Part of speech:
Both a countable noun ("a raillery," "two railleries," "lots of railleries")
and an uncountable noun ("the raillery," "some raillery," "a display of raillery.")
I see the uncountable noun used more frequently.
Raillery is the act of making fun of someone or something in a friendly way. When you tease your friends sarcastically but you know they enjoy it, and they do the same thing back to you, that's raillery.
How to use it:
Talk about the raillery of someone, or someone's raillery: "the raillery of the longtime coworkers," "always laughing as he dishes out his raillery."
You can mention "a tone of raillery" or the raillery of someone's tone or style: "The raillery of his writing style makes his column popular with young readers."
At times you might "use raillery against someone" or "set raillery aside."
Finally, feel free to stick in an adjective: "playful raillery," "poorly timed raillery," "insightful raillery," "political raillery," etc.
When she said, "Wow, your outfit is a hot mess today," I mistook her good-natured raillery for rudeness and walked off in a huff.
We tend to aim a little raillery at Taco Bell (because seriously, every menu item is exactly the same, and why is the meat so sketchy-looking?) but we still like to eat there.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "raillery” means when you can explain it without saying “banter" or “teasing."
Think of a close friend or close family member, someone you can tease who won't get mad about it and will tease you right back, and fill in the blanks: "Not everybody really understands our raillery, but (Person) can always make fun of _____ and, in turn, I get to make fun of _____."
Example: "Not everybody really understands our raillery, but Heidi can always make fun of my obsessive organizational schemes, and in turn, I get to make fun of her for being a crazy cat lady."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for May is: “What Do These Words Have in Common?”
The three words given will have something specific in common. (More than one right answer might be possible, but I've only got one particular answer in mind for each set of words.) I've arranged the questions from easiest to hardest, so today’s should be fairly difficult. By the end of the month, expect some whoppers.
What do these words have in common?: genie, algebra, ream
Answer: All are derived from the Arabic language.
Try this one today: invalid, desert, tear
A Point Well Made:
Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.”
1. The opposite of RAILLERY is
2. It must be frustrating for _____ when strangers automatically assume a tone of raillery with them.
A. comedians and comic actors
B. professors and researchers
C. bloggers and social media experts
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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