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The meaning and origin of the expression: Many a true word is spoken in jest

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Many a true word is spoken in jest

What's the meaning of the phrase 'Many a true word is spoken in jest'?

A literal meaning; that the truth is often found in comic utterances.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Many a true word is spoken in jest'?

The first author to express this thought in English was probably Geoffrey Chaucer. He included it in The Cook's Tale, 1390:

But yet I pray thee be not wroth for game; [don't be angry with my jesting]
A man may say full sooth [the truth] in game and play.

Shakespeare later came closer to our contemporary version of the expression, in King Lear, 1605:

Jesters do oft prove prophets.

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