3

facetious (Oxford Dictionaries):

treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humour; flippant

I'm looking for a word that means the total opposite; to treat humorus or non-serious issues with deliberately inappropriate gravity. There exist a few words and phrases that can get the idea across (cantankerous, old grouch, stick-in-the-mud), but they usually speak to more than just my specific sought definition. Also just a word would be preferable; phrases generally aren't nearly as satisfying in their delivery. Thanks.

7
  • 2
    Pompous fits with your examples but they aren't really deliberate, they are more like manifestations of personality. Deadpan sounds closer to me: something you deliberately do. Feb 10, 2016 at 8:27
  • Are you after a noun or an adjective? It would make a big difference: if an adjective, it could be applied to a noun that adds the notion of an attempt (or a successful attempt) at humor.
    – JEL
    Feb 10, 2016 at 9:26
  • Might be something on this list to help you: merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/facetious Feb 10, 2016 at 11:58
  • Jacinto, the antonym of facetious is serious. I can feel the Portuguese, believe it. You have said: old grouch, cantankerous, stick-in-the-mud which are not antonyms of facetious. Be facetious is fancy talk for be funny or comical. "I was being facetious" v "I was being serious". "I was being light hearted" v. "I am dead serious".
    – Lambie
    Mar 19, 2016 at 20:49
  • @Lambie I didn't say anything; I've only superficially edited the question. You should address your comment to Axalon57.
    – Jacinto
    Mar 19, 2016 at 21:29

4 Answers 4

1

tongue-in-cheek: "If you say something tongue in ​cheek, you ​intend it to be ​understood as a ​joke, ​although you might ​appear to be ​serious"

Edit: @Hugh Meyers' reponse of deadpan should probably be mentioned in an answer rather than just as a comment.

1

The word straight may be useful, but in your case requires additional words around it for context, such as:

1
  • Also "with a straight face". Mar 25, 2016 at 1:23
0

Earnest

Being earnest is essentially being serious, and being sincere.

[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/earnest]

[http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/earnest]

-2

See whether that's appropriate : scolastic 1. of, relating to, or befitting schools, scholars, or education 2. pedantic or precise 3. (Historical Terms) (often capital) characteristic of or relating to the medieval Schoolmen n 4. a student or pupil 5. a person who is given to quibbling or logical subtleties; pedant 6. (Historical Terms) (often capital) a disciple or adherent of scholasticism; Schoolman 7. (Roman Catholic Church) a. a Jesuit student who is undergoing a period of probation prior to commencing his theological studies b. the status and position of such a student 8. (Art Terms) a formalist in art

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.