Words: Petard, n.
Tuesday 01 September 1998
A petard was a type of battering ram with an explosive head. To be hoist with one's own petard is to be blown up with one's own weapons: "For 'tis the sport to have the engineer hoist with his own petard" (Hamlet, Act III, scene 4).
The word has a nice etymology: it comes from the same root as the French verb peter, to break wind.
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