Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by @Heena Rathore P. (http://heenarathorep.com/). It’s a fun way to improve vocubulary by learning new words every week.
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persiflage • \PER-suh-flahzh\ • noun
: frivolous bantering talk : light raillery
Origin: French, from persifler to banter, from per- thoroughly + siffler to whistle, hiss, boo, ultimately from Latin sibilare.
First use: 1757
Synonyms: backchat, badinage, chaff, give-and-take, jesting, joshing, banter, raillery, repartee
Since the final round ended sooner than expected, the quiz show host engaged in persiflage with the contestants until it was time to sign off.
Did you know?
Unwanted persiflage on television might provoke an impatient audience to hiss or boo, but from an etymological standpoint, no other reaction could be more appropriate. English speakers picked up persiflage from French in the 18th century. Its ancestor is the French verb persifler, which means “to banter” and was formed from the prefix per-, meaning “thoroughly,” plus siffler, meaning “to whistle, hiss, or boo.” Siffler in turn derived from the Latin verb sibilare, meaning “to whistle or hiss.” By the way, sibilare is also the source of sibilant, a word linguists use to describe sounds like those made by “s” and “sh” in sash. That Latin root also underlies the verb sibilate, meaning “to hiss” or “to pronounce with or utter an initial sibilant.”
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