Many a true word is spoken in jest, an addage that appears in the Prologue to “The Cook’s Tale” (written in 1390) by Geoffrey Chaucer: “Ful ofte in game a sooth I have herd saye!”
The phrase is well known from Shakespeare’s MacBeth, “Be n’t angry with this fellow, I protest That many a true word hath been spoke in jest.”
James Joyce combined this sentiment with a similar adage of in vino veritas to coin the phrase in risu veritas (in laughter, truth).
Sometimes you try and make a stupid joke, and the real sentiment just slips out. This happened to Joe Biden as he attempted to address our troops during a speech in Abu Dhabi on March 7, 2016 while he was serving under former President Barack Obama. Team Biden issued a statement this week after the video resurfaced on YouTube, “The comment was made in Jest.”