Just Around the Bend

Q: Why was the metal wire so upset?
A: It was getting bent out of shape over nothing!

Explanation: Metal wire comes in all sorts of sizes, measured by how thick it is.  Electrical wire also comes in different thicknesses.  Metal wire can be bent into many shapes so it is useful for art, for wiring a house, making motors, …  When you bend a wire, you can make it into almost any shape

To get bent out of shape is an idiom meaning to get angry.  If you get bent out of shape over nothing, you get mad for no reason.

This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of getting bent out of shape: the literal meaning of bending a wire, and the idiom meaning to get angry.

Here is some wire getting bent into shape:

Posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beyond Reproach

Q: What happened to the mouse when he fell into the bathtub?
A: He came out squeaky clean!

Explanation: Just as a cow says “moo” and a pig says “oink,” mice squeak.  If you are interested in hearing an hour of mice squeaking you can listen here (although I am not sure why you would want to).

Squeaky clean is an informal phrase meaning that something is really, really clean.  A window that you just washed could be called squeaky clean.  Squeaky clean can also refer to a person’s character–the senator was squeaky clean: he never lied, misled or cheated anyone.

This joke is funny because it plays with the word squeaky, meaning the sound of a mouse and completely clean.

Here is Tom and Jerry getting things squeaky clean–

Posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the Lookout

Q: What did the orange say to the banana when they were looking for the apple?
A: Keep your eyes peeled!

Explanation: It’s summer where I am (not -20º like the other place I call home) and it’s a great time to eat some ice cream.  Have you ever tried a banana split?  When I was younger, I liked to split a banana split with a friend because that dessert was (and is) too big for me to eat alone; I don’t eat them much anymore.

Whenever you eat a banana you have to peel it, that it, take off the yellow skin.  There are many ways to peel a banana.  To keep your eyes peeled means to keep your eyes open and watch carefully for something.  I always keep my eyes peeled for new jokes that need explaining.

This joke is funny because it plays with the word peel and the idiom keep your eyes peeled.  I also think it is funny to think about a banana with eyes. (Potatoes have eyes, but banana do not.)

If you would like to skip the banana split and go straight to the banana ice cream, try this:

Posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Hearby Resolve

Q: Why did the past year seem to go by in a blur?
A: Your resolution must have been too low!

Explanation: Happy New Year!  I wish you the very best in 2022!!

Do you make new year’s resolutions?  A new year’s resolution is a decision to do something (or stop doing something) so that your life will be better in the new year.  Many people make a resolution to exercise more or read more; many people do not keep their new year’s resolutions.

Another meaning of resolution has to do with how focused something is, that is, how sharp the picture looks. When images go to fast they may seem blurry, that is, you cannot see them clearly because the resolution is low.  Digital images and pictures may also seem blurry if they taken from far away or with a camera with few pixels.  If your camera has a higher resolution, your picture will be more clear.

This joke is funny because it plays with the meanings of the word resolution: a decision, or the sharpness of an image.  If you make a resolution, be sure to tell people who will help you keep your resolution for the new year.  We all need to help make this world better.

Here is something else that is resolute: The Resolute Desk–

Posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mindfully Present

Q: Why didn’t the aliens on the UFO land on Christmas morning?
A: They were selfish, and did not want to share their presence!

Explanation: UFOs are unidentified flying objects, often seen as flying saucers.  Flying saucers (if they exist) come from other galaxies and may have alien life on board.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have proof of life from other parts of the universe!  While there are many stories and pictures of UFOs, the existence of space aliens has never been proven… yet.  They have never made their presence known to us.

Many people in the world celebrate Christmas on December 25.  One of the most common Christmas traditions is to give gifts to friends and family members. Gifts are also called presents.  Some people like to share their presents, while others do not want to share.

This joke is funny because presents (the gifts we give and receive) sounds just like the word presence (being in a place).  The presence of life from other planets would be a present for people who hope for extraterrestrial life.

The James Webb Telescope that was launched yesterday may give us many presents as it helps discover more about the universe.

Posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep It Down Out There!

Q: What is the nosiest game you can play?
A: Racket-ball!

Explanation: Some people like some noise in their lives while others prefer a quiet environment.  Some of us are in between–sometimes I like a little music or background noise but mostly I prefer quiet conversation.

Racket is another word for noise. You might hear people ask, “What’s all that racket?” when they want to know where the noise is from.

Racket is also the name of the equipment that tennis players use to hit the ball. Rackets are also used to play badminton and racquetball. By the way, racketball and racquetball are different sports.

This joke is funny because it plays with the different meanings of the word racket.

If you would like to learn to play racketball, watch this…

Posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Little Off the Sides

Q: Why did the Christmas tree go to the barber?
A: Because it needed to be trimmed!

Explanation: Now that it is December, ’tis the season when many people prepare to celebrate Christmas.  For those who celebrate, buying and decorating a Christmas tree is often very important.  Decorating the tree is also called trimming the tree.

When you go to the barber to get your hair cut, you might say to the barber, “Just a trim.”  This means that you want the barber to only cut a little bit of your hair.

This joke is funny because of the double meanings of the word trim: a little bit of a haircut and decorating a Christmas tree.

To hear more about trimming the tree, listen to this song from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas:


Posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

News Flash

Q: Why did the ice cream cone become a news reporter?
A: Because he wanted to get the scoop!

Explanation: Do you watch the evening news?  Listen to news on the radio or a podcast? Perhaps you read a newspaper?  News reporters are always looking to provide their watchers, listeners, and readers with information about what is happening.  Sometimes they are able to report on a big, important story, or one that no one has heard yet.  That big, important story, unheard story is called a scoop.  If a reporter gets the scoop, she or he gets an important story.

Ice cream cones have a scoop of ice cream on top of the cone.  A portion of ice cream in the form of a ball is called a scoop.

This joke is funny because it plays with the word scoop: a ball of ice cream or an important news story.

Here is how to make the perfect scoop of ice cream-

Posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tom Swifties

“It’s time for recess,” Tom said playfully.
“I can turn on the lights,” Tom said powerfully.

Tom Swifties are a type of humor from a series of old books.  I have not read the books but I love the odd humor in Tom Swifties.

A Tom Swiftie has Tom saying something in a way that relates humorously to the words that he spoke. Typically the sentences end with Tom said [adverb]. For example… “This coffee needs more sugar,” Tom said bitterly.  This is funny because coffee has a bitter taste, and Tom said this bitterly.

Here are a few more examples I found on Wikipedia with a short explanation I added in parentheses:

  • “Pass me the shellfish,” said Tom crabbily. (Crabs have shells.)
  • “We just struck oil!” Tom gushed. (Oil gushes from a well.)
  • “Get to the back of the ship!” Tom said sternly. (The back of a boat is called the stern.)
  • “I forgot what I needed at the store,” Tom said listlessly. (If you make a list, you won’t forget.)

If you create a Tom Swiftie you can send it to me and I will add them to an upcoming post.  Or you can leave a comment with your Tom Swiftie.

Posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke, pun | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wanna Make Something of It?

Q: Why don’t scientists trust the atoms they work with?
A: Because they make up everything!

Explanation: Everything is made of atoms.  Yes, those atoms, the ones that are found on the periodic table of the elements.  It is still hard for me to believe that those little atoms make up the air we breathe, the trees that grow, the metal in my fork and knife.  In this case, to make up something means that it is a part that makes up the whole of something.

To make up also means to invent or to create.  When authors write a new story they make up that story.  To make something up can also mean to lie.  If a student arrives late to class he or she might make up a story about the late arrival; a student might make up a story about the missing homework (“My dog ate it!!”).

This joke is funny because it plays with the words make up, meaning the parts of something or inventing a story.  And you can’t trust someone who is always making things up!

Someone you can trust is Venus Flytrap from WKRP in Cincinnati.  Here he is making up a story to explain how atoms make up everything-

Posted in ELL, ESL, humor, Joke | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment