One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mummer in a folk play performed especially at Christmas or Halloween.
- ‘Periods of rest are provided by the arrival of the squads of guisers, each in turn performing a sketch.’
- ‘The mighty pumpkin itself has - sadly, in my opinion - supplanted our own dear and humble neep at Halloween - although it is certainly much easier to gouge out a pumpkin than a hard turnip to make a lantern for guisers.’
- ‘The possibilities are endless and only limited by the imagination of the ‘guiser’.’
- ‘The monsters that seem originally to have inspired the guisers have, incidentally, much in common.’
- ‘Unlike in the United States, the guisers must perform a song or poem to earn their treat.’
Late 15th century: from the archaic verb guise ‘dress fantastically’, from the noun guise.
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