Quillet

An evasion. In French “pleadings” each separate allegation in the plaintiff's charge, and every distinct plea in the defendant's answer used to begin with qu'il est; whence our quillet, to signify a false charge, or an evasive answer.

Oh, some authority how to proceed;
Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.

Shakespeare: Love's Labour's Lost, iv. 3.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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