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Q. What do you get when you cross a parrot and a caterpillar?
A. A walkie talkie.

What feature of caterpillars was chosen to create this joke?

As far as I know a walkie talkie is a device with headphones for listening to music. And a caterpillar is a stage of a butterfly development. I agree, a parrot talks, but does a caterpillar walk?


@oerkelens corrected me, a walkie-talkie is some kind of radio, but what does it have similar to caterpillars?

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    I don't know about the caterpillar, but isn't a walkie talkie a device to talk to someone else (like a telephone), rather than what you describe? That sounds more like a walkman. – oerkelens May 14 '16 at 10:44
  • @oerkelens may be, I'm not a native speakes, perhaps I mixed those together. but the meaning of 'some kind of radio" makes the joke more strange for me. – Andorian May 14 '16 at 10:49
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    I guess caterpillars walk (they're walkies), and parrots talk (they're talkies), so combined you get a walkie talkie. If that's all there is to it, I don't think it's an extremely funny joke. – oerkelens May 14 '16 at 10:50
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    A walkie-talkie is a hand-held radio, the sort of things police officers use or you'd perhaps take skiing. Partly superseded by mobile 'phones. I think the joke then hinges on parrots == talk, caterpillar == walk (except caterpillars crawl through a series of compressions and rarefactions {if that's applicable to a biological system!}, as they don't actually have legs...) – Prof Yaffle May 14 '16 at 10:51
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    Yeah, it's a pretty lame joke, but it's simply that parrots talk and caterpillars walk. – Hot Licks May 14 '16 at 12:06
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Just by way of confirming the consensus among commenters above that the "walkie" refers to the many legs a caterpillar is supposed to have, I note that a common version of this joke involves crossing a parrot with a centipede (for example, here, here, and here). Since the name centipede derives from the equivalent of "hundred foot," it probably makes a better animal choice than caterpillar. One online source ups the foot quotient by using a millipede instead of a centipede.

But a lot of sites go with caterpillar, maybe because more people know what a caterpillar is than know what a centipede or millipede is. Other parrot jokes on sites that tell this joke include "What's orange and rhymes with parrot?" and "What do you call a parrot that flew away?" and "What do you get if you cross a parrot with a shark?"—so the level of wit here isn't exactly Shakespearean.

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