Posted by: Jack Henry | August 29, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Wellerisms

Good morning. I’ve decided it’s fun day Monday today, so I want to talk about a humorous type of expression called a wellerism. The name derives from the character of Sam Weller in Charles Dickens’s book The Pickwick Papers. Wellerisms are a type of wordplay in which the second half of a phrase undermines the first half in a humorous way. These sayings are usually constructed around a cliché or well-known phrase.

As you can tell, it’s difficult to explain what they are, and since they’re fun to read (if you like corny wordplay), I think examples would be better. I’ve gathered these examples from various websites:

· “Don’t move, I’ve got you covered,” said the wallpaper to the wall.

· “Each moment makes thee dearer,” as the parsimonious tradesman said to his extravagant wife.

· “Eureka!” said Archimedes to the skunk.

· “I hope I made myself clear,” said the water when it passed through the filter.

· “I’m at my wit’s end,” said the king as he trod on the jester’s toe.

· "I stand corrected," said the man in the orthopedic shoes.

· "Is this a hearing?" asked the deaf juror judgmentally.

· “It all comes back to me now,” said the Captain as he spat into the wind.

· “I’ve been to see an old flame,” remarked the young man returning from Vesuvius.

· “My business is looking good,” said the model.

· “Oh, how blue I am,” mourned the poet, as his fountain pen spattered upon him.

· “Simply remarkable,” said the teacher when asked her opinion about the new dry-erase board.

· "So I see," said the blind carpenter as he picked up his hammer and saw.

· “That’s my mission in life,” said the monk, as he pointed to his monastery.

· “These are grave charges,” murmured the hopeless one, as he perused the bill for the burial of his mother-in-law.

· “That’s an old gag,” said the cashier, as the bandit stopped up his mouth.

· "We’ll have to rehearse that," said the undertaker, as the coffin fell out of the car.

Click here if you want more information about wellerisms. Now go forth and make this a good Monday.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Extension: 765432

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