Origin of jest
synonym study for jest
OTHER WORDS FROM jest
Words nearby jest
MORE ABOUT JEST
What does jest mean?
A jest is a joke, a witty remark, or some kind of action intended to be funny.
When used as a noun, jest can also mean a taunt or jeer, as in Don’t allow his jests to upset you.
Jest can also be used as a verb meaning to joke around or do something intended to be funny, as in I know you like to jest, but try to be serious this one time.
The word is most commonly used in the phrase in jest, meaning as a joke, as in I said that in jest—please don’t take it seriously.
Claiming to have said something in jest is often seen as an excuse intended to avoid responsibility for having offended someone with one’s comments. In fact, there is even an expression that relates to this: “Many a true word is spoken in jest.” This means that when people say they are “only joking” about something, they are probably saying what they really mean.
Example: My comments were offered in jest, but I can understand how they could have offended some people.
Where does jest come from?
The first records of the word jest come from the 1200s. It comes from Middle English and is a variant spelling of the word gest, which means “an exploit” comes from the Latin verb gerere, meaning “to perform.”
The most famous use of jest in all of literature is perhaps in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in the scene in which Hamlet is holding the skull of the man who was once the king’s jester, Yorick. Hamlet says, “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.” By describing Yorick as a man of “infinite jest,” Hamlet means Yorick never ran out of jokes or ways to make people laugh. (The title of David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest is a reference to this line.)
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to jest?
- jestful (adjective)
- jestingly (adverb)
- outjest (verb)
- unjesting (adjective)
- unjestingly (adverb)
What are some synonyms for jest?
What are some words that share a root or word element with jest?
- in jest
What are some words that often get used in discussing jest?
How is jest used in real life?
Today, jest is perhaps most commonly used in the phrase in jest.
"It's a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his bootstraps.
And many Negroes, by the thousands and millions, have been left bootless … as the result of a society that deliberately made his color a stigma…” https://t.co/ycN2yl4qhP #MLKDay pic.twitter.com/xnEe93S9MN
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 20, 2020
The way we speak to our spouses matters. It’s not only what we say, but how we say it. Many deep wounds are caused by angry words, spoken in the heat of an argument, or careless words spoken in jest.
— shanan thomas (@shananthomas) September 23, 2020
Bucs' Dirk Koetter: Stafford comments 'said in jest' https://t.co/Atvlza7F9I
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) December 8, 2017
Try using jest!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of jest?
How to use jest in a sentence
Sometimes when backpacking, we’d yip in jest, and she’d throw her head back and join in with a heart-rattling howl.
Yes, some Losers have complained to me — only sometimes in jest — about being forced to read enormous amounts of news coverage for 11 straight days.
This is the experience that some people—not I, mind you, but some people—have when reading Infinite Jest, for instance.Lars Iyer’s ‘Wittgenstein Jr.’ Plumbs the Deep Fun of Philosophical Fiction|Drew Smith|October 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
After a while, he began to jest that there were snipers across the street trying to get him.Doug Kenney: The Odd Comic Genius Behind ‘Animal House’ and National Lampoon|Robert Sam Anson|March 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Rawcus has to provide a solid argument in his rhetoric to make such an accusation, even in jest.Rawcus Is the Rapper Behind the Viral ‘White People Crazy’ Video|Rich Goldstein|January 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And this explosion was fictional and in jest, so you can call it a pretty big hoot!
It may have been said in jest, but a legion of Hollywood actresses would have nodded ruefully in unison.
I've tried to teach lots of folks; an' sum learns quick, an' some don't never learn; it's jest 's 't strikes 'em.
I allow we shan't never set eyes on ter her, Jos. I've got jest thet feelin' abaout it.
I never see sech hosses; 'n' they're jest like kittens; they've ben drefful pets, I allow.
I ain't a gwine ter back daown naow; but I dew jest wish Jeff Hyer wuz along.
But I allow they'd flatten us all aout in jest abaout a minnit, if they wuz to set aout tew!