Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Merry.

 Merrow.Merry Andrew. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The original meaning is not mirthful, but active, famous; hence gallant soldiers were called “merry men;” favourable weather, “merry weather;” brisk wind, “a merry gale;” London was “merry London;” England, “merry England;” Chaucer speaks of the “merry organ at the mass;” Jane Shore is called by Pennant the “merry concubine of Edward IV.” (Anglo-Saxon, mœra, illustrious, great, mighty, etc.). (See MERRY-MEN.)   1
   ’Tis merry in hall, when beards wag all (2 Henry IV., act V. 3). It is a sure sign of mirth when the beards of the guests shake with laughter.   2

 Merrow.Merry Andrew. 


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