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October 08, 2013

Word of the Day

  • pastiche
  • audio pronunciation
  • \pass-TEESH\
  • DEFINITION

noun

1
: a musical, literary, or artistic work that imitates the style of previous work or is made up of selections from different works
2
: hodgepodge
  • EXAMPLES

The director's new murder mystery is a clever pastiche of the 1950s noir films he watched as a boy.

"Chicano art is a pastiche of post-Mexican Revolution art blended with current-day social and political activism that borrows from the likes of Diego Rivera and the gritty, West Coast street art scene." — From a review by Kyle Roerink in the Billings Gazette (Montana), September 3, 2013

  • DID YOU KNOW?

It all began with macaroni. Our word "pastiche" is from French, but the French word was in turn borrowed from Italian, where the word is "pasticcio." "Pasticcio" is what the Italians called a kind of "macaroni pie" (from the word "pasta"). English-speakers familiar with this multilayered dish had begun to apply the name to various sorts of potpourris or hodgepodges (musical, literary, or otherwise) by the 18th century. For over a hundred years English speakers were happy with "pasticcio," until we discovered the French word "pastiche" sometime in the latter part of the 1800s. Although we still occasionally use "pasticcio" in its extended meaning, "pastiche" is now much more common.

Test Your Memory: What word completes this sentence from a former Word of the Day piece: "We're hosting a little __________ this weekend for some friends, and we hope you can attend"? The answer is …

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