the humorous man shall end his part in peace;

What is the journey of the word “humor”? How did a word that once meant moody come to mean comedy? At first blush, I looked at this line and thought, “What would a funny guy want to end his part with peace for? What good would that be?” but then I realized – humorous is suggesting some battling his humors. The bile (Black and Green) the choler, the phlegm and so on, making him angry or irritable or depressive or petulant or snapish or aggressive. And someone running that gamut of moods could absolutely use some peace. And a lot of it.

But how did humorous come to mean funny? How how how? Possible trajectory: to be in good humor meant to be free of all the bad moods – good humors meaning feeling good was often provoked by jokes, so jokes came to be called humor for short, losing the good and becoming almost the opposite of itself in meaning.

And THAT is some scholarly making shit up.


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