What's the difference in spirit between "gallimaufry" and "farrago"? Are there any sentences where using one or the other would lead to a subtly different meaning?

Both are defined in dictionaries as "a confused mixture", or a synonym of "hotchpotch". I'm afraid they're too close to just be able to compare their dictionary definitions.

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    Gallimaufry and farrago: achehtimes.com/wordwealth/a-z/g/gallimaufry.htm
    – user66974
    Apr 1, 2016 at 9:24
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    On an unrelated note, I learned two new words today. Apr 1, 2016 at 9:27
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    hodgepodge, I prefer.
    – Lambie
    Apr 1, 2016 at 19:19
  • Compare the etymologies.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 1, 2016 at 19:30
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    I thought for sure this question was an April Fool's joke.
    – IchabodE
    Apr 1, 2016 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


Farrago and gallimaufry are both colorful synonyms for an ill-assorted and mismatched collection of things - a confused assemblage of parts constituting an infelicitous whole.

The main difference is etymological: farrago comes from Latin, denoting mixed or varied feed. Gallimaufry is from old French, suggesting an unappetizing collation of foods in an unappetizing dish - (sort of like running a week's leftovers successively through a food processor and a microwave, I suppose.)

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