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