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Word of the Day
Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Definitions for pratfall

  1. a fall in which one lands on the buttocks, often regarded as comical or humiliating.
  2. a humiliating blunder or defeat.

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Citations for pratfall
Jerry Lewis, one of the most brilliant physical comedians, built his persona on deep sympathy for the sufferer of pratfalls, but he has paid a terrible price for the ones he took. Richard Brody, "The Demise of Physical Comedy," The New Yorker, June 28, 2013
After Suez, for instance, which for England and France was the great postcolonial pratfall, the globally awaited cathartic humiliation of two nineteenth-century powers… A. A. Gill, The Angry Island: Hunting the English, 2005
Origin of pratfall
1935-1940
Pratfall entered English in the 1930s. It combines prat and fall. The origin of prat is unknown. Fall comes from the Old English feallan.
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