gallows humor

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gallows humor,

n a dark or morbid sense of humor unique to people who deal with suffering and tragedy—for example, patients who are terminally ill joking about their illness or death as a means of coping with the illness.
References in periodicals archive ?
Gallows humor is not a feel-good, Patch Adams kind of humor, but it is not synonymous with all cruel humor, either.
Bonami, betraying his gallows humor, adds a third element, enshrining Jeff Koons's Rabbit, 1986, under a spotlight midway down one of the long walls.
A top-flight east headlining Miki Manojlovic and Lazar Ristovski makes pic's surreal gallows humor click, though like most comedies, it probably works better at home than abroad.
The violent reality of the mid-1970s is confronted with sharply imagined gallows humor as well as insightful observations.
All this proceeds as pic sways awkwardly between poorly sustained suspense and rarely amusing gallows humor.
Kennedy's themes are almost always dark, but her gallows humor and her elegance as a stylist are strangely inviting, eliciting gasps, sighs, and the occasional complicitously sinister laugh.
Gallows humor rules the land of the sad and oblivious characters that populate his paintings and ink drawings, on view recently at Leo Koenig.