John motley



[mot-lee] /ˈmɒt li/

noun
1.
John Lothrop
[loh-thruh p] /ˈloʊ θrəp/ (Show IPA), 1814–77, U.S. historian and diplomat.
/ˈmɒtlɪ/
adjective
1.
made up of elements of varying type, quality, etc
2.
multicoloured
noun
3.
a motley collection or mixture
4.
the particoloured attire of a jester
5.
(obsolete) a jester
adj.

late 14c., “parti-colored” (originally of fabric), from Anglo-French motteley, probably from Old English mot “speck” (see mote). But Klein’s sources say probably from Gaulish. “Diversified in color,” especially of a fool’s dress. Hence, allusively, “a fool” (1600). As a noun meaning “cloth of mixed color” from late 14c.

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