According to the "The Barber's Story of his Sixth Brother" in the Tales from the Arabian Nights, Barmecide is an illusion, particularly one containing a great disappointment. The story begins in Baghdad, where a member of the Barmecide family decides to amuse himself. He invites Schacabac, a poor, starving wretch, to dinner. Having set before him a series of empty plates, the Barmecide asks, "How do you like your soup?" "Excellently well," replies Schacabac. "Did you ever see whiter bread?" "Never, honorable sir." When illusory wine is offered, Schacabac pretends to be drunk and knocks his host down. Barmecide sees the humor in the situation, forgives him, and provides him with a sumptuous meal. A Barmecide feast is an empty pretense of hospitality or generosity. One who offers false and disappointing benefits is a Barmecide. The adjective Barmecidal means unreal, illusory.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Barmecide — Bar me*cide, n. [A prince of the Barmecide family, who, as related in the Arabian Nights Tales , pretended to set before the hungry Shacabac food, on which the latter pretended to feast.] One who proffers some illusory advantage or benefit. Also… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Barmecide — adjective see Barmecidal …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Barmecide — /bahr meuh suyd /, n. 1. a member of a noble Persian family of Baghdad who, according to a tale in The Arabian Nights Entertainments, gave a beggar a pretended feast with empty dishes. adj. 2. Barmecidal. [ < Pers Barmeki family name, lit.,… …   Universalium

  • Barmecide — [ bα:mɪsʌɪd] adjective rare illusory or imaginary and therefore disappointing. Origin C18: from Arab. Barmakī, a prince in the Arabian Nights Entertainments, who gave a beggar a feast consisting of ornate but empty dishes …   English new terms dictionary

  • barmecide — a. Delusive, illusory, tantalizing, mock, make believe, sham, unsatisfying, visionary, unsubstantial, unreal …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • barmecide — bar·me·cide …   English syllables

  • Barmecide —   n. giver of illlusory benefits.    ♦ Barmecidal, a …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • barmecide — adj. & n. adj. illusory, imaginary; such as to disappoint. n. a giver of benefits that are illusory or disappointing. Etymology: the name of a wealthy man in the Arabian Nights Entertainments who gave a beggar a feast consisting of ornate but… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Barmecide feast — Barmecide feast, 1. a pretended feast with empty dishes. 2. an empty pretense of hospitality, generosity, or other kindnesses or benefits. ╂[< Barmecide] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Barmecide (feast) — [bär′mə sīd΄] n. 〚after a prince in The Arabian Nights who served such a feast〛 1. a pretended feast with no food 2. any pretended or illusory generosity or hospitality Barmecidal [bär΄məsīd′ l] adj. * * * …   Universalium

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