One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A parry combined with a riposte.
- ‘To disarm an adversary counts for nothing, but a tac-au-tac riposte against a disarmed adversary is good.’
- ‘The retort was in the nature of the tac-au-tac riposte beloved of the skilled swordsman.’
Early 20th century: French, literally ‘clash for clash’, from imitative tac.
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