markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or public restroom, or the likeLast week The Wall Street Journal had an article by Jeffrey Zaslow titled "Erasing Signatures From History." The article details a controversy over the removal of what is, in effect, graffiti in a Pennsylvania classroom. I'm sure you'll find it an interesting read!
The Dictionary.com definition also contains information about the word's origins. Graffiti comes from the Italian
plural of graffito incised inscription or design, derivative with -ito -ite of graffiare to scratch, perhaps influenced by presumed Latin graphire to write; both probably derivative of Latin graphium stylusGraffiti has been found scratched on walls in the ruins of Pompeii and in such places as Signature Rock in Wyoming along the Oregon Trail. In 20th century America, cities were often covered in spray-painted graffiti. To some it's vandalism, to others it is an artistic expression. To see some examples of contemporary graffiti, look for these items in our collection:
Ganz, Nicholas. Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents. [YA 751.73 GAN]
Graffiti Planet: The Best Graffiti from Around the World. [YA 751.73 GRA]