One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A summer fair held in towns and villages in the Netherlands.
- ‘The whole purpose of travelling to the Netherlands (and other countries) this weekend was to visit the Tilburgse Kermis, one of the largest travelling fairs outside of Germany.’
- ‘He specialized in elegant figures in parklike landscapes as well as kermis and other village festivals.’
- 1.1US A fair or carnival, especially one held to raise money for a charity.
Late 16th century: Dutch, originally denoting a mass on the anniversary of the dedication of a church, when a fair was held, from kerk ‘church’ + mis ‘Mass’.
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