The word slapstick originally comes from a device that was made of two flat pieces of wood fastened at one end. This device made a loud sound if one struck someone with it, a much louder sound than a single piece would have made. Such a sound and such a blow were the stuff of comedy, albeit the comedy of farce and pantomime in which this device was originally used. This word was first recorded in 1896. Through its use with other nouns, such as comedy, slapstick developed an abstract sense that encompassed far more than its original literal meaning. Slapstick by itself, as first recorded in 1926, could now refer to the whole genre of comedy in which the literal slapstick played a role.