a clown; buffoon.

Origin of merry-andrew

1665–75; merry + Andrew, generic use of the proper name Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for merry-andrew

Historical Examples of merry-andrew

British Dictionary definitions for merry-andrew



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

"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