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[mer-ee-an-droo] /ˌmɛr iˈæn dru/
a clown; buffoon.
Origin of merry-andrew
1665-75; merry + Andrew, generic use of the proper name Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for merry-andrew
Historical Examples
  • They lived among themselves in gangs, and to facilitate their progress, affected somewhat of the merry-andrew.

    The Man Who Laughs Victor Hugo
  • It was his custom when in banter to drop from English to his native brogue like a merry-andrew.

    Lords of the North A. C. Laut
  • Even the school-boys left the merry-andrew and came to gaze, with wide-open eyes, at this tall, strange-looking old man.

    Biographical Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Herr Carovius was dancing like a merry-andrew around the door of his residence.

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • There was Dick, the merry-andrew, rather light-fingered and riotous, but a clever droll fellow.

  • "You are incorrigible, you merry-andrew" she said, brushing the curls from his forehead.

    The Northern Light E. Werner
  • There was one called Merrylees, or more often merry-andrew, a great favourite with the students.

    The Court of Cacus Alexander Leighton
  • But this proves to be the note of Paillasse, a merry-andrew.

  • The very street-boys would hunt me through the market-place for a merry-andrew!

    Love and Intrigue Friedrich Schiller
  • If I were to charge a battery, I'd only look like a merry-andrew after all; men will not respect what is only laughable.

British Dictionary definitions for merry-andrew


a joker, clown, or buffoon
Word Origin
C17: original reference of Andrew unexplained
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for merry-andrew

"a buffoon; a zany; a jack-pudding" [Johnson], originally "mountebank's assistant," 1670s, from merry + masc. proper name Andrew, but there is no certain identification with an individual.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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