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zany

[zey-nee] /ˈzeɪ ni/
adjective, zanier, zaniest.
1.
ludicrously or whimsically comical; clownish.
noun, plural zanies.
2.
one who plays the clown or fool in order to amuse others.
3.
a comically wild or eccentric person.
4.
a secondary stock character in old comedies who mimicked his master.
5.
a professional buffoon; clown.
6.
a silly person; simpleton.
7.
a slavish attendant or follower.
Origin
1560-1570
1560-70; (< Middle French) < Italian zan(n)i (later zanno) a servant character in the commedia dell’arte, perhaps orig. the character's name, the Upper Italian form of Tuscan Gianni, for Giovanni John
Related forms
zanily, adverb
zaniness, zanyism, noun
zanyish, adjective
Synonyms
3. kook, crazy, lunatic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for zaniness

zany

/ˈzeɪnɪ/
adjective -nier, -niest
1.
comical in an endearing way; imaginatively funny or comical, esp in behaviour
noun (pl) -nies
2.
a clown or buffoon, esp one in old comedies who imitated other performers with ludicrous effect
3.
a ludicrous or foolish person
Derived Forms
zanily, adverb
zaniness, noun
zanyism, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Italian zanni, from dialect (Venice and Lombardy) Zanni, nickname for Giovanni John; one of the traditional names for a clown
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for zaniness

zany

n.

comic performer, 1580s, from French zani, from Italian zani, zanni "a zany, clown," originally Zanni, Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, pet form of Giovanni "John." A stock character in old comedies, he aped the principal actors.

adj.

1869, from zany (n.). Related: Zanily; zaniness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for zaniness

za

noun

Pizza: Rents are parents. Za is pizza

[1968+ Teenagers; a shortening of pizza]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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