Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.


 (shĭv′ə-rē′, shĭv′ə-rē′)
n. Midwestern & Western US
A noisy mock serenade for newlyweds. Also called regionally charivari, belling, horning, serenade.

[Alteration of charivari.]
Word History: Shivaree is the most common American regional form of charivari, a word of French origin meaning "a noisy mock serenade for newlyweds." In the past, shivarees were given to married couples who were thought to be mismatched or to people whose conduct was considered scandalous. The French term probably derives from the Late Latin word meaning "headache," carībaria, which in turn is from Greek karēbariā, a compound of karē, "head," and barus, "heavy." English shivaree, most likely borrowed from French traders and settlers along the Mississippi River, was well established in the United States by 1805. The word shivaree is especially common along and west of the Mississippi River. Its use thus forms a dialect boundary running north-south, dividing western usage from eastern. This is unusual in that most dialect boundaries run east-west, dividing the country into northern and southern dialect regions. Some regional equivalents are belling, used in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan; horning, from upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western New England; and serenade, a term used chiefly in the South Atlantic states.


1. a discordant mock serenade to newlyweds, made with pans, kettles, etc
2. a confused noise; din
Also (esp dialect): charivari


(ˌʃɪv əˈri)

n., v. -reed, -ree•ing. n.
1. a mock serenade with noisemakers given for a newly married couple; charivari.
2. an elaborate, noisy celebration.
3. to serenade with a shivaree.
[1835–45, Amer.; alter. of Mississippi Valley French, French charivari charivari]


- A mock serenade, it originally meant "headache" in its Latin form.
See also related terms for headache.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.shivaree - a noisy mock serenade (made by banging pans and kettles) to a newly married couple
serenade - a song characteristically played outside the house of a woman
References in periodicals archive ?
At Caernarfon, below l-r: Zoe Gamble was selling these tasty biscuits; Lauren and Thomasine of Cimera circus; and Francois of Shivaree, Tregarth, cooking up tasty scallops.
Toronto-based Voicebox: Opera in Concert has a distinguished history of Canadian premieres of rare repertoire, but also a commitment to Canadian works that has seen the company revive Timothy Sullivan's Florence: The Lady with the Tamp (presented 1995) and Dream Play (2004), Healey Willan's Dierdre (1997), John Beckwith's The Shivaree (2002) and Night Blooming Cereus (2003), Harry Somers' The Fool (2003) and Charles Wilson's The Summoning of Everyman (2004).
A popular local winter festival called Shivaree is the only large-scale event in Michigan that celebrates interpretation and conservation of lake sturgeon.
An example: when Beckwith showed drafts of the scenario for The Shivaree, an opera whose action takes place on a couple's wedding night, to director Herman Geiger-Torel, the latter suggested the story should build to "several big climaxes.
The shivaree that followed was a "football wedding," with doors open to all who entered and a buffet-style dinner.
Geesala f Barathea - Shivaree John J Brennan -1 RPR 72 She was doing everything right at home and it was no surprise when she won well first time at Pontefract last month.
Whether you spelled it shivaree (like we do down in Texas) or charivari (like the dictionary does), a local, recently wedded couple was in for a rough night.
Tainted Love: Mating Calls and Fight Songs Shivaree.
Often sounding like the Cowboy Junkies' Margo Timmins, Shivaree chanteuse Ambrosia Parsley moves from whispery to leathery in imaginative remakes of tainted love songs such as Ike Turner's "My Heart Belongs to You," Motley Crue's "Looks That Kill" and Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough.
She argues, "the wedding in Western New Brunswick is an extended celebration: it lasts from the marriage ceremonies through the honeymoon to the shivaree to the shower, sometimes a period of two to three weeks" (1974: 286).
I have a shivaree story to share with you and it's a very sad one.
I wouldn't even be telling anyone this if I didn't hear this song by Shivaree, "I Will Go Quietly," on The L Word season three soundtrack.