One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter.‘an air of persiflage’
banter, repartee, raillery, ripostes, sallies, quips, wisecracks, crosstalk, wordplay, teasing, raggingView synonyms
- ‘Its all ephemera and persiflage, as we sit mocking in the plumes as political gadflies who tell the truth.’
- ‘He was not one to mince matters, nor did he wrap up inconvenient topics in persiflage.’
- ‘He was clearly out-of-place, the only one in a tie, and as monosyllabic as a teenager during most of the persiflage.’
- ‘When they look at academic discourse they see only persiflage: fancy words, convoluted syntax, and the pretentious invocation of authority.’
Mid 18th century: from French persifler ‘to banter’, based on siffler ‘to whistle’.
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