merry-andrew

[mer-ee-an-droo]
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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


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Historical Examples of merry-andrew


British Dictionary definitions for merry-andrew

merry-andrew

noun
  1. a joker, clown, or buffoon

Word Origin for merry-andrew

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper