One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The person popularly supposed to be represented by a statue in Rome on which satirical Latin verses were annually posted in the 16th cent.; the statue itself. Hence: an imaginary person to whom anonymous lampoons were ascribed; a composer of lampoons. Now historical.
Mid 16th century. From post-classical Latin Pasquinus, the name of a fictitious author of satirical verses and its apparent etymon Italian Pasquino; see note below. Compare Middle French, French Pasquin, the name of a fictitious author of satirical verses, satirical writing, the statue in Rome on which satirical verses were posted.
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