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.
Word Archaeology: camouflet
December 21, 2020