Puns may be seen as cheesy jokes, but they’re almost always sure to deliver some genuine — if reluctant — laughs. Technically speaking, a pun is a play on words that uses similar-sounding words or those with multiple meanings to deliver a punchline that is at once obvious and unexpected. Their simplicity can make us cringe, but not everyone is skilled enough to craft these clever bon mots (or should we say, bon moans).
While even the best puns may make you face-palm, being able to appreciate them or, even better, make a good one yourself, is said to be a sign of creativity and intelligence. In the book The Pun Also Rises, author John Pollack wrote that the ability to appreciate the pithy witticism of a pun means you’re more likely to be an easygoing, kind, and tolerant person. "If you have an approach to the world that is rules-based, driven by hierarchy and threatened by irreverence, then you're not going to like puns," he wrote.
With that validating note, we’re happy to share 20 hand-picked puns that are sure to make you laugh — and probably cringe a little, too.
The Roman emperor's wife hates playing hide and seek because wherever she goes, Julius Caesar.
I like what mechanics wear, overall.
If you are being chased by a pack of taxidermists, do not play dead.
I tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn't get pasta.
My friend told me he was going to a fancy dress party as an Italian island. I said to him, “Don't be Sicily.”
I don't know what you call a small spillage from a pen but I have an inkling.
My grandfather invented the cold air balloon but it never really took off.
I hate funerals I'm not a mourning person.
I used to work in a shoe-recycling shop. It was sole-destroying.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
Once you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall.
It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.
I'm a big fan of whiteboards. I find them quite remarkable.
Yesterday, a clown held the door open for me. It was such a nice jester.
Becoming a vegetarian is a huge missed steak.
The other day she tried to make a chemistry joke, but got no reaction.
It’s funny England doesn’t have a kidney bank, but has a Liverpool.
Acupuncture is a jab well done.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
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