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- Unusual and bizarre in a funny, comical way; outlandish; clownish.
- 2000, Alan H. Levy, Rube Waddell: The Zany, Brilliant Life of a Strikeout Artist, Jefferson, N.C.: London: McFarland & Company, →ISBN, page 241:
- 2013, William Paul, “No Escaping the Depression: Utopian Comedy and the Aesthetics of Escapism in Frank Capra's You Can't Take it with You (1938)”, in Andrew Horton and Joanna E. Rapf, editors, A Companion to Film Comedy, Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 280:
- This runs counter to the play, where Grandpa is always benignly indulgent of all his zany progeny and their equally zany spouses, and is even somewhat zany himself.
- 2015, Kimberly D. Nettles-Barcelón, “The Sassy Black Cook and the Return of the Magic Negress: Popular Representations of Black Women's Food Work”, in Jennifer Jensen Wallach, editor, Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop: Rethinking African American Foodways from Slavery to Obama, Fayetteville, Ark.: University of Arkansas Press, →ISBN, page 117:
- The montage goes on to show scenes of Carla singing, dancing, meditating, breaking the tension amongst her co-cheftestants with sing-a-longs and “hootie-hoo” lessons, and ultimately wooing the judges with a combination of her zany personality and solid cooking skills.
- Ludicrously or incongruously comical.
ludicrously or incongruously comical
zany (plural zanies)
- (obsolete) A fool or clown, especially one whose business on the stage is to imitate foolishly the actions of the principal clown.
- John Donne:
- Then write that I may follow, and so be / Thy echo, thy debtor, thy foil, thy zany.
- Alexander Pope:
- Preacher at once, and zany of thy age.
- 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
- So there he caught me lying like a zany on the ground. You may guess I stood at attention soon enough, but told him I was looking at the founds to see if they wanted underpinning from the floods.
- 1996, Fiona Haslam, From Hogarth to Rowlandson: Medicine in Art in Eighteenth-century Britain, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, →ISBN, page 69:
- Part of the illusory world is the 'quack' or mountebank who can be seen standing on his own special platform in the centre of the crowd […]. Such a person travelled round to fairs and markets selling his nostrums or medicines. This character is dressed in a lace hat, long periwig and embroidered coat with lace cuffs, and is attended by his zany, who is wearing a chequered harlequin outfit and is 'quacking' or 'puffing' his master's wares. No seventeenth- or eighteenth-century mountebank was complete without his zany or 'Merry Andrew' – a term originally applied to Dr Andrew Boorde, physician to Henry VIII and noted for his ready wit and humour, who was the subject of many broadside ballads.
- John Donne:
- John Dover Wilson, comp. (1911) Life in Shakespeare's England: A Book of Elizabethan Prose, Cambridge: At the University Press, OCLC 2938084.