Home » Comedy

TagComedy

Deadpan Expression

Deadpan, an adjective used to describe a flat or unsmiling affect, as in deadpan humor, derives from the use of pan as a slang term for “face.”

This is part of a complete episode.

Straw-Related Etymologies

The Spanish word for straw is paja. In Italian, it’s paglia, which also gives us the name of the opera Il Pagliacci, the Italian word for clowns. In the past, clown costumes were made of the same fabric used to cover straw mattresses. This is...

Insidious Ruse Wordplay

Melinda in Indianapolis, Indiana, shares a bit of wordplay in which someone is invited to repeat such phrases as “I’m a brass lock” and “I’m a brass key,” all leading up to a punchline in which the repeater is...

The Aforementioned “Said”

Katrina in Williamsburg, Virginia, asks if it’s pretentious to use the word said to describe something previously referred to. Using said to mean the aforesaid or the aforementioned is far more common in legal documents, but there’s...

Mathematical

If something is mathematical, is it cool? According to a mother of two middle-schoolers, that’s exactly what it’s come to mean among the younger set. Then again, irony is also pretty hip. But could her kids be using a piece of ironic...

Boo-Boo the Fool

Who is Boo-Boo the Fool? A listener wonders if this African-American character has any relation the Puerto Rican fool, Juan Bobo. Martha draws a connection to the Spanish term bobo, meaning “fool,” and its Latin root balbus, meaning...