"humorous," 1756, from fun (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "strange, odd, causing perplexity" is by 1806, said to be originally U.S. Southern (marked as colloquial in Century Dictionary). The two senses of the word led to the retort question "funny ha-ha or funny peculiar," which is attested by 1916. Related: Funnier; funniest. Funny farm "mental hospital" is slang from 1962. Funny bone "elbow end of the humerus" (where the ulnar nerve passes relatively unprotected) is from 1826, so called for the tingling sensation when struck. Funny-man was originally (1854) a circus or stage clown.
"newspaper comic strips," 1852, plural noun formation from funny (adj.).
"diversion, amusement, mirthful sport," 1727, earlier "a cheat, trick" (c. 1700), from verb fun (1680s) "to cheat, hoax," which is of uncertain origin, probably a variant of Middle English fonnen "befool" (c. 1400; see fond). Scantly recorded in 18c. and stigmatized by Johnson as "a low cant word." Older senses are preserved in phrase to make fun of (1737) and funny money "counterfeit bills" (1938, though this use of the word may be more for the sake of the rhyme). See also funny. Fun and games "mirthful carryings-on" is from 1906.
"mirthfulness," 1640s, from Medieval Latin iocularitas "jocular, facetious," from iocularis (adj.) "funny, laughable, comic" (see jocular).
1620s, "disposed to joking," from Latin iocularis "funny, comic," from ioculus "joke," diminutive of iocus "pastime; a joke" (see joke (n.)). Often it implies evasion of an issue by a joke.