"like Punchinello in a puppet-show"

Public DomainPunchinello - Credit: Maurice Sand 1860
Pulcinella, called Punch or Punchinello in English, is a classical character that originated in the commedia dell’arte of the 17th century and became a stock character in Neapolitan puppetry.  His name is said to derive from the Italian word pulcino ('chick'), which refers to his long beaklike nose.  Other accounts have it that he was named for Puccio d'Aniello, a peasant who was portrayed in a famous picture attributed to Annibale Carracci, and who also has a long nose.

Pulcinella is always dressed in white with a black mask, and often carries around macaroni and a wooden spoon. His traditional temperament is to be mean, vicious, and crafty, and his main mode of defense is to pretend to be too stupid to know what's going on.  The character was adopted across Europe – in Germany he became Kasper, in the Netherlands Jan Klaassen, in Denmark Mester Jakel, and in France Polichinelle.  In the UK, he became Punch, husband of Judy.