Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Good-humored, playful conversation.
  • transitive v. To speak to in a playful or teasing way.
  • intransitive v. To exchange mildly teasing remarks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Good humoured, playful, typically spontaneous conversation.
  • v. To engage in banter or playful conversation.
  • v. To play or do something amusing.
  • v. To tease mildly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of bantering; joking or jesting; humorous or good-humored raillery; pleasantry.
  • transitive v. To address playful good-natured ridicule to, -- the person addressed, or something pertaining to him, being the subject of the jesting; to rally.
  • transitive v. To jest about; to ridicule in speaking of, as some trait, habit, characteristic, and the like.
  • transitive v. To delude or trick, -- esp. by way of jest.
  • transitive v. To challenge or defy to a match.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To address good-humored raillery to; attack with jokes or jests; make fun of; rally.
  • To impose upon or cheat, originally in a jesting or bantering way; bamboozle.
  • To challenge; invite to a contest.
  • n. A joking or jesting; good-humored ridicule or raillery; wit or humor; pleasantry.
  • n. A challenge to a match or contest; the match or contest itself.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be silly or tease one another
  • n. light teasing repartee

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Origin unknown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The origin is unknown.

Examples

Comments

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  • I think it shows up in the lexicon tetraglotton. 1660. http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Lexicon_Tetraglotton_an_English_French_I.html?id=PCtWAAAAYAAJ

    January 10, 2014

  • if it had truly Roman roots, I would have expected Google translate to show similar words in French, Spanish, Italian.

    January 10, 2014

  • Vaguely plausible given the structure of Romance language verbs. Nice work al.

    January 10, 2014

  • This word was around in 1653, so maybe nobody's sure where it came from before being an English word.
    http://books.google.ca/books?id=USmgAAAAMAAJ

    Google translate has Banter being Banter in the Cebuano and Maltese languages.

    I like the use of Banter and Banterina in the Don Quixote sequel.


    Also, in this Don Quixote book, History of Don Quixote.

    Since the original Quixote books were written in 1605, I think English may have gotten it from Spain/Portugal, and early volumes of Don Quixote.

    January 10, 2014

  • Interesting that the etymology is unknown given that it's not that odd a word.

    January 10, 2014

  • Urfy? Did you know Squiffy?

    October 29, 2007

  • 'prang' was actual WWII RAF slang, along with a lot of other stuff - the Pythons were just taking the mickey out of it

    October 29, 2007

  • See prang.

    October 27, 2007