Friday, February 1, 2013

Parthian shot

Parthian shot [ˈpɑrθiən ʃɒt] n.

1.) A final hostile remark or gesture made while leaving (Microsoft Encarta College Dictionary).

Etymology: The Parthian horsemen were accustomed to baffle the enemy by their rapid manœuvres, and to discharge their missiles backward while in real or pretended flight: hence used allusively in Parthian fight, Parthian shaft, Parthian shot, Parthian glance, etc. (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).'

"The climactic piece of dental-dramatic advice is the Old Man's Parthian shot: 'The next time, floss!' Indeed flossiness is all, and if you enjoy two and a half hours of smart-ass chatter and campy subversion—e.g., the honeymoon lament 'It's a real busman's holiday with you around: you could f--- up a wet dream!'—this may be your cup of…whatever ("Bodying Forth", John Simon, 1990).

(Defaite de Crassus, Augustyn Mirys, ~1750)


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I've seen so many people who make hostile gestures when leaving! No, it's not because of me. Well, maybe sometimes.

Kimmy said...

This is an awesome phrase. I'm going to try and slip into casual conversation now ;)
Kimmy x

Bibi said...

Aw man, the dreaded "th" ><

This Parthian shot, it's a bit like kicking a man in the stomach when he's already down, isn't it? Kinda mean. I wouldn't do that. Unless the man in question stole my cookies. NO ONE steals my cookies unpunished!

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