Merry Andrew

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Originally associated with a specific act at Bartholomew Fair; later said to have come from the name of Andrew Boorde.

Noun[edit]

Merry Andrew (plural Merry Andrews)

  1. (idiomatic) A person who clowns publicly; a buffoon; an entertainer's assistant.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 438:
      Instead, therefore, of answering my landlady, the puppet-show man ran out to punish his Merry-Andrew [...]
    • 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur, Faber & Faber 1992, p. 155:
      One of them, the eldest, was a sort of merry andrew and was not above dressing the part with a weird cap of jackal's skin with many hanging tails and tassels.

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