Fabliaux (Latin fabula, story), in French literature, short satirical tales in verse, almost always in octosyllabic couplets, usually satirising classes, e.g. women, knights, or monks, often with great licence of expression. They were mostly composed between 1150 and 1350, and were part of the stock-in-trade of the wandering minstrels. Some were derived from classical sources, some from the East through the Crusaders, some probably indigenous. They were the source of most of the Italian prose tales of the 14th or 15th centuries, and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales have been termed perfect fabliaux.