June 24, 2012
droll (adjective)
\DROHL\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: having an odd or amusing quality
How do you use it?
"Then it struck him as a very funny thing for Jack to come to life, especially as the expression on his pumpkin face was so droll and comical it excited laughter on the instant." (L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz)
Are you a word wiz?

What do you think the ancestor of the word "droll" referred to?

There's nothing odd about A as the right choice. Although the earliest use of "droll" in English in the early 1600s was as an adjective, its meaning is rooted in nouns. "Drolle," the Middle Dutch word for "imp" (a mischievous child or small demon), was borrowed into French with its original spelling. Later on, it became "drôle," which also meant "scamp," a rascal that causes trouble. Apparently, the trouble was the kind that provoked laughter rather than anger. It developed into an adjective "drôle," which described funny or peculiar things, and which became the English word "droll."
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