Ancient Puns & Jokes

According to Liam, bee puns are the highest form of comedy. He's wrong. Usually we'd take any excuse to mock one of our own, but this time we thought we'd humour him. ("Humour him" - pun intended.... dammit)So, here we present to you some of the oldest puns and jokes known to humanity. We warn you, not all of them have aged well, and some require explanation. Others just aren't very good. (Not like bee puns at all!) We've also included some laughing reaction .gifs, because that's what all the cool blogs are doing...

On the wall of an Ancient Egyptian tomb are painted people drinking lots of booze, (which is how all great storied start), but there's a hidden second, sexier meaning. In ancient Egyptian the word "sti", written on the wall, can mean "to pour" but it can also mean "to impregnate". This could only be better if the dead Egyptian noble was called Randy... Unlikely, perhaps.

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Shakespeare is famous for, amongst other things, his humour and one of his best-known plays, Romeo and Juliet, is not short on laughs. Mercutio, having been fatally stabbed, says "ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man." Ha! I get it... oh, actually that's quite sad.

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The old punnin' Pope, Gregory I reacted in a rather unexpected way upon spying pretty blond English boys for the first time. "Non Angli, sec Angeli" he quipped, meaning 'They are not Angles, but angels.' The Pope probably shouldn't get that excited by young boys...


Everyone loves a good marketing pun, (we won't buy any washing products without a perfunctory bad joke), and the ancient Greeks were no exception. In Pompeii, near Mount Vesuvis, a wine jug has been found with the owner's shop named inscribed. "Vesuvium" combined the location, Vesucis, and the Latin for wine, vinum. OK, we did say some of these weren't amazing.

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Around the 4th or 5th century an Athenian social club penned The Laughter Lover, which contained 265 jokes. Surprisingly, it is still kinda funny in a sort of relentless dad-joke way. They also seemed to hate intellectuals, which we don't fully understand, but whatever... Here we go!

When an intellectual was told by a shop owner: "Your beard is now coming in" he went to the rear-entrance and waited for it. Another intellectual asked what he was doing. Once he heard the whole story, he remarked: "I'm not surprised that people say we lack common sense. How does he know that it's not coming in by the other gate?"

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An intellectual got a slave pregnant. At the birth, his father suggested that the child be killed. The intellectual replied: "First murder your own children and then tell me to kill mine"

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An intellectual came to check on a friend who was seriously ill. When the man's wife said that he had "departed" the intellectual replied: "When he arrives back, will you tell him that I stopped by?"

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Someone needled a jokester: "I had your wife, without paying a dime." He replied: "It's my duty as a husband to couple with such a monstrosity. What made you do it?'

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Oh, my.

So those were our pick of ancient jokes, some of which are funny.

Thanks again for checking out The Conversation Hat blogs, we'll see you next time!