Jokes as Sources of Phrases

Wed Oct 23 18:02:58 UTC 2002

        We're simply going to have to have more information on what these jokes were.  I appreciate the "wham bam thank you ma'am" joke, which was new to me.  What's the economists' joke on TANSTAAFL?  And what's the joke that supposedly gave rise to "missionary position"?

        Count me in the group that thinks that jokes can be a significant source of phrases and idioms, though of course their role can be exaggerated.  "Don't make waves" seems less likely because the phrase derives so naturally from the literal meaning.

John Baker

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