Discuss word origins and meanings.
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:56 pm

I read an article in the magazine The Week a few weeks ago which described a speech Sarah Palin gave when her teleprompter purportedly failed. What followed, sans teleprompter or not, was described in the article as utter nonsense (containing non sequiturs, various incoherent drivel, etc.). Unfortunately, I inadvertently threw out that issue, but I do remember them using the word pasquinade in their description. So I did a search and found a discussion in the Washington Post (I liked The Week’s quote better), but her performance had to be pretty pathetic for some of her own wingnuts plus some moderate conservatives to turn on her.

The following is from the the Washington Post:
<2015 “Kristol [[William Kristol, the conservative Weekly Standard editor]] noted that many conservative figures have maintained their credibility with the right even after their careers in elected office were over, including Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich. In the National Review, [[Charles C. W.]] Cooke wrote that Palin had picked another path. Having been mercilessly and unjustly [[unjustly?? You jest!]] pilloried by the media throughout the 2008 campaign, Sarah Palin had a clear choice in its aftermath: She could sober up and prove the buggers wrong, or she could collapse into ignominious pasquinade,’ he wrote. ‘Sadly, she chose the latter’.”—, 28 January>

Pasquinade is a literary word that somehow passed me by (I guess I’m not that literary (>:)). However, it has a very nice ring to it and sounds like it might have an interesting origin. I thought it somewhat obscure, but it did garner 169,000 Google hits at my space-time coordinates, so it is not unheard of.

PASQUINADE noun [1658]: (originally) A usually anonymous satire or lampoon, especially one that ridicules a specific person, traditionally written and posted in a public place; (later) any circulated or published lampoon or libel. <He was a writer of farce, burlesque and incisive pasquinade of political criticism. [[libel]].

PASQUINADE transitive verb [1779]: To ridicule with a pasquinade; satirize or lampoon. <He has been notoriously pasquinaded for his pains.>

Etymology: French, from Italian pasquinata, after Pasquino, nickname given to an ancient statue in Rome, Italy, on which lampoons were posted. Wikipedia does a very nice job of delving in greater detail into the very interesting history of the word.

(Oxford English Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary, Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, and

The following quotes are from the Oxford English Dictionary and archived sources
<1658 “Pasquinade, a Satirical Invective or Libel, savoring of the Pasquin at Rome.”—The New World of English Words by E. Phillips.

<1705 “Some in Pasquinades affront the State.”— Writings Author True-Born Englishman by Daniel Defoe, II. page 70>

<1779 “You still retain the empty privilege of pasquinading your king and his ministers.”—Oration Delivered in Boston (1785) by W. Tudor, page 125>

<1796 “One of the candidates . . . has already been pasquinaded.”—Sporting Magazine, Vol. 7, page 312>

<1826 “He abused Velluti, and pasquinaded his patroness.”—Vivian Grey by B. Disraeli, II. III. i. page 5>

<1843 “The white walls of the barracks were covered with epigrams and pasquinades levelled at Cortez.”—History of the Conquest of Mexico by W. H. Prescott, III. VII. i. page 208>

<1880 “We dined and voted together, and together pasquinaded our opponents.”—Endymion by B. Disraeli, I. i. page 4>

<1906 “In the common and almost legitimate trade of pasquinading it, he was the man who could ‘get home’ oftenest, best, and quickest.”—Daily Chronicle (London), 9 May, page 3/3>

<1934 “A man famous for his evil tongue came up and . . . delivered himself of a long pasquinade at the expense of my friend.”—Resurrection by W. Gerhardi, xv. page 43>

<1946 “A cold shiver ran down his spine at the thought of the pasquinades, the epigrams that his misadventure would suggest.”—Then and Now by W. Somerset Maugham, xxxv, page 204>

<2000 “The editors drafted articles pasquinading school lunches, cheerleaders, classmates, and teachers.”—Education Law (edition 2) by M. Imber & T. Van Geel, iv. page 132>

<2001 “A current clerical pasquinade deals with the recent elections and the Roman Church's support for the victors.”—The Church Times, 5 July, page 11/5>

<2004 “Stewart has, with a small tram of gag writers, written America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction. It is a satire, a pasquinade, a hoot at the American polity, a bemanuring of the High and Mighty.”—The American Spectator, 1 March>

<2007 “The Tragedy of the Revolution, a historical essay on the betrayal and execution of Andres Bonifacio. His other published works include Pasquinadesand Occasional Prose, both compilations of his essays.”—Manila Bulletin (The Philippines), 28 December>

<2010 “But, one suspects, this is not supposed to be post-modern mockery. Instead, it is an all-too-real pasquinade that succeeds in talking down to women . . .”—Daily Mail (London) 27 August>

<2014 “If your work was deemed ugly, you soon learnt about it from lampoons or pasquinades. You got stabbed in the back. Anonymous denunciations for sodomy would arrive, as regular as parking tickets."—Boston Globe (Massachusetts). 26 October>

Ken G – February 8, 2015

Re: pasquinade

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:50 am

Now that is a word that I know I will find useful!

I wish I had heard Palin's speech. Being a politician myself (an extremely lowly one I hasten to add), it is always a joy to see someone who is that over-hyped drop themselves into the doo-dah!
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: pasquinade

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:41 am

I'm not sure whether I want to find a British politician I can use it on or not.

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