Tag Archives: play on words

What’s the difference…


Q: Do you remember any other jokes that we used to tell

R: Yeah, …fuck, what were the ones about like-  oh I remember. You know the one that are like whats the difference between this and this.

Q: Oh yeah I think so. Do you have any specific ones

R: Yeah, so, whats the difference between a Buck [male deer] and a Witch

Q: I remember this one but you should say the answer

R: Now it feels weird, no- ok, ones a hunted stag the others a stunted hag

Q: Thats a good one, there were so many

Context: This was told by a high school age boy to other high school age students in upstate New York on a small collective. 

Analysis: I feel like there is not too much of a deeper meaning to this riddle except word play as the other jokes in this group are similar in format but equally random objects with seemingly no connection. For example whats the difference between a coyote and a flea. One howls on the prairie the other prowls on the hairy. This was told by my brother so I remember we also made up some of our own as young adults. It was sort of a way to test wit and mental agility in a similar way to a pun battle for example. 

Leaves of 3, Good TP


My 2 friends and I got together to exchange funny stories with each other. L is the storyteller in this, C is the second friend, and I am ‘Me.” My friend heard this modified version of a proverb from her dad, who read it in a newspaper article.


Main Piece


L: So you know how there’s like, “Leaves of 3, let it be”?


Me: Yeah


L: Umm, I think my dad heard it in a newspaper or something. He told me and I can’t stop thinking about it. Where it’s like – it was a newspaper competition to purposely give bad advice, and one of the winners was Leaves of 3, good TP. And so now every time I think of poison ivy, I think of leaves of 3, I don’t finish it with the normal proverb ending, I think, “Leaves of 3, good TP!” and then it’s all messed up in my head.


C: Is that because you have to like, itch your…?


L: Yeah, like good toilet paper and it’s bad advice. And another one was strangers have the best candy.



Original proverb: “Leaves of 3, let it be; berries white, take flight.”

The original proverb is a rhythm to teach people how to identify poison ivy and stay away from it, as contact with the plant causes severe itching and rashes. The play on words of this proverb in the text above is joking that leaves of three (poison ivy) makes good toilet paper! Well, the point of the newspaper article was to give bad advice. So you would not want to use poison ivy as toilet paper or you’ll have a serious rash in an uncomfortable location…


I thought this was a clever play on this proverb. I’ve heard of the original 3 leaves proverb and keep it in mind when I go hiking. Here is a link to another version of this proverb: http://www.stillmannc.org/Poison%20Ivy.pdf

Ask A Question, Get Bit

D: 아빠 나 아빠한테 뭐 물어봐도되요?

F: 물으면 아프지.

D: 네?

F:물 면 아프다고. 


D: Father, can I ask you something?

F: If you do, it’ll hurt.

D: Huh?

F: If you ask me a question, it will hurt.


In korean, the word “ask” is the same spelling as “bite.” This is a play on words that I overheard a father and daughter converse while at church. The daughter asks the father if she can ask him a question, and he reinterprets the question as “can I bite you.”

Fun Guy/Fungi Joke

Q:  Why did the girl mushroom like the boy mushroom?

A:  Because he was a Fun-Guy (Fungi).

The informant first heard this joke when she was a Freshman in high school during one of her intense study sessions for Biology class.  She first heard it from her teacher, who was a laid back, down-to-earth, person with a great sense of humor.  It was during an after school session, when the students were all preparing for the lab practicum at the end of the year that would have a large impact on their grade when the teacher suddenly rose and said to the students, “Hey guys, lighten up. Let me tell you a joke.  Why did the girl mushroom like the boy mushroom?  Because he was a Fun-Guy.”  What made the joke more funny was the fact that the teacher was red in the face when she was telling it.  Though it is an intellectual joke only understood by those who have the elementary understanding that mushrooms are a type of fungi, she remembered it well because she thought it was a cute joke.  She retold it because she liked to use jokes to “break the ice” or make people laugh.