Humor (Tieck)

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Das Wort Humor entstand gegen 1600 bei den Engländern zufällig, und jetzt können wir es in unsern Kunstlehren nicht mehr entbehren, um Produktionen und eine Eigenschaft des Geistes zu bezeichnen, die weder mit Laune, Geist noch Witz charakterisiert sind.

Ludwig Tieck, [Zum Begriff der Novelle]. In: Tiecks Werke in zwei Bänden. Ausgewählt und eingeleitet von Claus Friedhelm Köpp. Zweiter Band. Berlin und Weimar: Aufbau 1985 (Bibliothek deutscher Klassiker), S. 462f. (Zuerst in: Tieck: Schriften. Vorbericht zur dritten Lieferung, Elfter Band, 1829.)

Die englische Ausgabe der Wikipediadefiniert:

  • Humour or humor (see spelling differences) is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body, known as humors (Latin: humor, "body fluid"), control human health and emotion. (...) Though ultimately decided by personal taste, the extent to which a person will find something humorous depends upon a host of variables, including geographical location, culture, maturity, level of education, intelligence and context. For example, young children may favour slapstick, such as Punch and Judy puppet shows or cartoons such as Tom and Jerry. Satire may rely more on understanding the target of the humour and thus tends to appeal to more mature audiences.

Oxford Dictinaries online:

humour Pronunciation: /ˈhjuːmə/ (US humor)

Definition of humour


[mass noun]

1 the quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech:
 his tales are full of humour
the ability to express humour or amuse other people:
 their inimitable brand of humour
2 a mood or state of mind:
 her good humour vanished
 the clash hadn’t improved his humour

[count noun] archaic an inclination or whim:

and have you really burnt all your Plays to please a Humour?
3 (also cardinal humour)
[count noun] historical each of the four chief fluids of the body (blood, phlegm, yellow bile (choler), 
and black bile (melancholy)) that were thought to determine a person’s physical and mental qualities 
by the relative proportions in which they were present.
[with object]
comply with the wishes of (someone) in order to keep them content, however unreasonable such wishes might be:
 she was always humouring him to prevent trouble
archaic adapt or accommodate oneself to (something):
 in reading this stanza we ought to humour it with a corresponding tone of voice


out of humour
 in a bad mood.
sense of humour
 a person’s ability to appreciate humour:
  in all the ups and downs of his life he never lost his sense of humour


Middle English: via Old French from Latin humor 'moisture', from humere (see humid). The original sense was 'bodily fluid' (surviving in aqueous humour and vitreous humour); it was used specifically for any of the cardinal humours (humour (sense 3 of the noun)), whence 'mental disposition' (thought to be caused by the relative proportions of the humours). This led, in the 16th century, to the senses 'mood' (humour (sense 2 of the noun)) and 'whim', hence to humour someone 'to indulge a person's whim'. humour (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the late 16th century