Questions about humorous expressions, jokes, puns, etc.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

8
votes
2answers
909 views

What's a the word for people who make fun of themselves?

I don't mean people with low self esteem. But there are people who feel happy at being able to make other people laugh at their own expense. I remember someone telling me there is a word for them, I ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Is saying the Queen grew up in a “council house” a very dry joke?

In this CBC article from before the Brexit, they discuss what view Queen Elizabeth II might have of Brexit, stating, But that hasn't stopped some from speculating how the Queen would vote. "As an ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

Where did the phrase “don't spend it all in one store” originate?

I've heard the phrase "don't spend it [money] all in one store" a number of times, virtually always in a joking manner. Where did it originate from and has it always been said as a joke?
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What is it called when you use the same first consonant in different words - Example follows [duplicate]

I'm going blank here, so forgive me for what should be simple. The search engines weren't helpful. I tried to search. Example: The finicky felines finished their food. I'm drawing a serious blank ...
1
vote
3answers
42 views

A noun to describe an intention not to use humor when not necessary [closed]

I am seeking a noun that would describe a person's attempt to refrain themselves from being "cool" in responding (perhaps to an email message), often contrary to their humorous nature - an intentional ...
53
votes
11answers
7k views

What is this method of joking about a morbid situation called?

What word or phrase could be used to describe a joke about something serious or bad? It isn't meant as humor in the typical sense, but as sort of a brave, different flavor of humor between two friends....
1
vote
2answers
200 views

How to tell someone (in a funny way) that you are aware that you are (too) emotive while talking about an issue?

How would you tell (briefly) the person you are talking with when you are flooded with emotions —in a funny way—, that: you are aware of these sign, and you find it embarrassing you don’t take your ...
17
votes
4answers
6k views

“Well paint me green and call me a cucumber! I just […]”

Well, [perform some action against me (through which I will be complacent)], and call me a [something humorous which I would then resemble]. [Sincere or feigned exclamation of a recently apparent ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

Connotation of a sentence in a listening material from TPO

(Here for the original audio source (MP3 file). The part in question begins approximately at 2'18'') This conversation is an excerpt from one listening material in a TPO (TOEFL Practice Online) test, ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Better term for “intellectual jokes”

What can you call a joke, pun, or anything funny that likely needs intelligence to get? All I can come up with is intellectual jokes; is there another word for this? A one-word answer would be great.
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Where is the word play in this dialog?

I'm trying to figure out the word play behind this dialog (it is taken from A Bit of Fry and Laurie show - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaqZpcPEZEY): Good morning. Right. Can I help you? Yes, ...
2
votes
1answer
443 views

Does 'droll' have a negative connotation?

I'd taken droll to mean something like drily amusing, but without any implied negativity. But I've often heard people say Very droll! in response to something that they appear to find mildly ...
59
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the first part of a joke called?

How does one refer to the first part of a joke? The follow up is often referred to as a punchline but I'm unsure how to refer to the first part. Is it a 'joke' or does a 'joke' include the punchline?
4
votes
2answers
821 views

Most apt word for “sexual humour”

What is the most apt word to describe sexual humour in a movie?
0
votes
2answers
126 views

What is a work-appropriate “small” object for a joke? [closed]

Trying to think of a way to make this joke work-appropriate. "If we store GPS coordinates to a precision of 10 decimal points, we could even measure the size of your [expletive deleted]." What is ...
-2
votes
1answer
81 views

What's the meaning of “I have a soul”?

From the TV series How I Met Your Mother. In episode 9 of season 1, titled: Mary the Paralegal, the following expression I have a soul is used. What does it mean when someone says: I have a soul? ...
5
votes
2answers
288 views

What does “cup and Chaucer” mean?

I've recently come across a phrase unknown to me: "cup and Chaucer". What does it mean? Obviously it is connected with the popularity and influence of Geoffrey Chaucer as the Father of English ...
7
votes
3answers
252 views

“Analogy is the Delaware of Cognition”

I come across this expression in this public lecture "Analogy as the Core of Cognition" by Douglas Hofstadter. (http://shc.stanford.edu/events/calendar/2006-2-6-douglas-hofstadter-analogy-as-the-core-...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

What is the scientific name to humour that is based on surprise [duplicate]

I remember browsing through Wikipedia one day, and coming across an article defining surprise-based humour. The article had a very specific scientific name, which doesn't have the actual word "...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Meaning of 'It is to the feminine as the hug of a bear is to the scratch of--well;--anything with claws.'

"A man's sense of humor is a barbarous and a cruel thing, Miss Innes," he admitted. "It is to the feminine as the hug of a bear is to the scratch of--well;--anything with claws. Is that you, ...
9
votes
10answers
5k views

Phrase for criticism/insults concealed with humor

Passive aggressive people will sometimes veil insulting, critical, derogatory or generally aggressive comments with humor. The patina of humor makes the comment seem like a joke, not to be taken ...
1
vote
2answers
112 views

Does a pun require an explicit reference to the word being punned?

If one is referencing a prior comment in a conversation that uses a term with multiple meanings, using the alternate meaning to make wordplay, would this be considered a pun? (Note: poor software ...
1
vote
3answers
348 views

What is it called when someone uses a slightly absurd specific example of something to be humorous?

For example, "We're competing for attention with teenagers who would rather be playing Angry Birds," or "You need to explain this in a way that your grandmother who thinks the internet works by magic ...
6
votes
1answer
576 views

What makes 'St-n-c-tt-r' a 'smirking pun'?

This passage comes from Walter Isaacson's “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.”: Franklin wrote about a husband who caught his wife in bed with a man named Stonecutter, tried to cut off the ...
1
vote
7answers
5k views

British and American slang words for immigrants?

What slang words or phrases do British/American English speakers use for (poor) immigrants?
1
vote
2answers
199 views

What does the phrase “I didn't bring my permits” mean?

I came across this gif. Apparently actor Chris Pratt is cracking some kind of a joke here, but I'm not sure if I get it. He said this line after he had showed off his guns. Any tips would be ...
0
votes
2answers
197 views

What's “jewishness” supposed to mean?

There is an image at http://www.pinterest.com/pin/160511174191029351/ which goes like this: I don't quite get the joke... what's "Jewishness" supposed to mean in this context?
11
votes
3answers
670 views

What English homophone corresponds to 'oise salon'?

This is something of a fringe question. I hope it's considered on-topic. There have been two books published which purport to be French poetry. The joke is that when read aloud, the poetry sounds, ...
34
votes
5answers
6k views

What does this mean: 'Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink'? Why is it funny?

Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water and make it drink. I read this on http://chucknorrisfacts.com. What I think this sentence means, is: Chuck Norris can take his horse to where the water is and ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

What’s so funny about “You are winner”? [closed]

I came across one slang thing: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=You%27re%20Winner! While understand that it is grammatically incorrect and you must say "You are the winner", I don't get ...
0
votes
2answers
657 views

A guy walks into a bar. His buddy laughs and says, “Don't worry, I didn't see it either.”

A guy walks into a bar. His buddy laughs and says, "Don't worry, I didn't see it either. What is the meaning of this joke? What makes it funny? (Is it supposed to be funny?) I saw this joke in the ...
3
votes
2answers
889 views

Is there a single word meaning “very funny book”?

Sometimes you read a book that has you convulsing with laughter from the moment you pick it up. For me, one of those books was Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. What do you call this? Perhaps there isn'...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Use of “nay” - still current?

I get the sense that the interjection nay is seen as outdated and used only for humorous effect. Is this assumption true, or is it still acceptable in serious writing?
3
votes
2answers
418 views

<Grammar/Style> Ambiguous “it”

I recently stumbled upon this joke employing some grammar: Q: How can you drop an egg on a concrete floor without cracking it? A: Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack. ...
6
votes
10answers
2k views

Starts with N ends in O… means Yes [closed]

Just wondering if there is a word (or pair of words) that starts with N and ends with O and actually means Yes (or roughly yes... some sort of synonym). I thought this might have some humorous ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

First communion, then communism?

On a slightly more serious note, what do you call a kid who goes to his first communion? Surely not a communist, right?
3
votes
3answers
227 views

Does the type of play on words in “Some people are immune to good advice” have a name?

On Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman remarks, "Some people are immune to good advice." Similarly, a friend of mine described a weekend as "a celebration of procrastination". Does word play that juxtaposes ...
22
votes
3answers
6k views

Make like a banana

In my area, it's not unusual to hear expressions like I'm going to make like a banana and split. ...make like a tree and leave. ...make like a baby and head out. ...make like a prom ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

What does this humor mean? [closed]

Why is this caption funny? "Faster! By God, you will earn that tip yet!" Source Since this is about American humor, I'd appreciate an answer from Americans.
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the phrase “Take my wife – please!” a paraprosdokian?

I was reading the wiki page about paraprosdokians and I don't understand why the phrase: Take my wife – please! is classified as one.
3
votes
1answer
296 views

“…Batman is the personality-shelf where Bruce Wayne stores the crazy-plates…” - is this just a metaphor, or is it something else?

In this article on Cracked.com, I discovered this gem of a phrase: ...Batman is the personality-shelf where Bruce Wayne stores the crazy-plates... ...and I thought it was a fantastic phrase. ...
4
votes
2answers
107 views

“Enter the Fairies” after a sudden clatter or crash?

In my family, who originate from Scotalnd, people cry "enter the fairies!" if something has caused a sudden crash, smash or clatter. I am guessing it comes from a stage direction, such as from ...
2
votes
2answers
227 views

“This video was recorded with a sandwich”

It is a top comment from this youtube video. I'm sure it is a way of expressing sense of humor, but I just can't get it. My guess is that they are just saying the video is just as short as the time it ...
10
votes
6answers
49k views

Please explain this joke about two nuns in a bath

I've heard this joke several times, but I'm ashamed to say I really cannot understand it. It just doesn't seem to make any sense however I look at it. I have a suspicion that it is supposed to be ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Where did “You missed a spot” come from?

I have seen this in a few films. I first noticed it in "The Truman Show" when Truman is pulling weeds or something in the yard, and his faux wife says to him "You missed a spot!" while smiling. I've ...
10
votes
3answers
549 views

What is the best term to categorize a lolcat image and text?

I've seen the captions described as a dialect, patois, "kitty pidgin" and language play which is well and good but doesn't get to the key visual aspect (silly/cute/adorable cats). Wikipedia offers ...
2
votes
1answer
531 views

What does the phrase “never the mane shall tweet” mean?

It has long been known that birds will occasionally build nests in the manes of horses. The only known solution to this problem is to sprinkle baker's yeast in the mane, for, as we all know, ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What does humor-challenged mean?

When describing a person as humor-challenged, what does it mean?
7
votes
3answers
273 views

Humour through repeated use of a construct, with a final variation?

I am wondering if there is any name, or well-known example, for a humoristic construct that I particularly enjoy. It is exemplified in this monolog from Pierre Desproges, directed at a woman he was ...
7
votes
5answers
8k views

What does “Stick it up one’s jumper” mean? Why is it funny?

I saw the phrase “Stick something up one’s jumper” in Jeffery Archer’s short story titled “Member’s Only,” in which Robin Chapman, the hero was kept waiting for 5 years and has to wait for another ...