Origin of scherzo
- Italian joke, scherzo from Old Italian scherzare to joke perhaps of Germanic origin
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Italian scherzo (“joke, play"), from scherzare (“to joke, jest") from Old Italian scherzare, from Lombardic *skerzan (“to jump merrily, enjoy oneself, jest") from Proto-Germanic *skirtanÄ… (“to hop, jump"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kerÇd- (“to dance, jump"). Akin to Middle High German scherzen "to frolic, jump merrily, hop up and down" (German scherzen "to joke"; Scherz "joke, sport"), Norwegian skjerta "to joke".