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Funny Linguists Jokes

Jokes about Linguists

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A gentleman wanders around the campus of a college looking for the library. He approaches a student and asked, "Excuse me young man. Would you be good enough and tell me where the library is at?"

The student, in a very arrogant and belittling tone, replied, "I sorry, sir, but at this school, we are taught never to end a sentence with a preposition!"

The gentleman smiled, and in a very apologetic tone replied, "I beg your pardon. Please allow me to rephrase my question. Would you be good enough to tell me where the library is at, asshole?"



"I've just had the most awful time," said a boy to his friends. "First I got angina pectoris, then arteriosclerosis. Just as I was recovering, I got psoriasis. They gave me hypodermics, and to top it all, tonsillitis was followed by appendectomy."

"Wow! How did you pull through?" sympathized his friends.

"I don't know," the boy replied. "Toughest spelling test I ever had."



The linguist's husband walked in and caught his wife sleeping with a young co-ed. He said, "Why, Susan, I'm surprised." She bolted upright, pointed her finger and corrected him, "No. I am surprised. You are astonished."



An English professor complained to the pet shop proprietor, "The parrot I purchased uses improper language."
"I'm surprised," said the owner. "I've never taught that bird to swear."
"Oh, it isn't that," explained the professor. "But yesterday I heard him split an infinitive."



A linguistics professor was lecturing his class the other day. "In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn't a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative."
A voice from the back of the room retorted, "Yeah, right."



A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.
Max Weinreich, Yiddish linguist, 1945


The manager of a large city zoo was drafting a letter to order a pair of animals. He sat at his computer and typed the following sentence: "I would like to place an order for two mongooses, to be delivered at your earliest convenience."

He stared at the screen, focusing on that odd word mongooses. Then he deleted the word and added another, so that the sentence now read: "I would like to place an order for two mongeese, to be delivered at your earliest convenience."

Again he stared at the screen, this time focusing on the new word, which seemed just as odd as the original one. Finally, he deleted the whole sentence and started all over. "Everyone knows no full-stocked zoo should be without a mongoose," he typed. "Please send us two of them."




Mr Goldberg, from Pinsk, coming to America, shared a table in the ship's dining room with a Frenchman. Mr Goldberg could speak neither French nor English; the Frenchman could speak neither Russian nor Yiddish.

The first day out, the Frenchman approached the table, bowed and said, "Bon appétit!"
Goldberg, puzzled for a moment, bowed back and replied "Goldberg."

Every day, at every meal, the same routine occurred.

On the fifth day, another passenger took Goldberg aside. "Listen, the Frenchman isn't telling you his name. He's saying 'Good Appetite,' that's what 'Bon appétit!' means."

At the next meal, Mr Goldberg, beaming, bowed to the Frenchman and said, "Bon appétit!".
And the Frenchman, beaming, replied: "Goldberg!"


The village blacksmith finally found an apprentice willing to work hard for long hours. The blacksmith immediately began his instructions to the lad, "When I take the shoe out of the fire, I'll lay it on the anvil; and when I nod my head, you hit it with this hammer."
The apprentice did just as he told. Now he's the village blacksmith.



A nun is undressing for a bath and while she's standing naked, there's a knock at the door. The nun calls, "Who is it?"

A voice answers, "A blind salesman."

The nun decides to get a thrill by having the blind man in the room while she's naked so she lets him in. The man walks in, looks straight at the nun and says, "Uhhhh, well hello there, can I sell you a blind, dearie...?"



Four linguists were sharing a compartment on a train on their way to an international conference on sound symbolism. One was English, one Spanish, one French and the fourth German. They got into a discussion on whose language was the most eloquent and euphonious.

The English linguist said: "Why, English is the most eloquent language. Take for instance the word "butterfly". Butterfly, butterfly... doesn't that word so beautifully express the way this delicate insect flies. It's like flutter-by, flutter-by."

"Oh, no!" said the Spanish linguist, "the word for "butterfly" in Spanish is "maripose". Now, this word expresses so beautifully the vibrant colours on the butterfly's wings. What could be a more apt name for such a brilliant creature? Spanish is the most eloquent language!"

"Papillon!" says the French linguist, "papillon! This word expresses the fragility of the butterfly's wings and body. This is the most fitting name for such a delicate and ethereal insect. French is the most eloquent language!"

At this the German linguist stands up, and demands: "Und vot is rongk mit 'SCHMETTERLING'?"




A Mexican bandit held up a bank in Tucson. The sheriff and his deputy chased him. When they captured him, and the sheriff, who couldn't speak Spanish, asked him where he'd hidden the money. "No se nada," he replied.

The sheriff put a gun to the bandit's head and said to his bi-lingual deputy: "Tell him that if he doesn't tell us where the money is right now, I'll blow his brains out."

Upon receiving the translation, the bandit became very animated. "Ya me acuerdo! Tienen que caminar tres cuadradas hasta ese gran arbol. Debajo del arbol, alli esta el dinero."

The sheriff leaned forward. "Yeah? Well..?"
The deputy replied: "He says he wants to die like a man."



A childless Canadian couple decided to adopt a Mexican baby. After they got the baby, they decided to enroll in a Spanish class. When asked why, the wife replied, "so that when the baby starts to talk, we'll be able to understand him."



If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed and dry cleaners depressed?

Laundry workers could decrease, eventually becoming depressed and depleted! Even more, bedmakers will be debunked, baseball players will be debased, landscapers will be deflowered, bulldozer operators will be degraded, software engineers will be detested, and even musical composers will eventually decompose.




Simple Questions, Complicated Answers

Why is abbreviated such a long word?
Why does monosyllabic have five syllables?
Why is brassiere singular and panties plural?
Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?
Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?
Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?
Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
Why are they called apartments, when they're all stuck together?
Why do scientists call it research when looking for something new?
Why do they call it a building? It looks like they're finished. Why isn't it a built?
Why is it when you transport something by car, it's called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it's called cargo?
If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?
If price and worth mean the same thing, why priceless and worthless are opposites?
Is there another word for synonym?
Is it possible to be totally partial?





Top 24 Oxymorons

Military Intelligence Resident alien
Advanced BASIC Genuine imitation
Same difference Almost exactly
Small crowd Business ethics
Twelve-ounce poundcake Found missing
New classic Passive aggression
Sweet sorrow "Now, then..."
Synthetic natural gas Pretty ugly
Clearly misunderstood Peace force
Temporary tax increase Computer security
Plastic glasses Terribly pleased
Political science Definite maybe




Translation and Advertisement

  • The Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign "Got Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation read "Are you lactating?"

  • Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."

  • Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."

  • Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "Manure Stick."

  • An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I Saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I Saw the Potato" (la papa).

  • Pepsi's "Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave" in Chinese.

  • Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."

  • When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly In Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in Spanish.

  • Hunt-Wesson introduced Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos. Later they found out that in slang it means "big breasts".

  • Bank Caixa Econômica Federal in Brazil offered in an advertisment "HOT MONEY" (in english), obviously unaware of the fact that hot money means "Stolen Money" in normal slang.

  • The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "kokou kole", translating into "happiness in the mouth."

  • When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you."The company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant"





Classified classics

A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Fine food expertly served by waitresses in appetizing forms. No matter what your topcoat is made of, this miracle spray will make it really repellent.
For sale: an antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers. We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.
Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home, too. Toaster: A gift that every member of the family appreciates. Automatically burns toast.
Dinner Special -- Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00. Have several very old dresses from grandmother in beautiful condition.
Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it. Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.
If you think you've seen everything in Paris, visit the Père Lachasis Cemetery. It boasts such immortals as Moliere, Chopin and Jean de la Fontain. For sale: a quilted high chair that can be made into a table, pottie chair, rocking horse, refrigerator, spring coat, size 8 and fur collar.
Sheer stockings. Designed for fancy dress, but so serviceable that lots of women wear nothing else.
Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery. Try us once, you'll never go anywhere again.
Used Cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!
And now, the Superstore - unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.
Modular Sofas. Only $299. For rest or fore play.
Semi-Annual after-Christmas Sale.




How many linguists does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but he must consult the Oxford English Dictionary.
You can't burn glass.
Ori


A man is flying from Dallas to Toronto and has to change planes in Boston. He's got four hours between flights. He LOVES scrod, a type of fish available only on the East Coast of the US. So he jumps out of his first plane, runs to a taxi, and says "Quick, take me somewhere I can get scrod!"

The taxi driver says "Wow, I've never been asked that in the first person pluperfect subjunctive before!"
Robert