Gingrich Restrains His zaniness Newt confesses that he's been editing his words in an effort not to appear to be "zany."
But whatever her professions of zaniness, lately Barrymore has seemed awfully grown up.
comic performer, 1580s, from French zani, from Italian zani, zanni "a zany, clown," originally Zanni, Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, pet form of Giovanni "John." A stock character in old comedies, he aped the principal actors.
1869, from zany (n.). Related: Zanily; zaniness.
Amusingly or ridiculously strange (1918+)