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merry-andrew

[mer-ee-an-droo]
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noun
  1. a clown; buffoon.
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Origin of merry-andrew

1665–75; merry + Andrew, generic use of the proper name
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for merry-andrew

Historical Examples

  • 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

  • Herr Carovius was dancing like a Merry-Andrew around the door of his residence.

    The Goose Man

    Jacob Wassermann

  • My very breath was arrested when I saw the merry-andrew you made of yourself.

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

  • But this proves to be the note of Paillasse, a merry-andrew.


British Dictionary definitions for merry-andrew

merry-andrew

noun
  1. a joker, clown, or buffoon
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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

Word Origin and History for merry-andrew

n.

"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper