The song is an insult. Its not just any insult, either. With “Yankee Doodle,” the Redcoats were delivering the most puerile, schoolyard insult in the schoolyard insult book. They were suggesting that American soldiers were gay.
Likewise, what does Handy mean in Yankee Doodle? Yankee Doodle, dandy. Mind the music and the step and with the girls be handy. And this particular version was sung by predominantly the British as a reminder to our American friends that dance steps in Europe and in America, the colonies as it was, were different.
Considering this, what does macaroni mean in Yankee Doodle?
In the late 18th century macaroni was a slang term referring to anything highly stylish or fashionable. The lyrics to Yankee Doodle describe an American colonist as thinking a feather in his cap was macaroni. These lyrics originated (so legend has it) with British troops and was intended to be derisive.
Where does Yankee Doodle come from?
It was written around 1755 by British Army surgeon Dr. Richard Shuckburgh while campaigning in upper New York, and the British troops sang it to make fun of their stereotype of the American soldier as a Yankee simpleton who thought that he was stylish if he simply stuck a feather in his cap.