Oceans Apart

Q: Why didn’t the girl trust the ocean?
A: Because there was something fishy about it!

Explanation: While there are five named oceans, Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern, there is really only one world ocean.  I would recommend having much respect for the ocean both because of its power to give life to the earth, and its dangerous power to take life through storms.  As you already know the ocean has many fish in it.  To trust someone means to have confidence that the person will treat you fairly, be kind, not hurt you.

If something is fishy, that means that there is something suspicious about it.  To be fishy is an idiom. (That reminds me of the old saying, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”)  Someone offering you $1,000 sounds fishy.  Someone offering to sell you something really cheap sounds fishy, it might be stolen or maybe it doesn’t work.

This joke is funny because it brings together the idea of an ocean full of fish and someone who is fishy.

Back in the 1970s John Denver wrote a song in tribute to Jacques Cousteau who studied the oceans.  I hope you like it.

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Cantankerous Granny Smith

Q: When is an apple grouchy?
A: When it is a crab apple!

Explanation: In the north it is apple-picking season, and time for pumpkin spice everything!

Apples are fruit, so of course they are never grouchy.  A person who is grouchy thinks that everything is bad, nothing is right; they are irritable and complain a lot.  The best example of a grouch is Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.  Grumpy is a synonym for grouchy, so you could watch at Grumpy Old Men for more examples.

Crab apples are small apples that are typically wild, that is, they have not been domesticated to be bought and sold.  (You can eat them, though.). Crabby is another synonym for grouchy.

This joke is funny because it plays with the word grouchy and it synonyms, like crabby.

Oscar the Grouch is one of my favorite characters on Sesame Street.  Here is a compilation of Oscar the Grouch.

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Gone with the Wind

Q: Why did the kids fire their squirt guns into the air on that windy day?
A: They were just shooting the breeze!

Explanation: A squirt gun shoots a stream of water, much like a spray bottle, but in the form of a gun.  Many people like to play by squirting water at their friends on a warm day outside.  Some people train their pets by squirting water at them (others say that squirting animals does not work or is mean).

A breeze is wind that blows just a little bit.  To shoot the breeze is an idiom that means to talk with your friends about nothing really important.

This joke is funny because it plays with the phrase shoot the breeze, both the literal meaning (shooting a gun into the air) and the idiom (talking with your friends).  Please don’t shoot guns into the air; what comes up must come down.

Watch here for a detailed explanation of how spray bottle work:

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Edgy Endurance

Q: What lies on the bottom of the ocean and twitches?
A: A nervous wreck!

Explanation: Did you hear that Shakleton’s ship, Endurance, was found back in March? It sank to the bottom of the Antarctic ocean in 1915, and has been lying there since then.  Don’t worry, it was not twitching.  To twitch means to make small, jerking movements.  You may have experienced an eye twitch, or felt a leg twitch when you are falling asleep.

A nervous wreck is a person who is very nervous about something.  It is an informal phrase that is quite common.  A student might be a nervous wreck before a big test; a patient might be a nervous wreck while waiting for the results of a medical test, expecting the worst.  Occasionally, people who are nervous may experience a muscle twitch.

This joke is funny because it plays with the word wreck, and the ideas of a shipwreck and a nervous wreck. If you are interested in shipwrecks, here is one list to check out.  If you are interested in the discovery of Endurance, watch this video:

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Come out, come out wherever you are!

Q: Why are false teeth like stars?
A: Because they come out at night!

Explanation: When I was a kid, my dad had this neat trick that would always make us laugh: While driving, he would loosen his lower front teeth (dentures) and wiggle them in front of his lips, below his nose.  We of course would giggle.  These teeth were false teeth that replaced his original teeth.  Every night he removed those false teeth to clean them.  Yes, his teeth had to come out at night so he could clean them.

Stars also come out at night.  In reality, they do not come out, they are always there, but we cannot see them because our star, the sun, makes it too bright for us to see the starlight that comes from very far away.  To us it seems that the stars come out of their daytime hiding place.

This joke is funny because it plays with different meanings of come out: remove, like the teeth, and appear, like the stars.

Thinking about stars had me thinking about space and space travel and the moon…

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Above and Beyond

Q: Why did the farmer win the Nobel Prize?
A: Because he was outstanding in his field!

Explanation: The Nobel Prize is awarded to people who “have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.”  That is, they have done something really, really important because it is something that is good for a lot of people.  Outstanding means exceptionally good.  People who win the Nobel Prize are outstanding in their field.  In this case, field means the special area that they know a lot about such as literature, science, math, …

Field also means an area of open land where farmers plant their crops.  After they plant their crops they have a soybean field, or a corn field, or a wheat field…  When farmers inspect their crops, they might walk out into their field and stand there.  That is, they are out in their field, standing.  I could also say that they are out standing in their field.

This joke is funny because it plays with the words outstanding and out standing, which sound the same.  And I am sure there are outstanding farmers who are out standing in their field of corn right now.

Speaking of corn and other crops, check out the seed art from the Minnesota State Fair:

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Level Up

Q: Why are elevator jokes the best?
A: Because they work on so many levels!

Explanation: What goes up, must come down, says the old adage.  (Blood, Sweat and Tears sang about that, too.)  The same is true for elevators: Elevators (called a lift in England) go up and down to bring people to different floors in a building.  The floors in a building are sometimes called levels.  Just like in a video game where you move to the next level, elevators can take you up or down one or more levels.

“Works on many levels” is an idiom that means something works in many different ways.  For example, the story of Alice in Wonderland could be read, on one level, as a silly adventure.  On a different level, it could be about children trying to understand the adult world.  Others say it is about drugs, or eating disorders.  If you do a search for different interpretations, you will find many.  Many Disney movies that are made for children, have themes or dialogue that adults will better understand–They work on different levels.  Has that ever happened to you?  Have you seen a movie as an adult and you understand it differently than when you were a child?

This joke is funny because it plays with the phrase “it works on many levels.”  By the way, things can be wrong on may levels too.

Take a look at the world’s tallest elevators–

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Airport Food

Q: What kind of candy can you get an an airport?
A: Plane M&Ms!

Explanation: Even though there are lots of studies that talk about sugar being bad for you, well, a little bit still tastes good.  Every place in the world has candy, and candy can even make for  a good joke too!

You know what candy is, so I won’t explain that.  And you know all about airports, especially that airports have airplanes, also called planes.  There are many different types of planes.  Did you know that you can get a license to be a pilot at age 14 in some places?  I have always wanted to get a pilot’s license but never did, at least not yet.

Plane, though, is not the same as plain.  Plane refers to airplanes, while plain means ordinary, not decorated, not special.  (Plane can also be a tool, and plain can also be a type of land, depending on the context.).   M&Ms come in many flavors such as peanut M&Ms, and almond M&Ms.  Plain M&Ms are the ones that only have chocolate in the middle, nothing else.

This joke is funny because it plays with the words plane and plain, which sound the same.  Take a look at this video to see how M&Ms are made.  (You could even try adding narration to make the video better.)

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After the All-Star Break

Q: How is a good baseball game like good pancakes?
A: They both need a good batter!

Explanation: And…we’re back with a rerun!

The baseball season in the United States and Canada is half done, so a baseball joke seemed appropriate.  In baseball, the person who has the bat and is ready to hit the baseball is called the batter (in the sport of cricket, too).  A good batter is able to hit the ball that is pitched, usually at 80 miles per hour or more.  That’s fast, and hard to hit! And remember, if a player is able to get a hit 3 out of every 10 pitches, that is considered good.

As for pancakes, well, a good pancake starts with good batter.  Batter is the liquid mix that you put on the griddle or in the frying pan to make pancakes.  There are lots of recipes for pancakes, like this one.

This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of the word batter: Someone who hits the ball in baseball, and the thick liquid that you mix together to make pancakes.

Pancakes and crepes are not the same, but they are similar.  Here is and old video of Julia Child making crepes:

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Three Sheets to the Wind

Q: Why did the composer only compose while lying in bed?
A: Because he was composing sheet music!

Explanation: A composer is someone who writes music.  Two of the most famous composers are Mozart and Beethoven.

Years ago, when composers wrote music, they would write the music on sheets of paper that the musicians could read and perform.  This music written on sheets of paper is called sheet music.  Lots of music is written now using computers programs such as Notion or Sibelius.  (I do not write music and do not know anything about these programs.)  For musicians to perform, the music is most often printed out in sheets, sheet music.  There are probably musicians who use a computer or tablet to read their music.

Sheets, though, has another meaning.  When you make your bed, you put sheets on your bed, along with pillows and blankets.

This joke is funny because of the different meanings of sheets–sheets for your bed and sheet music.  I wouldn’t recommend, however, using bed sheets for writing music; it might be difficult for the performer to read the music!

If you would like to learn to read sheet music, you could start here:

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