Parthian Shot

   , PARTING SHOT
   A Turkomanic people living southeast of the Caspian Sea and ruled by Scythian nomads, the Parthians were soldiers known to be among the best. Their country was Parthia, and they devoted their lives to becoming expert marksmen and fighters. They rode their horses, fully armored, and their slaves served as infantry. They bested the Roman hordes time and again, beginning with the disastrous defeat of Crassus in S3 B.C. Years later they defeated Mark Antony by repulsing his advance into Persia. The Parthians were deadly adversaries. They planned their aggressive movements strategically. One of their peculiar maneuvers was to appear to leave the battleground as though in flight, but as the enemy began to rejoice, they turned and discharged their bows. This maneuver has come to be known as the Parthian shot or the parting shot. Today any parting or final remark of an insulting nature made on departure and giving one's adversary no time to reply may be called a Parthian shot, an allusion to the ancient warriors of Parthia.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Parthian shot — A Parthian shot is the same as a parting shot, i.e. a final remark or glance made on leaving. The allusion is to the supposed custom of the ancient Parthian horsemen of confusing their enemy by hurling spears into their ranks while in (real or… …   Modern English usage

  • Parthian shot — n. any hostile gesture or remark made in leaving: Parthian cavalrymen usually shot at the enemy while retreating or pretending to retreat …   English World dictionary

  • Parthian shot — The Parthian shot was a military tactic employed by the Parthians, an ancient Iranian people. The Parthian archers, mounted on light horse, would feint retreat; then, while at a full gallop, turn their bodies back to shoot at the pursuing enemy.… …   Wikipedia

  • Parthian shot — /paθiən ˈʃɒt/ (say pahtheeuhn shot) noun any sharp parting remark, as though delivered in retreat: *As a Parthian shot when she said goodbye she said she wondered Dr Hugh did not take the first opportunity of seeing his relations, and introducing …   Australian English dictionary

  • Parthian shot — Par′thian shot′ n. a sharp, telling remark or gesture made in departing • Etymology: 1900–05; so called from the Parthian cavalry s habit of shooting arrows at the enemy while in real or feigned flight …   From formal English to slang

  • Parthian shot — n. a remark or glance etc. reserved for the moment of departure. Etymology: Parthia, an ancient kingdom in W. Asia: from the custom of a retreating Parthian horseman firing a shot at the enemy …   Useful english dictionary

  • Parthian shot — a sharp, telling remark, act, gesture, etc., made in departing. [1900 05; so called from the ancient Parthian cavalry s habit of shooting arrows rearward at the enemy while in real or feigned flight] * * * …   Universalium

  • Parthian shot — Synonyms and related words: PS, addendum, address, affirmation, afterthought, allegation, answer, apostrophe, appendix, assertion, averment, back answer, back matter, caustic remark, chorus, coda, codicil, colophon, comeback, comment, conclusion …   Moby Thesaurus

  • Parthian shot — noun another term for parting shot. Origin C19: so named because of the trick used by Parthians of shooting arrows backwards while fleeing …   English new terms dictionary

  • Parthian shot —  A remark or blow made while retreating …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

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