Ribaldry is a kind of humor that’s slightly inappropriate or off-color. You might want to keep your friends’ ribaldry in check if your sweet old grandmother suddenly shows up at your house.

When people tell bawdy or vulgar jokes (like bathroom humor, or jokes about sex), that’s ribaldry. Imagine a rowdy sailors’ bar or even a scene in a Shakespeare comedy, and there’s bound to be some ribaldry. This noun comes to us by way of the adjective ribald, “bawdy or lewd,” from the Old French ribaut, “rogue or scoundrel.”

Definitions of ribaldry
  1. noun

    ribald humor

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    type of:

    humor, humour, wit, witticism, wittiness

    a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter

  2. noun

    behavior or language bordering on indelicacy

    gaminess, raciness, spiciness
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    type of:


    the trait of being indelicate and offensive

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