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Jokes in English, Lesson #1: A Play on Words

Lesson #1 A Play on Words

Sometimes jokes can be hard to understand in another language. Jokes use different things to make them funny. Some jokes use a play on words. Sometimes it's hard to understand jokes that use a play on words if they are in another language. Here are some examples of jokes that use a play on words to make them funny and an explanation of them.

==>Did you hear about the cat who swallowed a ball of wool? She had mittens.

This joke is funny because it plays on the word mittens and the word kittens. Normally, a cat has kittens (baby cats). Mittens are a type of fingerless glove you wear when it's cold. They are often made of wool. Kittens and mittens sound very much alike and are spelled alike except for the first letter.

==>What do you get when you cross a chick with an alley cat? A peeping Tom.

This joke is funny because it plays on the term “peeping Tom.” A peeping Tom is someone who looks in windows of other people's houses. An alley cat is often called a Tom cat. The sound a chick (a little chicken) makes is called peeping. Here the phrase “to cross” means to mix together or to mate two things.

==>What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite.

The phrase “to cross” means the same thing as in the last joke. It means to mix together or to mate two things. A snowman is made of snow so he is cold. Frost happens when it is cold and the water in the air turns to ice. You can usually see frost on windows or on the ground. Frostbite happens when a part of your body gets too cold. Your skin gets too cold and is damaged by the cold. A vampire is a fictitious creature that bites people in the neck so it can suck their blood.

==>Why don't cats play poker in the jungle? Too many cheetahs.

This joke uses a pronunciation play on words. Poker is a card game, and sometimes people cheat at it. You wouldn't want to play poker if someone else was a cheater. The word “cheetah” means a large spotted cat from Africa. The word cheetah sounds very similar to the word cheater.

==>How do you catch a unique rabbit? Unique up on it.

This joke is a pronunciation joke too. Unique means being different or original. A unique rabbit would be a one of a kind rabbit. The word “unique,” though, sounds like the English words “you sneak.” In the punchline (that's the answer part of the joke, the part that makes you laugh), when you say, “unique up on it,” it sounds similar to the English, “you sneak up on it.”

==>How do you catch a tame rabbit? Tame way, unique up on it.

This joke follows the last joke. “Tame way” sounds like the English “same way.” A tame rabbit is one people have as a pet.

==>What kind of coffee was served on the Titanic? Sanka.

The Titanic was a famous ship that sank after hitting an iceberg in 1912. Sanka is a well-known brand of instant coffee. The name, “Sanka” sounds like the English “sank.”

==>What does a cat do when it gets mad? It throws a hissy fit.

One of the sounds cats make is a hiss. They often will sound like this when they are mad. A person who gets mad and who shows it by stomping their feet or some other silly thing is throwing a hissy fit. Another word for a hissy fit is a temper tantrum or just a tantrum. A hissy fit or temper tantrum is usually something children do. If you say an adult is throwing a hissy fit, it means they are acting like a child who is mad.



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Lesson #1 A Play on Words

Sometimes jokes can be hard to understand in another language. Jokes use different things to make them funny. Some jokes use a play on words. Sometimes it's hard to understand jokes that use a play on words if they are in another language. Here are some examples of jokes that use a play on words to make them funny and an explanation of them.

==>Did you hear about the cat who swallowed a ball of wool? She had mittens.

This joke is funny because it plays on the word mittens and the word kittens. Normally, a cat has kittens (baby cats). Mittens are a type of fingerless glove you wear when it's cold. They are often made of wool. Kittens and mittens sound very much alike and are spelled alike except for the first letter.

==>What do you get when you cross a chick with an alley cat? A peeping Tom.

This joke is funny because it plays on the term “peeping Tom.” A peeping Tom is someone who looks in windows of other people's houses. An alley cat is often called a Tom cat. The sound a chick (a little chicken) makes is called peeping. Here the phrase “to cross” means to mix together or to mate two things.

==>What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite.

The phrase “to cross” means the same thing as in the last joke. It means to mix together or to mate two things. A snowman is made of snow so he is cold. Frost happens when it is cold and the water in the air turns to ice. You can usually see frost on windows or on the ground. Frostbite happens when a part of your body gets too cold. Your skin gets too cold and is damaged by the cold. A vampire is a fictitious creature that bites people in the neck so it can suck their blood.

==>Why don't cats play poker in the jungle? Too many cheetahs.

This joke uses a pronunciation play on words. Poker is a card game, and sometimes people cheat at it. You wouldn't want to play poker if someone else was a cheater. The word “cheetah” means a large spotted cat from Africa. The word cheetah sounds very similar to the word cheater.

==>How do you catch a unique rabbit? Unique up on it.

This joke is a pronunciation joke too. Unique means being different or original. A unique rabbit would be a one of a kind rabbit. The word “unique,” though, sounds like the English words “you sneak.” In the punchline (that's the answer part of the joke, the part that makes you laugh), when you say, “unique up on it,” it sounds similar to the English, “you sneak up on it.”

==>How do you catch a tame rabbit? Tame way, unique up on it.

This joke follows the last joke. “Tame way” sounds like the English “same way.” A tame rabbit is one people have as a pet.

==>What kind of coffee was served on the Titanic? Sanka.

The Titanic was a famous ship that sank after hitting an iceberg in 1912. Sanka is a well-known brand of instant coffee. The name, “Sanka” sounds like the English “sank.”

==>What does a cat do when it gets mad? It throws a hissy fit.

One of the sounds cats make is a hiss. They often will sound like this when they are mad. A person who gets mad and who shows it by stomping their feet or some other silly thing is throwing a hissy fit. Another word for a hissy fit is a temper tantrum or just a tantrum. A hissy fit or temper tantrum is usually something children do. If you say an adult is throwing a hissy fit, it means they are acting like a child who is mad.


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