An interesting concept, Webster 1913 doesn't quite do it justice. The idea of raillery is to say something that sounds insulting, but is actually a compliment. Apparently in the 18th century people were a lot better at this kind of thing than nowadays, but I think what's involved is to say something like "Oh, so you were at X's last weekend? I'm sure you needed time off-- you just can't get a moment's rest there! And I guess you're going to have to lose weight, too!" (Translation: their parties are to die for. Their version of the Walk of Shame is if you aren't cleared out by Tuesday--wearing clothing you put on Friday, and if you haven't gotten yourself drunk, stuffed, high, laid and done something incredibly brave or foolish at least once, you're doing it wrong.)

An idea worth reviving, for the cognescenti, at least.

Also, a collection of not-too-funny jokes by William James Sidis about streetcars.

Rail"ler*y [F. raillerie, fr. railler. See Rail to scoff.]

Pleasantry or slight satire; banter; jesting language; satirical merriment.

Let raillery be without malice or heat. B. Jonson.

Studies employed on low objects; the very naming of them is sufficient to turn them into raillery. Addison.


© Webster 1913.

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