Gallows humour refers to the genre of bitter, absurd or ironic jokes about the fact or the idea of death, the term itself suggesting the inherent incongruity of this type of humour. Sigmund Freud's dense discussion of 'gallows humour' (1905) acknowledges that humour can alleviate anxiety or discomfort in the face of death. There are many possible psychological reasons for such humour, and it may also be a rather crude attempt to 'cheer' people affected by a death. Janoff (1974) describes gallows humour as not 'pessimistic or simply lacking an affirmative moral voice. Rather, it lives outside these limits in a terrain of terrifying candour concerning the most extreme situations'.