One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1dated Pornographic literature.
- ‘But a certain number, following in the footsteps of the Latin Facetiae, harbour a sense of wit and subtlety beneath apparent crudity.’
- ‘It also contains a number of quibbles or jeux de mots, and a still greater number of facetiae, idle and licentious stories.’
2archaic Humorous or witty sayings.
- ‘The primary object of these anecdotes, facetiae and riddles was to occupy idle hours.’
Early 16th century: from Latin, plural of facetia ‘jest’, from facetus ‘witty’.
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