Squib

(A). A political joke, printed and circulated at election times against a candidate, with intent of bringing him into ridicule, and influencing votes.

“Parodies, lampoons, rightly named squibs, fire and brimstone, ending in smoke, with a villainous smell of saltpetre.” —Dean Hole; Rose-garden and Pulpit.

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