Word of the Day Archive
Friday June 21, 2002
persiflage \PUR-suh-flahzh\ , noun:
Frivolous or bantering talk; a frivolous manner of treating any subject, whether serious or otherwise; light raillery.
He was somber and wordless and utterly unresponsive to my mother'scharming persiflage.
-- Rosemary Mahoney, A Likely Story
It was a brutal spectacle to watch this Coney Island Keatsian subjected to Winters' unrelenting persiflage.
-- Richard M. Elman, Namedropping: Mostly Literary Memoirs
Persiflage comes from French, from persifler, "to banter," from per-, "thoroughly" (from Latin) + siffler, "to hiss, to whistle," ultimately from Latin sibilare, "to hiss (at), to whistle."