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persiflage

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n persiflage light teasing
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Persiflage Frivolous or bantering talk; a frivolous manner of treating any subject, whether serious or otherwise; light raillery.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n persiflage Light, flippant banter; idle, bantering talk or humor; an ironical, frivolous, or jeering style of treating or regarding a subject, however serious it may be.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Persiflage pėr′si-fläzh a frivolous way of talking or treating any subject: banter
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. persifler, to quiz, fr. L. per + siffler, to whistle, hiss, L. sibilare, sifilare,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—persifler, to banter—L. per, through, Fr. siffler—L. sibilāre, to whistle, to hiss.

Usage

In literature:

And I have forgotten persiflage, small talk.
"Black Oxen" by Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
That's a rippin' little bit of persiflage, Miss Hamilton?
"The Keepers of the King's Peace" by Edgar Wallace
Bobby was enjoying a lot of preliminary persiflage when Shepherd incidentally mentioned their destination.
"The Making of Bobby Burnit" by George Randolph Chester
She said she thought persiflage was out of taste when the happiness of a mother's whole life was in question.
"Ladies-In-Waiting" by Kate Douglas Wiggin
I want you to ride Persiflage in the hunt as often as you like.
"Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 5, June 1905" by Various
No, my "airy persiflage" was only a cloak.
"The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2)" by Harry Furniss
Lord Persiflage and our Marquis had married sisters.
"Marion Fay" by Anthony Trollope
Breakfast was partaken of to the accompaniment of the usual airy persiflage.
"The Deaves Affair" by Hulbert Footner
This persiflage entertained him.
"The "Genius"" by Theodore Dreiser
The address to him is nothing more than a most exquisite piece of persiflage.
"Roman Women" by Alfred Brittain
Randolph's speech was strangely at variance with the usual persiflage.
"Trevethlan: Volume 1" by William Davy Watson
Never was such airy persiflage heard in a mining camp before.
"The Westerners" by Stewart Edward White
Frau von Nerac showed herself a mistress of persiflage, and the young Count was no whit her inferior in this regard.
"Saint Michael" by E. Werner
When I ask an expert opinion of an educated person I don't intend to be put off with mere persiflage.
"The Siege of the Seven Suitors" by Meredith Nicholson
But Dixie Lee had come down to get some eggs and she did not allow camp persiflage to divert her from her purpose.
"Bat Wing Bowles" by Dane Coolidge
She was thankful he wasn't the guardian of the outer defences: just at present she was in no fit mood to bandy persiflage successfully.
"Joan Thursday" by Louis Joseph Vance
But," resuming his tone of persiflage, "you were there an unreasonable time, it seems to me.
"At the Age of Eve" by Kate Trimble Sharber
What Mr. Watkins had taken for persiflage was in reality another American declaration of independence.
"The Blower of Bubbles" by Arthur Beverley Baxter
His well-aimed jibes were quite as hard to dodge As meteors agleam with persiflage.
"The Bee's Bayonet" by Edwin Alfred Watrous
In contrast with the conductor's dourness the train butcher's mood was congenially inclined to persiflage.
"Local Color" by Irvin S. Cobb
***

In poetry:

Beneath the tree's umbrageous limb
A hungry fox sat smiling;
He saw the raven watching him,
And spoke in words beguiling:
"J'admire," said he, "ton beau plumage!"
(The which was simply persiflage.)
"The Sycophantic Fox And The Gullible Raven" by Guy Wetmore Carryl