Tag Archives: Funniest puns

The Best of Puns, the Worst of Puns 2

atkins-bookshelf-wordsThe pun, of course, is a much maligned form of humor. Noah Webster, in his first edition of the American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) defines the pun as “an expression in which a word has at once different meanings; an expression in which two different applications of a word present an odd or ludicrous idea; a kind of quibble or equivocation; a low species of wit.” Sigmund Freud, in his seminal work Wit and Relation to the Unconscious (1917), added: “Puns are generally counted as the lowest form of wit, perhaps because they are cheaper and can be formed with the least effort.” Sounds like the father of psychoanalysis suffers from pun envy. In an article for the New York Times, Joseph Tartakovsky posits: “Puns are the feeblest species of humor because they are ephemeral: whatever comic force they possess never outlasts the split second it takes to resolve the semantic confusion.” Punsters will counter that if the pun is the lowest form, then it is the foundation of all wit. Known for his razor-sharp wit, comedian Oscar Levant declared: “A pun is the lowest form of humor — when you don’t think of it first.” Take that, Noah and Siggy! 

For punsters, the internet, serves as a giant sandbox, where they can all step in, gluttons for punishment, and hurl puns at one another, howling with devilish glee (and not a single groan!) that only a true paronomasiac can appreciate. Here are the best of puns or the worst of puns, depending on your perspective (pun purists will note that some of these are not technically puns, but rather clever wordplay).

A punster sent ten puns to friends with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

I have a few puns about unemployed people, but none of them work.

It’s hard to explain puns to a kleptomaniac because they always take things literally.

A backward poet writes inverse.

A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited by police for littering.

A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class — it was a weapon of math disruption.

A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: “Keep off the Grass.”

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, “I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.”

Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused novocaine during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine.

“I have a split personality,” said Tom, being frank.

In a democracy it is your vote that counts. In a feudal system it is your count that votes.

I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.

She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

When life gives you melons, you’re dyslexic.

The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was referred to in the news as “a small medium at large.”

The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Your fly might be open.

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in it. Eventually it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

I dreamt I was swimming in an ocean of orange soda but I realized it was just a Fanta sea.

Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says “Dam!”

Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: “You stay here; I’ll go on a head.”

Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, “I’ve lost my electron.” The other says “Are you sure?” The first replies, “Yes, I’m positive.”

Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

The priest made holy water by boiling the hell out of it.

What’s your favorite clever pun?

Read related posts: Top Ten Puns
Best Pi Puns
The Best of Puns, The Worst of Puns

For further reading: www.nytimes.com/2009/03/28/opinion/28Tartakovsky.html?_r=0
http://www.sarcasmsociety.com/sarcasm.html
http://www.punoftheday.com


The Best of Puns, the Worst of Puns

atkins-bookshelf-wordsThe pun, of course, is a much maligned form of humor. Noah Webster, in his first edition of the American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) defines the pun as “an expression in which a word has at once different meanings; an expression in which two different applications of a word present an odd or ludicrous idea; a kind of quibble or equivocation; a low species of wit.” Sigmund Freud, in his seminal work Wit and Relation to the Unconscious (1917), added: “Puns are generally counted as the lowest form of wit, perhaps because they are cheaper and can be formed with the least effort.” Sounds like the father of psychoanalysis suffers from pun envy. In an article for the New York Times, Joseph Tartakovsky posits: “Puns are the feeblest species of humor because they are ephemeral: whatever comic force they possess never outlasts the split second it takes to resolve the semantic confusion.” Punsters will counter that if the pun is the lowest form, then it is the foundation of all wit. Known for his razor-sharp wit, comedian Oscar Levant declared: “A pun is the lowest form of humor — when you don’t think of it first.” Take that, Noah and Siggy! 

For punsters, the internet, serves as a giant sandbox, where they can all step in, gluttons for punishment, and hurl puns at one another, howling with devilish glee (and not a single groan!) that only a true paronomasiac can appreciate. Here are the best of puns or the worst of puns, depending on your perspective.

A cartoonist was found dead in his home. The details of his death are sketchy.

A dyslexic man walked into a bra.

All the toilets in New York’s police stations have been stolen. Police have nothing to go on.

A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

Be kind to your dentist — he has fillings, too.

Broken pencils are really pointless.

Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there’s no pop quiz.

Earthquake in Washington obviously government’s fault.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.

I should have searched for my missing watch, but I could never find the time.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.

I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.

I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.

If towels could tell jokes, they would probably have a dry sense of humor.

If you asked a plastic surgeon to make you look like a pelican, would you get a massive bill?

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

The cross eyed teacher was fired because she couldn’t control her pupils.

The Energizer bunny was arrested; he was charged with battery.

The podiatry book used footnotes while the proctology book used endnotes.

They told me I had type A blood, but it was a type-O.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.

Velcro – what a rip off!

Venison for dinner? Oh deer!

What does a clock do when it’s hungry? It goes back four seconds.

What do you call a dinosaur with a extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

When ancient wall sculptors finished their work, it was a relief.

When chemists die, they barium.

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

Read related posts: Top Ten Puns
Best Pi Puns

For further reading: www.nytimes.com/2009/03/28/opinion/28Tartakovsky.html?_r=0
http://www.sarcasmsociety.com/sarcasm.html
http://www.punoftheday.com


Top Ten Puns

The pun is a much maligned form of humor. In his seminal work, Wit and Relation to the Unconscious (1917), Sigmund Freud wrote: “Puns are generally counted as the lowest form of wit, perhaps because they are cheaper and can be formed with the least effort.” Sounds like the father of psychoanalysis suffers from pun envy. Punsters will counter that if the pun is the lowest form, then it is the foundation of all wit. Known for his razor-sharp wit, comedian Oscar Levant declared: “A pun is the lowest form of humor — when you don’t think of it first.” Take that, Siggy!

The pun is celebrated (and exalted) each year in May at the O. Henry Pun-Off Championships (“Jest for a Wordy Cause”) held in Austin, Texas in a park behind the O. Henry museum. American author O. Henry (the pen name of William Sydney Porter), well-known for his short stories, lived in Austin from 1882 to 1895 and was very fond of wordplay. This competition has been described by one contestant as a cross between an AA meeting and the Olympics, “a mixture of relief at finally being surrounded by others who understood your struggle and adrenaline-fueled competition.” For more than 35 years, punsters from all over the world come to vie for the Punniest of Show and Punslingers at the punny event. The event kicks off with the entire crowd reciting the definition of a pun: “A pun is the humorous use of a word or words in such a way as to suggest different meanings or applications or words that have the same or nearly the same sounds but different meanings.” In the Punniest of Show, punsters perform a pun-packed 90-second monologue (more like a punologue) that is scored by judges on a scale from 1-10. In the Punslingers competition, punsters face off in pairs and exchange puns (with a five-second limit) on a selected topic until one of the contestants runs out of punny rebuttals. The winner is determined after several rounds. In 2012 34 contestants matched wits with their pun-ultimate skills; in 2013, 32 contestants battled one another for fastest pun in the west.

Inspired by the success of the O. Henry Pun-Off, comedian Jo Firestone created Punderdome 3000, a monthly event held in Brooklyn, New York. The lively event, that draws crowds of more than 350 pun aficionados, has been described as equal parts stand-up comedy, beat poetry, and freestyle rap. Host Fred Firestone states: “We want people to walk away saying ‘I just didn’t attend, I was part of it.’ It’s a spectator sport.” New York Times comedy critic, Jason Zinoman, who has appeared as a celebrity judge, is a fan: “With these incredibly inventive puns, I don’t look down at puns at all. From Henny Youngman to James Joyce, these people have used puns to great effect. I don’t want to say it’s a high art, but it’s an art.”

Whether you scoff, groan or laugh, there is no denying the wit and cleverness of a great pun. In fact, it was another great American short story writer, Edgar Allan Poe, that recognized that “the goodness of the true pun is in the direct ratio of its intolerability.” Amen, brother. The readers of punoftheday.com have voted on their top ten punniest puns. Pun purists will quickly note that the punsters of punoftheday.com are passing off clever word play as puns (there are only three pure puns in their list):

1. I wondered why baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
2. I’m reading a book about gravity. It’s impossible to put down.
3. Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right.
4. It’s not that the man did not know to juggle, he just didn’t have the balls to do it.
5. Einstein developed a theory about space, and it was about time too.
6. I couldn’t quite remember how to throw a boomerang, but eventually it came back to me.
7. There was a sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center that said: keep off the grass.
8. I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.
9. Police were called to a daycare where a 3-year-old was resisting a rest.
10. He drove his expensive car into a tree and found our how the Mercedes bends.

For futher reading: Get Thee to a Punnery by Richard Lederer, Wyrick (2006).
The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack, Gotham Books (2011). http://www.punpunpun.com/. http://www.sarcasmsociety.com/sarcasm.html. http://www.punoftheday.com. http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/welcome_to_the_punderdome_RuM0kVn2UBgDczm4dwyH4L
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/post/pun-and-games-at-the-o-henry-pun-off-worldchampionships/2012/05/21/gIQAB4WsfU_blog.html
http://pungenerator.org

 

 


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