jest

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jest about someone or something

to make jokes about someone or something. There is no need to jest about Lady Bracknell. I wish you would not jest about that.
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jest at someone or something

to make fun of someone or something. Please don't jest at my cousin. Is someone jesting at my hairdo?
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jest with someone

to joke with someone; to try to fool someone. Surely you are jesting with me. Don't jest with me!
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Many a true word is spoken in jest.

 and There's many a true word spoken in jest.
Prov. Just because something is said as a joke, it can still be true. Fred: Why did you make a joke about my being stingy? Do you really think I'm cheap? Ellen: Of course not, don't be silly. It was just a joke. Fred: But many a true word is spoken in jest.
See also: jest, many, spoken, true, word

in jest

as a joke He called me stupid, then said it was all in jest and he felt really bad about it.
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There's many a true word spoken in jest.

something that you say when you think that something someone has said as a joke may really be true or become true 'At this rate we'll be walking all night.' 'Be careful - there's many a true word spoken in jest.'
See also: jest, many, spoken, true, word
References in periodicals archive ?
It had Faldo comparing him with tennis legend Bjorn Borg for his self-control and composure, the two all-time greats exchanging smiles and a warm handshake at the end, Faldo even jestingly asking Tiger for his driver for caddie-son Matthew "as you never use it
Mo Mowlam was, famously, a blunt talker, once even jestingly threatening to head-butt Mr Adams, and it was this quality that both made her so unusual in politics and also paved the way to peace.
Plutarch records that he met the soothsayer along the way and told him jestingly, "The Ides of March are come;" to which the soothsayer, unruffled, replied, "Yes, they are come, but they are not past.
The younger Amis knew from first-person testimony, from all of those Russian and East European types who had passed through what everyone jestingly referred to as "Fascist House," what conditions had prevailed under the regimes of Lenin and Stalin.
He uses the word "merda" jestingly in connection with Paris (1500) in his roguish correspondence wi th Fausto Andrelini, the Italian poet mentioned above.
Andrew Marvell wrote jestingly of the flatness of Holland:
I jestingly said to Clem one day that, with his attention to ashtrays, his passion for differentiating between different styles of vodka, his (sometimes) courteous manner and his interest in remembering strangers' names, he might become a good barman, since it was obvious that no one wished to read his art criticism.
I jestingly compared my new status to that definition of an eunuch.
Guillot relates that after the acceptance of Severac's thesis, Ravel apparently began to jestingly address its author as "Docteur" (p.