One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(An Anglicization of the name of) the legendary German jester Till Eulenspiegel, the type of a roguish fool; (hence) a jester; a buffoon.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in untitled. From owl + glass, as English form of the name of Till Eulenspiegel, a legendary German jester and trickster, after the apparent meaning of the German name (taken to show Eule owl and Spiegel mirror); some forms apparently show also the influence of howlet and perhaps also of holly or holy.
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