Jacques de La Palice (or de La Palisse) was a French nobleman and military officer, born in 1470 and died in 1525.

La Palice gave his name to the Lapalissade, a comical truism. The coinage originates from la Palice’s epitaph, which reads

“Ci-gît le Seigneur de La Palice: s’il n’était pas mort, il ferait encore envie.”

(“Here lies the Seigneur de La Palice: If he weren’t dead, he would still be envied.”)

These words were misread (accidentally or intentionally) as “…il ſerait [serait] encore en vie” (“…he would still be alive”), where the long “s” favored the confusion. In the 16th century this misreading was incorporated into a popular satirical song, and in time many other variants developed. In the early 18th century Bernard de la Monnoye collected over 50 of these humorous “La Palice” quatrains, and published them as a burlesque Song of La Palice. From that song came the French term lapalissade (lapalissian) meaning an utterly obvious truth—i.e. a truism or tautology.