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July 14, 2020

Word of the Day: Farceur

1 CQ

Word of the Day : October 2, 2017

farceur \fahr-SER\ noun


1 : joker, wag

2 : a writer or actor of farce or satire


Grace's class presentation went very well, but she could have done without the snide remarks from the farceurs at the back of the room.

"Jerry Lewis didn't just play a nutty professor. For years he reigned as a mad comic scientist of the screen—a brash innovator who exploded conventions and expectations on either side of the camera, and a take-no-prisoners farceur who mixed slapstick antics with a seething man-child persona of his own making." — Justin Chang, The Los Angeles Times, 21 Aug. 2017

Did You Know?

You've probably already spotted the "farce" in farceur. But although farceur can now refer to someone who performs or composes farce, it began life as a word for someone who is simply known for cracking jokes. Appropriately, farceur derives via Modern French from the Middle French farcer, meaning "to joke." If you think of farce as a composition of ridiculous humor with a "stuffed" or contrived plot, then it should not surprise you that farce originally meant "forcemeat"—seasoned meat used for a stuffing—and that both farce and farceur can be ultimately traced back to the Latin verb farcire, meaning "to stuff."

Aired October 2, 2017

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