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, yeast is yeast and nest is nest, and never the mane shall tweet.

What is the meaning of the above quote? I am confused by the phrases manes of horses and never the mane shall tweet. An online dictionary says that manes is the plural form, but its singular form, mane, has an entirely different meaning.

  • I'm curious about the difference between mane and manes! Here it has its ordinary meaning: the long hair on a horse's neck (or a lion's head). Sep 18 '16 at 9:20

This is joke. It is an example of a spoonerism in which the beginnings of words have been changed or swapped. The normal English saying:

East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.

has been humorously rearranged to be the punchline of a joke.

  • 1
    Including the phrase w/o the spoonerism involved, in the answer would improve its quality, IMO.
    – Sayan
    Mar 14 '13 at 7:56
  • There used to be a large number of stories published in monthly magazines that were actually just elaborate setups for groan-inducing punchlines like "Sloan's teddy wins the race" or "What was that laser I sawed you with last night? ... That was no laser, that was my knife" and so on. Mar 14 '13 at 9:26
  • @KeyBrdBasher- I don't understand.
    – Jim
    Mar 15 '13 at 0:53
  • @DavidSchwartz- What's the difference between a group of very clever pygmies and the girls track team? The pygmies are a bunch of cunning runts.
    – Jim
    Mar 15 '13 at 0:55
  • 2
    It's worth mention that the original is a line of a poem by Kipling. Sep 18 '16 at 9:16

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