Jester vs. Clown
A jester is a historical figure, often in a royal court, who entertains with wit and satire. A clown is a performer who entertains, often in a circus, using physical comedy and exaggerated features.
Difference Between Jester and Clown
A jester is traditionally a person who was employed to entertain a ruler in medieval times, making use of humor, wit, and sometimes satire to amuse the court. In contrast, a clown is a more modern figure associated with circuses, carnivals, and children's entertainment, relying mainly on physical comedy, exaggerated makeup, and costumes for laughs.
Jesters are often thought of as clever individuals who used their wit to navigate the tricky politics of court life, sometimes using satire to offer veiled criticisms of their rulers. Clowns don’t usually have this depth of historical or political nuance; their main function is to amuse and entertain a general audience, often in settings like a circus ring.
The word jester often evokes images of a man in colorful, eccentric garments complete with a jester's hat, performing close to power, perhaps in a royal court. Clowns, on the other hand, typically wear bright colors, oversized shoes, and wigs, performing acts designed for broad comedic appeal, often involving slapstick humor.
In terms of etymology, "jester" originates from the Latin word "gestour," meaning "a minstrel," indicating a role that involved storytelling, music, and comedy. "Clown" comes from various Low German words like "klüwen" or "kluns," referring to a rustic, clumsy, or boorish person, suggesting a focus on physicality and awkwardness.
Jester vs. Clown Comparison Chart
Circuses and Carnivals
Type of Humor
Eccentric garments, jester's hat
Bright colors, oversized shoes, wigs
Entertainer close to power
General public entertainer
From Latin "gestour"
From Low German "klüwen" or "kluns"
Jester vs. Clown Definitions
A jester is a court entertainer skilled in wit and satire.
The jester cleverly navigated the court's politics with his humor.
A clown is commonly associated with circuses and carnivals.
The clown juggled balls skillfully in the circus ring.
A jester is a historical figure offering comedic relief in a formal setting.
The jester was a fixture at medieval courts, providing laughter and entertainment.
A clown is a performer in exaggerated makeup and costume.
The clown's makeup was bright and colorful, drawing the children's attention.
A jester uses verbal humor to engage and entertain.
The jester made the king laugh with his witty remarks.
A clown often uses physical comedy for entertainment.
The clown slipped on a banana peel, eliciting laughs from the audience.
A jester is usually closely associated with rulers or people in power.
The jester was a trusted confidant of the queen, using humor to lighten the atmosphere.
A clown aims for broad comedic appeal.
The clown's slapstick humor made everyone laugh, from kids to adults.
A jester often uses satire to offer commentary.
The jester's satire was a subtle critique of the royal policies.
act as or like a clown
A fool or buffoon at medieval courts.
A clown is a figure in popular culture often used for children’s entertainment.
The clown made balloon animals at the kids' birthday party.
One who jests, jokes or teases.
A buffoon or jester who entertains by jokes, antics, and tricks in a circus, play, or other presentation.
Any of various nymphalid butterflies of the Southeast Asian genus Symbrenthia.
One who jokes and plays tricks.
One given to jesting.
A coarse, rude, vulgar person; a boor.
A person in colourful garb and fool's cap who amused a medieval and early modern royal or noble court.
A peasant; a rustic.
A buffoon; a merry-andrew; a court fool.
This . . . was Yorick's skull, the king's jester.
Dressed in the motley garb that jesters wear.
To behave like a buffoon or jester.
A person addicted to jesting, or to indulgence in light and amusing talk.
He ambled up and downWith shallow jesters.
To perform as a buffoon or jester.
a professional clown employed to entertain a king or nobleman in the middle ages
To krump, especially in clown makeup.
A slapstick performance artist often associated with a circus and usually characterized by bright, oversized clothing, a red nose, face paint, and a brightly colored wig.
A person who acts in a silly fashion.
He was regarded as the clown of the school, always playing pranks.
A stupid or badly-behaved person.
(obsolete) A man of coarse nature and manners; an awkward fellow; an illbred person; a boor.
(obsolete) One who works upon the soil; a rustic; a churl; a yokel.
To act in a silly or playful fashion.
A man of coarse nature and manners; an awkward fellow; an ill-bred person; a boor.
One who works upon the soil; a rustic; a churl.
The clown, the child of nature, without guile.
The fool or buffoon in a play, circus, etc.
The clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickle o'the sere.
To act as a clown; - with it.
Beshrew me, he clowns it properly indeed.
a rude or vulgar fool
a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior
Jester vs. Clown Frequently Asked Questions
What is a jester
A historical entertainer often found in royal courts who specializes in wit, satire, and verbal comedy.
Is a jester a type of clown
No, a jester and a clown are distinct, with different historical origins and styles of humor.
How do jesters entertain
Jesters primarily use wit, satire, and sometimes music or storytelling.
What do clowns wear
Clowns often wear brightly colored clothing, oversized shoes, and wigs.
What is a clown
A performer usually found in circuses or children's events who specializes in physical comedy and wears exaggerated makeup and costumes.
Is a clown a type of jester
No, clowns and jesters have different roles, origins, and methods of entertaining.
What do jesters wear
Jesters typically wear eccentric garments, often including a jester's hat.
Where would you typically find a jester
Historically, jesters were often found in royal courts or aristocratic settings.
How do clowns entertain
Clowns mainly use physical comedy, exaggerated features, and sometimes props or animals.
Where would you typically find a clown
Clowns are commonly found in circuses, carnivals, and children's events.
Written byMuazma Batool
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Co-written byMuneeza Rehman
At Comparisons.wiki, Muneeza skillfully navigates the vast sea of information, ensuring clarity and accuracy as the lead content editor. With a keen eye for detail, she curates every comparison to enlighten and engage readers.