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Persiflage   Listen
Persiflage

noun
1.
Light teasing.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Persiflage" Quotes from Famous Books



... of life than two-and twenty, and the damsel could not comprehend the possibility of thoughtlessness when there was anything to think about. The ass's bridge was nothing compared with Lucy! Moreover the habits of persiflage of a lively family often are confusing to one not used to the tone of jest and repartee, and Phoebe had as little power as will to take part in what was passing between the brother and sister; she sat like the spectator of a farce in a foreign tongue, till the boat had arrived ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... content to abandon persiflage, satisfied that his average for acerbity was still high. "Besides," he said peaceably, "I'm all dressed up pretty now, and it doesn't look right for a respectable member of society to be pulling off ...
— The Bandbox • Louis Joseph Vance

... after the night of offenses, she greeted him quite as if nothing had happened, challenging him gaily to a gallop with the valley head for its goal, and refusing to be drawn into anything more serious than joyous persiflage until they were returning at a walk down a boulder-strewn wood road at the back of the Dabney horse pasture. Then, and not till then, was the question of Nancy Bryerson's future suffered ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... her in such a mood: gay, witty, brilliant,—full of a restless sparkle and fire; she would not speak an earnest word, nor hear one. She flung about bonmots, and chatted airy persiflage till his heart ached. At another time, in another condition, he would have been delighted, dazzled, at this strange display; but ...
— What Answer? • Anna E. Dickinson

... almost ignored; and Hyde did not feel any desire to bring even her name into such a mocking, jeering, perfectly heartless conversation. He was content to laugh, and let the hour go past in such flim-flams of criticism and persiflage. He remembered when he had been one of the units in such a life, and he wondered if it were possible that he could ever drift back into it. For even as he sat there, with the memory of his wife and child in his heart, he felt the light charm of Lady Arabella's claim ...
— The Bow of Orange Ribbon - A Romance of New York • Amelia E. Barr

... dollars a day could afford a little persiflage with the cook in the kitchen where he was theoretically repairing the sink. The cook was plain-featured, but any diversion was welcome to speed the hours for which he drew pay. He made a strong impression on the cook, and when he took his departure, ...
— Jokes For All Occasions - Selected and Edited by One of America's Foremost Public Speakers • Anonymous

... What you've seen from automobiles. That's all. That's where you get off! I've lived in the trenches for fifteen months, froze in 'em, starved in 'em, risked my life in 'em, and I've saved other lives, too, by hauling men out of the trenches. And that's no airy persiflage, either!" ...
— The Lost Road • Richard Harding Davis

... to Don Juan, and it is hard to say which is the cleverer satire of the two. In both, the wit is so unforced and natural, the fun so sparkling, the banter and the persiflage so bright and scintillating, that they seem, as Sir Walter Scott said, to be the natural outflow from the fountain of humour. Byron's earliest satire, English Bards and Scots Reviewers, is a clever piece of work, ...
— English Satires • Various

... immediate effect Was to restore him to his self-propriety, A thing quite necessary to the elect, Who wish to take the tone of their society: In which you cannot be too circumspect, Whether the mode be persiflage or piety, But wear the newest mantle of hypocrisy, On pain ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... What may that be? Some more of your American slang, I suppose." She broke away from persiflage to add seriously: "You're right about one thing, though. You've got the best girl in the world. Be good ...
— The Highgrader • William MacLeod Raine

... the newcomer was always of the simplest and most unstudied. He had no mannerisms nor affectation of phrase. He would begin at once to talk on everyday topics; an intimate friend he would perhaps rally upon some standing subject of persiflage. But the subsequent course of conversation adapted itself to his company. Deeper subjects were reached soon enough by those who cared for them; with others he was quite happy to talk of politics or people or his garden, yet, whatever he touched, ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 3 • Leonard Huxley

... States was not quite perfect, resulted in the former being called a snob and the latter a liar. English stolidity would only have smiled at the criticism even had it been couched in the language of persiflage. And when M. Max O'Rell traverses the statements of the two Englishmen and exaggerates American civilisation, we must bear in mind first that la vulgarite ne se traduit pas, and secondly, that the foes of our foemen are our friends. Woe ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... carriage, the women began a light, friendly chatter; smiles and laughter; little jests about Benedicks, about the servant question, about coming home late o' nights; antenuptial persiflage. There was little that was spontaneous; each jest was an effort; but it sufficed to relieve what might have been ...
— Half a Rogue • Harold MacGrath

... conversation at receptions, dinners, ordinary social affairs, is merely chatter made up, of persiflage and repartee. One must be able to furnish it, however, for small talk is conversational "small change," without which it is not easy to "do business." Lacking it, one is like Mark Twain's man with the million dollar check and not ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... new garments and fancy accoutrements, followed by a toro, or small boy, he had bought from some of the savage tribes to carry his blanket and cooking pot for him. To the friends who darted out to the line of march, he was gracious, but he held his head high, and had no time for mere persiflage. ...
— The Land of Footprints • Stewart Edward White

... little too much persiflage around here," he said sternly. "We don't like it. We prefer to see young, unripe freshmen come in on their tiptoes and answer when they're spoken to. Young Stover, you've got in wrong. You're just about the freshest cargo we've ever had. You've got a lot to learn, and I'm going to start ...
— The Varmint • Owen Johnson

... contradictions of the Morgante Maggiore ... the brusque transition from piety to ribaldry, from pathos to satire," the paradoxical union of persiflage with gravity, a confession of faith alternating with a profession of mockery and profanity, have puzzled and confounded more than one student and interpreter. An intimate knowledge of the history, the literature, the art, the manners and passions of the times has enabled ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... enough, but he lives on the surface of everything! He is altogether shallow and blase. His good-nature is the fruit of want of feeling; between his gracefulness and his sneering persiflage he ...
— Yeast: A Problem • Charles Kingsley

... kept constantly on the stretch. They were always discovering odd, unexpected bits of knowledge in each other, and a great deal more accordance in views and opinions than appealed on the surface, for his enthusiasm usually veiled itself in persiflage on hers, though he was too good and serious to carry ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... Socialism ever so much more Utopian since William Morris went into it. Can you imagine a true-born Briton following the flag of Swinburne, or throwing up a barricade with George Meredith? To the last Beaconsfield was suspected of persiflage because he wrote novels and was witty. America makes her authors ministers and envoys, but England insists that brains are a disqualification for practical life. "Authors are so unpractical: we don't want them to act—we only want them ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... airy persiflage. "No exact information obtainable, my friend. Likely to-day. Maybe not till to-morrow. The one dead-sure point is that I'll make my getaway at the ...
— Mavericks • William MacLeod Raine

... between the man and his surroundings; but in England there is a deep impassable gulf between the man at the table and the man behind his chair. This democratic independence of external and adventitious circumstance sometimes gives a tone of irreverence to American persiflage, and the temporary character of class distinctions in America undoubtedly diminishes the amount of literary material "in sight" but when, as in the case of Browne and Clemens, there is in the humorist's mind ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... ordinarily, but when you try to be smart you're absolutely insufferable. You're mentally incapable of recognizing the line of demarcation between legitimate persiflage and objectionable familiarity. An ignoramus of your particular class ought to confine his repartee to unqualified affirmation or the negative monosyllable." Whereupon he pulled his hat more firmly ...
— Good Indian • B. M. Bower

... to his persiflage with an air of sad distraction. She was intent upon the procession as it approached from the other side of the Piazza, and she replied at random to his comments on the different ...
— A Foregone Conclusion • W. D. Howells

... of all this gaiety I could not help stealing many a furtive glance towards Callimena. I addressed her again and again, and she answered me politely but so briefly as to give me no opportunity of displaying my powers in the way of persiflage. ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... Crebillon fils: and though both of them dealt with the same class of subject, they also dealt with others, while he did not. But, curiously enough, the reproach of sniggering, which lies so heavily on Laurence Sterne and Francois Arouet, does not lie on Crebillon. He has an audacity of grave persiflage[345] which is sometimes almost Swiftian in a lower sphere: and it saves him from the unpardonable sin of the snigger. He has also—as, to have this grave persiflage, he almost necessarily must have—a singularly ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 - From the Beginning to 1800 • George Saintsbury

... cynical and rugged and vulgar, in which we may of course trace the influence of his tavern associates. It is to his credit that he did not sink into Byronic misanthropy and bitter self-lacerating scorn, or even into Heine's irreverence and persiflage. ...
— Weird Tales, Vol. II. • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... rich, and the former—Heaven knows where! along with his cynicism and his slang. Now the one, travelling salesman of blighting corrosive laughter, and the other, brainless ambassador of Fashion, their mission to kill among us love and labour, the first by persiflage, the second by display,—they have brought to us, even here in our peaceful sunny corner, the two pests, the saddest in the world, the jest which insists on being funny at any cost, and the cry which insists on being the latest scream! [The BLACKBIRD ...
— Chantecler - Play in Four Acts • Edmond Rostand

... consciousness that he was all her own. The exigencies of etiquette prevented for more than an hour any nearer approach, but when Mr. Dunbar had rendered "Caesar's things" to social Caesar, and paid tribute of bows, smiles, compliments and persiflage into the coffer of custom, he made his way through the throng, to the spot where his betrothed stood ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... continental sense of the word) he talked of the Deity in a declamatory style very much resembling the devotional rants of that rude blunderer Mr. Thomas Paine, in his 'Age of Reason'. I dare aver, that few men have less reason to charge themselves with indulging in persiflage than myself; I should hate it, if it were only that it is a Frenchman's vice, and feel a pride in avoiding it, because our own language is too honest to have a word to ...
— The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1838 • James Gillman

... when her mother married again. Stephen Lorimer would never forget her first inspection of him. Nursemaids had done their worst on the subject of stepfathers; fairy tales had presented the pattern. He knew exactly what was going on in her mind, and—quite as earnestly beneath his persiflage as he had set himself to woo the widow—he set himself to win her daughter. It was a matter of moments only before he saw the color coming back into her square little face and the horror seeping out of her eyes. It was a matter of ...
— Play the Game! • Ruth Comfort Mitchell

... finished her song. Raphael awoke to the remembrance of her. But she did not come to him again, sitting down instead on a lounge near the piano, where Sidney bantered Addie with his most paradoxical persiflage. ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... a chicken or a cluster of eggs there must first be a prolonged shauri with much interchange of views and conversation and aerated persiflage. The native loves his shauri, and if he asks you a certain price for a chicken and you give the price without haggling he is greatly disappointed. In fact I have often seen them offer an article for a certain price and then refuse to accept the money if ...
— In Africa - Hunting Adventures in the Big Game Country • John T. McCutcheon

... some of the most typical American minds. Benjamin Franklin, for example, modelled his style and his sense of the humorous on the papers of the Spectator. He produced humorous fables and apologues, choice little morsels of social and political persiflage, which were perfectly suited, not merely to the taste of London in the so-called golden age of English satire, but to the tone of the wittiest salons of Paris in the age when the old regime went tottering, talking, quoting, jesting to its fall. ...
— The American Mind - The E. T. Earl Lectures • Bliss Perry

... before. I have never admired you so much, or loved you so dearly, as I do at this hour. You must believe me,' she continued, pushing her plate away and beckoning the maid with a slight backward gesture of the head, 'I hate this tone of persiflage, but what is there left for us if we would be blamelessly alone, and yet speak our hearts ...
— Despair's Last Journey • David Christie Murray

... been an enormous expansion in the demands of the unions since the early days of the Philadelphia cordwainers; yet these demands involve the same fundamental issues regarding hours, wages, and the closed shop. Most unions, when all persiflage is set aside, are primarily organized for business—the business of looking after their own interests. Their treasury is a war chest rather than an insurance fund. As a benevolent organization, ...
— The Armies of Labor - Volume 40 in The Chronicles Of America Series • Samuel P. Orth

... pictures of social and domestic life as it is more especially in the ruder districts and in the back settlements, or again sallies of broad humour, exhibiting those characteristics which form in the country itself the subject of mutual persiflage between the citizens of different States. The work will have a ...
— Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third, Volume 2 (of 2) - From the Original Family Documents • The Duke of Buckingham

... Prophet to his Time. As he could, and as the Time could! Strangely through all that defacement, degradation and almost madness, there is in the inmost heart of poor Rousseau a spark of real heavenly fire. Once more, out of the element of that withered mocking Philosophism, Scepticism and Persiflage, there has arisen in that man the ineradicable feeling and knowledge that this Life of ours is true; not a Scepticism, Theorem, or Persiflage, but a Fact, an awful Reality. Nature had made that revelation to him; had ordered him to ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... Arnold, "between genuine poetry and the poetry of Dryden, Pope, and all their school is briefly this: their poetry is conceived and composed in their wits, genuine poetry is conceived and composed in the soul." The representative minds of the eighteenth century were such as Voltaire, the master of persiflage, destroying superstition with his souriere hideux; Gibbon, "the lord of irony," "sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer"; and Hume, with his thorough-going philosophic skepticism, his dry Toryism, and cool contempt for "zeal" of any kind. The characteristic products of the era ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers



Words linked to "Persiflage" :   banter, backchat, raillery, give-and-take



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