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Buffoonery   Listen
Buffoonery

noun
(pl. buffooneries)
1.
Acting like a clown or buffoon.  Synonyms: clowning, frivolity, harlequinade, japery, prank.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Buffoonery" Quotes from Famous Books



... vain that Miss GLADYS COOPER, over her petit dejeuner, preserves a natural demeanour, even to the point of talking with her mouth full; the light humour of the First Act declines to the verge of buffoonery. The devastating confusions which ensue in the matter of identity and relationship (in our author's Ostend you assume, till corrected, that all couples are married); the intervention of the local gendarmerie, headed by a British detective; the arrest of half ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 150, February 2, 1916 • Various

... With that word Two seamen leaped ashore and, gathering up The bars in a stout old patch of tawny sail, Slung them aboard. No sooner this was done Than out o' the valley, like a foolish jest Out of the mouth of some great John-a-dreams, In soft procession of buffoonery A woolly train of llamas proudly came Stepping by two and two along the quay, Laden with pack on pack of silver bars And driven by a Spaniard. His amaze The seamen greeted with profuser thanks For his most punctual thought and opportune Courtesy. None the less they must avouch ...
— Collected Poems - Volume One (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... forth the merry mimicry of the satyr and the faun. Under license of this disguise, the songs became more obscene and grotesque, and the mummers vied with each other in obtaining the applause of the rural audience by wild buffoonery and unrestricted jest. Whether as the prize of the winner or as the object of sacrifice, the goat (tragos in the Greek) was a sufficiently important personage to bestow upon the exhibition the homely name of TRAGEDY, or GOATSONG, destined afterward to be exalted ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... that little harlots have visited their caprices upon us; that clowns, with buckets of water from which they pretend to cast thousands of good-sized fishes have anathematized us for laughing disrespectfully, because, as with all clowns, underlying buffoonery is the desire to be taken seriously; that pale ignorances, presiding over microscopes by which they cannot distinguish flesh from nostoc or fishes' spawn or frogs' spawn, have visited upon us their wan solemnities. We've been damned by corpses and skeletons and mummies, which twitch and totter ...
— The Book of the Damned • Charles Fort

... the mind of Benedick than all Beatrice had said before. The hint she gave him that he was a coward, by saying she would eat all he had killed, he did not regard, knowing himself to be a brave man: but there is nothing that great wits so much dread as the imputation of buffoonery, because the charge comes sometimes a little too near the truth; therefore Benedick perfectly hated Beatrice, when she ...
— Books for Children - The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 3 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... a western lawyer," said Mr. Stanton acidly, "are a gift of buffoonery and a reputation for gallantry." He was intensely bored, and had small desire to make ...
— The Path of the King • John Buchan

... defects are justly imputed to this poet, which very much obscure, if not entirely efface, his glory. These are, low buffoonery, and gross obscenity; and it has in vain been attempted to offer, in excuse for the first of these faults, the character of his audience; the bulk of which generally consisted of the poor, the ignorant, and dregs of the people, whom, however, it was as necessary to please, ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... remarks, laughable images, the metaphors that flow from the comic genius of crowds. He had the natural picturesqueness of the unadulterated farce. He was brimming over with amusing stories and buffoonery, rich in the possession of the richest of all repertories of house-painter's nonsense. Being a member of divers of the low haunts called lists, he knew all the new tunes and ballads, and he was never tired of singing. He was amusing, in short, from head to foot. And if you merely looked at ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... of this kind in 1848. The subject was by that time so stale that his speech could hardly make much impression, but it appears to-day an extraordinarily clear, strong, upright presentment of the complex and unpopular case against the war. His other long speech is elevated above buffoonery by a brief, cogent, and earnest passage on the same theme, but it was a frank piece of clowning on a licensed occasion. It was the fashion for the House when its own dissolution and a Presidential election ...
— Abraham Lincoln • Lord Charnwood

... that had been built up around the house of McGuire, the mystery surrounding the awe-inspiring prowler, the night vigils, the secrecy—all seemed to fade into a piece of hobbledehoy buffoonery at Beth's contemptuous description of her recreant relative. And ...
— The Vagrant Duke • George Gibbs

... happened that there was Uliaris, the aide of Belisarius. Now this man was a passionate fellow and well favoured in strength of heart and body, but not a very serious man, but one who generally took delight in wine and buffoonery. This Uliaris on the sixth day of the pursuit, being drunk, saw a bird sitting in a tree at about sunrise, and he quickly stretched his bow and despatched a missile at the bird. And he missed the bird, but John, who was behind it, he hit in the neck by no will of his ...
— History of the Wars, Books III and IV (of 8) - The Vandalic War • Procopius

... conspicuous set indeed would have languished often but for the social buffoonery of the clever Larry Beers, who devised new diversions and stimulating mental condiments for the jaded brains of that gilded cult. His table ballets, his bizarre parlor circuses, his cunningly devised fads in which he set ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... reform. Indeed, it was a well-known characteristic of his, that he disliked being talked of as "a wit." He thought (with justice) that he had something better in him than most wits, and he sacredly cherished high aspirations. To him buffoonery was pollution. He attached to salt something of the sacredness which it bears in the East. He was fuller of repartee than any man in England, and yet was about the last man that would have condescended to be what is called a "diner-out". It is a fact which illustrates ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... incompleteness, and to some extent even by his imperfections, that Moliere gains. Of all the great French classics, he is the least classical. His fluid mind overflowed the mould he worked in. His art, sweeping over the whole range of comic emotions, from the wildest buffoonery to the grimmest satire and the subtlest wit, touched life too closely and too often to attain to that flawless beauty to which it seems to aspire. He lacked the precision of form which is the mark of the consummate artist; he was sometimes tentative and ambiguous, often careless; ...
— Landmarks in French Literature • G. Lytton Strachey

... film; pornographic film, smoker, skin flick, X-rated film. act, scene, tableau; induction, introduction; prologue, epilogue; libretto. performance, representation, mise en scene[French], stagery[obs3], jeu de theatre[French]; acting; gesture &c. 550; impersonation &c. 554; stage business, gag, buffoonery. light comedy, genteel comedy, low comedy. theater; playhouse, opera house; house; music hall; amphitheater, circus, hippodrome, theater in the round; puppet show, fantoccini[obs3]; marionettes, Punch ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... every one uttered the same vow as be set it to his lips. Then one after the other they received the beggar's purse, and each hung it on a nail which he had appropriated to himself. The shouts and uproar attending this buffoonery attracted the Prince of Orange and Counts Egmont and Horn, who by chance were passing the spot at the very moment, and on entering the house were boisterously pressed by Brederode, as host, to remain and drink a ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... fruits in revenge, rancour, hate, discord, manslaughter, blasphemy, swearing, falsehood, flattery, chiding and reproving, scorning, treachery, sowing of strife, doubleness of tongue, betraying of counsel to a man's disgrace, menacing, idle words, jangling, japery or buffoonery, &c. — and its remedy in the virtues called mansuetude, debonairte, or gentleness, and patience or sufferance: (4.) Sloth, or "Accidie," which comes after the sin of Anger, because Envy blinds the eyes of a man, and Anger troubleth a man, and Sloth maketh him heavy, ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

... venture to judge, it continued to the last. It would, however, be unjust to deny that he had some talents for speaking and writing. His rhetoric, though deformed by every imaginable fault of taste, from bombast down to buffoonery, was not wholly without force and vivacity. He had also one quality which, in active life, often gives fourth-rate men an advantage over first-rate men. Whatever he could do, he could do without effort, ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) - Contributions To The Edinburgh Review • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... there are fewer diseases; if there is less noise, there is also less sadness, and more pure joy. I was surprised at the calmness and the delightful tranquillity that reigned here, so little resembling what I had found below. Instead of swearing and cursing, buffoonery, debauchery, and drunkenness; instead of pride and vanity, torpor in the one corner, and riot in the other; instead of all the loud broiling, and the boasting and bustling, and chattering, which ...
— The Sleeping Bard - or, Visions of the World, Death, and Hell • Ellis Wynne

... elasticity of humour which often astonish the more sober and regulated minds, that are "the commoners of life:" And the theatrical grandeur of Napoleon, the severe dignity of Cromwell, are strangely contrasted by a frequent, nor always seasonable buffoonery, which it is hard to reconcile with the ideal of their characters, or the gloomy and portentous interest of their careers. And this, equally a trait in the temperament of Rienzi, distinguished his hours of relaxation, and ...
— Rienzi • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... you from speaking. You may say something about what directly pertains to the case. Speak, but without buffoonery, without unbecoming sallies." ...
— Mother • Maxim Gorky

... interest for the reader. Probability is thrown to the winds; anachronism is rampant; classical figures are mixed with fairies and sixteenth-century Warwickshire peasants. The main plot is sentimental, the secondary plot is sheer buffoonery; while the story; of Titania's jealousy and Oberon's method of curing it can scarcely be dignified by the title of plot at all. The threads which bind together these three tales, however ingeniously fastened, are fragile. The ...
— The Sources and Analogues of 'A Midsummer-night's Dream' • Compiled by Frank Sidgwick

... be a change—for the better, some thought. Lintot, emboldened by good-cheer and good-fellowship, would become unduly, immensely, uproariously funny, in spite of his wife. He had a genuine gift of buffoonery. His friends would whisper to each other that Lintot was "on," and encourage him. Bach and Hummel and Scarlatti were put on the shelf, and the young people would have a good time. There were comic songs and negro melodies, with a chorus all round. Lintot would sing "Vilikins and his Dinah," ...
— Peter Ibbetson • George du Marier et al

... strange scenes of levity and blood, buffoonery and heroism, which the history of Parisian revolutions has familiarized to the imagination, but which, nevertheless, have an inexhaustible interest. The people arm themselves wheresoever and howsoever they can. One brings into the Place de la Bourse two large hampers, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844 • Various

... in short, is painted with inimitable spirit and fidelity. The one decided failure amongst the subsidiary characters is Lucian Grey, the professional parasite, who earns his dinners by his witty buffoonery. Somehow, his fun is terribly dreary on paper; perhaps because, as a parasite, he is not allowed to indulge in the cutting irony which animates all Disraeli's best sayings. The simple buffoonery of exuberant animal spirits is not in Disraeli's line. When he ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... treated as an usurer, and the pedant Athenaeus as illiterate; the latter points out as a Socratic folly our philosopher disserting on the nature of justice before his judges, who were so many thieves. The malignant buffoonery of Aristophanes treats him much worse; but he, as Jortin says, was a great wit, but ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... of plays and novels is work. To many it remains one of those inventions of a certain potentate for idle hands to do. To some persons in high life, and addicted to field sports, it is still a species of licensed buffoonery, to be regulated by a sort of circus-master with a whip in one hand and a gingerbread nut in the other. By the truly simple soul it is thus summed up: "Work! Why, 'e sits writin' all day." To some, both green and young, it shines as a vocation entirely glorious and exhilarating. If one may ...
— Another Sheaf • John Galsworthy

... incredible to see and impossible to describe. It was a crowd, a mob, a masquerade, a revel, a hell, a terrible buffoonery. Negroes, negresses and mulattoes, in every posture, in all manner of disguises, displayed all sorts of costumes, and ...
— The Memoirs of Victor Hugo • Victor Hugo

... this sally was lost on Madame le Claire. She was looking down on the unconscious Amidon, and wondering how any one could think of making him the instrument of buffoonery. ...
— Double Trouble - Or, Every Hero His Own Villain • Herbert Quick

... that he discerned beneath the sprightliness of this new charmer. Mr. Parsons was what he called a "stickler" for the dignity of a serious demeanor. He liked to laugh at the theatre, but mistrusted a daily point of view which savored of buffoonery. He was fond of saying that more than one public man in the United States had come to grief politically from being a joker, and that the American people could not endure flippancy in their representatives. He liked to tell and ...
— Unleavened Bread • Robert Grant

... wife join together, and, falling on the doctor and the surgeon, did so scratch, bethwack, and bang them that they were left half dead upon the place, so furious were the blows which they received. I never in my lifetime laughed so much as at the acting of that buffoonery. ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... were established; and as the sedentary pleasures of domestic life and private society were yet unknown, the fair time was the season for diversion. In proportion as the shows were attended and encouraged, they began to be set off with new decorations and improvements; and the arts of buffoonery being rendered still more attractive by extending their circle of exhibition, acquired an importance in the eyes of the people. By degrees the Clergy, observing that the entertainments of dancing, music, and mimicry exhibited at these annual celebrations made the people less religious by promoting ...
— A History of Pantomime • R. J. Broadbent

... dramatists followed the lead of Shakspere rather than of Ben Jonson. Their plays, like the former's, belong to the romantic drama. They present a poetic and idealized version of life, deal with the highest passions and the wildest buffoonery, and introduce a great variety of those daring situations and incidents which we agree to call romantic. But while Shakspere seldom or never overstepped the modesty of nature, his successors ran into every license. They {128} sought ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... to open its eyes and glance at the London manager. At length the London manager was discovered to be asleep, and shortly after that he woke up and went away, whereupon all the company fell foul of the unhappy comic countryman, declaring that his buffoonery was the sole cause; and Mr Crummles said, that he had put up with it a long time, but that he really couldn't stand it any longer, and therefore would feel obliged by his looking out for ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... be a relief from this buffoonery," remarked the actor. "But how am I to do it in—this?" and he held out the silk hat, now much the worse for what it had ...
— The Moving Picture Girls at Oak Farm - or, Queer Happenings While Taking Rural Plays • Laura Lee Hope

... garb of woe suggested that he had lost in one catastrophe every relation he had in the world, even to cousins by marriage twice removed. His plumpness and his red, fat cheeks made his mourning not a little incongruous. It was cruel that his extreme unhappiness should have in it something of buffoonery. ...
— The Moon and Sixpence • W. Somerset Maugham

... armpits in a snowdrift. He struggled out and staggered on once more. In the mad buffoonery of that cutting wind he scarce could stand upright. His parka was frozen stiff as a board. He could feel his hands grow numb in his mits. From his fingers the icy cold crept up and up. Long since he had lost all sensation in his feet. From the ankles down they were ...
— The Trail of '98 - A Northland Romance • Robert W. Service

... now? He is gigantic! He admires Musset's Rhin, and asks if Musset has done anything else. Here you have Musset accepted as the national poet and ousting Beranger! What immense buffoonery is...everything! But a not ...
— The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters • George Sand, Gustave Flaubert

... wishes to say, there is only one noun to express it, only one verb to give it life, only one adjective to qualify it. Search then till that noun, that verb, that adjective is discovered. Never be content with very nearly; never have recourse to tricks, however happy, or to buffoonery of language to avoid a difficulty. This is the way to become original." An accurate writer avoids looseness of thinking and inexactness of expression as he avoids libel. The adjective lurid is an illustration of a word over which ...
— News Writing - The Gathering , Handling and Writing of News Stories • M. Lyle Spencer

... a kind of merriment,—not true cheerfulness, neither careless nor idle jesting, but a determined effort at gaiety, a resolute laughter, mixed with much satire, grossness, and practical buffoonery, and, it always seemed to me, void of all comfort or hope,—with this eminent character in it also, that it is capable of touching with its bitterness even the most fearful subjects, so that as the love of beauty retains its tenderness in the presence of death, this love of jest ...
— Modern Painters, Volume IV (of V) • John Ruskin

... should have remained in Boston during the siege, and especially that he should consent to show himself in the mansion of Sir William Howe. But thither he had come, with a fair granddaughter under his arm; and there, amid all the mirth and buffoonery, stood this stern old figure, the best sustained character in the masquerade, because so well representing the antique spirit of his native land. The other guests affirmed that Colonel Joliffe's black puritanical scowl threw a shadow round about him; although in spite ...
— The Short-story • William Patterson Atkinson

... passed more and more into the hands of the laity, who employed jongleurs, histrions, and strolling vagabonds, whose acting included gross buffoonery, and whose profanity completely choked the religious growth first implanted by these miracle plays. The stages, it should be explained, were of curious construction, being divided into three stories, the upper one ...
— The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII, No. 357, October 30, 1886 • Various

... with any of his own tribe of buffoons—no injustice, even you spoke it, for I dared say you never could relish Candide. I know I tried to get thro' it about a twelvemonth since, and couldn't for the Dullness. Now, I think I have a wider range in buffoonery than you. Too much ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... tricked out and modelled in the distinctive marks and tokens of the friend, to leave untouched and uncopied only his outspokenness, as the special burden of friendship, "heavy, huge, strong."[412] But since flatterers, to avoid the blame they incur by their buffoonery, and drinking, and gibes, and jokes, sometimes work their ends by frowns and gravity, and intermix censure and reproof, let us not pass this over either without examination. And I think, as in Menander's Play the sham Hercules comes on the stage not with ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... that this procession in honour of the Being of beings, represented under the sacramental forms, is followed by all the religious confraternities, and this is duly done at Aix; but the scandalous part of the ceremony is the folly and the buffoonery which is allowed in a rite which should be designed to stir up the hearts of men to ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... and books of the Jews, geese of the best breeds, and pouter-pigeons of pure blood.... I used to go in for everything! Though dogs I never did care for keeping, because it goes with drinking, foulness, and buffoonery! I was a young man of spirit, not to be outdone. That there should be anything of Teliegin's and not first-rate ... why, it was not to be thought of! And I had a splendid stud of horses. And my horses came—from ...
— A Desperate Character and Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... as a table boarder in the cottage on the mesa being hospitably prompt, he was coming and going as regularly as his oversight of the three hundred miles of demoralization permitted before the buffoonery of the Red Butte Western suddenly laughed itself out, and war was declared. In the interval he had come to concur very heartily in Benson's estimate of the family, and to share—without Benson's excuse, and without ...
— The Taming of Red Butte Western • Francis Lynde



Words linked to "Buffoonery" :   indulgence, japery, shtick, shtik, folly, schtik, schtick, craziness, frivolity, tomfoolery, lunacy, foolery



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