Tag Archives: Puns
Paraprosdokian is not a word I would readily remember. I can even admit freely I’d never heard of it until recently. Maybe I’m just weird, but I can remember a word much better if I know where it came from; this one actually makes sense: (Greek) para– meaning “against”, and prosdokaō meaning “I expect.” Against expectations. It’s not actually that old, and is thought of by some linguists as a bogus term; but there are a lot of words that have crept into the English language on just such a pretext, and have hung around for centuries (thereby gaining loyalty from linguists). I’d say that sounds like a bit of cosmic humour.
A Paraprosdokian is a phrase or sentence that ends with an unexpected twist. Now it may be as common as rain where you live, but not here. I tend to think of these sentences as one-liners, and with good reason – this figure of speech is popular with comedians as it’s short and ends on a punch. Some Paraprosdokians use a familiar phrase and twist the ending such as the first sentence (“Where there’s a will, there’s a way”). So I say, call them what you will – just use them well!
Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
I sleep eight hours a day and at least ten at night. (Bill Hicks)
The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing – after they have tried everything else. (Winston Churchill)
If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat. (Will Rogers)
We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
They begin the evening news with Good Evening, then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. (Variations on this phrase are attested as early as 1884.)
There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
If I am reading this graph correctly… I’d be very surprised. (Stephen Colbert)
I haven’t slept for ten days, because that would be too long. (Mitch Hedberg)
Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
Buses stop in bus stations. Trains stop in train stations. On my desk is a work station.
I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.
In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, notify, I put DOCTOR.
I like going to the park and watching the children run around because they don’t know I’m using blanks. (Emo Philips)
I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
He was at his best when the going was good. (Alistair Cooke on the Duke of Windsor)
You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit, the target.
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it. (Groucho Marx)
A modest man, who has much to be modest about. (Winston Churchill, about Clement Attlee)
If I could just say a few words… I’d be a better public speaker.
She was good as cooks go, and as cooks go she went.
Before the diluting of the language through modern acronyms and text messages, insulting one’s foes was an art form in itself. Here are a few well-know gems:
“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts… for support rather than illumination.” – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” – Billy Wilder
“In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” – Charles, Count Talleyrand
“I have never killed a man, but I have read many an obituary with a great deal of satisfaction.” Clarence Darrow
A member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.”
“That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”
“He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea, and that was wrong.” – Benjamin Disraeli
“She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.” – Dorothy Parker
“He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” – Forrest Tucker
“What’s on your mind? If you’ll forgive the overstatement.” – Fred Allen
“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” – Groucho Marx
“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” – Irvin S. Cobb
“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright
“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” – Mae West
“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” – Mark Twain
“I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” – Mark Twain
“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” – Moses Hadas
“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..” – Oscar Wilde
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go..” – Oscar Wilde
“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.” – Paul Keating
“He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” – Samuel Johnson
“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” – Stephen Bishop
“He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr
“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).
An exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, “If you were my husband I’d poison your tea.”
He said, “Madam, If you were my wife I’d drink it.”
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill
“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend…. if you have one.” – George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
“Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second…. if there is one.” – Winston Churchill, in response.
“Yes, madam, I am drunk. But in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.” – Winston Churchill
“He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more.” – P.G. Wodehouse
I don’t know who originally collected this list together, but have a good laugh, and a good week!
1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent.
2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.”
3. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.
4. A dyslexic man walked into a bra.
5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm, and says: “A beer please, and one for the road.”
6. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: “Does this taste funny to you?”
7. “Doc, I can’t stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home.”
“That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome.”
“Is it common?”
“Well, It’s Not Unusual.”
8. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, “I was artificially inseminated this morning.”
“I don’t believe you,” says Dolly.
“It’s true; no bull!” exclaims Daisy.
9. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.
10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you’ve heard this bull before.
11. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn’t find any.
12. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, “Doctor, doctor, I can’t feel my legs!” The doctor replied, “I know, I amputated your arms!”
13. I went to a seafood disco last week…And pulled a mussel.
14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.
15. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, “Dam!”
16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Not surprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.
17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories.
After about an hour, the manager came out of the office, and asked them to disperse.
“But why,” they asked, as they moved off.
“Because,” he said. “I can’t stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.”
18. A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt , and is named ‘Ahmal.’ The other goes to a family in Spain ; they name him ‘Juan.’ Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, “They’re twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Ahmal.
19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (oh, man, this is so bad, it’s good)…A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
20. A dwarf, who was a mystic, escaped from jail. The call went out that there was a small medium at large.
21. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.