1570s (n.); 1580s (adj.), from Late Latin iambicus, from Greek iambikos, from iambos "metrical foot of one unaccented followed by one accented syllable; an iambic verse or poem," from iaptein "to assail, attack" (in words), literally "to put forth, send forth" (in reference to missiles, etc.). The meter of invective and lampoon in classical Greek since it was first used 7c. B.C.E. by Archilochus, whose tomb, Gaetulicus says, is haunted by wasps.
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