Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Madison. Madison Wonders, “Who invented parties?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Madison!
What do the following things have in common: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, New Year's Eve, and Cinco de Mayo? Give up? They're all occasions that call for a celebration, a party, a fiesta, a gala, a soiree, a get-together, a bash…maybe even a shindig!
Have you ever been to a shindig? The word itself conjures up images of a lively party full of outgoing guests, cool refreshments, delicious snacks, loud music, and fun games. There's nothing quite like a good old-fashioned shindig to celebrate any occasion.
But what exactly is a shindig? And why do we call it that? Let's take a closer look at the meaning of this word and how it came to be part of our wild, WONDERful English language.
Shindig is typically used when referring to a boisterous or noisy dance or party. It's also usually used to refer to such a party when it's celebrating something particular, such as a birthday or holiday.
The term has appeared in American English writing since at least the 1870s. Scholars believe shindig is a modification of an older word: shindy. Shindy was used to describe a noisy party or gathering, but it could also be used to describe a brawl, ruckus, or commotion.
The origin of shindy is less clear. Some experts believe it's a modification of an even older word: shinny. Shinny (sometimes called shinty) was a Scottish game played with bent sticks on ice that many believe was one of the precursors of modern ice hockey.
So are you ready for a shindig? Although parties are often portrayed as fun events that everyone enjoys, the fact is that there are many people who don't really enjoy parties — even when it's their birthday!
Some people are introverts. People who are introverts prefer to spend time alone or with a small, quiet group of friends. For introverts, social gatherings, such as shindigs, can cause stress or anxiety rather than being enjoyable.
If you're an introvert and a friend suggests throwing a shindig for your birthday, simply tell them that you'd rather have just a few friends over to play cards or watch a movie. You can still have a great time without loud music and dozens of people!