Joe Miller (from Joseph Miller, 1684-1738, a witty actor, who was a favorite about the time Congreve's plays were fashionable), a stale jest. The compilation, "Joe Miller's Jests," published a year after the death of the supposed author, was the work of John Mottley (1692-1750), but the term has been used to pass off, not only the original stock, but thousands of jokes manufactured long after Miller was buried.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Joe" Mil"ler (?). [From Joseph Miller, a comic actor, whose name was attached, after his death, to a popular jest book published in 1739.]

A jest book; a stale jest; a worn-out joke.


It is an old Joe Miller in whist circles, that there are only two reasons that can justify you in not returning trumps to your partner's lead; i. e., first, sudden illness; secondly, having none. Pole.


© Webster 1913.

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