One of my favourite genre of jokes in English is “A (whatever/whoever) walks into a bar.”
Shakespeare walks into a bar.
The landlord shouts:
Get out! You’re bard.
A man walks into a bar. He cries:
Ouch! That hurt!
It was an iron bar.
My favourite is this one, however.
A dog walks into a bar. He orders a drink.
A pint of… bitter, please.
Our barman replies:
Hey, that’s amazing. But why the pause?
Our dog replies:
No idea. I was just born with them.
Have a bar-vellous day, won’t you!
Russia has Pushkin.
Germany has Brecht.
France has… I haven’t a clue…
England has Shakespeare. Shakespeare invented lots of words, eg assassin, bump, even the word “elbow” (cf: German: “Elbogen”).
Take a look at these beauties!
And for a bonus, take a look at these Shakespearean insults, thou curmudgeonly apple-worm!
Have an inventive day, won’t you!
To you they might seem like mild expletives. To people in Elizabethan times, they were a lot stronger?
- Blimey – “God blind me!”
- Crickey – 19th century euphemism for Christ.
- Zounds – nowadays rhymes with “bounds”, but was originally “God’s wounds” (ie from the nails driven into his body on the cross).
- Bloody – nothing to do with red (or blue if a royal) liquid: it’s a corruption of “by Our Lady” (ie, the Virgin Mary).
Back in those days of Elizabeth I, religious oaths were considered much stronger and profane than sexual “rude words.”
Have a rude day, won’t you!
Australia. Oz? What about it? A land down under. Who were the Poms? Some say it was to do with the early settlers being:
One thing is for sure, they were all transported there by a kangaroo court, one where you were definitely going to be found guilty. Why “kangaroo”? Guess what you’ll find in Australia when you arrive in Botany Bay…
Have a g’day, won’t you!
So, our beloved mother tongue, post-Norman demotic Anglo-Saxon. Modern-day British English. Where do some of the words come from?
Let’s head round about town. When a village became a certain size, the residents built a fence round it, to create a town. What’s the German word for “fence”?
Do you think that is beyond the pale?
The pale were the city walls (of Dublin, Ireland), somewhat strong than a fence, to protect the citizens from the ruffians outside of it. Anything that was beyond the pale, out the control of the English, was unacceptable.
Have an acceptable day, won’t you!