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funny as a barrel of monkeys Very funny, hilarious, uproarious, riotous. Monkeys are known for their humorous antics; a barrel of them would undoubtedly serve to heighten one’s amusement. But, since too many monkeys would not be funny for long, the expression is also used sarcastically to mean not funny at all.
funny-peculiar or funny ha-ha See DIFFERENTIATION.
in stitches Doubled over with laughter, in pain from laughing so hard. Stitch dates from the 11th century as a term for a sharp, spasmodic, localized pain. In stitches refers to the analogous spasms produced by uncontrollable laughter. Shakespeare used the phrase in Twelfth Night (III, ii):
If you desire the spleen, and will laugh yourself into stitches, follow me.
laugh like a drain To guffaw or horselaugh; to laugh loudly and boisterously. This British colloquialism refers to the sound made by water as it gurgles down the drain, and is frequently used in the context of laughing in derision at another’s discomfiture.
Old Hester would laugh like a drain if she could see us singing hymns over her. (K. Nicholson, Hook, Line and Sinker, 1966)
merry-andrew One who amuses others through buffoonery or zaniness; a droll, witty person; a clown. This expression may have derived from the learned traveler and physician to Henry VIII, Andrew Borde, though the evidence for this theory is flimsy at best. In an attempt to instruct the common English people, Borde spoke at fairs and other festivals, often interjecting witticisms and puns into his rather unpretentious lectures. The many people who imitated him were thus called merry-andrews. The expression is still used today for an amateur comedian or a buffoon.
Richter is a man of mirth, but he seldom or never condescends to be a merry-andrew. (Thomas Carlyle, Tales by Musaeus, Tieck, and Richter, 1827)
slapstick A type of comedy characterized by boisterousness, farcical facial expressions, and horseplay, and quasi-violent actions such as throwing pies, striking or tripping one another, etc. This comedie genre takes its name from the slapstick ‘flexible lath or stick’ used by clowns and harlequins to deliver a loud but painless blow to another actor. Slapstick comedy was perhaps epitomized by the Keystone Cops and other silent-film characters created by Mack Sennett (1884-1960). Even during its heyday in the early 1900s, but especially after the introduction of sound in motion pictures in the late 1920s, slapstick was considered by some to be a low, if not base, form of humor because of its exaggerated visual effects and rampant, though innocent, acts of violence.
It was a musical show—one of those … slap-stick affairs which could never by any possibility satisfy a cultivated audience. (T. K. Holmes, Man From Tall Timber, 1919)
wear the cap and bells To willingly play the clown or buffoon, to act the fool, to be the life of the party; also, to serve as foil to the straight man, to be the butt of others’ jokes. This now little-used expression derives from the headgear formerly worn by court jesters, a cap with bells attached.
|Noun||1.||humorousness - the trait of merry joking |
levity - a manner lacking seriousness
humour(American) humor (ˈhjuːmə) noun
humorous, adjective, drops the u.