February 6, 2007


badinage (bad-n-azh') n. Light, playful banter. [French, from badin, joker, from Provencal badar, to gape, from Latin batare.]
--The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000.

I discovered badinage in a Spencer novel by Robert B. Parker. I don't recall which one, but it is not surprising to find the word there, for Parker novels are famous for clever badinage among characters--notably among Spencer, Hawk, and Susan Silverman.

From a review of the movie "The Wilby Conspiracy" (1975):
"[The Wilby Conspiracy] is more like Duel at Diablo than like Lilies of the Field. In "Duel," it was Poitier who did not want to be involved, in "Wilby" it is Michael Caine, though the sarcastic
badinage between Poitier and Caine is similar to that between Poitier and Garner-- and between Newman and Redford in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," another movie with relentless pursuit."--Murray, Stephen. Movie Review of "The Wilby Conspiracy"

• From a review of a book about baseball player Owen Wilson, who was famous for hitting triples:
"([ Here is] an example of some wonderful badinage by Pittsburg Post correspondent Ed F. Balinger): "Wilson attempted to triple, but tapped the pellet a trifle too hard and it floated over the right field wall."--The Pittsburg Post, September 14, 1912 by Charles Therminy (Stevenson Ranch, CA)

[Note references to tennis and field hockey, sports that feature back & forth movements. Note also the origin of bandy-legged.]

bandy: 1577, "to strike back and forth," from M.Fr. bander, from root of band. The sense apparently evolved from "join together to oppose," to opposition itself, to "exchanging blows," then metaphorically, to volleying in tennis. Bandy was a 17c. Irish game, precursor of field hockey, played with curved sticks, hence bandy-legged (1688).
--Online Etymology Dictionary http://www.etymonline.com


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