Paraprosdokian Jokes
Clean house quote

Paraprosdokian is a figure of speech, which is well understood by comedians, hence our inclusion on this site

The key point is that the final words make the reader see the first part of the sentence in a new light.

Will and Guy’s Hilarious and Funny Examples of Paraprosdokian

  • I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way; so I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • Do not argue with an idiot; he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on the list.
  • Light travels faster than sound; this is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong.
  • We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
  • If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
  • War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

How Comedians Develop Paraprosdokian in Their Jokes

I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it. Groucho Marx

I belong to no organized party; I am a Democrat.”  Will Rogers

On the other hand, we have different fingers.  Jack Handey

Ten More Descriptive Paraprosdokian Examples

  1. Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’, and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
  2. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  3. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a workstation.
  4. How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
  5. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
  6. A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.
  7. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  8. Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but they have to check when you say the paint is wet?
  9. Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
  10. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

This list is by no means complete, so please send us your Paraprosdokian examples.

Nearly Paraprosdokianisms

  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  • You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
  • The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
  • Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back!
  • A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
  • Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.
  • Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
  • There’s a fine line between cuddling, and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
  • I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.
  • I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila (Diet Coke).
  • When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
  • You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  • To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
  • Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  • Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
  • A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
  • If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. Have a great day or pretend to!

Paraprosdokian Definition

Paraprosdokian is a figure of speech, which little known by the general public, but is well understood by satirists.  The key feature is that the final words make the listener reinterpret the first part of the sentence.

Not Paraprosdokian Examples – Just Quirky English Logic

  • Have you noticed that there is neither apple nor pine in pineapple?
  • And there are no hogs in Hogmanay.
  • And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
  • Quicksand only works slowly.
  • If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth?
  • If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Will and Guy Select Their Top Ten Quirky Words:

  1. Barking: Thought to be named after the London suburb, home to a former asylum site; hence ‘Barking mad’.
  2. Binge: A bout of uncontrolled indulgence.
  3. Blighty: A word much loved by RAF types in WW2.  Originally from the Hindi word “bilayati” meaning foreign.
  4. Blimey: Could be shorthand for “God, blind me.”
  5. Chum: A “chummy” used to be a chimney sweep’s assistant.
  6. Cuppa: First used for tea by PG Wodehouse, the playwright.
  7. Dear: From an old English word, “deore”, meaning “much loved.”
  8. Grotty: Sixties Liverpool slang.
  9. Jolly: From an old French word meaning “festive”.
  10. Slag: Derived from a 16th-century German word meaning “dross”.

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