EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR HARLEQUIN
We will frankly own that we have been much troubled with the harlequin.
She could not but laugh a little at Harlequin's undisguised discomfiture.
The harlequin on the bank turned his little pug-nose up to me.
Wise is a harlequin; we let him dance because he is good at it, and it amuses us.
His dress was something between that of Harlequin and Scaramouch.
I can be harlequin, that only wants long legs and jumping about.
"I wish you were the harlequin," she said, and left the string of sausages swinging.
"Excuse me behaving like Harlequin in the pantomime, gentlemen," he said.
In short, below the waist their dress was that of a priest, and above it, that of a harlequin.
We weighed, and with the Harlequin, were towed down the river at a rapid pace.
1580s, from Middle French harlequin, from Old French Herlequin, Hellequin, etc., leader of la maisnie Hellequin, a troop of demons who rode the night air on horses. He corresponds to Old English Herla cyning "King Herla," mythical character sometimes identified as Woden; possibly also the same as the German Erlkönig "Elf King" of the Goethe poem. Sometimes also associated with Herrequin, 9c. count of Boulogne, who was proverbially wicked. In English pantomime, a mute character who carries a magic wand. His Italian form, arlecchino, is one of the stock characters of commedia del'arte. From his ludicrous dress comes the English adjective meaning "particolored" (1779).