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When Edgar accepted the service award on his sister’s behalf, the audience was unpleasantly surprised by his humorously inappropriate and facetious remarks. Edgar facetiously joked about his sister’s childhood temper tantrums: it was meant to be funny, but simply did not fit the serious occasion. The Master of Ceremonies approached Edgar at the reception and scolded him for his facetious, unsuitable remarks that had lessened the respect due his sister.

Quiz: When might a person be described as facetious?

  • When they serve as a substitute for someone.
  • When they win an award that is highly revered.
  • When they try to be funny at the wrong time.

Memory Hook

T's Serious Face Everyone had a serious face at the funeral except for Uncle T, who couldn't stop cracking facetious jokes that were completely unsuitable for the funeral of Aunt T.


  • You must not think me necessarily foolish because I am facetious, nor will I consider you necessarily wise because you are grave. — Sydney Smith, English writer and cleric Sydney smith, english writer and cleric
  • This is all speculative, even a little facetious, and any gains are not likely to make up for predicted frightening upheavals elsewhere. —USA Today
  • The book lacks consistency of tone: sometimes it reads gravely, at others it indulges in a kind of facetious and slapdash humor. —The Economist
  • This image of free money recalls the facetious prescription of John Maynard Keynes that to get money in circulation again during the Great Depression, the government could simply bury it underground and encourage unemployed workers to dig it up. —The Washington Post

Word Ingredients

facet witty, humorous
-ious of the nature of

Facetious comments are meant to be “witty or humorous.”

Word Theater

Are You Being Served Mr. Lucas is being quite facetious in asking about taking over.

Word Constellation