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Merry Andrew


So called from Andrew Borde, physician to Henry VIII., etc. To vast learning he added great eccentricity, and in order to instruct the people used to address them at fairs and other crowded places in a very ad captandum way. Those who imitated his wit and drollery, though they possessed not his genius, were called Merry Andrews, a term now signifying a clown or buffoon. Andrew Borde Latinised his name into Andreas Perforaʹtus. (1500–1549.) Prior has a poem on “Merry Andrew.”

⁂ The above is the usual explanation given of this phrase; but Andrew is a common name in old plays for a varlet or manservant, as Abigail is for a waiting gentlewoman.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Merlo or Melo (Juan de)
Mermaid’s Glove [Chalina oculata]
Mermaids Purses
Merops Son or A son of Merops
Merovingian Dynasty
Merrie England
Merry Andrew
Merry Dancers
Merry Dun of Dover
Merry Men (My)
Merry Men of Mey
Merry Monarch
Merry as a Cricket, or as a Lark, or as a Grig
Merton (Tommy)

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