Droll

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Dr. Goodword
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Droll

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:43 pm

• droll •


Pronunciation: drowl • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Oddly amusing, intentionally facetious, whimsically comic.

Notes: Today's word comes with three nouns, two that are droll in themselves: drollery and drollity. The third is as humorless as nouns come: drollness. We also have at our disposal an adverb, drolly, and a diminutive adjective, drollish "somewhat droll".

In Play: Santa Claus in Clement Moore's famous poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, lately known as Twas the Night before Christmas, is described as having 'a droll little mouth . . . drawn up like a bow. Honoré de Balzac wrote some famous Droll Stories (Contes drolatiques), a collection of lively and lusty stories about 16th century French manners.

Word History: Today's Good Word was passed around substantially before coming to English. It began its English life as a noun meaning "a good fellow, a pleasant wag". It was borrowed from Middle French drôlle with the same meaning. French, it seems, picked its word up from Middle Dutch drol "fat little fellow, goblin" or from Middle High German trolle "clown". These words are related to Old Norse troll "giant, evil spirit, monster", but trolls were regarded by the peasants of Denmark and Sweden as dwarves or imps who lived underground, in caves, or under bridges. By the 17th century it was being used as an adjective with its current meaning. (Today's funny little Good Word was recommended by the ever droll Rob Towart.)
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Slava
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Re: Droll

Postby Slava » Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:54 pm

The droll troll grabbed his brolly and went for a stroll to buy a roll.
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George Kovac
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Re: Droll

Postby George Kovac » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:02 am

Given my idiosyncratic sense of humor, droll is a word often applied to me (there have been worse adjectives used, as well). I wear it as a badge of honor.

Back in the 1960s, a comedy opened on Broadway, mostly to rave reviews. The next week, the producers took out a full page ad--the kind of ad that quotes the most favorable reviews--consisting solely of the word "Funny!" in quotes, repeated a dozen times as a one word excerpt from reviews, followed by the name of each reviewer. Except once, where the reviewer was cited describing the play as "Droll." A very funny ad indeed.
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David Myer
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Re: Droll

Postby David Myer » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:49 am

Bravo George. I like the story of the theatre ad.

But I am interested that the good Dr has not offered drole as an alternative spelling. Certainly it is widely used with that (original?) spelling in England. Not so much in Australia, but then neither is droll! We have a smaller vocabulary here.

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LukeJavan8
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Re: Droll

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:03 pm

You don't talk as much as the Brits???
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David Myer
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Re: Droll

Postby David Myer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:59 am

We don't talk in Oz; we drawl. That's drawl, not droll or even drole.


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