Jokes for all occasions: nomenclature

The young son of a mountaineer family in North Carolina had visited for the first time in the town twelve miles from home, and had eaten his mid-day meal there. Questioned on his return as to the repast, he described it with enthusiasm, except in one particular:

“They done had something they called gravee. But hit looked like sop, an’ hit tasted like sop, an’ I believe in my soul ‘twar sop!”

* * *

When his daughter returned from the girls’ college, the farmer regarded her critically, and then demanded:

“Ain’t you a lot fatter than you was?”

“Yes, dad,” the girl admitted. “I weigh one hundred and forty pounds stripped for ‘gym.'”

The father stared for a moment in horrified amazement, then shouted:

“Who in thunder is Jim?”

* * *

On an occasion when a distinguished critic was to deliver a lecture on the poet Keats in a small town, the president of the local literary society was prevented by illness from introducing the speaker, and the mayor, who was more popular than learned, was asked to officiate. The amiable gentleman introduced the stranger with his accustomed eloquence, and concluded a few happy remarks of a general character with this observation:

“And now, my friends, we shall soon all know what I personally have often wondered—what are Keats!”

* * *

During the scarcity of labor, a new clerk, who knew nothing of the business, was taken on by a furniture house. His mistakes were so bad that the proprietor was compelled to watch him closely, and to fire him after the following episode.

A lady customer asked to see some chiffoniers. The clerk led her to the display of bassinettes, which was an unfortunate error since the lady was an old maid. She accepted his apology, however, and then remarked:

“Where are your sideboards?”

The clerk blushed furiously, as he replied:

“Why—er—I shaved them off last week.”

* * *

The lady who had some culture, but not too much, was describing the adventure of her husband, who had been in Messina at the time of the earthquake.

“It was awful,” she declared, in tense tones. “When Jim went to bed, everything was perfectly quiet. And then, when he woke up, all of a sudden, there beside him was a yawning abbess!”

* * *

One of the two girls in the subway was glancing at a newspaper.

“I see,” she remarked presently to her companion, “that Mr. So and so, the octogenarian, is dead. Now, what on earth is an octogenarian anyhow?”

“I’m sure I haven’t the faintest idea,” the other girl replied. “But they’re an awful sickly lot. You never hear of one but he’s dying.”

* * *

A story is told of an office-seeker in Washington who asserted to an inquirer that he had never heard of Mark Twain.

“What? Never heard of Tom Sawyer?”

“Nope, never heard of him.”

“Nor Huck Finn?”

“Nope, never heard of him neither.”

“Nor Puddin’head Wilson?”

“Oh, Lord, yes!” the office-seeker exclaimed. “Why, I voted for him.”

And then he added sadly:

“An’ that’s all the good it done me.”

* * *

The aged caretaker of the Episcopal church confided to a crony that he was uncertain as to just what he was:

“I used to be the janitor, years ago. Then we had a parson who named me the sextant. And Doctor Smith, he called me a virgin. And our young man, he says I’m the sacrilege.”