Jape n. a prank or joke. The word has overtones of English private (i.e. public) school humor and the writings of Frank Richards. Should be used in relation to the more tiresome antics of your office comedian. “This is hardly the time for one of your junior-high japes, Plunkett.”
Each Tuesday, we’ll offer up a Superior Word for the edification of our Superior Readers, via the volumes of the inimitable Peter Bowler. You can purchase all or any of the four Superior Person’s Books of Words from the Godine website. Jape appears in the first.