(3 syl.). A lampoon or political squib, having ridicule for its object; so called from Pasquino, an Italian tailor of the fifteenth century, noted for his caustic wit. Some time after his death a mutilated statue was dug up, representing either Ajax supporting Menelaos, or Menelaos carrying the dead body of Patroclos, or else a gladiator, and was placed at the end of the Braschi Palace near the Piazza Navoni. As it was not clear what the statute represented, and as it stood opposite Pasquin's house, the Italians called it “Pasquin.” The Romans made this torso the depository of their political, religious, and personal satires, which were therefore called Pasquin-songs or Pasquinades. In the Capitol is a rival statue called Marforio, to which are affixed replies to the Pasquinades.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894