It was clearly meant to be a sycophantic gesture, but the jape backfired like a blocked Victorian shotgun.
It made a new game for him, you see, amusing and rather flattering as well, the kind of a jape he was all too apt at.
I'm goin' to jape a bit with our friend, a' la 'Molly' Fairburn.
And when this jape is told another day I shall be halden a daffe or a Cokenay.
Mr. Mackie, passing with his orange partner, had repeated his jape about the Ruthless Boaz.
And when I say this, I do jape with words, and may hap ye understond me not.
Then for a moment we fell to jape and jesting; foolishly, for the Gods are always listening, and the Desert-Gods have long ears.
I am very sure he is your enemy,” Brilliana answered, sharply, “for he makes you his daily jape.
Presently, when they heard him snoring, they began asking each other in whispers what jape they could play off on him.
late 14c., "to trick, beguile, jilt," perhaps from Old French japer "to howl, bawl, scream," of echoic origin, or from Old French gaber "to mock, deride." Phonetics suits the former, but sense the latter explanation. Took on a slang sense mid-15c. of "have sex with," and disappeared from polite usage. Revived in harmless Middle English sense of "say or do something in jest" by Scott, etc. Related: Japed; japing.
early 14c., "trick, deceit," later "a joke, a jest" (late 14c.); see jape (v.). By mid-14c. it meant "frivolous pastime," by 1400, "bawdiness."