Jokes where one word or phrase can mean two things

Discussion in 'English Only' started by woodrowchina, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. woodrowchina Member

    1 A man walks into a bar with a roll of tarmac under his arm and says: "Pint please, and one for the road.

    2 Two aerials meet on a roof - fall in love - get married. The ceremony was rubbish - but the reception was brilliant.

    for 2nd joke,I know aerial means circus person,but I still don't get it.
  2. .ani. New Member

    German, English
    "One for the road" is a saying that basically means "one more before you go".

    The reception is the ability to pick up tv/radio signals. So good reception means good tv/radio quality.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  3. woodrowchina Member

    But I'm still confused.
    Does refer to 'tarmco' just for the road pun,or other meaning?
    what does the aerial have to do with tv/radio?
  4. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Tarmac refers to the road pun, yes. He's ordering one for his companion -- the tarmac -- by using the well-known phrase "one for the road."

    And how young you must be not to know that TVs and radios have aerials. :D Perhaps you're an all-cable person. But many radios and TVs have external aerials/antennas that determine whether or not they get good reception -- or in this case, brilliant reception. :)
  5. .ani. New Member

    German, English
    Tarmac is what they coat roads with and as far as I know not much else.

    As for the aerials, signals are sent from broadcasting towers which are then turned into what you see/hear. The signals are radio waves which travel through the air and down the aerial.

    The reception is determined by the aerial's ability to do this. For instance, in a storm where there may be a lot of clouds or wind it will make it harder for the signal to be picked up by the aerial and so your tv/radio experience will be ruined.

    This joke has a second meaning, a reception is held after a marriage and it's basically when everyone gets together, eats, drinks, dances and says congratulations to the married couple. The joke is that the wedding was boring, but the party after was good because they're aerials and a reception is what they do best.
  6. dn88 Senior Member

    "tarmac" is the surface of a road, so the man basically orders a pint for himself and another one for the "road".
    "aerials" pick up radio/tv waves, they can receive signals. This process of "receiving" is called "reception".
  7. Majorbloodnock Senior Member

    South East England
    British English
    Years ago, people in the UK travelling on horseback or in open carriages would have no protection from the weather except what they were wearing, so could easily become very cold. They might well stop at an inn during their journey, and if so, they might use the opportunity to have an extra (alcoholic) drink to fortify themselves against the elements just before they left. This drink wouldn't be for thirst or even for socialising, but would be referred to as "one for the road". The need has long since disappeared, but the idiom lives on. The first joke is simply manufacturing an absurd situation (a man with a lot of tarmac - used for covering roads) to make a pun on the phrase possible.

    As has already been mentioned, an ariel is an antenna for picking up television or radio signals, and if it is placed correctly so as to be doing this job well (i.e. giving a clear picture on the television with no interference), we would say the reception is good. Reception is also the term used for a party directly after a wedding, where the new couple "receive" their guests for a celebration. Once again, the second joke is manufacturing an absurd situation to allow "reception" to be ambiguous and so make a pun possible.
  8. I_Daniel Member

    Pretoria.South Africa
    Afrikaans/South African English
    The reference to two aerials getting married is the actual installation. In many cases you have Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) TV transmissions. One antenna alone cannot receive both types of signals. Two aerials, one for UHF and the other for VHF, are then installed on one "pole" and a combiner is used to put both signals onto one cable which goes down to the TV. The combiner is the case of the signals get "married" (combined) and thus become one, because of the married (combined) signal the TV picture (Reception) for either transmissions ( UHF and VHF) is very good. With only one aerial the reception for that frequency range would be good but for the other frequency range it will be poor.

    Cable TV does not use aerials. Satellite TV uses "dishes", parabolic reflectors as an "aerial".

    I am trying not to be technical so hopefully I am not confusing the issue. But maybe saying a "yagi antenna" instead of an aerial could have more meaning for you.

    The way this joke is put, it sounds as if the installation is rather messy, but it works quite well.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  9. woodrowchina Member

    Thanks all guys,especially Majorbloodnock.

Share This Page