Posted by Pamela on November 17, 2007
In Reply to: Re: Touche or just touchy posted by pamela on November 17, 2007
: : What does the phrase "touche or just touchy" mean?
: Here is an explanation of the meaning of touché from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch%C3%A9), which makes the point that it is used figuratively when someone has a good retort for something that has just been said:
: "In fencing, touché (French: touched) is used as an acknowledgement of a hit, called out by the fencer who is hit. A referee can call out touché (French: touch) to refer to a touch being called - for example, the French call for "no point" is "pas de touche" (French: no touch).
: The phrase touché is often used in popular culture and general conversation-for example, in an argument or debate. If one person presents an argument and another delivers a clever or apt response, the first person may respond with "touché" as a way of acknowledging a good response. Similarly, there is also a fencing move called a "riposte," which refers to "an offensive action with the intent of hitting one's opponent" and in common lexicon is understood as a quick and witty reply to an argument or an insult.
: The expression probably comes from the first blood duels, relatively common in the eighteenth century: during the duel touching the opponent with the tip of the sword was sufficient to win; when this would happen the loser would acknowledge the defeat yelling "touched" hence ending the fight."
: There are only two hits on google for the phrase "touché or just touchy".
: (www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2006/02/touche_or_just_touchy_beijing.html and www.linksheaven.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php?t1786.html). The first one of these punctuates it as "Touché? Or just touchy?", which seems to explain the meaning: does what someone has just said represent a reply that has hit the mark? Or does the fact that they have retorted just show that they are touchy (i.e. overly sensitive)? Pamela