Truhan – Spanish

Truhan – Spanish

A 17th century Spanish dictionary gave this definition of the word truhan (plural: truhanes), zooming in on the licence jesters had to speak freely.  I like the laconic ‘even the truth’.Truhanes – admitido en los palacios de los reyes, y en las casas...
Soytarı – Turkish

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...
Fengjian 諷諫 – Chinese

Fengjian 諷諫 – Chinese

A classical Chinese term for giving indirect advice, used in the context of jesters for the humorously indirect way they get their point across. Occasionally, the jian (諫) meaning ‘remonstrance’ or ‘to admonish or remonstrate with’ is combined with the you of ‘jester’...
Are they still relevant?

Are they still relevant?

In the age of concentrated and even absolute power, jesters were a vital counterpoint, a dose of humorous corrective, a laughing shaker-up of rigidity.In an age of spin, propaganda and fake news, they still have a role to play.  They typically come with an extra...

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