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Silhouettes or cutout paper pictures are named after Etienne de Silhouette, a fairly unpopular 18th century Frenchman. Silhouette was the French Controller General of Finances [or the taxman], as well as a friend of the Marquise de Pompadour, who got him his job. The newspapers cut him down so hard and so well that the term "Silhouette" came to mean a man reduced to his simplest form.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|