Tag Archives: OED

/slapstIk/ n. & adj.

The Slapstick Linguist is a visual culture blog observing language, usage and meaning in the lingo, signposts and slang of the slapstick era, a genre usually discussed in non-linguistic terms because of their highly visual style and stereotypically silent form.

So it’s both not surprising yet also ironic that we use such a spectacular word to describe the genre – a compound word combining a verb (slap) plus a noun (stick), and used as (A) a noun and also as (B) an adjective. Here’s the OED:

A 1. A device consisting of two flexible pieces of wood joined together at one end, designed to produce a loud slapping noise, used as a percussion instrument of in pantomime etc. to simulate the dealing of a severe blow. 2. Boisterous knockabout comedy.

B. Designating, involved in, or reminiscent of boisterous knockabout comedy.

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