"The World's Funniest Puns" by Neal Murphy

June 27, 2022 - You may be like me and enjoy puns. They are short and to the point, and sometimes require a bit of thinking in order to get the point of the pun. What is a pun, anyway? Going way back in time we find an Italian word “puntiglio” which means “a fine point.” It is hence a verbal quibble, and is most likely the source of the English word “punctilious.”

A pun is defined by Webster as “the humorous use of a word, or of words which are formed or sounded alike but have different meanings, in such a way as to play on two or more of the possible applications; or, a play on words.”

A little research has found the world’s funniest puns listed in a publication titled Pun FAQtory. The following puns have been voted the top of the list:

  • Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
  • I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down.
  • I used to be a banker, but I lost interest.
  • Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda? He was lucky it was a soft drink.
  • I’m glad that I know sign language. It’s pretty handy.
  • I couldn’t quite remember how to throw a boomerang, but eventually it came back to me.
  • A new type of broom has been invented. It’s sweeping the nation.
  • The person who invented the door knocker got a No-bell prize.
  • The other day I held the door open for a clown. I thought it was a nice jester.
  • The butcher backed into the meat grinder and he got a little behind in his work.
  • When the cannibal showed up late for the luncheon, he was given the cold shoulder.
  • A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  • Smaller babies may be delivered by a stork, but heavier ones need a crane.
  • It was an emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.
  • Sleeping comes so naturally to me I could do it with my eyes closed.
  • I really wanted a camouflage shirt, but I could never find one.
  • Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat says to the other, “You stay here. I’ll go on a head.”
  • Broken puppets for sale. No strings attached.
  • Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
  • He drove his expensive car into a tree and found out how the Mercedes bends.
  • The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
  • When William joined the army, he disliked the phrase “fire at will.”
  • Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
  • Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It’s very time consuming.
  • Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I’ll show you A-flat minor.
  • I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.
  • There was a cross-eyed teacher who couldn’t control his pupils.

Why do people groan when a pun is used, such as the ones listed above? Children love this type of obvious humor and can laugh at it without reproachments. Adults, on the other hand, are more likely to have a twinge of envy and “why didn’t I think of that?” It is this envy in adults that subconsciously causes them to groan upon hearing a pun. As time goes by, it can only be hoped that adults will eventually learn to react more like a child and less like a groan-up!