Nip it in the Flower

Q: What did the big flower say to the little flower?
A: Hi, bud!

Explanation: Spring is in the air in the northern hemisphere and gardens are blooming!

Bud is a word that is used as a synonym for friend, short for buddy.  My next-door neighbor was named Buddy when I lived in Minnesota; Buddy was my buddy, my bud, my friend.

Bud is also a word used for the small bump on a plant that develops into a flower.

This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of the word bud.

Watch these buds turn into flowers and then read The Little Prince to learn about making a flower your bud, your friend.

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

Spring Ahead, Fall Back

Q: Why did Humpty Dumpty have a great fall?
A: He wanted to make up for a lousy summer!

Explanation: In my neck of the woods, summer has turned to fall.

Humpty Dumpty is a character from Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. Usually pictured as a very large egg, Humpty Dumpty fell off a wall and broke into many pieces.  In the rhyme we hear,

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

It makes sense that if an egg fell off a wall it would break.

Fall is also a season (spring, summer, fall, winter), sometimes known as autumn.  If you had a lousy summer, a bad summer, you might want the next season to be better.  That is, you could compensate for a bad summer (make up for a lousy summer) by having a really good autumn.

This joke is funny because it plays with the word fall, the verb (to fall) and the season (autumn).

Here is one video version where Alice meets Humpty.  If you continue watching, you will hear the poem Jabberwocky a fun poem with lots of nonsense words that make sense.

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

Crossing Again

Q: Why did the atoms cross the road?
A: It was time to split!

Explanation: Ah, yes, this one reminds me of my first joke on this site.

Atoms are the building blocks of matter, of all things.  The element chart lists all the different types of atoms.

To split means to leave.  If I were watching a soccer game, at the end I might say, “Game’s over.  Let’s split.”  And then we would leave the park or the stadium where the game was being played.

When you “split an atom” you release a lot of energy, like in a nuclear bomb.

This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of split.  Split also means to divide something into parts. If you are a gymnast you might know how to do the splits. You might even make a banana split.

Here is how atoms were first split:

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

Happy Out (side)

Q: What is Irish and sits outside?
A: Patio Furniture!

Explanation: March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day.  Being of Irish heritage, I thought this joke appropriate… and it made me laugh.

Patio furniture refers to the chairs and tables that you might see outside on a patio

Patio furniture sounds a lot like Paddy O’Furniture.  Paddy is an Irish name, often a nickname for someone named Patrick or Padraig.  There are a lot of famous Paddys.  The O’ (capital letter O with an apostrophe), along with Mc or Mac, means “son of” in Irish last names.  Lots of Irish last names start with O’ such as O’Brien and O’Keefe. 

There is no Irish last name of O’Furniture, and that’s what makes this joke funny.  Maybe where you are you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by sitting outside on your patio furniture and listening to The Chieftains and Sinead O’Connor.


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

Swing, Batter!

Q: Why was Cinderella so lousy at baseball?
A: Because she ran away from the ball and had a pumpkin for a coach!

Explanation: In the United States, baseball spring training has started in Florida and Arizona so how about a baseball joke?

There is a lot to explain in this joke.  To be lousy at something means to be bad at it.  In this joke, Cinderella is bad at playing baseball.  Why? Because she runs away from the ball. 

Ball, here, has two meanings: Ball refers to the baseball in the game of baseball; ball is also the name of a formal dance party.  Remember when the clock struck 12:00 midnight and Cinderella had to leave the ball?

Then, there is the coach.  In baseball, the coach is the person who leads the team by telling the players what to do and helps them to do it better.  Coach is also the word used for the horse-drawn carriage that takes Cinderella to and from the ball.  That coach started out as a pumpkin and then became a pumpkin again after midnight.

This joke is funny because it plays with the word ball and the word coach.  Did you ever wonder how a baseball is made?  Watch this video to find out.

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

A Tiger (fish) in your Tank

Q: While in their tank, what did one fish say to the other fish?
A: Do you know how to drive this thing?!

Explanation: If you have a fish at home, it is in a tank: a fish tank (also called an aquarium).  Normally when you hear about a tank and fish, you think of a fish tank.  A fish tank is a glass box that holds water and fish.

The other type of tank is a military tank.  If you are in a military tank, someone has to drive it, like the fish in the joke.

This joke is funny because the word tank has two meanings: a fish tank and a military tank.  This joke misdirects us to start thinking of a fish tank, when actually the fish are in a military tank.

Here is how to take care of your goldfish in a fish tank:

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

The Nose Knows

Q: What did the right eye say to the left eye?
A: Hey buddy, just between you and me, something smells!

Explanation: More jokes about your face!

The phrase “something smells” usually means that something is giving off, emitting, a bad smell. In this joke, “something smells” refers to the nose and the action of smelling, of noticing that there is a odor or aroma that the nose can detect.

That’s what makes this joke funny—the nose is between the eyes and it smells, it detects odors…but the nose itself does not smell bad, that is, give off a bad odor.

Here is something you can see that is beautiful but smells really bad: the corpse flower!

Posted in Joke | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Door Prize

Q: Why did the scientist install a knocker on his front door?
A: Because he wanted to win the no-bell prize!

Explanation: A knocker is that metal piece on the outside of a door that you use to make noise so that people know that you are there.  An alternative to using a door knocker is to use a doorbell.  A doorbell is a button, typically found next to the door, that you push to make noise inside the house so that people know that you are there.

If you do not have a doorbell, you have no bell.  “No bell” sounds like Nobel.  Nobel is the name of a prize in many different categories including physics, chemistry, peace, and literature.

This joke is funny because no-bell sounds like Nobel, and the scientist wanted to win a no-bell/Nobel prize. (That strategy probably won’t help him win!)

Here is some information about the Nobel Prizes:

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

I Am Not Swearing

Q: What did the fish say when he swam into the concrete wall?
A: Dam!

Explanation: As a language learner, it is important to know the swear words, the bad words, the words you probably shouldn’t say.

Dam is not a swear word, but it sounds like one.  A dam is a structure built on a river to keep the water from flowing.  Beavers make dams (see the video on that link to learn more about beavers and their dams) and humans do too.  To see a dam, you might visit the Hoover Dam in Nevada.  If a fish ran into a concrete wall while swimming in a river, it is probably a dam.

Dam sounds just like damn; many people consider damn to be a swear word.  Damn comes from the Latin word ‘damnare’ which means to condemn.  Lots of people use the word damn when something goes wrong or hurts.  If you were to bump into a concrete wall it would hurt and you might say, “Damn,”  just like the fish in the joke.  If you are creative, you can probably find better words to express your pain.

This joke is funny because the words damn and dam sound the same.

I like this video about beaver dams and the calm voice of the speaker, Richard Attenborough.

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

Oh Brother!

Q: Why can’t a woman ask her brother for help?
A: Because he can’t be a brother and assist her too!

Explanation: Of course a woman can ask her brother for help!  Just not in this joke.

The words in this joke are rather well known.  To assist means to help. You already know brother, sister, and woman.  Regarding relationships, you can be either a brother or a sister, but not both.

This joke is funny because, if you listen closely, “a sister” and “assist her” sound the same. Please help your brothers and sisters.

Here is a story about someone who decided to help his community by using books and a donkey.

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