Matzoh Ball


Matzoh Ball
(MAWT.suh bawl)
n.
A Jewish party or dance held on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Also: Matzo Ball.
Example Citations:
My brother Adam told me that it was traditional to hold Christmas Eve parties among Jewish singles living in Manhattan in the 1990s — after all, the following day was a day off from work. The parties were for Jews because Christians were assumed to be with their families on Christmas Eve. These parties were called "Matzoh Balls."
— Mitch Wagner, "Christmas for Jews," Monkeys in My Pants ( http://blog.mitchwagner.com/: http://blog.mitchwagner.com/), November 23, 2003
On the other side of town, at Club Medusa in Belltown, close to 500 Jews, aged 21 to 40, will gather for the annual "Matzoh Ball," a Christmas Eve social dance held in cities across the country.
— Jason Margolis, "Non-Christians gather to pray, to socialize or to help the needy," The Seattle Times, December 24, 2002
Earliest Citation:
What started as an annual Christmas eve party, a "Matzo Ball," has evolved into a big boogie and social phenomenon that attracts Jews from as far as Rhode Island and Maine.
— Desiree French, "Bringing Jewish singles together," The Boston Globe, July 17, 1989
Notes:
The Matzoh Ball pun has been used as a joke punchline for many years, and has also been used to refer to non-Christmas Jewish parties (particularly around Passover) since at least the mid-80s, although probably long before that.
Thanks to subscriber b.santo for passing along the term and the link to Mitch Wagner's blog entry.
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