url
stringlengths
42
73
joke
stringlengths
25
562
explaination
stringlengths
51
1.25k
https://explainthejoke.com/2023/01/08/wrecked/
Q: What does a computer do when it is tired? A: It crashes!
Explanation: Did your computer ever stop working (freeze) or turn itself off when you wanted to use it? If it did, you can say your computer crashed. Computer crashes are frustrating because you cannot get your work done, and sometimes you lose the work you finished most recently, unless you saved it. Thankfully, they do not happen too often. The word crash has other meanings. If someone is tired, a person might say, “I’m going to go crash.” This means that the person will go to bed and sleep. Or you could say, “I crashed lat night at 8:30 because I was so tired.” This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of the word crash: A computer not working, and someone going to bed. Here are two songs about another meaning of the word crash:
https://explainthejoke.com/2023/01/01/its-about-time/
Q: Where can you go to practice math on New Year’s Eve? A: Times Square!
Explanation: Happy New Year! It’s 2023 which means that Explain the Joke is celebrating 10 years of explaining jokes in English. To get better at math, people often people often practice addition (+) or subtraction (-) problems; then they work on multiplication (x) and division (÷), and all the way through calculus and beyond. Practicing multiplication is also known as practicing your times tables. You can say what is seven times nine (7 x 9), or you can can say what is seven multiplied by nine. They mean the same thing, times or multiplied by. Times Square is an area in New York City. One of the things Times Square is known for is its party on New Year’s Eve. During that party, many people gather in Times Square and watch on TV to see the ball drop; when the ball gets to the bottom, the new year starts. (By the way, to drop the ball is an idiom that means to make a mistake.) This joke is funny because it plays with the ideas of times (multiplication) and Times Square. If you would like to see the ball drop to mark the beginning of 2023, take a look here:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/12/11/spare-change/
Q: When does it rain money? A: When there is change in the weather!
Explanation: “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,” according to the song from My Fair Lady. In Peru, they just wish it would rain! But nowhere does it rain money. Rain is water that falls from the sky as part of the evaporation/water cycle. When it is sunny outside, and then the weather changes to cloudy or rainy, we say that there is a change in the weather. Change is also the word used for money in the form of coins. In the United States, change includes pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half dollars. There are also dollar coins. This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of the word change: coin money, or when one thing becomes different, like the weather changes. If there were change, coins, in the weather, well, there might be coins falling from the sky, but we all know that doesn’t happen. John Fogerty sang about change in the weather-
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/12/04/leave-hanging/
Q: What happens when winter arrives? A: Autumn leaves!
Explanation: In the northern hemisphere winter officially starts on December 21 (winter solstice, astronomical winter), but for many places in the north, it is already cold. Did you know that there is more than one way to mark the start of winter? Meteorologists, people who study the weather, talk about meteorological winter which starts on December 1. When talking about seasons, winter comes after fall; fall is also known as autumn. In the autumn, leaves change colors and fall to the ground as the trees get ready for the winter, and the following spring. Autumn leaves are beautiful! Leaves, though, has another meaning. When something leaves, it goes away. For example, the teacher leaves home to go to work, and the student leaves school to go home. This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of the word leaves: The tree has leaves that change colors in the autumn (autumn leaves), and autumn leaves, or goes away, so that winter can come. Eric Clapton has a song called Autumn Leaves–
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/11/27/no-thorn-no-rose/
Q: Where do roses sleep? A: In a flower bed!
Explanation: According to many surveys, roses are one of the most popular flowers. Although they have thorns, some people say that they are not that hard to grow. When you have a garden with flowers (as opposed to a garden with fruits and vegetables), we can call that area a flower bed. If you prepare the flower bed well, the flowers will grow well. I have never heard anyone call a vegetable garden a vegetable bed. A bed, without flower, is a piece of furniture where people sleep, but you kew that. This joke is funny because it plays with the word bed and flower bed. Yes, it makes sense that roses would sleep, if they sleep, in a flower bed. (Thank you, Trevor for the joke!) Here is a motivational speech titled, Make Your Bed:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/11/20/turkey-crossing/
Q: Why did the turkey cross the road? A: So people would think he was a chicken!
Explanation: Happy Thanksgiving! In many countries throughout the world people celebrate a day of thanks. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November; that will be November 24 in 2022. One of the traditional foods for that celebration is turkey. This joke is funny because it plays with another, well-known joke: Why did the chicken cross the road? (There are many cross the road jokes.) Of course, the turkey does not want to become someone’s dinner. So, if it pretends to be a chicken as it crosses the road, it will have a better chance of staying alive, and not ending up on someone’s plate. There is a lot of research about the benefits of being thankful, of feeling and showing gratitude. Here is a TED talk about being grateful: Thank you for reading this blog!
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/11/06/banners-begonias/
Q: Why was the Incredible Hulk so good at gardening? A: Because he had a green thumb!
Explanation: Dr. David/Robert Bruce Banner becomes the superhero known as the Hulk, or the Incredible Hulk, when he becomes angry. In that process of becoming the Hulk, his body transforms, becoming larger with lots of muscles, and his skin turns green. When his skin turns green, his whole body turns green, including his thumb. To have a green thumb is an idiom that means to be really good at taking care of plants and gardens. My wife has a green thumb, which you can see when you admire the succulents, bonsai, orchid, and geraniums in the window garden. OK, you don’t really need a green thumb to grow geraniums, but you get the idea. This joke is funny because it plays with the literal and the figurative meanings of green thumb. Watch here to see a transformation of Dr. Banner into the Hulk. Better yet, watch this video to learn how to grow geraniums:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/10/30/a-kiss-from-the-count/
Q: What’s it like being kissed by a vampire? A: It’s a pain in the neck!
Explanation: Happy Halloween to those of you who celebrate! Many countries around the world celebrate Halloween, or another somewhat-related holiday around this time of year. A Mexican student of mine once commented that Halloween is a lot like Day of the Dead, but several others disagreed. I also disagreed, but can see some connections. In the United States, Halloween for children is about dressing up in costumes and trick-or treating, asking for candy. One of the most popular costumes continues to be a vampire. Vampires are well known for biting the neck of their victims and drinking their blood. If someone were to bite your neck, it would really hurt; it would cause a pain in your neck. A pain in the neck is an idiom that means something that is bothersome, difficult, or annoying to deal with. A neighbor’s dog that won’t stop barking might be a pain in the neck; someone who complains all the time might be a pain in the neck. This joke is funny because it plays with different meanings of pain in the neck: A literal pain that hurts you, and the idiom that means something that is annoying. Here is how National Geographic explains the history of Halloween:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/10/23/peanut-butter-and-worry/
Q: Why was the jelly so stressed out? A: Because it was spread too thin!
Explanation: Jelly is a food made by boiling fruit juice with sugar until it becomes thick and sort of transparent. Jelly is similar to jam, marmalade, and preserves. This link can explain more about the differences between those different spreads. They are called spreads (noun) because you can use a knife and spread (verb) them on bread (or something else). Other spreads include hummus and chutney. If you want a lot of jelly on your bread you can spread it really thick, that is, put a lot of jelly on the bread. Or you can spread it really thin by just using a little bit. Spread too thin is an idiom that means that you have too much to do and not enough time to do it all. If that is you, you might tell someone, “I’m sorry I can’t help you. I am spread too thin right now.” Having too much to do can be very stressful. This joke is funny because it plays with the idea of spread too thin: Literally spread too thin like jelly, or figuratively spread too thin, like when you have too much to do. If you are spread too thin, you might take a break from it all and learn how to make jelly-
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/10/09/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2023/01/08/wrecked/
Q: What does a computer do when it is tired? A: It crashes!
Explanation: Did your computer ever stop working (freeze) or turn itself off when you wanted to use it? If it did, you can say your computer crashed. Computer crashes are frustrating because you cannot get your work done, and sometimes you lose the work you finished most recently, unless you saved it. Thankfully, they do not happen too often. The word crash has other meanings. If someone is tired, a person might say, “I’m going to go crash.” This means that the person will go to bed and sleep. Or you could say, “I crashed lat night at 8:30 because I was so tired.” This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of the word crash: A computer not working, and someone going to bed. Here are two songs about another meaning of the word crash:
https://explainthejoke.com/2023/01/01/its-about-time/
Q: Where can you go to practice math on New Year’s Eve? A: Times Square!
Explanation: Happy New Year! It’s 2023 which means that Explain the Joke is celebrating 10 years of explaining jokes in English. To get better at math, people often people often practice addition (+) or subtraction (-) problems; then they work on multiplication (x) and division (÷), and all the way through calculus and beyond. Practicing multiplication is also known as practicing your times tables. You can say what is seven times nine (7 x 9), or you can can say what is seven multiplied by nine. They mean the same thing, times or multiplied by. Times Square is an area in New York City. One of the things Times Square is known for is its party on New Year’s Eve. During that party, many people gather in Times Square and watch on TV to see the ball drop; when the ball gets to the bottom, the new year starts. (By the way, to drop the ball is an idiom that means to make a mistake.) This joke is funny because it plays with the ideas of times (multiplication) and Times Square. If you would like to see the ball drop to mark the beginning of 2023, take a look here:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/12/11/spare-change/
Q: When does it rain money? A: When there is change in the weather!
Explanation: “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,” according to the song from My Fair Lady. In Peru, they just wish it would rain! But nowhere does it rain money. Rain is water that falls from the sky as part of the evaporation/water cycle. When it is sunny outside, and then the weather changes to cloudy or rainy, we say that there is a change in the weather. Change is also the word used for money in the form of coins. In the United States, change includes pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half dollars. There are also dollar coins. This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of the word change: coin money, or when one thing becomes different, like the weather changes. If there were change, coins, in the weather, well, there might be coins falling from the sky, but we all know that doesn’t happen. John Fogerty sang about change in the weather-
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/12/04/leave-hanging/
Q: What happens when winter arrives? A: Autumn leaves!
Explanation: In the northern hemisphere winter officially starts on December 21 (winter solstice, astronomical winter), but for many places in the north, it is already cold. Did you know that there is more than one way to mark the start of winter? Meteorologists, people who study the weather, talk about meteorological winter which starts on December 1. When talking about seasons, winter comes after fall; fall is also known as autumn. In the autumn, leaves change colors and fall to the ground as the trees get ready for the winter, and the following spring. Autumn leaves are beautiful! Leaves, though, has another meaning. When something leaves, it goes away. For example, the teacher leaves home to go to work, and the student leaves school to go home. This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of the word leaves: The tree has leaves that change colors in the autumn (autumn leaves), and autumn leaves, or goes away, so that winter can come. Eric Clapton has a song called Autumn Leaves–
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/11/27/no-thorn-no-rose/
Q: Where do roses sleep? A: In a flower bed!
Explanation: According to many surveys, roses are one of the most popular flowers. Although they have thorns, some people say that they are not that hard to grow. When you have a garden with flowers (as opposed to a garden with fruits and vegetables), we can call that area a flower bed. If you prepare the flower bed well, the flowers will grow well. I have never heard anyone call a vegetable garden a vegetable bed. A bed, without flower, is a piece of furniture where people sleep, but you kew that. This joke is funny because it plays with the word bed and flower bed. Yes, it makes sense that roses would sleep, if they sleep, in a flower bed. (Thank you, Trevor for the joke!) Here is a motivational speech titled, Make Your Bed:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/11/20/turkey-crossing/
Q: Why did the turkey cross the road? A: So people would think he was a chicken!
Explanation: Happy Thanksgiving! In many countries throughout the world people celebrate a day of thanks. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November; that will be November 24 in 2022. One of the traditional foods for that celebration is turkey. This joke is funny because it plays with another, well-known joke: Why did the chicken cross the road? (There are many cross the road jokes.) Of course, the turkey does not want to become someone’s dinner. So, if it pretends to be a chicken as it crosses the road, it will have a better chance of staying alive, and not ending up on someone’s plate. There is a lot of research about the benefits of being thankful, of feeling and showing gratitude. Here is a TED talk about being grateful: Thank you for reading this blog!
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/11/06/banners-begonias/
Q: Why was the Incredible Hulk so good at gardening? A: Because he had a green thumb!
Explanation: Dr. David/Robert Bruce Banner becomes the superhero known as the Hulk, or the Incredible Hulk, when he becomes angry. In that process of becoming the Hulk, his body transforms, becoming larger with lots of muscles, and his skin turns green. When his skin turns green, his whole body turns green, including his thumb. To have a green thumb is an idiom that means to be really good at taking care of plants and gardens. My wife has a green thumb, which you can see when you admire the succulents, bonsai, orchid, and geraniums in the window garden. OK, you don’t really need a green thumb to grow geraniums, but you get the idea. This joke is funny because it plays with the literal and the figurative meanings of green thumb. Watch here to see a transformation of Dr. Banner into the Hulk. Better yet, watch this video to learn how to grow geraniums:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/10/30/a-kiss-from-the-count/
Q: What’s it like being kissed by a vampire? A: It’s a pain in the neck!
Explanation: Happy Halloween to those of you who celebrate! Many countries around the world celebrate Halloween, or another somewhat-related holiday around this time of year. A Mexican student of mine once commented that Halloween is a lot like Day of the Dead, but several others disagreed. I also disagreed, but can see some connections. In the United States, Halloween for children is about dressing up in costumes and trick-or treating, asking for candy. One of the most popular costumes continues to be a vampire. Vampires are well known for biting the neck of their victims and drinking their blood. If someone were to bite your neck, it would really hurt; it would cause a pain in your neck. A pain in the neck is an idiom that means something that is bothersome, difficult, or annoying to deal with. A neighbor’s dog that won’t stop barking might be a pain in the neck; someone who complains all the time might be a pain in the neck. This joke is funny because it plays with different meanings of pain in the neck: A literal pain that hurts you, and the idiom that means something that is annoying. Here is how National Geographic explains the history of Halloween:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/10/23/peanut-butter-and-worry/
Q: Why was the jelly so stressed out? A: Because it was spread too thin!
Explanation: Jelly is a food made by boiling fruit juice with sugar until it becomes thick and sort of transparent. Jelly is similar to jam, marmalade, and preserves. This link can explain more about the differences between those different spreads. They are called spreads (noun) because you can use a knife and spread (verb) them on bread (or something else). Other spreads include hummus and chutney. If you want a lot of jelly on your bread you can spread it really thick, that is, put a lot of jelly on the bread. Or you can spread it really thin by just using a little bit. Spread too thin is an idiom that means that you have too much to do and not enough time to do it all. If that is you, you might tell someone, “I’m sorry I can’t help you. I am spread too thin right now.” Having too much to do can be very stressful. This joke is funny because it plays with the idea of spread too thin: Literally spread too thin like jelly, or figuratively spread too thin, like when you have too much to do. If you are spread too thin, you might take a break from it all and learn how to make jelly-
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/10/09/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/10/02/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/09/18/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:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/09/11/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:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/09/04/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…
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/08/28/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:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/08/14/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–
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/08/07/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.)
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/07/30/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:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/06/12/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:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/06/05/prove-your-chops/
Q: What did the angry lumberjack say to the tree? A: I have an axe to grind with you!
Explanation: Lumberjacks are people who work cutting down trees so that people can use wood to make things. Many years ago, lumberjacks would use a saw and/or an axe to cut down trees. (Hopefully they planted two new trees for each one cut down!) Before working with an axe, it is important to sharpen the axe. One way to sharpen the axe is to use a grinder. “Have an axe to grind” with someone is an idiom. It means that you have a personal, maybe selfish reason for saying something, or that you have a complaint that you have to talk to someone about. Here are some examples from Linguee.com. (Linguee is one of my favorite sites for translating, by the way.) This joke is funny because it plays with the idea of grinding an axe, both the literal idea of using an axe sharpened on a grinder to cut down a tree, and the figurative idea of the idiom have an axe to grind. Here is one of the most famous fictional lumberjacks, Paul Bunyan, from 1958:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/05/29/a-bone-to-pick-with-you/
Q: What do you call a fossil that never does any work? A: A lazy bones!
Explanation: Fossils are parts of a living thing that has been preserved, or left an impression from a very long time ago, perhaps 10,000 years ago or more. The human skull that was recently found in Minnesota was not called a fossil, maybe because it was only 8,000 years old. Bones are a very common type of fossil because they last longer than the soft parts of living things. Because fossils come from living things that have been dead for a very long time, they do not do any work. A lazy bones is a person who is lazy, who doesn’t help, who doesn’t do much of anything. Imagine someone doing the work alone and saying to the other person, “Don’t be such a lazy bones. Help me get this done!” This joke is funny because it plays with the idea of bones and fossils, along with ancient bones being lazy. Watch here to find out how dinosaur fossils are formed:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/05/21/a-fair-weather-flower/
Q: What kind of flowers are great friends? A: Rose buds!
Explanation: Roses are one of the best known flowers. As a rose grows, in the spring you will notice buds. Rose buds are little bumps on the stem of a rose from which the flowers will appear. Yes, roses are beautiful! (Be careful of the thorns, though.) Friends are, well, you know what friends are. There are many synonyms for the word friend. One of those synonyms is bud, short for buddy. Your bud is your pal, is your friend, is your bestie, is your bff. You get the idea. This joke is funny because it plays with the word bud: a baby flower and a friend. If you would like to see a rose bloom from a bud to a flower, watch this:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/05/01/maybe-a-snack-later-on/
Q: Why did the two 4s decide to skip dinner? A: Because they already 8.
Explanation: Told to me by a 6th grader, this one made me laugh! It is rather absurd and it really makes no sense…so let me try to explain it. If someone invites you to eat, you might say, “No, thank you,” if you have just eaten. Or you might say, “I’ll go with you, but I am not hungry. I already ate.” I already ate sounds just like I already eight. Of course if there are two 4s together, you can add them up and they total eight (4 + 4 = 8). This joke is funny because it plays with the words ate and eight, which sound the same…and because it really doesn’t make sense. Here are some folks who did not skip dinner. They just had to use their imaginations! And some of them are probably eight (years old).
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/04/24/bounce-back/
Q: What’s the best season for jumping on a trampoline? A: Spring time!
Explanation: The northern hemisphere is about a third of the way through the season of spring. Of course summer will come after spring, and then fall and winter. Spring is a beautiful time of year as the trees bud and bloom, the flowers are reborn, and the days get longer. (Actually, days do not really get longer than 24 hours, but the amount of sunlight during the day increases.) A trampoline is a piece of equipment that has a strong fabric attached to a frame with springs; the springs make you bounce up and down. Springs are coils of wire that can get longer when stretched, and then pull back into its original form. You might find a spring used to close a screen door, to make the tip of a pen come out or go in, or to make a mattress more comfortable. This joke is funny because it plays with the word spring: A season of the year and a coiled piece of metal. Springtime is different from spring time, too. If you play on a trampoline, you will enjoy your time bouncing because of the springs. Here are some amazing trampoline athletes (thanks to the springs):
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/04/10/live-and-let-live/
Q: Why are cats good at video games? A: Because they have nine lives!
Explanation: Many video games let you have another chance to keep going if you make a really bad mistake, maybe even getting your character killed. (Other games do not give you another life in the same game, and you have to start over.) I am reminded of the classic video game Pac-Man where you would get three lives. It also reminds me of the pre-video game era when people played pinball, and you had to score the maximum number of points with a limited number of balls. Cats are known as curious explorers who get themselves into difficult situations. Because of their instincts, including the ability to land on their feet (usually), cats survive (usually). Therefore, in English speaking countries cats are said to have nine lives. (Here is an interesting article about the nine lives of cats.) This joke is funny because it combines the the lives you get while playing video games with the saying, “cats have nine lives.” Here is a cat who survived-
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/04/03/let-the-light-in/
Q: Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher? A: He couldn’t control his pupils!
Explanation: Someone whose eyes do not line up with each other, whose eyes do not look in the same direction, suffers from a medical condition called strabismus. In that situation, people cannot make their eyes look in the same direction. In non-medical terms, people whose eyes look in different directions may be called cross-eyed. The term cross-eyed can be used disrespectfully or can be used as a description. If you look down your nose, you are crossing your eyes. In your eyes, pupils are the center part of the eye, the black circle in the middle of the eyes that lets the light in. Pupil is also another word for student. You might say, “After the pupils sat down at their desks, the teacher began the class.” Pupils is not a common term in the United States; I do not know if other English speaking countries us it. This joke is funny because the word pupil has more than one meaning: the center part of the eye, and a student in a class. There is a band from the Philippines called Pupil and they have a song titled 20/20-
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/03/27/copy-that/
Q: What is the difference between a cat that got xeroxed and a cat that imitates its owner? A: One is a cat copy and the other is a copycat!
Explanation: Sometimes in English, brand names become verbs or nouns. For most people, all facial tissue is Kleenex, all internet searches are Googling, and all bandages are Band-Aids. (The term for this is anthimeria.) So, when you xerox something, you make a copy, a photocopy, because Xerox is a brand name of copiers. A copycat is a person who copies what you do. The word is used most frequently by children. You may also hear the phrase copycat crime for a criminal who imitates another criminal. This joke is funny because it plays with the words copy and cat. I love cats but I don’t think I want a copy of one. It would be fun, though, if a cat copied what I did! Here are some cats acting like humans-
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/03/20/do-you-see-what-i-see/
Q: Why did the computer get new glasses? A: To improve his web sight!
Explanation: Every few years, it seems, I need to get new reading glasses that are just a bit stronger. The 20-20 vision of my youth has become more like the impressionist works of Monet. When people want to improver their vision, their eyesight, they often get new glasses. Computers, of course, do not use glasses. They do, however show us websites through the internet. This joke is funny because website (lowercase, one word) sounds the same as web sight. I wonder if Spiderman has good web sight? Watch and listen here to find out how lenses for glasses are made—
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/03/06/my-main-squeeze/
Q: How did the orange get into the crowded restaurant? A: He squeezed his way in!
Explanation: As COVID cases wane, more and more people are heading out to restaurants. In the case of this joke, even the orange goes into a restaurant. If a restaurant is crowded, that means that there are many, many people and, most likely, no empty tables. To fit into a crowded space you may need to squeeze yourself into that space. Think of trying to squeeze one more person into a full elevator, or trying to squeeze a pillow into a full suitcase. Yes, to squeeze into is an idiom meaning that you add more to a crowded space. When planning, you can squeeze another appointment into a crowded calendar. Squeezing something also means that you press it together, most often with your fingers or your hand. In order to make orange juice, you have to squeeze the orange until the juice comes out. This joke is funny because it plays with the meanings of squeeze: adding something to a crowded space, or pressing something together. I hope that orange didn’t get too squeezed in that restaurant or all its juice would come out! By the way, being someone’s main squeeze means being their boyfriend or girlfriend. Being pushy can be annoying to other people. Speaking of annoying, here is an annoying orange–
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/02/27/not-this-week-either/
Explanation: While I truly believe that learning can always continue, I also believe that reflection is vital in the learning process. This week I am reflecting on ideas of war and peace, and praying for an end to all aggression, especially in Ukraine. And Ukraine is not the only place in the world experiencing war, violence, and attacks this week. People throughout the world are showing their support for the people of Ukraine, including many in Russia. Let us support efforts towards peace, and work for peace in our homes, cities, countries, and the world.
It didn’t seem like a good week to Explain the Joke.
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/02/13/roger-willco/
Q: Can listening to the radio be an addiction? A: Depends on the frequency!
Explanation: Today is World Radio Day, so a radio joke seemed appropriate! An addiction is an activity that you do over and over because something about it feels good to your brain. Most addictions are bad for your health, such as an addiction to smoking, or alcoholism. When you do something many times you do it frequently, often. When you listen to the radio, you tune into a certain frequency, that is, a specific wavelength so you can hear the station. The radio frequency spectrum is very big and is distributed to a lot of different users including, TV, radio, aircraft, and amateurs. This joke is funny because it plays with the word frequency, meaning how often you do something, or the wavelength of your radio station. By the way, AM and FM radio are only part of the spectrum but they are very important. “Radio continues one of the most trusted and accessible media in the world, according to different international reports,” UNESCO. Watch here to learn more about the invention of radio- And check out this map of world radio stations: https://worldradiomap.com/
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/02/06/brave-yes-but-not-stupid/
Q: What is the smartest animal? A: A snake, because no one can pull its leg!
Explanation: There are a lot of smart animals! (My cat was not one of them, but I loved him anyway.) Snakes are not generally included in lists of the smartest animals. In this joke, though, they are the smartest. To pull someone’s leg is an idiom that means to fool a person, usually in a fun or harmless way (in Spanish: tomar el pelo a alguien). If someone told you she just got tickets to go to the space station, you might say, “Stop pulling my leg; you did not.” Of course a snake would never say that because snakes do not have legs. This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of pulling one’s leg: the literal meaning of actually tugging on someone’s leg and the idiom meaning to fool someone. Maybe someday with genetic engineering you will be able to pull a snake’s leg… nah, I’m just pulling your leg. That’ll never happen. Here is a smarter than average snake:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/01/30/a-string-of-good-luck/
Q: Why was the rope so stressed out? A: It was getting itself all tied up in knots!
Explanation: Last week an upset wire, this week a stressed out rope! Such is the pandemic life. When you tie the ends of two strings together, or maybe both ends of the same string, you are tying a knot. There are lots of different types of knots that you can learn to tie. Here are 10 of them. Sailors have their own set of knots. To tie yourself up in knots is an idiom that means to make life difficult for yourself unnecessarily. If you are trying to be too careful or trying too hard to do something you might tie yourself up in knots. This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of tying (yourself up in) knots: the literal definition of tying strings together and the figurative meaning of making problems for yourself. Here are a bunch of ways to tie your shoelaces that I had never heard of:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/01/24/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:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/01/16/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–
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/01/09/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:
https://explainthejoke.com/2022/01/01/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–
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/12/26/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/12/12/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…
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/12/04/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: Lyrics
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/11/21/news-flash-2/
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-
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/11/13/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/11/07/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-
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/10/31/all-wound-up/
Q: Why don’t mummies take vacations from their work? A: Because they are afraid to unwind!
Explanation: Most people enjoy taking a few days off from school or work to rest and relax, to unwind. In this sense, to unwind means to relax after work, after school, or after a stressful time. To unwind also means to undo or open up something that has been wound up. Think of a ball of string– when you pull the loose end of the string you unwind it. You can also unwind an electrical extension cord, cassette tape, Christmas lights, …. Mummies are wrapped up in cloth; if you start to take the cloth off the mummy in one long strip you are unwinding the cloth. This joke is funny because it uses unwind in two different ways: to relax and to uncoil something. With the following video you can learn to wind up and throw a traditional top.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/10/24/piqued-my-interest/
Q: Why can’t you play hide and seek with mountains? A: Because they are always peaking!
Explanation: Hide and seek is a game that children play. In this game, one or more child finds a place to hide while another child closes his or her eyes and counts to 10. When the person counting gets to 10, that person goes to look for the ones who are hiding The person who is counting has to close his or her eyes in order not to see where the people are going to hide. If the person who is counting secretly looks to see where the others are hiding, that is called peeking. To peek means to take a small, secret look. Peeking is not allowed while playing hide and seek. Peek (to secretly look) sounds just like peak (the top of a mountain). When you get to the top of a mountain you get to the peak. (If you like grammar, peek and peak are homophones.) This joke is funny because it plays with the word peek/peak that sound the same but have very different meanings. Clearly, mountains cannot peek, but they have a peak. Here is some motivation from Sister Sledge for you to reach your peak:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/10/17/they-might-be-giants-words/
Q: What is the best way to talk to a giant? A: Use big words!
Explanation: When I think of giants, I think of characters like those from Roald Dahl’s The BFG, Jack and the Beanstalk, and A Monster Calls. They are larger than life beings that can be good or evil, or a bit of both. Giants, though, are generally considered to be the antagonists in a story, the bad guys. As for the idea of big words, well, sometimes children are told to use words to explain how they are feeling. Also, at times adults suggest that children use big words to explain an idea with more detail, this could be to talk about feelings or to explain something when they are writing. (That reminds me of a 1st grade student who once told me that his head hurt, that he had a headache. When I asked him to point to the part that hurt, he pointed to his loose tooth. Yes, a tooth is in your head but we understand toothache better in that situation.) Big words could also refer to the size of the words. You usually see big words on a street sign or a billboard, whereas you typically see smaller words in a book or in the small print of a contract. This joke is funny because it plays with the idea of big words meaning more detailed, or just using large sized words, large like a giant. Here is They Might Be Giants singing Boss of Me-
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/10/10/dirtless/
Q: Why did the thief wash his clothes after the robbery? A: He wanted to make a clean getaway!
Explanation: A thief is a robber, someone who steals things. Washing your clothes, well, you already know, will make your clothes clean. A robbery is the moment when something was stolen. If you want to get technical, the law in the United States differentiates between burglary, robbery, and theft, but people do not usually make that difference when they speak. A clean getaway is an idiom meaning that you escape without anyone noticing or without getting caught. This joke is funny because it plays with the words clean getaway: escaping without getting caught and getting away while being clean. Maybe if you want to make a clean getaway, it’s time for a cool change…
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/10/03/zombie-out/
Q: Why didn’t the zombie go to work? A: Because he felt rotten!
Explanation: When you are sick, it is very important that you don’t go to work or school, especially now with COVID still making people sick. If you feel really sick you might say that you feel rotten; to feel rotten is an idiom meaning to feel sick. A zombie is a dead body (corpse) that has come back to life. (By the way, zombies are fictional, mythological, not real.) Once a body stops living, the body begins to decompose, to rot. So, a zombie’s body is in the process of rotting. This joke is funny because it plays with the idiom to feel rotten and the verb to rot. Speaking of zombies, this seems like a good time to revisit Michael Jackson’s Thriller-
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/09/26/these-wings-are-made-for-walking/
Q: Why do birds fly south for the winter? A: Because it is too far to walk!
Explanation: Where I grew up, in Minnesota, it was very common to see birds fly south for the winter. When all of the lakes freeze, the trees lose their leaves, and ground is covered with snow, most birds cannot find food. It’s also just too cold for them to survive. So, they migrate to an area where they will be able to survive. While birds can walk a bit, their main way of traveling is by flying. This joke is funny because it sets up an expectation for an explanation about why birds have to migrate to a different area. What you get, though, is a silly answer about birds not being able to walk so far. Check out The Great Migration from KQED-
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/09/19/hickory-dickory-clock/
Q: What time is it when your clock strikes 13? A: Time to get a new clock!
Explanation: When a clock “strikes the hour” it means that it is exactly on the hour, 8:00 or 11:00 for example (not 8:17 or 11:36) and the bells will chime. Here is Big Ben striking the hour. On a clock or a watch, the only numbers you see are the numbers 1-12; there is no 13. So if the clock strikes 13, there is a big problem! Yes, at 13 o’clock you will need a new clock. (Some readers might argue that the military and some countries use the hours from 13 to 24 to talk about the hours after noon. Point taken. You will, however, not see the number 13 on the face of a clock, only on some digital clocks.) Here is a brief history of how we keep time:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/09/12/thems-fighting-words/
Q: Why did the dentist and the manicurist decide not to be friends? A: Because they were always fighting tooth and nail!
Explanation: A dentist is a doctor that improves the health of your teeth. A manicurist is a specialist who improves the health and appearance of your fingernails. To “fight tooth and nail” is an idiom that means to fight hard with all of your resources to achieve a goal. You might fight tooth and nail against an injustice. A union might fight tooth and nail for its members. Firefighters fight tooth and nail to put out a fire. This joke is funny because it plays with the idiom, and the work that these two professions do: dentists work with teeth and manicurists work with nails. Here is Foreigner singing about fighting tooth and nail. Some of the lyrics are hard to understand so here they are.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/09/05/picking-up-the-pieces/
Q: Is collecting shells on the beach easy to learn? A: Yes, you’ll pick it up right away!
Explanation: Picking up shells on a beach is easy because, if the beach has shells, you just bend over and lift them up with your hands. To pick something up is also an idiom meaning to learn something. If I say that my nephew picked up guitar really quickly it means that he learned to play guitar easily. A few more examples: My friend who speaks Spanish picked up Italian after a few weeks in Rome; Just watch what I am doing and you will ick it up right away. This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of “pick up:” to lift something up and to learn something. Have you always wanted to learn to play guitar? There are lots of videos online. This series form Fender is pretty good, in my opinion.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/08/29/a-weight-off-my-shoulder/
Q: Why was the pirate sad when his parrot left? A: It gave him the cold shoulder!
Explanation: Yes, the last parrot joke for a while. Have you seen those pictures of a pirate with a parrot sitting on his shoulder? Take a look at this one, if you haven’t. (That link will also explain about the history of parrots and pirates.) I have never had a parrot sit on my shoulder, but I would expect the parrot to feel warm on my shoulder. Then, when the parrot flies away, my shoulder would feel cold. “To give someone the cold shoulder” means to purposely ignore that person This joke is funny because it plays with the phrase cold shoulder, in both the literal sense of feeling colder, and in the meaning of the idiom, to ignore someone. Perhaps the parrot was ignoring the pirate, giving him the cold shoulder? Here is Adele with her song Cold Shoulder–
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/08/21/a-parrot-and-a-shtick/
Q: What is bright orange and sounds like a parrot? A: A carrot!
Explanation: Yes! A second parrot joke! As you can hear when you read the joke aloud, parrot rhymes with carrot. This joke is funny because the question has a second meaning. When you read the question, it seems to ask for the name of another bird, or maybe an animal, that makes the same sounds as a parrot. Maybe there is another bird that talks like a parrot? But, no. Because it is a joke, the answer is a word (or words) that sound like (rhyme with) “a parrot.” Now for something really silly- Here is Captain Vegetable with Elmo— Then again, thinking of parrots led me to Jimmy Buffet
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/08/14/bee-amazing/
Q: What creature is smarter than a talking parrot? A: A spelling bee!
Explanation: And we’re back! Perhaps you have seen or heard parrots that talk. Well, they actually mimic (copy) the sounds that they hear. It is quite amazing. In English the typical phrase that a talking parrot says is, “Polly want a cracker.” A spelling bee is a competition to see who is the best speller, that is, the one who spells the most difficult words. A spelling bee has nothing to do with a bee, the insect that makes honey. This joke is funny because it plays with the idea of smart animals and then plays again with two meanings of the word bee: an insect and a spelling competition. By the way, there are other types of bees such as a quilting bee which is a gathering of people who make quilts. Thanks for the joke, Pete! If you want to see a movie about a spelling bee, I highly recommend this one:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/06/26/ghost-ships/
Q: Where do ghosts like to go sailing? A: Lake Eerie!
Explanation: If you ever get the chance to go sailing, I would highly recommend it. It is a beautiful experience to let the wind move your boat without using a motor. Ghosts, of course, like places that are scary or frightening. The word eerie means strange or frightening. An eerie experience might be sitting alone in a dark house, hearing strange sounds, and seeing faint lights that look like ghosts. Lake Erie is the 4th largest of the Great Lakes in North America. I have never seen it, but the pictures sure look nice. This joke is funny because it plays with the words eerie and (Lake) Erie which sound exactly the same. Here is the song Sailing by Christopher Cross to take you on your journey:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/06/20/made-in-the-shade/
Q: Why didn’t the girl trust the trees near her home? A: They seemed a little shady!
Explanation: Shade is the darker, cooler area under a tree when the sun is shining on the tree. If you want to get out of the sun, you might stand under a tree in the shade. You might stand in the shady area. Shady also means something that doesn’t seem quite right, not honest, not trustworthy maybe illegal. If someone tries to sell you an expensive watch for very little money you might say, “No, that seems a little shady.” This joke is funny because it plays with the word shady, like under a tree in the sun or a dishonest situation or person. By the way, Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, and to all people who are like a father to someone. Here is a shady character from one of my favorite books, Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes ( it’s a bit scary):
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/06/12/one-trick-pony/
Q: Why couldn’t the pony talk? A: He was a little horse!
Explanation: For most people, a pony is a small horse. There is actually a difference between a horse and a pony. In common conversation, though, most people do not make the distinction. A baby horse is called a foal, colt, or filly depending on age and gender. If you are hoarse, your voice sounds scratchy. This can happen when you get a sore throat from being sick or from shouting a lot. If you go to a soccer game and cheer loudly for your team, you might be hoarse later on. This joke is funny because it plays with the words horse and hoarse which sound exactly the same but have very different meanings. To find out more about horses and ponies, take a look here:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/06/06/shaggy-dog-story/
Q: Why aren’t dogs good dancers? A: They have two left feet!
Explanation: Dogs have four feet called paws: two front feet and two back feet. You could also say that they have two right feet and two left feet. Sounds simple. When you say that someone has “two left feet” it means that they do not dance well, that they are awkward when they dance. This joke is funny because it plays with the meanings of two left feet: the literal meaning, like dogs have two feet on the left side of their bodies, and the figurative meaning of being a bad dancer. If you have always wanted to learn salsa, and not have two left feet as a salsa dancer, you could start here:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/05/29/bakers-dozen/
Q: Why did the baker go to the bank? A: He need some dough!
Explanation: There is nothing better than fresh baked bread! The smell is amazing and, if you can eat bread, the taste is divine. A person who puts bread or cookies into an oven is called a baker. Before you can bake some bread you need to mix it up. That mix is called dough; it can be cookie dough, or bread dough, or whatever type you are making. Dough is also another word for money. (Keep in mind that it is an informal word.) If you need some money, you might go to the bank; you might ask you friend to lend you some dough for the weekend. This joke is funny because it plays with the word dough: the mix you make for baking bread or another word (informal) for money. Here is Jaime Oliver teaching us how to make fresh bread. Feel free to turn on the CC (closed captioning) or slow him down because he talks a bit fast.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/05/22/extra-extra-read-all-about-it/
Q: Did you hear about the new corduroy pillow? A: No, but I bet they’re making headlines!
Explanation: I love my pillow! I have had it for, well, too long, and I should probably get a new one. Pillows are those soft cushions that you put under your head when you sleep. Pillows can also be found on sofas. Many people use pillows to support their back when they are sitting. Corduroy is a type of fabric that has raised lines in it; because of those lines, they say that corduroy is ribbed. Something that “makes the headlines” is usually an important news story, like the Titanic sinking or a president getting elected. Pillows do not make headlines…unless the pillow is made of corduroy. If you sleep with your face on a corduroy pillow, you will wake up with lines on your face; the pattern on the corduroy fabric will press into your face. This joke is funny because it plays with the word headlines, like in a newspaper, and head lines, like lines on your head. Here is a story about a bear named Corduroy. It’s one of my favorites!
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/05/15/cool-as-a-cucumber/
Q: How does a cucumber become a pickle? A: It goes through a jarring experience!
Explanation: Do you love pickles? I do! Pickles are little cucumbers that are left in vinegar or brine for a period of time. This is usually done in jars. An interesting note: the process of making pickles is called canning (like, putting in a can) and not jarring. Jarring is a word used to describe an experience that shocks or disturbs you; it is not a pleasant experience. This joke is funny because it plays with the word jar-cucumbers are put in jars, so, in a sense they go through a jarring experience. Watch here to see how glass bottles are made:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/05/01/a-breath-of-fresh-air/
Q: What do you call a carrot that insults a rabbit? A: A fresh vegetable!
Explanation: It is springtime in the northern hemisphere and it is time to plant the vegetable garden. That way, you can eat fresh vegetables when they are ripe and ready to be picked. Fresh vegetables are vegetables that have been recently harvested, recently picked. The word ‘fresh‘ also has a different meaning. ‘Fresh’ can mean disrespectful, like talking back to your teacher. This joke is funny because it plays with the different meanings of the word ‘fresh.’ It is also funny because, well, carrots don’t usually talk to rabbits! Bugs Bunny is known for being fresh with people. Here he is with some rather large vegetables. (Thank you to L.G. for the joke idea!)
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/04/17/trousers-again/
Q: What does a dog do that a person steps into? A: Pants!
Explanation: Thank you to a friend from India for sending another joke about pants! Last week I explained about pants, the ones you wear that are also called trousers or slacks. Pant is also the way a dog breathes when it is hot, usually a quick breathing with its tongue sticking out. A dog pants. So a person steps into pants and a dog pants. This joke is funny because it plays with two meanings of the word pants. It is also funny because when you read the joke, you might think of something a dog does (poops) that a person might step in (that’s kind of gross, but it happens.) Here is an explanation of why dogs pant:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/04/10/holy-toledo/
Q: Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants? A: In case he got a hole in one!
Explanation: I have never been golfing but this joke made me laugh. Pants are an item of clothing that you put on one leg at a time. They are also known as slacks and trousers. Jeans are pants. Although some people like to have holes in their pants, most people do not like it when they get a hole in a pair of pants. If you get a hole in one pair of pants, you might want to put on another pair of pants without a hole. In golf, a hole-in-one means that you got the little white ball into the hole with just one swing of your golf club. I understand that it is hard to get a hole-in-one while playing golf. This joke is funny because it plays with the meanings of “hole in one.” Here are some famous golfers getting a hole-in-one.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/04/04/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/03/27/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/03/21/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:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/03/13/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/03/06/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/02/27/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:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/02/21/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!
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/02/15/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:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/02/06/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/01/30/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.
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/01/23/book-em-danno/
Q: How do you keep a bagel from getting away? A: Put lox on it!
Explanation: Bagels are a type of bread that look like a donut. They are round and have a hole in the middle, but they are not sweet. To eat a bagel, you usually cut it in half and put something on it like cream cheese. Another item you might put on your bagel is lox. Lox is salmon that has been preserved by using brine. The word lox sounds like the word locks. A lock is used to close something securely, like putting a lock and chain on your bike so that no one steals it, or locking the door to your apartment. This joke is funny because it plays with the word lox/locks, which sound the same. (The title of this post comes from Hawaii 5-0 when McGarret told his partner to arrest someone by saying, “Book ’em, Danno.” Here is a video about how bagels are made. Try narrating the video
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/01/18/dear-bare/
Q: What do you call a bear with no ears? A: B!
Explanation: Get it? If you take the word bears and cross off the word ears (b ears ) you are left with just the letter ‘b.’ Silly, I know. So here is another one… Q: What do you call a deer with no eyes? A: No eye-deer! Explanation: When someone asks you a question, and you do not know the answer, you might say, “I have no idea.” Some English speakers tend to put the ‘r’ sound on the end of the word ‘idea’ so that is sounds like ide-er. In this joke, a deer with no eyes (a no eye deer) sounds like no ide-er. By the way, both bear and deer (animals) have words that sound the same, bare and dear. Here is a baby bear meeting a baby deer for the first time (why they were together in a house I do not know!):
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/01/10/typecasting/
Q: What did the mouse say to the keyboard? A: You are really my type!
Explanation: Computer humor! A mouse can be a small animal or a device that helps you work with a computer. In this joke, I am talking about the computer mouse, so picture a computer mouse talking to the computer keyboard. And what do you do with a keyboard? You type on it to enter information into the computer. (Did you know that there are one-handed keyboards?) “You’re my type” is an idiom that means that I like you, or that we will get along well together. This joke is funny because it plays with the word type and the idiom “you’re my type.” If you would like to practice typing, here is a video to get you started:
https://explainthejoke.com/2021/01/02/a-bigger-better-year/
Q: If Mr. and Mrs. Bigger had a baby, who would be the biggest of all three of them? A: The baby because the baby is a little Bigger!
Explanation: Happy New Year! A baby joke for the new year seemed appropriate. If something is a little bigger than something else, that means it is larger. For example, I might say that, typically, a grapefruit is a little bigger than an orange. Sometimes they are a lot bigger. If a person’s last name is Bigger, well, the whole thing gets more complicated. In this case, the baby is referred to as the little one, or the little Bigger, who is actually smaller because of being a baby. This joke is funny because the little Bigger (the baby) cannot be a little bigger (larger) than the parents. May your new year be a little better than the past year. (I was going to say bigger, but that wouldn’t make sense.) Let’s take a look in the opposite direction of bigger: Tiny Houses!
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/12/26/making-things-alright/
Q: Where does satisfaction come from? A: A satisfactory!
Explanation: Satisfaction is that feeling you get when things work out. I think of it as a feeling of calm joy because life is good, if only for a moment. There are other meanings of satisfaction, and the Rolling Stones sang about not getting any.) A factory is a place where things are made. There is also the Cheesecake Factory, which is not really a factory but they do make cheesecake. The word satisfactory means that something is OK, acceptable. It is not great; it is not awful. It is satisfactory. A grade of a C is satisfactory school work in many places in the United States. This joke is funny because it plays with the words satisfaction and satisfactory, as if you can make satisfaction in a factory. If you would like to learn more about factories and the Industrial Revolution, the BBC has a bit of history for you:
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/12/24/an-english-christmas/
Q: What do you call Santa’s helpers? A: Subordinate Clauses!
Explanation: Merry Christmas! In the telling of the story of Santa Claus, the people who help Santa make the toys are typically called elves (one elf, two elves). They are the helpers; they are not the main attraction. They are subordinate. The word subordinate means lower in rank or position, perhaps less important, like the elves when compared to Santa. This is also true in English grammar when there is a main clause and a subordinate clause. A subordinate clause is part of a sentence, but it does not have enough meaning by itself. If I say “When I get home,” there is an obvious question: What will happen when you get home? That phrase needs more information so we call it subordinate. This joke is funny (at least to English teachers) because Santa’s helpers are usually known as elves, not as subordinate clauses. Here is Michael Bublé reading A Visit From St. Nicholas.
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/12/19/can-you-smell-me-now/
Q: Where did the skunk sit when it went to church? A: In its own pew!
Explanation: Skunks are those small, squirrel-like animals that are colored mostly black with a white stripe down the back. Perhaps you remember that famous cartoon skunk, Pepe Le Pew? Skunks are known for protecting themselves by spraying a very bad smell. Skunks do not go to church (although, maybe Pepe Le Pew did, I’m not sure). If they did, they might sit in a pew. A pew is the name for the bench found in many churches. You can even buy one on Etsy…if you need a pew. Pew! is also the exclamation that people say when something smells bad (same pronunciation as a church pew). This expression has many different spellings, but the most common seem to be pew and P.U. This joke is funny because it plays with the word pew, the place where someone sits in a church, and pew! Because skunks can make that really bad smell, they might sit in their own pew. Here is Pepe Le Pew:
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/12/13/can-you-hear-me-now/
Q: Did you hear about the two antennas who got married? A: The wedding was awful but the reception was great!
Explanation: Antennas are used to receive and send electromagnetic waves so we can communicate (like with radios and TVs). Some antennas are a simple piece of wire while others are huge dishes. If you have good reception it means that you can hear the radio really well, or see the TV really well. Radio waves are also used to send voice and texts to cell towers, so good reception is important for cell phones too. Another meaning of reception is the the party after a wedding. This joke is funny because it plays with the meaning of the word reception: the party after a wedding or the way an antenna captures waves. Of course the wedding reception of of two antennas would be great! If you want to try making a radio with an antenna, take a look at this video:
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/12/05/elephant-feathers/
Q: How do you get down from an elephant? A: You don’t get down from an elephant, you get down from a duck!
Explanation: Yes–another duck joke! In some places in the world, people ride on elephants, sort of like riding on horses. Because elephants are so big, you might wonder, how do you get up onto the elephant and, once you are on the elephant, how do you get down? Good question! I have never ridden on an elephant. Down is also the word for the very soft feathers under the harder, outer feathers on a duck or a goose. You might have heard of eider down; you can read more about it here. This joke is funny because it plays with the word down: the opposite of up and the soft, inner feathers of a duck. To learn more about elephants, watch this:
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/11/26/catch-me-if-you-can/
Q: What did the turkey say to the hunter? A: Quack, quack!
Explanation: Happy Thanksgiving Day to readers who are celebrating Thanksgiving today. I hope you are safe, and healthy. Thank you for reading Explain the Joke! On Thanksgiving day, many families celebrate with a traditional turkey meal. Of course if you are the turkey, it is not such a good thing. This joke is funny because the turkey is pretending to be a duck by saying, “Quack quack.” Every language has words that mean animal sounds. In English, a turkey says gobble (scroll down on that link to hear the gobble). Here is a reminder of the importance of being thankful.
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/11/21/painted-into-a-corner/
Q: What happened when the ship ran aground while transporting red paint and black paint? A: The crew was marooned!
Explanation: A bit of transportation humor this week. To run aground means that the ship was not floating, but the bottom of the ship was touching the ocean floor (the ground under the water). If a ship runs aground it is like a car hitting something and a big mess can occur. The ship in the joke was carrying red paint and black paint, so all all of the paint probably spilled and mixed together creating the color maroon. If a ship runs aground in a place where there are no people we say that the ship is marooned, that is, stuck in a place where it cannot leave. This joke is funny because it plays with the word maroon, a color, and marooned, to be stranded or stuck. Of course you can be marooned in space like in this 1969 film: Or marooned on a deserted island:
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/11/07/great-oaks-from-little-acorns/
Q: How do you get a squirrel to like you? A: Act like a nut!
Explanation: In English, the word nut can refer to foods such as pistachios, cashews, and walnuts. Squirrels love to eat nuts, especially acorns if there are oak trees nearby. To act like a nut means to act crazy. This joke is funny because it plays with two of the meanings of nut: a type of food and to go crazy. Here you can see an oak tree grow from an acorn:
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/10/31/the-skeleton-sang-ive-got-you/
Q: Why do skeletons stay so calm? A: Because nothing gets under their skin!
Explanation: Happy Halloween! To get under one’s skin is an idiom meaning that something bothers you. If something gets under your skin, it nags at you, it irks you, it rubs you the wrong way; it bothers you. Skeletons are all bone, no skin. If you don’t have skin, nothing can get under you skin. This joke is funny because it plays with the idiom to get under your skin. Here is Frank Sinatra singing I’ve Got You Under My Skin:
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/10/24/fly-me-to-the-moon/
Q: How does the moon cut his hair? A: Eclipse it!
Explanation: A lunar eclipse happens during a full moon when the earth moves between the sun and the moon so that the full moon can no longer be seen. The moon, of course does not have hair but that is part of what makes this joke funny. Another way to say that you cut your hair is to say that you clip it. (There is even a chain of shops called Great Clips where you can get your hair cut.) This joke is funny because “eclipse it” sounds almost like “he clips it.” I know that this joke does not make a lot of sense, but it does make me laugh. Silly! Here is a different look at the moon in the first science fiction film. If you know the book or the movie The Invention of Hugo Cabret you will recognize it. (Yes, Georges Méliès was a real person.)
https://explainthejoke.com/2020/10/17/in-the-slow-lane/
Q: What do you get when you combine a porcupine and a turtle? A: A slowpoke!
Explanation: A porcupine is an animal that has needles which are called quills. The quills are sharp on the end and will hurt if they touch you, if they poke you (like when you get a shot in the arm). Turtles are animals that usually move slowly. This joke is funny because it combines the idea of a slow turtle and a porcupine with quills that can poke you into a slowpoke: a slowpoke is someone who does something too slowly. Here is another animal that moves slowly: the sloth.

Dataset Card for Dataset Name

Dataset Summary

Corpus for testing whether your LLM can explain the joke well. But this is a rather small dataset, if someone can point to a larger ones would be very nice.

Languages

English

Dataset Structure

Data Fields

  • url : link to the explaination

  • joke : the original joke

  • explaination : the explaination of the joke

Data Splits

Since its so small, there's no splits just like gsm8k

Downloads last month
287
Edit dataset card

Models trained or fine-tuned on theblackcat102/joke_explaination