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Published on Aug 6, 2007
Princeton University Cognitive Science Laboratory as "acting like a clown or buffoon" or "dressing showily", or alternatively, "a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement". Pranks can take the forms of practical jokes, hoaxes, or even petty criminal activity, such as the theft of traffic cones. Practical jokes are associated with several holidays, such as April Fool's Day, Halloween, and the Day of the Holy Innocents (in Spanish-speaking cultures). They also feature in various rites of passage, such as stag nights. In recent years, the term "pranking" has also come to mean the ringing of a mobile telephone and hanging up before it is answered, to alert the mobile phone's user without having to pay a network connection charge.