I joke when I say I'm the best in the booth
But a lot of truth is said in jest
Em is just playin when he says he the best, but people tend to reveal the way they truly feel in their jokes.
The first author to express this thought in English was probably Geoffrey Chaucer. He included it in “The Cook’s Tale”, 1390:
But yet I pray thee be not wroth for game; [don’t be angry with my jesting]
A man may say full sooth [the truth] in game and play.
Shakespeare later came closer to our contemporary version of the expression, in King Lear, 1605:
Jesters do oft prove prophets.
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