meringue an airy, crisp confection of beaten egg white and sugar. The word probably entered French from German, as did many other French words ending in -ingue. It first appeared in print in Massialot (1691), although earlier recipes for the same thing but without the name had been published. The name travelled to England almost at once and first appeared in print there in 1706. Legends to the effect that the origin of the name is connected with the activities of a Swiss chef in the 1720s may be disregarded. The same applies to the more pleasing notion advanced by Thudichum (1895) that the name came from the Merovingian kings of France, whose dynasty began in AD 481.