Kryponite and garlic

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Jan 3 22:49:01 UTC 2010

On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 5:37 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> > At 9:29 AM -0500 1/3/10, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> >>A man was invited to a new friend's house for drinks.  When he
> >>arrived, he noticed strings of garlic hung at the door and all the
> >>windows, and asked his host why he had put them up.  His host
> >>replied, to keep out the elephants.  "G'wan!  Vampires maybe, but
> >>garlic wouldn't deter elephants."  His host replied, "Well, have you
> >>seen any elephants around _my_ house?"
> So, *that's* what "the elephant joke" is! I've read and, perhaps, even
> heard, this expression for dekkids, without having the foggiest.

Well, it's *an* elephant joke. I don't think the joke cycle has a
single ur-joke.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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