Word of the Day

Sunday, August 03, 2003


\JOK-yuh-luhr\ , adjective;
Given to joking or jesting.
Characterized by joking; playful.
He had not been a jocular man, and occasionally, while she was laughing with Bob, she had caught him studying her, covertly, as if she were of some alien, and slightly frightening, species.
-- Gabrielle Donnelly, The Girl in the Photograph
But when I saw him then, he did not labour under any lowness of spirits, but, on the contrary, was very jocular in his manner and language.
-- Times (London), February 9, 1830
Blues lyrics are no less dark when jocular ("Nobody loves me but my mother / And she could be jiving too" -- B. B. King).
-- Roy Blount Jr., "There's More to Southern Humor Than Foot-Long Pecan Rolls", New York Times, December 11, 1994
But this time, the mood was a good deal more jocular than reverential.
-- Richard Bernstein, "After Nobel Prize, Caviar for Russian Poet", New York Times, October 31, 1987
Jocular comes from Latin jocularis, from joculus, diminutive of jocus, "joke."
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