Synonyms

Synonyms are different words that have a similar meaning ("Women sweat but ladies perspire"). Humor usage stretches the definition a bit but a close relationship must exist.

Definition of the upper crust: A bunch of crumbs held together by dough.

Once you learn the formula, a whole series of jokes falls into place:

It's difficult to act youthful without acting childish.

Synonyms are popular word pairings. There are so many words in the language which have a similar meaning that there are countless double entendre opportunities. It's popular because it's easy.

I call my girl friend candy because she makes my peanut brittle. —Rudy Lerch

The simplest technique is a cliché that focuses on a key word, which is repeated by a synonym.

She was an earthy woman, so I treated her like dirt.

—George Carlin

Shoe salesman: Don't worry about the shoes. They'll stretch. Woman: Then don't worry about the check. It'll bounce.

—Rita Rudner

In this second group of examples, the key words have similar meanings, but at least one must be highly exaggerated.

She wasn't just throwing herself at him. It was more like taking careful aim.

He only acts mean. But down deep in his heart, he's thoroughly rotten.

The paired take-off, like any cliché take-off, uses the synonym as the first statement and a surprise or unexpected insight for the punch line.

Man does not live by bread alone, but by additives and preservatives, as well. —Lou Stoddard

A lot of motorists could afford to be a bit more superstitious-like believing in signs!

Redneck arguing against women's lib: "I told her to stick to her washing, ironing, sewing, cooking and cleaning. No wife of mine is going to go to work." - J. N. Boblitt

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