Linguistical Humour

by Joe Sinclair


At the risk of being accused of trivialising, my language article in this issue of Nurturing Potential has been grossly "purloined" from various Internet sources.

In self-justification I have to point to my work overload consequent on my house-buying and -selling activities that left me with inadequate time for an original piece.

I hope that this contribution will, anyway, give you much pleasure and not a few laughs.  Just click on the numbers of the "Table of Contents" to go to each section and use the "back" button to return.


1.  A glossary of medical terms

2.  Some female aphorisms, epithets and causerie

3.  Quickies and Smoothies


A Glossary of Medical Terms

Artery                                The study of paintings

Bacteria                             Back door to cafeteria

Barium                               What doctors do when patients die

Benign                                After your eighth birthday

Caeserean section                A neighbourhood in Rome

Catscan                               Searching for kitty

Cauterize                            Made eye contact with her

Colic                                   A sheep dog

Coma                                  A punctuation mark

D & C                                  Where Washington is located

Dilate                                  You should live so long!

Enema                                  Not a friend

Fester                                  Quicker than someone else

Fibula                                   A small lie

Genital                                 Non-Jewish

Hangnail                                A coat hook

Impotent                               Distinguished, well-known

Labour Pain                           Industrial injury

Medical staff                          Doctor's walking stick

Morbid                                  Made a higher offer

Nitrates                                 Cheaper than day rates

Node                                     I knew it all the time

Outpatient                             Someone has fainted

Pap smear                              Paternity test

Pelvis                                     Second cousin to Elvis

Post Operative                        Mailman

Recovery room                        Where upholstery is repaired

Rectum                                   Almost killed him

Secretion                                 A hiding place

Seizure                                    A Roman emperor

Tablet                                      A small table

Terminal illness                         Sick at the airport

Tumour                                    One more than one more

Urine                                       When you're not out

Varicose                                   Not far away.


Some female aphorisms, epithets and causerie

It's not true I had nothing on. I had the radio on. (Marilyn Monroe)

I'm a wonderful housekeeper. Every time I get divorced, I keep the house. (Zsa Zsa Gabor)

Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet. (Mae West)

One more drink, and I'll be under the host. (Dorothy Parker)

I hate to spread rumours, but what else can one do with them? (Amanda Lear)

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-three today and we don't know where the hell she is. (Ellen Degeneres)

My grandmother was a very tough woman. She buried three husbands. Two of them were just napping. (Rita Rudner)

I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain. (Jane Wagner)

They say you should say nothing about the dead unless it's good. He's dead. Good. (Moms Mabley)

Legislators do not merely mix metaphors; they are the Waring blenders of metaphors, the Cuisinarts of the field. By the time you let the head of the camel into the tent, opening a loophole big enough to drive a truck through, you may have thrown the baby out with the bathwater by putting a Band-Aid on an open wound, and then you have to turn over the first rock in order to find a sacred cow. (Molly Ivins)


Quickies and Smoothies

At the post-election reconciliation breakfast, the attractive waitress asks Gore what he would like. Gore replies, "I'll have a bowl of oatmeal and some fruit."

"And what can I get for you, sir?" she asks Bush.

He replies, "How about a quickie?"

"Why, Mr. President-elect!" the waitress says, "How rude!! I wouldn't even expect that from President Clinton in public!"

As the waitress storms away, Gore leans over to Bush and whispers, "It's pronounced keesh."


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When Rabbi Noah succeeded his father Rabbi Mordechai as Rav of Lechovitz, his hasidic followers soon noted that he did many things quite differently. When they asked him about this, he responded: "I do exactly as my father did. He did not imitate and I do not imitate."


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A team of archaeologists was excavating in Israel when they came upon a cave. Written across the wall of the cave were the following symbols: a woman, a donkey, a shovel, a fish, and the Star of David.

They decided that this was a unique find, and that the writings were at least three thousand years old. They chopped out the pieces of stone and had them brought to the museum, where archaeologists from all over the world came to study the ancient symbols. After months of conferences to discuss the meaning of the markings, they held a public meeting.

The president of the scholarly society stood up and pointed at the first drawing and said: "This looks like a woman. We can judge that the race was family-oriented and held women in high esteem. You can also tell they were intelligent, as the next symbol resembles a donkey, so they were smart enough to have animals help them till the soil. The next drawing looks like a shovel of some sort, which means they even had tools to help them. Even further proof of their high intelligence is the fish, which means that if a famine hit the earth, they would take to the sea for food. The last symbol appears to be the Star of David, which means they were evidently Hebrews." The audience applauded enthusiastically.

Then a little old man stood up in the back of the room and said: "Idiots! Hebrew reads from right to left. It says: 'Holy Mackerel, dig the ass on that woman!'"