Etymology
Advertisement
joke (v.)
1660s, "to make a joke," from joke (n.) or else from Latin iocari "to jest, joke," from iocus "joke, sport, pastime." Related: Joked; joking.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
joke (n.)
1660s, joque, "a jest, something done to excite laughter," from Latin iocus "joke, jest, sport, pastime" (source also of French jeu, Spanish juego, Portuguese jogo, Italian gioco), from Proto-Italic *joko-, from PIE *iok-o- "word, utterance," from root *yek- (1) "to speak" (cognates: Welsh iaith, Breton iez "language," Middle Irish icht "people;" Old High German jehan, Old Saxon gehan "to say, express, utter;" Old High German jiht, German Beichte "confession").

Originally a colloquial or slang word. Meaning "something not real or to no purpose, someone not to be taken seriously" is from 1791. Black joke is old slang for "smutty song" (1733), from use of that phrase in the refrain of a then-popular song as a euphemism for "the monosyllable." Lithuanian juokas "laugh, laughter," in plural "joke(s)" probably is borrowed from German.
Related entries & more 
jeu d'esprit (n.)
"a witticism," 1712, from French, from jeu "play, game," from Latin jocum "jest, joke, play, sport" (see joke (n.)).
Related entries & more 
jokester (n.)
1819, from joke + -ster. Jokesmith is from 1813.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
joking (n.)
"jesting, witty playfulness," 1660s, verbal noun from joke (v.). Related: Jokingly.
Related entries & more 
jocular (adj.)
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.
Related entries & more 
joculator (n.)
"professional jester; a minstrel," c. 1500, from Latin ioculator "a joker, jester," from iocus "pastime; a joke" (see joke (n.)).
Related entries & more 
joky (adj.)
1825, from joke (n.) + -y (2). Related: Jokily; jokiness. Other adjective forms have included jokesome (1810), jokish (1785).
Related entries & more 
jocose (adj.)
"given to jokes and jesting," 1670s, from Latin iocosus "full of jesting, fond of jokes, funny," from iocus "pastime, sport; a jest, joke" (see joke (n.)). Often it implies ponderous humor (compare jocund). Related: Jocosely; jocoseness.
Related entries & more