, one knows how to appreciate such things.

She lives in Leeson park with a grief and kickshaws, a lady of letters.

James drank steadily and chewed kickshaws offered by a succession of lords on bended knee.

No cakes, no pastry kickshaws, and only wheaten bread enough for absolute necessity.

There were no kickshaws, by which term Mr Templecombe scornfully described fondues and trifles and jellies, opining sagely that Philip had no greater liking for them than he had himself.

Bartlett, who was suspected of Commie sympathies, said darkly that was the gentry all over, kickshaws all the time, and nourishing food only fit for the working classes.

He drew their attention to the pastries and jellies and creams, saying that they must thank his daughter-in-law, for they did not usually eat such kickshaws and he had not thought to provide for the tastes of young ladies.

You need oysters and some of those spicy kickshaws to raise the heat of your blood.

Alan was almost reeling with the bounty they had been offered-he had not seen a dinner like that in a year: spicy soup, fresh green salads, beef, chicken, pork, two kinds of fish, rabbit, veal, geese, hot bread, native yams, local kickshaws and made dishes for removes, corn, potatoes, beans and peas, a wine with each course, lovely fresh cheese, and extra-fine biscuits and nuts.

French kickshaws, and having no mother to see that he takes a dose of soda and nitre now and then to keep his system cool.

Well, Friday comes, and there he is, for twenty-four hours by the clock, obliged to keep up, as best he may, on fish and vegetables and suchlike kickshaws, when every fibre of his frame is crying out for meat, red meat.