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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 is someone being facetious?

  • When that person stands in for one who is absent.
  • When that person wins a famous, respectable award.
  • When that person says funny things 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 Sydney smith
  • 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 6-minute clip, a facetious tribute called 'Evolution of Dance,' includes about 25 seconds alluding to some of the moves that Hammer made famous back when he was still wearing colorful parachute pants as he sang U Can’t Touch This. —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

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