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Related to fooling around: call off, touch base, Playing Around, messing around



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 ?
TEN YEARS AGO, Tod Maffin was unemployed, living near Vancouver and fooling around with something called the Internet.
In the world of Alexander women were for procreation and men were for companionship--and a bit of fooling around, Farrell notes.
My cousin and I were fooling around in the lingerie department at the mall, holding way-too-big-for-us bras up to each other.
Some goofing off activities are: fooling around, out of seat, off-task behavior, dawdling, and daydreaming (Charles, 2002).
Politicians fooling around--plenty of wiggle room, as long as you hit the confessional prior to Communion and there is no fooling around between the Act of Contrition and receiving Communion.
Nia Dawson,defending said Watson had too much to drink and broke the glass while fooling around with a friend.
Police yesterday warned of the dangers of fooling around with imitation firearms after a couple preparing for a fancy dress party caused a major alert.
Fooling around with spiritual imagery is tricky business.
FUNNYMAN Sir Norman Wisdom paid tribute to British eccentricity, by fooling around with a group of oddballs at the British Eccentric 2001 award.
What you found was if somebody starts fooling around with their numbers, it will all come back to haunt you.
Genetic tests of black-capped chickadees show the benefits of fooling around.