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A jester, joker, jokester, fool, wit-cracker, prankster, or buffoon is a member of a profession that came into popularity in the Middle Ages. Jesters are always thought to have worn brightly colored clothes and eccentric hats in a motley pattern. Their hats, sometimes called the cap ‘n bells, cockscomb (obsolete coxcomb), were especially distinctive; made of cloth, they were floppy with three points (liliripes) each of which had a jingle bell at the end. The three points of the hat represent the ass’s ears and tail worn by jesters in earlier times. Other things distinctive about the jester were his laughter and his mock scepter, known as a bauble or maharoof.


Henry Blackburn Randolph Caldecott, A Personal Memoir (London, England: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, Limited, 1889)


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