May 5, 2017

Wordology, Graffiti

Both "graffiti" and its occasional singular form "graffito" are from the Italian word graffiato 'scratched'. The term graffiti originally referred to the inscriptions, figure drawings, etc., found on the walls of ancient sepulchers or ruins, such as the Catacombs of Rome. Use of the word has evolved to include any graphics applied to surfaces in a manner that usually constitutes vandalism.

Graffiti are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted, mostly illicitly on a wall or other surface, often within public view. Graffiti range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and have existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.