Etymology
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wordplay (n.)
also word-play, 1855; see word (n.) + play (v.).
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swordplay (n.)
also sword-play, Old English sweordplege; see sword + play (n.).
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playful (adj.)

"lighthearted, full of play, frolicsome, frisky," early 13c., pleiful, from play (n.) + -ful. Related: Playfully; playfulness.

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jeu d'esprit (n.)
"a witticism," 1712, from French, from jeu "play, game," from Latin jocum "jest, joke, play, sport" (see joke (n.)).
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playfellow (n.)

also play-fellow, "companion in amusements or sports," 1510s, from play (n.) + fellow (n.).

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spiel (n.)
"glib speech, pitch," 1896, probably from verb (1894) meaning "to speak in a glib manner," earlier "to play circus music" (1870, in a German-American context), from German spielen "to play," from Old High German spilon (cognate with Old English spilian "to play"). The noun also perhaps from German Spiel "play, game."
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skylark (v.)
"to frolic or play," 1809, originally nautical, in reference to "wanton play about the rigging, and tops," probably from skylark (n.), influenced by (or from) lark (n.2). Related: Skylarked; skylarking.
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drum (v.)

"beat or play time on, or announce by beating on, a drum," 1570s, from drum (n.). Meaning "to beat rhythmically or regularly" (with the fingers, etc.) is from 1580s. Meaning "force upon the attention by continual iteration" is by 1820.  To drum (up) business, etc., is American English 1839, from the old way of drawing a crowd or attracting recruits. To drum (someone) out "expel formally and march out by the beat of a drum" is originally military, by 1766.

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downplay (v.)

"de-emphasize, minimize," 1968, from verbal phrase play (something) down, which is perhaps from music or theater;  down (adv.) + play (v.). Related: Downplayed; downplaying.

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singspiel (n.)
1876, from German Singspiel, literally "a singing play," from singen "to sing" (see sing (v.)) + Spiel "a play" (see spiel). Kind of performance popular in Germany late 18c.
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