Puns Upon a Time
The first airplane flight (1900). See No. 8
A pun is a little word game, playing with language. Most puns use a word that has
two meanings, or use two words that sound almost the same. For example, the title of this
exercise contains a pun. "PUNS Upon a Time" sounds like "ONCE upon a
Here are some puns. Use your knowledge of English, and your dictionary if necessary, to
explain the pun. In each case, the pun is underlined.
Example: Why is an empty purse always the same? Because there is never any change in it.
In this pun, the word "change" has two meanings: 1. coins and small bills, 2.
1. Do you know why its easy for a hunter to find a leopard? Because a leopard is
2. When gambling became legal in the city, everyone agreed that the city was now a bettor
3. Did you hear about the Frenchman who jumped off the Eiffel Tower wearing a parachute
and landed in the river? The police didnt arrest him because he was clearly in
4. A mechanic put this sign on the wall of his garage: "If you dont get 25
miles per gallon, you auto have your hood checked."
5. Mr. and Mrs. Smith went out to eat at a German restaurant. After the appetizer, Mr.
Smith said to his wife, "That tasted awful." His wife said, "Yes, I know.
And the wurst is yet to come."
6. What do you call a shoe store with only one owner? A sole proprietorship.
7. The principal called the young cross-eyed teacher into his office. "Im sorry
to say, Ms. Jones, were going to have to let you go." "But why, sir? I
thought I was doing a good job." "Its simple," said the principal,
"you cant control your pupils."
8. Everybody knows that "two wrongs dont make a right." Thats an old
English saying. But the question is, what do two rights make? Answer: the first
9. Joe came back from his vacation with a
terrible sunburn. His friend John took one look at his red skin and said, "You
certainly got what you basked for."
10. A homeless person stopped a rich man on the street. The homeless person said, "I
havent eaten in seven days." The rich man frowned and said, "Why should I
care?" The homeless person said, "Because that makes one weak."
11. A hermit was driving on the freeway. A policeman stopped him. "Why did you stop
me?" the hermit asked. "I wasnt speeding." The policeman smiled and
said, "I stopped you for recluse driving."
12. Have you ever noticed that birds start to sing before the sun comes up but they soon
stop singing? They stop because they become sad. Their bills are over dew.
13. Three brothers bought a ranch in Texas and planned to raise cattle. They couldnt
think of a name for their ranch so they asked their mother, who said, "You should
name it Focus." The brothers were puzzled. "Why?" they asked.
"Because," said their mother, "Focus is where the suns
rays meet." (Note: this joke is famous because it is a triple pun!)
14. Then there was the scientist who disconnected his doorbell. He wanted to win the Nobel
15. A rope entered a bar and asked for a drink. The bartender frowned and said, "We
dont serve ropes here." The rope left and found a person outside. The rope said
to the person, "I have to ask a favor. Would you please tie me in a knot?" The
person did this. Then the rope said, "Now would you please roughen up my two
ends." The rope thanked the person for doing this and went back into the bar and
asked for a drink. The bartender frowned again and said, "Arent you the rope
that was just in here a few minutes ago?" "No," said the rope, "Im
a frayed knot."
16. Before the U.S.S.R. changed its government, there was a communist by the name of
Rudolph in Moscow. A storm came one day. Rudolphs wife said, "Its
snowing." "No, its not," said Rudolph, "its raining."
"Youre wrong," said Ms. Rudolph, "its definitely snowing."
"How can you argue with me? Dont forget: Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear."
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