Questions tagged [humor]

Questions about humorous expressions, jokes, puns, etc.

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0answers
41 views

Humorous mis-spelling of “spell checker”? [closed]

When I back a spelling mistake I tend to blame it on the spear chucker. Some get the attempt at humour, but it escapes others. Can anyone supply a more humorous mis-spelling of "spell checker&...
0
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1answer
55 views

Meaning of “That's Easy for You to Say” in a Specific Context

Generally speaking, the phrase "That's easy for you to say" is used when one needs to say that things aren't as simple for him as some other person suggests. The definition clearly suggests ...
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0answers
30 views

Examples of people that have really low name recogniton?

Not exactly sure how to phrase the title, but here's the sentence I'm asking about: Our job? Somehow get XXXXX, (a candidate with less name recognition than _____ ) to the top of the polls. I was ...
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1answer
63 views

Is there a word or phrase for using overspecific, incorrect language intentionally?

A comedian I like calls vampires "Draculas", with the specificity as well as the incorrectness (there is only one Dracula, but many vampires) being a source of humor. Is there a word for ...
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1answer
58 views

What is an example of a “clean” redivider?

Most redividers are vulgar or rude in some way, for example therapist -> the rapist pen island -> penis land an album cover -> anal bum cover I am looking for a "clean" example of ...
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1answer
65 views

How would a native speaker react to the proverbial phrase: “Life is lethal”?

Would it sound completely wrong? Would it be understood humoristically? Would "deadly" be better? It's an attempt to translate the humoristic German sentence: Das Leben ist tödlich. I often ...
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1answer
83 views

Couldn't understand the humour

Gandhi went in his loincloth to Buckingham Palace and met the king. Later, when somebody asked him if he felt that was proper, Gandhi replied: "The king had enough for both of us." Full article: ...
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3answers
278 views

Is there an expression that describes looking for something that probably isn't there, or looking in unlikely places for a solution [duplicate]

I am looking for an idiom or phrase that describes, in a humorous or funny way, the act of looking for something that probably isnt't there, or the act of looking for a solution in a place where it is ...
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1answer
47 views

What is the 'evident pun' in Moonchild?

Recently, a friend sent me this passage from Aleister Crowley's 1917 novel Moonchild: “Dinner was served; the Poltergeist supplied the conversation. Never before had he been so light, so genial, so ...
4
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1answer
259 views

Meaning of the joke about the fish and the dam [closed]

There is the joke. -What did the fish say when he ran into the wall? -Dam. Could someone explain it to me, please? As far as I can tell the joke is all about the intended pun: the dam sounds similar ...
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1answer
108 views

Question for an aggressive humor : You can't unload a truckload of bowling balls with a pitchfork

I found an humor while reading an essay. But I can't understand the reason why it is funny. Does it need some background knowledge to understand it? I know only it is a kind of sick humor. Could you ...
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2answers
263 views

What do you call faking to speak a foreign language?

You can watch examples of this in the following Danny Kaye video that compiles scenes from several of his movies: Fan Tribute - Danny Kaye: Master of Many Many Tongues...Indeed Or in Chaplin's "The ...
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2answers
100 views

Is there a name for this specific category of humor?

I've attempted a few searches, but the terminology escapes me. Is there a simple term or phrase that defines this type of humor? I don't think it's redirected comedy but suspect the word "literal" may ...
2
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2answers
79 views

What is a word that means contrary and funny

I am trying to describe my sense of humor to be contrary and funny, a bit silly and irreverent (not choosing between 2 choices but making my own choice), and not disrespectfully so. I thought about "...
2
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6answers
1k views

Term for a joke with a missing punchline

What do you call a joke that has a punchline which as been emphatically implied through omission, as in... [Comedian peeling banana, saying...] "one skin, two skin, three skin, (pregnant pause)....
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2answers
234 views

Best word for blunt, honest humor where you say something shocking to get a laugh?

What's the best word for the type of humor where you state something very honestly and bluntly with the intent to be a little shocking and a little humorous? Potentially because people don't expect a ...
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1answer
509 views

Out on a tear last night - meaning?

I've bumped into a great pun from the Marx Brothers' Night at the Opera (transcript) I didn't get the reference/joke/idiom on "out on a tear last night". Fiorello: No, that's no good, too. (they ...
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1answer
84 views

word similar to obfuscation, used for comedy

there is a word, or perhaps a type of comedy, where simple things are described using terms that are correct but needlessly complicated or absurd for various effects. I am reminded by comics from ...
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1answer
242 views

What is “warm and flat water”?

I heard the expression 'warm and flat water' in the British film when someone gives another water saying There you go, warm and flat. I was told that I can use 'flat drink' to the drinks in ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Is there a specific term for humourous repetition where the repeated thing is only funny through context?

I've tried searching for terms relating to humourous repetition, but the only term I can find is "repetition". And that's absolutely fine, I don't mind referring to it as such if necessary, ...
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0answers
44 views

Term for new or inappropriate phrases that appear when you remove the spaces between words?

I'm looking for a term, if it exists at all, that describes a new word or phrase that appears when you remove the spaces from a phrase. Lots of websites have fallen into this trap, for example: Old ...
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1answer
779 views

Should I use “the John” or “the john” when referring to the slang phrase for toilet?

Should I capitalize the "j" in John when referring to a toilet as "the john." The same goes for lazy Susan and other words that are also names.
2
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1answer
156 views

What comic device is based on unexpected changes in meaning? [duplicate]

To be a really good lover, then, one must be strong and yet tender. How strong? I suppose being able to lift fifty pounds should do it. Woody Allen I am not asking specifically about the ludicrous ...
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2answers
8k views

Toasters don't toast toast, toast toasts toast, or does toast toast toast? [closed]

I saw this funny meme from someeecards: It has me a little confused: To me it sounds like toast toasts toast, not toast toast toast. Is this meme wrong or am I missing something Either they (toast) ...
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1answer
131 views

Word for purposeful misnomer

I've been looking for a word all day with a very specific definition, It is very similar to a misnomer, yet intentional and usually through unreality to describe something humorously, E.g. "Horse ...
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1answer
203 views

What's the meaning of “you should worry”? [duplicate]

According to Cambridge Dictionary, they should worry! (humorous) ​ said about or to someone who clearly has no need to worry: She should worry! She hasn't a problem in the world. How come? Is it ...
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2answers
131 views

Is there a technical term for a humorous word or phrase?

Is there a technical term for a humorous word or phrase? There are some humorous words or phrases in English. For example: "His ample girth" for "His big stomach" "Her brood" for "Her young ...
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2answers
2k views

Which literary device is used in these Thoreau quotes?

I am reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau and he likes word play. Specifically he likes to make silly analogies between things that aren’t usually put together. I am wondering what type of literary ...
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3answers
450 views

Is there a term for reversing phrases, usually for comedic effect?

For example, I say to a roommate, "I wish I could get caught up on my homework so I can start dating again," to which he replies, "I wish I could get caught up on my dating so I can start doing ...
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2answers
330 views

Where is the humour in the following citation?

The sentence below comes from Word Smart II: How to Build a More Educated Vocabulary. CONFOUND v (kun FOUND) to bewilder; to amaze; to throw into confusion The newborn baby's ability to ...
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3answers
680 views

Word for a phrase that by ambiguity could be accidentally self-deprecating

There is a literary technique in comedies where a person says something intending for it to be reassuring and confident, but their words are humorous because when interpreted differently, the phrase ...
3
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1answer
631 views

Is this phrase an example of irony?

The dictionary defines irony as "the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning." I also understand that irony is a form of humor. This phrase ...
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16answers
12k views

Verb meaning “to alter someone's famous saying”

I'm looking for a single verb, or at least a succinct way of saying that you are slightly, but intentionally, modifying a famous phrase. For example, if I were to refer to Alexander the Great's ...
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1answer
253 views

Insertion of over-specific detail to humorous effect

In Gilmore Girls, describing a debutante ball: "It's like animals being up for bid at the county fair, except sheep don't wear hoop skirts." This kind of over-the-top, facetious detail is used ...
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6answers
6k views

What type of humor would racist and sexist jokes be categorized into?

I did not major in literary studies so I do not readily recognize the nuances that are used to distinguish between the various concepts. It doesn't seem to fit insult comedy since it is rarely told ...
2
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1answer
110 views

Is there a specific word for a humorous device wherein after a reaction, more information changes the meaning of the phrase

I found it hard to summarise this in the title, and I thought a few examples would illustrate what I mean best: "Well known local celebrities include Alan Bennett and Barry Cryer" (lead up) ...
3
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1answer
462 views

Please explain the answer of a joke: “hors d'oeuvre”

This was part of the Uxbridge English Dictionary part of ISIHAC (I'm sorry I haven't a clue). The word was 'hors d'oeuvre' and the definition was 'ladies who hang around diesel pumps'. I don't get it.
68
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3answers
15k views

What is so bad about puns?

Many times I've heard of 'pun intended' or 'pun not intended', which I see as a form of excuse in the English-spoken world. However, I can not wrap my head around why are you constantly excusing/...
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3answers
7k views

What does this joke between Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra mean?

I have been listening to Dean Martin Pandora radio lately and there is a song medley between Sinatra and Martin. During each song they have little quips back and fourth, and there is one that I don't ...
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1answer
179 views

Meaning of “it isn't the initial cost, it's the humidity”

I was reading Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis and came across a quote I cannot understand: But they all felt that it was rather in bad taste for Orville Jones — and he not recognized as one of the wits ...
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1answer
2k views

What type of wordplay joins two phrases together on a single syllable?

During a South Park episode, Wendy sings a song with a specific type of wordplay in which she ends a sentence and starts a new one with a common word or syllable. This gives the lyrics a double ...
3
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1answer
107 views

The Guerrilla Comma

The other day, a car wielding a bumper sticker pulled past me. The sticker said I should: Love people, prepare them yummy food. We stopped at a light, the car ahead of me. Taking a closer look, I ...
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1answer
146 views

How could I reponse if my American friend joked “americans are foolish; we have no idea about geography?” [closed]

Last time my American friend and I were talking about an African country. He happened to know nothing about the country. Then he joked "Americans are foolish; we have no idea about geography?" I ...
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2answers
373 views

Is there a word to describe mocking a list by extending it?

For instance, the quote from Douglas Adams: “In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real ...
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3answers
114k 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 ...
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1answer
104 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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3answers
85 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
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11answers
24k 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....
2
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2answers
2k 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 ...