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Related to Playing the Fool: roughshod, liven up, at first, take into account, follow up with, lined up



court jester,

a person who entertains with buffoonery and an often caustic wit. In all countries from ancient times and extending into the 18th cent., mental and physical deformity provided amusement. Attached to noble and royal courts were dwarfs, cripples, idiots, albinos, and freaks. The medieval court fool was seldom mentally deficient. For the freedom to indulge in satire, tricks, and repartee, many men of keen insight and caustic wit obtained powerful patronage by assuming the role of fool. This role was played in the courts of the East, in ancient Greece and Rome, and in the court of Montezuma. The clownclown,
a comic character usually distinguished by garish makeup and costume whose antics are both humorously clumsy and acrobatic. The clown employs a broad, physical style of humor that is wordless or not as self-consciously verbal as the traditional fool or jester.
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 or jester was common in Elizabethan drama (e.g., the Fool in King Lear), and by donning the fool's garb the actor gained the freedom of the fool. His costume, which was hung with bells, usually consisted of a varicolored coat, tight breeches with legs of different colors—occasionally a long petticoat was worn—and a bauble (mock scepter) and a cap which fitted close to the head or fell over the shoulders in the form of asses' ears. Till Eulenspiegel and Robin Goodfellow are mythical fools.


See B. Swain, Fools and Folly (1932); E. Welsford, The Fool (1936, repr. 1961); S. Billington, A Social History of the Fool (1984).


(formerly) a professional jester living in a royal or noble household


Fool's Lisp. A small Scheme interpreter.
References in periodicals archive ?
Draw For Sunday's Cearnssport Ltd Stakes final: 1 Aghadown Chief, 2 Irby Lad, 3 Whitefield Kid, 4 Pacey Macy (w), 5 Playing The Fool (w), 6 Farloe Rover (w).
PLAYING the fool came easily to teenager Dexter Whitehead when he trod the boards as the comic panto character Simple Simon 12 years ago.
PLAYING the fool is nothing new for Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy.
Aghadown Chief, a 2-1 chance this morning, makes more appeal in the opener than kennel-mate Playing The Fool, while Whitefield Kid, a 15-8 shot with Ladbrokes, is another red-vested runner boasting solid claims.
One regret Leishman (right) does admit to, is playing the fool as the Bard of Kelty in the mid eighties, when among the scalps his team claimed was the expensively assembled Rangers side managed by Graeme Souness.
Each 15-minute episode opened with Annette singing the theme song: "Here comes Muffin, Muffin the Mule/ Dear old Muffin, playing the fool.
The rest of 2005 will bring the re-releases of The Power and the Glory (1974), Interview (1976), Giant for a Day (1978), The Missing Piece (1977) and Playing The Fool (1977), a double live album.
The Deputy Prime Minister may appear to be playing the fool, but he knows exactly what he is doing.
Goal scoring experts from the big money school, Not ashamed of their antics nor of playing the fool.
It is a hoax, someone is playing the fool," The Star Online quoted Kudat police chief Deputy Supt Dawi Ossen as saying.
Others show John Lennon playing the fool onstage and Rolling Stone Keith Richards giving drummer Charlie Watts a haircut.