Daily TWiP Archives

Something interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.

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Daily TWiP – June 18: International Picnic Day

Break out the blankets and the Tupperware containers – today (June 18) is International Picnic Day. Show your solidarity with alfresco aficionados the world over by sharing a meal outdoors in your backyard or other favorite outdoor location.

The word “picnic” dates back to 17th century France, first appearing in the 1692 edition of “Origines de la Langue Francoise de Menage” as “piquenique.” The book indicated that the word had recently entered common usage.

“Piquenique” is thought to have been derived from the verb “piquer” (“to pick, to peck”) and then coupled with the word “nique,” either because of its meaning of “a thing of little importance” or simply because it rhymed. Its exact origin remains uncertain, but it was initially used to describe groups of restaurant diners who brought their own wine.

The word was soon anglicized to “picnic,” making its first English language appearance in 1748 in a letter written by Lord Chesterfield. By this time, the word was being used to refer to a meal where everyone brought something to share, regardless of whether it was eaten indoors or out. It would be another century before “picnic” lost its potluck connotations and became exclusively associated with outdoor dining.

We suggest combining the various incarnations of “picnic” and having a meal outdoors with friends and family to which everyone contributes a dish or a bottle of wine. If your social circle doesn’t include a great many cooks, you may want to assign each guest an entree, appetizer, dessert, etc., as National Drink Wine Day isn’t until Feb. 18.

– Teresa Santoski


Originally published June 18, 2010.

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