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"Avoid all kinds of pleasantry and facetiousness in thy discourse with her, and do whatever lies in thy power at the same time, to keep her from all books and writings which tend thereto: there are some devotional tracts, which if thou canst entice her to read over—it will be well: but suffer her not to look into Rabelais, or Scarron, or Don Quixote."--The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759-1767) by Laurence Sterne

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Facetus is Latin for:

  1. elegant, fine
  2. courteous, polite
  3. witty, jocose, facetious


Derived words


The word facetus became known in the Renaissance in the form of facetia, jest or joke. In its plural form it became associated with collections of witty tales, best known of which are the Facetiae by Poggio.


  1. Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant
  2. Pleasantly humourous, jocular


1592, from Fr. facétieux, from facétie "a joke," from L. facetia, from facetus "witty, elegant," of unknown origin, perhaps related to facis "torch." It implies a desire to be amusing, often intrusive or ill-timed. " in booksellers' catalogues, is, like curious, a euphemism for erotica." [ Henry Watson Fowler ] --etymonline


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