Sword fighters thrust and parry. To thrust is to try to stab, and to parry is to avoid getting stabbed by blocking a thrust. Though it comes from fencing, parry is also handy in dodgeball and awkward conversations
The word parry means to block or evade a movement, like in fencing, but it can also refer to an evasion that is verbal rather than physical. If someone asks you who you have a crush on, but you don’t want to answer, parry the question — change the subject or ask a question in return. When used in this way parry retains its sense of defending yourself through evasion.