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joker (n.)

1729, "jester, merry fellow, one who jokes," agent noun from joke (v.). In generic slang use for "any man, fellow, chap" by 1811, which probably is the source of the meaning "odd face card in the deck" (1868), also often jolly joker. An 1857 edition of Hoyle's "Games" lists a card game called Black Joke in which all face cards were called jokers.

American manufacturers of playing-cards are wont to include a blank card at the top of the pack; and it is, alas! true that some thrifty person suggested that the card should not be wasted. This was the origin of the joker. ["St. James's Gazette," 1894]

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Definitions of joker from WordNet

joker (n.)
a person who enjoys telling or playing jokes;
Synonyms: jokester
joker (n.)
a person who does something thoughtless or annoying;
some joker is blocking the driveway
Synonyms: turkey
joker (n.)
an inconspicuous clause in a document or bill that affects its meaning in a way that is not immediately apparent;
when I demanded my money he showed me the joker in the contract
joker (n.)
a playing card that is usually printed with a picture of a jester;
From wordnet.princeton.edu