Printable Version
Pronunciation: jah-kyê-lêr Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Facetious, humorous, jovial, convivial, droll, funny, playful.

Notes: Today's Good Word comes with an adverb, jocularly, and a noun, jocularity. It also comes with a seldom used synonym, jocose. This relative combines with serious in a compound, jocoserious, which means "partly in jest, partly in earnest". Since it is a Romance word, the [k] sound is represented by a hard C, even though a historically related word, joke, represents the same sound with a K.

In Play: There are places where jocularity is appropriate and places where it is not: "Cody Fendant was cautioned about the jocular tone of his testimony at the murder trial." "Rex Carr's Driving School" is one of the jocular company names found here. AlphaDictionary also has a list of jocular headlines here.

Word History: This word made its way from Latin iocularis "droll", from ioculus, diminutive of iocus "joke", the origin of English joke. The Proto-Indo-European origin of this Latin Word was yek-/yok- "talk, tell, say", which also turned up in Old High German as jehan "say, speak", but did not make it into Modern High German or any other Germanic language (e.g. English). It does show up in Lithuanian juokas "joke" and Latvian joks "joke" with the same meaning as Latin. Elsewhere we find Portuguese jogar, Spanish and Catalan jugar, Italian giocare, Romanian juca, and French jouer—all descendants of Latin iocus and all currently meaning "to play".

Dr. Goodword,

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