The Emergence of Pique Assiette

The literal translation of pique assiette from French is ‘thief of plates’ or ‘freeloader’.  Raymond Isidore (1900-1964) is perhaps best known as the king of pique assiette. His entire home is covered in bits of pottery he found in the fields around Chartre, France. His neighbors called him ‘pique assiette’ as a derogatory term and it has remained in use more generally today.