Where did the word "tomfoolery" originate?

Answer

The word "tomfoolery" originated from the term "Thom Foole," spoken in 1650 Middle English meaning the personification of a mentally deficient man. "Tomfoolery" was first recorded in 1812 and means a foolish or silly behavior, act, matter or thing. Synonyms for the word include foolishness, silliness, monkeyshines and horseplay.

"Tomfoolery," pronounced "tom-foo-luh-ree," is a noun, and its plural form is "tomfooleries." An example of the word used in a sentence would be: "All the fidgeting, the tomfoolery, the vagueness and lack of concentration vanished the moment that he stood or sat at an easel." The word "tomfoolery" can also stand for utter nonsense or rubbish.

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