One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Illusory or imaginary and therefore disappointing.
delusory, delusional, delusiveView synonyms
- ‘Your lighter boxes of family papers went upstairs into a Barmecide room.’
- ‘All virtuality is a Barmecide feast and Internet is virtuality par excellence.’
- ‘Hence the expression ‘Barmecide feast’, a useful metaphor for, well, loads of things… use your imagination.’
- ‘For if all these experiences relieved the boredom of a well-brought-up young lady's life in Mayfair, they nonetheless proved a Barmecide feast.’
A person who offers benefits that are illusory or disappointing.
- ‘The Barmecide caressed Schacabac mightily, and told him, "I not only forgive the blow you have given me, but I desire henceforward we should be friends.’
- ‘These phagocytes, deceived the Barmecide, are made at my own house.’
- ‘Mince this online prescriptions pharmacy, croaked the Barmecide, by eating heartily of it.’
Early 18th century (as a noun): from Arabic Barmakī, the name of a prince in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, who gave a beggar a feast consisting of ornate but empty dishes.
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