Word of Week (WOW) – Buffoon

wow (1)

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly challenge created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link).

I’ve now been through the alphabet once, so I’ve started again, and am now looking at the letter B.

So, here is my WOW for this week: 





  1. A person who does silly things, usually to make other people laugh:
Jester-Joker Card001 by GoShaw. Creative Commons
Jester-Joker Card001 by GoShaw. Creative Commons

2.  A person given to coarse or undignified joking (a boor).


buf·foon  [buhfoon]

Audio: buffoon. (No discernible difference between UK and US pronunciations for this one.)

Part of Speech: 


Related Forms:

Noun: buffoonery

Adjective: buffoonish

Word Origin:

Mid 16th century: from French bouffon, from Italian buffone, from medieval Latin buffo, meaning ‘clown’. Originally recorded as a rare Scottish word for a kind of pantomime dance, the term later (late 16th century) denoted a professional jester.

“Buffoon Playing a Lute”. Auhtor Frans Hals, 1623. Oil on canvas. Current location: Louvre Museum. Photographer: Web Galley ally of Art. Public Domain


jester, clown, fool, boor, comic, comedian, wag, joker, dag (New Zealand, informal) harlequin, droll, silly-billy (informal), joculator or (fem) joculatrix, merry-andrew, zany, prankster.



Use in a Sentence:

1. Once she got behind her desk, the generally quiet Teresa seemed to transform into a buffoon, hurling coarse and insulting remarks at her colleagues:


2. I hoped my husband would stop acting like a buffoon before our friends deserted us at the party:

shutterstock_580473. In most of their films, Bob Hope played the buffoon of the comedy duo, whilst Bing Crosby was the straight man.

Screen shot of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour from
Screen shot of Bob Hope (left) Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour from “The Road to Bali”, 1952. Public Domain4. Adjecive use:  Six-year-old Jonathan was not impressed by the clown’s buff

4. (Use of related noun) On his first visit to the circus, Jonathan was not impressed by the clown’s constant buffoonery:

Image courtesy of Pixabay
Image courtesy of Pixabay

If you’d like to view more interesting words, visit Heena’s

Word Treasure

36 thoughts on “Word of Week (WOW) – Buffoon

    1. Hi Rockhopper. Thank you for commenting. 🙂 This word is still used nowadays. I’ve seen it used to describe certain politicians when they’ve been trying to sound funny, but succeeded in making fools of themselves. It can also sound very old fashioned if a writer uses it in an historical setting (describing a court jester, for example). 😀

    1. Oddly enough, Prospero, I haven’t read that book either. Perhaps you could write it, and let me know? 🙂 Oddly enough again… my eldest son is a ‘bloody butcher’ – has his own butcher’s shop. But I have to say, he’s never been the timid type, or a buffooon (unless we count the times when he has a little too much to drink).Heehee. 🙂 Thank you for the excellent, alliterative sentence, Prospero.

      1. Yes, it seems that a timid butcher is an oxymoron of sorts, and thus the perfect subject for an existentialist novel, one in which the unreliable narrator might be deemed serious and sincere by the reader–only to be later reassessed as a babbling buffoon.

      2. Yes, a timid butcher is, indeed, an oxymoron – and thus a wonderful
        subject for an existentialist novel. Perhaps…probably… maybe…maybe not…
        I’ll let you try writing it, and I’ll just commiserate when you’re ‘reassessed as a babbling buffoon’. 🙂

    1. I can’t say I hate the word, but it’s not one I’d think to use in my writing. I was in a bit of a rush yesterday, and I knew I’d find illustrations easily for this one. Perhaps it sounds a bit too ‘stuffy’. I don’t think it would fit the feel of my 9th century marauders, either. Thank you, Bekki. 🙂

      1. I hadn’t thought of Black Adder. You’re right – it’s definitely the kind of word he would use (and did do!). Although the word is still used today,it does sound very dated – probably why I wouldn’t think touse it. And it really doesn’t fit with 9th century goings on. 🙂

    1. Jerry Lewis was always a favourite in our house when I was little. My mum loved him. Whenever I hear his name now, I remember a scene in one film in particular. The pair of them were in a restaurant and had ordered a meal. Jerry Lewis’s arrived as a single pea in the middle of the plate. The way he drowned it in ketchup and proceeded to cut it up was hilarious. Thanks for reminding me of that great comedian, Susan. 🙂

    1. The word starts like buffalo, so I can see why you think that. I suppose we could easily call a buffoon ‘a great hairy buffalo’! But that could be an insult to the buffalo. Thanks for that, Chioma. The idea cheered me up today. 🙂

  1. This is really really interesting! When I pronounce buffoon, I somehow think “balloon”. Do I sound like a buffoon pronouncing “buffoon” as “balloon”? lol 😀 Thanks dear for choosing a wonderful word! 🙂

    1. I’ll start linking them to yours as soon as you’re back on your blog, Heena. I don’t want to pressure you into having to read them when you’re so busy. Thank you for liking my word this week. 🙂

  2. Great word. Perhaps I like it because I’m a bit of a buffoon (meaning 1. only and strictly for family and very close friends). Thanks for including “The Buffoon Playing the Lute” , I have an old tapestry of him but didn’t know it was by Franz Hals. Wonderful post!

    1. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when you play the buffoon! And we all deserve to have some fun now and then, 🙂 How great that my picture helped you to find the name of your tapestry,too. How funny life can be. Thank you for the really interesting comment!

    1. I adore Bob Hope, too, as so many of our generation did! My mum loved him – and Jerry Lewis – so theirs were films we saw so often when we were young. I loved Bing Crosby’s voice too. I’ll always love his song with Grace Kelly. I could sing some of it now, but what it was called, I don’t remember. It could have been ‘True Love’ … or not! Thank you for stirring fond memories, Irina. 🙂

      1. Oh, I remember that film! I think it was called, ‘The Court Jester’. My sister and I both loved Danny Kaye in that one. They were such simple films in those days, yet do funny. So many memories, Irina. Are you writing any more poems about yours? I’d really love to read them, if you do. 🙂

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