Friday Firepower – The Petard

Dedicated to The Labour Party.

from Wikipedia

petard was a small bomb used to blow up gates and walls when breaching fortifications. The term has a French origin and dates back to the sixteenth century. In a typical implementation, it was commonly either a conical or rectangular metal object containing 5 or 6 pounds of gunpowder, activated with a slow match used as a fuse.


Look up petard in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Look up hoist with one’s own petard in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

The word petard comes from the Middle Frenchpeter, to break wind, from pet expulsion of intestinal gas, from Latin peditum, from neuter of peditus, past participle of pedere, to break wind; akin to Greekbdein to break wind. (Merriam-Webster) Petard remains a French word meaning a firecracker today (in French slang, it means a handgun, or a joint).

The word remains in modern usage in the phrase hoist with one’s own petard, which means “to be harmed by one’s own plan to harm someone else” or “to fall into one’s own trap,” literally implying that one could be lifted up (hoist, or blown upward) by one’s own bomb.

Labour were planning and implementing a social media strategy, one which was harvesting large amounts of emails, they were and are using parliamentary services funding again to run their election campaign.


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  • reid

    Labour were plan­ning and imple­ment­ing a social media strat­egy, one which was har­vest­ing large amounts of emails, they were and are using par­lia­men­tary ser­vices fund­ing again to run their elec­tion campaign.

    Crikey. Damn their hides. What the hell are we going to do with em? I suggest we require all of them to wear compulsory taxpayer-funded barrels instead of clothing during the entire election campaign and during the entire World Cup as well, just for this, again. Hopefully they won’t ever do it again ever, but sadly we won’t do this and thus the appalling carnage continues.