A coxcomb (Ital, un maccherone). The word is derived from the Macaroni Club, instituted in London about 1760 by a set of flashy men who had traveled in Italy, and introduced at Almack's subscription table the new-fangled Italian food, macaroni. The Macaronis were exquisite fops; vicious, insolent, fond of gambling, drinking and duelling, and were (c.1773) the curse of Vauxhall Gardens. [1]


  1. Brewer, Dr. Ebenezer Cobham, Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, Centenary Edition revised by Ivor H. Evans, Harper & Row, 1817; On-Line Version
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