Soytarı – Turkish

Modern Turkish for ‘jester’, and by extension, saray soytarısı means ‘court jester’. Dikici notes that it has a broader sweep than equivalent words in English: 

‘As opposed to the all-encompassing Turkish word soytarı, its English counterparts ‘jester,’ ‘buffoon,’ ‘clown,’ and ‘fool’ suggest shades of meaning.’   

Note the common Ottoman term would have been mashara, rather than soytarı.


Source: Dikici, Ayşe Ezgi, ‘Imperfect Bodies, Perfect Companions? Dwarfs and mutes at the Ottoman court in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’, M.A. dissertation, Sabanci University, 2006, p. 4



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