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From slap + stick, the English translation of the batacchio. The slapstick was a pair of sticks tied together that made a loud noise when struck together, and was used by the comic character Harlequin in the commedia dell'arte.


slapstick (countable and uncountable, plural slapsticks)

  1. (uncountable) physical comedy, e.g. slipping on a banana peel, exaggeratedly losing balance, walking into walls etc.
  2. (countable) a pair of sticks tied together at one end and used to create a slapping sound effect for (1)

Derived terms[edit]