English Word Jokes With Explanations: A Humorous Approach to Language Learning

Elly Kimreviewed byIryna Andrus / more about Editorial Process7 min
Created: Mar 21, 2023Last updated: Jan 22, 2024

What did the pirate say when he turned 80? Aye, matey! See, this is one of our favorite wordplay jokes in English. And we will tell you much more than just this one since we believe the language-studying process shouldn’t be boring. 

Non-native speakers often limit themselves to humor for fear of saying something wrong. But the point is that jokes are a great way to boost your language level and self-confidence. This article provides tips and types of tricky humor in English to make the most out of it. So, please, make yourself comfortable and forget about tedious rules because today we are just going to have fun.

Why Play-On-Words Jokes Are A Great Way To Improve Your English

The main reason why people give up their language-learning goals is simple – they become bored. Sometimes, it is not enough to learn the rules. And in such cases, studying through funny word jokes seems like the perfect way to enhance your fluency level. Here are only a few reasons that explain the benefits of wordplay humor:

  • A fun way to expand vocabulary. Most play-on-words jokes are based on idioms, puns, and other forms of figurative language. Hence, the more gags you use in daily conversations or hear from your interlocutors, the more new words and phrases you remember. 
  • The main way to understand English humor. Do you know how many “knock-knock” jokes are out there? Well, nobody knows that, but we are confident that there are millions of them. They are one of the whales that maintain English comedy and are primarily based on word plays. Hence, learning such jokes is a key to understanding natives and their sense of humor.
  • Major confidence booster. A good joke is a great ice-breaker – you can use it to start a conversation, smooth out an awkward silence, or defuse a tense situation. And when you hear other people laughing at your jokes, your confidence goes above and beyond. 

And we will not even start with other advantages of funny play-on-words jokes, like boosting memory or enhancing comprehension and pronunciation skills. We want you to see them all by yourself. So, without further ado, let’s move on to the next topic. 


Types of Wordplay Jokes

Since there are many kinds of word jokes, it is essential to understand the difference between them all. Therefore, here are the most common types of wordplay jokes you can hear from native speakers:

  1. Puns. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a pun is a joke that exploits the multiple meanings of a word or phrase for humorous effect. 
  2. Spoonerisms. It is a type of wordplay where two words’ initial sounds or letters are switched to create a new phrase. 
  3. Double entendres. It is a phrase or statement with a double interpretation, often with one meaning being suggestive or inappropriate.
  4. Tom Swifty. It is a type of pun where an adverb is used to modify a quote or statement humorously. 

Now you know a bit more about variations of the wordplay jokes. And it means it’s time to finally have a good laugh and check out our favorite puns, spoonerisms, and double entendres. 

Best Wordplay Jokes

Some think understanding humor in a non-native language is the final step to fluency. And we can’t argue with that! Therefore, here are some famous gags to make you giggle and help you with your studying at the same time. 

  • Why is the six afraid of the seven? Because 7 8 9. 

If you don’t get this one, try to read it aloud. This way, you will see that the poor six is afraid because it doesn’t want to be eaten by her hungry neighbor (seven ate nine). 

  • Why did the tomato turn red? Because it saw the salad dressing. 

It is another excellent pun based on the two meanings of the word “dressing” (like the condiment and the process of putting on clothes). 

  • My kids like chilled grease sandwiches I make for them. 

It is an example of spoonerism – the initial letters of the words grilled cheese were switched, and instead of a tasty sandwich, poor kids got, well, a funny joke. 

  • Why didn’t the skeleton go to the party? He had no body to go with. 

Here is another excellent tip for making a guru and telling the best wordplay jokes. The simpler and sillier it sounds, the better the effect will be. Like this pun – it is so bad that it is actually very good. 

  • Why do the Promova tutors wear sunglasses to their lessons? Because their students are very bright. 

One more tip for you – jokes don’t have to be rude or offensive. Occasionally, they can be silly little compliments to make someone smile. Like this one – the point is in the double meaning of the word bright (literal one – bright like the sun, and the second one – bright as intelligent).

  • I used to be a baker, but I couldn’t make enough dough. 

Last but not least, a joke on our list is also based on double meanings (apparently, these are our favorites). In this case, the word dough has two meanings – literal, as a substance for making bread, and slang as a description of slang for money.

Funny Word Play Examples

Alright, we know that you want more than that. Therefore, here is another list of hilarious wordplay jokes. But this time, we didn’t add any captions or explanations – try to practice and understand the point yourself. 

  • Did you hear about the guy who lost his left arm and leg in a car crash? He’s all right now.
  • I used to play piano by ear, but now I use my hands.
  • What’s the difference between a poorly-dressed man on a trampoline and a well-dressed man on a trampoline? Attire.
  • I’m trying to organize a hide-and-seek competition, but finding good players is hard.
  • Why did the bicycle fall over? Because it was two tired.
  • Why do seagulls fly over the sea? Because if they flew over the bay, they’d be bagels.
  • What do you call a can opener that doesn’t work? A can’t opener.

And that’s it! Congratulations, you are probably now fluent in English if you got those jokes right. And if not – don’t worry because most of them are confusing. Instead, write your favorite wordplay jokes in the comments section. You know that we are always up for a good laugh. 

Mastering Humor and Fluency with Promova

As much as English jokes might be fun for native speakers, they can confuse language learners. Hence, reaching some proficiency level to joke and understand puns and spoonerisms is essential. And if you are struggling with finding the best studying option, say no more. Here, at Promova, we know exactly what to offer you. 

But before that, what is Promova? It is an international language-learning platform available for students from all over the world. After visiting the official website, you can choose from several options to get started. 

  1. Personal and group lessons with experienced tutors. Our team of professionals is always ready to help you achieve your studying goals. You can start your 1-to-1 lessons or join a group of up to six people from different countries to have more fun. 
  2. Convenient mobile application. If you prefer studying alone, you can do so from the comfort of your bed. Just install the Promova application from the App Store or Google Play and access unique lessons suitable for your needs. 
  3. Conversation Club. What is the best way to practice wordplay jokes? Only telling them to other people. And if you don’t have English speakers in your surroundings, we invite you to our free Conversation Club! Here you can discuss exciting topics, meet new friends, and simply have fun. 

And, of course, we couldn’t forget about the Promova Blog! Here you will find dozens of thrilling articles that will help you learn valuable information, tips, popular language-learning trends, and much more. And guess what? It is also entirely free! So please, don’t waste another minute – visit the official Promova website now and find the studying plan of your dream. 


Okay, we got the last one for you. Why did the pregnant woman start screaming, “Isn’t, can’t, I’m” in the middle of the street? Because she was having contractions. And that’s it for today! We hope that this article helps you broaden your humor horizons because jokes are the perfect way to feel fluent and confident when speaking a foreign language. And don’t forget – studying English doesn’t have to be tedious. Together, we can make it fun.


What are homophone jokes?

Homophone wordplay jokes are the ones created by using homophones – words that spell differently but sound the same. For example, what do you call a deer with no eyes? No idea (no e- d r). Homophone jokes are very popular among people of different ages because they can have both innocent and inappropriate contexts.

Are there any differences between puns and double entendres?

Yes, there is a difference. Even though both types of wordplay jokes are based on double meanings, they differ in context. Puns are just simple, silly gags that have no sexual undertone. Double entendres, on the other hand, also have two meanings, but one interpretation is usually risqué.

Is it always a good time to say wordplay jokes?

Unfortunately, it is not. Many people don’t like such jokes and even find them annoying. Therefore, you need to be sure you have the right audience before telling your puns. Also, there are many situations where any joke might be considered inappropriate. You need to be careful and analyze the circumstances to avoid any misunderstandings.

What are some common tips for memorizing wordplay jokes?

Some common tips for memorizing wordplay jokes include practicing them beforehand, writing them down for later reference, and using mnemonic devices to help remember them. Additionally, it’s helpful to think about the structure of the joke and how the words play off each other, which can aid in recall.


Vladimir VaiserMar 30th, 2024
I want to use it also
PromovaFeb 28th, 2024
Humor helps reduce stress and anxiety associated with language learning, creating a positive and relaxed learning environment. It promotes active engagement and retention of language concepts, making learning more effective in the long run.
Judah MccormickFeb 28th, 2024
What are the benefits of using humor in language learning?
Sibley11Aug 3rd, 2023
These wordplay jokes are hilarious and clever! They had me laughing out loud.