sideshow

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English[edit]

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Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

side +‎ show

Noun[edit]

sideshow (plural sideshows)

  1. A minor attraction at a larger event such as a circus, fair, music festival or similar.
    • 1999 November 8, Frank Hayes, The Back Page: The main event, Computerworld, page 86,
      And IT people dismiss IT′s impact because, hey, we like being a sideshow to the real action.
    • 1999, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Year Book, Australia, Number 81, page 349,
      Other recreation services, including amusement parks or arcades, sideshows, circuses and agricultural shows, accounted for another 666 businesses. These businesses employed 10,318 persons and a further 3,518 volunteers.
    • 2002, Steve Evans, Ron Middlebrook, Cowboy Guitars, page 146,
      In Australia he busked (singing on street corners), steeplejacked, was a drover and sheep shearer, did motor bike stunts in sideshows and even painted the Sydney Harbor[sic] Bridge.
    • 2005, Joe Nickell, Secrets of the Sideshows, page 126,
      They taught the twins to play saxophone and transferred them from the sideshow to vaudeville.
    • 2006, Lynda Mannik, Canadian Indian Cowboys in Australia: Representation, Rodeo, and the RCMP at the Royal Easter Show, 1939, page 13,
      Entertainment features and sideshows enhanced attendance.
    • 2009, Charles Rawlings-Way, Meg Worby, Lindsay Brown, Paul Harding, Central Australia: Adelaide to Darwin, Lonely Planet, page 63,
      Don′t miss the rusty relics dredged up from the original pier, and the spooky old sideshow machines.
    • 1972 October 14, Henry Johnston, U.S. Tune Wins Rio Festival, Billboard, page 64,
      Sideshows for foreign guests included one provided by Philips manager Andre Midani with his chief recording artists including Chico Buarque, Jorge Ben, Gal Costa Quintato, and Violado.
  2. An incidental spectacle that diverts attention from a larger concern.
    • 1997, Frank Stilwell, One Nation For Whom?, Michael Costa, Mark Hearn (editors), Reforming Australia's Unions: Insights from Southland Magazine, page 244,
      Far from learning from the failures of ‘economic rationalism,’ the Liberals want us to swallow more of the snake oil medicine while diverting our attention to the consumption tax sideshow.
  3. (US) An incident in which drivers block traffic to perform donuts for an extended period of time.

Derived terms[edit]