WOTD – 18 June 2020
A bowl of bouillabaisse.
Borrowed from French bouillabaisse, from Occitan bolhabaissa, bouiabaisso,[1] possibly a compound of bolhir (“to boil”) +‎ abaissar (“to lower (the temperature)”).
bouillabaisse (countable and uncountable, pluralbouillabaisses)
  1. A type of fish soup or stew from Provence, France.
    • 1849, [William Makepeace Thackeray], “The Ballad of Bouillabaisse”, in Punch, or The London Charivari, volume XVI, London: Published at the office, 85, Fleet Street, OCLC 732224722, page 67, column 1:
      And here's an inn, not rich and splendid, / But still in comfortable case; / The which in youth I oft attended, / To eat a bowl of Bouillabaisse. // This Bouillabaisse a noble dish is— / A sort of soup, or broth, or brew, / Or hotchpotch of all sorts of fishes, / That Greenwich never could outdo; / Green herbs, red peppers, mussels, saffern, / Soles, onions, garlic, roach, and dace; / All these you eat at Terré's tavern, / In that one dish of Bouillabaisse.
    • 1894, George du Maurier, “Part Fifth: Little Billee: An Interlude”, in Trilby: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, OCLC 174215199, page 243:
      First of all they dined together at a delightful little Franco-Italian pothouse near Leicester Square, where they had bouillabaisse (imagine the Laird's delight), and spaghetti, and a poulet rôti, which is such a different affair from a roast fowl!
    • 1926 November, Perceval Gibbon, “The Tryst”, in The Strand Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly, volume LXXII, London: George Newnes, Ltd., […], OCLC 1006315258, page 468, column 2:
      Further to the east he could see the jetty of the Yacht Club, where one may eat to surfeit of the best bouillabaisse in the world, in some of the best company.
    • 1942, D. Barlone, “[3 September 1940]”, in L. V. Cass, transl., A French Officer’s Diary: (23 August 1939 – 1 October 1940), 1st paperback edition, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: University Press, published 2011, →ISBN, page 133:
      A remarkable bouillabaisse is served up in the little restaurant where I take my meals, that is, lunch, for in the evening I eat only fruit, figs and grapes mostly, in my room.
    • 1982, Mary Tapié de Céleyran, Georges Beauté, editor, A Toulouse-Lautrec Album, Salt Lake City, Ut.: Gibbs M. Smith, →ISBN, page 62, column 1:
      On the very bridge of the boat, exhilarated, he [Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec] concocted elaborate bouillabaisses, refining his recipes with priestly gravity.
    • 1985 December, John Mariani, “Entertaining on Board: Bouillabaisse—a Fine Kettle of Fish”, in Peter A. Janssen, editor, Motor Boating & Sailing, volume 156, number 6, New York, N.Y.: Hearst Corporation, ISSN0027-1799, OCLC 183201318, page 28, column 1:
      If you want to start an argument among Frenchmen, just ask a group of them what goes into an authentic bouillabaisse—that lusty Mediterranean seafood stew fragrant with the aroma of fish, shellfish and saffron. The dish was first brought to Marseilles by sailors, and legend has it that the Greek goddess Venus cooked bouillabaisse for her husband Vulcan to put him to sleep so that she could go about other business.
    • 2013 April, Mary C[arolyn] Beaudry, “Mixing Food, Mixing Cultures: Archaeological Perspectives”, in W. Paul van Pelt, editor, Archaeological Review from Cambridge, volume 28, number 1 (Archaeology and Cultural Mixture), Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Division of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, ISSN 0261-4332, OCLC920380659, page 294:
      Catfish and redfish, turtles and shellfish (e.g. deep-fried clams) were often eaten in fricassees or bouillabaisses and in late summer, oysters and crawfish (described by one observer as "des ecrevices[sic, meaning écrevisses] magnifiques") were consumed with enthusiasm [...].
  2. (figuratively) A mixture.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:​hodgepodge​, Thesaurus:mixture
    intellectual bouillabaisse
    the radical bouillabaisse that is American politics
    • 1976, James Monaco, The New Wave: Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer, Rivette, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 68:
      La Sirène du Mississipi is a synthesis of the work he [François Truffaut] has been doing during the preceding six or eight years, a great bouillabaisse of [Jean] Renoir, [Alfred] Hitchcock, [Humphrey] Bogart, [Antoine] Doinel, [...]
    • 1984, Wallace D[zu] Loh, “Implementation and Expansion of Law: Case Study of Southern and Northern School Desegregation”, in Social Research in the Judicial Process: Cases, Readings, and Text, New York, N.Y.: Russell Sage Foundation, →ISBN, part II (Social Research and Substantive Justice: Lawmaking in the Appellate Process), section 4.6 (Reinterpretation of Brown), page 160:
      Social psychologists differentiated between "merely desegregated" and "genuinely integrated" schools [...]. The former refers to a mere racial bouillabaisse and implies nothing about the quality of racial interaction that is a precondition to effective learning.
    • 1989, Barbara Probst Solomon, “Dwight Macdonald’s Against the American Grain”, in Horse-trading and Ecstasy: Essays, San Francisco, Calif.: North Point Press, →ISBN, page 65:
      By the mid-twentieth century the avant-garde, the good, the bad, and the fatal in-between [in art] have all become mixed in one indigestible bouillabaisse, and [Dwight] Macdonald has assigned himself the position of pointing out which is which.
    • 1993, Janet Trowbridge Bohlen, “Patricia Chapple Wright: The Creation of a Park”, in For the Wild Places: Profiles in Conservation, Washington, D.C.; Covelo, Calif.: Island Press, →ISBN, page 16:
      The word "megadiversity" has been coined to describe such wildlife bouillabaisses, where many conservationists believe they should focus their efforts.
    • 2014, Frank Javier Garcia Berumen, “The 1970s”, in Latino Image Makers in Hollywood: Performers, Filmmakers and Films since the 1960s, Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, →ISBN, page 84:
      It's who I am that matters. God, you can see the Indian in me. There are 200 kinds of Indians in Nicaragua—actually, I [Barbara Carrera] call myself a bouillabaisse of bloodlines.
    • 2021, Ian Millhiser, The Supreme Court just backed away from one of its cruelest death penalty decisions, vox.com, February 12 2021
      Both Dunn cases came to the Court on the “shadow docket,” a bouillabaisse of emergency motions and other matters that do not receive full briefing and oral argument before the justices decide a case.
type of fish stew or soup from Provence
mixture — see mixture
^ bouillabaisse, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1933; “bouillabaisse, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
Further reading
bouillabaisse on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
From Occitan bolhabaissa, possibly a compound of bolhir (“to boil”) +‎ abaissar (“to lower [temperature]”), equivalent to bouillir +‎ abaisser.
French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr
bouillabaisse f (countable and uncountable, plural bouillabaisses)
bouillabaisse (fish soup from Provence)
Further reading
bouillabaisse” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
Last edited on 23 March 2021, at 14:09
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