Moist with His Own Petard

If you’ve ever wondered about the connection between Hamlet, a petard and Le Petomane here’s a very entertaining blog from Mr Padraig Colman full of erudition and…it would not be appropriate to call this a breath of fresh air, it’s certainly an illuminating viewpoint.

Padraig Colman


 The phrase “hoist with his own petard” comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Let it work;

For ’tis the sport to have the enginer

Hoist with his own petar’; and ‘t shall go hard

But I will delve one yard below their mines

And blow them at the moon: O, ’tis most sweet,

When in one line two crafts directly meet.


Petard comes from the Middle French peter, to fart. Petard is a modern French word, meaning a firecracker.

The petard was a device filled with gunpowder fixed to a wooden base used to blow a hole in fortifications to allow assault troops to enter.

Modern usage means “to be harmed by one’s own plan to harm someone else” or “to fall into one’s own trap,” implying that one could be lifted up (hoist, or blown upward) by one’s own bomb.

Joseph Pujol


 Joseph Pujol, professionally known as Le…

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