Word Archaeology: camouflet

Derived from the French “chalt moufflet”, this word translates to “smoke blown in someone’s face as a practical joke.” Used since the 19th Century, it refers to an artificial cavern created by an explosion. If the explosion breaks the surface, it’s called a crater. The camouflet got its start as a countermine dug to defend against the undermining of a fortress by the enemy. Eventually, it also referred to the effects of bombs designed to undermine the foundations of a large structure.

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Wes Platt

Lead storyteller. Game designer and journalist. Recovering Floridian.

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