This device, which can be as simple as a wooden structure above and behind a speaker’s stand on a pulpit, reflects sound toward an audience. Also known more commonly as a “sounding board”, the term is derived from the French words abattre (“to beat down”) and voix (“voice”). According to Merriam-Webster, the word was first used in 1872.
Word Archaeology: abat-voix
October 23, 2020