"It is by vivacity and wit that man shines in company; but trite jokes and loud laughter reduce him to a buffoon" - Lord Chesterfield


– noun
1.( often initial capital letter ) a comic character in commedia dell'arte and the harlequinade, usually masked, dressed in multicolored, diamond-patterned tights, and carrying a wooden sword or magic wand.
2. a buffoon.
3. any of various small snakes having bright diamond-pattern scales.

– adjective
4. fancifully varied in color, decoration, etc.: harlequin pants.
5. resembling a harlequin's mask: harlequin glasses.

1580–90; < F, MF ( h ) arlequin, semantically (and in part phonetically) < It arlecchino < MF, phonetically continuing OF *harlequin, halequin a malevolent spirit (Compare mesniee Hellequin a troop of demonic horsemen, lit., Hellequin's escort), prob. < ME *Herla king, OE *Her ( e ) la cyning King Herle, presumably a legendary figure, rendered in AL as Herla rex; cf. OHG Herilo a personal name, deriv. of heri armed forces


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