Is there a particular word for a joke or a humorous story which has a moral to it?

In a way, something that is similar to a fable, but with the humour implied.

  • reading through creighton.edu/aesop/intro/definition I get the impression that there will be no such word. May I suggest a "Weevil"... in honour of the "lesser of 2 weevils" joke?
    – d'alar'cop
    Feb 23, 2014 at 12:30
  • That is a humorous fable. (Not the lesser of two weevils joke, that's called a groaner!) Fables are often humorous, and are certainly meant to teach in an entertaining manner!
    – David M
    Feb 23, 2014 at 12:54
  • Parable comes to mind, though it doesn't connote humouous. Anecdote connotes short, maybe funny, but not "moral". It will be interesting if someone comes up with the answer. Feb 23, 2014 at 13:49
  • Your standard joke can certainly serve as a seque or springboard to a moral. You know, get the audience to laugh and then give them something serious to think about. Parables, too, can CONTAIN humorous elements, but the primary focus of the parable is to get folks to apply the parable's main idea to their lives. Situational ironies can also be humorous and can function as springboards for a serious point. As to whether there is a single word for what you describe, I'm not sure. As with Susan, above, I'm interested in what people come up with, however. Feb 27, 2014 at 2:17

1 Answer 1


I would say most satires tell a moral using humor. You are doing the opposite of being right or moral to show how that action is wrong.

the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

  • That's pretty good, but jokes are usually thought to be fairly short literary forms, while satires often take much longer forms - a whole novel or sceneplay can be a satire.
    – SF.
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:00
  • Satire doesn't necessarily have to be funny. "A Modest Proposal" is not humorous at all.
    – Haedrian
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:48

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