AskDefine | Define drollery

Dictionary Definition



1 a comic incident or series of incidents [syn: clowning, comedy, funniness]
2 a quaint and amusing jest [syn: waggery]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. comical quality.
  2. amusing behaviour.
  3. a puppet show.

Extensive Definition

Drolleries (or drollery), often called a "grotesque", are decorative thumbnail sketches in the margins of Illuminated manuscripts, most popular from about 1250 through the 15th century, although found earlier and later. Specifically images which appear as mixed creatures, either between different animals or between animals and human beings, or even between animals and plants or inorganic things. For example cocks with human heads, dogs carrying human masks, archers winding out of a fish’s mouth, bird-like dragons with an elephant’s head on the back.
One manuscript The Croy Hours has so many it has become known as The Book of Drolleries.
Another manuscript which has many drolleries is the The Luttrell Psalter, which has hybrid creatures and other monsters on a great deal of the pages.


  • Michelle P. Brown (1994), Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms, ISBN 0-89236-217-0
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