Do people groan at puns across languages/cultures?

In the US, someone making a pun is usually met with groans or eyerolls. It’s generally not considered a low form of humor.

I’m curious if that’s a learned behavior affected by how one’s culture views puns, or something more universal to the human experience?

Do people worldwide welcome or shun puns?

Well, the Old Testament is full of them, and I doubt very many ancient Hebrews were groaning at their holy scriptures.

I uttered a weak pun in England and received laughs. My friends insisted they weren’t being polite and actually liked that kind of humor. I still have my doubts.

Filipinos love their puns. If it involves two or three different languages, all the better.

I can confirm that Israeli humor is very fond of puns and malapropisms, more so than with Americans.

But are the groans tongue in cheek? They often are for me, if I groan at a pun.

Huh? Is the “not” supposed to be there? If so, I’m wondering where you get that from. Personally, I think the pun is the pinnacle of humor. It is the punchline of many a joke!


As a kid, I was always being corrected by authority figures that we’re expected to groan at puns. My natural reaction was to laugh.

I mean genuine groans - quite a few people are not in love with puns. And yes, I meant to say not.

That’s how we identify the reptilian infiltrators from Rigellus III.

I still enjoy the only one I know, with the pusit and the op-pusit :slight_smile: (visual cues helped) :slight_smile:

I read that groaning at puns was the custom amongst ancient Romans.

I used puns a lot as a kid. I’m not supposed to anymore because I’m a groan up. I don’t care though. Shakespeare was better than any of those who groan.

I won’t debate with you here, but I’ll just agree to disagree with you premise which seems to be that in the US we generally frown on puns.

So, if it’s not a low form of humor what is it? A high form of humor would seem to contradict your basic premise. Are you saying it’s not considered any form of humor at all?

Japanese has a lot of homophones. So puns are commonplace.

According to this website, they produce a range of effects; among these are laughs, a sense of wickedness, and yes groans. In the last case they are called oyaji gyagu 親父ギャグ, or “old man jokes” or Dad jokes according to the website.

In my experience, people generally groan at puns in Scandinavia (or at least in Sweden and Denmark - don’t know about those shifty Norwegians).

I know I do.

Took me a few seconds but remembered hearing it before and LOLed!

I don’t know if it’s because of Western influences, but Korean, Chinese and Japanese audiences all groan at bad puns. Good puns as in the U.S. get a hearty laugh! Yes, I watch a lot of (actually more than U.S.) Asian shows.

Those who don’t moan and groan at puns don’t get it the first time!

But just about anything can be a pun in Danish. All the words are spelled differently, but they all sound like the same little gurgle in the throat. :slight_smile:

Just remembered something that may not be really a pun, just a play on words. In Hawaii if you hear someone say “I gotta 5 4 4” or just “5 4 4”, it means they need to pee. “5 4 4” in Japanese is go shi shi . shi shi means pee in our local pidgin.

Cue the moans and groans!

In the UK the reaction to a pun ranges from the eye-roll/groan to complete-but-temporary social ostracization, depending how good it is.

It goes back to the Pun-ic wars…