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The Jester of Buckingham bringing Middle Ages Silliness back to Britain.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Greetings all,

My esteemed friend, Mr Steve Lloyd, has asked a very interesting question. Where did the phrase tomfoolery come from and what is it actually all about? I have done a little bit of research and I think I may have found the answer.

In England, Tom, has always been a name used to describe people generally. For example in WWI and WWII the men in the trenches and on the front line were known as Tommys. We also have the phrase "Tom, Dick and Harry" which were used to describe anyone and everyone. (as well as the tunnels in Colditz) and other such phrases as "Tom Thumb" for small persons. Well, it is no surprise that Tomfoolery has similar origins.

Jesters were generally referred to as Tom Fool and over the years that has been changed to tomfoolery meaning someone that is foolish or something that causes mischief. So there we are Mr Lloyd, the origins of Tomfoolery for you. I have also discovered how other certain phrases and traditions have come from the time of the Jesters. I shall update again in the near future, but in the meantime if you have any questions about Jesting or anything of the like, let me know and I will do my best to answer for you.


  1. Buckinghamfool. You are indeed a wise fool and I may now sleep soundly knowing Tomfoolery's origins.