In this silly YouTube animation, there is a short sequence where a child is drawing a bear, an adult asks her what she is doing and she responds “I’m drawing a bear”. Then the camera zooms out and it turns out she is drawing the bear on a bear. The bear then proceeds to eat her. At first I thought this was just meaningless absurdity, but recently I heard someone claiming that the joke is because “drawing a bear” could also mean the same thing as “drawing on a bear”.

I am a native (British) English speaker and this sounds really odd to me. I could imagine the joke would work if the girl said “I’m painting a bear”, but I can’t imagine that draw works in the same way. I can’t find any dictionary references to back up this other meaning of draw. What is going on here?

  • 2
    Painting a (noun) could be understood either way, but I've never encountered 'drawing' used in this way. – Davo Sep 19 '19 at 14:58
  • 1
    Draw can also mean attract. – Global Charm Sep 19 '19 at 15:12
  • YouTube is the cesspool of the internet. Painting a bear works. Drawing a bear doesn't. – David M Sep 20 '19 at 2:10

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