Paraprosdokians (or puns)


A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is unexpected and often humorous. A somewhat related word is lexophilia, which means a form of addiction describing those who are obsessively enamoured of words, especially those set in a new framework. Lexophiles tend to like paraprosdokians. Paraprosdokians sometimes descend into being mere puns or, alternatively, aphorisms.

Submitted by Andrew Leopold
  1. I'd give an arm and a leg to be able to run like Usain Bolt.
  2. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and then call whatever you hit the target.
  3. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way, so I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  4. In open spaces next to wet ground,, Should our Council erect signs that read “Frog parking only, all others will be toad“?
Submitted by Brian McLean
  1. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
  2. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
  3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  4. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.
  5. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
  6. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
  7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  9. I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
  10. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
  11. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR'.
  12. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
  13. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a mechanic.
  14. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.
  15. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.
  16. You're never too old to learn something stupid.
Submitted by Bruno Zielke
  1. A commander walks into a bar and orders everyone around.
  2. Just so everyone’s clear, I’m going to put my glasses on.
  3. Never buy flowers from a monk. Only you can prevent florist friars.
  4. Patient: “I have a ringing in my ears.” Doctor: “Don’t answer it!
  5. I’ve been in love with the same woman for 49 years. If my wife ever finds out, she’ll kill me.
  6. Writing my name in cursive is my signature move.
  7. I lost my job as a stage designer. I left without making a scene.
  8. Dad, are we pyromaniacs? Yes, we arson.
Submitted by Dawn Mack
  1. There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4am. For example, it could be the right number.
  2. You don't stop laughing when you grow old. Rather, you grow old when you stop laughing!
  3. Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses.
  4. If the last few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that stupidity travels faster than any virus on the planet.
  5. I was always taught to respect my elders, but it is getting harder to find one.
  6. Police were summoned to a daycare centre where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
  7. A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you’re in deep water.
  8. Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.
  9. Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.
  10. How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?
  11. Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.
  12. Do you realise that, in about 40 years, we’ll have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos?
  13. I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
  14. Be careful about reading the fine print; there's no way you're going to like it.
  15. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
  16. Always be yourself because the people that matter don’t mind, and the ones that mind don’t matter.
  17. No one ever says “It’s only a game” when their team is winning.
  18. Which letter is silent in the word ‘scent’, the S or the C?
  19. Do twins ever realise that one of them is unplanned?
  20. If a bottle of poison reaches its expiration date, is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?
  21. My tolerance for idiots is extremely low these days. I used to have some immunity built up, but obviously, there’s a new strain out there.
  22. 100 years ago, everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today, everyone has cars and only the rich own horses.
  23. Common sense is like deodorant. The people who need it the most never use it.
  24. I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.
  25. The word ‘swims’ upside-down is still ‘swims’.
  26. How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
  27. Why do you have to “put your two cents in” … but it’s only a “penny for your thoughts”?
  28. What disease did cured ham actually have?
  29. Once you’re in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?
Submitted by Graeme Russell
  1. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
  2. Police were summoned to a day care centre where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
  3. He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.
  4. A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
  5. I know a guy who's addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
  6. A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
  7. When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she'd dye.
  8. I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
  9. I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
  10. With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
  11. Acupuncture is a jab well done. That's the point of it.
  12. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
  13. I got some batteries that were given out free of charge.
  14. To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
  15. You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish.
  16. I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
  17. Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?
  18. If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get re-possessed.
  19. Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
  20. She said that she recognised me from the Vegetarians’ Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore.
Submitted by Jan Bauer
  1. If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they would eventually find me attractive.
  2. Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation toward the local swimming pool. I gave him a glass of water.
  3. Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?
  4. I think my neighbour is stalking me as she's been googling my name on her computer. I saw it through my telescope last night.
  5. You know that tingly feeling you get when you're attracted to someone? That's your common sense leaving your body.
  6. A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight, live longer than the men who mention it.
  7. I just read that 4,153,237 people got married last year; not to cause any trouble but shouldn't that be an even number?
  8. I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
  9. When wearing a bikini, women reveal 90 % of their body. Men are so polite that they only look at the covered parts.
  10. If you think nobody cares whether you're dead or alive, try missing a couple of payments.
  11. Money talks … but all mine ever says is good-bye.
  12. My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We'll see about that.
  13. You're not fat, you're just … easier to see.
Submitted by Jennifer Gillett
  1. I have kleptomania. But when it gets bad, I take something for it.
  2. What’s the best thing about Switzerland? I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.
  3. I’ve just invented a new word: plagiarism.
  4. I told my wife she was drawing her eyebrows too high. She looked at me surprised.
  5. Did you hear about the mathematician who is afraid of negative numbers? He’ll stop at nothing to avoid them.
  6. Did you hear about the two people who stole a calendar? They each got six months.
  7. Helvetica and Times New Roman walked into a bar. “Get out of here!” the bartender shouts. “We don’t serve your type.”
Submitted by John Baird
  1. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
  2. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  3. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  4. The last thing I want to do is hurt you …but it’s still on my list.
  5. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
  6. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  7. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  8. Apparently you can’t use ‘beefstew’ as a password. It’s not stroganoff.
  9. We never really grow up — we only learn how to act in public.
  10. Had I known in March that it was the last time I would be in a restaurant for the rest of the year I would have ordered the dessert.
  11. People who wonder whether the glass is half empty or half full are missing the point. The glass is refillable.
Submitted by John Baird and Terry Ball
  1. I had my patience tested. I’m negative.
  2. The older I get, the earlier it gets late.
  3. If you're sitting in public and a stranger takes the seat next to you, just stare straight ahead and say, "did you bring the money?"
  4. It's the start of a brand new day, and I'm off like a herd of turtles.
  5. I hate when a couple argues in public, and I missed the beginning and don't know whose side I'm on.
  6. When someone asks what I did over the weekend, I squint and ask, "Why, what did you hear?"
  7. I finally got eight hours of sleep. It took me three days, but whatever.
  8. I run like the winded.
  9. Age 60 might be the new 40, but 9pm is the new midnight.
  10. To me, "drink responsibly" means don't spill it.
  11. I don't mean to interrupt people. I just, randomly, remember things and get really excited.
  12. I remember being able to get up without making sound effects.
  13. Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Spend 30 seconds in my head. That'll freak you right out.
  14. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
  15. When I say, 'the other day', I could be referring to any time between yesterday and 15 years ago.
Submitted by Maree Papworth
  1. Maree Papworth: Even duct tape can’t fix stupid – but it sure does muffle the sound.
  2. Maree Papworth: Ageing has slowed you down, but it hasn't shut you up.
  3. Maree Papworth: Lately, you’ve noticed people your age are so much older than you.
  4. You don’t need anger management. You need people to stop ticking you off.
  5. Your people skills are just fine. It’s your tolerance for idiots that needs work.
Submitted by Paul Siostrom
  1. To some, marriage is a word; to others, it’s a sentence.
  2. Some people are wise. Some are otherwise.
  3. The problem with political jokes is that sometimes they get elected.
  4. Kleptomaniacs always take things literally.
  5. Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.
  6. Where there’s a will there’s a relative.
Submitted by Rob Gardner
  1. If God wanted me to touch my toes, He would have put them on my knees.
  2. Old age is coming at a really bad time.
  3. Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet.
  4. Gone are the days when girls used to cook like their mothers. Now they drink like their fathers.
  5. I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes it five years in a row.
  6. As I drove into the cemetery, my GPS announced: “You have reached your final destination.
Submitted by Sabi Buehler
  1. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  2. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
  3. Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they’re at home when you wish they were.
  4. If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, they’d eventually find me very attractive.
  5. He who laughs last thinks slowest.
  6. Is it wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?
  7. Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.
  8. I was going to give him a nasty look, but he already had one.
  9. Women sometimes make fools of men, but most guys are the do-it-yourself type.
  10. Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.
  11. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
  12. If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
  13. Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.
  14. Ever stop to think and forget to start again?
  15. Take my advice, I’m not using it.
  16. Men say women should come with an instruction manual; but since when has any man stopped to read the instructions.
  17. I’m great at multi-tasking: I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.
  18. I was going to wear my camouflage shirt today, but I couldn’t find it.
Submitted by Steven Wright
  1. Whenever I think about the past, it brings back so many memories.
  2. What’s another word for ‘thesaurus’?
  3. How much deeper would the ocean be if it didn’t contain sponges?
  4. I took a lie detector test. No, I didn’t.
  5. There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
  6. Reward, $50. If found, just keep it.
Submitted by Terry Ball
  1. I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
  2. Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
  3. I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
  4. Velcro – what a rip off!
  5. What does a clock do when it’s hungry? It goes back four seconds.
Submitted by Terry Hearity
  1. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  2. How does an attorney sleep? First he lies on one side, then he lies on the other side.
  3. What's the difference between a hippo and a zippo? One is really heavy and the other is a little lighter.
  4. I saw an ad for burial plots, and I thought: “That’s the last thing I need!
  5. Two windmills are standing in a wind farm. One asks, “What’s your favourite kind of music?” The other says, “I’m a big metal fan.
  6. I wasn’t originally going to get a brain transplant, but then I changed my mind.
  7. I have a few jokes about unemployed people, but none of them work.
  8. How do you make holy water? You boil the hell out of it.
  9. I tried to sue the airline for losing my luggage. I lost my case.
  10. When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
  11. My ex-wife still misses me. But her aim is starting to improve.
  12. War does not determine who is right; it determines who is left.
  13. A cross-eyed teacher couldn’t control his pupils.
  14. Sleeping comes so naturally to me, I could do it with my eyes closed.
  15. What do you call a super articulate dinosaur? A thesaurus.
  16. A man who drives like hell is bound to get there.
  17. When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
  18. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
  19. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
  20. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I’ll show you A-flat miner.
  21. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  22. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
  23. The roundest knight at king Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
  24. Local Area Network in Australia : the LAN down under.
  25. Atheism is a non-prophet organisation.
  26. In a democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism, it’s your Count that votes.
  27. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
  28. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
  29. 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.”
  30. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
  31. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, “No change yet.”
  32. When you’ve seen one shopping centre you’ve seen a mall.
  33. He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.
  34. The short fortune teller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.
  35. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
  36. Don’t join dangerous cults: practice safe sects.
  37. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
  38. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
  39. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
Submitted by Trisha and Robert Weller
  1. When one door closes and another door opens, you are probably in prison.
  2. If you’re sitting in public and a stranger takes the seat next to you, just stare straight ahead and say, “Did you bring the money?
  3. Remember, if you lose a sock in the dryer, it comes back as a Tupperware lid that doesn't fit any of your containers.
  4. Sometimes, someone unexpected comes into your life out of nowhere, makes your heart race, and changes you forever. We call those people cops.
From the Indian Hills Community Centre via Terry Ball
  1. Water is heavier than butane because butane is a lighter liquid.
  2. If you have to wear both a mask and glasses, then you may be entitled to condensation.
  3. When you teach a wolf to meditate, he becomes aware wolf.
  4. I’m going to start collecting highlighters. Mark my words!
  5. When you said that life would get back to normal after June … Julyed.
  6. The girl in the middle of the tennis court is Annette.
  7. Ghosts like to ride in elevators because it lifts their spirits.
  8. To the thief who stole my glasses: I will find you … I have contacts.
  9. A few puns make me numb but math puns make me number.
  10. I wanted to be a monk but I never got the chants.
  11. A perfectionist walked into a bar. Apparently, it wasn’t set high enough.
  12. If any of you know how to fix broken hinges, my door is always open.
  13. Police car loses wheels to thief. Cops are working tirelessly to nab suspect.
  14. My friend was explaining electricity and I was like watt?
  15. My friend David had his ID stolen. Now he’s just Dav.
From a Welsh Church newsletter via John Baird
  1. Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.
  2. When two egotists meet, it’s an I for an I.
  3. A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
  4. Every calendar's days are numbered.
  5. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
  6. A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
  7. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
  8. When you ask me what I am doing today, and I say "nothing," it does not mean I am free. It means that I am doing nothing.
  9. Once you've seen one shopping centre, you've seen a mall.
  10. Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
  11. And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and you will receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.
  12. I tried to catch fog yesterday. Mist.
  13. I, for one, like Roman numerals.
  14. You don’t need a parachute to go skydiving. You need a parachute to go skydiving twice.
  15. You can never lose a homing pigeon – if your homing pigeon doesn't come back, what you've lost is a pigeon.
  16. I have a step ladder because my real ladder left when I was a kid.
  17. Apparently, someone in London gets stabbed every 52 seconds. Poor devil.
  18. My wife accused me of being immature. I told her to get out of my fort.
  19. You know what they say about cliff hangers …
  20. I broke my finger last week. On the other hand, I am okay.
  21. I threw a boomerang a few years back. I now live in constant fear.
  22. Working in a mirror factory is something I can see myself doing.
Submitted by others
  1. David Hicks: When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
  2. David Hicks: I am writing a book about all the things that I should be doing in my life. It’s an oughtobiography.
  3. Lesley Alves: Did you know that birthdays are good for you? That’s because the more you have, the longer you live.
  4. David Hicks: A will is a dead giveaway.
  5. Lyn Richards: I’m supposed to respect my elders, but now it's getting harder and harder for me to find one.
  6. Martin Winfield: I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.