“Grimaldi was pantomime,” writes Andrew McConnell Scott in his biography, The pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi.
So I watched him pantomime skating, and I thought well if he can do it, I can do it.
A pantomime horse plays a role, as does a sardonic hand puppet.
1610s, "mime actor," from Latin pantomimus "mime, dancer," from Greek pantomimos "actor," literally "imitator of all," from panto- (genitive of pan) "all" (see pan-) + mimos "imitator" (see mime (n.)).
Meaning "drama or play without words" first recorded 1735. The English dramatic performances so called, usually at Christmas and with words and songs and stock characters, are attested by this name from 1739; said to have originated c.1717. Related: Pantomimic; pantomimical.
1768, from pantomime (n.). Related: Pantomimed; pantomiming.