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From French saltimbanque, from Italian saltimbanco, from saltare (to jump) + banco (bench, platform, stage).


saltimbanque (plural saltimbanques)

  1. Tumbler, street acrobat.
    • 1956, “The New Pictures,” Time, 11 June, 1956,[1]
      Circus is a simple, romantic ballet, set to some suitable music by France’s Jacques Ibert, laid in a village square of placardized baroque, and dressed in costumes that suggest the saltimbanques of Picasso.
    • 1960, Henry Miller, Nexus, Obelisk Press, Chapter 13,
      Another day my hands might wander over the keys with the felicity of a Borgia’s murderous paw. Choosing the staccato technique, I would ape the quibblers and quipsters of the Ghibellines. Or put it on, like a saltimbanque performing for a feeble-minded monarch.
    • 1988, Edmund White, The Beautiful Room is Empty, New York: Vintage International, 1994, Chapter One,
      Outside, saltimbanques of snow were leaping up and flipping backward.



French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr

saltimbanque m (plural saltimbanques)

  1. street entertainer

Further reading[edit]