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From Middle English ribaldrie, from Old French ribaulderie, ribauderie, equivalent to ribald +‎ -ry.


ribaldry (countable and uncountable, plural ribaldries)

  1. Joking or humorous language or behaviour used in a vulgar or lewd fashion.
    • about 1900, O. Henry, Hygeia at the Solito
      His jargon of slang was a continuous joy and surprise to them. His gestures, his strange poses, his frank ribaldry of tongue and principle fascinated them.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      I remember girls with men's muscles flinging fish baskets while they yelled ribaldries at each other, and fishermen strutting among them in their oilskins, too grand to be bothered with anyone but themselves.

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