Re: [XTalk] Petard
- Petard<petarde < Lat. peditum (a breaking of wind) from pedo, pedere,
pepedi, to break wind. I don't know where the bit about the "lance"
comes from, unless someone erroneously took the etymology from Lat.
"peto" rather than "pedo".
Bob Schacht wrote:
> At 04:41 PM 7/30/01 +0100, Eric Eve wrote:
> >On 29 Jul 2001, at 12:11, William Arnal wrote:
> > > Hoist by my own petard (what's a petard, anyway?)
> >In modern French petard means 'firecracker' or 'banger'. In (presumably
> >late) mediaeval warfare it was a (I should imagine primitive) explosive
> >device used to blow up castle gates and the like (in siege warfare, I'd
> >imagine). To be 'hoist on one's on petard' was thus to be blown up by
> >one's own bomb (probably an occupational hazard laying a barrel of
> >gunpowder with a dodgy fuse that might go off prematurely). I think I read
> >somewhere that the word originally came from the French for 'to break
> >wind', though I can't find this in my French dictionary!
> >I'm sure you really wanted to know that!
> >Best wishes,
> The trail leads back to Shakespeare (don't all trails lead back to the
> bard?), Hamlet III.IV.207,
> "For tis the sport to have the engineer hoist on his own petar; and 't
> shall go hard/But I will delve one yard below their mines, and blow them to
> the moon."
> referring to a small engine of war used to blast a hole through a door or
> wall. I suppose the metaphor is akin to blowing someone "up"?
> This is too bad, in a way, because I had been led to believe at one point
> that the word was an older-still reference to the lance used by knights
> when joisting. But I can cite no source for that interpretation.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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