"bad" puns

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 7 14:44:43 UTC 2013

I don't see this sense of "bad" in OED.

A "bad" pun, or a "bad" joke, isn't necessarily "poor." It can also be so
clever or contrived as to cause mental pain or an (oddly) appreciative
groan.    Here is an excellent example:

2001 _Naval Review_ (Oct.) 398:  There are several very clever verses, but
the worst I remember was,

            Next came the watchkeeper’s wife, and she was dressed in

            And in one corner of her tricorne hat she carried his
watchkeeping telescope;

                        His watchkeeping telescope, my boys, his very best
quarterdeck walk,

                        And in the other corner was a damn good afternoon

I do not feel at all that this is simply an ex. of the sense "formidable or
impressive." And certainly the stanza is not "bad" in any other sense.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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